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The Year is 2084... Dystopian science fiction from post-climate change Shanghai, told through a mix of new technology and social media
The Year is 2084... Dystopian science fiction from post-climate change Shanghai, now available as an enhanced ebook
The Year is 2084... Dystopian science fiction from post-climate change Shanghai, now available as an enhanced ebook
218 backers pledged $16,535 to help bring this project to life.

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Statisticity: Dystopian Sci-Fi Set in China in the Year 2084

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Update - Noble Beast is Going to Publish Statisticity!

Great news folks: Statisticity just got signed by Noble Beast, an amazing new publisher of enhanced ebooks!

Their platform blows away all the other early entrants in this totally new form of publishing, and their first title - Steampunk Holmes - is a beautiful creation that should give you a good sense of how Statisticity will look and feel when it's finally released.

Here's a short video introduction to it:

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With the help of Noble Beast, I'll be able to incorporate maps,  blueprints and technical schematics, character profiles, wikis, additional scenes and illustrations - basically every feature that I always envisioned for Statisticity but never quite knew how I was going to pull off. 

But Noble Beast is an employee-owned and completely bootstrapped startup, and while they will provide the platform and coding for the enhanced ebook version of Statisticity, we still have to raise the funds for all the artwork. That makes this Kickstarter more important than ever!

WHAT IS THIS STATISTICITY THING?

Pronounced like some crazy mashup of status + elasticity, Statisticity is an attempt at something new (and awesome!): 

* AN AMAZING, ACTION-PACKED NOVEL! More specifically, a dystopian science fiction novel set in near-future Shanghai, several decades after China saves the world from the ravages of climate change, only to place it squarely under Party management. And no, I'm not talking about that kind of party... STATUS: written and ready to be read! 

* AN INTERACTIVE E-BOOK APPLICATION THING! Statisticity is intended to be read as an interactive ebook, with the amazing, novel-length text mentioned above supplemented by interactive features including: illustrations, character profiles, additional scenes, wikis, and potentially much more. STATUS: additional scenes, wikis, and character profiles ready to go; illustrations, maps, schematics, and more planned and awaiting the outcome of this here Kickstarter… 

* A TOTALLY INNOVATIVE AND APPARENTLY CONTROVERSIAL SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN! Right now, on Facebook and Twitter, the prequel to Statisticity is unfolding in headlines from the future! Headlines that describe in harrowing detail just how climate change brought the world to the brink, and how China saved us - and then took a shot at running things! By linking these headlines to actual articles discussing current events in science, technology, and geopolitics, @statisticity builds a bridge from the present to the dystopian future of Statisticity. STATUS: Cycle 1 ran for two months before this Kickstarter, and it was so controversial Twitter suspended the account like 20 times! Cycle 2 will launch concurrently with the Kickstarter and conclude on the final day. Read the tweets Twitter didn't want you to read at www.twitter.com/statisticity, or follow along at www.facebook.com/statisiticity.

CAN YOU READ SOME OF THE NOVEL BEFORE COMMITTING?

Not only is the first chapter of Statisticity now available for your reading pleasure (I've posted it as Update #18), but I've even had my sultry-voiced friend Mark perform a dramatic reading of the opening paragraphs. Just hit the play button, sit back, and enjoy...

CHAPTER 1: SHELTER

Static City. A few understaffed crews work in the morning heat, sweeping empty streets and dismantling buildings. On the Huangpu River, a ferry crosses to the island of Pudong. Otherwise stillness reigns over Shanghai. The cars and trucks that once choked the streets with their commerce sit idle. The millions of men and women who wandered the city lie still inside their modules, locked in sleep.

Out of the silence, a flock of pigeons on the Bund takes wing and wheels out over the river. Seconds later, explosions rip through the city center, shattering the peace.

Logan is alone when he feels the concussions, inside his suite of rooms in the basement of an old bomb shelter that’s seen almost as many incarnations as the Dalai Lama, but until this instant has never been used for its intended purpose. Even underground, the blasts are strong enough to shake him awake in his chair.

Over the next two weeks, as his world falls apart, he’ll return to this moment time and again. It will divide his thoughts in two, a flare casting the harsh light of late truth over everything that came before...

                                              * * *

FOUR REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT FIND STATISTICITY AWESOME

1. YOU LOVE DYSTOPIAN SCI-FI!

1984! Brave New World! THE FRIGGIN' MATRIX! There’s something just totally awesome and completely riveting about these visions of a bleak future where things have gone so. horribly. wrong. They sure make me think twice about some of the things I see going on in the world today. Like, say, maybe we shouldn’t be letting the government spy on us all the time. And maybe we shouldn’t tamper with the genes of our unborn children. Hey, and maybe we shouldn’t let machines use us like giant batteries.* And then again, MAYBE WE SHOULD! Either way, it sure is fun to chew on…

{*Note: I wouldn't worry about this one too much because the thermodynamics of the whole humans-as-batteries thing in the Matrix is pretty suspect...}

2. YOU LOVE/HATE CHINA!

Maybe you think China is AWESOME. After all, the Chinese invented fireworks, and kung fu flicks, and Sichuan food!! Or maybe you think China is EVIL! Because let’s face it, they have like the most comprehensive censorship system ever devised. Oh, and they spiked a bunch of infant formula and puppy chow, plus they keep harassing that nice monk in the orange robes that all those actors seem to like. What gives? Hey, then again, maybe you don’t love or hate China, but you’re a little bit concerned about the place because, let’s face it, China is so DIFFERENT! Whatever. The point is, China is fascinating! And Statisticity is ALL ABOUT CHINA, told by a totally credible dude who lived there for like EIGHT YEARS. Check out my bio* if you don’t believe me. 

{*Note: I also wrote my bio.}

3. YOU WANT SOMEONE TO TELL YOU EXACTLY HOW THIS WHOLE CLIMATE CHANGE THING IS GOING TO PLAY OUT ALREADY!

If you’re anything like me, you’re sick and tired of all the vague, distantly menacing predictions about climapocalypse you’ve heard over the years. We all know the broad outlines by now: extreme weather, sea level rise, drought, famine, mass extinction, etc., etc. Total YAWN, right? Because what does any of it mean for YOU? When is somebody going to step up already and tell you exactly when Miami will be wiped out by a hurricane? Or when the European Union will disintegrate over a geoengineering rift? Well GOOD NEWS folks, because Statisticity is set in post-climate change Shanghai! And while you’ll have to wait a bit longer to read the novel, RIGHT NOW, on Facebook and Twitter, you can skim headlines from the future that reveal in loving, carefully researched detail just how climate change will bring the planet to the brink of ruin*

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/statisticity
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/statisticity 

{*Note: Statisticity is a work of fiction.}

4. YOU THINK TRADITIONAL BOOKS ARE DEADER THAN VEDDER*

Books are SO 20th century, aren't they? Who wants to stare at a bunch of dead words on a page anymore? What you need is MOTION, COLOR, IMAGERY. Well guess what? Statisticity isn’t just a book set in Shanghai. It’s an interactive e-book application thing SET IN SHANGHAI! In addition to a FULL-LENGTH NOVEL like you remember from when you were a kid, you'll be able to explore the book's characters and concepts at your leisure, and jump away from the main narrative to explore backstory and additional scenes if, like me, you now get tired of reading for too long without clicking on a link. You'll have maps and schematics that place you at the scene, and illustrations and graphic novel inserts that really bring the amazing city of future Shanghai to life. Two incredible artists have already signed on to the project. 

Jay Wong, based in China and the U.S, produced this elegant image titled "LuJiaZui":

Stijn Windig, based in the Netherlands, created this beautiful work titled "CaoNiMa":

 With your support, Statisticity has the potential to be a revolutionary and totally awesome reading experience. 

{*Note: Eddie Vedder is not technically dead}

SO WHERE'S ALL THE MONEY GOING?

If I reach my funding goal with this Kickstarter, I will produce an interactive e-book application of Statisticity, including the core text of the novel supplemented with maps, character profiles, wikis, additional scenes, and illustrations.

Most of the funds will go to Stijn and Jay to pay for illustrations. For the base goal, I will commission 10 character profiles and 4 multi-panel graphic novel inserts that illustrate the climactic scenes of each of Statisticity's four sections. If the Kickstarter is wildly successful, I have additional artwork in mind, including time-lapse illustrations of Shanghai locations, additional graphic novel inserts, and animations. 

For the base goal, I will utilize one of the available off-the-shelf solutions (like iBook Author, CoverPage, or aerbook). These options already incorporate many amazing features, and can be experienced across platforms. But wouldn't it be amazing if this thing really took off and I could hire a coder to build a custom application for Statisticity?   

Risks and challenges

Since I've already written the novel, the main risks and challenges involve getting the artists and coders to complete their work on time. I don't really have any idea how long it might take to code the application, but I've allowed for six months, and hopefully that should be enough. I've given myself an additional few months for the print edition, which should be more than enough time. I've published before and understand the process. As for the illustrations, I've chosen two very talented and incredibly punctual artists, and I have no doubt that they can deliver all the artwork I can afford to commission in six months.

I'm pretty confident that, with your backing, Statisticity will be a real and awesome thing!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    {STATISTIC} Personal thanks.
    Contribute any amount between $1 and $20, and you get a personal thanks. It may be in an email. It may be in the book. Hell, I may #tweethank you, if that’s even a thing. But one thing’s for sure: you will GUARANTEED receive a personal thank you, from me, for your help in making Statisticity so awesome.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    {STANDARD DEVIATION} Download.
    Contribute $20, and you get a download of Statisticity. What’s the final version of the interactive e-book application thing going to look like? NOBODY KNOWS! (Eh, unless you’re an amazing coder with spare time and a clear vision, in which case please contact me…) But however awesome it turns out, it’s yours!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    {SUBSET} Download + ... Download?
    Contribute $25, and you get the same download of Statisticity as in {STANDARD DEVIATION} plus I'll throw in ANOTHER download, RIGHT NOW(ish), this one a simple e-book download (in the format of your choice) of my previous novel, Islands of Shadow, Islands of Light, in case you really need SOMETHING to read while you're waiting for Statisticity

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    {CORRELATION} Download + Signed Print.
    Contribute $50, and you get both the download of Statisticity and the print edition. ACT NOW and I’ll throw in my signature, for FREE! If you've ever seen the thing, you know I could use the practice...

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    {SELECTION BIAS} Download + Signed Print + T-Shirt.
    Contribute $75, and you get everything in {CORRELATION} plus your very own black t-shirt with the word “statisticity” in white on the front and “统计性”, also in white, on the back. That’s the same made-up word, IN TWO LANGUAGES, on one t-shirt! Who does that?

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    {REGRESSION} Download + Signed Print + STIJN Poster.
    Contribute $100, and you get everything in {CORRELATION} plus one of 30 limited-edition posters of the single most awesome illustration that STIJN draws for the project. It could be a poster of “CaoNiMa” here. Or it could be something much, much more awesome if he’s inspired by your outpouring of support...

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    {PERMUTATION} Download + Signed Print + JAY Poster.
    Contribute $100, and you get everything in {CORRELATION} plus one of 30 limited-edition posters of the single most awesome illustration that JAY draws for the project. It could be a poster of “LuJiaZui” here. Or it could be something much, much more awesome if she crushes STIJN in this sneaky head-to-head I’ve set up.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    {RANDOM SAMPLE} Download + Signed Print + T-Shirt + JAY or STIJN Poster + Acknowledgement.
    Contribute $250, and you get everything in {SELECTION BIAS} plus your choice of either the JAY or the STIJN poster. PLUS I will thank you, by name, in the acknowledgements. Because it’s people like you who are going to make Statisticity so, so awesome

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    {LONG TAIL} Download + Signed Print + T-Shirt + Original STIJN.
    Contribute $500, and you get everything in {SELECTION BIAS} plus 1 of 5 original drawings by STIJN. I'm letting STIJN cut loose on this one, so there's really no telling what you'll get! Except it will definitely be original, by STIJN, related to Statisticity, and TOTALLY AMAZING!

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    {OUTLIER} Download + Signed Print + T-Shirt + Original JAY.
    Contribute $500, and you get everything in {SELECTION BIAS} plus 1 of 5 original drawings by JAY. JAY works so fast she probably has these done already, but I haven't seen them. One thing I know: they will definitely be original, by JAY, related to Statisticity, and 100% AWESOME!

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    {BLACK SWAN} Download + Signed Print + T-Shirt + Tuckerization.
    Contribute $1000, and you get everything in {SELECTION BIAS} plus I will use your name for one of the characters in the novel!! Unless your name is way more awesome than the ones I came up with, it will probably be a minor character who suffers terribly somehow, but so what? Small price to pay for IMMORTALITY!

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    {STOCHASTIC!} Download + Signed Print + T-Shirt + Sichuan Banquet for Ten.
    Contribute $1500, and you get everything in {SELECTION BIAS} plus dinner for you and eight of your best friends (and me) at my favorite authentic Sichuan place in San Francisco, where I can tell you wacky stories from my time in China or, if you prefer, just shut up and eat. Note: this reward does not include travel to San Francisco for you and your friends, or to the restaurant for that matter…

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Funding period

- (45 days)