I have in my imagination a few pretty good books that I won’t write, for one reason or another. That doesn’t mean I can’t write about them, and imagine how readers might react to them. Without further ado, here are three of them.
1. How to Play Chess Like Me. No point in writing this, because no one would publish it. You can only get a chess book published if you’ve got official chess creds. I never play in official tournaments and have no official chess ranking, so I’ve been advised not to waste my time. Too bad: if I taught you how to play like me, you’d win a lot of games against friends and family members. I’d have chapters on Goofy Openings That No One Has Bothered to Learn How to Defeat, Cheap Tricks to Stay Alive during the middle game, and the Ambush Predator Approach to Play.
2. The Adventures of Jack and the Pancakes. These have been my wife’s bedtime stories for 35 years, so I’ve got a lot of them. Jack is a wise but extremely timid rubber plant who wears a Mountie hat. The Girl Pancake and the Boy Pancake have a gift for jumping into things they shouldn’t jump into. Their boon companion, Moley, is a tiny little creature with a titanic ego and an infinite supply of fruitless schemes for getting rich and famous. I dassn’t write these because they are politically incorrect, big-time. I mean, this book could land me in a FEMA camp or something.
3. The Saga of Sven and Einar. This pair of happy-go-lucky 10th-century Icelanders are best friends when they aren’t trying to kill each other. They run afoul of most of the major personalities of Northern Europe in the Early Middle Ages: the murderous king of Norway, Eric Bloodaxe, and his witchcraft-practicing mother, Queen Gunnhild, have a major bone to pick with Sven and Einar and are always trying to erase them from the earth. The boys also get in trouble when they accidentally discover North America and try to turn a profit on it. I haven’t written this because I just never seem to have the time. But I do know my sagas, folks, and I’d just love to see one written up as comedy.