I’ve been spending all my time doom-scrolling since Russia launched its brutal and unjust assault on Ukraine, and I can’t recall ever felt angrier with what I’m seeing in the news.
Short of WWIII, it’s about as bad as it can be. And in all seriousness, WWIII could break out now at any time. Many believe it’s just a matter of time. I asked myself, how can I write humorous sci-fi at a time like this? Why would anyone want to read it now? And so for a while I seriously considered dropping my current writing project – a light-hearted sequel to my humorous sci-fi series about aliens who love coffee. I felt like this just wasn’t the right time for writing frivolous sci-fi.
But then I thought about how popular dime novels were during the American Civil War, which featured escapist adventure stories. And during the depression cheap adventure stories in the form of ‘pulp’ fiction were hugely popular.
Dime novels became very popular during the darkest years of the Civil War
It’s in times like this that low-cost escapist adventure stories are needed more than ever. We all need to take a break from doom-scrolling through the news and find a way to unplug and relax. Pulp fiction, escapist adventures, humorous sci-fi – whatever kind of reading you prefer – is a legitimate form of recreation.
Apart from that, however, we must take things seriously and do what we can. The best way most of us here in Canada and the USA can do something practical is to donate to charities supporting worthy causes.
Recently I did some research into charities dedicated to assisting the people of Ukraine. The Washington Post and The Globe and Mail have both published lists of reputable charities supporting Ukraine.
Charities supporting Ukraine:
- Canadian Red Cross: the local wing of an international emergency-relief organization. The federal government says it will match individual donations by Canadians.
- Médecins sans frontières (Doctors Without Borders): a humanitarian group that’s been supporting Ukraine’s COVID-19 response.
- Canada-Ukraine Foundation: a Toronto-based group that co-ordinates Canadian charitable aid to Ukraine.
- Save the Children: an international NGO delivering emergency aid to Ukrainian families.
- Voices of Children: offers psychological support to children affected by the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
- Come Back Alive Foundation: a Ukrainian NGO that supports veterans and co-organizes the Invictus Games in Ukraine.
- Phoenix Wings: a charitable foundation that supplies the Ukrainian army with medical treatment and defensive equipment such as vests and helmets.
- Revived Soldiers Ukraine: a non-profit that funds medical rehabilitation for Ukrainian soldiers.
- Razom for Ukraine: a pro-democracy group that’s fundraising for medical supplies in Ukraine.
- Kyiv Independent: a Ukraine-based, English-language independent news media outlet.