Roger Ebert traces the roots of Internet culture to science fiction fanzines:
Then the university intervened, and I found myself publishing The Spectator (not precisely an original title), a weekly tabloid of arts and politics at the University of Illinois. I had become too busy for fandom, and found it wise to GAFIA (get away from it all). I have always been convinced that the culture of sf fanzines contributed heavily to the formative culture of the early Web, and generated models for web site and blogs. The very tone of the discourse is similar, and like fanzines, the Web took new word coinages, turned them into acronyms, and ran with them. Think about it. Science fiction fans in the decades before the internet were already interested in computers, big-time--first with the supercomputers of science fiction myth, and then with the earliest home-built models. Fans tended to be youngish, male, geeky, obsessed with popular culture, and compelled to circulate their ideas. In the reviews and criticism they ran, they slanted heavily toward expertise in narrow pop fields. The Star Trek phenomenon was predicted by their fascination years earlier with analysis of Captain Video, Superman, X minus One and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, and there were learned discussions about how Tarzan taught himself to read.
Though Everfair is Nisi Shawl’s debut novel, it’s also been a hotly anticipated book for years, as Shawl is the co-author of Writing the Other, a seminal book about diversity in prose; and is a much-respected critic and teacher. The book was worth the wait.
I’ve been noting humorous updatings of Ambrose Bierce’s 1906 humor classic The Devil’s Dictionary for years — there was the publishing edition, and this corker on copyright — but the Educational Technology edition, by New Storytelling author Bryan Alexander has a currency and an urgency that scores an acerbic bullseye.
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]