HOWEVER, Tempest and I have decided that if we can't swing getting a restaurant and whatnot (we pretty much took up 2/3rd of the hotel restaurant last year! \^o^/) then we will AT LEAST have an ad hoc pizza party, either in one of the party rooms or in the Solitaire room itself. WE WILL LET YOU KNOW! Text me if you want me to text you as soon as details are confirmed ^_^
EDIT EDIT EDIT: Tempest has just told me that our party will be in ROOM 627 :D During the Friday dinner block!
We will be handing out flyers on Friday to invite people!!!
We've also determined that people are allowed to bring food into the Solitaire room so we encourage folks to gather there for mealtimes because some days you want to pool all the noms together in a POC space of awesome :D
Hope that helps!!! Sorry we're so disorganized this year D:
I arrive around 3.47pm in Madison.
I have no dinner plans as yet. In fact, my only plans are as follows:
Friday: I volunteer for the Gathering's Clothing Swap, and there will be the WisCon POC Dinner, then at night for the Carl Brandon Party set up.
Uhm. After that, I'm on no panels, and will be flitting around or just parked in the Safer Space. And partying!
I'm bringing The Heroic Trio, The Executioners, 14 Amazons, and The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake. I won't have a computer but maybe someone will be game for a Chinese movie night.
I will be rooming with the excellent Ay-Leen the Peacemaker, woohoo!
I fly out Monday 7.30pm.
My phone number is 951-892-4189 if anybody needs a person to hang out with!
See you theeeeeeeeeere <3 <3 <3 <3
For those of you coming in midway through this story, Amazon has just announced that they'll be publishing fanfiction for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, allowing the fic to be sold for money. The author will receive 35% of net revenue (for works of 10,000+ words) and royalties (unspecified) will be payed to the rightsholder of the fictional universe.
I think a lot of people have a kneejerk reaction to this which is strongly negative—"Jesus Christ, it's FanLib all over again!" People also have the expectation that it will fail, that fans are not interested in selling their works. I don't think that all that negativity is entirely justified. Here's why:
- The success of Wattpad shows that younger writers especially are interested in self-publishing and that many of them view fanfic as a road to a self-publishing career. For writers who view fanfiction in this way, Kindle Worlds would seem like a godsend.
- Unlike FanLib, Kindle Worlds is not framed politically—as "freeing" fans in any shape or form. A lot of people were turned off by FanLib's rhetoric who won't be turned off by Kindle Worlds.
Still, I suspect that there is a large enough base of writers who would like to sell their fanfic for any amount of money that Kindle Worlds will not have a hard time finding authors. I'd bet that it will serve as a point of entry for people who were otherwise uninterested in writing fanfic, too. This is another way that they're being smarter than FanLib: instead of trying to appeal to fans who are already uninterested in their deal, they are introducing the idea of fanfic to people who might not otherwise have been interested, expanding their base, so to speak.
A larger obstacle are the content guidelines. Kindle Worlds does not accept pornography, "offensive content," "excessive use of brand names" or crossover stories.* Contrary to what many people say, there is plenty of fanfic that falls within these guidelines and that I believe people would be happy to pay for. Take a look at the fandoms for One Direction or, yes, Twilight if you don't believe me. Yes, these content guidelines mean that a large amount of fanfiction is excluded from Kindle Worlds. So what? Maybe there becomes a bifurcated fandom structure—people willing to write stories within Kindle's content guidelines, and people who aren't. Who cares? If anything, I suspect that the stories "too hot for Kindle Worlds" will be more in demand, not less.
Generally speaking, I believe that fans are not too dumb to read a ToS. I believe that fans will choose to use Kindle Worlds if it works well for them, and they will choose not to if they are uninterested in its strictures. After all, nobody has to submit their stories.
Or do they?
I worry that some people in the entertainment industry are viewing Kindle Worlds as a way to "control" fans. This is a tale as old as time, or at least as old as when rightsholders really, really wanted the Harry Potter fandom to stop writing about Harry Potter being gay. (Yes, this was An Issue, long before Dumbledore came out of the closet. I swear to you, it was.) Can I blame them for wanting to control the stories they've told? Not entirely, no. I can't blame that impulse, any more than I can blame the impulse of a novelist to yell at fanfiction writers for "messing up their world." The novelist invested their heart and soul, Warner Brothers invested millions of dollars, in either case there are these weird outsiders coming in and making the stories about something else, something they never envisioned. What will happen? What if Harry Potter gets associated with gay porn? Then maybe audiences won't want to see it anymore! And then what?
But the thing about this view is that it's unrealistic. It does not reflect the realities of the internet, and it does not reflect the realities we've seen in the past ten years of fans interacting with corporations. Even though Harry Potter did get associated with gay porn (well, slash fanfic, but it's the same thing in the eyes of the uninitiated), it didn't stop it from being profitable. Hell, fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic turned it into a megahit among the most unlikely audience—and among the audience that people most want to woo, 18-30 year old males! Nobody would be excited to find out that their show was getting associated with 4Chan, yet 4Chan made it a runaway success.
There's nothing wrong with Kindle Worlds as one possibility among many. It actually represents one good thing: the recognition that fans are doing work for franchises, work which can and maybe should be compensated. That's a step that nobody has taken (outside of rare contests), to my knowledge. I know a lot of fans see this as cheapening their art by tainting it with commerce, but the fact is that the entertainment industry is all about making money, and unless fans are able and willing to talk in monetary terms, they will never be taken seriously. (Actually, it represents two good things. In its terms, it admits that fans have rights over their own fanfic, rights that can be signed away when you take part in Kindle Worlds. This seems basic, but it is not always recognized.)
Where Kindle Worlds may go wrong is if it is viewed by the entertainment industry as the be-all and end-all of interacting with fan creativity. That would create a no-win situation for everybody. Many waters cannot quench fandom, neither can the floods drown it—a fact that companies are likely to learn if they believe that they can condemn works that are not published within Kindle Worlds, or if they believe that fans will stop writing their porn and run happily into Amazon's corporate arms.
In the meantime, the answer to Kindle Worlds must come from within fandoms. It must come from places like Organization for Transformative Works, providing alternative spaces in which to share stories that are not within corporate boundaries. Everyone must educate themselves about what rights they hold to their fanfic, what rights they can choose to sign away, and what rights they have no matter what. This is not the end of a conversation. It's not the beginning of a conversation, either. We're in the middle of it, and we will be for a long time to come.
*This is especially funny given that one of the fandoms they're allowing as a "Kindle World" is The Vampire Diaries. How can you possibly write a Vampire Diaries fanfic without depicting racism, and probably using the N-word? A significant chunk of the story occurs in the antebellum South! I suppose that the TV show does it, but one of the things fanfiction is best at is engaging with issue that network TV can't or won't. Sigh.
Edited to add: Another great response to this, from a different perspective.
And then I read the terms and conditions of Kindle Worlds, realized they're disallowing porn, crossovers, and foul language, and collapsed into a heap of laughter I've yet to recover from.
GOOD LUCK, AMAZON, AND STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM AO3.
"Huh," I said about three-quarters of the way down. "I don't remember downloading this one!"
I clicked, I watched...and then I immediately watched it five more times.
Ride to California by bradcpu (The Avengers + prequels)
This sucker is just good old-fashioned, action-packed, heart-pumping fun. I freakin' love the use of rhythm and movement throughout the whole thing -- it's one of those vids that makes me even more excited about the MCUverse, because SERIOUSLY LOOK AT HOW AWESOME THESE MOVIES ARE. I think my only complaint is that there isn't nearly enough Natasha, but considering it was cut together before The Avengers even hit theaters (all of the footage is from trailers and the other Phase One films), I can forgive that. And I never think there's enough Natasha, because really: there never can be. :D
( No major spoilers, except for opinions, general problems, and the spoilers inherent in naming the major source text of the movie. )
( Major spoilers for everything. )
(For some California local definition of 'morning'!)
About 30 minutes ago one of our databases (sb-db03) locked up and stopped serving traffic. This was an active database, so the site quickly stopped when it could no longer serve requests. Alas.
I have failed us over to a backup database and now everything should be working again.
I'm not sure yet what happened to db03, but am currently investigating and will update this post if I come up with a root cause for the problem. Edit: It's back up and doesn't have any visible problems. Disks are fine, data's intact, etc. The graphs and logs show nothing. We'll have to keep an eye on it and see if it manifests further issues.
Sorry for the trouble, please let me know if you still see any problems!
...well, you might anyway, because Metro, but not getting home until almost midnight when I left Dupont at 10:15 PM pretty roundly sucked. But I did get to see bookwench31 for a brief spell! Thumbs up there.
Also, I overheard a guy saying he'd snagged pages of the script from...I'm not sure where, but obviously from one of the previous days' shoots. He was passing them around to a few other people, and I guess he also went ahead and sent them to ComicBookMovie.com considering their Big Scoop of the Day, and I just -- I have so many mixed feelings about this. Actually, not so much mixed as "if you actually stole part of the script, that's a pretty douchey move on your part," but simultaneously (a) knowing this probably happens all the time and (b) not wanting to harsh anyone's squee parade over these spoilers. (Whoops, GUESS I KIND OF JUST DID.) I don't know; maybe somebody gave him the pages with their blessing to share them at will, but it's pretty damn hard to imagine that happening on a heavily anticipated movie like Winter Soldier. Even if he rooted them out of a trash can or something...yeah. Dick move, sorry-not-sorry.
And now our brush with Hollywood has packed up and moved out of town, leaving me to my TV shows and roller derby once more. I just finished watching last night's Elementary, complete with unholy amounts of shrieking and gleeful flappyhands (the moment halfway through -- YOU KNOW THE MOMENT IF YOU'VE SEEN IT -- made me so goddamn happy in my soul parts), and tomorrow is the DC Rollergirls championship bout. Come down to the Armory and see our home teams duke it out for the title! It's gonna be awesome!
After Antitrust I had to go and drink a shot of tequila to steel my nerves. It was that bad.
The thing that was so terrible about it was that the script had a fundamental misunderstanding not of how open source software works, but of how business relationships work. See, the characters do use the term "open source" as a kind of a shibboleth, but at least there's some stab at describing what that might mean (although I think the term they were really searching for is "free/libre"). But that's not as weird as the way that the Bill Gates-ish character is a terrible, terrible manager, or the way that the premise of the plot is completely unbelievable.
Pro tip: When you are working on an enormous project like Word, Excel or a satellite cell phone network that can handle video, you cannot save the project and hit your date by bringing in a kid just out of college, no matter how smart he is, two months before the deadline. You also cannot save the project by spying on other programmers and stealing their code, because code is not Unobtainium, and it is context-specific, not usually something you can just yoink and paste into your own project.
Also, everybody in the movie looked like they were acting through a thick veil of "I really need to make my boat payment. Please, God, let this movie be over so I get paid and can make my boat payment." Since everybody involved has done other projects that aren't stinkers, I don't think there's any other explanation for it.
I hope to do some cleaning of my vile, vile accumulations of dust that are a result of a) living in a 19th century house, b) in a city, and c) not cleaning my floors for months and months. Since dust mites are one of my allergies, I usually have to dose up on antihistamines at some point in this process. Fun. But the handvac doesn't work nearly as well as actually mopping.
I also have change-of-season laundry I'd like to get done: winter coats, blankets, items it is suddenly too warm to wear, all that. I might wait a little longer before I take my trench coat to the dry cleaner; I'd like to resew some of the buttons, and attempt to get an ink mark out, and maybe clean the cuffs ahead of time, since the dry cleaning seems ineffective at removing stains (maybe I have a crappy dry cleaner).
This all sounds so boring, but it's enormously satisfying to me when I get these things done. It's a way of establishing control over my environment, I think, which makes me feel more upbeat and successful in general. Sometimes even a small thing, like changing my sheets, can do that. But the floors...they really, really need it regardless of my personal feelings in the matter.
Okay, so. Foxes. Small, red, bushy-tailed, cunning little predators, nemesis of farmers everywhere. The fae mostly associate the critters with the West, with the Tir Na Nog1 Imperion, Lugh and all his crew, both the isle and the main. No, it doesn't matter if it's an Avalon fox or an Alfheim fox; the first thing other sidhe think about are the folks across the mountain and the short sea, because those are just about the only people that looked at the frustrating little fuzzy bastards and thought 'hey, let's domesticate them.' And well, metaphorically speaking, it's easy to look at a very tall Alfheim guys vs the diminutive Tir Nan Og residents, and the former's wolfpacks vs the latter's loosely organized, highly irregular, grassroots militias as an indicative sort of thing.
Anyway. ( There's three sorts of foxes you can trip over in Tir Na Nog: )
( And this line of thinking takes us to the House of Malepardus. )
( fun facts and footnotes )
(I love how he tells folks in the comments that he's not actually playing an instrument, no, really! It's all about the programming! This is just a lot of button pushing! There is no art happening here! Uhuh. Yeah, okay, Mr. Hahn.)