Title: Help Fund my Robot Army!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects
Editor: John Joseph Adams
Short story anthology
This collection is really an outrage idea. All of the stories are fake Kickstarter projects with fantastical or science fiction elements. Each story is presented as if it was a Kickstarter pitch. And of course the project was funded by a kickstarter… which I supported. How meta is that!
Part of the fun of this collection is knowing the format and the ways in which the stories plays with that format. In the following I will comment on the stories that interested me.
“A Memorial to the Patriots” by Jake Kerr
Weird more than good. I was rather confused by the end
“For Entertainment Purposes Only” by Jeremiah Tolbert
I just read the story this afternoon and it of course made me smile, which was just what I wanted to happen. I have to say that the comments are brilliant.
“I want to be a Lioness” by Chuck Wendig
I quite liked this story. The comment section was used really effectively. It reminded me of “if you were a dinosaur my love”.
“Liberty: Seeking Support For Writ of Habeas Corpus For a Non-human Being” by Samuel Peralta
This story made me go read Alex + Ada or watch Ægte Mennesker again. It is not a new concept, but it does question what we will turn our blind eye
“Help Summon the Most Holy Folded One!” by Harry Connolly
This was a truly silly story but also a quite entertaining one about Tacos and about wanting to be right. Once again the comment section has been used to great effect.
“Fund Taphognosis Industries” by Tobias S. Buckell
We have of course seen many takes on what would happen with AI, but I think it is the first time I have seen uploaded humans fill out the same tropes. It is a great piece of science fiction. Lovely use of the format.
“Catassassins!” by Veronica Belmont
Now that put a smile to my face. Because Cat assassins!
“Finder of Lost Things” by Monte Cook
Cute – I don’t think I expected to find a romance in here.
“Prima Nocta Detective Agency Needs You” by Genevieve Valentine
This story plays with the tropes of urban fantasy. It is a pastiche of the genre. It is quite a silly story and it feels like it is written with a big fat grin on Valentine’s face.
“Help me Follow my Sister Into The Land of the Dead” by Carmen Maria Machado
I found the story really sweet. I like stories about female relationship and it is nice and refreshing to see such a dysfunctional one. The updates and the comments play so well off each other. The mood in the story is so dark.
“Be Careful What You Wish for” by Michael J. Sullivan
A sweet story. Sullivan used the format really well. Most of the story is told in the comment section. I think it is a nice little take on the old be careful what you wish for trope. I do not much believe in luck as a manipulative thing, so this probably didn’t hit me as hard. But it was a sweet little story.
“A Practical Mechanism for Overcoming the Directionality of Temporal Flow” by David D. Lavine
This is a time travel story and those can be really hard to do right. I think this was a nice take on that. The story managed to surprise me and I had didn’t know where it would go.