A couple of weeks back a tooth snapped off at the gum line. It had been heavily filled previously and didn’t cause me any significant pain. Inconvenient rather than anything worse. I had an extra tooth inserted into my existing set of false teeth to fill the gap and on Thursday I was to get the stump root-filled. That shouldn’t have been too bad.
And then on Tuesday the matching tooth on the other side of my mouth did almost the same thing. It didn’t quite snap at gum level; a viciously pointed Spike that looked like a scale model of a great white shark’s tooth remained as a hazard for my tongue.
As a result my Thursday dental appointment was something of a marathon. Following a ten-hour night shift I arrived at the dentist and spent an hour and a half having root canal work (without anaesthetic) and also having the Spike smoothed and rebuilt. Something of an ordeal but it did leave my mouth in much better shape.
Until yesterday my lower palate snapped in half as I slept and I woke up in the evening with two pieces of sharp-edged plastic loose in my mouth. I don’t know how I didn’t choke – probably it was the palate snapping that woke me, although it was time for me to get up anyway.
This morning I phoned the dentist, who does have a surgery on Saturday mornings – but not today. Closed. And the probable reason for being closed on what would normally be a working day? It’s a Bank Holiday in the British Isles on Monday and he will be taking a long weekend. So I won’t be able to do anything about getting something done about the teeth until Tuesday. It’s only back teeth that are missing on my bottom jaw, and I can talk and bite perfectly well – but my chewing is severely impaired and it’s not very comfortable. Things like that always happen at the start of Bank Holiday weekends. And I work Bank Holidays anyway, if they fall during my scheduled nights, despite the fact that I work in a bank!
I have heard that there is a kerfuffle just coming to an end. I haven’t directly encountered it – the person at the centre is someone whose fic I wouldn’t read except perhaps at gunpoint (and it would have to be a fairly large calibre gun) – but it does seem to have upset some of my F-list. Luckily it seems to be dying down now.
I’ve taken more of an interest in the Fanlib affair. I received an invite ages ago and really took little notice. I looked at it, thought ‘scam’, and immediately marked it as Junk Mail and told Thunderbird to trash it and any follow-ups. It seems that it wasn’t a scam, at least not in the sense that I first thought, although I wouldn’t exactly call it legitimate either.
I’ve always accepted that I’m not going to earn money for my fan-fiction. I turned down an offer from Amazon to put one of their click-through links on my site because I felt that it could be held to be me profiting from the fic. But if anybody ever did profit from my fics it had damn well better be me and not some corporate sleazeballs who remind me very much of the slimy ‘80s Guy in the Futurama episode ‘Future Shock’ (only without the sharp suit and the obsession with ‘Safety Dance’).
Fandom has, of course, turned on them like a school of dolphins ramming sharks. Very commendable and to be expected (although it wouldn’t surprise me if one particular BNF-in-exile signed up to Fanlib in the vain hope that she could make some money from it). One aspect of the condemnation has, however, slightly perturbed me.
They are being criticised for being men and therefore alien to fandom.
Please. Criticise them for being vultures, parasites, looters, idiots, morons with all the ethical sense of a starving hyena, completely clueless losers, whatever; but please leave their gender out of it.
My subjective opinion is that fanfic is nowhere near as predominantly female as is claimed. Fanfic on LiveJournal is certainly overwhelmingly female, and women may well predominate on the Internet as a whole, but my experiences of fanfic on Usenet seemed to show quite the reverse. And of course there is the Super!Xander sub-culture of male fic writers, locked away in their underground bunkers, writing stories in which Xander dressed as the Navy Seals’ unarmed combat champion/top sniper/fastest draw/explosives expert at Halloween and retained all the memories. Okay, their stories are absolutely interchangeable, and devoid of anything remotely of interest to anyone who can’t disassemble a Desert Eagle with their toes in the dark, but there are quite a few of them.
Just because they don’t show up on your radar doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.
(Random thought; if the Fanlib people really wanted to prove they were part of fandom one of them would fake his own death – after a few despairing posts from the hospital, and even the operating theatre, of course.)
And finally; it hasn’t all been bad. 2 of my stories have been nominated in the Shades of Grey Awards (I must remember to tell them that I accept the nominations!) and another 2 are in the ‘Best of the Best’ round at Fang Fetish. And Lewis Hamilton has qualified second on the grid for Monaco – and I’m off work tomorrow and will be able to watch the race.