Benevolent Airships

The discussion continues here….

By Meredith: During the recent Origins discussion, Meredith made a joke about:

Note how none of us started a Benevolent Airships campaign despite the direst provocation of Hugo Voters failing to choose Goblin Emperor.

At which point Kurt Busiek said:

I kinda like the idea of a Benevolent Airships campaign.

Provided it did something, you know, benevolent, as opposed to overly entitled, whiny and destructive.
Like, I dunno, buying Hugo-nominated books and donating them to school libraries, or something.

… At which point we all got carried away. This is the dedicated discussion post for sorting out whether and exactly how we’re going to do this thing. Elisa is currently the lead USA Dirigible, and Meredith is exploring the UK possibilities.

So far, “market research” has been done (the school librarians are enthusiastic) and we’re looking into whether existing book donation charities are willing to partner with us. The previous discussion can be found here and here.

93 thoughts on “Benevolent Airships

  1. I’ve been away for… a couple of years, and was primarily a lurker before, and am posting under a different email address, but I do happen to be on the Board of Directors for a 501(c)3 that was explicitly set up to promote literacy by providing books (with a SF / Fantasy) focus to public schools in Eastern Washington state.

  2. @ab_normal: Reading for the Future/Developing the Young Reader? (or some other organization I don’t know about?)

  3. Please put me down as a supporter. And then let me know how I can support?

  4. @Andrew: Fan Foundation — our primary fund-raising event is SpoCon. We’re a very (very) small organization, which will probably not be suitable for the overall Benevolent Airships effort.

  5. Is the German representative going to be our Erste Zeppelin? (ducks and runs)

  6. I’m going to repost this from another thread, as this is the appropriate place for it:

    I don’t think we need to restrict Benevolent Airships books to purely Hugo-nominated works, although that seems an excellent starting point. I like the idea of good popular science books for kids, as well as just fun books that get delayed or reluctant readers to enjoy reading.

    I woke up with an image for a logo in my head; a Goodyear-blimp shaped airship (but maybe with a pointed nose instead of a rounded one) from which hangs a long gondola (via old-fashioned Montgolfier-balloon style netting); in the stern of the gondola is a gender-indeterminate child, reading; forward of the kid is a space-suited person, a unicorn, and perhaps a friendly-looking tentacled horror. (The gondola must be the length, or nearly the length, of the airship to accommodate these figures without too much crowding, I suspect.) Optionally, perched on top of the blimp is a dragon, coiled partly around it. (That would make Meredith happy… <grin> )

    I have no talent whatsoever for art, and I can’t say whether this is the best idea for a logo (perhaps it’s too busy?) but I’m willing to throw $50 into the pot to help commission an artist, for whatever logo Benevolent Airships ends up with. (I don’t know what such a commission should cost (certainly more than $50!) but at least it’s a start…. ) One caveat; I don’t do PayPal (I’m a Neanderthal) so I’d be mailing a check to whomever.

  7. Willing and these days kinda able again to donate, but not sure I have much I can contribute besides cash or possibly ordering books for direct shipping.

  8. I do have to admit, the way the Fan Foundation does it is somewhat labor intensive:
    * Call local schools until we actually get in contact with the librarian / teacher who is now running the library because there’s no budget for a library professional
    * Get their wish-list for age-appropriate genre books
    * Arrange purchase from local bookstores / vendors (Amazon at a last resort)

    Delivering the books is the fun part.

  9. Inspired by Cassy B, I’m in the process of collecting comments from the previous threads for reposting here, stay tuned ~

  10. Previous discussion comments from the Origins thread (excluding general messages of support, which are lovely but also short enough to be easily repeated; apologies if I missed anything else, feel free to add missing comments)…

    Elisa:

    If enough people are actually interested I can talk to Project Flight to see if this is doable/a good idea in the US. I have to touch base with them about a nonfiction book donation anyhow. Other people have to take care of other countries though.

    Meredith:

    Re: Benevolent Airships, I’ve put feelers out as to whether that sort of donation would be welcome – the info will be UK-specific but I don’t think libraries are that different across the pond. I have my doubts as to whether I’d be able to pull off the Real Work but I figured I could at least do a bit of school librarian market research. Initial response was that it would be appreciated so long as the quantities were reasonable (shelf-space is always limited).

    Meredith:

    Re: Benevolent Airships, it strikes me that there’s two options:
    1. Set up non-profits specifically for the task.
    2. Talk to charities already engaged in distributing books to schools and seeing if they’re willing to work with us (Elisa’s looking into this in the USA, I think).

    Anyone with experience in the third sector who can hazard a guess as to which would work best? I really like the idea of managing to pull something off the same year as the first YA Award but I am the very embodiment of the meme dog saying “I have no idea what I’m doing”.

    (Also, fair warning, my energy has some pretty hard limits. So I wouldn’t be able to do most of the UK work solo.)

    Elisa:

    And since several people have indicated an interest in the Benevolent Airships idea, I will try to look into the possibility of teaming with an existing organization in the United States that I know. It will have to wait until next week though. I have to survive finals this week and all the grading. Eek!

    Lurkertype:

    I want the Benevolent Airships to donate lotsa Wombat (both names), and “Peasprout Chen”, and authors wot are on the YA Award Hugo list and other YA SFF awards, like the Andre Norton Award. And “Goblin Emperor” and some of Jim C. Hines, and of course TGE. Plus the “Young Wizards” series (all of them, Millennium editions), and the Other Ursula. Not forgetting graphic novels like “Lumberjanes”.

    Kurt Busiek:

    I had suggested school libraries rather than children’s libraries — certainly, there’s a big overlap, but I would expect most children’s libraries would want YA books and younger, since adult books would be carries by the adult library, while school libraries might carry general SF/fantasy beyond YA.

    But it’s entirely possible my expectations are completely off-base.

    Elisa:

    I went with the generic term children’s libraries accidentally. Regionally here that does default to school libraries. The county library told me that they don’t purchase that many children’s books because they expect the school libraries to have a substantial collection. Also they tend to use donations as books for resale to raise funds and not add to the collection. However the poorer school districts in the county don’t have big school libraries thus the need for donations. I know in another state I lived in the school libraries were quite small and the kids were sent to the town library to get books. This is why I want to talk to an existing organization because they will have a much better idea were the donations will be kept in the collection and do the most good.

    I love the suggestions so far as to what to include. I will provide updates on what I find out in the pixel scrolls unless there is a better place to post them.

    Lurkertype:

    Regarding the Benevolent Airships: I think the books in the US should go to public school libraries, since funding is being cut so drastically there. Particularly school districts that don’t have a big tax base. Like that one in the rural Sierras that everyone sent books to. Or schools in big non-gentrified cities.

    ULTRAGOTHA:

    I highly recommend offering Benevolent Airship books to an existing charity. No use reinventing the wheel.

    Cassy B already reposted this one, but for the sake of completionism:

    I don’t think we need to restrict Benevolent Airships books to purely Hugo-nominated works, although that seems an excellent starting point. I like the idea of good popular science books for kids, as well as just fun books that get delayed or reluctant readers to enjoy reading.

    I woke up with an image for a logo in my head; a Goodyear-blimp shaped airship (but maybe with a pointed nose instead of a rounded one) from which hangs a long gondola (via old-fashioned Montgolfier-balloon style netting); in the stern of the gondola is a gender-indeterminate child, reading; forward of the kid is a space-suited person, a unicorn, and perhaps a friendly-looking tentacled horror. (The gondola must be the length, or nearly the length, of the airship to accommodate these figures without too much crowding, I suspect.) Optionally, perched on top of the blimp is a dragon, coiled partly around it. (That would make Meredith happy… )

    I have no talent whatsoever for art, and I can’t say that this is the best idea for a logo (perhaps it’s too busy?) but I’m willing to throw $50 into the pot to help commission an artist, for whatever logo Benevolent Airships ends up with. (I don’t know what such a commission should cost (certainly more than $50!) but at least it’s a start…. ) One caveat; I don’t do PayPal (I’m a Neanderthal) so I’d be mailing a check to whomever.

    (Alright off to the other thread, back shortly.)

  11. Anyone know Katherine Addison/Sarah Monette? I suspect she’d be interested.

    I’ll also repeat my suggestion to contact the Science Fiction Outreach Project for suggestions or possible coordination. Helen Montgomery is the person I know there.

    I can contribute a little bit, but am not in a place to do much work.

  12. Previous discussion comments from the Pixel Scroll thread part 1 (excluding general messages of support, which are lovely but also short enough to be easily repeated; apologies if I missed anything else, feel free to add missing comments)…

    Meredith:

    Benevolent Airships update: The school librarians are extremely enthusiastic about the idea. If they were undiginified like I am they’d probably be making *grabby hands* gestures, and also they’re asking a number of uncomfortable questions which I don’t have answers for like “which books” and “how many schools” and “what’s the eligibility criteria” and “will it be a straight donation or will you arrange discounts” and “I want to help where do I donate”. My life right now. Also also, it turns out most of them had no idea about the YA Award and now they do and are quite pleased about it, so that’s a result right there even if nothing else happens (in the UK; I’m pretty sure someone will manage something for the USA).

    (By the way, Ursula, if this does get off the ground which is in no way guaranteed because I have no idea what I’m doing, what would be the chances of being able to get hard copies of Summer in Orcus in or to the UK?)

    Kurt Busiek:

    Great news!

    I am of no organizational help, but I’ll sure donate, and if anyone produces fundraising cloisonné pins with a fine Benevolent Airships logo,* well, I’m in for that, too.

    *or other Benevolent swag. T-shirts! Tote bags! Stained-glass windows! But I just like the idea of cloisonné pins.

    Ctein:

    I don’t think it’s YA material, but… if I’m wrong about that I’d be happy to donate a dozen paperback copies of SATURN RUN.

    Is there anybody here who’s read SATURN RUN and knows the current YA scene and can tell me?

    Cassy B:

    I will cheerfully send a donation for Benevolent Airships, for either side of the Pond. Especially if Hamster Princess books are involved. (My niece, a reluctant reader, actually squealed in a tone that, by reports, should have broken glass, when she unwrapped her last birthday present and found the latest Hampster Princess book. This is a child who, before she encountered Harriet the Invincible, thought that books were boring and reading was a chore.) I recognise that authors have little-to-no influence with publishers, but I don’t suppose there’s any chance that a certain local wombat would be willing to put in a good word with Penguin/Random House?

    Elisa:

    Benevolent Airships – some random musings. Were enough of us serious that I should look into starting a 501c3 for this? I can reserve the name in NY (where I am) for $10 but the subsequent paperwork is a bit daunting. My husband and I did this before for a fencing organization but that was over a decade ago and I have blanked out most of the details.

    From the little bit of research I have been able to do so far, it seems like it might be best to at first become a partner with an existing organization that already has the infrastructure to collect and distribute books. There are several possibilities and selecting which ones to contact depends on what we decide the primary mission is – to get books into school libraries? to get books directly to children from low income areas? Some mix of these ideas?

    Brief story from my childhood. I grew up in a poverty stricken section of an outer ring urban area. I have incredibly fond memories of the one day each year that Reading is Fundamental showed up at the elementary school and we were allowed into the library to *pick a book of our very own!* I was always one of the last kids in the room because looking through all the beautiful books to pick out one I could keep was like a little dream come true. I still find it appalling how many children grow up in one of the riches countries in the world and have no books of their own and little to no access to age appropriate books for pleasure reading. Anyhow – this is why I am willing to put in some legwork to make this happen.

    One other thing – how do people feel about adding nonfiction science books to this plan? Books that talk about space, biology and technology etc? To me as a kid the two groups were both passions. I think this is especially important when talking about donating to school libraries. Opinions?

    Finally – if this is going to become real, we are going to need a coherent space for conversations and development other than pixel scroll because I can’t keep up (I am already two scrolling behind!). I can set something up on my almost moribund blog (no time!!!!) but other suggestions are welcome and strongly encouraged.

    GSLamb:

    Re Benevolent Airships – There is a group here at work that works with several NFPs.

    I will ask if any of them deal with schools/libraries/etc.

    Meredith:

    Benevolent Airships – I could set up a Facebook group quite easily, although that would exclude people who aren’t on Facebook, or perhaps Mike would be willing to set us up a dedicated discussion post.
    I’ve looked into the UK options for partnering with an existing charity but the main one here focuses on primary(translation: elementary) and, at a pinch, 11-13yos, whereas I think we’re probably looking at mostly 11-18. Possibly still worth approaching them; it would certainly simplify distribution.

    Re: Non-fiction, I like the idea but until we start actually, you know, raising money (and talking to publishers to see if they’ll agree to discounts?) it’s a bit hard to say what kind of funds we’re working with – and of course I’m working the UK end of things which may end up doing things differently from the USA depending on relative available cash.

    Basic goal I’m hoping for is YA winner, followed by YA finalists, followed by this year’s Best Novel finalists, followed by assorted Best Novel finalists past (like The Goblin Emperor, since it sort of inspired the whole thing), plus any kind donations from authors – based on the feedback I’ve had from the schools.

    School selection is also something to think about – would we prefer to give more books to fewer schools, or fewer books to more schools?

    If anyone is willing to make and donate a logo – or knows someone who would be willing – we could look at swag. I’m definitely not an artist, and I certainly haven’t got the first idea about designing for badges, but if there is one I could see if it would be feasible.

    Cassy B:

    GSLamb, that would be terrific! If we can hook Benevolent Airships up with an accredited 501(c)3, that will save whomever is organizing it on the US side of the Pond (note: I am *not* volunteering!) from jumping through an *enormous* number of hoops, and will probably make publishers somewhat more likely to sell us books at a discount, or (unlikely but possible) even donate some outright.

    As for age ranges, I’d say, honestly, anywhere from elementary school through high school would be good. Say, 10-18?

    RedWombat:

    @Meredith – I think we’d need to hit up Sofawolf about getting a box over there. Assuming it could be sent to a central location, it’d be…oh, not cheap, since shipping to the UK is brutal, but certainly doable, and I’ll chip in on the shipping. If you email me at ursulav (at) gmail.com and give me some details I can pass on to the publisher, we could probably get the ball rolling.

    Meredith:

    Thanks! I’m not at the point where I’m confident enough to want to take up too much of people’s time, but as soon as (if) I am I’ll get in contact.

    As far as central location goes I was sort of working on the principle that if I get an existing charity on board then they probably already have one, and if it ends up being DIY then I’d need to organise one, even if it ends up being someone’s house + a few volunteers to help get everything unpacked, sorted and sent out.

    Elisa:

    Benevolent Airships Oops, I would be one of those people who are not on Facebook. I have a half set up account that I never finished and insofar as I can tell, never will finish. Unless I have to for this. If we can’t find another appealing option, I guess I can bite the bullet and get Facebook.

    @Mike Glyer – Oh most Gracious Host and Master of All the Scrolls we survey? Would you be willing to set up a thread for us? I am more than happy to be the US Dirigible but in terms of keeping up with disparate comments in the vast scrolls, I am going to fall down on the job. I have a huge pile of grading to do and revisions on a journal article that are imminent. After next Wednesday I might be able to take a breath and catch up.

    @Meredith […]

    Good question about the whole – lots of places fewer books vs fewer places more books. I imagine it largely depends on what kind of donations and sponsors we manage to get.

    As for the non-fiction science idea – I added that for two reasons – 1) for a mission statement outlining long term goals (sigh, I hate writing mission statements) and 2) the possibility of applying for STEM/STEAM grants at some point in the future. If we pair nonfiction books with themes in the fiction we donate we might be able to parlay that into curriculum development for classrooms. I wasn’t planning to attack that idea initially though – more dreaming.

  13. Previous discussion comments from the Pixel Scroll thread part 2 (excluding general messages of support, which are lovely but also short enough to be easily repeated; apologies if I missed anything else, feel free to add missing comments)…

    Ctein:

    There is no even mildly explicit sexual content in the book (John and I both find that boring to write), Although there is reference to “sexual situations” as the disclaimers like to put it. There is a moderate amount of death and killing on camera (because, thriller), and there is a lot of swearing. It is one of John’s style things, and it worked for me.

    […]

    Anyway, you’ve given me enough reassurance that I’ll happily donate a dozen paperback copies. Worst that happens is that some libraries move them over to the adult shelf — I doubt they’ll be upset at getting a free bestseller.

    Lenore Jones / jonesnori:

    Benevolent Airships – maybe worth contacting the Science Fiction Outreach Project? They do something vaguely similar, meaning not to schools, and not YA-focused, but still distributing free SFF books.

    Mike Glyer:

    Elisa: @Mike Glyer – Oh most Gracious Host and Master of All the Scrolls we survey? Would you be willing to set up a thread for us? I am more than happy to be the US Dirigible but in terms of keeping up with disparate comments in the vast scrolls, I am going to fall down on the job. I have a huge pile of grading to do and revisions on a journal article that are imminent. After next Wednesday I might be able to take a breath and catch up.

    Yes, I would be glad to. Somebody write what they want as the post text, and then the discussion can latch on in comments. Email the text to me — mikeglyer (at) cs (dot) com

    Chip Hitchcock:

    @RedWombat: point-to-point transatlantic shipping is horrible — but there is (or at least used to be) a company specializing in packaging blocks of books to use container rates, which are very low. If we’re talking about boxes from multiple sources, I will see if I can recover the info (used for Glasgow in 2005, so it’s not near the top of my stack).

    Lurkertype:

    I think the Benevolent Airships should probably partner with existing organization(s), who are likely to know what’s needed where, the rules about what is and isn’t de trop, and how to get books to kids most efficiently nation-wide. I lean towards libraries, as that way each book donated with be available for many a kid, and agree with @Elisa that nonfiction science books would be another thing that should be airlifted in. Kids need to know about astronomy, and geology, biology, chemistry and physics and all. Gotta be lists of solid well-researched, well-written ones out there. And maybe that “They Might Be Giants” kids’ album about science, for the ones who are audio-oriented. I had a cool science LP as a little proto-geek.

    But I have not and do not Facebook. I do think the Science Fiction Outreach Project would have ideas. They do good work and will be at Worldcon. They go to cons and give away free SFF! Donated stuff, publisher overstock, etc. They kinda had a hard time at Silicon Valley Comic Con — people who’ve only attended commercial conventions couldn’t quite grok that someone in that dealers’ room was actually giving physical objects away free, no money, no email signup, no Tweet, no further contact. I took several books and helped yell FREE! now and then. The looks on the kids’ faces were particularly great (I’m actually going to return the books I got and read but don’t need to keep).

    […]

    @Kurt Busiek: I think there must be some older YA kids who would appreciate a certain comic name of “Astro City”. I hear it’s good.

    Heather Rose Jones:

    Chiming in belatedly to say I love the emerging concept of the Benevolent Airships book charity. (Though my brain keeps trying to turn it into something like “The Airship Benevolent Society” or “The Benevolent Airship Society” or something similarly neo-Victorianish.) I have very little brain for helping organize things, but when it’s set up I’ll be happy to make monetary contributions.

    Lis Carey:

    I’d love to support the Benevolent Airships. I may not be able to do much, but I want to contribute somehow.

    Meredith:

    @Heather Rose Jones

    I’m not against minor changes to the name. (Or major ones, really; I was just being silly and co-opting the [attribute] [noun] format for my own ends.) We could hold a poll once we have a discussion post, maybe, if people prefer those.

    @Lis Carey

    I can’t speak for Elisa (USA Dirigible! I love that; can I call myself UK Dirigible unless/until someone else takes lead? If I’m a very good and very hardworking little Filer maybe someone will draw me a dirigible with a dragon on it) but certainly at some point I think I might need volunteers to give a little time almost as much as the fundraising, so maybe that would be an option for you. And of course there’s publicity in general and word of mouth is important for that.

    @Elisa

    Well, Facebook is awful, and you’re not the only one here who doesn’t use it. Better to have somewhere else.

    […]

    I do like the non-fiction science idea (I started eyeing the Royal Society Science Books Prize nominees – and for not-necessarily-science, the Hugo Best Related Works finalists) and certainly it’s a good, I dunno, stretch goal? Future goal? Something like that. I’ve got my own “maybe someday” mini-expansion dream – I quite like the idea of getting a few sponsored supporting memberships and having a competition to award them to teens who are already fannish/enthusiastic readers so they could participate in the nominating and voting – and that’s much more of a scope-creep than adding non-fiction.

    Kurt Busiek:

    I think there must be some older YA kids who would appreciate a certain comic name of “Astro City”. I hear it’s good.

    I’ve heard good things, too (and thanks), but I’ll admit, I sorta like the idea of having the Benevolent Airships contribute Hugo-winning or Hugo-nominated books to school libraries, and keeping that “let’s promote the Hugos rather than tasting them” concept for the group.

    Much as I might otherwise like a “let’s promote ME” approach…

    There we go. Apologies if I missed or snipped anything important.

  14. Meredith, you are amazing!

    Camestros, that is very cute!

  15. Possible task for people who might like to remote-volunteer time:

    I’ve been asked if there’s likely to be any supplemental material – stuff they could use for organised reading groups, so activity packs, discussion prompts, theme break-downs, etc (I’ve been provided with some samples of what they mean, and I might be able to ask for more of different styles). Is that something people might be interested in working on?

    @Camestros

    Ooh I like that!

  16. I used to work as a quiz writer for a school-focused subscription service/app, so depending on time/energy/etc I might be able to work up some quizzes. They would be basic, though – more “were you paying attention when you read this book” multiple choice than anything themey or essay-ish. Still, options…

  17. Speaking of airships: Like 15-25 years ago, I saw, at a con art show (probably Boskone, possibly Arisia), a ~ 8×10 painted picture (perhaps a print?) of a postage stamp, featuring a side view of a lighter-than-air ship with the front profile of US Prexy FDR, titled “Franklin Delano Rigible.”

    Fool that I was, I didn’t buy it then. (I think it was affordable)
    And have not been able to find it, or about it, since.
    I _think_ it was by Courtney Skinner.
    Periodic web searches not helpful.
    Does anybody know the answer? (And mayhap know where I could buy a print?)
    Regretfully, DPD

  18. Huzzah for the thread. And the idea! And the Goblin Emperor!

    @Meredith and @Elisa: I could work on supplemental material as spoons allow — no heavy lifting, sitting at the keyboard, right? If the US branch needs.

    @Kurt: Sorry, Kurt, you are too good to ignore just b/c you’re a Filer. 🙂 But perhaps you can give us an idea of what might be suitable in the broader field?

    I agree with you that the books should go to school libraries in low-income places.

    I love @CassyB’s idea of a logo design! It’s basically what I pictured. There MUST be netting, and curlicues and details.

    I fully support science books. Science teaching is being cut back drastically in favor of passing the stupid standardized tests. So good basic intros to science are needed. There’s probably an award list for those. And there must be dinosaurs.

    I’m a book person myself, but check out this track listing!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Comes_Science

    I also wanna stan for the Ysabeau Wilce “Flora Segunda” trilogy. SO GOOD. And David Levine’s “Arabella” series, which has lotsa airships even.

    Since there isn’t a big number of YA Hugo books yet, I suggested using the Andre Norton Award (Not A Nebula) list from SFWA. The Alex Award (from the ALA) named Murderbot and Seanan’s “Down Among…” this year, and “Lock In” and “The Martian” 3 years ago. ALA gives a bunch of awards.

    I presume we’re going with new and awesome books, more suitable to These Kids Today’s interests/worldview? From this century and decade. I remember being kinda annoyed by books substantially older than me, and as we’re into 2018… yeah, best go very modern.

    The Norton only started in 2006 so everything on their list is probably fresh enough.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Norton_Award

  19. I’ve seen books printed with book club discussion questions in the back, and google brings up a number of (generic) question lists designed to spark meaningful discussion. Not sure the level of effort to make moderator guides for them, but it could be a starting point.

  20. @Stoic Cynic

    Well, like I said, I used to do that “professionally” – I’m responsible for a few hundred* commercially available quizzes either as a writer, first-pass editor, or localiser. Most of the really comprehensive and consistently formatted services are subscription ones, iirc, although I’ve been out of the business for a few years. More complex acitivity group packs are often crowdsourced by librarians themselves.

    I’m pretty sure there’ll be plenty of stuff available for books like the Pullman, though. He’s a bit popular. Some YA/children’s lit includes some material at the end of the book itself, too.

    *And if I ever have to read another Rainbow Magic fairy book it will be too soon.

  21. I dunno, Camestros, are you sure you can’t make it look any more phallic?

  22. @Cam: Pointier and with more ornamentation, I think.

    I dunno about Cassy B, but I was picturing it in profile.

  23. I like Camestros’s initial design, with the book gondola, but maybe as line-art (more versatile for rubber stamps and the all-important cloisonné pins!), with a pointier, more steampunk/HGWells flavor balloon with a face, so the point in front served as a nose and it’s got a big, benevolent smile.

  24. @Anna

    Is the German representative going to be our Erste Zeppelin? (ducks and runs)

    I honestly have no idea how library donations work in Germany and whether they’d even be welcome, but I could find out.

    However, they’d definitely want German language books and they’d probably be more interested in winners of German children’s/YA book awards like the Buxtehuder Bulle than in international awards.

  25. Randomly ruminating on the sorts of things that keep projects like this going, and the sorts of things that derail enthusiasm…

    Simplicity and a clear mission statement are wonderful things. On the simplicity end, the idea of partnering with existing organizations that provide books to school libraries is a fantastic idea. On the clear mission statement end, my vote would be for sticking to fiction and with clear parameters for what we’re offering. I’d definitely go for a broader scope than “Hugo winners” but likely no broader than “short-listed for a major SFF award.”

    Now for a more complex consideration. On the “simplicity” end, cash works better than in-kind (especially if partnering with existing organizations). But more on the “mission statement” side, one of the enormous strengths that Filers have is our personal connections throughout the SFF literary world, which tend to be expressed concretely. Or, more to the point, it is likely that the Benevolent Airships could solicit contributing support from publishers and individual authors in the form of physical books (at least, once the movement has created and established its bona fides), but that isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to provide books to individual libraries. (It might well be one of a number of possible ways to solicit donations.) As I say, just randomly brainstorming here.

  26. I remember last time we gave away books, there was some kind of webpage for schools that asked for donations for different projects. One of them was buying Fahrenheit 451 to a whole school class. Anyone who can remember what page that was?

  27. @Hampus I think that was through donorschoose.org?

    @Meredith and all: I have no experience or talking-to-strangers capability to bring to the table (I get anxious soliciting people and the capacity I do have is earmarked for the day job), so I don’t have much to contribute at this stage, but I can offer administrative assistance and manual labour (and probably some financial support) if those are needed later down the line. I’m also UK based.

  28. @LurkerType

    Oh and the Everness books by Ian McDonald. Airships, pretty good on diversity, good writing.

    As Heather Rose Jones said at the moment it does make sense to throw our net a bit wider than the Hugos for YA appropriate books. I think we should be looking for diverse in all it is forms – including varieties of genre, the main characters ethnicity and sexuality, settings etc. However I am not so sure about limiting ourselves to just the major awards – for example one might look to the Norton – but that being a SFWA award would probably skew strongly towards US writers.

  29. I mostly want to give away books or comics. I don’t care much if they have been nominated for anything. My favourites have typically not been nominated.

  30. Amazing Stories would be happy to donate some space on its website to help promote this if/when it happens.

    Airships come in many different sizes and kinds, starting with rigid (Camestros, lol) and non-rigid (dirigible/zeppelin – blimp), but we should not forget designs like the Andrews Airship – the Aereon, notable because it was steerable – championed by the late, great A. Bertram Chandler (he was a big fan of airships and worked them into his stories whenever he could).

    I think the Benevolent Airship should be thought of as a gigantic “mothership”, from which all manner of different aerostats can be launched, making it capable of reaching and servicing every corner of the globe.

  31. Still recovering from infusions, but will jump into thread when I can. Mostly posting to tick the box.
    My wife and i are very interested in helping.

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