Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's Back! (sort of)

A new exhibition Duel of the Fates match can be heard on this week's Dragon Page Wingin' It! show! I was also in studio to play with the boys and girl; it ended up going an hour and thirty minutes(!), but a good time was had all around. I'm looking forward to listening, since I missed the Mur Lafferty segment. I did hear The Dark Crazy's "Frank's Surprise" skit, which is damn funny.

Check it out! Have a listen. I guarantee you'll laugh at least five times during the 90 minutes.

On-air, I made mention of character votes and stuff; I'll post here again soon to elaborate further on your role in Duel of the Fates, season 2.

Addendum: Apologies to the citizens of Winnipeg, Manitoba! My first thought was "The Jets were in the Smythe Division with the Vancouver Canucks - - in British Columbia." (I suppose I should have thought Alberta for Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames)

Winnipeg is in Manitoba.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In the meantime

I have a few personal news items pending for the next 2 days, but in the meantime:

Mashups have been driven deeper underground. I guess now everyone who'd been taking pieces and samples of other songs and combining them to make new compositions will stop forever. Thank the Creator; artists are now protected from evil remixers using their orginal material in new and creative ways.

Incidentally, Cory "Where It's At" Doctorow has already posted and commented on this at boingboing.

Friday, November 25, 2005

DotF 1 10 @ PB


DotF 10 @ PB means that -- an extra-credit, non-tournament, bonus episode of Duel of the Fates season 1 has been quietly added to the "Duel of the Fates" page at It's just some silliness to offer closure and extra info, as well as some bonus material. Certainly non canon, not required - but worth a download if you have 10 minutes to spare.

Spherical Tomi episode 5 will drop soon too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Grumpy Post

OK, I'm sure this will piss some people off, but I find Terry Gilliam's film, "Brazil" kind of a bore.
I first saw it at about 13 with a group of 5 geeks. Three fell asleep, I stayed awake, though was bored (and admittedly, didn't quite get it), while the 5th geek sat rapt for the full length in unblinking-eyeballed rapture.

I watched it again a few years back with my wife; she fell asleep. I got it this time, though still found it too boring and slow. The genius of this film, however, comes in everyday adult life, when you find yourself shaking your head and your fist, recalling Jonathan Pryce's face, a victim of the flawed data-tracking and policy-addled system of the world, debating maddeningly trite rules intricacies with the cynical, zealous, inept adherence of the soul-devoured office troglodytes, the priestesses and priests and parish at the alter of their heathen policy deities. These drones have spent so long in the dark of their paperwork laws, that their eyes have glazed over and become useless, they've forgotten, are incapable of seeing, that there are actual human beings out there - on the outside - at the other end of that phone and those datascreens, people with dependants being negatively and seriously affected by their empirical little meaningless laws, many of which CAN be overridden, in spite of their power-drunk, semi-apologetic claims.

I'm tired of arguing with people over the phone about huge messes begat over minor paperwork or data-entry errors. A missing or misplaced checkmark shouldn't set people at such odds. The zombied creature I had the displeasure of debating most recently was rather distressed when I explained that she had no soul. I only levelled that statement out of frustration. And sadly, though I was the victim of the paperwork mishap, I was not the first to make a personal, counterproductive comment. In fact, I didn't level it as an attack. I explained that a few other busniess entities had been similarly affected by said paperwork dispute, in which I was blameless and at the mercy of others to fix - and that those other entities HADN'T created problems for me as a result; I could only assume this was because the humans at those other business entities still had their souls intact, and recognized that creating a problem for me, would be akin to suing the mayor of Seattle over the Falklands War. It didn't get any uglier than that. The saddest part, which compelled me to post my frustrated rant here, is that it's not the first such telephone troglodyte debate I've "enjoyed" in the past year. God, I haven't been engaged in so many tedious debates over minutiae since I used to play geek-level board games. Oh well. . . It's a sad, sad world.

Happy f%#king Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2005

R.I.P. Link Wray

I only just learned of his passing.

Big respect and farewell to the coolest, heaviest old time player to ever strum an E.

"Rumble" is often spotted in my iTunes Top 25. I'll give it a spin today in his honor.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Entire Duel of the Fates Season 1 available at

Duel of the Fates has been reborn as a podiobook!
The popular Dragon Page Wingin' It! segment is back, and available for download. All of the episodes are 3-5 minutes long, and under 3MB (except the Finals, which is about 7 minutes and about 3-and-a-half MB) - so those of you who missed out on Wingin' It! because of bandwidth issues can now get the episode mp3s in manageable sizes.

Subscribe now and hear all 9 episodes of the original series!
I'm also soon going to add a special, exclusive, comedic wrap-up episode, featuring previously unreleased material.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Money For Something

OK - we've all wept and worn our black armbands and discussed and discussed the soulless decision from the profit-slave corpoheads at USA/Sci-Fi/NBC networks to cut Sci-Fiction. The bravadoed, "kick-'er-while-she's-down" statements have also surfaced within the SF community in the aftermath of the strike, blasting Sci-Fiction for the quality of its stories as well as the kinds of stories published. Astride these, there have been negative assessments of the whole concept of reading fiction on a computer monitor and of a business model wherein a chunk of tangible money is paid out to writers and the 2 editors, though without advertisement pop-ups or windows or subscription charges, there's no way for such an entity to survive and profit, and therefore it should shut down.

~OK - I didn't like every story (classic or original) in Sci-Fiction, but no market exists where each and every published piece is pure genius. I think Ellen Datlow's Sci-Fiction ratio of good/great to mediocre/poor is outstanding.
~I checked in frequently, but I admit, I didn't read every week. I therefore never saw any stories which I felt didn't belong in a SF pub. I can't comment on that criticism, except to say that I tend to applaud progressive, open-minded thinking. I think SF literature has developed its own sensibility over the years, and therefore a story can exist without any non-existing technologies, magic or mystical events or powers, redefined histories, or any speculaive elements and still hold SF sensibilities, and therefore belong in a SF magazine. Again, I don't know which Sci-Fiction stories incited those readers to complain about the non-SF stories in the mag, so I can't comment on them. However -- in a number of markets, including Sci-Fiction -- I have read published stories of SF-sensibility which pushed the boundaries of the genre. For those, I'll take this opportunity to say "bravo!" to Ms. Datlow and the other brave editors who published them. Incidentally, the opposite model can also apply - where a story full of speculative devices bears no SF sensibilty, and is therefore more easily lumped into the "mainstream" category. Really, this must be on a story-by-story basis, and only if you feel the need to categorize individual pieces of art.
~I *DO* find long readings onscreen to be a chore, to be uncomfortable, but not enough to completely and permanently dismiss the practice. Especially not with the forthcoming technologies that will make e-texts as convenient and portable as pulped trees. And I'd be remiss not to point out that my own readers are obviously coping well with this onscreen reading environment.
~My final point - the point of this post - is a quick and simple refute of this last, short-sighted, "we surrender!" perspective - that it's fair and right that a market like Sci-Fiction should shut down. Capitalism is flawed yes, but it works. Its greatest failure is when we lose ourselves to its laws and forfeit the beauty of our individuality and artistic expression (and empathy and consideration for the less fortunate and poor) to its mechanisms. Art should be free. Not stolen or Napstered, mind you -- artists deserve to earn money for the time and work and sweat and toil they've put into works of merit and of appreciative audience -- but it should be available for everyone.
Are the magazines that charge money wrong then for doing so? No, of course not. That's a silly debate. There needn't -- shouldn't -- be one model for all art markets. Indeed, various paradigms working side-by-side in healthy competition can only help the field to thrive and thwart stagnance. But no matter the model, to misquote a great SF Hall-of-Famer, "all money should flow toward the authors".

There's a lot more to be said on this -- how historically, great artists were funded by wealthy patrons, or for some mediums or at lower levels, by appreciative public tossing coins into hats. This discussion could lead down any number of paths, but I haven't the time, the inclination, or the space to do so here.

So in summary:

Ellen Datlow: good luck! Find another editorial home soon.
Sci-Fiction: was unjustly cut down and will be long remembered and lamented.
Art: is NOT a product - and the normal rules of profit vs. expense should not apply. Artists ought to be paid for worthy (ie, appreciated) art, but art also ought to be open and available to everyone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

R.A. Salvatore Interview

So - I don't read much in the fantasy genre. I love, love, love Tolkien's books - including - especially including The Silmarillion. In my adult life, I've only ventured a few times into other Fantasy books, and always been disappointed (except when re-reading Tolkien).

But I just read an interview with R.A. Salvatore that blew me away. Go read it for yourself and nod repeatedly in agreement with his smart, refreshing insights.

Spherical Tomi Podiobook Sound Quality

So, a complaint was recently raised regarding the sound quality of the Spherical Tomi podiobook. The specific complaint was that the volume variance between the male and female voices is too great. I hadn't noticed this myself, but took the complaint seriously and went back to listen again. Apologies and no disrespect to that person, but I, and others I've asked, have not found anything unnatural. If you agree with this complaint, or if you are the person that raised the issue, then please feel free to contact me to elaborate. E-mail or use the posts on this site if you like. I almost wish I heard it too - because then I could fix it, and keep that guy as a listener.

Any and all complaints about the podiobook and even the text itself will be seriously considered, so please don't hesitate to post your feedback where I can see it, positives and/or negatives. Warning: Trolls will be subjected to flashes of brilliant light, and thus turned to stone. That guy's complaint about the voice levels was sincerely felt and un-trollish, even though I don't necessarily agree.

All that said, I'm going to see what I can do to reduce the "tape hiss" effect in future episodes, if anything. Yes, the overall sound quality is lo-fi, but it's the best I'm gonna get until I can upgrade my recording equipment. I'd thought (and been told that) it was listenable, even better than some audiobooks...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

New ST episode released at

Episode 4 of hte Spherical Tomi podiobook is up there - go give it a listen. Sorry for the frustratingly slow pace; I should have 2 episodes ready for their next podiobatch, hopefully even more.

I also have a very special surprise for the next podiobatch -- stay tuned!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Poe Podcast Project

Thanks to SF Titan Michael Stackpole, as well as a few other big-name podcasters, the PPP lives (interesting choice of words). Bravo!!! Old Edgar Allen is one of the great minds in the history of the written word, and his works can now be experienced in a new, exciting way.

The first episode debuted on Halloween; I'm actually a bit slow on the uptake, having only spotted it today. The second episode is out now as well, a delightfully cheesy, hammy, superb reading of "Fall of the House of Usher" from the 1940s.

Poe fans - - - go download the episodes and subscribe to the feed.

(Funny story: as I was listening to the eerie heartbeat of "The Tell-Tale Heart", I opened a cutesy e-card from my wife, with sweet tinkly music and a little huggy bear. Quite a blend of input, let me tell ya)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Top 25 in my iTunes player for 11/09/05

  1. Vanity Fair ~ Mr. Bungle 40
  2. fear regret and hope ~ Jack Mangan 32
  3. temple of earth and sea ~ jack mangan 31
  4. Myself Within Love ~ jack mangan 30
  5. Is There Love In Space? ~ Joe Satriani 27
  6. Organ Donor ~ DJ Shadow 26
  7. One With the Stillness ~ Jack Mangan 26
  8. Wine ~ Jack Mangan 26
  9. Earth Time Pigs Fate ~ Jack Mangan 24
  10. Dad and Dog ~ Fredo Viola 23
  11. Saddam A Go-Go ~ GWAR 23
  12. Did My Time ~ KoRn 21
  13. Black Circle Remix ~ Jack Mangan 19
  14. Dog Diary ~ Jack Mangan 19
  15. Spirit Man ~ Mango 19
  16. Defender ~ Manowar 19
  17. The Enemy ~ Anthrax 18
  18. Slaughter of the Soul ~ At the Gates 18
  19. Waltz #2 (XO) ~ Elliott Smith 18
  20. Miss Misery ~ Elliott Smith 18
  21. Hallowed Be Thy Name ~ Iron Maiden 18
  22. Jack Mangan - Tears of Liquid Mercury ~ Jack Mangan 18
  23. playing with spiders-skullkrusher ~ Overkill 18
  24. Lost In Space ~ Aimee Mann 17
As always, Vanity Fair is a safe #1. And once again, the top artist in the 25 Most Played is... me! I guess I'm just starved for interesting new music, and listening to my own creations a lot. Good music recommendations will be gratefully accepted. Another interesting trend - no hip-hop or soul! Where did they all go? Robeta Flack, Eric B and Rakim, Public Enemy, and Dr. Dre have all made appearances in past Top 25s, but they're conspicuously absent today. What does this say about my state of mind of late? Anyway - here are the tunes that also had 17 plays, but fell alphabetically after Aimee Mann and At the Gates (aha, found a few of them here):

Seemingly Endless Time ~ Death Angel
Nuthin But a G Thang ~ Dr. Dre
Microphone Fiend ~ Eric B & Rakim
Rumble ~ Link Wray & His Ray Men
Head Out To The Highway ~ Judas Priest
Solfegettio CPE Bach ~ Leslie Bridges
The Crown and the Ring ~ Manowar
Watch The Children Pray ~ Metal Church
West End Girls ~ Pet Shop Boys
Fight the Power ~ Public Enemy
U Can't Hold No Groove ~ Victor Wooten

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Podcasting For Dummies

When Historians look back and discuss the roots of podcasting, they'll first mention Adam Curry -- yes the same guy who used to look so out of place hosting MTV's Headbanger's Ball.

Amongst the next set of names, however, will be my friends Evo Terra and Tee Morris, the founding fathers of (along with Chris Miller) and pioneers of downloadable audiobook technology. These guys have written a book called "Podcasting for Dummies", which is available at all of your finer retail and online markets. Essential for anyone who gives even half a shit about podcasting, as well as any dummy who wants to learn more. Check it out, y'all.

-UPDATE- I've just learned that it won't be out in stores until November 17th.

Monday, November 07, 2005

More about that Photon Article in IROSF

An old Photon comrade contacted me recently about
"Supremacy: A Laser Tag Memoir", so it seemes like
the story is starting to make its rounds through what
remains of the old subculture.
It really is an underground brotherhood, based mostly
on nostalgia,
(not excluding the female players;
the guys just made up the overwheliming majority of
but it appears there are others out there
who still feel the way I do - and the way I did.
I replied to that e-mail with the following comment,
and upon reading, felt that it was relevant enough to
reprint here:

I've seen quite a few "You're on a smoky planet with a
gun, and suddenly someone jumps out at you!" articles
about Photon, but I think for us regulars, that Sci-Fi
aspect was forgotten after day 1, and from then on it
was all about the game and the community. I really
wanted to convey that in the article.

If you haven't yet read the article, then click the link above,
or check it out here.
Here are some other good Photon links, including:
the documentary video from the (brother of the) guy who
contacted me.
And this page where you can get all of the
Photon music and sound FX.
Or this page, which seems to be a community of old players.
I just signed up today, so I haven't been in yet to look around.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Spherical Tomi in's Top 5

In other Good News....

Spherical Tomi has already cracked's Top 5 books by subscription! Yes, I know that they only have a handful of titles over there, but it's still encouraging. Episode 4 will be appearing there soon, and Episode 5 not long after that.

The actual recording of the entire thing still isn't finished, but we're getting there. Huge, Enormous, Gigantic thanks to everyone who's subscribed and/or downloading the individual episodes.

The Big TIme

I was going to save this announcement, but I'm just too excited to hold back any longer:

My short story, "The Unsolvable Deathtrap", has been accepted for publication at Interzone Magazine!

Interzone is such a prestigious, high-profile, revered, respected magazine; I really couldn't be more thrilled. From what I understand, my story will be in pretty esteemed company in those pages.

I don't know any more details yet, but I'll post information here as it becomes available.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Check out the new face of CGP!

Check it out, bookmark it, live it. The new layout is pretty slick!
From here on out, I'll be posting news items there as well. . . though this humble blog will remain the primary source for Jack Mangan news and ramblings.

Not a publication, but...

I've posted the cut-by-half version of my "Last Cyberpunk" story (see the link in the sidebar) to Baen's Astounding's Slush boards. The rewritten story is called, "LCP: Diver Down"; it's basically a stripped-down version of the original, cutting straight to the action of the stratodive.

Please feel free to check it out and offer critiques and feedback.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My joke appears on John Buccigross's column

Take that, John Joseph Adams!!
(I kid the Slush God... as you can see if you cycle through the blurb-o-matic at his site) F&SF is awesome, even if I can't get a story past JJA.

Anyway -- In spite of my disgust for ESPN's utter dismissal of all things hockey, I'm a devotee of John Buccigross's weekly hockey column. He delivers it with real passion, knowledge, insight, and humor - with cool pop music sensibility to boot. It's a beacon of light in these dark hockey media times. Once at the site, I usually get drawn into Terry Frei and Scott Burnside's excellent columns as well.

Anyhoo -- he published my joke in this week's column - look at the Shot of the Week under the picture of Wayne Gretzky.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Matt's Today in History

Do you listen to Matt's Today in History? Everyday, Matt Dattilo dispenses five minutes of historical wisdom and information on a particular event from the current date in history.
I've recorded a bumper for Matt's Today in History -- he's added it to the November 1st episode. Go download it, and then make sure you subscribe to the entire feed. I started listening a few weeks back, and now I'm completely hooked.