This is a difficult update to write.
If you were following our project closely in the past couple weeks, you’re probably aware that more than half of our funding came in the form of a massive eleventh hour pledge from a benevolent stranger. We celebrated, and you celebrated with us.
But after the clock wound down, the pledge collection process kicked into gear. And that crucial pledge didn’t clear. We have contacted the backer, as has Kickstarter, politely and with thanks. No response was forthcoming to our inquiry. And as more information has become available, we have been forced to accept that this pledge is not going to come through.
We’ve been in touch with Yancey Strickler from Kickstarter. Our project is not the only one that has been affected by this backer. Kickstarter has given us the choice of refunding all the pledges to our project, or moving ahead with the money that we did collect.
It was a tough, tough call. We know we could do something great with the nearly $5,000 you have entrusted us with. We could make a stellar issue of AE, even if it was somewhat scaled back from our original vision, and maybe have something left over to keep us going for another issue or two. But that wasn’t what you signed up for, and now that we can’t fulfill our original promises, we don’t want to hold onto your money a second longer than we have to. So we’ve asked Kickstarter to refund everyone’s donations, as if we had never gotten that fateful pledge. The refunds have already been initiated and will take a day or two to go through.
Like a political candidate on election night, we had two speeches prepared. Here's the one we had hoped not to have to use.
Okay. Wow. The last two months have been a whirlwind. Our Kickstarter project didn’t reach its funding goal but, nonetheless, we feel you’ve given us a mandate. And despite the disappointment, we wouldn’t trade the past sixty days for anything. It has been quite a ride and we’re already looking forward to the months ahead. Before we put the chairs up on the tables and turn out the lights here, we have a few things to say:
First, we are so appreciative of your support, whether you pledged or helped us spread the word or participated in AE Micro. We are humbled by your generosity and buoyed by the new connections we’ve made as a result of this project.
Second, and most importantly, we want you to know that this is not the end for AE. We remain committed to our mission to become a new professional market for Canadian science fiction. Bringing you AE Micro has served only to whet our appetite. But we have learned a lot in the past two months, and we are going to take some time to absorb it, to reflect on the experience and refine our plans.
So what’s next for Team AE? We still have a few loose ends to tie up for AE Micro, notably the print edition and the balance of the story critiques. We also have a surprise in store that we hope to unveil soon. And over the next few months you’ll see us start to build a solid foundation for what AE will become.
Of all the outcomes of this process, the one we treasure most is the community we’ve begun to build around our efforts. We hope that you will continue to follow our progress. We will remain active on Twitter and Facebook throughout the next months, and we will also be expanding the scope and functionality of our Web site. We would like to invite you to sign up for our mailing list to stay informed about AE news. Before you know it, you’ll be placing your order for AE #1. You don’t want to miss that. We promise not to spam you and we will never share your email with anyone for any reason.
So, until soon, dear Readers, sci fi fans, AEmazing Aester Egg AErolites,
— Duff, Adam and Helen
For all the ups and downs, we still stand behind this wholeheartedly. For a couple days there, we were the editors of a brand new science fiction magazine, and it was awesome. We’re even more determined than ever to make that happen for real.
We’re sure there are going to be some questions. Please don’t hesitate to ask them. Though we officially opened up for submissions only a few days ago, we’ve already received a few stories for AE. If you were considering sending us your work: We would still love to see it, but we understand completely if you’d rather wait until you hear more about our future plans.
To those who have already submitted: As stated in our submission guidelines, we are open to simultaneous submissions, so please don’t feel that we have an exclusive hold on your story if you want to submit it elsewhere. And if you want to withdraw your story until we know what the next step is, we won’t hold it against you.
We also want to make it clear that Kickstarter has been incredibly helpful and supportive as we dealt with this awful situation. If this is your first experience with the site, please don’t let any of this put you off from supporting worthy projects in the future.
Thanks again to each and every one of you for all that you have done to help get us off the ground, and accept our apologies for the inconvenience of this false start. We’re still going make this happen, and we hope that you’ll be there with us when we do.
— The editors of AE