My secret shame

Gentle Reader Gebiv writes:

“…and where would one be able to read said particularly lurid sword-fight?

Ah, my little secret.

My first exposure to science fiction literature was by way of, shall we say, pulp fiction. Conan the Barbarian, John Carter of Mars, that kind of thing.

And, once in a while, I get a massive urge, I turn off the lights, drop some epic heavy metal into the CD player along with the Conan m0vie soundtrack, and I start writing some … really … lurid, awful, about-as-far-from-Politically-Correct stuff as you can get.

When I say it’s bad, it’s bad. Embarrassing, even. Tolewyn gets some of these stories — after I’ve toned them down a lot.

Hell, the last one I wrote, there are two safe paragraphs in the whole story:

“After his father was beaten to death with a chainmail brassiere full of rocks, the Prince was forced to conceal a breeches-wetting phobia of concubines. After all, who the hell wants to be led by an Emperor of All He Surveys who must be pulled kicking and screaming out from under the bed at the first sight of lingerie?”


“The man had a six-foot spider on a leash. Which is actually fairly creative — but he unfortunately had the gall to outfit the demonic arachnid with studded leather anklets and a rather spiffy leather bikers cap. Hell, yes, he had to die.”

And it gets worse from there.

And no, I won’t post the stories. Gawd, no. I’ve got enough folks accusing me of being a racist, there’s no way I’m getting accused of being a misogynist to boot.

No. Hell, no. Not going to happen, don’t ask.



35 thoughts on “My secret shame”

  1. Be brave, that sort of thing is making John Ringo a rich man right now. Ok, he was doing pretty well before that, but lets face it the ghost series really opened the cash box.
    Remember the words of Henry Ford, no one ever went broke underestimating the intellagance of the buying public.

  2. I second the John Ringo thing. And, if you won’t post it, could you e-mail me a copy. That looks very entertaining.

  3. I third the John Ringo thing- I was going to comment on exactly that.

    The Slush Pile @ Baen’s Bar would be a great place to air these stories out, methinks.

  4. Heh. It’s the Scottish Texan gun nut equivalent of writing erotica!

  5. I was laughing all the way up to the bit about the bikers cap. Then I just flat out lost it. I’m simultaneously horrified and intrigued beyond belief at what could come about if you added a healthy dose of Dethklok as the metal inspiration, even if I never got to read it.

  6. That last part looks vaguely familiar. Maybe I saw it in one of the potboiler sword-and-sorcery fantasy novels I’m so fond of.



  7. What they said about John Ringo! Please let us have a little more about the spider. I’ll bet it was Sumdood holding the leash.

  8. Aww Lawdog – you just know we are all dying to read it. Couldn’t we have just a little bit more? Blame it on someone else – make a new nom de plume – anything! But writing like that should be read and enjoyed – pleeeeeeaaaasseee 🙂

  9. Neither of the two examples are nearly as horrifying as Eye of Argon. They actually read a bit like what would happen if Terry Pratchett decided to write a Cohen the Barbarian S&S series.

  10. Yeah, I came to read John Ringo through David Weber. I started with the March series and then got into the Posleen stuff. I had no idea of what kind of rock I was turning over when I read Ghost. Let’s see. He’s a hero, except when he’s violently raping prostitutes. But that’s okay because he pays them very well afterwards. No thanks. I’ll stick with Cally O’Neil and Herzer Herrick.

    I’m reading Tom Kratman’s “A Desert Called Peace” right now and it’s some good stuff. The phrase “poor benighted heathen” keeps running through my mind, though.

    ‘Dawg, be careful about writing pulp stuff. REH once said that he wrote the Conan stories because the Cimmerian was standing behind him in the room holding an axe. Howard didn’t dare turn around and didn’t dare stop until dawn, because he knew Conan would kill him if he tried to do either.

  11. Whew! There for a second, I thought your “un-PC sword fantasy” writings were going to be akin to something of John Norman’s!

    There’s nothing wrong with Norman’s subject matter and themes, but I know you’re a much better writer than he.

  12. I must admit a similar shame, although I do hope to actually publish mine someday, at least, the more PC stuff.

    Although yours sounds like a version of the Death Dealer, I’d love to read it!

  13. REH once said that he wrote the Conan stories because the Cimmerian was standing behind him in the room holding an axe. Howard didn’t dare turn around and didn’t dare stop until dawn, because he knew Conan would kill him if he tried to do either.

    True, but I always thought of REH as the Southern cousin to Lovecraft.

    “And then, one fateful fall day, his worst fear was realized, and he was carried off and buried by the squirrels.”

    They actually read a bit like what would happen if Terry Pratchett decided to write a Cohen the Barbarian S&S series.


  14. I occasionally find the unwritten part of everyday reality as bizarre as the best of fiction.

    That crawly on a leash that you described sounds very much like someone I ran into at Laconia one year … but far more endearing.

  15. You are such a tease! To give us a couple of pargraphs like that and then tell us “no more. no way” is like giving a child a taste of ice cream and then taking it away! Shame on you!
    So just like that child…. please, please, please, I want more!

  16. All I got to say is one thing, just one thing…

    When I become Evil Overlord of the Universe, black leather will not be for fun and formal occasions only.

    Nor will it be only studded or plain.


  17. Publish! All we have to do is to get you a pen name. How about Teasel Sumdood?

    from OldeForce [otherwise known as Howell Forrest, and that has a back-story to long to tell today}

  18. Oh, Come on Dawg, You KNOW you WANT TO….=D

    heh, just change the moniker in the by-line, launch a new blogger ident and post away! Just make sure us regulars know where to look….. But I suppose that would kind of undermine the whole pseudonym thing….

  19. Yep, I read the John Ringo stuff too. Ick. That man is sick in the head and I’ll say it to his face.

    On the other hand, I’d love to read more about the giant spiders. I just loves me some giant spiders. Nothing better than a big bug movie.

  20. What they said about Ringo.

    Tbeck, Ringo said the same thing about how the first Ghost novel came to to pass. He wanted to write a Posleen story but somehow kept getting stuck on Ghost. So he decided to write it out and hope that he could work again. But Jim Baen was interested in the story and got Ringo to send it to him…

    And I clearly recall that Ghost had had a prefix that said something like: “This is unlike what I’ve written before and you’re going to be offended (probably), John”

  21. Eye of Argon:

    It’s read at SF conventions; if you’re really lucky, you can get in on a contest to read it with a straight face – MAKING NO MISTAKES. Very few people can do it.

    Re: John Ringo. Frankly, Kildar (the second Ghost book) was what got me hooked. I’ve just about finished everything he’s written until now, and I want MORE!!! (OK, so I’m a sick puppy… I LIKE Ghost.) I also like his latest, Princess of Wands – you NEED to read this, if only because the main character is the complete antithesis to Ghost! We’re talking devout, chaste Episcopalian here, folks. G-d only knows what would happen if the two met!

    Now, as to LD’s little scribblings… I REALLY want to know what happens to the guy with the spider on the leash. C’mon, LawDog – it can’t be any worse than John Norman’s Gor series, and THAT went on for 21 books! Or Lin Carter’s Thongor the Barbarian (6 books, and I have them all!).

    Maybe the guy walking the spider has a Pink Gorilla Suit?

  22. ‘Dawg we need to see all of this so that we may judge it fairly
    Just to let you know john ringo’s Ghost novel started out as “the wanker story” and the barflies demanded he publish. These days he’s cring all the way to the bank. Publish it and we’ll make you rich.

  23. As an aside, Ghost (the story with the rape and BDSM) won a romance novel of the year award.

  24. No, it reads like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and John Ringo all got together and had a kid.

    Get that mental image out of your head kids. You’re gonna need more than Lysol.

    But it would be frikken awesome. ‘Dog, I think it’s time you found a new pseudonym… maybe “Heather”

  25. “As an aside, Ghost (the story with the rape and BDSM) won a romance novel of the year award”.

    It must have been the yachting segment. It was like a Travis McGee novel gone horribly wrong.

    Seriously, I love John’s other stuff. It’s just the torture porn I can live without. I can even get where he is coming from with the character; a truly rough man doing violence of our behalf that sometimes loses control of his inner demons. But the whole segment was so at odds with the rest of the character development that it really should have been cut.

  26. “True, but I always thought of REH as the Southern cousin to Lovecraft.”

    Now there’s a frightening family tree! REH and HPL were contemporaries and correspondents. REH even wrote some excellent Cthulhu Mythos stories.

    His approach of confronting cosmic evil and dismembering it with an axe was refreshingly different.

    If you really want a treat, try to find a copy of David Drake’s story “Than Curse the Darkness”. It’s set in the Belgian Congo and begs the question as to whether the Mythos wouldn’t have been an improvement…

  27. Actually, that explains some things about the Ghost series . . .

    When I first read it, I described it as “straight wish-fulfillment”. I also said that it read like he’d let a demon or two out for a stroll under controlled circumstances.

    I still don’t generally recommend it.

    For those who haven’t read anything else by John Ringo, the Ghost series is not typical.

    And Princess of Wands is the diametrical opposite.

    –Webfoot Logger

  28. Dear Lawdog, Sir:

    I am terribly sorry that you are unwilling or unable to show what you are capable of as regards that honorable, but disrespected, genre of literature, which is to say, sword and sorcery.

    If you have so resolutely refused to procede any further, then, that is both your privilege and your right, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

    If, however, you are attempting to justify yourself by your failure to hack, slash, and otherwise frolic through that particular genre, let me tell you that you are sorely mistaken.

    You have turned your back upon a noble calling, practiced by the spanish fablistas, culminating in that most noble work, by Cervantes, of the Man of La Mancha.

    You have departed from the path of those who have written of the Matter of Britain, of the Knights of the Round Table, and of Robin Hood.

    You have renounced that path trod by the likes of Rudyard Kipling, H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert Anson Heinlein.

    If you wish in some manner to atone for your evident sins and failures, you might at least continue in the grand tradition of the Cthulhu Mythos of H. G. Lovecraft. You could probably improve upon what his successors have perpetrated.

    Otherwise, I do not call you dignified.

    If you fail to proceed in dignity to write what you are capable of, then your name is: “Wuss”.

    I hope that you can show yourself to be better than that.

  29. But the whole segment was so at odds with the rest of the character development that it really should have been cut.

    People are surprisingly complex, tbeck – many people will surprise you with what they keep hidden. We put a leash on our darker desires because we either realize that acting them out will get us locked up, or we’ve been taught by our religion that they’re wrong… or we let them out and, hopefully, DO get locked up. Ghost seems to mostly take the first two choices.

  30. LD, that’s just crew-ell.

    You can’t just throw out a morsel like that and close the kitchen! It’s bad form, sir. I’m just saying.

    Now, open yo-seff another bloggy-thing, and start posting that stuff!


    Thank you. I am done.


  31. Given all the other bad writing out there on the internet, why do you suppose we’ll even notice yours?
    But as a fan of sword&sorcery (Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, the lot), we gotta see this stuff.
    Self-publish it and make people pay for it…

  32. It’s horrible. I love your blog. But the imitation Pratchett was too much. Keep trying, keep writing, keep editing.

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