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Jeff Sturgeon's Last Cities of Earth - The Illustrated Books
Jeff Sturgeon's Last Cities of Earth - The Illustrated Books
60+ creators, such as Kevin J. Anderson and Ian Douglas, craft stories based on the breathtaking metal art of Jeff Sturgeon.
60+ creators, such as Kevin J. Anderson and Ian Douglas, craft stories based on the breathtaking metal art of Jeff Sturgeon. Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
About this project
What happens when over 60 artists, writers, sculptors, and other creators work together to bring a single world to life?
Last Cities of Earth is a universe depicting humanity's survival in the face of global catastrophe born out of the mind’s eye of award-winning artist Jeff Sturgeon. It features an illustrated anthology, an art book, and multiple collections.
With over 40 stories and dozens upon dozens of pieces of art by bestselling and award-winning contributors, Last Cities of Earth is a stunning collection full of tales and imagery of a brand-new world awaiting you as one of its first discoverers.
Master storytellers and artists are building this world—those whose imaginations helped shape Star Wars, Star Trek, and dozens of other fan favorite universes in sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, thriller, YA, horror... Last Cities of Earth is a collection of possibilities answering questions such as “Why are the cities floating?” and “What happened to force humanity into the skies?”
For years, Jeff envisioned cities floating above the ground. At first, a single metropolis emerged. Over time, more and more places rose into the atmosphere.
It wasn’t until 2014, however, at a small convention in Washington when Jeff told some friends about his floating civilizations that six fateful words were uttered:
“Jeff, why aren’t you painting them?”
After decades of bringing other creators’ dreams from ether to reality, Jeff picked up his brush to breathe life into the world swirling about in his imagination. For the next two years as the paintings were exhibited, other creators fell in love with Jeff’s vision and were inspired to create within the mythology of Last Cities of Earth. There was no end to the creativity sparked by Jeff’s images. Short stories, novellas, coloring books, illustrations, schematics, novels, digital fusions of his paintings… it seemed 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.”
In order to tell all those possibilities within Jeff Sturgeon’s world of floating cities, the Last Cities of Earth Kickstarter gathers more than 60 decorated authors and illustrators to present a new world.
Each of the 16 stories in the illustrated anthology will take place in a different city. Every location will have its own geopolitical environment. This means every city will not only battle the environment and their own dwindling resources, but also will grapple with cultural and political pressures from within.
In the skies above the ruins of New York City, an adventurer prepares to embark upon a quest to descend into the toxic milieu below to find a precious manuscript housed in the shattered remains of a Beaux-Arts-style building once known as the New York Public Library.
The new civilization of London requires a permit to breed in the form of purchasing a genetic code. What started as a form of population control has spiraled into a form of enslavement, where the poorest denizens are never able to own their genetic code. Therefore, many individuals toil in poverty, unable to purchase their freedom. One young teen watches his paycheck dwindle as he works brutish, manual jobs without any hope of purchasing his own life back from his “parents.”
Two floating cities descend into the chaos of war. Who will win? How will the victor be decided? What hope does either side have if the anti-grav units of their cities are destroyed in the battle? Is the other side even human?
More chapter teasers will be revealed in the updates, so remember to pledge to get the inside scoop.
Last Cities of Earth is too big to be contained in a single book. Thus, a digital expanded universe will be created alongside the illustrated anthology. Forty authors will provide content for micro-anthologies.
The expanded universe will focus on the elements – earth, water, and air.
Stemming from the genetic experimentation in the desperate attempts to keep humans alive in the years after the Yellowstone Eruption, a whole range of human strengths and weaknesses is represented.
The Yellowstone Eruption didn’t manage to wipe out all the life on the planet. Rather, creatures have grown and mutated. These monstrosities lie in wait for those seeking the riches buried in the earth. In this harsh and cold world, the trapped heat of the time before the massive climate change has become an old tale to tell families clustered around dim fires trying to stay warm.
The terrain is not only a hostile, but the weather also brings powerful storms that ravage the seas. Before the Yellowstone Eruption, some cities took refuge under the water as a response to the projected rise in sea levels, but violent tempests and tsunamis threaten their way of life as well.
Above the ground, swashbuckling and piracy abound as airships full of adventurers work to keep the hybridized technologies from crashing. These crews salvage whatever they can from the surface, always wary of the mutated horrors lurking in the crumbling capitals of yore. The economy is driven by sustainable energy and renewable resources, but that ideal often conflicts with the need for raw materials such as gold to make new microprocessors to keep the systems running.
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?
$5 – Add a digital print portfolio of all the Last Cities 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.
$25 – 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! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$45 – Add a 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! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$75 – Add a hardcover copy of the Last Cities of Earth art book to your pledge. Multiply by the number of copies desired if you want more than one. They make great gifts! (Includes domestic shipping. If you're a backer outside the U.S. who has backed at a level that does not include shipping, please add $25 for shipping.)
$300 – Access to an online backer-only video art lesson with award-winning artist Jeff Sturgeon.
Check back once the first funding goal is met for amazing announcements and stretch goals here!
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.
After his fellow artist, longtime friend, and art collaborator Jeff Fennel convinced him to try painting on aluminum, 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, an art book of Jeff's city paintings and concept art, other platforms are in negotiation to bring this amazing world Jeff has created to life.
Kevin J. Anderson 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.
Ian Douglas, one of the many pseudonyms for writer William H. Keith Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of several popular military science fiction series, including the Heritage trilogy, the Legacy trilogy, the Inheritance trilogy, and the Star Carrier books. A former naval corpsman, he lives in Pennsylvania.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Josh Boykin has been a gamer for nearly 30 years. Professionally, he's written about games since 2009, attending multiple industry events like the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Josh is the founder of Intelligame.Us, a game culture and criticism site that helps people make deeper connections with games and the world they play them in. He’s spoken at events like PixelPop in St. Louis, the University of Oregon Game Studies Conference, and more. He’s currently Senior Editor for GotGame.com, hosts a weekly show called Let’s Intelliplay on Twitch, and runs a daily podcast called Intelligame Radio.
Leigh Dragoon: web programmer by day, writer and comics creator by night...and weekends, and just before dawn, and on lunch breaks. Leigh has adapted popular YA series such as Vampire Academy and Marie Lu's Legend trilogy into New York Times Bestselling graphic novels. She also has authored three prose novels set in the Adventure Time universe. She is currently working on a fantasy graphic novel adaptation of Little Women, forthcoming from Oni Press.
Kary English’s fiction includes several short stories, a planetary fantasy novel forthcoming in 2017, and a fantasy saga about a little girl and an orange kitten. Kary’s highest aspiration is to make her own work detention-worthy. Kary is a Hugo and Campbell nominee and Writers of the Future winner whose fiction has appeared in the Grantville Gazette, Daily Science Fiction, and Mike Resnick’s Galaxy’s Edge.
Liz Holliday an award-nominated fiction writer now moving into screenwriting. Her short stories for adults have appeared in the UK, US, Europe, and on the web. She also has written ten official novelizations of TV shows (including Cracker, Bugs, and Soldier Soldier) and more than 25 books (fiction and nonfiction) for children and their parents.
David McDonald is a mild-mannered editor by day, and a wild-eyed writer by night. In 2013 he won the Ditmar Award for Best New Talent, and in 2014 won the William J. Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review and was shortlisted for the WSFA Small Press Award. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies from publishers such as Moonstone Books, Crazy 8 Press and Fablecroft Publishing. In 2015, his first movie novelization, Backcountry, was released by Harper Collins, and his most recent novel - Guardians of the Galaxy: Castaways - was published by Marvel in August 2016.
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), Class-M Exile, and the collection Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays (Foreword Reviews 2016 Book of the Year Finalist). She also has several published short stories in anthologies such as Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology and Magic Unveiled.
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 Tabat was published by Wordfire and was shortlisted for the Compton Crook Award.
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.
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.
Jennifer Brozek is a Hugo Award-nominated editor and a Bram Stoker-nominated author. Winner of the Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication, Jennifer has fifteen anthologies under her belt with more on the way, including the acclaimed Chicks Dig Gaming and Shattered Shields anthologies. Author of Apocalypse Girl Dreaming, Industry Talk, The Karen Wilson Chronicles, and the acclaimed Melissa Allen series, she has more than 65 published short stories, and is the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions.
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.
Richard Michael Sternbach is a two-time Hugo award-winning illustrator who is best known for his space illustrations and his work on the Star Trek television series. His work on Carl Sagan's Cosmos garnered him an Emmy Award.
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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