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Science fiction of the near-future, today.
Science fiction of the near-future, today.
Science fiction of the near-future, today.
16 backers pledged $278 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Black Ice Magazine - Better Futures Press

$278

16

                                              Black Ice

                                                                      noun

      Simple Definition of Black Ice

:Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics, or ICE for short, defend computer networks from invaders. Black ICE goes one step further, tracing the intrusion back to its source and causing fatal electromagnetic damage to the central nervous system.

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                                                                       The Short

Black Ice Magazine seeks to publish speculative fiction based in the cyberpunk genre. However, we do not want a re-tread of Gibson, Sterling, Cadigan, etc. We want to present a bold interpretation of the genre, one that is more in tune with our contemporary world. What we're looking for lacks an easy tagline. "Darkish near-future cyberpunk-inspired-but-not-derivative fiction" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

It means taking the reality of today and extrapolating it into tomorrow. Cyberpunk is everywhere. It's in the Internet, in the grafitti, in the duplicity of politicians, in current and upcoming technologies, in our everyday lives. What does tomorrow hold? We'll find out together.

Black Ice Magazine will include 15 short stories, interviews, and artwork. It will be available February / March 2017, and be released thereafter on a bi-monthly (every two months, not twice a month) basis. Each issue can be purchased as an ebook or print copy through MagCloud; reformatted paperback options will be available through Amazon.

Thank you for helping our dream become reality.

-John K. Webb

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                                                                      The Long

When I was seventeen years old, I chanced upon a copy of Neuromancer in the local library. William Gibson's landmark novel transformed my imagination. I began to see the world in a different way: I dreamt of Chiba, Night City, its port, the sky of dead channel. I began writing science fiction in earnest. The cyberpunk aesthetic captivated me--but only the aesthetic. 

Then I became homeless.

In the documentary "No Maps for These Territories," Gibson says of Neuromancer, "it was an immature novel...there are no families." Fast forward to 2013. Couch-surfing amongst the best of friends a person could ask for, that feeling of alienation--that palpable solitude--swept over me and arrested my life. I re-read Neuromancer. Older, I began, finally, to understand. For all its flash, vivid imagery, and future-talk, the novel's most potent force lies in its characters. It was something I couldn't have known as a teenager. I found in Case a kindred spirit: alienated, troubled, so nondescript as to defy caricature. It is Case the novel hinges on.

The fact that Case is a "console jockey" that "punches deck" illegally for a living is irrelevant. Indeed, the cyberpunk trappings are ultimately inconsequential, a side-show. Smoke and mirrors. Neuromancer is not about cyberpunk; it is about a deeply flawed drug addict, bent on destroying himself, a veritable ghost in the world, who gets his girlfriend hooked on dope, and, quite suddenly and with no lingering, murdered. Case's self-loathing and guilt are the driving agents of the novel--and yet, it is never explicitly mentioned. The repeated question, "Who do you hate?" is left unanswered.

Instead, this character study--the most crucial part of Neuromancer--is buried beneath the neon, the grubby plastic, the paralytic lights of the matrix itself, and in Gibson's own dense, contextual prose. In other words (and forgive the cliche) it is a very human piece of writing.

This is the fiction Black Ice Magazine seeks to publish. It is an offering of copper wire, torn to the vague outline of a heart, rust-stained and covered in lewd graffiti and ornamented by neon orbs. But a heart nonetheless. A shock to the nervous system. An awakening to the world and where it's going.

Your funds will accomplish two things:

A) Produce the magazine.

B) Pay the writers and artists.

One could argue that cyberpunk is more relevant now than ever before; the fiction is slowly bleeding into our lives. The year is 2016. Cybernetic implants now exist, becoming more sophisticated every day. Three-dimensional digital space is upon us. Augmented reality. Technology writes our headlines, creates our entertainment. The whims of corporatism dictates reality. Just look: everything is here but the neon. A door is opening, but to what?

Join us on this journey. We'll see what's on the other side, together.

-John K. Webb

Risks and challenges

The risks of starting and operating an independent science fiction magazine are self-explanatory. However, we are not beholden to anyone but ourselves. There are no shareholders. The only foreseeable limits to the magazine's production is personal bankruptcy or death. Operating costs are low, which means low risk.

If you have any personal concerns or questions, feel free to email us at betterfuturespress@gmail.com.

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    Console Jockey - Early Bird Special

    Backers at this level will receive a FREE digital copy of Black Ice, Vol. 1 once it's released, in addition to the digital badge.

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    Razor Girl - Early Bird Special

    Backers at this level will receive a FREE print copy of Black Ice Magazine, Vol. 1 once it's released, in addition to the free digital copy and badge!

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    Data Runner

    Backers at this level will receive a signed print copy of Black Ice Magazine, Vol. 1, in addition to an unsigned print copy, digital copy, and badge! You will also be listed as a Supporter on the magazine's back page!

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    Fixer

    Backers at this level will receive 2 signed print copies of Black Ice Magazine, Vol. 1 in addition to an unsigned print copy, the digital copy, and badge. We will also list you as a Supporter on the magazine's back page and as a Patron on our website!

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    Chrome Junkie

    Includes everything in the "Fixer" tier. In addition, the editor of Black Ice Magazine (John K. Webb) will do something ridiculous upon request, within reason, and film it for all to see. His partner has politely asked to refrain from hair-shaving.

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Funding period

- (30 days)