Monday, May 12, 2008

Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?

I was at a nearby Barnes and Noble a few days ago, and I noticed that they didn’t appear to be running the sort of extensive Mother’s Day promotions they had last year. Last year, to take advantage of fast-approaching Mother's Day they had a large display of books prominently labeled "Books for Mom." Not surprising.

What was surprising was that, prominently displayed under the softly colored flower-decorated "Books for Mom" sign was David Drake's The Way to Glory. Yes, that David Drake, he of Hammer's Slammers and the Reaches trilogy and the Lacey stories. Now, I love David Drake; he's a strong candidate for my favorite living author. And I would be thrilled to see science fiction gain popularity among new groups of fans. All that said, it’s difficult to conceive of a more bizarre choice. Yes, generalizations are seldom 100% accurate, and I’m sure there are mothers out there who would love to celebrate Mother’s Day with a dark, brutal military science fiction story about people crushed by the nightmarish horror of war and the burden of things they’ll never be able to forgive themselves for, but I suspect they comprise a somewhat slender share of the market.

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