All posts for January 2021

License To Emulate

More from Raymond Carver: study and learn from, but don't emulate, singular literary talents.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-31 07:00:00-05:00 No comments

More from Carver:

A Storyteller's Shoptalk (

It should be noted that real experiment in fiction is original, hard-earned and cause for rejoicing. But someone else's way of looking at things - Barthelme's, for instance - should not be chased after by other writers. It won't work. There is only one Barthelme, and for another writer to try to appropriate Barthelme's peculiar sensibility or mise en scene under the rubric of innovation is for that writer to mess around with chaos and disaster and, worse, self-deception. The real experimenters have to Make It New, as Pound urged, and in the process have to find things out for themselves. But if writers haven't taken leave of their senses, they also want to stay in touch with us, they want to carry news from their world to ours.

The way I've mentioned this before was like this: don't use singular artists as models if you can help it. The singularity of someone like Faulkner or Joyce or Proust is as much an accident of time and place and fandom (for lack of any better way to put it) than it is because of literary merit or genius. That doesn't mean those folks aren't worth studying and learning from, just that they're not worth emulating.

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Tags: Raymond Carver creativity creators writers writing

Current Events Are Making Me Dense

My own little fight against modern-day information overload: don't blog too much about it.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-30 16:00:00-05:00 No comments

The title's a riff on a certain Joe "King" Carrasco song, released in nineteeneightysomething, proof once again "information overload" is not a new thing, just that we've been given novel ways to trick ourselves into willfully drowning in it. One of my ways of fighting it is not blogging too much here about current events, for multiple reasons.

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Tags: news these troubled times

License To Brutalize And Alienate

On a few words from Raymond Carver on ''experimentation''

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-29 16:00:00-05:00 No comments

Raymond Carver:

I get a little nervous if I find myself within earshot of somber discussion about ''formal innovation'' in fiction writing. Too often ''experimentation'' is a license to be careless, silly or imitative in the writing. Even worse, a license to try to brutalize or alienate the reader. Too often such writing gives us no news of the world, or else describes a desert landscape and that's all - a few dunes and lizards here and there, but no people; a place uninhabited by anything recognizably human, a place of interest only to a few scientific specialists.

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Tags: Raymond Carver fiction writers writing

More Than This

One of the things Buddhism tries to get you to recognize within yourself is how all the things you are aren't "you".

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-26 07:00:00-05:00 No comments

The other day a friend of mine mentioned a possible reason why some people identify with video games so fiercely that they will sent out literal death threats to anyone who criticizes their favorite game. "They conflate the very development of video games as a medium with their own growth as a person," he said. "They literally cannot separate the two."

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Tags: Buddhism Zen popular culture video games

Hard Where?

New year, new PC upgrade.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-25 18:00:00-05:00 No comments

I dug into my secret savings this week and coughed up enough cash to perform a full-blown system upgrade. I've been running the same custom-build PC since about 2013 or so, and while it has still served me well, more often than not I'm running applications these days that need a recent-gen CPU to really unlock their full potential. So ...

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Tags: computers technology

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned: Give It Away Now (Jan. 2021 Edition)

If you're interested in reading my novel "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned", I'm now offering a giveaway on Prolific Works.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-23 07:00:00-05:00 No comments

If you're interested in reading my novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, I'm offering a giveaway on Prolific WorksAONO is available there for free along with many other SF&F ebooks.

This offer is only available for a limited time, so go grab it while you still can!

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Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned Infinimata Press Prolific Works giveaways

Infinimata Press: Projects: Rogress Preport January 2021: Okay, Where Was I?

It's about time I checked back in with all of you as to what I'm up to, bookwise.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-22 07:00:00-05:00 No comments

Last I checked the country hasn't completely burned to the ground, so it's about time I checked back in with all of you as to what I'm up to. This is Rumor Control; here are the facts.

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Tags: Absolute Elsewhere Infinimata Press Shunga-Satori Unmortal future projects

The Next Time The World Almost Comes To An End, I'd Like At Least A Little Advance Notice, Thanks

Title tells it.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-20 16:00:00-05:00 No comments

Yes, it's been a rough few weeks ... couple of months, really ... and not only for the obvious reasons.

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Tags: excuse our dust politics these troubled times

The Fall Of The Hammer: A Minor Oops, Un-Oopsed

The purchase links for Fall Of The Hammer went to the wrong books. This has since been corrected.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-16 13:00:00-05:00 No comments

The purchase links for Fall Of The Hammer went to the wrong books. This has since been corrected.

Purchase on Amazon

The book is available on Amazon in dead-tree and dead-electron versions.

The rest of normal service will resume shortly. I hope.

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Tags: Infinimata Press The Fall Of The Hammer excuse our dust

Look No Further

On the (easily misunderstood) Zen doctrine of not looking for fulfillment through outside phenomena.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-04 16:00:00-05:00 No comments

The hardest lesson Zen has to teach, and the most important one, is that whatever it is we're looking for is not outside ourselves. It's also a widely misunderstood lesson, because it sounds like narcissism to those who don't know much about Zen or Buddhism. After studying it on my own for around fifteen years now, I'm certain it's not about navel-gazing or self-importance. Too bad it's also pretty hard to explain to others! But I can try.

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Tags: Buddhism Zen

The Threshold Of Awesomeness

Sometimes there is too much of a good thing.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-04 07:00:00-05:00 No comments

A great line I read in a Goodreads review: "There is a threshold of awesomeness beyond which I stop caring about a story." The term threshold of awesomeness is a great one, and it immediately got my gears spinning.

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Tags: creativity storytelling

New Phone, Who Dis

Upgrade time. Not the best time for it, either.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-03 16:00:00-05:00 No comments

On top of everything else these last couple of weeks, I had to replace my phone. Not the time of my life I wanted to do it in — more on that later, it's a long, long story — but time was nigh whether I liked it or not. Four years is about the outer limit of use for a phone these days — and that's about two more years than the phone makers and the carriers want you to get out of them, so I've beaten the odds nicely there, I think.

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Tags: technology

The More You Know, The More You Stare

With a wide-eyed and dismayed sense of overwhelm.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-02 07:00:00-05:00 No comments

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new one is proving more crowded and complex than I expected. More about that when I am ready to talk about it. But for now I have a few things to muse about.

Something we got to mumbling about the other night, I ended up christening "the paradox of technical awareness:. The more you know how complex a particular thing is, or how broad the space is, the harder it is to feel like anything you would do at all in that space would matter, the more conscious you are of your insignificance.

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Tags: creativity

See previous posts from December 2020

See future posts from February 2021