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A roleplaying game of true science fiction about what and who we are. Inspired by Iain M. Banks' Culture and Ursula K. LeGuin's Ekumen.
A roleplaying game of true science fiction about what and who we are. Inspired by Iain M. Banks' Culture and Ursula K. LeGuin's Ekumen.
248 backers pledged $7,960 to help bring this project to life.

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A parallel project!

Hi, Human Contact backers! I'm hoping to be able to write you all an update about an upcoming project of mine that you'll find interesting, but until that project gets to a better place, I want to encourage you to bide your time by backing Long Hidden — Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History.

It's a speculative fiction anthology about (and by!) the vast chunks of humanity that the speculative fiction genres have typically ignored or othered. People of different races, genders, religions, and socioeconomic positions than the intrepid explorers, imperialists, and native-savers who have formed the backbone of spec fic, from Aragorn to Muad'Dib to Jake Sully.

Please help these authors bring this book to reality! I've met several of them at science fiction conventions and have always come away from interactions with them energized and excited to write more. Their work is inspirational to me and, as Human Contact backers, probably inspirational to you, too!

Thanks!

—Joshua

Long Hidden — Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History

The Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack Kickstarter is now live!

Hey, backers, I thought you might be interested to know that Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack is now up on Kickstarter! It's a collaboration between Vincent Baker, me, and Soren Roberts. If you like making things strategically and blowing things up tactically, please be sure to check out its LEGO® goodness!

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Kodrek sets — thank you, my big backers!

I just posted over at my blog that I've finally shipped out all Kodrek sets to my $100 backers. That was a very, very interesting challenge and I thank you all for sticking with me.

Kodrek is designed to be a folk game, and as such has built-in room for flexibility. I really look forward to seeing what you guys do with it. If you can take video, please show me!

I'm working on another big project right now with Vincent Baker. I'll be sure to let you know when it's getting within Kickstarter range!

In the meantime, please follow me @JoshuaACNewman for other news about Human Contact, Shock:, Science Fiction and games in general, and odd little updates about the music I woke up with in my head or things I just cooked.

Thank you so much, my backers. You helped me make something I couldn't have made without you.

-Joshua

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Kodrek — the trials and tribulations of small-press manufacturing

When I started working out my backer levels for Human Contact, I wanted to do a super-high level that one or two people, probably family members, could use to give me serious support. So I took the idea Vincent Baker, Rob Bohl, and I had come up with, a space pirate gambling game, and offered that. I figured I'd have to make one or two boards by hand and it would be fun.

Instead, I got 16 backers at that level. Kodrek is a triangular board with 72 carefully plotted lines. That meant I would have to draw no fewer than's 1,152 lines. And if any one of them is wrong, I have to start that board over again.

That gave me some pause. I'd promised that I'd hand-make the boards. But I hadn't counted on people wanting them.

So I've tried a couple of things. I tried hand-drawing them, and the precision required of me, it turns out, is beyond what I can do. So I tried silkscreening, but while the technique is really interesting I'm not actually skilled enough at it.

Finally I fell back on digital printing. I'd planned all along to have the boards be flexible so you could roll them up into a tube, so I had them printed on heavy vinyl. You can see the result in this post. While I don't adore the boards, they're certainly playable and they're better than any other mass-production technique I could afford for this scale of creation.

I'm now finishing writing the rules and the fiction that goes with them. Please hang with me while I finish up. I'll be sending out your tubes soon!

-Joshua

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Book delays

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