“We’re going to tell all those white boys who run the Republican Party to stay out of our bedrooms.”

— Howard Dean, chillin' with his homies in Seattle

How not to sell me a book…

If you’re a novelist, and I’ve never heard of you, the fastest way to get knocked off my maybe-read list is to include anything in parentheses or after a colon that even hints that this is not a standalone novel. Saga, Series, Trilogy, Book N, A something something, whatever.

A series title that’s significantly longer than the book title guarantees that free is too much to pay for your work. Also, price over $7 for an ebook; I’m willing to go over that for writers I like, up to a limit of $9.99, but that’s it, and only if that’s not higher than the paperback/hardcover price.

A colon followed by the words “A Novel” is a no-shit-sherlock way to guarantee that I’ll cross you off my list, except in the extremely rare case of the moronic publisher who puts it on recent Tim Powers novels. But you’re not Tim Powers.

I read a lot of SF and fantasy novels, but you need to remember that when you put your book up on Amazon, you’re not just competing with this week’s best-sellers. You’re up against decades of novels by Ray Bradbury, Gordon Dickson, Gene Wolfe, Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, Andre Norton, Clifford Simak, Poul Anderson, Tim Powers, Diane Duane, Lois McMaster Bujold, Vernor Vinge, C. J. Cherryh, George Alec Effinger, Barbara Hambly, Patricia Wrede, Larry Niven, Robert Heinlein, Robert Silverberg, John Varley, and Doris Piserchia, to give a partial list of whose books I’ve bought on Kindle over the past few years. And I’ve left out a lot of lower-tier names.

Admittedly, some of their publishers are imbeciles who think that a badly-OCRd thirty-year-old novel is worth $12.99 despite the easy availability of used paperbacks for $0.99 plus shipping, but enough of the stuff is out there for a decent price that I can afford to assume that your ambitiously-titled series is crap.

To each according to his needs…

The Arlo cameras I installed outside have captured plenty of neighborhood cats hanging out on my front porch, but clearly I need to put out special bait if I’m going to catch catgirls like Mizuki Hoshina…

Not a big fan of the new haircut, but that’s like complaining there’s not quite enough whipped cream on your sundae. Or on your catgirl. Or something like that.


Transspecies Heteronormative Toxic CisPrivileged Male Gaze

I feel triggered.


Dear Amazon,

I am not pretentious enough for this.

Also, 91% lean? Screw that.

Always-Relevant Feynman Interview

The BBC keeps deleting copies of this video; hopefully this one will last for a while.

“Is it okay for a perky elf to crush on a cardboard princess?”

…aka Sword Oratoria, the DanMachi spinoff (streaming on Amazon Strike, the existence of which answers the musical question “how come Crunchyroll still isn’t available on the Fire TV?”​).

The DanMachi light novels are sufficiently popular in Japan that they not only got manga and anime adaptations, but two spinoff novel/manga series, the first of which has its anime debut this season.

The author had a problem, though: Dream Girl Aiz Wallenstein has all the warmth and charm of a block of wood. A shapely block of wood that’s really good at killing monsters, but still, wood.

His solution was to make it an ensemble piece about her Familia, putting lots of emphasis on the genki half-naked amazons Tiona and Tione, and adding the insecure-but-eager elf-mage Lefiya, who really, really wants to be Aiz’s friend. Or “friend”; she has a rather active imagination.

The first two episodes are heavy on cheesecake, yuri, and foreshadowing that Something’s Up In The Dungeon, plus cameos by Bell and Hestia that establish where we are in the main story. And way too much Loki.

Oh, and Ayako Kawasumi has taken over the role of elf-senpai Riveria. Apparently the original voice actress is off dealing with health problems.

Cheesecake: candy

Most pictures tagged “candy” involve Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and/or simulated oral sex. This tends to reduce the number of smiles, but I did my best.


Camelcide, Effectomy,and Memetical

How to tell that your new random-word generator works: feed it the text of the Jargon File and get back things that you could easily come up with real jargon definitions for…


“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”