the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘Kickstarter

Lynne and Michael Thomas

Ya’ll know Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, right? Even if you’re not sure if you know who they are, I’ll  bet you know their work. Editors of Apex Magazine, Chicks Dig Time Lords, Glitter and Mayhem, Queers Dig Time Lords, among others, it’s no surprise these two amazingly talented editors have a brand new project up their sleeve.

Lynne and Michael were kind enough to answer a few of my questions about their newest venture, Uncanny Magazine, which they are funding the first year of via a Kickstarter campaign.

uncanny logo

 

LRR: Your newest venture is called Uncanny Magazine.  Tell us all about it!

L & M: We’re a professional Science Fiction and Fantasy online magazine, dedicated to sharing the kinds of work that stays with you after you’ve read it. We think that the best Science Fiction and Fantasy literature combines strong characterization, elegant prose, and diverse voices from around the world. We love stories that make us feel.

LRR: How did you decide that now was the time to start a new speculative fiction magazine?

L & M: Well, we stepped down from Apex Magazine due to our daughter’s major surgery in January of this year. She’s completed her recovery, and we felt ready to get back into the industry that means so much to us.

LRR:  You are currently doing a kickstarter to fund the first year of the magazine. When can readers expect the first issue, and will readers who missed out on the kickstarter still be able to subscribe or purchase single issues?

L & M: We plan for our first issue to go to backers and subscribers at the beginning of November. Readers who missed out on the Kickstarter after it closes August 28th will still be able to subscribe or purchase single issues, hopefully through all of the major online ebook retailers (we’re just beginning to work on that now, but we’ve already committed to working with Weightless Books (http://weightlessbooks.com/) for example.)

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julie dillon taking flight cropped

“Taking Flight”

Wanna hear this month’s best news? Of course you do!

One of my favorite artists, Julie Dillon, is making an artbook! Her Kickstarter for Imagined Realms: Book 1 was fully funded during it’s first week! It contains 10 all new pieces of fantasy artwork!

ok, that’s three really good pieces of news.  Also, you should totally head over to her Kickstarter page, and if you like what you see, put your  money where your mouth is and get yourself a copy of her book (and one of the print packs!).  If you can’t tell, I’m pretty excited about this.  I’ve been seeing Julie’s artwork here and there for a few years now, and it was always her images that pulled me in, asked me to trace the outlines, to triangulate where the person would be next so I could meet them there, to find something new in the piece every time I looked at it. Her artwork is full of movement and colors that stretch the spectrum, and characters that are yearning, reaching, and guiding. An opportunity to have some of her artwork in my home? To financially support her venture to create more of these visual anthems? Shut up and take my money.

Julie was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about Imagined Realms Book 1, and that there is so much more going on here than just a kickstarter about selling some artbooks.  Artwork can be and is so much more than just a cover on your book, frame on your wall, or a desktop background on your computer.  Let’s get to the discussion, shall we?

"Sun Shepherdess"

“Sun Shepherdess”

LRR: As I’m writing these interview questions, your Kickstarter has crashed through it’s first stretch goal of $20,000.  What made you decide to go the Kickstarter route for Imagined Realms, and do you have any advice for people looking to Kickstart a project?
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J.D.: Originally I was going to attempt to do it without the Kickstarter, and just take a chance with printing up a bunch of books and putting them up for sale. But that got progressively more cost prohibitive and risky, since I didn’t know how many books to get or how many people would want them. A kickstarter started to make more sense in terms of getting funding together. Plus, a Kickstarter campaign would let me gauge how much actual interest there was. I could print as many books as were ordered, rather than making a guess and hoping I didn’t print too many or too few. That said, setting up and running a Kickstarter has been a lot of work in itself, more than I’d even anticipated. I find myself just wishing it was done already so I could get on with things.

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My main piece of advice is that you really need to have a marketing and publicity plan. In my case, I have a modest following, and friends and industry connections who were able to help me out by spreading the word. I also got lucky getting features on major websites like Tor.com, TheMarySue.com, and io9.com. Some people have even bigger followings and do exceedingly well, and others don’t have enough of a reach yet and have a hard time gaining traction. Make sure you have a product people actually want, and a way to reach people who might want to buy it.

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"Scholars' Tower"

“Scholars’ Tower”

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Something especially interesting was kicking around the twittersphere last week. Something about a new military science fiction anthology edited by the very talented Jaym Gates and Andrew Liptak, and published by Apex Publishing.   you know how sometimes you catch something out of the corner of your eye, and you just have to see what it is, you just have to learn more? The War Stories Anthology is that thing.  And what better way to learn about it than by chatting up the editors and the publisher?

Not sure if a military scifi anthology is for you? Chances are you’re already reading Military Science Fiction, you just don’t know it. Enjoy Ender’s Game? How about Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga? How about Max Brooks’ World War Z? Dune by Frank Herbert? John Scalzi?  Ever play Mass Effect? or Halo?  see? you’re already a fan!

War-Stories-cover1

Jaym and Andrew have already talked extensively about this project, over at Reddit, over at Fantasy Book Critic, at Toonari Post, at Book Life Now, at Dribble of Ink, and elsewhere.  If the Kickstarter succeeds, an especially unique anthology will see the light of day.  Military science fiction is so much more than any hokey Baen Books cover art would have you believe.

My guests today:

jaym gates 2

Jaym Gates  is the editor of the zombie anthology Rigor Amortis, which was a Barnes and Noble Top 10 pick in 2011, and short fiction author (published in The Aether Age: Helios). She is the publicist for the Science Fiction Writers of America, Candlemark & Gleam and Pathfinder Books. She helped launch several Kickstarter projects, including Geek Love, the highest-funded anthology in Kickstarter’s history.

andrew liptak 2

Andrew Liptak  received his Master of Arts in Military History from Norwich University (the nation’s first private military academy), and has written extensively about military science fiction for io9 and SF Signal, and has written for such websites as Kirkus Reviews, Geek Exchange, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, and magazines such as Armchair General and the Norwich Record. He is currently an editorial assistant for Lightspeed Magazine.

jason sizemore

Jason Sizemore is the owner and operator of Apex Publications, a small press publisher dedicated to producing exemplary works of science fiction, horror, fantasy and non-fiction.

The Links you need:

War Stories Kickstarter page

War Stories website and blog

Let’s get to the interview!

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We have a very special guest today, someone I’ve actually met in person!  John and I met a few years ago at an airport when flights were delayed (cancelled? changed? I don’t remember) and a herd of passengers ran together to a different gate and then sat around chatting while waiting for whatever people wait for after rushing all the way across an airport terminal.   Just goes to show, you should always be friendly to your fellow passengers at an airport. You never know who you’ll meet!

John Meirau

John is a writer, podcaster, editor and all around Creative Storyteller Guy.  Working the bridge the gap between indie authors and authors who publish traditionally, his WALK THE FIRE anthologies are part of the new paradigm of how authors reach their audience.  The second anthology in the series is in the middle of it’s Kickstarter campaign, and features everything from Hugo nominated authors to indie authors, to music and artwork too.

Check out the WALK THE FIRE Kickstarter page for a video about the anthology, info on contributors, how to get yourself tuckerized, stretch goals and more.

Check out John’s blog for a series of interviews with some of the contributors, and a series of podcasts featuring free fiction from the first WALK THE FIRE anthology.

Sounds damn awesome, if you ask me.  But why are we asking me, when we can ask John instead?

Hi John,  welcome to the blog! Can you tell us a little about yourself? What kind of fiction do you write?
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I write mostly science fiction, occasionally fantasy, weird western, horror, sometimes with an adventure or thriller slant and always with a focus on character.
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Are there any specific books or authors that inspired you to start writing speculative fiction?
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Spider Robinson was a writer I absorbed far younger than I probably should have, during trips across the country when my military family relocated. He was the first author I can remember studying for how he constructed things. 
 
Spider’s humor and his atmospheric settings drew me in, but his skill at constructing stories and his compassionate messages are what kept me reading.
 
Bradbury I also loved, for very similar reasons.
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I’m new to shared world anthologies. Give me the run down on WALK THE FIRE. What kind of world is it? What kind of stories can I expect to read?
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WALK THE FIRE takes place in a reality where a very, very few humans called Ferrymen walk through special fires and appear anywhere else a flame from that fire has been transported the normal way. When they walk through, they revert in age and appearance to what they were the first time the ‘crossed’. 

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.