Kevin A.

August 7, 2013

Post #3498 – 20130807

Dear Mr. Pinkwater,

It was around twenty years ago that I made the mistake of picking up the first two books of the "Melvinge of the Megaverse" trilogy. I read a great deal in my youth, and it truly says something that these books have resonated for me for so long: the tale of a world full of people seeking some infinite grandeur of which they've only heard tales, that no one can agree on how to reach but which is so worthwhile that one should spend a lifetime just finding a place to park for it.

My mistake, of course, was that at the time I did not pick up the third book, "Night of the Living 'Gator", not suspecting how entirely elusive this volume would become and denying me closure until at last I finally paid a rather exorbitant price for a used copy on Amazon so that my search might finally be over.

Of course I was confused at first when I finished it %u2013 it is a marked departure from the previous books, with many characters casually tossed aside with no real explanation %u2013 until I realized that it too has its messages. One may find oneself exactly where one wanted to be, only to find that it wasn't what one expected and that one is nearly as lost as one was to begin with. Sometimes instead of a central conflict, life is just a series of bizarre sequential coincidences, and the looming confrontation one constantly anticipates ends up being dealt with swiftly by pet shop employees. Great mysteries thought to be lurking in the navel of the echidna can be swiftly dispelled if one merely bothers to look them up in any handy reference work.

It is only now that I notice you addressed these books here eleven years ago as the product of "poor advice from a schlocky agent". I don't suppose you got around to reading them in the meantime? Have you ever considered developing the original subject matter further?

Regards, Kevin.

Daniel replies:

It takes all kinds of readers to make a world.  I myself am a finicky sort of reader--bad writing makes me a little sick.  I congratulate you on your robust constitution.  For the information of others, the books referred to were part of a deal with a ""packager.""  On the advice of an agent I no longer employ, I was to write a ""bible"" like unto what is done for a TV series, and some general outlines.  ""Top rank"" science fiction writers were standing by to execute the books.  In the event, the packager saved money on hiring writers, the product was, the say the least, substandard, and a merciful providence dictated that there should be a trademark/copyright conflict about the title, and the whole project was more or less withdrawn from the market.  Yet, copies are still floating around for those with a taste for such things and money to waste.