We did it! Marsh is funded! Not just that, but so was all of this:
- ✨$750✨ funded! — Special hardcover edition of Marsh
- ✨$1,000✨ funded! — Short stories by other authors surrounding the events of Marsh will be included either as interludes or in a separate volume, turning the book into an anthology of sorts
- ✨$1,250✨ funded! — A Post-Self TTRPG module surrounding the events of the book, released alongside it
- ✨$1,500✨ funded! — Ask., a collection of stories in the form of responses from the Ode clade to questions asked by those who have not uploaded, inspired by (and using many of) the audience questions asked on cohost
- ✨$2,000✨ funded! — Post-Self themed stickers and bookplates
- ✨$2,500✨ funded! — Illustrations to accompany the book
- ✨$3,000✨ funded! — A full audiobook version of Marsh
- ✨$3,500✨ funded! — Motes Played, a new Post-Self novella (already written!) about the Ode clade to be published as a paperback
All money raised above $3,500 ($255 as of close) is set to be distributed among the authors writing for the anthology.
As with the Mitzvot Kickstarter, I would like to write a small post-mortem for the whole experience, because, as before, I am completely overwhelmed by the response to this campaign.
I began with the same goal of $500. While the Mitzvot Kickstarter proved to me that there was a demand for another book in the Post-Self cycle, I was not sure, with how definitively Mitzvot (and especially “Selected Letters”) wrapped that up, how much demand there would be about a book not about the Odists and their travails. Yes, Dry Grass is a somewhat major character, and yes, themes of the eighth stanza’s work do arise in the story, but it is not about them.
The Odists, with very few exceptions, are skunks, you see. Even the ones who are not shaped like skunks (especially the ones who are not shaped like skunks) are skunks. One of the joys of the setting is that, by virtue of its metafurry nature, those who are furries remain furries, even when they are shaped like humans.
The Marshans, however, are not. This is a story about identity, yes, but it is not a furry story. A large chunk of the audience for Post-Self — prior to the last quarter of 2023, I would say nearly all — is furry. They are here for the shitty foxes and wicked/tragic skunks and the weasels the have a not-so-subtle crush on. I worried that perhaps writing a non-furry story would limit the appeal to an audience that loves furries.
This was a conscious goal of mine, in a way. I was starting to feel limited by writing within furry, and I wanted to increase appeal to a wider audience. I was in my MFA program and felt a pressure to write MFA Stuff™. Very heady, lyric essay type stuff. Of course, when I got there, one of the other students was writing a novel about baseball and sex, and the other was writing a YA book about magical girls. Ah well. I am still proud of my thesis, for which I may also seek publication.
Towards the end of 2023, however, the tone started to shift. I will attribute much of this to two factors. The first is the engagement with Post-Self on cohost ratcheted up significantly. It turns out that queer people escaping toxic environments vibe with a story surrounding a bunch of queer people escaping toxic environments.
The second is that my partner, The Lament system, rapidly latched onto the setting in general and the Odists in particular for informing eir various identities (ey has added A Finger Pointing, Warmth In Fire, No Longer Myself, and True Name as headmates since diving into the setting). Ey also finally nudged me over the cliff and into plurality, myself, something which has been coming since before ally.
Post-Self has always found appeal for plural and median systems, and many of those within the Discord server would describe themselves as such (many even adopting ‘clade’ in place of ‘system’ for themselves).
As such, Post-Self saw a boom in popularity and reach, and it was perhaps misguided of me to maintain that assumption that a less furry book would not find a place.
The Marsh Kickstarter once more found success within the first few minutes, and the first three stretch goals were met by the end of the first day, and I added stretch goals to $2,500 by January 2nd, and again in the last few days, with the two most exciting being an audiobook of Marsh and an additional novella, Motes Played.
I offered rewards for:
- The Marsh ebook, paperback, and hardcover
- The Post-Self cycle in ebook, paperback, and hardcover
- The Motes Played ebook and paperback
- A Post-Self TTRPG module based on the events of Marsh
- Stickers and bookplates
- One’s name in the credits, with a personalized message at the higher tiers.
All in all, it was invigorating and refreshing to see how well this all went. The rest of my life is a bit of a shitshow now, so having something go as well as this is really comforting.
Over the last week of December and the first two weeks of January, I hammered out a novella surrounding And We Are The Motes In The Stage-Lights of the Ode clade, an exploration of childhood sys-side.
This was written on a whim after a conversation with The Lament during a long drive. We had been talking about what sorts of taboos might remain sys-side and why. In a queer-normative society, what remains transgressive? Is there a reason for it not being accepted? How does that play out amongst the cladists?
The obvious example is that of intraclade relationships, a taboo that only started loosening up after True Name’s 98.14% successful assassination in 2350. This was mentioned briefly in Nevi’im and more in depth in “Selected Letters” as Serene winds up in a relationship with the Dear ‘cule on Pollux. I wanted to explore it more directly, though, and so the relationship that existed in protocanon between Beholden To The Heat Of The Lamps and Time Is A Finger Pointing At Itself was elevated to canon, and the complication of a family dynamic within a clade was added on top of that.
It was super fun to write and a very worthwhile experience. It was also something that I was not planning on doing much with beyond posting the story as a bit of canon writing to Post-Self site in the stories section, maybe release as an ebook on the Itch.io store. It was already done, after all, and has even already been edited and read by several of those on the Discord.
This, however, was an opportunity to push that a bit further and get it pulled together into a full paperback, complete with a cover. I am really excited to have the chance to do that! Even though, as a novella, it will be much shorter than the other Post-Self books, and even though it follows along from Mitzvot in such a way as to require having read the cycle, I still hope that folks will enjoy it.