Posts for 2013

On Whitewashing The Future Dept. (2013/12/29 10:00)
The best far-looking SF is always rooted in the conflicts of the moment -- especially the things we think we will someday outgrow.

As The Veneer Of Democracy Starts To Fade (Mark Stewart) (2013/12/28 10:00)
The best bad-sounding record you'll ever hear.

A Mouthful Of Stories Dept. (2013/12/24 10:00)
Great writing and great cuisine, compared.

This And $2.50 Gets You A Ride On The Subway Dept. (2013/12/22 10:00)
On why both giving and interpreting good criticism are dying arts.

Your Own Thing (And Everyone Else's) Dept. (2013/12/21 10:00)
Do you own thing, but don't let it fence you in.

Bluckboster Dept. (2013/12/20 10:00)
Is franchise-driven storytelling the default mode of storytelling from now on?

Laugh At The Guy In The Mirror Most Of All Dept. (2013/12/19 10:00)
You have to take yourself seriously enough to know when not to take yourself seriously at all.

Fail Upwards Dept. (2013/12/18 10:00)
We need dystopia to know how things can fall apart.

Man of Steel (2013/12/17 01:00)
Man of Steel understands Superman well enough to know he should be taken seriously, even if it doesn't always quite know how to make that understanding real.

Futurism-ism Dept. (2013/12/17 10:00)
The mysticism of the future by way of technology is no improvement over the mysticisms of the past.

Bushido (Bushido: The Cruel Code of the Samurai) (Bushidō zankoku monogatari) (2013/12/16 10:00)
The cruel cost of the samurai code, across the generations.

Lead, Follow, Or Get A Life Dept. (2013/12/15 10:00)
On "I don't want to have to follow an artist that I have to lead."

This, That, The Other Dept. (2013/12/14 10:00)
A new site opens up under my provenance; video games make a comeback in my life; and I ponder the future of my publishing system.

Seize The Future, With No Gloves On Dept. (2013/12/10 10:00)
On appreciating the new without wearing the blinders of the old.

Criswell Strikes Again! Dept. (2013/12/07 04:00)
Another case of yesterday's tomorrow, today.

Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today! Dept. (2013/12/05 10:00)
E.W. Dijkstra Archive: On the cruelty of really teaching computing science (EWD 1036) The usual way in which we plan today for tomorrow is in yesterday's vocabulary. We do so, because we try to get away with the concepts we...

Out! Out! You Demons Of Negativity! Dept. (2013/12/02 10:00)
On the merits of talking critical smack.

Take This Type And Shove It Dept. (2013/12/01 10:00)
Me and my MT. (Is it "blog" or "bleargh"?)

NaNoMore Dept. (2013/11/30 10:00)
Why I may not participate in another NaNoWriMo from now on.

Beyond The Fold Dept. (2013/11/28 10:00)
Look upon my future works, ye Audience, and rejoice.

Go For Launch Dept. (2013/11/27 10:00)
The next writing project is a go. Some thoughts before the button is pushed.

I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon Dept. (2013/11/26 10:00)
How you know when you've "arrived" as a writer.

Outlier Dept. (2013/11/23 10:00)
I used to never write story outlines. Here's why.

Background and Foreground Dept. (2013/11/22 10:00)
On the kinds of reading and research I do -- and don't do -- as a prepwork for a project.

You Say Political, I Say Personal Dept. (2013/11/21 10:00)
A political struggle by itself wouldn't be the meat of a good story; it has to be something personal inside the political.

Great Minds Think Differently Dept. (2013/11/20 10:00)
Why am I, the atheist, reading a book of religious philosophy? Homework, but some other things too.

The Great Gatsby (2013) (2013/11/19 01:00)
A punch bowl full of glitter and treacle.

A Bland Apart Dept. (2013/11/19 10:00)
On culture being a tasteless affair (puns intended).

Something Else!!! Dept. (2013/11/18 10:00)
There better be something new under the sun, or else!

The Men Behind Us Dept. (2013/11/17 10:00)
On writing about a kind of man that no longer exists.

Better Than Yesterday Dept. (2013/11/16 10:00)
On improving the world: start at home, inside your own skin.

Think, Thank, Thunk Dept. (2013/11/14 10:00)
Why artists and thinkers shouldn't consider themselves mutually exclusive entities.

Down Among The Dead Men Dept. (2013/11/12 10:00)
On how the world ended a long time ago. (And how that fits into my new book.)

Take No Shelter Here Dept. (2013/11/11 10:00)
On (not) taking refuge in one's art.

Kitchen Sinkmanship Dept. (2013/11/05 04:00)
Look at all the stuff going into the new book!

Bursting Bubbles Dept. (2013/11/04 10:00)
Seems that expanding one's frame of reference isn't always about aiming "higher".

Close One Door, Open Another Dept. (2013/11/02 08:30)
Goodbye, About.com; hello, something new.

Abuse Your Illusion Dept. (2013/11/01 10:00)
On the use and abuse of escapism.

Go Go Go Said The Bird Dept. (2013/10/27 10:00)
On escapism.

Thumbs Way Up Dept. (2013/10/23 01:00)
It's nice to be well-reviewed.

Humble Pie A La Mode Dept. (2013/10/23 10:00)
Do creative people "have a core of fierce insecurity inside of them that's so profound that they see any legitimate praise as a form of sycophancy"?

Mind The Gap, Gap The Mind Dept. (2013/10/21 10:00)
On the spiritual junk food of cult consciousness (and how it's one of the many topics of the new book-in-progress).

Incompatible Adapter Dept. (2013/10/20 10:00)
Bill Watterson: "No upside for me" in adapting Calvin & Hobbes to animation. I agreed.

To Get Organizized Dept. (2013/10/19 10:00)
More on organizing creativity (isn't that an oxymoron)?

Pounded Out Dept. (2013/10/18 10:00)
When your only marketing system is for marketing blockbusters, what happens to everything that's not a blockbuster?

Taking (Ever)Note Dept. (2013/10/17 10:00)
How I learned to stop worrying and love creating a proper wiki for my writing projects.

In Competition Dept. (2013/10/16 10:00)
With all the things that make demands on what little spare time we have, is it a surprise that sitting still and looking at words on a page gets pushed down and down?

Let's Get Wasted And Fool Around Dept. (2013/10/15 10:00)
On the concept of the wasted (artistic) opportunity.

Gut Says: Do The Right Thing Dept. (2013/10/12 10:00)
If the right thing was intuitive, everyone would already be doing it.

Of The Great Hither And Thither Dept. (2013/10/11 10:00)
Where I've been and where I'm going, especially with my next book.

Samuraiera (Various Artists / Kaoru Inoue) (2013/10/04 10:00)
A fistful of "lost grooves from the land of the Rising Sun."

Be Someone Or Be Someone's Fool Dept. (2013/10/02 10:00)
Mr. T-isms aside, know who you are and where you're going. If you don't, the consequences to your creativity can be dire.

Bleep Bleep Bleep Dept. (2013/09/30 10:00)
An early '80s PC flashback: me and my ZX-81.

No Diversity Please, We're Geeks Dept. (2013/09/22 10:00)
Why technology doesn't promote creative diversity in the ways we like to believe it does.

Do What You Love (And All That Rot) Dept. (2013/09/21 10:00)
How my "is" is not everyone else's "ought".

The Art In Yourself (All 57 Varieties) Dept. (2013/09/20 10:00)
The more kinds of art you try, the better your art becomes.

The Museum And The Supermarket Dept. (2013/09/19 10:00)
Why the "market" can't fix problems with creative work.

In Contention -- Er, Competition Dept. (2013/09/18 10:00)
Is writing "competing" with TV, movies, video games, etc.?

Maybe You Should Be Able To Judge A Book By Its Cover Dept. (2013/09/17 10:00)
Book publishers should model themselves as Berry Gordy, not Lee Iacocca.

Critical Mass Dept. (2013/09/16 10:00)
On the art of the hatchet job, and on negative criticism generally.

The "A" Word Dept. (2013/09/13 01:00)
It might be better to think of more things as being art, even the things we wouldn't be inclined to call art.

We're Only In It For The Chicks And The Dough Dept. (2013/09/12 10:00)
Why ''Grand Theft Auto'' isn't likely to be a movie anytime soon: integrity. What? Yes.

Shoot High, Aim Low Dept. (2013/09/11 01:00)
Why Kurt Vonnegut didn't think much of SF.

Do That Thing Again! Again! Again! Dept. (2013/09/10 10:00)
More on not repeating yourself creatively.

The Beatings Will Continue Dept. (2013/09/09 10:00)
On the ways violence becomes an aesthetic unto itself in our entertainments.

Interview: Claude & Monet (2013/09/07 12:30)
The folks at the webcomic Claude & Monet -- one of them being my Muse Hack cohort Rob Barba -- have published an interview with yours truly. Subject: Flight of the Vajra, of course.

Taking Flight Dept. (2013/09/06 11:00)
"Vajra" spreads its wings at last.

SF > Tech + Soapbox Dept. (2013/09/04 10:00)
On hard sci-fi being more than just techno-porn interlarded with politics.

Good Timing, Bad Timing Dept. (2013/09/03 10:00)
"Flight of the Vajra" is almost out. Almost.

You Gotta Say No To Another Excess Dept. (2013/09/01 10:00)
On why creative people must learn to say no.

A Pat On The Back, A Whack On The Side Of The Head Dept. (2013/08/31 10:00)
On things being their own reward.

Half In Love With Easeful Death Dept. (2013/08/30 10:00)
Artists don't need to be damaged to be profound.

Life Happens Dept. (2013/08/28 03:00)
Sorry, no AnimeFest this year. "Flight of the Vajra" will come out, though.

But Who Am I To Be Critical? Dept. (2013/08/27 09:00)
On criticism vs. reviewing.

Playlist of the Vajra (2013/08/26 01:00)
Music for the inner cinema, and all that.

Plastics, Benjamin! Dept. (2013/08/26 10:00)
On why too much advice to writers is mere marketing advice.

With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends? Dept. (2013/08/25 10:00)
I'd rather have a scrupulous intellectual opponent than an ally with dodgy thinking.

Look, Ma, I'm In Print! Dept. (2013/08/24 10:00)
On the fallacies of attention-getting in the "going viral" age.

Stop Look And Listen Dept. (2013/08/23 10:00)
''We have to take human behavior the way it is, not the way we would wish it to be.''

Come Sit In My Studebaker Dept. (2013/08/22 10:00)
A car is not just for sitting in, and SF&F aren't just chewing gum for the mind.

What The Market Will Allegedly Bear Dept. (2013/08/21 10:00)
What we call "the market" reflects more the behaviors of a few, not many.

Any Color You Like As Long As It's Black Dept. (2013/08/20 10:00)
Why DC and Marvel are stuck in a taste trap of their own making.

Die Tür Ist Zu Dept. (2013/08/18 10:00)
My space opera "... Vajra" has been finally put to bed, and some things have been learned in the process.

Something I Never Knew I Wanted Dept. (2013/08/16 10:00)
Why, as a fan, sometimes it's best not to get just what you want.

Radio Silence Dept. (2013/08/13 03:25)
I disappear.

Me Lack Space In The Spirit Dept. (2013/08/07 10:00)
More on the general avoidance of discussions about spirituality in futurism.

No Future For You Dept. (Pt. 1) (2013/08/05 10:00)
What happened to the cool future we all imagined? Maybe it wasn't all of us that imagined it, or wanted it.

Less Gatekeepers, More Monoculture Dept. (2013/08/04 10:00)
On the ongoing publishpocalypse.

The Profundity Problem Redux Dept. (2013/08/03 01:00)
How to be out standing (sic) in your field.

Give It Away Now (And Forever) Dept. (2013/08/03 10:00)
A culture of free cannot be sustained by an economy of free.

Numbers Never Lie, But People ... That's Another Story Dept. (2013/08/02 10:00)
Why citing "data" as your justification can be no less arbitrary than "Because I said so."

O.G.: Original Genre Dept. (2013/08/01 10:00)
How something classifies as "original" for us may be just as arbitrary as whether or not we like it in the first place.

Adamantium Over Bone Dept. (2013/07/31 10:00)
Why I liked "Wolverine", but had to be careful why.

The Avengers (2013/07/30 10:00)
What was it about last year's superhero blockbuster that turned out to be so ... average?

History, Quantifying Itself Dept. (2013/07/29 10:00)
How number crunching -- the tool of the good -- too easily becomes the enemy of the great.

Spiked Dept. (2013/07/28 10:00)
Spike Lee turning to Kickstarter may be the new normal.

Prefab-o-formula Dreaming Dept. (2013/07/27 10:00)
Isn't it tiresome how so much SF looks like it rolled off the same assembly line?

Public Image Dept. (2013/07/26 10:00)
Check out my "Vajra" ad cards.

Destrative Crestruction Dept. (2013/07/24 10:00)
Why evolutionary forces are not your company cop.

Worldbuilding? Don't Forget Peoplebuilding, Too Dept. (2013/07/24 01:00)
SF ought to be about people building things. Emphasis on all three of those ingredients.

The Rabbi's Cat (2013/07/23 01:00)
A quirky and wholly original fantasy that's akin to an Isaac Bashevis Singer story mixed with an issue of Heavy Metal.

Cheaper By The Dozen Dept. (2013/07/23 10:00)
How this summer's big-budget movie carpet-bombing has bombed bigtime.

The Highs And Lows Of High And Low Art Dept. (2013/07/22 10:00)
More on why art doesn't sit on the rungs of a ladder.

Not Enough Explanation Disease Dept. (2013/07/21 10:00)
"Too Much Explanation Disease" as it applies to SF and the movies.

Combine Fifteen Beats, Simmer, Serves Ten Million Dept. (2013/07/20 10:00)
How "story beats" have killed storytelling, especially in Hollywood.

Pacific Limp Dept. (2013/07/19 10:00)
Why del Toro's Cthuluzillavengelion project didn't quite break wide.

Reality In a Theater Near You Dept. (2013/07/18 01:00)
The rise (we hope) of the non-fiction drama.

Nerd Herd Dept. (2013/07/16 01:00)
What constitutes an adult audience in this day and age?

Captain, If We Go By The Book Dept. (2013/07/14 10:00)
"... then this movie will seem like every other one. Do you read me?"

The Feel-Bland Hit Of The Summer Dept. (2013/07/13 10:00)
Maybe we've grown weary of manufactured excitement, emphasis on that first word: manufactured.

What If My Beard Were Made Of Green Spinach? You'll Never Get Anywhere What-Iffing About Like That Dept. (2013/07/12 10:00)
The power of imagination requires grounding.

Sweet Emotion Dept. (2013/07/11 10:00)
On how we love a movie with our guts and hate it with our heads.

This Wasn't On The Menu Dept. (2013/07/10 10:00)
If we don't know what's possible creatively, we might never try to look beyond what we have.

Passion to Fashion Dept. (2013/07/09 10:00)
Everything is in and nothing is out. Right?

Take This Type And Move It Dept. (2013/07/08 10:00)
Why WordPress and I can't get along.

Throne Out The Baby With The Bathwater Dept. (2013/07/07 10:00)
My failure to connect with "Game of Thrones."

Set Focus To Infinity Dept. (2013/07/06 10:00)
Be your own dang "focus group".

57 Media And Nothing On Dept. (2013/07/05 10:00)
On the video game of the TV series of the movie inspired by the book.

Branding Is For Cattle Dept. (2013/07/04 10:00)
SF&F fandom shouldn't be a monolith, from either the outside or the inside.

Smarter Than Your Average Audience Member Dept. (2013/07/03 02:00)
Expect dummies and that's what you'll get -- but I sense there's more on that score.

I've Seen The Future, And It Doesn't Play In Peoria Dept. (2013/07/03 10:00)
What happens to the movies after they all become tentpoles.

The Perfect Gateway Drug Dept. (2013/07/02 02:00)
More on the mistaken idea that a given work of SF/fantasy can "convert" the non-fandom masses.

Just Lucky I Guess Dept. (2013/07/01 10:00)
Why things are popular may be more about dumb luck than anything else. But don't despair too much.

DIY Or Die Dept. (2013/06/30 10:00)
"Write the book you want to read." What if you don't know how?

Talking Genre Constriction Blues Dept. (2013/06/29 10:00)
More on why and how SF bottles itself in, unthinkingly.

Burning Chrome Dept. (2013/06/28 01:00)
Or maybe burning Java, who knows. More adventures in the jungle of bad software.

Revenge of the Nerds Dept. (2013/06/28 10:00)
On the bad rep of SF&F fans.

Reality Is What Doesn't Go Away When You Stop Believing In It Dept. (2013/06/27 10:00)
More about escapism.

Man of Steel, Fans of Clay Dept. (2013/06/26 10:00)
Why the longing for "escapism" is problematic.

Oh, Grow Up Already Dept. (2013/06/24 10:00)
Living forever without actually growing up first seems like a non-starter.

Diversify, Diversify Dept. (2013/06/23 10:00)
There's always going to be something you can't do. The hard part is knowing what.

Character (Heur)Istics Dept. (2013/06/22 02:00)
My Muse Hack¹ cohort Scott Delahunt posted over at his site about his character creation process, so I thought I'd use that as the excuse I needed to say a few things in that vein. When I was a kid,...

Out Standing Dept. (2013/06/21 11:22)
The fine folks of StandoutBooks have published an interview with yours truly about Flight of the Vajra.

None More Dark Dept. (2013/06/21 10:00)
Ugliness is not a total synonym for "truth".

Excerpt of the Vajra (2013/06/20 12:30)
Read the first chapter of my forthcoming space-opera epic "Flight of the Vajra".

Write Here And Now Dept. (2013/06/20 10:00)
The most fantastic things work best when they are rooted in the most familiar.

06:21:03:11 UP EVIL (Front 242) (2013/06/19 10:00)
The first ("male") half of Front 242's crowning moment.

The Players, Played Dept. (2013/06/17 01:00)
How the death of DVD killed Hollywood.

A Man of Steel With Feet Of Clay Dept. (2013/06/17 10:00)
Why "Man of Steel"'s Superman is a little more interesting, and problematic, than you might expect. (Warning: spoilers.)

Reality ... What A Concept Dept. (2013/06/15 09:51)
On the canard of "Reality is just so interesting, why would you want to escape it?"

Burn Hollywood Burn Dept. (2013/06/14 01:38)
The movies are their own worst (financial) enemy.

One + One By One (Minimal Compact) (2013/06/12 10:00)
Israel's best-known contribution to "post-punk" takes the bad taste out of my mouth left by the term.

Guaranteed To Disappoint Dept. (2013/06/11 10:00)
Why I'm trying not to repeat myself by not writing sequels, possibly at your expense.

That Superior Feeling Dept. (2013/06/10 10:00)
Godhood without humanity: the gains hardly seem worth the degeneracy.

Improvisation (Derek Bailey) (2013/06/09 10:00)
One of free music's cornerstones, an album of heedless challenges and curious pleasures.

Look At All Those Type O's Dept. (2013/06/08 10:00)
On reissued e-books and copyediting. Or the lack thereof.

With A Finger In My I Dept. (2013/06/07 10:00)
"I want to live forever." Yes, but which I?

Invisible Hand Around Your Throat Dept. (2013/06/06 10:00)
Art's not about what's sold (again).

Dream A Little Dream (Or A Great Big One) Dept. (2013/06/05 10:00)
More on imagination not just being about making stuff up.

Let's Film The Unfilmable Again Dept. (2013/06/03 06:34)
Some SF books I'd love to see filmed, even if I know the odds are slender.

Godhood And Godhead Dept. (2013/06/01 10:00)
Why do we make gods out of men?

Build A Bigger Megaphone Dept. (2013/05/31 10:00)
On Amazon's flash sales creating breakout bestsellers:

Love The Art In Yourself, Not Yourself In The Art Dept. (2013/05/30 10:00)
Know thyself, especially why you create in the first place.

Clean the Slate Dept. (2013/05/28 01:00)
Should SF be "nuked back to year zero?"

Manufaketuring Dept. (2013/05/28 10:00)
Let's not confuse the process of describing something with the process of creating it.

Pacific Who? Dept. (2013/05/27 10:00)
Why Guillermo del Toro's Cthulu-zilla-vangelion film will tank with mainstream audiences.

Classics Not Spoken Here Dept. (2013/05/26 02:00)
Creators have to cultivate a sense of history.

I've Seen The Future (Again) And It (Still) Doesn't Work Dept. (2013/05/25 02:00)
Gadgetry is not futurism.

By The Numbers Again Dept. (2013/05/25 10:00)
Template-driven storytelling strikes again (and again, and again).

The Heart Of The Matter Dept. (2013/05/24 02:00)
On love being the highest law.

Your Characters Would Be Cooler If Only They Wore Designer Jeans Dept. (2013/05/24 10:00)
Is formula storytelling "better" just because it's more commercially successful?

Fan Faction Dept. (2013/05/23 01:00)
Amazon helps fanfic goes "legit" -- or is it about fanfic?

The World Crashes In, Into My Living Room Dept. (2013/05/23 10:00)
Why the pipeline that deliver us the culture we have to live with is failing us.

Waves of the Future Dept. (2013/05/22 10:00)
If SF is "the literature of the future", shouldn't we be using the media of the future to deliver it?

Not A Soul In Sight Dept. (2013/05/21 10:00)
Abhorring a Vacuum | New Republic it is an urgent task of contemporary American fiction, whose characteristic products are books of great self-consciousness with no selves in them; curiously arrested books that know a thousand different things—the recipe for the...

Template In The Head Dept. (2013/05/20 10:00)
Why checklist-driven, beat-structure construction works in the short run but is ruinous in the long run.

Look, Ma, No Subject Matter! Dept. (2013/05/18 10:00)
Just having an audience doesn't mean you have something to say to it.

Mass Market, Crass Market Dept. (2013/05/15 10:00)
How economics supplants culture: a failure of marketing, and of imagination.

A Defect Of Character Dept. (2013/05/14 10:00)
SF&F's problems with character development are cyclical; we teach ourselves bad habits.

Made Over Dept. (2013/05/13 10:00)
Creativity, once again: it's at least as much about observing as it is "making stuff up."

The Sounds Of Salesmen Dept. (2013/05/11 12:00)
What self-publishers need most: big data?

Human After All Dept. (2013/05/08 10:00)
More on how SF should be about a new kind of person, not a new kind of gadget.

Bakshi to the Future Dept. (2013/05/07 10:00)
Ralph Bakshi is alive, well, and angry in a good way.

Trust Me, I'm A Marketer Dept. (2013/05/06 06:00)
A new venue for one-to-one curation: gaming.

Paint By Letters Dept. (2013/05/06 02:00)
The number-crunchers have arrived in the screenwriting department. Pray.

Big Picture, Little Picture Dept. (2013/05/05 10:00)
Why do we let the business of creativity pass into the hands of the most uncreative people around?

Indie Pandering Dept. (2013/05/04 10:00)
The little guys in creative fields are being just as lockstep and predictable as the big guys.

In Their Faces Dept. (2013/05/02 10:00)
Just "being a writer" isn't enough anymore -- and maybe it never was.

Ubik Witty Dept. (2013/05/01 10:00)
Once we've bonded through our mutual fandoms, then what?

Gap Redux Dept. (2013/04/30 02:00)
No, I actually like tech -- with caveats.

The Gap In Our Selves Dept. (2013/04/30 10:00)
SF has hit its limit because we have hit ours.

Old But Not In The Way Dept. (2013/04/29 10:00)
Every movie, every book, is time in a bottle, if only you let yourself see it.

Art Not Artifact Dept. (2013/04/26 11:30)
A book is not just a wad of paper.

All The People, None Of The Time Dept. (2013/04/25 10:00)
Can't please. Shouldn't try. But don't confuse that with blowing your toes off.

Learning Curveball Dept. (2013/04/22 10:00)
Why functional competence is no place for an artist to rest on one's laurels.

Raw Shock Blot Dept. (2013/04/19 04:00)
Suspension of disbelief: exercise for the brain.

Do It (To) Yourself Dept. (2013/04/18 10:00)
On self-publishing, self-promotion, and self-delusion.

Buddy, Can Youse Paradigm? Dept. (2013/04/17 10:00)
Knowing more than others is not a form of oppression.

Leeboy Dept. (2013/04/15 01:00)
Spike Lee, remaking "Oldboy": I'm excited, and nervous.

That Shakespearean Rag Dept. (2013/04/15 10:00)
On being the embodiment of your moment in time.

Gate of Hell (2013/04/14 10:00)
One of the best films of 2013 appears to have been made in 1954, and has now been lovingly restored for the ages.

Two Worlds And In Between Dept. (2013/04/11 10:00)
On using SF as an examination of the clashes of spiritual opposites.

Source Code (2013/04/10 10:00)
A little SF masterpiece that proves a small scale doesn't have to mean small ambitions.

Perfect Forever Dept. (2013/04/09 10:00)
What makes a work great isn't an objective truth.

No Difference, Except The Feet Are A Little Bit Off The Ground Dept. (2013/04/08 10:00)
Please suspend your disbelief. It'll do us both a world of good.

It Might Play In Peoria, But Then We'd Have To Actually Try To Sell It There Dept. (2013/04/07 10:00)
On the word "unmarketable".

Out Of The Vaults And Into Our Hard Drives Dept. (2013/04/06 10:00)
Why I still love me some physical media, even when downloads are that much more convenient.

Every Butt A Billboard Dept. (2013/04/05 10:00)
On the hazards of being someone else's product via social networking.

The Balcony Is Closed Dept. (2013/04/04 07:20)
Goodbye, Roger.

Cultural Half-Life Dept. (2013/04/04 10:00)
When we live in a world where nothing we create ever really goes away, what should we create and why?

Discipline, Please! Dept. (2013/04/03 10:00)
The sheer impulse to write can't by itself be used to avoid self-criticism.

A New (Old) Hope Dept. (2013/04/02 10:00)
On rewriting Lucas from his own notes: a nifty idea.

Hypocrisy Rules, OK? Dept. (2013/04/01 10:00)
Change your mind, early and often.

Peer to Peer Dept. (2013/03/30 10:00)
Hijacking the power of peer pressure.

The Bookmakers, All 7 Billion Of Them Dept. (On "The Business of Literature", Pt. 1) (2013/03/29 10:00)
How to fix publishing? Fix publishers, readers, books, all of the above?

Alterfactuality Dept. (2013/03/28 10:00)
On a shelved "alternative present" project that never bloomed, because the idea alone wasn't enough.

Don't Get Mad Or Even Dept. (2013/03/27 10:00)
Life's bigger than one-upsmanship.

The Thing In Itself Dept. (2013/03/26 10:00)
Which will it be: to leave artifacts or to create experiences?

In Time (2013/03/25 10:00)
An intriguing SF concept is soon plundered for a mere neo-noir plotline, but save the pieces anyway.

Know Future Dept. (2013/03/23 10:00)
Future projects I see when I look at my creative to-do list.

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (Aphex Twin) (2013/03/22 10:00)
An electronic pearl, an album for every home and every pair of ears.

Failing Upwards Dept. (2013/03/19 10:00)
I play over my own head, even when it hurts.

Third Time's The Charm (2013/03/17 10:00)
The cover art for "Flight of the Vajra" approaches completion.

Medium, Neither Rare Nor Well Done Dept. (2013/03/16 10:00)
They were complaining about the movies being scorched earth in 1937.

Kickstart My Heart Dept. (2013/03/16 10:00)
Crowdfunding's best when the crowd has some idea what you're doing.

Punk Is Dead (But You Really Should Check Out My Band Sometime) Dept. (2013/03/14 10:00)
Those who say "art form X is dead" really mean to add "except for my works of it."

Nonwriting The Nonbook Dept. (2013/03/13 10:00)
Another quote from Nile Rodgers spurs some thought.

Still Cutting Out The Middleman Dept. (2013/03/12 10:00)
Publishers, who needs 'em?

Golden Era Hindsight Is 20/20 Dept. (2013/03/11 10:22)
It wasn't a golden age when we were in it.

Constrained But Not Constricted Dept. (2013/03/10 10:00)
On why limits are good things. (Part one of many.)

Keith Jarrett: Hymns / Spheres (2013/03/09 10:00)
The full version of Keith Jarrett's highly experimental organ album, finally restored to life on CD.

The Dark Knight Rises (2013/03/08 10:00)
The last installment gives us the Batman we deserve rather than the Batman we want. Not a bad thing, actually.

Kill Your Idols Some More Dept. (2013/03/07 10:00)
The artist isn't a guru, a god, or sometimes even a good guy.

Missing And Presumed Found Dept. (2013/03/06 11:59)
Where'd the site archives go? Oh, they were right here all along.

Gap Filler Dept. (2013/03/06 10:00)
Our art isn't just "content", but that's what it's being turned into.

Mansculinity Dept. (2013/03/05 10:00)
Why masculinity in SF&F most often manifests as chest-thumping meatheadedness.

Paradise Kiss Vols. 2-3 (Ai Yazawa) (2013/03/04 10:00)
A genre-transcending romance reaches its conclusion and ennobles itself in the process.

Good To Be Wrong Dept. (2013/03/01 10:30)
I was wrong about the bottom falling out of e-book pricing, thank goodness.

Specially Affected Dept. (2013/02/27 10:00)
The exploitation of effects houses by Hollywood is only one of many signs of the system's ill health.

Astonish Me Dept. (2013/02/26 10:00)
"I demand two things from a composer: invention, and that he astonish me." What did Stockhausen mean by this?

I Opening Dept. (2013/02/25 10:00)
The first step away from earthly vanity is cosmic humility.

What To Do When You Suck Dept. (2013/02/24 10:00)
What can you do when someone you trust tells you about your work, "Sorry, it's terrible"?

Not For The Money Dept. (2013/02/23 10:00)
Should creative types even bother to monetize their work?

Money in the Bank Dept. (2013/02/22 10:00)
Meet my first, and very tiny, Amazon Kindle royalty check.

Do-Over (And Over, And Over) Dept. (2013/02/18 02:00)
In a conversation with a friend about remakes, said friend noted that there are three things you need to do with a remake: Retell the old story, and not only do it justice but pay proper homage to it. Update...

Epitaph of a Small Winner / The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (Machado De Assis) (2013/02/18 10:00)
A winner. A work so "modern" and bracing it's hard to believe it was penned in 1880.

My TGT Media Interview (2013/02/16 08:32)
Hey, Ma, I'm on the air!

Another Corrupt Brightness Dept. (2013/02/15 10:00)
Let's not fence ourselves in.

Busted Brain Trust Dept. (2013/02/14 10:00)
Why machine recommendations are by, and for, machines.

News Flash: Hollywood Says No A Lot Dept. (2013/02/13 05:00)
Daniel H. Wilson's io9 essay about having his books optioned but not filmed was a wasted opportunity.

It's Your Party And I'll Cry If I Want To Dept. (2013/02/13 01:00)
Why the current pop-culture Geek Movie Paradise orgy leaves me cold (again).

The Stanislavsky Solution Dept. (2013/02/11 01:00)
On loving the art in yourself, not yourself in the art -- and not letting your art do your living for you.

Hara-Kiri (2012) (2013/02/11 10:00)
Takashi Miike's remake of this austere '60s samurai classic is well-made and watchable, but why remake perfection?

A Corrupt Brightness Dept. (2013/02/10 10:00)
The neurotic escapism and spectators' world of masscult.

Ballard's Ballad Dept. (2013/02/08 10:00)
Why J.G. Ballard didn't write just "SF" or "litfic", but stories for and about our age.

Grate [sic] Expectations Dept. (2013/02/07 10:00)
"Half the scores are the reviewers reviewing the game, and half are reviewing their expectations."

Mekanïk Destruktïẁ Kommandöh (Magma) (2013/02/06 01:00)
The greatest moment from one of prog-rock's most maverick acts.

TRON: Legacy (2013/02/04 10:00)
Not great drama or great filmmaking, but it might well be darn good cinema.

Wide Eyed And Legless Dept. (2013/01/31 10:00)
We will always find a new way to be naive, and that's a good thing.

Beats(en) Path Dept. (2013/01/30 04:00)
Is crowdsourcing a substitute for curation?

Last Rights (Skinny Puppy) (2013/01/30 10:00)
How many soundtracks are needed for the end of the world? One ought to suffice.

Shelved Dept. (2013/01/29 10:00)
On the whole alternate universe of unfilmed movies that exists only as scripts in a vault somewhere.

The New Darth Dept. (2013/01/28 04:00)
Why there will be no "this generation's Star Wars", not even from Star Wars itself.

Fan's Mind, Beginner's Mind Dept. (2013/01/27 10:00)
One thing you can't blame fans for doing: they always have their eyes open to possibilities the rest of us shrug off.

Thanks But No Thanks Dept. (2013/01/25 10:00)
J.J. Abrams can have his Star Trek Wars, but include me out.

My Next Big Thing Dept. (2013/01/24 10:00)
On describing my new SF novel "Flight of the Vajra" in ten short questions.

The Land of Rape and Honey (Ministry) (2013/01/23 10:00)
The first full flowering of Ministry's foul ferocity, and possibly its best.

Put Away Childish Things Dept. (2013/01/21 07:00)
Fandom can be expressed in immature ways, but at its core it's far from immature.

Prometheus (2013/01/21 01:00)
Ridley Scott's pre-side-quel to the "Alien" mythos has elements of great insight and wisdom coexisting with utter boneheadedness.

A Bite of the Apple Dept. (2013/01/21 10:00)
I recently picked up an iPad Mini, mostly for the sake of having an iOS device of some variety. It's next to impossible to work in the field I'm in(information technology journalism) without knowing at least something about the Apple...

Oh So Serious Dept. (2013/01/20 10:00)
Let's not take this business of being serious about our art so ... well, seriously.

Speaking Critically Dept. (2013/01/19 08:46)
Sure, it's a "textually enriching experience" or what have you ... but is it any *good*?

Cleanse Fold And Manipulate (Skinny Puppy) (2013/01/16 10:00)
On my first and pivotal encounter with a crucial if terribly-named band.

April Showers Dept. (2013/01/15 11:28)
Criterion: Gate of Hell, Repo Man, and Naked Lunch.

Death Of An Iconoclast Dept. (2013/01/15 09:56)
Nagisa Oshima (most notorious for In the Realm of the Senses) has died at the age of 80. I wonder whether or not someone of his cage-rattling importance will be able to step up to the plate in his absence....

If I Were A Bell (But I'm Not, So Ha Ha) Dept. (2013/01/15 10:00)
It's hard to write what you know when you don't let yourself know things.

Shichinin no Jedi Dept. (2013/01/14 03:44)
Lucas honors Kurosawa yet again, by remaking him.

Spice Of Life Dept. (2013/01/14 11:38)
Yasutaka Tsutsui's Paprika is now out domestically

Creator Knows Best Dept. (2013/01/14 10:00)
If we can't let artists make mistakes with their own work, then they won't be free to make happy discoveries either.

Great Minds Think Unalike Dept. (2013/01/12 02:30)
Why are people valued more for their "consistency" than for their ability to learn and adapt?

Those Magnificent Bastards Dept. (2013/01/11 03:45)
Is a bad guy always a requirement in fiction?

Disqussion Dept. (2013/01/11 12:18)
Disqus 1, Movable Type 0.

J.R.R. Pufnstuf Dept. (2013/01/10 01:50)
On the notion that at its worst the filmed version of a book can become the cultural version of littering.

Oops Upside The Head Dept. (2013/01/09 05:31)
Comment subscriptions should be working again.

Infectious Propaganda Pt. 2 Dept. (2013/01/09 10:00)
Another stab at a "Flight of the Vajra" viral-marketing image. (Revised/corrected)

Infectious Propaganda Dept. (2013/01/08 10:00)
On developing a viral-marketing scheme (or a few of them) for "Flight of the Vajra".

A Mind So Open It Hurts Dept. (2013/01/06 10:00)
"It would be so weird if we knew just as much as we needed to know to answer all the questions of the universe. Wouldn’t that be freaky?"

The Itch That Sticks Out Gets Scratched Down Dept. (2013/01/05 10:00)
Writing what you would most want to read may be the best way to find an audience.

The Dark Knight (2013/01/04 10:00)
For some, The Dark Knight was the moment when the “comic book movie” finally became cinema. For others, it was the moment when the bottom fell out.

Intents And Purposes (The Bill Dixon Orchestra) (2013/01/03 10:00)
This one-of-a-kind jazz composition, originally in incredibly limited release, is now back on CD.

Landing This Flight Dept. (2013/01/01 07:00)
Bringing "Vajra" in for its final approach.

Genji Press

Science fiction, rebooted.

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