Wednesday, November 29, 2006

You're Not Paranoid if...

As a fantasy reader, you know what scares me?

It's when a veritable rogue's gallery composed of very erudite writers all-- Tim Powers, John Crowley, Jeffrey Ford, and James Morrow-- meet up (even online). Given that all of them deal with the weird secret history of the world-- the what-ifs, the what-nots, and the what-might-have-beens-but-you-never know-- somehow I doubt that they'll just be talking about cookies and tea.

But one thing's definite and it's the allure of such ideas. As Crowley mentions, even the most bestsellerish-book-evah is about the secret history of Jesus Christ:

I believe... that the appeal of a Secret History is universal, not necessarily because it promises to tell a secret; rather because it offers an alternative to the usual story we have to live with all day every day.

So when the EOS bookblog hosted a round-table discussion with the four writers, you can expect me to jump in quickly. After all, one might pick up on the secrets of the universe or something.

You can read their discussions here: part 1, part 2, and part 3.

In a related note, one of my prize possessions is a hardbound copy of Powers' metaphysical spy-thriller Declare. Why? Because-- aside from finding it in a 2nd-hand bookshop (Books for Less Greenbelt, which, alas is now gone forever), it also bears his autograph.

Moreover, I know it's authentic because the signature, which is in the inner front page, is upside-down. As Powers' website says (scroll down to The Artist Section):

If you are lucky enough to own a Powers book that is signed by the author you will note that more likely than not the signature will be upside-down. Why? Because Powers is left-handed and it is simply easier for him to sign that way.

That's a relief knowing.


Eldritch00 said...

That's a fascinating bit about Tim Powers's book-signing quirks--it's the first I've heard of it. Anyway, I just have to say that when I first heard about the roundtable discussion from Crowley's blog, I also felt "terrified" at the sheer talent and insight on display.

banzai cat said...

Well, it's also the first time I heard that Powers is an inveterate doodler. Did you see his drawings? Weird.

I also heard somewhere that books with autographs like that are usually stock books the author signed before any public outing.