Re Duffypocalpse and the Cheque of Doom
In the House of Commons yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, temporarily reverting to his former role as partisan fire extinguisher, said no, Harper knew nothing about the deal until, like other appalled Conservatives, he saw it on the evening news.
Strangely, Harper himself did not say that in his speech to his caucus, at least the portion of it that was public. Nor did Nigel Wright on Sunday, in his resignation letter. Nor did the PMO last week. In his remarks Harper ignored the payment entirely. In the other two cases the language was ever so carefully crafted to allow for some knowledge on his part, though not of “the means” or “the details.”
I’ll be boarding a plane very shortly and going totally incommunicado until I land in Bucharest sometime tomorrow morning…so I’ll leave you something pretty to look at. This is Rosa canina, the dog rose, and the national flower of Romania.
And just because I like it, here’s Salvia transsylvanica, or the Transylvanian sage.
My destination is looking gorgeous already.
Secular Woman has issued a formal statement on the ‘introduction’ to the Women in Secularism conference. It’s pretty potent stuff…I like it.
I look forward to the CEO’s response, which will probably compare it to a communique from Red China. A declaration of war, perhaps?
Justin E. H. Smith in his blog:
A student in rural Iceland, of sheep-farming stock, had her guard down, or didn't yet have a guard. She didn't know how to talk to foreigners, or perhaps felt there was something she had to get across to foreigners, or to this foreigner, who showed an interest in her country. She said, in the hope of conveying to me the whole ethical-spiritual outlook of her country in a single concrete example: In Iceland we are taught not to smash rocks.
In recent years something called 'environmental ethics' is moving into the mainstream, finding space alongside the Kantian, the utilitarian, and so on, which for their part suppose that an ethical relation can only be had toward an ethical subject, and that such subjects are found only among human or at most animal beings. Even environmental ethics tends to imagine the environment with a thick arboreal canopy, with lush grass, and lillypads covering seething green ponds. But in the Arctic and sub-Arctic the 'environment' is mostly a geological rather than a biological phenomenon, and it is not altogether surprising that in such a setting rocks come forward as phenomenally salient, as creatures, as others, more readily than in the Amazon. And still less do the rocks come forward as our petrous co-beings in the big cities of the world, where they only appear ground down and formed into angular artifacts of human ingenuity, which in turn you are not supposed to smash, since in the process of their transformation they have become 'property'.
Jalees Rehman in The Guardian:
The bulk of contemporary science journalism falls under the category of "infotainment". This expression describes science writing that informs a non-specialist target audience about new scientific discoveries in an entertaining fashion. The "informing" typically consists of giving the reader some historical background surrounding the scientific study, summarises key findings and then describes the significance and implications of the research. Analogies are used to convey complex scientific concepts so that a reader without a professional scientific background can grasp the ideas driving the research.
Direct quotes from the researchers also help illustrate the motivations, relevance, and emotional impact of the findings. The entertainment component varies widely, ranging from an enticing or witty style of writing to the choice of the subject matter. Freaky copulation techniques in the animal kingdom, discoveries that change our views about the beginnings of the universe or of life, heart-warming stories about ailing children that might be cured through new scientific breakthroughs, sci-fi robots, quirky anecdotes or heroic struggles of the scientists involved in the research – these are examples of topics that will capture the imagination of the intended audience.
However, infotainment science journalism rarely challenges the validity of the scientific research study or criticises its conclusions. Perfunctory comments, either by the journalist or in the form of quotes – such as "It is not clear whether these findings will also apply to humans" or "This is just a first step and more research is needed" are usually found at the end of such pieces – but it is rare to find an independent or detailed critical analysis.
Razib Khan in Gene Expression:
My own inclination has been to not get bogged down in the latest race and IQ controversy because I don’t have that much time, and the core readership here is probably not going to get any new information from me, since this is not an area of hot novel research. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the world isn’t talking, and I think perhaps it might be useful for people if I stepped a bit into this discussion between Andrew Sullivan and Ta-Nehisi Coates specifically. My primary concern is that here we have two literary intellectuals arguing about a complex topic which spans the humanities andthe sciences. Ta-Nehisi, as one who studies history, feels confident that he can dismiss the utility of racial population structure categorization because as he says, “no coherent, fixed definition of race actually exists.” I am actually more of a history guy than a math guy, not because I love history more than math, but because I am not very good at math. And I’ve even read books such as The Rise and Fall of the Caucasian Race and The History of White People (as well as biographies of older racial theorists, such as Madison Grant). So I am not entirely ignorant of Ta-Nehisi’s bailiwick, but, I think it would be prudent for the hoarders of old texts to become a touch more familiar with the crisp formalities of the natural sciences.
In his posts on this topic Ta-Nehisi repeatedly points to the real diversity in physical type and ancestry among African Americans, despite acknowledging implicitly the shared preponderant history. But today with genomic methods we have a rather better idea of the distribution of ancestry among African Americans. The above plot is from Characterizing the admixed African ancestry of African Americans, a 2009 paper with 94 Africans of diverse geographic origins, 136 African Americans, and 38 European Americans. They looked at 450,000 genetic variants (SNPs) per person (there are somewhat more than 10 million SNPs in the human genome). Obviously individuals and populations exhibit genetic relationships to each other contingent upon the patterns of the variation of base pairs (A, C, G, and T) across the genomes of individuals, but there’s no reasonable way to comprehend this “by eye” when you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of markers. The authors used two simple methods to infer clustering within the data set.
Back in the days before smart phones with GPS functions became ubiquitous we had maps. Remember how hard it was to fold them? Mathematicians feel your pain; they have struggled with map folding problems for generations. But a recent insight by a maths student suggests there might be another way to approach these problems, one that makes an unlikely connection between combinatorics, origami and engineering.
Old-fashioned navigation aid.
A reader writes:
I called a candidate for an interview and left a detailed message of when and where to call me back. When this person called back, he was very rude with our front desk clerks and stated he was not sure who called.
What can I say to this candidate? I don’t want to schedule him for an interview based on the complaints I received back about his actions. I had initially contacted him for a position where the customer service is very important, and if he couldn’t even be nice over the phone it makes me not want to waste my time. What can I say when this person calls back?
Well, you have two choices: Tell him the truth, or be vague.
If you’d rather be vague, you can simply say, “We’ve since moved forward with other candidates, but I appreciate your time.” (And if you go this route, you could simply send him an email right now saying this, rather than waiting to see if he calls back.)
If you want to tell him the real reason, you could say, “To be honest, customer service is very important for this role, and we’re assessing those skills in every contact with candidates. The person who took your earlier call had concerns about the way you handled the call, and so I don’t think the position is the right fit.”
The arguments in favor of giving him candid feedback are (1) you’d be doing him a service by letting him know the impact of his phone manner, and (2) the principle of the thing — someone who was rude to the receptionist should hear that it’s not okay.
The arguments against giving him candid feedback are (1) you’re opening yourself up to a potentially rude or hostile reaction, (2) you have no obligation to coach this guy on his job search skills, let alone to open yourself up to potential hostility as a result, and (3) one could argue there’s no point; you know you’re not going to hire this guy, so you might as well just move on.
Which way to go is really up to you. I’m a fan of giving candidates feedback when it’s not awkward and is easily delivered. But you certainly don’t need to, and could go the easier (and vaguer) route instead.
"My only argument with Ruben B. here is his apologetic tone for asking you to pay money for early access to his very good comics -- that is to say, something that YOU LIKE AND WANT. DO NOT APOLOGIZE, RUBEN." -John Hodgman, Charter INNER HIVE member
Please click HERE for information.
The woman had been under the mistaken impression the age of consent was 16 and was ashamed and embarrassed at her conduct and was working on reconciling with her former partner."Woman filmed with stepson"
"She accepts this is not a relationship which can or will continue," he told the court.
Justice David Porter remanded the woman in custody and will sentence her on Monday.
In Guatemala today, confusion and concern around what will become of the historic trial that found former US-backed military dictator Ríos Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. Just 10 days after that trial ended in an 80-year prison sentence for the former general, the nation's Constitutional Court this week overturned the trial and threw out the verdict. Background here and documents here, in previous Boing Boing posts.
Ríos Montt's attorney Francisco García Gudiel (whom critics in Guatemala sometimes refer to as an "abogangster") says the trial must restart: "You have to cancel the whole process and begin a new trial with new judges."
Without saying it, they threw out everything," plaintiff and human rights attorney Hector Reyes told Reuters. "There is no appeals process for their decision."
Reyes is a lawyer with CALDH (Center for Legal Action on Human Rights), the organization that represented Maya Ixil victims in the case. From Elisabeth Malkin's report in the New York Times:
Calling the constitutional court’s ruling “eminently illegal,” he said that the repeated delays caused by endless appeals “are part of the impunity in Guatemala.”
Moisés Galindo, part of the defense team representing General Ríos Montt, agreed that a new trial would probably be necessary. “For all practical effects, the Constitutional Court is saying the debate has to begin again in front of new judges,” he said.
CALDH is organizing a series of events in Guatemala City today and tomorrow, to include a march down the "Path of Impunity" which leads from the Corte Suprema de Justicia (where the genocide trial and conviction took place) to the Constitutional Court (which effectively annulled the case this week). Shown here (click to enlarge), a flyer from CALDH circulating on Facebook.
Related reading: Elisabeth Malkin's NYT report on the United States' role in Guatemala's genocide. She read this previous Boing Boing post, and references its contents in the story:
Back in 1983, Elliott Abrams, the assistant secretary of state for human rights under President Ronald Reagan, once suggested that General Ríos Montt’s rule had “brought considerable progress” on human rights.
Mr. Abrams was defending the Reagan administration’s request to lift a five-year embargo on military aid to Guatemala. Brushing off concern from human rights groups about the rising scale of the massacres in Mayan villages, Mr. Abrams declared that “the amount of killing of innocent civilians is being reduced step by step.”
Speaking on “The MacNeil-Lehrer Report,” he argued, “We think that kind of progress needs to be rewarded and encouraged.”
That archival “The MacNeil-Lehrer Report” video is embedded below.
Also in el Periodico today, another bizarre op-ed by Foundation Against Terrorism director Ricardo Méndez Ruiz. During the trial, his organization published 20-page paid ad campaigns in the Sunday paper describing the trial as a neo-Marxist conspiracy enabled by the Catholic Church, and describing international observers, journalists, and human rights advocates as "enemies of the motherland." His Foundation is closely tied with the extremely conservative military/industrial oligarchy that runs Guatemala. As strange as this narrative may read to outsiders, it's taken very seriously within Guatemala:
The Communists tried to seize power by executive force, and failed, then tried to take over the Legislature with their votes, and failed, then tried to infiltrate the judiciary with their operatives, and they succeeded. The evidence is in the sentence for a genocide that never happened.
Magic Hat IP, LLC and Independent Brewers United Corporation filed a remarkably spurious trademark lawsuit against West Sixth Brewery in Lexington, KY. Ben sez:
The suit alleges that West Sixth's own logo, which is a "6" within a circle, infringes upon its trademarked "#9" mark and is "directing Defendant West Sixth to account for and to pay over to Magic Hat all profits realized by West Sixth as a result of its use of the 6 Marks, its infringement of MagicHat's trademarks and trade dress, and its acts of unfair competition" as part of the awards it seeks from this suit.
Magic Hat is owned by North American Breweries, a large, multinational corporation that produces and imports several different brands of beer. West Sixth, on the other hand, is a local startup started about a year ago that strives to give back to its own community through financial donations, environmental stewardship, and community activities, many of which are free for attendees.
For those of you coming in midway through this story, Amazon has just announced that they'll be publishing fanfiction for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, allowing the fic to be sold for money. The author will receive 35% of net revenue (for works of 10,000+ words) and royalties (unspecified) will be payed to the rightsholder of the fictional universe.
I think a lot of people have a kneejerk reaction to this which is strongly negative—"Jesus Christ, it's FanLib all over again!" People also have the expectation that it will fail, that fans are not interested in selling their works. I don't think that all that negativity is entirely justified. Here's why:
- The success of Wattpad shows that younger writers especially are interested in self-publishing and that many of them view fanfic as a road to a self-publishing career. For writers who view fanfiction in this way, Kindle Worlds would seem like a godsend.
- Unlike FanLib, Kindle Worlds is not framed politically—as "freeing" fans in any shape or form. A lot of people were turned off by FanLib's rhetoric who won't be turned off by Kindle Worlds.
Still, I suspect that there is a large enough base of writers who would like to sell their fanfic for any amount of money that Kindle Worlds will not have a hard time finding authors. I'd bet that it will serve as a point of entry for people who were otherwise uninterested in writing fanfic, too. This is another way that they're being smarter than FanLib: instead of trying to appeal to fans who are already uninterested in their deal, they are introducing the idea of fanfic to people who might not otherwise have been interested, expanding their base, so to speak.
A larger obstacle are the content guidelines. Kindle Worlds does not accept pornography, "offensive content," "excessive use of brand names" or crossover stories.* Contrary to what many people say, there is plenty of fanfic that falls within these guidelines and that I believe people would be happy to pay for. Take a look at the fandoms for One Direction or, yes, Twilight if you don't believe me. Yes, these content guidelines mean that a large amount of fanfiction is excluded from Kindle Worlds. So what? Maybe there becomes a bifurcated fandom structure—people willing to write stories within Kindle's content guidelines, and people who aren't. Who cares? If anything, I suspect that the stories "too hot for Kindle Worlds" will be more in demand, not less.
Generally speaking, I believe that fans are not too dumb to read a ToS. I believe that fans will choose to use Kindle Worlds if it works well for them, and they will choose not to if they are uninterested in its strictures. After all, nobody has to submit their stories.
Or do they?
I worry that some people in the entertainment industry are viewing Kindle Worlds as a way to "control" fans. This is a tale as old as time, or at least as old as when rightsholders really, really wanted the Harry Potter fandom to stop writing about Harry Potter being gay. (Yes, this was An Issue, long before Dumbledore came out of the closet. I swear to you, it was.) Can I blame them for wanting to control the stories they've told? Not entirely, no. I can't blame that impulse, any more than I can blame the impulse of a novelist to yell at fanfiction writers for "messing up their world." The novelist invested their heart and soul, Warner Brothers invested millions of dollars, in either case there are these weird outsiders coming in and making the stories about something else, something they never envisioned. What will happen? What if Harry Potter gets associated with gay porn? Then maybe audiences won't want to see it anymore! And then what?
But the thing about this view is that it's unrealistic. It does not reflect the realities of the internet, and it does not reflect the realities we've seen in the past ten years of fans interacting with corporations. Even though Harry Potter did get associated with gay porn (well, slash fanfic, but it's the same thing in the eyes of the uninitiated), it didn't stop it from being profitable. Hell, fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic turned it into a megahit among the most unlikely audience—and among the audience that people most want to woo, 18-30 year old males! Nobody would be excited to find out that their show was getting associated with 4Chan, yet 4Chan made it a runaway success.
There's nothing wrong with Kindle Worlds as one possibility among many. It actually represents one good thing: the recognition that fans are doing work for franchises, work which can and maybe should be compensated. That's a step that nobody has taken (outside of rare contests), to my knowledge. I know a lot of fans see this as cheapening their art by tainting it with commerce, but the fact is that the entertainment industry is all about making money, and unless fans are able and willing to talk in monetary terms, they will never be taken seriously. (Actually, it represents two good things. In its terms, it admits that fans have rights over their own fanfic, rights that can be signed away when you take part in Kindle Worlds. This seems basic, but it is not always recognized.)
Where Kindle Worlds may go wrong is if it is viewed by the entertainment industry as the be-all and end-all of interacting with fan creativity. That would create a no-win situation for everybody. Many waters cannot quench fandom, neither can the floods drown it—a fact that companies are likely to learn if they believe that they can condemn works that are not published within Kindle Worlds, or if they believe that fans will stop writing their porn and run happily into Amazon's corporate arms.
In the meantime, the answer to Kindle Worlds must come from within fandoms. It must come from places like Organization for Transformative Works, providing alternative spaces in which to share stories that are not within corporate boundaries. Everyone must educate themselves about what rights they hold to their fanfic, what rights they can choose to sign away, and what rights they have no matter what. This is not the end of a conversation. It's not the beginning of a conversation, either. We're in the middle of it, and we will be for a long time to come.
*This is especially funny given that one of the fandoms they're allowing as a "Kindle World" is The Vampire Diaries. How can you possibly write a Vampire Diaries fanfic without depicting racism, and probably using the N-word? Have we all forgotten that a significant chunk of it takes place in the antebellum South? Well, I guess if the TV show did it, so can everyone else, right? Ha.
Edited to add: Another great response to this, from a different perspective.
Twenty-one-year-old female here. When we were both 14, my first boyfriend took advantage of me. I wanted to explore my sexuality a little, but things went further than I wanted. One day, we were kissing with him on top of me. We were both fully clothed, and he started rubbing up against me. I didn't realize he was dry-humping me until after he had to leave to clean himself up. He never asked for my permission. Once I understood what had happened, I felt violated. He'd also groped my boobs on another occasion without asking. He broke up with me a couple months later. I haven't spoken to him in seven years.
For the most part, this hasn't scarred me too much. I'm comfortable with my sexuality. However, it's very painful for me to think about what happened. I also avoid having sex with someone on top of me, because it reminds me of what happened and I start panicking. I want some closure so I can move on with my life. I don't want to report him to the police because it's not necessary—it happened so long ago. As far as I'm concerned, it wasn't rape. But I do feel like I was exploited, and it was not consensual.
I want to contact him and ask him to apologize because I feel a sincere apology would help me get over this. The problem is that he lives on the other side of the country, and I have no way of contacting him besides looking him up on Facebook. I don't think FB is the right place to talk about this, but it's not possible to talk in person. How can I get in touch with him in a way that's appropriate without having to see him?
Would've Said No
Let's game this out.
While it's possible your ex-boyfriend did this on purpose—he knew you wouldn't agree to it, he went ahead and did it anyway, you feel violated because you were violated—it's also possible that this was an accident. I'm not excusing his behavior, particularly the nonconsensual boob groping, but as a former 14-year-old boy myself, WSN, I feel obligated to toss this out there: Very few boys have achieved complete mastery over their dicks by age 14. Sometimes those things go off when we do not want them to. And accidentally blowing a load in your pants during a hot-and-heavy make-out session is an experience that most boys find deeply humiliating.
You were there, WSN, and I was not; you dated this dude, and I did not. If your boyfriend was a generally decent guy, and if there's a chance this was an accident, contacting him—even via Facebook—will probably get you the apology you want.
But if it wasn't an accident—if your ex-boyfriend was a selfish, manipulative piece of shit at age 14—odds are good that he remains a selfish, manipulative piece of shit at 21. If he's an asshole, WSN, and you speak to him about this—on Facebook or face-to-face—you're unlikely to get the apology you want. Ask yourself how you'll feel if he responds to your request for an apology with GIFs of people laughing their asses off. If the answer is "infinitely worse," don't contact him.
P.S. Two more tips to avoid feeling worse: Don't go to the police with this, WSN, and stay out of the online comments.
I am a straight, 45-year-old, monogamous male. I am married for the second time, to a wonderful 42-year-old woman. The few times I shared fantasies with my first wife, she used them as weapons in the many battles we fought over the years. She also betrayed my trust by sharing these fantasies with others. Fast- forward to wife number two. She is fabulous. We can talk about anything. She is respectful of my trust issues and has helped me immensely in getting over much of it. When she says, "I'll think about it," she really does. I never feel dismissed. And the sex has been amazing. We have explored things I only dreamed about. Anal sex, public sex, sex toys, and video cameras are all part of our routine now. She asks me for things, and I try them. I ask her for things, and she tries them.
So what is the problem? I can't bring myself to ask her for two things that are more than bucket-list issues to me. I am a closet crossdresser. I want to make love to her in stockings and a teddy. I made this request to my ex, and it resulted in humiliation. She even shared it with my son out of spite. And I want us to try watersports. When this came up during marriage counseling with my first wife, the counselor blew up at me and accused me of degrading my marriage.
So how do I screw up the courage to ask wife number two, who always listens and never judges, to let me dress up in women's underwear and make love to her and then have her pee on me? Just writing about it is making my stomach twist, but when I look into her eyes and feel the trust, I almost blurt it out. I won't die if these wishes go unfulfilled, but I would die if my second wife stopped respecting me.
Pretty Under Normal Things
You love your new wife, she loves you, you're both GGG—it all sounds so good, so functional, especially compared to your nightmarish first marriage. Congrats. But you held your two biggest kinks back from the new woman in your life, PUNT, and now you're sweating the reveal because the stakes are so high. This is precisely why I urge people to lay those kink cards on the table early. The longer you wait, the more emotionally invested you become in the relationship, the higher the stakes. Because what if your kinks aren't just things your second wife isn't interested in exploring, PUNT, but attraction-killers?
My advice: Instead of having an open and honest here-are-two-things-I-wanna-do conversation, PUNT, go with an indirect here-are-two-things-some-people-do conversation. Find a way to broach the topics of crossdressing and piss play without having to admit that they turn you on, e.g., go see a drag show (drag isn't crossdressing, of course, but it will allow you to broach the men-in-dresses subject generally) and find a porn film with one brief, not-too-hardcore piss scene in it and watch it together. Pay attention to her response. If she reacts in a neutral or positive way to men in dresses and/or piss play, lay those last two kink cards on the table. If she reacts negatively, you might just die with those wishes unfulfilled.
Pro tip: Nervous kinksters can screw up indirect here-are-two-things-some-people-do conversations by telegraphing disgust. Someone who's into rubber says, "Isn't it weird how some people get off on wearing rubber clothes and gas masks?" The non-kinky partner picks up on the word "weird" and responds with, "Yeah, that rubber stuff is fucked up." If you set a negative tone, your wife is likely to pick up on that. So keep your reactions—at the drag club, during the porn—as neutral as possible.
This week on the Savage Lovecast, Dan chats with the amazing Mistress Matisse about where kink comes from, how to meet a kinky mate, and more at savagelovecast.com.
My newest book—American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics—has been called one of the best books of May by Amazon.com, and Publishers Weekly says it's one of the best books of the summer. And it comes out this week. Look for American Savage in bookstores now!
@fakedansavage on Twitter
THe Program site: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?d
First I've heard of it was Scalzi's blog entry!
Some more good responses:
Amazon and Alloy Entertainment, the production company behind Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, have entered into a partnership allowing people to self-publish and sell fanfic for those books. Amazon promises they will have similar licenses for other properties. Read more here and here.
They're offering royalties of 20% or 35%, depending on length, and will set your price for you in a range between $0.99 and $3.99 per story. (They're also making some high-handed claims to the original content in those stories, so be sure to read every word.)
I have never taken issue with people making money off their fanfic or other derivative work, although usually what you see is authorized tie-ins or people "filing off the serial numbers" so that it gets rewritten from fanfic to "original," like E.L. James did with 50 Shades of Grey.
This, I think, is something a bit different. For one thing, it opens up the copyright licensing to a much broader group. I'm suspicious that Amazon is starting with teen-oriented dramas, i.e. targeting younger fans and customers who maybe have no idea how much fanfic is already free on the Internet, or how a lot of older fans view fanfic as a "gift economy."
Mostly though I'm just curious how much profit and participation this program is actually going to get. I'm sure authors will want to participate, but will readers really pay? Just look at these content guidelines, which are fairly limiting. The whole thing strikes me as impractical from a business perspective, but then again, many fans do seem happy to give financial support to authors they love when those authors start charging money for writing that was previously free (E.L. James, Cassandra Claire, S.U. Pacat being some examples that come to mind). I've been surprised before, so who knows?
Content Guidelines for Kindle Worlds
- Pornography: We don't accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.
- Offensive Content: We don’t accept offensive content, including but not limited to racial slurs, excessively graphic or violent material, or excessive use of foul language.
- Illegal and Infringing Content: We take violations of laws and proprietary rights very seriously. It is the authors' responsibility to ensure that their content doesn't violate laws or copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other rights.
- Poor Customer Experience: We don't accept books that provide a poor customer experience. Examples include poorly formatted books and books with misleading titles, cover art, or product descriptions. We reserve the right to determine whether content provides a poor customer experience.
- Excessive Use of Brands: We don’t accept the excessive use of brand names or the inclusion of brand names for paid advertising or promotion.
- Crossover: No crossovers from other Worlds are permitted, meaning your work may not include elements of any copyright-protected book, movie, or other property outside of the elements of this World.
In other news, a while back I spoke to a reporter at the Washington Post Express about fandom and fanfic. The article is pretty basic Fandom 101 stuff, but it's respectful on the whole, and the reporter indicated she was inspired to write it after having stumbled onto some fanfic she was really impressed by. I'm quoted as Jintian, along with some familiar names. An Unforbidden Love: In fan fiction, your favorite characters can do...whatever you want them to.
If you’re unhappy at work, you’ve probably thought about finding a new job – but if you’re like a lot of people, you never seriously start searching because your own fears hold you back — whether it’s feeling like you can’t leave your team in the middle of a big project, or fearing that it will be too hard to find a new job, or not wanting to lose the status you have at your current job.
Over at U.S. News & World Report today, I talk about these and other common excuses for not job-searching. Take a look and see if any sound familiar.
Keri says We have a small cultivated clover patch outside our front door. A few days before this picture I saw two adult rabbits jet from the yard when I came home. A few days later, my Lab, Caly, pulled this sweetie from a rabbit hole in the middle of the clover patch. I checked it over and sent it home, It's since packed up and relocated to a doggie free area.
Squee! Spotter: Keri
Dangerous Refuge reminded me a little of Lowell's St. Kilda's books. I wish it reminded me of them more. What I liked about the better St. Kilda's books was how the two leads tended to be experts in a certain milieu, and how that strength and mutual understanding tended to be part of what sparked the romance. That didn't work out here: the romance felt too rote, too narratively ordained (and of course, it is narratively ordained, but it doesn't have to feel that way). Anyway, meh.
I'm currently a little ways into The Minority Council by Kate Griffin, which is the fourth Matthew Swift book. After that, I think I'm going to tackle the latest Jacqueline Winspear or the latest Patricia Briggs, since my library holds for those have both come in.
Book DescriptionGet the book from Diesel; be sure to check the sales price, as the Deal of the Day often sells out.
No Holds Barred, In Love or War...
A decorated hero, pararescueman Liam McCabe lives to serve. Six months ago, her and Rachel Flores met in the horrific aftermath of an earthquake in the Bahamas. They were tempted by an explosive attraction, but then they parted ways. Still, Liam has thought about Rachel every day—and night—since.
Now, after ignoring all his phone calls for six month, Rachel has turned up on base with a wild story about a high–ranking military traitor. She claims no one but Liam can help her—and she won't trust anyone else.
With nothing but her word and the testimony of a discharged military cop to go on, Liam would be insane to risk his career—even his life— to help a woman who left him in the dust.
Today is the last day to take advantage of this AmazonLocal deal:
Today's Kindle Teen Daily Deal is The Anti-Prom ($1.99), by Abby McDonald [Candlewick].
They’ve spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that’s all about to change. Popular Bliss was having the perfect prom until she found her BFF and boyfriend making out in the back of a limo. Bad girl Jolene wouldn’t be caught dead at the prom, yet here she is, trussed up in pink ruffles, risking her reputation for some guy - some guy who is forty minutes late. And shy, studious, über-planner Meg never counted on her date’s standing her up and leaving her idling in the parking lot outside the prom. Get ready for The Anti-Prom, Abby McDonald’s hilarious, heart-tugging tale about three girls and one unforgettable prom night.
Today's Kindle Daily Deal is an Amazon exclusive translation of Dust Angel ($1.99), by Jutta Profijt and Erik J. Macki (Translator) [AmazonCrossing], with the companion audiobook also $1.99.
Losing her posh advertising job, her boyfriend, and her apartment all in the same morning has left Corinna Leyendecker with a massive mess where her life should be. She tries to get things back on track, but with a mountain of red tape between her and unemployment assistance and a string of disastrous job interviews under her belt, it’s clear that following the rules is getting her nowhere. So she decides to start doing things her way…
With the help of a quirky friend—and some unconventional branding—Corinna launches her own business: an elite cleaning service for wealthy men. And business is booming…until the day she finds a dead homeless man in the house of a fussy new client. As usual, Corinna’s instinct is to clean up, but body disposal isn’t easy, especially when you’re juggling work, friendships, media attention, and a nasty flu. It’s going to take more than a little elbow grease to finish this dirty job and come out clean.
Today's Kindle Romance Daily Deal is Marked by Moonlight ($0.99), the first novel in the Moon Chasers series by Sharie Kohler [Simon and Schuster].
She doesn't know what bit her...
Seemingly overnight, Claire Morgan has transformed: the normally mousy schoolteacher is now bold, and her behavior is truly wild. Her eyes gleam silver. Suddenly she's a self-confident femme fatale with a libido that just won't quit. After an impulsive makeover, she's even...dare she say it?...sexy. Is Claire going insane?
Then brutally handsome stranger Gideon March tells her she was bitten by a werewolf, and Claire figures he's the insane one. Sure, she was attacked by a nasty dog in a back alley, but this guy stalking her says he's a member of an underground society of lycan hunters -- and his mission is to kill her immediately.
When Claire finally realizes she really is a lycan, there's no turning back -- because by now Claire and Gideon are bound by a hungry passion. If they can't break the curse by the next full moon, Claire's soul will be lost forever and Gideon will be forced to terminate his prey -- a woman dangerously close to devouring him, heart and soul.
Today's Kindle SciFi/Fantasy Daily Deal is Kill the Dead ($0.99), the second Sandman Slim novel by Richard Kadrey [HarperCollins], with the companion audiobook for $3.99. Wouldn't you know, I bought this 8 days ago....
Sandman Slim is back from Hell. After wreaking unholy havoc in author Richard Kadrey’s resoundingly acclaimed Sandman Slim, the demon-slaying anti-hero and half-angel fugitive from the underworld returns in a brutally funny, eye-poppingly inventive, and totally addicting follow-up, Kill the Dead. If you’re a fan of Buffy and Jim Butcher, Christopher Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Warren Ellis, or you dig the dark urban fantasy vibe of Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, and Simon Green, you’ll cheer Lucifer’s onetime personal assassin as he signs on as his ex-boss’ Hollywood bodyguard…and takes on the zombie apocalypse almost single-handedly.
Amazon announced Kindle Worlds today, describing it as “the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so.”
I didn’t know this was coming, but I’m not surprised, exactly. Amazon has been a very successful business, and if they see a potentially profitable area they can branch out into, they’re gonna do it.
I found out about this through Chuck Wendig’s post here, wherein he talks about the press release and proceeds to fragment his own brain into tiny, shiny pieces.
I’m still digesting and processing this, and I suspect some of it will boil down to having to wait to see how it all plays out. But some of my initial reactions are…
- This isn’t a free-for-all. Amazon has licensed these rights from the rights-holders, and it’s for a specific and limited list of properties.
- But wait, if they’ve licensed the rights, is it really fanfiction or is it an open call for licensed tie-in work?
- They’ve got a no porn rule. Fair enough. If anyone’s going to write 50 Shades of Blue: A Goblin’s Erotic Awakening, I think it should be me.
- My understanding of the fanfiction community is that there’s a strong value on not profiting from your work. This seems like a potential culture war between Amazon and the community they’re trying to court.
- That said, no community is perfectly homogenous, and as a writer, I have nothing against getting paid for your work, so long as it’s done legally, which this would be.
- Also, as someone who isn’t a part of that community, I could be TOTALLY AND EMBARRASSINGLY WRONG ABOUT THIS PIECE.
- Who decides whether to license a work, the publisher or the author? Can DAW license Libriomancer fanfic without my approval? Can I do it without theirs?
- Amazon takes all rights to your fanfiction story. Which isn’t entirely unreasonable in a work-for-hire situation, but will make a lot of folks uncomfortable.
- Why would people pay for fanfiction when so much is available online for free?
- Then again, why would people pay for licensed tie-in work when so much fanfiction is available online for free…
- Should prolific fanfic writers look into getting agents? I’m not sure the benefit of an agent in this situation, but I also cringe at the idea of writers who aren’t very, very business-savvy signing contracts without someone else looking it over.
- Does this mean fanfic could now qualify for SFWA membership?
- Waiting for various heads to explode at that question…
- Finally, Amazon is not pro-author, nor are they pro-reader. They’re pro-Amazon. (This doesn’t make them any worse or better than most businesses, by the way.) When Amazon’s interests overlap with those of readers or writers, great. But don’t lose sight of their bottom line, because I guarantee that’s what they’re watching.
I’m sure there will be many, many discussions and arguments about this, and I have no idea how it will all play out or whether or not it will work. But I do think it’s a fascinating step in the ongoing evolution of the industry.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
# I have been re-watching Leverage -- just about to finish season 1 -- and I have a lot of OT3 feels! Parker/Eliot/Hardison 4ever! I've been watching the show in filming-order rather than airing-order, which is definitely key to get a feel for how much the characters actually progress. It's such a shame when networks decide to air shows out of order! I've really been pleasantly surprised by how good the characterization actually is. There are some really deep moments re: Parker's childhood, Hardison's childhood, and Nate's alcoholism. The show isn't treating them head-on, but it's clear how it's a big part of how the actors are playing their roles. It's really wonderful. In conclusion: Oooh, Christian Kane, ooh, do that thing with your hair again *__*
# I should mention at some point that I've been following season 2 of New Girl, and I've enjoyed it. I watched some of s1 because of Zooey Deschanel (she may be a manic pixie dream girl, but she's also really pretty, so I don't care!), but quit because of intense embarrassment squicks. But then tumblr started talking it up, so I gave it another go, and have managed to like it sometimes a bit in spite of its awful humor. It's been a bit of a hit-and-miss for me, episode to episode, but I've been enjoying having a sitcom show to watch again. And now the season is over! So I guess I'll still be watching it next season.
# I experienced my first run-away tumblr post! It's really weird! I made an ultra short post with some Elementary screen shots, and 24 hours later it had like 500 likes + reblogs, and now it has +1000 o.O I hardly think I'm tumblr famous. But I'm definitely not sure I want to make any more tumblr posts -- my dash is full of notifications, which I am very much not used to!
# I'm sorry I keep coming here and talking about tumblr! It's just that tumblr and I are spending a lot of time together! But that doesn't mean I love you any less, DW!