Story Machine

I have a request for you, my treasured Mission 51 family.

Inkshares has developed a new way to curate projects, in an effort to better identify those that show promise. The system is called "Story Machine." It is a page that presents you with an Inkshares project that you can then "Like" if you are so inclined. You can also read the available samples if you want to explore the project further. Then, you click "Next" to move on to the next book.

This may seem simple, but Story Machine is an important new feature for Inkshares, as it allows them not only to identify which projects show promise, but also helps to promote those projects to third parties in the publishing, TV, and film industries.

My request is that you please visit the Story Machine page and "Like" the projects that you do, especially Mission 51 when it comes up. Here is the link:

Thanks in advance! I really appreciate it!
Ferd  👽

Princess Gail and I just returned from a busy week in Florida. I golfed with old high school friends in the Clearwater/Tampa/St. Pete’s area and Gail visited her niece, Lana. It is always great catching up with family and friends!

Then we crossed over to the Atlantic side of the state for a multi-purpose side trip. We spent two glorious mornings exploring the Merritt Island NWR. Even before the Spring migration, this is a spectacular site for birders like us. We particularly enjoyed spotting the endangered Florida Scrub-Jay in its dwindling natural habitat.

We visited the Kennedy Space Center in the afternoons. There aren’t strong enough superlatives to describe the things that happened and continue to happen here. We’ll have to come back someday to experience a launch at close range.

On top of all that, one of the reasons I wanted to come to this area was for Mission 51 research, as the final chapters of the book take place around here. It was great to visualize this important geography first hand. It can only make the book better.

Keep your eyes open for the Mission 51 Inkshares campaign which I anticipate to be in the near future!

I’ll leave you with this image of a Great Blue Heron taking flight, which I took two days ago at the Merritt Island NWR.

Peace! 👽

098de134cf14fc66a9c66b4f51abf753 Ferd Crôtte · Author · added about 1 month ago
Thank you, @Deborah Munro ! Good point! :D
Debmunro2 Deborah Munro · Author · added about 1 month ago
I think colorized is preferable. The 1950s/60s comic books and graphic novels were regularly colorized, and it provides a more "finished" yet vintage feel.

098de134cf14fc66a9c66b4f51abf753 Ferd Crôtte · Author · edited about 1 month ago
Thanks, @Idan Carré! But Chris didn’t colorize it. I had a colorist in Israel do it for me. She did a nice job, not losing any of the shading hash lines or the soft shadowing. I don’t know how she did it.

It does give it a whole new feel, doesn’t it!?

Though I’m leaning towards the black and white, in keeping with the olden times. :D
Picture Idan Carré · Reader · added about 1 month ago
Love both versions, but the colorized version brings everything to life that much more! Nice work, Chris!

Some time ago, our fab artist Chris Pyke created this awesome double-paned pen and ink drawing for the chapter entitled The Press Conference. I plan to use this drawing as-is in the physical book. Now I have a colorized (or "colourized" as Chris would say) version. So here is my question to you: Should I use the same black and white/pen and ink version in the e-book as well, or should I use the colorized version? (Remember, this is old-school sci-fi. Perhaps black and white is more appropriate to the olden days of the 1950’s/1960’s.)

Here they are:

What do you say?

Hello, everyone!

I wrote a short blog post on the topic of immigration. You can find it here:



My heartfelt congratulations to the winners of Inkshares’ first-ever The List contest! @James Rasile for Cape’s Side Bay, @Christopher Huang for Murder at the Veterans’ Club, and @Matt Harry for Sorcery for Beginners. Awesome books! Well-deserved!! Wow!!! :D

Sending my heartfelt congratulations to Donna Fung for being the December selection of the Great SciFi for the 21st Century and Beyond Syndicate! If you haven’t checked out her love story frozen in time, Where the Sun Sets, I recommend you do. And just a little more preorder love gets her to Quill!

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