Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kickstart This!

Here's a selection of wonderful Kickstarter projects that deserve some attention!

Alien Spike follows the journey of four teens, an adolescent alien and a childlike robot in their struggles to find their way in a progressively more difficult galaxy to survive. With the threat of war looming in deep space and political struggles mounting, they may have to rise to a challenge no one else is willing to face.
I'm curious to know more about this project. On the surface, I think the opening cast of characters is a bit light. But I see some more diversity in the later additions. I'm willing to give author Tiffany Ciper the benefit of the doubt. Especially when I read about the details she's putting into the alien races in regards to gender and culture.
The goal of the webcomic on it to make a rich and diverse galaxy of characters and species. When I develop a species I don't just pick a single gender, I design it as a whole. Spike Torlaz is from a mono gender species called Lazerian that still need a mate to reproduce and live in a nearly pure democracy. The Torken are mainly binary species that had been under the rule of a Matriarchy and cast system for eons. Each and every species is designed with a unique culture behind it from daily customs to breeding and warfare.

Pole Dancing Adventures (PDA) is a weekly webcomic that gives an insightful, witty and truthful account of what life is like as a pole dancer. Part educational and mostly humorous, much of Pole Dancing Adventures comes from my four years experience as a pole dancing student. You'll find everything from dancing and safety tips; to commentary on current trends; to the funny and embarrassing truths in becoming an experienced dancer. 
OK, so I don't have anywhere near the level of coordination required to do "regular" dancing, much less something as acrobatic and athletic as pole dancing. But that doesn't mean I don't like a good story about someone else's experiences in and out of class.

I Know I Can! is an children’s book created to inspire little girls to "dream big, take action, and exceed their own expectations!" Our heroine, Faith, goes on all kinds of adventures, and gets to interview such luminaries as Fannie Lou Hamer, Annie Easley, and Mahalia Jackson.

Mark Tuschman's photographs show the power of an image to convey both the tragedy and the resilience of women from around the world. What makes the images in his Faces of Courage collection unique is the genuine hope and optimism on the faces of the girls and women who have benefited from improved education and reproductive health opportunities. His goal is to inspire a new generation of activists, and to motivate those already working toward equality, to continue empowering women and girls.
Its hopeful message will make the book an effective communication tool, while shedding light on the heroic work of the small, grassroots organizations featured throughout. As the book’s images and stories show, the struggle of women to gain autonomy over their own lives is a battle of epic proportions. These photo essays heavily emphasize the positive impacts of family planning and girls’ education. 

I'm intrigued by Cosmic Callisto Caprica by Sophia Christele, even though her Kickstarter video is not generally the quality I look for in projects to recommend. After looking at several of the links to reviews elsewhere, I'm going to stick with my gut instinct and recommend you all give it some attention. If for no other reason than ... black girls in space! I mean, seriously, how cool is that?!
This project is so important to me because I’m tired of complaining about the lack of diversity in science fiction novels. As a young black nerd, I always hated having to read stories about characters that don’t look like me going on these grand adventures and saving the world. I would tear through book after book trying to find some sort of representation that I could grasp onto. But over the years this has become even more difficult. I want to actually doing something about it instead of waiting for mainstream writers to correct this issue.


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