Star Citizen, and the Queen of the Void

Hey there, folks!

So if you follow my posts at all, you may know that I’m a huge fan of the upcoming Star Citizen game being developed by Cloud Imperium Games.  Having grown up with Wing Commander, Starlancer and Freelancer, creator Chris Roberts is someone whose work I’ve always loved – and given the dearth of space simulators over the last fifteen years or so, the concept of a whole interactive universe combining aspects of space travel, trade, exploration and more…well, what’s not to love?

So when the founder of the Imperial News Network, one of the foremost sites devoted to the game, asked me to contribute the occasional (very) short story to its growing corpus of fiction, I thought…well, why not?  And so it is that today my first contribution, a short tale that I call Queen of the Void, appears on INN.  It’s a short tale, being the reflections of a mercenary pilot as she is left for dead, without hope for rescue, before her oxygen runs out – remember, it’s me here, not a sunny summer child – and it features, among the more traditional elements you’d find in my fiction, the first space battle I’ve ever penned!  A short, brutal scrap, but I’m told that it’s enjoyable.  I’ll be producing several more of these as time allows, collecting them into a loose series known as the Underverse.

So why not give it a read, and tell me what you think over on INN.  Who knows?  You might end up liking it enough to give the game a shot.  Even in its barest incomplete, pre-alpha state, it’s still remarkably entertaining.

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So Here’s The Deal About Tor.

You may have heard about the open letter from Tor founder, Tom Doherty, publicly distancing the company from the remarks that one of its staff, Irene Gallo, made about the ‘Sad Puppies’ and ‘Rabid Puppies’ camps of sci-fi authors.  To me, this is heinously unacceptable.

You may already know that I have very specific thoughts about the whole Hugo situation and the camps of authors involved – but my anger towards Tor has absolutely zero to do with that.  Everyone involved here has a right to voice their opinion, and that should be respected, whether you agree with it or not.  What this has to do with is a publisher – the largest, oldest, and most famous publisher of science fiction in this country, perhaps even the world – absolutely fucking failing to stand behind their employees and their right to their own opinions.

I understand that a company needs to protect itself.  If Ms. Gallo tried to say that this was the stance of the publisher itself, and would not deviate from this, I would be more comfortable with such a response.  It would be pertinent to speak up as a company, especially one which claims that neutrality in social issues is important.  The fact that she’s staff – not an author, mind you, but staff – making such comments is naturally a fact that would make any company pay attention to the situation.  I’ve spent a lot of time as  web developer; if I got on Facebook and started screaming that the Internet was the Devil and that people should go back to doing all their work over the phone, and that this was the absolute opinion of my company as well, you can bet that my various employers would have taken exception.

However, when Doherty stated in the beginning of the letter that the employee herself had already made clear that these remarks were her own, and not that of Tor itself, that this ceased to be a measure of protection and became a poorly masked document censuring one of its own employees for speaking her mind, if not calling Tor’s supposed neutrality on the issue – which that very letter was supposed to cement – into serious question.

Now keep in mind, it isn’t as if Ms. Gallo hadn’t already apologized herself, and it isn’t as if there have been others associated with Tor who have made similar comments on both sides of the issue.  And it isn’t as if these comments are brand new; they’re over a month old.  But they have been brought to light by others in a very public light of late by members of the offended camps, and that’s what’s spurred the penning of this letter.  Everybody involved has the right to give their opinions, and to be offended by the opinions of others.  Tor has the right to enforce its own policy – which, by its own admission, Ms. Gallo has already amended her statement to follow. So even if Tor did want to keep its hands out of that particular puddle, Doherty’s hamfisted attempt to do so has guaranteed that many will assume the worst.

And really, who wants to deal with a company that will throw its own people under the bus like that?

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Dear Everybody I Know, Please Stop Telling Me That You’re Not Watching GoT After ‘This Night,’ Because We Both Know That’s 99% Likely To Be Bullshit

We’re on season five here.  Episode nine.  Bad shit’s been going on forever – and, yes, a CERTAIN EVENT was some of the laziest, shittiest writing I’ve seen in a while, and totally unworthy of the show so far.  But cripes, it’s the fifth season.  You’ve seen this going on forever.  Calm down, please.  Just…watch it or don’t, you know?

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