The LIST THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED (SMOFs for the uninitiated) has been having a, ummm, lively (yeah, that’s the ticket, lively) discussion of ‘waivers of liability’, privacy rights, ownership and digital recording.
Considering that part of this discussion touches on issues that I am personally (and majorly) concerned with – enough so to have written a story devoted to the subject (one that has so far received two rejection slips) – I’ve decided to make that story available here. It’s called ‘Masker Aid’ and details one person’s solution to the ever-growing invasions of personal privacy. You can find it at the end of this post.
But before you get to that:
Mike Glyer over at File 770 has once again tweaked me, this time suggesting that I am such a traffic-whore that I’ll do anything to increase my hits – including stooping as low as criticising Star Wars on the basis of its lack of science fictionalness.
I’m not that cheap. In fact, I think Star Wars is emminently science fictiony and to suggest otherwise is to deny such things as the appearance in the (septology?) as Asimov’s robots, Herbert’s dunes and sandworms, Piper’s Little Fuzzies, Alex Raymond’s swords&blasters in space, Forbidden Planet’s Krell city, Niven’s and Robinson’s and (?)’s inter-species watering holes, Schomburg’s and DiFate’s and Gaughn’s and Freas’ Astounding Stories spaceship covers, Pournelle’s legions, Star Trek’s genetic supermen, Heinlein’s the-mother-thing (think Yoda) Smith and Hamilton and Brackett’s galactic sweep, Asimov’s world-girdling cities and a host of other author’s and artist’s contributions to the canon since at least the 1930s. Of course, if Mike had challenged me to discuss Star Wars’
lack of originality, flattery of the genre, that would be another thing entirely.
I have not been stingy with my criticism(s) of IO9 in the past. I know that this blog and my website are not anywhere close to the brightest stars in the science-fiction-on-the-web galaxy, but over the past eight months I have managed to get picked up by (on a somewhat regular basis) most of the other blogs/websites that do “burn so brightly” – including BoingBoing, SFSignal, Whatever, File 770 and the aforementioned IO9.
I therefore find it indicative of the mindset(?), culture(?) over at that site that they linked to me on a couple of occassions prior to my criticism, and not once since – despite the fact that they have covered a couple of items that originally appeared here.
I’m not suggesting that they ‘stole’ stories – anything that’s appeared here (other than original content) has appeared in many other locations, either before or after I mentioned them, depending on the breaks. I’m not even suggesting that if I cover something, they MUST mention me in their coverage of that subject.
What I am suggesting is that, like some other websites serving other communities, IO9 seems to think that the world revolves around them and that by turning a blind eye to someone who has been critical of them, they can somehow deny their existence. This is exactly the same thing that a 6 year old does when they close their eyes, stop up their ears and pretend that someone they don’t like isn’t there because they can no longer see or hear them. And about as effective.
Just for giggles, I’m going to try it myself. MMMMMMmmmmmmmHHH! MMMMmmmmmHHHH! Darn. Nope, IO9 is still there.
The internet doesn’t work that way (neither does reality).
Today, Neil Gaiman expressed his own criticism of IO9’s practices. (Yes, it did make me happy to see that I am not alone.)
Neil’s focus was their attempt to create news via internally-generated rumor, while mine has generally focused on their barker-like “look at the
freaks geeks!, look at the freaks geeks!” view of the industry.
I’m relatively easy to ignore. I’ll be interested to see if Neil receives the same treatment. For some reason, I don’t think that’s going to happen.