This month (July 12th) marks SF Signal’s 11th Birthday. Yay us!
Today is SF Signal’s 8th birthday! Yay us!
We are celebrating like we always do: by inflicting upon our readers a link-heavy post that will make their computer mice beg for click-mercy! But don’t give in, dear readers. Your mice have been collectively manipulating you for years (“Oh, touch me, roll me…glide me across the desk with your firm-but-gentle caress…”)
Today is SF Signal’s 7th birthday! Yay us!
It’s been another thrilling year here at SF Signal…or as we like to call it: “Ned”. Our readership, like our waistlines and egos, continues to grow. So we thank you with this link-laden, self-promotion post disguised as a trip down Memory Lane…
Join us, won’t you?
This month marks SF Signal’s 6th Birthday! Yay us!
It’s been another fine year here at SF Signal. Not only are we having fun (with minimal harm to the environment – the people around us are another story) but we must also be doing something right: just last week we passed 5,000 subscribers to our RSS feed. That’s a nice number. Of course, 10,000 is twice as nice, so everyone hack into your neighbor’s computer and sign them up, mmm’kay? (Don’t make me go purple on you!)
We’re five years old this week! Yay us!
The most significant thing we did this past year – and by “significant”, I mean something that does not involve supermodels – was starting a new weekly feature: The SF Signal Mind Meld. This is where we throw a single question to some folks in the science fiction community and beyond. Popular Mind Meld book-related topics included controversial novels, tomorrow’s big genre stars, Golden Age sf predictions, definitions of science fiction, the purpose of short fiction and whether it’s in trouble (it ain’t), and the job of book covers. We also wondered whether young adult fiction is too explicit and which YA books were also good for adults. We asked which authors were underrated and which books have the best & worst endings. We talked about the impact of the Internet and online reviews on the publishing world. And because we were feeling particularly daring, we asked about gender imbalance in publishing. On the TV and movie Mind Meld fronts, we asked about better SciFi movie endings, the best superhero movies and TV shows, stories Hollywood should film, and whether TV or Film is the driving force behind SciFi. We also attacked the more cerebral, technological and scientific aspects of field. The Mind Meld feature is popular with our readers (that’s you) and we thank you for taking the time to consume them. We also would like to thank the panelists who have participated and continue to put up with out fanboy pestering. Without them, you would be listening to us whine all day about Heroes and Battlestar Galactica.
This month marks SF Signal’s 4th birthday. Go us! As in previous birthday posts, I will summarize here the highlights and low points (mostly the highlights – our egos are only so strong) of our cozy little blog thingie. When you’ve been in the blogging business as long as we have – as much as an advertising-free blog can be called a “business” – you pick up a little bit of the lingo and “cozy little blog thingie” is the official textbook definition. You can look that up for yourself.
There were lots of memorable posts this past year. Mostly on other blogs. (Ba-dum, crash!) On this blog we rambled a lot, mostly about books. Our favorite bookish posts are the ones where we solicit the opinions of our readership. That’s you. There were a series of Reader Challenges that we threw your way…challenges which you met head-on with courage, stamina and a big-@$$ helping of venom. Just the way we like it. In these posts, we asked you about sf books you haven’t read, the coolest sf threats, the coolest science fiction setting (for books and tv/film), and the next science fiction Grand Masters. An additional challenge – culminating this month with the release of the final book in the series – is embodied by The Harry Potter Outreach Program. Who knew reading a blog would be so much work for you, eh?
Today is SF Signal’s 3rd birthday! Yay us! If we could make only a single birthday wish, it would be for eternal peace, true love and extreme joy for all our readers across this great, big, wonderful globe. But only for those who are on our Frappr map, of course. There’s only so much peace, love and joy to go around, you know.
In the grand tradition of birthday posts, this recap will be filled with action-adventure, drama and sex. It’ll sort of be like one of those self-absorbed pulp-fiction books except without the action-adventure, drama and sex; which pretty much leaves self-absorbed.
Our third year was memorable for several reasons. Oh wait – I’m thinking of some other blog. Our blog was preoccupied with no less than three web host changes. On the “bright” side, we managed not to lose the readership of our favorite whipping boy, Pete. No matter how much we moved. Three times, people! (I kid!) Actually, Pete provided one of the best bits of in-comedy with his SF Signal poem, for which we will extend both his Maxim and FHM subscriptions – but only in his imagination. Also of note, Pete channeled his supermodel obsession from past years into actual blog content, but only because it involved Kate Beckinsale. We take what we can get, folks.
This past year saw the launch of a spinoff blog, Gaming Signal, a move which mostly ended the non-sf game posts in SF Signal’s gaming category. This, in turn, led to a less diluted, more focused science fiction blog. Maybe that’s what helped us get mentioned in SciFi magazine. Or the bribe money. Probably the bribe money.
Our impression of television sci-fi has notably improved. In the absence of Firefly, which we discovered post-mortem and so dearly miss, we had Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who to fill the void. And while we discussed – JP opined, the rest of us discussed – the Top 50 SciFi Shows and new TV sci-fi, we took matters into our own hands with our Studio President for a Day posts. And to show we cared about our readers (and by “show” I mean “make it look like”), we also asked you. We might even have been listening. I’m not sure – I was just skimming over the post looking for my name.
Movie-related posts this past year were mostly us fawning over Serenity. We asked if film was a poor medium for science fiction and we gave you list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list after list. What can we say? We likes the lists, we do.
Reading, as always, played a prominent role in our lives. We challenged our readership to name the top sf books, which resulted in many answers and a poll. Our second Reader Challenge was less popular thanks to my own poorlyized wordimications. Better was when we asked why you read/watch science fiction, a post in which Tim has the final clap of approval. We also asked about your own reading habits. Are you a literary snob and do your reading follow the popular vote?
Other popular matters of reading included reading/publication order, deciding what to read next, the last good book you read, declining book readership and overseas book-buying. At least that’s what I think was happening. I was kinda busy complaining about my postman, repeating a reading project, listing my top 7 external impediments to reading (did I mention we likes the lists?) and fleeing.
Reading inevitably turns into reviewing. Our new book review index is a good starting point to see if you think we are objective reviewers. (You do.) Which is not to say that the authors themselves are happy with our reviews. One personal note of accomplishment: this was the first year I read all the short fiction nominees for the most recent Hugo and Nebula awards. (I still think those stories would make a good anthology, if not a profitable one.) JP’s Orphans of Chaos review turned into a relatively popular post since John C. Wright, the book’s author and accused SF Signal fanboy, gave it the personal touch. Which is exactly what George Kennedy would do. JP, on the other hand, has since moved on to post more about Legos. Other review bits: Scott posted his review criteria and one of Tim’s reviews earned him a fan this year; two if you count her other personality!
After reading and reviewing, what’s left but publishing? This past year saw the rise (Bean online, Orson Scott Card’s web mag) and fall (iBooks, SciFiction – save it while you still can) of publishing outlets. We talked bloated books, media tie-ins, book remainders, and innovative authors. As a way to generate some intellectual property revenue for the blog (cheap bastages that we are), we even created the never-before-seen subgenre of undead time-traveling nazis/facists/pirates/ninjas/1972 Green Bay Packers. Hmmmm…maybe there’s a reason that was never seen before.
The sf/f genres in general were also topics of discussion. (Again, we discussed while JP opined.) We asked if science fiction was too geeky and whether Golden Age sf sucked. We mulled over military sf and once again talked about the definition of sf. As if that weren’t enough, we had a SF vs. Fantasy world-building smackdown. Last year’s list of sf/f authors who blog is still fairly popular. This year’s post on authors who should blog? Not so much.
Anywho, thanks to all the loyal readers for sticking around and thanks to all the new readers and authors for giving us a try. We may be a bunch of contentious boobs, we might make mistakes both grammatical and politically incorrect, we may not strive for excellence, we may not have any goals, we might be lazy and smell a little ripe, we might have issues with our irrespective mothers, we may be egotistical, selfish and mean, but darn it we…we…ummm…where was I going with this?
Oh well, happy birthday to us!
Today is SF Signal’s birthday! Yay us! At the risk of overlapping JP’s year-end review, I thought I might summarize the past 12 months.
It was another great year here at SF Signal…two years and counting! That’s way longer than “The Man” said we’d last! (I’m not exactly sure who “The Man” is, but I’m sure if he existed and he knew about us, he’d try to slap us down. That’s what The Man is all about: the slapping down.)
Looking back, I would say that our second year was filled with less-than-healthy obsessions. On the very first day of our second year, JP posted about Star Wars (fanboy that he is) and Legos. Unexpected, to me at least, were the follow-on postings of Legos throughout the year.
The movie I, Robot was on our minds at the beginning of the second year, which was some cause for concern because it gave us a reason to continue the trend started in our first year. Our compulsion to make pun of the name “I, Robot” yielded five new posts: “Aye, Robots are our Enemies“, “I, Redux“, “I, Limericist“, “I, Hal Clement” and “I, Name Stealer“. The silliness might have continued, but I guess you could say “I, Got Tired of it”. OK, I’ll stop now. No, really.
Speaking of unhealthy obsessions, my rage over the Klausner Review Collective was somewhat diminished but still evident with a few posts. (Not that I’m counting.) And no, despite rumors to the contrary, Harriet Klausner did not grace our blog with her presence. Not like, say, Pete graced City of Heroes with his presence. Which is to say he lost interest. Again. (Or was it JP’s fiendish plan all along to entice him back to the land of supermodels?)
There were several happenings in the area of blog categories. The new Polls category was intended to be a one-shot gig but has been occurring weekly for 10 months now. Oddly we have yet to create a Cthulhu category although we regularly post on that very topic. Scott performed a serious breach of blog administration etiquette when, on a whim, he created the humor category which, to this day, is collectively less funny than being poked at with a moist but still pointy stick. (I kid!) By way of meaningless and childish protest, I quickly countered with a new Star Wars category which allowed my OCD free reign and resulted in the unceremonious re-categorization of old posts – even ones that only hinted at Star Wars. That’ll teach him.
Speaking of Star Wars (and when don’t we?), we had over 120 posts (!) in the Star Wars category during our second year. Clearly the math, if simple counting can be labeled as such, proves once and for all that we are a bunch of raving SW fanboys. Although Tim has been wearing the label proudly for years (mostly by way of adult Underoos), others (John looks at self) were not so forthcoming. However, this year I was finally able to come out of the fanboy-in-denial closet. It took a novelization (of all things) to do it. Finally I may rightfully join the ranks of our resident uber-fanboys Tim and Scott and partake of their secret Star Wars fanboy costume parties that occur faithfully (and predictably) on Friday and Saturday nights. JP attends those parties too but he does so in protest; it seems he has some issues with the changes George Lucas’ made on the Star Wars DVDs.
What a year it’s been here at SF Signal.
We’ve come a long way from our first post in which JP revels in the ability to mark his own corner of the web with the mocking exclamation “Hahahaha”. To be fair, JP did go through lots of hard work to get the blog up and running (I think he ran the MoveableType installation program and sent a grammatically incorrect email to the web host.) Still, it wasn’t long before we all jumped on the blogwagon. The Internet is, after all, the wave of the future. At least, that’s what I heard.