Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Another Wafer-thin...











                                                                           Would you care for just one more wafer-                                                                                        thin...interview? About all three books?                    Maybe even one more?














Then check out my talk with three ladies named Dark, Stormy, and Night.
 

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Singapore Charlie

 If you've been following along, you know that I compulsively google my book to see how it's faring in the wide world. And one thing I've noticed is that it's available in a goodly number of libraries, probably due to my starred review in Booklist, which is apparently the Bible for librarians ordering books.

So I'm browsing through Google the other night, and I come across an entry that couples my book's title with the National Library Board. Well, that sounds impressive, so I click on that one--and sure enough, it is the National Library Board--of Singapore. Which has one copy--an ebook at that, for the enjoyment of the people of Singapore.

Now I will admit to you right up front that when I was writing the novel, my imaginary reader was not Singaporean. Which is, I suppose, a failure of the imagination. For there among the dusty e-shelves of Singapore sits my book, waiting for Singapore to discover it.

Let's assume, for the purposes of this fantasy, that Singapore has discovered it. Maybe not all of Singapore. Maybe, really, just one guy. He first came upon Sherlock Holmes when he was thirteen. He read the Canon in Chinese, and fell in love. So much so that he was determined to read it in the original English, so he learned the language backwords and forwords. His name is Charlie.

No, I don't know whether there's a single soul in Singapore (say that five times fast) named Charlie. I could do a little research and come up with a more appropriate name. Never do any research for your fantasies. It can only make them smaller.

So Charlie reads every Sherlock Holmes pastiche he can get his hands on, which is not many, because he doesn't make a load of dough and mainly has to depend on the National Library Board, which he has a fantasy of joining some day. Right now it consists of a dozen grim-faced old greybeards whose idea of good detective fiction is John Grisham.

Some day he'd actually like to write his own Sherlock Holmes pastiche. He figures Holmes made his way to Singapore during his three year hiatus. Maybe he worked the docks and secretly fought piracy for a year. At night Charlie can hear the creaking of

the wooden ships and the clash of swords. Maybe he had a sidekick he called Charlie, but whose name was really something far more appropriate.

But Charlie really latches on to my book. He's read it three times. He's told all his friends about it till they're bored to tears. He's even started a fan club, which has five members besides himself, four of whom don't know they're members, and one shy girl that he calls Irene. She really likes the book too--at least that's what she says.

Charlie would like to come to America, to meet me some day and shake my hand, maybe get an autograph. Maybe I would introduce him to my publisher (whom I've never even met) so he could show him his book, Sherlock Holmes and the Pirates. He's waiting to finish his book before he gets in touch with me. It could take a while, since he hasn't put down a word yet.

But he's got it all in his head. He's just letting it come to a boil. Keep an eye out for Charlie Singapore in your bookstores. Thank you, National Library Board.



Stanislaw Lem

 "The question of genres is simply unimportant for me, and very often I turn to different modes of writing. I want to write about things that interest me and in ways that interest me. One could simply say that I attempt certain mental experiments and try to create certain situational models."