Browsing the blog archives for September, 2010.

First 200 Words (part 5)

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Here is another story set in a world Philip José Farmer created, Ancient Opar and the Khokarsan Empire. This was a favorite of both Phil and his fans in the short lived series, Hadon of Ancient Opar and Flight to Opar. The following takes plays after a battle in Flight to Opar, and follows Hinokly’s story a little further than Phil did. Christopher Paul Carey is able to tell this tale because, as coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the forthcoming Khokarsa novel The Song of Kwasin, he knows his Khokarsan lore.

“A Kick in the Side”

by Christopher Paul Carey

       Down he went into water blacker than the ink of his trade. But the cold waters of Piqabes, green-eyed daughter of Kho, would stain him much deeper than ink would his skin. The sea would absorb him until his body was indistinguishable from the salty depths and then his soul would drift listlessly through the mouths of many fishes and slithery creatures before ultimately sinking into the silt at the bottom of the Kemu.
       As his lungs gave out, Hinokly cursed his fate. He was not to be a hero, like Hadon, or even Hadon’s loutish, ax-swinging cousin, Kwasin. Though Hinokly had once stood in the court of the King of Khokarsa, twice traveled to the depths of the Wild Lands, and even journeyed to the Ringing Sea at the edge of the world to look into the eyes of a god, he was a nothing, an expendable sidekick to great men (and even greater women, he thought, as the beauteous face of Lalila filled his dying brain).
       Hinokly stopped struggling and waited to enter dread Sisisken’s dark realm. No longer would he be bullied or overshadowed by those whose minds were as thick as the half-witted engineers who had …

(Copyright © 2010 by the Philip J Farmer Family Trust)

The rest of the “A Kick in the Side” can be found in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions. Keep watching this space for more 200 word excerpts.

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First 200 Words (part 4)

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We’ve gotten lots of questions about the subtitle of the book, “Protean Dimensions.” Just what does that mean? The subtitle, the entire book, and indeed the entire proposed series of Worlds of Philip José Farmer books, is explained at the front of the book, in the:

“Editor’s Preface”

by Michael Croteau

     Protean Dimensions. Two words attempting to describe a writer who eluded the conventional, side-stepped expectations, and denied even the need for boundaries. Philip José Farmer liked to kick down the walls that   defined—and enclosed—genre fiction. When that wasn’t enough, he blurred the lines between reality and fiction; just ask Sir Richard Francis Burton, Mark Twain, Tarzan, and Kilgore Trout.
     Farmer was many things to many people. He was an iconoclast, having written about sex and religion in places they had never been seen before. He wrote with a deep understanding of subjects like philosophy, psychology, and mythology. But he was also a teller of grand, supposedly “light,” adventure stories. He wrote pastiches and parodies of the stories he loved the most, and in doing so, introduced new generations of readers to the heroes of a bygone day. He was a master world—no, make that universe—builder. His “quasi-scholarship” was better researched than most Ph.D. thesis papers. He was himself protean: a renaissance man, a polymath, a self-taught: historian, theologian, anthropologist, linguist, evolutionary biologist, and sociologist. The careful reader may find all of these elements in any sample of his work.
     No matter how you first discover Farmer …

(Copyright © 2010 by Michael Croteau)

The rest of the “Editor’s Preface'” can be found in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions. Keep watching this space for more 200 word excerpts.

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First 200 Words (part 3)

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The Worlds of Philip José Farmer isn’t just about publishing never before seen material by Farmer and new stories set in his worlds. We also intend to preserve essays written about Farmer and his work during his long career. If the essay happens to have been written by the man himself, so much the better:

“Comment on ‘Sail On! Sail On!'”

by Philip José Farmer

        Three years before “Sail On! Sail On!” was written, I had a dream. I saw the tiny galleon of the Portuguese Prince Henry the Navigator (1394–1460 A.D.). It was sailing along in a heavy sea and on a dark night. A small building was on the poopdeck; in it sat a very fat monk. He had earphones on and was tapping out a coded message, in Latin, on a spark-gap transmitter.
        That was all. The dream ended. However, I never forgot it. And a year later, the dream came to me again, as many of my best dreams do. Six months afterward, that dream occurred again. For some reason, my unconscious insisted upon thrusting up this strange picture. Perhaps it was a rather bizarre form of warning to me. If so, I never got the message. Instead, I wondered what kind of story I could make out of it.
        Before I even worked the story out, I had exchanged Columbus for Prince Henry. As a child, I had always been fascinated by the idea of Columbus’ falling off the edge of the world. Even when I was told that the earth was round, I did not quite believe it. …

(Copyright © 2010 by the Philip J Farmer Family Trust)

The rest of “Comment on ‘Sail On! Sail On!'” can be found in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions. Keep watching this space for more 200 word excerpts.

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