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Saturday, July 8, 2006

"The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale" under Creative Commons Noncommercial-Attribution-Sharealike

This was the first story I ever sold -- the check arrived on my 30th birthday, in the year 2000. I was confused by the envelope. I was expecting my plain white, self-addressed, stamped envelope back, with a rejection letter in it. Instead, it was one of those commercially printed window envelopes, with my name, printed, showing through the window.

It looked like a bill, and I stood there, puzzled, thinking, "but I just renewed my F&SF subscription a month ago..."

And then I stooped, squinting, and hardly dared to believe the words: "pay to the order of..."

I still like the story. As absurdist stories with magical gumballs go, I think it's a pretty accurate record of the time and place that inspired it. And recently someone pointed out that you can't find it anywhere, and I really ought to CC it.

So here it is, for your reading, forwarding, and remixing pleasure. Put it on party balloons and t-shirts. Create rock operas about it. Write sequels. Translate it into American Sign Language. (And, as usual, if you find yourself in danger of making money off it, drop me a line.)

So here it is: The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale

Posted by benrosen at July 8, 2006 06:30 PM | Up to blog

Typo: “Oh god, you’re mother’s going to kill me,” Monique said.

Posted by: Anon at July 9, 2006 03:25 AM

It would be great to offer a PDF document also for downloading and printing.

Many thanks for relasing the story under a CC lincense.

Posted by: Pablo Rodríguez at July 9, 2006 04:37 AM

I thought it was a great story - particularly the yellow bird bit, for some reason.

came via boingboing

Posted by: james henry at July 9, 2006 06:16 AM

Here it is in Plucker format for Palm devices. TheAntKing.pdb

Posted by: dave at July 9, 2006 10:34 AM

Thanks Anon! I wonder if the typo was in F&SF as well. Now fixed.

Thanks james for the kind words. I also like the yellow bird -- of course, it's lifted from Zork.
Dave, thanks so much for offering the story in Plucker!

Pablo, I don't have the tools to create PDF, but if someone else wants to...? :-)

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at July 9, 2006 10:29 PM

Actually, the bird and rod are from the first computer adventure game, "Adventure" by Will Crowther and Don Woods, 1976 - now called "Original Adventure" or "Colossal Cave Adventure", and the inspiration for Zork.

Colossal Cave Adventure

Posted by: Andrew Pam at July 10, 2006 10:50 AM

https://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/ is a free PDF creator for Windows.

Posted by: John at July 10, 2006 11:09 AM

I've made a PDF:


Posted by: kotnik at July 10, 2006 02:07 PM

There is a lot of crap on the Internet, as anyone who spends much time enjoying it knows. This, though, was really fantastic, figuratively and literally. Thank you!

Also, there's a tiny typo:

“I’m not sure, sir. He’s quite busy these days, with out acquisition of Suriname.”

Not to presume or anything, but that should be "our acquisition".

-Joe Ardent @ joe at ardent dot nebcorp dot com

Posted by: Joe Ardent at July 10, 2006 10:01 PM

Thanks John, kotnik, and Joe! Typo fixed, and I will link the PDF to the blog post.

This is what I love about getting BoingBoinged... :-)

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at July 10, 2006 10:40 PM

loved it. thanks

Posted by: leonie at July 10, 2006 11:42 PM
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