Update on the Family of Fang and Claw and my Patreon

Howdy folks, I think it’s probably time to give everyone an update on how I’m doing with the Family of Fang and Claw.

I’m very close to being done and -while there’s still a lot of work to do- I should be done in time for October. I know I’ve said that the last two Octobers, but it wasn’t really true unless I resorted to doing flash fiction for the remaining stories. It would have been sloppy and unsatisfying. I wouldn’t have been happy with that, and neither would you. What I’m going to give you instead is 13 intersecting stories that will read much more like a novel.

There’s about 70k words “completely completed,” and probably something like 15k written in partials for the remaining stories. The last story will probably sit somewhere around 30k words on its own, as it completes the character arc of Seth, and I’m thinking the entire collection will sit somewhere between 100k and 120k. If it were a paperback novel, that would sit it somewhere between 350-400 pages.

It’s big, it’s real, and it will knock you flat on your ass.

I’m hoping to have first drafts of everything done by the end of July -the big thing holding me back has been my available time, and I’ve worked that out for the rest of this year at least- and second drafts done by August and everything finalized by September. Then I’m going to push this out to every single reviewer of horror fiction I can possibly find and plan for a release date on October 13th.

The collection will be available on Amazon eBook for $6.66 and my Patreon -more on that below- starting at $3/mos.

Here’s a look at the Table of Contents although some titles may change.

1 Reunion Re-Draft
2 The Pancake Family Completed
3 The Chooser Completed
4 Totem First Draft
5 Gehenna Completed
6 Glass Tongue Partial Draft
7 The Chance Completed
8 The God of Halfway Completed
9 Fat-Thulu Completed
10 Doors of the Dark Completed
11 The Order of Edges Completed
12 Widdershins Partial Draft
13 The Choice Partial Draft

Some of those “Completeds” will still need a minor bit of tweaking depending on a few things I may or may not do with the other stories, but those tweaks would be very minor and wouldn’t provide much delay. The Chooser, The Chance, and The Choice are all stories of “Seth” and will serve as the backbone against which all the other stories are set. Fat-Thulu is a new name for The Feeder of Her, because it’s obviously a much funner name and more fitting of that particular story. I’m not very good with titles, so as I said before, you will probably see a lot of that change in the final collection.

Of the remaining stories, I’m planning to make The Doors of the Dark and Widdershins publicly available, although only the former of those would be in a format that would work for r/nosleep. I’ll probably write some one-off fiction on r/nosleep though that’s set in the same world. I also have some one-off stuff I’ve been thinking on but haven’t had time to write, as I’ve been trying to figure out how to top the Pancake Family for a while and I think I have a concept I can rework that might just do the trick. There are stories in the collection that will top the Pancake Family, but they’re not first person and wouldn’t work in that format.

If you thought the first part of the God of Halfway was bad, wait till you read the ending.

After The Family of Fang and Claw is completed I’ll still write horror on a one-off basis, but I’ll primarily focus on the Age of Fusion and finishing up a novel I’ve been working on set in the Tide World. I may even return to the cosmos (hint hint, wink wink, oh I can’t wait for that reveal) but it won’t be in as dedicated a fashion. Unless this really hits home instead of selling the tens of copies I expect it to and demands a sequel.

PATREON

I do everything through Amazon because it’s easy, but I know that doesn’t work for everyone. For that reason, I’ve started a Patreon. Also, because of money -but mostly because I know that Amazon doesn’t work for everyone. The starting price is pretty cheap $3/mos, and you get access to everything I’ve written at that amount including Family Stories from the old blog. Any time I write anything “exclusive” you get access to that too.

At higher amounts you get more stuff -including at one level the ability to view my Google Drive, which I made super expensive because I don’t actually want anyone to do it- but $3/mos felt like a pretty fair price. At certain levels of income I can make certain promises about what I’m able to deliver. While I’m not really expecting to turn a profit for this, I thought it might be neat to funnel the money back into the site. For example, if I make $250/mos which is at the very highest limit of what I could foresee myself making, I would just funnel all of that money into commissioning art for my stories. $500/mos and I would do audio adaptations, etc.

If you want to read two Family of Fang and Claw stories before the collection is released, they’re currently up on my Patreon right now. Namely, The Halfway God and The Order of Edges. Hope you enjoy if you look and that this doesn’t appear to be a naked money grab.

 

Tear Down This Paywall!

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  • This will get you access to any and all finished exclusive content that I write…  unless I get a publishing deal or something, or there’s some other legal reason I can’t let you see something. Anything I can give you, I will give you.
  • This will also get you access to my archives, so you can read all the completed work I’ve written up to the point you sign up.

Ten George Washingtons, One Vote

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Notice me, Senpai!

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  • I will name at least one character after you in a story. You get to choose the story genre and provide a physical description.
  • What the heck, if you keep contributing at this level, you can give me other names too except I can’t promise how often I’ll be able to use them.

Let’s Get Physical

$25 or more per month
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  • I will mail you a random autographed noun. Person, place, thing or idea. As long as my fiancee says it’s okay and it’s somewhere I can grab it.
  • I will write an off-the-wall biography of you and put it on a contributor’s page on my website. Very praising (unless you’re like a sex criminal or something using this to try to feel legitimate about yourself instead of going to therapy for  years) and flattering, of course.
  • IF (so you may want to think about this) I reach the point where I can start making high quality physical books I will send these to you. If I get published, I will literally buy you the book and send it to you. This starts at the time of your patronage.

Big Brother

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  • You’ll get view-only access to my Google Drive. You’ll be able to see everything  I’m working on as I’m working on it. Including unfinished novels, unfinished short stories, and notes to myself about the worlds I’m building. The only thing you won’t be able to see is the master outlines for unfinished work.
  • Uh… please also understand this is where I work things out, so it’s entirely possible that you’ll hate what you see here.

Elon Musk Level God-Mode

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  • I will personally feel about you the same way I feel about Elon Musk. If someone insults you, I will get a weirdly intense emotional reaction and talk about what a good person you are and brush over all of your faults. Then I’ll make pie-in-the-sky compliments about you and how you’re basically the best person who has ever lived and claim that you are going to fix everything.
  • If you ARE Elon Musk, I will literally* crap my pants
  • There is no real reason anyone should contribute at this level, or above $3/mos if I’m being honest

*figuratively

Goals

$3 – reached! per month
When I am earning $3/month I will feel that this was not a total waste of time.
$25 per month
When I am earning $25/month I will say to myself “Huh, that was more than I expected. Cool.”
$50 per month
I will commit to writing one short story per month.
$100 per month
I will commit to writing one short story per month as well as one piece of non-fiction.
$250 per month
I will use the money I am making from Patreon to commission art for my stories.
$500 per month
I will use the money I am making from Patreon to commission audio adaptations of my stories.
$1,000 per month
I will be officially uncomfortable with how well I am doing at this. Uh… I’ll host a big google hangout and have a party for four hours? And get really drunk in front of everyone and sing sea chanties? And maybe I’ll start doing monthly videos? And commit to one blog post a week?
$2,500 per month
I’ll get really worried about the tax implications of this and vote on physical locations to throw a party? And we can do it once a year? Also, I will hire an editor and start making physical books.
$5,000 per month
I will feel as though writing is my serious profession and not just something I do as a serious hobby. I will host a google hangout and have my parents on as guests and tell them “See? See? I DID IT!” And make them answer your questions about not believing in me. I’ll get really drunk and it will take a too serious turn and you’ll think “Man, that guy needs a lot of help still.” I will also go on one of those joyless vacations where all you do is take pictures of it for the internet and leave without ever really having experienced where you were.
$10,000 per month
I will have to rethink everything about how I’ve always thought of myself. Then, I will start a cult. I will buy a Tesla and literally cry. I am a giant man who looks like Shrek and it will literally reduce me to tears.
$25,000 per month
I will buy a farm and start building an apocalypse proof solar bunker for you and all of my other patrons/cult members to flee to in the event of an extinction level event. I will invest in at least one sound weapon and a pack of those bodyguard dogs and a harpoon gun. Also, no weird cult wife-swapping stuff. This bunker will be respectful of people’s dignity and boundaries.
$50,000 per month
I will run for President of the United States of America, lead a reform campaign to update the structures of our government which can no longer function in the modern world and rebuild healthcare based around a direct hospital subscription model of my own invention to align incentives to bring down prices while increasing the benefits of care. I will invest heavily in the space mining industry and use the profits to reduce the national debt and fund a space elevator, moving humanity into a post scarcity era. When the debt has been paid down sufficiently, I will move the currency of the US to a crypto Blockchain currency resistant to hacking by a Quantum Computer in order to reduce corruption and provide meaningful resistance to an AI takeover of the World Economy. At the end of my second term, I will have a Neural Lace installed and crack the meaning of the universe and ascend to Godhood and solve all of humanity’s problems.
$50,001 per month
I will suspend my campaign for President of the United States of America.
$100,000 per month
I will go to Mars when my space-father Elon Musk makes it possible to do so, even though my fiancee told me I couldn’t.

$100,001 per month

Okay fine, I won’t go to Mars, Amanda

$1,000,000 per month

I will give up carbs and never stop talking about it and be really inconvenient at restaurants and weddings. I will pretend this is due to a Gluten allergy I don’t really have.

 

Breaking the Fifth Wall

I’ve decided every time my beautiful brooding face is about to be pushed off the front page that it’s okay for me to do another “Breaking the Fourth Wall Post.” I’m trying to keep the site more content heavy and one blog per eight posts seems like a pretty good mix. I also think it is helpful to provide context.

Anyhow, here is what is I’m doing of late.

-Age of Fusion

I have stories outlined for the next bundle and several of them are drafted in rough form, however I’m sitting on them until after September. The reason I’m doing that is because somewhere between September 26th and September 30th, Elon Musk is going to announce his plans for the first colony on Mars. Since my stories are going to take place in a “similar but not infringing” colony I want to make sure I’m doing justice by the science. Plus, I want to make sure I’m honoring those noble souls who are actually going to get us to Mars.

I have a rough idea of what the announcement will be, because I spend way too much time alone on the internet but I want to make sure I get it 100% right.

The next set of stories will also touch on the establishment of the “Astro” “Taiko” and “Cosmo” lines. Meaning the establishment of the launch systems of those countries which will also colonize and build the population of Mars. So expect badass Russians and Chinese colonists to start showing up. Vyomanauts won’t be showing up until a few decades after.

We’re still with the same set of characters as the first bundle for the second group of stories. After that you’ll see some of them start to get phased out. But I promise you’ll love what’s coming!

I’m interested to see if CNSA or Roscosmos release any plans of their own after Elon Musk makes his presentation, so characters from those lines probably won’t come in until bundle three.

-Family of Fang and Claw

I’m trying to get all of these done by Halloween so that’s my focus right now. I was slowed a little bit by traveling and sickness but I’m back at it. These stories are a little bit tiring to write but I also find them quite cathartic.

The “Wound in the World” is the first of three stories that touches on the character of Seth, and those stories will be dispersed throughout the collection. What you’ll start to see as the stories progress is that each member of the Family has a true name that is also a theme. The Family has to get someone to fulfill this theme in order to “make their death count” so to speak. It’s part of the ritual that allows the Family to destroy worlds.

These stories are pretty dark so keep that in mind before reading. I’m trying to channel everything I know about real wickedness into them, but I’m also trying to channel everything I know about real coping. So hopefully that comes through.

Super creepy stuff, and I’m trying to hold nothing back.

-The Tide World

I have a novel I’m working on and that’s about it for extant Tide World projects. Like I’ve said before, I want it to be “Holy Shit Amazing” before releasing it. That will take time.

I also have a couple of novellas I’ve let grow cold that I’ll probably brush off once I’m done with the Family of Fang and Claw stories. You’ll eventually see the slider up top have more and more graphics (and better graphics as time and finances allow) as I build out more and more worlds.

-Reviews of Random Things

I had a plan to review books here, but most of what I read is SFF and it’s surprisingly tricky to review something in a meaningful way nowadays without feeling like you’re about to kick a hornet’s nest. Everything has moved to political extremes and the tension is palpable. You know when you’d go over to a friends house as a kid (in my case, I was that friend) and there was this sense of danger hanging over everything? Like you were in the booby-trapped Indiana Jones temple? Remember how you didn’t want to say or do anything because you knew the slightest misstep would cause the mom and dad to freak out and start fighting? SFF is like that now.

So unless I have something really interesting long-form to say I think brevity is the greater part of virtue.

However:

Watch Stranger Things on Netflix

It’s like my childhood nostalgia punching me in the face with glory.

Watch Black Mirror on Netflix

Season 2 was great and the Christmas special was just a spot on parable for the modern age.

Read everything you can by Cixin Liu

He’s got a novel called Death’s End coming out in September (make sure you start with The Three Body Problem) and it already looks like it will knock me on my ass from the excerpts I’ve read. His short fiction is also astounding and I’ve read all the English translations available.

I’m beginning to feel for Cixin Liu what cowboys in the old west must have felt for their best dames. Any time I hear someone say he is anything other than a genius, I have the desire to smash bottles and throw men through saloon doors.

The latest John Cleaver Novel, Over Your Dead Body

Long time readers know I love the John Cleaver books. Very poignant statements about good and evil there. And not statements like “Good guys wear white clothes, and bad guys have black goatees.” Statements like “sometimes to do the right thing you have to choose something that is going to hurt you.”

Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down

Mechanical engineering made accessible and interesting. I never thought something that is essentially a textbook could be so interesting. Give it a read, you’ll love it and you’ll even learn a thing or two.

Oh, hey, looks like I have stuff on Amazon as well…

Breaking the Fourth Wall

It feels like an opportune time to break the fourth wall and discuss what exactly I’m doing with the website.

The basic idea is that I’m fleshing out three major worlds. One of these is a Horror Universe (Family of Fang and Claw) another is a Sci-Fi Universe (Age of Fusion) and the last is a Fantasy Universe (The Tide World). I’m writing short chapters in each of these words which you should be able to tell apart by the feature images on the front page. Every so often, when I’ve written enough content in one world, I’m writing an exclusive piece and publishing a short collection on Amazon.

That means every five or six stories there will be a story you can only get with the bundle on Amazon. That story will probably be the longest and “best” of the group, since it only seems fair to do it that way. This also feels like the best way to keep me productive and “Get Me Out There.”

I’m trying not to talk too much about future projects, but:

-The Age of Fusion is basically Elon Musk fan fiction. It’s set 10-20 years in the future where SpaceX has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.

If you don’t know a lot about SpaceX, may I suggest watching this video and reading these articles? SpaceX may be the most inspiring company of our time. And it is led by a man who may end up being, no exaggeration, the most essential human being who has ever lived. Essential as in, if he had not been born or been born a few decades later, I don’t know how we would have stopped ourselves from being driven into extinction.

I was inspired to write these stories because I was sitting around watching one of the Falcon 9 First Stage landings and feeling like a huge piece of shit for not having finished my engineering degree where I could contribute anything mechanical to SpaceX. So I decided to write about them (in a non-copyright infringing way, of course) and how awesome they are instead.

Felt like the best thing I could do.

The first group of stories (Meet the Martians) gets us through the mid 2020’s to the mid 2030’s and from Earth to Mars. The next group of stories will gets us from the mid 2030’s to the late 2050’s and deal with building the first few cities on Mars and a place called SUSS LAB. Then we’ll do some character turn over and get through the 2060’s and 2070’s which will deal with… wait and see.

The stories go to about the year 3,000 from our way of dating things, although obviously we’re not going to cover that in twenty year segments. There should be 40’ish stories in total and include everything from planet ships to ASI.

If you’ve noticed my rather aggressive stance on what I call “Fusion Culture” I’m doing that for many reasons. Those reasons will be explored as the stories progress but they’re evident today. Largely, I’m concerned that if we fail to fuse together Earth’s diverse cultures we might get bumped back to the Stone Age. Anything I can do to show that working in a non-depressing/non-preachy way, I’m happy to do.

-The Family of Fang and Claw will be exactly 13 stories long. I’m going to rush on those for the next while and try to finish them all by Halloween. Half would be free here, the other half would be exclusive to the collection. The issue is that I wrote them out of sequence so that’s not as quick as it sounds since there is a timeline to work with…

Bad call on that one.

The stories deal with a “Family” of world-hopping monsters who seek to destroy all humanity. Their real true names are all vices like Terror of Joy, Bane of Error, the Hate You Feel for Those who Love You but they hide among us under more common names pushing us toward evil. The Family will kill you if they have to, but they’d rather make you do the work for them.

The recurring character in the stories is Seth, a man who lived with the Family for a time as a child and escaped. He now spends his life trying to find a way to seal them away from our World. You may notice he has had some contact with a certain family in West Virginia.

-The Tide World stories… well these are more apt to be a series of novellas leading up to a novel. I’m trying to finish off a novel set in the Tide World but I’m wanting it to be “Holy Shit” amazing before I let it go. That might take a while since I’m not yet very good with novels.

On the other hand, I can crank off a strong story between 10k-20k words in a few weeks and I’m sure you’d all love to read something new in that setting. I have a story about a dog in outline, where the aging issue is reversed (the dog ages one year for every seven years a human ages) which also has some pretty great monsters and another one about a Mountain Woman who is my evil grandma if my evil grandma was good and fought in a revolutionary war. You’ve read excerpts from that one in the past.

Anyhow, feedback is always welcome.

Please let me know how you’re liking things. I aim to please.