Saturday, August 30, 2008


Yes, this has got to be one of the most awesome words I've seen this entire year. Say it with me, slangwhanger. It's a slang word meaning “a loud abusive speaker or writer.”

Friday, August 29, 2008

Helljammer Teaser Site

What is this page?

You are probably here because you found the Helljammer teaser site. Which I have rather kept out of the limelight because it’s only one page at the moment. However, just for grins it was submitted to a couple search engines just so that it’d be indexed while things were being set up.

A “helljammer” is the returned incarnation of a seagoing vessel doomed at sea—yes, undead pirates are involved—some of these ships were merchantmen, some were from various navies or privateers for queen and country, and none too few were pirates. The truth of the matter is that no single naval superpower of the time (the mid 1700s) understands what leads to the resurrection of a sunk ship as a helljammer. Only that often it’s those who perished into dark waters during particularly violent battles that tend to do so.

No helljammer has ever been friendly to any other living ship, nor claimed fealty to any empire after its return—save one. By in large, helljammers have a healthy disrespect and dislike for all other boats on the water and are a hazard more terrifying than even ordinary pirates. Even navy flotillas and armadas are hard pressed to repel a single helljammer. Port towns often do better, having far thicker walls and often outgunning the ghost ships by wide margins.

The HMH Queen’s Salvation is a British navy ship-of-the-line destroyed during an ambush by Spanish forces. Upon her return she sailed directly into the nearest British port flying a union jack and white ensign—much to the terror of the wharfsmen and navy stationed there—and sent for the Captain of the Yard. In such her crew and captain re-swore their undying, now literally, allegiance to the Queen.

The story, Helljammer: The Hunt for the Burning Sails, is a tale of romantic revenge. It follows the military commission of Captain Nickolas Edgeworth as he chases the helljammer that destroyed his home port of call—killing his family—to the ends of the Earth, to the edges of Hell, and into a conspiracy far more vast than he ever expected his naval career to thrust him.

The actual story will be released as a serialized webnovel starting sometime in the Summer of 2009. And, if I am very lucky, will have a supporting webcomic.

I hope you enjoyed the teaser,

Kyt Dotson

Thunderstorm trounces Mill Ave

Well, it looks like the Ave took one heady pounding by that passing storm. I've got reports of damage to various things, and lots of people who had a fun evening.

I'm hoping everyone else is okay.

Michael Monti also reported that it wrecked up the sign of La Casa Vieja.

See Vex Harrow's reaction.

I'd have more info on this, but it's 4a.m. where I am and I really need to retire to bed and dream about a thunderstorm.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mill Avenue Vexations Reviewed Extremely Brightly on Web Fiction Guide

Brilliant news peeps! One of the editors over at Web Fiction Guide, Grace McDermott, has posted a review of Mill Avenue Vexations and she has awesomely given us 4.5/5 stars! If anything has vindicated my writing and hard work, it’s getting this sort of criticism from a critic I know has been slogging through the dregs and the crème of the web serial community.

Here’s her beginning:

Mill Avenue Vexations is brilliant. There. I said it.

Instead of reading the first few chapters, keeping a track of what I liked and what I didn’t, I was caught up in the story and was already at volume four by the time I looked up.

Read the rest on the site.

Other choice comments from other visitor reviews, I wanted to highlight for everyone and did so over on Mill Avenue Vexations.

There are many more wonderful reviews and we are ever adoring of our fans who issued forth to put them there for us! By golly, it is that we shall put Vexations on the map in one way on another!

And, if you haven’t yet, get along and post a review!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Incident Last Month on Mill Ave

I was just stumbling around Technorati when I came across a blog post about a horrible incident on Mill Ave on July 26th, 2008 about 2a.m. This blog post by Alex Berger outlines some extremely bad acts by Tempe police, particularly mounted, against bar close rush crowds.

The entire idea that mounted police would assault half-drunk, terrified people with pepper spray and drive them through the street at any time (let alone 2a.m.) is reprehensible. And, frankly, disgusts me.

I am interested to know if anyone else witnessed this or if they know about newspaper articles that I'm missing out on. I would like more journalistic (citizen and otherwise) so that I can add this to my Mill Ave anthropology scrapbook.

Link to the post here.

And -- on a lighter note, I've subscribed to this blog's RSS because he did a thesis on virtual worlds and that's something that I'm also into.

Diverting Attention, Wizard 101

Yes, I know. I’m postponing my in-depth message about WFG again because I’ve found myself late, late in the day, amidst a thunderstorm, and I’ve got nothing better to do than to talk about something else.

That something else happens to be a long-winded review of Wizard 101 that I am co-writing over at Vox Ex Machina.

Go check out the series, and play the game. If you want to find me, I’ll be on as Iridian Stormshard.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mill Avenue Vexations reviewed highly favorably on Web Fiction Guide

I admit, I am coming into this one extremely late and the day. I am fuzzy with sleep—and probably about to retire into my strange bedscape shortly. But this one is too fun and awesome to pass up.

Mill Avenue Vexations has been reviewed on Web Fiction Guide and it managed a 4.5/5 rating! That’s huge. WFG is the premiere site for online fiction right now because of the demise of Pages Unbound and this is a very good thing. Having a high review puts me in for better ranking on searches.

I will write a more comprehensive post about the entire affair tomorrow or Sunday, I’m sure.

Meanwhile, the links are available for your perusal.

View the review here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bonus Vexations Story as Guest Content on Children of The First

Good morning beautiful viewers. There is a bonus Mill Avenue Vexations story for everyone to read: “I Don’t Do That Anymore.”

It has been posted as guest content on Children of the First while author Alex McGaughan is on hiatus. His webnovel will be the only place that it will be available for a few weeks, so you should go check it out while the getting is hot.

Go read the story.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When RSS Attacks

So. I use Feedburner over at Mill Avenue Vexations and recently—semi-recently at least—I switched servers (I moved to a new place) and suddenly it cracked wide open. That is, the RSS feed stopped working.

I didn’t know this had happened.

I’m sure it hurt traffic to my site a little bit, but…that’s all better now. The boo-boo has been band-aided.

Looks like a whole seven posts were lost into limbo, so hopefully places like Technorati and their ilk will not totally lose track of me. Not that I get much traffic from them, I do like having my site listed in other places so that it does get pokes and prods from across the Internet.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Preserving the Narratives of Virtual Worlds

With the advent of the MMORPG came an entirely new magical method to interact with a world—and far more transient an effect as well. Unlike books, newspapers, and other physical world affect the MMORPG and all of its different progeny exist with an ethereal substance that is more difficult to capture.

An article posted by the BBC right now goes over some of the interesting facts of history and virtual worlds, Writing the History of Virtual Worlds.

To ensure that the big and small events in these fledgling worlds are not forgotten, erased or overlooked, the University of Texas, Austin has kicked off a project to study the best way to preserve their history.

"It's a huge challenge for archivists to deal with digital information," said project co-ordinator Professor Megan Winget from the School of Information at the university.

Prof Winget's interest in preserving massively multi-player games grew from her involvement in digital artworks that do not hang on a wall but invite interaction, and change as a result.

"One of the most interesting problems for digital preservation is interactivity and how difficult that is to preserve," she said.

"Video games offer all of the same problems as digital art," she said. "They are interactive, very complex and a lot of people get involved in making them happen."

Digital media, history, and keeping such documents intact are interesting problems for archivists. Archives in this day and age are not looked upon kindly by states and other organizations—they are relegated to the diminishing budgets of universities and private collections. Unlike physical repositories of papers, virtual/computerized repositories suffer terrible attrition when their money dries up—a physical repository of papers may be in a warehouse that gets shut up for a few years, disused, but generally intact when the proprietors come back (some elements of famous repositories have survived to this day because the workers took boxes home when they were closed.) This is not true with data centers, which, unlike warehouses, are at an absolute premium. Once they are shut down the data is obliterated, not simply set aside. Although valiant archivists could save data for future generations by taking it home also…this isn’t a common miracle for this field.

Virtual words are becoming an interesting insertion into the lives of the 21st century. To the extent that entire recombination of the narrative occur in them, changing the very trademarks and internal structures of the stories that drive them. Much like any book or movie or TV series.

So the problem of recording and saving these events for posterity falls to the digital archivists; the strange heroes of virtual history who have taken up that mantle.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Cat5e Blues

So. My ever-lovely amaranth of a server, Willowisp, has been offline for nearly a week now due to the move. A dreadful thing for me because my soul is somehow stitched to the very motherboard of that machine and I like to have her to use… So this has been a bit wearing of an experience.

Avast, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Today and yesterday CAT5e cables have been burrowing through the walls and emerging from place-to-place. Something that when complete, I hope to be able to bring my lovely maiden of electronic joy back to the land of the wakeful and use her again.

Primarily because it would be nice to play around with getting websites like Vox Ex Machina back online and start to work on the three different webserials that have possible incarnations that yet are twinkles in my eyes.

Oh yes, the cables – they’re blue.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vex Harrow vs. The Burger King

For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of getting into this story yet, thou should stomp on down to Mill Avenue Vexations and read “No, I Do Not Want Fries With That.”

It’s a very short story about how Vex Harrow met the Burger King in Yellow and what he tried to do to her and what she did do to him.

"No, I Do Not Want Fries With That"

Monday, August 11, 2008

SQL Injection Worms of War

There is a worm on the loose. A SQL injection worm. A vicious little mealy mouthed slobbering parasite that opportunistically infects certain exploits in web software. And it hit one of my projects and this makes me a very unhappy. It is that today I spent a lot of time prowling the database with a flamethrower and machete doing in every malicious byte of its gruesome progeny.

For those who haven’t met this particularly pernicious bug, a word of caution: it will ruin thy day.

If thou happen to run an Apache server, I suggest heading on over to and taking a look at the .htaccess suggestions there. I certainly took a few more to add to my defense script and it has done well to prevent the furtherance of this nuisance.

In particular this line will stop this beast in its tracks:

RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING}    ^.*(;|<|>|'|"|\)|%0A|%0D|%22|%27|%3C|%3E|%00).*(/\*|union|select|insert|cast|set|declare|drop|update|md5|benchmark).* [NC,OR]

The malicious worm (which was insanely active on August 9th, 2008) depends on a SQL DECLARE, SET, and CAST statement all of which occur after some URL encoding and other tricks, which this line does an excellent job of ferreting out.

Onwards to battle. Onwards to a cleaner web experience.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Moving Day

I am going to be on a short hiatus. Hopefully nobody will notice because my posting schedule is every three days or so.

Today everything vanishes from this house and moves over to the new one. This means the server, me, my computers, everything must go - go - go.


Next time I make a post it will either be from my new room (escaped from the dustbunny revolt) or from a cafe with Wifi access.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Vin Diesel and the Necronomicon

Although I am not the only person to notice this. I still have to mention it because it really tickled the cockles of my heart: it would appear that the upcoming movie, Babylon AD, Vin Diesel's character has a tattoo that pays homage to the Seal of the Necronomicon.


Is it not beautiful?


As many more will probably notice (see above for reference) there is a definite resemblance. Also, way to go for word-of-mouth advertising. This will catch the attention of every Lovecraft and occult aficionado in the universe.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Dustbunnies Are Revolting

It is day two of the move and the boxen are closing in. Circling off escape routes and dismantling furniture as they go. We have been holding out against this siege now for about forty-eight hours and, though the end is definitely in sight, we’re still uncertain about our future.

The most prominent element of this event is the dustbunnies. In particular those that have been mounting armies—vast fuzzy regiments armed with frizz-bombs and toothpicks—under my bed. Like bugs scrambling when their rock has been lifted, the dustbunnies quickly scattered, but not before showing their true, terrible numbers.

We have called in a mechanized division for battlefield sweep up.

Meanwhile, I sleep on a mattress on the floor, trading watches with my cabbit plushy, watching the dim flicker of the dustbunny campfires in the distance.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Gothic Angst Webzine Reviews Vexations Volume 6

Mill Avenue Vexations Volume 6 has gotten a review on a goth webzine. Blogged also today on the Vexations blog. Volume 6: Writing on the Wall starts into some of the more esoteric elements of Native American culture in and around Phoenix, Arizona. It helps drive a wedge into the further plot in order to pry it open.

Much more fun stuff to come.

The literary reviewer, H. M. Garber of goth e-zine Gothic Angst, has published a review of Volume Five from Mill Avenue Vexations. People should romp on over there and check it out.