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Deb Geisler
debgeisler
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December 2014
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Deb Geisler [userpic]
I have a theory

I have had an epiphany. Possibly an epiphanette. It is my firm opinion that, in another age, many of the current crop of science fiction writers would have been pirates.

This epiphany struck as I looked at the Locus magazine cover featuring writer Charlie Stross. "My," I thought, "Charlie, who is a pretty doggone nice guy, looks kinda scarey in that picture. No, he looks piratical."

And then, like a bolt of [Irish-brewed poteen] white lightning, it hit me: so do a bunch of the rest of 'em. China Miéville. Neil Gaiman (particularly with his carefully cultivated crop of stubble). John Scalzi. Bob Silverberg (an elder statesman pirate, I grant you). Connie Willis (what, you never heard of Bloody Connie Bess?). George Martin.

They all look like defrocked pirates.

Their heads cry out for pirate hats or pirate scarves or single large hoop earrings. Their shoulders look naked without parrots. I can almost hear them all saying, "Arrrr." (Well, okay, mostly not Connie, who doesn't have the pitch for it.)

It's all I can do not to type all of their names into the Pirate Name Generator and see what I get (but after China Miéville's came out as "Fancypants Nigel Scabb," courage abandoned me).

Perhaps I should just send them all cheap stuffed parrots. They'd probably never figure out who sent them or why.

Comments

Instead of saying Arrr, Neil would say Errrrr. Politely. Very politely.

(Anonymous)

Heh, I could totally see that.

"Err, pardon me, but I need to plunder your ship now. I'll try not to do too much damage, and I really do hope you have a very nice day after I leave."

:-)

(Anonymous)
NIEL GAIMAN

I normally wouldn't write, but your remark struck me as funny. I could picture Neil Gaiman saying just that. I laughed out loud! (I know I should have abbreviated that) excuse me for being old fashioned! There is nothing more I aspire towards than to be polite. Neil Gaiman, in this respect, is my Hero. I feel that the British propensity for being polite is paramount. If it's just pretense, so what, it's still polite. I think the world would be a better place if we just tried to be polite. Pretense or not.

Gary Pooler

PS Robert Silverberg Rocks!

I think you're on to something, though I do have the audacity to point out that since you've identified such uniformally good, strong writers, that excellent (and probably expensive) stuffed parrots would be far more fitting a hack.

Scroll quickly past the stuffed flamingos to see the not horribly expensive stuffed parrots at This Place is a Zoo. The Green Parrot looks especially pirate-like with orange breast and black head. Or there are the cute little guys complete with pirate hats at Pirates Plunder.

And here's one complete with shoulder straps.

But these writers are better than any of these parrots. You really need to consult someone like Master Bird Taxidermist Patrick Rummans....

I think you're on to something, though I do have the audacity to point out that since you've identified such uniformally good, strong writers, that excellent (and probably expensive) stuffed parrots would be far more fitting a hack.

I actually contemplated the better ones (including the wicked big ones you need the straps for), but then, I thought, Someone's going to add people to this list, and much as I like these people or their writing, I'm not going to send 'em all $50 parrots.

Yes, this means I'm cheap. (Funny, though.)

And stuffed, dead parrots are just déclassé.

Sorry, I know you too well to buy into any claim that you're cheap, even one from you.

That wild bird taxidermist also specializes in re-creations. Looks like a parrot, but never actually was one. That's the ticket.

I do find myself longing for a group photo, with all of the writers you've named wearing eye patches or some such.

Sorry, I know you too well to buy into any claim that you're cheap, even one from you.

Oh, but I am...at least in the individual cases. In the aggregate, I'm willing to spend $100 or so on a good practical joke. Might go higher if it were brilliant.

I do find myself longing for a group photo, with all of the writers you've named wearing eye patches or some such.

Now you have me wishing I were better with Photoshop. :-)

Joel Rosenberg looks very much like a pirate, but I hadn't thought of it till I read this.

Not to mention Steve Brust

Yeah, I'm amazed she didn't include Steve Brust in the original post; he even has a parrot, doesn't he? A live one, not a stuffed one.

Yeah, I think Brust wins. At least in my mind.

oh wow, i wish i'd see this before voting now!!!
he wins hands down.

Whereas if you posted them cheap stuffed flamingoes, everyone would know it was you...

For Stross, the parrot would need to have tentacles instead of a beak.

:-) Quite true.

This is the closest I know: http://rachaelm5.deviantart.com/art/The-Nefarious-Octoparrot-finis-74216828
(not my art, just an artist I watch)

Wow. I'd say that works. It also troubles me that it seems like a great pet for Charlie.

Bloody Anne Connie?

I had a stuffed dead parrot once. It had been mounted on a little perch in my dad's classroom, but my brother wanted to be a pirate and so it was made to fit onto a coat-hanger framework. I took it to a thespian festival and cleaned out a lobby full of junior-high cheerleaders by waving it in front of me saying, "Dead parrot! Dead parrot!"

*snort* But the junior-high science fiction readers would have swarmed you, rather than fleeing.

(Anonymous)
Pirates

Never had anybody say I looked piratical before. When I was younger I got a lot of Jesus comparisons, and also Mephistopheles comparisons, because of my dark beard and long hair. I suppose I've aged gracefully into piracy.

But you should have been at the Glasgow worldcon in 2005, where at one of the publisher parties we were all given eyepatches, scarves, and plastic parrots. Probably some photos are lurking somewhere on the Internet.

Bob Silverberg

Re: Pirates

I suppose I've aged gracefully into piracy.

Oh, I'd say you've aged gracefully. If only we could all hope to do as well...

But you should have been at the Glasgow worldcon in 2005...

The problem with being an active convention runner is that I can't stay awake for the parties. Time to see if Google can help me find those photos. :-)

(Anonymous)
Re: Pirates

Check out Roberto Quaglia's Glasgow photos, first up on the Google list. Three or four pirate photos there -- Ian Watson is the most piratical. It was at the HarperCollilns boat party.

RS

Re: Pirates

Wow. I wouldn't have thought of Joe Haldeman looking *that* piratical. And boy, are you right -- Ian Watson looks like a man to the Jolly Roger born.

This proves it's not just science fiction writers who are pirates -- it's editors (Ginjer's looking pretty much at home) and publishers, too.

You forgot Neal Stephenson and Terry Goodkind!

Robert J. Sawyer would clearly be a pirate. Pop an eyepatch on him, give him a parrot, and he has the name Robert to boot!

Such a clever meme.

Well, that's my summer look on the pic there. In the winter I grow the roof back, but when it's warm I suppose I fit the look.

And I was shaving down to the wood long before Charlie ever thought about deleting all that hair he had.

Oh, and apparently I'm Burnin' Logan Morgan. Which is cool, since I used to live in a city called Logan. Which I burned.

D

(Anonymous)
Alan Moore...

...is the scariest pirate of all!

Warren Ellis is second.

Bruce Sterling is the friendliest.

Re: Alan Moore...

Its frighteningly easy to picture Alan Moore with lit fuses twisted in his beard, waving a cutlass...

(Anonymous)

This epiphany struck as I looked at the Locus magazine cover featuring writer Charlie Stross. "My," I thought, "Charlie, who is a pretty doggone nice guy, looks kinda scarey in that picture. No, he looks piratical."

Scroll down for pirate Stross (in background) (http://www.poppyfields.net/poppy/photos/0405_plokta.html).

John looks pretty marvelous as a pirate, too. :-)

(Anonymous)
Piracy

A pirate with EYEGLASSES???

Re: Piracy

You makin' fun of people in glasses, Mr. or Ms. Sassypants? Watch it!

Oh, maybe you can't watch it if you're not wearing glasses.

Live parrots, or dead ones?

I can't afford live ones for all of these folks.

I found a "pirate chest" on sale for a dollar at B&N. It had an eyepatch, a Jolly Roger, a spyglass, and a stuffed parrot, plus cardboard doubloons.

I used it to decorate a cubicle belonging to a very quiet and shy co-worker, and a tree near his seat at work.

It was a real bargain!

Heh. I'll bet his cube was a work of art.