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Messages - Steve Jackson

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General Discussion / Re: Je suis un Européen
« on: March 24, 2016, 06:29:48 AM »
Because Brussels does. 

General Discussion / Re: Je suis un Européen
« on: March 23, 2016, 09:20:46 PM »

Oh and by the way:

Les lâches ne seront jamais gagner face à votre fer de vos âmes.

Is a sentence without sense. While I get your idea, google translate got it completely wrong.  ;D

Actually, that is my poor French written early in the morning after getting off the phone with the family of of of my writing partners whose father lost a leg in the bombing.  I probably meant to say something like

Le terroriste sont des laches . Ills ne seront jamais gagner!  By which I would translate as "The terrorists are weaklings.  They can never win!"  Of course my French is academic and not spoken and not helped by the fact I am angry.  (gannet...gagneront...gagnaient - makes my head hurt).  On my French Rifles website ( I have been getting ten attacks an hour for since the Paris bombings, most from Russia but a few from Algeria, and I had rather tough words for a Russian guy who keeps sending me anti-French invective and Word documents with virus payloads. 

General Discussion / Je suis un Européen
« on: March 23, 2016, 06:05:38 AM »
I would like to declare to the science fiction and fantasy writing community that I stand proudly with the people of Europe.  Genetically, I carry little of Europe with me.  Socially, they are separated from me by oceans.  In my heart though I see the brave way in which the people of Europe are facing an onslaught of terror and cowardice with dignity, bravery, and resolution, and I am humbled.

Je me tiens avec l'Europe dans son heure de troubles! Les lâches ne seront jamais gagner face à votre fer de vos âmes.

General Discussion / Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« on: March 22, 2016, 07:23:15 PM »

Wow, you both sound like you've done all kinds of insanely interesting stuff. And you're a fellow visual anthropologist (well partially at least--you're right they're very snooty about what they count as anthropology and what isn't, but I'm glad to announce that's changing) Karl Heider is extremely famous-- I studied a bit under Stephen Lansing, if you know him, the Balinese water temple guy Goddess and the Computer and all that.

You'll have to post a link to your web series when it's done!

Of course, Lansing is an important arrow in the cultural crowd's quiver.  He brought back a lot of the ethnographic work from the doldrums of meaningless description and gave permission for cultural people to look at things like physical culture and archeology, when the cultural side was spending more time in narrow arguments over structuralism and what not. 

I met and studied under Heider at South Carolina.  I was in a different division so i was not allowed to do research with him or anything like that, but the contact was rewarding.  Rashomon Effect is one of the great pieces of scientific philosophy ever written.  It is telling that I used that article in actual criminal cases.

Writers' Corner / Re: Calling All Maps!
« on: March 18, 2016, 08:13:09 PM »
I like it, only for a second I was trying to figure why two upside down boats were on fire.

Introductions / Re: Hello there, I'm new here
« on: March 13, 2016, 11:17:12 PM »
It is funny that the more outrageous of Heinlein's predictions that even he said were humor are coming true in American politics.  I expect soon to have a Martian religious icon appear on the scene and be brutally murdered in St. Pete Florida.

Introductions / Re: New person incoming!
« on: March 13, 2016, 11:14:57 PM »
Congrats on finding this warm home.  Lots of people here willing to lend an ear or a hand.

Steve Jackson

General Discussion / Re: Jobs or Degrees outside of Writing?
« on: March 13, 2016, 12:34:40 AM »
I am a consultant in digital media, currently working with several music recording studios, a robotic design firm, and several colleges doing things from working with curriculum to designing television studios.  I also do consulting in program development for universities, helping programs move to a sustainable model when faced with state budget cuts.  On the side I keep my hand in my original career of film and television directing and have a couple of projects per year.  I also maintain a History of the Great War website, am a game designer, and run a scholarly group called the Thin Tweed Line, which are all writing like though.

For public service I have a certificate in Law Enforcement from the South Carolina Academy, and formerly held certification as a forensic investigator.  I spent 5 years of road duty 2-nights a week.  During that time I was a "first in" building entry person, worked with investigations involving digital video, but otherwise my religion prevented me from being a super cop and I was pretty ineffective as one - except for the video stuff I did.

I try to work with students in creative projects as much as possible due to my religion and personal beliefs.  In fact, I just raised about $90,000 to support a group of student filmmakers and authors develop a web series from script to screen and am negotiating with a couple of universities to see where the project will be based.  I have a soft promise of a Scarlett and Avid is coming through with stuff for the project since it will likely be based at an Avid Certified location.

As an aside I have a BS (HON) in Human Studies with majors in History, Religion, Business, and English; a MS in Communication Studies in history of technology, and completed my coursework, dissertation, and competencies in a Ph.D. in Communication but the university would not issue the degree when I came down with a fatal degenerative illness.  I survived the illness, but never got the degree so I am the only person in the world who is legally ABD for the rest of their life.  Related to others in this field I have worked with anthropological film, but Nanook never pays and if you do not belong to the "in crowd" in anthropology (anthropologists can be quite snooty about professional playing in their gardens) you cannot get people to take your work serious, but I admire people who do work in it.  I was a close follower of Karl Heider and took classes with him when I was more into it, so the anthropologists on this forum have a tip of my hat.

More important than me is my wife.  She is a PhD biology who worked for the Brazilian Navy for years, a former ballerina, multi-lingual (Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian, and for all I know, Urdu).  She is a professor of anatomy and physiology teaching in a nursing program, and a volunteer in the health field with her EMT and STNA.  My students when I was a professor said that she was an 8 who somehow married a 4-1/2.  :)

Edited to add LEO work and things about wife.

Move to general discussion perhaps?

My reason for dumping it is because it buggers my writing.

It really does not help my writing at all to fall back and spring forward.  I seem to loose weeks of quality writing.

Writers' Corner / Re: Calling All Maps!
« on: March 03, 2016, 04:07:28 PM »
David Brin's map in Uplift War was sparse in a similar manner and it worked just fine.  The reader already understood through narrative that the world extends past the map.

Fantasy maps are made more detailed than needed sometimes to show a world that extends past the end of the page.

Introductions / Re: Steve Jackson
« on: March 03, 2016, 04:04:52 PM »
Welcome! :)

I can think of far worse people to share a name with! Hopefully you will find a lot of good recommendations for new and interesting fiction here.

It has never been a negative except once when I was asked to Keynote at a discussion of Game Design for Suncoast Skirmishes.  When I showed up the forum people were angry because I was not the Steve Jackson but only a Steve Jackson.  I still got free attendance.

Introductions / Re: Steve Jackson
« on: March 02, 2016, 06:28:15 AM »
Thanks all for the welcomes. 

Small Press & Self-Published / Re: Adjeness
« on: February 23, 2016, 12:15:16 PM »
Or rather I reserve my attention to a group of readers in my writing circle, and then my test readers who are randomly selected and paid a small stipend for their opinion and never ever meet me or even know the title of the book they read.  And in some cases, with books written decades ago, the time for me to make huge corrections is over, the book has to be complete sometime.  On the other hand I have noticed a new version of error in book editing that is present in mine and that is editorial disagreement where a better sentence was made worse by over editing, or even a spelling error introduced by having an editor introduce it when the error was not in the original. 

When a test reader points out a difficult passage on a first read it is cause for attention.  When someone posts to a forum this quote,

"this sucks because poli correct crap is shit"

I am not sure how it could be used to improve my next book.  Or that this person was in my target audience in the first place.  Nothing worse than an author trying to speak reason to a hater - it is like chasing your hat on a windy day.

Writers' Corner / Re: Calling All Maps!
« on: February 23, 2016, 03:09:37 AM »
My Virdea files have something like 75 maps of everything from cities to the world as a whole, but I use four maps to demonstrate how the concept of showing space changed over time.

This map was drawn on an Apple II in 1981 and modified for Superpaint a few years later.  The world's main features show up, but I had not yet given enough thought to names, and Celestia still was called Virdea despite the books having the correct name.  Here I started having problems with diverging source material.  The original has hung around for years, and was saved from Superpaint to Photoshop. 

The main color map from 1990 was used for the initial use of the world as a MUD setting.  Everything looks small on the map because it is actually made from more than a thousand 250x250 pixel TGA files which the MUD engine could push to am image browser.  Later I assembled the files and substituted the older graphics whose copyright had expired, for new images, and in 1998 the map went to Photoshop as a mosaic.  In 2003 the image symbols were again changed, and again in 2008 when the map was being replaced with one that could be sold as a poster.

This map did a lot of duty including a version as an interactive Hypercard stack, and a sliced HTML version.

2008 the definitive poster map is released.  600dpi and 18x24 inches, it was packaged with the printed version of the tabletop version of Legacy of Empire.  The poster was more popular than the game, and home brews started using it.  The poster also shows the effect of time in the fantasy world on maps.  Set after the Abomination Apocalypse Dagoria is shown as a destroyed city, and the lands of Dagoria are called the Deadlands.  Although this was first released in a book in 1982, no map had shown a postwar view of the world.

The simplified map first presented in Total Eclipse for iPad.  The map is very simple for as it was never intended for print, and shows the Downs prominently rather than the less well known swamps that play more of a role in the books.  Minor changes are mostly for taste.  Thrngar gets its normal spelling rather than its translated spelling.  Closeup maps with the same symbology were made of each area to allow more detail, but remain very simple.

Starting in 1992 I started working out different ways to visualize Virdea.  This city map started out as an Alias/Wavefront 3D model.  The model was set to observe from the top and flattened to form a street grid.  At one point there was a false color version created with a Quantel Paintbox.  By 1998 it has gone with everything else to Photoshop as a raster grab with each section of the city being pulled out separately in their own grabs to maintain resolution.  Overlays based on the grid exist. 

Less formerly drawn, this map of Sea Point joins maps of Norwalk, Thrngar, Seytes Gate, and Greysmere in providing simple, semi-topographic detail to the towns in the stories.  Most of these documents were made directly in Photoshop or Painter.

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