Fantasist's Scroll

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


Some Fun Friday Links!

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

Oh, these are strange, but good.

Here’s a link to a DefenseTech article about the CIA’s Online “Personality Test” which is supposed to open our eyes to what it’s really like to work for the CIA. Apparently, it’s not ALL like James Bond. Who knew?

And, in a totally different vein, this is the most disturbing wallpaper I’ve ever seen. Look really closely at it. Hmm, maybe for one of the guest rooms…

But, finally, for the geeks, How to Make StarTrek-style LCARS Panels. I cannot make this stuff up!

So, go, link and enjoy. It is, after all, Friday! Whoops! Now, I’m late to work!!


Library Porn

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

Okay, this might not be what you were expecting…

No, I’m not talking about pornography in a library, but images of libraries that would excite book enthusiasts.  At least, it got me all excited.  Interestingly enough, the book is discussed on the Cool Hunters website.  It’s brought to us by Kids Republic and, based on the pictures, I can only describe it as library porn.
Seriously, if you like libraries, or old books, or just lots of books, at least go look at the Cool Hunters website, if not the book itself.  Way cool.

Besides, it’s Friday, what else do you have to do?


Three Important 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

According to Writer’s Almanac we have three birthdays to celebrate today.

First, there’s novelist Herbert George (H.G.) Wells, who was born in Bromley, England in1866. According to the note I got from Writer’s Almanac, Wells had a job writing biology textbooks until he developed a respiratory illness in his late 20s. Since he thought he didn’t have long to live, he left his wife and ran away with another woman, after which he began writing furiously. In roughly three years, he published all the novels for which we know him: The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds.

It’s also the birthday of the novelist Stephen King, born in Portland, Maine in 1947. His father was a merchant seaman who left the family when Stephen was just two. He has no memories of his father, but one day he found a whole box full of his father’s science fiction and fantasy paperbacks, and that box of his father’s books inspired him to start writing horror stories.
He was working as a teacher when he wrote his first novel about a weird high school girl with psychic powers named Carrie White. He gave up on the book at one point and threw it in the trash. His wife rescued it. Carrie was published in 1973. The hard cover didn’t sell well, but then his agent called to say that the paperback rights had sold for $400,000.

Lastly, but, perhaps, most importantly, today is the birthday of the man who first put high quality literature into paperbacks, Sir Allen Lane, born in Bristol, England in 1902. He was the founder of Penguin Books.


Hoffman’s Quartet Possible

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

Or, putting a little more science into science-fiction.

Way back in the Old Days, before I was so weighed down with bills and obligations to creditors, I dreamed that I’d pay my way writing science-fiction.  As a result of that dream, I commissioned one Sheridan Simon to build a solar system for me.  Specifically, a system with four habitable worlds that might have developed independantly.  The result was far more than I could have hoped for and I made that available via this website some time ago, as Hoffman’s Quartet.

Now, however, it seems that Dr. Simon was  more spot on than I could have imagined, lo, those many years ago.  Just recently, National Geographic ran a news story talking about habitable planets circling so-called “hot Jupiters”, which are more properly “brown dwarfs”.  Back in 1992, when Sheridan Simon crafted this hypothetical world system for me, that’s precisely how he got me my requested four habitable worlds.
It’s been interesting over the years to see the several pseudo predictions he made in creating that extra-solar system for me come true.  Or, more accurately, becore more popular.  I wish he were still around to see it, but, sadly, Sheridan Simon passed away a number of years ago.
Maybe I’ll take up that system again and write a story or two, dedicated to Dr. Simon.  Just because that world system has become timely again, and, somehow, evokes an interesting flavor of nostalgia in me.  Ah, the good old days.  Everything old is new again.


International Talk Like A Pirate Day

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

Yarr, today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day, me blog maties!

Few are the holidays made for such as we, ye digital sea dogs, but this be one of ’em. Ye don’t ‘ave to be a data pirate or music pirate or any kind of law breakin’ pirate at all to join in the fun. Ye just ‘ave to like talkin’ like a pirate, ya’ scury dogs! So, whether ye be a privateer, a corsair or a buccanner, or ye just wanna be, go on the account fer just the day and chase ye booty, while ye may! Then finish ‘er off w’ a bit o’ good grog and throw in a hearty “yo, ho, ho”. Then set aside the sweet trade fer the life of a land lubber fer another year, but, ’till this great, glorious day rolls ’round again, dream o’ dubloons an’ grog, and International Talk Like A Pirate Day.


Read Banned Books for FREE!

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

Now, this may not be your idea of fun…

Personally?  I love to read and times are a little tough right now, so reading fantabulous writing for free rates as big fun for me.  Also, I love thumbing my nose at authority.  So, if I can combine those two things, I would be in literary hog heaven!

Oh, wait, I can!  All I have to do is go to Google BookSearch’s  Banned Book list!  Then I can find great literature that was banned, or temporarily challenged, by small-minded, bigoted censors trying to think for me!!  Yea!

Seriously, this is fun for me and, hey, it’s Friday, so what else are you going to do?



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

Specifically, fantasy fiction writing contests.

No, nothing that this site is sponsoring, but someone with a very similar name: Fantasist Enterprises.  They currently have two contests going.  One has a deadline of October 15, 2006 and is called Fantastical Visions. This is open to authors submitting any previously unpublished work under 10,000 words with fantasy as a primary or central theme.
The other contest is the Sails and Sorcery contest. This contest has a deadline of January 15, 2007 and, as one might guess from the title, has a theme.  That theme is sailing!  More specifically, “nothing with a feel that is later than the early 19th century” and with an emphasis on a Pirates of the Carribean feel to it.  The site lists several examples, and has more details, but, again, fantasy needs to be an essential part of the story.

The nice thing about both of these contests, however, is that there is no entrance fee for a single manuscript.  That’s very unusual, in my experience, and why I’m mentioning it here.  So, if you have any inclination to write at all and, like me, needed a goal to help get started working on something, then check out these contests.
They may just get you out of your slump!


Reading is Good For You!

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

My mother always told me that all that reading would make me smarter. Now, thanks to this article on MSN about just that thing, she has some extra weight for her argument. Apparently, someone at UC Berkley actually did a study and wrote it all up in a paper called What Reading Does for the Mind. Based on that study, we get three benefits from reading, especially when we start young. First, reading increases vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching. That was my mother’s main argument for reading, incidentally. Second, reading substantially boosts general knowledge while decreasing the likelihood that misinformation will be absorbed. This one is the one that most people seem to think is true. I’m not quite as convinced, but, hey, the study says it’s true, so I’ll go with it. And, finally, reading helps keep our memory and reasoning abilities intact as we age. Again, not sure about this one, yet, but it did seem to keep my grandmother sharp. She lived to be like 96 or something ridiculous like that and was pretty sharp all the way until the end. Well, except for often asking the same question several times in an hour, but I always suspected that was more her testing us than her not remembering. Always checking to see if my story changed and all that. And, she only had one or two episodes in the hospital when she had any age/time displacement, so I figure that’s pretty good. I mean, after all, she was born before electricity was common in the home and when the “horseless carriage” was still a bit of a novelty, so, all things considered, she did pretty well.

So, even if I don’t read quite as much as I used to and a lot of ficition as well, I figure it’s still good for me. At least, in the long run.
So, kids, a little advice from your Uncle Jim? Read, even if it’s just comic books. Reading actually is good for you!

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