Saturday, February 28, 2009

Doing my bit for atheism :)

OK, so here is an idea for like-minded people.

At our local bookshop they have a "Religion" section with all sorts of books. Unsurprisingly, propaganda and early indoctrination literature (i.e. Children's bibles, Good News bibles, and other bibles) is on the eye-level top shelf. While some of my preferred reading such as "The God Delusion" or "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" sits on the very bottom shelf where it doesn't receive proper attention.

The thing that I like to do, when I browse in the store, is to rearrange the books to correct the unfortunate placement of my favorites. I do this about once every 2 weeks or so.

That's the whole idea. I am not sure how much it accomplishes but since there is no church of atheism where I could make donations it's one fun way I like to try and forward the cause.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Starship Sofa

Again with the Podcasts :)

I've recently discovered another excellent SciFi podcast at
I was completely blown away by it's first short story (by Michael Moorcock no less) called London Bone which in it's quality (writing and production) rivals to that of Variant Frequencies.

The thing about Starship Sofa is that they tend to put out stories by established authors rather than by new and upcoming ones. There have been a couple of stories I've skipped, I guess every 5th or so, whereas on Variant Frequencies I have yet to skip one. This, I guess, is because the Sofa tends to cover a broader range of stuff and some things are just not my cup of tea, however the stories that stick do so in a big way!

Give the Sofa a listen - I can pretty much quarantee you'll like it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

SF & christian indie music - wtf??

Off-topic rant warning.

I love sci-fi and sci-fi story podcasts - hence I love Escape Pod (I've donated about $200 to them so far) and I love Variant Frequencies - they don't ask for money so I didn't give them any yet.

My rant today is about Variant Frequencies, VF is a monthly podcast and in my opinion it's simply the best in terms of quality (both writing & production). The guys behind VF are simply amazing. Except... Except in the last episode called "Creature of God" (which admittedly has some religious themes as the name would imply) the featured an advertisement for indie christian rock music or some such non-sense.

To me the reasons for doing this may be that:
1. the guys at VF are religious and are actively trying to help spread the virus
2. or it may be that they are short of cash and thus in need advertisement dollars

If case 1. is true I am very disappointed, and I feel a bit tricked. It kind of reminds me of one beautiful day in my teens when 2 VERY pretty girls we smiling at me from across the food court in the mall. They then approached me (giggling), made small talk and were being extremely friendly, and then they asked me to come and meet them again in their church :) Wow, what a recruitment strategy, even the Army won't go that far.
Perhaps VF isn't doing exactly the same thing but I do feel baited in with some pretty awesome SF and then hit with a completely bullshit religious advertisement.

If case 2. is true (and I hope to .. err.. I mean I really hope so) I would suggest to VF to put up a paypal donations button on the front page, ask for money at the end of the show, ask for money at the start of the show, put some non-offensive adverts for headphones in, do whatever else but please stay away from pushing religion. I've bough Scott Sigler's books, I've given a fair amount of money to EscapePod (and the guy from there once mentioned he is religious - to my great surprise) so I will definitely support my favourite sci-fi podcast EVER by donating, and once "The last fix" comes out in Australia I buy the book.

If I missed case 3. I hope it's a good one that doesn't involve propagating the evil of religion on purpose.