The Mushroom Wars by hcs at 5:16 AM EDT on October 14, 2005
Would anyone here be interested in reading a comedy/sort-of-sci-fi story a friend and I have been working on for nigh 8 years? We're quite proud of it and usually get good responses from those we've passed it around to.
I think I'll put up some sample passages here after I've read through it again to pick out some good ones.

For a laugh you can check out the web site we put up years ago, before I realized that I can't draw for shit.

Aftermath is more the sort of thing that the evolved project has become, more textual, but I think our writing has significantly improved since then. So you really shouldn't judge by that.
Unless you like it...

edited 9:24 AM EDT October 14, 2005
by unknownfile at 7:42 AM EDT on October 14, 2005
speaking of drawings...

I'm still wondering if I should turn this into a series.
by hcs at 8:43 AM EDT on October 14, 2005
I must say, I like the way you draw faces... simple yet it looks right.

So here's a sample, Chapter 2 of Guggenheim's Mistake, the first book of The Mushroom Wars (sorta like The Hobbit in that it never quite gets to the main storyline so I call it a "prelude") (it should also be noted beforehand that Guggenheim is the head of the R&D department of Canstpells Olde Fashund Soupe Phaktorie, and has the belief from Chapter 1 that yelling "OFF" causes things to explode, and people reply "ButAnd" to him for no good reason):

Chapter 2 - Lab Work

    Out of all the achievements of modern technology: nuclear power, brain surgery, a man on the moon, the Internet, vaccines, robots, the wheel, and so on, the greatest achievement of all was... coffee. Or so it seemed to Dr, Guggenheim, who on this particular morning had none.
    "You, drone," he demanded, pointing directly at the peon without glancing from his work, "get me some coffee."
    "Sir, there is no more coffee," his subordinate pined apologetically.
    "What? No coffee? Make me some," Guggenheim ordered, gesturing randomly.
    "Sir, there are no coffee beans, or grounds, or even any of the instant coffee."
    "Well, here," he handed the drone a pig, "use this."
    "Sir, that's a pig."
    "I know," he said, resuming his work.
    "Sir, I can't make coffee with a pig."
    "Just grind it up, there's got to be some coffee in there somewhere. There's coffee in everything."
    "Sir, what shall I mash the pig with?"
    "Not mash, grind."
    "There's a huge difference, you fool."
    "I've known men who've been killed because they didn't know the difference between mash and grind."
    "I'm sorry, sir."
    "Sorry won't cut it."
    "I'm very sorry, sir."
    "You'll be a lot sorrier when you're dead. Are you ready to grind now?"
    "Yes, sir, of course, sir."
    "Here," said Guggenheim, handing him a stapler.
    "Sir, I don't think I can grind a pig with a stapler."
    "Hmm." Guggenheim looked up from his work, unable to concentrate intently on it any longer. His groundbreaking book on spherical physics would have to wait while he set his useless workhorses back on the path of righteousness. Finally thinking about the problem, he immediately realized the solution. "Here, use this magic wand."
    "Sir, that isn't a magic wand, it's a baseball bat."
    "Well in that case," he began, and then beat the drone senseless. He turned to the pig and yelled, "TURN INTO COFFEE! I COMMAND YOU!" He pointed to the brook running through the office, "INTO THE BROOK, PIG!" The pig did not cooperate, so Guggenheim made it a dead pig with his magic wand and threw it into the brook. He turned around, facing the other 23 pigs in his personal sty, and yelled, "And you're all next! Coffee! Now!" But the pigs did not comply. Before he could kill even one, another drone walked in, stepping over the body of the previous one, carrying a cup of coffee.
    "Sir, here's your-"
    "COFFEE!" exclaimed Guggenheim. He grabbed it from the drone and tore off the lid, but froze just before he drank the entire cup at once...
    A small cup of creamer floated in the milky brown liquid. This was one corruption which Guggenheim could not stand, a travesty against caffeination, nay, against life itself!
    "FOOL! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!" he exclaimed, launching the boiling liquid at his overworked, underpaid drudger.
    "But sir-" protested the scalded drone.
    "I want black coffee, blacker than the depths of your stupidity!"
    "But, sir-"
    "Sir, the word is ButAnd..."
    Guggenheim picked up his magic wand and clobbered the drone about the head with it. He turned back to the pigs, his slast, and maybe even last, hope for caffeination that morning. he picked up a pig, turned it over, and shook it, but only money came out. Money which looked strangely like his own. He then realized that this small porcelain pig had been stealing his money, right under his nose! He threw the pig across the room, where it shattered into a thousand pink, piggy pieces. He had never liked that pig; it had always looked at him funny, with those glassy, staring eyes that made him feel uncomfortable. But, in hindsight, the pig had been his only real friend. Guggenheim decided that it was time to resort to mankind's second greatest invention: whiskey.
Guggenheim opened his eyes with effort, not remembering having closed them, and they gradually focused on a now spit-soaked manuscript of his latest work on advanced spherical physics, an entirely theoretical field with no basis in reality whatsoever (or so he thought). He brushed the manuscript aside, stood up groggily, and fell down even more groggily. He sought a clock. He checked his wrist, but no watch was there. He checked his other wrist, but he only found the paper watch replica he had made a week ago marked "Note to self: Get a real watch." That one was always a few minutes slow.
    "DRONES!" he cried, summoning again his personal army of underpaid scientists. There was no reply. He repeated the request in a louder, whinier voice, which usually got him what he wanted. Finally a single drone appeared.
    "Yes, Dr. Beuctus the Unfathomable?"
    "That's not my name."
    "Forgive me master, O Dr. Beuctus Guggenheim the Unfathomable."
    "That's not my name, either."
    "My ignorance is like the universe, infinite and unknowable, O great one. Forgive my imperfections, which compared to your glory must seem like-"
    "Shut up and give me your watch."
    "Yes." The drone complied.
    Upon examination of the watcch, guggenheim discovered that he had not yet been born, according to the readout: 1300. he performed a quick self-check to assure himself that he did exist, and concluded, "Oh, so they've perfected time travel!"
    "Sir, that's military time."
    "Ah, quite. It was, the, well, your fault. Yes. Get back to work!"
    The drone scurried off to perform some mundane task for which he would never recieve recognition, and Guggenheim wearily rose to return to his own task, infinitely more recognized, yet still mundane. He walked to the Main Important Research Room, where his subordinates worked diligently to maintain his public image as a brilliant scientist. Some starved wolverines, others were testing flashlights, still others were roasting marshmallows over jet engines, but most were bedning paper clips into the shape of llamas, Guggenheim's "Puzzle of the Week." Cantspell's was pleased with the tremendous lack of output of the R&D division, which consumed 97% of the budget on a "productive" day. It seemed important, and that was what counted. To Guggenheim, all that counted was that 99% of that money went into his extremely obsese wallet, which he could no longer carry in his pocket.
    Guggenheim walked over to the wolverine research area. He saw the wolverines staggering and panting, with their skeletons clearly visible through their skin. "Success," he exclaimed, though he couldn't be sure why. Something had happened, he had seen it, and that was science. But perhaps he wasn't seeing it closely enough...
    "Johnson!" he yelled, to a young technician by that name, who had almost worn out the batteries on a new type of flashlight.
    "Yes, sir?"
    "How is the work coming along?"
    "Great, well I've got another task for you. I want you to study those wolverines."
    "Yes, sir," John Johnson replied, putting down the flashlight and walking over to the wolverine cage. He looked at the pitiful creatures. And he continued to look.
    "No, Johnson! This is science! You have to get in there! See what's going on! Science is hands-on work, Johnson."
    "Yes, but sir-"
    "No, Johnson. No buts. How to you think the atomic bomb was made? The scientists reached their hands into a bag of atoms and started breaking them apart! Then they walked outside and they dropped the atoms into a bomb, and they felt them explode! They were right there, inside that mushroom cloud. That's the only way science gets done, Johnson. Hands. On. Work.
    "Actually, sir-"
    "Silence, fool! You know nothing! you should be worshipping me for the truly great scientist I am! You should be idolizing every word of advice I give you! Remember whose wallet gets carried around by a forklift here. MINE! So I'M the BOSS. B-O-S! BOSS! So get in there before I get a wind-up monkey to do a better job than you can."
    A wind-up monkey rolled by, and Johnson stomped on the small synthetic simian that was threatening his position. "Damn you, monkey! I'll you you, Guggenheim! I'll be the greatest scientist ever! Just you watch!" He threw open the cage, slammed the door behind him, and was immediately ripped to shreds by the ravenous wolverines.
    Guggenheim watched intently. "Note to self:" he casually dictated into his hand-held tape recorder, "Wolverines still hungry." He looked around to ensure that the carnage had been witnessed by himself alone, and quickly wrote up orders to clone Johnson. The woverines seemed to enjoy his taste. That could be useful. He picked up a stray ear to use for DNA extraction later, then went to lunch.

(c)1997-2005 Adam Gashlin and Michael Kazmierczack

whew, took me 45 minutes to type up... but it was satisfying to rewrite something I enjoy. I even added in a bit ("That one was always a few minutes slow.") and fixed an error or two.

edited 12:46 PM EDT October 14, 2005
by Mouser X at 9:25 AM EDT on October 14, 2005
Um, that's pretty, uh, "odd." But in a good way. You had me lauging, at least. And my interest is perked as well. This "B-O-S" guy seems to be a real "charachter." Anyway, sure, more couldn't hurt (to much). Mouser X out.

edited 1:25 PM EDT October 14, 2005
by hcs at 10:08 AM EDT on October 14, 2005
Cool. I know it's a cliche, but if you had half as much fun reading it as we did writing it you'll be pretty damned entertained. It's pretty much stayed alive all these years because it's entertaining to write, so don't expect a grand cohesive story line (espcially with Guggenheim's Mistake, the plot to which was a single sentance...)

I may put up some more, my absolute favorite is the last chapter (where we had to comedically recover from a heavy bit of plot) but I don't know if I want to give it away...
by Mouser X at 11:50 AM EDT on October 14, 2005
I just read it to my dad. He was laughing quite a bit more than I did. He sure enjoyed it. Of course, him enjoying it made it that much better. Hopefully, you find this a good thing (that my dad, over 50, would find this funny). Mouser X over and out.

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