Catch the Wave — The Human Wave Garage Sale

Ladies, Gentlemen, Beings of Furritude, I come not to bury grey goo plotting but to yawn at it and to sigh “I don’t care what happens to all these characters” and — occasionally, when a novel rises a little bit above the common style

–, to sigh and say “I want them all dead by chapter two.”  (Ah, for a minion I could dispatch to story world.  “Guido, see to it.  I want them all dead by chapter two before they all start the belly button contemplating until it reels the mind.  Make them dead.  Hide the bodies.”  Of course, in many cases this would improve the pacing and action of the plot.  In others no one would notice.)

Traditional publishing, having become a thing of a small circle of NYC where everyone attended the same colleges and deconstructed the same books, seems more interested in impressing each other and themselves than in capturing the minds and fancy of the rest of the population.  That is fine.

For the longest time, of course, it wasn’t fine, and even as a reader I had trouble finding stuff to read.  For you see, I am an apostate.  I went to a fine college and was taught that the best of literature was stuff you had to slog through, but I never gave up my allegiance to Heinlein and Christie, to Dumas and Sir Walter Scott, to Shakespeare and Austen (and I don’t treat them like dry literature, either.  The puns alone in Shakespeare – he’d fit in this blog very well.)  But on leaving college, I fell into even worse company.  No, yay and verily, I’ve been known to read Heyer and, in a pinch, Nora Roberts.

I don’t want books that reassure me that all of humanity is a waste of oxygen an excess of carbon or a “cancer upon the Earth.”  Yeah.  Maybe it is, if you are a multi-pincered being from the Pleiades and  view humans as competition and want them to go away.  But I am a human among humans, and whom should I love if not my species?  Besides, multi-pincered beings are only good with drawn butter.

I don’t want books that reassure me that life is a tale written by a graduate student, full of fog and moral confusion, signifying nothing.

While I’m alive, I’ll live in bright colors.  If I wanted to be sedated, I’d go back to being on valium.  The only thing that books have to offer, above television, above movies, above games, is the ability to manipulate human emotions.  Words and the evoking of other senses, like smell, are the quickest route to the emotion.  We read fiction not to think but to feel.  To go adventuring with Captain Morgan, to duel with the Musketeers, to love with Juliette, and to cross the universe and time with Lazarus Long.

What virtue is there to giving up that, our form’s most potent weapon?  Or of all the emotions to choose only vile, grey despair?  There’s despair enough in the world.  There’s always been.  But humans who made a difference, humans who continued the species, who built civilization, fought, no matter how desperate their circumstances.  And those humans are my brothers and sisters.

I believe the propagation of humanity and of that civilization that has allowed the most prosperity to the most people is a good in itself. While I’m human I’ll love humanity.

I have nothing against trees or bears, and I’m rather fond of cats, but – except for the cats since some are members of my family – I owe none of those allegiance.  I owe allegiance to humanity, because I’m a human.  Extinction porn, and those who dream of a world without humans are sad beings, who somehow thought that humans should be infallible and flawless and therefore refuse to love humans as they are.  Sometimes, it is a man’s flaws that make him best.  A perfectly rational man could never love.  A perfectly steady man could never adventure.  And a perfectly balanced woman could never dream up characters who do both.

I have no animus against ants, and as long as they don’t interfere with humanity I wish them well, but who are they and their mode of living that we should imitate it?  And consider ourselves flawed because we don’t fit it?

That is where I stand and that is where a lot of readers stand, or will come to stand.  People like people and people like fun.

Human Wave is a literary movement (How posh that sounds) which is to say a bunch of us zanies, who propose to bring all that back to fiction and reading.

And now, that we have indie publishing, we CAN.

So, thanks to the lovely Sabrina Chase,who set the whole thing up and publicized it at her own expense – one of the things I love about Human Wave is that we do help each other.  Not because we feel guilty but because storming the castle is much more fun with friends – here is… The Human Wave Garage Sale going on through this week, at an internet near you.

The Inimitable Word Slinger and Story-Weaver Sabrina Chase:

The Long Way Home -1.99 for the kindle

Webspace pilot Moire Cameron is one of the best–but even she can’t fly her way out of a catastrophic drive failure that triggers a time-dilation bubble. Left suddenly eighty years out of date, she is on the run in a world she no longer knows, caught in the middle of a human-alien war while agents of Toren hunt her for the information only she has–the location of the pristine world of Sequoyah.

The Long Way Home is the first book in the Sequoyah trilogy.

The Bureau of Substandards Annual Report – 1.99 for the kindle

A collection of short stories set in the world of the Bureau of Substandards…

Hidden behind protective layers of government red tape, the Bureau of Substandards fights the good fight against interdimensional snake people, “helpful” allies, busybodies from Atlantis, the annual budget report, and, most dangerous of all…the HR department.

Sarah Hoyt

Ill Met By Moonlight – Young Will Shakespeare is a humble school master who arrives home to find his wife and infant daughter, Susannah are missing, kidnapped by the fairies of Arden Woods, the children of Titania and Oberon. His attempts at rescue are interrupted and complicated by a feud over throne of fairyland, between Sylvanus, king regnant, and his younger brother Quicksilver who is both more and less than he seems. Amid treachery, murder, duel and seduction, Shakespeare discovers the enchantment of fairyland, which will always remain with him, for good and ill. Free from the 1st to the 5th of August.

Spinning Away — In a world where the ability to pick what news will interest most people is very real power, Layna Smythe strives to stay ahead of her rivals and alive. She often forgets that she’s also lonely, until an attack reminds her of the man she left behind. Free from the 1st to the 5th of August.

Crawling Between Heaven and Earth — Sarah A. Hoyt’s first short story collection, initially published by Dark Regions Press in 2003.  Contains most of Sarah’s early published work. Free

Wings — Second short story collection. $2.99

Michael Hooten

Cricket’s Song, Book 1: The Cricket Learns to Sing — Cricket is a young orphan growing up on an obscure farm in the country of Glencairck.  He wants to be just like Harper, who plays for the people through the winter, but Harper is not content to let him just learn how to harp.  He teaches him the ancient traditions of the Bards of Glencairck, a noble order that is responsible for not just entertaining the people, but for providing impartial judgement to their disputes.  When Cricket is old enough, he enters the wide world  and finds that not everyone knows the old rules, or follows them.  He has to decide for himself what is right–and how far he is willing to go to defend his beliefs. Free for Kindle August 1-5

 Rawle Nyanzi

Alien Frontier — Fifteen-year-old Norma Teague must avoid getting drafted into an alien army. However, her home village demands that she go since she has a magic belt that lets her destroy any armor made of matter. $1.99

 Thomas Sewell

Hitchhiking Killer For Hire — A border gang beats Ex-Special Forces soldier Sam Harper and leaves him for dead in the desert. Sam must discover “Why?” in this story of government corruption and human smuggling in the near future west. Dedicated to Louis L’Amour. Free for Kindle August 1st through 5th

 Elizabeth Bruner

Flash of Fire — A collection of super short stories (1000 words or less) on the subject of fire. Ranging from the love of a volcano goddess to natural phenomena encountered as humans explore a distant planet, these stories evoke a sense of wonder and awe at the nature and power of fire. $.99 for Kindle August 1 through 5th

 Zachary Ricks

Battlehymn — (Also Barnes & Noble) It’s a story of giant robots, forbidden love, princesses in danger, and the power of rock ‘n roll. If you’re a fan of Macross, you might enjoy Battlehymn. $1.99

 Cedar Sanderson

Snow Angel — When a child’s imagination leads his mother to a startling discovery, she must then protect him and his guardian from unknown danger. A human mother is fiercer than angels! Free July 31 to August 4

Little Red and the Wolf-Man — Little Red wears a red cloak, and keeps her shotgun hidden under it. But Grandmother has the biggest secret in the forest, and she is dying… can Little Red help the forest dwellers? $1.49

 Mike Weatherford

Cynthia — (Also Barnes & Noble) Cynthia was a nice girl from a prestigious family, with a “nice-girl” education.  That didn’t help much when she found herself chased by an organized criminal element, captured by pirates, and stranded on a planet that was so deadly human government had declared it forbidden.  Luck, in the form of Rat – a trained survivalist – can help, but will it enable her to survive? $0.99

 Kiti Lappi –Novels:

Fourth Sword — A portal fantasy: woman from our world gets transported to one with an ongoing generations long war and working magic, and finds out, after some adventures and to her chagrin, that she was taken there for a purpose. $ 1.49

The Demons of Khemas — A tavern wench has fallen for a barbarian swordsman (not that she admits it). When he disappears she needs to find out what happened. $ 1.49

Short stories:

Nights of the Wampyrs — A small town has problems with a couple of vampires, and the only people who figure out what is going on realize they have to become vampire hunters. Old school vampires, based more on the European folk tales than the later fictionalized versions. First story tells of the birth of one vampire, the two others concentrate on the hunters.

Raven’s Night $0.99

After Night Descends $0.99

Night Work  free from 1st of August to 5th, $ 0.99 after that

Dealing with Elves — A young woman is drawn to a forest where elves live. Urban fantasy, mostly a mood piece. Free from 1st of August to 5th., $ 0.99 after that.

The Task — A ghost story set in a traditional fantasy world, a peasant girls shelters for a night in an abandoned castle. $ 0.99

 

431 responses to “Catch the Wave — The Human Wave Garage Sale

  1. Pingback: Acceleration | D.E. Pascoe

  2. You know my nick name was Guido at my old job… don’t ask.

  3. Harry the Horrible

    I think Eric Gardner, Esther Friesner, John Moore, and possibly John DeChancie have had villains say something like “I want them all dead by Chapter Two.”
    Of course, they’re going for comedy and you usually DO care about their characters.

  4. I like my butter quartered as well as drawn.

    • Yes, but hanging it is very difficult.

      • That’s why you pile it in cheese cloth.

        • Oh, you make niter kinbeh too!

          • Grrr. Niter kibbeh. Dang wrist brace.

            • Oh, that sounds delicious. As a point of interest, it’s argued that clarified butters (niter kibbeh, ghee, etc) are healthier even than things like coconut oil, depending on source.

              • Bing! says that it’s an Ethiopian flavored butter that’s been filtered.

                Cheese cloth to get those funny chunk looking things out of the melted butter, I’d presume.

                • Yes. Like ghee, but seasoned with cumin, fenugreek, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon. I want to make some now.

                  • I’m slowly self-teaching the parts of cooking that I really like… made some basic flavored butters a couple of weeks ago (garlic with salt, honey butter– turns out the latter is a perfect use for honey that’s crystallized) and now I want to see if I can use clarified butter…..

                    • Clarified butter works well in place of just about any other oil. Great for frying/sauteeing, as it has a fairly high smoke point, so you don’t have to worry about oxidation damage.

                • The chunks are the milk solids. If you brown butter, that’s what imparts the nutty flavor. You still get that with ghee and – I’m presuming – the niter kibbeh, but you do the clarifying on a low enough heat setting that you don’t burn them. Which would be less than tasty.

                  • Right, Dave, and my niter kibbeh is not browned. Because if you start toasting the spices along with the butter, yuck. Just trust me on this, yuck.

                    Niter kibbeh is one of the ingredients in bebere, an Ethiopian sauce that is the key to a good doro wat (chicken stew with boiled eggs) and many other dishes. The kibbeh can be used in place of butter in rice or sautes, if you want spices. FYI I tried the bebere powder from Penzy’s and it’s not bad, but it lacks the depth of my homemade version (recipe from the oooold Time-Life “Foods of Africa” cookbook.) Use the powder as you would hot garam masala or other curries.

                    • I have never tried Ethiopian cuisine. Now I shall have to.

                    • I mix my own garam masala per Alton Brown’s (genuflections) recipe from Good Eats.

                    • When I was growing up I was taught that Ethiopians didn’t HAVE cuisine, one of those requirements of cuisine is food to prepare.

                    • Well, when Ethiopians have food, they have darned good cuisine!

                      First off, you get to Eat with Your Hands, which is always a plus. You tear off a little bit of the giant injera bread tortilla, you wrap your bite of food in it, and you pop it in your mouth.

                      Sarah will have to eat naked meat with a fork, but otherwise it’s good cuisine for her because it’s totally based on MEAT. Probably her nearest and dearest will gladly eat her injera for her.

                      Second, if you’re close family with the other diners, you can feed them with your hands! (I saw an Ethiopian-American lady do this with her teenage son. He was all, “Oh, Mom!”)

                      Third, it’s great food if you like meat. Especially if you like spicy meat. And potatoes and veggies and such. And great coffee, needless to say. Basically, Ethiopia is cattle country by preference, so it’s like Texas food done by multifaith Africans heavily influenced by Egypt and Arabia.

                    • Oh, and lots of goat and sheep, too, besides the cow and chicken. But not so much in the US with the goat and mutton, alas for us.

                    • Spicy meat sounds good to me. Spices are vegetables, right? That’s two food groups, have a Smith & Wesson with it and you’ve got the other two covered. 🙂

  5. Poj,
    When is the sequel to Fourth Sword coming out?

    • Probably next summer. I’m working on it, but I don’t think I’ll be done before winter, and I can’t write worth **** at that time. I’m also working (needed bit of a break) on an almost done science fiction short novel which I might publish this fall.

  6. “What did I want?
    I wanted a Roc’s egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword,. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get u feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a like wench for my droit du seigneur–I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the albatross that had been pacing us the last thousand miles.
    I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, “The game’s afoot!” I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and the Lost Dauphin.
    I wanted Prestor John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be–instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is.” – Robert A Heinlein

  7. Thanks for putting up the links I bought a couple of things.

  8. A few years ago I saw the observation that the maxim “Write what you know” has inspired a lot of novels about middle-aged male academics thinking about having affairs. . . .

  9. Grey goo doesn’t even drum up enough of a response to throw the book against the wall?

    • No. Mostly you yawn and go do something more inspiring, like scrubbing toilets.

    • Throwing a book against the wall means you felt something.

      • For “Throw against the wall” the book has to offend me–not politically or religiously or what have you, but offend my sense of story. “It was all a dream” does that (although an “or was it” can sometimes partially rehabilitate that). Having characters suddenly make about faces without justification or the like.

        Gray goo doesn’t offend me. It just bores me.

        • “and then this prince who is so nice goes insane and kills everyone” — last one I threw.

          • “and then this prince who was so nice goes insane and kills everyone”

            Exactly. We’re on the same page here.

            But even that, I think is not as bad as “it was all a dream” (or variations thereof). Although I will stipulate that one can play with that trope successfully so long as in story it actually _isn’t_ a dream: someone/something convinces, or tries to convince, the protagonist that it _is_ all a dream. Wm. Mark Simmons’ “Half Live Chronicles” did that in one book. Joss Whedon did it in an episode of Buffy. But even there it’s really easy to screw up and the temptation to leave the possibility that it really is a dream as a “twist” is high.

            Sorry for running on. That’s a pet peeve of mine.

            • My biggest frustration with those was a novel where the protagonist learned, grew, was genuinely heroic, and then “woke up” at the end, having lost the memories – and therefore what made him heroic. While the life-changing events actually occured, at the end of the book, he went on as he’d started the novel. It was … displeasing.

              • Has anybody else read one of Rex Stout’s earliest books, ‘Under the Andes’? That ending… otherwise at best a mediocre lost race adventure, but oh heavens that ending… on the other hand, considering how very, very good he got later that’s also encouraging, I guess, in its way.

            • Maybe the end of Ill Met is that but I don’t think so. It just implies all reality is dream/flexible. Which is different.

            • ‘twould be more credible had it been the princess.

              Roger Zelazny’s Nine Princes In Amber starts with the protagonist waking from the dream he had believed was Reality. I bet you could write a great novel that nobody would read by starting in grey goo but halfway through the hero wakes in the middle of a fire fight to discover he had been in a dream of a lost normalcy.

              It brings to mind an early Harlan Ellison story about a guy who reaches the afterlife and gets to live out his dreams — rescue the princess, fight the dragon — and failing miserably is condemned to an afterlife of grey goo.

              • I’m re-reading those right now. Just finished Sign of the Unicorn. Talk about a Glory Road.

          • Dorothy Grant

            The last one I threw was about the black plague, and contained the sentance “the plague was utterly democratic, it struck everyone from the proletariat to the brutal regents to the Jane Austen-like middle class gentry.”

            I read it aloud to my husband, repeating incredulously “The Jane Austen-like middle class gentry of the fourteenth century?!!!?!?!”

            He said, “Oh, I’d love to see what the fourteenth century England would make of Mr. Darcy. Hah!”

            We were in the car. I didn’t – quite – toss it out of the window. I’m civilized and don’t litter. I waited until I got home to throw it in the kitchen trash, and dump coffee grounds and a steaming teabag on top. I rarely throw books away, but that one did not deserve to go back to the used book store.

            • Oh my. Some people just lump everything together into “The Past.”

            • Hit the wall books tend to be written by people who weren’t Sarah’s former writing group to me. The Glock with a safety, or the Glock revolver are likely to give a book flying lessons, but the flying book I read had was set in the present, and had two secondary people who were a married American couple, ok BUT, they were both retired Special Forces. (and yes, before ask it was heterosexual marriage)

              It’s the really simple stuff that annoys me, you know nothing about guns but want your character to use one? Fine, but if your going to describe it at least pick a real gun, you don’t have to go out and buy one and learn to field strip it blindfolded to satisfy me, just go the manufacturers website and read the blasted description. Know whether it has a safety, what calibers it comes in, if your going to have the protagonist firing multiple shots, know how many bullets it holds, etc.

              • For that matter, go to a range and ask some questions. Or, if it really bothers you, find a forum and ask some questions. Read the newbie threads. The information is out there.

                • I was really intending that for the author who has no interest in guns. It is fairly simple and effortless to get the basics right. I have no interest in makeup for example, but if I am going to mention the brand of lipstick a character is putting on (I’m sure there are different brands, aren’t there?) then I better make sure that brand is offered in the color I describe, otherwise I’m going to needlessly tick off every woman who wears that color and knows you can’t get it in that brand.

                  • Um… I wear makeup — sometimes — and I have no clue what brands offer what. I suspect as with books, unless there’s an allergic reaction involved, most people choose the color, not the brand. (Like, the author, not the publisher.)

                • Meah culpa, I once wrote a Glock with a safety — but for the love of Pete, I’d just had concussion. Like, less than 24h before, and had this story due. I’m surprised it’s COHERENT (sort of) let alone that mistake. No one caught it in proofing. The one time… Never mind.

                  • The Glock does have a safety. It is “a cautious and prudent user.” Best safety any gun ever had.

                    • Dorothy Grant

                      “Is gun. Is not safe.”

                    • Hi Dorothy (OT),

                      I’m enjoying your husband’s books that were posted for sale here last week. Please convey my pleased nod to him. I may make some in-depth, hopefully constructive remarks later, but afaic he’s off to a fine start.

                  • Here’s the funny thing. The commercial Glock does not have an external safety. Nor do the hundreds of thousands sold to law enforcement agencies world wide … but if you really insist as a government agency, Glock will sell you Glocks with external safeties. But what is hilarious to me is that seemingly, those Glocks never work right.

                    So your average firearm afficionado of a decent level of knowledge and experience will say that a Glock with a manual safety is an error … it isn’t quite. But they are rare and not retail.

                    That’s why you have to go with us Beings of Furritude for the real scoop on firearms lore.

                    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/10/20/portuguese-police-glock-safety-saga/

              • If someone wants a gun but doesn’t want to research, I expect them to do what one does with a car– call it “my car” and stick to things like color, if they mention it at all.

        • Fair enough.

        • Yes. Only Winsor McCay can get away with “it was only a dream”.

  10. I once worked at a national Box Store, and once day I remarked to a fellow chattel that there were times I just wanted to sic Guido on management. He gave a a strange look, and said, “You know, that IS my last name?” I hadn’t – until then. Funny thing is, I haven’t used that phrase since.

    • Birthday girl

      Yah, I don’t cotton to slang terms that were originally peoples’ names … one of my children has a name that is sometimes used in a vulgar way, even their (paternal) grandmother uses it, my mother never would, and it pisses me off.

  11. “If I wanted to be sedated” reminded me of the following:

    “What did I want?
    I wanted a Roc’s egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword,. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get u feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a like wench for my droit du seigneur–I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the albatross that had been pacing us the last thousand miles.
    I wanted the hurtling moons of Barsoom. I wanted Storisende and Poictesme, and Holmes shaking me awake to tell me, “The game’s afoot!” I wanted to float down the Mississippi on a raft and elude a mob in company with the Duke of Bilgewater and the Lost Dauphin.
    I wanted Prestor John, and Excalibur held by a moon-white arm out of a silent lake. I wanted to sail with Ulysses and with Tros of Samothrace and eat the lotus in a land that seemed always afternoon. I wanted the feeling of romance and the sense of wonder I had known as a kid. I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be–instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled-up mess it is.” Glory Road, Robert A. Henlein.

    Me too, Mr. Heinlein. Me too.

    • Don’t we all?

      • Well, no, frankly.
        There are those people whose love of adventure has been smothered in its crib. There are those joyless gray folk who have been carefully taught to hate themselves and humanity at large (and yet have also been trained into superficially high self-esteem). There are men without chests. There are those who have no principle, see virtue as evil, and seek like crabs to drag those who would crawl out of the pail back down to their own level.
        I don’t know if we can help them, but if Human Wave fiction CAN spark something like the human spirit in those cold and lifeless souls, then we owe them a duty to try. At the very least, we owe it to those whose fire has not yet been quenched to give them aid, succor and shelter.

        • And gosh dang it, this is my problem. I take this stuff so fargin’ seriously, it’s like I’m the fun and sunshine equivalent of a black hole.

          Your optimism has crossed my event horizon. I shall now expound upon the fact that we are all screwed, and as bad as you thought things are, they are in fact exponentially worse.

          This explains why no one invites me to parties.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Admitting you have a problem is half the battle . (runs)

            • I hear the other half involves violence. Or lasers. Or knowledge.

              I lean toward covering my bases by using high-powered lasers with an embedded pulse-feed to Wolfram Alpha search results.

              • Admitting you have a problem is half the battle. Knowing is the other half. The remaining two-thirds (math is the first casualty) is violence.

              • Dorothy Grant

                Ah, but sometimes it involves stinging nettle pasta with a chantarelle-cognac-pepper cream sauce. Really Good Food makes foragers out of people who prior bought organic and local only because those are the strictures of the Leftist religion… and once they’ve started making things with their hands, and accomplishing things, and learning that nature is a bloodthirsty bug-filled bitch with highly unpredictable weather (environment is safe to pontificate on in abstract when in a cubicle; in the mountains, it takes on a much more critical sense)… they start knowing facts, and respecting that wishing doesn’t make things so “I think that mushroom is safe to eat” does not make it so. Then they are Odd… it will take them a long time to come ’round through all their years of training and habits of worldview, and some never make it… ah, but some of them do.

                You can see them in the hunter-safety class, at 28-35, wearing REI gear and latte in their hands as they stare in a mixture of hope and horror at the fathers and sons in Carhatts and baseball caps. They come in their subarus with “Eat Local” bumperstickers, with their brand-new guns, swallowing nervously as they’ve logiced themselves into hunting their food and can’t back out. Usually it’s the guns that are the breaking point – the group that lauds them for following the path of the hermits the gaia church will turn viciously on them when they hunt their first rabbit/deer/wild pig. And then they find themselves stranded, ostracized, and only welcomed among the rednecks and farmers they’d gotten to know…

                They’ve been raised all their life to ignore logic and reality, to blow off any words that don’t sound approved… but nobody thinks to armor them against the lure of good food.

                • There just ain’t much better than fried chantrelles (spellcheck doesn’t know this word, it doesn’t know what it is missing, and I’m not positive how it is spelled) and backstrap (nor does it know backstrap, I must conclude that spellcheck has poor taste). I would need a much better job to be able to afford to buy such fare. Fortunately I paid for my first deer rifle by picking chantrelles, and have been able to indulge in such culinary delights ever since.

                  • Wayne Blackburn

                    In case you’re interested, it’s “Chanterelle” (nope, spellcheck doesn’t recognize it). And yeah, really I’m just showing off. 😛

                    • I could have looked it up, but I was just being lazy and sounding it out. I believe the only place I have ever seen it written is on mushroom buyers boards, and I haven’t seen one of them with a price board in years. (ignoring the fact they likely don’t know how to spell it either)

                • Dorothy Grant, that is such a wonderful piece of social observation that I don’t know how to praise it. Amazing.

                  • Yes, brava!!

                  • Dorothy Grant

                    Not, ah, that I ever actively helped people along that path. Well, not intentionally. But I love good food, and I love sharing good food, and the intriguing allure of “It’s devil’s club gnocchi! This vegetarian dish isn’t from loving animals, it’s from hating that plant, and serving revenge hot and steaming with gorganzola sauce!” is too much to resist.

                    • Agree with you on hating devil’s club, can’t say as I have ever ate it, though. Unless eating a bear that was eating devil’s club counts?

          • A) You mean my opinion that we are in the express lane to Heck in the giant economy-sized handbasket and have already passed the point of “no return, enjoy the fall while you can” isn’t sufficiently glum?

            B) -5 is an exponent. Just sayin’

        • Guilt feelings? Rich and strong and powerful, always bad, at least when resembling the designated guilty party of the last centuries (white, western) so enjoying reading about adventuring and winning also bad since it’s mere wish fulfillment, at best. Won’t teach anything and not profound at all. Unless in the end the hero becomes more miserable in spite of having gotten the gold and the princess, maybe, then it can be profound because… damn if I know.

          • Because the princess is a witch with a capital B? Oh, sorry, that doesn’t fit the empowered women theme. Or maybe it does… I am princess, here me roar! Sure you saved me from the dragon a year ago, but what have you done for me lately?

            • Besides, the dragon was one of the last of an endangered species, and the princess was very disappointed when the hero waltzed in and killed the poor beast since it surely would not have hurt her anyway, they are a mostly vegetarian species. Stupid hero. She’ll never let him forget his blunder.

            • And to think I just decide to introduce the hero and heroine in a work by having the former rescue the latter. sigh. They even live happily ever after.

              • Well, you could always have her rescue him, I think that’s currently still acceptable. Especially you make fun of the whole thing, especially of him.

                • In a work that has currently “been pulled from slush to take a closer look” at a certain publisher, I’ve had the hero and the heroine (and the heroine’s father) rescue each other so many times that I think in a future version I’ll have them get married so they can go on doing that more conveniently. 😉

                  • Er, the hero marries both the heroine _and_ her father?

                    On a slightly more serious note, I like stories with married couples, and would love to see more of those. As is one sometimes gets the impression that only when still just courting the hero and heroine can be interesting and heroic and have adventures, but will instantly turn to boring and non-heroic and presumably stick to only mundane everyday stuff once they make the relationship official (because that is usually the end of the story too, and if there are new ones there is a good chance that they are divorced or estranged and the whole courting thing will start all over again).

                    • THIS!

                      The Stainless Steel Rat was great because of Slippery Jim DiGriz, but it was FANTASTIC because of Angelina. Because she was the (psychopathic, murderous) pragmatic one.

                      Maybe I’m remembering it with rose-colored glasses, but I seem to recall enjoying Hart to Hart an awful lot. And I keep waiting to see someone recreate that dynamic in a married couple. (Alas, the closest thing I have found to date is Castle.)

                    • Sexual tension is far easier to write and play. Lust and desire are also easier to portray and for the audience to recognize. Ever since Moonlighting H’wood has had ample excuse to claim that marrying the characters kills the series.

                      IN SF the best instances of this I can think of were Stasheff’s two series, The Warlock (In Spite of Himself), featuring Rod & Gwendolyn Gallowglass and the Wizard In Rhyme, featuring Matthew Mantrell & Queen Alisande.

                      IIRC, Piers Anthony’s Xanth series includes many married couples, starting with Bink & Chameleon.

                    • Easier != better, necessarily. I think there’s a LOT of potential drama, conflict and tension in even the happiest of marriages.

                    • It depends to a large extent on the story. Some stories ended (or at least should have ended) when the protagonists “get together” (married or otherwise).

                      OTOH, “Bewitched” _started_ when the protagonists got together.

                      Mostly, I suspect marriage or otherwise “getting together” is either the start or the end, a “bookend” if you will. It’s rarely a midstream change, at least not successfully. Switching gears from “will they or won’t they” (have sex) or “do they or don’t they” (love each other in a romantic/get married kind of way) to “they have and they do now here are the problems that arise from that” is difficult but not impossible.

                    • That makes sense, and in the examples I cited none of them have a marriage in the middle of the book. In the Stainless Steel Rat series, the honeymoon (and associated capers) kick off book 2. Hart to Hart had the protagonists married from the beginning of the series.
                      Heck, even the Belgariad – Mallorean treated the marriage of Garion and Ce’Nedra as a bookmark. The betrothal happens in book 4, but the actual marriage is still a book and a half away and is the last thing that happens in the series. Mallorean’s threshold event is arguably the birth of their first child and his kidnapping.

                      Now, Krull treats it a little differently, as the marriage ceremony that’s supposed to happen at the beginning of the movie is interrupted, and it’s the completion of the ritual that brings about the resolution of the conflict. Heck, thinking about that, it’s almost a metaphor for the complimentary nature of men and women, neither of whom could defeat the Beast individually but together had the power to end his evil reign. (Okay, I will admit that I am TOTALLY reaching on that last bit… but… dagnabit, now I have to watch Krull again. I blame all of you for this.)

                      So, definitely a threshold event, should happen at the end of the story if the characters are single at the beginning, but doesn’t have to occur at the beginning of the story, although that can work also. Just not in the middle.

                    • I think it can happen in the middle, but in that case it’s “bookending” the end of “series 1” and the start of “series 2” because the before and after will be _different_.

                      It’s bridging that difference without losing your fan base that’s the challenge, especially if your story revolved to a large extent on the “will they/won’t they”/”do they/don’t they” question.

                      Case in point, the Dray Prescott stories. The romance element was strong in the early books. Then Dray married Delia of Valia and, after certain events, became emperor. But the stories continued for a considerable number of volumes after that (helped to a great extent by the setup which provided a reason why Dray would leave wife and children for extended periods–he wasn’t given a choice).

                      So it can be done. It’s just really, really hard to pull off successfully.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      In J. D. Robb’s “In Death” series (border-line SF & Mystery novels), Eve Dallas and Roarke are unmarried at the beginning of the series (he’s a suspect in the murder in the book) and are married at the end of the third? book. Their marriage is definitely part of the story from then on and Book 37 is due out soon.

                      Oh, Robb (can’t think of her real name) has said she not planning on them having children because it’d change the dynamics of the books. While she believes they’ll be good parents, the “what do we do about our kids” will be a big change for their cases, etc.

                    • DST has a marriage in the middle of the book! Though older kid maintains DST is Three normal sized golden age novels, jammed into one modern novel.

                    • Lady Bujold demonstrates how it can be done via Miles & Ekaterin. While a marriage can be a threshold event in a book, that is not the case in a series.

                      Alternatively, there is much to be mined from the challenges of adjusting to life with another person.

                    • Yes, but it’s harder to write. 😉

                    • You’ll like where both my main series and the new one go. Happily married couples who wish life were just a tad less interesting. Even worse (for those offended by such things), they have satisfying sex-lives! With each other! Some couples raise happy, mostly normal kids, too. Yeah, no HuNebCampbell award for my stuff.

                    • Eh, if they can pull it off. Except for the second and third John Carter book, for instance, Burroughs never really managed to convince me that a hero was chasing after his wife, because there ought to be a difference in tone. . . also you can bookend an adventure sequence by having the couple marry, but you need to invent a different bookend for an already married couple.

                      I frequently have the characters marry half way and often have a kid by the end, but whether I’ve pulled it off, I don’t know.

                    • Four words:
                      Myrna Loy, William Powell

                    • I thought so too. I thought “Man, that’s a permissive society” NTTIAWWT.

                    • Lee & Miller’s Liaden series have lots of married couples. Getting married is usually just the beginning of the adventures! Then there are the kids and grandkids’ adventures.

                    • Rupert/Hawke & Julia/Isobel of Simon R. Green?

                    • I think that I’ve managed to marry off most of my heroes/heroines in my stories, with children showing up in various places. Why not? That’s just as much a part of life as anything else. Sometimes, searching for “Mr/Miss Right” is a key part of the story.

                    • “Er, the hero marries both the heroine _and_ her father?

                      Yeah, yeah, I was unclear. Go ahead. Run with it. Get it out of your systems. 😉

                    • Sigh. Come on Dave — it’s so much FUN.

                    • Okay, this I need to clear up.

                      I prefer “David.”

                    • Yes, sir. Sorry, every other David I know goes by Dave…

                    • “Every other David I know prefers Dave”

                      And therein lies a tale.

                      When I was growing up, we moved a lot. Now, “David” is a sufficiently common name that there was often somebody who possessed the name already attending the new class in which I was starting.

                      The teacher would always, always, ask me “Do you prefer Dave or David.”
                      So I would respond “Dave.”
                      And every time. I mean absofarginlutely every time, the teacher would then say, “Well, so and so, prefers ‘Dave’ too.”
                      I thought, but never said (I was never _that_ stupid) “If you already made up your mind, why did you ask me?”

                      And so I go by David.

                    • Robert goes by Robert, because most other Roberts are Rob (Bob being out of favor, but he’s NOT a “Bob”)

                    • In physical reality (this is virtual lol) I go by Cynthia… NEVER Cindy… there is a few reasons…When I was growing up there were always two or three Cynthias… I would go by Cynthia B if another one wanted to be a Cynthia too…

                    • Here, you’re Cyn. And you’ll like it! (runs.) Ms. Bagley, dangerous as Cyn….

                    • Cyn-ical, Cyn-sational, Cyn-der, Cyn-dicious and so forth 😉

                    • *waggle eyebrows Cyn-less? (hubby likes the Cyn-full lol)

                    • My mom has a friend that goes by “Cyner,” pronounced “Sinner.”

                    • Hubby likes to say that he is “living in Cyn.” 😉

                    • TMI. 😉

                      On Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 8:44 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > ** > Cyn Bagley commented: “Hubby likes to say that he is “living in Cyn.” > ;-)” >

                    • LOL. And I thought I was the only one with a dirty mind!

                    • Really? That much. Wow. What stamina. (RUNS.)

                    • *snort You. Are. A. BADDDDDDDDDD. WOMAN

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      On the other hand, my Sister-In-Law named her son, “Stephen”, and swore that he would never be called, “Steve”. So I’m sure you can figure out how that went. Took him a long time, but he finally started going by, “Steve” about 10 years ago (he’s over 30 now).

                    • Had a teacher that decided I would go by a nickname of my name.

                      I simply didn’t respond to it– that wasn’t my name, so she wasn’t talking to me. It really did make perfect sense at the time… I can still remember my shock when I first heard mom tell the story, I hadn’t noticed there WAS a a problem! I explained once or twice that it wasn’t my name, and that was the end of it… as far as I was concerned….

                      There’s power in being oblivious.

                    • Dave Freer would make them fish like aliens who change genders in middle age…

                    • “Er, the hero marries both the heroine _and_ her father?”

                      Heinlein already did that one. 🙂

                    • Cyn-sous… Cynsous up, would you get me a beer?

                    • Cyn-tillating, Cyn-cere, and, once the contracts are Cyn-ed, Cyn-dicated!

                      But she would never smoke Cyn-semilla.

                    • Do I look like your maid? Sounds like something you could train your dog to do. /runs

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Well, Alex from Stroh’s could do it…

                    • My sister went to college with a guy who did the obvious when looking for a nickname for “Robert.”

                      He was “Ert”

                    • Speaking of nicknames, once I had a boss start calling me “E” after I refused to answer to the name “Liz”. I rather liked it.

                      Sometime I’m going to have a character named Elizabeth who goes by “Zabbie”. 😉

                      On Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 9:54 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > ** > marycatelli commented: “My sister went to college with a guy who did > the obvious when looking for a nickname for “Robert.” He was “Ert”” >

                    • We’ve also had some interesting reactions since our son’s name is Jonathan, but he goes by Nathan.

                      On Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 10:09 PM, Elizabeth Lightfoot wrote:

                      > Speaking of nicknames, once I had a boss start calling me “E” after I > refused to answer to the name “Liz”. I rather liked it. > > Sometime I’m going to have a character named Elizabeth who goes by > “Zabbie”. 😉 > > > On Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 9:54 PM, According To Hoyt comment-reply@wordpress.com> wrote: > >> ** >> marycatelli commented: “My sister went to college with a guy who did >> the obvious when looking for a nickname for “Robert.” He was “Ert”” >>

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Geez, the coincidental subjects I run into. I didn’t think of it before, but earlier today, I was talking to younger son about some of the unlikely nicknames normally associated with names, like “Margaret” becoming “Peggy”. Weird, huh?

                    • That’s a good description of the English, yes…..

                    • For not answering to what’s not her name, Foxfier is my hero. 🙂

                      Peggy isn’t a weird nickname for Margaret if you go by Irish/Scottish phonics. Meg/Peg is quite close.

                    • Some of Ron Goulart’s human comedies about futuristic detectives (Odd Jobs, Inc.?) feature a married couple.

                      (Goulart’s sf is fluff, but what fluff! Hopefully somebody like NESFA will reissue it at a consumer-friendly prices (the ebooks I’ve seen are not priced so). It’s too bad Goulart didn’t continue in this vein though of course I can’t blame him for going where the (ghostwriting) money was.)

                    • “Peggy isn’t a weird nickname for Margaret if you go by Irish/Scottish phonics. Meg/Peg is quite close.”

                      Except that Meg is normally short for Megan, not Margaret. Of course I grew up with a girl named Jessica who always went by Jellybean.

                • She’s not a swordswoman, and it’s a swords sort of situation.

                • My clockpunk WiP starts that way. I’ve been calling it Dude-sel in Distress for kicks and giggles. Of course, they immediately fall off a bridge into a raging cataract and are swept downstream to almost certain DOOOOoOoOoOOOOM!! There are pirates later.

                  • Pirates are always good.

                  • A nice novel of this type is Wen Tinker’s A Brother’s Price — which is offered as a demonstration of how to invert a meme.

                    I saw the “Dude-sel” and (thanks, Sarah!) imagined a novel in which the Damsel was actually a guy in drag, desperately striving to keep the truth unrevealed and finally falling in love with the hero. Since they bear no kids they do manage happily ever after.

                    • Thanks Sarah? I’m now responsible for your mind?

                    • Only for spreading the fertilizer enabling certain memes to take root.

                    • I thought he was implying that you were a guy in drag. Since you have kids however, that would mean that Dan is a gal in (what do you call a woman impersonating a man anyways?).

                    • Hillary?

                    • ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Dan is NOT a woman.

                    • A Brother’s Price actually has a reason for the inversion that made a bit of sense to me. I don’t think that the author tried to claim that gender roles were arbitrary and could just be flipped. She seemed to have a very good mix of, not only were children raised with different expectations, but there was a darned good reason to do so.

                    • Arrrrrggghhhhhhh! Wen Spencer!!! Spencer, not Tinker. Tinker is the lead character in her Elfhome series.

                      Yes, rather than just writing men in bras and women in codpieces her world in A Brother’s Price started with the premise that male and female are not simply social constructs, then built logically on what it would take for the roles to “reverse.”

                    • I knew exactly who you were talking about, without even noticing you flipped author and character.

                    • Yes, A Brother’s Price made sense. The flip was perhaps a little too perfectly neat, but she knew there were reasons why things tended one way and that she needed to justify it.

        • Sadly, for some people the pursuit of human excellence involves pitchforks and flaming* torches.

          *Is this adjective redundant, gratuitous or evocative? I spent three hours last night in mortal combat with tech support and buggered internet connection rather than in my wonted passed out stupor. In consequence, my editorial sense is sitting on the front stoop watching traffic when it should be helping me compose acutely phrased bon mots.

        • The real sad thing is that if you put them in your stories as villains, people complain that it’s unrealistic. People aren’t really that bad.

        • We can’t help them, they’re the bulk of humanity. Too many of those with a thirst for adventure get eaten by bears before they can reproduce.

          Fortunately it seems that the thirst is a recessive trait, so it keeps popping into the phenotype at random intervals. We need each other. The anti-social go and blaze the trails. The adventurous bring civilization to the frontier, and the normals build that civilization into something that can support the next push out.

        • “Adventure” is something that was a Very Bad Time that happened to someone else.

        • This is why 1984 and Brave New World are the most popular SF among the literati. Both are satires and therefore really about the modern world.

          This is also why you see pathetic lit crit that explains everything from the dragons to the magical gems as metaphors. That way, the critic can pretend they are really about the modern world.

          Well, that’s the better motive why they do that. The ugly underbelly was a man I caught officiously explaining that if the fantasy work doesn’t have real world contemporary relevance, it could be an amusing piece of fluff but was precluded from being serious. Which is to say, that seriousness was predicated on how close a work was to him and his environs.

          • ” The ugly underbelly was a man I caught officiously explaining that if the fantasy work doesn’t have real world contemporary relevance, it could be an amusing piece of fluff but was precluded from being serious.”

            Ah, the side effects of literati influence, they must justify their liking for Heart and Soul, they can’t just like it because it was a good story.

          • YES — I have to write this article, too. Yes. Making literature only relevant if it’s a “critique” of the “modern world” is possibly the worst thing the Frankfurt school did to our culture. And it turns reading into a form of outre torture.

            • Making literature only relevant if it’s a “critique” of the “modern world” is possibly the worst thing the Frankfurt school did to our culture. And it turns reading into a form of outre torture.

              I must say, it has even infected me at times. I sometimes think a story I write isn’t good enough if it doesn’t make some sort of statement, but I’ve lately disabused myself of such pernicious notions. Larry Correia helped guide the way.

              However, most writing has a worldview, a perspective on reality. This is quite a different thing from tiresome preaching, though.

          • Why is seriousness so important?

      • I’ve put up a new blog post making similar points.

        Also, take a gander at this Twitter of Lewis Lovhaug (Linkara19). I got him to retweet Sabrina Chase’s page. Lovhaug has a large viewership, so I just sent a whole bunch of eyeballs Sabrina’s way. The Human Wave rises!

        • Lewis Lovhaug? Holy Frijoles, it’s a small world. He and I used to converse a bit back when I was doing my webcomic Cold Servings. He even cameoed one of my supporting characters on his comic “The Lightbringer.” Both of our comics were about their world’s first super hero (his with powers, mine without).

          • You’ve actually met him? That’s pretty cool. I’ve never met him; it’s just that he often retweets links to his many followers.

            His Atop the Fourth Wall show is pretty darn entertaining, too.

            • Not in person. We both participated in the comicgenesis forums (back when they were still keenspace) and exchanged the occasional email. We both had similar overriding themes (“world’s first superhero” he going in the direction of a world where super powers exist, me going in the direction of “as close to reality as I can make it”) and started about the same time.

              • Sounds fun. I was writing stories at the time too, but most of them wound up incomplete or very bad. On the other hand, it’s how you grow and learn.

        • My kids are into Linkara.

  12. Even tastier if you add a bit of garlic and some lemon pepper seasoning to that drawn butter. But the burning question is of course are they single use or sustainable like stone crab where you just lop off a claw and throw them back to grow another?

  13. Yes, see us humans, waving! I grew up lamenting that I already lived on the Last Frontier, and when I was old enough to stretch my wings, there was no more to explore… Now I’m old enough to know better, but I want my children to be able to read stories that will inspire them to dream about the stars and beyond. We won’t go where we don’t yearn and ache for something better, something *more* and we won’t try unless we have the confidence that we are good enough, we humans, to do what we dare.

  14. Speaking of lopping off, can I petition for the addition of my poor little book links at the bottom of the list? (makes large, sad, dewy eyes) Or I will hold the butter-boat hostage! (Multi-pincered beings are safe from me. Would you believe the ONLY severe food allergy I have is lobster? On the plus side, easy to avoid…)

    • I thought I’d put in in GAH — sorry, I’m an idiot.

    • Since you won’t order steak and lobster, does that make you a cheap date?

      • I’d just order two steaks. Gotta have the protein to keep up with my boxing regimen 😉

        • Besides, the bar and desert menus are the real profit generators. Nothing stokes an appetite like a couple mixed drinks while awaiting the salad course and its bottle of white, and nothing goes so well with steak as a bottle of vintage red (take my advice: avoid the ’17 Lenin, but the ’40 Trotsky is to die for.)

          As for “cheap dates” … you gets what you pays for, know wot I mean?

        • ” Gotta have the protein to keep up with my boxing regimen ”

          Is that a subtle hint I should duck when I make comments like that? 😉

          • Actually, bearcat, I don’t think “subtle” describes a hard roundhouse right to the side of the head… 8^)

          • Subtle is not something I get accused of often. Call it “fair warning”. 😀

          • Even with gloves on, punches can be devastating.

            • Gloves protect your hands, not the person being hit. The newer style padded boxing gloves have done little but make boxing less scientific and more of brawl (by requiring larger openings to thread your fist through). You can hit much harder with gloves, both because they knit your fist into one solid instrument, and because you don’t have to worry about hurting your hands.

            • Tell me about it. I got kicked off the Academy freshman boxing team because I have a wicked right cross. I broke two guys’ jaws in sparring matches. A large part of my head injuries are from a boxing accident – I got knocked into a turnbuckle when the guy I was sparring slipped and fell on me. I spent three weeks in the Academy hospital. The thing is, I don’t LIKE boxing — I just happen to be good at it. I had an uncle that taught me well when I was young.

              • It seems you’re pretty resilient.

              • I think I first had the gloves thing explained to me by my grandfather, who was sparring partners with Jack Dempsey in the Navy. Of course I have the busted knuckles to show I had to prove it through personal experience. I wish I would have been a little older when he was around, maybe I could have learned something from him, as is the little I learned was through the school of hard knocks, and a lot of that wouldn’t be legal in the ring.
                Now it no longer seems fun to be a punching bag for somebody, it doesn’t seem to hurt near as much the next day as a teenager as it does when you get a little older.

        • Somewhat off-topic, but I was in the fabric store the other day (don’t laugh, I was buying zippers to put in my rainpant legs so I can put them on and off without taking my boots off) and the gal at the cash register had a hand that was all swelled up and wrapped. I asked her what she did to her hand and she explained that she had been sparring with her fiancé and he ducked, causing her to hit the wall; luckily (for certain values of luck) she hit a stud, so the drywall damage was minimal.

          • I’m sure she must have had a great time in the ER.

            • The SO has related tales of a female SCA stick-jockey who went to her regular physical, and heard the doctor asking some vague questions about her home life and relationships; she realized the doctor was seeing the bruises left by the sticks, and reached the Obvious Conclusion.

              On her next visit, she brought pictures from an SCA war…. 🙂

              • Wayne Blackburn

                One of my friends is a female stick jock, and she is very lucky that her doctor does some other dangerous activity (I think she said he or she plays hockey), or she would be facing the same questions.

  15. I can see I’ll be shopping tonight.

  16. *wanders through, picks up a book, looks at it, puts it down, finds another, paws through everything, makes much mess, finally decides on a $.99 book, approaches cash box* Um, can you break a fifty?

  17. Yes– I like a story that has characters, adventure, and new locales– Also slogged through the gray goo… in English literature… *sigh While I was in the literature program, a lot of the people there were embarrassed to be caught reading genre fiction. I would read genre to bleach my brain after a particular exhausting bunch of “literature.” 😉

  18. Beings of Furritude?

    • Wayne Blackburn

      You’re just jealous because you’re bald.

      • Those of us who suffer from male pattern baldness sympathize, Wayne. Unfortunately, all the furries we have are two cats and two dogs. Would love to add a mule — I always like to keep something around that’s as stubborn as I am. It gives me perspective.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Hmm… my profile picture doesn’t show the top of my head, or you would see that I’m pretty thin on top, too. However, I was poking at the fact that his avatar is a hairless cat, not anything to do with baldness in general.

      • The baldness thing was just a story told by my enemies. That Cicero … always clowning around.

    • well, you are. Sort of by the default, but…

  19. (Ah, for a minion I could dispatch to story world. “Guido, see to it. I want them all dead by chapter two before they all start the belly button contemplating until it reels the mind. Make them dead. Hide the bodies.” Of course, in many cases this would improve the pacing and action of the plot. In others no one would notice.)

    This sounds like material for a fanfic set in Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. (If you haven’t read them, run, don’t walk, to get a copy of The Eyre Affair.) Or perhaps something along the lines of The Protectors of the Plot Continuum.

  20. Pardon an OT cheer, but the draft of the fourth novel (of what was supposed to be a novella) is done! Now, maybe, I can get back to doing edits for the next short-story collection.

  21. A reader’s request to authors who are desperate to fill their unused spare time:

    1. Whether to make your work available DRM-free is a business decision I’m not qualified to advise about, but if you do so, please go all the way.

    2. By which I mean, make the actual file readily available to the reader.

    3. I haven’t bought a Kindle but have the software on my PC. Even for DRM-less free stuff, Amazon has hidden the book files heaven knows where on my hard drive. I don’t trust them not to meddle, not to obsolesce the current software, etc. Ditto for other online vendors.

    4. (Once you’re DRM-free, I doubt that Amazon’s hiding the file will inconvenience a serious and knowledgeable malefactor. It does inconvenience somebody like me, who might want to do back-up, change the format, etc.)

    5. I’m only talking about DRM-free stuff, not about the tricky flip side.

    6. Just one reader’s opinion. Please take it as feedback, not as pestering.

    • Wellll… if I was looking for downloaded Amazon books on my Windows PC, I would probably look in My Documents > My Kindle Content. The names of the files will be a bit scrambled, but for the actual book you want the .azw file.
      (Assuming that you’re using Windows 7. I’d have to check on my XP PC at home or my Mac to identify where the content is on those machines.)

      • Thanks!

        I had checked the Download folder & searched the whole drive by the filename of the opened book: no luck: Your suggestion did the trick.

        • No problem. I live to serve, kick rear end, and chew bubble gum. And to gripe about the vileprog-intellectual-educational complex.

        • A tip, which I cannot guarantee (except that it has thus far worked for me): when you find the downloaded file, change the file name to match the book actually contained. I usually do that as part of my process of recognizing the file in Calibre.

          The few times I have tried to read the digital book it seems to have worked, but as I mostly adore my dead tree and will read that mode until I run out.

        • A couple of other things you can look for: if you’re running XP, look for the .mobi files. I did a query on my main drive last nignt using the search string “*.mobi” so I could find where Calibre was hiding my converted files (it was in the Calibre sub-folder of my “download” main folder).

          The reason I was searching was that I was chatting with Keith Glass at Sarah’s Diner about uploading books for their Operation BaenBulk — providing Kindles and content to military members recovering in military hospitals. I offered ALL my current novels free, and also to help with the project (I’m going to be adding Kipling works from Project Gutenberg, maybe some other things). Learned a bit in the process.

    • Rob Crawford

      The program calibre and Google are your friends for solving these problems.

      • I like calibre.

        If my risky high-payoff proprietary activities pan out, my priorities will be:

        1. Pay off my debts. In all likelihood, relocate from MA, which just had the brilliant idea of taxing technology services.

        2. See that the educations of my nephews & nieces are provided for.

        3. Donate to developers whose free software has been indispensable or has made life easier (that includes calibre). Steer some business to the software vendor who’s been letting me pay academic prices for high-end products.

      • One thing I’ve noticed with calibre files is that they create a folder for each author, and a sub-folder for each work. They then stuff all the various formats for that book into that one folder. One BIG problem with Calibre is that they create a separate Author folder for various variations of the same name. Windows also lists the folders in alphabetical order, but it may use the first name, the last name, or any other variation the author (or whoever uploaded the book) chose to list it by.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          You can edit the name field in Calibre so that all books by a given author are in the same author folder.

        • I have found that a little care and attention in Calibre (editing author names for consistency, for example) can reduce that problem, although I admit I haven’t looked into how the program is storing such material in the computer’s directory.

          It does bring to mind a problem I have been having with Audible’s Manager. When I first enrolled in the program the Manager allowed me to easily sort books into files by genre/author/series (such that a book could be tossed into the SF/Heinelin/Shorts folder, for example) but more recent versions of their Manager seem to insist on keeping a copy of the MP3 file in the main directory as well as in the subdirectory, and refusing to let me delete the main directory listing. I keep meaning to call their help line to try to resolve the matter, but, well, timing, priority, phone help lines, you know how it is.

          Anybody else have this problem? Anybody have success resolving this problem? Anybody else even have any idea what I am trying to describe?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      GS, for Kindle files that you’ve downloaded (via the Kindle software) to your PC look in the standard “My Documents” folder/directory for a folder/directory named “My Kindle Content”. While Amazon uses letters & numbers to “name” a Kindle file, you can “rename” the files to whatever you want (and move them to another folder) and the Kindle software will still recognize them. Of course, there are ways to remove DRM and there are ways to change the format of the stories/novels. I routinely use the Calibre software to change Kindle files to epub files.

  22. Dang, I’m too slow. Maybe I can have “Dr. Mauser: Red on Red” ready for next year’s sale. It’s about a Scientist who makes the best of it when forced by circumstances to become a legally registered Mad Scientist. (Maybe I’ll switch to using Twitter for my login so you can see the Icon someone drew of him for me.)

  23. I just downloaded them all, because of who was selecting them. I think that means you just created a commercially viable imprint. Hmm.

  24. William O. B'Livion

  25. Someone requested a poem– I think in the last post– but here it is… and so the maximum people can hate my poet-telling, I will start it with the line– It was but a dream 😉

    It was but a dream
    her legs in the air
    as she gave birth
    to a second son–

    She bled and froze
    not hearing the doctor
    explain why her tubes
    would be better tied
    her duty finished

    She was groggy, tired
    when she said not a word
    the doctor assumed
    consent

    When she woke
    with the pain and the son
    she hoped
    it was but a dream

    • I’ve heard of a woman being handed a consent form for a C-section with the “tubes tied” option being already checked.

      • What a douche– to do that to a woman… Some doctor in the little town in NE Utah would tie the tubes of little girls as he was fixing their tonsils (or in some cases appendix) One girl found out when she tried to get pregnant after her marriage. Of course, there was nothing she could do to get pregnant. I don’t think the doctor was ever charged or put in prison (should have been.)

        • “Some doctor in the little town in NE Utah would tie the tubes of little girls as he was fixing their tonsils”

          *Scratches head perplexedly* Don’t you use slightly different incision points for those two surgeries? I would think at least the parents would notice.

          • You would think– but it was in the 70s and people really trusted their doctors then.

            • We had large scale involuntary eugenic sterilization programs in many states. No, we didn’t get it from the Nazis.

              THEY copied US.

              • Yea– I know that there were rumors that children who were considered mentally incapable by someone’s standards were sterilized. I know as a child, it was a stigma to have a child that had physical and mental limitation. The docs (and state workers) in our area (Utah btw) tried to convince my parents to put my youngest sister (a Downs Syndrome child) into an institution. They tried to tell us that she would never walk or talk. It was a good thing that my parents refused. Although I would like to see better opportunities for her, at least she can walk, talk somewhat (her tongue is too big for her mouth– causing problems with sounds) and dress and feed herself. She was born in the late 70s.

                • George Will and his wife were told their first child could be put in foster care while they considered whether they really wanted to take him home.

                  • The school tried to pressure us to sign papers that allowed them to take Marsh away from us if we didn’t allow him to put them in the slow class, because his pre-school teacher thought he was autistic. (No, even given his sensory issues, she had NO justification for THAT.)

                  • trying hard to NOT go in a rage– I really love my Downs sister… she is over thirty now–

                • Thank God for Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans– they refused to warehouse their daughter, and basically started a counter-culture of treating kids with Down’s like any other sick kid instead of like… I can’t even think of a good comparison.

                  I remember when I was a kid, it was surprising if folks with Down’s lived to their 20s– now my cousin graduated with one, and he’s in his 30s. (Yes, it was a small-town social thing, but he’s very good help for his mom at the coffee shop, and you could not ask for a better defense against eugenics crap than some 30 small town kids that then scatter to all corners and go ballistic at the idea of their friend not being worthy of life.)

                  It’s not just improved medical care.

                  • Part of the problem with Down’s Syndrome kids was that the “therapy” given them was counter-productive. Isolating and ignoring is not an effective therapy for much of anything, of course, but it has been found that involving these kids and integrating them into the community yields significant benefits for both Down’s Syndrome kids and the community. [SEE: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120915/NEWS10/309150118/Ted-joined-Reds-day-changed-team-forever ]

                    We used to treat polio victims much the same way — until

                    Elizabeth Kenny (20 September 1880 – 30 November 1952) … an unaccredited Australian nurse … promoted a controversial new approach to the treatment of poliomyelitis in the era before mass vaccination eradicated the disease in most countries. Her findings ran counter to conventional medical wisdom; they demonstrated the need to exercise muscles affected by polio instead of immobilizing them. Kenny’s principles of muscle rehabilitation became the foundation of physical therapy, or physiotherapy.
                    WikipediaSister Kenny was the subject (and title) of a 1946 Rosalind Russell film that earned her an Academy Award nomination.

                    Appropriate care is not simply “improved” care — and it is a reminder that “state of the art” care is oft time wrong.

                  • Oh yea!!!! They are some of the most opinionated and joyous children I have ever met. 😉

                    • Opinionated, single-minded, stubborn… dang I just realized I’m describing myself, and I’m pretty sure I’m not Downs. 😉 But I’m not eager to please or as joyous, so I guess that leaves me out.

                      I recall surveying at the Fairgrounds for a new parking lot. The guy I was working with had the transit set up in the edge of a flower bed, there was a Downs guy that worked there, cutting the grass, weeding, watering the flowers, etc. He comes walking over to where Tony is set up carrying a sprinkler with the hose kinked in his other hand, and tells Tony he needs to water the flowers. Tony asked if he could wait a couple minutes and he would be done and move the instrument. The Downs guy yells, “She wants them watered NOW!” and tosses the sprinkler directly under the transit, at the same time releasing the hose that he had kinked. I thought Tony was going to blow a gasket, and I was laughing so hard I had to sit down. He was just following directions and trying to please his boss, but it certainly was funny to watch him toss than sprinkler right at Tony’s feet and totally soak him.

                    • Oh yea– that would be funny 😉

              • This doctor was a proud proponent of limiting the population. So I have wondered since finding about this incident and others that he may have been sent for that type of program. He was not from that town… and he kept himself away from making friends in the community. I met him once or twice and he had a creepy energy.

                • At least this explains why, when I went in for infertility at 23, with obvious early miscarriage issues (i.e. trouble with implanting) the doctors wanted to do a laparoscopy first thing off to look at my tubes. There were probably these in Portugal, too. And no, we never did it. We couldn’t afford it, and adhesions are only normal in older women. It was 2k at the time, and it had the potential of leaving scars that caused… infertility. So, we told them no. Curiously, when given the hormone most people naturally have to support the lutheal phase (I can’t remember now, brain is fried) we got Robert right off. Marsh, OTOH is a miracle.

              • Many state prisons still do things like this, especially for repeat offenders. I don’t know how legal it is.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            I was thinking something similar. How could he do that and no one asked why those incisions were there? Even a laparoscopy leaves SOMETHING there.

          • When I got mine fixed in the late 80s, it was an all-day in-the-bowels-of-the-hospital thing, fully knocked out.

            If the guy was using a method that didn’t take an incision, it’s plausible. Especially if he was following the standard I’d deduce from how long women spent in the hospital there, and the girls were kept at minimum over night.

        • Apendix I can see. Tonsils? How in heck?

          • Turns out he was on a one-man crusade to sterilize the community… he tried a lot of tubes of the adult women– also abortions– he told many women that their babies would live with real problems. One woman he pressured (and the family) had the abortion and the baby was fine… She felt so guilty… and yes, it was a Mormon community. There were good reasons that my family distrusted most doctors for the longest time.

          • If a little kid has never had surgery before, how would a little kid know where she was supposed to be hurting? And if the additional cut were small, I suppose the doctor lied and said it was for an IV or something similar.

            • I was thinking more of the parents, but depending on the age of the kid, I would expect a normal 8 year old to wonder why having their tonsils removed involved a cut well below their chest cavity.

        • What an evil, inhuman monster. I think about someone doing that to my daughter, and I can’t say that I wouldn’t jump over any and all legal recourse straight to the torches and pitchforks.

      • BTW this poem is a little rough. lol I’ll probably put it into my blog and do a polishing.

  26. William O. B'Livion

    ”’to sigh and say “I want them all dead by chapter two.” ”’

    What, you going to start writing zombie fiction?

    • I HATE Zombies. I’m not reading Ringo’s latest, even.

      • Another thing we have in common– (I hate zombies too *wink)

      • C’mon – you know you’re dying to write a novel in which the VileProg Zombies threaten the liberty of all and sundry. I bet you’re working up a whole new meme about various monsters being the embodiment of the VileProg ideology.

      • “I hate zombies”

        As a genre, so do I. I mean, yeah, I get it, humanity is doomed. Even if the heroes survive to the end of the movie there’s still several billion zombies out there and a handful of them. I. Get. It. It’s not a subtle point your making.

        So what happens? I’m currently writing a “zombies in space” piece.

        I’m thinking I need to be upside my muse’s head with a clue by four but I’m afraid she’d stop talking to me.

        • Would werewolves in space be freed from their lunar issues? Their enhanced senses, speed and strength and their regenerative abilities might make them uniquely suited to that environment.

          OTOH, vampires would minimize life–support requirements and not suffer excessive aging on light-distance voyages.

          • RES, if you make me write werewolves in space and/or vampires in space, it will NOT go well with you.

            • What if a werewolf traveled to a planet with multiple moons? Would that be a Very Bad Thing? How about traveling between stars where there is no moon? What if the werewolf lives on a moon, a la Yavin 4 or the forest moon of Endor? What if an entire tribe of werewolves lives on a moon, and then some of them leave and turn human-ish?

              • Werewolves of Titan? Where they are able to maintain their fully mature state and aren’t driven insane by the wrenching changes?

                Aaoooooo!
                Werewolves of Titan!
                Aaoooooo!

                • Dang it, I go find the link to this, come back, and you have already posted it.

                • I had a friend once who when he got drunk would sometimes hang upside down from the tree in front of our house singing Werewolves … The neighbors were glad when he moved out. Haven’t seen him in years. Maybe he moved to Titan?

              • It.Will.Not.Go.Well.With.You.

              • What if a werewolf traveled to a planet with multiple moons

                The werewolves adapt by splitting into hostile clans/packs, each of which is triggered by a different moon. Then, one day after the passage of centuries, two teenage werewolves break the taboo against getting involved with another clan. Since their moons sometimes are and sometimes aren’t in sync, complexities ensue.

                Oh, and this happens just as some kinda Great Evil is reawakening. And everybody says it’s the teens’ fault. Except there’s this obscure, nearly forgotten prophecy blah blah blah.

                • The Moon-Crossed Lovers?

                  Great, now I have another story idea kicking around in my head. If I ever manage to write it, I’ll blame you publicly on the dedication page.

                  • And the critics rave:

                    Robin Munn’s The Lupiad Vol. 1: The Moon-Crossed Lovers reads like an inspired synthesis of Frank Herbert, Stephenie Meyer, and P.G. Wodehouse. Buy it. Now.

                    George Lucas, are you reading this?

            • Werewolves vs vampires, in space? Nyah – there’s no market for that!

              Of course, if vampires were to venture into space, it would make sense for them to take an undead vampire cat with them.

              And ain’t nobody interested in wombats in space. (Now, a story about two wombats shipwrecked on the African coast and dying shortly after giving birth to their child, leaving him to be raised by the Great Apes of the jungle … there might be money in that.)

              • Wayne Blackburn

                You know, Stargate Atlantis kind of had Vampires in Space, with the Wraith.

                • Jacqueline Lichtenberg had some kind of space vampire thing going on. (Those of My Blood, and Dreamspy.) And of course, Colin Wilson.

                • And you know what sucked about SG: Atlantis? The Wraith were all interchangeable characterless monsters (until the last couple of seasons) not unlike zombies.

                • The only time I found vampires even partially interesting was in reading Larry Niven’s “Ringworld” series. I haven’t read any of the “Con” books yet, although I find what I do read of them quite interesting.

                  • Wayne Blackburn

                    Well, the vampires in the “Con” books are very different from others. I liked the books, myself.

                  • I prefer shapeshifters over vampires and don’t care for zombies at all. Kate’s vampires are pretty good, I prefer Impaler over the con books myself but they all are definetely worth reading.

            • A college friend and I were playing with the idea that the Oort cloud counts as uncrossable running water for various spooks. Couldn’t quite turn that into a story, though.

              (There’s also the Buffy/Firefly crossover fanfic I’ve had running through my head for years…)

              Peter Watts did a plausible SF version of “vampires in space” with Blindsight. The story’s premise is a humanity-is-doomed dystopia, but the the vampire bit worked for me.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                Sure you could. It’s the only thing keeping them out, and when we cross that barrier, we run into them.

          • Rob Crawford

            Vampires in Space was the concept behind a not-completely-awful ’80s movie, “Lifeforce”.

            • That’s based on a book, ‘Space Vampires’ (what else?) by Colin Wilson. Pretty good book, as usually better than the movie. At least more logical. I suppose the female head vampire was the big plus in the movie version for guys, considering her lack of clothes and enviable form.

        • Ohhhhhh. That’s why. It’s gray goo with action scenes.

          I just thought it was hatred of humanity and paranoia about red states.

          • Ringo’s zombie book(under a graveyard sky, out in September) isn’t grey goo at all.

            • Of course not. I still have the ick to zombies — kind of like some people won’t even read MY vampires…

              • I know that. I don’t like Ringo’s Posleen or Council Wars books. I just wanted to keep Ringo’s rep for Never writing grey goo clear.

                • I like his Posleen books, but the Council Wars I didn’t care for, after trying There Will be Dragons I never would have read the others if I didn’t get them in a bulk box of SF books that included everything Ringo had written to date (this was a few years ago).

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          That’s not why I dislike zombies. I don’t “buy” reanimated corpses being a “permanent” danger. If they’re corpses, eventually they’ll rot away and “no more zombie”. All the heroes have to do is prevent the existing zombies from “infecting” live people until all the zombies rot away. Oh, I also do not “buy” reanimated corpses happening for “scientific” reasons. Magic is another story. [Wink]

          By the way, I’ve heard that Ringo’s zombies aren’t reanimated corpses. Apparently, there’s a disease that causes infected humans to lose most of their intelligence and causes the infected humans to attack/eat uninfected humans.

          • Yes. I still don’t LIKE it.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              But Sarah! You have to dislike zombies for the *correct* reason! [Very Big Evil Grin While Flying Away Very Very Fast]

          • I’m sure Ringo did a good job, and man, did he get a lovely cover, but… ick.

          • Rob Crawford

            See, this is why I’m investing in boar spears and halberds.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Well… I can see a reanimated FRESH corpse happening, as long as the neurons hadn’t decayed too much by then. I dreamed up a way for it to happen, but the story I was trying to write wasn’t working, so I put it away. Basically, though, a genetically engineered biological treatment for Alzheimers that actually repaired the neurons got infected by a virus that causes rats to go into nonstop eating orgies, and it turned into something that would keep the brain going AND repaired, while making the victim endlessly hungry.

            • But you can’t really be scared of sick people. It’s distasteful and sad and unfortunate, but it’s not a monster. You can’t just blaze away at a non-monster. Not with the proper feelings of righteousness, anyway.

        • I wrote one. It’s a short story. It’s called In The Absence of Light.

      • I too hate zombie stories. The best part of a well written story are the villains but zombies are by definition characterless.

        Frankly, that was the weakness for a long time of Ringo’s Posleen stories, that the Posleen were almost zombies but for a handful of leaders.

        • Unfortunately, John is entirely at the mercy of his muse – makes me glad I don’t have one, that I’m aware of – and HAS to jot down the distracting little side things that show up in his skull. This one turned out to be four books (at last count) long. Poor bastid.

          • It’s called a gateway. Gateway in skull. This is why I hate to be under contract, because books — other books — show up through the gateway just to spite me. Like AFGM.

          • The downside of that is that he tends to stop suddenly, mid-series. On the plus side it looks like there is another Empire of Man book coming out. No descriptor on Amazon yet, but by the title (Empire of Man) I suspect it might be Miranda’s story.

            • My understanding is that there’s an omnibus coming out combining the “march” and “we few” books to be followed by a fifth Prince Roger book. My understanding was John Ringo was re-reading the series in preparation for writing a Miranda book or books, got to the end and said “Where’s the rest of it.” So he and David Weber got together to work on a new Prince Roger book.

              This is based on various posts on John Ringo’s facebook page so I’m not letting any cats out of any bags. (They can stay nice and comfy in their bags for all of me.)

              • So the one available for preorder with no descriptor is an omnibus?

              • Which reminds me that I’ve fallen behind on mailing anonymous death threats to Weber threatening him if he does not write another Dahak book.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  You can send the MWW all the anonymous death threats that you want, but Dahak has already identified you so when you attempt to carry them out, you’ll experience the True Death! [Very Big Dragon Grin]

                • Are you the person threatening me if I don’t release The Musketeer’s Confessor by Christmas?

                • Didn’t the Dahak series wrap up pretty neatly at the end of Heirs of Empire? The major threat dealt with, the traitors identified and punished, the succession secured for another generation. I don’t see what’s left to write; he’d have to introduce a whole new threat for a new plot.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Well there’s Dahak’s evil twin.:-)

                    On the other hand, the MWW agrees that Heirs was a good stopping point. 🙂

                    Sent from my ASUS Pad

                    According To Hoyt wrote:

                    > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com Robin Munn commented: “Didn’t the Dahak series wrap up pretty neatly at the end of Heirs of Empire? The major threat dealt with, the traitors identified and punished, the succession secured for another generation. I don’t see what’s left to write; he’d have to introduce a whole”

      • There is ONE Zombie I’m sure you like, and He/She/It/They write for PJM now.

  27. Sarah, you may have noticed that after 1 day, two of your offerings are #2 (Crawling) and #4 (Spinning) on Amazon’s Top Free SF Anthologies/Short Story list: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store-Science-Fiction-Anthologies/zgbs/digital-text/158593011/ref=zg_bs_fvp_p_f_158593011?_encoding=UTF8&tf=1

    Of course, I only noticed because Hitchhiking Killer For Hire is currently #3 on the same list. Not bad for what’s really a modern Western story…

    Seems like a lot of folks are just going down the list on offer and grabbing at least every single one of the free ones .Makes sense, anyway…

  28. First off, thank you, all involved writers, for this offer and opportunity.
    That said, have my fellow readers here encountered Tom Wolf’s essay MY THREE STOOGES, collected in his HOOKING UP collection? It addresses the way the American novel retreated from the exciting prospects of the novel of reporting (GRAPES OF WRATH being an example) into naval gazing and neurasthenia.

    • “Naval gazing”
      Well someone has to keep a lookout aboard! *runs*

      • You’re a HORRIBLE man. I thought the same but refrained!

        • Nothing wrong with naval gazing. If the deck crew of the Titanic had engaged in it we’d all have been spared that miserable lie of a James Cameron movie … and possibly even Avatar.

      • You know, you are just lucky that the IRS still hasn’t approved my 501C4 tax exempt status application for my non profit org dedicated to the elimination of puns.

        • Explain to them that puns are a particular attribute of right wing and conservative groups — that will get expedited processing for your application. Try to put the word “progressive” in there as well, that always helps. Remember: when they allowed as how both “TEA Party” and “Progressive” flagged applications for special attention, they didn’t say both got the same kind of special.

  29. Just finished reading “Men on Strike” ??? Helen– I wasn’t sure if I should cry and get really angry. It is much worse than I thought.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      The scary thing is that, despite all the sympathy she has for men and the way they are treated in some areas of modern society (I say they, because it’s not bad where I am, so I can’t include myself), she still has several commenters on her blog who are so alienated by it all that they call her a man-hating feminist. Assuming they are being reasonably honest in their stories of what they have been through, I can only assume that they have something akin to PTSD regarding relationships.

      • It sounds like they have been under attack their entire lives so I can see PTSD…

        • I buy a little PTSD, but I think mainly they’re jealous of her and Glenn. There are some really severe cases of misogyny over there.

          • Does she disagree with claims that child support is the moral equivalent of slavery? Or deny that all divorces are because women are nasty manipulators out to use poor widdle defenseless men?

            There’s a reason I harp on some folks being crazy feminism’s tail of the coin….

          • Maybe they have cause for misogyny– I know a few guys in their 60s who say they’ll never marry again because of experiences with the “woman.” He still likes to flirt–

            A few years ago, the hubby started to use me as a shield against children and their mothers. Children used to run and grab his legs. Today– the mother would call the cops.

    • I’m having trouble finishing it, not because of her writing, but because… yeah.

  30. Pingback: Promo Saturday | A Single Step

  31. A MODEST PROPOSAL:

    In the interest of enhanced participant value, making the tasks of our blog mistress less onerous and saving her the ignominy of ever again purchasing “100 Great Blog Topics” I suggest that we each proffer suggestions for possible future blog posts. Participants can vote on suggested topics and/or suggest their own.

    To start the role bawling, I offer for your consideration:

    101 Uses For An Undead Cat

    Puns: Why They Are Evil And Their Perpetrators Must Be Punished

    Star Trek, O/S: Why The Original Series Was A Vibrant Advocate For American Values

    Star Trek, O/S: How The Original Series Promoted Progressivism

    Star Trek, O/S: Why The Star Trek Operating System Is Faulty And Crashed Regularly

    Buffy The Vampire Slayer And The Myth Of The Redemptive Power Of Female Love