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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: 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: 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!