Saturday Waffling (August 29th, 2015)
Those inclined towards more of me nattering on about the Hugos will enjoy the video blog I just did for the wonderful Aric Clark. Embedded below.
Those inclined towards more of me nattering on about the Hugos will enjoy the video blog I just did for the wonderful Aric Clark. Embedded below.
I was pleasantly surprised when, along with the expected release of the Janelle Monáe-led The Eephus EP, the end of the week brought a new FKA Twigs EP as well. The Eephus is solid; its main effect is to stress the intriguing talent of Jidenna, whose “Classic Man” is probably the highlight, getting the obligatory remix with Kendrick Lamar verses (not as good a version, but charming in its own right). Monáe’s “Yoga” (also featuring Jidenna) is also great. The remaining tracks are somewhat filler, although Roman GianArthur’s “iKnow” is decent.
Also essential viewing is the entire Wondaland crew’s “Hell You Talmbout,” a live cut about police brutality.
The FKA Twigs release, M3LL155X, is of more consistent quality. Nothing comes close to “Two Weeks” in quality, but that’s the sort of song few artists ever hit the quality of twice in a career, so that’s churlish. The standout track is probably “In Time,” though as I said, they’re all quite good. The above link is a combo music video for the first four tracks, and is disturbing and weird and wonderful.
What’ve you all been listening to?
Or, alternate second topic, Vox Day decided to reply to a couple days old tweet in which I suggested he was a massive sequence of junk DNA by calling me a pedophile and insulting my appearance, which seemed like rather weak game from such an accomplished troll. I mean, it’s not even good libel.
Which led to me tweeting claims like “Vox Day is incapable of maintaining an erection unless there’s a photograph of Francisco Franco visible” and “Vox Day has the Innsmouth Look” with the hashtag #betterlibel.
Please, amuse me with further high quality libel about Vox Day, either here or on twitter.…
You will recall that the Super Nintendo Project is a magical ritual to destroy Gamergate.
Less than twenty-four hours after the Lemmings post went up, Reaxxion, the neo-reactionary gaming site created by Roosh V (of Return of Kings infamy) created to try to get people to make the leap from Gamergate to literal, actual rapist announced that it would be closing.
The Great Leisure continues on Monday with Contra III: The Alien Wars. And then The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past the week after that, which I’ll be writing in the next day or two, and which will go up pretty much as soon as it’s ready for Patreon backers. Who have had the Contra III post since Monday. They live in the future. Or you live in the past. Hopefully the Kinda commentary track I did with Jack Graham will also go up sometime this week, along with an a review of Charlie Jane Anders’s All The Birds in the Sky.
I’m delinquent on last month’s Patreon bonus post, which is going to be about True Detective and Hannibal, I think mainly because I feel the need for at least one, if not both to end before I say anything about them. They’re both intense for me at the moment; True Detective less so, and I think it’s the inferior show at the moment (I’d have said the opposite last year), but I’m still very much enjoying the show. Hannibal borders on just too much for me, especially with the Blakean weirdness kicking up, but in a way I’ve seldom been invested in a show.
I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on either show.…
So, you may recall a month or two ago when I ran a big, juicy story on how the website Doctor Who Online was ripping off advertisers. And that got me thinking about my own advertising, and about how I’d much rather be offering advertising to other small businesses within the fan/geek community than selling them via Google and hosting loads of crap ads using phrases like “one weird trick” and “professors hate him” unironically.
So I’m pleased to announce that I’ve switched advertising over to Project Wonderful, an advertising network created by Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics/Squirrel Girl fame, and working mostly among webcomics and other independent websites. Which means that you, yes you, can now easily advertise on my site.
Ads are bid-based, so they cost, basically, as much as people are willing to pay for it. The ads helpfully self-advertise how much outbidding the current ad would cost you, and if you click on the text beneath the ads they’ll give you nice and easy directions on how to advertise. I get more page views per day than Doctor Who Online, and charge a fraction of the price for ads. So please, if you’ve got something you want to advertise, go ahead and do it. My guess is it’ll only cost you a couple bucks a day.
As for things to discuss, I admit that I’m more than slightly bemused and intrigued by Colin Baker’s somewhat indecorous feud with Doctor Who Magazine over the practice of publishing ranked lists of things (his feelings are described in detail towards the top of his site), not least because I’ve settled on the ranked list as the house style for reviews here. And while I admit my view is roughly “I feel like Colin Baker should be more concerned about the fact that his tenure in Doctor Who asked the audience to accept a domestic abuser as a sympathetic protagonist than about the hurt feelings of whoever comes in last in a fan survey,” it seems an interesting enough thing to discuss. So, anyone feel like stepping up and defending Baker’s position that the least popular members of a set should be spared the indignity of coming in last in fan polls? Or, if you want the broader philosophical topic, bad reviews: what’s the point of them?
We’re back on Monday with the start of the next round of The Super Nintendo Project. See you the.…
The Davison/Baker edits are continuing to come along nicely; I’m firmly in the midst of the extra essays, which are mostly going to end up being Colin Baker extra essays, just because I think that makes for a better book really.
The last Brief Treatise for the foreseeable will go up on Monday, and then “Name of the Doctor” on Tuesday. I’ve got the first sentence of my Hannibal/True Detective piece, but it’s not quite cohering yet. I know the broad strokes of what I want to say, but the shape is still proving elusive.
So, Super Nintendo Project for a bit after that. The next stretch of games, namely “those that came out in 1993,” will take us pretty much right up to Doctor Who Season Nine, at which point I’ll switch to that.
Unless the Patreon hits $325 by then. If it does, I’ll run something alongside S9 reviews. Maybe another stretch of Super Nintendo Project. Maybe something else.
Speaking of which, are there any topics that would get you to back the Patreon if you’re not already a backer? With Brief Treatise off the table for a bit, I’ve very much got a slot for a blog project open, as it were. I’m very much open to input on what to do, and if someone throws something intriguing out, I may well follow up on it.…
Finally getting my teeth into the extra essays for the Davison/Baker book, so that’s nice. Shouldn’t be much longer on that. After that, Last War in Albion Book One, alongside my end-of-year targeted collection of a couple of my stand-alone pieces. So that’s all fun.
Speaking of the Davison/Baker book, I’d love to do an essay on the original Paul Cornell story serialized in Queen Bat that he later adapted into Timewyrm: Revelation. Anyone who has a lead on a copy that they could help me with, I’d be appreciative.
“Blackwater” will go up Monday, and then “Valar Morghulis” the week after, with the Super Nintendo Project resuming in August. I’m not planning on going back to Brief Treatise until at least Season Six’s transmission. Super Nintendo Project will run until mid-September, at which point I’ll either switch to Doctor Who reviews or, if the Patreon gets above $325 by then, do Super Nintendo Project alongside Doctor Who reviews.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell will go up tonight. It’s a good one.
How did people end up voting in the Hugos? And also, reactions to the Season Nine trailer from ComicCon? Or to any other announcements from last weekend?…
Update: Mr. Brook has responded in the comments. Jack Graham, on Twitter, characterizes his response as “bluff and bafflegab and nothing else,” which is pretty much the long and short of it.
I’ve got a funeral today (not mine), so I won’t be able to address it in detail until tonight. I’ve replied in the comments, and updated the original post. The tl;dr is “regrettably it seems like only legal action is appropriate, and that victims should contact UK Trading Services via Citizens Advice.”
The original post follows.
Surprising nobody, this is pretty much all about the article I posted on Thursday accusing the website Doctor Who online and its owner Sebastian Brook of fraud. We’ll be back with Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell tonight.
The reports of Sebastian J. Brook and Doctor Who Online ripping people off continue to roll in, both over this and over a wealth of previous slights to a variety of people, both prominent and obscure, over the past decade. Seemingly nobody actually has a good word to say about him or the site.
Meanwhile, Brook remains silent, his only response to people who ask for a response to my article being to block them, or to privately insinuate that there are inaccuracies without offering a shred of detail as to what those inaccuracies might be. I would suggest that at this point his silence speaks volumes.
For my part, what I want is for small business owners in and around the Doctor Who community to be safe from predatory and fraudulent offers. That’s it. That’s literally my only goal here. I think by far the easiest way for that to be accomplished would be for Sebastian Brook to show the barest modicum of integrity and respond to the evidence I’ve unearthed in a convincing way that allows everybody to move forward with confidence. I continue to call on him to do that, both because it saves everyone a lot of trouble, and, more to the point, because it is literally the only remotely moral response available to him.
Beyond that… Over the past week, Doctor Who Online has been running a Twitter hashtag #whatwhomeanstome.
That’s obviously not a 140 character sort of question for me, hence, you know, the books and all. But certainly a part of what Doctor Who means to me – the largest single part – is that it’s an expression of a moral viewpoint that says “stand up to crass and petty jerks who hurt other people.” A viewpoint that is completely and utterly uncompromising on that. What Doctor Who means to me, more than anything else, is standing up and saying “no, this is wrong.”
Look, if you read that article and don’t think there’s a compelling case that Doctor Who Online has a moral duty to answer, fine. I disagree with you, but go on your way.
But if you read it and thought “god, that’s awful,” then for God’s sake, step up and help do something about it.…
There is a prominent Doctor Who site that I have very strong suspicions engages in deeply fraudulent and exploitative practices with regards to their advertising. I was a victim of this scam, but managed to get my money back (by threatening to go public with the evidence I had), which led me to remain silent at the time, but I’ve since come across a corroborating story that convinces me that this was not an isolated incident. However, I would like to get my ducks in a row and have a rock solid case that this wasn’t just me before I name the site.
The mechanics of this scam involve getting cold emailed by the owner of the site, who will offer supposedly discounted advertising rates for a three month banner ad on their site, offering thousands of clicks for a price measuring in the hundreds of pounds depending on the size of the ad you buy, and generally assuring you of the quality of advertising with his site and the remuneration you will get. In reality, his ad will net you at best a few dozen clicks, and no sales to speak of.
If you’ve been the victim of this scam, please get in touch – my email is snowspinner, and it’s a gmail account. This appears to be a nasty and knowingly malicious predator ripping off numerous members of the Doctor Who community. Please help me expose him. In particular, if you did any ad tracking and can confirm the actual traffic his site generates compared to what he boasts, that would be helpful.
In other news, the usual suspects are now declaring a boycott of Tor Books for reasons that are so typically dogshit that I’m not even going to get into them. Anyway, Tor is publishing most of what’s interesting in mainstream science fiction and fantasy these days, including the forthcoming novel All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, which I’ll have a review of sometime soon. They’re a good press; not a perfect one, but what “a perfect press” means is beyond me anyway, so who cares.
So I think you should go wander over by their site, find a book you want to buy, and buy it. I promise, they’ve got something you want, even if it’s just the 99 cent ebook version of “As Good as New,” which is the actual Best Short Story of 2014. So please, give them a boost of confidence that the people who support non-fascist science fiction and fantasy outnumber the people spamming them with e-mails and calling for their heads.
As for discussion… well, what’s your favorite thing Tor has published? Novel, short story, article, whatever. Let’s celebrate one of the good guys.
Past that, a Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell review will be along tonight.…
If you missed it, yesterday’s Last War in Albion was something of a big post, culminating in the moment where I finally offer something of a thesis statement/summation of the sort of endlessly building history of Alan Moore that’s been going on, namely that he’s a con man. There’s still a brief chapter on The Ballad of Halo Jones to wrap up Book One (actually brief; it’s the shortest of the eleven chapters in Book One), and then on to Book Two. Excitement and fear abound.
Speaking of excitement and fear, with no shortage of deep ambivalence, I’m interviewing Theodore Beale today. What are you doing?…
First of all, the Perdido Street Station post is going to be in June. I foolishly didn’t look at the length of the book before planning my reading for the month, and am only halfway through. Will go back to reading after I schedule this though.
Hoping to clear time to look at the Hugo Packet a bit, if only to get a broader sense of the Puppies. My interview with Day/Beale isn’t quite nailed down yet, but it’s getting close. (He’s still rereading Wasp Factory, which is the main delay. I, in what was in hindsight the wrong call, reread it prior to Seveneves, putting Perdido Street Station after that.)
But for those who have read the Hugo packet, how are things in it? What are your ballots, if you’re not voting No Award in all categories (or if you’re ranking things below No Award, as I am planning to do with the non-Puppy choices, after perusing the Puppy choices to see if there are any surprises there.
Other than that, I’ve wrapped up the Davison revisions and started in on Colin Baker. Friday’s Last War in Albion is a big one. And there’s my first stab at original fiction in years up for people backing the Patreon at $5 or more. See you tomorrow night for Hardhome.…