An Update on the MagicLand Chronicles

All are free, of course... Also a couple of cool jobs with ProPublica

An Update on the MagicLand Chronicles
Image licensed from Shutterstock; Photo smashup by author; all rights reserved

I’ve achieved a milestone of sorts with my debut novel, MagicLand, in that I’m now receiving monthly royalty statements. That started in January, which means I’ve finally edged past my (puny) advance. It’s a little disheartening to see book sales in the single digits in these statements, but hey, at least the reviews are good, and now that I get monthly reports, I feel a little more motivated to see if there’s a way to bump up sales a bit.

One nice thing about this has been that the book distributor, Ingram, got the book into a lot of libraries. This has helped spread the word on the quality of the book, even if it hasn’t helped sales all that much. It’s always cool when someone writes me and tells me they found MagicLand in a library.

It’s not like I have ignored promotion completely since its publication in December 2021. MagicLand is my featured book on Medium (kudos to the Medium platform for this feature). And I’ve used the Medium platform to post more than twenty stories related to the MagicLand timeline. StoryOrigin users may also be familiar with the novel’s presence there.

MagicLand, in case you’re unfamiliar with it, is a Romeo and Juliet-style romance set 2,000 years in the future after humanity splits into two different species. One species is an augmented form of human called The Gath. The other species rejected augmentation 2,000 years prior and have evolved into a species capable of great magic.

When MagicLand begins, the two factions have been at war for 2,000 years. The novel opens up with a young priestess tracking down a Gath in his fallen craft, and, after a bit of a rough start, the two make a startling discovery together about their shared history.

That’s where the stories in The MagicLand Chronicles come in. These are stories set before the events in MagicLand that involve this shared history. Each story is entirely independent from the other, with characters that neither appear in any of the other stories nor the parent novel.

The stories in The MagicLand Chronicles expand on the novel’s intense warning about our potential future if the extremely wealthy among us are allowed to continue on their current path of dominance.

Long-time readers of this newsletter will be familiar with some of these stories. I’ve been posting links to them for a couple of years in my newsletters as I write and post them.

Now, I’ve captured all of them in one spot here on Substack (they originally appeared on the Medium platform). They are free for all my subscribers, paying or not.

The stories are each quite different. Some of them are a little strange.

For example, there’s the story of a mermaid living in a cesspool. And a story about an older landlady who likes to watch people in her kitchen through a video link and throw kitchen items around using telekinesis to freak them out.

I hope you’ll bookmark them and share them far and wide:


The MagicLand Chronicles

Charles Bastille • Jan 25, 2024

This is a list of stories from the MagicLand Chronicles. Free short stories involving characters who do not appear in the novel but are part of the 2,000 year timeline leading to the events of the novel, MagicLand.

Read full story →

The novel itself has had some very nice reviews from Publishers Weekly, Feathered Quill (where it was also a finalist for the 2023 Feathered Quill Awards), BookTrib, Kirkus, and my favorite review of all from a reader:

“Wonderful, clean, thoughtful and thought provoking. I will read this to my grandchildren ages 12, 8 and 4 and I know they will love it!!! I found your book in the city library and now I just have to get a copy for myself. Your book is of the same caliber as the writings of CS Lewis. I look forward to more from you.”

MagicLand is a profanity-free zone, completely safe for the kids!

I have no direct control over pricing, but if you’re cash-strapped, just bookmark the novel’s Amazon page. Amazon often runs sales on it.

Hey, why not write for ProPublica?

A lot of you are fellow writers. Some of you are also political nerds like me. I recently received two interesting job opportunities in my inbox from ProPublica, plus a third for finance professionals. I’m way too old for this shiz, but maybe you’ll have some interest, so I’m including them here.

Disclaimer: I have no vested interest in ProPublica. I just admire their work. They’re the folks who broke the “Clarence Thomas and His RV” stories, among other great bits of investigative journalism. I’m copying/pasting directly from my email. I don’t think they’ll hit me with a plagiarism suit for doing this, do you?

ProPublica Opportunities

ProPublica Investigative Editor Training Program

Deadline: Monday, March 11, at 11:59 p.m. ET

ProPublica’s Investigative Editor Training Program is designed to help expand the ranks of editors with investigative experience in more newsrooms across the country. This five-day bootcamp-style intensive will see participants through courses and panel discussions led by ProPublica’s senior editors, veteran reporters and other newsroom leaders. Have questions? Reach out to us over at

Immigration Reporter

ProPublica is currently searching for an experienced investigative journalist to help expand our immigration coverage.

Finance Coordinator

ProPublica is seeking a detail-oriented and well-organized finance/accounting professional to join our New York headquarters in the role of finance coordinator.

That’s it for now. Stay safe and happy!


Video credits:

Song: A Battle for the Future
Artist: Eoin Mantell, licensed through Adobe Stock

Images licensed from Shutterstock