Tag Archives: work

Podcasts, Doctor Who, Writing

Another quick podcast appearance to note, this time on Reality Bomb, a very well-produced magazine-style Doctor Who show. My role was as part of the “Gallery of the Underrated” segment, where I defended the 1983 story “Terminus” which featured the best 1980s Doctor, Peter Davison. It’s a great story and my defense of it garnered me a brief Twitter mention from its writer, the prolific Stephen Gallagher:

If you’re interested in writing and/or the ins and outs of television production, his account and website are worth keeping an eye on.

Gallagher is also a novelist. His The Kingdom of Bones is very good and I’m currently reading the sequel, The Bedlam Detective and enjoying it.


Despite it being the weekend, I’ve managed to get some work done on the new book. I’m currently slogging through the opening chapters while outlining some of the later ones and simultaneously doing some quick fact checking on the ins and outs of the American TV industry in the 90s. Also, this new convention of one space after a period is really difficult to cope with.

And I’ve still got this lot to get through in a bit:

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That’s not even all of it—there are the second two excellent seasons of Millennium as well as old episodes of Kolchak and In Search Of… as background viewing.

Project ENDLESS WEATHER continues apace—due to weather and illness my initial timeline for completion has had to be completely reworked but I’m still in good shape.

EIGHTH WRENCH is in the early planning phases. Unless procrastination or disaster strikes I should have that project taken care off long before its September deadline (which would make the people who need it very, very happy).

Sabbatical time is winding down and I’ll be back in front of students in a bit over a month, so I have to add syllabi creation and class prep to the task lists.

 

Work Updates- NOT BORING AT ALL, NO

The depressing, but motivating, word count bar is back. It’s going to be slow going while I finish up the sabbatical project over the next few weeks, but then I expect this little word count bar to EXPLODE.
Yeah.
So writing on the new book is stuck in the dull, but necessary, background and theory stuff.  I get to do the TV stuff in a bit which is the whole point of the thing after all.  I’ve finally acquired all three seasons of the underrated Millennium and I’m looking forward to revisiting that, as well as some other short-lived classics like Nowhere Man and Dark Skies.
I’m very pleased that OMNI, the awesome science/fringe-science mag from the 80s and 90s is now available in its entirety through the Internet Archive.  This will be a big help, as they had some good coverage and analysis of the earliest seasons of The X-Files.
I’ve spent some of my time refining my working setup in anticipation of some upcoming travel.  I should say I’ve been wasting my time with this, but it’s kind of sort of necessary, if I squint.  I picked up a new, lightweight, laptop bag from Ikea, which will probably carry my reclaimed-from-wife Thinkpad Edge E420s onto which I’ve loaded Ubuntu (If I can’t have OSX, Linux is fine.  Anything but Windows 8!).
I’ll be back teaching in May, both on campus and online and I’ve been thinking about new stuff to do with that.  Mixlr looks like an interesting tool, allowing free and fairly simple online broadcast.  Not sure what I’d do with it, but a possibly useful resource.
Finally, for now, if you’ve read The Chaos Conundrum, you’ll know that I’m interested in archaeoacoustics.  This story appeared yesterday and it’s great to see Paul Devereaux and his work getting wider attention.  This is a fascinating emerging field.

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Speaking of The Chaos Conundrum, it’s now available as a Kobo ebook in the US from the Kobo Store and in Canada from Chapters/Indigo.  I’ll be on the next episode of Binnall of America audio talking about the book with Tim Binnall—I’ll have a link up when the episode drops.
That’s it for now. I’m off to watch the snow melt…

Books to read, things to do…

Due

So, yesterday, my copy of Posthuman Blues, Vol. II (the collected 2005-2006 writings of the late Mac Tonnies) arrived in the mail.  I’ve devoured it over the past 12 hours and enjoyed it greatly  Expect a full write-up by the end of the week.  Offhand, it filled me with a bit of nostalgia  I’d have written something by now, but it’s the end of the semester and between grading, meetings, and gearing up for my upcoming sabbatical (and its attendant project), my time is limited.

Full disclosure, PHBv2 is published by Redstar, who published my recent The Chaos Conundrum (on sale for $6.99!).  20131217 014822869 iOS I paid my own money for the book though, so no bias or bribery here!  Also, I’m kind of geeked to be featured on the back cover blurbs (pulled from my introduction to Volume 1), possibly the only time I’ll be in the same group as Cliff Pickover and John Shirley.

Speaking of the sabbatical, I’ll be writing a bit about that and what I’ll be working on over the next few months.  It certainly won’t be a vacation!

Now, back to grading and drinking too much coffee.

The Chaos Conundrum- More information on the new book

To the right is the cover to my new book, due out in time for the holiday shopping season.

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I’m excited about this one, not least because it contains a foreword by Nick Redfern, one of the greatest authors on paranormal issues in the world today (not hyperbole, seriously).  From the foreword:

Aaron Gulyas’ The Chaos Conundrum is a thoughtful, and thought-provoking, compilation of papers on a wide variety of paranormal phenomena. Or, as it’s collectively known in circles where the unusual is typically the usual: profoundly weird stuff. A cursory glance at the titles of the essays, and their attendant subject matters, might make some readers assume they are stand-alone pieces with no connecting or unifying parts. Well, those souls would be wrong. Actually, they would be dead wrong.

The connection is not so much the issues and topics that Gulyas places under his supernatural microscope. Rather, it is the fact that the essays all invite us to do one thing: address and consider alternative theories, paradigms, and ideas to those that the established figures of the paranormal would prefer we adhere to.

I invite you to indulge yourself in the work of a man who has made a major contribution to the domain of paranormal research, writing and observation.

Read it, consider it, and learn from it. Just don’t be an ostrich about it.

See, that’s pretty dang cool, right there.

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This is a pretty diverse collection of essays on everything ranging from UFOs to religion to achaeoacoustics, which is pretty interesting.  I also get to talk a bit about Gray Barker, who I touched on briefly in Extraterrestrials and the American Zeitgeist.  As I wrote about here, a couple years back, visiting the collection of his papers in West Virginia was an incredible experience and it was nice to be able to write about his work and its effect on me from a more personal perspective.

This one has been a much more intensive and compressed writing experience and the editing has been a really nice experience, with Paul Kimball of Redstar providing some great insights.

At this point, I’m thinking this may be my last (or close to my last) word on the paranormal for a while (at least in this particular form).  I’m really looking forward to this one hitting the streets.

 

My Pseudohistory talk from Midwest PCA

Harappa seals

“Harappa Seals” by Flickr user germeister, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Over here (link!) and under the “Papers and Presentations” menu above is what is more or less the bones of the paper I presented at the Midwest PCA conference last week in St. Louis.  I deviated a bit (went over time–sorry, fellow panelists) and–more than anything else–came to the conclusion that this is something I need to return to, probably in the course of working on the largely top secret PROJECT MADOC.

If pseudohistory and its debunking is something you’re interest in, the two places I would send you before anything else are to the site of writer Jason Colavito (@jasoncolavito) and also to the website for a course on Pseudo-archaeology taught by Michigan State archeology professor Ethan Watrall (@captain_primate).  These are two folks who have been (whether they know it or not) an enormous help as I look into these things.

 

A Sample of the New Doctor Who Project

Not a TARDIS, honest!

If you follow my author page on Facebook (and, really, why don’t you?), you’ll know that I’m appearing as one of the author guests at Reversed Polarity, a Doctor Who convention this November in Toronto.  My bio for the event reads, in part:

He is currently working on “In Fandom’s Shadow”, a combination memoir/analysis of becoming a fan in a Doctor Who world shaped by the maelstrom of fanzine and internet discourse as much as the actual show itself.

This is, in fact, the case.  I’ll be publishing it myself through one of the many venues available, although I haven’t quite made up my mind about the exact route I’m going to take, although it will be available at the very least for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, with Kobo and iBooks in the running as well.  The whole thing will end up being a shortish book (whatever the nonfiction equivalent of a novella is, probably) and very inexpensive!

Continue reading

Writing Stuff

Working on a tiny part of a large project that someone other than me is running.  Mostly it involves editing historical documents and writing some (fairly substantial) introductory material.  Of course, my brain being empty for the day, I’m writing about the writing than actually doing the writing.  That’s probably because I’m not—deep down—a “writer’ as much as I am a teacher who likes to write; this stuff comes much harder than it probably does for more writerly writers.

So, this project (which has turned out to be a little more involved than I initially thought) has—regardless of anything else—provided me the opportunity to explore some additional sources to use in my classes.  This writing (and the other writing I did over the summer—not just the book, but more bureaucratic and procedural stuff) has done a few things for me that I didn’t expect.

First, I completely rewrote most of my writing assignments for my classes.  Nothing huge, just clarifying expectations and streamlining the words.  I’ll be interested to see if the changes result in different, improved work from students.

Second—and this was not unexpected—is that the connections between my teaching and my writing (including writing that doesn’t directly bear on the subjects I teach) improve my teaching and, especially, my creation assessment activities.

A ramble, this, but one that clarified some things in my mind.  Thanks for tagging along, if you have been.

Now, back to work.

And Away It Goes

At 90,003 words (not including notes or bibliography), the not-yet-formally-titled Space Brother book is off to the publisher. A month, I point out, ahead of schedule, as I needed to clear the decks for the upcoming fall semester and some other projects. It may be the first time I’ve submitted anything before the deadline.

So now, I’ve got some time while the thing makes its way through the publisher’s system and they find all the things I need to fix. Watch this space for updates.

During the next six weeks or so, the blog here will be more focused on History and Teaching rather than “the Strange” as that part of my annual work cycle is gearing up and I desperately try to make my classes more interesting and useful for all involved. It’s not a moratorium on flying saucers, but it’s close…

…At least for now.