I Didn't Break the Lamp: Tales of Imaginary Friends
A collection of sci-fi and fantasy stories about imaginary friends, monsters under the bed, and other unreal acquaintances.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, March 1 2019 3:00 AM UTC +00:00.
Mad Scientist Journal presents our sixth anthology of short fiction, I Didn't Break the Lamp -Historical Accounts of Imaginary Acquaintances!
We want to create a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories about imaginary friends and imaginary enemies, and maybe some that fall somewhere in the middle. Each story is written from the perspective of someone who has had an imaginary acquaintance, seen their impacts, or possibly been an imaginary acquaintance.
Stories will be solicited after we've funded, so we don't have a table of contents. But here are the types of stories we imagine seeing:
- A monster under the bed or in the closet who helps or hinders the person they watch over.
- An imaginary friend who always gets their person into or out of trouble … but to what end?
- A creature that no one believes is real, until they prove their impact.
In the past, we've seen amazing stories that have blown our minds with how they play with the theme. We are certain that this anthology will be no different. We have often published first-time authors and actively seek out authors from otherwise marginalized groups.
This will be our sixth anthology, and the previous five have all been well received.
- "If you enjoy eerie writing and appreciate a diverse collection of authors and writing styles, I strongly recommend this anthology."
- "LOVED this collection of fiction. I read this book cover to cover immediately."
- "I've really enjoyed Mad Scientist Journal's anthology series of historical accounts, I eagerly backed the last two on Kickstarter, and I think this is the strongest one to date."
- "Every single story in this collection is wonderfully creepy and totally engaging."
- "Consistently superior writing coupled with outstanding editing."
- "I enjoyed it from cover to cover, and would recommend it to my friends."
- "This one is worth both your time and your money."
- "So many amazing stories that I would read if they were turned into full novels."
The main reward is the book. We're shooting for 80,000 words, which comes out to about 300 pages in a 5.5" x 8.5" paperback, with cover art by Luke Spooner. The product will have thematically appropriate interior art, which will also be available on postcards for Patreon backers.
Our current interior artist roster is:
These are the reward tiers:
- Moral Support: For $1, you can receive updates about the Kickstarter and buy add-ons after the Kickstarter has completed.
- The Digital Record/The Print Record (Early Adopter): Early backers will have the opportunity to obtain the book at a discount. $3 for the ebook, $9 for the print book.
- The Digital Record/The Print Record: For everyone else, we will be offering the ebook for $5 and the print book for $15.
- Patron of the Arts (Digital/Print): Higher end backers will have their names listed in the acknowledgements for the book. $10 for ebook, $20 for print.
- Monster Squad: As with Patron of the Arts, but you will also get a crocheted critter from editor Dawn Vogel. Some of the critters might look like animals, while others may be truly alien. They'll all be one of a kind! $35 for ebook backers, $40 for print. (Sample photos below.)
- Limited Edition: We will produce a limited number of hardcover books, which will include all the rewards of Monster Squad. $100. (Note: the reward mentions Rose Guard, which is from our previous Kickstarter. That should say "Monster Squad" in its place!)
- Home is Where the Cross Stitch Is: For $200, one (and only one) Limited Edition backer will receive a custom 6-inch square cross stitch from Jennifer Lee Rossman. (Photos of samples below.)
We're offering something more for Patreon supporters. All patrons who back this Kickstarter, at any level, will receive postcards with art from the book. Patrons that get a physical book will also receive a signed bookplate.
If you want an excuse to support us even more, here are some things you can add! If you add these on now instead of later, it helps us out more.
- Historical Accounts (Digital): Ebooks of previous Mad Scientist Journal Presents anthologies. $2 per book, or $6 for a full set.
- Historical Accounts (Digital+Print): Print and ebook of previous Mad Scientist Journal Presents anthologies. $7 per book, or $25 for a full set. (Extra costs for shipping outside of the United States.)
- Extra Acquaintances: Get extra copies of I Didn't Break the Lamp for $10 each.
- Extra Limited Edition Acquaintances: Backers who contribute at the $100 limited edition level can get additional limited edition copies at $40 each.
- Extra Monsters: The Monster Squad can get more crocheted critters at $20 each.
- Digital Archive: Ebooks of 28 issues of Mad Scientist Journal, from Spring 2012 to Winter 2019. $15 for these back issues.
- Complete Archive: Print and digital copies of every Mad Scientist Journal quarterly we've done. That's 16 print books and 28 ebooks for $60.
- Digital Subscription: Ebooks of four upcoming issues of Mad Scientist Journal, Spring 2019 through Winter 2020. Add $10 to your pledge or back at $1/month through Patreon.
- Print Subscription: Print and ebooks of four upcoming issues of Mad Scientist Journal, Spring 2019 through Winter 2020. Add $25 to your pledge or back at $3/month through Patreon.
If we meet our goal, we'll use extra money to make the book better.
Our first two stretch goals are:
- $6,000 - Added Monsters: We will increase our book size by 10,000 words, which will be about 2-4 additional stories.
- $6,500 - Expanded Monster Gallery: We will commission an additional artist to provide interior art.
As with previous projects, we will be using Backerkit for user surveys and tracking fulfillment. We've used them for almost all of our previous campaigns and find their site invaluable.
As always, this effort has a whole lot of people behind it. Luke Spooner provided the amazing art. Dawn Vogel recorded the voiceover for our lovely video. Tea Sky Blue provided the music for the video. Matt Youngmark designed our book plate and will be laying out the book when we get there. Thank you to all of you beautiful people!
With every Kickstarter, there's always one or two people who don't provide shipping information for their physical rewards. We will make a good faith effort to try and obtain contact information from you, but if we do not hear back we will give up and just mark you as "complete." If you later realize that you've been missed, you can still drop us a line and we will honor fulfillment of the reward.
Risks and challenges
This will be our seventh book Kickstarter (and sixth anthology Kickstarter). We have successfully funded and fulfilled all of them. We have been down this road before, and we're familiar with it. We've learned many lessons over the years and have continually made changes to do better next time.
Because the interior art will not be created until after the Kickstarter, there is always the risk that one of our illustrators will be forced to withdraw. However, we have several artists we work with regularly who can fill in if needed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!