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April 23, 2010

The Skinny on the Last of the First

Here it is again, that time of murder and mayhem, of slaughter and terror, in the month. Killing Time - Horror E-Rag™ Issue 1-6 is available now in the Battered Spleen Productions Store. This is the last issue of the first year of the publication. One of the things that it boasts is an extra long Horror Movie Franchise Discussion and an accompanying review of the movie that was playing in the theatres while I was writing the issue, Halloween Resurrection. The piece of fiction to which the cover belongs in this issue is one of the darkest in Killing Time history, and that is saying something. I hope everyone finds it as vicious and chilling as it was to write. I wish I could point a couple things about it, but you know me, I can't stand spoilers, so you'll just have to dare to read it yourself. Let me say though, that I did my research about the baked goods, and euw!

The other story is a short but sweet one. I'll admit that with this new printing I changed the title to avoid any potential conflict over it. Titles aren't supposed to be trademarkable or strictly protected, but sometimes a famous quote is more highly scrutinised, so I changed the pronoun--which incidentally is an adjective in this case, according to a site I just checked. The article in this issue is "About Time", both in name and subject. The Writing in the Dark is about my all-time favourite writing topic, taint. Now, this is what you've been waiting for... the stunning conclusion to The Lizard of Hallucination. Wow, what a conclusion it is! It's not pride to say that it'll hit you hard and in a way like you never saw it coming. There are two movie reviews this issue, the first is for Jeepers Creepers, and you know the other. Happy reading.

The next issue, 2-1, will be available in June while I take a month off for other projects.

Music: Toast to the Extras by Anthrax.

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April 16, 2010

A Burning Desire in Plastic Sleeves

Here's a question for the creative people out there. Do you ever find yourself wanting to do a project that you know is going to be a lot of work and you might not ever actually finish? You start working on it, you have a to do list in mind, if not written down, and it just keeps growing and growing. The ideas keep coming and swirling about waiting for something to be done with them even though other work has priority. I have this curse in spades sometimes since I write; create 3D art, photos, videos and manipulated images; program and web code; and now and again compose music. I'm also an avid TV watcher across a somewhat broad spectrum--though not everything--and I watch some of the Saturday morning programming so I'm no stranger to the popular collectible card games, though I've never really played any.

There I've tipped my hand on a project that I have taking up processing cycles in my brain. It's wild and unlikely to come to fruition because of the sheer amount of work, but I've been thinking and doing the preliminary work of a card game. Off the wall right? It takes a lot of cards and a lot of art. Worse than that is the requirement for different kinds of art such as characters, locations, assorted types of gear or types of powers. When the best of your art begins with figures and items in a 3D program that are created by others and likely come with a price tag (there are some awesome freebies in a dizzying array that I have been given) creating your own dizzying array of cards is very daunting. This is without designing all of the mind-bending rules that these games require and the loopholes to be avoided. Yet the craving to do this is with me, hard.

Music: The Rift by Vince Neil.

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April 9, 2010

Protect the Parallel Universe

I made a big deal a while ago about adding a new comment engine to my sites. I've had some further thoughts on this, in particular regarding the sister sites TechStop™ and WraithStop™. If you're still not familiar with them I post links to interesting articles, articles that inspire me to write a note about how the contents of the article could be used in my fiction. These two sites also never had commenting available to them prior to this new rollout. I'm beginning to believe that I need further functionality added to those two specific comment engines and perhaps all of them across all of my sites. The function I need is beyond simple to implement, but the implications of which are extremely important. What these comment boxes need is a checkbox and a link to the terms of service. I need legal protection beyond what I've baked into the sites.

The protection I speak of involves that sticky situation where someone mentions an idea and someone else uses it only to be sued by the originator, or often enough people who weren't even the originator. If I read an idea in the comments and then I want to use it, or worse I forget I read it and remember it later as my own idea, then there's trouble, unless the legalese of the site specifically states that all ideas are freely given and belong to the site, a.k.a. me. This of course begs the question of how many people will deign not to leave a comment. It's mostly bunk, like a lot of legal wrangling, but decrying it isn't a defence. By all accounts it's hard enough to defend against copyright infringement threats and to avoid them since there really are no original ideas, only fresher twists or mash-ups of ideas that feel new. That's pretty much a topic for discussion that's all its own.

Here's a little story I like to relate. A year or two before the release of Mr. Murder by Dean Koontz I wrote a long short story that had the same end to the antagonist as Koontz's book. I based my ending on comic book self-healing powers and some PBS special on an animal that burns up its muscle mass to heal or as energy or some such. I don't know what Koontz based his ending on. He certainly never saw my work. He could have had the same sources of inspiration. Either way it was just plain old parallel progression. That's why this is such a terrible thing to deal with, especially if the courts let complaints be too specific otherwise you have a case where like patents, someone could lay claim to the concept of art and everyone from painters to sculptors to authors to movie directors would owe this party money.

Music: Hy Pro Glo by Anthrax.

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Robert G. Male
Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada
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