Cal Meacham's new book! And half a dozen pieces of fiction!

I’ve had a run of good luck getting my writings accepted for publication recently, and it’s all coming out now:

1.) How the Ray Gun Got Its Zap!: Odd Excursion in Optics – my new book from Oxford University Press is being released next month. I’ve taken columns that I’ve written over the past decade, great expanded them and updated them, and added new commentary. The title chapter is a History of the Ray Gun, but I also include chapters on Edible Lasers, The Miracle of St. Gascoigne (how telescopes got crosshairs), The Magic Lantern of Omar Khayyam, the Telephote, the History of Retroreflectors, and other weird stuff.

The Amazon site lets have a look at the contents:

2.) The latest issue of Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact contains my story Putting Down Roots. The topic is one that some Dopers might find interesting. It’s out on newsstands now.

3.) Tales of the Undead: Suffer Eternal contains my story After the Bucket, a funny Zombie story.

4.) Other fiction of mine has appeared online recently, including The Adventure of the Sweet Strength, Bullseye, and The Ipswich Abhorrence. You can find them with a bit of searching.

Bon Appetit!

Mistakenly used the wrong URL for the Amazon site of “How the Ray Gun Got Its Zap!” Should be:

Wow! Congratulations!

Oh, and another piece coming out soon (I don’t know exactly when): The follow-up to my first book, Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon has gone through the editing process, and will appear in Classical World (“The Quarterly Journal of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States”). It’s entitled The Scarecrow of Os
It’s a refereed journal, and it has taken forever and a LOT of editing to finally reach what they deemed an acceptable form. But it allows me to finally put into print a lot of material that I have dug up since publishing Medusa.

Sounds good. But I’m torn between it and Low-Dimensional Nitride Semiconductors.

Wow! That is terrific news, CalMeacham.

Hey, cool! Congratuations!

Mine probably has more good one-liners. But I haven’t read Bernard Gil’s book. A quick look on the Amazon site doesn’t turn up any thigh-slappers, but that’s not a fair trial, I admit.

CalMeacham, we prefer that people obtain moderator permission in advance of posting threads like this. We would have granted that permission, so I’m not going to close the thread or anything, but consider yourself reprimanded. Or at least looked at sternly.

twickster, Cafe Society moderator

the ray gun was only set to ‘stun’.

Set Phasers on “deep fat fry” Mr. Sulu.

I asked for and received permission to post from TubaDiva, back on March 20.

There’s no need to reprimand, or even stern looks.

Since you didn’t talk to the moderators in this forum, and since the communication you did have with staff was almost six months ago, and since you didn’t bother to state in your OP that you had cleared the thread, you can understand why I would think you hadn’t obtained permission.

I hereby rescind my stern look.

Rescind My Stern Look

A bold, if unconventional memoir/law school exam/mixtape by a moderator more usually known for piercing old-school jeremiads and lapidary filigree animadversions in the style of Jane “The Bodyslammer” Austen and the blind poet Homer writing under the name of Edgar Allan Hemingway. Citing precedents with the mental agility of Ron Zeigler deflecting a question about Watergate and the homeopathic total recall of the 1938 Manhattan Yellow Pages, the authoressette spins a web of loosely connected braggadocio, cinnamon, and rejected New Yorker cartoons that delve in the limbic system of the reader like a dental drill wielded by a concupiscent seminary student. Reading this tome will have the same effect as dropping it on your pinky toe, which you will be able to forevermore wave in the faces of the less erudite and proclaim, “twickster was here.” Available in Kindle, Nook, Squirrl, Kernel, Bleu, Eticket, Vitaphone, Keebler, Sonny, Hog, Blimp, Tacky, and Thingamabob editions.

Oh, congrats to you too, Cal. BTW, How did the ray gun get its Xap? I mean Zap?


Dang. If only there were room for that in my sig.

I now want to marry Ex. Mapcase. Or at least bear his spurious descendants.

I’m usually partial to teak. But a Cherry Mapcase has a irresistible void that that just begs to be opened and filled, over and over again, spreading the insertions gently from side to side, lovingly tucking them into the depths so that not the tiniest area remains untouched, a collection of seeds containing histories, memories, and motivations that build into more than the sum of their parts, into a glorious new corpus that can one day burst into the world to be admired, held up to view, touched and fondled and loved.

Read the Book.


You’re sending an autographed copy? Terrific!

Seriously, this is all great news. I’m a regular and passionate reader of similar columns in places like American Scientist so this is right up my alley.