June 12th, 2012

Marshall Payne

Pandering Dwarves and Other Time-Travel Tales

My latest collection, Pandering Dwarves and Other Time-Travel Tales, is now available for Kindle at Amazon.com and in multiple formats at Smashwords.

“Seven time-travel tales of gonzo decadence. What has happened to some midget cast members from The Wizard of Oz? What if a fruitcake held the destruction of human history? Three temponauts in a time-travel experiment that goes horribly wrong. How Billy the Kid joined forces with H. G. Wells to defeat Jules Verne. And a cowboy Western with outrageous visitors from the far future.”

Seven time-travel stories for only $2.99.

My first collection, Bullet and Other Stories, contains the stories that received the best acceptance by the field. This collection contains some of my more twisted, offbeat stuff, so I have a special fondness for this one. Here’s the opening line from the lead story:

“Once upon a time there was a little sidepocket universe consisting only of midgets who had been harvested from the Golden Age of Hollywood.”

Here’s the ToC:

Pandering Dwarves
Apocalypse Fruitcake
Facing Myself
Billy the Kid (A Bedtime Story)
Edward’s Second Shot
Mud Wrestling in a Distant Land
Carousel Cowboys
About the Author

Marshall Payne

Cultural eradication and bingo cards!

It has recently occurred to me how my generation has done a HUGE wrong to my parents’ generation. How back in the 60s and 70s we brought about a cultural revolution that is still prevalent today. One that is on the verge of erasing their culture completely.

Frank Zappa quote (circa 1969): “I think a revolution―not the sloppy kind, but the kind that really works―you know, it's about time for that. The sloppy kind is blood-in-the-street and all that bullshit. Today, a revolution can be accomplished by means of mass media, with technical advances that Madison Avenue is using to sell you washing machines and a loaf of bread and everything else. This can be used to change the whole country around painlessly.”

Well, it happened and it didn’t. The hippies grew up and became yuppies, and because of all the “free love” they shamelessly engaged in at Woodstock, they found they had kids to feed. Hence, many of them joined Corporate America to pay the bills.

Me, I was only ten during the Summer of Love (1967) and I didn’t grow fully into my own rebellion until the punk movement came along in 1977. And then came the Reagan years, and then the Grunge movement and Bill Clinton as an answer to that. And then came the Internet!

But hey, I get these new right-wing ultra-conservative born-again Republicans (and some Democrats like Tipper Gore) in America today. Really I do. I know what’s got their knickers in a twist. We used their parents’ vast media machine and our own tools (All in the Family, Saturday Night Live, etc.) to threaten their cherished way of life when we kicked June and Ward Cleaver to the curb.

Frankly, they’re scared. You can see it in Rick Santorum’s eyes. In Michele Bachmann’s phony smile. In Sarah Palin’s… Hum, I’m not exactly sure what she’s been smoking. In any event, their cherished values are on the brink of extinction, of being snuffed out forever. They’re fighting back with everything they’ve got! If they have one saving grace, it’s that they haven’t discovered bingo cards...yet.

Proposed solution: So as not to totally eradicate my parents’ culture, perhaps we could build a few museums dedicated to the ways of yore. As to June and Ward Cleaver... As long as such cultural venues as Nick at Nite are around, Leave It to Beaver will be preserved for future generations.

I’ve got my own bingo card, but it only has one box so far.