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January 20, 2002

SFY15 + 1 day

Yesterday was the fifteenth anniversary of Sfstory, everyone’s favorite, on-going, collaborative, science-fiction-like, comedic writing project. (Disclaimer: Use of phrase “everyone’s favorite” may be misleading.)

You may be asking yourself why I’m mentioning that a day late, considering how prompt I was the anniversaries of ZedneWeb and Starcruiser Anonymous, but the truth is that I was spending that time frantically trying to get a story written so I could celebrate the anniversary by posting something—and it couldn’t be something simple, like the next episode of Out of Space, no. I wanted something that could stand mostly on its own.

As the deadline drew nearer, I decided to go with an idea I’d been considering for the first episode of an anthology series following various characters on the Anonymous. That merely left actually writing it, and I ended up rediscovering the joys and pains of writing on a deadline. It’s a great motivator for actually getting stuff done, but the closer it comes, the more you realise you can’t do because you simply don’t have time. (It might be easier if I could start working on these projects more than three days before the deadline itself, but even that’s an improvement over some of my scholastic scheduling.)

Yes, there are sacrifices. A few passages that cry out to be reworked (I won’t point out which ones in the hopes that you won’t notice). A climax that I’m not sure works. The fact that I forgot to mention the outcome of the negotiations that set the episode in motion. (I noticed that last one while I was writing this note. D’oh!) The upside is that there’s an episode, and parts of it are even decent.

So I present to you the first Anonymous Chronicle, “Observation” (text), in which a Zakavian task force arrives at Arorua to negotiate the release of captured soldiers and Green Squadron are sent on a secret mission to make sure nothing improper happens.

It may not be the finest thing written since Sfstory was founded on 19-Jan-1987, but at least it came out in a timely fashion. Here’s to another fifteen years! #

LotR vs SW II

In response to the article I mentioned recently comparing the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring unfavorably to Star Wars, there has been both a spate of letters and a lengthy rebuttal. For the most part, people disagree with the original article, pointing out the maturity of Lord of the Rings versus the adolescent fantasy of Star Wars.

I mentioned that I agreed with the original article, and I still have sympathy with a few of its points, but I also agree with those dissenters who point out that the two films operate on different levels and attempt different things. Apples, oranges, and all that stuff.

I’m a Unitarian. I’m allowed to agree with people on both sides of an argument. #

Hollywood vs the Internet

The latest issue of Crypto-Gram links to an article describing the conflict between the “content” and “tech” industries. Is the general-purpose computer a powerful tool for personal use, or the greatest threat the entertainment industry has ever seen? (Both, actually, but the question is whether the media as we know it will kill personal computers as we know them or the other way around.)

The even more important question is: will the public be involved at any stage of the decision making? #