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Baby Got Books

Baby Got Books
by Jim C. Hines
(with apologies to Sir Mixalot)

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her book.
It is
so big. You could, like,
Fend off a rabid jaguar.
But, you know, who even reads those genres?
She only wants dragons and swords.
It’s not like that’s real literature, right?
I mean, her book, is just so big.
I can’t believe it’s just so thick, it’s like
Swollen, I mean - wow. Look!
It’s just so … fat.

I like big books and I cannot lie.
You other readers can’t deny
That when a kid walks in with The Name of the Wind
Like a hardbound brick of win.
Story bling.
Wanna swipe that thing
Cause you see that boy is speeding
Right through the book he’s reading.
I’m hooked and I can’t stop pleading.
Wanna curl up with that for ages,
All thousand pages.
Reviewers tried to warn me.
But with that plot you hooked
Me like Bradley.
Ooh, crack that fat spine.
You know I wanna make you mine.
This book is stella ’cause it ain’t some quick novella.

No time for writers
Whose work is much slighter.
One-shot plot, over quicker than a nickel slot.

I’m tired of magazines,
Tellin’ stories with just three scenes.
Take a fantasy fan and ask ’em if
They’d rather read Tolkien, so…

Readers (yeah), readers (yeah)
Go get Martin’s brand new book (hell yeah).
Well read it, read it, read it, read it, read that hefty book.
Fantasies fat.

(Bulging shelves with the epic plotlines)

I like ’em thick and dense.
Good stories should be immense.
I just can’t stop myself.
I’m readin’ all of Wheel of Time,
Now where’s my Goodkind?

I wanna read Durham,
Scott Lynch and Pete Hamilton,
I don’t like my tales too quick.
Save flimsy old plots for SyFy flicks.
I want a twenty page prologue.
To write up on my blog.
Books with mad sequels.
Readers know they ain’t got no equals.
So I’m walking through my bookstore.
Searching the shelves for books I adore.
You can keep those slim things.
I want my novels like Rowling’s.
A word to the hard core writers.
Go pull an all-nighter.
I want that book wider.
But I gotta be straight when I say I’m gonna read
’Til the break of dawn.
Zelazny’s got it goin’ on.
A lot of folks don’t like ’em long.
’Cause them punks even skim the Brothers Grimm.
But I’d rather read it slow
’Cause I’ll savor the flavor
And I’m down to get the fiction on.

So bookstores (yeah), bookstores (yeah),
If you want me comin’ in through your doors (yeah),
Then turn ’em out,
Face ’em out,
Let me browse until I shout.
Fantasies fat.

(Bulging shelves with the epic plotlines.)

Yeah baby
When it’s my library,
Kirkus ain’t got nothing to do with my selection.
Anathem, Way of Kings, and Cyteen,
Sweetest sight I’ve ever seen.

So you only read the Cliff Notes,
Frightened off by the slightest bloat,
Well your mind is gettin’ swindled, ’cause the stories just dwindle.
My brand new Kindle is obese with books ten megs apiece.
You can do e-books or paper, but please don’t trim that book.
Some editors’ll say to cut that,
And tell you trim twelve chapters of fat.
So you slash and delete it.
But I’m sayin’ I want to read it.
Now some folks want ’em thin.
Well I say that’s a sin.
Gimme font that’s small, that’s a true temptation,
Something big like Foundation.
It’s the doorstop books that’ll make me grin.
Want to steal that thing.
Give me that tome I’m taking it home.
’Cause reading is in my genome.
Some critic she tried to dis
The books that were on my list.
She said Williams was dull and dreary.
McCaffrey just made her weary.
But writers if your book is fat,
And you’re sick of those one-star prats,
Click my contact link and e-mail me, ’cause this is where it’s at.
Fantasies fat.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



( 73 comments — Leave a comment )
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Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:44 pm (UTC)
Man, the post I've been working on about why I read YA (which is basically the opposite of this...) is going to need some serious editing...:)

I remember reading a quote by David Eddings once, where he outlines the basic rules of Epic Fantasy as "Never say in two books what you could say in twelve."
Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Ok Jim, where's the video. :)
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Waiting until I finish negotiating my record deal :-)
(no subject) - barbarienne - Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
Wow, that is epic :) I love it!
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
That was full of Win!
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
I don't necessarily agree, but I love it when songs are rewritten into an ode to books. A+.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And yeah, the views expressed in the song don't necessarily represent my own reading or writing preferences :-)
(no subject) - saya22 - Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gehayi - Aug. 22nd, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
:wild applause:

And now I have that song stuck in my head.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
Heh. I earwormed myself pretty badly for the whole weekend when I was putting this together.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
The line about cracking books' spines made me cry.

Says the person who loaned her high school bf a book she'd read (and was in near-perfect condition) and made him buy her a new copy when he returned it with the spine cracked in a dozen places. (Even my well-loved copy of Memory by LM Bujold has a near-new condition spine.)
Aug. 22nd, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
I love you. Because I've done the exact same thing. ^_^
(no subject) - akiko - Aug. 22nd, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lenora_rose - Aug. 22nd, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
Gah - sounds like you've been looking at my bookshelves!

Not quite, I have your books, too, but a large percentage of the books on my shelves fit this or are mentioned in this.
Well done!
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
I sometimes wonder why DAW picked me up, since I seem to be one of the only authors writing for them who turns in books at 100,000 words or less...
(no subject) - barbarienne - Aug. 22nd, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - archangelbeth - Aug. 23rd, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
So very awesome. Full of win.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Needs Prodigy, Aphex Twin and Jack Dangers remixes.

Otherwise A+++ excellent eBayer, would bid again
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
You kill me in the best way.

This may beat the Robot Chicken "Table Be Round" where Sir Mix-a-lot did an Arthurian version of this song.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)

I bet that's on YouTube somewhere.

::Skitters off to YouTube::
(no subject) - barbarienne - Aug. 22nd, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
That is a damn scream.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
Once again, you utterly vanquish the interwebs with your giant throbbing humor brain, Jim! Yay you!

But they're right - there HAS to be a video! Maybe - the next Con you go to - someone will get a flash mob together...I can dream, can't I?
Aug. 22nd, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you :-)

I would love to see/hear this done live or recorded, but the limits of my own skillsets mean it probably won't be me who does it.
(no subject) - threeoutside - Aug. 22nd, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - heinous_bitca - Aug. 22nd, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - threeoutside - Aug. 22nd, 2011 11:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - acetachyon - Aug. 25th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 22nd, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
This was awesome and win :D
Aug. 22nd, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
True story: My hubby wanted to pick the most obnoxious song he could find to set as his alarm clock. That way, he'd be sure to get out of bed quickly to turn it off.

The song he picked? "I Like Big Butts."

I like your version soooooooo much better.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
You win the internets today!
Aug. 22nd, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
I don't know if I'd say that I like big books in general, but I certainly like some big books. It depends, to me, on why they're big.

If it's just the book barely appears to have seen the services of an editor and there's a lot of pointless meandering and padding, I don't like that (I think, for example, that that became increasingly true of some of the Harry Potter books as Rowling became more and more famous - it was like editors were afraid to touch a word).

But if a book is huge just because there's so much story in there, bring it on! You mentioned Scott Lynch, who I think is an excellent example. His Gentleman Bastards books are pretty hefty, but I don't think anyone could argue that they drag at all - they're fast-paced, exciting, funny and very, very absorbing. For books like that, being big just means there's that much more awesomeness to suck you in and keep you from doing any actual work until the book's finished.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Aug. 22nd, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
You are full of awesome!
Aug. 22nd, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
Aug. 22nd, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
I think my very favorite thing about this - and believe me, it was hard to pick just one - is your demonstrated knowledge of the original song. I like it too.
Aug. 22nd, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
Oh. My. Gawd. That is awesome! :D
Aug. 22nd, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
Aug. 22nd, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
Just awesome. That's all.
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( 73 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines

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