Raising money to help Steve Brust and Emma Bull's medical expenses

Two of the greats of science fiction and fantasy literature, Emma Bull (War for the Oaks and many others) and Steven Brust (the Vlad Taltos books and many others) have coincidentally gone for surgery at the same time. Emma had a thyroidectomy on August 8th to investigate a 4 cm nodule on her thyroid. Steve had a defibrillator implanted on Aug 22.

And yeah, neither of them are adequately insured. Because writing is an entrepreneurial, economically marginal arts career, and its practitioners are often not able to buy insurance on the "open" market, especially as they enter middle age. Most of the US writers I know rely on spouses with "straight" jobs for insurance. But Steve isn't married, and Emma is married to another writer, Will Shetterly.

Writer Scott Lynch published a name-your-price novel called Queen of the Iron Sands. He's announced that two thirds of the proceeds from this book will go to Steve and Emma.

He's done this off his own bat, without Emma or Steve asking for it, because they're not the sort of people who ask. But it sure sounds like they could use it.

Update: Steve Brust says,

This is very, very sweet, and I'm tremendously grateful for what Scott and everyone else is doing. But you need to know that, as of a couple of months ago, I DO have health care coverage--after the congestive heart failure, Those Who Decide Things decided I was partially disabled (which I guess is true; it's slowed my work down) and I'm now on MA, which is how I was able to get the surgery.

The surgery, incidentally went off without a hitch. I'm now a cyborg.

But to emphasize, I don't want to accept anyone's money under false pretenses; I am, at least for now, covered.

Which does nothing for how pissed off I am that so many others aren't.

I will be your dancing monkey, hat on the table.

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  1. I heard about that a while back, and my first question was “who the heck is Scott Lynch, and why is he getting a third of the take?”   I feel a little guilty even mentioning it, since obviously Emma is dear to me and while I don’t know Steven particularly well, I’ve certainly enjoyed his writing in the past.   And it’s not like I’m not curious to know about Scott.   But I have trouble understanding why the two are tied together.

    1. Well, he gets 1/3 of the take because he, you know, wrote the actual book being donated. Which, incidentally, you can also read for free on Scott’s site.

      It also bears mentioning that Scott Lynch is currently getting better from a rather serious bout of depression, and that the generosity of his readers has tided him over a few times. So there’s that.

      And if you liked the Taltos books but haven’t yet read Scott’s The Lies of Locke Lamora, well, I envy you for being able to discover it now. It’s one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in the last five years.

    2. On the linked page, Lynch writes “The first third I’ll keep to help finance the refurbishment of my site, the hosting bills, the commissioning of new art, the addition of useful features to make it a hub for all things Gentleman Bastard and beyond.”

  2. See, if they all lived in Massachusettes, they’d be able to get insurance, because of RomneyCare.  Pass it on!

  3. It’s obscene that anyone should fear for their financial lives due to illness. Esp. in a rich, Western democracy like our own. 

    Fsck it. Maybe it’s not too late to move to Canada… :P

  4. And if you don’t want to donate thru PayPal, you can e-mail or tweet to Scott and he’ll send you his snail mail. 

    and yes, this is *that* Scott Lynch.

  5. I just found this.  Cory et. al.:  This is very, very sweet, and I’m tremendously grateful for what Scott and everyone else is doing.  But you need to know that, as of a couple of months ago, I DO have health care coverage–after the congestive heart failure, Those Who Decide Things decided I was partially disabled (which I guess is true; it’s slowed my work down) and I’m now on MA, which is how I was able to get the surgery.  

    The surgery, incidentally went off without a hitch.  I’m now a cyborg.

    But to emphasize, I don’t want to accept anyone’s money under false pretenses; I am, at least for now, covered.

    Which does nothing for how pissed off I am that so many others aren’t.

  6. I am not trying to discourage people from giving to this worthy cause. But anyone who ends up with medical bills in a country that is terrible at managing its health care system should file for bankruptcy. Really. It is the right thing to do.

  7. Thank you for this. I love Boing Boing for all the interesting things it has, but this kind of post is the very best. I’ve loved Brust’s Taltos books for years and I’ve been meaning to Freedom and Necessity for a long time now. After a quick Amazon search, now I need to read Bone Dance as well. And I just recently read and enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora. I will certainly be donating for Queen of the Iron Sands.

    One question, if anyone knows the answer. I prefer paper books, but am perfectly willing to buy e-books. Where can I buy books that provides the greatest return for the author?

    Obviously, if the publisher is not getting their cut, then the the author is not getting any more books published.  But I would just as soon see most of my money going directly to the author. Any suggestions?

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