let us never forget that the human race with technology is like an alcoholic with a barrel of wine
~ Ted Kaczynski ~

The Jeff Freels Transplant Fund

The Creator of the BEAN d2 RPG needs our help:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Legendary Artist Frank Frazetta Has Passed Away

On May 10, 2010, the master of fantasy art, Frank Frazetta, passed away due to a stroke at 82 years old.

Being a Robert E. Howard fan, Frazetta's work has been a part of my life since I was a kid. My mother even had two mirror/paintings of Frazetta's. They were paintings of Conan, which she didn't know, she just liked them! His work in comics and book covers is legendary. His art has inspired my writing and fantasy RPG gaming countless times over the years.

Fantasy fans world wide will feel the void his passing has left.

Rest in peace, Mr Frazetta, and thank you for sharing your incredible art with us all.

Official website: http://www.frankfrazetta.net/

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Oh What A Night
by Paul Ingrassia

A steady beeping woke Francine, and it made her head feel like a pounding bass drum.

“What a freakin’ night,” she tried sitting up, but met with resistance.

Her eyes snapped open, but it took a moment for her vision to clear. Slowly, a small room with stark white walls and no windows or doors came into perspective. Francine saw she was strapped to a gurney, naked, and her belly was swollen. She realized the sound was coming from a monitor she was connected to. Otherwise, the room was barren.

“Where the hell am I?” she screamed. Her only answer was the pinging monitor.

“What happened last night? What’s wrong with my stomach?” Confusion turned to panic.

“Okay Francine, calm down, you’ve gotta think this through. I went to see the Misfits with Stacy, and we met those two hot guys. After the concert, we went back to their place to party. God, I got so wasted. Then what happened? Wait, that’s right, I went into the bedroom with the big guy to make out. Yes, I… I remember! He started tearing my clothes off, I tried to stop him, but he was so forceful. It hurt when he took me, so I started screaming for Stacy, but he wouldn’t stop. So I… holy shit! What did I do? NO! I bashed his head in with that ashtray. Oh my God, I hope I didn’t kill him!”

Sweat beaded across her body and she started shivering. Then, she felt a strange sensation in her belly, as if something were moving around inside her.

“What the hell is going on! Stacy! Stacy, where are you?”

There was a sudden whooshing sound as one of the walls slid open, then Stacy, wearing a white lab coat, stepped in.

“Stacy, what is going on? Why are you wearing that coat?”

“Francine, I am not who you think I am.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I am a scientist from the planet you call Mars. You have been selected for an extremely important experiment.”

“What the hell are you talking about? We’ve been friends for six years. For Christ’s sake, we even slept together!”

“As I said, you were selected. It was my job to make certain you would be a suitable host, and that included making sure you could handle rough intercourse. The males of our species are quite ferocious, so impregnation can be painful.”

“Impregnation? Oh my God, are you saying I am having an alien baby!?!”

“What I am saying is you have the honor of being the first host to carry a Martian-Human hybrid child.” Stacy began preparing a syringe. “You will be giving birth momentarily.”

“It only happened last night…”

“Actually, it happened thirty days ago, you have been under sedation. The gestation cycle is complete, the time has come. It is a shame you will not witness the historic moment.”

“What do you mean?”

“A tribunal decided you must be executed for the crime of killing our breeding stud. He was only a teenager. I am sorry, but you will be euthanized after the birth. You will never see your child,” she inserted the needle into Francine’s arm. “Goodbye, Francine.”

“Stacy, please, no! Please, help me, don’t… do this… please… Stacy…”

Francine’s vision faded to black.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Collecting Crapsey

My Adelaide Crapsey collection consisted of, up until this week, the standard essential books: Smith's Complete Poem's and Collected Letters and Alkalay-Gut's Alone in the Dawn. This week I have had the pleasure of adding three items to my collection.

The first, a copy of Crapsey's Verse published by Manas Press. This is the first edition from 1915. It is probably the one single book I have always wanted, at least since first reading Crapsey's work. Want to know the exciting part? It is in great shape, and I only paid $10 plus $4 shipping! Considering I never see it listed for less than $45, I consider this to be a great find!

The second, a copy of Century magazine from November 1914 that I purchased on ebay. This magazine contains the only professional publication Crapsey had within her lifetime, just prior to her death. It contains the poem 'The Witch'. Along with a first edition of Verse, I consider this to be one of the most important Crapsey collectibles. This copy is in pretty good shape, the cover has some tearing and chipping, but otherwise not too bad. The price tag? Only $15.97, plus $4.95 shipping. Again, I feel a good price.

The third has me particularly excited, Woman's Home Companion magazine from March 1928. Why so excited? I have never seen this reprint of Adelaide's work listed in any bibliography or publication list for her. I purchased it from the same ebay seller as Century. The listing contained a table of contents with the mysterious line:

POEMS / LIMERICKS (Title/Author/Illustrator)
Unknown title / Adelaide Crapsey / photo

I quickly clicked the 'buy it now' button and sat back to wait and see what I got. It arrived the same day as Verse. I tore open the package and carefully flipped the pages. I found a page containing a photo of a slanted tree, and below it the poem 'On Seeing Weather-Beaten Trees', however it was untitled. It is credited to Crapsey from Verse, courtesy of Alred Knopf. This over-sized magazine is in very good shape, and it set me back only $23.97 plus $4.95 shipping. Again, to the best of my knowledge this is an unknown reprint of Crapsey's work. If anyone else has heard of this reprint before, please let me know, and where you heard of it, if possible. As a matter of fact, if anyone knows of any comprehensive bibliography of Crapsey's work/reprints, besides Alkalay-Gut's most excellent website, please share the info!

So, now my Crapsey collection has gotten a great jumpstart. What are my future collecting plans? I'm glad you asked! I plan on finding copies of the second and third editions of Verse put out by Knopf in 1922 and 1934, possibly the extra printings of these editions as well (put out 1925 and 1929 for 2nd, and 1939 for 3rd). I am also considering picking up some of the modern reprints as well. I know, I know, a bit obsessive, but she only has one book of poetry, so it stands to reason collecting various editions adds to the thrill. I also plan on picking up a first edition of her A Study of English Metrics, Knopf 1918. I will pursue any reprints of her poetry I can track down, like A Book of Vassar Verse and other anthologies. I would like to pick up the books by Osborn and Butscher, as well as Bragdon's' books that reference Crapsey. Eventually, I will probably pick up Sandburg and Ridge's books containing their poetic tributes to Crapsey. For someone like Adelaide with such a short life and low poetic output, there surely is quite a bit for the collector to chase.

I would love to hear stories of other people's Crapsey collections, items, and finds, and if anyone has any of the titles I mentioned and are looking to part with them, or any other Crapsey collectibles, I would love to hear from you!

Paul Ingrassia