The Early October, But Still Planning The Halloween Party, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Farting Cow

…co-starring her pet chipmunk, Penelope


Sasha Explains It All

Reader Mail

Hi, folks! I’m back with another edition of Reader Mail, mostly because I’ve been too busy to think up a proper rant. I asked for serious questions this time and here is what I got.

Carol Robinson asks: “Given that human Terrans have not been acceptable stewards of the planet we share, what is the Non-Human Terran Alliance doing to counteract the destruction?”

Great question, Carol! The first thing you have to understand is that the NHTA has to work in secret, because if the human governments (to say nothing of the vast human herd) ever found out about us and our ultra-tech, they would wage war on us and things would go to shit really fast. Note that I’m not saying humans would win.

Anyway, we have teams out neuralizing humans who see anything suspicious, so we are pretty okay vis a vis security.

What the NHTA is doing, mostly, is making sure that as many species as possible are going to survive. We do this by setting up preserves and such in the one place that humans won’t find us anytime soon: the past. 1,000 BCE, to be exact. We have enclosed preserves that are miles across and placed all over North & South America. They are fully automated, but we keep a staff on hand just in case. We transport species there using the bus, which has a cargo bay large enough for 6 Galaxy Class starships, to use a Star Trek reference.

The preserves have full breeding populations of many species, including the ones who have gone extinct over the last century or so. We also have a preserve for humans that we stocked with missing people from all over the world. This was not a unanimously loved decision, since some species have a really good reason to have you humans die off. Still, we dogs, especially Silky and I, have control of the NHTA and we love you guys, so about 3 million of your species (a good diverse breeding population) will be safe when things go to hell.

And they WILL go to hell. Earth has passed the climate tipping point and while we could use technology to mitigate much of it, study of alternate Earths that went through the same thing tells us that you hairless apes only really learn the hard way. Sad, but true.

So while the downside is pretty bleak, the upside it that the Earth will survive, along with the vast majority of species on it, including humans.

Cupcake Walters, a Doberman Pinscher from Austin, Texas, asks: “Why Mad Science?”

An excellent question, brother! Sorry about your name. Humans are just nutty sometimes.

To answer, I need to explain why there even are Mad Scientists on the so called “hard science” worlds like ours. Please bear with me.

As we have hopefully described over the last few years, there are other universes out there where the laws of physics and other sciences are not the same as ours, the classics being those where the speed of light is faster or slower and those where gravity can vary wildly on a single planet.

After that, you get into worlds where only a few “laws” of science can be broken or, on the other end of the spectrum, the laws of science go right out the window because magic or superheroes exist. There are even universes where the laws of physics change with astounding regularity. You never want to visit one of those.

Despite all of these varied universes, one rules guides them all: Clarke’s Third Law. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

Yes, even the Potterverses and, even more amazingly, the various fantasy realities, are using an advanced form of science. Now, it is VERY rare for folks on these world’s to realize or understand that, but somewhere in their past, somebody found a loophole in physics and exploited it. Same with superhero worlds, horror worlds, etc. Yes, even fucking Cthulhu and his gang are the result of somebody (not necessarily a human) fucking around with highly advanced science.

Now, I need to mention here that by “science”, I also mean certain philosophical and religious disciplines. For more info on that, I suggest you contact Stephen Strange, a wonderful man whose elaborations on the roots of magic make my eyes cross.

Note: Every time I have explained this to hard scientists, they have gone a bit goofy in the head and required neuralization. Carl Sagan was the exception, but he died a few days later. I’m not entirely convinced Carl wasn’t a bit Mad himself. By the way, if you think scientists go goofy from that, you ought to see how truly religious believers react when you show them what the real universe is like. Again, you’ve gotta neuralize the shit out of them.

So, having taken up WAY too many words on that, let me sum up how one becomes a mad scientist like me.

1: Universes have weak spots and sometimes a bit of one leaks into another.

2: Receptive brains like mine tap into this leaking, never consciously.

3: Said brains are usually, but not always, possessed of a very high intellect and a rather fluid moral outlook.

4: Affected being can tap into a bit of hyperscience. (for Victor Frankenstein, it was of a biological bent.)

5: Mad Scientist, baby!

As with the case of Victor, the bit of hyperscience is often pretty limited. In some cases, it might include another branch of science (See: The Invisible Man). In my case, due to dimension hopping with my family along with my getting sapient, it pretty much meant I tapped into most branches of science, although biology/genetics and physics/engineering are my strong suits.

As to “Why Mad Science?”, the answer is always the same: Because I can. Because it is fun. Because it made me a fucking billionaire, allows me to travel through space & time & realities with my family, gave me my pet giant spider, allows millions of non-humans to be sapient, allows them to speak to damned near anyone in any language, and because it will one day ALLOW ME TO CONQUER THE WORLD! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry. Got carried away there. Anyway, thanks for the questions!

Until my next rant,

Dr. Sasha Jane Cross, PhD (X3)

My Life Among The Wild Writers

…which is actually most of them.


Below, Sasha’s latest rant.

Sasha Explains It All

Why You Can Never Really Talk To Your Dog

I know, I know. The first thing you humans say to that is “well, they don’t understand <insert your local language here> anyway”. Typical human arrogance. Look, dogs have been hooked up with humans for maybe 30,000 years and for sure for 25,000 years. We learned your languages as they developed, folks. When we met you, your vocabulary was maybe 300 words. Not real hard to master, ya know?

Now, to be fair, 99% of dogs do not have enormous vocabularies, but we all understand your languages at at least the conversational level. Of course, most dogs only understand the human languages they were raised with, but we understand them. And we pick up new languages pretty fast. Survival skill, don’t ya know.

The above also applies to cats, pigs (have I mentioned how smart pigs are?), apes and several other species that are either in contact with humans a lot or related to you. None of them are quite as good at understanding humans as dogs, but they DO understand you.

So, back to why you and your dog can never really understand one another. It’s pretty simple, really: humans lack tails, scent glands and really moveable ears.

Now, you lot have figured out that tail/ear positions indicate some general emotional stuff, but you have only scratched the surface and you can’t differentiate smells worth a damn, if at all. Let me set you straight.

Suppose I meet my friend Moose, a 4 year old male basset hound. You see Moose and I wagging our tails, ears perked up as much as we can perk up our floppy ears and we are sniffing each others butts. You figure that are greeting each other in a friendly manner. You are right, but only partly.

What you don’t know or notice is that Moose is wagging his tail in a clockwise rotation. He is also emitting a very slight fear odor and his ears go back a couple of times, just for a second. This means that he is glad to see me, but he is a bit nervous about something. We exchange woofs and a sub-vocalization or two and I learn that he is going to the vet later and is worried. Given that the vet once removed his testicles, it’s easy to understand his nervousness. This is very common among most male dogs & cats.

So now, I give him a few reassuring woofs and hold my tail a bit lower, wagging slower. My ears are relaxed and I emit a bit of female scent. You know what I’m talking about. Just a whiff that says “You’re gonna be ok, you hot hunk of dog.” His tail wags faster and then we are on our way with our humans.

Two humans meet like that and all you’ve got is facial expressions, hand moves and body stance and emotional inflections in your voice. We dogs have all of that (except hand movements), plus the tails, ears & scent. Hell, sometimes we say things just with scent alone, which is why we mark territories and sniff each others marks.

But wait, you say, what about dogs & cats who lose their tails or have them docked way short or were born without them? Or have tiny ears or have lost an ear? Well, truth is, those critters speak to us the way a person with a speech impediment or maybe a mental problem speaks to you. We understand them, but it’s a bit more difficult and requires some patience. While I’m on the subject: STOP DOCKING EARS & TAILS, YOU FUCKING HAIRLESS APES!

Sorry for the outburst, but it’s a touchy subject.

Of course, there are also certain concepts that all species have that are unique to that species. Dogs have things like
griff and warrooo, which I can’t even begin to explain to humans, although oddly, my human father has a fair understanding of griff. But then, he’s special. Cats have things like mrrowk and hssht going on and they won’t even try to explain them to non-cats. Among you humans, the concept of religious and political fervor are a couple of the many emotional states we animals can never hope to understand.

So there you have it. We can understand each other, but not completely. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing or just a thing. Regardless, we all seem to deal with it.

Until my next rant,

Sasha Jane Cross

The Thrilling Adventures Of Doctor Tempest And The Great Submarine Race

…from the July 1896 issue

Rant: Shit I Do Not Understand

1: Why anybody gives a fuck about the Kardashians.

Who the fuck are these people, anyway? How did they get a television show? Did I miss something and they were in a hit movie or maybe escaped from Iran or something? Did one of them write a famous novel? Really, why would anybody care about that pack of rich nitwits?

2: What the hell is up with worshipping sports coaches?

Yo, people, these guys just tell other guys how to play a fucking game! That’s it! If they are lucky enough to win often or just manage to be adequate for 30-40 years, people talk about them like they descended from Mount Olympus. People ought to be giving that love and praise to firemen or scientists or the guy who slogs through the snow to repair your furnace or teachers or farmers. When was the last time a football coach operated on your heart or found a vaccine for polio or even just changed the sparkplugs on your car?

3: Why doesn’t the tech industry bitchslap the entertainment industry?

Well, ok, they did, finally, with SOPA & PIPA, but they need to do that shit more often. I mean, hey, computer games rake in more bucks than movies and unlike the motion picture, television and music industries, the internet is just getting bigger every day. Come on, High Tech, buy up some politicians and lobbyists and make those entertainment goobs your bitches. We common folk will behind you 100%.

4: When will the gay people be coming to destroy my marriage?

According to the Republican Party and the Religious Right (whom we know would never utter a falsehood), married gay men or maybe lesbians should have ruined my happy home by now. I’ve asked gay couples about this in the past, you know, to maybe schedule an appointment, but the married couples I know don’t seem to know anything about when it all starts. Not that I’m eager to end my marriage, but I was kinda hoping fellow Californian George Takei might drop by to give it a go, at which point I’d get his autograph and a couple of pictures. Hell, even the gay folks I grew up with don’t have a clue. Poor planning, Homosexual Americans, very poor planning.

Ok, that’s it for this time. More bloggage soon.


After The Change Came: Series 2

Sin Takes A Holiday

Oh my, dear readers, has it really been a week since my last post? I apologize, but I’ve been busy during the day painting everything from portraits of Mages to the front doors of three different houses. At night, I’ve been getting ready for Christmas. This year, for the first time in decades, I will once again spend Christmas Eve with the Cross extended family, then very early on Christmas morning I’ll be off to Charleston to be with my own full family for the first time since 1982. Most of them, like most of the Cross family, are gnomes, so it will be a much more fun affair than it ever was in the pre-Change years. I particularly want to see my Great Aunt Philomena (Philly), because she was such a hoot when I was a kid. She ought to be even more fun now that she is a young woman again. My Uncle Arthur will also be there and I’m sure that becoming a werebear has not impeded his ability to tell great stories, off color jokes and dirty limericks.

My human sister, Valentine (Val), tells me that Mom & Dad are busting their gnomish butts to make this a great Christmas for us all. You have no idea how unlike my pre-Change parents that is. Mom always hired people to do the holiday party prep and Dad pretty much just signed the checks. Even though I’ve seen pictures of holidays they’ve had since the Change, this will be the first time I’ve been there in the flesh.

Gotta run. The two young ladies who just moved into the house next door need some help with trimming their tree. I may be very late getting home.

The Rare And Beautiful Bug Eyed Mouse Ferret Of Potawango Island

…they’re tiny, but creepy looking

These Dreams Go On When I Close My Eyes

A pox upon all alarm clocks, I say! Three times this week, that infernal device has awakened me from a great dream. The first time, I was dreaming about having hot jungle monkey sex with Alyssa Milano. The second dream, the next morning, found me flying Superman style over San Francisco while eating an eclair. A COCONUT ECLAIR! Finally, this morning, I was smack in the middle of a dream about winning many tens of thousands of dollars in some sort of contest. Just as Grace and I were dancing about merrily in a big pile o’ money, that cursed timepiece rudely brought me back into the land of wakefullness and poverty.

Fuck you, alarm clock! Where you a human, my hands would still be tightly gripping your throat while I laughed maniacally. Instead, I’m awake and jonesing for a coconut eclair.

The Incredible Adventure Of Doctor Tempest Versus The Cat Creature

…from the November 1902 edition

The Third Brewerton Poll is closed and I will use the info in my final description of the village, which is still a couple of polls away. In the meantime, another poll will be up in a day or so.

My attempts (three of them!) to write the “Stolen Cop Car” story by using Lolcat speak have proven fruitless. Instead, I shall tell it in another style. But not in this post.

Apparently there is much agonizing going on by fanboys (yeah, like that doesn’t happen every fucking day in some area of fandom) about unfounded reports that the ending for Watchmen will not be the same as in the graphic novel. I hope it’s not true, but either way, we are now stuck with yet another crop of whining, bitching, moaning, crying gits until the day the movie finally premieres. Of course, even then, there will be some who bitch about it, even if it follows the book exactly.

And that leads me into the following rant…

There are few feelings that so conflict me as the ones I get when fans go bugfuck over…well, whatever. On the one hand, I have hung out with a great many comics/games/sci-fi/fantasy/music/movie/tv/etc. fans of both sexes and I really like most of them. On the other hand, the constant wailing and gnashing of teeth over things great or small, real or imagined, by some of them makes me want to choke them into merciful silence. It’s damned annoying.

What really annoys me, though, is not that they shit themselves when they find out that X actor is going to play Y character…or that, Dog forbid, the movie version of a book turns out differently than the written version…or that adventure #234 for their favorite RPG is not what they expected/wanted…or that author A started a new series when they wanted book #15 of The Neverending Trilogy…or that game/movie/videogame/music/tv/publishing company doesn’t give them EVERYTHING EXACTLY AS THEY WANT RIGHT NOW FOR FREE…no, what really bugs the fuck out of me is that, ultimately, they are all fucking hypocrites.

Case in point: Years and years ago…about a week after D&D3E was announced…there was brisk discussion on the old AOL gaming forums about what the game might be like and such. As time went on, the fanboys grabbed hold of every little fact and rumor about D&D3E and, as fanboys are wont to do, started pulling “facts” out of their asses. D&D was gonna be great…it was gonna blow…it would be streamlined for better roleplaying…it would become more bloated…it would be the same…it would be different.

When more facts came out and we got a clearer idea of where D&D was going, a whole mess of geeks went ballistic. Never, they swore, would they play this new abomination that was solely designed to viciously bugger their childhood RPG memories. No, no, a thousand times no, they would not buy D&D3E. The game was dead to them.

And then it came out and they bought it and 4,386 supplements/sourcebooks/adventures/monster manuals for it. They wrote lavish reviews, clogged the intertubes with game writeups and, in more than a couple of cases, climbed on the D20/OGL train and started their own game companies. Way to stand by your principles, whiners.

But it isn’t just those game geeks, it’s really all aspects of fandom…

“Dude, I fucking HATE what they did to Lord Of the Rings!” A year later, he’s first in line to buy the special edition DVD.

“Bigass Video Game Company lost my business when they didn’t make XWiistation 2 backward compatible” A month later, he’s playing the fuck outta MarioHalo Theft 4…on the system he hated.

“I can no longer respect an author who would depict Vulcans dressed in winter clothing while attending the big Pointed Ear Festival, cos it’s held in the summer!” But then she busts her ass to get said author to sign his latest Trek novel.

“George Lucas raped, murdered, beheaded and then cannabalized my childhood!” A year later, their dicks are hard at the mere mention of a Star Wars television series.

It goes on and on. Don’t even get me started on the Trekkies or the Whovians. It all puts a terrible strain on my already strained attempt to put my violent youth behind me. I mean, hypocrisy is a very human thing. It’s what sets us apart from the animals. But the whineyass way that fandom goes about it just sucks ass.

No, I don’t have any suggestions on how to solve this. I was just whining.