The dumbest literary “feud” of the century just got dumber.
Sentient hemorrhoid/racist fantasy author and publisher Theodore “Vox Day” Beale has struck what he seems to think is a crushing blow in his ongoing weird feud with science fiction good guy John Scalzi.
Beale’s lil publishing house has just put out a novel with a similar title to, and pretty much the identical cover design as, Scalzi’s just-released The Collapsing Empire. How similar are the covers? This similar.
The one on the right is the original. As you can see, not only the title and cover are similar, but Beale has also given the author of his knockoff novel a pseudonym that rhymes with Scalzi.
THAT’LL SHOW THAT BASTARD SCALZI WHO’S BOSS APPARENTLY SOMEHOW I DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND HOW BUT WHATEVER.
I will admit that the (presumably deliberately) redundant subtitle of the fake book is kind of funny: “An interstellar science fiction epic in space.”
As io9 notes, the ersatz book isn’t even a parody of Scalzi’s. It’s a novel inspired by Issac Asimov’s Foundation series — and which was apparently originally titled “Corrosion” — that Beale has decided to gussy up to look like Scalzi’s.
Beale’s master plan here, evidently, is to convince enough of his supporters to buy Kindle copies of the ersatz book out of spite so that it outranks Scalzi’s book in Kindle sales, a somewhat meaningless metric given that Beale’s books is priced at $4.99, compared to Scalzi’s $12.99, and that Scalzi is also selling actual paper copies of his book, while Beale’s is only available as an ebook. (Beale’s book has been taken down from Amazon several times already in the brief time it’s been out, apparently because, you know, it looks almost identical to Scalzi’s book, but at the moment it’s up on the site.)
Unsurprisingly, Scalzi’s book is outselling Beale’s baby by a considerable margin. This doesn’t seem to faze Beale much. On his blog today, he happily announced that
The Collapsing Empire on Kindle is falling while Corrosion: The Corroding Empire is climbing. 194 to
918 830 748 683666. Make it happen. You know you want to see it happen.
Beale, for all of his many defects, does seem to understand the art of the publicity stunt.
H/T — Sarah Barrios, for bringing this weird story to my attention