Reviews for Help Fund my Robot Army!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, by Tim Pratt, Jonathan L. Howard, John Joseph Adams, Matt Forbeck, David D. Levine, Heather Lindsley, Tobias S. Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Monte Cook, Vylar Kaftan, Chuck Wendig, Daniel H. Wilson, Mur Lafferty, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, Carmen Maria Machado, Shannon Prickett, Brooke Bolander, Samuel Peralta, Keffy R.M. Kehrli, Kat Howard, Genevieve Valentine, Jeremiah Tolbert, Jason Gurley, Jake Kerr, Seanan McGuire, Matt Williamson, Derek Van Gorder, Veronica Belmont, Maurice Broaddus, Andrew Penn Romine, Scott Sigler, Michael J. Sullivan, David Malki, Harry Connolly
I think the title of the collection may skew a person's impressions of the types of stories that are found inside. I was expecting the tone of the book to be over all humorous. And while there are more than a few funny "projects" included, it ends up feeling nicely balanced by stories like Jake Kerr's "A Memorial to the Patriots" and Samuel Peralta's "Liberty: Seeking Support for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Non-Human Being".
I would say that most of the stories included are really good. I there were a couple that I didn't really care for. One didn't seem like it was trying to be a self contained thing so much as a possible add for another work by the author. And one hit my personal pet peeve of "gobblefunk"-ing around with words (something that is only made worse in short fiction where your audience may not have the chance to adapt to your invented gibberish).
Over all, I rather enjoyed the collection and was not disappointed.
(Full disclosure: As part of the Kickstarter for this project, I paid to be Tuckerized in Veronica Belmont's story. Weaponized house cats. That's a good idea, right? :})
Help Me Follow My Sister Into the Land of the Dead by Carmen Maria Machado is an interesting short story set up in the format of a GoFundMe page.
I received a print copy through PageHabit... I was happy to have read this story. However, I wouldn't have labeled it horror, which is the box that I had gotten... So that was a bit of a let down.
This was an interesting story! I liked that the format was a GoFundMe page. As a result, the book followed along with the elements of the page; number of backers, amount pledged, how many days are left in the campaign, a description (which included the backstory), a quick FAQ (that dives a little deeper into the back story), the pledge amounts broken out by dollar amount and the gifts that go along with them, the updates that guided us through the story, and then finally the comments that end it.
This is a very quick read; I think it took me just ten minutes to read. I did enjoy it, but didn't love it. However, I would definitely recommend checking it out.
I picked up this collection because someone I know has a piece included in it (one of the better ones, it turns out) and the concept sounded intriguing. It's a little hit or miss. Some of the stories are really great, others fall flat. But on the whole the good ones are good enough to be worth it.
This rating is only for the story "Help Me Folllow My Sister into the Land of the Dead" by Carmen Maria Machado because that's the only one I've read
This is a collection of short stories about people trying to get others to help them with a variety of science-fictional projects, from the titular robot army to the first writ of habeus corpus for a synthetic being to sending Mary Robinette Kowal and David Tennant into space long enough that they can perform _Romeo and Juliet_ with puppets. The gimmick here is that each of these stories is written in the form of a Kickstarter pitch. In his introduction, Adams says that the title piece came his way as a magazine submission, and he realized how much could be done with the format. So he bought the story for the magazine, then promptly put the anthology idea together.
In recent years, Adams has become one of my favorite sf editors. He's prolific enough that I keep worrying if maybe he's stooped to shoveling together any ol' junk lying around, and the answer keeps being, no, this is another really good collection. No change this time around. Most of the stories are humorous, and made me smile, snort, laugh, and otherwise have a good time. But there are some serious pieces in here, too - that habeus corpus story is one of several that I found genuinely moving. There's also a good dosage of acidic satire, which makes a nice leaven in the mix. Given the format, of course, none of these is terribly long, either, so it's a great browse-and-read-for-a-few-minutes kind of volume.
I expected this to be funny, but there was so much more than that too. There was a certain repetitiveness when it came to some of the ideas, largely based on the format, but honestly I didn't get tired of it. My favorite stories, though, were the ones that pushed the boundaries of the format and went some unexpected and moving places.
A clever idea, with a lot of good submissions for the anthology. The only downside is that it doesn't take long for each entry to feel like more of the same, partly due to the restrictions of the format, but also because many of the entries have extremely similar premises. Still, amusing enough.
To my surprise, I never got sick of the style (all stories are told as Kickstarter-style fundraisers). Some stories are weaker than others of course, but overall it's a really great anthology.