Blog Archives

The Most Ridiculous Jeff Bezos – Elon Musk Comparison Animation Ever. Probably Because It’s The Only One.

Warning: restroom rocket-waving contest. Which is somehow not a euphemism. Probably not safe for work if your supervisors are touchy or you don’t want to be laughed at for watching something so silly.

 

 

Sorry to inflict this on you, but it was WAY too bizarre not to share.

Don’t Trump Your Cat — Your Cat Begs You

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Even if you don’t actually “Trump” your poor, long-suffering kitty who implores you not to do this, please, pleasepleaseplease, you should look at what’s coming out of the #TrumpYourCat hashtag online because it’s freakin’ hilarious.

Also, I think your cat would be a better President than the person that’s being made fun of here. I will vote for your cat. Just let me know.

Relativity For Your Mouth

Our perceptions are WAY more dependent on our expectations and preconceptions than we like to think.

Do you think, perhaps, that this extends beyond food to our social and political worlds? I’m wondering, too, how it has colored my perception of short stories and novels I’ve liked or disliked in the past.

Hmm!

Eulogy For An Internet Badass –OR– Why I Cut Arguments Short And Don’t Hesitate On The Block Button

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A 13 word story:

Decades arguing at strangers

Found dead on his laptop

Stroked out on trollrage

————-

I’ve had my share of internet arguments. Some of them were lengthy, acrimonious, and frankly, in hindsight, utterly ridiculous. Happily, I haven’t gone full ridiculous in quite some time, and I don’t think I’ll be going back in the future.

I still don’t hesitate to disagree online, or even to argue. But these last few years, I have come to understand that no matter how outrageous I find the other person’s position or statements to be, there’s no profit in giving in to anger. “Argument” doesn’t have to be about rage. It’s possible to argue with a bit of sense. And when it’s apparent that the other person is trolling and raging, well, that’s what the block button is for. Just about every place you can have an internet argument has some version of blocking.

I used to avoid using block functions, as if doing so was some badge of open-minded honor. Well, I do take some pride in maintaining an open mind in general. But that doesn’t mean I have to waste my time dealing with abusive people, or with people whose primary or even sole recreation is making other people angry on the internet, or with people who just want to argue to argue.

There are enough trolls online that the trolls can find their own kind to bother after I’ve blocked them, and enough reasonable people, even reasonable people with whom I have deep and fundamental differences of opinion, to find good conversation online no matter how many thousands of people I block on social media and elsewhere.

For as long as I can remember, I have been quick to anger, and my anger can burn very hot. My father was the same way; some of it is my disposition, but it is also a behavior reinforced by his example in my childhood. Later in life, he began to learn to step back from his anger and engage his brain before his temper got him in trouble.

As I recall, he started to really ‘get it’ in his 40s. Well, that’s where I am now.

I guess the apple only fell so far from the tree.

Anyhow. I have no intention of ending up stroked out from rage in front of my computer — because I know how easy it would be for me to end that way if I were to give in to the troll side of the Force.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Classics As Clickbait Headlines

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First, the clickbait titles themselves. On page 2 (the link to page 2 is allllllll the way at the bottom of this page, under the related post thumbnails), I will post the title plus the book the title refers to.

That way, you can enjoy guessing which books the clickbait titles are ‘advertising’ before going to the next page to see if you guessed right.

The clickbait:

You Won’t Believe Why One Old Hobbit Walked Halfway Across The World

One Weird Trick To Becoming The Religious Icon of An Entire People (Hint: Kwisatz Haderach!)

You’ll Be Shocked When You Realize You Love This Genocide-Committing Murderer

The Most Embarrassing Reactions When Winter Is Coming

This Weird Old Trick Will Help You Defy The Book Burning Hordes

This Story Will Put You Off Pork Chops Forever

You’ll Be Shocked When You Find Out How Dangerous Lifehacks Really Are

This Zoned-Out Martian Hippie Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity

You Might Think Nothing Is Worse Than Ebola — But You’re Wrong

The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Read And Not Understand

How Bad Will Your Kids Screw Things Up? The Answer Is Worse Than You Think

One Grandpa Goes Green — You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next!

You’ll Never See America The Same Way Again After You Learn What One Convicted Felon Learned

Click over to page two below, and see the headlines matched up with their classic SFF titles!

Meow Right Now is available on Smashwords. Right Now. Meow.

 

 

 

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Archaeologists often find strange and even dangerous things during their explorations. When Clay and Sandy uncover an ancient frozen cat on the Siberian plains, they have done just that, for Kwirrrf is not accustomed to being a pet. In fact, he’s more accustomed to being a pet owner…

 

 

This is my fifty-sixth title published on Smashwords.  It’s 5117 words long, which is only 117 words longer than my upper limit for 99 cent stories.  I decided not to be nitpicky and leave it at 99 cents.

 

Did I mention it’s just ninety-nine measly cents?  Buy it and curl up with a nice Ancient Cat of Power story.  Those are always fun, I think.

Turn of Phrase: Soda Pop Bottles and/or Gophers

I’d love to have an image here, but I can’t find a decent non-copyrighted one. If you’d like to see the machine described, plug “Vendo 81” into your favorite search engine’s image search.

 

This is a sentence fragment from a short story I’m working on; the protagonist is seeing ghosts of vending machines past. The one that’s being described here was an old machine in the 1970s when I was a little kid and I ran into one or two of them at older country stores in Wisconsin. Older ones were round-topped, ‘newer’ ones made in the 1950s and early 60s were square-topped; they displayed soda in bottles behind a rectangular glass door, with the necks of the bottles pointing the bottlecaps straight at you from round holes.

If you haven’t seen one, it’s a little hard to imagine, maybe. Give “Vendo 81” a search and you’ll see.

 

Here’s the phrase that tickled me when I wrote it:

 

“…a dime for a small glass bottle; for a moment the little bottles are solid reality, lined up vertically behind a rectangular glass door, their necks sticking out of their holes like Coca-gophers.”

 

Sure I could go for a cold Coca-gopher right now. Couldn’t you?

README

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 The license below does NOT refer to the image above, which is a free use image from Morguefile. The license below refers ONLY to the written work below IT: the text of README by S.A. Barton.

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In other words, if you do choose to spread this story around, distribute it in its entirety, unchanged, attributed to S.A. Barton, and include a link to this page. Thanks!

README

by S.A. Barton

“In the beginning, was the Gates…” X intoned. It was a party, they’d all had a few zots to the pleasure-reward complex. Why not preach to a random stranger?

“Why is it ‘was the Gates’, and not ‘is the Gate’, have you ever thought of that?” asked Y.

“The language has changed, duh,” X said, making a face like someone bluescreening. “It’s been like eight thousand years and a lot of translations and modernizations. But they’re all inspired by the Gates to carry the true meaning of the original.”

“How do you know that?”

“It says so in the book, of course,” X said, eyescreens translating the roll of the meat eyes underneath to rolling pixels. “The Gates gave it all to us: the touchscreen, the tablet, the brainmouse, the HUD. We crucified his AVI for it, and he forgave us and revealed the hyperdrive as his last gift. Surely you’ve heard the holy README before.”

“I’ve heard it,” Y said, holding a zotstick next to the autodownloader under the skin of his temple. He sucked in breath through clenched teeth and his eyescreens went spaz with bright cyan static for a few seconds. “Good shit. Dude, people made computers. Finds on Earth proved it centuries ago. I was just reading the other day divers think they’ve found the Silicon Valley. It was just a place.”

“The Silicon Valley was a spiritual paradise in which the Gates delivered his gifts to all mankind. If someone thinks they’ve found it, they’ve either fooled themselves or they’re trolling. The Gates removed it from the physical realm after we defiled it with his AVI’s blood. It’s all in the…”

“Yeah, it’s in the holy README, I know, I know,” Y said, waving the zotstick under X’s nose.

“Lol about it if you want, but there’s no way a human could build even a crude computer on his own. Not from nothing. Ever see a docu about regressed civilizations?”

“So? A planet gets cut off from galactic civilization, it degenerates. They can’t get any new…”

“Any new what, smartass?” X says with a smirk plastered across his face.

“Computers…” Y says, voice trailing off weakly. He lifts his zotstick up to his temple again. It fizzles, there’s no rush. “Shit, I’m out of zot.”

X hands his stick over; it’s still half full. “Go ahead, hit that. But now that you’re thinking, now that you realize that humans can’t have invented the computer, why don’t you sit and listen…”

 

Snippet: An Untitled Cat Story I’m Still Working On

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This is pretty close to what Kwirrrf looks like, in case you’re wondering.

Except, of course, he’d never wear a collar.

 

 “…but it’s expecting us right now,” Sandy said.

“Right,” Clay and Eileen said together.  The three took dinner to the cat’s tent.

In the tent, four of the graduate students sat on the floor rubbing their jaws.  The fifth, a skinny young man with a shockingly large and bushy beard, held his shaggy facial hair out of the way with one hand while he carefully licked down the length of Kwirrrf’s tail, which rested on the tabletop to allow proper licking leverage.  The bearded man’s tongue was streaked with gray down the middle.

“Tank guud,” he slurred as he straightened up, clay-coated tongue still protruding from his mouth.

“Leave me, whatever your name is,” the cat said to the bearded student.

“Dick,” he said, a little more clearly as his tongue regained moisture.

The cat’s eyes flashed green and the student screamed.  While it hadn’t harmed Sandy and Clay aside from causing pain, this time the cat’s glare withered flesh.  In moments, all that remained of the student was a small mound of ashes.

“That was his name,” Eileen said quietly.  “Dick is short for Richard.”

“I’m not convinced that was the sense he used that word in,” Kwirrrf said, pretending that he hadn’t misunderstood…

A Moment of Silence…

Norway Goat Cheese Fire

Link to the full story here.

Okay, you’re laughing at the idea of seeing the spectacle of a massive road-closing Brunost goat cheese fire.  It’s okay, I laughed too.

But when I was done laughing, I bowed my head and observed a moment of silence for the loss of the baby cheeses.  I am a great respecter and lover of cheese, and this is a sad loss for the world.  So much delicious cheese, gone forever.  I never knew ye.