Category Archives: Literary

Puns!

I did a theatrical performance on puns…

It was really just a play on words.

RIP Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin died today at 88. The author of the Earthsea novels, The Left Hand of Darkness and many others, she was and remains among the brightest stars in the sky of fantasy literature.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

An illustration for the story Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by the author Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Special Edition of Fahrenheit 451

Special edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 that can only be read by burning the pages.

Next year, French graphic design house Super Terrain will publish this very special edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 that can only be read by burning the pages.

Happy Birthday, “The Hobbit”

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

The Hobbit is a novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien in the tradition of the fairy tale. It was first published on September 21, 1937. While it also stands in its own right, it is often seen as a prelude to Tolkien’s monumental fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings (published in 1954 and 1955).

The story, subtitled There and Back Again, follows the adventures of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he travels across the lands of Middle-earth with a band of dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf on a quest to restore a dwarven kingdom and a great treasure stolen by the dragon, Smaug.

Happy Birthday, Emoticon :-)

emoticon smile

An emoticon is a facial expression pictorially represented by punctuation and letters, usually to express a writer’s mood. Emoticons are often used to alert a responder to the tenor or temper of a statement, and can change and improve interpretation of plain text. The word is a portmanteau word of the English words emotion and icon. In web forums, instant messengers and online games, text emoticons are often automatically replaced with small corresponding images, which came to be called emoticons as well. Certain complex character combinations can only be accomplished in a double-byte language, giving rise to especially complex forms, sometimes known by their romanized Japanese name of kaomoji.

The use of emoticons can be traced back to the 19th century, and they were commonly used in casual and/or humorous writing. Digital forms of emoticons on the Internet were included in a proposal by Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a message on September 19, 1982.

Subtle

Rudolf Hess

sheeple

plural noun | shee·ple | \ˈshē-pəl\
 

Definition of sheeple

informal

  1. : people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced : people likened to sheep

 

Founding of the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress was established on April 24, 1800, when President John Adams signed an Act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 “for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress …, and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them….” Books were ordered from London and the collection, consisting of 740 books and 30 maps, was housed in the new Capitol. Although the collection covered a variety of topics, the bulk of the materials were legal in nature, reflecting Congress’ role as a maker of laws.

Thomas Jefferson played an important role in the Library’s early formation, signing into law on January 26, 1802 the first law establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. The law established the presidentially appointed post of Librarian of Congress and a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee the Library, as well as giving the president and vice president the ability to borrow books. The Library of Congress was destroyed in August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol building and the small library of 3,000 volumes within.

Within a month, former President Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement. Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books, including ones in foreign languages and volumes of philosophy, science, literature, and other topics not normally viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks, writing that, “I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection; there is, in fact, no subject to which a Member of Congress may not have occasion to refer.” In January 1815, Congress accepted Jefferson’s offer, appropriating $23,950 to purchase his 6,487 books.

Wikipedia Article

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet, short story writer, editor, critic and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of the macabre, Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction. He is also credited with contributing to narrative forms of the emergent science fiction genre.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)

Wikipedia Link

A. A. Milne

Alan Alexander Milne, also known as A. A. Milne, was a British author, best known for his books about the teddy bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, and for various children’s poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work.

A. A. Milne

Alan Alexander Milne (January 18, 1882 – January 31, 1956)

Wikipedia Link

J.R.R. Tolkien

In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.

JRR Tolkien is best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon language at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and of English language and literature, also at Oxford, from 1945 to 1959.

JRR Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973)

Isaac Asimov

All hail the birthday of Dr. Isaac Asimov, born this day in 1920.
Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov (c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992)

 Wikipedia Link

Dr. Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born American Jewish author and biochemist, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov’s most famous work is the Foundation Series, which was part of one of his two major series, the Galactic Empire Series, later merged with his other famous story arc, the Robot series. He also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as a great amount of non-fiction. Asimov wrote or edited more than 500 volumes and an estimated 90,000 letters or postcards, and he has works in every major category of the Dewey Decimal System except Philosophy. Asimov was by consensus a master of the science-fiction genre and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, was considered to be one of the “Big Three” science-fiction writers during his lifetime.

Most of Asimov’s popularized science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going back as far as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often gives nationalities, birth dates and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms.

The Three Laws of Robotics (often shortened to The Three Laws or Three Laws) are a set of rules devised by the science fiction author Isaac Asimov and later added to. The rules were introduced in his 1942 short story “Runaround”, although they were foreshadowed in a few earlier stories. The Three Laws are:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Happy Birthday, Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982)

Philip Kindred Dick was an American science fiction novelist and short story writer. He often drew upon his own life experiences and addressed the nature of drug use, paranoia and schizophrenia, and mystical experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS.

In addition to his novels, Dick wrote approximately 121 short stories, many of which appeared in science fiction magazines. Although Dick spent most of his career as a writer in near-poverty, nine of his stories have been adapted into popular films since his death, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly and Minority Report. In 2005, Time Magazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series.

Happy Birthday, Arthur C. Clarke

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, (December 16, 1917 – March 19, 2008) was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, most famous for his novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and for collaborating with director Stanley Kubrick on the film of the same name.

Wikipedia Article

Happy Birthday, Rex Stout

Rex Stout

Rex Stout (December 1, 1886 – October 27, 1975)

Rex Todhunter Stout was an American writer noted for his detective fiction. Stout is best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe, described by reviewer Will Cuppy as “that Falstaff of detectives.” Wolfe’s assistant Archie Goodwin recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 (Fer-de-Lance) to 1975 (A Family Affair).

RIP Rex Stout

Rex Stout

Rex Stout (December 1, 1886 – October 27, 1975)

Rex Todhunter Stout was an American writer noted for his detective fiction. Stout is best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe, described by reviewer Will Cuppy as “that Falstaff of detectives.”  Wolfe’s assistant Archie Goodwin recorded the cases of the detective genius from 1934 (Fer-de-Lance) to 1975 (A Family Affair).

Happy Birthday, Robert Jordan

Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr. (October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007), under which he was best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the names Reagan O’Neal and Jackson O’Reily.

RIP Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet, short story writer, editor, critic and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of the macabre, Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction. He is also credited with contributing to narrative forms of the emergent science fiction genre.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)

 Wikipedia Link