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HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects [Kindle Edition]

John Joseph Adams , Seanan McGuire , Daniel H. Wilson , Samuel Peralta , Scott Sigler , Michael J. Sullivan , Mur Lafferty , Jason Gurley , Tobias S. Buckell , Bradley Beaulieu , Jonathan L. Howard
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
 
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Book Description

If you’re a regular backer of Kickstarters, you’ve probably seen some unique crowdfunding projects in your time. But one thing all of those campaigns—boringly!—had in common was: They abided by the physical laws of the universe!

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! is an anthology of science fiction/fantasy stories told in the form of fictional crowdfunding project pitches, using the components (and restrictions) of the format to tell the story. This includes but is not limited to: Project Goals, Rewards, User Comments, Project Updates, FAQs, and more. The idea is to replicate the feel of reading a crowdfunding pitch, so that even though the projects may be preposterous in the real world, they will feel like authentic crowdfunding projects as much as possible.

The anthology features original, never-before-published fiction by Bradley Beaulieu , Veronica Belmont, Brooke Bolander, Maurice Broaddus, Tobias S. Buckell, Harry Connolly, Monte Cook, Matt Forbeck, Jason Gurley, Kat Howard, Jonathan L. Howard, Vylar Kaftan, Jake Kerr, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mur Lafferty, David D. Levine, Heather Lindsley, Carmen Maria Machado, David Malki!, Seanan McGuire, Samuel Peralta, Tim Pratt, Andy Penn Romine, Scott Sigler, Michael J. Sullivan, Jeremiah Tolbert, Genevieve Valentine, Derek Van Gorder, Chuck Wendig, Matt Williamson, Daniel H. Wilson, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley. Plus, a reprint of the eponymous story that inspired the anthology by Keffy R.M. Kehrli, for a total of 33 crowdfunding-style stories.

So if what you’ve always been looking for in a Kickstarter—and couldn’t find—was a project that allowed you to protect yourself from spoilers, buy wishes, find lost objects, or support a wildlife preserve for supernatural creatures, then HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects may be just the thing you’ve been looking for.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creative tales in a brand-new story format! July 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Writing a story in the form of a Kickstarter page is a genius idea to begin with, and that idea was Keffy R.M. Kehrli's. Putting together an entire *anthology* of such ideas was John Joseph Adams's genius idea, as well as crowdfunding it via Kickstarter because duh.

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects contains over thirty fictional Kickstarters of the SFF persuasion (you'll find nothing as adorably mundane as a grandmother making canes here). As in any themed anthology, the challenge is for each story to be fresh, embracing the theme while not being constrained by it. The book contains a fairly good mix of tones, topics, and narratives.

The majority of stories follow the traditional Kickstarter page design, which provides a familiar and intriguing structure. (Maurice Broaddus, however, cleverly sets "I Used to Love H.E.R." in 2005, pre-Kickstarter, but still follows the basic format.) As anyone who's visited a Kickstarter page knows, the most prominent and visible feature (next to the video, if there is one--and some writers do manage to incorporate the Kickstarter video into the text) is the set of three magic numbers: backers, funding, and days left. Thus, at the beginning of the story, you know the outcome of the Kickstarter. Did it fund? Did it overfund *wildly*? Was it canceled? Perhaps it's still ongoing. This information is relevant and important and influences how you read the rest of the story. For instance, in Mary Robinette Kowal's hilarious "Zero-G R&J," we know that the project is successful, so when it appears to hit a giant speed bump, we want to know *how* it recovers. After the numbers comes the pitch, the heart of the project: who is running it, what are they trying to do, and why are they trying to do it?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Real Gems...with quite a bit of chaff... July 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This book had some great points...and some not so great points. Some of the stories were excellent, and lent themselves really well to the KickStarter format. "Flashed Forward" by Bradley Beaulieu, for example, was an excellent and very enjoyable read, about a time traveler. I also really enjoyed Jake Kerr's "A Memorial to the Patriots" about terrorists in a big brother-esque United States. Both stories (and a few others) did a great job leading the reader through the world of their KickStarter and delivered an emotional punch by the end.

One of the weaker parts of the book, however, are that a lot of stories seem relatively cookie-cutter and have little to differentiate themselves one from the next. A few of the themes got relatively boring the 4th or 5th time you've read it, and the similarity in format for these stories that were only mildly differentiated from one another led to them being relatively boring.

There are enough 5 star stories in the book to balance out the 1-3 star stories to make this book worth picking up, but don't be shy about skipping ahead if a particular story isn't doing the trick for you. Had some trouble deciding between 3 and 4 stars for what to rate it as, and opted for rounding up.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% FUNDED August 20, 2014
By Coco
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great anthology. These stories are so very creative, and the format is fantastic. Some stories are sad, some creepy and some will make you laugh out loud.

My favorites are Liberty by Samuel Peralta, Zero G R&J by Mary Robinette Kowal and Jerome 3.0 by Jason Gurley. I love that anthologies give an opportunity to sample authors that I am not familiar with.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN!!!! July 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This anthology is great!!!!! It was funny, odd, very funny, interesting, creepy and VERY CREEPY. And when I finished and am thinking, "It is just a book," I see the news story of $36,000 raised to make potato salad!! Hope everyone enjoys this book as much as I did. Thanks to Jason Gurley for recommending it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great new idea in short form storytelling. July 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This was another great book I got through Kickstarter. Which is kind of meta because it's a book dedicated to improbable crowd funding stories. I immediately jumped on board because a) who doesn't want a robot army and b) I have something of a weakness for kickstarter (It's not an addiction. I can stop any time I want. It's not my fault they continue to tempt me with things that I want.) Plus I am a big fan of John Joseph Adams short fiction anthologies so getting in on this project was a no-brainer. This anthology was a great mix of serious stories, a few spine tinglers along with a good amount of humor. I have to say my favorite was a crowd funding campaign by Nosferatu to raise funds to eliminate all the sparkly vampires, I would back that in a heartbeat. My only complaint is that while the idea of an anthology of various absurd crowd funding campaigns is interesting it isn't a medium that lends itself well to telling a story. I felt a few of the stories didn't do a great job of filling in the whole picture of the story they were trying to tell, within the confines of how the anthology was formatted. The majority of them were stellar and I would recommend this book anyone because it was a great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun playgroud for writers and readers! July 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Just delightful to read! Some campaigns (stories) were hilarious, some scary, some silly. The detail used to make the stories sound like real Kickstarter campaigns was quite intricate in some stories. I found that it worked best for me to read just a few stories at a time then put it down for a while, instead of reading it like a novel. Otherwise, the cleverness began to fade. All in all, I think this anthology does a wonderful job showing what a wide variety of writers will do with artificial constraints to their imaginations. Well worth anyone's time!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent... :D
Such a fun idea, and executed with much flair and an amazing range! Some of the stories are deep, some are creepy and some are snort-Diet Coke-through-your-nose funny! Read more
Published 21 hours ago by Lisa Millraney
5.0 out of 5 stars and wonderfully told. One of my favorite books to date
These stories were hilarious, creepy, thought-provoking, and wonderfully told. One of my favorite books to date!
Published 3 days ago by Caytlin Reese
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique format for stories. Most are extremely well ...
A unique format for stories. Most are extremely well written. Definitely will be recommending this to friends.
Published 6 days ago by Leowyn
2.0 out of 5 stars mixed reviews
While the concept of the book is fun, the execution leaves something to be desired. Some of the stories were fun, but some were downright disgusting. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Sonja Redmond
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Anthology, not great
Help Fund My Robot Army is a great idea. I love the idea of short stories in the form of a Kickstarter. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Preston Leigh
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun collection of crowdfunding projects
Some of these crowdfunding projects are a little bit crazy, and I can't believe they were funded! This was a really fun anthology of projects that are not for the weak of heart. Read more
Published 2 months ago by VeggieLover
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid compilation with an interesting premise
As with all compilations, there are a few stories in here that I didn't like. One I just plain didn't understand, though I may bear the blame for that, not the author. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Silea
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended. .....
Excellent stuff from a bunch of great writers with minds full of crazy stories! A very original selection of tales in keeping with the high standards associated with John Joseph... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very creative!
Very creative way to have stories as kick starter campaigns. The title story is just wonderfully evil, and there are others I liked as well. Read more
Published 2 months ago by IowaJoyce
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