Tommy and Tom
“For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! “
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;”
Rudyard Kipling, Tommy.
By the time this post goes live it should be Memorial Day in the US. I’m not American, but my father served alongside American Soldiers in North Africa (“They got ice-cream!” was one of the things he must have said a thousand times. Funny how small things can make a big impression) and I owe my sf reading and what I’ve ended up doing to American service personnel leaving pulp sf mags for my Artillery Sergeant mother to find (my mum served the naval guns that guarded Cape Town and Simonstown), read read and become addicted to. My respects and gratitude to the fallen. I am aware of what that sacrifice has brought. I wrote about this in SHADOW OF THE LION – I paraphrase (but I can do that to myself) a comment about the feared Knights of the Holy Trinity. “The fat little burgers watch us ride past. They sneer. They call us ‘Knots’. But it is because we exist, and because of what we do, that the fat little burger sleeps safe in his bed tonight, with a full belly.”
It’s certainly easy to forget when you’re safe in suburbia, absorbing the MSM, or at WisCon telling each other how bad men are. The various Puppy Kickers, including George Martin (who suggested it should have a separate award to keep us happy in our ghetto) love to denigrate Military sf. They don’t like the military, and they don’t like those who read it, let alone the books. Hmm. Given the way old foes seem to be creeping back out of the woodwork, stronger, nastier and more determined to devour the fat little burgers I think it’s worth quoting Rudyard Kipling’s TOMMY
“Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap.
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul? “
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes,” when the drums begin to roll.”
A wise person would remember that. Those are the same ‘bad men’, the same second class citizens not good enough your awards.
On a somewhat different track and totally unrelated to that Tommy, I finally got through with digitizing TOM – my book based on the universe of short ‘The Goth Sex-Kitten’, and have put it up on Amazon. It is intended to be light and fun, with a few pokes at various shibboleths and SJW inanity. The picture is a link.
Tom is a cat in trouble. The worst possible kind of trouble: he’s been turned into a human. Transformed by an irascible old magician in need of a famulus — a servant and an assistant, Tom is as good at being a servant as a cat ever is. The assistant part is more to Tom’s taste: he rather fancies impressing the girl cats and terrorizing the other toms by transforming himself into a tiger. But the world of magic, a vanished and cursed princess, and haunted skull, and a demon in the chamber-pot, to say nothing of conspiring wizards and the wickedest witch in the west, all seem to be out to kill Tom. He is a cat coming to terms with being a boy, dealing with all this. He has a raven and a cheese as… sort of allies.
And of course there is the princess.
If you were looking for ‘War and Peace’ this is the wrong book for you. It’s a lighthearted and gently satirical fantasy, full of terrible puns and… cats.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but this seems to happen to me a lot with good shorts. I find myself saying ‘I wish that were longer…’ – and with my own work I can do something about it.