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Unique, multi-genre collection (fantasy, romance, humor, contemporary, sci-fi) of short stories - as told by inanimate objects
Unique, multi-genre collection (fantasy, romance, humor, contemporary, sci-fi) of short stories - as told by inanimate objects
Unique, multi-genre collection (fantasy, romance, humor, contemporary, sci-fi) of short stories - as told by inanimate objects
132 backers pledged $2,755 to help bring this project to life.

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As Told by Things - Unique Short Stories told by Objects

$2,755

132

★★★ Important note: If you are viewing this page on Internet Explorer, there is a software issue that will cause the page to look bad and will not allow you to select a reward. Please come back on another browser, such as Chrome or Firefox. We're sorry! We didn't do it!  (-_-* )

Looking for something fun, lighthearted, and different? 

Welcome to Atthis Arts’ first anthology: As Told by Things. We think it’s going to be great.

We've reached our minimum funding - so that means this collection is happening! We appreciate any additional pre-orders (pledges) over the last day, as they contribute to author royalties and also help cover our remaining costs for the initial production. Thanks for your support and we hope you love the stories!

As Told by Things is an anthology of short stories and flash fiction, each told from the point of view of an inanimate object. A car - a scotch glass in a bar - a twenty-sided die - a hijab - and many more! Each of the 25 stories is different, delightful, and full of charm.

We know people are in need of a break. So the stories are short and the content is light—just wit, humor, and beauty as told by the objects around us. 

Why back now? 

We need pre-orders to ensure we have the budget to pay the authors for their stories up front. So thanks for believing in our great team and pre-ordering your copy. Pre-ordered print copies will also include an e-book version. And we hope it'll be a fun surprise to receive your copy when the collection is released.

If successful, the base funds will pay for:

  • Author advances (We believe art has value and artists should be paid)
  • Cover art
  • Editing
  • Design and publication

We'd love to go past the minimum, in order to increase author royalties and also cover our print and shipping costs. So helping us spread the word about the project is greatly appreciated.

What are the stories like?

The stories are short and we think it's fun to discover each new object. So we don't want to give away any endings or surprises, yet we want to give you a feel for the collection. We hope you enjoy these fun teasers!

Some of the tales are contemporary, like the musings of this self-confident figurine in Anything Nice by Steven Carr:

If I were regarded with any less admiration, I wouldn't be here on the most expensive stand in the room. It's not like I'm some mantle frog on that bookshelf between the crystal penguins and ceramic puppies. That's the worst. Everyone knows that once you're placed on the bookcase the woman forgets all about you. It's the wasteland of show places. But not me; I'm here in the center of the room.

Some stories evoke science-fiction, like this office computer from Geoff Dutton's Petit Mal taken for a doctor's visit to the IT lady identified as "Admin":

In her absence, I notice how messy her space is. Coiled-up cables piled on a table next to boxes overflowing with connectors and dongles. A dusty stack of laptops. A couple of stripped-down deskside towers. A mound of disk drives in another box next to a jumble of circuit boards. Mean-looking tools--my circuits cringe. There but for the love of Admin would go my luckless carcass.

And fantasy adventure, like the dice of Laura Johnson's Twenty Sides to Every Tale:

"To recap from last session: the Academy wants you to investigate a cult that they believe is trying to summon an Old God to this plane. They need you to find out if these men are just delusional scholars or actually dangerous. You agreed to check out their base in exchange for a hefty reward. Do you have anything you wish to do in town first?"

Kederisa was almost dancing, and the other dice murmured in excitement. Dungeon crawls meant combat, which meant many dice rolls. And Old Gods-how exciting! Carlos had been working up to this session, for sure.

There are tales of romance, like this scotch glass from The Lady at the Bar, by B.C. Kalis:

Everything started to melt; pure light was beginning to build inside of me, expanding into every part of my being, burning away every chill and all the coldness I had just experienced.

Sometimes the scene gets…interesting, like this slot machine in A Day in the Life of a Gigolo, by N.S. Evans:

Disheartened, I turn to watch an interesting couple with gray hair and matching sweatshirts. They pull up a second chair and scooch right in front of me. Soon they're taking turns touching me. I can get into that; wouldn't be my first time.

And there is definitely something going on between Helga and Edwin's Tarot Cards in Malkin and Thel Tarot Catalog (Midsummer's Eve 2018) by Robert Dawson:

2-8600-MM: THE MATCHMAKER (XXXXI) ($9.99) While useful in divination, this card is mainly used in active cartomancy to attract the love of that unattainable somebody. (Edwin Recommends!)

2-8600-AB: ABSURDITY (XXIX) ($4.99) Many customers have reported that their readings have become much more accurate after upgrading their deck with this card. (This is the traditional "Golden Dawn" design, depicting a skyclad youth holding an amphora of wine, in the act of tripping over the cat.) (Helga Recommends!)

2-8600-VE: VENGEANCE (IL) ($24.99) Wronged? Spurned? Whoever who made you add this card to your deck will be sorry. (Edwin Recommends!)

Some of the objects are out for a little fun, like this charming satin sleep scarf from The Playful Protector by Jasre' Ellis:

This is not just any hair. You keep the hair of a kind, gentle, sweet and loving person safe. Them! And you take this job very seriously. Their hair is a gorgeous umber brown, nearly black, an even richer color than the lovely deep tone of Their skin. They have tightly-coiled curls that can spring back into shape when pulled, that can be stretched from Their ears to the middle of Their back, and can be braided and knotted into such intricate styles it would leave you in awe. They refer to it with odd alphanumeric codes--3b, 4c, etc. All you know is that Their hair is wonderful, curly, and yours to protect.

People act differently once they’re on an elevator and the doors close. Just ask the elevator from Elevated, by Tom Jolly.

A couple of kids get on then, and once we get moving, they start singing "Love in an Elevator" off-key and I just wants to blow a fuse. Every damn day, sometimes three, maybe four times, I have to hear that damned song. You'd think there'd never been any other music in the world about elevators, wouldn't ya?

And among these tales, E.D.E. Bell has included an unexpected Tragedia:

Aware, now, yet unable to breathe, it gasped at the warm air being pumped into it, one measure at a time. Bringing life. Awareness.

We hope you'll enjoy the tales that these objects, and many more, have to offer. It's also fun to consider what story you would write. : )

Who are we?

We are a small, independent publisher out of Detroit, Michigan. We believe in the artistic voice of the author being at the core of our projects. We also believe in amplifying creative voices, including those traditionally marginalized. We are proud of and stand by our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

This anthology is designed to be safe for a diverse reader base. Our submission guidelines specifically prohibited harmful messaging toward culture, background, religion, ethic, gender, orientation, attraction, race, ethnicity, ability, or body. The stories are intended for adult audiences but are appropriate, and some inspirational, for YA readers.

Who are the authors? 

We have a great lineup of authors!

Z. Ahmad describes herself as a Muslim American feminist physicist. She obtained her undergrad degree in physics from Southeast Missouri State University in 2011. She currently lives and works in Ohio as a research analyst. Although she has been writing and telling stories since at least the first grade, she has never published any of her non-technical work. Ms. Ahmad draws inspiration for many of her stories from her experiences growing up in rural America as a daughter in a biracial family. In her writing she enjoys exploring themes related to female empowerment, cultural intersectionality, science, and science fiction.

E.D.E. Bell was born in the year of the fire dragon during a Cleveland blizzard. With an MSE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, three amazing children, and nearly two decades in technical intelligence, she now applies her magic to the creation of genre-bending fantasy fiction in Ferndale, Michigan, where she is proud to be part of the Detroit arts community. A passionate vegan and enthusiastic denier of gender rules, she feels strongly about issues related to human equality and animal compassion. She revels in garlic. She loves cats and trees. You can follow her adventures at edebell.com.

Kella Campbell can usually be found in Vancouver, Canada. She writes mostly romance, because love and relationships are what she finds most interesting about life and in fiction. Even when she dips into other genres, her writing almost always has romantic/emotional/relationship elements. Kella likes tea and dark chocolate and happily-ever-after endings. Visit kellacampbell.com to learn more.

Steve Carr, who lives in Richmond, Va., began his writing career as a military journalist and has had over 120 short stories published internationally in print and online magazines, literary journals and anthologies. His plays have been produced in several states within the U.S. He was a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee. He is on Facebook and Twitter.com/carrsteven960.

Since the 1970’s John Darling has written and published many short stories, poems, and magazine articles. His first publication was a short story which appeared in the Journal of Mental Health. His lone play, Stage Directions, has been produced in the United States, Canada, and most recently at the Soho Theatre in London, England. He has two books available on Amazon. One book is a nonfiction account of how rock bands and performers chose their stage names the other is a cookbook compiled from his grandmother’s favorite recipes.

Robert Dawson teaches mathematics at a Nova Scotian university. When not writing, teaching, or doing research, he enjoys camping, cycling, and fencing. His stories have appeared in Nature Futures, Tesseracts 20, Year's Best Military and Adventure SF, and numerous other periodicals and anthologies. He is an alumnus of the Sage Hill and Viable Paradise writing workshops.

By day, Evan Dicken studies old Japanese maps and crunches data for all manner of fascinating medical research at The Ohio State University. By night, he does neither of these things. His short fiction has most recently appeared in: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, and Unlikely Story, and he has stories forthcoming from publishers such as Strange Horizons and Analog. Feel free to visit him at evandicken.com, where he wastes both his time and yours.

It took 20 innovative years as a software developer for Geoff Dutton's meteoric career to crash and burn, bouncing through a series of foreseeable layoffs. After escaping its wreckage, he did what many failed academics and techies do: become a professional explainer, spending the prime of his life as an IT columnist and technical writer telling computer users what they should and shouldn't do. Along the way came dozens of scientific papers and hundreds of stories, articles, memoirs, broadsides, and a subversive radical thriller. Nowadays he uses his words to ward off evildoers at progressivepilgrim.review and counterpunch.org. Geoff lives near Boston, where he forages for mushrooms and cooks for his family (all are perfectly well, so far).

Jasre' Ellis is a black, nonbinary young professional from North Carolina. Jasre' drifted through high school and wound up with the odd double bachelors combination of Psychology and Japanese. Jasre' is currently studying to become fluent in Japanese with the intent of becoming a translator, so wish them luck! Jasre' has a passion for coming up with ideas for stories they'd love to see published and has come to terms with the fact that they'll just have to write it themselves to see it brought to life. They use their love of Japanese pop culture and expensive hobbies as well as their personal experiences with race & gender as inspiration for their writing.

N.S. Evans grew up in a small town in southwest Kansas but now calls Kansas City home. Graduating with a degree in Accounting from the University of Kansas, she had a very rewarding career in the world of finance before retiring in 2017. She now enjoys traveling with friends and family.

BethAnn Ferrero is a twenty-year Air Force veteran now completing the Creative Writing MFA program at Western State Colorado University. Her career has taken her around the globe and afforded her more fun than an engineer should have—from flying in jet planes to space acquisition. In part, her writing reflects the spirit, exhilaration, stress, and even the occasional implausibility and sorrow of those experiences. As for her serial-killing characters, their inspiration remains a mystery. Her dark fantasy short fiction, "The Inheritance," can be found in the Shohola Press anthology, Abandoned Places.

C. Flynt is the husband-and-wife writing team of Clif and Carol Flynt. Clif is a computer programmer and technical book author (Tcl/Tk: A Developer's Guide, Linux Shell Scripting Cookbook.) Carol has followed multiple careers, finally retiring as a freelance bookkeeper. Both are musicians and singer-songwriters. They live in a house they designed and built in the middle of a forest. They amuse the three cats who own them with hours of argument over plots, themes, characters, grammar and whose turn it is to write the first draft. To their happy surprise, these intense -ahem- conversations strengthen their stories and their marriage. They write science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, romantic suspense, and query letters.

Avily Jerome is a writer, the editor of Havok magazine, and a book reviewer for Lorehaven magazine. Her short stories have been published in multiple magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests, both for short stories and novels. She is a writing conference teacher and presenter, a new-author mentor, and a freelance editor. In addition, she enjoys speaking to local writers’ groups. Her fantasy short story serials, The Heir, and the sequel, The Defector, are available on Amazon. You can find her on Facebook.com/avily.jerome and on her website, www.avilyjerome.com.

Laura Johnson is a fantasy writer who resides in London, Ontario, where she is pursuing graduate studies in Psychology at Western University. When she’s not writing for pleasure, she’s immersed in academia, researching prosocial and antisocial personality traits. A huge geek, she enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, dressing up in cosplay at conventions, and gaming with friends. Previously, her stories have appeared in three anthologies by Bushmead Publishing--Heroes, Monsters, and Scoundrels.

Tom Jolly is a retired astronautical/electrical engineer who now spends his time writing SF and fantasy, designing board games, and creating obnoxious puzzles. He lives in Santa Maria, California, with his wife Penny in a place where mountain lions and black bears still visit. You can find more of his stories at silcom.com

B.C. Kalis has come to call the Miami Valley in Southwest Ohio home. Drawing from classic authors and life experiences for inspiration, he writes fiction and poetry for entertainment, both for himself and for readers. When not writing or reading he can be found doing other things. You can find his poems and fiction at bckalis.com.

Debra Krauss is an outgoing introvert and non-stop storyteller. She was educated at the school of hard knocks but was born in an armor of fluffy down feathers covered in six hundred count Egyptian cotton. She is not afraid to trespass where signs are posted but only for the sake of curiosity, a story and no malicious intent whatsoever. Philadelphia is where she calls home and her favorite stories come from eavesdropping in supermarkets and on public transportation. Debra has been publishing her poetry, prose, and human interest stories on online journals ranging in topics from art and autism to zymurgy and a good night of Zzzz’s. She has decided wholeheartedly that life is good.

Grace Keating was born in a Canadian east-coast university town, at the tail end of a large family of storytellers. When not working freelance in the world of theatre, television and film, and when not moving from east coast to west coast to east coast, she spends her time writing. She has enjoyed success with her short stories, having previously won the SLO Nightwriters award for The Phone Call, had three stories published in an anthology, and recently been short-listed by The Cambridge Short Story Prize for flash fiction with, Fish Tank and Upper Her, Lower Him.

T.J. Lockwood is a speculative and science fiction author born somewhere along the west coast of Canada during a relatively mild summer in comparison to the ones which followed. An avid practitioner of the Martial Arts, she is always up for a friendly match or two when time permits. Her writing has and, most likely, always will dive head first through the many portals of Science Fiction. She lives in Vancouver and enjoys the frequently rainy days common in the lower mainland. The honey badger is her spirit animal.

Donnie Martino is a proud rat parent based out of New Jersey. His writing has appeared on Rogues Portal, Cyberrriot, and MICRO//MACRO. When he’s not writing, he’s working extensively with the future of America as a high school social studies teacher. He’s deeply passionate about trans representation and Degrassi trivia. He can be found on donniedontblog.wordpress.com and Twitter.com/dmisunbreakable.

Alanna McFall is a writer and actor originally from Minnesota. She has published with Mad Scientist Journal, Escape Pod, Alliteration Ink and many more. She is a member of the Monday Night PlayGround Writer’s Pool in San Francisco for the 2017-2018 season, and has been happy to present two pieces for staged readings with the Writer's Pool. In addition to writing, she works as Publicity Manager for Kinetic Arts Center, a circus theater in Oakland. Follow her work on alannamcfall.wordpress.com.

Holly Schofield travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of city and country life. Her short stories have appeared in Analog, Lightspeed, Escape Pod, and many other publications throughout the world. She hopes to save the world through science fiction and homegrown heritage tomatoes. Find her on hollyschofield.wordpress.com.

Terry Sanville lives in San Luis Obispo, California with his artist-poet wife (his in-house editor) and two plump cats (his in-house critics). He writes full time, producing short stories, essays, poems, and novels. Since 2005, his short stories have been accepted by more than 270 literary and commercial journals, magazines, and anthologies including The Potomac Review, The Bitter Oleander, Shenandoah, and The Saturday Evening Post. He was nominated twice for Pushcart Prizes for his stories “The Sweeper” and “The Garage.” Terry is a retired urban planner and an accomplished jazz and blues guitarist – who once played with a symphony orchestra backing up jazz legend George Shearing.

Stephanie Vance lives in Washington, DC, where she works as a grassroots advocacy consultant helping people communicate more effectively with their elected officials. So that’s a challenge. Her fiction work has appeared in the anthologies Enter the Apocalypse, One Star Reviews of the Afterlife, Bark Magazine, and Andromeda Spaceways among others. She's currently pursuing an MFA from Western State Colorado University.

Add Ons

If you'd like additional copies of As Told by Things, please increase your pledge accordingly: (These amounts include shipping.)

  • Additional Paperbacks to US: Add $16 USD each
  • Additional Paperbacks to Canada: Add $20 USD each
  • Additional Paperbacks to Rest of World: Add $22 USD each
  • Additional E-book Licenses: Add $4 USD each

If you're interested in additional limited edition copies or have a larger order and would like to save shipping costs, please message us (or email us at atthis@atthisarts.com) and we'll work something out. Thanks!

Stretch Goals?

There are no stretch goals at this point, as the campaign funds are needed for author royalties and our print and shipping costs aren't covered at the minimum goal. If we go beyond that (which would be great) it will help cover our print and shipping costs as well as increase the author royalties. If we pass those initial funding needs and goals by a significant amount, we will add stretch goals, for example an audiobook edition. We’d sure love to see that happen and would respond with appropriate enthusiasm. 

Still not sure? 

That’s alright. We really appreciate you giving this project a look. Could we ask you to mark a reminder on this project, and in the meantime follow Atthis Arts at Facebook.com/atthisarts or sign up for updates (no spam!) at atthisarts.com.

Risks and challenges

As the included stories have already been submitted and gone through one round of editing, the risks are low. Atthis Arts has delivered on nine successful Kickstarter campaigns.

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Support

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    Pledge US$ 4 or more About US$ 4

    Digital Things

    Receive a digital copy of As Told by Things, with our sincere thanks.

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    Paper Things

    Receive a paperback copy of As Told by Things along with a digital copy.

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    Gift Pack of Things

    Receive two paperback copies of As Told by Things, one to read and one to give. Also receive a digital copy with a license to share.

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    Manuscript Critique - Dicken

    Full critique of a work of genre fiction up to 6000 words by author and editor Evan Dicken. Edit will include line edits, extensive comments, and market analysis. Includes an e-book copy of As Told by Things.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Limited Campaign-Edition Hardcover

    Receive a limited edition hardcover copy of As Told by Things. Your name will be specially acknowledged in this limited edition book, which will only be produced for supporters of the pre-order campaign. It makes a great keepsake for fans of the collection or would be an excellent option for those giving the collection as a gift.

    Includes a digital copy.

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    Developmental Edit - Bell

    Developmental edit of a work of genre fiction up to 8000 words by author and editor E.D.E. Bell. Edit will include developmental critique, detailed comments, and optional sensitivity analysis. Includes an e-book copy of As Told by Things.

    Includes:
    • Manuscript Critique
    • Digital Copy of As Told by Things
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Arts Supporter of Things

    Like the work we are doing and want to help out? Receive a limited edition hardcover copy of As Told by Things. Your copy will include handwritten annotations by the editor.

    Includes a digital copy of As Told by Things.

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    It's Your Thing

    Tell us about your favorite object, and one of the anthology authors will write a story featuring it. You will receive a one-of-a-kind hardcover edition of As Told by Things that includes your story. If you'd like, we will post your story as an update to the backers.

    Includes:
    • One-of-a-kind edition of As Told by Things
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Funding period

- (27 days)