Steal This Auction Idea

In the auction discussion thread, I’m asked a question about the auction by Jo Walton, the author of the entirely excellent Farthing, Tooth and Claw and other stupendous work. She says:

This is such a brilliant idea I want to steal it — would you be OK with that?

My response: Are you kidding? I would be delighted if other science fiction and fantasy writers also offered up some tasty piece of their work life as an enticement for people to donate to the John M. Ford Book Endowment. I think it’s a fine way to make sure his name and legacy live on in a vital and useful way.

I want to be very careful about overstating my relationship either to Mr. Ford or to this endowment — I know Mike Ford mostly through the quality of his friends and the quality of his writing, both of which are ridiculously high, and my only involvement with the endowment in his name is that I hope to be able to direct a nice chunk of money its way. That said, literacy is important to me, and the ability to help direct money into an endownment that will directly and perpetually buy books seems like the sort of thing I can get behind, and something I hope other writers could get behind as well.

So, other science fiction/fantasy writers: Yes, please, steal this idea. Offer up something others that your fans would kill to get, and make them pay for it, and then give all the money to the John M. Ford Book Endowment, and encourage your fans to pitch in a few bucks to the endowment even if they don’t win the auction. Because libraries rock, literacy beats the alternative, and the science fiction and fantasy community could use an excellent philanthropical hobby.

(Practical note: I do suggest using a legitimate auctioning site, however, like eBay, which is probably something I should have done if I had given this thing due thought before posting it. I’ve taken on a lot of administrative headaches to assure a legit auction — eBay would handle most of that for you. What can I say, enthusiasm got the better of me.)

If authors do decide to create auctions to benefit the John M. Ford Book Endowment, I’ll be happy to link to them here. Just drop me an e-mail with a link to let me know. Maybe that will help. It would be nice, in any event.

Update: On that note, Jo Walton has her enticements to donate up on her LiveJournal. Depending how much you donate, you can get unpublished stories, get yourself tuckerized or even (!) get an original poem. And she has books to auction off as well. Excellent.

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