Friday, September 20, 2019

"The Imaginary Corpse"

Tyler Hayes is a science fiction and fantasy writer from Northern California. He writes stories he hopes will show people that not only are they not alone, but we might just make things better.

Hayes applied the Page 69 Test to his debut novel, The Imaginary Corpse, and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Imaginary Corpse is a recap-heavy scene, but in some roundabout ways it provides a nice encapsulation of what the book is about.
I slump into Mr Float’s Rootbeerium with my head hung low, belly up to one of the cake-stools, and order two double-scoop floats, heavy on the whipped cream.
This opening paragraph is a good summation of the surface imagery of the book: surreal and childlike.
The Legion is swapping quips and war stories like usual, but it doesn’t take my detective stuff to hear the tension in their voices, or to see them taking turns watching the room over their shoulders. The news hasn’t hit them hard enough to make them abandon their favorite watering hole, but the idea isn’t out of the question yet.
Here you get to see Tippy's 'detective stuff,' his magical sixth sense that helps him interpret clues and provide details his normal consciousness might not pick up. You also see the more complex emotions backing up the phantasmagorical exterior of the book, and a hint about the effects the denizens of the Stillreal have on each other, both positive and negative – a theme that will come back again and again. Most important here is that Tippy is concerned by their upset, which says a lot about who he is.
Mr Float swings by, his bar towel now flecked with root beer and cream, and drops off a glass that might qualify as a vase. It's comfort food – a foaming, towering, foot-plus-tall heap of comfort food. I bend the extra-long straw to my lips, take a sip of carbonated brain food, and review the clues.
This paragraph shows off a touch of the narrative voice. It also anchors the 'childish' elements in the more complicated narrative by showing them as both everyday and a source of comfort.

There are other pages I'd pick as the ideal summary of the book, but page 69 shows off a lot of the heart, and that makes it a reasonable success.
Visit Tyler Hayes's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Imaginary Corpse.

--Marshal Zeringue