As I’ve said numerous times, Peter David is probably my favorite author. The man has a remarkable grasp of storytelling, of mixing humor and drama, and creating compelling characters. And when he’s not creating his own characters, he’s taking the works of others and finding amazing connections, nuances, and concepts that, in retrospect, should seem blazingly obvious.
(For example, in “Star Trek,” he was the first to speculate that the “Doomsday Machine” from the original series was a perfect weapon against The Next Generation’s Borg — and wrung a whole novel out of it. In comic books, he took the obnoxious Marvel speedster Quicksilver and, in a few sentences, explained his general contempt for other people in a way that actually made the arrogant lout sympathetic. And in his 10-year-run of writing The Incredible Hulk, he actually did a huge psychological study of Bruce Banner, plumbing the character’s history and creating a convincing rationale for The Hulk’s existence — Banner as abused child developing multiple personalities, given physical form by the gamma rays.)
Of course, his politics are way, WAY out there. I mean, every now and then I regret the times I called him a “moonbat,” but then he’ll go and say something that just reaffirms it.
But as I said, the man knows funny. I can’t think of another author who’s made me laugh out loud, groan as deeply, as Peter David has.
I think the finest thing he’s ever written has to be the Apropos series of novels. In those, PAD (as he’s known to those who like him) shows just how well he knows heroic fantasy — by turning it on its ear. Apropos is everything that a hero should not be: a liar, a thief, a physical weakling, a cripple, a coward — and still you keep rooting for him. The three novels, “Sir Apropos of Nothing,” “The Woad To Wuin,” and “Tong Lashing,” are must-reads for anyone who has the slightest affection for the sword and sorcery genre — just to see how only someone who truly knows and loves it can lampoon it.
As I said, Peter David knows his funny. And he’s very happy to share things he finds funny. Twice in recent times, he’s put up clips that have left me gasping for breath.
And considering that one of them is French, that says volumes.
Keep on keeping your politics out of your published works, PAD, and I’ll continue being a fan for life.