By Christopher Miller
Genius or fraud? Hack or Hemingway? The existence and paintings of overweight, obsessive, logorrheic pulp novelist Phoebus ok. Dank have lengthy enflamed sour controversy—and a number of drunken rants usually culminating in vomiting, unconsciousness, or either. during this uproarious novel, Christopher Miller pulls again the curtain on unforgettable critics—fawning student William Boswell (the world's top Dankian) and his mortal enemy, the murderously snarky Owen Hirt. No stone is left unturned—and no gooey mess unstepped in—in this crucial research of Dank's all-too-brief life and all-too-extensive oeuvre.
Read or Download Cardboard Universe, The: A Guide to the World of Phoebus K. Dank (P.S.) PDF
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Additional resources for Cardboard Universe, The: A Guide to the World of Phoebus K. Dank (P.S.)
Even at eighteen, Dank was a pathological planner. It wasn’t only in his fiction that his eye for inert and un necessary detail was 20/20. For about a week in January 1973, after receiving a stopwatch for Christmas, he attempted, for the hell of it, to micro-plan each day the night before—accounting not 42 • “The Architect” just for every minute, but for every second (“7:45:00-7:45:15— hear alarm clock and wake up; 7:45:15-7:45:18—turn off alarm clock; 7:45:18-7:45:25—yawn and stretch; 7:45:25-7:45:35—get out of bed; 7:45:35-7:46:05—walk down hall to bathroom; 7:46:05 7:47:00—pee; 7:47:00-7:47:02—flush toilet .
Phoebus’s bed is against the north wall and his roommate’s is against the south. The room is 12 feet long (north-south), 9 feet wide, and 8 feet high, but there’s a 3’ x 2’ projection in the northeast corner corresponding to a utility closet in the hallway outside. The only free outlet for their refrigera tor is also in Phoebus’s territory, so the fridge is there too. This refrig erator is a perfect cube, 3 feet to a side. Its inner dimensions are 2’8” per side, and two-thirds of this storage space is allotted to Kevin, who isn’t on the meal plan.
The space inside the fridge counts toward their respective totals, but at Kevin’s insistence the responsibility for the space occupied by the fridge itself (minus the space it encloses) is shared equally. Exactly how far from the north wall must Phoebus The Big Book of Problems • 55 and Kevin paint the line (assuming it to have no breadth) in order to give each roommate equal space? The Big Book was written in 1992, or soon after I met Dank at an SF conference in Eureka, California (see THE ACADEMI CIAN).