It struck me as I was reading “Lukewarm Bathwater or Apocalypse?”
by Ed Page that it is a lonely place for authors in the crowded arena of science fiction, and fantasy novels and short stories. That sounds like an oxymoron but it is true. How can a newbie stand out from the crowd, let alone compete with the big boys? It is not easy but it is possible. For a start, the big boys have made it and are churning out works of excellence that are roughly similar to what they have written before. That sounds nasty, but it is reasonably true. Once an author has a niche it is most likely that they will stick with that niche or something similar. The writing style will remain similar and the characters and plots likewise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and it is exactly why we come back time and time again for each new installment. However, it does leave newbies the chance to write something different, to express themselves in ways that have not been tried before. A newbie also has the opportunity to create a new universe and to take a new set of readers along for the ride from the very beginning. These days it would be a mammoth task to start on Terry Pratchett or Raymond E Feist or Robert Rankin. Whether they like it or not, their books are not just stand alone anymore. They rely on back history and running gags and knowledge from one book leading to another and another. In fact they start generating mega-series patterns that are only vaguely understandable if one has the complete set of books somewhere in the recesses of the mind. So a newbie has a potential to break through to a new audience or to an audience looking for something different. My review of “Lukewarm Bathwater or Apocalypse?”: Ed Page has come up with a splendid and farcical tale that can happily sit alongside the big names of this genre. To be perfectly honest it was almost too much at times which is a similarity with Tom Sharpe and at other times side splittingly funny with Rankin like running jokes. This is a fun book and you will feel at home reading this if you are a fan of fantasy. Ed Page has done a great job but it will be important that he leaves the comparisons to other people. It worried me that his summary of the book likened this to other author’s work because that cheapens this book somehow. This is not a cover band or a karaoke novel, this is something new and should be judged as such. If Ed Page can be at peace with that then there his creative and writing talents will see him good. There is still the challenge of generating an audience and that is never easy, but I do hope that this little book review will assist in some small way.