What does "release the virgins" mean to you? We're not even sure what it means to us.
But what we do know is that it's a phrase that has stuck with us. As writers and editors, the phrase told us there was a story—or several stories—leading from it.
So we asked several incredible authors what it meant to them, and they responded with story ideas. Incredible ideas.
Now we're presenting it to you: Release the Virgins, the anthology. No constraining genre limit, no constricting theme, just great stories inspired by (and containing) the phrase "Release the Virgins."
Help us release them: you'll be glad you did.
Jody Lynn Nye
Keith R.A. DeCandido
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Gail Z. Martin
Daniel M. Kimmel
Did you ever have one of those late-night conversations with a bunch of erudite friends, and one of them says something that sounds so incredibly clever that the rest of you start to build on it, and it turns into an idea that you all adopt as the next really big thing? Of course, in the morning when everybody wakes up and sobers up, the idea turns out to be not really quite so wonderful.
In the harsh light of day we've decided we can't decide if it's a good idea that needs to be encouraged or if it's a bad idea that needs to be strangled in its crib. So we are asking you to help us decide.
Some background: we were sitting at a table in the bar; it was late on the third night of a four-day convention. Heidi caught a fruit fly and I said Drosophila melanogaster, its Latin name. Thomas translated that as dew-lover dark-belly*. That led him to reminisce about his time as a biology student and at one point in the fruit fly's life cycle, he had to "release the virgins."
Michael said "I can turn that into an anthology." Thomas said "I can paint that cover." And then I scratched my chin and said "I think I can publish that." David and Hildy seemed to come up with an idea for a story telepathically. Kelly said "I can write the tentacle porn story."
I thought about the business aspects of publishing this book and we all continued to think about what we had said and now it is several months later and we have decided to ask you if this is an idea worth pursuing.
* The name drosophila comes from the Ancient Greek words (drosos) meaning dew, and (philos, with a Latinate feminine ending as phila) meaning lover. The name melanogaster also comes from Ancient Greek, from the words (melas) meaning dark-coloured, and (gaster) meaning belly.
At $5,000, the approximately 70,000-word anthology will be funded.
At $6,000, we'll add two stories to the book. [One by a name author and one open submission slot; backing this Kickstarter campaign will not increase your odds of being chosen for the slot.]
At $7,000, we'll add two more stories to the book. [One by a name author and one open submission slot; backing this Kickstarter campaign will not increase your odds of being chosen for the slot.]
At $8,000, we'll add a hardcover limited edition, and a new pledge level.
At $12,000, we'll guarantee a second book in this series, and guarantee all backers at or above the $5 level an ebook copy of that book when it becomes available.
Quick Explanation: Kickstarter doesn't really have an intuitive way to do add-ons, and the process can be confusing, so here's a quick explanation. To add one of the below onto your current pledge, just click on the "Manage Your Pledge" button at the top right of the page, click in the "Pledge Amount" box, and change the pledge amount to reflect the addition of the amount of the add-on you want. Example: if your current pledge amount is $10, and you want to add a $5 add-on, you would click into the "Pledge Amount" box and change the pledge amount to $15. At the end of the Kickstarter, we'll send out a questionnaire to find out what add-ons you contributed for. NOTES: all ebooks listed available in .epub, mobi, or .pdf, unless indicated. Also, we can autograph a book to whomever you want and you can order more than one copy of the same book when doing an add-on.
$5 — Add a limited edition cloissone "I Helped Release the Virgins" pin. This pin will ONLY be available to Kickstarter supporters and the contributors to the book.
$7 — Add an ebook copy of Science Fiction for the Throne, edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial.
$7 — Add an ebook copy of Trafficking in Magic, Magicking in Traffic, edited by David Sklar and Sarah Avery.
$7 — Add an ebook copy of H.G. Wells, Secret Agent, by Alex Shvartsman .
$14 —Add a trade paperback copy of Science Fiction for the Throne, edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial.
$14 — Add a trade paperback copy of Trafficking in Magic, Magicking in Traffic, edited by David Sklar and Sarah Avery.
$25 — Unidentified Funny Objects. Editor Alex Shvartsman will personally autograph a paperback copy of one of his anthologies, Unidentified Funny Objects (your choice, volumes 1 through 6).
$25 — The Siren and the Sword. Author Cecilia Tan will personally autograph a paperback copy of her novel The Siren and the Sword
$30 — Lawrence Watt-Evans autographed book. Lawrence Watt-Evans will send you a list of his books that he will personally autograph for you and you can choose which one you want.
$30 — Jody Lynn Nye autographed book. Jody Lynn Nye will send you a list of her books that she will personally autograph for you and you can choose which one you want.
Michael A. Ventrella has edited two other anthology series: Two "Baker Street Irregulars" books (co-edited with NY Times Bestselling Author Jonathan Maberry) and five "Tales of Fortannis" collections. He has been the subject of editing himself, having appeared in a number of other anthologies. His humorous adventure novels include Bloodsuckers: A Vampire Runs for President and The Axes of Evil.
David Gerrold. Winner of the Forry and Skylark awards, as well as the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, David Gerrold will probably be longest remembered as the creator of Star Trek's tribbles in his script for the original series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles." He also created the Sleestack race in the tv series Land of the Lost. And he is the author of the wonderfully moving "The Martian Child."
Lawrence Watt-Evans. Winner of the Hugo Award for "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers," he was an officer for both the Horror Writers Association and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
Allen Steele. Winner of the Phoenix Award, the Robert A. Heinlein Award, and three Hugo Awards, Allen Steele is the author of the Coyote series, the new Captain Future novels, and the stunning Arkwright.
Jody Lynn Nye. Author of forty novels and more than 100 stories, Jody Lynn Nye was Robert Asprin's collaborator on the MythAdventures series, and took it over after his death.
Keith R.A. DeCandido. Author, musician, and martial artist Keith DeCandido has written tie-in novels to more than a dozen television series, and was named a Grand Master by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. He also writes comics and the high-fantasy police procedural series Dragon Precinct.
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Joint winners of the Skylark and Golden Duck awards, Lee & Miller are the authors of the long-running Liaden Universe series.
Gail Z. Martin. Best known for her Chronicles of the Necromancer series, Gail has also written steampunk adventures, urban fantasy, mysteries and more.
Shariann Lewitt. Author, scientist, and MIT professor Shariann Lewitt has been publishing hard science fiction novels and short fantasy stories since the mid-1980s. Most of her backlist is currently available from Fantastic Books.
Alex Shvartsman. Author, editor, and translator Alex Shvartsman is the driving force behind the Unidentified Funny Objects series of humorous sf anthologies. He won the WSFA Small Press Award for his "Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma."
Cecilia Tan. Writer, editor, and sexuality activist Cecilia Tan won the RT Reviewers Choice Award and the Romance Writers of America's Maggie Award, as well as the RT Book Reviews 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award in Erotica. While still in graduate school, she founded Circlet Press, which continues to publish erotic science fiction and fantasy.
Daniel M. Kimmel. The winner of this year's Skylark Award, professional film critic Daniel Kimmel was a finalist for the Hugo Award for Jar Jar Binks Must Die, and the Compton Crook Award for Shh! It's a Secret, his first novel.
Patrick Thomas. Patrick Thomas is the author of the fantasy humor Murphy's Lore series, as well as the Mythic Investigators paranormal mystery series. Several of his books have appeared as props on the tv series CSI.
Ian Randal Strock's Fantastic Books has been publishing new and reprint speculative fiction since 2010. Fantastic Books authors include Grand Masters James Gunn, Tanith Lee, and Michael Moorcock, as well as the best up-and-coming authors of today. Last year, the company published the short sf anthology Science Fiction for the Throne (which was the subject of our first successful Kickstarter campaign). Without consciously setting out to do so, the company specializes in single-author collections of short fiction, and is now moving into the realm of new and reprint anthologies.
Risks and challenges
The book will not be published unless it is funded through this campaign, but publisher Fantastic Books has an excellent record of producing funded projects.
The contributing authors have promised to write stories if/when the project is funded, but there is always the chance that one or more of them may be unable to do so.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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