Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The Brakebills Alumni Newsletter #3

Not everyone who reads this blog may know this, but there’s actually an informational newsletter for Magicians fans that goes out three times a year.

Or at least, it went out three times this year. The first year of its existence.

So if you read this blog, and follow me on Twitter, and like my page on Facebook, and yet you still wake up at night thinking, how can my life be full of more information about Lev Grossman, his works and days? Then sign up here!!!

Now that I’ve just sent out the latest issue, like, seconds ago, I’ve already thought of a few things I got wrong and/or left out of it.

Like for example, when I started it, I realize now that I said it was going to come out four times a year. Not three. So now I have my New Year’s resolution.

I also said that as a special bonus, subscribers would receive a vanishingly rare, painfully intimate photo of me from high school, when I still had hair. That was before I realized that I couldn’t figure out how to attach a file to a MailChimp newsletter, if that’s even possible, and not only that, I was too lazy even to figure out how to embed an image in one. So here you go:

That’s my prom date’s burgundy ruffle there in the lower left hand corner.

Finally, I realize now that when I sent out the last issue of the newsletter, I invited people to send in suggestions for the name of a new character in The Magician King, who is a sloth. I then completely forgot that people who got the newsletter would reply to its e-mail address, not my e-mail address. Clever.

It finally occurred to me to check the newsletter’s e-mail address earlier today, and I found it stuffed full of sloth names. And other things. I’m shaking my head with real shame and rue at the great e-mails I never responded to. Damn me.

The sloth still doesn’t have a name. So far the other characters just call him Sloth. So I’m going to list a selection of the sloth names below, for your perusal. Some of them have annotations, which I’ve left on because that makes them funner. All of them are awesome:

-Brady (from the latin genus for sloth)
-Slopoke (using what I think may be a Pokemon name)
-Slaw (old english for slow- my favorite)
– If the sloth is male and has a pleasant disposition – Rupert. If the sloth is female – Sheba. And if the sloth is male and not very kind – King Rufus the Strong – but everyone just calls him King. [ed. note: I can’t use Sheba buy azithromycin nz because that’s my sister’s name, and I might die.]
-The only sloth I can think of is Stephen Maturin’s from POB’s “HMS Surprise.” Sadly, it is unnamed as far as I can remember, but something like “Stephen” or “Maturin” would be enough to make the connection for a small subset of your readers. (It would also help if he was a lush, or otherwise debauched.)
-As in regards to the sloth i like Woolsey haha i had a pet sloth and that was his name.
-Seimor would be a good name for the sloth. Our baby has a toy cow we call Seimor, but I think it fits a sloth much better.
-“The Intentional Sloth” sounds funny but gives the impression that he is a sloth intentionally rather than a sloth that can be usefully approached from the intentional stance. “Sloth ird” as a play on sith lord. “Hangman” or possibly “Hangover”. Steve. Racecar. Ebola Cereal. Cog. Actually no, just go with The Intentional Sloth because that’s an awesome sloth name. [ed. note: It sure is. I’m seriously tempted.]
-PHIL (Attraction/Obssesion) or PHYL (Meaning LEAF from the Latin because the Sloths eat Leafs) and the end could be CER or SER… Cer is the begining of the word CECROPIA which is a genus of trees species but also SER in spanish means BEING, or TO BE, also a LIVING THING… so a compounded name: PHYLSER, PHILCER
-It should be Sandy (which I note is a gender neutral name).  Do I really need to spell it out for you? Sloths are slothful (duh) and thus like to sleep.  The Sandman puts people (and creatures) to sleep. Ipso facto, Sandy is the perfect name for a talking sloth.
-Clubbins McGann aka Clubby
-Randall Wee
-Jimmy Jim-Jim, fils [ed. note: the fils really puts this one over the top. It deserves its own tag.]
-Otto Bismark
-Agnar the Discheveler
-Roysten Lambic Pons Medulla-Oblongata Lemon Frappe
-If he’s a cool character and he is memorable call him Corwin to go with the Uber amount of other RZ Amber characters  (Martin, Ember/Umber, Oberon, I think at least one of the sisters) used in tribute in The Magicians. [ed note: I’m a major Amber fan. Maybe I should call the sloth Zelazny.]
-I nominate the name “Melville” for the sloth. It’s a mouthful with all the Ls. So, you get tired saying it, making you want to take a nap (very slothlike). It’s a stretch – I know. But, I also think a talking sloth would probably be a little high brow with an “I’m too good to get up in the morning” attitude. So, “Melville” seems to fit. [ed. note: excellent points all.]
-Griffin Springfellow
-Double Cheese
-Marcus Savage
-Morgan Freeman
-Morgan Fairchild
-The Great and Tired Wolfgang
-Just Wolfgang
-Pendleton the Talking Sloth

Awesome. Just awesome. I may have to write an all-sloth novel that uses all of these.

14 comments on “The Brakebills Alumni Newsletter #3

  1. Jaimie says:

    I like Jimmy Jim-Jim. And Brady.

  2. Dags says:

    You are aware translators will jump at your jugular if you go with an English-only reference, right Lev? 😛

    It’s all in the toes, my good man: he’s either Brady or Hoffman.

    As for that vanishingly rare photo… it doesn’t count as “painful” unless it contains at least one parent fussing over your promwear. You DO get brownie points for the ruffle, though. 😉

  3. Karen Attaway says:

    I’m a fan of Jimmy Jim-Jim also.

    I signed up for the newsletter months ago, but haven’t gotten any of them. Where can we get the previous ones?

    Thanks for the teaser. It’s AWESOME!

  4. K.M. Walton says:

    Bassifer. Totally like Bassifer. I like how it sounds inside my head when I read it.


  5. K.M. Walton says:

    Oh, and I forgot to share a link with my high school photo – I’m part of a project called Dear Teen Me – it’s where authors write a letter to their teen selves – all in an effort to let teenagers know that they will survive.

    And share spectacularly awesome teenage photos.

    Checka-check it out: http://dearteenme.com/2010/12/08/guess-who-9/

    I believe I have you beat by a cool mile in the teen photo department, fine sir.

  6. Kurt Busiek says:

    I’d name the sloth “Flanders,” after Michal Flanders, co-writer of “The Sloth,” the greatest song ever written about a sloth.

    There’s also his collaborator, Donald Swann, but I can see where calling a sloth “Swann” might be a little confusing.

  7. Church says:

    As alluded to above, from HMS Surprise:

    *The sloth sneezed, and looking up, Jack caught its gaze fixed upon him; its inverted face had an expression of anxiety and concern. ‘Try a piece of this, old cock,’ he said, dipping his cake in the grog and proffering the sop. ‘It might put a little heart into you.’ The sloth sighed, closed its eyes, but gently absorbed the piece, and sighed again.*

    So, Old Cock (albeit not the actual proper name) would seem appropriate.

  8. Your excerpt is so excellent, so excellent to have a glowing red button to go somewhere that doesn’t exist, so excellent that the route to another world (of sorts) is in a library, so excellent to have that uneasy lurching sense of things happening beyond what makes any kind of sense. Bravo.

  9. Olakala says:

    I definitely love Melville!!! I think sloths are odd animals and so is the name Melville =)

  10. Good luck in 2011 with your blog!

  11. David Olsen says:

    I still like my personal suggestion of “Sandy,” but I’m also partial to “Dave-o” simply because in my mind I’ll think you named it after me and I’ll thank you not to shatter that delusion 🙂

  12. Samuel says:

    Characters. Plot. Theme. Is this what keeps one reading one’s new novel far longer than originally planned? Keeps those pages a-turning, and subscriptions renewing? I suggest it’s more than that. I wonder if we agree. There is one element of writing that will not only excite your audience all along the way, but give them a deep satisfaction once it’s all over. Their reaction and review will be an exuberant and enthusiastic one. They will love it, and not even know why. It will be a feeling similar to just after a nice orgasm.

    It’s when our beloved protagonist is walking toward the room with the bomb in it and doesn’t even realize it, and you say “No! no! don’t go that way you freaking idiot!”. It’s when you accidentally email the world’s worst virus ever to your boss and incidentally everyone else on the network and you try to fathom how far the damage will spread as you flog yourself in the corner. It’s when Quentin finally commits that act of badness from the darkest recess of his id, the one he couldn’t repress any longer, an act so vile that no one must ever know abou-… oh but then a clue is leaked! Then the law is on his trail!!

    What I’m talking about is… IS… Well, I certainly don’t need to tell you. Oh okay I’ll say it. I just want to know if I’m on to something or not. Suspense.

  13. […] 7. Lev Grossman blogs about the process of writing the sequel to The Magicians. […]

  14. Delia Leho says:

    thanks for the continued news, please keep posting

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