"Like a sun-grazing comet on a deep-space trajectory, the cyberpunk movement is disappearing as quickly as it arrived just a few years ago."
-- Paul Saffo, Cyberpunk R.I.P., September/October, 1993
Welcome to the future! FlashCity is our world . . . a couple of decades from today. It’s a world seen through chromed optics, dominated by worldcorps, and revealed through the minds of two creatives who really just want an excuse to tell stories of tomorrow.
FlashCity Stories, written by Philip Reed and Michael Hammes, is ten (now thirty!) selections set in the cyberpunk world of FlashCity. From the post-apocalyptic wastelands to the shadows of the gleaming corp towers to the orbital stations above, FlashCity Stories presents these snapshots of an inevitable world in the flash fiction format.
Wikipedia describes flash fiction as " . . . a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity." Every writer, editor, and publisher of flash fiction has their own word count requirements for the format . . . but the one constant is that these stories are short: hundreds of words long, rarely over one thousand words.
Our limit is 1,000 words for each selection. These are tales you read on your smartphone while walking, commuting, or during a meeting that has stretched on for far too long.
"Cyberpunk felt urgent. It wasn’t the future 15 minutes out—it was the future sideswiping you and leaving you in a full-body cast as it passed by."
-- Paolo Bacigalupi, How Cyberpunk Saved Sci-Fi, June, 2012
Because telling stories of a future we all were sure would happen -- and may yet -- is fun. Don’t we all wonder “what if” . . .
When cars drive themselves, what happens when the automated systems go down?
When a milspec robot can use human corpses as fuel, how long until that technology turns into an alternative energy source?
When corporations cease pretending and demonstrate how much control they have over our lives, do we even notice? Do we even care?
And that’s before we tackle cyberlimbs, designer drugs, corporate control, and other cyberpunk tropes that are as much fun today when they shredded our imaginations in books like William Gibson’s Neuromancer or Walter Jon Williams’ Hardwired.In short, as we already said, cyberpunk is fun!
Writing is easy (and sometimes fun!), but editing can be painful. We're raising a little cash to cover story editing (we're getting friend rates) and appreciate any support you can throw at the project.
Your $1.00 pledge gets you FlashCity Stories in PDF once the e-Book is released this summer. August, 2013 is the target date (second volume is scheduled for October, third scheduled for December) . . . but knowing the way Kickstarter projects go, this could slide a little.
$1.00 is for all ten (now thirty!) of the stories, the complete FlashCity Stories collection created as a result of your support.
The $100 goal was to cover the basics. UPDATE: Thanks to all of your pledges the project has expanded to include a total of four e-Books: thirty cyberpunk flash fiction stories and one short story by Michael Hammes, all for $1.00!
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! $225 - FlashCity Stories 2! All backers receive a second set of ten stories in PDF at no extra charge. October, 2013 delivery.
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! $350 - FlashCity Stories 3! A third set of ten stories in PDF for all backers! December, 2013 delivery.
UPDATE! Your support has convinced us to add a new goal:
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! $2,000 - FlashCity Short Story. Michael will write a 10,000 word short story. A fourth PDF for all backers! December, 2013 delivery.
LAST DAY GOAL! $3,000 - A 5,000 word cyberpunk short story by Philip Reed. PDF delivery in December, 2013. This story will also be included in the printed collection.
UPDATE! After doing some research we’ve discovered it is possible to offer a new stretch goal to everyone who loves printed books. If at least 125 backers select the softcover collection option (the $25 level) the book gets upgraded to a hardcover with dust jacket! So here’s our new goal:
125 Printed Collection ($25 level) Backers - the softcover becomes a hardcover with dust jacket at no extra cost to you!
Do you want a printed book? The FlashCity Stories collection is a softcover book packed with all thirty stories, all of the FlashCity Tech updates posted to this project, and shipped to your door in January, 2014. Outside of the US add $15 for shipping. Extra books are $25/each: just add $25 more to your pledge!
NOTE: The above image is a combination of a shot from the Kickstarter project, Action Packed Cyberpunk Stock Photo Set, as well as stock textures. Check that Kickstarter project if you need some great stock photos for your next cyberpunk art project.
Risks and challenges
Between us we have written hundreds of thousands of words of roleplaying game material over the years, but actual fiction has been limited to the occasional paragraph of text here and there used to frame game rules and setting information. So there's a chance that these ten stories may suck. We hope not, but it is possible.
The other risk is that life may slow things down. We tried to prepare for that, though, by outlining all of the stretch goals up front and putting a cap on the stretch goals; it's far too easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of a Kickstarter project and make poor decisions that dig a deeper trap. There will be no stretch goals beyond those shown on Day One, so hopefully that will help minimize the problem of stretching too far and too thin.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)