Is this niche in the genre viable?

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Vance McAlister

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Dec 11, 2000, 7:10:20 PM12/11/00
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Like many others, I am interested in writing, but am torn between
genres: historical and fantasy. As a history buff with a degree in
medieval history, my first thought was to write a historical, since I
know the periods intimately (my setting would be 1340 forward). Yet, I
am also long-time fantasy fan, and would love to create my own history,
in a world of my own devising not bound by the strictures of true
history. If I did write a fantasy, I would not want magic in my
stories, or dragons, or other typical fantasy fare, just an "historical"
adventure in a land that never was.

My question is whether there is any call for such a book? An historical
which is not historical, and a fantasy which has no fantasical elements.
The only one doing this, to my knowledge, is Guy Gavriel Kay (and I make
no pretense to his excellent writing quality), but even at his high
literate level, he is more of a critical success than commercial, I
believe. Any thoughts on the viability of this niche in the genre would
be appreciated.

By the way, I have been writing in this style for fun in a world of
another's making (with very positive feedback, I am happy to report!
All the stories have received the highest rating on the site at which
they have been published). I play the MMORPG Asheron's Call, and they
have a "back-story" world (from which all the player's characters
originated) which was fairly well-developed as a setting, but since it
is not the game world it has received little attention. I guess this
makes it the dreaded "fan-fiction" of sorts, but there is almost nothing
in the stories which is game-related. I have simply taken their world
and used it for my own purposes. I would love any comments from s/f
readers. The link to the latest 7-page chapter (which includes a "story
thus far" at the bottom) is:

http://www.roleplayfantasy.com/displayStory.asp?id=385

I write the stories as Alisdair, in honor of a distant ancestor from the
middle ages.


Brenda

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Dec 11, 2000, 11:17:26 PM12/11/00
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If I were you, I would write the book I really really wanted to write. Life
is uncertain, you know. If you fell under a bus one year from today, what a
waste of the 365 days from now until then, spending them on a book that is
not the one you were born to write! It is very difficult to forecast the
needs of the market (if you can do it reliably you shouldn't waste time
writing, but go into publishing and editing immediately and make your
fortune). By the time you write the thing, the entire cast of the market
will surely have changed.

Brenda

Vance McAlister wrote:

> Like many others, I am interested in writing, but am torn between
> genres: historical and fantasy. As a history buff with a degree in
> medieval history, my first thought was to write a historical, since I
> know the periods intimately (my setting would be 1340 forward). Yet, I
> am also long-time fantasy fan, and would love to create my own history,
> in a world of my own devising not bound by the strictures of true
> history. If I did write a fantasy, I would not want magic in my
> stories, or dragons, or other typical fantasy fare, just an "historical"
> adventure in a land that never was.

--
---------
Brenda W. Clough, author of DOORS OF DEATH AND LIFE
From Tor Books in May 2000
http://www.sff.net/people/Brenda/


ameen . net

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Dec 12, 2000, 12:02:33 AM12/12/00
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"Vance McAlister" <v.mca...@ejgd.com> spake from on high claiming:

>Like many others, I am interested in writing, but am torn between
>genres: historical and fantasy. As a history buff with a degree in
>medieval history, my first thought was to write a historical, since I
>know the periods intimately (my setting would be 1340 forward). Yet, I
>am also long-time fantasy fan, and would love to create my own history,
>in a world of my own devising not bound by the strictures of true
>history. If I did write a fantasy, I would not want magic in my
>stories, or dragons, or other typical fantasy fare, just an "historical"
>adventure in a land that never was.

First, let me say that I would give it a read if you wrote it! I am in
a similar vein, but a bit higher in fantasy. So, that said, I would
suggest that if there is nothing 'fantastic' then would it not be more
of an alternate history novel? Still not a bad thing.

>My question is whether there is any call for such a book? An historical
>which is not historical, and a fantasy which has no fantasical elements.
>The only one doing this, to my knowledge, is Guy Gavriel Kay (and I make
>no pretense to his excellent writing quality), but even at his high
>literate level, he is more of a critical success than commercial, I
>believe. Any thoughts on the viability of this niche in the genre would
>be appreciated.
>
>By the way, I have been writing in this style for fun in a world of
>another's making (with very positive feedback, I am happy to report!
>All the stories have received the highest rating on the site at which
>they have been published). I play the MMORPG Asheron's Call, and they
>have a "back-story" world (from which all the player's characters
>originated) which was fairly well-developed as a setting, but since it
>is not the game world it has received little attention. I guess this
>makes it the dreaded "fan-fiction" of sorts, but there is almost nothing
>in the stories which is game-related. I have simply taken their world
>and used it for my own purposes. I would love any comments from s/f
>readers. The link to the latest 7-page chapter (which includes a "story
>thus far" at the bottom) is:
>
>http://www.roleplayfantasy.com/displayStory.asp?id=385
>
>I write the stories as Alisdair, in honor of a distant ancestor from the
>middle ages.
>
>
>
>
>
>

Ben Wilson (a.k.a. Ameen, Last of the Dausha)
____________________________
-"Ever heard of Aristotle . . . Plato . . . Socrates?!"
-"Yes."
-"Morons!"

Serg

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Dec 12, 2000, 4:36:55 AM12/12/00
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I'm personally wouldn't like "pure" alternative history novell in the
"mainstream" history line.
If u don't like fantasy drop there some out the time period technology
at least...Like english longbowmen vs firearm totting chines...

Serg

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Nancy Lebovitz

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Dec 12, 2000, 7:24:53 AM12/12/00
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In article <d2eZ5.12922$g77.1...@nntp2.onemain.com>,

Vance McAlister <v.mca...@ejgd.com> wrote:
>
>Like many others, I am interested in writing, but am torn between
>genres: historical and fantasy. As a history buff with a degree in
>medieval history, my first thought was to write a historical, since I
>know the periods intimately (my setting would be 1340 forward). Yet, I
>am also long-time fantasy fan, and would love to create my own history,
>in a world of my own devising not bound by the strictures of true
>history. If I did write a fantasy, I would not want magic in my
>stories, or dragons, or other typical fantasy fare, just an "historical"
>adventure in a land that never was.
>
>My question is whether there is any call for such a book? An historical
>which is not historical, and a fantasy which has no fantasical elements.
>The only one doing this, to my knowledge, is Guy Gavriel Kay (and I make
>no pretense to his excellent writing quality), but even at his high
>literate level, he is more of a critical success than commercial, I
>believe. Any thoughts on the viability of this niche in the genre would
>be appreciated.

I don't know if there's a full-sized niche, but there have been a number
of books of that sort published. _Swordspoint_ by Kushner and Peake's
Gormenghast books are the canonical examples, but the subject comes
up here now and then, and I wouldn't be surprised if someon's saved
the list.

Afaik, none of those books have been big hits, but people like them
and some of them get reprinted. Oddly enough, I've never seen a lousy
parallel history book mentioned.

*Most* books don't make a lot of money. I recommend writing what you
love. Not only does that mean that you've spent your time on something
you care about, but it also means that you might discover a readership.

--
Nancy Lebovitz na...@netaxs.com www.nancybuttons.com

Vance McAlister

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Dec 12, 2000, 10:35:57 AM12/12/00
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Thank you all for your comments. I think that I will continue down my
chosen path then. I love the idea of creating my own world, it would not
be a "true" alternative history (how is that for an oxymoron!), since it
will not be based on this geographical or political world at all (other
than the obvious influences of having studied history so much). I am
toying with a two brothers theme. Thanks again!

Nancy Lebovitz <na...@unix3.netaxs.com> wrote in message
news:9155el$p...@netaxs.com...

William December Starr

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Dec 16, 2000, 10:50:51 AM12/16/00
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In article <3A35A6D5...@erols.com>,
Brenda <clo...@erols.com> said:

> If I were you, I would write the book I really really wanted to write.
> Life is uncertain, you know. If you fell under a bus one year from
> today, what a waste of the 365 days from now until then, spending them
> on a book that is not the one you were born to write!

What a waste anything would be except spending a year devising a set of
bus-proof body armor...

-- William December Starr <wds...@panix.com>

Mark Atwood

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Dec 16, 2000, 11:44:14 AM12/16/00
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That powered bear suit thing would qualify. I understand that the
lastest version was demoed on teevee by having the wearer hit by a
bus...

--
Mark Atwood | The summit of Mount Everest is marine limestone.
m...@pobox.com |
http://www.pobox.com/~mra

Jonathan W Hendry

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Dec 16, 2000, 2:49:51 PM12/16/00
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William December Starr <wds...@panix.com> wrote:

> What a waste anything would be except spending a year devising a set of
> bus-proof body armor...

There's a guy who designed and built Grizzly-proof body armor. Won
an Ig-Nobel prize for it.


Mark Atwood

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Dec 16, 2000, 5:20:40 PM12/16/00
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IIRC, his next rev is going to be powered assist.

It going to be funny if the first functional PAPA ends up being a
hobby project by a conservationist, rather than Mil R&D.

GSV Three Minds in a Can

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Dec 16, 2000, 4:18:54 PM12/16/00
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Bitstring <3a3b...@news.depaul.edu> from the wonderful Jonathan W
Hendry <jhe...@ux1.depaul.edu> asserted

Did he test it in the field, or just on computer simulations?? 8>.
If the grizzly gets mad because it can't get at your body, does it just
tear your legs off, and bite your head??

--
GSV Three Minds in a Can

Phil Fraering

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Dec 16, 2000, 7:29:26 PM12/16/00
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Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> writes:

> Jonathan W Hendry <jhe...@ux1.depaul.edu> writes:
>
> > William December Starr <wds...@panix.com> wrote:
> >
> > > What a waste anything would be except spending a year devising a set of
> > > bus-proof body armor...
> >
> > There's a guy who designed and built Grizzly-proof body armor. Won
> > an Ig-Nobel prize for it.
>
> IIRC, his next rev is going to be powered assist.
>
> It going to be funny if the first functional PAPA ends up being a
> hobby project by a conservationist, rather than Mil R&D.

Why? The Army's been cut to a much greater disproportionate amount
than the other services.

--
Phil Fraering
p...@globalreach.net
Debian Woody PowerPC Crash Test Dummy


David Allsopp

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Dec 17, 2000, 1:07:19 PM12/17/00
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In article <4aKDdNA+...@quik.freeuk.net>, GSV Three Minds in a
Can <G...@quik.freeuk.com> writes

Troy Hurtubise won the 1998 Ig Nobel for Safety Engineering, for
designing, building and personally testing the Ursus mark VI safety
suit. It's 7'2" tall, made of titanium & chain mail with a plastic
and airbag inner shell, and has a twin-fan internal ventilation
system.

I don't know whether he's met a grizzly, but apparently it was tested
by being rammed by a 3-ton truck, shot with a 12-bore, having a 136kg
tee trunk dropped on it from 9m up, and being attacked by bikers with
axes, planks and baseball bats. Oh, and pushed off a cliff.

The film of all this is "Project Grizzly" (National Film Board Of
Canada), and the relevant Annals Of Improbable Research are Volume IV
no. 4 (review of said film) and Volume V no. 1 (Ig Nobel issue).
There may still be something about it at the AIR website (I haven't
looked) at http://www.improbable.com.
--
David Allsopp Houston, this is Tranquillity Base.
Remove SPAM to email me The Eagle has landed.

Jonathan W Hendry

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Dec 17, 2000, 3:53:34 PM12/17/00
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Can't get at your head, arms and legs are all pretty well armored
as well.

http://www.outsidemag.com/magazine/0597/0597grizzlies.html


"...Slugs in the chest from a 12-gauge shotgun at a range of 20
feet. Falling, on purpose, off the edge of the 150-foot-high Niagara
Escarpment. Assaults from burly friends and relatives all too willing
to cuff him repeatedly with road picks, knives, bows and arrows,
two-by-fours. Eighteen times he has stood in the path of a three-ton
pickup doing 30 miles per hour, and 18 times the truck has knocked him
from here to next week. On several occasions, he has stood at attention
while a 350-pound log, winched 30 feet up in a tree, swung down
broadside to topple him like a human bowling pin."

He has not, so far, managed to engage a grizzly while wearing the suit.

Ian A. York

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Dec 17, 2000, 4:21:38 PM12/17/00
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In article <tTt16rAX...@tqbase.demon.co.uk>,

David Allsopp <d...@tqSPAMbase.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>Troy Hurtubise won the 1998 Ig Nobel for Safety Engineering, for
>designing, building and personally testing the Ursus mark VI safety
>suit. It's 7'2" tall, made of titanium & chain mail with a plastic
>and airbag inner shell, and has a twin-fan internal ventilation
>system.

<http://www.trillium.net/grizzly/> is a ghastly web site, filled with
htmlized cruft, but it does have some nice images of Troy testing the
suit.

The man's mad, of course, but you have to respect his madness.

Ian
--
Ian York (iay...@panix.com) <http://www.panix.com/~iayork/>
"-but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a
very respectable Man." -Jane Austen, The History of England

Jordan S. Bassior

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Dec 17, 2000, 5:09:09 PM12/17/00
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Jonathan W. Hendry said, quoting

http://www.outsidemag.com/magazine/0597/0597grizzlies.html

>He has not, so far, managed to engage a grizzly while wearing the suit.

Given that, in the suit, he is a 7-foot tall metal-armored monstrosity, any
sane grizzly bear would shit itself and RUN rather than "engage" him :)


--
Sincerely Yours,
Jordan
--
"To urge the preparation of defence is not to assert the imminence of war. On
the contrary, if war were imminent, preparations for defense would be too
late." (Churchill, 1934)
--

Joe Slater

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Dec 17, 2000, 8:47:53 PM12/17/00
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iay...@panix.com (Ian A. York) wrote:
><http://www.trillium.net/grizzly/> is a ghastly web site, filled with
>htmlized cruft, but it does have some nice images of Troy testing the
>suit.
>
>The man's mad, of course, but you have to respect his madness.

I particulary enjoyed this bit:
"Leaped Off: A 15 meter (150 foot) fall off the Niagara Escarpment "

jds
--
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
The lips acquire stains. The stains become a warning.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. - [_Dune_, David Lynch]

Jonathan W Hendry

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Dec 17, 2000, 10:11:25 PM12/17/00
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Ian A. York <iay...@panix.com> wrote:
> In article <tTt16rAX...@tqbase.demon.co.uk>,
> David Allsopp <d...@tqSPAMbase.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>
>>Troy Hurtubise won the 1998 Ig Nobel for Safety Engineering, for
>>designing, building and personally testing the Ursus mark VI safety
>>suit. It's 7'2" tall, made of titanium & chain mail with a plastic
>>and airbag inner shell, and has a twin-fan internal ventilation
>>system.

> <http://www.trillium.net/grizzly/> is a ghastly web site, filled with
> htmlized cruft, but it does have some nice images of Troy testing the
> suit.

> The man's mad, of course, but you have to respect his madness.

He should get together with that Warwick guy who fancies himself
an android.

Jonathan W Hendry

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Dec 17, 2000, 10:15:44 PM12/17/00
to
Jordan S. Bassior <jsba...@aol.com> wrote:
> Jonathan W. Hendry said, quoting

> http://www.outsidemag.com/magazine/0597/0597grizzlies.html

>>He has not, so far, managed to engage a grizzly while wearing the suit.

> Given that, in the suit, he is a 7-foot tall metal-armored monstrosity, any
> sane grizzly bear would shit itself and RUN rather than "engage" him :)

Either that, or they'll think "funny-looking dumpster"

Sea Wasp

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Dec 17, 2000, 9:51:14 PM12/17/00
to
Joe Slater wrote:
>
> iay...@panix.com (Ian A. York) wrote:
> ><http://www.trillium.net/grizzly/> is a ghastly web site, filled with
> >htmlized cruft, but it does have some nice images of Troy testing the
> >suit.
> >
> >The man's mad, of course, but you have to respect his madness.
>
> I particulary enjoyed this bit:
> "Leaped Off: A 15 meter (150 foot) fall off the Niagara Escarpment "

Hmm. Meters have gotten a lot bigger since I was a kid.

--
Sea Wasp http://www.wizvax.net/seawasp/index.html
/^\
;;; _Morgantown: The Jason Wood Chronicles_, at
http://www.hyperbooks.com/catalog/20040.html

Jonathan W Hendry

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Dec 17, 2000, 10:29:04 PM12/17/00
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Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote:
> Joe Slater wrote:
>>
>> iay...@panix.com (Ian A. York) wrote:
>> ><http://www.trillium.net/grizzly/> is a ghastly web site, filled with
>> >htmlized cruft, but it does have some nice images of Troy testing the
>> >suit.
>> >
>> >The man's mad, of course, but you have to respect his madness.
>>
>> I particulary enjoyed this bit:
>> "Leaped Off: A 15 meter (150 foot) fall off the Niagara Escarpment "

> Hmm. Meters have gotten a lot bigger since I was a kid.

He's in Canada. Meters distort as you get farther from the equator. ;)

Jordan S. Bassior

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Dec 18, 2000, 12:04:41 AM12/18/00
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Jonathan W. Hendry said:

>Either that, or they'll think "funny-looking dumpster"

You don't have to be smarter than the average bear to realize that dumpsters
don't move and smell like there are humans in them.

Joe Slater

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Dec 18, 2000, 1:37:24 AM12/18/00
to
>Joe Slater wrote:
>> I particulary enjoyed this bit:
>> "Leaped Off: A 15 meter (150 foot) fall off the Niagara Escarpment "

Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net> wrote:
> Hmm. Meters have gotten a lot bigger since I was a kid.

Or he has the most exquisitely formed little feet.

Bill Westfield

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Dec 18, 2000, 4:48:50 AM12/18/00
to
>There's a guy who designed and built Grizzly-proof body armor. Won
>an Ig-Nobel prize for it.

Did he test it in the field, or just on computer simulations?? 8>.
If the grizzly gets mad because it can't get at your body, does it just
tear your legs off, and bite your head??

I just have to throw in this rather amusing reference:

http://www.adcritic.com/content/john-west-red-salmon-bear-fight.html

:-)
BillW

Daniel Silevitch

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Dec 18, 2000, 8:04:24 AM12/18/00
to
In article <3A3D7B...@wizvax.net>, Sea Wasp <sea...@wizvax.net>
wrote:

> Joe Slater wrote:
> >
> > iay...@panix.com (Ian A. York) wrote:
> > ><http://www.trillium.net/grizzly/> is a ghastly web site, filled with
> > >htmlized cruft, but it does have some nice images of Troy testing the
> > >suit.
> > >
> > >The man's mad, of course, but you have to respect his madness.
> >
> > I particulary enjoyed this bit:
> > "Leaped Off: A 15 meter (150 foot) fall off the Niagara Escarpment "
>
> Hmm. Meters have gotten a lot bigger since I was a kid.

Inflation.

-dms

Jens Kilian

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Dec 19, 2000, 8:30:28 AM12/19/00
to
Jonathan W Hendry <jhe...@ux1.depaul.edu> writes:
> "...Slugs in the chest from a 12-gauge shotgun at a range of 20
> feet. Falling, on purpose, off the edge of the 150-foot-high Niagara
> Escarpment. Assaults from burly friends and relatives all too willing
> to cuff him repeatedly with road picks, knives, bows and arrows,
> two-by-fours. Eighteen times he has stood in the path of a three-ton
> pickup doing 30 miles per hour, and 18 times the truck has knocked him
> from here to next week. On several occasions, he has stood at attention
> while a 350-pound log, winched 30 feet up in a tree, swung down
> broadside to topple him like a human bowling pin."

The web site notes that the suit is up for auction. If we all pitch in, it
might be a nice Christmas present for James Nicoll ;-)
--
mailto:j...@acm.org phone:+49-7031-464-7698 (TELNET 778-7698)
http://www.bawue.de/~jjk/ fax:+49-7031-464-7351
PGP: 06 04 1C 35 7B DC 1F 26 As the air to a bird, or the sea to a fish,
0x555DA8B5 BB A2 F0 66 77 75 E1 08 so is contempt to the contemptible. [Blake]

Bill Snyder

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Dec 19, 2000, 11:58:35 AM12/19/00
to
On 19 Dec 2000 14:30:28 +0100, Jens Kilian <Jens_...@agilent.com> wrote:

>Jonathan W Hendry <jhe...@ux1.depaul.edu> writes:
>> "...Slugs in the chest from a 12-gauge shotgun at a range of 20
>> feet. Falling, on purpose, off the edge of the 150-foot-high Niagara
>> Escarpment. Assaults from burly friends and relatives all too willing
>> to cuff him repeatedly with road picks, knives, bows and arrows,
>> two-by-fours. Eighteen times he has stood in the path of a three-ton
>> pickup doing 30 miles per hour, and 18 times the truck has knocked him
>> from here to next week. On several occasions, he has stood at attention
>> while a 350-pound log, winched 30 feet up in a tree, swung down
>> broadside to topple him like a human bowling pin."
>
>The web site notes that the suit is up for auction. If we all pitch in, it
>might be a nice Christmas present for James Nicoll ;-)

No, *no*, NO! He'd slice his fingers to ribbons getting the wrapping
undone, and then the suit would fall on him, and then...

--
Bill Snyder [This space unintentionally left blank.]

James Nicoll

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Dec 19, 2000, 12:01:21 PM12/19/00
to
In article <90162B07D0050781.0A612D34...@lp.airnews.net>,

There's a Peter David X-Factor plotline where from time to time
we see an Evil Genius bulding an power-suit to kill the X-folks in. He
never confronts them, although at one point X-Factor finds the suit with
a withered corpse in it. Seems the suit could only be opened from the
exterior, as the EG found out after putting it on.

Al von Ruff

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Dec 20, 2000, 1:43:22 PM12/20/00
to

Okay. For those of us who gafiatted away for a couple of years, fell out
of touch with our favorite newsgroups, and are only now getting to know
the new cast of regulars - can someone recount the canonical James Nicoll
tale (a near-death experience, presumably) that people keep referring to?

It doesn't seem to be in the FAQ.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Al von Ruff avon...@sfsite.com
Editor, Internet Speculative Fiction DataBase: http://www.sfsite.com/isfdb

Mike Schilling

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Dec 20, 2000, 2:50:57 PM12/20/00
to
Jonathan W Hendry <jhe...@ux1.depaul.edu> writes:
> "...Slugs in the chest from a 12-gauge shotgun at a range of 20
> feet. Falling, on purpose, off the edge of the 150-foot-high Niagara
> Escarpment. Assaults from burly friends and relatives all too willing
> to cuff him repeatedly with road picks, knives, bows and arrows,
> two-by-fours. Eighteen times he has stood in the path of a three-ton
> pickup doing 30 miles per hour, and 18 times the truck has knocked him
> from here to next week. On several occasions, he has stood at attention
> while a 350-pound log, winched 30 feet up in a tree, swung down
> broadside to topple him like a human bowling pin."

obSF -- whatever you do with the suit, don't launder it! (The Jetsons does
cont as SF, doesn't it?)


Sea Wasp

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Dec 20, 2000, 6:54:55 PM12/20/00
to
Al von Ruff wrote:

>
> Okay. For those of us who gafiatted away for a couple of years, fell out
> of touch with our favorite newsgroups, and are only now getting to know
> the new cast of regulars - can someone recount the canonical James Nicoll
> tale (a near-death experience, presumably) that people keep referring to?
>
> It doesn't seem to be in the FAQ.

The point is that there isn't *A* canonical James Nicoll tale. The
point is that whenever a discussion turns to some manner in which a
human being can be menaced, injured, or potentially killed, it will turn
out that James has already had it happen to him. No matter how funny,
unlikely, wierd, or pedestrian. He hasn't SAID he has a scar on his arm
from being attacked by aliens with laser swords, but I would be only
mildly surprised if he did. And I'd believe him.

William December Starr

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Dec 21, 2000, 1:54:36 AM12/21/00
to
In article <3A4146...@wizvax.net>,
sea...@wizvax.net said:

> The point is that there isn't *A* canonical James Nicoll tale. The
> point is that whenever a discussion turns to some manner in which a
> human being can be menaced, injured, or potentially killed, it will
> turn out that James has already had it happen to him. No matter how
> funny, unlikely, wierd, or pedestrian. He hasn't SAID he has a scar on
> his arm from being attacked by aliens with laser swords, but I would
> be only mildly surprised if he did. And I'd believe him.

Ray Radlein <r...@learnlink.emory.edu> summed it up well last May, I
think :

> "-- I tell the tale that I heard told.
> Jimmy Nicoll, he died old[1]."
>
> [1] By getting accidentally trapped inside a burning cow with a rocket
> up its arse when he attempted to open a jar of pickles in his kitchen
> one day.

Anton Sherwood

unread,
Dec 21, 2000, 2:41:31 AM12/21/00
to
James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> writes
: There's a Peter David X-Factor plotline where from time to time

: we see an Evil Genius bulding an power-suit to kill the X-folks in.

The tricky part was luring them into it.

: He never confronts them, although at one point X-Factor finds the


: suit with a withered corpse in it. Seems the suit could only be
: opened from the exterior, as the EG found out after putting it on.

Don't power-suits have hands on the outside?

--
Anton Sherwood -- br0...@p0b0x.com -- http://ogre.nu/

James Nicoll

unread,
Dec 21, 2000, 9:42:15 AM12/21/00
to
In article <91sc7b$13e$1...@home.ogre.nu>,

Anton Sherwood <bro...@pobox.spam.com> wrote:
>James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> writes
>: There's a Peter David X-Factor plotline where from time to time
>: we see an Evil Genius bulding an power-suit to kill the X-folks in.
>
>The tricky part was luring them into it.
>
>: He never confronts them, although at one point X-Factor finds the
>: suit with a withered corpse in it. Seems the suit could only be
>: opened from the exterior, as the EG found out after putting it on.
>
>Don't power-suits have hands on the outside?

In this case, not that could reach the open latch.


mstemper - psc . com

unread,
Dec 21, 2000, 1:27:51 PM12/21/00
to
Jonathan W Hendry <jhe...@ux1.depaul.edu> writes:
> "...Slugs in the chest from a 12-gauge shotgun at a range of 20
> feet. Falling, on purpose, off the edge of the 150-foot-high Niagara
> Escarpment. Assaults from burly friends and relatives all too willing
> to cuff him repeatedly with road picks, knives, bows and arrows,
> two-by-fours. Eighteen times he has stood in the path of a three-ton
> pickup doing 30 miles per hour, and 18 times the truck has knocked him
> from here to next week. On several occasions, he has stood at attention
> while a 350-pound log, winched 30 feet up in a tree, swung down
> broadside to topple him like a human bowling pin."

ObSFW: The testing of Kinnison's armor in _Galactic Patrol_

--
Michael F. Stemper
#include <Standard_Disclaimer>
Robert E. McElwaine (UN-altered REPRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION of this
IMPORTANT information is ENCOURAGED)

Danny Sichel

unread,
Dec 21, 2000, 4:12:41 PM12/21/00
to

No, you're confusing two similar plotlines.

First evil genius built several exoskeletons that for one reason or
another wouldn't move. He got out of them, and finally came up with the
perfect design. Except it had exposed wiring, and it was raining.

Second evil genius had his hands replaced with whirling razor-sharp
blades (wanted to be a supervillain called "Number One Fan"). "My need
for my robot servitor is at an end" - *whirrSLASH* - "and now I shall
wreak bloody havoc on my enemies! .... that's funny... never noticed how
poorly designed this doorknob is.... oh damn! I can't get OUT! I'm
TRAPPED! I'm - "

(scene of an evil scientist trying to slap himself in the forehead,
having forgotten that his hands are now replaced with whirling
razor-sharp blades, mercifully deleted)

mstemper - psc . com

unread,
Dec 21, 2000, 4:40:49 PM12/21/00
to
In article <91quka$1n69$1...@news2.ottawa.cyberus.ca>, Al von Ruff <avon...@shell.cyberus.ca> writes:
>Bill Snyder <bsn...@iadfw.net> wrote:
>> On 19 Dec 2000 14:30:28 +0100, Jens Kilian <Jens_...@agilent.com> wrote:
>>>Jonathan W Hendry <jhe...@ux1.depaul.edu> writes:
>>>> "...Slugs in the chest from a 12-gauge shotgun at a range of 20
>>>> feet. Falling, on purpose, off the edge of the 150-foot-high Niagara
>>>> Escarpment. Assaults from burly friends and relatives all too willing
>>>> to cuff him repeatedly with road picks, knives, bows and arrows,
>>>> two-by-fours. Eighteen times he has stood in the path of a three-ton
>>>> pickup doing 30 miles per hour, and 18 times the truck has knocked him
>>>> from here to next week. On several occasions, he has stood at attention
>>>> while a 350-pound log, winched 30 feet up in a tree, swung down
>>>> broadside to topple him like a human bowling pin."
>>>The web site notes that the suit is up for auction. If we all pitch in, it
>>>might be a nice Christmas present for James Nicoll ;-)
>> No, *no*, NO! He'd slice his fingers to ribbons getting the wrapping
>> undone, and then the suit would fall on him, and then...
>
>Okay. For those of us who gafiatted away for a couple of years, fell out
>of touch with our favorite newsgroups, and are only now getting to know
>the new cast of regulars - can someone recount the canonical James Nicoll
>tale (a near-death experience, presumably) that people keep referring to?

There isn't a canonical tale, in the sense of singular. James has recounted
dozens of near-death experiences over the last year or so. It's gotten so
that, if I'm reading a post with quoted material about self-inflicted
bodily harm, I don't need to read the attributions, I know that it's James
being quoted.

ObSpeculation: With the number of exciting events he has survived, I'd
guess James might be the first true immortal.

--
Michael F. Stemper
#include <Standard_Disclaimer>

You're never alone if you're schizophrenic.

Mark Atwood

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Dec 21, 2000, 4:56:36 PM12/21/00
to
mstemper @ siemens - psc . com (Michael Stemper) writes:
>
> ObSpeculation: With the number of exciting events he has survived, I'd
> guess James might be the first true immortal.

I wonder if he's gone to see "Unbreakable" yet?

(Or maybe he was shooting is mouth off in some pub, where a tall noble
and lady, both with white skin, overheard him...)

--
Mark Atwood | The summit of Mount Everest is marine limestone.
m...@pobox.com |
http://www.pobox.com/~mra

Brenda

unread,
Dec 21, 2000, 6:33:31 PM12/21/00
to

Mark Atwood wrote:

> mstemper @ siemens - psc . com (Michael Stemper) writes:
> >
> > ObSpeculation: With the number of exciting events he has survived, I'd
> > guess James might be the first true immortal.
>
> I wonder if he's gone to see "Unbreakable" yet?
>
> (Or maybe he was shooting is mouth off in some pub, where a tall noble
> and lady, both with white skin, overheard him...)
>

I suppose it is possible that he either knows Gilgamesh, or knows somebody
who has.

Brenda

--
---------
Brenda W. Clough, author of DOORS OF DEATH AND LIFE
From Tor Books in May 2000
http://www.sff.net/people/Brenda/


Justin Fang

unread,
Dec 21, 2000, 9:57:52 PM12/21/00
to
In article <m33dfhc...@flash.localdomain>,

Mark Atwood <m...@pobox.com> wrote:
>mstemper @ siemens - psc . com (Michael Stemper) writes:
>> ObSpeculation: With the number of exciting events he has survived, I'd
>> guess James might be the first true immortal.

>I wonder if he's gone to see "Unbreakable" yet?
>
>(Or maybe he was shooting is mouth off in some pub, where a tall noble
>and lady, both with white skin, overheard him...)

Actually, one day while in his store James happened across a copy of _You
Will Never Die_, by one Carl G. Soziere.

See the short story "Divided By Infinity", by Robert Charles Wilson, for
details. Short summary: infinite parallel universes means you will never
die, becuase for every possible event that could kill you, there's a
timeline in which you survive--an infinite number of them, in fact. Thus,
you will never die (for sufficiently fuzzy definitions of "you", anyway.)
However, at each Near Death Experience, you become steadily less probable,
as the number of universes in which you are dead becomes steadily more
infinite that the ones in which you live. Since by now James has had
quite a few NDE's, he's become a *highly* improbable fellow, and so, by
extension, has any timeline with a living James. Like this one.

This explains such unlikely events as America's recent Schrodinger's
President experiment: as perfect an example of a quantum superposition of
states on a macroscopic scale as you could hope to find.

Richard Horton

unread,
Dec 22, 2000, 12:22:18 AM12/22/00
to
On 22 Dec 2000 02:57:52 GMT, jus...@ugcs.caltech.edu (Justin Fang)
wrote:

>See the short story "Divided By Infinity", by Robert Charles Wilson, for
>details.

And look: that story is set in part in a Canadian bookstore. And
James owns a Canadian bookstore! Proof!!


--
Rich Horton | Stable Email: mailto://richard...@sff.net
Home Page: http://www.sff.net/people/richard.horton
Also visit SF Site (http://www.sfsite.com) and Tangent Online (http://www.sfsite.com/tangent)

David Given

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Jan 9, 2001, 2:10:10 PM1/9/01
to
In article <3A4272...@umoncton.ca>,
Danny Sichel <eds...@umoncton.ca> writes:
[...]

> (scene of an evil scientist trying to slap himself in the forehead,
> having forgotten that his hands are now replaced with whirling
> razor-sharp blades, mercifully deleted)

There's a really odd animated film called _I Married A Strange Person_. In
one scene, one of the bad guys gets the ability to blow up anything he
touches. Then he goes to take a leak...

--
+- David Given ---------------McQ-+ "What appears to be a sloppy or
| Work: d...@tao-group.com | meaningless use of words may well be a
| Play: dgi...@iname.com | completely correct use of words to express
+- http://wired.st-and.ac.uk/~dg -+ sloppy or meaningless ideas." --- Anonymous

Robert Amesz

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Jan 10, 2001, 8:10:48 AM1/10/01
to
David Given wrote:

>In article <3A4272...@umoncton.ca>,
> Danny Sichel <eds...@umoncton.ca> writes:
>[...]
>> (scene of an evil scientist trying to slap himself in the
>> forehead, having forgotten that his hands are now replaced with
>> whirling razor-sharp blades, mercifully deleted)
>
>There's a really odd animated film called _I Married A Strange
>Person_. In one scene, one of the bad guys gets the ability to blow
>up anything he touches. Then he goes to take a leak...

Which makes you wonder why king Midas didn't have a similar problem. It
also brings a whole new meaning to the expression "golden showers".

Robert Amesz

J.B. Moreno

unread,
Jan 10, 2001, 11:44:43 AM1/10/01
to
Robert Amesz <rcameszR...@dds.removethistoo.nl> wrote:

> David Given wrote:
>
> > Danny Sichel <eds...@umoncton.ca> writes:
> >[...]
> >> (scene of an evil scientist trying to slap himself in the
> >> forehead, having forgotten that his hands are now replaced with
> >> whirling razor-sharp blades, mercifully deleted)
> >
> >There's a really odd animated film called _I Married A Strange
> >Person_. In one scene, one of the bad guys gets the ability to blow
> >up anything he touches. Then he goes to take a leak...
>
> Which makes you wonder why king Midas didn't have a similar problem. It
> also brings a whole new meaning to the expression "golden showers".

Well, obviously it doesn't happen to anything that is "him" or it'd
instantly spread and he'd be gold/blown, so it must be "part" of him
until it's outside of him, at which point it is no longer in contact
with him.

(OTOH, Midas should have died of dehydration relatively quickly, as he
would be unable to drink).

--
JBM
"Moebius strippers only show you their back side." -- Unknown

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