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Blurbs That Might Be In My Future

July 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I've been thinking about blurbs this evening.  ARCs for The Coldest War won't be going out quite yet, but blurbs—that mysterious, magical currency, that thing both revered and reviled—are on my mind.

I had the great pleasure of blurbing (is that the verb?) Jo Anderton's debut novel, Debris, which is coming out from Angry Robot in December.  (This is the part where you get really jealous.  It's very good, and I got to read it months ago.  Still waiting for Jo to send the sequel, even though I know it's finished and just sitting there...)

Jo's book marked the first time I'd been asked to blurb something.  I was delighted to do it, because I happened to know Jo is a knockout writer.  But I was also a little alarmed.  I worried that my endorsement would actually degrade Jo's project.  After all, who the heck am I?  Just some guy.

But anyway, yeah.  This week's glimpse of new cover art got me thinking about potential blurbs for The Coldest War.

"Genre-busting far-future cyberpunk erotica at its worst."

"The ill-conceived love child of John LeCarré, Harry Crumb, and the History Channel."

"Tregillis's sophomore effort... features... descriptions... and... characters."

"An innovative take on the genre.  Tregillis takes all the tropes of far-future cyberpunk erotica and throws them out the window.  If only he'd done the same with the plot, setting, and characters."

"A love letter to boredom."

"This sequel to Bitter Seeds is unputdownable.  However, it's very throwacrosstheroomable."

"The Coldest War reads like the incoherent ravings of a madman railing against government-mandated medication for violent schizophrenics.  A bold work that ignores narrative convention and shatters the fourth wall."

"In his followup novel to 2010's Bitter Seeds, Tregillis lays his cards on the table and reveals his true identity.  He is, without doubt, a peerless savant among his fellow chimpanzees." 

"Blessedly flamable*.  (*This blurb refers only to print editions, and may not apply to electronic editions.)"


Jo Anderton July 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm
Oooooh Coldest War artwork you say?? (checks previous posts... oh man how'd I miss that?) Hey, maybe we can trade! I'll send you my book two if you send me yours :) *evil laugh*
Tengland July 14, 2011 at 11:27 pm
"Takes a perfectly good war and turns it into a toxic tangle of metaphysical mush fit for devotees of back-street psychic readings and circus-carnival crystal-ball gazers." (Heh. Makes virtual wink to indicate it's a joke. Really.) Also, Ian, see see my note on your cover art comments.
Adrienne July 15, 2011 at 12:03 am
I recently blurbed a friend's book as well, a request I find endlessly amusing. I'm just this guy*, you know? It took me longer to write than the first chapter of that book I keep starting over. *Not a guy.
Ian July 15, 2011 at 12:34 am
Hey, maybe we can trade! I'll send you my book two if you send me yours :) *evil laugh* You realize, Jo, that I'd be making out like a bandit on that arrangement? You'd be on the receiving end of a pretty raw deal ;-P
Ian July 15, 2011 at 12:35 am
"Drains the Cold War of all its fun and vitality."
Ian July 15, 2011 at 12:37 am
Wait, wait, wait. Wait. You're NOT a guy? WTF?!? I'll bet I can reproduce your blurb right here, and I haven't even read the book in question. Ahem: "This book is epic win. Opulence prose? The author jumps in it."
DMS July 15, 2011 at 7:30 am
I can't decide if unputdownable and throwacrosstheroomable work better as bookshelves or hash tags.
Daniel Goodman July 15, 2011 at 8:38 am
"This book is epic win. Opulence prose? The author jumps in it." Ha. Does the book come with free miniature giraffes?! You just brought it full circle, Ian. FYI, I need to wrangle those covers out of you when we meet this summer. Chris McGrath is a bloody fantastic artist and I couldn't be more happy for you. Jo: best of luck to your book. It looks to be a helluva good time, so I'll be sure to pick it up sometime!
Ian July 15, 2011 at 8:49 am
They both work better as bookshelves and hash tags than they do as Google+ circles. Man, is my face red.
Ian July 15, 2011 at 8:51 am
Hey, Dan, hope you're having a good summer. Full circle? That Russian LOLigarch lives in the back of my head pretty much 24/7. DirecTV recently did another commercial in the same vein, with an obscenely rich boxer, but I wish they'd done another with Gregor and his giraffes. Those commercial push to limit, every times. I hope to get to show the covers before too long, maybe even before Bubonicon! Do read Jo's book. It's hella good.
Steve Halter July 15, 2011 at 9:16 am
wrt: Arlen & Harburg (Me) I could enjoy many an hour Even readin' in the shower Squintin' in the dark And my head I'd be fillin' With thoughts about the villain If I only had an ARC I'd read all through the middle Discoverin' the riddle Oh it'll be a lark (Ian) With the words you'd be readin' Your thoughts you'd be feedin' If you only had an ARC (Me) Oh, I could give you quite a blurb I could choose a poignant adverb And then I'd add reverb I would not be just a reader Waitin' for a leader Like some silly narc I would caper and be airy Even if it was scary If I only had an ARC
Ian July 15, 2011 at 10:38 am
*blinks* Man, how do you do that? I swear, you could turn anything into a song. You must have these parodies running through your head 24 hours a day. I'm even more impressed that you knew the original song well enough to do such a clever rewrite-- clearly I don't watch The Wizard of Oz enough.
Steve Halter July 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm
The Eidolons did extract a terrible payment. The annual "watching the Wizard event" is a fond memory from childhood.
DMS July 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm
Now I am sad that I cannot rename the default Blocked circle throwacrosstheroomable.
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