I was baffled. Here I was at the headquarters for Solaris Books, at their kind invitation, so as to discuss my guest blog entry with them, only to find the offices deserted. I was not only confused, but disappointed, having anticipated stimulating conversations rendered in mellifluous British accents. Instead, I might as well have watched tumbleweeds blow between the cubicles as I surveyed desks embarrassingly rife with Star Wars figurines, plush unicorns and other such paraphernalia one would expect of geeks submerged day in and day out in all things fantastical. I found a dog-eared copy of my novel Deadstock on the desk of George Mann, and upon the desk of Mark Newton, the coffee mug I’d sent him which featured the character “Buddy Balloon” from my novel. And there on Christian Dunn’s desk, the manuscript of Deadstock's sequel, Blue War. That was when I noticed the inter-dimensional rift in the corner, in the shape of the former editor. It had happened again. In the course of reading my manuscript, Dunn’s mind had exploded, tearing open the veil between worlds. I hate when that happens.
Then, I spun around to find that a ghastly figure was stealing up on me. It was all midnight black except for cracks and fissures that glowed like lava. It had no eyes, but its gaping mouth further displayed its molten core, exhaling steam and brimstone. I looked above me to see another of these beings, scuttling across the ceiling like a human fly. I grabbed the first weapon at hand, Mann’s copy of Deadstock, hurled it and brought the creature down with a crash. It scurried off, but the first entity lunged at me and I flung the loose pages of Blue War in its face to distract it while I ducked back into Mark Newton’s cubicle. There, a third creature popped up from behind the desk. I scooped up and threw the Buddy Balloon mug, but amazingly the creature caught it and clutched it to its chest protectively, before fleeing from the office with its prize. That was when I realized that the rift had either altered the form of the Solaris staff, or else sucked them into another plane of existence, only to exchange them for their extradimensional alter egos. I hate when that happens.
I sat down at Mark’s desk to ponder my next move, and picked up a hefty copy of Gail Martin’s The Summoner should any of the beasts return for another attack. I remembered Marc Gascoigne once referring to George Mann as “unmissable.” I would put that to the test with a 640-page novel if he tried to come at me again.
That was when a voice behind me exclaimed, “Jeffrey! We’ve been expecting you!” For a moment, I was almost put at ease. But upon the back of my neck, a steaming heat. In my nostrils, the stench of brimstone. And that voice, oh that voice...like someone gargling magma, in a mellifluous British accent...
Jeffrey Thomas Launch Party News
B. Dalton Bookseller in Braintree, MA (located in the South Shore Plaza Mall). On Saturday, March
24th from 2:00-5:00pm...
Posted by Mark Newton at 3/05/2007