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.