Sunday, March 1, 2009

What if the Blog is Better than the Book?

Last year, I rediscovered a fantasy author from way back when, Piers Anthony, who wrote the bestseller, "A Spell for Chameleon." As a boy, I read him avidly. In the strictest sense of the word, Piers does not keep a blog, which I define as a place where people may reply with comments, but rather a web site. You cannot post comments to his entries, but you can email him, and he is one of the few celebrity authors in the world still willing to respond even to a stupid message.

He posts a bimonthly opinion piece filled with notes and observations, often concerning his own life but also about politics. I will not comment upon his opinions, although my enthusiastic endorsement probably says quite enough. I'm crazy about his web site! I liked it so much, I decided to start reading Piers again, even though I'm not a big fan of fantasy anymore in my decrepit dotage. Based upon no logic at all, I began at random with a book that I purchased from Ebay, because it cost less than five dollars and I'm a big fat cheapskate.

My selection was the first book in the Tarot series. Talk about disappointment! Dull, dull, dull. I could hardly tell that the same man had written both the book and the web site. At any rate, there's no question for me but that the web site is head and shoulders above the book. This perplexes me, because a web site is supposed to be more spontaneous and to lack the beneficial oversight of an editor or proofreader. All that I can conclude is that Piers may be better at writing about real things than about fantasy. Probably I should give him another chance in the book department, especially with one of his newer creations. Maybe when "Tarot" came out, he was going through a slump of some kind. For my money, Anne Rice has not written a good book since "Memnoch," a turkey which marked the end of her good material. I liked her early vampire, witch and mummy books, and am not sure what happened to her brain to silence the muse.

Piers Anthony also maintains a useful section reviewing a long list of publishers, both print and online, that are willing to work with lesser known authors. If you want to publish your own work, you should definitely visit the site of Piers Anthony, because he has become an indisputable expert in the field. In the past, he has battled various publishers that sought to take advantage of him. When one writer is willing to stand up for his rights and not be trampled over, this helps all writers.

I would like to receive suggestions as to which read PA book to try next, other than the "Xanth" series, which I have already read long ago. I would like to try new material.


Anonymous said...

Try the "Battle Circle" trilogy.

igor said...

thank you, I will.

techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions