Sunday, November 12, 2006

Life Story

Author bios tend to be pretty dull recitations of places born and books published. Why not liven things up by allowing the author to write their own bio, like this effort from sf writer Eric Frank Russell:
Born Jan. 1905 at Sandhurst, Surrey. Father was a Royal Engineer, in his youth a friend of late Lt-Col. Cyril McNeil ("Sapper"). Mother suffered father with Quakerlike patience and finally reformed him.

I was educated by Robert Ingersoll, Charles Hoy Fort, and W.E. "Bill" Harney, king of the Australian outback. Have served a long sentence as representative of an engineering firm but escaped eventually and became a full-time writer.

Am 6' 2" tall, with grey-brown hair, green eyes, and look as if I should have been hanged at Nuremberg. My best friend is Professor Frederick B. Shroyer of California, also a writer. My best enemy was the late Aleister Crowley, whom I put in his grave by bone-pointing.

Have been writing fantasy and science fiction for twenty-six years. Also some off-trail articles. Something over a hundred contributions to about twenty magazines, mostly American. Thirteen books published. Another thirteen to come - I hope.


TimT said...

Why not jazz things up even more and get their exes or enemies (it comes to much the same thing, really) to write the bios?

This conniving, cheating, sonofabitch was born in the slums of New York and should have stayed there ... etc, etc

Tim said...

Good idea. Also, more books should include quotations from negative reviews, a la the paperback edition of The Wasp Factory.

"It is a sick, sick world when the confidence and investment of an astute firm of publishers is justified by a work of unparalleled depravity...The majority of the literate public will be relieved that only reviewers are obliged to look at any of it."

"As a piece of writing, The Wasp Factory soars to the level of mediocrity. Maybe the crassly explicit language, the obscenity of the plot, were thought to strike an agreeably avant-garde note. Perhaps it is all a joke, meant to fool literary London into respect for rubbish".

Yes, it really is that good.