Monday, July 19, 2010

Queen Anne Books Backs the Scurvy Mistress

An excerpt from a new review by Queen Anne Books in Seattle:

Clever treasure clues, exotic locales, fight scenes, and underwater explorations provide swashbuckling flair. I also loved how Fish's crew mates are quite aware of their pirate image, studying books about pirate history, cultivating beards, and picking pirate names to be most impressive. This novel is funny and exciting-- a great summer read or read-aloud, by Jove!

Read the rest here. The same reviewer also has a nice piece on David Mitchell's new novel, which sounds amazing and kind of surprising, or at least very different from Cloud Atlas.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Review: FISH Makes Summer Beach Read List

A great review of FISH appears in the Winston-Salem Journal today. Here's an excerpt:

" entertaining, rollicking read that challenges as well captivates...full of humor, quick-witted dialogue, well-disguised lessons in initiative and hard work with clever pirating lore and grand treasure dreams."

And the full piece.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pirates and the Liar's Paradox

A few weeks ago I visited Munsey Park School in Manhasset, NY, and spoke with a number of classes about FISH and the writing process. When I was talking to a group of second-graders, one of the kids caught on early that I have a tendency to embellish when telling stories. I'd been talking about my journalism (all true stuff) and my fiction (mostly invented). So he raises his hand, I stop, and he asks, "Was what you just said true?"

I'd been talking about sitting in a flying car, but I wasn't making it up. I wrote about the car, Terrafugia's Transition, which is really a drivable plane, in Popular Science. I explain this to the inquisitive kid, then add a qualifier, noting that I do often make things up.

"So how do we know what's true?" he asks.

"You can ask me," I answer, "but you shouldn't trust my answer, because I've already said that I make things up." He looks at me strangely, and then I get carried away. "You've actually brought up a really interesting and famous philosophical question known as the liar's paradox....."

The teacher laughed slightly, I went on for a moment more, and then quickly returned to stories of sword fights, treasure hunts, and smelly rogues.