Spot for Gillette Razors (“Vancouver Sun”, 1932, March 9)

This Week's Fish Wrap (№30): Win Books & “The Media” [UPDATED]

“This Week’s Fish Wrap” is an on-​​​​going series of posts summing up the news of the previous seven days in the publishing industry, and appears here each Monday. It’s also quite possible that the posts merely serve as a dumping ground of links so that Atomic Fez Proprietor Ian Alexander Martin can find articles later to include in his occasional rants about how ‘EVERYONE ELSE IS ENTIRELY WRONG’ about various things.

In my continuing effort to understand story editing, have a broader awareness of popular culture, and possess a greater recognition of story tropes, the viewing of films continues. Head to THIS LINK, head to the very end of the images, then click the first of the three relevant posters to discover how yesterday’s marathon viewing of the Star Wars ‘prequel’ of Episodes I – III were greeted. “Phah!” is the best summation, really.

Meanwhile, “News of Atomic Fez Authors and Their Works” again starts us off this week, as it did last time! Both of their books are available in eBook format right now, with North American editions arriving in paperback edition come November or so. You can get details of all that by clicking the covers of the books below.

Chris Rothe's “Dirk Danger Loves Life”Carol Weekes’ novel “Terribilis”Chris Rothe, the author of Dirk Danger Loves Life [cover, left] is on Goodreads now! You can link-​​up with him using THIS LINK if you so wish.

Should you have a desperate desire (or even merely an idle curiosity) to know more about the man, then HEAD HERE to read the short interview /​ Q&A with him.

If this has sufficiently piqued your interest, HEAD HERE to win an “Advance Reading Copy” of Dirk Danger Loves Life by Chris Rothe.

If you would rather win an Advance Reading Copy of Terribilis by Carol Weekes [cover, right], then you should immediately HEAD HERE to do that. You could even do that if you wanted to win a copy of that in addition to the book by Mr. Rothe! Isn’t ‘freedom’ a wonderful thing, citizen?

If you’d rather show your support of their efforts in a financial fashion, you can buy the eBook version of their titles right now: click the covers on either side of this section, then click the little orange button on the top right. Just as soon as the ePUB file is ready for release to the world, you’ll be e-​​mailed a link to a ZIP file containing that, plus two more DRM–free eBook files (which ought to happen in about two weeks or so, hopefully sooner).


Thoughts on the Growing Media Frenzy; Both Social and Journalistic

The past week has been filled with a number of things that have either driven you mad with anxiety or made you want to punch someone for mentioning something you’re already tired of hearing about. Let’s have a look at some topics, shall we (and I’ll try not to trigger any punching instincts in anyone)?

  • Google seems bent on dominating the entire world through two things announced this week
    • Google Plus (or, if you prefer: Google+)
    • a Google-​​branded eReader
  • Rupert Murdoch’s Nerws of the World folded yesterday after being accused of hacking mobile phone accounts of various people
  • Kai Nagata quit his job as a journalist with Global Media in their Québec bureau

Google’s ‘branded’ e-​​book reader (learn about that here) will, no doubt, also interact with Google+ (which, if you’re wondering what the fuss is about and should you care, then here’s a quick look, or you can head here, or possibly here instead).This is intriguing for a couple of reasons, the first being that now people will actually start using the on-​​line Google Reader material; secondly because they’ve never put their name on a piece of equipment before (other than server racks for people who wanted to do in-​​house heavy-​​duty searching, which I’ve never understood the need for).  The unit is made by iRiver, but they’re putting a little logo on the unit (which resembles a Kindle) so that you get reminded to use the services of the company so ubiquitous their name is now a verb.

Spot for Gillette Razors (“Vancouver Sun”, 1932, March 9)
Spot for Gillette Razors (“Vancouver Sun”, 1932, March 9)

Meanwhile, they’re getting into the ‘business’ of social media with what some call a “Facebook killer”, or a “Twitter killer”, or a “Facebook and Twitter killer”; but the best description is probably “a work-​​day killer” because after setting up my personal account I’ve never had so many browser tabs open at once, or got so far into the day without actually accomplishing anything of substance. So, basically, it’s like both Facebook and Twitter, but with more words and pictures than the latter and more ease of use than the former. At some point later this year there will be an Atomic Fez presence on Google+, but here’s the reason why there’s not one right now. Also, if you’re a writer, this might be a better thing for you than you’ve found either Facebook or Twitter to be thus far; read this for some thoughts (WARNING: even the name of the blog is sweary).

And then there’s this whole journalism question being bandied about. Many started thinking about it due to the News of the World finally getting dragged up on the carpet about mobile phones (but they’ve been unscrupulios for years, so one should hardly be surprised at this), and then it was the turn of the guy covering the Québec legislature for Global News who has said what everyone has been avoiding admitting publicly for years: that news media is doing it all wrong and the tail is now leading the dog about by the nose. He explained it all in words of one syllable on his blog Friday, and apparently everyone in the world has now read it twice.Mostly he quit his job because he realized he wasn’t able to feel comfortable with not saying what he felt ought to be said, but the underlying cause of that was the inherent, non-​​functioning nature of the news media today. As far as I’m concerned the start to fixing things is getting Rick Mercer to do a week night show in the same format as either the Colbert Report or The Daily Show, and start taking shots at the politicians and news personalities when they screw up. It’s not the solution, but it’s a part of one.

If the topic of “do we really need news as ‘entertainment’, or should it principally inform and initiate thought” interests you at all, however, here’s Spin Cycles, which has got to be some of the most intelligent and worth-​​while information on the media today. It’s not the be-​​all-​​and-​​end-​​all in the topic, but it’s good enough to start you thinking about things clearly enough as a jumping-​​off point. Go there. Download the files using the link on each episodes’ description page, and become a better informed person. Critical thinking is an important tool to reading both fiction and non-​​fiction, and knowing the difference betwixt them.

UPDATED: here’s a response to Kai Nagata, titled “Why I Didn’t Quit My Job” by a Vancouver print journalist CLICK HERE


'Lorem Ipsum Dolor' Just Got a Tad Yummier

Who needs boring old ‘placeholder text’ that’s doggerel Latin based on an 18th century manuscript when you can have ‘placeholder text’ that includes bacon? No really: HEAD HERE and you’ll get 5 paragraphs of “all-​​meat” text to paste into your layout for whatever design purpose you have. Here’s a sample of what that means:

Magna eiusmod ex, bresaola ad brisket meatloaf pancetta cillum. Jowl beef ribs swine jerky t-​​bone. Esse sirloin excepteur pork chop id in, bacon short ribs pig rump strip steak. Laboris shoulder reprehenderit excepteur, t-​​bone meatball est sed pork belly beef ribs ullamco turkey sirloin boudin. Jowl strip steak cow, ground round ball tip pork chop ea beef. Andouille pork pastrami, voluptate meatloaf sirloin jowl ground round id pancetta pork chop ullamco. Short loin consequat aliquip, sirloin consectetur quis officia pariatur salami cow flank commodo adipisicing do.

Head to the bottom of that page and you can specify a different number of paragraphs, as well as whether you want some filler included with your yummy meat, or if you want to start with  the words ‘Bacon ipsum dolor sit amet…’ and then carry on with meat or a meat mixture. Yes, anything goes better with Bacon!!™

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