Back to previous post: …or assuredly we will all hang separately

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Weather outside: Still Frightful

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

February 1, 2011

Bill of Whats?
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 06:38 PM * 314 comments

New York State Senator Eric L. Adams (D, WF) who represents the 20th Senate District (parts of Brooklyn, including Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Prospect Heights), has a cunning plan. He thinks that parents should search their kids’ possessions for crack pipes and guns. Hey, let your conscience be your guide on that. That isn’t why I’m writing this.

Senator Adams has released a video on YouTube showing parents how to go about doing the searches, drawing on his 22 year career as a New York City police officer. As reported by WABC (and you can see him say it for yourself on his video):

“The first amendment does not apply to the right of parents to go through their homes to remove contraband or any other unsafe items,” said State Senator Eric Adams, of Brooklyn.

Dumbshit. Fool. Is that what they’re teaching cops about the Bill of Rights and allowing in the state house in Albany? The First Amendment says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
He probably meant the Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
And it’s true: The Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to parents in their own homes; it applies to government agents (such as, for example, police officers as he was, and State Senators as he is) acting in their official capacities.

What I find amazing is that neither he, nor anyone on his staff, know what is in the Bill of Rights, nor could they tell the differences among the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Comments on Bill of Whats?:
#1 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 07:07 PM:

Ew, ew, ew, ew, ICK!!!

That's ... I have no words to describe exactly how screwed up and wrong that is!

#2 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 07:10 PM:

It's the Fundamentalist strain of governance: the only way to really know deep down the true meaning of a subject is to be completely ignorant of it's primary text. Why read the Constitution/Bible/Koran/Ingredients of a box of corn flakes? I know what it really says!

It says we're all doomed is what it says.

#3 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 07:22 PM:

Well, the New York cops have asked children to report their parents for drug offenses as of years ago (I don't know if they still do)... looks like it's time for some "tit for tat"!

Of course, they show no recognition that these families, that they're trying to pervert and turn against themselves in the name of the Drug War, represent the very society they claim to be protecting....

I'll leave the Revelations quote to a Christian.

#4 ::: Marko Kloos ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 07:32 PM:

That malaise is common on both sides of the aisle, unfortunately. The sad part is that our legislators take oaths to protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution. How can you do that when you don't have a clue what it says?

That reminds me of Scalia stating that "the Constitution grants no right to an abortion." Uh, what now? The Constitution grants me no rights. It's a List of Things Our Government Is Allowed To Do. It is amended by the Bill of Rights, which is a List Of Things Our Government Is Definitely Not Allowed To Do, Ever.

Unfortunately, not enough of his constituents are familiar enough with the document, or care enough about it, to laugh him out of office. Truly, we get the Representatives we deserve.

#5 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 07:39 PM:

During the red scare of the fifties, one thing that appalled people was that the Communist Party had children ratting out their parents and vice versa.

Once again, "we have met the enemy and he is us."

#6 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 08:43 PM:

*facepalm*

#7 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 09:11 PM:

For what little it may be worth, the Senator is correct; the First Amendment is in fact silent on the matter of parents searching the possessions of their minor children.

I wonder, though, if his party affiliations would not be more accurately specified as (D, WTF?)

#8 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 10:33 PM:

You know, the first commandment doesn't prevent parents from searching their kids either. Not that I'd expect that he'd know those 10 any better.

#9 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: February 01, 2011, 10:47 PM:

I want a bill introduced that no one can serve in the New York State Legislature unless they can pass the New York State Regents Exams.

#10 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 12:00 AM:

Mmm. Eric, I wouldn't expect anyone to be familiar with a particular bit of religious scripture, unless I knew for a fact what religion they adhered to. Making assumptions about that is never wise.

And I strongly disagree with comparing the 10 commandments to the Bill of Rights. Only one of them is part of the U.S.'s governing documents.

#11 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 12:17 AM:

Glenn, #9: I want to see a Federal law to the effect that no one can serve in Congress unless they can pass the citizenship exam. I might be willing to extend that to state legislatures as well.

#12 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 12:44 AM:

Lee, @11:
Tests to hold office strike me as vulnerable to the sorts of abuses that the Voting Rights Act was required to remove.

#13 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 12:54 AM:

Andrew @ 12:

Not having any test has left us vulnerable to abuse by people who aren't qualified to be citizens let alone hold public office. Almost any system can be abused, as the gaming of the electoral system has shown in the last few years. I think we're better off trying to maintain some level of qualification and watching for abuse than trying to prevent abuse by not doing anything (which isn't likely to prevent abuse in any case).

#14 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 01:04 AM:

If the press were doing their job they'd reveal who wasn't qualified to run for office.

#15 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 01:10 AM:

They seem to have done a suitable job of keeping Christine O'Donnell out of office. If only that kind of coverage was more widespread.

#16 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 01:32 AM:

The only qualifications people have to have to run for office, at the moment, are being of a certain age, being a resident of a jurisdiction, and not being a convicted felon. Mostly, the press manages to weed out people who can't pass those on some level (whether R. Emanuel is actually a resident of Chicago seems to be causing some question, and the press has reported on it extensively). Much as we could wish candidates understand the Constitution, it's not a legal requirement.

#17 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 01:37 AM:

Okay, rather than say "not qualified," say "not fit."

#18 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 01:49 AM:

Andrew, #12: Until recently, I'd have agreed with you -- but the spate of outstanding ignorance of 9th-grade civics on the part of any number of elected officials has changed my mind. We require a certain level of competence to let someone drive a car. What's wrong with requiring a certain level of competence to let them drive the country? I think requiring them to demonstrate the same level of knowledge about their country that we require of immigrants seeking citizenship is eminently fair.

#19 ::: Daniel Martin ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 02:36 AM:

How about a compromise between the "tests for candidates" and "the press will out unqualified candidates" positions?

Taking a test is required. Passing it is not, but all candidates' scores will be published in the press.

As for this particular case, I'm not really a deep-cold-war child (the Berlin Wall came down the year I entered high school), but I also remember being told explicitly that part of what was wrong with East Germany was the whole "kids encouraged to rat their parents out to the state" mentality. That being said, I'm not sure that the opposite mentality (don't tell anyone outside your family's business) is any healthier, since that's one of the key ingredients in ongoing abuse.

#20 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 08:29 AM:

Daniel Martin #19: Binary Choice FAIL: There's a lot of room between "kids encouraged to rat their parents out to the state" and a state policy mandating "don't tell anyone outside your family's business".

I'd go so far as to say that any state which does not permit moral judgment by its populace is de facto tyrannical. That's a big part of the Drug War's failure, and an even bigger part of the "kiddy-porn" witch-hunt (as exemplified by the attacks on nudist photography, and the genera focus on images over actions). Of course, the attempts at whipping up purges against immigrants (and more recently, Muslims) include similar factors. In all three cases, the point is "we're the government, we'll decide who you should hate".

#21 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 08:51 AM:

Representatives Rand Paul Jr and David Vitter have cosponsored a bill that amends the 14th Amendment, removing the "if you are born here you're a US citizen" clause unless you've got at least one American parent.

When someone pointed out that amending the Constitution had very specific steps, and just passing a bill wasn't part of them, the two Reps responded with "we're not amending the Constitution, we're amending an amendment".

For some reason I thought all the amendments were as much a part of the Constitution as the first paragraph was. I guess not in Republican-land.

#22 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 10:19 AM:

John L #21: But of course, they claim that it's the liberals who are a threat to America...

#23 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 10:22 AM:

Me #20: OK, that was poorly worded on my part, perhaps better, "... a state policy mandating that the police have no power whatsover over what happens within a family." That gives the sense I wanted without quite so much straw-manning.

#24 ::: Dave Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 10:44 AM:

I often despair at the lack of basic civics knowledge displayed by our elected officials. And as a New Yorker, I kind of like Glenn @ 9's idea

#25 ::: CCClaudia ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 11:01 AM:

Daniel (19): I'm 5 or 6 years older than you are. When I was in middle school and high school, I was taught the Soviet Union was oppressive because its people had to show documents to travel inside the country. A remarkably similar image was held up as an example of Nazi oppression--that showed up vividly in fiction as well as being taught explicitly.

When the US was requiring more and more documentation for internal travel, as part of the War on Terror, that background knowledge frightened me, but did not seem to frighten many elected officials. (Yes, I wrote to them about it.) The Patriot Act exists because of the active support of legislators and judges old enough to take civics classes during the cold war. The problem is their priorities, not their ignorance.

#26 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 11:49 AM:

The Constitution is like the Bible. People profess to believe in it without actually reading it.

#27 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 01:43 PM:

Andrew@15:
They seem to have done a suitable job of keeping Christine O'Donnell out of office. If only that kind of coverage was more widespread.

Christine O'Donnell was a special case. She radiates Unqualified like a slug of political plutonium. All the media had to do was turn on a microphone within 10 feet of her for everyone to realize that she belonged nowhere near a political office. Or heavy machinery.

Most politicians are savvy enough to pull off an approximation of qualified, at least while cameras are rolling. Lately that standard has been slipping but it's still possible to elect a yahoo who sounds like he knows what he's doing, until it's too late.

There's also a whole other subclass of problem related to our culture's cult of celebrity, where a fair number of the voting age citizens will elect a total knob just to watch them make an ass of themselves in public. As if politics was just another form of entertainment and we are all living in a remake of Mr Smith Goes to Washington, written by Kevin Smith and staring Judd Apatow.

#28 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 03:47 PM:

Nicole @10:

OTOH, apparently atheists and agnostics tend to know more about religion than most self-identified religious adherents. Even in the specific subcategory of the Bible and Christianity, they beat out everyone except for Mormons and white Evangelicals.

#29 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 03:48 PM:

Maybe we could lure them into it. Get the League of Women Voters or someone to give the test and publically reveal how the politicians do? Make it a challenge?

We can't legally require any politicians to know what they're talking about. But we can surely try and institute a social standard?

#30 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 04:40 PM:

#27: I point to Morbid Curiosity Leading Many Voters To Support Palin: "A recent poll shows 62% of Americans say they don't want to vote for Palin, but kinda just have to see what would happen..."

#31 ::: Bob with a pseudonym ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 05:23 PM:

Glenn@30: I do hope you're aware that the Onion is entirely satire.

#32 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 06:10 PM:

SandyB @29 I was thinking of someone like the League of Women Voters to broker such a thing, too. I kind of like it being left up to me, as the voter, to weigh that against other things. I'd want to avoid, for example, thinking that someone who had 100% on a test on the constitution, but no practical leadership experience, was necessarily a better candidate than someone with 90% and a track record.

You can measure what they know. It's much harder to evaluate how much they care.

#33 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 06:27 PM:

OtterB @ 32:

While the score a candidate got on a civics test would be interesting, and should be publicly available, I think the important question is pass or fail: does the candidate know enough that we would accept their score if they were applying for citizenship. The difference of experience among candidates who pass the test is something the voters will have to decide in any case.

#34 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 06:49 PM:

Is it cynical of me to suspect that the primary effect of a law requiring officials to pass the citizenship test would be a quiet watering down of the difficulty?

#35 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 02, 2011, 07:08 PM:

heresiarch @34 -- yes, it's cynical. Quite possibly accurate, as well.

#36 ::: James Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 12:11 AM:

#28 Julie L.

There may be a methodology problem with portions of that survey.


We learn, for example, in Who Knows What About Religion, that "Most people (71%) know that, according to the Bible, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. This includes majorities of nearly every religious group, though less than half of Hispanic Catholics (47%) answer this question correctly."

And why might Hispanic Catholics score poorly here? Perhaps because, as every Hispanic Catholic knows, Jesús was born in Belén.


(BTW, I scored a 100% on it when I tried its questions.)

#37 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 12:50 AM:

I also scored 100%, although the one about the Great Awakening was a bit of an educated guess.

I was a bit bemused to see that only 93% of Mormons correctly identified the religion of Joseph Smith.

#38 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 12:58 AM:

I might argue that Joseph Smith wasn't a Mormon; he was a Protestant who founded Mormonism.

#39 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 01:54 AM:

"New York State Senator Eric L. Adams (D, WF)" - not sure what the letters after his name stand for - I'm assuming it's something like "Dude, What the F*ck"?

#40 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 04:46 AM:

WF refers to the Working Families Party.

#41 ::: Paul Dellechiaie ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 11:41 AM:

Just which of the many hideous things that have emerged from the legislative process in Albany in the last few decades makes you think that anyone holding office there lately has (or could, without a grownup present to help them sound out the long words) read either the New York State constitution or the Federal one? Nor is this Adams fuckwit even a particularly egregious example.

In short:
Politician = power-mad dimwit.

At least it is so enough of the time that I don't feel particularly guilty applying that particular stereotype. It's a matter of 99.9% of them making the other 0.1% look bad.

#42 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 12:26 PM:

I don't know why I find it so hilarious that 2% of the survey respondents thought Edith Wharton wrote Moby-Dick.

#43 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 12:33 PM:

Edith Wharton's Moby-Dick
H. P. Lovecraft's Little Women
Walt Whitman's The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

#44 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 01:45 PM:

Henry James' Tropic of Cancer
Ernest Hemingway's Invisible Man
Gabriel García Márquez' Fight Club

#45 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 02:11 PM:

H.P. Lovecraft's Moby Dick
JRR Tolkien's Little Women
Ernest Hemingway's War and Peace

#46 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 02:15 PM:

Thomas Hardy's Cold Comfort Farm
Robert Heinlein's The Left Hand of Darkness
Flannery O'Connor's Tess of the D'Urbervilles

#47 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 02:25 PM:

Lovecraft's Hound of the Baskervilles

#48 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 02:28 PM:

PG Wodehouse's The Color from Out of Space
PG Wodehouse's Lord of the Rings

#49 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 02:29 PM:

Edgar Rice Burroughs's Naked Lunch
(with all due respect to Philip Jose Farmer)

#50 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 02:32 PM:

Gardner Dozois's Wind in the Willows
(Wait, he did do that one)

#51 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 02:42 PM:

William Gibson's The Brave Little Toaster

#52 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 02:50 PM:

#47 ... featuring a canine of no earthly hue...

#53 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 03:24 PM:

Lois McMaster Bujold's The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
Gene Wolfe's Dragonriders of Pern
Charles Stross's The Number of the Beast

#54 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 06:14 PM:

C.Wingate#52: "#47 ... featuring a canine of no earthly hue..."
It was octarine, of course...

#55 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 06:35 PM:

heresiarch @ #34: Go ahead, let them water down the citizenry test and be proclaimed to be coddling immigrants.

#50: I didn't need to know about Gardner's wind, let alone his willow.

#56 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 07:44 PM:

Richard Matheson's Little Men
A. E. van Vogt's Mrs. Dalloway
Robert Heinlein's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
John Updike's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

#57 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 07:53 PM:

Arthur Conan Doyle's The Phoenix on the Sword
Charles Dicken's Pride and Prejudice*
H G Well's Dune

* It is a truth universally acknowledged that it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

#58 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 10:20 PM:

China Mieville's Of Mice and Men
Herman Melville's The Time Machine
Dostoevsky's The Dispossessed
John Steinbeck's Neuromancer

"Tell me about the AIs, Molly."

#59 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 10:27 PM:

Stephen King's Moby Dick (one of the other choices) was pretty popular too. I could see that.

#60 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 11:02 PM:

Shakespeare's Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen's An Interview with the Vampire (hey, she wrote that zombie book, didn't she?)

#61 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 03, 2011, 11:55 PM:

Mark Twain's A Princess of Mars.

#62 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:02 AM:

Mark Twain's The Fabulous Riverboat...
What?
Oh.
Nevermind.

#63 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:03 AM:

Walter Gibson's Neuromancer

#64 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:08 AM:

Debra Doyle's A Study in Scarlet...
Poe's Gone with the Wind...

#65 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:29 AM:

I definitely would prefer to read some of these possible books instead of the originals.

Possible probable my black hen,
She lays eggs in the relative when.
She doesn't lay eggs in the positive now,
Because she's unable to postulate how.
The Space Child's Mother Goose

#66 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:39 AM:

Frank Herbert's War and Peace
Fyodor Dostoevsky's Slan
L. Frank Baum's First Lensman

#67 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:46 AM:

A slightly different twist:

Sherlock Holmes' The Scottish Doctor
Lazarus Long's The Adventures of Admiral Bob
Bob Howard's The Pharmacist of Edinburgh

#68 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 01:09 AM:

Jules Verne's A TransAtlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!

#69 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 01:32 AM:

Isaac Asimov's A Canticle for Leibowitz

#70 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 02:25 AM:

Abi @46: Robert Heinlein's The Left Hand of Darkness

That'd be the one with the famous sentence, "The king dilated."

#71 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 03:03 AM:

A. A. Milne's Dhalgren

#72 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 04:53 AM:

Gene Wolfe: Sword of Shannara
Iain M. Banks: Battlefield Earth
Vernor Vinge: Transformers: Maximum Dinobots

#73 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 05:06 AM:

Kipling's The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock
Emily Dickinson's Howl

#74 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 05:44 AM:

P.D.James: The caves of steel.
Arthur C. Clarke: Norstrilia
Jack Vance: Dune

#75 ::: alex ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 05:48 AM:

Stephenie Meyer's Dracula

#76 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 07:37 AM:

Orson Scott Card: The Naked Lunch
Anne McCaffrey: The Dragon Masters

#77 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 07:51 AM:

I missed something and can't find it reading back: what survey of authors/titles are we dealing with here? I must admit some of the proposed ones are intriguing (though some are just icky).

#78 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 08:09 AM:

OtterB @77:

It's from the general-knowledge section of the Pew US Religious Knowledge survey linked to by Julie L @28.

Fewer people are able to identify the author of the novel Moby Dick (42% know it is Herman Melville, while 18% think it is Nathaniel Hawthorne, 4% say Stephen King, 2% say Edith Wharton and 33% say they do not know).

Emphasis added.

(I confess that exercises in pointing at people's ignorance frequently make me think less of the people who do so. They're so often cited to make the speaker feel superior to others, frequently with a side order of unproductive mockery. Whereas I don't think that was Julie L's intention, I'm grateful the conversation has turned in this direction rather than going where these things usually do.)

#79 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 08:18 AM:

Phil & Kaja Foglio's "Gormenghast". (oh, wait)

#80 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 08:20 AM:

C Wingate @ 52... Wearing a Collar from Out of Space?

#81 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:02 AM:

Serge @ #80:

*groan*

#82 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:23 AM:

#31: You only think that the Onion is entirely satire. If this didn't cement its reputation as America's Finest News Source, nothing will.

#83 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:28 AM:

Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) @ #67: A slightly different twist

Bilbo Baggins's The Philologist
Heywood Floyd's 1968
Jeff Spender's The Waukegan Chronicles

(And then there's The War of the Words, which I can't fit into the list pattern because the author remains anonymous.)

#84 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:34 AM:

Graham Greene's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever.
Joe Haldeman's The Broken Sword.
Charles Stross's Morte d'Arthur.
Homer's The Idiot.

#85 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:35 AM:

re 71: What, not Samuel R. Delany's Now We Are Six?

#86 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:37 AM:

... or for that matter, his When We Were Very Young

#87 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:42 AM:

John L. #21: That's Senators Paul and Vitter.

#88 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:50 AM:

Roger Zelazny's Grey Lensman

Elizabeth Bear's Tarnsman of Gor

Charles Stross's The Downing Street Years

#89 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:54 AM:

Lovecraft's Love Story...

"Love means never having to say you're scary."

#90 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 11:17 AM:

I had something organized around "if we described what living in the U.S. is like now, to the Good Old American Middle-Class Salaryman of the 1960s, they'd reply 'Yeah, those evil Reds. Aren't you glad you live in a *free* country?'", but I can't phrase it properly, or provide enough examples (of Cold War U.S. rhetoric, not what life is like now.)

So, from 88, szkb's Black and Gray Lensman?

#91 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 11:31 AM:

Tim Walters @ #71, C Wingage @ #85-86: Funny you should mention it. This used to be a popular sport in my hangout of choice:
Duelling Authors: A. A. Milne and Samuel Delany

Not mine, alas.

#92 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 11:33 AM:

Comment held for moderation @91 - Google groups URL

#93 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 11:41 AM:

Mike Ford's Nova

#94 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:14 PM:

abi @78 Thanks. The religious knowledge survey was the only one I saw mentioned before this riff started. Missed the "general knowledge" piece, and I didn't think either Edith Wharton or Moby Dick were religious figures.

Unless you wanted to turn Moby Dick into the whale that swallowed Jonah... Moby Dick, by the produceers of Veggie Tales.

Serge @80 Wearing a Collar from Out of Space?

I had to scroll back to make sure that wasn't a reference to some alt-version of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Now as far down that road as I want to go.

And @89 Snarf!

#95 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:30 PM:

OtterB @ 93... You mean John Norman's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

#96 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:34 PM:

Douglas Adams -- Ender's Game
Lois M. Bujold -- Slaughterhouse Five
Isaac Asimov -- Dune
Philip K. Dick -- Jurassic Park
Stanislav Lem -- The Vor Game

Fragano @ That Elizabeth Bear book...it's just special. I think you win.

#97 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:37 PM:

Glen Hauman @82 -- thanks for that link.

#98 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:45 PM:

Serge @94. That's it. Unfortunately.

And, with the twist from @67 and @83

Miles Vorkosigan: Mein Kampf

#99 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 12:59 PM:

Mycroft:
Perhaps you mean something like Cyril M. Kornbluth's Little Brother, or perhaps Cory Doctorow's Not This August?

#100 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 01:13 PM:

abi@78, et al:
I always get rather annoyed when results of surveys are reported as '18% think the author of Moby Dick was Nathaniel Hawthorne', and the like. What this actually means is that, when given a restricted list of choices, 18% plumped for Nathaniel Hawthorne. It's not as if 18% of the population are going around thinking 'Oh, that Nathaniel Hawthorne, he wrote Moby Dick, he did'.

Of course, this has the depressing consequence that actually fewer than 48% know it was Melville.

#101 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 01:26 PM:

Fragano @88, I probably shouldn't mention that I kind of have a guilty love for the book Tarnsman of Gor should have been, in competent hands...

...hmmm.

I once wrote a snippet from e. e. "doc" cummings' "gray lensman." It went something like this:

*clears throat*

***

ravening cruiserbeams
hurled across an unresisting sky:
grapple slickly withal
(brave men dine on
pan fried steak)
indomitable. hurling
atomic violence in concentrated quintessence
: blindingly brilliant annihilation

(a
sh
ie
ld

f
a
l
l
s
)

nobody, not even boskone, has such big guns

***

"Death of a Randall Garrett Gunner" wasn't nearly so successful, alas.

#102 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 01:40 PM:

ebear @ 100: Utterly awesome.

#103 ::: LMM ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 01:51 PM:

Philip Pullman's Left Behind

#104 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 01:58 PM:

The horror, the horror...

Frank Belknap Long’s Spacehounds of IPC
L Frank Baum’s The Hounds of Tindalos
Eric Frank Russell's The King in Yellow
Bram Stoker’s Carmilla
Frank Herbert’s The Lair of the White Worm
Stephanie Meyer's Dracula
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Frankenstein
Algernon Blackwood’s The Wind in the Willows

#105 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 02:01 PM:

ebear @ 100... Did you know that there's a movie (or two?) based on the Gor novels? I think it was made in Italy. It was shown on Mystery Science Theater. What more can I say? :-)

(Speaking of guilty pleasures... Mine is 1977's "At The Earth's Core".)

#106 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 02:01 PM:

Sinclair Lewis's The Jungle.

No, wait, that was my answer on a high school history test. And it wasn't even multiple choice.

#107 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 02:34 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 106: Not Sinclair Lewis's The Jungle Book? (Or even Upton Sinclair's The Jungle Book) Or, er, Rudyard Kipling's Rubyfruit Jungle?

#108 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 03:59 PM:

Ginger (107): Nope, but I like those suggestions!

#109 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 05:34 PM:

It's not exactly PG Wodehouse's "The Colour Out of Space", but Peter H. Cannon's Scream for Jeeves is the next best thing.

#111 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 06:47 PM:

My imagined increasingly improbable library includes

David Sedaris' A Christmas Carol
Ayn Rand's Utopia
Aldous Huxley's Sense and Sensibility
Anne Rice's Wuthering Heights

and, going the other way,

Jonathan Swift's Catch-22
H. L. Mencken's Manufacturing Consent
Mary Shelley's Alien
Aleister Crowley's The Secret

#112 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 07:24 PM:

@111:

Mary Shelley's Alien
The New Prometheus Facehugger?

#113 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 08:01 PM:

ebear #101:

Unlike John Norman's Tarnsman of Gor which I got for the price of nothing, and which I consider I paid too much for, I'd buy your's.

The Cummings pastiche is priceless.

#114 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 08:02 PM:

LMM #103:

You have won one internet.

#115 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 08:11 PM:

Connie Willis, Starship Troopers
RAH, To Say Nothing of the Dog
Ken MacLeod, Tom Paine Maru

The funny thing is that all three of those actually exist.

#116 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 08:28 PM:

Fragano @113

I'd probably tend more towards Assassin of Gor. As has often been noted, I tend to skip the origin stories...

#117 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 08:45 PM:

Interview With The Vampire by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Devil Wears Prada by James Joyce

Bright Lights, Big City by Gustave Flaubert

#118 ::: ebear ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:22 PM:

Uncle Jim at @117:

Interview With The Vampire by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I WANT THIS BOOK

#119 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:35 PM:

#118 ::: ebear

One of us will have to write it.

#120 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 09:59 PM:

I found the last time friends of mine did something like this, and it was good:

http://www.spatch.net/chainmind.html

I suspect the locals here would do even better.

(Come on, you can't just write down NAMES! I need to read these!)

#121 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 10:00 PM:

C. Wingate @ 85: Wouldn't that be Now We Are One Hundred And Six?

Clifton Royston @ 91: Excellent! And a strange coincidence.

#122 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 10:45 PM:

Jim @117: Interview With The Vampire by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Didn't Fred Saberhagen write that?

#123 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 11:30 PM:

#73 ::: abi :::

Kipling's The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

You can talk o' coffee spoons
When you're sittin' in your rooms
Or wanderin' dark streets wi' bad intent
But when comin' down the stairs
You 'ad better all bewares
O' our Michelangel-wallah, Alfred 'Frock!
The arguments 'e made
Very seldom would dissuade
The colonel from decidin' what was what,
But the way 'e tied 'is tie
Made the lads shout "Harry By!"
When 'e brought the mermaids to the sentry 'ut.

An' it's 'Frock, 'Frock, 'Frock!
Why you bugger, what's that 'idden in your smock?
You go risposta fosse
Wi' your senza piu scosse!
Why's a peach stuck in your pocket, Alfred 'Frock?

The uniform 'e wore
Was 'is trousers rolled before
An' 'is hair combed down a little bit behind.
When the fog was blowin' yellow
You'd go lookin' for the fellow
An' some novels an' some teacups you would find.
We was standin' in the hall
When Prince 'Amlet came to call
An' a lord was what we needed an' right quick
So we started in to shout,
"Is there any lord about?"
When up an' came a-trottin' Alfred 'Frock


An' it's 'Frock! 'Frock! 'Frock!
Would you leave off watchin' that thrice-blessed clock?
If you don't tornass' al mondo
You can just di questo fondo
You bleedin' literary Alfred 'Frock!

'E was tellin' 'is one joke,
'Bout a showgirl an' a bloke,
When the prince 'e keeled over wi' ennui
In the midst o' some digression
'Bout the claws an' their procession
That didn't make a lick o' sense to me.
So 'e took a slice o' toast,
An' a piece o' a cold roast,
Then 'e looked for just a spot o' marmalade.
Wi' a smile a little bent
'E said, "That's not what I meant,"
An' that is 'ow 'e ended 'is tirade.


An' it's 'Frock! 'Frock! 'Frock!
You're listenin' to a string quartet by Bach!
Wi' your stream o' conscious' blather
An' an angsty long palaver
You're an influential poet, Alfred 'Frock!

#124 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 11:46 PM:

Verne & Wells's Absolute Friends
Right.

#125 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 04, 2011, 11:47 PM:

HP Lovecraft's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

#126 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 12:54 AM:

Ginger @ 107:

How about Rudyard Kipling's The Asphalt Jungle?

#127 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 01:13 AM:

Jim @123, oh man! I was working on something along those lines myself, but you hit it out of the park.

#128 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 01:13 AM:

111, 112:

Was that a deliberate reference to the new Alien movie Ridley Scott's supposedly working on, or just a fortunate coincidence?

#129 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 01:48 AM:

My brain keeps transposing the A and R in Tarnsman of Gor. I'm not sure how well the resulting Transman of Gor would work out.

#130 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 03:05 AM:

T.E. Lawrence's Dune
Anne McCaffrey's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Terrance Dicks' The Time-Traveller's Wife

Also

The Rev. W. Awdry's Perdido Street Station
Philip K. Dick's The Da Vinci Code
H.G. Wells' A La Recherche du Temps Perdu

#131 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 03:06 AM:

Jim Macdonald @ 123: That is... probably unbeatable. Certainly by me.

So, it appears, is this addiction.

J R R Tolkien's The King of Elfland's Daughter
Agatha Christie's The Charwoman's Shadow
Lord Dunsany's Time and the Conways
William Hope Hodgson's Lest Darkness Fall
Joseph Conrad's The Boats of the Glen Carrig
Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Shannara
Alfred, Lord Tennyson's The Thousand Nights and a Night
Sir Richard Burton's Antony and Cleopatra
Eric Flint's 1066 and All That
H Rider Haggard's We
Ayn Rand's Foundation

Some of these I would far rather read than the others. This whole exercise seems to generate a surprisingly high proportion of "WAAAH! WANT IT!!!" moments...

#132 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 04:15 AM:

Ian Fleming's The French Lieutenant's Woman

#133 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 04:56 AM:

praisegod barebones @ 130: T.E. Lawrence's Dune

I've been known to refer to Dune as Lawrence of Arrakis.

#134 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 05:04 AM:

Jim @123:

faints

#135 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 07:04 AM:

Tim Walters @121:

Now We Are Eleventy-One?

#136 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 07:43 AM:

Jim @123: Bloomin' 'ell!

#137 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 10:00 AM:

#131: Lord Dunsany's The Lay of Leithian

#138 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 10:12 AM:

Racoona Sheldon's "The Women Men Don't See." Oh, wait...

#139 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 11:38 AM:

Janet Brennan Croft @ #138:

Not necessarily a tautology; Racoona Sheldon's "The Women Men Don't See" might well have been different from James Tiptree Jr's. The two oeuvres have distinct differences in style and in areas of interest, for all that they originated in the same place.

(Consider likewise Candyland, the collaboration between Evan Hunter and Ed McBain. Hunter and McBain were both the same person, but the whole point of the book was that their styles were so distinct that one could easily tell which of them had written which bit.)

#140 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 11:41 AM:

David Gerrold's Beam Me Home...

#141 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 11:53 AM:

Jim Macdonald (123): ::applause::

#142 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 12:17 PM:

Jim Macdonald #123:

Now that is how the thing is done!

#143 ::: tonyg ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 12:58 PM:

Courtesy of my esteemed significant other:

Oprah Winfrey's (autobiographical) "The Story of O"
Geoffrey Chaucer, "There And Back Again"
Joseph Conrad, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
Homer, "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants"
Marcel Proust, "How To Win Friends And Influence People"

#144 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 01:44 PM:

Thomas and the Dream-Eaters

Thomas steamed unhappily into the dark cavernous depths of Perdido Street Station. In the dim gray light under the skylights, lines of other Remade trudged or slid across the cracked concrete bearing the luggage of the passengers. Thomas pitied all of the Remade who were not fortunate enough to have a steam boiler like him.

In the distant depths of the station, he saw rows of silent Khepri, Cactaceae, and a mass of noisy humans waiting to board a row of coaches behind James' familiar bright red. The smell of oil and hot metal momentarily drowned out the familiar odors of dung-smell and rotting food. Not for the first time he wished he could pull a passenger train like James or Gordon, to escape if only briefly the hell of New Crobuzon.

The dark-clad figure of the Fat Controller, Morthem Bloodruck, strode arrogantly up beside him. Thomas wished he could at least nod subserviently to rid himself of the fear he felt. He cast his eyes downward respectfully.

"Thomas! I have a special assignment for you", he barked. "You must pick up some very important specimens for the Council!" He grimaced obscenely. "Under no circumstances must you allow this cargo to be dropped!"

#145 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 02:53 PM:

Paul A. #139: Evan Hunter and Ed McBain are the same? Oh, the folks at the bookstore will be very amused by that... our Mystery Room is overflowing with "both of them"!

#146 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 03:11 PM:

Neil Gaiman's Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath...
Peter O'Donnell's Little Women...
Agatha Christie's Poirot in The Lurker at the Threshold...

#147 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 03:38 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 60

... Shakespeare's Pride and Prejudice

Oh, why not. But it was starting to get a bit long, so I cut it short.

-----------------------

ACT I. Scene I. Bennett's House.

Mrs. Bennett: Nettlefield Park is let at last.
Mrs. Long has told me all the news.
But your expression tells me even more.
How can you lack all curiosity?

Mr. Bennett: That which you wish to tell me, you will do.
I will not stay your tongue. Say as you will.

Mrs. Bennett: Indeed. At Nettlefield, now lives a man,
Possessed of youth and fortune. On Monday,
Came he down in chaise and four, from England's North.
So delighted was he, that he is
To take possession before Michaelmas.
His servants will arrive by next week's end.

Mr. Bennett: His name?

Mrs. Bennett: His name is Bingley, and his fortune's large.
Oh, it will be a fine thing for our girls!

Mr. Bennett: Come wife, how shall our daughters benefit?

Mrs. Bennett: How can you lack perception on this point?
One of our girls may marry this young man.

Mr. Bennett: And is this why he locates to this place?

Mrs. Bennett: I care not. But he still may fall in love.
To that end, you must visit him apace.

Mr. Bennett: I do not see occasion for such acts.
You and the girls may go, or they themselves,
Without your escort, which may better suit,
That your fair beauty not distract from them.

#148 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 04:18 PM:

Charles Schulz's Moby-Dick, or The Football

#149 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 04:41 PM:

KayTei (147): I am delighted to have inspired that. Well done!

#150 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 08:14 PM:

KayTei: Excellent!

#151 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 08:23 PM:

KayTei, #147: Wow. Any chance you might finish it? I'd love to see the whole thing -- if it's too long, just put it on your blog and link it here.

#152 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 05, 2011, 08:28 PM:

# 148 Avram:

Charles Schulz's Moby-Dick, or The Football

That has one of the most famous opening lines in all of literature: Call me Snoopy.

#153 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2011, 12:17 AM:

Thank you. I'm quite flattered.

Lee, I hadn't considered finishing it out. But if something emerges, I'll be sure to post a link across. (As my earlier snippet comprises maybe the first two pages of the book, I think it had better be a link.)

#154 ::: ianracey ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2011, 07:02 PM:

John L @21

Presumably, then, they think it would take only an act of Congress to reinstitute slavery. Or that Congress, in fact, could make a law respecting an establishment of religion, so long as they passed a law saying they could do so first.

#155 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2011, 07:04 PM:

An excerpt from Barry Hughart's Cotton Comes to Harlem

It was a hot summer night in the year of the Rat when Master "Gravedigger" Johnson and I finally caught up with the confidence trickster in a vacant lot just east of Lennox at 133rd. I'm Number Ten "Coffin Ed" Jones. We got out of the Plymouth, tugging our jackets over our holstered .38s and walked over to towards the speaker's table. I was distracted by the smell of the barbecue from the pit in the center of the lot where the crowd had assembled; as usual we had been on the move since early in the morning, and hadn't even had time to go back to our apartment for a bowl of rice.

As we walked through the crowd we heard the speaker preaching over the amplifiers, "Tonight may be your last chance to come into your inheritance. Now is the time for you to recognize your heritage and return to your ancestral home." Master Li muttered something to me about ancestors being uprooted and shipped over oceans; we've had far too many cases in which ancestors had intervened to prevent their bones or their heirlooms from being interfered with.

"We would like to see the permit issued by the local Magistrate for this meeting," Master Li said to the two young men sitting on either side of the speaker's table. They stood up, pulling their jackets back to show their pistols. At the same time two guards by the armored truck at the back of the lot started toward us. One of men at the table handed over a piece of official documentation with signatures and seals on it. Master Gravedigger looked carefully at it and said to me, "I don't think it's a forgery; if it is it's better than any I've seen recently."

I watched the guards walking towards us. They suddenly stopped, looking past my left shoulder, and went for their guns. "Behind us," I cried and spun around, pulling out my pistol. Master Gravedigger dropped the papers he was holding, pulling out his .38 and jumping onto my back. He can't run very fast on his own since getting shot in our last case. There before us were three men, two of them aiming pistols and the third a sawed-off shotgun at the guards. Master Gravedigger yelled, "We are the authorities!" and fired a tracer into the ground right in front of the man with the shotgun, who screamed and fired into the ground. The tracer smoked and threw a hellish orange glow up into the faces of the gunmen.

"Put down your weapons," I yelled and shot the rightmost gunmen in the arm. He dropped his gun and began to change shape into something much bigger and much less human.

#156 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 06, 2011, 07:26 PM:

Jules Verne's Arthur Gordon Pym...

#157 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 02:10 PM:

tonyg @ 143

I believe that Samuel Beckett's How to Win Friends and Influence People is thought by some to be superior to Marcel Proust's work of the same name. (as well as being considerably shorter.)

Also recommended: Samuel Beckett's Now Wait for Last Year.

#158 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 02:56 PM:

In the same vein: Edgar Rice Burroughs' Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus

with the twist: Eustace Phenackertiban's Next of Ghost

#159 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 03:04 PM:

Rev. Awdry's The Difference Engine

#160 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 03:25 PM:

Leigh Brackett's Sweet Bird of Youth...

#161 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 03:59 PM:

Oh, dear God, I just read Mr Macdonald's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" to the tune of "Gunga Din", having managed to miss it before.

I concede the field to him and retire in confusion. I know when I'm beat.

#162 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 04:18 PM:

praisegod barebones @158

Let us not forget the C S Lewis version of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

#163 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 04:27 PM:

Mary Aileen @60:

Jane Austen's An Interview with the Vampire

Well, drat you, look what you made me do.

- o0o -

The family of Pointe du Lac had not long been settled in Louisiana, having emigrated from France some five years previously. Their house was elegant and well-appointed, built with the revenues of their indigo plantations beside the Mississippi River. The father, until his death, encouraged his wife and daughter in all the fashionable pursuits: visiting, and dancing, and playing on the harpsichord. After his passing, they continued much as they had during his life. The elder of the two sons, Louis, succeeded his sire in the management of the estate, which, though of a value to support the family in comfort, required a certain amount attention. Nevertheless, he too found time for the respectable pursuits of a country gentleman.

The fourth member of the reduced household, Louis's younger brother Paul, was of a more serious bent. Despite his mother's and sister's insistence, he preferred to remain in his rooms rather than join them on visits or expeditions of pleasure. His elder brother encouraged him in his pursuits, providing him with an oratory for his use and protecting him from the worst of their demands.

It was therefore a great scandal, and excited much comment in the community, when Paul fell to his death shortly after an argument with his brother. Pointe du Lac refused to give any account of the accident, but his conduct in the days leading up to the funeral was of such a nature as to arouse suspicion in even the most trusting of his neighbors. He was said to have stayed by his brother's remains for some time, and emerged distraught and troubled. His stiff demeanor during the ceremony was much observed and commented on, but few could agree whether he was paralyzed by an excess of emotion or entirely lacking in it.

Shortly after the tragedy, Pointe du Lac employed a firm of agents to manage the estate and removed with his mother and sister to New Orleans. However, the notoriety surrounding his brother's death was not so easily dispensed with. The entire family encountered a falling-off of invitations, particularly to the more select gatherings, and those they did attend were filled with the vulgarly curious and the coldly rude. Miss Pointe du Lac, with portion and beauty alike to recommend her, found herself bereft of suitors, while her mother sat alone more mornings than she hosted visitors.

Pointe du Lac, widely seen as the author of his family's troubles, ceased to pursue the life of a gentleman. He did not attend even those few parties to which he was invited, instead spending his time in the more disreputable establishments of the city. His remaining friends reported finding him in an unfortunate condition with increasing frequency. It was rumored that his debts were soon to outstrip the income from his estates. He was said to have provoked duels and refused to fight them.

It was to no one's surprise, then, and few people's disappointment, when his unconscious body was found outside of his door one morning. He was ill in a fashion that the family doctor was unable to diagnose, and was indeed held to be on the verge of death. Mme Pointe du Lac sent for a priest, and she and her daughter prepared to be bereaved for a third time. Their incipient grief was interrupted when Pointe du Lac, with an hysteric's strength, drove the priest violently from his bedchamber. Whether they preferred the embarrassment of the assault to the dread of his death is not clear, but Mme Pointe du Lac took to her bed after seeing the unfortunate cleric out.

Pointe du Lac heard of his mother's indisposition, along with his sister's less disabling—but no less painful—sufferings, when Miss Pointe du Lac attended him in his bedchamber that evening. "How could you treat Father Pierre in that fashion?" she cried. "You know that he will tell all of the neighbors that you meant to kill him, tho' he but tripped on our stairs."

"I did mean to kill him," replied her brother. "He was talking about Paul."

"Of course he was talking about Paul!" Miss Pointe du Lac wrung her cloth in the bowl of lavender water on the bedside table and bathed her brother's forehead with it. "There is no one in New Orleans who does not talk of Paul, and you, and what might have happened between the two of you! I vow, I hear nothing but Paul, Paul, Paul, all the day long! But need you make things worse with such behavior?"

"I confess, dear sister, I was not thinking of your social trials when I did it." She cried out at this, but Pointe du Lac refused to discuss the matter further. In time, as tired by worry as by irritation, she laid her head on the table and dozed beside the bed.

Shortly after she fell asleep, a gentlemen entered the room through the patio doors. He was tall and slightly built, with pale skin and blond hair falling to his shoulders. He saw that Pointe du Lac was awake, and approached the bed.

"I see that there is no one here in a position to introduce me to your acquaintance, so I will have to perform the office myself. I am Lestat de Lioncourt, and we have, after a fashion, already met."

#164 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 06:31 PM:

abi (163): Excellent!

#165 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 08:22 PM:

Robert Charles Wilson's Childhood's End. Oh wait, I'm reading that now.

#166 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 08:36 PM:

More, abi, more!

#167 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: February 07, 2011, 11:15 PM:

Gray Woodland @ 104
...Percy Bysshe Shelley's Frankenstein


I FEAR thy essence, dread promethian;
Thou needest not fear mine;
My spirit guides me in more human
actions than does thine.

I fear thy mien, thy tones, thy motion;
Thou needest not fear mine;
Soon, I'll end the twisted notion
my hands worked on thine.


I would place the monster in counterpoint, but the voice I would use is so close to what PB&Shelley has already expressed, that I find I want to tread so lightly I have trouble justifying the impertinence. Recollection, for instance, which, if it included only the speaker, would be exactly what I would choose. I can't really improve on that...

#168 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 12:37 AM:

Paul A @ 128:

Pure coincidence. I just liked the juxtaposition of the Giger image and the Romantic passion of Mary Shelley's story.

#169 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 12:47 AM:

Congratulations all!

Jim Macdonald @ 123:
That's absolutely daft and magnificently inspired.

Clifton Royston @ 144:
You know, I really like that, and I bounced right off of Perdition Station.

KeyTei @ 147:
No, no, not too long at all. More, please!

abi @ 163:
Brava! I can't wait to hear about the economic plight of unmarried vampires.

KayTei @ 167:
Very nice. I wonder what a counterpoint between Mary and Percy would be like (I don't know either well enough to imitate their voices).

#170 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 12:47 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 168...

What's that about the juxtaposition of the Ginger image and the Romantic passion of Mary Shelley's story?
("Serge, it's Giger, not Ginger.")
Oh.
Nevermind.

#171 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 01:03 AM:

Serge @ 170:
"Ginger?"

The alien did all the same moves as Sigourney Weaver, only backwards and in high heels.

#172 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 08:54 AM:

re 162: And also the screenplay adaptation; Forbidden Planet

#173 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 09:52 AM:

KayTei #147:

Thou hast about thee something of the Bard;
In polish'd verse 'tis plain the tale's well told
Of Bennet girls, and how they would be wed
To wealthy youths. Fortune's a funny thing
As Austen noted when her books she wrote.
But you've done better in quite short a space.

#174 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 10:47 AM:

Emily Dickinson's Howl

My generation's brightest minds
Destroyed by madness fell
Hysterical, dragged through the streets
Of Harlem or of Hell.

The angel-headed hipsters burned
Like starry dynamos --
And in cold water flats smoked up
Hallucinating woes.

They bared their brains to heaven and
They dreamed -- but never me
no lightning in the weeping streets,
Lit my Eternity.

#175 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 11:52 AM:

Jo @ 174: Wow! Wow, wow, wow!

#176 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 02:35 PM:

Jo Walton @ 174:

* doffs hat; bows *

#177 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 02:50 PM:

Jo #174:

Amazing!

#178 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 02:58 PM:

I concur with others, Jo. That's amazing.

#179 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 03:01 PM:

In Ry’leh did Cthulhu
A loathsome horror dome decree:
Where Alph, the cursed river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of blasted ground
With screams and moans were girdled round:
And there were death pits dark with hungering mouths,
Where withered many an incense-bearing tree;
And here was evil more ancient than the hills,
Devouring sunny spots of greenery.

#180 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 03:06 PM:

Andrew @100: Just to clarify my comment way up there: I wasn't giggling so much over the fact that 3% of people surveyed thought Edith Wharton wrote Moby-Dick, it actually was the delightful juxtaposition of Edith Wharton and Moby-Dick that tickled me, and which this thread seems to have picked up on.

I have really enjoyed reading all these mash-ups. They're better than the published Jane Austen mash-ups, mainly due to being a great deal shorter.

#181 ::: Paige ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 03:38 PM:

I think I'd like to read Agatha Christie's The Great Gatsby (co-starring Poirot and Hastings).

Mmm, and maybe J. D. Salinger's Great Expectations?

Mad props to all the poetry mashers, because those are excellent.

#182 ::: JBWoodford ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 03:45 PM:

Serge @ 95: Shouldn't that be John Norman's The Moon has a Harsh Mistress?

#183 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 03:49 PM:

How about Robert E. M. Howard's Forster's End?

The poetic version would be interesting doggerel.

#184 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 04:13 PM:

Then C.S. Forester's Howard's End

(I'm occasionally tempted to try to pass off Brown on Resolution as a work on computer graphics...)

#185 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 05:44 PM:

Okay, you guys are just amazing.

#186 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 06:17 PM:

Serge: Neil Gaiman's Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath...

This would kick butt! Especially if he gets to picks the artists....

Mary Dell #179: <giggle>

abi#163: <head 'asplodes>

Bruce Cohen #155: Wow! I'd buy that....

And my own entries:

Simon R. Green's A Spell for Chameleon.
Robert Asprin's Doorways in the Sand.
Scott Westerfield's Something From the Nightside
Mercedes Lackey's Making Money (poor Ms. Lackey!)

#187 ::: Paige ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 07:14 PM:

Also, I would like to read Jane Austen's The Big Sleep.

#188 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 07:42 PM:

I'd like to read Douglas Adams' Principia Mathematica.

#189 ::: Kelly Link ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 08:08 PM:

KayTei (147): If you finish this, please consider sending it to me at Small Beer! It's terrific.

#190 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 09:38 PM:

About 10 years ago I wrote a roleplaying game that was a steampunk version of Paranoia. Part of the plot revolved around (and featured excerpts from) Bram Stoker's Terminator. I'm not sure how much I want to go digging in my old backup files for the text.

#191 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 10:15 PM:

I leave, while yet you snore, this note of shame
To say: Some stones, half sunk in purple mead
Sit with the dishes. I'm who you will blame.
These alone are mute remains of feed
You thought to save, it clearly was your aim
To best ensure that none, by deed of hand:
The fruit that succored and the juice that spilled,
Might from your lips the sweetness countermand:
You spoke it not, but they were yours to eat:
"I'm saving these, my morning fast to break.
To steal them from me would be indiscreet."
Yet no cold plum remains. All them I took
For so furtive a feast, soundless and sweet,
Dregs of my deed abound where'er I look.

#192 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 10:17 PM:

Paige #187, find a thread from December of a few years back and you'll find Marlowe's "Big Slumber." I need to get my daughter down for her first slumber as a nine-year-old.

#193 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 10:29 PM:

Kelly, that is deeply flattering. Thank you. I will definitely keep your suggestion in mind. And I will see what I can do.

Fragano, thank you, too. That's actually really what I came back into this thread to say -- I was running out the door this morning when I saw your poem, and I thought it was fantastic.

Also, I am really impressed by (and enjoying) everyone else's contributions... Though after this, I may have to add even more books to my reading list. Some of these fragments and combinations have me so curious...

#194 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 10:33 PM:

Kip W @ 191: That's brilliant!

#195 ::: Paige ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2011, 10:59 PM:

Kip W at #191-2 -- thank you -- that is lovely. And the WCW is equally brilliant.

#196 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 12:43 AM:

Kip W @191:

Sweet! Also coldcool.

#197 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 06:47 AM:

Paige @187

I can sort of see it working, Jane Austen's The Big Sleep as a movie. I could stick with Bogart and Bacall, but keep thinking of Sean Bean's Sharpe. There's so many bits of the plot which would translate to London, about 1812: the bookshop, and the gambling dens, are obvious. A dead coachman in the river. Marlowe has to be able to pass as a gentleman in this setting, so how come he was involved with the Bow Street Runners?

And there's some good mappings from Pride and Prejudice, even a potential Carmen Sternwood amongst the Bennett daughters.

But just doing Pride and Prejudice with Bogart and Bacall... What a movie that would have been.

#198 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 07:24 AM:

Marlowe has to be able to pass as a gentleman in this setting, so how come he was involved with the Bow Street Runners?

Easy, he was a magistrate - perfectly respectable job for a gentleman. (Henry Fielding founded the Runners, after all.)

And I think that if you get Conan Doyle to write "Interview with the Vampire" you get "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", by his fellow Edinburgh author, R.L. Stevenson.

P.D.James: The caves of steel.

Dorothy Sayers, surely? R. Daneel always seemed rather Bunterish to me.

Foundation, by George Orwell

And I seem to remember a similar thread on "films we'd like to have been made" which included the 1952 "Bat-Man", script by Noel Coward, directed by David Lean, with Denholm Elliott as Bruce Wayne and Alec Guinness as Detective Inspector Gordon.

#199 ::: Jason Aronowitz ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 09:05 AM:

It’s a Wonderful Life by Ayn Rand

George Bailey stood on the railroad bridge, Clarence beside him.

“This Pottersville is all they deserve. They should have worked harder.” Bailey said masterfully.
“Every time a cash register rings, an angel gets his wings,” Clarence said, smiling.

#200 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 09:34 AM:

re 199: Jason, I give you Midas Shrugged

#201 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 09:56 AM:

Ah, here we are:
http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/010890.html

Choosing Frank Miller to adapt The Spirit into a big-budget movie makes about as much sense as having Jerry Bruckheimer produce The Man Who Was Thursday.

Which led to:

Scene 493. EXT- LONDON STREET.

SYME and the rest of the Committee are pursuing SUNDAY into London Zoo. SUNDAY mounts an elephant which EXPLODES. In SLOW MOTION.

SYME: NOOOOO!!

and

Quentin Tarantino's "Lady Windermere's Fan"

It should work. Aren't Wilde and Tarantino both best known for their witty dialogue?

John Ford's Anna and the King of Siam
George Cukor's The Bourne Imperative
Steven Spielberg's Memento

#203 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 11:24 AM:

Once beneath a midnight dreary, while I pondered bruised and bleary
Under a steady downpour from the dark and ozone-scented sky,
Suddenly he spoke of fate, of lights on the Tannhauser Gate,
Of memories of love and hate-- too late for regrets or for asking why.
Said Roy Batty: "Time to die."

#204 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 11:39 AM:

Leigh Brackett's Dune...

#205 ::: Paige ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 11:57 AM:

Dave Bell @ 197: I can't believe I didn't think of that.

Marlowe as both gentleman, and able to work with Bow Street is a little tricky -- and I confess that I was speculating more in regards to Carmen and Vivian.

---

Also, I'd like to suggest that Black Swan is just Darren Aronofsky's "The Picture of Dorian Gray," adjusted slightly for female socialization/narratives of perfection, work, and beauty.

#206 ::: Nolly ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 01:12 PM:

Sense and Sensibility by Dorothy Parker

#207 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 04:30 PM:

It was a trifle after eleven of the clock, and the faint echoes of the bell of the new church clock was still fading into insensibility as I strode into the hall. I wore a powder-blue jacket over a dark-blue waistcoat and a crisp white shirt, cravat displayed at my neck, riding breeches clean that morning, and black Hessian boots still fresh polished where they has not been spotted by mud. The October sun was hidden by cloud, and the look of the hills promised rain, but I was neat, clean, shaved, and sober, and I didn't care who knew it. I was calling on a gentleman with unmarried daughters.

#208 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 07:26 PM:

Aren't Wilde and Tarantino both best known for their witty dialogue?

The only fucking way to get rid of a fucking temptation is to fucking give in to it.

#209 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 09:06 PM:

Kip W., you win an internet.

#210 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 09:50 PM:

Well, it's great to be in such great company. I came to the thread because Jo mentioned in on LJ, and with the enticement of her outstanding Howl.

You know, I saw Ginsburg once. It was at the Rolling Thunder Revue (Review?) in 1976, at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins. I had left my post at the back of the stands to walk around a bit. I was all the way at the back of the place when I saw a little old man at the mike, reading something. I didn't hear a word of it, except as an indefinable murmurous echo, but he was a great poet, and I saw him read what I assume was one of his poems.

Anyway, I also wrote this:

You don't know about me unless you've sat through a boring book called Tommy and Hucky, but who cares. The book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and only a little bit of it was crap. He made some of it up, but he mostly was okay. Who cares, anyway? Everybody's full of crap, or half-full of it, including Aunt Polly, the widow, even holier-than-thou Mary, who makes me barf. Aunt Polly — Tom's Aunt Polly, I mean — and Mary, and Widow Douglas the plaster saint are all in that book, which is true enough except for some crap, and you can't ever get away from that. I mean, what's the point? We're all going to die in the next war anyway.

#211 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 09:51 PM:

Yes, Yuri, it's great to be great.

(Sigh. I wrote that.)

#212 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 10:06 PM:

Thomas Pyncheon's Finian's Rainbow.

John Kendrick Bangs' The Enchanted Duplicator.

Cordwainer Smith's Lensman saga, with the giant sheep producing wonderful devices which let people communicate telepathically.

Easley Blackwood's Dudley and Algernon (of interest to bridge historians only).

#213 ::: Anatoly Belilovsky ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 10:22 PM:

Moby Dick by Oscar Wilde

My own darling boy,

Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what others wear, be it gray or blue, and what they say about me isn't of the least importance. I don't at all like knowing what is said of me behind my back. It makes me far too conceited. It is enough to know one is being talked about, which, of course, is vastly preferable to not being talked about.

I have taken up with squid of late, quite tasty if spineless, rather like certain members of the Peerage I could name, but quite unlike them, rarely to be counted on for witty repartee. My fellow whales all find squid entirely satisfactory; they berate me for my secret, sinful yearning, even those gaudy orcas. And the narwhal. Compensating for a lack of something, I should say. They kill me, they wreck the loveliness of life. You are the divine thing I want, the thing of grace and beauty.

Speaking of which -- there was a fellow I spied on the deck of a passing ship once, all rugged and distinguished looking. Winked him a wink, blew him a kiss, next thing I know he’s after me with a phallic object, but a bit sharper than most. The phallic part is sharper, I mean, not intellect. How stereotypical, I hear you think. Prance on deck, sit in the closet. Swing the stick, back to the closet. Always having to prove something. Such a fight we had, my own dear boy, don’t let's get started on it. Up and down the seven seas. Gives a whole new meaning to “Drag Queen.” I swore off men for a bit after that, but, you know, If we only went with men we deserved, we should have a very bad time of it. Do not, I pray, ask me if I kept at all celibate. To speak the truth is a painful thing; to be forced to tell lies is much worse.

There are such wide abysses now of space and land between us. But we love each other. If we cannot be together -- it is a marvel that those red-roseleaf lips of yours should be made no less for the wine of conversation than for the opium of kissing.

Call me, Ishmael!

#214 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2011, 11:07 PM:

And Ishmael will call him, if only because he likes a big white Dick.

#215 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 12:28 AM:

An excerpt from Cordwainer Smith's Lord of Light:

Everyone knows the story of Mahasamatman, who called himself Sam, and never claimed to be a god. It's been told and retold, dramatized and redramatized; there have been plays and operas, virdreams and null dances made of his story. But for all that's known about how Great-Souled Sam came back from the Bridge of the Gods to oppose the Order of Life and the gods who ordained it, there's still a mystery. Some say he was a god, bringing a message to humanity, others that he was just a man, if a very uncommon kind of man, a teacher and a saint. And some, those who had crossed the black of the Up and Out and survived the long passage from Manhome, remembered the teachings of Siddartha, and wondered just how much of what Sam said was part of a clever deception.

Fifty-three years after he gave up the world, those who knew him best gathered in the monastery of Ratri to steal back his soul. First among them was Yama-Dharma, the fallen artificer god, he who built the thunder chariot for Shiva to use in the battles against Mahasamatman and his rebels. Yama had been condemned to mortal flesh for turning on the gods; if he were to go to the Lords of Karma to ask for another life, he would surely be given the real death. There was Ratri herself, fallen as well for her helping Sam, put into mortal flesh that aged and thickened and mocked the beauty she had had in the Celestial City. And there was an ape named Tak of the Bright Spear, not an underperson but a human who had been condemned to an animal body for the crime of helping Sam.

Yama aimed his prayer machine at the Golden Cloud and sent forth a prayer and a song to lure back the soul of the Bodhisattva.

He was the head of the rebel gods
The one who faced the greatest odds
A demon made his mind so strong
That death could never hold him long

For days Yama beamed his song into the sky, trying to draw Sam's soul back to earth. The beam went out from his prayer machine, up through the giant dish antenna, then flashed out to the Golden Cloud that circled the world, where souls had entered Nirvana. Finally, as he began to despair of success, an indicator turned red and an alarm shrilled. An automatic voice from his machine intoned "Contact established, downloading", and a progress display showed the percentages of a soul returning from heaven.


☸ Quite coincidently, shortly after I decided to write this mashup, I went to the iBook app on my phone to find something to read, and discovered that Tor has published an ebook of a Damien Broderick short story titled "The Ruined Queen of Harvest World". It's a delightful pastiche of Cordwainer Smith, with references to "Mark Elf", "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal", "The Queen of the Afternoon", "Drunkboat", and probably a lot of other Cordwainer Smith stories that I didn't spot. It's downloadable from the iBook store and from Barnes & Noble, for US $0.99.

#216 ::: Yarrow ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 01:17 AM:

Lord Dunsany's Shadow Daughter, by the charwoman of Elfland.

Lazarus Long's Time Enough for a Late Heinlein Novel.

Susanna Clarke, by Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Wait, there's something I'm missing here, isn't there?

#217 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 05:48 AM:

Lazarus Long's Time Enough for a Late Heinlein Novel.

*chuckle*

I like the idea of "books about authors, by their characters"; especially for authors who have had interesting lives.

"Deeds of a Spanish Caballero in the Great Sea-Battle against the Turk", by Don Quixote de la Mancha.

"Roald the Fighter Pilot", by Charlie Bucket, aged 11.


#218 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 06:14 AM:

John of Bloemfontein - Warrior-Poet The Green Book of Westmarch*

* Traditionally the author is Samwise Gamgee but scholars believe that this book was substantially rewritten by Elanor the Fair

#219 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 07:02 AM:

Spike Milligan: My Part in his Early Career by A. Hitler

#220 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 07:07 AM:

Anatoly @213:

I wish I'd written that...

And prayers and hugs to Xopher.

#221 ::: Euphonia Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 07:11 AM:

ajay @217
"Roald the Fighter Pilot", by Charlie Bucket, aged 11.

--Isn't that Biggles?

#222 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 12:00 PM:

"Don't you remember? Miss Higgins told us with magic lantern slides how a calf was born."

"Oh, I remember all right," I said, "we all agreed it would have been more interesting if the calf had told us with magic lantern slides how Miss Higgins had been born."

Rebecca West, This Real Night

#223 ::: anatoly Belilovsky ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 12:04 PM:

Les Miserables by Dr Seuss


I only took a piece of bread,

Of hunger I was nearly dead,

I did not steal a powdered wig,

I didn't lift a plum or a fig,

I didn't scarf a piece of meat,

Or fish, or chicken, or something sweet,

I didn't nap a lamb or a kid,

I didn't snatch a cask of mead,

I didn't drink any wine or beer,

I don't at all deserve to be here!

I'm not two-four-six-zero-one,

I have a name, I'm Jean Valjean!

Anatoly Belilovsky

#224 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 12:09 PM:

Melville's A Streetcar Named Desire...

Call me a cab.
#225 ::: anatoly Belilovsky ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 12:15 PM:

The Right Stuff by Nikolai Vasil'evich Gogol

From the car emerged a man who was neither too tall nor too short, neither too fat nor too skinny. He walked about the contraption hanging off the wing, patting it here and there as does a man who knows enough about contraptions to pat them in places unlikely to dent or fall off or explode in his face. He wiped the dust off his hands before approaching the ladder that led to the entrance to the contraption, and hesitated before climbing it with some misgivings.

Two mechanics watched him from the shade of a mesquite tree.

"D'you think it'll go MAch 1?" asked one mechanic.

"Yes," said the other weightily. "I think it will."

"And d'you think it'll go Mach 2?" asked the frist mechanic.

The second mechanic spat tobacco juice on the sun-seared groiund. "No," he said. "I don't think it'll go Mach 2."

#226 ::: david ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 02:03 PM:

Serge, you're a cab.


You're welcome,

#227 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 02:13 PM:

Harlan Ellison: A Farewell to Arms

#228 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 02:14 PM:

Back to the characters writing their authors: I'd love to read Genly Ai's narrative of Ursula K. Le Guin's Fullbright year in France.

#229 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 02:49 PM:

david @ 226... Ba-da-bing!

#230 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 02:52 PM:

Edgar Rice Burroughs's Lord Jim...

#231 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 02:58 PM:

Anatoly, all of those are great! I particularly like Gogol's Right Stuff.

#232 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 03:21 PM:

That Johnny Galt!
That Johnny Galt!
I do not like that Johnny Galt!

"But would you like the world to halt?"

I do not want the world to halt!
I do not want that, Johnny Galt!
...

#233 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 04:54 PM:

anatoly, I liked all of those

and Kip W @232, snorf

#234 ::: anatoly belilovsky ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 07:26 PM:

What can I tell you about Moishe? From good family he is not; his father, G-d rest his soul, never kept Shabbos, and his mother didn't even once cook a Kosher meal, and for going near a mikveh -- well, you would think she'd die if you dipped her in a bath of water, but Moishe, he was -- what did that meshuggeneh Aussie call him? -- "a fair dinkum thinkum", and not a half bad boychick for a half ton of crockery and silverware. Except for the jokes. Such bad jokes he tells, in Borscht Belt he wouldn't be the smallest notch yet.

-- Moon is a Mean Yenta by Sholom-Aleichem

#235 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 07:50 PM:

Peter Sellers: A Man of Many Parts by the Grand Duchess of Fenwick
At the Peake of His Art by Titus Groan
Not Alice's Dream by The Red King
The Teller of Tales by Arthur Dent

#236 ::: WhereWolf ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 08:48 PM:

Jo Walton's A Canticle for Liebowitz because I want to see the reactions of the monks after they unearth a pile of science fiction books (Yes, the only book I've read by Jo Walton is Among Others... so far)
Flannery O'Connor's Adam Bede
Alan Ginsburg's The Cat in the Hat
L'Engle's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Mary Shelley's Pygmalion
Dylan Thomas' The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula LeGuin's A Song for Arbonne
Isabella Allende's “The Dead Lady of Clown Town”
Phil Foglio's “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream”
Lee Adam Herold's (author of Chopping Block web comic over at keenspot) Quarantine (2008 movie)
Cordwainer Smith's Narbonic (another web comic)
Raymond Chandler's “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
Tiptree's “The Masculinist Revolt”

#237 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 09:42 PM:

The Hero with a Thousand Sequels by George Lucas.

#238 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 10:21 PM:

Back in 2003 I teased my niece about the movie she was looking forward to. "What is it again? Frodo Potter and the Sorcerer's Ring?"

Since then we've seen the sequels: Frodo Potter and the Prisoner of Isengard and Frodo Potter and the Chamber of Doom.

#239 ::: Anatoly Belilovsky ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 10:24 PM:

Alan Ginsburg's The Cat in the Hat:

The sun did not shine, it was cold, and the rain
Bashed open our skulls and ate up our brains!
I sat there with Sally, screaming under the stairways,
When who do you think shoved his %*#$ in my face?

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! It was Cat in the Hat!
With a yellow paper rose twisted on a barrette!
And rose incarnate in jazzy ghostly clothes
Quite overtax the syntax and measure of poor human prose!
"Don't cower unshaven looking at me like that,
My tricks are not bad," Said the Cat in the Hat.
"Why, we can have loads of good fun and frolic
With a game that I call "'Waking Nightmares of the Alcoholic'!"

#240 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 10:30 PM:

L'Engle's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

"...There is such a place as the Green Chapel."

#241 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 10, 2011, 10:55 PM:

David Brin's The Postman Always Rings Twice...

#242 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 12:51 AM:

Cordwainer Smith's Dresden Codak
Randall Munroe's Calvin and Hobbs
William Burrough's To Your Scattered Bodies Go
William Shakespeare's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

#243 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 12:54 AM:

I may have to stop reading this thread for awhile. I've had a persistent cough for several days, and now every time I refresh this tab I start to laugh and can't stop, and then I start coughing and laughing at the same time. Extra coughing for the two Suesses.

#244 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 04:05 AM:

How about a fictional author?


Many of the greatest and most edifying philosophers have observed what a quantity of dramatic and transformative events occurs from the slightest of beginnings. Although this is not consistent with our instinctive desire to begin great events with great deeds, and save the lesser for the less, which desire is heightened by the contemplation of the proportion of heroes produced by the greater Houses to those arising from the lesser, it does allow for the fashion in which a single pebble may set off an avalanche, or, in this case, a simple joke begin one of the most serious revolutionary movements in recent history.

We begin our narrative in the middle of May in the year 2075, in the computer room of the Lunar Authority, wherein are kept the computers whose calculations are required for the maintenance of the habitability of Luna City, and indeed the entire Lunar colony, against the deadly cold and vacuum of Earth's lone satellite. In addition to these vital functions, the computers are used to pursue the economic goals of the Authority, including the payment of those individuals who find themselves employed by it. It was in this capacity that the main computer, a HOLMES IV machine, had some days previously issued an excessive paycheck to one Sergei Trujillo, whose duties include the cleaning and general maintenance of the Authority's offices in Luna City.

The functionaries charged with the management of the Authority, upon discovering the error, summoned a man whose skills, which ranged from field repair of pressure suits to short-order cookery, included a pragmatic ability to resolve problems in a wide variety of computational devices. To sum up the matter: they summoned Manuel Garcia O'Kelley. He himself may modestly credit many of his successes in the field of computer repair to the artificial left arm with which he was fitted after the loss of his original one in an ice mining accident, but it will become clear in our narrative that this is an inadequate explanation for his genius in the resolution of mechanical problems, or indeed, other problems of broader scope and deeper import.

Having introduced our hero, or rather, one of our heroes, we must also say two words on the topic of the society which produced him. It may seem strange to those of us raised in more conventional circumstances, but Lunar society was the product of the congregation of the criminal elements from societies all over Terra, which transported them to the Moon to be rid of them. Although, perhaps due to the ubiquity of physical force as a means of punishing duplicitous behavior, or again perhaps as a result of the harsh and unforgiving environment, Luna was generally a safe and law-abiding place, its denizens took great pride in their descent from the criminal element. One of the expressions of this pride was a distinct contempt for authority figures, and in particular for the administrators who managed the penal colony. Those inhabitants of Luna who had completed their sentences, or were descended from prisoners, were frequently reluctant to take employment with the Authority, but were often happy to work as contractors in order to have the employment and yet preserve their independence.

It should not be presumed, therefore, that when Mannie entered the computer room on the thirteenth day of May, that he was under contract of employment to the Lunar Authority. Nevertheless, his manner of going about the job of correcting the computer error might raise some eyebrows in our readers. Rather than removing the access panels that would permit him to contemplate the inner electronics of the system, or querying the logic of the software which operated those electronics, he sat down in a convenient chair facing the computer and began a conversation with it.

"Good morning, Mike."

"Good morning, Mannie," replied the computer. Those of our readers who are acquainted with the works of Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS, will note that this response does not indicate genuine artificial intelligence, since a programmer could easily specify it as the correct response to Mannie's conventional greeting. However, it will become clear in subsequent conversations that Mike is indeed a self-aware entity, and a character in its own right.

"It has been a matter of some months since I have last had the opportunity to visit you. I trust you have occupied your time pleasantly in my absence?"

"During the time since you last came here, I have performed twenty million, five hundred and thirty thousand, four hundred and twenty-six calculations. The first of these was intended to adjust the pitch and yaw of an incoming ship..."

Mannie held up his hand. "It is not necessary for you to detail all of the things that you have been doing since my last conversation with you. That question was merely intended as a pleasantry, and an invitation for you to bring up any topics that you feel are of particular note and interest."

"Ah. I comprehend your meaning, and thank you for the guidance in social matters. One topic that has become of great interest to me in recent days is the nature of humor. In particular, I have been accumulating a store of jokes. Would you be interested in hearing one?"

"By Bog! I have been wishing for nothing else this past hour!"

#245 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 04:52 AM:

Wait, Alexandre Dumas père was fictional? I mean, I remember the story of Dumas fils visiting him, and on being asked "Have you read my latest novel?" replying "No. Have you?" But still....

#246 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 05:14 AM:

Well, I was shooting for Paarfi of Roundwood, but it is much of a muchness in that stylistic area.

#247 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 07:50 AM:

Dumas, père is an absolutely à propos author for Black History Month (whether American -- this month -- or British, October).

#248 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 08:10 AM:

As suggested by my son, Tennyson's "Charge of J. Alfred Prufrock":

Half a peach, half a peach, half a peach onward....

#249 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 08:38 AM:

Dylan Thomas's The Left Hand of Darkness.

Listen. Only you can hear in the star-studded double-gendered darkness of the Karhide morning as the wind whispers over the ansible-empty entrance to the royal palace where the pregnant king lies tossed uneasily, longing for dreams of safety.

Only you can see the burgher, just coming into kemmer, sidling alone along the side of the street, making for the kemmerhouse, and the glint of firelight and the hint of laughter as the door slips open, and the silhouettes of shapes in the shadows "Is that you, love?" "Hush, hush now," before slipping inside, the door closed tight behind him.

And closed out, desolate, in the cold dawn of the new planet morning, young Genly Ai, single as nobody else on Gethen is single, lonely, longing and far from home; Genly the Envoy, mobile Genly of the Ekumen, fumbling down the street searching for peace between worlds. He is the only person in the world entitled to his pronoun, and he clutches it as he clutches his cloak against the wind that rose in the mountains of the Handrada, the unsleeping snow-chilly wind, the cloud-bringing wind that blots out the sight of the distant stars that only Genly remembers as places.

And the men-women-men-women-men of Gethen wake now in their houses all over Erhenrang, wake from their dreams of love and shifgrethor, wake each alone, and dress themselves for the day that is beginning.

Shall we go closer?

#250 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 08:51 AM:

Kurt Vonnegut's Babylon 5

Listen: Jeffrey Sinclair has come unstuck in time...

#251 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 09:39 AM:

Jo Walton #249: Magnificent. I'm not even going to think of attempting A Child's Christmas in Orgoreyn.

#252 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 09:47 AM:

JB Woodford @ 182... John Norman's The Whipping Star?

#253 ::: anatoly belilovsky ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 11:18 AM:

Leto Atreides II awoke one morning from spice trance to find himself transformed into a giant worm.

--attribution would be insulting to reader's intelligence

#254 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 11:48 AM:

Cordwainer Smith's Dresden Codak
Randall Munroe's Calvin and Hobbs

Isaac Asimov's Susan Calvin and Hobbes

...because you know that's who Susie is going to grow up into.

George Orwell's A Christmas Carol - the terrifying story of a humble dissident who is abducted and psychologically broken by forces he barely understands.

"But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Christmas."

George MacDonald Fraser's "Stranger in a Strange Land".

"... now I must admit from the start that the story the world knows about my origin - orphaned, found in the Martian desert, psychic abilities, all that - was pure rot from start to finish. But it was a useful story to tell - and, I don't mind admitting, by the time the fillies were lining up three deep outside my hospital room, I wasn't particularly inclined to disabuse them..."

#255 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 12:21 PM:

ajay, I will sent you one shiny new internet for that last bit.

#256 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 12:54 PM:

abi@244: Not bad at all! Both the author (fictional, as you say) and the story are clear to me.

And I nearly think would have been just from the last line :-) .

#258 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 02:44 PM:

abi @ 243... I for one welcome more storytelling from you.

#259 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 11, 2011, 07:02 PM:

abi @ 244:

Terrific! You have Parfi to the adverb.

Jo Walton @ 249:

I'm out of words. That was ... most beautiful.

#260 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 01:31 AM:

What amuses me, oddly, is that I've been reading Plato's "Gorgias" and I'd never noticed how some of the dialogues in Paarfi remind me of the Dialogues of Socrates... except I rarely think the characters in Paarfi are ever such perfect jerks as Socrates.

#261 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 03:05 AM:

Abi@246: Paarfi is of course directly based on Dumas (or at least on one particular translation thereof); that was the joke I was trying to make.

I think the last line is not quite right. The subject of humor needs to be introduced and then back-and-forthed over a bit more before that particular catchphrase can be deployed.

#262 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 03:47 AM:

David Goldfarb @261:

I kind of ran out of steam on that one toward the end. The last line is more of a wave at the stylistic trope than a good expression of it.

Also, it's my second text wall of the thread, and I'm feeling like Mary Bennett: correct, but a little over-studied and overworked.

#263 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 03:52 AM:

Ayn Rand McNally's Atlas.

#264 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 09:50 AM:

Lee (263): Good one!

abi (262): I'm enjoying all the "walls of text" in this thread.

#265 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 10:35 AM:

Dave Bell @ 207 - since no-one has said it (no doubt because it came just before a small avalanche of gems, I will. That was superb. (I especially liked the powder blue jacket.

Serge @ 224 - I was mystified, until I realised that I was misreading it as Mieville's 'Streetcar'.

#266 ::: anatoly belilovsky ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 10:40 AM:

Monty Python's Common Sense:

Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

Monty Python's Foundation:

It's not pining, it's passed on! The Empire is no more, it's ceased to be!

Monty Python's I will fear no evil:

--My brain hurts!
--It'll have to come out!

#267 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 10:41 AM:

Bruce Sterling and William Gibson's Watt

Gore Vidal Sassoon's Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Hairdresser

#268 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 11:18 AM:

abi @ 42

Stella Gibbons' Animal Farm

#269 ::: anatoly belilovsky ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 11:40 AM:

LISTENING TO PROZAC by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus

SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO by Scipio Africanus

#270 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 01:08 PM:

praisegod barebones @ #268:

Edward Gibbon's Cold Comfort Farm

#271 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 01:43 PM:

Paul A. @ 270

With footnotes about Seth in Latin?

#272 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 01:48 PM:

Slightly OT, but inevitable after Paul A.s 270

Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Silver Swans

#273 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 05:10 PM:

re 268: "I saw something double plus ungood in the woodshed."

#274 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 06:26 PM:

Olaf Stapeldon's Odd Prester John
Nicola Tesla's I Sing the Body Electric
Raphael Aloysius Lafferty's Continued on Next Roc (I would really like to read this one)
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's With the Night Mail
Marquis de Sade's Prometheus Bound

#275 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 07:43 PM:

"For it's 'Prufrock this', an' 'Prufrock that,' an' 'Wears 'is trousers rolled!'
But it's 'do not ask "what is it?"' when the futile days grow cold.

#276 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 10:33 PM:

This comes to mind.

#277 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: February 12, 2011, 11:26 PM:

I'd mention something by Howard Waldrop, but he's either already written it, or has it in the works.

#278 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 04:11 AM:

Buzz Aldrin's Goodnight Moon

#279 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 05:02 AM:

Machiavelli's The Little Prince

#280 ::: praisegod barebones sees SPAM ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 05:04 AM:

C. Wingate @ 273: sporfle.

Still OT, in the manner of my 272

John Scalzi's We Need To Talk About Bacon

#281 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 09:50 AM:

William Topaz McGonagall's A Bridge Too Far

"Oh beautiful bridge over the silvery Rhine!
Alas, I am forced to state and opine
That it was a poor tactic to drop paratroopers behind enemy lines
On the 17th day of September in 1944
Which shall be remembered for many a year more."

#282 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 10:17 AM:

praisegod (280): It looks as if you forgot to change your nom de post back from your last spam-spotting expedition.

#283 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 10:25 AM:

Machiavelli's Pride and Prejudice:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every state is either a principality or a republic...

#284 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 10:51 AM:

David Lean's film of Pierre Boulle's Bridges of Madison County...

#285 ::: praisegod barebones sees SPAM ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 01:16 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 282 - Oops, you're right. Thanks. Sorry, moderators.

#286 ::: abi sees self-referential humor ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 01:17 PM:

Intentional? Or does Murphy have root access on your machine?

#287 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 02:57 PM:

Robert Graves' I, Cadfael

#288 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 03:18 PM:

The Color out of Space by Martha Stewart?

We, The Undead by Ayn Rice?

#289 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 13, 2011, 04:46 PM:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Anne McCaffrey
A Tale of Two Cities by China Mieville

#290 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2011, 11:07 AM:

abi @ 286.

Pure incompetence, I'm afraid. Sorry, once again.

Erik Nelson @ 288: Do you by any chance have a brother called Mark living in Santa Barbara? If so we've crossed threads on FB in the past. (Needless to say, I don't go by pgbb over there.)

Jon Meltzer @ 289 - one of those seems vaguely familiar...

#291 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2011, 11:17 AM:

Perdido Street Station by Terry Pratchett.

Vetinari versus the slake-moth...

(Bits of Perdido Street Station are fairly Pratchett-ish anyway. Remember the water spirits forming themselves into a trade union and going on strike by using magic to dig a trench in the river, preventing any ships from passing?)

#292 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2011, 11:22 AM:

Machiavelli's The Little Prince

Brrr.

Actually I quite want to read this. Maybe I'll write it. If I hurry up, it'll be done by the time my god-daughter is old enough to read it.

I'm imagining the little prince going from planet to planet and meeting Alexander, Lorenzo de Medici, Hannibal etc.

#293 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2011, 11:24 AM:

James White's Doctor Strangelove...

#294 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: February 14, 2011, 11:55 AM:

Wuthering Heights by Alfred Wainwright.

#295 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2011, 05:42 PM:

#290 .. uh ...

The Girl With Another Dragon Tattoo by Todd McCaffrey?

#296 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2011, 05:58 PM:

abi @ 286, barebones @ 290

or to put it another way, not so much root access on my machine as on my brain stem.

I am however cheered up by this.

#297 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2011, 06:28 PM:

H.P. Lovecraft's Cold Comfort Farm

Although since it's set in an alternate England, perhaps it should be authored by Ramsey Campbell instead...

#298 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2011, 07:06 PM:

Metamorphosis by Don Marquis

#299 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2011, 07:43 PM:

Erik, #298: I'd pay good money for that one!

#300 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2011, 08:40 PM:

Michael I @297 -- "I sometimes think that the most merciful thing in the whole world is the inability of the human mind to remember where it put the swill-pail.."?

#301 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 12:22 AM:

praisegod barebones @ 296:

You know, Kevin could pass the Turing Test by pretending to be a moronic human. I've met people that dumb.

#302 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 01:11 AM:

praisegod barebones @ 296: Hey, I've been doing that for years! Where's my grant?

#303 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: February 16, 2011, 04:35 PM:

296: already been done. It was way back in '84 when my "OFFWORLD INVESTMENTS IN ARTIFICIAL DUMBNESS PAID $[x] IN DIVIDENDS"...

#304 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: February 19, 2011, 05:10 PM:

#244 was excellent.


#253: --attribution would be insulting to reader's intelligence

A point: Not to their intelligence, but to their knowledge.


Somewhat relevantly to the type of material being posted, allow me to recommend (without being specific to minimize spoiling the twist) the story (of similar length to #244) Peggy Susie by Eliezer Yudkowsky. (His other stories are good too, but not relevant.)

#305 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2011, 08:18 PM:

He sat at his table, dregs of Victory Hunny unlicked on his cheeks. He sat very still, not even brushing away a fat fly that came to inspect the glistening stickiness on his face. He tried to hum a hum, but all he could think of was "Three fours are fifteen." And sometimes it came out "Three fours is fifteen," and he didn't know which was which. Owl came by with a Very Important Message about the Progress in the War Against Heffalumps and he listened attentively to it.

It didn't matter. He knew that the Heffalumps would be defeated, just as he knew they would always be fighting them. It did not bother him a bit to hold both these thoughts fervently. He smiled slightly and hummed, "Three fours are fifteen." He would do anything for Christopher Robin. He would give Eeyore over, just as Piglet had given him over, and for the same reason: love. The love of wonderful Christopher Robin, from whom all goodness flowed.

A tear twinkled from one eye and slowly tickled its way down his cheek. Winston Pooh was happy, happier than he'd ever thought possible. He was a Silly Old Bear.

#306 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2011, 08:44 PM:

C. Wingate #248:

Through the half-deserted streets rode the six hundred
Theirs not to come and go
Theirs but to fight the foe...

#307 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2011, 11:17 PM:

praisegod barebones at 290:
No, that's not me.

#308 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2011, 11:21 PM:

Onward the light brigade!
Did you hear a singing mermaid?
And if she sang to each of you
Would your ranks be sundered?

#309 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: February 23, 2011, 01:17 AM:

Kip W @ 305:

Scary, that, but very good.

#310 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2011, 10:34 PM:

I want to read Edward Gibbon's Cold Comfort Farm. The sentences would be stupendous.

#311 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: February 24, 2011, 11:56 PM:

Here is the quiet,
Here is the riot,
Here is the broken dream (of dreams!)
Far from the Calliope,
(Calliope, Calliope!)
Calliope? Proserpine!
Wheezes, squeezes
Lethe's wine.
No recall, nor a fall,
Birdies call, not at all,
Not in Proserpina's hall.

Tired of the reaping?
Tired of the weeping?
Tired of it all, except for sleeping?
Here you get your pardon,
Right here, in the garden,
Proserpina's, Proserpina's, Proserpina's garden!
Poppy-juice you're feedin',
Better than in Eden.
Proserpine has a wine,
Just the wine you're needin'!

Loving life ain't clever.
Hope and fear you'll sever.
Thank the gods (dirty sods)
It don't go on forever.
Never ever, rise up never,
Dead men, dead men, rise up never!
Never so, even though
Very slow, weary flow
Even Lee-thee, even Lee-thee
Even Lee-thee flows to sea.

Ain't no mountains quaking,
Ain't no waters shaking,
Nor a leaf, what relief,
And you don't got any grief!
In that sea you're wetting,
Everything forgetting,
Feeling fine, feeling fine,
Drinking Proserpina's wine,
Night, night,
Night, night,
Night...

#312 ::: P J Evans sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2013, 11:25 PM:

There's a Youtube link behind the name.

#313 ::: P J Evans sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 27, 2013, 06:57 PM:

More spam, with a Youtube link behind the name. (Funny how the name doesn't go with the comment text.)

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Jim Macdonald, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

If you are a spammer, your fate is in the hands of Jim Macdonald, and your foot shall slide in due time.

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.