Thursday, 10 February 2005

Do Not Meddle in the Affairs of Wizards...

...for they are subtle and quick to anger.

So said J.R.R.Tolkein.

With that in mind, have a look at what a Vanity Press called PublishAmerica said :
...As a rule of thumb, the quality bar for sci-fi and fantasy is a lot lower than for all other fiction. Therefore, beware of published authors who are self-crowned writing experts. When they tell you what to do and not to do in getting your book published, always first ask them what genre they write. If it's sci-fi or fantasy, run. They have no clue about what it is to write real-life stories, and how to find them a home.
How delightfully... condescending.

Now have a look at an article on Wikipedia. About a book called Atlanta Nights :
Atlanta Nights was a collaborative novel written by a group of around 40 authors organized by James D. Macdonald, mostly science fiction and fantasy authors, under the pseudonym Travis Tea. The novel was deliberately made to be as awful as possible, as in the case of its spiritual predecessor Naked Came the Stranger (the working title of Atlanta Nights was Naked Came the Badfic), and was submitted to the alleged vanity publisher PublishAmerica as a hoax in response to comments posted by PublishAmerica on its website
PublishAmerica claimed to be more selective in choosing what works to publish, so Atlanta Nights was submitted to test their standards. The book was officially accepted for publication on December 7, 2004, but the hoax was revealed on January 23, 2005, before the book went to press. PublishAmerica retracted its acceptance the next day.

The authors subsequently published the book through print on demand publisher (ISBN 1-4116-2298-7), with all proceeds designated to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund.

Among the distinctive flaws of Atlanta Nights are a duplicate chapter written by two different authors from the same segment of outline, a missing chapter, and a chapter "written" by a program that generated random text based on patterns found in the previous chapters.
How bad is it? Just read the reviews from the Travis Tea website. Unlike Tim Blair, I cannot bring myself to type in a sample. Or should I say, "specimen". From a dingo. One with infected kidneys.

An extract (as in "extract of diseased dingo kidney") of Chapter 1, the foetid thing in its glorious entirety, and software to read it, are all available free.

If you download it, then (quite justifiably) complain that you were robbed at that price, don't blame me.

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