Evan Graham's latest update for Tantalus Depths

Jun 5, 2017

Today’s big announcement has almost nothing to do with Tantalus Depths, but it is still a very big announcement.

As many of you already know, Inkshares is teaming up with Nerdist right now to host a science fiction novel contest. The top three books at the end of the contest will win the full publishing treatment, the same deal we earned for Tantalus Depths last year, but without the agonizing process of having to round up 750 preorders first.

I deliberated for weeks about whether I should enter the contest or not. The book I wanted to enter is one of my boldest endeavors and I’m incredibly proud of it, but in many ways I feel like I’m still recovering from my last campaign, and I’m definitely not excited about taking that plunge once more. But ultimately the deciding factor that made me decide to go ahead and go for it was the competition. Right now, with just 20 days to go, the pre-order numbers on the current leaderboard are unusually low for a contest like this. At the time of writing this, I could make it to the top 3 with less than 50 pre-orders. That’s a far cry from 750, and I feel I must capitalize on this opportunity.

So I’ve entered the fray: my second full novel, Proteus, is now available for pre-order. It’s a sci-fi psychological thriller set in the same universe as Tantalus Depths, but featuring completely different characters and events. It’s ambitious to the point of impertinence, as it is a direct adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard III that also deals with themes of wartime PTSD, transhumanism, and the duality of man.

I can’t do anything halfway, it seems.

Here is the link, please check it out. There will be a wealth of new information coming every day for the duration of this intense but very short campaign. I wouldn’t have entered this contest yet if I didn’t think we could win it. The support we raised for Tantalus Depths was simply mind-blowing, and if we can recapture just one fifteenth of that miracle again, we’ll have not one but two books entering the production process. This could make the difference between me being an author as a hobby and me being an author as a career.


Before you go, I want to pre-emptively answer some questions I expect will be raised by this announcement:

Q: You jerk, I already ordered a book and I still don’t have it. WHERE’S MA BOOK???

A: It’s coming! I sent the manuscript in about a month ago. It takes months for a book to go through the production process, and that timer doesn’t begin until the manuscript is submitted. Tantalus Depths will probably not be released until the end of the year at the absolute earliest, more likely early next year. BUT anyone who’s ordered it and is particularly eager to get their hands on a copy and doesn’t want to wait until then, I will happily send you the current draft upon request. If you don’t mind reading an in-process manuscript, that is.

Q: What happens if you lose the contest?

A: You get your money back. If I fail to place in the top three, I could continue to campaign the normal way until I raise enough pre-orders (that’s exactly what happened with Tantalus Depths) but there’s no way I’m putting myself through that right now. I’ve set my campaign to only run one week past the end of the contest, at which point it will expire and anyone who ordered a copy will be immediately refunded. Either I win this contest, or nothing. Not until a future date when I’m more ready for it.

Q: How will this campaign affect the production of Tantalus Depths?

A: It won’t. Tantalus Depths is top priority. The only reason I have time to campaign right now is because I’m still waiting to be assigned a production team; at the moment, there’s nothing I can do for Tantalus. During the production process, there is a lot of going back and forth between me and my editor, so there will be patches of time when I will be working on Tantalus and when I won’t be. Any time I have to choose between working on Tantalus and working on Proteus, Tantalus will always take priority.

Any other questions or concerns, feel free to message me about them.