Tom Digby is a fan writer without parallel. He’s quite literally a science fiction fan writer, who begins with an idea and teases it in every possible direction as hard sf writers do. The sf writer weaves those results into a story, while Digby uses his humorous extrapolations as trail markers in a meta-discussion about his imaginative process.
Here’s how Digby introduces one example in his latest Silicon Soapware —
I’ve been working on a story idea involving characters who get in trouble exploring the abandoned ruins of a wizard’s castle. This led to thoughts of whether there should have been warning signs posted, and if so, what they might look like.
Then Tom insightfully classifies the kinds of threats players encounter in a dungeon game and the appropriate warning sign for each. Crazy and funny.
Tom was such an early adopter of electronically-distributed fanac that Silicon Soapware’s all-text format looks quaintly antique, as if it might be truly at home on a 40-column greenscreen.
That’s all the more reason for me to be intrigued by Tom’s new project – posted to YouTube, for goodness sake! – a series of animations (for certain values of animation) titled “Plergb, defined as a pair of Robot Musicians”.
Flower Head Robot and Moon Tune robot used to be ordinary robots. They had ordinary dull gray paint jobs with dull black serial numbers stenciled on their dull gray chests, and all they ever wanted was to do as they were told, dull gray day after dull gray day.
What happened to turn them into songwriters and performers is explained in two animated music videos.
In the “Robot Musician Introduction” song they sing:
“We weren’t always robot musicians / We used to be demolition robots… Since we were designed for tearing down buildings / Our musical abilities are somewhat limited.”
And in the “Singing About Love” song Flower Head Robot and Moon Tune Robot explain why they’re always saying they’re in love even though they have no idea what love is.
It’s a put-on, it’s a parody: in short, if you missed the Sixties be of good cheer – they are still in full swing at Tom’s website.
[Thanks to Dan Goodman for the link.]