Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 1, 2012.

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A collection of hilarious science fiction & fantasy stories from some of today's best speculative writers.

ABOUT THIS PROJECT

Unidentified Funny Objects is an anthology of humorous science fiction & fantasy.

There are lots of magazines and collections out there that specialize in dark fantasy and horror. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – but some of us enjoy lighthearted, funny speculative stories in the spirit of Fredric Brown, Robert Sheckley, and Douglas Adams.  There are few publications that specialize in those kinds of stories today, so I took it upon myself to create a new one.

My name is Alex Shvartsman, and I write funny stories. All right, I write all kinds of stories, even some of that dark fantasy stuff. But funny SF/F is what I love to write – and read – most. I’m an active member of SFWA and my fiction has appeared in over thirty venues such as Nature Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, and the Assessment of Skills and Knowledge reading comprehension test administered to New Jersey high school students (really!). I’m also a game industry professional with a number of tabletop game design credits and a national award for my work in the area of Organized Play. I founded UFO Publishing in 2012 and Unidentified Funny Objects is its first project.

This book is going to be released in November and while I’m still reading submissions, I have already accepted some really awesome stories, including:

  •  “El and Al vs. Himmler’s Hideous Horde from Hell” -- a novelette by Mike Resnick, the most award-winning science fiction writer in the genre’s history.
  • “Love Thy Neighbor” by 2011 Nebula Award winner Ken Liu
  • "Temporal Shimmies" by two-time Nebula nominee Jennifer Pelland
  • “Moon Landing” by World Fantasy, Sturgeon and Campbell Awards nominee Lavie Tidhar
  • “Dreaming Harry” by acclaimed children’s fantasy novelist Stephanie Burgis
  • And many more wonderful tales.

    Just how many more? That may be up to you.

WHAT’S THE MONEY FOR?

Small publishers are often forced to cut corners in order to afford producing their books. I believe that there’s no reason “small publisher” should be synonymous with “budget.” So I went all out. I’m paying authors professional rates, paying for high quality cover art, professional copy-editing, interior layout, typesetting, and e-book conversion. In short, I want the book to look and read as though it was released by a major publisher. My total out of pocket cost is well over $10,000.

So why am I only looking to raise $5,000? Truth is, the key elements of this project are already budgeted for. No matter what happens, I’m paying authors and all other professionals involved, and producing both an e-book and a trade paperback. But, with your help, I could do a lot more. If this Kickstarter campaign reaches its fundraising goal, I’ll be able to:

  • Accept and publish a few more stories, increasing the size of the book. And, trust me, there are *many* awesome stories I’ll have to ultimately reject only because there’s a limited amount of space and budget
  • Print a limited-edition hardcover version of the book
  • Order a much larger print run of the trade paperback copies of the book
  • Buy advertising in various excellent e-zines and podcasts (so you get to indirectly support them, too, by supporting UFO!)
  • Produce more quality FREE content on the UFO web site
  • Stretch goals! If I end up raising enough money and generating enough interest in this project that can only mean one thing: UFO #2 in 2013.

WHY SUPPORT THIS PROJECT?

When I set out to launch UFO Publishing, I had several goals in mind:

  • Create a laugh-out-loud-funny book of SF & F stories.
  • Pay writers professional rates. Also, pay on acceptance. Writers shouldn’t have to wait a long time to get paid.
  • Be responsive. I reply to most story submissions in a matter of days or even hours. Writers shouldn’t have to wait several months to hear back regarding a short story submission.
  • Be transparent. I blog about the submission process and other details of putting together an anthology at www.alexshvartsman.com
  • Be fair. All stories that make it past the first round of consideration are read anonymously and voted on by an editorial board. Those readers don’t know if the author is a Nebula winner or a new, unpublished voice. They judge each story on merit alone.

If any of the above sound like good ideas to you, consider pledging.

Added on 8/19:

UFO Publishing is a proud supporter of the Kicking It Forward movement. That means I'll put 5%+ of the realized profits from this book into other Kickstarter projects.

A FREE GIFT FOR YOU

Regardless of whether you choose to pledge, I’d like to offer you a free gift. Click on the link below to read one of the stories included in UFO:

THE ALIEN INVASION AS SEEN IN THE TWITTER STREAM OF @DWEEBLESS

By 2011 Nebula Award nominee Jake Kerr

FAQ

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    SUPPORT THE CAUSE: Show your support by donating $1 or more. Every dollar counts. Thank you!

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    CLUB UFO: You’ll be added to our mailing list and receive information and updates about the anthology before they’re posted on the web. You will also receive a PDF of Alex’s flash fiction fantasy story “Superior Firepower,” not currently available for free on the web. Other stories might occasionally show up in your inbox as well, so be sure to read those UFO updates!

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    E-READER: As above, plus you’ll receive the UFO e-Book in PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats. You will also be listed as a supporter on the UFO Publishing Acknowledgement page.

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    READER: As above, plus you’ll receive a physical copy of the book. Readers outside of the United States please add $12 to cover shipping costs, or $8 to Canada.

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    READER VIP: As above, but your copy of the book will be signed by the editor, with a brief personalized note. Readers outside of the United States please add $12 to cover shipping costs, or $8 to Canada.

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    LUXURY READER: Instead of the paperback, you’ll receive a luxury hardcover copy of the book, individually numbered and signed by the editor. This will be an extremely limited print run and it won’t be available in stores or on Amazon. Readers outside of the United States please add $15 to cover shipping costs, or $10 to Canada.

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    THE KITCHEN SINK BUNDLE: You will get the e-book, the signed paperback and the signed hardcover, plus an exclusive opportunity to read one of the stories from UFO before the book is published. Readers outside of the United States please add $20 to cover shipping costs, or $12 to Canada.

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    ASPIRING WRITER: All READER VIP level benefits, plus Alex Shvartsman will critique your short story or novel chapter, up to 5,000 words in length. He’ll provide inline notes/edits, a brief overall critique, and answer follow-up questions.

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    STACK-O-BOOKS: You'll receive 10 copies of the trade paperback. Perfect for a retail store, a convention bookseller or anyone in the market for holiday presents for 10 of their humor-loving friends! Readers outside of the United States please add $35 for shipping (or $20 if you're in Canada).

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    YOU'RE A CHARACTER! UFO contributor NATHANIEL LEE will name one of the minor characters in his future novel or short story after you. It's up to the writer's discretion exactly what this character will be like, what their story will be, and whether they end up being killed by a falling piano. But you will be immortalized in some fashion. You will also get to read the short story or novel chapter in which your character appears once it's finished and we'll let you know if/when the story is published. In addition to this you'll receive all READER VIP benefits.

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    TWITTER CELEBRITY: Jake Kerr will rename the @imissthenorthstars character in his story (linked here) to your actual Twitter alias! We'll even change the profile photo in the online version of the story to your profile photo (provided it doesn't use copyrighted material). In addition to this you'll receive all READER VIP benefits.

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    CLUB UFO VIP: You’ll receive THE KITCHEN SINK BUNDLE, plus access to an exclusive mailing list, a chance to read several UFO stories ahead of time, review story galleys, and receive an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of the e-Book before the general public.

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    YOU'RE A CHARACTER! UFO contributor JAMES BEAMON will name one of the minor characters in his future novel or short story after you. It's up to the writer's discretion exactly what this character will be like, what their story will be, and whether they end up being killed by a falling piano. But you will be immortalized in some fashion. You will also get to read the short story or novel chapter in which your character appears once it's finished and we'll let you know if/when the story is published. In addition to this you'll receive all READER VIP benefits.

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    YOU'RE A CHARACTER! UFO contributor MATT MIKALATOS will name one of the minor characters in his future novel or short story after you. It's up to the writer's discretion exactly what this character will be like, what their story will be, and whether they end up being killed by a falling piano. But you will be immortalized in some fashion. You will also get to read the short story or novel chapter in which your character appears once it's finished and we'll let you know if/when the story is published. In addition to this you'll receive all READER VIP benefits.

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    YOU'RE A CHARACTER! UFO contributor ANATOLY BELILOVSKY will name one of the minor characters in his future novel or short story after you. It's up to the writer's discretion exactly what this character will be like, what their story will be, and whether they end up being killed by a falling piano. But you will be immortalized in some fashion. You will also get to read the short story or novel chapter in which your character appears once it's finished and we'll let you know if/when the story is published. In addition to this you'll receive all READER VIP benefits.

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    YOU'RE A CHARACTER! UFO contributor KEN LIU will name one of the minor characters in his future novel or short story after you. It's up to the writer's discretion exactly what this character will be like, what their story will be, and whether they end up being killed by a falling piano. But you will be immortalized in some fashion. You will also get to read the short story or novel chapter in which your character appears once it's finished and we'll let you know if/when the story is published. In addition to this you'll receive all READER VIP benefits.

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    PATRON OF THE ARTS: I will post a 2000 word humor story based on the UFO anthology cover FREE for the entire world to enjoy! The story will be published on the UFO web site and tagged "Sponsored by Your Name via Kickstarter." In addition to this you'll receive all READER VIP benefits.

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    YOU'RE A STAR: I will name a MAJOR recurring character in either my Conrad Brent story series or my Magic Pawn Shop story series after you. I'll consult with you to create this character's background and story arc and he/she will appear in multiple stories and possibly even a novel! In addition to this you'll receive all KITCHEN SINK BUNDLE benefits.

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    DINNER!: You get THE KITCHEN SINK BUNDLE plus a short story critique. Then Alex will take you out to dinner and “talk shop” for a couple of hours. Must take place in Brooklyn, NY or at a mutually-agreeable convention in the North East (PhilCon, BaltiCon, etc.) Will discuss a book or game project you’re working on, a submission strategy for your short stories, or any other related topics.

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    SPONSOR: All CLUB UFO VIP benefits, plus your name will appear on the Credits page of the physical book and the e-book. We will also write an article on the UFO Publishing’s web site about you and/or help you write a guest blog post. Then we'll name a character after you or a person of your choice either in one of UFO stories, or an upcoming story by Alex.

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    MINI WRITING WORKSHOP: All SPONSOR benefits, plus Alex will fly anywhere in the Continental United States and host an intensive one-day speculative fiction workshop for you and your writing group. Alex will pay for his transportation and hotel costs – all you need to provide is a venue for the workshop.

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Funding period

- (30 days)