Promoting Some Interesting Projects

IGG_page_twoshot.jpgI have a few books I'd like to promote, and they're not my own.

Arthur Slade is the author of many books, including the Governor General Award-winning Dust. I know him best through his quartet of steampunk books in the Hunchback Assignments series (see my review here) and also the YA novel Jolted.

I like his writing. I especially liked his Hunchback Assignments, which follow a young, kind-hearted but deformed character named Modo who has the ability to alter his shape to adapt any disguise he can put his mind to (albeit for a limited time). Of course, armed with this ability, he's quickly snapped up by Mr. Socrates as a spy for the British Empire. Mr. Socrates becomes his father figure and mentor, Mr. Socrates' manservant Tharpa becomes Modo's teacher, and the lovely young Octavia (herself an expert pickpocket Mr. Socrates rescued from the streets of London to make into a capable agent) becomes Modo's best friend, romantic interest and foil. Together, the four fight against the steampunk machinations of the Clockwork Guild, including steam-powered villains, Jules Verne-style ships, and so on.

Arthur Slade brought the book series to a close with the fourth novel, entitled The Island of Doom. The major plot threads of the series are resolve and (spoiler ahoy -- turn away if you don't want to be spoiled) Modo very satisfyingly stands up to Mr. Socrates and leaves the service of his father-figure's spy agency to fend for himself. Even more satisfyingly, Octavia goes with him, having lifted Mr. Socrates' wallet and coming up with enough money to book passage to America. And thus the two head off into the sunset, full of promise of adventures untold.

Except that Arthur Slade wasn't done telling them, and now he's come up with a way to give his fans more of what they want. After experimenting with publishing his out-of-print novels electronically (in the markets where he had the rights to do so), he has set up his own crowdfunding project. Partnering with German illustrator Christopher Steininger, Slade hopes to release a graphic novel entitled Modo: Ember's End, where Modo and Octavia encounter a strange town and steampunk shenenigans in the wild, wild west. He hopes to raise $15,000 for this project and, with eight days to go, has secured over $7,800 in funding.

Having shamelessly shipped Modo and Octavia through the series, it gives me great pleasure to see that they're still together and having adventures on their own. I made a contribution and I think that you should too. This is a worthwhile project and a nice addendum to a storyline that really doesn't have to end. And it looks darn good as well.

I'd also like to point some attention over to a friend of mine. James DiBenedetto, as I have said, may well be the only Republican reader of my blog, but he's a decent man, and we've had some strong but very respectful debates in the past. While we never changed each other's minds, we did talk to each other rather than shout at each other, and I think we gave each other things to think about.

I first met Jim years ago when I was the editor of the fan fiction magazine Myth Makers. He submitted a story that I was happy to accept, and he and I share the same love of writing and desire to make a living out of it. Recently, Jim has taken the step of self-publishing his work, and you can see the result here

Best of luck to Jim and to Arthur on their projects!

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