See? The legs are indeed of matching length. I shall remain warm, no matter how cool the nights become. Granted, we don’t have cool nights. Sultry is best we can manage, I’ll grant you, but what’s a little sweat between . . . uh . . . the legs?”
“That shade of grey and that tone of yellow are the worst combination I have ever attempted, master.” Buggs said. “I grow nauseous just looking at you.”
“But what has that to do with the trousers?”
“Very little, admittedly. My concern is with principles, of course.”
“Can’t argue with that. Now, tell me of the day’s doings, and hurry up, I’ve a midnight date with a dead woman.”
“The extent of your desperation, master, never fails to astonish me.”
partial conversation between Master and Servant, Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides, A Tale of The Malazan Book of the Fallen.
Between Erikson and Jim Butcher lies only a small gulf when it comes to humor. That gulf, when the duration of initiation of the joke, and the punch line are considered.
Erikson drops the joke, punch line and all and then carries on the story. Until, that is, the story bumps into the next joke and bit of humor. Butcher writes an entire story within a joke, not his writing, i hasten to add, I mean . . well, I know what I mean. The problem is convincing my reader I know what I mean and make one believe that Erikson and Butcher are – let’s just drop it, okay.
Other than to add: One writes in a land noted for fairy and ghosts and werewolves and history stories and its unarmed police forces, about dead gods and possible worlds, and the other lives in a small town and writes of guns and fairy and ghosts living in a town noted for its crime and evil, which the town itself has requested federal armed forces intervene between and its citizenry. Their humor is remarkably similar. One’s bald and the other hair-ful, clear down to there.
The guys write and I read their books. I will admit that I started reading Erikson before I picked up Butcher. I didn’t like Erikson’s stuff, so read only one or too of his books (widely spaced) and didn’t pursue him as I did; say Eddings or McCaffey or a few of the other authors. In fact, if it weren’t for the thickness of his writings I’d probably never have purchased more than one or two of Erikson’s books. I’m currently collecting titles by Erikson so I’ll know which I’ve yet to purchase. Next will be the purchase in order.
I can’t say I’m a War and Peace lover as far as length of stories are concerned, but I am willing to suffer through a very long tale if it grabs me. The second go around by Eddings had a main character say “We’ve been here before.” Meaning that the actions the characters were enduring (and subjecting the reader to) had all been covered in the first series of books, in the same sequence, by the same characters on the same time table. The character spoken to answered: “You’re right.” or words to that effect.
The third series of Eddings writings I pretty well ignored, except to find used – just to complete the set. I didn’t like having my face rubbed in the joke.
The reason I’ve brought this up is simple. I’ve recently caught up with all the Butcher books and two of the Erikson books I’ve had hanging around since their last issue of paper backs. Ah, Mass Marketing. I know, paper backs are old school, Mass Marketing is new school – rather like Astroturf – newly coined and hateful in the extreme. No, don’t ask. I don’t know why I prefer paper back to Mass Marketing.
Well, I do know. I’d rather buy a paper back than be Mass Marketed.
Given the use of computers and the net perhaps I’ll live long enough where paper back books become the new leather bound hard back, authors signed, first editions. I doubt that I’ll live long enough to see a paper back become the new publishers copies.
Which reminds me of my wonder; What, exactly, becomes of the publishers copies of novels when the the publishing companies die and go to their well earned rest? I mean, I’ve never heard of those exclusive copies, those special editions which even the authors seldom see, let alone own, going on the markets.
One of those secrets, I suppose.
Anyhow, I’ve plowed through Butcher, Elliot, one or two by Jenna Rhodes, and am now nibbling my way through Erikson. All thick books. Which is indicative of my purchasing habits. I buy the thick books by authors I don’t know or know little of, because they are thick books. Thick books are only a dollar more than the thin books, I’ve noticed, and my book store has these “Buy three and get one free” deals almost all the time (especially in the Sci Fi and Fantasy shelves, now that the Tolkien craze is over).
A fellow can get in a lot of reading that way.
And who cares if they don’t get the educational value.
I mean, there is always the web if I’m looking for facts.
From the reaches,