TOP AUTHORS & ARTISTS BECOME “RAVENS IN THE LIBRARY”
World-famous fantasy authors and artists have joined together to produce a limited-edition benefit book entitled RAVENS IN THE LIBRARY. This exclusive collection – featuring Newbery Award winner Neil Gaiman (of Coraline and Sandman fame), Spiderwick Chronicles creator Holly Black, vampire noir author Laurell K. Hamilton and many other contributors – is being released this March to help independent music artist S.J. Tucker, a popular figure in the postmodern urban fantasy scene.
Tucker – who, like her idol Ani DiFranco, favors a self-produced career – was struck with a serious and expensive combination of medical problems in December, 2008. Like an estimated third of Americans today, Tucker could not afford health care coverage, and found herself facing tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Fortunately, Tucker has friends and fans in high places. Called together by GAMA award-winning author Phil Brucato (Mage: The Ascension) – an instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle – over two dozen writers and artists contributed their work to help defray those expenses. The resulting book, RAVENS IN THE LIBRARY, has been named for one of Tucker’s songs.
Self-published by Brucato and his partner Sandra Buskirk (to whom Brucato was introduced by Tucker), the collection has been produced entirely by grass-roots “new media” methods. Through a combination of Internet marketing, social networking sites, virtual technology commerce and print-on-demand techniques, the book was put together in roughly six weeks, and has pre-sold nearly a thousand copies to date. It will not be distributed through stores, and can be ordered online, for a limited time only, through: http://www.sjtucker.com/ravens.html
In addition to New York Times best-sellers like Gaiman, Black and Hamilton, contributors to RAVENS IN THE LIBRARY include American Library Association award-winner Charles de Lint (The Blue Girl), pop-cultural folklore professor Ari Berk (Runes of Elfland), The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series editor Terri Windling, and Hot Topic fairy artist Amy Brown. The book features 28 illustrated stories; some are reprinted, others are new. RAVENS also boasts original covers by author-artist James A. Owen (Here, There be Dragons). Each contributor donated his or her work free of charge. In several cases, this was because those people had been in similar situations themselves.
As of 2007, an estimated 46,000,000 Americans under the age of 65 lacked medical coverage. That number has grown to unknown proportions. Over 10% of American children, under current estimates, are not covered, and nearly 40% of the uninsured population resides in households that earn $50,000 a year or more. Despite the “fantastic” solution to Tucker’s problem, this issue remains a significant concern in the United States. RAVENS IN THE LIBRARY is an imaginative approach to the problem of health care in America. Few people, however, share S.J. Tucker’s popularity, and so this book is only a small step toward a larger solution.