Sunday, October 4, 2020

Book Report: Eleanor's Tears Cover Semi-Reveal!

As things open back up (albeit at different rates) and our various involved parties get their feet back under them, we're progressing steadily toward out next releases. As always, we thank you for your patience and enthusiasm as we roll on.

This month, artist and regular Altrix designer Ginger Hoesly is devoting her Twitch channel to Illutober: a personal project where she'll be streaming illustration and design work (and the occasional fun sketch). You can tune in and watch how she does her thing, from concept sketch to finished product.

First on her list was the cover for Eleanor's Tears, the second book in The Chronosmith Chronicles. We'll be preparing to release the book itself as soon as possible upon receiving the completed cover layout, but here's a glimpse at what to expect:


In the meantime, be sure to grab a copy of Paul Driscoll's After Vincent, the first book in the series. And if you've already read it, we'd really appreciate a review! Reviews help us (and all indie writers and publishers) get their books seen.

Also, if you're interested in following Illutober, follow Ginger on Twitter to know when she goes live. And be sure to keep an eye on her Twitch for the live streams themselves, and her Instagram for new art.

Stay tuned for more news on the publishing front.


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Dehibernating: Meet the Guinea Pigs of Altrix

 The world is just a little bit weird out there, and it's been affecting everyone... publishers included. From deadline changes to printing concerns, we're all feeling it to some degree. We appreciate your patience with us, and your other favourite writers and indie publishers, during this time.

We're lined up to launch some more things soon — both Paul and Kara working with publishers, and getting back in the saddle ourselves. We and are family are all well, and hope yours are, too.

In the meantime, however, there is an important point to address: that is, the preponderance of guinea pigs here at Altrix.





Overseeing our work at basically all times are these little (and less little) lads: two in the U.S., two in the U.K. Guinea pigs make for harsh, but fair, and overseers. They are never quiet when they have an opinion, but they can be paid off with greens if things get hairy.

The two above belong to Kara: HiFi (black) and Espresso (brown). They are the sole current members of Kara's long-running herd — she's been a guinea pig owner for 20 years.



And here are their U.K. counterparts: Pip (light) and Scruff (dark). These two live with Paul, and get plenty of attention from the family as a whole. They like to perch on couch arms and people, and will happily offer enthusiastic critique from any of these perches.

You will not be dealing with any of them on the customer end, though. Paul and Kara are still firmly in control of Altrix... probably. Provided we have enough kale on hand.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

What Is an "Altrix"?

brown and white concrete building during night time

Names always come from somewhere (unless they don't... but that's a very in-depth discussion for another day). When we decided we were going to have our own publishing imprint, we gave it the name Altrix Books. Readers of The Chronosmith Chronicles and its predecessor will know why — but if you're new, you might not.

So, what is an "altrix"?

Well, there are two answers.

person reading book

One of those answers is: it's a book. A very specific book, and a very very big book. Tor Fasa, one of the four primary players in The Chronosmith Chronicles, compiled that book — with a little bit of outside help. Essentially it's a book that, ideally, contains everything: everything that was, is, and will be. Such things take time, of course, so there are a few corners yet unfilled-out.

There are also a few sections that are completely wrong.

When the Chronosmiths rode the Time Winds into their new universe — our universe — a lot of the Altrix was no longer accurate. That sort of thing will happen across universes. As the Chronosmiths explore these new worlds, they'll cross-reference it against Fasa's Altrix, digging out the erased truths of history and amending their own records as they go.

You can learn more about the Altrix from our blog post on Tor Fasa, and see it in action in After Vincent, the first book of The Chronosmith Chronicles.

Altrix trifolium

The altrix is also, it happens, a type of sea snail. This wasn't something we thought especially hard about, but it did come in handy when it came time to design a logo. Note the design you see on our books and social media by Ginger Hoesly — do you see it now?

Altrix Books will probably never hold as much as the Altrix itself (we're only a small publisher, after all!), but we're looking forward to bringing you fact and fiction from all across the galaxy. 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

FROM OUR CREATORS: A New Charity Project for Doctor Who Fans


While Altrix is proud to put out original content, we and our contributors have strong roots in charity projects. From those we've put out ourselves to the many anthologies and works of the people and groups we work with, it's an enduring theme. So we're always happy to be able to promote charity endeavors outside our own.

The latest on our radar is Red Velvet, and it hails from our regular cover artist and designer Ginger Hoesly. This marks her fourth such project (the first three having raised more than $5,000 for various charities so far) — and rather than a zine or an artbook, this is a calendar.

Image

The collection of Twelfth Doctor art includes works from artists known around the Doctor Who fan community (including Ginger herself), and has the option of digital and physical goods as well. There's a set for just about any budget — and proceeds go to the Humanitarian Aid Program for Venezuela.

Plus, you can get digital and overstock copies of her three previous zines — The Hybrid, Moon Man, and A Pile of Good Things — on the site as well. These zines include works from Altrix creators Paul Driscoll and Kara Dennison, as well as previous contributors including Michael O'Brien and Sophie Iles.

Head over to rathzem.com to make a purchase for a good cause. And look forward to more work from Ginger here on Altrix soon!

Monday, June 1, 2020

FROM OUR CREATORS: Travel to the City of the Saved with Kara Dennison

brown grass in front ocean at daytime

Last year, six authors from Obverse Books were asked to pitch in on an anniversary project. The Sextet would unite six of the publisher's most popular lines in six novellas, each making up one part of a greater whole. The Sextet could be read in whole or in part, but — and perhaps we're a bit biased — they're best as a set.

The Sextet includes stories from the worlds of Iris Wildthyme, Señor 105, Faction Hollywood, Seaton Begg, the Manleigh Halt Irregulars, and the City of the Saved. Bringing up the rear in book 6, Vanishing Tales of the City, is our own co-creator and author Kara Dennison.


The short anthology tells six stories of loss in the City of the Saved: a galaxy-sized civilization at the end of our universe where all humans will eventually end up. In a place where every human is bound to go and anything lost can easily be "Remade," a person simply disappearing is unimaginable. But that's just what's happening, and the gaps are becoming more and more evident... until some familiar faces fall into the story.

All of the Sextet's previous stars find their way to the City, whether they're "allowed" there or not. Is it the most ambitious crossover ever? Maybe third or fourth... but you will get to see Señor 105 bodyslam a Faction member while Iris watches.

Vanishing Tales is technically a stand-alone read, but it works best if you've read the full Sextet. But why wouldn't you? There's a magical new Iris story by Nick Campbell, an epic Señor 105 adventure by Blair Bidmead, a set of Seaton Begg mysteries by Simon Bucher-Jones, a sentimental Manleigh Halt Irregulars story by Nick Wallace, and modern-day political intrigue with Faction Hollywood by Jonathan Dennis. Loose threads are waiting to be tied up in the City, and a certain evil force doesn't stay defeated for long.

Plus, supporting Obverse — much like supporting us here at Altrix — is a big boost for indie writers and publishers. Obverse is helping to promote lots of new talent with their various series, and the Sextet celebrates the characters you've come to know and love over the years.

In the meantime, if you'd like more from Kara, check out her essays in Army of Ghosts — and look forward to Eleanor's Tears, her first entry in The Chronosmith Chronicles.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Altrix Q&A: Where Are Our Books Available?

aerial photography of body of water between buildings during golden hour


One of the main questions we're asked — especially when a new book is out — is where our books are available... that is, by nation. We're currently not available in your local bookshop, but that's for another day.

In particular, we're asked: are our books available in the US and the UK? The answer is yes... and anywhere else Amazon serves!

As a team working on opposite sides of the Atlantic, we're understandably both keen to have our work easily accessible to people near us. And considering the state of shipping (and the fact that we have lost our share of packages over the ocean), we wanted to make sure that there were as few issues with getting books to you as possible.

aerial photography of city buildings during dawn

In short, yes, we are available to ship within your country. The longer answer is that we don't actually do anything special to make that happen — we just change the sales links to "amazon.com" for the US, and "amazon.co.uk" for the UK. Which means that if you're not in either of those places, you can alter the URL to match your country of origin and make your life much easier.

What about digital copies? Well, those go everywhere, obviously: no shipping and instant gratification! However, the system is slightly different for our charity anthologies. If you're picking up one of our limited-run charity books, like the previously-published Unearthed or Master Pieces, the ebook edition will come to you from us. That means rather than an instant download, you'll get it from us in an email. If it's been more than a couple days if you've heard nothing, please get in touch to make sure you've not slipped through the cracks. But if it's only been an hour or two, we're on our way to you!

black framed eyeglasses on book page

Speaking of charity publications: we do not keep charity books available beyond a certain specified date. This is both so we can have a final tally of funds for the charity in question, and out of respect to both copyright holders and writers who gave of their work freely. Once a charity book goes out of print, the stories revert to their respective authors; and it's their decision from there what happens to them. Some may share them freely, others may adapt and re-publish them elsewhere, and others still may opt to keep them special to the anthology.

The short version is: if an author you like is in one of our charity books, be sure to grab a copy while you can! After that, it is entirely up to them what happens to the story.

If you have any questions you'd like us to answer — serious or frivolous — feel free to tweet us @AltrixBooks or look us up on Facebook. We're always happy to hear from you!

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Art of AFTER VINCENT

Van Gogh - The Lovers: The Poet's Garden IV 1888 - art-vanGogh.com

Paul Driscoll's After Vincent is filled with the works of Vincent van Gogh, from his iconic Starry Night to his less-known Poet's Garden and skeletal self-portrait. If you're not familiar with Vincent's broader body of work, it's a great way to learn about them... though the involvement of Mordicai, Savalia, and the rest are not necessarily what you'll see in history books!

Paul worked many of these pieces into After Vincent, in which our heroes travel back in time to meet the artist and forward in time to learn about the Goghians — the religion founded around the artist's life. How many will you spot along the way?

You can pick up a copy now, either in paperback or digital, and make the journey yourself. You can also get a taste of the book, as well as some of the art that features in the narrative, in this collection of extracts. Peruse lines from the story paired off with some of Vincent's works!

Also, keep an eye on the blog — news on Eleanor's Tears, the second outing for the Chronosmiths, is on its way!