Bring the stars to a new generation. SF for young readers!
2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide: Tales of Science Fiction for a Middle Grade Audience. Foster the love of SF in a new generation.
Empower a generation of girls and boys. Change the world.
While books like the Hunger Games and Divergent have brought a whole new generation of young readers to science fiction, there’s not a lot of short, accessible stories for middle grade readers (usually considered ages 9-12).
Additionally, according to a 2011 study of 6,000 children's books, only 31 percent had central female characters.* We believe that stories shape our world, and that it is critically important to provide stories and main characters that all kids can identify with.
The Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide is meant to fill that gap.
We’re creating an anthology of age appropriate stories that all kids can identify with. We have great stories, from a wide range of writers and a diverse set of characters – girls, boys, robots… everyone belongs here!
Of the stories we've accepted so far, 80% have female main characters. We don't have girls who are prizes to be won, or waiting to be rescued. All of our heroines and heroes are on their own adventure, not a side note in someone else's.
Sally Ride, first woman in space and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, famously said:
"Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see."
Girls need to read stories where any number of possible roles are modeled for them. Just as importantly, boys need to read stories where girls are active participants in adventures.
Help a new generation of kids reach for the stars. Support the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.
*The study is "Gender in Twentieth-Century Children's Books: Patterns of Disparity in Titles and Central Characters." The results are also discussed in this Guardian article.
In our pages, readers will find stories about the care and feeding of pet robots, discovering what it means to be human (and whether it matters), how much trouble a superpower can get you into, what it means to survive past the end of the world you know, the secret of the best cheesecake in the universe, and many, many more!
Ninety percent of our stories are brand new works. The majority of the stories have already been written and are undergoing editing as we speak. The cover is done, formatting has been planned and we're ready to go. While this is a new project, we've published books before, and we don't expect major hurdles.
Authors who have committed to the project:
Eric Del Carlo's short fiction has appeared in Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Shimmer, Michael Moorcock's New Worlds and many other venues. He has written novels with Robert Asprin, published by Ace Books and DarkStar Books. His latest novel, an emotionally charged urban fantasy entitled The Golden Gate Is Empty, which he wrote with his father Vic, is forthcoming from White Cat Publications. Eric lives in his native California. Find him on Facebook for comments or questions.
Ron Collins’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Analog, Asimov’s, and Nature. This summer saw the publication of Four Days in May, a short collection of stories set in and around the Indianapolis 500 written in collaboration with John C. Bodin. Of “Goliath vs. Robodog,” he writes: “It’s interesting to imagine everything robots will be able to do in the not-so-distant future, but sometimes it’s too easy to overlook things that really matter.” You can find more about Ron at http://www.typosphere.com
Cory Cone lives, works and writes in Baltimore, MD. He studied painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he met and married his wife. He now works full time at the college and writes strange fiction in the evenings. His website is www.corycone.com, and you can follow him on Twitter, @corycone.
Anne E. Johnson lives in Brooklyn. Dozens of her short stories for young readers can be found in publications such as Spaceports & Spidersilk, Jack & Jill, Red Squirrel, and Rainbow Rumpus. Her middle-grade paranormal novel, Ebenezer’s Locker, was published by MuseItUp. Candlemark & Gleam is publishing her series of humorous science fiction novels, The Webrid Chronicles, and they will also release her YA adventure novel, Space Surfers, in late 2014. Learn more about Anne at her website, AnneEJohnson.com.
Brigid Collins Kendall is an author living in Michigan with her husband, Nick, and their cat, Brooke. She writes mainly works of fantasy and science fiction. She has written and published two novels, with her third due to be published this fall. Two of her short stories will be appearing in Fiction River late in 2014, and she has achieved Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest. She also enjoys music, video games, and copious quantities of stuffed animals. Brigid Collins has a blog at www.backwrites.wordpress.com and can be contacted through that site, as well as through her twitter account, @purellian
Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-three books, including twenty-six novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. Her work has won five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Most recent works are After The Fall, Before The Fall, During The Fall (Tachyon, 2012), a novel of apocalypse, and Yesterday's Kin, about genetic inheritance (Tachyon, 2014). In addition to writing, Kress often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad; in 2008 she was the Picador visiting lecturer at the University of Leipzig. Kress lives in Seattle with her husband, writer Jack Skillingstead, and Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle. Visit her website at www.sff.net/people/nankress/
A champion of NaNoWriMo, Vanessa MacLellan is an avid reader of anything with pizazz. Words have been her companions since she was ten, forcing atrocious adverbs upon her mother. Her fantasy novel, Three Great Lies, has recently been accepted by Hadley Rille Books and is scheduled for release in the winter of 2015. She's had three short stories published by online magazines. When not in the office or writing, she bird watches and hikes. Vanessa can be found at http://vanmaclellan.com.
Phoebe North lives in upstate New York with her husband, her daughter, and her cat. She is the author of Starglass and Starbreak, a science fiction duology from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Find her online at www.phoebenorth.com
Angela Penrose lives in Seattle with her husband, five computers, and some unknown number of books, which occupy most of the house. She writes in several genres, but F&SF is her first love. She likes writing for anthologies for the variety, and the challenge of writing to a theme; this is her fourth anthology sale. You can find her at http://angelapenrosewriter.blogspot.com/
A Nebula Award winner and Hugo nominee, Eric James Stone has been published in Year’s Best SF, Analog, and elsewhere. Eric is a Writers of the Future winner, graduate of Orson Scott Card’s writing workshop, and assistant editor at Intergalactic Medicine Show. Eric lives in Utah. His website is www.ericjamesstone.com.
Sonja Thomas, a recovering CPA, writes for children of all ages, from humorous middle grade to young adult fantasy to adult horror. Raised in Central Florida (the wonderful world of Disney, humidity and hurricanes) and transplanted to DC for 11 years (go Nats!), she’s now ‘keeping it weird’ in Portland, OR. To stay sane she dances, doodles and plays with furry, four-legged friends. You may even hear her belt out an awesome Xena yodel. Visit her at www.bysonjathomas.com or follow her on twitter @bysonjathomas.
Deborah Walker grew up in the most English town in the country, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration or on her blog: http://deborahwalkersbibliography.blogspot.com/ Her stories have appeared in Nature's Futures, Cosmos and Daily Science Fiction and The Year's Best SF 18.
Jeannie Warner spent her formative years in Southern California and Colorado, and is not afraid to abandon the most luxurious environs for a chance to travel anywhere. She has a useless degree in musicology, a checkered career in computer security, and aspirations of world domination. Her writing credits include blogs of random musings, thriller novel manuscripts, stories in Tightbeam online magazine, KnightBridge's Rom Zom Com anthology, the Mad Scientist's Journal, several police statements, and a collection of snarky notes to a former upstairs neighbor. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area near several of her best friends whom she refers to as "minions."
We're still getting submissions. While we're planning on 15 stories, our final story count will be partially determined by our backers (see the stretch goals below).
$7500: More stories! Our current budget allows for 15 stories. We'd love to add more to the mix, and this goal will make that financially possible.
$8500: More books! While we have reward levels that include backers sponsoring books, we'll donate an extra 20 paperback books to requesting school and public libraries.
$9000: HARDBACKS! We'll print a limited number of casebound durable books. Existing backers will be able to change their pledge to a new level for hardback book rewards and sponsoring hardback book donations.
$10,000: Hardbacks in schools! We will upgrade all school and public library donation books to casebound!
Here is the rough estimate of project costs at 15 stories, estimating shipping out 300 rewards (it's a guess, had to start somewhere!):
*We're paying all of the authors SWFA pro rates, because that's the fair thing to do.
You’ll notice we’re not asking for the total cost. We are committed to the Young Explorer's Adventure Guide moving forward no matter what. The Kickstarter is a great way for other people to be involved, to support the project, to pre-order books and to share in our excitement.
Any additional funds raised for the book will be used to cover production costs we have paid personally, for marketing the book, and starting to save up for the 2015 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide!
$5 Stargazer: Thank you! We’ll add your name to list of supporters of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide on the Dreaming Robot Press website.
$10 Dreamer: A DRM-free copy of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide in your choice of epub, mobi or pdf. You’ll also have your name listed on the Dreaming Robot Press website as a supporter of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.
$25 Believer: A paperback copy of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. You’ll also have your name listed on the Dreaming Robot Press website as a supporter of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.
$30 Adventurer: A paperback copy as well as a DRM-free copy of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide in your choice of epub, mobi or pdf. You’ll also have your name listed on the Dreaming Robot Press website as a supporter of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.
$30 Trail Guide: Don’t know any kids in need of a book, but want to share the love of reading? We’ll be giving away a set number of paperback books to school and public libraries upon request. You can sponsor one of those donated copies. You’ll also have your name listed on the Dreaming Robot Press website as a supporter of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.
$50 Story Teller: Want to give one copy as a gift or donate a copy to your local library or school? Two paperback copies, as well as a DRM-free copy of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide in your choice of epub, mobi or pdf. You’ll also have your name listed on the Dreaming Robot Press website as a supporter of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.
$55 Tale Spinner: Sponsor two paperback books to be distributed to schools and libraries. You’ll also have your name listed on the Dreaming Robot Press website as a supporter of the 2014 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide.
$200 Eric Del Carlo Bundle (limit 1): Eric Del Carlo will critique a short story under 5,000 words OR critique your story concept. You’ll also receive a copy of the book in paperback and ebook format.
$200 Ron Collins Bundle (limit 1): Ron Collins will offer a critique OR a 15 minute Skype discussion on the writing craft OR a custom flash story (which he would sign and mail). You’ll also receive a copy of the book in paperback and ebook format.
$200 Nancy Kress Bundle (limit 1): Nancy Kress will change the name of a character in her story “Why I Hate earth” to a name of the backer’s choice. The story will be printed in the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. PLEASE NOTE: The name selected must be a girl’s name, to fit the story. You’ll also receive a copy of the book in paperback and ebook format.
Vanessa MacLellan Bundle (limit 1): Vanessa MacLellan will critique a finished short story under 5,000 words. You’ll also receive a copy of the book in paperback and ebook format.
$200 Deborah Walker Bundle (limit 1): Deborah Walker will critique a short story under 5,000 words OR use your name for a character in a future story. You’ll also receive a copy of the book in paperback and ebook format.
$200 Jeannie Warner Bundle (limit 1): Jeannie Warner will change the name of a character in her story “Where You Belong” to a name of the backer’s choice. The story will be printed in the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide. You’ll also receive a copy of the book in paperback and ebook format.
$500 Astrogator: Show the world your support of kids, reading, and science fiction. We'll list your name at the back of the printed and electronic versions, and we'll also send you both an electronic and printed copy. (If we make the stretch goal for hardcover, we'll upgrade you to casebound automatically.)
$1000 Stellar Patron: We'll dedicate the book to you or a person of your choice. We'll also send you both an electronic and printed copy. (If we make the stretch goal for hardcover, we'll upgrade you to casebound automatically.)
Risks and challenges
We're moving along with story selection, editing, layout as we speak, and feel confident about our timeline. It is always possible there could be delays at the printer. If it looks like there might be any delays, we will be in contact with all supporters to give you a heads up.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (46 days)