All posts for Uncategorized / General in 2020

The Visualization Trigger

Sometimes I get ideas for a project by way of nothing but a potential piece of cover art.

Those Damn Darlings

To kill them or not kill them?

Now Exhale, Already

This year did leave its mark on me. I only now see this.

Kid Stuff, In Theory

The single hardest thing I could try to write would be a children's book.

Not Enough There There

With many of the stories I've taken up only to abandon, what was most interesting to me about them seemed impossible to communicate to others.

The Disinhibition Prescription

On creativity: The opposite of inhibition is disinhibition, not uninhibition; an act, rather than a state.

Minimal Headwordspace

2020 just about killed my enthusiasm for reading, which was finicky to begin with.

Thinking Inside The (X)Box

The latest toy in the house: an XBOX S.

Drafts Just Point The Way

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

The Thanks I Gave

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

Supertoys Last All Winter Long, One Hopes

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Stiff Upper Lip And All That

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

New Blood

On reinventing horror tropes for the modern moment.

The Todd Rundgren Effect

What do you do when you're best known for a throwaway work?

Malign Equivalencies

Why "they're all terrible" is the philosophy of suckers.

Everything But The Thing In Front Of Me

Sometimes you solve all the other problems, not this one.

The Least Worst Form Of Governance

Two cheers for democracy, and all that.

No Good Teacher Says "Don't"

No good teacher worth their salt says "Don't do X." They say, "If you do X, this is what's involved."

Leaning Into Topical Drift

How my new book 'Unmortal' started as "a fantasy story that discovers it's actually cyberpunk", and is now that plus something different.

No, You Really Couldn't Make This Up If You Tried

On the notion that if our moment in time were a story, nobody would believe a word of it.


'At Close Range', 34 years later -- and on the telling of stories about those with doomed lives.

"You Don't Have To Live With The Bloody Man"

On portraits of the artist as a complete jackass, and why we need new kinds of stories about artists.

Why You Can't Shame The Shameless

On the largely ineffectual ways we've grappled with the corruption of public morals.

How Much More History Can We Live Through?

And once we do, what do we take away from it all?

Upfront Without Being On The Nose

For some of my books it's a lot harder than I realized to create good cover art.

The Innumeracy Of Moral Equivalency

Why some people respond to reports of deaths in numbers with minimizing tactics.

Selecting For Stupid

Why spam scams are illiterate by design: to weed out the skeptical and keep the suckers.

You'll Pay To Know What You Really Feel!

On Stjepan G. Meštrović's notion of the "postemotional society".

Nostalgia Isn't What It Used To Be, Not That It Ever Was

I don't want better versions of the past. I want a future that has the kind of better only the future can offer.

High And Low

On the marriage of popular and artistic sensibilities (not that they were all that far from each other?)

Blankout! Blankout!

On the terror of facing a blank page (or screen), for the N-th time.

One Week Later ...

Calendar on the wall tells me I've been running my new blog software for about a week now. Successfully!

The Saddest Of Nightmares

From uneasy sleep came the uneasiest of dreams.

Do The Next Thing

Me vs. doing sequels, yet again.

Notice Anything Different?

With my blog, that is? I hope not, as great things are afoot under the hood.

Deep Dive

I dove deep this week into rewriting my blog software. Almost didn't come up for air.

From Something, To Something

With your sources for a story, it ain't where you start, it's where you end up, and how you get there.

I Liked The Movie Better. No, Really.

Sometimes adapting something, as one form of remaking it, can do it a favor.

Let's Not Try To Understand All This Too Quickly

In a conversation with a friend, about the way our crazy moment in time is shaping our creative decisions, I kept coming back to a phrase I've said to myself before: "Let's not try to understand all this too quickly."

You Deserve To Know What's Up, Late July 2020 Edition

Much hard work ensuing here at Chez Infinimata, and on multiple fronts: current book, new book, software.

Down These Mean Streets

How much of a debt I owe not to science fiction or fantasy, but another genre: the hard-boiled noir.

Kauffmann Syndrome

The problem with much criticism: it proceeds from the flawed premise that art is hierarchical.

The Code Hole

I meant to blog a little more this week, but life happened, and I also stumbled face-first into what I can only call a code hole.

Hard Work Is Its Own Reward, Or So They Told Me

Not a great week or so, to be honest. Much emotional rollercoastering, much of it project related. And not in the ways you might think.

The Reconstruction Blues

Blogging software, rewritten from scratch.

This Old Blogging App

Should I rewrite my existing blogging app, or ditch it entirely? (Spoiler: DIY! DIY!)

The Payoff Is The Setup

Meaning, go straight to the good stuff and don't make people wait.

Goodbye, Genji. Hello, Infinimata.

Welcome to the next generation of my personal publishing imprint.

From Scratch Every Time

Every single time I start a new story, I'm starting from scratch in more ways than one.

The Eye Closes: Milton Glaser, 1929-2020

Goodbye to a man with a little more vision than most, and whole lot of heart.

Publish Or Perish? Why Not Both?

On the ways self-publishing gets dinged as illegitimate, and how to rebut them.

Original Conclusions

It's hard to do your own thing, and for good reasons.

Crossover Events

For fun I ran down a list of popular culture things that nobody really had expectations for, but which sort of escaped their box and went on to become major cultural landmarks.

The Pop Problem

What is it I really want from popular culture? Typically something rare.

Why That Story?

What does it mean to say that I want to tell a given story about a given person or a given thing? Why me and not someone else? What do I bring to the table?

Four Years Of Facelessness

According to the fossil record, I quit using Facebook about four years ago, give or take a month. I'm still off. I regret nothing.

Faster Typewriters

I never want to make the argument that we should refrain from making things easier as some kind of hedge against mediocrity.

Ousmane Sembene Remembered

My turn to throw out props for a black creator, one who doesn't get much press in any circle: filmmaker and author Ousmane Sembene.

Another Life Touched

Depth of connection with an audience, even an audience of six, always wins out over sheer numbers.

A Quick Post-Renaissance VirtualCon Note

The panels for Renaissance VirtualCon went very nicely. I'll be posting video playback links for them as soon as I have them on hand, in case you couldn't make it.

Catch Me In Person! Sort Of

I'm going to be appearing as a panelist on two panels at the Renaissance Press Virtual Conference. Register now, slots are going fast!

The New Toy

A new notebook computer enters my hands, and once again I'm boggled by progress.

The Enormity Of The World's Grief

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief." Easier said than done.

Fearful Asymmetry

If I could sum up the problem of modern politics in only a few words, it would be this: the asymmetry of the motivations of the participants.

All The Money In The World

Even if you had it, then what?

Folio v. 0.0.4 Has Arrived

Welcome to the latest release of my wiki/org tool for writers and creative folks.

The Hardest Problem, Revisited

Naming things. Especially stories.

Bubble Poppers And What-Iffers

The more outside your bubble you have at your command, the more you have to answer any "what if?" in your work.

Why I Am (Not) A Filmmaker

I might have been, though. And I still wish I was.

Squeezing The Tube

It never helps to force a story to be about something.

The Zen In My Work And Vice Versa

I never wanted to be a "Zen SF&F author". If I did receive that label, I think I'd be very unhappy about it.

The Impossible Factor

Why SF&F have something to teach us even when it isn't "real".

DIY Or Die

When is it OK to say, "Screw the world, I'm'a do me"? And when is it just being a self-indulgent twerp?

Leveled Up

If people critique your themes or intentions, that's a sign you've leveled up.

The Nyah-Nyah World

Welcome back to third grade.

Cheating, Not

On the idea of: "Writers are liars and fabricators, but not b.s.'ers."

Exact Thinking In Demented Times, And Other Delights

On Sir Popper's beautiful mind as an antidote for this terrible moment.

Kindly Educate Me About My Suckage

More on how most writers are not good givers of writerly feedback. Few people are.

By Hook Or By Book Or By Crook

On how my friend and fellow writer Matt is against the idea of the "hook" as a narrative mechanism.

Nostalgia Isn't What It Used To Be

At some point in my life, I realized I didn't want to "go back" to anything, because there was no such thing as "going back".

Nothing Like That Now, Honest

A note to myself: Be careful how you describe your story to others, because any one word can produce an image that doesn't match the reality.

One With Everything (Literary Edition)

On the idea of writing a novel that encompasses the whole of life (and other delusions).

Where They All Went

On losing touch with friends, and the difficulty of making new ones.

The Maltese Dafoe

Fantasy casting for a film that never was.

Chewing Through My Bit

I want to get Fall Of The Hammer finished and put to bed so I can get on with the next big thing.

Cold World Blues

"The universe doesn't care about our feelings" isn't an excuse to be mean. No condition of life is an excuse.

A New Definitive

We change all the time, and with every change comes a new kind of definitive.

The Me Agenda

I'm not on anyone's schedule but my own, although it's sometimes hard to remember that.

Not Coming To A Book Near Me

Why I wasn't going to do post-apoc, or apoc-in-general, stories -- yes, even long before COVID-19 came along.

Of The Here And Now, Or The Anywhere And Always

I've long been wary of using fiction as a system of polemic, not because I don't care about the world we live in but because such things typically make for bad fiction

Still Waiting For Blu, 2020 Edition

Apropos of nothing. A rundown of some favorite movies of mine that have yet to enjoy a physical HD reissue.

Escapism In Bad Times

The point isn't to run away from what's around you, but to see something new despite it.

As If

"If infinity is too big for you, live in the day."

Some Sense Of Stability

When all this madness first really lit up, I made a promise to myself: I wasn't going to post anything here that was simply an echo of anything you could find anywhere else.

Recommended Reading In Difficult Times, Pt. 1 / ?

Since many of you are stuck indoors right now and going a little stir crazy, I have some nonfiction reading suggestions that shed light on our moment from different directions.

Everyone Knows Utopia Is Nowhere

On those who believe in incremental solutions -- progressive and conservative alike -- and those who believe in burning the whole house down and starting over.

Some Work-From-Home Tips From A Guy Who's Been There

Okay, maybe I do have a few pointers that might be useful.

From The Bunker

Like most of you, I'm "sheltering in place" -- which is actually not all that different from what I already do. The difference is that now I don't have a choice.

Hello From The Other Side, Pt. 3

A third letter to a dead friend.

Things And Stuff, 2020-03-07 Edition

Just a quick note about what's new in Chez Genji (writing, programming projects, etc.)

Do As You Say, Pt. 2

So why don't I in fact like endpaper maps and genealogies and all the rest?

Do As You Say, Not As I Say

Why I try not to write any story that needs a map in the endpapers or a genealogy.

Not The Fastest Horse, Just The Friendliest

Using Python to build, well, everything.

My Folio Is Open At Last

My personal wiki project's Github repo is now live!

Hello From The Other Side, Pt. 2

Another letter to a long-dead friend.

What Might Dance Better

"Since all art finally affirms something, if only its own value, some attitudes thus dance better than others."

Wiki Work(i)

Progress report on my personal wiki software; organization for creatives and everyone else too.

My Greebled World

On that feeling you get that the modern world is just too damn complicated.

The Burden Of Being Enthusiastic

I'm way behind on everything these days, and the biggest reason for that is there's just so much more of everything. But it's no crime to miss out, is it?

Xtaloid: My New Game

I guess this means I can add "game developer" to the rack of hats I wear?

Former And Continuing Student Of High Weirdness Confesses All!

The true weirdoes, god love them, can't help themselves. I wasn't one of those folks, and I knew it.

Power Tools

On Scrivener, Granthika, TiddlyWiki, and now my project for helping writers organize their work.

When Weighing In Got Outweighed

Why I no longer write reviews of stuff for my own site.

Big Z, Little Z

Why I don't mention Zen much in "mixed company".

Readiness And Other Lies

It's not about being ready; it's about being willing to fail.

May Your Playlists Never Run Dry

Most every story I've written has a soundtrack.

Of Dark Days

None of this happened overnight. Neither will overcoming it.

Possibility Paralysis

What do you do when you want to do everything?

The Builders And The Finders

At first people think creating things is more like discovery than construction.

From Inside Out, Pt. 3,276

Spiritual advice don't mean a thing if it don't come from within.

The First One Is Meant To Be Thrown Away

Each work is a bridge to the next one.

What It All Means

Zen's influence on my work.

The Pleasures Of Eating Your Own Dog Food

No, this isn't about pets; it's about making the tools I use for my creative work.

The New Needs Friends

The new needs friends, not evangelists or apologists.

A Time Now Gone

On letting an old domain name roll away.

You May Begin To Feel Overload

On art as the alleged antidote to life -- although life is no illness, is it?

One Year Later...

Kicking off 2020.

See previous posts from 2019

See future posts from 2021

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About Me

I'm an independent SF and fantasy author, technology journalist, and freelance contemplator for how SF can be more than just a way to blow stuff up.

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