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Tales of the undead... on two wheels, featuring badass heroines.
Tales of the undead... on two wheels, featuring badass heroines. Book is now available from Microcosm!
Tales of the undead... on two wheels, featuring badass heroines. Book is now available from Microcosm!
229 backers pledged $6,554 to help bring this project to life.

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Pedal Zombies: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction

$6,554

229

What is going on here?

Pedal Zombies is the third volume in the Bikes in Space series of feminist bicycle science fiction anthologies.

In this book, we've compiled 13 short stories that give a feminist take on the zombie apocalypse, including:

  • Internal memos from a bicycle retailer as they struggle to keep their catalog up to date with an escalating zombie war
  • Tales of living humans using bicycles as they fight, escaping from, and race against zombies...and each other
  • A short, funny comic about a would-be zombie hunter
  • Possibly the first-ever zombie story about menstruation
  • A convincing plea for zombie rights
  • Reviews of science fiction books, stories, and graphic novels that involve bicycling (but sadly, no zombies...this is an emerging genre, ok?)

Backers of this project will get a sweet, well-designed book that contains all that and more, plus some zombie rights stickers so you can help end the unjust zombie wars. Aaaaaand there's a growing list of options for custom rewards. 

A page from Maddy Spencer's comix story in the anthology
A page from Maddy Spencer's comix story in the anthology

The history of Bikes in Space

The first two volumes of Bikes in Space
The first two volumes of Bikes in Space

You might argue that the genre called feminist bicycle science fiction began, though it certainly won't end, with a whim and a laugh that culminated in a zine called "Bikes in Space." It was so much fun that we did a second volume with all-new stories as a proper book. Both were successfully funded on Kickstarter and reportedly have made a lot of people spit their coffee, then laugh, then smile happily.

Pedal Zombies is the third in the series, and the first to have a theme. And we're already collecting submissions for a fourth, with the theme of Utopias and Dystopias.

You can read more about the series here.

Where does the money go?

The bulk of the money, about two-thirds of it, goes to the book printer in Mattoon, Illinois (yay for made in the USA!). About 10% of the total raised goes to Kickstarter fees. A bit more goes to rewards and shipping. And I've guaranteed an embarrassingly small payment to contributors.

 Any amount that we raise over expenses will add to the contributors' payment. The more successful this project, the more they'll get paid for their hard-won words!

Thanks so much for backing this project—it means a ton to us that we can continue to give voice to diverse, intersectional, feminist, and pedal-powered imaginary futures. Onward!

The story behind the book

I haven't been undead for long and am still getting used to it, so please forgive my clumsy typing. 

But let me introduce myself. I'm an "office zombie" rather than the marauding variety that you're familiar with from the movies. I can't blame my Undead Liberation Front comrades who let their rage consume them after being bitten—I'm also angry at the living, my former self included.

But I was lucky—before my demise I'd already started to get involved with the Zombie-Living Alliance (ZLA)—the more peaceful arm of the undead rights movement. So, after my initial fever passed and I came to feeling like death warmed over, it was only natural that I would drag myself down to the office and start typing out, slowly with numb, fragile fingers, another press release. 

We at the ZLA have compiled this book of the best, most representative stories of current attitudes about zombies, and are presenting it to the world so that we all, living and undead, of all gender identities and racial and class backgrounds, can discuss our relations and future and hopefully bring a peaceful end to the present conflict. Together, we believe that we can produce a better world than the living alone were ever able to. 

13 authors have submitted original short pieces, each of which illuminates a different aspect of The Situation as they understand it. Some essays are historical in nature, others are futuristic, yet others are apocryphal; there is also a section of book reviews that you may find invaluable. Styles and perspectives vary widely; our goal is not to define the present troubles singularly, but to open up a conversation. 

Please support this project to help us raise funds as well as goodwill for the ULC's continuing efforts towards restorative justice and peace in our time.

***

Fine print: This is the third volume of the annual Bikes in Space series of feminist science fiction anthologies. This series invites authors, artists, and readers to imagine a future that diverges from the norms and biases of today, especially when it comes to gender and transportation. The zombie theme came about when a friend pointed out the absurdity of the scenes depicted in most zombie movies and shows where despite fuel shortages and disastrous traffic jams it doesn't seem to occur to anyone to escape the apocalypse by bicycle.

Brave contributors to this volume include Jessie Kwak, Maddy Spencer, Ellie Poley, Jim Warrenfeltz, Gretchin Lair, David J. Fielding, T. M. Tomilson, Emily June Street, Bob Simms, Aaron M. Wilson, Alexandrea Flynn, Elly Blue, and Cat Caperello. The cover artist is Amelia Greenhall. 

Any amount raised by this Kickstarter beyond expenses for the book and project will be split amongst contributors; thank you for helping to pay authors for their work!

Risks and challenges

The risks are many! The Undead Liberation Front is growing stronger by the day as more and more are bitten, and the living are becoming increasingly militant in response. Any person caught in possession of this book or other ZLA materials may be in grave danger. We recommend that you discard this book immediately after reading, or pass it to another sympathizer or potential ally with the utmost discretion. Thank you for your support. Together, we seek a third way!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A copy of Pedal Zombies and zombie rights stickers.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Two copies of Pedal Zombies, plus some undead rights stickers. (Want more books? Add $10 for every copy you want above 2!)

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    Pledge $21 or more About $21

    Signal boost: You'll get a book and some stickers, and I'll tweet about a project or cause of your choice to my almost 10k followers.

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    Sticker lover: You'll get a copy of Pedal Zombies, some zombie rights stickers, plus a whole big assortment of other bike stickers to stick on everything!

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    Pledge $23 or more About $23

    Book matchmaker. You'll get Pedal Zombies and some stickers, plus I'll select another Microcosm/EBP book that I think you'll like based on your interests and send that too. And some stickers!

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    Library reward! You'll get a book and some stickers, plus I'll donate a copy of the book to your local library system, with an inscription of your choice.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Triple threat: A copy of Pedal Zombies, plus the first two volumes of Bikes in Space stories, plus zombie rights stickers.

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    Pledge $26 or more About $26

    The future! At this level, you'll get a copy of Pedal Zombies, some stickers, and a heartwarming letter to your kid to read when they grow up about the future, whatever joys and perils it may hold.

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    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    A copy of Pedal Zombies, some zombie rights stickers, and a personalized facebook video shout out to you by Ruby the office dog!

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    Pledge $28 or more About $28

    A copy of Pedal Zombies AND a bicycle necklace that you can wear as you ride around for good luck!

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    A copy of Pedal Zombies, plus our office will post a personal thank you video for you on Facebook while excitedly waving the book. And some stickers.

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    A copy of Pedal Zombies and some stickers, plus a print copy, signed and doodled-on, of PZ story author Emily June Street's new novel, The Gantean, for you to enjoy when you've run out of zombie stories.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Adorn yourself: A copy of Pedal Zombies, the zombie rights stickers you need, plus a pair of raincloud earrings hand cut by PZ story author Jessie Kwak out of bicycle inner tubes.

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    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    A copy of Pedal Zombies, some stickers, and I'll skype in to your college class, your book group, your party, your work meeting, or your family dinner! We'll hang out virtually, it'll be just like the future!

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    Limited Zordon Reward: You'll get a book. And some stickers. AND, Zordon of Eltar will record you (or a friend) a personalized voicemail greeting or ringtone that sounds like a real Power Rangers call to action! Zordon's voice is David J. Fielding, who happens to be a contributor to Pedal Zombies.

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    Best friends: You'll get a book + stickers, PLUS I'll send a book + stickers to your best friend. Tell me how great they are and I'll write them a letter about that, too.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    BIKES IN SPACE SHIRT. In Brazil, I bought a hand-screenprinted shirt that says "bikes need space" in Portuguese with a puffy picture of an astronaut on a bike. It rules. But it doesn't fit me. I'd like you to have it. It's a light blue tank top in stretch fabric that is a size small and doesn't work with major curves. Oh yeah, and you'll get a book and some stickers, too!

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    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    Comic cameo! A copy of Pedal Zombies, some stickers, plus PZ comix contributor Maddy Spencer will draw you as a cameo in her twice-weekly serial webcomic, "Simple, Inelegant."

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    Read widely! A copy of Pedal Zombies, plus tell me what sort of sci fi-ish books you like to read and I will choose one that I think you'll enjoy and send it to you as well. Plus stickers.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Feminist Analysis! A copy of Pedal Zombies, plus I will read the science fiction story or novel of your choice and write a feminist analysis of it on my blog. Also, stickers.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Ten Pedal Zombies books! Suitable for disaster supply shops, zombie brigade leaders, gift givers with a dark sense of humor, book clubs, and super fans. Stickers come with this one, too!

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    Pledge $72 or more About $72

    Publisher for a day: You'll get a book and some stickers, and you're invited to come hang out at EBP/Microcosm HQ for a day and do glamorous book publishing stuff with us.* Also suitable for a young person you know who thinks they want to be in the book business. You or they will need to provide own transportation to our office, but we'll provide snacks and tea.

    *Well, we enjoy it, even if it mostly involves spreadsheets.

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    Pledge $93 or more About $93

    Your zombie portrait: A copy of Pedal Zombies and some stickers. Additionally, send PZ author Bob Simms a good quality photograph of yourself or a loved one, and he will draw a charcoal portrait of you/them... as a zombie! Rawr!

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    Pledge $94 or more About $94

    Watercolor portrait: A copy of Pedal Zombies, your stickers, and PZ comix contributor Maddy Spencer will paint your watercolor portrait!

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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    Your Space Portrait: A copy of Pedal Zombies and some stickers AND you get to make your visions of cosmic bike-riding a reality with a custom-made photo manipulation. Photoshop extraordinaire and Bikes in Space contributor, Ellie, will take a base photo of you and your bike. Then she will expertly pixel-stitch you into a real NASA photo of outer space. Must be located in Seattle in August or Chicago in September/October for a photo shoot (or provide your own professional-quality base image to Ellie's specifications).

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    A year of reading! You'll get Pedal Zombies, the first two Bikes in Space books, plus a big stack of other Microcosm books that we think you'll like based on your interests. And stickers!

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    Super-supporter. You'll be able to choose any one of the (non-limited) reward levels below, plus the satisfaction of giving this project an extra boost. And our gratitude!

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    Pledge $101 or more About $101

    Build your own world: You'll get a copy of Pedal Zombies and some stickers. Plus, story author Cat Caperello, who when she isn't writing stories about reanimated bicycles, is a professional storytelling consultant. If you're the lucky backer of this reward, she will collaborate with and/or coach you through bringing your own storytelling idea (back) to life.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Limited story reward: A copy of Pedal Zombies and some stickers. Plus, give me a set of 1-3 prompts and I'll write you a piece of flash fiction, definitely involving bicycles and feminism and possibly zombies.

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Prepare yourself: A copy of Pedal Zombies, your zombie rights stickers, AND a one-hour session of passive stretching with PZ story author Emily June Street, in order to prepare your body to run and defend yourself from the encroaching hordes. Only available at her studio in Fairfax, CA -- you bring yourself there, she'll bring the stretches.

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    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    Editorial special: A copy of Pedal Zombies, some stickers ... and story author Emily June Street, who is no slouch at editing as well as writing, will provide you with a global, line, and copy edit on any manuscript PLUS ebook formatting from Vellum (high quality!) for kindle and epub. Wow!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Super limited story award. I'll send you Pedal Zombies, the first two Bikes in Space books, and some stickers. AND I'll write a story, dedicate it to you, and publish it as an ebook. (You'll get the ebook too! And you can tell me some stuff you want in the story and I'll do my best to include it!)

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    Philanthropist! You can choose any one of the (non-limited) reward levels below, and sleep soundly in the knowledge that you've materially advanced the genre of feminist bicycle science fiction. And I'll buy you coffee next time you're in Portland or I'm where you're at. Thanks so much!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Super-philanthropist: Wow! You really believe in this project and we are completely blown away by you. Thank you! Please choose any of the below (non-limited) rewards, and we'd love to meet you, show you around Portland by bike, and buy you lunch when you're in town.

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Funding period

- (28 days)