Life can kick us when we are down.
In Shawn Speakman's case, he is fighting back.
Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2011, Speakman beat the disease as well as the massive medical debt he amassed from its treatment. He did this by publishing Unfettered, an anthology featuring short stories donated by some of the best science fiction and fantasy writers working today.
The fight will not stop there. In an effort to pay forward the aid he received - and to memorialize his mother who passed away from stomach cancer in early 2016 - Speakman has again collaborated with celebrated genre authors to publish Unfettered II. All proceeds from the anthology will either help eliminate medical debt for other authors or be donated to cancer research hubs around the world.
Twenty original new tales comprise this amazing collection and, as the title suggests, the writers were again free to contribute whatever they wished.
Here is the lineup for Unfettered II:
- Foreword by Terry Brooks
- Bradley Beaulieu (Song of Shattered Sands)
- Jim Butcher (Dresden Files)
- Rachel Caine
- Sarah Beth Durst (The Queens of Renthia)
- David Farland (Runelords)
- Charlaine Harris
- Mark Lawrence
- Erin Lindsey (Bloodbound)
- Seanan McGuire
- Aidan Moher
- Naomi Novik
- Peter Orullian (Vault of Heaven)
- J. A. Pitts
- Anthony Ryan (Raven's Shadow)
- Brandon Sanderson (Stormlight Archive)
- Scott Sigler
- Shawn Speakman (Annwn Cycle)
- Michael J. Sullivan (The Legends of the First Empire)
- Django Wexler
- Janny Wufts (Wars of Light and Shadow)
With the help of New York Times best-selling authors as well as talented newcomers, Speakman has taken the platform Unfettered created to not only confront medical debt but to support the battle against one of our gravest illnesses. Unfettered II is a fantastic sequel anthology, but it is more than that; it is proof that we are stronger together than we are apart.
After all, isn't that what genre fiction is all about?