After eight years and over 180 episodes, Flash Forward is ending. Our final series will be released December 26th, and then the feed will go quiet and the Patreon page will shut down. It’s been a great run, and it’s time for me to move on to other things.
Reading this you may be feeling a sense of déjà vu. Wait a minute, you may be thinking, didn’t Rose write a post about ending the show around this time last year? Yes and no, and it’s understandable to be confused. Here’s what happened.
Last year, I posted about ending the old format of Flash Forward — the biweekly jaunts into the future. This year, I said, I would be doing a new style. Special projects! Big swings about big topics. I promised three or four of them.
“It’s a weird thing to try and communicate — a shift, rather than a finale,” I wrote right around this time last year. “I’ve gone through a lot of metaphors that don’t really make sense. It’s not closing a door, but repainting it? It’s not putting something to bed, it’s having a different dream? I don’t know.”
Here’s the thing: I should have just ended the show last year. It was time. But I couldn’t quite let it go. I had convinced myself that Flash Forward was my one shot at really making something successful. That I just needed to change up the format, or the cadence, and get back into things. But when I tried to do that this year, I simply couldn’t quite find the energy and brain power to do so. You probably noticed that I did not produce three to four special projects this year. We made one (Welcome to Vanguard Estates) and we’ll release one more in December. I’m really proud of what we made this year, but it wasn’t what I promised you.
I feel bad about that, but what’s done is done. And I’m finally accepting that it is time to really, truly move on from Flash Forward. I’m ready, my brain, body and heart are all ready and finally on the same page. I’m excited, and proud, and eager to explore new projects and ideas.
But of course, I’m also fucking terrified. Flash Forward has been my main source of income for the last five years. And I’m putting it down, and walking away, into a future where I have no income lined up currently.
I have a list of things I want to do next. Books, and other podcasts, and some surprises too. I’m excited about them all, but I have no clue if they’ll pan out.
It feels weird to ask for support for myself, personally. Yes, I ran a Patreon page for years, but it feels different for me. The Flash Forward Patreon page was a way for listeners to support the show, not me, Rose Eveleth, the human. It was focused giving, for a product, not a person. Lots of artists have great success making Patreon pages for their work personally — Monica Byrne, Mona Chalabi, Oliver Babish — in ways that cover all the projects and ideas they have. I know that my hangups about this are personal and I won’t bore you with them (I have a therapist for that) but I will admit to them, generally.
With that out of the way — if you want to support me, Rose, the mostly-human creator behind Flash Forward as I embark on this new creative stage, you can. For the last two years I’ve run a small membership program called the Time Travelers Club where folks get deeper access to the behind the scenes stuff I’m doing that isn’t Flash Forward. And now, that club is going to be my primary home for support and engagement.
What kinds of creative projects will your membership support?
- Advice For and From the Future and it’s next stage — we’re relaunching the show next year with new hosts!
- Future podcasts about the future
- A non-fiction book about the future, power, and history
- A sci-fi novel about genetics and inter-generational trauma
- A historical novel about science, obsession and mental health
- A podcast documentary series about the future of sports
- Short stories about climate change, predictions, and birds
- And more!
What do I get?
- Bi-monthly newsletters about what I’m working on.
- Early access to stories and chunks of my novels or writing that I can share.
- Access to a special Members Only section of Discord.
- A monthly book club where we discuss books and often have the authors come by to answer your questions.
- Discount codes for merch.
- Members only podcast episodes.
- Probably other things in the future once I figure out what people want? AMA’s? Videos? We will see!
Some questions I anticipate you might have
How is this different from Patreon?
The Patreon for the show will close for good at the end of the year. This is a different support platform but the mechanism is largely the same: you support a monthly amount and get access to stuff in return. The difference is that this covers all my work, not just Flash Forward the podcast.
Why not just carry on the Patreon or change it to being for you personally?
This is a good question and perhaps it would have been savvier financially to do it this way. But I have this feeling that folks signed up for the Flash Forward Patreon to support Flash Forward, the show. The show is ending, and I don’t want to mislead anybody into carrying on their support for a thing that is over. This felt like a way to do a clean, ethical break that lets those opt into supporting me further, instead of having to opt out.
Why aren’t there any lower money value tiers?
Two reasons. First is that Memberful’s data suggests that having fewer, higher value tiers tends to work out best for creators. Second is that I’m trying to simplify things and not over-promise a bunch of different, unique rewards across a lot of tiers.
What will happen to the Flash Forward podcast feed?
It will live on in RSS forever — I have no plans to delete the feed or change anything. You’ll always be able to access old episodes.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment here and I’ll answer them!