Kakistocracy Audiobook Now on Kickstarter

May 23, 2023

I’m back on Kickstarter today, seeking to fund the production of an audiobook version of my latest novel. It’s a smaller project but one that is both near and dear to my heart, and also risky. But, let me start at the beginning.

Almost exactly a year ago, my funny urban fantasy novel The Middling Affliction was published. The book has done pretty well. It sold out the first print run, received some excellent reviews, and my wonderful publisher Arc Manor/Caezik picked up the sequel. Kakistocracy, book 2 of the Conradverse Chronicles is due to be published on October 17, 2023.

The audio version of The Middling Affliction was published by Orange Sky, a division of Spotify. They selected a wonderful narrator and the audiobook sold pretty well. But, unfortunately, not well enough by huge publishing company metrics to pick up the sequel.

I love audiobooks. Most of my pleasure reading is done in that format, while I reserve my screen and paper book time for reading anthology submissions, books to be blurbed, etc. So, I really wanted an audiobook of Kakistocracy to exist. I don’t have the overhead of a major corporation and so I could get this done at an affordable rate and then have total control over the audiobook, which would allow me to give away copies, run promotions, and do all sorts of things I couldn’t pull off under the watchful eye of a responsible publisher (and their even-more-responsible accountants), such as posting the entire first chapter on YouTube for free.

I reached out to Patrick Boylan, a very talented stage and screen actor who narrated The Middling Affliction, and was thrilled to learn that he’s 100% on board to narrate the sequel! So now, my goal is to offset some of the production and marketing costs of this audiobook.

So, why is this project risky? Traditionally, audiobook-focused campaigns don’t do very well on Kickstarter. People love physical books (ebooks are nice, too!) whereas Kakistocracy has a traditional publisher who has been very supportive and I don’t want to do anything that will hurt their sales or preorders in any way whatsoever. If anything, I’m doing this because I believe controlling the audiobook rights will help me promote the series and generate future sales for both myself and for them. And—again—because I adore audiobooks and really want this to exist.

So, would you please head over to the new campaign page, check out the book promo video and consider supporting this project? I’ve made a lot of my past books available as rewards alongside the audiobook itself, of course. I’m also offering copies of my upcoming 2023 anthology, The Digital Aesthete (read more about it in the campaign.) So there’s lots of goodies available.

Back this on Kickstarter.

Announcing: The Digital Aesthete

February 21, 2023

The Digital Aesthete

Human Musings on the Intersection of Art and AI

Edited by Alex Shvartsman

UFO Publishing and the Future Affairs Administration are teaming up to produce our next collaborative project, which will explore the relationship between artificial intelligence and art. We hope to feature stories of robot painters, AI poets, and electronic gallery curators; dystopias where human artists must eke out an existence in societies where AI generates most of the content, and utopias where artificial minds help unlock and enhance human creativity.

The Digital Aesthete will be a hybrid anthology/e-zine project, with stories collected in a print and e-book anthology to be published in November 2023, and then gradually posted to the Future Science Fiction Digest website where readers will be able to enjoy them free of charge.

This project will feature 100,000 words of fiction by authors from over a dozen countries and a variety of languages. It will be edited by Alex Shvartsman (editor of Unidentified Funny Objects (UFO), The Cackle of Cthulhu (Baen), Humanity 2.0 (Arc Manor) and over a dozen other anthologies.) Cover art and design will be created by K.A. Teryna. Tarryn Thomas will assume the roles of copyeditor and creative advisor.

We will post further updates about this project at Future-SF.com and on the UFO Publishing Patreon page.

UFO9 Released

December 4, 2022

Unidentified Funny Objects 9 is out in the world! You can now purchase your own copy, in paperback or ebook formats. (Hardcovers were only available to the Kickstarter backers.)

Here is where you can order it (though it’s available on other platforms as well!)









Direct from UFO Publishing:


Wholesale pricing is available for stores, please feel free to reach out.

Unidentified Funny Objects 9 TOC

October 22, 2022

After reviewing well over 800 submissions, the following stories will appear in Unidentified Funny Objects 9, scheduled to be released in December 2022.

“The Hero of Small Things” by Amanda Saville

“Chai Noon” by Esther Friesner

“If Pages Could Blush” by Kyle A. Massa

“The Time Loop Device is Counting Down” by Beth Goder

“Crouching Swan Hidden Polka” by Jim C Hines

“Sergeant Yeti” by Gini Koch

“The Great Beyond Commands” by John Wiswell

“The Second Wish” by James Beamon

“These Three Aliens Walk into a Bar” by Simon  R. Green

“Our Most Sincere Apologies to the People of Brazil” by Jane Espenson

“Liability Insurance Policy for Immortals, Cryptids, and Other Magical Beings: Annual Newsletter” by Tina Connolly

“The Shadchen of Venus” by Lavie Tidhar

“Cory Sucks” by Auston Habershaw

“Sunnyside Daycare Employees’ Chat Log, Post Alien Takeover” by Amanda Helms

“Cooking Up Trouble” by Clif Flynt

“Right to Remain Silent” by Jody Lynn Nye

“Antie Elsie’s Compleat Guide to Heartbreak” by Tim Pratt

“The Troll Bridge” by Adam Gaylord

“Do Gumshoes Dream of Electric Sleep” by Dave Vierling

“Hell’s Bureaucracy” by David Hankins

“A Crisis of Fate” by Zach Shephard

Future SF Issue 16

September 16, 2022

The latest issue of Future SF is out!

In this issue, there are translated stories from Chile, Argentina, Israel, Madagascar, Brazil, and China.

“Liz’s Tea House” by Rodrigo Culagovski (Chile)
“Their War” by Vanesa L. Perillo (Argentina)
“The Loving Home” by Olga Fiks (Israel) translated by Alex Shvartsman
“Siri, My Love, Zuckerbook, My Home” by Mose Njo (Madagascar) translated by Allison M. Charette
“Services” by Marlon Ortiz (Brazil)
“How the Stars Were Connected” by Zhou Wen (China) translated by Judith Huang
plus an article by Jay O’Connell (USA)

Get it directly from us or on Amazon.

UFO9 Submissions are Open

July 26, 2022

You’ve got thirty days to send your best, funniest story our way! Guidelines are here:

Last Chance to Back UFO9!

July 20, 2022

There’s just over 24 hours remaining in the UFO9 kickstarter and we still have a long way to go. If you’d like to preorder a copy of this anthology (and from the stories I already have it is shaping up to be an outstanding volume), please consider doing before it’s too late!

UFO9 Live on Kickstarter and Other Awesome Books

June 21, 2022

The Unidentified Funny Objects series is back! Check out our latest volume, with hilarious stories by Simon R. Green, Jane Espenson, Esther Friesner, Lavie Tidhar, Jim Hines, and more. Don’t get left behind planetside–climb aboard the UFO with us!


And if you like your anthologies exciting, original, and found on Kickstarter you should also check out James Aquilone’s Shakespeare Unleashed, which launched roughly at the same time as my campaign:

Finally, today is the release date for Speaking Bones, Ken Liu’s fourth and final installment in the Dandelion Dynasty epic fantasy/silkpunk series. I’ve been a huge fan of these books from the start and it’s amazing to watch a nearly-decade-long journey reach a satisfying conclusion.

Future SF 15 Cover and Contents

June 14, 2022


“Rescue Rangers” by H. L. Oldie (Ukraine), translated by Julia Meitov Hersey
“Deja Loop” by Kostas Charitos (Greece), translated by Dimitra Nicolaidou and Victor Pseftakis
“The Exclusion Zone” by Volodymyr Arenev (Ukraine), translated by Max Hrabrov
“The Immaculate Ivory Tower” by Li Huayi (China), translated by Nathan Faries

Cover art: Kateryna Kosheleva (Ukraine)

Available now at this link:


Will be live at Amazon, B&N and all the usual places June 15, and live on the web at http://www.future-sf.com on June 15 as well.

UFO9 Cover Reveal!

June 12, 2022

Despite the delayed start, UFO9 is coming this holiday season. Check out yet another awesome cover by Tomasz Marosnki and click here to be notified of when the Kickstarter campaign launches (later in June):


We will open to unsolicited submissions once the campaign funds.