Wednesday, April 23, 2008

So Help Me, I Am Reading "Pool Of Radiance"

Oh, the things you find -and do- at a flea market.

This one dude had a lot of SF/Fantasy paperbacks, 4 for...I dunno, $5, I think. I'd snagged Lando Calrissian and the Mindsharp of Sharu and Logan's Search already, and was waffling on the other two, when my daughter started getting antsy to move on. I was hovering over the box of Forgotten Realms novels so I grabbed one that wasn't part of a series, then let my wife grab me something at random, paid the guy, and moved on. Cranky toddlers are less fun than otherwise, after all.

On the drive home she fell asleep, my wife was driving the usual scenic route back home from Nashville (IN, not TN!), so I fished out Pool of Radiance and started to read.

Now...I'm not really a published author. Oh, I've had a couple of humor pieces appear in print, plus some stuff I wrote for Places To Go, People To Be on the internet. I have this blog. But I've never been paid for my work. So I feel kinda hypocritical when I say something like what I'm about to say:

This book is pretty bad.

No offense to the authors, certainly not to Jim Ward. Still, this thing is pretty bad. I'm entertained enough to keep reading it (albeit slowly -- 4 days in, I'm not yet finished with chapter 2), It makes me wonder a few things:

1. I know it was a tie-in for the computer game (in fact, if I understand correctly, it was TSR's first big entry into an industry created because of D&D). But I wonder if it was approved, published and marketed just because there was a need for a tie-in? Was there no other requirement for it than to fill a spot on the publishing schedule?

2. Is it based on someone's game? I wonder this because some stuff just kind of seems to happen. I read it and I think, "I can see that happening in a game, but not a novel."

3. Why is it that, as I read the book, I want to retell it in my own words? Shouldn't I just write my own damn fantasy novel?

Shouldn't I?