I have become a patron of the arts! Well, of an art. “How did this happen?” I hear you ask. No, no – too late. You’re committed to hearing an answer now.
As Jeeves (*) was driving me down to the Opera House to smoke cigars and laugh at student protestors with my wealthy mates, it occurred to me that with my fabulous riches came the obligation to be seen to support the arts. Of course I don’t want to actually hang around with creative types. Bohemian grungy plebs with their dreadlocks and their communism. No, I was delicately balanced on the horns of a dilemma. How did I maintain my social status by being able to talk about the “worthy” causes I supported, without actually touching any of the people involved in them?
Jeeves pointed out that the Internet was handy for the whole not-actually-physically-interacting thing. After I had him roundly whipped for speaking to his betters without permission, I had a sudden thought. It occurred to me that the Internet is handy for the whole not-actually-physically-interacting thing. So I sought out causes whose worth I could talk about and donate to without actually meeting any of the artists.
And that was how I came across Musketeer Space, an initiative by Tasmanian writer Tansy Rayner Roberts.
To quote from the artist herself:
Musketeer Space is a (mostly) gender-swapped retelling of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, one of my favourite all time books, as a space opera. The gender-swapping aspect is part of the experiment – I wanted to challenge some of my own preconceptions about gender and narrative, and taking a classic novel apart like this is a fun way to do it. Plus I love space opera, the kind with heightened drama and romance, and I think there’s nothing wrong with mashing up spaceships with swashbuckle.
Roberts will be publishing one chapter a week of this interesting sounding book, and the first chapter is now online on her website. She also gives an update on the experience of using Patreon to gather ongoing funding.
I highly enjoyed the first chapter and decided to dip my toe in the waters of patronising by pledging a monthly amount. There are some interesting advantages in pledging at higher levels, and while I don’t need a fictional spaceship named after me (my membership of a nameless secret society dedicated to maintaining clandestine contact with our alien overlords means I have an actual spaceship named after me), the idea of getting extra information from the author in the form of a regular newsletter certainly appealed.
So if you, like me, yearn to add “Patron of the Arts” to your resume, why not head over to the Musketeer Space Patreon page and get involved.
(*) of course it would be a wild coincidence if someone called Jeeves actually decided to become a butler/driver. So wild that I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending that is actually what happened. I made him change his name when he came into my service of course.