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Sleepers Unbound #8: Pharmaceutical Sciences

Jan 10, 2017

Brick House Publishing @BHPublishing – 31s

10 Sleeper books have risen to the top of the @nytimes paperback mass-market fiction bestseller list in the last 2 wks. #TheMantraLivesOn.


Prof. O

Member #3

Posted August 03, 2016 12:49 PM


A little competition? I like it. Lord of the Flies meets Breakfast of Champions. SIDENOTE: Golding is the literary Kevin Bacon, don’t you agree? In some form or another, we’re all deriving inspiration from Ralph and Piggy, and that stupid conch, too.

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” Melville said that one. Of course, the ol’ Dick spent a year aboard the Pequod writing about that crusty, albino Whale, and our (mis)fortune has merely alloted us 30-days to conjure Granger’s testament from beyond. NaNoWriMo-style. I have a feeling things are about to get interesting. Ms. Lucy might have a thing or two negative to say in the matter, but as the saying goes, I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid.

In fact, perhaps I’m not too far behind you, little miss Jewel.

A university professor has two jobs (at least, two); the first, in so far as I am currently employed, being to administer a basically obsolete curriculum to underachieving and overpaying college freshman. Hence, English comp. Secondly, Prof. O is bestowed the responsibility of publishing acclaimed pieces of literature. If I were an aesthetics professor, I’d be expected to investigate the quarrel between objective and subjective art, vie for a headline in NY Arts Magazine or some other paint-by-numbers bore-fest that the school could use to easily market this institution. If I were a biologist, I guess the college would want me to divorce my (second) wife, marry a Dionaea muscipula instead.

The last time I had anything published was eight years ago under the name, DeLane Lopez. Before you do a quick Google search, let me save you the trouble. There was a brief stint of success in which I pocketed a grand total of $7,000 for four—cough, cough—kinky, sci-fi/time-travel romance paperbacks. My Escape in Orbit. The Gravity Vine. A Harp Plucked in Elegy. Point being, that was a long time ago. A different me, for better or worse.

Two months ago, I get a memo from the department chair. Apparently the new dean is really into extra-curricular activities. There was a “rack-and-stack” and my name fell to the bottom. I have until the end of the semester to showcase my talents. Then the universe pulled the floor out from under me, and I wake up to find the Nicholas Sleeper horror novels have come to an end. Actually, it was my wife who read the Tweet. She said it with a toothbrush in her mouth, carelessly flicking her thumb across her cell-phone screen, and then she spit a glob of minty froth in the sink. I had just sat down to take the Browns to the Super Bowl. Lori hates how much time I spend reading, and when she left the room, I think she went laughing under her breath.

Then this same universe sends me an olive branch. See where I’m going with this? The only problem is it’s a far reaching branch, it seems. Each of us is holding on to a little piece.

My job is to be a better writer than each of you. How can I ensure I’m better? Simple: have a better idea.

Dr. Hackney teaches pharmaceutical sciences to a small class of graduate students across campus. I heard a rumor she’s working with Buffalo BioLabs on an experimental drug. Supposedly what she and the agency has concocted is going to annihilate Adderall and Ritalin from college campuses across America. The idea is to put the brain in a suspended state of both rest and focus. I know what you’re thinking, “You’re not seriously considering taking a drug! You have no idea the effects it could have on you.” And to that I say, “You’re absolutely right.”

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.

Kill two birds with one stone—fulfill my commitment to the dean and my commitment to Brick House Publishing. The King needed heroin for Misery. I need these pills.

“But how are you going to get the pills, Prof. O?” surely Dr. Hackney isn’t going to just hand them over.

Of course not!  Buffalo BioLabs hasn’t begun human trials. The drug’s completely confidential.

But I’ve been sleeping with Dr. Hackney. Well, sort of.


© Elliott J. Scott 2017. All Rights Reserved.