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Slush Reading, Seuss Style

Slush I Read
by Jim C. Hines

(Apologies to Seuss)

I read slush.
Slush I read.

That slush I read.
That slush I read!
I do not like that slush I read.

Do you like fanfic with vamps?

I do not like them Mary Sue.
Why do these vamps all worship you?

Here’s a tale from D & D!

I do not want your D & D.
I do not like your elf PC.
I can not stand your purple prose.
I want to punch you in the nose!

Would you like a hot sex scene?
I wrote it for my online ‘zine!

I do not like your pervy tale.
Your metaphors make readers pale.
Your paragraphs are pages long.
Your bad sex scene is oh so wrong!
Can people do that with their lips???
I do not like your manuscripts.

This one is in Comic Sans!
My parents are my biggest fans.

That evil font we do not want!
My aching eyes, my weary sighs.
Why can’t you get the format right?
We post our guidelines in plain sight!
I will not read your 8-point type.
I want to bash you with a pipe!

Would you read this in the loo?
Let me slide it right to you!

I would not, could not, while I poo!

You just hate me ’cause I’m new!
I’m too original for you!

Too original you say?
This book is one absurd cliché!
It should not see the light of day.

I do not like your Mary Sues.
I do not like your crackhead muse.
Eve and Adam, Star Trek slash,
Tolkien ripoffs, pointless trash,
Prologues forty pages long,
Spelling every third word wrong.
I do not want to read this slush.
It’s all too much, my brain is mush!

Just one more story for today.
Soon I’ll clear this slush away.
No more vampires, I pray.

This cover letter’s brief.
The format’s clean.  What a relief!

This story from the slush.
This story gives me such a rush.
These pages have a brilliant hook.
I want to read it in a book!
The wordcraft makes me start to swoon.
Is that the end? It came too soon!
I read it one time, two times, three!
It is so good, so good you see!

So I will read the slush again.
And wade through drafts by Twilight fen.
And I will read the pointless plots,
And tales of busty blonde sexbots.
And I will read your pissed off mail.
And I will read it without fail.
Yes I will read slush by the bale
So I can find that next great tale.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



( 152 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
Hee! I love this. :)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
I love it!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
I really like it :D
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
Hmph. The other commenters said they *loved* it.

::Egotistical pout::
(no subject) - sajina - Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
This is brilliant. It reminded me somewhat of Asimov's trio of poems, "On Rejection".

Every writer who's ever survived a slushpile is eternally grateful to the writers of erotic vampire fiction for making a hard road just a little easier. Thanks for immortalizing them!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
/me takes her erotic vampire fiction and hides.
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you :-)

My favorite was always reading Fox in Socks to my kids. It's even more tongue twistery than most of Seuss' stuff, and made for a fun challenge.
(no subject) - lizziebelle - Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - realmjit - Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - melissajm - Sep. 23rd, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 23rd, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lkrobinson - Sep. 24th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - warrenlapine - Sep. 28th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:45 pm (UTC)

That's hysterical, and brilliant. Well done! Thanks for the laugh.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
Well done!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
Awesome Jim! Just what I needed at the tail (I wrote TALE then!) end of my slush reading for Spec Fic for Kids. Thank you!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Did I accurately capture the slush-reading experience? :-)
(no subject) - editormum - Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
You win the Intarwebz.

It is yours for the rest of the day.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
I second this motion.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)

Lips & Manuscripts is a great rhyme - begging for reuse in a love poem, maybe?
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
Ah, this brings back wonderful memories. Mostly of drug trips, anarchists and bad porn.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
That's fantastic. Thanks for brightening my day!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
*picks self up off floor*

Now that I am enough done laughing to be able to type again, what brought this on? Are you judging a writer's contest?
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
I'm not, actually. I've had minimal slush experience, personally, and I don't really know where this one came from. Just something I started playing with yesterday :-)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)
That was awesome!!! Do you know Douglas Cohen? His lj used to be 'slushmaster'... he'd LOVE this. :)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
I do. He's passed a few of my stories along to Shawna. I'll ping him on this :-)
(no subject) - melissajm - Sep. 23rd, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 23rd, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
I am highly amused. Had to send a link to my sister who is in the process of writing her first book.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)

I hope you read my slush someday.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
*chortling with glee*

considering I just sold a book this week, this is SO hitting the right spots today...


Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And did I congratulate you on the book sale? I can't remember.

Just in case, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
(no subject) - stargatedragon - Sep. 23rd, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
My. Hero.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:38 pm (UTC)
You knew it was only a matter of time before someone commented in verse...
Your story of slushpile hell
Makes many readers LOL

But what about the sorry fate
Of my keyboard that of late

Was the sad victim of coffee spew?
Who did that?
I blame you.

Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
Re: You knew it was only a matter of time before someone commented in verse...
Thank you.

I have no brain this morning, but if I get it back, I'll try to come up with a more worthy response regarding your keyboard :-)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
This is made of awesome!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)

I bought a copy of Green Eggs and Ham when our son was born. My husband isn't American and didn't grow up with Dr. Seuss, and so read it for the very first time as an adult. Halfway through the book he looked at me over the top and said, "So tell me, does he ever eat it?"
Sep. 23rd, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
The only correct response is "why are you asking me?? There's only ten more pages; read it yourself!"
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
dammit, all the perfect adjectives are gone.

Brilliant! (Has anyone used brilliant yet?)

Awesome, loved it.

And thank you so very much, I *really* needed a laugh today. THANK YOU!!!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome :-) Glad you liked it!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
Continuing studies in the vein of Pavlov have demonstrated that the training effect works better if the reward is given only occasionally, even rarely.

You're doomed, Jim.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
As I recall, random and intermittent resulted in the strongest reinforcement. I guess I need to work on being more random :-)
(no subject) - barbarienne - Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jimhines - Sep. 23rd, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Ha! I feel like the books that are published are like that too! I love reading too much to ever give up, though.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - lkrobinson - Sep. 24th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
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( 152 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines

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