Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Match Game

Just for fun, match the rejection with the author who received it (and no Googling):

1. "We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."

2. "We found the heroine as boring as her husband had."

3. "This is a work of almost-genius – genius in the power of its expression – almost in the sense of its enormous bitterness. I wish there were an audience for a book of this kind. But there isn’t. It won’t sell."

4. "It is impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A."

5. "I am sorry, [author's name], but you just do not know how to use the English language."

6. "The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and information, the interim legends become so much of a nuisance despite their relevance, that the very action of the story seems to be to become hopelessly bogged down and the book, eventually, unreadable."

7. "I loved it. I stayed up all night reading it. There is no way in hell we can publish this."

8. "My dear fellow, I may be dead from the neck up, but rack my brains as I may I can't see why a chap should need thirty pages to describe how he turns over in bed before going to sleep."

9. "...too different from other [genre] on the market to warrant its selling."

10. "Get rid of the Indian stuff."


The authors:

A. Rudyard Kipling
B. George Orwell
C. Dr. Seuss
D. Marcel Proust
E. Ayn Rand
F. Ursula K. Le Guin
G. Stephen King
H. Tony Hillerman
I. Mary Higgins Clark
J. PBW

(Correct answers will be provided in comments later today)

24 comments:

  1. I'm not sure on most of them, but I'm guessing the first one is George Orwell. I may come back and guess on the rest once I've gotten some sleep.

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  2. I'll play, but first I have to add, I can see Kipling getting the Indian comment or the "bogged down in legends" comment as well as the animal story comment (for The Jungle Book/Mowgli stories?)

    In fact, I could probably see a couple of comment applying from someone who was negative toward a few of these writers.

    A. Rudyard Kipling -- 4. "It is impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A."

    B. George Orwell -- 1. "We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell."

    C. Dr. Seuss 5. -- "I am sorry, [author's name], but you just do not know how to use the English language."

    D. Marcel Proust -- 8. "My dear fellow, I may be dead from the neck up, but rack my brains as I may I can't see why a chap should need thirty pages to describe how he turns over in bed before going to sleep."

    E. Ayn Rand -- 3. "This is a work of almost-genius – genius in the power of its expression – almost in the sense of its enormous bitterness. I wish there were an audience for a book of this kind. But there isn’t. It won’t sell."

    F. Ursula K. Le Guin -- 6. "The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and information, the interim legends become so much of a nuisance despite their relevance, that the very action of the story seems to be to become hopelessly bogged down and the book, eventually, unreadable."


    G. Stephen King --7. "I loved it. I stayed up all night reading it. There is no way in hell we can publish this."

    H. Tony Hillerman -- 10. "Get rid of the Indian stuff."

    I. Mary Higgins Clark -- 2. "We found the heroine as boring as her husband had."

    J. PBW -- 9. "...too different from other [genre] on the market to warrant its selling."

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  3. Only three I could guess, and Douglas has already posted those answers, dammit!

    But yeah, Orwell - 1, Le Guin - 6 (and well deserved, IMO, but that's just me) and King - 7.

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  4. I was originally thinking Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for #6, due to all the footnotes. (Although that book is very far from unreadable).

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  5. I'm pretty sure #4 is Rudyard Kipling, but that's the only one I could guess at.

    I do like that #6 (to me) sounds as bad of a construct as the story was purported to be. *-*

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  6. I'll buck the trend: #4 about animal stories is George Orwell for Animal Farm.

    #5 is hopefully Dr. Seuss, because it would be funny to accuse him of not knowing English.

    #6 is Proust.

    #9 is PBW, I suspect.

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  7. To avoid being influenced, I wrote out my guesses before even scrolling down to the comments to post. (And I've tried to not even look at the comments yet.) :)

    1B
    2I
    3E
    4A
    5C
    6F
    7G
    8D
    9J
    10H

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  8. Here is my guess:

    1. G
    2. I
    3. B
    4. A
    5. J
    6. E
    7. F
    8. D
    9. C
    10. H

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  9. 1. Ursula K. LeGuin
    2. Rudyard Kipling
    3. Ayn Rand
    4. George Orwell
    5. Dr. Suess
    6. Mary Higgins Clark
    7. PBW
    8. Marcel Proust
    9. Stephen King
    10. Tony Hillerman

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  10. 1. J. PBW
    2. I. Mary Higgins Clark
    3. E. Ayn Rand
    4. B. George Orwell
    5. A. Rudyard Kipling
    6. F. Ursula K. Le Guin
    7. G. Stephen King
    8. D. Marcel Proust
    9. C. Dr. Seuss
    10. H. Tony Hillerman

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  11. I was torn with PBW's...y my first instinct was #9 but I went with #1...

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  12. I'll play too, and in the same way. No peeking at the comments.

    1. "negative utopias" -- Ursula K. Le Guin. Second choice would be Orwell.

    2. boring heroine -- any book by Mary Higgins Clark

    3. "almost-genius" -- my first go through left me with PBW, but since I consider her a genius, I knew that wouldn't be right. I'll have to go with Ayn Rand instead.

    4. "animal stories" -- I remember this as Orwell's Animal Farm

    5. can't use English language -- Same here, only it happened to Kipling.

    6. "endlessly complicated" -- without looking at the list, I would have guessed Tolkien, but I'll have to assume it happened to PBW

    7. "I loved it." King. Seems to apply to Carrie

    8. "turns over in bed" -- Remember this happening to Proust. Besides, it describes his books to a T

    9. "too different" -- Dr. Seuss.

    10. "Indian stuff" -- remember this happening to Hillerman

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  13. 1. George Orwell
    2. Mary Higgins Clark
    3. Ursula K. Le Guin
    4. Stephen King
    5. Dr. Suess
    6. Ayn Rand
    7. PBW
    8. Marcel Proust
    9. Rudyard Kipling
    10. Tony Hillerman

    For most of these, I guessed. But, such is life. Although, it was hard to choose between the negative utopia or animal rejection for Orwell. ;)

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  14. My answers.

    A. Rudyard Kipling - 8
    B. George Orwell - 4
    C. Dr. Seuss - 5
    D. Marcel Proust - 3
    E. Ayn Rand - 6
    F. Ursula K. Le Guin - 9
    G. Stephen King - 7
    H. Tony Hillerman – 10
    I. Mary Higgins Clark – 2
    J. PBW - 1

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  15. 1. George Orwell;
    2. Mary Higgins Clark;
    3. Ayn Rand;
    4. Rudyard Kipling; (joke: man -"Do you like Kipling?" friend - "I don't know, I've never kippled.") Sorry...
    5. Dr Seuss;
    6. Ursula Le Guin;
    7. PBW;
    8. Marcel Proust;
    9. Stephen King;
    10. Tony Hillerman.

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  16. If there was any sense in the world, then Ayn Rand's rejection would be: "The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and information, the interim legends become so much of a nuisance despite their relevance, that the very action of the story seems to be to become hopelessly bogged down and the book, eventually, unreadable."

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  17. Otherwise, I'm reasonably certain that George Orwell got the crack about animal stories, and Rudyard Kipling got, "I am sorry, [author's name], but you just do not know how to use the English language."

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  18. Match Game Answers:

    1G. "We are not interested in science fiction..." Stephen King received this one for his SF negative utopia fest, Carrie.

    2I. "We found the heroine as boring as her husband had." Dull old Mary Higgins Clark snagged this one for Journey Back to Love.

    3E. "This is a work of almost-genius . . ." Just not smart enough: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

    4B. "It is impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A." And yet George Orwell didn't tear up Animal Farm.

    5A. "I am sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just do not know how to use the English language."

    6F. "The book is so endlessly complicated by details of reference and information..." Yeah, Ursula K. Le Guin is kinda wordy in The Left Hand of Darkness.

    7J. "I loved it. I stayed up all night reading it. There is no way in hell we can publish this." PBW copped this one for my first paranormal novel, Night of the Chameleon (the same editor who told me this later bought six other novels from me, so I forgave her pretty fast.)

    8D. "My dear fellow, I may be dead from the neck up . . ." So too, apparently, was Marcel Proust.

    9C. "...too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling." That king of the non-comformists, Dr. Seuss, earned this one.

    10H. "Get rid of the Indian stuff." As many of you guessed, Tony Hillerman got hit with this one (and it came from his agent, ouch.)

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  19. I played the home version and, amazingly, got 5 of them right.

    I correctly chose: 5A, 4B, 9C, 10H, and 7J (I knew you had to the be the outrageous one that kept someone up all night, yet the editor knew it couldn't be published.)

    10H was my only correct guess.

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  20. 7 out of 10, but that editor who called Carrie sci-fi should be dipped in menstrual blood.

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  21. Hugh Sider3:56 AM

    I really wanted #6 to be Dr. Seuss.

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  22. Hehe. I got three right. (Hillerman, Clark and Orwell.) Even though I only got three right I gained something very valuble from this game. Never give up. Thanks PBW.

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  23. Anonymous12:16 PM

    This is so funny and depressing at the same time. I'm going to post it in my journal (if that is all right with you), for some of my friends who will find it funny. It will, of course, be properly attributed.

    Garnigal (on LJ)

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  24. No problem on the posting, Garnigal -- content here is always free for reposting or passing along via blogs or LJs, and links are always appreciated.

    It's depressing to think someone passed on a writer like Dr. Seuss or Stephen King (what were they THINKING?) but reassuring as well. No writer is exempt from rejection, even the famous and fabulous, but if every writer took rejection personally, nothing would be written.

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