Sorcerer of Deathbird Mountain

Jeff’s new fantasy novel is now readable on Vella: Hirand, a young palace messenger, hopelessly in love with the Princess, is summoned and told that his beloved is dying and that the city’s wizard has been unable to cure her. The boy is given a map and ordered to travel alone, in secrecy, to aContinue reading “Sorcerer of Deathbird Mountain”

Does Hitler Matter Anymore?

What we believe about Hitler is that he was an obviously inhuman madman whose deliberate hatred motivated him to kill millions of people in concentration camps. But was it that simple? What if he was, if not perfectly sane, sufficiently so to be fully responsible for his actions? And what dark psychological forces underlay thatContinue reading “Does Hitler Matter Anymore?”

Aroint Thee, Unholy Adverb! Hie Thee Hence! Fie! Fie!

A few years ago, there suddenly appeared, as if from Heaven, a new rule for writers, no doubt engraved somewhere in marble or ivory: THOU SHALT NOT USE ADVERBS. (For those who are unclear as to what an adverb is, the rule has a variant: GET RID OF ALL LY WORDS. [1])  The source ofContinue reading “Aroint Thee, Unholy Adverb! Hie Thee Hence! Fie! Fie!”

Repost: My Awful Christmas Poem

Over the years, I’ve received a lot of Christmas letters with enclosed poems, most often terrible parodies of “A Visit From St. Nicholas.” The meter is faulty, the rhymes wretched. One year, quite a while back, I was inspired to retaliate in kind by Edgar Allan Poe’s immortal “The Raven.”  ©1984, 2012 J. Guenther. AContinue reading “Repost: My Awful Christmas Poem”

Crossing the Cemetery on Halloween Night

It was a dark and stormy night. The rain had paused but the fickle moon often hid behind the thunderheads, plunging Morganville into Stygian darkness. As I neared the cemetery, my 1975 Hornet coughed, sputtered, and rolled to a stop. I did the usual things, but it wouldn’t restart. Another car approached, and I triedContinue reading “Crossing the Cemetery on Halloween Night”

The Fairies of Garden City

In Science, one thing sort of leads to another. So it was with the Parallel Euclidian Eye-space Polarization Experimental Research Station. The theory is generally accepted, now, but in 2035 it was not generally believed that light could be polarized along an axis parallel to the motion of photons. Scientists were divided into two camps:Continue reading “The Fairies of Garden City”

Book Review: Jack of Spies

Jack of Spies (from Soho Crime) is the first book in a new David Downing spy series. It follows Jack McColl, a luxury car representative and part-time spy, around the world in 1913, as he gathers useful military information for England…and sells an occasional vehicle. War with Germany is on the horizon, accompanied by oftenContinue reading “Book Review: Jack of Spies”

The Vestibewl Thermopile

Fiction by Jeff Guenther “The Vestibewl Thermopile” Friends, it is with heavy heart that I send this letter. Yes, by the time you receive this, I, Benwick J. Vestibewl, PhD, will be no more. First, I must apologize for my apparent sudden departure that night of the banquet when we celebrated your successful raising ofContinue reading “The Vestibewl Thermopile”

Etruscan Studies

Max Morris Federlicht taught Etruscan Studies at the University of West Dakota when I was a student there. I was studying Engineering, so the fact that we even met, let alone talked together, was somewhat of a miracle. UWD, as you know, is a huge school, very proud of its twenty former Harvard faculty membersContinue reading “Etruscan Studies”

The Misadventure of the Perilous Porcelain, a Parody

NOTE: This is a continuation of the Misadventure of the Sacrificial Sheep, a Parody “He’s coming ‘round, Lestrade.” Someone was attempting to pour brandy down my throat. I erupted in a paroxysm of coughing and soon wheezed to full consciousness, the apparent objective of the brandy-wielder. “You fainted, Watson,” said he.