Better late than never: S–t Time Travelers Say

shit time travelers say

The start of 2013 has been pretty stupidly hectic. I haven’t been able to spare the time to get much written here lately, but hopefully I’ll be able to spend some time in the coming weeks explaining all the cool reasons why that is.

Hopefully.

The subject of this post is one of the most recent of those reasons. It’s a video Nick and I have been working on as a marketing tool for So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel. We’re fans of doing videos when we can, but they always end up being much more work and much more time-consuming than one would initially expect. That’s the case here: We filmed a video to promote the book right after its release, nearly a year ago (jeez, a year ago?!), but a bunch of issues kept it from reaching completion — namely, we didn’t know what we were doing, and when you work with friends and volunteers, getting things done in a timely manner is tough when things like the need to feed and clothe yourself intervene.

Finally and after some delay, Nick and I were able to track down the original footage of the video in hopes of finding someone to edit it for us, since neither of us has any technical proficiency in that regard. That was a struggle, too, with scheduling difficulties and even some technical difficulties getting in the way (“We formatted this external hard drive as Mac, but it won’t work on PC! What year is this?”).

At long last, armed with a trial version of some fairly nifty editing software, I decided to try cutting the video together myself.

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Too busy for blog posts

colonial marines 4

Been a bit since I was able to get over here, but with good excuses!

Lots of work, that’s what. In fact, I don’t really have time to write a whole lot here, but what I can do is dump a bunch of the stuff I’ve been working on that’s keeping me from complaining about video games or discussing writing tips I make up. Here’s a big rundown of everything I’ve been writing lately.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, From QUAN+UM!

valentine out of my head copy

It’s been crazy busy around here lately and I haven’t had a whole lot of time for blogging. One of the many things I’ve been toiling away on: Time Travel Valentines for So You Created a Wormhole, which we posted on the Wormhole Facebook page and Twitter, etc. Find the other five on our Facebook page or at thetimetravelguide.com. Go find them and share them!

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5 Social Media Dont’s for Writers

writing

Hey, you’re a writer now. You know what that means? It means that a big part of your job every day is social media-ing, in hopes that anyone anywhere might actually read your goddamn book, story, article or whatever. If you do your job right, you might get some traction. Most likely, no one will read it, but you might get a few “likes.”

That’s okay, I’ve decided. Having hammered away at social media for more than a year now in a more or less official capacity on behalf of So You Created a Wormhole, I feel like Nick and I have carved out an incredibly modest divot into which we fit neatly. I’ve also realized that the vast majority of this s–t is in no way worth the time, money or effort.

I can’t speak from anything but my own experience when it comes to any of this stuff. And I can’t say that I’ve been hugely successful. But I do know what things not to do when other writers on various social networking platforms do them, and if they bother me — a writer who seeks out and pays attention to other writers — I’m almost positive they bother other people too. So here’s the best I can do in terms of social networking advice: a list of s–t to avoid (mostly because I dislike it).

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‘Mama’ is a Deeper, Gentler Kind of Twisted Monster

mama

Warning: Spoilers for the film Mama herein, as well as Sinister and maybe Paranormal Activity. I might spoil nine or 10 other movies just because I’m on a role.

Mama, the recently released, Guillermo del Toro-produced horror movie about two feral kids who are rediscovered and brought back to society, certainly has a few missteps built in. The way it handles its monster, however, largely isn’t one of them.

One of the things that most bothers me about many monster movies is the lack of said creature’s ability to actually become menacing.

Much too often, ghosts, demons and other creatures are used in service of Being Ominous. You know — they pop up now and again, or a character turns and what was previously hidden turns out to be hiding something awful. And many times in horror movies, the character will cry out and then blink and the thing will be gone.

That’s dumb. What’s more, it’s irritating.

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X-Surface and the Mess That is Online Journalism

xbox 720

Today, an anonymous guy “leaked” information about Microsoft’s expected upcoming new Xbox console. He did this by writing a long, involved email, in which he made up a lot of information — namely specs and other details that would make the leak seem legitimate. It’s obvious the guy did a lot of research.

Then he sent the email to several websites, posing as an anonymous guy from Microsoft. Some sites picked up the information, and then the information began to circulate as it often does with tech and gaming news. It got picked up a fair amount (here it is on Yahoo! News), although many big gaming sites — VG247, Kotaku and (humbly included) Game Front — didn’t publish it.

You can read the full account of what the guy did and what he thinks of this industry here. He takes it as proof of a failure of games/tech journalism. In a very big way, it is that.

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Sorry, You Can’t Have a Pink Lightsaber

pink lightsaber

Something kind of remarkable happened last week in a completely not-that-big-of-a-deal way.

The video game Star Wars: The Old Republic — a giant, massively multiplayer online game (think World of Warcraft) set in the Star Wars universe — introduced “same-gender romance” options for players in its latest content expansion.

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Writing Kids: Try NOT Making Them Into Horrific Hellspawn

mei totoro

I’m continually flabbergasted by the way writers portray children, particularly on TV and in movies, particularly if they are teenagers, particularly particularly if they are teenage girls. It’s like these people have no idea what it was like to be a tinier, dumber version of themselves and so just opt for “most annoying creature I can devise” as a strategy for writing young people.

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The Rear-View Mirror on 2012, and Many Thanks

happy 2013

Whoa. It’s 2013, and it’s been a crazy year. Seems like a mistake not to take a second and look back at all the cool things that happened, and the many reasons for which I have to be thankful.

Continue reading The Rear-View Mirror on 2012, and Many Thanks