Back to previous post: Greyhawk’s flags at half-staff

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Open thread 103

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

March 11, 2008

Phase one: collect underpants
Posted by Patrick at 12:33 AM * 271 comments

Yes, we’re building a new web site, separate from our perfectly good corporate site. “We,” in that sentence, being Tor Books, publishers of the largest line of hardcover and paperback science fiction and fantasy in the English-speaking world. Where I work as manager of the science fiction line, and Teresa is an occasional consulting editor, yes, even now, even in these palmy days of Federated Media and Boing Boing. (As you know, Bob. I trust all of you appreciate the subtle, professionally-handled incluing going on here. Quality craftsmanship like this doesn’t come easy, you understand.) What’s going on? How’s this new site going to work?

Well, as I told at least one web reporter, if we knew exactly how it’s going to work, we’d be done. We don’t, entirely, so we’re not, entirely.

But we know several things. We know that the site will use a blog-like architecture to present an ongoing stream of news, opinion, and observation from various Tor people, myself included, about the SF and fantasy events of the day—and about perhaps less-current things that are nonetheless of interest to SF and fantasy readers, such as medieval siege engines, the Van Allen Belt, hoisin sauce, XKCD, and the novels of Georgette Heyer. We know that there will be non-Tor bloggers also posting to the “front page”; in fact we’ve already recruited several in order to ensure coverage of particular niche areas. (Some of these individuals will be familiar to Making Light readers—wave hello, Bruce Baugh—and we haven’t finished recruiting, either.) We know that the site will also feature new original fiction on a regular basis, illustrated under the supervision of art director Irene Gallo, and that these original stories—free of DRM, offered as part of the blog feed and also Available For Your Convenience in a variety of other formats—will have their own associated open comment threads, just like everything else on the blog. We know that there will be lightweight “social networking” features for registered users, including the ability to form mutual-interest groups through tagging and the ability to create journals and/or discussions of their own. Most of all, we know that the real point of the exercise isn’t to create yet another blog, but rather, a place and a context for the lively, ongoing, wide-ranging, and profoundly self-organizing discussions that have characterized the science fiction subculture since its earliest days. In other words, it’ll be a lot like Making Light, except with original fiction and art, more front-page bloggers, a more direct connection to SF and fantasy, and run out of the middle of Tor Books.

THE PLAIN PEOPLE OF FANDOM: So this is, like, a big Tor promotional exercise, right?

PNH: Only in the sense that Tor is a pretty good brand to put on something associated with science fiction. In fact we mean to cover everything that seems interesting. Entertainment Weekly reviews movies and books and music produced by entities unconnected with Time Warner.

THE PLAIN PEOPLE OF FANDOM: So what about the free e-books?

PNH: I’m glad I made you up so that you could ask that question! As you know, Bob, since you already clicked on the very first link in this post, we’ve got a little “holding page” currently at the tor.com URL, where we’re urging people to sign up as preregistered users. In exchange for their advance support (and their permission to email them our newsletters) we are, For A Limited Time, sending them links through which they can download free, un-DRMed digital editions of various recent Tor books in a variety of formats. For instance, if you sign up now, you can download The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory; in a few days, that will go away but you’ll be given the opportunity to download Farthing by Jo Walton. Since we’re rotating books in and out of the program at a fair clip, the earlier you sign up, the more free books you’ll score.

However, the munificence of this offer (Slashdotted twice on its first weekend), combined with our vagueness in describing the actual site for which the offer is merely a build-up, has caused a lot of people to jump to the conclusion that the new site will be all about selling and/or giving away digital books. This isn’t the case, although Tor does have a bunch of future plans for the selling and/or giving away of book-length digital works, some of which plans may even involve this particular project. But the actual point of this site—

THE PLAIN PEOPLE OF FANDOM: —Is to be a Focal Point Fanzine, meyer.

PNH: So very busted.

THE PLAIN PEOPLE OF FANDOM: We thought so. We recognized the signs. The sensitive fannish faces. The faint but unmistakable aroma of mimeo ink. Exactly whose idea was this?

PNH: Well, er, Fritz Foy, former Holtzbrinck CTO and incorrigible ubergeek…and the aforementioned Irene Gallo…and, er, well yes, both Nielsen Haydens. Not long after the project’s initial phase, Teresa was promoted to the Vingean Beyond, from whence she sends occasional messages of encouragement to those of us back in the Slow Zone where FTL and true AI are impossible. But we’ve been joined by luminaries such as Tor editor Liz Gorinsky, and Gina Gagliano of graphic-novel imprint First Second, both of whom will be helping us find and develop original sequential-art material to add to the site’s mix. And of course we’d be nowhere without the energy, enthusiasm, focus, and endless Outlook-calendar meeting notices of professional Web producer Larry Hewitt, hired by our corporate management to turn our gauzy ideas into a properly flowcharted plan. (Look! He has a plan! We must eat his brain!) We cope.

THE PLAIN PEOPLE OF FANDOM: So when do you launch? Do you have a beta phase? Are you looking for early volunteers?

PNH: Again you anticipate me with the slan-like acuteness of your fine minds! We hope to launch in May. We hope to have a beta-testing phase beginning in early April. SPECIAL, HEART-POUNDINGLY EXCLUSIVE OFFER AVAILABLE ONLY TO READERS OF MAKING LIGHT: Send us email at “tor.betatest@gmail.com” and we’ll set you up as beta testers, able to wander around, sneer at the unfinished wiring, write rude villanelles on the exposed sheetrock, tell us what does and doesn’t work, and otherwise carry on. Act now! Act without thinking! WORK LIKE YOU WERE LIVING IN THE EARLY DAYS OF A BETTER NATION. Anyway, that’s our plan.

Comments on Phase one: collect underpants:
#1 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:18 AM:

Will step two get figured out?

#2 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:20 AM:

*throws confetti*

#3 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:24 AM:

WORK LIKE YOU WERE LIVING IN THE EARLY DAYS OF A BETTER NATION.

This is awesome.

#4 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:27 AM:

Phase 2 is actually in an advanced state of development in our
laboratories high atop Skullcrusher Mountain, but you don't give away all your proprietary secret sauce in a single blog post.

Or even a single mixed metaphor. Wait, I guess secret laboratories
can work on sauce. But can they sing a swan song? I tellya, I'm all sewed up in horse pies about it.

#5 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:27 AM:

Remember folks: there.is.no.secret.cabal.

#6 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:29 AM:

None whatsoever. And we certainly fnord don't see fnord the fnords.

#7 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:34 AM:

I see a glorious and friendly rivalry between you and io9.com! Colbert, er, I mean Fandom Wins!

#8 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:36 AM:

Do you want us to throw the underpants out the window to you, or just bring them to the collection site?

#9 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:37 AM:

i09.com rocks our
world, so much so that we may be required to eat their brains. Which
will be a gentle and loving experience for all concerned.

#10 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:39 AM:

Bruce Manager, Speaker to Cohens, #8: We were thinking that you'd hurl them onto the stage while we sang "Delilah."

#11 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:47 AM:

Wow, a three-letter domain name that's an actual word. Impressed by that alone!

#12 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:48 AM:

Wouldn't "What's New, Pussycat?" be even more appropriate than "Delilah?"

#13 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:51 AM:

PWNH'D @ 10

I can do that. If I can find my lighter I'll hold it up.

#14 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:52 AM:

I registered "tor.com" in 1993 or 1994. In later years I generously
gave it to TorforgeSMPholtzbrinckpalgravefarrarholtmacmillan. I'm a
softy.

#15 ::: Nina Armstrong ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:01 AM:

*comes behind Elise with throwing ticker tape*

#16 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:11 AM:

Well, yay and W00t! Despite the bitter disappointment of not being eligible for the eee (bitter, I tell you!) I'm on the barge with the fireworks, ready for Nina and Elise to give the signal.

#17 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:15 AM:

E-mail already sent.

Body of same: I won't promise any rude villanelles, though. Maybe an
occasional discreet sonnet, or a whimsical haiku, or simply a fit of
alliteration here and there.

#18 ::: Jo Fish ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:21 AM:

Sign me up!! Oh, and loving "Off Armageddon Reef"...

#19 ::: Steve Zillwood ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:32 AM:

So, will this be 12th fandom, false 11th, or will more dogs be kneeing groins?

#20 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:38 AM:

I leave the villanelles to others, choosing other manner of
versification, diversification, reversification, etc., for commentary.

#21 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:41 AM:

Ooh! Shiny! Kick io9's asses, politely!

(I just sent off my betatester e-mail, and when I did, Google tried to sell me a "Got Tranya?" t-shirt. They know me!)

#22 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 03:46 AM:

*raises a glass of something bubbly while watching the parade*

#23 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 04:20 AM:

I want to know about the hoisin sauce. (Thought you'd quietly put that past us, eh? Not likely.)

#24 ::: Alison Scott ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 04:26 AM:

It will be very interesting to see whether it's possible to
establish the online equivalent of a focal point fanzine, because there
have been several previous attempts, none terribly successful. Looking
backwards, there was a long phase where fandom essentially gathered in
rec.arts.sf.fandom on Usenet; then a long period where fandom could be
found mostly on LiveJournal rather than other social networks. But the
anonymity of LJ has been a struggle, and the site design acts to
suppress long threads and favour the trivial over the profound.

Shame the beta's not running now because all of UK fandom is
currently plunged into war following the release of the Clarke
shortlist. Would be a perfect test.

#25 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 04:35 AM:

Okay, one free suggestion: in these days of the international
internet, why not have a "country of origin" field in the sign-up
section? It'd probably save your minions a whole *heap* of trouble when
it comes to figuring out which of the myriad gmail.com addresses are
actually from the US, not to mention all the other webmail domains.
Your marketing people might like it too - who knows, they might be able
to find a couple of new markets from the list?

Overall, it sounds like a good idea, and I'll keep watching to see how things turn out.

In the meantime, that's me over there with the sausage-inna-bun stall.

#26 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 04:51 AM:

Alison, Shame
the beta's not running now because all of UK fandom is currently
plunged into war following the release of the Clarke shortlist. Would
be a perfect test.
, not this part of UK fandom.

#27 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 05:00 AM:

Shiny!

And given that it's that rarity, a three letter domain name, it
would be even shinier if tor.com as well as www.tor.com worked as a way
to get there. Yes, I am lazy. :-)

#28 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 05:39 AM:

Could this truly be, that Tor, with its reputation as the esseff
publisher with the Worst Web Presence, actually creating not just a
proper website, but something that's actually exciting? These truly are
the early days of a better nation!

#29 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 05:58 AM:

And here I've gone this long thinking "Phase one: collect underpants" was for Frank Zappa's quilt!

#30 ::: Sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 06:26 AM:

*dances*

So happy. Have books to read at work already--this will be another time sink!

#31 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 06:40 AM:

of interest to SF and fantasy readers, such as medieval siege
engines, the Van Allen Belt, hoisin sauce, XKCD, and the novels of
Georgette Heyer

...and Agatha Heterodyne? And knitting?

#32 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:10 AM:

Look! He has a plan! We must eat his brain! (...) WORK LIKE YOU
WERE LIVING IN THE EARLY DAYS OF A BETTER NATION. Anyway, that’s our
plan.

Does that mean we must eat your brain?

"Better nation-building thru brain-eating."

#33 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:14 AM:

A better future will be had by all through the people's glorious
interentcomputerwesite! Doubleplussgood citizens-workers are allowed
five minutes of rejoicing!

#34 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:20 AM:

#28, Martin: Actually, although you may not have noticed (who, after
all, surfs such sites regularly?), our creaking and antiquated
corporate web site was finally replaced with a rather zippy and useful
one--complete with information about all in-print titles--back in
February 2007.

#35 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:24 AM:

#27, Julia: With you there. I don't know why our setup is like that, and I hope to see it fixed.

#36 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:26 AM:

As per instructions, I wave. *waves* Looking forward to writing about gaming matters, widely construed.

#37 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:29 AM:

#24. Alison: I was thinking exactly that as I scanned my LJ flist yesterday!

#38 ::: Alan Kellogg ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:56 AM:

I signed up for the books. :) Though if Tor really wants me to beta-test, they can always ask in one of their newsletters.

Good luck with the community in any case.

#39 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 08:26 AM:

Martin (28), observe the festive and brightly-colored blood issuing from my bitten tongue.

#40 ::: janeyolen ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 08:33 AM:

Well, at last.

(Please note how, with such compression--three words, three--I
manage to suggest prior knowledge, settle myself clearly in the "in"
group, and nod-nod-wink-wink at the same time. Like: am I writing for
this thing or just hoping to rub up aganst the editor. And all without
giving way any actual information. If I don't make it in the writing
game, I might try being a spy.)

Oh, and PNH--that's the first time in a while I heard your actual
voice in a post. You wrote that as if speaking it. That wonderful,
breathless, words-and-ideas tumbling on top of one another manner you
have that makes any conversaion with you both delicious and difficult
to keep up with. Especially if one has a bad back, old ears, and a new
knee.

Jane

#41 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 08:43 AM:

Well that sounds like more fun than a barrel of Arcturan spider-puppies!

#42 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 08:53 AM:

Apparently, I signed up too late to get the Scalzi ebook download. I guess I'm just tough out of luck.

#43 ::: Harvey the Puca ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:08 AM:

I just KNEW it was going to be something GRAND. The writers blogs
are the most INTENSE, and now were are to have a whole editing company
and all thier wordy/ nerdy/ mind bending, individuals who give us
thought provoking mayhem and BOOKS.

I will be signing up TODAY

#44 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:25 AM:

And the rest of us at Tor will also be pitching in and blogging and
commenting and all like that. But not in an unpleasant, promotional
kind of way, we hope. More like those conversations we have in the
hall, when someone shouts out "holy crap, I just read/saw/heard the
coolest thing!"

#45 ::: Anna the Piper ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:29 AM:

Sweet. Y'all had already pulled me in with the free e-books, but now
that I have a better idea of what this'll be about, I'll totally sign
up for the beta testing. Thanks for letting us in. ^_^

#46 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:35 AM:

It's the largest permanent floating Worldcon on the Web!

Oh, and Patrick: bless you, bless you, bless you. I spent three
weekends in a row on business trips, and if it weren't for those ebooks
I would have failed all my sanity rolls.

#48 ::: Maeg ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:49 AM:

Jane @40

I noticed that too! Except, from this perspective, change 'a while'
to 'ever.' No intent to disparage our host, but my textual glimpses of
PNH have mostly been of the more surly variety. Smart, sharp, usually
laying a superhero-like smackdown against the forces of idiocy.

This post made me giggle and grin, which nearly had disasterous results here at work! Encore!

#49 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:51 AM:

This should be entertaining, and I've sent in my beta-testing
application. (And am in the process of reviewing the free ebooks as I
write.)

Regarding signing up late: the previous download links are still
live (I don't know whether this is deliberate or an oversight, given
PNH's comment about going away) and the emails encourage you to forward
them to friends. I'll happily forward the previous ones on a catch-up
basis if requested.

#50 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:57 AM:

Shouldn't that be "early days of a better website?"

Already sent in the beta email. I eagerly await my inclusion in the ultra secret super double magic inner circle.

#51 ::: MorganJLocke ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:57 AM:

This is So! Exciting!

#52 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:19 AM:

This is truly wondrous.

#53 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:29 AM:

Sounds like this is going to be a lot of fun!

#54 ::: Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:32 AM:

As Meg said (#25), a country field might be good, especially since
the CIP code field is obligatory, and I doubt my German CIP code will
do you any good.

Also, the "successfully subscribed" message needs to appear in a
more visible place. As it is right now, under the form in the same
font, color, and size, it is easily missed, leading to confusion,
multiple signups, and the breakdown of western civilization. Or parts
thereof.

Finally, while I did get the sneaky little signup successful
message, I never got my signup email--and I did check my spam folder. I
wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that I wrote "n/a" into
the CIP code field.

#55 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:34 AM:

"Open to legal residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 or older"

Wait...what? Why? Waaaaah!

#56 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:38 AM:

Oh, that's just for the Asus. Ok then :)

Although I'd still like to win an Asus :(

P.S. I remember a while back someone complained that email addresses
got harvested for spam from here a lot (not by our hosts, by bots) and
was advised to put in a human readable version, e.g. with "at". I tried
that but the comment wouldn't post without a valid address...is that
new?

#57 ::: Melinda Snodgrass ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:54 AM:

This is so swell, keen, neat, cool! I spend so many hours each day
alone, in a house that's a long way from anything, and it's such a
treat to wander off to my friends' virtual houses, grab a cup of tea or
some salsa and chips and settle down for a chat. Or just eavesdrop on
the conversations, and go away refreshed and less lonely. And now I
have a new place to visit.

Congrats to one and all at Tor.

#58 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:55 AM:

Russ @56: No, it's been doing that as long as I've been commenting
here. I believe if you put a web site in, your e-mail address won't be
displayed. (Or you can just rely on GMail's built-in spam filtering,
which has been doing an impressively good job for me.)

#59 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:18 AM:

Jane @40: I read it and thought, "It's an Izzard editorial!" It's nice to hear that voice again.

#60 ::: Stephanie ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:21 AM:

I look forward to more publishing-oriented, less breathless counterpart to io9!

#61 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:22 AM:

Glad to see things progressing, hope some of that progress includes seeing more Tor offerings over at Webscriptions again :-)

#62 ::: Renatus ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:28 AM:

Oooh, shiny.

I've been pining for a new internet community to hang out at--my old
ones weren't a good fit anymore and I've been rather without for a few
years now. This sounds like just my kind of thing and I've been wearing
this funny little grin all through reading the post and comments.

Signed up for beta testing, too. Whee!

#63 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:41 AM:

Kevin @58: Hmmm. Tried leaving a random, valid URL in the URL bit,
but that won't take my post. If you're reading this, I found a solution
(obviously), but is there a FAQ/posting guide thingy or thread?

I also find gmail's spam control excellent - I only mentioned it
because I happened to look in my spam folder to check for false
positives and noticed it's now trapping 1300 messages a month. Which I
think is quite impressive.

OAnd since I'm wayyyy off-topic I should probably mention I'm looking forward to the new site. And not just for Free! Books!

Although they help.

#64 ::: Stephen Granade ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:55 AM:

Well, nifty. In fact, a whole truckload of niftiness wrapped in an easy-to-carry package.

#65 ::: Mike Adelstein ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:58 AM:

I first heard about the e-books from Brandon Sanderson's blog, and I
have to admit that they have been great (and a fun way to get
introduced to some "new" authors (at least new to me!)). I can't wait
to get my grubby hands on that betasite :-)

#66 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 12:01 PM:

A most excellent website! I am fiendishly delighted.

#67 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 12:05 PM:

Do I have to write villanelles? I'm much better with sonnets. Or sestinas. A SFnal sestina is a lovesome thing, God wot.

#68 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 12:10 PM:

Wait, there's a Wikipedia article on "incluing"?

But I made that word up! I made that word up when I was fifteen!

Life really is amazing sometimes. The internet has been remarkably good to me.

#69 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 12:26 PM:

Jo at #68: And attributed as such, too! Though I had to fix the link
to your livejournal. LJ's 404 page is currently rather peculiarly
broken, unless it's just me.

Thank you for it - I'd been trying to find a useful way of describing that precise technique recently.

#70 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 12:30 PM:

Sign me up! (sign me up)

For the Tor Com jubilee!

Write my name (write my name)

On the roll! (on the beta roll)

I've been changed (I've been changed)

Since ML has lifted me...

I wanna be ready when the site rolls out!

(Filked from this.)

I signed up on the signup page (it's not https:, which concerned me
for a couple of seconds), and sent the email asking to beta test. This
is so cool! I want to be part of 17th Fandom, or whatever we're up to
now. I think actually there may be multiple distinct fandom threads
now; gone are the days when everyone in fandom had read all the books
that came out, or attended all the events at WorldCon. It just isn't
possible (literally, in the case of WorldCon).

So I think we're in the era of Multithreaded Fandom, which is beyond
the singularity of numbered fandoms. It's no longer possible to number
eras when there's no one focus. Perhaps the Tor.com site will help to
fuse some threads back together, and I certainly want to be part of it!

Start clicking the links;

It's launching today.

I want to be a part of it:

Tor com, Tor com!

I want to fanac

In a fandom that never sleeps,

Because we're Melbourne to Nome,

Tokyo to Rome,

We will destroy all those boys who come freep!

         (it goes on for pages, it's really the most disgusting stuff)

#71 ::: annalee flower horne ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 12:34 PM:

First we got i09 and now we're getting Tor.com. If the internet gets any more awesome this year, Google might have to move up their coup to make sure the infrastructure can handle it.

#72 ::: Arachne Jericho ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 12:49 PM:

Oh my. This and io9? My RSS science fiction folder will be happy. I
chew through entries like there'll be an apocalyptic breakdown of
civilization tomorrow.

Signed up.

#73 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:20 PM:

Hmm. An on-tor-age. {g sounded like j...)

Torwristing the Web.

Book tours (no physical pages to rip or be raster image printed)



#74 ::: Chryss ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:22 PM:

OK I'll be the first cranky one:

Folks! Stop being so great and launching awesome web sites--I have to get stuff done at work!

Please, people, won't you think of the PRODUCTIVITY?

#75 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:27 PM:

Yeah, the free ice cream is gonna make us all fat! Bad persons you!

Too damn much DELIGHT in the world as it is. Dratted goodness. Makes
me wanna go hit myself with a stick, just to remind me to be crabby.

(This should be taken as joining the fun of Cryss's's's' post, not criticising it.)

#76 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:28 PM:

As I said when we launched our social thingimigummy* last year, the
one thing I can say for certain is that people will use it in ways we
don't expect.

I look forward to the opportunity to do just that. (In my copious free time, snort.)

----

* In Dutch, onze sociabel dingetje

#77 ::: Scraps ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:28 PM:

You are probably already aware of this, but http://tor.com is not redirecting to http://www.tor.com.

#78 ::: Chryss ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:38 PM:

#75, Xopher: No free ice cream. More like dastardly niece with the
Girl Scout cookies. DON'T STAND IN THE WAY OF MY THIN MINTS, ELSE I'M
GONNA CUT YOU!

A-hem. Don't know where that came from. Truly.

#79 ::: Lucy Huntzinger ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:55 PM:

Most excellent.

#80 ::: Sian Hogan ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 01:59 PM:

Very, very exciting indeed. I just signed up. (At first, I
was worried I wouldn't be able to, as I am a British person with a
postcode rather than a zip code, but I entered that and it didn't seem
to mind. Which is good.) And I gave it my good email address- the one I actually use. Because I'm excited.

#81 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:00 PM:

Julia #27: Why even type ".com"? Typing t-o-r-(Ctrl/Enter) will, in
most browsers, produce "http://www.tor.com" quickly and easily.

I admit in some shame that I haven't (and probably won't) avail
myself of this week's freebie (Ms. Lackey not being my cuppa), but the
prior two rocked my socks. That's a heck of an average (even in spring
training) and I am looking forward to the upcoming season!

#82 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:03 PM:

More fun than getting my taxes done (which was what I did this morning)!

I've been saying 'no thanks' to all the little scout-things
infesting the shopping centers the last couple of weeks. Tomorrow they
hit the building where I work. Oh the horror! (Samoas?)

#83 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:07 PM:

More shiny things. I am going to run to library where my email is not blocked so I can sign up.

I've been away from ML for about two weeks, I have statistical analyses that continue to plague me. I miss you.

#84 ::: Arachne Jericho ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:12 PM:

#74: All your productivity are belong to Tor.

#86 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:25 PM:

Just wondering how long it takes to cough up the acknowledgement email. Checked the spam box as well...

#87 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:28 PM:

Larry 86, the fine print says "Within a day or so of sending us your
address, you should receive an email with a download link for this
week’s free book." It also says some other cool things.

#88 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:45 PM:

For all that I like the new Tor website, I remember fondly the N
H-written FAQ on the old one. A precursor to the tone of ML, it made
backstage, as it were, look almost as cool and fun as onstage.

Also -- Farthing! Worth signing up just for that.

#89 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:56 PM:

@Xopher - Thanks. I didn't read the fine print closely, and most of
these engines are automated these days, creating expectations of an
immediate response.

#90 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 02:57 PM:

Well, I'll be jiggered. They done Tor us a new one.

#91 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 03:02 PM:

Madeleine Robins @ 67

Please do write sestinas. I like them a lot, but I don't have time to write them very often; somebody ought to.

#92 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 04:23 PM:

Larry #86:

I didn't hear back until the next e-book was made available (in a
bulk post?). So, if it was sent out the day before you signed up, you
might have nearly a whole week to wait.

#93 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 04:42 PM:

Michael Weholt said @90:

Well, I'll be jiggered. They done Tor us a new one.

Oh, the Torment.

(But I've already signed up, so clearly I'm asking for it.)



#94 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 04:59 PM:

What? No torpitude?

#95 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 05:07 PM:

How can you guys disTort the language to make those Torrible puns?
Well, I suppose I should try to weather the sTorm. I can't stop you,
though perhaps I can Torque the process just a little.

All this brings me to my next idea, which is that the regular commenters on the Tor site should be called Toreadors.

#96 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 05:08 PM:

Today's special... Tortellini.

#97 ::: Julia ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 05:19 PM:

THE PLAIN PEOPLE OF FANDOM: And you, of course, spoke Perl when it was neither profitable nor popular!

#98 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 05:26 PM:

But I actually WANT the Mercedes Lackey - I haven't read anything by
her since junior high, and I just read Farthing on my Christmas
holidays. It lasted almost the whole flight.

#99 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 06:56 PM:

Bruce @81: Right now my Firefox feels that if I type in "tor", what I want is http://www.torproject.org/

Which is a good and fine thing in its own right, but is not tor.com :-(

#100 ::: Elyse Grasso ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:33 PM:

Yay.

I signed up for the newsletter the first week. And I've sent my email for the beta.

rasfw has been pretty unreadable for a while, and LiveJournals, while fun, are too fragmented.

This should be good.

#101 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:34 PM:

Not sure if I'll take the e-books (I have the hc of Farthing)
but this looks like an interesting site -- although it will have more
room for interest if I retire (cf several previous comments about
productivity). Which brings up a question: why are the offered age
brackets 1-11, 12-17, 18-30, and 30+? Are 30++ assumed to be still
reading? Niggling minds want to know....

#102 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 07:48 PM:

Russ @63: Looks like it worked. I can't see your e-mail address any more.

Pretty much all the posting guide is the couple boxes above the comment box (starting with the one that begins "Welcome to Making
Light's comment section."), though at least one bit of it is out of
date, viz. that these days about four URLs will get your commend held
for approval. There's also an implicit "don't be a d--k" guideline, but
you seem to have a good handle on that already. :-)

Xopher @70: I was trying to find a way to point out that today's
fandom seems to be larger and more diverse than the numbered fandoms of
youre, but you mostly said it better than I could have. In a way, Making Light is
a Focal Point Fanzine for one thread of modern fandom. (It was
certainly a large part of my introduction to same, though I'm still
just nudging about the periphery.) The trend toward diversity isn't
confined to fandom. Modern media markets---what I want to call the
modern attention market---is more diverse and therefore more
fragmented, and no one thing of any kind---movie, TV show, web
site---is seeing the kind of centralized attention it might have seen
in the Olden Days.

Here's a question pertinent to the original topic: Who will be moderating the new tor.com site?

#103 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:06 PM:

Waiting for my confirmational email has been Torture.

#104 ::: Christopher Turkel ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:23 PM:

As you know Bob, I want to be a beta tester. I hope they let me in.

#105 ::: Will Entrekin ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:27 PM:

How many different ways are there to be "in," because I'm totally all of them.

Fucking. Rad.

#106 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:35 PM:

Very very nice.

Mmm, not wanting to sound ungrateful, because this really is the
bestest thing I've heard of in a long time, but, umm, what's the
privacy policy? (It's this pesky EFF droid drilled into the base of my skull that makes me ask such ungrateful-sounding questions.)

#107 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 09:53 PM:

I did the initial signup, but didn't download books. So far they've
been books I already had in paper or Mercedes Lackey. I'll go sign up
to beta test now. I used to break software for a living. ;)

#108 ::: karen ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:00 PM:

Congratulations, and thanks. Umm, you will still be here too,
please, right? This is an addition, not a move? (That is, yum, free ice
cream; change still a little scary.)

#109 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:01 PM:

103: But will you break? We want... information.

#110 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:04 PM:

Marilee @ 107

I used to break software for a living.

Does that make you a code whisperer?

#111 ::: Julia ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:48 PM:

I do think I may die happy now, having seen references to both Myles na gCopaleen and Jonathan Coulton on the same web page.

If you could have worked in something about Yeovil HQ as well, I most likely would have spontaneously combusted right here.

#112 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 10:54 PM:

Daniel @ 54: "Also, the "successfully subscribed" message needs
to appear in a more visible place. As it is right now, under the form
in the same font, color, and size, it is easily missed, leading to
confusion, multiple signups, and the breakdown of western civilization.
Or parts thereof."

Seconded. Especially misleading is the "All Fields Required" message
at the top, which is particularly evocative if an "input rejected"
screen.

Since no one else has mentioned it, I like the free wallpapers! If
Tor decided to release all their book art as wallpapers (especially
backstock), I would be decidedly squeeful.

#113 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:45 PM:

Privacy policy, for those who asked.

Confirmational emails to those of you who offered to be beta testers
are going out in intermittent batches. Don't fret if you don't get one
for a day or three. There'll be nothing to see until early April
anyway. Oh, and yes, we're still accepting beta testers.

Confirmational emails to people who preregister at www.tor.com are also batched, although somewhat more automatic.

#114 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:46 PM:

I still want to Watch The Skies, but get the widow saying "Email
Address is invalid". It isn't, honest. I'm guessing this has something
to do with using an antique Macintosh version of Internet Explorer, and
that eventually I'll discover a workaround. Grumpf!



#115 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2008, 11:55 PM:

heresiarch @#112: I love the wallpapers, too! Although the Palencar*
gave me a chuckle, musing on how it would work as a wraparound cover
(it's not really a wraparound).

*it's perfectly lovely, like all of his covers. I'm just goofy.

#116 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 12:01 AM:

114: Well... it's a lonely window.

#117 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:24 AM:

BTW, I believe just enlisted a couple of coworkers for the ebook
thing. I should have done it a couple weeks earlier so they could've
got in on Old Man's War, et al.

I'm actually getting new reading material faster than I have time to read it at the moment; that's odd.

#118 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:39 AM:

Don Fitch #114:

If you delete the Tor cookies & try again, does that fix it?

Tor cookies: A thunderbolt in every bite!

#119 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:54 AM:

I'm... tempted... to send in a beta-admittance request.

But... I'm trying to get retirement papers together, trying to
job-hunt at the same time, I still have the annual
run-around-the-house-cursing-hunt-for-everything-to-file-taxes-with
coming up next month, plus this winter's heavy rains have made the
backyard a jungle of weeds.

(Yes, I've finally taken that big scary step, and started retirement
proceedings from the Postal Service. If I'd know it would feel THIS
damn good, I'd have done it sooner.)(I've liked my actual job for
thirty-plus years, but... my god... the management system is so damned
toxic!)

So... I'll pass... for now.

[excessive ellipsises provided by the Bill Bowers Memorial Ellipsis Mine]

#120 ::: Rich McAllister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 02:50 AM:

pnh @ #14: I admired the the shortness of "pnh@tor.com" back in 1994
when I was "rfm@sun.com"
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.fandom/msg/797eb27d26a989f3

Neither rfm @sun .com or rfm@eng.sun.com works for me now, but I don't have to get up in the morning...

#121 ::: Santiago Casares ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 03:15 AM:

It sounds like a site that was long overdue... nice!

And it made me wonder what kind of policies will there be for submitting stories for this new venture.

#122 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 07:46 AM:

Mary Dell @ 115: "Although the Palencar* gave me a chuckle, musing on how it would work as a wraparound cover (it's not really a wraparound)."

Heh! "So, uh...apparently this book is about butts. And crows."

#123 ::: boogieshoes ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 07:57 AM:

so, not to be a wet blanket, here, but the first thing i thought was
'but Baen Books already has that!' of course, the more stuff out there
for us reader-types, the merrier, and i'm happy TOR is putting this
together, and i wish them luck.

but it does make me wonder if you (collectively) are designing this
site to be in *competition* with Baen's site, or *complimentary to* it.
ie, same services, trying for the same readers, or different services
in degree or kind. i don't actually have an opinion either way, except
for 'yay! more book-stuff on the web!', but i am curious.

in any event, if you haven't checked out Baen's site for ideas, i
urge you to do so. if they're doing something you like, there's no
reason to re-invent the wheel, and site maintainers are pretty
reachable.

good luck with the new site!

-boogieshoes

#124 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 08:12 AM:

boogieshoes, Baen's Bar is highly publisher-specific, and it's a publisher with a very specific market identity.
Baen is the go-to place for red-blooded American MilSF, plus sidelines
in fantasy (including humorous fantasy) and alternate history, and
about 20% anomalous stuff on the side that doesn't really fit in the
above categories. And the barflies reflect this. This isn't meant as a
criticism, by the way -- I just wanted to point out that the bar
provides a hang-out for a particular type of fandom rather than the
whole thing.

There are other SF hangouts on the net; the newsgroups on SFF.net,
for example, or the general rec.arts.sf.* hierarchy (if you can filter
out the spammers and sporgers who seem to overrun it these days). But
they're all somewhat fragmented.

I for one would love to see the Tor site -- or anyone else, for that
matter -- do an outreach thing: use RSS or ATOM syndication to link out
to the other SF fan fora, not in an embrace-and-extend Microsoftish
kind of way, but in order to build bridges within the SF-ish
fluorosphere, linking the archipelago into a land mass. We'll see.

#125 ::: Eimear Ní Mhéalóid ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 08:17 AM:

Apparently, I signed up too late to get the Scalzi ebook download. I guess I'm just tough out of luck.

Earl, I have reason to believe that if you send a nice email to the
address that comes with the current book download email, they might
well send you the Scalzi link.

#126 ::: Suzette Hade Elgin ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 09:02 AM:

Am I the only one who -- when trying to sign up at the "holding"
page -- keeps getting a message saying that my e-mail address is
invalid? The very same e-mail address with which I send and receive all
my e-mail.... It's very discouraging...

#127 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 09:06 AM:

If this is Phase One, will there be a Phase IV?

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. But the ants have other ideas.
#128 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 09:26 AM:

Serge @ 137: Only if you use the Phase-a-matic Converter (Phase-a-matic).

#129 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 09:29 AM:

Ginger @ 128... Isn't the Phase-a-matic Converter the gizmo
that the Federation uses to keep Borg weapons from making thru their
forcefields?

#130 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 09:50 AM:

Picard: "Ensign, run that message through the Phrase-O-Matic Converter."

Menacing Machine Voice: "Really, you're going to end up doing what
we want anyway, so why work yourself up over it? We'll all be together
by and bye. Now, isn't it time or elevenses? We are the Borggina!"

#131 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 10:04 AM:

Bruce and Serge: I belong to the Canadian Borg. Resistance would be impolite.

#132 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 10:15 AM:

Ginger #131: Wouldn't the Canadian Borg issue its commands bilingually?

#133 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 11:24 AM:

Fragano: Of course. Pour l'assimilation en francais, veuillez appuyer le "2".

#134 ::: Katherine Mankiller ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 11:26 AM:

Patrick @ #34 - Actually, I noticed that the corporate website was
no longer partying like it's 1999. Do I get a cookie for noticing? ;)

Russ @ #56 - It's that wacky "view all by" link. Chock full of tasty email address goodness.

boogieshoes @ #123 - Yes, I know about Baen's Bar. My SO lives there. I'm totally not their target audience.

#135 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 11:54 AM:

Suzette Hade Elgin: No, Don Fitch has expressed the same concern/ I
hope it will comfort each of you to know you are not alone.

#136 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 12:00 PM:

Eimear Ní Mhéalóid #125:

Apparently, I signed up too late to get the Scalzi ebook download. I guess I'm just tough out of luck.
Earl,
I have reason to believe that if you send a nice email to the address
that comes with the current book download email, they might well send
you the Scalzi link.

I'll do that. I had some kind-hearted people email me the link, but I prefer not to use it unless I get official permission.

#137 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 12:05 PM:

Fragano@ 132: Mais oui, M'sieur. Votre point est?

#138 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 12:20 PM:

I believe the correct nomenclature should be betor testor.

#139 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 12:58 PM:

Lance Weber @138:

As in, neener, neener, I'm a betor tester than you?

Must we?

#140 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:02 PM:

Abi @139: You make it sound so immator...

#141 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:22 PM:

Ah! I've been thrown out of bettor tors than this!

#142 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:31 PM:

Suzette Haden Elgin, Don Fitch, and anyone else having trouble registering at tor.com should send me email at pnh@tor.com describing as best as possible what happened. It will
get fixed and meanwhile we'll make sure they get pre-registered even if
we have to hand-inscribe their information on magnetic media with a
broken egg whisk.

I note, by the way, that the "www" problem has been fixed; going to simply "tor.com" works now.

#143 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:38 PM:

I presume there will be some sort of Tor conclave, presumably in
Toronto or Torino? Patrick, I'm sure, will not long keep us in torment.
Undoubtedly, there will be a torrent of good things coming down from
the skies, since none of the good people of Tor would want to torture
us with prolonged anticipation.

#144 ::: boogieshoes ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:39 PM:

re Charlie Stross @ 121:

"Baen is the go-to place for red-blooded American MilSF, plus
sidelines in fantasy (including humorous fantasy) and alternate
history, and about 20% anomalous stuff on the side that doesn't really
fit in the above categories. And the barflies reflect this."

yes, i certainly do! ::grins::

but yes, i know Baen is very target specific. i think what i'm
trying to ask is how Tor and the Nielsen-Haydens envision their new
site and etc fitting into the already existing information stream from
publishers to readers? Baen's site, while offering a lot of promotions
and things not available in dead tree versions, is primarly a site for
reader to kvetch with each other and their favorite authors.

there is a considerable stream of information from Baen authors vis
a vis various sf/f things - mostly convention appearances, what the
next books will be, that sort of thing - as well as a considerable
amount of conversation over the state of the world today.

i'm asking, out of curiosity mind, if Tor plans to have a similar 'feel' to their site, or a more formalized place.

::scratches head:: i'm not actually sure if that makes any sense, but i hope it does.

-bs

#145 ::: boogieshoes ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:42 PM:

::sighs:: that was supposed to be Charlie Stross at post 124, not
post 121... some days, it just doesn't pay to fall out of bed in the
morning.

-bs

#146 ::: Joe Morrison ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 01:59 PM:

Are we still eligible for beta testing if we only visit Making Light
occasionally when pointed here by others? Or is this a semi-exclusive
offer/temptation/trap for regular readers only?

#147 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 02:08 PM:

Joe @146: I like to think they're looking for people who will make great ambassators for their site.

#148 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 02:18 PM:

Fragano @ 143: I envision a race to collect the Tor line, which can
be called the Tor de Books. Before each race is run, the torch bearers
will flee run ahead. The directors will indicate the
opening of the store, and operators will stand by their phones. Wator
stations along the way will hydrate our contestors -- or are they just
testors? At cons? For the pain induced by the punstors, I'll suggest
the well known opioid, torbutrol, although -- like any opiate -- it
will make them torpid.

No need to get angry; getting torqued will not help. Winners will be
awarded a free trip to Tortola, where torch singers will serenade them.
Don't stay out on the beach too long, or you will torrefy.

Torry. Couldn't help myself.

#149 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 02:26 PM:

Ginger @148: And to the victors go the spoilers ( in the form of galleys of upcoming releases).

#150 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 03:09 PM:

#144: Having digested Patrick's exuberant burble above, I think the
new Tor site is intended to be the Ultimate Fanzine from the
Transcendent Beyond, with everything that should accompany that,
including fan feedback and more.

For example, it will not merely include authors talking about
what their next books will be, but feature Transcended AIs explaining
what those authors are going to write in the following books which
hadn't even occurred to them yet, reviewing new genres which are soon
to appear in writing, and so forth. Now you'll be able to form opinions
on the literary successors of Slipstream and InfernoKrusher without
having to wait for those pesky writers!

Or something.

#151 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 03:14 PM:

Ginger @ 248... Couldn't help myself.

Yes, you could have.

You chose not to.

We need Tor reform.

#152 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 03:18 PM:

Ginger #148: Dat's my 'tory an' I'm sticking to it. I'd be happy (if
someone else will provide the airfare) to read all the sTories at Tori
Oso*, a wonderful pub I'll have you know, on Rustenvredestraat in
Paramaribo.



*Since that means 'Story House', it's the most appropriate place so to do.

#153 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 03:21 PM:

Serge #151...

'Ginger @248'

Got your time machine out again, have you?

#154 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 03:37 PM:

Serge @ 151: Are you labeling me a tort-feasor? If so, I'm not bittor, although my torticollis is acting up.

Fragano @ 153:

"Serge #151...

'Ginger @248'

Got your time machine out again, have you?"

Isn't that redundant?

We should all be very careful not to get too excited, or we should
suffer torsades de pointes in our torsi, necessitating being slapped
upside the head with a torsk. Much bettor to get a torta (or torte, or
even a tortilla) in the face.

Ah, Nero Wolfe would be proud of my tortile taradiddles!

#155 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 03:42 PM:

Fragano @ 153... Got your time machine out again, have you?

It's a TORDIS.

#156 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 03:45 PM:

#144 boogieshoes: i'm asking, out of curiosity mind, if Tor plans to have a similar 'feel' to their site, or a more formalized place.

I don't have anything to do with Tor (except that I may have
inadvertently triggered a torrent of Tor puns), but my guess is we'll
find out what its feel is like once it gets here and we all, you know,
feel it up for a while.

#157 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 04:08 PM:

PNH #142:

Is it the cookies? For me, deleting the tor cookies & trying again worked.

#158 ::: boogieshoes ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 04:13 PM:

@ 156:

::groans:: bad pun, no biscuit!

actually, what's torquing me off right now is that as a bona-fide
SCA herald, i have free rein to pun at people, in the most torturous
manner possible. except that my brain is so sleepy, i cant.

-bs

#159 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 04:15 PM:

Ginger #154: I think I'll just have some torrone, there's just too
much torsion, and I don't want to be torn. I suspect that someone --
you perhaps -- might confuse me with a torero (though, frankly, I have
the singing voice of a bird -- a crow -- and thus could not think of
imitating Escamillo). I might be tempted to turn pirate, and take you
down to Tortuga, though.

#160 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 04:17 PM:

Serge #155: I, however, am a docTOR.

#161 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 04:23 PM:

Fragano... Few can say it as well as Derek Jacobi did, but I'll try:

I am the Mastor!

#162 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 04:48 PM:

I'm a big fan of Baen's Bar and an admirer of what the late Jim Baen
and his people have done with their site. Jim had a cast-iron
understanding of the fact that books happen in a complicated web of
socializing and community, and of the fact that readers who feel a
personal connection to their favorite authors are an unstoppable force
for evangelizing those authors' works to all their friends.

That said, no two social areas on the net have exactly the same
flavor or tone, so I doubt our site, assuming it flourishes, will
"feel" the same as Baen's. But I certainly admire what they've done. I
don't see us as competing with them; quite the contrary, we're happy to
hold them up as pioneers to whose work we aim to add. The internet has
plenty of room in it.

#163 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 04:56 PM:

And by the way, when I said it was an EXCLUSIVE OFFER AVAILABLE ONLY
TO READERS OF MAKING LIGHT, I kind of trusted that people would
recognize that I was joking, since anyone in a position to be reading
my post is probably by definition, at least for the moment, a reader of
Making Light. Seriously, the beta program is pretty open, at least for
now; people interested in participating don't have to worry just
because they havn't been reading Making Light since the Cretacious.

We're closing in on about 500 signups for the beta phase, so it
should be fun. Particularly since the number of people who've
pre-registered at www.tor.com to be full members of the post-launch
site is waaaaaaay more than that. Reserve your place in the in-crowd
now!

#164 ::: Elyse Grasso ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 06:31 PM:

This is semi-OT, but ...

I wandered over to the Tor-Forge site and found that the little
clicky numbers to go to the next page of Tor books don't work in my
favorite browser.

This is Konqueror on 64-bit Linux (Kubuntu). The clickies work in Firefox, but I only use that browser when forced.

#165 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 06:42 PM:

Serge #161: I will resist tormenting you, since I am no Mastor baiter.

#166 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 06:55 PM:

Hmm. I posted a song about how there are very few Tories at Tor earlier this afternoon. I'm sure it posted.

It was a bit giddy, to be sure, though inspired by the punstorm
going on here, but I didn't think it was offensive or anything. It did
make some comments about macho-mil Baen books, taking off from
Charlie's comments on that.

I don't appear to have kept another copy, either, so I'm not about
to repost it or anything. If it was deleted on purpose, could whoever
did so email me and tell me why? I'd like to know what the problem was
so that I can avoid doing something like it in the future.

#167 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 07:22 PM:

Is this
a part of Phase 2? Could there be a plan to confuse readers, librarians
and booksellers everywhere and drive them all to from the shiny new Tor
site where their complaints will be silenced by the sheer awesomeness
of Phase 3?

#168 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 07:32 PM:

Apropos Elyse @164: I'd like to flag that for Patrick as a Problem.
Konqueror is the original Webkit (KHTML) based browser. As such, it
shares its HTML and JavaScript rendering engine with Safari on OS/X and
Windows and iPhone, with the Nokia Series 60R3 browser on Nokia
smartphones, and a whole bunch of other stuff -- it's one of the top
four web rendering engines (along with the Firefox/Gecko engine, MSIE,
and Opera). The button-not-clicky problem suggests that the JavaScript
isn't as generic as it ought to be ...

#169 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 07:54 PM:

Will the new site be noTORious?

#170 ::: Elyse Grasso ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 08:45 PM:

Re Charlie @ 167 The url of the page that Konqueror is cranky about
is http://www.tor-forge.com/Tor.aspx. I suspected that I might be
missing a plugin needed to run it. Plugin support for Konqueror is a
bit marginal, (especially for 64-bit) and I don't have a lot of them
loaded.

I have to use Firefox for my banking because they use a Flash login
app for security (the mind boggles) and while I can watch YouTube on
Konqueror it chokes on the bank's app.

#171 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 08:54 PM:

Xopher @166: Yeah, you did, I saw it. That's weird because I usually
don't slip into another multiverse at the same time as someone else...

#172 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 08:58 PM:

Thanks Lance. I was beginning to think I was going fahrbot.

#173 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 09:26 PM:

Xopher & Lance, yup, I saw and enjoyed it quite a bit. It was
one I could sing along with right away. Odd, that; the slip in
'reality' must have extended all the way across the Pacific :)

#174 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 09:46 PM:

@Charlie and Elyse (and Patrick and anyone concerned with
compatibility). I can confirm that the page works fine on Safari and
Omniweb (both Webkit-based browsers) on my Mac (running 10.5 with all
the updates).

#175 ::: Mark Atwood ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 09:59 PM:

Will it be OpenID enabled, or am I going to have to create Yet Another account with Yet Another password?

#176 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 10:20 PM:

For what it's worth, guys, I have nothing to do with the design or
maintenance of the corporate site at www.tor-forge.com. I'll pass the
word along, of course.

#177 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 10:56 PM:

Mez, I need to email you about something, but your user link leads
to your blog, and I couldn't find a contact email there. Could you
please email me? My user link points to it, but you'll have to take out
the antispam bits.

#178 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 11:21 PM:

Fragano @ 159: Ah, the Dry Tortugas! Alas, whisking me off to the
toropical islands would be about as kind as subjecting a tortoise to
the desert. I don't tan; I don't even beige very well. Now if you
offered a trip to Torbay, I'd take you up on it -- I'd say "yes" so
fast your head would spin as if it were caught by a tornado. I'd dress
for the occasion, too: my best torc, my torchon lace, even my toreador
pants (but only if it's promising to be warm enough).

If you treat me nicely, I'll share my toroids.

#179 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 11:42 PM:

142:

I've since received (& replied to) a confirmation request, so
either one of my applications got through or someone /w/a/s/
/w/e/a/r/i/n/g/ /t/e/n/n/i/e/s/ did it manually. If the latter, Thanks.
If all the c. ten tries eventually go through, I suppose I'll ignore
the "confirm" requests and have to turn in my "Aspiring Geek" badge.

Mind you, my current s-f Enthusiasm is for a non-Tor writer I've
been re-reading -- I've decided that I've fallen In Love with the
person who wrote _Komarr_, and In Awe with the writer who produced _A
Civil Campaign_ (a fine Jane Austen Comedy of Manners, re-written by
Wodehouse, with the Dinner Party Scene added by the Marx Brothers...
and none of it quite (to my taste) overdone).

(The above paragraph is not to be taken as rescinding my opinion
that if one is to pick books by Publisher, Tor is by far the best bet.)

#180 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2008, 11:53 PM:

Believe me, Lois McMaster Bujold roxxors our Tor soxxors.

#181 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 12:30 AM:

180:

I believe you, entirely. Indeed, s-f publishers in general seem to
be remarkably unparochial and un-terriTORrial (sorry about that, he
says insincerely) -- they genuinely like good s-f, wherever it might be
found, and give praise whenever they consider it deserved.

#182 ::: Angela Blackwell ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 01:47 AM:

Any idea what length of science fiction will be offered?

Where will the fiction come from?



#183 ::: Lisa Harrigan ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 01:53 AM:

I sent in my beta request. This sounds very interesting.

Going to have to get a pda with more memory if I'm carrying around more
books in it (that's how i like to read pdf novels). Not that this is a
bad thing.

#184 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 03:03 AM:

And, in the news today, TOR activity is associated with longevity.

Although when they say "the theory that calorie intake and nutrient response affect lifespan by altering TOR activity" they mean
"TOR activity affects calorie intake and nutrient response," because
the presence of TOR is associated with forgetting to eat, or sleep, or
anything else until the book is done, I find.

#185 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 05:34 AM:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden #180: Believe me, Lois McMaster Bujold roxxors our Tor soxxors.

Certainly one of the best middle names in the genre.

Ummm, if I sign up for the beta program, would I end up fighting
tooth and nail with over-influential marketing people who don't
understand the importance of web standards and handicap accessibility
of web sites?

#186 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 05:37 AM:

Of course, the full announcement should be made at Torpenhow Hill.

In multiple languages.

#187 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 06:33 AM:

"Ummm, if I sign up for the beta program, would I end up
fighting tooth and nail with over-influential marketing people who
don't understand the importance of web standards and handicap
accessibility of web sites?"

Short answer: I hope not. We definitely care about those things.

Longer answer: If we do screw up, it's not necessarily going to be
the fault of "marketing people." In my experience, editors are as
capable as anyone else in publishing of making fatally stupid
decisions. The habit of assuming that anything Dilbertean is the fault
of unnamed "marketing people" leads, I find, to assumptions that
diverge quite a bit from reality.

#188 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 09:07 AM:

Xopher @ 177: Note that if you click the "(view all by)" on a
message, the generated search includes the E-mail address as well as
the person's URL, and you can then extract the address from the URL
which appears in your browser.

#189 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 09:35 AM:

Oh my...@ # 127, I was just thinking about that movie today...I couldn't for the life of me remember the name.

How odd that I stumbled on it here...

And, for what it's worth, I'm a definite connoisseur of weird pharaoh embarrassment, within the minuscule fluorosphere.

#190 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 10:10 AM:

Technical problems we're looking into on tor.com:

(1) Some (not all) non-Americans have a variety of difficulties getting their signups accepted.

(2) Feedback meant to confirm successful signups is unclear.

(3) Some individual addresses are being persistently rejected by the system.

Technical problems that have been fixed:

(1) You can now go to "tor.com" rather than having to type "http://www.tor.com".

#191 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 10:50 AM:

Ginger #178: I, on the other hand, have a distinct preference for
the torrid zone. My wife is tortured by the torments of even a Georgia
wintor. I can understand that a ginger person might not want to spend
too much time in the sun, though.

#192 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 10:52 AM:

Don Fitch #179, PNH #180: I agree wholeheartedly.

#193 ::: sherrold ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 11:48 AM:

Re the Baen Bar...

Okay, I'm embarrassed about this. I generally am all about
functional vs. bells and whistles, and I've been on the web since most
sites had black text on gray backgrounds. But the forum software they
use there just screams 1997, and it gives me the willies. I know, good
people, good conversation, but it's a little like having a intimate
party in a hugely cold and drafty warehouse.

Is it just me?

#194 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 01:05 PM:

Fragano @ 191: I have spent my time in the torrid zone*, which is
how I know I can't beige. It's history now. I'll just hand out these
warm baked toroids in honor of our shared intorests. Lator we can
discuss which of the Tor-offerings we like bettor.

*My vetorinary school is on St. Kitts, if that means anything; to me, it was a place of torment.

#195 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 01:10 PM:

History doesn't repeat itself. It stuttors.

#196 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 02:26 PM:

Sherrold @193: I've been a Baen Barfly since 1998, and the current
incarnation is exactly what you said. There's no way to have a nice
conversation in there any more; the atmosphere of the interface just
leaves me cold. It's one of the reasons I've gafiated. LJ is nice for
the intimate conversations, but then you don't have the threads and
punic wars and such, which is not very satisfying.

#197 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 02:41 PM:

Ginger #194: In spite of being a specialist in the Caribbean, I have
never been to the island of St Christorpher, commonly called St Kitts.
I expect you spent your time in vetorinary school in a state of torpor.

#198 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 03:11 PM:

Fragano @ 197: Alas, torpor was not sufficient; I was detormined to
succeed. Even though the summers were hottor than I really liked, it
usually became more pleasant in September and Octorber. I spent my time
in torrific study, with occasional torays to the grocery stores and
even the cinema. It seemed intorminal until the happy day when I left
forever, never to retorn.

#199 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 04:01 PM:

Ginger #198: You would, then, consider Mount Misery a suitable name for the island's highest hill?

#200 ::: james bacon ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 05:44 PM:

This sounds good, and I especially like the plain people of fandom, they have a good view on things.

A focal point fanzine... for the 21st century, sweet.

J

#201 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 09:24 PM:

Fragano @ 199: And how! When the earthquake struck, and the
epicenter was determined to be under the volcano (originally classified
as dormant, then upgraded to inactive), we all made jokes about
sacrifices.

#202 ::: Dan ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 10:50 PM:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden @ 113 -- Thanks for link to privacy policy. ((Would have thanked earlier, but down with stomach virus.))

#203 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2008, 11:41 PM:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden @#190:

(1) Some (not all) non-Americans have a variety of difficulties getting their signups accepted.

Next time the TSA volunteers to help you with a project, say no.

#204 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 12:48 AM:

Chiming in late in the conversation to say that the new site and
accoutrements are awesome, and that while I already own Farthing (and
am about to start teaching it to my college freshmen as part of a
course focusing loosely on world-building), it's still neat to get it
digitally, and I'm very much looking forward to future books.

#205 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 06:04 AM:

Got my confirmation from Tor. And the link to Farthing. Yay and huzzah!

#206 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 08:02 AM:

I got the link to Mistborn, and the link to Shadow,
but I didn't get one for OMW (which I own in paper, but it would be
nice to have in E) and I don't have one for anything called "Farthing"
- it seems like I'm only getting every other mailing. It doesn't seem
to be in my spam folder either.

Maybe there's a genre filter in my mail that only lets me receive
Epic Fantasy, and not SF or Alternate History? That would be very sad
for me.

Should I email someone about the missing mails?

#207 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 08:15 AM:

Mary Dell @206 -- "Farthing" just arrived in my inbox,
within the last quarter-hour or so. I had gone to double-check how
often the books showed up (couldn't remember if it was weekly or
biweekly), and voilà, it was there. "Spin" should have appeared on Feb.
29. I'd mail Tor about it.

#208 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 08:32 AM:

The Farthing email got caught in my (final layer) spam trap, though the others got through in the clear. Check your filters, folks.

(Which means, by the way, that notice of when we should get our beta
tester information would be a good idea, so we can all delve through
our p2n2s and v25gr5 advertisements if it doesn't arrive.)

#209 ::: Juliet E McKenna ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 09:04 AM:

Just got my confirmation email and the 'Farthing' link here - over
in the UK, having not had a problem entering my postcode in place of a
zip code. (Which I would have got round by finding a back issue of
National Geographic...)

I've really been wanting to read Farthing and oh, would have got
around to ordering it online eventually. When I could convince myself I
had made sufficient inroads into the TBR shelf to start adding more
stuff.

It's my first ebook. I don't like reading stuff on the computer -
feels too much like work - and I'm blowed if I'm printing out a pdf
hard copy for more than the cost of an actual book - but I do happen to
have a PDA. Haven't done anything about getting ebooks on that before
now, being very reluctant to pay out for software and content when I've
no idea if I'll like reading that way. But free book and the reader
too? Sure, why not!

So I shall read it en route to Dublin for P-Con and see if all those
folk who tell me ebooks are ideal for travelling are right.

Will I still buy the hard copy? Quite likely - paper books remain
immune to crashes, viruses etc. Will I go on to buy Ha'penny sooner
rather than later as a consequence? Highly likely.

#210 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 09:35 AM:

An inquiry on the beta --- should someone who sent email to
tor.betatest@gmail.com on Tuesday morning expect to have heard
something back by now? If you're still setting up, take your time...

#211 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 10:08 AM:

JM@204 -- you are teaching Farthing as part of a world building course? That's very cool. I hope they like it.

#212 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 10:15 AM:

Thanks for the heads up Abi - mine were in Schroedinger's Spambox too!

#213 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 10:47 AM:

They got to my inbox sometime overnight (there were other e-mails bracketing them).

#214 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 11:02 AM:

Well, just to keep up the reports of signups and similar: I signed
up on Tuesday, and received my confirmation email today. Downloaded Farthing
in PDF, shall read on the laptop in between doing other things. Also in
today's email, I received a little note telling me I'd been entered in
the draw for the computer. Yays.

So, who should I speak to in order to get my name removed from the lottery?

#215 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 11:21 AM:

I just got my confirmation today as well. I think a bunch of them
went out all at once. I also got the download email, though it got
spambucketed. That shouldn't happen again, since I told Yahoo it's Not
Spam.

#216 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 11:36 AM:

Meg, I signed up for the Tor Newsletter & eBooks a couple of
weeks back, (not going to be a beta tester, I won't have the ability to
do the wandering round and tyre-kicking), received a similar
notification, and sent them an email requesting that, since I wasn't
eligible for the prize, I be removed from the computer raffle.

Haven't had any acknowledgment of that yet.

#217 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 11:49 AM:

Xopher @215 -- That shouldn't happen again, since I told Yahoo it's Not Spam.

LMAO! I had to tell 'em twice.

#218 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 03:12 PM:

Jo #211: you are teaching Farthing as part of a world building course? That's very cool. I hope they like it.

Well, I don't know what kind of people JM's teaching, but I have trouble imagining anyone not liking Farthing.

#219 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 03:30 PM:

Xopher @ 215...

"Spock, report."

"It's spam, Captain, but not as we know it."

#220 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 03:36 PM:

Serge @ 219:

"It..seems..tobe..alive, Spock. In..a..newand..intriguing..way. [..] Ifeel..strangely..compelled..toapproachit..and-"

#221 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 03:39 PM:

Ginger @ 220... Ifeel..strangely..compelled..toapproachit..

Kirk will indeed if it's femmespam.

#222 ::: ces ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 04:01 PM:

Sent mail to betatest.

#223 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 04:26 PM:

I signed up a couple of days ago, just got my confirmation letter. Haven't had a chance to kick any tires yet.

#224 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 04:42 PM:

I sent email to tor.betatest on Monday the 10th, and haven't heard back yet. I did check my gmail's spambox.

#225 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 06:37 PM:

It sounds like grand heaps of shiny fun, and I hope everybody
running over to the starboard rail to get a look doesn't swamp the ship.

Which is to say, I want my Making Light! And as glorious as the
comment threads are, and the particles, and Jim MacDonald's posts on
How Not to Die Just Yet -- well, dammit, I miss hearing from P&T in
here.

Got no standing to tell you two how to spend your time. Just sayin'.

#226 ::: JM ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2008, 07:54 PM:

Jo #211 and Ethan #218:

We haven't started discussing Farthing in class yet, but the students I've spoken to individually are loving it so far!

Sadly, my class isn't strictly about world-building; it's a very
basic freshman lit/comp course to which I awkwardly appended the theme,
and I don't think I'm actually teaching them that much about
world-building.

#227 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2008, 02:17 AM:

Kate Yule @#225:

well, dammit, I miss hearing from P&T in here.

Word.

#228 ::: J.D. ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2008, 10:58 AM:

There wasn't a link on the site to report bugs, so hopefully it's
okay to report it here: the signup form doesn't allow + (plus) in email
addresses, even though that's been a valid character for internet email
since 1982 (if not earlier.)

It's a common mistake for inexperienced web developers, because + is
special for some web stuff. But this is mail, so I'd urge y'all to get
it fixed.

Thanks!

#229 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2008, 11:49 AM:

In #228 J.D. writes:

There wasn't a link on the site to report bugs, so hopefully it's
okay to report it here: the signup form doesn't allow + (plus) in email
addresses, even though that's been a valid character for internet email
since 1982 (if not earlier.)

Ralph will be so disappointed.

Too bad. He would have made a great addition to the forum.

#230 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2008, 05:20 PM:

More news from the front: I received my newsletter confirmation mail on Thursday, probably three days after signup.

#231 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2008, 04:18 PM:

I propose here a name for those of us drawn in by this electronic project of Tor's: the Toreadorers. As Serge would probably not say, it will certainly keep us Bizet.

#232 ::: Tazistan Jen ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2008, 10:04 PM:

Still no beta confirmation. Are other people getting theirs?

#233 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2008, 11:31 PM:

Fragano @ 231: I thought I could Handel this, but that Herz.

#234 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2008, 11:48 PM:

Fragano @ 231... As Serge would probably not say

Wanna Beethoven?

#235 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 12:20 AM:

The Serge I know wouldn't Bach down from a challenge!

#236 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 12:25 AM:

True, Tania. Any other response would leave me disSatiesfied.

#237 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 12:44 AM:

About the Beta testers:

after 7 days, shouldn't their Liszt have sent my email Handel a beta
tester reply*? I was Chopin to get it by now. It sounds like replies
are Offenbach in just a few days, so should I be Scriabin a new request?

------

sent from my Gmail account, and I've checked the spam catcher Verdi often.

#238 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 01:15 AM:

Kathryn, I've experienced the same thing, as I use gmail too. The
first few Tor newsletter's had some Grieg with gmail, but it's been
settled. I figure that the Tor folks are a Debussy bunch, and that they
aren't putting us Orff. Holding in my enthusiasm about beta-testing the
new site is a good Copland exercise for me.

#239 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 05:56 AM:

These puns are becoming eGriegious.

#240 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 06:33 AM:

Serge # 239 -

I'm kinda Haydn* coming in here and finding all of these puns lying around.

You all better clean this place up, or I'm gonna ship you all to Swieten.

*No, not really.

#241 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 09:33 AM:

Scott Taylor @ 240... I suppose I'll now get blamed for this thread's unRavelling.

#242 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 12:23 PM:

I see lots of people have just been rossini in with musical puns, I
suppose we're noTorious for those, but I sense things are getting a
little praetorius. Perhaps we have britten off more than we could
haendel?

#243 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 12:37 PM:

Fragano... You're Puccinit.

#244 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 04:19 PM:

Signed up and anxiously awaiting confirmation.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering, will we get to design our own avators?

#245 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 04:34 PM:

Hmmm. I still haven't gotten either my Farthing download link or a
beta-test confirmation. I don't know whether to blame my spam filters,
Tor's email provider, or something else. I got all the earlier download
links OK.

#246 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2008, 05:25 PM:

Serge #243: Serge, that was a very catty Milhaud. No Meyerbeer for you!

#247 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2008, 09:13 AM:

Just wanted to chime in and say, I still haven't got my beta-tester
confirmation email, sent one week ago today. I'm not complaining, just
informing.

Thanks.

Jim Rion

#248 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2008, 11:49 AM:

Same here - no beta-tester confirmation as yet.

#249 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2008, 12:56 PM:

And I. Same deal. Got download link, but no beta confirmation (posted from gmail acct).

#250 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2008, 02:24 PM:

Same here. I signed up when you mentioned it before, and have been
getting the downloads. I have yet to receive the beta testing link, and
I'm on gmail. As per Jim, not complaining, just informing.

#251 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2008, 03:46 PM:

I suspect the beta testing emails have not yet gone out.

As a matter of fact...(*clears throat*)

HEAR ME, O GODS!

When the beta testing emails start to go out, please post something on this thread so we can all check our spam traps.

Thankyewverymuch.

#252 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2008, 11:42 PM:

I don't know if this would be feasible, but I would dearly love
newsgroup structure. LJ has its virtues, but I miss trn. It wouldn't
even have to be web-- I could fire up my poor neglected telnet.

#253 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2008, 01:27 PM:

I just got an acknowledgement of my beta test request, so they've
started to go out. Just a "we've got you on the list, you'll get the
real info when we're ready" sort of thing.

#254 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2008, 01:31 PM:

Just this moment got a Tor.com betatest reminder email (a we-haven't-forgotten-you signed by PNH) so cheers for that.

Two points, though, in the spirit of beta-testing.

1) It was from "torbeta smith", which set off several this-is-spam red flags in my head if not for Gmail.

2) It says, Please be aware that volunteering to beta-test
isn't the same as signing up to be a fully-registered member of the
real site. To do that, please go to http://tor.com.
It might be a
good idea to specify (in future, obviously) that "signing up for the
free-ebook mailing list" actually means "signing up for the new site"
so people don't go hunting for a form they haven't already filled in.

Am I right in assuming

#255 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2008, 01:41 PM:

Did you know there's a lesbian bar in Washington, D.C. named Phase 1? I don't know about underpants, but I bet they have oats.

#256 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2008, 03:06 PM:

Got my betatest email. Yay!

(Still no Farthing though, and I can't seem to find any place to contact Tor about the current giveaway.)

#257 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2008, 05:00 PM:

What Sam Kelly #254 said.

#258 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2008, 06:12 PM:

...but Soon Lee is doing the bit I managed to cock up on the end right.

"Am I right in assuming" was part of something I incompetently
deleted, after working out that yes, of course our hosts weren't giving
away free e-books out of the goodness of their hearts - it's all a
dastardly plot to lure us into a huge new focal point zinevironment
furnished with all ultramod cons and everything a fan could want, and
we wouldn't be given the option to take the free ice cream without
signing up for more free ice cream later on.

#259 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2008, 06:56 PM:

"Torbeta Smith"?

#260 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2008, 02:37 AM:

Sam Kelly #258:

I'd already signed up at tor.com, so when the betatest email came
with instructions to go sign up at the same site, I just naturally
assumed*

ATM, there's nothing at the tor.com sign-up page to suggest that
"signing up for the free-ebook mailing list" also means/meant "signing
up to be beta-tester for the new site".

*Rest of sentence redacted so that the telepathic Fluorospherians have something to do.

#261 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2008, 04:08 AM:

Sam & Brad: Shouldn't that name be "Torbeta Smithee"?

Hmmm. It's just after sundown on Maundy Thursday (start of the
Paschal Triduum) in Sydney. This might mean I can toast & consume
my first ceremonial Hot Cross Bun of the season. Yum, have been looking
forward to that from the time in January(!) they first appeared in the shops.

#262 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2008, 06:46 AM:

I just got the newest book download email, and confirmed a possible
problem that I'm having. Every book dowload message comes with a new
copy of the original "Welcome to Tor.com" email alongside. Is that
deliberate? Where should I report such a thing if it is an error?

#263 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2008, 01:31 PM:

R.M.Koske #262:

If it's an error, I'm suffering too.

#264 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2008, 03:30 PM:

I'm getting a new copy of it every time, too.

#265 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2008, 08:18 AM:

So, I'm really really late to the party, but I'm in! I'm not too late, am I?

#266 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2008, 03:57 PM:

Killed it dead, Terry. But thanks.

#267 ::: Raphael wonders where all the spam is coming from ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2010, 01:12 PM:

I hope it won't be on this blog for a very long time, though.

#268 ::: Big Fish Download ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2014, 12:26 AM:

There is a month-to-month subscription plan that allows you to purchase games for as much
as 80% off the regular price. Thats the main
reasons people dont usually set out to catch the
Blue cat fish. - Other dynamic pastimes, games, sports and activities.

#269 ::: Claire sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2014, 12:30 AM:

Hubby saw an article today positing that quantum physics proves that death is an illusion. I think he (a trained particle physicist) had fun quite thoroughly debunking it...

And that is your tidbit of random daily activities, to make this more than just a spam-notification post. :)

#270 ::: Carrie S. sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2014, 08:49 PM:

Even the username is Markov chain.

#271 ::: P J Evans sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2014, 08:50 PM:

Youtube linky behind that spammy name.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Jim Macdonald, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

If you are a spammer, your fate is in the hands of Jim Macdonald, and your foot shall slide in due time.

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.