Monday, December 20, 2010


Today is the first time in 456 years that the Winter Solstice and a lunar eclipse fall on the same day. From about one to two in the morning, all across North America, we can watch the moon fully eclipse.

As my friend Mike Cnudde says, this probably means there is a shadowy cabal somewhere planning global domination now that the planets are aligned, only to be foiled by some guy, his girlfriend, and their plucky dog.

Happy holidays, and here's hoping you get to foil some nefarious plots!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Theory Train Issue One

After adventures with formatting and finding artists and the interesting process of getting on Duotrope, we are live with the first issue of Theory Train! It's exciting, because it's the first for-profit venture I've helped launch. We started in September, putting the whole thing together. Adam put together our website, Michelle got us listed on Duotrope, and I handled submissions. Meetings by Skype were our primary mode of communication, and it made for very odd one-sided conversations for anyone who happened to be in the same room as us.

And now it exists!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Social Network

I just watched The Social Network, the movie about the founding of Facebook. It's vaguely reminiscent of the dotcom boom, where the dream was becoming a billionaire overnight by coming up with some clever new idea.

Then it all collapsed.

In the ruins of startup companies and emerging bodies of law, there as formed a singularity, a point beyond which culture is unrecognizable. The singularity was driven foremost by Facebook and the accompanying phenomenon of social news.

We control who and what we see; online friends, whose status updates we see, feeds from news and comics and Twitter. Reddit and Digg and how many others let us decide what news is noteworthy.

It's like small-town gossip on a world-wide, interest-based scale. There are drawbacks, of course, but those, too, you can talk about with your network; everything has a link to Digg or repost somewhere else.

And the heroes of the new millennium are drunken twenty-somethings really handy with code and ideas. I really like this idea, of the transmutation of heroes from the Justice League to their animators and the people who maintain their fansite. Inventing something technological is the easiest way to change the world these days, as evidenced by Gates as much as Zuckerberg.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Wednesday was the launch of issue 8.2 of Island Writer, and it went wonderfully. All of the editorial staff were able to be there and we had a packed room with all the contributors and people there to hear the readings.
Chelsea Rushton, our Editor in Chief for this issue, did a great job of emceeing the night, and we got to hear from more than half of the contributors.
Excitingly for me, I will be the next Editor in Chief. I get to work with the same wonderful editorial team I worked with for this issue, and now that everyone has experience we should be able to smooth it out and make the production more seamless for everyone.
I'm starting to really enjoy the chaos and hubbub of setting up an event like this - the frantic arranging of tables and fretting over acoustics and food, the joy in getting rid of a whole box of the magazine not for the sake of sales but for the sake of fewer things to store in our wonderful treasurer Laura's garage.

In other news, the science fiction collaboration I've been working on for the last several months with friend Mason Kochanski is now finished! And published. I suppose this is a sort of launch for Intervention, which is available for download under a Creative Commons license to your computer or phone as a PDF, Kindle file, or EPUB. We're using Feedbooks as opposed to my usual site, Smashwords, because Feedbooks explicitly allows for Creative Commons licensing, which is important to both of us. The site is also accessible through the smartphone app Aldiko, which is cool. Click over to download it!