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A scifi anthology of twenty stories by authors new and established about space colonists interacting with alien planets and peoples.
A scifi anthology of twenty stories by authors new and established about space colonists interacting with alien planets and peoples.
174 backers pledged $6,053 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

The Stories

Colonists take to the stars to discover new planets, new sentient beings, and build new lives for themselves and their families. Some travel years to find their destination, while others travel a year or less. Some discover a planet that just might be paradise, while others find nothing but unwelcoming aliens and terrain. It’s not just a struggle for territory but a struggle for understanding as cultures clash, disasters occur, danger lurks and lives are at risk. 20 stories of space colonists by both leading and up and coming science fiction writers of today. Mike Resnick revisits the Hugo, Nebula and Homer winning universe of his Africa stories. Grandmaster Robert Silverberg examines what happens when Jews tired of fighting for their homeland start over on a planet then must deal with a dybbuk (spirit) and aliens who wish to convert to Judaism. Autumn Rachel Dryden has colonists threatened by alien animals which burst out of shells on the ground like piranhas ready to feed on flesh. Jason Sanford has Amish colonists on New Amsterdam finding their settlement and way of life threatened by a comet and the English settlers who want to evacuate them. And a new story from Hugo and Nebula-winner Nancy Kress. 

If we reach stretch, a fourth name headliner will come aboard and be announced.

These and 15 other writers join author-editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt for tales of action, humor, and adventure amongst the stars.

Length: approximately 92,000 words
Publisher: Small Press (TBD)
Estimated Date of Publication: May 2013


Like most of my work, this anthology will be family friendly in focus. I want it to be something people of all ages can read, enjoy and discuss. Remember when space exploration filled you with awe? Do you remember sitting around dreaming about what it might be like if you too could go to the stars? That’s the sense I’d like to capture with these stories. I’m deliberately choosing writers with diverse backgrounds, interests and styles with the hopes of getting a diverse selection still united around a common theme. While I will include up to 3 reprints, the rest of the stories will be created entirely for this project.

The Authors

Headliners: Robert Silverberg, Mike Resnick, Nancy Kress, Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Robert Silverberg

Robert Silverberg is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula awards and a 1999 inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Damon Knight Memorial Grandmaster Award by the SFWA in 2004. Among his acclaimed works which include over 100 novels and many short stories are: To Live Again, in which the memories and personalities of the deceased can be transferred to other people; The World Inside, a look at an overpopulated future; and Dying Inside, a tale of a telepath losing his powers as well as The Majipoor Cycle, which began with Lord Valentine's Castle in 1980 and has spawned 6 more books and enough shorts to merit their own anthology (due in January from ACE).

Mike Resnick

"Any time Bryan Thomas Schmidt comes up with a notion for an anthology, you can bet the farm that it's an outstanding notion. I'm very eager to start writing for BEYOND THE SUN, as I'm sure all the other contributors are." -- Mike Resnick

Locus Magazine calls him the most award winning living science fiction writer. Resnick has been nominated for 36 Hugo Awards -- a record for writers -- and won five times. Except for 1999 and 2003, he has received at least one nomination every year to date since 1989. He's authored & edited more than you can count, including the Chronicle Of A Distant Planet trilogy and multi-award-winning Kirinyaga series about space colonization and the Starship space opera series. 

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes under various pseudonyms in multiple genres, including science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, and mainstream. Rusch won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2001 for her story "Millennium Babies", the 2003 Endeavour Award for The Disappeared 2002, and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History for "Recovering Apollo 8" in 2008. She is married to fellow writer Dean Wesley Smith; they have collaborated on several works.  She edited The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for six years, from mid-1991 through mid-1997, winning one Hugo Award as Best Professional Editor. Notable works include her Diving series, the Retrieval Artist series, and her Fey fantasy series.

Nancy Kress

"BEYOND THE SUN will contain some exciting looks at humanity's possible futures in space--including mine! I'm eager, both as writer and reader, for this project to happen." --Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella "Beggars in Spain," later expanded into a novel with the same title. In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest, a regular at Clarion writing workshops and at The Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Other notable works include 1986 Best Short Story Nebula winner ( "Out of All Them Bright Stars", 1998 Best Novelette Nebula winner "The Flowers of Aulit Prison", 2007 Best Novella "Fountain of Age", 2009 Hugo Award Best Novella Hugo winner "The Erdmann Nexus", and John W. Campbell Memorial Award winning novel Probability Space.

Invited To Submit are:

Hugo and Nebula nominee Brad R. Torgersen, Jean Johnson writing in her Philip K. Dick Award nominated novel universe, Jamie Todd Rubin, Cat Rambo, Jennifer Brozek, Jason Sanford, Autumn Rachel Dryden, Matthew Cook, Guy Anthony DeMarco, Erin Hoffman, Patrick Hester, Sarah Hendrix, Anthony R. Cardno, Johne Cook, Simon C. Larter, Grace Bridges, Jaleta Clegg, Dana Bell, Anne-Mhairi Simpson, Selene O’Rourke, Anna Paradox, Gene Mederos, Alex Shvartsman and Harry Markov.

The Editor

I edited Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 (April 2012) a scifi anthology for Flying Pen Press, headlined by Hugo and Nebula nominees Mike Resnick & Brad Torgersen and Philip K. Dick nominee Jean Johnson. A collection of space opera and military science fiction stories, it’s been well received so far, and I really enjoyed the experience of working with these writers, so I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do it again.

My editing experience includes editing the Wars game tie-in novels for Grail Quest Books, novels for Ellen C. Maze, David Mark Brown, KM Strid, and others. I also have edited a history book on the Mexican War for Leon C. Metz as well as nonfiction ebooks for Delabarre Publishing. I’ve edited individual short stories as well. 

My first novel, The Worker Prince, got Honorable Mention from Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Paul Goat Allen on his Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases of 2011, and the sequel, The Returning¸ arrived in July 2012 to great reviews. A third book will be released in 2013. I also have children’s books out and in the works.

Assistant Editor Sarah Chorn

Sarah Chorn, book blogger/owner of Bookworm Blues, has been a compulsive reader her whole life and early on found her reading niche in the fantastic genre of Speculative Fiction. She blames her active imagination for the hobbies that threaten to consume her life. A published author and photographer, world traveler and recent college graduate, she's also a new mother. In her ideal world, she’d do nothing but drink lots of tea and read from a never ending pile of speculative fiction books. Respected as a reviewer, she receives book ARCs from all of the major and most minor publishers in science fiction and fantasy. But given her love of stories, she's always wanted to be a part of the creative process and this is her first opportunity to do so.

Cover Artist Mitch Bentley

The recipient of one of the Judge's Pick Awards at ChiCon 7 for one of his Davi Rhii covers for Bryan's space opera series, titled "Rivalry On A Sky Course," Mitch Bentley has also earned 35 awards, is a lifetime member of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists and is currently serving as President.

As the Creative Consultant of Atomic Fly Studios, Bentley produces cover art, marketing materials and Web sites while he continues to produce quality 2D artwork marketed through the AFS Web site and at science fiction conventions across the United States. Bentley has lectured at universities, worked in film, edited publications and served as Artist Guest of Honor at more than a dozen science fiction conventions. 

He currently resides in Harrisburg, PA with his partner Cathie McCormick and their spoiled cats, Mr. Spike, Zöe and Drucilla. Bentley’s Web address is: www.atomicflystudios.com

Other Artists: Laura Givens (Tales Of The Talisman, Full Throttle Space Tales, Sam's Dot Publishing), Chrissy Nelson Ellsworth (Shimmer), Miranda Jean and more to come.

Stretch Goals

If we raise $7000, an additional $2000, we will hire artists to do drawings for several of the stories. Examples will come with updates. We will also raise the pay rate for all writers, not just headliners, to $5 cents/word, SFWA pro-rates. 

Our Thanks For Your Support

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who's supported this crazy plan so far, and thank in advance everyone who steps up this time too. Please pledge whatever you like or can, but also don't forget to spread the word far and wide about this project. Tell your friends, family, and neighbors and even strangers if they'll listen. It's been an amazing year so far, and I'd love to have as many people as possible along for the ride!

When we reach $3000, all Backers get sneak peeks at two stories and I'll reveal here interior artwork for three stories by talented artists.

Risks and challenges

In case anyone doubts I can pull this off, in 2009 I wrote my second novel ever, sold it a year later and it was the only Micropress book on Paul Goat Allen's B&N Book Club's Year's Best SF Releases of 2011. Here's what's been published since:

Tales Of The Talisman, Vol. 8, Issue 1 (Author Contributor), 2012
102 More Hilarious Dinosaur Jokes For Kids (ebook only) (Author), 2012
The Returning (Author), 2012
Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 (Editor), 2012
Rivalry On A Sky Course (ebook only) (Author), 2012 (self)
The Worker Prince (Author), 2011
Of Fur And Fire (anthology contributor/Author), 2011
The North Star Serial, Part 1 (Author), 2010 (self)

Upcoming:
Abraham Lincoln: Dinosaur Hunter - Land Of Legends (Author), 2012 (in press)
Wandering Weeds (anthology contributor/Author), 20112 (in press)
101 Best Science Fiction Jokes For Everyone (forthcoming ebook), 2013
101 Best Kansas Jokes (forthcoming ebook), 2013

And 21 more short stories in online zines. You can verify it here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/3874125.Bryan_Thomas_Schmidt and here http://bryanthomasschmidt.net/writings/.

I can make this book happen. As for editing, I've edited dozens of projects since 2009 for authors like Leon C. Metz, David Mark Brown, Ellen Maze, Flying Pen Press, Grail Quest Books and Delabarre Publishing, amongst others.

For this project, I've worked hard to minimize risks by including 4 award-winning, well known Headliners for the anthology and including award-winning authors in the pool. I also have invited people whose work I've seen or heard enough about to feel confident they'll deliver competitive stories to give me lots of interesting choices. I also have already gotten interest from several publishers to pick this up and pay production costs. We have enough in budget to do it ourselves if needed, but I'd rather spend that money on paying writers and artists. Besides, I think having the stories with illustrations will be a bonus for readers and authors alike. I also love to help newer, lesser known artists get their names out there just as I'm doing with writers, but the lesser known factor is a risk. I hope to overcome it by letting you see samples as we go along.

The last risk is that if this fails, my other great projects will become less viable. People may doubt my ability to pull it off. Writers may not be willing to commit. The same with artists. But as you can see from the video, I have great passion for this. And I work hard. And the reactions I've gotten to this concept have been not just positive but enthusiastic from all quarters so I have to believe this is a winning idea that just needs to find its audience. I hope we can find a good portion of them here.

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FAQ

  • Anthologies are a tough sell right now, and my not being a big name editor yet, as I only have one prior anthology out, makes it harder to sell an anthology at a level that allows me to pay writers well. I like to help writers. This is my opportunity to give exposure to some new writers alongside 4 award winning headliners and some established midlist writers with several credits to their name by packaging it, then partnering to bring a press a really good quality product at less cost.

    Last updated:
  • The SFF community talks a lot about how we're losing younger readers. We even see it in attendance at Cons. But so much of what gets published isn't age appropriate for younger readers. By keeping this product age appropriate and filling it with intriguing ideas that encourage readers to think and dream, we're providing something that can draw readers of all ages into discussions about genre fiction. What better way to grow interest? And if teachers can use it as well, that's just more opportunity.

    Last updated:
  • Well, in an ideal world, I'd have time to read slush, but I just don't. Sarah's great but our sensibilities are not identical. I have to write to eat so I have to be careful what I take on. I do invite new people to every project along with people I've worked with before. I try hard to get a good mix. But 9 of the writers in the general pool are new for me: Harry Markov, Cat Rambo, Jason Sanford, Jennifer Brozek, Autumn Rachel Dryden, Jamie Todd Rubin, Anne-Mhairi Simpson, Guy Anthony DeMarco and Erin Hoffman, for example. I also like to invite people whose work I've seen and know to be professional enough that it saves time. It's a practicality issue. I hope to some day be able to do open calls but this isn't that time.

    Last updated:

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    I JUST WANT TO HELP - The writers and I will smile every time we hear your name and send good vibes in your direction.

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    GAWKER - An ebook edition of the anthology (delivered in both ePub and Kindle format)

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    A trade paperback editing of the final anthology and great thanks!

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    CADET - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology signed by the editor (delivered in both ePub and Kindle format). Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits.

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    CADET - A personalized and autographed paperback edition of the anthology signed by the editor. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits.

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    EXPLORER - A personalized and autographed trade paper back AND ebook edition of the anthology signed by the editor (delivered in both ePub and Kindle format). Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits.

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    PLANETARY ROVER - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits. Plus a trade paperback of the anthology signed by the editor. Plus a signed 7 x 10 open edition print of the cover art without titles. Please add $10 for international shipping ($5 Canada/Mexico).

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    COLONIST - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology signed by the editor. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits. Plus a trade paperback of the anthology signed by the editor and one headliner (all 3 will sign random copies and we will send them randomly). Plus a signed 7 x 10 open edition print of the cover art without titles. Add $10 to your order if International.

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    JUNIOR OFFICER

    ***Perfect for up and coming authors***

    - A story/novel critique up to 7500 words from the editor (Bryan) - a $100 value by itself! Plus an ebook and trade paperback of the anthology signed by the editor. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits. Add $10 to your order if International. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits.

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    JUNIOR OFFICER

    ***Perfect for up and coming authors***

    - A story/novel critique up to 7500 words from award-winning editor Jennifer Brozek- a $100 value by itself! Plus an ebook and trade paperback of the anthology signed by the editor. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits. Add $10 to your order if International. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits.

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    OFFICER - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology signed by editor and 2 headliners. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits. Plus a trade paperback of the anthology signed by the editor and two headliners (all 3 will sign random copies and we will send them randomly). An 11x14 numbered, limited edition print of the cover art sans titles matted and signed by the artist. (Numbers given out based on bid amounts, higher first.) Add $10 to your order if international.

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    COLONIAL MERCHANT - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology signed by editor & 3 headliners. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits. Plus two trade paperbacks of the anthology signed by the editor and all three headliners. An 11x14 numbered, limited edition print of the cover art sans titles matted and signed by the artist. (Numbers given out based on bid amounts, higher first.) We will pay half of international shipping. Add $5 to your order if international.

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    COLONIAL DIPLOMAT - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology signed by the editor and 4 headliners. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits. Plus three trade paperbacks of the anthology signed by the editor and all three headliners and the author of the following: your name tuckerized in a story of our choice (not headliner). One of the exclusive edition of large archival reproductions of the cover art, matted to 16x20, signed by the artist. A special thank you video from the editor and several contributors, including at least one headliner mentioning and thanking you by name.

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    COLONIAL REGENT - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology signed by editor and all authors. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits. Plus six trade paperbacks of the anthology signed by the editor and all authors. Plus your name tuckerized in a headliner’s story of our choice. A signed copy of one of Bryan's two Davi Rhii novels. One of the exclusive edition of large archival reproductions of the cover art, matted to 16x20, signed by the artist. (Numbers given out based on bid amounts, higher first.)

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    (Half Funding) PLANETARY COUNCIL - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology signed by the editor and all authors. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits as Supervising Producer. Six trade paperbacks of the anthology signed by the editor and all authors. Six trade paperbacks of the anthology unsigned. Plus your name tuckerized in a headliner’s story of our choice. A signed copy of one of Bryan's two Davi Rhii novels. One copy of the trade paperback of Bryan's previous anthology SPACE BATTLES signed by all contributors, including headliner Mike Resnick. One of the exclusive edition of large archival reproductions of the cover art, matted to 16x20, signed by the artist. (Numbers given out based on bid amounts, higher first.) A special thank you video from the editor and several contributors, including at least one headliner mentioning and thanking you by name.

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    COLONIAL GOVERNOR - A personalized and autographed ebook edition of the anthology signed by editor and all authors. Plus you get named under your pledge level in the credits as Executive Producer. Plus ten trade paperbacks of the anthology signed by the editor and all authors. ten trade paperbacks of the anthology unsigned. Plus your name tuckerized in a headliner’s story of our choice. Two copies o the trade paperback of Bryan's previous anthology SPACE BATTLES signed by all contributors, including headliner Mike Resnick. Signed copies of Bryan's two Davi Rhii novels. One of the exclusive edition of large archival reproductions of the cover art, matted to 16x20, signed by the artist. (Numbers given out based on bid amounts, higher first.) A special thank you video from the editor and several contributors, including at least two headliners mentioning and thanking you by name.

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Funding period

- (30 days)