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.
Lest one think that it was all fun and games, there were some clashes along the way. (And I’m not just talking about our run-in with Tron Guy.) But we were in general agreement that television science fiction, generally speaking, blows space chunks. The demise of Enterprise was no help. However, there were a few bright spots. The SciFi channel has somewhat redeemed itself (but still has a long way to go) by airing the new Battlestar Galactica. (Not to be confused with Galactica 1980. Ever.) We likes the grittiness, we do, yes! Firefly is another huge favorite we discovered through the magic of DVD box sets. (This DVD thing may catch on. You heard it here first!) We look forward to the upcoming Serenity movie and would collectively kiss Joss Whedon’s ass if it weren’t such a logistical nightmare to set up. (Not that Joss is into that sort of thing, his lawyers inform us.) Lost was another bright spot, though others tell me that spot got dim as the season went on.
During the past 12 months we inflicted our readers with over 1200 posts – two of them with actual content! (Just kidding – only one of them was really original. The rest were just links we stole from elsewhere. Information wants to be free, after all.) Highlights of some “serious” postings were Hollywood and the Recycled Idea (and the more recent follow-on for when a movie outdoes the book), book buying habits, SF Movies You (Probably) Haven’t Seen, Late Night Movies and a survey of science fiction websites. We also had the audacity to ask “What Books Changed Your Life?” and “What Book Turned You Into a Science Fiction Fan?”
But it is Tim who wins this year’s prize for posting the most commented-upon post with his question for prolific readers. Kevin (I think) was a distant, but still worthy, second place with his impression of Doom 3. (Despite his insistence that he doesn’t do impressions. Ba-dum, crash!) Sorry, Kevin, no prize for second place. For first place, Tim wins the “You like me! You really, really like me!” trophy which exists only in his mostly-dry dreams. The Raspberry Award for The-Post-Most-Likely-To-Live-Forever-But-Actually-Went-Nowhere goes to me for my book meme post which has to be the first meme in the history of all memes to go nowhere. Not that I’m bitter or anything. What surprises me is that the Internet Intelligentsia (and by “Internet Intelligentsia” I mean “pre-teens with Internet access”) preferred the Numa Numa Kid over the crunchy sf goodness we slave to give you each and every day. (Except for those days when we post nothing, because, let’s face it, the world does not revolve around you, fanboy! Seriously, people, even my grandmother does the meme thing and she’s been dead for over three decades!) On the other hand, if the Numa Numa post doesn’t solidify our goal to be the premiere science fiction blog, I don’t know what will.
Reading played a prominent roll in our second year. I finished my New Year’s resolution to read one short story a day. The end result? Fun with a capital Geek! Not ones to take the finale of a reading project sitting down (whatever that means), we soon forged new (and by “new” I mean “old”) ground with our 1975 Do-Over Reading Project, a project so geeky in its geekiness, it leaks geek and out-geeks even the geekiest of geeks. But we loved it. And I finally put my keyboard where my mouth is (mmmm…keyboard…) and officially posted about how I review books.
There were several behind-the-scenes changes at the blog this past year while we learned that comment spam and Trackback Spam suck. There is a new Past Ramblings section on our home page that reminds us of how witty we think we were. We also added PDA support, a feature so anal in its inclusion that I am the only one to use it to this day. Finally, there is the addition of the smileys, a feature whose true power is not completely understood until you create the sequence :):D(6):-@:-P:-S:^)(H);-):-$|-):O:(8o|.
All of these changes must have had some effect because we got noticed. SF Signal was honored not once, not three times, but twice by sf author and Asimov’s columnist James Patrick Kelly. The first time was in his list of Top 40 Blogs. I might mention here that my name was misspelled, but do you really think I am that small-minded to care or be bitter? Our second honor by the poor-spelling author was our nomination for the Digital Hugo, an award so imaginary it can only be expressed using symbols your feeble three-dimensional mind cannot even begin to comprehend. Thanks, JPK! (It is common knowledge that when you pay some serious bribe money to someone to get your name in print – however misspelled – you get to refer to him by his initials.)
And finally, we managed to get a nice scoop this year when sf author John C. Wright subjected himself to an interview. The thing about JCW (see aforementioned note about bribe money and initials) is that his normal conversation is as beautifully constructed as his writing. And his words be big! I likened our discussion to a conversation between Albert Einstein and Gilligan. I might have revealed too much of myself, though, when I asked him what, exactly, a newspaperman did. But then again what do I know? I can barely find the time to RTFB (Read The Freakin’ Blog). In such trying times, I have to ask myself: WWJCWD? (What Would John C. Wright Do?) The answer, of course, is to troll SF Signal and contribute to its content. (Thanks, Mr. Wright!)
And thanks to all those who stopped by with an additional big, manly bear hug (…in spaaaaaaace!) to those that continue to do so even after their first lethal exposure to our meaningless ramblings and in-jokes. We’ll keep pumping out this drivel for as long as our feeble minds continue to need an outlet for link-stealing and Klausner-bashing.