The concept for this anthology is to present stories about the religions of aliens encountered by humans as they explore the universe, and the culture clash that ensues. Will humans convert the aliens to our religions, or will it be the other way around? Do the aliens believe that they have a divine right to our world? Do they believe that their gods have decreed that only their race can inhabit the universe and all others must die? Are their gods actually an advanced alien race themselves, or an upper-caste of their own race? How will humans act in the presence of alien gods who seem to actually BE gods, when our gods never manifest themselves -- or is that what it will take for our gods to finally reveal themselves to us all?
UPDATE: We decided to go ahead and add levels for ebooks and trade paperbacks, per the request of a number of potential backers. Hopefully this will help the project get a surge of backers in the next month!
Thanks to everyone who has jumped on board so far, by the way.
I and my co-editor, James C. Bassett, have edited two anthologies so far:
ZOMBIESQUE for DAW Books, from which one story was selected for the Mammoth Book of the Year's Best Horror edited by Stephen Jones, and five stories made the "Honorable Mention" listing in Ellen Datlow's Best Horror of the Year.
CLOCKWORK FABLES is a steampunk anthology due out from the Penguin imprint ROC Books in 2013.
The following authors* have committed to writing stories for ALIEN GODS, provided we get the funding needed to pay them a professional word rate:
Orson Scott Card - author of ENDER'S GAME and SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, winners of both the Hugo and Nebula awards
Alan Dean Foster - author of the Flinx series as well as the very first Star Wars novels, including the cult classic SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE
Mike Resnick - author of KIRINYAGA and SANTIAGO: A MYTH OF THE FAR FUTURE, winner of multiple Hugo awards
Allen Steele - author of the COYOTE series and winner of multiple Hugo awards
Kristine Kathryn Rusch - winner of the Hugo award as well as Reader's Choice awards for her work in Analog and Asimov's Science Fiction magazines
John Barnes - author of MOTHER OF STORMS and multiple Nebula award nominee (and Hugo nominee)
Joe Haldeman - author of the classic THE FOREVER WAR, and winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards
*We cannot guarantee that the writers listed above will actually have stories in ALIEN GODS. Due to the vagaries of life and the craft of writing such a guarantee would be meaningless, anyway.
There are four other "big name" science fiction authors who have expressed a keen interest in writing stories for this book, but due to other, pressing commitments could not make any promises, therefore we cannot name them. Each one of them is a winner of multiple awards, though, and we hope they will find the time to write a story for ALIEN GODS between now and the deadline for the book!
My co-editor, James C. Bassett, is the longest-serving editor of the Science Fiction Writers Assocation internal publication, the SFWA Forum; hence, we have access to pretty much every "big name" writer in science fiction. We intend to invite other accomplished writers -- especially short story writers -- and also to open the book up for some lesser known writers to submit their work.
Use of funds:
1. Paying the writers a true professional word rate for a total of 120,000 (plus or minus) words
2. Printing & shipping pre-sold copies of the hardcover and special edition hardcover (this is where most of the money will go, actually)
3. Marketing the book online, in print and (possibly) at sci-fi conventions
4. Paying the editors (us) for reading and editing the stories submitted to the book, which is actually time-consuming and difficult work!
You may notice that we are not offering incentives for contributors to this Kickstarter project beyond copies of the book. That is because we are experimenting with a "new" model for publishing books here: pre-sales. We are, in effect, pre-selling this book to you and NOT asking for donations, per se. We, and several of our authors, feel that offering incentives like t-shirts and buttons and other doodads to be inappropriate for this particular project.
We see ourselves as resurrecting the classic "subscription" model that writers from Voltaire to Mark Twain used to finance their writing and publishing endeavors, with the new twist of utilizing the Web to make it happen. The success, or failure, of this Kickstarter project will tell us if, indeed, what we have on offer is actually something that people want. If this works we intend to pursue this method with future anthology projects.
Since this is an experiment and we're not sure what the response will be, we regret that we cannot sell the book at a discount. However, please note that the $26 and $50 we're asking for does include shipping, at least. :)