Stephan the Red
In the last few months, Dallas-bred fantasy novelist Stephan Grundy has been the subject of plenty of ink, from a cover story in Dallas Observer (July 21) to reviews in Publisher's Weekly and the fantasy magazine Locus of his first novel, the Norse epic Rhinegold--a number-one bestseller in Germany.

Now he can add one more magazine to his list--or maybe not, depending on whether the man who would be Odin has a hearty Norseman's sense of humor. In its December issue, Spy magazine excerpted the opening two lines from Rhinegold in its gossipy "Naked City" section:

"Golden sunlight glittered from the Rhine's depths like a fire in the flood, brightening the dark waters into the torchlit grandeur of a river-king's hall. With a shout, Sigifrith, the weariness and sore muscles of his day at the forge forgotten, stripped off his filthy tunic, ran out on the edge of a rock jetty and dived into the water laughing."

The headline over the excerpt: "Books we Stopped Reading After the First Line or Two."

Those crashin' Cowboys
Fresh graffiti on an abutment near the northbound Dallas Tollway exit ramp onto eastbound LBJ: "DALLAS COWBOYS PARKING."

Making Dwaine an honest man
Word has it that late-blooming city councilmember Barbara Mallory will finally hear those wedding bells. The ceremony for Mallory and political wheeler-dealer Dwaine Caraway is planned for December 10, in the Fair Park Garden Center.

You might recall that Mallory was taken aback to learn from an Observer reporter that she was engaged to a married man. Because Caraway declines to talk about the upcoming nuptials, we can only hope that the blushing groom has gotten around to finalizing that all-important divorce.

Bubba's revenge
Texas guys' groups are celebrating a new-found gender power, at least according to the National Coalition of Free Men. Hugh Nations, the group's president, says that men have "abandoned the Democratic Party that has abandoned them" and tossed Ann Richards out of office. Her crime against men? She portrayed them as "pot-gutted jerks" insensitive to women and children, says Nations.

A fascinating point, to be sure. But we have to admit that what caught our eye was the title of the Free Men's press release: "Texas men's groups hail gender switch in election."

We'll never look at George W. the same again.

Wurtzel watch
Elizabeth Wurtzel, the former Dallas Morning News plagiarist-drug abuser and chronically depressed author of Prozac Nation, continues to inspire writers around the nation. In December's Premiere magazine, Libby Gelman-Waxner looks to Wurtzel as a role model: "In her book she's constantly being pursued by men even though she spends most of her dates vomiting or shivering or being rushed to the emergency room; my favorite thing about Elizabeth is that no matter how violently depressed she gets, she always manages to mention how thin she is...

"Elizabeth makes being depressed and suicidal so glamorous I wouldn't be surprised if Yardley starts marketing Prozac-flavored lip gloss or Lank 'N' Lovely conditioner for that Kamikaze-Waif Limpness.

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