Creating Better Magazines

Yesterday at Tor.com I nattered on about what it takes to create better magazines. Was at work when it went up, so I didn’t get a chance to post about it. The conversation in comments is actually interesting, though there does seem to be one person determined to make me out as a person who hates white people! Or something.

Also, Mike Ashley STILL hasn’t answered my open letter! Sadness.

Harry Potter and the… hmm, what was I saying?

Harry Potter and the... hmm, what was I saying?

My review of the latest HP movie is on Tor.com. What I did not say was that, during the scene in the cave when they go to get the locket? I kept falling asleep. It was THAT FUCKING DULL. I woke up at the end of it because there was fire. That is one of the most crucial, heart-rending scenes in the book and the movie managed to make it snooze-worthy. Sad.

Someone in comments pointed out that the scene with Hermione crying on Harry’s shoulder was well done — it was. I did forget to mention that.

Merry Month of May

At WisCon I was able to quietly sneak away with a copy of the latest Electric Velocipede (issue 17/18!). I was super excited to see it because my story Enmity is contained within. There are also stories by many friends of mine, including two other Altered Fluidians: Mercurio D. Rivera and Matthew Kressel.

I saw John Klima during his brief appearance and got to hug him a lot. Then on Sunday I wore The Shirt. You know, this shirt:

I have it on good authority that The Shirt moved many copies of the zine. (Also, if you are a fan of EV or of shirts or of me, you can get The Shirt on Zazzle and support the zine in the process.)

This May has been especially awesome for me because I had stories in a book and two zines come out this month. Federations, Sybil’s Garage 6, and Electric Velocipede 17/18 — and all of them were available in the dealer’s room. There were also many copies of the Interfictions anthology and all three WisCon Chronicles! I’m in each, and the newest one is especially spiffy with a fantastic cover. Liz Herny is a goddess.

I was feeling very fancy having so many things in the room with my stories and essays in, so I took pictures:

WisCon 33 Dealer's Room of Me - Federations WisCon 33 Dealer's Room of Me - Sybil's Garage

WisCon 33 Dealer's Room of Me - Electric Velocipede

WisCon 33 Dealer's Room of Me - The WisCon Chronicles WisCon 33 Dealer's Room of Me - Interfictions

So I encourage you to order your copy of Sybil’s Garage if I didn’t force it ony ou at WisCon, to buy Federations and WisCon Chronicles vol. 3, to check the Electric Velocipede blog to see when the latest issue will be available for ordering (the copies at WisCon were special advance ones — contributors and subscribers should get theirs soon), and to read, read, read, not just my stories, but all the fabulous stuff in these offerings. May 2009 is a month of awesomeness.

My (Long Overdue) Thoughts on the Dollhouse Finale

Over at Fantasy Magazine:

Eliza Dushku has had the opportunity to dazzle us with the range of her acting over the course of this season. She did not. In this final episode she had one more chance to shine. She had a great example before her — Alan Tudyk as Alpha struggling with the different brains in his brain, switching smoothly between them without making it look hammy and overdone. Then he puts a ton of personalities into Echo’s head and Eliza gives us… well, the same vague “kick-ass chick” character she’s been playing for eleven previous episodes. It shouldn’t be a surprise that we never saw her switch between them. There was nothing to switch.

There’s… a lot more. It took me a whole week to write because every time I sat and thought about ti some more I was like, “Oh, and ALSO I hated this! And this!” Watch as I also compare the show to Family Guy and Heroes. Clicky for the fun!

X-Men Origins: It All Depends On How You Look At It

X-Men Origins: It All Depends On How You Look At It

Like any geek worth her salt, I saw the movie this past weekend. I try not to pay too much attention to casting, spoilers, or even trailers, so I was really surprised to see will.i.am in the movie. As the sole brother, I expected him to make me proud. All I can say is that he didn’t completely embarrass himself, but being pwned by Liev Shrieber is… well… not very gansta.

Anyway, if we’re just scoring on the manflesh, the movie gets an A, as demonstrated by the review at Fantasy. However, if we’re scoring on portrayal of female characters, the movie gets a big old F, as discussed on Feminist SF.

I tried to enjoy the manflesh as much as possible.

My viewing companions despaired of the movie being any good because of Ryan Reynolds, but I must admit I have a lingering affection for him.  I’ve been watching him on screen since he was 13 or so and always felt happy he made good after his very, very rocky start. (He also grew up to be not-bad-looking!)

Want To Be A Weekly TV Columnist?

Want To Be A Weekly TV Columnist?

We’ve had some success with our TV columns and I would like to do more to cover TV on Fantasy.  However, I do not want to bombard our readers with a bunch of TV coverage all the time.  I think confining it to the end of the week is a good, and maybe not one post for every show.  So I have conceived a plan to have posts on Fridays and Saturdays where columnists discuss the latest episodes of the one or two shows they’re assigned and then open up comments on them.  I know a few of my current columnists will be interested, but in case there are other people dying to write up a short response to an episode of the shows they watch, I’m putting the call out to my readers as well.

As always, the job sadly does not involve pay.  It does involve committing to one season of the show in question.  Columns will be casual, like blog posts, filled with your opinion and a short recap.  You are not required to love a show to do this.  But fi you don’t like it, your dislike must be reasonable and not just “I want to stab Joss Whedon.”  I mean, it’s fine to want to stab him, but at least let’s lay out all the reasons why in a semi-calm way ;)

If you’re interested, send me a note at this gmail address: fantastictempest.  Tell me 1 – 3 shows you’d be interested in doing a column on.  If you have blog posts about TV or related, include a few links.  All SF or Fantasy shows are welcome.

One of these things is not like the other

One of these things is not like the other

At Comicon this weekend there was a special “last minute” appearance by Daniel Dae Kim who plays Jin on Lost.  I am assuming it was kept under wraps to avoid prematurely leaking that Jin was returning to the show even though he got all blowed up.  Before his autograph session the press folks got a chance to ask him some questions.  I was one of those press folk :)

Because some of the press people were going to the Dollhouse panel and others were doing short video interviews, it ended up that my small group didn’t get a chance to talk to him until the last 20 minutes (which was plenty of time).  When he sat down with us he jokingly said, “You must have had all of your questions answered by now!”  Honestly, I was surprised people had any more to ask him about Lost.  They badgered the poor guy for 40 minutes and tried to trick him into revealing something OMG!important or whatever.

I asked a non-Lost question and, when I told him I was doing so, he smiled appreciatively.  I mean, yes, he was there to talk about Lost.  But man, people could NOT let up about the same stuff over and over again.  You get a chance to meet one of these actors and you know they cannot tell you secrets, so why not, instead, try to open it up and talk about wider stuff?

Am I being bitchy?

Anyway, this all resulted in the interview I have up on Fantasy today.  It’s pretty cool, if I say so myself.  And my first foray into creating a narrative out of an interview.  I mainly did this because my questions are rambly and thus not worth preserving in the Q&A format.

Oh, and also: that dude is pretty hot as well as being really intelligent and just all-around impressive.  I’m really glad I got a chance to meet him.

Tiny Notebooks Ahoy!

Tiny Notebooks Ahoy!

Last week at KGB I was chatting with Mary Kowal about her new and shiny Eee PC.  Yet another writer joins the tiny notebook cult!  Huzzah!  We were discussing the merits and drawbacks of the 901 model and she asked me which one I would get were I getting a mini notebook today.  Without hesitation I said: Samsung NC10.

Cuz I’m an expert and stuff now.

I recently had to write up a piece for the day job comparing the top five 10-inch models.  There are probably some on that list you’ve never heard of and, of course, the familiar Eee PC.  In ASUS’s defense, the more expensive 10-inch models they’ve brought out recently don’t have the same problems then 1000H has, but they are, as I said, more expensive.  (The S101 is $700 or some crazy shit.)  All of the netbooks I compared are $500 or less.  Some way less.

But for those just getting into the netbook game, I suggest you skip the 8.9 inchers altogether and head straight for 10 unless price is a major, major consideration.  In that case, the 8.9-inch with the best keyboard is the Acer Aspire one.  It’s a great machine in other ways, too.  I hear that up-and-comer Genevieve Valentine has one, and everyone wants to be just like her.

So there you have it.  The two best netbooks out right now are the Samsing NC10 and the Acer Aspire one.  So says the queen.

I’m melting, meltiiiiiinnnnnggggg

I'm melting, meltiiiiiinnnnnggggg

Working for a living is no fun.

Well, it is a little fun.  But my new job is very intense and takes up a lot of time.  It won’t always, but right now there are many Things To Do and I am doing many of them.

Why am I whining about this?  Mainly because, due to this, I have less time to do things for Fantasy that I want to, including doing interviews of authors, actors, producers, etcetc.  Yes, we are starting to do interviews of folks in the wider media now.  And as much as I would like to get on the phone with Robert Picardo and ask hm what Kate Mulgrew is really like, I just do not have the time.

So, if anyone out there is interested in doing some interviews for Fantasy, email me asap.  If you don’t have a lot of experience, don’t worry, I’ll assign you to the easier ones (author spotlights and artist profiles all start out with the same questions, then I’ll guide you through how I go about doing follow-ups based on them.  It’s not hard to learn, you just have to be interested).  If you have some or a lot of experience, then I’ll let you loose on authors and actors and such depending on your areas of interest and knowledge.

Gmail address: fantastictempest.  Subject: Interviewer Applicant.  In the body of the email just let me know if you have experience, if you’re more comfortable doing email, phone, or instant message interviews, and links to stuff you’ve done, if applicable.

We don’t pay interviewers (or anyone else) so I am indeed interested in folks who are looking to build up experience.  You have to start somewhere, and I do have time to give guidance and advice and editorial oversight so that you’re not just flailing in the wind.