Friday, 8 July 2011

Product Placement in Fantasy

Given that most writers of any genre don't actually make money from book sales, I started thinking of all the plausible ways in which a fantasy author could go about raking in the cash. In order of selling-outiness, possibilities included:

  • Party organisers (for that special "sword 'n' wizard"-themed wedding or Brit milah).
  • Porn movie scripts. Have you ever seen The Whore of the Rings? No? It's awesome.
  • Themed nightclubs with the pole dancers variously dressed as Rand al'Thor, Daenerys Targaryen and orcs.
  • Prostitution.
  • Product placement.
The worst of these, which is clearly product placement, could take shape in some of the following ways...

Amended excerpt from China Mieville's The Discount City and The City
"I could not see the street or much of the well-appointed Taylor Wimpey estate. We were enclosed by Coca Cola-coloured blocks (the real thing), from windows out of which leaned cheap-but-cheerful, Walmart-vested men and women with morning hair and mugs of really tasty Bisto, eating delicious Special K and watching us. This open ground between the buildings had once been sculpted. It pitched like a golf course—a child’s mimicking of geography. Maybe they had been going to wood it and put in a pond, which they could do if they went to B&Q. There was a copse but the saplings were dead. They needed to go back to Homebase for more seeds."
Or how about...

Excerpt from Robert Jordan's Country Crisp EyePad of the World
"The seven-spoke, alloyed Ford Wheel of Transit turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become I Am Legend (starring Will Smith). Legend (this time with Tom Cruise) fades to Mythos Beer, and even Mythbusters (Discovery Channel, Wednesdays at 7pm) is long forgotten when the Age Concern that gave it birth returns again. In the third Laphroaig aged single malt, an aged malt of Prophecy, the News of the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow."

From George R.R. Martin's MB Games of Armitage Shanks Thrones

"Afterward, Dany sent them all away, so she might prepare Khal Drogo for his final ride into the night lands. She washed his body clean and brushed and oiled his hair, running her fingers through it for the last time, feeling the weight of it, remembering the first time she had touched it, the night of their wedding ride. His hair had never been cut. How many men could die with their hair uncut? She buried her face in it and inhaled the dark fragrance of the oils. He smelled like grass and warm earth, like smoke and semen and horses. He smelled like Dr Pepper."

Other shops, home builders, carbonated drinks, gravy granules, breakfast cereals, garden centres, automotive giants, films, alcoholic beverages, beardy TV shows, charities, whiskeys, failing newspapers, not-so-failing magazines and classic cars are available.

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