And Now, For Some Culture. . . .

The inestimable Jim Hines, author of the Goblin books I really need to read, has provided the speculative fiction world with a gem. For anyone who’s not familiar with the song to which this obviously should be sung, just go to YouTube, look up Pirates of Penzance and listen to The Major-General’s Song.

I am the Very Model of a Modern SF Novelist

I am the very model of a modern SF novelist,
I’ve manuscripts space opera, anime, and fantasist,
I know the kings of fandom and the best flamewars historical
From Andrew Burt to LiveJournal, in order categorical;
I’m very well acquainted too, with matters editorial,
I keep my cover letters brief and never too suctorial,
About rejection etiquette I’m teeming with propriety,
With many cheerful facts about your online notoriety,
I’m very good at worldbuilding and proper use of ansibles;
I know the hyphenated names of beings unpronounceable:
In short, in matters space opera, anime, and fantasist,
I am the very model of a modern SF novelist.

I know our genre history, from H. G. Wells to Arthur Clarke,
I’ve read so much time travel, I’ve a pretty taste for paradox,
I quote in panel talks the wise advice of Crispin and Miss Snark,
I study wormholes, galaxies and theories about matter dark;
I can tell a work professional from books Publish America,
I know the Eye of Argon from Conan of Cimmeria!
Then I can hum the melody from every last John Williams score,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal film Fantastic Four.
I’ll write you books of goblin war and princesses who won’t conform,
And tell show you every detail of a goblin warrior’s uniform:
In short, in matters space opera, anime, and fantasist,
I am the very model of a modern SF novelist.

In fact, when I know what is meant by “grok” and “droid” and “FTL”,
When I can tell at sight the sword Excalibur from Anduril,
When twists in stories I perceive by reading just one paragraph,
And when I know precisely how to pen a clever epigraph,
When I have followed breakthroughs yearly in e-book technology,
When I know more of grammar than my profs from University–
In short, when you run out and buy and read every last book by me–
You’ll say a better novelist has never writ a fantasy.
My works even appear in many dialects European,
Thanks to the perserverence of my agent JABberwockian;
In short, in matters space opera, anime, and fantasist,
I am the very model of a modern SF novelist.

Fantastic job, Jim! Bravo!

Originally posted here.

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