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Minireview: Help Fund My Robot Army!!!, edited by John Joseph Adams

Help Fund My Robot Army!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects is an anthology with some meta-levels involved: it’s about (improbable) fictional crowdfunding projects, and naturally enough it was funded via a Kickstarter. The basic premise is that each story is set in the same format as a Kickstarter pitch, with the same section organization (many of the tales are told via fictional “comments” or “updates” to the project). While there’s a bit of repetition in the themes, and while not all of the stories work well, there are some real gems here and overall it’s a very entertaining read.

The title story is about a mad scientist who is trying to fund a robot army (in order to take over the world, duh), and is dismayed that he doesn’t get the overwhelming support he expects. It’s a humorous tale, like are many others here, but not every tale ventures into humor. Some are quite creepy, some weird, and some are just great tales. My own favorite is Carmen Maria Machado’s “Help Me Follow My Sister Into the Land of the Dead”, which is an intense, small tale with some twists. There’s also a tale where Nosferatu tries to raise money in order to kill of all the sparkly vampires, which I approve of.

Good summer reading. It probably helps if you have backed at least one Kickstarter project before reading this, or at the very least are familiar with the concept and the service.

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