My name is Charlie, but if your looking for my work, I go by C. E. Dorsett. I write scifi, fantasy, and a touch of horror. I like to play with gothic, steampunk, decopunk, epic fantasy, and wuxia. I love to tell stories and talk about books, movies, series, and music.
The Guild: Expansion Time
The Guild is now distributed via the Xbox Live store and MSN Video site. They did this for season 2 also.
My problem with both means is that they do not offer the ability to subscribe to the series, so fans have to check back often to see if a new episode is out. I wish the process was easier. Hopefully, Microsoft is working on this problem.
This is a great episode! It sets up a rivalry between our favorite Guild and a group of evil line cutters. Since I haven't seen a lot of publicity about it, and the surprise made me jump out of my chair shouting, "Yes!" So I will not spoil it for you. Let me just say, I cannot wait to see the rest of the season.
If you need to catch up with the series, you can watch seasons 1 and 2 at Watch the Guild.com.
Avatar- The End is Near!
The first question from the audience revealed that there is no "Air" book, and that the entire series was always designed to be a trilogy. They also stated that the Avatar world is still ripe for exploration, and that even though the story is ending, there are still tales that the two want to tell in the Avatar world. As a result, there may be some questions left unanswered (such as some information about Uncle Iroh's past), but that they're not done with the world yet (Toon Zone).
It is upsetting to think that this amazing series will soon be over. I am a bit confused by some of the stories that I have seen about the upcoming episodes.
Some reports say that there are only 4 new episodes coming. If that is true. Book 3 would be the shorts of the 3 seasons. There have been 10 episodes so far. Season 1 had 20, season 2 had 16. Since the series is supposed to return on April 30 and will run to July, the idea that they would stretch 4 episodes over that time seems to be a little thin. Not to mention, how are they going to tie up the Zuko amd Iroh storylines in such a short time.
I cannot wait for the show to come back, and I cannot wait to see what happens after the fall of the Fire Lord.
Top Ten Artist of the Week (12 Aug 2007 – 19 Aug 2007)
I have been listening to a lot of music lately, the writing is in full swing, so I thought I would share my Top Ten Artists from Project: Shadow’s Music Profile at Last.fm. I must say, I was surprised by the list a little, and as usual there are a lot of ties. My top 10 this week has 13 Artists in it. Not because it is such a luck number but because there are 10 songs tied for the number 4 slot on the chart. 4. Rob Zombie, Nightwish, Ann Wilson, Meat Loaf, Dio, HIM, Leave's Eyes, Type O Negative, Fields of the Nephilim, and Blackmore's Night.
- Rob Zombie
- I saw the trailer for the remake of Halloween, at at first I was angry. This is not the kind of film that needs to be remade. Then I saw that Rob Zombie was doing it. I shrugged and thought to myself that it could not be all that bad, and found myself playing more Zombie. My hopes are up.
- What can I say? I am surprised they didn't make it higher on the charts. Slaying the Dreamer is very close to my heart right now as I am writing the next chapter in Fate's Harrow.
- Ann Wilson
- Her first solo album is not out yet, but the Podfather played a track on the Daily Sourse Code, and I ran to the Podsafe Music Network right away to check it out. They have 2 tracks from the new album, Hope and Glory, Where to now St Peter (which she sings with Elton John) is an amazing tune, and her cover of the Immigrant Song blew me away. I am looking for ways to feature them in the Podcast.
- Meat Loaf
- What? Don't look at me like that! I am writing, I need the drama and Meat Loaf is good to write too. He was in the Tenacious D movie so, he is cool! Back off buddy. j/k
- For some reason, his Magica album has been in my thoughts lately. Probably because I want to make an animated film out of it.
- This is all Pandora's fault. I have been listening to Pandora a lot lately, and I am beginning to realize that I kinda really like HIM.
- Leave's Eyes
- Legend Land is the soundtrack of my fiction right now. I cannot wait for the next album.
- Type O Negative
- Fields of the Nephilim
- The Nephilim are one of the greatest bands ever. What more can I say?
- Blackmore's Night
- Pandora recently introduced me to this band. They are an amazingly fresh and exciting. Most of the write ups on them I found call them Gypsy Rock. Medieval meets classic rock, it is an instant winner.
- One of my all time top artists, for sure, but lately, I have been getting more and more songs stuck in my mind. Man, I wish their tour came closer to me, I would love to see them live again.
- Paul Stanley
- Songs like "Live to Win," "All about you," and "Wake up Screaming," have become instant classics for me, I just can't hear them enough. There may not be any more Kiss albums coming, but I hope Paul keeps them coming.
- Ok, I am sure you saw that coming. This has been a back to basics week for me, and there is no band closer to my heart than Kiss, and here they are yet again at number 1!
New Mission Greatest Hits 2 CD Set Released
C.E. Dorsett The Mission has released a two disc greatest hits anthology called the Phonograph Years, Fans of the Mission or any other dark wave/gothic music have to get a copy of this and celebrate the brilliance of the Mission.
As well as writing the comprehensive sleeve notes Wayne was also heavily involved, in collaboration with Universal, in the final selection of the tracks for this anthology. Highlights being a newly unearthed gem in ‘Diamond Cuts Diamond’, a song the band recorded during the ‘Carved In Sand’ sessions that has never before been released in any form whatsoever, and ‘Hands across The Ocean’, a radically different version of the song that was eventually released as a single. A completely over-the-top live version of ‘Blood Brother’ from 1988 and a demo of ‘Belief’ produced by Mike Fraser. And a fair few versions of the more popular and more well known tunes are appearing on CD for the very first time. We think it’s something any Mission fan would definetly want in their CD collection. And released, again by Universal, a week later on March 20th, is the Mission film/documentary ‘Waves Upon The Sand’. This is the film that has only until now been available on VHS and follows the band during the ‘Carved In Sand’ album period, on tour and in the studio. This is coupled on DVD with the live film that was recorded and released, again only previously on VHS, as ‘Crusade’ in 1986. This DVD will sell at mid-price. And again, a must have for all Mission fans and available to pre-order from Amazon.com.
The Mission Anthology - The Phonogram Years
CD1: 1. Serpent’s Kiss 2. Garden Of Delight (Extended) 3. Like A Hurricane 4. Crystal Ocean (7” edit version) Never before released on CD. 5. Shelter From The Storm (Janice Long BBC session version) 6. Stay With Me (7” edit version) 7. Blood Brother (Recorded live at The Astoria, London, March 1988) Never before released 8. And The Dance Goes On….. 9. Wasteland (7” edit version) 10. Severina (7” edit version) 11. Tomorrow Never Knows (amphetamix) Only available previously on CD on Japanese import. 12. Beyond The Pale (7” edit version) 13. Kingdom Come (Janice Long BBC session version) 14. Tower Of Strength (Bombay Mix edit) 15. For Ever More
CD2: 1. Amelia (Live from the Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, May 1990) 2. Into The Blue (7” edit version) 3. Butterfly On A Wheel (7” edit version) 4. Deliverance (Sorcerer’s Mix) 5. Belief (Mike Fraser produced demo) 6. Grapes Of Wrath (Demo) 7. Hands Across The Ocean (Tim Palmer produced demo) 8. Diamond Cuts Diamond (Tim Palmer produced demo) 9. Bird Of Passage 10. Metal Guru 11. Never Again (7” edit version) 12. Shades Of Green (Utah Saints 7” remix) 13. Trail Of Scarlet (Sitar Mix) 14. Like A Child Again (7” edit version) 15. Afterglow (Full length Olympic version)
A short extract from the sleevnotes written by Wayne:
BLOOD BROTHER (Live at The Astoria, London, March 1988) Originally seeing life as the ‘b’ side on the ‘Stay With Me’ single, I wrote this in response to a song that The Cult had recorded for a Radio 1 session in which Ian Astbury gives me a name check. Can’t now remember the name of that song. Our first tour in January 1986 had been as special guests on The Cult’s ‘Love’ European tour. This version was recorded during our 7 sold out nights at The Astoria during the‘Children’ tour. My vocals are a little rough but I think this captures perfectly the band at this time. It’s big, noisy, confident and arrogant, melodramatic and megalomaniacal, and completely glorious. Never before released.
BUTTERFLY ON A WHEEL (7” edit) This was the first single of the new decade, the 90’s, released on 1st January. One of our more popular and evergreen tunes, this was a song that I wrote for Julianne of All About Eve. I remember when we’d finished mixing it at Swanyard Studio we played it to Charlie Eyre. He sat in the middle of the big SSL mixing desk and listened to the song blaring out of the big studio monitors and when it had ended he swung around in his chair with a tear in his eye and said, just like George Martin did to The Beatles after they’d recorded ‘Please, Please Me’, ‘Well boys, you’ve just made your first no. 1 record’. Of course, history decreed a different fate for us compared to The Beatles but the song did eventually make it to No. 1.….. In South Africa.
BELIEF (Mike Fraser version) Before we commenced recording the ‘Carved In Sand’ album with Tim Palmer again producing we tried recording with a few other producers/engineers, one of which was Mike Fraser. Mike was a lovely, genial Canadian that generally worked out of the Little Mountain Studio in Vancouver. Mike’s credits had included Aeorsmith, The Cult, and Metallica amongst others. It was suggested that to achieve some commercial success in the USA we should use a producer/engineer with a working knowledge of that elusive American ‘big rock’ radio sound. Now, I’m not particulary a fan of any of the aforementioned bands or American ‘big rock’ but the lure of the yankee dollar was very hard to resist at that time and in our pursuit of global dominance we recorded this version of ‘Belief’ with Mike. The recording took place in London, can’t remember which studio, and then I flew with Mike to Vancouver for a few days to mix the track at Little Mountain. It actually now sounds a lot better to me than I remember and working with Mike was a good experience, I liked him a lot. But I didn’t think it was the right decision to work with a North American for that album. I wanted to retain the little ‘Britishness’ that we still had left. And whilst I think Tim Palmer did a great job I used to often wonder, what if? This version has never before been released.
DIAMOND CUTS DIAMOND (Tim Palmer produced demo) This is another song that was recorded as a demo for the ‘Carved In Sand’ album and discarded. It’s very wordy and obviously a work in progress and easy to see why we did reject it but it stands testament to the wealth of material we had accumulated for that album. We ended up having enough completed material (that we were happy with) for two albums and released ‘Grains Of Sand’ some 6 months or so after the release of ‘Carved’. Actually, hearing this now again after all these years I do really like the guitars on the outro (Mission).
Project: Shadow Manifesto
To mark the 10 year anniversary of the Project: Shadow Manifesto, we thought it was time to overhaul it again, but this time to open up the project to all of the like-minded fans out there who are tired of the status quo, and who are hungry for something new. Brian and I drafted the original Project: Shadow Manifesto in 1999 as an outline we saw in professional publishing. The original draft was heavy on problems, light on vision, and even lighter on solutions. We took years investigating the limited options available at the time, built the original Project: Shadow, and I started writing.
In 2004, we revised the manifesto, and re-launched Project: Shadow. The new draft focused on the solutions possible through new technologies. The world/culture presented us with newer challenges.
We are fans.
We love our music, stories, characters, and settings. We know about what we love. We participate in what we love. We support what we love. What we love supports us.
At heart, a fan is not someone who enjoys a movie, a song, a band, a book, or a show. A fan feels an intense connection with the object of their love. Fans decorate their homes, offices, and desktops with items that announce their allegiance with their favorite bands, movies, shows, and books.
The problem with our popular culture is that it doesn’t blink at a sports fan wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with their favorite team, or even a replica jersey, but wear a Star Wars shirt or dress like a goth and they think they have the right to mock you.
What is the difference between a fan wearing a jersey to a game or fan bringing a light saber to a movie? Or for that matter, what is the difference between a sports fan painting themselves up to go tailgating or a fan dressing as their favorite character at a convention?
Perception. Pop Culture has classified sports fans as acceptable and speculative fiction fans as geeky. I have to say, it is just as geeky to now all of the stats for everyone who has ever played for a particular sports franchise as it is to know the stats for every creature in the Monster Manual. The only real difference is one fan accepts they are a geek, and the other pretends their geekiness is proof they are a jock.
The disapproval is the least of the problems facing today’s fan.
From Storytellers to Copyright
Problem: People are natural storytellers. We hear a story, embellish it, and pass it on.
Solution: We tell each other stories, sing songs, write books, make videos, and create art to share these stories with each other.
Every story we tell is not original. We like to tell the same stories over and over. We borrow stories from any where and retell them in our own vernacular. It is intrinsic to who and what we are to share stories with each other.
Problem: The only constant in the world is change.
Solution: We ask ourselves the question, "What if," and share the answer with each other.
Problem: Artists and Writers need to make a living singing their songs, writing their books, making their videos, and creating their art.
Solution: We establish systems of Copyright.
The Cultural Cycle
Before the era of Copyright, stories, heroes, melodies, and lyrics belonged to the people. Stories were told, and retold. Numerous visions of each story competed against each other. The best were remembered, collected, retold, embellished, and built upon. The rest were forgotten.
Who told the first story about Hercules? Or Jason? or Troy? Who started the legends of King Arthur? or Beowulf? The first tales and their countless reiterations have been lost, but the best, most iconic stories survived.
Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, only a few comedies have no obvious sources, and even they rely upon well established patterns and archetypes.
This is the Cultural Cycle that keeps important stories alive. Each generation must retell the tales of the preceding generations in their own context to keep them relevant. This cycle has been broken.
- Problem: Companies lobby to prevent Intellectual Property from reentering the commons of the culture.
- Problem: Companies control the instruments of culture, making it harder to engage culture creatively.
- Solution: Fans retell these stories as not for profit tales, films, and songs.
- Solution: Fans organize themselves into clubs and conventions.
These solutions are are not enough. Fanfiction and film relies on the good will of the copyright holders and the fact that the fans do not make money from their works to slip through the thinnest of loop hole in copyright. As a result, pop culture is unaware of the cultural developments and retelling of these new stories. The subculture may be enriched by them, but the culture as a whole is not.
The Creative Commons and the Cult of the Dollar
Problem: Publishers and producers focus more on the commercial and popular value of a work, and the creative energy of the work suffers. Readers/viewers will not become fans, and fans will not continue to accept passionless works of Speculative Fiction.
Solution: Placing honesty over consumerism, we fans must stake out our own home to create and share the works we love. We must stand between the darkness and the light: This is the purpose of Project: Shadow.
Problem: The Companies and Rights holders lashed out against the fair use of their properties.
Problem: Some Rights Holders have lulled fandom into a false sense of security by not suing and even encouraging those who produce fanworks
Creative Commons is one of many proposed solutions to this problem. Others have lobbied for copyright reform. Neither of these is a solution to the problems.
Copyright reform is a doomed enterprise while corporate lobbyists have the power they do over the congress. While it is a goal to work for, it is just not realistic in the short term.
Creative Commons is closer to a solution, but the adoption rate has not been sufficient to even start chipping away at the problem.
The reason Creative Commons is an uphill battle is that it is a major evolution in the way rights holders handle permissions to use their work, and exists without an intermediary form. Existing rights holders have not adopted it because they are unwilling to give up all the rights entailed under Creative Commons.
I approached the Creative Commons Foundation with a proposal for a Fan Works License:
Some of the rights holders I have talked to are reluctant to use the CC because they are concerned they are giving up too many rights to their works. A Fan Works License would allow rights holders to clearly state what they will allow others to do with their characters, content, and settings.
It would be a bit more complicated than a standard CC, stating whether others may make original text, video, music, or art projects based on their works. It would also allow them to set the content rating they would allow fan works to have. This could be aligned with the MPAA ratings or the ESRB ratings system or an original system. The reason for this is so a young adult novelist could set a max rating of PG-13, allowing others to know what standards they would apply to determine whether a fan work is legitimate or not.
The other terms would be the same as in the standard CC.
You may not think something like this is necessary, but the current state of fan works is hazy. While few have been sued in the last couple years, at any time, rights holders could decide to start suing again. By creating a license that covers works with the same characters and settings rather than a particular book or movie, I believe we could get more rights holders to use the license to allow for the creation of fan works, which is a step on the road to open up works to the commons.
They responded with a simple, “CC probably isn't going to be expanding the license offerings, and in fact, over the past few years CC has been reducing the number of licenses.”
I do not believe that a fanwork or Creative Commons license is the ultimate solution, but as a possible stepping stone toward an open culture.
Progressive Speculative Fiction
- Problem: Modern and Post-modern fiction is antithetical to hope, imagination, and community
- Problem: Success is easier through snark, hate, and discrimination.
- Solution: We will promote, support and create Progressive Speculative Fiction.
What is Progressive Speculative Fiction?
Progressive Speculative Fiction is a story told in any medium which has a "What if" at its core and is filled with hope for the future and promotes a sense of community.
How can disaster fiction be progressive?
Watch a Godzilla movie or either The Day the Earth Stood Stills. If there is nothing worth saving, then there is no tragedy. The heroes must at least try to save someone or something worth saving.
How can horror be progressive?
Watch nearly any horror film made prior to 1990 or for the best example read The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker or anything by Anne Rice. If life is not worth living or there is nothing worth defending, where is the horror. If life is worthless, then death is merely a release from a nightmare. There is nothing scary about it. If there is no free will, nothing is lost by imprisonment or possession. If sanity is not worth preserving, why bother.
What works are Progressive Speculative Fiction?
There are too many to mention all of them, but to offer a spectrum:
- The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix
- The Dark Knight
- Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within
- The Lord of the Rings
- Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, and The Tale of the body Thief
Just to name a few.
- Problem: The word "Myth" has become a marketing term.
Homogenized works are released more often by the industry every year. Focus groups and market analysis have replaced quality work, but since the cultural cycle is broken, industry has no alternative. It is safer to release works like the ones that sold last year than it is to seek out new talent/ideas that would be more of a risk.
They know what the fans want. We want myths, stories that speak to us on a deep level while entertaining us. Myths are hard to make. It is easy to add in a wizard or a starship and call it mythology. Fans see through it, but the masses are looking for little more than sex, violence, and humor. Speculative Fiction has been watered down to little more than:
- imitation space opera
- knock-off cyberpunk
- repackaging of the rings
- martial arts boom-boom
- torture porn
They, then, wrap it in a shiny box, slap the word myth, saga, legend, or reboot on it, and wait for the masses to spend their money on it... and they usually do.
We do not need another company driven by profit margins, or another author whose self-important propaganda obscures the art.
We need writers and artists that love what they are doing.
We need fans who are not afraid to speak their minds.
We need places in our towns/cities and online where we can meet and share the few gems that we find from the industry and from the independent artist, writers, and filmmakers who are still following their bliss rather than the dollar.
That is why we are here. Project: Shadow and dashPunk will provide a platform for writers, artists, filmmakers and fans to “follow their bliss.” We are dedicated to finding and promoting the best Speculative Fiction out there: the little/well known writers, filmmakers, artists and works, fostering their talents, and helping them to not only follow their hearts, but to share that vision with others.
But we cannot do it alone!
Fandom Strikes Back
- Solution: We must seek out and support the writers, artists, and producers that encourage and support fan works.
- Solution: We must get writers, artists, and producers on the record about their position regarding fan works.
- Solution: We must live according to our values of hope, imagination, and community.
- Solution: We must build a community around hope, imagination, and community, and reject the rote cynicism that defines the faux-fandom that loves to tear things down rather than build things up.
- Solution: We must spread the stories, videos, songs, and art that speak to us.
Together, We can make dashPunk and Project: Shadow more than an idea or a website, but a vibrant community of fans who share the things we love with each other.
Together, we can make it easier to find and share the things we love and find new things to love.
Together, we can build a community of fans who support and engage one another for our mutual benefit.
Alone, none of us can stand up to the corporate powers who control the music, video, text, and art that we love, but together, our voice will be heard.
Fandom is a vibrant culture with its own music (filk), events (conventions), games, and myths. Until now, we have gathered periodically, or in disparate groups.
Now is the time to bring the great multitude of fan bases together.
Now is your time! Copy this Manifesto. Print it, post it, email it, share it! Tell a friend, and most importantly Make your voice heard.
Project: Shadow Manifesto by Project: Shadow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at dashpunk.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://dashpunk.com/about/.