Hey, Londoners! A reminder that I'll be signing the UK edition of Charlie Stross's and my novel Rapture of the Nerds, tomorrow at 1PM at Forbidden Planet. Charlie can't make it, so I have fashioned a cunning 3D printed Space Marine Stross to accompany me, which you may rub for good luck if you attend.
Bruce D. Mitchell is an amazing sculptor who works in the film industry; his "Conceptual Executioner" site showcases a series of gorgeous masks and helmets from 2010. He implies that they have been offered for sale at some point, though no prices are given, leading me to believe that it's one of those, "If you have you ask, you probably can't afford," deals. At least we get to look.
I Have been working in the FX industry since 1992. I have contributed to the creation of various creatures, costumes, miniatures, set pieces and props. I have met and worked with some awesome talent and learned something from each of them. I will be showing my own work on this page. These are the pieces I have been making and showing in Gallery's and special venues. The Masks and Helmets are all wearable and incorporate some function. All pieces were created in my home studio. One thing I would like to say to any producers. Please do not look at this as a menu but rather what I have conceptually achieved so far. . . Thanks for viewing.
Bruce D. Mitchell Conceptual Executioner
In Bruce Sterling's barn-burning closing keynote for SXSW 2013, he confronts the realities of disruption -- that disruption leads to destruction. Our wonderful things destroy other wonderful things. The future composts the past. We roast the 20th century over our bonfire, let's not shamefully pretend that we did it by accident. Let's eat our kill.
Bruce Sterling closing remarks at SXSW2013
The Houston Press's 2011 coverage of Comicpalooza included this shot of a beautiful letter of appreciation from Ray Bradbury to Robert Heinlein, written in 1976.
YOUR INFLUENCE ON US ALL, FROM 1939 ON, CANNOT BE MEASURED. I CAN ONLY SAY I REMEMBER, WARMLY, YOUR MANY KINDNESSES TO ME WHEN I WAS 19–20–21 YEARS OLD. THAT YOUNG MAN BASKED IN YOUR LIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR THE HELP YOU OFFERED WHEN I WAS SO POOR & NEEDFUL! YOURS IN THAT MEMORY — RAY BRADBURY
AUG – 1976
The wonderful thing for me is that when I was 19-20-21, I, too, found many writers who were graceful and helpful to me and my writing, from Judith Merril and Damon Knight to James Patrick Kelly and Nancy Kress. Science fiction has always been a place where debts are paid forward.
From Ray Bradbury to Robert Heinlein, 1976
This really deserves its own post. In the comments on the post on Kirtsaeng -- where the Supreme Court just upheld the right to sell used goods, even if they were made abroad -- Shrikant quotes from Heinlein's classic short story Life-Line:
"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
As I mentioned in my March Locus column, I'm celebrating the tenth anniversary of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by planning a prequel volume. As part of that planning, I'm going to read aloud the entire text of that first book into my podcast, making notes on the book as I go. Here's part one.
Mastering by John Taylor Williams: email@example.com
John Taylor Williams is a audiovisual and multimedia producer based in Washington, DC and the co-host of the Living Proof Brew Cast. Hear him wax poetic over a pint or two of beer by visiting livingproofbrewcast.com. In his free time he makes "Beer Jewelry" and "Odd Musical Furniture." He often "meditates while reading cookbooks."
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This amazing EVE Online Gallente Space Station cake was created by Duff Goldma of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, MD. It's unquestionably the greatest MMORPG space-station cake I've ever seen.
Dock Your Fork in This Gallente Space Station Cake
Hey, yesterday was William Gibson's birthday
. Happy birthday, Bill! Here's some sage advice
I always try to keep in mind on my own birthdays.
Thomas "Command Line" Gideon came out for the DC stop on my Homeland tour, at Busboys and Poets, and mic'ed me up for the event. He's mastered the audio and posted it. It's a 40 minute talk about the promise of technology to improve our lives, the risks from allowing technology to be used to surveil and control us, and the contributions Aaron Swartz made to this cause and to the book. There's also about 20 minutes of Q&A.
TCLP 2013-03-13 Cory Doctorow on the Themes of “Homeland”
Subscribe to Command Line podcast (RSS/XML)
Christian Rex van Minnen's grotesque portraits are spectacular. IO9's Lauren Davis called them "portraits of aristocrats from another dimension." I love the crammed-together, rammed-together higgeldy piggeldy of insectoid body parts, high fashion, and toons. He's got a show on at Denver's Robischon Gallery.
2012-2011 - Christian Rex van Minnen
IP lawyer Stuart Langley wrote a fantastic analysis of the legal issues raised in my novel Pirate Cinema a guest-article for the wonderful Law and the Multiverse site. Langley does a very thorough job of looking at the real laws and legal problems behind the plot points in the book.
The McCauley’s internet access has been disconnected consistently with what appears to be an implementation of the United Kingdom Digital Economy Act 2010. Implementation of this act has been slow, but is expected to lead to notices and service disruption as early as 2014. The implementing code of this act obligates ISPs to respond to copyright infringement reports by notice to subscribers, maintain a list of subscribers that have received notices which can be disclosed to copyright owners under court order, and degrade or deny service to repeat offenders. The technical measures imposed by the law will be appealable; on paper the appeal processes appear designed to protect subscribers, however, the regulations on the appeal process have not yet been published. This foundational scenario in Pirate Cinema is plausible.
But whether it is acceptable to cut off internet access as punishment for violating how that service is used is another question. Because of the disconnection Trent’s father cannot find work, his mother cannot find medical care, and his sister’s schooling suffers. Is internet access is a public utility that should be more difficult to disconnect than summary and unilateral administrative action? As explained in Jim Rossi’s article Universal Service in Competitive Retail Electric Power Markets: Whither the Duty to Serve? 21 Energy L.J. 27 (2000), common law principles express a public utility having a higher obligation to provide service—to provide extraordinary levels of service, especially to small residential customers. These obligations include the duty to extend service, provide continuing reliable service, provide advanced notice of disconnection and to continue service even though a customer cannot make full payment. Public utilities can have terms of service and can terminate service for violations, commonly payment and safety related transgressions. One U.S. city proposed to cut off utility service for failure to pay speeding tickets, although using utility service as a tool to enforce other regulations seems very unusual and inconsistent with the common law “duty to serve”. The question posed by Pirate Cinema is timely as governments try to regulate internet access, they do so by treating it as a public utility. This will be a double edged sword in that one treated as a utility, society should, perhaps, have a higher duty to provide internet access and similarly higher barriers before disconnecting service, including greater due process and evidentiary protections for subscribers.
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
Damien Walter's written a very kind article about me and my work
in the Guardian's books section, discussing the role of science fiction in social criticism and activism.
Using old Soviet Union techniques, Ukrainian scientists trained dolphins to attack and kill swimmers using knives and guns strapped to the heads of said dolphins. Like you do. Today, the dolphins escaped
. No word on whether they are armed. (Is it just me, or does this sound like the set-up to a cheapo Eastern European "B" horror movie? I'm imagining screaming spring breakers fleeing evil cetaceans. Day of the Dolphin?) — Maggie
Last week, I wrote about Random House's new all-digital imprints, which offered terrible contractual terms. After a week of bad publicity, Random House has significantly improved its contract, as you can see from this announcement. On Writer Beware, Victoria Strauss has a good summary:
- Authors will now be offered their choice of two options: a re-worked profit-sharing arrangement and a traditional advance-and-royalties deal.
For the profit-sharing arrangement, there's still no advance. But Random House has eliminated all chargebacks for digital editions, so the split between author and publisher is 50/50 of net revenue (actual sales income) from the first copy sold. In other words: no setup costs, no 10% deduction for sales and marketing. For print editions, if they are produced (and this won't be frequent; these are primarily ebook imprints), there will still be a chargeback for actual production and shipping costs (these costs will be fully broken out for the author ahead of time if a print edition is planned). Random House will cover general publicity costs for the imprint, and up to $10,000 of book-specific publicity. Any book-specific PR above that amount will be borne by the author and deducted from net revenue before the profit split--but such expenditures will be optional.
For the advance-and-royalty deal, authors will receive a traditional publishing contract, with the publisher covering 100% of costs. There will be an advance, and royalties will be paid at Random House's standard ebook royalty rate of 25% of net.
- The contract will still be life-of-copyright, but the reversion clause has been improved. As I've explained on this blog and elsewhere, I don't have a problem with life-of-copyright, as long as it's balanced by precise reversion language. That is now the case. Three years after publication, the author can demand reversion if sales fall below 300 copies over the 12 months preceding the demand.
- Random House will still take both primary publishing rights and subsidiary rights, but performance rights and transformative digital edition rights are no longer included. If Random House wants to acquire these, it will negotiate separately. Random House is also open to negotiation on other subrights.
The "Alien Egg Enclosure" is a huge, inflatable egg based on Giger's Alien, as featured in the Ridley Scott movies. It's billed as a "masterstroke of total Sensory Deprivation" intended for BDSM play:
We recommend entering the Alien Egg before it is fully inflated. Once inside, you put the respiratory mask on and you can either sit down, kneel or adopt a foetal position which add the full dimension to the inside-egg experience, just like being held in a womb. The four panels are then zipped up enclosing you completely. Once inside, although your movements are tightly restricted, you will still be able to move your arms with a little effort in order to reach the inside zip runner. This is a security feature that we thought necessary to ensure a safe emergency exit in case your play partner was unexpectedly unavailable.
As a sub inside, you are sure to appreciate the complete sensory deprivation and the utter isolation. From outside, you will enjoy the multiple two way zip runners which open to allow full access anywhere inside the Egg without having to open it from the top down. The player outside may use this feature to startle the wearer inside with random tickles, pinches or in anyway you can imagine. The Alien Egg can be enjoyed naked or in full rubber gear. Sharp objects should however be avoided.
d.vote Alien Egg Enclosure