Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.

10/8/2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Herbert!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Today is Frank Herbert’s Birthday.

Of course, he passed away in 1986, the year I graduated from high-school, but his work lives on. Mr. Herbert is primarily known for his seminal work, Dune, and the other books in the series that followed. Though, interestingly enough, he never intended to write sequels.
Often refered to as the science-fiction Lord of the Rings, the Dune series of books detail an amazingly rich science-ficiton culture. The novels are some of the first science-fiction to have detailed political and sociological sub-plots, not to mention ecological sub-plots! The way Mr. Herbert used religion in his work is quite interesting as well. In a genre that often avoids discussing religion, he explored the topic in detail and with a depth that was personally inspiring.
Herbert also wrote The Green Brain, which is another ecological-message tied up in great science-fiction, as well as The White Plague, another of my favorite books.
There hasn’t been anyone else quite like Frank Herbert and I am in awe of the ways in which he influenced the genre, which is why I celebrate this every year.

2/5/2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Burroughs!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Today is William S. Burroughs‘ birthday.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri on this day in 1914, he is best known for having written Naked Lunch, which was later turned into a movie that starred Peter Weller. He started writing while attending Harvard, but when a piece of his was rejected by Esquire magazine, he was so disappointed that he didn’t write again for six years. He tried to enlist in the military, but he was turned down by the Navy,and when he got into the Army infantry, his mother arranged for him to be given a psychiatric discharge.
So, at 30 years old, he moved to New York City and got involved in a bohemian scene. It was there that he was introduced to two younger men, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. He also got addicted to heroin, and wrote his first book about it, a memoir called Junky. It came out in 1953.
Burroughs is also famous for having accidentally shot his wife at a party while recreating the infamous “William Tell scene.”

12/16/2007

A Tale of Two Birthdays

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Today is the birthday of two very important science-fiction writers.
The first is science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick, who was born in Chicago in 1928. He wrote many novels that pushed the edge of science-fiction a little further out, making room for the cyberpunk movement to follow him. Some of his work includes Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Minority Report (which is a collection of short stories), We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (another short story collection), and A Scanner Darkly. Since his death in 1982, many of his novels and short stories have been made into movies, including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990) and Minority Report (2002).

It’s also the birthday of the science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke, who was born in Somerset, England in 1917. He’s the author of many science fiction novels, including Childhood’s End, 2001: A Space Odyssey(which was written in the year of my birth!), and Rendevous with Rama. He is also famous for inventing the concept of the communications satellite.

7/21/2007

Happy Birthday, “Papa”!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Today is Ernest “Papa” Hemingway’s birthday.

He was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1899. Hemingway snuck off to fight in World War I when he was just 17. He had bad eyesight, so he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross in Italy. Just about a month after he got to Italy, he was hit by shrapnel from an exploding shell. He spent weeks in the hospital and then came back home to his parents in Oak Park.

After his parents got tired of him hanging around, he started writing stories for Chicago newspapers and magazines, and then got a job as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Daily Star and went off to Paris with his wife Hadley. He became friends with a lot of writers who were in Paris at the time, including Fitzgerald and Joyce and Pound and Gertrude Stein. And he wrote every day, sometimes in his apartment, sometimes in cafés, but he wrote every day.

His first collection of short stories, In Our Time, came out in 1925 and the following year, his first big success, Sun Also Rises. Three years later, Farewell To Arms came out. By the 1930s, he was one of the best-known writers alive. He developed cancer and, in true “Hemingway hero” fashion, killed himself with a shotgun in 1961. But, by then, he was one of the most recognizable people on the planet.

3/2/2007

Things Skippy Can’t Do

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Actually, to be more specific, 213 Things Skippy Is No Longer Allowed To Do In The U.S. Army.

I cannot believe I’ve never posted this as a Friday Fun Link. This is a list of 213 things that a soldier was either specifically told he could not do, or that he heard another soldier told that he could not do. And, it’s funny. Every last one of the 213 things is funny. In fact, they get more funny the more you consider them.
Some of my favorites include:
7. Not allowed to add “In accordance with the prophesy” to the end of answers I give to a question an officer asks me.
44. I am not the atheist chaplain.
83. Must not start any SITREP (Situation Report) with “I recently had an experience I just had to write you about….”
179. On Army documents, my race is not “Other”.
203. “To conquer the earth with an army of flying monkeys” is a bad long term goal to give the re-enlistment NCO.

Now, it’s Friday, so why not go read the rest? And follow the links he’s got there to support the troops. They need it now as much as they ever have.
Have a great Friday!

"Denial is a powerful tool. Never underestimate its ability to cloud your vision."
   --Melody Beattie

2/25/2007

More than a Clockwork

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Today is the birthday of novelist and critic Anthony Burgess

He was born John Anthony Burgess Wilson in Manchester, England on this day in 1917. Though he had written several novels early in his career, none of them were particularly successful. His career took a different tur, however, when, in 1959, he began to suffer from severe headaches and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctor told him he only had one year to live. The diagnosis turned out to be incorrect. However, Burgess wrote five novels in that following year, the year he believed to be his last.

Though he wrote and edited a large body of work, including a fair selection of non-fiction, he’s best known for his novel A Clockwork Orange, which is perhaps most famous for the slang language he invented specifically for that work, called Nadsat.

2/5/2007

Happy Naked Birthday!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Today is William S. Burroughs‘ birthday.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri on this day in 1914, he is best known for having written Naked Lunch, which was later turned into a movie that starred Peter Weller. He started writing while attending Harvard, but when a piece of his was rejected by Esquire magazine, he was so disappointed that he didn’t write again for six years. He tried to enlist in the military, but he was turned down by the Navy,and when he got into the Army infantry, his mother arranged for him to be given a psychiatric discharge.
So, at 30 years old, he moved to New York City and got involved in a bohemian scene. It was there that he was introduced to two younger men, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. He also got addicted to heroin, and wrote his first book about it, a memoir called Junky. It came out in 1953.
Burroughs is also famous for having accidentally shot his wife at a party while recreating the infamous “William Tell scene.”

12/16/2006

Two Famous Birthdays!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Today is the birthday of two very important science-fiction writers.
The first is science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick, who was born in Chicago in 1928. He wrote many novels that pushed the edge of science-fiction a little further out, making room for the cyberpunk movement to follow him. Some of his work includes Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Minority Report (which is a collection of short stories), We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (another short story collection), and A Scanner Darkly. Since his death in 1982, many of his novels and short stories have been made into movies, including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990) and Minority Report (2002).

It’s also the birthday of the science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke, who was born in Somerset, England in 1917. He’s the author of many science fiction novels, including Childhood’s End, 2001: A Space Odyssey(which was written in the year of my birth!), and Rendevous with Rama. He is also famous for inventing the concept of the communications satellite.


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