Sedan sales have been dropping. After helping my family move, and seeing the cargo stuff hatchback and crossover cars bring, I can see why.
So, I’ve been helping my mother move, and have been cleaning out my old books. A lot of memories returned. Good books, bad books, and everything in between.
The in-betweens are getting tossed.
- Legitimately good books are occasionally going with me. I was keen on saving Stephen Baxter’s Exultant, one of my formative science fiction works. And save it I did.
- Legitimately mega-bad books all stay with me too.
The books getting removed are mostly mediocrities, or ones from series I no longer have an interest in but did back in the day-the embarassingly large number of Warhammer 40,000 ones certainly qualify.
One website has left a bad impression on me, because I was a mark in it. It set back my writing talent by a noticeable amount. Now it’s apparently reaping what it has sown.
So, that site was the Project A.F.T.E.R. Forum [EDITED TO REMOVE DEAD LINK]. It mocked fanfiction. It mocked a lot of fanfiction, and a lot of bad fiction. I like mocking bad fiction. I found it with a detailed mock of the infamous Salvation War. I fit in. What could go wrong?
A lot. They had a blanket dislike of all fanfiction, a dislike of nearly everything popular. Maybe the writing should have been on the wall when I checked out something they were mocking and unironically enjoyed it. But I was younger and busier. I kept my ideas in my head because I had this (paranoid and unwarranted, but still present) fear of – “Oh no, they’ll find that Coiler’s writing fanfiction. ”
I grew past it. It got more mean-spirited, the most aggressive members broke off to form a new endeavor, and then the rest of the site just went down. Not literally, but figuratively. If one registered user is on, it’s amazing.
(Update: And now it’s literally dead as well.)
Now, looking back at it, I realized that Stardestroyer.net collapsed in an almost identical fashion. I’d washed my hands of that site when its true decline started so I didn’t have a front-row seat like PA, but could see it.
- Snipe at easy targets. In SDN’s case, it was creationists and overrwrought Star Trek fans. In PA’s case, it was the legitimately awful fanfiction.
- Get a huge sense of superiority from your mocking of said easy targets. Keep a ‘nerd attitude’, for lack of a better term, but have zero empathy. “My nerd stuff is good, yours isn’t”-I think you can see that.
- Then, after the bitterness increases, you inevitably turn on each other. Either partisans of the losing side or just normal observers inevitably leave, and the whole place falls apart.
SDN has, as of this post, only eight registered human users online. Spacebattles has over two thousand, and even its spin-offs have many, many more. I think its effect on my writing might have been overstated, but it was there, and I feel bad for it.
It was here [EDITED TO REMOVE DEAD LINK] for what it’s worth. Ironically, googling “M2 Bradley” brought me to SDN, and then to Spacebattles (long story).
I don’t hold that against them. Nor do I wish even the abrasive ones any ill will-I still listen to some of their podcasts some of the time.
Note: The board was phased out, but seems to have collapsed before its intended end-date. As such, I’ve removed now-dead links. As for PA failing, well, I could see it coming. It wasn’t exactly a surprise.
So, I’ve decided to take the plunge into Kindle publishing. My first foray into the world of self/e-publishing is The Dead Generals Chronicles, a brief work of “psuedo-history” that “analyzes” the deaths of fictional generals in fictional conflicts. Anything more would be a spoiler.
It is my first such book published, and I do not intend for it to be the last. This is my first toe in the pool, so to speak.
You can get it here.
I wish everyone a happy Mother’s Day today.
I posted on Baloogan Campaign well before I started my own blog, and still regularly post there.
Yesterday I made a new post there. The Broken Staff-The (In)Effectiveness of Militia,
So, I’ve been worried at the sight of one of my favorite websites being down for some time now.
Alternatehistory.com has been giving me an “unable to connect” error for some time, and it’s been kind of worrisome. There was no prior announcement (scheduled maintenance, etc..), and no Twitter like Spacebattles has to explain.
Two thoughts. The first is that I’m worried. The second is that when something like this happens, I never know how much time I’ve spent on a site until I can’t go there.
So, I took my drawing “””skills””” and made more supervillains that have been in my mind.
Ok. Two of these are major, and one is a placeholder of sorts. I’ll let you guess who is what. One guess only. More seriously,
- Fir (pseudo-German for “four”, I did find an early 1900s pan-Germanic conlang that had it as four, so that works) is the final member of the Dead Hand. I put off drawing him for so long because I knew exactly what he looked like but didn’t have the drawing skills. Fir is, to be honest, an homage to the Kaiser Knuckle General, who is himself a rip-off of M. Bison from Street Fighter. So I guess it’s a rip-off of a rip-off, down to the powers? Fir came in fully formed, fighting in a pseudo-WWI and wearing a uniform to match (I wanted a field style one to distinguish him from the General’s ornate one.) Ok, he looks like a first graders attempt to draw Charles de Gaulle.
- The Razor. The helmet makes him look worse. I imagined a ski mask under a barred helmet, like this or this. The Razor has a backstory. See, he started off as a minion supervillain a long time ago whose power was——–ready——he had a knife. That was it. Now he’s a sort of Charles Atlas genius combined with a walking arsenal of guns and knives who serves as the initial villain of an outline I’ve written.
- Finally, the man in a ghille suit smoking a pipe. There was going to be an evil military commander there with a MacArthur style pipe smoke, but I both lacked the skill and didn’t yet have a clear theme. So I added a camo helmet, a scribbled-on ghille suit, and kept the pipe. Maybe he’ll become a more prominent character. I dunno.
I have never posted two blog posts in one day in the years I’ve been blogging. It’s become a sort of weird tradition. Part of it is that I like to take my time and get more involved with writing and/or thinking of posts, but the habit of “don’t post more than once a day” has become a kind of informal rule.
Well, now I’ve broken that rule. Hope this helps me blog better, and not just more.
It’s weird that I can rattle off a huge number of books I found bad, but when, in a conversation, it came to recommending ones I legitimately enjoyed, I had to struggle a bit.
Maybe I could recommend books I found enjoyably bad or mediocre to see if others liked them unreservedly?