Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

A Hive of Scum and Villainy

February 1st, 2010 · 8 Comments

The recent passing of J.D. Salinger got us thinking about the small role The Catcher in the Rye played in our decision to wield the (figurative) pen for a living. While we’re pretty sure the book wouldn’t hold up should we crack it again today, it wowed us during junior high. It was, in fact, one of the first semi-adult books we kept on jonesing to read until we finished, a feeling we’d only had about Tolkien and the Hardy Boys up to that point.

But The Catcher in the Rye‘s artistic influence on Microkhan pales in comparison to that of a far more important cultural touchstone: the Star Wars cantina scene, which sparked our lifelong love affairs with distant lands, linguistics, and good music. We love it so much, in fact, that we dropped a Mos Eisley “Easter egg” quote into the pages of Now the Hell Will Start (to the immense displeasure of at least one eagle-eyed reviewer). So imagine our immense joy upon re-discovering the video Billy Ocean’s “Loverboy” (above), which offers a cut-rate facsimile of George Lucas’s creation. We’ve got it cued up to where the going gets good—the 36-second intro is way too interminable to bear. But once you’re helicoptering alongside the dude on the horse, you just can’t help but watch ’til the end.

(h/t Erik Ness)


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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Jordan

    That rates up there as one of the trippiest music videos I’ve ever seen.

    I guess he’d scored enough hits that the studio was willing to let him do what he wanted and front the cash for producing it. Must have cost a pretty penny (unless all the costumes were just reused bits of other 80s sci-fi flicks) and I’m not sure how much it would have helped sales.

    Still, pretty interesting to see someone take an idea and just run with it.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. Another example is the “Estranged” video by GnR, now popularly known as “The One Where the Dolphins Rescue Axl.” Obv. no one at the studio wanted to tell Axl to rein it in, with predictably WTF? results.

  • Brian Moore

    What! Someone called you out on the cantina quote in the book? What a jerk. I laughed out loud when I read it.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Yeah, someone had a pretty violent anti- reaction to that line. Guess he thought it created some cognitive dissonance. Oh well–can’t please everyone, as I’ve now learned and come to accept. Glad you dug it–methinks you’re probably my ideal reader.

  • Brian Moore

    Well I’d certainly say if you were aiming for the history + scifi nerd demographic, you did a great job.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Many thanks–that’s exactly the audience I was gunning for. Not sure it’s a big enough demo to sustain a writing career, though. Guess I’ll have to find out the hard way.

  • Jordan


    There seems to be a pretty big confluence between history and sci-fi nerds over at Ta-Nehisi’s blog, so there’s hope yet.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    Yes, those are my people. I need to figure out a way to capture their hearts, minds, and eyeballs.