Saturday, October 28, 2006

OBS Rate Increase Rescindment Request Petition

In case you hadn't heard just yet, DriveThruRPG.com and RPGNow.com have agreed to a merger of their services. These sites are the two leading etailers of PDF products for the role-playing "industry." They say that the merger will mean better prices and a better selection, since consumers will only have to go to one place now. Shortly after that they announced that the companies who sell through their site will have to pay increased fees. I don't think that is going to help cut prices for the consumer.

This petition is for presentation to the new company (OneBookShelf.com) to show that consumers and publishers are not happy with this new arrangement. If it bothers you, you should sign it too. I was the first signer.

OBS Rate Increase Rescindment Request Petition
We respectfully request that the owners of OneBookShelf (OBS), which was formed by the merger of RPGNow.com and DriveThruRPG (DTRPG), rescind the planned rate increase for publishers fees due to take effect on December 1st, 2006. We submit that this rate increase will be potentially detrimental to both OBS vendors and consumers.


Dorkland wholeheartedly endorses the PDF site operated by Steve Jackson Games: e23. Since Atlas Games has aready stopped selling through RPGNow to move to e23, hopefully other pubishers will follow to show their support for diversity in the marketplace.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dungeons & Dragons trial

Never good publicity for a hobby, but I wonder why his mental illness isn't in the headline instead of something attention grabbing like "Dungeons & Dragons."

Detroit gamer was acting out a fantasy when he killed co-worker with a sword
An avid Dungeons & Dragons player 'became his fantasy' when he slashed his co-worker to death with a homemade sword in October 2004, his attorney said Wednesday.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Charlie Stross' Diary: Let's put the future behind us

Here's some interesting thoughts on the state of SF from British (since I'm not sure what part of the UK he is from) SF author Charles Stross. If you haven't read his story "The Atrocity Archive" yet you should start now. In the meantime, check this out from the blog on his website.

After coming across a link to this post on Warren Ellis' website I thought that it was something that was worth sharing. I know that a couple of people who read my blog will find it interesting. There are some interesting links in the actual text as well in it's original form on his website.

Let's put the future behind us
There's always a bloody force five hurricane making landfall in the little teacup of a genre that I inhabit. Last year it was the Mundane SF manifesto (short form: they don't believe in having sex standing up because it might lead to dancing using classic science fictional tropes because they might lead to fantasy). This year it's the back to basics thing. When will they learn?

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who is old and distinguished enough to know better, wrote a critical essay for a book (titled 'Star Wars on Trial') in which she attempted to make the case for the defense, and which was republished in Asimov's SF magazine. She lit a match (thus: 'First, the promised answer: to what extent is current sf writing influenced by Star Wars? The answer is simple: Not enough'), then tossed it in a pool of petrol (and so: 'In order to make my case for that answer, however, I must address #3: Star Wars and the battle for SF readers and shelf space. There is no battle for shelf space because of #6: to what extent does SW define how the general public sees SF or, as I like to call it, the definition of SF') before generously carpet-bombing the area with the reductionist napalm of genre categorization (which sticks to everything like a label, and burns, baby, it burns!).

To try and paraphrase (or parody) her argument: SF is of declining interest (and has declining market share) to the general public because it's not true to its pulpy roots. So let's all go write media tie-in novels, because they attract readers, and if we attract lots of readers, we'll reinvigorate the ghetto. In other words, the past forty-odd year long project of trying to inject some quality into the stuff our dreams are made of is not merely a failure, but counter-productive.

All of this would be messy enough, but she managed to phrase it in such a way that it got right up various noses (That's Paul McAuley and Ian McDonald, in case you don't know them in drag), not to mention the sinuses of large numbers of other hoity-toity folks who think that what they're doing might possibly have some literary merit to it. (Like me.)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Monty Python star Jones has cancer

Good luck and godspeed in your healing. The man has given more than enough laughter to deserve a speedy recovery.

Monty Python star Jones has cancer
Monty Python star Terry Jones has bowel cancer, although doctors believe they have caught it at an early stage, a newspaper has reported.

Jones, who directed the cult comedy troupe's three films, 'Life of Brian', 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' and 'The Meaning of Life', is in a private London hospital after being diagnosed, the Daily Mirror said Saturday.

His agent Jodi Shield told the newspaper: 'He is having a routine exploratory operation in the next few days.

'His surgeon is fairly confident -- they think they've got it early enough.

'He's in great spirits. We're having to make him stop working.'

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Stuart Immonen


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Originally uploaded by stuartimmonen.
It appears that comic artist Stuart Immonen (artist on Warren Ellis' Nextwave among others) has been doing a webcomic that also appears on flicker (as well as his website).

The comic can be found on his site here: http://www.immonen.ca/comics/?p=17

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Robert Anton Wilson Needs Our Help

It may sound like a cliche but reading Robert Anton Wilson changed my life. It wasn't just Illuminatus that did it though. Really, for all that it is, it is still "just" a novel. No, what really changed things for me was reading his book Cosmic Trigger. It is an incredible account of a man's journey of self-discovery and, of course, magic. Changing your life, or changing your world, isn't something that happens lightly.

I really don't know what I can do (as just one person) but I plan to help as much as I can, and I hope that each and every person who reads this post will take it upon themself to do the same thing. At this point I don't know how much help can be given other than to make things as comfortable and painless as possible at this point. Really, is there any less that we can try to do?

I hope not.

Robert Anton Wilson needs our help
I'm not exaggerating one bit when I say Robert Anton Wilson is one of my heroes. His writing has had a profound influence on the way I view life, more so than any other writer. If I had not read his books, there would definitely be no Boing Boing.

My friend Douglas Rushkoff feels the same way about him, and I'm reposting his blog entry because Robert Anton Wilson needs our help now.

UPDATE: Note from Robert's friend, Denis Berry: Sadly, we have to report that wizard-author-intelligence increase agent is in trouble with his life, home and his finances. Robert is dying at his home from post polio syndrome. He has enough money for next months rent and after that, will be unable to pay. He cannot walk, has a hard time talking and swallowing, is extremely frail and needs full time care that is being provided by several friends-fans-volunteers and family. We appeal to you to help financially for the next few months to let him die at his home in peace.

200610021323 Douglas Rushkoff: I hope people I've inspired with my work would band together to help me out in my later years if I needed it. Which is at least part of the reason why I'm sending what I can to support cosmic thinking patriarch Robert Anton Wilson, whose infirmity and depleted finances have put him in the precarious position of not being able to meet next month's rent.

In case the name doesn't immediately ring a bell, Bob is the guy who wrote Cosmic Trigger -- still the best narrative on how to enter and navigate the psycho-spiritual realm, and co-wrote the Illuminatus Trilogy, an epic work that pushes beyond conspiracy theory into conspiracy practice. Robert Anton Wilson will one day be remembered alongside such literary philosophers as Aldous Huxley and James Joyce.

But right now, Bob is a human being in a rather painful fleshsuit, who needs our help. I refuse for the history books to say he died alone and destitute, for I want future generations to know we appreciated Robert Anton Wilson while he was alive.

Let me add, on a personal note, that Bob is the only one of my heroes who I was not disappointed to actually meet in person. He was of tremendous support to me along my road, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to be of some support on his.

Note from Robert's friend, Denis Berry: Robert's writing has enlightened-educated many and if you can please commit to help pay a portion of his expenses until his passing which sadly won't be that long. Monthly contributions of $50.00 or more will be greatly appreciated. All monies will go directly to Robert and can be sent to his PayPal address olgaceline@gmail.com. You can also send a check to RAW c/o Futique Trust, P.O. Box 3561, Santa Cruz, Ca 95063.


More information can be found here.

And here is The Reverand Ivan Stang's appeal:
Pope Bob (Robert Anton Wilson) loaned us SubGeniuses a LOT!

Most of what he loaned us were ideas. We took those ideas and ran with them. We did all KINDS of things using his ideas. We started every manner of experiment, inspired by his experiments. Many of those experiments PAID OFF.

I have said many times to interviewers that were it not for Robert Anton Wilson (and the late great Robert Shea, who co-wrote Illuminatus), there would be no Church of the SubGenius.

Although Pope Bob was tough enough to beat childhood polio in his youth, now that he is old, it has returned to harass him. He busted his ass his whole life, writing, lecturing, and selling books -- and if you think those jobs are EASY, try it yourself. He shared part of his mighty brain with the world, supported his family, and even survived the loss of a child and his wife without GIVING UP. But nothing lasts forever, and now it's down to the wire.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Olbermann's special commentary on Clinton vs Fox


Ok, so it's one of my ocassional rants about politics. They're probably going to happen more frequently as we enter into a new political season (I know, we entered it a while ago). I just don't have one side to my interests though. If you are pro-Bush or the Republicans, you might prefer to just skip this one.

Object off Alaska coast may be WWII sub

Imagine the post-modern dungeon crawl, or probably more properly the modern dungeon crawl. Deep under water is a submarine, lost since the days of WWII. Somewhere within that submarine is a secret, a secret so dark and dangerous that it could not be destroyed but only contained. Now, you've been approached and asked to mount an expedition to recover an object from the newly found submarine.

What do you do?

Object off Alaska coast may be WWII sub
Underwater sonar images of a black shape against a background of grainy monochrome are safely stored on two computer hard drives at Bruce Abele's home in Newton, Mass.

Blurred by odd shadows and striations, the silhouettes are the biggest clues in more than 60 years to the fate of his father's World War II submarine, the USS Grunion, which sank nearly 5,000 miles west of Massachusetts, near the obscure islands at the tip of Alaska's Aleutian chain.


[via Jon Nichols]

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Child killer literally a marked man

Probably not dorky but I thought that this might be something that could get some form or another of use out of people. Sometimes the punishment gives a more fitting punishment.

Child killer literally a marked man
Convicted child killer Anthony Stockelman's face and head were unmarked at his trial last year. But now he's turned up at Wabash Correctional Facility with a tattoo on the forehead reading 'Katie's revenge.'

Katie is Katie Collman of Crothersville, the little girl he confessed to raping and killing last year. The Department of Corrections is not saying who applied the tattoo, which is against prison regulations, or why. They say they are still investigating.

Katie's dad, John Neace, has his own theory. Wednesday he said, 'If I had to guess I'd say it's a statement from the inmates.'

Katie's father says he heard about the tattoo from friends and has no idea if Katie's distant cousin, who is also serving time at Wabash, played any role.

Potty Mouths on Star Trek



Probably not work safe but its only a few seconds.