Thursday, December 02, 2004


A year ago, I wrote a favorable review of The Soddit, a parody of you-know-what by A. R. R. R. Roberts [Adam Roberts]. A few days ago I saw a new parody by Roberts, The Sellamillion, and bought it. Unfortunately the front-cover blurb, "the disappointing 'other' Tolkien parody," turned out to be accurate. Most of the humor is decidedly uninspired, relying on funny names and mock-pedantic footnotes. And while there are some chuckles, there's nothing as funny as the best bits of The Soddit, apart from a dialogue between Frodo and Sam in the style of Dr. Seuss (sample:

'Sam, I'll tell you this in actual fact --
I hate this magic artefact;
I do not like it in the dark
I will not treat it as a lark
I do not like this Magic Ring
I do not like it, Sam-old-thing.')

Actually, when you strip away the funny names and facetiousness, the 160 smallish pages from "Of Belend and Luthwoman" through "Of Earwiggi" (see what I mean? And I left out the umlauts) make up a pretty good epic fantasy novella (if that's not an oxymoron).

It's published by Gollancz in the U.K. (apparently no U.S. publisher, but a local bookstore was selling it for $9.95) and the ISBN is 0-575-07611-9.

Last night I was feeling kind of depressed and not up to any serious reading, so I decided to browse through May Contain Nuts, a contemporary humor anthology that I checked out of the library a few days ago (edited by Michael J. Rosen). Doing so made me a lot more depressed: apparently humor is dead in this country. But I wanted to be fair, so this afternoon I checked to see if it would look any better when I was feeling better. It didn't. In fact, much of it is so unfunny that I'm wondering if it's some new genre of experimental humor that I'm not getting; but I'm not inclined to investigate. I did discover one funny piece, though: an excerpt from Jill A. Davis's Girls' Poker Night, which I checked out of the library today and intend to read.

UPDATE: Don't bother with Girls' Poker Night; see the post just above this one.

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