Cadaver Bone Benefit Fiction Anthology

Cadaver Bone is a dark fantasy fiction anthology from an all-star writing team. Proceeds will help fund game designer and author Chris Pramas's spinal surgery.
Chris Pramas
Seattle, Washington
United States
1 Team Member

Short Summary

Would you like 17 short stories from award-winning writers of novels, games, comics, TV shows, and movies? And would you like to help me pay for spinal surgery? Read on!

My name is Chris Pramas and I've been working as a game designer, writer, and publisher for the past 20 years. I am the founder and president of Green Ronin Publishing, and you may have enjoyed games of ours like Mutants & Masterminds, Dragon Age, A Song of Ice and Fire, and DC Adventures. I need an operation and my insurance is not going to cover all the expenses. 

I have a pinched nerve in my neck and I’m going to get a spinal fusion operation in September to fix it. My insurance will not cover the whole thing so I have turned to author friends to put together a dark fantasy fiction anthology called Cadaver Bone. Each author is donating a brand new story and the proceeds will go to paying my medical bills. I’m going to have cadaver bone in my neck; you should get Cadaver Bone for your favorite e-reader!

Confirmed authors for the Cadaver Bone anthology are: Cecil Castellucci, Christopher Robert Cargill, Richard Dansky, Ed Greenwood, Matt Forbeck, David Gaider, Steve Kenson, John Kovalic, Robin D. Laws, Jess Lebow, Colin McComb, Chris Pramas, John Rogers, Lucien Soulban, Melinda Thielbar, John Scott Tynes, and James Wallis. See below for bios of all the authors. They are a talented bunch and I am so grateful for their help. 

Update: Stretch Goals!

We have reached my initial funding goal and for that I am so grateful. With drugs, physical therapy, new x-rays, and follow-up visits, however, I can easily put to use any extra funds we generate. Plus, the book itself is going to be awesome and I'd love as many people as possible to check it out. 

But wait, it's about to get even more awesome! When this campaign was announced, more author friends came forward to volunteer their talents and you know what that means? Stretch goals! You can read more about the new volunteers in the Meet the Authors section below. 

$14,500: At this level I'll add a story by Aaron Dembski-Bowden to Cadaver Bone! 

$16,000: At this level I'll add a story by Erik Scott de Bie to Cadaver Bone! 

$17,500: At this level I'll add a story by Greg Stolze to Cadaver Bone! 

$20,000: At this level I'll give a little back to my talented friends by paying the authors $75 each for their stories. I really appreciate their help in my hour of need so it'd be great to at least give them an honorarium. 

At I write this there are 5 days left in the campaign. Let's get out there and smash some stretch goals!

What I Need & What You Get

Since April I have tried a variety of treatments, including physical therapy, drugs, and even a spinal injection. While I have had relief from the worst pain, none of these things provided a remedy for what ails me. I have a pinched nerve between my 5th and 6th vertebrae and I need surgery to correct it.

The doctor will put in a titanium clamp in my neck to keep the vertebrae from compressing my nerves. The procedure involves the use of cadaver bone to help fuse everything together. That means I get titanium and the bones of a dead guy in my neck! Fingers crossed for superpowers. 

The procedure costs $60,000 at base. Thankfully, even my crappy insurance is OK for something like this, so my out of pocket expenses will be roughly $10,000. That, naturally enough, is my goal. That will cover the surgery itself and some of the drugs and physical therapy required afterwards. 

What do you get? An awesome anthology of dark fantasy fiction from an all-star lineup of writers. I must say, I have awesome friends. When I first had the idea to put this benefit together, I wasn't sure if it would fly. Enormous thanks to my friends who responded so quickly and in such numbers. 

There are to things to note about Cadaver Bone. First, this campaign is just for electronic versions of the book (PDF, epub, and mobi; you get the them all). Since I am running this campaign myself and I have recovery ahead of me, I didn't want to get into printing and shipping physical books. However, I will likely offer a Print on Demand version after the project is finished, and if so, backers will get a discount on that. 

Second, I've kept this campaign simple. There are not a whole ton of perks full of novelty items and the like. Again, this is to make Cadaver Bone easy to fulfill

The Impact

These last four months have impacted my work and life dramatically. There was a point at which I could not sit at a computer for longer than 15 minutes at a time. The spinal clinic and a neurosurgeon both recommended I get this surgery to fix the problem. 

If you'd like to read the nitty gritty of my situation, I wrote about it on my blog back in July. You'll note that at the time I hoped the the steroid shot in my neck would fix the problem. Obviously, it did not. 

We've got a lot of plans at Green Ronin Publishing and I want to get in good health to see them through. If you back this project, you'll be making that happen. 

Meet the Authors

Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts and Odd Duck. Her picture book, Grandma’s Gloves, won the California Book Award Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN,, and various anthologies including, Teeth, After and Interfictions 2. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus and a two time Macdowell Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.

Christopher Robert Cargill is a screenwriter, novelist, and film critic. Known to many as Massawyrm, he wrote movie reviews for Ain’t It Cool News for many years. He went on to co-write the 2012 film Sinister with Scott Derrickson. His debut novel, Dreams and Shadows, was released this year. 

Writer, game designer and cad, Richard Dansky was named one of the Top 20 videogame writers in 2009 by Gamasutra. His work includes bestselling games such as TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION, FAR CRY, OUTLAND, and most recently, SPLINTER CELL: BLACKLIST. Richard's writing has appeared in magazines ranging from The Escapist to Lovecraft Studies, and his most recent novel, VAPORWARE, is available from JournalStone. He was also a major contributor to White Wolf’s World of Darkness RPG setting, with credits on over a hundred RPG supplements. Richard lives in North Carolina with his wife, statistician and blogger Dr. Melinda Thielbar, and their amorphously large collections of books and single malt whiskeys.

Stretch Goal: Erik Scott de Bie is a speculative fiction writer and game designer, probably best known for his work in the Forgotten Realms setting, including his signature Shadowbane series. He is the author of the forthcoming Shadow of the Winter King, first in the epic World of Ruin fantasy series from Dragon Moon Press (Spring 2014). Erik lives in Seattle where he is married with pets. Find him at,, and

Stretch Goal: Aaron Dembski-Bowden's middle initial is W, and he prefers not to tell anyone what it stands for. He's a two-time New York Times bestselling novelist (a fact his in-laws like to bring up randomly at parties when they introduce him), and responsible for several novels in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, such as Soul Hunter, The First Heretic, and Armageddon. In the wild and carefree days of the early 2000s, when Earth still knew the haunting screech of dial-up modem sounds, he worked on a mountain of books for White Wolf's World of Darkness game lines. Since then, he's briefly dipped into video game work, but the hours were a bit too much like a real job.

He lives, reads, (and occasionally breaks the speed limit) in N. Ireland.

Matt Forbeck has been a full-time creator of award-winning games and fiction since 1989, designing games and toys and writing stories of all sorts. He has twenty-seven novels published to date, including the award-nominated Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon and the critically acclaimed Amortals and Vegas Knights. His latest work includes the Magic: The Gathering comic book, the MMOs Marvel Heroes and Ghost Recon Online, and his novel The Con Job, based on the TV show Leverage, as well as the Dangerous Games trilogy of thrillers set at Gen Con. For more about him and his work, visit 

David Gaider has worked as a writer and narrative designer for Edmonton-based developer BioWare since 1999, having worked on such titles as Baldur’s Gate 2, Neverwinter Nights, and Knights of the Old Republic before becoming a lead writer on the Dragon Age series: Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age 2 and the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Ed Greenwood is an amiable, bearded Canadian writer, game designer, and librarian best known as the creator of The Forgotten Realms® fantasy world. He sold his first fiction at age six, and has since published more than 200 books that have sold millions of copies worldwide in over two dozen languages. Ed writes fantasy, sf, horror, steampunk, pulp adventure, and comic books, and has won dozens of writing and gaming awards, including multiple Origins Awards and ENNIES. He was elected to the Academy of Adventure Gaming Art & Design Hall of Fame in 2003. He has judged the World Fantasy Awards and the Sunburst Awards, hosted radio shows, acted onstage, explored caves, jousted, and been Santa Claus (but not all on the same day). Ed’s most recent novel is The Wizard’s Mask from Paizo, and his upcoming books include The Herald from Wizards of the Coast (the last book of The Sundering Saga), and The Iron Assassin, a steampunk novel from Tor Books.

Steve Kenson has been writing professionally since 1995. He got his start working on the Shadowrun and Earthdawn roleplaying games and designed Mutants & Masterminds, True20 Adventure Roleplaying, and ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying, amongst others. Steve has written ten novels, including Crossroads, Born to Run, Pirate's Gold, and Ghost of Winter. He maintains a website and blog at

John Kovalic’s cartoons have appeared everywhere from the NEW YORK TIMES to DRAGON MAGAZINE. His creations include the critically acclaimed comic book sensations such as DORK TOWER and "DR. BLINK: SUPERHERO SHRINK," as well as SNAPDRAGONS, NEWBIES, WILD LIFE, BEACHED, and panel cartoons including MURPHY'S RULES, THE UNSPEAKABLE OAF and more.

A co-founder and co-owner of Out of the Box Games, and a cartoonist for Steve Jackson Games, John has illustrated over 100 games and game supplements, and is at least in part responsible for best-sellers like APPLES TO APPLES, MUNCHKIN and CHEZ GEEK. He was inducted into the Games Manufacturers Hall of Fame in 2004, the first cartoonist to be so honored. He’s drawn more than 4,000 cards for MUNCHKIN, and wouldn’t mind a spot of whiskey because of it.

John’s latest party game, ROFL!, was released in 2013. In his spare time, he searches for spare time.

Robin D. Laws’ most recent works of fiction are the fantasy novel Blood of the City and New Tales of the Yellow Sign, a collection of weird tales. Other novels include Pierced Heart and The Worldwound Gambit. As Creative Director for Stone Skin Press, he has edited such anthologies as Shotguns v. Cthulhu and The Lion and the Aardvark. He is best known for his groundbreaking roleplaying game design work, as seen in Hillfolk, The Esoterrorists, Feng Shui, and HeroQuest. He comprises one-half of the Golden Geek Award-winning podcast Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff, and can be found online at

Jess Lebow is a best-selling novelist and an award-winning game designer. He has also written short stories, magazine articles, restaurant reviews, a television pilot, and the list goes on. He has even published poetry, although he tries not to these days. Jess spent many years editing the Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons novel lines for Wizards of the Coast. He was a World Designer and story writer for Guild Wars and Guild Wars Factions, the Content Director for the Pirates of the Burning Sea MMO, and then spent several years in Shanghai working for Ubisoft. Jess has published five novels: Master of Chains, Wind of War, The Darksteel Eye, and Obsidian Ridge under his own name, and Return of the Damned as T.H. Lain. 

Colin McComb decided to write something new for this bio, preferring to gloss over his 20+ years in the game industry, his award-winning contributions to TSR's Birthright and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons lines (not to mention his years developing the Planescape campaign setting), his work with Black Isle Studios and Planescape: Torment, extensive freelance work for various tabletop publishers, his Oathbreaker series, other assorted miscellanea (such as being the Creative Lead for Torment: Tides of Numenera), and ownership of his company 3lb Games. Instead, he would like to assure everyone that he is a decent father, generally pretty happy, and only occasionally does he descend into the mire of gloom and despair. He would also like to apologize for pretending not to mention the items on his resume and then totally mentioning them. It was a transparent, regrettable ruse.

Chris Pramas is an award-winning game designer, writer, and publisher. He is best known as the designer of the Dragon Age RPG and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2nd Edition, and as the founder and President of Green Ronin Publishing. He has been a creative director at Wizards of the Coast and Flying Lab Software and a lead writer at Vigil Games. Green Ronin continues to thrive under his leadership, publishing games like Mutants & Masterminds, DC Adventures, and A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. His short stories have appeared in such anthologies as Into the Maelstrom, Let the Galaxy Burn, Realm of Chaos, and Secrets of Magic. 

John Rogers has written for film, television, comics and games. He created the TV shows JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES and LEVERAGE, the comic book BLUE BEETLE for DC Comics, and recently contributed to Evil Hat Games FATE CORE RPG.

Stretch Goal: Greg Stolze will turn 43 in 2013, hasn't worn a watch in over a decade, is happily married, known for designing the One Roll Engine, writes novels, has a bunch of free stories available at, and used to get mistaken for Chris sometimes, before Greg's hair all turned white and Chris got his _first_ distinctive neck scar.

Melinda Thielbar is a fiction writer, software developer, and martial arts enthusiast. Her stories have appeared in Weird Tales, Escape Pod, and Bull*Spec magazines. By day, she saves the world with math--it's surprisingly effective.

John Scott Tynes is a writer and game designer in Seattle. He's the founder of Pagan Publishing and the creator of The Unspeakable Oath magazine and the Puppetland roleplaying game, as well as the co-creator of Delta Green, Unknown Armies, The Hills Rise Wild, Call of Cthulhu D20, and many other works. His recent book Delta Green: Strange Authorities collects his short stories and novel set in the Lovecraft-meets-Le Carré world of Delta Green.

Lucien Soulban is a veteran of the roleplaying game industry and a BAFTA-nominated videogame scriptwriter for Far Cry 3. He wrote Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, Rainbow Six: Vegas, and Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, and contributed to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This is in addition to the DS ports of games like Kung-Fu Panda, Enchanted, Kim Possible, and The Golden Compass. He's contributed to numerous fiction anthologies including HWA's comedy-horror anthologies: Blood Lite I, II & III. He's written five novels including Warhammer 40K: Desert Raiders and Dragonlance: Renegade Wizards, and has contributed to over 90 roleplaying books as writer and editor. He is currently senior writer on an unnamed project at Ubisoft Montreal.

James Wallis is an award-winning games designer and author. In the 90s he ran Hogshead, the largest publisher of role-playing games in the UK, but he's also been a TV presenter, Sunday Times columnist, university lecturer, and managing editor of Bizarre magazine. He's written books for Penguin and Puffin Books, Virgin Publishing and the Black Library, and his game designs include the storytelling games Once Upon a Time and The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen. He runs the games consultancy Spaaace and lives in London with his wife and 1d4 –1 children.

Other Ways You Can Help

First, you can spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, message boards, etc. That's always important in a crowd funding campaign. 

If you'd like to help more indirectly, you can always buy something from Green Ronin Publishing. That money doesn't go to me, but anything that makes GR healthier is appreciated too. 

I will need one or more editors down the road. If you have experience and would like to help out with that, drop me a line here on IndieGoGo.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 586 people in 1 month
142% funded
No time left
$10,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on September 30, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $3USD
    No Bone Required

    If you support the campaign with any perk, I will thank you by name in the electronic versions of the Cadaver Bone anthology.

    8 claimed
  • $5USD
    Threat Report

    This perk is for fans of superhero gaming. I will write a new supervillain for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG named Cadaver Bone and you'll get a PDF in the style of the popular Threat Report series. Every campaign needs a good villain after all!

    16 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
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