I’m new to the Kickstarter concept, but I’m liking it: “a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.”
Author and editor, Bryan Thomas Schmidt is no stranger to Kickstarter, having funded previous projects there. His current project, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera for a New Age, is an anthology of “23 contemporary stories capturing the classic golden age feel of space opera past.”
I used to write a serial, Thieves’ Honor, for Ray Gun Revival magazine (on indefinite hiatus at the moment), and briefly served as Overseer, reading the opinions of the Slushmasters, often wading through the slush myself, and deciding the fate of many a story.
Thieves’ Honor began life as my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) back in 2007, and was an homage to one of my favorite science fiction television series, Firefly. (I’m also partial to Farscape, as well as Babylon 5, the various Star Trek incarnations, and more. Fringe won me, lost me, won me again.) Although I didn’t complete 50,000 words during November that year, I liked the characters I’d created, so decided to post pieces of the story on my blog, using the working title “Space Pirates” until I could come up with something zingier.
Some time in the middle of those posts, I commented on someone else’s blog, and that comment was read by Johne Cook, Overlord at Ray Gun Revival, a magazine I’d discovered and started reading a few weeks before. He invited me to send my work to RGR, and share the adventure with more readers.
This was my first serious attempt at long-form science fiction. Johne and other authors already published serials in a similar vein; would mine stand up to theirs?
No way to find out unless I took the leap.
So I did.
Thieves’ Honor became my most challenging writing exercise, forcing me to create a story one chapter (one episode) at a time. No time to plan out a whole novel, just time to take a few more steps in the light provided by the previous chapter. Some episodes were more successful than others, and I didn’t always keep the writing as tight as it should have been, yet my mind was stretched and my skills tested.
When Ray Gun Revival went into hiatus, the story of Captain Kristoff and the crew of Martina Vega remained unfinished. Can’t have that, now, can we? So I went back to the beginning, edited and revised the existing episodes, and once more posted them — a couple thousand words at a time — on my old blog. (I’m posting those episodes here, too, one or two episodes a week.)
Then Bryan Thomas Schmidt invited me to join established science fiction writers and contribute a story to the Raygun Chronicles anthology, a story set in the Thieves’ Honor universe.
Wow. Well. So. Ahem.
What is there to say to that but yes?
So I did.
Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age combines the best stories from the 6 year run of Ray Gun Revival ezine with new stories from some of the top writers in science fiction today. 23 stories from writers including Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, A.C. Crispin, Mike Resnick, Seanan McGuire, Allen Steele, Brenda Cooper, Robin Wayne Bailey and Sarah A. Hoyt — all contemporary yet capturing the classic golden age feel of space opera in the past.
Edited by anthologist Bryan Thomas Schmidt with artwork by Illustrators Of The Future Winner Paul Pedersen, this unforgettable collection will be available in limited hardback, trade paperback and ebook editions. The purpose of this Kickstarter is to fund pro-rate payments to the editor and writers as well as partial production costs for the anthology.
If you enjoy reading science fiction, specifically space opera, then please consider contributing to the Kickstarter campaign to get this anthology off the ground, or pass the word along to others who might be interested in this project.
Meantime, I have a story to write, and a series to finish.
Come, join the crew!