Tag Archives: crowdsourcing

[GUEST POST] The Making of Timothy Zahn’s PARALLAX Game


Abram Jablonski is a Senior Software Engineer/Architect that specializes in highly-dynamic data-driven applications. He has been developing software for over 15 years now in the Department of Defense and commercial sectors, and has been involved with numerous projects related to the implementation or support of high-tech systems. As his first full-scale (but still very indie) commercial venture, he is developing a new 4X game in partnership with legendary Star Wars author Timothy Zahn.

Returning to Orion

by Abram Jablonski

I’ve always loved Master of Orion. Even before I started programming, I’ve wanted to do something similar. The original was great, and I’m one of the smaller percentage of people that think it was even better than the sequel (apparently, nobody really liked the third one). I’ve got the original on my laptop right now – a $6 copy I got from GOG.com and that I run on DOSBox – and I’ve still got a dog-eared copy of the instruction booklet from when I first bought the game, too.

Wanting to make that game has been something that I’ve carried with me for more than a decade and a half now. Jotting down notes, tables, sketches, diagrams and lists of things for the game, but for most of that time I didn’t have the right skills and tools to actually complete it. If that had been all I had focused on for a couple of years, I would have been able to do it, but I wouldn’t have actually been ready, because there are a lot of things that just take time to truly understand (as opposed to only learning them). I did write other stuff, though: from little utilities, to highly-dynamic data-handling architectures, to software that was run at different sites all over the world to field test a globe-spanning system. And it’s been fun, and challenging, and rewarding.
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[GUEST POST] Julia Rios on The Origins of a Diverse YA SF and Fantasy Anthology


Julia Rios writes all sorts of things, hosts the Outer Alliance Podcast (celebrating QUILTBAG speculative fiction), and is one of the three fiction editors at Strange Horizons. Her fiction, articles, interviews, and poetry have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Stone Telling, Jabberwocky, and several other places. She’s half-Mexican, but her (fairly dreadful) French is better than her Spanish.

Kaleidoscope: A Diverse YA SF and Fantasy Anthology

by Julia Rios

I’ve always been interested in promoting diversity in the SF field. I’m a bisexual woman of color, so in some ways, that’s a purely selfish drive. I want to see myself reflected in the stories I read. But it’s not limited to that; I also want everyone else to have the chance to see themselves, and I want to see stories about people who aren’t like me. This is why I am so excited about the book I am co-editing with Alisa Krasnostein.
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Gail Carriger and ArtisticWhispers introduce the World to Crudrat!

Here’s the scoop on the full cast audiobook production of Gail Carriger’s new young adult science fiction adventure, Crudrat
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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 09/30/2013

Crowd funding 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 are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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Kaiju Kickstarters (Part Two): KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters, an Anthology

In Part One of the Kaiju Kickstarters interview I asked Kevin Brusky some questions about RARRR!!, his monster-building, city-crushing card game. It proved to be quite the fun discussion and I’m looking forward to playing RARRR!! once it meets the funding goal. If you haven’t read the interview you can check it out here, and if you haven’t yet visited the RARRR!! Kickstarter page to contribute some money you can do so here.

For Part Two, Kevin Brusky took time out of his busy schedule to grill me on the details of my anthology KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters, from Ragnarok Publications. Here’s a brief blurb from the project…

KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters is a collection of 19 stories focused around the theme of strange creatures in the vein of Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Cloverfield, and more. The anthology will open with a foreword by New York Times bestselling author JONATHAN MABERRY, and close with an afterword by JEREMY ROBINSON, author of Project Nemesis, the highest selling Kaiju novel in the United States since the old Godzilla books—and perhaps even more than those.

From New York Times bestsellers to indie darlings we found authors that are perfectly suited for writing such larger than life stories. KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters will honor that proud tradition, while exploring new and exciting ways to experience Kaiju.

Again, that’s 19 awesome and original Kaiju tales, and this is the minimum you will get by backing this Kickstarter. Below you’ll find options for three more stories by authors—who have already confirmed—if we can hit certain very attainable stretch goals.”

And now for the interview!
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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 09/17/2013

Crowd funding 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 are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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Kaiju Kickstarters (Part One): RARRR!! A Monster-Building, City-Crushing Card Game

You may have noticed my absence from SF Signal lately – lets face it, you’ve missed me. And I’ve missed you! But I promise I haven’t been idle in my absence. In fact, I’ve been working on the coolest project I’ve ever been involved in. I am the Project Creator and Acquisitions Manager of the exciting KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters anthology, brought to you by Ragnarok Publications. KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters features 19 authors and includes a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry and an afterword by Jeremy Robinson, author of the popular kaiju novel Project Nemesis. We’re running a campaign over at Kickstarter in order to fund the anthology and as I write this we are at 80% of our funding goal in just over a week.

One of the coolest things that has come from running the KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters campaign has been making connections with all these other cool projects. One such project is the monster-building, city-crushing card game RARRR!!, from APE Games.

“In RARRR!!, players build monsters (kaiju), each with its own set of terrifying powers. Then they battle each other until only one monster remains to rampage through the city! Cities are worth victory points, and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins! Strategy is required in every aspect of the game, from building the monster that best suits you to drafting power cards (see the gameplay video below for details on how to draft) to picking which cities to battle for.”

In a cross promotional effort Kevin Brusky of APE Games has set aside some of his precious time to conduct a two-way interview. In Part One I will pose to Kevin questions about his totally awesome game RARRR!! and in Part Two Kevin will perform the role of interrogator and get the scoop on KAIJU RISING: Age of Monsters.

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Interview: Lavie Tidhar on the Second World SF Travel Fund

Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama, of The Bookman Histories trilogy and many other works. He also won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, for “Gorel & The Pot-Bellied God”, and was nominated variously for a BSFA, Campbell, Sturgeon and Sidewise awards. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel and in South Africa but currently resides in London.

Lavie can be found online at lavietidhar.wordpress.com or on twitter as @lavietidhar.

For this interview, Lavie Tidhar talks about the second World SF Travel Fund, the recipients of which are Csilla Kleinheincz and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz.


CHARLES TAN: Hi Lavie! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For those unfamiliar with the World SF Travel Fund, could you tell us what it is about?

LAVIE TIDHAR: It’s a small initiative, to help people involved in genre fiction – writers, editors, translators, bloggers – from outside of the main Anglophone world travel to a major convention. Predominantly, we have been associated with the World Fantasy Convention, which is a more professionally-aimed convention, and can offer the most benefit.

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Love Of Classics Inspires Raygun Chronicles Kickstarter Anthology Project

I’m very excited to share, at John DeNardo’s invitation, the genesis of Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For A New Age. My latest project as an anthologist (provided our Kickstarter succeeds), it’s an anthology of new and reprint space opera stories, contemporary but with a classic bent. For many SFF fans, space opera is part of what made them fall in love with speculative fiction. Such was certainly the case for me. I grew up watching Star Trek reruns every night before dinner and then Star Wars hit theatres and I was in love with the possibilities of storytelling. While I shunned the cheesy Dr. Who, I loved Space: 1999, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and movies that followed like The Black Hole, the animated Hobbit, and so on.

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Crowd Funding Roundup For 02/04/2013

Crowd funding 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 are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 01/10/2013

Crowd funding 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 are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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Tuesday Tune: “Pythagoras Switch” By Half-Acre Day

A few weeks back in our Crowd Funding Roundup post we covered the Kickstarter campaign for a crowd-sourced SF movie called Project London (and with 2 days left to go, they’ve met their goal, congrats!). While perusing more info about the movie, I ran across this music video, made for the movie, by the band Half-Acre Day. It features scenes from the movie and you can view it as a different movie trailer set to a kickin’ beat. I rather like it.

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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 12/24/2012

Crowd funding 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 are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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[GUEST POST] Bradley P. Beaulieu and Matt Forbeck Talk About Crowdfunding

SF Signal welcomes Bradley P. Beaulieu and Matt Forbeck as they discuss their respective experiences with crowdfunding through Kickstarter…

Impressions of Kickstarter after Launch

Brad: I’ve just launched my first Kickstarter, and one of the first things I’ve noticed (only a few days in as I write this) is that it brings the author, or any Kickstarter team, much closer to the consumer than ever before, even more than I thought it was going to. Not only is the consumer interacting directly with author by pre-ordering their products, the author is almost by necessity interacting with the consumer. I say “almost” because technically speaking, the Kickstarter owner need not interact with their backers, but boy are you missing out on an opportunity if you don’t.

First of all, your backers have a lot to say. They can add comments to the Kickstarter itself or to the updates that you occasionally add. They give encouragement on stretch goals and even offer up ideas for new ones, especially if you ask. Furthermore, interacting with the people who are buying what you’re selling is immensely gratifying. Having the chance to talk to those who are already champions of your work, or those who might be, is a great way to explore and benefit from the human aspects of Kickstarter. Writing is a lonely business indeed, and the chance to have a high-traffic virtual store for a month or so is an exciting and heartwarming experience.

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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 11/24/2012

Crowd funding 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 are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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[GUEST POST] Matthew Wayne Selznick on Neo-Patronage, Crowdfunding and Kickstarter: One Author’s In-Progress Case Study


Matthew Wayne Selznick is a creator working with words, music, pictures and people. Through MWS Media, he provides a variety of creative services to independent creators, agencies, and entertainment companies. He lives in Long Beach, California and on the web at http://www.mattselznick.com

As an independent creator, I believe a creative endeavor isn’t truly art until it’s experienced by others. As an advocate of the DIY ethic, I’m committed to minimizing the separation between author and reader. I’ve watched with interest over the last six years as the neo-patronage / crowdfunding movement gains steam.

As I write, a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of my book “Pilgrimage – A Novel of the Sovereign Era is exactly half over and slightly over half funded. From within this Schrödinger’s box of crowdfunding, I’d like to share my particular experience. It’s my hope authors might learn something they can use, and readers will have a new perspective on the process.

Why Crowdfund A Novel?

I’m repeatedly asked: “Why not just write the book and publish it the normal way, instead of asking for funding up front?”

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BOOK REVIEW: Five Little Zombies and Fred by Jules Sherred

REVIEW SUMMARY: A picture book from Jules Sherred replete with visual Easter eggs references, and yes, zombies.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Canadian youngling Fred tries to escape his own personal part of the zombie apocalypse

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Good use of repetition and rhyme; colorful art.
CONS: The Easter eggs are sometimes too difficult to see; the book probably could have stood to have been a bit longer.
BOTTOM LINE: Shoot the zombie in the head, Fred!

Fred is a Canadian child who has come face to face with his personal slice of the zombie apocalypse. Five zombies are after him, and his only lifeline is a Royal Mounted Policeman, a Mountie, with repetitious but practical advice in dealing with the zombies chasing after him. Shoot them in the head! But will Fred survive?
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[GUEST POST] Jules Sherred Talks “Five Little Zombies and Fred”, A Not-For-Children Children’s Book

[GUEST POST] Jules Sherred on Five Little Zombies and Fred, A Not-For-Children Children’s Book

Jules Sherred does way more than should be legal. Most notably, she is the General Manager and Programming Director of The Look 24/7, host of the Geeky Pleasures Radio Show and the offshoot website, Geeky Pleasures, and core contributor to Wired’s GeekMom. She’s already written two non-fiction books — From The Mundane To The Insane: A Wonderful Journey Without A Destination and Tales Of A Lupus Butterfly — the partial proceeds of which go to lupus research and treatment, is working on another book called Nerd Love, and is beyond excited to make Five Little Zombies And Fred a real thing for people to hold, read, and love. You can follow her on Twitter @GeekyJules. Also, SHE LOVES STAR TREK.

IndieGoGo: Funding Five Little Zombies and Fred

If you are a creative, then you probably know what it is like to be plagued with idea after idea. Some of these ideas may be so ridiculous that they should never make it past the idea phase. Others may be so ridiculous that they MUST go beyond the idea phase. Sometimes, it can be quite difficult to tell the difference between to two. That is when you call on the help of friends you trust to tell it to you straight; friends who are willing to put aside any worry that they have of hurting your feelings when they have to say, “Dude. That idea is stupid. Move onto something else. Now.”

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Crowdsourcing the Convention: Guests are the Bait, Community is the Hook

In the past few weeks, CtC has asked a couple of pertinent questions: What makes a convention worth going to, and what did you love (and hate) about WorldCon, DragonCon and PAX? The feedback was intriguing, and it gave this rookie convention programming director some actionable (but painful) insights into running a successful con.

Bottom line: It’s a big-name guests that get people to a convention, but it’s the sense of community that keeps them coming back…

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Crowdsourcing the Convention: What Do You Love (and Hate) About WorldCon, DragonCon and PAX?

This weekend, three major geek conventions throw down all at once: PAX, DragonCon and WorldCon. Short of the Hollywood-infused spectacle that is Comic-Con, this will be the biggest convention weekend of 2010. As a rookie programming director for ConGlomeration 2011, it’s also my most hyperconcentrated research opportunity — so , of course, I’m unable to attend any of the trio of A-list conventions. (Stupid adult obligations)

That’s where you guys come in. Roughly 60,000 people attend PAX. Another 40,000 attend DragonCon. WorldCon averages something in the neighborhood of tenth of either previous figure. In any case, about 100,000 geeks — professional and otherwise — will be at a convention this weekend, and a bunch of you read SF Signal, too.

So spill it.

I want to know:

  • What rocks and what sucks about each convention?
  • What makes DragonCon so special?
  • How did PAX double in size every year for the last seven?
  • Are the Hugos really as awesome as we imagine?
  • Who’s the geek ubermensch: Nathan Fillion or Wil Wheaton?

Cite specific examples and show your work.

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