Fantasist's Scroll

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


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.



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 This is open to authors submitting any previously unpublished work under 10,000 words with fantasy as a primary or central theme.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!


Mickey Spillane, dead at 88

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Monkey which is mid-afternoon.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

While not exactlly a fantasy or science-fiction writer, he was still one of the great ones.  Famous for his Mike Hammer books and his rough-and-tumble pose style, Spillane was one of the more successful writers of his day.  And, according to his obituary on MSN, that’s how he thought of himself, as a writer who sold his work.  It was a job to him, a way to make money, not high art.  I can respect that attitude.  Get it written and get it sold.  Interestingly enough, Spillane got his fiction-writing start in comics writing for Batman and Superman, but then World War II broke out and his plans changed.  After the war, he turned to full-length fiction to earn money.

Mickey Spillane died yesterday, Monday, July 17th, at the age of 88.  He was married three times and the father of four children.


Pink Poodle Gourmet

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

If you have dogs, you have got to see this!
You may have seen what you think of as fancy dog cookies in PetSmart. You know, the ones that are shaped like bones, but have frosting on them. But, I am here to tell you these are low rent compared to what the nice people at Pink Poodle Gourmet and Design have. I mean, go look at these things and you’ll see. They look almost too good to give to your dog. (Sorry, Hilda.) They’re better looking, and tasting, than a lot of cookies made for people. And, yes, before you get all wierded out by the fact that I ate dog cookies, they are made from all human-edible ingredients. They’re also quite tasty. At least, all the ones I’ve tried personally are, but I haven’t risked any liver flavored ones yet. They do sell from the website, but, you might want to find a local supplier so you don’t have to deal with shipping. (You can sniff them out at their webpage.)

Okay, okay, you caught me. This is actually a shameless plug for the darling woman that I’ve been seeing. This amazing lady has run her own business for more than two years and paid all her bills with it. Obviously, she works very, very hard at her business and her product really is amazing. I mean, I understand the rudiments of making a cookie, dog cookies even, but what she does… Well, it’s the difference between me building with Lincoln Logs and her building 30 storey sky scrapers. Really, I cannot urge you enough to go check out her work: Pink Poodle Gourmet and Design And, no, this is not a bribe to get more pie. Though, it’d be well worth it. Her pie is delicious!


King Kong Found!

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

Well, at least his fossil.
According to this article from McMaster University, an ape that was roughly three meters tall and weighed up to 1,200 pounds was running around Asia at a time when humans also existed. Gigantopithecus blackii, as the giant primate is known in archeological circles, has actually been known for over 35 years, but this is the first time that such a complete specimen has been found and accurately dated.
And, yes, I do suppose that they’re capitalizing on the recent media blitz surrounding the new King Kong movie, which opens in December. I still think it’s cool.


Space: Above and Beyond

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

Oh My God!
Finally, after literally years of waiting Space Above and Beyond – The Complete Series is available on DVD. This was the finest science-fiction show EVER! Yes, I mean ever. Including Star Trek, in all its various incarnations, and both versions of Battlestar Galactica and anything else you can think of to date. It was real, hard-nosed, gritty science-fiction with compelling stories fille with drama and real meaning. Not psuedo, let’s-all-get-high-and-get-Roddenberry-laid messages, but the real deal. Every episode dealt with something that made you stop and think about what it meant to be something, to stand for something, or even to be human. There were funny parts, but not like in Star Trek that played for campy laughs. No, if there was something funny, it was funny the way things are in life, not some wooden slapstick played for laughs with goofy music.
And, of course, it’s the only science-fiction show to ever feature R. Lee Ermey. What can top that!?

Excuse me while I go spend a little money on whole lot of joy.


Call of Cthulu: The Movie

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

How cool is this?!
The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society has produced a “silent” film, much like would have been produced in the 1920’s, of Lovecraft’s most famous work, The Call of Cthulu. The movie is done in the classic style of the silver screen and has “mood” music background. Also, the DVD has a “making of” documentary and other bonuses. I can’t believe I haven’t heard about this soon, considering how much I love HPL and his work. Anyway, it exists and now the word is out.
The trailer is here and the DVD available for purchase is here.
Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!


How to Write a “Literary” Novel

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

This is funny to me.
The daughter of a favorite author of mine has written an entry in her blog about writing a “literary” novel that’s good enough to sell. Sadly, I’m afraid that she may well be right!
According to the entry in her father’s blog, this was inspired by the fact that she was forced to read a “literary” novel that didn’t agree with her mental digestion. And, interestingly enough, the author himself got started in response to the statistic often quoted about authors getting a “mere” $2000 for their first novel. Apparently, his thought was “For two grand, I could do something that bad. In fact, I think I could so something a little better.” And, I can think of worse ways to get inspired. After all, $2000 not bad, frankly, for a kid in high school with literary aspiration and some free time.
Hmm, maybe I could do better, if I follow her formula and put out a little effort…

Well, maybe tomorrow. Today, though, I revel in the fact that it’s Friday. Enjoy the link!

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