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Story. Wonder. They're Back! Science Fiction and Fantasy publisher Panverse is about discovering new writers and bringing wonder back into the genre.

My name's Dario. I'm a lifelong Science Fiction and Fantasy reader, a published writer, and a diehard visionary.

Last year I started a small press, Panverse Publishing. The initial volume, Panverse One, the first in a hoped-for series of original anthologies, has received several excellent reviews, including one in the current (July 2010) edition of the genre's premiere magazine, Asimov's Science Fiction.

Just seven months after its release, Panverse One has broken even and sales are still increasing--a rare thing for a first volume from a tiny new publisher. Right now, Panverse is a fragile venture; but with the ground broken, a second title just released, and Panverse Two forthcoming in September, I'm now looking for credible funding to achieve Panverse Publishing's goals, which are:

First, to publish work that evokes that unique sense of awe, wonder, and sheer story that's missing from much of the work published in the field. Ask most adults if they read Science Fiction or Fantasy and they're likely to reply, "I used to read it all the time in my teens / high school / college, but for some reason or other I don't anymore." Somewhere along the way, the genre grew less accessible, more introspective, and so preoccupied with literary respectability that it lost sight of what the wider readership actually wants--fun, excitement, wonder, and solid storytelling.

Second, the Panverse anthology series exists to help new, pro-level writers into print. Conventional publishers are taking no chances in today's economic climate, with the result that many gifted new writers, especially those who write at longer lengths, find the bar to publication is set higher for them than for established authors. J.K. Rowling, who got millions of children and not a few adults reading for pleasure was rejected ten times before she found a publisher that 'got it'. Readers want Story. They want Wonder. They want to be carried along.

Panverse One, with its five novellas (short novels) by mostly unknown writers chosen with precisely these values in mind, was an immediate hit with both readers and reviewers. Gardner Dozois, the most acclaimed editor in the genre, wrote in a recent review that Panverse One was "... something different in today's market, and definitely worth seeking out."

Finally, Science Fiction is, and always has been, a subversive, even revolutionary, literature. In the non-English speaking world, it still is: writers take chances, dazzling and challenging us in the process. But the US publishing market has become so timid and conservative that most of what's published is bland and formulaic. If 1984 were written today, I very much doubt that it would see print!

Science Fiction and Fantasy literature expands the mind and provides a sandbox, a test bed in which we can examine possible societies and futures, and glean critical insights into our present state. It can help us prepare for the future that's rushing headlong at us: Science Fiction readers knew where they stood on issues like human cloning, nanotech, and Artificial Intelligence decades ago... whereas most people are still struggling to come to grips with the future that's stalking the streets and pounding on their door. This is a vital literature in every possible way.

I feel passionately about the value of this literature, and I want to see it find its core values again. I want to help stories into print that will affect a generation of readers in the way that War of The Worlds, Animal Farm, Neuromancer, and The Chronicles of Amber did. To do that, our titles need larger print runs and wider distribution; I need a budget for quality web design, marketing, and promotional material; I need a presence at major conventions; I'd like to look at publishing novels as well as short fiction; and most of all, I want to be able to compensate our authors and artists far better than I'm currently able to.

Panverse is scalable, but the funding target I've set out is a realistic minimum to do the job well. I have no shortage of ideas or energy, but meeting, and preferably exceeding, Panverse's Kickstarter funding target will make the difference between Panverse remaining a tiny, for-the-love venture, or becoming a force in reshaping the SF and Fantasy fields.

I love this genre, and I want Panverse to make a difference. With your help, it can.

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