8FOLD/META: 2014 Year in Review

Tom Russell joltcity at gmail.com
Tue Jan 6 19:14:38 PST 2015

On Sunday, January 4, 2015 1:12:46 PM UTC-5, Andrew Perron wrote:
> On 1/1/2015 1:50 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
> > 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... ``;

Just a joke, of course. :0)
> > 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.

Shared universe!

> > "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.

I actually reread this story recently, and while it's not really her story, I do love the moment where she says her predecessor owes her dinner for breaking her ankle.

> > 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.

Yes, I agree.

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

Thank you kindly, sir.
> > "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...

::Encouragement waves::
> > 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.

Thank you.
> > 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.

Yes, I'd agree with that wholeheartedly now that I've actually read some Pratchett. While as I said Mary quite enjoys Mr. Pratchett's work, I'm actually not that big on him myself, and quite prefer Saxon's!
> > "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.

::Encouragement waves::

> > The introduction of FEVER, the maniacal body-control terrorist group.
> The whole "body-control" idea is great, BTW - gets at the kind of horror 

It helps that I find it genuinely terrifying. Always write about what scares you. (Well, almost always.)

> > "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.

The good ones often do.

> > "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!


> > "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.

Thanks! I'm a big fan myself, of course, and while I do agree with your assessment that she needs a hug, I would never want to get close enough to give her said hug. A dangerous lady! Or, as my Mary puts it: "Ress is mean."

> > "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.

I was initially going to hold back the reveal until quite late in the Pulse War cycle, but thought it better to let the reader in on the secret in RED HART.

> > 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.

One advantage to starting a universe ten years ago rather than sixty or seventy years ago is that you're not front-loaded with a bunch of WASPy dudes.

> > 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.

Well, there's a lot of story to tell. :-)
> > 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.

Awwww. It's true, mind you.

> > 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.

You are hereby reminded, sir.

> > "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.

Ha! Well, I was referring to the Seven Wonders, but sure. :-)

> > "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".

Could you summarize said debates? Just curious.

> > "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.

Yes, that's something I appreciate very much.

> > The
> > concluding spectacle is, as Andrew noted, pretty much impossible to
> > stage, and intentionally so.
> Though I'd love to see someone try.


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

Creating minor characters-- I prefer to describe briefly-appearing characters that are developed *just* enough to make them interesting as "minor characters" these days instead of "throwaway characters", because the latter has a negative connotation that is very much not intended-- is a rare gift, and should be celebrated.

> > * Mighty Medley
> Incidentally, when's this month's issue coming out?

Sorry, there was a little mix-up. It's up now, though!


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