The not-entirely-random thoughts of Chris Brecheen about writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Tall, Cool, Frothing Glass of Haterade

By_XxDaimonxX on Deviant Art
(listed as creative commons with attribution)
For some reason, people like watching a train wreck of hate. The online world provides the voyeur the perfect vantage to watch people who like to go to Hater Joes and buy Hater-tots in their old "Hate or Die" t-shirts while listening to "Hater Than Us All" on their iPods, but hurrying home because they want to see the Hate of the Union address.

More than any of the other topics I cover in "The Best of the Mailbox," the hate mail I receive--and my response to it--can be counted on to generate almost shocking numbers (for such a small blog). It's almost as if people find the drama of conflict compelling or something--yes, I'm certain I've read that somewhere.  As hate mail has become "THE BEST of The Best of The Mailbox," I thought it deserved its very own menu. And the more readers I get, the more common hate mail seems to become, so I don't think it's going away any time soon.

Hate Mail (Or LOVE Mail?) My hate mail cherry gets popped. I have arrived!
You're a NoWriMo H8er!
This Unseemly Money Stuff
You're a Mean One...Mr. Chris
Why Don't You Become a "Real Writer?"
You Don't HAVE to Write Every Day! (they insist)
How Could You Pick E-Pub? How COULD You?
You Evil Self Promoter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Mailbox: You Evil Self Promoter!

I know you pay to promote your Facebook posts!

[Remember, keep sending in your questions to chris.brecheen@gmail.com with the subject line "W.A.W. Mailbox" and I will answer each Friday.  I will use your first name ONLY unless you tell me explicitly that you'd like me to use your full name or you would prefer to remain anonymous.  My comment policy also may mean one of your comments ends up in the mailbox. I even reply to world famous detectives.]     

Anonymous (of course) writes:

I am disappoint, Chris...if that is even your real name. Back when I was growing up, my parents (both professional writers, in case you were wondering) drilled an idea into my head: "money should flow TOWARD the writer." They said anyone could publish a book if they spent enough money, but a real writer would make money. But you, you're a faker! A sham! A fraud! 

I deduced that you promote your posts on Facebook, falling into that age old of traps for people to pay to be famous. My first clue was how many Egyptians like your Facebook page. Clue number two was how fast your page grew. Then I noticed that I always saw the links to your blog even if I rarely saw one of your image macros. From there it didn't take me long to investigate how well certain blog posts did. I compared the number of likes over the last few weeks on YOUR posts with comics and other linked post. Clearly there can be no doubt. You promote your posts. Don't bother trying to deny it.

That makes you a fake artist, my friend. How dare you give advice to people about how to make it when you can't even make it yourself without paying to have your posts promoted. 

Good day, sir.

My reply:

Are you fucking for real?

Okay Hercule Poirot, you totally found out about that thing that I was making no effort to hide. While you were doing all this "expert" detective work, did you also notice that promoted posts say "sponsored" right in the post? Cause that would have been my first clue. I totally wrote to Mark Zuckerberg (call him Em'ly Z-man cause we're that close) to see if he would keep that shit on the "DL," but thanks to you meddling kids and your dog, now everybody knows.

Yes, I have promoted some of my posts, and let me give you the reasons for that:

1- It's a brave new world.
2- I take my own advice.
3- I love my family.

1- It's a brave new world. I don't know exactly when "back when [you] were growing up" was, but I'm going to guess that before the rise of social media since you would otherwise be about twelve. And while your being twelve might explain...uh....a few things about your e-mail, you're probably older.

If I go with this assumption, that means you grew up and were given this advice from your parents before the most recent upheaval to the publishing industry and before computers changed...well....everything. Because this was also the prevailing advice for writers when I was growing up and doing a lot of WANTING to be a writer (and a lot less writing) back in the 80s and 90s.

I'm also going to assume you grew up after Cabbage Patch Kids because no one over thirty would use "I am disappoint" non-ironically in an e-mail they expected to be taken seriously....by anyone.....ever.

Back "then," self publishing only meant vanity press, and there were a lot of scams. Not a few dollars to see if you could advertise something, it was more like $20,000 to publish your book and then you still had to buy individual copies. (Though if you're keeping score, John Grisham, published through vanity press and sold his own books out of his trunk at the start of his career.) These days, that advice is as outdated as playing your boom box outside a girls house after she's broken up with you.

Today, they call this "stalking."
What's this world coming to?
Oh all those scams still exist (and there are even a few new ones in the form of "promotional packages" when you do self publishing), but there are plenty of legitimate opportunities as well that have been brought about by computers and the extremely low cost of new printing technology. Self publication isn't the demon it once was, and e-publication has completely changed everything. Self pub is a REAL thing now. Your book gets an ISBN number and everything.

If I've taught you nothing it is that this One True Way™, "holy grail," canon advice path to success through the brambles of traditional publishing will only lead you to Bullshit Mountain. It's one way. It is not the only way. Not any more. That advice is from a time before you could push a button and make fifty copies of something and from back when printing costs meant you needed a 2000-book run to even have a chance to recoup expenses (10k-15k if you're a big six with a bloated legal budget). Today you do a print run of ONE book, sell it for ten bucks, and have enough profit to buy a value meal.

Print-on-demand makes many arguments invalid.

Much like this shark.
Writers who fetishize the validation of a book deal or their big six contract might be fixated on traditional publishing as the "right way," but anyone willing to flip the bird to that "real writer" crap, can make money, be published (in every way that matters), and have groupie threesomes right along with the "real" writers. If you want to join them Poirot, in turning on each other like starving hyenas and competing for fewer opportunities in a retracting and myopic industry that is renowned for its anachronism, elitism, and whitewashed, sexist gatekeepers, be my fucking guest.

Me, I'm okay with ignoring a twenty-years outdated sense of elitist propriety if it means I get to be a writer for a living.

Of course, this brave new world may involve learning some new skills for building up an audience, and those skills might include knowing a little about Search Engine Optimization, self promotion, social media, and how it works. But it's a valuable skill for modern writer, and anyone still picturing themselves as above that "petty ass promotion shit" probably has a very unrealistic sense of what the business of writing is all about anyway.

No writer just sits and writes all day and has their agent whisk their manuscripts off to be published. No working writer's skill set is limited to writing and picking up checks from the mailbox. Not even old guard or megastar writers who everyone wants to be in their wet dreams get to do that, and certainly not anyone starting their career in 2014.

To put this into perspective, your stigma went out with jelly shoes and slap bracelets.

This is how stupid you look right now.  (topshop.com)

2- I take my own advice. I advise writers to live within their means if they want to be working writers. Time is your most valuable asset and having the time to write might mean working less. There's no way to turn down a promotion, scale back to part time, or cut down on hours when living from paycheck to paycheck. Some people don't have a choice in this of course, and I don't want to belittle their situations, but a lot of people spend money in a way that pushes them right up against their means. If they get more money, they quickly spend it on higher car payments, higher rent, higher food bills and more. Then they're right back to paycheck to paycheck.

I can't even FATHOM how I could possibly afford to work fewer hours in order to make time for writing.
take my own advice.

I'm a househusband and a (very) part time instructor and I write. I don't make much cash money from any of these jobs, but I also don't spend much. When it comes to my life, I am not beholden to a consumer lifestyle obsession. I spend almost no money from month to month beyond my needs (except on books and the occasional video game).

I clean the Hall of Rectitude for the Superpeeps. In theory I make $15 an hour, but we have long since abandoned our system of saving receipts and tracking hours because we are family. I won't bore you with the details, but as long as I'm not out using the house Amex card on the really high quality hookers and blow, it's assumed that my expenditures basically even out with the rent and the burritos and the ironic t-shirts, so we don't sweat the small stuff.

Dropping The Contrarian a few months back into this equation means that I'm working even more hours a week at least on househusband/childcare stuff.  So I kind of got a raise. Theoretically. No one writes me a paycheck because we're family, but there is a general awareness that I could spend quite a bit of money before anyone would have cause to complain. And all I do with extra money is save it anyway since I don't have a "real" job with a real retirement account.

I have this opportunity with all this extra money that I don't use because I take my own advice. I live well outside my means, so when the babysitting thing started, I didn't immediately look for a way to have my expenses match.

Now it's possible that I wouldn't have ever spent so much through Facebook if someone had handed me a fat wad of cash for my househusband hours and then forced me to physically relinquish that money. But when it's kind of invisible piles of hypothetical money that would have just gone into savings anyway, it's pretty easy to click a button and wonder "what does this do?" "Hey, let's find out."


3- I love my family. Okay, Poirot, here's where you have to pay extra attention so that you can "cleverly deduce" how well your One True Way™ bullshit holds up when you really look at it.

Every writer has to promote themselves.

Let me say that again.

Every writer has to promote themselves.

It's part of the cost of doing business. In order to find the readers who love your style and subject matter, you have to pique their interest. You want to sit around, writing your stories all day, and never taint yourself with self-promotion? Fine. You will make a dedicated hobbyist. You may write quite well. You may even publish. But without learning the business of writing, you will never pay the bills with your fiction. If you want to do that, you will have to promote yourself. Fact.

Every writer does it. We all have dirt under our fingernails. Cope.

Actually, that's not entirely true. A number of writers never needed to sully themselves with such a thing because they were already independently wealthy (or married money). But for those without the luxury to sneer at writers who dare to tarnish the purity of the craft with their plebeian need to eat and have heat, spending some time promoting oneself is a vital part of being a working writer.

Even in your perfect 1980's, traditional publishing world (which these days resembles Alderaan after its encounter with The Death Star), a writer would still have to promote themselves. They would go around to book signings, and do readings and generate interest in their work. Stephen King still does cross-country book-signing tours even though he could write his name over and over on eucalyptus leaves and have a best seller. I've personally watched NY bestseller authors sign books until their hands blistered--usually for fans who want to point out some continuity flaw in something they wrote a decade earlier. It's a part of being a working writer. Most writers hate it, but their publishers and agents haggle out certain promotional obligations.

Small press? You'll have to self-promote even more! There are more books (even in a small run) than the retailers the publisher contracts with. A writer has to run around and get other bookstores to carry their book on consignment and do readings and hit up everyone they ever knew to buy a copy. If anything an author in small press will be more involved in their own promotions than with a big six.

Heck, a book's launch party is just an excuse to try to sell a few hundred copies to friends and family.

Every writer has to self-promote. A five to ten hour week is a pretty reasonable clip for a serious writer with something to sell. I mean Stephen King might do 10 hours once a week at a full day event with a line of fans out the door (all wanting to tell him why The Stand was his last really good book). Reader McWordy might do four hours, twice a week going to a couple of literary events (one to read at and one to watch because it is considered gauche to only go to literary events when you're reading [and will get you un-invited]), and Oldy Oldschoolson might be walking up and down the city going into every local book store to see if they'll sell books on consignment or host a "Meet the Author." But let's pretend that everyone who is serious is going to be spending the same ten hours or so a week doing something that isn't writing for the express purpose of promoting themselves.

And in case it hadn't occurred to you, a writer is probably likely to spend money during these other promotional efforts doing things like buying lunch (or having a couple of drinks if they go to a literary event), so how does that factor into your flowing money equation, Poirot?

I'm totally promoting my latest urban steampunk vampire novel!
Right now.
It's called networking. Shmoozing. Making contacts?
I'm a writer goddamn it!

Many writers in our brave new world use social media to self promote. Actually it's pretty awesome. They have Tumblrs and Facebook pages and Twitter accounts and they share lots of fun things to get followers and then promote their work periodically once they've gathered all the eyeballs near by. George Takei has a massive following on Facebook and uses it to pimp out his books a couple of times a week. Social media promotion is incredibly effective--even more so than the physical versions of yesteryear--because it can target people who are actually interested in the work an artist is doing.

Social networking is actually time energy friendly compared to many of its physical counterparts as it can be done in a few minutes and leave the writer free to do more writing.

So yes I'm curious about which social media work best and which are sucking my efforts like lampreys. I watch my analytics closely and I know which media are very useful (Stumbleupon) and which are not worth the amazing amounts of effort they require (Reddit/Facebook). I was curious about how a paid promotion might affect my numbers and so I put a modest budget into Facebook to see how it would work. (Turned out, it was great for finding new Facebook followers but took more money than I wanted to spend to affect my blog numbers.)

I gave up on Facebook (ironically after their most recent attempt to get more pages to pay) and now I'm trying my "advertising" budget through Stumbleupon. Again, it's a modest budget of "imaginary" money that I'm kind of entitled to by virtue of all the babysitting I'm doing, but if it jump starts my numbers and helps me gain visibility (which is absolutely the obstacle in the beginning) then it could be money well spent.

You tell me Poirot:

What is the difference between going out and spending five to ten hours a week of self-promoting in the "traditional ways" that are considered to "count" where no money ever "flows away" from the "real writer" and clicking a button that costs me half that time (and gets results that are far better because they are targeted to people's interests)? I'd rather spend the money (earned by being with my family) that then frees me up to spend more time with my family.

Or write or read or watch FFM porn.

Seriously, Poirot, is there any reason other than some anachronistic principle to cling to that outdated advice? Pragmatically, is there some fundamental difference to a writer between the hours spent networking physically and the hours spent watching a baby so that I can network via computers? These aren't $20k scams, conning people desperate to see their name in print; they are measured promotions of a few dollars that may or may not help a writer jump start their career (and can be stopped if they don't work). Is there actually, logistically any appreciable difference between these paths?

And just for the record Poirot, I haven't spent as much money as I've made yet, so money still is flowing toward me. I just happen to reinvest it since, like most writers, I have to have a day job to make ends meet.

The problem with this One True Way™bullshit made a little bit of sense back before the Internet. It was true back when there actually was only one true way.  Now, it's just a lot of bad advice, straightjacketing talented people into thinking there's some "real" way to go about pursuing their passions and nothing else counts.  I hope we writers, as a collective, get the hell over the publishing industry's stranglehold on our own cultural legitimacy. Because it leads to complete sanctimonious cretins like you.

Good day to you, sir.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guest Post: The Man with the Golden Pen

[Please join me in welcoming Laura Shefler as a guest blogger here at Writing About Writing. I hope you all enjoy her elegant, direct prose and poignant story as much as I did.]

The Man with the Golden Pen
by Laura Shefler

How proud I am to have you as a daughter. Something in the circled sentences on the attached page tells me that you haven’t learned one of the most important tricks of the writing trade. I was twice your age before I learned it. If you want to talk about it, let me know.

This was a note that I got from my dad when I was in my mid-twenties and working as an associate editor for the University of Pittsburgh’s alumni magazine. Written on a piece of dad’s mini-stationary, the message came stapled to a photocopy of an article had written for the latest issue. He had indeed circled a couple of sentences, and I couldn’t see anything wrong with them.

Pitt Magazine was a vehicle for public relations fundraising, yes--and a publication with high literary standards, if I do say so myself. We worked long, intense hours, the editorial staff, most of us graduates of Pitt’s equally intense writing programs, rewriting, clarifying, polishing, banging out heads against the wall to try to dislodge a witty transition or sparkling headline. Only years later did I realize that not everyone has to put in that much effort to earn a living.

Anyway, my dad’s note was a clear violation of the agreement that he and I had reached that he would stop pulling his golden Cross pen from his shirt pocket and marking up my already-published articles. When he did this, I felt tortured. In those days, I was simply excited to have written something. Even more importantly, I had said something about the importance of some professor’s stem cell research or the tension at a campus event where US Vietnam War veterans had met with a visiting veteran of the Viet Cong. (The Americans were asking the visitor about months and years and places, trying to figure out, in all earnestness, whether they and he had been trying to kill each other.) At that point in my life, I wanted acknowledgement for my content rather than tips about style.

But I have so much experience, he had pleaded with me. I just want to give you what I have to offer as an editor.

I already have an editor, I answered. I need you to just be a dad.

It was true that he had a lot to offer a young writer. From his Depression-Era, no-heat, dandelion-leaf-eating, outhouse-using urban childhood, he had made himself into one of Pittsburgh’s best-regarded corporate writers. The vigor of his prose, along with the relatively lavish business culture of that age, enabled him to command an hourly rate that I will never see, even after decades of inflation.

He wielded an elegant and encyclopedic fluency with grammar and style, and I took to heart the five-page memos he used to hand me when I was in high school on issues such as comic timing, the pros and cons of the Oxford comma, and the proper use of that and which.

All the same, this unexpected note, sent through the U.S. postal service even though we lived only a few miles apart and saw each other once or twice a week, made me scream with aggravation when I read it. In the privacy of my narrow apartment kitchen, I doubled over with the kind of family-motivated rage that I knew was better to exaggerate than repress. I let loose with the kind of obscenities seem to be required for a guest post on this blog, but I’ll leave them to your imagination.

In general, I believe that writer should receive feedback with grace and maturity. Accordingly, I went to next day at work and gracefully, maturely yanked his subscription to the mag.

Six months later, though, he mentioned that he hadn’t been getting his issues, so I put him back on the mailing list. We worked out a new arrangement, where he would do his editing right in the printed magazine and then put them on a shelf in a seldom-used small bedroom. I was free to look or not look at what he had done. Eventually, as I grew more self-assured, I did check his suggested changes.

Most of the time, his edits were dead-on. Other times, where he was applying out-of-date standards, overly formal for magazine writing, I could see the reasons for his not-quite-appropriate advice and shrug it off as no big deal. Still, I never asked him about the circled sentence on the attached pages. I needed him to know that I was serious about my boundaries, and so one of the most important tricks of the writing trade went with him to the grave.

Ultimately, though, the most nurturing gift that my father offered me as a fellow writer was his jealousy. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott writes eloquently about the green-eyed loathing that one writer feels for the success for another. My corollary is that being on the receiving end of the envy provides shameful, delicious satisfaction.

One day he just came out with it, my dad. He, too, was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, as were many of his old friends, and they, too, got Pitt Magazine. (And so did most of the educated folks in the city. You know you’ve made it in the ‘Burgh when your doctor’s receptionist recognizes you from your byline.) Some of them were also writers. One was a Third Circuit federal judge.

They were phoning him, my dad finally informed me, and leaving messages on his answering machine about how much they were enjoying my writing. Why, my father blurted, aren’t they leaving messages about my writing for me? Consummate bluffer that he was, he could have hidden his feelings, but he chose to share them, for my benefit, I’m pretty sure.  Confiding in me, albeit in this plaintive tone, was his way of letting family bonds take precedence over collegial rivalry.

Still, in my imaginary Hall of Fame for difficult relationships, Father-and-Daughter and Writer-to-Writer wrestle for the title of Most Fraught, stirring up a ruckus in my soul.  It’s a good kind of ruckus, though—a resource for me as a writer, an inner thrashing that works through me, enabling me from time to time to throw a few energetic words onto a page.

[Laura Shefler is a writer, artist, writing coach, and tutor in Albany, CA. She blogs about life forces, creative processes, and the occasional identity crisis at Title to Come (http://laurashefler.net/blog). She also plans to stop procrastinating and get a better blog title, really, really soon.]

If you would like to guest blog for Writing About Writing we would love to have an excuse to take a day off a wonderful diaspora of voices. Take a look at our guest post guidelines, and drop me a line at chris.brecheen@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Quite the Week of Pushing Back

It's been quite a week.

My time is mine!  Damn it!

I'm still struggling with my new schedule and how behind on everything I constantly feel. I'm fiddling with the knobs, but it's slow going. Unsupportive Girlfriend is constantly asking me to do stuff, and now I'm equally likely to be cornered by The Brain and asked if I will do quick child care for The Contrarian. I don't think the two of them really understand how much the other is asking of me and how quickly that time adds up. There has already been some angst as I pushed back on a few scheduling issues already, and at least one attack by giant preying mantises has been completely ignored out of spite, allowing them to destroy a city block in Berkeley before they were stopped by some second rate vigilantes and Bug Dude. There was a really good Mexican place there too, so I'm a little upset.

Writers have to be savage about their writing time. It's not enough to schedule it; they have to be ready to defend it as well. A working writer might be able to disappear during regular day hours, but most writers (even those working ones) have to be fiercely protective of whatever time they spend writing. It is (essentially) all their free time and all their social time and all their not work/not sleep time taken up by one activity. They have to guard it from "fun" and people with the best of intentions and "can't you just do this one thing" and "what if you knew this was coming ahead of time" and even from chores and bad time management, and their bimonthly lament that they could be getting laid a lot more if they just socialized more.

My life is usually punctuated by the reactionary swing to letting frivolities eat away at my writing time. Then, one day there is one last violent head twitch and I go artistically feral. I leap up with a great cry, stand rigid on a table or something with a swirling aura of "Do. Not. Fuck. With. Me." surrounding me (and my pen) and I tell the next person who tries to encroach upon my writing time that they're going to learn why during my brief flirtation with being an anti-hero, I was named "The Shiv."

I've been pushing back a lot lately. It's not that I can't handle The Contrarian. It's that some other people think that I can just drop 25+ hours of watching a baby into an already impacted schedule and nothing else is going to change. The gnashing of teeth as I push back is pretty gnashtacular around here. Especially once we realized there was no more really good Mexican food.

I got mugged on Saturday.

Well...that's not true. Someone tried to mug me on Saturday. They were big (which to me is anyone over about 5'10"), but they were also drunk, and I managed to knock them over and get away. I don't usually get profiled by the professional criminals. (Though some day I know someone's going to pull a gun and I'm going to just be out an iPhone and some cash.) So far (five times in my life) it's just been idiots who thought I looked like easy pickings and ended up with a fat lip or a bruised cheek for their trouble. They don't know that I actually spent a chunk of my twenties in a dojo hoping to be a professional martial artist, and that my reaction to the fight or flight instinct may be ridiculous for someone who's 5'6", but it at least tends to have the benefit of surprise.

Unfortunately, even smacking a mugger and knocking them over can be unsettling. Adrenaline dumps and paranoia have marked most of my weekend. I didn't mean to hit him as hard as I did (he kind of helped me by running toward me), and I kept replaying the event in my head through most of Sunday, wondering if I could have used less force to get away. Half my friends were cheering me on ("You show that asshole, Chris!") but in my mind, I am a gentle person who abhors violence. I don't even like to actually fight crime (which is why I do things for the Hall of Rectitude like raise baby superheroes and write our promotional materials). It's actually a little unsettling to me that I go all Borne Identity--even if it's on bullies.

Plus I'm just imaginative enough that of COURSE there were roving bands of this guy's friends scouring Oakland looking for me and no where was safe. I went out on principle, but it kind of sucks to feel unsafe in one's own neighborhood.

I've finally had enough of Facebook's shit.

Tuesday Facebook's latest attempt to leech ever more money from its program rolled out. My organic reach for posts went down to something like 30 people. My Facebook page (I refuse to link it) has been liked by nearly 14,000 people, but only 30 of them see a post if I make it. That's less than one quarter of one percent for those playing our home game.

Facebook is doing this to encourage admins to pay to promote posts. Massive whale companies like McDonalds and Nike use social media essentially the same way I do (for promoting their products) but they do so on a gargantuan scale and post mostly advertisements (not content). Even at 1% organic reach, if McDonalds has 5 million likes (which they can get by running promotions) a post of theirs will be seen by 50,000 people--that's basically a free commercial. So FB has (again) reduced the organic reach of a Page's post to less than 1% of the page's members to try to encourage companies to run paid promotions if they want their posts to be seen by more people. Unfortunately they have designed no tiering system to distinguish major companies from little pages like mine, and no way to separate content providers from advertisers.

Because of course there is no difference between Writing About Writing and Coca Cola.

So a Page like Betty's Homemade Muffin Shop in Alameda that has 450 followers (who signed up to be notified of The Muffin of the Day) will post their daily special now, and it will be seen by only two or three people (unless they promote the post). And a page like mine will be seen by a couple dozen even as I work for hours a day to find new memes and comics and such.

Used to be I would get about 80-100 views when I posted something and a couple dozen more for every like or comment or share. I didn't know for sure if that was worth the effort. Now it's down to less than 30.

It was just the last straw.

The whole idea of my efforts on Facebook has been to offer memes and comics and fun stuff so that the cross posting from here doesn't seem quite so aggressive. The dog and pony show was intended to bring in a few more eyeballs even if most people thought "Well, I like these great puns and wonderful jokes, but fuck that guy posts his stupid blog like two or three times a day!" However, if only twenty people are going to see it when I try to post something amusing, it's not a time sink that's worth it to me. I also sometimes spend money to promote high profile posts (which I will be writing more about on Friday when I deal with some hate mail about it), and I sent Facebook a nastygram saying that they wouldn't be getting any of my money anymore. They just pushed too far.

They are un-wiped assholes.

So this week's theme, if it had such a thing, would be "The week we fought back!"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Poll: Best Modern Science Fiction Series

What is the best modern science fiction series?

Our April poll is live. Please go vote! Or look your grandchildren in the face and tell them that you had the chance to make a difference, but you chose to go eat out at the Sizzler instead.

Using the write in nominations from all of you, we have eight names that have made it to the poll.  A few others were nominated but they didn't get anyone to second them, so they didn't make the poll. Let this be a lesson not to forget to come back and second the worthy nominations. We had a lot of good series that didn't get a second and thus didn't make the poll.

Since it's a smaller poll, each of you will only get 2 votes. However, I have discovered a logistical...flaw with "Polldaddy" polls. The IP tracking resets after 1 week.  So...in theory, you can vote multiple times. If you really care about a title, vote early, vote often.

The poll itself is down at the bottom left of the side widgets. It is long and black.  Awwwww yisssss.

Oh and give Diskworld a break; the nominator knew it probably wasn't actually science fiction, but I like to err on the side of inclusion. If you don't think it "counts as sci-fi," just don't vote for it.