I drove out to Maple Tree Farm this morning to pick up our organic, free-range, ecologically virtuous, and quite possibly spiritually-enlightened turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and discovered that we'd just bought a 34-pound bird. There's going to be leftovers this holiday!
And you know you like a book when . . .
Blurbing a book is kind of a drag. It takes real work to come up with something good, something that might convince a wavering browser that this book is something he or she will really enjoy. Mere praise isn't good enough -- it has to be targeted praise, words that will make those readers who will like this particular book realize that this particular book is the sort of thing they'll like. A blurb that will work for Moby-Dick will fall flat on an Agatha Christie novel.
So writing a blurb takes time. Worse, periodically I run short on time. Which is why I have a backlog of eight books I'm pretty sure I would like if I read them which I promised to blurb if I could only find the time, and yet (cough!) have not.
So the way the hierarchy breaks down is: It's a compliment if I apologize for not having the time to write a blurb. Because I'm pretty sure I would if I could. It's a greater compliment if I actually write one. And it's the biggest compliment of all if I'm thrilled to see it on the back cover of the book.
The other day I received a copy of Michael Andre-Driussi's Gate of Horn, Book of Silk: A Guide to Gene Wolfe's The Book of the Long Sun and The Book of the Short Sun. There at the top of the back cover were the words:
"Divine intervention may well be involved."
-- Michael Swanwick, Flogging Babel
Which made me feel doubly happy because not only was my name on the back of a book I particularly admired, but the blurb was taken from my happy gush of words, posted on this blog, on receiving an advance copy of the book. So I had all the pleasures of blogging with none of the work.
My original post about the book can be found here. To it I will only add that this is one physically beautiful book. I'm extraordinarily happy to have it.
Above: Yes, that's a tree-baling machine. For Christmas trees. At the farm market. The dam that was Thanksgiving has broken and the flood of Xmas marketing is now raging at top speed toward Halloween. It's possible we may live to see the Christmas sales starting on the fifth of July. And our great-great-grandchildren...?