Okay so my last post gave me the opportunity to write about my friend Sean’s awesome new business, Murder for Hire. And that was fun. I like talking about the awesome stuff my friends are doing. That got me thinking about some of the other nifty things my friends are doing. I have a really creative and motivated circle of friends!
So I decided I’d collect some of them and share them with the world.* I like highlighting interesting projects. Especially when they’re being created by my friends!** So without further preamble, here are some cool people doing cool things!
Cool People: Lynne and Michael Thomas
I’ve known Lynne and Michael for several years now, and I love them. I have the pleasure of regularly podcasting with Lynne on Verity!, and when they edited Apex Magazine I worked with them both to create the Apex Magazine Podcast (which I still produce). They’ve since moved on from Apex, and the “cool thing” is their next adventure. I’m really excited!
Cool Thing: Uncanny Magazine
I’m tempted to just type “SPACE UNICORN” and drop the mic, but I suppose you’ll need something more than that. Fine. Be that way.
Uncanny is a magazine of science fiction and fantasy. Michael and Lynne are kickstarting it RIGHT NOW. I humbly request you go check it out and see if any of the rewards strike your fancy. (There are some Verity!-related rewards! Do look!) Or perhaps simply the thought of helping create a place for wonderful stories that make people feel and remember will be enough to coax you to open your pocketbook.
I will readily admit my bias: I’ll be co-producing*** a podcast for Uncanny, so I’m invested in seeing it meet its funding goal. But my bias doesn’t make it any less worthy. I’d be stoked for this even if I had nothing to do with it. Michael and Lynne are fantastic editors (hello Hugo nominations!), and I know they’ll bring us some outstanding work.
If you doubt me, take a look at the contributors they’ve already got on board for year one:
Charlie Jane Anders (“Six Months, Three Days”)
Paul Cornell (Doctor Who, London Falling)
Amal El-Mohtar (“The Green Book”)
Maria Dahvana Headley (Queen of Kings)
Kat Howard (“Breaking the Frame”)
Mary Robinette Kowal (Glamourist Histories)
Ken Liu (“Paper Menagerie”)
Scott Lynch (Gentlemen Bastards)
Sofia Samatar (A Stranger in Olondria)
Rachel Swirsky (“If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love”)
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
Bryan Thao Worra
Jim C. Hines
Tansy Rayner Roberts
Not a bad line-up, eh? Well worth a few bucks, right? Right.
Cool Person: Brianna Wu
I only “met” Brianna recently, but she’s already become one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter. And yes, “met” is in quotes because I’ve only talked to her online, but some of that talking was in the form of podcasting–we were both guests on episode 198 of The Incomparable: A Critical Mass of Lady Geeks.
This lady geek knows what’s what. She’s the head of development at Giant Spacekat Games, one of the only (maybe the only?) all-female game development companies in existence at the time of this article. She has done (and is doing) a lot to help women gain a foothold and a voice in the tech community. She’s excellent at pointing out weaknesses in the current system without sounding all man-bashy. She simply elucidates how gender balance (which would be a Very Good Thing for the industry) is currently pretty non-existent, and how women have to deal with a whole pile of shit that men in the industry don’t. Better yet, she offers solid advice on how to change things. (Spoiler: It boils down to willingness to listen, openness to recognizing inherent sexism, and commitment to actively seeking out women for one’s team. It’s not rocket science, but these are foreign concepts to many.)
Don’t believe me? Check out some great articles she’s written recently: in Polygon, “No skin thick enough: The daily harassment of women in the game industry“, and in Macworld, “Eve wasn’t invited: Integrating women into the Apple community“.
See? Told you so.
Cool Thing: Revolution 60
Giant Spacekat Games just released an iOS game called Revolution 60. I’ve only been able to play it briefly,° but I can already see it’s a great game. It features kickass female protagonists, and the game-play is swift, intuitive, and engaging. I’ve seen it described as “an interactive sci-fi movie” (Pocket Gamer) and a “fantastically fresh original vision” (148Apps). I shall disagree with neither description.
Yeah. This game looks super-keen. Oh, and did I mention it’s FREE to play? Yep. Give it a shot. And if you love it so much you want the full game experience, it’s only a measly few bucks. If you’re an iOS-type, go check it out!
Cool Person: Jason Snell
Jason Snell has been called the nicest guy on the internet. I cannot argue with this assessment. Since he first asked me to be a panelist on The Incomparable, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him as a person–a really smart, interesting, talented person. I even got to meet him IRL! He came to Gallifrey One this year.°° So I can vouch for his actual-personness.
I love being a guest on The Incomparable. It’s a general-geekery podcast with a rotating panel of knowledgeable and entertaining nerds. As much as I adore chattering about Doctor Who every week on Verity!, it’s really cool to yammer about other fun, geeky topics. (It’s even more fun when I’m not the one who has to edit it after the fact!)
If you’re a podcast fan, do check out The Incomparable Radio Network. There’s all sorts of geeky goodness going on!
Cool Thing: The Incomparable Radio Network T-shirts
If you’re an Incomparable fan like I am, have I got a treat for you! (Yes, I do listen to episodes I’m not on. It’s not all about the vanity.) If you act soon, you can nab a limited-edition The Incomparable T-shirt! There are three designs to choose from:
“THE SIRACUSA” – The Incomparable logo on a blue background. Stylish!
“THE ZEPPELIN” – The Incomparable zeppelin on a grey background. Classy!
“THE DRAGON” – This one features artwork by Owly’s Andy Runton! It’s based on Total Party Kill, one of the shows on the network, in which several of The Incomparable panelists play Dungeons and Dragons on the internet, for your amusement. I’m actually a player in the current campaign. This fine shirt is based on the previous one.
I’ve already placed my order. You’ve got until August 22nd to follow suit, so hurry!
Yowza. This has gotten longer than I expected. I do have a few more friends-doing-awesome-things, but I think I’ll leave them for another post. In fact, I do believe I’m going to make this a semi-regular feature. As I said, I’ve got a really fantastic, creative group of pals. Seems like there’s always something nifty going on, so why not share!
Sharing is caring, after all.
*By “the world”, I mean “the few people who read this blog”. I’m aware the world is a bit bigger than that. I may be crazy, but I’m not delusional.
**I do want to note that this isn’t a collection of links to random cool stuff like Tansy Rayner Roberts and Jim C. Hines do. Those are great, and I love them, but this is a personal list, so please, no need to send me suggestions.
***With my spectacular spouse, Steven.
°I borrowed my spouse’s ex-girlfriend’s cousin’s iPhone°°° so I could briefly play it while at a barbecue. Yes, really.
°°Yeah, did I mention he’s a big Doctor Who fan? Like I said, he’s pretty great.
°°°For those of you who know us and are wondering why I didn’t just use Steven’s iPhone, it’s kinda on its last legs, so gaming isn’t really workable. Thus, my circuitous route to Revolution 60. Hey, it got me there!