Bantown 1, Amazons 0 (etc.)

Some wiring problems burned out our internet access and made this a more, um, electrifying Easter weekend than we usually see in the Fortress of Engitude.

So I missed most of the stuff relating to #Amazonfail until today. Call me a libtard if you must, but I was annoyed–until I saw that the whole thing was probably Bantown committed for lulz. (Most of those linked words I didn’t know on Friday and, if I’m not mistaken, at least one of them did not yet exist.) Then I was really annoyed, but I’m not actually going to mention that, because it would simply provoke more lulzing from the uncouth. But it does seem to me that Amazon.com should have responded to this challenge in a smarter, more principled manner. Real Amazons would have. Then they would have burned Bantown to its non-existent foundations, whereat the righteous would lulz the lulzter of the righteous.

“So will this be the post that breaks your string of egomaniacally careerist self-references?”

No, sorry. I let too many things pile up while I was struggling against the wires. For instance, I should have mentioned Jon Armstrong’s interview of the oversigned on his “If You’re Just Joining Us…” podcast. It’s packed with shocking revelations, like how to pronounce “Enge”. I was impressed with JA’s skill in creating a pleasing sound environment out of something as unpromising as my voice, too. For instance, in our conversation we talked a little bit about the soundtrack of 2001, and in the finished podcast he snuck in a little sound-quote from Strauss in the background. It’s full of stuff like that.

Robert Thompson reviewed Blood of Ambrose at Fantasy Book Critic and found it to be “a cross between Robert E. Howard, Joe Abercombie, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft and Sam Raimi‚Äôs Evil Dead sprinkled in. If that sounds a bit weird, well, it is.” I can see that.

The second book, This Crooked Way, will probably strike people as even weirder (since the first one tries to ease the reader into Morlock’s world via the familiar, maybe overfamiliar, Bildungsroman genre) and the second is more of a yes-I’m-an-episodic-novel-what’s-it-to-you sort of episodic novel.

Lou Anders recently posted the cover for This Crooked Way on the Pyr blog, and it’s already in a Pyr-vs.-Pyr cover smackdown.

Now I’d better run off to the grocery store. The Easter Bunny brought lots of electrons and sugar to the Fortress of Engitude, but very little in the way of protein.

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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11 Responses to Bantown 1, Amazons 0 (etc.)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I opened eight new browser tabs while reading this entry. I think that beats my old record for any blog by two.

    I prefer the cover for BoA, but I bet the one for TCW sells better. Speaking of which, when I was rooting around on Amazon for your book, I was shown a lot of Pyr covers. They do covers well.

    –Jeff Stehman

    • JE says:

      My son said something like, “Thanks for your blogpost!” Ironically, I think. It sent him on one of those two hour crawls through new regions of the blogosphere (in this case some entries in “Encyclopedia Dramatica”). But I figured, why should I suffer alone? Is what I figured.

      Pyr does do crazy-great covers. Putting aside the covers to my books, because of my obvious bias in their favor, I think the best ones might be for Sean Williams’ Crooked Letter and its sequels. But I like the more science-fictiony ones, too (like the one for the US edition of “The Quiet War” or Adam Roberts’ “Gradisil”).

    • I also prefer the cover for BoA (although I think both are great), but I disagree about the one for TCW selling better. The one for TCW, while a wondrous piece of art, is also a bit generic. With the BoA cover art you have the bats and it taps into that demographic of fantasy readers who are also big Castlevania fans. Some young people might look at that and think “hey this reminds me of Alacard from Castlevania, I want to have a look at this.”

      • Anonymous says:

        There is a school of thought among editors that a dragon on the cover sells better.

        –Jeff Stehman

        • JE says:

          Hm, I see what you mean about the dragon. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out, saleswise.

          The two covers look very nice next to each other, which is part of the reason I like the second one so much.

          • Anonymous says:

            According to my source, the dragon is believed to give you as much as a 10% boost.

            By the by, I was in that bookstore again yesterday (way too many trips to Duluth lately), and they were down to two BoAs from the five I first saw. (I think people here recognize a Minnesotan in exile and sympathize.)

          • JE says:

            “According to my source, the dragon is believed to give you as much as a 10% boost.”

            Wow. Had I known that, the first Morlock novel would have been titled The Dragony Dragons of Dragontown.

            “By the by, I was in that bookstore again yesterday (way too many trips to Duluth lately), and they were down to two BoAs from the five I first saw. (I think people here recognize a Minnesotan in exile and sympathize.)”

            Good news! Thanks!

  2. I got a copy of your book today. They had five at the Barnes & Noble I went to. I haven’t had a chance to read much of it yet, but the chapter titles are neat.

    It will be interesting to see how well this sells in the dismal economic climate we’re currently in. Borders plans to close some stores this year. They own Waldenbooks too and already closed almost all the nation’s Waldenbooks, but this year some actual Borders are going to be closed.

    I know this doesn’t apply to your book since it’s only carried at Barnes & Noble, but I think the Border closings are a reflection on the publishing industry in general. The publishing industry was already declining a little before we went into recession, so now it must be super difficult for a writer’s book to be financially successful.

    • JE says:

      Hope you like it.

      The economy is tough all over, but especially in publishing, as you say. Oddly enough, fantasy seems to be selling pretty well in the recession so far: escapism is in. So you never know.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Picked up BoA a couple days ago (five copies [now four] at one of the Borders in Madison, Wis.), and it migrated to the top of my reading list. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while; it will receive my full attention as soon as I finish Black Gate 13.

    –Nik

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