Fires in Australia, and one small way to help

Via Sherwood Smith, I’ve learned that Australian author Gillian Polack has been evacuated due to the fires.

What can you do to help? Gillian says this:

“What you can do that takes no money at all is suggest to people that they buy things i.e. keep income going even as the world falls to pieces. I counted ten Australian spec fic writers and artists affected by this yesterday and it’s about 100 people, so buying books or art from people who live in or near bushfire zones would help. Find your favourite writers (or writers who have lost everything — Mirren Hogan and Sulari Gentill are the ones on this list so far — Sulari Gentill is a particularly good writer and she is from Batlow — the whole town was wiped out yesterday by a 150 km front of fire).

“Suggesting that people buy books or art gives Australian creators income to come home to and a way of getting financially through a period when (to use local dialect, so this does not mean what it means in the US) bugger all can be done, workwise. Reading our books, finding favourite works on etsy, checking out publishers (IFWG, Shooting Star, and Twelfth Planet Press are the three small publishers whose writers are most affected so far) is a way of bringing money into an economy that is suddenly wrecked and a way of keeping friends of friends able to buy food. (I’ve been thinking about this a lot — community is what’s getting Australia through every day, so community from the rest of the world will help the good end of the impossible).”

As encouragement, here’s my Goodreads review of her book Lang[dot]doc 1305:

Langue[dot]doc 1305Langue[dot]doc 1305 by Gillian Polack

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a simple plan: A university team will travel back in time to 1305 France, hide out in a cave, take scientific measurements of the environment and ecology for nine months, then come back. The members will avoid contact with natives and make no changes in the course of history.

What could go wrong?

Even if the team had boasted of the discipline and leadership of a NASA project, a lot could have gone wrong. Instead, the team is made up of bickering and contrarian academics with an active disdain for history and the lone historian on the team.

Meanwhile, the local townsfolk have noticed the strange people living “under the hill” and can’t decide if they’re fairies, demons, or simply bothersome and probably dangerous.

As the months go on, everyone gets too frustrated in one way or another, and things go very wrong.

The book offers quiet humor, a deep understanding of academia and the Middle Ages, and characters to remember.

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