Tag Archives: fantasy

FORTHCOMING the RPG the Demo

FORTHCOMING: Fate and the Fallen Star

Problematic Press proudly presents FORTHCOMING the RPG the Demo.

On the other hand, we’re a little less stoked to state that this project cannot proceed due to a significant oversight during development. This was a noob’s error.

Anyway, you can download the game’s demo as a .zip file here for FREE. It functions on PCs running Windows. Give it a try for yourself!

FORTHCOMING the RPG the Demo

This retro-styled, turn-based role-playing game was going to be an epic fantasy adventure through time. It would’ve had three lengthy acts with twists and side quests, and — if it were ever completed — it would likely end up being about 35 hours to play through.

As it is, the demo might give you 30-45 minutes of play time, representing maybe 3-5% of what it could have become.

Since this project is now decidedly caput, this demo’s more like a proof of concept.

A screenshot from an early scene in FORTHCOMING the RPG

Will there be more games to come from Problematic Press?

Perhaps.

“This Game Is Over” by davaflava
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We’ve Launched The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™ from His Nest!

Maybe you’ve heard this already: we’ve launched David Reynolds’ The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™ from his nest in downtown St. John’s!

Attendees appreciated the absurdity of it all. A screening of The Epic of the MERCANARY™ invited wonder, awe, and laughs as supporters arrived. The opening act was a poetry “reading” by the enigmatic Snake, I’s, which left the crowd speechless yet smiling. Next, Nicholas Morine’s reading of “Johnny Cobra & the Cerebral Crucible” set the stage for heart-pounding adventure. You can read that story and more of his short fiction that cuts deeply in Steel Sarcophagus. Finally, David Reynolds read excerpts from The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™. Teasing tidbits and side-stepping spoilers, he provided a prophetic preview of his debut novel — this gonzo picaresque tale — A Sells-Word’s Story.


We also want to remind you that a tree will be planted for every print edition of The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™ sold!

This goes for print editions that we sell in-person as well as online sales of the printed novel, for now and into the foreseeable future.

Thanks to our friends at One Tree Planted for making this possible!


The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™

Harrison Stockton Bueller thinks he’s hit bottom when he makes a new friend.

Enter: the MERCANARY™.

This is The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™. It’s also the tale of Harry’s nightmarish misadventures.

Problematic Press is proud to present to you this gonzo picaresque novel… or something.

Is there ever any solace?

This is it.

This is lit.


Somewhere between Holden Caulfield, Ignatius J. Reilly, and BoJack Horseman, you’ll find Harrison Stockton Bueller playing with his G.I. Joes.

MERCANARY™, a sells-word inspired by a typo, is a metafictional hero who’s been drafted for lit’s sake on land, sea, and air. His mission? Word.


David Reynolds hasn’t won any awards for his creative writing, but his most shocking anecdote has won him more beer than he could possibly ever drink. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, where he teaches English at Atlantic Canada’s largest university.


In the words of the author: “This is a gonzo picaresque novel. It’s a work of intermedial metafiction. It’s a cautionary tale. It’s a sob story. It’s a farcical melodrama. It is high art. It adapts a ‘zine of poetry and adventure. It adapts a memeoem, which is literally a new poetic art form that I invented for this. It is the culmination of my life’s work in literature. It’s ballsy and hubristic and vulnerable all at once. The protagonist is an anti-hero. The sidekick is really something else. The odds are against them, but they’re in this to win it. Together, they make things weird. Well, this thing is certainly weird.”


We wish to thank everyone who came to the launch and purchased a book. People like you make this all worthwhile.

The author expresses his deepest thanks to his family and friends for their love and support throughout the writing process.

He thanks everyone who purchased a copy of the original ‘zine

He also thanks everyone who purchased items from his childhood collection of treasures to help fund this print run of books.


Order copies of The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™ as print and Kindle editions here.


Nicholas Morine — author of Steel Sarcophagus, Arcade Rat, and Kowloon Walled City, 1984 — has this to say about this experimental novel:

“Reynolds’ debut novel surprised me inasmuch as I wasn’t expecting the content to be so innately relatable.”


Find more information about our growing selection of books at problematicpress.com.

Thanks kindly for your interest!


See the CBC’s coverage of MERCANARY™: A ‘Zine of Poetry and Adventure back in 2019 here!

Read David Reynolds’ testimony to the CBC on the ease of vaccination here!

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LAUNCHED: Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands by Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands in Lights
Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands in Lights

It was a beautiful day when Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands stormed into The Battery Cafe.

That’s right!

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton’s Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands has been launched into the æther, where the curious can find her.

Readers joined us there for drinks and treats while the author delivered an enchanting introduction to Girly Muckle and her besties. A delightful time was had by all within earshot.

Problematic Press would like to extend our thanks to The Battery Cafe for hosting us and to the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador for inviting us to Pitch Wars, where we had the good fortune of connecting with the author for this publication.

The author thanks the following organizations for supporting the creation of this work of literature: the Canada Council for the Arts; the City of St. John’s; and, Memorial University’s Writer-in-Residence Program.

She also thanks Alexis Koetting, Marilyn Mackay, Katie Vatour, and Nicole Leona Smith, the artist.


Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands is a queer coming of age novel draped in myth, and it is captivating.

While this novel takes place in a fantastically imagined Newfoundland, it bears a tale that is sure to please selkies residing anywhere.

So, for those residing anywhere, Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands may now be ordered in print here while the Kindle edition can be ordered here.

For readers in St. John’s, NL, we now offer curbside pick-up ordering from our office located downtown. Details can be found at the Square site.

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands on the Shelf

The author and the artist

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton is an author, a playwright, a performer, and an absolute treasure with the voice of a tempest.

Born in North West River and raised in Marystown, her connections to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador resonate throughout her works.

Her plays are regularly produced across the province, and her previous books include the award-winning They Let Down Baskets (Killick Press), Rants, Riffs and Roars (Creative Book Publishing), and This is the Cat (Creative Book Publishing). Her creative memoir, Love, Life, is forthcoming from Breakwater Books.

Learn more about her at bernistapleton.com.


Nicole Leona Smith is an emerging visual artist who divides her time between Newfoundland and her home in Cambridge, Ontario. Her illustrations are simply delightful.

Until now, she has been best known for her writing and her work in theatre.

She is also drafting her first novel with support from the Ontario Arts Council.

Discover more about her at nicoleona.com.


Problematic Press is an independent publisher based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Get the latest news about our growing selection of titles at problematicpress.com.

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Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands – Ordering, Pre-Ordering, Oh My!

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands (front cover)

Girly Muckle can’t wait to meet you!

That’s right!

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton’s Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands is here, alive and well and just waiting for you precious and precocious readers to share in her glee.

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Battery – quiet, peaceful, serene. Then there’s Girly Muckle.

Girly knows the folk living in The Battery have plenty of secrets to keep. She has a few of her own. For starters, she’s a selkie.

Now, a selkie isn’t some cutie-pie creature, so you needn’t imagine a princess of the mermaids here. No.

Along with her besties – an adlet and a shapeling – they are the Queer Hands, a band of young punks with big dreams.

But, when a meddling detective threatens to expose their mythical nature to the world, will the Queer Hands even make it out alive?

While this novel takes place in a fantastically imagined Newfoundland, it bears a tale that is sure to please selkies residing anywhere.

So, for those residing anywhere, Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands may now be ordered in print here while the Kindle edition can be pre-ordered here.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more details to come about the launch of this magical tale.

This is it.

This is lit!

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton and Nicole Leona Smith

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton is an author, a playwright, a performer, and an absolute treasure with the voice of a tempest.

Born in North West River and raised in Marystown, her connections to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador resonate throughout her works.

Her plays are regularly produced across the province, and her previous books include the award-winning They Let Down Baskets (Killick Press), Rants, Riffs and Roars (Creative Book Publishing), and This is the Cat (Creative Book Publishing). Her memoir, Love, Life, is forthcoming from Breakwater Books.

Learn more about her at bernistapleton.com.

Nicole Leona Smith is an emerging visual artist who divides her time between Newfoundland and her home in Cambridge, Ontario. Her illustrations are simply delightful.

Until now, she has been best known for her writing and her work in theatre.

She is also drafting her first novel with support from the Ontario Arts Council.

Discover more about her at nicoleona.com.

Problematic Press is an independent publisher based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

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COMING SOON: Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands

Problematic Press is thrilled to reveal that our next publication will be Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands, a novel by Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton with illustrations by Nicole Leona Smith.

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands

There can be much more to a person than what meets the eye, and Girly Muckle can vouch for that.

She’s not like most other teens. She’s a selkie. And her best friends are an adlet and a shapeling.

Together with her besties, these young punks are the Queer Hands.

This is just the beginning.

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton is an author, a playwright, a performer, and an absolute treasure with the voice of a tempest.

Born in North West River and raised in Marystown, her connections to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador resonate throughout her works.

Her plays are regularly produced across the province, and her previous books include the award-winning They Let Down Baskets (Killick Press), Rants, Riffs and Roars (Creative Book Publishing), and This is the Cat (Creative Book Publishing). Her memoir, Love, Life, is forthcoming from Breakwater Books.

Learn more about her at bernistapleton.com.

Nicole Leona Smith

Nicole Leona Smith is an emerging visual artist who divides her time between Newfoundland and her home in Cambridge, Ontario. Her illustrations are simply delightful.

Until now, she has been best known for her writing and her work in theatre.

She is also drafting her first novel with support from the Ontario Arts Council.

Discover more about her at nicoleona.com.

Nicole and Bernardine

Problematic Press is an independent publisher based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

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Reading, Writing, & Publishing Workshops at Sci-Fi on the Rock 9

By David Reynolds

Readers and writers on the Avalon Peninsula (that’s in Newfoundland, a magical place), take note: Sci-Fi on the Rock 9 will be hosting an assortment of reading, writing, and publishing workshops that you just might have to see for yourself!

Sci-Fi on the Rock’s ninth instalment takes place from April 24th to 26th at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s. Mark off those dates on your calendar because you’re in for a treat, and read on to get a brief preview of some of the upcoming discussions and workshops.

As the convention begins, Engen Books presents some of the first writerly workshops that will get your attention. Engen returns to SFotR9 with “The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever: A Convention Tradition,” featuring Ellen Curtis and other authors. This panel promises to be so dysfunctional they’re presenting it twice – April 24th at 4pm in the Nimoy Room and April 25th at 9am in the Tolkien Room. Engen Books really knows how to represent at Newfoundland’s premier convention, and so they’re presenting another panel on the 25th at 10am in the Nimoy Room, titled “Engen Early Bird Panel: Wake Up Your Literary Side.” These talks will provide attendees with ample opportunity to address their questions about writing in various genres.

There are also a few more discussions featured throughout the convention that are sure to reveal the innermost secrets of the writing and publishing craft. On April 25th, at 2pm in the Lucas Room, Scott Bartlett presents “How to Make Your Writing Matter to You and to Others.” On April 26th, at 1pm in the Tolkien Room, Charles O’Keefe presents “Adventures with Vampires and Publishing.” Later on that same day, at 3pm in the Tolkien Room, David Reynolds (well, that’s me, actually) of Problematic Press (yeah, that’s us alright) presents “How to Guerilla Publish: Getting Your Book Out There with No Budget.” Together, attendees with dreams of writing and publishing their own material are sure to glean some important insights about the whole process of making their stories available to the world.

If you’re primarily interested in reading and raving on about your favourite fantasy series, then the con has got you covered, too! Interested attendees should keep an eye on the Ambassador Series, which features Alison Edwards and Dr. Christopher Lockett as well as others. Edwards discusses further reading for fans of popular fantasy in “Beyond Harry Potter: Books for the Young and the Young at Heart,” which takes place April 26th at 1pm in the Nimoy Room. Lockett delves into the intersections of some of fantasy’s greatest authors in “The Ballad of Joss, Neil, and Sir Terry: Reflections on Three of our Most Brilliant Fantasists,” to take place April 25th at 3pm in the Nimoy Room. Such nuanced presentations and discussions are sure to give fantasy addicts their fix.

Events at the convention target a broad age range, too. Shelley Chruchill presents “Wee Geeks Storytime” on April 25th at 11am in the Tolkien Room, which is sure to entertain the convention’s youngest readers. However, if you crave more adult flavours, then perhaps you can sate that hunger with Chelsea Smith and Janielle Butt’s “WTF Fanfiction: The Most Cringe-Worthy Stories of our Time,” which is set for April 24th at 8pm in the Roddenberry Room. Again, SFotR9 has a little something for just about every geeky niche.

This is just a sample of the convention’s events; there is much more in the works, so be sure to check it out for yourself when the time comes. You can find more details about all of their discussions and workshops by viewing the full schedule here. Plus, the convention also promises special guests and plenty of vendors, so prepare to get your geek on! For an idea of what to expect, click here to view NTV’s coverage of SFotR8.

James DeMille's A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, Annotated by David Reynolds

David Reynolds studied at Memorial University where he completed his BA in Philosophy and English Language and Literature in 2006 in addition to completing his MPhil in Humanities in 2008. His graduate research focused on the cultural significance of superhero narratives and culminated in his dissertation Superheroes: An Analysis of Popular Culture’s Modern Myths. Presently, he enjoys teaching English at Memorial University while fumbling about as a publisher with Problematic Press.

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Now Available – James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder

That’s right! It’s been more than 125 years since A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder was first published, and now Problematic Press is pleased to present this annotated edition of James De Mille‘s classic masterpiece. This book is now available in print and Kindle editions! Find your copy in the Problematic Press Shops (CAN and US).

BookCoverPreview - Front

While playing a silly game, four bored yachtsmen find a mysterious copper cylinder bobbing along the sea. They soon discover the briny cylinder contains a massive script, a journal of sorts, detailing the adventures of Adam More, a sailor lost at sea. Examining the script reveals More’s incredible story of drifting across the ocean, sailing to lost lands, encountering giant beasts, and meeting truly peculiar people. This satirical tale is sure to entertain!

De Mille was a Canadian scholar and author. He pioneered Canadian science fiction and fantasy with his masterpiece, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder. De Mille had many lofty goals for his fantastic satire, and he struggled to accommodate all of them, leaving the denouement somewhat abrupt in his ultimate manuscript. Nevertheless, what remains is a thought-provoking tale of absurd wonder that seeks to challenge our most deeply held values. The story was first published posthumously as a serial by Harper’s Weekly in 1888, eight years after the author’s death.

The Problematic Press edition of James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder features a Foreword and Annotations by David Reynolds. Reynolds briefly introduces the author and the novel while his end notes reflect on interesting elements of the text and reference scholarly works.

De Mille’s satirical tale of wonder has entertained readers for many years, yet the work has remained largely overlooked. For that very reason, Problematic Press is tremendously excited to add this work to our growing collection of titles!

Again, copies can be purchased from the Problematic Press Shops (CAN and US). The book can also be found on Amazon.ca as well as Amazon.com. Additionally, wholesale purchases of James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder can be made through CreateSpace Direct, Ingram, and Baker & Taylor.

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New Books Coming Soon

Cheers, all!

There’s quite a bit happening at Problematic Press right now, although I know things have seemed quiet over the winter months. And, we’ve had five months of winter in Newfoundland this season.

But, things are happening, so let me tease a little of that now.

Cavern - Front Cover

First of all, we’re bringing you Nicholas Morine‘s Cavern: City in the Dark. This is Morine’s second novel. His first novel, Punish the Wicked: A Dystopian Horror, was just released by Montag Press. Cavern also features an illustration by Jesse H. Walker. The novel is full of action and sure to thrill!

Myles Cover for Troll Story

Next, we’re presenting a children’s story written by David Reynolds when he was 11 years old. The True Story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff: The Troll’s Side of the Story is currently being illustrated by Myles Reichel of Uneeda fame, and it looks fantastic! The teaser pic here does not do his work justice.

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder - Cover Art - Final

Finally, work continues on our annotated edition of James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder.

And, the best news of all is that each of these titles will be available in the coming weeks! Stay tuned here for updates, and look for the Problematic Press table at Sci-Fi on the Rock 8!

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SNEAK PEEK – David Reynolds’ Cover Art for James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder

One hundred and twenty-five years ago the world received A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder although the author had already been deceased for eight years.

James De Mille was a Canadian scholar and author. He pioneered Canadian science fiction and fantasy with his masterpiece, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder. De Mille had many lofty goals for his fantastic satire, and he struggled to accommodate all of them, leaving the denouement somewhat abrupt in his ultimate manuscript. Nevertheless, what remains is a thought-provoking tale of absurd wonder that seeks to challenge our most deeply held values. The story was first published posthumously as a serial by Harper’s Weekly in 1888, eight years after the author’s death.

De Mille’s satirical tale of wonder has entertained readers for many years, yet the work has remained largely overlooked. For that very reason, Problematic Press cannot wait to add this work to our growing collection of titles! So, enjoy this sneak peek at David Reynolds‘ cover art and check back here for updates on the title’s release!

David Reynolds' cover art for A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder

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