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The Gallifreyan Calendar

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August 6, 2013

This started as a gag on Twitter that seems to have garnered some support. Can we make it happen? (Of course not, but it’s fun to imagine.) I originally tweeted:

Let’s rename all the months after the Doctors. Christmas would be on the 25th Capaldi. New Year is 1st Hartnell. Halloween is 31st Tennant.

It can be known as the Gallifreyan Calendar.

“Remember, remember, the fifth of Smith.” Still kinda works.

“Beware the Ides of Pertwee.”

Of course, we have a problem with two months called Baker. So we’ll have to have T’Baker and C’Baker. My birthday is 18th T’Baker. Regarding the pronunciation of those: TeeBaker and SeeBaker. Nice and clear.

The Months of the Year then are: Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, T’Baker, Davison, C’Baker, McCoy, McGann, Ecclestone, Tennant, Smith and Capaldi.

How is that not WAY better than all this January, February, March, etc. rubbish we have now?

A Leap Year will be called a Hurt Year (after John Hurt’s mysterious extra Doctor). Troughton 29th will be known as a Hurt Day.

I’m going to just start using the new Gallifreyan Calendar and let the rest of the world catch up. Who’s with me?

Have a good 6th McGann, everybody.

13 Questions at Joan De La Haye’s place

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July 2, 2013

I’m technically not around this week, but I’m just dropping in to share this little thing. The wonderful Joan De La Haye asked me to answer 13 questions about reading and writing over at her blog. Enjoy!

SFWA, sexism in SFF and missing the point

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June 4, 2013

I really wanted to avoid posting about this. So many other people are addressing the issues very well and I don’t really have much to add. If you’re not sure what’s happening, suffice to say that two old guys who are members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America wrote a piece in the official publication, the SFWA Bulletin, that is astounding in its prehistoric approach to gender and dealing with justifiable complaints. If you want a good breakdown of what happened, Foz Meadows does an excellent deconstruction here (and she includes many relevant links). And honestly, if you throw a virtual dart anywhere near the SFF community online at the moment, you’ll hit something to do with it.

I’m not a SFWA member, although I think I do qualify. I can’t actually be bothered to check. Suffice to say that I’m not really interested in being part of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, as I’m a British-Australian writer. I really wish they would change that A to stand for Association, as they are a global entity in most respects and it would be great to see that reflected in the name. But that’s not the issue here.

It’s also worth mentioning that on the whole SFWA does excellent things and is a great organisation. The current President is John Scalzi and he’s a stand-up guy who is definitely on point when it comes to pretty much any issues rife in the community today. As a result of the Resnick/Malzberg debacle, Scalzi immediately went into action and did two things:

1. “authorized a task force, headed up by SFWA Vice President Rachel Swirsky, to look at the role of the Bulletin within the organization moving forward”;

and

2. “as the person who by our bylaws is responsible for publications, I took responsibility for events and opened up a channel for people to comment and criticize”

Those quotes are from his official presidential statement here. He made them the other way around, but I want to concentrate on the responsibility issue, so I quoted that one second.

That response is an excellent start. And Scalzi goes on to reiterate and clarify how much he’s taking responsibility for the article. He talks about how he didn’t give it a thorough read for content (and as he’s not the editor, that’s no surprise). He says, regarding the lack of checking, “This did not happen. I as publisher gave the go-ahead – and once again, the responsibility for the event, and the offense it caused, falls on me.”

You can read the extensive explanations and apology in the presidential statement I linked above. But this is all missing one really fucking significant point. At no point has any mention been made about Resnick and Malzberg, the men who wrote the offensive article.

It’s all very well Scalzi taking responsibility and apologising, but he’s only really apologising for publishing it. Where’s the apology for writing it? Where’s the promise that Resnick and Malzberg are going to be counselled by the organisation for whom they wrote on just why they’ve upset so many people. If SFWA wants to be seen as responding well to things like this, it needs to try to change the archaic attitudes of the men who are being so offensive. And while it’s unlikely those people will change their perceptions, the attempt must be publicly made. An apology from those people for writing the offensive article would mean a lot more than the apology by the president for publishing it.

It’s quite possible those people have apologised and I’ve missed it. I couldn’t find such an apology. It’s possible the organisation has said it will hold them to task for their offensive article, but I can’t find that either, nor is it part of the official presidential response. Unless an apology is made for the content, SFWA are seriously missing the fucking point of all the outrage. I would really like to be proved wrong here, so please point me in the direction of that proof if you can. I’m quite prepared to accept that I might have missed something.

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Site slightly bolloxed

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May 25, 2013

Apologies all. This site is going through a theme upgrade and there’s going to be a few glitches along the way. Hopefully it’ll all be fixed up ASAP, but we’re only human. Well, barely human.

Everything should still work even if things look a bit wonky.

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How to help an author

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February 7, 2013

You all want to help out the authors whose work you love, right? Course you do. It’s really easy and anyone who’s listened to me crapping on for more than about thirty seconds will have heard this before, but here it is again anyway. Cos it’s important motherflipping stuff and really very simple. Try to make it a habit. In this modern realm of social media, it’s an easy habit to form. Plus, this time it’s presented in a nice graphic.

tumblr mhswu58H9a1rry0wno1 500 How to help an author

Pass it on.

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Ellen Datlow and ChiZine horror anthology Kickstarter

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January 7, 2013

People, pay attention! There are only three days left to get behind this amazing project and it’s already over 90% funded. Editor extraordinaire, Ellen Datlow, is teaming up with ChiZine Publications to put together an unthemed anthology of short horror fiction called Fearful Symmetries, and the whole thing is happening via Kickstarter.

Three things that make this awesome:

1. Ellen Datlow

2. ChiZine Publications

3. UNTHEMED HORROR!

Seriously, an anthology of unthemed horror put together by Ellen Datlow will be amazing, no question.

As it’s being Kickstartered, there are loads of rewards for various levels of contribution, and some of those rewards are simply fantastic.

Go here now: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/191888411/fearful-symmetries-an-anthology-of-horror

Get on board, even the smallest donations help. Let’s make sure this thing happens.

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Awesome friends are awesome

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November 12, 2012

A unexpected parcel arrived in the post today and it turned out to be a generous gift from a caring friend. When something has helped a talented friend and that friend shares it in the hope it helps you, that’s some damned touching stuff right there.

I won’t embarrass my friend by naming them, but you know who you are. Thanks!

Give books, because it makes you awesome. This is what I got:

20121112 231304 Awesome friends are awesome

Stephen King with a truthy truth

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August 12, 2012

20120812 002632 Stephen King with a truthy truth

Goodreads Best Horror Novellas list

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July 29, 2012

You’re a member of Goodreads, right? www.goodreads.com You really should be. It’s a brilliant site, excellent for cataloging your reading. It’s one of the best places to do just about the best thing you can do for authors – rate and review their work.

I’ve said this many times, but it bears repeating because it really does make a difference. If you enjoy a book, spend a few minutes at places like Goodreads and Amazon and rate and review that book. It doesn’t have to be much. Even single lines like:

Great horror novel, highly recommended.

Or

A fast-paced, exciting read.

Anything like that. Along with a star rating, it really helps an author’s work get noticed. And if you like an author’s work, you really want them to get noticed, because that means they’ll build a career and make more work. Everybody wins!

And at the moment over at Goodreads there’s a list of the best horror novellas of 2012. My novella, The Darkest Shade Of Grey, is on the list. If you’ve read it and you liked it, I’d love your vote.

And while you’re there, a line or two in review and a star rating would be extra awesome. The same goes for my other books if you’ve enjoyed them too. I’ll love you extra special hard if you do rate and review my work – all authors love their readers more when they do that.

The Best Horror Novella list is here: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/22066.Best_Horror_Novellas_of_2012

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My kind of lounge room

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May 11, 2012

I want this so badly…

20120511 225023 My kind of lounge room

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The website of author Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter, Author

Author of horror, dark fantasy & sci-fi. Kung Fu instructor. Personal Trainer. Motorcyclist. Dog lover. Gamer. Heavy metal fan. Britstralian. Misanthrope. Learn more about me and my work by clicking About Alan just below the header.

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