Friday, February 3, 2023

500 Posts: Reflections and Escape from Bluebird Hellsite

Pages, Spreads

And so here we are. Half a thousand posts, five and three-quarters years into this enterprise. As I say every time one of these milestones comes up, I thank all of you for your continued support and readership. Through all the ups and downs - of the world, of the scene, of my personal life and my own mental health - this blog has been, on the whole, something of great importance to me.

500 is not a small number, and yet when I look at it, I can think only of what remains yet to be written. So much left to do, so much left to say. And while that is not inherently wrong, it is perhaps a bit misguided. I've written a great deal of things I am very proud of, seen ideas bloom into glories I couldn't possibly have imagined when I started. Six years ago, there was no Lu and Tubalkhan. Pen and Tam remained locked in a draft I never thought I would finish. Unicorn Meat was a series of dead-end drafts. There was very little creative output at all in those years before the blog, a long dead-dark night of the muse. And now there's no stopping it, which is much more to my liking (save the burnout of running too hard for too long - can't have it all, unfortunately)

There's been A Lot in the last six years. G+ in its heyday and its death. The Disc Horse cometh, and the Disc Horse returneth. Those once thought pillars have rightfully been turned aside. Twitter was never good and is now dying as well. Friends and acquaintances come and go and return and remain, and I know half of you half as well as I'd like and I like half of you half as well as you deserve. The world outside is a spinning plate, precariously balanced. I got a book published. I have made friends that it seems unimaginable that I ever lived without. I've gone through five jobs, four moves, two spates of unemployment, over a dozen foster cats. The plague continues. We endure. I look at what I've written and I see a mirror of my own face, and I can look at it and say "Yeah. This is good."


I turned 30 recently. Neither my father nor his father lived to see 60. (ed: I have been informed that my memory was faulty - my paternal grandfather did not smoke. It seems that side of the family has a history of cancer. Enough so that the death-before-sixty stretches back at least two more generations), and so while I might (if I am lucky and careful) be spared from that trend, it has been on my mind of late. The turning over of the year (and the prescription drugs that put my brain into better working order) has put me in a reflective mood of late. It's made me consider where I am in my life - as a person, as a person in the world. And there are some things that need put in order, I think. The inventory needs taken, the shelves need re-arranged. Time seems to slip away with such speed in its flow that I need to stop myself and really think about what all has happened in the last six years - a great deal has changed.

I do not know if these reflections will ever make their way here, or if they will remain private revelations. The future eludes us all.

My father died before I had written anything truly worth showing to him. He'd say otherwise, of course, more focused on the fact that I was devoting myself to something I enjoyed than the quality or lack thereof the work. I wish I could show him what I've been able to do.


Escape from Bluebird Hellsite is a very, very large scrapbook zine, and one that entailed considerable creative frustration - Twitter, as should surprise no one, is a terrible fucking website, and there are very, very few means of archiving the few things worth keeping on it (did you know there are two secret, completely incompatible types of pdfs? I know that now, and I hate it).

But archive I did; EBH is a curated collection of those threads and posts I had bookmarked. Not all of them, as quite a few have been lost to the ether, many did not fit in with the rest, and by page 145 or so I was sick of looking at the damn thing and just wanted to get it out the door.

Reducing Twitter usage to bare minimum has provided a significant and noticeable mental health improvement since November. I highly recommend it.


As the months settle in and my new job just becomes my job, I find myself in the grips of a creative burst that I have not felt in a long while. (46 notebook pages filled since November!) There are good things on the horizon - not definite plans (Have you read this blog? I am nothing if not incredibly consistent in not following through with anything), but the shapes of plans, that should they come to fruition will be very good indeed.

I will continue to write until I am rendered incapable of doing so. There is so much yet to do, and I am thankful for the company along the journey. Onwards to 1000.


  1. Congratulations Dan on this hollowed occasion! 500 is a big number. I wanted to let you know that, in 2020 - 2021, when I was locked in the prison known as Severe Clinical Depression, I found your blog. I didn't know anything about the OSR or blogging, and you inspired me to enter both. It has (and continues to be) a hard path to walk. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas with the world.

    1. Thanks for reading! It's always a little bit surreal hearing folks say they got into this scene because of my work, but it's also always a morale boost.

  2. Have been greatly enjoying reading your thinking about hard scifi and the slushpost series are always gold - congratulations and looking forward to reading on!

  3. I have been following this blog since 2018/2019.

    A year ago, I ran a MoSH Scenario for my players where they encountered an uplifted octopus with a revolver in the depths of a Europan Biolab. A few days from now I plan to run another one. Out of the list of Scenario titles I offered them, they nearly unanimously picked "Get in loser, we're hunting space fascists."

    Your archived thread in Escape from Bluebird Hellsite, about how authorship is so often scrubbed from art, made me consider whether it was acceptable for me to take so much from your blog. However, while I have stolen from your slush pile for my gaming table and my own idea repository, the quality I most admire in your work is that it makes me want to create.

    I keep my own list of Convictions now, and roll personalities with it. Every 'anomalous' creature or item you post has me eager to explore and extrapolate. "A Planet Called Shithole" is so good I want to write a short story set there. “Get in loser, we're hunting space fascists” is such an excellent title that the entire setup, character roster and setting for the scenario just sort of unfolded in my brain.

    I have written, gamed, and created more because of your writing. Thank you.

    (In addition, Escape from Bluebird Hellsite is excellent, as I had no doubt it would be.)

    (In additional addition, thanks for introducing me to Dorohedoro. It is indeed always time for Noi appreciation.)

    1. I am immensely glad to hear it's inspired you. i've appreciated the comments you've left on the Space Politics story - though it went nowhere past that second post, your comments were what got it to that point in the first place

      If you ever do write that story about Shithole, or write up notes for Get in Losers", I'd love to see them.

  4. L'chaim! Congratulations on 500, and here's to 500 more.