Penguicon 2022 Schedule and Books

The folks at Penguicon have released the schedule to presenters. It’s not public yet–it will be soon, promise!–but here’s my little slice of it.

4pm: DNSSEC in 2022 (presentation)
5pm: Covid and Creativity (panel)

11am: Trad vs Indie Publishing (panel)
12pm: Writing Workshop: Setting as Characterization (workshop, 2 hours)
3pm: Self-Publishing in 2022 (panel or AMA, there’s confusion)
4pm: Reading (with GoH JD DeLuzio)
5pm: TLS in 2022 (presentation)
6pm: Writer’s Block bookstore (staff, hangout)

12pm: Writer’s Block Bookstore (staff, hangout)

It might change. Things happen. But this is where you’ll find me.

The other question folks have is: will my books be there? Of course. The bookstore will have git commit murder, git sync murder, and Cash Flow for Creators. I could only pick three, and those seemed like the broadest interest. (I’m not knocking Penguicon for only taking three titles, I’m grateful they are taking any.

I’ll have a few copies each of these with me:

SSH Mastery
DNSSEC Mastery 2nd ed
Sudo Mastery 2nd ed
PAM Mastery
Ed Mastery
SNMP Mastery
The Networknomicon
TLS Mastery
Domesticate Your Badgers
Absolute FreeBSD 3rd ed

Immortal Clay
Kipuka Blues
Butterfly Stomp Waltz
Terrapin Sky Tango
Hydrogen Sleets
Aidan Redding Against the Universe
Savaged by Systemd (extra expensive if you make me touch it)
assorted chapbooks (all $5)

Might be paperback or hardcover. First come, first served. I don’t plan to restock until after covid.

Hope to see you there!

Software Recommendations

I’ve recently gotten a spate of emails asking what software stack I recommend. I suspect someone’s attempting an argument from authority, or trying to catch me contradicting something I said decades ago, or… or who knows what. I’ll be adding this to my FAQ, but here’s the long answer. Ahem:

Use whatever you think will work.

Software is terrible. Operating systems are worse. Some are worse than others.

I tend to put databases on ZFS, because databases are even more terrible and I want automatic snapshots. But: jails or chroots? Pffft. Everything is terrible. Choose your doom.

What do I recommend? I recommend abandoning technology, moving to a colder climate that won’t be flooded as the oceans rise, and dedicating yourself to improving the soil as you learn to farm enough to feed yourselves and those you love. Or, if that’s not your style, stop wasting more electricity than many countries to perform useless computations for deflationary pseudomoney. I solidly recommend that.

DYB Auction for Clarion 2020 Students

A “Domesticate Your Badgers” reader had this to say

Forty-odd books ago and in a previous millennium, I attended the Clarion writing workshop. I had the privilege of spending six weeks locked in a Michigan State University graduate dorm with half a dozen pro writers and about thirty wannabes like myself. It was my first taste of what it was like to live as a working writer, down to and including immediate abject humiliation. Many of my classmates have gone on to win awards, be voted in as science-fiction grand masters, and routinely terrify otherwise hardened adults with a freaking village of Stoker awards. Meanwhile, I became best known as an author of satirical Linux erotica. A few have returned to Clarion to teach. I won’t be doing that — the kind of writer I’ve turned out to be isn’t exactly what they teach at Clarion — but the education I received was vital and the social connections even more so. Clarion was such a formative experience that I still call them my “Alma madder.”

And now, I have a chance to give back.

The Clarion class of 2020 never really happened, thanks to COVID. They’re hoping to gather this year, and are running a fundraiser to support students suffering from hardship.

I happen to have a printed proof of my brand-new first (and probably last) book on writing.

The only difference between this proof and the final book is the banner printed across the front. (Print proofs are a traditional publishing item that were handed out to early readers in the days before e-books, and publishers didn’t want them appearing on bookstore shelves, hence the banner.) That makes this a unique artifact, and a good piece of charity auction bait.

I want Clarion to continue. I want a future generation of speculative fiction writers take on the world’s problems, and do better than we did. Plus, when my brain finally gives out and I stop writing, I want good new books to read while I eagerly await my inevitable death from Not Writing. Please help these youngsters embark on the glorious, horrific, delightfully appalling literary life and bid on this auction.

The auction rules are:

Comment on this post to bid. All bids in US dollars. I advise bidders to click the “notify me of new comments by email” button, so they can see when they are outbid.

The auction runs from now until 5PM EST 28 March. If the bidding goes nuts in the last few minutes, I’ll leave it open until it settles down. There’s no sniping this auction at the last moment, as I want the bids to escalate beyond all sensible limits.

Once the auction closes, send your donation to the Clarion 2020 fundraiser within two days. (They offer many writing-related rewards, but you don’t need to take any.) Send me your receipt. Once I have the receipt, I will sign the book and mail it to you.

If you don’t donate within a few days, or don’t send me your receipt, the number two winner is declared the winner.

Remember that you don’t need to win a silly auction to donate. Many of you are perfectly capable of being a generous and worthwhile person without any bribes from me.

Charity Auction: DNSSEC Mastery proof for Black Girls Code

I have another unique physical artifact, which means it’s time for another charity auction.

I’ve run auctions for the Soroptimists, the Ottawa Mission, and multiple ones for the FreeBSD and OpenBSD foundations. I’m a writer so I can’t give as much to charities as I would like, but I seem to have developed a knack for persuading other people to give to charity and that’s the same thing, right?

I’m auctioning off the print proof of DNSSEC Mastery, 2nd edition.

A proof is a prepublication version of a book, printed so the publisher can double check that the spine text is actually on the spine and the cover art is right side up and the correct words are on the proper pages and that the typesetter didn’t forget the commas. It’s stamped with a Not For Resale banner so unscrupulous folks can’t sell it ahead of time. Only one print proof of DNSSEC Mastery exists.

I’ll sign this book, add a personalized note declaring that this tome was won at charity auction and thus demonstrates the winner’s sound moral and ethical character, and ship it by the best means available for $15 or less.

This time, you’ll be supporting Black Girl Code. They do good work and have chapters all over the US, including here in Detroit, as well as South Africa.

The auction rules are:

Comment on this post to bid. All bids in US dollars. I advise bidders to click the “notify me of new comments by email” button, so they can see when they’re outbid.

The auction runs from now until 5PM EST 28 February. If the bidding goes nuts in the last few minutes, I’ll leave it open until it settles down. There’s no sniping this auction at the last moment, as I want the bids to escalate.

Once the auction closes, send your donation to BGC within two days.

Send me your receipt. Once I have the receipt, I mail you the book.

If you don’t donate within a few days, or don’t send me your receipt, the number two winner has their chance.

As always, I must remind you that you don’t need to win a silly book to donate. You can be of sound character without a reward from me.

Another auction will follow this one: the Domesticate your Badgers proof, for my alma madder the Clarion Foundation.

The New York Times, featuring: me?

Several years ago (yes, December 2020, but covid distorts time), I tweeted about my Capital One credit card. The world validated my thoughts. I moved on.

A few weeks ago, a New York Times reporter discovered that tweet as she was researching a story.

Which leads to me being on the front page of the New York Times’ Business section. It has my picture and everything. (In case the Times removes the page, here’s an archive.)

The reporter skillfully caught the most important thing I said during the whole hour-long conversation, and quoted me on it.

Also, the photographer worked miracles. Somehow, he made me look like I belong on the front page of the Crime Business section. I suspect sorcery, or perhaps a body double.

2021 Soroptimist Auction Results

I’ve been screaming my fool head off on social media for the last few months about my auction to support Soroptimist International Grosse Pointe. After I post this, I can shut up about it.

We raised $2200. The money will be used to help human trafficking survivors clear their records. This is an extraordinarily high amount for a single auction, and achieved that only because of the generosity of my readers.

Jay Hannah kicked things into gear by bidding $1000–and immediately donated the entire amount to SIGP. For all the charity auctions I’ve run over the last ten years or so, I don’t believe anyone’s ever done that.

Five minutes from the end, Tim Olsen sniped him with a bid of $1200.

Tim gets the special FreeBSD Mastery: Jails, signed by the membership of SIGP. Many left notes of gratitude, or signed the page that corresponded with their age, or both. I’m not going to show photos, because SIGP’s membership isn’t public the way, say, OpenBSD’s is. Trust me, it’s seriously signed. I’m also adding a couple extra books, because come on–$1200?

I’m also sending Jay some books, to thank him for his generosity. Because come on, $1000 without winning?

I had particular bonus titles in mind to send each, but I don’t have some of them. I went to take them off my brag heap, thinking I would order replacements, but they weren’t in the heap. Seems I need to audit the heap? Ah, well. Perhaps when I fill in the missing titles, it really will be taller than I am.

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word. If you were wondering, the Soroptimist International Grosse Pointe tip jar is still open.

Auction Last Day

If you’re interested in the FreeBSD Mastery: Jails — Bail Bond Denied edition charity auction, it closes today at 5PM EDT.

The current lead bid is at $1000, but here’s the twist: he’s already made the donation in that amount.

If you win with a bid of $1001, you’ll raise twice the money and screw over the current leader. How often do you get to do something unquestionably good out of spite?

My Penguicon 2021 Schedule

I’ll be speaking at the virtualized Penguicon 2021, and hanging around several events making a nuisance of myself. Fortunately, these online events are moderated and they’ll mute me any time I start to make trouble.

If you’re looking to see me, though, here’s my presentation schedule. (Events I will attend, but not as any sort of speaker, are not shown.)

22 April (Thursday)

7PM: Author Reception (hangout)

24 April (Saturday)

12PM: Becoming a Better Writer (presentation)
2PM: Reading (probably Woolen Torment, depending on the audience)
6PM: Why Aren’t I Writing? Dealing with Impostor Syndrome, Writer’s Block, and Other Muse Killers (panel)

25 April (Sunday)

12PM: SSL and TLS in 2021 (presentation)
1PM: Self Publishing at Scale (panel)

Registration for Penguicon is a paltry $10. The money goes towards keeping various background stuff in place so that Penguicon 2022 can be A Thing. I want Penguicon 2022 to be A Thing.

My blatantly exploited Patronizers have to pay $10 for an hour of my time once a month. Even if the rest of Penguicon doesn’t interest you, you can get 3-4 hours of Lucas for that amount. That’s enough to last anyone a year. If you can’t attend, they’d appreciate a donation.

You’ll note that, compared to previous Penguicons, I will not be attending any LN2 ice cream demos. This is a tragic weakness in the virtual format. I will be visiting my local shop to lay in copious supplies so that I may maintain a sufficient dairy level throughout the weekend.

With virtualization becoming increasingly acceptable for conference presenters, I’m looking at setting boundaries on how often I will speak. Grab me while you can.

Last-Minute Public Reading, on Halloween

On 31 October 2020, Halloween, I’ll be giving a last-minute online reading at Privacy Week. You’ll get snippets of $ git commit murder and a sneak peek at “TLS Mastery.” We’ll have time for a Q&A afterwards, and then a breakout session for those who for some reason want yet more time with me.

This is a last minute event; I’m filling in for someone who cannot make it. The time isn’t yet set, but it’ll be either 15:30 or 16:30 EDT. I’ll find out tomorrow. It will also appear on the Privacy Week schedule. I’ll also have streaming links tomorrow. I’ll update this post with those links, rather than spam y’all with yet another post.

This is a free event.

The main part of the talk will be recorded and publicly available, once the volunteers finish it. The breakout session will not.


Talk is at 20:30 Berlin time, or 3:30PM EDT.

Streaming link is at

See you there!