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Happy National Haiku Day! Enjoy These 15 Poems

Today, April 17 2024, is National Haiku Day! We celebrated by writing some poems. 😀 Not all adhere to the syllable count correctly but hey, it’s the spirit that counts…we had fun writing them, and we hope you have fun reading them!

Graphic 1 of 15 for National Haiku Day. This, and all subsequent graphics, bears the label "Haiku Day" and has a blue artsy circle over a white background. Within the circle is the text of a haiku and the name of the author, and the circle is accented with clipart that aligns with the topic of the poem. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A quiet minute to gather my thoughts, and then I get back to work." Author: Nina Waters. The clipart is of a melty-looking clock.
Graphic 2 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A huge between friends - close and secure, safe and warm - nothing can beat it." Author: Nina Waters. The clipart is of a of two disembodied arms, one light skinned, one dark skinned, embracing.
Graphic 3 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Take a character. Take another character. Then, hehehehe." Author: Xianyu Zhou. The clipart is of an emoji making the suggestive "hey..." smirk expression.
Graphic 4 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Sleep now, little one. Nothing hides beneath the bed. It comes out at night." Author: Rhosyn Goodfellow. The clipart is of a scary face with large eyes, a triangle nose, and jack-o-lantern squiggly mouth.
Graphic 5 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "UST, angst, desire. The heart longs, desperately. Who can hear its cry?" Author: Kelas. The clipart is of a pink heart with an eye in the middle of it, the eye shedding a single large tear.
Graphic 6 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Colors in the sky. When the sun winds kiss the earth, a rainbow at night." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of an aurora borealis in all colors of the rainbow.
Graphic 7 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Strangers to lovers. There was only one bed. Must have been fate." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of a bed with pink and gray pillows, one shaped like a heart.
Graphic 8 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Bookshop meet cute and they were roommates. Love at first sight." Author: Alessa Riel. The clipart is of a cupid bow with a red heart arrow shedding additional hearts.
Graphic 9 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "stupid fucking taxes. US, why are you so dumb? just the worst system." Author: E. C. The clipart is of a a paper labeled TAX with stylized money atop them.
Graphic 10 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "wealth-hoarding, greedy, crime via complexity. time to eat the rich." Author: E. C.. The clipart is of a guillotine.
Graphic 11 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Sometimes, when it rains a bloated pigeon's body falls from the drain pipe." Author: boneturtle. The clipart is of a a bird, but it's in jagged black lines and heavily stylized.
Graphic 12 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Golden pockets there while mine are filled with ashes. Life just isn't fair." Author: Cedar. The clipart is of a pair of hands reaching out to open a brown wallet to show the money compartment bare save for a single coin and a cobweb.
Graphic 13 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Trickle down a lie. A puddle at your bootstraps. Try to lift them up." Author: Cedar. The clipart is of a spurred boots standing in a puddle.
Graphic 14 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "Fear consumes me, love, but flees when you grab onto my soft, trembling hand." Author: Terra P. Waters. The clipart is of a pair of hands, one brown, one peach, reaching toward each other.
Graphic 15 of 15 for National Haiku Day. On this graphic, the poem reads: "A tall tree offers one tiny cluster of blooms, patiently tended." Author: Shea Sullivan. The clipart is of a tree with three colored flowers blooming on it.

Why not take a moment and join us by writing a haiku of your own in the comments? We’d love to read yours!

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Aether Beyond the Binary: Final 48 Hours

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for our anthology Aether Beyond the Binary, featuring 17 stories of non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, bigender, and other outside-the-binary characters living in modern aetherpunk settings, has entered our final two days of funding! And we’ve crossed our funding goal (after a scare with a fake pledge that has made things…uh…interesting)!!

It’s not too late to get your copy of this awesome collection made by our very queer press by our very queer contributors. We wrap on January 25th at 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.

Learn more about Aether Beyond the Binary now by visiting the Kickstarter campaign, or read on for more info…

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology (two people of indeterminate gender doing science, one with a flower hovering over their hand, the other holding a tablet), the sky whale enamel pin (a green whale flying through a cloudy purple night sky, the non-binary symbol balancing from its mouth), the aether dux sticker (a duck with a blue mohawk, choker necklace and a harness securing crystal wings to their torso), the plant-watering robot holographic sticker (a cute flying robot watering a tropical potted plant), and the aether musician bookmark (a young white person playing the guitar, magical swirls in the non-binary pride colors dancing around them).

What would the Earth look like if the very atoms that compose the planet were suffused with magical aether? How would our lives in the modern world be different if this aether was discovered last year, or last decade, or last century, or last millennia? How might the people who inhabit this oh-so-different but still modern Earth explore their gender identities? These are the questions we posed to the 17 authors chosen to contribute to Duck Prints Press’s newest anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. Their diverse answers are bound together in this must-not-miss collection of stories about magical worlds, adventures and mysteries, new chances and well-earned endings, and characters as gender-diverse as the worlds they inhabit. 

Aether Beyond the Binary features 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words. We aim to publish it as an e-book (ePub and PDF), and to print it digest size, 5.5 in x 8.5 in (14 cm x 21.5 cm) in both trade paperback and hardcover formats. Aether Beyond the Binary also features a spectacular wrap-around cover by non-binary artist Mar Spragge; this will be printed as a lovely gloss dust jacket for the hardcover edition. 

Curious about the project? You can learn way more by visiting the campaign page or by checking out our other blog posts about it to learn more about our merch and contributors and read excerpts, creator interviews, and more:

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Aether Beyond the Binary Merch Spotlight: All About Dux

Dux, also known as Darcy Paige Paddlesworth III (as named by our Patrons), is the non-binary Duck Prints Press mascot who uses they/them pronouns. All our ducks are called Dux – no matter what they wear or where they go, they’re still our darling Dux! You can learn more about Dux and see Dux’s many incarnations by visiting the Get to Know Dux page on our website.

Aether Dux

For the Aether Beyond the Binary campaign, Dux designer Alessa Riel has pulled out all the stops, equipping Dux with an awesome Mohawk and amazing crystalline wings. Are they cybernetic? Are they an assistive device? Are they just for the aesthetique ™? Dux hasn’t told us – so you can draw your own conclusions!

A drawing of a duck with a blue mohawk, blue eyeliner, and crystalline wings instead of feathers.

Aether Dux die-cut stickers, 3 in x 3 in (7.5 cm x 7.5 cm), are one of the core merchandise items for this crowdfunding campaign – everyone who backs at a level that includes merchandise will get this Dux sticker, and everyone who gets only the book can add an Aether Dux sticker to their order as an add-on.

But – this isn’t the only Dux merch being offered as add-ons! We’ve also got…

Dux Keychain

An acrylic key chain with metal hardware, featuring a picture of a white duck with an orange beak and orange feet. The duck faces the viewer, and their beak curves in a slight smile.

A sturdy acrylic key chain with metal hardware, 3 in x 1.5 in (7.5 cm x 4 cm). (also available on our website)

The Basic Dux Sticker Set

A graphic depicting four stickers. One is a white duck with orange beak and feet, shown from the front, wearing a red bow tie. The second is the neck and head of a duck, with the eyes replaced by large rainbow hearts. The third is the Duck Prints Press logo, with rainbow duck prints on the left and below the company name and the white and orange duck mascot (sans bowtie) standing on the right. The last is a circle made of duck prints, each print a different color of the rainbow from yellow to green, plus white and brown.

This set of 4 die-cut stickers includes our logo with Dux standing proudly beside it, a rainbow circle of Dux prints, are cute heart-eyes Dux, and our most popular Dux sticker, bowtie Dux! All four of these stickers are available individually through our website, but as part of the Kickstarter, you can get the four as an add-on bundle for only $10, instead of the usual $12 if you bought them individually!

The Costumed Dux Sticker Set

A graphic depicting four stickers. Top left: a duck wearing an apron and carrying a teacup with saucer and a cupcake. Top right: a duck wearing a feathered hat and tabard and wielding a rapier. Bottom left: a duck, green instead of the usual white, wearing a witch hat, carrying a broom and pumpkin, and standing before a crescent moon. Bottom right: a duck wearing a feathered cap and a neck ruff, carrying a book in one wing and a feather pin dripping rainbow ink in the other.

This set includes our two most recent costumed Dux – musketeer Dux, from our recent anthology Aim For The Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers” and witch Dux, created as a Patreon reward last Halloween (our largest Dux sticker ever, nearly 4 in by 4 in/10.25 cm x 10.25 cm). It also includes our two most popular costumed Dux, barista Dux (debuted with our anthology Add Magic to Taste) and bard Dux (who accompanied our first Queer Fanworks Anthology, And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, with stories and art inspired by “Much Ado About Nothing.”) Again, all these are available from our webstore, but the bundle is discounted for Kickstarter add-on purposes!

Other Merch

Dux is also featured on our tote bag, a common sight in our seconds grab bags, and of course they are the inspiration behind the absolutely adorable Dux plushies made by EmpowerFantasy Plush (we had five for this campaign, and we’re already down to only two left, so if you want one you should grab it now – and these are NOT currently available from our website!). And of course…

The Ultimate: YOUR OWN DUX

If you love dux even a fraction as much as we do, you can also still claim our ultimate add-on: a custom Dux designed by Alessa Riel to YOUR specifications. We only have this opportunity on offer once for the Aether Beyond the Binary campaign, and this is only the second time we’ve ever offered this! There are a few restrictions (for example, Dux most remain non-binary), but this is a great chance to get your very own lovable duck! Make sure you review the add-on text for all the details. 😀

Long story short: we love Dux, and we hope now that you’ve gotten to know them, you do too!

So back our Kickstarter, and don’t forget to add-on ALL THE DUX!

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Back the Aether Beyond the Binary Kickstarter Campaign!

The cover for the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Duck Prints Press is thrilled to announce that the crowdfunding campaign for science-fantasy gender-diverse sixth anthology Aether Beyond the Binary is now live on Kickstarter!

The core concept of Aether Beyond the Binary is simple and compelling: create intriguing main characters outside the gender binary and set them loose to explore the modern world twisted or barely changed, enhanced or destroyed by magical aether. This power source may replace technology, supplement it, or oppose it. These characters may be agender, genderfluid, bigender, or any other non-binary identity. The thread that these tales share is exploration: of the world around them and of the self. We propose no conclusions; instead, we demonstrate how far-reaching the questions are and how expansive the range of possible answers can be, thereby broadening the discussion about the nature of gender and the place of genderqueer characters in science-fantasy fiction. We hope you’ll join us to explore the endless possibilities of these magical worlds.

This anthology includes 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words, by our diverse fancreators-turned-original-fiction-authors, gorgeous artwork by Mar Spragge, Pippin Peacock, Alessa Riel, and Atomic Pixies, amazing merchandise, and awesome add-on extras.

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology, the sky whale enamel pin, the aether dux sticker, the plant-watering robot holographic sticker, and the aether musician bookmark.

Looking for the perfect post-holiday purchase? Look no further! Get awesome, gorgeous stuff, a fantastic, erudite book, and support queer indie publishing – become a backer of the Aether Beyond the Binary crowdfunding campaign TODAY!

Campaign ends January 25th, 2024.

Patreon backers who support the crowdfunding campaign can also get an excellent extra: the adorable plant-watering backer as a key chain! So there’s no time like the present to back us on Patreon, too!

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Gorgeous Merchandise to Accompany an Awesome Anthology!

Graphic labeled "Meet the Aether Beyond the Binary Merchandise." It shows a book cover for the Aether Beyond the Binary anthology, and then four other labeled images:
"Hologram Plant-Watering Robot Sticker (art by Mar Spragge)": a floating robot watering tropical plants.
"Aether Music Magic Bookmark (art by Pippin Peacock)": a white person playing the guitar with magical swirls coming from where their hands strum.
"Non-Binary Sky Whale Enamel Pin (art by Atomic Pixies)": a green whale flying before a purple sky and clouds and yellow stars. A chain with a non-binary symbol charm dangles from its mouth.
"Aether Dux Sticker (art by Alessa Riel)": a duck, their wings spread, with a blue mohawk and crystals where their wing feathers would be.
Text at the bottom reads: Kickstarter launches in FOUR DAYS! Follow our Pre-Launch Page TODAY!"

It wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press crowdfunding campaign if we didn’t have super cool merchandise to accompany our spectacular anthology of outside-the-binary characters exploring aetherpunk worlds, Aether Beyond the Binary. We worked with some really awesome creators this time, and we’re so excited to share the art they’ve done and the merch we’ll be making with it!

  • Hologram Plant-Loving Robot Sticker: this adorable plant-watering bot graces the back cover of the wrap-around cover by Mar Spragge, and they and the plants they’re watering will sparkle and shine on this rectangular, shimmery, holographic sticker. 4 in x 4 in/10.25 cm x 10.25 cm. (Printed by Vograce)
  • Aether Music Magic Bookmark: this lovely glossy bookmark features artwork by Pippin Peacock on the front and the signatures of the contributors to Aether Beyond the Binary on the back. 2 in x 7 in/5 cm x 17.75 cm. (Printed by UPrinting)
  • Aether Dux Die-Cut Sticker: it wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press anthology without a custom Dux designed by Alessa Riel. Dux is our non-binary company mascot, and for this campaign they’re decked out with crystals and machinery and ready for aether flight. 3 in x 3 in/7.5 cm x 7.5 cm. (Printed by Vograce)
  • Non-Binary Sky Whale Enamel Pin: this lovely pin depicts a celestial whale moving through a starscape, with the non-binary gender sign dangling by a chain from they’re mouth. The artwork for this pin is by Atomic Pixies. 2 in x 2 in/5 cm x 5 cm. (Manufactured by Alchemy)
  • BONUS MERCHANDISE! That adorable plant-loving robot? We’ll be making it into a key chain as our Patron-exclusive extra! All $10/month and $25/month patrons who also back the campaign will get this cutie to hang from their keys!

Our campaign, which launches on December 26th 2023 (four days from when this post goes up – soooooon!) will include backer levels with all this merch, and also pick-and-choose add-on options. We’re also offering a trade paperback AND a premium hardcover edition of this book – our first anthology published as a hardcover! There’s loads of other add-ons too – our past anthologies (as e-books or in print!), a short story bundle of works by Aether Beyond the Binary contributors, 5 (FIVE!!!) of the adorable dux plushies by EmpowerFantasy Plush, one-of-a-kind wands by Alessa Riel, and more.

We’re days away from launch – follow our pre-launch page and get notified when the campaign goes live!

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Merchandise Release Day!!

A graphic over a background of rainbow colors in watercolor splotches. At the top, there's the Duck Prints Press logo and rainbow duck prints, and beside that a header reads "Merchandise Mass Release Day! Now available at duckprintspress.com/shop." Below this is an array if items with accompany labels: "art prints" with two examples, "Print books" with DPP anthologies "He Bears the Cape of Stars," "She Wears the Midnight Crown," and "And Seek (Not) to Alter Me," "Shirts" with three examples, two of which are t-shirts and one of which is a hoodie, "Stickers and Magnets" with a citrus slice with rainbow segments and a Dux with a mustache, devil horns, devil tail, and trident, and "Enamel Pins" with an owl, raccoon, crow, fox, moose, and wolf pin, and also a woman in a crown and a man in a cape. At the bottom of the graphic, text reads "...and MORE!"

Have you wanted Duck Prints Press logo merchandise? Have you missed one of our past campaigns and want to get some of the items? Have you been eying Patreon extras we’ve made and wanted to get your own? Have you wished you could get one of our past anthologies IN PRINT? Well, then – YOUR TIME HAS COME!

Today, Duck Prints Press is celebrating Merchandise Mass Release Day! We’ve gathered up leftovers from past campaigns, seconds and lightly damaged merch, and forged a relationship with Printify to provide print-on-demand shirts and other merchandise we can’t, for various reasons, keep in stock. The result is THIRTY-ONE new merchandise items available in the Duck Prints Press store!

Offerings include:

Print Books (Lightly Damaged Seconds):

Art Prints:

Enamel Pins:

Stickers and Magnets:

Clothing:

Kitchenwares:

Stationary:

Or, want some a grab bag of lightly damaged seconds? We’ve got that now – get your Seconds Grab Bag to get two random stickers, one random enamel pin, and one other item (such as a key chain, patch, or bookmark!)

And all of this is in ADDITION to the other great merchandise we already offer!

So come on over to our webstore and get your dux on! Literally! With clothes and merch from Duck Prints Press!

Want to get the same great stuff, just – cheaper? Every backer on Patreon gets a coupon that can be used on their purchases from duckprintspress.com! Come support Duck Prints Press monthly AND get great discounts on awesome merch. Winning!

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Pre-Orders Now Open for “Many Drops Make a Stream” by Adrian Harley!

Pre-orders for Adrian Harley’s debut sapphic fantasy novel Many Drops Make a Stream are now open!

A memory-stealing cult.
The ever-watchful City of Eyes.
Making small talk.

Join Droplet as she faces all these horrors and more…

Vigilante shapeshifter Droplet has trained her entire life to take down those with more power than scruples, but she still makes mistakes. When a rescue mission goes wrong, a memory-stealing cult of blood mages escapes with kidnapped captives in tow. To save them, Droplet reluctantly teams up with the outgoing, tenacious Azera. Droplet knows better than to trust a human—she made that mistake once, and that person’s betrayal scattered her community across the known world—and she can tell Azera is hiding secrets behind her sunny smile. But if they can’t learn to work together, even Droplet’s own memories could be lost.

Many Drops Make a Stream, Adrian Harley’s debut novel, is the stand-alone first book in a series of related fantasy-mystery-heists featuring the shapeshifter Droplet and the friends and found family who work alongside her to fight the corrupt powers-that-be. Many Drops Make a Stream is rated general (adult) audiences and features shapeshifting shenanigans, a nascent f/f quarrelers-to-lovers pre-relationship, a wonderful extended cast of family and pseudo-family, necromancy and blood magic and spellwork (oh my!), and one (1) very angry goose.

For this campaign, we’re offering:

Better yet, you can get a discount by picking one of three bundles:

You can learn all about the book, the author, the campaign, and our offerings by visiting the pre-order page NOW!

Want a chance to win a trade paperback copy of Many Drops Make a Stream? Help us spread the word about this campaign by liking and signal boosting our posts on any of our platforms that including “sharing” functionality (such as Tumblr, Mastodon, Bluesky, and Facebook), and you can get up to 4 entries per platform where you share!*

Campaign backers will also get bonuses based on the number of signal boosts our posts receive! All the social media links for sharing are on the linked pre-order page, so help us tell the world about the awesome book, and who knows – you might win a copy! (But only if we fund, ’cause we can’t afford to print the book if we don’t fund, so help us make sure people who want to buy The Awesome learn that The Awesome exists!)

*sweepstakes rules and conditions
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Meet the Merch! Check Out the “Many Drops Make a Stream” Extras

It wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press pre-order campaign if we weren’t offering some absolutely awesome extras to go with your book purchase! When we open pre-orders for Many Drops Make a Stream by Adrian Harley TOMORROW, we’ll also be offering some merchandise – and you’ll be able to choose to buy a package that includes merch, or you can mix-and-match to get exactly what you want, or you can get just the book, if merch is just really not your thing. (You can preview the campaign deets here).

Wondering who Droplet is and why there are so many animals? This is a good moment for a refresher on the Many Drops Make a Stream blurb!

A memory-stealing cult.
The ever-watchful City of Eyes.
Making small talk.

Join Droplet as she faces all these horrors and more…

Vigilante shapeshifter Droplet has trained her entire life to take down those with more power than scruples, but she still makes mistakes. When a rescue mission goes wrong, a memory-stealing cult of blood mages escapes with kidnapped captives in tow. To save them, Droplet reluctantly teams up with the outgoing, tenacious Azera. Droplet knows better than to trust a human—she made that mistake once, and that person’s betrayal scattered her community across the known world—and she can tell Azera is hiding secrets behind her sunny smile. But if they can’t learn to work together, even Droplet’s own memories could be lost.

Shapeshift main character? A chance to show off lots of fun animal forms? Heck YES that’s the direction we went when planning out the extras!

So what have we got for you?

An enamel pin of Droplet mid-transformation from a tiger to her signature goose form, 2 in x 2 in/5 cm x 5 cm, with glitter in the background color, featuring art by Aceriee (Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter). (Manufactured by Alchemy.)

Goose!Dux, the Droplet books’ custom Dux, as a die-cut sticker approximately 3 in x 3 in/7.5 cm x 7.5 cm. Designed by Alessa Riel. (Printed by Vograce.) “Goose” is Droplet’s favorite form (for good reason!) so when Dux got decked out for this book, of course we designed a Dux-goose.

An art print of the front cover (8 in x 10 in/20.25 cm x 25.5 cm), featuring Roui Cris’s (Tumblr | Twitter | Artstation) gorgeous artwork of Droplet and Azera flying over Sacarus, the City of Eyes. (Printed by PrintKeg.)

Patreon-exclusive extra: a wooden coaster (4 in./10.25 cm circular) engraved with art TO BE REVEALED. (it. might be a goose. just sayin’. there’s a Theme.) The artwork is by Aceriee, and the coasters will be manufactured by E. Conway, who also works with DPP as an editor.

How do you get the Patreon-exclusive extra? Easy! You just have to do two things: 1. Back our Patreon at the $10/month or $25/month level; and 2. Support this campaign by buying at least one of the pre-order offerings.

We’ve also got some merch-related stretch goals – depending how much money the campaign raises, we may also make a bookmark featuring the front cover artwork, an engraved wooden pendant with the Eye of Sacarus (that’s the eye motif featured on the cover!), and a wooden key chain featuring Goose!Droplet. We really hope we’ll be able to make some of this merch, too.

There is only ONE MORE DAY until this pre-order campaign launches on the Duck Prints Press website. Are you excited? Cause we’re hella excited. <3

(btw, in case you’ve been wondering when tomorrow, I expect to make the shop listings live sometime in the AM, EDT, and to make all the related updates to the Pre-Order Page and announcements on our social media shortly thereafter. Also, hi, I’m Claire Houck/unforth, the book’s editor and owner of the Press. I’m handling our marketing for this pre-order campaign! Nice to meet ya. 😀 )

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“Aim For The Heart” Merch Reveal!

The crowdfunding campaign for our next anthology, Aim For The Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers,” launches TOMORROW, June 15th, 2023! We’ve been thrilled by the excitement we’ve seen from y’all so far – well over 300 reblogs on our cover reveal, and we’ve topped 100 followers on our pre-launch page!

Ready to get MORE excited? Well take a look at the awesome campaign merchandise we’ll be offering!!

Aim For The Heart Bookmark: this gorgeous, high-gloss, two-sided bookmark (which will also have a lovely golden tassel after it’s printed!) is 2 in x 9 in (5 cm x 23 cm), and features art by Jagoda Zirebiec (ArtStation | Tumblr | Twitter), who also contributed two pieces to the book interior! The back has signatures from many of our contributors – we can’t get everyone to sign your book but we can offer the next best thing to people who buy this bookmark!

Coat of Arms Enamel Key Chain: love metal-and-enamel merch? Well have we got a spectacular key chain for you! This 3 in x 3 in (7.5 cm x 7.5 cm) piece features art by Aceriee (Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter), and will be in gold metalwork – and the red heart will have glitter! Aceriee also contributed an interior piece for the book, and did the art for our bonus patron reward magnet. You’re not gonna want to miss this beautiful, sturdy key chain!

Cover Art Magnet: Pallas Perilous made our amazing cover art, and it’s just too pretty to only put on the book. So, we’re putting it on a metal-wrapped high-grade magnet (3 in x 2 in, 7.5 cm x 5 cm), too!

Musketeer Dux Die-Cut Sticker: it wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press campaign without an all-new Dux created by Alessa Riel! Musketeer Dux will be produced in merch form as a 3 in x 3 in (7.5 cm x 7.5 cm) die-cut sticker, perfect for adding to your existing Dux collection, or for starting with your very first Dux.

BONUS! Aim For The Heart Die-Cut Magnet: people who back this crowdfunding campaign at any level AND who back our Patreon at the $10/month or $25/month level will get this exclusive bonus – a die-cut magnet featuring more of Aceriee’s incredible artwork!

Curious about the cost? Our Book + Merch level will include the print book (A4 size!), the bookmark, the enamel key chain, the front cover magnet, AND the musketeer dux sticker for $55 USD + shipping as a special introductory early-bird rate available to the first 50 backers through June 19th! After that, the price will rise to $65 USD + shipping. Or, if you don’t want all of that, you can back for the book ($35 USD + shipping) and then add on the pieces you want – bookmark ($8 USD), sticker ($4 USD), key chain ($18 USD), or magnet ($10).

The bonus magnet is free to Patreon backers who support the campaign – but being a Patreon backer is the only way to get it, so if that’s what you crave, there’s no time like the present to become a backer!

THERE’S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT TO FOLLOW THE CAMPAIGN! We launch tomorrow, June 15th, 2023, and we couldn’t be more excited – we hope we’ll see you there!

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Celebrate World Folktales and Fables Week with 10 of Our Favorite Folktale Collections

This week, March 19th to 25th, is World Folktales and Fables Week! Duck Prints Press is celebrating with two blog posts: today’s, which focuses on the folktales, fables, and myths that influenced us as creators, and tomorrow’s, about our favorite folktale-inspired fiction (queer and otherwise).

Love folktales and fables? Join us now and learn about the ones we love – some you may know, some you may not!

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire (an inspiration for Shadaras)

The first book that comes to mind is D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths (I had to look up the title, but the cover is burned into my memory). While there may be other collections of fairytales and folklore that struck me, this is one of the first ones I read, and it set the stage for my love of mythology in general.


The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith (an inspiration for Veronica Sanders)

I remember being really inspired by the genre of “a well-known story told from a different perspective” after reading the Jon Scieszka/Lane Smith books in 2nd grade, like The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. I always really liked thinking about folktales and fables from the POV of the “villain.”


Folktale-Inspired Disney Films (an inspiration for Adrian Harley)

I was a Disney-loving child of the 90s, so I am still unpacking the ways that shaped my view of folk stories, stories as a whole, and the world—and reconciling the positive ways these stories shaped me vs. the harms of the Disney corporation.


The Onion Girl (and other stories) by Charles de Lint (an inspiration for Anonymous)

He did an amazing job of blending American and European folklore with ordinary life in all its highs and lows. I don’t know if I could point to a specific story that’s retelling any one folktale, but I can absolutely point to the author as a whole for his folkloric style and tender exploration of magic, queerness, and being outcast. He helped invent the Mythic Fiction subgenre. The Onion Girl lives in my head rent-free.


Folktales of the Amur: Stories from the Russian Far East by Dmitri Nagishkin (an inspiration for Nina Waters)

A collection of eastern Russian folktales that really had a huge impact on me. 30+ years on from when I read them, I honestly couldn’t relate a single one of the stories, but they burrowed so deep into my psyche that when I imagine “folktales that really mattered to me” the first image that comes to mind is the cover. The art throughout the book is just absolutely gorgeous.


The Rose-Beauty – a Turkish Fairy Tale (an inspiration for Alessa Riel)

This is a Turkish fairytale that impressed me because it was cruel even for a fairytale. It‘s about a young woman who is blessed from birth to grow roses in her hair, cry pearls and grow grass wherever she walks and the cruel fate she is dealt because people are jealous of her gifts. It has a happy ending but only just.


A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (an inspiration for Sebastian Marie)

It had a HUGE influence on me as a kid, for two main reasons. One, the events of a lot of European fairytales are told as happening to the same two kids and their parents, which creates a really interesting story structure. Two, it’s unabashedly mean and gory and cruel and well, dark and grim. It says that sometimes people are terrible and sometimes bad things happen to decent people. It’s one of the things that made me want to write fairy tales, or at least stories that are a bit gruesome and meant to be told to children.


The Swan-Maiden – a fairy tale (an inspiration for Alessa Riel)

This is a variant of the selkie tale as far as I can tell, only that the women don‘t turn into seals but beautiful swans. It was the version of the lore I first encountered and the unfairness of the women being forced to marry their captor and abuser and then also being cursed for abandoning the children these men forced onto them always resonated deeply with me.


The Blue Light by The Brothers Grimm (an inspiration for Alessa Riel)

In this fairytale a veteran soldier is unjustly treated by the king and then a witch sets him three challenges. The third one is getting her a blue light from a deep well. He refuses to give her the light and she drops him into the well along with the light. It turns out the light can fulfill wishes. Up to this part the veteran looks like a sympathetic person, but he uses those wishes to have the princess dragged to his room three nights in a row to do his bidding against her will. He is finally found out and sentenced to death for this transgression but manages to escape that fate by using the blue light and he gets the kingdom and the princess to boot. I always found this supremely unfair.


Egyptian Mythology (an inspiration for Dei Walker)

I think one of the first books of folktales, legends, or fairy tales I can remember reading repeatedly is a copy of Egyptian myths and legends I used to get out of my local public library when I was young. It was already an old edition in the 1980s and its pages were yellowed, but I would borrow it regularly and lose myself in the stories of life and (un)death along the Nile.


What are some folktales and fables that have inspired YOU? We’d love to hear about them, and maybe find some classical stories to add to our To Be Read piles!

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