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Authors: Peter Archer

Bad Austen

BOOK: Bad Austen
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BAD

Austen

T
he
W
orst
S
tories
J
ane
N
ever
W
rote

Edited by
P
ETER
A
RCHER AND
J
ENNIFER
L
AWLER

DEDICATION

For all the Jane Austen fans who’ve ever put a pen to paper—or even just thought about it.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The editors would like to thank all of the writers who played along and submitted their entries to
BadAusten.com
in the hopes of getting chosen to appear in this book. We had more fun at work than we’re supposed to as we sifted through these stories and shared our favorites.

We’d also like to thank our panel of judges, Patrice Hannon, Carrie Bebris, and Gregory Bergman, for their involvement in picking the winning entry!

Contents

Introduction

What is Bad Austen?

The Winning Entry

The Real Housewives of Bath-erly Hills

PART 1

The Books Jane Never Wrote

Farthingale Junction

An Unexpected Guest

Hubris and Humiliation

Absinthea Pillock’s charm School for Girls Whose Fathers can Afford Tuition

The Horrors of Expectation

Proper Order

Insult and Insolence

Finer endings

Miss Dashwood Gets Down and Dirty

The Perilous Plot at Pemberley

Pride and Prejudice: The First Draft

Christmas at Pemberley

Meekness and Misery; or, The Sad Love Affair of Mary Bennet

John & Rebeccah: A Tale of Love Midst the Stars

Pride and Predictions

Of Turbans, Partridges, and APPle Pie

Foolishness and Folly

In a More canine-Like Manner

Pluck and Plumage

Pride, Prejudice, and Revenge

Emma interrupted

Wild and Wanton Jane

PART 2

If Jane Could See Us Now

Pemberley High

Regency Matchmaking

Through Kitties’ Eyes

Sense & Circuitry: Cyberth 1813

Fools and Folly

Sarah and Katherine

The Eldest, the Youngest &
Matchmaker.com

Samosas and Sensibility

Destitute in Dubai

Pursuit

Caroline’s Humiliation Conga

Willoughby’s Boogie Nights

Black Ops Bennets

Status and Social Networking

Bennet Bridezillas

Sass and Sexual Ambiguity

Virtue and Voracity

Pride and Paparazzi

PART 3

Superheroes, Vampires, and Pemberley, Oh, My!

Bedside Manners

Gone with the Pride

Woman of Wonder

Twilight at Northanger

The Bennet Bunch

Dead and Loving It

Jersey Shore Does Brighton (or, If Jane Scripted Jersey Shore)

The Weasleys Visit Netherfield Park

Mr. Collins (Part i)

Mr. Collins (Part 2)

Leia: A Novel

Two-Time and Twilight

Tatooine Abby

Index

INTRODUCTION

What Is Bad Austen?

One afternoon, during a session of “We should publish a book on …,” our editors came up with the answer: Jane Austen. Who doesn’t love Jane Austen? But this had to be a special book. A book that hadn’t been done before. A book that would appeal to a lot of readers. A book that, in fact, made fun of Jane Austen. (She’s dead—she can’t sue us.)

The thinking went thusly: “There is a Bad Hemingway contest. There is a Bad Faulkner contest. There’s even a Bad BulwerLytton contest! Why not a Bad Austen contest? Surely as bad as we can make Hemingway be, Austen can be made worse?”

And so it was born, the Bad Austen Writing Contest, in which entrants turned their hands to penning scenes of a “classic” Jane Austen novel that never actually existed. We solicited Austen parodies on a blog (
www.BadAusten.com
)
and collected the best into this book.

What were the rules? They were simple:

  • Sharpen your wit, let your imagination run wild, and write a scene (no longer than 800 words, please!).
  • You are free to determine plot, characters, and setting.
  • Our only requirement is that the style must parody Austen.

Of course, we did have some legal mumbo jumbo as well, but that was basically it.

We also gave some guidance about entering the contest:
To enter, write a 500- to 800-word scene that is a parody of Jane Austen’s writing. Possible themes can include, but are not limited to: horror and the supernatural, sex, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and mystery. The scenes may use Austen’s characters or original characters created by you or drawn from real life (e.g., celebrities, sports figures, politicians, etc.). The scenes can parody themes, language, or characters and may be drawn from any of Austen’s novels
.

We found that many people saw the word
sex
and immediately got to work. So we have been reading about sex for weeks now, and as editors are unusually celibate creatures, this has led to some whining among the staff, and also some—well, that’s pure speculation, so never mind.

Once we had read every single entry (some of them several times, with the door closed), we picked the one story we felt represented the pinnacle of bad Austen writing. It is probably best if we don’t go into detail regarding how this selection was accomplished; suffice it to say that the process involved some arm wrestling and a few heated words, but no long-term damage was sustained by any of the parties.

We also picked the runner-up entrants to be published in this book, though admittedly this was a less rough-and-tumble enter- prise as they did not have to be ranked in any particular order (imagine the carnage if they had). All told, we’ve included more than fifty stories for your enjoyment.

We saw that writers had submitted stories that split neatly into three categories (editors like categories): Austen-era entries, present-day entries, and mashups involving vampires (and sundry other creatures). This suggested to us a tripartite structure to the book (editors like parts). Thus, you will find that Part 1 contains stories that take place in the nineteenth century, Part 2 contains stories that take place in the present day, and Part 3 contains mashups of Austen and other beloved story lines.

We hope you enjoy!

The Winning Entry

Our distinguished panel of judges selected the following story as the best of the best, or the worst of the bad, whichever. The lucky winner not only receives the glory of being selected as the winner but also gets some cold, hard cash. We know Austen would appreciate that.

T
he
R
eal
H
ousewives of
B
ath-erly
H
ills

S
TEPHANIE
W
ARDROP

Kyle Richards might quarrel with her, but Camille grammer could find no quarrel with herself.

In her own surgically lifted eyes, Camille always deserved the best treatment because she never put up with any other—from women, at least—though it was beyond her how a former child actress like kyle could be so insolent in her wit to a woman of her character, age, and situation. But upon reflection, and after consulting with her makeup artist and three of her four nannies, she realized that only jealousy, that plague upon the feminine half of the populace, could explain kyle’s incivility, that and only a party could put relations to right, or at least educate kyle in respectable decorum.

The first invitation went out to Lisa Vanderpump, well known for her wise management of a series of dining establishments in the spa towns of Cheltenham and Bath, as well as her equally wise semireplacement of her graying husband with a mini Pomeranian. (ken Vanderpump was no cad, certainly, but saddling a good lady with such an unfortunate last name was almost unforgiveable.)

BOOK: Bad Austen
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