David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).

Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Archive for the ‘Ike Turnbull Answers’ Category

Ike Turnbull Answers “Datin’ Satan”

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Dear Ike,

About two years ago, some girlfriends and I started worshipping the devil, just as something to do on weekends. We’d make mojitos, watch Sex and the City, and then around midnight we’d sacrifice a kid goat and dance in its blood, things like that. It was just innocent fun at first.

But then sometimes if I had a rough day at work, sometimes I’d come home and eviscerate a puppy in a pentagram or try cursing the neighbor’s cat with hairballs, just because it gave me that little pick-me-up I needed … and then one day he started leaving me notes! I’d wake up in the morning and my wall would be dripping with blood saying “Keep up the good work, sweet cheeks,” or at work I’d be alone with someone in the break room and they’d start foaming at the mouth and writhe on the floor and shout out in an roaring, inhuman voice “You look really hot in that blouse!” It just kept getting more serious. I even changed my name to Diabolica, which he said sounded really sexy.

OK, long story short, we started dating a few weeks ago, but he hasn’t messaged me now for about ten days, and I think he may be dating other Satanists! I’m trying to just be trusting and supportive, but then I think how he’s evil incarnate, and I’m just afraid he doesn’t care about me as much as I care about him. What should I do?

Datin’ Satan

Dear Datin’ Satan,

1. Don’t worship Satan. It’s really that simple.
2. It may have been a bad move to change your name to Diabolica and then publicly announce that you’ve been hexing your neighbors.

Good luck, and stay away from piles of wood.

Ike Turnbull

Ike Turnbull Answers ‘Rabbiless in Renton’

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Uncanny Pittsburgh welcomes new columnist Ike Turnbull, who will answer questions from uncanny people just like you on life, love, and self-actualization.

Dear Ike,

I’m a golem who’s been having trouble with my rabbi. When I was first created, he ranted to me and gave me orders all the time. It was like a dream. But I think he’s just tired of me now. He never sends me to defend anything or gives me new prayer scrolls any more. I hate myself for suspecting this, but I think he might be getting mixed up in ouija boarding. What can I do?

Rabbiless in Renton

Dear Rabbiless,

Don’t guess at what your Rabbi might be thinking: talk to him. Maybe he has concerns he doesn’t think he can tell you about. Create a safe environment for him to share his feelings. If you want to know if he’s using a ouija board, ask him. If he is, help him understand that he has a problem, but that there is help. Courting random spirits with an upside-down tumbler just isn’t what healthy people do. There are safe facilities where he can go that will help him understand why ghostly manipulation of the alphabet isn’t the answer, and that can help him transition back to a normal life through substitutes like touchpad finger painting and air hockey.

But if ouija boarding isn’t the problem, ask yourself frankly what your role has been in the relationship. Do you stand silently awaiting his orders for months or years as necessary? If not, why not? Have you killed anyone for him lately? Sometimes all a golem-Rabbi relationship needs to perk up is the destruction of someone truly evil. Try to think about both your needs and his needs. How can you work together so that everyone feels fulfilled?

And this doesn’t relate to your question, but golem friends of mine always tell me to recommend cocoa butter. Apparently it keeps your clay as fresh and malleable as the day you were wakened, even in hot sun. Just a handy tip.


Ike Turnbull is the author of Women are from Venus, Vampires are from Hell and How to Cope With Your Poltergeist. He welcomes questions from readers of Uncanny Pittsburgh and in comments on its sister publication, The Daily Cabal.