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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
First off, three pics I took at Tiger Mountain. One of the tigers was posing quite a bit:

And then from the celebration at Mario's -- me about to blow out my cake:

All of us in front of the restaurant. L-r: Tina, Neal, Wrenn, me, Mom-Like Product, The Dad, Meredith, the Infomancer, The Mom, Dale, Anne, and the Godmommy:

Finally, me and The Mom (with The Dad in the background):

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Guantanamera" by Pete Seeger

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Today at 3.28pm, I turned 46.

I decided that, since my birthday was kind enough to fall on a weekend, I'd spend the day having fun with the people I care most about. Meredith and Anne arrived Friday, and joined us for a lovely dinner of Dale's macaroni and cheese. This morning, we had bagels and Wrenn also whipped out the Hawai'ian Kona coffee.

Once Tina and Neal arrived around noonish, we hied to the Bronx Zoo, meeting up with The Dad and The Mom-Like Product and saw lots of animals and stuff -- Madagascar, the sealions, Tiger Mountain, the mouse house, the butterfly garden, the grizzly bears, the polar bears, the swans and ducks, plus we rode the bug carousel.

After the zoo, we headed to Mario's, my favorite restaurant in Little Italy, and just a short hop from the zoo. We were joined by Dale, the Godmommy, The Mom, and the Infomancer, and a great time was had by all as we consumed amazing food, drank excellent wine, and had a yummy Oreo cake for dessert.

Afterward, we all came back and relaxed, watched the Yankees spank the Rays 9-0, played Slash and Star Fluxx, and now we're all collapsing. Tina and Neal are sleeping in the living room, Meredith and Anne are sleeping in the library, and all's right with the world.

This has been a fantastic birthday. I was surrounded by many of those dearest to me. I've had many great birthdays over the years, but this one is definitely one of the finest.

Tomorrow, I'm participating in an adult tournament at the dojo -- so I should really get my ass to bed......

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "City of New Orleans" by Arlo Guthrie

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One of the boppingest, toe-tappingest songs ever done: John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers doing "Room to Move." If this doesn't have you bopping about in your chair, there's something seriously wrong with you. :)

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: still "Room to Move"

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Plugging away at Kali's Wrath, interrupted by such minutiae as a contract for a tie-in novella (as well as notes from the licensor on same). This is for something that will be released simultaneously with the thing it's tying into later this year and will be incredibly cool. I'm doing the necessary research for this right now when I'm not writing (or watching Daredevil, which I still have three episodes left to watch of). Plus, of course, today I teach my afterschool karate program. And Wrenn and I need to tidy up the apartment, as we're having company this weekend for my birthday celebration (which will include a trip to the Bronx Zoo and dinner at Mario's in Little Italy).

Sleep, as they say, is for wimps.....

Here's another Kali's Wrath bit:
Hammond looked at O'Neill. "Gather the rest of your team, Colonel. Once we've debriefed Captain Patel, I may need SG-1 to follow through."

"Understood, sir."

O'Neill went to the phone to call Carter and Daniel, who were doing whatever nerd things they did on their downtime, Carter in her lab surrounded by computers, Daniel in his office surrounded by crumbling pieces of paper. Teal'c he'd have to handle in person, as he was in the midst of Kelnorim and wouldn't hear the phone.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Room to Move" by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers

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Over at Trek Lit Reviews, the mighty Dan Gunther is doing an "S.C.E. week," wherein he's reviewing the four novellas that were released as eBooks in 2001 and then collected in 2003 in the omnibus Some Assembly Required. That meant today he did my contribution to that particular foursome, Here There Be Monsters, a story that served as the epilogue to the "Gateways" crossover, and which also is being released in Germany under the super-awesome title Achtung, Monster!

Money quote:
There is one part of the story that is from the perspective of a small child encountering one of the "monsters" which was very touching. This serves as our first clue that not everything is as it seems, and DeCandido shows us that our preconceptions often mislead us.

The conclusion to the story is in the true Star Trek style, with the "monsters" not exactly living up to the terrifying beasts they were believed to be. Bart Faulwell once again plays an important role in the story, illustrating the usefulness of a language expert and the importance of good communication when dealing with alien cultures.

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "All Over the World" by the Washington Squares

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Spock cries, Kirk bares his soul, Sulu bares his chest, Chapel gets all moony, Riley sings "Kathleen" over and over and over again, and Scotty can't change the laws of physics -- OR CAN HE????? The TOS Rewatch does "The Naked Time."

An excerpt:
For starters, the virus only makes it onto the ship because Joe Tormolen is the world’s stupidest human. Seriously, he’s in a frozen wasteland. Taking his glove off and then touching a wall with his bare hand should’ve given him frostbite, never mind the loopy virus. And then when Spock specifically tells him not to expose himself to anything, he doesn’t say a flipping word about what he just did, just happily beams back up to the Enterprise. He almost leaves the transporter pad before Spock has to hold him back to go through decontamination. Ladies and gentlemen, your Darwin Award winner for 2266...

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "One Brown Mouse" by Jethro Tull

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Today is Major Writing Day, as I really need to get this SG-1 novel finished. I'm not usually this bad with deadlines -- I'm usually the opposite, in fact. It's frustrating especially since I was so good at hitting the tight deadlines on both the Sleepy Hollow novel and the movie novelization I did last fall (which wound up not being published for Reasons), yet here I am slogging through the mud on a novel based on a show I've been a huge fan of for over a decade. Sheesh.

Anyhow, I need to get this done, and then do "Baker's Dozen," the Dragon Precinct story that I Kickstarted (eep!) last August, and I've got some short fiction to edit, and by that time the two projects I have in line should be ready to go. They're both tie-ins, one a trilogy of short novels, one a novella, and both of those should keep me busy for four months.

Speaking of SG-1, here's another excerpt:
"I am not a cruel goddess, Dr. Jackson."

"In fact, you're not any kind of goddess, you're a parasite masquerading as one."

Shrugging, Kali said, "What else defines divinity if not the devotion of those who worship? The Kula believe, and that is all that matters." Kali held up a hand to forestall another snide comment from Jackson. "We could argue this point endlessly, Dr. Jackson, and it would serve no purpose. Your biases leave you room only for hatred for the Goa'uld."

Jackson snorted. "You don't know the first thing about me."

"On the contrary. Daniel Jackson, called 'doctor' due to your achievements in academic excellence in subjects relating to ancient history and linguistics. The Tau'ri military recruited you to assist in the deciphering of the workings of the chappa'ai that your people unearthed. You then travelled along with Colonel O'Neill to Abydos where you killed Ra, and then remained there with your wife Sha're, until she was taken by Apophis and made to host Amaunet."

Removing his eyepieces—which apparently were sight aids—Jackson rubbed his eyes. "Fine, you know the first thing about me, and maybe the second or third." He replaced the eyepieces and stared right at her. "So you know I come by my hatred for you and your kind pretty honestly, all things considered."

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "My Babe" by Columbus Short

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I'm especially proud of this little exchange between Kali and Carter. Carter has just given a lengthy explanation of how the Re'tu being out of phase actually works. (Again, this is a first draft of a novel, and so may be different in the final book, and is owned by MGM and all that good stuff.)

"What I do not understand is why, if the Re'tu is still out of phase, it ceases to affect my species after they're dead."

"No idea, I'm afraid," Carter said.

That surprised Kali. "You were able to learn the one thing but not the other?"

"That's a biology question." Carter shrugged. "I'm an astrophysicist. Matter going in and out of phase, I can tell you about. Why cells do that, and why it affects symbiotes, I couldn't tell you."

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Current Music: "Can't Buy Me Love" by Booker T. Jones

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Another brief except from my Stargate SG-1 novel Kali's Wrath, with the same caveat that MGM owns this, that this is the first draft, that the final version may be wildly different, etc.

[O'Neill] turned to Patel. "With all due respect to what you went through out there, Captain, I gotta ask—what the hell were you thinking?"


"Why did you bring this Thakka back here?"

Patel folded her hands together on the briefing table. "Sir, if it wasn't for Thakka, I'd be dead right now with the rest of my team—and none of you would even be aware that anything was wrong for another five-and-a-half hours when we missed our check-in."

"Yeah, but he's the First Prime for a Goa'uld."

Raising her eyebrows, Patel said, "So was Teal'c when you brought him back through the gate."

O'Neill blinked. "That was different. He saved our li—" He cut himself off. "Walked right into that one."

"Indeed," Teal'c said emphatically.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "(The Legend of) Johnny Kool" by the Brian Setzer Orchestra

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We interrupt this lovely Saturday morning for a public service announcement:

Every day for the past several weeks in my Google Alerts* I get a new notification of some site that is offering free downloads of my books.

Let me be blunt: If you download any of my books for free off one of these sites, you are a thief, and you are taking money out of my pocket and food off my table. If you really need to read my stuff but can't afford it, there are libraries, who actually purchased the book legitimately.

Thank you.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Saturday, already in progress....

* I have it set to alert me to any mention of "DeCandido," which means I also get to keep tabs on the various other DeCandidos in the world. This includes a journalist, an Italian soccer player, my parents, and a birder here in NYC. The latter has the same name as my father -- he also lives in the Bronx, and went to the same university as my Dad, too -- and he was at the center of a birding controversy in Central Park a few years ago, which just blew up my Google Alerts....

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Current Music: "This is Not Love" by Jethro Tull

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I'd probably get worked up about the Hugos more if I took them at all seriously in the first place. But the Hugos are determined by the tastes of a) people who vote, who are b) a small percentage of the people who have memberships at WorldCon, who are c) an even smaller percentage (and a very very skewed sample) of the people who actually read science fiction and fantasy.

I'll echo what my Sister from Another Mister Laura Anne Gilman said on her blog: "Spending any amount of time, energy, or money to manipulate the voting seems -- to me -- to be an amazing waste of that time, energy, and money, proving nothing."

In addition, the charges levied by many of the Puppies of various breeds who have gamed the awards this year that there's this massive left-wing conspiracy to keep only the "right" kinds of SF/F on the award ballots is in fact totally disproven by the fact that the sad and rabid canines were actually able to game the awards in their favor for two years in a row. This is why conspiracy theories are stupid, as facts generally disprove them in about six-and-a-half seconds, and if this "social justice warrior"* cabal was fixing the awards in their favor, the 2015 slate wouldn't be full of Puppy Chow the way it is because the Evil Leftist Conspiracy of DOOOOOOOOOOM! would've torpedoed it after last year.

* And how sad is that that this is considered an insult. If someone said I fought for social justice, I'd thank them. It's like when far-right-wingers use "elite" as an insult, when it is, in fact, the highest of compliments.

One claim I read was that the award slates were controlled by award pimping blogs by John Scalzi and Charles Stross, which is hilarious, given that I'm a) a long-haired hippie weirdo freak who b) posts on Scalzi's award-pimping blogs all the time, yet c) has never even sniffed a Hugo or Nebula nomination.

But again, it's just the Hugos. Yes, the awards have a certain prestige, but I find it impossible to take that prestige seriously since it reflects only the tastes of a statistically insignificant and heavily biased sample of the actual readership for science fiction and fantasy, whose only qualification for voting is to pay money for a membership to a convention. At least the Nebulas and Stokers are voted on by actual professionals in the field (though that's only a marginal improvement); I have much more respect for the Scribes and the World Fantasy Awards, which are judged by hand-picked professionals, whose judgment is far more reliable as a barometer of quality than a niche (the ones who bother to vote) of a niche (the ones who actually attend/get memberships for WorldCons) of a niche (people who are even aware of all this nonsense) of a genre.

Plus, it's kinda hard to take an award system that's so easily manipulated in any way seriously, since the canines didn't do anything against the rules.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" by Bob Dylan

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On Twitter, after posting a link to this blog entry that had a bit from Stargate SG-1: Kali's Wrath, the following was tweeted at me by Alana Dill:

I do not know Alana Dill personally, as far as I know, though I suspect we have some friends in common given that her Twitter description lists "browncoat" and "body painter" among her many talents/interests, and I know bunches of people in both those worlds. Anyhow, I'm going to refer to her as "Alana" in this post, and if that's too familiar, I most humbly apologize, but "Ms. Dill" just is too formal for a friendly Internet exchange. :)

Anyhow, there's no real way to answer Alana's question in 140 characters or less, so I'm taking the answer here.

First of all, there's no good way to answer the question of how you break into writing, whether it's writing tie-ins, writing mysteries, writing newspaper/web site articles, or whatever. There's no "right" way to do it, there's certainly not one way to do it. You ask any ten writers how they broke in, you'll get a dozen answers.

However, in the interests of answering Alana's question, here's how I broke in: as an editor.

From September 1993 to May 1998 I was on the editorial staff at Byron Preiss Visual Publications and Byron Preiss Multimedia Company, and then I went freelance, continuing to work for Byron on and off between May 1998 and April 1999. One of the projects I worked on for Byron was a series of novels and short story anthologies featuring Marvel superheroes. The project kicked off in the fall of 1994 with a Spider-Man novel (The Venom Factor, first of an eventual trilogy by Diane Duane) and a Spider-Man anthology (The Ultimate Spider-Man, which predated Marvel's "Ultimate" line by six years).

For the latter, we had the cover done before any of the stories even came in (it was kind of a rush project), which featured Spider-Man and four of his foes. We had stories featuring three of those four foes, but we did not have a Venom story. I should explain that the process for every media tie-in work is as follows: the writer comes up with a story first, and that story outline has to be approved by both the editor at the publishing company who has the rights to the property and (more importantly) by the people who own the property, in this case Marvel Comics. The person at Marvel doing the approving was an assistant editor in the Spider-Man office, and he rejected six different Venom proposals that we sent in by six different authors. It's now past the eleventh hour, and we need a Venom story because a) the character's on the cover and b) Venom was by far Spidey's most popular villain in 1994. In desperation, we ask the editor in question what he wanted to see in a Venom story. He gave us a sentence.

Now for this project, I started out as the assistant, working for John Gregory Betancourt (guru of Wildside Press, among other things). John left Byron in late 1994, and I took over the project solo, but he and I worked together on those first two books. At this stage, it's too late to even hire another writer, and I offer to write the Venom story. I do a draft in two days, give it to John, he takes it, rewrites it from the ground up, gives it back to me, I rewrite it from the ground up, we both take a final look at it, and the end result is "An Evening in the Bronx with Venom," and that's how I broke into writing media tie-in writing.


Being an editor also helped me with my other early sales, mostly because the job put me in touch with people in a position to hire me to write stuff. Besides doing other work for the Marvel line (which was always edited by another of Byron's editors on staff, either Steven A. Roman, Ken Grobe, or Howard Zimmerman), my talks with the upstart company Wizards of the Coast about possibly hiring some of their artists (which never actually came to fruition) led to me pitching a story to a Magic: The Gathering anthology, my hiring Andrew Lane to write a few short stories (including one for The Ultimate X-Men) led to me pitching a Doctor Who story to him that wound up in Decalog 3: Consequences, and so on.

(My favorite was Greg Cox calling me because he couldn't find Dean Wesley Smith's phone number and he wanted to hire Dean to write a movie novelization. But Dean was working on a novel for me at the time and I knew he wouldn't be able to fit it in his schedule, so I offered myself in Dean's stead. Dean forgave me when I finally told him later on, as he really couldn't have fit it in his schedule. In any case, that was how I wound up novelizing the FOX TV movie Gargantua in 1998 under the pseudonym "K. Robert Andreassi.")

That should answer Alana's question -- except it doesn't, really, because what she asked was how I got to be paid for writing essentially fanfic.

And I've never ever been paid for writing fanfic, and neither has anyone else, because fanfic by definition is unpaid.

I've been down this road before, and I stand by what I said on the subject eight years ago. I'm not writing fanfic, I'm writing media tie-in fiction. That doesn't make what I do better, necessarily, but there is a difference between the two, which is why they have different names. *wry grin*

Fanfic, besides being nonremunerative, is also completely freeform and not beholden to anyone -- including the readership. If a fanfic is read by four people or four thousand, it's of little consequence to the writer and doesn't necessarily have any impact on whether or not the writer continues to write. If a tie-in isn't purchased by enough people to make a profit for the publisher, more tie-ins won't happen.

Fanfic can take any shape or form -- drabble, vignette, scene, eight-million-word novel, whatever -- while tie-ins are in a proscribed format -- novel, novella, short story. Fanfic doesn't have any kind of oversight by the owners of the intellectual property while tie-ins must have every step of the process approved by the IP owner. Fanfic also doesn't have any kind of editorial oversight required, where tie-ins are professionally edited (this doesn't mean that there aren't excellent beta-readers of fanfic and this doesn't mean that there aren't tie-ins that are poorly edited, but the general principle remains the same that professional editing is better than not having that, for the same reason why when my toilet breaks I call a plumber rather than try to fix it myself). Tie-ins have to appeal to a mass audience of viewers of the show (not, I hasten to add hardcore fans of the show, as if you just appeal to the hardcore fanbase, you don't have enough people to support a mass-market book), while fanfic only really has to appeal to the person writing it, and if other people like it, awesome!

And fanfic is illegal, for all that most IP holders turn a blind eye to it (especially as long as no money is changing hands at any point), tie-ins are legally licensed.

None of the above is meant to show that fanfic is superior to tie-ins or vice versa, merely elaborating the many differences between them.

Kali's Wrath is not fanfic. MGM has to approve it (they made copious notes on the outline), Sally Malcolm at Fandemonium Books has to like it, and the readership has to buy it and like it. Oh, and I have a contract that says that Fandemonium will pay me a certain amount of money once MGM approves the final manuscript.

Anyhow, Alana, I hope that answers your question. *wry grin*

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "The Shape I'm In" by The Band

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Been trying to finish up Stargate SG-1: Kali's Wrath, and I thought I'd post some teases from it. Be aware that this is a draft of an unfinished novel that is not yet approved by my editor or by MGM, who own it.

Anyhow, from Chapter 6:
Before he could even think about moving, the rings lowered themselves around him and Sam. There was a blinding flash, and then the rings rose back up. From Daniel's perspective, it didn't feel as if anything had happened. Back when he'd first been transported between the surface of Abydos and Ra's ship, he'd been stunned at how he felt nothing even though he was, in essence, disintegrated at one end and reintegrated at the other. Sam had tried to explain it once, but as usual with Sam's explanations, the only words he recognized were "a," "the," "also," and "but." He only didn't complain because a) Jack usually did it for him and b) he was guilty of devolving into his own forms of technobabble, and Sam always gamely listened and at least pretended to pay attention, so he felt the least he could do was return the favor.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Consider Me Gone" by Sting

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Sorry for not posting much lately -- I've been struggling to write Kali's Wrath, and that struggle has impacted everything else. I'm irritatingly behind on everything except the rewatches (which are scheduled), and my plan to use this week's spring break relief from my afterschool karate duties to catch up hasn't really worked out, plus Wrenn is still sick from the lung issue over the weekend.


Current Mood: cranky cranky
Current Music: "Jockey Full of Bourbon" by Tom Waits

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McCoy is reunited with his old girlfriend, or so he thinks, at least, until she rather aggressively asks him to pass the salt. The TOS Rewatch gets caught in "The Man Trap."

An excerpt:
Avoiding the clichés, the creature isn’t just a monster that has to be killed—Crater and the creature itself make a good argument for why they shouldn’t commit genocide by killing the thing. The buffalo analogy is not too sledgehammery, and I like that killing it was a last resort. It’s a good vehicle for DeForest Kelley, making another in a lengthy series of cases to make him an opening-credits regular, showing McCoy’s fallibility (he’s verklempt for most of the episode mooning over Nancy) but also his underlying compassion—in the end, he won’t commit violence until he has to, as he realizes that it isn’t really Nancy as soon as the creature backhands Spock across the room, but it’s not until several seconds later, when Kirk’s about to be killed, that he shoots the phaser.

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Current Music: "Blues Spoken Here" by the Don't Quit Your Day Job Players

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Today started out a lot more stressful than it should have been. Wrenn is asthmatic and also suffers from many allergies. The plant porn has been particularly hardcore this spring, so she's been hit with awful hay fever, and she has to be careful to make sure that the stuffed-uppedness doesn't spread to her lungs.

Last night, it spread to her lungs. She was wheezing and phlegmy, and this morning I had to take her to Urgent Care. They took care of her, giving her a scrip for prednisone, which seems to be doing the trick. If she's still wheezy and phlegmy tomorrow afternoon, then we'll have to go to the ER, but let's hope that the prednisone does work.......

But once that was taken care of, the day went much better. We went to my parents' for Easter dinner -- while my family isn't remotely religious, we come from Italian stock where Easter is a big family dinner and we still do that part -- which was yummy. There was turkey and ham, there was chicken soup with cappeletti, there was asparagus, there were artichokes, there was stuffing, and it was all really yummy! I made the chicken soup (the cappeletti came from Eataly), and it was a huge hit. (I make excellent chicken soup, if I do say so myself....) Dessert was Easter wheat cake, orange-and-ginger pound cake (made by my aunt), shortbread cookies, and chocolate.

Now Wrenn is lying on the bed being slightly loopy and easily distracted, which means the prednisone is working. *wry grin*

My goals this week are to get the Stargate SG-1 novel finally finished, the rewatches, continued research for a new project I can't talk about, and I should be announcing a spiffy new project this week as well.

How was y'all's weekend?

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Pete Meets the Beat" by Canadian Brass

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From 2000: a picture of me with my twin uncles Fred and Nat. My father dubbed this picture "Father, Son, and Holy Shit."

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Current Music: "Insane Insane Again" by the J. Geils Band

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We meet Carter, Hammond, Teal'c, Bra'tac, Apophis, Hathor, Fraiser, the Nox, the Tollan, Senator Kinsey, and a whole lot more. The Stargate Rewatch looks at the first season of SG-1.

An excerpt:
But the breakout here is Amanda Tapping, whose Samantha Carter is one of the finest characters to grace the science fiction television landscape. She’s brilliant, resourceful, modest (every time she proposes a theory or hypothesis, she qualifies it up the kazoo, is sure to explain how badly it can go wrong, and refuses to gloat when it succeeds), tough, clever, and a huge asset to SG-1. It took the writers a while to get a handle on her—her initial dialogue with O’Neill, Kawalsky, and Ferretti in “Children of the Gods” is embarrassingly clumsy (to the show’s credit, they’d make fun of the reproductive organs line several times in the future), and her earliest spotlights in “The First Commandment” and “Emancipation” show an appalling lack of imagination—but as the season goes on you can see the greatness that will develop. In particular, she makes the overdone men-are-bamboozled plot of “Hathor” work (aided and abetted by Teryl Rothery’s Janet Fraiser, who would go on to become a critical supporting character) with her no-nonsense military approach.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Gotta Prove" by Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion

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Kirk is split in two and much wackiness ensues! Plus Sulu almost freezes to death, Rand almost gets raped, Spock displays the nerve pinch, and McCoy says, "He's dead, Jim" for the first time -- and he's totally talking about a space dog! The TOS Rewatch meets "The Enemy Within."

An excerpt:
But Spock can actually speak to two warring halves in one body, the first time his status as a halfbreed is examined in depth. In particular, I like the fact that he couches the differences between the Kirks in terms of what humans refer to as “good” and “bad,” because it’s really not that simple. Evil Kirk has lust and no filter and arrogance and is basically all id—but those are useful qualities in moderation. Evil Kirk has all of Kirk’s passion, which is a critical part of his personality, but not negative in the abstract. But Good Kirk has the intellect, the compassion, the filter—but not the ability to be decisive. It’s not so much good and evil as it is aggressive versus passive, and I wish Spock had taken it a step further and not just cast it as “Earth emotions,” but pointed out how the terms “good” and “evil” are imprecise.

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Current Music: "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" by Aerosmith

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Some pictures from (Re)Generation Who 1:

My table at the start of the weekend. By the end of the weekend, all those copies of Doctor Who: Short Trips: Destination Prague were sold, as were many copies of Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War. (Photo by me.)

Me and Wrenn Simms at my table. (Photo by Tea Ann Crumpets.)

Me and Tea Ann at my table. (Photo by Tea Ann and I -- she held the phone, I hit the button.)

Me reading "UNITed We Fall" from Doctor Who: Decalog 3: Consequences. (Photo by Tea Ann.)

Me and Meredith Peruzzi in the bar. (Photo by Meredith.)

Neal Levin, Tea Ann, Meredith, and me in the bar. (Photo by a very kind server.)

And finally, we have the Scooter suite....

Scooter finally succumbing to exhaustion on Saturday night after a day of fun, having collapsed on Dale's bed. (Photo by Wrenn.)

Scooter in the car on the way down, resting his paws on my legs. (Photo by me.)

Two angles of Scooter getting lovin's from Amber, Chesie, Neal, and another person whose name I never got (but he did an amazing Missy costume earlier in the weekend; here's he's cosplaying Captain Jack Harkness). (First photo by me, second photo by Wrenn.)

And finally, the pièce de resistance -- Scooter with Wrenn and Sylvester McCoy! Isn't that awesome?! Our puppy with Radegast the Brown! :) (Photo by Sci-Fi Photo Guys.)

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Current Music: "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" by Bob Dylan

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We have returned from a most triumphant debut, that of (Re)Generation Who 1, held at the newly Wyndham-ized Hunt Valley Inn north of Baltimore (home of Shore Leave and Balticon, and former home of Farpoint, among many other cons). This is the first of what should be many Doctor Who conventions held on the east coast. There are plenty in the UK, and the west coast has Gallifrey in February, but it's nice to have a dedicated east coast place for Who fans to gather.

I was there as one of two prose author guests, the other being John Peel (who's Who resumé is far more extensive than mine). There were also a bunch of folks connected with the audios and comics (including Matt Smith -- the comics artist, not the actor), Andrew Cartmel, who served as the script editor for the final seasons of Sylvester McCoy's run, and -- oh yeah! -- a few actors!

Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy were charming and wonderful, and Tom Baker was, from all reports, amazing in his Skype session. In addition, companions Nicola Bryant, Deborah Watling, and especially Sophie Aldred Henderson (who apparently did a show and tell on what Ace was like, which included a lot of running around the room and pantomiming beating Daleks with umbrellas and tossing water bottles and yelling "BOOM!" and such) were excellent, as were Terry Molloy, Patricia Quinn, and Colin Spaull.

I didn't get to meet everyone, but I did enjoy talking with both Terry and Colin (Spaull, not Baker).

Most of our household went down for this one. Normally Dale stays home and takes care of the dog, but Dale is a HUGE fan of Who, so he really wanted to attend. With the help of the con staff, particularly Sara The Amazing Hotel Liaison (I believe her name is being legally changed to that), we got permission to keep Scooter in the hotel.

He spent a lot of time behind my table watching the world go by and being pet by everyone. And he also hung out in the room when it got to be too much stimulation for his 15-year-old self. He got lotsa lovin's, and he enjoyed every minute of it. (Right now, he's sacked out on the floor of the bedroom, but not quite ready to sleep yet because something else cool might happen!!!!!)

And yes, I had a table! I sold lots of books, including all ten copies of the Doctor Who: Short Trips anthology Destination Prague that I was able to secure, plus a broad range of my other stuff (including two people who bought complete sets of the five Precinct books). In addition, I saw many old friends, made several new ones, reconnected with a couple folks I hadn't seen in years, and generally had an amazing time, from chatting at the table to hanging out in the bar (the latter of which included an epic Cards Against Humanity game Friday night).

I've been to plenty of first-time cons that were awkward or problematic or had issues. (Re)GenWho had very little of those. It wasn't 100% smooth -- nothing is -- but fires were put out with aplomb, the staff was friendly and open to commentary, the guests were treated very well, as were the attendees.

Really, I have nothing bad to say and everything good to say about the con. It was a great show for a very passionate fandom, all of whom seemed to be having a great time.

Best of all from my own perspective -- besides the large amount of book sales -- was regarding my solo panel on writing Who fiction. First off, the panel was on Sunday at noon, opposite one of Sylvester McCoy's Q&As. I'm not exactly a big name in Who fiction, as my Gallifreyan bibliography consists of two short stories (three if you count the one in the 2001 charity anthology Missing Pieces) and editing one anthology, and I was opposite the Seventh Doctor.

Twenty people showed up. I was floored, and flattered. I read "UNITed We Fall," my story in the Decalog 3: Consequences anthology, which went over beautifully, and a good time was had by all.

I really hope there will be a (Re)Generation Who 2 (all signs point to that), and I really hope that I will be welcomed back, as it is a superb show that deserves to have a long and fruitful life.

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" by Richard Thompson

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The introduction of a beloved recurring villain is also a piece of sexist drivel. The TOS Rewatch meets "Mudd's Women."

An excerpt:
Watching it now, it’s like suffering through “Profit and Lace” all over again, though this story has a better excuse for its sexism than the Deep Space Nine episode. Not that it makes it any better. Mudd is, basically, a space pimp—what he’s selling is sex, which Eve all but comes out and says to Childress, limited only by 1966 Broadcast Standards & Practices not letting people use that word out loud. But the more “noble” calling that Eve yearns for is also to service a man, just in different ways: cleaning up after him, cooking for him, sewing for him, crying for him (yes, she really holds up crying for a man as a virtue). The fact that there are women assigned to the ship, many of whom are officers, is avoided like the plague (why aren’t there some women on the board of inquiry?).

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" by The Band

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I've been mulling talking at some point about the counterproductive nature of fan rage, especially in light of a recent excellent rant on the subject by David Gerrold​, but then the good and noble Emily Asher-Perrin​ went ahead and did it for me on Tor.com​.

Everyone who considers themselves a fan of something should read Em's article. Just excellent stuff here.

Money quote:
There are plenty of already-existing fans who do not share your opinions on the fandoms and things that you love. Just because you may think that the intentions you’re perceiving behind a work are correct doesn’t mean that the guy sitting next to you gives a hill of beans for your thoughts about the human metaphors implicit in Vulcan society. He was only in it for the space guns and cool prosthetics. And the lady sitting across from you was only in it because it was one of the few shows on television that featured people who looked like her. You all have different reasons for being here. You are not the only fan of anything.

Current Mood: impressed impressed
Current Music: "Thinking Round Corners" by Jethro Tull

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As ever, I've got a bunch of my books for sale, which I'll gladly autograph. You can order them from me by sending me the cover price of the book(s) you want, plus $5 for domestic shipping. (For foreign shipping, just send me the cover prices, and I'll bill you for the postage after I send it.) Money can be sent via PayPal to krad at whysper dot net or by check/money order made out to Keith R.A. DeCandido to PO Box 4976, New York, NY 10185-4976.

Please let me know which titles you want, how you want the autograph inscribed, and the shipping address to send the books to.

Here's what's available plus cover price:

Defending the Future: Best Laid Plans -- $15
Liar Liar -- $15

Cassie Zukav
Ragnarook and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet -- $15

Command and Conquer
Tiberium Wars -- $8

Dungeons & Dragons
Dark Sun: Under the Crimson Sun -- $8

Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda
Destruction of Illusions -- $10

"Precinct" books
Dragon Precinct -- $15
Unicorn Precinct -- $15
Goblin Precinct -- $15
Gryphon Precinct -- $15
Tales from Dragon Precinct -- $15
any 3 "Precinct" books -- $40
any 4 "Precinct" books -- $55
all 5 "Precinct" books -- $65

Resident Evil
Genesis -- $7

The Case of the Claw -- $15

Star Trek
The Klingon Art of War -- $26
Klingon Empire: A Burning House -- $8
New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics -- $18

Tales of the Scattered Earth
Guilt in Innocence -- $15

Young Hercules
Cheiron's Warriors -- $3
The Ares Alliance -- $3
both YH books -- $5

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd

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We kick off the Stargate Rewatch with the movie that started it all, as we learn why Michael Shanks just impersonated James Spader and why Richard Dean Anderson avoided impersonating Kurt Russell.

An excerpt:
Still, there isn’t much to like here. James Spader is certainly charismatic enough (I actually watched an episode of The Blacklist before watching the movie, not to mention seeing the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, and his voice and his ability to use it to good effect really is amazing, and has remained so for two decades), but ultimately this is pretty much the same plot as half the B-movies of the 1940s and 1950s with better special effects. The hard-bitten military dude teamed up with the wimpy scientist who just wants everyone to get along was a cliché when we saw it in the first Hulk comic book in 1962, and it didn’t age well into the 1990s. John Diehl’s Kawalsky and French Stewart’s Ferretti were actually more interesting characters than the nominal lead, as Kurt Russell just phones in his performance here, bringing no subtlety to a role that’s supposed to be a person in pain, and instead comes across as a person who needs an antacid.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Bring on the Night/When the World is Getting You Down" by Sting

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