The following document was posted to usenet in 1993. There were 3 copies remaining on the web, and none in Google's usenet archive, so archiving it here seemed appropriate as this information has not been released by Elf himself anywhere else. After I noded this, google introduced significantly earlier archives and the message can now be found in its original form at
There are various minor inaccuracies throughout it, those that are known have been noted at the end of the node.

The Journal Entries FAQ

From: (Elf Sternberg)
Subject: The Journal Entries FAQ
Date: 18 Nov 1993 22:45:57 -0800
Organization: The 23:00 News and Mail Service
Lines: 94
Distribution: world

1. What are The Journal Entries?

   "The Journal Entries of Kennet R'yal Shardik, et. al., and Related Tales," is now a 132 or so story-long chronicle of the life and loves of Ken Shardik, whose actual job would be almost impossible to explain. It is set in a science fiction universe not unlike our own, and spans at this point a period in time from approximately Terran 1883 to Terran 3030.

   The stories are mine (Elf's) and I write them for the fun of it. If you don't like them, that's fine; if you have trouble figuring them out, stick with 'em and they might become clearer. Never know. I've been writing them as a series for three years now, although the orignal Entries date as far back as November 1983.

2. What do those numbers mean in the title? Like "028 / 0812?"

   The date! The first number is the number of days since the New Year, and the second number is the year itself. I keep my archives in a YYYY.DDD format.

3. Is there any clear explanation for all of this?

   No. The stories speak for themselves.

4. Are there any FTP sites for The Journal Entries?

   Actually, yes, there a few nowadays. FTP.SPC.EDU keeps a relatively complete set in the directory pendor.dir. AVATAR.SNC.EDU also has a complete set as one gigantic .LZH file. And, much to my stunned surprise, you can get them through gopher, although I've not yet worked out the details. I found them using veronica (keyword: Shardik), and was pleasantly suprised to see them come up.

5. One of these is called "The Last Journal Entry." Does that mean you've stopped writing them?

   No. Real life has intruded in a most ugly fashion and forced me to slow down, but I haven't stopped writing them. "The Last Journal Entry" was written just because it was a good idea... a story set at the end of the universe. It's a little hard to imagine anything happening after that, hence the title. It's also a bit of a tribute, in it's own way, to Issac Asimov, who passed away shortly before it was written.

6. Could you mail me story <X>?

   No, I can't. I really wish I had the time, personally, to administer to the needs of everyone who wanted a copy of story <X>, but if I did, I wouldn't have time to write, time that is very precious indeed these days. There are FTP sites, GOPHER sites... there's probably a mail server somewhere, and at last resort you can ask (note d!!!!).

7. What about a glossary of terms?

   I've been tempted to put one together (if only for my benefit!) but I'm afraid that it's a secondary consideration to actual writing, so I've not created anything like that.

8. Is it true that Larry Niven hates you?

   Yes, it's true. The story that aroused his ire no longer exists, as I deleted it and all references to it a long, long time ago, but every once in a while I see it reposted. Even though I have separated myself from the story a LONG time ago, it's hard to kill something once it's been released onto the 'net. :-)

Very Serious Administrivia.

   These stories often feature very non-vanilla scenes. Homosexual sex, Sadmasochism/Sexmagic, and alien partners abound in these stories. Quite often in the past I have been chastised for posting bondage, gay, or more "bestial" scenes to when there are "appropriate" newsgroups for them.

   I enjoy much of what I write about; some I have only witnessed, much I have participated in. It is all sexual; it all belongs in I will not ghetto my stories to one audience, or one newsgroup, because someone out there thinks it's inappropriate. So anyone who was concerned last time need not be; all the Journal Entries will be posted to

   Comments and questions are encouraged; I don't get paid for this, I do it for fun. The only way I know if I'm doing well is to get feedback from my audience. So write!

         Elf !!!

   All you have to do is act like normal people, and they can't tell the difference. You just talk with them about the dull things they're interested in, and they eat it up. It's no trick at all to imitate them.
                  -- J.A. Meyer, "Brick Wall," Sept, 1951

- Elf Sternberg

  • Elf's e-mail address is now
  • As of the end of November 2001, the Journal Entries have grown to a total of 212 stories.
  • The measurable date range is now from Terran 1884 to Terran 3127, with one additional story occurring shortly before the heat death of the universe.
  • Elf has now been writing the stories as a series for 11 years, with the earliest stories written 18 years ago.
  • The date format is now Y10K compatible, with 5 digits for the year.
  • There is some explanation available on Everything. You might try Behind the Journal Entries, Elf Sternberg, Pendor, and also some of the documents at the end of I'll also be putting up a node the Journal Entries: A Historical Reference based on once I get it formatted and updated appropriately. Of course you should also visit The Journal Entries.
  • The two ftp sites mentioned are no longer available. Your best bet for getting them is Elf's website at
  • He now has "The infamous story that ticked off Larry Niven", (The Only Fair Game) on his site in the Other Stories section at
  • The journal entries are now posted to, and often to
  • He now does get payed by anyone who feels like it. and PayPal tipboxes can be found after every story on his site.

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