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.

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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 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

We’re Under Attack!

False alarm. It isn’t us. It’s the British…in the 1880’s.

War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds is a new game from Bill Banks’ and is scheduled to print as the in-magazine game for the premier issue of Ares Magazine.

War of the Worlds is a two-player game of the conquest of Earth and the survival of humanity! The military forces of Queen Victoria gather to repel an attack by the diabolical Martian forces under the command of the evil Martian overlord.

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The Martians have huge, mechanical tripod walkers, flying saucers, death rays, missile bases, and giant monsters at their disposal. They can also elicit help from sympathetic (read gullible) human proxies.

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The humans rely on conventional infantry, cavalry, and artillery, and perhaps a hero, for their main defense. Fortunately, the human player may get assistance from a mad scientist who can field an Infernal Machine that the Martians won’t find amusing.

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The Martians have a choice of five different victory conditions. Part of the challenge for the human player is to determine the Martian overlord’s true objectives so they can be best thwarted.

Play Time: 60 Minutes

Ages: 12 and Up

Solitaire Suitability: Low

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.

The Final Countdown

Our KickStarter launch begins in four days.

Tick…tick…tick…

We decided to remind the Universe to mind the calendar. As long as we were going to do that, we might as well give everyone a peek at some bits of the first issue. We made another movie. It’s more of a commercial, really.

Watch it. We know how much you love commercials.

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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.