Filers Destroy Lyrics

While you’re waiting for Santa, appertain yourself a hot chocolate (or stiff belt), settle back, and enjoy this collection of some parody verses and holiday filks that Filers have been leaving in comments the past few months.

Camestros Felapton

Did you get my vote, Chuck Tingle?
I can’t remember another Hugo vote like this
You were on their slate Chuck Tingle
But you were parodying yourself and softly pounding something new
I could see the cheesy artwork
And sounds of raptor calls were coming from the blue

There was something on the slate that starred
The buckaroos were hard, Chuck Tingle
They were pounding there for you and me
For liberty, Chuck Tingle
Though I hope that No Award will win
There’s no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Chuck Tingle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQsjAbZDx-4

Kip W

Don’t put your pixel in the scroll, Missus Woofington,
Don’t put your pixel in the scroll.
For the publishing field is vicious, and the going’s dog eat dog
The editing scene is angry and mean,
It’s right there in my blog.
It’s a quick read, though not substantial, I may say,
And written in a cloying way
And that’s enough of that.
No Award, Missus Woofington,
FNORD, Missus Woofington!
Don’t put your pixel in the scroll!

Camestros Felapton

Pokestops abound in San Jose
But I’ve been away so long, I might go wrong and catch a Magikarp
Pokestops are great in San Jose
I’m going back to find an electric kind in San Jose

Stoic Cynic

With profuse apologies to Porgy, Bess, George Gershwin, and 33,000 cover versions
(really, 33,000! Wikipedia says so):

Hugo Time And the votin’s not easy
Pups are slatin’
And the rotten is high

Your reading’s done
And No Award’s good lookin’
So hush little voter
Don’t you cry

One of these WorldCons
Pups’re going to give up trolling
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll fly to the sky

But till that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With EPH & 3SV standing by

One of these WorldCons
Pups’re going to give up trolling
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll fly to the sky

But till that morning
There’s a’nothing can harm you
With EPH & 3SV standing by

PhilRM http://file770.com/?p=32560&cpage=1#comment-524729

Pacific Rim, Or A Vision on A Screen

For robinareid, because it’s all her fault.** **Not actually her fault. I took laudanum a few liberties with meter, but then, so did Coleridge.

In Pacific Rim did del Toro
A desp’rate Shatterdome decree;
The last defense ‘gainst humans’ foe,
By airlift mighty Jaegers go
Down to a Kaiju sea.

So twice ten miles of city ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
A bulwark to end the toll of Kaiju-kills.
But here is where I must beg to disagree
With those enthralled by Kaiju-punching thrills:
This movie really didn’t work for me.

Because oh! To me it doesn’t make any sense:
Why must they rely on giant robot fists?
We have missiles and nukes – mighty armaments!
Why don’t you zip it? replies the audience.
Can’t you see we’re all really enjoying this?
So: from the portal, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in CGI were breathing,
Two mighty Kaiju sinuously emerge.
Humanity’s end now looms on the verge:
While critical Kaiju-lore has been acquired,
A scientist’s bold risk that must be admired
Has tragically caused a new scale of trouble:
The Kaiju assault has literally doubled.
The Kaiju-pair’s most cruel and murderous attack
On crews Russian, Chinese and Australian –
Impossibly fierce – through no human failing
Leaves the noble Jaegers scattered like sea-wrack.
To face the next peril from Kaiju-hell:
Two half-teams, and two battered Jaeger shells.

To seal the breach is the only throw:
Chance so slight it’s all but lost.
A hopeless trip to depths below?
“No!” cries Stacker Pentecost:
“I don’t care if it’s Kaiju five or six;
“We are cancelling the apocalypse!”

Once child-wounded Mako Mori
As warrior does arise;
And enter into brave company,
To share the Drift with staunch Raleigh
New-found friend and best ally.
Chuck and Stacker clear the way
By noble sacrifice;
Gypsy Danger will the Kaiju slay,
With thermonuclear device.
Passage secured by Kaiju-skin,
They face the peril of the breach;
The Kaiju-masters wait within.
Will dauntless heroes really win?
Wait! They have a safety margin:
Rescue by escape pod (one each).
Compelled I’ll credit them with this:
The story ends without a kiss.
Mako Mori Test for the win.

Simon Bisson http://file770.com/?p=32440&cpage=2#comment-521355

"Santa Mike" by Lynn Maudlin

“Santa Mike” by Lynn Maudlin

Twas the night before Worldcon, when all through the blog
Not a godstalk was stirring, not even a fan
The pixels were scrolled by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Mike Glyer soon would be there.

The commenters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Hugo Awards danced in their heads.
And mamma in her lettercol, and I in my Chrome,
Had just settled our laptops for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the web there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the keyboard to see what was the matter.
Away to the Windows went Adobe Flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature pixel and eight tiny scrolls.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be our Mike
More rapid than eagles his bloggers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now, Kyra! now, Camestros! now, Kurt and Paul!
On, Meredith On, Hampus! on, Red and Wombat!
To the top of the page! to the top of the Google!
Now scroll away! Scroll away! Scroll away all!”

As dry scrolls that before the wild pixels fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the bloggers they flew,
With the sleigh full of books and Mike Glyer too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The scrolling and pixeling of each little post
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Mike Glyer came with a bound.

He was dressed all in badges from his head to his foot,
And his pixels were all tarnished with ashes and scroll.
A bundle of Hugos he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a faned, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they pixeled, his dimples how scrolled!
His cheeks were like gravatars, his nose like an emojii!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a scroll,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pixel he held tight in his teeth,
And the scroll it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his pixel and a twist of his scroll,
Soon gave me to know I had a huge to-be-read.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the scrollings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the pixel he rose!

He sprang to his posts, to his scrolls gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a pixel,
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Worldcon to all, and to all a good-fan!”

Kurt Busiek http://file770.com/?p=32472&cpage=1#comment-521579

“Pixels and scrolls, pixels and scrolls
Mean so much more when I see
Pixeled and scrolled declarations
On File Seven Seven, um, Tee”

Jack Lint http://file770.com/?p=32472&cpage=1#comment-522130

The file and the pixel,
When they are on a roll,
Of all sites that are on the web,
The file bears the scroll.

Rob Thornton http://file770.com/?p=32472&cpage=2#comment-522307

On a Sunday morning slidewalk,
I’m wishing, Lord, that I was scrolled.
‘Cause there’s something in a Sunday
That makes a pixel feel alone….

rea http://file770.com/?p=32472&cpage=2#comment-522495

Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did scroll
Two pixels were approaching
And the wind began to howl

Rev. Bob http://file770.com/?p=32614&cpage=1#comment-526891

This is the theme to Pixel Scrolls
The off-meter theme to Pixel Scrolls
Filers looked me up and asked if I would filk a theme song

It’s almost halfway finished
No, I didn’t say it was Finnish
How do you like this ode to Pixel Scrolls?

This is the theme to Pixel Scrolls
The crudely-filked theme to Pixel Scrolls
This is the tune that’s guaranteed to shoo off all the Barflies
We’re almost to the part
Where I run out of lyrics
Now let’s read the latest Pixel Scroll!

Charon D. http://file770.com/?p=32614&cpage=2#comment-527403

What pixel is this who scrolled to rest
From Glyer’s laptop of wonders
Where scrollers revel in riotous puns
And appertain when they find blunders

This, this is pixel scroll!
Where fifths flow freely and so do trolls
Tick, tick, the follow-up box
Or you might miss some epic filking

Tom Becker http://file770.com/?p=32667&cpage=1#comment-528522

It’s beginning to look a lot like pixels
Everywhere you go
Take a look in the seven and seventy glistening once again
With rocket pins and silver scrolls aglow

Pixel Scroll 10/18 Psycho Filer

(1) 2015 Canadian Unity Fan Fund winner Paul Carreau is a council member of the Federation of Beer. Their latest officially-licensed Star Trek brew is Vulcan Ale.

Federation of Beer announces that Shmaltz Brewing Company of Clifton Park, NY is brewing a new Star Trek-themed beer called Vulcan Ale – The Genesis Effect, that will be made available on Planet Earth in early October. Under license by CBS Consumer Products, Vulcan Ale – The Genesis Effect will pay homage to the Star Trek franchise and its legacy, tying into the storyline of The Wrath of Khan as well as Shmaltz’s own brand of He’brew craft beers.

 

Vulcan Ale

(2) Camestros Felapton uses photographic evidence to set the record straight in “Tentacled Victorians”.

Rumors that Queen Victoria herself was a squid monster where unfounded. Photographic evidence shows she was an octopus-monster not a squid monster.

(3) Amazon has filed suit against 1,114 fake reviewers who “sell fabricated comments to companies seeking to improve the appeal of their products,” according to the BBC. The lawsuit was filed Friday in Seattle.

The defendants, termed “John Does,” have offered their false review service for as little as $5 on the website Fiverr.com, according to Amazon. The sellers were avoiding getting caught by using different accounts from unique IP addresses.

However, Amazon was able to identify the fake reviewers by conducting an investigation and purchasing some of the fake reviews. Amazon is also working with Fiverr to resolve the issue.

“While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufactures place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand,” Amazon said in its complaint.

Vox Day suggests “More than a few SJWs should be shaking in their shoes” because – why wouldn’t he?

(4) Bri Lopez Donovan reports on the latest conrunners’ convention in “JOFCon 2015 Helps Build the Convention Community” on Twin Cities Geek.

I was fortunate to be a part of the “Disability Access” panel, which was actually more about accessibility in general rather than disability access in particular. I and my fellow panelists, Amanda Tempel and Rachel Kronick, started with brief self-introductions before jumping into the discussion by talking about some pitfalls and how they’ve been addressed in various conventions. One of the problems we talked about was the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms at CONvergence. Amanda mentioned how it had been a problem and a point of discussion for years, and how member engagement really pushed the initiative to create bathrooms that were accessible to those outside of the gender binary. The solution she spoke of was convention runners working with their venues to relabel or re-allocate resources, in this case to relabel the gendered bathrooms of a hotel to make them gender neutral for the duration of the convention.

Another issue tackled was the vetting of panelists. Audience members of this panel brought up the lack of diversity on panels that were covering topics of diversity—for example, no people of color on a panel about race in sci fi, or no folks with autism on a panel about spectrum disorders within geek media. Audience members and panels brainstormed various ways to address this, including vetting panelists by asking why they are interested in being on a particular panel and assessing their answers for issues that could arise.

(5) Kevin Trainor asks “SF Won The Culture Wars A Long Time Ago. Isn’t It Time Fandom Started Acting Like It? on Wombat Rampant.

Are you starting to see a pattern here? Is a trend becoming apparent to you? Here, let’s add another ingredient to this mulligan stew. In 1997, while I and my wife at the time were mostly busy trying to raise our kids, the regional SF convention in Minneapolis, Minicon, was in crisis. Attendance had ballooned to over three thousand people, staff turnover and burnout were epidemic, and the fan club nominally responsible for running Minicon, MNSTF, had no real idea whether the con was making money, losing money, or investing it in beaver hat futures on the Medicine Hat Commodities Exchange. The MNSTF Board of Directors, wakened from their dogmatic slumber by all the hooting, hollering, carrying-on, shrieks of horror, and assorted gibbering, actually paid serious attention to various proposals regarding the upcoming Minicon. One proposal, advanced by Minicon veteran Victor Raymond, was to split the baby: have one Minicon dedicated to traditional SF fandom, and another at a different time which would be more of a Gathering of the Clans, a three-ring circus and big ol’ party for media fans, anime fans, BDSM folk, and the other subcultures drawn to SF fandom, where being different wasn’t automatically considered bad. Another proposal, which was the one MNSTF wound up going with, was called the High Resolution Minicon Proposal, and whatever its authors’ original intentions, it was seen by most of Upper Midwest fandom as “Thanks for all the time and money you’ve sunk into Minicon over the years, you fringefans, but we’re tired of you now, and you need to fuck right off.” What became immediately apparent was that the vast majority of Minicon’s attendance and staff had in fact been made up of those “fringefans” for quite some time, and in the years following the implementation of the HRMP, Minicon’s attendance imploded to a low of about 400 people. Meanwhile, those fans who felt snubbed by the HRMP organized three other conventions: Marscon, more focused on media and gaming but still mainly an SF convention; Convergence, essentially Minicon 2.0; and Diversicon, which was ironically even more focused on traditional SF & fantasy but had split from Minicon over the issues of a “dry” consuite and open staff meetings, which Minicon had rejected. So in the end, what Victor had campaigned for happened anyway, but instead of successfully managing the change and remaining the preeminent SF club in the upper Midwest, MNSTF dropped the ball and dwindled into obscurity, which their graying membership seems quite happy with. The same thing, with minor variations, also happened at Boskone and Disclave and other regional conventions, so i think it’s reasonable to draw a few conclusions about SF fandom in general from these examples.

Let’s fast forward a few years. By now, everyone is familiar with the Sad Puppies story: Larry Correia noticed a drop in Worldcon attendance correlating with an increase in Hugo Awards to works of SF that weren’t terribly successful in the marketplace, but were written by the Right People and tended to have the Right Characters expressing the Right Views. Over the next two years, he tested the hypothesis, encouraging his readers and friends to join Worldcon and vote. Membership numbers at Worldcon increased, votes for the Hugo increased, and in the third year of Sad Puppies, when massive numbers of people bought supporting memberships and nominated works by John Wright, Tom Kratman, Michael Williamson, and other authors considered “badthinkers” by defenders of the existing order – the same people, mind you, who had encouraged Larry to go out and get more people to join Worldcon if he felt it wasn’t sufficiently reflective of the SF market- the backlash from people such as Patrick and Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, John Scalzi, David Gerrold, and various unhousebroken employees of Tor Books was vitriolic. The Sad Puppies (and their co-belligerents, the Rabid Puppies led by Vox Day) were libeled as racists, homophobes, neo-Nazis, misogynists and pretty much every politically correct insult in the book. In the end, despite the Puppy Kickers’ hypocritical preaching against the evils of “slate voting”, a bloc of 2500 voters chose “No Award” over any work nominated from the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies list – a list, mind you, that SP3 leader Brad Torgersen had not delivered from on high, but instead crowdsourced from anyone who wanted to suggest works worth nominating. Vox Day’s Rabid Puppies list was almost identical to the SP list, but as far as anyone knows, it was a list he chose and distributed to the Dread Ilk. This massive “No Award” result, which doubled the number of such from the last ten years, was loudly cheered and celebrated by those in attendance at the Hugo Award banquet; this cheering was encouraged by MC David Gerrold, while thousands of fans around the world were subjected to this display of vile behavior thanks to the Internet.

(6) Meantime, Kevin J. Maroney has his say, “Once More Around the Sun”, at New York Review of Science Fiction.

As I’m sure you know by now if you have even the faintest scintilla in the Hugo Awards, the “No Awards for Slates” option won out in this year’s Hugo final voting. This is the approach I advocated in my previous editorials, excluding the Puppy finalists not on grounds of quality or lack thereof, nor on the politics or personal foibles of the people running either of the Puppy slates. This was entirely a vote against the underhanded tactics that resulted in those finalists reaching the ballot. (The kindest thing that can be said about slate voting in this type of open-ended popular vote is that it is “technically not cheating.” That’s not a kind thing to say at all.) The people who were dragged onto the Puppy ballots without being consulted can be assured that this vote absolutely was not a personal rejection of you but of an unacceptable process.

There are larger issues involved in the Puppy movement that I don’t feel the need to rehash right now, issues of culture war, of reader communities and their protocols, of the powers and perils of our deeply interconnected communications. But at its core, the Puppy fight was about a group of people deciding to “not technically” cheat their way into an award and they were rebuffed, and that much, at least, is good. The Puppies will be back next year. It’s not particularly clear what they hope to accomplish in a fourth bite at the apple they claim is poisoned, but it will certainly be something.

(7) Today in History:

Moby Dick script dustjacket

October 18, 1851Moby-Dick by Herman Melville was published. Much later, Ray Bradbury turned it into a script for John Huston.

October 18, 1976 — Burnt Offerings, from Dark Shadows‘ Dan Curtis, opens in theaters.

(8) The Superheroes in Gotham exhibit at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library will be open through February 21, 2016.

Superheroes in Gotham

Superheroes in Gotham will tell the story of the birth of comic book superheroes in New York City; the leap of comic book superheroes from the page into radio, television, and film; the role of fandom, including the yearly mega event known as New York Comic Con; and the ways in which comic book superheroes, created in the late 1930s through the 1960s, have inspired and influenced the work of contemporary comic book artists, cartoonists, and painters in New York City.

Michael Powell reviews the exhibit for the New York Times.

The curators found in a private collection the Pow! Bam! Wham! Pop Art-era Batmobile and put it in the lobby. They mounted the Penguin’s umbrella and Catwoman’s hot unitard upstairs, along with Action Comics No. 1 (the first appearance of Superman) and art originals of the singular Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man.

The exhibition focuses on comic book founding fathers. They were predominantly Jewish kids — with a few Italians and the occasional wayward Protestant mixed in — from the Bronx, the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. And in the 1930s and ’40s, they created a world.

Bob Kane (born Robert Kahn), a creator of Batman, and Will Eisner, a son of Jewish immigrants and the creator of the Spirit, attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, as did the wisenheimer bard Stan Lee (born Stanley Lieber), who created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk and many more.

(9) Christopher Lloyd told The Hollywood Reporter he’d be glad to do Back to the Future: Part IV if somebody reunited the whole gang. “Doc” also says he’d like to toss out the first pitch if the Chicago Cubs get to the 2015 World Series, as predicted in Back to the Future: Part II.

(10) Book trailers by SFWA Members are collected here on YouTube.

(11) Brian Z. lays that pistol down in a comment on File 770.

Meet me in the thread, pixel, pixel
Puppies all around, pooping, pooping
Tear those puppies down, scrolling, scrolling
Droppings in the ground where flowers grow
Old familiar whine
Shiny happy pixel-scrolling fans
Shiny happy pixel-scrolling fans
Shiny happy people laughing
Filers all around, love them, love them
Never make amends, dish it, dish it
There’s still time to cry, crappy, crappy
Save an unkind word for tomorrow’s whine
Old familiar whine
Shiny happy pixel-scrolling fans…

(12) J-Grizz scores one for the home team.

Pixel pixel little scrolls
God Stalk! Brackets, maybe trolls
Reading comprehension’s bad
Perhaps that’s why they are so sad
Pixel pixel little scroll
Filking’s just the way we roll

(13) Yipes.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Camestros Felapton.]

 

This Will Ring Your Chimes

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.

Kyra

“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!

 

Kyra

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 …

 

Simon Bisson

“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.

 

RedWombat

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.

 

Red Wombat

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.)

 

Jim Henley

“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.

 

Jim Henley

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.

 

Camestros Felapton

1984

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…

 

Simon Bisson

“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.

 

Red Wombat

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.)

 

Camestros Felapton

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.

 

Camestros Felapton

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.