Welcome to the NTAB Commissary
The North Texas Apocalypse Bunker runs on more than just good vibes, friendship, and the healing power of laughter. It also requires electricity and gas, food and water, and the occasional streaming service or Xbox game, in due moderation, of course. This is where you come in.
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I have a number of creative irons in the fire. In addition to Patreon and Substack, which are very forward-thinking for modern creatives, there’s the old fashioned manufacturing of physical media to consider. Also, this thing the kids call “merch,” which was what we used to call “t-shirts” and “stickers” back in the day.
This is where you’ll find links to all of the merch, as well as books, zines, and any other thing I’m hawking. Please look around and see if something strikes your fancy.
You can find my full list of books I’ve written or been published in (including comics, anthologies, and non-fiction works and essays) on Amazon. Here are a few call-outs for those of you want the full-court-press Mark Finn Experience:
Novels & Story Collections
Modern-day Geek-Based Magical Realism. Four friends encounter magic and sorcery while trying to score comics, play games, and grow the hell up. This trilogy is one of my best-selling series of books.
The Transformation of Lawrence Croft
MagicCon is an ordinary fantasy/science fiction convention. Three days of comic books, anime, and X-Files jokes, which is exactly what Larry Croft and his friends D.J. McGuiness, Fred “The Turk” Terkington, and Burt Vaughn, are looking for. Unfortunately for Larry, a long-forgotten Roman god named Stercutus is primed to make a comeback, and this particular god’s sphere of influence really stinks. What follows is a picaresque mash-up of Urban Fantasy and Fandom as worlds collide, friendships are forged, and confusion abounds in a city of secret magic and a sub-culture that Wants To Believe.
My modern-day monster-hunter. Two volumes of these short stories form a linked narrative set in San Cibola.
“The Transformation of Lawrence Croft, or Three Days of the Con-Dorks, which Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, etc.) fans will enjoy and could well become as much a classic of the convention experience as has Sharyn McCrumb’s Bimbos of the Death Sun…a preposterous, hilarious, and at times, very true take of such conventions.” –Charles de Lint
Sam Bowen is half-shaman, half-witch, and all rogue. He has wandered all over the country on a desperate quest: to find the source of the curse that has destroyed his family and reverse it, if he can. Now, in the magic-steeped city of San Cibola, he may finally uncover the answers he seeks.
As Bowen comes to grips with his new home in San Cibola’s Chinatown, strange obligations to his adopted family put him in harm’s way over and over again. Will Bowen master the dangers of the big city, or will his personal demons overwhelm him?
Year of the Hare is a fast, action-packed, post-modern pulp story with surprises and a wry quip around every corner.
A young woman alone in the big city, a mobster looking to make a fresh start, an old monster hunter with one last job to do, a magical grocery store where love grows like tomatoes on a vine…These are just some of the people and places you’ll meet in Empty Hearts, a new collection of stories by Mark Finn.
Set in and around the magic-steeped city of San Cibola, the characters come to life in Finn’s deft prose with humor, warmth, and compassion. Even the unlikeable people have strange and fascinating stories that make them compelling.
The stories in Empty Hearts all turn on the theme of love, passion, and desire. Whether it’s a misguided crook’s tributes to an underworld organization, a passionate academic’s pet theory, or a child’s love of Christmas, the characters and stories in Empty Hearts ultimately reflect ourselves with humor, horror, and a dash of magic.
The mysterious stranger on the side of the road doesn’t know much, but he’s pretty sure he’s not Elvis. The baby with wings driving the car has his own set of problems, but that won’t keep him from helping a fellow traveler out. Now they are on a journey of discovery in the only thing that makes sense to either of them: a 1963 Pink Cadillac…
One of the cornerstones of the San Cibola shared universe is finally available again! Originally printed in Gods New and Used, this is the updated and revised story of Aaron King and what happens when he accepts a ride with the God of Love.
The Adventures of Sailor Tom Sharkey
He was one of the greatest heavyweight boxers to enter the legendary squared circle during the Golden Age of Boxing. Standing a mere 5’ 8”, Sailor Tom Sharkey was one of boxing’s most feared sluggers; Gentleman Jim Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Kid McCoy, and Jim Jeffries all agreed he was their fiercest opponent and gave them their toughest fights. A colorful boxer both in the ring and out, he retired in 1904 after several legendary and controversial failed attempts to win the championship belt.
That’s the story you know. But it’s not the end of Sharkey’s story. Not by a long shot! In the tradition of Robert E. Howard’s humorous sailor Steve Costigan boxing tales, this action-packed collection of rowdy, bawdy burlesque feature Sailor Tom Sharkey after he hung up his professional gloves. Thrill to Sharkey’s brush with Hollywood’s “It” Girl, Clara Bow! Get Chills as Sharkey and Kid McCoy face down a maniacal bandit! Feel the heat as Sharkey rides the rails with Jim Jeffries and in the Vaudeville carnival into clashes with mad scientists and mummified menaces! Watch Sharkey play Santa Claus to a bunch of Tammany Hall orphans and end up with a tiger by the tail—literally! And much more!
Blood & Thunder: the Life and Art of Robert E. Howard
I’ve written a lot of non-fiction about Robert E. Howard, but the thing I am best-known for is the biography of REH that I first wrote back in 2006. Blood & Thunder: the Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award, and is now available in an updated second edition.
Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan, King Kull, and others that defined heroic fantasy, lived and died in the small town of Cross Plains, Texas. While his books remain in print, Howard himself has fallen into obscurity, his life mired in speculation and half-truth. This engaging biography traces the roots of his writings, correcting long-standing misconceptions, and offers a tour of Howard’s world as he saw it: through his own incomparable imagination.
This updated and expanded second edition includes new information and facts that were not known during the writing of the first edition, an expanded chapter on Conan, a total of 35,000 more words, and expanded and corrected chapters on Howard’s boxing stories, his westerns, both humorous and serious, and the events leading up to Howard’s death as well as what happened afterward. Also included are an expanded and corrected index and bibliography, and author’s notes on each chapter. This is Finn’s definitive version of his biography, and one that any fan of Robert E. Howard will want to own.
Skelos: The Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy
I was one of the managing editors for Skelos. We produced four issues under some of the most crushing and debilitating personal circumstances imaginable. That we got four issues out is a credit to perseverance. I’m very proud of the work we did.
Skelos Press is proud to announce the launch of its new flagship journal. SKELOS: THE JOURNAL OF WEIRD FICTION AND DARK FANTASY features a never-before-published fantasy piece by Robert E. Howard (Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane) illustrated by the legendary Mark Schultz (Xenozoic Tales, Coming of Conan, Prince Valiant). Also featured is a new sword and sorcery novelette by Keith Taylor (Bard series, Cormac Mac Art), a long-awaited sequel to his classic tale “Men from the Plain of Lir” originally published in Weird Tales. This story is illustrated by the fantastic Tomás Giorello (Dark Horse King Conan). Another highlight of the issue is a tale of dark fantasy from World Fantasy Award nominee and John W. Campbell Award nominee Scott A. Cupp.
The first issue contains short fiction from such talented writers as Charles Gramlich, Dave Hardy, Jason Ray Carney, Ethan Nahte, Scott Hannan, and Matt Sullivan; a fully illustrated adaptation of Grettir and the Draugr from the Icelandic sagas by Samuel Dillon; weird verse by K. A. Opperman, Ashley Dioses, Frank Coffman, Pat Calhoun, Kenneth Bykerk, and Jason Hardy; Insightful essays by Nicole Emmelhainz, Karen Kohoutek, and Jeffrey Shanks; reviews by Charles Hoffman, Bobby Derie, Keith West, Todd Vick, Paul McNamee, James McNew, Brian Murphy, Deuce Richardson, and Josh Adkins.
SKELOS is edited by Mark Finn, author of the World Fantasy Award-nominated BLOOD AND THUNDER; Chris Gruber, editor of Robert E. Howard’s BOXING STORIES from the University of Nebraska Press; and Jeffrey Shanks, co-editor of the Bram Stoker Award-nominated UNIQUE LEGACY OF WEIRD TALES.
In addition to working on the Modiphius Press Conan 2d20 line, I have published my own gaming zines for D&D 5e. They are available on DriveThruRPG and include the following:
Successfully Kickstarted during Zinequest 2, Monty Haul is a ‘zine dedicated to expanding your options for fantasy table-top role-playing. Issue 1 focuses on magic-users and includes campaign notes on creating magical cities that feel magical, new archetype options for warlocks (the King in Yellow patron), sorcerers (Eldritch Ancestry), and Wizards (the school of Things Man Was Not Meant To Know).
Issue 2 offers up a new archetype for rogues, the Architect, and a new college for bards, the College of Tomfoolery. Two new backgrounds are also included, along with more new alchemy and apothecary options (continued from Monty Haul #1), the Poisoner and the Skulldugger! But the centerpiece of the issue is a set of usable rules and guidelines for running heists and capers in a World of Thieves Campaign, including a robust and easy-to-use heist generator for fantasy scenarios.
Issue 3 features a sample “Small Gods” system for large cities, designed to recreate the feel of Lankhmar’s Street of the Gods. MH 3 also offers up a new path for monks, the Pious Hedonist (along with a fantastic set of rules for brewing and drinking), and a new circle for druids, the Silver Crescent. Clerics get two new domains, Eldritch and Fate. Two new divine-themed backgrounds are also included, along with new poison and skullduggery options (continued from Monty Haul #2)! Finally, a system for criminal contacts greatly expands their usefulness in a World of Thieves campaign setting.
Issue 4 “Swords Against Civilization” includes a new Barbarian and Ranger subclass based on Old School, Appendix N-style thinking. MH 4 also includes Exotic Weapons for 5e, Notoriety for Scoundrels, New Feats (to support the material in past issues), three new backgrounds (Cursed, Reviled, and Diplomat), and new fey creatures, divvils and boogums, and a FIB (fill-in-the-blank) Quest Generator these critters bequeath to an adventuring party.
Successfully Kickstarted during Zinequest 3, Gobsmack! is a toolkit to help you re-imagine goblins into an urban setting, right alongside your elves, your dwarfs, and your gnomes as denizens of your grand capital city. They live and work in your big fantasy city, and you can use them as random NPCs, contacts, rivals, or enemies! Gobsmack! gives you the tables, tools, and options to create urban goblin NPCs in seconds, with goblin names, goblin jobs, goblin quirks, and goblin motivations, along with plot hooks and story ideas, background lore and information, practical advice for game masters, and suggestions for bringing player character goblins into your existing campaign setting.
As we speak, the folks at the Bureau of Research and Development and the team at the Division of Fabrication and Design are hard at work, designing and field-testing a variety of items, including, but not limited to: T-shirts, magnets, journals, stickers, coffee mugs, hats and caps, truck nuts, craft beers, artisanal cheeses, hand sanitizer, and radiation detector kits for personal use. Some of these projects are extremely close to completion (the t-shirts) and other projects have stalled and may never see the light of day (artisanal cheeses).
Suffice to say, this heading is where they will all land as soon as they are ready for mass manufacture.
Watch this space closely for updates!