Every author on the planet loves book launch days. That moment when people around the globe can (finally!) enjoy the fruits of all the hard work in writing, rewriting, selling the book, working with the publisher to edit and givin suggestions for cover art.
As a special bonus for Classically Educated readers, I’d like to tell you about the genesis of this paticular volume.
It begins (as many of my writing adventures do) in the late 1980s when I read Another Fine Myth by Robert Lynn Asprin. That was my introduction to humorous genre work, which eventually led to my love for Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. I devoured each book by these guys as soon as I could get my hands on them.
Unfortunately all three are now gone, having died much too young.
Worse, I am unsatisfied with the current crop of humorous genre writers. The problem isn’t their talent–I believe most aretop-notch writers–but the type of humor they attempt: watered-down, milquetoast and nowhere near as funny as their precursors. The problem, I believe, is that genre humorists today are genre writers first, humorists second. So, like most people in SFF, they are extremely aware of the sensibilities around them and write in such a way that no one at all could ever be offended. Punches are being pulled in unforgivable numbers. The books are set aside with a sigh.
That method isn’t particularly funny. As Seth MacFarlane or Mel Brooks would tell you, the secret isn’t to offend no one, but to offend everyone equally.
And that’s why I wrote this book.
The Malakiad won’t offend too many people. It’s meant to make you laugh, not to make anyone unhappy. But it does poke fun at human foibles and it does ridicule things that are open to ridicule. I wrote, in essence, the book I wanted to read, hopefully the kind of book that the great writers of the past wrote.
Is this one as good as its predecessors? That’s for readers to say. Critics, of course will be fed to the nearest large carnivore (unless they like the book, in which case they are extremely intelligent people who should be celebrated).
For now, all I’ll say is that, if you miss Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett or Robert Asprin, you could do much worse than to give this one a go.
Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine novelist and short story writer.