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Rex Uranus, Atomic Space Marshal Of The Cosmos!


note:  this idea has been lurking around in the back of my head for some time, maybe as long as a decade.  it’s the sort of thing that works best on stage in front of a live audience; other media tends to blunt the comedy.  since I had no venue for it, Rex stayed unwritten for some time.  then it spawned another idea — a much bigger, better idea — but one with no room for the original concept.  

so here it is:  enjoy

rex uranus jack davis illoJack Davis, MAD Magazine no15




Atomic Space Marshal Of The Cosmos

by Buzz Dixon

time: 1950
place: a tiny live TV studio

REX URANUS…………..the super-scientific genius responsible for maintaining peace and order in the universe, wears a gaudy uniform; in reality a fast fading matinee idol, somewhat long in the tooth for this sort of thing but still clinging to delusions of adequacy

SALLY SATURN…………..Rex’s bright, perky assistant who wears a similar gaudy uniform; in reality a young actress who naively came to the big city searching for stardom and who has been wised up fast

JUNIOR JUPITER…………..a space cadet trainee assigned to Rex, basically a big kid even though clearly an adult, wears a similar gaudy uniform; in reality a journeyman actor who has been in the business long enough to know how the game is played

The DIRECTOR…………..a harried professional trying to keep the show from falling apart on air, wears normal 1950s clothes, carries a much revised copy of the script, may be played by a male or female actor (no dialog)

The ANNOUNCER…………..a consummate professional with a melodious voice, introduces the show and does the commercial breaks, dresses nicely in 1950s clothes, may be played by a male or female actor

The PROCESS SERVER…………..a funny looking little man in a normal but ill-fitting 1950s suit, enjoys his job of sticking it to jerks, carries a blue bound legal divorce papers document he is trying to serve on the actor playing Rex (no dialog)

Read the rest of this article »

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Charles Bukowski Tells You Where To Go


Charles Bukowski all hopped up

“If you’re going to try, go all the way.  Otherwise, don’t even start.  This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind.  It could mean not eating for three or four days.  It could mean freezing on a park bench.  It could mean jail.  It could mean derision.  It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift.  All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it.  And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.  And it will be better than anything else you can imagine.  If you’re going to try, go all the way.  There is no other feeling like that.  You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.  You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.” ― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

(hat tip to Weird Tales Magazine on Facebook)

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“Poet And King” by Charles Buxton Going


Władysław Benda - poet and king

Poet And King by Charles Buxton Going

art by Władysław Benda 

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I Blather On…


… on the website The Blathers Of Gene Bathurst.  Gene was curious about my experiences writing Thundarr The Barbarian and I had a blast trying to fill in the blanks to the best of my memory.

thundarr portal into time title card

You can find Part One here and Part Two there

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Fictoid: the sniper’s lament


snipers lament

the only thing
I ever felt
when I killed
someone was the
recoil of
my rifle

now I’m sitting here
with a fully loaded hand gun
ready to stick it next to my temple
and pull the trigger

how fast will that bullet fly?
will I have a chance
to feel the recoil
before the bullet
kills me?

only one way
to find out




text © Buzz Dixon

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“All Along The Watchtower” by Bob Dylan


All Along The Watchtower

All Along The Watchtower by Bob Dylan

“There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion”, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

“No reason to get excited”, the thief he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”.

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

© Dwarf Music

art by John Rea Neill
lyrics by Bob Dylan

Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” is one of my favorite songs.  It sounds like the opening scene of a great, epic fantasy (indeed, writer / editor Jessica Amanda Salmonson tried years ago to turn it into a lengthy story with another writer, but her co-author’s untimely death pretty much killed any momentum that project had; still, it would have been wonderful).  Unlike most ballads, it does not complete its story; rather it leaves it open ended and ripe for interpretation.  For that reason, it is haunting.

update:  “As you allude to, I published Ron Nance’s first story ‘Watchtower‘ about the Jester and the Thief. He wrote a very few more tales of this duo, and he and I co-wrote ‘A Wine of Heart’s Desire‘ set in the world of Dylan’s characters, to be found in the Tor Books anthology Tales By Moonlight.” — Jessica Amanda Salmonson

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Greg Wilkey’s Rules Of Writing



1. Read.  Read a lot.  I can’t imagine being a writer and not reading.  I read everything from non-fiction to autobiographies to children’s picture books.  I am always looking at how other authors use language.

2. Set aside time to think.  I have to do this.  Once I get an idea going, I need time to just sit and think about it.  This looks differently depending on where I am.  Sometimes I think in my office.  Sometimes I sit on my patio in my favorite rocking chair.  Sometimes I think while I’m watching an old movie.  This step for me is crucial because this is when I let the idea marinate in my imagination.  This is where the story starts to grow.

3. Research.  I love to do research for a book, but I have to be careful not to get lost in this step.  I can spend hours reading articles and following links that interest me.  The research is important to me because I want my readers to have something real to connect with in my books.  Good fiction must have a touch of reality to be believable.

4. Map out the story.  I have to do this.  I know that not all authors follow this step, but for me it is necessary.  I don’t have to outline every detail, but I at least want a basic road map of the book.  I like to have a sense of where I’m going before I start the journey.

5. Be ready to trash the map.  Now, having stated rule #4, I have learned to let the map go and follow the lead of my characters.  There is something wonderful about letting go of control and giving myself over to the world I’ve created.  Sometimes, it’s better to let the characters dictate their actions to me.  In fact, as a writer, I want this to happen.  When it does, I know that my story is now a living organism with a life all its own.

6. Don’t revise while writing.  I had a hard time with this one in the beginning.  I was so worried about grammar and vocabulary that I’d spend all my energy on correcting and editing every line that I wrote.  It took me a long time to figure out that was why I never finished a book.  I was burning out before I really got started.  Now when I write, I just write.  I let the story flow onto the page.  I just want to get the words out of my head.  I want to paint those scenes before I lose them.  I don’t worry about the language mechanics until the end.

7. Have fun.  This is my favorite rule because writing is too hard and too painful not to enjoy.  I love to write.  I have to write.  It’s who I am and I can’t imagine not doing it.  I love to hide out in my home office with my favorite music playing while I slip into my imagination.  As long as I’m having fun, that’s all that matters.  I write for my own pleasure.  If others read and enjoy my work, that’s just wonderful, but I can’t allow that to motivate me.  No, I write because I love it.

found at
Greg’s own site is here

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they tore the roof off the poet’s house



they tore the roof off the poet’s house
they exposed his walls to the open air
they ripped up the floor where he trod
so his basement office now lay bare

“…there will come soft rains” he once quoted
in a story he wrote long ago
unseasonal rains now came falling
in the place he once let magic grow

he would laugh to see our tears falling
why are you crying?  I’m no longer there
my soul has long since found liberty
my stories have taken it everywhere

 children not yet born will soon read them
their grandchildren will pass them along
my body and my house are forgotten
but my heart will live in word and song

bradbury books DSC_2146_0

requiescat in pace, Ray

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Fictoid: gamblers


JC Leyendecker - the devil you say cap

Well, my friend, it has been a droll evening.
But all evenings — and all games — must come to an end.

So, which shall it be?

Shall you reach for your gun?

Or shall I show you my card?

The gun?

Or the card?

The gun…?

…or the card?

Choose wisely, my friend.

We dangle on the precipice of hell.

art by JC Leyendecker
text © Buzz Dixon

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los angeles: a love song


Los Angeles postcard

driving down the sinuous dusty snake we call sepulveda it is easy to understand why we love los angeles sunbaked unreality cut loose from the present an eternal time an internal rhyme over forever linked to past and future but never to now aging hipsters ancient hippies all the way back to hollywood nature boys this place this land this zeitgeist called to us all in our sleep in our dreams it beckoned us with a beguiling voice calling us with this siren song you’ll never be home till you’re here till you’re here till you’re here you’ll never be home till you’re here

and we came in cars in jitneys in jalopies in jets in jest in just what we had on our backs whatever it takes to find our way here find this time this place this land so hot and dusty and magical it must be a fever dream where every possibility is a reality waiting to be uncovered this is where we belong

this is our home
this will always be our home
this always has been our home

we walk its canyons of cactus and concrete sit in its cool temples both sacred and profane and we ask why are we here

we know we are supposed to be here but why?

some come for fame and some for fortune but if that is what you want you take it and leave soon enough you were never one of us you never belonged here and we can see it in your eyes smell it on your soul and we bear you no animosity and we say go with the grace of God…

…but go

a thousand failures are our family but you we don’t know

we come to build and make but many times we know what we build but not why our great white elephants rear back and stretch tusk and trunk to the sky
why do we do that
why would anybody do that?

because we can and
because we can then we must
we can not let los angeles go unimagined we must call forth
a thousand foolish fantasies from
a thousand fantastic fools and we must
shape the unreality the ur-reality and make it concrete give voice to the dream that beguiled us revitalize it and send it back into the world to find our brothers and sisters and bring them home

los angeles you are my home waiting for me from before my parents were born you hold secrets for those who love you secrets you reveal and they will share with the rest of the world

not everybody will hear the music or
get the joke but those that do
they will be here
they will come
they will be part of us

dusty canyons dreaming streets dazzling days starry nights of neon and wonder blocking the real stars in the sky dazzling us with galaxies imagined by man and woman some big some small some petty some grand but all reflecting the same unreal city and land that calls us here that makes us welcome

to the desert!  to the skies and snakes and scorpions, to sunbaked sunblasted sunbleached suncursed vistas of melting stone landscape, we come

to the sea!  great prehistoric monsters of steel and gray writhing above the waves hiding behind phony palm trees only to fall to very real surfers knights of the sea skating slithering sliding safely between the legs of the giants to deliver themselves born whole like venus onto the nirvana of the beach, we come

to the studios!  playschool playhouse playacting a thousand lives a million scenarios an infinite range of possibilities playfully tossing back to the world what the world cast off, we come

we come without fear and oddly without hope because hope is uncertain and we all know we are the chosen one we are the one destined to set the night ablaze with unquenchable glory, we come

and so
here we are
what are you
going to do
about it?




text © Buzz Dixon


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