Hey, Remember When I Wrote I Won an Erotic Fan Fiction Contest Based on the Watchman Graphic Novel?

Well, the folks at Shipwreck (the group that puts these writing contests together) have posted my winning entry. It’s here.

Warning: It’s very much NSFW, will probably be a little kinky/disturbing for those of you who aren’t kinky/fans of erotic fanfic, and if you haven’t read Watchmen (which you should, it’s terrific), or at least watched the movie (less good, but okay, whatever), you will miss most of the references and clever bits and it probably won’t be as funny as it would be if you knew the work it was riffing off of.

Got it? Okay, go have fun with it, then.

Have a Happy Halloween or Athena Will Be Very Disappointed With You

And I don’t think you want to make her angry, do you?

Jian Ghomeshi and the Women He Knew

Some thoughts on Jian Ghomeshi, about whom I feel entitled to opine because I was once a guest on his show — talking about the little fundraising thing I did last year which included RAINN, an interview which now in retrospect is sadly ironic.

(For those of you not up on this, Mr. Ghomeshi was a radio show host in Canada, who was let go by the CBC because of then-mysterious reasons. Mr. Ghomeshi took to Facebook to allege that he was fired because he participated in consensual BDSM play which was now being used against him by vengeful exes, and sued CBC for wrongful termination “breach of confidence and bad faith.” Since then a number of women have come forward to allege totally non-consensual abuse and/or harrassment at the hands of Mr. Ghomeshi.)

So, a numbered list.

1. There’s nothing wrong with consensual BDSM play; if that’s your thing and you can get other people to go along with it in a safe and consenting manner, then you kids have fun with that.

2. Suddenly smacking the hell out of someone and/or choking them without prior discussion or agreement is pretty much the opposite of consensual BDSM play, now, isn’t it. (Note: this is a rhetorical question. The answer is: Yes, it is the opposite.)

3. As a matter of law (to the extent that I know anything about Canadian/Ontario provincial law, which I don’t so I might be entirely wrong), Mr. Ghomeshi is innocent until proven guilty. Currently there is no criminal investigation against Mr. Ghomeshi. (Update, 8pm: Toronto police have opened an investigation.)

4. The procedurally laudable governmental presumption of innocence does not mean, however, that as a matter of opinion, one cannot believe the allegations against Mr. Ghomeshi. As a matter of personal opinion, I believe the women who are coming forward and saying that Mr. Ghomeshi attacked, abused and harassed them. I could be wrong, but I don’t really think that I am.

5. I think it’s possible that Mr. Ghomeshi deluded himself into thinking these attacks equated to consensual sexual play, which is both not an excuse at all, and a good argument for availing one’s self of educators in that particular field who can teach one how to do one’s play safely and to know what “consensual” actually means. However, I think it’s rather more likely that Mr. Ghomeshi, who is a full-fledged adult and someone with some evident facility for words, was in fact quite aware that what he was doing was not in the least consensual and relied on his position at the top of the Canadian cultural heap to protect him from the consequences of his actions, as indeed it appears to have done for a very long time.

6. If what is alleged against Mr. Ghomeshi is true, and to reiterate I rather strongly suspect that it is, then his being fired from the CBC is, bluntly, the least worst thing that could happen to him at this point. If the allegations are true, he deserves a stint in prison, full stop, end of sentence.

7. It was canny of Mr. Ghomeshi to try to frame his assaults in the context of BDSM, but also disingenuous and false. BDSM is not my thing, but I know a lot of people for whom it is. None of them would see what Mr. Ghomeshi did as something relating to their particular kink. Attacking someone without their consent isn’t about sexual gratification, it’s about the assertion of power — the ability to say “I can do this to you and there’s nothing you can do about it.” And sure, maybe Mr. Ghomeshi got a rise out of that, too. But at the end of the day choking a woman who is not consenting to the experience and saying it’s BDSM is akin to stabbing someone in a bar and claiming it was a martial arts test match. Again, BDSM isn’t my thing, but it’s a thing I know enough about to know that what Mr. Ghomeshi was doing wasn’t that.

8. The irony of the above point is that if it really was about BDSM (which it was not), then there was no reason for any of that to happen. What little I know about BDSM is that those who enjoy it are happy to share and to teach and to provide a safe space for that enthusiasm. Mr. Ghomeshi, I am certain, would not have lacked for willing, consenting partners — if this was really about consensual sexual exploration and enjoyment. But, again, I don’t really think it was ever about that.

9. I don’t know Mr. Ghomeshi other than through a very brief professional encounter. I don’t envy the people who do know him who are now learning about the allegations and who suspect that they are true. What do you do with a friend like that? Do you drop him? Do you maintain he is your friend but acknowledge what he’s done is wrong? Do you fight for your friend, right or wrong? One of Mr. Ghomeshi’s friends addressed this in a post of his own, which is worth reading. I don’t have any answers for this one. I know what I think I would want to do; I don’t know if it’s what I would do because I’ve never had to be in this situation. What I can say is that I hope I never am in this situation.

10. To reiterate, because it’s important: I believe the women who have come forward to allege assault and harassment. It’s been noted by other people better able to testify on the subject that one of the most radical things you can do when a woman speaks up about abuse and harassment is to believe her. Which initially seems like an incredible statement to someone like me, who is almost always believed by default when he chooses to speak up about something. I have that luxury. Not everyone does. It’s a fact I strongly suspect Mr. Ghomeshi knew, and used.

“Lock In” by William Beckett: Now Available to Download!

You may recall that musician William Beckett created a fantastic song for my novel Lock In (and if you didn’t, here, have a listen). The song, also called “Lock In,” really captured the mood and tone of the novel in a way that I hoped it would, and I’m happy to say that even if it were a song utterly unassociated with my book, I would still love its anthemic vibe. It’s fantastic.

I’m happy to say that William and his label Equal Vision Records have now made the song available as a single to download. You can get it through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and through Equal Vision’s Bandcamp page. It’s also on streaming services including Spotify and Rhapsody.

My advice: Get it! One, because it’s great and worth getting on its own merits. Two, because William needs to eat, and buying the single is a way to encourage that whole crazy “eating” thing. Three, because did I mention it’s a really good song? It is.

Once again, thanks to William for making this song. It’s amazing to have it inspired by something I wrote. I never get tired of hearing it.

How My Week Went

Bruce Willis stares out from a studio wall on the Fox lot.

It went very well, I thought. As I’ve noted, I went to Los Angeles in order to meet with TV and film folks and to pitch them some stuff (and also, well, me). Some of the things I pitched are even things I haven’t put into books yet! You can do that, apparently. I’m happy to say that contrary to the general opinion of LA types being smarmy and insincere, all of the folks I got to meet, at least, were smart, engaged and very much the sort of people you would want to do business with, and I’m not just saying that because I would like to do business with them.

I also met with the folks at Legendary, who I am, in fact, doing business with (they have the option on Lock In), and come away from that meeting very optimistic about the future of that book as a TV series. There’s not much I can talk about publicly there — I just told you everything I could tell you about it, actually — but I can tell you I think the Legendary people get it, with regard to the novel. And, well. That’s always a positive.

This is where I could caution any of you from reading too much into anything I’ve noted above. Most meetings in LA are just that: meetings. You go in, you have 20 minutes of someone’s time, it’s generally pleasant, and what comes out of it is usually nothing other than getting into the room with interesting people who might do business with you at some point, if the stars align correctly. That’s valuable in itself for reasons that are largely intangible in the short term. I would love to have something immediate come out of the meetings this round, of course. But my feeling about it is: Let’s see what happens next.

(It helps that I do things with my time other than making movies and TV series, mind you. I still get to eat no matter what happens in Hollywood.)

So, in all: A useful trip to the City of the Angels.

I capped the week yesterday by heading to the Cleveland doing a morning keynote for Ohio librarians, in which I talked about science fiction, my career and various other topics. Librarians are some of my favorite people — they are almost by definition deeply engaged in the lives of books and authors — and it’s always nice to spend time with them.

And now I’m home. And I have nowhere I have to be other than here for the rest of the year, which if you’ve been keeping up with my travel this year, is kind of amazing. My plans for the rest of 2014: Write. And write. And write some more! And then, when doesn’t seem possible that I could even write another word — write again. It’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.

The Zombie Kristine Blauser Scalzi Wishes to Give You a Festive Halloween Kiss

Go on. It’ll be fine. I should note that she will want to kiss you directly on the brain. And she might chew through your skull to do it. But that’s okay! Look, she’s doing it to me right now and I have toj syabbgt that it asgbn’t effackebted meb at allygueruyreuiyrer;;;bieur’=-

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