Monthly Archives: November 2007

LOLCreashun Finalists and Winners

First, you people made it hard to pick a winner of the LOLCreashun contest. There were too many Coke-through-the-nostrils moments to count. My sinuses hate you all.

That said, here are my finalists:

From Midwinter:

From Cheesegimp:

From Bitfidget:

From Christian:

From Zakur:

From Jp!:

From Hentosz:

From Tzikeh:

Here’s the runner up, from Yuri2356:

And here’s the winner, from Saswann:

Yuri2356 wins the signed paperback edition of The Android’s Dream; Saswann the signed, limited edition of The Ghost Brigades. Congratulations to you both! Now, e-mail me from the same e-mail addresses you used to register at Whateveresque with your mailing information, and I’ll pop these right out in the mail to you. I’ve already got the padded envelopes and everything.

Thank you to everyone who played along. I think this was the most fun Whatever contest evar. We’ll have to do another one soon.

Whoops, I’m Late

Life actually kept me busy all day long — I hate it when it does that — and I haven’t made a decision about the LOLCreashun winner yet. Thus: punting until tomorrow. At which time I really will announce the winner, promise. But now I’m going to sleep, because I’ve been up since 5am. Selfish of me, I know. I’m just that way sometimes.

Look At Me, I’m on the Cutting Edge

Amazon is announcing its Kindle E-Book reader even as I type this, and look at what’s one of the debut titles: The Ghost Brigades. Why TGB and not Old Man’s War? Got me. I’m just the writer, you know; no one tells me about these things. I suspect probably both of these titles will be on the slate, and TGB is the one that’s showing up first. And if it’s just TGB, well, see, there’s the wisdom of my policy of making sure each book in the Old Man’s War universe stands alone. In any event, if you’re one of those who’s itchin’ to Kindle, I’ll be there for you.

For the non-Kindled, I still don’t have any idea when other e-book versions of my work will be extant. Sorry.

As for what I think of the Kindle itself: Meh. It looks like a nice toy. But I look at it this way: I can pay $400 for an e-book reader, and then pay $7.99 for an electronic copy of a book, or I can just pay $7.99 for the actual book, which requires no expensive intermediary equipment to enjoy, and use that extra $400 to buy 50 more books. Seems pretty straightforward to me. Also: paying for a monthly subscription for newspapers and blogs you can read on the Web for free? That earns a fairly large WTF? from me. But, you know. Whatever makes people happy.

Coffee Shop Drop Date

For those of you pre-ordering the second run of Coffee Shop, Subterranean has posted the tentative publication date of December 5, which means a) you won’t have to wait too long, and b) if you’re thinking about it for the holidays, it’ll be there for any gift-giving excuse you choose to have it for.

Coffee Shop’s not the only SubPress book of mine in reprint; “The Sagan Diary” is going in for a third printing, which will be out on December 3. Nifty.

Did You Forget Something?

They did:

Don’t be like Adam and Eve! There’s still time for you participate in the LOLCreashun contest! You have until 11:59:59 tonight (Eastern time). Yes, Sunday is supposed to be the day of rest. But, you know, if you’re going to let that stop you, chances are pretty good you’re not going to enter the contest anyway.

Also, if you haven’t yet stopped by the LOLCreashun thread, or haven’t been by in a couple of days, you’re missing out on teh funny. It’s sacrelicious!

Well, It IS The Home of the Creation Museum, After All

The Kentucky legislature holds hearings on global warming, and forgets to invite any actual scientists.

And now, the actual, real live quote that will make every good Kentuckian squirm, about the lack of scientists discussing a scientific issue:

“Well, I mean, where are we going to get scientists?” [Providence representative Jim] Gooch asked. “We’re limited here in Kentucky to what we can do. I don’t know how we’d necessarily get scientists to come here.”

And now, the Lexington Herald-Leader for the win:

A short drive to the east, at the University of Kentucky, geologist Brandon Nuttall said he wasn’t aware of yesterday’s hearing, but he disputed its premise.

“Actually, there is a worldwide, extremely strong consensus in favor of the fact that global warming is happening,” said Nuttall, who oversees research at the Kentucky Geological Survey into the potential of trapping carbon dioxide underground.

“Science is not where you vote on something and 100 percent of the people agree. It is based on compiling evidence and on a majority of scientists coming to a conclusion that is supported by the evidence,” Nuttall said. “When you see people who deny that global warming exists, they are frequently either not scientists or they are scientists funded at least in part by corporations with a financial interest in debunking global warming.”

What? A scientist in Kentucky? Madness, I tell you!

Incidentally, before your snark gets too partisan, please note that Jim Gooch is a Democrat.  Stupid and corrupt knows no party line.

You’re On Your Own For the Rest of the Day

On account I have something due today I need to finish. Which, if you must know, is a short story set in the Old Man’s War universe. And I assure you it will be full of what we in the industry like to call “That Barton Fink Feeling.”

In the absence of anything amusing here until much later, I’ll remind you that the LOLCreashun contest is chugging along swimmingly, to mix metaphors, and if you’re not looking at it, you’re missing out, because they’re really damn funny.

Now, shoo.

You Can Has Comment Preview

I’ve gone ahead an enabled a comment preview function, which people have been begging and pleading for since the WordPress switchover. You’ll find it below the comment text box when you leave a comment. It seems to work pretty well, but let me know if it presents any issues for you.

The LOLCreashun Contest!

You’ve read the writeup, you’ve looked at the pictures, now enter the contest!

I’ve posted over a hundred pictures from my Creation Museum visit, many of which are begging — begging! — to be LOL’d. And I know you folks are the creative types, so I’ve decided to let you all in on the fun with a contest: The LOLCreashun Contest. Here’s how it works:

1. Go to the Creation Museum photo set. Pick out a picture (or two, or whatever) you think would be fun to LOL.

2. LOLize it. Make it good (for those of you in the dark about LOLing, here’s the Wikipedia entry on LOLCats to give you context).

3. Post the picture in this topic thread at Whateveresque (note: Posting may require some of you to register for Whateveresque if you have not done so already. Don’t worry, it’s free, and I’m the dude who runs it, and I’ll approve registration requests quickly, unless I’m like, you know, asleep. Viewing Whateveresque or this thread does not require registration).

Do me a favor and make the image(s) no wider than 500 pixels.

Post the picture(s) no later than Sunday, November 18, at 11:59:59 Eastern Time.

Enter as many pictures as you like but remember: Quality, not quantity.

4. On Monday, November 19, I’ll announce a winner.

And what will you win? Why, a personalized copy of the signed, limited Subterranean Press edition of The Ghost Brigades, featuring kick-ass full color artwork by Vincent Chong, direct from me, that’s what. It’s a $60 retail value, plus it’ll have my grimy little fingerprints all over it! What a bonus! And the runner-up will get a signed paperback version of The Android’s Dream (third place? You’re fired. And put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers).

I ‘ll be judging on humor, creativity and uniqueness, so don’t all y’all run for the T-Rex photo. Also don’t feel you have to use LOLGrammar, but you definitely won’t be penalized if you do. Finally, if you want to play put can’t avail yourself of a LOLgenerator (here’s one online), just post a picture from the Creation Museum photo set and type in a caption in the Whateveresque thread.

Clearly, for the purposes of this contest, I allow you to take the pictures I’ve taken and modify them however you like. Have fun, you crazy kids.

Any questions? Post them here (but don’t post links to pictures here — go put them in over at Whateveresque).

And while you’re over at Whateveresque, feel free to root around and participate in other threads, or even start a couple and get a new conversation going. It’s the place Whatever readers go when they want to talk without me standing over their shoulder. They’re a fun bunch. Check them out, and join in. That’s an invitation, folks.

Another Kind of Stress Test

Word have I from Subterranean Press that yesterday the rush of pre-orders for Coffee Shop was large enough to make their servers choke (although, to be very clear, every pre-order was successful and got processed — they’re good about that). This makes me happy. Thank you. Also, if you want to be sure you get a copy, I wouldn’t straggle too long. The number of copies available is now significantly down from 500.

Stress Test (Warning: Blog Tech Geekery Follows)

I was wondering what would happen to WordPress when I had a day where I pulled in a lot of folks, and yesterday was that day; Whatever pulled in 72K folks, which made it the second busiest day on the site (The Bacon Cat incident still holds top honors, with 76k in one day). And what happened to WordPress, when presented with an outsized bolus of traffic? Nothing at all, which I find encouraging; never once did the site hiccup, all day long. Since one of my main concerns switching over to WordPress was that dynamically generating pages would present a problem, it’s nice to see that I was wrong. I’m sure it helps that I have wp-cache running on the site, so that the database isn’t hit every single time.

So: I’m officially sold on WordPress. I’m sure that makes someone happy somewhere.

That said, a question for you WordPress geeks: Would turning on wp-cache cause underreporting on unique visitors in any way? I have a suspicion, given the size of my raw log file relative to its size on an average day around here, that 72k unique visitors on the day is actually low (my log file was about 10 times normal size, whereas unique visitors was only about twice recent traffic). Any thoughts on this?

On the WGA Strike

I’ve been asked a few times for my thoughts about the Writers Guild of America strike, so here are my thoughts:

On the level of a consumer, it hasn’t inconvenienced me at all because:

1. I don’t watch enough TV to care;

2. Even if I did, I’m on deadline right now, so well done, WGA, for cutting off one more thing that would distract me! You’re mensches, the lot of you.

So clearly, I’m okay with it at that level.

As a writer, well, come on. Television networks not wanting to pay residuals on Internet viewings of their shows, because they’re “promotional,” even as they sell advertising on them? Kiss my ass.

Here’s a really simple rule: If any money is coming in from a writer’s work, from anywhere, the writer gets a cut. See? Simple. End of story (that would be gross money, incidentally. We all know how creative movie and TV studios can be in explaining how even the most wildly successful money-grossers don’t actually net anything). If it takes a strike to hammer that point in — and apparently it does — that’s fine with me.

So, yes, I support the strike.