Wanderings

Anything you dream is fiction,
and anything you accomplish is science,
the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
- Ray Bradbury
December 29th, 2004

Arthur Sanchez has started blogging

My friend and cohort has started his own blog over at blogspot.com.

Arthur Sanchez’s Blog

Leave him a note saying that Keith sent you.

Tell him to use a better template. I don’t like the multicolor balloon thing going on there. The left column is too wide and the content column isn’t wide enough.

Just some constructive crit.






December 29th, 2004

Reading List – Stephenson, Dunsany and Cabell

I am currently 80% through Neal Stephenson “The Diamond Age” and I am enjoying it very much. This is the Book-on-Tape version. The reader does a good job and the story is not what you’d expect for Cyberpunk. If achieving a person’s potential is related much more to Nourish, rather than Nature, the question of how to maximize the nourish in order to maximize the individual is an important question. Stephenson follows the plot lines generated by a unique educational delivery system, and although he spends much time in the specifics of the education that is delivered, the technology of providing a nourishing influence is fascinating. It is interesting to note that the most successful case in his book is the case where a real human takes an emotional stake in the process. The child with an involved human mother surrogate is the child that develops best.

Stephenson uses tried and true cyberpunk themes, including elements of Steam Punk, and a heavy reliance on nanotechnology. I will be shipping this off to my brother, Ward, as soon as I am done with it. Good stuff!

In the print side of things, I purchased a 1923 edition of “The King of Elfland’s Daughter” by Lord Dunsany at a garage sale back in November and I have been dipping into it at night when the TV turns awful (more so recently.) You can visualize Lord Dunsany writing this book with a quill pen in purple ink as he was supposed to have done.

The book is told from a viewpoint remote in time and place, about cardboard characters in an uninteresting land. The book is only occasionally interesting. The character of a troll is much more compelling than that of the hero. The descriptions occasionally break out into otherworldly beauty. I read a few pages, insert the bookmark, and go raid the refrigerator.

“The King of Elfland’s Daughter” should be read like poetry. Slice off a hunk, set the book down, and come back when that bit is digested.

The book is a good source of fantasy ideas and images, but not a very good novel, by today’s standards, and does not stand up to time. I am reading it mainly because it was a major influence on the likes of Tolkien and Lewis. A paperback edition that was released in the late 1960s was probably an influence on modern fantasy writers.

I found As I Remember It by James Branch Cabell the same day as the Dunsany book, but at another garage sale. This is Cabell’s last book and it is not very long. It is autobiographical and concerns the death of his wives. Cabell was dying when he wrote this, and the book is his last few comments on a long literary life. Cabell, you will remember, wrote Jurgen, which was branded pornographic and made Cabell in instant sensation in 1919. Cabell was a close friend of Menken and relates many interesting and humorous literary anecdotes.

As I Remember It was written in the 1950s near the end of his life. He rambles a lot, but Cabell was a great stylist and I love his words. His sentences flow smoothly and I finished the book in two or three sittings.

Read Cabell!

Interesting note: I just now learned that Dunsany and Cabell both were born in 1878 and both died within a year of each other (1957 and 1958). Both were great stylists in the world of fantasy literature.






December 28th, 2004

More stories up at KeithGraham.com

I put up a few more stories at my fiction site. I am searching around for some more. I know that I have half a dozen on my old laptop and I should get those up, too.

I received an assignment from Man’s Story 2 and I think I will try it. Here is the illustration that they need a story for. (I like prepositions for ending in).






December 24th, 2004

Merry Christmas

Christmas Ollie under the tree

Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!






December 21st, 2004

Keith Graham’s Fiction online

I’ve registered www.KeithGraham.com and started putting my fiction there. I am trying to put everything that I’ve completed and a few that I haven’t. Some of the stuff is password protected because I am still submitting it, or the story is committed to another site. Email me if you can’t hack the password.

(Think of Seinfeld and the old Mrs. Peterman’s dying word, and you’ll have the password that I use.)

www.KeithGraham.com

So far only the Science Fiction is near done. I will take time to do the Fantasy next. (probably next week)

“…you’re a portly fellow… a bit long in the waistband? So what’s your pleasure; is it the salty snacks you crave? No, no, no, no… yours is a sweet-tooth. Oh, you may stray, but you’ll always return to your dark master: the cocoa-bean!…”






December 20th, 2004

Out of the blue – a sale is a sale!

I got the mail Saturday afternoon and found a letter from Man’s Story 2. It was a contract for a story that I sent them August 9. This story is more risqué than even R rated and I didn’t think that a soft porn magazine would go for it, but they did. I can hardly wait to see if they illustrate it. The zine is known for its cheesy black and white porn drawings.

Four months 9 days sale.

There is an ethical consideration here. I don’t particularly want to write porn, but I don’t believe in censuring artistic expression, even expression that can be judged poor taste. By publishing in a funny and quirky porn magazine I risk being labeled pornographer. My story is pure Science Fiction with suggestive elements, but is not intended to be prurient. Then again, a sale is a sale.

Interestingly enough, my name, at least, is connected from time to time with some of the most offensive porn around. In the 1980s I wrote PC utilities and one of the most popular was a little assembly language gem called TXT2COM. The program took a text file and wrapped a program around it that was similar to a web browser. It had meta tags that could control color and links and format. It was used largely for program documentation. I never charged for its use and millions of files were turned to TXT2COM files.

Someone, without asking me, converted a huge library of really disgusting sick porn.

Unfortunately, my name, copyright, address and telephone number are imbedded in every file. From time to time, this collection, which is available on CD, shows up on a website converted to HTML, but my name and personals are included in the file. If you do a search on my name, you can find some of this crap. Every year or so, I do a search on my name, find this stuff and politely ask the webmaster to alter it. This has always been done without question.






December 16th, 2004

Sardonic or Ironic

I find this to be funny, even if it is not PC.

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/tfr/52561807.html

Is it Sardonic or Ironic humor?

Craigslist is one of the most entertaining sites on the internet.

In case the craigslist post disappears, here is the text of the job posting.

LITTLE PERSON (20-40, Male) Needed ASAP for Short Film!!!!!!!!


Reply to: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Date: 2004-12-16, 1:28PM EST

Little person (20-40; male) needed for short film shooting this Sunday (12-19-04). The role was previously cast and our actor dropped-out last minute. The role: The imaginary mentor/friend to a girl who is embarking on a mysterious journey. This is an exciting film with a great script and a dedicated, professional crew. Transportation, meals, and copy provided. Please call Producers at 917-xxx-xxxx or 201-xxx-xxxx immediately if interested.






December 16th, 2004

What’s This?

I found that I am listed in BlogShare.com. I have no idea what this is.






December 15th, 2004

Ward and Amy

This is a horribly sappy picture of my little brother Ward and his girlfriend Amy.

Ward was born when I was 16 and I spent my last two years in high school changing diapers and burping him because my mother went back to work a month after he was born. It is weird to see the little ankle-biter all grown up and obviously in luvvvvv.



Click to see full size (260k) image.






December 8th, 2004

James B. Baker Award

My story “Flare Bound”, which appeared in The Martian Wave back in January has been nominated by J. Erwine for the James B. Baker Award.

I am, of course, not worthy, but at the same time I am very pleased with myself. Out of the 50 or so stories that appeared at SamsDotPublishing.com this year, it is unlikely that I could actually get the award, but it is way cool. I feel like a winner – at least until they announce the actual winner.

James B. Baker was the founder of SamsDotPublishing.com and each year the current editors each nominate a story for an award given in memorium to him. You can read more about the award at James B. Baker Award.






December 1st, 2004

Starting the month

The December issue of Astounding Tales is up and running. It looks good.

My story “Random Seed” is in the print version of Aoife’s Kiss so you can’t read it without buying a copy.

My story “Frogs in Aspic” is in KidVisions Magazine, but under the name some guy named Kenneth P. Graham. (They fixed it.)

All my outstanding stories were rejected over the weekend. I have nothing saleable to submit any more. All the good stuff is sold.

I wrote an article for my Harpamps website called “Stalking the Wild Premier” that is getting quite a bit of word-of-mouth interest.