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Fictoid: if you want the right answer, ask the right question


norman rockwell - sinister drunk

the supernatural entity sat in the bar / nursing a drink / singing this song of woe:

It’s always the same, billions and billions of times.  Doesn’t matter who, doesn’t matter where, doesn’t matter when; it’s always the same deal, and it’s always the same answer.

Here’s what I offer them:
I’ve got a job for you.  It will be hard work, but it will never require more than forty hours a week from you.  It may be difficult, at times distasteful, but it will never harm your body or soul.

It will be a meaningful job, a productive job.  No one will be made to suffer in any way because of this job.

In return for forty hours a week of your best effort — and there are benchmarks to determine this — you may have anything and everything you want.

Let me repeat that: 
Anything and everything.  As many mansions as you like, as many yachts, private jets, food, drink, toys, whatever.  Things that haven’t even been invented yet, things you can’t even imagine will all be yours.

The catch?  Why, yes, there is a catch.  What ever you earn, the rest of humanity will get for free.  You may not tell anybody about your job, you may not take credit for their easy lives.  You will work thanklessly, anonymously, and for the rest of your life to provide a golden age for everyone else.

There is my offer: 
A lifetime of toil in return for a lifetime free of want, but you will be the only person who has to work for it.

Am I angel or devil?  Your answer will reveal which you think I am.

And wouldn’t you know it?

They all have

the same.






art by Norman Rockwell
text © Buzz Dixon

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out along the cygnus wall



out along the cygnus wall
where great star factories roam
a trillion miles from nowhere
is a place that we call home
and it’s not much to live on
but it’s mighty grand to see
a nice place to think about
but a nicer place to be
you’ll find worlds by the thousands
of every kind and size
kingdoms made of diamonds
bright heavens made of sighs
cold hells made of heartaches
colder hearts made of stone
find anything you want
when you call the wall your home

no one lives forever
yet no one really dies
when your heart’s in the heavens
of the grand cygnus skies




photo © Nick Pavelchak
text © Buzz Dixon
with a tip of the space helmet
to Robert Service
and Rudyard Kipling

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On The Convention Trail: LosCon 41


on conv trail 1950_04 ed_cartier_gnomepresscalendar

Heigh-ho!  Heigh-ho!
Off to LosCon 41 I go!

LosCon 41 will be held Nov. 28-30 at the LAX Marriott (that’s the good news)
and they’ve invited me to participate on two panels. (that’s the bad news)

My schedule & co-panelists:

SAT 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm: 916. YOU DID WHAT?

Atlanta Room

A panel in which each panelist starts a story and ends by dumping the next panelist into it!

  • Dr. Jerry Pournelle
  • Lawrence M. Schoen
  • Martin Young
  • Neo Edmund
  • Kenn Bates
  • Todd McCaffrey

SUN 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm: 1053. A SHOT RANG OUT

Saint Louis Room

Improvised storytelling under pressure of time and madness. See us invent stories and characters too bizarre for fiction just so we can set up random lines the audience picked for us.

  • Larry Niven
  • Sarah Adams
  • Lawrence M. Schoen
  • David Miller
  • True Thomas
  • Martin Young
  • Todd McCaffrey

In commemoration of the panels’ theme of improvisation in story telling, I’ll be running a batch of fictoids for the rest of the week.

Happy Turkey Day &
see you at LosCon!

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it happens


it happens enough and if
it happens at all then
it happens too often

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a poem for eternity


what happens to rich people after they die is this:

they get every thing they ever wanted
and more
every thing
but not everything

there are no


in the afterlife

rich folks want something
all they have to do is imagine it


it magically / quantumly appears
want a forty-thousand room mansion with a full size bowling alley in each?
think about it


it appears

you can get any thing
and every thing you want

trouble is
your neighbors get it, too

oh yeah
this is one crowded afterlife
all of your friends and
most of your family are there
waiting for you
and everyone gets exactly the same thing
all the time
so nobody has one iota more
or one iota less
than anybody else
everybody’s equal
everybody’s the same
no one to look down
no one to smirk at
no one to act smugly superior to
no one to envy you
admire you
desire to be you
everybody same-same
all the time

JC Leyendecker - disdainful couple

looking down from heaven
God shakes His head and says:


art by J.C. Leyendecker

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Charles Bukowski On Writing


bukowski at work

Writing isn’t work at all… And when people tell me how painful it is to write I don t understand it because it’s just like rolling down the mountain you know. It’s freeing. It’s enjoyable. It’s a gift and you get paid for what you want to do.

I write because it comes out — and then to get paid for it afterwards? I told somebody, at some time, that writing is like going to bed with a beautiful woman and afterwards she gets up, goes to her purse and gives me a handful of money. I’ll take it.

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“Tommy” by Rudyard Kipling


I went into a public-’ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-’alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!


bernie saunders quote re vets

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“The House” by H.P. Lovecraft [art by Boris Dolgov]


boris dalgov - the house illo - border

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“Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe


el dorado edmond dulac
Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?”

“Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied-
“If you seek for Eldorado!”

art: Edmund Dulac

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Patrick L. Dean Does H.P. Lovecraft


Arguably as fine an adaptation of Lovecraft as any to date.

Patrick L Dean adapts Lovecaft

Here’s a link to the
original short story;
compare and contrast.

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