20 February 2012

10 Book Series: Luke Banderloft and The McFarven Pirates

I'm not optimistic about this ten-novel fantasy series. Its author, Rocky Perry, describes it: "The books are a mix of Pirates of the Carabean and The Neverending Story.  If you loved them, you will love these books. " 

I doubt it. Pirates of the Carabean [sic] and The Neverending Story are movies, and what we like about novels and what we like about movies are not the same. (I suppose Rocky might be referring to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, which inspired the movie of the same name, or referring to the novel Die unendliche Geschichte, which inspired the Neverending Story movie.) And since a Kickstarter description is an indication of a writer's attention to his craft, the misspelling, the lack of italics for the titles, and the two spaces after each period don't inspire the greatest confidence. (I realize that this is why publishing houses hire editors and typesetters, but even so: look your best when you put your hand out, people.)

The novels are set in Quephter*, Rocky's open-source fantasy role-playing game setting. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its open-source fantasy RPG setting cover, but we don't have much to go on here, and the art for Quephter cops the lamentable style of Wizards of the Coast's third edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Compromise facial-hair? Check. Conspicuous piercing? Check. "Tribal" tatoo? Check. Gym-rat wish-fulfillment physique? Check. This aesthetic was lame in 2000, and it hasn't improved with age. (Though for all I know, it still sells.)

Haters gonna hate.

Despite all this, the video for Rocky's project moves me. The child squealing in the background and Rocky's mention of Walmart remind me that the future looks bleak for non-Waltons in the right-to-work (for less) state of Georgia. Rocky asks prospective donors only for "the price of a taco" from Taco Bell, and this makes me wonder, Will Rocky's child have to work at Taco Bell when he or she grows up? Neoliberal "competition" means that the worker in one-party China now gets a manufacturing job (under working conditions like those that obtained in the US before organized labor changed them), while the worker in the US gets a job cleaning deep-fryers, priced out of "public" universities--which increasingly train for white-collar jobs that are easier to find in Dubai than in US cities.

Rocky has my sympathy. His books do not.

*I insist on pronouncing that first E as a long E.


  1. Whenever I read "the price of a taco" I think $20 - "taco" was our slang for prostitutes in high school.

  2. Taco vendor: We don't get many bears in here.
    Bear: At these prices, I'm not surprised.

    1. It's funny that as soon as someone mentioned prostitute you went to hairy gay man slang.

  3. I love being hated on. Really. Very clever site. It is like getting trashed on SNL. Being made fun of is way better than being ignored.

    PS: The books are out and much better than my kickstarter and much better edited.