This is not about a short story or this blog, per se, but it felt like an appropriate place to put it. I had recently submitted my novel for consideration in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I figure it’s a long shot to win (as I had to enter it in sci fi/fantasy because of lack of a ‘comedy novel’ category), but I figured I could write a good enough 250 word summary to at least move it on. Besides, I had NOTHING TO LOSE by sending it.
So I just got word that it was picked to move on to round 2. At the start, up to 10,000 TOTAL stories were accepted in 5 categories. They quartered that for round 2, taking only the top 400 in each category. Now, it’s certainly possible that only 408 people submitted a sci fi story, but I’m more likely to believe that it was at least a fairly popular category.
Next, they cut that list down to the top 500 total stories (maybe top 125 in each category?) That happens in a month, so I’ve got time to forget about it. I think being classified in sci fi/fantasy both helps and hurts. It hurts because it’s a popular category and my story is fantasy only because it deals with totally impossible things, but really, it’s a comedy story. However, that’s also a strength. It will stand out from the rest of the spaceship epics/microbiology thrillers/chemistry capers out there. I do wonder if I should have submitted in the “general fiction” category, going under the idea that most people would submit their stories in the more specified genres. Whatever. Anyway, here is the 250-word summary that helped my story advance.
God is most dangerous when he’s really, really bored. Nowhere is this more evident than in the comedy novel Same Old Same Old, where everyman Cain Baxter finds himself at the business end of God’s mischievous streak. When God’s computer malfunctions during one of His pranks, Cain finds himself in a world called Albatross, one wholly consumed with golf. It is there that he meets Paula, the runaway daughter of the President of Albatross. Together, they escape to St. Louis and find two more travelers to complete their party: a professional nomad named Sammy and an eccentric nurse named Peeps. Throughout the pages of this book, the quartet journeys to Heaven and back with their only mission being to navigate through the chaos and return to normalcy.
Same Old Same Old is an 82,000-word comedy novel that flirts heavily with – but never quite seals the deal with – science fiction. Another in the incredibly short line of novels that contains elements of fantasy, courtroom drama, fugitive chase, and British comedy, the story is a non-stop tour of the absurd. Whether devising theories that would make enlarging themselves possible, being attacked by a renegade dishwasher’s virtually spotless dishes, making clones of oneself by asking for advice, or hypothesizing on television that humans are actually devolving, Cain and a host of unusual characters must untie the web of confusion that God’s mighty computer has wrought. Along the way, Cain must make the ultimate choice: continue knowingly living a world of esoteria, or return to the banality of his previous existence.