Monday, April 29, 2013

"Prophet of Bones"

Ted Kosmatka is the author of the novels The Games and the recently released Prophet of Bones. His short fiction has been nominated for both the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and appeared in numerous Year's Best collections.

Kosmatka applied the Page 69 Test to Prophet of Bones and reported the following:
In Prophet of Bones, the page 69 test opens into a crowded market on the island of Flores. Paul, a scientist outside his element, is exploring the crowded Indonesian town before heading back down the road to the archaeological dig where the bones of the strange dwarf humanoid Homo floresiensis were found:
He paused for only a millisecond, the slightest hint of hesitation, and the voice came out of the booth, “Hello, Mister.”

Paul turned. “How much?”

The shop owner came forward. He was old and gray and bent. His rheumy, bloodshot eyes did a quick appraisal. “With respect, sir,” he said in good English, pointing to a pair of small signs above the necklace which seemed to give two different prices for the same item. One sign read 50,000 rp, and the other 30,000. “Very nice necklace. Grandson caught shark with own hands.”

“Which price is it?”

“That depend,” the old man said.

“On what?”

“On if you want haggle. You haggle, we start this price here,” he said, gesturing to the sign with the higher price. His knuckles were knobby with arthritis.

“I’d rather start there,” Paul said, pointing to the other sign.

The man shook his head. “No, that the no-haggle price. If you want haggle, we start at 50,000rp. But don’t worry, we talk price down.”

“How far down?”

“Almost to here,” he said, pointing to the lower price.


“Can’t haggle all the way to the no-haggle price. You understand, sir. I must earn something for my time.”
Learn more about the book and author at Ted Kosmatka's website.

Writers Read: Ted Kosmatka (March 2012).

The Page 69 Test: The Games.

My Book, the Movie: The Games.

My Book, the Movie: Prophet of Bones.

Writers Read: Ted Kosmatka.

--Marshal Zeringue