Anyway, I found an interesting item on Amazon.com this evening. It appears that Wildside Press (I've never heard of them either) is reprinting The Eye of Argon.
Surely, this is a sign of the coming apocalypse.
The Eye of Argon is sort of the Plan 9 from Outer Space of print fiction. It is legendarily bad, worse than the most unreadable passages by R. Lionel Fanthorpe. It's some kind of swords 'n' sorcery story, but the text is so impenetrable that I've never managed to make it past the first couple of pages. Jim Theis was only sixteen when he wrote The Eye of Argon and later got a degree in journalism, so he can probably be forgiven for the sin of describing a character's nose as "opaque." His characters don't "say," "ask," or shout"; instead they "husk," "quest" and "ejaculate." The protagonist of the story is named Grignr. That single fact says it all, really.
A friend of mine once described Jim Theis as having "an uncanny knack for choosing exactly the wrong word, and then misusing it."
If you're still not convinced of The Eye of Argon's awfulness, consider these choice excerpts, lifted verbatim:
- Grignr's hand began to remove his blade from its leather housing, but retarded the motion in face of the blades waving before his face.
- Due to his high succeptibility following the siezure, the priest was transformed into a raving maniac bent soley upon reaking vengeance.
- All that remained was a dark red blotch upon the face of the earth, blotching things up.
- Long leave the king!!!
If you're actually curious -- not that I expect you to be -- The UK SF Fandom Archive has been kind (or dastardly, I suppose) enough to provide a complete copy of The Eye of Argon on their website.
Myself, I'm still waiting for the somebody to make a movie out of Magic Worlds of Magic.