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The first science fiction anthology to focus exclusively on the immigrant experience. Ken Liu, Lewis Shiner, Nisi Shawl & more.
The first science fiction anthology to focus exclusively on the immigrant experience. Ken Liu, Lewis Shiner, Nisi Shawl & more.
189 backers pledged $3,488 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$3,488

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NOTE: Our stretch goal is $4,500, to allow us to do a print run rather than print-on-demand! More details on this below in "GOALS AND STRETCH GOALS."

Science fiction provides a natural backdrop for talking about movement across borders; immigrants are even called aliens. 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 Sturgeon winner Sarah Pinsker, James Tiptree, Jr., Award winner Nisi Shawl, and Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Award winner Ken Liu. 

In these pages, you'll find Alex Dally MacFarlane's asteroid-dwelling spice traders, Benjamin Rosenbaum's post-scarcity Europe, and Bryan Thao Worra's Cthulthic poetry. You’ll travel to the moon, to Mars, to the underworld, to unnamed alien planets, under the ocean, through clusters of asteroids. You’ll land on the fourth planet from the star Deneb, and an alternate universe version of Earth, and a world of Jesuses.

As far as we know, this is the first science fiction anthology which has gathered together material focusing exclusively on the immigrant experience.

How Kickstarter Works

Kickstarter allows you to fund the creation of things that don't exist yet. In return for your pledge, you get to choose a reward. When you pledge, Kickstarter sends you to Amazon Payments to record your donation - but they don't bill you until the project reaches its end date. You can modify or cancel your pledge until the end date. 

At the end of the campaign, I'll send you a survey (to the email address you give Kickstarter) for the information to get your pledge rewards to you. If you get a book as a gift, or opt for the $50 pledge, that's where you can give me contact info for the giftee or library - so, when you check out, give Amazon your own address so they aren't confused about who they're billing.

Some projects (like this one) also have stretch goals. These are optional goals, that would be nice to reach but aren't necessary for the project to go forward. If we reach our goal, but not our stretch goal, your donation will still be billed to your card and we will still send you your reward.

Goals and Stretch Goals

We're running this Kickstarter so you can enjoy early copies of the book. We also hope to reach our stretch goal of $4,500, which would allow me to print 500 copies (or more) of the book through a small printing company (probably J&J Printing in Nashville, Tennessee, where we're located) instead of print-on-demand through Amazon.

Without Kickstarter, I can't afford the up-front cost for a print run, and must use print-on-demand technology, which prints single copies at a much higher per-unit cost. For every copy of How to Live on Other Planets sold through Amazon as a print-on-demand book (for which Amazon is both the printer and the bookstore), Amazon keeps $11.10 of the $13.99 cover price. URB receives the remaining $2.89, of which $1.40 goes through us to our authors, leaving $1.49 to pay our bills (ISBN purchase, proofreading, vendor fees, etc.) and plan future projects. 

In contrast, *if* we reach our stretch goal, our costs are about $8/copy (plus shipping) and the bulk of that money goes to a small local printer and the anthology's contributing writers, instead of Amazon. That leaves us enough profit to pay for advertising and promotion to get this book more attention. And we think this anthology deserves a lot of attention! These stories and poems are a much-needed imaginative exploration of the hot-button issue of immigration by 35 writers from 11 countries. 

Extra funds will also allow us to fund other anthology projects (like Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good, which is coming out about a month after How to Live on Other Planets, and The Museum of All Things Awesome and That Go Boom, which comes out in 2016).

Table of Contents

  • Dean Francis Alfar, “Ohkti”
  • Celia Lisset Alvarez, “Malibu Barbie Moves to Mars”
  • RJ Astruc, “A Believer’s Guide to Azagarth”
  • Lisa Bao, “like father, like daughter”
  • Pinckney Benedict, “Zog-19: A Scientific Romance”
  • Lisa Bolekaja, “The Saltwater African”
  • Mary Buchinger, “Transplanted”
  • Zen Cho, “The Four Generations of Chang E”
  • Abbey Mei Otis, “Blood, Blood”
  • Tina Connolly, “Turning the Apples”
  • Indrapramit Das, “muo-ka’s Child”
  • Tom Doyle, “The Floating Otherworld”
  • Peg Duthie, “With Light-Years Come Heaviness”
  • Thomas Greene, “Zero Bar”
  • Benjamin S. Grossberg, “The Space Traveler’s Husband,” “The Space Traveler and the Promised Planet” and “The Space Traveler and Boston”
  • Minal Hajratwala, “The Unicorn at the Racetrack”
  • Julie Bloss Kelsey, “tongue lashing” and “the itch of new skin”
  • Rose Lemberg, “The Three Immigrations”
  • Ken Liu, “Ghost Days”
  • Alex Dally MacFarlane, “Found”
  • Anil Menon, “Into The Night”
  • Joanne Merriam, “Little Ambushes”
  • Mary Anne Mohanraj, “Jump Space”
  • Daniel José Older, “Phantom Overload”
  • Sarah Pinsker, “The Low Hum of Her”
  • Elyss G. Punsalan, “Ashland”
  • Benjamin Rosenbaum, “The Guy Who Worked For Money”
  • Erica L. Satifka, “Sea Changes”
  • Nisi Shawl, “In Colors Everywhere”
  • Lewis Shiner, “Primes”
  • Marge Simon, “South”
  • Sonya Taaffe, “Di Vayse Pave”
  • Bogi Takács, “The Tiny English-Hungarian Phrasebook For Visiting Extraterrestrials”
  • Bryan Thao Worra, “Dead End In December” and “The Deep Ones”
  • Deborah Walker, “Speed of Love”
  • Nick Wood, “Azania”

(You may have seen some of these stories before: amongst other places, they've appeared in Aliens: Recent Encounters, Asimov's Science Fiction, Bloodchildren: Stories by the Octavia E. Butler Scholars, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, The Missouri Review, Philippines Graphic, Strange Horizons, Third Order and Zoetrope: All-Story. A complete list is in the FAQ.)

Risks and challenges

This will be Upper Rubber Boot Books' 11th book, and 4th print book (the other books were only available as ebooks). The book is complete, with all authors contracted, galleys approved, cover art and layout done, and so forth. Since it's already ready to go now, the book will be published whether or not we reach our goal.

Despite our best planning, problems may crop up: printing delays, tornadoes, alien invasion. We've built in some buffer for timing and budget. Short of a major catastrophe, we should be alright.

Because of our best planning, we might be overwhelmed with orders. (That would be an awesome problem to have.) In the event, J&J Printing assures us they can add extra people to get our orders out the door.

No matter what, we'll keep you updated on our progress and challenges.

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    Also receive 1 year (four issues) of The Cascadia Subduction Zone (www.thecsz.com), delivered to your email by PDF. They aim to bring reviews, criticism, interviews, intelligent essays, and flashes of creative artwork (visual and written) to a readership hungry for discussion of work by not only men but also women. Work by women continually receives short shrift in most review publications. They want to bring attention to work critics largely ignore and offer a wider, less narrowly conceived view of the literary sphere.

    This reward is limited to 20 backers. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is not affiliated with Upper Rubber Boot Books, but we have some authors in common and they are doing us a solid by donating these subscriptions.

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    ALSO, receive a 1:1 coaching session with writing coach, author and anthology contributor Minal Hajratwala to work on your creative goals, blocks and strategies. Suitable for all genders & genres. Available anywhere in the solar system via Skype. $155 value. Limited to 3 people.

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Funding period

- (36 days)