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This is a link to a PDF file with the art and instructions for a Joss Whedon paper doll.

No, I can't explain it either and now I must go sleep.
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I could joke that the show would have been better with the sound muted, but only because the dancing to Gaga was the most convincing sequence. (Which is a bad sign since that is the world she left behind.)

I couldn't really hear the song that came on after Gaga, but I adored it and look forward to finding out what it was.

It sure felt like it was stumbling out of the gate but enough questions need answering that I'll hang in a bit to see what happens.

As far as Pretender-Dark-Alias-Angel clones go, it was alright.

As far as S&M Quantum Leap Anti-human trafficking shows about amnesia and repressed memories go, it was rather good.

The bad news is that Buffy and Firefly worked because of long-term connections between the leads as they became a dramatic ensemble. This looks unlikely for Dollhouse considering the plot structure.

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Now the army plans to hire Mr. Schroeder again to write Zefra II, another sci-fi book about what Canadian soldiers may face in 2040, said Lt.-Col. Rostek, one of a small team of soldiers who advise the army about what may come to pass three decades from now.

Dear U.S. Government,

Could you do that too? Maybe stop killing non-rich, non-white, non-Christian people and instead put the money into hiring SF writers to crank out some high grade futurism? Because that would be cool.
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From the Onion:

FDA Approves Depressant Drug For The Annoyingly Cheerful

"Eva said she never knew how her annoyingly chipper attitude was affecting those around her."
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I think Poppy Z. Brite just bestowed ovaries on me.

This is the highest honor I've received in my life so far.

(For anyone who cares, reading Exquisite Corpse when I'd decided to give up on being a deconstructionist literary theorist and gone to LA to take a job for a company that sold cardboard movie diplays, mostly to Disney, changed my life. I wandered into Dangerous Visions and bought EC. That led to discovering Christa Faust, Caitlin R. Kiernan and Kathe Koja quite quickly afterward and realizing that I had to write fiction after years away from it. The cardboard people offered a job that paid more than I'll ever make in my life. I said no and went to grad school for an MFA.)

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Since I'm seeing opposing points of view from people I respect, I figure I'll just rant a little in both directions. I meant to do a rant on how novelists with a book coming out should view bookstores, but that one has ballooned into an article. I swear I could go on about a stale cookie for seventy pages.

I'm not wedded to ink on paper. Somebody wants me to write words for a screenplay or a video game script of a comic (oh please, please, you have no idea how much I heart the idea of doing comics) or whatever, I type and hit send. That's my part, the typing and the hitting sending. Their part is that the check clears. Most of the rest is less relevant in practice, at least to a hack like me.

Rights get squabbled over when like less than a hundred dollars are involved all the time. Hint: if your business plan for writing can't handle getting swindled out of a hundred dollars every once and a while, you should be typing more or job-hunting. Things are rough out there and the publishing industry is not going to turn around any time soon.

Why is the Kindle 2 being able to do an annoying robot voice okay?

Because it's not fun enough to make audio books worthless. I love books and it took me a long time, but I've learned to love audio books. That doesn't mean I want them read to me in a freaky voice that should separate its teeth farther and try breathing once and a while. I buy (via audible mostly) over a dozen audiobooks a year. I buy from Audible even though I hate DRM because they're cheaper, convenient and much more environmentally friendly than dealing with the plethora of packaging. Who doesn't want their blind grandmother to be able to have Jane Austen read to her in a robot voice? (Not the zombie parts. I presume those are copyrighted.)

The internet, I presume, can already do the robot voice on most any text, so we're just talking a more portable version of something that already exists. As far as I can tell, there was no hassle before Amazon decided to incorporate the feature into a stand alone product. Technically, I feel like the robot voice version would cheapen plenty of books the same way that watching a movie on a handheld player is quite different than seeing it in a theatre. Finally, I wonder if some of the reaction is from the experience of owners of content putting it on the web without getting the chance to renegotiate rights. To me, it looks like some people remember how their work was used in ways that it wasn't originally planned on being used and they didn't like getting hosed that time.

Why is the Kindle 2 a problem?

Both of these sides have merit. Amazon, not unlike the Google Books experience, is a big greedy corporation that would be glad to trample on the rights of creators and publishers if they can claim ignorance and get away with it. Amazon is probably even willing to get sued for doing a bad thing if it helps them sell enough Kindle 2s. That's just good business sense on their part. All issues with capitalism aside, greed, in and of itself, is a very predictable motive. Greed can be relied on to behave a certain way. But the best argument against the Kindle 2 being able to create really bad audiobooks out of anything, especially if those can then be exported and put onto other digital players, for example, is that the voice-generating software is going to get extremely good very quickly because of the loophole.

Trust me, I don't have a puppy in this skirmish. I believe in creators getting paid as much as they can, but I figure you sign the contract for the money and the rest of it is real tough if it's you against Amazon. My frame of reference isn't from the vantage point where you tell Jeff Bezos that he's going to here from your lawyers. Small presses are either going to have to play the game or pull their content. The worst situation will be where a small press has managed to sell the audio rights to a larger conglom for good money and now the conglom is going to tell the small press that they can't sell the book version on Amazon because Amazon isn't playing fair with the audio rights.

To me, that seems to be the likely hosing. I believe that spreading the word about work in almost any way possible helps sell the tactile book, at least for now. Going town-to-town reading the book and posting the readings on Youtube is good advertising, not the generation of a free competing product, in my view. But these things should be the choice of the owner of the content, at least in the situation of a small press getting slamdanced by a conglom who bought their audio rights and Amazon who is just taking a stand and saying that the voice is too crappy to count.

Because that seems to be Amazon's argument and that strikes me as stupid. If I recorded some audio books of Caitlin R. Kiernan or Nick Mamatas or Brian Evenson (which I would love to do and I have a great voice and worked in radio for many years and such) and then I started selling the recordings, that would be a form of pirating unless the stories were in creative commons or something. I know Kelly Link has released stories out into the wild and allowed others to record them. But even the ones in creative commons would start to balk when you packaged them and sold them for a profit.

So what am I babbling about?

The technology will get really good very quickly if this takes off. The voice that comes out of the Kindle 2.1 or 2.2 will blur the line and the Kindle 3 will sound good enough that most people won't care enough about Maggie Gyllenhaal's voice to buy her version of The Bell Jar anymore. To me, that seems obvious, especially since Amazon's argument appears to be that they're off the hook because the voice is so lousy. Am I against voice to speech software? Not at all. Do I think that the whole negotiating for rights concept is in need of an overhaul because the lines of fair use should be blurred and then redrawn? Probably. But, trying to look at it from both sides, I feel like Amazon's argument needs to be fine-tuned before it sounds like they're playing fair. A different argument might not sound like the big drooling greed of future exploitation.
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I have no interest in you. I am from Cooperstown, NY and any residual curiousity over something that is called "America's Pastime" was worn away by the grind of dealing with the tourists who felt like they'd purchased a ticket at the town limits and were entitled to treat everyone in the town as if they were Mousekeeters.

It is cool that I grew up somewhere where everyone walked up and down the street with baseball bats though. I don't know anywhere else where its acceptable to carry a baseball bat late at night and it's considered completely normal.

I don't read the sports pages. I don't watch the sports shows. I mock your existence, baseball.

But here's the thing.

This week, a major slugger who swore up and down forever that he had never even remotely considered the idea of steroids has been busted.

Hey, I don't care. Anyone who dates Madonna, even for a weekend, should embrace performance enhancement. I understand that a few extra powerful swings can be worth millions in the sports entertainment realm. Go for it.

And a player is rumored to have known he was HIV positive and infected his wife anyway.

That's sickening. Grotesque beyond the pale. Ick ick ick. But that's not really baseball's fault. Denial is weird and people get told horrible news and go into denial and risk the lives of the ones they claim to love all the time? Hmm...I guess not. It's bad news all around.

And then we have accounts of coke-fueled sex parties during games. Yes, right during the game. It was twenty years ago or whatever -- but here's my concern:

Baseball, I hate you and you're being so offensive and stupid that articles are running in other sections of the paper and I'm getting even less of the obscure and weird pop culture and creative artsy coverage that I thrive on. I'm like a fragile little baby fern and you're usurping my sun.

So stop it, baseball, stop it.

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1) is delightful.
2) is talented.
3) has a dog with a scrunched face and a vaguely bondagey collar on the first book of her new series...

I helped out at a signing she did for her one with Christopher Golden and she was utterly cool, even with creepy fans singing at her, so I'll scope out the book...but that dog is goofy..
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It would be wrong to rickroll people telling them it was a clip from the Abrams' Star Trek...

Thus, I confess that it is not.

This is "Warp Factor Love." It is an attempt at a blue-eyed torch song about how outer space can lead to gay love.

It has many Star Trek references that don't quite land, but it's so earnest. Did the redshirts symbolize queerness after all? The fact that the singer performs to another version of himself makes it even odder.
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For Telefon Tel Aviv fans, his body was found. Suicide rumors are abounding.

While I'm at it:


Kim Manners (I loved his use of shadows)

John Updike (once or twice his adjectives were cute)
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I have been to hundreds and hundreds of readings of fiction or poetry, never as popular as the one in DC I just saw on CNN. To see a reading as well attended as Elizabeth Alexander's shows a gorgeous paradigm shift. To follow this newfound popularity, I recommend calling:


Pressing 1 has Rain Graves read a horror poem and pressing 2 has Rainy read a Lovecraftian Mythos poem.

It is a free call and I think the poems I heard last night were recordings, but I highly recommend the joy of having Rainy read to you, especially late at night.
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This is a true story. If it were fiction, it would be a human skeleton.
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Happy 200th!

Christopher Walken's reading of "The Raven" with the text on screen. The guitars on this have never quite fit for me. Perhaps it needs more cowb...never mind.

(And Happy Dr. MLK, jr. Day!)
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I tend not to post dreams because people who know me in real life don't always get it, but [ profile] imago1 wrote one down late last night about trashing a hotel room rockstar-style, so I feel like I have permission.

Forty-five minutes ago, I woke from a dream where I was piloting a giant sea monster underwater. It felt somewhat like driving an eighteen wheeler, though I have never driven an eighteen wheeler. I didn't feel wet, but the cab I was sitting in felt fleshy. We were moving rapidly but I don't know where we were going.

I was singing a song that most likely went, "Trampled by dawn, sweet festering hole in me..." though "sweet" may have been "weak," I couldn't tell for sure partially because the acoustics were odd. Perhaps I was singing two verses at the same time.

book meme

Jan. 16th, 2009 01:02 pm
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Grab the book nearest you. Right now. Turn to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post that sentence along with these instructions in your LiveJournal. Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

"I suspect that the universe is full of races like our own, struggling to evolve."

Colin Wilson, The Mind Parasites

(The Supernatural Metaphysical Cult Thriller Monkfish edition with the Gary Lachman intro)

last one

Jan. 14th, 2009 09:23 pm
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The song "I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape" by The Times.
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Please bring me a new planet.


Jan. 14th, 2009 07:24 pm
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Not funny. Not right.

Other horribly wrong album covers are here:

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This is a technodisco anthem by Sin With Sabastion entitled "GoldenBoy."

I think the name is meant to be an imperative instruction. Klaus Nomi meets Right Said Fred is my only frame of reference for this.

Yes, his face is painted yellow while he is surrounded by bananas and then changes color with other fruit. 

Yes, he is dressed as the Joker while sitting on a throne on some sort of dias that looks somewhat like a UFO.

Yes, Jesus's face is cut out of the Last Supper and he sticks his face through.

Yes, a young boy is dipped in gold paint.

There is no chaser for this, ever...
but here is Nomi doing Lightning Strikes

Sin With Sabastian is most likely an advance in human evolution.

These  lyrics are wrong but close enough:

Goldenboy, born to love and live for joy
I'm a Goldenboy
Goldenboy, born to love and live for joy
I'm a Golden, Golden, Goldenboy

Prove one - I hate to work
prove two - I never do
prove three - is I get sick
even if I think of it

Prove four - I love to live
Prove five - I live for love
Prove six which finally is
I happen to be good at it !

Special, I`m special, say hey, hey
Special, I`m special, say second best is for the rest
and I'm the best !

I like to spend my days in bed
what I do remains unsaid
to stay in bed is fun and safe
although it is quite poorly paid

Future plans are not for me
no space for that not in my head
I live my life right here and now
tomorrow I might well be dead !

Special, I`m special, say hey, hey
Special, I`m special, say second best is for the rest
and I'm Sebastian!


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May 2009

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