Free Will and The Next 10k

Hey everyone–

Quick update for you regarding the podcasts and where the hell I’ve been.

Short version:

Crudrat ate my life. Some projects, by dint of luck, show you all the cracks in the structure of your operation, and Crudrat has done that to AWP. Almost everything that could go wrong with a production in terms of the world hurling random obstacles at you DID go wrong, and the some of the calls I made in dealing with the setbacks set us back further. Many of you have been there with your own careers and businesses. Suffice it to say, it has been the most difficult production of my life so far–and, because of running triage and dealing with setbacks, we were left with no time for mixing and posting new podcast episodes.

However, Crudrat wraps up in the next couple days. The light is there, and it’s not a train, but glorious sunshine. And it has definitely been worth it. The final product shines, and you are going to love it. Everyone involved stepped up and did a fantastic job in the face of sometimes-impossible obstacles. And it shows in the product. To a person, the voice cast, the crew, and the support staff have done some of the best work I’ve ever seen.

And now, it’s just about over.

Expect the podcast to resume in mid-April, with a vengeance and with regularity. After all, we have to find out exactly what is going to happen when someone trips over the body of that poor girl on the Lunar surface…

Thanks for your patience!

In Memorium: Douglas Noel Adams

As it’s the birthday of Douglas Adams, lots of folks are tweeting favorite parts of his writing to one another. I’ve been trying to tweet mine, but the thought is too big for 140 characters, so here’s the long(er) version:

If I had to chose five books to read for the rest of my life, two of them would be written by Douglas Adams. I found >The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy when I was fifteen, so I was a latecomer as far as my generation was concerned. Most of my friends found the books in Jr. High. I found the radio dramas after I’d dropped out of high school. In my case, that was just the right time for it to change my consciousness, profoundly.

In its quirky and irreverent humor, I found a raw-hearted, fierce love of life and insatiable curiosity–as well as a deep sense of moral irony that earnest me was, at the time, desperately lacking. Of all the bits of the radio series that stuck with me (and I have, in fact, memorized all 13+ hours of it), the parable of the Ogloroonians is the one that perhaps helped set the tone most for the kind of life I’ve found. Here you can see it, in context, with some lovely animations (the parable starts at 1m33s and runs to 3m05s):


So the Hitchhiker’s Guide rocked. But later on, I found Dirk Gently, and again, it changed my consciousness.

Dirk Genly’s Holistic Detective Agency is an altogether weirder book, and more apparently nonsensical, which is why Douglas embedded in it a rosetta stone in the form of an essay about mathematics and beauty. It turns out that this little throwaway tidbit is an important part, because he’s basically telling you, in two pages, what the entire book is really about–underneath the…well, okay, I won’t spoil it for you, so I’ll just say “underneath the freako-bizarre paranormal mystery”–lurks one of the modern world’s finest meditations on beauty and what it means.

The little essay is called Music and Fractal Landscapes by Richard McDuff (who is a character in the book), and it’s worth a couple minutes to read it. You can find it as a pdf, easy to read right there.

— —
Douglas Noel Adams changed my life for the better, twice. He’s one of the big reasons that I write science fiction. He went missing–probably because of the Vogons–15 years ago.

And I still miss him.

Bruce’s Law and the Future of The Arts

Excitement. That’s the first thing that happens when disruption hits an industry. A world of possibility opens up and the future gets brighter than a supernova. At the same time comes the fear—something of such power will upend everything we know, and maybe the wrong people will wind up winning. Maybe it will threaten our way of life. But man, that light is pretty, particularly when it’s been so dark around here.

Eventually, the brightness dies down—or, at least, our eyes adjust to it. And, like thunder after a lightning storm or the wind after a nuclear explosion, just as we think we’ve got a handle on things, the blast wave hits. The potential that we saw becomes reality, and things start to seriously suck.
Continue reading ‘Bruce’s Law and the Future of The Arts’

Free Will, Episode 06

With the New Year now fully engulfing us, it’s time to get back to business.

I present you with Episode 6 of Free Will and Other Compulsions, In which Jade makes a decision, Jim has a vision, and the Moon Girl hears voices.


Cast this week (in order of appearance):
Renee Wilson as Marjorie
Steven H. Wilson as William Ellison
Derek Moore as Jim Hartman
Stephanie Sawyer as Cassy Orinthal
Andrea Fender as The Moon Girl
Kitty NicIaian as Radio Voice 2



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Dealing In, Episode 11

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Welcome to the First of the Free Will/Next Ten Thousand Hours Feedback shows! This one is episode eleven of the Dealing In series of feedback shows, where I and several friends answer your emails and talk about whatever comes up. This time, I’m joined by Metamor City creator Chris Lester, my The Next Ten Thousand Hours cohost Kitty NicIaian, and composer Danny Schade. What do we talk about? An incomplete list, in roughly chronological order:
1) Introductions
2) Schadeys’ music
3) Physical types for Lantham and Joss Kyle
4) Meeting Caspar Van Dien
5) Heinlein’s politics
5) Where would you live on the moon?
6) What’s Earth like in the Antithesis Era, and what effect did the nuclear war have?
7) People living on the moon and its security implications
8) Silly Antithesis titles!
9) Eggs and food and the penises of birds
10) Feedback (finally!)
11) Computer Security in Antithesis
12) Quantum computing and cryptogrpahy
13) revolutionary cell networks and types of trust
14) codes vs cryptogrpahy
15) Alyssa Hartman, Catholicism, Suave Rob and Bi-Gendered Characters
16) Commercial availability of Free Will
17) Who are the best commercial audiobook companies?
18) The future of Metamor City
19) The NSA
20) Knitting needles as weapons

2014, Here We Come

Rather than a retrospective on the past year, I thought I’d kick off the new year in its wee hours with a look forward at the wider world.

In The Princess Bride, Fezzik the Giant says to Inigo: “I hope we win.”

It’s my favorite line from that movie. A small, whimsical hope uttered by a character who knows that he can’t possibly comprehend the size of the challenge in front of him–a challenge to which he is, nonetheless, committed.

The childlike courage of that line slays me every time. Every time I watch the film, a film that wants nothing more to make people laugh, I choke up just a little bit at that moment.

You see, I have a little secret. I think, in that moment, Fezzik is the whole human race, a small, determined voice in a big universe, beset by challenges too big to imagine, whispering to itself “I hope we win.”
Continue reading ’2014, Here We Come’

Lantham Holiday Bundle

**Cue the cheesy elevator music**

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Everyone Else Too:
Shopping for your mother or brother or daughter or husband or pet parakeet or sworn enemy this year? Torn between the latest in thermonuclear weaponry or that nifty auto-roasting coffee maker, between Fifty Shades and Tarantino and wholesome family fun? Fear not! Now you can get it all in one easy bundle guaranteed to provide hours of hilarious, creepy, puzzling entertainment to even the most discerning, mercurial reader.

That’s right. The Lantham Holiday Bundle is here!

Five entire books featuring my very own vaunted voyeur of neo-noir, the deranged detective with insurmountable insomnia and adroit alliterative abilities! The Clarke Lantham Mysteries will advise and accompany you in any conceivable situation. For example:

    Having trouble with your IVF provider?
    He’s got that covered in And Then She Was Gone.


    Stuck with relatives through the holidays and wish they’d just die?
    He’ll show you how to cope in A Ghostly Christmas Present.


    Still pining for your ex on long winter nights?
    Solved and sorted in Smoke Rings. Next case, please.


    Worried about international relations or alien abductions?
    Lantham gets to the bottom of what’s really going on in Silent Victor.


    Ever wonder if you can really trust your best friend?
    You won’t after seeing what happens in He Ain’t Heavy.


With adventures to suit any occasion, Lantham is truly the best holiday companion you could wish for. Lurid without being nasty, suspenseful without being gimicky, hilarious without being tasteful, his wry wit and stubborn nobility will leave you gasping, laughing, breathless for more (and secure in the knowledge that, however poorly life treats you, it could be a whole lot worse. You could be Lantham).

Order now, and receive all five paperbacks for the price of four–and, since shipping takes a while, you’ll also get all five ebooks free, in the format of your choice, to enjoy right away. An $80 value for $50.


Price: $50.00

Free Will, Episode 05

With Thanksgiving and crowdfunding behind us, it’s time to get back to business.

After an inexcusable silence, I present you with Episode 5 of Free Will and Other Compulsions, In which Voleish makes a confession, Joss makes an offer, and Ali holds all the cards.


Cast this week (in order of appearance):
Miss Kalendar as Alyssa Hartman
Kitty NicIaian as Fugitive’s AI and The Answering Service



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Holidays, Updates, Hints, and Treats

Hello, everyone!

A quick update to let you all know that I’m alive and (finally) well. A nasty cold took me out of commission for a week, which meant that it took another week and a half to catch up on all the stuff I fell behind on during the week I wasn’t able to work.

That means that some of you didn’t get scripts for Crudrat, or audio lines for readings, and the rest of you didn’t get a newsletter that was due out, or two podcasts that were similarly due (one Free Will, one Next 10k). For that, I can do nothing but humbly apologize, throw myself on your mercy, and beg your forgiveness. Either that or dress up as a clown and haunt your nightmares…

During that time, Schadey also suffered a computer glitch which delayed music tracks for Free Will ep05. That also is now corrected, and I have the tracks here in my grubby little hands.

Meantime, work here at AWP continues apace, with the construction of a new computer-controlled animation workstation (for photographed stop-motion and doodle art work), editing on Crudrat, editing on Free Will, proof fixes for Lantham 5, writing on a new Young Adult adventure novel called The Auto Motive, and editing and artwork for a short motivational book called Lessons From Bond–all projects you’ll hear more about in the very near future.

On the next The Next 10k (and on the blog) we’ll be announcing some Christmas goodies where the Lantham universe is concerned, and I’m contemplating putting together another special Christmas audio episode, so if there are any classic winter short stories or poems you’d like to hear me defile, drop me a note or leave a comment, and I’ll include it in my deliberations.

I hope those of you in the states have a marvelous Thanksgiving, and those of you overseas have a great weekend. Thank you very much for your patience–I’ll definitely make it worth your while ;-)
All the best

The Next Ten Thousand Hours, Ep 04

This week on The Next Ten Thousand Hours, we have an update on the Crudrat crowdfunding campaign, and talk about how to manage rapid expansion when projects get too big to keep in your head. Documentation, wikis, war boards, how they work in a collaborative environment–and how not having them can kill you.

Within you will find:

  1. A conversation on documentation and collaboration.
  2. Reading: A selection from Chicken Noodle Gravity
  3. Kitty’s Corner: I Don’t Watch Television, Really…

We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

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