Thanks to achieving our stretch goals so far:
* All backers who pledge $10+ will receive four e-books: Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma, Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse, Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic, and H.G. Wells, Secret Agent: The Case of the Weather Machine.
* All backers who pledge $25+ will receive the audio book narrated by Parsec Award winner Tina Connolly in addition to their selected rewards.
* All physical-copy backers will receive bookmarks
* See more stretch goals below!
- When a snow globe-shaped pocket dimension containing the Great Old One ends up in the world's oldest magic pawn shop, proprietor Sylvia experiences the difficulties of Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma.
- Sylvia's adventures continue in High-Tech Fairies and the Pandora Perplexity. A mysterious object hidden inside a Pandora's box is sought after by the Fae. Will it go to the Tooth Fairy--a short, brutish half-elf who works as an enforcer for the Unseelie Court--or Puck, the iPhone-wielding, social media-addicted ambassador of Queen Titania?
- A cybernetically-enhanced assassin who can't feel pain faces his most dangerous adversary yet, and discovers that an operative's greatest weakness is Doubt.
- Conrad Brent is an agent of The Watch; he protects the ordinary residents of Brooklyn from supernatural threats. Learn his greatest secret in A Shard Glows in Brooklyn, then find out what happens when he must confront a toupee-wearing real estate magnate with a penchant for pasting his name everywhere and firing people, in Requiem for a Druid.
- Humanity must choose sides in the first intergalactic war in recorded history. Will they remain loyal as the junior members of the Galactic Union, or throw their lot in with the rebels in hopes of acquiring advanced technologies? What is the ultimate Price of Allegiance?
- In Fate and Other Variables, a computer hacker and a mystic team up to break into the metaphysical Book of Fate and change their futures.
Want more? How about:
- Vatican miracle investigators in space.
- Giant alien, telepathic spiders that sing.
- Spaceships that look like dragons.
- Love strong enough to extinguish stars during the heat death of the universe.
- A demon that uses a pentagram to summon an accountant from New Jersey.
- Ward magic powered by the size of the practitioner's library.
- An invading armada of alien space cats.
- & the strangest poker game you've ever heard of!
I'm a lifelong science fiction fan. I wrote my first short story by hand when I was about ten years old, and had plenty of ideas for more. But, when I was thirteen, my family and I emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States. I spoke barely enough English to ask for directions (and not quite enough to understand the reply), and gave up on the idea of writing fiction.
Many years later, I finally found the courage to try my hand at it again. I wrote, submitted, and sold my first stories in 2010. In four short years, I've managed to sell over seventy original short stories. Around 60 of them are now published. My fiction has appeared six times in Nature's Futures, three times in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, three times in Mike Resnick's Galaxy's Edge and ten times in Daily Science Fiction. You can also find my stories in Weird Tales, Buzzy Magazine, Drabblecast, On Spec, and a variety of anthologies, including a couple from Tor and Baen Books.
My short stories have been translated and published in Russia, Poland, Romania and Spain. Two of them made the 2013 Tangent Recommended Reading List with the highest possible rating of three stars. The title story of this collection is the IGMS 2013 Reader Poll finalist. Over a dozen of my short stories have been produced in audio by various podcasts. One story was selected by the New Jersey Board of Education for use in a standardized reading comprehension test for 8th graders.
I've edited several anthologies, including Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic and Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse, but my best-known work is as the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects annual anthology series of humorous science fiction & fantasy. UFO volumes have included fiction by Robert Silverberg, Piers Anthony, Esther Friesner, Mike Resnick, Jody Lynn Nye, Ken Liu, and many other established authors, as well as talented newcomers. The third volume in the series is releasing this October.
WHAT YOU'LL GET
The trade paperback version of this book will collect, for the first time, approximately forty of my best short stories, totaling eighty thousand words.But why stop there? In the e-book version, you get everything. Every short story of mine that has been published in the four year period between 2010 and 2014, and had the rights reverted in time for this book's February 2015 release date.
Each story will include brief author notes, sharing some anecdotes about the writing and publication history of that story.
On top of that, both the physical and e-book volumes will include at least one original, never-before-published short story. And each backer of this campaign will get to vote on which story or stories are included, based on the title and opening lines! I will post titles and opening paragraphs of at least three stories in the comments during the campaign and ask you to cast your vote for each story you would prefer to see included.
The amazing Ken Liu, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, agreed to write the introduction to this collection, thereby ensuring that at least some brilliant writing will appear within its pages.
Other perks include copies of the anthologies I've edited over the last several years. At higher tiers you can grab story critiques, have your name immortalized as a character in one of my future stories, and even get a sneak peek at my novel-in-progress!
But wait, there's even more. Every backer of this campaign, even with a pledge of a single dollar, will get an e-book of Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse space opera anthology I edited for Deorc Enterprises. Special thanks to Deorc for allowing me to share the book in this manner.
Putting together my own short story collection is way less expensive than packaging an anthology of work by many different writers.
For one thing, I don’t have to pay anything to the author (although I might buy him an iced French Vanilla coffee if he behaves himself). The content is free! I was also fortunate enough to receive wonderful cover art from Dixon Leavitt. Other friends have pitched in to help with graphics design, proofreading, etc.
Which is why I'm only asking for $2000 to fund this project.
"But Alex," you might say, "two thousand dollars is still a lot of money. That's like a thousand cups of French Vanilla coffee. Or maybe two dozen cups of French Vanilla coffee, if you shop at Starbucks."
Fact is there are still plenty of costs associated with putting together a book. I would like to pay a book designer to create the layout for a physical book in InDesign, an e-book designer to code the EPUB, and a copy editor to go over the text and make sure I don't embarrass myself more than usual.
I would also like to hire Barry Munden to create interior art by illustrating some of the stories. Fans of the UFO series are already familiar with his work.
And, of course, there's the cost of printing and shipping physical books.
There's also the matter of time it will take to write author notes for all the stories, go over the copy edits and galleys, and the price of a small goat I must sacrifice to publishing gods as I pray for this independently created book to be picked up by libraries, physical B&N stores, etc. Have you seen the price of goats lately?
If you haven't read any of my stories yet then, first, thank you for getting this far into the crowd-funding campaign of an author who's unfamiliar to you. Second, I would love for you to read a couple of my shorter stories, and see if my writing might be appealing to you.
There are loads of my stories available online, but I feel these two, while very different from each other, are a good representation of my writing range.
Many of the stories I write are flash fiction. That is, they're very short -- under 1000 words each. It's actually rather difficult to tell a complete and emotionally satisfying tale in so few words, but I seem especially drawn to this form. I consider "The Rumination on What Isn't" to be the strongest of my flash stories. It was originally published in the journal of Nature (click on the link above to read it). They also produced an audio version. Another audio version is forthcoming from Drabblecast, and the story will appear in Futures 2, an anthology of selected Nature's Futures stories forthcoming in September 2014 from Tor Books.
I also love to write humorous stories. Especially humorous stories that involve the Internet, pop-culture references, and subverted memes. The title story in this collection and its sequel are among these, but another short, good representation of such is "How Earth Narrowly Escaped an Invasion from Space," which debuted in Daily Science Fiction earlier this year.
Thanks for reading, and please help make this short story collection a reality!
In conclusion, here's a photo of me and George R.R. Martin at the 2013 WorldCon. It has absolutely nothing to do with this collection but, come on, if you had a photo of GRRM grabbing Ken Liu's Hugo like he's about to snuff out several Starks with it, you'd totally put it here, too.
STRETCH GOALSStretch Goal #4 - $5000
All $10+ backers will receive a free novella.
Stretch Goal #5 - $6000
All $25+ backers will receive a *print* copy of the novella.
Stretch Goal #1 - UNLOCKED!
I will add a second original, previously unpublished story to the book (selected by the backers!) and every backer who pledged $10 or more will receive a free e-book of Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic.
Stretch Goal #2 - UNLOCKED!
All backers who pledged $25+ will also receive a free complete audio book of "Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma & Other Stories" via download link.
Stretch Goal #3 - $4500 - UNLOCKED!
All backers will receive a free additional e-book humor short story; physical copy backers will receive a bookmark.
Risks and challenges
The stories are written, the book cover is made, and I have a lot of experience working with printers, illustrators, and other professionals needed to see this project through in a timely fashion.
While there are always potential challenges, I will do everything possible to deliver the book on time, and ensure it's of the quality people have come to expect from UFO Publishing projects.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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