Reddit helps grant dying boy's wish for advanced copy of Harry Turtledove's novel


(CBS) - The Internet can be an amazing source for good and no other community reflects the spectrum of humanity - for better or worse - than the link-sharing community Reddit.

At the start of Feb., a user named kivakid posted a plea to the community to help him fulfill a friend's dying wish to read the next installation of American novelist Harry Turtledove's book series "The War That Came Early." There are six volumes planned for the series, with five titles names and three books published, so far.

The problem is that Turtledove's next novel is slated for release in July, but kivakid's friend - who has has been diagnosed with terminal cancer - might only have until June to live. Kivakid took his plea to Reddit and posted a letter that he wrote to Turtledove.

"I am writing on behalf of a friend," the letter to Turtledove started, adding that his friend had been diagnosed with terminal cancer with less than a year to live.

"A couple weeks ago we had a conversation about the [sic] what he wants to do before he dies. The very first thing he brought up was your most recent series, The War That Came Early, and how he will probably know the ending."

"I understand the risks involved in sending an advanced copy of your books to him and I understand the potential copyright issues and backlash from publishers. That said, my friend needs some good luck and kindness to balance out the awful streak he's been on, and I couldn't imagine a better person for it than his favorite author."

After the post made it to Reddit's front page, kivakid got a little help from Reddit user LowFuel a.k.a. Jason M. Hough - an author who shares Turtledove's publisher. Hough offered to contact his editor and left this comment in the conversation thread.

"I'm an author who is with the same publisher. This was noted earlier in the thread. I emailed my editor, who works with Harry's editor, and asked that they send the book if it was available. In one of those strange serendipitous moments, the advance copies of the book had literally just arrived on his desk when he got my email. Sorry for anyone who mistook me for Mr. Turtledove... I didn't realize until this morning that if someone started at this comment, they might draw that conclusion."

On Feb. 18, kivakid posted a video of his friend, Nachu, opening an advanced copy of Turtledove's novel. And, not only did Nachu get a copy of the novel, Turtledove offered to call him to talk about the rest of the book series. The video posted on YouTube is absolutely joyful and heart-wrenching at the same time. Follow this link to watch the full video.

And what did Hough have to say about his good deed? "I just made a phone call. Right place right time," [sic] he said.