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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup for 7/7/12

[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.]

Z World Detroit

What’s it about?

Z World Detroit will be a unique and spectacular zombie-themed experience park that will transform a virtually neglected section of Detroit, Michigan. Participants will be chased by a growing zombie horde through abandoned factories, stores and homes across hundreds of derelict urban acres.

Why it’s interesting: Think you have what it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse? Z World Detroit will be your chance to find out. And if the undead really do show up, this theme park would be a great way to get practice. It is also a chance, according to the developers, to help “revitalize” Detroit, which, they point out, “is considering literally abandoning sections of the city.” For $100, you get a free overnight admission when Z World Detroit opens!

Silber Bottle Comics

What’s it about?

Brian John Mitchell makes “comics the size of a pack of matches.” And after recently seeing the Twilight Zone episode “A Saucer of Loneliness,” in which an alien sends a message in a bottle, he got inspired to do the same with his mini comics. “The idea of the immortality of it is what really fascinates me,” he writes, “and I know that in order for one of these bottles to be found 1000 years from now I probably need to send out a lot of them and so if you help me I’ll put your name in a bottle to be linked with this project forever or you can remain anonymous if you prefer.”

Why it’s interesting: In this day and age of instant downloads and streaming video, you’ve got to love the idea of casting bottled comics into the sea and hoping they fall into someone hands. And if you ever find yourself stranded on a deserted island, at least you have some reading material…eventually.

Steampunk Alphabet Book – The ABCs…Steampunked!

What’s it about?

The Steampunk Alphabet Book is a “visually compelling, fun for all ages” ABC book for lovers of Victorian-inspired SF.

Why it’s interesting: It’s never too early to introduce children to the alphabet and steampunk. So why not kill two birds with one stone and support The Steampunk Alphabet Book? The illustrations by Nat Iwata are gorgeous and for only $10 you get a digital version of the book.

Animals From History

What’s it about?

An illustrated book of animals depicted as historical figures.

Why it’s interesting: A terrier William Wallace? A bobcat Elvis? If you don’t believe cosplay should limited to humans, Animals From History is for you. The portraits from Christina Hess are epic and for a mere $1500 you can have your own pet illustrated as an animal of history.

Trial of the Clone: A Choosable Path Gamebook by Zach Weiner

What’s it about?

Trial of the Clone is an interactive science-fiction comedy set in the future. The developers say, “Think Douglas Adams, but meaner.”

Why it’s interesting: It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure book on steroids, by Zachary Weiner, creator of the comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. As you make your way through the story, you collect weapons and points, fight monsters and use powers. For $20 you get a signed copy of the book.

Magrunner: Dark Pulse

What’s it about?

Magrunner: Dark Pulse is a first-person action puzzle game set in a cyberpunk reimagining of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos!

In the near future, high-tech and ancient horrors collide as the world teeters on the brink of oblivion. Only our hero Yoshi, with his mutant mentor Gamaji and his robotic dog Newton, stand in the way of eldritch annihilation.

Why it’s interesting: Cyberpunk Cthulu, robotic dogs and physics based puzzles. Think Portal meets Cthulhupunk, how can that possibly go wrong? The game itself is already done, this funding project is to determine what else gets added to the game. Things like multi-player, additional OS support, professional soundtrack and voice acting are all stretch goals. Check out the site for more details. Roughly $19 US gets you a digital copy of the game and access to the beta…

Chronicles of Syntax

What’s it about?

Season one of Chronicles of Syntax is set in present day and revolves around Sian (later referred to as Syntax) and a secret government facility called the Fallen Angel Network. It is Sian’s job to beat down the bad guys and find the rest of her team, which sounds easy but these guys don’t remember ever being chosen, and there’s someone else trying to get to them first. Only when she gathers all the members of her team can she access memories sent back through time, information that could stop the oncoming apocalypse… The 12 episode series is a countdown to the end of the world and the team must unite to have any hope of avoiding it.

Why it’s interesting: The future of televised science fiction is not TV, it’s the web. The revolution includes people like you, the science fiction fans, deciding what you’d like to and then helping to make it happen. Chronicles of Syntax sounds really cool and from reading the description page, there are a number of professionals involved so it won’t be some guy in his backyard shooting his friends. For a mere $10, you can be part of the revolution. To see what a high quality video series funded by a crowdfunding campaign looks like, go watch Video Game High School.

Jack Houston and the Necronauts

What’s it about?

Jack Houston and the Necronauts is a pulp sci-fi inspired adventure game where you portray Captain Jack Houston on his deadliest mission: to man the first rocket to explore a savage, alien world!

Why it’s interesting: A point-and-click pulp Sci-Fi adventure game? Yes please! The designer says “The story is pure Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp adventure, the art design is a Frazetta-fueled dream…the environment and creatures will be right out of a Harryhausen movie…” Sounds good to me and $10 gets you copy of the game.

Final Frontier Design’s 3G Space Suit

What’s it about?

At FFD, we are working together to bring our vision of a lightweight, inexpensive, and highly functional space suit to the new space industry. Our Kickstarter goal, the FFD Third Generation (3G) Suit, will be built to conform to the standards of NASA flight certification to the best of our ability, and will feature upgrades to our 2011 Second Generation (2G) Suit (pictured with Nik), including a higher operating pressure, a carbon fiber waist ring, a retractable helmet, and improved gloves and glove disconnects. Our plan is to complete construction of this 3G Suit before 2013.

Why it’s interesting: Someone has to make the suits for the burgeoning private sector space industry, and FFD is aiming to do just that. You can be a part of the new space age and have the chance to purchase your very own spacesuit.

Catching Up From Last Time

Auror’s Tale – As of this writing, Auror’s Tale has exceeded it’s goal with 57 hours to go and so looks to be successful.

Mark Dos Santos Art Book – Closed successfully on June 26th.

Futuredaze YA Anthology – Closed successfully on June 25th.

Dear Mr. Watterson – This Calvin & Hobbes documentary has exceed it’s goal with 10 days left to go. Triumph!

Duster Graphic Novel – With 19 days to go, this project has raised $16k of $26k. Kicktraq trending shows Duster being successful.

After The Fall – With only slightly over $2k raised of a $75k goal, the project owner has canceled this project. Ouch.

Annika Ash and the Lost Robot – Sadly this project did not reach it’s goal and was unsuccessful.

Cold Fusion – The apocalypse was too much for this steampunk/western themed RPG, which closed unsuccessfully. The creators vow to try again.

HeXit – With 6 days to go, this project looks to come no where near it’s $75k goal. Maybe there just isn’t enough interest in an old school point-and-click adventure game.

Skyjacker – This is one game I’d dearly love to see succeed. Unfortunately, unless there is a massive increase in backers in the next 18 days, Kicktraq says this project will reach $117k of a $200k goal. I guess you have to have a big name (Double Fine) to generate a huge amount of interest in a game, enough to ask for a lot of money anyway. Too bad because this game looks awesome.

Alpha Colony – A remake of a classic, hugely influential but most obscure computer game doesn’t sound like a recipe for success. Then ask for $500k and you’re almost guaranteeing a failure. Such is Alpha Colony, which, with 10 days to go has only raised $63k of it’s $500k goal. Kicktraq does not even sniff success.

About JP Frantz (2322 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

7 Comments on SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup for 7/7/12

  1. Thanks for the shoutout! If you’d like a review copy of Trial of the Clone, please email me. Thanks!

  2. this is a great idea for a regular post on the site, I’ll be reading these closely to see if there’s anything I want to donate to!

  3. Michael Moe // July 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm //

    Seconded that this would be a great regular column for the site.

    I’d also like to add another Kickstarter project to the list: OctopodiCon: Steaming Up the Future (

    What’s It About?

    OctopodiCon is a steampunk convention to be held in Oklahoma City October 5-7, 2012.

    Freshman rush – steampunk style, that’s OctopodiCon 2012.

    In 3 days, we (and our charming spokes-octopod, Baron Octavian von Calamari, Esq.) offer a pseudo-collegiate experience. In between learning about corsetry and top hats in the classrooms, you can take in a performance by Professor Elemental, then relax over tea in the Tea Parlour. Visit steampunk authors in the Scriptorium, stroll through the Promenade, have your portrait taken for the Yearbook, then watch airship captains challenge one another’s remote control airships through a daring and complex course.

    As an attending student, you receive a badge number that you keep from year to year because this is your student ID number that allows you to earn credit hours towards a novelty steampunk degree (frameable!) by attending panels, makeshops, demonstrations, and performances not just at OctopodiCon, but through Tentacle Classes held at other conventions around the country.

    Younger students (between 6 and 10) can spend time with the Junior Sprockets investigating dinosaurs and musical instruments, creating art, listening to stories, practicing their “mad engineer” laughs, and being entertained by a magician.

    Slightly older students (11 – 15) can enter the Artifact Club to turn pennies into gold, make a spy decoder, build an orrery, make quicksand, make a Chinese seismometer, and plan a death-trap laden lair, among other things.

    All students of every age are assigned to a team (we call them Pods, because really, calling them “suckers” was just not right) so they can enjoy the camaraderie and competition belonging to a Pod can create – it gives even the newest steampunk a connection. Best of all, as the weekend progresses, this first year, everyone gets to contribute to the symbols and mythology of their Pod, name their Pod mascot (one of Baron Octavian’s Calamari Kidz) and earn Pod Points so their Pod gets honored throughout the year. Whatever symbols and colors and such they devise for the winning Pod will set the theme for OctopodiCon 2013

    Why it’s interesting:

    winning Pod will set the theme for OctopodiCon 2013

    Professor Elemental, Dr. and Mrs. Grymm, Ay-Leen the Peacemaker, Tom Smith, and Leanna Renee Hieber will be there, and our own beloved MC, Peter Pixie will keep things on schedule.

    Lots of local talent will be there, too – the Cutie Carny Variety Circus, Roscoe and Red, and Triskelion will be among the entertainers, and artists like Hugo award winning Brad Foster, who created our logo and brought Baron Octavian von Calamari, Esq. to life and Melia Newman renowned for her crazy quilting as well as her ink drawings, not to mention college professors like feminist geographer Belinda Beatrice Pinhiero and Egyptologist Amelia Ann McAlden. Those are just a few of our Visiting Professors.

    We are making great connections in the community – the Oklahoma Metropolitan Library System is giving us space to hold monthly steampunk Teas and sponsoring an author to appear at OctopodiCon, as well as hosting a Steampunk Day to help promote us and running a steampunk film festival leading up to OctopodiCon and during OctopodiCon. Local museums are offering us research information and academic support. Professors at colleges around the country are coming to OctopodiCon to share their knowledge relating to steampunk. Artists and costumers, artificers and entertainers will also be there to educate, delight, and fascinate. The Society of American Military Engineers is sponsoring 2 contests – the junior/senior High School Automaton Contest and the adult Airship Captain’s Competition with remote controlled indoor airships. The OHM is sponsoring a Mad Engineers Contest for attendees of any age. We’re also working to qualify as a Themed Science Cafe because OctopodiCon isn’t just a 3 day convention, it’s a year round event with Monthly Teas that are hilariously educational and always delicious.

    If you’ve just heard about steampunk and want to learn how to get involved and how to do the basics, OctopodiCon is definitely the place to start, with costuming classes and steampunking up accessories, with history and cultural information, and with lots of places and time to socialize and meet other steampunks. And if you’ve been steampunk since K.W. Jeter coined the term, you’ll get a chance to show off all you’ve done and participate in the competitions and social activities.

    Additional info can be found at and at

    I hope that SF Signal and its audience will find this project of interest.


  4. I’d like to third the suggestion of adding a regular column to handle roundup of interesting crowdfunding projects.

  5. Happy to see folks like this feature. For what it’s worth, this *is* a regular column appearing roughly every 2 weeks. This is the second installment. The archives are here.

  6. We’re making a gory, scary, awesome poker horror movie called “Drawing Dead”, the story of the best poker player in the world forced to play against his top rivals — including his best friend — in a game of Texas Hold’em for their souls.

    The script won the Script Savvy Screenplay Competition. Here’s a quote from the judges: “The tone of the piece is dark but still humorous. The gore is gruesome and highly effective.”

    So get involved in helping us make it and you might win a chance to die a grisly death. In the movie.

  7. I am currently running a Kickstarter project to raise funds for the editing of my epic, hard science fiction novel, Primae Noctis. So far so good (almost 10%), but getting the word out is always tricky.

    Here’s the link:


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