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K.B. Spangler and Christopher B. Wright Discuss CleanReader on Twitter

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

I'm going to add a little context, but for the most part I think the tweets should speak to themselves.

Yesterday I heard about a service called CleanReader, but didn't pay too much attention to it. This morning K.B. Spangler, a fantastic web cartoonist AND author, had some very clear opinions on it:

Connections: Part Three

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Learning from the Past

“Can I have my laptop back yet?” Jenny shifts restlessly on the couch, watching CB read.

“Still reading,” CB says.

“Why?” Jenny doesn’t bother keeping the annoyance out of her voice. “What’s the point? Weren’t you one of the ones who actually brought them down?”

“Sure,” CB says. “That was a fun plan. We played it perfectly, too. I mean, everyone expected Alex to be the good soldier and for me to go rogue. Nobody expected Robert to build a mechanical island floating in the middle of the ocean and declare it a sovereign nation, or for Roger to get pissed and threaten to break both Robert’s arms. They played the press, and the government, and PRODIGY like pros. But we weren’t part of the investigation afterward, so I never saw how far it went. I never got to see any of these attachments that actually name names. Now shut up and let me read.”

Connections: Part Two

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Curveball, by Christopher B. Wright


Peter Raphael Travers, Lead Investigator


Shortly after 9/11 a government initiative called PRODIGY attempted to create a Federal registry of metahumans who could be called in to respond to national emergencies. PRODIGY initially did this by co-opting the Federally-sanctioned metahuman groups operating under the Civilian Deputization Act, but eventually announced their intention to forcibly register all metahumans operating on U.S. soil. I was assigned to PRODIGY during the creation of the Office of Homeland Security, the precursor to the Department of Homeland Security, and the realignment, consolidation, and coordination of all Federal agencies that followed. My first assignment was to coordinate the transition of Federally-sanctioned metahuman groups in the Northeast as they were integrated into the PRODIGY program. This was not a popular decision among the groups, and I spent most of my time trying to convince them not to disband. As noted in field reports at the time, I was having particular difficulty dealing with the New York City Guardians of Justice.

Connections: Part One

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Curveball, by Christopher B. Wright
Off the Grid

The Farraday City bus station smells of desperation steeped in false hope and empty promises. CB steps off the bus, reaches for a cigarette, sees the NO SMOKING sign, and mutters something rude under his breath. Jenny is arguing with the bus driver, who doesn’t want to open up the cargo bin to let them get their stuff.

“Destination on your ticket is Jackson,” the driver says. He’s a short, fat man with a thick mustache that, in marked contrast with the rest of him, is waxed and meticulously groomed.

“Don’t worry about it,” CB says.

Jenny narrows her eyes. “I’m not leaving my bags behind. There’s equipment—”

“—we’re not leaving anything behind,” CB says. “Well get everything in a couple minutes.” He scans the terminal carefully.

Jenny looks around, noticing her surroundings for the first time, and sniffs the air. She frowns, and moves closer to CB. “What are you looking for?”

“Not what,” CB says. “Who. There we go.”

Unexpected downtime last week; back now

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

I say "unexpected downtime" but I don't mean the site. I mean me.

On January 31 our DSL went out, "sort of." By "sort of," I mean I had access to everything on the Internet that wasn't immediately useful: I could ping, I could ssh (OK, that was moderately useful) but I couldn't check email, couldn't browse, generally couldn't get anything done. By Friday DSL support had convinced me that it was a modem problem, and I ordered a new one.

Which didn't arrive until Friday.

Nine and a half days of relying on my phone for Internet access made it incredibly difficult to do much over here, especially since I was trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent my bandwidth usage from going over my AT&T data limit. Ah well, such is life; the good news is that I have Internet access once again, and things should return to whatever it is that passes for normal on this little corner of the Internet Ocean.

Well, hopefully better than "normal." We'll see.