Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Will Be Happy To Read Your Science Fiction Manuscript

At last!

I’ve finally discovered a way to monetize Stonekettle Station.

At last, the reason I got into blogging in the first place will be realized.

Step 4: Profit. Oh yes. At long last!

See, recently, a number of professional writers, such as John Scalzi and Josh Olsen, have published articles on why they will not read your screenplay, manuscript, or unpublished pile of paper that purports to be a novel.

This appears to be a very sensitive topic for a rather large number of folks on both sides of the issue. I don’t want to resort to hyperbole, but I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that healthcare reform pales in comparison. The term “fistful of auk vomit” was even bandied about on Scalzi’s Whatever by a certain famous writer and curmudgeon. The phrase “Donkey Balls” was also invoked. Truly, this topic brings out the worst in people.

Scalzi, Olsen, and the famous curmudgeon have taken some serious heat over their refusal to read the scribblings of random strangers. They’ve been called variously selfish dicks, pretentious dicks, whiny dicks, and dickish dicks. Yet, they remain steadfast in their refusal, the dicks.

I know opportunity when I see it.

If the world’s leading writers won’t give you the time of day, don’t despair, Little Trooper. I, a world renown blogger, raconteur, artist, world traveler, and professional military officer will read your manuscript and give you the constructive feedback you so rightly deserve. Hell, the opinion of a retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer is easily worth that of your wife, two neighbors, John Scalzi’s Fluffy Cat, and the sour demented ghost of James Tiptree Jr. combined.

Simply fill out the following form and submit your masterpiece to Stonekettle Station.

Fame, glory, riches, and chicks for free are sure to follow.

Your Name____________________________________________________________________________

Title of your award winning novel/manuscript/screenplay__________________________________

Total number of pages________ Total number of pages you actually expect me to read_______________

What is the original plot of your original manuscript?

___ In the end it turns out to be Adam and Eve (Surprise!)

___ People are food!

___ Raccoons Discover Fire!

___ The Internet Discovers Fire!

Type of critique you’d like:

___ Honest (No, really, be honest, OK not really)

___ Honest (Just kidding, lie to me)

___ Please blow smoke up my ass until my colon is like beef jerky

___ I’ll write it, you just sign it

Author you’d like to be compared to:

___ Robert Heinlein

___ Ayn Rand

___ Dr Seuss

___ Doctor Spock

Book you’d like me to mention in the review:

___ Dune

___ Starship Troopers

___ What To Expect When You’re Expecting

___ Mein Kampf

Award you’d like me to say you’re a shoe-in for:

___ Nebula

___ Hugo

___ Campbell

___ Tasty Pudding

Music I should listen to while slogging through your steaming pile of auk vomit reading the brilliant pearls of your toil:

___ Dire Straits, Money For Nothing, Chicks For Free

___ Gorillaz, Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head

___ Offspring, She’s Got Issues

___ William Shatner, Rocket Man

Phrase you prefer to use in public in reference to my review:

___ Jim is steeped in Jackassery

___ Jim is chock full of dickishness

___ Jim sucks Donkey Balls

___ You Lie!

Boon you’d like to ask of me:

___ Use my in with John Scalzi to shop your manuscript to Stargate Universe producers

___ Introduce you to Sarah Palin

___ Tell you amusing stories about my cats

___ Gratuitous Sex

How you expect to compensate me for my efforts:

___ Brief mention on your crappy website

___ You’ll sue me, claiming I stole your original Adam and Eve Are Robots idea

___ Scream incoherent hatred and spread lies about my manhood on the Internet

___ Gratuitous Sex

Please staple your manuscript to the back of this form. Enclose a money order for $100 (no checks. I don’t take checks from writers, sorry. You understand). Mail flat in a large legal sized envelop (this is very important, folded manuscripts jam my paper shredder, this pisses me off). Allow 4-6 years for processing (i.e. for me to steal your idea, write it better, and sell it to Hollywood for obscene gobs of moola, who will turn it into a B-list thriller staring Demi Moore’s silicon augmented rack. Yowza).

* Note: I make absolutely no bones about fairness or impartiality. Better bribes get you better reviews. Bribes also get your competition adverse reviews. I am in no way opposed to a bidding war, just sayin’ - as long as you’re sending money, I’m willing to entertain you. As Randy Quaid, the drunk pilot in Independence Day said, keep ‘em coming, keep ‘em coming.


  1. The saddest thing about this is that you might well get some takers . . .

  2. Consequences, smonsequences, as long as I'm rich.

  3. Someone should write one where, in the end, it's Adam and Steve. That would be an awesome twist. :D

  4. Thanks to that bastard Scalzi, I have discovered your site... and just spent an hour visiting. My my, how time flies when you're having fun. Sadly, I don't have a manuscript to send you, but I may be inspired to whip one up over the weekend. Or not. Since that bastard Scalzi is sending evil vibes from Ohio to prevent my house and my artwork from selling, I may have to work on that instead.

  5. I am tempted to do this, just to force you to listen to Shatner singing "Rocket Man" over and over and over again.

  6. Any man willing to invoke "auk vomit" in an internet discussion is clearly a man to be reckoned with, and definitely one who plays for keeps!


  7. "auk vomit"? You've got the wrong guy (Jim Wright, get it, Wrong Guy, uh, is this thing on, nevermind)

    I believe the phrase you're looking for is "Donkey Balls."

  8. Monkey Balls. Which was your idea, asshole.

    And I would totally be playing the "but we're both initiated Chiefs!" card if I actually had any intention to, you know, write.

    But I don't. So I shall ho myself out to you as an auxiliary reader. We'll make TWICE THE MONEY.

  9. The whole Monkey Balls thing is actually Carol's fault, Janiece.

    And I accept your offer, Oh Axillary Reader of Unpublished Brilliance Kept Down by The Man. If we could get Nathan onboard, we'd have an in with Hollywood, and then our profits would be virtually unlimited. BawahahahahaHA!

    (pls. help w/ title)

    Once there was this guy, who was a captain of a spaceship and also a lawyer and he was really awesome in bed. His spaceship was the fastest one in the universe and it had lots of laser guns and blaster pistols. Aliens kidnapped his girlfriend, Queen Allliinnaaaddaiia of the Hawtians, but the space captain, whose name was Cire, he knew that the aliens were vulnerable to quantum telefluxes, so he built one out of mechanocrystals and flumium wiring and launched it at the alien homeworld where it blowed up the aliens' whole galaxy and everything in it except Queen Haaakiforia, who had hot sex with Cire (she looks just like a human woman only she's blue and has more boobies).


    (pls. send me the money for my movie rights ASAP because I want to be rich soon, oktxbye)

  11. PS

    (I'm already working on the sequel and need professional advice: was the best part of my first story the explosion or the boobies, or should I focus more on both? Thanks!)

  12. Jim is a liar. I sent him two stories to read on 7 November 2008 and he's STILL not sent me back a comment. Bastard thinks he's John Scalzi.

    Dr. Phil

  13. No, the bastard thinks he's Harlen Ellison...

    Did you fill out the form?

    (Note: the above is smartassery pure and simple. Reading Dr Phil's work is like getting free books from Amazon. He is a most excellent writer and I very much enjoy reading his stuff. I feel like a smuck for not getting reviews back to him yet)

  14. Excuse me, Jim, I had nothing to do wit Monkey Balls. Donkey Balls, on the other hand, I will claim proudly.

    I'm with Michelle. Torturing you - er, I mean, performing enhanced interrogation techniques on you with Shatner's unique rendition of "Rocket Man" on an endless loop would be exquisite.

  15. (BAD FINGERS, CAN'T SPELL TODAY -- 3rd try)


    What are you -- some kind of Jew-hating asshole? You can't even spell schmuck right. That means you hate me. And all my co-relgionists (except I am an atheist Jew).

    In fact, I want you to read my story about a Jew who goes out into space and discovers a planet full of kosher pigs. Which can all fly. And there are devils there, but it is cold.

    What? It is my back-up novel, since Eric stole all my other ideas.

  16. Um that should have said "are you hitting on ME, Carol"

    Stupid posting from the phone eyes

    And don't you start now, Braindoc

  17. I'm with Kelly on this -- discovered your site thanks to Scalzi and now I can't leave. How the hell am I supposed to work on my unfinished manuscript when I'm busy reading everything on your blog?

  18. No, ND, Jim was right--he didn't mean "schmuck," which is a foreskin, he meant "smuck" which is a small, rotund, bipedal invertabrate about the size of a softball used in the manufacture of jellies and jams.

    The plight of smucks is one of the great dirty secrets of the modern era. On any given day, hundreds of thousands of squealing, pleading smucks are stripped of their primitive clothing and crude, paw-made personal possessions and herded into enormous smuckgrinders which pour directly into ginormous mixers in which pulverized smuck is mixed with natural or artificial flavors as the first step in jelly or jam production. Even before their horrific demise, the conditions in which smucks are penned is itself appalling: rows and rows and columns of stainless steel cages packed with so many smucks that one will occasionally be smushed through the steel grates that provide them with air and through which they're fed, to plop wetly on the cold poured cement floors of the modern factory smuckfarm. Sometimes a plaintive harmonica can be heard from one of the cages.

  19. Have you ever heard a smuck scream?
    Have you ever heard a smuck cry?
    I have, I have
    Of what, my son, does a young smuck dream?
    For what, daughters, do smuck mothers sigh?
    Freedom! Freedom!

    -Arnold Seagull and Winstonia Featherfram, "Children, Let The Wild Smucks Free!" (c)1983 Woggerstam Music Publishers Int'l LLC/Animals Are People Too Songs.



    You can't silence the truth, so don't even try!

  21. Eric,

    Stop it. You're making the rest of us look bad.

  22. EAT...ahuh...
    OK, I did, those smucks I had for lunch were just delicious! Love the cherry ones.

  23. Jim, Do you except payment in cute baby pictures, cause I'll have lots of those soon, and I'm looking for a critique on my story in which a feline with headgear visits a couple of children on a cold, cold, wet day. In the end the kids become cat food. I'm not sure it's got enough zest though.

  24. Eric, do you know of any good E.A.T.S. in my area, cause I'm all for liberating the Smucks.

    Is there any way I can help in the campaign against Smuckers?

  25. Matt, first of all, no clothes. This symbolizes our empathy with the smucks who have been stripped of their primitive t-shirts and sandals. Second, you can only eat foods that start with the letter "B." Finally, we need to break into jelly factories--not just Smuckers, tho' they're obviously a major target because of the way they revel in the wholesale slaughter of a semi-sentient species with their very name--and liberate the poor smucks. The big obstacle in our planning right now is developing a timer so we can open smuck cages from a distance--a herd of smucks can strip a cow to the bone in less than a minute, so we probably don't want to be near the smuck cages when they open. Especially since we'll be sympathetically naked.

  26. Oh yes, and of course you can sing protest songs like "Children, Let The Wild Smucks Free!", "Have You Seen My Smuck And Hugged It?", "International Smucks United", "I Am A Smuck (So Is My Brother)", "Smucks Are People, Too (Only Small, Goopy And Sort Of Feral)" and that great masterpiece of the pro-smuck movement, "All Out Of Love".

  27. Only foods that start with B...yum!

    Let's see, just for starters we'd have Beef, Biscuit, Bakedpotato, Butter, Brownies, Blueberries, Bittersweet chocolate...

  28. OH, wait, I almost forgot...


  29. Somebody, and I'm not who (Eric)appears to have had a rough day in court and has started drinking early.

  30. Sorry PHOOEY-U,

    I've been busy and showed up late. Of course I'll be happy to sign on to help. When we sell to Hollywood, I get 10% of the gross (and I mean some asshole better be standing at the theater taking my cut before anybody gets to see the movie).

    You'll take care of that, right?

  31. So Nathan *also* gets to listen to endless replays of Shatner singing "Rocket Man"?

  32. Once we get famous as an easy shortcut to publishing fame, glory, and unlimited cheese sandwiches - we'll hire Shatner to sing beatnik poetry in person at our offices.

    He'll do it too.

    ...If he ever wants to see another TekWar novel in print that is.

  33. You know, reading back through the comments I realize that posting comment from my phone is really not an optimal solution.

    Just sayin'

  34. I am so never coming to visit your office.

  35. We'll have so much money, Shatner will clean the damned toilets if we tell him to.

    In fact, when he's on breaks, I want him sitting in a corner making out with George Takei. (We should give Takei a little pay bump for it.)

  36. What you got against Shatner, Michelle? (and really, be careful what you hold against him, I hear he's still quite the randy stud. Don't wear your Orion Slave Girl outfit, just sayin'. mmmm Michelle in Orion Slave Girl Outfit mmmm).

    Nathan, now why the hell would your want to do that to George? Pauly Shore, sure, but George?

    Say, how about a sleepover?

  37. I'd rather dress as a Dabo girl than an Orion slave girl.

    But I'll be sure to stay away from Shatner AND you if I do so.

    But I'll let Evan take pictures.

  38. Say, you don't happen to own a Leia Bikini do you?

  39. Only Michael knows the answer to that question.

  40. Would he be willing to part with the pictures?


  41. Well, you know that money you're going to start raking in?

  42. Oh, sure...there's always the Leia bikini...but I really wanna see Michelle with the Leia Cinnamon Buns on the sides of her head!

    That'd be worth some real cash.

  43. I disappear for a bit in order to accept gainful employment (and celebrate same), and when I come back, Scalzi's pimped out our Future Emperor of the Universe, Eric's drinking heavily, people are trying to save the Smucks (wheateverthehell they are), and Michelle has turned to public tramping. In a Leia Bikini.

    THIS is why we can't have nice things.

    psst! Hey Jim! Don't forget that Michael is my MINION, and I can order him to provide photographic evidence of Michelle's secret life. Bwahaha.

  44. One minor correction, Janiece - it's not Eric's drinking heavily it's Eric's still drinking heavily...

    Congrats on the new job BTW. May it bring you much joy and provide you with many opportunities for office larceny (get me a box of pens, will you?)

  45. Nathan, I just sent Jeri a picture of my hair as it looks right now.

    Be nice or I'll send you the same thing.

  46. Thanks, Jim, but I'll still be working V.O. for the same company, just a (slightly) different role. I'll blog about it when it's official.

    So I'm thinking you might have more of a chance for office larceny than I will.

    So get me some paper assholes, won't you?

  47. They keep the admin supplies under tight control.

    How about an F-22?

  48. Make it a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and it's a deal. I'll even shave off a couple of points on my share of the Manuscript take as a bonus!

  49. Speaking of the Leia Bikini, there was one very lithe young lady at DragonCon wearing one that was doing it justice. The guys all wanted to pose with her, and she graciously let them, as long as they didn't touch. Yep, it was all her, all natural, no body-stocking cover-up on the exposed areas (no tan lines either). I was impressed and complimented her.

    Several others in similar costuming were not doing the Bikini justice at all.

  50. Of course, you realize, Wendy, that we males will now have to google Dragoncon pictures in a quest to verify your claims?

    Leia bikini mmmmm mmmmm

  51. There lies madness, Jim. 95% of the women and none of the men in Leia bikinis at DragonCon really get away with the Leia slave-girl bikini. Oh, they tried, but to steal the classic bit from David Lynch's Dune:

    "They tried and failed?"

    "They tried... and died."

    Or at least a part of me did the one time I made it down there. Tho' there are certainly some awesome costumes and there are definitely some cute girls, especially if you like 'em nerdy.

  52. You know people, and by people I don't necessarily mean you people, often refer to me as slightly mad right?

    It's probably the drool

  53. Wendy,

    That would be one of these Leia Bikini Slaves then? The one named Christy, I'm guessing you're talking about?

    Ahhhhhh! It's like nerd heaven. 40 Leia Bikini Slaves in paradise, so, I got that going for me...

  54. Can we get back to the smucks? I make my own jams, jellies and marmalaides and let me tell you capturing wild smucks is not easy.


    The cat catches a lot of them, but negotiating with her is not easy.

  55. My brother was at DragonCon this year. I wonder how many pictures of Slave Leia he took.

  56. I'm thinking some guys have way too much time on their hands...oh, wait, they're nerds, they have lots of time on their hands!!

    I'll have to check my shots, see if she matches any and if I can still add to the parade.

    Gee Matt, I couldn't find your brother. Or Eric's friends either. Can't imagine why not!

    Actually, this year DragonCon seemed to be more whole families, and multiple generations at that. From (great)grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, teens, tweens, rugrats. The parade had a much bigger crowd than the past couple of years as well. Total attendance over the 4 days was estimated at 35,000+, have not seen final confirmed numbers yet.

    And as soon as the volunteer apps go up for next years, I'm signing up!

  57. ...capturing wild smucks is not easy.

    You have to fart really hard when they're near - incapacitates them - also helps if you're pretty... (I'll never catch any)

    You have to be a pretty fart smucker to catch them in the wild... Or was that a pretty fart smeller?

  58. Pretty, not me.

    The cat does not like it when I fart while we are hunting smucks. It also gives a methane taste to the jam.


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