One last wrapup.
On the idea: "It was better when I didn't really know what I was doing."
"PC" stands for "Persnickety Computer."
With any story, it takes time to "get the conversation" about the story.
New books o' mine! And some old ones, too!
"When audiences clamor for a sequel, what they’re really doing is expressing their enthusiasm for the movie they just saw."
I've always chosen projects that lay at least half outside my comfort zone.
To exist is to be misunderstood.
On why being your "true" self is not a matter of acting out things that you normally repress.
Two theories about the social utility of art,
"Pain is not punishment. Pleasure is not a reward."
On time travel and our urge to get away from it all.
You can't rely on motivation; rely on discipline instead.
No new novel this November. I'm already booked.
I have said very little about the election here, but not because I don't care about it.
I just want people to know blogging will resume in short order, and so will my writing work. It's been a busy couple of days, as you can imagine....
On not letting my brain lie to me.
On the way a war with one's self is a creative act.
A portrait of the artist as an insufferable jerk.
More on what "real writers" do (or don't do).
The single biggest difficulty I have as a writer, explained.
I'm not fond of labels. Unfortunately, we can't live without them.
More on why weird isn't just skin-deep.
Out with the old blog, in with the new blog. Slowly.
Anything that gets in the way of your work is the way; it just doesn't look like it then.
Don't do weird. Just do you.
Creativity; cultural appropriation; "write what you know"; and all that.
How my latest book started as a lark, and turned into a mission.
The key word there isn't 'balance', but 'your'. (Well, 'thine'.)
Cloning isn't a creative act.
The hard things, and why they're worth doing.
Write something unfilmable.
See you shortly.
On finding the real source of inspiration inside someone else's work.
What self-respecting writer doesn't write "for themselves" first and foremost?
When you make the reader say, "I'd do that if I was them."
Most people do not want to use their minds, but don't hold that against them. Rise to it instead.
On why the problem is not belief or the absence of same.
More on spiritual authority.
For sentient beings who have considered suicide when the world seemed to be enuf.
"There's something to how writers are more than writers, and fail themselves by only being writers."
Artists can be politically outspoken, but are not automatically astute for being so.
Can in time a comic book stand in the same realm as anything Henry James produced? I'm sure it's possible; I'd argue it's already happened.
Belief or nonbelief isn't absolutely correlated with good behavior; it's all in how you use it.
What happens to a story idea deferred? Does it dry up?
I don't always know what will happen by the end of the story, but I do know how I want you to feel about it.
On life without Facebook. (It's pretty good.)
Bonus beats for a world that lives technology rather than just using it.
In stories, things fall apart; that's why they're interesting.
One of my other projects is taking shape.
"Which is better, a ham sandwich or eternal happiness?" Or a perfect plan?
If I'm not talking, it's because I'm listening. Or at least trying to.
On thickening the plot.
Until we get a Tackhead box set, these two discs will have to do as a source for anthologizing most of the band's best sampler-drum-machine-and-funk moments.
No good story ever takes too long to write.
The first of a series of records by Edition Omega Point that explores the undeservedly unheard Japanese avant-garde.
"Transgressive" isn't what it used to be. Maybe it never was.
"In this cocoon, the working class is something to make money from..."
"My problems are bigger than yours" is always a bad argument.
On GRRM's dead pool (lower case, haha).
And you're not your desires, either.
Having a larger audience helps, but not at the cost of creative latitude.
It is hard not to be jealous of other people's successes, and maybe it ought to be hard, because that teaches us something.
Why bad video game lore is a lot like bad pop culture: it embodies the wrong lessons.
it isn't political unpalatability that makes for bad art, but the narrowing of the mind that often goes with it.
Modern fandom of the fantastic is transformative, not passive.
Why everything that's truly creative is what we're trained to ignore.
How David Bowie and Prince jointly inspired a character of mine.
And so "Always Outnumbered" begins.
On the freedom to say "I don't know" and not be punished for it.
How I stopped worrying and learned to love detailed story planning.
Where'd "Welcome to the Fold" go? It's right here, waiting.
I think, therefore I differ.
On the urge to be cool vs. the urge to be real (in one's creative work).
On how some creative folks don't know how to follow their hearts.
Doug Rushkoff Says Companies Should Stop Growing | FiveThirtyEight ... as you act more according to your type, and as the marketplace becomes more and more predetermined and predictable, you actually don’t get growth, you don’t get innovation. ... Because...
Somewhere between Herbie Hancock's electronic pop-jazz of the 1980s and the more omnivorous, open-ended experimentalism of artists like David Byrne or Brian Eno.
Batman v Superman, and Writerman v Plotcomplicationthings.
How the other half of the new novel came to not be.
Good guy, bad guy, or interesting guy?
If I'm in the habit of listening outside my well-worn grooves, nothing is disappointing or distasteful.
Failures of imagination are about more than bad worldbuilding or ripping off someone else's warp drive concept.
Pilling the cat, made simple.
On undeserved misfortune as the technique to demonstrating character.
More notes on using a wiki to declutter my creative head.
On using a wiki to declutter my creative head.
How laying the ground rules for my new book almost ground me down.
What's in my writer's software toolbox.
When people talk about "civilization falling apart" or "the death of manners" I can't help but think they are either looking for those things in the wrong place (like, say, a prison or a stockyard), or just sensitizing themselves to...
"You can only find things by not looking for them."
On being Trumped.
The thirty thousand foot creative view.
Never fill your day with anything you can't see yourself doing the minute you get out of bed.
"Who goes Nazi?" The hollow men, that's who.
I don't think SF authors have an obligation to be scientific authorities, but I do think they have an obligation to be scientifically literate.
There are times when you want to keep the mystery, and there are times when you don't.
When you replace the "nightmare" with "insanity", what happens?
ATTENTION READERS/FANS OF MY WRITING AND MOST EVERYONE ELSE TO BOOT: I need your help! I have just submitted my far-future SF fantasia Flight of the Vajra to The Nerdist's new Space Opera competition over at Inkshares: https://www.inkshares.com/books/flight-of-the-vajra Here are...
I remain busy.
At what point does "doing your own thing" become mere contempt for the audience?
Harlan Ellison is best known for his fantasy and SF work, but he was also responsible for The Glass Teat, a two-volume collection of columns he ran in the L.A. Free Press from about 1969 through 1972. The subject was...
When does justification for a creative decision fall short?
How to hear them out when they say you're wrong.
On "pretentious" and "elitist".
On ignoring bad advice, part two.
How to figure out if your way is in fact a dead end.
It's good for the soul.
Why we aren't "questioning the legitimacy of a system that confers so much value on to stupid things".
I know I'm not 4K, that's for sure.
The difference between the outline and the pitch.
Age of Dulltron.
Now you can get signed editions of my e-books -- sorta-kinda!
This page contains an archive of posts for the year 2016.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind