There are days where I think the Internet is one great big snark machine designed to take everything and transform it into this non-stop barrage of one-liners and attitude and irritating self-satisfaction, and I’m sure I’m as much a part of that as anyone, and then there are days where the Internet coughs up something so human and wonderful that it wipes away any complaint I might have.
I didn’t see this until yesterday, but it’s actually been bouncing around since Friday, and I think author Harry Turtledove might have just won me as a fan permanently.
By now, we’ve become used to the idea of Make-A-Wish and the way they reach out to help people diagnosed with terminal illnesses. I’ve seen some pretty remarkable acts of giving since I moved to LA from people who were deeply moved by their encounters with the kids they came in contact with, and I think if you’re in a position to help someone whose life is about to be cut brutally short, there’s an obligation to try and do it.
The question, of course, is how you get the wish in front of the right person in some cases, and especially when you’re not working with a formal organization. That was the problem faced by a Reddit user named Kivakid, and he threw his situation out to the larger Reddit community. His friend Nachu Bhatnagar is battling terminal cancer, and he’s a huge fan of Turtledove’s latest series, “The War That Came Early.” Turtledove has made a career of writing alternate history books that tend to be part of these larger sprawling series, and in this particular case, Nachu was worried that he was going to die without knowing how this series ended.
And instead of ladling on the snark and the skepticism, Reddit responded by quickly figuring out how to get an Advanced Reader’s Copy of the latest book in the series for Nachu. And then, because that wasn’t enough, Turtledove himself ended up in the mix, and…
… well, why don’t you just watch the video?
It’s a simple thing, really, giving away an ARC of a book that’s set to be published later this year or making a phone call to a fan for a few minutes, but it probably doesn’t feel like a simple thing to Nachu Bhatnagar or his friend, and the way a community of people rallied to make this happen gives me hope. There is real decency lurking out there, and at the right time, throwing up the right Bat Signal will result in what must feel like a miracle to someone suffering.
I’m going to go buy something of Turtledove’s this week because I’m so impressed. Anyone out there who’s a fan of his work, tell me where I should start.
Thanks to Galleycat for the heads up on this one.
ONE THING I LOVE TODAY appears here every day. Yep. Every day.