Audie Award Finalist, Original Work, 2013
In Rip-Off!, 13 of today’s best and most honored writers of speculative fiction face a challenge even they would be hard-pressed to conceive: Pick your favorite opening line from a classic piece of fiction (or even non-fiction)—then use it as the first sentence of an entirely original short story.
In the world of Rip-Off!, "Call me Ishmael" introduces a tough-as-nails private eye—who carries a harpoon; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz inspires the tale of an aging female astronaut who’s being treated by a doctor named Dorothy Gale; and Huckleberry Finn leads to a wild ride with a foul-mouthed riverboat captain who plies the waters of Hell.
Once you listen to Rip-Off! you’ll agree: If Shakespeare or Dickens were alive today, they’d be ripping off the authors in this great collection.
The stories included in Rip-Off! are:
• "Fireborn" by Robert Charles Wilson
• "The Evening Line" by Mike Resnick
• "No Decent Patrimony" by Elizabeth Bear
• "The Big Whale" by Allen M. Steele
• "Begone" by Daryl Gregory
• "The Red Menace" by Lavie Tidhar
• "Muse of Fire" by John Scalzi
• "Writer’s Block" by Nancy Kress
• "Highland Reel" by Jack Campbell
• "Karin Coxswain or Death as She Is Truly Lived" by Paul Di Filippo
• "The Lady Astronaut of Mars" by Mary Robinette Kowal
• "Every Fuzzy Beast of the Earth, Every Pink Fowl of the Air" by Tad Williams
• "Declaration" by James Patrick Kelly
As a bonus, the authors introduce their stories, explaining what they ripped-off—and why.
Rip-Off! was produced in partnership with SFWA—Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Gardner Dozois served as project editor.