"Software suppliers are trying to make their software packages
more 'user-friendly'.... Their best approach, so far, has been to
take all the old brochures, and stamp the words, 'user-friendly'
on the cover."
Bill Gates, Pres., Microsoft,Inc.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A WRITER ISN'T GETTING ANY
by Bryan Kennerley
A very good evening to one and all. I would like to take this
opportunity, if I may, to relate to you the unfortunate result
of, as we in this green and sceptred isle of ours like to
say, "not getting any." I am openly admitting here to being a
sufferer of this cruel condition so that other fellow sufferers
can know that they are not alone, except, of course, in the
biblical sense of the word.
I am a budding writer, although due to this terrible
affliction I have of late spent more time budding than actually
writing. I have attempted, from time to time, to put fingers to
keyboard in moments of literary compulsion, but have always been
thwarted by my own bodily urges. But let me give you an example
so that you can get an idea of how this form of "writer's
block" (nay "writer's bollock") exhibits itself for all to
see - I wrote this piece earlier today filled with good
intentions, yet, as you will see, my hands were being led not by
my conscious mind but, unbeknownst to me until I read it back,
by another mind at the completely opposite end of the spinal
column. I have capitalised the sections of particular distraction
for illustrative purposes.
As Andrea stared solemnly into the fire she recalled the
ferocity of the blizzard that she had endured on their way to
this place, a lonely log cabin high in the hills. The car had
died a couple of miles down the road, forcing her to brave the
remaining distance on foot. She had barely been able to keep
going against the merciless force of the soul-chilling gale
pushing her back towards icy oblivion and when her goal came
into view she had never been more glad to see a WOODEN ERECTION
in her life.
A drift of whiteness growing up the door combined with her
lifeless fingers had toughened the fight to GAIN ENTRANCE but her
resolve had GROWN also and she let out a DEEP SIGH as she
felt the ENTRANCE YIELD TO HER IRON GRIP. RELIEF SWEEPING
THROUGH HER BODY, she clambered through the OPEN ORIFICE into
the WARMTH THAT AWAITED HER. Slowly her frozen form began to
thaw out and she lit the log fire that had lain unburning since
the summer. Sitting in front of the dancing flames she had
removed her winter coat and flicked her hair back from her face,
revelling in the WAVE OF HEAT SWEEPING OVER HER, STARTING WITH
AN ECSTATIC TINGLING IN HER TOES AND GROWING UP THROUGH HER
ENTIRE BODY REMOVING ANY LAST RESISTANCE SHE HAD AGAINST THE
FIRE'S PROBING FINGERTIPS. SLOWLY SHE DISROBED ALLOWING THE
BLAZE TO SPREAD ALL AROUND HER WRITHING FORM, SAVOURING EVERY
TOUCH, EVERY SENSATION IMPARTED TO HER BY THIS RED HOT LOVER.
You see? It start off very innocently with just one sexual
reference in the first paragraph, but by the end of the second
all hope of a literary marvel are shattered by my thwarted
libido crowbarring its way into my higher brain functions.
Don't think that I haven't tried to find a way around, desperate
times call for desparate and disparate measures. You might think
that by choosing a scene and cast not possessing a single
sexual characteristic between them would reduce the prospects of
lustful intrusions to negligable proportions. Nay! For
demonstration purposes, let us take three entirely innocent
objects in an entirely innocent setting. Let me see......a
library, a book, a pair of spectacles and a small pebble named
The library was quiet this time of the morning, the
reference section entirely devoid of life, the borrowing area
hardly bustled, what life there was was soon to end if the
coughing emanating from that quarter was any indication. A
single shaft of sunlight escaped the captivity of the rolling
autumn cumuli that drifted slowly overhead, spotlighting a
single barren table and in particular the one book resting open
The illiterate beam cast its single, brilliant eye over the
sole picture contained on the open pages of the encyclopaedia,
an annotated diagramatic of the workings of an internal
combustion engine. Absorbed in what it saw, the studious ray
failed to notice the pair of spectacles folded upon the adjacent
page while the scholar vanquished an unrequested call of
nature. And, it's interest in the book magnified manyfold,
the light became heat and the heat claimed the book as its
own. Its grip was a powerful one and its craving for knowledge
grew, grew beyond the bounds of this one volume of
encyclopaedic instruction and it grasped out at the boundless
collection of words within its reach.
It was not long before the library was consumed. Its
occupants were evacuated but two people were unaccounted for,
one disciple of knowledge who had succumbed to a call of
nature and one Miss Forbes, librarian's assistant who had done
the calling. They were found in each others arms and other, more
moist parts of the human anatomy, in the gentleman's toilets by
a fireman who removed the door with his fearsome chopper, which
he wielded in double-handed fashion. Both parties were
unharmed by both the fire and the fireman's magnificent
weapon and how they all larfed about it afterwards.
OK, so it wasn't quite so bad as I expected, ignoring the
"shaft" in the first paragraph as artistic license, it was
going pretty well until the tying up of loose ends, which,
in itself is an expression of not undisguised depravity, fun
though it may be. The truth is that I bit my fingers several
times before finally letting my feelings burst forth in an
explosion not dissimilar in scale to when a certain Charles
Chaplin stepped on the proverbial hosepipe and then lifted his
foot. "But what about the small pebble named Sam?" I hear you
cry! Well, some of you may well have guessed by now that I only
threw that one in to make it hard.
How about something more moody, perhaps set in times
gone by when storytellers were worshipped as much as TV sets
and, yes, even more than "The Les Dennis Laughter Show"?
"Come children, and sit with me by the fire", beckoned the
old man sitting beside the sole source of light in the dark
Winter evening. This man was known throughout the land as a
master of experience, for he had travelled through all the lands
of the known world and, some said in hushed tones, many more.
His presence always drew attention, his name awe, his weathered
face incredulity. In town after town he had become known for
relating the many things he had seen to the young folk who
rushed out to greet him when word of his arrival struck. There
was not a man nor child in the land who had not heard of this
man. So they ran away.
No, better end that one before it gets out of hand, as God
reputedly said to himself as Adam first saw Eve. One obvious
option open to me, or to anyone else unfortunate enough to find
themselves in this situation, is to surrender. Surrender to the
primal screaming that is oozing into my cerebrum like a
reasonably viscous fluid, give up the fight and join the
ranks of the other side. But such is the power of the calling
that I fear that if I were to submit to Its demands than I
would become Its slave for all eternity, and all my utterances
would become perverse and my every sentence would bear the
insignia of the double entendre. If I did surrender my soul to
its will and fall into the ranks of the obsessives then I am
afeared as to what might be created on this screen, yet if I
denied It then would It ever go away? Should I open a direct
channel from this nether world into this one and accept
whatever profligate child results from such a joining?
No, as long as I have control over my actions then I will fight!
Until such a time as this demon spirit is exorcised by a being
of such angelic virtue, or not as the case may be, then I
shall not succumb, though I may from time to time pass the
utterance "ooer missus" at the passage of words such as "succumb"
as a vent to the dammed, nay, damned reservoir of coital
passion. For like Dr David Banner, a raging monster dwells
within me and I am forced to wander, never knowing when He
might emerge again doing irreparable harm to my apparel of the
moment. And, though it may take numerous rewrites and endless
hours of editing, I will continue to spew forth material which is
truly deserving of the adjectival prenomer "literary". And I
shall not be beaten, except in a playful and sensual manner!
So I end this text on a message of hope for fellow and
fellowess sufferers out yonder, fear ye not, thy time will come,
as shall ye!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.