Burst of crowd funding

I’ve supported a few crowd funded initiatives lately. Why not list them all out on the blog as a signal boost? I thought to myself this morning, then ignored the small voice at the back of myself that said because so few people read this blog that you’re as much use signal boosting as a broken AM radio antenna.

Why be so negative? It’s Easter. There’s chocolate, or at least the promise of chocolate. Look, I’ll come back when I’ve got the blood sugar up to an acceptable level.

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That’s better. Now, where was I?

Night Terrace Season 2

I loved the first season of Night Terrace, an Australian radio play with a distinct Doctor Who homage vibe. More importantly, my 6 year old daughter loved it even more. We listened to the entire season in one hit while we drove from Sydney to Wollongong to Canberra and back to Sydney in one day. She often asks me if there is “more of that Eddie show”.

Well, I’m now pleased to say that more of that Eddy show is indeed in the offing. Night Terrace season 2 is now being crowd funded through Kickstarter. I may or may not have selected the option that allows you to name a character, just so my daughter can have the surprise of hearing her name included in the season. There are still a few weeks to go – get in there and throw money in their general direction. You’ll be very pleased you did.

A blurb from the Kickstarter page follows:

Scientist Anastasia Black had retired from her job saving the world, preferring the adventure of a good book and a pot of tea. Then her house unexpectedly began travelling randomly through time and space, taking with it hapless university student Eddie Jones. From the far future on other worlds to the distant past of Earth, Anastasia and Eddie have faced deadly monsters, evil corporations and a sinister disco, before finally discovering the origins of the house’s strange power.

But with no way to direct the house back home, there are even stranger adventures awaiting the tenants of “Night Terrace”: impossible spaceships, unlikely quests, ghosts of the past and the most terrible peril of all: a new housemate… 

Defying Doomsday

Regular readers might recall that I supported the crowdfunding of a book called Kaleidoscope last year, which highlighted speculative fiction stories featuring people with some kind of disability. I reviewed the book here as a part of the Australian Women Writers Reading Challenge last year.

Well, the publisher (Twelfth Planet Press) of Kaleidoscope is at it again, this time starting a Pozible campaign to fund a new book called Defying Doomsday. There is a similar premise (stories featuring protagonists with a disability), but this time the landscape is post apocalyptic.

It’s great to see a broader audience develop for books with different protagonists, and Defying Doomsday certainly seems to be continuing that trend. Going off the quality of KaleidoscopeDefying Doomsday will be of excellent quality and well worth your support. I’m also very interested in seeing how Australian editors Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench go with this project.

From the campaign page:

We love apocalypse fiction, but we rarely find characters with disability, chronic illness and other impairments in these stories. When they do appear, they usually die early on, or are secondary characters undeveloped into anything more than a burden to the protagonist. We believe that disabled characters have a far more interesting story to tell in post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction, and we want to create an anthology sharing those stories. 

Defying Doomsday

We want to create an anthology that is varied, especially among protagonists, with characters experiencing all kinds of disability from physical impairments, chronic illnesses, mental illnesses and/or neurodiverse characters. There will also be a variety of stories, including those that are fun or sad, adventurous or horrific, etc, but we are avoiding stories in which the character’s condition is the primary focus of the narrative. 

The stories in Defying Doomsday will look at periods of upheaval from new and interesting perspectives. We want to share narratives about characters with disability, characters with chronic illnesses and other impairments, surviving the apocalypse and contending with the collapse of life as they know it.

Con Man

OK, this one doesn’t need a lot of boosting from me. Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion (from the ill fated TV series Firefly – and if you don’t know what that is then you’ve missed out on a treat – and this project probably isn’t for you!) have decided to create a web based series based on a familiar premise. Fillion and Tudyk play actors who starred on a TV series Spectrum that ran for 14 episodes and was cancelled. Fillion’s character went on to acting success, while Tudyk’s character makes the rounds of science fiction conventions. Semi-auto-biographical.

The reason this campaign doesn’t need much boosting from me is that they are currently sitting on $2.6m from a starting target of $425,000. They were obviously prepared for success though, they have been revealing extra stretch goals as they go along, and those stretch goals are clearly well thought out.

Still, I love the premise and the “sample” video they have seems pretty funny. Well worth checking out.

From their website:

Wray Nerely (Alan Tudyk-Me!) was a co-star on Spectrum, a sci-fi series which was canceled -Too Soon- yet became a cult classic. Wray’s good friend, Jack Moore (Nathan Fillion) starred in the series and has gone on to become a major movie star. While Jack enjoys the life of an A-lister, Wray tours the sci-fi circuit as a guest of conventions, comic book stores, and lots of pop culture events.  The show will feature all the weird and crazy things that happen to Wray along the way to these events.

The series is a light-hearted take on the personalities, luminaries, and characters in the sci­fi community we are privileged to call ourselves members. Con Man is a way to share some of the surreal occurrences we have had, while telling the story of a guy learning to love and embrace his fans. 

I wanted to make a show that featured all of my favorite convention artists and friends together. Not only that, I wanted to celebrate the world where heroes, villains, zombie hunters, and space pirates all overlap. I especially wanted to work with my friend Nathan Fillion again.

Serial Crises: Car, Cat, and Root Canal!

And finally a crowd funded initiative that is slightly less frivolous. Kij Johnson is a speculative fiction author in the US who has had a string of bad luck. I’ve always enjoyed Johnson’s work, and while sad to see that bad things had happened, I was glad to see the power of crowd sourcing to help out. This one probably isn’t of interest unless you are familiar with Kij’s work (you might be familiar with the short story The Man Who Bridged the Mist which received a lot of acclaim a few years back), but if you are you should go and check the campaign out.

From the website:

Hello, all! I’m Kij Johnson, a writer of science fiction and fantasy. At the moment, I’m in dire straits, and I really hope you can help me. We all have horrible things happen that eat away our emotional and financial reserves; mostly I manage fine, but this last week, I finally hit the wall, so I’m asking my world for help. This is hard for me, and I feel weird doing it, but the stress of not doing it is rapidly outweighing the stress of asking. 

Here’s the troubles, all of them: My beloved Subaru Forester (it’s the blue of summer skies when you look straight up) destroyed its engine when I was on my way to a conference last weekend. I had it towed back to my mechanic. The bad news is that it needs a replacement engine, but we found a good used one with the same mileage ($4500 installed). 

So there’s that. But I was already struggling to come up with the money for two other urgent situations: my small, charming black cat (who has no official name but is generally known as The Black Cat of Ulthar; that’s her in the picture) is popping out all over her stomach with fatty tumors that need to be removed ASAP (this is probably $1200 or so) — and I need a root canal (my share is $600). Both urgent and both not happening: I’ve been stalling both for the last four months, even knowing how ill-advised this is, because I’m trying desperately to save for food, rent, and student loans over my unpaid summer — I just haven’t had the time to build any financial pad.

This all adds up to $6300, which is a lot, I know. Anything at all helps! 

I see that people don’t usually offer rewards for donations here at indiegogo life; but I’m a writer, and that’s how many of you know me. So here are some collective rewards. 

1. If we make $2000, I’ll post online for free an epic chicken poem. It’s a sequel to Chaucer’s “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” and it’s funny. To me, anyway.

2. If we make $4500 (paying for the car: I need the car to drive the cat places!), I’ll post online for free a poem or story about a car. I haven’t written this yet, so I’ll be on my game. 

3. If we make $5700 (adding the cat), I’ll give her an official name, and it will be brilliant and awesome. 

4. If we make $6300 (adding my teeth), I’ll write a story that involves cars, cats, and teeth. 

As I said, it feels very strange to be doing this, but I’m hoping that some of you will remember some story of mine you read for free online (my website is www.kijjohnson.com, but I have free fiction all sorts of places), and might consider helping out. It would mean everything to me, my cat, and my car.

 

How about you – have you supported any crowd funded projects recently? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: mark

A writer of speculative fiction and all round good egg. Well, mostly good.

OK, sometimes good.

2 thoughts on “Burst of crowd funding”

  1. Having your daughter's name in Night Terrace so she can be surprised when it's mentioned is THE MOST ADORABLE THING EVER.

    1. Let's hope she thinks so too! While she occasionally displays some advanced-for-her-age level angst about adult lameness, it is cool when she gets excited about something. And she was definitely excited about season 1. Of course, now she might tell me that it was "sooooooooo 2014".

      You can never tell with children. Sometimes its like they have a mind of their own…

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