Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Warning: the following list is more or less bristling with butthurt spoilers about the cinematic spacewreck hilariously known as Star Trek Beyond, so proceed at your own risk.
1) Why didn't the main villain (whose name is simply too stupid and derivative to type) just use his conveniently extended lifespan, extensive technology, and swarm of salvaged alien ships to, you know, to leave the planet?
2) Why was a marooned Starfleet captain blaming Starfleet for not answering a message they obviously never received?
3) Who was the race that originally found the missing piece of the super-weapon, how did they find it, and what were they doing with it before Kirk got it? Since it seems at first to be totally useless, how did they even know it was a weapon?
4) Why did the planet on which Butthurt Supervillain and his pseudo-Jem-Hadar had been marooned have all that deadly technology abandoned on it in the first place?
5) How far did Sulu's husband and daughter travel to meet him at the Yorktown starbase if the Enterprise had already been exploring for three years?
6) Why did Mannis, Butthurt Supervillain's right hand man, show some reluctance to kill Enterprise crew members but seem totally pumped about killing another innocent woman who had been marooned on the planet?
7) Speaking of Jaylah, how did she generate the power to cloak the U.S.S. Franklin for YEARS, right under the nose of a well-armed enemy who also happened to have a boatload of scanning equipment? Is the answer really just that she's awful plucky?
8) And while we're on the subject of scanning equipment, if transmissions can't pass through the nebula, how was Butthurt Supervillain spying on Starfleet? The answer can't be Unnamed Alien Technology, because the original source of his tantrum was the fact that the nebula was preventing him from calling home (presumably, even with all the new tech he'd acquired).
9) I get the red shirt cliche but is the senior bridge crew really so unfazed by the gruesome needless deaths of at least half of their shipmates, easily more than were killed on any previous mission?
10) Scotty says he pulled some strings so Jaylah can enter Starfleet now, if she wants. Never mind the absurdity of not asking her first; is entering Starfleet really as easy as all that? I seem to remember that even supergenius Wesley Crusher had some trouble getting in. (Then again, I guess Kirk didn't.)
11) Regarding Butthurt Supervillain's motivations, even if we accept that he was so stupid that he didn't understand the nature of the nebula he'd just passed through, decided Starfleet had turned its back on him, and plotted revenge... and also conveniently discovered an abandoned fleet of alien ships... why did he sit around doing nothing, decade after decade? If he didn't want to launch his attack until after he'd obtained Unspecified Alien Superweapon, was his plan really to just wait patiently until somebody brought it to him?
12) And is that actually what happened?! I mean, did Kirk really just happen to have the before-mentioned superweapon in a locker, just kinda chillin', after he botched a mission to give it away to a different race that otherwise had no bearing whatsoever on the story?
13) Okay, if Butthurt Supervillain knew said weapon was in a locker on the Enterprise, why didn't he just send someone to steal it?! How did he know Kirk wouldn't leave it behind, or return it to its previous owners, or just toss it out a damn window since it appeared to be useless? Why send an agent to lure in the whole Enterprise and set a complex and costly trap for its arrival, when he could have just told her to pick the lock and take something nobody even cared about?
14) Lastly, whose dumbass idea was it to have the whole cast join in reciting the closing "Space: the Final Frontier" monologue, which sounded like an ultra-cringe-worthy homage to the concluding voiceover in The Breakfast Club?
There are probably even more rants I could rant, but I think that's enough to prove my basic point that this spacefaring version of Fast and Furious has no business existing in a franchise known as much for creativity and philosophical storytelling as for its epic space-battles.
Put another way: Shaka, when the walls fell
Friday, July 22, 2016
For those who don’t already know, here’s how it works: Patterson employs a team of relatively talented but generally witless people who actually write his books, Patterson claims all (or most of) the credit, and the actual writers are paid off in what I imagine are shame-tokens that can only be redeemed for spoiled meat and disease-ridden blankets at Patterson’s general store.
Full message below:
James Patterson is not only the world's best-selling author. He is also the most prolific writer. Together with a team of writer-assistants Patterson releases a new book every two weeks or less.
His work covers various genres, from crime to children's to romance to scifi. His publisher, Hachette, reportedly has a team of 16 employees working for James Patterson and his books alone. He has sold more books than John Grisham, Stephen King, and Dan Brown, combined, 325 million copies.
We're making a presentation of select titles for his team to look at. You never know what doors it may open. Maybe the publisher sees something in your work that others haven't discovered yet. Perhaps your writing style stands out. Last time we checked, James Patterson was using more than 20 other authors to get his books written. Either way:
Today the James Patterson team doesn't know about your book. At least that's something we can change tomorrow.
Go to [AddressDeletedBecauseFuckPatterson] to activate for $22. I will see to it that your book gets submitted to James Patterson's publishing team at Hachette. We'll ask them to consider your work earnestly, and to bring it to the mega-selling author's attention should they feel it is something he needs to see with his own eyes. As we always point out, no success in life is ever guaranteed. But here, for only twenty-two bucks, it seems worth a shot!
Okay, ignoring the fact that serious writers generally labor anywhere from several sleepless months to a whole lifetime to complete a single book, let’s examine the other writers mentioned in this post: John Grisham, Stephen King, and Dan Brown. Regardless of how much you like or dislike the work of these authors, notice anything they have in common? I did: they’re all separate people! We’ve all heard of ghost-writers, aka the people who actually write those celebrities’ and politicians’ autobiographies. What Patterson does is similar, sure, but only if “similar” means roughly the same as “fifty thousand times worse.”
Let’s get back to the agency that actually sent the message. To be fair, said message adds a disclaimer indicating that America Star Books is in no way affiliated with James Patterson. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Patterson is to literature what Donald Trump is to universities. So I’m honestly trying to decide which is worse: James Patterson, a guy who knowingly and actively exploits other people’s creative dreams to an extent that is just barely legal; or the soulless brain-dead leeches over at America Star Books who actually think they’re going to make money off the drippings.
Then again, the worst thing is that their little scam might actually work.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Monday, May 16, 2016
But first, let’s talk about how to make your life easier…
It’s a good idea to keep a template for a cover letter saved somewhere on your computer. Remember, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s the general consensus among editors that cover letters should be short and sweet. After all, this is a cover letter, not an interview. Still, even if you have a template, cut and pasting your cover letter can be tedious, especially if you’re the kind of writer who sends of dozens or even hundreds of submissions. Luckily, Submittable has a feature had allows you to add a template cover letter, which will then be automatically added to every submission (though you can tinker with it before you send your work). Just click “profile”. Then, in the “Bio” box (which, admittedly, should be called something else), simply type your template cover letter.
So all I have to do is add the name(s) of the piece(s) I’m submitting in the “Title” box, tweak the Cover Letter to include the write names, and I’m good.
A growing number of writers have figured out how to amend their profiles so that their bios are automatically included in submissions, but then they submit their work without adding a cover letter. This means that when editors (like me) get a submission, all the “cover letter” box lists is their bio. Why is that bad? Well, for starters, it’s a good way to give an editor the impression that you know zero about their journal, and you’re really just shot-gunning submissions to as many journals with as little effort as possible.
Yes, simultaneous submissions are a good idea. No, editors are not gods who need their asses kissed. But if you’re going to ask someone to consider your work and possibly publish you, this is just the wrong approach. Remember the golden rule when it comes to cover letters: do no harm. Not even including one (unless the journal specifically instructs you to, which almost no journals do) definitely counts as causing harm in the eyes of most editors.
Another Bad Habit:
Maybe this is just me, but I consider it a professional courtesy to inform editors if my submitted work is under consideration elsewhere. That isn’t just a statement of honesty; it also lets the editor know that I checked their submission guidelines to make sure that simultaneous submissions are allowed at that particular journal, meaning that I know a little bit how this process work and I respect the editor’s time and attention.
This is where things get a bit contentious. While most journals (including Atticus Review) do not charge reading fees, a small number of journals do. How small? About three bucks. This is hardly earth-shattering (I spent less at the coffee shop where I sat down to write this), but some writers oppose such fees on principle, while others (myself included) have no problem with them. After all, it’s not like journals are raking in money hand over fist. Financially speaking, most journals are barely scraping by, and most editors (myself included) work FOR FREE. Reading fees are just a small pittance to help keep the lights on. Still, if you have an ideological objection, that’s fine. Submit elsewhere.
If your work is accepted…
…email the editor and thank them. After all, this is something of a partnership and as any couples therapist will tell you, no partner likes to feel unappreciated.
If your work is rejected…
…don’t send hate mail. Seriously. Don’t send hate mail! I get that you’re upset, but no matter how justified you think you are, you aren’t. Think of it this way: remember that time you asked somebody out, they said no, and you were disappointed? Well, did you immediately call them a bitch/asshole and try to make everyone else hate them? If the answer is yes, that’s probably why you’re having trouble getting a date.
If you sent work simultaneously, one of the poems gets accepted, and you need to withdraw it from other journals’ consideration...
...check the journal’s guidelines. Some journals want you to email them, informing them of the withdrawal. Others want you to withdraw the entire submission on Submittable, then resubmit from scratch with the accepted poem omitted. But most journals opt for an easier method: just add a note to the submission, visible to the editors, saying which poem is no longer available. To do this, click on the submission, then click “activity”, and add your note.