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May 9th, 2005

Fictionlet

"Scintillating!" said Brigid.

"Eh?" said Greg, still trying without success to dislodge the tiny button on his shirt collar.

Brigid held up the "Culture" section of the newspaper she was reading, and said, "'The words come flowing off the page in a scintillating rhythm that delights and energizes the reader. Some writers are a heady wine or an earthy ale, but this one is champagne, crisp and bubbly and intoxicating.'"

"Heh," said Greg. "Reviewers. Would-be writers themselves, the lot of them. Still, it's nice to hear one praising a book for a change instead of tearing it to shreds."

"Not just any book," Brigid said. "This reviewer's talking about your book."

Greg blinked. "Mine? Seriously?" He stood and came to look over her shoulder, eyes wide and read aloud. "'One expects a light touch such as his in a comedy or summer romance novel, but Retrograde Maneuvers transcends its trappings of farce and becomes a deep and wry satire, akin to Arms and the Man, or perhaps more like My Man Godfrey. This is a powerful work.'" He shook his head. "Did this idiot read the same book I actually wrote?"

"What do you mean?" Brigid said. "He likes it! You should be happy."

"I am happy he likes it," Greg said. "But this is a little much. Retrograde Maneuvers is a decent enough book if I do say so myself, but it's no George Bernard Shaw, not by a long mile. Nor, for that matter, is it any Eric Hatch."

"Eric Hatch?"

"Wrote My Man Godfrey."

"Oh."

"Anyway, this will never do. I'm going to have to write to the editor about this."

Brigid shook her head, as if trying to clear water out of her ears. "What?"

"I can't have people writing these kinds of things about my work!"

"You aren't seriously going to write and complain because you got a good review, are you?"

"I should say I am! This effusive praise is far beyond what that silly little book is worth. Deep and wry satire my ass!" He stormed off to his computer, leaving Brigid stunned in his wake.

-The Gneech

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