Athena's Daughters, Day 3: A Print, A Preview, and Even More Stretch Goals!

To everyone who has contributed to or shared about our Kickstarter project -- thank you so much for your support! We could not do this without you!

To recap: if you have pledged at the $5 level and up, here's what you're now getting, in addition to any items you've specifically pledged for:

  • a digital copy of the Athena's Daughters anthology
  • an email from one of our authors, personally thanking you for your contribution
  • a digital copy of Danielle Ackley McPhail's novel The Halfling's Court
  • a digital copy of Gail Z. Martin's short story bundle (including Buttons, Vanities, and Steer A Pale Course.)
  • and a digital download of Maggie Allen's album Last Call, recorded with her band Naked Singularity!

The image at the top of this post is an original commission by artist Ginger Breo. Because we hit the $9000 mark yesterday, this beautiful piece featuring the goddess Athena will now be available for purchase as a print!

Right now, we are $300 away from unlocking our next stretch goal. In my last post, I told you about the fabulous NisiShawl, whose story will be included in our anthology once we hit the $11,000 mark. Below is an excerpt of one of her other stories, as well as a link to a second Kickstarter anthology in which she's currently featured, Steampunk World.

This is from Nisi's short story "Black Betty" :

For the first three human years of her life, Betty was black. The Fraziers took possession of Betty when she was a mere pup, freshly weaned from her mother’s satiny nipples. They raised her on kibble they kept in a garbage can locked in a shed. Low-grade stuff compared to what she was fed later, but they doctored it with pot liquor and bacon drippings and added table scraps when those were available. The Fraziers were good people.

“That dog oughta be talkin,” proclaimed Mizz Millie, their alpha. “Beagles sure is smart. Lookit how her eyes followin up our conversation!” Mizz Millie was far less mobile than the rest of the pack, but they all submitted to her anyway. How and why this happened was one of the many things Betty studied. She observed everything about the Fraziers and later integrated it all, every scent and sound and sight and sensation.

Mizz Millie spent those three years either in her bed or seated – depending on the weather – next to the warm fire or the open window. She hardly ever went outside. She had the wisest hands, and Betty loved her with all her cheek, chin, and belly.

Betty often wished she could talk; it would have been a way to prove her loyalty to Mizz Millie and thus to the Frazier pack. But at that time she had not yet been modded...

Read more here.

Nisi isn't the only author we'll be adding once we pass the $11,000 stretch goal mark. We are also adding a story by talented newcomer TanyaSpackman, an excerpt of which is below:

Amaia was relieved to finally find a bit of peace as she dressed her mother’s body at the funeral home. She’d been dreading this moment, but as she, and two women from her mother’s church, moved the body back and forth to maneuver the fabric of the clothes in place, the heavy ache crushing her chest lifted. For the first time in several days, she didn’t wish she too was dead. The only words spoken were absolutely necessary.

“Pull towards you and I’ll move it down.”

“Can you help me lift?”

Otherwise, it was quiet, and the three women moved silently to complete the task. Once her mother was dressed, the other two women gave Amaia a hug and left the room. She’d already said goodbye, but couldn’t help one more kiss on her mother’s cold cheek. The kiss felt empty and she regretted it. She said a quiet thank you to the funeral director waiting outside the door and left.


7 April 2015 From: Omar Gray, JPL/NASA To: Megan Keelan, JPL/NASA

Megan, check out the attached files. Hiromi was spot on with those gravity measurements. This thing is huge. Alex’s calculations say 2700 km in diameter. It has got to be a D-type. Course is a little iffy right now, but it’s going to be close fly-by. Give us a couple more days for an accurate course. Likely close enough for tidal effects, at least.

Megan, this is a scary one. Might want to pass it up the chain ASAP.

VR, Omar

Omar Gray, PhD Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex (760) 555-4774


Thank you guys again for supporting this project. You are the ones who funded this anthology and helped make it possible. With your help, we can continue to make it even better! Keep spreading the word!