The friends and family of Office Junior and alleged writer Nigel Kespis were aghast at receiving a group e-mail with a large attachment of the latest draft of his ongoing novel, The Omega Project.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got the e-mail,” confessed close friend Lorna Jenkins, 22. “He’s been talking about this Omega Project thing for years, but every time he tries to talk about it I just say something non-committal. Now he’s expecting me to read the damn thing.”
Kespis, 21, has been writing the novel on-and-off during his free time for the last four years. Described in his e-mail as a “mystical, philosophical, psychological noir-ish sci-fi thriller” it concerns the “everyman protagonist Kigel Nespis as he struggles to come to terms with the revelation that his life in a dystopian wasteland may not be what it seems…”
Nigel’s brother Darren, 30, who has read two previous drafts of the story, was unimpressed.
“I wish I didn’t have to say this, but the damn thing is terrible. ‘A man who discovers his life is not what are seems’? I mean, are you kidding me? And he’s still writing it? It’s been about five years, hasn’t it? I’m not sure I can do it again. There’s only so many times you can read about guys ‘shooting steely glances’ at one another before you lose the will to live.”
“The worst thing about it,” admitted his friend Mike, 21, “is that his e-mail is full of things like ‘don’t worry, I can take criticism’ and ‘I understand if you don’t have the time to — or don’t want to, ha ha — read it’ but that’s bullshit. He can’t take criticism. The guy once threw a table at me when I told him he might want to rethink describing all his female characters as ‘busty’”.
“I mean who actually writes ‘ha ha’ like that?” he continued. “Seems like something a psychopath might do. The thing is, I really don’t want to read it, but I’m stuck. If I don’t, he’ll pester me until I do. If I do, he’ll keep talking about it and asking me my opinion on this and anything he writes until I end up beating him to death with his laptop.”
When confronted, would-be author Kespis downplayed the table throwing incident. “I hadn’t had much sleep the night before as I stayed up to write a really exciting Omega Project scene where the hero and Professor McGlasses were involved in a hover-car chase with a gang of murderous cyborgs. I’ll grant you, I was angry when he suggested the name Busty Van Boobs for the lead female character was inappropriate but that’s because I was so attached to the character. It was nothing personal.”
One person who did enjoy the novel was the Kespis’ too-supportive mother Mabel, who has not read a novel since she completed Mary Stewart’s This Rough Magic in 1965.
“Well, I thought it was super,” she said “I was especially delighted that the fellow got together with that lady — what was her name? Nipples something? — at the end. And robots, too, gosh! Very inventive, I don’t think anyone’s done a novel with robots in it before!”
Kespis has checked his e-mail approximately thirty-eight times since sending the novel, and as yet has had no replies, though he has admitted he is already working on a rough draft of The Omega Project 2: Metallic Justice.