"Bikes in Space" was a whim, but it's a whim that's been a long time coming.
I started reading science fiction as a child, While I read broadly, I gravitated away from writers whose characters were macho heroes, hurtling through space with giant guns, ready to protect and/or tame their scantily clad space babe. I remember the realization that this was a trope, and also that it didn't have to be, and that to deviate from it could be quite radical. I related far more to visions of the future that were populated by strong, intelligent, empowered women with complex personalities, and I hoped I would grow up to be one of them.
The Taking the Lane series, of which "Bikes in Space" is the tenth issue, began as a response to some especially infuriating instances of unquestioned sexism I encountered in the bicycle movement and while riding my bike. The series has evolved over two and a half years into something even bigger and better—a platform for many people to share their different experiences, reactions, and visions for a totally new path.
After a long period in my twenties of being embarrassed by my former love of science fiction, I've been dipping my toe back into those waters, rereading old books and discovering new ones. This renewed fascination got all mixed up in my imagination with my ongoing obsession with bicycling and desire to produce feminist literature, and "Bikes in Space" was born.
It turns out I'm not the only person turned on by the idea—the response to the trifecta of feminist sci fi about bikes has been tremendous. I get more thrilled by it as the days go by and the submissions roll in. As a publisher, it's compelling, too—there's some good history to tap into here, of printed anthologies of fantastical fiction with hyperspecific themes and wonderfully cheesy cover fonts. (The cover, featuring a badass space lady on a penny farthing fending off an attack by space sharks, is by Taking the Lane veteran Katura Reynolds.)
The issue is on track so far to come out by the end of April. Submissions are looking great, the artwork for this issue is coming along splendidly, and we even have our first-ever sponsor—appropriately enough, Planet Bike, known for its bike accessories, strong advocacy chops, and human-propulsion space laboratory. (Ok, just kidding about the last part. I can dream, right?)
I'll have quite a few updates in the next few weeks as this project runs its course. Til then, please pitch in for a copy or something more, and please spread the word.
Risks and challenges
This is the tenth quarterly issue of Taking the Lane, and my eleventh or maybe twelfth successful Kickstarter project. But it's my first foray into publishing fiction -- which is a little nerve-wracking, though mostly in a good way. How do you promote fiction? I'll definitely be relying on backers and supporters (aka, you) to help spread the word.
As for money, this project will, if funded, nearly/close-enough cover the cost of printing, shipping, rewards, and fees. If it's funded plus a little extra, we'll have space shark stickers. If it's funded plus a LOT extra, I will probably need to go ahead and print more copies, which would be a whole 'nother ball game (albeit a really good problem to have).
Of course, if the project isn't fully funded, I won't be able to print this anthology at all, and let's face it, the world would be a slightly less awesome place.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (22 days)