While I can only speculate on the identity of the cult erotica author, I suspect Chuck Tingle is the future of publishing.
Hours after the announcement of the 2016 Hugo Award shortlists, one of the nominated authors published a book to express his feelings on the matter. Slammed In The Butt By My Hugo Award Nomination is the story of successful gay sci-fi erotica writer Tuck Bingle, whose quiet life is thrown into chaos when he receives an email telling him he has been nominated for SFs most prestigious award, an email actually addressed to successful gay sci-fi erotica writer Chuck Tingle.
Chuck Tingle is the author of successful gay sci-fi erotica nominated for the 2016 Hugo awards, for his successful gay sci-fi erotica story Space Raptor Butt Invasion. Wordplay is integral to Chuck Tingle’s success. Slammed In The Butt By My Hugo Award Nomination is an affectionate nod to Tingle’s classic, Pounded In The Butt By My Own Butt, and its sequel, Pounded In The Butt By My Book Pounded In The Butt By My Own Butt. In a sign of it’s commitment to quality, all Tingle’s books are exclusive to Amazon Kindle.
But how did a relative newcomer gay sci-fi erotica writer, however successful, come to be nominated for a Hugo, the sci-fi fields highest award? Don’t ask. Just remember that Chuck Tingle is a success. Every day Chuck Tingle sells dozens, maybe even scores of books on Amazon Kindle, making tens and perhaps even a hundred dollars on a good day. Do people read Chuck Tingle? Who cares! They gasp and chortle at his butt pounding book titles, share them on Twitter, and sometimes buy a copy for the lulz. For the people who voted Chuck Tingle onto the the Hugo award ballot, that is success. And good luck to them. If only all writers could set their ambitions so low, the literary world would be a better and more friendly place.
Who is Chuck Tingle? Any English author would of course have titled it Pounded In The Bottom By My Own Bottom, so I guess we’ll have to rule out the redoubtable Adam Roberts, who otherwise was my top guess. Could it be John Scalzi, target of so many Hugo award hi-jinx in recent years? Unlikely. If I know John Scalzi at all, any book he wrote about being pounded in the butt by his own butt would have his own name proudly on the cover. Maybe Theodore Beale, chief Rabid Puppy, is the real Chuck Tingle? But anyone who has read Beale knows that no amount of work could ever raise his writing up to the level of a Tingle.
It matters not who Chuck Tingle is. What matters is who Chuck Tingle could be. Which is the future of publishing. Writers and the people who publish them are still hanging onto the legacy concept of quality. Chuck Tingle is here to show us that disruptive tech start-ups like Amazon have made quality a thing of the past. Modern publishing is all about viral marketing. A book is just a LOLCATS gif that people will pay money for. A novel is just a Buzzfeed listicle with more pages. Who is Chuck Tingle? Nobody knows, that’s the appeal. Who is Chuck Tingle? You could be, if you can come up with a meme infectious enough. Who is Chuck Tingle? He’s the future of publishing, that’s who.