Some of you may have noticed a new anthology pop on my website yesterday, Kizuna: Fiction for Japan.
It exists because the editor, Brent Mills, decided that he wanted to do something to help the people in Japan who were most hurt by the massive category 9.0 earthquake that hit earlier this year, and the devastating tsunami that followed in its wake. Thirty thousand people died, and many, many more had their lives torn apart. Brent lives in Japan, so saw it a lot closer than I did.
Brent’s response to what he saw was to start seeking submissions for an anthology of fiction, covering a huge range of genres, from as many authors as he could. An awful lot proved willing to help. In fact, Kizuna contains a massive table of contents, seventy-five stories in length. Every single author, from headliners like Michael Moorcock and John Shirley right down to the likes of me, has given their work for free, and most of it is original. Mine is a tale of asylum, gods, and New Delhi called Sharan Gali.
The best thing is the word count – with only a couple of exceptions, the authors each aimed for a word count of about a thousand words (about three pages of a paperback). That makes this the ultimate sampler volume. No story will take more than a few minutes to read, and you’ll find authors and styles you’ve never experienced before. Don’t like something? The next tale is just a few minutes away.
Of course, the most important thing is where the money goes. Smile Kids Japan is a charity helping the orphanages of some of the worst hit areas in Japan (Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate). They’re trying to concentrate on immediate needs just now, with an eye on long term programs that will help to support and integrate them. The world’s media has moved on from Japan’s crisis, but by picking up this book, you don’t have to.
At the moment, it’s available on the Kindle only. A dead tree edition will be along in good time. If you use a Kindle, or the various Kindle apps available for other devices, please go and buy the book. It’s been a terrible week of world news, often the result of people being dreadful to each other. It would be nice to balance the scales of human behaviour a little.
Pick it up at your local Amazon, right now. Links to the US and UK stores are below. You’re thirty seconds away from helping somebody who needs it.