Mailvox: the Collapsing Parodist

Tor sent out an email with a big excerpt from McRapey’s forthcoming attempt to take his inimitable skills at imitation to new heights and rip off both Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert AT THE SAME TIME:

Enter The Flow With Excerpts from John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire

The Collapsing Empire is available March 21, but in the meantime, you can transport yourself into Scalzi’s interstellar epic with excerpts on We’ll be posting chapters all week; you can get started right away with the prologue and Chapter One, and check back all this week for additional excerpts, collected below. Happy Reading!

Yesterday I received an email from an intrepid SF reader who boldly dared to go where few would bother. His conclusions:

I read the excerpt and postscript of it just yesterday. It is really bad – there’s an entire chapter where strategy or politics is discussed by some lady who has been walked in on while fucking Wesley Crusher, and she just keeps going at it while continuing the conversation. Deeply pathetic.

Wait… it turns out I made a mistake. The Amazon Look Inside copy has missing pages during the Wesley Crusher episode, which is why I thought it consumed most of the chapter. After reading the Amazon sample, I looked at the Wesley Crusher chapter that Tor posted, and she only has her conversation while having sex for about two pages or so. It is nevertheless patently ridiculous, although much much funnier in the Look Inside version where she has her third party conversation for about 15 pages while getting plowed by a boy toy.

Sadly, the misunderstood version is a better yarn. The ironic thing about it is that end of the book gives away that the Flow or whatever it is called has been based on some convoluted lie the entire time. And now they finish by having to establish a new lie to keep the galaxy going, or something.

It is surprisingly devoid of snark. Or anything resembling emotion. It reads like a damned board meeting or something. It’s like he plagiarized SFWA treasury meetings for inspiration.

Oh. My. I’m not surprised in the least. But I am amused. You know that later today, there will be an executive at Macmillan flipping through the book and saying, “wait, Patrick paid HOW much for this shit?” But then, I thought, surely the reviewer exaggerates!

No, as it turns out, no, he isn’t.

Chapter Two

Kiva Lagos was busily fucking the brains out of the assistant purser she’d been after for the last six weeks of the Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby’s trip from Lankaran to End when Second Officer Waylov Brennir entered her stateroom, unannounced. “You’re needed,” he said.

“I’m a little busy at the moment,” Kiva said. She’d just finally gotten herself into a groove, so fuck Waylov (not literally, he was awful) if she was going to get out of the groove just because he walked into it. Grooves were hard to come by. People have sex, and he was unannounced. If this was what he walked into, it was his fault, not hers. The assistant purser seemed a little concerned, but Kiva applied a little pressure to make it clear festivities were to continue.

“It’s important.”

“Trust me, so is this.”

“We’ve got a customs official who won’t let us take any haverfruit off the ship,” Brennir said. If he was shocked or scandalized by Lagos’s activities he was doing a good job of hiding it. He mostly looked bored. “Offloading our haverfruit is why we came to End. If we don’t sell it, or develop licenses, we’re screwed. You’re the owner’s representative. You’re going to have to explain to your mother why this trip was the cause of the financial ruin of your family. So perhaps you might like to join Captain Blinnikka in talking with this customs official right now to see if you can resolve this problem. Or you can just go on fucking that junior crew member, ma’am. I’m sure those are equivalent activities as regards your future, and the future of this ship, and your family.”

“Well, shit,” Kiva said. Her groove was definitely gone, and the assistant purser, her little project, looked pretty miserable at the moment. “That was a pretty impressive jab you just gave to someone who can fire your ass, Brennir.”

“You can’t fire me, ma’am,” Brennir said. “I’ve got tenure with the guild. Now, are you coming or not?”

“I’m thinking.”

Well, it is sort of reminiscent of Asimovian naming conventions, I suppose. Awful as it is, I don’t think it quite manages to top this legendary exchange from the Hugo Award-winning Redshirts, though.

“Man, I owe you a blowjob,” Duvall said.

“What?” Dahl said.

“What?” Hester said.

“Sorry,” Duvall said. “In ground forces, when someone does you a favor you tell them you owe them a sex act. If it’s a little thing, it’s a handjob. Medium, blowjob. Big favor, you owe them a fuck. Force of habit. It’s just an expression.”

“Got it,” Dahl said.

“No actual blowjob forthcoming,” Duvall said. “To be clear”

“It’s the thought that counts,” Dahl said, and turned to Hester. “What about you? You want to owe me a blowjob, too?”

“I’m thinking about it ,” Hester said.   

You can tell from that gritty, realistic dialogue that McRapey has spent a lot of time with manly, military men, doing manly, military things. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that McRapey has written that I find funnier than this absolute jewel of pure, unadulterated fiction.

[Vox] really has a thing for me, which is straight-up pure envy, as far as I can tell.

My dear, very dear, Mr. Scalzi, while there are certainly authors whose literary accomplishments and talents I envy, from Umberto Eco and Hermann Hesse to Tanith Lee and Edgar Allen Poe, I can assure you, with 100 percent honesty, that you are not, and have never been, among them.