Ape & Me


Joshua R Parker

These thoughts just fell out of my head

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Internet Fame through anonymity
Ape & Me

Today has been odd.  It resulted in a post and thread over at John Scalzi's blog Whatever

I'll explain.

Since I've been commuting to work for the last six months, I haven't been writing very much.  My friends and family have understood this decision, with a corresponding threat that I WILL be writing once my wife and I move.  We now have a house that's under contract, so I have a month or less before I once again force butt to chair and use brain meats and the English language to try and entertain others.

One of those friends also works at Subterranean Press, and mentioned that she would almost prefer the first thing I wrote to be so bad she could light it on fire in front of me and make me watch it burn.  In response I took a half hour out of my Saturday and wrote a fake query letter.  She thought it was funny, and on a lark showed it to our boss.

Bill also enjoyed it, to the point where he considered putting it in the SubPress newsletter.  Before that could happen, he showed it to John.  Since I was not involved in this exchange, I'm not 100% sure how this turned into a Whatever entry.  What I do know is that the comments are entertaining as all hell. 

If you have yet to head over and check out the link, a couple of things.  One, please don't spoil the joke.  I'm enough of an egotist that I want more than three people to know I originated the thing, and that it is intended as satire, but I'm interested to let the debate just hang there until John grows tired of it.  Two, please know that I was not making fun of anyone in particular, just bad writing and horrible ideas in a general sense.  This started as something to entertain a couple of my friends, and just kind of took off from there.

Most of the comments there are great, and it's wonderful to know that I helped make a lot of people laugh.  The ones that question John's decision to post the letter are weird to me, since that is absolutely not the kind of thing he would do to some poor newbie.  Anyway, I hope you all can see this the way it was intended.

And no, I have not written the actual submission to go with it.  I might be willing to for the right price, however...

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Ha! I saw that, and was curious where the query letter had originated...

Sadly it is far easier to do everything wrong than do most things right. I'm really happy that the majority seem to be amused. It's really nice to read that it brightened a complete stranger's day.

That letter was great. The uncertainty of the people replying on Scalzi's blog makes it wonderful.

The ones that really get me are in the "written too well to real" camp. I'm kind of surprised.

I also like the person who took the "youth" of the author to mean I actually was that young.

You know me. Just trying to get others to smile.

Thank you very much.

I cannot express how tempted I am to reveal this info in the comment thread, but it would totally spoil the joke.

I'm really disappointed the precis does not include the lesbian vampire kickboxers that so obviously must be part of this masterpiece.

Are you sure you don't want to save those in reserve for book two of the trilogy?

Nah. Book two is set as STARSHIP BLOOPERS, and is 2000 years in the future.

Hilarious, dude. It's way more amusing knowing the person who wrote it.

I was hoping you'd like it.

Like John Scalzi said in his blog, "it's not funny because it's satire, it's funny because it's *all too true*". I actually find that more terrifying than funny, but that's what a BA in English Lit will do to you.


As a fellow degree holder, I agree with you.

When I was a college student lo these many years ago, I arrived early one day for one of my (non-English-related) classes. Written on the blackboard in large capital letters were the words "subject/verb agreement". I asked the TA if it was a remedial or ESL class. She said no; she actually had students in her regular freshman English class who'd never had to write a paper in their lives until they got to her class! So yeah, I actually didn't realize at first that the "cover letter" you wrote was a satire, I was truly and honestly afraid that it was real.



Congrats to you and John. You had me. Thought it was real. Because I've really written real query letters like that, really.

The bad thing is that I now can't _actually_ send it to editors.

The query letter made me day. It was very, very funny. I'm glad that it made it on Scalzi's blog -- and I'm glad to know who wrote it. :-)

Good luck with your move, btw! Once that's done, back to writing! *smile*

Thanks, I'm really glad to have contributed to the making of your day!

I think *my* ultimate bad query letter is better (but I'm probably biased)


Wow. Not sure I could have done that to the English language. Well played.

Dropping in courtesy of Mr. Scalzi.

Well done, sir.

I’ve been into blogging for quite some time and this is definitely a great post.Cheers!

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