Stranger on a Train: XXVII

After three days of coding and teaching, I’m still walking. I was kind of hoping for that Nick M.F. Fury rescue because, let’s talk real, moments of badassery like that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale are always welcome in life.

I can’t complain (though I did) about the class. Sharpened skills and money through the door, I guess. Not enough, though, for the trip to WorldCon, I’m afraid. Sucks, too, as I wanted to see some friends I’d not seen for a spell, show the Boom the Tower of London and the Globe, and just give Pip and me a moment’s peace.

Maybe things will change. It’s so damn close to call.

Next week is Balticon. Always a good time. I have a schedule in need of posting and I’ll probably get to that over the weekend. Since March, everything’s felt blurry, but Pip and I did all we could for that steampunk title of ours. Now we just have to hope people are still wanting more.

I know I do. I like this ‘verse of cogs, gears, and spies. I don’t want it to end. Not now, anyway.

Almost home. Ready to hit a weekend well-earned with family. Maybe a quick detour to Proper Pie Company on the way back home. And speaking of badassery, I’ve got my weekend off to a good start with this…

What about you? What’s your read this weekend?

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Capclave: A Celebration of Short Stories, Anthologies, and the Business of Books

photo by P.J. Schnyder

Are you in the Washington D.C. are this weekend? Because if you are, Pip and I are going to be out and about at Capclave, on Friday and Saturday at the Hilton of 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877.

Capclave, if you have never attended, is not a bustling event like Balticon or RavenCon; but a more intimate affair that focuses more on the art of short fiction.

And yes, short fiction is an art.  You might not think it with my releases this year, but short stories have always been a challenge for me. It’s only been recently I’ve felt comfortable writing short stories, and Capclave is a rare event indeed as short stories take center stage. Discussions range between  the challenges of the market to the big question “Is there still a market for short stories?”

Oh yeah, and did I mention George R R Martin is the Guest of Honor this year?

Now for anyone who thinks I’m going to corner him, take him down with a Hapkido throw, jam my boot in his throat, and demand that he gets me an audience with Peter Dinklage, I’m just going to say for the record that I’m not going to corner him.

So, yeah, that.

But if you are looking to corner me at Capclave, you’ll get your chance here… Continue reading

Black Friday: The Dark Side of Viral Videos

Social Media carpetbaggers (as I call them here, and I’m liking the term the more I use it) would challenge me on many of my work beliefs and ethics, two of which that have been brought to light just this month:

    • You can’t make a viral video. They just happen.
    • There is such a thing as bad publicity.

      I have seen this as a topic on many a conference track — “How to Make Your Videos Viral!” or some such nonsense — and I also get the “Let’s make a viral video…” request a lot from my day job. After my skin stops crawling, I pull no punches and speak the best-kept-secret truth that the carpetbaggers won’t admit: you can’t make a viral video. A video goes viral due to traffic on social networks increasing awareness (of a product, person, or cause), and through self-replicating processes that gain momentum on both the Internet and mainstream media.

      Did you catch that “self-replicating” part? That’s key. No one can make self-replication happen. You can promote a video, sure, but that does not necessarily guarantee it going viral.  The constant thread (if there is one) is luck. Good or bad, it comes down to luck. You can’t predict it. You can’t produce it. You never know what will strike that nerve. Viral videos just happen.

      And in the case of Rebecca Black, that is exactly what happened. What two comedians referenced off-handedly has now become 2011’s viral sensation. Continue reading