Friday, December 30, 2016

Follow Friday - The Emperor Diocletian Divided the Roman Empire into Two Parts in 286 A.D.

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and a single Follow Friday Featured Blogger each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the Featured Blogger of the week - Words I Write Crazy.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: What blurbs do you feel are wrong or misleading?

The worst book blurbs I have ever seen have been on some of the collaborations between Larry Niven and Steven Barnes. The blurb on the back cover of Achilles Choice is misleading, but that is mostly because the way the core metaphor at the heart of the book is phrased doesn't really make much sense. The book (and the cover blurb) claim that the participants in the Olympic Games of the future are offered "Achilles Choice": A short, glorious life, or a long, uninteresting one. Except that in the book, those Olympians who lose have shortened lives, while those who win find themselves moved to a special category of people and go on to live long and productive lives.

However, the most misleading book blurb I have ever seen was on the Larry Niven and Steven Barnes collaboration The Descent of Anansi, which has this description on its back cover:
It's the American Revolution all over again. But this time it's a rag-tag band of space colonists vs. the United States. And the fate of the world hangs by a thread - 200 miles above the earth.
The problem is that this bears no relationship at all to the contents of the book. There is a colony orbiting the moon, and it does declare independence from the United States, but that one vote is the entirety of the "conflict" between the colonists and the American government. Most of the book is occupied by a bidding war between Japan and Brazil to purchase a monofilament cable from the colony, and the efforts of the loser in that bidding war to seize the property anyway. The blurb is essentially nonsense that seems to have been written by someone unfamiliar with anything in the book beyond possibly skimming through the first chapter. Even assuming the blurb writer had that much familiarity with the book is a stretch.

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