There are only few days left to crowdfund the Life Beyond Us anthology, organized by the European Astrobiology Institute and Canadian publisher Laksa Media. The anthology will not only feature 22 original science fiction stories, but also accompanying essays by scientists matched to them. And I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to contributing one of these stories and having the support of a scientist for research!
I’m already working on the concepts and themes of my story and can’t wait to start writing it. It’s still just blurry shapes in the mist (maybe quite literally!), but it might have an alien point of view character (surprise), show alienation by meeting humans, and debate our sense of curiosity and our interest in meeting others vs. the cost of our meddling. So let’s see how much of this will survive my awful writing process …
The Kickstarter updates are full of additional resources, including short interviews with many of the contributors. You can find mine here! Editor & organizer Julie Novakova did stellar work to prepare the campaign.
The icing on the cake, though, would be reaching the stretch goals. The anthology is already international, but the first stretch goals would unlock translated stories, with contributions from Lisa Jenny Krieg, Liu Yang, Jana Bianchi, and Renan Bernardo. I’d love to see all of these translated, because we need more sf in translation, and because from what I know we don’t want to miss these stories. I greatly enjoyed Jana Bianchi’s “Death is for Those Who Die” in Clarkesworld and want more, and I already love the not-yet-expanded version of “Ranya’s Crash” by Lisa Jenny Krieg (if you read German, you can find it here as “Ranya stürzt ab”). If there’s even further funding, there will be open slots for submitting stories to the anthology!
So, if you’re interested in strange forms of life, exploring other planets (or a fresh angle on our own), AND the science behind it all, this might be a project for you! And whether you choose to back it, spread the word, or are simply excited about this book — thank you!