Back in 1970, a teenager named Jim Theis wrote his own “Conan the Barbarian” style story for his friends: The Eye of Argon. It was mimeographed with little illustrations and it was terrible. But hey, come on, he was a kid.
Over the years, that story was circulated around the science fiction community and became a fun thing to do at conventions, where the panel (and participants from the audience) try to read the story exactly as written, misspellings and all, without cracking up laughing.
Over the past few years, at various east coast conventions, I started organizing the reading but added something new: Once a participant made a mistake, they were required to get up and act out the story for the audience as the other panel members read. I have a group of great writers who have regularly joined with me that make it fun, including Gail Z. Martin, Keith DeCandido, Peter Prellwitz, KT Pinto, and others. Sometimes I am able to con the Guest of Honor to join in, such as in the clips below where noted author Peter David experienced the craziness. (Apparently this has not gone unnoticed, as I just realized that the wikipedia entry has been updated to add this.)
If you want to try to read the Eye of Argon, here’s a link. But I think you’ll have a lot more fun watching the clips below:
Thanks to Sean Korsgaard for the video