When going somewhere dangerous, take a human.
Humans are tough. Humans can last days without food. Humans heal so quickly, they pierce holes in themselves or inject ink under their epidermis for fun. Humans will walk for days on broken bones in order to make it to safety. Humans will literally cut off bits of themselves if trapped by a disaster.
You would be amazed what humans will do to survive. Or to ensure the survival of others they feel responsible for.
That's the other thing. Humans pack-bond, and they spill their pack-bonding instincts everywhere. Sure it's weird when they talk sympathetically to broken spaceships or try to pet every lifeform that scans as non-toxic. It's even a little weird that just existing in the same place as them for long enough seems to make them care about you.
But if you're hurt, if you're trapped, if you need someone to fetch help? You really want a human.
(Thanks to Tumblr user iztarshi for the idea and the above copy. Used with permission)
In recent years, there has been a trend toward dystopian science fiction, a trend that has made it appear that many authors think that humans are the worst thing that could ever happen to a planet or a civilization. Although this may turn out to be the case, isn’t it a little depressing?
In many science fiction scenarios, humans are depicted as weak meat bags that can barely carry their own weight, much less help with the mission. We are looked upon as parasitic, pitiful, and generally only useful in our numbers.
But does that always have to be the case?
Science fiction gives us answers to the questions that start with “What If?” In the case of Humans Wanted, the questions rise as “what if humans could contribute something to the universe?” “What if humans were useful?” “What if humans were awesome?”
This anthology allows us to tell stories about what it means to be a human in a universe that might not actually hate us. Many science fiction stories show humans in a bad light, and it’s true, some days we seriously suck. However, one of the things that’s great about fiction, and science fiction in particular, is that we can show not only how we are, but also how we can be. What if we didn’t suck in the future? What if we found a place where we could contribute and help and generally kick butt?
These are the stories I want to fund. I want hope and promise and yeah, even sucky situations, but ones where our species contributes, rather than destroys.
Jody Lynn Nye lists her main career activity as ‘spoiling cats.’ When not engaged upon this worthy occupation, she writes fantasy and science fiction books and short stories. Since 1987 she has published over 40 books and more than 120 short stories. Over the last twenty or so years, Jody has taught in numerous writing workshops and participated on hundreds of panels covering the subjects of writing and being published at science-fiction conventions. She has also spoken in schools and libraries around the north and northwest suburbs. In 2007 she taught fantasy writing at Columbia College Chicago. She also runs the two-day writers workshop at DragonCon. Jody lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, with her husband Bill Fawcett, a writer, game designer, military historian and book packager, and a black cat, Jeremy.
Keith R.A. DeCandido is the author of an absurd amount of fiction, both tie-ins (in the worlds of Star Trek, Marvel Comics, Stargate SG-1, The X-Files, Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Aliens, and tons and tons more) and original fiction (the "Precinct" series of fantasy police procedurals; urban fantasy stories set in Key West featuring Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet; stories of the Super City Police Department; urban fantasy novels about a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx who hunts monsters, and much more). He also writes about classic TV shows for Tor.com, plays percussion for the parody band Boogie Knights, edits prose for clients both corporate and private, trains and teaches karate (he achieved his second-degree black belt in 2013), and probably some other stuff that he can't remember due to the lack of sleep. Find out less at DeCandido.net.
The rest of the stories will be selected through an open submissions process. Anyone is welcome to submit as long as they follow the following guidelines (more detailed submissions guidelines will be posted once the project is funded both here as well as other sites for calls for anthologies are accepted): Science Fiction only (no Fantasy, Steampunk or Horror, although horror elements may be present in the story). The stories will each be between 3000-6000 words.
When not fighting crime or tinkering with Tarot spreads, Vivian Caethe writes weird fiction, science fiction, fantasy, quirky nonfiction and everything in between. Previously of WordFire Press, where she studied under David Farland and Kevin J. Anderson, she now freelances to give herself more time for the projects she holds dearest to her heart. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Regis University and is a member of the Editorial Freelancer’s Association. She also drinks copious amounts of tea. While doing all these things, she lives in Colorado with her husband, their dog who thinks he’s a werehuman, and a super genius cat. She can be found as a writer at www.viviancaethe.com and as an editor at www.viviantrask.com
This Kickstarter will be used to fund production and publication of the anthology. Basically what that means is you’re helping fund paying the person who came up with the idea, the authors, the editor, the cover artist, the interior designer, and making it possible to print and ship copies to you and yours as well as pay for the Kickstarter fees and Backerkit service.
$5 - Stargazer - This reward gains you our gratitude for being willing to help us make this project a reality. Your name will appear in the book with our thanks.
$10 - Explorer - With this level, you will receive an eBook copy of the book along with your name in the book.
$25 - Soldier - Here you get a print copy of the book plus the ebook as well as your name in the book.
$50 - Colonist - At this level, you will receive two print copies of the book and one copy of the ebook as well as your name in the book.
$100 - Specialist - By pledging at this level, you will receive a print copy special edition novelette written by the editor for the theme, plus a copy of the book plus the ebook as well as your name in the book.
$1000 Conqueror - If pledging at this level, you will receive a novel edit from the editor of the anthology plus the novelette, a copy of the book, and the ebook. Your name will also appear in the book with an extra-special thank you.
Kickstarter launch June 2016
Kickstarter end July 2016
Call for Submissions August 2016
Call for Submissions ends December 1, 2016
Slush pile read and stories selected February 2017
Acceptances and Contracts sent to authors February 2017
Stories edited April 2017
Book proofed, Cover Completed, and Book Sent to printer May 2017
Books shipped to backers July 2017
Video Music “A Million Worlds” by Andrew Odd
Video template by iMovie.
Cover Painting by Fotokostic
Art Design by Owl Quest Creative
Risks and challenges
With any publishing project, there are always pitfalls and speed bumps and this project no doubt will have some of its own. However, with four years in the publishing industry, I have seen many of them and am working to avoid the ones I am aware of.
With any project that has as many moving parts as this one I anticipate there being some challenges that will crop up. The parts that I refer to are the authors, the cover artist, the layout designer, and myself. With my previous projects, there were only two people involved. In this project I have to involve more people to make this project come together (either through paying them for their stories or hiring them to make the book look good). However, I have worked with the person who has agreed to be the cover artist before as well as the layout designer and we have successfully made several of my books look professional.
Since I plan to use on-demand publishing for this project, I will be using Createspace. This print-on-demand company is owned by Amazon and poses only a minimal obstacle to the production process. The challenges I foresee with this company are merely issues with layout and formatting that can be addressed through their online review process and by printing proof copies of the book. Every once in a while Createspace also misprints a book, so I will be checking all of the books to make sure they look the way they are supposed to.
Another risk is that I am in the process of completing my other Kickstarter project: The Writer’s Block Tarot. However, with the submissions process being what it is, I foresee very few problems with overlap as submissions are schedule to be closed after the production part of the previous Kickstarter is completed (leaving only the fulfillment). Additionally, I feel my previous experience with a successfully funded Kickstarter can only be a benefit to this one, as I am more familiar with the process and the interfaces. This previous experience has also allowed me to know what to expect (to some extent) from the fundraising process.
Finally, a common risk to Kickstarters is the number of backers involved. We will be using Backerkit to make sure no one gets overlooked in the process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)