Books Received–April 19

Jeff VanderMeer • April 19th, 2008 @ 9:14 am • Book Reviews

First off–Tanyo Ravicz deserves a lot better than being published through iUniverse. He’s a very gifted short story writer and I highly recommend this volume. You can find out more about it on Amazon.

Secondly, I am going to appear to lightly send up the delightful Mr. Tobias S. Buckell below, but it’s done with affection.

Sometimes publicists get tired–and tired of making up stuff so often–and that’s when you get a press release like the one accompanying Sly Mongoose, which starts out “Talented and fearless Tobias S. Buckell cracks his knuckles after Crystal Rain…and Ragamuffin.” and ends “by the time Buckell turned 25, he had lived through an island revolution, witnessed a hurricane destroy the boat on which he lived, and won first place in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award.” Talk about anti-climax, starting with knuckle-cracking (?) and ending with the writers of the future award after having built up expectations with hurricanes and revolution!

But it’s the eternal search for interesting information about authors that hopefully has some relevance to the novel at hand that eventually gets to the publicist, from my personal experience pretending to be one, and yet every writer has something that can be stated in this regard.

For example, my next book’s press release could state, “Having grown up on an island where machete deaths were the primary form of murder, having watched a hurricane destroy a bus stop outside of his house, and then winning a Golden Poet Award from Poetry America, Jeff VanderMeer was well-suited to write this new novel, Mary Mary You’re Too Hairy, a finely nuanced comedy of manners set in contemporary Manhattan. Cracked his knuckles, he did.”

For the bookless amongst us, what would you use as derring-do characterization for your bio on your first book?

5 Responses to “Books Received–April 19”

  1. Larry says:

    Oh, so you want something snazzy, huh? Let’s see:

    “Teachers are a society’s touchstone. From having to deal with bawling kids complaining about who got to be first in line to teen girls literally gushing to tell him about their menstrual cycles to a series of room invasions by greedy birds, Larry has seen it all. In a tour-de-force novel that exposes the painful hilarities of the US educational “system,” he cracks his knuckles multiple times down upon the knuckleheads slumbering through the school day and through life. A must-read autobiographical novel!”

  2. Matt Staggs says:

    “Growing up fearfully preparing for a zombie uprising that never came after watching DAWN OF THE DEAD as a child, Matt Staggs grew to become a minor functionary in a psychiatric hospital, leader to a small clan of cats and eventually a clandestine operative in the murky world of public relations. He once fell asleep in Jackson Square Park in New Orleans, only to awake to find tourists posing for pictures over his exhausted body. Staggs swears that he finds Sea Serpent’ to be the most enjoyable phrase in the English language. His first novel, ‘Knuckles and Those Wot Cracked Em’ is a runaway bestseller among people who run away from novels and other inanimate objects.”

  3. Crowe says:

    “By the time Crowe was 16, she had wrestled an adder, disappeared into a Roman canal hidden under snow, learned the secret language of rooks, and won the annual Sea Cadets’ “Knotting By Night in a Force 10 Gale” award for the second time – achievements that little qualified her to write anything at all.”

  4. Brian Lindenmuth says:

    My latest bio attached to a story is going to end with “…and he currently has a warrant out for his arrest.”

    Because I recently missed a traffic court date **embarrassed**

    Sounds good though

  5. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Brian: Ha!

    Moving this into a kinda contest here:

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