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"An Early Tale" by ShaneAlpha - Fanfest 2015

Posted March 10, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

Well, you asked for more. So he's given you more. ShaneAlpha's second bite of the cherry. And he has one more in the slipway.

The itinerant holy man sat hunched over in the small house, his face hidden in the darkness of his still raised cowl as the rain splattered on the mud outside. The noise was far louder than it would have been in normal circumstances due to the large hole in the wall caused by the cooling body, its back against a nearby boulder and its head slumped to its chest.

The man slowly rolled several smooth stones in one hand meditatively. His hand clutched suddenly and thrust the stones into a pouch worn on his waist as a soft cough and groan sounded from near the warm fireplace. He quickly rose and walked over to the small form laying under a woollen blanket. Another quiet groan rose from the blanket. “Easy, my son.” The man said in the local tongue. “You’re safe now but have been asleep for a day.” Bright blue eyes suddenly opened convulsively. The man spoke softly, “You must be thirsty, have some small sips of this until you can talk.” As he pressed a small cured leather drinking pouch to the mouth of the small boy attempting to rise from under the blanket. The boy did as he was told, slowly sipping the honey Mead, the colour returning to his face as the liquid flowed to his belly.

Eventually the boy stopped drinking. He suddenly looked wildly around the room, his eyes widening as he spotted the rent in the wall. He face looked pleadingly into the face of the man, tears starting to form in his eyes and roll down his cheeks. The man, voice still low and soft gently spoke “Yes, they’re dead. I buried them and consecrated the ground. They are with God now.”

The boy started sobbing, buried his head into the chest of the man and tried to speak, his words coming explosively through his heaving sobs. “I..I…I.. was.. bringing.. the.. sheep.. in…Mother screamed… I..I.. ran.. to help..the..the..deamon..was..was..eating Papa! Mama…it laughed… ..father’s sword. It laughed louder! I ran at it with the sword. I..I.. don’t remember any more.

“Can you stand?” the man asked. The boy nodded and rose to his feet. The man guided him outside until they were both standing over the body of the Scolari Grymm. The man looked down at the boy “You have killed a demon and been touched by God, my son. I wanted to bury this spawn of Satan but could not remove the sword. Can you try?” The boy nodded and reaching out his small hand grasped the grip of the blade. He smoothly pulled the blade free of the body and the boulder it was pinned to and effortlessly raised it toward the sky. Myrddin looked in awe as the boy spoke in a newly strong voice “I am Arthur and I name this, my father’s sword, Excalibur!”

9 Responses to ‘"An Early Tale" by ShaneAlpha - Fanfest 2015’

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted March 10, 2015
Oh ShaneAlpha, you have a twisted and imaginative brain there. I like that a lot. So now we have a "rationale" for heroes and their magic weapons? (Dashes off to write a Siegfried and Fafnir story before someone else grabs it.)

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Bunyip puts forth...

Posted March 10, 2015
Cool.I've got a Welsh mate that uses the handle of Myrddin when gaming. I'll share this with him.

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JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 10, 2015
Intriguing and atmospheric. You set the mood well, Shane. Darth Greybeard reminds me of your itinerant holy man, what with his foreboding pic. Tread thee warily in timewarp. One of my superheroes as a child (I had many) was Astro Boy, but your boy Arthur has potential. Excalibur - but, of course. Arthur be like Robin to Dave's Batman. Or a king.

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Maddoug has opinions thus...

Posted March 10, 2015
If Myrddin's in awe now, just wait until he sees Arthur eat the entire flock of sheep...

Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted March 11, 2015
Geez, I was skim reading, misread flock of sheep, so glad that I re-read it. We all know what TheDave is capable of...

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she_jedi reckons...

Posted March 10, 2015
Oh. My. God. Inspired! Thanks Shane. I love your work and wish to subscribe to your pamphlet.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted March 11, 2015
I thought that was fucking great.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted March 11, 2015

The following bit of dialogue (reliably recorded by historians of the time in primary and corroborated documents) shows that Arthur is a bit odd.

Guard: Who goes there?

King Arthur: It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon from the castle of Camelot, King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of all England!
Guard: Pull the other one!

King Arthur: I am, and this is my trusty servant Patsy. We have ridden the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join me in my court at Camelot. I must speak with your lord and master.

Guard: What, ridden on a horse?

King Arthur: Yes.
Guard: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?

Guard: You've got two empty halves of coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.
King Arthur: So? We have ridden since the snows of winter covered this land, through the kingdom of Mercia, through ...

Guard: Where'd you get the coconuts?
King Arthur: We found them.
Guard: Found them? In Mercia? The cocnut's tropical!
King Arthur: What do you mean?

Guard: Well, this is a temperate zone.
King Arthur: The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?

Guard: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

From: Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

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ShaneAlpha puts forth...

Posted March 11, 2015
Glad you guys liked it. I'll comment a bit more after the third story appears.

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Respond to '"An Early Tale" by ShaneAlpha - Fanfest 2015'

"The Battle of Old Persuader" by JG, Fanfest 2015

Posted March 9, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

This is the first story story that's really embraced the full cray-cray comedic potential of Dave's, er, special powers. But then some critics might argue the whole series is one long dick joke.

"Hellooooo ladies."


Dave Hooper stirred from his sleep, woken by stray pine needles sticking into his ribs. The chaise lounge on which he slept was an untidy affair of scavenged detritus. A heady scent of longleaf pine, cypress, and bayou trees filled the forest air.

Joint Special Operations Command had set up a base camp in Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest. The old growth forest provided shelter and food aplenty and, as yet, the monsters hadn’t picked up their scent, repelled by the ring of anti-monster spray that had been airdropped on the outskirts of the bivouac’s perimeters. It had been one of many scientific breakthroughs created since monsters created havoc around the world. The UV-ray gun had been another innovation.

Dave scratched his flat, hardened belly, grateful that his spare tire, Blubber Eel, had long since departed. He glanced down in annoyance at his latest share of body fat, The Old Persuader. The one-eyed snake was awake.

‘Oh, for fuck’s sake! Pack up your tent,’ Dave muttered to the uncouth erection. The Old Persuader was a source of annoyance, despite having conquered a gluttonous share of orgies. Dave’s Old Persuader was about as useful as flat beer, but good for a man’s sexual appetite. Trouble with his penis was that it nagged him; always on the lookout for further adventure and fresh loins to conquer. Not easy with boners the size of rhino horns big enough to scare off the bravest of women silly enough to dally across Ol’ Percy’s well-worn path. Dave wondered if his Blubber Eel had morphed down into his nether regions and taken up residence in his crotch. You wandering dog. The Old Persuader jerked in his cargo pants as if listening to Dave’s thoughts. Bugger off.

It had gotten to the point where Old Persuader lore had spread beyond the confines of the roving bivouac and the military forces that surrounded the command ops base. The tales of his super penis had grown more outrageous as the days grew longer. Dave had heard stories of how he’d supposedly killed two Hunn with Ol’ Percy; of how he’d clubbed, or speared (those details weren’t clear) bream and bass with his Percy Gun. The story of four elderly bridge-playing women who’d conked it when they’d caught sight of The Old Persuader straining inside Dave’s cargo pants. Heart attacks. Then there was the sorry tale of how he’d serenaded the SEALs with soft rock that drunken karaoke night – singing into his Old Persuader mike – ancient 70s and 80s hits like Katrina and the Waves’ Walking On Sunshine and ABBA’s Chiquitita. Dave cringed. As if! The cruel lies and gibberish of goddamn mongrel munters. No point getting an Old Persuader Complex in this mad world. Dave stood up, unwilling to let his personal demons get the better of him. Can’t keep a good man down.

He dreaded the day when Old Persuader paraphernalia hit the black markets. He imagined Old Persuader blow up dolls and erectile dysfunction pills, Old Persuader beer, Old Persuader pillows, and Old Persuader helium balloons. Then there’d be an Old Persuader Totem Pole erected in his memory. Dave envisaged his epitaph:

Dave Hooper, oil rig safety officer, fought against monsters that invaded Earth in the twenty-first century. Dave was renowned for superpowers that gave him boners of huge proportions. Dave, the Giant Penis, also known as Dave, The Old Persuader, left no stone unturned. Indeed, no man, woman, or monster was safe when The Dave approached.

No, that wasn’t going to happen. Dave’s imagination was getting the better of him. He was Dave, not his penis. He was a dick at times, but he wasn’t The Cock Who Walked. Nobody had the time or money to capitalize on Old Persuader lore in a world gone mad. Not since the Hunn ur Horde had breached the capstone and emerged from the UnderRealms.

Dave was about to let Old Persuader have his way and relieve himself of his erection, when he caught a glimpse of his watch. Scooby Gang time: the regular moonlight meeting of Heath, Allen, Emmeline, Compton, and himself. Dave heard voices in the camp. Sounded like Compton and Emmeline. No time for a wank.

Compton and Emmeline argued in the distance; two professors at war. Emmeline’s voice sounded unusually shrill tonight. The Old Persuader throbbed as Dave pondered his encounter with Emmeline the previous night. Dave swung his legs off the chaise lounge. He stood up and stretched lazily. He’d stood close to Emmeline. He’d been inches away from embracing her when Compton appeared. Bloody Compton. An instant dampener.

The Old Persuader battled inside his cargo pants. Emmeline wanted him. There was chemistry there, no doubt about it. Dave’s pants strained further in protest. Don’t think of her. If it hadn’t been for Compton appearing . . . the kiss that woulda if it coulda. Too late. Pop, pop, pop. The buttons fell onto the grass and Dave’s trousers unleashed their contents – one helluva persuasive snake. Dave needed a dress with all these improper boners. Buttons would not do. Damn you, Old Persuader! He couldn’t deal with all these erections. His buttons had popped four times that month; all erection casualties of Horny Dave. The Old Persuader was a double-edged sword of lust and loathing.

There were, Dave knew, four sides to him: Asshole Dave, Ur Dave aka The Dave, Horny Dave, and Contrite Dave. Asshole Dave was an unkempt, filthy, no-good, womanising, hookers and blow, piss-guzzling, drug-besotted excuse of an ex-husband and father. The Dave was all hero, endowed with useful superpowers after killing Urgon Htoth Ur Hunn, BattleMaster of the Fourth Legion. Horny Dave wasn’t far removed from The Dave and Asshole Dave, but The Dave didn’t heed Old Persuader’s superman boners when he was busy flying around killing monsters and saving the world with his splitting maul, Lucille. Ah, Lucille. Beautiful singing Lucille and her thrumming vibrations. Dave secretly fantasized that Lucille would one day transform into a woman. She’d be a fine, fine lover. A classy bit of Magick. Stop, cock! There he was, being a horny, sexist dick again. That was Contrite Dave; remorseful Dave.

Compton and Emmeline had stopped moving beside the bald cypress grove. Good. Dave needed time to resolve his Old Persuader problem. A sheet would do. No time for sewing on buttons. This was not a good way to start an outing with the Scooby Gang. Dave heard a rustling nearby.

‘Rise and shine!’ Crap! Don’t panic. Chief Zach Allen had emerged from his humpy beside a bayou tree and approached Dave’s boudoir, or chaise lounge, such as it was.

‘Coming out to the Doobie Tree? Scooby Gang Moon time. Oh . . . Sorry.’ How astute of the Chief Petty Officer to note his erectile dilemma.

‘Dude, I’d like buttons and a chocolate bar first,’ Dave said, placing his hands over The Old Persuader, although they didn’t conceal the entire dimensions of his glory. Allen smiled slyly. Allen was a commanding, but laidback man; a chilled ex-surfer and lifeguard Olympian. He’d proved a good friend throughout these past seven months of craziness – since the daemon monsters had breached the capstone.

Allen was a reliable source of chocolate bars, Dave’s quality food of choice. He stowed chocolate and protein bars like other men carried coins or cigarettes.

‘Here. Get this into you,’ Allen grinned, handing him a chocolate Rice Krispie from his cargo pants. ‘Keep the snake beast at bay.’ Dave reluctantly moved a hand from The Old Persuader to retrieve the chewy goodness.

‘Thanks. My trouser buttons blew again. Yes, they’re made battle ready, but this here shlong beats the pants off me. I gotta wear something loose.’ He gestured towards Old Persuader. ‘Like a sheet. Something a man can swing his boner in.’

‘Not a problem. One sheet coming up. Wait here,’ Allen said. Dave wasn’t heading anywhere with his erection fired up like dar Drakon. Allen slipped off to his makeshift humpy to get a sheet and, hopefully, an Eat Smart Choc Peanut Caramel Crunch. They were Dave’s favorite bars.

Allen was a damn candy man. He had a mega stash of chocolate, protein bars and energy gels, paid for courtesy of US taxpayers. It couldn’t last forever, though, not with the rapid encroachment of the monsters. Dave focused again on the problem at hand: his inappropriate boner.

‘Be gone! Diminish, you unseemly cock!’ Dave directed The Old Persuader as Compton’s and Emmeline’s voices grew louder. He decided not to tune in on their argument. Dave had his own worries. He looked around to make sure no one was in his immediate vicinity, before taking his penis to task. He drew his mighty claymore, Old Persuader, unsheathed as it was from his trousers, and in nine quick yanks came with a satisfied grunt, unyielding his hefty load of semen beneath the bayou behind his chaise lounge. Hmm, hmm. Thank you, sir. Damn, that had been a nice quickie. Dave loved the intensity and pleasure of orgasm that replenished his body, mind, and spirit. He sighed in relief, breathing in the forest air, and stared down at The Old Persuader who had retreated like a happy puppy with a bone.

Allen was taking his time, Compton and Emmeline knackered on, and sleepiness again overcame Dave. He considered giving tonight’s meetup a miss. No, best go. It was good for networking, not that there was much networking going on between Heath, Allen, Compton (the prick), Emmeline, and himself. Still, for appearances.

Dave sighed. A one-man wonder band, he was. Ur Dave had conquered daemons aplenty, but they kept coming. There were too many of them. Dave had seen news reports of the Hunn ur Horde devouring people atop the Story Bridge in Brisbane, on Circular Quay in Sydney, and even in the quiets of Civic Square in Canberra. Poor souls. But what if he used his powers to conquer all monsters?

It was too much for one superhero and JCOC, and the UN wasn’t going to nuke the entire planet to be rid of the Grand Horde. The UnderRealms had to be recapped or destroyed. The monsters were killing and eating thousands of people. Dave needed a superhuman army and super technology. He imagined an army of baby Super Daves. They’d sprout up in no time, given their super powers. They’d be physically strong enough by age two. An army of superboys and supergirls. Dave dismissed the thought at once. Idiot. There wasn’t time and it was unethical. Besides, he had his own boys, Jack and Toby. His ex-wife, Annie, had hitched up with her goofball lawyer, Vietch, so she wouldn’t be putting her hand up for further baby breeding duties. Too old. Sexist pig. Yeah, yeah. Dave stretched again on his chaise lounge, giving in to melancholy. No, Ur Dave wouldn’t be a superfucker or a superbreeder.

Dave heard Allen returning with Heath, captain of Joint Special Operations Command. Heath had barked that out clearly on meeting Dave. He’d changed these past few weeks. Conditions, Dave reasoned. That, and monsters. Lord knows, a few of the best had snapped since the emergence of the Hunn ur Horde. Heath commanded the force, per se, but Dave wasn’t sure how long that would last. Heath walked, uniformed, and strangely smiling in the moonlight. He’d barely smiled before. He was all a-good feelin’ happy dude. Scary indeed.

‘Evening, Dave,’ Heath said. ‘I trust your snake is in order.’ His eyes darted around, up and down Dave, over to Allen, and out to Compton and Emmeline. The man carried a good supply of joints, hash, snacks, and the stinky plastic bottle bong.

‘Ah, yes, all good, sir.’ Dave said grabbing the sheet Allen proffered. ‘Thanks.’ The Old Persuader was at rest, mercifully, and Dave donned the sheet around his waist.

‘Jeez,’ Dave said. ‘May as well do this right. Please avert your eyes for a moment.’ He took off his black t-shirt and buttonless cargo pants and draped the sheet around his body, finally satisfied with the self-styled toga.

‘Stylish,’ Allen smirked. ‘Togas are cool.’

‘Survival wear,’ Dave said. ‘Boner proof. I can breathe now.’

Emmeline was blowing a fuse in the distance.

‘I don’t think this is such a good idea, Heath,’ he said, nodding towards Emmeline and Compton. ‘Not a happy camp that-a-way.’

‘Nonsense. All will be set right with the passing of the spliff,’ Heath said. Nope, Heath wasn’t his old self at all.

Dave focused on Heath’s unshaven face, saddened for the man before him. Compton and Emmeline’s argument, it seemed, had abated as they finally reached Dave, Heath, and Allen. Emmeline looked annoyed, but she cut a striking figure, even while frowning in the full moonlight.

‘Evening all. We’ve been discussing our thresh specimens. It’s critical we start the thresh cell study as soon as possible.’ Compton addressed all present as if the matter were closed.

‘Impractical,’ Emmeline snapped.

‘Nonsense,’ Compton said. ‘There are numerous tests to carry out.’

‘I’ve told you. We don’t have the resources, Compton. This is about survival – surviving a fucking monster invasion.’

‘Balderdash, woman. You know nothing of the potential research at stake. Our stem cell research has barely begun. Think of the grants, the markets for this. If you are unable to cooperate, why don’t you stand down as my assistant?’

‘Assistant! How dare you. And grants?! You just don’t get it, do you? Get with reality, Compton. You wouldn’t have survived one day in this hellhole without me. Go fuck yourself, dickbrain.’ Compton was stunned silent. He fidgeted nervously with his red neckbeard. Dave was impressed with Emmeline’s cussing and felt a twinge of compassion for Compton. The short, fat, bald man looked decidedly shaken by Emmeline’s outburst.

Heath broke the silence. ‘Alright, everyone. Let’s take a breather, people. We need to stay focused as a team.’ Great. Let’s have a pow wow, scout leader.

Emmeline had changed of late. She’d loosened up; no longer the serious woman Dave had first encountered. She was sexy, even if unhinged. Dammit. Dave knew he was being an asshole, but The Old Persuader didn’t care. The penis was alive once more. Dave nonchalantly propped up a leg on a nearby bayou, hoping his pose would diminish the size of his boner. As if. Nice try, Dave. Compton was on to him already.

‘Wind’s up. Blowing hard. Should change direction soon,’ he said, glaring at Horny Dave through the moonlight. So much for feeling sorry for the beady-eyed git. Dave considered whipping out Old Persuader and whacking Compton over his bald head with it. Emmeline averted her eyes from Dave, although he knew she’d caught a glimpse, nay, an in-your-face gawk at Dave’s monstrosity that rose pointedly from beneath the toga. Jeez. Should be used to it. His leg-on-bayou-tree ploy had not worked. Doggone penile crap! Dave wanted a new penis, fast.

Emmeline laughed, anger fizzled. Dave blushed, certain all noted his crimson-faced hue in the full moon’s gaze. Unholy sword, confounded sperm whale. The Old Persuader mocked him. But Emmeline . . . was she hormonal, or what? Arguing, cussing like a sailor, laughing, arguing, laughing, laughing again. Why would Dave the Ur, Dave The Dave, be turned on by such a loopy, emotional . . . but look at those perky breasts, and her white teeth, and her strong, feline body. Man, she moved that booty smoothly. The Old Persuader listened to lust over reason. I gotta get a handle on this bad boy.

‘Back to the thresh business,’ Heath said. ‘It’s not going to happen, Compton. Simple as that. Emmeline is right. The research will have to wait because we’re resuming our journey towards Houston tomorrow. Matter closed.’ Compton scowled but said nothing.

Dave’s stomach rumbled loudly as hunger pangs started. They all looked at him. His stomach rumbled again like an approaching train. It broke the tension in the air.

‘Hungry again?’ Allen asked. Dave nodded.

‘Starving.’ Allen handed him an OhYeah! peanut-and-caramel flavored bar. Dave nodded his gratitude as the sugar surge hit his brain.

‘Genius. Thanks, buddy.’

‘To the tree,’ Emmeline said, grabbing a chocolate bar off Allen.

‘Scooby doobie, let’s go,’ Heath said, leading them to the old pine a short walk upstream from their campsite. He sorted his array of goodies on the ground. ‘Pity we don’t have a picnic blanket.’

‘No smoke for me, not tonight,’ Dave said. ‘I have a headache.’

‘A headache? That’s not all you’ve got,’ Compton said, eyeing Dave’s outspoken boner profile with malice. Give a man a break! Dave scowled. Compton’s jokes inevitably flopped like wilted celery stalks.

‘My mind is on purer matters,’ Dave deadpanned, ‘like how the fuck we’re gonna get to Houston before the Hunn ur Horde get there. NASA are expecting us, although God knows why.’

‘Not getting there any time soon,’ Compton said. ‘Not with all the choppers down. And no hornets. No air power to speak of.’ He continued to gaze at Dave’s erection. ‘I think you should call your friendly fellow Pinocchio.’ Weirdo.

‘Shut up, will you? Anyone would think you wanted a piece of the action. What is it with you and Dave’s penis? You wanna fuck it?’ Emmeline, Emmeline, still testy. Dave took a deep breath. Count, two, three, four. He would remain patient with Compton. Allen, the ever reliable candy man, came to Dave’s aid.

‘Eat this,’ he said, offering Dave another chocolate bar. ‘Keep your strength up, man, and save your breath.’ Dave thanked Allen and devoured the bar within seconds. Dave was relieved that all sided with him against Compton’s constant petty penile taunts, not that they were worth worrying about. Nobody liked Compton.

‘I’m simply curious as to how Dave deals with his enlarged handicap.’ Compton pointed at Dave’s superboner. ‘It’s obviously a scientific curiosity. I mean, look at it!’ All gazed at the monstrosity beneath Dave’s toga. Fine. Let’s get this over and done with. The Old Persuader was obviously a topic of renown. Dave would confront their issues with the Ol’ Percy head on. The only way out is through.

‘Yup, The Old Persuader, eh?’ Dave said. ‘My cock is big alright, Compton. It’s fucking hu-uuuge. Humongous. A fucking cannon ball. A monster shlong. An almighty weapon of mass destruction. It has inappropriate boners and inappropriate ejaculations. It’s a whacking nuisance at times. What do you want me to do about it? What ya gonna do?’ Silence. Dave sighed loudly. That had been cathartic.

‘Chop it off,’ Compton said. ‘Donate it to science.’ Another attempt at a joke. Lord, spare me.

‘For the love of . . . Shut it, Compton.’

‘C’mon, Dave, he’s not worth it,’ Emmeline said.

‘Let’s chill under this here tree. Get a little stoned and unwind.’ Heath said. ‘We’ll all relax and forget our troubles for the moment. No talk of monsters.’ The man made sense for a captain who’d flipped. Heath was sounding more reasonable by the minute. Perhaps he wasn’t mad, and had undergone a Greenified Transformation. Or not. They sat beneath the pine tree and Dave calmed down.

Doobies passed hands and they all relaxed under the clouds of white smoke. Heath packed the water bottle bong and passed it around. Dave joined in, eager to forget his worries for a night. Toke by toke, cone by cone, they got quietly stoned. Dave lay down and gazed up at the stars. That big beautiful sky. Who’da thunk there were monsters tearing around, eating people? Who’da thunk the world had gone to ape shit? Emmeline lay down next to him and they stargazed in silence. Allen and Heath joined them, then Compton, all lying down under the pine, eyes to the sky. Thank God, peace prevails. Dave closed his eyes, when the stillness was pervaded by a strange sound like bleating crippled sheep. Baa-baa-baa. Bwa-bwa-bwaaa. Compton was crying.

‘I’m sorry, brother. Dave. I miss . . . I can’t get hard ons, not anymore,’ Compton gasped between sobs, pointing to Dave’s now deflated Old Persuader. ‘I wish I got boners. Doesn’t have to be big. Just one boner would do. It’s been two years. Not since Lily, my darling, departed wife. She died in a car crash. Horribly.’ Great. Nothing like a party downer.

‘Forget it,’ Dave said. He wondered why Compton hadn’t tried erectile dysfunction pills. Maybe he had. Dave couldn’t be bothered asking. He didn’t want to hear Compton’s hard luck stories.

‘There’ll be a drug out there for you, Compton,’ Emmeline said, as if reading Dave’s mind. ‘Think of poor Dave. His problem is pressing. Dave has a problem akin to the Man Flu. It’s like his manhood goes into overdrive with his superpowers.’ Stoned Emmeline elaborated.

‘It’s entirely probable that Dave’s penile erection dysfunction is caused by a surplus of testosterone. I’d like to take a few samples, Dave. You may have a case of tritium atoms gone awry.’

‘Terrific.’ Dave smiled to himself. ‘You reckon it’s a case of atomic penis?’ Emmeline moved closer.

‘It’d be a go-ood idea to sample you,’ Emmeline said. Dave’s ears pricked up. What had Emmeline said? Go-ood.

‘Samples?’ he asked. ‘What for?’

‘To determine the likelihood of reducing the unfortunate side effects of having such an active penile organ.’ The Old Persuader perked up afresh.

‘Is that necessary? I mean, I can live with it . . .’

‘Really?’ Emmeline said, ‘I don’t think that’s practical. We’ll find a solution that keeps the best of you, yet diminishes the size, inconvenience, and frequency of these unwanted erections.’

‘You bear your affliction with great forbearance,’ Compton said. He’d stopped sobbing.

‘A heavy burden, I’d imagine,’ Allen said, throwing Dave an energy gel. ‘Here, take this.’ Allen was useful and practical, even stoned.

‘Thanks,’ Dave said, sitting up and swallowing the PowerBar Gel Double Latte in one mouthful.

‘Yes, I’d say you have a sizeable battle on your hands, Dave,’ Heath said. ‘Your old fella isn’t one I’d want to be logging around. I’d take Emmeline’s advice. This research wouldn’t be as troublesome for us as thresh cell research. It’s not like you’re a heavy carcass. You can move around. It’s not like we’d have to freeze you on route.’ Great. They were all in on the act.

‘Down the track, we may find your specimen useful for eugenics research.’ Emmeline said. ‘If we found desirable qualities for breeding.’ What?! Slow down, woman!

‘Ah, I’m not really the kinda fella who’s suitable breeding stock. And I don’t want Ol’ Percy removed, if it’s all the same to you.’

‘Absolutely not,’ Emmeline said. ‘But I’ll reduce the ill effects of your penis overdrive.’ Dave smirked. The lady was forthright. ‘I mean, fuck, how can you live with it?’ Emmeline was on all fours gawking over his erect Old Persuader. Dave wished he could shift his massive boner out of the glare of the moonlight and the stares of the Scooby Gang. The Old Persuader protruded under his toga like a Scooby Gang flagpole.

‘Aha. Well, your research sounds advantageous.’

‘We can start tonight,’ Emmeline said. Dave coughed in surprise, while Allen, Compton, and Heath exchanged knowing glances between themselves. OK . . . Dave noted that Allen and Heath were adjusting their crotches. Even Compton was looking down at his pants.

‘I’m stoned,’ Dave said. He pondered the options: remain toga man and have this raging superboner upsetting his daily life, or manage the penis issue with the hot lady professor. The Old Persuader steered his decision.

‘Stoned? We can work with that,’ Emmeline said. She was persistent.

‘Alrighty, let’s give it a whirl. Couldn’t hurt,’ Dave said. ‘But I’m not fuckin’ dishing out under the Scooby Tree.’

‘No, naturally,’ Emmeline laughed. ‘Not here. We’ll walk and talk and fuck. I mean, we’ll pursue the issue further over a whiskey.’ Dave saw Allan, Heath, and Compton’s jaws drop.

‘A glass of water is fine by me,’ Dave said. Dork. Emmeline smiled a slow, easy smile. Dave’s heart raced. Brave woman. Or the effect of ganja. Dave didn’t care in his own stoned world. Emmeline got up off the ground like a languid cat, and stepped towards Dave, her eyes shining and intense. Compton, Heath, and Allen sat up in anticipation. What was the woman going to do next? Emmeline dragged Dave to his feet. He shifted around and looked down at the superboner that stood between himself and the ground. Emmeline with Old Persuader and Dave. Old Persuader was on task.

‘Fine, I’m all ears,’ Dave said. ‘Anything to be rid of this toga.’ Emmeline turned to Heath, Allen, and Compton with an open smile.

‘Catch you later. Thanks for tonight, Heath,’ Emmeline said. The three men returned bashful smiles.

Dave grinned. Poor munters.

‘Not a problem,’ Heath said. ‘Good luck with your research.’ Emmeline took hold of Dave’s arm and led him away from the safety of the Scooby Gang Moonlight Meetup.

‘I’ll take good care of you, although I may take advantage,’ Emmeline purred. Dave’s eyes almost popped out of his head like thresh eyestalks. Yes please. Emmeline moved her arm from his, and placed it on the back of Dave’s neck, stroking it lightly. His entire body tingled in anticipation.

‘I’m easily persuaded, Emmeline,’ Dave replied. They smiled at each other and The Old Persuader twitched inside Dave’s toga. Mission stations manned.

20 Responses to ‘"The Battle of Old Persuader" by JG, Fanfest 2015’

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted March 9, 2015
That is well written, JG. And it is about time that some empathy is shown for the genuine problems faced by the well-endowed priapic male.

Rhino asserts...

Posted March 9, 2015
Hear, hear, W. I'm sharing this as my next group meeting.

Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted March 10, 2015
Maybe if you didn't keep sprinkling your own horn shavings on your food?

ShaneAlpha ducks in to say...

Posted March 10, 2015
You obviously missed this

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Anthony reckons...

Posted March 9, 2015
I knew that Dave was a total dick...

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GhostSwirv reckons...

Posted March 9, 2015

Ballsy JG, really, really ballsy - bravo!

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insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted March 9, 2015
I want more Dave ... Ahh ...I mean less Dave ... Er ...I'm a happily married man.Good work JG

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Sparty has opinions thus...

Posted March 9, 2015
Very funny. Not surprised it was light on illustrations though!

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted March 9, 2015
I tried.

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she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted March 10, 2015
"The Cock That Walked". Bwahahahahahahaha! Genius JG

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 10, 2015
You had me at "UV ray gun" and I liked the rest very much.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted March 10, 2015
Shoulda guessed Dave would be a toga party guy.

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pitpat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 10, 2015
Wow, makes me feel somehow inadequate. Is the next chapter like 50 shades of Dave?

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JG ducks in to say...

Posted March 10, 2015
Gracias, amigos. I'm glad you liked my story. I suspect that Horny Dave's middle name is Priapus. That, or Burrito.
Thanks for putting it up, JB, and long live Old Persuader. Hombre, hombre.

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Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted March 11, 2015

that was hilarious.

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Halwes reckons...

Posted March 11, 2015
Loved this. I laughed a lot. Thanks JG. I have been avoiding this site because my copy of Resistance only arrived the day before yesterday and I didn't want any spoilers. I'm about 1/3 the way through and have a question. The sexual preference and motives of Prof X seem somewhat ambiguous to me. As the theme is transformation, is there a coming out coming up. Dave and the Prof seem to have had an instant attraction. I think that the scenes where the human family is caged and the scene where the Thresh debrains a human are very powerful.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted March 11, 2015
That scene with the captive family was interesting to write, because on the face of it thats a terrible, horrifying moment. And yet we see it through Guyuk's point of view, so it's played for dark humour. You remind me I have to write an entry about the importance of PoV to this series. Not now though. I'm full of drugs after having a skin cancer cut off.

Halwes asserts...

Posted March 12, 2015

Good drugs I hope !

Anthony puts forth...

Posted March 12, 2015

See JB - much better for your health to keep away from that nasty outdoors and stay inside and keep writing books that we can keep buying.

Hope it wasn't too nasty a one and that no more pop up.

I have friends who live up there who keep there whose doctors are able to maintain two platinum hovercraft and a villa in Tuscany on the basis of their skin cancers.

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JG asserts...

Posted March 12, 2015
All the best with your recovery, JB.

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Respond to '"The Battle of Old Persuader" by JG, Fanfest 2015'

"Dave talks to a lawyer," by Insomniac. Fanfest 2015

Posted March 4, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

Professor Boylan has a theory that this whole series is about transformation. Orin retorts that it's about getting kick arse legal advice. Insomniac says its both.

'Just do it'.

The girl's dress slid down slowly, revealing her boobs. Boobs so small they could barely be seen. Dave stared intently. It reminded him of his lame poker joke. 'I see your boobs ... and raise you a doodle'.

'You're making me late for golf'.

Dave stopped staring and pressed down with the lawyer's stripper pen at the bottom of the page. He pressed down a little harder and signed with a flourish.

He tossed the divorce papers back in the general direction of the lawyer. A short man, who clearly overindulged in Portuguese custard tarts, with skin the colour of a decades-old washed out t-shirt, and eyebrows, precisely equalling the number owned by Bert and Ernie, looming in all their bushiness over two tiny squinty eyes, topped off by a prominent sagittal crest running directly back from his forehead and over his balding skull.

'A real lady's man', thought Dave, with the tiniest scintilla of a grin forming around the corners of his mouth.

'What's so funny?' asked the wife-boning lawyer.

Dave suddenly realised that nothing was funny. The wife-boning lawyer was boning his wife, or at least his ex-wife now. If he was a lady's man then Dave was Captain Loser, squared.

'Nothin', he replied, and afterwards mumbled, 'Asshole'.

He sat back and admired the new etching in the glass surface of the lawyer's desk. The added flourish had made his signature a beautiful piece of art, catching the sunlight and breaking into a thousand tiny rainbows. He secretly hoped it would be a real knob softener one day when Veitch saw his name twinkling up at him from between Annie's legs as he tried screwing her, legs akimbo, across the desk. He leaned in again, nostrils flaring, to confirm.

'What have you done to my desk, you little fuc...', Veitch stopped mid sentence.

Dave looked up.

Veitch's eyes were blue, now wide open.

'Hmm', thought Dave. He had only ever seen squinty Veitch before. This was something new.

Veitch's eyes bulged. The whites were clearly visible; a corona of light around blue centres, bright red streaks leading away to the periphery.

A single bead of perspiration drew on the right side of Veitch's brow. Dave followed it as gravity sent it straight down to the bushy monobrow, where it veered right and ran further around the bulging eye and down the beige cheek to drip off Veitch's jaw. Dave's eye returned to the source. That bead now had hundreds of brothers. Sweat was pouring off Veitch now as if he had accidentally strayed into a nude sauna at a gay convention while they were doing lines of rhinoceros horn.

Veitch was attempting to say something, his mouth opening and closing like a goldfish gasping for water, but other than a gurgle, nothing escaped his lips.

He started leaning to his left, almost imperceptibly at first, but accelerating smoothly until he reached his tipping point, crashing to the floor.

Dave could see through the glass desk that his initial assumption regarding horny homosexuals wasn't too far from the actuality of the situation. He caught a glimpse of the eyestalks of a thresh as they disappeared from sight. The thresh wasn't just fucking Veitch; he was completely fucked. Although this was a new development, he had seen that people stayed deader than dead when they tangled with former inhabitants of the Under Realm.

Veitch lay twitching on the carpet, knees drawn up in the foetal position, his violated arse pointing towards Dave, golf pants shredded.

'Couldn't happen to a nicer person', he thought, as he waited for Veitch to die.


Veitch rose up from the carpet, no longer the short, fat, cartoon of a man. What now stood before Dave was synergistically chimeric: more than Veitch, more than thresh, more than both.

This new Veitch was easily eight feet tall, helped by the now extremely pointy crest riding its skull.

'That's some bad hat, Harry', Dave blurted out with a very poor impression, followed by, 'Oh yeah, we are definitely gonna need a bigger boat'.

The eyes were still blue; there were just more than two now, sitting atop an arc of eyestalks. A triplet of eyes were staring at Dave staring right back. The rest were surveying the office.

The skin of the monster was spectacularly unique. On any other day it would have taken on a pinstriped charcoal appearance, light blue-chested with a band of white around the neck highlighted with a tuft of red fur at the midpoint, but this was Wednesday, and Wednesday was golf day.

Veitch, appalling as he was as a person, had an even more appalling fashion sense. 'Name one golfer who doesn't', thought Dave.

The bottom half was straight from the sixties, mostly daffodil yellow with a series of huge psychedelic flowers with black-edged petals in orange and red and grey, each with an eye looking right through you.

Dave's head was already spinning.

An impossible solarscape was plastered across the monster's poorly cut torso. Suns, nebulae and ringed planets sitting adjacent one another on a sea of space black and blue, with two identical large gas giants straddling either side of the centre line of its chest like a pair of well-developed mazoongas.

The more Dave looked at the monster, the more something wasn't quite right. Something obvious, but not immediately so. Then he saw it.

He made a mental note in his newfound lexicon. 'Ur Veitch: Vulnerabilities: Cock punch: n/a'.

22 Responses to ‘"Dave talks to a lawyer," by Insomniac. Fanfest 2015 ’

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted March 4, 2015
Um. I've never offended you have I insomniac? Pal? Ouchie.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted March 4, 2015
You offend all right thinking people, sleepy or otherwise, by your continued existence.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted March 4, 2015
Nice one Noddy.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted March 5, 2015
Okay, so the only apparent physical difference between Veitch and Boylan
is the location of their skull bumps, the apparent fact that Veitch is
a golf enthusiast (whereas Boylan is not) and the equally apparent fact
that Boylan has a better fashion sense (despite the often rumpled
nature of his business suit)? If so, I approve.

And I honestly laughed out loud at the "Bad Hat Harry" reference.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted March 5, 2015
Orc sex. At last.

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted March 5, 2015
Tellingly I think, 'orc sex at last' is an anagram for 'costars exalt'.

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted March 5, 2015
I, for one, am loving these fan fics.
Just thought that I'd put that out there.

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JG would have you know...

Posted March 5, 2015
Oww. It's like you had a personal vendetta against Veitch, Sleepless. That's gotta hurt. Veitch: screwed cockless from one planet to the next. Nice psyhedelic reference to his golf pants. Hole in one. I didn't know you could be so cruel, Insomnia.

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GhostSwirv would have you know...

Posted March 5, 2015

What is about lawyers, golf fashions, stripper pens and divorce proceedings that brings out the inner monsters in the Cheeseburger Ensemble?

GhostSwirv over and out of mayonnaise

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Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted March 5, 2015
Boobs. I wondered what my boys were giggling at. Teach me to leave it all open. And now they have been googling "boob pens". And I am in trouble with you know who.Worth it though.

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insomniac reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
Obviously I have managed to offend some of you, if not many. I have no problem with people being offended. You have that right. I have a right, of sorts, to free speech. It's already been moderated by JB. It's his blog. He gets to decide what gets published. This is no apology, but a recognition that I probably went too hard. I accept your criticism and take it on board. In the event there was another opportunity, I would be more moderate in my approach.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 6, 2015
What? Come on, mate. You didn't offend anyone and didn't go "too hard."

I, on the other hand, am offended that you think you might have offended me.

insomniac asserts...

Posted March 6, 2015
I don't think that

Therbs asserts...

Posted March 6, 2015
I'd like to be offended but aren't.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 6, 2015
I corrected some spelling and Canon issues. Only a word or two here and there. I didn't think there was anything in it to offend.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted March 6, 2015
Oh I'm fully offended. I couldn't be more offended if I had an electric offend-o-mator. My dudgeon is stratospheric. I've taken offence & umbrage. I've been un gruntled. My piqué is so fit it is entering the Molokai Tri Athlon. I'm vexed, gruntled & pissed.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
You're always gruntled

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted March 6, 2015
I don't blame you insomniac. It's Dave.

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted March 6, 2015
And when I say "It's Dave", I like Dave, but it's clearly all him.

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Dick has opinions thus...

Posted March 6, 2015
Offended? Hardly. That was brilliant. And JB had to edit it?

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Bedes reckons...

Posted March 12, 2015
Very enjoyable. Good to see 'gruntled' get a run again. Sam Orr lives

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Respond to '"Dave talks to a lawyer," by Insomniac. Fanfest 2015 '

The Sky Lords - Fanfest 2015 by BrianC

Posted March 3, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

At first glance I thought this was a Superman crossover. Instead, it's an offstage look at how Dave got himself in this mess. It was somebody else's fault!

Mith-EL turned to see his brother Rah-EL integrate and walk through the mists of the edge towards him. His brother carried with him a resigned expression and was clothed in light and fire. Mith-EL himself chose not to cover what was not flesh in anycase. He had no mortal needs and thought little about mortal matters… usually.

“Brother is this why you have called me here?” Rah-EL indicated the lensing point before them, it was an eccentricity of space and time, a fold in space containing a singularity. The EL could use the lens as a focus to view any place in time and space, and his brother now had it focused on an insignificant world they had not visited for hundreds of millennia. “Look Brother” Mith-EL spoke “That which we had sealed has been sunderd” Mith-EL pointed towards the lens as his brother focused on it, his mind fully realising the whole of the reality of the world encompassing the entirety of all living things, knowing all their hopes and dreams, fears and hates. In that same instant he knew the discordant stench of the other their greed and hate their mind of animal cunning and intelligence. In that same instant he knew of the bore and the seal. He knew the whole of the peril before him.

Rah-EL spoke “Who is responsible, brother” He turned his accusing gaze on Mith-EL, known as the Gardener as he Rah-EL was known as the Judge. “Not I brother, and not Ur-EL either she never tires of her experiments and is beyond the mists seeking answers about the before” He grimaced “Luth-EL is lost to us, banished for her transgressions, as unlikely as it would seem the sentience on this world has broken the seal on the prison of the other.”

He shook his head and wonder and disgust at what he had just said “Impossible!” Rah-EL retorted “But yet how else could it have come to pass, why was the seal in this plane, it was sent beyond never to be opened, Luth-EL sent it hersel…”

Rah-EL’s eyes widened in understanding, and Mith-EL snorted “Her plans where ever complicated and long brother, it took me a while to understand what had happened as well. That is not what concerns me however, it is done. We cannot undo it and even if we could convince Ur-EL to leave her experiments we would not be able to re-seal the prison without Luth-EL, and she is gone. Punished by the EL and sent outside the plane. My concern is the risk, the other in this guise is not without guile it is possible with the example of the intelligence of this world they may spread to other worlds in this region…” Mith-EL trailed off the question implicit “We cannot intervene in the affairs of the mortal intelligences, we are constrained by our purpose. We were able to seal away the other, as it is not of this realm. They fight alone”

“Perhaps not brother, this one interested me.” With a brief gesture the lens changed to show a member of the local intelligence leaping between two local flying machines of unremarkable design and landing. “He carries a weapon of dark purpose and intellect, and more than that brother, know him”

Mith-EL turned to look at his brother indicating the man before them seemingly frozen in mid-air Rah-EL turned his focus to the man, and shook his head again “Strange he seems to have a fragment of the power of the other, but… it remains uncorrupted in him. Even though his man himself is filled with corruption. The power is changing him he’s feeding it and he doesn’t know what its doing.” He turned to Mith-EL “Your doing brother?” Mith-EL shook his head and said “No brother never was I this subtle, this is the work of the Ur-EL, and it is an ancient working set into the seal itself, it seems like even so long ago the Warden did not trust Luth-EL”

“So there is hope?” Rah-EL questioned his brother “Yes Brother there is hope”

“For now”

11 Responses to ‘The Sky Lords - Fanfest 2015 by BrianC’

Surtac asserts...

Posted March 3, 2015

Nice - I enjoyed that.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted March 3, 2015
What an interesting take. Nicely done.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted March 3, 2015
Yep, liked it, too.

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Darth Greybeard ducks in to say...

Posted March 3, 2015
Ditto. Damn Sky Lords - I blame them very much.

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GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted March 3, 2015

Very nicely done and what I'd also like to know is how JB captured a Minecrafted image of Professor X and Greybeard in fanfic garb?

GhostSwirv over and out ... the marking awaits.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted March 3, 2015
There is a website featuring photos of us together. It is very popular with hot babes. Not that Greybeard or I can do anything about it, but it is still nice to know.

GhostSwirv has opinions thus...

Posted March 3, 2015

ProfX, that wouldn't be ...

by any chance?

Ummm just asking for a friend?

GhostSwirv over and out of cheap data

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 3, 2015

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JG asserts...

Posted March 3, 2015
Cool, Brian. A spectator story. Great to read your view of the interested but somewhat unfazed and removed Sky Lords. They look like Lego props in the pic. Still to come across Sky Lords in Resistance but have now encountered your character, PNB. Classic.

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pitpat asserts...

Posted March 3, 2015
Thanks Brian was cool

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BrianC would have you know...

Posted March 18, 2015
Thanks Lads.

Im glad you all enjoyed it.

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Respond to 'The Sky Lords - Fanfest 2015 by BrianC'

A Matter of Elvish - Mark Williams Fanfest 2015

Posted February 28, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

Another lovely piece of story telling, this time by Sparty. There really is some good work in this little festival.

The huge orcy things armour just shook off the blow and Ben’s War Hammer shattered in two.

The next hit will end this he thought. He did a quick mental inventory. No useful weapons left, he was bleeding everywhere and the rest of his team were all down. They were on their own and no rescue was coming. Oh well, he thought, sometimes you just have to hunker down and roll the hard six.

Time to take a chance and roll the dice.

"Ok I cast firestorm"

His friends groaned -"it's a tiny room!”

Mark, the dungeon master, refereeing this particular game, snapped out an answer. “you’ve said, you've cast it- roll the damage". He was interrupted by Rico, dyed green haired, hyperactive and unable to sit still once his role playing character was out of action. Rico came rushing back into the room holding his iPad. “Jeez put on the TV now- you don’t want to miss this!”


They watched the coverage from the basement of a house eight blocks from the FEBA or forward edge of battle area) as Dan the ROTC cadet confidently informed them. Not in the stunned silence like most groups of viewers gathered around TV's across the United States. This group conducted a live commentary on the WBN footage of the first battle of New Orleans.

"Oh that's gotta hurt"

"Nice warbow shot, definitely rolled a critical hit there"

"Now that's the sound of an AK 47 going full auto"

"Thing is with Tbow, he may be a drug dealing gangster bastard but you know he's good to his Mom and that he's got your back when the monsters come"

I reckon that must be a warhammer"

"No look it's an axe"

"Axe hammer!"


'That must be some crowded airspace with all those news choppers and gunships"

"Oh dear, Now that was always going to happen".

When the battle had started and the first flashes and bangs had occurred, Mark, wanting to keep their focus on the game of Daemons and Damsels (3rd Edition!), he had spent to much study period time devising, had assured them that it was just downtown fireworks, probably a stag party. He now regretted that mis-undersestimation, as Bush the dimmer might say.

Halfway through, when it had seemed that the battle might come their way, the group had discussed whether to enact their apocalyptic bug out plan. Ironically they had never actually developed a protocol for middle earth style daemons, but a combination of their plans for dealing with Alien invasion and Zombie outbreak (the slow kind – being non athletic indoors kids they pretty much knew it was game over in the case of the fast kind) would have suited the situation. The problem was that the one thing more fun than trying to escape a daemon apocalypse was watching the said Daemon apocalypse, on a 52 inch High definition plasma TV in skywalker surround sound, punctuated with real time twitter updates.

Even so Dan, not having his ROTC uniform at hand, had insisted on donning the chain mail he kept in Mark’s basement and which he wore during his live action role play events.

A stoke of lucky timing had ensured that various parents were away, and the FEMA state of emergency takeover of cell phone frequencies, meant they spent the night undisturbed from "oh my god come home "phone calls.

Susannah, the token female who had been playing Daemons and Damsels (DnD for short, due to international copyright reasons) with them had become a definite fan girl of The Dave. "he is soooo toned" she purred. Mark agreed, getting a strange glance from the others. “Not that there is anything wrong with that” he quickly added.

They played back the video of Dave’s football field length leap onto the back of the pickup truck (CNN now called it his signature move) in slow motion, which meant it was pretty much normal speed on playback). They argued over his abilities. Super enhanced, but still basically human fitness and muscle or supernaturally magical. The boys not being gym types went for magic, Susannah, while not being affected over a TV broadcast by Dave’s yet to be defined pheromones, was just sixteen, so insisted it was all " natural' .

They knew better than to try and go down and watch live from the side lines. They’d all seen Mad Max beyond Thunder Dome and Gladiators 2: Aurelius rising, and knew what could happen to spectators at blood sport events.


It was a sleep over. The sun was well up by the time they struggled out of their sleeping bags. The TV was still on in the background, a rotund white haired author of fantasy novels was a talking head giving his “views”, the closest thing to an 'expert' the news channels has been able to find. Becoming a media commentator on the events looked like a good career move for him given that real life had just out paced the slow delivery of his fantasy novels.

Dan, rose very slowly, He’d worn the chain mail armour (with a House of Humakti Tabard, painstakingly hand sown in by his mum) all night as a matter of principal. It clearly weighed him down. He sniffed at the air, “Jesus it stinks in here”.

Susannah was pottering around making coffee, "I've opened all the windows"

Mark spoke announcing with confidence that comes from being both a games master and having just seen his world view pretty much validated the night before. , “The wind direction has changed. It's blowing in from down town” (it hadn't), “and that's the smell of burnt flesh” (it wasn't ).

Once more ADS suffering Rico burst into the basement room "Hey quick come, you'll never believe what’s happened"


They stood in a group around the wood shed out-back. Dan now complemented his chainmail and tabard (House of Humakti motto: "we may be arse holes but at least we are Humakti arseholes”) with a homemade morning star. Mark held a hedge trimmer (electric but the cable did have a very long extension). Rico hand in his hand an iPhone with a Startrek universal translation app running ( Klingon to human and human to Klingon being the only two choices) and Susannah sipped from a cup of coffee.

The beast had crawled into the shadows of the corner of the woodshed. Blood followed it and it was completely unmoving, not noticing them even with the hedge trimmer now rotating, and Dan’s chainmail at full clank.

"Is it one of those Slithereen?" Rico wondered

“No too thin” Dan snapped back in an authoritive fashion.

"It's a dark drow" Mark suggested.

“No it's not, too short” Dan contradicted.

Mark pondered for a moment "Definitely a dark drow"

Rico had moved closer - "What do we do with it. Its injured but I’m pretty sure it’s not dead.?"

Susannah picked two items off the shelf in the woodshed and held them up for all to see.

A roll of duct tape and plastic ties.

A little while later they were ready.

"Ok if he moves, Susannah don't wait to use the crossbow” Dan instructed. And she did indeed have a homemade crossbow- usually armed with rubber tipped projectiles for live action roleplaying but this morning a six inch iron nail sat in the groove. They had steel ones that would certainly fly further but was convinced that iron would hold mystical properties when used against evil creatures. They had debated if the horde were actually evil – after all they just came from a different belief system not based on Judeo Christian values. This led Dan to expand on his theory that the Orcs in Lord of the Rings were driven to war by population pressure and being forced to exist on marginal land, much like the native Americans. In the end they decided iron just looked better.

Sometime later they had finished trussing the Beast up who was now awake but unmoving.

There was no debate. They had a live survivor from the battle, they could hand him / it, no it was very definitely a HIM, over to the authorities or they could ensure that someone who actually knew what they were doing did the interrogation.

An hour later, having moved on from Klingon (the two languages really did sound similar), Susannah stepped a little closer and passed a carton of isotonic drink, with a straw to its mouth.

She spoke a few words softly and clearly, with an apparent Irish lilt “Gi nath lam hí ” and the beast spoke back. In Elvish. Rico ran excitedly back inside to get the Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion appendixes.

Susannah turned back to the boys. "He's a "thresh". I've told him he is our prisoner but also that under guest right we will now protect him.

They nodded sagely.


In the days that followed the first battle of New Orleans, the US armed forces suffered a deficit of intel on the horde. Dave, their walking Horde Wikipedia was all to often on task and unavailable. But they did get some very useful tidbits of information, the best of which usually came via anonymous emails through TOR from a user signature of “the Dungeon Master”.

10 Responses to ‘A Matter of Elvish - Mark Williams Fanfest 2015’

Sparty is gonna tell you...

Posted February 28, 2015
Awesome picture selection Birmo- if the writing gig doesn't work out you could try being an editor!

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Matthew F. has opinions thus...

Posted February 28, 2015
Hah, I actually have some of the Warhammer orcs from that first pic. I cut the weapons off them and used them as blitzers for my Blood Bowl team.

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Bunyip mutters...

Posted February 28, 2015
Brill. And extra geek points for the Runequest reference. Ta muchly, Sparty.

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she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted February 28, 2015
I so enjoyed the dig at GRRM, and the Tolkien reference. Perfection.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted March 1, 2015
Just simply loved it.

This fan fic festival is unexpected big fun.

Better than the Grantville Gazette. Enough of these would make a good companion anthology.

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Therbs asserts...

Posted March 1, 2015
Enjoyed that one. A pet thresh for every home.

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted March 1, 2015
Not my thresh

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JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 1, 2015
Terrific, Sparty. Overtones of ET. It's great reading all the different stories and interesting perspectives in this fanfest. Great choice of pics for the stories, JB.

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GhostSwirv swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 1, 2015

Lovely work Sparty, very much like the setting of your tale as a few miles away from the Miami Incursion about real characters just getting on with their daily lives.

I was wondering that since your thresh was likely going to live in the shed that maybe you might consider naming it Frosty, after say Nick from Shaun of the Dead.

Its just an idea feel free to pass on whatever intel you deem appropriate to the proper authorities.

GhostSwirv over and out.

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Rhino asserts...

Posted March 3, 2015
That was geek-tastic! The wet dream of all D&D players everywhere. (Remembers when GenCon was a couple of hundred unwashed geeks).

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Respond to 'A Matter of Elvish - Mark Williams Fanfest 2015'

Fangr vs the Wave: Fanfest 2015 by Damian Cody

Posted February 27, 2015 into Book Extract by John Birmingham

A little crossover action in this short pen sketch by Damian Cody of a poor, hungry Fangr which chose the wrong narrative arc. This is an idea I like so much I could myself stealing it for a short story.

It was part of a scouting party when the avalanche happened, being smaller than the others it was spared death but was stuck between two large boulders. After much struggling, Fangr freed itself and crawled out, confused but drawn to the light from above, it was brighter than any it had know. Fangr slowly made its way forward towards the light, slipping between the rocks and the dead of the scouting party. Eventually it arrived on the surface of a place not know, but legends of the old ones filled its mind. Was this the over-world where the human cattle lived? Digestive juices filled its mouth at the thought of the meat, the blood wine and the rewards the Queen would bestow upon the lowly fangr who had found an entrance to the world of man.

It proceeding with caution, remembering stories about the human world and the burning light from above. This light did not burn, it was warm and the air shimmered like the air above a freshly filled blood pot.

It decided to look around for proof of the over-world before returning. To bring back fresh human meat would please his Queen, if it dared it may even sample some for itself before returning.
It wandered, at first cautious, eventually it bored of the solitude and went at its own pace. It was the same everywhere, piles of what it guessed were human coverings covered in some sort off goo. Hungry and desperate, it tasted some, discovering it was enough to keep his hunger at bay as each light cycle passed.

Eventually it gave up, the hunger for real food and the irritation from the shimmering light drove it back to the tunnel entrance, it looked back one last time, disappointed there would be no blood feast, this world was dead.

14 Responses to ‘Fangr vs the Wave: Fanfest 2015 by Damian Cody’

Murphy puts forth...

Posted February 27, 2015
Thumbs up!
On the Outer Marches

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted February 27, 2015
What a cool idea.

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she_jedi mumbles...

Posted February 27, 2015
That was fantastic!

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JG mumbles...

Posted February 27, 2015
Humanising the Fangr. I feel the desolation and emptiness. Nice take on the story.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted February 27, 2015
Love the concept. Well played.

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sibeen mumbles...

Posted February 27, 2015
OK, now I am confused.

John, was it you who placed the 'Wolfram
& Hart" bit at the end of <s>dickhead's</s> Boylan's
spiel, or was it own idea?

Christ, I may have given out kudos where none belonged,

BTW, Damien, a fantastic mash up. Loved it

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted February 28, 2015
It was John's addition. I had to research the reference to find out what it meant.

Anthony has opinions thus...

Posted February 28, 2015
I merely assumed that Boylan had submitted it on company notepaper.

Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted February 28, 2015
Well played Sir.

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Drew-mo puts forth...

Posted February 28, 2015
Love a good crossover. It has potential.

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Sparty reckons...

Posted February 28, 2015
Great little idea - an strangely affecting - . Be nice to see Kolhammer turn up and kick some Horde butt.

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Darth Greybeard reckons...

Posted February 28, 2015
Nice one. You thought Skorzeny was tough eh Harry?

drew-mo has opinions thus...

Posted March 3, 2015
+1 Internetz to you, Sir.

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Rhino is gonna tell you...

Posted March 3, 2015
Very good ... great crossover.

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