Change. It feels like it’s everywhere these days. Despite how much we humans complain about change, we certainly seem to precipitate it at every turn. Some change is good, some bad, some just plain necessary. But all of it means adjusting to a new reality.
Technology offers the fastest change, it seems. Let’s take TV. In our house, John and I have different areas of responsibility. He is the one in charge of television and music. We decided a while ago to get rid of cable TV. Since then, John has been experimenting with different apps, services, and devices to see what works for us (the fact that we have enough choices TO experiment is evidence of technology change in and of itself).
At first, we tried to go old-school and get network TV with an antenna (John’s a sports fan, so live TV is still important). But as we feared, to get a signal here on the Oregon Coast would require an antenna of such size that it would be visible from space.
We tried using apps through our Smart TV, the Xbox and the Playstation, but none of those platforms offered everything we were looking for (we also have Nola and the kids’ shows to consider).
So, last week we received our Amazon Fire TV Stick. (Not endorsing that specific product over the Roku or other devices, mind you. We haven’t tried the others.) We chose the Fire in large part because of Alexa. I’m notoriously bad at figuring out remotes, and now I can just press a button and talk to the TV to get it to do what I want. (Change is good!)
We’re bingeing a bit on TV at the moment. Turns out we can play games on the TV, too, and Nola wanted an app called Crossy Road. As soon as she started playing it, I realized this was basically Frogger reinvented. I loved Frogger when I was a kid. Later, I spent years searching arcades with “retro” games to see if Frogger was among them. And now, it’s more or less in my living room any time I want it. Changed but familiar. Crazy. (I wonder if I can find a modern reinvention of Pitfall?)
We’ve been doing our own modernizing of the past here at WMG lately, too, and many of you might remember. We’ve brought back Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, for example, after more than twenty years. Same old Dean Wesley Smith, same old attitude, modern new format and technology. We launched it on a platform not remotely conceived of in Pulphouse’s original run (crowdfunding via Kickstarter), and we’re in the process of getting Issue Zero ready to distribute to all of our amazing Kickstarter supporters (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!).
If you missed the Kickstarter, never fear. You’ll be able to buy Issue Zero by early December, and you can still subscribe in time to start up with Issue One. Just click here to go to the Pulphouse website and click on subscriptions.
As for me, I’ve got to run. I have to try to beat John’s top score on Disney Crossy Road.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.