"Comedy and cancer don’t mix."
--- Simon A. Forward
A short while ago, Simon, my friend and fellow author, shared the news that starting November 24th, and continuing through May 24th, 2013, he would be donating all proceeds from his Evil UnLtd series of sci-fi novels to Cancer Research UK.
I asked him if he'd like to do a guest post about it, in order to help spread the word, and he graciously took me up on the offer. So now, please allow me to share this guest post from the inimitable Simon A. Forward.
Comedy and cancer don’t mix.
When I wrote the first Evil UnLtd book, an epic tale of anti-heroism in a sci-fi universe, I never imagined dedicating it to any kind of worthy cause, let alone in aid of Cancer Research. For one thing, I was sure the characters would not have approved. Everyone loves a great villain, but not every great villain likes charity.
It’s too easy to say something trite like ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Even if it’s trite and true, it’s going to echo rather hollowly in the face of the big ‘c’ word. Like the jingle of sleigh bells at Santa’s funeral.
Lord knows, laughter was the last thing on my mind when that terrifying, world-stopping diagnosis was delivered on my mum six and a half years ago. Sitting around a hospital bed, shellshocked and at a complete loss for anything to say or think. Other than to be afraid really. Or as Jedi Master Yoda expressed it so well, be very afraid.
Humour doesn’t sit comfortably alongside that sort of devastating moment. Even the memory of it. But the main point is, I remember vividly how fear and dread ruled – and overruled – everything else.
It’s tough to talk about. Ridiculously tough, after all this time. Fortunately, there’s no need to go into too much detail. Most of us are already too familiar with the impact of the disease. And those who aren’t probably will be, sooner or later.
But that’s precisely the sort of doom and gloom note we need to counter. Whether we’ve been touched directly or indirectly, we’re survivors. But we can do better than survive. We can donate our spare cash (yeah, like that’s a real thing) to help combat the disease and we can basically not allow it to rule our lives.
Fear is the mind-killer, so goes a mystic chant in Frank Herbert’s famous sci-fi epic Dune. Fun will soon give fear a good beating. To be fair to Mr Herbert, his opus is a substantive work, rich with meaning. Evil UnLtd by comparison is probably short on meaning – it doesn’t even offer up 42 as the Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything –, but with a villains’-eye view of the universe it has plenty of mean. Above average mean.
All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing, it was once said. One way for good to succeed, I suppose, would be to pit one Evil against another.
So, yes, they’re an odd couple. But some odd couples work.
And ultimately all I want to do with this is spread a little laughter, raise a little money.
Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight, get down tonight.
Well, okay, not that last thing. But the first thing.
With that in mind, for the next 6 months (until May 24th 2013) all royalties from the first two Evil UnLtd books (in all formats) will be going to Cancer Research UK.
You can find links to the various ways you can get your hands, virtual or otherwise, on the paperbacks and/or ebooks by visiting the official Evil website:
Where villain Dexter Snide also gives his reaction to the news.
So, if you haven’t availed yourself of a copy yet, go ahead and treat yourself. And please tell your friends, spread the word.
Help make Evil do some Good.
Simon Forward is the author of several Doctor Who novels, audio dramas and short stories as well as three novelisations for the BBC’s Merlin series.