Welcome to She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars, two brand-new anthologies that share a common theme – masquerades – but tell different types of stories – wlw in She Wears the Midnight Crown and mlm in He Bears the Cape of Stars. These collections are the latest titles from Duck Prints Press, the indie publisher founded by fans to publish original works by fan creators, and they’re crowdfunding NOW, only on Seed & Spark!
Curious about the collections? Well, here’s a sneak peek of the works of two of our creators!
He Bears the Cape of Stars Contributor Spotlight: Alex Ransom
Biography: Alex Ransom is a longtime fan writer and translator recently expanding into original fiction. Her favorite trope, as both reader and writer, is “Earn Your Happy Ending,” in which characters fight through perhaps inordinate amounts of difficulty to come out happier and more content on the other side. She is especially interested in the intersection between social circumstances, personal history, and the formation and maintenance of identity. Her favorite genres are space opera, fantasy, queer romance, and poetry.
As a child, Alex thought everything was better if it was more complicated and that the best answer to a yes or no question was usually “both”. Consequently, today she is bi/pansexual, trans/nonbinary, has worked a variety of jobs, and has three degrees in completely unrelated fields. When she isn’t writing or doomscrolling on the internet, she likes to travel, hike, and build marginally functional furniture. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, with her spouse and adult daughter.
Story Title: A Midwinter Night’s Dream
“So, Pluto; you’re requesting galley usage for” —Barnacle cleared his throat and quoted from Pete’s form— “’a team bonding and cohesiveness exercise with emphasis on work-life balance.’”
“That’s right,” Pete affirmed, although he suspected half those words were meaningless. Management jargon was not his forte. Pussycat from Heavy Equipment had helped him trowel it on.
Barnacle peered at Pete over his reading glasses. Tufts of hair stuck out of his comb-over and waved softly in the breeze from the Preway heater like the feelers of his namesake. An artificial ficus stood guard over near-empty in and out boxes, proclaiming either Barnacle’s efficiency in middle management or the decreased bureaucratic workload of winter on a remote research station.
“In other words, a party,” he said bluntly.
She Wears the Midnight Crown Contributor Spotlight: D. A. Hernández
Biography: Mexican. In love with the world. Teacher. Daydreamer. Collector of fascinating facts and stories. I will tell my dreams to anyone who listens. Voracious reader (and occasional writer) of fanfiction since I was a teenager. My artistic credentials include juggling, match improv, stand-up comedy, and making silly poems and songs I can’t sing. Through my writing I wish to transmit hope, joy, and the courage to come to terms with tragedy and imagine a better future.
One of my horror stories, “Maneki Neko”, was published in Penumbria Magazine #54 Oct 2021 (in Spanish). This will be my first published story in English.
Story Title: Are you in love with the squid?
Once in the bathroom of their rented pod room, Squid let Emilio drop along with the overalls and cap. They allowed their face to relax, softening like putty as they reshaped it, rounder and with a wider nose and thinner lips, imitating the features of a chubby little girl with bright gray eyes and black braids, smiling from a worn photograph tucked in a corner of the mirror. At her sides, her parents smiled at the camera, gray-haired and tired-looking but still full of hope.
Squid vaguely remembered visiting the aquarium that day, a special treat after the first round of tests and experimental genome injections that both saved their life and doomed their little family. When GeoCorp had decided to retroactively charge for the treatment, Squid’s parents were pushed from lifelong debt into bankruptcy and eventually prison.
When Squid finished, the face staring back was still not their own. It was nothing but a mask, pasted on an empty puppet that could only imitate people.
Intrigued? You should be! But, if you want to read the rest of these stories you’ll need to back our campaign, running now through July 14th, 2022!