Houston Kickstarter Round-Up: June

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors. Know of a good Houston Kickstarter project? Drop Jef a line at jef_rouner at

If you want to read Dr. Norman LaFave's innovative science fiction novel Nanomagica about a utopian world that begins to crumble under the weight of a dark secret it's available on Amazon and Kindle. However, LaFave has managed to convince Trapdoor Books to develop an enhanced eBook version of the story complete with professional voice acting, video, pictures, and author's annotations. If you've never tried out an enhanced eBook trust me when I say it's the future of literature in a way that completely redefines the medium. Science fiction and fantasy especially benefit from enhancement, and funding the idea is sure to convince publishers to try it more.

Goal: $2,500 by July 7

Even though Kelly Switzer has already met her goal, you should think about contributing to her project just because of the awesome prizes alone. Switzer's play is a full-on multimedia puppet experience with live music and video setting the most famous of H. P. Lovecraft's creations in a modern world with an original story live at 14 Pews. The best part is contributing a very modest amount gets you cool things like coloring books, T-shirts, and if you go all in at the $500 level you will even get on of the original puppets!

Goal: $1,000 by July 31 (Met, but still accepting)

Balloons are awesome. It's like George Carlin said, "There's a room in West Heaven full of every balloon you've ever lost." Local musician Rom has spent thousands of hours putting together brilliant, vibrant balloon pictures that he is now trying to turn into a children's book. His hope is to tie 50 percent of the sales to charity, which is a pretty admirable goal. $25 gets you a signed copy of he book, which actually isn't bad for a children's book these days.

Goal: $10,000 by July 7

Anyone who has been inside a comic shop lately knows that tabletop gaming is a big business, and people like Steve Jackson are making a killing in card games that offer a little edge. Kill the Overlord gives players a chance to challenge the ruling tyrant who is out to end her detractors by sending an executioner after them. Players use plot cards and against each other to try and claim the throne without losing their heads.

The game offers some innovative ideas, including having dual gender character cards so no one feels left out. The prizes are good as well, with backers getting exclusively designed cards with original art by Tori Parker. Go in at the $500 level and you'll get your own custom drawn character card. It looks more fun than Kittens in a Blender, and that's saying something.

Goal: $6,000 by June 23

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner