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Dragon Bike: Fantastical feminist bicycle stories

#RecognizeKSRU Short stories about dragons and bicycling, from across time, space, genres, and cultural traditions.

Dragon Bike: Fantastical feminist bicycle stories

#RecognizeKSRU Short stories about dragons and bicycling, from across time, space, genres, and cultural traditions.

$3,039
pledged of $6,000pledged of $6,000 goal
95
backers
16days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, November 1 2019 12:56 PM UTC +00:00.

About


Special note: We support Kickstarter workers’ efforts to unionize! By backing this project, you are helping to print this book, paying the contributors, and also cementing your voice as a Kickstarter user. Please consider boosting the value of your pledge by signing this petition and/or emailing thoughts@kickstarter.com and urging management to voluntarily recognize the forming union.

***

Swooping silently through the countryside, hoarding treasures or making rain, bringing luck or destruction, beloved or the bane of those in power.... dragons and bicycles may not have much in common, but these stories bring them together in a myriad of fantastical ways.

Dragon Bike is the sixth annual anthology of feminist bicycle science fiction. Inside, you'll find:

  • A kid on a generation ship enlists the imagination of her community to save her moms' pizzeria
  • With the support of her coven, a talented witch works to redeem an unthinkable crime
  • Two elite dragonbike racers meet cute, and the stakes of winning change completely
  • Quarantined on a remote moon, a family makes some unusual allies
  • As a dragon terrorizes the countryside, a midwife faces an ethical dilemma
  • A bike mechanic with a vast hoard yields some treasures to those most in need
  • And much more!

The dragons in this volume hail from many traditions and metaphors; the stories range from high fantasy to hard sci fi, cyberpunk to slipstream. The writing and art are excellent, and no punches are pulled. You'll be charmed, entertained, and horrified by turns. The overall effect is an intense ride.

The cover, by the amazing Cecilia Granata
The cover, by the amazing Cecilia Granata

About Bikes in Space

The genre of feminist bicycle science fiction got its start on a whim, when the tenth issue of the usually-nonfiction feminist bicycle zine Taking the Lane got a sci-fi makeover. It was too fun to stop with just one, and  the Bikes in Space series was born, dedicated to taking the patriarchy and fossil fuels out of science fiction and fantasy. 

All the previous volumes are available as rewards for this project! Scroll down to find more. 

Why Kickstarter? Where does the money go?

We use Kickstarter for two primary reasons: It helps more people find these books, and your preorders help pay for the printing. 

For these anthology projects, it has a third very important purpose: This is how the authors get paid! Rather than a traditional royalty system, where we'd be sending a dozen checks for $5.83 every year or some such, we pay Bikes in Space contributors by splitting the net profits from this Kickstarter project equally amongst them all. Because of the costs of fulfillment and other rewards, contributor pay doesn't have a linear relationship with project earnings, though. So in order to boost their rates, we've added some reward levels where you can essentially tip your author—anything above the cost of your book, shipping, and Kickstarter fees will go toward their payout. Which was a long and complicated way of saying: Thank you! 

Want to learn a little more about the folks whose work you're supporting?

About the authors

This volume contains 14 stories and 1 comic, and brings together a talented cohort of writers and artists, including (in no particular order):

  • The book opens with a story by Jennifer Lee Rossman, a self-described "science fiction geek from Binghamton, New York, who has never ridden a bicycle but has a really cool wheelchair"—she used google to research her description of a joyful ride on a generation ship
  • Prolific writer and editor Joyce Chng lives in Singapore where they're making dragon and werewolf stories more inclusive—their bike racing story in this volume is werewolf-free, however
  • Hailing from the UK, literary historian Kate Macdonald has written a wonderfully disturbing tale I may never stop thinking about
  •  Biketopia alumna Sarena Ulibarri, who writes and edits sci fi and solarpunk in New Mexico, gives us a refreshing take on high fantasy, complete with malicious giant snails
  • Chicago painter and writer J. Rohr explores the shadowy edges of human experience, and his story of dragons and generational trauma satisfyingly fits the bill
  • Longtime Bikes in Space readers will recognize Gretchin Lair's name with excitement; her addition to this volume is a coming-of-age tearjerker about a young girl who takes comfort in fantasy to help her survive a broken home
  • Phil Cowhig is a debut author from the UK whose entry in this volume perfectly captures a dystopian technological future mood
  •  Monique Cuillerier, who also had a story in Bikes Not Rockets, lives in Ottawa, Canada and writes tales of queer, nostalgic sweetness. 
  •  Taru Luojola is a Finnish writer and translator. Their story is one of the most intense in this book, and is set in the world of their 2018 velopunk novel, Ei kaikki pinnat kireällä 
  •  J.A. Sabangan lives in Portland, where she was one of our star interns last year; she describes her wonderful story as following "a young woman who's observing life through the lens of her first experience being considered other in a public space"
  • Alice Pow describes herself as "a transgender lesbian and a cyborgian pile of electric meat who writes prose, poetry, and everything in between"—her action story for this book is a lot of fun
  • C.G. Beckman is a lawyer who wrote a wonderfully lighthearted fairy tale
  •  M. Lopes da Silva is a fine artist and author, currently at work on two novels which, based on her imaginative and well-paced story, we're very excited to read
  • J.A. Gross says she's "a fifty-something Black lesbian living in Oakland with her wife and cat." She's a longtime writer, and her story of true justice and generosity perfectly closes this volume
  • Artist Paul Abbamondi, whose work graced the inside covers of Bikes Not Rockets, has contributed a short, sweet comic
  • This volume's inside covers were drawn by bicycle explorer and polymath Tessa Hulls—her art captures all the joy of riding dragonback

About the rewards

The book itself

Dragon Bike: Fantastical Stories of Bicycling, Feminism, and Dragons, edited by Elly Blue, is a 160 page, 5x8" paperback book that comes out February 11, 2020. Backers will get it a bit ahead of its official release date!

The cover is by the talented Cecilia Granata, whose eye-popping, tattoo-inspired art you may recognize from the last two Bikes in Space volumes.

The ebook

Want an ebook? We'll email you a download link. Epub, mobi (kindle), and pdf versions will be available. You can add on an ebook to any other reward level by adding $7 to your pledge and letting us know you want one.

Dragon Bike & a poster

Poster Image

We took out the text so you can fully enjoy Cecilia Granata's spectacular artwork on your wall! Posters are 11x17, full color, printed on relatively thick paper. If you choose one as a reward, we'll ship it to you separately in a cardboard tube. 

Want to add a poster on to another pledge level? Add $10 (that includes US shipping in a tube) to your pledge. If you're outside the US, ask us how much to add.

Dragon Bike & a t-shirt

Little-known fact: as well as publishing and distributing books, we're also in the t-shirt business. We have a whole bunch of overstock discontinued bikey t-shirts. At one of the $25 reward levels, you'll tell us your size and we'll choose you a shirt! (After the project funds, we'll ask for your t-shirt size in the rewards survey.)

Quick note: Can we accommodate special requests for t-shirt designs or colors? Nope, sorry! But they're available on a sliding scale on our website, if you'd like to pick one up separately.

Want to add a t-shirt to another pledge? We can do that! It gets a little complicated because it means we can't ship your other rewards media rate—so drop us a line and ask about this one if you're interested! 

Feminist bicycle basics

Are you craving more feminist bicycle books in your life? Get started with this selection, plus a sticker:

  •  Dragon Bike 
  •  Urban Revolutions - Emilie Bahr's book walks you through the must-know basics of city cycling—both how to do it, and her urban planner's perspective on urban bicycle culture, with a New Orleans twist
  •  Our Bodies, Our Bikes - 50 contributors use art and words to show different aspects of the intersection of bicycling and gender 
  •  Feminist bike sticker - Show your feminist bike love on your bike, a water bottle, a street sign, whatever you feel

Feminist Bicycle Sci fi Starter Kit

Intrigued by the genre but not ready for the complete set? Get your feet wet with this selection.

  •  Dragon Bike 
  •  Bikes in Space vol 2 - *Now* we know never to title anything "volume 2." The stories in this volume are totally rad and deserve a better title. "Bikepacking the Milky Way," maybe?
  •  Pedal Zombies - The third volume of Bikes in Space is all about zombies, and it's a super fun one!
  •  Space shark sticker - aaiiiieeeee!

Feminist bicycle extravaganza

Even more feminist bike books and zines!

Strange fiction

We don't publish a lot of fiction. And when we do it's far from mainstream. Here's part of our small selection of not-quite-true tales

  • Dragon Bike
  •  The Velocipede Races- Emily June Street’s steampunky novel in which a young woman bucks all social norms to live her best life, astride a velo
  •  Born to Be Weird -Short stories of a bizarro bent by Set Sytes
  •  God, Forgive These Bastards - Rob Morton’s fictional (or is it?) account of a promising young pitcher whose life goes awry
  •  Please Let Me Help - Zack Sternwalker’s epistolary tale of pulling himself out of a bad place by writing ”helpful”  letters to famous brands

All the bikes in space books

Feminist bicycle scifi isn’t a mainstream genre yet, but we are determined to make it so. Here’s what we’ve published so far. Collect them all!

  • Dragon Bike
  •  Bikes in Space - The short story collection that started it all
  •  Bikes in Space 2 - More stories, a little longer this time
  •  Pedal Zombies - Feminist zombies? Yes please
  •  Biketopia - Utopian or dystopian? You be the judge
  •  Bikes Not Rockets - Intersectionality and other crossroads are the theme here
  •  The Velocipede Races - Fight the patriarchy with Steampunk? Yes.
  • Space Shark sticker

Teenage Riot

Our covers are pretty fun, so we get asked all the time if our books are for kids. They most definitely are not, but teens? That's another story. Here's a selection of Microcosm titles (feminist bicycle science fiction or otherwise) especially geared towards our teenaged readers. Perfectly excellent for adults, too.

  • Dragon Bike
  • The Velocipede Races
  •  Teenage Rebels - Stories of successful high school aged activists from throughout US history
  •  Firebrands - portraits and vignettes about heroes from throughout the Americas who you might not learn about in school
  •  Edible Secrets- Illustrated tales from declassified government documents about food, from Castro’s milkshake to the MK_Ultra popcorn
  •  Amica’s  World - the true story, with photos, of a giant bird who lives like a person
  •  How to Not Be a Dick - Written by a teenager who was raised by a therapist, we can all learn from this little zine

All the books

Risks and challenges

Engaging with capitalism is a bit like approaching the lair of your stereotypical medieval dragon. It doesn't give up its hoarded treasures easily, and the cost of failure is high. But the cost of success is steep as well—is slaying a giant, mythical beast really something you can live with on your conscience? If you do gain possession of its treasures, will you really be so much more benevolent, or will you hoard that stuff yourself? Crowdfunding is pretty cool, though, because we're taking your small amounts of money and converting them into books, plus into paying even smaller but cumulatively decent amounts of money to the many individual humans who work hard to make these projects come to pass. It circulates and builds value and nearly none of it goes into the dragon's lair of investments and stocks, never again to be touched by human hands. That's not exactly a radical lance strike against our fiery foe, but it's the small resistance we've got. Thanks for taking part in it with us!

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    Just the ebook! Epub, mobi, and pdf formats. These get created a little later than our printed books, so we'll deliver them closer to the February publication date. Add $10 to any other reward level to add an ebook!

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    Dragon Bike and poster

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    Dragon Bike & a Bicycle T-shirt!

    A copy of dragon bike, plus a bicycle-themed t-shirt. We'll choose the color and style; you'll choose your size in the rewards survey after the project ends. Sizes: "Unisex" XS - 2X and curvy-fit (aka "women's") S-XL.

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    Feminist bicycle sci-fi starter kit

    An introduction to the genre! Includes Dragon Bike, plus earlier volumes Bikes in Space #2 and Pedal Zombies. Plus a space shark sticker!

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    Tip Your Authors!

    Want to support the arts a little extra? At this level, you'll get a copy of Dragon Bike, and the remainder of your pledge will make a nice tip to distribute between the contributors, who do this stuff for love and also will accept money. In this case, they'll get a bit of both. Thank you!

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    Feminist Bicycle Basics

    Want an introduction to the feminist bicycle revolution? Along with your copy of Dragon Bike, you'll get bike culture and riding primer Urban Revolutions and an encyclopedic compendium Our Bodies, Our Bikes. Plus we'll throw in a feminist sticker for your bike!

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    Strange Fiction

    Love to read weird fiction? Enjoy Dragon Bike, plus the weirdest of the other fiction (well, some arguably straddle the fiction/nonfiction line...like we said, they're weird) books Microcosm has published, including The Velocipede Races, Born to Be Weird, Please Let Me Help, and God, Forgive these Bastards.

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    Feminist Bicycle Extravaganza

    A bunch of feminist bicycle zines and books! Along with Dragon Bike, you'll soon be reading Urban Revolutions, Our Bodies, Our Bikes, and Pedal, Stretch, Breathe -- plus a bunch of zines, including Taking the Lane #11 & #12, Stoked on Spokes, and the story of Kittie Knox. Plus we'll throw in a feminist bike sticker.

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    Bikes in Space - the full set

    Woohoo! Get all the Bikes in Space books at once here and feast your heart on feminist bicycle science fiction. You'll get Dragon Bike, of course, plus all the past volumes: Bikes in Space 1 & 2, Pedal Zombies, Biketopia, and Bikes Not Rockets. Plus Emily June Street's novel The Velocipede Races. Aaaaand a space shark sticker.

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    Teenage Riot

    Along with Dragon Bike (which touches on some heavy topics but is still teen friendly), this reward level includes some books that teens can enjoy as much as adults: Teenage Rebels, Firebrands, The Velocipede Races, Edible Secrets, Amica's World, and the teen-written zine How to Not Be a Dick.

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    Ten Copies of Dragon Bike

    10 paperback copies of Dragon Bike, perfect for your board game store, book club, bicycle advocacy group board, con merch table, holiday gifts, or whatever suits your needs.

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    Treat Your Authors!

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    All the Books and Zines!

    Your very own copy of Dragon Bike, plus one copy each of all the Microcosm-published books and zines offered in the other rewards in this project! So much to read!

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    Treat Your Authors Deluxely!

    You're an extremely generous and awesome supporter of the arts! At this level, you'll get a copy of Dragon Bike mailed to you, and the rest of your pledge is distributed between the contributors, treating them each to the approximate value of a satisfying lunch, a good new notebook, a copy of their muse's new book, a chunk out of their wifi bill, or whatever it is that keeps their creativity flowing. Thank you!

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