What Are You Reading?

Comic From: http://www.basicinstructions.net/

A couple days ago, an acquaintance asked me what I was reading. They know I’m a Skiffy kinda writer, so I wasn’t afraid to say. “First, a whacked-out short story collection by Robert Jeschonek—which is really good if you like wild, whacked-out stories—and a pre-published novel by Michael Warren Lucas that’s about …”

That’s where I stopped to consider just how far to go.

First, the book is set in Michael’s Prohibition Orc world. If you have not read said works, and if you enjoy real-world fantasy set in the point of view of the other, you should do so now. I’m going to assume you know how to use Google. Just type “Lucas Prohibition Orcs” (or copy and paste, right?). Oh, hell, all right, you broke me down.: Here’s a link.

I sat there, trying quickly to decide how far to go in explaining these books to someone who hadn’t read them. Word of mouth is powerful, but how do you do an elevator pitch for someone else’s work? I figured I had fifteen seconds, maybe thirty at most before the eyes glazed over. Let’s not screw it up, shall we?

I spoke enthusiastically about both books for a moment, but spent time noting Lucas’s novel was fantasy—that the character set includes orcs, dwarves, elves and humans, but is, as all the stories in these books are, gritty and set in real-world Detroit during the prohibition. I said these tales are allegories for immigration and the issues immigrants face as they try to acclimate to wildly different cultures while holding onto their own. Michael Lucas is writing directly about orcs, but is really writing about us.

In the end, they jotted down “Prohibition Orcs.” I hope they go read some. A few minutes later they gave me a recommendation for a SFnal series to look into. So, I’m optimistic they will pick the orcs up.

Anyway, that got me to thinking about how we should recommend others’ work. I do that on occasion in this blog, and I try to do it other places, too. It always makes me feel good.

Maybe that will be my mid-year resolution.

Pitch other people’s work.

I like that.

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