Blog posts in Genji Press: Projects for April 2013:

Flight of the Vajra: The Gap In Our Selves Dept.

SF has hit its limit because we have hit ours.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2013/04/30 10:00

The Great Science Fiction Gap? | Fan To Pro

... most science fiction these days bores me. It all looks the same, I’m tired of Stargates, would-be-treks, and other work that just seems to rearrange the pieces we’re used to. There’s nothing, in my mind, that I’ve seen to inspire people to make something new. If there is something “beyond” the rehashes we’ve seen, it often seems to be hard to relate too or way too far out, strange cyberpunk and transhumanism. Perhaps useful in some cases, but in a scale of decades or centuries, not right now, when it seems we’re terribly out of ideas. Also we need something to bridge any gaps into a future of, I dunno, immortality in cyberspace and the like.

I came up with two responses to this -- one somewhat self-indulgent and the other more outward-directed. The first one is a naked sales pitch: most science fiction these days bores me too, which is why I wrote Flight of the Vajra. Let's see if my own attempts to cure my boredom work for anyone else as well. (I also had to wrestle in the book with the same problems of, e.g., having things too far-out for a reader to connect with emotionally. I think I told a friend at one point, "If you haven't cried by the end of this book, then I haven't done my job.")

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Tags: Flight of the Vajra culture fandom fantasy science fiction sociology

Flight of the Vajra: Two Worlds And In Between Dept.

On using SF as an examination of the clashes of spiritual opposites.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2013/04/11 10:00

Class Notes: “struggle without telos” | The Mockingbird Sings

I have often been told by believers that they cannot imagine a motive for any of these things [to strive for excellence, create beauty, foster love, diligently build (rebuild) the ideal of civilization] without the certainty of God and eternal life. Yet, for me, this very lack of certainty is why these things are of vital importance.

I found a dichotomy of equal difficulty being recapitulated as I wrote Flight of the VajraIn that story there are two major factions of humanity: the Highend, who have embraced the transcendental possibilities of technological progress to varying degrees; and the Old Way, who feel the only real transcendence is something that comes from within, and cannot be proxied or prosthesized. You could become immortal by backing up and serially restoring your intelligence across multiple bodies, but why bother if you were doing that for the sake of living a life that was fundamentally empty and uncreative to begin with? (One insight I had is that those who can do something like that eventually choose more and more to do nothing but that, and soon everything except protecting one's own skin becomes secondary and eventually falls off the map altogether.)

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Tags: Flight of the Vajra Science Fiction Repair Shop atheism belief philosophy religion science writing

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