This is going to be something of a different post than our usual SF Signal news item. I would appreciate it if you give it a read, consider it, and (if you can), please help out.
We get a lot out of the people who work in the genre field. They entertain us with books, they write for the television shows we watch, they write the stories that appear in the movies we watch on the big screen.
Unfortunately, it is not all champagne and roses for these folks. Some do work for a company and get benefits that way. Some do attain enough fame and business to make enough to buy their own benefits. Most, however, either pay significantly out of their own pockets or depend on the benefits of a spouse or partner (if they live somewhere where benefits are extended) or take a full-time job (on top of the writing) in order to receive benefits.
Personal backstory time: I lost both my father and my father-in-law to debilitating diseases. The cost on my two respective families was significant, not in terms of money (luckily, both had some benefits as part of a retirement package as well as supplemental help), but in terms of personal (mental, spiritual) cost to our families. But, again, we were lucky in that those benefits were there.
As you may have heard from this episode of the SF Signal Podcast, genre author Jay Lake is fighting cancer. It is taking a toll on his physical health, his mental health, his writing ability, and his finances.
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. Click the link. I’ll wait for you to get back. 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 stuff like this. Let’s all get together and at least give him some peace of mind when it comes to the money end of things. I kicked in $100.00. 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!
UPDATE: There is now a fundraising 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”!