Gharlane of Eddore is a former MIT professor of mythology. His third wife, in a pique of jealousy over his perpetual fascination with shapely feminine lower extremities (other than hers), wreaked her awful vengeance. She slipped him a mickey, and while he was unconscious removed his brain from his body and put it on life support in a vat of hydrogen/helium slush in the basement of the Pentagon. The body was donated to Pizza Hut; the wife departed for regions unknown. Though his arms, legs, nay, even his facial features have long since been flushed down the toilets of Pizza Hut customers nationwide, his mind is still sharp. He is nourished by a continuous IV drip of Coca-Cola. (We were using Diet Squirt for a while, but the lack of glucose caused him to insert an h into exorbitant; switching to Coke did not reverse the error, but it did keep new spelling "innovations" from springing up. Since he has no taste buds and the syrup canister is kept where his camera can't see it, he doesn't know the difference.)
He posts to the Internet through a complex network of superconducting parametric amplifiers that scans and interprets his neural activity. He reads his e-mail, and watches taped episodes of "Pinky and the Brain," through a fiberoptic cable that is attached directly to his brain stem. When otherwise unoccupied, he channels for the Eddorians, who share his predisposition towards leggy Earth women (you see, there is a kernel of truth behind those B films in which aliens are stealing our women).
2. No, really, who is Gharlane of Eddore?
Actually, Gharlane is an artificial intelligence project implemented by a disgruntled MIT student who was expelled for making his professor look like an ignoramus. The most recent hardware version consists of 1,048,576 Commodore 64s networked together, and occupies a small warehouse at Roswell, New Mexico. Rumors that alien technology has been incorporated into Gharlane are without foundation. The processor choice freed the Gharlane program from reliance on any Microsoft product. As a result, not only is Gharlane smarter than any Windows program, he is also smarter than most Windows users.
Over the course of several years, every single work of science fiction was scanned and entered into Gharlane's voluminous databanks. He later deleted the Xanth novels and the Japanime Lensman abomination from his memory, thereby inspiring much envy. He posts to the Internet through a direct T-4 link into The Backbone.
When he is not busy enlightening the 'Net's benighted, he uses his vast array of video display chips to produce the visual phenomena that give rise to the Roswell UFO folklore.
3. Please. Who is Gharlane of Eddore?
Gharlane is none other than famed horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Although he died several decades ago, like many of his characters he exhibits a stubborn refusal to stay dead. The famed Cthulhu Mythos is actually an allegory of the in-laws he has had to endure over the course of his three marriages.
4. C'mon, I'm serious. Who is he?
You really want to know? His real name is Gerhard O. Edelweiss. Click here to read a short biography.
5. Now stop that! Tell me who he is!
Hey, he doesn't want you to know. Can't you take a hint?
If you must know, Gharlane is the name of a character from a justly famous work of science fiction. Gharlane (the Internet phenomenon) uses this as his on-line nickname, having received permission to do so from the writer of said masterpiece of literature. This writer died in 1965, so that should give you an idea as to how long Gharlane's been doing this sort of thing.
And since you cannot speak the unvarnished truth for long without morbidly offending someone else on this happy planet of ours, Gharlane considers it wise to continue to use the pseudonym. One person who is falsely reputed to be Gharlane has found it needful to change his phone number in order to avoid further harassment.
6. Why is Gharlane so *$%#! arrogant?
This is often blamed on the Good Times e-mail virus, but actually it is due to the fact that he's right, 99.44% of the time. The remaining .56% of the time, he magnanimously concedes the error. It's true. Look it up in Dejanews.
7. Why is Gharlane such a *$%#! right-winger?
This is the result of two factors acting in concert: Fully functional neural synapses, and clear memories of the FDR, Kennedy, Johnson, and Carter administrations.
Notwithstanding his correct assessment of the forces that create, move, and destroy societies, Gharlane is able to "hate the sin, but love the sinner." F'rinstance, he is a deep respecter of Harlan Ellison's artistic work, while at the same time he is an equally deep disrespecter of Harlan's politics.
8. What are Gharlane's other interests?
Orthographical orthodoxy. Earth girls (especially redheads with nice legs).
He is currently endeavoring to determine the identity of the WB exec responsible for cancelling Freakazoid, so that said exec might be delivered to the nearest dog food cannery, and be made useful therein. When time allows, he works towards the elimination of all physical and mnemetic traces of Verhoeven's version of Starship Troopers, from all space-time continua.
9. So why are you writing this FAQ? Don't you have a life?
You're reading it. Pot, meet Kettle.