The Nobody Brigade

An acquaintance of mine from sci-fi fandom recently posted what I term a rant on Facebook. She was responding to a blog post by an author I respect, Theodora Goss, about how Ms. Goss is re-evaluating how she spends her time. The main sticking point was conventions: Ms. Goss describes how many conventions don’t routinely…

Under Pressure

I’ve come across an annoying trend recently, and wanted to share a few of my experiences. The trend is the “Buy it now or you’ll lose this discount” variety of sales tactics, and some places resort to near blackmail to trick you into buying something you may or may not need. Here’s an example: I…

A Golden Age of Toys

Twenty years ago, I used to write articles about toys for a living. I was recruited by a friend of mine, who in turn had been recruited by a friend of his. There were a bunch of us sci-fi fans who worked at this site, Collecting Channel, once it was up and running. I spent…

Who Killed Steampunk?

Recently, a blog post from a self-proclaimed steampunk fan posed that very question to his readers. He listed several reasons why Steampunk was dead: unsurprisingly, those reasons focused on a highly self-absorbed premise; that, because Steampunk wasn’t exactly the same as when he started, it must be dead. At the very least, it no longer…

Oh, For the Love of Zardoz!

We as a culture love bad movies. Seriously: look how many have been lionized far beyond their relative level of quality. The best example I can come up with is the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Let’s be honest: it’s a lousy movie. However, it has an enduring life as an audience participation film, plus hordes…

One Year Along

In mid-September, we adopted two kittens from the same litter. The adoption was through Angel’s Wish http://angelswish.org/ in Verona, WI. They were nearly six months old at the time, curious and full of energy as most kittens are. When we first met them, they were very interested in T and pretty much ignored me, which…

Giving Fatigue

Only two months into the new year, and I’m already tapped out on charitable contributions for a while. Facebook has instituted an interesting new policy: they offer the opportunity for people to put up a post soliciting donations. This is a worthwhile endeavor to be sure, but the speed at which it’s spreading through my…