is creating The Deathworlders

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Dizi Rat

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A tiny, explosively fragile purple ball of derp.

Thank you! This tier grants access to patrons-only blog posts here on Patreon, and I will collectively thank all Dizi Rats in every chapter.

Squishy Xeno

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Fragile, but sapient

Welcome to the the Interspecies Dominion! As an associate member, you are invited to join the text channels on the Deathworlders Discord server.

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Friendly ET

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Still squishy, but good for a conversation at least.

In addition to Discord voice access, pledges at this level or higher will be thanked in the Reddit thread whenever a new chapter is posted.
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About Hambone

What is The Deathworlders? 

The Deathworlders is a free online HFY science fiction serial published on a monthly schedule in chapters of at least thirty thousand words, and often twice that many or even more. It currently runs to nearly one and a half million words and can be read in its entirety for free HERE.

What is HFY?

HFY  is a sub-genre of speculative fiction. The acronym stands for "Humanity, Fuck Yeah!" and its specific focus is on subverting the usual role that the human race plays in speculative fiction. Whether we're the cowering masses in comic books who have to run for cover while supervillains are punched through our office blocks, or the galactic everyman against whom the aliens are more logical, stronger, more empathic or whatever, in most scifi and fantasy settings humanity generally comes off at best as the plucky underdog.

HFY inverts that relationship. It envisions a world in which the human race is gifted in some way, and aims to leave the reader feeling positive or empowered about humanity as a whole...or to serve as a cautionary tale about power and responsibility.

The Story So Far

The concept of a "deathworld" has existed in scifi at least since the series of novels by Harry Harrison published in 1960. The term describes a planet so utterly dangerous that any intrepid explorer setting foot on its surface is in grave and immediate peril. Virulent diseases, clawed predators, toxic plants or simply the harsh weather all pose an imminent risk of death. 

In The Deathworlders, Earth is one such planet. Humans just don't know any different because we've never lived anywhere else. Those species that have achieved interstellar travel on the other hand consider it impossible for sapient life to evolve on deathworlds, so when humanity shows up they are justifiably terrified of us. To them, we are monsters: Impervious to their weapons, strong enough to tear them limb from limb and capable of near-impossible feats of endurance. And that's to say nothing of the devastating bacterial and fungal plagues we carry naturally on our skin, nor our fierce intellect and contagious memes.

The oldest and most powerful interstellar civilizations count us as the gravest threat they have ever faced, and so mankind barely have time to set foot on the galactic stage before we find ourselves embroiled in a deadly fight for survival...A fight in which all our natural advantages may not be enough.

Who is Hambone?

My real name is Philip R. Johnson. I was born and raised in Carmarthenshire in Wales, UK and I graduated with a BEng in Computer Games Design from Staffordshire University in 2009 after which I spent several years working as a medical clerk and typist. I began writing as a hobby when I was a child, and I was one of those kids with a bedroom that was mostly bookshelf.

So far so boring. But in 2011 I wrote a one-shot HFY short story about a man named Kevin Jenkins and his alien friend Kirk, which I published anonymously on 4chan.org/tg/ 

The story enjoyed some positive reception before (so I thought) sinking without trace in the manner of pretty much anything posted anonymously on 4chan. It wasn't until two years later that, on a slow day browsing Reddit at work, I dropped into r/HFY and discovered to my surprise that my forgotten short story was actually pretty popular.

I promptly wrote a sequel. 

Then the sequel got a continuation...and several successor chapters. Then before I knew it I was 22 chapters in and writing a 112,500 word monster called "Warhorse" and it became apparent that I'd managed to jump on a wild horse's back and was now stuck there for better or worse.

My readers encouraged me to monetize the series and...here we are.

How will your patronage help?

With your support, The Deathworlders has become my career!

It's been a long and tough journey, but I am now able to work full-time from home as an author thanks to your support and kindness, and I am devoting the time this affords me to producing not also the best story I can, but others as well. This has been the realization of a life goal for me, and I will not be squandering this humbling opportunity.

It's my hope going forward to recompile the early chapters of the story into a hard-copy book format. I am also working on a children's novel which explores similar themes, which I intend to publish via more traditional channels.

Other projects in the works include a pen-and-paper RPG set in the Deathworlders universe, which I aim to publish, and who-knows-what-else.  

Obviously these books will require artwork and design details to really bring the setting to life, and so further contributions will help me realize these projects in greater quality, and sooner. I also intend to begin commissioning artwork for merchandising purposes.

In the meantime, patrons of "Squishy Xeno" tier and higher are welcome to join me on Discord, where I'll be hanging out most days ready to answer questions or just chat. You'll need to link your Discord profile to your Patreon account by going to your account settings page: The bot will do the rest.

Art Credit and special thanks
Endless thanks to Sam Pipes whose excellent artwork graces the top of this page.

Finally and most importantly, I must give special mention to my deplorable friend ctwelve. His insight, guidance, encouragement, contributions and support have been beyond invaluable in helping me literally realize a dream, and this small paragraph is in no way sufficient to repay him.
$4,086.38 of $4,800 per month

I have to be honest guys, I have no idea what I could possibly do with any further stretch goals. If anybody has any suggestions, please do share them.
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