Loose ends

Smoke and Mirrors has been moved to make it more of a news feed for my website. I’ve also removed the Livejournal syndication link (although the Feedburner link remains). Why?

It’s a long answer, but essentially, Swancon and the conversations I had there opened my eyes to a few things. The bottom line: Smoke and Mirrors has developed into news of my writing to the exclusion of creating virtual ‘train wrecks’ for bloggers to drop by and read. I’ve simply pushed this blog further in the direction of an actual news feed about my career.

I’ve also had enough of the LJ/small press bullshit.

I had a great chat over lunch with Matthew Reilly at Swancon and one of the things that sticks with me is how he always did things his way. He aims his work at readers in bookstores, not a circle of peers.

Another discussion has stayed with me even more. A few people were talking about the ‘good guys’ in Australian SF small press, and the discussion left me feeling sick to the stomach. To me, the good guys are folks like Marty Young (AHWA founder) and Gary Kemble (ABC’s Articulate), who promote their chosen genre and the authors within without much thought for their own recognition. The good guys are also people like Russell Farr, who is actively devoting his time and money to supporting Australian SF and who is always trying new things to promote and better understand SF. These people (and many more) go out of their way to help and often do things behind the scenes for everyone’s benefit.

A related discussion talked about trust in the independent press, and about working together. I’m all for that, and the people involved in that discussion have my admiration. However, I find it almost impossible to trust right now.

What I’m dead against is people who set out to create their careers on controversy; people who set out to pull others down with little or no provocation. How the hell can we work together when people like this are in the ‘community’? They’re like a cancer, these people, and what galls me is how some people choose to embrace them rather than do something about it.

I don’t have room in my life for hypocrites and people who can’t stand by their principles, so I’m pulling up stakes.

For those who are interested in building genuine trust and community and getting on with the job, you know where I am.