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Aether Beyond the Binary: Final 48 Hours

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for our anthology Aether Beyond the Binary, featuring 17 stories of non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, bigender, and other outside-the-binary characters living in modern aetherpunk settings, has entered our final two days of funding! And we’ve crossed our funding goal (after a scare with a fake pledge that has made things…uh…interesting)!!

It’s not too late to get your copy of this awesome collection made by our very queer press by our very queer contributors. We wrap on January 25th at 9:35 a.m. Eastern time.

Learn more about Aether Beyond the Binary now by visiting the Kickstarter campaign, or read on for more info…

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology (two people of indeterminate gender doing science, one with a flower hovering over their hand, the other holding a tablet), the sky whale enamel pin (a green whale flying through a cloudy purple night sky, the non-binary symbol balancing from its mouth), the aether dux sticker (a duck with a blue mohawk, choker necklace and a harness securing crystal wings to their torso), the plant-watering robot holographic sticker (a cute flying robot watering a tropical potted plant), and the aether musician bookmark (a young white person playing the guitar, magical swirls in the non-binary pride colors dancing around them).

What would the Earth look like if the very atoms that compose the planet were suffused with magical aether? How would our lives in the modern world be different if this aether was discovered last year, or last decade, or last century, or last millennia? How might the people who inhabit this oh-so-different but still modern Earth explore their gender identities? These are the questions we posed to the 17 authors chosen to contribute to Duck Prints Press’s newest anthology Aether Beyond the Binary. Their diverse answers are bound together in this must-not-miss collection of stories about magical worlds, adventures and mysteries, new chances and well-earned endings, and characters as gender-diverse as the worlds they inhabit. 

Aether Beyond the Binary features 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words. We aim to publish it as an e-book (ePub and PDF), and to print it digest size, 5.5 in x 8.5 in (14 cm x 21.5 cm) in both trade paperback and hardcover formats. Aether Beyond the Binary also features a spectacular wrap-around cover by non-binary artist Mar Spragge; this will be printed as a lovely gloss dust jacket for the hardcover edition. 

Curious about the project? You can learn way more by visiting the campaign page or by checking out our other blog posts about it to learn more about our merch and contributors and read excerpts, creator interviews, and more:

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Aether Beyond the Binary Merch Spotlight: Bookmark

For our final Aether Beyond the Binary spotlight, we’re taking a peek at the campaign bookmark! This will be produced by UPrinting on sturdy paper with a gloss finish, and completed with a golden tassel. We’ve produced six past bookmarks with them, and they’ve all turned out gorgeous (you can see them all here).

A bookmark front showing a young white person playing a guitar. Magical swirls emanate from where they play. The colors resemble those on the non-binary flag.

The gorgeous campaign bookmark features art by non-binary artist Pippin Peacock, who has also done bookmark art to accompany our anthologies She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars. The color palette is inspired by the non-binary pride flag (yellow, white, purple, black) and the genderqueer pride flag (purple, white, green). The back will include the signatures of the anthology contributors: we can’t gather everyone together to get all 17 people to sign the book, but we CAN compile reproductions somewhere at least!

Close up on the aether musician:

A young white person of indeterminate gender playing a guitar. Magical swirls emanate from where their hand strums the strings.

For backers at the “+ Merch” backer levels of the Aether Beyond the Binary Kickstarter, this bookmark is included in what they’ll receive! It can also be added to any backer level that includes a physical item, so if you’re interested in ordering the book but don’t want all the merch, you can get just the book plus picking and choosing what you’d like!

In case you missed them, here are the other merchandise spotlights we’ve done for this campaign:

Become a Kickstarter backer today, and get an amazing book of stories starring outside-the-binary characters and a bunch of gorgeous merch! Win-win!

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Aether Beyond the Binary Merch Spotlight: Plant-Watering Bot

I’m now back from four days of con vending, and will be resuming our regular Aether Beyond the Binary crowdfunding campaign updates, highlighting the authors we’ve not yet spotlighted and the remaining merchandise. I’m thrilled with the progress of the campaign over the past few days; we’re now at 69% of our final goal, with 8 days to go – a promising position to be in.

Today we’re spending a little time with our adorable plant-watering bot. We love the entire cover created by Mar Spragge; it’s full of lovely details and magical vibes. The characters are vibrant and lively, and we couldn’t be happier with the entire cover.

But, from the moment we saw their sketches, we grew especially attached to one aspect in particular: this little guy.

Lineart of a cute robot, dome-shaped with little legs and a long spigot sticking out.

This lil plant-watering bot is just so cute, we were enchanted! So, of course we decided to feature it in the campaign merchandise. Specifically, you can get up to two options that incorporate this robot.

Holographic Sticker

A square from the back cover of the anthology Aether Beyond the Binary, showing a cute floating robot watering an array of potted tropical plants.

We’ll be producing a 4 in x 4 in/10.25 cm x 10.25 cm square sticker featuring the plants and the bot from the back. The materials for this will include a holographic rainbow shimmer, and it’s gonna make for a truly lovely effect. We can’t wait to see it in production.

You can get this lovely sticker by backing at Level 4 (TPB + Merch) or Level 5 (HC + Merch), or you can add one or more sticker to any order that includes any physical merch. So, make sure you get yours!

Patreon-Exclusive Key Chain

For our Patreon backers at level $10/month and $25/month who also support this campaign, we’ll also be producing this sweet little transparent key chain!

Lineart of a cute robot, dome-shaped with little legs and a long spigot sticking out. Shown with a silver key chain.

It’s not too late to get one of these key chains for yourselves – you can become a Duck Prints Press Patreon supporter anytime before the end of the campaign, and we’ll add the key chain to your order!

Come on over to Kickstarter and become a backer today to get yours! This campaign ends on January 25th, 2024.

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Aether Beyond the Binary Merchandise Spotlight: Sky-Whale Enamel Pin

Our most premium general merchandise offering for the crowdfunding campaign for Aether Beyond the Binary? None other than our lovely sky-whale enamel pin! Because the stories all feature outside-the-binary, non-binary, and genderqueer characters, we encouraged the artists we commissioned to look to the related Pride flags for color inspiration, and this is one of the results…

Artwork of a green whale flying among scattered clouds with a starry night sky behind. From the whales mouth dangles a chain connected to the non-binary gender symbol. This is the design for an enamel pin.

This awesome piece, which will have glitter in the sky in the background and the non-binary symbol attached as a free-dangling charm, was designed for Duck Prints Press by Atomic Pixies and continues our tradition of making absolutely awesome enamel work merchandise to accompany our anthologies.

Alchemy is our preferred enamelware manufacturer and we’ve had a strong relationship with them for three years, so we really trust them to make this pin awesome. 

The main body of the pin will be 2 in by 2 in (5 cm x 5 cm), the purple will be glittery, the chain will be a smidge shorter than depicted, the metal will be dark gold, and the color sections will be hard enamel.

Truly, honestly, we cannot WAIT to see this merch actually produced.

Want your own? All backers at Level 4 (Trade Paperback + Merch) and Level 5 (Hardcover + Merch) will receive this pin as part of their order. If you backed at a book-only level (2 or 3) you can also get your own as an add-on. Want one for a friend? You can add that on, too!

This campaign ends January 25th, 2024. Become a backer TODAY!

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Calling All Artists!

A graphic in shades of tan and brown, with a border made of ornate swirls. At the bottom, artwork shows two women in historical (19th century Western) clothing conversing on a couch. Text on the image reads: "Duck Prints Press seeks Artists to contribute to our forthcoming anthology A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice."

In celebration of January 1st, 2024, and Public Domain Day, Duck Prints Press is thrilled to announce that we are doing open recruitment for artists to contribute to our next fanfiction and fanart anthology A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”!

Are you an Austenite? Do you love Regency romance but lament how, well, straight most of it is? Do you wish Mary Bennett found a partner? Are you positive Charlotte Lucas deserved better? Do you pity Miss de Bourgh? Do you dream of Darcy and Bingley OT3s? Well you are NOT ALONE! We at Duck Prints Press are right there with you, and we’re here to say: this is your moment to shine! We want your wlw pairings, your new happy endings, your P&P ot3s and ot4s, your “but what if they’re trans,” your queer art and fanart inspired by this beloved story! This story has such a lovely main and supporting cast, the possibilities for taking Pride and Prejudice and MAKING IT QUEER are endless!

This is the third in our Queer Fanworks Inspired By… series, publishing legal fanfic and fanart inspired by popular works in the public domain. It builds on the success of our first two, And Seek (Not) to Alter Me (inspired by Much Ado About Nothing) and Aim For The Heart (inspired by The Three Musketeers). This is a paid arting opportunity; artists will be asked to complete one full-page (A4/210 mm x 297 mm), full-color piece, and we may have space for some artists to complete more than one page and/or short comics. Base pay is $50 per page, with the potential for raises up to $400 per page depending on our success during the eventual crowdfunding campaign.

Want to Learn More? OF COURSE YOU DO!

Ready to apply? YAY! Follow this link to the sign up form! Applications close at midnight, January 15, 2024!

Interested in writing for this anthology? Unfortunately, author applications are only open to writers already involved with Duck Prints Press. Sorry! If you’re on our private Discord server, be on the lookout for the announcement with sign-up forms there.

Interested in buying this anthology once it’s available? Make sure you follow us on social media and/or sign up for newsletter so you hear the latest!

Eager to see how this project develops, read sneak peeks and see art previews, and more? Back us on Patreon! Patrons also selected this anthology theme – you can have a say in our future anthology themes, too, just by backing us at any level!

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Aether Beyond the Binary: The First 24 Hours!

The wrap-around cover for the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The front cover part is on the right of this image, and shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed. The back cover portion, here on the left, shows a small flying robot watering potted tropical plants.

The Kickstarter campaign for Duck Prints Press’s sixth anthology, Aether Beyond the Binary, featuring 17 stories of people outside the gender binary inhabiting, exploring, living, learning, growing, and changing in modern aetherpunk settings, launched yesterday, and we’ve had a great first 24 hours!

  • 79 backers
  • $4,917 in support
  • 36% of the way to our funding goal

We’re really excited about the early enthusiasm this collection has generated and wanted to send a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has signal boosted, shared, liked, and supported our social media platforms, and an even HUGER T.H.A.N.K. Y.O.O.O.O.U to the people who’ve backed.

We’ve got 29 days left to raise the other 64% of the money we need to make this project a reality. That’s still a ways to go – so please do keep helping us spread the word, and don’t forget, if you’re planning to back but haven’t yet, that you should follow the campaign page to ensure you get a reminder before it ends! We’ll only make merch to sales (we usually have some extra but not lots!) so if there’s something you want, you need to make sure to back!

Here’s to the next 24 hours getting us even closer to our funding minimum…

(and don’t forget: people who back the Kickstarter campaign and also support us at the $10/month or $25/month level on Patreon get an exclusive extra – for this campaign, that’ll be an adorable acrylic key chain of the plant-watering robot in the image above! That lil fella has definitely become our unofficial campaign mascot, we all love him and we hope you do too! Mar Spragge really hit the cover art out of the park.)

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Back the Aether Beyond the Binary Kickstarter Campaign!

The cover for the anthology "Aether Beyond the Binary, A Duck Prints Press Anthology." The image shows two people of indeterminate gender standing side by side. One has light skin (white, Asian, or Latine are the most likely races), short white hair, brown eyes, and wears multiple earrings, a brown shirt, and white overalls. They have one hand raised and in that hand they wear a green glove, and above the glove, a blooming bluebell plant hovers in the air. Beside them is a Black person with long dreads and glasses. They have a single piercing, and they were a blue shirt and also wear the same white overalls. Their hands are gloved in green, and they carry a glowing tablet. Plants in the foreground block the view of these people from the waist up. Behind them, light swirls in shades of green and teal, with occasional sparkling stars interspersed.

Duck Prints Press is thrilled to announce that the crowdfunding campaign for science-fantasy gender-diverse sixth anthology Aether Beyond the Binary is now live on Kickstarter!

The core concept of Aether Beyond the Binary is simple and compelling: create intriguing main characters outside the gender binary and set them loose to explore the modern world twisted or barely changed, enhanced or destroyed by magical aether. This power source may replace technology, supplement it, or oppose it. These characters may be agender, genderfluid, bigender, or any other non-binary identity. The thread that these tales share is exploration: of the world around them and of the self. We propose no conclusions; instead, we demonstrate how far-reaching the questions are and how expansive the range of possible answers can be, thereby broadening the discussion about the nature of gender and the place of genderqueer characters in science-fantasy fiction. We hope you’ll join us to explore the endless possibilities of these magical worlds.

This anthology includes 17 stories, each up to 7,500 words, by our diverse fancreators-turned-original-fiction-authors, gorgeous artwork by Mar Spragge, Pippin Peacock, Alessa Riel, and Atomic Pixies, amazing merchandise, and awesome add-on extras.

A graphic entitled "Aether Beyond the Binary." It shows the cover of the anthology, the sky whale enamel pin, the aether dux sticker, the plant-watering robot holographic sticker, and the aether musician bookmark.

Looking for the perfect post-holiday purchase? Look no further! Get awesome, gorgeous stuff, a fantastic, erudite book, and support queer indie publishing – become a backer of the Aether Beyond the Binary crowdfunding campaign TODAY!

Campaign ends January 25th, 2024.

Patreon backers who support the crowdfunding campaign can also get an excellent extra: the adorable plant-watering backer as a key chain! So there’s no time like the present to back us on Patreon, too!

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Gorgeous Merchandise to Accompany an Awesome Anthology!

Graphic labeled "Meet the Aether Beyond the Binary Merchandise." It shows a book cover for the Aether Beyond the Binary anthology, and then four other labeled images:
"Hologram Plant-Watering Robot Sticker (art by Mar Spragge)": a floating robot watering tropical plants.
"Aether Music Magic Bookmark (art by Pippin Peacock)": a white person playing the guitar with magical swirls coming from where their hands strum.
"Non-Binary Sky Whale Enamel Pin (art by Atomic Pixies)": a green whale flying before a purple sky and clouds and yellow stars. A chain with a non-binary symbol charm dangles from its mouth.
"Aether Dux Sticker (art by Alessa Riel)": a duck, their wings spread, with a blue mohawk and crystals where their wing feathers would be.
Text at the bottom reads: Kickstarter launches in FOUR DAYS! Follow our Pre-Launch Page TODAY!"

It wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press crowdfunding campaign if we didn’t have super cool merchandise to accompany our spectacular anthology of outside-the-binary characters exploring aetherpunk worlds, Aether Beyond the Binary. We worked with some really awesome creators this time, and we’re so excited to share the art they’ve done and the merch we’ll be making with it!

  • Hologram Plant-Loving Robot Sticker: this adorable plant-watering bot graces the back cover of the wrap-around cover by Mar Spragge, and they and the plants they’re watering will sparkle and shine on this rectangular, shimmery, holographic sticker. 4 in x 4 in/10.25 cm x 10.25 cm. (Printed by Vograce)
  • Aether Music Magic Bookmark: this lovely glossy bookmark features artwork by Pippin Peacock on the front and the signatures of the contributors to Aether Beyond the Binary on the back. 2 in x 7 in/5 cm x 17.75 cm. (Printed by UPrinting)
  • Aether Dux Die-Cut Sticker: it wouldn’t be a Duck Prints Press anthology without a custom Dux designed by Alessa Riel. Dux is our non-binary company mascot, and for this campaign they’re decked out with crystals and machinery and ready for aether flight. 3 in x 3 in/7.5 cm x 7.5 cm. (Printed by Vograce)
  • Non-Binary Sky Whale Enamel Pin: this lovely pin depicts a celestial whale moving through a starscape, with the non-binary gender sign dangling by a chain from they’re mouth. The artwork for this pin is by Atomic Pixies. 2 in x 2 in/5 cm x 5 cm. (Manufactured by Alchemy)
  • BONUS MERCHANDISE! That adorable plant-loving robot? We’ll be making it into a key chain as our Patron-exclusive extra! All $10/month and $25/month patrons who also back the campaign will get this cutie to hang from their keys!

Our campaign, which launches on December 26th 2023 (four days from when this post goes up – soooooon!) will include backer levels with all this merch, and also pick-and-choose add-on options. We’re also offering a trade paperback AND a premium hardcover edition of this book – our first anthology published as a hardcover! There’s loads of other add-ons too – our past anthologies (as e-books or in print!), a short story bundle of works by Aether Beyond the Binary contributors, 5 (FIVE!!!) of the adorable dux plushies by EmpowerFantasy Plush, one-of-a-kind wands by Alessa Riel, and more.

We’re days away from launch – follow our pre-launch page and get notified when the campaign goes live!

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Small Business Saturday SALE on duckprintspress.com!

A text graphic over a watercolor-esque background of light rainbow shades. The text reads: This Saturday, November 25th, celebrate Small Business Saturday. Below this text is the American Express 'Shop Small' logo, then the word at, then the Duck Prints Press Logo that reads Duck Prints Press, is edged on the left and bottom by duck prints in rainbow shades, has the Press duck mascot Dux standing on the right, and includes the Press slogan 'We Print Diversity' at the bottom. Additional text below this reads: Newsletter Subscribers will receive a Coupon for 25% off their entire purchase made on November 25th!

This Saturday, November 25th, is Small Business Saturday! Looking to shop small this holiday season? Check out Duck Prints Press, the fan-created independent small press that publishes the (usually extremely queer) original work of fanauthors and fanartists. We’ve got great gifts for the queer book lover in your life, including anthologies, short stories, merchandise, and more. And, of course, we’ve got lots of adorable merch featuring our adorable Dux mascot, too!

What have we got? Well, what are you looking for?? We have…

A graphic over a background of rainbow colors in watercolor splotches. Text at the top reads: Now available at duckprintspress.com/shop. Below this is an array if items with accompany labels: "art prints" with two examples, "Print books" with DPP anthologies "He Bears the Cape of Stars," "She Wears the Midnight Crown," and "And Seek (Not) to Alter Me," "Shirts" with three examples, two of which are t-shirts and one of which is a hoodie, "Stickers and Magnets" with a citrus slice with rainbow segments and a Dux with a mustache, devil horns, devil tail, and trident, and "Enamel Pins" with an owl, raccoon, crow, fox, moose, and wolf pin, and also a woman in a crown and a man in a cape. At the bottom of the graphic, text reads "...and MORE!"

BEST YET?

All newsletter subscribers will receive a coupon good for 25% off their ENTIRE PURCHASE made this weekend! So if you’re not a subscriber yet, there’s no time like the present!

And while you’re at it, make sure you follow us on the social media platform(s) of your choice! Also, come read with us on our Book Lover’s Discord Server. Want to support indie queer publishing all year round? Back us on Patreon and get awesome rewards!

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Progress on Fulfillment for Duck Prints Press Crowdfunding Campaigns

We’ve got three crowdfunding campaigns currently in the midst of fulfillment, and we wanted to take a moment to post about our progress on each of them!

Aim For The Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers

Our most recent campaign on Kickstarter, to fund Aim For The Heart, ended on July 15th, 2023. After some print challenges revealed in the proof copy of the book, we had to make some fairly extensive tweaks to the manuscript, and getting that completely set has taken a fair amount of time. But we’re there now – the book is done and printed, and we’re just doing some final preparation on the e-book and backer data in anticipation of packing and shipping everyone’s orders this weekend, November 18th and 19th!


Many Drops Make a Stream by Adrian Harley

We were 100% on track to fulfill Many Drops Make a Stream orders within the next week or so…and then the enamel pins arrived, after 6 or so weeks in production, with an error that makes them undistributable (the poor tiger part of Droplet has no stripes on her back and hind legs!). Everything else for this campaign is ready to go, and the pin manufacturer has been very receptive to our issue and is rushing replacements for us, but we’re still at least a few weeks from having them even if they’re expedited – manufacturing enamel-ware takes time, and they have to ship from China.

That said, because we have everything else, we will be doing some distribution shortly: namely, for people who also backed Aim For The Heart, if we can save them shipping money by combining their orders, we will do so and refund the difference in shipping cost – combining the book shipping for these individuals, and then forwarding them their pins separately, will be a big savings for them.

For everyone else, we will prepare everything we can, and as soon as we have the pins we will distribute everything. If it looks like we will not have the pins before the December holidays start, we will send out everything BUT the pins, and send out pin orders alone subsequently. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we make sure that y’all get items of the quality and accuracy that you deserve!


To Drive the Hundred Miles by Alec J. Marsh

All of the merchandise for To Drive the Hundred Miles has arrived, and it looks great. We’re almost done repackaging it and preparing it for distribution. The proof of the book arrived last week, and we’ve reviewed it and made a few necessary tweaks; we re-submitted those files to the printer yesterday, and are awaiting their confirmation so we can sign off on production of the full print run. Once it’s in the print queue, our best guess is that it’ll be roughly two weeks before it arrives at our door. At that time, we’ll be able to get everyone’s pre-orders turned around pretty quickly.


Thank you everyone for your orders with us! We’re excited to bring all three of these large projects to a close, and get amazing books into all of your hands!

And keep your eyes open, because there’s more to come – the re-release of A. L. Heard’s Hockey Bois, revised and reprinted, will open for pre-orders on December 1st, and our next Kickstarter campaign for the anthology Aether Beyond the Binary will be launching on December 26th. We also expect to run a Kickstarter campaign in February for Tris Lawrence’s Twinned trilogy, and we’ve got more in the pipeline after that! So make sure you follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletters, back us on Patreon for sneak peeks and backer-exclusive extras, and leave us reviews on Goodreads or Storygraph!

Want one or more of these books, and/or the merchandise that goes with them, but missed out on the campaigns? Don’t despair – the books and leftover merch will become available during this coming winter! So be on the look out!