While in the bookshop yesterday I happened across a book, the name of which eludes me, which nevertheless stuck in my mind because the front cover loudly hailed it as THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK ABOUT EVOLUTION SINCE DAWKINS’ SELFISH GENE.1 You’ll note there’s no attribution or quotation marks there. It’s just something they slapped on. I didn’t know you were allowed do that.
Naturally, I got in touch with my publisher tout de suite.
Has The Tau-Upsilon Procedure gone to print yet? Don’t answer that, there’s no time. Pulp them if necessary. We have a new cover. Print the following, 18pt:
A MOST EXCELLENT NOVEL. SO EXCITING MY EYES HAVE MELTED. FIVE STARS. NO: ELEVEN STARS!
Is that cocky? Print FIVE STARS in Comic Sans so as to create ambiguity. Title and my name can go on the spine. Omit title if necessary.
Won’t keep you any longer. Get to it.
yrs in sport,
PS: I think the boy has been drinking my sherry. Have him fired.
PPS: Working on a new series, The Continuing Escapades of Selfish Gene. Send advance pls. Will forward manuscript on my return from Ecuador.
PPPS: Will be in Ecuador for the foreseeable. Have the boy take care of my post.
- As an aside, wouldn’t Selfish Gene be a great name for a character in a children’s story? If you even think about considering stealing that, I’ll Berne Convention you so hard your teeth will spin. [↩]