Fantasist's Scroll

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


It’s Not Magic

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

It’s an illusion!

At least, that’s what Doug Henning would say.
Hey, look, it’s been a rough month.  What with the elections, the holiday and NaNoWriMo, you’ve had a lot going on.  I mean, a lot.
No matter who you wanted to win the Presidential Elections this year, the campaign has been brutal.  And, frankly, I think the next four years are going to be chaotic, challenging and a little frightening for a lot of us.  Then, there’s the stress of the Thanksgiving holiday.  I mean, c’mon, dinner with the family is never easy, is it?  And, finally, if you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month, you’ve been churning out words as fast as you can, racing to that deadline.
And, by the way, if you are doing NaNoWriMo then you should be getting near the end of your novel.  I don’t mean to panic you, but there’s really only a couple of days left.  Less than a week, actually.

So, no matter what’s been going on, you deserve a little break.  A chance to just veg out a little and sit like a stupid lump and stare at something cool.  Good news!  I’ve got just the thing!  Ten optical illusions that will blow your mind over at the Huffington Post.  Seriously, these are pretty cool and a great way to let your brain slip into neutral for a little bit so you can recharge before getting back to that big project of yours, NaNoWriMo manuscript or whatever you might be working on.

Go ahead and take a break.  It’s a holiday and you deserve it!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.


Two Writers and One Publisher’s Birthday

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

According to Writer’s Almanac there are 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.


Assorted Friday Fun Links

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

Okay, so, once again, my thoughts are scattered, and my links are, too.

First, there’s a link to an article on Australian IT that makes me glad I don’t live in Singapre when I was teaching my parents about bandwidth theft. Apparently, a nosy neighbor turned a kid in and now, he’s been sentenced for stealing another neighbor’s wifi bandwidth. Kind of harsh, but, then it is Singapore, so he’s probably lucky he didn’t get caned!

Here’s two that are sort of related. At least, they both rot your brain.
First there’s the gross one. Did you all hear about the “brain worms” found in South Texas? Apparently, these nasty, little buggers, if you’ll pardon the pun, get into your brain via improperly stored and prepared food, then, they eat their way out.
The other brain-rot story was one that surprised even this jaded cynic: pot-laced snack products. Yeah, no joke. They’re illegal as all hell, but some guy was apparently selling these cannibis-infused “look-alike” snacks. Crazy stuff.

And, finally, since I finished paying the bills right before I typed this in, from the Get-Rich Slowly blog, Money Making Hobbies (from 1938). The dream is always to get that hobby that not only pays for itself, but makes a little extra, too. Sadly, based on the suggestions from this book, the only way to make money with a “hobby” is to write and sell this kind of book!

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got in me this week. It’s been another long, busy one, so, enjoy your Friday Fun Links!
(And, yes, I’m back to reposting the stuff from my other blog, Diary of a Network Geek.  It was a really long week!)


Bioengineered Buddies!

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

Yea! Genetically modified pets right off the shelf!

No, not those silly glowing fish, but something far more interesting. Straight to you from the future, Genpets, Bioengineered Buddies! They come in seven different, color-coordinated tempraments right out of the package. Sadly, they have limited vocal capabilities and need specially designed food to carry on, but their almost total lack of excretion makes up for that. They come with a “freshness” indicator right on the blister-pack and will be available in one and three year life-expectancy models. They look a little more anthropomorphic for the average genetic ethicist, I’m sure, but kids will love ’em!

Now, before you freak out, this is not real. It is an art website showcasing some very interesting and thought-provoking sculptures. I have to admit, even though they creep me out, I’d probably buy one of these suckers should they ever be comercially available. I hope that doesn’t send me straight to hell, but, well, I love science-fiction and this sort of thing has been the promise of sci-fi stories since I can remember. I’d love to see it available, just for the “cool” factor.
But, no matter how you feel about it, you have to admit, the site is thought provoking.


RIP: Robert Sheckley

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

Robert Sheckley died on Friday.
I just saw the news today via BoingBoing, but I felt it was important enough to mention. Sheckley was the master of science-fiction comedy and commentary in a single form. The 10th Victim was one of the best books I’ve ever read, and not just because of the infamous brassiere-gun, and even is credited for spawning the Assasination Game, among other things.
He was a wondeful author and will be missed.

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