John Birmingham is creating Books
194

patrons

Hi, first up, thanks. Seriously. Just giving me a minute or two of your time is kind of a big deal on the internet.

Second? Lets talk about my shameful secret. I like destroying the world. It was great fun to burn everything down in my previously published trilogies—Axis of Time, The Disappearance, and Dave vs the Monsters. So much fun, I'd love to do it again, but with you along for the whole ride this time.



I love the wild frontiers of writing, but I want to push even further out, beyond the settled storylands of conventional publishing. And it'd be cool if you could come with me. I want to write an End of the World novel as epic as Stephen King's The Stand, as vast as S.M. Stirling's saga of The Change. But not just one novel, a series of them.

Now, yes, I could just close the door to my word cave, turn on my 'puter and turn over a manuscript to my publishers two years from now. But with that would come certain... constraints.

And I hate constraints.

So here's my plan. I'm going to write this story here, line by line. But not just one book, or even the four I have planned. Here I want to create an entire story world, including short fiction, fan fiction, research notes, blog entries, character profiles, reader discussions and more. I want to expose the unseen machinery of story telling and involve you, my readers, in the creation and evolution of the narrative world itself.

What the hell does that even mean?

Practically this: Sign on at the basic level and you'll get to see the books as they're written. You can comment, make suggestions, see the story evolve not just as I type the words but as you respond to them. When the final ebook is released, your's is free, of course. As are any instalments along the way. The suckers on Amazon can pay full price.

At the next level of involvement you get to peer deep into the machine itself. As I plot out the course of the series, write the character bios, compile research notes, block out set pieces and story beats, I'll post everything. It'll be like you're on the set of a movie as its being made. Once a month I'll host a Q&A sesh, where you can ask about this or any other writing issue.

At the top tier, you get all that, PLUS you can be a character, or gift that role to somebody else. If you're brave enough, you can even write yourself into a scene. A guest starring gig on the page!

But what about the story? You haven't told us anything about that.

Gosh darn, you're right. So lets do that now.

In two years, when this is done, we'll have four long novels. Sagas that tell of an ending to this world and the start of something new. With four books, a natural form of structure suggests itself. Four seasons. Or maybe the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War, plague, famine and—here's a tweak—storm, instead of pestilence. Each element given their own season, and their own novel, but all pushing a greater narrative forward through the stories of a dozen or so central characters.



I said before that I like destroying the world, and this is how I'll do it, hammering on the fracture lines and points of critical failure which are already very obvious and all too real in our world. Korea. The Middle East. Climate change and the pressure it puts on food supplies. The hypercomplex and surprisingly fragile infrastructure, especially digital, of the developed world. Our vulnerability to pandemics. The return of toxic nationalism. There's quite the hell stew waiting for somebody to turn up the heat and give it a bit of a stir.

But stories are not just a bunch of things that happened. They are the adventures, the failures and triumphs of those who live through it all. I have my own ideas for an ensemble cast of characters to tell this story. Heroes and villains great and small, the cowardly and the brave, leaders, followers, champions and spear carriers (second from the left, in the back row, trying not to be noticed).


But maybe you do too. If so, sign up and lets get going. I'd love to hear from you. There is a world to destroy and to make anew together.

Tiers
My new best friend
$2 or more per month
Little Maggie here is a good friend, but, you know, she's tight with a dollar. Chances of getting two bucks out of her? Fuggedaboutit! But for two bucks a month, you're in. As I write each chapter, you get it here. As each volume is published, you get the ebook. But you'll also get lots of cool things that don't make it into the final, published copies. Short fiction. Character studies. The secret podcast when we crack a thousand patrons.
My new favourite.
$5 or more per month
Choc chip cookies used to be my favourite, but that was before you. For a lazy fiver-a-month you get to see the entire process. Planning, editing, re-writes, artwork. The lot. You watch the series created from the inside. And of course, you get the finished chapters and completed ebooks as they're ready and the podcast when it goes live.
Master of the Narrative Universe
$8 or more per month
You talked and pestered and—lets be honest—a few of you even made some chilling threats accompanied by photographs of my home address. So I listened. I'm opening this reward level for anyone who missed out on the top tier but still wants to get in on the story telling action. I can't give away naming rights to any more characters, but I can let you have contributor privileges, i.e., at this level you can get all previous rewards AND you can write yourself into the canon. A scene in one of the main novels, or a whole story published in a companion anthology with any royalties split between the contributors.
You're in the book now!
$10 or more per month (sold out!)
Maybe you always wanted to save the world? Hell, maybe you always wanted to destroy it? Achievement Unlocked! Now you can. On this tier, you get all previous rewards, PLUS you get to be a character in the story. Or you can gift your character to somebody else. If you really really want to live this story, you can even write yourself into it. Seriously. Knock up a scene or a short story and I'll thread it into the narrative with all the appropriate acknowledgements.
Goals
194 of 300 patrons
At three hundred patrons, everything gets real. Being serious for once, at 300 supporters this project is definitely sustainable. With that many of you on board I don't have to do something boring, like sell it to a traditional publisher. And I'd love a chance to try a new model for writing a long series. Something more open and collaborative. With three hundred new best friends, Thunderbirds Are Go!
3 of 5
Hi, first up, thanks. Seriously. Just giving me a minute or two of your time is kind of a big deal on the internet.

Second? Lets talk about my shameful secret. I like destroying the world. It was great fun to burn everything down in my previously published trilogies—Axis of Time, The Disappearance, and Dave vs the Monsters. So much fun, I'd love to do it again, but with you along for the whole ride this time.



I love the wild frontiers of writing, but I want to push even further out, beyond the settled storylands of conventional publishing. And it'd be cool if you could come with me. I want to write an End of the World novel as epic as Stephen King's The Stand, as vast as S.M. Stirling's saga of The Change. But not just one novel, a series of them.

Now, yes, I could just close the door to my word cave, turn on my 'puter and turn over a manuscript to my publishers two years from now. But with that would come certain... constraints.

And I hate constraints.

So here's my plan. I'm going to write this story here, line by line. But not just one book, or even the four I have planned. Here I want to create an entire story world, including short fiction, fan fiction, research notes, blog entries, character profiles, reader discussions and more. I want to expose the unseen machinery of story telling and involve you, my readers, in the creation and evolution of the narrative world itself.

What the hell does that even mean?

Practically this: Sign on at the basic level and you'll get to see the books as they're written. You can comment, make suggestions, see the story evolve not just as I type the words but as you respond to them. When the final ebook is released, your's is free, of course. As are any instalments along the way. The suckers on Amazon can pay full price.

At the next level of involvement you get to peer deep into the machine itself. As I plot out the course of the series, write the character bios, compile research notes, block out set pieces and story beats, I'll post everything. It'll be like you're on the set of a movie as its being made. Once a month I'll host a Q&A sesh, where you can ask about this or any other writing issue.

At the top tier, you get all that, PLUS you can be a character, or gift that role to somebody else. If you're brave enough, you can even write yourself into a scene. A guest starring gig on the page!

But what about the story? You haven't told us anything about that.

Gosh darn, you're right. So lets do that now.

In two years, when this is done, we'll have four long novels. Sagas that tell of an ending to this world and the start of something new. With four books, a natural form of structure suggests itself. Four seasons. Or maybe the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War, plague, famine and—here's a tweak—storm, instead of pestilence. Each element given their own season, and their own novel, but all pushing a greater narrative forward through the stories of a dozen or so central characters.



I said before that I like destroying the world, and this is how I'll do it, hammering on the fracture lines and points of critical failure which are already very obvious and all too real in our world. Korea. The Middle East. Climate change and the pressure it puts on food supplies. The hypercomplex and surprisingly fragile infrastructure, especially digital, of the developed world. Our vulnerability to pandemics. The return of toxic nationalism. There's quite the hell stew waiting for somebody to turn up the heat and give it a bit of a stir.

But stories are not just a bunch of things that happened. They are the adventures, the failures and triumphs of those who live through it all. I have my own ideas for an ensemble cast of characters to tell this story. Heroes and villains great and small, the cowardly and the brave, leaders, followers, champions and spear carriers (second from the left, in the back row, trying not to be noticed).


But maybe you do too. If so, sign up and lets get going. I'd love to hear from you. There is a world to destroy and to make anew together.

Recent posts by John Birmingham

Tiers
My new best friend
$2 or more per month
Little Maggie here is a good friend, but, you know, she's tight with a dollar. Chances of getting two bucks out of her? Fuggedaboutit! But for two bucks a month, you're in. As I write each chapter, you get it here. As each volume is published, you get the ebook. But you'll also get lots of cool things that don't make it into the final, published copies. Short fiction. Character studies. The secret podcast when we crack a thousand patrons.
My new favourite.
$5 or more per month
Choc chip cookies used to be my favourite, but that was before you. For a lazy fiver-a-month you get to see the entire process. Planning, editing, re-writes, artwork. The lot. You watch the series created from the inside. And of course, you get the finished chapters and completed ebooks as they're ready and the podcast when it goes live.
Master of the Narrative Universe
$8 or more per month
You talked and pestered and—lets be honest—a few of you even made some chilling threats accompanied by photographs of my home address. So I listened. I'm opening this reward level for anyone who missed out on the top tier but still wants to get in on the story telling action. I can't give away naming rights to any more characters, but I can let you have contributor privileges, i.e., at this level you can get all previous rewards AND you can write yourself into the canon. A scene in one of the main novels, or a whole story published in a companion anthology with any royalties split between the contributors.
You're in the book now!
$10 or more per month (sold out!)
Maybe you always wanted to save the world? Hell, maybe you always wanted to destroy it? Achievement Unlocked! Now you can. On this tier, you get all previous rewards, PLUS you get to be a character in the story. Or you can gift your character to somebody else. If you really really want to live this story, you can even write yourself into it. Seriously. Knock up a scene or a short story and I'll thread it into the narrative with all the appropriate acknowledgements.