All posts by Aaron Rosenberg

Is It Still Funny the Second Time Around?

My friends can tell you that I can be a funny guy at times. Not all the time, maybe, but who is? Still, I manage a few zingers now and again, and I’ve been known to make people’s heads explode—not literally, that’d be gross—and to make people snarf their drinks from time to time.

But, before No Small Bills, I’d never written funny.

Not flat-out funny, at least. I’d done wry, certainly, and over the top, and slightly tongue in cheek. I’d done amusing moments and funny lines—hell, I wrote two Eureka novels! But I’d never written anything that was just utterly goofball off-the-wall silly funny.

When I sat down to write a new, wholly original novel a few years back, however, I flipped through my catalog of story ideas—most writers have them—and DuckBob was the one that jumped out at me. And it was clearly going to have to be funny. After all, he has the head of a duck—it was either going to be an insanely silly book or a deep philosophical treatise told through surreal metaphor. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or The Metamorphosis. Continue reading

Funny Gets a Face-lift

When I started writing No Small Bills a couple years ago, I didn’t really have a lot in my head about where I was going with it. I didn’t have a detailed outline—which was a rarity for me—or a cast list—also unusual. All I had, in fact, was the idea of doing a very silly, very funny book reminiscent of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or Good Omens, the basic concept of the main character trying to save the universe, and the character himself. DuckBob Spinowitz. He, at least, was clear in my mind. I could practically picture him—as I proved when I had him describe himself in excruciating (and borderline scandalous) detail.

So, of course, when it came time to do the cover I knew DuckBob had to be on it. Who else’s mug could do the book’s silliness justice? And I knew it should say “outer space” as well.

I just didn’t know how, exactly.

Then I had the idea to turn DuckBob into his own constellation. Hey, there’s a Dogstar, why not a Duckstar? Why not a whole flock of them? Besides, doing the cover that way would kill three birds with one stone—showing DuckBob, showing outer space, and showing it’s funny. And that’s a pretty good shot, if you ask me. Continue reading

For This Is Hell: Third Time’s the Charm

And now, a word from bestselling, award-winning author Steven Savile about his and Aaron Rosenberg’s newest collaboration, For This Is Hell, currently available for the NOOK:

“I’ve known Aaron a long time. We joke about being separated at birth, and given the date and time we came into the world it’s almost possible—I’m October 12th 1969, he’s October 13th 1969, and given time zones and such, I’m only a few hours older than him, so imagine a long protracted labour and a grueling transatlantic flight in between and you’ve got us. We’ve written loads of stuff together, but surprisingly little has actually hit the streets yet; in fact, For the is Hell is our first collaborative release, but far from our last.

So, three years ago I was on holiday in Carthage with the wife, wandering around, drinking in the history, and as we clambered back onto the tour bus to head towards the hotel I sent a sketchy email to my Transatlantic Twin with the beginnings of an idea that had hit me about writing something with an immortal hero, sort of a “my life of crime” thing where we have a recurring hero/villain across the ages, kicking off during the fall of Carthage and bringing it to the modern day by way of lots of cool historical moments. And wouldn’t it be cool if our hero was like the phoenix who kept renewing himself age after age? Aaron wrote back explaining, surprise surprise (we are very similar sometimes, right down to the ideas we play with, which makes for a good partnership) that he’d created a roleplaying game a few years ago called Chosen which revolved around mythical beasts like the Kraken and Phoenix being reborn in different times to fight an eternal struggle for supremacy. It took all of about ten minutes to think “ahhh hmmm wouldn’t it be cool then if we could merge these two very similar ideas into a story or three?” Continue reading

Get Ready to Duck!

I know, I know—after the last post about why I wrote No Small Bills, you’ve been dying to read it! Well, die no more! (Or die more slowly, or something like that.)

No, the book isn’t on sale yet. I’m such a tease.

But wait, all is not lost! You can read the first few chapters! Right here! Right now! For the low, low price of—

Oh, fine, for free. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

All kidding aside, here are the first two chapters of No Small Bills as a free PDF. Read. Laugh. Enjoy. Tell your friends. And come back in a week or two to get the rest!

DuckBob and I will be waiting.

Why a DuckBob?

Yes, I wrote a novel about a duck—sort of. Why? Because I wanted to do something funny. And ducks? Let’s face it, ducks are funny.

Think about it. How many times have you seen a duck waddling around on its tiny little legs with those oversized feet, quacking left and right, looking all self-important like “check this out, I can get out of the water, ain’t I cool?” Can anyone possibly keep a straight face when watching that?

Of course not.

Now take the duck, make him man-sized and man-shaped, and put him in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt. But keep the feet. See? Even funnier!

Then toss in a few weird aliens, a stoic Man in Black, the coolest roadside diner in the galaxy, the deadliest prawn in existence, the flower that altered history, and a bunch of other strange stuff, and send him on a ridiculous and often-derailed quest to save the universe. Freakin’ hysterical!

That’s why I wrote about a duck.

“But, Aaron,” I hear you say, “why write something funny at all? You’ve done Star Trek, Stargate: Atlantis, WarCraft, Warhammer—you’re not exactly known for funny. Okay, sure, you did two Eureka novels, those were kind of amusing, but that’s as much the show as you. And your first two original novels, The Birth of the Dread Remora and Indefinite Renewal—well, one’s space-opera, lots of cheesy action but not really har-har funny, and the other’s an occult thriller, all dark and creepy. What’s with the humor all of a sudden?” Continue reading