Author Reveals Future Book & Series To Terminally Ill Fan To Fulfill His Wish

from the being-awesome dept

We've been talking about the value of content creators being awesome (and human), so it's always nice to highlight a few stories of that in practice. Late last week a story made the rounds of how a terminally ill cancer patient, Nachu Bhatnagar, was disappointed that he might not find out how his favorite book series, The War That Came Early, by Harry Turtledove, would turn out. The next book in the series is expected to be released in July, but apparently Bhatnagar isn't expected to make it that far. Bhatnagar's friend, who's known as kivakid on Reddit posted about the situation, wondering if he could get an early copy of the book. Within hours, he had a galley copy being sent to him, and also arranged for a phone call between Bhatnagar and Turtledove, so that the plans for the rest of the series could be revealed.
Beyond being yet another example of Reddit's famed power to do good things, it's another example of a content creator going out of his or her way to help out a fan (in this case, under somewhat unfortunate circumstances). In general, though, it's just a heartwarming story that involves a content creator going out of his way to open up to a fan.


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  1.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 8:29pm

    Added to list of authors to check out...

    Added Harry Turtledove to my list of folks I would like to check out. Unfortunately, the first book of this series doesn't have an e-book version available and there doesn't seem to be a snippet available online, so I'll have to look in the library for it.

    Like all my other favorite authors, I'll probably buy every book he has available if I like one of his books -- oh, hell, I'll probably just buy his book instead to see if I like it...paperback version is really cheap.

     

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  2.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Added to list of authors to check out...

    Unfortunately, the first book of this series doesn't have an e-book version available and there doesn't seem to be a snippet available online, so I'll have to look in the library for it.

    Heh, spoke to soon. Gotta turn off the proxy server. Apparently the e-book and snippet are available in the US.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 8:38pm

    Perfect Example

    We definitely need more stories like this. It's a shame that the ill deeds of the abusers of our Constitutional rights in the Content Cartels and government have to take center stage drowning out stories like this. There should also be someone following what happens with regards to the sales figures for this series as this is a PERFECT example of CwF + RtB and with the release of this story I wouldn't be surprised if the sales numbers go ballistic.

     

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  4.  
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    Khstapp, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 8:45pm

    Fan

    I was already a fan of Harry Turtledove's work...now I am a fan of the man

     

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    Zos (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 9:12pm

    i'm only lukewarm on Turtledove, alternate history is hit or miss for me, but a very cool gesture to make to a fan.

     

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  6.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 9:13pm

    Being a sci-fi lit fan AND a human being this made me well up.

    Whenever I'm on the precipice of disowning my fellow humans something like this happens.

    God, cancer is so unfair.

     

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  7.  
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    Warren, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 9:49pm

    This could be...

    This could be the thing to turn his condition around. As much as it sounds hard to believe, one of my uncles has been fighting cancer for most of my life (I'm 29), and his love for life (and stubbornness) has helped him prove doctors wrong many times, when they've told him that he'll be lucky to live another 2 years.

    An honest and true smile, when combined with effective medicine is truly a powerful combination

     

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  8.  
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    TechnoMage (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 10:02pm

    "PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY"

    I would have bet that the following link would have caught your attention:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/p7kfg/my_friend_has_terminal_cancer_and_may_die_by_june /c3ncjuo

    Where the post author wants to give the author money but can't b/c there isn't an ebook kindle version (in their _english speaking_? country?).

    Classic example of how systems aren't setup to actually just give authors the money you think they deserve. Also Del-Ray earned some Kudos here too.

     

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  9.  
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    Caleb (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 10:21pm

    Harry Turtledove

    I am fairly certain that the majority of Mr. Turtledove's work is available via Baen and know that two of his early works are available in the Baen Free Library available for download. Best of all, Baen doesn't believe in DRM!

     

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    Jake, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:18pm

    I'm not a particular fan of Harry Turtledove, but this was an extremely kind gesture and I salute him for it.

     

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  11.  
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    Ilfar, Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Harry Turtledove

    Baen thinks PDF format is spawn of the devil too. Those HTML format versions are wondrous - I've purchased every book in series that I liked in the free library.

    Incidentally, I think the Honor Harrington books come with a CD that has ebook versions of all the previous books, and a selection from the free library as well?

     

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    Zane Stuart (profile), Feb 27th, 2012 @ 11:32pm

    Response to: Tom Landry on Feb 27th, 2012 @ 9:13pm

    I misread "disowning my fellow humans..." as "drowning my fellow humans...". I feel that way too sometimes - and it reads better!

     

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    Brendan (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 12:27am

    sales boost after this?

    This is the kind of goodwill that gets you a big fat internet sales boost. Id love to see some stats in a couple of weeks showing any spike around this event.

    To be clear, I'm not suggesting anything like exploitation, just that true good deeds are rewarded, and I'm curious if we can quantify that.

     

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  14.  
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    Loki, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 1:55am

    Re: Added to list of authors to check out...

    Turtledove has been one of those authors I've got on my list to get around to some day, but I just bumped him to the top of my list.

     

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    Narcissus (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 2:18am

    Re: "PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY"

    It is available on Amazon.com. Since I'm in a non-English speaking country I can order there. I agree with you wholeheartedly that the system is messed up though.

    What actually really messes me up is that the Kindle version is actually almost twice as expensive as the paperback. How does that even make sense? Unfortunately I already have enough dead trees in my house.

     

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    Beech, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 2:19am

    Freetard!! >:-0

    Just another example of how dying kids just want free stuff....

    nope, cant do it. cant even fake troll. this is an amazing story. never heard of turtledove, and not really a fan of alternate histories (always afraid that later down the road i'll confuse the "real" history with the "fictional" history...even though i'm aware that "real" history is also a lot of fiction) but this incredible nonetheless.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: Harry Turtledove

    I agree, Baen needs to be supported. No DRM, multiple formats and reasonable prices.

    Many of their dead tree editions have come out with an enclosed CD. A fansite has consolidated them at http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/

     

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  18.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 6:36am

    Re: Freetard!! >:-0

    "always afraid that later down the road i'll confuse the "real" history with the "fictional" history."

    That should never be a problem. You just always have to remember that the more insane outlandish one is the "real" history.

     

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    Benjamin C. Wade, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 8:29am

    Re: Added to list of authors to check out...

    I loved his earlier series. Check them out as well. He had one about Rome that was great.

     

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    MisterHux (profile), Feb 28th, 2012 @ 8:36am

    Re: Freetard!! >:-0

    I think it might easy to "remember" real history in Turtledove's case considering that his 2 more famous series deal with Aliens during WW2 and the South winning the American Civil War.

     

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  21.  
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    gyffes, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    Re: Harry Turtledove

    HUGE fan of Baen's b/c of the Free Library and the relative low-cost of their eBooks, which they make available DRM-free and in an incredible range of formats (including HTML for reading in your browser, if you wish).

    I highly highly recommend checking out the Baen site, and if you wanted, you could toss a few dollars donation at their Free Library: maybe you can't support Turtledove's action that way, but you can support the company that supports him!

     

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    Mindi Kurtz, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Great video

    It would have been even greater if the morons at Sony wouldn't have kept running a video ad over it, especially after I tried to close it and opt out of their ad. Asswaffles.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 11:42am

    the power of the internet is matched by the power of friendship.

     

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  24.  
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    Anthony, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 2:48pm

    Good Deed

    That was a wondeful thing that was done for him. My prayers gou out to the sick gentleman

     

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  25.  
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    Daniel h, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    I came across this by accident..and as i read it..it made me sad to see a young kid like him having terminal cancer...but at the same time it made me happy to see he still smiles and is nice he has such a great friend!!..life is crazy am 24 and i have hodgkins i say thanks to God my chemotherapy results were succesfull...never loose hope brother..and say thanks that you got to meet wonderful people in your life!

     

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  26.  
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    Sachi, Feb 28th, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Freetard!! >:-0

    You would be surprised how many people in the South believe that the second one is true.

     

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    Ceri Cat (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 8:15am

    Re:

    He doesn't purely write alternate history. However he rarely if ever starts a series as a trilogy and ends as a trilogy... I seriously can't remember any of his trilogies that ended at book 3.

    I have to admit though I've enjoyed his writing over the years and this sort of involvement with the fans gives me another reason to like him and add him to a shortlist of authors who've gone above and beyond with fans, another is Piers Anthony one of the recurring characters in the Xanth novels (Jenny the Elf) was modelled off a fan who a victim of a hit and run. It was good to hear about her progress in the author's letters in the novels, and about other fans and their input entering the novels.

    On a related note sometimes publishers will help with engaging with fans Jim Baen (owner and founder of the Baen publishing house a major publisher of science fiction) before he passed away established a free online library which had selected works from Baen writers such as David Weber (with their approval and support) which provide in some cases an introduction to certain series (for myself Weber's Honourverse books), and with their books is usually included a CD which includes all the previous titles in the series and other novels or stories that might be of interest. Sadly Jim has been dead for about 4-5 years now, along with some of the more engaging writers I've had contact with over the years.

     

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  28.  
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    Ceri Cat (profile), Mar 16th, 2012 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Harry Turtledove

    I'd say say thank you to Jim personally, but sadly he passed away a while ago. He was a very innovative man, which is remarkable in a publisher. One of the other things Jim and his cohorts implemented was a fan screening service for inbound fiction, basically fans would get submissions and rate them prior to getting to the Baen staff and family for final approvals and edits, while Baen are not a huge publisher compared to others they're the only publishing house I've never had reason to dislike, they're approachable and most of their writers are actively engaging with fans the BFL is a perfect example, all the books there are there because the authors said ok to it supporting the concept.

     

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