The Seeds of Change: Top Five Things You Can Do

Seeds of Change is a cool new anthology edited by John Joseph Adams and featuring work by Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, and many others. A compact, small-sized hardcover from Prime Books, it's a work of art just in the design alone. The stories, which deal with social and environmental issues, are thought-provoking and strong. Recently, I asked Adams to give me a list of things readers can do in connection with the anthology, which is itself a call for being proactive in helping with some of the most pressing problems facing us on a global level. Here's his response...


John Joseph Adams: In the introduction to my anthology, I said: "It is my hope that reading these stories inspires some to plant their own seeds of  change—that when we see something wrong, we'll do something about it, whether that means writing to your representative in congress or researching a cure for a disease or simply speaking out against inequality and prejudice. We're all in this together—and the first step toward change can begin with any one of us."

So, obviously one of the main ideas behind the book was that science fiction can be a mode of social change. With that in mind, I'd like to offer up five ways--not necessarily the top five ways--you can plant seeds of change of your very own.

(1) Donate. We live in a land of privilege, but some of us are more privileged than others. If you can afford to spare the money, consider donating to a charitable organization. Uncle Sam will thank you come tax time, but do it for the karma, not the tax write-offs. Not sure who to donate money to? Check out Network for Good, which acts as a charitable clearinghouse, allowing you to discover and donate to a number of different charities and track your contributions.

(2) Volunteer. If you can't afford to donate money, or just want to do more than that, try donating your time. Charitable organizations of all kinds are always in need of volunteers to help make their organizations work. Not sure how to get involved? Check out, which helps match up volunteers with charitable organizations that need their assistance. (Network for Good can also help you find volunteering opportunities.)

(3) Recycle. Mother Earth has given us a lot; recycling is one of the ways we can give back. To learn more about recycling, environmentalism, and the different ways you can lessen your own environmental footprint, visit

(4) Vote. One of our greatest freedoms is to be allowed a voice and to know that it will be heard; vote today to ensure a better tomorrow. If you're not already registered to vote, visit

(5) Listen. Because that's the most important step.

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Ever since the election began, a book that is out of print from the late 50's to mid 60's was entitled "The Man." It sticks so vividly with me because it is a situation similar to what we are experiencing in the election arena today. It was about a black man who was speaker of the house, when the President and Vice were killed and the cabinet thought that they would use him as a front and run the country on their own agenda, but found out indeed he was the man.

Can you see if you can find this for me?


Posted by: Cynthia Williams | Thursday August 28, 2008 at 7:13 PM

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