[GUEST POST] James Aquilone on 10 Science Fiction Kickstarter Campaigns You Should Fund
James Aquilone is the Managing Editor at Weird Tales Magazine. His first short story will appear in Weird Tales #362. His non-fiction can be found at Den of Geek, BuzzFeed, his personal website, Blogzarro, and in the mouths of hundreds of radio DJs across the country. James lives in Staten Island, New York, with his wife and small Ewokian dog.
Money burning a hole in your pocket? Then fork it over to these cool SF-related Kickstarter campaigns!
This campaign had me at the first line: “Mad God is an experimental, hand-made, animated film, set in a Miltonesque world of monsters, mad scientists, and war pigs.” If that doesn’t do it for you, the video will. Creepy, cool, beautiful, Mad God was directed by visual effects and stop-motion master Phil Tippett, whose credits include Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, RoboCop and the Twilight Saga.
You probably didn’t realize Kermit the Frog and Cthulhu the Elder God have much in common. They’re both green, amphibious and puppets. Well, Cthulhu will be a puppet with your help. Costume and set designer Kelly Switzer is producing Cthulu: A Puppet Play, a “multimedia production that will explore the world and cosmology of H.P. Lovecraft utilizing puppets, film, and original music.” She needs cash for additional puppeteers, musicians and artists. For $500, you get your own puppet.
If Elder God puppets aren’t your thing, how about Elder God mugs? Yes, you can now drink from Cthulhu’s head with Horror in Clay, a large tiki mug inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. For $40, you get a cup, from which you can sip as you read over the Necronomicon and contemplate the horrors of the universe. Also makes a great Father’s Day gift!
Unless you’re a Met fan, you don’t often see baseball mixed with horror. For non-Met fans, there’s Sullivan’s Sluggers, a baseball / horror graphic novel written by Mark Andrew Smith and with art by James Stokoe. The story: “Long past their former glory, the minor league Sluggers get an invitation to play a baseball game in a cursed small town. After the 7th inning stretch, the sun goes down, and the dysfunctional teammates find themselves fighting for their lives against a town of flesh-eating monsters!” The duo is using Kickstarter to complete the 200-page, color, hardcover book, which can be yours along with a print for $30.
This massive project aims to introduce Dave Sim’s 300 issues of Cerebus “to a new generation of comic book fans by turning the World’s Longest Graphic Novel into the World’s Longest Audio Book with the creation of digital versions of every page of each issue of Cerebus.” Sim will also perform all the dialogue, text and captions from the stories. Among the pledge rewards are Cerebus Issue #0, the 1993 Cerebus as Spawn print and a 30-minute phone conversation with Dave Sim.
Crossed Genres needs your help. With the co-publishers having both lost their day jobs and the indie press in the red, the future of the company is in doubt. The Kickstarter campaign was launched to cover their publishing costs through the end of 2013. The $35 Geek Swears T-shirt is frakking cool. And so is keeping a fiction publication afloat.
How can you not support Space Command? First, Neil Gaiman endorses it. Second, it’s the brainchild of Marc Zicree, who has written for or produced a ton of SF TV series over the past 30 years — including The Incredible Hulk, Friday the 13th, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5, Deep Space Nine and Sliders. What is Space Command? It “is a series of new and original feature films written, produced, directed by and starring some of the top science-fiction visionaries working today.” This campaign will help the team make the first of four films. For $8, you get an HD Blu-ray edition of Space Command.
If you’ve ever listened to the Pixies’ “Velouria” and thought, “That would make a cool SF story” (which I have), this is for you. Break the Walls is graphic novel comprised of stories inspired by the alternative rock band. And, yes, there’s a “Velouria” story in there. The book is just $10.
Pong was lame. But what if you could play it with your mind? Not so lame now! Hack Manhattan has created Brain Pong, which is the classic video game on a six-by-eight-foot display, controlled by players’ minds. As they explain, “Participants interact with the installation through our NeuroSky MindWave headsets. These devices monitor brainwave activity, which we then channel to pit the players against our artificially intelligent Pong opponent.” Cash will go to material costs (and hopefully to build an Xbox version of Cerebro).
I don’t know whether to contribute to this campaign or call child welfare services. Self-proclaimed geek mom Wendy Vermeers is raising her two children to be geeks themselves. She pretty much cemented that by naming them Anakin and Kal-El. Now she’s looking to launch a kid-friendly travelogue/talk-show webseries in which they “travel to geeky locations and review geek things” (and presumably get teased about their names).
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