$3,846
pledged of $6,000 goal
126
backers
16days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, August 8 2018 11:07 PM UTC +00:00.

$3,846
pledged of $6,000 goal
126
backers
16days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, August 8 2018 11:07 PM UTC +00:00.

About

  • A young person visiting Earth from another planet pedals off on a quest for a gender identity
  • A series of accidents leads a woman in a repressive patriarchal society to a bike shop that offers a dangerous chance at reproductive freedom
  • A scrappy group of teens on bikes work to save their community and their own lives
  • The stakes for winning an interdimensional bicycle race turn out to be much different than expected

Bikes Not Rockets is the fifth volume of the feminist bicycle science fiction series, Bikes in Space. Featuring 12 works by talented writers and artists, you'll find a wide range of perspectives and visions.

The common theme among all of the stories is the bicycles that propel all these protagonists towards and through major turning points in their lives (and the universe!).

About the contributors

I've borrowed from both the bios and stories of our contributors to bring you this more or less accurate condensed list:

  • Ayame Whitfield, who lives in Massachusetts and New Jersey and may or may not have a thing for robots
  • Elly Bangs, who wrote the most popular story in Bikes in Space vol 2 and also drew the back cover art for this new one
  • Elly Blue, mainly here because of nepotism
  • Gretchin Lair, whose touching, empathic stories have graced a number of these volumes
  • Hella Grichi, who organizes the only English-language spoken-word poetry events in Tunisia
  • Julia K. Patt, whose other work has been published in non-bicycle-specific (but still totally worthwhile, we won't judge) sci fi journals
  • Kat Lerner, who has also written about dragons but presumably not actually met any
  • Monique Cuillerier, who writes with great sensitivity and raises teenagers in Ottawa
  • Osahon Ize-Iyamu, who is working on a spec fic novel and lives in Nigeria
  • Paul Abbamondi, who is a cartoonist in New Jersey
  • Summer Jewel Keown, who is an event planner in upstate New York
  • Tuere T.S. Ganges, who raises teenagers in Baltimore and may or may not have serious prepper tendencies

Readers of this book will also get to enjoy the gorgeous and epically cool cover art of Cecilia Granata. And much of the editorial heavy lifting was done by Cynthia Marts—it's the sort of unsung work that you know was done well when it goes unnoticed, and she did it very well indeed.

Call for submissions

The next and sixth volume in the Bikes in Space series is all about dragons—and it's already in the editorial process. We now have a call for submissions open now for volume #7, edited by Lydia Rogue, with a theme of trans and nonbinary authors writing trans and nonbinary characters. Here's the call for submissions.

About the publisher

Elly Blue & Microcosm co-owner Joe Biel, where the magic happens
Elly Blue & Microcosm co-owner Joe Biel, where the magic happens

Elly Blue Publishing was created in 2010 to help fulfill the need for feminist books and zines about bicycling. Since 2015, it has been doing so as an imprint of Microcosm Publishing, based in Portland, Oregon.

About the rewards

The book itself: Bikes Not Rockets is 160 pages, 5x8 inches. Backers, you will get your copy well before the official December publication date.

The Bikes in Space back catalog: Also contains the self-titled volumes one and two, the third volume on the theme of Pedal Zombies, and Emily June Street's feminist bicycle steampunk-ish novel The Velocipede Races.

This introduction to the genre sadly doesn't contain volume 4, Biketopia, since we only have about eight left in the first printing, but you can maybe snag one of them here.

The feminist bicycle bookshelf: Includes everything at the Bikes in Space back catalog level, plus a bunch of other stuff I've published: the Our Bodies, Our Bikes collection co-edited with April Streeter; Kelli Refer's yoga guide Pedal, Stretch, Breathe; Anna Brones's cookbook The Culinary Cyclist, cycling and grief collection edited with Anika Ledlow, Cycletherapy; and two issues of my zine Taking the Lane, one about dogs and one about religion.

Video credits

Video production and editing by Benjamin Derrell Thompson.

Song: "Travelers" by J. Church, used with permission, RIP Lance. 

Risks and challenges

There are many risks here. Mutually assured nuclear annhilation. Getting hit by a truck. The inability of the planet to continue to sustain human life. Not realizing the impact of your own participation in a fascist dictatorship through a series of seemingly small actions until it's far too late. The chain falling off your bike halfway up the hill. Fear overcoming love. Despite it all, we persist in publishing these books.

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    Bikes Not Rockets

    The book itself, delivered to your door.

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    Two copies of Bikes Not Rockets

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    A Few More Bikes in Space

    At this level, you'll get Bikes Not Rockets plus the original two Bikes in Space volumes. A splendid introduction to the genre!

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    Bikes in Space back catalog

    You'll get Bikes Not Rockets (#5), plus Pedal Zombies (#3) and the original two volumes. #4 is temporarily out of print, a victim of its own popularity, so instead you'll get Emily June Street's awesome Bikes in Space novel The Velocipede Races.

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    Books for Teens

    At this reward level, you'll get your own copy of Bikes Not Rockets shipped to you, plus we'll donate 3 more copies to teen students at an urban high school. Add $10 for each extra copy you'd like to donate! (We'll throw in some of our other teen-friendly books, too.)

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    Feminist Bicycle bookshelf

    You'll get a copy of Bikes Not Rockets, all the Bikes in Space books at the $40 level, plus copies of Our Bodies, Our Bikes, Pedal, Stretch, Breathe, The Culinary Cyclist, Cycletherapy, and Taking the Lane zines #11 and #12.

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    Ten copies of Bikes Not Rockets

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    You choose the book review

    At this level, you'll get a copy of Bikes Not Rockets, plus tell me a sci fi/fantasy book, movie, or story and I'll write a review from a feminist/bicyclist perspective. It can be as terrible or wonderful or problematic as you like. This one is always fun!

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    Donate books for a high school classroom

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    Car Sinister review

    Pledge this amount and you'll get a copy of Bikes Not Rockets, plus I will read and write a review of the 1979 Car Sinister anthology of science fiction stories about cars by men (including one by George R.R. Martin, who wasn't yet famous enough to be named on the cover).

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