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$1,355 pledged of $1,400 goal
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$1,355 pledged of $1,400 goal
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About

The purpose of the Long List anthology is to celebrate more of the fiction that was loved by the Hugo Award voting audience.  

For those who aren't familiar, the Hugo Award is one of the big awards in science fiction, voted by those fans who choose to support WorldCon. If you want to participate, all you have to do is to buy a supporting membership.  

The works on the final ballot receive a great deal of attention every year, between the Hugo packet and discussions about voting on various forums.  Every year at WorldCon the Hugo Award administrators publish a list of the top fifteen nominees in each category including those that were on the Hugo ballot--this is a requirement according to the WSFS constitution that defines the Hugo rules.  The works on the ballot get a great deal of attention and are easy to acquire if you register to get the Hugo packet.  But the works on the long list, also greatly loved by the group of fans voting for the Hugo, tend to not get as much attention as they deserve.  For this anthology I will solicit the works from this long list to bring more attention to these works, and provide a place to discuss them.  

There is a lot of great short fiction out there, and most people don't have time to read it all. Some people use the final Hugo ballot as a recommended reading list and register for WorldCon specifically so that they can get some of the nominated works bundled together in the Hugo packet. The goal here is to widen that celebration of great fan-chosen fiction.

The base funding goal will include the Short Story category only (stories of 7500 words or less).  Stretch goals will expand the anthology to include novelettes (between 7500 and 17,500 words), and then novellas (between 17,500 and 40,000).   Novellas will be ebook only due to printing constraints.  

Ebook copies will be available in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF.

This project is not affiliated with the Hugo awards.

Thanks to Alex Shvartsman for his helpful advice, Dave Thompson for lending his voice, the donors of the awesome rewards, and anyone who chooses to donate.

WHO AM I?

I'm David Steffen, most well known for running the Submission Grinder, a webtool to help writers track their submissions and find markets, which has been around since January 2013.  I make all of the new market listings, update the existing listings, and handle all of the user interaction.

The Submission Grinder is an extension of my longer term efforts at Diabolical Plots, an online publication that has continuously published content related to science fiction and fantasy since 2008. Earlier this year Diabolical Plots began publishing original short fiction paid at professional rates, with stories all read anonymously to ensure that the quality of the story was chosen without author identity affecting the editorial choices.

I'm also a writer, with dozens of short stories published in a variety of venues over the last six years.

EXACTLY WHAT STORIES WILL BE IN THE ANTHOLOGY?

I will solicit the stories on the long list that weren't on the final Hugo ballot .  For this anthology I will not be the arbiter of taste as I would be when editing another fiction collection; I will be an impartial curator.  The Hugo voters are the ones who chose the stories by nominating them.

The only criteria that will need to be met for a story to be published:

  • Original date of publication in the correct year to be eligible for the Hugo.
  • Word length within the funded word length categories (i.e. if a novelette-length story is in the short story nominee list, I will run it only if the novelette level stretch goal is reached)
  • The author agrees to the terms (1 cent/word for non-exclusive reprint rights).
  • If exclusivity periods for the story's original publication still applies, the original publisher must waive this requirement for the story to be published (Many publishers do have a specific clause for "Best Of" anthologies or will choose to waive the requirement)

COVER ART

"A City On Its Tentacles" Illustration by Galen Dara
"A City On Its Tentacles" Illustration by Galen Dara

 This art has been licensed from Galen Dara for use as cover art and promotion.

BUDGET

  • $750 Fiction
  • $150 Contributor copies and distribution
  • $150 Ebook Layout
  • $300 Reward production and distribution and other costs
  • $150 Kickstarter and transaction fees
  • ----------------------------------------------------
  • $1400 Total

STRETCH GOALS  

$3400
The authors of the 10 or so novelettes from the Hugo long list will be solicited for the anthology.   

$7400
The authors of the 10 or so novellas from the Hugo long list will be solicited for the anthology (ebook version only,).

ABOUT THE REWARDS

Most of the rewards should be self-explanatory, but here's a little more information about some of the rewards.

Crocheted Cthulhu

Crocheted Cthulhu
Crocheted Cthulhu

Handmade, theoretically childsafe.  

An Elder God who is described as "an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature" with a "pulpy, tentacled head surmounted by a grotesque scaly body with rudimentary wings". The Great Old One is imprisoned on Earth in the sunken city of R'lyeh. This baby Cthulhu yearns for the rising of R'lyeh from the depth of the ocean and the descent of mankind into madness ...and cuddles.  

Stands approx. 15 cm tall. Wingspan: 13 cm Weight: ~40g

(The crocheted Cthulhu was made by writer Sylvia Spruck Wrigley)

Homemade Jam

The jam will be made by writer and Podcastle editor Rachael K. Jones.  Choices from a limited set of jams will be offered to the backers who choose this reward.  A choice will be provided from a selection of local varieties, depending on seasonal availability.

Cassie Alexander Critique

Cassie Alexander is offering a read and critique of the first 10,000 words of someone’s novel. You’re welcome to include your query letter and synopsis on top of that word count. 

She’ll be critiquing for plot, pacing, readability, character arcs, voice, how well the opening works, and give overall, general impressions of the story. All critiques will be done in MSWord via track changes, and will be done in under a month. 

Cassie Alexander is the author of the five book Edie Spence urban fantasy series, comprised of Nightshifted, Moonshifted, Shapeshifted, Deadshifted, and Bloodshifted, and has been published in Germany, France, and the Republic of Czech. She’s an experienced workshopper, having attended Viable Paradise and Clarion West, and frequently is a writing workshop professional at conventions she attends.

Anaea Lay Critique

Anaea Lay is the voice of Strange Horizons, a reviewer for Publisher's Weekly, and a multiply published author. Her short fiction has appeared in a variety of places including Lightspeed, Nightmare, Apex, Daily Science Fiction and Escape Pod. She has critiqued work for authors including Ken Liu, Beth Cato, Vylar Kaftan and Leah Cypess. She runs the Craft Crucible, a monthly discussion of a short story that focuses on the technique of why it works.

David Steffen Critiques

Besides the other projects mentioned here, I also have sold and published dozens of my own short stories, have extensive short story critiquing experience from several different writing forums, and have written up a suggested guide of critiquing etiquette.  I will give overall impressions, thoughts about themes, with a focus on the beginning and ending that are so important in short fiction.  

Diabolical Plots Sponsor

Diabolical Plots is a publication focusing on science and fantasy since 2008.  For most of that run, the content has been nonfiction: reviews, interviews, "best of" lists, and writing tips.  This year Diabolical Plots has begun paying professional rates for original short fiction, and is publshing one per month.  

So far, these fiction offerings have netted about 500 views apiece.  This reward level covers the full cost of purchasing and publishing a story, and so this will include public credit as an episode sponsor on the Diabolical Plots site.  Tangent Online said of Diabolical Plots' fiction choices: "It’s one of the better stories I have read this year. ... If this story is any indication, Diabolical Plots is going to be an important venue for online science fiction."

The content and sponsor of the ad are subject to approval.

Submission Grinder Ad

The Submission Grinder is a free web tool for writers, launched in January 2013.  Writers can search markets based on genre, pay rates, and other attributes.  Writers can track their submissions, and anonymized submission statistics are calculated for each market to help writers gauge response times, acceptance rates, dead periods, and so on.

The Submission Grinder has thousands of registered users as well as unregistered ones.  The site averages from 1000-1500 hits per day:  all writers, but at varied levels of experience from first time submitters to veterans.

The content and sponsor of the ad are subject to approval.

Risks and challenges

Being able to publish the anthology will depend on being able to acquire non-exclusive rights to publish the stories. In particular, the exclusivity clauses that might still be in effect from some story's original contracts. I don't anticipate this to be a major issue--since all of the stories will have been ones originally published in 2014, and I won't be soliciting authors until the Hugo statistics are released, many of the exclusivity periods will have already ended (which are often 6 months or a year). Even for those that haven't ended I intend to approach the publisher and ask permission to include the work--such clauses are often waived for "Best of the year" anthologies because it can provide a marketing boost to the original publisher, so I expect the same will be true here for most of the stories involved.

Longer stories, such as the novella category, may be harder to acquire because they may still be on sale as standalone ebooks from the publisher.

I have editing experience through my work at Diabolical Plots. Both my work at Diabolical Plots and the Submission Grinder require good organization and communication skills, which will be key in arranging for reprint rights to these stories. I am confident that I am well-equipped for any challenges that arise.

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Funding period

- (29 days)