Southern fried brain

David Jackson as Gan in Blake's 7Yep, I’m more than a little bit brain-fried at the moment. I mean…more than usual.

Apparently I’ve fallen victim to the Forbidden Planet Bandit. Well, to be fair, that’s not quite the most accurate description I could give it, but I can’t think of a better way to put it either. After a few threads comparing notes were merged into one big one at the Doctor Who Forum, it quickly came to light that someone’s gotten hold of the credit and debit card numbers of everyone who’s done business with a UK sci-fi specialty shop called Forbidden Planet International anytime in the past couple of years. I ordered a couple of Doctor Who action figures from them last summer, and I’d been keeping an eye on my account activity ever since hearing about the other incidents. Tuesday night, sure enough, I was down nearly $200 – and probably would’ve been out more except that there wasn’t any more than that in the account. Damn it. Time to start pulling teeth – um, I mean, filing fraud claims to see if I can get my money back. Here are a few other links detailing the situation – including some horror stories where folks are out thousands of dollars. (This is why I only have debit cards, and absolutely no credit cards, period.) Forbidden Planet has had very little to say on the matter; on the one hand, I understand that they don’t want to deep-six the public’s faith in their business. But this thing is reaching a critical mass among the rather tight niche to whom Forbidden Planet caters: maintaining radio silence for much longer may well do more damage than coming out and saying that their database has been hacked, or their credit card processor’s database has been hacked, or something to that effect. Come on, say something.

(What really sucks is that Forbidden Planet was the sole UK distributor for these…cripes! To say that there are a few pissed-off collectors might be the understatement of the year.)

Speaking of UK sci-fi…I spent all of Tuesday working on the book project. One of the biggest challenges thus far is working out the internal layout and the iconography to go with it. I’ve spent a lot of time finding the most readable way of presenting all of the information there, and that includes coming up with a few visual cues that run throughout the book. Oh, there are some obvious ones I could use… but then I’d probably get sued. I think I may have finally nailed it, though. I’ll probably post a sample PDF at some point to get some feedback. Once I got the visual/layout elements settled (at least for now) (no, just kidding, they’re more or less finalized!), I sat down and got a lot of work done on the text – much more re-writing than I had anticipated. But I’m getting a better feel for how it’ll look, and a rough idea of how big it’ll be (and whether or not it needs to be split into more than one volume – eek!…stay tuned).

This is a whole different beast from putting together a DVD, so I’ve been just a little bit nervous about it…after making myself sit down and basically put in a whole work day on the project (well, almost a whole eight-hour work day – at about the six-hour mark I went to pick up Evan), I feel a lot better about it. I can do this. So, after I get a couple of books cranked out and start to feel comfortable with the process, naturally I’ll move on to another medium, like interpretive dance or something.

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