The Audiobook Moment

xpanding for the past few years, to the point where major authors from Gladwell to Sanderson are releasing some of their new pieces first as audiobooks, and only later sending them to print (if they send them to print at all).  The way people are talking, this is a new thing, the next big thing to accompany the podcast moment.

Missing Books

None of those advantages have changed, but I've recently reached a position where the possibility of having bookshelves again is more viable, and I've been thinking about what kinds of books would be on those shelves. Mostly, my physical book collection consists of nonfiction tomes, and books from my childhood. Contemplating this, I've been thinking how nice it would be to have some of the books that I've read on Kindle, the ones I've really enjoyed or reference/re-read very frequently, as "real" books. Yet buying duplicate books seems terribly inefficient.

Dragon’s Egg Review

I like to consider myself open-minded, and I have long argued for the inadequacy of our definition of life and the limiting ways in which we conduct our search for extraterrestrial beings, but even I would not have considered the possibility of life existing on a neutron star.  Sometimes, I think the more we know about a thing, the more limited our view of it becomes.  It’s not that I had dismissed the possibility of life existing on the surface of a neutron star, but that I had never even considered it.  Fortunately, Dragon’s Egg corrected that unfortunate deficit.

Origins of Imagination

the neurological ones.  We sometimes seem to forget that our brains are as much a product of evolution as the rest of our bodies, as if somehow the brain was derived from a different process than produced that enlarged cranium that contains it.  Plus, it’s one thing to understand the history of the amygdala or the hippocampus, and something else entirely to understand the evolutionary underpinnings of something more nebulous, like imagination.

Thoughts on Losing the War

Perhaps I could have made this into a “book review” – the essay is certainly lengthy enough to justify it – but I rarely have trouble keeping up with book reviews, while writing Tuesday’s blog posts can be more of a challenge.  More pertinently, I don’t so much want to review Losing the War for you, as I do want to share my thoughts on this peculiar, rambling essay.  It was something my dad first found and shared with me several years ago, and it somehow came up in recent conversation, so I decided to revisit it.  If you haven’t read it before, you can find it here: Losing the War.

Intergalactic Update 2021

established a social media presence.  Granted, that’s only through GoodReads, for the moment, but it’s a (painful) start.  If you’re tired of reading my book reviews here on the site, you can also find them posted on GoodReads, along with a list of books I’m intending to read, and a progress bar for books I’m currently reading.

New Section Transition

By now, you may have seen our post announcing that IGC Publishing will no longer be hosting advertisements, or at least noticed that advertisements are no longer appearing on the site. That for the most part doesn't affect the site's formatting, but it did mean that I needed to develop a different way to indicate a section or chapter break in our stories, since I had originally intended to use the advertisements like commercial breaks. So I broke out my limited graphic design skills, and attempted to create something suitable.

No More Ads

've gone through multiple thought iterations with regards to running advertisements on the site. Initially, I intended to set up a system where you could pay to download copies of my stories from the site. Then, I had the thought of setting it up so that advertisements interspersed in the stories could act like commercial breaks. I had all kinds of philosophical arguments against such an approach, since I would rather sell stories than personal data, but there were practical reasons that made that the course I chose for more than a year now.

Trail to Keyboard

This is my main solution when I'm struggling with a story and not sure where it's going to go next or what to write for a new scene. Usually, by the time that I return from a ten mile run, I've not only determined how I will solve whatever problem I was originally struggling with; I've also determined what will fill the several chapters or sequences, and it's often better than what I would have come up with just by sitting down at the keyboard and stewing over the text. Nor is this necessarily restricted to stories and writing, as I've used the same technique to help me develop solutions to all kinds of problems and stresses and challenges in my life: intellectual, personal, and practical. But that's beyond the scope of this post.

Complain, Complain, Complain

Don't worry: despite the title, this is not going to be a post of me complaining about something, or at least that's not how I would construe it (but then I wouldn't, would I?). Instead, I would like to begin with an observation, that observation being that humans are fundamentally lazy. Or, for those who prefer a positive spin to things (so many possible particle physics jokes there), humans are fundamentally efficient. Like nature, we are generally inclined to take the short term path of least resistance.