All posts for November 2020


Thinking Inside The (X)Box

The latest toy in the house: an XBOX S.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-30 12:00:00 No comments


The last time I owned a game console was when I had the original first-gen PSP, and I played that thing to death. Not just because there were specific games on there I enjoyed, but because the design of the system made gaming frictionless for me. I'd owned a PSOne and didn't like being tethered to the TV for some indefinite length of time. I liked that I could pick up the PSP, play it for a few minutes, suspend it in the middle of things without having to shut it off, and then resume it whenever. Eventually I let go of it, and fell out of the habit of gaming altogether.

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Tags: video games


Welcome to the Fold: Behind The Scenes With 'Welcome To The Fold', Pt. 5: The Characters

An introduction to the roster of characters for "Welcome To The Fold", starting with the leads.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-29 21:00:00 No comments


In the weeks leading up to the re-release of my novel Welcome To The Fold, I'll be making a series of posts to serve as an extended introduction to the book -- its origins, its influences, its themes, its setting and characters. Enjoy.

(See all entries in this series here.)

With any story the entry point for me isn't the concept but the people. I can't write a story if all I have is a gimmick; it means nothing unless there's someone for that gimmick -- and that story -- to happen to.

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Tags: Behind The Scenes: WTTF Infinimata Press Welcome to the Fold characters


Drafts Just Point The Way

Drafts of a work are experiments. They just point the way, and help you narrow it further.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-28 21:00:00 No comments


When I was much younger, I tended to think of writing along the lines of transcribing a movie that unreeled in my head. The book was a finished thing "out there somewhere", and my job was just to take dictation from it. It took a while to back away from this mental model, because as seductive and romantic as it was, it was also incomplete and sometimes downright harmful.

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Tags: creativity editing writing


The Thanks I Gave

This year I did something I'd long avoided: I hosted Thanksgiving at my place. (For three.)

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-27 21:00:00 No comments


For years running now, the tradition in my family has been two Thanksgivings. One with my own parents early in November (the better to coincide with my father's and brother's birthdays, too), and another with my in-laws on the actual day-and-date. It's worked out nicely: my wife and I travel up to visit my folks and see New York in the bargain, and then later we get a second Thanksgiving right in the neighborhood.

But all that got knocked into a cocked hat this year, for Obvious Reasons. My mother-in-law lost her husband back in 2017 -- he fell ill right before Thanksgiving and died right before my birthday and Christmastime -- and so Thanksgiving with her has been a muted affair since. She's normally hosted a dialed-down Thanksgiving at her house since.

But I decided to do something about that state of affairs this year, given how awful everything else has been too, and offered to host Thanksgiving at my place for a change. Just the three of us, so nothing hazardous in this age of COVID.

I also offered to cook the turkey, too.

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Tags: Thanksgiving cooking holidays


Flight of the Vajra: 'Flight Of The Vajra', Remastered, Is Now Available

The "remastered" version of "Flight Of The Vajra" is now available!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-23 21:00:00 No comments


Purchase on Amazon

After some delays and fribble, I'm pleased to announce the "remastered" version of Flight Of The Vajra, with new cover art and tweaked innards, under the Infinimata Press brand, is now available in both recycled-tree and recycled-electron versions.

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Tags: Flight of the Vajra Infinimata Press


Supertoys Last All Winter Long, One Hopes

My newly uncrated Dell notebook, and my general unease about anything brand spanking new.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-23 12:00:00 No comments


I'm typing this on a newly uncrated Dell notebook, the replacement for the ill-fated Chuwi that died when one of its hinges exploded on me in mid-unfold. So far the only things I don't like about the Dell are the power connector (I don't think it supports charge-over-USB-C, which allows me to use a mag connector instead of the yank-the-wrong-way-and-you-break-it power plugs that are so common with notebooks) and that it's not fanless. But there may be a way around the former, and the latter is mostly me being a nitpicker. The rest is quite nice. It even has a fingerprint reader built in, something I totally missed when scanning the specs, and it supposedly gets all-day battery life. That, we will have to test independently.

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Tags: technology


The Breakdown Blues

The new laptop I picked up on the ultra-cheap lived up to the old adage that you get what you pay for.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-21 12:00:00 No comments


After only a few months of service, and barely even that, the new laptop I picked up on the ultra-cheap lived up to the old adage that you get what you pay for. One of the hinges broke, rendering the whole thing unusable. Worse, the company that makes the notebook in question offers absolutely no support outside of Taiwan, Hong Kong, or mainland China.

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Tags: computers


Welcome to the Fold: Behind The Scenes With 'Welcome To The Fold', Pt. 4: The Story

How the influences on "Welcome To The Fold" came together to form its story.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-18 12:00:00 No comments


In the weeks leading up to the re-release of my novel Welcome To The Fold, I'll be making a series of posts to serve as an extended introduction to the book -- its origins, its influences, its themes, its setting and characters. Enjoy.

(See all entries in this series here.)

In my previous installment in this series, I talked about the major influences on Welcome To The Fold. Here, I'm going to talk about the way those influences came together to form a story.

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Tags: Behind The Scenes: WTTF Infinimata Press Welcome to the Fold


Maybe I'm In The Wrong Line Of Work

I've toyed with the idea of going on camera for fun and (possibly) profit. I never follow through, though.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-16 21:00:00 No comments


Over the past couple of years, courtesy of my wife and a couple of other people, I've learned more than I ever expected about certain circles of YouTube-dom and influencer culture. Some of the folks who blow up bigtime on YT seem likeable and provide some enjoyable content (e.g., Anthony Fantano / Needledrop); but a lot of this material seems best sums up by the way one person recently put it: it's a reality show, with all the concomitant detachment from actual reality, all the drama, and all the wretchedness and self-indulgence of privilege and celebrity from old-school media.

People have told me, if I wanted to, I could start something like this and might even do well with it. I can be funny and spontaneous on camera (or so I've been told), and based on the contents of this blog, I might even have something to talk about. What I don't have are two things: a) subjects that have anything like buzzy mainstream draw, and b) the desire to spend oodles of time hamming it up in front of a camera for the sake of attention, instead of actually working on the things that matter.

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Tags: creativity creators promotion


Books: Man Against Myth (Barrows Dunham)

Barrows Dunham's 1947 work of popular philosophy deserves the widest possible audience in 2020.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-16 12:00:00 No comments


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In 1995 I lived in Manhattan in a grotty little walkup with my wife, about twenty minutes' walk from the Strand Bookstore on Broadway. Sunday mornings after breakfast I'd head down there,  and inevitably walk out with armloads of stuff . On one such trip, late in the year, I saw a spine on one shelf that read MAN AGAINST MYTH, by one Barrows Dunham. Such a title evoked a number of possibilities for me, all appealing, and so I brought it home and read it all in one sitting that night. I kept it through three changes of address. It has helped me retain my sanity these past four years. It now sits on a shelf immediately to the left of my desk, where I keep the books that I know I will read and refer to until the day I die.

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Tags: Barrows Dunham books philosophy review


Welcome to the Fold: A Bullet To The Foot

We found a minor but unsightly formatting issue in the remaster of "Welcome To The Fold". Our bad.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-15 12:00:00 No comments


Purchase on Amazon

We goofed. Somewhere along the way during the formatting for the print copy of Welcome To The Fold, a minor formatting error crept in involving font ligatures. This made some passages of the text look strange.

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Tags: Infinimata Press Welcome to the Fold excuse our dust


The Best Is Yet To Come, He Said

Akira Kurosawa is reputed to have said that whenever he is asked which of his films is his favorite, he replies, "My next one." A phrase I've taken to heart.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-11 12:00:00 No comments


Akira Kurosawa is reputed to have said that whenever he is asked which of his films is his favorite, he replies, "My next one." A phrase I've taken to heart.

I've mentioned before how I can't bring myself to start a project if I don't feel like I could spend literally every day with it for the next umpteen months. I keep the number of likely projects in that vein as high as I can, so that when one is done I can turn to another likely candidate and set about developing it as quickly as possible. The less downtime wasted groping for what's next, the less downtime wasted, period. And in every case I can think of, the new project becomes the receptacle for everything about the just-finished one that I didn't do, or couldn't do, or chose not to do.

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Tags: Akira Kurosawa Shunga-Satori Unmortal creativity future projects


Infinimata Press: Projects: Meanwhile, Back In The Workshop

Happenings at Chez Infinimata that are not current-events-related.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-09 21:00:00 No comments


A progress report from the week of last Tuesday.

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Tags: Flight of the Vajra Infinimata Press Unmortal future projects projects


A World Waited And A World Attained, 2020 Edition

The world awaited is not yet the world attained, but we took a step in the right direction today.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-06 21:00:00 No comments


I posted this in January 2017. I post it again today. The world awaited is not yet the world attained, but we took a step in the right direction today. Spero meliora.

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Tags: these troubled times


The Beatings Shall Continue, And All That

It is not required to substitute ugly things for lovely ones in the name of some spurious bid for truth.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-02 17:00:00 No comments


The word is "grimdark", and these days it's often followed by the word "fantasy". The logic behind producing such work seems to go like this: Life is cruel, therefore any story with copious cruelty is true to life, and the more cruelty the closer the story hews to truth. I don't think the author believes our world is like that, only the world they've created, but it still strikes me as being awfully narrow.

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Tags: Gary Oldman Hubert Selby Jr. Jonas Mekas art fantasy fiction


Stiff Upper Lip And All That

Just a few things as the First Tuesday In November approaches.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-01 23:00:00 No comments


Just a few things as the First Tuesday In November approaches:

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Tags: politics these troubled times


New Blood

On reinventing horror tropes for the modern moment.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020-11-01 12:00:00 No comments


Purchase on Amazon

One fun thing that arrived just in time for Halloween was the 4K remaster of Daughters Of Darkness. For those who haven't seen it, it's about a young newlywed couple who encounter a woman who might be the fabled vampiress Elisabeth Bathory (played with consummate class by Delphine Seyrig). I first came across the movie by way of a friend of mine some years back, and am happy to see it get a restoration. It also got me thinking about how common tropes -- especially horror tropes like vampirism -- get reinvented and rediscovered.

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Tags: horror storytelling


See previous posts from October 2020

See future posts from December 2020