Daniel Polansky reviews Unwrapped Sky
There have been good reviews of Unwrapped Sky and bad ones. Ones which decried its over-seriousness, ones which feted its richness. Those who felt it moved too slowly, others that it was a gripping meditation on means and ends. Locus magazine put it on its recommended reading list for 2014. But only one person has truly understood my work. Only one has seen into its soul – and mine too. And that man is Daniel Polansky, author of Those Above. True, he hasn’t actually read the book, but then again, I haven’t read his book, Those Above, and yet I have written a review of it too, to be found over on his website. But there can be little doubt that we stand in light of a great critic, a master of prose, a giant among men. Without further ado, I offer you the most objective, straight-faced, clean-handed, review yet of Unwrapped Sky:
Daniel, you might say, assuming you had the audacity to address me by my forename—is it really fair to review a book which you have not read? To which I would respond sternly, I haven’t read Mein Kampf either, but I have strong feelings as to the content.
Unfair, unfair. Whatever one has to say about the Fuhrer, credit due, he had the aesthetic sense of an adolescent boy (lightning bolts, skulls) which put him a solid half-decade ahead of Rjurik Davidson, to judge by his debut novel, Unwrapped Sky. Or to judge by the cover of his debut novel at least, which has minotaurs and half-naked women on the front, but, I am reliably informed, no actual inter-species erotica. This sort of false advertising is par for the course with Rjurik, unfortunately—all talk, no follow-through. Or so I assume. Once again I haven’t actually read it. I’m a very busy person, what with measuring the growth of my toenails and sometimes going to the toilet.
The name Rjurik means ‘he who sweeps up corpses after battle’–an apt sobriquet, given Mr. Davidson’s collection and re-use of long dead fantasy tropes. Unwrapped Sky is the story of a bastard son of a king who spends his childhood being under appreciated by the children in his vilage until he finds a magic sword which allows him to beat up everyone who ever made fun of him for being pasty and looking like Stellan Skarsgard to a degree which I find, personally, quite offensive. It is based off of his Dungeons and Dragons alter ego. Perhaps this is the sort of book which appeals to you, in which case I respectfully request that you aim an X-ray machine at your genitalia for thirty or so consecutive hours. Thanks.
Otherwise, here are a short list of things you would be better off doing than spending your hard earned twenty-dollar bill on Unwrapped Sky;
1. Burning it; inhaling the smoke.
2. Holding it tightly between thumb and forefinger, bringing the edge swiftly down against your scrotum (or other sensitive area).
3. Have you ever heard that (possibly apocryphal) story that there is a particular chemical process the end result of which is you can get a couple of grains of cocaine off of any bill in circulation? That.
4. Stacking it in the company of a hundred or so other $20 bills, giving it to a thick-necked professional in exchange for some unfortunate mishap occurring to Mr. Davidson’s kneecaps.
Feel free to come up with others—we could start a Facebook group!
I would also like to point out that Rjurik Davidson is a sexist. Racist? We’ll say both just to cover our bases. Purchasing this book would be like canceling the nineteenth amendment. I can say with virtual certainty that Martin Luther King has never read it. Also, Gandhi. Elisabeth Cady Stanton gave up after twenty pages. Faced with such incontrovertible evidence as to his reactionary malfeasance, do you really want to take the risk of reading Unwrapped Sky? This is the 21st century, for Christ’s sake. What if someone saw you? What if that person took a picture, and posted that picture on the internet, and before your next job interview your prospective boss saw it and decided not to hire you? Is that really a chance you’re willing to take, just to read a book about minotaurs? Or something?
In closing, if you buy Unwrapped Sky, the world’s temperatures will skyrocket, glaciers will melt, sea levels will rise, species will go extinct, life as we know it will be rendered impossible. Do the right thing; don’t read it, and if you have to read it, download it illegally.