Photography Fundraiser: 8-30-2012 Update

Hello all.
I have received a third round of prints. Response has been great.
I have decided to save more money and get a better camera. With that in mind, I still will keep photos available for sale:
Photos are available in 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10. Due to dpi issues on some of the older photos I have, the older photos are only available at 4×6.
As always, click on the thumbnail to see larger versions!
You can also see the photos as a set here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jvstin/sets/72157630773885908/with/3654933465/



Photos available as 8×10 and smaller
Kawishiwi Falls
Weisman Art Museum
Mother Moose shows her baby how to cross the road
Allosaurus!
Running Eagle Falls
Running Eagle Falls
IMG_2470-2
Minnehaha Falls
IMG_1781.jpg
Middle Falls of the Gooseberry River
High Falls of the Pigeon River at Grand Portage, monochrome
Monochrome Closeup
Wolf
Minneapolis Skyline
IMG_1112.jpg
Kawishiwi Falls, Iron Range, Minnesota
Maya
Oberg Lake
Mountainside color
View from the Aiton Heights Fire Tower
Photos available as 4×6 only
Picture a Day 06-22-08: Bear Rumble
Sinopah Mountain
View Across Pray Lake
St. Mary Lake
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River
Grand Tetons in Monochrome
Close up on a Bison...
Spearfish Canyon
Mount Rushmore Closeup

4×6 photos are available for a $10 donation. 5×7 photos are available for a $15 donation. 8×10 photos are available for a $25 donation. This includes US Postage. (If you are international, email me first and we’ll figure out postage to you)
My Paypal account is jvstin [at] gmail.com. Tell me which prints you want, size, how many, and whether you want it glossy and matte when sending me funds. Also tell me if you want the photo signed, front or back. And of course where I am sending them!
Depending on interest and feedback, I may put up more (and different) photos for sale as well.
(As always, email me if you have a particular photo you’ve seen of mine you want to see a print made available). If you want something larger than a 8×10…email me. Talk to me. I can make that happen (for the higher DPI photos).
Thanks for your support.

Photography Fundraiser: A giveaway

Hello all!
The response to the fundraiser has been great, and I want to thank all of you who have ordered prints. The latest batch is in, and after Labor Day, I’ll get those mailed out to you.
Speaking of the new batch, I also ordered an 8×10 print of this:
Kawishiwi Falls, Iron Range, Minnesota
This is Kawishiwi Falls on the Iron Range in Minnesota, and as a thanks to those who have ordered prints and made donations, I would like to give this away to someone in the U.S. (Sorry, International friends, the shipping outside the U.S. is a killer).
So, if you would like to be in the giveaway, send me an email: jvstin [at] gmail.com. Use the subject line: Kawishiwi Giveaway, and answer this question:
What is your favorite waterfall.
Please include a valid address so I can send the winner their prize!
Contest ends Midnight, Central Time, September 7th. One entry per person.

The Man who walked on the Moon has passed away

The man who first walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong, has passed away.
I am barely old enough to have been alive to have someone walk on the moon after I was born. (Not Neil, though). It would be a fucking shame if I do not live to see another in my lifetime.
I wish and hope that a thousand years from now, mothers will be telling their children of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. And, I hope a thousand years from now, mothers will be telling their children of the first person to walk on Mars. And beyond.
And now, Neil, you walk in other worlds, explore other realms and I wish you luck and success in that. We are poorer that you can’t share those explorations with us.

Camera Fundraiser: 8-18-2012 Update

Hello all.
The generosity and interest of people has been gratifying. Support and response has been such that I feel confident that
I will be able to get a new camera early next month.
The first round of photos has been mailed out, and I have seen a picture of my pictures in the wild, so to speak.
The second round of photos is being mailed out today.
I am in the process of collecting photos for a third round of photos. Here’s *your* choice to help me get a camera, and get a signed print of my work for your viewing pleasure.
Photos are available in 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10. Due to dpi issues on some of the older photos I have, the older photos are only available at 4×6.
As always, click on the thumbnail to see larger versions!
You can also see the photos as a set here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jvstin/sets/72157630773885908/with/3654933465/



Photos available as 8×10 and smaller
Kawishiwi Falls
Weisman Art Museum
Mother Moose shows her baby how to cross the road
Allosaurus!
Running Eagle Falls
Running Eagle Falls
IMG_2470-2
Minnehaha Falls
IMG_1781.jpg
Middle Falls of the Gooseberry River
High Falls of the Pigeon River at Grand Portage, monochrome
Monochrome Closeup
Wolf
Minneapolis Skyline
IMG_1112.jpg
Kawishiwi Falls, Iron Range, Minnesota
Maya
Oberg Lake
Mountainside color
View from the Aiton Heights Fire Tower
Photos available as 4×6 only
Picture a Day 06-22-08: Bear Rumble
Sinopah Mountain
View Across Pray Lake
St. Mary Lake
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River
Grand Tetons in Monochrome
Close up on a Bison...
Spearfish Canyon
Mount Rushmore Closeup

4×6 photos are available for a $10 donation. 5×7 photos are available for a $15 donation. 8×10 photos are available for a $25 donation. This includes US Postage. (If you are international, email me first and we’ll figure out postage to you)
My Paypal account is jvstin [at] gmail.com. Tell me which prints you want, size, how many, and whether you want it glossy and matte when sending me funds. Also tell me if you want the photo signed, front or back. And of course where I am sending them!
Depending on interest and feedback, I may put up more (and different) photos for sale as well.
(As always, email me if you have a particular photo you’ve seen of mine you want to see a print made available). If you want something larger than a 8×10…email me. Talk to me. I can make that happen (for the higher DPI photos).
Thanks for your support.

Gurps Infinite Worlds: Parallel Earth Creation

Gurps Infinite Worlds: Parallel Earth Creation
Because I felt like coming up with Parallel Earths and let the dice decide what comes:
Parallel I
Tech level: TL7 (Nuclear Age 1940-1980’s)
Tech variant: Supers
Superheroes Rule the Earth
1 Civilization
Chinese or Japanese [Pick: Japanese]
Civilization Unity:
Unitary
So, what we have is One World Japanese State, run by Supers.
So, Japanese Superheroes emerged in the Tokugawa Shogunate. Thought
to be blessed by the Gods, or perhaps children of same, the Westerners
coming to visit in the 16th century got a rude surprise.
By now, the 20th century, Japan rules the Globe. The Shogun
is a Super himself, and so are many of the Samurai.
With the world cowed and under the rule of the Superhero Shogun, what
happens now? Brooding revolution in conquered lands? Conflict between
Supers to rule the Shogunate? Travel to other parallel worlds under
the Shogun’s banner?
Parallel II
Tech Level: TL4 (Age of Sail)
Tech Variant: None
5 Civilizations
Western: Empire with Rivals
Norse: Diffuse
Islamic: Multipolar (4)
Orthodox:Empire with Satellite States
Chinese: Unitary
So, the year is 1500.
Europe is dominated by an Angevin Empire with plenty of rivals from Burgundy to Poland.
The Norse have a bunch of states–Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Vinland. The Norse
reached North America first, and are heavily invested there.
The world of Islam is based around a quartet of Caliphates–from Andalus in the West to the Sultanate of Delhi.
Byzantium survives in this world, an Empire with Satellite states in the Balkans and Russia, too.
The great dynasty of the Song stretches from Tibet and Burma, east to Japan and the Philippines.
Lots of conflict in this world. Byzantium and the Caliphates, Byzantium and the Angevins, the Norse
with everybody, the Islamic states with the Chinese pushing west.

Jim C Hines’s Sexual Harassment Policy

I support Jim Hines’ policy and co-sign it. It reads as follows:
My Policy on Sexual Harassment
My goal in convention/fandom spaces, online, and in general, is to interact with others in such a way that all parties feel safe and respected. Therefore…
I will be accountable for my actions. If I mess up, I will not make excuses or blame others for my behaviors or the consequences of those behaviors. (Nor will I make or accept excuses about other people’s inappropriate behaviors, even if they’re friends or Big Important People in the community.)1
I will try not to make assumptions about physical interactions, or statements/behaviors that could be construed as sexual. For example, if I don’t know whether or not you’re comfortable being hugged, I’ll ask you.2
I will listen to and respect your boundaries. Period.
If I see a situation where it looks like you are being harassed, I will ask if you’re okay and/or attempt to offer you a way out of the situation. Depending on the situation, I will confront the harasser and/or offer to back you up in confronting/reporting the harasser yourself if you choose to do so.
If someone I know is harassing others, I will pull them aside and confront them on their behavior.
If they refuse to change their behavior, I will “ban” them from my life (both in the real-world and in my online spaces).
I will continue to speak out, and to try to encourage discussion and action to reduce sexual harassment.

The original is here:
http://www.jimchines.com/2012/08/my-sexual-harassment-policy/

Why is Fantasy ascendant over SF?

Sparked by a discussion at Helen Lowe’s Blog:
http://helenlowe.info/blog/2012/08/06/a-guest-post-by-rowena-cory-daniells-fantasy-the-poor-cousin-of-science-fiction/
Why is Fantasy ascendant over SF?
Well, its not because of dystopian SF, this trend has been happening longer than dystopian SF has been popular. But both come from the same source–the state of the world.
Since 2001, the future that seems to be ahead of us in the real world has gotten progressively darker, grittier and less appealing. It’s bee more difficult to come up with an appealing future for SF. While SF is not predictive, the starting conditions have been more and more bleak to work with.
As a result, you get two trends:
1. Dystopian SF, since your initial conditions keep implying that is the future.
2. Fantasy: The way out of the trap, a la the Kobyashi Maru, is to change the rules. Add magic. It can be magic in the real world, which is the simplest solution (UF), or secondary world fantasy.
The other factor why UF is ascendant is that this reflects demographics in the genre community–more female readers, and female readers coming into the genre from paranormal romance.

Camera Fundraiser 8-9-2012 Update

Hello all.
I’ve received a few more donations.
I haven’t yet received the first set of prints (grrr) and am about to order the second set for the second round of donors. If you want to get in on that, now’s your chance.
Thank you for your support. I’m well over *half* of the cost of a replacement camera thanks to the generosity of donations and orders. I hope backers will be happy with their photos.
So, I am still offering prints for donations. And added a couple new photos. Take a look:
Photos are available in 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10. Due to dpi issues on some of the older photos I have, those older photos are only available at 4×6 (and even then, I am not certain how well they are going to come out.).
As always, click on the thumbnail to see larger versions!
You can also see the photos as a set here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jvstin/sets/72157630773885908/with/3654933465/



Photos available as 8×10 and smaller
Mother Moose shows her baby how to cross the road
Allosaurus!
Running Eagle Falls
Running Eagle Falls
IMG_2470-2
Minnehaha Falls
IMG_1781.jpg
Middle Falls of the Gooseberry River
High Falls of the Pigeon River at Grand Portage, monochrome
Monochrome Closeup
Wolf
Minneapolis Skyline
IMG_1112.jpg
Kawishiwi Falls, Iron Range, Minnesota
Maya
Oberg Lake
Mountainside color
View from the Aiton Heights Fire Tower
Photos available as 4×6 only
Sinopah Mountain
View Across Pray Lake
St. Mary Lake
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River
Grand Tetons in Monochrome
Close up on a Bison...
Spearfish Canyon
Mount Rushmore Closeup

4×6 photos are available for a $10 donation. 5×7 photos are available for a $15 donation. 8×10 photos are available for a $25 donation. This includes US Postage. (If you are international, email me first and we’ll figure out postage to you)
My Paypal account is jvstin [at] gmail.com. Tell me which prints you want, size, how many, and whether you want it glossy and matte when sending me funds. Also tell me if you want the photo signed, front or back. And of course where I am sending them!
Depending on interest and feedback, I may put up more (and different) photos for sale as well.
(As always, email me if you have a particular photo you’ve seen of mine you want to see a print made available). If you want something larger than a 5×7…email me. Talk to me. I can make that happen (for the higher DPI photos).
Thanks for your support.

Reviewing books negatively–my view.

Hi.
My name is Paul “Princejvstin” Weimer.
I’m a reader and a book reviewer. I’ve written a boatload of reviews, here but most of them nowadays are at SF Signal, at the Functional Nerds.
Like just about everyone, not every book I read is going to be the next hawt thing, or even an average book. Some of them are going to, in my point of view, not be up to my standards.
What to do?
Some people do not write reviews of books they dislike.
Others like to use humor to disarmingly talk about books that didn’t work for them. Justin Landon at Staffer’s Reviews has his “secretary Cheryl” as a device to do this:
http://staffersmusings.blogspot.com/search/label/cheryl
And then there are those who like to, in the words of Damien Walter (http://damiengwalter.com/2012/08/03/aggressive-reviewing-is-here-to-stay-learn-to-deal-with-it/) be aggressive in their reviewing. This can range from tearing a work apart enthusiastically, to the likes of “Requires Hate”, who has a tendency to add a healthy dollop of the peanut butter of ad hominem and personal attacks to the chocolate of her scorn and hatred in her reviews and reactions to books and authors.
I don’t fall into any of these camps.
I try to be polite and professional, honest and trustworthy in my reviews. Even the reviews where the book did not work for me, or only worked partially. I try and tell people what worked and what didn’t. My opinion is my own, informed by 30 years of genre reading. Your mileage may vary.
I am no paragon of virtue. No indeed.
Can I do better? Yes, clearly.
I can only try to grow forward in my writing, be it reviews or anything else.
But my style is definitely not aggressive, mocking, or pour-gasoline-on-and-light-a-match. It would take a reboot of my character to do any of that.
And that’s where I stand.