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The Wizard of Oz re-imagined as a YA novel with cyborgs, mutants, and alien artifacts. Dorothy pilots a giant robot.
The Wizard of Oz re-imagined as a YA novel with cyborgs, mutants, and alien artifacts. Dorothy pilots a giant robot.
38 backers pledged $920 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Project Updates

The Book

Five years in the making. Thirty days to get it into print!

Planet Oz: the Novel tells the tale of Dorothy, a young engineer with an adventuresome spirit and no idea of how to return home after crash-landing on a strange planet. Using her brains and her refusal to give up, she helps her new companions fulfill their life-long dreams even as she grows into someone worthy of their friendship

By backing this project, you'll provide me with the funds to put this book into the hands of the young people whom it would help the most.

I need your help to in paying for the actual print run, along with the professional layout and editing services that will make Planet Oz into the best book it can be. Thank you!

Why Print?

I love eBooks, but I've loved print books for far longer. Something about having a hard copy in my hand, away from all the shiny distractions of apps and notifications, can help me get lost in a book. I want to share that immersive experience with you.

Libraries also benefit from print editions. They can lend them out with ease. Not everyone owns an eReader, either. If we reach certain stretch goals, then I can have copies printed just to share with schoolchildren and teens eager to take it home.

Print also carries a degree of permanence. I've backed print books before and there's something different about knowing that the book on my shelf has my name in it, a way that I can show others what I helped make. You can talk about contributions like that for the rest of your days.

The Story

Our Dorothy wears combat boots.

She also drives a Team-Operated, Weaponized Tactical Operations Hovercar (TOWTOH), knows how to repair a Terminal Insurgency Negotiator (TIN Man) all on her own, and can snipe a junkyard rat from half a mile away with her laser rifle.

Dorothy won't take any nonsense, either, not while on her mission to beat the blasted Witch that would kill her for the Silver Slipper that calls itself "Ruby".

The Strawman just wants to know "why". Why was it created? Why doesn't anyone else see the incredible wonder of the world? Why must they fight? Why don't they realize that it will lay a smack-down on anyone that would hurt its new friends?

The TIN Man will complete his own mission. Even with his battalion destroyed and no one but a fragile extra-terrestrial and two former enemies as his current allies, nothing will stand between him and vengeance over a lost love. Nothing, perhaps, except a new love.

Commander Leonard "The Lion" Maine might have lost all he knew and treasured to the machinations of the Witch, but now he has nothing left to lose but the opportunity to return the favor. He can face that evil without hesitation, just as soon as he can face himself.

These four - along with TOWTOH and Ruby - will venture across the lands of a forgotten space colony, righting wrongs, saving Munchkins, and bringing the fight for freedom to the Witch's door step, a fight that includes giant robots.

The Wicked Witch of the West

We know that Dorothy will return home in the end, but do we know how she will transform as a person before the end? This is the big question of Planet Oz, even bigger than the explosions.

The History

I wrote the first draft of Planet Oz back in the fall of 2008. 50,000 words in 30 days, spurred on by my participation in NaNoWriMo. I have drafted several more novels since then, stretching myself as a writer each time. However, one of Robert A. Heinlein's Rules of Writing stuck in my mind: You must finish what you write.

Last year, I rewrote Planet Oz from scratch. This year, I made a promise to myself to publish it. My four younger sisters deserve something concrete that they can take as inspiration, to see that they can follow their own creative dreams.

Edits began in August. I spent an entire month on them to date, in between adjusting to a new job and new life in New York, and will see them through one way or another. Once we pay for the cover art, however, your contributions will also help pay for the professional editing services that will make this the best book possible.

Thank you,
James

The Project

First and foremost, your contributions will go to getting the book into print. I have a trade paperback - and a thick one - planned right now, but we might have a hardcover in the works if we reach the right stretch goals.

Every novel also needs a good cover. I have the incredible fortune of knowing some amazing artists. You can help me cover the costs of their hard work and, if we collect enough, commission even more.

  • Erin Moore: cover artist for Planet Oz, the novel. You can find more of her work online.
  • Steph Mided: cover artist contributing to Planet Oz: Origins, the short story collection. You can find more of her work on Tumblr.
  • Em Barnard: cover artist contributing to Planet Oz: Origins. You can find more of her work on her blog.

Your contributions will also help pay for the professional editing and proof-reading services that will make Planet Oz the best it can be! Thank you!

The Author

Raised by wild marsupials and/or loving parents down in Athens, Georgia, James started writing at a young age. Get him drunk enough and he might just tell you which video game inspired his first piece of fan-fiction.

James honed his craft over years of online roleplay and community participation, turning years of reading into new adventures. Those stories may yet survive on a long-forgotten iMac.

In 2008, James discovered NaNoWriMo. That turned his writing life upside down. Winning with only hours to spare that first year, he has cranked out a new draft every year since.

Having moved to that mecca of publishing, New York, James knew that he had found the time to seize on his dreams of writing. Thus, the Planet Oz Kickstarter was born.

Risks and challenges

I have not edited a work of this size through to completion yet. As an experiment, I completed an entire month of daily edits. That gave me the hard numbers used to calculate the completion date.

This will be my first time producing a printed book. The experimentation required to get it right will cost time and money. However, I already have some experience with layout and design. This means expanding my skill-set rather than starting from scratch.

Risks to the artists: none. I will pay for all the art I commission out of pocket regardless of the funding results.

Given my inexperience with physical book production and distribution, I had to leave out international shipping as an option. I also limited the total number of physical book rewards available. I would rather do right by you, my readers, than take on too much to handle. If this project succeeds, though, that opens the door to a follow-up Kickstarter!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    "Yellow Brick" patron: your name in the eBook edition of Planet Oz. Receive exclusive backer messages and previews.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    "Munchkin" patron: the eBook of Planet Oz, along with your name in the eBook edition. Includes backer-exclusive updates.

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    12 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    "TOWTOH" patron: eBooks of both Planet Oz: the Novel and Planet Oz: Origins, a short story collection delving into the history behind the TIN Man, Scarecrow, the Lion, and others! Includes your name in the eBook edition and backer-exclusive updates.

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    9 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    "Flying Monkey" patron: everything in the "TOWTOH" level (both eBooks), but digitally signed by the author! Includes both eBooks, books, your name in the eBook editions, and backer-exclusive updates.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    "Queen of the Mice" patron: trade paperback version of Planet Oz: the Novel. Includes your name in the eBook edition and backer-exclusive updates. US Shipping only.

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    8 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    "TIN Man" patron: both eBooks, plus the trade paperback edition of Planet Oz: the Novel! Includes your name in both editions and backer-exclusive updates. US shipping only.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    "Scarecrow" patron: the same as "TIN Man" (both eBooks and the trade paperback of Planet Oz: the Novel), but all signed by the author. Includes your name in both edtions and backer-exclusive updates. US shipping only.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    "Lion" patron: the same as "Scarecrow", (both eBooks), but with the signed trade paperbacks of both Planet Oz: the Novel and Planet Oz: Origins, the short story collection. The print edition of Origins also includes previews from other, unannounced novel series not found in the eBooks! Includes your name in both editions and backer-exclusive updates. US shipping only.

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    "Dorothy" patron: the same as "Lion" (both eBooks and paperback books, signed) but with a digital edition of a flash fiction story written just for you! The print edition of Origins also includes previews from other, unannounced novel series not found in the eBooks! Includes your name in both editions and backer-exclusive updates. US shipping only. Limited quantities.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    "Wicked Witch" patron: the same as "Lion" (signed eBooks and paperbacks; name in both editions; backer updates), but with credited editorial input. Also, includes a preview copy of each print books, well before the final print run. Backers will help decide which preview fiction goes in the book! US shipping only. Only two positions!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    "The Wizard" patron: the same as "Dorothy" (both eBooks and both paperbacks, all signed; name in both editions; backer updates), but I start writing another Planet Oz novel. The backer gets a print copy of the first draft and gets to help the author decide which original Wizard of Oz story will be used as inspiration.

    US shipping only. Only one position!

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Funding period

- (30 days)