Pandemic lockdown bright sides? No.

So has my Muse fled the scene forever, or is she merely suffering pandemic burnout?

Psychologists are reporting a rise in “pandemic burnout” as many people find the current phase of lockdowns harder, with an increasing number feeling worn out and unable to cope.

The Guardian

So here I’ve parked, this past year, largely confined to home with computers and ideas for books on all sides, shielded from such distractions as a social life. Liberally supplied with food, water, tea … Read more

Global panacea: Shift into virtual realities?

As predicted, the worlds described in MOM and Genesis 2.0 lie just down the road. I wrote this “science fiction” in full knowledge it might soon be better described as history. And I was right. Consider the exponential advances of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and nanotech; see what transformations they have already wrought. 

Read the MAGIC CIRCLES novels for a preview of how the human condition might soon be further shaped, for example, by a global pandemic — one far … Read more

Dopamine addiction: The haikus

Enough with the novels, already. Time to spin some haikus, eh?

I admit it: the internet is eating my mind. And here are some related haikus, straight from the poet, by God.

Self-portrait: Tenuously me

Spring day darkening:

the locust digital swarm

eats my absent mind.

Read on for the essential lowdown on dopamine addiction.

Dipping for Dopamine

Delivery vehicles,

Every damn Like

A dopamine fix. 

Proto-cyborg Lament

The battery defunct,

My 5G iPhone is dead.

I am diminished. 

OxymoronRead more

101 ways social isolation is good for you

#1 Recover the pleasure of sinking into a long novel.  

I’ve started serializing Kicking Dogs on this site (the next chapter appears next Tuesday). This novel is just 242 pages long. Hardly more than a brochure and, ideally, it’ll leave you wishing there was more of it. 

MOM and Genesis 2.0 are longer. Much longer. But ideally, again, they’ll leave you wishing there was more. (In fact more of the Magic Circles series of novels is on … Read more

Pandemic books, pandemic reviews

Barbara Smaller, https://lithub.com/six-cartoonists-on-critical-failure-one-panel-at-a-time/

I’m posting a new Kicking Dogs chapter every Tuesday, and an independent item every Thursday.

Let’s kick off this week’s SIDECAR post with a seven-year-old item from Jack Shackaway, my collaborator and, incidentally, the hero of my novel Kicking Dogs.

Selling novels: What it takes
I’m probably over-reacting, but it’s already getting harder these days to take pride in thinking of yourself as a writer, since so can anybody with the price of a computer and

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KICKING DOGS ~ PROLOGUE

The Prologue to Kicking Dogs, a novel, appeared first in the Bangkok Post Sunday supplement in the early 1990s, and again over the years in at least two regional publications.
It was once shortlisted by The Paris Review for an annual humor competition, and they asked to see more stories from me. With my usual self-promotional genius, I never got around to submitting other stuff.
Next life.

Current edition (ebook & print on demand).
Cover by Colin Cotterill

Kicking DogsRead more

HEAR YE, HEAR YE

Drawing by John Tenniel

Announcing the upcoming serialization of Kicking Dogs on this very site.

The name is Jack Shackaway, and I’m a kind of freelance journalist. You meet some interesting people when you’re a hack writer living in Bangkok.
For example, the other day I was enjoying a few drinks with a pair of dubious characters name of Tommy Two-Toes and Wrong-Way Willie Wong. Actually, it was more than a few drinks, and these gentlemen were more than just Read more

Rocks and hard places

In an earlier post I promised to expand on a recent incident where I pulled the pin on a conversational grenade. Yeah, and then I dropped that word ‘niggardly’ right into the middle of a chat.

I’ll begin by saying that to label a certain world leader a corrupt and ignorant buffoon is merely to call a spade a spade. Or so some might claim. 

But am I indeed allowed to do that these days? Can I call a spade … Read more

“The great contemporary terror is anonymity”

The current Leader of the Free World probably fears anonymity more than most.  So he expresses his ‘look at me, I’m a spoiled brat having a tantrum’ shtick in a manner perhaps proportionate to that terror. 

Tom Brenner for The New York Times

Chris Hedges, in his book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009), quotes the critic William Deresiewitz:

The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of Read more

Tilt! Tilt! Tilt! … Game over

In the old days science-fiction writers didn’t have to write so fast. But now reality has taken to outrunning the imagination. By the time you finish a draft, all you’ve got is something that reads like history. 

In Leary’s terms, it’s like our whole world is on tilt. The following rap comes to us from the late 2050s.

Climate change, the Trumpster & Co., pandemics, surveillance and social control, a cultural malaise that’s a metaphysical equivalent to HIV/AIDS, and more!
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