Archive for September, 2013

15/09/2013

I have to take a break.

Yeah, big surprise Amanda has to take a break, she’s writing less than ever before already and now she needs another break. Well yeah. My health’s taken another serious nose-dive. So, again, I’m going to do the smart thing and prioritise myself for a while. I need to get as better as I can.

When will I be back? Whenever this episode ends. So expect to see new stuff when you see it.

But for me right now it’s going to be dressing gowns, sleeping bags, and Ray Harryhausen movies for a while.

(Those of you on Facebook don’t expect me to be on much. I simply can’t cope with…more. Sorry.)

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14/09/2013

I’ve got an idea. Oh crap, why won’t the ideas stop?

In the past week I’ve had the following major ideas, and a myriad of minor ones which I’m not going to list here, an airsoft gun built in to a pre-existing nerfish body, a design for my ideal drawing lap-board-thingy, how my ideal Siren would look, how Acidgirl’s ship should look and work, and a set-up for a review vlog that would be both doable, and enjoyable for me to make. I should point out that I am excited about all of these, and really want to make them happen.

But even so I’m starting to feel like “my” character in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is more and more becoming Leonard of Quirm, but without the healthy body. Seriously, this week wasn’t even a good week for inventive thinking. In a good week that list would be four or fives times as long, and I’d already have pages of research and working out done for all of them aside from the ones I had last night. And do you know what? It’s getting fucking old.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m alone in this, (Oh Gods I hope not.) but this hyper creativity is really fucking annoying. I have over 30 ideas for full length novels. I have maybe 3 times that number of ideas for short stories and novellas. I have multiple designs for airsoft guns each with it’s own innovation. Parts of five different pieces of music written (Only 1 finished, and that one is flamenco of all things). Graphic novels? Yup got 4 or maybe 5 of those planned out in immense detail. Ukulele designs, yeah…check. Video blogs, 5 different ones worked out and ready to go.

And I am so sick of having all these things ready to go, but not being healthy enough to run with any of them. Seriously, today I can write (a little), tomorrow I may be lucky if I can manage the climb the stairs to the toilet and still have enough concentration left to remember to wipe afterwards.

So I’m left with a deep sense of frustration, and a theory that it’s a demon, a dancing demon, no, something isn’t right there. Damn it Giles is right, it’s a Muse. I’ve obviously pissed off some member of the Greek Pantheon, and so they’ve inflicted a Muse with verbal diarrhoea to speak in my ear. To, not so slowly, drip so many ideas into my fevered brain that eventually it will collapse under it’s own sane insanity. Yeah, that’s it.

AHA! I’m on to you, you sons of…Gods!

Incidentally, Acidgirl is coming along, whose of you on my Facebook can expect some new pictures of my rapidly developing character models, and the story is much, much better.

Oh and this is stuck in my head now. Have a good weekend, I may be saner by Tuesday.

10/09/2013

So I had this idea over the weekend.

In Ireland we have a big problem. We have all these “experts” who advise our political masters. Nothing unusual about that, every democratic nation has those. And there’s also nothing unusual about those advisers having their own political axe to grind.

No one half of the big problem we have is that not so long ago (5-ish years) a group of financial leaders knowingly lied through their teeth about how deep the financial hole they’d just walked in to actually was. We now know they knew precisely how bad it was, and that they played the government of the time like a cheap fiddle. Though that’s not to say that the government of the time weren’t just as bad in their own ways.

The other half of the big problem is that those fraudsters are most likely going to get away scot-free from this. They’ve stolen the futures of probably the next two generations of Irish people, and then in some cases walked away to a very comfortable early retirement and lovingly provided with nice golden parachutes to help keep them in their dotage. The poor dears. After all there’s nothing will make you more tired than knowingly defrauding an entire nation of dozens of billions of Euro’s of taxpayers money.

So my idea. Well, there I sat on the toilet, noisily evacuating my bowels when it suddenly hit me. Maybe it was the proximity to a large quantity of shite, maybe it was the rank smell of that same shite wafting gently on the breeze. I don’t really know. But one second I was thinking about how nice it would be to not have to spend most of every day on the toilet, the next second one word went running through my mind, screaming at the top of it’s lungs, while waving sparklers. That word?

Perjury.

Now this won’t work for falsehoods spoken in the past, but in the future it could maybe, just maybe, make our own shower of self-serving, lying scum-bags (certain political advisers, politicians, civic leaders of various stripes, senior bankers) think twice before they lie with utter blatancy. Lying knowing full-well that those lies will never come back to haunt them, beyond a little embarrassment here or there.

How about laying out a law that requires an oath of truthfulness of any adviser to any member of the government who is Cabinet level or higher? The same would go for anyone, anyone at all, speaking before either of the House of the Dáil.

That way if it is later proven that they have knowingly misled the State, or officers of the State well we can immediately put them somewhere secure. Where we can always find them if we need to ask them any probing questions while the reason for those lies are investigated by the police, NOT the government itself.

Sure it’ll mean having someone in Dáil Éireann, pretty much all the time, who can actually legally witness and record an Oath to the State. But hey, surely some civil servant in there has enough free-time to add that to their résumé.

Who knows maybe “National Officer of Oaths to the State.” could be a nice little feather in the cap in the future.

09/09/2013

DC’s Big Problem

And now DC need a good Rayn Fall ass whoopin’

07/09/2013

An Open Letter to Penny Arcade, from a Feminist Gamer

And this is how I feel too Penny Arcade. As both a rape survivor and transperson this is why I have refused to even look at you site since I started going through it’s archives, and within the first hour became so hurt, so offended, within ONE HOUR! One hour of fucking reading and I never went back. I never will either. Anyway well done Claire, the perfect response.

05/09/2013

Why PAX is no longer a safe space

Unfortunately I doubt that it’s just PAX.

 

Why PAX is no longer a safe space.

02/09/2013

Why I love the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek universe.

Look, let’s face it, while the Original Star Trek Universe has given us all decades of entertainment, a lot of laughs, a few tears, it’s kind of been written into a cul-de-sac. And by that I mean, they were seriously considering a series based around Worf. Worf people. You know, the guy who gets his ass kicked when they writers needed to show that someone was tough enough to actually bother fearing. (Yeah, yeah, I know he was frikkin’ awesome in Deep Space Nine, but still…no, just no) Besides with the launch of a new Trek universe the original is probably, at the very least from a studio point of view, dead as a doornail.

But where does that leave us?

Well actually it leaves us with an entirely blank slate. As of this moment the only thing the new Trek-‘verse has in common with the original is a handful of characters. That’s it, seriously. Don’t believe me, well consider the following points.

Kirk is captain of the Enterprise 10 years too early.

Christopher Pike is her captain for probably, allowing for crew assembly and equipping time, less than a year. Instead of his original five years, which are alluded to as being almost as legendary as Kirk’s two stints as her captain on five-year missions.

Robert April…is nowhere to be seen. Hang on a second. Robert April is nowhere to be seen? Hang on that can’t be right.

Ah but this is where we get to my utterly blank slate theory. Old Spock came back in time, created a parallel universe, and in so doing changed everything. He’s indirectly responsible for the destruction of Vulcan, as well as the almost destruction of Earth. He is directly responsible for bringing in to being new technologies and new concepts (the trans-warp transporter). Look reduced to brass-tacks he’s responsible for the destruction of the entire known future history of his universe.

He brought about a universe where George Kirk died thirty years too early, and so all the lives he would have touched, not least his sons, are irrevocably changed.

Kirk instead of launching the mission that will meet the actual God Apollo (Well sort of a god, it’s complex), Gary Seven (Which may explain Khan being met far too early, I’ll get to this), and will serve as inspiration for hundreds of subsequent future heroes; has instead launched on what should have been Robert April’s voyage. Have you even heard of Robert April? If you’re under thirty, and weren’t a hardcore Trek fan, probably not; but then neither apparently has Abrams.

So, Kirk will probably never end up back in 1960’s Earth, never meet Gary Seven, or his cat (sort of, again, it’s complex) Isis. So it’s possible that Gary Seven will, for all his extra-terrestrial technological and training advantages, die on that particular mission. Which (if you’ve read the Eugenics War novels) means that Khan will have faced far lesser foes. Which could well mean that he escaped an Earth that was rapidly slipping from his grasp aboard the Botany Bay far later than in the original universe. Which in itself could explain why he was found so much earlier…he simply hadn’t travelled as far from Earth.

Add in the destruction of Vulcan and suddenly we very likely no longer have the characters T’Pau, T’Pring, Saavik, Tuvok, or Valeris. Why? Well, they’re all probably dead.

With the destruction almost the entire of the Federations 2nd Fleet at Vulcan in the first Abrams movie, we probably lose a huge number of Next Generation era characters. Why? Well again, and again we meet characters in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager who come from families with a legacy of Starfleet service. So, unless they were with the 1st Fleet they’re bang out of luck, possibly out of existence too.

But guess what folks? We’re just getting started because now we get to the head-wrecking time-travel stuff.

The Enterprise under Kirk is going on it’s first five year mission a decade too early. Which means it’ll likely be going a decade of exploration too close to Earth. So as I previously said, it’s likely there’ll be no trip to the 60’s, much less two of them. But with Khan well and truly on ice, will there be a Genesis planet? A battle with Captain Kruge? A Klingon Bird of Prey to use in a desperate flight back to the 1980’s in search of a Humpback…whale, not person, whale damn it!

And here we run in to another problem. Scotty gives someone the formula for Transparent Aluminium, you know kind of how Old Spock gave New Scotty his own theory of Trans-Warp Transportation…yeah, that won’t cause any problems to the timeline.

Oh and just to add salt to some canonical wounds, this might also mean no encounter with the Guardian of Forever, or at least not ’til much later in the new universes history.

And then there’s Tasha Yar and her time onboard the Enterprise C…mmmmmm Tasha Yar…*sighs*…*coughs* anyway. We know that Tasha Yar becomes another linchpin of her own universes timeline when an alternative version of her goes back in time to fight with the crew of the Enterprise C during their Thermopylae moment against the Romulans. The means she’s captured by a Romulan commander, who fathers her daughter Sela, and then kills her for trying to escape. Leaving Sela to become one of the hottes…I mean nastiest recurring villains in The Next Generation era. (and in the extended universe one of the people fighting for the Romulan Imperial throne. But yeah, only real geeks know about that…or Robert April, so moving on.)

And then there’s the Dividians in America during the lifetime of Samuel Clemens. Hmm I wonder what happens with them in the new timeline, maybe they eat Guinan. (Well that should spark some truly filthy fan-fiction.)

But what about Sisko and his jaunts to the past? Let’s ignore for a moment the fact that there’s currently no real reason for the station K-7 to exist, much less for Kirks Enterprise to wind up there with Kirk still in command in around 12 years time. Instead let’s ask ourselves is there even a Sisko to go back, and fanboy all over Kirk? We’re assuming he exists in the later timeline here. But with the changes Old Spock has created is there even going to be an Enterprise D? Will its crew who are really, truly unlikely to include any familiar faces, be similar enough to the original version to push Q’s buttons the same way, meet the Borg, and trigger the battle which leads to Sisko being in command of Deep Space Nine when the Wormhole is found? Or instead, assuming he exists in the future of this new universes timeline, will he instead be a starship captain of little note.; thereby saving the Alpha and Beta quadrants from the ravages of the Dominion War. And remember Sisko is also important to his universes history because he plays the part of Gabriel Bell, who admittedly he is partially responsible for the death of, and right about this time my head explodes from trying to figure out timelines and temporal paradoxes.

Will Voyager ever exist? And if it does without Tuvok (remember he’s probably dead) will it end up in the Badlands so it can find itself in the Delta Quadrant (Fuck that’s far away! They wanna go home.). This is kind of important, remember they had at least ten episodes based around time travel. Most of which must have left some changes in their wake.

Anyway.

Yeah. Where did I start with this? Oh yes the blank slate.

The original time-line was frankly awesome. It’s probably the single largest continuous storyline in television and movie history. It covers centuries. But it’s also become very restrictive. Look at the last thousand words for evidence. All of those things happened, and have to be worked around to tell new stories. And while the various series of books have done sterling work explaining and exploring a lot of the under utilised plot devices (New Frontiers take on Apollo being a brilliant example.) they were also rather hamstrung by being written into a universe with a solidly established storyline. And in fact this has only gotten worse as various writers have filled in the blanks.

Abrams universe took the Star Trek rulebook, tore it up, set it on fire, and then pissed on the ashes.

No more Vulcan.

A Kirk who is FAR too young for his position.

A Federation which is far more aware of it’s vulnerabilities.

And best of all, no known future history.

Sure there might well be a Captain Picard in the new universe. But with the changes he’s just as likely to be the producer of the finest red wines in the Alpha Quadrant. Or a history professor in the Academy. Or a street sweeper.

Nothing in the new universe is set in stone. There’s no reason that Abrams can’t take old storylines (Gary Seven being my favourite  prime example.) and run with them, giving them the time, and polish they deserve. But there’s nothing stopping him, and his successors, from ignoring them completely.

And that’s why I love both the original and Abrams universes equally. The original gives me stories I know and understand. I get the setting, and after a lifetime of watching, and reading can see most of the connecting strings between episodes, books, comics, and films. It’s a tapestry, sometimes loosely, and sometimes tightly woven. But I know it. And that’s both comforting, like an old fairytale, and in its own way exciting.

But the new universe is just pure adventure, for everyone. Everyone who watches it is experiencing it, more or less, for the first time together. It’s an opportunity for new writers, new storytellers to tell their Star Trek story on a relatively fresh and new sheet of paper. The basic rules still apply. Kirk is still, more or less, Kirk. Spock is still logical. Scotty is Simon Pegg…ummm ya *happy dance*. And the Enterprise is still the badass of the fleet. But beyond that, who knows. Who knows what changes have extended from the distant into the (future)past of this new universe. Who knows what dangers were swept away by the new timeline, only to be replaced to newer, deadlier foes.

Well someone knows, they’re sitting behind a laptop right now, wondering how to tell that story. And probably wondering how you write in lens flare.

So in memory of the original universe, Voltaire. *Riotous applause*

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