Ok, so I said I was going to do this, so let’s dive into one of these Steve Nelson things.

For those not following the Nibly the Bear spork, Steve is a rather distinctly crazy guy somewhere in his fifties from Utah who apparently works as a maintenance guy (this is actually important, as you’ll see later) and is defined by being uniformly unskilled in just about every aspect of the writing craft. The Problem Eliminators! is Steve’s attempt at an action story. It’s not at all clear who he’s trying to write for since it swings all over the place in terms of tone, but whoever they are it’s doubtful they’re going to want to read it.

The cover is pretty typical Nelson artwork:

A bunch of paintballers are apparently hiding behind a deflated tractor tyre while Smug McWellingtons stands in front trying to hail a cab, with a badly drawn gun vaguely associated with his hand and his head stuck on his body at an odd angle. Behind lurks what appears to be one of those stupid ultra-serrated combat knives but is actually a really badly drawn submarine (!), while in the background lurks a yacht which you’ll later see the photo reference for. For now: it does not look like it.

They Strike Without Warning! Hard, Fast and Deadly! With Capital Letters and incredibly easy crude jokes which I will attempt to rise above.

We’ll start out with the introductory description on Smashwords, which I imagine is on the back of the print version, assuming anyone ever bothered to make any physical copies of this.

Enjoy Action and Adventure Today with, The Problem Eliminators! © 2012 By Steve Nelson
It is a known Fact that the best customers of the worlds Drug Barons, have been for many years and are today, U.S. Government Officials.

Here Steve lays out the basic, ridiculous idea; apparently all those people on the streets actually buying drugs aren’t where drug lords really make their money, that’s, um, a small group of very rich people. I don’t think Steve understands that one person can only consume so much of a given controlled substance without, you know, dying and shit.

The copyright notice is also pretty funny since a lot of the images in this book were acquired by the entirely legit means of Google image search and don’t belong to Steve at all.

Just Imagine…
A group of fictional highly trained and motivated, retired military men, that hunt down the Drug Lords, and their Government allies.

Throughout this story, Steve doesn’t seem to really understand how to use the word “fictional” properly; here he’s nested it in “imagine” which means he’s asking us to imagine a group of vigilantes who are themselves imaginary. This gets far worse when you get to the glossary, which is written in-character and yet still has the protagonist calling things he encountered in the story fictional, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Fact: the Drug War is a Phony War, designed to bring about the destruction of the U.S. Constitution, and in turn, the Freedom of all peoples of the world!

Fact: Whenever Steve labels something as a fact it isn’t.

Just Imagine…
This group of fictional military men, with nothing to lose; Act on their Oath to ‘Protect and Defend the Constitution’ against all enemies Foreign and Domestic!

The oath that enlisted men take in the US also includes swearing to obey the orders of the President. Remember this.

They call themselves, The Problem Eliminators!
With Action at every turn on the high seas and on land!

Contents may vary from those claimed.

The Problem Eliminators! Strike Without Warning!
Like the name of their Fantastic Redesigned Submarine,
The Barracuda; They Strike Hard, Fast and Deadly!

Ok, so the Barracuda is that ridiculous sawblade thing up top there, and we’ll be meeting it in more detail in chapter 2. For now, suffice to say that Steve copied Jules Verne’s Nautilus with absolutely no idea of the background that made Verne design it the way he did.

The Problem Eliminators! By Steve Nelson
Is a Fictional Action/Adventure story featuring a fantastic submarine, The Barracuda!

And featuring absolutely no proofreading of any kind, as you may currently be detecting. This is one-pass writing at its very finest; “Wait, didn’t I just say that? Eh, whatever.”

Like Amer-I-Can James Bond’s, these guys take no prisoners where the Drug Lords are concerned!

Steve uses that “Amer-I-Can” thing in everything he writes, I think it’s supposed to be inspiring but it’s more annoying than anything else. Also these guys are nothing like James Bond. James Bond has a much better attitude towards women, for a start.

Join up Today with- Captain Mitchell, Dave ‘The Dude’ Wilson, ‘Doc’ Robinson, Sergeant Remus and the whole crew of the fantastic submarine, The Barracuda for a Fictional Action/Adventure story you won’t soon forget!

I can actually fully accept that the story is fictional even within the context of the book, though I’m not going to forget it anytime soon.

The Problem Eliminators!
Is Action! And Adventure! With Over 33,000 Action Packed Words! And Almost No Foul language! Plus Exciting Pictures! You Can Enjoy this Exciting Adventure Today!

Steve trying to hype you up is like the textual equivalent of a migraine.

Anyway, word count says 33,110, which includes the index, copyright notice, stupid glossary at the end, and the bit where he copy-pastes about four paragraphs of text twice accidentally. And even if you allow him all that, he’s bragging about writing a book which is 69 pages long in PDF format. The count is also padded substantially by Steve’s rather, um, unique approach to writing action scenes, as you’ll see.

The dedication credits “Shirley Ann Nelson,” presumably his wife, with “special technical assistance.” Given the level of technical knowledge demonstrated, I don’t think she’s any more qualified in any field related to this book than Steve himself is.

We then get the following linguistically puzzling disclaimer:

This story is a work of fiction. It is suitable for young adults and up. The characters are
productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

Ceci n’est pas une story?

Elements that are factual are listed as such in the Glossary section following the story.

He also lists elements that are part of the story, random things that simply appear in the story, and his own rather bizarre views on reality. We’ll be quoting the relevant portions of the glossary section as they come up in the main story, since most of it is a complete waste of time.

Next time, we’ll be getting into the first chapter and enjoying a thrilling tale of how not to perform a military operation and a thrilling display of how not to do in media res.


  1. swenson on 8 October 2012, 13:49 said:

    Muahaha, I was hoping you’d actually do this!

    I feel like I should be singing that introduction, what with all the exclamation points. Like to a Russian anthem or something.

    Anyway, we could use a good non-fantasy spork around here. Especially if it’s got enormous military inaccuracy in it. Those are always good for rants. Should be fun. :D

  2. Asahel on 8 October 2012, 14:48 said:

    Also these guys are nothing like James Bond. James Bond has a much better attitude towards women, for a start.

    Oh, my. This… this does not bode well, does it?

  3. Fair on 8 October 2012, 19:01 said:

    YES! I’ve been waiting for this!

  4. Pryotra on 8 October 2012, 21:47 said:

    Overuse of exclamation marks: Check

    Insane view of how the world is run: Check

    Conspiracy: Check

    Lack of any actual knowledge: Check

    Even if I didn’t already know that this guy was practically certifiable, I’d say we’re in for fun time, though I don’t envy you.

    Steve uses that “Amer-I-Can” thing in everything he writes, I think it’s supposed to be inspiring but it’s more annoying than anything else.

    It’s also immature and stupid sounding. I mean, the thing in children’s lit was obnoxious and patronizing. For adults it’s just asinine.

    James Bond has a much better attitude towards women, for a start.

    Oh dear.

    I love how he keeps reminding us that this is fiction. As if anyone over the age of two can’t tell the difference.

  5. Mingnon on 8 October 2012, 23:55 said:

    If this thing were SOMEHOW made into a movie, it would involve obvious props, the most hammy acting available, and blantant use of special effects, CG, and SFX.

    You know, like that one trailer… for a series of books… can’t put my finger on it…

  6. Master Chief on 9 October 2012, 02:02 said:

    @Mingnon so you’re saying it would be plan nine from outer space but with James Bond

  7. HimochiIsAwesome on 9 October 2012, 03:11 said:

    What adult in their right mind would even buy this book with that cover? It looks like something I’d draw, and that’s not a good thing.

    Either way, this looks like it’ll be amusing, if not painful.

  8. Epke on 9 October 2012, 10:10 said:

    Michael Bay’s latest blockbuster movie, inspired by the imaginary events of fictional characters… it’s The Problem Eliminators! * explosion * Featuring scantily clad women for no reason, massive CGI effects and little to no plot, take a dive – a dive for justice.
    Based on the novel by Steve Nelson.

    There should also be quotes by other authors on the cover. Like “It’s so accurate!” by Tom Clancy, or “Steve might not be the youngest novelist ever, but at least there’s poison in it!” by Gloria Tesch.

    Right, goofing aside…

    The oath that enlisted men take in the US also includes swearing to obey the orders of the President. Remember this.

    But what if the President orders something that goes against the Constitution? Ho hum.

    And Almost No Foul language!

    Add “does not know how people function” to that list: if a group of retired military men who take on the Drug Lords (not the Dark Lords, mind you) and never cuss, I’d be watching them more closely than anyone else.

  9. Sapph on 9 October 2012, 12:13 said:

    If the Mormon church isn’t involved in the whole War On Drugs conspiracy, I will be very disappointed.

    I have to say, my morbid curiosity has been piqued. Looking forward to this one.

  10. Pryotra on 9 October 2012, 12:49 said:

    Of course the Mormon church is involved! They’re going to addict us to drugs so that we’ll never drink coffee!

    Because the Mormons are against drugs! And Coffee is a drug!


  11. Kyllorac on 9 October 2012, 13:52 said:

    But what if the President orders something that goes against the Constitution?

    I forget what it’s called, but it’s a soldier’s duty to disobey orders if they cannot, in good conscience, carry them out, and if objecting to that order results in no change to that order. So even if the President ordered a genocide, if a soldier found the act unconscionable, then the solder must object to and disobey that order.

    Basically, the duty exists to negate the “I was just following orders” excuse.

  12. Epke on 9 October 2012, 17:19 said:

    Oh, I see, right. That’s very interesting… Thanks, Kyllorac!

  13. Tim on 9 October 2012, 17:53 said:

    I believe it’s the inverse of “command responsibility” and both were established at Nuremburg. A soldier only has a duty to obey lawful orders and a duty of conscience to disobey orders he knows to be unlawful (there are exceptions if he is acting under duress) while an officer has a duty to ensure the men under him were acting lawfully (and so “I was not aware of what they were doing” isn’t acceptable either).

    Needless to say this does not in any way apply to what happens in this story.

    Also I’m fairly sure that if the President were to openly act against the Constitution he would not be the President since the Presidential Oath of Office includes the same oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

  14. Pryotra on 9 October 2012, 19:39 said:

    So in other words, this whole idea is stupid.

  15. Tim on 9 October 2012, 20:16 said:

    Oh no, this isn’t even the beginning of the stupid.

  16. Pryotra on 9 October 2012, 21:45 said:

    …I’m so sorry.