Austin, TX | GrimDark, Fantasy, Horror, Western, and nonfiction | Amazon affiliate and Vocal Ambassador | Tips and hearts appreciated! | Want to see more from me? Consider dropping me a pledge! | RIP Jason David Frank!
The Technology Ouroboros: Did We Build It Too Well?
The day before yesterday, and throughout the majority of this week, the tech industry has been seized by a malignant force, a terror the likes of which many of us feel immune to. We, so high up in our bedroom offices at our reasonably-acquired standing desks, are typically untouched by such plebian concerns as lay-offs, market crashes, housing bubble bursts. We attend our meetings as usual. The world around us burns while we take our computers home to work on our high-speed internet. Crises are reserved for the lower class (to whom I belong). Usually, when markets go belly up, they don't drag the tech industry with them. We weather storms that destroy other industries. Hurricanes, floods, fires, pandemics, it's the tech industry that maintains it's weird autonomy in the face of wide-spread collapse. It is the Cult Of The Machine (as we say in Warhammer 40k) that maintains the status quo. We need computers to live now. The programmers will never stop being important. As long as we have the programmers, we'll be fine. So the Cult Of The Machine looks on in amusement. We are untouchable.
Warhammer 40k's Biggest News Yet!
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. "War, so simple a word, yet so complex and devastating for the horror it reeks upon those who simply were trying to live out their exsitence as best they could." --Luetin09, Octarius War Part 2
Avatar: The Way Of Water--A Swing And A Miss
There are a lot of reasons you might be tempted to not see this movie. You may have already heard some of the loathsome things James Cameron said about the Lakota. You may have heard it's just another chapter in the Avatar franchise's "white savior" narrative. You may have heard that a white man is exploiting the stereotypes of Indigenous peoples, hired an almost all white cast, and only white people are going to profit from it.
On The Loss Of Jason David Frank
(Trigger warning: discussing trauma, depression, "unaliving") You might ask yourself why it's taken me almost three weeks to write this. Just about all of the content I've seen about the untimely loss of the dear soul depicted above has already almost dried up. Thanks to the power of the media--and the fact that aside from his own personal friends and family, none of us fans really knew the man--the news of his death and the circumstances is already cooling off.
Twitter Probably Isn't Going Anywhere
(I do not work for Twitter and I have no experience or visibility into the internals of their tech stack. This is an opinion based on my recent experience supporting and maintaining complex softwares. The opinions expressed here are my own and it's important that everyone do their own research and base their decisions on their own due diligence)
That Week We Slept In A Bathtub
It's hard to come up with a single poignant memory of your pets when you have five rescue cats. I have some of the fondest memories of my life with each one of them. I'm one of those cat moms that could never foster. I'd have nine of them if we had the space.
Accessibility Means Access To Food
I was originally writing this as a Facebook rant. Unfortunately for the world at large, I'm off this week and have way too much time on my hands. I spent the morning in conversation with a visually-impaired book editor. We were discussing what conlangs (constructed languages, i.e. fantasy or made up languages like Klingon and Sindarin) mean for accessibility when a person needs a screen reader. Turns out, it generally isn't an issue if the screen reader can read it and the website or story is formatted correctly (lots of food for thought there, no pun intended). That got me thinking about how the world views people with invisible disabilities, like severe food allergies or autoimmune disorders that are triggered by food.
All That Remains Of The Distant Pious
"Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. In the halls of the Prime Intersector, drifter in the unliving dark, blessed are the ears of the Malleus Deciditus, the keepers of the blood and bile. Rejoice and pay homage to the Vaserai Indomitus, who, in the spaces between the stars, are the recipients of those soundless prayers. " --Sacra Ruinae of the Pale Priests, canto 12, stanza 4.
The inn of Gadgetzan was dim and smoky, reminding the blood elf seated at one of the long tables of an ogre den somewhere in the ruins of Alterac, where once--when he was a much younger man--he had excavated for iron. He sipped absently at a cup of something fermented. He couldn't put a finger the name of it at the moment, and what it was slowly doing to his lower intestine was just as unknowable. He watched the door though, blowing an ungentlemanly burp out of the side of his mouth, waiting for his contact.
Anarchy In Slow Motion
During some of the most turbulent years of his life, Bart Lynn Howell and his friend, Shane, were siphoning gas out of the tanks of cars on their block with a rubber hose and a gas can. Was this altogether intelligent? Probably not considering these two were not unknown in their tiny hometown of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and they were both high on some substance, and more than a little giddy from swallowing some of the fuel they were trying to steal.
So You Didn't Make The Cut. Now What?
A Community on the Edge Starting about about 7:00am Tuesday morning, and possibly hours before that, the collective platform waited, refreshing the Top Stories so we didn't miss the penultimate moment. It was make-or break. For some, it seems the anticipated post would define our success or failure on the platform. Self-esteem would be boosted or tanked. Hopes would be lifted or dashed. It came a day late, but and it came in like the wrecking ball we all thought it would be: the 1,025 finalists for the Vocal+ Fiction Awards, which accepted over 13,000 submissions between October 12 and December 29, 2021.