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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 2/16/2013

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.

Kickstarter Open Source Death Star

What’s it about?

A Death Star built with open-source hardware and software.

Why it’s interesting: The Obama Administration put the kibosh on building a planet-destroying, Moon-sized space station in January — despite a petition signed by nearly 35,000 people. This Kickstarter campaign is asking for £20,000,000 “for more detailed plans and enough chicken wire to protect reactor exhaust ports.” Their stretch goal of £543,000,000,000,000,000 would secure full funding for actual construction of the Death Star. They say it’s a joke. But isn’t that what you’d expect the Empire to say? About £200,000 was pledged in the first week.

Fireside magazine: Year Two

What’s it about?

A monthly multi-genre fiction magazine.

Why it’s interesting: Fireside published three issues last year. This year they plan to become a monthly subscription website and ebook. Each issue will have two pieces of flash fiction, one short story, and one of 12 episodes of a serial fiction experiment by Chuck Wendig. Each issue will also have artwork by Galen Dara. They plan to begin publish the monthly magazine on July 1. A one-year, 12-issue subscription costs $24. Other rewards include autographed 8x10s of Dara’s artwork, mosaic stained-glass coasters, and autographed paperbacks.

Bride of Death: A Marla Mason Novel

What’s it about?

Tim Pratt’s eighth Marla Mason novel.

Why it’s interesting: Tim Pratt already has two successful Kickstarter campaigns under his belt. The first was Grim Tides, a novel in his urban fantasy series about ass-kicking sorcerer Marla Mason. Pratt has returned to the crowd-funding site for the latest installment in the series. In Bride of Death, which the author calls a “new beginning” for the character, Marla “sets out to fight monsters, armed with strange magics and accompanied by the living head of her worst enemy in a birdcage.” Sounds pretty awesome! An e-book is $10. A signed trade paperback is $25. For $300, Pratt will use your name in the story.

Under The Half Dome: An Album by Sierra Composer, Ken Allen

What’s it about?

What was once music created for vintage era PC sound cards and synth modules will now be freshly recorded for full orchestra with the same sound libraries used by today’s film and TV composers. The album will feature a lot of work based on pieces I did for Sierra’s games, like Space Quest, King’s Quest, Oilswell, Dr Brain and more, and I’ll add some of my favorite tracks from other games not published by Sierra.

Why it’s interesting: Remastered and re-recorded songs from several classic Sierra Online games, what’s not to like? $15 gets you the digital download of the album.

The Family Troll, Picture book

What’s it about?

The Family Troll is a heart warming tale of an abandoned young troll that blesses the lives of a young couple in the most amazing way!

Why it’s interesting: The Family Troll is inspired by Jill & Tyler Kirkhams’ efforts to have a baby of their own. As things have progressed, they are now thinking about adopting a baby and they have put their thoughts on this subject into The Family Troll, which is the story of a young couple adopting a baby troll. The art looks fantastic and it seems to be a heartwarming tale for all ages. $25 gets you the hardback back shipped to you (U.S.).


What’s it about?

You and up to three friends (online co-op) must scour a grim, ravaged world, where you have complete freedom to choose where you roam, what you do, and how you allocate and use the precious-few resources you will find on your journey. Every action in the game represents a choice – and each choice has pros, cons, and consequences.

Why it’s interesting: Think Minecraft with a dose of survival-horror and you get the basic picture of ROAM. Build your fortifications then you and your friends are free to decide how you want to survive in the zombie infested world. Being procedurally generated, the game is different every time and, refreshingly, this isn’t aimed at being an MMO, but a small scale online experience for four people. $15 gets you into the game, and its beta, which is currently scheduled for Jan. 2014.

Beyond Words: A Year of Daydreams (Fantasy Author Calendar)

What’s it about?

Photography series of best-selling fantasy authors in custom fantasy costumes, turned into a 12-month calendar.

Why it’s interesting: Various fantasy authors, dressed in fantastic period costumes all doing their part for charity, how can you not like this fantastic idea? Brandon Sanderson, Holly Black, Patrick Rothfuss, Tad Williams and several other authors have donated their time to help Lauren Zurchin create something unique and interesting. There are various rewards for backing this campaign and note that receiving the calendar is not one of the rewards. Basically, this project is done the way Kickstarter envisioned itself, as a means to fund a project and not a glorified pre-order system. The calendar itself will be sold at a later date and all proceeds will be donated to charity. Backers can choose from some very nice swag.

About James Aquilone (115 Articles)
James Aquilone is an editor and writer, mostly of the speculative ilk, from Staten Island, New York. His fiction has appeared in Nature’s Futures, Galaxy’s Edge, Flash Fiction Online, and Weird Tales Magazine, among many other publications. His nonfiction has appeared in SF Signal, Den of Geek, Shock Totem, and Hellnotes. He is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the Horror Writers Association. Visit him at

1 Comment on SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 2/16/2013

  1. Earl Brown // February 18, 2013 at 3:17 am //

    Hi – you need to display current pledges, campaign ending time, link to project etc.

    Earl Brown

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