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"Atlanta Nights is a book that could only have been produced by an author well-versed in believable storylines, set in conditions that exist today, with believable every-day characters. Accepted by a Traditional Publisher, it is certain to resonate with an audience."
—Lulu.com
"The world is full of bad books written by amateurs. But why settle for the merely regrettable? Atlanta Nights is a bad book written by experts."
—T. Nielsen Hayden

Atlanta Nights is a collaborative novel, written by a group of scifi authors under the pseudonym Travis Tea, in response to a slight by Author's Market, which had made derogatory comments about the science fiction genre. The authors wrote an unpublishable mess and sent it to PublishAmerica - a vanity publisher (or something very like one) who denied being a vanity publisher, owned by the same people as Author's Market - to see if they rejected it or not. They didn't reject it, because they had obviously never read it, and weren't much of a publishing company with the "high standards" they claimed to have. After the authors revealed their hoax, of course, PublishAmerica very quickly retracted their offer after "further review".

As for the book itself, well, it's a plotless, rambling pile of nonsense, riddled with inconsistencies and typos. It focuses on a group of wealthy, good-looking Atlanta socialites who sleep around with each other. Buried underneath it all is a vague storyline: a software developer named Bruce Lucent got into a car accident with a businessman named Henry Archer. Archer was killed, but Lucent survived, and promptly takes up with Mrs. Archer, while Detective Andrew Venice attempts to determine whether Archer's death was a murder or not. Beyond that, however, virtually nothing about the plot can be determined that is consistent from one chapter to the next, due to the staggering number of internal inconsistencies in the plot.

A Dramatic Reading can be right here, or you can download the actual manuscript right here.

And on February 12th, 2011, Brenda Clough, one of the authors, announced that some lucky person has optioned the film rights. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Compare The Eye of Argon and My Immortal.


This deliberate trainwreck provides examples of:

 "He took me to Rome where we stood in the light of the Eiffel Tower."

 "The waitress jotted down Isadore's order, then looked at Isaac with the patience of a saint who has to work tables in order to support a family and possibly just a writing habits, not to mention, pay bills and federal taxes."

 "...this... book... makes... for... wondrous... reading..."

  • Race Lift: In one chapter, Bruce and Callie are black and speak in Jive Turkey, and Bruce is trying to find his long-lost mother. In every other chapter, they're white (Callie's pale skin is explicitly brought up on several occasions), and this subplot is never heard from again. Bruce is also Asian briefly.
    • Gender Flip: Isadore Trent is a woman in one chapter, but a man everywhere else. This gets what may be a Lampshade Hanging later when he is described as "gender-confused".
  • Random Events Plot: That's putting it lightly.
    • To put it in perspective: the entire book was written with only a vague idea of the plot and a list of character names available to the authors.[1] Each author, in turn, wrote their chapters without ever discussing it with any of the other authors. Some authors missed the deadline, so those chapters were left out. Two chapters were written from the same piece of outline. Then, to make sure it would never make any sense, one chapter was created entirely by a computer making randomly-constructed sentences.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin
  • Round Robin
  • Said Bookism
  • Self-Made Orphan: Irene Stevens kills her father toward the end.
  • Serial Killer: Henry Archer, with Irene sharing in the Mad Love. But only in one chapter. And then it's never mentioned again.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: In-universe. Andrew Venice and Margaret Eastman, who up to that point had never appeared in the same chapter, elope in chapter 36. In the final chapter, Richard Isaacs contemplates suicide over his unrequited love for Margaret, to whom he has never spoken in the entire novel.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Every couple.
  • Significant Monogram: If you take all the named characters' initials and arrange them properly, they form "PublishAmerica is a vanity press."
    • Like so: Penelope Urbain, Bruce Lucent, Irene Stevens, Henry Archer, Margaret Eastman, Richard Isaacs, Callie Archer, Isaac Stevens, Andrew Venice, Arthur Nance, Isadore Trent, Yvonne Perrin, Rory Edwards, Stephen Suffern.
  • Spit Take: Very common in the Dramatic Reading. Especially when the penguins are discussed.
  • Stealth Insult: This blurb:

 "[ATLANTA NIGHTS will] draw readers like a magnet draws hungry flies!"

 "Maybe once in a lifetime, there comes a book with such extraordinary characters, thrilling plot twists, and uncanny insight, that it comes to embody its time. ATLANTA NIGHTS is a book."

"Only a sequel could follow this!"

  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: There are two Chapter 12s, and no Chapter 21.
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: "All dead guys are irregardless of how they lived their rotten, two-timing sadistic, pathetic, discombobulatedly senseless, irreligious, unthinking, flakes, debauched, foulmouthed, obnoxious, deviant, gross, adulterous, murderous, gluttonous, alcoholic, lazy, indolent, filthy, grotesquely indecent, lunatic, lives", "She preened. He turned away with me! Quickly! Inside!"
    • "It's full of sick, people!"
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Memphis.

Notes

  1. See One Steve Limit and Significant Monogram for the significance of the latter.
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