James D. Macdonald is a science fiction writer who organized the great Atlanta Nights hoax. So what, you might ask, is that?
First some background. PublishAmerica is a book producer that claims to be a ‘real’ publisher as opposed to a vanity press. They say they only accept high-quality manuscripts. They also said some pretty derogatory things about science fiction and fantasy writers that Macdonald was determined to act on. So he, together with a group of colleagues, created the book Atlanta Nights which was so bad it should never have been accepted as anything other than the joke it was intended to be. It was missing a chapter, had two chapter 12’s, chapters 4 and 17 were exactly identical and one particularly bad chapter was written by computer software. Nevertheless, PublishAmerica agreed to publish it. But over a month later and, coincidentally, one day after the authors publicly revealed it to be a hoax, they rescinded the offer.
The wiki article above is very entertaining and if you want more I would suggest listening to an interview with Macdonald on this podcast.
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