RARA-AVIS: Are unpublished novels best left unpublished?

From: Frederick Zackel ( fzackel@wcnet.org)
Date: 18 May 2007

The following comes from the rara-avis archives, a piece I sent in just about ten years ago, on Tue, 6 May 1997 12:58:37 -0400 (EDT). (Damn, I been lurkin' this long?) If you guys are going to talk about Are unpublished novels best left unpublished? YES!

I once had an idea for a science fiction story: what if the world had become so Mass Produced, that the most valuable object d'art would be an unpublished manuscript, the kind in the bottom of the dreser?

    "It's the only one of its kind," the dealer cooed.
    "Signed?" asked the buyer.
    "Better than that," the dealer said. "See, here's the stack of rejections from all the major publishers and agents of the Twentieth Century!"
    "Have you read it?"
    "What! Of course not! That would ruin its virginal status!" The dealer leaned closer and whispered to the buyer, "It hasn't been read in over a hundred years. That's what makes it so priceless!"
    "You guarantee it's the only one in existence?"
    "Not even a Xerox!" the dealer boasted.
    The buyer said, "Good!" He pulled out his gun and shot the startled book dealer between the eyes. He caught the manuscript as the buyer slumped to the floor. "Now it's mine."

Fred Zackel Cocaine & Blue Eyes Point Blank Press

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