A lot of us have been feeling lately that in 2019 we're staring down the end of the world. So many conversations we have, so many choices we make, and so much of the media that inundates us seems to have an underlying sense of dread. It's the end of the world and we don't feel fine.
If you look at historical disasters for guidance, however, it quickly becomes clear that in most cases, once everyone has got the panic out of their system, people are surprisingly cooperative. Sure, there might be looting and madness at first, but in the wake of such actions people will rise to become helpers, to make things better. In the face of disasters across the globe and throughout history we have seen communities band together to help and support each other in times of crisis. Each time we adapt and overcome with the hope that next time we will have a better strategy to respond to the next disaster.
In light of this we ask: why don’t we see more stories like these in post-apocalyptic fiction? Why don’t we see examples of humanity in the crucible of a disaster acting in a way that proves the misanthropes wrong?
This anthology is our response. Based on a conversation between editors Dan Anctil and Alina Pete, and fleshed out by a bunch of writers and artists who all heard the pitch for the book and had that same spark of inspiration, of hope, light up their eyes, We decided to name it "Life Finds a Way."
We want to tell stories of humanity at its best, despite dire circumstances. We want to explore how to look at an apocalypse as a problem to be solved. We want to remind people that creativity, resilience, and community are the strengths of humanity. Just because the world as we knew it is gone doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to end with it.
Life Finds a Way will include stories by:
Stephanie Cooke, Dominique Evans, Ben Quinlan, Matthew Nielsen, Michelle Henderson, Can Richards, Evan J. Waterman, Lisa "Hobo" Watkins, A. "Miru" Lee, Daniel Ferreira, Shiraky, Jameson Hampton, Mellissa Capriglione, Rob Pilkington, Kate Ebensteiner, Lisa LaRose, Tyler Sexson, David Wilson, Emilie Chen, Elodie Chen, Mikayla Fawcett, Gabriel Craven, Jonathon Dalton, Lisa Wolinsky, Melissa McGee, Kelly Chen, K.C. Widdoes, Lynn Kremer, Ryan Clement, Abi Watson, Bevan Thomas, Reetta Linjama, Kevin Mahadeo, Peter Clinton, Drew Dillon, and Emmett Helen, with a cover by Milo Applejohn.
Life Finds a Way will be a 180-page anthology in full colour. The apocalypses our artists have imagined range from the practical to the supernatural to the technological. We have contributions from all over the world for this book, because the end of the world is everybody's business.
The $14,000 Canadian we're asking for covers paying our contributors for their stories (49%), printing the book (33%), shipping out rewards (11%), and expenses such as credit card fees and Kickstarter fees (8%). Cloudscape has had a couple of really successful Kickstarters in a row, and a successful couple of years over all, so we've been able to put some money into this project up front and bring the target down quite a bit from where it would be otherwise. Cloudscape has done a lot of Kickstarter campaigns, and each one hones our skills a little more. Life Finds a Way probably boasts our most reasonable shipping costs since shipping costs started going up everywhere, and we're hoping it will be one of our nicest-looking books yet.
The book itself, in both print and digital formats, will be the best anthology we can put together. We do have some other options for you as well, however.
The Artist Edition will include a set of 5 postcards with art drawn by artists from the book, and a set of stickers designed by Lisa LaRose. In the event that we meet our stretch goals, we have plans for some other goodies to add as well.
Quarantine and Doppelganger
The Quarantine Kit will add three more thematically-appropriate Cloudscape publications to Life Finds a Way: Mega Fauna and The Witching Hours, comics anthologies about animal-human relations and witches respectively, and Una the Blade, a collection of stories written by Steve LeCouilliard about a barbarian single mom in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world.
The Doppelganger Kit includes two books: Life Finds a Way, and one more book of your choosing from the Quarantine Kit (or Swan Song, our music anthology, or Fir Valley by Jason Turner, which totally fits this theme but I can't say more because of spoilers). Both kits also include the extras from the Artist Edition.
Library at the End of the World
The Library at the End of the World includes every book that Cloudscape has ever published, or at least every book of ours that hasn't sold out. You get eleven anthologies, as well as: Last Night at Wyrmwood High by Kathleen Gros, Una the Blade by Steve LeCouilliard, Feast of Fields by Sean Karemaker, Fir Valley by Jason Turner, and Chicken Soup and Goji Berries by Naomi Cui and Janice Liu. Finally, you'll have all the comics in the world, and all the time you need to read them in. Assuming the end of the world happens JUST right.
If we meet our target and go past it, our first priority will be to pay the contributors to this book a bigger slice of the pie. Half of any money we make past $14,000 will go to our writers and artists.
If we hit $16,000, we also have plans for an enamel pin designed by Kathleen Gros. At that point we will add an additional reward tier that has just the pin and the ebook, and the pin will also be included in EVERY tier that currently has the postcards and stickers.
Risks and challenges
"Life Finds a Way" will be Cloudscape's tenth Kickstarted book. So far all of them have been successfully funded. Sometimes there are delays in production or shipping, but so far we have delivered on every project we've promised. There are always risks involved in a new project. Most of the art is done but the book layout is not, so something could go wrong there, one of the artists still working on their story might need to drop out for unexpected reasons, the book printing could be delayed, or something could go wrong with our shipping pipeline. We have an organization full of qualified volunteers who will be doing their best to iron out problems if they develop.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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