Question from the gallery:
Your Zoe’s Tale auction moved out of my price range early. Could you do another auction? And let me win?
Heh. Well, no. For two reasons: One, I have no control over how the auctions go. People bid what they bid. Two, I think the reasons the auctions work is because I don’t do them all the time. They’re for special occasions, and I think one a year or so does just fine. So, no more auctions for a while.
But I’m aware that there seems to be a bunch of folks who are bummed they didn’t get a decent shot at Zoe’s Tale. And at the same time, my pal Pamela Ribon has launched her annual charity drive for libraries, called the Dewey Donation System. I was just gonna plug the DDS, because call me crazy, but I think donating books to libraries is a fine idea, but now I have an idea I think is even better.
But first, a preface: I am currently writing a short science fiction novella (about 17,000 – 20,000 words) which is going into an anthology called Godlike Machines, which will be published by the Science Fiction Book Club at some point later this year. I’m not going to give you the details of the story, because it really is best as a surprise, but I will say that when the anthology editor Jonathan Strahan approached me to contribute, I said “I will only if you let me do this,” and then I pitched him an absolutely insane story idea that no one in his right mind would buy. And of course he said yes, just to mess with my head. Bwa ha ha ha ha hah ha! So, trust me, it’ll be a good read.
Got it? Okay, here’s what I’m gonna do. When I’m done writing this story, I will head over to Lulu and put into bound form two copies of this novella, and then sign them. And then I’m going to give them away to two people who have:
a) donated to the Dewey Donation System this year, and
b) come back to this entry’s comment thread to tell me what they’ve donated and to which of the two children’s libraries that DDS is supporting this year (the ones at The Rockhouse Foundation and The Children’s Institute).
Everyone who donates something through, oh, let’s say, March 21, 2008, and then comes here to brag about it will be eligible for the drawing, which I will have by the end of March.
These bound copies of the novella will be two-of-a-kind (well, three-of-a-kind, since I’ll probably make a copy for myself too) and no more will be made, and of course, it’ll be the only way to read the novella prior to its publication. So, again: collector’s items.
But wait! There’s more! Both of the winners of the drawing will also get final published copies of Godlike Machines from me, which I will sign and send along once it comes out (I have a SFBC membership, you see. I can buy two copies). So you’ll get the pre-pub, copyeditor-nightmare edition, and the actual edition, too — which will come with other nifty novella-length stories from other nifty authors.
But wait! There’s still more! Dewey Donation System is doing its own set of giveaways as well, so by donating, you’ll be eligible for those, too. Honestly, there’s just so much win going on.
So, to recap:
1. You go donate a book (or other needed stuff) to needy children through the Dewey Donation System.
2. When you’re done, you come back to this comment thread and let people know how awesome you are for donating to needy kids, and detail your purchase. Everyone applauds.
3. You’re entered in a drawing to win a special pre-pub bound edition of my upcoming novella and a copy of the finish anthology, Godlike Machines.
4. You win (maybe), and are the envy of every person you ever meet from now until the very end of time.
It’s just that easy. And unlike the auction, you don’t have to spend a lot to play; you can donate a book for as little as $7 (although you can spend more if you want). And the donation still goes to an excellent cause.
I’ll bring this up again when the novella is completed and printed, and then when we get closer to the end of eligibility period, so don’t worry, you’ll have reminders. But there’s no reason not to get an early start. Happy donating!