f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: The Book

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Book

You knew the answer to this didn’t you?

The book that Mark and I are going to be examining is Ezekiel’s Shadow.

Mark’s response when I asked him to participate is classic enough to quote:

“This is kind of like getting a request from a friend who wants to saw off his own head but needs help getting through the back half of the neck! So naturally, I accept. I'd hate to see your head lolling off the side, held on by half a vertebrae. Let's make a clean job of it. Thanks for thinking of me.”

My reasons on the surface for selecting Ezekiel’s are easy.

1. It’s out of print, OP, so BHP doesn’t stand to lose anything.
2. I wrote it, so it’s not like I’m attacking another author.
3. It’s flawed.

Whether there are deeper, darker reasons for my choice (morbid exhibitionism, the desire for vain self-flagellation, masochistic narcissism) I’ll leave to you armchair psychiatrists. All I know is that I want to talk about a CBA book critically and my position here doesn't allow that without me being reprimanded or fired. (Either of which I'd deserve.) So this is, pretty much, our only choice. (If you’re a CBA author and you’d like to have the same thing done with your book we can start a list. But I may need you to sign a waiver of some sort.)

Anyway, so we’re going to be tackling Ezekiel’s Shadow. It won a Christy Award. It sold around 15,000 copies, I think. It is a book I have not read in five years, so I hope to have gained an objectivity and distance from it that will both allow me to see its flaws while still letting me remember what I was trying to do with particular sections and areas. Mark is joining me for the obvious reasons that he is objective and has experience with this sort of thing. Together we should hopefully be able to pinpoint not only some weaknesses but even discuss why they went wrong.

What I’d like to do is invite you all to read it and participate in this discussion, too. Like I said, it’s OP, so I do not benefit financially at this point from you buying the book. There are used copies galore online, many for much less than a gallon of gas.

I need to confirm with Mark the week that this is going to happen. Perhaps the first week of October. After the short story contest deadline.

This experience may end up scarring me deeply or cause a deep rift in my relationship with Mark Bertrand to the point that I can’t hear the words University of Houston without curling into a ball and weeping…but I’ve talked enough about trying to become better that it doesn’t seem to out-of-line to hold myself and my writing against the standards and practices I promote.