Sunday, November 2, 2014

2015 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

Dreaming Robot Press has a great project up on Kickstarter and I'm proud to be a part of it. My story, "The Journey of a Thousand Miles", written as C.J. Daring is included. 

I've written plenty of stories for my children but, in truth, most of my work is not intended for a younger audience. The 2015 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, though, is perfect for our youngsters who want to travel in time, explore mysterious hidden realms and travel to the distant worlds. It's more than a little exciting to be a part of this anthology, let me tell you. A science fiction anthology parents, teachers and librarians can actually recommend to their middle graders with confidence. 

Below I've copied part of the Kickstarter campaign complete with the pitch video but don't let that stop you from from visiting the campaign page. The 2015 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide needs to help to be the best anthology it can be and blaze the trail for future editions that our children can enjoy and use as their own inspiration and stepping stone to the stars.

Science Fiction for a Middle Grade Audience. An anthology to bring the stars to a new generation!

Sally Ride, first woman in space and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, famously said:

“Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.”

Girls need to read stories where any number of possible roles are modeled for them. Just as importantly, boys need to read stories where girls are active participants in adventures. And children of all colors and backgrounds need to know the future includes them.

According to a 2011 study of 6,000 children’s books, only 31 percent had central female characters, and even fewer featured main characters of color.

A genre that’s supposed to inspire us towards a bright future isn’t making space for half the population’s dreams. Boys go and have adventures, girls are to be defended, or prizes to be won, and the landscape is very, very white.

It’s time for a bigger universe.

We've got a great collection of 20 stories from amazing authors, ranging from Nebula and Hugo winners to relative newcomers to the field. 90% of the stories in the anthology are brand new, and 80% have central female characters. We don't have girls who are prizes to be won or waiting to be rescued. All of our heroines and heroes are on their own adventure, not a side note in someone else's. Our characters are white, black, asian, latino. Human and robot. Everyone belongs here.

Marilag Angway started her foray into science fiction and fantasy sometime in the early ’90s by reading books written by females for females. She had no idea that these books were far and few at the time, and feels lucky to have had the opportunity to be inspired by female authors to think big and never stop imagining. When she isn’t scribbling her mind away, she’s lending what brainpower she has left to a good cause: the molding of preschool minds. Gotta start them young, right? You can find Marilag’s bookish and writing and randomy ramblings at

Deanna Baran lives in Texas and is a librarian and former museum curator. She writes in between cups of tea, playing Go, and trading postcards with people around the world.

Mike Barretta is a retired U.S. Naval Aviator who currently works for a defense contractor as a pilot. He holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Planning and International Negotiation from the Naval Post-Graduate School and a Master’s in English from the University of West Florida. His wife, Mary, to whom he has been married to for 23 years, is living proof that he is not such a bad guy once you get to know him. His stories have appeared in Baen’s Universe, Redstone, New Scientist, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and various anthologies.

Eric Del Carlo's short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Shimmer, Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds and many other venues. He has written novels with Robert Asprin, published by Ace Books and DarkStar Books. His latest novel, an emotionally charged urban fantasy entitled The Golden Gate Is Empty, which he wrote with his father Vic, is forthcoming from White Cat Publications. Eric lives in his native California. Find him on Facebook for comments or questions.

Salena Casha's work has appeared in over 30 publications. She was a finalist for the 2013-2014 Boston Public Library’s Children’s Writer-in-Residence and a 2011 Bread Loaf Scholarship Recipient in Fiction. Her first three picture books were published by MeeGenius Books. One of them, titled Nuwa and the Great Wall, was featured in the 2014 PBS Summer Learning Project for kids. When not writing, she can be found editing math books, carving pumpkins and travelling the world. Check out her website at

Ron Collins’ work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Analog, Asimov’s, and Nature. This summer saw the publication of Four Days in May, a short collection of stories set in and around the Indianapolis 500 written in collaboration with John C. Bodin. Of “Goliath vs. Robodog,” he writes: “It’s interesting to imagine everything robots will be able to do in the not-so-distant future, but sometimes it’s too easy to overlook things that really matter.” You can find more about Ron at

Cory Cone lives, works and writes in Baltimore, MD. He studied painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he met and married his wife. He now works full time at the college and writes strange fiction in the evenings. His website is, and you can follow him on Twitter, @corycone.

C.J. Daring, alter-ego of the evil William R.D. Wood, lives in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in an old farmhouse turned backwards to the road. C.J Daring pens works of mystery and adventure for readers of all ages. Some are set in the far reaches of space. Some in the murkiest depths of time. And sometimes, when you’re not looking, maybe even your own back yard! Check in and see what coming next at

Anne E. Johnson lives in Brooklyn. Dozens of her short stories for young readers can be found in publications such as Spaceports & Spidersilk, Jack & Jill, Red Squirrel, and Rainbow Rumpus. Her middle-grade paranormal novel, Ebenezer’s Locker, was published by MuseItUp. Candlemark & Gleam is publishing her series of humorous science fiction novels, The Webrid Chronicles, and they will also release her YA adventure novel, Space Surfers, in 2015. Learn more about Anne at her website,

Brigid Collins Kendall is an author living in Michigan with her husband, Nick, and their cat, Brooke. She writes mainly works of fantasy and science fiction. She has written and published two novels, with her third due to be published this fall. Two of her short stories will be appearing in Fiction River late in 2014, and she has achieved Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest. She also enjoys music, video games, and copious quantities of stuffed animals. Brigid Collins has a blog at and can be contacted through that site, as well as through her twitter account, @purellian

Amy Griswold has written two gaslamp fantasy/mystery novels with Melissa Scott, Death by Silver and A Death at the Dionysus Club (Lethe Press) and has short stories forthcoming in several anthologies. She also writes Stargate Atlantis tie-in novels for Fandemonium Books. She lives in North Carolina with her partner and daughter, and works as an educational testing content specialist. Find her online at, or follow her on Twitter at @amygris.

Jeanne Kramer-Smyth has been writing since she first got her hands on a typewriter at age 9. Since then she has worked as a software developer, traveled the world, and written poetry. She is currently an archivist by day and a writer, glass artist and fan of board games by night. She has studied fiction writing with both Judith Tarr and Mary Robinette Kowal. She especially enjoys fantasy, science-fiction, YA, and historical fiction. She lives in Maryland with her husband, son, sister-in-law, and cat. You can find her online at

Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-three books, including twenty-six novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. Her work has won five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Most recent works are After The Fall, Before The Fall, During The Fall (Tachyon, 2012), a novel of apocalypse, and Yesterday’s Kin, about genetic inheritance (Tachyon, 2014). In addition to writing, Kress often teaches at various venues around the country and abroad; in 2008 she was the Picador visiting lecturer at the University of Leipzig. Kress lives in Seattle with her husband, writer Jack Skillingstead, and Cosette, the world’s most spoiled toy poodle. Visit her website at

A champion of NaNoWriMo, Vanessa MacLellan is an avid reader of anything with pizazz. Words have been her companions since she was ten, forcing atrocious adverbs upon her mother. Her fantasy novel, Three Great Lies, has recently been accepted by Hadley Rille Books and is scheduled for release in the winter of 2015. She’s had three short stories published by online magazines. When not in the office or writing, she bird watches and hikes. Vanessa can be found at

Phoebe North lives in upstate New York with her husband, her daughter, and her cat. She is the author of Starglass and Starbreak, a science fiction duology from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Find her online at

Angela Penrose lives in Seattle with her husband, five computers, and some unknown number of books, which occupy most of the house. She writes in several genres, but F&SF is her first love. She likes writing for anthologies for the variety, and the challenge of writing to a theme; this is her fourth anthology sale. You can find her at

A Nebula Award winner and Hugo nominee, Eric James Stone has been published inYear’s Best SF, Analog, and elsewhere. Eric is a Writers of the Future winner, graduate of Orson Scott Card’s writing workshop, and assistant editor at Intergalactic Medicine Show. Eric lives in Utah. His website is

Sonja Thomas, a recovering CPA, writes for children of all ages, from humorous middle grade to young adult fantasy to adult horror. Raised in Central Florida (the wonderful world of Disney, humidity and hurricanes) and transplanted to DC for 11 years (go Nats!), she’s now ‘keeping it weird’ in Portland, OR. To stay sane she dances, doodles and plays with furry, four-legged friends. You may even hear her belt out an awesome Xena yodel. Visit her at or follow her on twitter @bysonjathomas.

Deborah Walker grew up in the most English town in the country, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration or on her blog: Her stories have appeared in Nature’s Futures, Cosmos and Daily Science Fiction and The Year’s Best SF 18.

Jeannie Warner spent her formative years in Southern California and Colorado, and is not afraid to abandon the most luxurious environs for a chance to travel anywhere. She has a useless degree in musicology, a checkered career in computer security, and aspirations of world domination. Her writing credits include blogs of random musings, thriller novel manuscripts, stories in Tightbeam online magazine, KnightBridge’s Rom Zom Com anthology, the Mad Scientist’s Journal, several police statements, and a collection of snarky notes to a former upstairs neighbor. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area near several of her best friends whom she refers to as “minions.”

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