Dystopias are boring. They've become formulaic. The world has ended. Survivors eke out a grim and dark existence. Everything goes wrong. People die. More people die. Then it gets grim and dark (as if it wasn't before).
We've decided there's enough grim and dark in the real world without creating more of it as entertainment. And looking out on the publishing landscape we see a distinct shortage of anthologies of light, happy, FUN SF/F. In fact, we can count the number of such anthologies without resorting to two digits in binary. That's right, there's just ONE. It's a very good anthology, but it's carrying a heavy load.
We sense a great imbalance in the multiverse, therefore. An open niche which needs filling.
However, there's a problem. You see, the alternative to these grim, dark, dystopian nightmare worlds has long been considered to be Space Opera. Heroic Tales of Manly Men Being Manly while Womanly Women are Womanly and Small Furry Aliens Are the Objects of Humor and Derision. This is a cause which of late has been championed by the horrible sorts of people who only see SF/F through a lens of fake nostalgia for a bygone age. What the actual flickering light of reason! SF/F isn't NOSTALGIA!
So we need an antidote to the antidote to grim and dark tales of grimness and darkness. And besides, the model for space opera is wrong. It's drawn from "horse opera." Tales of the old west, and there we are with all that nostalgia again. Our new model for space opera is... well... OPERA! And every opera needs a libretto. (def: the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical.)
However, (what's with all these exceptions!) there's another problem. You see, there's nothing at all new under the sun. Take, for instance, villains.
The typical space opera villain has long been the Alien Space Nazi. They're Coming to Earth to Exterminate Us All (but first they'll confine us to death camps and get as much poor-quality labor out of us as they can before we die). Fictional Nazis don't scare us. There are REAL Nazis out there, folks. We usually punch six of them before breakfast.
Another hoary old standby of the space opera (often combined with the above), is the Eldritch Lovecraftian Horror From Beyond All Reality. Folks, this thing is so tired there are now Cthulhu PLUSHIES. Your neighbor's kid is wearing a "Yog-Sottoth is my Co-Pilot" t-shirt and no one bats an eyelash. If actual Fungi From Yuggoth were to land on Earth, the Queen of England would likely just invite them down for tea.
To summarize, we need a more inclusive space opera. Fewer Nazis. No Cthulhu. Better representation for women, especially women of color. Better representation for the whole QUILTBAG-P+/-, Disabled persons. #ownvoices. Sure, we like stories with white guys who fight off evil... In space. Hey, who doesn't like space? You're living in it, you know. But there are other stories. We'd like to read them. We'd like to PUBLISH them for others to read.
This is where you come in. You like to read stories too. In fact, as a reader of books, you're already plunking down a good portion of your income on new fiction. So why not, for a few dollars more (Per qualche dollaro in più is a Sergio Leone "Spaghetti Western", cue the music, maestro), support a book from start to finish? Help us pay our writers. Help us pay our cover artist. Get cool rewards along the way, and a copy of the book when it comes out. Help us PUBLISH the very book you want to read!
Space Opera Libretti will be published in paperback and ebook, featuring 15 to 20 original stories, and maybe a reprint or two.
We believe in paying authors as much as possible. After paying for the cover art and [any other small expenses], our authors will be paid an even split of what we earn.
The Stretch Goals
Our stretch goals include upping the pay to our writers significantly. Adding value with a limited edition chapbook of flash fiction. A cool thing we haven't decided upon yet but which will be really REALLY cool. MORE ART! A soundtrack! EVEN MORE ART! Another really cool thing which we haven't even thought up yet, but will be even cooler than the other really cool thing we haven't decided upon.
Jennifer Lee Rossman is a disabled science fiction geek and assistant editor of Love & Bubbles. Her work has been featured in several anthologies and her time travel novella Anachronism is now available from Kristell Ink, an imprint of Grimbold Books. Her debut novel, Jack Jetstark's Intergalactic Freakshow, will be published by World Weaver Press in December.
Jennifer uses a power wheelchair, has ADHD, and is very probably autistic. So yes, she's a ton of fun at parties.
She blogs at jenniferleerossman.blogspot.com and tweets @JenLRossman.
After 20 years working in network security and anti-spam in a role he describes as “straight out of a William Gibson ‘Sprawl’ novel complete with large Japanese mega-corporation and teams with samurai slogans (Katte kabuto no o wo shimeyo),” Brian McNett is returning to the writing career he abandoned in the 1990s. Suffering an extreme form of an otherwise common sleep disorder, this asexual cyberspace warfare veteran requires a source of electric power, a wireless network and SD card, sleeps ten hours a night and four during the day. Somehow this still fails to qualify as “disabled.” Go figure. His prior writings as a journalist have long been only available on unindexed microfiche, but are now searchable (all three of them). All of the above is written without either hyperbole or sarcasm.
He blogs at http://bmcnett.com and tweets @b_mcnett.
What would a Kickstarter campaign be without rewards? So we have them.
Every supporter will get the ebook! Why would you support us if you weren't?
See our Rewards section for our other cool rewards.
The Final Pitch
We can't do it without you. We wouldn't want to do it without you. Without readers there'd be no point in publishing an anthology of fun, light, positive, inclusive space opera.
So how 'bout it readers of fiction? Chuck a few bucks our way for a copy of our book and some cool rewards? Frequent updates on our progress. Sneak peaks at content as we work? Does this excite you? *We* sure hope it does. Join in with your support of Space Opera Libretti.
Risks and challenges
There are risks and challenges in publishing. The risks we face in this project are numerous. Publishing isn't easy. We have months of hard work ahead of us. Selecting the submissions, editing them, dealing with the authors with dignity and respect. Making certain they receive proper payment. As self-publishers, we're on the hook for all facets of book design as well. I'll be frank with you, we have a hard slog ahead of us, but we're confident we can do it.
Jennifer has successfully co-edited Love & Bubbles, a queer romance anthology, and has experience in the areas of editing and publishing, as an author, as a first reader for a magazine, and as an editor.
Brian has experience as a freelance journalist, proofreader, blogger, and editor. He also makes a mean mushroom risotto, but that's neither here nor there. He really is a man of many talents.
We feel that our combination of talents, skills are sufficient to overcome the challenges we face.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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