Daily Archives: June 9, 2008

From the Fecund Garden of 80s Obscurities

Man, I am so unspeakably bored with myself today I find it hard to even tolerate being in the same room with me, which as you might imagine presents some issues. Rather than foist myself on the rest of you, I instead present you with a slice of 80s music obscurinalia, to wit: “Jacob’s Ladder” by The Monochrome Set. I’ve enjoyed the song for a quarter century now, but until about five minutes ago I’d never seen the video. Score another one for YouTube.

Hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back when I find myself somewhat more interesting.

Events of a Science Fictional Note

Some stuff to think about, if you think about science fiction:

* Strange Horizons, the online science fiction and fantasy magazine, is having its 2008 fund drive this month. Those of you not hip to SH’s economic model should know that the magazine pays its writers through donations and is an actual non-profit organization, which means that when you donate, you can deduct it from your taxes. That’s not science fictional, but it is cool, in a tax-geek way. I have a soft spot for SH because aside from being an overall excellent product week in and week out, it’s also the home of my first SF sale, back in 2001 (before it was an official “pro” market, which is why I have the 2006 Campbell Award. It’s a pro market now, though). If you’ve never been there before, go check it out and if you enjoy it, consider donating a little to keep it going. If you have been there before and read it regularly, well, dude. For the small cost of a latte, and all that. And remember: tax-deductible. Which is always good.

* Allen Steele, who went to the same high school I did, 2,000 miles away (it’s a long story), has created a web site for his Coyote universe, home of the books Coyote, Coyote Rising and Coyote Frontier, not to mention the stand-alones Spindrift and Galaxy Blues, which is his latest. It’s got all the various goodies you would hope for, including trivia, contests and a free story set in the Coyote universe, “The War of Dogs and Boids,” which is a heck of a fun read, if I do say so myself. Allen’s one of my favorite people in science fiction, both personally and as a storyteller, so I hope you’ll check out the site and have geektacular time with it.

* A reminder to everyone that if you’re not planning to set yourself on fire with sparklers this July 4th weekend (and, heck, even if you are), I’m a Guest of Honor at InConJunction, in scenic Indianapolis, Indiana, wherein I’ll be pontificating, bloviating, opinionating, orating and sometimes just plain talking, for three days. Other GoHs are illustrator Alan M. Clark and Web comic master Howard Tayler, and there’ll be lots of other fun people. Oh, come on. It’s not like there’s some major national holiday you have concern yourself with that weekend, anyway. See you there. Hopefully without sparklers.

* Also a reminder to you that if you’re planning to vote on the Hugos this year, you now have less than one month to do that (Hugo voting closes on 7/7). Anyone can vote for the Hugos — yes, anyone! — so long as they are a member of Denvention, this year’s Worldcon. If you want to vote for the Hugos but either can’t go to Worldcon or are filled with terror at the thought of being seen with, you know, geeks, remember that a Supporting Membership gives you full Hugo voting privileges, for just $50. Remember also that Hugo voters are eligible to receive free electronic versions of the four of the five Hugo nominees for Best Novel: Brasyl, Halting State, The Last Colony and Rollback. You can’t beat that with a stick (not without beating your computer, anyway. Don’t do that). Anyway, if you want a say on who walks off with rockets this year, it’s time to get at it.

Graphic Design Flashback

For no particularly good reason, I was trolling through the archive.org library of former incarnations of Scalzi.com when I found this former logo for the site, which I rather quite like:

This one’s from 2000 or so, just in case any of you think my penchant for procrastinatory Photoshoppery is somehow a new enthusiasm. From a design point of view this logo is not 100% baked (for example, one small problem: the lower limb of the “C” in “com” is not flush with the feet of the “o” or “m”), but I like the concept of the logo. There are days I wish I was actually more adept as a visual artist than I am (which is to say: not very), but I expect if I was any better, I spend all my time visually fiddling with the site, and never doing any actual writing. Which is, you know. Not what people come here for.