* The Terror is one of my favorite novels *
To: Mr. Dan Simmons
From: Associated Publishing Industries Unlimited, Ltd.
Subject: Your Recent Submission
Thank you for your recent submission. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not see a fit between your product and our company's goals.
Although our senior staff appreciated your technical ability, we noted several serious issues with your submission that need to be resolved prior to your product finding placement. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Excessive Length. A common error made by both the reading public and the writing community is that the modern novel must exceed 700 plus pages. The success of the Harry Potter series has only contributed to this misunderstanding. What many fail to understand is that this is simply the result of spacing and font size; novels like those written by Ms. Rowling are actually quite brief, and when taken together, the series is no larger than any given novel by Beatrix Potter. Despite the occasional fixation on what are basically large-print serials, our focus groups more frequently maintain that "The Shorter, The Better" - particularly given their short attention spans and addiction to pop culture media e.g. Us Magazine, Jersey Shore, Charlie Sheen, and the like.
2. Lack of Genre. Your product appears to include traits from the Historical Novel, the Horror Novel (specifically its subset, the Monster Novel), and the Metaphysical Odyssey. Associated Publishing Industries Unlimited, Ltd. products must strictly adhere to our "One Novel, One Genre" company philosphy. The general reading public is a busy public, and have literally no time for the perplexing muddiness of genre mixing-and-matching.
3. (a) Lack of Traditional Romance;
(b) Negative AND Positive Depictions of Homosexual Activity;
(c) Interracial Sexuality Not Resulting in Punishment and/or Death of Non-White Character by Novel's End.
Please understand that our editorial staff has no personal issue with any of the above-noted items (in fact, our marketing department actively supports the targeting of the lucrative Gay/Homosexual demographic within our Ghettoized Associated Publishing Industries Unlimited, Ltd. subset label). However, the presence of all three alternative lifestyle choices/options within a single novel - one intended for mainstream consumption - can only yield confused, 'buy-shy' reactions from our reading public.
4. (a) Lack of Resolution. Your novel does not have a solid ending. It only offers questions, not answers. Additionally, the "dreamlike tone" of the final pages were off-puttingly "poetic", "ambiguous", and "transcendent"... three adjectives that our focus groups vehemently reject when considering reading options. This Lack of Resolution would not necessarily be problematic if your submission was intended to be the first in a multi-novel saga; however it is quite clear from your ending that another issue is
(b) Lack of Potential for Sequel or Series.
5. Too Many Details. oh, and 6. Too Many Big Words.
We sincerely thank you for your time/effort.