Fall 2015 Releases

Silence in the Library is back with our Fall 2015 slate of books. We’re thrilled to bring you three novels and a novella that will take you from the mountains of upstate New York to the far reaches of space; from a school where children are taught to literally conquer the world to a wasteland full of monsters to an alternate universe with a very different United States of America.

These four books are from a variety of genres: urban fantasy, science fiction, young adult fantasy, and mystery/alternate history. In Kelly Swails, Michael A. Stackpole, Stuart Jaffe, and Ginger Breo, we’ve brought you authors you know, and authors you’ll want to know. With so many excellent choices, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. So, come join us once again on another exciting adventure!

You can learn more about these books, the authors, and even read excerpts from them to see if you like them right here in our pre-order page: http://tinyurl.com/sitl2015

SUSPECTED Cover Reveal & Giveaway Contest

East Country upheld the laws. Mid destroyed them.

In the year 2185 Earth is rebuilding after climate change created a global eco-crisis. Countries maintain complete isolation so there is no warfare over scarce resources. One Elected family is chosen to lead each country for 100 years to ensure stability. Women aren’t allowed to take office and must reproduce at all costs. Technology use of any kind is banned to preserve what’s left of the environment.

And yet, I’m my country’s Elected. I’ve just sanctioned technology use to ready us for war. I’m about to cross the border to spy on our neighbor. And . . . I’m a girl.

Shhhh . . .

 

Elected-cover-ebookWe’re proud to reveal the cover of SUSPECTED, the second book in The Elected Series by Rori Shay. SUSPECTED goes up for sale in February 2015. But in the meantime, the first book, ELECTED is on sale for $0.99. Check it out in our store, at Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Also, register for the Rafflecopter giveaway and receive a signed paperback copy of ELECTED, an ebook ARC of SUSPECTED, and Aloy’s key necklace from ELECTED.

Rafflecopter giveaway

A prequel short story to ELECTED called “The Pendant” will be for sale in December 2014 as part of the Athena’s Daughters volume 2 anthology.

About Rori Shay

Rori-Shay-headshotRori Shay is a strategic management consultant living in the Seattle area with her family, black lab, and cat. In the writing world, Rori is primarily known for her science fiction trilogy, The Elected Series. She received a BS from the University of Maryland and an MBA from George Washington University. She enjoys running, reading, snow-shoeing, and pumpkin-picking! Rori is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

New Novels by Timothy Zahn, Jean Rabe and Gene DeWeese, and Megan O’Russell

Silence in the Library Publishing, along with authors Timothy Zahn, Jean Rabe, and Megan O’Russell, are pleased to bring you our latest Kickstarter project, the Silence in the Library Fall 2014 Releases. We’re incredibly excited about all three books we’re offering here, and you can get one of them, all of them, or any combination you may like.

Here’s author Megan O’Russell to tell you more about the project:

We’re trying out a couple of new things this time around.

First, we’re running multiple books in a single Kickstarter. Our sense is that this will be more user-friendly for backers, in that it will allow us to run fewer Kickstarter projects and reduce the frequency with which you guys are being updated from us about upcoming projects.

Second, we’ve put the first three chapters of each of the books up on Wattpad.com so that you can get a sense of which of these books appeal to you before you back for them.

As with all of our projects, you will get some great stretch goal eBooks and short stories that are available free only to Kickstarter backers.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and thank you so much for supporting Silence in the Library projects.

HEROES! A Diverse Superhero Anthology – Kickstarter Live NOW!

Silence in the Library Publishing is pleased to announce the launch of the Kickstarter for HEROES!, a diverse superhero anthology. Visit the Kickstarter page by clicking on this link.

Inside the pages of HEROES!, you’ll find stories from authors including Aaron Allston, Michael A. Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Jaym Gates, Addie J. King, Jean Rabe, Aaron Rosenberg, Janine Spendlove, Bryan Young, and many more.

As part of this Kickstarter, you’ll also be able to purchase the companion anthology, A Hero By Any Other Name, featuring stories about sidekicks, off-beat superheroes, and hapless villains by Aaron Allston, Michael A. Stackpole, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Jean Rabe, Janine K. Spendlove, Bryan Young, and many of the other authors in HEROES! Several of the stories in these two anthologies are directly tied to each other.

One of the things that we’re particularly happy about with respect to this anthology is its diversity. Diversity with respect to gender, ethnicity, age, body type, and life experience. The heroes in HEROES! come from all walks of life. Some have superpowers that make them something more, or less, than human, but others are facing a dangerous world with only their wits and willpower to aid them. We have some of the “perfect” comic book heroes, but most of our heroes would be considered flawed by those standards. They’re past their physical prime, or seemingly too young for the task at hand, or not in perfect shape, or slightly bumbling, or have any number of other quirks. In other words, they’re actual people.

Please, let us introduce you to just a few of them:

Kiara Bell is an African American woman in her late twenties who goes by “Panthera” when fighting crime. She wears black leather biker gear and rides a Suzuki motorcycle. Her superpower is her chitinous shell, so she is tough, not quick. She gives the impression of gentle strength and fearlessness.

Thunderbolt is a Caucasian male in his mid 20s. He has the ability to shoot incredibly destructive lightning bolts from his hands. His costume (dark blue motocross leathers with a bright orange lightning bolt logo on the chest) does not hide the fact that he is out of shape and slightly pudgy. He has serious body-image issues, and recurring problems with static cling.

The unnamed hero from “By Blood of Fang and Song, We Call You” by Jaym Gates is an old soldier turned rancher. She is of Hispanic/Native American background, moderate height, strongly built, gold eyes, black hair, dark skin. She lives in a post-apocalyptic world that’s being eaten by monsters and she talks to dragons.

Shade is a twelve year old girl who lives in a swamp called the “Shake” by people who live there–she speaks in a somewhat bayou-ish dialect, and the story centers around her search for a man named “the Caretaker,” who is supposed to help residents in trouble.

As with all of our projects, one of our goals with HEROES! is to prove that there is no “standard” face to a protagonist (in this case, a hero), or an author of speculative fiction. Talent and strength know no race, sex, or other artificial boundary.

We want to both entertain you and engage you in the discussion of what it actually means to be a hero, and how that burden affects the person who carries it.

The Video: An Integral Part of a Publishing Kickstarter

by Ron Garner of Silence in the Library Publishing

“Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.”

-Mark Twain

Let me just start off by saying that Silence in the Library Publishing’s first Kickstarter video was not good. It wasn’t absolutely horrible, it just wasn’t good. Our project, the Time Traveled Tales anthology, was strong enough that it was still very successful, but the video did not particularly add to that success. Everything that we could have done wrong, we did. It was too long. It was too static. It didn’t introduce you visually to any of the creators involved in the project.

The real problem with our first video was that we didn’t understand either the importance of the video to a publishing Kickstarter, or how a video for a publishing Kickstarter should look. The first deficit was perhaps the most grievous. Before we launched the Time Traveled Tales project, we made an in depth study of publishing Kickstarters in general. We looked at dozens of successful and failed projects, and tried to map out the characteristics that were common to those that were successful and, conversely, those common to the failures. We even went so far as to create diagrams and charts to display our findings. We did this for every element of a Kickstarter…except for the video. Maybe it was my lack of background in film, maybe it was our innate bias as a company toward the written word. Whatever the reason, we didn’t really get the importance of the video to our Kickstarter.

Ultimately, we learned the hard way. When it became clear that some where around three percent of the people who viewed our video were actually watching the entire thing, and that only about 20% of the people who viewed the video wound up contributing to the Kickstarter, we realized we needed to apply the same amount of diligent research to this area as we had to every other part of our project. As we progressed through a series of Kickstarters for different publishing projects, seven successful projects in all now, we got better and better and learned more and more about what we should be doing to hold the attention of our backers.

My goal with this post is to pass along some of the lessons we learned along the way. Now, at this point you may be asking yourself why. If I make it easier for other people to be successful, won’t I just be creating more competition for Silence in the Library? Well, in some respects, that may be true. But I think the publishing field, and in particular the fiction publishing field, on Kickstarter is one of those places where making others more successful will make all of us collectively more successful.

Our experience through seven crowd funding projects suggests that a publishing project can generally count on about 25% to 35% of its funding coming from backers who find the project through Kickstarter. The other 65% to 75% of the backers are going to be people who were brought to Kickstarter specifically by the project they are backing. They are part of the network of people who follow the authors, artists, or publishers involved outside of Kickstarter. Of those who are brought to Kickstarter by a specific project, some portion find they like the community, and become regular backers of other projects. So, by helping to make others successful, we increase the size of the potential backer pool for our own projects. The creator/Kickstarter relationship is symbiotic, as is the creator/creator relationship.

So, what are those lessons learned I keep talking about?

1. Have a Video

Okay, this one seems like a no-brainer, and I won’t spend too much time on it, but you need to have a video for your project. I can’t tell you the number of projects I’ve seen that don’t have a video, and they do statistically much worse than those projects that have a video. Not everyone will want to watch your video, but there is a large subset of backers that will not pay attention to a project without a video, and a smaller but still significant subset that will back or not back a project based solely upon the content of the video.

2. Talk With Me, Not At Me

I started this post off with a quote by Mark Twain, and I think that quote is appropriate to this point. Often, we spend so much time trying to say what we want to say, trying to think about and communicate whatever point it is we have to make, talking “at” people, that we miss the fact that a conversation is not about making points, but about establishing relationships.

When you post a video on Kickstarter, you’re not trying to make a point, you’re trying to establish a relationship with the backer that will communicate to them that they can trust you enough to accept that you are telling the truth when you say that they will want your product and that you will deliver it. You can do this by entertaining them, and by informing them, and by letting them have a glimpse into you.

I think many project creators get confused, and think that their video is an old-fashioned sales pitch. It’s not, at least not with publishing Kickstarters. I have no background in technology projects, or design projects, so maybe the same rules do not hold true in those areas. In publishing projects, though, my experience is that backers want to feel like they can trust you enough to get a great project complete and delivered.

So, this sounds like a great general idea, right? But how do you go about implementing it? Well, I’m glad you asked!

2(a). Be a Part of Your Video, But Don’t BE Your Video

There are a number of successful ways to portray your project on video, but I’ve found that if you want to establish a relationship with your backers, one very effective method is to actually be in your video. Backers want to be introduced to the project creator, particularly if the project is a single author book. They want to know not just what they are backing, but who.

The key is that you have to find a balance between being in your video, and being the only thing in the video. If all you do is set up a camera, stare into it, and talk, you’re going to lose the attention of backers quickly.

2(b). Incorporate Movement

You don’t want your video to be static, and if you’re the sole focus of it, with absolutely no perspective changes, it will be nothing but static. Generally, we like to have cut-aways to artwork, landmarks that play prominently in the story, the book cover, add-ons, or other elements related to the project. That said, I’ve seen several publishing videos that consisted solely of the author talking to the camera that made it work by shifting perspective (i.e. camera angle) cleverly.

We like the cut-aways because we feel like they give the backer a break from staring at the creator. They get to see some cool artwork or something, and when they come back to their conversation with the creator (who has continued to talk in the background), they are re-energized for the conversation. Also, using other things you have created for the project shows the backers that you’re far enough along that they won’t have to wait for the rest their lives to see the product.

2(c). Have a Conversation, Not a Staring Contest

I cannot count the number of Kickstarter videos I’ve seen that involve the creator sitting or standing center screen unmoving and staring at the camera the entire time. Don’t do it. It’s creepy. Have you every had a comfortable conversation with someone in person in which they perfectly centered themselves in your field of view, leaned forward, and stared at you almost unblinking the entire time that they were talking to you? My guess is that you haven’t because it’s not a natural way of conversing. When we do have conversations like that with people, we automatically assume that they are socially awkward.

In normal conversation, we look away from the other person on a regular basis. We generally use our hands and arms in conjunction with our mouths to talk. Our bodies are moving in a hundred little ways. Don’t be afraid to do that just because you’re in front of a camera. Realize that the camera in front of you represents a few hundred or a few thousand human beings who need to feel like they’re having an individual interaction with you.

Don’t sit in the center of the camera’s field of vision. Sit noticeably off to one side or the other. It’s more natural. It feels like you’re sitting at a table with the other person, talking over a cup of coffee.

Finally, be conversational. A script is a great starting point, but you don’t want to be so intent on sticking to it that you sound clinical. You want backers to get a sense of your personality so that they can connect with you.

2(d) Think About What’s In The Background

One way to establish the relationship with the backer that I talked about at the beginning of this is to make them feel like you’re letting them get a glimpse into your life. An easy way to do this is to do your filming in front of a background that says something about you. For authors, my suggestion is generally that they do the filming in front of their bookshelves. For people who have centered their lives on the written word, their bookshelves are generally windows into their souls. This is true of me, and it is true of most authors that I know. By looking at our bookshelves, you can see our interests not only through what we read, but also through the thousand knick-knacks with which we have cluttered our shelves over the years. That’s the kind of insight that makes backers interested in you and your project, whether they know it consciously or not.

If you can’t or don’t want to film in that personal a setting, do it in front of some landmark that has significance to you or your project. In our Elected Kickstarter, we had the author, Rori Shay, filmed in front of the White House, because it plays prominently in her story.

The point is to make it interesting. Don’t just give the backer a blank wall, give them something to capture their attention.

3. Video Length

There is a point at which your video is so long that most backers will just ignore it. While I can’t tell you exactly where that is, what I can say is that I know it exists somewhere above three and a half minutes. We’ve tried videos of different lengths, and looked at videos from other successful projects, and the optimum time for a video seems to rest somewhere between 2:00 and 2:30. After that, you slowly start to lose the backer.

What’s the reason? Well, I don’t know for certain. A common argument is that people have a shortened attention span due to television, etc. My personal belief is that the issue lies not with the backers, but with the person being filmed. Basically, given more time, we all feel the need to fill it up. And we fill it up with information that really isn’t necessary. Anything that you need to say about your publishing project can be said in two minutes. Everything else is just fluff.

4. At The End, Remind The Backers What They’re Here For

At the end of your video, make sure to remind the backers to take a look at the reward tiers to the right of the screen and decide how they would like to become a part of the experience. Not because they have forgotten that they’re there, but because it pulls them back into the purpose of the video.

5. Thank the Backers For Their Time

Also at the end of the video, thank the backers for their time. We’re all busy, and it’s nice to have someone recognize that you’ve taken time that you could be using for something else to decide whether or not to back his or her project.

6. Never Beg

Never, ever, ever use words like “every dollar helps”, or “without your help”, or anything else that sounds like begging in your video or anywhere else in the body of your Kickstarter. Those words don’t engender sympathy or a desire to help, they just make you sound desperate.

7. Be Honest

Be absolutely honest about what you can and cannot do. Do not attempt to promise anything in your video or any other part of your project that you are not reasonably certain you can fulfill.

8. Be Clear

Make sure that your video conveys to the backer exactly what it is that you want to do. Confused backers don’t contribute. A common mistake I see is that project creators have a “gimmick”, or some interesting way that they want to present their project, and they get so caught up in their delivery method that they lose track of the message. At the end of your video, the backer needs to know exactly what she is getting for her contribution.

9. Practice

Make sure that the video that goes on your Kickstarter page is not the first one you shoot. You wouldn’t try to win a baseball game without ever having caught a ball, or hold a violin concert without ever having pulled a bow across strings. Once you know what you want to say and how you want to say it, practice. Practice several times. Record those practices so that you can watch yourself and adjust as necessary.

Please let me reiterate that the formula I have described above is not the only way to have a successful Kickstarter video. Some projects have shot actual project “trailers” that have been very successful. Others have hired professional voice talent and even celebrity on-screen talent. But the fact of the matter is that most of the people launching publishing Kickstarters don’t have the contacts, money, or background to make professional-level trailers. Even for those who do, I’m hesitant to say that the money and effort they put into them has made a huge difference.

I think that backers on Kickstarter want to know more about project creators and what drives them. I think they want to understand that they are partners in making something important happen. The video is a perfect place to give them that insight. If you are not utilizing that tool to the maximum extent possible, you are leaving contributions on the table.

 

Rori Shay’s Elected – Just ONE DAY Left on the Kickstarter!

Elected-cover-ebook

There’s only one day left in the Kickstarter for Rori Shay’s dystopian future novel Elected!

It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond the borders.

As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret – the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.

Silence in the Library Publishing is excited to bring you ELECTED, a unique dystopian future novel by author Rori Shay.

In ELECTED, Rori has created a rich and unique dystopian world and used it to address timely issues like tolerance and environmental preservation. And she’s created one heck of an exciting story along the way.

With one day left, we’ve passed the initial goal, and have hit some awesome stretch goals. With each stretch goal we reach, backers get additional eBooks and digital short stories at no additional cost. Please visit this link to check out this great project.

Open Call for Submissions for Athena’s Daughters II

7/2/14: Submissions now closed.

 

Silence in the Library Publishing is holding an open call for submissions to the all women Speculative Fiction anthology Athena’s Daughters vol. 2 from June 1st to July 1st, 2014.

  • Athena’s Daughters II is an open-call anthology.
  • Stories must be written by women.
  • Stories must have a woman as the main character.
  • Stories must be science fiction, fantasy, or horror genres and their sub-genres.
  • Preferred story length: 3,000 – 6,000 words.
  • Pay is based on the money raised through the Kickstarter, with all authors getting an equal share of the net revenue. Please see the previous kickstarter for Athena’s Daughters vol. 1 here.
  • Publisher: Silence in the Library Publishing
  • Guidelines: All stories should come in as Word or .rtf attachments and must include the author’s name and contact information on the submission. Use italics instead of underlines, no fancy fonts (Palatino is preferred), 12pt, double spaced. Include a one-paragraph author’s bio, listing website and social media, and a headshot.
  • Stories must conform to the “Indiana Jones” rule of thumb regarding, sex, violence, language, drug use, etc. We try to keep things here appropriate for most audiences, so if it’s something you’d conceivably see in an Indiana Jones story, it should be fine (i.e., melting faces are okay, F-bombs, in general, are not).
  • Send submissions to: submissions@silenceinthelibrarypublishing.com and in the subject please state “Athena’s Daughters II.” In the body of the email please include a short summary/pitch of your story.
  • Stories MUST be complete. Partial or incomplete submissions will not be read.
  • Submission window is June 1-July 1. Stories received outside the window will not be read.
  • Stories not conforming with the above guidelines will not be read.

The Kickstarter for Athena’s Daughters vol. 1  was the most successful prose anthology ever on Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/103879051/athenas-daughters-women-in-science-fiction-and-fan), with stories by Mary Robinette Kowal, Gail Z. Martin, Sherwood Smith, and Cleolinda Jones among many others, and edited by Jean Rabe.

Dance Like a Monkey, An Anthology to Benefit CJ Henderson

Final6x9-Ron-JC-Dance

Silence in the Library Publishing is pleased to announce the launch of Dance Like a Monkey, a science fiction and fantasy anthology featuring over 30 top authors to benefit author CJ Henderson. All funds from the project not used for actual printing and shipping will go directly to CJ and his family to help defray the cost of his ongoing battle with recurring cancer.

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Among the many authors involved in the project are: Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, Maggie Allen, Jack Dann, Ed Greenwood, Joe Haldeman, Nancy and Belle Holder, Tanya Huff, Gail Z. Martin, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jean Rabe, Mike Resnik, Hildy Silverman, Janine Spendlove, Michael A. Stackpole, Anton Strout, Kelly Swails, Robert E. Vardeman, Elizabeth A. Vaughan, Bryan Young, Jean Marie Ward, Gene Wolfe, and Timothy Zahn. And, of course, CJ Henderson. And many, many more.

CJ has spent decades of his life entertaining and edifying readers. His unrelenting humor and joy for life have been lights in the darkest times not just for his readers, but also for fellow authors. Please join the many amazing authors, artists, publishers, and other professionals who have come together to support CJ in his time of need. You can do so by visiting the following link and backing this anthology:

http://igg.me/at/monkey-around

The thing is, by backing this project, you not only get to feel good about helping a good human being in need, you also get a great anthology that, if we are able to add all of the stretch goal authors, totals somewhere around 200,000 words. That’s a huge book, packed full of science fiction and fantasy goodness.

In Memoriam: Aaron Allston

aaron2013

Aaron Allston

1960-2014

It saddens us to have to report the passing of author and member of the Silence in the Library family Aaron Allston. Aaron collapsed last night, February 27, 2014, on his way to perform his duties as the guest of honor at Visioncon 2014 in Branson, MO. He was taken to the hospital in Springfield, MO, where cause of death was determined to be a massive heart failure.

These are the facts of Aaron’s passing, but they are far removed from an adequate explanation of the loss we have all experienced.

In the coming days, you will hear much about Aaron’s accomplishments as an author, editor, and game designer. It is right and just that the world should talk about Aaron’s work and mourn the loss of a masterful creator. Aaron was a legend in the Star Wars community, writing 13 novels and numerous short stories that brought the joy of the Star Wars universe to countless children and adults. His work in the gaming industry helped mold an entire generation of gaming enthusiasts.

For all of these things, and more, we should mourn the loss of a peerless mind and talent. What I will mourn more than anything, though, and I what I want to focus on today, is the loss of Aaron Allston the man, the mentor, the friend.

While I and the other members of Silence in the Library have not known Aaron as long as some, we have cherished every moment of our friendship with him. That friendship was forged over years as we continued to run into him at conventions. Eventually, Aaron would become a staple at our yearly writer’s workshops, providing feedback that invariably helped hone all of the stories submitted to the workshop and the craft of those who wrote the stories.

Aaron Allston & SitL Crew

There would not be a Silence in the Library today, at least not in the form it exists, if it were not for Aaron Allston. Maggie Allen, Janine Spendlove, Bryan Young, and myself formed Silence in the Library in 2011 with the vague idea that we might do something with it in the future, but no real clue as to what that might be. It was Aaron Allston and Michael Stackpole who recognized our potential as a company and helped us to focus. Because of them Time Traveled Tales and all of our subsequent projects exist.

But even these things are just matters of record and insufficient to describe the impact Aaron had on our lives – on the lives of all those who came into contact with him. Because, you see, Aaron was one of the most selfless individuals I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. He wanted to see the people around him succeed. And he coupled that desire with a real, penetrating insight into people and the world around him. This made his advice almost invariably good.

I feel as though I am flailing around, hitting close to what I want to say, but never exactly hitting it on the head. Aaron the editor would be staring over the tops of his glasses at me right now, one eyebrow raised and a look of disapproval on his face.

I know, Aaron, “show me, don’t tell me”. The thing is, I’m not sure how to do that right now. My heart is empty and my head is numb.

Perhaps the best I can do right now is give you a list of things I know about Aaron Allston. Maybe that will help focus the effort.

The List:

1. Aaron  loved making horrible puns. The more wretched, the better. If he didn’t get at least one groan out of the crowd he wasn’t happy.

2. Aaron had an enduring love of absolutely terrible movies. Our writers’ workshops generally took place over a long weekend, and Aaron reserved the last day to introduce us to his favorites of the worst movies ever made. We watched plenty of MST3K, but we also watched them in their pure, unadulterated form. Plan 9 From Outer Space, Manos: The Hands of Fate, whatever. If it was cringe worthy, it was there. He once made me a present of a movie about midget vampires titled Ankle Biters.

3. Aaron was incredibly proud, and would never have wanted anyone to know about his medical concerns or any other issues he might have had.

4. Aaron was fiercely loyal to his friends, and willing to do anything for the people he considered to be “his”.

5. Aaron loved helping new writers develop their craft. He was a born mentor.

6. As a writer, Aaron was the most skilled craftsman I have ever personally known. He understood, better than almost anyone, that writing is not a talent, it is a skill that has to be forged and regularly sharpened. He worked his entire life to be the best writer he could possibly be, and as a result, while he may not have had the commercial success of some, he was a masterful writer.

7. Aaron had an unreasonable love of knives, particularly pocket knives. He was almost like a little kid every time he talked about or displayed his latest acquisition. He also loved to give knives as gifts. To Aaron, the idea that anyone could live a happy life without a pocket knife was almost incomprehensible.

8. At least outwardly, Aaron hated to have a fuss made over him. He’s probably looking at all of the online memorials right now and trying to come up with just the right joke to let us all know how foolish we are (though I suspect some part of him would have appreciated it).

9. Aaron faced even the most difficult situations in life (perhaps particularly the most difficult situations in life) with humor. It was his cure-all and his shield.

10. Aaron loved to wear the most outrageous Hawaiian shirts. You could never miss him in a crowd.

11. Aaron lived his life as an example of his repeated writing maxim “show me, don’t tell me”. He didn’t say it a whole lot, but as his friend you knew that Aaron loved you. His every action reinforced that fact. And he relished every moment of his life, wringing the most he could out of it as if to say “See, this is how it is done!” Show me, indeed.

12. Aaron was not afraid of looking ridiculous or doing ridiculous things. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of things he wouldn’t do, but that was just because he didn’t want to do them. He never did or didn’t do something based on a fear of what others would think.

13. Aaron was one of the most genuine, honest, straight-forward people I ever knew.

So, the facts are that Aaron Allston passed away in a hospital in Springfield, MO on the night of Thursday, February 27, 2014. The truth behind the facts is that the world lost not only an inspiring writer and creator, but a human being who made the lives of all those around him richer for just being there.

I am sad. My heart aches for the loss to all of us who knew Aaron well as a person. But it aches even more for those who never had the chance.

The world lost a giant last night, and it is infinitely poorer for it.

Ron Garner, Silence in the Library Publishing

 

Icarus: A Graphic Novel by Gregory A. Wilson and Matt Slay

Wilson

 

Silence in the Library is excited to announce that we’ve launched a Kickstarter for Gregory A. Wilson and artist Matt Slay’s graphic novel Icarus.

Icarus and Jellinek are, on the surface, about as different as two beings can possibly be.

Icarus is a tall, fair-skinned boy of around 17 who falls to the world of Vol from the sky with no memory of anything but his name. His is a graceful being with wings and incredible powers that he has no memory of how to use.

Icarus character sheet

Jellinek is a four-foot hard-scrabble flamepetal prospector with tough red skin, a gruff disposition and general dislike of everyone around him, and a two-tailed lava-resistant creature called a “solar” as a companion.

Jellinek character sheet

 

On the day that their lives collide, everything about their world changes, and they discover that they have more in common than they can possibly imagine.

Together, Icarus and Jellinek will battle the tyranny of the Magisters, who have enslaved an entire people.

Gregory Wilson’s story Icarus introduces us to the incredibly visual world of Vol, and the stunning array of characters and creatures who call it home. It takes us on an amazing journey in which Icarus and Jellinek fight for their lives and the freedom of a people while trying to unlock the mystery of Icarus’s past. To Jellinek’s surprise, Icarus’s mystery becomes his own, as well.

Matt Slay’s imagery for this book is just amazing:

Icarus promo 1

 

Icarus promo 2

 

Please come check out the Kickstarter at the following link, or by clicking on any of the images above:

www.tinyurl.com/IcarusComic