Introducing

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Descartes' Demon

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Lone and Level Sands

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Uncommitted Crimes

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Omnibus! Volume 1

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lone and Level Sands Foreword


Percy Shelley was kind of a dick.

As you’re aware by now, the Jekyll and Hyde Pub is frequented by a number of tortured geniuses. About a month back, Percy Shelley is stumbling around the place, trying to bum pints. Turns out Daddy, Sir Thomas, had cut off his allowance. Though that’s certainly not the most moving sob story, we throw him a bone. We tell him about the (post-)apocalyptic issue of Penny Dreadnought we’re about to publish, and that he can contribute a poem.

After reading our stories, he whips up “Ozymandias” right there. We‘re like, “Okay, that’s pretty good,” and he drinks on us for the rest of the evening.

He stumbles out of the pub and back into his own time, and publishes the poem 200 years ago, selling first rights twice and leaving us no recourse but to take our revenge on his cremated remains (the details of which can’t be described in polite company).

Anyway, we paid for it, and we’re going to use it.

OZYMANDIAS of EGYPT

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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