Here’s some inside baseball you didn’t ask for: In the eight years of Pajiba’s existence, no matter what direction we’ve taken, how our tone has evolved, or how much we have attempted to make ourselves ever so slightly less caustic, it’s always been important to me that we carry an intellectual or three on staff. We have our clever writers, scathing writers, angry writers, geeky writers, wonky writers, nerdy writers, and pop-culture riffing writers, and and they’re all very important (and very popular), but I always want to ensure there’s a smart, insightful, and thoughtful voice among us, even if that voice doesn’t always produce huge numbers of page views. There’s Dan, of course, and Ranylt Richildis, and Drew Morton, and Jeremy C. Fox, and a couple of others that have filled that slot in the years since Pajiba launched. Their header images don’t come with half-naked women or shirtless dudes, and their headlines aren’t sexually-charged, so they don’t often merit the viral attention that many of the writers on staff do, but they serve a hugely important function to the site: They enlighten, they impress, they provoke our minds, and they make us smarter.
Steven Lloyd Wilson has helped enormously to fill that space for us over the last three and a half years. I’ll be honest with you, too: When he started back in February of 2009, we didn’t really know what to do with him. His stuff didn’t exactly fit with what we were doing on the site, and initially there were some growing pains on both sides. He continued on, however, and eventually, the site grew around him. I like to think that, no matter what the topic, there’s always room for a thoughtful, brilliant mind like Steven’s, and over the years, he’s created our Pajiba Storytellers series, become a huge contributor to our think pieces, and on a personal note, his poignant reviews of “Doctor Who” were what finally convinced me to watch them.
Often, however, I feel like his posts go underappreciated by a wider web audience. It’s the Internet, after all, and the Internet often looks the other way if there are too many syllables on a page and not enough pretty pictures (tl;dr). So, ahead of the long holiday weekend, I want to spend most of the rest of today highlighting some of my favorite SLW contributions over the years, just to give a few of his posts a second opportunity to be read. It’s the Friday before Labor Day, so I expect many of you are killing time rather than working, and I can’t encourage you enough to use that time to read some of the republished works of SLW. You may find that some of them will touch you, while others may make you consider certain topics in a new way, and others still will merely amuse. If you connect with one, I encourage you to share it with others, not because I’m trying to gin up page views (which I could more easily do by posting Christina Hendricks and Ryan Gosling photos all day), but because I think more people should be introduced to Steven’s even-handed, lyrical and brainy writings.
On a related note, most of you probably don’t realize this, but it’s worth nothing that Steven has actually written a sci-fi novel, Katorga, and if you like what you see this afternoon, please consider picking it up at Amazon. You won’t be disappointed, and it’s a great way to express appreciation for one of the Internet’s smartest minds.