The Reclamation Project — Year One
“The humans were amazing, in their day. Our world is layered over theirs, and the bones of the old one still poke through. On a clear morning you can see what’s left of one of their cities out in the bay… Huge buildings, tens or hundreds of stories high, standing precarious and mostly-uninhabitable, their flooded streets under twenty feet of water. But the humans’ day has passed. Oh, there’s still a few of them out there, trying to take back the world they squandered. But without claws? Without fur? Without scent? Heh. Good luck to ‘em.”
The Reclamation Project is an anthology of furry stories in a shared world, a fantasy setting of a post-cataclysmic but ultimately optimistic future. Drawing elements from solarpunk, sword and sorcery/sword and planet, and super-science adventure tales, The Reclamation Project tells the story of this future world by focusing on the stories of the furs who live in it. It is intended to be the first in a series.
Casablanca Meets Thundarr: The Barbarian
…With a Touch of Studio Ghibli
The world of Reclamation is designed to provide a wide variety of avenues for storytelling.
- Intrigue? Every community on the planet is a world to itself, isolated by geography, species, or old rivalries and competition for resources. The Reclamation Project — a handful of high-technology human enclaves who seek to establish order from their floating cities — are either benevolent unifiers or thieving tyrants, depending on who you ask.
- Beauty? This is a world of skyscrapers overrun by kudzu, of pearlescent-skinned airfish floating in the twilight mists, and dragonflies the size of a bus. A thousand different intelligent species, uplifted to sapience during a lost age, come together, mingle, fall in love, and build communities with unique and vibrant cultures.
- Mystery? How the world of Reclamation came to be is not entirely known, even by those who study it the most diligently. A great dark age between the Days of High Humanity and the beginnings of the Reclamation Project has left tantalizing clues and rampant speculation, but precious little proof.
- Weird powers and wild action? Reclamation is a world of superscience that can be indistinguishable from magic. Reclamation Teams and desperate treasure-hunters explore ancient and crumbling vaults for lost technology, under the order of AI hiveminds. Slavers and bandit kings carve out petty kingdoms and form nation-alliances in the hopes of competing with or one day even taking the fight to the Reclamation Project.
How Does a Shared-World Anthology Work?
If your story is accepted for Reclamation, you grant us (The Gneech and FurPlanet) permanent but non-exclusive rights to include that story and any characters or elements you’ve created for it into the Reclamation setting and derivative works, and those elements thus become available to other creators also working in the Reclamation setting. You still own the character or element and may create works of your own with those things that do not reference the Reclamation setting.
Think of it like Into the Spider-Verse: if you write us a story about a cheetah bounty hunter named Javenar, then Javenar will always be part of Reclamation and other writers will also be able to use her in their stories, but we own A Javenar, not THE Javenar. The point is to build a sandbox with lots of cool elements for creators to play with.
This model was inspired by the Thieves’ World series by Robert Lynn Asprin. If you’re familiar with how that works, you’re good to go.
If the description above piques your interest, check out the abridged Setting Bible for more details! The setting is still in its early stages and a lot is in flux — this is your chance to put in a definitive stamp! You can also e-mail me with questions or to request access to the “living document” version we’re using for production.
Story Requirements and Submission Guidelines
Submission Deadline: August 31, 2019
What We’re Looking For
We’re looking for excellent general audience, furry stories that fit into the themes and aesthetics described above. There is a “setting bible” that your story will have to conform to before its final inclusion in the story. We are eager to hear from diverse voices and LGBTQA+ perspectives.
Danger, adventure, romance, all of these are terrific elements! But we are not looking for erotica and fair warning, your editor is squeamish so extreme violence is a good way to get your story rejected. Do not include rape or explicit torture scenes of any kind.
Humans are an important element of Reclamation but even in stories in which they may be ascendant or victorious, they are supporting characters. Furries should be your protagonist characters and the stars of the show.
The Themes and Aesthetics
Rebirth, regrowth, integration, transformation, adventure, building a new world from the bones of the old. Hope in the face of difficult challenges. Gonzo ’70s Van Art Craziness. Your story does not need all of these — although that would probably be a wild ride — but it should definitely have some!
I’m Not Sure My Story Will Fit!
If you have confidence that it’s a good story and are willing to make it fit, submit it! If you are absolutely wracked with indecision, query with a synopsis.
Please send submissions as an attached .doc, .docx, or .rtf file in Standard Manuscript Format to himself at gneech.com with a subject line that reads: SUBMISSION: “Story Title” – word count. (For an example of Standard Manuscript Format, see this essay by William Shunn. For help with writing a cover letter, check out this excellent advice from Strange Horizons.)
- Length: Between 2,000 and 18,000 words. Query if longer or shorter. We tend to prefer stories between 4,000 and 10,000 words.
- Multiple Submissions: Keep it reasonable; two or three stories at a time is probably okay; ten isn’t.
- Reprints: Yes, but include information about where the story was previously published and be sure you retain the rights. We’re more interested in stories that will be new to the majority of our audience, and you must be willing to revise to the setting bible if necessary.
- Simultaneous Submissions: No. If you send a story to us, please don’t send it anywhere else until you hear back from us.
- Response Time: You should get at least some kind of response within 8 weeks of submission, in order to have time for access to the setting bible and any necessary revisions.
- Payment: 1/2 cent per word and one contributor’s copy.*
- Deadline: August 31st, 2019
- Expected Release Date: December, 2019
*While mainstream sf/f/h markets may pay higher rates, 1/2 cent per word is currently standard in the furry genre. Hopefully, it will be possible to increase the standard rate in the future. For now, keep in mind that publishing in Reclamation does use up a story’s first rights; subsequent publications of the story would only be reprints, which are not accepted by most markets and often receive lower pay rates when they are. As discussed above, acceptance of your story does also assign permanent non-exclusive rights to use the elements of your story in future projects in the Reclamation setting.