Poem by author Steven G. Johnson
Purple Prose! Running round my brain
It’s starkly, sheerly, clinically insane!
It’s very very, very very very loud,
Two-page descriptions make me very proud!
Purple Prose! Up from dusk till dawn,
This introduction keeps on growin’ on!
Ten cups! Of coffee an’ I’m feelin’ fine,
Even if I throw a couple extra syllables into a line!
Purple Prose! Complex an’ deep it ain’t!
Superlatives with no hint of restraint!
It’s all the biggest, baddest, brightest yet,
Until the chapter ends and I reset!
Purple Prose! The shocks come hard and fast.
Maybe this chapter is our hero’s last!
Packing thrills in every single word,
Just wrote a page where every word’s a verb!
Purple Prose! Writing in a fog,
I need three volumes just for the prologue.
Editor strikes, and I’m filled with rage.
I got — TOO MANY DARLINGS to fit on the page!
Purple Prose! About an endless war,
Kill off a hero but invent two more!
Connected volumes gonna need a shelf,
A whole shared world — written by myself!
(No actual writer, living or dead, is described or should be implied by this parody, except Stephen King, Robert Jordan, and of course E.E. “Doc” Smith)
Assigned to King Company—the reconnaissance company—of the 134th Infantry Regiment in November of 1944, they’re the regimental reserve, the Colonel’s bodyguard, the military police, and general rock-straighteners. But once in a while, when the gremlins stop hexing their Jeeps, they go out and poke around to find out where the Enemy is and what he’s up to.
They’re very good at finding and dealing with all the vampires, werewolves, and sky demons the Enemy can throw at them. Unfortunately, though, behind them are the Big Boys, deep down in a pit of their own, and the War won’t end until G.I.s plant their boots on the Devil’s throne and kick him out.
Working their way up to this biggest of D-Days—the assault on Hell, itself—is going to tax the United States Army to its utmost…but the dogfaces on the Line are one step ahead of the brass, because they’re already halfway to Hell.