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15 March 2012

Harry Potter and Rick Deckard


One of these days I'm going to write a Harry Potter knockoff.

Well, let me clarify.

One of these days, I'm going to finish my Harry Potter knockoff.

I've got about 80 pages written but I've put it away in a drawer. I don't think I'm at the right point in my writing "career" to finish it. Note the career portion of the previous sentence in quotations. In case you didn't make the leap, I meant career to sound ironic, meaning, slapping words on paper for a living is still a work in progress for me.

Let me explain why I want to pillage the HP universe. It's not just for money.

How many times have you had one of those reading experiences where nothing could get you to bring your head up from the page? I mean, found footage of Bob Dylan at a Bar-B-Que with Nixon wouldn't even be tempting.

I've only had a few such experiences, and I've been reading for a long time.

One was when I was finishing Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. What an amazing book. I was spellbound. I remember finishing it on the way home from work sitting on a bus. With only two or three pages left, my stop arrived, so I read as I walked the two blocks to my house, hardly seeing my surroundings, tripping a time or two on raised cracks in the sidewalk. Those were special moments.

Harry Potter 7 did the same thing. My sideburns on fire wouldn't have stopped me turning pages. That book was a perfect end to a very satisfying series. Now, I know I'm not saying anything revolutionary here. I am aware that I'm not the only person in the world who liked Ron's famous friend.

One thing that seemed obvious when I finished Book 7 was that Rowling had truly created a new genre. Tolkien did it in the 50s, Rowling had now done it in the . . . heck, what did everyone finally decide, the aughts?

I also know that there are a hundred million books out there that purport to be Harry Potter knockoffs. They are not. I don't think anyone has come along who is good enough to write an adequate homage to the Harry Heptalogy. Saying that, I don't mean to imply that I'm good enough either. Not yet. But I might be some day. And I've got a fun idea.

His name will be Theo if he ever sees the light of day, and I want some kid some day to be reading about Theo while walking home. I want that kid to trip on a crack in the cement and break his freakin' head open. I'm not talking death or anything. Not even permanent damage. But a little blood would be cool.