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 –

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

Heard Any Good Jokes Lately?


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!

The Final Stretch

We are in the final stretch! February 2 is the last day to back the Kickstarter campaign for Ares Magazine.

It has been an exciting month! We’re encouraged by the response we have gotten so far and look forward to getting started with production. We’ve received a large number of story submissions—more than enough to fill several issues—ranging from horror and fantasy to hard science fiction. We’re also considering future game ideas, with settings on past and future Earth as well as worlds beyond the solar system.

Remember, the Kickstarter offers a variety of pledge levels, many of which are subscription-based, extending substantial savings over cover price. There is also a fiction-only subscriptions plus many Canadian-only pledge levels, in which the price of shipping is less than that required for other international backers.

The Kickstarter also offers various pledge levels featuring add-ons, some of which will only be available for Kickstarter backers. For example, a limited number of pledges of $750 or more will get a pledger’s caricature on a playing piece in War of the Worlds, the game included in the first issue.

If you haven’t backed us yet, now’s your chance!

Pledges We Won’t Haze

We want to provide our customers with a range of products to best suit their tastes, so we’ve unlocked various new pledge levels on our Kickstarter campaign.

The bulk of the new pledge levels are subscription-based, offering substantial savings over the cover price. For example, the ITHACAN gives pledgers six issues of quality science fiction wrapped around a unique board game for $120, which is $60 off the cover price. The ATHENIAN was designed with collectors in mind: two copies of the first six issues for $235, a $125 savings off the cover price.

We also unlocked fiction-only subscriptions plus many Canadian-only pledge levels, in which the price of shipping is less than that required for other international backers.

Our Kickstarter campaign also offers various pledge levels featuring add-ons, some of which will only be available for Kickstarter backers. For example, a limited number of pledges of $750 or more will get a pledger’s caricature on a playing piece in War of the Worlds, the game included in the first issue. One backer became our Superhero after pledging $1000, securing his caricature on the Superhero game piece.

Head over to our Kickstarter now and pick the pledge level that best fits you!

We Have Spent Many Years Before the Mast(head)

Many of our Facebook followers, KickStarter Backers, and inquisitive visitors have asked who we are. It’s a fair question. We’ve done a pretty good job describing what we’re trying to do, but haven’t spent much time talking about who we are. We worked up a draft of what the imprint of Ares Magazine will look like. As long as we were at it, we added some previous jobs some of Ares staff have held and a few fun facts about some of us. That should provide you with a bit of an introduction.



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 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 Path We Walk…

“It’s very important that we start creating new content again. We can only build on nostalgia so much before we have nothing left to build on.”
-Joss Whedon

It’s not about nostalgia. It’s about vision.

We think it’s great that so many people remember SPI’s magazine, Ares. But we’re not SPI and it’s not 1983.

We aren’t trying to recapture our teenage years and we’re not trying to clone a T-Rex. We have not come down with the nostalgia bug. We’re driven by something different. We have a vision.

The vision is of a new product — one that makes sense in 2014.

Recreating an exact copy of a 30-year old periodical doesn’t make sense. Given the advanced state of technology and expectations of our target demographics, a continuation of SPI’s model would be a bit of a disaster.

SPI’s magazine contained hard science news, movie reviews, and other content that just won’t work for a contemporary audience. The internet provides readers with science news, reviews, etc., essentially immediately. The fastest we could turn around a printed magazine is maybe 60 days. That’s not like publishing yesterday’s news. That’s publishing news from two months ago.

Our magazine will focus on the fiction and the game at the expense of some of the other content that was fashionable during the Reagan administration. Readers can expect about 60 pages of new science fiction, or fiction from a related genre, in each issue. Some additional pages will host non-fiction content, like interviews with, or articles written by, appropriate smart people. We will try to fill any remaining space in the magazine’s 80 pages with advertising because we’re capitalist exploiters of the proletariat. To this we add a complete board game, composed of a rule book, a few hundred die-cut playing pieces, and a large map. We’ll wrap it all up in a gorgeous package and deliver it to your door.

We will also publish an e-reader version of the magazine without the game materials. There’s no reason to make your phone or tablet feel left out.

So if this vision incidentally pays homage to Ares, Amazing Stories, The Space Gamer, or Tales from the Crypt, that’s fine with us. We’re even in touch with some of the original Ares staff, not to recreate SPI’s product, but to take advantage of points where their expertise and enthusiasm aligns with our vision.

We hope you share our vision. Can you see it?

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