All posts for July 2018


Genji Press: Projects: Give It Away Now (July 31, 2018 Edition)

UPDATED 7/31: My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/31 08:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie:

My sorta-kinda space-opera novel Flight Of The Vajra is also available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie. (See other books in the same lot!)

Many other books from other authors are also available in those lots, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, inconsistencies, editing blunders, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.


Tags: Flight of the Vajra  Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 


Clearing My Desk

What comes next for me after I shove my current book off my desk.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/27 17:00

Some progress notes:

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned is now in the final editing cleanup stages. This is the mechanical stuff — spot-fixes, automatic spellchecking, formatting, etc. I've decided to postpone the actual release of the book until the end of August — some stuff going on that month that I don't want getting in the way if I can help it — but we are very close to done here.

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Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  future projects  projects 


Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned: Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 3: The Influences

How everything from 'John Wick' and 'Strange Days' to 'Rurouni Kenshin' fed into my new novel.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/27 08:00
In the weeks leading up to the release of my new novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, 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 installment of this series, I talked about the twenty-something-year path Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned took from concept to completion. 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: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  Behind The Scenes: AONO  creativity  influences  projects  writing 


Welcome to the Fold: Give It Away Now (July 24, 2018 Edition)

My SF novel 'Flight Of The Vajra' and my mystery/thriller 'Welcome To The Fold' are available for a limited time as giveaways!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/24 17:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie. (See other books in the same lot!)

My sorta-kinda space-opera novel Flight Of The Vajra is also available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie. (See other books in the same lot!)

Many other books from other authors are also available in those lots, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.


Tags: Flight of the Vajra  Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 


Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned: Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 2: The Idea

How my new novel 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' took shape when an existing project fell through.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/23 08:00
In the weeks leading up to the release of my new novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, 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 AONO came from a misprediction of what the great secret of The Matrix was all about. But it wasn't for quite some time — almost twenty years — before I actually did anything with the idea.

Read more


Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  Behind The Scenes: AONO  creativity  projects  writing 


No Humans Allowed

Once again: Whatever it is we're designing our world for, it isn't the human being.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/21 08:00

Why bad technology dominates our lives, according to Don Norman

We have unwittingly accepted the paradigm that technology comes first, with people relegated to doing the actions that the machines cannot do. This requires people to act like machines, ever ready to take over when things go wrong.

... Whenever I wander around a city, I often stop to examine some unique thing I’ve noticed. Why? Curiosity: It’s a natural human trait. My curiosity frequently leads me to insights that have helped me in my career. So why is this wonderful, creative trait of curiosity given the negative term “distraction”?

This brings back to mind a line I return to often, one I believe came by way of Theodore Roszak: whatever it is we're designing our world for, it isn't the human being.

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Tags: society  technology 


Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned: Behind The Scenes With 'AONO', Pt. 1: The Origins

How my new novel 'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' began with a failed fan theory about 'The Matrix'.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/19 17:00
In the weeks leading up to the release of my new novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, 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.)

Sometimes I think the best ideas bloom in the most unlikely places, because the more unlikely the origin of the idea, the more fascinated we are with the possibility of making something of it.

When I trace things all the way back, Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned came from a failed fan theory of mine. But failed in a good way.

Read more


Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  Behind The Scenes: AONO  creativity  projects  writing 


Welcome to the Fold: Give It Away Now (July 17, 2018 Edition)

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie!

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/17 17:00

This is my once-every-so-often post about giveaways, freebies, promotions, and other must-haves from Your Friends At Genji Press, which appears for no particular good reason on Tuesday.

My sorta-kinda thriller/mystery novel Welcome To The Fold is available as a free giveaway, for a limited time, by way of Instafreebie.

Many other books from other authors are also available in this lot, so go check 'em out as well. There's a good chance an itch you didn't know you had may well be scratched.

If you snag a copy, a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com is greatly appreciated.

Also bear in mind my TYPO BOUNTY! If you find mechanical mistakes in the text (spelling, grammar, etc.), collate as many as you can find, drop me a line and I'll fix it up, and throw you a goodie for your trouble. Limit one goodie per person per book.


Tags: Genji Press  Welcome to the Fold  giveaways 


The Uncertainty Principle

What did Bertrand Russell mean when he said, "Do not feel absolutely certain of anything"?

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/16 08:00

Bertrand Russell once listed a series of guidelines for intellectual integrity. I'd like to discuss them all at length, but I'll start with the top of the list: Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

This is a view shared by Sir Karl Popper, the godfather of falsifiability. His stance was that any position we take should always be regarded as tentative. But he also made it clear that the further we go, the more work would be required to overturn an existing position. It was far easier to unseat the Ptolemaic or geocentric view of the universe than to unseat the Einsteinian view of the universe, in big part because each unseating builds on the successes and learns from the failures of the prior one. Unseating Einstein would take more effort than I am capable of visualizing, but I'm one man and I'm not even a physicist. The door has to remain open. But not just so that any old thing can walk through.

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Tags: Bertrand Russell  Karl Popper  philosophy  science  skepticism 


Watts Up

On how social-reading network Wattpad is becoming a hub for discovering the next big thing.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/15 08:00

Social-reading network Wattpad is becoming a hub for discovering the next big thing:

How Wattpad Is Rewriting the Rules of Hollywood

“This is a whole bunch of information the industry never had before,” Levitz tells Vulture. “We can go to the audience in a story and see not only if they like or dislike the lead male character. We can read the comments that actually say, ‘Yeah, this is where half the audience decides they like him and half the audience decides they hate him.’ We can look at whole chapters that don’t have any comments and drop the right pieces out. We can draw up two casting videos of two potential female leads. And through our social feeds, go, ‘What do you think?’ And we’re gonna get tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of comments that are gonna point us in one direction or another.”

First off, full disclosure: I'm flirting with the idea of using Wattpad for a future story or two, just to see what the experience is like.

That said: What strikes me most about getting feedback like this is how it's more useful for the marketers than it is for the authors or the audience. 

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Tags: creativity  creators  publishing  writers  writing 


Court And Spark

It's the fate of most any creator to never know what their work means to other people, but only to themselves.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/11 17:00

I think it's the fate of most any creator to never know what their work means to other people, but only to themselves.

I'm not the biggest fan of my own work. I find countless problems with it — it's too contrived here, it's too needlessly complex there, it's too removed from human behavior, etc. I have to stop myself from polishing it to death, and then I still find things wrong with it long after the fact. Whatever it is I'm aiming at, it always seems to be left of where I end up hitting. It always feels like there's too much of the story between me and whatever it is I'm trying to express. And so on.

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Tags: creativity  writers  writing 


Psycho Fandom, Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Steve has some notes on pathological fandom that are worth a read. A few things stood out.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/10 17:00

Steve has some notes on pathological fandom that are worth a read. A few things stood out:

Even if your interest provides a number of benefits, even if it connects you to people, those connections may not be healthy or involve too much pathology. In some cases you may be better of without the community.

It’s not just “does my interest connect me to people” it’s “does it connect me with healthy people and communities?”

I think the bigger problem is that most people have no idea what constitutes a pathological community connection, or a pathological community for that matter.

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Tags: fandom  psychology 


Warning! Progress!

Future Genji Press plans, laid bare! (Oh, and free stuff!)

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/08 08:00

What with Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned finally (FINALLY, FINALLY) reaching completion and getting ready for publication in the coming month or two, it's high time I dropped some hints about what other changes are in store for Chez Genji.

  1. AONO itself. That part you saw coming. But when it drops, I'll be offering some opportunities to pick up a copy of the book either at a steep discount or totally free.
  2. Once a month, going forward, I'll be offering limited-time discounts on a book selected from the catalog by way of a highly sophisticated stochastic algorithm known as "Pot Luck". The time window on these is likely to be very short — a day or two at most! — so move fast.
  3. I'm also going to be partnering with a number of outfits like InstaFreebie to provide giveaways as a way to further drum up interest and readership. I haven't done much, if any, work in this vein, and so it's high time I tried it out and see where it leads. Look for the tag giveaways to highlight such things.

Finally, I have two, possibly three, works on the front burner contending for being written next. I'd like to keep the timeframe on their production reasonably short. The last few books took far too long, and there were several reasons for that: Vajra was just a monster of a book; Welcome To The Fold was being written around the same time I was relocating cross-country; and AONO also ended up being long-ish (although not Vajra long) and written atop some things going on in my life that I'd rather not go on about in public. The next ones are intended to be shorter, more in the 120-150K word range, and written on a schedule to match.

Ideally, I'd like to go to a one-book-a-year schedule, which was the design I set for myself when I founded Genji Press some twelve years ago (jeezy creezy, has it really been that long?!). I don't know if I can actually live up to that kind of self-imposed rigor, but I can sure try.


Tags: Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned  Genji Press  future projects  giveaways 


How To Tell Me Something I Want To Hear (So I Can Just Ignore It And Move On)

On not caring what other people think of your work, while at the same time caring about your work.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/05 17:00

Don't lie to yourself. Every author out there wants to be told — yes, you included — that they are brilliant, that they have created something truly original and memorable and fun and significant and decorated with every other adjective that writers siphon blood out of themselves to hear at least once in their lives.

I'm still like this myself, and I know it. What's different at this point is that I've taught myself to be conscious of it, and to realize how little other peoples' opinions actually mean. But not in the sense that I came to know such an idea.

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Tags: advice  creativity  creators 


It's X Meets Y, But With Z!

"There is no reading experience in an idea, only in its execution."

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/03 17:00

This essay, entitled "The problem with asking around 'Is my story idea any good?'", is a good, succinct treatment of a common problem.

It doesn’t matter if your story idea is good or bad. An idea is just a spark of motivation to start writing. ... There is no reading experience in an idea, only in its execution.

Emphasis mine. My theory as to why writers demand a pre-emptive answer for whether or not a given idea is any "good" is because they're trying to avoid a sunk-cost situation. They don't want to invest a year of their time in something that's a known dud.

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Tags: creativity  creators  ideas 


Reality Knocks

And loud.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/03 08:00

I think about this quote a lot these days.

How many happy, satisfied people there are, after all, I said to myself. What an overwhelming force! Just consider this life—the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and bestiality of the weak, all around intolerable poverty, cramped dwellings, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying ... and yet peace and order apparently prevail in all those homes and in the streets. Of the fifty thousand inhabitants of a town, not one will be found to cry out, to proclaim his indignation aloud. We see those who go to the market to buy food, who eat in the daytime and sleep at night, who prattle away, marry, grow old, carry their dead to the cemeteries. But we neither hear nor see those who suffer, and the terrible things in life are played out behind the scenes. All is calm and quiet, and statistics, which are dumb, protest: so many have gone mad, so many barrels of drink have been consumed, so many children died of malnutrition ... and apparently this is as it should be. Apparently those who are happy can only enjoy themselves because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and but for this silence happiness would be impossible. It is a kind of universal hypnosis. There ought to be a man with a hammer behind the door of every happy man, to remind him by his constant knocks that there are unhappy people, and that happy as he himself may be, life will sooner or later show him its claws, catastrophe will overtake him—sickness, poverty, loss—and nobody will see it, just as he now neither sees nor hears the misfortunes of others. But there is no man with a hammer, the happy man goes on living and the petty vicissitudes of life touch him lightly, like the wind in an aspen-tree, and all is well.

— Anton Chekhov

There's no man with a hammer. We don't need one. Reality itself is tearing the door off its hinges. And yet in the face of that some would insist there was never a door there to begin with, or that it wasn't really a knock.


Tags: Anton Chekhov  these troubled times 


Be Ye Not As Jerks

There is no guarantee of victory; there isn't even a guarantee of continuation. But you miss all the shots you don't take.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/02 08:00

The other day I read a profoundly despairing blog comment. The author wrote (and I paraphrase here, but I feel this is accurate) that he was not trying to fight against all the terrible things happening around him out of any certainty that things would get better, but only because he wanted to feel he had at least tried to say no to things getting worse. It was, as I put it to myself at the time in a borrowing of one of Harlan Ellison's lines, acceptance on the lowest possible level.

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Tags: these troubled times 


Farcebook

Notes on a single point of failure.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2018/07/01 08:00

The folks at Talking Points Memo have been examining for some time now how Facebook enticed the news business into building dependencies on them, and how that turned out to be every bit the trap you would expect it to be. (Best summary: "How Facebook Punked and then Gut Punched the News Biz".)

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Tags: Facebook  social media 


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