Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hal in a nutshell

No, that's not the title of book six in the series.

I recently organised a number of free copies of Hal Spacejock for SF bloggers around the world. I'm not expecting them to drop everything and post glowing reviews, so why do it?

First, because it's neat to have something of value to give away, even if that value is only twenty bucks.

Second, Hal is a fun book and they might enjoy it. There's a reason humans tell jokes: that special feeling you get when you make someone laugh is priceless, at least to me.

Third, because mainstream press tends to ignore genre (SF/Fantasy/Horror) titles. (In turn, SF/Fantasy/Horror fans tend to ignore mainstream press.) SF blogs, on the other hand, are a gathering of like-minded folk, a sort of rolling 24/7 SF convention. Conversations spring up, points are discussed at length, and word gets around. If someone does get a laugh out of Spacejock, they might get that special feeling by sharing the joke with others.

Fourth, because Hal Spacejock is an odd title. One glance and people picture a muscle-bound idiot barging through life using his fists to settle every argument. In truth, Hal would sooner run away than go toe-to-toe with a librarian, and his character is (deliberately) as shallow as a puddle. I like my little jokes, and one of them is that the books are as much about the sympathetic and noble character of XG99, aka Clunk the robot, as they are about Hal. Clunk's constant struggle to keep Hal in check is a huge source of amusement, and it's wonderful when he completely loses it from time to time. Chastened, Hal mends his ways ... for about five minutes.

The humour in my books is very dry and understated, because I don't like lame, silly gags and I hate beating readers over the head with the obvious and I hate explaining jokes. If you get it, great. If you don't, there's still a decent plot ... and I still earn royalties from your copy ;-)

So, the fifth and final reason: The more people share and discuss the book, the less chance it'll be perceived as Crocodile Dundee in space. Hence all my prize draws to give copies away.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


hornblower said...

Hey, Hal made it! Just opened the package, already blogged it, will start reading over lunch. Thanks Simon.


Simon Haynes said...

Hope you enjoy it ;-)
I don't expect it to appeal to everyone, but that's the good thing about books. They're easily given away...

Fahim said...

My copy made it too but 10 minutes after it arrived, my wife got her hands on it and hasn't let go since then :p I'm still waiting for her grip to relax so that I can finally read it. Ah well, I know the wait is worth it :)

Simon Haynes said...

Simple answer: buy another copy ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he ain't gettin' it 'til I'm done. I got me a deathgrip. :D

Simon, loving the book. The guy's an idiot, and damn, but he's entertaining. I'm glad I, er, I mean, Fahim won that book. :D