It’s been awhile since I’ve mentioned 100 Stories for Haiti, but just because I’ve been a slacker about that doesn’t mean the need for Red Cross aid – even three months after the earthquake – has let up, so here’s some news and a few reminders about the book:
The no-seriously-really-name-your-own-price electronic edition at Smashwords still comes in the .lrf, .mobi and .epub formats which mean you can load it in an eyeblink onto your Kindle or your Sony Reader or the portable Apple device of your choosing, and >poof!< you’ve got a hundred short reads all queued up for whenever you have a spare minute or three.
Yes, I’ve written about 100 Stories for Haiti a lot over the last month-and-a-half, from hearing about the project in late January to teasers from the first 34 stories last week. (I was going to link to all the entries individually, but you know what? Here – I’ve made it easy to catch up by doing the blog search for you.) But I’m humbled and amazed and proud to be a part of it, and if Ive babbled and badgered even one person in to buying a copy – electronic or paperback – choose your own! – then the Red Cross relief effort wins.
So even though I’ve been reading my e-version, I was thrilled to find the actual paperback in my mailbox this afternoon.
And it turns out there are way more than a hundred awesome things in here.
You figure the stories for starters, even though I’m not counting my own – not because I’m not proud of it but because I don’t want to go around saying it’s “awesome,” especially in light of the stunning work I’ve encountered so far, and I’m only on page 135. Then there’s the introduction, which is easily worth a point on its own, and the dedication, and the special thanks page, which again reminds me that I’m in the company of many incredibly talented and generous people. And again, there’s the reminder of why all this was done in the first place, right there on the cover: “All proceeds go to helping the victims of the Haiti earthquake.”
That is a lot of good stuff packed into a little package from Liverpool.
You’ll find some slice-of -life, some meta, some science fiction, some fantasy, and a whole bunch of good quick reads in 100 Stories for Haiti. I’m just over a third of the way through my electronic edition, and already I’ve gotten way more than my money’s worth.
Rather randomly in some cases, I’ve picked out one sentence from each of the first stories, plus, because it worked out well, exactly one-third of a sentence from the thirty-fourth story, hoping to pique your interest and give a little idea of what a tremendous variety of writing is in here. Enjoy – and then go buy your own!
Thirty-three and one-third sentences from contributions 1-34 in 100 Stories for Haiti:
There was a memorial garden in Latimer, and a park in Trenchard, and people said if you touched the earth in either place, you could feel the exothermic heat of decomposing fools and thugs who’d been slow to show respect. (All-or-Nothing Day by Nick Harkaway)
She’ll go to hell for adding one untruth to another. (About Time by Mo Fanning)
You used to have this little yellow duffle coat with a big hood – you thought it made you look like a fireman – and I swear I lost count of the times I had to grab onto that hood and pull you clear of the road, or next door’s pitbull, or the duckpond in the park. (Amplified Distance by Sian Harris)
Sometimes they stood on one another, sometimes they would laugh and sometimes they would take a rest. (And the First Note Sang by Catriona Gunn)
Nineteen’s heart leapt as Anna passed by the veranda where he sat working. (Anna and Nineteen by Claudia Boers)
Emma walked her fingers across the table, closer to the boy, a spider stealing a cookie. (Apple Pie and Sunshine by Mary Walkden)
Once, though, during a lull in conversation, he brought a bone from his pocket, held it above the centre of the table and said, ‘I think he was a pilgrim.’ (The Archaeologist by Andy Parrott)
It was in the shape of some poor animal with its mouth open which was appropriate for Mrs Blake never let an opportunity pass to tell you what she thought. (Attachments by Jack O’Donnell)
The kitten scratches me but I am unhurt for it is a symbolic kitten representing my compassion. (Authority by Katy Darby)
Once met, the fog rolled easily in again. (The Baby by Rachel Shukert)
‘I escaped for the sake of my children – they’ll not be dragged back to the bogs and the busybodies.’ (Back to the Land by Nicola Taylor)
Her brother didn’t say anything and I didn’t like to ask. (The Beautiful Game by Jean Blackwell)
I snuck a look at my brother’s Code Book for some inspiration (Toby is a secret agent in his spare time). (Betsy Fudge & the Big Silence by Maureen Vincent-Northam)
The members were ruthless when a badge was at stake. (Birds of a Feather by Lauri Kubuitsile)
Knowing still that theirs was a marriage of enemies not allies they marched to the registrar hand in hand. (Blow by Blow by Jane Thomas)
But his were not gentle ways. (Call Centre by Elizabeth Reeder)
The language police hadn’t cracked that code yet or all his clientele would be lost by now, in translation. (Channelling Blues by Sylvia Petter)
‘Noodles.’ (Chatting in the Closet by Tim Maguire)
His left eye twinkled and kept the bad dreams away. (The Cloud Dragon by Sarah Ann Watts)
Her face is shiny and her hair is parted in a funny way from where she’s been running her fingers through it. (Clubs and Societies by Deborah Fielding)
The memory sticks. (Coming, Ready or Not by Jac Cattaneo)
And one time I got a text not to ride home with Alan Pierce, you know, on that Wednesday when he had the accident. (Contact by Jason E. Thummel)
You don’t want him to catch you looking. (Dinner for Two by Trevor Belshaw)
The dragons of the land looked upon her with greed. (Dragons by Fionnuala Murphy)
The second thing he noticed were the boots floating in puddles. (Emergency Response by MCM)
Something red. (Emily’s Stone by Julia Bohanna)
He knows that she is watching him the whole time he’s at the counter. (The Encounter by Francesca Burgess)
He’s out at sea most of the time, riding the flurries and swirls of the Atlantic, but when there’s enough storm heading our way, he’ll find passage back to Cornwall. (Enohn Jarrow, a Warning by Emily George)
‘Stop bugging me about them wings,’ her Momma said. (Escape from Crete by Ozzie Nogg)
For the past few days there has been rawness to the air that makes smiling easier than usual. (Eve by Billy O’Callaghan)
Just a yellow taxi, nothing worth remembering. (Fleeting Thoughts by Nadene Carter)
‘But it felt real,’ he’d said. (Folding Paper by Debz Hobbs-Wyatt)
Over Harold’s Cross Bridge. (The Forgetting by Layla O’Mara)
The problem was, Sharon couldn’t sleep. (The Garden by Gwen Grant)
Nineteen hours later, (Going, Going … Still Going by Danny Gillan)
Officially, 100 Stories for Haiti launches tomorrow, but the electronic edition is already available on Smashwords, and there’s just no reason in the world you shouldn’t give it a shot because, listen: You can pay whatever you want. (Okay, technically, you’re limited to the options of “I’ll take it for free” and “I’ll pay anything more than 99 cents” because that’s what it takes to cover money-handling fees.) As a reminder, this whole project has been done with donated time and stories and resources and all the proceeds go to the Red Cross disaster relief in Haiti. (Tons of information on the originator, Greg McQueen, and the authors and editors and all sorts of other stuff at the website – 100storiesforhaiti.org .)
It took me all of about three minutes this morning to sign up for Smashwords and download the book – also cool: it’ s in 10, count ‘em TEN formats, and once you’ve bought it, you can download whichever ones you want over and over, so if you want a PDF for your desktop or a .mobi for your Kindle or a plain old .txt file , you go ahead and grab what you need.
This is an 80,000-word book and it’s chock full of a wildly-varied assortment of tales, and yes, having just finished The Gone-Away World, I did, in fact, open my e-copy of 100 Stories for Haiti and immediately treat myself to Nick Harkaway’s opening contribution, and let me tell you: guy can write.
As a contributing author, I can tell you it’s pretty cool to realize I’ve got some of my own words in the same collection as some awfully damn fine writers, in a project which has been overseen by some extremely talented and established editors. But I’m even more excited about what this book means, the possibilities it illustrates and the differences it can make.
Thanks to the timely arrival of some funds in my PayPal account, I just ordered my paperback copy of 100 Stories for Haiti.
The paperback edition from Bridge House Publishing in the UK is set for a March 4 release, and there’s a Smashwords electronic edition on the way, too.
This is such an amazingly cool worldwide effort, and if you don’t believe me, check the list of author bios, which is not only jaw-dropping in its diversity but has introduced several new writers and books to my own must-read list.
Still on the fence? Consider this bit from Nick Harkaway, author of The Gone-Away World:
“Of course, while giving is, according to a recent scientific study, more pleasurable and healthy than receiving, it can become a bit burdensome after a while — especially if you can’t see the real time effects of your gifts. That’s where this book comes in. The writers and publishers will do the actual giving, and you just have to buy some really great stories which you would, of course, have rushed to buy anyway because of the sheer weight of unrefined awesome contained within these covers.”
So you get 80,000-plus words of good book, and all the proceeds go to the Red Cross’ relief efforts in Haiti.
Now, here’s what you do: You can go to the 100 Stories for Haiti site and order from there, or to the Bridge House site and order from there. If, like me, you’re ordering from the U.S., since the book project is UK-based, you’ll need to buy through that little button/option marked “Rest of World” or “ROW” (a note of caution: I very nearly ordered an extra UK-shipped edition due to a default setting somewhere that put both an ROW order and a standard order in my PayPal cart, so play close attention). And PayPal automatically handled the pounds-to-dollars conversion swimmingly, I say.
Also, tell a lot of people about it.
Check out the 100 Stories for Haiti anthology project, sparked and organized by writer Greg McQueen in Denmark, and all sales of which will benefit the Red Cross and its relief efforts in Haiti. Nick Harkaway, who wrote The Gone-Away World, contributed a story and the introduction (and no, nobody’s getting paid for this – the stories are all donated); Smashwords is producing the e-book version, and Bridge House Publishing will handle the paperback. (On Facebook? Here’s the project’s page – spread the word!)
I read about the effort on John Scalzi’s blog the same day as the initial submission deadline and managed to get a story in under the wire. Pretty much forgot about it over the weekend, but Monday’s email brought me word that my piece was selected!
The entire 100-story list is here, and it’s a crazy-global roster, from Harkaway to The White Road and Other Stories author Tania Hershman to Botswana writer Lauri Kubuitsile. And Alasdair Stuart, the host of Pseudopod is on there, too. (Edited to reflect the fact that Alasdair popped in to confirm that’s him.)
With so many voices and styles, it should be an interesting read, which, yes, I realize is hardly the point here, but I’m awfully excited about playing even a small part in a project which has the potential to do a lot of good.