A Publisher’s Rights !
Someone slipped me a manuscript the other day. It was a science-fiction novel. The novel was set on some planet called Incredulous. On this planet, the writer warns, is this slab of land run by a narcissistic ruler embroiled in scandal. This ruler, it seems, is at war with people across the sea he actually likes. His generals, meanwhile, are conquering concubines and losing wars that were never declared. At one point in the novel, an assistant to the ruler threatens to punch out a snoopy reporter asking questions about horse meat. Strange. It goes on to detail an economy in turmoil, with people unable to pay their rent or house payment, while insurance agents in drones yell out: “We’ve got the best price on health insurance!”
As you readers can see, the manuscript was too divorced from reality to be considered for publication. In the end, I had to assign it to the slush pile.