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.
What’s it about? The world’s first family robot.
Why it’s interesting: MIT roboticist Cynthia Breazeal designed JIBO to be a social robot that can interact with the entire family. The 11-inch robot can recognize faces, dance and sing, take photos, and complete daily tasks. The JIBO Home Edition is $499.
What’s it about? The first in a series of annual art books featuring exclusive new fantasy illustrations by Hugo Award nominated artist Julie Dillon.
Why it’s interesting: Each 22-page book will have a different theme and contain 10 new illustrations. Book 1 has a fantasy theme, while Book 2 will be science. The 9.5×12-inch softcover books will also contain multiple sketches and progress shots for each illustration. A PDF of Book 1 is $10, while the print book is $25.
What’s it about? A book of photos and interviews of significant people in the area of the fantastic.
Why it’s interesting: In 2000 Beth Gwinn published Dark Dreamers, which featured large-format photos of horror authors along with interviews. Now she’s looking to do the same with authors, artists, producers, directors and others in the science fiction and fantasy genres. The book is $50. Other rewards include prints signed and personalized by Neil Gaiman as well as a private one-hour shoot.
What’s it about? An anthology of unclassifiables—lyrical, surreal, magical, experimental pieces that straddle the border between poetry and prose
Why it’s interesting: Editor Rose Lemberg says she’s looking for the “short, the surreal, the weird.” The anthology will feature “about 30 or so pieces of lyrical prose and unclassifiables in a mix of originals and reprints,” ranging from 500 to 1400 words in length. If the Kickstarter is successful, contributors will be paid six cents a word for originals and three cents a word for reprints. The ebook is $10, while the trade paperback (plus other rewards) is $25.
What’s it about? Not so long ago, on a planet not too far away…STEAM WARS. A tour de Force (128+ pages) full-color steampunk sci-fi adventure!
Why it’s interesting: Star Wars re-imagined through a steampunk lens, who isn’t intrigued by that? Plus the artwork looks great. This project collects Steam Wars #1 – #5 in a 120+ page book, which can be yours for $10 (PDF) or $20 (TPB + PDF). If you’re on the fence, the entire first issue can be found here.
What’s it about? This beautiful new limited edition book explores the life and work of Walter Baumhofer, one of America’s greatest illustrators.
Why it’s interesting: Let’s face it, many of you like book cover art. Many of us also like the old pulp style covers. Walter Baumhofer was a master of the pulp magazine cover and this book explores not only his magazine art, but much, much more. For $40 you’ll receive the regular edition of the book. Note: This thing is pretty hefty: 224 pages on 9″x12″ full-color glossy paper in a hardback. Only 1000 will be printed.
What’s it about? InSomnia is a Dieselpunk RPG that transports you to a retro-futuristic space station on a 400- year journey in search of a new home.
Why it’s interesting: For various reasons I don’t often mention PC games in the roundup. InSomia looks interesting enough to warrant a mention. Set on a generation starship, it’s a co-op, tactical RPG with a distinct apocalyptic feel. It certainly is eye catching. $15 is enough to get a digital copy of the game. If you’d like to see more, there is a demo here.
What’s it about? The Whispers From The Abyss is the first ever H.P. Lovecraft inspired collection created specifically for readers on the go.
Why it’s interesting: This project is essentially a “re-print” drive of the anthology that was originally released for the Kindle. Not only will rewards include a digital copy of the book, but you can also pre-order physical copies. If you like Lovecraft, why wouldn’t you want to read more stores set in this universe by the likes of: Nick Mamatas, Tim Pratt, A.C. Wise and many others? And for only $5, you can get a digital copy in your choice of format.