posted by Graham Sleight at Sunday 12 December 2010 @ 6:53 am BST
A frivolous seasonal parlour game, which is due to Patrick Nielsen Hayden. (Patrick claims it’s Gardner Dozois’s fault, but if we started listing the things in the field that are Gardner Dozois’s fault, we’d be here a very long time indeed.) The question: for what books (whether sff or otherwise), can the title and author be run together to make an unstrained, grammatically correct English sentence?
Some years ago, Patrick collated a list of books that fitted this bill, including many classics – The Sheep Look Up John Brunner, Two Sisters Gore Vidal, The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe. But time has passed, and I’m sure there are plenty more books that fit this criterion. Indeed, some authors seem to be making entire careers of it (Salt Adam Roberts, Stone Adam Roberts, On Adam Roberts, Splinter Adam Roberts, Land of the Headless Adam Roberts.) And with others, we learn that they’re almost impossible to buy clothes for (Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars Kim Stanley Robinson, Blue Mars Kim Stanley Robinson). So….what extras can you suggest in the comments?
A couple of notes. Firstly, you might want to check Patrick’s original list to be sure you’re not duplicating suggestions that have gone before. As suggested above, elegance is a virtue here. So Cats Cradle Kurt Vonnegut gets at most half-credit because you have to ignore the apostrophe in “Cat’s”. Entries get extra points if, as Patrick says, you change a word’s part of speech (Home Fires Gene Wolfe). It’s also especially appealing if they conjure up a startling visual image (Air Geoff Ryman, The Deepest Water Kate Wilhelm). And extra bonus points for any titles with a particularly seasonal feel.