Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Business: The Business Case For Gatekeeping

Today in "This is why you gatekeep, Young Kings", Fail Simone demonstrates why she's not credible for use on a Star Wars project.

This failure of property comprehension is exactly what Lucasfilm's Story Group--and Pablo Hidalgo in particular--is supposed to snuff out like it's Order 66.

If you are the steward of a corporate IP, then it is your responsibility to ensure that every hired gun adheres to the standards you are there to steward. That means writing and maintaining a Setting Bible (something else Lucasfilm failed to do; they rely a lot on fan-run Wookiepedia), and enforcing compliance to that bible's benchmarks. If you don't do it, your audience--your customers--will by closing their wallets, walking away, and letting your goods rot on the shelves- which is exactly what's happening with this property.

Don't tell me this isn't understood in the real world. Marvel's Kevin Feige does demonstrate this with his actions. Gundam and Macross have had decent management in this regard, to use well-known Japanese examples. The various managers for Howard's Conan have likewise varied in competence, but overall it's been good- especially since the '70s Marvel run. The point here is this: if you don't ruthlessly enforce compliance by your hired guns, your guns will shoot up your brand and wreck it. It's bad for business.

Don't hire people who hate you or the property you steward. This includes demonstrating contempt for or ignorance of it in public. That's grounds to discredit and disqualify.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Business: Author Sites As Core Business Element

"The Business of Writing" channel on YouTube is a good one for indie authors to follow as it addresses various parts of the indie author business. This episode covers something I'm taking more seriously this year: your online presence, specifically a website you own and control.

I do recommend giving this one a repeat viewing or listening--you're not missing anything if you just listen vs. watching--just in case you miss some details. This podcast is not one that goes into the weeds; this is practical implementation of proven practices. Caro--the guest--explains why you need to have your own site, and what you have to have on it to make it work as intended as well as maintain legal compliance.

Other things mentioned are good and practical advice for authors in specific niches or circumstances, such as blogging and newsletter styles varying by genre of audience. Carve out the time and give this your attention; then subscribe to the channel and look through the backlog. This is a great resource of free information by people who are putting it, successfully, into practice.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: When SJWs Reveal Their Work Is A Skinsuit

This came over my Twitter feed yesterday.

MarkyX here is doing a very basic thing: pointing out the hypocrisy of an SJW organization (Evil Hat, publisher of Fate of Cthulhu, the game in question) using the work of a man they defame and despise to generate material profit and score social credit and influence within their niche (tabletop RPGs).

This is very much an example of killing a thing and wearing its corpse as a skinsuit to conceal yourself as you go about your business. The most recent version of Vampire:The Masquerade did the same thing, with it being an example of an already left-leaning property (as White Wolf's properties were) into an outright SJW propaganda outlet. The SJWs at Wizards of the Coast have done the same to D&D, to a lesser degree.

Notice the lack of original properties for this purpose. Notice the lack of games based on "marginalized" creators' works, something that others have done (e.g. RPG Pundit and Arrows of Indra) And when called on it, they deflect immediately with rhetorical attacks meant to DARVO the critic into submission. That's the tell that this is about power using the Leftist device of the Frame Game as the means to seize and hold it.

And it relies on somehow avoiding the reality of market economics. The most honest, and ruthless, are down with crashing every endeavor they can- so long as they retain power over the properties in question. The rest cope-think, but all of them ultimately want to make a sinecure of their positions and thereby remove the market from the situation entirely; this is why (a) they want to destroy all competition via convergence and (b) seek to suck at the state's teat instead of do honest work satisfying customer demand.

And make no mistake, these SJWs in small niches hate you just as much--if not moreso--than those in bigger areas of the economy and culture. They still want you dead, and they still think it's both funny and justified. Death Cultists gotta Cult. And if you need confirmation, look at their social media bios; you'll see Muh Pronouns--the big red flag--as often as you breathe.

They hate you. Don't give money to them. Never buy their work digitally, and only buy used print copies if you have to have it at all.

As for why the SJWs in tabletop RPGs are so vicious, it's because they still cannot undermine the fundamental fact of the medium: it's built around decentralization, where the users form self-operating autonomous groups and the will of the designer and publisher cannot be enforced at the table. They want to change that so they can enforce their will, but so far have proven incompetent at the task; may it stay that way. Also, their games usually suck to play and that's another reason for the widespread rejection.

Non-SJW RPG publishers have held on because they don't make games that suck to play. Other gaming media are picking up on this, and the tide is turning, however slowly. But if you need a hope spot, here's Russian Badger talking up DOOM Eternal, and that does look as good as the 2016 game that preceded it.

Monday, January 20, 2020

In Sadness Comes Future Joy

I saw this by email before it went public. Now that it is, I will talk about it.

Superversive Press was a small publisher, one with a mission to bring the Superversive--to build up, not tear down, the culture and all that is good, beautiful, and true--and it is unfortunate that it is now closing due to circumstances beyond Mr. Rennie's control. What else came out of this press's operations--the Superversive Podcast and the group blog--will remain operative for now. Joshua Young, writing at said blog, said it as well as needs be:

It is with great sadness that I bring you the announcement that the owner of Superversive Press has made the decision to shutter the press. His reasons are his own and personal, and I understand that running even a small company is a large amount of work. I would like to thank you, Jason, for all your hard work. It was a good run, and you brought a lot of us together.

Now, with that having been said, Superversive is a movement, not a company, and as authors, we will still be there, pressing forward with our goal of fiction that ennobles and inspires. If you were working with Superversive Press, check with your editors; most are looking at other presses we have worked with. (As we did with the Planetary Anthology.)

Given that the Press does not represent the totality of the movement, it is our intention to keep the website up and running regardless. We are discussing plans to keep the site going as we move forward and are hopeful that, beyond seeing familiar authors in new homes, you will see little change on our end.

The future is still bright, my friends.

It is. The company is gone, but the ideal remains, and the tools to make that real are now easily had. The future belongs to us.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Signal Boost: Shin Super Robot Sunday At RMWC Reviews

For all my giant robot lovers, you should not be sleeping on this weekly series of blog retrospectives over at RMWC Reviews. This is a history of giant robots in Japanese media, from the emergence of the giant robot itself to the tropes that emerged over time as each show or film tried to compete and distinguish itself. This is a new series (as of this post), on Sundays, so you can catch up fast since it just started this month.

And this Sunday's post on The Mysterians shows that the 60s were the time when giant robots in Japanese media were still a thing not strictly defined like they are now. Expect that to change when we get to the '70s and the codification of Super Robots hits like a Big Bang Punch.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

My Life In Fandom: Geek Gab & Jon Del Arroz Talk "Clockwork Dancer"

This week on Geek Gab, the leading Hispanic force in Science Fiction--Jon del Arroz--returns to the Gab to promote Clockwork Dancer, his new Steampunk comic book.

And Jon trolling out the gate regarding Mouse Wars shows he gets this show.

Don't skip the early show; the side talk about Joker getting so many Oscar nominations alone is amusing.

Jon's been hyping his comic all week in his livestreams, and he's hit #1 on Amazon in the relevant category (or categories), so folks are definitely buying it good and hard. He does, being a good self-promoter, recount how he came about this project and what tropes it focuses upon vs his "Steam and Country" series. He's got the hustle, and I respect the hustle.

And now I want to see Nano Templar comic books.