Direct-to-Consumer sales are, for many companies, a great way to deal with disintermediation, that being, a disruption of the standard distribution chain. Companies like Amazon practice disintermediation, selling direct as retailers without needing field representatives and by surpassing/superceeding physical retail.
As I said on Twitter, this post will be comprised of squee and speculation in the wake of this exciting teaser video from Guillermo del Toro:
So, quick recap. We are promised the following by 2017 –
- Animated series
- More comics
- Pacific Rim 2 (in 2017)
Please pardon me while I flail for a moment. Like so: [Read more…]
Author’s note: This blog post will be a little bit different from the usual SFF in SEA variant.
Recently, I was rocked by a wonderful and startling revelation from my dad about his grandmother. My great grandmother was a herbalist and a travelling physician. From his tone, I could tell my dad admired her. She had “ben shi”, ability, talent. She could do stuff.
Yet, my grandmother, my great grandmother’s daughter, wasn’t that forthcoming. She let out her stories in weak spools. She didn’t talk about things that made her sad. According to my dad, she quarreled with her mother who forbade her to leave for Nanyang (the Chinese term for Southeast Asia). My grandmother left for Singapore soon after that. Imagine the wounds still unhealed, the words left unsaid, unvoiced. My grandmother passed away last year.
My paternal grandparents came from Hui’ An, Fujian. Isolated from the mainland, Hui’ An still retains characteristics of a minority group in China: the women’s clothing are unique and more reminiscent of clothing from Indo-China. The Hui’ An people are nominally Han Chinese. They are a coastal people, fishing and harvesting/farming oysters as part of their livelihood. At the same time, the women folk work at granite mines. Still deeply patriarchal, Hui’An society has women working at the coast and at the workshops while men idle away at tea houses. As a result, the women are tough, resilient and innovative. [Read more…]
(That’s probably because you rolled up nothing but Limericks about exciting things!)
I’ve been like a magpie lately, collecting shiny things from here and there. There’s no unified theme to this post, except everything in it is an awesome idea. So I decided to force a theme in a way that will likely yield terrible results: Limerick writing! I am making these all up on the spot, and giving myself no more than 5 minutes to do each one. So, hang on tight; this may be a bumpy ride!
Gears for Queers [Read more…]
(No, not that Gambit, Shaun :P.)
Spoilers for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ahead.)
When Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD was announced, there was excitement, there was wariness, and everything in-between. An ongoing TV show as a tie-in to a powerful superhero franchise? This was something new, something different.
There have been TV->film->TV movements, from La Femme Nikita to Star Trek, Star Wars, and more. The Matrix universe delved deep into transmedia storytelling, with animated shorts, video games, and comics.
But Agents of SHIELD was something different — clearly designed as a bridge between movies, the show started weak. Really weak. The pilot episode showed some promise, with Clark Gregg as a compelling lead and Mike Peterson giving a voice to an interesting thematic question (is the American Dream a lie?). [Read more…]
This last weekend, I was at BaltiCon in Hunt Valley, MD. I had the pleasure of being on a number of business/business of writing panels, and I noticed something very cool that I wanted to loop back around to talk about.
In one of the panels, I was the only traditionally-published author out of a group of five, but there was no animosity, no rancor, no posturing. It was five creatives who had all taken different paths to getting their work out into the world. It is my hope that we’re at a place where writers and creators looking to work in the SF/F prose field can approach the business with open eyes and a sense of freedom — of possibility.
There are many paths up the mountain, and as many ways of having a career as there are authors (and considering how some authors reboot their careers, there may be more ways than there are creators).
It’s not just Traditional and indie/self-publishing — there are a hundred gradations and combinations. Here are just a few: [Read more…]
Hi folks! I’m back from a novel-induced hiatus, and I’m excited to talk to you all about Fall 2014 Upfronts.
For those who don’t follow TV development, Upfronts are the part of the broadcasting season where networks show off their upcoming seasons, new and returning shows, in order to secure up-front advertisement buys.
These days, the side-effect of Upfronts is that debut shows get trailers, which end up on YouTube, and then end up in blog posts by geeky writers.
I’ve watched through a number of these videos, and bring you some of the most promising and most ridiculous of these Upfronts, to get everyone excited months and months ahead of when any of these shows will be debuting.
This week Shaun gave me permission to talk about the Armadillocon Writer’s Workshop, which is a little event that I run for my local convention. It’s close to my heart for multiple reasons — among them is the fact that it gave me a leg up as a new writer. I feel passionate enough about it that I’ve been running it for seven years. If you’re interested in becoming a professional Science Fiction and Fantasy writer, I think it’s one of the best, least inexpensive workshops designed for beginning and intermediate writers. This year, it will be held on Friday, July 25th, and the manuscript submission deadline is June 15th. Each student is required to submit a manuscript of no more than 5,000 words, which will then be critiqued at the workshop. Check in begins at 8:30am, and the workshop runs until the convention starts (usually, at 4:30pm). It’s a full day of lectures, writing exercises, and critiques. In the last part of the session, students are sorted into critique groups of no more than five. Each group is led by two publishing professionals. We use the Milford Method, and each student both gives and receives critiques. This year, we’re proud to have the following instructors:
Ian McDonald, Ted Chiang, Jacob Weisman, Skyler White, Mario Acevedo, Martha Wells, Kat Richardson, Stina Leicht, Alex C. Renwick, Claude Lalumière, Joe McKinney, Martin Wagner, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Mark Finn, Dr. Anne-Marie Thompson, Derek Johnson, Jayme Blaschke, and Nicky Drayden
If you’re a new writer without publishing credits and you’re interested in professional publishing, this is the workshop for you. It’s a lot of fun. The fee is $70. For more detailed information see the Armadillocon website.
When I started writing what I loved (science fiction) in about 2007, I didn’t have the impression that science fiction was US-centric. In fact, I thought that science fiction was like Star Trek’s philosophy of IDIC. Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Wasn’t science fiction supposed to be like that? I mean, I did submit stories before and one even got published. That was in 2000, when I was fresh out of university, armed with a postgraduate degree. So, when I started writing in 2007, I thought it was still peachy, and a writer like me — a writer from Southeast Asia — would be easily accepted.
My steampunk story “A Matter of Possession” was published by Crossed Genres in 2010 in their issue on alternate history. It was my first entry into an interesting scene (I couldn’t use ‘community’ — didn’t feel much of it, though). I realized, to my shock, that people like me, people living outside the United States, had (still have) difficulty getting their stories published. The gatekeepers of serious science fiction were standing at the gate and barring entry to those trying to find their way in. Often, the accepted stories were written by white men. I wondered who made the gatekeepers gatekeepers? Who had set the rules and regulations? Is science fiction going to be a pub where unwanted and unwelcome folk are kept outside the window, desperately staring in while the accepted cliques mingle, laugh and have fun?
Who chooses who will write our future(s)? [Read more…]
We’re solidly into the Spring 2014 TV season now in the US, so I’ve watched a few pilots, SF/F and other, to share my thoughts with you all, the Skiffy and Fanty readership. I’ve avoided all but the most basic spoilers, since all three of these shows employ the Fifth Act Twist.
The 100, adapted from the novel of the same name by author Kass Morgan, is another entry in the CW’s effort to become the new Sci-Fi channel. Just as there was a rush of YA SF/F literature, it only makes sense that there would be a corresponding wave of YA SF/F television, and here we are.
97 years after a devastating nuclear war, life support is running out on the Ark, a hodgepodge mega-space-station cobbled together when the surface world got all toasty. In an effort to buy more time for the grown-ups, and to see if the surface is habitable, 100 juvenile inmates are dropped back to the surface, despite the fact that as far as the people on the station know, the surface is supposed to still be lethally radioactive.