A Great New Sci-Fi Novel!

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scot...@my-deja.com

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Nov 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/23/99
to
Hey, I just read an article about a father and son team that wrote a
novel called "Attack of the Rockoids". I went to their site
www.rockoids.com and read the sample chapter. I loved it and decided
to order the book. All I had to do was download it to my computer and
start reading. Oh yeah, I almost forgot there is a contest where you
can win all kinds of great hardware and software.

CHECK IT OUT, IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Nov 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/23/99
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In article <81cnrg$rsp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, <scot...@my-deja.com> wrote:
....

>novel called "Attack of the Rockoids".
....

>
>CHECK IT OUT, IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!

This is advertising, right?

Can somebody spare the time and expertise to track down this
poster and the website owner and verify my sneaking suspicions
that they are one and the same?

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com
http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt

Anne M. Marble

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Nov 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/23/99
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Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote in message
news:FLMuI...@kithrup.com...

> In article <81cnrg$rsp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, <scot...@my-deja.com>
wrote:
> ....
> >novel called "Attack of the Rockoids".
> ....
> >
> >CHECK IT OUT, IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!

> This is advertising, right?

Probably.

> Can somebody spare the time and expertise to track down this
> poster and the website owner and verify my sneaking suspicions
> that they are one and the same?

I do find it suspicious that the message was posted by somebody called
Scott. And on the rockoids Web site, a guy named Scott is listed as
the "Rockoids Fan Club President." I think he's the guy who runs the
newsletter or something.

It was posted through deja.com, so that makes it hard for me to figure
out if it really came from the Rockoids people.

PWrede6492

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Nov 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/23/99
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In article <FLMuI...@kithrup.com>, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
writes:

>Can somebody spare the time and expertise to track down this
>poster and the website owner and verify my sneaking suspicions
>that they are one and the same?

I haven't tracked it down, but I can say that the *exact* same message, word
for word, appeared under a different username on one of the private AOL boards
I frequent. So I'd be really, really surprised to find out that it was
anything but a lame attempt at advertising.

Patricia C. Wrede

Christopher Jorgensen

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Nov 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/26/99
to

In article <FLMuI...@kithrup.com>, djh...@kithrup.com wrote:

[lame ad deleted]

>Can somebody spare the time and expertise to track down this
>poster and the website owner and verify my sneaking suspicions
>that they are one and the same?

Only if you go to the site and read the sample chapter to see if
it's any good. Or, we could just not do either, call your guess
correct and waste no one's time.

You know, this group seems to garner more ads than any other
group I read (I only read three). And the bad thing is I filter
out words like "free" and "money" and anything else that's
obvious. Oh well. At least the ads are almost on-topic, which
never seems to happen anywhere else.

christopher....
(who hates smileys, but would otherwise put one after my above)


--
El articulo es demasiado grande para su apartado.

Etaoin Shrdlu

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Nov 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/26/99
to

> > >CHECK IT OUT, IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!
>
> > This is advertising, right?
>
> Probably.
>
> > Can somebody spare the time and expertise to track down this
> > poster and the website owner and verify my sneaking suspicions
> > that they are one and the same?
>
> I do find it suspicious that the message was posted by somebody called
> Scott. And on the rockoids Web site, a guy named Scott is listed as
> the "Rockoids Fan Club President." I think he's the guy who runs the
> newsletter or something.

This ad is also very nearly identical in wording and structure--and tone,
for that matter--to another one posted recently about some non-fiction book,
including the e-mail handle matching the name of someone at the site part.
--Katrina

WooF

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Nov 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/26/99
to ge...@genesteinberg.com

On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 ge...@genesteinberg.com wrote:

[snip]

> As co-author of "Attack of the Rockoids," I'll take care of this.

[snip]

> All I can say is thank you, Scott, whoever you are (and no, there is no
> resemblance between that person and the Scott who is our fan club
> president--there are lots of folks named Scott out there).

If you have never met the Scott-who-likes-your-novel, then how do
know he is not the long-lost, identical twin brother of
Scott-who-is-your-fan-club-president?

(*grin*)

By the way, it makes many of those lurking about this newsgroup
suspicious when you refer to something as Sci-Fi, rather than the
more widely accepted (though not as trendy-poo) SF or science
fiction. The term "Sci-Fi," to many of us, implies that the user
is trying to hard too be with it, or that the user is referring
to inept science fiction movies.

George Scithers of owls...@netaxs.com


ge...@genesteinberg.com

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
In article <FLMuI...@kithrup.com>,

djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) wrote:
> In article <81cnrg$rsp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, <scot...@my-deja.com>
wrote:
> ....
> >novel called "Attack of the Rockoids".
> ....
> >
> >CHECK IT OUT, IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!
>
> This is advertising, right?
>
> Can somebody spare the time and expertise to track down this
> poster and the website owner and verify my sneaking suspicions
> that they are one and the same?
>
> Dorothy J. Heydt
> Albany, California
> djh...@kithrup.com
> http://www.kithrup.com/~djheydt
>

As co-author of "Attack of the Rockoids," I'll take care of this.

It's sad that folks choose to be suspicious of anyone who says they like
something. The fact of the matter is that I am not acquainted with the
poster, and had nothing whatever to do with his posting of a favorable
comment about the book.

All I can say is thank you, Scott, whoever you are (and no, there is no
resemblance between that person and the Scott who is our fan club
president--there are lots of folks named Scott out there).

Peace,
Gene Steinberg
co-author, "Attack of the Rockoids"
http://www.rockoids.com

ge...@genesteinberg.com

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
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In article <dfp_3.862$75.7...@news.abs.net>,

"Anne M. Marble" <ama...@abs.net> wrote:
> Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote in message
> news:FLMuI...@kithrup.com...
> > In article <81cnrg$rsp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, <scot...@my-deja.com>
> wrote:
> > ....
> > >novel called "Attack of the Rockoids".
> > ....
> > >
> > >CHECK IT OUT, IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!
>
> > This is advertising, right?
>
> Probably.

>
> > Can somebody spare the time and expertise to track down this
> > poster and the website owner and verify my sneaking suspicions
> > that they are one and the same?
>
> I do find it suspicious that the message was posted by somebody called
> Scott. And on the rockoids Web site, a guy named Scott is listed as
> the "Rockoids Fan Club President." I think he's the guy who runs the
> newsletter or something.
>
> It was posted through deja.com, so that makes it hard for me to figure
> out if it really came from the Rockoids people.
>
>

No, rest assured it didn't come from us. As an experienced Internet
surfer (and if you read our recent national press release, author of 20
books on computers and the Internet for major publishers), I wouldn't do
this sort of thing, nor would my co-author.

Scott is quite a common name, and we shouldn't condemn people with that
name or be suspicious of its origins.

Rather than engage in conspiracy theories, feel free to visit us and
tell us if you like the series or not. We welcome your comments.

Peace,
Gene Steinberg
Co-author, "Attack of the Rockoids"

Chad Ryan Thomas

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
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In article <Pine.SUN.3.95.991126...@unix2.netaxs.com>,
owls...@netaxs.com says...

>By the way, it makes many of those lurking about this newsgroup
>suspicious when you refer to something as Sci-Fi, rather than the
>more widely accepted (though not as trendy-poo) SF or science
>fiction. The term "Sci-Fi," to many of us, implies that the user
>is trying to hard too be with it, or that the user is referring
>to inept science fiction movies.

Of course, there are also those of us who wish the community-at-large could
decide whether SF means "science fiction" or "speculative fiction". I, for
one, prefer the latter. It's much easier than typing "speculative fiction,"
and I've never quite understood the prejudice against "sci-fi" for science
fiction in particular.

--
****** Chad Ryan Thomas *********** crth...@asu.edu ******
/ "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be\
\ content." -- St. Paul (Phil. 4:11, KJV) /
*********** http://www.public.asu.edu/~crthomas ***********


Karen Lofstrom

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
ge...@genesteinberg.com wrote:

: No, rest assured it didn't come from us. As an experienced Internet


: surfer (and if you read our recent national press release, author of 20
: books on computers and the Internet for major publishers), I wouldn't do
: this sort of thing, nor would my co-author.

But you'll condone it, right? Because it's profitable? Still smells
like a put-up job to me. Newbies don't suddenly show up on a group
raving about a book. They usually start out by saying something like,
"Uh, hi, I've been lurking here a while. What you say about conodonts
is slightly incorrect because ..." When someone comes out of nowhere
with language that reeks of advertising hype, it's usually an advertiser.

I also feel like taking a pin to your "national press release" and
"author of 20 books". Boasting does not wear well on the net. There
are authors here of much greater stature and they don't preen.

Oh, and "surfing the Internet" sounds strange to me. The original
phrase was "web surfing". I think people have since broadened the
phrase to "surf the net". Used most often, I think, by people who
think the web is the net. Which it isn't. Internet is a slightly more
formal term and it sounds funny with "surf". Experienced people are
more likely to say something like "I've been on the net since 1988".
Or "online since 1988". (Actually, people get very explicit. Online
with GEnie, frinstance, does not at all have the same clout as being
able to say, "When I had my first Arpanet account". So people want to
make it clear exactly what it is they're claiming.)

When someone claims to be "an experienced Internet surfer" I take
it to mean that this person has not been online all that long.

Bah humbug. I hope I'm not being too curmudgeonly ...

--
Karen Lofstrom lofs...@lava.net
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Tender, smells of goat, with a deep blue mold skin,
dusted with charcoal.

Gene Steinberg

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
In article <Pine.SUN.3.95.991126...@unix2.netaxs.com>,
WooF <owls...@netaxs.com> wrote:

>If you have never met the Scott-who-likes-your-novel, then how do
>know he is not the long-lost, identical twin brother of
>Scott-who-is-your-fan-club-president?
>
>(*grin*)

I understand that folks can be carried away with their enthusiasm when
they wish to evangelize something, but Scott's three brothers (none of
whom are his twins), plead innocent, and two of them are just too young
for net surfing.

>
>By the way, it makes many of those lurking about this newsgroup
>suspicious when you refer to something as Sci-Fi, rather than the
>more widely accepted (though not as trendy-poo) SF or science
>fiction. The term "Sci-Fi," to many of us, implies that the user
>is trying to hard too be with it, or that the user is referring
>to inept science fiction movies.
>

I understand the distinction, but the site also gets out to a big
general audience, since it's a sister-site to my Apple Mac support
service (http://www.macnightowl.com).

--

Gene Steinberg

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
In article <81o8qq$2gk$2...@mochi.lava.net>, Karen Lofstrom
<lofs...@lava.net> wrote:

>But you'll condone it, right? Because it's profitable? Still smells
>like a put-up job to me. Newbies don't suddenly show up on a group
>raving about a book. They usually start out by saying something like,
>"Uh, hi, I've been lurking here a while. What you say about conodonts
>is slightly incorrect because ..." When someone comes out of nowhere
>with language that reeks of advertising hype, it's usually an advertiser.

I didn't say I condoned anything. I simply said it wasn't done by the
Scott who works with us. And I don't know if that person is a newbie or
not (I never asked and it's not relevant!) I think you're trying to get
into flamewar mode here, and I'm not interested, sorry.

>
>I also feel like taking a pin to your "national press release" and
>"author of 20 books". Boasting does not wear well on the net. There
>are authors here of much greater stature and they don't preen.

Facts are facts. How many books have you written? And how many were
published?

>When someone claims to be "an experienced Internet surfer" I take
>it to mean that this person has not been online all that long.

Well, my first Internet/online service book came out in early 1994, and
was written in 1993 (I've been published since the late 1960s, actually,
covering a lot of subjects); I've been online since the mid-1980s. You
figure it out :)

>Bah humbug. I hope I'm not being too curmudgeonly ...
>

Since none of this has anything to do with the topic at hand, I'll let
you decide about your own behavior :)

Let's get back to the original subject: If you don't like the book or
the site, fine and dandy. Everyone has a preference. But none of your
comments have anything to do with it. You're just in complain mode here.
Go have a cup of tea and get some rest.

joy beeson

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
crth...@asu.edu (Chad Ryan Thomas) wrote:

>and I've never quite understood the prejudice against "sci-fi" for science
>fiction in particular.

It's a prejudice against using "sci-fi" for science fiction in
*general* when it's the name of a very specific sub-genre: SF written
(or, more often, filmed) for people who are not fans, and may need to
be clued in on things that an SF reader would find insultingly
obvious.

Some people jump on the term with both feet and call it pejorative
just because sci-fi includes stories like the one where the children
(having gotten to the moon on their own) adjust to the vacuum by
letting the pressure in the air lock down rather faster than would be
done by a scuba diver coming up from forty feet.

Can we say "Sturgeons' Law"? "Freedom's Landing" doesn't become
sci-fi just by stumbling over a baking soda mine (among half a dozen
more-realistic mines, all within a day's walk of the dumping zone),
saying that soda bread is easy but it takes a chemist to figure out
how to make yeast bread, and making European-style wheat bread out of
a random alien "grain". It's a matter of intended audience.

Sci-fi, like juveniles, does get away with passing off extremely old
and worn ideas as new.

--
Joy Beeson
j beeson at global two thousand dot net

Gene Steinberg

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
In article <38404de0...@news2.global2000.net>,
xbe...@global1999.net (joy beeson) wrote:

>Sci-fi, like juveniles, does get away with passing off extremely old
>and worn ideas as new.

I think we're quibbling over points that the general public doesn't
perceive as significant. Except for so-called true fandom, people
perceive "sci-fi" as just an abbreviation for science fiction, nothing
more, nothing less.

And whether it's sci-fi or science fiction, there are good examples and
bad examples of both.

Karen Lofstrom

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
Gene Steinberg <ge...@rockoids.com> wrote:

:>Bah humbug. I hope I'm not being too curmudgeonly ...

: Since none of this has anything to do with the topic at hand, I'll let
: you decide about your own behavior :)

I've thought about it, and decided that my comments were
ill-advised. Ill-advised in the sense that if you have opinions about
someone's character or behavior, it doesn't make sense to just let fly
with them unless you have reason to believe that the someone is going
to listen and change or that your opinion is going to be of great use
to the others involved with the matter. Since I don't think my
remarks passed either test, I'll withdraw them.

: Let's get back to the original subject: If you don't like the book or

: the site, fine and dandy. Everyone has a preference. But none of your
: comments have anything to do with it. You're just in complain mode here.
: Go have a cup of tea and get some rest.

It's not the book or the site -- it's the behavior of the original
poster, which bordered on spammish and/or rude. The Usenet sf groups have
been remarkably free of spam and ads, in large part because they have
a stable population of oldbies who complain vociferously at violations
of netiquette. So, we're just being our usual selves in this regard :)

--
Karen Lofstrom lofs...@lava.net
----------------------------------------------------------------------

What does he expect from the computer community?
Normality? Sorry pal, we're fresh out. -- Bruce Sterling

Holly E. Ordway

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
ge...@rockoids.com (Gene Steinberg) wrote:

>I think we're quibbling over points that the general public doesn't
>perceive as significant. Except for so-called true fandom, people
>perceive "sci-fi" as just an abbreviation for science fiction, nothing
>more, nothing less.

That's always been my view, personally. I read a lot of science fiction and
fantasy (among other things) and watch the occasional sf movie. "Science
fiction," "sf", "sci-fi," it's all more or less the same to me, except that
"science fiction" sounds a little nicer to say and "sf" is easier to type.

Whenever somebody gets all worked up about "sci-fi" being insulting, or
whatnot, I just shrug and move on.

Cheers,
Holly

Lawrence Watt-Evans

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Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
On Sun, 28 Nov 1999 12:55:11 +1200, fitc...@netaccess.co.nz (Zeborah)
wrote:

> If I hadn't read this ng for a couple of
>years I'd call it sci-fi(1), no matter how many sf books I'd read,
>because "sci-fi" is said far more on tv than "sf" is written in books.

Yes, exactly. "Sci-fi" is the term for the stuff on TV.

The reason that it wasn't considered an acceptable term for science
fiction is that up until at least 1966, all the movies and TV shows
labeled "sci-fi" were crap. ("Twilight Zone" and "The Outer Limits"
and "Science Fiction Theatre" and "Destination Moon" were not
generally labeled "sci-fi," while "Attack of the Crab Monsters"
emphatically was.)

Since there actually is decent SF on TV nowadays, the old distinction
may have outlived its usefulness.

>The way I see it, it's the term "sf" that's trendy (within the sf group
>at least) rather than the other way around.

It's been called "SF" since 1930.

Much of the problem, I think, arises from the fact that most people
under the age of forty or so heard the term "sci-fi" FIRST, because
they watched it on TV before they read it in books and magazines. So
that's the correct, familiar term.

Those of us significantly over forty, or who have invested ourselves
in fannish tradition, still tend to see it in pre-Trek terms:
Hollywood called it "sci-fi" starting in about 1950 and churned out
dozens of truly lousy, stupid movies and TV shows, while print media
called it "SF" from 1930 on and gave us... well, a lot of truly lousy,
stupid pulp stories, but also some Really Good Stuff.


--

The Misenchanted Page: http://www.sff.net/people/LWE/ Last update 10/1/99
DRAGON WEATHER is now available -- ISBN 0-312-86978-9

Zeborah

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
to
WooF <owls...@netaxs.com> wrote:

> By the way, it makes many of those lurking about this newsgroup
> suspicious when you refer to something as Sci-Fi, rather than the
> more widely accepted (though not as trendy-poo) SF or science
> fiction. The term "Sci-Fi," to many of us, implies that the user
> is trying to hard too be with it, or that the user is referring
> to inept science fiction movies.

I know this is what many people infer from the term, but it bothers me a
little -- can't it just mean that the person using it isn't familiar
with our own terminology? If I hadn't read this ng for a couple of


years I'd call it sci-fi(1), no matter how many sf books I'd read,
because "sci-fi" is said far more on tv than "sf" is written in books.

Just like I'd say "the story I'm writing" rather than "the WIP".

The way I see it, it's the term "sf" that's trendy (within the sf group
at least) rather than the other way around.

(1) I still do, when I'm speaking, because a) it's more euphonious and
b) at least that way people know what I'm talking about.

Zeborah
(who doesn't want to revive the discussion about which is better; I'm
just talking about perceptions here.)

Chad Ryan Thomas

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
to
In article <gene-8F0C6A.1...@news.earthlink.net>, ge...@rockoids.com
says...

>I think we're quibbling over points that the general public doesn't
>perceive as significant. Except for so-called true fandom, people
>perceive "sci-fi" as just an abbreviation for science fiction, nothing
>more, nothing less.

Exactly my point. It really strikes me that the objection to "sci-fi" has
something to do with a genre inferiority complex, the same way that
archaeologists object to the term "soft science."

Richard A. Brooks

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
to

I got my start as an sf fan in the fifties. Then our little subculture
pretty well defined "sci-fi" as monster movies and really badly written
sf. I still tend to consider sci-fi an insult. Because that was the
way I was brought up.

Of course, us conservatives can go back to "stf" (short for Uncle Hugo's
"scientifiction" (which was short for "scientific fiction")).

--Rick

Gene Steinberg

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
to
In article <81pn3t$98g$1...@mochi.lava.net>, Karen Lofstrom
<lofs...@lava.net> wrote:

>It's not the book or the site -- it's the behavior of the original
>poster, which bordered on spammish and/or rude. The Usenet sf groups have
>been remarkably free of spam and ads, in large part because they have
>a stable population of oldbies who complain vociferously at violations
>of netiquette. So, we're just being our usual selves in this regard :)

Someone saw something they liked, they wrote a message about it.

Then they were jumped upon with attacks and suspicions.

What a way to welcome folks to the net :)

joy beeson

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
to
I skimmed news.answers just before coming to this group, and noticed
that all the clue-in-the-newbies articles have just been re-posted.

Michelle & Boyd Bottorff

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
to
Lawrence Watt-Evans <lawr...@clark.net> wrote:

> Much of the problem, I think, arises from the fact that most people
> under the age of forty or so heard the term "sci-fi" FIRST, because
> they watched it on TV before they read it in books and magazines. So
> that's the correct, familiar term.

Yeah, you're right. That's the familiar term.

Even to people like me who watched virtually no television. My church
group did this activity once where we were supposed to fill in the
blank, with commercial jingles and bible quotes (this was to demonstrate
to us how much time we wasted on the unimportant) and I did MUCH better
at the bible quotes, poor deprived child that I was.

BUT I have been reading ERB, and EE Doc Smith, and Lin Carter and Marion
Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton, the occational Heinlien juvenile and so
forth from a VERY early age. (I was about 6 or 7 when I graduated to my
older sister's extensive collection, and about 8 when I started raiding
my uncle's even larger collection.)

Reading Science Fiction does NOT familiarize you with the term "SF". I
have just scanned my collection and nary a one says SF anywhere on the
cover. In order to meet up with the term at all, I suspect you would
have to read books and magazines ABOUT science fiction, not the actual
stuff itself.


Michelle Bottorff


Lawrence Watt-Evans

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Nov 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/28/99
to
On Sun, 28 Nov 1999 11:09:24 -0600, mbot...@sprintmail.com (Michelle
& Boyd Bottorff) wrote:

>Reading Science Fiction does NOT familiarize you with the term "SF". I
>have just scanned my collection and nary a one says SF anywhere on the
>cover. In order to meet up with the term at all, I suspect you would
>have to read books and magazines ABOUT science fiction, not the actual
>stuff itself.

So you don't have any of Asimov's anthologies of "The Great SF
Stories," or Groff Conklin's anthologies with "SF" in the title? You
never noticed the publisher logos that say "SF," not "sci-fi"? (Those
that don't write out "science fiction," that is.)

Bill Palmer

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Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
to
In <gene-0EA3B2.0...@news.earthlink.net> Gene Steinberg

<ge...@rockoids.com> writes:
>
>In article <81pn3t$98g$1...@mochi.lava.net>, Karen Lofstrom
><lofs...@lava.net> wrote:
>
>>It's not the book or the site -- it's the behavior of the original
>>poster, which bordered on spammish and/or rude. The Usenet sf groups
have
>>been remarkably free of spam and ads, in large part because they have
>>a stable population of oldbies who complain vociferously at
violations
>>of netiquette. So, we're just being our usual selves in this regard
:)
>
>Someone saw something they liked, they wrote a message about it.
>
>Then they were jumped upon with attacks and suspicions.
>
>What a way to welcome folks to the net :)

The sad thing is, "welcoming folks to the net" is
the last thing a few rather vociferous posters
in this group have on their mind. In their view
(and I stress that I am referring to but a small
percentage of people who read this group) this
is THEIR newsgroup and they would prefer that
newbies lurked for a couple of years before
making a post, so to be sure the new folks had
learned who-was-who and what-was-what before they
posted. Your real "sin" is that you just sort of
appeared and said what was on your mind without
kow-towing to anyone.

Bill Palmer
alt.genius.bill-palmer.upstairs.office

David Owen-Cruise

unread,
Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
to
ge...@rockoids.com (Gene Steinberg) wrote in <gene-
0EA3B2.032...@news.earthlink.net>:

>In article <81pn3t$98g$1...@mochi.lava.net>, Karen Lofstrom
><lofs...@lava.net> wrote:
>
>>It's not the book or the site -- it's the behavior of the original
>>poster, which bordered on spammish and/or rude. The Usenet sf groups have
>>been remarkably free of spam and ads, in large part because they have
>>a stable population of oldbies who complain vociferously at violations
>>of netiquette. So, we're just being our usual selves in this regard :)
>
>Someone saw something they liked, they wrote a message about it.
>
>Then they were jumped upon with attacks and suspicions.
>
>What a way to welcome folks to the net :)
>

Someone did a drive by posting, and we're discussing whether it's a
clueless newbie being a dork or a spammer being a slime.

Being a dork on Usenet is not considered acceptable in rasf, and we're
allowed to discuss why that is. This is community standards in action.
Welcome to Usenet.

The evidence inclines a lot of us towards slime, in which case it doesn't
matter because they're not reading the newsgroup anyway.

--
David Owen-Cruise
"Letters are things, not pictures of things."
Eric Gill

Mary K. Kuhner

unread,
Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
to
In article <81u7fu$4bf$1...@news1.tc.umn.edu>,
David Owen-Cruise <owen...@umn.edu> wrote:

>Someone did a drive by posting, and we're discussing whether it's a
>clueless newbie being a dork or a spammer being a slime.

It's no favor to newcomers to silently ignore behavior that's
contrary to local custom: they'll just wonder why everyone is
ignoring them, and go away still clueless. It's kinder for
someone to say "hey, if you post something that sounds like an
ad, people will automatically assume you're slime: if you want
respect, post something with different content."

However, I have *never* seen a widely crossposted ad of that kind
come from someone who was actually (based on presence of later
postings) reading the newsgroup. You get so you can tell an ad
from a posting, however clueless.

Mary Kuhner mkku...@eskimo.com

Sion Arrowsmith

unread,
Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
to
In article <19991125233135...@ngol07.aol.com>,
Christopher Jorgensen <lynn...@aol.com> wrote:
>In article <FLMuI...@kithrup.com>, djh...@kithrup.com wrote:
>[lame ad deleted]

>>Can somebody spare the time and expertise to track down this
>>poster and the website owner and verify my sneaking suspicions
>>that they are one and the same?
>Only if you go to the site and read the sample chapter to see if
>it's any good.

I did. Put it like this, the title (_Attack of the Rockoids_) may
be risible, but the prose reads like finely-honed Fanthorpe.

>You know, this group seems to garner more ads than any other
>group I read (I only read three).

Oh, I read two or three which have significant problems with
them. But those tend to be personal ads....

--
\S -- si...@chiark.greenend.org.uk -- http://www.chaos.org.uk/~sion/
___ | "Frankly I have no feelings towards penguins one way or the other"
\X/ | -- Arthur C. Clarke
her nu becomeþ se bera eadward ofdun hlæddre heafdes bæce bump bump bump

Kristopher/EOS

unread,
Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
to
Gene Steinberg wrote:
>
> In article <81o8qq$2gk$2...@mochi.lava.net>, Karen Lofstrom

> <lofs...@lava.net> wrote:
>
>> But you'll condone it, right? Because it's profitable? Still
>> smells like a put-up job to me. Newbies don't suddenly show
>> up on a group raving about a book. They usually start out by
>> saying something like, "Uh, hi, I've been lurking here a
>> while. What you say about conodonts is slightly incorrect
>> because ..." When someone comes out of nowhere with language
>> that reeks of advertising hype, it's usually an advertiser.
>
> I didn't say I condoned anything. I simply said it wasn't done
> by the Scott who works with us.

Right. Whatever.

> And I don't know if that person is a newbie or not (I never
> asked and it's not relevant!) I think you're trying to get
> into flamewar mode here, and I'm not interested, sorry.

Karen? Not likely. Me, on the other hand...

I have trouble not calling a spade a spade.

>> I also feel like taking a pin to your "national press
>> release" and "author of 20 books". Boasting does not wear
>> well on the net. There are authors here of much greater
>> stature and they don't preen.
>
> Facts are facts. How many books have you written? And how
> many were published?

Gee, and I thought you didn't want to make this personal.
"Read our national press release" does not ring all that
true as a refrence to one's prowess. And considering that
I've never heard of you, and the title of your novel
screams "JUNK," well, I'm willing to bet that it is.

Oh, look, there's the website...let's see...

Yep, I was right...it's junk.


> Let's get back to the original subject: If you don't like
> the book or the site, fine and dandy. Everyone has a
> preference. But none of your comments have anything to do
> with it. You're just in complain mode here. Go have a cup
> of tea and get some rest.

A) The original post was advertising spam.
B) The website alone is enough to keep me from ever reading
this book or anything else you've ever written.

Kristopher/EOS

Kristopher/EOS

unread,
Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
to
Bill Palmer wrote:
>
> In <gene-0EA3B2.0...@news.earthlink.net>
> Gene Steinberg <ge...@rockoids.com> writes:
>>
>> In article <81pn3t$98g$1...@mochi.lava.net>, Karen Lofstrom

>> <lofs...@lava.net> wrote:
>>
>>> It's not the book or the site -- it's the behavior of the
>>> original poster, which bordered on spammish and/or rude.
>>> The Usenet sf groups have been remarkably free of spam
>>> and ads, in large part because they have a stable
>>> population of oldbies who complain vociferously at
>>> violations of netiquette. So, we're just being our usual
>>> selves in this regard :)
>>
>> Someone saw something they liked, they wrote a message
>> about it.

Oh as if. Spam is spam. Ads are ads.

>> Then they were jumped upon with attacks and suspicions.
>>
>> What a way to welcome folks to the net :)

Welcome? Sorry, spam isn't welcome. Advertising isn't
welcome. Either one trying to pose as a normal post is
truly unwelcome.



> The sad thing is, "welcoming folks to the net" is
> the last thing a few rather vociferous posters
> in this group have on their mind. In their view
> (and I stress that I am referring to but a small
> percentage of people who read this group) this
> is THEIR newsgroup and they would prefer that
> newbies lurked for a couple of years before
> making a post, so to be sure the new folks had
> learned who-was-who and what-was-what before they
> posted. Your real "sin" is that you just sort of
> appeared and said what was on your mind without
> kow-towing to anyone.

Oh get a grip. Just because no one thinks you're
worth spit as a writer, you're bitter.

Kristopher/EOS

Dan Goodman

unread,
Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
to
In article <gene-0EA3B2.0...@news.earthlink.net>,

Gene Steinberg <ge...@rockoids.com> wrote:
>In article <81pn3t$98g$1...@mochi.lava.net>, Karen Lofstrom
><lofs...@lava.net> wrote:
>
>>It's not the book or the site -- it's the behavior of the original
>>poster, which bordered on spammish and/or rude. The Usenet sf groups have
>>been remarkably free of spam and ads, in large part because they have
>>a stable population of oldbies who complain vociferously at violations
>>of netiquette. So, we're just being our usual selves in this regard :)
>
>Someone saw something they liked, they wrote a message about it.

Maybe. Or maybe the person who'd put that on the Web pretended to be a disinterested viewer, and
wrote an ad disguised as something else.

>Then they were jumped upon with attacks and suspicions.
>
>What a way to welcome folks to the net :)
>

>--
>Peace,
>Gene Steinberg
>Co-author, "Attack of the Rockoids"
>http://www.rockoids.com
>


--
Dan Goodman
dsg...@visi.com
http://www.visi.com/~dsgood/index.html
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.

Boyd & Michelle Bottorff

unread,
Nov 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/29/99
to
Lawrence Watt-Evans <lawr...@clark.net> wrote:

> >Reading Science Fiction does NOT familiarize you with the term "SF". I
> >have just scanned my collection and nary a one says SF anywhere on the
> >cover. In order to meet up with the term at all, I suspect you would
> >have to read books and magazines ABOUT science fiction, not the actual
> >stuff itself.
>
> So you don't have any of Asimov's anthologies of "The Great SF
> Stories," or Groff Conklin's anthologies with "SF" in the title? You
> never noticed the publisher logos that say "SF," not "sci-fi"? (Those
> that don't write out "science fiction," that is.)

Well that's just it. As I said, I *looked* at my books, and ALL the
publisher's logos say "Science Fiction". (Well, except for the ones
that say "Fantasy", "Mystery", "Regency Romance", "General Fiction" or
only have the publishing company.) Granted the collection is pretty
limited, (only about 300 or so SF/Fantasy titles and about an equal
amount of "other" not including non-fiction) but I think I would have
found at least ONE example of an "SF" lable if it was at all common.

As for anthologies, I don't think I own any that aren't by a specific
author. (I've got some Hokas, some Retief...) I'm afraid I'm not a
short story fan in general. I do remember reading some "Science
Fiction" anothologies. I do not remember reading any "SF" anthologies.

Since I'm NOT a short story reader, I was going to do a search on
Amazon.com or Barns and Noble, comparing anthology titles, only it looks
like I won't have time before sending this off. But I still think you
overestimate the prevalence of that particular abbreviation. (If when I
do get online I discover otherwise, I will be sure to apologise.) :)

Michelle Bottorff


Lisa A Leutheuser

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
In article <19991125233135...@ngol07.aol.com>,
Christopher Jorgensen <lynn...@aol.com> wrote:
>
>You know, this group seems to garner more ads than any other
>group I read (I only read three). And the bad thing is I filter

I've been wondering if this group is extraordinarly free of
spam or if the absence of spam is an illusion created by my
site's spam filter. Now I know.


Lisa Leutheuser
eal (at) umich.edu
http://www.umich.edu/~eal


Lisa A Leutheuser

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
In article <1999112920...@1cust29.tnt1.springfield.il.da.uu.net>,

Boyd & Michelle Bottorff <mbot...@sprintmail.com> wrote:
>
>Well that's just it. As I said, I *looked* at my books, and ALL the
>publisher's logos say "Science Fiction". (Well, except for the ones
>that say "Fantasy", "Mystery", "Regency Romance", "General Fiction" or
>only have the publishing company.) Granted the collection is pretty
>limited, (only about 300 or so SF/Fantasy titles and about an equal
>amount of "other" not including non-fiction) but I think I would have
>found at least ONE example of an "SF" lable if it was at all common.

It is rare. Here's one example: the Britich publisher Gollancz Ltd
using the label "Gollancz SF". They appear to do limited edition
hardcovers. I have two books published by them: _Metrophage_ by
Richard Kadrey and _The Difference Engine_ by William Gibson and
Bruce Sterling.

Lawrence Watt-Evans

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
On Mon, 29 Nov 1999 20:36:13 -0600, mbot...@sprintmail.com (Boyd &
Michelle Bottorff) wrote:

>Lawrence Watt-Evans <lawr...@clark.net> wrote:
>
>> So you don't have any of Asimov's anthologies of "The Great SF
>> Stories," or Groff Conklin's anthologies with "SF" in the title? You
>> never noticed the publisher logos that say "SF," not "sci-fi"? (Those
>> that don't write out "science fiction," that is.)
>

>Well that's just it. As I said, I *looked* at my books, and ALL the
>publisher's logos say "Science Fiction".
>

> Granted the collection is pretty
>limited, (only about 300 or so SF/Fantasy titles and about an equal
>amount of "other" not including non-fiction) but I think I would have
>found at least ONE example of an "SF" lable if it was at all common.

You don't have ANY published by Tor with the black S/white F logo? Or
the Del Rey nested-circles with the "SF" in the center?

>As for anthologies, I don't think I own any that aren't by a specific
>author.

Those are collections, not anthologies.

Gene Steinberg

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
In article <XOC04.778$Sz5....@ptah.visi.com>, dsg...@visi.com (Dan
Goodman) wrote:

>Maybe. Or maybe the person who'd put that on the Web pretended to be a
>disinterested viewer, and
>wrote an ad disguised as something else.

Since I run the Web site described in that message and I know the people
involved in our project, I can tell you none of them were responsible
for that message. So your assumption is, at the heart, simply wrong.

Gene Steinberg

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
In article <3842d177$0$96...@news.net-link.net>, eosl...@net-link.net
wrote:

>Welcome? Sorry, spam isn't welcome. Advertising isn't
>welcome. Either one trying to pose as a normal post is
>truly unwelcome.
>

The message referred to was neither spam, nor advertising, but simply
someone saying they like something. It's sad that people can't praise
things in a newsgroup without inviting flamefests. Sad indeed.

Gene Steinberg

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
In article <81u7fu$4bf$1...@news1.tc.umn.edu>, owen...@umn.edu (David
Owen-Cruise) wrote:

>Someone did a drive by posting, and we're discussing whether it's a
>clueless newbie being a dork or a spammer being a slime.

Maybe it's none of the above?

How about discussing the material in the message itself for a change?

David Owen-Cruise

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
ge...@rockoids.com (Gene Steinberg) wrote in <gene-
599C06.024...@news.earthlink.net>:

>In article <81u7fu$4bf$1...@news1.tc.umn.edu>, owen...@umn.edu (David
>Owen-Cruise) wrote:
>
>>Someone did a drive by posting, and we're discussing whether it's a
>>clueless newbie being a dork or a spammer being a slime.
>
>Maybe it's none of the above?
>

It's an off topic message from someone whose entire posting history is this
message and one remarkably similar in alt.books.electronic. That looks
like either a newbie or an identity created for a spam run. You have a
third notion?

There are two more messages with almost identical wording in alt.sf4m and
rec.arts.sf.written, each posted by someone with no other posting history.
All four messages were posted on Nov 23, 1999. Two of them from the same
dialin within 8 minutes of each other.

Whoops, I take that back. scot...@my-deja.com is also melj...@aol.com.
So we've got an AOL user posting the identical message to three different
newsgroups under two different user names and another AOL user, possibly
the same person, posting the same text yet again to yet another newsgroup.

To summarize: We have a message posted in substantially identical form to
multiple newsgroups. It's low level spam. The multiple identities for
posting it look like an attempt to cover the spammers tracks, so it's
probably not accidental spam.

Want to discuss who's got the most motivation to draw people into the web
page in question?

>How about discussing the material in the message itself for a change?
>

Because the content of the message isn't terribly interesting to me,
especially since it smells of canned pork product.

Boyd & Michelle Bottorff

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
Gene Steinberg <ge...@rockoids.com> wrote:

>
> >Someone did a drive by posting, and we're discussing whether it's a
> >clueless newbie being a dork or a spammer being a slime.
>
> Maybe it's none of the above?
>

> How about discussing the material in the message itself for a change?

Well, I know this may sound strange to you, BUT...

Someone saying how much he likes a piece of writing happens to be off
topic here. :)

This is where we discuss the writing PROCESS. So fans of your stories
popping in here and saying: "I found this GREAT piece of liturature!"
are obviously not regular participants, or they would know that they
should go to rec.arts.sf.writing, for those kinds of
not-process-of-composition-related sort of comments.

Now if YOU had popped in, and said, "I wrote this story and I think it's
pretty good, but I'm not entirely happy with my transitions. If someone
would go and read it and see what they think, I would appreciated it.
It's at [URL]." THAT is on topic.

OR if you had popped by, and said, "I just wrote _Title_ (at [URL]) as a
collaborative effort, and although I like the end product I think the
give and take of collaborating made the writing process more stressful,
and I'm wondering how I might make a similar colaboration work better in
the future. Here is how we worked it this time: ..." THAT would also
be on topic. It even would have been on topic if you had said, "I
thought the way we collaborated might be of interest to you. Here's how
we did it: ..."

We probably even would have accepted the person who had no association
with the story at all, if they had said: "I just found a story on the
web, it is just wonderful, I especially love how they handled POV, and I
wish I could do that in my stories." We certainly would have accepted
them if they had then gone on to speak of the particular difficulties
they had with POV in their own works. :)

So, now that I have clued you in on the socially acceptable way to
advertise in this forum, >;) is there anything about HOW you wrote
the story that you would like to disscuss with us?

Michelle Bottorff


Beth Friedman

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
Come clean, now -- you're really V*nna B*nta in a clever plastic disguise,
aren't you?

Iain Rowan wrote in message <3868dfd6...@news.newsguy.com>...
>On Sat, 27 Nov 1999 01:51:13 GMT, ge...@genesteinberg.com wrote:
>
>>It's sad that folks choose to be suspicious of anyone who says they like
>>something. The fact of the matter is that I am not acquainted with the
>>poster, and had nothing whatever to do with his posting of a favorable
>>comment about the book.
>>
>>All I can say is thank you, Scott, whoever you are (and no, there is no
>>resemblance between that person and the Scott who is our fan club
>>president--there are lots of folks named Scott out there).
>
>Actually, there is just one teeny-tiny, probably insignificant
>resemblance:
>
>"Scott2787" nothing to do with Gene, the website, the fanclub and
>absloutely not the other Scott (to r.a.s.c on 23rd Nov):
>
>"Hey, I just read an article about a father and son team that wrote a
>novel called "Attack of the Rockoids". I went to their site
>www.rockoids.com and read the sample chapter. I loved it and decided
>to order the book. All I had to do was download it to my computer and
>start reading. Oh yeah, I almost forgot there is a contest where you
>can win all kinds of great hardware and software."
>
>"rocko...@aol.com", aka Scott, President of the Rockoids Fan Club,
>vouched for by Gene in the post I'm replying to (to alt.sf4m, on the
>same date:)
>
>"When I was reading our local newspaper I came across an article about a
>father and son team who have written a science fiction novel called
>"Attack of the Rockoids". I got interested and visited their website,
>www.rockoids.com, where I read the sample chapter and loved it so much
>that I ordered the full book and downloaded it. Oh, I almost forgot,
>there is a contest on the site where you can win great hardware and
>software."
>
>Judging from these posts I urge you to get Scott and erm, Scott together
>as a public service, they are obviously identical twins who were
>separated at birth through a cruel and unfortunate twist of fate.
>--
>Iain Rowan
>
>Any idiot can face a crisis.
>It's the day-to-day living that wears you out.

--
Beth Friedman
b...@wavefront.com


Mary K. Kuhner

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
Someone whose identity seems to be in dispute wrote:

>"Hey, I just read an article about a father and son team that wrote a
>novel called "Attack of the Rockoids". I went to their site
>www.rockoids.com and read the sample chapter. I loved it and decided
>to order the book. All I had to do was download it to my computer and
>start reading. Oh yeah, I almost forgot there is a contest where you
>can win all kinds of great hardware and software."

I think it's an interesting question: why is everyone who reads this
certain that it's an ad and not a contentless review?

For me, there are two kinds of killing details. First, the "review"
is so completely content-free that you can substitute the name of a
different book harmlessly. People who are really excited about a book
probably say something about it--its genre, say, or an explanation of
the silly title, or at least what general kind of thing they liked
about it. (Compare early reviews of _Bimbos of the Death Sun_, all
of which were at pains to say (a) it's a mystery, and (b) the silly
title is because of ....)

Secondly, and in sharp contrast to lack of detail about the book, is
the wildly excessive marketing detail. It's as if I said "There's
a great restaurant--here's the phone number, address, hours, the
slogan on the menu--but I won't bother telling you what kind of food
or why I like it."

A third, more circumstantial detail is the "I almost forgot" part:
it's hard for me to articulate why, but this sounds
unconvincing--like a novelist with a tin ear for dialog. An actual
poster who was not working from a marketing checklist would
probably either not mention this, or say something like "They run
contests, too." After all, he's supposedly excited by the book, not
by the site. "I forgot" seems marginally possible, though most
serious posters would go back and revise it in. But "I almost forgot"?
This could work in a sentence like "I almost forgot, I have to
run to the store for a quart of milk" but it makes little sense
in a posting which was supposedly not written on command.

Only ad-writers (and pretty bad ones) write like this. Or maybe there
are unfortunate people for whom this is their natural style of self-
expression, but they have no hope of acceptance on Usenet. The
subculture is implacably hostile to this style, and the sooner newbies
learn it, the more they're likely to enjoy their stay here.

Mary Kuhner mkku...@eskimo.com

Julian Flood

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
(David Owen-Cruise) wrote:
> canned pork product

But is /attack of the rockoids/ any good? Is it worth wasting energy
looking at it, or is it what one would expect from the title?

Titles as givaways. Hey, we're on topic for this group.

--
Julian Flood
Life, the Universe and Climbing Plants at www.argonet.co.uk/users/julesf.
Mind the diddley skiffle folk.

Kristopher/EOS

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
Gene Steinberg wrote:
>
> In article <3842d177$0$96...@news.net-link.net>,
> eosl...@net-link.net wrote:
>
>> Welcome? Sorry, spam isn't welcome. Advertising isn't
>> welcome. Either one trying to pose as a normal post is
>> truly unwelcome.
>
> The message referred to was neither spam, nor advertising,
> but simply someone saying they like something. It's sad
> that people can't praise things in a newsgroup without
> inviting flamefests. Sad indeed.

Oh, give it a rest. One of two possibilities:

A) It was someone making a poorly disguised attempt at
promotion.
B) The poster has a rather stilted and poor manner of
writing that resembles a poorly disguised attempt
at promotion, and won't be accepted by the denizens
of usenet as long as he fails to modify it.

Kristopher/EOS

Samuel Kleiner

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
Boyd & Michelle Bottorff wrote:
>Lawrence Watt-Evans <lawr...@clark.net> wrote:
>
>> >Reading Science Fiction does NOT familiarize you with the term "SF". I
>> >have just scanned my collection and nary a one says SF anywhere on the
>> >cover. In order to meet up with the term at all, I suspect you would
>> >have to read books and magazines ABOUT science fiction, not the actual
>> >stuff itself.
>>
>> So you don't have any of Asimov's anthologies of "The Great SF
>> Stories," or Groff Conklin's anthologies with "SF" in the title? You
>> never noticed the publisher logos that say "SF," not "sci-fi"? (Those
>> that don't write out "science fiction," that is.)
>
>Well that's just it. As I said, I *looked* at my books, and ALL the
>publisher's logos say "Science Fiction". (Well, except for the ones
>that say "Fantasy", "Mystery", "Regency Romance", "General Fiction" or
>only have the publishing company.) Granted the collection is pretty

>limited, (only about 300 or so SF/Fantasy titles and about an equal
>amount of "other" not including non-fiction) but I think I would have
>found at least ONE example of an "SF" lable if it was at all common.


I have here a book called 'The Best of Sci-fi' edited by Judith Merril
and published in 1963( Who, to be honest about this, also edited a lot
of other books whose titles used only the acronym, 'SF').

David Owen-Cruise

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
jul...@argonet.co.uk (Julian Flood) wrote in
<na.6f37a34969...@argonet.co.uk>:

>But is /attack of the rockoids/ any good? Is it worth wasting energy
>looking at it, or is it what one would expect from the title?
>

Heck if I know. Until further notice, I'm assuming that it's slightly
better than "Van Gogh in Space !" and "The Eye of Argon."

>Titles as givaways. Hey, we're on topic for this group.
>

It does eliminate the need for much foreshadowing. You might be able to
fake someone out with a detailed character study of a geologist.

Dan Goodman

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
On Tue, 30 Nov 1999, Gene Steinberg wrote:

>In article <XOC04.778$Sz5....@ptah.visi.com>, dsg...@visi.com (Dan
>Goodman) wrote:
>
>>Maybe. Or maybe the person who'd put that on the Web pretended to be a
>>disinterested viewer, and
>>wrote an ad disguised as something else.
>
>Since I run the Web site described in that message and I know the people
>involved in our project, I can tell you none of them were responsible
>for that message. So your assumption is, at the heart, simply wrong.

You didn't read what I wrote. I said "maybe".

Unfortunately, a _very_ high proportion of such messages are
thinly-disguised ads.

Anne M. Marble

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
David Owen-Cruise <owen...@umn.edu> wrote in message
news:821g6c$qno$1...@news1.tc.umn.edu...

> jul...@argonet.co.uk (Julian Flood) wrote in
> <na.6f37a34969...@argonet.co.uk>:
>
> >But is /attack of the rockoids/ any good? Is it worth wasting
energy
> >looking at it, or is it what one would expect from the title?
> >
> Heck if I know. Until further notice, I'm assuming that it's
slightly
> better than "Van Gogh in Space !" and "The Eye of Argon."

You've got to give credit to a story that has the guts to start with
the phrase "SEETHING with frustration after standing for over two
hours under the sweaty summer sun of southern France, staring at the
beckoning though blank canvas, ..." Cough, gasp, puff, puff, puff.
Sorry, ran out of breath before I could finish.

"And so, on with the saga..."


> >Titles as givaways. Hey, we're on topic for this group.
> >
> It does eliminate the need for much foreshadowing. You might be
able to
> fake someone out with a detailed character study of a geologist.

Too bad truth in advertising couldn't be made to apply to titles. We'd
run out of titles quickly, though. Too many novels would be called,
"This Book Makes No Sense" or "Six-guns in Space" or "Another Darn
Conan Clone."

Gene Steinberg

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
In article
<1999113009...@1cust124.tnt1.springfield.il.da.uu.net>,
mbot...@sprintmail.com (Boyd & Michelle Bottorff) wrote:

>So, now that I have clued you in on the socially acceptable way to
>advertise in this forum, >;) is there anything about HOW you wrote
>the story that you would like to disscuss with us?

1: Since I didn't write the message that praised the story, some of this
isn't relevant to this discussion.

2: Yes, it is a collaboration. I'd be happy to talk about that if you
folks would get off this conspiracy theory stuff. It doesn't wash, since
I know there was no conspiracy.

Gene Steinberg

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
In article <8212un$s01$1...@eskinews.eskimo.com>, mkku...@eskimo.com
(Mary K. Kuhner) wrote:

>Only ad-writers (and pretty bad ones) write like this. Or maybe there
>are unfortunate people for whom this is their natural style of self-
>expression, but they have no hope of acceptance on Usenet. The
>subculture is implacably hostile to this style, and the sooner newbies
>learn it, the more they're likely to enjoy their stay here.

Notice, we're still not talking of the content of the site or the book,
but the manner in which someone expresses himself :)

Gene Steinberg

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
In article <384430f5$0$42...@news.net-link.net>, eosl...@net-link.net
wrote:

>A) It was someone making a poorly disguised attempt at
> promotion.
>B) The poster has a rather stilted and poor manner of
> writing that resembles a poorly disguised attempt
> at promotion, and won't be accepted by the denizens
> of usenet as long as he fails to modify it.
>

How about C: The person liked something he read and wrote about it.

I'm not into conspiracy theories myself, since I know that A and B
aren't true.

Gene Steinberg

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
In article <820p5u$moq$1...@news1.tc.umn.edu>, owen...@umn.edu (David
Owen-Cruise) wrote:

>Want to discuss who's got the most motivation to draw people into the web
>page in question?

No, unless we change the name of this group to alt.mind.reading :)

Matt Bishop

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
Gene Steinberg wrote:
>
> In article <8212un$s01$1...@eskinews.eskimo.com>, mkku...@eskimo.com
> (Mary K. Kuhner) wrote:
>
> >Only ad-writers (and pretty bad ones) write like this.
>
> Notice, we're still not talking of the content of the site or the book,
> but the manner in which someone expresses himself :)

OK, then, let's talk about the content of the site and the book...
the site is designed to sell an electronic book, available
for Windows users only, and costing more than an average paperback.
Those links on the site which aren't garish graphics are dark blue text
on a black background, which makes it very difficult to read without
pressing your nose to the screen.

There is a single sample chapter available. It's not Chapter 1, as you
might expect, but Chapter 5, so we're thrown into the middle of the story
with no indication of who Perkins is, why there are security guards after him,
or what the story is about.

Each page of text is presented as a gif, which means you can't change the
(small) font size. After ploughing through a few pages of prose that I found
almost unreadable in both senses of the word, I decided that I didn't really
care enough to carry on reading.

ObRASFC (who knows, maybe we can get back on-topic...): I don't have much of
a critical vocabulary, being new to this, so I'd appreciate others helping
me out here: it strikes me that something is horribly wrong with the sample
chapter that I just gave up reading (besides the content, that is). The
rhythm of the sentences just feels odd, but I can't put my finger on the
problem. Any suggestions? (I suppose, having asked this question, I now really
ought to remind you of the website, which is www.rockoids.com. Sorry about
doing that.)


Matt

Mary K. Kuhner

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
Gene Steinberg wrote:

> Notice, we're still not talking of the content of the site or the book,
> but the manner in which someone expresses himself :)

I can't talk about the contents of the book. When you chose to
encode your text as a GIF you ruled out its being read by people
who use Lynx or other text-only browsers. (You also made it next
to impossible, even for people who can read GIF, to excerpt
bits of text for criticism.)

The contents of the site, insofar as Lynx allows me to see them,
look like advertising hyperbole to me. My view of the Web is that
the pages I'm shown should contain material that will be useful
or enriching for me. I don't hang out on pages which are all
ads--why should I?

If you provide a vanilla HTML version I would be willing to look
at it.

Mary Kuhner mkku...@eskimo.com

Christopher B. Wright

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
On Fri, 26 Nov 1999 22:24:10 -0500, WooF wrote:


>By the way, it makes many of those lurking about this newsgroup
>suspicious when you refer to something as Sci-Fi, rather than the
>more widely accepted (though not as trendy-poo) SF or science
>fiction. The term "Sci-Fi," to many of us, implies that the user
>is trying to hard too be with it, or that the user is referring
>to inept science fiction movies.
>
>George Scithers of owls...@netaxs.com

AIEEEEEE NOOOOOOOOOOOO...

For the purpose of not raising the ire of any traditionalists out there, I
will use the term "SF" for this post.

However, I was raised in a family that calls it "sci-fi".

And it's a family that has devoured the works of Asimov, Heinlein, collected
volumes and volumes of back issues of _Analog_, devoured the works of Niven
and Pournelle, and generally loved Science Fiction with a passion ever since
my father discovered it as a pre-teen.

He passed it on to me. I read through the Foundation books (and it's a shame
Asimov never wrote the next one, btw, because it seemed obvious that he was
making room for it), all the old Heinlien books, the Ringworld trilogy, the
"Gil Hamilton the ARM" shorts, ah, you have me on the spot right now because
I'm ranting <b> but suffice it to say that there was a LOT of SF in our house
and I read a LOT of it. And fantasy as well, of course, but that's not the
topic of discussion here...

My father always called it "sci-fi," so I always called it "sci-fi." When I
learned there was controversy about that name, I asked him about it. His
reply: "I'll call it whatever the hell I want."

And really, that's what it all comes down to.

As if there were a secret handshake requirement in order to appreciate SF.

Sure, TV execs and other outsiders use the term "sci-fi" to sound hip. It's
not the word that makes them a poseur, it's the utter lack of knowledge they
display when it comes to reading damn good books. It's a shame so many
authors and fans of SF are so consumed by a feeling of being snubbed by the
rest of the world that they feel compelled to adopt the trappings of an
insular and separatist nation.

Oh well. I suppose I'm the odd sentient being out, here...

I sure didn't want this to be my first post here, but it looks like it is...
*sigh*

Christopher B. Wright (wri...@ubersoft.net)
Help Desk, the Comic Strip (http://ubersoft.net)

PWrede6492

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
In article <38451A37...@dcs.kcl.ac.uk>, Matt Bishop
<bis...@dcs.kcl.ac.uk> writes:

>ObRASFC (who knows, maybe we can get back on-topic...): I don't have much of
>a critical vocabulary, being new to this, so I'd appreciate others helping
>me out here: it strikes me that something is horribly wrong with the sample
>chapter that I just gave up reading (besides the content, that is). The
>rhythm of the sentences just feels odd, but I can't put my finger on the
>problem. Any suggestions?

I only read the first page, but here's my take:

For starters, the sentences vary in *length*, but there's very little variation
in the sentence *construction.* Out of 17 sentences (including one fragment),
at least 9 of them are either simple subject-verb-object constructions, or else
start with a clause that's in simple subject-verb-object construction. This
makes for a repetetive effect that is heightened by the many uses of "he" as
the subject, and by the author's tendency to use the same word several times:
"...he had remained in the shadows...hoping to remain invisible. He thought
of that old radio character, The Shadow, who would instinctively find dark
corners and doorways and remain hidden from prying eyes." The echo of "remain"
makes the reader *want* to connect all these bits in some sort of parallel, but
they aren't parallel construction, and the mental attempt disrupts the reading
rhythm. A similar problem occurs slightly earlier with the echo of "turn" and
"returning" in: "He wanted desperately to turn back and help his old friend,
but he knew there was no returning now." and to a much lesser extent with the
echo of "oblivious" and "invisible" at the start of the second paragraph.

The prose is further diluted by the use of weakening adverbs such as "almost"
and "apparently" and by the over-use of static "was" and "had" constructions
where they aren't needed. For instance, "Perkins was startled" is a simple,
static sentence that just says this is how it is. "Perkins turned, startled."
is still a simple sentence, but with a more active verb and a different rhythm
because of the break before "startled"; the impression is still not one of
great tension because "startled" and "turned" are not intense verbs. "Perkins
spun toward the sound" is, again, a simple sentence, but it does not interpret
Perkins' actions for the reader -- "spun" is an intense enough verb that, in
context, it's obvious to the meanest intelligence that Perkins was startled by
the noise and is reacting strongly.

The real kicker, though, is that the scene *ought* to be tense and fast-paced
-- that is the effect that one normally wants and gets from lots of short,
simple sentences -- but it isn't. This is partly because of the static verbs
and repetetive structures described above, and partly because the content
doesn't flow logically. Perkins is startled by someone shouting "Hold on,
buster"; the very next sentence after "Perkins was startled" is "He thought he
was safe." Only a complete and utter idiot would think that he was safe under
the apparent circumstances (security guards tearing about and shouting at
people to halt). In the second paragraph, we have "....and he was almost
oblivious to his surroundings." followed immediately by "It was dark..." which
certainly looks to me like a partial description of the surroundings Perkins is
supposedly oblivious to.

I think all his punctuation and spelling is correct, though.

Patricia C. Wrede

Kristopher/EOS

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
Gene Steinberg wrote:
>
> Notice, we're still not talking of the content of the
> site or the book, but the manner in which someone
> expresses himself :)

Maybe that should tell you something about the site and
the book, then, Gene?

And I believe I mentioned that I wasn't impressed with
either one.

The title screams JUNK! "Attack of the Rockoids" indeed.

And that blurb seals it, even before looking at the
sample chapter. Unfortuntely (?) I can't seem to get
the page to load now, so I can't quote anything, but
to be blunt I was offended that I had wasted my time
looking at the sample chapter.

Kristopher/EOS

Kristopher/EOS

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
Gene Steinberg wrote:
>
> In article <384430f5$0$42...@news.net-link.net>, eosl...@net-link.net
> wrote:
>
>> A) It was someone making a poorly disguised attempt at
>> promotion.
>> B) The poster has a rather stilted and poor manner of
>> writing that resembles a poorly disguised attempt
>> at promotion, and won't be accepted by the denizens
>> of usenet as long as he fails to modify it.
>
> How about C: The person liked something he read and wrote
> about it.

Which would in no way make B untrue. Very carefully read B.
It doesn't preclude the original poster doing exactly what
you decribe, it just details how poorly it was done.



> I'm not into conspiracy theories myself, since I know
> that A and B aren't true.

Considering the evidence, I think that you are either stupid,
obtuse, or lying through your teeth.

Oh, and you can't write, either.

Kristopher/EOS

Kristopher/EOS

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
Gene Steinberg wrote:
>
> In article
> <1999113009...@1cust124.tnt1.springfield.il.da.uu.net>,
> mbot...@sprintmail.com (Boyd & Michelle Bottorff) wrote:
>
>> So, now that I have clued you in on the socially acceptable
>> way to advertise in this forum, >;) is there anything
>> about HOW you wrote the story that you would like to
>> disscuss with us?
>
> 1: Since I didn't write the message that praised the story,
> some of this isn't relevant to this discussion.
>
> 2: Yes, it is a collaboration. I'd be happy to talk about
> that if you folks would get off this conspiracy theory
> stuff. It doesn't wash, since I know there was no conspiracy.

A) So why are you still not talking about it?
B) "Conspiracy" implies some level of planning and forethought.
This whole thing has the smell of simple thoughtlessness.

Kristopher/EOS

Mary K. Kuhner

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
In article <38451A37...@dcs.kcl.ac.uk>,
Matt Bishop <bis...@dcs.kcl.ac.uk> wrote:

>ObRASFC (who knows, maybe we can get back on-topic...): I don't have much of
>a critical vocabulary, being new to this, so I'd appreciate others helping
>me out here: it strikes me that something is horribly wrong with the sample
>chapter that I just gave up reading (besides the content, that is). The
>rhythm of the sentences just feels odd, but I can't put my finger on the
>problem. Any suggestions?

The following excerpt from "Attack of the Rockoids" reproduced
only for purpose of critical commentary and analysis.

**
"Hold on, buster. What are you doing in here?"

The voice was almost a shout, a command.

Perkins was startled. He thought he was safe. But as he looked behind
him, he could see the security guards running, apparently his way.

He had to hurry. He just hoped they hadn't seen him. Or maybe...just
maybe they spotted Gonzales standing outside the compound. What to do? He


wanted desperately to turn back and help his old friend, but he knew

there was no returning now. Gonzales had warned him not to attempt a
rescue.
**

There's a problem here with sentences being in regular past tense
when they are clearly meant to be about the story's past, not the story's
present. "He thought he was safe" and "maybe they spotted Gonzales"
should be "He had thought he was safe" and "maybe they had spotted
Gonzales."

There's a more structural problem with timing. If someone is shouting
"hold on, buster" at you it seems unreasonable to stand still (and as
far as we can tell that's what Perkins is doing) hoping that you
haven't been seen.

But the thing that bothers me most is padding. "The voice was almost a
shout, a command" does not seem to accomplish anything that "someone
shouted" attached to the previous sentence wouldn't have. "Maybe...
just maybe" seems overblown. The quoted section takes many words
to accomplish very little--there's no clear image of the place where Perkins
is, for example. This kind of slow-moving prose seems inappropriate for an
action scene. I have the feeling that Perkins stands there slack-jawed while
going through this reasoning, while the guards run towards him in slo-mo.

The sentences hardly stray from "X does Y" simple structures, which gets
monotonous: the author doesn't seem to have access to colons or
semi-colons. (Then again, I got one review from Critters that told me
never to use colons or semi-colons: perhaps this is the up-and-coming
style?)

On the other hand, it's correctly spelled and, except for the tense problem,
mainly grammatical and correctly punctuated. It's not bottom of the slush
pile by any means. But I wouldn't buy it as a book.

(Note to the author: I wouldn't normally do this with something not posted
here for criticism, but you insisted....)

Mary Kuhner mkku...@eskimo.com

Doctor Witch

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99
to
In article <8243s6$3b8$1...@eskinews.eskimo.com>, mkku...@eskimo.com
(Mary K. Kuhner) wrote:
[snipped "Rockoids" excerpt, which I do not feel competent to critique]
[snipped silliness by me about how the whole thing was plagiarized
from _Attaque des Rockoids_ an obscure French knockoff of H.G. Wells]

> The sentences hardly stray from "X does Y" simple structures,
> which gets monotonous: the author doesn't seem to have access to
> colons or semi-colons.

Yes, even at the end of the century, there are still thousands of
Americans who have no access to colons and semi-colons. Many of them
are children, or at least sound that way. Here: have one on me.
;)

> (Then again, I got one review from Critters that told me
> never to use colons or semi-colons: perhaps this is the
> up-and-coming style?)

That's the kind of critical comment that makes me automatically
devalue everything else that critiquer says and will say in the
future. But I have a tendency to pepper my sentences with
the damn things, so maybe I'am a closet colon-ialist.

Doc W.

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Boyd & Michelle Bottorff

unread,
Dec 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM12/1/99