The square egg

That morning I found a square egg in the coop. I could see nothing remarkable about the chicken. It was the small brown one. I took the egg. It looked perfectly square, and felt so too. I studied it from all sides, but apart from its shape it was a normal chicken egg. Mary gave … Read More

Def G

The pirate ship Azalea drifted steadily under an already burning sun towards the Azores. On board it was quiet. The deck was almost completely void of personnel, a common occurrence on this ship. The rules stated that the crew had to take a nap between 10 and 11 in the morning if heavy drinking had … Read More

Dance the Varati

Duplov, November 23 – The Magat Party (“Justice”) of Jonasz Omlen is projected to win the general elections of Orbaijan by a landslide majority. With approximately 80 percent of the votes counted at noon today, Magat is predicted to occupy 54 of the 99 seats in the national assembly. International observers have reported many small … Read More


The dentist’s chair was occupied by a fairy. “You don’t see that often,” the dentist said. “Any special kind of fairy?” He rather suspected something. “Mmmmm,” the fairy said. She found it hard to articulate with a metal hook and a blood vacuum in her mouth. “Spit,” the dentist said. The fairy spat the neatest … Read More

The dude bird dude

There is still a chill in the morning air when I call Liam to the car. It is his birthday, and I am taking him to buy him a bird. “Dad, where are we going?” He already knows where we are going, he just wants to hear it again. I have already forgotten the name. … Read More

The witch and the elephant

Once upon a time there lived a beetle that wanted to be an elephant. What is an elephant? its friends wanted to know. Is it something you can eat? Can you stroke its hair? Does it have cable television? I don’t know, the beetle said, but I am convinced it would be great to be … Read More

Today’s nugget of wisdom

He was a very good bullshitter, by which he meant a very bad one.

Distributed translation experiment, conclusions

A couple of lessons I learned from my distributed translation experiment: 1. Don’t worry about volunteers showing up. Initially nobody seemed to be interested in participating, but after a while somewhere from ten to twenty people turned up, which was more than enough for my purposes. I had advertised my experiment in four places: this … Read More

Distributed translation experiment, two years later

Summary: two years ago, I asked people on the internet to help me create a public domain translation of a public domain source text, Poe’s The Tell-tale Heart. The goal was to help establish whether it was possible for a disparate group of translators to create a literary translation. You will find both a description … Read More


Once upon a time there was a fairytale that yet had to be told.