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Oh . . . Em . . . Gee

"The Eye of Argon" is the short story equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space. It gained a curious notoriety within science fiction fandom by becoming a party game. The object is to read aloud as much of the story as possible without cracking up. If you laugh, you have to pass it to the next person. (I suspect there are probably variations where you have to take a drink, too.)

You can read the original literary atrocity here. I prefer the MST3K-riffed version rendered here. However, all known copies cut off abruptly just as the main character is getting his leg gnawed off by the title, er, entity. (Don't ask.)

And now we have news from Ansible:

Many-Fauceted. What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, are puzzling questions -- but less tantalizing to sf fans than the lost ending of that trans-Thoggian classic `The Eye of Argon'. Now, according to a letter in The New York Review of SF (January 2005), a complete copy of the relevant 1970 fanzine has been unearthed in the Jack Williamson SF Library at Eastern New Mexico University! JWSFL collection administrator Gene Bundy reports that the long-missing Page 49 begins: `With a sloshing plop the thing fell to the ground, evaporating in a thick scarlet cloud until it reatained its original size.' You will hear more of this.

Oh, I hope we do. The same sick impulse that drove me to buy the un-MSTed version of Manos, the Hands of Fate is driving me to find out.