The Bloggy, Bloggy Gate

On balance, I decided Black Gate means more to me than Pox Verpulae or whatever his real name is. For those interested, my latest post is here.

[edited to fix link–was typing in haste–still am]

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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13 Responses to The Bloggy, Bloggy Gate

  1. tchernabyelo says:

    The title of that post has earwormed me with the chorus from “The Broom Of The Cowdenknowws” by Silly Wizard, from “Caledonia’s Hardy Sons” -“ah, the broom, the bonny, bonny broom…”.

    But it may, of course, be a refernce to something else entirely.

    Anyway, glad you have decided to carry on. To retreat would have been, to (ab)use a phrase, “letting the terrorists win…”

    • peadarog says:

      Be assured, we may yet win!

      It was a great post and I’d love to comment on it except I have nothing intelligent to add to the great work already present. I particularly enjoyed the surgeon/serial killer metaphor(s), although I’d have liked a surgeon/serial killer hybrid monster even more. With tentacles.

      • JE says:


        I think I stole that killer/doctor thing–it seems to good to be original. I was going to make the serial killer a killer unicorn, but it cluttered up the metaphor too much.

        • peadarog says:

          I was going to make the serial killer a killer unicorn, but it cluttered up the metaphor too much.

          ZOMG!!!!! That’s exactly what I wanted!!!!

    • JE says:

      “The title of that post has earwormed me with the chorus from ‘The Broom Of The Cowdenknowes’ by Silly Wizard, from ‘Caledonia’s Hardy Sons’ -‘ah, the broom, the bonny, bonny broom…’.”

      I was thinking of the first ballad mentioned here. But I looked up “The Broom Of The Cowdenknowes” and now I’ve got the ear-worm. That’s justice.

      Thanks for the support. (And the music I didn’t know about before today.)

  2. burger_eater says:

    Nice entry. It’s very sharp.

    And god, do I hate accusations of “PC” in this sort of context. Your response was more measured than mine would have been.

    • JE says:

      Well, that was the revised 7th draft…

      Thanks for the kind words.

      • filomancer says:

        OK, I looked up “verpula” in the (online) Oxford Pocket Latin Dictionary…

        The hits I got were “vernaculus” and “vesicula,” both of which might be applicable, but I daresay weren’t what you had in mind.

        • JE says:

          It’s childishly obscene, I’m afraid. verpa is what some dictionaries still delicately call “the male member”, and -ula is a diminutive, so verpulae = “of the little dick” (or something roughly as urbane).

          • filomancer says:

            It also shows up as a surname and the genus name for a bee or wasp species. The latter now makes sense.

            The pocket dictionaries can be frustrating, but that’s all that Penn’s library has available online. I’m also often frustrated by not being able to find a source for scientific Greek that uses the Latin alphabet.

          • JE says:

            The surname is sort of funny–wonder how the family got tagged with it.

            There’s a really handy freeware program called Diogenes, which was designed for searching some text databases, but the latest iteration includes the full text of the Liddell-Scott Greek dictionary and the Lewis & Short Latin dictionary. It wouldn’t fully address your need for Latinized Greek technical vocab, but at least you could get at most of the roots that way. The great thing about the program is that you can download it to your computer and it doesn’t depend on a web connection. (There are Mac, Windows and Linux versions.)

  3. lemuriapress says:

    Excellent post. There is a “shuck and jive” black assistant to Otis Adelbert Kline’s Doctor Morgan that is going to have people up in arms when it pops up in “The Outlaws of Mars” in a month or two. Lots of “Yassah, Mr. Morgan, Suh!” sort of shit. VERY common in the era, and sure to raise a few eyebrows this time around.

    Rather than whitewash history, I decided to leave the scene in the book. I’m hoping people flip to the copyright page, see that the serial was written in 1933, shrug, and move on to the swordfights and monster battles.

    We’ll see.

    • JE says:

      Thanks! And I’m glad you’re not Bowdlerizing the text. I’m sure people do that with the best of intentions, but a work can be whittled out of existence that way pretty rapidly.

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