A recent blog post at Misfit Salon reminded me of this fantastically awesome post I had come across a while ago at the Tor blog entitled How to Lie About Books.
Here are just a few tantalizing bits and you will have to read the rest of the post at Tor.com, since, unfortunately, I didn't write this. Alas.
Allow me to teach you my five simple rules for lying about books.
Change the Subject
When engaging in the secret art of literary bullshittery, the goal is to change to subjects as quickly as possible to something you actually do know a lot about. It’s not necessary to appear to be an authority on everything in a sustained dialogue. If you’re talking to someone who wrote a doctoral thesis on the use of Platonic philosophy in Ubik, but you’ve never read it, don’t start jabbering on about the Theory of Forms. Your chicanery will be exposed like a senator in a public restroom. Mention instead that you once saw an image of Philip K. Dick on a tortilla.
Carry a Picture of a Kitten in Your Wallet
You’re at a room party at a convention and find yourself in a totally indefensible position, surrounded by unyielding fantasy experts perseverating on Anne McCaffrey. They all want to know what you think of Rengades of Pern. You begin to sweat. Should you jump off the hotel balcony or punch one in the face and jet down the hall? Then you remember the picture of the kitten in your wallet. It’s a tabby covered in spaghetti. You whip it out and they all go “aww.” Every one of them has at least four cats at home. It’s going to be OK.
Remember Titus Alone
Sometimes your only recourse is to out-lit-nerd your opponent, to bring up something they haven’t read. For this, there’s no better ammunition than the third book of the Gormenghast series. Why? Because no one has ever read it. Not even Mervyn Peake himself. He wrote it while drunk in the late 1950s and couldn’t remember a word. His editor supposedly cut big parts of it, but the truth is he just didn’t read it. They printed it anyway since there was a paper surplus that year. The person who wrote the wikipedia page is guessing. (I’m sure someone in the comments section of this post will claim they’ve read it. It’s all right. I won’t contradict you. Your secret is safe with me.)
Read the rest here