Wednesday, September 19, 2012

[Kickstarter] "Beyond the Sun" Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Kickstarter fascinates me with the potential for the community to push onward a project into creation without  the traditional channels or as a means to find traditional channels to create a project. It's wonderful and I get to observe it more or less since I am outside the US, but that doesn't mean that the projects don't catch my fancy. The newest one that I find completely brilliant and composed of extremely talented writers is edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and co-edited by Sarah Chorn.

Colonists take to the stars to discover new planets, new sentient beings, and build new lives for themselves and their families. Some travel years to find their destination, while others travel a year or less. Some discover a planet that just might be paradise, while others find nothing but unwelcoming aliens and terrain. It’s not just a struggle for territory but a struggle for understanding as cultures clash, disasters occur, danger lurks and lives are at risk. 20 stories of space colonists by both leading and up and coming science fiction writers of today. Mike Resnick revisits the Hugo, Nebula and Homer winning universe of his Africa stories. Grandmaster Robert Silverberg examines what happens when Jews tired of fighting for their homeland start over on a planet then must deal with a dybbuk (spirit) and aliens who wish to convert to Judaism. Autumn Rachel Dryden has colonists threatened by alien animals which burst out of shells on the ground like piranhas ready to feed on flesh. Jason Sanford has Amish colonists on New Amsterdam finding their settlement and way of life threatened by a comet and the English settlers who want to evacuate them. And a new story from Hugo and Nebula-winner Nancy Kress.

Space colonialism remains as one of the most recognizable science fiction trope, but I have to say that with the trend of realism in science fiction and gritty streaks, it's time to bring back the idealism and positivism of the genre. Reinvent it.

You can find more about the project at the official Kickstarter page. Clash of cultures has always interested me and given Bulgaria's cultural experience with being a colony to the Ottoman Empire gives me insight as to the dark side of colonialism. I feel fantastically excited to have been asked personally to take one of the few invitations to compete for a spot among Resnick, Silverberg and Kress. Keep an eye on this one, people.