saga of Erin Starfox is human drama set against the backdrop of
interstellar political affairs.
OPEN > INTERFACE
DISPLAY > FORMAT > TEXT and
Text and Images Format.
RETRIEVE > DATA > ERIN STARFOX
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LIST > CURRENT POST
Ambassador posted to Embassy One,
flagship of the United Systems (Unisis) diplomatic fleet.
LIST > CURRENT ASSIGNMENT
Peacekeeping mission to Providence and
other Border Worlds of The Cluster.
DEFINE > THE CLUSTER
Region of space more densely packed
with stars than any other in the Milky Way galaxy, possibly due to
extremely high concentration of dark matter and dark energy; this is
perhaps the highest concentration in the known universe. The Cluster
contains hundreds of star systems, some packed so closely together it
takes only a few days at near light speed to travel from one to the
The Cluster is home to numerous life
forms, humanoid and other. Among the indigenous races are the
empathic and pacific Siasl, the mindgaming Mentaki and the all female
Vul. Most of these species are situated close together, within the
area of The Cluster containing the greatest amounts of natural
resources that humanoid lifeforms would need. Other lifeforms
proliferate in other areas.
DEFINE > UNITED SYSTEMS
A loose alliance of 187 worlds
administered by 13 ambassadors. Founding races include Siasl,
Mentaki, Mari, Tellurians. Other members include Vul, Krae, Tibulu,
DEFINE > TELLURIANS
Humanoid lifeform originating on what
is now called Old Earth. Select members of species migrated to the
Cluster in Sleeper Ships journeying approximately 450 light years.
Reached The Cluster after approximately 900 years. Settled on two
planets. Re-designated themselves Tellurians upon establishing
settlements on those worlds. Approximations are due to damage to
Tellurian ships, possibly from the high concentrations of dark matter
and dark energy. Many of their records have been lost or distorted.
Because of this damage, the location of Old Earth is unknown.
DEFINE > SIASL
A peaceful and polyamorous people.
Siasl had not thought fixation upon a single point of view possible
until they encountered other races of The Cluster. Empathic with each
other, there is no known instance of any Siasl ever unable to see the
point of view of another in a dispute. There are disputes and
disagreements, but the natural lenity of the Siasl people has always
made it possible for an acceptable solution to be quickly derived.
This empathy makes them natural
ambassadors to the other races living in the Cluster, a position the
Siasl readily embraced after developing space travel and making
contact with beings of other worlds. Their peaceful ways strongly
influence most worlds of the United Systems though contention remains
with neighboring planets and solar systems not affiliated with
All Siasl are sensitive to dark matter
and dark energy due to internal organs not found in most other
species. Some Siasl can manipulate dark matter and dark energy to
dramatic and powerful effect. Erin Starfox is one such individual.
CLOSE > INTERFACE
Erin Starfox is a unique selection of
original short science fiction stories and artwork created by a
number of talented writers and artists. We refer to the concept as Sci-fi
that's just a little different.
How it's different is a bit difficult
to say as the basic concept is about experiencing the saga thru
words and pictures. But I can tell you what it is not: It's not simply an illustrated novel, nor is it a
graphic novel in the traditional sense, but does combine words and
images. And both the words and images are necessary to the story. The book was inspired by stories that influenced me as a reader such as Home From The Shore by Gordon R. Dickson (writer) and James R. Odbert (artist); Dan Day's illustrated versions of the Sherlock Holmes stories; Gil Kane's Blackmark; and Jim Steranko's Chandler graphic novel, and other works of visual literature.
stories concentrate on the political and personal lives of Ambassador
Erin Starfox, her staff and family. And the lives of the staffers and
others who inhabit Embassy One, the flagship of the United
Systems Diplomatic Fleet.
You can see samples of the stories and
art on the Erin Starfox website. That's the best way to see what the
characters and concepts are all about. If you like what you see,
please make a Pledge. If it turns out that Starfox isn't your
cup of tea, thanks anyways for giving us a look. And, of course, if you have any questions or
comments, please contact me.
So, who am I? I'm a published author and artist, with experience as a magazine and book editor. I know the steps necessary to take a project like this from start to finish. I've done it before. The first and most important challenge I faced with this project was coming up with something different, something worth publishing.
I thought long and hard for a couple of years, let various ideas percolate around in my brain. When the characters and concepts coalesced, I wrote a Writer's Guide and then invited other writers, and artists, to contribute to the saga. The positive response from them, plus the positive response I got from speculative fiction fans when I took the Starfox concept to SF conventions convinced me that Starfox was something that should be pursued.
I raised the money to pay the writers and artists for their work, then set about editing the manuscript. Once I was sure that we really had something, I began looking into options to get the book printed and published. A friend of mine, who had successfully funded her book via Kickstarter, suggested I give Kickstarter a try. Starfox has been a group effort practically from the start, so crowdfunding seems quite appropriate.
You probably want to know what the money will be spent on, and I think you have a right to know if you're going to contribute. Printing the book is the biggest expense; I want to make a quality book on good paper. In the editing and polishing phase, which I'm engaged in currently, I see that a few stories could use a few more pieces of art, so I'll be commissioning some additional illustrations. There are lawyer's fees for copyright, trademark and other legal stuff. And I have to pay my publicist who will be sending out Press Releases and arranging book signings and such.
I've said “I” a lot in the above paragraphs. I really don't like talking about myself, so I want to again say that many people participated this project. The writers and artists poured their hearts and souls into making my vision possible.
So, who wrote and drew stories for the book? A list of names is on the Erin Starfox website but I'd like to mention just a few here. Simon Guerrier (writer of Doctor Who and Professor Bernice Summerfield); Frank Brunner (Marvel Comics artist who drew Doctor Strange and Howard the Duck); plus, Carolyn Edwards, Tessa Schlesinger and Marcus Jenkins. Again, to name just a few.
In the process, my vision became their vision as well. They did some wonderful work. Erin Starfox and the Unisis Universe are about people working together to deal with important issues, coming together in times of crisis, helping and healing. Erin's a multifaceted character with
wit and charm and love of life. Her stories are timeless and endless,
and the world (the universe) she inhabits abounds with wonder and
If I (Dammit I said “I” again.) and the other writers and artists did our jobs right, Erin Starfox is something we can be proud of and is worth putting before the public. We think it is, and we hope you do to.
JUST FOR FUN
This is not a separate Reward for Pledging but is included with Pledges of any amount. You get to vote on a plot to be made into a story for the book. That's right, you'll be a contributor to the actual book by voting on one of twelve plots on the Erin Starfox website. The plot with the most votes will be turned into a story that will be included in the book. The plots are located here: Starfox Plots
Risks and challenges
The challenges in publishing are challenges I've faced (successfully, I might add) before. I've taken books and other projects from start to finish, and know the necessary steps to do so for this book (Erin Starfox) as well.
Many things are important; publicity is one of them. My publicist is standing by ready to hit “Send” on an e-mail Press Release that will announce this Kickstarter Campaign to many media outlets once the Campaign officially launches. I'll be doing interviews and making personal appearances, and the other writers and artists will be doing their part as well to publicize the Campaign, including,of course, using Social Media, and, when it's published, the book as well. Once the book is published, more Press Releases (or Media Advisories as they are sometimes called) will go out to the media and there will be more personal appearances and interviews.
We will be submitting Erin Starfox for review to various publications and websites that review books. I have contacts at a number of publishing companies, people with whom I have cultivated good business relationships over the years who will give publicity to the book in their magazines and on their websites. You may have noticed that I set an April 2013 date for delivery of the book. This date is because of a few reasons not the least of which is that reviewers need time to review books. We'll be sending the book in manuscript form or PDF to the reviewers ahead of publication. (This is a common publishing practice.) Few reviewers want to review an old book and if you wait to send your book to a reviewer after it's published, it might not get reviewed.
We will have the book completed by late February or early March 2013. At that time, PDF copies will go to the reviewers and potential distributors. I have been in contact with some distributors already and will be contacting more. The manuscript will go to the printer in early March also. This gives sufficient time for me to go over the final proof of the book and for the printer to schedule a print run.
All of the costs we could think of have been taken into account in figuring what we need to do the job right and get a quality finished product at the end. There are a thousand and one little details that I've had years of experience dealing with that I handle on a day-to-day basis as a writer/artist/editor. I have the knowledge and experience to do what needs to be done. And besides, I'm a compulsive workaholic; I stay on the job until it's done.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope you get to read the terrific stories in Erin Starfox soon.
Your Name on a special Thank You page of the Erin Starfox website and in a special Thank You section of the Erin Starfox book. Starfox has been a collaborative project from the beginning. Everyone deserves credit for what they do.
A 4x6 ink jet print of an illustration from the book. Signed by the artist. The illustration will be chosen randomly from those shown on the Erin Starfox website. This and all higher pledge levels include a Thank You in the book.
Professional critique of your short story or other short prose project. I provide notes and suggestions in writing for improving your project, and include a phone call or Skype call to clarify any questions you may have. (See my Reward for longer projects.)
1 ticket to attend and spend a day with me at a science fiction or comic book convention in Southern California. Please e-mail me to see where I might be making personal appearances, including outside of California. I'm putting July as the estimated delivery date, but there may be earlier and later possible dates. Plus a copy of the book. You are responsible for your own travel and lodging expenses.
Professional critique of your novel, screenplay or stage play. I provide notes and suggestions in writing for improving your project, and include a phone call or Skype call to clarify any questions you may have. (See my Reward for shorter projects.)
An original art commission featuring YOU with Erin Starfox. You supply photos of yourself; we draw you into a detailed illustration with Erin. Plus 5 copies of the book will be shipped to you in April 2013. Completing the art may take a bit longer but no later than June 2013.
Guest Editor: If you are or ever wanted to be an editor, this one's for you. YOU get to edit a Starfox story. We'll provide a plot; you guide the story from that point to its completion. The story must be completed by February 2013 to meet our publishing deadline. Your name will appear in the book as Editor of your story. Plus you get five copies of the book and the PDF copy. Contact me for details.