Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Elegance of Old Edinburgh


This Wednesday's postcard from Great Britain is a special treat for the literary among us.  If you don't see why this is so amusing . . . well, there's always Google.

A Conversation With Marianne . . .

"So there's a Website which is doing a March Madness thing, pitting new fantasy novels against each other and letting the fans vote on them.  The Dragons of Babel just made it through the first round."

"Well, that's good."

"I dunno.  Maybe it would have been better if it had lost the first round and that was it."

"I see what you mean."

I have an aversion to the whole let's-drop-these-books-in-a-bottle-and-make-them-fight-like-two-scorpions thing because . . . well, because it's nonsense.  Right now my novel is up against Niven and Pournelle's Escape from Hell, which I haven't read yet.  But I quite enjoyed Inferno, the book to which it is a sequel.  So I wouldn't get any pleasure out of besting (if I did) what is presumably a worthy book.

Still.  I can remember what simple fun the competition would have seemed to me before I had a dog in the fight.  A great opportunity to gossip about books I liked.  So, what the heck, the site hosting the enterprise is Bookspot Central and you can access the thing here.

Just don't tell me when I drop out of the competition, okay?



Markin said...

The. Burke. And. Hare. Strip. Club. ... [pause to wrap my mind around that one] So, do they cater to necrophiliacs? Maybe even [gasp] zombies? Or is it better not to ask?

Up the close and down the stair ...

Good luck on your unwanted contest with Escape from Hell. But, as I'm sure you've realized, the results will only show which book was the most popular among those who happened to go to the site, and at the time they voted. Always assuming they had even read both books and weren't just voting for the one they had. [shrug]

Michael Swanwick said...

Believe me, I'm aware of the unreliability and random nature even of awards I've WON.

This process, incidentally, is even more intensified in reviews. Most reviewers are honest, hard-working and shamefully underpaid fellows. But some are whack jobs. I'm thinking, of course, of the guy who misidentified the protagonist (and the gender of the person he thought was the protagonist) of STATIONS OF THE TIDE...

... whose name, I just this moment realized, I have at last forgotten. Huzzah! This fulfills one of my ambitions, which is not to remember who gave me bad reviews unless, of course, they're actually personal friends of mine.