The issues available are:
- Riley Marigold and the Winged Lizards of Tel Aviv by Kayla Bashe
- The Daisy Haunt by Claudie Arseneault
- Out of the Storm by Ian O'Reilly
They'll be available until December 7, when we'll be closing the preorder, printing them up and sending them out. (We're trying to make sure we get it done in time for folks who want to order it for a Christmas present.) (Also, if this goes well,* in the future we'll be making sure to have it available often enough to make the deadline for other gift-giving holidays.)
We're going to sell up to 50 to manage the amount of envelope assembly we'll have to do if this blows up, but if this does go that well, it pretty close to definitely won't be the last time we put these up.
The e-book for issue 1 of Solarpunk Press, "Riley Marigold and the Winged Lizards of Tel Aviv," is available for purchase now on Gumroad for pay-what-you-want.
Edit: I put the wrong link up! Here's the correct link to the ebook: https://gumroad.com/l/kLbI
Our Patreon page is going to be launching very soon, we're nearly finished getting all the details together.
In the meantime, we finished setting up our donate feature through Squarespace! If you wanted to lend us some support, but aren't interested in any of the backer perks in our Patreon and don't want to make it a recurring thing, this is the perfect option for you.
Click here, or on the button in the sidebar:
We're getting ready to launch our Patreon campaign for this project. We're really close. We think we've settled on the final prices for the various donor levels (after several weeks of "No, we can probably make that cheaper") and we've confirmed the apparent feasibility of the stuff we want to do.
The first thing you can buy on our Patreon page is influence! Backers are going to have access to polls, which we'll use to guide the direction of the future of the site.
We'll definitely be open to, and be listening for, feedback from everyone who's following Solarpunk Press, however you're doing it, whether or not you can afford to pay, and obvious public opinion trends will be taken seriously. But we're planning on collecting hard(ish) data on what our backers want, because (a.) we want this project to be at least somewhat democratic, without exposing ourselves to vote brigading or other mass trolling, and (b.) the opinions of those of you who are willing and able to give us money are the opinions that determine the financial sustainability of this project, and we want to make sure our backers know that your voice is being heard.
Ray of Sunshine backers will get one vote, and Lobbyist backers will get two. Backers at $1 and up also get each issue's e-book edition for free.
The next level up is various kinds of early access. We got this idea from CGP Grey's Patreon (warning: the reward's title is a casual Nazi reference) -- he releases his videos to some of his backers some time before their official release, in a mutually beneficial relationship: backers get to see the videos before everyone else, and they can warn Grey if they find fixable errors in the video, before he uploads the version he can't back down from.
We're planning on trying this out with a few days' advance release. Of course, this will only work if people don't leak the content, but we have confidence in the moral integrity of the Solarpunk community not to prematurely leak stories that will shortly be available for free for everyone.
Grammar Vigilante backers will get the text edition early, while The A/V Club backers will get the audio early. Both are invited to let us know about errors. (Even if it's stuff we can't fix -- we can always at least learn from our mistakes.)
The last kind of early access is Visions of the Future. These backers get drafts of each issue's illustrations, as they become available to us, and get to see the final art early. If and when we're working on design or merchandise changes, they'll get preview art of that, too.
Early content backers also get two votes, and all backers will get access to forums for polls as well as the content of their reward package.
Finally, the biggest reward package we offer is the Everything Bagel. This one comes with all three early access rewards, plus 3x voting power.
And, it's the only reliable way to get the Solarpunk Press print 'zine.
These will be 90s style paper magazines, stapled together and filled with completely exclusive editorial content, doodles, and notes.
Now, don't get us wrong: we want these zines to spread around. You can collect them, but you can also share them with your friends, leave them on trains, photocopy them and hand them out, etc. They'll be released under a CC-BY-NC-ND license, so as long as you aren't changing or profiting off them, it's fair game.
And there will be other ways to get it. If you're an author, we're going to give you some of yours. We'll probably do a giveaway with a few every issue on Tumblr. Chances are we'll be carrying some around after printing, so if you get lucky and know us in person, you might just be able to ask for one. But the only way you can be sure is by getting an Everything Bagel subscription.
Also, this reward tier is limited to 100 backers. So, there's that, too.
If and when we get around to merchandise, Everything Bagel backers are also going to be eligible for giveaways to receive demo products and stuff.
Each issue will have a max of two print runs: If you sign up by two weeks before the release (so, for issue 1, that's September 21) you'll be in the first print run and should get your 'zine by the time the story releases. Anyone who signs up after that, and gets billed for the magazine but didn't make the shipping deadline, will get magazines printed and sent out after billing, so they should arrive around mid-month.
We're still pulling the materials together, but we wanted to get this update out as soon as we're sure we can do everything in it.
There are lots of things we want to do on here. It has been a continuous effort in the preparation stages of this project to restrain our imaginations and focus primarily on things we can hope to accomplish.
It's possible we'll only ever get to do what we've set out to do so far: 12 episodes across 1 year. But in the event that we get to keep going -- in the event that we get to expand -- we have a lot of thoughts on what we could do next. Our Patreon supporters will have access to polls that we'll use to guide the direction of the podcast* -- we won't ignore suggestions posted elsewhere, of course.
Increase frequency of episodes
The earliest we'd likely be able to start this is in June, in the month of episode 9, because college. More likely we'd be getting ready to do it starting year 2 -- although if it turns out this whole running a magazine thing turns out to be a lot easier than we expected (or y'all donate a TON of money and we can quit our day jobs) we might get started on that sooner.
Raise author pay
One of our big ambitions if this project works out is to raise our rates to be a SFWA qualifying market. For one thing, writers work hard to create this work and we believe that they deserve to be paid well for it. For another, paying more money and being a SFWA qualifying market will attract more submissions, and submissions from more established authors. This serves the dual purposes of this magazine: our straightforward goal, to bring you the best fiction possible; and our Machiavellian scheme, to steer the direction of science fiction, and thereby the world, towards narratives of sustainability, collective action, and the dismantling of oligarchical power structures. *evil laugh*
Produce parallel news & editorial posts and podcast
Between the two editors, we have way more experience working with news media than fiction. (Total between us as of writing: 2 associate degrees in journalism, 2 years professional journalism experience, ~5 years student journalism & editorial experience, 1 year paid web editor experience.) And since the main interest areas of solarpunk are areas that could use a significant improvement in reporting -- science, environment, and counterculture politics -- we think we could do some really good work here.
That said, if we took this on, producing as much news per month as we do fiction content would be a lot more work, and probably a lot more expensive, and we don't know for sure that anybody's very interested in that. This is one of the kinds of projects we'll only pursue if we meet or exceed our funding goals, and get a lot of support for it in the supporter polls.
Of course, like all of these goals, it's not a "Start this year or never" kind of thing. Maybe it'll get easier with the advent of new technology or organizational structures in the next few years, and we'll be able to take it on with less effort. Maybe it'll get support from the community only after we've met other priorities, like getting more stories out and paying our authors pro rates.
Assemble a year 1 print edition
We'd really like to be able to do this one. Even if we end up not having a second year, it'd be cool to be able to wrap up the year with a physical volume of the complete publications of Solarpunk Press.
My back-of-envelope calculations have led me to believe that I have no idea how to estimate how much it costs to print an anthology, so whether that's on the table will be determined as we do more research.
Whatever else y'all think is cool
You want comics? Merchandise? 45 minute live discussions on abjection as a framing device for the alienation between the people and the state? You got it!
By which we mean you can tell us. In the polls and forums. If you're a supporter. And we'll try our best to do what we can towards those goals.
Polls for Patreon supporters will run at least monthly, and we intend to add popular write-ins and discussion topics frequently, so we hope going forward into year 1 (and hopefully beyond) we'll get a nuanced idea of what y'all want from us and how we can provide it.
* To be really, really clear: we are not making our final decisions based exclusively on these polls; some things may turn out to be harder than we expected when start planning, some combinations of things may be impossible -- we don't want to disappoint anyone by having them discover after giving us money that their vote wasn't binding.
It's Monday, July 27, and the button on our Submit page works now. We have no idea if anybody's waiting on the page to drop off stories that we'll be able to start reading right away, or if it'll be a little while before we start seeing submissions, but we're excited to get started!
We're looking for optimistic near-future science fiction -- you can learn more about what we plan to publish, or submit a story, on our submission page here.
Welcome to the homepage Solarpunk Press, the first (we think) solarpunk web magazine. (Or welcome to a link to it, if you're seeing this on Tumblr.)
We're not putting out any actual episodes until October 5, which is a while off. (78 days!) During that time we'll be accepting submissions (starting next Monday) practicing recording and editing audio for podcasts, setting up our Patreon, and just generally getting ready to launch.
We'll be keeping the site updated in that time with what we're doing and how it's going, including samples of audio practice using public domain fiction.
We're interested in feedback, and we're really excited to get going!
T.X. Watson and Faith Roses Gregory