Someone asked me the other day, “What about your other half?”
What a weird phrase. “My other half,” as though I am an incomplete person without my wife. Was I just a partial human for the first 21 years of my life, until we started dating? When she’s at roller derby practice, or on a trip in another city, am I back to being unwhole?
If she’s so important to completing me, how did she end up with this Spencer-material I’m apparently missing? Did she inherit it at birth from her parents? Was it specifically tuned for 21-year-old Spencer, or did it mature and grow as I did?
Did I get auto-Horcruxed?
If people can have other halves, could some people have other thirds? Other quarters? Do you become less yourself the more people you love? Are asexuals and aromantics intrinsically more whole than the rest of us? Can the majority shareholders in Spencer outvote me?
Okay, I didn’t just land on this planet yesterday; obviously, I know it’s just an idiom. But it’s such a weird one. I’m not an incomplete person without my wife. She’s not part of me, and I’m not a part of her. We’re two independent, complete people who have chosen to build a life together, not because it was written in the stars or because we’re two halves of one soul, but simply because we want to.
By now, I’ve learned not to ever say a damned thing about how I’m going to write more or that I’ve got more blog posts waiting in the wings–that’s such a recurring theme in my writing that I made a tag for it here on the blog. So I won’t do that. Instead, I want to share a little bit about what’s been going on for me lately.
When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.
But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful - exactly what Rosemary wants.
Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet.
Optimistic spacefaring sci-fi! Grounding the story in the idea of family was excellent, and really made the story sing for me. I loved the anthropological angle as we were introduced to different sentient species and their cultures. I would definitely hang with Aandrisks.
Over the last three days, I’ve examined the work of Project NISEI, the fan-run program to keep Android: Netrunner alive after its official cancellation. In the first post in this series, I shared a brief history of Netrunner and NISEI and highlighted the strengths NISEI has exhibited in their first seven months. In the second post, I switched to my critic’s glasses and pointed out areas for improvement in NISEI’s handling of their first spoiler season. Yesterday, I went further, criticizing what I believed were NISEI’s substantial weaknesses in their web communications, both on their website and social media. Today, I want to cap off the series with recommendations for ways NISEI could address the challenges I identified.
In yesterday’s post about Project NISEI, the fan-run organization to keep Android: Netrunner alive and thriving, I offered criticisms of their messaging during spoiler season. (If you want to return to the start of this series, click here.) In today’s post, I want to turn my focus to the ways in which NISEI is using–or, sadly, often failing to use–their website.
As I discussed yesterday in the first post in this series, clearly, Project NISEI, the fan organization dedicated to keeping Android: Netrunner alive, is doing a lot right. From my outsider perspective, it appears they carefully prioritized the achievements necessary to build a solid foundation in their first few months. NISEI seemingly identified where they needed to shine in this early stage of their project, and dedicated their efforts to excelling in exactly those areas.
But now that NISEI is solidly established, I believe their priorities must necessarily shift. Areas that were less critical in their first stage, and thus left with room for improvement, will become more important as NISEI moves to release their second set and beyond. NISEI is no longer trying to earn the trust of the established Netrunner community. They are the face of the game’s future, which means they need to pay increasing attention to a second audience: new players.
In June 2018, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) announced the end of Android: Netrunner, their cyberpunk card game. Though I had only been playing for a year and a half, and was decidedly a casual “kitchen-table” player, I was devastated. Netrunner was, and remains to this day, my favorite board game, a unique asymmetric game of cat-and-mouse that drips with theme. I wasn’t alone. Netrunner had an active and passionate fan community which was left reeling by the sudden end of the game. On October 22nd, 2018, FFG pulled the plug, and Android: Netrunner was officially no longer supported.
Hoo boy, what a year, huh? It’s been… well, let’s just say that I am literally forcing myself to stop this train of thought because if I don’t, there’s a good chance I’ll get overwhelmed with despair and paralyzed by the anxiety of figuring out what to say and whoops it’ll be another year of unintended blog hibernation.