Debutante plagiarist Q.R. Markham's temporarily-lauded spy thriller, Assassin of Secrets, is in fact a string of passages lifted from other books in the genre. No-one noticed until it was released, at which time readers noticed at once.
The book's been recalled by publisher Little, Brown, whose president, Michael Pietsch, apologized in a prepared statement: "We take great pride in the writers and books we publish and tremendous care in every aspect of our publishing process, so it is with deep regret that we have published a book that we can no longer stand behind. Our goal is to never have this happen, but when it does, it is important to us to communicate with and compensate readers and retailers as quickly as possible."
The author represented others' work as his own, deceived and embarrassed those he worked with, and created a nightmare for his publisher, and deserves no sympathy or respect.
That said, the intensity and promiscuity of his literary swipeage is really something else; it's relentless, often at length, from a wide variety of sources. If he'd just thrown it out there as a mashup, instead of roping the industry into selling it as a fully-original work, this would have been an excellent project. You don't have to see it as some sort of snooty statement or deconstruction of the genre, just as a fantastic remix of classic Bond-dom that got lost on the way to the internet.
Accordingly, I have instructed our agents to acquire the rights to this books so that we may re-release it under the name QR Markov.
To call Shopsin’s “a Greenwich Village institution” was to understate something profound and important and weird and funny: Shopsin’s (first a grocery store, later a restaurant) was a kind of secret reservoir of the odd and wonderful and informal world that New York City once represented, in the pre-Trumpian days of Sesame Street and Times Square sleaze: Tamara Shopsin grew up in Shopsin’s, and Arbitrary Stupid Goal is her new, “no-muss memoir,” is at once charming and sorrowing, a magnificent time-capsule containing the soul of a drowned city.
There are three more stops on my tour for Walkaway: tomorrow at San Diego Comic-Con, next weekend at Defcon 25 in Las Vegas, and August 10th at the Burbank Public Library.
I’m teaching the Clarion Science Fiction writing workshop at UCSD in La Jolla this week, and tomorrow night at 7PM, I’ll be reading from my novel Walkaway at Comickaze Liberty Station, 2750 Historic Decatur Rd #101, San Diego, CA 92106. Hope to see you!
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