Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The fourth annual anthology of humorous science fiction & fantasy, featuring dark humor by G.R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, & others.
The fourth annual anthology of humorous science fiction & fantasy, featuring dark humor by G.R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, & others.
278 backers pledged $8,455 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Unidentified Funny Objects 4 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$8,455

278

We're a Kickstarter Staff Pick!
We're a Kickstarter Staff Pick!

STRETCH GOAL!

If this campaign raises $10,000+, every backer who pledged $10+ will receive an additional e-book anthology of humorous science fiction. The project will collect humorous SF stories published elsewhere in recent years that are similar to the original stories collected in UFO. We're confident this collection will appeal to the fans of the series. We already have a short list if very funny stories to solicit and will open to reprint submissions for this after the UFO4 submission window closes.

The mission of the Unidentified Funny Objects (UFO) anthologies is to print great collections of funny, lighthearted, upbeat and plain weird stories.

I've edited and published three volumes to date and they were well-received by readers and reviewers alike. For volume 4, I'm choosing to explore a specific theme: humor with a touch of darkness. This veers slightly off from what I've done in the past, but I feel experimentation will help keep the series fresh.

What's dark humor? I'm open to a rather wide interpretation of this theme. It can be black comedy, touching on subjects that are normally taboo or painful to talk about. It can also be biting satire, or morbid irony. I still want each story to be humor first, with varying shades of darkness in the mix.

This book will include darkly funny stories from George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, Mike Resnick, Piers Anthony, Gini Koch, Jody Lynn Nye, Tim Pratt, Karen Haber and other authors.

Each UFO volume features offbeat and unique stories unlike any other anthology series.

If you haven't read the UFO books, check out some sample stories:

* Read a sample story from UFO1 by Jake Kerr written in the form of a Twitter feed

* Listen to Ken Liu's UFO2 story "The MSG Golem" at PodCastle.

* Listen to Jim C. Hines' UFO2 story "Stranger vs the Malevolent Malignancy" at PodCastle

My team and I work very hard to produce beautiful books that look as good as anything from a major publisher. Some of the stories feature original illustrations by Barry Munden. The books are designed and copy-edited by experienced pros.

Robot Salesman says: "Have I got a great anthology deal for you!"
Robot Salesman says: "Have I got a great anthology deal for you!"

Although I invite headliners to contribute stories directly, much of the content comes in through "the slush." There will be an open submission window in April (read guidelines here). I want to read your stories!

UFO Publishing is committed to treating authors well:

* We pay pro rates of $0.07 per word
* Our contract terms are reasonable. We ask only 90 days' exclusivity and the ability to keep the book in print afterward.
* Fast responses. We reply to most submissions in under a week.
* No bias. Associate editors read submissions "blind." They don't know if the story is by a Hugo winner or a previously unpublished author.

Wizard says: "Our slush readers are friendlier than an average dragon."
Wizard says: "Our slush readers are friendlier than an average dragon."

As in previous years, this volume will include two reprints (below) and many original stories.

George R.R. Martin

The master of Westeros needs no introduction. Even before Game of Thrones propelled him to stardom, Martin was an accomplished novelist and short story writer with numerous awards and nominations to his name.

UFO4 will feature his novelette "The Monkey Treatment," a deliciously creepy tale of an obese man's quest to lose weight.

Neil Gaiman

Few authors are better at mixing humor and darkness in short fiction than Gaiman, one of the world's foremost fantasists. His story "We Can Get Them For You Wholesale" is so iconic, it has its own Wikipedia page, which describes it as "a lighthearted tale of morbid irony and one man's weakness for a bargain."

Piers Anthony

Piers Anthony is one of the world's most popular fantasy authors and a New York Times bestseller twenty-one times over. He's the author of the Xanth series, the Apprentice Adept series, and many others.

His original story for UFO4, "Hello Hotel," is about meeting one's soul mate at an airport, and how occasionally there's hell to pay for the chance at a future together.

Esther Friesner

Hugo and Nebula award winner and renowned author of humorous science fiction & fantasy, Friesner is the author of approximately 40 novels and the editor of many anthologies.

Her original story "The Match Game" is about a post-apocalyptic matchmaker who specializes in matching people with vampires, werewolves and the like, with the help of her mutated hamster assistant, Toodles.

Mike Resnick

Mike Resnick is the most award-winning science fiction writer in the genre's history and an editor of many great anthologies. He recently teamed up with Arc Manor Publishing to launch Galaxy's Edge Magazine, which is available online.

Mike wrote the first original Lucifer Jones story in quite some time for UFO4! In "Getting Ahead," Lucifer visits the island of Borneo.

The above stories have already been contracted. Other headliners who are writing original stories for this anthology are:

Karen Haber

Karen Haber is a science fiction and non-fiction author and editor, as well an art critic and historian. She is the author of nine novels including Star Trek Voyager: Bless the Beasts, and co-author of Science of the X-Men.

Tim Pratt

Hugo award winner and a nominee for the Nebula, Stoker and Sturgeon awards, Pratt is the author of a dozen novels (including the popular Marla Mason series) and many short stories.

Jody Lynn Nye

Author of approximately 40 novels, Nye is well known for her humorous writing. She collaborated with Robert Asprin on many of the Myth Adventures books, wrote a number of other collaborations, and penned many novels on her own. She teaches an annual writing workshop at DragonCon.

Gini Koch

Gini Koch is a science fiction, fantasy, and horror writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is best known for the Alien Series novels, published in the United States by DAW Books.

Gini is working on a story set in the steampunk timeline version of her Alien setting, complete with spaceships, aliens, steampunk space station, and, of course, Poofs!

Alien says: "You won't find a cooler bunch of authors."
Alien says: "You won't find a cooler bunch of authors."

ABOUT THE EDITOR:

Alex Shvartsman

Alex edits the Unidentified Funny Objects series and has edited two other anthologies: Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantasitc and Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse.

As an author, he has has sold over 80 short stories to venues such as InterGalactic Medicine Show, Nature, Galaxy's Edge, Daily Science Fiction and other magazines and anthologies. His humorous short story Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma won the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction.

From its inception, the goal of the UFO series has been to produce the highest-quality books possible, never cut corners, and to pay writers, illustrators and everyone else involved in the project a fair rate.

So far I've been able to do this. I was even able to raise the pay rate for our authors from $0.05 to $0.07 per word this year. Creating quality books is expensive, and I've never paid myself a single dollar as of yet, which is okay: this is a passion project for me.

It's also a project I couldn't afford to continue year to year without help and support from hundreds of wonderful people who back these projects. If this Kickstarter funds successfully, it will allow me to purchase more stories for the book than I could otherwise, pay for interior illustrations again, and continue building toward the long-term sustainability of the series.

And, hopefully, you can snag some fun rewards in the process!

The Rewards

In addition to copies of UFO4 we're excited to offer e-book and physical book copies of all previous UFO titles. Since many reward tiers allow you to choose several books a la carte, here is the complete list of UFO Publishing titles:

* Unidentified Funny Objects
* Unidentified Funny Objects 2
* Unidentified Funny Objects 3
* Unidentified Funny Objects 4
* Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic
* Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories

Each e-book will be delivered in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats.

Each paperback reward will also include all e-book formats for that title as well.

General says: "What rank will YOU earn in the UFO Invasion Corps?"
General says: "What rank will YOU earn in the UFO Invasion Corps?"

From Conspiracy Theorist to Alien Overlord, each backer level comes with its own UFO-themed fun rank. Please do your patriotic duty and join our alien invasion fleet at any of the levels below, claim the attached rewards, and please help us recruit others!

$5 CONSPIRACY THEORIST: Any of the previously published UFO e-books.

$10 UFO HUNTER: UFO4 e-book

$15: AREA 51 CUSTODIAN: UFO4 e-book + 1 more e-book

$18: UFO ABDUCTEE: UFO4 e-book + 2 more e-books

$20: LITTLE GREEN MAN (OR WOMAN): UFO4 paperback

$25: QUANTUM MECHANIC: All six UFO e-books

$25: MAD SCIENTIST: UFO4 signed paperback

$35: ANGRY ENGINEER: UFO4 signed paperback + 1 more paperback

$50: UFO TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: UFO4 signed paperback + 2 more paperbacks

$75: INVASION FLEET MARINE: Signed print copies of all six UFO books

$75: INVASION FLEET SERGEANT: Short story critique + signed UFO4 paperback

$100: INVASION FLEET LIEUTENANT: Short fiction submissions workshop over Skype + signed UFO4 paperback

$120: INVASION FLEET COLONEL: Collector's bundle

$150: INVASION FLEET ADMIRAL: Tuckerization (aka a short story character named after you)

$250: ALIEN DIPLOMAT: Get tuckerized in Gini Koch's Alien series short story set in her steampunk universe storyline! You'll be a representative of an alien race (and who knows, you might not die!) so plan to alter your name accordingly! You'll receive a signed trade paperback and e-book of UFO4 as well.

$500: ALIEN OVERLORD: Become immortalized in the acknowledgments section of UFO4 + the collector's bundle.

*** NEW REWARD / ADD-ON:

$20: CHEEBLEMANCY! Esther Friesner will tell your fortune by casting a toy hamster, and e-mail you the results. You will also receive the e-book of UFO4.

You can get this as a standalone reward, or add it to any existing reward tier by pledging an additional $10 and letting us know you're grabbing an add-on.

Risks and challenges

The greatest challenge in an undertaking like this is meeting deadlines. The book is planned for a November release and I feel like I built in enough lead time to meet that deadline.

The list of headliners may also change slightly; occasionally an author might not be able to deliver the story on time, or the story doesn't fit the book well enough.

This is the sixth Kickstarter project from UFO Publishing. The other books were produced as promised and the backer rewards were delivered on time and sometimes early! I expect to do the same this time.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    CONSPIRACY THEORIST: Receive your pick of one previously published e-book from among UFO1, UFO2, UFO3, Coffee or ECTG.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    UFO HUNTER: Receive an e-book of UFO4.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    76 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    AREA 51 CUSTODIAN: Receive an e-book of UFO4 as well as any one other UFO Publishing e-book.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    UFO ABDUCTEE: Receive an e-book of UFO4 as well as any TWO other UFO Publishing e-books.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    LITTLE GREEN MAN (OR WOMAN): Receive a print copy of UFO4 as well as an e-book.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    48 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    CHEEBLEMANCY!: Receive an e-book of UFO4. Also, Esther Friesner will tell your fortune by casting a toy hamster, and e-mail you the results.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    QUANTUM MECHANIC: Receive ALL SIX of the UFO Publishing e-books: UFO 1 through 4, Coffee, and Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    70 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    MAD SCIENTIST: Receive a print copy of UFO4 signed by the editor as well as an e-book.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    21 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    ANGRY ENGINEER: Receive a print copy of UFO4 signed by the editor as well as any one other signed print copy of a UFO book. You will also receive e-book versions of each selected book.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    UFO TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Receive a print copy of UFO4 signed by the editor as well as any TWO other signed print copies of a UFO book. You will also receive e-book versions of each selected book.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    INVASION FLEET MARINE: Receive print copies of ALL SIX of the UFO Publishing books signed by the editor as well as all six e-books.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    INVASION FLEET SERGEANT: Editor Alex Shvartsman will critique your short story or a novel excerpt of up to 6,000 words. Critiques will be provided in June - August (after submissions for UFO4 are all read). You will also receive a print copy of UFO4 signed by the editor and the e-book of UFO4.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    INVASION FLEET LIEUTENANT - Participate in a 30+ minute Skype chat with Alex Shvartsman about submission strategies for short fiction. Where do you send stories? What's the proper etiquette? What does and doesn't belong in the cover letter? How to find new markets for your story? There will be up to 4 backers per Skype chat.

    You will also receive a paperback signed by the editor and an e-book of UFO4.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    INVASION FLEET COLONEL: Receive print copies of ALL SIX of the UFO Publishing books signed by the editor as well as all six e-books. In addition, you will receive ultra-rare limited print run hardcovers of UFO1 and ECTG, and the audiobook CD of ECTG. That's everything ever produced by UFO Publishing!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    INVASION FLEET ADMIRAL: Alex Shvartsman will name a character after you in one of his short stories. You will get to read the early draft and will be updated on the status of the story. Although there's never a guarantee that any one story will be published, Alex's track record is pretty good with 80 original story sales since late 2010. You'll receive a paperback signed by the editor and e-book of UFO4 as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ALIEN DIPLOMAT: Get tuckerized in Gini Koch's Alien series short story set in her steampunk universe storyline! You'll be a representative of an alien race (and who knows, you might not die!) so plan to alter your name accordingly! You'll receive a paperback signed by the editor and e-book of UFO4 as well.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ALIEN OVERLORD: In addition to all rewards in the $120 tier, your name will appear in the book (we'll thank you in either the Foreword of the Acknowledgments section), you will receive early access to the unproofed ARC (Advance Reader Copy) and be among the first to read UFO4.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)