Jason Cosmo Cover Story, Part 2

Greetings, Loyal Reader! Time to take another look at the original edition of Jason Cosmo. Run grab your copy from its treasured place in your safety deposit box, personal vault, or climate-controlled glass display case. I’ll wait.

Got it? Great! Previously, we considered the cover art by Richard Hescox. This time we’re going to focus on the words.

Pop quiz!

Who wrote Jason Cosmo?

The answer is right there on the cover-Dan McGirt. That’s me! I can attest that the cover does not lie…at least about that.

But there is another unknown, uncredited, unheralded writer associated with this book…Cover Text Guy! (Or possibly Gal. I have no idea. For now, we’ll assume Guy.)

Cover Text Guy (“CTG” to friends) has an important task. He must describe the book in a few brief lines and make it sound interesting and entertaining enough that you are compelled to buy it. Or at least to open it and take a look at page one. Sure, the picture is intriguing, but what is this book really about? Is it high fantasy, low fantasy, in-between fantasy? Is it epic or sword-and-sorcery or one of those precious little elf and fairy tales? Does it involve a desperate quest of any kind? Gods and demons? Magical pyrotechnics? Interminable accounts of sumptuous banquets and lovingly detailed descriptions of medieval fashion and social mores?

Or is it, gods forbid, a comedy? CTG’s job is to let you know.

CTG is basically creating a movie trailer without the benefit of motion picture technology. Your Author appreciates the difficult job that Cover Text Guy has. But it is also abundantly obvious to me that, at least when it came to my book, CTG was phoning it in. He didn’t read the book. At best, he skimmed through the first few chapters, skipped around to a few random pages after that and dashed off a couple of paragraphs between games of Minesweeper. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe he was hungover. Maybe he hated his job. Who knows? The point is that he crammed an amazing number of errors into one little paragraph.

We’ll get to that. But let’s start with the front cover. Above the title we see this question:

Can a simple woodcutter, mistaken for the legendary Mighty Champion, save his world from the Evil Empire?

A fair enough statement of the premise of the book. Next, right under the title we see:

A Rollicking New Fantasy Novel by Dan McGirt

“Rollicking” is a nice word. I don’t use it often enough in conversation. Neither do you. Try to use rollicking in a sentence today and let me know how that goes. But I think it fits here. Good so far.

Now, on to the back cover.

This is where the fun begins. The book described sounds very interesting. It just isn’t quite the book I wrote.

Let’s make this an interactive exercise, Loyal Reader. If you’ve read Jason Cosmo cover to cover, take a look at the book description that our friend Cover Text Guy provided and see how many errors you can spot. I count at least seven. Can you find them all?

Answers next time!

Best regards,

Dan McGirt

6 thoughts on “Jason Cosmo Cover Story, Part 2

  1. 1) The bounty hunter is not the one who puts up 10,000,000 crowns for Jason’s head.
    2) The back makes it sound like Jason is continually being chased by the inept bounty hunter, who actually never reappears in the book after that first encounter.
    3) The blurb makes it sound like Jason’s entire adventure takes place in the incredibly dark forest, which it doesn’t.
    3A) Nor does he meet Natalia Slash or Vixen Hotfur there.
    4) Vixen Hotfur is an ally general, not a mercenary.
    5) Neither Natalia Slash nor Vixen Hotfur try to lure Jason into the “Jaws of Death” (the artifact) though Natalia Slash may be trying to send Jason into the jaws of death in a figurative way.
    6) The blurb makes it sound that the gods are tasking Jason with a series of Herculean labors, which isn’t actually correct, nor are they asking him to find the superwand.
    7) The superwand does not make an appearance in any of the three books, much less this one.

  2. Thanks for playing! I’ll give my full answers next post, but you raise some interesting points. Let me grade your paper:

    1) Correct.
    2) True. Although I didn’t interpret the blurb that way, so this one wasn’t on my list.
    3) Another question of interpretation.
    3A) True. (Though he does encounter Natalia in the IDF. But not their first meeting.)
    4) Partial credit. Vixen IS a mercenary, who happens to be employed as a Raelnan general.
    5) Correct.
    6) True on both counts, but again an interpretive thing.
    7) Again true. Though in fairness to Cover Text Guy, he doesn’t actually say that the Superwand appears.

    Well, only 2 of your 7 match my list, but all of the points you make are on target, based on your interpretation of the blurb. I like your answers. I give this an A … but you may be overthinking it a little. There are a couple of black-and-white-no- argument-about-it blunders you might have missed because they’re so obvious that they slip right by you!

  3. I was just re-reading Jason Cosmo last night, and thought to see what said author was up to…and I found this topic. Thanks for the books!

    1) “The Case of Mistaken Heroics”? Blundering heroics, yes. Trying to be heroic in general, yes. Nothing mistaken. (Maybe mistaken-but-not-really-mistaken identity.)
    2) He doesn’t get the Mighty Champion label from a bounty hunter.
    3) Disappointed with the “Even the aid” sentence. What does that even refer to? I think WITH that aid, he does triumph, as much as the book allows it.
    4) The last sentence is wrong. No one else? Wait, I thought there WERE other people. Merc, The League of Benevolent Magic (including Raella)…

    It’s awkward – I didn’t realize they necessarily hired CTGs…I thought it was the author or a lackey of the author’s agent, but I suppose it makes sense.

    If we’re going to be commenting on style, you need to change the “URI” box in Leave a reply. “URL” works much better! 🙂

    • Jimmer — Good answers! I agree on #1. You are correct on #2. On #3, that sentence is a bit garbled in meaning. On the one hand, Mercury is not Jason’s sole source of aid. Although, in fairness, Merc and Jason alone against the full combined might of the Dark Magic Society and the Demon Lords might be a close thing. 🙂 On #4 you are, again, correct. I focused on a different problem with that sentence and missed the one you note. I hope I was not too hard on CTG — his is a thankless, but necessary task.

  4. Sadly, I look at the rest of the site, and see you’ve already answered the mysteries in a later blog. Whoops!

  5. Pingback: Jason Cosmo Update » Blog Archive » Jason Cosmo Cover Quiz — UK Edition

Comments are closed.