get a load of this! apparently, the original version of this novel--23,000 words long, about 80 pages--was a result of a novel-writing contest where entrants had to sit down and write a novel in 24 hours. this was the winner, though this is the expanded edition. the author's intro stresses that this is essentially the contest-winning manuscript--just lengthened, not hugely revised or anything like that. the premise sounds interesting even without that history to the text--and I didn't know about any of this when I decided to buy this--but now!...let's say I'm intrigued, and this is next.