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Father and adult son laughing and talking --- Image by © Oliver Rossi/Corbis

Father and adult son laughing and talking — Image by © Oliver Rossi/Corbis

When one writes a book, the publisher usually gives the author the opportunity to “dedicate” the book to someone of his or her choosing. But you’re always left wondering if you chose the right person and the right words.


Or, if you’re Tad Williams, whether or not the person will even notice.


Robert Paul “Tad” Williams is an international bestselling author in the fantasy and science-fiction genre. Some of his best known works include the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series and the Shadowmarch series. But when he wrote the Otherland series, a popular 4-volume futuristic work about interweaving the real world with a virtual world, he dedicated his efforts to his father. But Tad wondered if his dad would even notice. Here’s what Williams wrote to his father on the first page of each book.


Volume One

“This Book is dedicated to my father Joseph Hill Evans with love.
Actually Dad doesn’t read fiction, so if someone doesn’t tell him about this, he’ll never know.”


Volume Two

“This Book is dedicated to my father Joseph Hill Evans with love.
As I said before, Dad doesn’t read fiction. He still hasn’t noticed that this thing is dedicated to him. This is Volume Two – let’s see how many more until he catches on.”


Volume Three

“This is still dedicated to you-know-who, even if he doesn’t.
Maybe we can keep this a secret all the way to the final volume.”


Volume 4

“My father still hasn’t actually cracked any of the books – so, no, he still hasn’t noticed. I think I’m just going to have to tell him. Maybe I should break it to him gently. Everyone here who hasn’t had a book dedicated to them, take three steps forward. Whoops, Dad, hang on there for a second…”


The Otherland series was a multi-year project for Williams. The first book was released in 1996 and the last book was released in 2001. Not once during all that time did Williams’ father crack the books to notice who they’d been dedicated to.


Sadly, much the same is true about the Bible. Yes, the Bible’s message is absolutely about God and without a doubt, He’s the central Character. But its message is dedicated to you and me. In fact, in one of the most poetic pieces of God’s Word, Psalm 119, we find this statement:


Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.


Let’s make sure that we are familiar enough with God’s Word that we recognize its purpose: revealing God to us. God has gone to great lengths to share His Word with us. The least we can do is know it and live it.



Topics Illustrated Include:
Bible Study
God’s Word


(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)