Browsing the blog archives for October, 2010.

First 200 Words (part 8)


This story was found in Philip José Farmer’s computer, a late 1980s IBM PS/2. While the story was complete, there were no notes indicating what or who it was written for. As for the story, sometimes you shake your head and think, “Only Phil Farmer could have thought of this…”

“My Summer Husband”

by Philip José Farmer

       Being married to a human male is tough enough. It’s triply hard if that man is also a bear and a god. I wish that life on no one. However, I do enjoy many compensations.
       His jealousy is not one of these. Although he tells me I should take a lover while he’s in his long uneasy winter sleep, he doesn’t really mean it. Maybe he does in the fall when he tells me that. But, when spring arrives, he’ll come snorting and roaring out of the burrow in our backyard. He’ll be full of hormones, lusting for a mate, me, bursting with a rage to fight any male trying to take me from him.
       He’d sniff out, track down, and cripple, maybe kill, any man I’d slept with while he was dozing. His nose isn’t quite as keen as the nose of a one hundred percent bear. But it’s good enough to determine if a man has been in the house a few times or quite often.
       I should stress, however, that it’s not the bear in him that would drive him to such extreme action. Male bears are content to chase rival mates for the females from their …

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

The rest of “My Summer Husband” 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 7)


In 1968 Philip José Farmer wondered, what if William S. Burroughs had written Tarzan instead of Edgar Rice Burroughs? His short story, “The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod” gave us a short glimpse of what that might have read like.  Ed Morris had the same idea, but he took it in a totally different direction. Instead he showed us a world in which this could have happened, a world where a young Phil Farmer meets WSB just as he begins to write about the jungle lord.


by Edward Morris

       We sat together at the morning’s end, my earnest young friend and I, and talked of science fiction while we barred the door and waited for the bombs to start falling.
      Outside my wide, white suite, chaos reigned supreme throughout the sordid rooms of the Chelsea Hotel. I was tempted to go out and fire my .38 into the ceiling as a warning shot, but on further thought I determined that might not be so good. I have no love for flatfeet, especially in hysterical times when it’s every crumb for himself. Today met and far exceeded the latter conditions.
      Early this morning, just after my new friend had come to call, two explosions had rocked the Five Boros. There was dust falling in the streets like snow. My fellow New Yorkers and I had witnessed scenes such as we had believed were never enacted outside the covers of pulp magazines.
      Two mere office buildings, whose destruction threw the country into mortal terror. One ludicrous instant accentuated the brutality at home and abroad forever, stole the ground from beneath unborn feet forever and made widows and widowers. Forever. The whole thing could have been avoided. But now there was no … 

(Copyright © 2010 by Edward Morris)

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


First 200 Words (part 6)


Anthology editors are never supposed to say “this is my favorite” about something in a book they edit, but I just can’t help myself. As much as I love the new stories set in Phil’s worlds and the other fascinating items in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions, I guess, when it comes down to it, I’m really just a (science fiction) history buff. This essay not only gives us first person history from science fiction great Randall Garrett, but also includes text by Philip José Farmer that was thought lost forever.

“The Bite of the Asp”

by Randall Garrett

   Someone once said that the difference between a goose and a viper was that a viper is an asp in the grass. In the science fiction world, we have a great many of both. For some reason, the science fiction fan (amateur or professional) seems to take great delight in sinking his little fangs into someone else, discharging a good dose of venom, and then sitting back to watch the results.
    In the March 1953 Dimensions, Richard Elsberry ripped into Gernsback’s Science Fiction Plus with great glee, concentrating especially on a story therein entitled “The Biological Revolt,” which was printed in that magazine under the byline of Philip José Farmer. When I read it, I very noisily blew my stack.
    Calm down, Elsberry; I’m not sore at you. Quite the contrary; I agree with you all the way. And, oddly enough, so does Phil Farmer. The story was a stinker; an out-and-out rotter. If you want to see Mr. Farmer cry in his beer, just say “biological revolt” to him, and behold, his eyes become misty.
    Why? Gather round, kiddies, and I’ll tell you.
    There are certain editors in the field who believe that an editor’s job, begad, is to … 

(Copyright © 1957 by Randall Garrett. Reprinted by permission of JABerwocky Literary Agency Inc.)

The rest of the “The Bite of the Asp” 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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