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$4,719
pledged of $12,000pledged of $12,000 goal
67
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, March 3 2015 8:00 AM UTC +00:00

Hive Five

A weird and funny science fiction novel about five members of a hive mind who are not very good at being a hive mind.

Hive Five

A weird and funny science fiction novel about five members of a hive mind who are not very good at being a hive mind.

$4,719
pledged of $12,000pledged of $12,000 goal
67
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, March 3 2015 8:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

Everyone was covered in either blood, kisses, or barbecue sauce.

Sammy's Recipe for Barbecued Chaos:

1. Decide you want a nice little party at your house.

2. Forget for a moment that you're part of a hive mind with fifty-six other people. Not a very good hive mind, admittedly, but good enough that those fifty-six other people simultaneously decide they want a nice little party . . . at your house. You do have the biggest yard in the treeborhood, of course, nearly an entire limb to yourself ever since you convinced the Umumwei family there was such a thing as a cybernetic squirrelfestation thanks to the loan of your friend Barry's Travelling Squirrel Zoo, some manufactured doodads from your garage forge, and a hot glue gun. The Umumweis folded up their house and moved it two levels down that same afternoon.

3. Allow your now enormous party to be crashed by the rest of the treeborhood who, for some reason known only to God's Clone, have become more affectionate than spawning salmon at a grizzly bear swingers party.

4. Remind yourself you have to get better at creating metaphors, but in your defense there is a half-love, half-fistfight free-for-all going on in your yard at the moment.

Welcome to the conception of Hive Five:

A weird, funny, science fiction novel about five members of a misfit hive mind who do battle with a cult made mostly of their friends and family for control of their neighborhood.

The five are:

  • A woman who is one of the last of a great line of retail managers. She loves the hive, but realizes the problem with being above-average is that others can only bring her down.
  • An uplifted panda with serious identity issues, since many of his memories belong to someone not only of another gender, but another species.
  • A young woman who wants nothing more than to be a celebrity. As you might imagine, hive life makes that rather difficult.
  • A lonely, divorced, middle-aged guy who needs to make this hive thing work, just so he can have some friends.
  • A girl who has to juggle puberty with all the weird adult thoughts seeping into her mind from the other hivers.

Not being the best hive mind they could be, they're suffering the worst of both worlds. They can't seem to coordinate their actions enough to achieve world domination, but they're hivey enough to alienate all their non-hive family and friends.

When an emoting computer moves into the neighborhood and starts wooing non-hive members into its cult, the hive realizes they need to get better at being a hive in order to save the people they sort of love. But not a lot better, because it's only their lack of individual consciousness that's keeping them out of the emoter's love-clutches.

***

"There's got to be an opposite thing," Sammy said. "Like, if it is an artificial intelligence, we could counteract it with artificial stupidity."

Who am I?

My name is Matthew Sanborn Smith. I write science fiction that's been featured at Tor.com, Nature, and Chizine, among other venues. I also present five-minute outbursts of craziness on the Beware the Hairy Mango podcast. I'm asking you to help me bring Hive Five to life as a fully realized novel. As you can see, the basic concepts are already there. All I have left to do is to write down another 80,000 or 90,000 words.

If you and others like you can fund this project, I'll be able to start work on the Hive Five novel in March, and release it by the end of June.

I'm soon to be between retail management jobs and rather than dive right back into that world in which I've spent over two and a half decades, I've decided to take a shot at living the life I want to live, writing the type of work my fans and I love, but on a larger scale than ever before.

Depending on the level you choose to back me at, you can read the novel on a weekly basis, as it's being created. When I'm done, there'll be an e-book, a paperback, and cool rewards like characters named after backers, ringtones, personalized episodes of the Beware the Hairy Mango podcast, and more!

In case you're wondering about the costume mentioned in the $200 reward, here's a photo of me as The Phantom of the Opera with Broccoli:

The Phantom of the Opera with Broccoli
The Phantom of the Opera with Broccoli

The Hive Five image you see in the video is not the book cover. I'm talking to an artist, but I want to hammer out the first draft in order to present him with some scenes for cover ideas.

***

Ding-Ding was a panda who'd be dead right now were it not for a miraculous brain transplant. The only donor available was a human who must have seen a lot of motivational speakers in her past life. Of course, Ding-Ding's braincase had to be expanded and microscopic construction workers were still working on it now. The Panda's already big head was now shaved bare and extended up and back. The thousands of bots doing the work made the panda's head look like it was crawling with insects. They'd said they would be done weeks ago, but then there was the mis-shipped order of panda skull stucco and then there was a problem with the microscopic contractor not paying the workers on time, and then, and then, and then. Ding-Ding's head was a hideous mess. But he was good people.  

Panda.

STRETCH GOALS

If we reach the $15,000 mark, I will narrate the Hive Five audio book and EVERY BACKER will get a copy of the mp3!

If we reach the $17,000 mark, I will write a 4,000 word short story set in the Hive Five universe and EVERY BACKER will get a copy!

If we reach the $24,000 mark, I will write a SECOND novel set in the Hive Five universe and EVERY BACKER will get a copy!

I hope you guys will join me for this ride and tell your friends, too, because we're going to have an absolute blast!

***

If only twelve years old was old enough to drift off peacefully in her sleep. That whole thing was probably a scam too. She imagined wizened old bed-fillers, waking up in their last moment, overcome with such searing agony that getting that one body part slow-disintegrated over the course of the entire Full of Spite War of 2076-2079 felt like a visit to the Pet Creamery where the puppies are made of living ice cream in comparison. Then they'd collapse dead, and in the morning whatever wretch had been making money off of them would say they drifted off peacefully in their sleep. And then go to their bedside drawer and eat their chocolates. 

Risks and challenges

Although I have written a novel before, I haven't done it in the space of three months. My biggest challenge will be keeping up my creative drive and momentum. I will have more hours in the day to work on this novel than I had on my last. I also found a great way to work through those problems, as well as writer's block, last year. I talk myself through any issues with my current project right there on the page until I work my way through it. Through the strategic use of the delete button, the reader believes I had my act together the entire time.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    IMMORTALITY!

    You’ll have my gratitude and your name will appear as a supporter in the back of the book.

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    E-HIVES!

    You'll get a DRM-free copy of the Hive Five e-book when it’s ready.

    Plus everything in the previous level!

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    E-VEN MORE!

    You'll get a DRM-free copy of my e-book collection, The Dritty Doesen: Some of the Least Reasonable Stories of Matthew Sanborn Smith

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    E-BOOK PARTY!

    You'll get a DRM-free copy of the short story Dada, by Cerberus, the three-headed writing hound also known as Matthew Sanborn Smith, Dan Rabarts, and Grant Stone!

    Plus everything in the previous level!

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    E-LITIST!

    You'll get one month of access to my subscription-only podcast, Beware the Elitist Mango, including all existing episodes

    Plus everything in the previous level!

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    THE PAPERBACK!

    You'll get a signed copy of the trade paperback version of Hive Five when it’s ready .

    Plus everything in the previous level!

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    CAPTAIN'S LOG!

    Once it's complete, you'll get a digital copy of my personal log, providing insight into my experience writing the book and this kickstarter.

    Plus everything in the previous level!

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    Pledge US$ 85 or more About US$ 85

    SPOILED ROTTEN!

    You'll get a .doc format copy of the novel EACH WEEK as it’s being written, so you can watch the evolution of a novel through its good times and bad times.

    You'll get a .doc format copy of my personal log EACH WEEK, providing insight into my experience writing the book and this kickstarter.

    You'll get a signed copy of the trade paperback version of Hive Five when it’s ready .

    You'll get one month of access to my subscription-only podcast, Beware the Elitist Mango, including all existing episodes

    You'll get a DRM-free digital copy of the short story Dada, by Cerberus, the three-headed writing hound also known as Matthew Sanborn Smith, Dan Rabarts, and Grant Stone!

    You'll get a DRM-free copy of my e-book collection, The Dritty Doesen: Some of the Least Reasonable Stories of Matthew Sanborn Smith

    You'll get a DRM-free copy of the Hive Five e-book when it’s ready.

    You’ll have my gratitude and your name will appear as a supporter in the back of the book.

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    HEAR ME OUT!

    I will record a voicemail or ringtone for you, with your input.

    Plus everything in the SPOILED ROTTEN deal!

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    MINOR KEY PLAYER!

    I will name a minor character after you, with two qualities you provide (there may be a need for negotiation here, so those qualities don't disrupt the entire book, but I’m pretty lenient).

    Plus everything in the SPOILED ROTTEN deal!

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    30 MINUTES IN HEAVEN!

    You and I will enjoy a 30 minute Skype call with each other.

    Plus everything in the SPOILED ROTTEN deal!

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    BEWARE THE HAIRY YOU!

    After the novel is done, I will produce a five minute personalized episode of Beware the Hairy Mango exclusively for you, incorporating your input. (I'm shooting for July, but this might be delivered in August, depending on the number of takers)

    Plus everything in the SPOILED ROTTEN deal!

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    I NEED A HERO!

    I will name one of the four human heroes after you. Bear in mind there are three females and one male, though I have no problem giving a woman a man's name or vice versa.

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    LITERARY FIGUREHEAD!

    I will write a personalized 4,000 word short story for you with your input. (I'll shoot for sooner, but let's say it will be ready in September to be on the safe side)

    Plus everything in the SPOILED ROTTEN deal!

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    MOST OF THE ENCHILADA!

    I will write a personalized 4,000 word short story for you with your input. (I'll shoot for sooner, but let's say it will be ready in September to be on the safe side)

    After the novel is done, I will produce a five minute personalized episode of Beware the Hairy Mango exclusively for you, incorporating your input. (I'm shooting for July, but this might be delivered in August, depending on the number of takers)

    You and I will enjoy a 30 minute Skype call with each other.

    I will name a minor character after you, with two qualities you provide (there may be a need for negotiation here, so those qualities don't disrupt the entire book, but I’m pretty lenient).

    I will record a voicemail or ringtone for you, with your input.

    Plus everything in the SPOILED ROTTEN deal!

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    Limited 0 backers
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    EARLY BIRD GETS THE MANGO DEAL!

    After the novel is done, I will produce a five minute personalized episode of Beware the Hairy Mango exclusively for you, incorporating your input. (I'm shooting for July, but this might be delivered in August, depending on the number of takers)

    You and I will enjoy a 30 minute Skype call with each other.

    I will name a minor character after you, with two qualities you provide (there may be a need for negotiation here, so those qualities don't disrupt the entire book, but I’m pretty lenient).

    I will record a voicemail or ringtone for you, with your input.

    Plus everything in the SPOILED ROTTEN deal!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    MIX MASTER MATTY!

    I will record a mix tape (yes, an actual cassette) of your ten favorite episodes of Beware the Hairy Mango, with liner notes and art by me!

    Plus everything in the SPOILED ROTTEN deal!

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    FUNKY PHANTOM!

    I will send you the mask, hat, cape, and bowtie I wore last Halloween as The Phantom of the Opera with Broccoli.

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    YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME!

    I will name the villain after you!

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Funding period

- (19 days)