Thursday, December 31, 2009

Along Came a Spider

I should, by rights, be wrapping up my year-end post this afternoon, but instead I have paused to pass on a nerdy public service announcement.

Yesterday I heard some whisperings on Twitter regarding Jeanne Robinson, wife of sci-fi author Spider Robinson, and her delicate health. I didn't actually know the extent of the Geek Family Robinson's woes until my pal Church pointed me toward this post from Matthew Sanborn Smith, which spelled out the problems and what the StarShipSofa online literary community is doing to try to alleviate some of them.

Matthew, for those who missed it, recently gave me and Church a nice shout-out on his podcast, Beware the Hairy Mango, and StarShipSofa is very much a geek lit hub in its own right. In short, this is another case of us simply trying to help our own.

Here's the skinny from Church:

SF author Spider Robinson and his wife have encountered some difficulties. From Spider's blog:

Earlier his year a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Andresz Busczowski, helped Jeanne Robinson beat back a rare and virulent form of biliary cancer. But it’s so rare even he can’t say how much time he‘s bought her, how soon it might recur—and her latest blood tests have been so discouraging they’ve now decided she needs to start chemotherapy as soon as possible. Besides the prescription drugs to counteract the chemotherapy, she needs special therapies and supplements, counseling, and extensive diet and lifestyle changes, to reduce her stress level and the strain on her liver to as close to zero as possible. All those things are expensive...and like many artists today the Robinsons were already running on fumes financially.

By way of Matthew S. Smith, we learn that StarShipSofa, a podcast that has featured Spider's work in the past, has put together an ebook by Larry Santoro (another SSS favorite) with 100% of the proceeds going to the Robinsons. And it's only five bucks. The catch? You have to order it before the year is out. So you should go do that. Sooner is better...

Disclaimer: SSS has put out a rare Z/Church collaboration in the distant past.

So there you have it. Considering some of the things my own clan has been through over the past 12 months, projects like this hit especially close to home, and if you've got a spare 5 bucks I would consider it a personal favor if you'd use it to pick up Santoro's charity ebook. There's only about 12 hours left before the deal disappears forever, so act now.

Think of how good you'll feel knowing that you ending 2009 by supporting nerds in need!


Church said...

Thanks for posting this, Z.

I should add that the book is illustrated by SF artist Skeet (and the story was inspired by one of his illustrations.)

Z. said...

Glad to do it, man. Just sorry it took so long. Juggling a pair of sick kids at present. :/

Church said...

Weirdly appropriate. Hope they're well soon.

Matthew Sanborn Smith said...

Hey, thanks man! All of us involved appreciate it!

Z. said...

Indeed it is, Church. And thanks!

Glad to help out, Matthew, even if it's only in my own little way. And thanks so much for the podcast love. :)