Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Pay It Forward

We are coming up on the second anniversary of the death of my father-in-law, Anthony Sarcich (to cancer) and the third anniversary of the death of my father to a different debilitating disease.

One thing that we experienced, and we are still grappling with and recovering from, is the absolutely exhausting way a family gets as a result of dealing with everything around a disease.

Really, folks: our society sucks at helping out those with a major illness. Support networks? Where?

Both my father and my father-in-law were extremely lucky in once sense: they both could utilize medical benefits that they had from their jobs, even into retirement, plus governmental plans.

Others are not so lucky. Self-employed folks, like, say, writers. In addition to depending entirely on their own production for money to pay the bills for insurance, they are socked with outrageous fees to pay for these inadequate plans.

The stress does not end there. They must also navigate the dangerous shoals of all the rules and by-laws for these plans. And put up with silly stuff like this.

Done reading that? Does your mind boggle as much as mine? I hope so.

Folks, Jay Lake is facing enough as it is. He really doesn't need to deal with silly horseshit like this. Let's all get together and at least give him some peace of mine when it comes to the money end of things. I kicked in $100.00 (see below for additional efforts). Could you please hit the "donate" button on his site to help him fight the stupidity of the insurance industry as well as help to pay for what little benefits he gets?

Please get the word out and please consider donating directly (please see his site here, and hit the "tip jar" link in the upper left hand corner). Jay has given us endless hours of entertainment and education, both through his books and through his panels at conventions, participation in interviews, and courses and seminars. Let's pay it forward!

MAJOR UPDATE: "There is now a effort by a number of genre folks to help Jay out. You can win rewards! Tobias S. Buckell will unlock his earliest tale or drink Scotch! Mary Robinette Kowal will put an...interesting...spin on one of her stories! And many more levels all the way up to: Neil Gaiman will perform a cover version of a song from the Magnetic Fields album "69 Love Songs"!

I kicked in an additional $200.00 to this effort on top of my initial $100.00 contribution. I'm not saying this to boast, but to show you how serious I am about this. That's $300.00 worth of books I won't be buying...

Please click on this link for details and give until you laugh!

UPDATE! 41% of the first $10K ($20K to get Neil Gaiman). THANK YOU ALL!

UPATE AGAIN! You people are amazing. Jay Lake thinks so as well.

Update: Jay Lake writes about the fund drive.

Update: Jay Lake writes more about the fund drive.

Update on funding on January 12, 2013: $38,697!!!! Fantastic job, everyone!

Thank you.

Update: Rewards of Whimsey!!!

Some of the rewards are rolling in.

$2,000: Tobias Buckell contributes an early effort of writing.

$3,000: Forthcoming (more madness with Tobias Buckell).

$4,000: Mary Robinette Kowal reads classic they are a phone sex recording.

$6,000: Jim Hines reads an early work of epic fantasy (put down the drinks, but stay for the whole 40 minutes!).

$7,000: Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch perform a Jay Lake story...with sock puppets!

$8,000: Seanan McGuire does filking (forthcoming).

$9,000: Paul Cornell sings Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights (warning: put down the drinks). BONUS AT THIS LEVEL: Mary Robinette Kowal follows up on Paul Cornell's effort by doing a "beat reading" of the You Tube transcript.

$10,000: Cherie Priest dresses up her pets. Call it a work in progress (more forthcoming?)

$12,000: The creators of the Jay Lake documentary will unveil a comic short (forthcoming).

$15,000: A lost Bob Dylan song performed by John Scalzi.

$17,500: A surprise from Patrick Rothfuss reveals his high school novel.

$20,000: Neil Gaiman to perform a cover from the Magnetic Fields album 69 Love Songs whilst accompanying himself on the Ukulele (forthcoming).

$25,000: Seanan McGuire returns at this level to reboot Veronica Mars as a Shakespearean tragedy (forthcoming).

$30,000: A radio play version of one of Jay Lake's stories (forthcoming).

$32,000: C.E. Murphy reads from her first novel (forthcoming).

$35,000: Cory Doctorow unlocks his head. Seriously, I do not know what to make of this one (forthcoming). (Addendum to the Addendum: John Scalzi has some helpful hints.)

$37,000: Howard Tayler will draw Jay Lake kicking cancer's ass. Updated with a video of the picture's creation!

$40,000: ANOTHER SURPRISE (almost unlocked at this point!).


Addendum: SF Signal's interview with Jay is worth a listen.


Ulan said...

What really boggles my mind is the fact, that by helping Jay pay outrageous demands of his insurance, him and us are feeding that monster. It's like giving maidens to a soulless dragon that destroys the land just a little less fast in exchange.

John Wiswell said...

Our system is a rather disgusting one, not necessarily by design or intention, but certainly by a gross number of functions and outcomes. Even the reforms in the US's pipeline are only a step. My heart goes out to him, and good on you for linking over to his post. Much like yours, it was both succinct and shaking.