I’ve talked fondly before about my own contribution to Atlanta Nights, the wonderful, hilarious sting SFWA perpetrated on Publish America.
Now, you can own your very own, one-of-a-kind Atlanta Nights hardcover edition! The only one in existence! From the site:
To match the astonishingly bad quality of the prose, the Evilrooster Bindery has created this abysmal hardcover binding. It is bound cross-grained, out of non-archival and archivally hostile materials. The book block has been trimmed entirely off square, so that there are no right angles on the pages. Most of the adhesive used in the book is highly acidic woodworking glue, and the purple leather so badly placed on the spine and corners is from an old leather jacket. The lettering is atrocious – globby, misaligned, and badly placed. (Note that all of the S’s are upside down).
This…priceless piece of…work will be auctioned at some future con to benefit the Science Fiction Writers of American Emergency Medical Fund. I mention it here to get you slavering.
If you’re so inclined, I have posted my own chapter behind the cut. Keep in mind that the point was to write as badly as you possibly could. In crafting my chapter, I utilized every manner of annoying inconsistency or phrasing I’ve ever come across in copyediting, plus plain bad taste and humor of my own. Honestly, I crack myself up. ;-D
As Isadore Trent dreamed sleepily, her red hair spread like a cloud a tent around her pillow, her face exploded with joy. “Oh, I wish I was back there.” She thought. She missed it so badly. Maybe she’d get to go back someday. She thought about the hot dry heat, about the grit of sand. Oh, how it felt to be penetrated by those huge mosquitoes . . . Oh, yes. She was a masochist of the first degree. She shivered in her sleep, thinking about it. Goose pimples formed beginning at the tips of her toes, pushing out farther the day-old stubble on her legs, and continuing up her stomach until her nipples were pointing out. Then they reached her neck, and her trembles tangled her hair into a mess. She’d have to brush it good when she woke up, but she’d enjoy the tangles, no doubt.
A sound intruded on her consciousness–a little bell sound. Unknowingly, she worked it into her dream so that an ice cream truck was making its way to her across the desert. And then when it got to her it wasn’t even ice cream at all but instead was some kind of liquor bar. She didn’t know why. So she thought she’d order something frozen, but the girl there just looked at her cattily and told her they only sold coffee drinks. Damn arrogant woman.
But then the sound changed, and it wasn’t a little bell any more. Now it sounded like it might be scratching, or maybe banging. Or maybe it wasn’t that at all, but someone knocking. She pushed herself out of sleep and tried to think. But she didn’t wake up fast enough. Hmm. What could she do to make herself wake up, she wondered? Maybe she ought to pinch herself. So her dream self reached out and did just that. OW! That hurt! Now she really was awake.
Since she was, she sat up in bed and pushed the covers off, noticing that her nipples were still erect. The sound repeated itself, and it WAS a knock! Wow. How could she have thought it was anything else? She got out of bed sleepily and tiredly raised her hands above her head, stretching, while she decided what to do. Maybe she should answer it. Okay. That’s a good idea.
So she went to the door. She wasn’t dressed, so she thought she might ought to grab a gun on the way down. It wouldn’t do for it to be a bad guy at the door when she didn’t have time to get any clothes on. So she reached under her bed and fished out the gun safe she kept there. She put in her secret code: 6969. No one would ever think of that. Once she heard the tumblers click over, she pulled the gun out and got out of bed. She didn’t keep the bullets with the gun, just to be safe in case her adorable little brownhaired niece with the cutest smile ever visited, so then she went into her closet to get the bullets. There! She thought after she did. Now she wouldn’t be afraid to go to the door naked.
She slowly made her way down the stairs, one slow step at a time. Once she got to the bottom, she listened and realized that she didn’t hear the sound any more. Hmm. Well, she decided to peek out the spyhole anyway. Nothing there. Hmm. She went around and looked out the window on the side, but she didn’t see anyone from there, either. Well, she hmmphed. No telling what it was.
She still had her trusty revolver, though, so she stuck it in her bathrobe and made for the kitchen. She’d get a midnight snack to tide her over until morning. Maybe some kippers and cream cheese. Those were one of her favorites. As she made her way to the kitchen, she passed some of her favorite pictures on the wall. She sighed, looking at them both sadly and happily. She sure loved those people a lot. Some of them weren’t even around any more. Some of them were.
Well, maybe she’d see them tomorrow.
When she got to the kitchen, she saw that the light was on. Oh, no! She was sure she hadn’t left it that way. She steadied the automatic in her grip and readied her finger on the hair trigger. What she saw surprised her. Someone, his back–and she noticed, fine backside–to her, was in her refrigerator! What were they eating? Thinking about that chocolate cake she had left over from that wedding last week, she aimed and pulled the trigger. She wasn’t any dainty lady in waiting waiting around to be picked on! She was one tough broad!
The person startled at the shot and then grabbed their leg and fell down, moaning like it was the end of the world. “Owwwww,” the guy said. “Owwwwww.” She wasn’t sorry, though. She was getting ready to shoot him again when she paused. She couldn’t help but notice that–in his turmoil and fear for his life–the man had gotten an erection underneath his thin white polo shorts. It looked familiar. She studied his build some more, noted his red hair by the light of the refrigerator door that was still open as he held his leftover cake in his hands. Oh, no! It was that babe from the gym! Shit, she bonked him a couple times already. You think she’d remember that ass. She preened. He probably just couldn’t stay away and wanted seconds. She purred happily. She still had it, no doubt about it.
What was that guy’s name? Suffering Succotash? She struggled to remember, to make her mind vomit forth the information she knew it had digested at some point. She couldn’t really be forgiven for forgetting, since she’d just banged the guy in the shower
room. He seemed to be staring at one of the guys showering the whole time they were going at it, but she was sure he just wanted to see the guy’s reaction at him getting to fuck such a hot babe.
Oh. Steven. That was it. Steven Suffering. No, Steven Suffern. Yeah, that was it. That’s right. He was still moaning.
She went over to him and prodded him with her toe. “Hey! What were you doing taking my leftover cake! Girls are protective of their chocolate, you know! You should know better than that!”
He smiled sadly at her. “I couldn’t help it,” he said, as he choked out his words. “I was hungry, and it looked so good.”
“Well, it was just a prelude, huh? Were you going to sneak up and biff me, you bad boy? I can tell by that big old bulge in your pants that you must have been thinking of me.”
He coughed, wetly. It made a gross noise, and she was turned off by it. She looked down at the bulge in his pants again and decided she didn’t care, though.
“Well, you ought to be more careful.”
“I know. I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said morosely.
“Can you get up?” She asked. She leaned down beside him.
“I’m already up.” He laughed, weakly.
His sense of humor made her smile. How could she forget how nice he was?
“Well, maybe we could have some fun with you right there,” she said sexily. She pulled apart the flaps of her mint-green terrycloth robe and flashed him. “Mmm-hmm. Come and get me!”
He hacked again, grossly, though. “I wish I could, Isadore. I wish I could.” He looked up at her with wet eyes–eyes like he’d had too many drinks or had just gotten kicked in the groin. “You know, I really love you. I know I couldn’t ever tell you, but I
really do. God help me. I really do.”
She smiled at him. “I know you do, honey. You can’t help it. It always happens that way.” She preened to herself again. A fine young man like this, and she could still grab him. What a dame she was.
He really seemed to be bleeding a lot, though. “Um, Steven, I really do need you to get up. You’re getting the floor really messy. Could you maybe go out on the porch or something. ” She smiled, certain her next phrase would convince him to move. “I’ll join you.” She simpered prettily at him in what she knew was her sexiest countenance.
He coughed again, then reached down to his privates, like he was making sure they were still there. He left big red hand prints on them–you could certainly judge his length by his hands! And they said that was a myth. Ha, she thought knowingly. All
things have a basis in fact.
She scooted closer to him and then decided she might as well put the gun back in the pocket of her robe. The silky material sparkled like ruby in the dim light from the refrigerator door. “Steven?”
Kaa-kaaa-kaaa. He made a horrible noise.
Weakly came his reply. “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”
She stopped hesitantly. “You don’t really sound fine. Are you sure?”
“I’m fine.” She smiled bewitchingly at her. “Don’t worry for me.”
“Well . . . ” She frowned down at him. If you’re fine, can you please move? I really don’t want all that blood right in front of the fridge.
He laughed heartily. “You always did have a sense of humor.” Then he coughed that wet cough again, laid his head down, and didn’t make any more sound.
I'm a freelance copyeditor specializing in fantasy and science fiction. SF/F novels I have copyedited have been finalists for (and have sometimes won) the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, Endeavour, Golden Spur, John W. Campbell Memorial, Quill, Locus, Philip K. Dick, British Science Fiction, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy awards. In 2007 I became the first and only copyeditor ever short-listed for a World Fantasy Award.