I have to admit something. The name of the Norgolian Empire, the home of the characters of Cannon Fodder, isn’t original by me. I lifted it from “The Eye of Argon,” a remarkable short story by Jim Theis.
Now in the public domain, the short story was first published in 1970 in OSFAN, a fanzine. It’s … well, it’s more or less Conan the Barbarian fanfic, but that doesn’t do it justice. I first ran into the story at a party game at Science Fiction and Fantasy club back in college. We’d printed out copies of the story and handed them out to the participants. The object of the game was to read an entire page of the story out loud, pronouncing all the spelling errors, and keep a straight face. I’m pretty sure nobody won that night.
I’ve read godawful writing before, but “The Eye of Argon” manages to transcend godawfulness and become a kind of work of art. I wanted to celebrate this story by throwing the name of the Norgolian Empire into Cannon Fodder. Theis’s short story is about the Empire’s outer reaches, so who knows what might be going on at the capitol? Hence the setting for Cannon Fodder. I like to think that at the time of Alec’s kraken problems, Grignr is still out there somewhere, hacking away at other barbarians.
Spring is here, spring is here.
Life is skittles and life is beer.
I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring.
I do, don’t you? ‘Course you do.
But there’s one thing that makes spring complete for me,
And makes ev’ry Sunday a treat for me.
When they see us coming, the birdies all try an’ hide,
But they still go for peanuts when coated with cyanide.
The sun’s shining bright,
Ev’rything seems all right,
When we’re poisoning pigeons in the park.
We’ve gained notoriety,
And caused much anxiety
In the Audubon Society
With our games.
They call it impiety,
And lack of propriety,
And quite a variety
Of unpleasant names.
But it’s not against any religion
To want to dispose of a pigeon.
We’ll murder them all amid laughter and merriment.
Except for the few we take home to experiment.
My pulse will be quickenin’
With each drop of strychnine
We feed to a pigeon.
It just takes a smidgen!
To poison a pigeon in the park.
Original lyrics are by Tom Lehrer. No actual pigeons were harmed making this blog post.
It snowed again since I took these photos, but I still maintain that it’s spring. Sort of.
As of the closing of the campaign on March 28, we’d raised $266, or 118% of the $225 goal. Thanks to all the backers, here’s the cover art that you have made possible:
Yeah! Again many thanks to Kelsey King, the illustrator who drew this. E-books of Cannon Fodder with this cover will be available at Smashwords and Amazon very soon. I’ll keep you guys posted.
First of all, I’m happy to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for Cannon Fodder‘s cover art is now fully funded. Thanks to everyone who backed the project. There’s still ten days left on the campaign, so if you want a copy of the book or you want to help it meet its reach goal, check it out.
Meanwhile, here’s a few more Kickstarter campaigns that I think are pretty awesome:
The Bacterionomicon by Nerdcore Medical
Nerdcore Medical is a tiny company based in Texas that makes educational games based on the founder’s own experience going through med school. Their latest project: the Bacterionomicon, a lushly illustrated book where antibiotics are cast as clerics and infectious diseases are eldritch abominations. Just check out the illustrations on this thing.
Skies of Fire by Ray Chou
Another project I picked out for its gorgeousness. It’s a full-color webcomic about various fantasy nations doing airship battles with each other. Need I say more?