The magnificent series of mashups in yesterday’s comments deserves to be collected in a post. Thanks to the incandescent Kyra and the sublime RedWombat, Simon Bisson, Jim Henley, and Camestros Felapton.
“Dr. Suess’ Lord of the Rings”
I am Samwise. I am Samwise. Samwise I am-wise.
Samwise Gamgee! Samwise Gamgee! I do not like Samwise Gamgee!
Would you bear the ring with me?
I will not bear it, Sam Gamgee. I will not bear the ring with thee.
Would you bear the ring to Bree?
I will not bear the ring to Bree. I will not bear it willingly. I will not bear the ring with thee. I will not bear it, Sam Gamgee.
Would you bear it to Weathertop, where ringwraiths stab you when we stop?
I won’t bear it to Weathertop if ringwraiths stab me when we stop. I will not bear the ring to Bree. I will not bear it willingly. I will not bear the ring with thee. I will not bear it, Sam Gamgee.
Would you bear it to Rivendell, where Glorfindel and Elrond dwell?
Not Rivendell, where elf-lords dwell. Nor Weathertop, stabbed when we stop. I will not bear the ring to Bree. I will not bear it willingly. I will not bear the ring with thee. I will not bear it, Sam Gamgee.
Would you? Could you? Through the Mine? (Gandalf will die, but he’ll be fine.)
I would not, could not, through the Mine.
You could bear it now and then. Maybe to Lothlórien!
I would not to Lothlórien. Nor through the Mine, no matter when! I won’t bear it to Rivendell, where Glorfindel and Elrond dwell. I won’t bear it to Weathertop if ringwraiths stab me when we stop. I will not bear the ring to Bree. I will not bear it willingly. I will not bear the ring with thee. I will not bear it, Sam Gamgee.
The Morgul Vale! The Morgul Vale! Would you, to the Morgul Vale?
Not to the Vale, Lothlórien, nor through the Mine, no matter when! I won’t bear it to Rivendell, where Glorfindel and Elrond dwell. I won’t bear it to Weathertop if ringwraiths stab me when we stop. I will not bear the ring to Bree. I will not bear it willingly. I will not bear the ring with thee. I will not bear it, Sam Gamgee.
Say! Past Shelob? Just past Shelob? Would you, could you, past Shelob?
I would not, could not, past Shelob.
Would you, could you in orc jail?
I would not, could not in orc jail, nor past Shelob, nor to the Vale, Lothlórien, or through the Mine. I won’t, and that’s the bottom line. Not Rivendell, nor Weathertop. Not where elves dwell or ringwraiths stop. I will not bear the ring to Bree. I will not bear it willingly.
You will not bear the ring with me?
I will not bear it, Sam Gamgee.
Could you, would you, to Mt. Doom?
I would not, could not to Mt. Doom!
To drop it in a lava flume?
I could not drop it in the flume! I will not take it to Mt. Doom. I will not take it to orc jail! Nor past Shelob! Nor through the Mine! Or to the Vale! I must decline! I won’t bear it to Rivendell, where Glorfindel and Elrond dwell. I won’t bear it to Weathertop If ringwraiths stab me when we stop. I will not bear the ring to Bree. I will not bear it willingly. I will not bear the ring with thee. I will not bear it, Sam Gamgee.
You will not bear it. So you say. Bear it! Bear it! Come what may. Bear it come what may, I say.
Samwise! If you let me be, I will bear it. You will see … Say! Gollum, with his nasty cough, just went and bit my finger off! Then fell right in the lava flume, after I bore it to Mt. Doom! And I bore it through the orc jail, and past Shelob, and through the Vale, Lothlórien, and in the Mine where Gandalf died (but then was fine). And I bore it to Rivendell, where Glorfindel and Elrond dwell. And I bore it to Weathertop, though ringwraiths stabbed me at that stop. And yes, I bore the ring to Bree. I bore that ring most willingly. I’m glad I bore that ring with thee! Thank you, thank you, Sam Gamgee!
Middlemarch/Red Book of Westmarch
> “And if you replace taking the ring to Mordor in Lord Of the Rings with a young woman making an unsuitable marriage in a perhaps misguided effort to valourise the intellectual over the sensual, you get Middlemarch.”
Miss Undomiel had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. Her hand and wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Lúthien appeared to Gondorian painters; and her profile as well as her stature and bearing seemed to gain the more dignity from her plain garments, which by the side of provincial fashion gave her the impressiveness of a fine quotation from the Red Book of Westmarch,—or from one of our elder poets,—in a paragraph of to-day’s broadside …
“Melville’s Ring World (or The Big Dumb Object)”
Call me Louis Wu. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having far too much money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on Earth, I thought I would explore about a little and see the livable parts of Known Space. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before the organ banks, and snarling up at the face of every Kzinti I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to space as soon as I can. This is my substitute for wirehead and tasp. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the stars. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the skies with me.
A Tale of Two Empires
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a more civilized age, it was a more barbaric age, it was long long ago, it was far far away, it was the season of Jedi, it was the season of Sith, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Coruscant, we were all going direct to Korriban–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
There were an emperor with a pointed jaw and a lord with a plastic face, on the throne of the Empire; there were an admiral with no jaw and a princess with a fair face, on the throne of the Rebellion. In both factions it was clearer than crystal that things in general were settled for ever and there would be no need for prequels ever again.
Ring and Ringwraith
IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single hobbit in possession of the One Ring must be in want of a volcano.
However little known the feelings or views of such a hobbit may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding armies, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their squadrons.
“My dear Foultongue,” said his second to him one day, as he was roasting cave spiders over an open flame, “have you heard that the Ring is come to Mordor at last?”
Foultongue replied that he had not.
“But it is,” returned she; “for Urguk has just been here, and she told me all about it.”
Foultongue made no answer. His spider was nearly well-done.
“Do not you want to know who Is bearing it?” cried his second impatiently.
“You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.”
(Presumably an excerpt of Ring and Ringwraith. And I would be very surprised if no one had done it before.)
“Dashiell Hammitt, Red Barkfest”
I first time heard Puppyville called Poopyville by a red-diapered SJW named Hickey Dewey in the con suite at Wiscon. He also called his butt a boot. I didn’t think anything of what he had done to the movement’s name. Later I heard fen who could manage their u’s give it the same pronunciation. I still didn’t see anything in it but the meaningless sort of humor that made richardsnary the nerd’s word for dictionary. A few years later I read Wisdom From My Internet and learned better.
–Dashiell Hammett, Red Barkfest.
To Wound the Autumnal Fandom
So howled out for the in-crowd to give him an award.
The in-crowd answered with blogs.
All you know I know: tweeting astronauts and bank-clerks glancing at the Kindle during lunch; editors refreshing Facebook pages and gun shop owners wiping a thumbprint from a steel barrel; #blacklivesmatter; know that dark women in writers’ groups shook their heads last week because in six months award season has paled outlandishly; how bile tastes after you’ve read John C. Wright essays, sober, a whole month.
A whole month he slated, reader suggestions tucked in an iCloud folder (the unread one), listening to his friends mention recent publications.
–Samuel R. Delany, Dog-gren.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him. “Wait – isn’t this a science fiction novel already?” he thought as he entered the hallway that smelt of boiled cabbage and old mats. “I thought the idea was to transpose SF/F novels onto classic literature” he pondered as he passed the huge coloured poster, too large for indoor display, that had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features.
Then he recalled the work he had done that day – excising the lies S.J.W. Goldstein had somehow snuck into the library catalogues of Oceania. He tried hard to focus on the today’s truth. 1984 was literary fiction not science fiction and always had been…
“Phlebas And Loathing In The Culture: Hunter M Thompson”
We were somewhere around Schar’s World on the edge of the Command System when the glands began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive. …” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the jump lane was full of what looked like huge GSVs, all swooping and screeching and diving around the ship, which was going about 100 times lightspeed in the grid with the top down to the Clear Air Turbulence. And a voice was screaming: “Minds! What are these goddamn knife missiles?”
Then it was quiet again. Kraiklyn had taken his shirt off and was pouring some liquor on his chest, to facilitate the hyperspace jump. “What the hell are you yelling about?” he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Idiran sunglasses. “Never mind,” I said. “It’s your turn to drive.” I hit the brakes and aimed the Very Fast Picket toward a convenient asteroid belt. No point mentioning those Ships, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.
From H.P. Lovecraft’s Rebecca
Last night I dreamt I went to many-columned Y’ha-nthlei again. It seemed to me I stood by the dark reef leading to the sea, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There were scorch marks and torpedo holes upon Devil’s Reef. I called in my dream to my grandmother, and had no answer, and peering closer through the eldritch swirls of the water I saw that the reef was uninhabited. No Deep Ones swam from the cyclopean caverns, and the little tidepools gaped empty and forlorn. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the reef before me.
(Actually…you could totally rewrite Rebecca so that the dead wife is a Deep One and goaded her husband into shooting her when she realized that she was acquiring the Innsmouth Look…but the Venn diagram of overlaps for that particular audience is probably an infinitesimal sliver.)
The Case of the Naked Sun by Sir Arthur Issac Asimov Doyle
On glancing over my notes of the seventy odd cases in which I have during the last eight years studied the methods of my friend Elijah Baley, I find many tragic, some comic, a large number merely strange, but none commonplace; for, working as he did rather for the love of his art than for the acquirement of wealth, he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual, and even the fantastic. Of all these varied cases, however, I cannot recall any which presented more singular features than that which was associated with the well-known Spacer family of the Delmarres of Solaria. The events in question occurred in the later days of my association with Baley. It is possible that I might have placed them upon record before, but a promise of secrecy was made at the time, from which I have only been freed during the last month by the untimely death of the lady to whom the pledge was given. It is perhaps as well that the facts should now come to light, for I have reasons to know that there are widespread rumours as to the death of Dr. Rikaine Delmarre which tend to make the matter even more terrible than the truth.
District Metamorphosis by Neil Blomkamp
Translated by Frans Kafka
One morning, when Wikus van de Merwe woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible alien ‘prawn’. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His mouth pedipalps, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.
“What’s happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls. A collection of relocation papers lay spread out on the table – Wikus was a manager at MNU – and above it there hung a picture that he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and housed in a nice, gilded frame.