Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Help Fund My Robot Army

Lately I've been writing more than a few short stories. In the past, it has been for some "good cause": Shawn Speakman's Unfettered to help raise cancer. N.E. White's The End--Visions of Apocalypse to spotlight new writes from the sffworld forum, and Triumph Over Tragedy to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims.

Help Fund My Robot Army is the first Anthology that I've actually been paid for. I didn't do it for the money, and in fact I'm going to use the check I got for matching funds for my Ride to Cure Cancer project.  So why did I sign up for it?

Well two reasons. One it was a really interesting challenge...write a story using the format of a Kickstarter which means I have to tell a tale using FAQ's, pledge levels, comments, and updates. It's not easy constructing a tale and creating characters in such a framework and I'm always up for a good challenge.

The second reason, John Joseph Adams. I met John a few years ago at a ConFusion convention in Detroit. He's a nice guy and one of the best anthologists in the industry. He's created more than a dozen all while managing the publication of LightSpeed Magazine.

One of the really cool things about anthologies is being thrown together with a lot of authors and I for one certainly feel the pressure to ensure I don't embarrass myself when my story is sitting side by side with people who have a lot more experience with this whole "writing thing" than I do.  Just look at the talent in Help Fund My Robot Army.

Keffy R.M. Kehrli is a science fiction and fantasy writer currently living in Seattle. Although his degrees are in physics and linguistics, he spends most of his time in a basement performing molecular biology experiments for fun and profit. In 2008, he attended Clarion UCSD where he learned that, unfortunately, rattlesnakes don’t always rattle. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Fantasy, and Escape Pod, among others. He is also an editor and slush reader for Shimmer magazine.

Jeremiah Tolbert is a writer and web designer living in Northeast Kansas. His stories have previously appeared in publications such as Lightspeed Magazine, Way of the Wizard, and Asimov’s. He’s an avid watcher of television and films, and has completely given up on avoiding spoilers.

Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the novels Shades of Milk and Honey, Glamour in Glass, Without a Summer, and Valour and Vanity. In 2008 she won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and in 2011, her short story “For Want of a Nail” won the Hugo Award for Short Story. Her work has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. Stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year’s Best anthologies as well as in her collection Scenting the Dark and Other Stories from Subterranean Press. Mary, a professional puppeteer and voice actor, has performed for LazyTown (CBS), the Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures, and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve. She also performs as a voice actor, recording fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow, and John Scalzi. Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Visit

Jake Kerr began writing short fiction in 2010 after fifteen years as a music and radio industry columnist and journalist. His first published story, “The Old Equations,” appeared in Lightspeed and went on to be named a finalist for the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. He has subsequently been published in Fireside Magazine, Escape Pod, and the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology of humorous SF. A graduate of Kenyon College with degrees in English and Psychology, Kerr studied under writer-in-residence Ursula K. Le Guin and Peruvian playwright Alonso Alegria. He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife and three daughters.

Chuck Wendig is a novelist, screenwriter, and game designer. He’s the author of Blackbirds, Double Dead, and Dinocalypse Now, and is co-writer of the short film Pandemic, the feature film HiM, and the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. He lives in Pennsylvania with wife, taco terrier, and tiny human.

Samuel Peralta is a physicist and storyteller. He has produced and supported scores of crowd-sourced films, including projects based on Daniel H. Wilson’s The Nostalgist, and Stephen King’s Big Driver and Rest Stop. He has been recognized with awards from the BBC, UK Poetry Society, Digital Literature Institute, Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and shortlists for the League of Canadian Poets, Elgin Award, ARC Poem of the Year, and Goodreads Best Small Press Books and Chapbooks. The titles in his Semaphore series—Sonata Vampirica, Sonnets from the Labrador, How More Beautiful You Are, Tango Desolado, and War and Ablution—all topped the Amazon Kindle Hot New Releases charts, and ranked at the top of the Bestseller lists, for poetry. More recently, the fiction titles set in his Labyrinth world—including Trauma Room and Hereafter—have begun to gain popular attention. Liberty is the latest addition to this universe.

Harry Connolly’s debut novel, Child of Fire, was named to Publishers Weekly’s Best 100 Books of 2009 but everything for that particular series went downhill from there. He has also published noirish adventure fantasy in the now defunct Black Gate magazine. In the fall of 2013, Harry launched a successful Kickstarter to fund the publication of an epic fantasy trilogy, along with a short fiction collection and a pacifist urban fantasy. Harry lives in Seattle with his beloved wife, beloved son, and beloved library system. He can be found online at

Matt Forbeck has been a full-time creator of award-winning games and fiction since 1989, designing games and toys and writing stories of all sorts. He has twenty-seven novels published to date, including the award-nominated Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon and the critically acclaimed Amortals and Vegas Knights. His latest work includes the Magic: The Gathering comic book, The Marvel Encyclopedia, the MMOs Marvel Heroes and Ghost Recon Online, the Leverage novel The Con Job, the Dangerous Games trilogy of thriller novels set at Gen Con, and the Monster Academy YA fantasy novels. For more about him and his work, visit

Tim Pratt’s short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy, and other nice places. His most recent collection is Hart and Boot and Other Stories, and his work has won a Hugo Award and been nominated for World Fantasy, Sturgeon, Stoker, Mythopoeic, and Nebula Awards. He blogs intermittently at, where you can also find links to many of his stories. Pratt is also a senior editor at Locus, the magazine of the science fiction and fantasy field. He lives in Berkeley CA with his wife, writer Heather Shaw, and their son River.

Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born speculative fiction writer who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has written several novels, including the New York Times bestseller Halo: The Cole Protocol, the Xenowealth series, and Arctic Rising. His short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Lightspeed, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Subterranean, and in anthologies such as Armored, All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, and Under the Moons of Mars. He currently lives in Ohio with a pair of dogs, a pair of cats, twin daughters, and his wife.

Veronica Belmont is the host of the Sword & Laser YouTube show and podcast, now in its seventh year. The Sword & Laser anthology, edited by Veronica and Tom Merritt, was published in 2014. As an Internet and TV presenter, you may have seen her as the host of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary live show and Gizmodo: The Gadget Testers on BBC America; or on Tekzilla, Fact or Fictional, Game On, and countless other web shows and podcasts. This is her first work of published fiction. She hopes there will be more.

An award-winning game designer with more than 25 years’ experience, Monte Cook is best known for co-designing Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, and his work on various Planescape products, Arcana Evolved, Ptolus, Monte Cook’s World of Darkness, and the recent science fantasy game, Numenera. A writer with many varied interests, he’s also the author of two novels, more than a dozen short stories, a non-fiction book about conspiracy theories, and a comic book series from Marvel. Monte is a graduate of Clarion West. He currently runs Monte Cook Games, publisher of many fine roleplaying games.

Genevieve Valentine’s first novel, Mechanique, won the 2012 Crawford Award. Her second, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, is out now from Atria. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and others, and the anthologies Federations, After, Teeth, and more. Her nonfiction has appeared at, The A.V. Club, Strange Horizons, and io9, and she is a co-author of Quirk Books’ Geek Wisdom. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks at

Matt Williamson’s stories have appeared in a variety of literary journals, magazines, and books—most recently Bat City Review, Nightmare Magazine, and the anthology Fakes from W.W. Norton. He is also the executive editor of the literary journal Unstuck.

Andrew Penn Romine is a writer and animator who lives in Los Angeles with his wife, his cats, and way too many books. His fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Paizo, Crossed Genres, Podcastle, and Three-lobed Burning Eye as well as the anthologies Fungi, What Fates Impose, By Faerie Light, Broken Time Blues, and Rigor Amortis. His work has received honorable mentions in Best Horror of the Year (Datlow), and Tangent Online. He’s also written non-fiction for Lightspeed and blogged about cocktails at The Functional Nerds. You can find him online at, or blogging about writing at Follow his day-to-day adventures on Twitter @inkgorilla.

Bradley P. Beaulieu is the author of the critically acclaimed epic fantasy series, The Lays of Anuskaya, which begins with The Winds of Khalakovo, continues in The Straits of Galahesh, and concludes in The Flames of Shadam Khoreh. Brad has high interest in Kickstarter, a great platform that he used to run two successful campaigns of his own, not to mention participating in several anthology projects. Along with fellow author Gregory A. Wilson, Brad runs the highly successful science fiction and fantasy podcast, Speculate, which can be found at Brad continues to work on his next projects, including a Norse-inspired middle grade series and Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, an Arabian Nights-inspired epic fantasy that will be published by DAW Books in the US and Gollancz in the UK. For more geeky goodness about Brad and his writing, please visit

Carmen Maria Machado’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, AGNI, NPR, Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, and many other publications. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and was a fellow at the Millay Colony in 2014. She lives in Philadelphia with her partner.

Since finding a manual typewriter in a friend’s house when he was eight, Michael J. Sullivan has been fascinated with what doors the typewriter keys would unlock. He has written twenty-five novels, published nine, and has been translated into fifteen foreign languages. He was named to io9’s list of Most Successful Self-Published Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors and has spent more than a year (and counting) on Amazon’s Bestselling Fantasy Authors list. He’s sold more than a half million copies and has been named to more than 95 “Best Of” or “Most Anticipated” lists including those of Library Journal, Barnes & Noble,, and Michael is one of the few authors who has successfully published through all three routes: small press, self, and big five, and he helps aspiring authors though his posts on publishing for Amazing Stories.

David D. Levine is the author of over fifty published science fiction and fantasy stories. His work has appeared in John Joseph Adams’s anthologies The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination and Armored as well as F&SF, Asimov’s, Analog, and many others, and he’s won or been nominated for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Campbell. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Kate Yule, with whom he co-edits the fanzine Bento. See his website at for more information and free fiction.

David Malki! is the author of the comic strip Wondermark, which in 2009 was nominated for the “Best Humor Publication” Eisner Award. He is also co-editor of the bestselling Machine of Death series of fiction anthologies, and creator of Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination. His short fiction has appeared in Pseudopod and he also holds the distinction of having written the longest article ever published by Poets & Writers magazine.

Derek Van Gorder is a writer, cameraman, and science fiction filmmaker based in NYC. For as long as he can remember he’s had a penchant for visual art, spaceships, and old-fashioned special effects. His most recent short film C (299,792 kilometers per second) was funded completely through Kickstarter, and became a Vimeo Staff Pick. It has since been featured on a variety of popular inter-web hubs, including, Quiet Earth, and io9. He is currently plotting his next project.

Maurice Broaddus has neither robots nor girlfriends—his wife of fourteen years and two sons prefer it that way. He whiles away his hours toiling in his own secret laboratory capturing stories for such places as Asimov’s, Weird Tales, Cemetery Dance, and Apex Magazine. Every now and then he puts on his editor’s hat for the Dark Faith series (Apex Publications) and Streets of Shadows (Alliteration Ink), the latter of which was Kickstarted. Mostly he’s known as the author of the urban fantasy trilogy, The Knights of Breton Court.

Kat Howard is the World Fantasy Award-nominated author of over twenty pieces of short fiction. Her work has been performed on NPR as part of Selected Shorts, and has appeared in Lightspeed, Subterranean, and Apex, among other venues. Her novella, The End of the Sentence, written with Maria Dahvana Headley, will be out in September from Subterranean Press. You can find her on twitter as @KatWithSword and she blogs at

Heather Lindsley’s work has appeared several times in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, as well as in the magazines Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and Greatest Uncommon Denominator. Her fiction has also appeared in John Joseph Adams’s dystopian anthology Brave New Worlds and in The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, in Year’s Best Science Fiction 12, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, and in Talking Back, edited by L. Timmel Duchamp. She has been featured on Escape Pod as a writer and on Podcastle as a reader, and her stories have appeared in Polish, Romanian, Russian, and French translations. She currently lives in Brighton and works in London, which gives her more time to write on the train.

Jason Gurley is the author of Eleanor, The Man Who Ended the World, Deep Breath Hold Tight, and the bestselling novel Greatfall, among other books. He lives with his family in the Pacific Northwest, and can be found at

Jonathan L. Howard is an author and scriptwriter, the creator of the Johannes Cabal, Russalka Chronicles, and Goon Squad series. He lives in the English West Country with his wife and daughter, and Cannes will suffer his wrath.

Mur Lafferty is a podcaster and writer from Durham, NC. She made her name with podcasting (I Should Be Writing, The Angry Robot Podcast, and Escape Pod, the premier SF podcast magazine) and has written for magazines, roleplaying games, and audio and video podcasts. She’s the author of the popular Shambling Guides series, with books 1 (Shambling Guide to New York City) and 2 (Ghost Train to New Orleans) out now.

New York Times bestselling novelist Scott Sigler is the author of the Infected trilogy (Infected, Contagious, and Pandemic), Ancestor, and Nocturnal, hardcover thrillers from Crown Publishing; and the co-founder of Empty Set Entertainment, which publishes his Galactic Football League series (The Rookie, The Starter, The All-Pro, and The MVP). Before he was published, Scott built a large online following by giving away his self-recorded audiobooks as free, serialized podcasts. His loyal fans, who named themselves “Junkies,” have downloaded over eight million individual episodes of his stories and interact daily with Scott and each other in the social media space.

Vylar Kaftan is a Nebula-nominated writer of short stories who’s appeared in magazines such as Lightspeed and Asimov’s. She founded FOGcon, a science fiction and fantasy con in the Bay Area. Her creative avatar is Pinkie Pie. Shannon Prickett is a huge fan of Kickstarter, despite having now waited 2.5 years for a promised reward for backing a particular project. He also likes cake. They both play a lot of Ingress. Viva la Resistance! You can find them on Twitter at @Vylar_Kaftan and @bindr. He’s funnier.

Sylvia Spruck Wrigley writes about aviation and science fiction (but never both at the same time). She splits her time between South Wales and the Costa del Sol, two coastal regions with almost nothing in common. She’s been nominated for a Nebula Award for her short story “Alive, Alive Oh,” which appeared in Lightspeed in 2013. You can find out more about her at

Brooke Bolander is a chaos-sowing trickster girl of indeterminate employment, half-tornado, half-writer. Originally from the deepest, darkest regions of the southern US, she attended the University of Leicester from 2004 to 2007 studying History and Archaeology and is a graduate of the 2011 Clarion Writers’ Workshop at UCSD. Her work has previously been featured in Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, Reflection’s Edge, and the Prime Books anthology Aliens: Recent Encounters.

Daniel H. Wilson is a New York Times bestselling author. He has written eight books, including the bestselling Robopocalypse and its sequel Robogenesis, as well as other titles including Amped, How to Survive A Robot Uprising, and A Boy and His Bot. He is also co-editor, with John Joseph Adams, of the anthology Robot Uprisings. He earned a PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, where he also received master’s degrees in robotics and artificial intelligence. He lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. Find him on Twitter @danielwilsonPDX.

Seanan McGuire is an avowed Halloween Girl, and was among the first to back this project, thus proving that she knows what side of the patch to plant her pumpkins in. She is also the author of a great many books, and a frequent guest at Disney’s Haunted Mansion, where she hopes to one day take up permanent residence. Stranger things have happened. Keep up with her at

That's a pretty impressive line up: three New York Times Bestselling Authors, multiple finalists and winners of the Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy Award, and Campbell. I think I got into this esteemed group mainly because I've run a successful Kickstarter before (most of the writers have Kickstarter experience).

This post is already getting a little long, so I'll do a follow-up post on the stories themselves. But in the meantime, checkout Help Fund My Robot Army, it's available on Amazon right now for just $6.99, or if you are a Prime Member you can borrow it from the lending library for free.


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