I love Kickstarter so much. There has been such a surge in good boardgames, RPGs, and Anthologies thanks to the crowdfunding website. I thought I'd share a link to one of the newest Anthologies on Kickstarter, NEVERLAND'S LIBRARY.
From their Kickstarter page, here is the goal of NEVERLAND'S LIBRARY:
The goal of this project was to create a fantasy anthology based around the theme of Rediscovery. Blending established, and lesser known authors, we hoped to capture the reader’s imagination and bring them back to a time when they first discovered their love of fantasy fiction. For readers who haven't already fallen in love with the genre, we hope to offer immensely entertaining bite-size stories that will pull people in and inspire their imagination!
I love it. I love the idea, and I fully support it. This project has some extremely talented authors involved in it, including Mark Lawrence, Marie Brennan, Miles Cameron & Jeff Salyards (plus a ton of others).
There are five days left on the project, so hurry and get in on it. It's already funded, so you are guaranteed to get some fantastic pieces of short fiction in this anthology. Here's your link to the Kickstarter:
NEVERLAND'S LIBRARY - A FANTASY ANTHOLOGY
As a bonus, I have an excerpt from Jeff Salyards' story. It's a prequel piece about the lead character, Braylar Killcoin, from his Bloodsounder's Arc series.
My sister had long dark lashes that would often hook together to form a net in front of her eyes, and she would blink furiously to free them, eyes rolling white like a frightened horse. And this seemed to happen more frequently when she was excited, as she was when we stood before the tomb. I was looking around the mound, into the woods, trying to see if anything was coming upon us. This wasn’t the first time we’d broken into graves, but it would be our last. Together at least.
The Vorlu believe that each of us goes on a journey in the afterlife, that everyone should be outfitted according to our deeds and station. A babe is buried with a wooden toy in the hollow of a young tree, tarred in, so the two might grow strong and old together. A priest is laid in the earth with his bones and runes, staff and oils. A warrior, his war gear: spear, axe, shield, what have you. But a warlord—a leader of men, a pillager, a great man—he’s either burned in a pyre or buried in an underground vault in his helm and mail, armed with his finest sword, often accompanied by his horse, and his crypt is filled with fruit and meat, milk and mead, furs, coin, hunting horn, drinking horn, bow, glass, musical instruments, perhaps even a slave or two. Everything he would need in the afterlife to pass the time in comfort. A rich grave, indeed. And just the kind we stood in front of.
My sister, Soffjan, looked at me, eyes dark and alert, the cromlech of our ancestors leaning this way and that in the dying light, our breath beginning to show in the air. She looked at me, at the tomb, and then laughed. “Grandfather never did much like company.” I had misgivings, but I deferred to her that night, as I did regularly when we were growing up. She suggested our first robbery two summers before. It had always been graves from villages far off, but we couldn’t go much farther without our absence being noticed, and if someone from another tribe caught us at our business, the punishment would be death. If someone from our own tribe caught us, we figured we’d be publicly flogged or made to clean smegma for a year. And while scraping the prick of an unwilling stallion was deterrent enough for most, it wasn’t quite enough to put us off.
We stood in front of the mound, a pebble cairn as tall as a man with a layer of white quartz around the entrance shining bright as snow, and seeing nothing in the darkening woods, we moved the carved slab blocking the entrance. It wasn’t overly heavy—presumably fear of hobgoblins or spirits kept intruders at bay—and after looking at each other briefly, my sister and I entered the grave and waited for our eyes to adjust. The outlines of things would be enough—most of the tombs are constructed the same way, so we knew what to expect. We passed through the antechamber, crept into a corbelled passageway that led down to the burial chamber and all the goods contained therein.
There, we were completely blind. Most cats would have thought better and retreated at this point. I moved slowly, but I couldn’t help bumping into some jars and a bowl. Soffjan hissed, but it was hard to tell from where. And then I heard her stop moving and draw in breath. I asked what happened. She didn’t answer. I tried again. “What, what is it? Tell me!”
She said, “He’s here.”