04 January 2013

The Peter (David) principle



It was with a bit of a shock this morning that I discovered the news of Peter David’s stroke. It was an illustration to me how out of touch I’ve been lately (the holidays and an illness of my own did a number on me), and a reminder to me that I should be more in touch. To that end one of my aspirations for the new year (not a resolution, but an aspiration) is to be more involved, more in touch, more of a mensch for my family and the people in my life and those in the fields where I’ve chosen to work.

As for Peter David: I’ve been a fan of his for years, ever since I picked up a Star Trek: TNG novel he wrote called Q-Squared, which can best be described as a delightful romp, and I’ve followed his career and read his work on and off for years. He’s done some terrific work in comics and prose, and is one of the genuinely good guys in the business. I had the honor of seeing him co-chair a panel with Harlan Ellison at I-Con several years ago, and that has to be one of the funniest goddamn hours I have ever spent watching two men shoot the shit in my life. I haven’t always liked everything PAD has ever done, but I have always liked him.

So hearing about his stroke a week after it happened threw me. It was as if 2012 had decided to take one more backwards swipe at us on its way out the door and into history, and my heart did a little dip and roll in my chest when I came across a mention of the news on John Scalzi’s Twitter feed, and I thought: No, hell no. Too much bad shit has been happening lately—not this, too.

Fortunately it seems to have been a minor event, as these things go—according to his wife Kathleen, who is updating his blog in his absence, Peter is in rough shape but slowly seems to be getting better, and may soon be moving to a rehab facility. He’s also doing some work in his convalescence, which I know has to be going a long way towards making him feel like he’s actually convalescing. I know nothing makes me feel like I’m actually getting well after an illness more than sitting down in front of a keyboard and letting the words fall from my fingers.  

So that’s the good news. The bad news is that, despite having good insurance the bills are starting to pile up, and it’s going to hit the David family square in the bank account. With that in mind, and thinking of what would happen to my own family were I to suffer a similar sidelining, I want to pass along Kathleen David’s request to fans, far and wide: help Peter and his family by buying his work and making him a little extra dosh, because they’re going to need it this year.

This link will take you to Kathleen’s blog post on the subject, where you can learn more about what the Davids are facing and how you can help. And let’s all hope that Peter is back to his home and family soon, and that 2013 gets better for them—and for all of us—soon.

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