I Don’t Like Doing Open Floor Posts

But I’m deathly allergic to household dust, and we’ve spent time at the other house WITHOUT CLEANING it (and haven’t vacuumed/dusted here ) I think I have a — mild — cold caught from my husband who caught his at Comicon. But on top of that, serious allergy symptoms that do things like blister my arms and make my palms into raw flesh.  Which means sleep isn’t happening much.  SO…

I’m going to do an open floor here and a BPF at According to Hoyt.

Meanwhile my husband keeps saying I should do collections of best-of posts from both blogs.  I’m open to suggestions as to which posts should go where.

116 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Doing Open Floor Posts

  1. Fluffy has volunteered to ‘fix’ the old house for you. Does your insurance cover Acts of Dragon?

    1. Serious note – wish I lived closer. I’d be over with the vacuum and buckets (plus three kids that like your work).

      My allergies are bad, but not that bad. Can’t imagine it.

  2. What typically causes “dust allergy” is not dust, but dust mites (or more accurately, their fecal matter), which live in dust and eat human detritus. One of the biggest accumulation points is the ordinary mattress, because they fill up with shed human skin cells, which in turn feed hordes of dust mites. It can help a lot to leave your bed wide open (NOT tidily made) so it thoroughly dries out before its next use.



    1. The mattress is not there anymore. In this house I think it’s more wood dust (VERY old Victorian, closing in on 120 years) and exhaust from the busy street outside.

  3. So does an open floor mean that anyone can just stroll over here and say just about anything…? Or are there secret constraints that the uninitiated are liable be relentlessly mocked for not knowing about in advance…?

    1. Those aren’t constraints, those are features. Knowing all about them in no way protects you from relentless mocking.
      Personally any day I’m not mocked at least twice on one forum or another is a day ill spent.

    2. Since everything from word choices, to typos, to hat styles can result in mocking, we keep a wet-vac close at hand, for when the floor gets too mocked up. Try not to slip in the mock, but feel free to grab a rake and do some mock-raking of your own. 🙂

    3. Welcome to the madhouse.

      As for the local secrets: Be nice to the penguins 🐧; watch out for flying carp 🐟; and meddle not in the affairs of drag—🐉

      ulp› Ahem. The secrets will remain secret.

    4. On a more helpful note…

      Since this blog shares much of its readership with Sarah Hoyt’s According to Hoyt, much of the official AtH FAQ and BBQ will be relevant here.

      Otherwise, Jim Baen’s rule applies (“Don’t be a butt-head”), except the moderators might declare open-season on the occasional troll—such tasty chew-toys they make!

  4. The Star Wars/Star Trek francises have had a great run, but it’s time to just let them go with dignity and move on to other things.


    1. I think the prequels mad it way too late for dignity for Star War.

      Star Trek could probably walk off stage with dignity although Into Darkness started it down a prequels path IMHO.

    2. I’m inclined to agree.

      Both have told some great stories in the past and have entertained us for years. They have also brought in new fans to SF.


      The writers are only recycling old plots, without bothering to file the numbers off.

      I was less than impressed with the prequel series for Star Wars. Plus I noticed a couple of places that annoyed me since they seem to contradict what we were told in SW. (Most of it involves Obi Wan)

      The less I say about the ST reboot the better. Plot holes big enough to take the Enterprise herself through were just the tip of the iceberg. (I was on record as utter one of my worst insults: saying that *I* could have done better. [eye roll] ((Depending on my mood, I tend to think I either write “ok” or “drivel”.))

      It is time to bring in something new. By new I mean just that. Not some recycle of Marvel or DC or anything else that has already seen its day. What I don’t know. But something that calls to the dreamers.

      1. The problem with rebooted movies, franchises that go on forever . . . the people in control change. Not always for the better.

        We’ve talked a lot about message fiction, and how the author’s personal beliefs will always be there. Even when subtle, even when trying to avoid message. Same with movies. The driving culture of the directors and producers changes the final product. _Especially_ when they are trying to inject it.

        I don’t read comics, so I get to skip the whole “But that’s not right . . . ”

        The first time. _Then_ I’m right there going “Wait, what the heck did you just do with Bruce Wayne’s back story?” “Umm, Hello? Spiderman without MJ?”

        Star Trek and Star Wars, same same. Possibly more subtle . . . sorta. Ugg. Well, we’ll see what Disney has for us.

        But I really want new, interesting stuff. Oh sure, from books, comics,. anime, games, written from scratch for the screen, or whatever. But _new_ to the silver screen, please. Not another remake or reboot to fit a new director’s “brilliant twist.”

        1. Alexander Dumas. Every generation or half generation or less MUST redo The Three Musketeers or The Man in the Iron Mask. Jedi are at least as powerful as Musketeers.

        2. In this vein, Jurassic World may work as commentary against the whole endless movie thing. Corporate decisions for bigger and better lead to disaster in a film that’s supposedly bloated and the worst of the franchise.

          1. It’s hard to imagine how it could possibly be worse or more bloated than THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK. Then I remember: 1997. Other than the original MEN IN BLACK, most have blocked the majority of the films released in 1997 from their minds completely.

        3. I’ve gotta say it… ST Voyager was my favorite of the series. And it checked just about every one of the SJW boxes – but they were believable characters.

          I think it skipped the “homosexual” box, but others can feel free to remind me of things. I blank out on the “romance” scenes in all of them (except, for some strange reason, the few with Robert Picardo’s holodoctor character).

          1. Ah, yes: the show with the episode where the crew escaped a black hole by slipping out a crack in the event horizon. Then again, I also wonder why SW Stormtroopers, who are supposed to be highly trained military, can’t shoot worth a #$%&.

            1. They are clones whose original is dead. Episode 2 troopers wwere crack shots. 20 years later they were third or fourth generation copies unable to aim. In fact the Rebellion was unneeded at in another decade the Imperial stormtroopers would have whiped themselves out in a circular accidental weapons discharge.

        4. Spidey without MJ is perfectly possible given Gwen Stacy. But you do need one of the two. It’s why I wanted an AMS3 actually, because that would have introduced both MJ and Black Cat. Instead here comes reboot time

        5. It’s why leftism kills art. It’s not so much that the story has a message, gets political, or deals with a social trope, but that group think meand it’s ALL going to be pretty much the same message, politics and tropes. And that’s even without the harpies flinging feces at any creative type (::cough::: Joss Whedon::) whose story is Insufficiently Committed to the cause.

          As in, “yes, we know! You have Daddy Issues. I stopped caring 40 movies ago.”

  5. Readers and reveiwers who Just. Don’t. Get it.

    They read Lord of the Rings and think it’s derrivitive of Eragon.

    They read Lovecraft and think it’s derrivitive of King and Koontz.


            1. I got nothin…

              Well, wait a minute – can we hire him to do some work on tor.com? Might actually make that place entertaining…

        1. We could fire at each other from Alberta and Colorado. Might be hard to hit anything.

      1. I’m not sure even here in Atlanta I’m outside of the blast radius that one is going to create.

          1. Admittedly I could’ve been trolled, and I just tossed out the most obvious examples.

            There’s also stuff like: why weren’t there rubber-faced aliens on Firefly, and it’s too much like a Western (when that was the whole idea). And: those Elves/vampires are all wrong, they’re supposed to be aristocratic and such (yeah, but the ones in this book are modeled after the wicked/dangerous/non-sparkly variety).

            Terry Goodkind is so original with the themes he’s introducing in his books! (some of the most derrivitive message-fic I’ve ever read, if I can manage to scale the walls of text of Richard’s speeches)

            Silly fantasy readers don’t apprecitate the literary symbolism and tricky points-of-view of Ishiguru’s Buried Giant! Why, they’ve probably never seen anything like that (um…GENE FREAKING WOLFE)

            Basically Nostalgia Critic’s whole review of Last Action Hero, when he

            1. -when he didn’t know it was a satire of action films.

              Sorry, hit ‘post comment’ too soon.

              1. It was a TERRIBLE satire, though.

                See, people try to defend that film to me, but I saw it on the weekend of its release. It took a golden plot idea and wasted it on gags that had already been done countless of times before.

                A pity, as it has a truly flawless cast.

                1. I think I should’ve called it parody. That’d be more accurate.

                  I confess, I liked it.

                  1. I don’t mind if people like it. I personally love Moulin Rouge, while recognizing it’s a massive mess.

                    I just feel the whole “pointing out the flaws and bothersome elements in fantastic action series” thing has been handled a lot better, before and since.

                    LAH tended to rely too much on what became the bane of another genre in the first decade of the 21st century: Pointing out that something exists. Period.

                    “Hey, character actors being typecast is something that exists.”

                    “….okay…where are you going with that?”

                    “Oh, nowhere.”

                    It tends to grate, once the novelty wears off or the charm of the performers runs out.

                    I mean, some of the greatest movies of all time set out to satirize what came before. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN aimed affectionate jab after jab at the old Hollywood musicals. And people justifiably love it. Because that type of thing works best when the movie is itself a great example of the thing being poked.

                    On that level. it just doesn’t work so well.

                    Still, I own a copy for my “flawed but interesting” film pile. 🙂

            2. To be fair if you survey Tolkien, Lovecraft, Heinlein, Howard, and Wolfe you’ve probably got a “done first” example for everything in the broad field.

              I read the Firefly is a Western in a variant form: it’s funny Whedon made it explicitly a western because all science fiction is is westerns with ray guns (idiot was younger than me and understood sci-fi in a state that was barely true 40 years before I was born if then).

            3. Oh, and given I encountered a “Paul McCartney had a band before Wings?” tween in the early eighties I guess some of these are possible.

              1. Worse was the “I didn’t know that Paul McCartney quit Wings and formed a group called the Beatles” Wish it was a joke.

            4. Since “Last Action Hero” consistently gets rated as one of Schwarzenegger’s worst, it was apparently far too sophisticated for the average reviewer. No smiley.

              It’s sort of like the reviews of Gran Torino that boil down to “old raciss dude commits suicide.” If there’s a sound of one hand clapping, there must also be a sound of “point passing by, 30,000 feet and climbing…”

              1. “reviews of Gran Torino that boil down to “old raciss dude commits suicide.”
                What!?! I am sooooo glad I never saw those.

                I am usually one of the last people to notice subtle undertone in movies (or books for that matter) but I noted the overlapping stories being told in that movie. Complex plot, rich characters that grow as the story progresses, external conflict, internal conflict, distancing bordering on abandonment, irony – – and all they saw was Clint’s character being bigoted against his neighbors in the beginning. Fools!

                Oopps, sorry, as you might have guessed, I really liked GT.

  6. Honest question for the bloggers in general and Sarah in particular:

    1. Why do you try to keep to an every day schedule instead of something like M-W-F to avoid the issue of nothing ready?

    2. Is a repost of an older topic actually more useful than a no post?

    1. 1. Because we are ravenous hordes who must be fed on pain of whine.
      2. Absolutely. Many haven’t been around all that long, and some topics we shall always have with us.
      3. An open post such as today both lets us know Sarah is still among the living, and gives a platform for the strangest topics that may later be expanded into a full blog post.

      1. I wasn’t clear in that I was kind of asking why a re-run instead of an open post at ATH as well. And does it has to be an explicit open post or just a “hey, no post today due to Dragons” or some such?

        1. I really liked the rerun post. I may have read it before but it was a really good reminder not to get overly fixated on the wrong things. It could probably apply to my personal issue over names. It’s taken me a long time to get past neeeeeding to have the right name or I can’t go on. But really, I could name everyone from the top 50 baby names from 1950 and it would be just fine.

          1. This had nothing to do with the specific blast from the past. I only started reading AtH about a year ago so they are usually new to me (unless I linked back earlier for some reason).

            If you want the real reason for the questions is long ago I regularly blogged and never built up an audience and it went fallow. I’m trying to understand blogging better in case I start up again.

            1. Here at Mad Genius Club, it’s a daily thing because this is a group blog. I will *looks around* let slip that we will shortly have another contributor who will alleviate Sarah needing to post twice weekly. A very good thing right now!

            2. I’ve read about a third of the archives so far. There are several I missed commenting on, so I welcome the chance to do so.

        2. Really… Even if it was amorphous alien entities named Fred, Harold, Janice, and Anne.

          1. You asked for it…

            Fred, Harold, Janice, and Anne took off their faces and split the skins. Then as they dripped to the floor, they started to talk about why it just hadn’t worked.

            “It was the burping!” Fred wailed.

            Harold shuddered, which was very noticeable in a 200 pound pile of tapioca slowly slumping to the floor. “Oh, burping! But what about … what about … breaking wind! I mean, eat some beans, digest a while, and then … stand back!”

            Janice swirled a melting hand through her epidermal layers, and wiggled as the wobbles shivered across her. “Yeah, but you didn’t have to put up with being mashed. Talk about silly positions to get into!”

            Anne shook her head, or at least the lump that used to be her head. It was quickly settling into her body. “Burping, flatulance, dominance. Nothing near the heartbreak of soap operas. Did you ever get stuck in a group that was talking about their favorites? For hours!”

            The four piles of goo softly subsided, gently crossed their surface tensions and released into each other, and started wiggling. Right there in the middle of the floor, with their skins and faces still hanging on the walls around them.

            The grey goo mobile swooshed quietly as it drifted off into the darkness between the stars. Fred, Harold, Janice, and Anne were just shells of themselves, with their true goo exposed.

        3. Well, I’ve always felt than anything less that “you shut the hell up!!!” was an open invitation to jump right in and offer my lucid and erudite comments.
          Thread drift, nah, just a natural progression of the conversation.
          Can’t speak directly for Sarah, but It’s been my observation that she doesn’t just pluck these re-runs randomly, but with some regard towards pertinence though that might be inspired by a comment two blogs over or some remark on her Facebook page.
          Ultimately, her house her rules, I’m just proud as punch to be allowed to hang out here.

        4. An open post in one place consolidates all the suggestions.

          And reruns are good, both as reminders and for newcomers who have feared to lose too much time in the archives. But a brief “Can’t post today, cleaning up after Orc attack” might break the monotony as well.

    2. John Hawkins over at RightWingNews, back when he blogged there regularly (It appears to be an aggregator now, and he does articles elsewhere), wrote an article that basically said, “Post every day, no matter what, if you want your blog to flourish.” He’s probably right.

      1. Anything published in 2015?

        Sabaa Tahirs Ember in the Ashes, Claire Norths Touch, Novik’s Uprooted, all are very good IMO.

        1. I’ve read nothing this year published this year. I take that back, I’m reading a 2015 book right. Despite it being a series I always buy new and ASAP it isn’t Hugo material. It’s bubblegum urban fantasy. I don’t mean that as an insult as that’s why I read it.

          This not reading this year’s books isn’t new. I’ve had a bad time until the past 12 months or so when I found AtH and through it MGC and the other authors on it. I’ve been reading more new material (defined as less than 5 years old) since then via indie at Amazon but I think they’re still 1-3 years old.

          I take my take back back. I’ve read another 2015 book but it’s not SF/F (although it’s a kind of fantasy) and not appropriate for a family blog to discuss.

        2. Tuesdays with Molokesh the Destroyer. It got DQ’ed from this year’s Hugos for being published just over the deadline. I read it, and it’s a lovely little short story, with one of the few teenage characters that pulled off being true to teenagedom without me wanting to not have anything to do with them.

    1. Ryk Brown’s “Netcast Zero” for Novellette
      “Boku no Hero Academia” for Graphic Novel

      I hold out hope for Sanderson and Butcher’s fall releases for novels and Tom Simon’s upcoming “Style is the Rocket” for related work, but right now, it’s been a slim year. YMMV.

      1. What does Butcher have for fall…last I heard the next Dresden was slipping to 2016.

  7. Quit saying the lack of eagle transport was a plothole in Lord of the Rings. It wasn’t.

    As far as I’m aware, eagles in the Third Age only respond to Gandalf, and they only help him when they feel like it. So when was he supposed to use them? The Fellowship only meets him again at Rivendell. Was he supposed to call them to carry them all the way over the mountains? Even if they would, what if they were spotted and caught in that storm that was brewed up for them?

    And after Moria, Gandalf was separated from them, and when he rejoined Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas he didn’t know where Frodo and Sam were, so he couldn’t send them to the pair until he knew where they were: at Mount Doom after getting rid of the Ring.

    So quit it with the ‘Eagle plothole!’

    1. I could be wrong, but I believe the appendix mentions something to the effect that since the Eagles are direct agents of the Valar, them acting openly against Sauron would be taken as a sign that the kid gloves are coming off and both sides would tear the mortal world apart with the unspeakable powers unleashed.

      Something the Istari were kind of sent to prevent from ever being an option.

      So, yeah, not a plothole, they just need to read the supplementary material.

  8. I do have a some what serious (given value of serious) question. How do you who are writers find the time to keep up with a 40+ hour day job, family, news/blogs, reading and your writing?

    I’m going half insane just trying to keep with the first three, the last two keep slipping. -sigh- I can’t quit day job – it pays the bills. Family, well its family – can’t do much about them. News/blogs, yeah I could cut those down, but I’m also trying to learn from experienced writers. (Never mind the obligations to certain philanthropic groups)

    1. Thirded…it’s less writing for me than music but I think the general strategies are the same.

    2. Easy – I haven’t got a 40+ hour day job. I just run two businesses and go to school full time.

      Um. More seriously, it’s a balancing act. Dedicating a certain amount of time to each thing, and triaging my list of to-do, must-do, and AUGH! goes on daily, sometimes hourly. I’m also guilty of not managing my time well, and shorting my family of me, which I have to be careful about. I tend to be driven to work, because it’s very important to me to take care of my family.

    3. I have a 40+ job and a commute. Except for NaNo, I also have a tiny block of time, about 30 minutes, in which I can review and edit, or draft 500 words. I get to do that at least five days a week, usually right after dinner. My husband is now used to it, and the kids are in college. In that 30 minutes, you can get a lot done. I finished a first draft of something doing 500 words a day in a little over two months when it didn’t get completed during a NaNo. Knowing all you get is 30 minutes makes it imperative to do something in it. Thinking you have six hours might let you go start the laundry, and then lunch, and then, etc.

      Also, there’s NaNo, which I’ve waxed rhapsodic about all too often.

      Lest you think my kids’ absence explains the ability to fit things in, I’ll say I started writing again when they were ten. It took me years to finish my first book because I didn’t work on it more than I worked on it. The second one was faster, and the third the fastest of all. I published it yesterday! I did the first draft in November during NaNo, and then that 30 minutes a day got the rest. And wonderful beta readers.

      Also, doing whatever writing allotment you’ve got first, before everything else you’re supposed to do, really helps.

      1. I never thought that 30 minutes would be enough. Perhaps that is my first mistake. I keep wanting to get “at least an hour” and on nights when I am tail dragging after a 9 to 10 hour day, an hour is simply not possible. So I end up goofing off on the net. (mail, blogs, fb, etc.)

        Roughly 30 minutes each to e-mail/blogs, Nile, and writing = 90 minutes +/-

        That might be doable.

        Thank you. Between you and Cedar you’ve given me some things to think about, see what I work out. 🙂

        1. And the other thing is, no looking at blogs or email once home until you’ve done your x amount, whether it’s word count or time. That really drives me to get things done. 🙂 (I’ve mixed the metrics of the day job with the draconian approach I took to parenting. (I worked part time for many years so that I could annoy my children properly.))

          1. This fun word called Discipline. The other side is telling my sister that no, I don’t want to come watch that movie. -sigh- Even if it is Spaceballs.

            Yeah, I need to relearn that word.

            1. Mind, I’ve been terrible for the last few days, just checking my numbers all evening. I figure I get to be an idiot for seven days and then it’s back to work.

    1. “Gives in to reactionaries”. The only reactionaries I see are the ones screaming their heads off today.

        1. I noticed a few Puppies in the comments. That would be the reason why some people are so enraged by the comments. Frankly, we should be regulars at places like Tor.com. Disengaging is one of the things that allowed the Left to assume ascendancy over the media and pop culture. Time to remind them we exist.

          1. It’s the disadvantage the live-and-let live types will always have. Because we value a gazillion other things over politics and are actively repulsed over the idea of minding someone else’s business, we frequently find ourselves non-plussed when the folks who feel the exact opposite reach point where they are impossible to ignore. “When did THAT happen?” runs a close second to “Oh Dear Lord, as if I didn’t have better things to to do than deal with this nonsense.”

            It’s like the @&#%! dusting.

  9. Collections?

    How To books on: Writing. Traditional publishing. Indy publishing ebooks. Indy publishing POD. I’d do all four separately, so people can pick and choose the slim volume that fits their immediate needs. While just the posts would be good, you might want to skim the comments for additional material.

    Politics: International. National. You have an excellent POV and killer way of stating things.

    Don’t do the publishing industry; wait a couple of years and write about the death of Traditional Publishing after the death throes are over.

  10. Do you find there is a consumer ceiling to the price people will pay for eBooks before they demand a tangible object be on offer instead?

    How do you work to overcome this belief (I personally have it big time starting above $7.99 or so)? Do you find it is harder to combat if the reader knows fairly well the economics of trad publishing versus indie or knows it enough to be smart stupid?

  11. Oh L-rd G-d no don’t have open floor
    When I’m sitting and “working” at my job full of bore
    I couldn’t focus my brain before
    And Sarah left an open door

    So I’ll take my chance and walk right in
    And pretend my verse isn’t too thin
    That my ear is not made of tin
    Although my verse is ugly as sin

    It’s not as bad as watching paint dry
    Or so I’d say in front of the boss guy
    I might just make my acting fly
    If I can prevent that sellout sigh

    I’ll leave you now, while you’re still sane
    Reading this junk is not your gain
    The Vogons are better at this game
    Than poor Jimbo who accepts all blame

  12. Apparently SyFy is thinking of a Hyperion Cantos series. Expect the Usual Suspects to start howling and hissing about Dan Simmons in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

    1. Well, hey – it won awards back in the old days when we locked heavy collars around certain people, burned certain other people in the town square, and kept yet other people barefoot and in the kitchen (except when we were making them pregnant, and not always even then).

      So of course they are certainly not eligible for dramatic presentation. Now, somebody crooning over their T-Rex, *that* is worthy entertainment…

  13. John C Wright denies being a homophobe, and restates his personal adherence to Catholic doctrine over on the comment thread on Tor following Tom Doherty’s post. He might as well have saved his breath.
    Is there no room left for tolerance anymore?
    Right at this very moment, I am eating dinner. I am not TOLERATING my dinner, because I LIKE it/approve of it. If my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant foxy praying black grandmother had served me something awful, and I ate it anyway, then I would be tolerating it.
    Is it necessary that we all must BELIEVE the same things to be true? That’s not going to work for me. I’m not a member of the same religious organization as John C Wright, but he and I share certain core beliefs and disagree on others.
    My brain is still not functional (keyboard is doing GREAT, though!) so I don’t know if I was actually able to communicate my point. If you understand me, I would appreciate some guidance.

    1. I swear I would like to see people accused of homophobia (in person, of course) start screaming, “Get it away! Get it away! It’s scaring me!”

      Then, when someone asks what the hell they’re doing, respond, “That’s how phobics act. Learn the damn difference.”

      1. One would think they would know the difference, seeing how many of them suffer from extreme pragmatophobia…

        Not so a real word. Strange, there isn’t a word for unreasoning fear of reality. When that has to be the single most common affliction from what I see these days.

    2. The thing is, when they say “tolerance” and “acceptance”, what far too many of them mean is “We want ADORATION…and the only reason you would choose to not give it is because you’re EVIL, that’s why!”

    3. What’s rather chilling is two of the main complaints I run across are that Mr. Wright considers same-sex attraction to be similar to alchoholism while Mr. Beale supposedly thinks it’s a birth defect. And this “proves” they hate and want to hurt sexual minorities.

      Tells you what they think about the mentally ill and the handicapped doesn’t it?

    1. Simple: Make sure the hinges are well greased and the contact surfaces on the outside of the door/inside of the frame are smoot and burr free. I’ve noticed that taking the four hundred pound overstuffed bookcase off of the top has a salutary effect as well.

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