Everything2 is a collection of user-submitted writings about more or less everything. Spend some time looking around and reading, or learn how to contribute.

Cream of the Cool

A few years ago, I was teaching a college class on computer networking. We were running through the OSI model when we had a guest come through the door, followed by most of the office staff, several other instructors, and a trail of students who were hanging out in the hallway.

It was my birthday, but nobody at the college knew it. I'm not big on celebrating stuff like that unless it was for one of my family members. Someone decided to do something nice in a very public way.

A…

A formula constructed to make exciting stories, created by Lester Dent, he of Doc Savage fame. This formula was also touted by Michael Moorcock for new writers looking to get into the short story markets in the 1970's. Lester was able to write whole novels in a single week, and Michael Moorcock wrote one in a single weekend. This methodology can be expanded to any length and to any genre.

The formula was originally used by Lester to build 6,000 word stories, of which he wrote…

Born in 1904, few people know the name Lester Dent unless they're collectors and connoisseurs of pulp magazines or working writers. He was the man behind the legendary Doc Savage, Man of Bronze, using the pseudonym Kenneth Robeson. Even though he died in 1959 his works live on in reprints.

To say Lester was prolific is to say that the ocean has some water in it. He was a writing machine, at times cranking out a complete novel in a week.…

Violet McDade and Nevada Alvarado were a couple private detectives created and written by Cleve F. Adams and published in 14 stories in Clues detective magazine between 1935 and 1937. Female hardboiled detectives were not unheard of, even in the 1930s, but McDade and Alvarado may be some of the most interesting sleuths of any gender. 

Violet McDade is a former fat lady from the circus, weighing anywhere between 300-400 pounds, depending on whether or not she's dietin…