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The Morning News and Powells Present
2006 Tournament of Books
MARCH 28, 2006
I have never been especially hip, but until I had a child a few years ago I still considered myself relatively young. Those delusions are long gone. Nowadays I can’t even tolerate clocks that tick because every second feels like a boxing referee counting me down to an agonizing death, and the only thing I know about teenagers is how much they charge for baby-sitting. Until about three days ago, I thought MySpace was one of those bags you put your sweaters in and then sucked out the air with a vacuum cleaner, so I won’t pretend I have any insight into this decision by 17-year-old prog rocker Nell James.

However, I happen to know that Neil Gaiman and his legions have been closely following this competition and without ever having met the guy, I’m more than a little bit afraid of him. And while I don’t doubt that Ali Smith possesses legions of her own and these legions are no less passionate about her work, they also seem considerably less likely to be wielding bats. So I’m going to go ahead and call this the biggest injustice of the tournament so far. Gaiman was robbed like a German tourist walking through Defcon with his Visa number printed on his hat.