Crazy 8 Press Launches PRISM on Vella
Crazy 8 Press’ latest project, PRISM, takes the 11-year-old publisher in a new direction. This time they are exploring the storytelling possibilities in Amazon Kindle’s Vella program. Five of the ten partners have been working for the last six months on the project, which debuts today.
Hildy Silverman, one of the most recent recruits to the self-publishing hub, helped brainstorm the project and then volunteered to steer it as editor. She is joined by Mary Fan, Russ Colchamiro, and cofounders Aaron Rosenberg and Robert Greenberger.
PRISM supposes that the crew of Apollo 17, the final crewed visit to the moon, found an alien artifact and secretly brought it back to Earth. Over the next decade, other odd pieces of metal began to “activate”. PRISM was formed to find and locate all the pieces to understand how they fit together and what the combined device might do. Of course, others are also interested in these artifacts, so the race is on, taking the agents around the world hoping to secure the pieces before they possibly become weaponized.
The series is set in the mid-1980s and Silverman explains why this period was chosen. “We decided to set our PRISM stories back when investigations couldn’t be quickly conducted and resolved via Internet and/or cellphone, to make locating the shards more of a challenge,” said Silverman. “That way, we could have fun sending our agents off on adventures around the world doing the legwork required to find the shards–and get into all sorts of trouble while they’re at it.”
Each of the authors was given free rein to create the characters for the series, providing the chance to develop agents and foes of various backgrounds and also tell a wide variety of stories. In the introductory episode, Greenberger’s “Partners”, readers will meet an established agent, a former New York cop, while Fan’s agent is an 18-year former ballerina.
“We all had fun developing agents of varying ages and personal characteristics at different stages of their careers,” Silverman said. “Their unique backgrounds inform their reactions to missions and interactions with friends and foes alike.”
C8 has released the initial running order of stories:
June 9 “Partners” by Robert Greenberger
June 16 “The Mind Game” by Hildy Silverman
June 23 “The Junkyard Gambit” by Aaron Rosenberg
June 30 “Sound of the Sea Part One” by Russ Colchamiro
July 7 “Sound of the Sea Part Two” by Russ Colchamiro
July 14 “The Golden Gambit Part One” by Mary Fan
July 21 “The Golden Gambit Part Two: Pointe Blank” by Mary Fan
The Vella system makes the first three installments free to readers and then subsequent episodes are paid for using tokens, each episode charging an amount based on the word count. The stories are available on the web at Vella and in the Kindle app. Readers receive 500 free tokens to use as they please and can then buy additional tokens in bundles starting at 200 for $1.99. Readers also have the option of voting for their favorites and responding to surveys from the authors.