For all its insular quirks, for all its internecine disagreements and flamewars and fragmented subschisms, I’m proud to be part of the online genre fiction scene, because every now and again it gets together to do good things for the world beyond its borders. Point in case: the Genre For Japan auctions. Originally conceived by Amanda Rutter, review blogger of Floor-to-Ceiling Books, and joined by an impressive roster of writers, editors and publishers from across the UK (and beyond), it’s all about auctioning off rare books and other literary prizes – such as Tuckerizations or detailed one-on-one writing critiques – to collect money to give to the Red Cross Japanese Tsunami Appeal. The complete list of 137 lots (!) can be seen here; you have until the end of the week to make your bids.
Of course, if the bids are already too high (or if there’s nothing there that takes your fancy) you could just donate directly, if you haven’t already. Given these troubled times, there are hundreds of good causes in need of support, and in an ideal world such causes would be flooded with money while the missile silos of the world echoed emptily with the footfalls of carefree and complacent spiders… but they don’t and they aren’t, and pockets are empty everywhere, so if all you’ve got is a moment to reflect on the misfortunes of others, that’s better than nothing at all.
Via, well, literally dozens of people (in one fast condensed rush on Twitter last night, in fact, suggesting a very successful viral campaign, be it deliberate or purely serendipitous), here’s a great way to get something good out of the economic collapse: why don’t we all pitch in and buy a bankruptcy fire-sale satellite, which we can then redeploy to provide wireless internet to a developing nation that could really benefit from it?
Not only a brilliant and ambitious bit of humanitarianism for the not-quite-fully-networked world, but confirmation of the practicality of a chunk of sf worldbuilding I’ve been kicking around for years… 🙂
What’s better than good quality reading material? Good quality reading material that supports a good cause, of course!
So whether you’re a fan of genre fiction and poetry, concerned about the environmental impact of the Deep Horizon oilspill or both, you should take a look at Book View Cafe’s Breaking Waves anthology:
Edited by Phyllis Irene Radford and Tiffany Trent, Breaking Waves offers up glimpses of maritime splendor, poignancy, and humor through the works of poets, essayists, and Hugo and Nebula-award winning authors like Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda N. McIntyre, David D. Levine, and more. All proceeds from the sale of this anthology will go to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund of the Greater New Orleans.
Available in four DRM-free formats – epub, mobi, pdf, prc – and just US$4.99… sounds like a bargain to me!
(Thanks to Nancy Jane Moore for the tip-off.)
Times are tough all round, but if you can spare a few bucks for a good cause you might want to check out long-term friend-of-Futurismic Shira Lipkin’s forthcoming blogathon in support of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Centre.
She’ll be posting fresh material every half hour for 24 hours on her LiveJournal on the 25th and 26th of July, and the price of your next coffee and pastry combo could help Shira and the other BARCC volunteers support people through the aftermath of rape – and work to dismantle the culture that creates it.
There are so many causes in the world that need financial support, and so little money to go around; I expect many of you have already given to a charity of some sort this year. Those of you who haven’t, please consider stumping up a little cash for this one. I’ve just pledged £10, but even a few dollars would help.
Thanks for listening. 🙂
One last item from the Futurismic mail-room before the year closes: Sean Stubblefield writes to inform us about But the Owl Knows, an anthology of stories and art which he has edited, and from which all proceeds will go to Save The Children. Provided you’re willing to brave MySpace, you can find out more on Sean’s page.