Monday, October 31, 2005

The Thrills of Online Publishing

Over the weekend, I found a few errors/typos in Issue No. 6 that made it past our initial proof-reading efforts. However, thanks to the joys of relying on online publishing for distribution, making the edits and reposting the issue this morning were relatively easy -- and since I haven't run off any print copies yet, this didn't cost a dime. It's a shame that the 50+ people who already downloaded the issue can see what those mistakes were, but it's nice to have the ability to easily and cheaply fix such things.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Upcoming in Winter, 2006 Issue

For those who are interested, here is a very preliminary list of items planned for the Winter, 2006 Issue. This is by no means a complete list, and inclusion here is not a guarantee that it will appear as tentatively scheduled:

  • Class and Economics in Harry Potter
  • Commentary on changes in the DC and Marvel universes
Book Reviews:

DVD Reviews:

There are a few more potential items floating out there. I won't count on everyone finishing all the reviews they've promised, but already I have more in the pipeline than I usually do when at this point in planning an issue.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Fall Issue Up Tomorrow

36 pages, text & layout complete -- one last round of proof-reading tonight and it will finally go online tomorrow.

I think this issue caused more distress than any issue thus far. Hopefully, the January Issue will go much more smoothly.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Serenity in Less Than 2,000 Words

If you've seen Serenity, check out this summary. Not necessarily work-safe in that if you are reading it with a mouthful of Diet Coke at your desk you will snarf some of it all over your screen and keyboard, thus causing damage to company property. There's also that whole laughing out loud at work issue too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Possible Future Layout Change

A Live Journal blogger recent brought to my attention fonts designed for easier reading for people with dyslexia. It's a little too late to use them in this month's issue--which has a target date of October 21, give or take a couple days -- but I think it would be a great idea to use them going forward.

Picking a body font will be easy enough -- it's picking a nice companion headline font that will probably take same time.

Any suggestions from those of you who work with fonts on a regular basis?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Great New Resource

Given that I put some sort of sf-related quote at the bottom of the first page of every issue, Gary Westfahl's new book Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits became a "must have" for me the second it hit the shelves. I've already ordered it and am expecting it to arive on the 11th. (I actually paid for shipping from Amazon for the first time in years as I don't think I can wait as long as I normally do to take advantage of the free shipping on it.)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Star Wreck

It's the "first Finnish full-length scifi parody," and I need to get my ass a copy before Paramount shuts them down. Those with DVD-burning capabilities can download for free -- alas, I am not one of those.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Serenity & Firefly

Until this past weekend, I had never seen an episode of Firefly. However, I was interested in Serenity, so when my friend Keith came down this past weekend for a visit he brought his set of Firefly DVDs. Although we weren't able to watch all of them, I did have the opportunity to see enough of them to add to my enjoyment of Serenity on Sunday night. I'm still catching up on the DVDs (of which Keith was missing the first, which he lent out to his brother and hasn't gotten back), but I have to say that I am loving the show and will probably buy both the complete series and the Serenity DVD when it finally does hit the stores.

Some general thoughts (a few possible Serenity spoilers as well). I beg that the show's long-time fans forgive me for mentioning something that seems like old news to them:

  • I absolutely love Jayne's (Adam Baldwin's) character -- especially in the episode where he's a hero on a planet from which he's a fugitive. Actually, he strikes me as nothing more than an older, more mature version of Animal Mother, the character Baldwin portrayed in Full Metal Jacket, but I liked Animal Mother too, so it works out in the end.
  • I really respect Whedon for killing two main characters in Serenity. One of my biggest beefs with sci-fi series is the fact that the major characters almost never die, no matter how pitched the battle. Star Trek managed to bungle this one even further by not having the balls to let the characters stay dead, having resurrected Spock and blatantly leaving the door open to resurrecting Data should they decide to do anything with the Next Gen crew ever again.
  • Maybe it's because I haven't been able to watch the pilot or wasn't paying close attention to an earlier episode, but is this happening in just one star system or is it spread out over a sector of the galaxy? Either way, there's enough problems with the science -- whether it's a nearly impossibly configured solar system or the near instantaneous travel between systems, it really doesn't matter -- to make this more science fantasy than science fiction.
  • Yeah, I know it's a western too, and all the rules of proper sf probably shouldn't apply, but that doesn't mean I have to just sit quietly and just accept the setup mindlessly.
  • Like Wash (Alan Tudyk), I never get tired of hearing about Jayne got beat up by a 90-pound girl.
  • However, I'm never able to look at Wash without thinking about the character Tudyk played in 28 Days and his saying, "Look at my package!"
  • I know that Mal said he'd kill him if he ever saw him again, but does anyone out there really believe we've seen the last of The Operative? He's now such a natural fit for the crew that it's almost scary.
  • What do you think the chances are that we'll see the Serenity attempt a trip back to Earth? I see it happening, provided that the fireflies actually handle interstellar travel.