This isn’t a book review, but an alert:
If you remember the scuffle about PublishAmerica, which claims to be a real publishing house but looks a lot like a new breed of vanity publisher (you get a contract, you don’t pay up front, they pay you an “advance” of $1–but then it establishes a high price for your book, asks for lists of friends and relations it can pitch the book for, and lets you know that you do all your own peddling–and, by the way, most bookstores won’t carry PublishAmerica books)… [whew. That sentence got totally out of hand. Pause. Maybe M. McGrorty's right, and casual writing is a bad thing...]
Anyway, PublishAmerica put out some astonishing trash talk about science fiction and fantasy not being real literature, specifically saying that the genres meant there was no need for believable situations or characters. So a bunch of SF writers got together and wrote a truly awful book, and submitted it to PublishAmerica. Which promptly offered a contract. Which was then withdrawn after the group revealed the situation.
So, getting to the point, that book–Atlanta Nights–is now “published.” The author is Travis Tea (say it out loud). You can read a fairly telling portion of it here and download the whole thing in Windows, Palm, or Pocket format, for an appropriate price ($0).
Here’s the blurb from embiid, the site for downloadable ebook forms:
Atlanta Nights is a book that could only have been produced by an author well-versed in believable storylines, set in conditions that exist today, with believable every-day characters. Accepted by a Traditional Publisher, it is certain to resonate with an audience. It fits their specialty like a glove.
The world is full of bad books written by amateurs. But why settle for the merely regrettable? Atlanta Nights is a bad book written by experts.
There’s more to the intro, but…well, you can read it yourself. Either the intro, or the, um, remarkable excerpt (I just remarked on it), or the whole thing.
If you want it in traditional form, that’s possible too:
Lulu has a 299-page trade paperback edition for $11.94, with all (net) proceeds going to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund. (If you look at Lulu’s prices, the net proceeds don’t amount to much.)
The (many!) reviews at Lulu are worth reading as well…and the book is #36 as of now in Lulu’s book sales list. (But Lulu doesn’t pretend to be more than self-publishing using PoD.)
OK, it’s been out since January. I’m backlogged on science fiction magazines (because I normally read them on speaking trips…) and didn’t see Tom Easton’s blurb for the title until now. Easton provided a cover blurb (“Unbelievable! Incredible! A real jaw-dropper”) and calls it “bad, bad, bad–so bad you have to see it to believe it.”
I’m really tempted to buy a copy….
And, completely unconnected: If someone actually sent me an e-card (yes, a significant birthday is coming up Real Soon Now), I didn’t see it: Given the lack of specificity, I just assumed a worm or virus and deleted the message. I’m afraid “surprise” ecards and other executables just don’t work very well these days…