Saturday, January 24, 2015

Science and Art

A few years ago I thought of something about randomizing certain parts of art and seeing if something beautiful could come up. In other words, one could randomize (with a die or, a smarter way would be with a algorithm) aspects of a painting. A simple one would start at a point and go in 8 directions from a point (using the center of a circle and assigning numbers to each direction and off you go!—you can see it clearly here except that this isn't random but pi being mapped out). One could also randomize the colors or, even, the length or the width of the line (in the previous link, it's easy to see why it's preferable to see a specific color for a specific direction. For pi, it allows us to look for a pattern a little more easily—and see there is none). Thus allowing one to create a great amount of art. At random, of course.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

An Amazing Video Game

I’ll be the first to admit that my video gaming skills are far below the average (as it were, it would seem that I should be one of those who would watch rather than play the damn sport/job) with my hand-eye coordination and speed below most people twice my age. Perhaps I need to stick to downing some vitamin B tablets, or perhaps I should stick to board games such as go and shogi. But I have a knack for running away from where most evidence points.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Why I write part x

A cold and slushy day out there. Just had some coffee to warm me up, and now I'm looking to tackle another day full speed. The mass demonstrations in France seem to have inspired the world. The acts of violence carried out there have been horrific. More horrific, of course, is the lack of insight, or willingness to look at history for an explanation. Instead what we get is: there is no excuse (read: explanation, because apparently many are still infants unwilling to even look at explanations? Or are scared of them, or of adding context? Since when has this atomized view or perception of the world been the standard? I think I missed something, so please do add something in the comments if I am) or there is no time to think this through. This is simply wrong. That it is wrong is obvious to most. That it is a mere grain of sand on a beach of black and white sand is also the point. To not be willing to step back seems to be the what those who want a singular action want. In other words, it's an manipulation of the international psyche.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why I write: When Gods Fail

Spoiler Alert

This was going to be a post on why I write, (perhaps with an extension to why it was that anyone writes) but as I thought about what it was I write, and I thought about what it was about the reaction to what I write (negative, usually; though we have a tendency to remember the negative) and I decided that, instead of writing about the muse and the process, I should think carefully on why I wrote the specific books that I wrote and what my intentions were. For some reason when a reader calls out my intention as horrendous or as indicative of a flaw in my personality, I feel like I should respond. Not directly. But I should make a stand.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Why I write: 4 Things to consider for the Ministry of Bombs

With everything I write, I write to evoke thought in the reader, to change their angle on the world, to change their accepted truths (whether I achieve this, remains to be seen). Now, I understand that most writers would frown upon this, that they would even say that fiction is not to be used as such, and when it is, it’s weaker for it. So be it. I disagree. And the fact that many who say this write the kind of fiction that does not speak to me only goes to further my beliefs. Furthermore, I’m also crossing another line I’m not supposed to: I’m reacting to reviews (on my book) that I’ve read and that seem to miss the main point of what I’ve written (I know, I know, the writing is less important than the reading, and once it's been written, it's out of the author's hands...).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

On the origins of Computer Codes as Literature

It's rare in life that one admits, to the public, and even less often, to oneself, that they were wrong. And not wrong as a matter of oversight or luck, but because of ignorance. Last week I mentioned, in a review, the writings of Algo. An author who has managed to include in his writings computer-code-like writing, as well as computer codes themselves. I won’t deny that I thought these algorithms to be somewhat overdone. And I didn’t even take a moment to try them out. They were mixed, of course, and the code notes accompanying them were enough to allow even a marginal computer literary person the ability to understand them (I should go even further to point out that Algo came up with pseudo code whereby he had prose that represented something like code that ‘called’ other tidbits of ‘prose’ from a library; this is not what I’m referring to, as that was fine). But I didn’t take it a step further and carry out the code the way it was intended. In other words, I wallowed in my ignorance and didn’t think twice on it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Best books of 2014

Now, as some of you might know, last year I started my best books read in the year 2013. Now I'll try to add best books read in 2014 to start a tradition of sorts. As all people know, this doesn't mean that the book was published this year. Merely that it was something I read this year and enjoyed this year. I'm of the opinion that books—the good ones especially—more than any other story-telling form, tend to be more timeless (and can reach across epochs to speak to us). Thus my stance against the idea that books should only be considered from one year. A very odd sentiment indeed [1]. So without further ado, I present the best books I've read this year:

Monday, December 1, 2014

The best fractal story for winter

Winter is here. The leaves, having long given up their mobility, now decay in the gutter, smashed together into an ugly pulp—probably hinting at something about ourselves—those pumpkin spice lattes are tasting a little less delicious, and the cold weather is always something of a shock. The early nights, exacerbated by that horrid invention of Franklin’s, only further push the idea that an end of some kind is near. What to do then? Well, I find solace within books.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A few things as we move through to the end of the year

Hello all my readers. Again there has been silence on my part, and again I can only say that the next book is still being worked upon and will be out as soon as possible. If you are subscribed to the email, you will have received a snippet, not of the book, but of a short story that inspired it. The idea I'm wrestling with is more complicated than previous ones because it doesn't only include the worldviews of humans (previously I've written from the point of different people around the world). Sci-fi, certainly, but that I think will be very relevant, if reality doesn't take over. Rest assured, nonetheless, that a book will be out soon (and if you want something to read until then, I recommend that you sign up for the newsletter and get some more works that won't be available elsewhere). 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

[OM] One favorite book

 First, for all those who haven't yet read it: For the next week I'm offering 5$ off The Struggle Trilogy paperback. Just use this code: XQN5EAFM at this site.
The point is to shed more light into the situation in Iraq. Sure, the book is about the civil war a few years ago, but that time and the reactions to it were all very relevant to today. So take advantage, it ends after Veterans Day

On to other matters:
Funny that I've never been asked this question, never really thought about it until a few days ago: what is your favorite book (fiction)? (well, it was asked in a different form) No top ten, not even a top five. Simply what one book means the most to you? There are a myriad of ways to tackle this question, especially for those of us who will need to whittle down the list from a handful of books, all very different, to one.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Why I read Fiction by Tom Bensley


Welcome all readers. Thanks for the patience as I write another novel. But, as I promised, I wanted to dive into the subject of why one should read fiction. As a writer, I continuously hear things like: why write fiction? Or I don't read, no time for that. Or that it is a dead form of the narrative. To tackle this, I invited everyone to put in their two cents about what it is that makes reading fiction worthwhile. To be fair, I meant something other than just reading it for entertainment, though perhaps that's a matter of my own prejudices. 

But I've decided to invite a person who can answer this question with much more insight than I could ever provide it. So without further ado, I present to you Tom Bensley on why he reads fiction (also to read more of the fascinating pieces check his mag out: http://www.blairemagazine.com/_:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Another Question: Violence on TV

Of course, I'm not talking about the fake kind. That seems to have won the day. Rather, I'm talking about the real kind. News worthy kind, mainly. With ISIS in the news, using violence as a means to reach people, and news outlets making cases for not showing much of this, one has to wonder if this censorship (that's what it is, whether or not it has a higher purpose) is right.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fiction, what does it mean to you?

So I wanted to take a break and ask people what they thought the value of fiction was (if any) and what it can do to improve a person's life. I'm asking because I wonder if people who write, or read, get the same reactions I do, such as why do I write fiction (being of a technocratic family, I hear this a lot). Or the general view in the at large world that fiction is make believe so why read it? Why bother? Better off reading about the world. No full on answers from me for now (that will be later). I will say that this can be looked in many ways, and none would be entirely wrong.

Friday, September 26, 2014

And so it goes (again)

For anyone who doesn't know. And so it goes is a line used to much effect in Vonnegut's book, Slaughterhouse Five. A book that everyone should read at least once. It's short and to the point, though a little on the depressing side. But, IMHO, all good books are a little depressing. For my readers, I just sent out a short story via email. If you didn't receive it, just email me (nlowhim [at] gmail [dot] com) and I'll send one out to you. Better if you sign up (to the left) to make sure you don't miss out on future stories (which won't be available elsewhere).

As far as my future books, one will be done soon, but it will be editing that shall take even longer. And for the end of the When Gods Fail series, which will be at least several months away (end of the year is still tentative, I'm afraid), is also in the initial phase of being written.

Now, for thoughts on current events (and the "And so it goes" sentiment)