A Modest Proposal...
Can we share the Mare Inebrium?
A long while back, Roger Bennett (Editor of the great Dragon's Lair Webzine) approached me with an unusual proposition. He had a story wherein some of the action took place in a spaceport bar.
Roger had published two stories of mine (during the early days of Dragon's
Lair) that were set in a spaceport bar that I had created. It was called the
Mare Inebrium, which is very bad Latin for "Sea of Drunkards", and was the
brain-child of myself and a very good friend & roomate; Jim Parnell. We came
up with the idea of a Bar at the north pole of Earth's moon, where people &
aliens of any species and/or timeframe could interact. Later, after I had
begun the grand odyessy of trying to become a writer (and Jim had finished
college, moved far away, and gotten married), I created a planet called
Bethdish and moved the Mare Inebrium's location there. It was sort of a poetic
gesture, designed to keep the memory of some fun times alive. In any case,
Roger wanted to put his story in the Mare Inebrium because he had enjoyed
reading my stories about the place and thought it the perfect setting for his
own tale. I agreed to allow him to do so and set about giving him some
background material for the description of the bar and it's staff.
Little did I realize what Roger was about to start.
To make a long story longer; Roger turned out a gem of a story. I loved
it! Here was a chance to read more about one of my favorite creations,
without the work of writing it myself! Roger sent me the
story as a submission for Aphelion, rather than keeping it for his own
Zine. (Polite bugger, wasn't he?) I accepted it for the December '97 issue.
So far, nothing unusual, but then I was struck by an idea... After taking
some aspirin for the resulting headache, I dashed off a quick e-mail to Roger
and asked him if he thought that other writers might want to do something
similar. Could there be more people that might want to write a spaceport bar
story in a bar already made? Roger thought that there would be, and named two
writers that he thought would be perfect. After reading the names, I agreed
that those two would be marvelous choices. But would they want to do it?
Would anyone want to? Damifino...
And so, this page was born.
Well, I guess that I should get to the point. Absolutely anything can happen
at the Mare Inebrium. If the idea of a place where Star Trek's Mr. Spock
could play chess with DC Comic's Brainiac, where Sherlock Holmes and Buck
Rogers could sit down together and have a beer, where Tom Swift Jr and H.G.
Wells could go to talk shop with Ford Prefect and Fu Manchu, where your
favorite aliens from your own imagination could interact with your favorite
folks from other writer's works... If that sounds like a place that you could
write stories in, then I've got neat place for you to hang out!
Of course, putting familiar charactors in a new setting isn't all there is
to the Mare Inebrium. You can simply tell a good story, one that needs a
Spaceport Bar as a backdrop. In fact, that's the way I write my own Mare
stories. Of course I throw some familiar faces in at the far tables of the
bar, but they're just window-dressing for the real story. I've seen folks
do some really subtle background characters in some stories- better than I
do, even! I like to see it work out that way. That means to me that I created
something that people can have fun with, a concept that writers can run with,
and a story that the reader can enjoy even if they haven't read a Mare story
I'd suggest reading Larry Niven's "Draco Tavern" series and his stories"The
Fourth Profession" & "For a Foggy Night", Arthur C. Clarke's "Tales from the
White Hart", Spider Robinson's "Callahan's Bar" & "Lady Sally's House" books,
and "Tales from the Spaceport Bar" edited by George H. Scithers & Darrell
"Tales..." is a collection of stories from many of the world's best writers,
all set in various bars and pubs throughout the space/time continuum.
What I'm getting at is that I'm opening the Mare Inebrium to everyone. All I
ask is that you stay true to the spirit and decor of the place. I have
floorplans, outlines of the permanent staff, and the history of the planet
where the Mare is located... all on the starter kit page.
Click here to read that. The Online
version of the Starter Kit was last updated on 2-7-04, so its current.
You should also read all of the Mare Inebrium stories so far- if only to keep
from contradicting each other as people add more stores to the Mare's mythos.
To read the Mare Inebrium stories that have been published so far:
Click here to read the stories.
Click here to read the Starter Kit.
Click here to submit a Mare
Inebrium story or artwork as an attachment (in MIME encoding as a .txt for DOS
file or .doc file for stories & as .jpg or .gif for artwork) to an e-mail to
me at the Aphelion. Pleas send all Mare Inebrium stories to this and
only this address! That will save the other Editors time and make sure
that your submission is read ASAP.
Click here to return to the Aphelion Table of Contents Page.
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