Saturday, August 04, 2007


The FBIL is here. This morning he chuckled warmly as he leafed through our copy of I SHALL DESTROY ALL THE CIVILIZED PLANETS! (exclamation point not mine), which I had placed on the coffee table for purposes of just such entertainment. Later we went to our new neighborhood bookstore (see the "links" sidebar to the right) and found out that the author of I SHALL DESTROY ALL THE CIVILIZED PLANETS!, Fletcher Hanks, is the subject of an article in the new BELIEVER magazine. As faithful readers - who may or may not exist - know, I am now okay with my favorite secret things being disseminated to the public at large (anxiety over that kind of occurrence is coincidentally the subject of a letter to THE BELIEVER this month), so I have no problem with everyone enjoying the work of Fletcher Hanks, even though the depressing coda to I SHALL DESTROY ALL THE CIVILIZED PLANETS! explains that he was a terribly mean man. Let me just add that while reading Mr. Hanks' comic book stories of a superhero named Stardust, I couldn't help but notice a few details which put me in mind of my upcoming novel. For example, at one point Stardust gathers everyone on the planet (they have all unwillingly flown off into space for reasons that you need to find out for yourself) and returns them to the exact locations from which they were expelled into the ether. The narrator of my novel does not do that but - SPOILER ALERT! - he does do something else with all the people of the earth. Also, Stardust can grow his hand to an amazing size - or so it appears in the drawings - and clobber people. On his wedding day, my narrator turns his hands into the size of bulldozer scoops. I can say no more. But this is just a weird coincidence. And anyway, it is not for clobbering purposes. Plus the novel was finished long before I discovered Fletcher Hanks. Still, I feel a strange tingle of kinship (professionally but not personally, I hope, with such a nasty fellow) and my old familiar jitters about treading a worn path.