On keeping the edit wheels turning on "Fall Of The Hammer".By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/29 08:00
So is this the fourth draft of The Fall Of The Hammer that I'm working on now, or the fifth? Do you blame me from being in a murk about something like that, when it feels as if the whole world is melting into puddles under our feet? But hey, at least the edit wheels keep turning. And I tried out an editing trick that proved to be quite the winner.
"If infinity is too big for you, live in the day."By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/28 17:00
"A person has to participate," Studs Terkel liked to say. That's how I feel. Meditating on futility - that's no way to live. One of the most useful pieces of advice ever given me, at a time when I despaired, was: Act as if. Act as if you make a difference. If infinity is too big for you, live in the day. Shakespeare as usual expressed this better than anyone else, and it took him six words: To be, or not to be. That wasn't simply an expression of the Existentialist choice between choosing to live or die. It was the choice to act, or not to act. To participate.
— Roger Ebert
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.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/26 13:00
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. You don't need me to run down all the terrible details about NYC's hospital crunch; you most likely already know everything you need to know about it, and me gassing off about it won't help.
It's not because I'm trying to be insensitive or studiedly ignorant. By all means — wash your hands, keep your distances, don't hoard, flatten the curve, hope for the best and brace for the worst! It's because if there's any real way I can help, it's most likely going to be by offering only the things I know I have to offer, not echoes of things everyone else is offering.
The point isn't to try and pretend everything is normal, because no, everything is not normal and has not been for quite some time now. It's to provide some sense of stability. I don't believe for a moment my life is going to look anything like what it did before, but I plan to build whatever bridge I can for myself and others between what was and what now is.
Tags: these troubled times
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.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/23 13:00
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. All (except for one obvious selection) are available on the Internet Archive as free-to-borrow items. Note that some titles may have multiple copies available if one is already checked out.
"Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned" is FREE on Kindle this week only. It's "Strange Days meets GoodFellas". I think you'll like it.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/23 09:00
It's "Strange Days meets GoodFellas". I think you'll like it.
On those who believe in incremental solutions -- progressive and conservative alike -- and those who believe in burning the whole house down and starting over.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/21 17:00
Many of the things I've been jotting down lately start with some formulation along the lines of, If the last four years have taught us anything, it's ____. One common fill-in-the-blank for that particular Mad Lib goes something like, "the left/right split in politics is meaningless now." By this I don't mean bothsiderism ("the GOP and Democrats are the same"), but that any coherent analysis of our politics needs to come from looking at the difference between those who believe in incremental solutions — progressive and conservative alike — and those who believe in burning the whole house down and starting over.
SF and fantasy both have shelf lives, but drastically different kinds.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/20 08:00
Other, better, smarter people than I are writing about the impact COVID-19 will have on economies, lifestyles, most everything really. Here, I'm going to jot down a few notes coalesced from some things I've been thinking about science fiction and fantasy — the former more than the latter.
My original thought went like this: SF has a shelf life that fantasy generally does not. But then I revised it to this: SF and fantasy both have shelf lives, but drastically different kinds, something exposed by paradigm-shifting events.
Okay, maybe I do have a few pointers that might be useful.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/19 13:00
Last post I wrote that I felt any advice I'd have to pass on wouldn't work well, because of how long it took to really adjust. But in retrospect that sounded defeatist; I might as well pass on what I do know. Here's a few things.
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.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/18 13:00
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.
A third letter to a dead friend.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/16 08:00
I didn't mean to write you again so soon, but here we are.
Tags: these troubled times
Just a quick note about what's new in Chez Genji (writing, programming projects, etc.)By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/07 17:00
Just a quick note about what's new in Chez Genji.
So why don't I in fact like endpaper maps and genealogies and all the rest?By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/03 13:00
A short follow-up to my last post. Someone asked, why don't you like endpaper maps, genealogies, etc.? I realize now the answer I gave last time wasn't very thorough, so here goes.
Why I try not to write any story that needs a map in the endpapers or a genealogy.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/03 08:00
Advice is easy to give and hard to apply, especially writing advice. Much of it is just ways of saying "I wouldn't do that," meaning that they are mainly a matter of taste about one's own work. But I never felt such advice was objective anyway; as long as you can see it as coming from someone's specific experience, and see how it might apply to your own, it's worth hearing. Just not always worth taking.
Using Python to build, well, everything.By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/03/02 08:00
At this point I have (counts on fingers) five major software projects I've written for my own edification or for others: the software that powers this blog, the Folio wiki project, two video games, and a toy programming language. All are written chiefly in Python, sometimes with a little C. That mix is likely to get me 99% of the way to where I need to be with 99% of the projects I'd take on, but I'm always ready to discover I'm wrong.
Science fiction, rebooted.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind