About this project
Mother of Invention will feature diverse, challenging stories about gender as it relates to the creation of artificial intelligence and robotics. This ambitious anthology from award-winning Australian publishing house Twelfth Planet Press will be edited by Tansy Rayner Roberts and Rivqa Rafael.
From Pygmalion and Galatea to Frankenstein, Ex Machina and Person of Interest, the fictional landscape so often frames cisgender men as the creators of artificial life, leading to the same kinds of stories being told over and over. We want to bring some genuine revolution to the way that artificial intelligence stories are told, and how they intersect with gender identity, parenthood, sexuality, war, and the future of our species. How can we interrogate the gendered assumptions around the making of robots compared with the making of babies? Can computers learn to speak in a code beyond the (gender) binary?
If necessity is the mother of invention, what exciting AI might come to exist in the hands of a more diverse range of innovators?
We are excited to already have a team of fantastic, innovative SFF writers from around the world lined up to write stories for us:
Jo Anderton, John Chu, Kameron Hurley, Rosaleen Love, Sandra McDonald, Seanan McGuire, E.C. Myers, Justina Robson, Nisi Shawl, Cat Sparks, Bogi Takács & Kaaron Warren.
Mother of Invention will also feature an essay about an Indigenous women's perspective on artificial intelligence by Ambelin Kwaymullina.
We will be open to fiction submissions during July and August. We’re particularly interested in hearing from marginalised writers: for example, people under the QUILTBAG umbrella; people of colour, including Indigenous and Native writers from around the world; and disabled people. We want your stories! Watch this space for our submission guidelines.
It's all about the book for us: Mother of Invention will be available in an ebook as well a hardback edition. The Kickstarter campaign will be the ONLY way to get this gorgeous version of the book; later releases will be paperback only.
Other backer rewards include custom-made mugs and tote bags, as well as some adorable hand-knitted robots made personally by our publisher, Alisa Krasnostein! You want more books? We have books! We're following in the footsteps of crowdfunding successes Kaleidoscope and Defying Doomsday, so we're including these in the mix for those who missed the original campaigns.
Our Soft Hardware II reward level features hand-sewn textile art "robots are feminists" bookmarks made by Tansy. Each will be unique, but here's a sample she made earlier!
At the very top? The editors will personally bake you a batch of gingerbread robots, or build you a working robot (cough, from a kit, we're not robotics engineers) of your very own. We'll be adding our own style of glitter, bedazzling and pizzazz to our Mother of Invention robot, ensuring this special reward is truly a one-of-a-kind.
Bonus Backer Rewards
Our first 250 backers ONLY will receive a bonus free ebook of Rosaleen Love's outstanding classic feminist SF collection: The Total Devotion Machine & Other Stories. Love is one of Australia’s masters of SF short story writing, and this collection (originally published by The Women's Press in 1989) was reprinted by Twelfth Planet Press as part of our publisher Alisa Krasnostein's ongoing quest to keep Australian female SF writers in print.
UPDATE: Our first 450 backers ONLY will receive an E.C Myers short story: "All the Lonely People," previously published in Shimmer.
THEY'RE HERE! When we hit $18,000, our publisher Alisa & her adorable sidekick Mack made a Facebook Live video announcing our first three stretch goals. #mackneedsrobots
$21,000 - Dr Frankentastic! Tansy reads Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as an episodic podcast, starting in September 2017. The twist - she’ll be swapping pronouns to make this a female-driven narrative but changing no other words!
$23,000 - Essays Unbound! 3 artificial intelligence essays commissioned from exciting writers, exploring themes of gender & AI. Our essayists will be Aliette De Bodard, K. Tempest Bradford & Snow McNally!
$24,000 - Enamel Planet! every backer at $25 or above receives a gorgeous Twelfth Planet Press logo enamel pin with their rewards.
UPDATE: NEW STRETCH GOALS!!
$25,000 - Essays Aloud! All essays will be produced as podcasts to aid accessibility.
$27,000 - Essays Unbound Even More! 3 further essays commissioned from exciting writers. All six essays will be podcasted & collected in an ebook edition, released as a bonus to all Kickstarter backers.
$30,000 - Enamel Universe! Every backer gets a Twelfth Planet Press pin as a bonus extra.
WHO KNOWS? Watch this space for further stretch goal updates.
Risks and challenges
Twelfth Planet Press has an established record for delivering quality books. We successfully ran and delivered crowdfunding campaigns for the Kaleidoscope and Defying Doomsday anthologies.
Delays in editing and/or production are always a possibility, of course. Our ultimate goal is to provide you with a quality product. We will keep backers in the loop during the entire process, and if any problems crop up, we will let you know, and tell you what we're doing to resolve them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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