This is the tenth installment of my aptly-named series “Books on the Shelf,” in which I take any title or object from one of my lovingly alphabetized shelves and write a short post about it.
Last October, on the day after I arrived at Viable Paradise, a handful of us walked into town to rent bikes. The man at the rental place asked what brought us all to Martha’s Vineyard. We told him we were all science fiction and fantasy writers (which is a bizarre and hilarious thing to say in a group, by the way).
“That’s awesome!” the guy said. He was well-proportioned and muscly, exactly the right sort of person to own and operate a bike rental shop. “I love science fiction and fantasy. Have you guys read anything by J. R. R. Tolkien?”
We all nodded, and everyone kept straight faces, we went off for a lovely ride.
I mean I wanted to say, “J. R. R… who? Mmm, no, sorry. Never heard of him.”
I didn’t, because it’s not nice to be a jerk, and, I mean, we’ve had enough snobs and assholes in sf/f. Better to be polite to people as a general rule.
It was funny, though, right?