Last Cities of Earth is a universe depicting humanity's survival in the face of global catastrophe. Born from the mind’s eye of, award-winning artist, Jeff Sturgeon. Last Cities of Earth is a stunning collection of tales and imagery. For years, Jeff envisioned entire cities floating above the clouds. At first, a single metropolis emerged. Then, over time, more and more massive structures seemingly rose into the sky. As Jeff revealed his vision to colleagues in 2014 of lofty, floating civilizations, six fateful words were uttered: “Jeff, why aren’t you painting them?” After decades bringing other creators’ dreams from aether to reality, Jeff picked up his brush to breath life into this new world swirling in his imagination. For the next two years, paintings were exhibited. Other creators fell in love with Jeff’s vision and found inspiration to create within his mythology of Last Cities of Earth. There is no end to the creativity sparked by Jeff’s striking images. Short stories, novellas, coloring books, illustrations, schematics, novels, digital fusions of his paintings… The World, it seemed, was endless. “The beginning stages of the project consumed me,” Jeff said. “In creating Last Cities of Earth - the paintings and their stories - I found that there was no clearing my mind after creating a single image. The world was too big and the stories, too many.
Helping Jeff to tell those tales, the anthology will include stories by Kevin J. Anderson, Brenda Cooper, David Gerrold, Jim Wright, Mike Resnick, Andrea Stewart, Jody Lynn Nye, Steve Perry, Raven Oak, J.A. Pitts, Cat Rambo, Peter J. Wacks, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Steven Lee Sears, and Todd Lockwood, with editing by Manny Frishberg and Jennifer Brozek.
On March 15th of 2085, a shocked world listens as global news sources report that the world is on a timer. Increased seismic activity beneath Yellowstone National Park heralds a pending volcanic eruption. In less than a decade, mankind will be facing an extinction-level event...
The soil humanity relied on for its crops, fossil fuels, manufacturing resources would be covered in ash. Sunlight would barely penetrate the lower altitudes and the life humanity drew from the earth would be extinguished. With a six-year timer ticking down, governments and corporations set aside their conflicts and worked together to equip major population centers with massive anti-grav engines.
Those with the means headed for space, settling on Luna Prime or the Mars colony. Nations and powers that couldn’t reach space turned their eye toward genetic manipulation, with the idea that they could adapt the human form to make it better suited for surviving the coming eruption. The tentative peace negotiated for the sake of survival broke. Those who couldn’t make it into the floating cities, or find a path to salvation, used the coming eruption to settle old scores. Mankind fell into chaos as the super volcano erupted. The early post-eruption decades of 2090-2134 are considered lost to history.
For the next 80-plus years the cities sent out newly designed airships, designed to have a low technology footprint for easier field repairs. Rebuilding civilization with intercity commerce and shared discovery, was a long, painstaking process. In the 2250s, America reconnected to itself, then reached beyond its borders and established trade routes to Europe. Global culture was finally reestablished.
It is now YE (Yellowstone Eruption) 210, the Gregorian 2300 AD, and global trade routes exist. The 'golden age' of Lost Earth echoes in the modern day as more and more cities become connected. But the technology is beginning to fail, and many cities have lost the knowledge to repair their own anti-grav engines. Ideological wars are resurfacing. Threats are abundant from both ground and sky. If colonies still exist in space, they are silent....
...Welcome to the new world. Will humanity survive?
NOTE: The following images represent the original Last Cities of Earth artwork by Jeff Sturgeon that will be available as rewards for those who back at the Art Aficionado Pledge Level, on a first-come basis. If you select that pledge, message us immediately and let us know which of the paintings you would like and it will be marked unavailable.
(If you would like to see a larger image of the art before selecting, please message us as there is limited space on the campaign page, so we had to keep these small.)
DONE - FIRST DAY BACKER BONUS - All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-free copy of Danielle Ackley-McPhail's science fiction collection A Legacy of Stars.
UNLOCKED! $6500 - All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-free copy of J.A. Pitts' short story "Hanging of the Greens."
UNLOCKED! $7000 - All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-free copy of Danielle Ackley-McPhail's short story "New Discoveries".
UNLOCKED! $7500 - All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-free copy of Brenda Cooper's short story "Second Shift."
UNLOCKED! $8000 - We will add a story by Danielle Ackley-McPhail to the Last Cities of Earth anthology.
UNLOCKED! $8500 - All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-free copy of Peter J. Wacks' short story XXX.
UNLOCKED! $9000 - All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive exclusive digital art print from Jeff Sturgeon available only through this campaign.
UNLOCKED! $9500 - We will add a story by Jim Wright to the Last Cities of Earth anthology.
UNLOCKED! $10,000 - All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a digital art print from Raven Oak.
UNLOCKED! $10,500 - All backers at the $5 or higher level will receive a DRM-free copy of Jody Lynn Nye's short story "Flying Saucers."
$11,000 - SUPER SECRET PRODUCTION GOAL
Increase your pledge by the following amount/s to add these items to your reward.
$5 – Add a digital print portfolio of all the Last Cities to your pledge.
$5 – Add a eBook copy or copies of the below-listed eSpec Books titles to your pledge.
$10 – Add an eBook version of the anthology to your pledge.
$20 – Add to your pledge an art print of the last city of your choice.
$20 – Add a print copy or copies of the following eSpec Books titles to your pledge reward:
- POST, a near-future dystopia novel by Brenda Cooper
- Stories of Fremont's Children edited by Brenda Cooper and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, includes stories by Brenda Cooper, Danielle Ackley-McPhail and John A. Pitts
- Eternal Wanderings, an urban fantasy collection by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
- After Punk: Steampowered Tales of the After Life edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Greg Schauer, includes stories by Jody Lynn Nye and Danielle Ackley-McPhail
- Gaslight & Grimm: Steampunk Faerie Tales edited by Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Diana Bastine, includes a story by Jody Lynn Nye
- If We Had Known, a science fiction anthology edited by Mike McPhail, includes stories by Jody Lynn Nye and Danielle Ackley-McPhail
- Dogs of War, a science fiction anthology edited by Mike McPhail, includes stories by Brenda Cooper and Danielle Ackley-McPhail
- Man and Machine, a science fiction anthology edited by Mike McPhail, includes stories by Jennifer Brozek and Danielle Ackley-McPhail
$28 – Add a paperback copy of the Last Cities of Earth anthology to your pledge. Multiply by the number of copies desired if you want more than one. They make great gifts!
$80 – Add a limited edition numbered hardcover copy of the Last Cities of Earth anthology to your pledge. Multiply by the number of copies desired if you want more than one. They make great gifts!
Jeff Sturgeon is a Northwest artist known for his beautiful, award-winning metal paintings. His career spans over 30 years. He came up through the ranks as a young fan artist in the 80's before being hired in the first wave of computer game artists in 1990. A long career in the 90's as an artist, animator, concept artist, lead artist, game designer, and art director followed as he continued to paint, illustrate, and displaying his work at science fiction conventions around the country.
Jeff left the game business and to paint full time with aluminum as his new canvas. Through the new millennium, Jeff's work became nationally known with increased appearances as an exhibitor, guest, panelist, and guest of honor at conventions around the country and as an illustrator and cover artist. Jeff's work is much sought after by art collectors, whether one of his classic science fiction/astronomical pieces or his beautiful renderings of the American West.
Jeff's newest project is Last Cities of Earth. As his much-anticipated, shared-world project comes to fruition with an anthology featuring the top writers in the field, other platforms are in negotiation to bring this amazing world Jeff has created to life and Jeff is planning an art book of his amazing work including Last Cities of Earth art and concept sketches and designs.
Kevin J. Anderson (Publisher) is the author of more than 140 books, 56 of which have appeared on national or international bestseller lists; he has over 23 million copies in print in 30 languages. He has won or been nominated for the Nebula Award, Hugo Award, Bram Stoker Award, Shamus Award, the SFX Reader’s Choice Award, and New York Times Notable Book. Kevin has written numerous Star Wars projects, three X-Files novels, and he also collaborated with Dean Koontz on the novel Frankenstein: Prodigal Son.
As the publishers of WordFire Press, Kevin and his wife Rebecca Moesta have released two hundred eBook and print titles from Frank Herbert, Allen Drury, Alan Dean Foster, Michael A. Stackpole, Brian Herbert, David Farland, Jody Lynn Nye, Mike Resnick, Todd McCaffrey, Christie Golden, as well as their own backlist.
Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. Her novel Edge of Dark won the 2016 Endeavour Award. Her most recent novel is Wilders, from Pyr. Brenda is a technology professional and a futurist, and publishes nonfiction on the environment and the future.
David Gerrold is an American science fiction screenwriter and novelist known for his script for the popular original Star Trek episode "The Trouble With Tribbles," for creating the Sleestak race on the TV series Land of the Lost, and for his novelette "The Martian Child," which won both Hugo and Nebula awards, that was adapted into a 2007 film starring John Cusack.
According to Locus, Mike Resnick is the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short fiction. He has won five Hugos (from a record 37 nominations), a Nebula, and other major awards in the US, France, Japan, Spain, Catalonia, Croatia, and Poland. He is the author of 75 novels, over 275 stories, and 3 screenplays, in addition to being the editor of 42 anthologies. His work has been translated into 27 languages. He is currently the editor of Stellar Guild books and Galaxy’s Edge magazine.
Andrea Stewart was born in Canada and raised in a number of places across the United States. She spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn't pan out, she turned to writing. Her work has appeared in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Daily Science Fiction.
Jody Lynn Nye writes fantasy and science fiction books and short stories. She wrote The Dragonlover’s Guide to Pern, and also collaborated with Anne McCaffrey on four science fiction novels: The Death of Sleep, Crisis on Doona, Treaty at Doona, and The Ship Who Won. Her newest books are Myth-Fits, Rhythm of the Imperium, Cats Triumphant!, Wishing on a Star (part of the Stellar Guild series, with Angelina Adams), and a collection of holiday stories: A Circle of Celebrations, and her novella, the second in the Clan of the Claw series, Tooth and Claw.
Steve Perry has written over 50 novels and numerous short stories, which have appeared in various magazines and anthologies. He is best known for the Matador series. He has written books in the Star Wars, Alien and Conan universes. He was a collaborator on all of the Tom Clancy's Net Force series, seven of which have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list. One of his scripts for Batman: The Animated Series was an Emmy Award nominee for Outstanding Writing.
Award-winning and bestselling speculative fiction author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood (2016 Ozma Fantasy Award Winner and Epic Awards Finalist), Amaskan’s War (2018 UK Wishing Award YA Finalist), and Class-M Exile. She also has several published short stories in anthologies such as Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays, Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology and
Swords, Sorcery, & Self-Rescuing Damsels. Raven spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500-page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet.
When she’s not writing, she’s getting her game on with tabletop games, indulging in cartography, or staring at the ocean. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach.
J.A. Pitts is a graduate of the Oregon Coast Writers Workshops, holds degrees in English and Library Science and is the author of Black Blade Blues, Honeyed Words, and Forged in Fire.
Cat Rambo is primarily a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently the President of SFWA (The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and has previously served as its Vice President. She has over 200 original fiction publications under her belt so far, with stories appearing in places such as Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and Tor.com, and another hundred or so reprints in a variety of languages. She has published three solo collections: Near + Far, Eyes Like Sky, and Coal and Moonlight, as well as a joint collection with Jeff VanderMeer: The Surgeon’s Tale and Other Stories. In 2016 her first novel, Beasts of Tabatwas published by Wordfire and was shortlisted for the Compton Crook Award.
Peter J. Wacks is a bestselling cross-genre writer who has worked in various capacities across the creative fields in gaming, television, film, and comics. His first novel, Second Paradigm, was published in 2008. In gaming, he was the lead designer and storyline writer of Cyberpunk CCG, and both a writer and editor for multiple books in the Interface Zero line. Peter’s first comic, Behind These Eyes, was a finalist for the Bram Stoker in 2012. Right now he travels a lot, collects stories, and can often be found asleep at his keyboard after a writing binge.
Steven Lee Sears is an American writer and producer primarily working in television. He is perhaps best known for writing and co-executive producing the popular series Xena: Warrior Princess, as well as his subsequent creation Sheena, based on the comic book of the same name.
Todd Lockwood is an American artist specializing in fantasy and science fiction illustration and bestselling author of The Summer Dragon. He is best known for his work on the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, and for his covers for the books of R.A. Salvatore. His art has also appeared in books from Tor Books, DAW Books, and on magazine covers, including Satellite Orbit magazine in 1984-1985, Asimov's Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact, Realms of Fantasy, Dragon Magazine, and Dungeon Magazine.
Award-winning author and editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books.
Her published works include six novels, Yesterday's Dreams, Tomorrow's Memories, Today’s Promise, The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, and Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the solo collections Eternal Wanderings, A Legacy of Stars, Consigned to the Sea, Flash in the Can, Transcendence, Between Darkness and Light, and the non-fiction writers’ guide, The Literary Handyman. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections.
Jennifer Brozek is a multitalented, award-winning author, editor, and tie-in writer. She is the author of Never Let Me Sleep and The Last Days of Salton Academy, both of which were finalists for the Bram Stoker Award. Her BattleTech tie-in novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, won a Scribe Award. Her editing work has netted her a Hugo Award nomination as well as an Australian Shadows Award for Grants Pass. Jennifer’s short-form work has appeared in Apex Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, and in anthologies set in the worlds of Valdemar, Shadowrun, V-Wars, Masters of Orion, and Predator. She is also the creative director of Apocalypse Ink Productions.
Jennifer has been a freelance author, editor, and tie-in writer for over ten years after leaving her high-paying tech job, and she’s never been happier. She keeps a tight schedule on her writing and editing projects and somehow manages to find time to volunteer for several professional writing organizations, such as SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. She shares her husband, Jeff, with several cats and often uses him as a sounding board for her story ideas. Visit Jennifer’s worlds at jenniferbrozek.com.
Risks and challenges
If the funding fails, we cannot create the book. If successful, our biggest hurdles will be coordinating all the creators and collaborators on this project to meet and finish deadlines. Given the caliber of talent and the professionals involved, we are fully confident this campaign with both fund and complete in a smooth and timely fashion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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