8FOLD/META: 2014 Year in Review

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Jan 4 10:12:45 PST 2015

On 1/1/2015 1:50 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
> This is the first
> year that Eightfold's really been the thing we always wanted it to be,
> and that's because of you. Take a bow!

YEAH! <3

> This includes, of course, the RACCie for Favorite Universe, or as we
> in the newsgroup business like to call it, "The LNH Award". ;-)

Humbug! I mean, ASH has won a couple times... ``;

> 100. Mighty Medley # 1
> "Open Letter" by Andrew Perron
> Debut of the Dyzen'thari. A lovely story, in some ways typical of
> Andrew's work-- full of thoughtful and big-hearted optimism.

Awwwwwwwww <3 And I love what you've done with them, too - taking my hints and 
expanding upon them.

> "Terror of the Tribots!" by Tom Russell
> The first story starring the third Darkhorse (though not her first
> story).

Actually, where'd she show up first? --ah, wait, it says Journey Into #15. 
Let's see... Oh. Ohhhhhh. ^^; Poor Melody.

> Saxon's a great
> world-builder, full of great ideas with great twists.  I don't think he
> gets enough credit however for the sharp quality of his
> characterization, or the brisk, eminently readable nature of his
> prose.

I hyper-mega agree with this sentiment.

> I think I did a better
> job here getting across her force of personality, and her
> intelligence.

I agree, but I think it comes across best in the Atlantis stories.

> I've tried to keep the prose lean and stylish, and I
> think sometimes I succeed.


> "Picnic" by Andrew Perron
> The Norse god Balder and the Egyptian goddess Bast hang out. Like a
> lot of Andrew's stories for the Medley, I'd like to see more of these
> two.

Oh man, that's a good point... hmm...

> But life in a superhero-class universe might also be
> absolutely terrifying-- I know I wouldn't want to live in one!-- and
> this story focused on that sort of experience.

That's a good way to put it. And I thought the story of someone whose life 
improves by going from a fantastic world to a mundane one is worth telling.

> Incidentally, I owe Saxon my thanks for his assistance in suggesting
> starter Pratchett books for Mary, who is on her way to becoming quite
> a fan (particularly of the Moist and Death books).

Awesome! His stuff has been really influential on my own characterization and 
use of wordplay. Saxon, by the way, is probably our most Pratchett-esque writer.

> "Strange Profit" by Andrew Perron
> Wonderful vignette about The Merchant, who sells people what they want
> and in return asks of them what they need. One of several gently
> cosmic stories Andrew has contributed, and the Eightfold universe is
> richer for it.

"Gently cosmic", I like that <3 I should really return to the Merchant, too.

> The introduction of FEVER, the maniacal body-control terrorist group.

The whole "body-control" idea is great, BTW - gets at the kind of horror which 
matters to this sort of thing, without having to splash messily through 
another kind that you don't have room in the story for.

> "Wide Awakening" by Andrew Perron
> An outlier in Andrew's usually cheerful oeuvre, in which a mad
> scientist gets his comeuppance.

Comeuppance. <3 But yeah, I get angry sometimes.

> "Reign of the Cyborgs" by Tom Russell
> A gleefully ridiculous, over-the-top, crazy-violent story about
> Inspector Three-Nine and his human partner (a part-time gravure idol)
> fighting a gang of Cyborgs covered in laser-proof dinonium.

I want to see more of this sort of thing!

> I'm fairly proud of several
> of the action sequences and plot twists. I'm prouder of the book
> version, which introduces a new (and quite significant) twist right
> before the end.

Hmmmm! I still need to get that - I haven't had the chance yet.

> introduces Fenn, who takes down an ankylosaurus
> dodongo-style.

Heh heh heh.

> "Splat!" by Mary Russell
> One morning I woke up and Mary had written a story for the Medley.

Aw. <3

> "Debate in Dialogue" by Andrew Perron
> Two cosmic beings argue about the nature of life, the universe, and
> everything, and use Earth to settle their argument.

Mwahahaha. <3 And one must wonder if this has anything to do with current 
Eightfoldian events...

> "Teneve" by Tom Russell
> Ress undergoes her Teneve, finding the first Martian ship. We discover
> that Ress had poisoned Jarissy, and is at least partially responsible
> for her death.

Ress is a really good character, I think.

> "This Man... This Rutabaga!" by Tom Russell
> The Human Zeppelin accidentally starts the Pulse War (or so everyone
> thinks). A goofy little farce, but I tried to make sure that goofiness
> came out of the characters, and I think I succeeded.

Yeah! I think it's improved by later stories that clarify that, no, what he 
did was just an excuse.

> "Log File Wait, no, I mean, This is My Story"
>    by Andrew Perron
> (Seriously, Andrew, that's a very long title.)

Heh heh heh <3 As you and the readers may have noticed, I love stuff that 
overspills its borders.

> Kid Enthusiastic makes
> his Eightfold debut. I was reticent at first about letting characters,
> or version of characters, from other imprints (particularly the LNH)
> cross over into Eightfold, and had in the past refused these requests.
> But this story turned me around on it, and after mulling it over, I
> gave Andrew-- and a certain other party-- permission to proceed as
> they originally intended.

YAY. <3 I also love taking ideas and people, moving them outside their 
original contexts, and seeing what happens.

> "Vox Dei" by Tom Russell
> Gregory Dingham returns to existence, and is kind of a jerk about it.

"Kind of" he says.

> More on this later-- maybe this year, maybe next year.

Very good!

> "Secrets of Cydonia" by Tom Russell
> This is the one where Nerrine discovers that the White City knew that
> Earth was hostile all along.

Oooo, yes.

> Danalee has her first duel with Nisja,
> which I think is a perfectly serviceable sci-fi action sequence.

I agree! It pumps you up for Danalee's perspective, too.

> (Not, "the present day",
> because much like JOLT CITY, which ends its run in 2015 but is set in
> 2008, publication date does not equal timeline date.)

Which is good. Incidentally, my stories can be moved up and down the timeline 
pretty easily if need be.

> It occurs to me that
> Eightfold has a lot of plucky young ladies kicking butt-- these two,
> Darkhorse III, Wazowie, even Van Morrison and Dr. Fay to a degree--
> but, look. I like plucky young ladies kicking butt.

Yes! And frankly, the superhero genre needs more of them anyway - especially 
ones of color, who are in abundance here.

> "The Case of the Troublesome Texts" Pt. 5,
>     by Andrew Perron
> A cheeky "fifth" part, and conclusion, to the latest case of the
> Agents of SMAK (Science, Mathematics and Abstract Knowledge Team). So
> geeky. So goofy. So much gleeful fun.

YEAH. <3 As you may be able to tell, I wrote this after watching every single 
Mathnet serial from the old PBS kids' series Square One. (Well, almost every 
serial - I think there are two that are missing from Youtube, including the 
one with Weird Al. Sadface.)

> "The Cure for the Common Cold" by Peter Jurich
> A supervillain in therapy. Cute, with surprising emotional resonance.


> "I Am A Good Dog" by Wil Alambre
> Wil's first story for Eightfold, and it's an absolute delight. I love
> how Wil captures the very specific dog-ness of his protagonist.

Yes! Aughdorable.

> It's hard to summarize any installment of JOLT CITY, because first of
> all they're so frigging long and more than a little ornate.

Heeheehee. It's true, mind you.

> This is
> the one with the mob war, FEVER, the Day of Terror, the Dyzen'thari,
> time travel. Pretty much everything, really.


> "The Song in the Night" by Andrew Perron
> A strange, lovely little story-- more a style/mood piece. Which is I
> think ideal for the shorter MEDLEY format.

Absolutely! I basically wrote this one by starting at the beginning and just 
letting things flow where they would.

> As I always seem to be
> saying, there's such a gentle lovely kindness, and a bigness of heart
> typical of Andrew's work that's very much in evidence here.

Aaaaaaaaaugh. <3 I'm blushing, here.

> "The Gods of Algebra" by Tom Russell
> (Title given retroactively as I forgot to title the first issue.)

Ah, I'd been wondering.

> Probably the most ambitious thing I've done for Eightfold, and
> certainly the craziest. It's Kirby cosmic by way of Grant Morrison by
> way of the Bard.

I love this SO FREAKIN' MUCH. Remind me to vote for it for Best Miniseries.

> "The Forest Prince Returns" by Tom Russell
> The Red Hart gets a human host, and some proper superheroes get into the act.

Derek must enjoy being referred to as a proper superhero.

> "Original Characters" by Andrew Perron
> Andrew writes a story about the original Green Knight and the Acro-Bat
> taking on a very Mxyzptlkesque villain.

This one was the product of some very odd online debates on "originality".

> "The King of Dragons" by Tom Russell
> One thing I tried to do with every issue was introduce some crazy new
> cosmic thing, and the impossibly large, impossibly old dragon who had
> murdered the Red Hart's entire pantheon fit the bill nicely.


> "Venting the Cybercore" by Andrew Perron
> Superheroes discuss corporate politics while punching stuff? I'm in!
> Andrew creates a lot of "throw-away" concepts for heroes and villains
> that have just enough to them to make them real, and to make the
> reader want more.

Why thank you. <3 I also like filling in what non-North American superherodom 
is like.

> This is the story that Andrew said reminded him
> of Mark Waid FLASH, and since that's the high-watermark for
> speedsters, that's very high praise indeed.  Certainly this is one of
> the better Darkhorse action stories.

It really is! <3 It's one of those ones that really gets into the *experience* 
of an accelerated time frame.

> Van takes a stand against Sedenion, and is killed-- mostly, sort of.

I do love this genre.

> The
> concluding spectacle is, as Andrew noted, pretty much impossible to
> stage, and intentionally so.

Though I'd love to see someone try.

> "Rhapsody in Black" by Tom Russell
> Monad, who was introduced in RED HART # 9, gets a solo story here,
> about an abstract god-eating space-vampire thing.

I really liked this one, BTW - a good exploration of her viewpoint. (Monad is 
a "her", right?)

> "The Froggy Problem" by Tom Russell
> A logic puzzle. Hey, when you're short a page two days before
> publication, you have to stretch a little.

I liked it!

> "Buddy Cops" by Andrew Perron
> People can do bad things, and there is a sadness to that, expressed by
> the protagonist in this story. I think that's why the story is
> surprisingly moving.

Interestingly, the motive was pretty much the last thing I decided on with this.

> * Dyzen'thari
> * Kid Enthusiastic (8FOLD version)
> * About three dozen other characters Andrew created


> * Peter Jurich

Oh yeah! Hey, it's not a door prize!

> * Mighty Medley

Incidentally, when's this month's issue coming out?

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, and speaking of eligibles...

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