Mark Reads “Shadow War of the Night Dragons”

The story here: This fellow named Mark Orshiro, who has made a name for himself by doing stuff and recording himself doing it and then posting it online (at the logically titled MarkDoesStuff.com), did a thing where for $25 he’ll read anything you give him, up to 20 minutes in length. So someone (not me) paid him $25 to read the first third of “The Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue.” He does. And he does so completely blind — as in, he hasn’t read the story yet, has no idea of the story’s background, and has no idea who I am at all.

It’s quite amusing to see his reaction to the story. And he does commentary all the way through, which makes it even better. I may have him read all my things from now on. I imagine that if he were to learn the thing was nominated for a major literature award, his head might actually explode.

Enjoy. I did. The reading proper begins right around the 2:00 mark.

67 Comments on “Mark Reads “Shadow War of the Night Dragons”

  1. This may be the best thing I have seen this month.

  2. Foolishly tried to watch this at work. Will have to finish when I get home, lest my coworkers think I’m having a seizure.

  3. LMFAO!

    The Wiktionary entry for discombobulated should have a pivture of Mr. Orshiro.

  4. Mark got famous for reading Harry Potter w/o spoilers. Right now he’s watching Buffy and Angel and reading Sandman. He does reading for charity a lot of the time, he just went on an AIDS lifecycle ride that was funded entirely by fans who donated so he’d read stuff (mostly bad fanfiction). He’s kinda awesome.

  5. I adore reading Mark’s reviews for MarkReads and MarkWatches. IIRC he started it all by reading and reviewing the Twilight series, chapter by chapter, followed by Harry Potter. The meltdowns and triumps (in that order) were epic.

  6. That was fantastic. He had no idea how intentionally ridiculous the story was supposed to be.

  7. That was just awesome. He would probably mess his pants if you friended him on Facebook!

  8. Oh God. Stopping at 3:01 because my colleagues will probably wonder why I’m having hysterics at my computer otherwise. Will read as soon as I get home. Bless Mark, I love him so.

  9. This is what is so great about Mark Reads – he jumps in to books and shows that I love blind and writes up his reactions to it. Reading along with “Mark Reads Harry Potter” or “Mark Watches Battlestar Galactica” is so awesome because you get to see him respond (in his hyperbolic, silly way) to your favorite turns of plot. If you like any of the books/movies/shows that Mark has done, you are missing out if you don’t read through his writeups. Very fun! I’d LOVE to see a Mark Reads of one of John’s “real” books; I’ll have to post that over on his suggestion forum. As a longtime “Whatever” and Scalzi fan as well as a “Mark Reads” fan, this is just about the best moment of my day. Cool!

  10. My God, I spewed so much coffee watching this. Everytime I thought it was safe…it got funnier. And I’d already read this.

  11. Freakin’ hilarious. You gotta contact this dude.

  12. Ok…As enjoyable as your writing on this was, it pales in comparison to the enjoyment I recieved in hearing this read by Mark. He should definitely read the whole thing.

  13. @Chuck Anderson:

    For more reliving awesome things vicariously, I advise reading Homestuck followed by A Silly Girl Reads Homestuck :D

  14. Tears… Streaming….

    I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Monday seems significantly less horrible now!

  15. I love that you basically gave this guy an existential crisis.

  16. I had to stop watching at work. I was laughing too hard.

  17. Also can we please have a tee shirt of Ruell that says “My Favorite Man of Science?” I want that shirt.

  18. This is going to displace The Eye of Argon at parties, isn’t it?

  19. That was so wonderfully amazing that there aren’t words to describe how wonderful and amazing it is! I definitely need more Mark!

  20. Mark and I were equally unprepared for this, and our reactions are pretty much the same – helpless laughter. My cheeks hurt from trying not to LOL at work.

    (So many nuns. . .so many nuns)

  21. So awesome! As much as I ADORE Wil Wheaton’s reading of The Android’s Dream, now I want to hear this Mark guy read the first chapter. Would that be kosher John?

  22. I damn near hurt myself laughing…had tears running down my cheeks…and trouble breathing.

    More fun, I think, than reading through it ‘cold’ myself when John first posted it.

  23. The bad part abut this is that Mark will never EVER buy one of your books.

  24. Unlike my fellow Whatever followers, I made a note to watch this when I got home. Oh WOW!!!! I’ve been laughing in the living room by my lonesome. I’m sure the roommates think I’m nuts. Applause Applause Applause.

    P.S. Thank goodness, I didn’t try to watch this at work.

  25. Got to 3:28 and had to pause it I was laughing to hard. Tears streaming down my face. A co-worker just came in to ask if I was OK cause she wasn’t sure if I was laughing or crying.

  26. That moment when two things on the internet that you love suddenly collide…

    Is there bad Scalzi fanfic? I’d pay to watch Mark read that.

  27. That was totally awesome. Completely made my day. Whole family laughing hysterically. I needed that. Thank you for posting it.

  28. He actually DID read THE EYE OF ARGON live, when he went on tour a few months ago. Sadly not on video. Someone got $25? XD

  29. “The best worst-written thing ever …”

    YES, HE GETS IT!

  30. Has anyone explained to him yet that it was an April Fools Day joke?

  31. I look forward to “Mark Reads Redshirts.” And “Mark Reads All Things Scalzi.”

    “That moment when two things on the internet that you love suddenly collideā€¦”

    TRUE DAT.
    It’s also adorable how easily shocked Mark is.

  32. omg I’m crying in my cubicle!! so funny!

  33. ….and now I’m late for work. At least I now have something to chuckle over as I make the commute…..

  34. Next time you are in whatever major city is closest to his home, you should invite him to your appearance, and have HIM read the super secret project (after you swear the crowd to secrecy of course)

  35. Thank you Max. Can I reimburse you the $25 you spent? That definitely was money well spent.

  36. The good news is that this link inspired my husband to make a video of himself reading that epic first sentence as the Swedish Chef.

    The bad news is that he then watched it, and refuses to upload it because he thinks he looks like a dork. But at least I got to see it.

  37. OMG I laughed & cried & had my neighbors wondering WTH was going on over in my yard! That was too much!!!! I hope you friended him on FB John.

  38. Rotfl. He did better at a cold reading than I did! What we need now is for WW to do a reading, so we can compare.

  39. Once we could speak again my son said that Mark needs to read the first chapter of the “The Android’s Dream”.

  40. I would be willing to donate to him cold reading “Interview With a Stick of Butter” or “An Interview With the Nativity Innkeeper”!

  41. “This is my FAVORITE Man Of Science EVER!”
    Splorfle!

  42. So this is the audiobook version of SHADOW WAR OF THE NIGHT DRAGONS: BOOK ONE: THE DARK CITY?

  43. Worked at home today, fortunately. I laughed so hard I missed someone at the door.

  44. So, so, when does the trilogy come out? I want to read the whole trilogy… and even more, I want an audiobook of the whole trilogy, read by Mark!

  45. … “an animal as big as a dragon is meant to be, simply cannot fly” = British english for “an animal as big as a dragon is supposed to be, simply cannot fly”

  46. I keep coming back to this video every few months – anytime I really need to laugh and laugh and laugh. Thanks for the story and thanks for posting the reading.