Sometimes it seems like we hear more about the jerks in SF fandom than the truly quality people. This is partly an age-old story — as always, the news which spreads the easiest is about the creep at Readercon harassing people, or the fools who continually dip into anger and hate and undermine the joy our genre should instead be creating.
But despite how bad news spreads, the truth is that the genre jerks are far outnumbered by the great people in fandom. And one of the best people I know is Bryan Thomas Schmidt.
Bryan is a fan, an author and an editor. His debut novel, The Worker Prince, earned an honorable mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s list of best SF of 2011. He's also an incredibly nice person, always willing to discuss genre fun and games and to help those in need.
Now Bryan needs our help. Bryan has an anthology-building dream and without the help of fandom his dream won't come true. You see, Bryan has launched a Kickstarter fundraiser for his anthology project Beyond The Sun and he has less than a week to finish raising the funds!
Here's a summary of the project from the To Be Read blog,
Beyond The Sun is going to feature stories by some amazing legendary science fiction writers, some established writers and some new writers on the subject,” he says. His headliners are all Hugo and Nebula winners: Robert Silverberg, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Mike Resnick and Nancy Kress. All have written novels and stories on the topic before and look forward to exploring it further. 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 says. “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!”
Between them, the headliners alone have 12 Hugos, 5 Nebulas and numerous other awards. Several other invitees have nominations and awards as well. Schmidt has even lined up award-winning artist Mitchell Davidson Bentley to do the cover as well as several experienced and up and coming 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 says. “I know that, as a writer, it’s intriguing to see what artists get as inspiration from my own work.” With the project aimed at being family friendly and applicable for educational use, Schmidt also thinks this will add value and interest.
Yes, as one of the author's in this anthology I obviously have a vested interested in seeing this project succeed. But this is a project I'd support even if I wasn't involved. Bryan has created a remarkable lineup for his anthology and this is a book I desperately want to read.
Bryan has less than one week to raise the restof the funds for his Kickstarter campaign. So please, go and support this campaign.
And spread the word.
Because Bryan needs this to go viral.
If only a few of the people who talk online about the bad things that happen in our genre would spread the word about Bryan, then his dream will come true. I mean, the bad stuff will always happen. And it's important for us to discuss the bad so we can stop it in its tracks.
But let's not forget to also promote the great people in our genre.
People like Bryan.