By now, much of the internet that lives in the actual 21st century has pilloried the bejeezus out of Orson Scott Card's "revelatory version" of Hamlet. Now, now, I can't help but feel that there might be some hidden genius in this notion of squeezing out all the hard words, tossing out all the actual characterization from the original plays, and substituting moral conclusions totally divorced from the tone, temper, and context of what our buddy Bill "Plastic Man" Shakespeare mistakenly thought he was driving at.

As I threatened on Twitter, I would therefore like to present excerpts from my forthcoming re-interpreted masterpiece...




version of


formerly by William Shakespeare

Thrill to the scintillating betrayal scene...

Henry walked into the council chamber.

"We're totally going to beat the French," said Henry. "You guys think so too, right?"

Everyone did.

"I really think we're going to beat the French, if we try hard," said Lord Scroop.

"That's great," said Henry. "Here, Scroop, I've written some special new orders for you."

Scroop read the orders.

"Oh no," he said. "This says that you figured out that I'm a traitor!"

"Yes," said Henry. "They were trick orders. You are a traitor, and it makes me really sad. We've known each other for so long."

All of King Henry's loyal nobles thought this was sad, too. They helped put Lord Scroop in irons, and he was taken away.

"That was close," said Harry. "We owe God big time for warning us about that guy. Now we can all get on boats and go to France!"

Weep at the heartbreaking death of Falstaff...

"Please help my master," said the boy. "He is so ill he can't even hold up his old issues of Diva to read them any more!"

"That's sad," said Mrs. Pistol. "The king has broken his heart. But Falstaff deserves it for the choices he's made."

"Yes," said the boy. "It is sad, but the king has done the right thing and left him to die alone and go to hell for all of his sins."

"Hello everyone," said Corporal Nym. "Hello Mr. and Mrs. Pistol. Does anyone want to play cards while we wait to get on boats and go to France?"

"No, thank you," said Mr. Pistol. "Playing cards is wrong."

"You're right," said Corporal Nym. "I have wasted my life playing cards. I'm glad I realized this before I was tricked into even worse things, like in bath houses."

Stir to the adrenaline-fueled Agincourt speech...

Westomoreland stared at the big army of the French.

"The French army is so big," said Westmoreland. "I wish we had more guys."

"Who says we need more guys?" shouted King Henry as he rode up. "I've thought really hard about this. The less of us there are, the better it is for us!"

"I'm not sure it works that way, my liege," said Westmoreland.

"Really? I don't know," said Henry. "Sounds good to me. Maybe I'm sleepy! I spent all night wandering around the camp LARPing."

"Reinforcements would be really nice," said Westomoreland.

"What are you, Westmoreland, a homo?" shouted Henry. "We don't need more men to fight the French! This will be like fighting Morrisey's back-up band. And if anyone actually does survive the fight, it'll be great! Think of the stories you can tell! And the scars! Chicks dig scars!"

"We like chicks," yelled every man in Henry's army. "And only from the front, the way god intended!"

"You're totally right, my king!" Westmoreland was really excited now. "I'm really excited now about having less guys than the French!"

To prove his point he drew his sword and killed the man standing to his left.

"That's the spirit!" yelled Henry. "Let's roll!™"

There won't be a dry eye in the house during the wooing scene...

"You're the only woman left in the play that isn't a nurse," said King Henry. "So I'm totally buying you from your dad."

Princess Katharine looked very sad and confused.

"I know I'm covered in mud now, but I can take a bath," said Henry. "Sign here, baby."

Katharine hesitantly made her mark on a parchment, then said something in French-talk.

"Stop right there," said Henry. "You are very pretty, but from now on you must speak English like Jesus did."

I returned safely from Armadillocon last week, having had a wonderful time. I hung out at fantastically relaxing length with my lovely girlfriend. I discovered the spicy Bloody Mary. I went indoor rock climbing for the first time and found it pretty agreeable. Paolo Bacigalupi nearly killed me deader than French Toast with his Harlan Ellison story. There was a pleasant writers' workshop, interesting programming, and some watery hag turned me into a goddamn toad during a game of TALISMAN.

So, it's been a good year for one little experiment, that of being physically sociable. I've made it out to four cons, and each has been significantly less nerve-wracking than the last. I'm not doing so well on the internet anxiety front. Witness my scattered tweets and my silence here since I got back from Texas. Well, tonight that particular psychological monster gets a cock-punch, and damn the consequences.

By some miracle, I've updated my website, and it's full of stuff! Accurate stuff, even!

I'm going to be continuing my current project of occasionally leaving the house. In fact, I'm kind of hurling myself back into public in a big way over the next fourteen months. So, without further ado, here's the (minimal and subject to additions) rundown on where you can find me:


  • Viable Paradise (St. Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts) October 9-14
  • World Fantasy Con (San Diego, California) October 27-30
  • DaishoCon (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) November 18-20

  • EPIC ConFusion (Troy, Michigan) January 20-22
  • WisCon (Madison, Wisconsin) May 25-28
  • 4th St. Fantasy Con (Minneapolis, Minnesota) June 22-24
  • CONVergence (Bloomington, Minnesota) July 5-8
  • Readercon (Burlington, Massachusetts) July 12-15
  • Armadillocon (Austin, Texas) July 27-29
  • World Fantasy Con (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) November 1-4

    Also in contemplation for '12: Minicon (highly likely), Chicago Worldcon (fifty/fifty), and DaishoCon (schedule permitting). Plus other stuff!
  • Arrrrr, maties, I be Captain Placeholder, and holdin' places be my expertise. I be placeholdin' while this Lynch dingus sorts things out and figures out how to mirror content and all that yar-dee-yar twixt here and his old Livejournal.


    Scott Lynch

    September 2011

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