One Weird Idea #1 Hits the Newsstands!

Glorious Dawn Press is proud to announce our first publication, One Weird Idea #1! OWI#1 is now available on Amazon, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.co.de, as well as on Smashwords and through this very website (at left). It’s been a long time coming, mostly because the Kindle version gave us no end of trouble, but it’s finally out. And it’s only 99 cents!

To sweeten the deal, we’ve got not one but two special offers going:

1) If you are one of the first ten reviews on any site now carrying One Weird Idea #1, you’ll get issue #2 absolutely free.

2) If you tell a friend about the anthozine, and they buy a copy, both you and your friend will get a seventh story, “Degenerations,” for free.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy today! And, when you’re finished reading it, write up a review for Amazon or Smashwords.

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One Weird Idea #1 – Sample

The following is an excerpt from David Clements’ “His Final Experiment,” the feature story of One Weird Idea #1. OWI#1 will go on sale within the next twenty-four hours. Until then, enjoy…

The college canteen will make a welcome change from the winter outside. Willis will rub his hands as he awaits his coffee. Perry will sit beside him, his notebook at the ready, with Welch across the table. Welch will close his eyes for a moment of preparation, then will say, “I wondered what the professor was going to do.”

“I’m sorry, Dr. Welch, I’m not sure I get your meaning,” Willis will reply.

“It is suicide, isn’t it? He killed himself?”

“Our investigations are progressing, Dr. Welch, but we have no conclusions. Do you have any information that might help us? Why do you think it was suicide?”

A deep breath. “It was his only logical choice. He’d painted himself into a corner, but the results were incontrovertible. He had only one possible escape route.”

“What results, Dr. Welch? Some calculations you were doing?”

“It was the collision of his philosophy with reality. He couldn’t see a way out. His only choice was to try one last dangerous experiment. To face inevitability head-on, to see if consciousness could break through… It was a desperate measure to save himself, his ideas. But… he was wrong.”

Perry will look up from his note taking, giving Willis a deep frown of incomprehension. At that moment, their coffees will arrive, along with sandwiches for Willis. He will pass a mug of coffee across the table to Welch.

“Maybe you should start at the beginning, sir.”

Welch will take a swig of coffee. “The beginning. Where is that? It’s rather an open question if cause and effect are bogus.” He will look at the two policemen opposite him, glancing from one to the other, and see that he’s losing them again.

“I’m sorry. This has all been quite a shock and I still don’t know how to deal with it. But the beginning, yes… you’d have to know something about the professor and his work, to start with. He works… worked… on the philosophical interpretation of quantum mechanics — what all that quantum randomness means. There are several schools of thought. The good old Copenhagen interpretation essentially says that it’s just a way of calculating things, and all the randomness, the probability of electrons jumping from here to there, is just an artifact of our calculations, and don’t have any real meaning in the universe. Only measurements matter.”

Perry will be writing notes on all this, but he will give Willis a look that says, Is this something we should bother with? Is this guy a loony? Willis’ raised hand will reply, Keep on, let this play out and we might learn something about the case.

“Then there’s the many-worlders who would say that all possibilities happen, that the probabilities show the number of universes where one thing happens rather than another, but that anything that can happen, will. The professor was somewhere in between. He saw the observer as the key, saw the act of conscious observation, with free will and the ability to make choices behind it, as being what makes the universe real, rather than virtual. That would make us – real, thinking, choosing beings — in some sense masters of the universe. We make it real by observing it. That was what we were trying to prove when we built the experiment.”

“An experiment? The professor’s work was entirely theoretical though,” Willis will say.

“Until recently, yes. But we had some ideas for something radical — well, he did, anyway. I helped a bit. It wasn’t that difficult an experiment, and all the material and equipment were already available.”

“And this produced the results that you think made him kill himself?”

Welch will nod. “In a sense, yes.”

Willis and Perry will exchange glances — not your usual motive for suicide.

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Glorious Dawn is Watching: Sucker Punch (Part II)

This is Part two of two of our “Sucker Punch” review.

We move ahead to see Babydoll dancing for the orderly and the brothel owner. During this dance Sweat Pea steals the map. This represents our friends helping us realize our dreams or it can also symbolize that our children steal away our dreams (more on this later).

In this dance Babydoll must lead the girls to overcome WW1 German zombie steam soldiers and stop a messenger from getting to a zeppelin with the secret plans. One of the girls pilots this cool battle droid which represents technology helping us achieve our goals. The German zombies represent technology turning us into drones and taking away our personalities. Babydoll ultimately succeeds in the mission but some churches are destroyed which represents the death of religion and spirituality from technology.

After this story the girls must steal a lighter from the mayor during Babydoll’s dance for him. Amber is asked to steal the lighter as the mayor is her client. So begins our third dance.

In the third dance the girls jump from a WW2 bomber into a medieval castle filled with orcs. They must enter the castle and kill the baby dragon allowing them to retrieve the crystals from its body which will create the best fire you’ve ever seen. “Don’t wake its mother,” Scott Glenn’s character tells them. The girls get into the castle and kill the baby dragon which represents abandoning our childhood and finding our adult passion. The mother dragon wakes and pursues the girls and nearly kills them all. They of course succeed in subduing the dragon.

Now the orderly pimp in the asylum finds out about their plan and tries to stop it. This represents our work trying to stop us from getting our dreams or the work-consumerism cycle destroying or interrupting our dreams.

The only thing that remains is the knife and the key.

Sweat Pea tries quits but then change her mind and comes back because her sister wants to see it through. For the next dance Babydoll must dance for the cook so the other girls can steal a knife.

In the last and final dance the girls attempt to board a high tech moving train going towards a high tech city. There is a bomb on the train that will go off when it reaches the city. Scott Glenn’s character gives the girls a duffel with some equipment and the codes to deactivate the bomb, this represents knowledge an wisdom. The girls are able to board the train, cut through a swath of faceless robots which represent more people trying to stop our dreams. They stop the bomb and try to remove it from the from the train with their helicopter but it gets stuck. Sweat Pea’s sister gives her life to save Sweat Pea.  However, they are unable to stop the bomb. Amber is able to pull Sweat Pea and Babydoll out of the train before it goes into the high tech city and explodes.

Because of their failure and the bomb exploding the cook is not distracted by Babydoll’s dance because of a short circuit causing the radio playing the music. The radio represents technology failing. The cook rises and kills Sweat Pea’s sister who had sacrificed herself in the train. This represents a friend who must stop pursuing their dream with us so they can stop and raise their children.

After this disastrous event Blondie betrays them to the pimp. Blondie represents friends who betray us. The pimp learns of their plan and kills Amber who represents a helpless friend dying and Blondie the betrayer which represents justice being served for betrayal.

The pimp sends Sweat Pea to the closet and then he attacks Babydoll which represents people trying to take our dreams or prevent them from happening. Babydoll kills him with the knife which represents knowledge and she takes the key from him which will allow her to get past all the future obstacles.

Babydoll then frees the crying Sweat Pea from being locked in a closet which represents the rebirth of our dreams. They set fire to the closet using the lighter (passion) and use the diversion to escape. They use the key (knowledge) to unlock all the doors and some wisdom to get past the final locked door to the outside.

They then find themselves blocked by a group of men in the parking lot in front of the final gate. Here Babydoll makes the final choice to sacrifice her dream (freedom) so Sweat Pea can escape. This represents a few things like giving up one’s own dreams for our children’s welfare or sacrificing so that others may succeed.  Babydoll is captured by the men and returns to have the lobotomy. This represents old people left behind by their children as they move into life, much like what happens throughout the USA.

Sweat Pea manages to escape but is almost stopped by the police before getting on a bus. But luckily for Sweat Pea, Scott Glenn’s character (the mentor/teacher/helper) tells the police that Sweat Pea was on the bus before they arrived at the station. She is able to avoid the police and get on the bus. He tells her “One last thing, we have a long way to go” which now represents our children having to find their own way in life without their parent’s help.

So this sums up my analysis, for better or worse. I could probably analyze it a bit more and go into more detail but I’ve got a book to write!

PS – I did think of some other ways to completely reanalyze the film.

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Open-Source Space Travel

I have three words for you: Open source spaceflight.

Yes, open-source like Ubuntu. Open-source like FreeCiv. Open-source like Wikipedia.

And yes, spaceflight. Like the space shuttle. Like the Soyuz. Like those Heinlein books you read when you were thirteen.

A group called Copenhagen Suborbitals have come together to launch a human being into space and bring them safely to the Earth, without government oversight or corporate administration. They’ve spent three years designing, assembling, and testing the rocket. And, on June 2, 2011, they will launch the rocket into space. This time, they’ll have a dummy in it.

Next time? They’ll have a person in it.

Far away from NASA, far away from SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, some enthusiasts in Denmark are going to send someone into space. Working part time and on donations, they’re going to independently join a very, very small club, composed otherwise only of powerful governments, coalitions, or million-dollar corporations. Out of the goodness of their hearts, a spirit of adventure, and, from what I can tell, an absolute lack of fear.

These people, not NASA, not SpaceX or Virgin Galactic, are going to be the ones to humanize space. Them, and others like them, and the ones who follow them. The technology will diffuse, the expertise will spread, and we’ll see more projects, more people, like this. As a writer, my mind is already on fire. I’ve written before that fading government power and waning commercial interest would snuff out human presence in space. I may just have been proven wrong.

The magazine will be out as soon as we’ve hammered out the technical and formatting difficulties bedeviling it. Until then, I’d like to urge you to donate to Copenhagen Suborbitals. I’d like to see that baby fly.

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Issue Delayed: Why?

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Glorious Dawn is Watching: Sucker Punch (Part I)

One of the writers has submitted this review of Sucker Punch. This is Part one of two.

I love it when a movie makes me think. I really enjoy the act of trying to break a movie down figure out the points behind it, if there are any. I’ve read many great analyses of The Matrix and Inception that really impressed me with their thoughtfulness. I can’t say I agreed with them 100% (or in some cases at all), but I thought they were worthy of the time I spent on them and they raised some interesting observations and questions.

Along comes the movie Sucker Punch by 300 alumni Zack Snyder which has stirred quite a bit of controversy about its depiction of women, amongst other things. It has gotten some pretty bad reviews but I do not agree with any that I have read, save for one thing noted by Andrew O’Hehir of Salon.com, who wrote:

“…vertiginous thrill ride [that] gives us what we want (or what we think we want, or what [director Zack Snyder] thinks we think we want).”

I agree with this part of his review wholeheartedly. I think just about all of the critics whose reviews I have read missed the whole point of the film including the New York Times.

The film is about one thing – life.

Continue reading

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Name a new concept!

Okay, so, my partner and I can’t decide if One Weird Idea, being an electronic publication featuring short fiction by a variety of authors united by genre but not theme, is a magthology or an anthozine. Can you help us work it out?

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Story Lineup and Street Date

We apologize for the radio silence. We have all the stories in now, and only need to do final edits on a few of them. We’re proud to announce that the issue will be available on May 22, 2011 wherever better ebooks are sold.

It’s been a long strange few weeks here at Glorious Dawn offices. We’ve been preparing marketing materials, designing graphics, and working out the accounting and legal sides of the business. But we’re on the road now, and we’re confident we’re going to make the street date.

One Weird Idea‘s premiere issue will contain the following stories:

“His Final Experiment” by David L. Clements

“Goldville Alien” by Paul Skelding

“Signoffs” by Lachlan Atcliffe

“Measuring the Marigolds” by R. Jean Mathieu

“The Schmeding Center” by Cass Trumbo

and “Condemned to Repeat It” by Mike Combs

We may also have other fun stuff crammed into the issue. You never know. We’ll keep you informed.

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Glorious Dawn is Reading – The Stars My Destination

This was a Golden Age, a time of high adventure, rich living, and hard dying…but nobody thought so.

 

He was a hundred and seventy days dying, and not yet dead…

 

Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation 
Deep space is my dwelling place
And death’s my destination…

How can I even start this? The Stars My Destination (or Tiger! Tiger!) is one of the best science fiction books I’ve ever read. Period.

Gully Foyle and an alien city. Continue reading

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Errata and Addendum – Open for Submissions

When I put up the open submissions call over at specficmarkets, a writer called wyld-dandelyon asked if it wouldn’t be possible for us to offer royalties on issue #1 sometime in the future.

Yes. Yes, it would.

So, as of this moment, we will be offering our standard royalty rates to our authors in issue #1, starting from the day issue #2 comes out. At that time, I’ll also review our revenues and sales figures. If we can afford to do so, we will offer you back royalties, again to our standard schedule. Authors, you will be notified either way.

I also wanted to clarify what rights we are buying. Glorious Dawn Press wants to buy exclusive worldwide electronic rights (text) for one year, with nonexclusive worldwide electronic rights (text, audio, and otherwise) thereafter. Ebooks don’t ever go out of print, and the market has shown that as we print more issues of One Weird Idea, people will snap up previous issues as well. So, send in your stories, you stand a very good chance of getting paid for it, and keep getting paid for it.

(Special Thanks to wyld-dandelyon for showing us how we can better serve our writers. I wouldn’t have thought of it myself, and I’m very grateful.)

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