"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards." - Robert A. Heinlein


It is with great pleasure that I announce that Kizuna: Fiction for Japan is out! This charity anthology is unlike any other. Featuring a mix of authors - the known and the unknown, created and developed to be released and read online, but designed to also go into print, Kizuna: Fiction for Japan is a labor of love of 76 different writers from 11 different countries - all of whom are taking part in helping the victims of the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan this spring.

I'm not exaggerating when I say this was the brainchild of American-born, Japan-based writer Brent Millis - who alone developed the idea of a charity anthology and then started seeking the opinions of people he knew online.

Brent and I have known each other on Twitter for a couple of years, and on Facebook for nearly as long. We've never met, but we have a clear respect for each other's work and ability. And following this, Brent has my highest level of respect as a man able to do what few others have ever even attempted.

This is from his press release:

The earth shook. The waters rose. Japan cried out...

And we listened. After the devastating earthquake, people from all over the world have found ways to help, and Kizuna: Fiction for Japan is one that is new and unique.

Kizuna: Fiction for Japan is a mixed-genre anthology of short fiction, most of it 1000 words or less. It boasts internationally-known authors like Michael Moorcock, Ken Asamatsu, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, John Shirley, Shinya Gaku, Vittorio Catani, Robert M. Price, Joseph S. Pulver Sr., and Alvin Pang; genre authors like Bradley Sands, Jason Wuchenich, Andersen Prunty, and Garrett Cook; and independent authors like Trent Zelanzy and Glynn Barrass. An astonishing 76 authors answered the call to help and approximately ninety percent of it is original work written specifically for this anthology. 100 percent of the proceeds will go to helping orphans in the disaster-devastated areas of Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima via the NPO, Smile Kids Japan.

Smiles and Dreams

Smile Kids Japan and Living Dreams (NPOs/social benefit organizations) are working together on Smiles and Dreams, a program to help the orphanages in the worse affected prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate. From helping with immediate needs, to setting up long term programs to empower the children to dream again and help them realize their goals, Smiles and Dreams is a grassroots project that gets the money directly to those in need.

From the editor's [Brent Millis'] introduction:

"I turned to my friends in the writing community. Would they contribute? Sure they would! Soon I had ten authors. Then twenty. Thirty... Author friends of author friends were submitting. Authors from Spain, Singapore, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Germany, France, America, the UK, Australia and Canada all stepped forward. I was stunned. Even now, as corny as it sounds, the gratitude I feel at their selfless desire to help makes me very misty-eyed."

Please help spread the word of Kizuna, a word that means "bond" in Japanese, and create your own bond with the people of Japan.

So You're Involved?

If it seems I'm proud to be involved with Kizuna, let me be clear: I've never been prouder to be involved with anything like this. I think the concept is brilliant, the goal is unbelievably worthy, and the people involved are tremendous.

I've donated my short story, "Ploughman," to Kizuna: Fiction for Japan, for as long as Brent sees fit to use it. It's a good piece, I think, but I honestly could not consider ever using it for anything as good as this.

So what's in it?

I swiped this from the Kizuna website: horror, humor, human drama, science fiction, fantasy, absurdist, bizarro, weird, new wave, bugpunk, Cthulu, Sherlock Holmes, historical fiction, and more.

So who's in it?

Legendary English fantasist, godfather of dark fantasy, and creator of the "Eternal Champion," Michael Moorcock. He gave us Elric, Corum, Dorian Hawkmoon, and Jerry Cornelius, popularized the entire Law versus Chaos notion of fantasy (played and AD&D lately? - that's where Lawful/Chaotic comes from)...

Cyberpunk/science fiction/horror writer, screenwriter, and lyricist John Shirley...

Award-winning British fantasy and science fiction author Jon Courtenay Grimwood...

Critically acclaimed Singaporean poet Alvin Pang...

Japanese novelists Shinya Gaku, Ken Asamatsu, and Fumihiko Iino, Canadian novelist Katherine Govier, acclaimed horror author/poet Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., Italian science fiction writer Vittorio Catani, Spanish romance/fantasy author Lucía González Lavado, science fiction writer and author of "Night of the Living Trekkies" Kevin David Anderson, Italian essayist/novelist Danilo Arona, American theologian and writer Robert M. Price, bizarro author and editor of "Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens" Bradley Sands, Doctor Who short story writer Richard Salter, Italian writer/scientist/translator/gamer Davide Mana, Japanese novelist and video game scriptwriter Midori Tateyama...

...And about a metric ton of other writers, including all those I failed to list... and me.

So Why Get It?

This is for charity - for a good cause. In fact, at the same time that Brent Millis was compiling and editing these stories, he sought out the charitable groups with which to be involved. And he asked us what we thought. He kept up a dialogue with the writers about what we felt and who we wanted to be involved with. This is not only a good cause, but it's one that the editor chose with great care, and one we all had a hand in selecting.

Kizuna: Fiction for Japan is available for download on Amazon.com for $9.99 or 7 pounds (sorry, Blogger doesn't seem to want to import my "pound" sign right now).

Amazon US here.

Amazon UK here.