First, the nuts and bolts and then the high-flown poesy.
Nuts and bolts: Short anthology to be put out as an e-book and on-demand pocket book. The stories are being gathered; currently, six out of a potential eight stories are finished, which will be sufficient to move forward immediately. $400 will pay for a professional editor to beat the thing into submission and a fantastic cover photo shot by photographer Jeff Hui.
This isn't a big ask or a big project.
That's actually the point.
Slow Boat to Fast City is a set of stories about a past that never was. It's set in a world where the failed 1939 invasion of Earth by Mars was held off by a mobster with a head cold and where World War II ended with the capture of Adolf Hitler in his bunker on the Olympus Mons. It's about people living in a frontier that's one part Bugsy Siegel's Las Vegas, one part Buck Rogers and one part Clanton and Earp-era Tombstone. It's about layers of history grinding against each other until reality splinters and the tough men and women who have to make tough choices to deal with the wreckage... or to benefit from the aftershocks.
It's a lean, quick anthology, and it's one that I envision to be a very specific type of reading experience. In my heart of hearts, it's the sort of thing that's perfect for a longish car ride, a few coffee breaks or an afternoon's casual reading, a dynamic two-fisted science fiction potboiler that's quick, sharp and out the door before it overstays its welcome. I've written some pieces that hit their mark and I've assembled a crew that's on target and moving forward with authority.
I like the promise of ebooks, in that those short, controlled literary bursts that don't work in long-form literature can find their mark in a way that's cost-effective and portable. Slow Boat to Fast City is a book that's full of short, controlled bursts, and that's what I'd like to put out.
That being said, the promise of ebooks is also a danger. Cheap, fast and out of control can be too cheap, too fast and too out of control. To make the book work, I'd want to pull in outside talent. I've got a solid editor who believes in the project and I've got a photo that looks like Space Age album cover art. The tools are in place to make this a quality piece of work.
Can this be done without the Kick? Absolutely, and it will be if necessary. I'm prepared to address costs above and beyond the basics, and I'm willing to seek out alternate art if I have to. I'd rather not have to, though, and I'd rather allow my readers to get the book they deserve from the outset.
Risks and challenges
Risks: Minimal, all considered. The core stories are assembled and have gone through initial edits. Two of five additional stories are finished, and writers are working on the remaining three. An editor is currently slated to start work at the successful completion of this campaign, and the rights to the art will be available for sale indefinitely.
Challenges: Equally minimal. I take direction well, so editing's not a problem. Art's art; once it's licensed, it's ready to go.
Should setbacks occur, they will be addressed quickly. Alternate editors are available should some catastrophe occur, and alternate art can be licensed. Should the art fall through, I'll present any alternative work to the backers. Should additional stories fall through, I've still got enough to put out a solid piece.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)