WaltS Corner of the Web

WaltS Corner of the Web
"It all began circa 1994, 1983, 1978, 1977, 1975, 1971, 1965, 1947, depending..."



About the Usenet News Group alt.callahans - So as the door opens and we enter the bar...

Mike rolls out a television and a VCR on a dolly, then plugs them into the wall. "Okay, listen up!" He announces, and all conversation momentarily ceases, "It's come to my attention that some of you are a little bit confused about what this place is, exactly, and how it fits in with the Callahans books by Spider Robinson. Well, one of our patrons," he nods to Big Al, who blushes and tries to hide himself under the pillownest, "Has made a little speech on that subject that fortunately I caught on videotape."

Mike inserts a tape labeled "The Greeting" and presses play. An image of Big Al, lounging against the bar in his lecture mode, occupies the screen.

"Okay," Al attempts, "here's the deal. The Place is (as someone else said, I'm sorry I've forgotten who) about as close as you're gonna get to the books on the net, BUT the books where written by one person, who knew where the story was gonna wind up before he started. This place is written by a bunch of different people, who frequently don't know what they're gonna stick in the next sentance. That produces some differences.

"I like to describe the place as 'crueller, yet more dynamic' than the books (for one thing, 'cause I got complimented for that, but also 'cause it's true). You probably won't, for example, get the unconditional sympathy for your problems here that you would in Spider's bar. I know *I* almost certainly won't do that: I focus on practical solutions to people's problems, to the extent of ignoring people's pain in order to accomplish what I set out to do. (I do have a reason for this, but that's a separate thread.) Also, we get into fights here. We have real knock down drag outs (Okay, virtual kddos, how's that?) and sometimes we hold grudges for years after that. That's how it's crueller.

"It's more dynamic in that you're going to meet a much more varied clientelle than you EVER would at spider's bar. In our VR all of us have the power to warp reality however we please (well, there are a couple things that are universally there, like Mike, and the bar, and the chalk line, and the fire place) and we can become whatever we want: vampires, venerian dragons, multiple people, each other, sprites, Kzinti (lot of them, really), our daily Lamplighter's and whatevers spring to mind. People in spider's books tended (for some reason) to agree with spider. People in here don't have that restriction, and sometimes we don't even agree with ourselves. You can count on just about any conversation in here getting warped, within the space of a week, into a conversation totally different from how it started out. That's how it's more dynamic."

"The FAQs were just posted recently, you should be able to chase them down on your newsreader. Look for 'Allabout'. We don't really conform to net.tradition all that well. As for taboos, there are a couple...Try to avoid prying with personal questons (the standard dodge for that is 'if I can ask, are you suchandsuch?') try not to do commercial spam at us...um... I don't recall us doing much in the way of posting lurid descriptions of our intimate selves. If someone tells you to back off, please do..."

Mike rewinds the tape, unplugs the dolly, and rolls it back into the back. "Any questions you have you can direct at the rest of the patrons while I put this away." He explains...




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