Archive for all posts in 2018


Plug And Play Character Set 2018-12-29 22:00:00

On fixing a casting issue in the new novel, by way of a previously unused character.

The Kid In The Window Stays In The Picture 2018-12-28 20:00:00

On reading Scorsese talk about Scorsese.

Future Schlock 2018-12-21 13:00:00

On how SF tries to imagine the future, and how that needs to be more than uplift or doomsaying.

2019 And All That 2018-12-20 22:00:00

The Genji Press Agenda for the coming year.

Sympathetic And Practical Magics 2018-12-18 13:00:00

It's hard not to be foolishly romantic about certain things, like the workspaces or utensils of great artists.

Catching My Eye (2018-12-10 Edition) 2018-12-10 22:00:00

Stuff I'm looking out for, anticipating, and recommending.

A Bridge To The Quiet Planet 2018-12-09 13:00:00

My good friend Steve Savage has his first novel out. Go grab it.

Our Respective Things 2018-12-08 22:00:00

My work can only really be measured against my other work. Same with yours.

Beat It To Fit, Paint It To Match 2018-12-07 22:00:00

"Workshop" is the wrong word for the place where we come to mutually improve our writing.

My Best Fiend [sic] 2018-12-06 22:00:00

I ask of a friend not that we be in absolute harmony, but only that our discord be its own delight.

Mop And Pail, Dustpan And Broom 2018-12-04 22:00:00

How PCs become trash accumulators that rival any closet, garage, crawlspace, or basement.

Slugging (And Slogging) On 2018-12-03 13:00:00

Getting caught up, and some notes on criticism from days past.

Pounded To Death 2018-11-24 14:00:00

I go through keyboards the way other people go through pencils.

Would You Do It Anyway? 2018-11-23 22:00:00

"Do you enjoy doing it?" is, I think, only half the statement. The way I would put it is, "Would you do this anyway?"

Paint Your Lunch 2018-11-20 22:00:00

Fun game to play: Pick a person, and imagine what kind of creative advice they would give you. Then compare that to the actual advice they give you.

No, No, NaNo (2018 Edition) 2018-11-20 13:00:00

There was, as you can guess, no NaNoWriMo challenge for me this year. But it wasn't always like that.

Give It Away Now (November 18, 2018 Edition) 2018-11-18 13:00:00

Once again: My all-new thriller/SF novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time!

This Art-Too Unit Has A Bad Motivator 2018-11-16 01:00:00

More from Steve on the whole vexed issue of doing what you think you want to do, not what you actually want to do.

Bad Fuel For Brooding 2018-11-15 00:00:00

This whole business of how we become the stories we tell ourselves is so easy to get wrong and in so many ways.

Very Much Reality 2018-11-13 22:00:00

Anything you put out in the world under the pretense of entertainment is worth taking at least as seriously as someone else could. And some take it very seriously indeed.

What We Put Into Our Heads 2018-11-11 22:00:00

Most of us simply don't care what we stuff in there. It's a moral failing.

This Project Still Has No Title 2018-11-10 22:00:00

But at least it now has a wiki.

Give It Away Now (November 9, 2018 Edition) 2018-11-09 13:00:00

My all-new thriller/SF novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time!

Another Turn Of The Big Wheel 2018-11-08 13:00:00

Call me a workaholic if you really want to. I just call it keeping ahead of the curve.

The Price Of Everything And The Value Of Nothing 2018-11-03 17:00:00

The difference between a skeptic and a cynic is motives.

Do(ing) The Right Thing 2018-11-02 12:00:00

"moral action is also, inevitably, practical action, and immoral action is inevitably impractical..."

Spelunking The Inner Archive 2018-10-29 22:00:00

Compiling that list of influences the other day was like performing archival research on myself.

'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' Is Now Available! 2018-10-29 14:00:00

My new novel is finally out! Everyone on earth should buy six copies.

Under My Influences 2018-10-27 12:00:00

The stories, films, music, and other things that stuck with me.

Sometimes Nothing Can Be A Real Cool Hand 2018-10-26 21:00:00

There's this line about Zen practice that comes up a lot, that it doesn't "give" you anything.

Creativity Repeating Itself 2018-10-26 00:00:00

“Every director has one film to make. He just keeps remaking it.”

A Few Less Words Next Time 2018-10-22 21:00:00

No good story is ever too long and no bad story is ever too short, but that's still no reason to waste breath.

In Lieu Of Telepathy 2018-10-21 12:00:00

You can't tell people anything; sometimes you can't even show them, either.

We're Almost There 2018-10-19 23:00:00

More 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' news!

Same Old, Same Old 2018-10-18 21:00:00

Our Gray Goo Media problem.

An Early Thanksgiving Gift Of Sorts 2018-10-15 12:00:00

'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' is about to drop!

Kid Stuff 2018-10-12 00:00:00

On how we've outgrown outgrowing things.

A Walk-On Part In The War, Or A Lead Role In A Cage 2018-10-10 23:00:00

On The Minnie Effect in fiction.

Narcissism And No-Self 2018-10-09 12:00:00

On a Zen concept vs a psychological one.

You Can't Beat People Up And Have Them Say "I Love You" 2018-10-06 12:00:00

On the unneeded cruelties of the moment.

Ray And The Great Unpluggening 2018-10-05 21:00:00

How Ray Bradbury saw a cellphone-addicted future. No, not in that book about book-burning.

On The Other Hand, Insects Are A Pretty Efficient Lot 2018-10-03 21:00:00

"Specialization is for insects", revisited.

Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 8: The Soundtrack 2018-10-01 21:00:00

The soundtrack for my new novel.

In And Out Of The Trench 2018-09-27 12:00:00

.I ran once again into an old issue: the way a story doesn't look remotely the same in the trenches as it does at the 30,000 foot level.

Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 7: The Themes 2018-09-26 21:00:00

A discussion of the themes in my new novel, and how they are embodied there.

Now Is The Only Moment Of Your Life, And Other Necessary Delusions 2018-09-25 21:00:00

It doesn't mean the present moment is the only thing that exists, or that plans are foolish things.

Large And In Charge 2018-09-22 21:00:00

On "volume equals value for money" in books.

Back In Circulation 2018-09-22 12:00:00

Heard you missed us?

The Almost There Blues 2018-09-10 21:00:00

I keep telling myself, writing the next book isn't going to be such a marathon.

The Grand Mutation 2018-09-09 17:00:00

For fun I sat down and mentally traced the progress of my earlier SF-space-opera thingy Flight Of The Vajra.

Disimpostured 2018-09-09 12:00:00

Steve has some notes on why authors (him included) come down with Impostor Syndrome.

Nowhere Are We Commanded To Be Doormats 2018-09-07 12:00:00

Kevin Drum dropped an aphorism worth repeating: "When you write, pretend you’re writing for people you respect."

True Weird 2018-09-06 12:00:00

A world where we mandate weirdness is just as unproductive as a world where we mandate its removal.

Anxieties Of Influence 2018-09-04 21:00:00

"...there’s a chance if you’re inspired by an author or a creator, you won’t do it quite right."

Offerings Not Demands, Palettes Not Hierarchies 2018-09-04 12:00:00

I have long held a motto of my own that I think is an echo of what Steve is putting out here: Palettes, not hierarchies.

Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 6: The Supporting Cast 2018-09-03 21:00:00

A discussion of the supporting cast in my new novel, and the roles they play.

Too Smart For Your Own Good 2018-09-03 12:00:00

"Beginner's mind" is not something we can impose on others.

Give It Away Now (August 28, 2018 Edition) 2018-08-28 21:00:00

UPDATED 8/28: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

Go Elsewhere, Young Man 2018-08-28 21:00:00

"The best way to write fiction is to read, watch, and listen to anything but fiction." I am not sure that it is the best way, but I think it is ultimately one of the most valuable.

Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 5: The Characters 2018-08-24 12:00:00

An introduction to the roster of characters for my new novel, starting with the leads.

Give It Away Now (August 24, 2018 Edition) 2018-08-23 21:00:00

UPDATED 8/23: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

For Me Or For Them Or For Us? 2018-08-22 13:00:00

When you start by trying to please others instead of yourself, you end up pleasing no one.

And Bear In Mind 2018-08-14 23:00:00

I'm on vacation this week and not posting much, but here's some Links Of Note that crossed my desk.

Give It Away Now (August 14, 2018 Edition) 2018-08-14 12:00:00

UPDATED 8/14: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

Give It Away Now (August 7, 2018 Edition) 2018-08-07 12:00:00

UPDATED 8/7: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

The Dreaming System 2018-08-05 21:00:00

On de-romanticizing the writing process.

Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 4: The Story 2018-08-03 21:00:00

How the diverse influences for my new novel shaped its story.

Unknown Treasures 2018-08-03 12:00:00

One of the things I always hated about myself was how I was, in theory, supposed to be this gigantic SF nerd, and as it turns out I really wasn't.

Revenge Of The Big Lie 2018-08-01 21:00:00

I don't see any of this ending well, but I'd rather be on whatever side of history valued verifiable truths over comfortable lies.

An Open Book (actually, a whole lot of them) 2018-08-01 12:00:00

In praise of the Open Library project and the late John Holt.

Give It Away Now (July 31, 2018 Edition) 2018-07-31 12:00:00

UPDATED 7/31: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

Clearing My Desk 2018-07-27 21:00:00

What comes next for me after I shove my current book off my desk.

Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 3: The Influences 2018-07-27 12:00:00

How everything from 'John Wick' and 'Strange Days' to 'Rurouni Kenshin' fed into my new novel.

Give It Away Now (July 24, 2018 Edition) 2018-07-24 21:00:00

My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 2: The Idea 2018-07-23 12:00:00

How my new novel 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' took shape when an existing project fell through.

No Humans Allowed 2018-07-21 12:00:00

Once again: Whatever it is we're designing our world for, it isn't the human being.

Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 1: The Origins 2018-07-19 21:00:00

How my new novel 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' began with a failed fan theory about 'The Matrix'.

Give It Away Now (July 17, 2018 Edition) 2018-07-17 21:00:00

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie!

The Uncertainty Principle 2018-07-16 12:00:00

What did Bertrand Russell mean when he said, "Do not feel absolutely certain of anything"?

Watts Up 2018-07-15 12:00:00

On how social-reading network Wattpad is becoming a hub for discovering the next big thing.

Court And Spark 2018-07-11 21:00:00

It's the fate of most any creator to never know what their work means to other people, but only to themselves.

Psycho Fandom, Qu'est-ce que c'est? 2018-07-10 21:00:00

Steve has some notes on pathological fandom that are worth a read. A few things stood out.

Warning! Progress! 2018-07-08 12:00:00

Future Genji Press plans, laid bare! (Oh, and free stuff!)

How To Tell Me Something I Want To Hear (So I Can Just Ignore It And Move On) 2018-07-05 21:00:00

On not caring what other people think of your work, while at the same time caring about your work.

It's X Meets Y, But With Z! 2018-07-03 21:00:00

"There is no reading experience in an idea, only in its execution."

Reality Knocks 2018-07-03 12:00:00

And loud.

Be Ye Not As Jerks 2018-07-02 12:00:00

There is no guarantee of victory; there isn't even a guarantee of continuation. But you miss all the shots you don't take.

Farcebook 2018-07-01 12:00:00

Notes on a single point of failure.

It Helps To Stay On Track 2018-06-29 22:00:00

I made a pledge to myself to keep you in the loop. So, here's the loop.

The Long And Winding Game 2018-06-29 12:00:00

We didn't get into this mess all at once and we're not going to get out of it all at once, either.

Ellison Wonderland 2018-06-28 21:00:00

Harlan Ellison, whom I wrote about just the other day, has exited the building.

Axes For The Frozen Seas 2018-06-27 12:00:00

A Kafka quote re-examined.

A Little Something 2018-06-26 17:00:00

The folks at Birth. Movies. Death. are raffling off movie goods for a good cause (the Texas Civil Rights Project). The more you donate, the greater the odds you'll get the goods you want. Minimum raffle is $10.

New Days Of Blood And Sorrow 2018-06-26 12:00:00

"Revealed at Last! What Killed the Dinosaurs! And You Don’t Look so Terrific Yourself."

Solipsystem 2018-06-25 21:00:00

On contempt for popular culture as an easy way out.

The Do-Over 2018-06-24 12:00:00

What, I'm still editing the latest novel?! Well, yeah.

Look Upon My Works ... 2018-06-21 21:00:00

The work should be about the making of the work.

Fixer Upper Insights 2018-06-19 12:00:00

Some bits gleaned from the latest round of editing on my book.

The Paradox Of Limits 2018-06-15 12:00:00

Maybe we need to speak of focus rather than limits.

Don't Write What You Know, Write How You Know It 2018-06-12 21:00:00

Looking at two bits of reading and writing advice from Saul Bellow.

That Pile On The Nightstand 2018-06-11 21:00:00

The overwhelming majority of what I'm genuinely curious about reading has been nonfiction. I hate that.

No Second Guessing 2018-06-10 12:00:00

More on why motives matter for creative work.

All The Things I Never Said 2018-06-09 12:00:00

Most of my unpublished blogging simply isn't fit for public consumption. Here's what most of it is.

You're A DJ, Not A Librarian 2018-06-08 21:00:00

You don’t ever write a story, you just write part of one.

What's In A Title? 2018-06-05 12:00:00

The less the better, paradoxically.

A Checklist Manifesto For One 2018-06-01 12:00:00

"What do I do when I have too many ideas and can’t finish any?"

Spotless Mirrors, And All That 2018-05-31 12:00:00

The editing and rewriting process for any of my books always exposes me to the same dilemmas.

Owning Your Boredom 2018-05-30 12:00:00

A redux of the old question: what's so bad about being bored?

Obzacktivism 2018-05-29 22:00:00

"The other, of course, involves orcs."

Fretwork 2018-05-28 12:00:00

On the difference between thinking and worrying, and on worrying as a virtue signal.

Enlightenment NOW!!! 2018-05-27 21:00:00

The desire for something quick is not itself wrong.

A Better Beta 2018-05-21 12:00:00

On giving, getting, and using good feedback on your work.

Moral Men And Immoral Societies 2018-05-17 12:00:00

"The very ordinariness of human life seemed a kind of original sin, the sin of not being extraordinary enough to recognize and resist evil."

The Unfinishing Touches 2018-05-16 21:00:00

On imperfection in creative work.

Advertisement(s) For Myself 2018-05-10 12:00:00

On confronting my uneasy feelings about self-promotion.

Press Pause 2018-05-07 21:00:00

The next week and change I won't be around much.

What We Do In The Shadows 2018-05-06 17:00:00

On ramping up from an audience that can be counted on one hand.

I Owe You Some News 2018-05-03 00:00:00

A short briefing on happenings at Chez Genji as of May 2018.

Liquid Sky 2018-05-01 12:00:00

The original new-wave (maybe also no-wave?) film, with its blaze of low-budget images, mixes cheesy science fiction, grimy bohemian drug tragedy, psychedelic experimentalism, and no-budget arthouse drama

Chaos Reigns 2018-04-30 21:00:00

Akira Kurosawa's Ran is currently running on Mubi. See it.

Say What Now? 2018-04-25 21:00:00

Don't take it personally when you're misinterpreted.

Knowitallism 2018-04-24 21:00:00

On the prevalence of righter-than-thou behaviors in fandom.

Do The Wrong Thing 2018-04-23 12:00:00

What if someone Did Something Bad with a creation of yours?

Is This A Brick Wall I See Before Me? 2018-04-21 22:00:00

Not writer's block. Maybe we could call it conceiver's block?

A Second Life On Video 2018-04-21 12:00:00

Movies have more second lives than ever, but only because they barely have first ones.

The Incuriosity Complex 2018-04-20 21:00:00

Being generally incurious about life is bad enough; it's far worse when you're trying to create.

This Is What You Want, This Is What You Get 2018-04-18 12:00:00

"No man demands what he desires; each man demands what he fancies he can get."

Say You, Cliché Me 2018-04-17 12:00:00

"A cliché is as much about the deployment and the mode of use as it is the item itself..."

Nobloggy But Me 2018-04-15 12:00:00

Blogging never "died"; it's just become harder to see. But it's as crucial as ever.

Faceless 2018-04-14 21:00:00

With Facebook out of my life, it's all the easier to spot unproductive discourse of all kinds, because of what else it reminds me of.

Office Space 2018-04-13 12:00:00

Steven Savage's latest post is about "rethinking work", and it reminded me of an anecdote courtesy of Milton Glaser...

The Life Of The Mind 2018-04-12 21:00:00

An influencer seems more interested in being well-known, being "influential", than in being motivated by a thirst for the truth.

KISS And Make Up 2018-04-11 21:00:00

The productivity virtues of keeping it simple, stupid.

To Play Outside One's Head 2018-04-08 21:00:00

Another road to creative improvement: thinking beyond your own view of your work.

Erasure 2018-04-06 21:00:00

Outside of the social media bubble, the void.

The Driver's Seat 2018-04-05 21:00:00

On the problems of a passive protagonist.

Pick Something And Stick With It 2018-04-02 12:00:00

I missed commenting on this earlier:

Theorizers Vs. Practitioners 2018-04-01 21:00:00

Zen matters when it's practiced; it's getting people to practice that's the hard part.

No More Heroes, Pt. 2 2018-03-27 12:00:00

Don't have heroes, just emulate behaviors.

I Am (Not) An Entertainer 2018-03-26 12:00:00

"I'm an entertainer." -- Alan Watts. "I am not an entertainer." -- William S. Burroughs. Discuss.

The Unsubmissive 2018-03-25 21:00:00

"The world will be saved, if it can be, only by the unsubmissive."

From The Shoulders Of Giants, The View Is Lovely Indeed 2018-03-23 21:00:00

"The negation of a [scientific] theory is not a new theory."

The Problem With The Rat Race Is That Even If You Win, You're Still A Rat 2018-03-23 12:00:00

On media both social and antisocial.

The Reason They Export Molson Is Because Canadians Are Too Smart To Drink That Bilge 2018-03-21 12:00:00

I was going to say something about Jordan Peterson, but this article beat me to it.

The Unthinkable Lightness Of Being 2018-03-20 21:00:00

On how Zen and Buddhism are not anti-intellectual, but non-intellectual. Big diff there.

Maybe We Shouldn't Have 'Heroes' 2018-03-18 12:00:00

Why this business of personal heroes may well be a bad idea.

'I Burned It All' 2018-03-14 12:00:00

Take your story. Rip it up and start again. What's left?

But Will It Play For The Over-21 Set? 2018-03-13 21:00:00

How different a standard should we have for works aimed at younger audiences vs. those aimed at "all" audiences?

Philosophizing With A Megaphone 2018-03-12 21:00:00

On Twitter as a case study in technical non-solutions to social problems.

Copyediting With A Machete 2018-03-12 12:00:00

On avoiding the temptation to edit drastically, late in the game.

When You Didn't Know You Wanted This 2018-03-08 22:00:00

What to do when you find yourself saying, "I didn't know I wanted this."

Getting Better All The Time 2018-03-06 13:00:00

Why Steven Pinker's encomium to an improving world falls so flat.

Plug Me Into Something 2018-03-05 13:00:00

To put things into perspective for yourself, lose "yourself" a little.

Paranoia The Destroyer 2018-03-04 13:00:00

On how the conspiracy theory mindset stems from emotional torment.

The Drive To Create 2018-03-02 13:00:00

In re Jarmusch's 'Paterson'.

Typing With Both Fists 2018-02-27 22:00:00

On blogging while angry.

The Royal We And The Singular I 2018-02-26 13:00:00

On what we do with the discovery that we're not things, but processes.

I Am A Rock, I Am An Island 2018-02-25 01:00:00

People aren't flowers, of the hothouse variety or otherwise, and neither are artists.

The Characters Who Don't Do Anything 2018-02-21 22:00:00

Don't write stories about "people waiting for their lives to begin."

The Critic-Proof Story 2018-02-18 18:00:00

Spoiler: It doesn't exist.

Doomed To Repeat It 2018-02-17 13:00:00

In re Parkland.

The Lift 2018-02-15 13:00:00

A dopey dud: a mix of satire and horror that doesn't manage to be either funny or scary.

Walkabout, Workabout 2018-02-13 22:00:00

"...if we think of “done” as a point we navigate towards, tacking here and there, we can embrace change."

The Attention Thieves 2018-02-12 13:00:00

Boredom's not a burden anyone should bear.

Get On With It 2018-02-09 22:00:00

On not over-documenting creative work.

Content, Content Everywhere 2018-02-07 22:00:00

On the desire to turn everything into a franchise.

The Mashup Men 2018-02-06 13:00:00

On making something new from a whole lot of somethings old.

Breakin' 2018-02-05 22:00:00

These past couple of days have been a cavalcade of non-stop technical and mechanical failure.

In Over My Head Again 2018-02-01 22:00:00

How the heck did I end up starting to create my own programming language?

But Who Am I To Be Critical? 2018-02-01 13:00:00

When you look at something, you have to be willing to not pretend that it needs to be great in order to justify anything.

The Loud And The Desperate 2018-01-31 23:00:00

"Your image does not need curation, because all you are doing is broadcasting your desperation."

Unsticking The Gears 2018-01-27 13:00:00

No prizes for guessing I'm talking about my next project.

A Few Words From LeGuin 2018-01-24 23:00:00

Parting words, unfortunately.

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, But Sometimes They Just Turn Out To Be Cattle Rustlers 2018-01-20 22:00:00

We need to have more nuanced ways of taking what matters for us from a given creator and from their works.

Ruined Forever 2018-01-19 22:00:00

No critic can ever "ruin" a work you like, unless you don't know what their job really is.

If You Can't Please Yourself ... 2018-01-19 13:00:00

Works don't exist just to please audiences. But authors also don't exist just to please themselves.

February, Come She Will 2018-01-18 13:00:00

What's on the slate for Chez Genji.

Things I Have Learned, 2018 Edition 2018-01-17 22:00:00

Words from the wise.

Mystery, Not Mystification 2018-01-11 22:00:00

If you shoot for ambiguity, some people are going to come away from your work bored or confused. Here's how to cope.

Smarts For Me But Not For Thee 2018-01-10 22:00:00

On very stable geniuses and the like.

The Answer To Last Week's Puzzle 2018-01-08 22:00:00

"Are we so desperate to solve our art?"

Bailout Protocol 2018-01-08 13:00:00

When is it OK to quit reading a "boring" book?

It's A Living 2018-01-06 22:00:00

If written fiction's becoming nothing but a prelude to adaptation, what's that mean for written fiction itself?

57 Channels Redux 2018-01-05 22:00:00

And still nothing on.

Player Zero 2018-01-05 13:00:00

On why books need to be written to be books, not film pitches-to-be.

Someone Else's Discussion 2018-01-04 22:00:00

On getting back into the headspace for blogging.

Excuse My Silence 2018-01-01 20:00:00

But I think you'll find it was entirely justified.

See previous posts from 2017

See future posts from 2019