Feb 7, 2008

Blue Pencil #5: The Anger of Modbyedelig

When one peruses Xlibris's fine bookstore, it is not unheard of to encounter "creative" spelling, and the title of this novel initially struck me as one of these. I'm not even sure how to pronounce "Modbyedelig," but at first glance I thought it was supposed to be "Molybdenum" and, as I am a huge fan of transition metals with an electronegativity of 1.8 on the Pauling scale and an atomic mass of 95.9 g/mole, I just had to check it out.

To my dismay, it turned out that this was not a treatise on the emotional state of the element with the sixth-highest melting point at all, but rather a fantasy tale by Margie L. Lauritzen-Hussey about ... well, I'm not entirely sure, but here's the synopsis:

Intrigue! Terror! Modbyedelig, the evil one, will use any means to achieve it’s dominance of OtherWorld. It is the disruptive influence in an otherwise peaceful land. A young Lace, sent Cosmos to protect OtherWorld and its inhabitants, is unprepared for the demonic force waged against her.
Yikes! Intrigue! Terror! Molybdenum!

Without reading further, I'm guessing that Cosmos is the hero? Sent by someone named Lace? OtherWorld is clearly the land of the Noun people. Judging from the cover, Molybdenum is some kind of tree (or possibly it's just angry at trees -- I'm not sure).
Lynn, William and Sara, her young friends from Human-land join in the conflict. They, along with the Centaurs, Wonkies and the indomitable Elves, encounter the wickedness of Modbyedelig.
Wonkies? Centaurs and Elves (particularly the indomitable ones) I can get behind, but I'm not sure if an alliance with the Wonkies is in the best interests of OtherWorld. Thank god the coalition is strengthened by three human children, as any Narnia fan will tell you that children are dynamite on the battlefields of fantasyland.
Destruction of OtherWorld is imminent. A story of friendship, courage, and loyalty.
I thought Molybdenum wanted to achieve dominion over OtherWorld? Perhaps these Pixie-fairies, Wookies, and assorted fae riffraff would prefer annihilation over obedience to a silvery-white metal. (To be fair, Molybdenum is very hard, though it is somewhat more ductile than tungsten.)

Well, on to the excerpt! Let's see ...

An illustrated excerpt! Very classy.

I can only assume that these are the aforementioned Wonkies. Clearly the double-line of Wonkies is headed off to war against Molybdenum and the two in the lower-right corner are either deserters or conscientious objectors.

Probably deserters. I mean, I'd chicken out, too, if my unit was sent to fight a dragon on a stick, as these guys apparently are.

War is hell.
The Wonkies marched two by two past the gate. The A's came first: Alfred, Amy, Albert, Alfonso; then the B's: Bernard, Bobby, Barbara.
"Bernard?" "Amy?" These aren't exactly names I'd expect to see attached to exotic creatures like Wonkies.
Quickly, without giving notice, three groups of two scattered off to the underbrush, hardly breathing, as the others passed them.
Ah, so they're prisoners, I guess? It would make sense, then, that they didn't give notice to the guards before fleeing (Though that would have been the courteous thing to do, they are Wonkies, and thus can't really be held accountable for their manners).
The C's were driven past. Charles, Chester, Carl; not one escaped.
Come on, Cs! Half the As and Bs just took off and you're still too chicken to make a break for it? Grow a pair!
The D's, less organized, stumbled down the path. Dagmar, Don, and Doris crept to the side of the road, scooting through the brush into the dark forest. Dave paused, raised his hand to wave good-bye to his friends. The guard was on him in an instant.
"You wanna escape? Fine! But if I see you wave to anybody, your ass is grass!"

The author continues to regale us with the struggles of Frank, Gina, Harold, Irwin, June, Liz, Montgomery, Nathan, Oswald, Patricia, Quentin, Randall, Steve, Theresa, Uriah, Vincent, Walther, Xavier, Yancy, and Zebediah Wonkie, but sadly runs out of excerpt before she can completely bore me to death.

I did learn a thing or two about Wonkies -- they are short, have stubby little legs, and are covered in fur which provides them with no protection from brambles or stray twigs.

I bet Molybdenum quakes in fear at the thought of an army of Ewoks Wonkies marching in and kicking the ever living shit out of it, despite its low density and stable market price or its ability to withstand extreme temperatures without significantly expanding or softening.

Actually, I rather envision Cosmos (who gets surprisingly little attention in the synopsis or excerpt despite apparently being the main character) as being about as impressed with the Wonkies as I am.

"I've just received word that the Wonkies are with us, sir!"

"Oh? Er ... excellent. Well, uh ... any word from the Elves or Centaurs yet?"

1 comment:

Genesis said...

Saw this and thought you might appreciate it:
http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/009957.html