The Barney Award for Best inclusion of phrenology in a book goes too….
Yes, the good old pseudo sciences are where it is at this year, but what are the chances that I would read not just one, but TWO books that mention the classical study of phrenology? It just screams for an award! But who will win? Let us meet the nominees.
The first book that made mention of this fun and exciting science was Six-Gun Tarot. Did you read it? Why the hell not? It was pretty good; wild-west fantasy has a lot of potential and this debut, while a bit hodgepodge, was entertaining throughout. But that is not what you are wondering, is it? You could care less how good the book is, you want to know how did it handle the delicate issue of phrenology? Glad you asked!
“It’s been proven by all the sciences, m’boy-biolgoy, alienism, phrenology.”
That’s it? One throw away line? Well, I guess we will take it, at least it is helping to shine a light on the cause. But let’s check out our other nominee.
Sir Terry Pratchett’s Men at Arms. Again, just a passing reference (though I happen to know the subject comes up again in Night Watch, later in the series). But Pratchett not only gives us the good stuff, but he beats expectations yet again; introducing retrophrenologist Zorgo. That’s right, rather than reading your personality by the shape of your skull, he can fix your personality, with the use of a small hammer, by reshaping your skull.
Oh folks I hate to say it, but the first year author just didn’t have a chance, Pratchett is a heavyweight in the phrenology mentioning field and poor Belcher couldn’t keep up. The prize of course goes to Men at Arms.
Wait a minute, the contest was rigged! The sole voter is a man who has dedicated a quarter of his reviews to the winner! I demand an impartial judge!
Err, congratulations to Terry Pratchett, who I just know will cherish this award more than any other on his shelf.
My Review of Six-Gun Tarot
My Review of Men at Arms.