Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

Protected: “THAT GUY” [in-progress 2]

May 21, 2011 Enter your password to view comments.

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Protected: “THAT GUY” [in-progress]

May 18, 2011 Enter your password to view comments.

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Categories: Literature, Not-A-Reviews

No new post tonight.

It’s quarter after eleven, my shoulder hurts and there’s no way I’m going to sit at a computer typing frantically just to come up with something even more depressing than my last article I wrote with no real reason to. So screw it. I’m going to bed, hoping my shoulder feels better tomorrow and reading a god damn book in the mean time.

Categories: Literature, Not-A-Reviews

Assorted thoughts.

People tell me quite often that Twitter has no purpose, is stupid and is only for people with the most miniscule of attention spans. I don’t agree with a lot of this, and I also disagree that it makes us feel more connected than we actually are. I’ve never felt really, truly bonded to someone on Twitter the way I do in real life, but I digress. The real point I’m getting at is that people who bash Twitter aren’t bashing Twitter for what it is. They’re almost never just admonishing it for putting an artificial restraint on communication–surely there are avenues left for unrestrained expression where you could rewrite Atlas Shrugged in lojban for all I care–nonono. People who bash Twitter are bashing it for being Minecraft or for being something like Saints Row II (entirely uninformed analogy)–they’re criticizing it for doing anything you want it to do and not having an instruction manual. Twitter will do absolutely anything you can think of.

Are you looking for a place to publish the minutiae of what you eat and wear on a daily basis? Congratulations, you can do that. Are you looking for a poor man’s RSS feed for people who don’t know how to work RSS feeds so that your webcomic can reach a broader audience? You can do that, too. You can use Twitter as a forum to engage with people about things they might not necessarily publicize otherwise. You can use it solely to publicize new blog posts–OR, my favourite use of Twitter, you can do all of those things at once from the same account. By following one account, a single user can get the personal stories of the author, updates on new blog posts and projects as well as political news from around the world that they might not necessarily be tuned in to.

BREAKING NEWS: this reappraisal of Twitter has now been interrupted by the fact that Canada just elected a Conservative majority government. Read more…

Machine of Death 2

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

So, last night at a talent show organized by David Malki !, featuring the works of Machine of Death fans around the world, Malki ! dropped the bomb. He revealed, at the end of the show, that there will be a second volume of Machine of Death and that it too will feature submissions from the public–all new material he’s asking us to submit between May 15th and July 31st. For those of you who are unfamiliar, either read my review or the rest of this paragraph. Machine of Death is a speculative fiction anthology about a machine that can tell you with infallible accuracy how you will die. However, in addition to being 100% accurate every time you get tested–and getting the same result, no matter which machine you go to–it can also be maddeningly vague or ironic with your death. A man who gets OLD AGE may die in his eighties or may be struck down by a car driven by a senior citizen. And the thing that David Malki !, Ryan Q. North and Matthew Bennardo are asking us to do is give them stories set in a universe where this device exists. That’s all we gotta do. They’ve also given us a bullet point list of stories not to write and said that we can submit a maximum of three stories. So here are the three ideas I have for mine.

Number one, and likely the best: “THAT GUY”

I’ve had a few fascinations in my life, but the primary one for wanting to write stories is language. And that’s where the inspiration for this story comes from: the phrase “don’t be that guy”. It assumes so many things–we all know that guy, we all know everything there is to know about that guy and none of us would like to be that guy–so what if that guy was the person who was going to kill you? Scott is a normal guy whose death prediction reads “THAT GUY” (quotation marks included) and, seeing how incredibly and amazingly vague that prediction is, he doesn’t worry about it. It’s on his driver’s license, along with his organs to be donated, but he doesn’t look at it or pay it any mind. Steve is the kind of guy to insist on his normality. His card reads SUCCESS. And his card, the fate of his life, has hung over his head every day of his life from the day he got tested to the present day. The story opens with both Scott and Steve in the same year in college. Read more…

Categories: Literature, Not-A-Reviews

Today’s various musings.

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

I was surrounded by rappers, but none of them rapped.

I’m sorry, readers, for again today, I’ve expected myself to have something to say and again I’ve shown up empty handed. A schedule like this is rather demanding, you see, and I fear I can only keep it up for so long before breaking down in a pile of wasted, weeping insanity from the stresses of having to write 1000 words a day all year. In a lot of respects, I suppose webcomics authors have it easier than I do. I was reading the TVTropes page on Schedule Slip today. It’s when creatives miss a deadline–sometimes by years. The examples on that page are downright shocking in some cases. Including one low detail, black and white comic that updated once in the entire calendar year of 2009. Once. And it wasn’t a book they updated with, it was four lone panels. And they weren’t even funny.

There are also official works where people get paid to release material on time, like the manga for Neon Genesis Evangelion. That’s been going on so long that I can’t even find a copy of the fourth volume in North America, but it’s still stuck at the beginning of the second-to-last episode. To re-iterate, an early volume is nearly out of print while it’s yet to be completed. Sadly, I’m a big fan of its alternate character interpretations as compared to the series and would like to read more of it. Too bad for me, I guess. Read more…

My mileage indeed varies on YMMV.

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve said it before, here, and I’ll say it again now: I’m a known troper. On TVTropes, I have a handle that I go by that you can recognize my edits by. I’m pretty sure this qualifies me to make some sort of speech about TVTropes, but in order for this story to have any meaning, you’ll need a few background facts. First off is the fact that although I pretty much live my life online, I’ve never been an active member in an online forum. The idea that I’d have to go back and forth to one place, hoping someone had responded to me and waiting for the time when they would just never appealed to me. I like Facebook primarily because the notifications come to me, instead of the other way around. This just means that I’ve never taken something to the forums, asked forumites for help with something or what-have-you. It’s just not my style. Another thing you’ll have to know: on TVTropes, they have this thing (that’s likely reached the rest of the internet by now–show how badly I’m behind the times) called YMMV. It stands for Your Mileage May Vary and means that what one person gets out of a particular work, you might not and vice versa.

YMMV as a concept is one I’ve invoked several times in conversation with people like Dan’s friends or Mel’s friends. When I find myself swimming upstream on something–hating Slumdog Millionaire or hating Plastic Beach or not being too passionate about Inception–I often reduce my side of the argument (which starts out as glaring faults) to “Enh, your mileage may vary.” This is because what’s so cool it’s awesome to one person may just be so okay it’s average to the next. For instance, my favourite giant monster movie Cloverfield inspires some wicked indifference in others and that’s cool. I have always been fine with a wide array of opinions. The only thing that bugs me is when people are ashamed of having opinions. We all have them, it’s fine. We’re human, we think and feel and have ideas about things, it’s natural. It’s when the expression of these thoughts, feelings and ideas is barred that I can’t get behind it. Read more…