Kansas-based author and editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt writes in to tell us about his latest anthology project – this one being launched on KickStarter by the writer.
“Ever since I was a child, I’ve dreamed about exploring the stars. What’s out there? What strange planets and beings might we encounter?” Schmidt said. As he watched NASA’s budget downsized and space travel, at least in the United States, get turned over to private enterprise, he recalled sitting on his grandmother’s lap as a child and looking at scrapbooks she’d kept of all the NASA clippings. “We used to dream together, to imagine. It fascinated both of us, and it was so fun to just speculate about what it might all mean or bring about.”
Space colonization has long been a popular topic for science fiction writers. Kim Stanley Robinson (Mars series), Allan Steele (Coyote series), Robert Silverberg (Majipoorseries), Mike Resnick (Kirinyaga and Chronicles Of A Distant World series), and a host of stories have been inspired by the topic.
“I love the ideas people come up with, and I wanted a chance to fill the need left by NASA’s downsizing to inspire that sense of wonder in future and present generations,” Schmidt said.
This was also the inspiration for his new anthology project Beyond The Sun. His headliners include Robert Silverberg, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress. Joining them are familiar names such as Cat Rambo, Jason Sanford, Jennifer Brozek, Brad R. Torgersen, Jean Johnson, Erin Hoffman, Jamie Todd Rubin and Guy Anthony DeMarco.
“The writers included are some of my writing heroes and good friends,” Schmidt adds. “It’s a thrill to have the participation of such notables as well as giving new writers the opportunity get more exposure for their own work by appearing alongside others with such respected reputations. Plus, you can just tell from the list of names how amazing the anthology is going to be!”
Schmidt has lined up artist Mitchell Davidson Bentley to do the cover as well as several artists to add images for the stories themselves. “It’s rare these days to have artwork inside books, but I think it inspires the imagination,”
Schmidt’s previous anthology as editor, Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales 6, which also featured stories by several authors involved with Beyond The Sun, including a headline story by Mike Resnick & Brad R. Torgersen.
Schmidt says, “(My previous) publisher has been very supportive, but most small presses struggle to find the money to pay writers pro-rates for stories. On top of that to pay artists and editors. With the Kickstarter, we can package those costs in advance and allow the publisher to put their resources into producing a really good quality, edited, copyedited and laid out final product. Several small presses have already expressed interest. But the project has to happen first.”
If all goes well, Beyond The Sun will be released in late Spring 2013 and available at major online retailers as well as local bookstores. A number of incentives from signed art to signed books and personalized thanks yous and tuckerized names are available to backers via the Kickstarter.
This puppy can be found over at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/601968027/beyond-the-sun-anthology