About this project
Help create an anthology of funny science fiction and fantasy stories by some of the top authors in the field, as well as talented up-and-comers.
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 four volumes to date and they were well-received by readers and reviewers alike. The past volumes have featured stories by George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Piers Anthony, Robert Silverberg, Karen Haber, Kevin J. Anderson and many other exciting authors.
Authors who agreed to write brand-new stories for UFO5 include David Gerrold, Mike Resnick, Gini Koch, Jody Lynn Nye, Tim Pratt, Esther Friesner, Shaenon K. Garrity, and Laura Resnick.
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:
UFO5 will feature a similar smorgasbord of zany fun.
Laura Resnick describes her UFO5 story "The Pi Files" as "a mash-up of the X-Files, Dr. Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, a tiny bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and (my favorite movie) Casablanca."
Shaenon K. Garrity's "The Deliverable" is a satirical look at the Silicon Valley culture. When Yet Another Tech Startup develops a coffee-shop related app, things go horribly wrong.
Other headliners are yet to turn in their stories and I'll be posting more details about them in the updates, but I'm confident there will be many excellent tales to come, and we'll spend many hours to pluck out gems from among hundreds of stories we'll review during the open submission window next month.
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.
Starting in 2015, UFO Publishing also launched a new anthology series of reprint stories similar to the original stories featured in UFO: Funny Science Fiction was published in the Fall. Funny Fantasy will be released in May, and Funny Horror will follow later in 2016. We are not relying on Kickstarter to launch those projects, but all of those books are also available as rewards for our backers.
While I solicit headliners directly, I believe that any crowd-funded anthology should provide an opportunity for new authors to be included. A large portion of the stories we publish each year comes in through our open submission window. We'll be reading submissions this April (see guidelines), offering authors a chance to to have their work appear alongside stories by established pros.
* As of 2015, UFO series is a qualifying market for membership in Science Fiction Writers of America.
* 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.
* As of 2016 we will be using the CW Submissions system (designed by Neil Clarke or Clarkesworld) for an even smoother author experience and ability to track one's status in the queue.
Our goal is to continue producing the very best humorous anthologies we can. And we do so while paying everyone -- our writers, artists, copy-editor, book designer, etc. -- competitive rates. Creative professionals should be reimbursed fairly for their efforts.
As the editor/publisher of the series, I have not paid myself a cent yet, and don't expect to draw any sort of salary in the foreseeable future. Although one day I do hope to turn a profit, for now all the money that comes in is used to fund more projects, and to pay the awesome authors we publish for their wonderful stories. This Kickstarter campaign will help cover most of the costs in producing the next UFO volume. If it funds, I will be able to purchase more stories, spend some money on advertising and promotion (thus supporting other websites and magazines in the field), and continue building the UFO brand. So please back this campaign if you can, and let others know about the project. There are a lot of great rewards available.
The #1 reward we can offer is the copy of UFO5 -- the book you're helping create! But we also have many other books available now, and we'd like to make the rewards as customizable as possible. To that end, here's the complete list of books available (in both e-book or print) for you to select, mix and match. For all multiple-book reward levels you can choose from the following:
1) Unidentified Funny Objects
2) Unidentified Funny Objects 2
3) Unidentified Funny Objects 3
4) Unidentified Funny Objects 4
5) Unidentified Funny Objects 5
6) Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic
7) Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories by Alex Shvartsman
8) H. G. Wells, Secret Agent by Alex Shvartsman
9) Funny Science Fiction
10) Funny Fantasy
11) Funny Horror
You already know what the Unidentified Funny Objects books are like, but here's the rundown of the other options:
Coffee is an anthology of stories -- both humorous and not -- that revolve around the world's most perfect drink. Coffee plays a major role in each of the stories collected in this book. Brewed from such ingredients as magic, wonder, humor, and romance, Coffee serves up a unique blend of the fantastic you won't be able to put down.
Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is a short story collection rather than an anthology. It features 40 short stories by yours truly, including the WSFA award-winning title story.
H. G. Wells, Secret Agent is a steampunk alt-history humor novella. Wells is a Victorian-era James Bond who must defend England and the world against time travelers, alien incursions, and other preternatural threats.
Funny Science Fiction is the first in the new series of anthologies which are similar to UFO but collect previously published fiction rather than original stories. Each volume concentrates on one sub-genre and collects works published in the past decade.
The science fiction volume was published in 2015. Funny Fantasy will be published in late May, and Funny Horror is slated for release later in 2015.
Please note that for EVERY paperback you get as a backer reward you will also receive the DRM-free e-book files of that title in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats.
E-books (in PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats):
$5 - CONSPIRACY THEORIST - One previously-published UFO e-book of your choice.
$10 UFO HUNTER: UFO5 e-book.
$15: AREA 51 CUSTODIAN: UFO5 e-book + 1 more e-book
$20: UFO ABDUCTEE: UFO5 e-book + 3 more e-books
$25: UFO PILOT: UFO5 e-book + 5 more e-books
$30: QUANTUM MECHANIC: All eleven UFO e-books
$20: LITTLE GREEN MAN (OR WOMAN): UFO5 paperback
$25: MAD SCIENTIST: UFO5 signed paperback
$35: ANGRY ENGINEER: UFO5 signed paperback + 1 more paperback
$50: FURIOUS RESEARCHER: UFO5 signed paperback + 2 more paperbacks
$60: APOPLECTIC PROFESSOR: UFO5 signed paperback + 3 more paperbacks
$70: INDIGNANT ACADEMIC: UFO5 signed paperback + 4 more paperbacks
$80: GRUMPY GENIUS: UFO5 signed paperback + 5 more paperbacks
$120: UFO TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: All 11 paperbacks!
Unique, Limited-quantity Rewards:
$50: INVASION FLEET MARINE: UFO5 signed by the editor as well as UFO2 signed by Esther Friesner, Ken Liu, and Alex Shvartsman
$75: INVASION FLEET SERGEANT: Short story critique + signed UFO5 paperback - 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 UFO5 are all read). You will also receive a print copy of UFO5 signed by the editor.
$80: INVASION FLEET LIEUTENANT: UFO5 signed by the editor as well as UFO3 signed by Robert Silverberg, Mike Resnick, Karen Haber, Josh Vogt, Cat Rambo, Tina Connolly and Alex Shvartsman
$150: INVASION FLEET COLONEL: Collector's bundle. All 11 books signed by the editor as well as rare limited edition hardcovers of UFO1 and EXPLAINING CTHULHU TO GRANDMA.
$200: INVASION FLEET ADMIRAL: Tuckerization (aka a short story character named after you) by Alex Shvartsman, and UFO5 signed by the editor.
$250: ALIEN DIPLOMAT: Get tuckerized in Gini Koch's Alien series short story, and UFO5 signed by the editor.
$500: ALIEN OVERLORD: Become immortalized in the acknowledgments section of UFO5 + receive the collector's bundle described in the INVASION FLEET COLONEL tier. All add-on items will automatically be included as well.
$500: UFO COVER MODEL: Gini Koch is writing the scene you see on the cover of UFO5 into her story. Have the alien character imagined by cover artist Tomasz Maronski named after you and appear in Gini's story. You also get to name the alien species the little green guy (or gal) belongs to -- that's two tuckerizations in one! You will also receive all five volumes of UFO signed by both Gini Koch and Alex Shvartsman and an 8 1/2 x 11 print of the cover art signed and personalized by Gini. You will also receive all 11 of UFO Publishing e-books and maybe even a surprise e-book or two directly from Gini!
Barry Munden's Original Art:
Our artist Barry Munden kindly donated the original illustrations he created for UFO4 stories. These are unique signed originals and not prints! You can also see more of Barry's work at his website, amazingscifi.com.
1. Illustration for "The Time-Traveling Ghost Machine of Professor Jaime Peligrosa" by Andrew Kaye
2. Illustration for "Keeping Ahead" by Mike Resnick
3. Illustration for "Support Your Local Alien" by Gini Koch
4. Illustration for "The Match Game" by Esther Friesner
5. Illustration for "The Monkey Treatment" by George R. R. Martin
6. Illustration for "Project Disaster" by Tim Pratt
7. Illustration for "Hello Hotel" by Piers Anthony
8. Illustration for "The Worm that Turned" by Jody Lynn Nye
Each of the above will also include a paperback of UFO5 signed by the editor.
Add-Ons (You can add these items to any reward tier. Simply increase your pledge by the amount of the add-on(s) you want. There will be a field in the backer survey to explain what the extra funds are for.)
$10 - A UFO title will be donated on your behalf to the Brooklyn or Queens public library.
$15 - Receive a digital copy of the Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories audio book narrated by Tina Connolly.
$20 - Physical copy of the ECTG audio book on your choice of data CD or an 8 GB flash drive.
If you'd like some custom combination of backer rewards, please do not hesitate to reach out and I'll do my best to accommodate you!
Risks and challenges
UFO Publishing has a consistent record of meeting or even beating deadlines for book releases. While there are always risks, we have a proven record and will work very hard to exceed expectations.
There is always a chance that any specific headliner who promised us a story won't be able to deliver on time, but there are many other excellent authors willing to participate and we're confident the quality of the book won't suffer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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