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? An anthology of Weird Wild West stories.
Why it’s interesting: If you like your western fiction with “all the strangeness history left out of the books,” Tales of the Weird Wild West is for you. Contributors include Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin, Misty Massey, and James Tuck. (Submissions are open for four other spots in the anthology.) An electronic copy of the book is $10, while a print copy is $30.
What’s it about? Athena’s Daughters, Volume 2 is a collection of short speculative fiction by some of the industry’s up-and-coming women authors.
Why it’s interesting: Athena’s Daughters‘ Kickstarter campaign in January 2014 was so successful that they were able to fund the production of a second volume. Submissions opened in June, and stories were accepted by Tiffani Angus, Antha Ann Adkins, Sarah Brand, Elizabeth Bridges, Megan Chee, and Liz Colter. There’s also an introduction by Buck Rogers in the 25th Century star Erin Gray. An electronic copy of the book is $7, while a print copy is $25.
What’s it about? A century’s worth of never-before-translated, quality Russian science fiction.
Why it’s interesting: The few pieces of Russian and Soviet science fiction that made its way to the West in translation during the Cold war “tended to be wrapped in political agendas,” as the publishers point out. This Kickstarter project is looking to “reboot” the image of Russian science fiction by publishing “the first comprehensive edition of truly notable Russian and Soviet science fiction –- works chosen for their artistic and scientific merit, not because of any political or ideological agenda.” The 400-page book contains 18 never-before-translated stories, spanning from the 1890s to the 1990s. An electronic copy of the book is $18, while a print copy (plus other goodies) is $45.
What’s it about? The first science fiction anthology to focus exclusively on the immigrant experience.
Why it’s interesting: How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens “explores the immigrant experience in a science fiction setting, with exciting fiction and poetry from some of the genre’s best writers,” including Tina Connolly, Deborah Walker, Sarah Pinsker, Nisi Shawl, and Ken Liu. An electronic copy of the book is $10, while the trade paperback is $14.
What’s it about? Matt Forbeck’s acclaimed Shotguns & Sorcery book series adapted into an RPG powered by Monte Cook’s Cypher System.
Why it’s interesting: Fantasy noir set in Dragon City (a grim and gritty fantasy metropolis built on top of and inside of a walled-off mountain and ruled over by the Dragon Emperor) and run using Monte Cook’s Cypher System (Numenara, The Strange). Sounds good to me! I like different RPG settings and fantasy noir sounds interesting. A pledge of $25 is good for a PDF of the rulebook while $50 will get you the hardback.
What’s it about?A gamebook in a deck of cards. A game, an adventure, and a puzzle all-in-one. Stowed away on alien ship on it’s way to attack Earth.
Why it’s interesting: Basically a “choose your own adventure” book in a deck of cards. Pick a card, read it, and choose one of the options to follow to another card. The goal: visit all 52 cards without repeating. Sounds intriguing, though I’d hope there will be more than one path through the deck or you’ll probably figure out the correct path fairly quickly. But, a pledge of only $15 gets you a copy of the game, which isn’t bad, and is on par with other card deck Kickstarters that aren’t actual games.
What’s it about? Pixel Tactics is a 2-player card game that captures the tactical strategy of games like Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Soul Nomad, or Fire Emblem in card game format.
Why it’s interesting: Pixel Tactics Deluxe is a follow on to the existing Pixel Tactics games, but with 25 new heroes and a giant box big enough to hold all the existing game cards. I’m always looking for 2-player card games and the other games in this series all score well at Boardgame Geek and it looks like a 16-bit video game in card form, which is a plus. A pledge of $35 gets you the deluxe game box.