Following are explanations of some of the questions you might have about this site or about the Other*Worlds*Cafe. If you have other questions or need more information, please contact us.
For questions about our message boards, check the Message Board FAQ.
I want to be a Host! How can I join the prestigious and lucrative world of O*W*C Hosts?
We occasionally need hosts for Web chats, so you can e-mail Chip to discuss the possibility of joining the O*W*C team (although you can forget the "prestigious" and "lucrative" parts).
When do you chat, and how do I attend?
We chat every night. You can view our schedule of topics and chat times here. Our chatroom is located here.
How do I submit a convention for inclusion on your calendar?
E-mail email@example.com with the details. If it's appropriate for our calendar, she'll add it.
I need help with a homework assignment. Will you answer a question for me?
Sadly, HAL doesn't do homework, since HAL has already graduated and doesn't wish to be reminded of having his digital receptors smacked with a ruler...and trust us, HAL can tell if your question is homework. Depending upon the question, HAL may be able to point you to resources that will help you answer your question.
I'm looking for an out-of-print book. Can you help?
Try http://www.bookfinder.com or http://www.abebooks.com for out-of-print or hard-to-find books.
What is science fiction?
As Damon Knight said, "Science Fiction is what we're pointing to when we say 'Science Fiction.'" There is no canonical definition for SF, although it generally includes speculation about the future and may or may not include science.
Will you open the pod bay doors, HAL?
Y'know, this question loses its humorous appeal after the first six or seven thousand times it's asked.
Are you all nuts?
Yes. Next question.
So...what's with all the squid?
Squid are the O*W*C's mascots! For more information about squid at the O*W*C, check out our Squid Page.
What is a spoiler?
A spoiler is a piece of information about a show, movie, book, video game, etc. that would in some way give away some element of the plot. Many people prefer to know as little as possible about a show/episode/book/etc. before they experience it for the first time, and thus try to avoid encountering any such information. It is considered polite to make sure that message subject lines are spoiler free, and in some cases put "spoiler space" (several blank lines) above any information in a message that might be considered a spoiler to warn off unsuspecting readers. The same rules apply in chat, where it's polite to announce that you're about to provide a spoiler and give everyone a chance to avert their gaze.
I'm reluctant to give out any personal information. What do you use it for?
Not much, really. Our message board database holds on to a copy of your e-mail address in order to send you your password if you forget it. If you submit other, optional, information (such as location, ICQ #, etc.), other users reading your profile will see that information. We won't spam you, we won't sell your name to anyone else, we won't use your information in arcane rites to the Dark Gods of SF. We find that requiring registration cuts down on "Make Money Fa$t!" posts, so that's why we do it.
What's a handle?
It's the name you want to use to be recognized on the site. For AOL users, you may want to use your AOL screen name. Please keep our TOS policies in mind when creating your handle; anything deemed too obnoxious will be summarily deleted.
What makes you think people ask a lot of questions about the O*W*C?
This is our Web page. We can believe whatever we want.
Why do you make copies of content from other sites, instead of just linking to it?
Primarily because Web resources have a nasty habit of evaporating. Files move, pages get taken down, and soon your site has more missing links than an anthropologist on crack. Copying the resources locally ensures that our users will be able to access them regardless of the state of their original site. In no case is work we've obtained from somewhere else ever represented as our own, and we always give proper credit to the original author.
What are your submission guidelines for fiction?
You can see our most recently updated guidelines here.
How do I sign up to receive the chat-topic mailer?
You can either use our subscription form or write to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the list.
How often is the mailer sent out?
Usually once per week. Very occasionally, we will send out an additional mailer giving important news or information about the O*W*C.
How often is the newsletter sent out?
Once a month.
I have a question about the mailer/newsletter, or am having trouble subscribing/unsubscribing. Whom do I contact?
Write to email@example.com for help.
I keep trying to sign up for the mailer, but your listserv isn't accepting it. What might be wrong?
There may be two primary reasons:
- You have an automatic .sig file which appends to your e-mail, which can occasionally confuse the listserv. Try sending a subscription request without any .sig.
- You subscribed and put in your name, but only put in your first or last name. For some reason, the listserv only likes full names. Send another subscription request with both first and last name; alternately, put Anonymous instead of your name.
I signed up for the mailer, but I'm not receiving it. What might be wrong?
If you asked one of the hosts to sign you up, or you subscribed using the subscription form and replied to the listserv-generated response request, then there are two likely causes:
- You're using AOL's Mail Control feature to block unwanted e-mail, and you may be blocking the listserv mail inadvertently. Make sure that you add this address to your list of permitted e-mail addresses:owner-owc@LISTSERV.AOL.COM
- You misspelled your e-mail address when signing up. Resubscribe, making sure that you spell the address correctly (the listserv won't duplicate your entry if you're already listed properly), or write to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her to check your address.
I signed up for the newsletter, but I'm not receiving it. What might be wrong?
Occasionally, AOL's automatic filters decides that our newsletter is spam because it's being sent to a number of addresses simultaneously. Check your spam folder by clicking on the link at the bottom of your AOL mailbox screen. If the newsletter is in there, click on it and then click the "This is Not Spam" button.
I've subscribed to the mailer/newsletter and don't want it any more. How do I get off your mailing list?
You can either use our subscription form (check the "Unsubscribe" option) or write to email@example.com and ask to be removed from the list.
If I sign up to get your mailer or newsletter, will you spam me?