Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 6, 2010.

Update #26

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!



Long Hidden — Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History

Update #25

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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Update #24

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.


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Update #23

Kodrek — the trials and tribulations of small-press manufacturing

1 comment

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!


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Update #22 - For backers only

Book delays


For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

pledged of $2,400 goal
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  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    93 backers

    At $10, you'll get a PDF of the final game before it's even at the presses! I'm not sure what the eventual price of the PDF will be, but it'll certainly be more than ten bucks. I'll also send unfinished versions out to Kickstarters as the book reaches certain milestones!

  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    25 backers All gone!

    If you pledge just $25, I'll send you a signed copy of the final game text along with the PDF for easy searching. The book alone will go for something like $30 when complete, so combined with the PDF, this is a damn good deal. Limited numbers!

  • Pledge $33 or more
    You selected

    58 backers

    Print & PDF pre-order, plus developmental PDFs along the way, just like the $25 level, but at the street value, with free shipping. If there are still copies left at $25, do that one instead!

  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    21 backers

    If you pledge $50, I'll send you not only the PDF and a signed copy of the game, but also a set of four booklets to share with all your players, giving a brief explanation of the Academy and the galaxy that holds it.

  • Pledge $53 or more
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    20 backers

    Shock:Bundle! The same as the $33 level, but with a copy of Shock:Social Science Fiction as well!

  • Pledge $70 or more
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    6 backers

    Shock:Bundle, but with the four setting books from the $50 level!

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    16 backers

    If you send me $100 or more, it means you really want Human Contact to happen. In appreciation, along with the goodies from the other giving levels, I'll send you a handmade Kodrek set, along with a ludological/anthropological paper describing the game, by MektehShr Phon, an anthropologist member of the Contactor Rn-Zjaphe, just returned from the remains of the Kotaht Archipelago. Kodrek is a board game, called the "Man's Game" in Kotaht. It is played for money in rowdy bars among men, whether they be male or female. The objective of the three-player game is to fling one of the other two Craft off the board, splitting the ante of the loser between them. It plays in as many rounds as you have coins to spend on, and a round takes fifteen or twenty minutes. Play it with pennies for fun, quarters for intensity, or Toleks for authenticity!

Funding period

- (32 days)