[Crowdfunding is the in thing for obtaining money to fund a variety of projects, with Kickstarter being the most prominent of these sites. With new projects going live daily, it's a chore to keep up with, let alone find, interesting genre projects. The Crowd Funding Roundup will be our effort to bring projects we think are interesting to your attention so you can, if you so choose, decide to help out. These posts will be a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.]

Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa

What it’s about

Anomalisa is a stop-motion animated film written by Charlie Kaufman. The 40-minute movie is about a “man crippled by the mundanity of his life.”

Why it’s interesting: Charlie Kaufman has written some of the most innovative and interesting films in recent history, but not much has been heard from him since 2004′s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That could be remedied with this film. Added to the mix are Dan Harmon (Community) and Dino Stamatopoulos (Moral Orel), who serve as executive producers. Who wouldn’t want to see an animated movie from this team?

John K’s “Cans Without Labels”

What it’s about

Cans Without Labels is a cartoon from Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi. It stars George Liquor, one of the original Ren and Stimpy characters, who John describes as an “old school, manly, Republican sort of guy…. He’s leathery on the outside but all mush in the center, at least with his dear ones.”

Why it’s interesting: Before Adult Swim and South Park, there was Ren and Stimpy. The most controversial, irreverent and bizarre cartoon of the early ’90s. Cans Without Labels is your chance to relive those halcyon days. And if your nostalgia goes back even further — Liquor was voiced by character actor Michael Pataki, who died in 2010. You’ll remember him as one of the Mallachi brothers from Happy Days and the Klingon who started the bar fight in the Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.”

49: A Square of Stories…for Hip Readers!

What it’s about

49 is a collection of — you guessed it — 49 short stories by writer Bruce Holland Rogers.

Why it’s interesting: Rogers has won the Pushcart Prize, two Nebula Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, two World Fantasy Awards and the Micro Award. Besides that, he’s “good at writing very short fiction.” If that’s not enough for you, Rogers’ campaign gives you the opportunity to collaborate with him on “after stories,” which will be included in the print edition of his book. For $7, you get a PDF of the collection. For $25, you get a signed print copy.

Clockwork Phoenix 4: New Stories of Beauty & Strangeness

What it’s about

Clockwork Phoenix 4 is a new volume in the acclaimed, award-nominated series that gathers offbeat fantasy and SF tales by both veterans and new talent.

Why it’s interesting: The anthology series featured such well-known authors as Tanith Lee, Cat Rambo, Catherynne M. Valente, Laird Barron and Mary Robinette Kowal alongside newcomers. The Clockwork Phoenix editors parted ways with their publisher after the company fell on hard times. When they couldn’t find a new publisher, they headed to Kickstarter for funding. For $25, you get the paperback edition of the book, signed by editor Mike Allen, and your name listed in the acknowledgements.

The Hero Project – Action Figures of World Cultural Heroes

What it’s about

The Hero Project is a line of action figures based on world cultural heroes like Rama, Beowulf and Quetzalcoatl.

Why it’s interesting: Ever wanted an action figure of a Hindu deity with kung fu grip? Of course you do! And here’s your chance. The first figure, Rama, is eight inches, has 31 points of articulation and comes with arrows and a working bow. For $35, you get the action figure.

Quicksilver: The Great Airship Race

What it’s about

Quicksilver is an airship racing game set in the late Victorian Era. Players pilot their aircraft on a customized map, circling checkpoints and avoiding obstacles and their opponents as they race to be the first to cross the finish line. Players will balance risk management with card-play in order to win the game. The faster you fly, the more you throw caution to the wind. Will you choose to outrun your opponents, or slow them down with dastardly attacks? Or both? And will the Queen approve?

Why it’s interesting: Airship. Race. With weapons. Who doesn’t want to play that? Add in a nice looking map and some interesting cards and this looks like a fun game to play. We at SF Signal World HQ know how difficult, and money intensive, it is to publish a game through our friend Kevin, who runs APE Games. If this games interests you at all (and please do look at the gameplay video), $50 gets you a copy of the game. Kicktraq shows this project coming up just short of its goal. You could make the difference…

The Second Rat

What it’s about

The Second Rat is a short film based on the Sci-Fi short story of the same name. It was originally published in On Spec Magazine in 2002, and was written by Science Fiction author, and co-host of WIRED Magazine’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, David Barr Kirtley. The film version was written for the screen and will be directed and produced by Dustin M. Thomas.

Why it’s interesting: Time travel is a well worn SF trope, but it’s also something that I enjoy. I’ve never read the short story this short movie is based on, but it has quite a number of good reviews. $10 gets a digital copy of the film and as of right now, this project needs a lot of help to reach its goal.

Something Wicked: Volume One

What it’s about

Since 2006 Something Wicked has been the only South African paying market for writers and readers of Horror and Science Fiction. Now we are aiming to be the first annual South African anthology for horror and science fiction. The anthology will be available as an e-book as well as a traditional paperback. This campaign is intended to help fund our first anthology

Why it’s interesting: There’s more to science fiction than just what US/UK/Canadian authors create. Here’s your chance to support South Africa’s first SF/Horror anthology. $20 gets you the paperback ($25 for international orders).

Shadowrun Online

What it’s about

Shadowrun Online is the second Kickstarter video game project set in the unique world of Shadowrun. The first project, Shadowrun Returns, focused primarily on providing a great single player adventure experience, while Shadowrun Online – like the pen & paper version – is all about experiencing the awesome world and gritty atmosphere of Shadowrun together with friends. Fluid co-op gameplay and intense player vs player faction wars set in a persistent and evolving world – this is what Shadowrun Online is about!

Why it’s interesting: Shadowrun is a classic PnP game set in a cyberpunk world. After a disastrous turn as a multiplayer game on the Xbox 360, Shadowrun is experiencing a resurgence, as two Kickstarter projects attest. Creating an MMO is hard, making one that is fun is even harder. What sets this game apart is the setting, a cyberpunk future, which is basically non-existent today. Backing gets you early access to the beta and game time at a discount. Kicktraq has this easily surpassing its goal.


Other Projects Worth A Look

As you might imagine, we get many emails from people asking us to promote their crowd funding project. We can’t possibly spotlight them all, but here is a selection of projects that are worth a look.

Drawing Dead – Crowd sourced horror movie.

The Might Titan – A new 5 issue mini-series featuring the superhero The Might Titan. Based on the author’s struggle with cancer.

Prima Noctis – A hard SF series set in a post-apocalyptic setting.


Catching Up From Last Time

Z World Detroit – ($8k/$145k/22) With three weeks left to go, the dream of building a zombie themed park in Detroit needs some serious help to reach its goal.

Silber Bottle Comics – ($500/$300/14) Silber Bottle Comics has currently exceeded its goal of $300, and it still has 14 days to go.

Steampunk Alphabet Book – ($8.7l/$7.5k/7) Another project that has passed its goal with a lot of time left so you can still get in on the early steampunk alphabet action.

Animals From History -($6.4k/$7.5/2) With roughly two days left, Animals From History is very close to its goal, but still needs some help. Kicktraq has this project coming up short, but you never know.

Trial of the Clone – ($93k/$15/5 days left) Talk about a huge success, Trial of the Clone is knocking on the door for a sequel ($100k). Well done!

Magrunner: Dark Pulse – (75k Euros/100k Euros, 30 days left) With 30 days left Magrunner is three quarters to their goal, which, barring a complete collapse, looks easily in reach.

Chronicles of Syntax – ($15k/$20k/14) – Chronicles is three quarters of the way to their goal, and with 2 weeks left, there’s a good chance it will make it. Of course, this project is a “flexible funding campaign” which means even if they don’t reach their goal, they still get to keep the money they’ve raised.

Jack Houston and the Necronauts – ($40k/$56k/22) With 22 days left, Jack is well on his way to gracing our computer screens in the near future. Kicktraq trends to $77k so it looks like Jack Houston won’t have a problem…getting funded.

Final Frontier Design’s 3G Space Suit -($27k/$20k/Closed)Good news for all aspiring astronauts, Final Frontier Design successfully raised the funds to design and produce their inter-vehicle space suite. If you’re interested in more info, Wired has a nice article here.

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