Anticipation

Budgets. Deadlines. Requirements. Deliverables. Putting this magazine together is like having a job. Who knew?

Issue #1 is in the can. We started work on Issue #2 a couple of weeks ago. We think we’ve finalized the fiction selection for it.

The game selection has not yet been finalized, but we think we are going to go with a Joseph Miranda/Michael Anderson multi-player game collaboration called Borne of Titans. Each player controls a hero drawn from Greek mythology. Heroes undertake quests, gather prophesies, and enlist the aid of the mighty Olympians as they travel to dangerous lands, outwit horrific monsters, and gather spectacular treasures.

We also wanted to let everyone know that we did ship the files to the printer a bit later than we wished. This does push our projected shipping schedule back about a week or so. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we had the choice of meeting a deadline or doing the job right. We always choose what’s behind curtain #2. We’re funny that way.

Issue #3 is taking shape, too. We’re thinking, if we have the material to support it, of doing issue #3 as a Halloween issue.

Scared?

Free Antiques!

Well, sort of…

In case you haven’t heard, we are celebrating the premiere of the first issue of Ares Magazine by giving away a free copy of SPI’s vintage Ares signed by bestselling science-fiction author Timothy Zahn.

Mr. Zahn wrote a short story featured in the 1983 issue. Many of you who have shown support for our venture have fond memories of the SPI magazine, and this contest is a way of both honoring the past as well as celebrating our vision for the future.

The contest features issue #13 of the classic science fiction and gaming magazine, in which Zahn’s short story, “Damocles Mission,” appears. The contest runs through May 31, and we’ll draw the lucky winner of the autographed copy on June 1. You can increase your chance of winning through options like posting about the contest on social media and referring others to the contest. If you are a subscriber to Ares Magazine, you’ll get an additional chance to enter. Read the rules and enter here.

While we appreciate the nostalgia for SPI’s vintage publication, we’re looking forward to getting our magazine into your hands.  The first issue features nine original science fiction and fantasy stories, an interview with game designer and author Bruce Cordell, and an article on The Technological Singularity written by best-selling science fiction author William H. Keith (who also writes under the pseudonyms Ian Douglas and H. Jay Ryker). The issue also includes Bill Banks’ War of the Worlds, a two-player game of conquest and survival that pits the military forces of Queen Victoria against Martian forces under the command of the evil Martian overlord. The game includes a rule book, die-cut playing pieces, and a large map.

All of that wrapped up and delivered to you next month! If you haven’t subscribed, now’s the time – http://ossgamescart.com.

Strike Teams, Assemble!

If you plan to attend a gaming or science fiction convention with 1000 or more in attendance, apply for the One Small Step Games Strike Team! We can cover your registration cost, and can provide you with a cool T-shirt, great incentives, and a convention kit to help us promote OSS games and Ares Magazine.

As a Strike Team Member, you’ll help spread the word about OSS Games and Ares Magazine by distributing promotional material and conducting several raffles featuring OSS Game giveaways—leaving you more than enough time to enjoy the convention attractions and events! For more information or to apply, contact Mike Anderson at rules@ossgames.com.

Heard Any Good Jokes Lately?

We…Are…Funded!

Well, that was easy.

(If you can’t see it, there was sarcasm smeared all over that last line.)

In a couple of weeks, we should receive our Kickstarter funding infusion. In the meantime, we are finalizing our fiction contract and will be sending it out to our selected first issue contributors by the time the KS check arrives. We probably should be comfortable moving sooner, but we take our commitments very seriously, and want money (for fiction) in hand before sending out any contracts (for fiction).

Speaking of commitments, we want to point out that the influx of fiction has been astounding, both in quality and quantity. Given our efforts with social media, War of the Worlds, contracts, Star Fury, and Kickstarter, we have been lagging a bit processing all of the fiction.

We inadvertently set up the appearance of having to query us in order to get an evaluation of a fiction submission. We evaluated any submission immediately if the contributor sent us a request for status. This was poor process on our part, and created some level of frustration with some of our contributors.

We are now stepping up our efforts to clear the remaining backlog of stories. We will read each story in the order it was received. We will also notify all contributors whose stories have not been reviewed yet to help reframe everyone’s expectations.

We appreciate your continued patience as we evaluate your works.

Given the volume of fiction that we have collected, we plan on temporarily suspending accepting additional submissions very soon — probably by the end of this week. Please submit your story right away, if so inclined. We would like to clear out most of our backlog before reopening our submission database. We will post a notification here when we are ready.

Bury Him Here, Ed…

Recently, XBOX Entertainment Studios announced a documentary about Atari’s legendarily unsuccessful video game adaption of “ET: The Extraterrestrial” and the excavation of a 100 acre landfill in New Mexico where an urban legend touts that Atari buried millions of copies of video game. We asked Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel–who literally wrote the book on the video game company, “Atari Inc.: Business is Fun”–to tell us a little more about Atari and why he and Vendel think the legend is a pure myth.

You can find this interview on our Media | Interviews page. Enjoy!

Doh!

Sorry about that, Chief!

We’re in the process of migrating Ares Magazine from one domain registrar to another. We zigged when we should have zagged, and consequently suffered an outage that lasted part of last night and this morning. If you tried to reach www.aresmagazine.com in the last eighteen hours or so, and failed, we apologize for any inconvenience.

We’re up now and ready to take on the weekend! Hope you are too!

 

The Die is Cast

Our Kickstarter project is now online!

What are we feeling? Exhaustion. Exhilaration. Anticipation. Other things — we’ll let you know when we have worked out the vocabulary for them all.

Now it’s up to you. Please go to the Kickstarter page. Buy an issue. If you’re generous, escalate your reward level. We have a pretty big goal to meet, or exceed, and we need everyone’s help to do it.

Thank you, one and all, for your collective patience and enthusiasm.

This marks a new year for all of us. Let’s make the most of it.

-The Ares Magazine Team

You Should Care What Other People Think. Some of Them Have Hammers…

In the interest of galactic peace and providing cool content, we have composed a new Interviews page on the Media menu.

The relationship between science fiction and its propensity to stimulate technological development is an idea that has been around awhile. But Yasser Bahjatt, an engineer in Saudi Arabia, takes that idea a step further.

In a 2012 Ted Talk and an interview on a blog of the American bimonthly magazine Foreign Policy, Bahjatt suggests there is a correlation between regions with high concentrations of research and development and those regions’ comparatively robust science fiction scenes. In his Ted Talk, Bahjatt says that if we want to advance science, we have to have a strong science fiction culture—a very intriguing idea.

We tracked him down and asked if he’d be willing to share a little more about his idea, his top selling science fiction novel and his role in eSports. Read the interview here.

Point of No Return

Hero’s Journey

If Joseph Campbell were here, he could undoubtedly paint a broad mural of context around this moment.

Today, we posted our public commitment to our Kickstarter commencement date — 1 January 2014.

Our announcement is in the form of a short YouTube video. It’s cool. You can view it here.

The Road Ahead

Our vision for the magazine has solidified. We will publish Ares in a 96-page print format that contains a stand-alone board game. We will also publish an 80-page digital magazine, without the game component.

If our audience expresses enough interest in a print version without a game, we will provide that as an option, as well as the game sans the fiction component.

We’re researching means of optimizing production processes and methods so we can provide you with the finest final product. Our next movie will show some sample pages and our core staff and contributors. Yes, I know. Such a tease…

Solid Foundation

Bed rock and steel-reinforced concrete — a great project arises from a solid foundation. The last two weeks have seen all of us pouring metaphorical concrete. The Facebook link now works correctly. We even have a Twitter account, and the website’s homepage is linked to it.

Gads.

You’d think this was the Jetsons.