Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 19 2016 – Yo Heads Up

In this episode, I play a new song from Meat Loaf and discuss Jim Steinman; I discuss my personal and professional struggles to produce content on a schedule; I tell tales of some old friends; I examine the creation of friendships and how they stop; I discuss trigger warnings, courtesy and non-actionable slogans.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 19 2016

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Evil Genius Chronicles – DDOP 2016 Bonus Wrap Up

In this episode, I do a recap of Dragon*Con and the DDOP as I drive home.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 6 2016

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You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles – DDOP 2016 Day 30

In this episode, I do a recording from the car as I drive to Dragon*Con; I wrap up the Dog Days of Podcasting for the year, thank you!

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 2 2016

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for Sept 1 2016 – Ambition and Trust

In this episode, I play a song from the new Rick Springfield album; I talk about attending Dragon*Con and seeing friends I’ve had for a long time; I discuss dream jobs and being trusted to do the right thing; do I have too little ambition? I use Always Sunny in Philadelphia as a compass; what are these handwritten house buying signs about; I don’t understand podcast networks; don’t shut yourself down, make someone else do it.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 1 2016

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Evil Genius Chronicles – DDOP 2016 Day 28

In this episode, I talk about my preparation for Dragon*Con and what I am planning to do when I get there.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 31 2016

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 26 2016 – Crashing the Parties of Life

In this episode, I play a song from Soul Asylum; I discuss my podcast setup; I talk about putting a costume together for Dragon*Con and my evolution as a congoer; I discuss having a good time in bad venues; I love to crash parties; small talk is not that hard; all your worst case scenarios for social situations are true and you’ll still be OK.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 26 2016

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You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 31 2015 – DDOP 28

In this episode, I answer the question of what advice I would recommend for a first-time attendee of Dragon*Con.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 31 2015

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You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 20, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #18”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 20, 2013.

I talk about my experiences with Dragon*Con, from 1990ish to the present. Doing live remotes from the show floor; being a Z list guest in the green room and other good times.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for February 20, 2012 – “Haters and Conventions”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, February 20, 2012 (yes, it took me almost two weeks between recording and posting.) This episode is another of a new format recorded in my car. I briefly discuss where I am in the LetterMo challenge; I talk about the notion of “haters” vs legitimately disliking something with the specific example of the Comic Book Men TV show; I talk about which SF and comics conventions I’ll be attending in 2012 and which ones I had to decline; I backtrack a little into my history in various fandoms and talk about the way friendship can flourish even when you rarely see people.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for February 20, 2012 – “Haters and Conventions”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, February 20, 2012 (yes, it took me almost two weeks between recording and posting.) This episode is another of a new format recorded in my car. I briefly discuss where I am in the LetterMo challenge; I talk about the notion of “haters” vs legitimately disliking something with the specific example of the Comic Book Men TV show; I talk about which SF and comics conventions I’ll be attending in 2012 and which ones I had to decline; I backtrack a little into my history in various fandoms and talk about the way friendship can flourish even when you rarely see people.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Night of the Livid Walt

I listen to the Tell ‘Em Steve Dave podcast and lately I’ve been enjoying it more than it’s big brother podcast SModcast. Like all podcasts in my list I’m about five weeks behind. On the episode I’m listening to now they make a reference to a fan created animation. LIke most of these, it is an anecdote from the audio show extracted and then animated. I really enjoyed this one. I liked how it looked and I found the original story hilarious. The full story was at least 15 minutes long, this cartoon is only about 90 seconds of the payoff at the end.

I have actually been skipping SModcast when they do live episodes. I listened to the one with Clerks/Clerks 2 actor Jeff Anderson because I wanted to hear what he had to say. Other than that, when I hear that the show is live, I just hit skip. I have 10 days worth of podcast running time, I’m not digging the live ones (or most live ones ever from any show) so why bother? This is also the same reason I stopped listening to the Authors On Tour podcast. I found that when popular authors play to their crowd, it just bugged me to listen. Same thing with SModcast, the playing to the crowd is the opposite of what I liked all along. I’ve decided that at future Dragon*Cons and Balticons I’m not doing any more live podcasts. It’s just not my thing. They are fun to do but really not fun to listen to outside of the room.

Social Media Vacation, Week 2

Not only am I not finding it hard to stay away from social media, I’m thinking about staying away nearly permanently. In my previous fit of pique where I dynamited my entire Twitter network I only used Twitter when I was at science fiction conventions. That was predominantly to find out which room parties and hotel bars my friends were at. Frankly, I think I could go back to that sort of thing easily.

More and more, I’m thinking that I don’t care at all about social media for its own sake. It only really has value to me in the context of the logistics of a real world meeting. I’ve said over and over again that most of the value of Twitter to me is syncing up with other Myrtle Beach people where we are having lunch. I can envision a world where my Twitter usage is confined to a few days before any event (CREATE South, BarCampCHS, Balticon, Dragon*Con, etc) and between 11 AM and 1 PM on the weekdays. In fact, I could see value in building a customer Twitter API app that specfically didn’t check for new messages except in certain pre-defined time windows and possibly based on certain hash-tags. If that could be hacked in to HootSuite, that would be great. In all likelihood, I’ll do it the old fashioned way by just shutting the thing down except for the times I care about it.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 15, 2009 – “Loving the Boring Things”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for September 15, 2009. I play a song from Chad VanGaalen; I talk about post-Dragon*Con longings; I play a snippet from George Hrab’s Geologic podcast; I talk about my desire to pursue Collection Drawer as a sponsor; I discuss how the boring clerical parts of comic book collecting makes me happy and how you know when you’ve picked the right hobby; I play a song by Blitzen Trapper and say good bye to a good dog.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 8, 2009 – “Dragon*Con 2009 Wrapup”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for September 8, 2009. This show is my wrap up for Dragon*Con 2009, at which I had one fantastic time. I start out with an anecdote about the late great Thomas Fuller of the Atlanta Radio Theater Company; I talk about the panels I was on and the fun time I had interviewing Keith R.A DeCandido; I talk about the fan things I did and the demography of the con; I discuss the bad vibe I get from aggressive jock guys in the Dragon*Con space; I talk about playing my first ever game at a con at a table of strangers; I retell the writing of my song collaboration with Beatnik Turtle and the wacky hijinks around its release; I play the song itself and then laugh myself out of the show.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Now I Am a Songwriter

While I was at Dragon*Con, I got a really pleasant surprise. I had been hanging out with Randy Chertkow all through the weekend but I had no idea until I got an email late Sunday (early Monday, really) that Beatnik Turtle had posted the song I wrote with them for their Song of the Day, a tender jam called “Drunk Man’s Junk.

Here’s the story behind it, which actually is two stories in one with a nice sitcom plot twist in the middle. Last year, I was hanging out with Randy, Jason and Tom from Beatnik Turtle on the balcony of a party that was well out of hand. As we were talking, we heard a girl utter the phrase “I can see that drunk man’s junk!” Apparently one of our bekilted brethren had had the one drink too many and hit the deck but in a state of disarray. While we were in the vicinity, I never actually saw the money shot which is probably best for all.

I turned to the guys and said “If you don’t turn this into a song, by god I will!” They thought that was a funny idea. I had already arranged to do an interview with Randy and Jason about their book The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician . I decided to try hard to get the lyrics together and when we did that interview (published here and here), after it was done I sang my song into their portable recorder and they took it back to Chicago. A few days later after a generous assist from Ewan Spence, who corrected a few things no Scot would actually say, I emailed them a copy of the updated lyrics. That was September 2008.

Fast forward to this year’s Dragon*Con. Randy is there but the other two guys are not, and I have meals and drinks and generally hang out with him. Either he did not know this song was going to be posted Monday or he was playing it really close to the vest. Back in Chicago, Jason and Tom and the rest of the band were taking advantage of not being at the con to finish it up.

Here’s where the story turns into an episode of Three’s Company. I would be more vague to protect the guilty, but Evo Terra has been gleefully spilling these beans (so to speak) so it’s out of the bag now (so to speak). I might as well talk about it. As it happens, earlier that evening I was invited up to the intimate room party of the Scotchcast guys, who gave me tastings of several varieties and talked me through the nuance of the experience. It was really interesting and educational and I had a blast with it. I didn’t actually know these guys very well before this but had a great time with them, and was very appreciative of their hospitality. Turns out that one of my hosts was the guy from the inspiring incident. I didn’t know that for sure at the time as I had forgotten a lot of the specifics from last year and wasn’t that familiar with them before sitting down for a visit. I thought there was a good chance of it but my memory was a little shaky as I too was on less than best behavior at said party last year.

Not until I saw Evo tweeting about it today did I know for sure that was the case. I had a sinking feeling when I got the email about the song and a worse one this morning when I saw the tweets but the gentleman in question is being a ridiculously good sport about it. Unlike Evo I’m going to not name names just to help a brother out in staying off the Google page rank for this topic. There you have it. I threw the song over the wall last year, they threw it back about 2 hours after I got to know the guy that triggered the whole thing. Who can figure? If I wrote a song about the writing of the song, it would be silly and unbelievable.

I love listening to this song. It makes me laugh. It’s both very different from what I expected and very much like what I thought it would sound like simultaneously. It’s different in being a rocker when I always thought of it like a drinking shanty kind of song. A few words in the chorus are different (for the better), and a new bridge exists (for the better) that puts a bow on the whole thing and I really like that. However the weird part of how much of my original idea is there. The tune and meter of the singing are really close to what I sang into their digital recorder last year. Almost all the lyrics are straight from the 2nd pass after Ewan’s feedback. I’ve never written a song that ever propagated beyond my own head before, and especially not one that made it to a full production recording like this. It makes me insanely happy and I’m going to put it as the lone song in my Dragon*Con wrap up episode. Fun times in my podosphere.

Thank you Beatnik Turtle for working with me on this and for a great song. Thank you to the fine gentlemen of the Scotchcast – Jeff, Chip and Michael – for hosting me and my friends. Who’s the guy who inspired the song? To paraphrase the Doors: “Three to one, baby, one in three. No one here gets out with dignity!” Good times, people. Good times. Maybe one day I’ll tell the stories of the multiple times my underwear were found around the Georgia Tech campus in the mid-80s. I too have been the drunk man with the junk.

Home From Dragon*Con

It was a great weekend at Dragon*Con and I’m highly glad I went. There was a high exhaustion component but also many many friends of various vintages – from 25 years to 2 minutes. I am probably not going to to blog a detailed trip report because I never actually finish them. I’ll tell a few stories on the next podcast. Even though I’ve had a night’s sleep, I still feel like one of the gazillion zombies I saw this weekend.

Many thanks to Derek and Swoopy for putting on the podcasting and skeptic tracks, and for inviting me and continuing to care about what I do. My main goal at any point is to not let Swoopy down and to be worthy of her interest.

Dragon*Con and the Geek Hierachy

A few years ago the diagram of the geek hierarchy spread through the blogosphere. When I was a teenage fan in the 1980s, I’ll admit to feeling a lot like this. When I’d go to the Atlanta Fantasy Fair, I felt superior to the people who dressed up in hall costumes. “I may be a comic book nerd” said I, “but at least I’m not wearing a long Doctor Who scarf like an idiot.” Most of that attitude towards whatever other fannish sub-clique caught my ire that day was 100% my own insecurities at play. I wanted a pecking order because that gave me someone to feel better than. “These Star Trek fans are fools, I’m here to meet Will Eisner! I’m obviously a man (ha!) of more refined tastes.”

A fact that became clear later and probably I even knew then is that outside of the building, every single one of us were the same. Years later, I was doing Reality Break and because of that had moved up whatever hierarchy chart existed. I interacted with the famous and infamous of science fiction all the time. Nancy Kress and Poppy Z Brite called my home phone! In 1996 for Dragon*Con right before the Olympics, I was hanging out in one of the hotel lobbys with Greg Theakston, who I had interviewed on the live remote earlier that day. This wasn’t a deep friendship, it was a short-duration acquaintanceship that I doubt he even remembers now. We were talking about Jack Kirby or some such at that time. I was wearing a full business suit and tie, as was Greg. Amazingly to me, we got the weirdest attitude and hassles from hotel security even though we were the only normal looking people as far as the eye could see. That’s when it hit me square between the eyes. Whether we are wearing suits or Wookie hats, once that badge goes on we are the exact same thing to the outside world, what the Subgeniuses call “The Conspiracy.”

I’m older now and I’m mellower about this, and I’m one thousand times more comfortable in my skin. Where I used to keep it a dark secret that I’m a science fiction and comic book fan, nowadays I’m out and proud with those aspects of my life. Pretty much everyone that knows me knows that. Hell, half the people that know me do so because I’m a fan.

I don’t do nearly enough volunteering and charity in my life, something I need to fix. However, here’s a small thing I do that costs me exactly nothing in time or energy. It actually saves me time and energy. I don’t make fun of anyone at Dragon*Con for anything. Not even for smelling funny, being awkward and completely inept socially, for wearing costumes that are age and/or weight inappropriate, for saying dumb things. I don’t care. This is a long, cold, shitty, lonely life and if dressing up like the green belly dancer girl from the original Star Trek or pretending you are a fictional super-heroine makes your life a little better, have at it. Moments of true joy are hard enough to come by in this world. If wearing funny clothes or putting on an accent that you haven’t practiced enough or acting like a complete spazz makes you feel better, do it with my blessing. Don’t knock me over, don’t harsh anyone else’s mellow, be a good steward of the space carved out to allow you this freedom and don’t deprive anyone else of the same, and then we are cool.

It’s taken me many years to fully grok that bullying and making fun of the vulnerable is not a manifestation of strength but of weakness. The true strength is required to be tolerant of those weaker, sillier, more awkward, smaller than you. That’s why I try to reserve my shots for those bigger and stronger than me and instead cherish and protect and help the spastic fans. Extrapolate this out to the borders of this country and the rest of the world and you see where my political philosophy has headed. This is in large partl because of science fiction fandom, and Georgia fandom in particular. Dragon*Con makes you mighty.

My Dragon*Con Schedule Reminder

I’m reposting my Dragon*Con schedule. I did it a few weeks ago but to keep it current in blog world I’m doing it again. I decided to drive in early Friday morning rather than spend Thursday in ATL. I’d get there too late for anything useful anyway, so I might as well reserve that evening for last minute preparation and to spend it with my wife and dog.

The one thing I continue to need help with is publicizing of the “Podcasting Tips for Working Writers” panel. There is a constituency of writers that will be at Dragon*Con that are exactly the people I’d like to reach and be of service to but I’m not sure of the best way to communicate to them that this panel exists. If you are a writer, have writer friends who are going please spread around the link love and/or invite folks via the Facebook event linked below.

Finally, for my personal friends or any internet friends that want to get together, starting Friday at the butt crack of dawn we enter “crazy chaos zone” and it won’t end until I cross I-285 on my way out of town Monday. I’m up for dinner and/or drinks with anyone that can mutually arrange it. If you’re my friend and don’t have my cell, email me before Friday morning and let’s exchange cell numbers. I will swallow my pride, hold my nose and use my dormant Twitter account for the duration of the con. It sucks but this is really the one good use it has in my life. If you follow that, some basic telemetric coordination can be achieved. I hope to see and hang out with my friends, make new ones like I always do and generally live the good life with the best of Southeastern fandom. I came up through Georgia SF fandom in the 80s so my roots in this shindig are deep. See you there!

Podcasting Track Kick Off!

Friday, September 4 at 1 PM, Hilton 204

Panelists: Dave Slusher, Scott Sigler, Len Peralta, Veronica Belmont, George Hrab and moderated by Swoopy

Join some of your favorite podcasters as we take the temperature of the Podcasting world, and talk about some of our best moments of the past year.

Facebook Event for this panel


Podcasting Tips for Working Writers

Saturday, September 5 at 2:30 PM, Hilton 204

Panelists: Mur Lafferty, Dave Slusher, Michael Stackpole, Scott Sigler, Christiana Ellis, P.G. Holyfield

A discussion with authors and podcasters who have turned the art of the podcast novel into a formula for publishing success.   

Facebook Event for this panel


Reality Break – LIVE!

Sunday, September 6 at 10 PM, Hilton 204

Panelists: Dave Slusher, Keith R. A DeCandido

Come be in the audience for a live taping of the Reality Break podcast with author Keith R. A. DeCandido. He is currently the author of the Farscape comic books from Boom Studios. Keith has a bibliography longer than a yeti’s arm and there is a good chance than everyone at Dragon*Con has read something he has written.

Facebook Event for this panel   


Social Media Overload

Monday, September 7 at 1 PM, Hilton 204

Panelists: Dave Slusher (What? I’ll have to dragoon people to joine me if there are no others.)

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr – Are we still creating content or just floating along on the stream? Discuss the pros and cons of social networking as it pertains to podcasting.

Facebook Event for this panel

All in all, that’s a highly reasonable schedule. I’ve certainly done many more panels in a single convention. The biggest bummer about the way Dragon*Con is organized now is that there seems to be little or no overlap between programming tracks. I attended Dragon*Con as a science fiction guest every year from 1993 to 2000 and would love to be back on some of the SF panels again, but once I got slotted in as a Podcaster track guest that seemed to be it. I’m not a big enough fish to catch anyone’s attention across tracks, I guess. I’m just happy to be going and doing this one more time.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 31, 2009 – “Conversation with James Patrick Kelly”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for August 31, 2009. This show is entirely a conversation I had with science fiction author James Patrick Kelly about this upcoming panel at Dragon*Con and how the podcast world can be useful to the writing world. We discuss how he got started podcasting his fiction, what information would have let him make different and better decisions, ways writers can use new media to their advantage, how repeatable the early experiments are at scale and much much more.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 20, 2009 – “Fifth Podiversary”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for August, 2009. I play a brand new song by Rocket City Riot; I talk about the first five years of this podcast, how I got here and where I want to be and where I want to go in the future; I play a special song from the Gentle Readers; I celebrate our medium in my own special way; one more brand new song from Rocket City Riot and it’s on to the second five years of this show.

My MP3s didn’t have an album name in the metadata, but in fact the Rocket City Riot album is titled Saturday Night Angels.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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