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The center of the universe is closer than you think.
The center of the universe is closer than you think.
467 backers pledged $18,000 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$18,000

467

What is Hopjockey?

Sandy has a problem—aside from the cancer. No one on campus believes he saw the ghost building. And why would they? It's a stupid legend—no one really believes the Old Admin building vanished in the 70s—and what Sandy saw was right after he restarted chemo. Clearly he was hallucinating. That would explain it. What it doesn't explain is the postcard Sandy found in his dorm room the night the building appeared—or why the girl on the postcard appears to be the barista down at the Hub. You know, the girl he's in love with.

Turns out she's a hopjockey—a cross-world troublemaker—and she's been looking for him. Or rather, she's been looking for who she thinks he is. She's mistaken him for Garrett—Sandy's genius roommate, likely this generation's Einstein—and needs his help reading a map beyond all comprehension. Weighing his heart against the truth, and not wanting to miss what may be his only real chance for adventure, Sandy does what anyone might have done in that situation: he lies. And as a result, triggers a series of events that will destroy the campus (and the rest of the universe).

A science-fantasy adventure across space, time, myth, and reality, Hopjockey is a story of loneliness, impending doom, unrequited love, and impostor syndrome—basically, college. If you're curious, you can read the first two chapters below.

And who are you?

I’m writer, filmmaker, and game designer Matt Vancil. I wrote and directed the Gamers movies and created the web series JourneyQuest with Zombie Orpheus Entertainment and Dead Gentlemen Productions. I've written two other books and you can see much of my work online.

Where does Hopjockey fit in?

Hopjockey is the umbrella universe that connects the rest of my work. For over ten years, I’ve been setting up the story by leaving clues in the movies and shows (and elsewhere) as to how everything connects.

Narratively, Hopjockey is its own standalone piece of fiction. No wider knowledge of the movies is necessary to enjoy it or understand what’s going on. It’s the main story in a wider universe, and the first in its own series—pending this first one getting funded, of course.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the project. I hope you enjoy the read. If you'd like to see more, there are other chapters available over on my Patreon, where folks can follow along as the novel is written. Take care, and thanks for stopping by!

—Matt

~ ~ ~

Stretch Goals

$20,000 – Audio book

The novel will be recorded as an audio book read by the author (who is me) (you already knew that). All backers pledging $50 and above will receive the audio book in addition to their other rewards. I will also create two new pledge levels featuring the audio book: one at $15 (audio book only), and one at $35 (audio book + all previous rewards).

$25,000 – Cover art upgrade

A new cover for the novel will be designed and illustrated by renowned artist Lee Moyer. You can see samples of his work below, and at his sites, both main and clandestine.

Cryptic by Lee Moyer
Cryptic by Lee Moyer
Fishing with the Doctor by Lee Moyer
Fishing with the Doctor by Lee Moyer

$30,000 – Posters and wallpapers

All backers pledging $50 and above will receive an 11x17 inch poster of the new Lee Moyer cover art. Additionally, backers at all levels will receive digital access to wallpapers of the original and upgraded cover art, postcard, and any additional artwork unlocked as part of this campaign.

$35,000 – Audio book redux

I will also record an audio book version of my previous novel, PWNED. All backers receiving the Hopjockey audio book will also receive the audio book for PWNED.

$40,000 – TBD

I don't know, what are we doing? You tell me. If we're lucky enough to get this far, backers will help determine future stretch goals

Add Ons & Shipping

Add ons—such as additional copies and other works á la carte—will be available through BackerKit. Shipping will also be handled through BackerKit after the campaign. Estimated shipping costs are:

  • $3.99 – US
  • $6.99 – Canada
  • $12.99 – Anywhere else in the universe

 

Risks and challenges

As with any creative project, unforeseen circumstances can arise. The main challenge with this project will be hitting the projected release date. I will keep backers of the project updated if and when the delivery timeline changes.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Freshman

    You will receive the ebook version of the novel in the format of your choice, and your name will be immortalized in the supporter pages of the book.

    Includes:
    • ebook
    • your name in the supporter pages
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    148 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Sophomore

    You will receive a softcover edition of the novel, the ebook version in the format of your choice, and your name will be added to the supporter pages.

    Includes:
    • ebook
    • softcover
    • your name in the supporter pages
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    64 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Junior

    You will receive an autographed softcover, the ebook in the format of your choice, and the postcard that features so heavily in the narrative. Your name will also be added to the supporter pages, of course.

    Includes:
    • ebook
    • autographed softcover
    • postcard
    • your name in the supporter pages
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    108 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Senior

    You will receive an autographed Kickstarter-exclusive hardback edition of the novel, the ebook in the format of your choice, the postcard from the story, and your name will be included in the supporter pages.

    Includes:
    • ebook
    • autographed exclusive hardcover
    • postcard
    • your name in the supporter pages
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    97 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Grad Student

    You will receive all previous rewards—the exclusive hardcover, autographed softcover, ebook version in the format of your choice, postcard from the story, and your name in the supporter pages—plus your hardcover will be personalized by the author. You will also receive a PDF or print copy (your choice) of the pilot episode screenplay.

    Includes:
    • ebook
    • autographed softcover
    • personalized exclusive hardcover
    • postcard
    • your name in the supporter pages
    • screenplay
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    42 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Doctoral Candidate

    In addition to all previous rewards, I will travel anywhere in the world to hand-deliver your goodies and run a hopjockey-themed RPG session for you and your friends, the results of which will become canon in the Hopjockey Universe (and may appear in an upcoming novel).

    Includes:
    • EVERYTHING!
    • canon RPG session
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    Limited 1 backer
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Funding period

- (25 days)