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EP110: Frankie the Spook

By Mike Resnick.
Read by Stephen Eley.
Discuss on our forums.
All stories by Mike Resnick.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

Marvin leaned forward and squinted at Bacon’s image on his computer screen. “Will you do it?”

“Will the greatest writer in the history of the human race ghostwrite your pitiful little novel?” sneered Bacon. “Absolutely not.”

“But you ghosted for Shakespeare!” protested Marvin. “That’s why I had my computer assemble you.”

“Marvin, go write limpware and leave me alone.”

“It’s called software.”

Rated PG. Contains some coarse language and imagery, and potentially offensive literary theories.

Comments (12)

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  1. alterion says:

    “its good to dream- but its better to take what you can live with and construct a story with it that you can love” <— this has to be the most profound thing i’ve ever heard on a podcast, ever :D

  2. wow. I really felt for Bacon in this story. I’ll never ever consider becoming a ghostwriter ever again LOL.

  3. Martin R says:

    This one was good fun. The Grumpy Old Bookman keeps recommending ghostwriting as a breadmaking occupation.

  4. Derek says:

    I’m with Alterion. Very wise.

    The story was great! Made me do a little research on the Shakespeare-Bacon theory. Interesting conspiracy.

  5. I’d never read Mike Resnick before hearing his stuff on Escape Pod. Everyone of his featured so far has been excellent. I’ll be checking out his novels as soon as I get a chance.

  6. Wez says:

    Being a new (read: trying) writer, I gained a different perspective on writing after listening to this story. The intro also set the scene quite nicely.

    The ideas and dreams that you place in your stories appeal to a lot of people out there. On the other hand, when people read fiction they are expecting something to appeal to them. Ghostwriting or not, you’ll always have that latent connection with your readers, and I think you should keep that in mind.

  7. Link 0 says:

    Wow. Bacon is a total dick. I find it ironic but totally believable that someone who had such insight to write King Lear, Hamlet, etc. would have such lack of insight into his own ego. This was such a great story that reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode (The Bard) where a sitcom writer summons Shakespeare to write his pilot. Resnick has clearly done a much better job at telling the story.

  8. Adam DeVeega says:

    What I never could understand was why, if Marvin assembled him, then why didn’t he just make him more agreeable. I guess it was the charater flaw that both enhanced his writing or that he thought he could manipulate him with it. I guess ego is what Resnick was trying to convey that drives these mad geniuses to their creative peaks… [Rest of comment deleted. Don't go personal, folks. -Ed.]

  9. Omry says:

    Adam, it shows that you have no experience with construction of AI entities.
    unless you are one of the top experts, you don’t want to mess around with the structure of the positronic network. its very fragile!

  10. araña says:

    i heart mike resnick!
    “that fool would envy a turn of phrase that concisely asked directions to the men’s room.”

    truly the most enjoyable episode i’ve heard so far, mainly because it hit so close to home. an angry englishman, blathering idiots and bad literature…what more could a girl want?

  11. scatterbrain says:

    Any other author would have screeched it up, but not Resnick, he sees the prize!

  12. George says:

    Ahhh, the Absolutely Brilliant Mike Resnick!

    Here indeed is a writer’s writer. Keep up the great work Mr Resnick …