Mongoliad is live: Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and friends create participatory, epic fantasy for the web

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16 Responses to “Mongoliad is live: Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and friends create participatory, epic fantasy for the web”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Their TOS are scary. They automatically own anything and everything you post there, and can press charges against you if you use your (now thier) stuff anywhere else. Any disputes go to one of those horrid forced arbitration things. Also, their privacy policy is “you have none”. Yikes.

  2. Jackasimov says:

    And don’t even try to pick up weapons, armor, and potion in the “shoppe”, it an’t even online yet! What am I supposed to do, fight with an old stick and in a peasant’s cloak? BS!

    It’ll be interesting to see how this goes. Brave experiment. And who cares if you give some content away? You impart your wicked cleverness on BB every day and no one gets charged a cent.

    I can see how the whole thing could get massively unwieldy though once it gets going. I too would rather read it in novel form.

    • Anonymous says:

      Making comments is different from creating content — they are hoping that people will be writing stories and building games and painting pictures and etc., all of which *they* can re-sell for profit, but *you* can’t even post on your own website, or they’ll sue you. Also, they can sell your personal details to Russian spammers if they want. It’s bizarre. I thought these guys were Good Guys. I can see why they would want to be able to republish all the cool stuff they hope people will create, but why not use a CC license instead of this evil You Agree We Own You EULA ? Why *not* have a decent privacy policy ? It’s not cool when Facebook does it, but if it’s Subutai, hey that’s fine ?

  3. asthecrowspins says:

    I’m actually pretty psyched about this, but the page design…ugh. Reminds me of a Magic the Gathering video game, circa 1999.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have no problem with the way Stephenson wraps up his books. He’s not a generic sci-fi writer, not sure why people expect a 1970′s sci-fi ending to all of his books. My only issue was that he radically changed his style for the end of Anethem and I’m convinced it’s because critics made him neurotic about his endings. If you want nice traditional story structure go read Heinlein and leave Stephenson alone.

  5. Anonymous says:

    According to some long-forgotten pre-internet interview with John Colicos, the morning he was supposed to start working on “Errand of Mercy” the makeup people asked him what he wanted to look like. It wasn’t specified in the script. So he got to decide, and he said he thought the Klingon concept was inspired by the Soviet Union, and by Genghis Khan’s Mongol hordes. All the other Klingons were based on the look he asked for.

    Long before the fanboys took over the asylum, the Klingons were Stalinist Mongols in space.

    So attention Star Trek fans: Anytime you see anything about the Mongols, take notes.

    http://www.borderhopping.net/blog/images/08-08-11.jpg

    (And forget about the dang Vikings and the samurai, they are not relevant.)

  6. ncm says:

    I just read the registration “agreement”. I’ll read the site eagerly, but boy-oh-boy, I’m not about to post anything on there!

  7. Flying_Monkey says:

    Me neither – those terms are dreadful. Basically, you are providing free labour to a company. This isn’t ‘participation’, it’s appropriation.

    • ncm says:

      It’s worse than that: you’re also agreeing to pay whatever expenses they incur to establish that what you posted is really yours to hand over to them.

      Curiously, the terms don’t seem compatible with U.S. copyright, which requires an explicit written instrument to tranfer ownership. The “agreement” might amount to a contract requiring you to provide such an instrument on demand, but that’s not the same thing as the instrument itself.

      About the content: some sloppy writing, there: How can somebody wearing a medieval helm glance behind him? And our hero concluding his opponent is a boy based on lack of facial hair seems odd when he is clean shaven himself.

  8. jeaguilar says:

    Ending notwithstanding, Diamond Age is one of my favorite books.

  9. Daneel says:

    Didn’t Tad Williams try something a bit like this with Shadowmarch?

    Wake me up when they publish it in novel form instead.

  10. LogrusZed says:

    Man are they ever going to get letters from Sarah Palin!

  11. bascule says:

    This is an awesome concept and I hope it goes well.

    However the true reason this is being done is so that Neal never has to write another ending. Everybody who’s read Diamond Age knows what I mean :-)

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