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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, November 26 2019 2:01 AM UTC +00:00.

Silk and Steel

A queer sf&f adventure anthology of high femmes & dashing (swords)women.

Silk and Steel

A queer sf&f adventure anthology of high femmes & dashing (swords)women.

$32,655
pledged of $5,997pledged of $5,997 goal
1,048
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Tue, November 26 2019 2:01 AM UTC +00:00.

About

A whole anthology of queer SFF stories, featuring warrior women... and the courtly ladies who love them.

Princess and swordswoman, monk and martial artist, scholar and mecha pilot.  Warriors and beauties: who can say which has the upper hand?

Sometimes a project just comes together serendipitously.   In this case it happened on twitter, when artist Al Norton posted this image:

Jennifer Mace retweeted it with the caption "Noble High Femme x Dashing Sword Lesbian, The Anthology", and the responses poured in. "I want to read (or write) that story!"  

Sometimes, an idea has legs all of its own, and all a creator can do is ride the wave. Delighted with the response, she teamed up with Django Wexler and started sending emails: "Hey, how serious were you?" The answer: Deadly serious. We had a ToC.

And here we are!

Silk & Steel will be an anthology of queer short fiction, featuring SFF stories loosely inspired by the image above and by the tropes it invokes.  We've lined up 9 authors, professional editor extraordinaire Janine A. Southard, and cover artist Alexis Moore, so all we're missing is your contributions to bring the book to life!

And, since this is Kickstarter, if enough people get on board we have the chance to make this even better with STRETCH GOALS!

Futher Stretch Goals

Obviously the success of this project has taken us a bit by surprise!  Our original goals, below, were all completed in one day, and while we tried to formulate some more things kept on moving.  

Just to review where we are (as of $27,000):

  • 4 awesome artists doing art cards, in addition to our cover and inspiration (see contributors section below)
  • 20,000 words of fiction, on top of the original 50,000, to be chosen from our open submissions!
  • Enamel pins!

But we can get further!

At $29,000, we will expand our open submissions yet again, adding another 10,000 words to the pot.

At $31,000 we will add another pro to our contributors list -- Yoon Ha Lee, the author of the amazing Machineries of Empire series and more.

At $33,000 another artist will come onboard to add to the art card goodness.

At $35,000 we have another invited guest -- Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint and the Tremontaine collaborative sequel!

At $37,000 we will add the final 10,000 words, bringing us to a nice even 100,000.  These may include more submissions or another mystery guest!

At $39,000 we'll tag in a sixth artist for the art card stack!

And if you guys get us past that, well ... we'll think of something.



THE GOALS OF AWESOMENESS

At $6000, we'll be fully funded to produce a book with our fantastic author lineup, which we'll send to you (print or ebook, depending on your pledge level) in 2020!

At $7000, we can add open submissions!  We do a call for submissions, open to all, and add another 10,000 words (probably two stories) to the anthology.  

At $8000, we'll increase the rate for our hardworking authors from 4 cents a word to 5.  We'd love to get to 8 and be a professional, SFWA-qualifying market!

At $9000, we'll increase our rate to 6 cents a word, and we'll add more art!  If you check out the reward tiers, you'll see you can get art cards with Alexis' excellent cover and Al Norton's original image.  If we reach this level, we'll bring in some more wonderful artists to give their take on our theme.  (At least one, possibly more, depending on costs.)  All rewards that say they include art cards will receive ALL the art we unlock!

At $10000, we'll be able to pay 7 cents a word.  Almost to pro!

At $11000, we'll pay SFWA professional rate at 8 cents a word, and we'll unlock yet more swordswoman and princess art for everyone!

At $12000, we'll add enamel pins to go along with the art cards, and hopefully add another story or two to the anthology!

You get the picture.  We would love to do as much as we can for our contributors (including add in some more of them) and hire as many awesome artists as we can to draw queer women for us.

Speaking of contributors, here they are in all their glory:

Contributing Authors: Claire Eliza Bartlett, Aliette de Bodard, K.A. Doore, Jennifer Mace, Freya Marske, Kelly Robson, Nibedita Sen, Django Wexler and JY Yang

Claire Bartlett writes from Copenhagen, Denmark, with a particular interest towards blending fantasy and history. She is the author of the critically acclaimed WE RULE THE NIGHT and her YA f/f fantasy, THE WINTER DUKE, is scheduled for publication in March 2020. Find her on twitter and instagram at @bartlebett, and read both YA and adult short stories on authorclaire.com.

Aliette de Bodard writes speculative fiction: she has won three Nebula Awards, a Locus Award and four British Science Fiction Association Awards, and was a double Hugo finalist for 2019 (Best Series and Best Novella). She is the author of the Dominion of the Fallen series, set in a turn-of-the-century Paris devastated by a magical war, which comprises The House of Shattered Wings, The House of Binding Thorns, and The House of Sundering Flames (July 2019, Gollancz/JABberwocky Literary Agency). Her short story collection Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight is out from Subterranean Press. She lives in Paris.

K.A. Doore writes fantasy – mostly second world, all of it queer – with a touch of horror and a ton of adventure. The Chronicles of Ghadid is her trilogy debut, beginning with The Perfect Assassin.

Jennifer Mace is a queer Brit who roams the Pacific Northwest in search of tea and interesting plant life. A Hugo-finalist podcaster for her work with Be The Serpent, she writes about strange magic and the cracks that form in society. Her short fiction has appeared in Cast of Wonders and the anthology Skies of Wonder, Skies of Danger, while her poetry may be found in Liminality. Find her online at www.englishmace.com.

Freya Marske lives in Australia, and is yet to be killed by any form of wildlife. She is one-third of the Hugo-nominated podcast Be the Serpent, and her most recently published story was 'What We Named the Needle' in Analog Magazine. Her hobbies include figure skating and discovering new art galleries, and she is on a quest to try all the gin in the world.

Kelly Robson is a Canadian short fiction writer.  She was awarded the 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novelette and the 2016 Aurora Award for best Short Story. She has also been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon, Locus, Astounding, Aurora, and Sunburst awards. In 2018, her time travel adventure Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach debuted to high critical praise.

Nibedita Sen is a queer Bengali writer, editor and gamer from Calcutta. A graduate of Clarion West 2015, her short fiction has appeared in venues such as Podcastle, Nightmare and Fireside. She helps edit Glittership, an LGBTQ SFF podcast, enjoys the company of puns and potatoes, and is nearly always hungry. Hit her up on Twitter at @her_nibsen.

Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research.  Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books.  When not writing, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.  His most recent book is Ship of Smoke and Steel.  He can be found on Twitter at @DjangoWexler.

JY Yang is the author of the Tensorate series of novellas from Tor.Com Publishing (The Red Threads of Fortune, The Black Tides of Heaven, The Descent of Monsters and The Ascent to Godhood). Their work has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, while their short fiction has been published in over a dozen venues, including Tor.com, Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and Strange Horizons. JY is queer, non-binary, and lives in Singapore.

Stretch Goal Contributors

Stretch Goal Authors: Ellen Kushner and Yoon Ha Lee

Ellen Kushner’s novel Swordspoint introduced readers to the city to which she has returned in two more novels and the collaborative serial prequel, Tremontaine (SerialBox.com). She lives in NYC with her wife Delia Sherman and too many theater and airplane ticket stubs. 

Yoon Ha Lee's debut novel, Ninefox Gambit, won the Locus Award for best first novel and was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Clarke awards; its sequels, Raven Stratagem and Revenant Gun, were also Hugo finalists. Lee lives in Louisiana with a family of fencers and an extremely lazy cat.

Contributing Artists: Cassandre Bolan, Grace Fong, Chris Howard, Alexis Moore, Al Norton and Nate Taylor

Cassandre Bolan paints diverse, beautifully human, real and strong women in the epic contexts of myths and fairytales. Her paintings are retellings of these universal stories and the women in them. Her passions are the sacred feminine, matriarchal societies, jungian psychology, and watching tv shows with her kids so they can analyze My Little Ponies to death! She has worked for clients such as Cartoon Network, Fantasy Flight Games and Creative Assembly, as well as many inspirational indie creators, been a 2014 Illustrators of the Future award winner, and was featured in ImagineFX magazine. She is a mom, and having just moved back to the States after a decade abroad living in Dubai, really really misses the hot weather!   Find her online at www.cassandrebolan.com.

Grace P. Fong ("Fictograph") is a Hugo-nominated illustrator living in Vancouver, BC. She makes covers for spec fiction publications, promotional art for authors, and sometimes comics. Recent clients include Strange Horizons, Lackington's, Paul Kreuger, and Kiersten White. Her work has been shown at Light Grey Art Lab, Q-Pop, and the Hive galleries. In her minimal spare time, she also writes, travels, eats, and annoys her cat.

Chris Howard is a creative human with a pen and a paintbrush, author of Seaborn (Juno), Salvage (Prime) and a shelf-full of other stories. His art has appeared on dozens of book covers, in Shimmer, BuzzyMag, various RPGs, and on the pages of books, comics, and other interesting places. Find out more on https://SaltwaterWitch.com

Alexis Moore does not write, unless you count six notebooks worth of magical girl anime fanfiction when she was twelve. She does draw, though, and you can find more of those drawings on twitter at @alexisparade.

Al Norton is a queer illustrator from Ukraine, passionate about all things colorful and true. Getting a degree in Psychology has only fueled her interest in all the ways human condition can be expressed through art, venturing into fantasy when realism doesn't cut it. Find her at @AlNorton7  on Twitter and check out her commission info!

Nate Taylor is an Alaska-born cartoonist and illustrator known for his work on "The Slow Regard of Silent Things," and "The Adventures of the Princess & Mr. Whiffle" by Patrick Rothfuss. He loves dramatic flair, winter, and heavily-doctored coffee. Find him at @majorsheep on Twitter, @natentaylor on Instagram, or check out his website at natentaylor.com.

Risks and challenges

Our editor, Janine A. Southard, has experience putting together a wide range of anthologies under a variety of pen names, and we're confident in her ability to make this work. Problems with our planned contractors for layout and production might cause delays, but not serious ones.

It is always possible that one or more of our authors will be unable to deliver the stories they've committed to -- life happens! If it looks likes that's going to be the case, we'll let you know in the updates, and draft in a replacement or otherwise make sure the anthology is still full.

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