Author, publisher, and podcaster Edward Willett is tackling an ambitious project: an anthology, Shapers of Worlds, that will feature stories by some of today’s top authors of science fiction and fantasy, many of them international bestsellers. To fund the anthology, he launched a 30-day Kickstarter on February 28, with a goal of $13,500 Can. (about $10,000 US).
All of the featured authors were guests during the first year of Willett’s podcast, The Worldshapers (www.theworldshapers.com), winner of the 2019 Aurora Award (Canada’s top award for science fiction and fantasy) for Best Fan Related Work.
Willett is himself an award-winning author of more than sixty books of fantasy, science fiction, and non-fiction for readers of all ages. His latest is Master of the World, his 10th novel for DAW Books, Book 2 in his Worldshapers series. In The Worldshapers podcast, Willett, a former newspaper reporter and editor, and radio and television host, chats with science fiction or fantasy authors for an hour about their creative process.
Willett also owns Shadowpaw Press (www.shadowpawpress.com). Inspired by a presentation on crowdfunding at a publishing conference last year, Willett reached out to the authors who had been guests in his first year of podcasting to see who might be interested in contributing a short story to a new anthology. While not all were available, all expressed support. Eight authors committed to contributing new short stories to the anthology, and another six to contributing reprints. (See the complete list on the next page.) Several also donated special rewards, including bestselling author David Weber, who is offering six backers the opportunity to be “first readers” and receive his books in manuscript form as they’re submitted to his publisher.
In a Kickstarter, no funds are released unless the goal is reached by the deadline. If the anthology funds, about half of the $13,500 Can. will go to pay the authors, and the rest to book production and fees. At $15, backers receive an e-book version of the anthology; at $25, the trade paperback version. At higher levels, there are a multitude of additional rewards.
The Kickstarter campaign’s URL is https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/edwardwillett/shapers-of-worlds
SHAPERS OF WORLDS – Science fiction and fantasy from first-year guests of the Aurora Award-winning podcast The Worldshapers
New stories from:
TANYA HUFF (www.facebook.com/tanya.huff.5), whose diverse array of novels ranges from the highly popular Blood books, which mix vampires, fantasy, and romance and were the basis of the TV series Blood Ties, to the Torin Kerr military SF novels, and the humorous fantasies of The Keeper Chronicles. Her publisher is DAW Books, and in the US alone, more than 1.2 million copies of her work are in print.
SEANAN MCGUIRE (www.seananmcguire.com), Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula Award-winning author of more than twenty books in various series, including the bestselling October Daye and InCryptid series. Seanan also writes biomedical science fiction thrillers as Mira Grant.
DAVID WEBER (www.davidweber.net), bestselling author of the Honor Harrington science-fiction series and many others, including fantasy (Oath of Swords, The War God’s Own) other space opera (Path of the Fury, The Armageddon Inheritance) and alternate history (the 1632 series with Eric Flint).
LEE MODESITT JR. (www.lemodesittjr.com), bestselling author of more than seventy novels of fantasy and science fiction, including the Recluce Saga, the Spellsong Cycle, the Imager Portfolio, and more.
DAVID JOHN BUTLER (www.davidjohnbutler.com), author (as D. J. Butler) of the Witchy Eye epic fantasy trilogy for Baen Books, set in an alternate version of early 19th-century America, and as Dave Butler of the middle-grade adventure series The Extraordinary Adventures of Clockwork Charlie, published by Knopf.
CHRISTOPHER RUOCCHIO (www.sollanempire.com), author of The Sun Eater, a space-opera fantasy series from DAW books (published by Gollancz in the UK), which began with Empire of Silence in 2018, and assistant editor at Baen Books, where he has co-edited several anthologies.
JOHN C. WRIGHT (www.scifiwright.com) Nebula, Hugo, and Hugo Award-nominated author of some twenty-two novels, including the critically acclaimed The Golden Age and Count to a Trillion. His novel Somewhither won the Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2016. He’s also published numerous short stories and anthologies, as well as non-fiction.
SHELLEY ADINA (www.shelleyadina.com), author of twenty-four novels published by Harlequin, Warner, and Hachette, and more than a dozen more published by Moonshell Books, Inc., her own independent press, including the Magnificent Devices steampunk series. As Charlotte Henry she writes the Rogues of St. Just series of classic Regency romance, and as Adina Senft, writes the Whinburg Township Amish series.
EDWARD WILLETT (www.edwardwillett.com), Aurora Award-winning author of more than sixty books of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for readers of all ages, including the Worldshapers series, the Masks of Aygrima fantasy trilogy (written as E.C. Blake), and the stand-alone science fiction novel The Cityborn (all from DAW Books), and the five-book Shards of Excalibur YA fantasy series for Coteau Books.
DAVID BRIN (www.davidbrin.com), world-renowned, bestselling author of The Postman, Kiln People, Foundation’s Triumph, and many others; scientist, speaker, and technical consultant; winner of multiple Hugos, Nebulas, and other awards.
JOE HALDEMAN (www.joehaldeman.com/), Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Forever War, The Hemingway Hoax, Forever Peace, and many others (more than two dozen), a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master, and a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Joe has also won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Locus Award, the Rhysling Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.
JOHN SCALZI (www.scalzi.com), New York Times best seller in fiction, winner of the Hugo, the Locus, the Audie, the Seiun and the Kurd Lasswitz awards, and recipient of the 2016 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio, with works translated into twenty-plus languages; also Creative Consultant for the Stargate: Universe television series, writer for the video game Midnight Star, by Industrial Toys, executive producer for Old Man’s War and The Collapsing Empire, both currently in development for film/TV, and writer of three short stories adapted into episodes of the Netflix series Love, Death + Robots.
JULIE CZERNEDA (www.czerneda.com), author of many novels for DAW Books, including the popular nine-book The Clan Chronicles series. She’s also written many short stories, edited anthologies, and taught writing. Her books have received international acclaim, multiple awards, and bestselling status.
DR. CHARLES E. GANNON (www.charlesegannon.com), whose Caine Riordan/Terran Republic hard science fiction novels, published by Baen Books, have all been national best-sellers, and include three finalists for the Nebula, two for the Dragon Award, and a Compton Crook winner. He has also collaborated with Eric Flint in the New York Times- and Wall Street Journal–bestselling Ring of Fire series, worked in the Starfire, Black Tide Rising, Honor Harrington, and Man-Kzin universes, and written many works of short fiction.
DEREK KÜNSKEN (www.derekkunsken.com), author of The Quantum Magician (Solaris) and The Quantum Garden, as well as the webcomic (with artist Wendy Muldon) Briarworld, and numerous short stories, which have appeared in places like Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a number of year’s-best anthologies, and podcasts.
THORAIYA DYER (www.thoraiyadyer.com), four-time Aurealis Award-winning, three-time Ditmar Award-winning Australian science fiction writer and veterinarian, whose work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Apex, Cosmos, Analog, and various US and Australian anthologies. She’s also the author of the Titan’s Forest fantasy trilogy, published by Tor Books: Crossroads of Canopy, Echoes of Understorey, and Tides of the Titans.
There are a couple of authors who are still “maybes,” so this list may still grow.