By Natalie McDougal, author of the immensely popular Malnutrition Dawn series of Young Adult fiction.
There are plenty of novels and non-fiction books deemed as "classics" or as "important" that aren't really all that entertaining. For example, I recently opened up a used copy of Moby Dick by Melvin Hermville; not only was there no female characters, but there was not a single love triangle nor supernatural fight to death. You would naturally expect a book with so many strong male characters to have at least one homoerotic sex scene, be it explicit or just a night in rubbing down some candlesticks. This series, of which A Brief History of Time is the first, represents a revolution in literature; I will be taking these books and editing them to suit the needs of today's modern audiences. I can't really imagine how anybody slogged through them in the first place. This book in particular I found truly dreadful. I read the first three paragraphs and found not a single vampire or lycanthrope; nobody dreamed of a life together in some far flung future; no one even wistfully stared out at a dark sea at midnight, wondering when their ghostly love interest was coming back with the picnic essentials. So I'm fixing these author's mistakes. Stephen Hawking's book has been perhaps the most challenging for me, and that is why I put it first in the series; this reediting is a remarkable work of effort by yours truly. When I first opened it, I was shocked by how unliterary it was. You would think he wasn't writing exciting literature at all! What follows is an excerpt from the very first chapter of my revised A Brief History of Time. You'll notice when the novel does eventually hit stores that Mr. Hawking's name has been removed from it; we believe this is for the best. If he wanted credit, he would have written it this way from the start.
-Natalie McDougal, author extraordinaire
A Long Dark Night of Dark Wistfulness On a Dark Sea of Lament
Rose McGowan stared out on the rippling blue tides at dawn. It was a dark night, and the moon reflected a white orb in the pitch-black water; there was no other color to be found in that water. Rose stood in the bushes, tenderly caressing a leaf on a nearby tree, wishing it was Wayland's hand. As she sat there in the shrubs, she listened to the caw of the morning birds in chorus with the frogs on their lily pads. It was a beautiful sight, that sound.
Her face glinted and seemed to glow in the moonlight, like that of a newlywed bride or a recently pregnant woman. She was also a beautiful sight, Rose. Wayland would be arriving soon, she knew, and she had to look her best. She struggled to absorb as much of the moonlight as she could. A ladybug crawled up the leaf she was still absentmindedly stroking. She caught a glimpse of it. It almost seemed to wave. Nature was so friendly ever since she met Wayland. Perhaps it was a side effect of his mysterious powers over nature. She had first glimpsed his powers the first night they met, and that glimpse told her everything any more glimpses ever could. The ladybug glimpsed back at her. Rose allowed it to crawl up her arm and she watched it move about for a bit. Growing impatient with Wayland's mysterious ways, she shook the bug off and stared back out at the sea.It was then that he appeared, and her heart leapt into her throat. Thank Goodness, she thought, I was beginning to get scared there for a bit. He took her by the arm and held her close.
"I'm sorry I'm so late, my love," he said, tenderly.
"How could I ever be mad at you?"
"What were you thinking about when I so rudely interrupted?" asked Wayland, lovingly. He pulled her tighter and breathed upon her ear.
"Oh, you know, the usual stuff."
"Yes, but you know that I love to hear every thought that brims inside that wondrous mind of yours," Wayland said, majestically.
"I was thinking that, due to gravity," said Rose, "logically the universe must one day collapse in on itself." She raised her arms in the air and mimed the image of galaxies collapsing upon one another to create black holes, singularities in space invisible due to the fact that no light may escape them.
"Yes, you would think so," said Wayland powerfully as he broke apart from Rose. She looked upset at the severing of contact, so he grasped her by the chin and stared into her eyes consolingly. He backed off and pulled a chain from around his neck, placing it gingerly onto Rose. "That is the Nature Medallion that has been in my family for generations. It is the reason I wanted to meet you here tonight. Long ago, during the Ghoul Wars of ancient times, my family found this pendant in the ruins of the old vampire cities. It allows us to commune with nature. While it's clues are cryptic, it's wisdom is vast." The pendant glowed green upon Rose's chest as she looked down in disbelief.
"Why would you give this thing, so precious to you, to me?"
"Because you are more precious to me than that powerful gem ever could wish to be," said Wayland, gingerly. "And to answer your previous query, we have discovered through use of, oddly enough, the Doppler Effect that all planet's have a phenomena known as Red Shift. Everything moving away from us casts a red light upon us, and everything in the universe casts a red light upon us. Therefore, the Universe is expanding," said Wayland, as he caressed Rose gingerly.
"That is very interesting!" said Rose, in her monotone voice that drove all men to love her. "Does the Nature Medallion give us these answers?"
"No, but it drives us in the right direction. It allowed me, for instance, to find you."
Rose and Wayland kissed as Wayland tried desperately to recede his adamantium claws back into his knuckles. The conversation had tired them both, so they laid down in the meadow and began to discuss Feynman Diagrams.
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Look for it on bookshelves in December of 2013, along with Volume 2: The Canterbury Tales, and volume 3: Animal Farm.
-Natalie McDougal, author extraordinaire