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Archive for February, 2010

 

[23 February 2010

[The purpose is to assist in an animal welfare issue & not to ventilate Mr Smith’s feelings, and accordingly the previous posting, here, is deleted — BW]

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THE MARCHING MORONS

by

C. M. Kornbluth

[Please note that this text is substantially marred and flawed; nor have I the time to muck about with it.  Be that as it may, this admittedly cynical and precognitive tale, first published in Galaxy in April, 1951, speaks to us all the more directly to-day in the midst of the universal failure of both our beloved markets and the nation state, of the general and to all appearances inescapable shadow of democracyBW

Some things had not changed. A potter’s wheel was still a potter’s wheel and clay was still clay. Efim Hawkins had built his shop near Goose Lake, which had a narrow band of good fat clay and a narrow beach of white sand. He fired three bottle-nosed kilns with willow charcoal from the wood lot. The wood lot was also useful for long walks while the kilns were cooling; if he let himself stay within sight of them, he would open them prematurely, impatient to see how some new shape or glaze had come through the fire, and-ping!-the new shape or glaze would be good for nothing but the shard pile back of his slip tanks. A business conference was in full swing in his shop, a modest cube of brick, tile-roofed, as the Chicago-Los Angeles “rocket” thundered overhead-very noisy, very swept back, very fiery jets, shaped as sleekly swift-looking as an airborne barracuda. The buyer from Marshall Fields was turning over a black-glazed one-liter carafe, nodding approval with his massive, handsome head. “This is real pretty,” he told Hawkins and his own secretary, GomezLaplace. “This has got lots of what ya call real est’etic principles. Yeah, it is real pretty.” “How much?” the secretary asked the potter. “Seven-fifty in dozen lots,” said Hawkins. “I ran up fifteen dozen last month.” “They are real est’etic,” repeated the buyer from Fields. “I will take them all.” “I don’t think we can do that, doctor,” said the secretary. “They’d cost us $1,350. That would leave only $532 in our quarter’s budget. And we still have to run down to East Liverpool to pick up some cheap dinner sets.” “Dinner sets?” asked the buyer, his big face full of wonder.

“Dinner sets. The department’s been out of them for two months now. Mr. Garvy-Seabright got pretty nasty about it yesterday. Remember?” “Garvy-Seabright, that meat-headed bluenose,” the buyer said contemptuously. “He don’t know nothin’ about est’etics. Why for don’t he lemme run my own department?” His eye fell on a stray copy of Whambozambo Comix and he sat down with it. An occasional deep chuckle or grunt of surprise escaped him as he turned the pages. Uninterrupted, the potter and the buyer’s secretary quickly closed a deal for (more…)

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Viole Falushe

by Chief Constable Bodwyn Wook [retd]

WHEN I was a cadet-candidate in the Police General Staff College on Alphanor, we were encouraged to read widely in the classics, Carl Barks, the complete works of C G Jung of Old Earth, the pre-Space Age Future Historians R A Heinlein & cet, Mein Kampf, Beatrix Potter, Camille Paglia, Chaucer and so forth.  The story of the apprehension of the five so-called ‘demon princes’ of crime by vendettist and sometime-IPCC * operative Kirth Gersen was considered a classic in the literature, of first-class solo revenge- and police-work.  The story was first communicated backwards in Time as an experiment with a modified Jarnell Intersplit; and, then, conveyed by invisible rays in to the the sensorium of the targetted writer identified as most suitable by certain Sufi field operatives.  Finally, it was indeed chronicled anachronistically by the pre-Galactic Future Historian Mr Jack Vance, and published by DAW Books, in Vance’s 1964 – 81 (OES — **) quintad:  Star King; The Killing Machine; The Palace of Love; The Face *** and The Book of Dreams.
     For certain enthusiasts of early policing in its pre-intuitive or ‘scientific’ phase, and indeed of early scientific experimentation in general, the collection of artifacts of early time travel has become a passion in its own right; and, I am glad to number myself among these.  With assiduity, the fortunate collector can for a fact come to hold in his **** hands an actual object that figured in the vancean tales.  I am as noted more than happy to reckon myself a true afficiando and, indeed, have now come to own two (!) singular objects of those rollicking adventures.  They are a heretofore unpublished early image of Viole Falushe or, as he then still was, Vogel Filschner. 
And, next, we see a second extant picture of the young ladies of the Philidor Bohus Choral Society as they appeared shortly before (more…)

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