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The Lair Of Gary James

Archive for October, 2009

The Novelty Is Wearing Thin…

Posted by BigWords on October 30, 2009

Doctor Who‘s return to television screens a while back was exciting, and the stories – despite not breaking new ground, were well told for the most part. It didn’t cannibalize from itself as much as other shows which have returned to the small screen (such as Knight Rider‘s stupidity remaining intact from the original series) and the pairing of Eccleston and Pyper was eccentric enough to feel new. That should make my following grumble a little less provocative to fans of the series – The Sarah Jane Adventures is not worth watching if the writers can’t come up with something even remotely original.

A wedding, a time anomaly and a mysterious ‘otherworldly presense’ messing with time… Gee, that kinda sounds a lot like the first season episode Father’s Day. Which it should, because the parallels are obvious. There is even a disappearance at the wedding (riffing off Donna Noble’s introduction), The Doctor saying “I’m very, very sorry” to someone who is about to die, and the ending of the episode had too much sap. The way that The Doctor says goodbye is probably the bluntest example of lampshading I have seen in the last couple of months, and is just as obvious as the hokey “You’re song is coming to an end” dialogue from a while back.

I get the tongue-in-cheek referencing, really I do, but so many people seem content to cut and paste scenes together to fill time. I’m beginning to have some concerns about the reboot / revamp of the series unless the new production team can fully exorcise the ghost of R2D2 from their methods of storytelling. The final episodes of Doctor Who had better be fucking amazing or I’m gonna be really disappointed…

####

In a related vein, I’ve finally succumbed to pressure from friends to read 52 (which is a dumb name for a comic), and I’m noticing call-backs to previous cross-overs such as Eclipso, the aftermath of Doomsday and a bunch of other old DC epics. When I finally get around to reading all of it I’ll give my final verdict, but after the first couple of issues I’m feeling a sense of déjà vu… It’ll probably be after November when I get around to reading all of it though, as NaNo is gonna be taking up quite a bit of my spare time.

damn crossoversRalph Dibny takes the news that DC is having a crossover event rather badly…

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The Future Is What You Make It

Posted by BigWords on October 29, 2009

Some of the strange notions that pop into my head can be disregarded as meanderings, but when I happened to mention a super-internet idea to a friend (the concept of which is really hard to explain here, but I’ll try) there were some aspects I had to concede were good. Maybe not to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but to me they seemed a sensible way forward once the kinks could be worked out. It is, of course, gonna play into my NaNo novel, but the idea of creating a customizable and completely interchangeable internet experience needs expounding…

How many social networking platforms are out there? Too many. In the future of my NaNo there will be an identity card style homepage for everyone, where they can use whatever they want to share with the world. Compatibility issues will be a thing of the past, and the entire internet will be one large social networking scene that has multiple sub-categories for individual likes and dislikes. Into comics? There will be a check button to join that category. Into films? Yeah, check button. Into mind-altering substances? You guessed it, another check-button…

Forums, which I kinda have an addiction to joining – and spend all night surfing for great threads to haunt – should be one area which future software can really improve on. I like a lot of forums the way they are, with maybe the exception of really slow ones like the NaNo set-up. A meta-forum, where millions of different forums (yeah, I’m not using fora here, just ’cause) will merge into a single entity would be great for hot discussions. Threads splitting and merging and splitting again as the number of commenters adding their voices increases…

A person would never have to join another forum again. Join one, and you join them all. A geek’s dream come true.

E-mail, which has been getting tweaks and nudges ever since its’ creation, would – I am certain – be replaced by an IM / SMS-type communication between individuals. When processing power has achieved the ability to create real-time VR, which is quite a few years off even yet, we will have avatars speaking for us in voice communication so real that it would appear animals could talk. This is something I really want, even though I know I’ll probably never live to see the concept realized… Damn limited human longevity we currently have to accept.

If bleeding-edge technology lives up to the promises of various experts, we will see a rise in e-commerce that will make even the largest internet companies of the modern world seem like fly-by-night operators. Hundreds of billions of transactions made every minute, with exponential growth thanks to a subservient robot workforce that can load in new software to accomplish even the most complex of tasks. This will, naturally, see the end of shopping centres as a place to buy product, but it might just reestablish the locations as a place to congregate with friends. I’ve never been one to believe that a completely digital existence will ever come to pass.

I’m still undecided on cybernetics as a point I should bring up in my novel, because the issues which arise from medical procedures to augment human bodies is one which has been covered to thoroughly – and so well – elsewhere. William Gibson is the standard SF text for that kind of thing and, along with Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, is in no need of a reheated and half-hearted answer from myself. There may be minor allusions to the procedures available, but the more I think on the things which would need to be addressed the more I worry. It’s not enough to parrot accepted ideas… My story has to go somewhere new.

The one area I will be completely avoiding, due to the terribly complex and ever-shifting debate on, is the file-sharing one. Never have so many intelligent people been involved in an argument with so many half-assed assumptions in the history of the internet. I can’t even begin to explain why some of the utterances made my music chiefs are so stupid, because every time I begin to make a balanced argument for file sharing they decide to change their objections… “We’re losing money,” (no, you really aren’t) “It’s immoral,” (and the music industry is?) “File-sharing is evil,” (and music producers are all saints?)…

Added to the confusion which exists about copyright, and you have an impossible task wrapping a fiction around the subject which is less stupid and unbelievable than the truth.

You will, of course, be able to see whether I have managed to think this concept of a super-internet through thoroughly enough when November rolls around. Ye gads, two and a bit days to go… I’m gonna have to sit down and really think about the opening scenes if I have any hope of sounding at least semi-coherent. Time has flown by so quickly that I haven’t even managed to begin working out where some of the jokes and references I want to use can be dropped in…

I may just pop over to Microsoft to talk with someone about setting the internet to rights after November… I kinda like the idea of putting Facebook out of business.

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Another Chance To See Doctor Who… On A Kids Show?

Posted by BigWords on October 28, 2009

Okay, so th’ Doc may have always been a kids show, and in many ways it still is, but after enjoying the slightly more mature (no, not mature… adult is a better word) Torchwood, the news that one of the final appearances David Tennant will make as The Doctor is gonna be in a for-sure kids show is… disappointing. No way will I miss it, it’s just a bit of a let-down after some really fun episodes. The biggest disappointment during R2D2’s reign as the mastermind behind the show (and it’s spin-offs) has been the lack of grit.

I’m going to put this in context, for those of you who believe there have been ‘dark’ moments in the shows so far. Nothing in the world of The Doctor is gritty. Not even Torchwood‘s faux ‘mature viewers’ angle. Gritty is more than sex and violence, and extends beyond cinematography. Go watch Se7en or take a look through a few dozen episodes of The Wire for the kind of ‘mature’ I was looking for. Characters return from the dead, the world is saved, a new Doctor takes over from the last. Ho-hum.

I want the Time Wars examined at some point. There’s a whole bunch of potential there which has been solidly ignored. Why the hell hasn’t any of the massive interior of the TARDIS been examined either? There’s a swimming pool in there somewhere (which had a thing living in it at one point), as well as a whole array of other interesting locations. That’s a budget issue, ain’t it? C’mon Mr. Davies, I know you’re penny-pinching for Auntie, but take us out of Tennant’s tenure with a fucking bang. Make it must-see television. Pleeease.

I’m getting rather worried that my lasting impression of his portrayal is one cameo in a kid’s show, and that would be a horrible dénouement to the series proper. The possibility that the new kid (whatsisname) might suck is still unresolved despite a lot of support in magazines and newspapers, and he’s starting to feel like Peter Davidson being foisted on kids who liked Tom Baker. Fuck it, Tom Baker IS The Doctor for some people. I had a hard enough time getting to like Chris Ecclestone in the role.

The Sarah Jane Adventures appeared while I wasn’t looking, and I missed a whole bunch of episodes, but from what I’ve seen it isn’t the kind of show I would normally go nuts over. And it has kids in it. For SF this is always a bad sign. I hated the Crusher kid in ST:TNG, thought that the rugrat in War Of The Worlds was gonna pierce my eardrums with her screeching, and absolutely detested Invasion (or whatever the hell the aliens-under-the-sea show was called). There are so few grown up shows around that I’m actually missing The X-Files.

I’m reminded of a spiel I used to deliver to Star Trek: Voyager fans when it was running:

How bad a captain is Janeway? Hmm? First she gets her crew lost thousands of light years from their home – in what must be the definitive example of women drivers, right? Then she takes a guy on board who she’s met for, what, five minutes?

“Want to stay?”
“Sure.”
“Do you have any talents?”

Psst. Cap, you might not want to hit on the lice-ridden stranger you just picked up in a strange part of space, and – for all you know – might think that stealing all your shiny new technology would make good black-market ware. Think with your head, not your crotch.

“I can cook.”
“Welcome aboard.”

Goddamn. The guy is not only allowed to remain on the ship, he’s preparing their food. Great job, Janeway. It’ll serve you right if he poisons you. But wait, this isn’t the best part. Oh no. Janeway is waaay more stupid than she looks, and that is just the appetizer for her moment of utter brain-free decision-making. Cue the drumroll…

She lets his underage lover aboard, and makes no attempt to question the situation. Kes is five years old for fuck sake. FIVE YEARS OLD. I know that randy old bastard Kirk would have re-written the Starfleet regulations regarding sexual conduct aboard a spaceship, but Janeway doesn’t even blink an eyelash.

She doesn’t even consider the moral implications of the alien with a mohawn shacking down with a five year old.

Sorry. It’s been a while since I delivered that particular speech, and it’ll probably be a while before I get to perform it again for the benefit of a Star Trek crowd. Always a fun experience. Not always a safe experience, but always a fun one.

Here’s hoping that Davies has a solid plan for the end of the current Doctor’s reign, or I might have to take the piss out of Doctor Who the next time I get to a convention. Consider this a warning, R2D2.

(There’s about half an hour’s worth of the Voyager jokes, that’s the best bit)

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Scientology Is A Fraud

Posted by BigWords on October 27, 2009

<GLOAT>

You might have been paying attention to the news. Maybe not. There is a lot of shit being passed off as news these days, so finding things of importance can be rather tiring, and separating the idiocy from the actual news is more skill than luck. I’m very pleased to report that a piece of actual news – real, important NEWS – has been slipped out between the stories of skateboarding dogs and pictures of celebrities who have experienced ‘wardrobe malfunctions. Yes, it’s some actual world-affirming news… Yay.

Scientology is a fraud.

Bwah-hah-hah-ha-ha!

News sources are not great places to find news, but it turns out cheese-eating surrender-monkeys the French courts have laid down the decree with due seriousness (something L. Ron Hubbard’s books lack). Alain Rosenberg, the head of the French arm of the cult religion has pooh-poohed the decision and the fine. It’s kinda irrelevant to their operations elsewhere, but it is a sign that not everyone has been brainwashed by their insane blithering about aliens and other nonsense. Is it too early get the party poppers out? Maybe.

It amused me no end to discover that the “church” has a Celebrity Centre. What the fuck? Is that where they teach people how to be shallow, egocentric and abusive towards minions? Damn, I guess that explains a lot about the state of modern celebrities.

Tommy Davis, spokesman for the Church of Scientology International, told BBC News that the court had acted “in total violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and French constitutional guarantees on freedom”. Yeah, that would be the very same European Convention on Human Rights which has been abused by rapists, murderers and pedophiles to get their convictions quashed. You’re in great company guys.

There wasn’t any reference to Tom Cruise’s sexuality in the article, but I suppose someone might have stressed (just to make sure the “truth” was printed) that he ain’t a raving queen. Fine. <SARCASM>Tom Cruise is 100% straight. </SARCASM> Of course, it would be incredibly childish for me to post that picture of John Travolta snogging a man, for no better reason than I can, so…

Scientology Is Gay

*cough* Yeah, so there’s that, and it brings up an interesting question… Do you have to be gay to be a Scientologist, or is it merely coincidence that two of the big names in the cult religion swing that way?

</GLOAT>

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How Unforgivable Does An Artistic Work Have To Be Before Enough Is Enough

Posted by BigWords on October 26, 2009

There is a thread on Absolute Write about reading a second book by an author whose first book ain’t quite up to scratch, and it got me to thinking about how bad something has to be before a creator’s entire canon is ignored. In some ways I am able to see past the voice of a writer, or filmmaker, or musician, or any other art, to accept the output for what it is, but a small part of me knows that there is more to life than slogging through an annoying or ill-conceived concept for a few good moments. There are some big event releases coming up which I’ll be waiting a while for due to this very topic.

Avatar, James Cameron’s return to the big screen may be endlessly hyped by some, though after the dumb True Lies, an obnoxious Titanic remake, and his terrible Entourage cameo, I don’t see how he has any reason to expect my money. I’ll wait on the DVD, only if the film gets good reviews, or the television premiere if it sucks ass. The notion that he has anything new to say in the realm of SF is doubtful, especially when the idea behind Avatar is examined closely. It sounds like the plot of any number of novels by people who have something to say.

George Lucas, the man to blame thank for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is another individual who has lost any respect from me. Did he fall on his head and forget how to direct? Jeez, it’s a good thing that the fanbase ignored the terrible aspects of his second trilogy long enough for him to turn a quick buck. I’ve been wary of Star Wars properties since those films, but there have been a few games (The Force Unleashed and the Lego tie-ins) which pulled back some of the wonder from those first Star Wars films. Better than Jedi Academy at any rate…

I’m more forgiving to people who strike me as people I could have a drink with and not be irritated by. Even after Land Of The Dead and Diary Of The Dead failed to impress me, I guess I would still check out any new film George A. Romero comes up with. Is that an asshole / box office equation that I’ve just come up with? There are other creators I forgive poor quality work from, and Clive Barker – once hailed as the future of horror by no less an authority than Stephen King – is one who goes straight to the top of that list.

Cabal, a book I love as much as I am infuriated by its missed opportunities, is still with me after fifteen years of re-readings. His Books Of Blood were brilliant, and I can forgive him pretty much anything for their existence alone. His film career may not have panned out quite so well, and I’ll comfortably ignore Rawhead Rex despite it sitting on my DVD shelf alongside his other cinematic outings. I bought it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll ever watch the fucking thing – collector mentality only goes so far.

Those are familiar names. My opinion on their talent is irrelevant. Suckers will still shell out money for any old crap that is associated with Star Wars (and how else could stores shift Jar Jar Binks toys?), but that kind of loyalty has long since left me. I (thankfully) missed the One More Day storyline in Spider-Man as it was happening due to endless and awful Spidey crap from the late nineties. I hold my grudges well. Only… The Spirit (the DVD of which I finally managed to get running) is shit. I’m sure everyone is in agreement on this. Does that mean I should wait and see if Sin City 2 is okay for human viewing?

Frank Miller, whose work is divisive when discussed in polite company, is one of the very few comic book creators who have yet to create something completely unreadable. DK2 is a hard book to love, but it isn’t as terrible as some make it out to be. There is a rhythm and a specific cadence to his writing that instantly appeals, and his artwork on Sin City, while reminiscent of both Hugo Pratt and Jim Steranko in places, is a breath of fresh air. The Spirit is an anomaly, and I’m sure he will put it behind him.

I haven’t mentioned music yet, because that is trickier to separate the artist from their work. Many times I’ve heard a song which is catchy but at the same time doesn’t sound like it belongs to the performer. It isn’t necessarily that they are doing a cover of a famous track, it’s just that they aren’t the best singer for the song. Can you imagine anyone else but Roy Orbison singing In Dreams? No. That is a perfect match between singer and song, and it is a good benchmark for anyone to compare against.

Most people deserve at least two opportunities to prove themselves. If we implement the one strike rule, then James Cameron’s career would have amounted to a shit sequel to Piranha. No Terminator, no Aliens and no Titanic… It’s a good way of looking at most artistic endeavors.

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Real Life Still Isn’t Represented In Media

Posted by BigWords on October 26, 2009

People are so varied that sometimes, just when you least expect it, an individual will emerge from an unlikely and obscure place and their story will take on a life of its’ own. There are the bona-fide experts on subjects who make ridiculous statements with all the seriousness they can muster, and some – Edward De Bono – are even taken seriously by people who should know better. There are the bored code-monkeys who discovered how to make money from thin air, kids who fool the world with balloon-related pranks, and actors jumping up and down on Oprah’s sofa.

Great way to prove you ain’t gay, Tom…

Oh the joys of seeing the things that go on. If I tried to write a novel which encompassed the absurdities of life, and kept strictly to things which have actually occurred, it would be laughed out of town as unbelievable. Life is complicated, and sexy, and hilarious, and ridiculous, and disgusting, and horrifying… Simplifications of what our existence amounts to in fiction makes reality even more ridiculous when viewed through sober eyes and a clear mind.

It’s hard to put down on paper (or type, as I do) fiction that contains just enough absurdity to reflect reality, but doesn’t fall into unbelievability. I still haven’t worked out if I should try to explain why people are so wrong when they claim that some fiction is like life ripped from reality and pasted on the page. Does it matter that such a feat is impossible? The ailments, observations, minutia, boring bits, slapstick and bowel movements of the average person (though such an individual arguably does not exist) cannot be captured on paper without some degree of editing.

“Literary” still has some growing up to do before I take it seriously.

Any ‘reality’ is a skewed one when put on paper. The digital superhighway – such a stupid term, but a useful way of comparing the internet to a neverending traffic jam – is filled with supposedly ‘real’ moments in private lives. I’ve got no time for moronic “Lookit me, I’m setting my head on fire” videos, and even less time for ten-minute-long videos of people bemoaning their pathetic existence. It isn’t real, because the artifice of display gets in-between the truth and the viewer. Big Brother, whilst listed as a ‘reality show’ is merely the end result of focus groups and sadistic producers. No reality involved.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and websites this past week which seem inclined to accept stories in newspapers at face value. The habit certain individuals have gotten into, of merely saying whatever in the news interests them, is a bad one. I’m tempted to start linking to these blogs and taking apart the news they hold dear, but I really don’t want to re-read their take on the news. Which is, as any intelligent person can see from the cover of a newspaper, nearly always skewed and distorted by reporters and editors.

One of the funniest things about British news is the insistence that half-naked women are of urgent importance and news worthiness. No. Sorry, but I’m not impressed. It’s trifling and irrelevant scum journalism which borders on the stalker-ish. Two-page spreads on forthcoming television shows? Hackery of the worst kind. Giveaways? That’s a sure way to increase readership, especially when a national tabloid decides that cartoon DVDs will boost readership. Can I say “The Sun / Daily Star / Daily Record was grooming children” without a lawsuit? Fuck yeah. Try and stop me.

Only when all barriers between subject and audience has been removed will reality be represented in anything other than a superficial and meaningless way, and we ought to start taking what we see, hear and read with a pinch of salt. It is especially important that people come to realize that Hollywood – that legendary vile den of iniquity – shoulders a fair proportion of the blame for ills which are now, sadly, all too common. Anorexia? Thank the airbrushed posters of skeletal good-for-nothings celebrities.

The rise in breast implants? Posters of Keira Knightley with massive tits ain’t fooling anyone. I’m shocked that people believe the ‘perfect people’ are free of cellulite, blemishes and zits; elevated individuals who have never experienced the delights of either diarrhea nor broken noses… It’s dangerous portrayals of ‘the body beautiful’ which infect minds and begin the slow descent into self-awareness in teenagers. And younger. Can’t we, as a species, accept that we’re fed so much bullshit from the media?

Yeesh, that’s a rant and a half… I’m stopping before I upset anyone else. If I’ve missed any targets, please let me know who to lay into next.

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Irreverence Is An Art Form

Posted by BigWords on October 24, 2009

asterix

Is anything off-limits these days? I have a hard time accepting anything as absolutely beyond the limits of piss-taking, but I’ve been thinking about this again and come to the conclusion that there are still things I won’t joke about. Making light of the holocaust is one thing I don’t feel free to do, and any jokes about the twin towers is distasteful at best… But religion is hilarious as it is – there is nothing funnier than what you’re likely to find in a religious text.

Comics are fair game (see image above), as are films. I can’t take most blockbusters seriously, never mind crap like Independence Day or the Transformers films. Humor is subjective, and what I find funny probably comes off as offensive to others. The best example of a completely inoffensive film being lambasted by ignorant and small minds as ‘terrible’ has to be The Life Of Brian. Which brings us back to religion again. Oh joy…

Most of the truly offensive things in this world aren’t irreverent, however, yet they ought to be treated with due irreverence. The tapes which routinely emerge from the Middle East proclaiming such-and-such terrorist act is a blessing or whatthefuckever, as a nice example, should be treated with irreverence. We should laugh and mock. Same with absurdities from closer to home: L. Ron Hubbard? His books are fucking hilarious.

Dammit, I wasn’t gonna pick on religion… Lets look at other areas.

Should sports be made a mockery of? Well, when I use sports I mean should sports be made a mockery of – more than they already are a mockery? Have you seen a soccer match? Hilarity. And when I’m on the subject of sports I should bring up the ridiculous alleged sport of table tennis. Who thought that this was a sport? Was there a discussion on this before it was submitted as a sport? Excuse me while I mock.

And books shouldn’t be excluded either, especially revered texts. I like MAD, Cracked and other magazines which do their best to prick the ego’s of self-important individuals. There can be no higher praise than having the piss taken of yourself in a satire, and people who find themselves lampooned in South Park should feel that they have contributed to society is some small way. And, FYI, Tom Cruise ain’t gay… He has a beard wife now and everything.

Irreverence is vital to a clear view of ourselves, and we should never forget that we are all the butt of someone else’s jokes. I just happen to be the cause of more unintentional hilarity than most…

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01000101 01001100 01001001 01010100 01000101

Posted by BigWords on October 23, 2009

Until I can come up with a title I don’t immediately hate, and I can’t seem to find something that doesn’t irritate me almost immediately, the name of my NaNo novel will be “01000101 01001100 01001001 01010100 01000101″. I fully expect to get some static from people over the use of binary as an acceptable title, maybe even a few pointed jokes, but there’s no way I can be expected to have a title straight away. I’m not joking about this, as you can see from my user page. Yes, I’m serious…

Sticking to the NaNo rules, I haven’t begun writing anything which I’ll use in the WIP, but I have begun sketching out the timeline of events. There’s probably eight (maybe nine) chapters of main story, a dozen major plot movements and six or seven main characters. Which goes some way to preparing for the trials of writing the story cold, but also highlights a few of the bad habits I have picked up in my other writing. I kinda like to go on a while… Developing character, doing a bit of world building, opening up the mythos…

Then stop. Bang. Dead in the water.

There are six places where I can open without causing massive amounts of confusion, and the natural opening all happen to have something BIG happening, but not to the exclusion of more powerful moments later on. The first draft will probably have all of these anyway – and not necessarily in the right order – but it is somewhat worrying that I can’t make up my mind which is the most powerful. It would be appreciated if you didn’t hold back while reading through the drafts as they go up. I don’t want to bore anyone, so feel free to holler ‘bullshit’ if I go off on a tangent, or have the mother of all plot-holes.

There’s gonna be a genocide (of sorts), a car bomb (or two), a Godfather II homage, a bit of Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex philosophizing… I’ve even decided on using very, VERY geeky in-jokes which most people won’t even pick up. Or, at least I’m hoping some of the stuff I’m throwing into the mix is obscure. Anyone want to guess what an earworm is? Or a Dartmouth? Heh, heh, I’m getting so many of these “little bits of business” that I might let the plot sag a little, just so I can show off how clever I am.

Which is a bad thing.

Some of the things I have been pondering seem to have real-world parallels, so I’m not too fussed about getting everything right first time. Y’all should be able to tell what I’m intending to get at, even if I screw up the nuts and bolts as I’m working myself from A to B.

####

Here’s a (temporary) list of things which might appear, if I have enough time. I’m setting the bulk of the novel c.150 years into the future, so if anything seems… well, wrong, I’d appreciate you calling me on it before I waste any more time.

Pig Latin
Sentient robots
Flying cars
AI
Bureaucracy
Signal-jamming devices
“The Syndicate”*
Multi-level cities (four vertical lanes of traffic)
CCTV

*Yeah, I’m a big hardboiled crime fan, and the use of organized crime will be the lampshade for a bigger threat that makes them look like girl scouts… I can’t help but love the term.

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It’s Just A Question Of Self-Restraint…

Posted by BigWords on October 22, 2009

As NaNo lasts an entire month, I figure that I’ll have to drastically alter my internet habits. The forum activities will be hard to give up, but if I stick to two or three rather than my usual round of three-to-four hour surfing then I’ll be able to give more attention to my writing. The NaNo forum is going to be one of my main haunts, but I can’t give up AW for any novel. Hell, I’ll probably need some of the advice therein to get my story fixed up nice ‘n’ presentable.

Film and game forums will be banned from my computer for the foreseeable future though, as those are distractions, and I probably shouldn’t be browsing 4chan in the first place… TV Tropes might have to be given a miss as well, despite being one of the most useful Wiki’s on the net – yes, it is much better than the one you’ve all heard of. The one which pops up at the top of every single fucking Google search. I have spent longer on TV Tropes than Wikipedia these last few months, and not a single minute has been wasted time.

Can I stay away from ‘Quote Of The Day’ sites? Hmmm. Might need to ponder that. I certainly won’t be bothering with online dictionaries or thesauruses, seeing as how the NaNo WIP will be posted here anyway. I do so love the spellcheck WordPress has, even if it isn’t filled with as many obscure and wonderful words as I would like. There will be no reason to mess around on music sites because I have enough CDs to listen to different songs all the way through November, and I’m not going to need any browser games.

Am I missing anything?

Oh yeah… Torrents. Downloadable goodness. I might as well fill up some of the space on my hard drive while I’m busy writing, and the entertainments which will be ready for me at the end of the month can count as my little reward to myself for keeping focused. The idea of staying in for a month is beginning to appeal to me, especially when I take into account the money I will save by not going out. I might even end the month with some money to spare – not likely, but I can dream, can’t I?

It’s lucky that I don’t have any ongoing subscriptions to sites, so I’m not gonna lose money by not visiting anything, and there’s nothing I particularly need to subscribe to anyway. My book blog (not abandoned, simply neglected) won’t be getting any attention during the writing frenzy, but neither will my Triond account – which I still haven’t written anything for due to all my running around these last few months. I guess I ought to check in on my mail every day, even if only to delete the spam…

This NaNo thing is a really good idea for people who spend too much time online.

Seriously, I can really imagine it being suggested to people who have big problems with constant web activity, and it’s benefits aren’t limited to keeping people off chatrooms and forums. There are lots of therapeutic reasons why writing for a month can be beneficial. All hail The Office Of Letters And Light, saviors of the human race. If it wasn’t for an enforced break from my usual routine I would have the urge to see what is going on around the internet…

I won’t be buying DVDs, games or books. There are some magazines I might pick up, because life without at least a few little luxuries would be intolerable. That is a lot of free time I’ll be making for myself. Other blogs are a big temptation, and I’ll do my best to steer clear of the more engrossing ones, otherwise I’ll end up spending the better part of a day engrossed in someone else’s life. Which, interesting as that may be, isn’t gonna be the most productive use of my time.

The biggest difference the lack of downtime will bring is in my ability to find weird stuff, which I seem to have a knack for. So that means I won’t be bringing you stuff like, uh… Well, this:

Disneyland Memorial OrgyMy words will have to be compelling enough on their own…

I’m getting rather nervous about this idea now.

Posted in Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My NaNoWriMo Novel Is A SF… And A Horror… And A Thriller… And…

Posted by BigWords on October 21, 2009

It isn’t surprising that I couldn’t work out what I wanted to write for NaNo, given that the blank canvas laid out before me could take any number of turns. The work, as has been pointed out, doesn’t have to be a novel of outstanding brilliance and originality, it is merely required to hit the fifty thousand word mark before the end of November. Most of the ideas I generated in the last week have been short stories, maybe novellas at best. Not a problem.

The thought that I might be able to tie these disparate elements together in a patchwork of overlapping events was one which only came to me this morning as I sat down with a cup of coffee and a smoke. Maybe it was a moment of divine inspiration, it might have been desperation… Hell, it could possibly have been an injection of caffeine to the system which finally nailed the concept in my brain. I’m gonna be writing a novel made up of novels…

Which is a dumb way to think of the idea, but I can’t think of a better way to put it. There seems to be quite a lot of history building in my subconscious already, and I have the feeling that I may be writing closer to 400k rather than 50k when I’m done with this. I’ll try to get the main story out of the way during the month, and – if I have time – begin filling in all of the strands which aren’t essential to the overall universe.

Exact information would be hard to give without me beginning anything, but I’m sure the SF elements will be heavy to the front, with horror and comedy bubbling beneath the surface. The thriller aspect should be handled with the nature of the plot, but I’m not sure how many other genres I can draw from. This might work after all…

Sorayama

The first person to say “cyberpunk” gets poked with a sharp stick.

Posted in Over The Line, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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