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Smiley

Sysops
  • Content count

    838
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About Smiley

  • Rank
    Sysop
  • Birthday August 29

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Interests
    I love golf,fishing, music (especially folk, country, bluegrass, and classical), team sports, and science fiction. I enjoy duplicate contract bridge; I am ranked as a Club Master and am working towards District Master level. I play guitar and banjo and sing bass; for many years I was in a semi-professional old-time music band. And of course, I enjoy working with computers and chatting.

Recent Profile Visitors

16909 profile views
  1. Please join us for our next chat in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EDST) April 21st, 2018 -- 00:30 A.M. (GMT) April 22nd -- for a discussion of "The Bar at the End of the World" by Brandon Williams. This story is a very recent offering from Carve Magazine (the Carve website has provided us with several excellent stories in the past and I am convinced that this one will provide us with plenty of grist to run through our chat mill. The tale is contemporary and deals with the physical as well as emotional effects of growing old (those of people as well as those of communities. I think you will find it interesting and perhaps a bit moving. The story is available on line the Carve Magazine web site: https://www.carvezine.com/story/2018-spring-williams/ Meeting Place: #Readers_Corner Webchat: http://koach.com/chatlogin.php?chan=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all at our chat. Don't forget to bring a friend.
  2. Please join us for our next chat in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EDST) April 14th, 2018 -- 00:30 A.M. (GMT) April 15th -- for a discussion of "Are You Afflicted with Dragons" by Kage Baker. If this story concerned an affliction with rats rather than with dragons it would fit into a book of mediaeval myths and legends somewhere between the story of the Emporers New Clothes and the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. But because it deals with dragons rather than rats, I assume we should consider it a fantasy rather than a myth or legend. At any rate, like all good fables, it teaches us some valuable lessons, cautioning against gullibility, greed, and hubris. It's also a source of some amusing situations. I think you will enjoy it. The story is available on line at: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/baker_03_18_reprint/ Meeting Place: #Readers_Corner Webchat: http://koach.com/chatlogin.php?chan=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all at our chat. Don't forget to bring a friend.
  3. Please join us for our next chat in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EDST) April 7th, 2018 -- 00:30 A.M. (GMT) April 8th -- for a discussion of "The Veteran" by Stephen Crane. This story is a a sequel, to... no, rather, the final chapter of the novel "The Red Badge of Courage"--Crane's celebrated examination of the psyche of a foot soldier during the American Civil War. This brief tale shows the character of the protagonist of the novel many years following the end of the war. The story speaks for all veterans or all wars in history. Those who have experienced combat will empathize, those who have not will understand a bit of what those veterans deal with. It is not a story of post traumatic stress, rather one of pride over having survived hell and a job done while doing so. I think you will appreciate it. The story is available from many web sites, in downloadable formats. I used the pdf download here: http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415537070/data/section5/crane-the_veteran.pdf It's available in html format at: http://www.online-literature.com/crane/2543/ The #Readers_Corner is available at Koach.com Webchat: http://koach.com/chatlogin.php?chan=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all at our chat. Don't forget to bring a friend.
  4. Please join us for our next chat in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EDST) March 31st, 2018 -- 00:30 A.M. (GMT) April 1st -- for a discussion of "Eating Crow" by Neal Barrett, Jr. This story is a humorous examination of a possible initial encounter with an alien space traveler (I think a very suitable one for April Fools Day). Lest the idea of space travel turns you off, rest assured that this story is in no way a science fiction tale...it is pure comedy. It is one of the better "shaggy dog" stories I have encountered in print, and like all of the very best such stories, ends with an egregious pun. After you have read the story--only after finishing it--you might want to check out the wiki article on Liver Eating Johnson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liver-Eating_Johnson and the Urban Dictionary entry for "shaggy dog story" here: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shaggy dog story I laughed my way through the story...I hope that you enjoy it as much as I. The story us available on line from Subterranean Press at its website: https://subterraneanpress.com/magazine/spring_2007/fiction_eating_crow_by_neal_barrett_jr The #Readers_Corner is available at Koach.com Webchat: http://koach.com/chatlogin.php?chan=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all at our chat. Don't forget to bring a friend.
  5. We had several absentees form the chat scheduled for the 17th of the month, so we who were there decided to postpone the discussion until the following week . Therefore, please join us for our next Readers' Corner discussion at 8:30 PM (EDST) on March 24th, 2018 [12:30 AM (GMT) March 25th for those in other time zones] --the USA just moved to daylight savings time, so our start time in an hour earlier in those areas who have not changed their clocks ahead--for a discussion of the short story "The Hammerpond Park Burglary" by H> G> Wells.. H.G. Wells is most well known for his science fiction stories, chief among them "TheWar of the Worlds" and "The Time Machine" both of which have been adapted into popular movies. This story, however, is a fairly humorous crime story, involving two teams of less than brilliant second story men. Its a fun read and I think you all will enjoy it. The story is available on line at: http://fullreads.com/literature/the-hammerpond-park-burglary/ As usual we will meet in the #readers_corner chatroom on Koach.com: Webchat: http://koach.com/cha...=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all there, and remember....bring a friend.
  6. Please join us for our next Readers' Corner discussion at 8:30 PM (EST) on March 10th, 2018 [1:30 AM (GMT) March 10th for those in other time zones] for a discussion of the short story "Premium Harmony" by Steven King. This story is not a typical Steven King, scare your pants off or make you nauseous with gruesome tortures or dismemberment. It is rather a study in the horror of living with a spouse with whom the sparkle and joy of the newlywed couple has long since devolved into acceptance of each others shortcomings. I think it will be an interesting story to discuss, As many of you know I am not fond of stories that use many words a few better chosen ones would better serve, an offense against my literary sensibilities of which I usually find Steven King guilty. This tale, being in the form of a short story, manages to be short. I think you will enjoy it, whether you like Steven King's writing or not. The story is available on line at: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/11/09/premium-harmony As usual we will meet in the #readers_corner chatroom on Koach.com: Webchat: http://koach.com/cha...=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all there.
  7. Please join us for our next chat in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EST) March 3rd, 2018 -- 01:30 A.M. (GMT) March 4th -- for a discussion of "Pluto Tells All" by John Scalzi. This story is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek examination of the decision by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Accepted by the U.S.Committee for Astronomy and Astrophysics to redesignate Pluto as "a dwarf planet". If celestial bodies could talk, what would they think of arbitrary decisions about their status? This story answers that burning question. My best description of the tale is -- as in the words of my sainted grandmother -- "It's a hoot." The story is available on line at: https://subterraneanpress.com/magazine/spring_2007/fiction_pluto_tells_all_by_john_scalzi As usual, the chat will be in the #readers_corner chat room on Koach.com Webchat: http://koach.com/chatlogin.php?chan=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all at our chat. Don't forget to bring a friend.
  8. Please join us for our next weekly literary chat in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EST) on February 24th 2018 -- 00:30 A.M. (GMT), February 25th -- for next discussion of: "Open Season at the Cafe' Rumba: by Julia Rocchi. The story is a recent offering of the Saturday Evening Post. It's a pleasant, somewhat humorous confection, and like most of the stories in the SEP, an easy, entertaining read. I think you will like it. The story is available on line at: http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2017/12/29/post-fiction/contemporary-fiction-art-entertainment/open-season-cafe-rumba.html Webchat address: http://koach.com/cha...=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I think the story will lead to a interesting chat with plenty of opportunity for entertaining digressions. I hope to see you all at the chat.
  9. Please join us for our weekly literary chat in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EST) on February 17th 2018 -- 00:30 A.M. (GMT), February 18th -- for our next discussion. By popular demand I have found another tale by Henry van Dyke (the author of our last story) to see if he was consistently a producer of stories that Nan likes or simply a one hit wonder. We will discuss van Dyke's story "Humoreske". I did some research on van Dyke and learned that following from Wikipedia: "Henry Jackson van Dyke Jr. was born on November 10, 1852, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Henry Jackson van Dyke Sr. (1822–1891), a prominent Brooklyn Presbyterian clergyman known in the antebellum years for his anti-abolitionist views. Henry graduated from Poly Prep Country Day School in 1869,[3]Princeton University, in 1873 and from Princeton Theological Seminary, 1877. He served as a professor of English literature at Princeton between 1899 and 1923." "Van Dyke chaired the committee that wrote the first Presbyterian printed liturgy, The Book of Common Worship of 1906. In 1908–09 Dr. van Dyke was a lecturer at the University of Paris. By appointment of President Woodrow Wilson, a friend and former classmate of van Dyke, he became Minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1913. Van Dyke resigned as ambassador at the beginning of December 1916 and returned to the United States. He was subsequently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received many other honors as an author and educator. He died on April 10, 1933. He is buried in Princeton Cemetery." In my opinion, his education as a minister and long involvement with the Presbyterian Church had a large effected the moral issues evident in those of his stories which I have read. Many of his stories read more like essays than fictional tales, but all of his writings seem to contain a humanistic albeit very conservative Christian viewpoint reflected in the values espoused by his characters. This selection is more of a boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl in the end type of story, but unlike the typical slick magazine treatment of young love, this story does not trigger the gag effect found in the stories finding their way into scripts for Halmark Movie Channel shows. I think you will enjoy it. The story is available on line at: https://americanliterature.com/author/henry-van-dyke/short-story/humoreske Webchat address: http://koach.com/cha...=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all at the chat.
  10. Please join us for our weekly literary chat in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EST) on February 10th 2018 -- 00:30 A.M. (GMT), February 11th -- for a discussion of "The Keeper of the Light" by Henry va Dyke. In my opinion, this week's story is one of the best we will have discussed in the past year. Although it is a bit longer than our usual (20 pages instead of our usual 10 or so), it reads very quickly. It is an interesting tale based in a family's understanding the responsibility and the importance of weighing responsibility against convenience and living with the correct balance. I hope you will appreciate it as much as I. The story is available on line at: https://americanliterature.com/author/henry-van-dyke/short-story/the-keeper-of-the-light Webchat address: http://koach.com/cha...=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner Please note: because the story is a bit longer than our usual, you may want to start reading it earlier in the week, especially if you are used to reading the story an hour or so before our chat. It is well worth the extra time you devote to it. I hope to see you all at the chat.
  11. The Discussion originally scheduled for January 27th has been postponed until the following Saturday. Please join us for our next Readers' Corner discussion at 8:30 PM (EST) on February 3, 2018 [1:30 AM (GMT) February 4th for those in other time zones] for a discussion of the short story "Happy Birthday Patrick" by Christopher J. Adams. This story is science fiction, but it doesn't deal with the iconic bug eyed monsters or interstellar warfare normally associated with that genre. It looks at the relationship; between an artificial intelligence (think Data from Star Trek the Next Generation) and an aging crew-member of a space ship a long way from home. I think your will find the story compelling, and in some ways moving. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have, and I am certain that we will have fun exploring the sociological issues raised, The story is available on line at our oft visited source of contemporary fiction, East of the Web at: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/HappBirt992.shtml As usual we will meet in the #readers_corner chatroom on Koach.com: Webchat: http://koach.com/cha...=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all there, and lets recruit a few new chatters.
  12. Prudence advises you to stay way far away for there
  13. Please join us for our next Readers' Corner discussion at 8:30 PM (EST) on January 20th, 2018 [1:30 AM (GMT) January 21st for those in other time zones] for a discussion of the short story "Evolve" by Jeff Moskaritolo. This story is a change of pace, although I am not sure we have a pace to change. While we normally discuss stories with a melodramatic theme (i.e. one that focuses on some sort of physical action to bring about the resolution, this on is of a more introspective nature. It examines the lost loves of our protagonist but does not provide any solution to his problems. The author has a masters degree in fine arts for the same university that my daughter attended for her bachelor of education degree, not that that means the story is good, only that he attended a very good school. I believe we will have an interesting discussion about both the protagonist and his various and sundry crushes. The story is available on line fro Carve Magazine at : https://www.carvezine.com/story/2017-spring-moscaritolo As usual we will meet in the #readers_corner chatroom on Koach.com: Webchat: http://koach.com/cha...=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all there.
  14. Please join us for our next Readers' Corner discussion at 8:30 PM (EST) on January 13th, 2018 [1:30 AM (GMT) January 14th for those in other time zones] for a discussion of the short story "Recluse" by Chet Martin. This story offers something to all of our regular members. It's a story about a man with severe agoraphobia who is cured by a novel treatment. I involves a benevolent ghost, although it is not a ghost story. It makes reverence to several historical authors, and eventually borrows from Koach's favorite (E. A. Poe) for the final solution. I think you will have some fun reading it (maybe even an lol or two). The story is available on line at: http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2017/06/09/post-fiction/contemporary-fiction-art-entertainment/recluse.html As usual we will meet in the #readers_corner chatroom on Koach.com: Webchat: http://koach.com/cha...=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all there.
  15. HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! Please join us for our first readers' chat of the new year in #readers_corner at 8:30 P.M. (EST) on December 6th, 2018 [01:30 A.M. (GMT)], December 7th, for a discussion of Human Pilots by J. B. Park. This story is set in a future time but is not exactly science fiction, although the story discusses the aftermath of wartime deployment on two wounded space pilots, it could describe the return of any wounded warrior to a medical center at home, so for those of you who don't like SciFi, pretend it is contemporary, and think to the the automated "crew members" as though they were humans. That having been said, I leave it to you to decide what kind of story it is, and whether you like it. The story is available on line at: http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/human-pilots/ As usual, the chat will be in the #readers_corner chat room on Koach.com Webchat: http://koach.com/chatlogin.php?chan=readers_corner mIRC Users: /server -m chat3.koach.com:6667 -j #readers_corner I hope to see you all at our chat. Don't forget to bring a friend.