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What the Filk?
A FAQ File (or is that Filk File?) for the rest of us.
Updated February 14, 2011 (because we love you)

Who the hell do you think you are?

We're RevolutionSF, an online magazine and community dedicated to celebrating the best in science fiction, fantasy, comics, anime, and gaming. RevolutionSF is created by professional columnists, artists, animators, and humorists from the most prominent genre-related websites and magazines around. We've got people from SFSite, Zealot.com, ANT.com, Hecklers.com, SciFiNow.com, Star Wars Insider, Star Wars Gamer, About.com, SCI-FI Magazine, MOJO Press, Savant.com, and a bunch of other top-notch sites and publications that I could list if I felt like it, which I don't. If you're not impressed yet, there's something wrong with you. Or maybe you're already more famous than us. In which case, how about doing an interview?

Yeah, but who ARE you?

If you mean me, personally, I'm Shane Ivey. Call me the site's managing editor and producer, for lack of a better term. I founded RevolutionSF, roped our extraordinary staff of poor saps talented professional editors, community developers, and artists into making it great, and handle the site's business, programming, layout, and whatever else comes up.

Oh, you mean the poor sa-- uh, the editors? Okay, here's the scoop. The whole staff. I'm putting them in alphabetical order so they don't have any reason to gripe.

Sarah Arnold (comics editor): Sarah lives in Austin, TX. She started turning drunken rants about comics into professional writing while getting her B.A. in Art History. She’s been a comedy/pop culture radio co-host and director, art historian, comic book publishing firm founder, book and movie reviewer, freelance comic book inker, academic advisor for pre-med students and a fiction writer. She was programmed from an early age to love nerdy things and appropriately named her first pets (two goldfish) Obi Wan Kenobi and Princess Leia. Her other steady gig is resident “nerd” blogger for Do512.com with her significant other John, who can often be heard mumbling about Nazis and world history.

Matthew Bey (editor-at-large): Matthew's first fiction publication appeared here in RevSF back in 2003. A couple years later he began a brief five-year stint as RevSF fiction co-editor. Since then Matthew has published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Pseudopod, The Drabblecast, and many other places. Matthew brags about these accomplishments (and his diet) on his RevSF blog Zombie Lapdance. Along with frequent collaborators Steve Wilson and David Chang he publishes the zine Space Squid and claims credit for the whole "hot chick on the cover" concept.

Jayme Blaschke (editor-at-large) graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in journalism. He writes science fiction and fantasy as well as related non-fiction. His Web site can be found at http://www.exoticdeer.org/jayme.html.

Matt Cowger (contributing writer): Matt is a technerd, writer and game aficionado. He received his degree in Philosophy from Washburn University back in The Day. He has been published here and there and some people liked it and some didn't. He has worked in the IT/Telecommunications industry for a long time. Right now though he just runs GearSmith Computers with the help of Professor Ignatious Q. Cowger PhD, DHXSHND.

Joe Crowe (managing editor) is a writer, editor, and stand-up comedian. He is a mild-mannered copy editor at a major metropolitan newspaper. At AOL affiliate Hecklers.com, he co-founded Zealot.com with Shane Ivey. They narrowly escaped the yawing abyss of the dot-com collapse, then he and Ivey co-created RevolutionSF.com. Crowe whomps up all the RevolutionSF contests and answers your letters. He hosts panels, game shows, and trivia contests at sci-fi conventions, comic book stores, and bar mitzvahs near you. Joe writes RevolutionSF News, a look with the funniness and the sarcasm at news of the day in sci-fi geekly realms. His writing has been called "Swiftean in its satiric eloquence" and the "worst piece of garbage I have ever seen." He lives in Alabama with wife Stefanie and daughter Quin.

Laura Eldred (staff writer) is an academic currently working as a postdoctoral fellow in the English department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her scholarly work focuses on the intersections between the horror genre and contemporary high-brow literature. You can see her academic work in the journal The New Hibernia Review and the essay collections The Theatre of Martin McDonagh: A World of Savage Stories from Carysfort Press and Martin McDonagh: A Casebook forthcoming from Routledge. Her non-scholarly work revolves around trying not to get killed by her murderous kitten Spike and promoting Bruce Campbell for President.

David Farnell (boards admin): Formerly of Austin, Texas, "Superdave" teaches at a university in Japan and writes dry academic papers on weird stuff such as utopian themes and representations of aliens in American literature. At RevSF, he enjoys squooshing spammers on the message boards and, in those rare free moments during the pursuit of tenure, contributing to an article or joining a podcast. Sometimes he remembers to update his blog.

Mark Finn (editor-at-large) is an author, actor, playwright, and graphic designer. In between his bouts of binge-drinking, he's become an award-winning authority on the Texas writer Robert E. Howard and an expert in popular culture. He has written fiction, essays, book introductions, reviews, interviews, articles, and even old time radio scripts for Violet Crown Radio Players. Finn's most recent book, Blood & Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. He lives with his long-suffering wife Cathy and a pit bull named Sonya over a movie theater in a small Texas town.

Peggy Hailey (books editor): After 15 years in the glamorous, jet-setting world of retail bookselling, Peggy has taken time to smell the roses as a librarian at a small public library. You can follow her bookish thoughts at Rampant Biblioholism and also occasionally at No Fear of the Future and the Dark Forces Book Group. Don't make her shush you.

Shane Ivey (managing editor): That's me. I'm a freelance writer, an editor with experience in books, magazines, newspapers and, of course, electronic media. In my night job I'm a copy editor at The Birmingham News. I am co-founder and managing editor of Arc Dream Publishing, publisher of the critically acclaimed roleplaying games GODLIKE: Superhero Roleplaying in a World on Fire, 1936-1946, Wild Talents, and Monsters and Other Childish Things, and the infamous Cthulhu Mythos gaming magazine The Unspeakable Oath. I also work with Pagan Publishing, and I serve as associate editor of The Black Seal magazine, and I worked for several years for boardgame publisher Avalanche Press. In the distant past I founded the sci-fi humor site Zealot.com (along with RevolutionSF senior editor Joe Crowe) and was writer and Web developer for the gaming sites ANT.com, ANTKids.com, and GameJudge.com. After the company that ran all those properties went the way of the dot-com dodo, I founded RevolutionSF.

Rick Klaw (editor-at-large): Rick is an award-winning editor, formerly of independent publishers MOJO Press and Blackbird Press. A collection of his essays, reviews, and other things Klaw have been collected in Geek Confidential: Echoes From the 21st Century from Monkeybrain Books. He has contributed to SFSite, Science Fiction Weekly, Book People, The Austin Chronicle, Electric Velocipede, Fantastic Metropolis, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, KongisKing, Conversations With Texas Writers, Farscape Forever, King Kong Is Back!, Locus Online, and many more.

Andrew Kozma (staff writer) lives in Houston, Texas, for the nonce since that's where he's finishing up school. He's a non-fiction and non-fictional editor for the literary magazine Gulf Coast and writes non-fiction (natch), but mostly gets by with poems, stories and plays. He has a book of poems coming out in 2007 called City of Regret. Some people think that city is Houston, but, I regret to say, it is not.

Robert E. Mansperger, Jr. (art director): Rob is an award-winning illustrator, graphic dsigner and illustrator living in Nashu, NH. Formerly of NH.com he now works full-time at a small start-up software company in Lexington, MA that doesn't quite realize the dot-com boom went bust. But don't tell them; he needs the money to feed his twins babies and keep a roof over his head. We dragged Rob here with promises of fame and fortune after he helped with the designs for Arc Dream Publishing's corporate Web site and its portal sites for the Godlike and Wild Talents RPGs. Rob's portfolio may be found at mansperger.com. Rob himself may often be found wandering the streets of Nashua, NH claiming to be the king of France. At RevolutionSF, he helps keep the freelance artists and art projects organized.

Gary Mitchel (staff writer) lives in Greensboro, N.C. By day he sleeps and plays way too much City of Villains while writing reviews and articles for the masses. By night he assists his mega-corp's customers via advanced telecommunication devices. He has one of them so-called blogs at Sneezy the Squid. He's a natural-born geek, as by age six his favorite movies were Jaws and The Blob (Steve McQueen flavor), and he was addicted to the Star Trek cartoon show. Gary started as a letter writer and contest entrant before becoming a contributor to RevolutionSF. Despite the obvious connection between his birth name and a certain crew member of the U.S.S. Enterprise, all attempts for compensation through paternity suits have been dismissed by callous and insensitive California State Judges. Royalty compensation suits begin in earnest next year.

Jason Myers (movie editor) used to live in Ohio with his smokin' hot wife, but now he lives in the secret places in your home. When you lose your car keys or one of your socks, it is Jason Myers. When your pet is acting a little strange, it is Jason Myers. When your children are afraid of something under the bed or in the closet, or when they suddenly acquire an imaginary friend, it is Jason Myers. Jason Myers is eating your food, rummaging through your possessions, sleeping in your bed, answering your phone, and throwing parties when you go out of town for the weekend.

Kevin Pezzano (anime editor): As Dreamcast Editor for ANT.com and ANTAGONIST Games Network on AOL (you might have known him as "ANT Pogo"), Kevin created the popular ANT Anime Bunker and was a frequent contributor to Zealot.com. He is also a columnist for GameShark.com.

Matthew Pook (games editor): Matthew Pook also lives in Birmingham, but not the one in Alabama. By day he proofreads Yellow Page adverts, and by night he lives with the obligatory two cats, a perky Goth (not obligatory, but fun nonetheless), and more games than he can justify or eat. His reviews appear weekly in Steve Jackson Games' Pyramid Online, as well as regularly in The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society, Games International magazine, and at OgreCave.com.

Alan J. Porter (editor-at-large): After a couple of years chronicling the world of talking cars Alan is now actively researching the various lives and stories of a certain spaceman who was created in 1929, but spends most of his time hanging out in the 25th Century. In the meantime he's written a couple of techy business books, and had fun seeing and reviewing various SF related movies and books, as well interviewing some legendary SF writers, for a selection of magazines and websites (including this one). And of course he is still slinging book proposals and comic book pitches at publishers in the vain hope that someone will actually like them.

Todd Shearer (graphic designer): Freelance artist Todd Shearer is responsible for the RevolutionSF logo and a lot of original artwork on RevolutionSF. Formerly graphic designer for Zealot.com, ANTAGONIST Games Network on AOL, and Hecklers Online on AOL, he is presently working as sci-fi geek for us when he isn't busy herding nerfs and dressing up in women's clothing. (Of course, he may still be wearing women's clothing when he works for us, as he lives in the wilds of Baltimore, Maryland, as opposed to the civilized lands of Alabama and Texas like the majority of our staff.)

Fred Stanton (fiction editor): Fred is easily distracted by shiny objects. He has developed modest skills in a number of areas: Writing (novels and shorts), music (pipe organ!), Japanese language (first-grader level, maybe), comedy (stand-up, not improv), and game design (board, video, and tabletop RPG). His short stories have appeared in Tales from the Secret City and From the Asylum.

Deanna Toxopeus (podcast queen): Deanna produces RevolutionSF's Revcast and writes After Harry, reviews of fantasy and sci-fi literature for youths. When not spending too much time surfing the web, Deanna is a mother, wife, and teacher in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She posts on the RevolutionSF boards as "Ubalstecha" and helps to manage our Facebook page and Twitter stream by inserting seaQuest DSV references. Deanna is RevolutionSF's token Canadian, helping to ensure the site uses enough "U"s.

Jay Willson (editor-at-large): Jay Willson has wasted away much of his life reading and discussing comic books. He started his career in the field of illustration and graphic design, in a futile attempt to develop his love of drawing comics into an actual career. The closest that he came to achieving that was as art director of Another Rainbow Publishing (Gladstone Comics), and getting the chance to work with the great Carl Barks on two volumes of the Carl Barks Library. Jay has since moved on to a completely different career in the information technology industry, and today manages a large staff of programmers and application support personnel. In his spare time, he writes and edits for RevolutionSF and has contributed some articles to the fine line of comics-related magazines at TwoMorrows Publishing and Top Shelf’s Comic Book Artist magazine.

Steve "too many cooks" Wilson (editor-at-large): Steve co-edits the zine Space Squid with Matthew Bey and some other guy. In his dogged pursuit of leisure journalism, he's written for publications like The New York Times, GQ and Entertainment Weekly, and co-wrote (sense a theme here?) Center Square: The Paul Lynde Story.

Assistant DVD Editor: Alexandra Davis.

Contributors: Other RevolutionSF contributors include author Michael Moorcock (Elric of Melnibone, The Cornelius Chronicles, Mother London), cyberpunk guru Bruce Sterling (Schismatrix, Islands in the Net, The Difference Engine), author and illustrator James Cawthorn (Fantasy: The Best 100 Books), author Joe R. Lansdale (The Bottoms, Jonah Hex, Bad Chili, Bubbahotep), author Neal Barrett, Jr. (Perpetuity Blues and Other Stories), game designer Jeff Quick (Star Wars Gamer, Star Wars Insider), editor and author Lou Anders (Argosy Magazine, Star Trek Monthly, Star Wars Monthly, Live Without a Net, Bookface.com), and many more.

Okay, enough already! So why should I come to this site instead of all the other science fiction Web sites out there?

Because we're better than them. Better; funnier; faster. We're like the Six Million Dollar Site, but without the six million dollars.

Want proof? Go look at the rest of the site. Then try and tell me it's not the most entertaining filkin' sci-fi Web site around. I dare you. I double dog dare you. Go on. I'm not going anywhere.

I will in a minute. What does "Filk" mean?

I see you've never been to a science fiction convention or fan club meeting. Filking is folk singing, done violence as only hardcore fans can wreak. It's also a handy pseudonym for a popular but usually crass vulgarity.

Here's how filking works: Take a folk song, or make one up. (They all sound the same to me anyway.) Change the words around, so instead of being about Native Americans fleeing their homeland, or evil industrialists poisoning the air, or whatever, it's about elves prancing around the meadow, or SCA knights losing their car keys, or Harlan Ellison gouging an obsessive fanboy's eyes out. Be sure to include a lot of puns. Take a guitar to a local convention. Sing. Bask in the adoration of your fellow fans, for they, too, are the hardest of the hardcore.

That's insanely geeky and I would never consider doing it or enjoying it. So why do you use it like a curse word?

What, you want us to say f**k all the time, instead? Do you kiss your [insert politically-correct nurturing figure here] with that mouth?

And we know it's insanely geeky, Mr. or Ms. Pottymouth. That's why it's funny.


ENOUGH QUESTIONS! Read the site. Watch the multimedia stuff, if there is any. Play the games and contests. Join the community, and talk to other folks on the site. Click every banner ad you see, and purchase every product and service you can afford. If you don't enjoy it, tell us why. Even if you do enjoy it, tell us why, and tell some friends about us while you're at it. But either way, tell us about it.

RevolutionSF is here for you. Enjoy.

Or else.

Fine, I will. But what if I want to send you a book or DVD or game to review?

Oh, that's easy. Just email the appropriate editor. They're listed up there. If you have a graphic novel that needs reviewing, get in touch with our comics editor. If you have a book that needs reviewing, talk to our books editor.

(Note: Do NOT ask our fiction editor to review your book. The fiction editor handles fiction run on RevolutionSF. The books editor handles book reviews. If you want to run the full text of your book on RevolutionSF, of course, you can talk to the fiction editor. Or if you're just feeling lonely. Or if you want advice on beer. But for book reviews, talk to the books editor.)




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