Let’s talk books

Because that’s something I seldom bring up here, right? Except…there have been a few changes to the schedule.

VWORP!3With Peter Capaldi announcing that he is not only leaving, but his final episode will be this year’s Christmas special, VWORP!3 will be gaining a subtitle along the lines of “The Capaldi Years” and has slid back to January 2018. In line with the rethink of the WARP! series, VWORP!3 will be a thinner book that its predecessors, and it’ll cover four main topics:

  • The Peter Capaldi era on TV
  • Class
  • Big Finish audios featuring new series Doctors (10th Doctor stories, War Doctor stories)
  • Big Finish audios featuring other new series characters (UNIT, Churchill, Torchwood)

Read More

GlitchCon is THIS WEEKEND!

GlitchCon is this weekend! August 1st through 3rd at the Springdale Holiday Inn. A few notes ahead of the show…

  • Death panels! Well, okay, not really. I’m doing two panels Saturday night: at 7pm in panel room 2 (the Sci-Fi room), I’m doing “Doctor Who in the Off-Season”, which will begin with the somewhat off-putting question “What will you do the next time Doctor Who is cancelled?” (Don’t worry, I’ll offer a detailed justification for asking that question in the first place.) At 9pm in panel room 3 (the Steam room, which hopefully doesn’t obligate me to do a karaoke version of the Peter Gabriel song of the same name), it’s “Beyond the TARDIS”, a look at British sci-fi beyond Doctor Who.
  • D20: The Musical! Friday night between 8pm and 10pm in panel room 4 (the Anime room), the cast of D20: The Musical is doing a readthrough of their script. Quite a few of my friends are behind this show, so check it out, add +3 to your Wisdom score, and enjoy.
  • Star Trek ContinuesStar Trek Continues! Vic Mignogna of Star Trek Continues will be there all weekend, showing the latest episodes of the ridiculously-professionally-produced Trek fan series, signing autographs and answering questions. My one stipulation to the organizers of the show was “Please, for the love of whatever gods are applicable, don’t put me up against Vic Mignogna at the same time on the schedule, because I don’t want to speak to an empty room.” 😆 These episodes have to be seen to be believed.
  • Books! I will have a few copies of both VWORP!1 Second Edition and the brand-new, just-released VWORP!2 with me; hit me up at the end of either panel (or between panels) if you’re interested. Here’s where it gets funny: in order to have a chance in hell of having copies of VWORP!2 on hand, I had to “game the system” a bit and order a box full of proof copies from CreateSpace. These copies have a visible bounding box around a oopsparagraph of text and a photo at the back of the book; for the eBook and the “general availabiity” edition, the caption for the photo has since been rewritten slightly and the bounding box eliminated. I will sign and number these because in some weird way I suppose the error make them collectors’ items (look! proof that the author was pulling an all-nighter and fell asleep at the wheel!). Due to the delay in making that fix, the print edition of VWORP!2 won’t be available until after GlitchCon. 😳 The eBooks are available NOW, including a bundle of both volumes in eBook form. I will also have the last few copies of Phosphor Dot Fossils on DVD with me, even though the video game panel has been nixed for this year.
  • On the lack of the video game panel: shed no tears. While I enjoy doing the video game history panel Odyssey(I can tell you the story of Ralph Baer and his industry-spawning gizmo until I’m blue in the face), it requires that I lug around something on the order of three times the amount of stuff (consoles, controllers, monitors, cables, extension cords) than just talking about British TV would. I may still have an opportunity to do the video game panel in September at Konsplosion, and there is an event in the works in northwest Arkansas that’s not yet on the schedule, and that may interest fans of video game history as well. Fear not, the Magnavox Odyssey will get its annual workout.

I’ve also decided what my quirky-and-just-a-little-bit-cheap-and-cheesy “theme” for this year’s OVGE will be (aside from the ever-popular and absolutely-necessary “Buy My Books And DVDs!”): PDF Unplugged.

But more on that after GlitchCon. 😉

GlitchCon 2014 panel schedule

A brief history of time (war)The whole schedule can be seen here, and it’s full of events that are smothered in awesomesauce and seasoned with a liberal sprinkling of amazeballs. For those curious, I thought I’d “zoom in” briefly on my marathon triple-threat panel-o-rama on Saturday night. 😆

So it’s like this: I’m going to be speaking for three hours straight. 😯 Here’s what I’ll be blithering and blathering about… Read More

How I can be in two places at once when I’m not anywhere at all

Do we have contact?Being in two places at once is pretty hard, yo.

On the same day that I got confirmation that I’ll be at least one panel presentation during the weekend of August 2nd at GlitchCon in Springdale, Arkansas – not quite an hour north of me – I received an invitation to be in Fairfield, Iowa the same weekend for the public unveiling of the next round of Twin Galaxies trading cards, commemorating events, milestones, and personalities from the world of video games… because, while I was totally happy to get a mention on the card for Classic Gamer Magazine, apparently I now get my own. Read More

Site notes: on the simplification of things

We like to buy into the notion that there’s no limit to what we can achieve, but the truth that we run into more often is that there are limits – very finite limits – to how much time we have to pour into achieving the amazing. Things have come up recently that made me realize… I simply don’t have all the time that I thought I had to pour awesomesauce all over the universe. Projects that I had hoped to start and finish… I’m going to have to let them stew for a good long while, or watch as someone else finishes them. Other things already in progress will need to be simplified out of necessity. Time is really my biggest obstacle here.

Phosphor Dot FossilsThis summer, the Phosphor Dot Fossils DVD set will be going out of print. The reasons for this are numerous, but it basically boils down to “too many problems in trying to move inventory of physical things out the door”, whether it’s Paypal payment notifications winding up spamqueued (and then me being contacted by buyers wanting to know, quite rightly, where their stuff is), to making it to the post office in a timely manner (the recent heap of ice storms certainly hasn’t helped in that regard), and the gut feeling that, quite honestly, DVD has had its day (it’s like continuing to sell cassettes in a compact disc world, though I still maintain that the imminent arrival of 4K makes Blu-Ray little more than DAT by that analogy). I don’t have the time or resources to re-create the entire project in HD (as much as I’d like to fix some stuff with regards to video and sound quality).

In the place of the physical DVDs, I will be instituting a download service very soon, which I am beta testing right now. It will allow those still interested in acquiring the material on the Phosphor Dot Fossils DVDs to obtain either MP4 video files or a downloadable DVD .ISO file so they can burn their own disc if they absolutely have to have a physical copy. The physical copies remaining in inventory will become “convention exclusives” or something that can only be obtained by special arrangement. Once those physical copies are gone, even the “special arrangement” goes away: I won’t be burning any more of them.

As of 2014, it’s been ten years since the earliest versions of a PDF video project were edited together (much of which was revised for the first PDF DVD); it was originally a running, looping display-only DVD which appeared in OVGE’s second year, featuring music by 8-Bit Weapon, with the agreement that it would never be sold in that form. That’s really not a bad run. And I’m still very proud of what I was able to do with the Phosphor Dot Fossils DVDs. In terms of what most people probably think of as a documentary, the format may be a little strange (and current and upcoming projects, such as Game Play and The Video Craze, will fulfill the more traditional documentary niche for most folks), but I’m very fond of both volumes, especially the second one.

After Phosphor Dot Fossils relaunches in this format, Best Of CGE ’03 and Best Of CGE ’05 will go digital-only. With those, I have a very specific game plan – you’ll be able to buy the entire contents as a bundle of MP4s or a VWORP!1burnable DVD .ISO file, or you’ll be able to just download the panels you want to see without having to pay for those in which you have no interest. These are already more or less out of print – I have tiny number of them on hand for conventions (2 copies of each) and otherwise they’re burn-on-demand as orders come in.

The same infrastructure will also be used to sell ebooks of VWORP!1, VWORP!2 and my other books. I’m still planning to have physical copies available through Amazon/Createspace and at convention appearances (probably in more limited numbers than in the past).

I’m a dad with a lot of stuff on my plate, and it’s time for me to let this other stuff that I’ve already done make a bit of money for me with less ongoing effort. Think of this as the nephew of the decision to stop hand-coding my pages and switch to WordPress several years ago: it’s a move to spend more time creating and promoting, and less time on back-end grunt work.

So is anything falling by the wayside? Yes, sadly. I’ve made little secret, in recent years, of the work I was doing on getting a video-based webseries up and running. What’s rapidly becoming apparent is that I’ve run out of the kind of time it takes to throw my entire life at a project like that. Much of the material I’d already written for that will be transferred to an upcoming book/ebook; as for the basic outline of doing it for TV or web video, I think it’s still sound. I might get back to it in that form, or I might let someone I trust run with it. Time will tell.

That’s where things stand at the moment. Consider this the shout of “last call!” for Phosphor Dot Fossils in its DVD incarnation. Make way for the future.