Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Naked Came the Stranger

Tim Blair links to a site that recounts the hoax a bunch of sci-fi and fantasy writers pulled off by writing an intentionally lousy book, Atlanta Nights, and submitting it to PublishAmerica, a press which had boasted of how "picky" it was in its book selection and, much worse, had called those scif-fi and fantasy writers hacks. Despite the publisher's alleged pickiness, of course, and its disdain for sci-fi/fantasy writers, PublishAmerica duly brought out Atlanta Nights.

But it isn't the first time something like this has happened. In 1969, 25 Newsday writers, using the come-hither pseudonym "Penelope Ashe," each wrote a chapter of a supposedly shocking potboiler, Naked Came the Stranger. The only requirements were that each chapter be really, really bad, and that it contain at least two sex scenes. The writers' aim, sort of like the sci-fi guys', was to show just how low American literary standards had fallen. They succeeded: the book was published, became a bestseller, and was even made into a (no doubt lousy) porn movie. But check out a bigger pic of the book's original cover. It's great.

No comments: