I'm James Maxey, the author of numerous novels of fantasy and science fiction. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction. I also have a webpage where both blogs stream, with more information about all my books, at jamesmaxey.net.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Books for Breasts!

Followers of my blogs, and the readers who read the acknowledgement pages of my books, will know that I lost my partner Laura Herrmann to breast cancer in May 2006. I've been interested in cancer research since then and have privately made contributions to cancer related charities, but I've never put out any sort of appeal on my blogs to solicit for this cause, until now.

Last week, I received several cases of my latest book Dragonseed. One of the ongoing themes of Dragonseed is the idea of healing, both from physical and spiritual wounds. Within the book there's a miraculous object called a dragonseed: Eat the seed, and all your injuries will be healed. Even your oldest scars will vanish.

I have some science fiction hoodoo underlying the dragonseed. The technology to create a pill that will both diagnose and cure any illness is pretty far out in our future, if it exists at all. But, the part of this that isn't science fiction or hoodoo is that I believe that technology has the power to work miracles. We have MRI and PET scans that can look into a human body and see it working in minute detail. We have developed surgical tools and techniques that can remove diseased tissues from a human body without doing undo damage to healthy tissues. My father had a heart attack recently, and the doctors had to place stents in his arteries. The incision to perform the operation was small enough to cover with a band-aid. And, right now, there are researchers who are taking apart cancer cells molecule by molecule to understand the genetic engines that drive them to a degree unimaginable only a few decades ago.

We live in an age of miracles because we live in an age of knowledge. Modern computers are finally powerful enough to process all the complex data contained within a human cell. The only barriers remaining between our present understanding a cure for any disease you can name are time and money.

These are not insignificant barriers. New technologies are always expensive. And, to be blunt, the world has a limited supply of really smart people, and a nearly unlimited supply of problems for them to solve. For better or worse, money is one of the most important driving forces of where the smart people focus their energies. In the sixties, it was decided we would put a man on the moon. We threw money at the problem, and produced a glut of rocket scientists. In the eighties and nineties, computer technology was fed enormous sums of money by the stock market, and smart people focused their energies on designing hardware and software, and with the result that today my cell phone has more memory than I do. There is a lot of money today flowing into health care, but only a fraction of this money goes to research of any given disease. I'd like to invite you to increase the fraction going to breast cancer research, both due to my personal connection to the cause, and because I think that this is the right moment in history to truly make a difference. I firmly believe this is a disease than can be cured within our lifetime. I don't know if one day we will simply swallow a magic pill and be healed, but I do know that the day will come when we will be able to profile any cancer cell and match it with the appropriate drug to wipe it out.

To help bring this day closer, if only by a minute or two, I'd like to announce my "Books for Breasts" promotion. Anyone who contributes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation through the "Team Dragon" fundraising page will get a free signed copy of Dragonseed.

You can contribute to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation by clicking here. This will take you to my personal fundraising page; just click the button that says "support James." Then, to get your signed copy of Dragonseed, just email me your mailing address to nobodynovelwriter@yahoo.com. I've set aside 50 copies for this cause; if I give them all away by the end of July, I'm pretty sure I can get my hands on another 50.

I've set up a modest goal of raising $300* through this promotion. This means I need to average contributions of $6, which is less than you'd pay for the book on Amazon. However, I'll send you a book for a contribution in any amount, even if it's just a buck. Spend a buck, get a book, save some breasts. Who's with me?
*Okay, I obviously seriously underestimated the generosity of my readers. I hit $300 in under 24 hours. So, I'm going to raise my goal to $1000. Thank you to everyone who's given so far, and everyone who has helped spread the word via blogs and twitter. If I run out of books, I've had some interest from other writers in contributing their books to the cause. I'll keep you posted if it comes to this.


rastronomicals said...

As I say in my email, pleased to be able to help.

Though neither my girlfriend nor anyone in my family has been stricken with this awful disease, both my best bud's wife and Melanie's college roommate have had to muster all their resources to battle it, thank goodness successfully.

For some time I'd given a little donation each year to MD Anderson in Houston. I got onto their list because of the baseball club in that town, which I follow rabidly follow, and which makes the cancer center there one of their chief charities.

And then every year they'd give me a call and I'd give them 25.00.

Somehow during my last move, they didn't get my contact info, and so it's been a couple years since I gave. So, beyond the book being dangled, it feels proper and right to give again, and to do it here, given your last couple of posts . . .

Kathleen Ruddy said...

James, I am a breast cancer surgeon, Founder and President of Breast Health & Healing, whose mission is to discover the CAUSES of breast cancer and to use that knowledge to prevent the disease.

I applaud your passion, your work and the honor you have bestowed on the memory of your partner.

I have just written the third edition of my book, The Pink Virus, about the viral cause of breast cancer.

Since you are a writer, and I am just a fledgling writer, I wonder if you would allow me to send you a copy of my book for your review. I am just interested in how it "reads" to you.

Many kind regards, and all the best in your work; Dr. Kathleen T. Ruddy (breasthealthandhealing.org)

James Maxey said...

Ras, thanks again!

Kathleen, I'll never say no to a free book. Email me at nobodynovelwriter@yahoo.com and I'll give you my mailing address. Or, if you'd like, you can email a Word doc or text file to me and I'll load the book onto my cell phone. I'm starting to get addicted to reading books on my cell phone.

As to the subject of your book, I knew that cervical cancer has a viral cause, and there's now a vaccine that could effectively wipe out this cancer. But, I hadn't heard of a virus linked to breast cancer in humans until just now. It's apparently not a popular enough theory even to get it's own wikipedia page. Can you give me overview argument on why you think there's a viral cause behind breast cancer?

Kate Burton said...

James - I'm a breast cancer survivor and fellow North Carolinian. I'll be posting a piece about your offer on my blog tomorrow. Thanks!

M. said...

I'm pleased to see your continued interest in breast cancer research following your own loss. As a breast cancer survivor of almost two years, I cheer your efforts!

James Maxey said...

Thanks, Kate and M. It means a lot to hear from actual survivors. I'm sure your mutual struggles were tough, but I hope you were able to draw some value from it. I know many people who've lived through the experience come out more aware of the sheer wonder of simply being alive.

As of tonight, Team Dragon has raised roughly $850. I'm humbled by the response to my solicitation, and excited that we've helped make a difference. In cancer research, money is time. Every dollar spent wisely brings us closer to the cure.

Hillary said...

Very cool! Have posted a link on my Facebook comments, and will click your link to help in a minute. What a fabulous idea. I hope it will catch on.

abe said...

I enjoyed your comment "I am the voice in the wilderness......" ' but let me please say that the written word is so much more than a single voice. A word can convey it's meaning no matter the decibel level of the jack ass braying next to you. As I grow I find that we are all the trees, and we can't see the forest due to lack of perspective. Please continue to wright These wonderful and interesting journeys for our mind. Thank you.