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The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens
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The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens
Paperback $16.00
Aug 10, 2010 | ISBN 9780307455147

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  • Aug 10, 2010 | ISBN 9780307455147

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“Finally, a science fiction book your grandmother will love—If she’s a lustful, violent lady.” —Stephen Colbert

“A top-tier genre novel. . . . Biting and incisive. . . . Rubens really has his own thing going here.” —Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

“A silly, fun romp across the universe.” —The Wichita Eagle

“A rocket-fast, knee-slapping narrative. . . . Lighthearted [and] adventure-filled. . . . Cole’s ludicrous exploits keep the laughs coming.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Rubens] pokes gentle fun at a few of SF’s basic assumptions while exploring their acceptance as potential for entertainment.” —The Seattle Times

“Rubens hits the jackpot with a zanily humorous parody of sf adventure, with tributes to space-opera and Western classics along the way. . . . Recalling the volatile and irreverent humor of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, this madcap journey through space will appeal to Pratchett’s readers and fans of such sf film parodies as Galaxy Quest and Space Balls.” —Library Journal

Author Q&A

A Conversation with…
Michael Rubens
The Sheriff of Yrnameer

Q: What in the world is Yrnameer, and how do you pronounce it??
It’s pronounced “YURnuhmeer,” and it’s a contraction of “your name here” — a dismissive, slangy term for a planet that doesn’t even have a corporate sponsor (“oh, that planet? It’s just some yrnameer.”). In the book, there’s only one unsponsored planet left, the Yrnameer, a legendary world said to exist in an unreachable location in space.

I actually nearly changed the title of the book early on — every time I told someone the proposed title I’d get the same reaction, and there’s only so many times you can be on the receiving end of a frozen, polite smile before you start getting a wee bit worried…

Q: Why did you write THE SHERIFF OF YRNAMEER?
: I think the original idea for the book grew out of noticing that all the sports stadiums now have corporate names. Branded planets seemed like the logical conclusion to the trend. From that came the idea of there being one planet left that was free from advertising and branding, and then a flawed hero to protect that planet….

I originally wrote a very simplified version of the story as a television pilot, but I never sent it out — partially because I thought that a pilot that made fun of advertising might not be the easiest to sell, but mostly because I grew very fond of the characters and didn’t want to lose control of them.

Q: Your hero, Cole, travels from InVestCo 3, where advertisements take up every square inch of available space, to Yrnameer, where there is absolutely no branding. Why did you choose to present these planets as polar opposites in terms of advertising?
Yrnameer is the mirror opposite of the crass, materialistic consumerism that has overrun the rest of the galaxy. It’s a hidden, magical utopia populated by an abundance of gentle artisans and musicians and poets. In fact, one might say a slight overabundance. Sometimes you need fewer pan-species shiatsu practitioners, and more greedy, selfish semi-criminals who are comfortable sticking a gun in someone’s face…

Q: One of the funniest parts of the book is when Cole and the gang explore a zombie-infested corporate seminar satellite, Success!Sat 1.  Have you been to one too many dull training meetings?
As an employee of a large corporation I wish to stress that the views expressed in the book are in no way reflective of my own opinions of corporate life, particularly meetings and training sessions, from which I’ve derived and continue to derive a great deal of enjoyment and wisdom and personal fulfillment and did I mention wisdom and enjoyment? And personal fulfillment? Really. They’re fantastic. Please pay no attention to the morse-code-like blinking of my eyelids.

Q: Peppered through out the book are references to some Sci-Fi heavy weights: Star Wars, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Aliens and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Have these always been favorites of yours? In what ways did they inspire THE SHERIFF OF YRNAMEER?
Those are indeed sci-fi heavyweights, and it’s hard to write a humorous sci-fi book — one that’s not a parody, but has elements of parody in it — without paying homage to those sources.

Q: Who is your favorite character in THE SHERIFF OF YRNAMEER?
I love all the characters equally. That said, I love Kenneth slightly more than the others. He’s always so jolly.

Q: Which character is most like you?
Hard to say. I think I’m a compilation of all the least-flattering aspects of each of them.
Q: What’s next for Cole, the Sheriff?
A: Hopefully many more hapless misadventures.

Q: What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on a vaguely memoirish novel about the world’s worst bar mitzvah.

For Booking Information:
Sara Eagle,, 212-572-2195

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