Tuesday, November 28, 2006

an unexpected find

Do you have a favorite author? Someone whose writing speaks to you, gives you escape and comfort, someone you dearly wish were even more prolific, because you just can't get enough of their stuff? An author that turns you into a collector, looking for any book of theirs you don't have, whether it is in paperback, hardback, or pounded out on tribal drums? I have a few: Robert Heinlein, Spider Robinson [I think of him as "Heinlein Lite"], Mercedes Lackey [specifically her Bard and Valdemar series], Elizabeth Moon's Paksennarion and Gird series, Neil Gaiman. There are a few graphic novel titles I count in there as well: Sandman [sadly gone these many years], Lucifer [spun off of Sandman, also ending soon], Strangers in Paradise [an *absolute* must read...and sadly, it is ending in just a few more issues], Fables [happily, no end in sight yet]. Of the authors, Heinlein and Spider are the ones that I have no limits on what I like of theirs...anything they write, I will buy. Or search through used book stores to find that out-of-print copy...and if it isn't there, pay outlandish shipping costs to order it online.

Well, this weekend, I found a new book by Spider Robinson [newly republished, actually]. And it was one I hadn't heard of before, hadn't seen before. I saw it, glanced past it, then glanced back. A little mental headshake, with that slight head tilt that accompanies minor befuddlement.

Mental process:

...doo be doo be doo...scanning shelf for titles by Spider Robinson, out of sheer habit and wistful hope...hmm, that title didn't look familiar...reverse, look again...nope, not one I'm aware of...double-check author name, must have been misfiled...hey, it says "Spider Robinson"!...don't get excited, probably just a new compilation of old stories, they do that to you all the time...pick up book, scan back jacket blurb...nope, doesn't sound familiar...hey, it's a full novel, cool...wait...wait...it's sinking in...a new Spider Robinson book that I haven't read before...new...by a trusted and very wonderfully consistently good, no great, favorite author of mine...zzzooooOOOmmm!

Cut to me clutching the paperback as if it were The One Ring, racing to the checkout, then planning a lovely night of discovering a new world through the eyes of a man whose works I've been reading for years, and has a world view that, if more people had it and practiced it, would lead to a much better world.

Now I just have to brace myself for the inevitable letdown when I reach the final page and have to come back into the real world...

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