On the largely ineffectual ways we've grappled with the corruption of public morals.
Someone on Twitter pointed out recently that it makes no sense to try and shame reactionaries for being hypocrites, because the charge carries no weight with those who matter. I agree with this, and I think the reasons why are at the heart of the largely ineffectual ways we've grappled with the corruption of public morals.
After some puttering, I think I finally have a good new cover design for 'Summerworld'.
This past week I worked on new cover designs for Summerworld, one of the tougher books in my collection to create art for. After some scavenging, I settled on two images I wanted to use: the "cityscape" image, and the "portal" image. This was the first attempt at making use of them:
And once we do, what do we take away from it all?
The other night, shortly after news broke of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, I quoted a line from someone I'd known once, an utterance they made shortly after 9/11: "I don't know how much more history I can live through." I have since lost touch with this person, so I don't know what they would think about all that's happened over the last five years, but I imagine they'd be feeling pretty exhausted by history too.
But as of late, I find a thought coming to me more often. Maybe things have always been like this. Maybe it's just that it wasn't evenly distributed -- that some of us have felt like this all the time, every time, and weren't believed when we said that was the case. Maybe it was always like this and most of us just had more ways to not notice it, and now that those protections have been ripped off, we have no choice but to stare it in the face until our eyes melt.
For some of my books it's a lot harder than I realized to create good cover art.
Exhausting week, not just because of current events (if there's anyone here not exhausted by current events, I want whatever you're dosing with). I tried to come up with about four or five alternate desings for a reworked Summerworld cover and ended up rejecting them all. If I had more money to throw at the problem I'd commission something, but right now I'm on as tight a budget as I can get (again, who isn't?), so I have to make do.
Why some people respond to reports of deaths in numbers with minimizing tactics.
In the early days of the COVID crisis, I heard a couple of goofballs in my near-circle making noises along the lines of, "It's just a flu." Bad enough, but when people start dying, one of them had the temerity to come up with this whopper: "X number of people die every year in car accidents, but you don't see folks freaking out about that!"
The only motive I can ascribe to uttering such a thing is that of whistling past the graveyard -- being confronted with something so overwhelming that it beggars a response, and so the only response you can come up with is to minimize it. (We've seen a lot of that lately, haven't we?) There are plenty of reasons why equivalencies like this are foolish, but I'll focus on one case: when people shift tracks and try to talk about deaths by other means ("If we really cared about lives, we'd do something about all those people dying," etc.).
Why spam scams are illiterate by design: to weed out the skeptical and keep the suckers.
Some time ago I came across an article that explained why most spam scams read like illiterate grade-school scrawls. It's not incompetence on the part of the spammers. In fact, it's the exact opposite: it's a calculated strategy. And it explains why much political grift is similarly dumb.
A look at the upcoming "remastered" editions of my books "Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned", "Welcome To The Fold", and "Flight Of The Vajra".
I spent all of Saturday reworking covers and interiors for the last three (four, if you include the most recent) books in the Infinimata catalog. Once I got momentum going on one of them, I just forged ahead and did all of them in one sitting. I also found a site that lets you render 3D mockups of books using uploaded cover art, a way to get an idea of how they'll all look on a shelf next to each other. I think the results speak for themselves:
On the progress of the reissue program for all my earlier books under the new Infinimata Press label.
With Fall Of The Hammer off and out the gate, and Unmortal now in progress (although don't expect anything about that for a good long while), I'm now turning to reissuing all the earlier titles in the formerly Genji Press, now Infinimata Press catalog. This past week I started on new editions of Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned and Welcome To The Fold. It's been alternately fun and frustrating.
The soundtrack for my new novel 'Fall Of The Hammer'.
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.
Note that the scene descriptions may contain spoilers!
On Stjepan G. Meštrović's notion of the "postemotional society".
I dug out a book I'd read before but decided to re-approach with fresh eyes, what with the world on fire. The book is entitled Postemotional Society and is by sociologist Stjepan G. Meštrović, and its premise is that modern society can be distinguished by being "post-emotional". I am not sure I believe everything Meštrović puts forward, and I think some of what he says is old vinegar in new wine bottles, but I have plenty to chew on all the same.
Meštrović wrote the book in the Nineties and so his examples revolve around things like the Balkan War, the Clinton administration, and the O.J. Simpson trial, but much of what he says seems scarily relevant to the moment: "A new hybrid of intellectualized, mechanical, mass-produced emotions has appeared on the world scene." (p. 26)
Science fiction, rebooted.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind