Web Serial: Echoes of Shadow: Chapter 7: Party Crasher

Dobrius eyed the village of Eldar as it came into view. Home, he thought. He looked back at Stormhammer carrying the body of the dead huntsman and forward to Elise who still trotted barefoot down the road. What would the townsfolk think? They wouldn’t need to find the constable – he would find them, most likely.

“What a quaint village,” Stormhammer commented as they neared. “Do you live here?”

“I do,” Dobrius said. “Elise lives at the manor where Bron came from. Eldar is the largest village in the valley.”

“I see.”

“Great, a snobbish machine,” Elise said with a sniff.

Dobrius sensed that if Stormhammer could have cocked his head he would have. “I apologize, Lady Elise, I did not intend to come off as snobbish. I am curious to learn about new places.”

“You called our village ‘quaint,’” she snapped. “That’s judgmental.”

Dobrius put a hand to his face. Don’t pick a fight with the friendly golem, Elise. Besides, it was a bit hypocritical of her to judge him for judging when her family were wealthy and known to look down on less well-to-do families. “Just let it go, Elise. He’s just asking questions. To be polite, right?”

Stormhammer seized on the out Dobrius gave him. “Yes, of course.”

Elise harumphed but remained silent.

A hum of conversation filled the air as they drew closer to the village. Dobrius half-expected to see a crowd of gawkers watching them enter town, but instead he found a crowd filling the street outside of the Jabar Inn. Poepa, he thought, remembering the old man’s arrival earlier that day. He’d forgotten in light of recent events. The crowd hushed as Poepa spoke.

“…ten of them had me surrounded,” Poepa’s voice drifted out through the open door and down the street. “Blades in their hands and fury in their faces. But they’d never faced a gunslinger before. Quick as a hare I pulled out Betty and Lucy and let loose. When the smoke cleared only a single bloody pirate remained. I shot the ground at his feet to get his feet moving and he ran away.”

A collective “wow” drifted up from the crowd.

Dobrius smirked. He swore he’d heard that story every other year for the past ten years. He remembered being six sitting with his pa in the tavern. His smile faded. Back before…well…back before the accident.

“Where is the constabulary?” Stormhammer asked.

“This way,” Dobrius said, leading Stormhammer past the Jabar Inn.  No one in the crowd gave them a second glance. He did notice a strange man wearing a hood leaning  against the corner of a wall across the street watching them. The man wore a sword belt – an oddity among the citizens of Eldar. They passed directly across from the alley and at the end stood more men. That’s suspicious, Dobrius thought, but continued on his way down Wagon Street to the constabulary. One problem at a time.

The constabulary, an inconspicuous building nestled between old man Revan’s baker shop and Madame Antoinette’s tailor shop, housed both the constable’s office and the magistrates courtroom. Dobrius and Elise ascended the steps and he turned. “Wait here for a moment, Stormhammer. Let me talk to the constable first.”

“A prudent decision,” Stormhammer said.

“Glad you approve,” Dobrius mumbled as he opened the door and stepped inside.

The constable’s deputy, Bryer Kozinski, sat behind the desk perusing paperwork and scribbling notes on pieces of paper. He looked up. “Ah, Dobrius, right?” His eyes fell on Elise and he sat up straighter and nodded. “Miss Van’dar. What can I do for the two of you?”

“There’s been a murder,” Dobrius began. No sense beating around the bush.

Deputy Kozinski furrowed his brow. “A murder? Where?”

“Near the Wall of the Ancients, by Glistening Falls.”

He stood up. “How do you know it was a murder?”

Dobrius suppressed his frustration. Why couldn’t Constable Beeks be there? “Is the constable here?”

“He’s down at the inn. Keeping the peace.”

Sure he was. Probably just wanted to listen to Poepa’s story. “Maybe we should go and speak with him. It’s important.”

“Well now just wait a second,” the deputy said. “How do you know it was a murder?” His eyes narrowed. “Did you do something?”

“What?” Dobrius asked, taking a step backward. “No, I stumbled upon the body. There was a golem…”

“A golem? A golem committed the murder?”

Dobrius sighed. “No. The golem was investigating the murder. He told me…”

“Golems don’t speak.”

“This one does. Elise can confirm.”

Elise nodded. “His speech is quite snobbish.”

Better than nothing, Dobrius thought.

“Where is this speaking golem?”

“Waiting outside.”

The deputy withdrew his pistol and gestured to the door with his other hand. “Lead the way.”

Dobrius opened the door and followed Elise outside. “Say hello, Stormhammer,” he prompted. “This is a deputy constable.”

Stormhammer lifted the body of the huntsman and nodded his head. “Greetings. I am Stormhammer and also a law enforcement officer.”

Deputy Kozinski raised his pistol, hand shaking. “Lower the body, golem and keep your hands where I can see them.”

Dobrius frowned. “Deputy, Stormhammer didn’t kill the huntsman, I told you that.”

“Shush, boy, let me handle this. Drop the body,” he repeated, louder this time.

Dobrius opened his mouth to speak but closed it as Stormhammer set down the body.

“I mean no trouble and will comply,” he said. He raised his hands in the air.

The deputy descended the stairs and checked the body, keeping his pistol out the entire time. He rolled the body over and studied the wounds. “They don’t look like golem attacks,” he conceded.

What would golem attacks look like? Dobrius wondered. “No, they were arrows. He was shot in the back. Ambushed, most likely.”

The deputy cleared his throat. “Do you have any idea who did this?” he asked, focusing on Storhmammer.

“I have my suspicions, but cannot prove them.”

Movement out of the corner of Dobrius’ eye caused him to turn. A trio of golems walked through the intersection of Main and Wagon Street. Now that was strange.

“Well, you just wait here while I go get the constable. We’ll get to the bottom of this.”

“Yes, that’s a great idea,” Dobrius said. He started jogging toward the intersection.

“I said wait here,” the deputy called after him. “Get back here, boy.”

“No time,” Dobrius shouted over his shoulder. Something was up and he couldn’t sit idly by. He reached the corner of the two streets and peered down Main Street.

The trio of golems approached the crowd of people. They showed no signs of stopping.

“The golems,” Dobrius shouted to the others. “They’re…”

Screams erupted from the street.

Dobrius whipped his head around.

The golems were smashing into people! Three people went flying and slammed into a wall, while another was thrown to the ground and trampled. People fled in every direction. One man, who ran too close to a golem was snatched up and crushed. Blood pooled on the ground and soaked in, turning the brown ground red.

The deputy ran past Dobrius, saw the scene and started shaking. His eyes went wide. “G…g…golems.”

Stormhammer rushed past without a word and barreled toward the golems.

One golem turned. Its eyes were not blue but red. It charged toward Stormhammer.

Stormhammer ducked at the last minute to avoid the enemy golem’s fist, then slapped his fist up into his enemy’s jaw. A crack sounded and their head snapped back and they crumpled to the ground.

The other two golems now turned their attention to Stormhammer.

Deputy Kozinski finally sprang into action. He ran up near Stormhammer and fired at the golems, but his bullets had no effect and the golems paid the strike no more mind than a cow would the flies.

Dobrius followed. He knelt and fired but the bullets only sparked and did not pierce the thick armor of the golems. They’re probably bouncing off its armor, he thought.

Constable Beeks emerged from the tavern and also fired, with the same effect as the deputy. His shooting angered the golems.

One of them turned from Stormhammer toward the constable. It loomed above him.

Blue and red sparks erupted from the front of the golem, followed by a loud bang. The golem stumbled backward.

Poepa stepped out and stood in front of the window, wisps of smoke billowing up from the barrel of both pistols.

A green blur shot out of the open door and Poepa’s steed whipped its tail around and knocked the golem’s feet out from under it.

The golem lay on its back, trying to turn over and regain its feet.

Poepa didn’t give it a chance. He approached and aimed both pistols at its head. “Time to meet your maker,” Poepa said. He didn’t say it with fanfare or flair. Just a matter-of-fact. He pulled the trigger. More red and blue sparks erupted from the impact point and the golem fell still.

The last golem continued to tangle with Stormhammer.

A scream from behind Dobrius caused him to turn.

Elise, whom he had forgotten about in the chaos, was caught in the grip of one of the hooded men Dobrius had seen earlier.

Dobrius took a step and aimed his pistol at the man holding her.

“Don’t even think about it,” one man, who held a knife to Elise’s throat, warned in a foreign accent. “Unless you want her blood added to the pool beneath your feet.” He sneered in derision.

Four other men stood behind the man with the knife. Two held pistols and two held swords.

A bang from behind pulled Dobrius’ attention away from his friend’s assailant for a moment. Poepa stood behind the third golem, guns in hand. The golem slumped forward into Stormahmmer’s arms and was summarily thrown to the floor. He surveyed the assailants. “Out of my way, boy,” he warned.

Dobrius dropped to his knees and bowed his head. That should be low enough, right?

Dual discharges of the pistols sounded in his ears. He looked up to see the two men with pistols falling backward to the ground. Another bang followed a moment later and the two with swords fell.

The last man still held knife to Elise’s throat but now fumbled for his pistol. “Drop your weapon, old man, or the girl gets it.”

“Poepa spat in the dirt. “Lesson number one of being the bad guy,” Poepa began, “is never threaten unless you’re prepared to carry out the action.” He pressed a button on the side of each and a small scope popped out of the top of each.

Dobrius fought the urge to close his eyes. What if Elise got hit?

Poepa took aim and fired.

Thump.

Dobrius turned.

Elise stood still, eyes wide, tears running down her cheeks, blood spattered on her shoulder and hair.

The hooded man lay face down on the ground, blood pouring out of his head.

Dobrius let out a huge sigh, holstered his pistol and ran to Elise.

She gasped and hugged him. Sobs wracked her and she buried her head in Dobrius’ chest “I…I…,” she fell back into sobs.

“I know,” Dobrius said. “I know.” She had to be terrified, first having a knife at her throat and then having two pistols pointed at her and coming within inches of ending her life. He couldn’t blame her.

The townspeople emerged from alleyways and homes and shops along the street. Conversation rose. “Did you see that? Poepa stopped them all,” one voice said. “Is that a good golem?” another asked. “Where’s my mommy,” a young voice asked. That last question brought a tear to Dobrius eye. So many killed in such a short period of time. What would they have done had Poepa not been there?

“Well don’t just stand there gawking,” Poepa said, raising his voice to be heard above the din. “Give these victims a proper burial. And scrap these bastards,” he kicked the foot of one golem.”

“You heard the man,” the constable said. “Get to it.”

The people, spurred into action by both the constable and a legendary storyteller, passed Dobrius and Elise and made their way toward the scene of the battle. Elise remained burrowed in his arms, head against his chest.

“Good fighting, golem.”

“Thank you, sir,” Stormhammer said. “It was my pleasure to fight alongside a legend such as you.” If a golem could express admiration, Stormhammer would have been gushing with it.

“You’ve heard of me?” Poepa asked.

“Oh yes. You’ve passed through Arks Portas many times over the years. I am a deputy constable there.”

“What brings you so far south?”

“Alas the perpetrators of this violence. Though you killed some of them.”

“You mean there are more?” Poepa asked sharply.

“Oh yes. I tracked at least two dozen in this group of criminals.”

“What was their crime?”

“They incited several riots, killed many nobles and raided villages and towns in their path. I was sent to track them and bring them to justice.”

“Judging by how light-skinned they are, they’re from the Dark Shale, yes?”

“You are correct, sir.”

Dobrius gently pushed Elise away from him and took her hand in his. He turned to face Poepa and Stormhammer.

Poepa appraised the two. “I saw you on the road,” he said, pointing at Dobrius.

Dobrius nodded. “Yes, sir, I was on my way to repair a golem, but when I found him he…” his eyes drifted to one of the fallen golems. “…had no core.” He let go of Elise’s hand and rushed to the golem. “No, it can’t be.”

“What, boy?” Poepa demanded.

“That’s Bron, my golem,” Elise explained, kneeling beside Dobrius.

“Help me turn him over,” Dobrius said over his shoulder to Stormhammer.

The deputy constable golem stomped over and shoved Bron onto its stomach.

Dobrius again removed his turner and removed the screws securing the backplate before removing the backplate. “What is that?” he asked.

Inside, a red crystal, not blue, sat at the heart of the golem. Its light had been extinguished, but it still held a reddish color.

He reached out a hand, preparing to touch it. What would cause the crystal to turn red, and how had a replacement been found?

“Step, back, boy,” Poepa snapped.

Dobrius stopped his hand and looked up. “Why?” He felt an urge to touch the crystal. Just one touch wouldn’t hurt, would it.

With one fluid motion Poepa withdrew his pistols. He pointed them at Dobrius point-blank. “Back up, boy.”

Dobrius blinked and shook his head. Why was he trying to touch an unknown crystal? He stood up and stepped back.

“That’s a good boy.” Poepa holstered his pistols and let out a sigh. “The red crystals are tainted. One touch and you’d be tainted too.”

“Tainted? How so?”

“You’d feel rage. Uncontrollable rage. And hatred. Hatred for everyone and everything. You’d see everything through a red haze.”

“How do you know?” Elise asked. “You sound as if you know first-hand.”

Poepa didn’t respond. Instead he pointed at the deceased golem. “Put the back plate on, then Stormhammer here will dispose of the husk.”

Dobrius replaced the back plate and screwed it into place. Once done it felt like a weight had been lifted off him. He was able to breath fully again. He looked at Poepa as Stormhammer lifted Bron and carried him toward the edge of town. “Where is he going to take Bron?”

Poepa quirked an eyebrow. “Out in the field. He’s going to bury him.”

“Could there be more around?”

“Golems?”

“Or the men with them, yes.”

Poepa stroked his chin. “Stormhammer said he was tracking at least two dozen. Seeing as we only killed five, well, you do the math, kid.”

“That’s a lot of enemies running around.”

“Aye, especially if they attack at once or with more of them golems.”

Dobrius nodded and looked around at his surroundings for the first time. Wounded villagers limped away from the scene while the dead were carried away. The inn-keeper was outside, fretting about the damage to his building, while the constable talked with his deputy. “We should inform the constable of our suspicions. He can gather some more men or something.”

Poepa shook his head. “No, if we go arming an angry mob the enemy will see us coming. We need to handle this quiet-like. Make it seem like we think these were the only attackers. Then we get the jump on them.”

Dobrius nodded in agreement. “That makes sense.” Smoke caught his attention. It was billowing up above the rooftops from the direction of his house. “I need to check on my mother.”

Poepa narrowed his eyes and followed Dobrius’ gaze toward the smoke. “You think she was in danger?”

“I don’t know. But I need to be sure and make sure she knows I’m all right.”

“I’ll come with you,” Elise said.

“As will I, boy.”

The lizard mount growled in what sounded like agreement.

Dobrius led the trio through the crowded streets toward the edge of town. He tried to avoid shoving people aside as the source of the smoke remained hidden and his feeling of dread grew. He turned a corner and there his mother’s herbalist shop sat. Smoke billowed from the broken windows. He ran toward the shop.

“Dobrius, wait!” Poepa shouted.

He heard footsteps behind him but didn’t care. He entered stepping on top of the broken door on his way in. The kitchen lay empty, though pots and pans lay on the ground mingled with broken pottery. A leg of the dining table rested in the hearth fire, causing smoke to billow as the fire licked it. They didn’t have much time before the whole house went up in flames.

“This was recent,” Poepa observed.

A trail of blood led toward the parlor. “Mother!” he shouted. He passed into the small parlor and found furniture upturned and more spots of blood on the floor but no sign of the one he sought. He ascended the stairs and approached his mother’s room. The door lay open. “Mother?” Dobrius asked, slowing. A creak indicated Poepa or Elise, or both, following him.

A moan drifted out of the bedroom.

Dobrius rushed in.

A trail of blood led to his mother who lay on the bed. A wound in her stomach gaped open and soaked her dress red. She moaned again and turned her head toward Dobrius. “My boy,” she whispered. She extended a hand.

“Mother,” Dobrius said, kneeling by the bed and grabbing his mother’s hand. “What happened?”

“Men…came…,” she coughed and spit blood into her handkerchief, “attacked. I tried to stop them but…” she erupted into a coughing fit.

The floor creaked. Dobrius turned and saw Poepa standing there with Elise behind. “Can you help her?” he asked Poepa.

Poepa stepped forward and assessed the wound. He shook his head. “I’m afraid a gut wound like that is beyond my skill, lad. Beyond the skill of anyone in this village.”

“So she’s going to die?” Dobrius asked, swallowing hard.

“I’m afraid so.”

“Dobrius,” his mother croaked. “Listen…to…,”

Dobrius turned his attention to his mother. “I’m listening, Mother.”

“Must…leave…not…safe. He…knows…you’re,” more coughs. “Here.”

“Who, mother? Who knows I’m here? The man who did this to you?”

She shook her head. “No. But…he…wants…run.”

“I don’t understand,” Dobrius said.

His mother locked eyes with Poepa, as if she was noticing him for the first time. “The Destroyer,” she said.

For the first time since Dobrius had seen Poepa he expressed surprise on his face. “It can’t be.”

“Must…go…light…strike…,” she stopped speaking and squeezed Dobrius’ hand tight.  Then she gasped one final time and her grip loosened. Her eyes glazed over.

“Mother?” Dobrius asked. “No, Mother, don’t leave me.” Tears streamed down his face now. He shook her arm as if to rouse her from a slumber. “You can’t die. Please.”

A firm hand gripped his shoulder. “Let her go, lad, it’s too late for her. But we must leave.”

“I have to bury her first,” Dobrius said, hardly able to process what was happening. He had to focus on the immediate task at hand or he feared he would break down.

Poepa sighed. “I’ll help you. But we must hurry, the house is going to be in flames soon enough. He lifted Dobrius’ mother up and carried her down the stairs.

Dobrius followed, sadness mingling with disbelief and sprinkled with sadness. My mother…gone. He pulled his hand away when Elise tried to take it. Not even the distraction of a pretty girl could stop the pain.

The gunslinger carried his mother out behind the house and set her gently on the ground. “I need a shovel,” he said.

 

Advertisements

Get PAID to Share the SciFan Magazine Release Announcement with your Newsletter or Blog

Hey everyone,

SciFan Magazine is looking for authors or bloggers with email lists they send newsletters to or bloggers to share the good news regarding the release of the 9th issue of SciFan Magazine.

If you haven’t already, here are the details for how you can be PAID to share:

Newsletter share: Click here or copy/paste into your browser: https://goo.gl/forms/5tnNickhpT78QxCh2

Blog Share: Click here or copy/paste into your browser: https://goo.gl/forms/iYE3lOcuiT8FQwlR2

SciFan™ Magazine Issue 9 is Now Available!

Hey everyone, happy September! Check out the 9th issue of SciFan™ Magazine! Below is the product description from Amazon and of course the link to purchase in digital OR print!

Legend Quest – Written by Chris Nardone

In the middle ages, a monstrous evil was confronted and destroyed…or so they thought. Now five hundred years later, that evil is about to resurface in the Old West. When a dangerous hunt reveals an age-old curse, two cousins are all that stand between a cataclysm of demonic proportions.

The Pop Singer – Written by Todd Sullivan

The Pop Singer’s newest fan may be the death of him.

Soraya: A Wielders of Arantha Prequel (Part Seven) – Written by Patrick Hodges

The ongoing Soraya serial continues.

The Boardwalk Cats – Written by Ken Goldman

The legend and lore surrounding cats and their mysterious abilities to bewitch is explored in a contemporary setting of both sci-fantasy and dark fiction. Told from both feline and human perspectives, “The Boardwalk Cats” explains just what may be going on inside those mysterious feline brains.

Fate’s Daughters – Written by M. C. Tuggle

When Dr. Thomas Lear discovers how to peer into alternate versions of his life, he learns what would have happened if he hadn’t made choices he now regrets.

Excerpt from Infractus – Written by Sarah L. Johnson

The Bourne Identity meets the Book of Revelation when an assassin joins forces with an Archangel to destroy an oppressive global regime.

Epic Quest: Interview with Andrey Vasiliev

Sentinel – Written by Mandi Jourdan

Lucius struggles to reconcile the rumors of his queen’s treachery with what he recalls from growing up alongside her.

A Wizard’s Forge – Written by A.M. Justice

Scholar. Slave. Warrior. Wizard.

On a planet far from Earth, descendants of marooned space travelers fight a decades-long war. After seizing an opportunity to escape, Vic joins the fight against her former captor and begins walking a bloody path toward revenge. An unexpected discovery gives her the power to wreak the vengeance she craves, but it might also destroy her only chance for peace.

Stormguard Part VIII: The Invisible War – Written by Tom Fallwell

Zak and the Stormguard begin an all out assault against Lucifer’s fortress to stop the Fallen’s plans and free Uriel.

The Last Visit – Written by Richard Flores IV

If technology allowed the dead to visit their loved ones, even just once a year, how would it change the way we mourn? Would it be as pleasant of an experience as we think it should be?

The Silver Key – Written by Fariel Shafee

Several people engage in a deadly game that opens up a portal in space to transport them to fantasy worlds.

SciFan Preview: Dragonblood Throne: Legacy – Written by Tom Fallwell

Delina must find the essence of the dragon inside to defeat the usurper who murdered her father and reclaim the Dragon Throne.

Becoming A Torin – Written by Matthew McKiernan

Rez is a soldier in the human army and the two of them go to visit his human master, Lord Venrick. There is something of a cultural clash between the two brothers and Lord Venrick, who has replaced many of his body parts with animal and plant parts.

Who is John Dionysius – Written by Stan Faryna

Who is John Dionysius? Find out in SciFan Magazine! John is briefly mentioned in Stan Faryna’s debut novella: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521278504 #FAB

SciFan Featured Preview: Hero of Naught – Written by Jeffrey Falcon Logue

Following the destruction brought forth by the human-AI wars, humanity was forced to adapt. Two centuries later, the two forces have finally come together.

SciFan Exclusive Preview: Book One – Behind The Vale – Written by: Brian D. Anderson

Read inside for an exclusive sneak peek.

SciFan™ Magazine Grand Giveaway

Hey there everyone, just a reminder that SciFan Magazine is running a Grand Giveaway beginning August 9th and going until September 9th.

We are giving away some BIG prizes:

  1. An Amazon Kindle e-reader
  2. 3 $25.00 Amazon gift cards
  3. 5 codes for free audiobooks on Audible

Here’s the link to the giveaway.

We are asking you to share this giveaway (and enter it yourself). These are enticing prizes and it should be easy to share with your fans/friends/family to get them to enter the giveaway.

Please share multiple times throughout the month of August and into September. Here are some ideas of how to share:

  • Put a link in your newsletter emails
  • Share on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • Enter the giveaway yourself
  • Blog about the giveaway

Thank you for your support of SciFan Magazine thus far. We are SciFan!

Best regards,

Dayne Edmondson, co-producer

An Open Letter to the SciFan™ Community

“We are SciFan.” Those are the words that first intrigued me about the merging of science fiction and fantasy known as science fantasy. It was late 2016 and I had stumbled upon the science fantasy community. I saw posts from Richard Mulder and other admins and learned more about science fantasy as a whole. I learned Richard had trademarked the SciFan logo he designed. I approached him in December 2016 about SciFan™ Magazine and the rest is history.

We are now 8 (soon to be 9) issues into SciFan™ Magazine and we find ourselves at a crossroad. To continue the Magazine, for which we have an extreme passion for, or shut it down.

You see, the purpose SciFan™ Magazine is and always has been about the authors. It has been about giving authors who might never have gotten a platform a shot to reach readers on the largest potential market in the world – Amazon and to reward them with a (for now) token amount of money for temporary publication rights. At the same time, it has been about giving readers the highest quality content from the pool of submissions. We’ve accomplished these two goals in the following ways:

  1. From the start, we implemented the SciFan™ Magazine Submission Review Team. A group of 8 authors, bloggers, and readers who volunteered their valuable time to read a great many submissions. The idea was that a multitude of opinions on the quality of submissions would ensure the highest quality work was chosen for publication in the Magazine.
  2. We have always paid authors who submit short stories to the Magazine and are accepted. Our pay has increased significantly since we began this endeavor but we still have a long way to go (more on this later).
  3. We publish each issue on Amazon in both print and digital format. This helps us potentially reach the largest pool of readers possible.

Now for the reason behind writing this letter. Now we talk about the challenges SciFan™ Magazine faces:

  1. Our volunteers – Every reader on the Review Team is a volunteer. We have had past reviewers who left due to real life obligations and other reasons and new ones replace them over the months. With every passing day, we regret not having the financial means to reward the volunteers who are so crucial to the production process.
  2. Our authors – Every author, whether we accept their submissions or not, matters. They pour their sweat, blood, and tears into their short stories and put themselves out there on the chance we will accept them. We have made strides in increasing the token amount we pay these authors, but we still have a long way to go. $40 for a 10,000-word short story is just not enough incentive to authors. That’s the feedback we’ve heard and it’s a sentiment we 100% agree with. It should be higher. But again, we don’t have the funds.
  3. Amazon sales – Amazon sales have been extremely poor (3 print and 10 e-book sales for the 8th issue, 1 and 2 for issue 7). Although Amazon is the largest market we have struggled to reach readers. Perhaps readers don’t like anthologies, perhaps our covers need reworking, perhaps we need to pay more for advertising. Whatever the reason, the fact is we are not making “big bank” from  Magazine sales and this impacts our ability to address point 1 and 2 (pay our volunteers and pay authors more) because we are pulling not from profits but from our own personal funds.

So you may be asking, “what can I do?” Here is how you, whether author, reader, blogger or good Samaritan, can help keep SciFan™ Magazine not just alive but flourishing.

  1. Donate to the Magazine through PayPal. Every DOLLAR goes to the following:
    1. Paying our volunteers. 60% of every dollar received through donations goes into a pool split amongst the Submission Review Team volunteers each month.
    2. Paying our authors. 40% of every dollar received through donations goes toward paying authors for submissions we accept. As donations exceed the amount we pay authors in total we will increase the amount we pay per word.
  2. Become a Patron through Patreon. Donate any amount to the Magazine on a monthly basis. EVERY donation received through Patreon goes toward the goal of paying the hardworking authors who submit the Magazine more money.
  3. Purchase the Magazine on Amazon. One of the simplest (and cheapest) things you can do to support the Magazine is buying and reading the Magazine each month. Support these hard-working authors by purchasing each issue, reading the stories that interest you and then connecting with the authors. Give them feedback. Tell them you love their story or a particular element of it. Authors love to know their work is being read. Purchases on Amazon also boost our ranking on Amazon, which increases discoverability. Profit from the Magazine goes toward advertising and production costs.
  4. Buy a T-Shirt to help support our cause. These shirts are only available for an extremely limited time, and come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. 100% of these donations will go toward marketing efforts to bring awareness to SciFan™ Magazine.

TLDR: We are not asking for pity. We are asking for donations and support from the SciFan™ community to continue making SciFan™ Magazine, a magazine dedicated to our authors and readers first and foremost, a success for years to come.

Best regards,

Dayne Edmondson, co-producer