Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Widdershin Ways of a Wikipedia Wanderer

I'm currently working on "On the Waltz," a short story that I do hope to finish and not leave in the "come back to this thing later, when you can think clearly" pile, which has grown tall and tilts more perilously than Pisa as of late. In describing a character, I found myself resorting back to Wikipedia, for fact-checking--

"Best behavior now, love," said one of the guards, a trim and flaxen-haired man who fit as well into the shardist ideal as a male model would have fit the cover of Soldier of Fortune.

Really, the only fact I had to check was what the proper name of Soldier of Fortune was. But from there the wandering impulse took over, and I ended up at the article on men's adventure magazines, a pulp genre I previously was unaware of but now seems like a great and unlamented loss.

I mean, look at it. How is it even remotely conceivable that something called "Swastika Slave Girls in Argentina's No-Escape Brothel Camp" could be anything less than awesome? Oh, back in 1963 I'm sure it was shlock, one form of tripe or another dashed off a typewriter (tripewriter?) for some cents per word that had far, far more buying power back then - but now? It would be hilarious. A glossy, iron-thewed version of The Eye of Argon.

I hope I never find that story, or article, or whatever it was; I don't know what I would do if it didn't live up to these expectations I created for it right this second.

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