This is the question all writers dread. When my editor asked me if I wanted to write my own blurb for The Wolf of Descarta or have the marketing department at TZPP do it for me, my response was, “Yeah, that’s all yours. Go nuts.”
Yes, to a point, all writers should be able to string together synopses or treatments of their novels, but doing so is kind of like “squeezing the universe into a ball”–a line which I constantly crib from Eliot.
So what is my book about? I think the answer to that question is really going to depend on who you ask.
A teacher might read the novel and note the effects of the Dalian Exam, which is taken at the age of 13 to bypass the genetic caste line between red collar and blue collar, and decide that I’m taking a stance against standardized testing in public schools.
A video game junkie might describe it as, “A scenario in which gamers and hackers finally take their rightful places as the future heroes of humanity.”
A romance fan might fixate on the love triangle between Balmus/Reese, Brea, and Petra because this serves as the driving force behind the story and Reese’s personal quest for meaning.
An English professor might argue that the book is really about the limitations of human identity and call it a cautionary tale about the role simulation may already be playing in shaping society. He or she might also drop the word bildungsroman.
A cellular biologist might call it a love letter to Charles Darwin that explains the evolution of robots.
A Fantasy fan might call it an experiment in bringing the staples of that genre–including heroic knights, trials by combat, magic, legendary creatures, true love, and weapons of power–into a Sci-Fi context without necessarily writing Space Opera.
A conspiracy theorist might call it a metaphor for big brother policing the Internet.
A devout Christian might read it as a parable for the need to make a true connection with God through prayer.
A string theorist might see those same connections as the equivalent of mental wormholes between dimensions.
An Erotica fan might gravitate towards the futuristic choice between the physical act of love making and the simulations that are replacing it.
A soldier might see it as statement about how warriors transcend the governments they serve through heroism at arms.
A psychologist… Hell, I don’t even want to think about that one.
A Sci-Fi fan might (hopefully) call it a refreshing break from the typical fair where rules and boundaries make stories predictable by limiting their scope–because in the Dream Box, reality is limited only to what the human mind can imagine.
So, what’s my book about? When you read it, you tell me. It’s scheduled for release November 21st.