All posts for February 2021


A Twinkling Singularity

Something is not original simply because it's the opposite of what everyone else is doing -- even if it does seem like that from the outside.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-28 12:00:00 No comments


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In his introduction to the Gormenghast books, Quentin Crisp noted that originality isn't a matter of being contrarian, but about finding and expressing something that is entirely yours. Something is not original simply because it's the opposite of what everyone else is doing -- even if it does seem like that from the outside.

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Seducing Down The Door

Artists can't talk people into or out of things that they weren't talked out of or into to begin with. They can only seduce them.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-27 21:00:00 No comments


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The title is, for those who are not the noiseophile that I am, swiped from the John Cale collection that turned me onto his work to begin with. I loved the title, and it kicked around in the back of my head for a long time as a title to swipe for something long-form. Hasn't happened (at least, not yet), but the title has attached itself to a train of thought worth unpacking on its own.

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Tags: creativity writers writing


Flight of the Vajra: Behind The Scenes With 'Flight Of The Vajra', Pt. 3: The Influences

How everything from 'Dune' and 'Tron: Legacy' to 'Cowboy Bebop' fed into 'Flight Of The Vajra'.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-27 12:00:00 No comments


With the re-release of my new novel Flight Of The Vajra, 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 the previous installments of this series, I talked about the many-years-long path Flight Of The Vajra took to congeal from several different ideas I had for it. Here, I'm going to talk about some of the other properties and influences that fed into it and shaped it.

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Tags: Behind The Scenes: Flight Of The Vajra Flight of the Vajra creativity influences projects writing


Music: Machine Gun (Peter Brötzmann)

You know how Woody Guthrie has THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS on his guitar? Peter Brötzmann's reeds should have signs that say THIS MACHINE KILLS, PERIOD.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-26 21:00:00 No comments


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You know how Woody Guthrie has THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS on his guitar? Peter Brötzmann's reeds should have signs that just say THIS MACHINE KILLS. Period, full stop. I say this knowing full well I've backed away from the aesthetic that the harsher and more uncompromising the art, the more "true" and "real" it is. But then I put on something like Machine Gun and come halfway close to believing it all over again. It's like the result of a dare: Someone said to Brötzmann and his seven buddies, go make a racket that ought to clear the room, and instead it pins everyone down and has them clamoring for more. Here it is. You're welcome.

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Tags: Peter Brötzmann jazz music review


Flight of the Vajra: Behind The Scenes With 'Flight Of The Vajra', Pt. 2: The Idea

How 'Flight Of The Vajra' took shape from a few ideas about what a far-future setting would look like, including materials sciences and belief systems.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-25 12:00:00 No comments


With the re-release of my new novel Flight Of The Vajra, 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.)

Back in Part One of this series I described how the germ of the idea for Flight Of The Vajra came from a while slew of disparate project ideas that never came to fruition. The core of the idea, though, came from a completely different direction.

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Tags: Behind The Scenes: Flight Of The Vajra Flight of the Vajra creativity projects writing


A Megaphone Of One's Own

Reflections on something like 25 years of blogging.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-24 12:00:00 No comments


I think I started blogging, if that's the word that applies to what I was doing, in 1996 or so, when I first got an io.com shell account. I know I started blogging around 1999 or so, when I bought my own domain name and began filling it with content generated by ... ColdFusion? And then Microsoft FrontPage, and then Movable Type, and now a CMS of my own devising. I was a DIY guy all the way, even if that wasn't what I would recommend to others. And I've learned a few things along the way.

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Tags: blogging technology


Flight of the Vajra: Behind The Scenes With 'Flight Of The Vajra', Pt. 1: The Origins

How my novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' began as multiple unreconciled attempts to write a "big and bold" space opera.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-24 12:00:00 No comments


With the re-release of my new novel Flight Of The Vajra, 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.)

Somewhere along the line, I think I made a pledge to myself to try writing at least one story in every genre I can get my hands on, until either I run out of genres or I myself run out, period. Among the bases I've already rounded include space opera, and that in what I hope is a big country way. But boy, did it take a long time to get there.

(Note: Some of this has been rewritten or taken from a previous post I did on this subject, so there is some duplication of material.)

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Tags: Behind The Scenes: Flight Of The Vajra Flight of the Vajra creativity projects writing


Welcome to the Fold: Behind The Scenes With 'Welcome To The Fold', Pt. 8: The Soundtrack

The soundtrack for my novel 'Wecome To The Fold'.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-23 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.)

With each book I write, there's almost always a soundtrack of some kind to go with it -- music to match the mood and tempo of each scene. That said, I find I almost never listen to the music in question when writing or editing the scene in question, as I find that too distracting; there's other music I have specifically for the writing process.

Odds are you can find most, if not all, of these by way of your friendly neighborhood music streaming service.

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Tags: Behind The Scenes: WTTF Welcome to the Fold soundtracks


Infinimata Press: Projects: Give It Away Now, February 2021 Edition

Want to read one of my books for free, along with a bunch of others that might be interesting? Check out my currently running promotions through ProlificWorks.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-22 21:00:00 No comments


Want to read one of my books for free, along with a bunch of others that might be interesting? Check out my currently running promotions through ProlificWorks:

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Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned Flight of the Vajra Prolific Works The Fall Of The Hammer promotion


Welcome to the Fold: Behind The Scenes With 'Welcome To The Fold', Pt. 7: The Themes

A discussion of the themes in my novel 'Welcome To The Fold', and how they are embodied there.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-22 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.)

Last time I posted in this series, I talked about the characters, major and supporting. This time around, I'll run down some of the major themes in the story as I saw them.

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Tags: Behind The Scenes: WTTF Welcome to the Fold themes


Welcome to the Fold: Behind The Scenes With 'Welcome To The Fold', Pt. 6: The Supporting Cast

A discussion of the supporting cast in 'Welcome To The Fold', and the roles they play.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-20 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.)

Last time I posted in this series, I introduced a few of the main characters - Kijé and Annika, the two faces of the main protagonist; her boyfriend Renton and his matching alter ego Berardinis. Now some notes about the rest of the cast:

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


Movies: Sexy Beast

Ben Kingsley as a frothing mad gangster is only the first of many pleasures in this sleeper-gem of a crime drama that's only gotten better with age

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-19 12:00:00 No comments


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Someone once said that American movies are about plots while European movies are about characters. That goes double for crime films. When they're about assembling a team for One Last Job, they're about the team, or the job, or the betrayal. Jonathan Glazer's Sexy Beast uses all that as backdrop for a contrasting character study: Gal Dove (Ray Winstone), the soft-in-the-gut ex-safecracker who does not want to leave his comfy Spanish villa for one last job; and Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), the bulldog soldier in Teddy Bass's (Ian Macshane) crime army who most definitely wants him to do it, and will latch his teeth into Gal's ankle and drag him bodily away from his wife and friends if he must.

Dove has no earthly reason to even consider Logan's offer. He lives with his beloved wife Deedee, an ex-porn star, in a mountainside hacienda with an in-ground pool. Every night it's barbecues and garden parties with his friend Aitch and his wife Jackie, also both emigres. One fine day a boulder detaches itself from the hillside behind where he's sunning himself, crashes into his pool, and almost pancakes Dove. That rattles his eyeteeth, but it does so far less than word that his old not-really-buddy Don Logan has decided to drop in.

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Tags: Ben Kingsley Ian Macshane Jonathan Glazer Ray Winstone Sexy Beast movies review


Movies: Apocalypse Now: Final Cut

The film is worthy of the best kind of jealousy, the kind that makes you want to go out and do something just as visionary and overwhelming.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-18 21:00:00 No comments


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First, a confession of cinematic unhipness: Until sometime earlier this week I never did watch Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now all the way through, beginning to end. Only fragments on TV, or maybe a few minutes glimpsed over someone's shoulder when they watched it. Somehow I kept kicking the can of that experience down the road, until finally Coppola brought out a 4K restoration of his preferred cut of the film and I stopped procrastinating and gave it an evening of my time. The film is worthy of the best kind of jealousy, the kind that makes you want to go out and do something just as visionary and overwhelming, even if it you can't quite cinch shut the bag it's packed in.

Most great "war films" are not about war but some other subject we can only approach fully through the context of war. Paths Of Glory was about the kind of cowardice only possible in the power structures that prosecute war. The Grand Illusion was about how men of principle and discipline are set against each other because war demands it. Apocalypse Now is about how war's insanity is normalizing, both on the individual and collective level. War, especially one as ambiguous and protracted as the one in Vietnam, does something worse than make us mad: it makes us wonder if it was ever a good idea to be sane in the first place, when things can become this broken.

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Tags: Apocalypse Now Charlie Sheen Marlon Brando Vietnam movies review war


Science Fiction Repair Shop: An Amiable Chaos

How science fiction and fantasy stories live and die by their technical details, for both better and worse.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-12 12:00:00 No comments


I spent most of this week at work dodging cars (metaphorically speaking) and trying not to get flattened (again, metaphorically speaking). Left me in a state of blear, which in turn made it hard to concentrate on anything creative. Just as well, as right now Unmortal has some "blocking issues" that need shaking out before I can continue. Nothing major, and nothing I haven't faced before, so it's something I recognize when I see it. I know it well enough to know it isn't the enemy, no more than a red traffic light is the enemy. Amiable chaos, but still chaos.

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Tags: Science Fiction Repair Shop Unmortal fantasy science fiction writing


The In-House Art Preservation And Digital Collage Society

A new flatbed scanner joins my in-home digital creation arsenal.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-07 12:00:00 No comments


I had more money left over from my PC upgrade than I realized, so I spent a little more of it on something I'd been mulling for some time: a desktop flatbed scanner. Nothing too over-the-top, just an Epson Perfection V39. It's part of what I have come to call the In-House Art Preservation And Digital Collage Society.

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Tags: art technology visualization


An All-New 'Epitaph' -- Two, In Fact

Two, two, TWO new translations of Machado de Assis's amazing novel came out when my back was turned!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-02 21:00:00 No comments


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Somehow, when my back was turned, two new translations appeared of one of my favorite novels, Machado de Asssis's Epitaph Of A Small Winner a/k/a The Posthumous Memoirs Of Bras Cubas. One is from Penguin; the other from Liveright. That brings the total translations in English of this singular piece of work to four. I cut my teeth on the original, from the 1950s, and I've read the 2nd one (which is more for scholarly interest than literary quality), but I'm now making a near-term project of reading the others and seeing how they shape up.

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Tags: Machado De Assis Portuguese fiction literature translation


Music: Superunknown (Soundgarden)

When I'm happy, this record reminds me of what I'm transcending; when I'm not, it reminds me of how to transcend.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-02 12:00:00 No comments


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This is an album about death, which means it is, inevitably, also an album about life. I wrote that preceding platitude, or something like it, the first time I heard Superunknown, and immediately felt embarrassed for having done so. The idea that death and life are the face and back of the same coin is a triviality along the lines of water's dampness. Then you spend a little time, or maybe a little more than a little time, in the shadow of that truth, under the weight of it, in the belly of it, and it's not a fortune cookie anymore.

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Tags: Chris Cornell Soundgarden music review


Infinimata Press: Projects: Rogress Preport February 2021: Back So Soon?

Yes, I know I only checked in a couple of weeks ago, but man have things uncorked here!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-02-01 12:00:00 No comments


Yes, I know I only checked in a couple of weeks ago, but man have things uncorked here! This is Rumor Control; here are the facts.

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


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This page contains an archive of posts for the month of February 2021.

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