House Rules

Last updated July 5, 2016

These be the rules of this house. They really shouldn’t be too onerous – I really am a reasonable, considerate, and tolerant kind of guy…

Enforcement when anyone breaks a rule will include a warning shot first. Except for spammers, of course – for those, it’s double-tap center of mass and one more for luck to the head. But note that it is one warning shot. Continue, and you will be blocked.

Rule One: Substantive comments that are relevant to the post they are responding to. Stay on track, please. Non-substantive comments? This isn’t the English House of Lords, people. Puns are okay. Piling onto the punster is okay, too. Making fun of the author is just fine and dandy. However – in all cases, remember that I am a regular reader of Sarah Hoyt’s blog, and she has a carp launcher in the back yard. I don’t have a carp launcher, I have a Gila Monster launcher. Those guys don’t just lie there and flop around – they spit poison when annoyed, and they ARE certain to be annoyed at the end of their trajectory. Fair warning has been given…

Rule Two: My virtual living room is not suitable for a battleground. Not even paintball. So this is not the place to re-fight the American Civil War. Nor is it the place to fight the current European Civil War, or the #Trump2016 / #NeverTrump Civil War, or any other high heat content subject. That being said – the people that cannot speak of their history, or what is going on around them, are doomed to failure… So – and this is a fine distinction, true – the causes (note the plural there) of these things are up for discussion, subject to Rule One.

Rule Three: I have a serious dislike for “foul” language in ordinary conversation. I shouldn’t have to define what that is, either – not for adults, who are the only ones that I am inviting to hang around here. No, I’m not a Puritan – my family, thank goodness, apparently managed to breed that strain out a few generations back. But I plain don’t care for it; please refrain as much as possible. However – if I can easily imagine a poster with red face, popping eyes, and on the verge of a stroke thanks to something said here – I’m likely to just ask them to take a time out, not kick them off. Exception – when quoting someone else, from here or elsewhere – quote them accurately, no matter what. (Please note that my fictional characters may be quite “foul” at times – they are supposed to be something like people. I am a realist, not a hypocrite.)

Rule Four: As noted, spammers shall be terminated with extreme prejudice. Trolls? Well, I define what a troll is – right now, it is anyone who posts a comment that is deliberately inflammatory to the majority of other posters, and won’t shut up. Usually the one warning shot, and if that is not heeded… On occasion, though, I may just sit back and watch them dance as my other guests have some fun…

Rule Five: Promotions by other people. Another one where I decide – promoting some product or service, even if it is “legitimate” and has a relation to writing, will be treated as spam. Promoting your own book or story? That depends. There are several authors – and even one publisher – that I will positively welcome promotions of their work. The basic rule, though, is that if I haven’t read it, and liked it myself – it’s going straight to the trashcan. Repeat violations will have you escorted to the door by Security. (If I have read and liked it, I’ll probably be reviewing it here at some time or another – so a promotion could actually be self-defeating in the long run.) This said, feel free to contact me by email to ask whether you may promote your writing here.

Rule Six: Every last one of these rules is subject to change or exceptions at the whim of the author. I run this place.

Rule Seven: I approve the commenter, not each individual comment. I do check the queue on a daily basis – but I don’t guarantee that I’ll check it more than once on any particular day. So your first comment here may be held up for as much as a full day, but after that you should be good to go (so long as you don’t trip one of my landmines, that is). Note that this is a policy only because it is the most effective way to keep spammers on the other side of the fence, not have to escort them out one by one.