Thursday, December 13, 2007

Which came first: the Unicorn or the Wizard?

As a bookseller, I'm often intrigued by how people decide to portray themselves on their author bios. It's been interesting to note the amount of bios that include photos (it never used to be the case; 10 years ago, you had to become big-time, be on your third book, or have sold the movie rights), and what kind of image it is.
Some images are dignified, some are dilettante-ish come-hither poses. And then there's the spate of silver gelatin-style photos that infuriate me in their pretentiousness. I won't go into details, but it can be a fun excercise next time you're in a library or bookstore.


The point of this post is to bring one particular bio to the attention of the greater world.
For the sake of fairness, I'm deleting the pertinent bits to protect the author, but what is left is truly made of "Teh Awesome".
Renowned wizard (-Blank-) is the author of (-Blank-obviously these books involve wizardry). He rediscovered the long-lost secret of the Unicorn in 1976, and created the first of several living Unicorns, which became a worldwide sensation. In 1985, (-blank-) organized a diving expedition to New Guinea and the Coral Sea, which solved the age-old mystery of the Mermaid, presenting his findings to the International Society of Cryptozoology. He is the founder of the online (-blank-) School of Wizardry.
I have not included the bio photo, but whipped up this replacement--suffice to say that both wizard and Unicorn are prominently featured.
It's amazing, frankly, to see such brazenly mystical, truly in a 1970s prog-rock, Frodo-loving, hippy-childe way, this bio is; in an age where science seems to have driven the seductive and fun shadows of myth and fantasy into tiny corners, we have this wonderful piece of oddness to prove that mankind can't let go if it's mysteries.

And if the Singularity happens, and nanotech and post-humanism come to fruition in the next 20 years, I expect it to look like a bizarre mash-up of Blade Runner, World of Warcraft and Star Trek... And I hope that Spider Jerusalem is there to report on it.