The Most Beautiful Gift I Got On My FIX Book Tour

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 10.854% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

“What’s your favorite Magic card?” she asked me, a month before I arrived in Seattle.

I used to play a lot of Magic.  I edited one of the best independent Magic sites, and I wrote hundreds of articles on strategy in Magic multiplayer, and there’s still a lot of people who only know “The Ferrett” as that Magic writer.

But I didn’t have a favorite Magic card.  I just sort of missed playing.

And when I showed up at my signing, before anyone else got to my table, she placed this wooden box before me:

My beautiful gift.

That’s a wooden box with a foil Anathemancer on the cover – a minor sideboard card from Alara Reborn – and a quote from Anathema, the villain from my book Flex.  Who is a ‘mancer.

“You didn’t know this card existed, did you?” she asked.  Yet I did, as I have a mildly encyclopedic knowledge of Magic cards because if a card’s for sale at – and it is – there’s a 97% chance I entered it into the database. I knew about Anathemancer, but she made me realize that my mind must have made a subconscious connection somewhere – another secret tribute to Magic wired into my books, as Paul Tsabo has always been a subtle nod to one of my most-played Magic cards back in the day.

It was perfect, and I was breathless.

“Open the box,” she urged me.  And I did.

It was even more perfect.

My beautiful gift.

My beautiful gift.

What you’re seeing there is an art form pioneered by Master Ookubo – taking several cards and stacking them, with each successive layer more cut out.  I’ve thought about buying a Master Ookubo card for years, but they were pricey and I wouldn’t quite know where in the house I could do such beautiful work justice.

But this is even better.  She took a card that was perfect – Archaeomancer is a Limited staple card that actually does a lot of what Paul does in the books – and melded it with artwork painstakingly cut from the cover of my book to create a fusion of my two writing worlds.

She took the days of me being one of Magic’s most popular writers and fused it with the days of me being a nascent novelist, and I lost it right there in the store, my eyes welling over with tears.

I hugged her, and thanked her, and she said she didn’t want to be referenced publicly or else I would be shouting her name to the heavens.  (It doesn’t hurt that the person who did this is someone I’ve also been a fan of for quite some time.)

This is the most wonderful surprise I can ever remember being given, and so it is now on my mantlepiece, where I smile every time I look at it.

My beautiful gift.

And lest I leave you with too much of an impression that I am a noble and dignified author, I would like you to recall that the entire time this was happening, I was wearing this outfit because I lost a bet to raise funds for my goddaughter’s charity:

My beautiful gift.

But yeah. That was the surprise I was not expecting on my tour to close out the ‘Mancer series, and it was a beautiful way to finish off the tour.

And if you haven’t bought Fix yet, either at Amazon or Barnes and Noble or just your local shop, Angry Robot has put the first three chapters online for free so you can read it and, presumably, get hooked on the adventures.

Go check it out. I’ll be over here smiling at my beautiful artwork.

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