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Sunday, February 22, 2009

PRESS RELEASE: World-Famous Fantasy Authors & Artists Contribute to Anthology Benefit to Help Musician S.J. Tucker!

Thanks to Shira Lipkin, I was informed of a wonderful benefit anthology to help pay the medical bills for independent musical artist S.J. Tucker who fell ill in December. For more information, please read the Official Press Release below:

World-famous fantasy authors and artists have joined together to produce a limited-edition benefit anthology entitled “Ravens in the Library”. This exclusive book—featuring Newbery Award-winner
Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Sandman), 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”, was titled after 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

In addition to New York Times bestsellers like Gaiman, Black and Hamilton, contributors to “Ravens in the Library” include American Library Association Award-winner
Charles de Lint (The Mystery of Grace, The Blue Girl), pop-cultural folklore professor Ari Berk (Runes of Elfland), The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror series editor Terri Windling, Hot Topic fairy artist Amy Brown, Storm Constantine (Wraeththu Chronicles), the James Tiptree, Jr. Award-winning author Catherynne M. Valente (The Orphan’s Tales), Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville), and the aforementioned Shira Lipkin.

The anthology features 28 illustrated stories; some are reprinted, others are new. “Ravens in the Library” 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.


Born to an artistic Arkansas family, singer/songwriter
S.J. Tucker took inspiration from Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, and Ani DiFranco when she began performing in 1997. She formed her first band, Skinny White Chick, in 1999; after playing a series of festivals in 2002 and releasing her first album, Haphazard, Tucker decided to become a full-time musician in 2004. That same year, she met fire spinner Kevin Wiley. The two hit it off immediately and formed the performance troupe Fire and Strings, which performed at Burning Man in 2005. A year later, Tucker co-founded the West Coast band/musical collective Tricky Pixie with Betsy Tinney and Alexander James Adams. In 2007, she released “Blessings” and “Solace and Sorrow”, the latter a companion album to Catherynne M. Valente’s novel “The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice”. For more information, please visit the musician’s Official Website and Official Myspace.


Anonymous said...

as a long term juvenile diabetes sufferer, i identify with being wiped out with the medical bills. Over the last 3 years it has left me disabled and bankrupted.

This is the 'wonderful' system left to us by big pharma/insurance raping the privatized sector.

Robert said...

Sorry to hear about that Raul. That's just terrible :(


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