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Mortal Engines (December 22, 2018)

Sunday, 8 April 2018

SIX OF THE BEST: Dark Worlds Quarterly


I was pointed towards Michael Dean Jackson's Dark Worlds Quarterly by Calvin Heighton of the Cave of Cool, which was recommendation enough. It marks a bit of a departure for the Six Of The Best feature as the blog acts as a storefront for the, free-to-download, magazine of the same name - which explores the culture of science fiction, fantasy and horror.

1) How long have been blogging, and how’d you get into it in the first place?

I've been an itinerant blogger since 2009. My first blog was called SKYLARKING and it was hosted at what was then Blogspot. I blogged there for years about myself and my artwork and any subject I felt like writing about.

Through that blog I met a lot of really cool people, many like minded souls including Calvin from Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool who I now count as one of my best friends. That blog experience was one of the best experiences for me personally because of all the fellow bloggers I was able to interact and become friends with.

After that I was given an opportunity to blog semi-professionally at a now defunct website called Heroicology. This was a blog started by a fledgling publishing company that specialized in Sword and Sorcery books. Though the blog is gone, the publishing company, Rogue Blades Entertainment, and its website is still around.

In 2013 I was given the opportunity to blog for the Amazing Stories Magazine website. It was meant to support the revival of the Amazing Stories magazine but after five years the magazine had not materialized and I decided to branch out on my own.

Together with writer and publisher G. W. Thomas I started a magazine called Dark Worlds Quarterly which examines the culture of science fiction and fantasy. It's partly a literary magazine, partly entertainment -- it falls somewhere in between Lapham's Quarterly and Starlog Magazine. The magazine has its own website and it is published by Rage Machine Books, company that publishes science fiction, fantasy and horror.

I am also an author. I write science fiction and fantasy as Jack Mackenzie and I blog as Jack Mackenzie as well.


(2) What do you blog about, and how frequently do you post?

At Dark Worlds Quarterly I blog about all things related to science fiction and fantasy and sometimes horror. I write about science fiction literature, film and television, comic books and sometimes music. I post fairly frequently here, particularly when an issue of the magazine is released.

At jackmackenziewriter I blog about my own interests, about life, sometimes about social issues, but mostly I blog about my own writing. I don't post as frequently as I would like to, unfortunately, as life and work gets pretty busy.

(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?

The blog at Dark Worlds Quarterly stands out because of the magazine and the associated publishing company. I am one of a team of bloggers and collectively we have a very broad range of knowledge on the subjects we're blogging about. We're constantly doing research and making sure what we blog about is accurate and fair. We can't always please everybody, of course, but generally our expertise on the subject matter is fairly evident.

I've been writing about these topics for a long time, starting well before the internet age. I have written for magazines and periodicals and have written professionally. That's what you are getting at Dark Worlds Quarterly – professionalism. (But we try to have fun, too!)


(4) What’s the best (and worst) thing about blogging?

The best thing about blogging is connecting with people. When people respond to something you write it is the most amazing feeling. When you connect with someone over a shared interest, when your blog introduces you to someone whom you would never have met otherwise over a shared interest... that is worth its weight in gold. Finding and connecting with fellow travellers is the ultimate reward of the blogging process.

The worst thing for me is keeping a regular schedule. Some days the writing is easier than others, but there are times when nothing that you write seems to come together in a coherent way and having to write something because you have a schedule to keep to can be really onerous.

That and finding spelling mistakes after your blog post has been live for a while (sometimes years! Cringe!). That's the worst.

(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?

I try to steer away from politics. That's one of the most divisive things today and because I'm trying to sell books and magazines I don't want to alienate anyone. I also don't need blog posts getting bogged down with pointless arguments going on in the comments. Especially when they start to overshadow the original post.

(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).

If you have an interest in science fiction and fantasy literature then you really do need to check out G. W. Thomas' blog.

G. W. Thomas is a writer with a very long list of publications behind him and he knows his stuff. His knowledge of the subjects of fantasy and science fiction literature, particularly from the pulp era, is astoundingly vast.

He is one of the bright lights on the internet landscape as far as knowledge of the genre goes.

2 comments:

  1. Great interview. And of course I always love a mention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the lead, Cal. Michael was an interesting interviewee; it's good to talk to different types of blogger every now and again ;-)

      Delete

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