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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
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DarkFuse Press



I don’t know how many of you were aware of the DarkFuse imprint, but they filed for bankruptcy in August of this year.
During a rather heady run, they boasted an extremely prolific publishing output. Titles were not always pure horror, let alone weird, but were often dark journeys, soaked in grief or regret.
The quality of stories, to my reckoning, was mixed.

I had been buying from them for many years, back to when the imprint was known as Delirium.
Early this year, the publisher seemed to be going off the rails and I watched the descent with an uneasy fascination.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: DarkFuse Press

That's disappointing. Their prolific output fooled me into believing they'd found a sustainable business model. I'm always saddened when small presses shutter, particularly when they specialize in dark fiction...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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DarkFuse - Delirium



In 2011, Delirium launched an HC novella line, in limited editions with distinctive laminated boards.
As a collector, I found this line especially enticing, although it would, over time, tax my resources.
Initially, publishing runs were 150 copies, later trimmed to 100.
Two titles were issued monthly.



The entire run sold out quickly and there was soon a waiting list.
In 2012, the novellas, now a proven hit with buyers, sold out once again to preorder subscribers.
Only 20 titles were published in 2012. Still, that was 44 titles in two years.



Delirium was rebranded to DarkFuse in 2013. The owner/editor declared the reasons were to attract a more mass market audience. I wondered about that, but I wonder about many things.
DarkFuse was not Delirium, I realized after awhile, as did others.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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DarkFuse 2013



With DarkFuse, the novellas, once again, were presold as a complete run to existing subscribers.
In 2013, however, the novellas were bundled with one novel per month, and the price increased.
The novels did not interest me, and I was suspicious I was not the only collector annoyed by that.
DarkFuse also took the deep plunge into ebooks. Novels, novellas, the works.
There were “Horror d'oeuvres, bite-sized stories for dark appetites.”
Short stories via the internet for the mass audience.
ebooks for general readers, HC for the collectors.



The “novel trend” continued in 2014, except the offer was now one novella with two novels!
The subscription was pricey. Too pricey for me.
I bailed and advised the top brass at DarkFuse.
“Not to worry, we have a massive waiting list for our limited HC editions.
“Thanks for your patronage all these years!”
Late that year, DarkFuse held a 50% off sale of HC stock.
I picked up the missing novellas from that year. For half off.



Hey, what about that lengthy waiting list?
Was the guy who ran the place just mistaken?
Also, the limited HCs I scored were had different numbers.
I was not the only collector who had jumped.
So why had I been told otherwise?
Say what?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Re: DarkFuse Press

I think you already know this Zaharoff, but Darkfuse has had (still has ?) problems paying authors. According to this author here :

Quote
So, if you’ve read the letter he sent out, you will see that the money issues began before January reporting. That’s the first lie. I can only assume he paid me my advance out of his own pocket. Which goes against everything he’s been saying for the past few years about how profitable his company was. That’s the second lie. I’m not sure if the posts are still up, but Shane published several articles called “Son of a Niche” which promoted a false narrative. In these blog posts, he bragged about how respected in the community he was, and how he was a businessman to be revered, and that the publishing world should bow down before him. I like people who talk like that. Confidence is an attractive quality, and I wanted to be a part of this “movement” he was talking about. But let me be clear. I like braggarts as long as they can back it up. Shane Staley is a bloviating liar.
“But E.! But E.! He only recently started having problems!”
Ahem. No. No he didn’t only recently start having problems. Anyone remember Delirium Books? I didn’t even know about this myself until after I signed my contract with Darkfuse. I still don’t know all the details, but I’ve since spoken with numerous authors and readers who were royally ####ed by Shane Staley and his first foray into the publishing business. I also received some hate mail after signing with Darkfuse because I’d signed with them, one person even going as far as saying, “I thought you were better than this.”

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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DarkFuse 2015

Quote Originally Posted by ToALonelyPeace View Post
I think you already know this Zaharoff, but Darkfuse has had (still has ?) problems paying authors . . .
This thread, which I will be done with in a post or two, is a rather cautionary tale for writers, collectors, folk of good faith.
While I understand the writer's anger, that is not my way.
.
.


In 2015, the DarkFuse modified its brand / website to DarkFuse Magazine.
The top honcho realized the previous error and separated the sundry Novella and Novel HC Clubs.
Another victory for the passive resistance!
I bought the novellas, but not bother with anything else.



Nevertheless, the online business, the “magazine” was going balls to the walls.
Tiny Terrors, Horror d'oeuvres, Cult of Kill were columns, weekly fiction, I dunno.
2016 was more or less the same, although more lines opened.
Serials, haiku (poetry, for real?) and Erotikos (think aroused zombies or sex farm puppets).
Me? I couldn’t care less. I really liked those little books and kept buying.
Online stories, ebooks, I viewed as a house of cards. Virtual bestsellers, not for me.



I had also become wary of any and all claims made by the top hand.
Now, all publishers warble about how dazzling the newest release, but DF seemed to take the hyperbole to cosmic levels.
The word “awesome!” would be mere understatement.
2017 was going to be the greatest year ever!
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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Re: DarkFuse Press

I was a DarkFuse author. (I had two novellas published through them. One in 2013 and another in 2014.)

My experience with Shane was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I feel compelled to point out that I never encountered problems with late payment. Also, Shane had a superb graphic designer, Zach McCain, do all the DarkFuse covers when I was publishing through them. He also did a great job of launching the books. His willingness to pay to put books up on NetGalley (which facilitated book blogger reviews) was impressive.

On the other side of the equation, he could come across as cranky and sarcastic at times. And I did get a sense that he talked a bigger game than he walked (so to speak).

But here's one thing I have to really give him credit for: he gave authors an option to get their rights back before he went and declared bankruptcy. That was a good thing. It made the bankruptcy a little easier to swallow. (It sucks, but it doesn't suck as badly as things sucked with Leisure Books' demise, or that of Samhain.)

Anyway...every author is going to have a different take on their interactions with a publisher. I'm not calling Shane a saint. But I don't think he was incompetent or, for the most part, intentionally malicious.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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DarkFuse 2017

Thank you for your comments, Nicole.
Your novella, Children Of No One, graces my shelves.
Like yours, my feelings towards DarkFuse, are mixed.
Particularly its sad collapse.



By 2017, Dark Fuse seemed to be going full bore.
In addition to the ongoing columns and divisions, they began dabbling in films.
On 04 January, the occasional column, Son Of A Niche, delivered an unexpected rant.
#8 - “Full Circle: My Love / Hate Relationship With The Horror Genre & Book Collecting.”
The opening salvo tore into collectors.
Not the ones who read the books, arrange them in the shelves, rearrange as needed.
No, rather the ghouls. The profiteers.
Reselling OP titles has occurred as long as I can recall. What they hey, it goes on here at TLO. Ghouls buy authors (eg: Mark Samuels, Jon Padgett, Thomas Ligotti) and presses, then do a bit of profitting. Think ticket scalpers.
To my mind, this should not have irritated the DF top hand, but it did.
The second theme of that column was nostalgic.
Buyers get frequent alerts and updates from publishers. Always along the line of - “New title! Amazing! This deserves a place in your collection!”
Never venting, which was what that was. That was an omen.
For all that, the white boxes ,containing DarkFuse new titles, kept arriving in my mailbox during the spring.
Plus, there was a production list going into 2018.



Late spring, key folk began departing.
The top hand wrote something about wanting to be a tennis instructor.
As noted by Nichole Cushing, the press gave authors an option to get their rights back before declaring bankruptcy. This was decent.
For collectors, the press allowed us to use any existing credit to select titles from backstock.
I would have preferred the upcoming novella line, but I salvaged something.
In August, DarkFuse filed for bankruptcy. Later, I received official (legal) mail which I tucked away.
It was over.

For well over a decade Delirium / DarkFuse had been dependable.
DarkFuse was not literary horror, but it did not disgrace itself either.
It did not offer zombies, vampires or endless Cthulhu pastiches.
While I did not necessarily care for everything they published, they were not a regurgitating parrot.
The press launched new authors, I believe they won “awards.”
We - readers and writers - can only benefit from more publishers, not fewer.
In the end, I can only sigh about their business failure and gaze at the DarkFuse titles on the shelf, knowing there shall be no more.

Note: Turns out, the top hand is now a tennis instructor. I hope he does well.
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