About Alis

Alis Franklin is a thirtysomething Australian author of queer urban fantasy. She likes cooking, video games, Norse mythology, and feathered dinosaurs. She’s never seen a live drop bear, but stays away from tall trees, just in case.


Someone asked me a while back if I’d ever backed anything on Kickstarter that hadn’t delivered. Technically, the answer is “no”… because Vessyl wasn’t on Kickstarter.

… Damnit, I wanted my pointless smartcup!

2018-09-06T08:34:00+00:0018th February, 2019|Tags: tech|

Critical processing.

Up until recently, the average politician, the average citizen, didn’t have to be an information analyst, didn’t have to have critical information processing skills, because the information system for the most part did that on the front end. The consumer very rarely received raw information about the world outside of their own immediate sphere of observation.

Almost everything you knew about the greater world was filtered through information processing systems by experts.

That is no longer true in any fashion.

And yet, we operate as if it still is.

Jim Wright on information warfare.

2018-09-06T08:25:56+00:0017th February, 2019|Tags: culture, politics|


On the future of WordPress.

I’ve used WordPress technically since before it was WordPress, and I’ve used it as my main blogging system since about 2006.1 I like WordPress, and I still think it’s a better blogging solution than like 99% of its alternatives.2 That being said, I feel it is noticeably…. lagging, in recent years. I suppose radical change is difficult when you power like thirty percent of the internet, but WordPress’s lack of adoption of more recent blog technologies—anything and everything from inline comments to ActivityStream—make it feel kinda… old. And Gutenberg…


Maybe it’s just that I’m starting to want something different than what WordPress fundamentally is. The platform is still great for, say, powering my job’s largely-static corporate website, whose primary purpose is to be basically a glossy web brochure that can be readily updated by people with no webdev skill. And WordPress is still great for, say, the CSFG, which runs a combination ecommerce/forum website. But for my own website, i.e. this one, right here, that I basically use as a hub to all my other online presences, crossposting and interfacing as appropriate…?

I won’t lie: I’ve thought, more than once, about going back to something self-created.

Maybe. If there’s time…

  1. Before that, I used a spaghetti-coded homebrew abortion I’d taught myself to program on in circa 2001. ^
  2. Don’t even get me started on Medium… ^
2018-11-26T08:22:22+00:0017th February, 2019|Tags: blogging, tech, wordpress|

The contrarian.

Leftists, [Natalie Wynn] warns, are in danger of “entombing ourselves in this paranoid world of purity,” impenetrable to those whose past moral failings were even remotely public — a rapidly expanding population in a world dominated by social media. “How was I able to become a leftist figure on the internet? Well, only because I was nobody.” […Nonetheless, she] notes a chronic anxiety among her fans and allies “that I am going to do a face-heel turn… that I’m going to basically go to the dark side and become a fascist or something.”

Katherine Cross interviews ContraPoints.

This is actually only a teeny tiny point from a much broader, and fascinating article, of which it’s worth reading all of.

2018-09-06T07:56:28+00:0016th February, 2019|Tags: culture|

The Dragon of Rosemont High, ch. 8.

“Concentrate on yourself; how you are, how you should be.”

The next morning, when Eli arrives at the mansion at the top of Rosemont Heights, Widow Adeline is waiting for him with a lawnmower.

“You’re late,” she says, peering down at an diamond-encrusted gold pocket watch.

Eli looks at his own watch. “I’m two minutes early!” 6:58am on a Saturday. Eli hadn’t even know this time existed.

“By my watch, you are late.”

Eli splutters at the indignity. His watch gets time from his phone, which in turn gets time from wherever it is that phones get the time from. Point being, a place more accurate than Widow Adeline’s fingers can wind. Before he can figure out how to explain this, Adeline waves towards the lawnmower.

“Well,” she says. “Get on with it. The grass will not cut itself.”

Eli looks between Widow Adeline and the lawnmower. The thing must be older than he is, lurking, rust-covered and vicious, in the grass. “I thought you were going to teach me to be a dragon!” It sounds kind of stupid, now that he says it out loud.

It also earns him a scowl and a tsch sort of noise. “Discretion, boy,” Adeline scolds. “But, yes. That was the arrangement. This is your first lesson.”

“To cut grass?”


“Which is teaching me what?”

“Well,” is the answer, smirk curling blood-red lips. “You’ll have the entire time you’re doing it to work that out.”

Read more »

2019-02-15T16:53:51+00:0015th February, 2019|Tags: books, DRAGON OF ROSEMONT HIGH|


But consider this for a moment. Perhaps once we are adequately fed, diet becomes far less significant in determining how healthy we are. Maybe almost insignificant. Could it be that when our bodies have enough macro and micro nutrients available most of the time, other determinants of health kick in. The houses we live in. The stress we are under. The pressure of financial and social inequalities. Stigma, abuse and mental illness. Social isolation. And a million other factors with the capacity to make us sick.

The Angry Chef on diet science.

2018-09-05T09:58:16+00:0014th February, 2019|Tags: culture, cw: dieting, food, health|


TIL: There was no word for “orange” in English, and thus no concept of “orange” as a distinct colour (i.e. one separate to red, yellow, and/or brown), prior to the introduction of the fruit into Europe in about the 1600s.

2018-09-05T09:11:41+00:0013th February, 2019|Tags: art, culture|

Market fandom.

So I’ve mentioned before in various places that I do, in fact, actively write fanfic under a Sekret Alias1 that I keep separate for Reasons. The main relevant thing about Sekret Alias is that it’s my relaxation space; it has pretty much no social media presence, and I do nothing to actively promote the fics I write and post there, to “network” in fandom spaces,2 or whatever. Because all of that stuff is the stuff I find exhausting and disheartening about profic, so gods know I don’t want to do any of it in my downtime.

  1. I’ve mentioned the name of it in public, out loud, exactly once. And if you think you’ve figured it out, and ask me about it in private, I’ll confirm it, probably. No one ever has. ^
  2. I do respond to comments on AO3, mostly, and emails and asks and similar direct communications. ^
2019-02-13T10:58:39+00:0013th February, 2019|Tags: fandom, fanfic, profic|