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Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

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(Reflection Nebula – NASA)

Welcome to the March 31, 2008 edition of a carnival of speculative fiction. Enjoy some very informative articles on publishing, macabre tales and more!

authors

Amy Grech presents Crimson Screams – Apple of My Eye Lipstik Indie Review posted at Amy Grech’s Horror Blog, saying, “Crimson Screams: The Official Blog of Horror Author Amy Grech”

Lincoln Crisler presents Our Shadows Speak Re-Release! posted at Lincoln Crisler : Despairs and Delights, saying, “This is the blog of author/editor Lincoln Crisler and is constantly updated with, amongst other things, updates on his fiction and anthologies.”

cross genre

Josef Assad presents The Banjo Players Must Die posted at Josef, or perhaps not, saying, “I thought there was a chance you might like this; it’s relesed online as Creative Commons, and it’s gotten over 10,000 downloads in the first 7 months!”

horror

Mike Philbin presents Mike Philbin’s Blog: the reader writer: posted at Mike Philbin’s Blog.

Kim Paffenroth presents Orpheus and the Pearl – Now Available for Preorder! posted at Gospel of the Living Dead, saying, “Updates on Kim Paffenroth’s horror fiction”

Jeffrey Thomas presents Fright(.com)fully Good! posted at Punktalk.

Aaron Powell presents The Hole: A Serial Novel of Supernatural Apocalypse by Aaron Ross Powell posted at The Hole: A Serial Novel, saying, “The Hole is a serial apocalyptic horror novel, based in Mormon mythology, about a global plague, zombies, and a small group of survivors making their way across a very weird Midwest.”

interviews

David Niall Wilson presents Cody Goodfellow Interviewed – a root chord of malign intellect posted at David Niall Wilson, saying, “Interview with horror author Cody Goodfellow – Lovecraftian horror with a modern twist…”

science fiction

CG Walters presents Spirit Story…an Old Genre Reawakening posted at Into the Mist, saying, “A path of communication with the subconscious—as opposed to a communication with the conscious mind—is alive, more a communion between the personal subconscious and the Collective Consciousness, possibly awakening or speaking to the personal consciousness a little along the way.”

Jesse presents Grey Survivors posted at Grey Survivors, saying, “A journal from a survivor of the invasion of earth.”

writers

Jason presents 1933: Giuseppe Zangara, who is not on Sons of Italy posters posted at Executed Today, saying, “My blog is historical, but this remembrance of the attempted assassination of FDR has helped key a couple of notable pieces of speculative “what might have been” fiction, including Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” …”

writing

Mark Rainey presents Pitfalls posted at The Blog Where Horror Dwells, saying, “A few remarks about the dangers of falling for easy, alluring traps in the publishing business.”

eric cohen presents First in a series of chapters from a pulp novel posted at transgenderscripts.

Michael Arnzen presents Twisted Prompts for Sicko Writers posted at The Goreletter, saying, “Bram Stoker Award finalist Michael A. Arnzen posts the latest bizarrely stimulating creative writing prompts in his continuing “Instigation.””

Caroline Barnard-Smith presents Raw Offal, Bad Prawns and Rancid, Sweaty Cheese posted at Author or Bust.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
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Welcome to the February 25, 2008 edition of writers from across the blogosphere. It’s a bit late and there are some repeats from the last carnival (due to an error with the carnival posting–I’ve kept them in so newer submissions weren’t accidently deleted), but it’s also full of new good reads as well. Enjoy!

writing

Terry Dean presents 21 Ideas for Hot Press Releases – Part 1 posted at Integrity Business Blog by Terry Dean.

Richard Lee presents How Controversy Works posted at Richard Lee.

Rebecca Suzanne Dean presents How To Research 5 Times Faster posted at Rebecca Dean.

Sagar presents Take it Back! 100 Tips to Defeat Content Thieves posted at Virtual Hosting.

Stephen Dean presents The Mathematics Of Testing Your Sales Copy. posted at Stephen Dean’s Copywriting And Internet Advertising Blog – Copywriter.

claire presents Writing Contest | Bebo Author posted at Bebo Author, saying, “Writing Contest – free to enter, lots of great prizes. Anyone who enters, sponsors a prize or promotes this contest on their blog receives a link back.”

Bumbeak presents Tips for a new Notebook posted at Quills are Swords.

Carol Bentley presents Getting your thoughts on paper posted at Carol Bentley.

Tiffany Colter presents Lesson Learned and How I got here posted at Writing Career Coach, saying, “This blog discusses how to have success beginning from the first day of this New Year!”

Freddie L. Sirmans, Sr. presents Can The US Prevent A Starvation Crisis? posted at Can The US Prevent A Starvation Crisis.

James Lee presents The Secret Copywriting Technique That Keeps Prospects Riveted to Your Website posted at Online Business Freedom.

Carol Bentley presents How appealing are you posted at Carol Bentley.

The Countess presents Erotic Excerpt – The Party Crasher posted at The Countess.

Allen Crosse presents Three Hours Between the 34th and 35th posted at Cup o’ Poe, saying, “I wrote this when I was standing in a place that I very much didn’t want to be. Please, enjoy my pain.”

Eric Koshinsky presents ESL Writing Activities – Computer Based Editing and Correction Lessons posted at Teachers Call.

Carol Bentley presents Yesterday?s blog-post was completely off-track posted at Carol Bentley.

CG Walters presents Spirit Story…an Old Genre Reawakening posted at Into the Mist, saying, “A path of communication with the subconscious—as opposed to a communication with the conscious mind—is alive, more a communion between the personal subconscious and the Collective Consciousness, possibly awakening or speaking to the personal consciousness a little along the way.”

Tiffany Colter presents Writing Career Coach: A Pleasant surprise and How I got here Part 2 posted at Writing Career Coach, saying, “A pleasant surprise on how to have success beginning from the first day of this New Year!”

Neelakantha presents 50+ Open Courseware Writing Classes from the World’s Leading Universities – College Degree.com posted at college degree.

Steve Osborne presents “Are You Done Yet?” posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Ward Tipton presents Writing in Earnest | The Write Page posted at The Online Writing Resource Center, saying, “While freelance writing is great in many ways, wouldn’t it be nice to have your name on your writing and put the money it earned in your own pocket? I was finally able to get started doing this.”

Carol Bentley presents 4 easy steps to authorship. . . posted at Carol Bentley.

Steve Osborne presents The Well/Good Conundrum posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years experience. His blog teaches writing rules, strategies and techniques in a memorable, easy-to-understand way, spiced with a bit of humor.”

Alfa King presents Degree or experience? posted at Alfa King Memories.

Steve Osborne presents E-Mail Etiquette posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Sagar presents Rookie Mistakes: 15 Blunders New Freelancers Make and How to Avoid Them posted at Bootstrapper.

Alfa King presents Clarity and Brevity Make Good Blogging posted at Alfa King Memories.

Orna Ross presents Planning Your Writing posted at WRITING ADVICE & PUBLISHING ADVICE from Font, saying, “Article on the importance of planning for writers”

Jessse Hines presents The Best Writing Advice I Ever Received posted at Vigorous Writing.

Jessse Hines presents Got Writer’s Block? Just Eat that Frog. posted at Vigorous Writing.

blue skelton presents The First Junkie Ninja Monologue posted at This Wasted Monologue, saying, “Scene: Present Day, Hospital Waiting Room – Blue Skelton is reflecting on the imminent birth of his first child.”

ScottG presents Notebook on a Passion: The Writer Begins with the Begiining posted at Notebook on a Passion, saying, “Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
–Aldous Huxley”

Steve Osborne presents First Things First posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Thursday Bram presents What If? Emergency Planning for Your Writing posted at thursdaybram.com.

GrrlScientist presents Bridge To Opportunity (Reprise) posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “This is just a story about the Brooklyn Bridge, as written by a non-native NYCer; me! Includes history of the bridge and Emily Roebling’s remarkable contribution to its completion.”

Vaibhav Gadodia presents Habitually Good » Blog Archive » Writer’s block – what is that? posted at Habitually Good.

GrrlScientist presents Today’s Adventure in The Land of Medicine posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “After a day like this, I would be crazy, if I wasn’t crazy already.”

Rebecca Suzanne Dean presents How To Kick Writers? Block posted at Rebecca Dean.

Richard Lee presents How To Write Magnetic Headlines posted at Richard Lee.

Brent Diggs presents Writing Prompts for the Not-So-Prompt posted at The Ominous Comma, saying, “Humor for writers”

publishing

Marcus Hochstadt presents Why Drafting Messages Saves You Time posted at Marcus Hochstadt, saying, “Drafting messages in order to publish them at a later time is a great way to save a bunch of time. You sit down one time, focus on writing, writing, writing, and then you’re done for a couple of days or even weeks.”

Amy Munnell presents Writing Nationally… posted at 3 Questions…and Answers.

reading

Sol Smith presents 20 Great books to get you Reading posted at How to be a Badass Dad.

ivanisko presents A Report from Budapest posted at Bookstore Guide, saying, “Our blog aims to provide a database of all the European independent bookstores selling books in English. We also publish reports from our travels and personal visits of the bookstores included in our guide.”

uncategorized

Michael@TSM presents Travel Writing Contest! Win $150 Cash Prize | Traveling Stories Magazine posted at Traveling Stories Magazine.

old-wizard presents Old-Wizard.com Top 100 Video Games of All Time List / Introduction posted at Old-Wizard.com.

Deborah Dera presents Have you found a niche? posted at The Rhythm of Write, saying, “Not having found a niche is not necessarily a bad thing. There’s no need to limit yourself and your writing.”

Charles H. Green presents Aristotle, Maister, and the Fat Smoker posted at Trust Matters, saying, “The old writers advice is to draw from your own experience. That’s what author David Maister did, starting with the fact that he’d been a fat smoker for almost all his life.”

Carol Bentley presents Death of the long letter posted at Carol Bentley.

Rob Moshe presents Live Your Best Life By Serving Others posted at Rob Schaumer, saying, “This is not necessarily a fitting post for your carnival. Once the project starts, each day I will recognize a fellow blogger that “Helped””

Amy Munnell presents Short Stuff…Say A Lot With A Little posted at 3 Questions…and Answers.

Amy Munnell presents 5 Steps to a Better Interview… posted at 3 Questions…and Answers.

Brandon Rike presents What To Do About BEING FUNNY, OR NOT BEING FUNNY posted at What To Do About.com.

Orna Ross presents Why F-R-E-E-Write? by Orna Ross posted at WRITING ADVICE & PUBLISHING ADVICE from Font, saying, “Scarlett Thomas tells people not to attend writing workshops or do FREE-Writing? Here’s why to ignore her”

Orna Ross presents How to Write Good Fiction: Advice from Kurt Vonnegut posted at WRITING ADVICE & PUBLISHING ADVICE from Font.

Tracy Coenen presents Sequence Inc. Fraud Files by Tracy Coenen » Blog Archive » My incredible book writing journey posted at FRAUDfiles.

Tracy Coenen presents Got the blogging blues? posted at FRAUDfiles.

articles

JRickG presents You Are No Different than Successful People posted at $5000 and Up.

Phil B. presents Bloggers Love Giving Advice « Phil for Humanity posted at Phil for Humanity, saying, “The Internet, specifically bloggers, has started replacing self help books and television shows, just how the Internet is replacing traditional news media.”

Kenton Newby presents 10 Ways Article Writing Can Stack the Deck in Your Favor posted at KentonNewby.com.

FitBuff presents Power of the Mind – Much Stronger Than Your Biceps! posted at FitBuff.com’s Total Mind and Body Fitness Blog, saying, “If you’re a longtime FitBuff reader, you may remember I’ve personally experienced the power of mind over muscle in one of my workouts when I lifted 50 pounds with my mind!”

DotLobby presents Breaking Bad Habits – 4 Tips to Drop ‘Em All! posted at DotNLP, saying, “Luckily, there isn’t any addiction on Earth that hasn’t been beaten by someone, somewhere. You might just need a little help, so here are 4 tips to stop bad habits, and start some great ones!”

Jay Deragon presents What Do We Expect? posted at A Relationship Economy….. With WHom & What, saying, “The small could actually bury the BIG with the reach of influential conversations, one to one to a million. The power is shifting and the stakes are high. Be careful with what you expect or don’t expect from the social web.

What say you?”

Alex Hansen presents Ayreon – 01011001 posted at RockRoast, saying, “If nobody tells you what music is good and what music is bad, how will you know what you like?”

authors

Raymond Le Blanc presents What You Should Know about Autism Spectrum Disorders posted at Raymond Le Blanc.

blogs

Ask Matt presents Using Stumbleupon To Bring Visitors to Your Blog posted at BlogTactics.com, saying, “Using Stumbleupon to bring visitors to your blog.”

Ask Matt presents Free Traffic Tactic Videos and Understanding that SEO Malarky… | iamUncovered.com posted at BlogTactics.com, saying, “Free Traffic Tactic Videos and Understanding that SEO Malarky…”

Carol Bentley presents Reasons to unsubscribe. . . posted at Carol Bentley, saying, “Reasons to unsubscribe. . .
Sometimes stopping a subscription is the right thing to do.”

HL Grove presents 4 Steps To Creating Quality Content For Your Blog posted at MoneyWeb24.

Brent Diggs presents The Blog Of State Address posted at The Ominous Comma.

Doug Green presents Running Shoe Design Sucks posted at My-Caboodle, saying, “I’m a full time Internet writer living on an island – actually two islands – one North and the other Southern – and this is my own blog-for-the-heck-of-it.”

Alexander Kohl presents Freelance Writers Wanted | Freelance Writing Career posted at Freelance Writing Career.

James Brausch presents Costa Rican Food posted at Costa Rica HQ.

book reviews

GrrlScientist presents Sixty Days And Counting posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “by Kim Stanley Robinson, is the third installment of his Eco-political thriller trilogy series about global warming.”

Thomas Sweeney presents There Will Be Blood. posted at Think Soul Matter, saying, “Film Review – There Will Be Blood.”

Brian Terry presents Why Bill Gates is unreasonable posted at Big Selling Website Design.

Shamelle presents Your Inner CEO: Unleash The Executive Within posted at Enhance Life.

GrrlScientist presents The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “the book by Helen Epstein, is a clear-eyed look at the African AIDS epidemic and the West’s often misguided attempts to assist in this battle.”

Tali presents The Rise of the Author – More than a Free Marketing Report posted at The Marketer Review, saying, “I’d love to call Mark Joyner the most revolutionary man in our industry, but he’s not just an internet marketer and hasn’t just been one for a long time.
I’d love to call Mark Joyner the most revolutionary man in our industry, but he’s not just an internet marketer and hasn’t just been one for a long time.”

Christina M. Rau presents Turning Poetry Pages posted at Livin’ The Dream (One Loser At A Time), saying, “Three books of poetry. Lots of poems to steal from.”

Raymond presents Rich Dad Poor Dad posted at Money Blue Book.

books

James DeLelys presents New Book/Video posted at Author James DeLelys, saying, “Video of new book!”

Amy Munnell presents Things that make you go “Hmmmm”….. posted at 3 Questions…and Answers, saying, “HarperCollins is offering readers the opportunity to “try before you buy” with their “Browse Inside” feature on their website. The company has a number of titles available for readers to read for free on the website, not just sample chapters, but the ENTIRE BOOK.”

Tip Diva presents Top Ten Tips – Building A Personal Library posted at Tip Diva, saying, “Tip Diva loves reading and one day dreams of a house lined with shelves and shelves of books. She’s started to acquire quite a collection of her favorite books, and here’s how you, too, can build your own personal library.”

GrrlScientist presents The Birdbooker Report: Notes on Bird (and Natural History) Books posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “Update about natural history books that are either new to the market or will be published soon. [new book news]”

David Cassell presents The Why Behind Select Courses Blog posted at selectcoursesblog.com.

interviews

Cheryl Snell presents Shiva’s Arms: Chariots of Flame posted at FeedBulletin for: financialbullet.

Anne-Marie presents Five questions for Sara Zarr, author of the YA novel Sweethearts posted at My Readable Feast, saying, “Check out Sara’s latest novel, Sweethearts – fantastic!”

Amy Munnell presents An Interview…with screenwriter Michael Lucker posted at 3 Questions…and Answers, saying, “screenwriter Michael Lucker”

Amy Munnell presents An Interview…with humorist Cappy Hall Rearick posted at 3 Questions…and Answers, saying, “Humor columnist Cappy Hall Rearick”

Amy Munnell presents An Interview…with Novelist Julie L. Cannon posted at 3 Questions…and Answers.

Jade Blackwater presents Feature Artist Interview – Lisa D. Kastner posted at Brainripples, saying, “Brainripples shares a Feature Artist Interview with writer Lisa D. Kastner of the Rittenhouse area of Philadelphia, PA. Lisa Kastner writes fiction, and is currently shopping her psychological thriller novel “Jersey Diner”.”

life

DandelionBlog presents A Small Treatise on Happiness posted at Author Suzanne McMinn.

Alex Blackwell presents How Much is Too Much? posted at The Next 45 Years.

Lorace presents Looking to the Future, With a Smile posted at What Not Thought: How To’s and A Lot of Randomness.

Nick at BnG presents The Beernut Gallery – Gridlocked posted at The Beernut Gallery, saying, “An article detailing the joys of a traffic jam.”

cait presents Whats the crisis compadre? posted at cait, saying, “I couldn’t find humor up there…maybe its not so funny anyway…”

Alex Blackwell presents In the Blink of an Eye posted at The Next 45 Years.

philosophy

Thomas Sweeney presents To come into the present… posted at Think Soul Matter.

Pearl presents How the movie Groundhog Day can lead to a happier and more productive life posted at :: Interesting Observations ::.

Untruths presents Science + Religion = Conflict? posted at Untruths, saying, “Are Science and Religion Compatible?”

politics/current events

Kathie Goldsmith presents You know it?s getting ugly in some markets when? posted at Team Reba Real Estate, saying, “Team Reba is a real estate firm with a blog that covers many subject. This post is about the turn in the market and how one agent is being sued as a result of the housing bust.”

santousha presents *Seeking*Serenity*: Waiting on the strike to end and my concerns for Ms. Spears posted at Seeking Serenity.

articles

Bela presents How to Catch a Mouse | House Chronicles posted at House Chronicles.

blogs

Michael Bass presents Hints for writing great blog posts. posted at Debt Prison, saying, “Don’t write junk, anything worth writing is worth writing correctly. Bad articles will leave readers with a negative impression of your site.”

Nick Cobb presents Felonious Ramblings: My First Day In The Joint posted at Felonious Ramblings.

Warren Wong presents The Different Types Of Website Visitors And Their Value posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “An article describing the different types of websites visitors such as search engine, direct, referring, and social bookmarking and the value they bring to your website.”

Bob Younce presents Setting posted at Writing My First Novel.

articles

Michel Fortin presents Give Your Joint-Venture Offer An Extra Punch | The Michel Fortin Blog posted at The Michel Fortin Blog.

book reviews

GrrlScientist presents Speciation in Birds posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “by Trevor Price, is a wonderful review of the literature that reveals the process and nature of speciation in birds.”

GrrlScientist presents Attenborough in Paradise posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “A remarkable set of adventures to the South Pacific islands and beyond on DVD as David Attenborough pursues his most deeply burning passions. [educational DVD review]”

Peter Jones presents The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: New Mystery Keeps You Reading posted at Great New Books that Are a Must Read.

books

James DeLelys presents Am I the Only One? posted at Author James DeLelys, saying, “Prelude to a new book.”

Sarah presents Eugenides and Saunders read from My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead posted at SARAHSPY.

interviews

Marilyn Terrell presents The Inn at Little Washington Celebrates 30 Years posted at Intelligent Travel, saying, “Susan O’Keefe interviews the celebrated chef-innkeeper at the Inn at Little Washington, Patrick O’Connell, as his inn and restaurant turn 30.”

life

Madeleine Begun Kane presents One Car Guaranty I?d Gladly Forgo posted at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.

Alex Blackwell presents And a Side Order of Positive Attitude, Too Please posted at The Next 45 Years.

Justin Duval presents www.DarkGrin.com – mind TRIP posted at The Dark Grin, saying, “Philosophical creative writing piece.”

Joshua Wagner presents Getting Your Ducks in a Row posted at Total Possibility.

Joshua Wagner presents Love and Fear posted at Total Possibility.

Alex Blackwell presents Feel the Music in You posted at The Next 45 Years, saying, “While allowing my heart to hear the words to the song, it occurred to me that I did indeed own my life. Regret and shame were just pieces of garbage I had been carrying around long enough. But there was still plenty of time and there was still plenty of hope and fight left in me.”

philosophy

Akemi presents Belief can Change the Course of Life posted at Gratitude Magic.

Samuel Bryson presents The Philosophy of Happiness – Accepting Yourself posted at Total Wellbeing.

Scholars & Rogues presents A human thinking trap (and how to avoid it) posted at Scholars and Rogues, saying, “Thank you for your consideration.”

politics/current events

Meggie Pace presents Craft Research: Craft 2.0 posted at Earthly Paradise, saying, “The arts and crafts movement is experiencing an incredible revival on the web. This article discusses the movement’s origins and future.”

Heidi Whitaker presents Viral Blogging: What is the Price of Profiting from the Politics of Bigotry and Hate? posted at Work from Home Choices, saying, “This article discusses how political blogs are stirring up hatred and bigotry.”

Cheryl presents Cop a plea: to criminal stupidity posted at Glob-a-log, saying, “Dimwitted cops and criminals”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
writers from across the blogosphere
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page
.

Technorati tags:

, .

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http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/books/09/07/obit.lengle.ap/index.html

I would count Madeline L’Engle as an author who got me into writing. I read her books as a kid, yes and deeply loved them. But it wasn’t until I read “Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art” several years ago that I began to seriously think about writing again. I had always meant to write a letter to her thanking her for writing the book, but I also knew she was sick for the longest time, so I didn’t.

Rest in Peace, Ms. L’Engle. Your books were such a great inspiration to me. I know one day we’ll meet in heaven and we’ll talk face to face, you and I.

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My book, Portraits in the Dark, is now available through Locus Magazine Online (http://www.locusmag.com/2007/Books05d.html), one of the best online sources for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

You can purchase the book and support Locus Online by clicking on the bookseller links under the title listing.

Taken from Locus Online: Your purchase of books through Amazon.com and Amazon UK links (click on titles or covers) helps support Locus Online.

Also, if you live in the Maryland/Washington D.C. area, you can also purchase the book from the Barnes and Noble in White Marsh, MD and the Barnes and Noble in Towson, MD. It is currently in stock and available at those locations. If you find that they have sold out of the books, please consider purchasing your copy through order and help to possibly put Portraits in the Dark on more bookstore shelves throughout the country!

Click these links to purchase through Locus Online: http://www.locusmag.com/2007/Books05d.html.

and

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0595392806/locusmagazine.

Portraits in the Dark web site: http://www.portraits.bravehost.com.

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This is an announcement that the popular group blog, The Writers’ Block, is seeking new members.

In order to join:
1) You must be a published writer with verifiable credits.
2) You must be able to post a minimum of one entry per month.
3) You must be proactive.

If you are active in promoting your work and your thoughts on various issues, and can spare the time to participate in a group blog, this can be a great opportunity for you. So far authors on the blog have generated increased sales and have been interviewed based on their posts on the blog. We are an eclectic group and all viewpoints are welcomed!

If you are interested, please send a reply to this message.

Thank you!

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This is an appreciation I wrote for the science fiction short story “The Tenants.” It originally appeared as a part of The ED/SF Project (The Ellen Datlow/Sci Fiction Project) here. You can read the story for yourself here.

“The Tenants” by William Tenn: An Appreciation by Nancy O. Greene

“The Tenants” by William Tenn (Philip Klass) is laced with the kind of subtle horror and mental decline that comes with obsession. It starts out with the protagonist, Sydney Blake, going about things as he normally would as an employee of a Wellington Jimm & Sons, Inc., a real estate company, but the tale quickly goes from the normal to the bizarre with the introduction of two prospective tenants for the McGowan Building, Tohu and Bohu. These unusual characters are interested in renting a level of the building—the 13th floor—which doesn’t exist; while Blake is not successful in swaying them from their “impossible” interest, his boss eventually rents the floor to the unusual pair.

The situation goes on to become more bizarre. Movers and cleaning crews and even the protagonist’s secretary, Miss Kerstenberg, see nothing at all strange about the fact that “only those that have any business on the 13th floor” are able to reach the mysterious office. Blake’s mental acuity begins to decline as he tries trick after trick to get to the 13th floor, all to no avail.

Written in 1954, it appears that this story can be related to an examination of a type of “Beaver Cleaver” mentality–everything is accepted at face value, very little is questioned. People accept what should be unacceptable and those that question are seen as, and indeed driven, insane.

On the other hand, one wonders at the end of the story, and with the fate of the character, if he should not have adhered so stringently to his world view, his standards of normalcy, and his abnormal curiosity, because this is what ultimately leads to his subsequent downfall. His lack of imagination, his inability to see beyond his own experiences trap him, literally.

As his secretary explains to him, tohuoobohu is a Hebrew word for chaos and void, and the unusual tenants themselves deal in the intangibles. What kind? “The soft kind.” And they are not interested in answering questions about what they do or how they exist, the just are. Unfortunately for Sydney Blake, he wishes to know more.

But one should be careful what they wish for, as the protagonist soon finds out. By focusing on Tohu and Bohu, he is drawn into a sort of chaos and void of his own, and there is no one that can rescue him.

The well-known author and a Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University, Philip Klass—writing under his pen name of William Tenn—is primarily known as a science fiction satirist, though he also writes other types of fiction and non-fiction. “The Tenants,” just one of his many celebrated tales, is an interesting story; less satire and more subtle horror, astonishing in its simplicity.

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