Thursday, 02 August 2007

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Without Me, He'd Only Be Everything; or, Adam Roberts' Land of the Headless Way back when, in the Before Time, Adam Roberts didn't write for The Valve and I hadn't read any of his novels. Then Adam came around, and started writing for The Valve, but what most people don't realize is that I'm the most important person in this story ... at least so long as I'm the one who tells it. The way I tell it, Adam was scouring the internet doing research. One day, long after he had finished thinking through the premise of his novel, he came across Acephalous. After observing my radiant resplendence waxing effulgent, he contacted me, and so began the chain of events which would lead to him being the much better contributor to The Valve ... by which I mean, only after basking in the intense brilliant glowing of my intensely glowing brilliance did he become the shining star he is. Without me, he'd be nothing more than a tenured professor who writes award-winning science fiction in his spare time. So when I trudged down to campus today, checked my box and found a copy of his new novel, Land of the Headless, I couldn't wait to read it. Sure, the idea was his, as was its successful execution ... but without my keen editorial advice, the acknowledgments page never would've read: Thanks to Rachel, my sisters, my parents, and to Simon, my editor. Scott Eric Kaufman read the whole manuscript and made many helpful suggestions. His headless realm is at http://acephalous.typepad.com. You see? Without my input, the most important part of that acknowledgment would've been lost to history. To history! Mark my words: one day when I'm less than half as successful as him, Adam will thank me for deigning to appear in his acknowledgments.* *All of which is only to say, I feel privileged to have read this fine work of speculative fiction prepublication, and can't wait to reread it, so that I might annoy my wife with every minuscule trace of my possible influence on the finished product. (I could go all languagehat on her and read a chapter aloud every night before I tuck us in ... but that'd be creepy. Why isn't it creepy when he does it?)

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