Midnight Legion stories added as Kickstarter stretch goals

The Kickstarter campaign for Midnight Legion: The Portal of Life blew through the first round of stretch goals, so the publisher, Studio 9, has posted new stretch goals which include adding Midnight Legion short stories as appendices to the book.  Studio 9 will also be sending an expanded version of my short story “The Ancients Awaken” to all backers, in addition to making it a pledge reward on its own.  This reward was requested by a few people who had already pre-ordered all three books in earlier campaigns, but still wanted to support the current effort.  (For which–thanks!)

I’m pleased about the opportunity to give “The Ancients Awaken” new life, because the extended version has an entirely different tone.  “The Ancients Awaken” (like all the Midnight Legion short stories to date) is a prequel to the first gamebook, Operation Deep Sleep.  It shows how the moles first discovered and broke into Alpha Base, indirectly launching the events that lead to the beginning of Operation Deep Sleep.  The story is an adventure, but it’s also fairly light and humorous, particularly at the beginning.  It was published in Every Day Fiction in 2016, and since EDF is a venue for flash fiction, I tightened it up by removing most of the intentional comedy.  I think there’s an argument to be made for the leaner version, but without the additional context, a few things potentially feel a bit out of place (such as talking moles–see above for a scene from Midnight Legion Book 1, illustrated by C. Aaron Kreader, featuring those original moles’ descendants).  I’m glad that version got out and was read, but I’m also pleased that Portal of Life campaign supporters will get to read the story as it was originally envisioned.

Another story that could potentially appear in The Portal of Life is “Passing the Torch” (although we still have a bit of a ways to go to reach that stretch goal), which was an exclusive in 2017 for backers of Midnight Legion Book 2 (The World Reborn).  It would be nice to get that in print and in more people’s hands, but if we do we might need to make modifications so that the 2017 backers still have something unique.  The story as is unlocks an additional scene in Book 2, so maybe we can take that aspect out.

The third story, “The Last Mission,” was originally published as flash fiction by Empyreome, and would simply be reprinted, if that stretch goal is reached.

It was fun to have these stories to explore the Midnight Legion’s world in more depth, and I’m glad that this campaign might provide the opportunity for more people to read them.

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