|A Spell for Chameleon, A Blurb for Jim!|
"This is one wild romp! I suspect some smarter reader than I could do a doctoral dissertation just fathoming the fantasy genre's famous legends that are parodied here. I'm not sure I've seen such preposterously determined critic-baiting parody since Xanth or Asprin's Myth-begotten series. I recommend it to anyone."
Here's the longer version from the email I received on Halloween morning:
"I read Fish Wielder, by Jim Hardison. This is one wild romp! It's a deliberate parody of heroic fantasy that reminds me obscurely of the wrestler Gorgeous George. He was one who found a way to make his fame, distinguishing himself from all the other pro wrestlers in a genre noted for its flair and fakery, by getting a permanent done on his long blond hair. Fans noticed that. I remember a review that remarked that underneath all the wild showmanship was actually a pretty good wrestler. Okay, underneath layer on layer of highly unlikely characterization and adventure is actually a pretty good story, told by a writer who has a pretty fair knowledge of his craft. I suspect some smarter reader than I could do a doctoral dissertation just fathoming the Fantasy genre's famous legends that are parodied here. Just when you think that the final twisted thread has been unraveled, a whole nother level of ludicrous coincidence is unveiled. I'm not sure I've seen such preposterously determined critic-baiting parody since Xanth or Asprin's Myth-begotten series. I recommend it to anyone.
I wish I could use more of what he said on the cover of Fish Wielder, but we'll probably wind up shortening it to "This is one wild romp! I'm not sure I've seen such preposterously determined critic-baiting parody since Xanth or Asprin's Myth-begotten series. I recommend it to anyone," because, you know, shortness. Shortness is good when it comes to blurbs.
In other BlurbQuest news, I have also finally sent the Fish Wielder manuscript off to Nick Harkaway. This makes me more than a little nervous. You'll remember that his qualifiers when agreeing to look at my manuscript were, "I blurb if something is awesome, within one of the areas where someone might give a damn what I think, and (more tricky) if I get to it in a timely fashion. I say the last one's tricky because I'm wrestling my own book atm and it's putting up a hell of a fight..." So, that's fairly stiff criteria--starting with "if it's awesome". Will he think it's awesome? Will he feel like it's in an area where people would care what he thinks? I just don't know. While all of Nick's books have a wicked sense of humor to them, they are not really comedies by any stretch. He is a serious writer and has been one of my favorites ever since I read his debut novel, "The Gone Away World". That's part of what makes me nervous. Not only is he a great writer, his work is much more serious than mine. Fish Wielder is really a very ridiculous book. While I feel that it has some serious themes (and some genuine merits, I hope), they lie deeply burried under layers and layers of silliness. Silliness, as I have learned over the years, is not to everyone's taste. Some people just don't like it. So, there is a very real possibility that Nick won't like Fish Wielder because of that--or for a dozen other potential reasons--like maybe he'll just think it sucks. And then, of course, he may think that it's not really in his genre of writing and therefore not something he should blurb about.
I wonder if other authors get this nervous when they send their work off to be read by writers they admire and respect? That's kind of a funny thing with writing--there is no objective way to qualify that something is actually, definitively good, so it opens up a lot of room for self doubt and second guessing. My graphic novel, "The Helm" was pretty well received, but there were some folks who really hated it, too.
Oh well, I guess I was pretty nervous when I sent the book off to Piers Anthony too, and that has worked out very nicely. I'll just have to wait and see...and I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
In other news, I got another test T-shirt back from the printers. This one is of the Princess Nalweegie and the image is taken from Herb Apon's excellent cover art. Here it is: