I’ll get to a more general wrap-up of this year’s edition of the Confusion science fiction and fantasy convention later on, but I wanted to call your attention to a particular book and why it is, in its almost-certainly-unique way, the most epic book in all of science fiction and fantasy right at this moment.
To preface, at this year’s Confusion convention, Subterranean Press and I gave away hundreds of copies of my book The Sagan Diary to the attendees of the con, because why not. Most attendees seemed to be pretty happy with the freebie, and I spent a not-trivial amount of time at the con signing the copies that came my way.
If there was one person who did not actually need a free copy of the book, however, it was me; I’ve got, oh, just a few down in my basement at the moment. Nevertheless the convention folks, either unintentionally or because they thought it would be amusing, stuffed one of the books into my convention packet.
What to do with this extraneous book? Someone suggested I sign it to myself (“Dear John: You bastard. I know you slept with my wife. JS”) but that seemed, well, sort of silly. So I did what I feel was a much more logical and rational thing instead: I opened the book to the title page, licked it, and then signed the book as follows:
“I hereby testify that this copy has been ensalivated by me — John Scalzi”
And suddenly the book had become a collector’s item. After all, there are many books signed by me, but signed and licked? Fewer than you might think.
And then, since my wife was there, and the book is dedicated to her, I had her lick and sign the book as well. And then it became even more special.
And then I looked up and saw that, in fact, the little area in which I was then currently standing was positively packed with writers. And, well. You can guess what happens next.
And thus was born The Legendary Licked Book of Epic Confusion, the only book in the world signed and licked by fifteen fantastic science fiction and fantasy authors (and my wife).
Who are the luminaries who have graced the book with their DNA? Aside from my wife and myself, they are, in alphabetical order:
Peter V. Brett
Jim C. Hines
How many books have these fabulous authors signed? Many. How many have they licked? Very few. How many have they licked and signed? Fewer still. And how many have all of them signed and licked?
Only one, my friends. And this is it. I suspect, for organizational as well as hygienic reasons, it will remain the only one in existence between now and the very heat death of the universe.
(And how did I convince all of these people to lick this book? Bwa ha ha ha hah ha ha ha! If only you knew.)
What shall be done with this infamous depository of ink and genetic information? Some have suggested I will use it to raise a clone army of science fiction and fantasy writers to do my dark bidding and/or be my sex slaves and/or mow my lawn, which is unreasonably large. And while these are all compelling ideas, full of merit, what I suspect I will do is think upon a worthy charity and then auction off The Licked Book of Epic Confusion to raise money for said charity. That seems like the best use of this particular book. And then the winner may use it to raise a clone army of science fiction and fantasy writers to do their dark bidding and/or be their sex slaves and/or mow my lawn (it still needs mowing, damn it). I’ll let you all know when I have it figured out.
(Also, in advance: thanks, but suggestions for charities are not needed at this point. I’m pretty good at doing that part.)
For now: Gaze upon it, the Legendary Licked Book of Epic Confusion! You will not see its like again. I still can’t believe I got away with it.