Saturday, May 28, 2016

Published on Omni

The link went dead some time ago, but thanks to the people over at Omni Reboot, here is the new link to RAW, RoboAnthroWar. It's a short story that started as a small visual on the D-train subway. It grew from there. In many ways, Labyrinth of Souls owes its existence to this short, as I had not thought of doing anything on artificial intelligence up until that point. So enjoy it and share it, please. You can come back with comments.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

On Writing and The Endless Cycle

Yep. All this must be turned into text. The digital kind
So I'm going to whine a little about my first world problems. I know some of you want to know when the next book is coming out (even if it's a collection of short stories which it most likely will end up being), to say nothing of the series I must finish. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Terry Eagleton and the Problem with Fiction

I enjoy reading Terry Eagleton. To paraphrase an Amazon reviewer: "he writes with a slight condescending tone. Good people." His book, How to Read Literature, is another solid piece of work. In it he speaks of literary theorists.

Apparently, some of those deep into literary theory would say that made up characters and made up worlds are all there, all exist. I know, I know, this sounds like some overly theoretical idealism. Bear with me a moment. Now how they exist is another thing, but it reminds me of my friends precocious children whom I babysat one day. 

They asked me what I did and I said writing. Fiction? Yes. They scrunched up their noses and I felt proud that they had come out as close replicas of their technocratic parents, even if I was saddened by their disparaging voices.

"Why write what's not real?" they asked. A sentence to the exact word and tenor that I'd heard their parents use before. Interesting to see that replication; though to see what becomes of it in the teen years would provide a satisfactory schadenfreude. 

But for some reason, then and there, I felt a need to stand up for my flimsy trade and donning my writer's cap I told them that it was never about what was unreal. And suddenly, like some archangel I spouted out a theory that, until then, I had never believed. 

I first explained that the world itself was finite and human minds more so (in terms of range of actions and thoughts) and even if the reactions possible between a finite brain and finite world. Nothing in their range was unreal. Everything was real.

Having struck them dumb founded with these words, I then proceeded to tell them that whatever we didn't understand in this world, upon this is what fiction would be able to shine the first weak rays of light. 

I'm not sure what else I said. Most of it was in defense of from their barrage of questions. I'm not even sure if I had been using drugs that night. I told them that those fantastical worlds and witches all existed. They only had to find them.

Their parents would call me later that year, astounded at the children's growing capacity to read and fathom the world at hand and how they were busy building new ones. 

I babysat again a few months later. They were fast becoming young adults and when they wanted to show me the world they had created, I had to fight an impulse to tell them not to follow in my tracks and become something else, something more concrete.

But you know kids at that age. They wouldn't listen and dragged me to their room to show the new world. I opened their closet expecting to see a diorama or something of the like, but instead there glowed a portal to a living breathing world of little creatures going about their business of making a city. I leaned in to make sure it wasn't ants or something. No, it was an entire civilization.

I ran. 

Something about that house always creeped me out. I called their parents telling them I couldn't fulfill my babysitting duties. They told me not to get freaked out about the closet—somehow they knew—it was only kids being kids. But I wouldn't have any of it. I never returned. It's a horrible thing to see a theory of the world come to life. I'm still running.

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More Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence

La Sagrada Familia. The Outside
A recent article on the great novels out there and the fractal aspect to their writing, got me thinking about how computers were used to make this observation.
La Sagrada Familia, the inside

This got me thinking about Gaudi, and his masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, and how computers have helped to confirm the structural validity of the shapes his mind came up with. So now the church can be completed. An amazing thought to think of a person so far ahead of his/her times. It's more amazing if one decides to think on the fact that these computers, now analyzing, could possibly come up with something beyond the comprehension of human minds. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Writer's Notes Over at The Mantle

Hope the day is treating you well. Just so you're aware, I have a few writer's notes for my latest novel, Labyrinth of Souls. In it I discuss the many things that went into the creation of that particular book. Go over there and check it out. Check out their website too, it's pretty cool and thoughtful. 

Other than that, I've mainly been working on audiobooks, so I'll update you when each one comes out. Run, the short story is out on Audible. It's less than 10 minutes long, but it's more than worth it. It's also available (as are more of my audiobooks) here on iTunes. If you can't afford it, please email me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

On Text as a Singular Phenomenon

I've talked a lot about art and life, as well as the great author Algo and the initial foray into fractal writing. I've also talked about about how Algo is now following another author who seems to be creatively superior. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

On Activism and Art

 Receiving a text these days, one denoting a friend's emergency, seems like more of an act than when one receives a voice-call. It could be tied to the fact that when we receive such texts [1], we are on the defensive, ghosts of Nigerian princes past and what have you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Gear for You

 I'll be adding more soon enough, here for your amusement (and possibly others) are a few items with Ministry of Bombs cover on it. A Tote Bag, an iPhone case and a Sticker to place wherever you legally please. As requested by some, and I hope the rest of you will like it. Let me know what you think.

Algo and Text as a One Time Affair

I have already talked about Algo many times before. From his fractal stories to more recent work, he has been on the cutting edge of text. This doesn't mean that he's not subject to the same failings that all who spend time crafting ideas, or approximations of ideas on text. Nor is he immune from the crisis of confidence in our medium.

Monday, May 16, 2016

One Essay to Rule Them All

Lithub has a good article on the future of the essay. It's good enough to read, [1] though I suppose that sometimes the literary world (as presented by the main players) seems more and more a distant one from anything I know. Sometimes I have to wonder if indeed all those work shops I went to were too indicative of this world and its attitudes and affectations. As far as the article is concerned, there seems to be a complete disregard or ignorance for Borges and the pseudo essay. I'm really not sure why this is. But I dare say that a lot of it has to do with the isolation of a subsection of the literary world (or that which defines itself as such).

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Myths, They are All Around. The Lamentations of the Dumped

We all need myths to sustain us. Even the seculars or the atheists or the ones who look into the future (futurologists?). Of course, some myths are older than others, are more traditional, but that's matter of type than anything substantial.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Audiobooks a Plenty

I never thought that I would be big into audiobooks. But here I am, years after thinking that audiobooks are for those who don't like reading, listening to them. I enjoy listening to them in the car, and whenever it's not possible to read a book. One can knock much off their reading list if they allow for this to fill their slower moments (in a car etc) which can't be used for reading. That being said, books that are too complex or deep don't seem to transfer well to this medium. It's better to have a simple book that's easy to understand. Or, barring that, a classic, like the Iliad, that will be perfect for listening.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Something to Read over at the Mantle

 I'm going to quickly point you over towards The Mantle. They just published a short piece I wrote about the writing process behind Labyrinth of Souls. It's not complete. No such analysis ever could be, but it provides some insight into my thoughts on the matter. Take a look at it and tell me what you think.

Good writing, huh? Share it via email, facebook, twitter, or one of the buttons below (or through some other method you prefer). Thank you! As always, here's the tip jar. Throw some change in there and help cover the costs of running this damn thing

Friday, May 6, 2016

Only the Good Die Young

I was once told that middle age wasn't for the faint of heart. That once your youth had been stripped away, then you were left, much like that apocryphal emperor, naked, with only a handful of wrinkles, creaking joints and the power of your accumulations. [1]

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Why I Write: Run

Edit: Apparently it's not free everywhere. Read it here, or online here or even here. Sorry about that! Also, you can buy the audiobook here.

I just listened to "Run", a short story of mine, in the form of a mighty fine audiobook narrated by Dustin Davis. I hadn't read the story in ages because revisiting my earlier work, even one as critically acclaimed as this one, makes for some gut-wrenching moments. I'm not sure why that is; though if I were pressed, I suppose I would say that it's a matter of seeing the perfect vision from your mind's eye desecrated by text (and back into your ear, in this case). In other words, a failure as a writer.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Visit to the City

I recently visited a fellow writer friend of mine, King, in NYC. Now King was a little bit of an odd one. I had always known him as an artist who wanted the powerful to smell the blood on their hands at every moment of their luxurious lives. Not, mind you, that he was so naive as to think they didn't know it—he called them sociopaths on more than one occasion; he simply wanted them to be aware of it. Of course, he hadn't any success on that front. He may have hated them but he also wanted their oligarchic graces, or love (or money). And yet no matter how smart he was, he wasn't aware of this dichotomous aspect of his existence.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Cindy Sherman Effect

Now at an echoing Cindy Sherman exhibit where she takes photos of herself dressed as different people doing different things. Funny how the mind of an artist can stretch one's own mind. I say this because the show reminds me of a friend of mine who was an artist of sorts.