A brief introduction to The Wizard Of Trope

Photo by George Hiles on Unsplash

S. Markem’s The Wizard Of Trope is an affectionate, humorous and lively fantasy novel set in the various ‘lost lands’ of northern Europe. The extract below is a gentle introduction to this world, and also appears in the upcoming, The Wizard Of Trope, The Lost Parchments I-IV.

The memory of childhood geography lessons makes me shudder — swiftly followed by the overwhelming urge to fall asleep.

It is with regret then — as you are being kind enough to read these words — that I risk stirring the same unpleasant feelings in…


Images matter. Never underestimate a good ‘cover’ . Photo by Camila Cordeiro on Unsplash

Worried about word counts? Afraid of adverbs? Then read on, Macgullible.

Are you a new writer? Timid, confused, overwhelmed?

So was I, until that is, I discovered these three unbelievable, must-not-ignore, this-is-how-everyone-does-it, instant-success-guaranteed rules.

These are especially powerful because I got them from an unpublished writer, and that’s who you are, right?

Writing takes a lot of effort and a lot of words. It’s hard work. So, lets start with the first rule.

Don’t write novels, write screenplays.

Ever read Dickens? Good, huh? Lots of words though, right?

Here’s an outline for a typical Dickensian novel. A template if you like. It’s basically:

[620 of…


Gingers enjoy cricket too. Photo by Lochie Blanch on Unsplash

Adored by the Guardian-reading classes, (nearly) saviour of English cricket and now… a bright future in politics?

Here’s why England’s Ashes hero could be the next leader of the Lib Dems.

1) He’s a ginger.

There’s no denying that ginger stocks have been on an upward trend recently (apart from the farce that is Ed Sheeran). Thanks to Prince Harry, Michael Fassbender and that bloke who’s name I can’t remember from Billionaire, it’s now easier for a ginger to get laid than at any point in history.

Despite this, the British class system remains:

Upper -> Middle -> Working -> Writers-> Gingers.

And when…


Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash

Senior catholic figures have rallied around God’s plans to tighten up Heaven’s immigration policy.

Amid concerns that Heaven has become a haven for ‘honey-and-wine’ tourism, grapes reportedly in short supply, and the Cherub community claiming to be at near-breaking point, the Pope has welcomed a controversial proposal to end ‘free movement’ into paradise.

‘The Lord wishes to make Heaven, literally, the best place in the universe and open to the very best mankind has to offer. He therefore feels the time is right to tighten up the rules of entry.

‘The old policy of, “confess, and all will be forgiven


Photo by Annie Gray on Unsplash

I imagine that many people reading this, most perhaps, have been to a swinger’s party. I, until recently, had not.

A good friend suggested that I should try at least once, and so he furnished me with an invite to a well-known gathering, and I agreed to take the plunge. In the interests of research, obviously.

I arrived at the party armed with high-hopes, good cologne and thoroughly scrubbed genitals. This was my first experience of ‘swinging’ and I was both nervous and excited. …


Photo by Aksh yadav on Unsplash

The finest of cricketing traditions, England struggling, nay, losing the Ashes series, is in full swing.

Cricket is a world religion, and Test Cricket is it’s altar. Seriously, if you don’t believe me, try getting someone to sit in your local church, synagogue, mosque or shrine for five days.

It has a following of billions, it is the #2 ranked sport in the world, it is the most popular bat-and-ball game of all, and is exceeded only by football (trans. soccer) in global reach. …


A random member of the Hamster Community we interviewed. (picture from pexels.com)

Do you care how much energy it takes to…

…power a laptop?

…power the factory that makes the laptop?

…power the child-labour that assembles the laptop?

…power the programmer, who programs the laptop?

Nope, neither do we, but the power consumption of your average geek is …

Eye-Watering

The figures are largely unpublished, and therefore very troubling. The scale of energy consumption in the programming world may have reached epic proportions; who knows? The potential impact on global warming cannot be overstated, or even quantified. It is fast becoming an alarming, dubious, tweet-inducing problem. …

S. F. Markem

Author of The Wizard of Trope, Wage Slaves: Pat Parker’s Fairytales From The Workplace and The Murderpreneur, and more.. smarkem.com

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