“Sillyverse” is my blog for posting stories and making cultural observations. The most recent serial is To Ride the Lightning Bolt, a story about a young American woman who’s a disappointed demigoddess facing an unwanted marriage. I just wrapped it up earlier in 2018.
Why develop such a blog? Well, back in 2012 I wrote a story, “The Troubles of the Farnsworths,” in daily installments on Facebook, partly because I was going stir-crazy, partly for the amusement of some friends. The story did well enough that I decided to write a sequel, which became The Dragon Lady of Stockbridge: A Tale of Magic in the Gilded Age. The sequel was going to be too long for Facebook. And I wanted to tell it in weekly installments. So here we are. And that story line has kept going in odd ways, most recently in Summer of the Netherfield Witch.
As the name of the blog implies, some of these stories share a common conceptual universe. My girlfriend named this the “Sillyverse” a while ago. I liked the humor and meaning of the name, so I’m sticking with it for now. “The Troubles of the Farnsworths,” The Dragon Lady of Stockbridge, Nightfeather: Ghosts, and Prophecies and Penalties, Summer of the Netherfield Witch, and As the Wyrm Tyrns are all part of the Sillyverse. Some of my posts, such as the ones on “Using magic in fiction,” “Magic in Dragon Lady,” “Dragon Lady chapter 9 and the Secret Service,” “A forgotten chapter in the history of the Sillyverse,” “Abigail Lane: a biography,” and “Abigail Lane begins her investigation of the Office, 1934” explain in increasing detail the rules and history of the Sillyverse.
If this sounds like a lot of historical background for a fictional universe, blame my training as a historian. That’s also the reason why in past I’ve often post historical articles, especially ones relating to the fiction I’m posting at the same time. So, for example, chapter 16 of The Dragon Lady of Stockbridge features a hotel called the Double Eagle, so I posted an article on money in the late nineteenth century, including a picture of the very coin for which the hotel was named. I’m also posting historical articles unrelated to my fiction over at sister blog Sillyhistory.
There’s other material on the blog as well. There’s a fictional letter from an actual historical figure, George S. Boutwell (1818 – 1905), that serves as a bridge between The Troubles of the Farnsworths and Dragon Lady. “On Huckman Causeway“, “Dead Cellphone“, “Death and Professor Appleton“, and “The Day After Halloween” are just horror stories I wrote for various Halloweens since this blog began. They have no connection to the other stories here, nor to the Sillyverse. At least I don’t think they have. “The Troubles of the Farnsworths” wasn’t meant to be part of the Sillyverse, either, but it is. And Magician’s Misfortune is a Sillyverse story that’s sort of a sequel to Nightfeather: Ghosts, but I’m thinking of writing it out of continuity, because I have a better sequel in mind.
Just as I’ve attempted horror stories for Halloween, I’ve tried my hand at ghost stories for Christmas. I’ve already mentioned Nightfeather: Ghosts, which was 2013’s lengthy story. The much shorter “When the ghost came in from the cold” was my 2014 story; unlike its predecessor, it is not part of the Sillyverse.
Finally, I’ve taken two stabs at the vampire genre. “My First Paranormal Romance” is a fragment of a story meant to satirize the vampire romance genre. And Martha’s Children is a longer and more serious exploration of what life was like as a vampire in the Chicago of 1969.
Who am I? My name’s Brian Bixby. I grew up in New England and still live here. You don’t really need to know more about me to enjoy the stories I’ll be posting, so I’ll shut up for now. If you need to reach me, posting comments on my posts and pages is fine. I’m also available by e-mail at the gmail.com account Sillyverse.