New Book and ARCs, 9/13/19

It’s Friday the 13th, and here’s a very lucky collection of new books and ARCs that have arrived at the Scalzi Compound. What here would you feel lucky to have? Share in the comments!

21 Years

Oh, hey! Whatever is now old enough to go drinking. It probably won’t go drinking, because I don’t drink, and also the blog is not an actual person, but I admit it’s amusing to think of my blog suddenly ditching me to go out on a bender, then coming back and drunkenly slurring out what it really thinks of me. There would be a lot of things learned in the late hours of that event, I would say.

It being the 21st birthday of Whatever reminds me again that regularly-updated personal blogs are now something of a rarity these days, as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook handle what blogs do at least as well for most people, at the mere cost of your privacy and the privacy of every other single person you know. I use Twitter and Facebook myself so this isn’t really a complaint, just an acknowledgement.

I do miss the heyday of the blogosphere but I also admit that missing of it is more based on a feeling than the practical day-to-day reality of the social media era. What I went to blogs for — catching up with friends, seeing what they think about things — is what Facebook and Twitter and other social media offer, so no real loss there. The real difference is feel. For lack of a better way to express this, blogs are free-standing houses, designed by the occupant. Social media are apartment blocks, where the floor plan is exactly the same for everyone. I guess I miss going to someone’s house and wondering how this funky place even actually holds together.

I do still tell people that they should keep their own sites for when whatever social media site they use the most eventually sinks into the Internet’s graveyard, they’ll still have some place to be. The longer I do this, the more I realize this makes me sound vaguely like an Internet Prepper, waiting and perhaps hoping for an online apocalypse that likely won’t come. I don’t mean it that way, honest. Writers and creators should definitely have their own sites, with information about them and what they do, if only for search engine purposes. Everyone else, well. Do what you want, I guess. I do, which is to keep this place running. When Facebook falls, you’ll all still want something to read! I’ll be the last site standing! Bwa ha ha hah ha!

More seriously, Whatever exists today for the same reason it began existing 21 years ago, which is, I wanted a place to write about things. The formula hasn’t really wavered in all that time; I write about the things I want to write about, when I want to write about them, for whatever length I feel like writing about them for. Sometimes I’m ambitious and post several times a day; other times I’ll post once a day and sometimes skip a day or two (or more). When I’m writing a book, I tend to post less. When I’m not, I’ll post more. I don’t take requests, unless I do. And so on.

Also, you know: I write here because I just plain like this site. This is, in more ways than one, my house and a reflection of me. I like how I’ve built it over the years and I like what it does. I like I have a place to say what I want to say. I like that I have a place where others occasionally come by to visit. I like that those people seem to like it too.

So, I’ll keep at it some more. Let’s see what happens from here.