Last year, I posted a copy of my annual faux-holiday letter (or, more correctly, my holiday faux-letter) here…and it got very few comments. Which may mean that no one’s interested.

But when has that ever stopped me? (After all, I’m supremely lazy, and I also believe that recycling is good for the environment.)

So here, unrequested, is a copy of my 2008 holiday-card-letter-insert-thingy:


Greetings from the House of Books! My, a lot happened in 2008…

First: you may have heard of the Large Hadron Collider, a joint project by 100 countries and 10,000 scientists to discover sub-sub-atomic particles, further our knowledge of the universe, and win grant money, all while not creating a giant black hole that would eat the planet. The Large Hadron Collider succeeded in its last aim, but ran into a temporary snag on everything else.

What you may not have heard of was the Large Feline Collider, a joint project by two humans to discover super-super-evil kittens, further our knowledge of caring for lacerations and broken vases, and waste vast amounts of time saying intelligent things like “oh, what a cute tummy!” and “no, you can’t sleep in the fruit bowl,” all while creating two giant cats that would eat us out of house and home if only they could open their jaws wide enough. The Large Feline Collider succeeds in colliding with great destructive force several times a minute, with such energy that it turns any nearby object into several smaller objects.

I found sudden fame online this year, after my scholarly essay JANE AUSTEN’S “BATMAN” gained unexpected popularity with the surprisingly large intersection of the following three sets: (1) people who read Jane Austen, (2) people who saw THE DARK KNIGHT, and (3) people who think I’m funny. (I had until recently thought that the only member of all three sets was Todd, but apparently he has been joined by John Scalzi, several Australians, one of my long-lost friends from junior high, and a penguin.)

In other news, my novel MY LADY GAMESTER was translated and published in Germany. The part I don’t understand: in the book, the heroine’s little brother is a very bad student, struggling even with basic Latin. So how can he suddenly speak fluent German? Surely no lazy schoolboy could guess that the German word for “Elephant” is “Elefant”!

This summer, Todd and I and our stuffed cat attended the World Science Fiction Convention in Denver, where Todd chaired a seminar that explained how to build a time machine in your basement. So, you ask, why don’t I have more time to write, now that I have a time machine? Well, I answer, I don’t have a time machine, because our condo doesn’t have a basement. (So why, you ask, doesn’t my future basement-owning self send a time machine back in time to me? Hmm… I’m asking myself the same question. And when I meet my future self, I’ll ask me in person.)

In still other news, it seems my cat has been running a Ponzi scheme, and has singlepawedly ruined the world economy. When asked to explain himself, he gave a muddled answer which included the words “mew” and “it wasn’t me, it was the evil aliens from Pluto.” (Sources close to the feline tell us that he once drove to Pluto in a Hyundai and unintentionally taunted the inhabitants about their deplanetation, giving the Plutonians a cold grudge against the hapless Earth cat. However, sources even closer to the feline say “he’s dirty as a three-dollar bill, and could really use a bath.”)

In national news, 2008 was a momentous year. Senator Barack Obama built himself an iron man suit and defeated the terrorists, the pessimists, the paparazzi, and the Volturi, to win the American presidency and become box-office champ. (Sources close to Obama once overheard him mutter “Yeah, I can fly.”) Mr. Obama’s next goals are rumored to be saving the TV show “Pushing Daisies” and improving his high score at “Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.”

And remember — join us on the first Tuesday in January when we discuss the first Ioan Gruffudd Horatio Hornblower movie! And then come back the first Tuesday of February to discuss the Leslie Howard version of The Scarlet Pimpernel…

So, does anyone else out there have a Large Feline Collider? An Iron Man Suit? A time machine?

Cara King, who occasionally defeats her cat at Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock…