“What next, Siri?” he said when he arrived at Churchill and Main.
“Turn left and walk three hundred feet.”
Justin found himself in front of a house with a scraggly, leaf-strewn yard and a boarded-up front window. Yellow pieces of paper were taped to the front door. Though he couldn’t read them from the curb, he recognized them as foreclosure notices. They’d become commonplace all around town.
A blood-curdling yowl rose from the backyard.
- From “What You’re Called to Do” by Dale Cameron Lowry in Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology
About the Anthology
Our smartphones organize our lives, find our locations, and sync with all our other tech. We sleep with them beside our pillows. Yet… their workings are a mystery.
For all we truly understand, they could be made of magic. (I mean, do you know how yours works? Could you take it apart and put it back together?)
In this anthology, twenty authors explore the intersections of magic and technology. In some of these fictional pieces, that means the phone itself is explicitly magical (such as taking the perfect selfie every time). In other short stories, they run magical apps (like when a tech company keeps a mythological creature chained up in its server room).
Some stories skate closer to science fiction with stories where Siri has become sentient (and she’s not impressed with how you ignore her turn-by-turn directions). Others go for a more classic horror-fantasy approach (with demon possessions).
Every single one of these stories has something interesting to offer—from philosophical jumping-board to hilarious entertainment. Which will be your favorite?
Sure, everyone loves technology and magic. And we’ve been hanging out with smartphones for quite some time. But what tipped the scales to make this anthology actually happen?
It’s all due to the success of anthology editor Janine A. Southard’s 2015 novel, Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story. That book stars an explicitly magical iPhone (found by story gamers in modern-day Seattle) which not only sends its users on terrible dates, but also sucks their life forces.
Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story has won a Cygnus Award for SF/F in 2016 and been quietly growing its audience for the last year. So Janine wanted the chance to read what other people made of her “magic iPhone” concept, and wow did the speculative fiction writing community go for it.
We already have the drafts of these twenty stories in hand. And Janine (the editor) has run Kickstarter projects before. This means we’re a low-risk project. We need your help to get everything cleaned up, published, and out the door, but we’re ready to move.
The cover seen above is the actual cover. On the inside, you will find an incredible line-up of authors who use all sorts of storytelling, ahem, devices.
- Rhiannon Held, “Copper Colored Charms”
- Manny Frishberg & Edd Vick, “One App To Rule Them All”
- Kris Millering, “Specific Wisdom”
- Dale Cameron Lowry, “What You’re Called to Do”
- Raven Oak, “Q-Be”
- H.M. Jones, “Nessa, Iggy, and the Murky Toilet Selfie”
- Amanda Hackwith, "ERROR: Kappa Not Found"
- Jonathon Burgess, "On Your Right"
- Aaron Giddings, Sr., "The Magic PalmPilot Pro"
- Jon Lasser, "Real Selfies"
- Jeremiah Reinmiller, "iHassle"
- Kyle Yadlosky, "Voices From Beyond the iPhone"
- C.S. O’Cinneide, "Picture This…."
- Stevehen Warren, "Customer Support"
- A. Moritz, "From Siri to Sunrise"
- Angela Dell’Isola, "Not Interested"
- Stephanie Djock, "The Road Once Taken"
- J.S. Rogers, "Drive You Home"
- Sarina Dorie, "Hung Up On"
- Dawn Vogel, "Army of Me"
About the Editor
Janine A. Southard has run four Kickstarter projects for novels. They've all funded and they've all shipped (well, three have shipped and her most recent is in progress). Her very first was for Queen & Commander which went on to win an IPPY award for science fiction in 2013. And, of course, Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story won a Cygnus Award in 2016. She could never have done so much without help from her wonderful Kickstarter community.
Kickstarter video music from Bensound - http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music
Risks and challenges
We don't expect any problems with completing this project, but Kickstarter likes to see creativity here. So, have some potential roadblocks:
- an author chooses not to sign their contract (meaning we'll have 19 stories instead of 20, or Janine will contact a professional writer to write one at the last moment)
- layout designer breaks her hand (meaning we'll need a few extra weeks to find another designer and get on schedule or Janine will give it a go... we're a small house, okay?)
- the flasks don't arrive as soon as we expect them (meaning your nifty reward might be a bit late, but we'll find another supplier!)
No matter what, we'll keep you posted.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)