What every aspiring Sci-Fi writer must know

I do not claim to be a science fiction connoisseur. In fact I haven’t read a science fiction novel in a long time. My favorite science fiction book ever is Brave New World. Which might not even be science fiction. 

A friend of mine, who is a writer, just asked:

I’ve decided to get into writing some futuristic sci-fi, perhaps a new novel. Any recommendations on your favorite sci-fi books that I should read?

I don’t know if this is true for Lilah, but let’s say you have been an accomplished author yet have never had any attraction to Sci-Fi. Something happens, and you are inspired by this new genre. Yet, you have no idea where to start. The field is so vast. How does one dive straight to the essence, and what is that essence?

I would start with The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. I don’t even know for sure that I would suggest reading the whole thing. Just get the concept of psychohistory. This is the first science fiction I remember reading, and what I liked was the magic of sci-fi, magic that was explained. 

But what fun is magic when it is explained? There is a sense of seriousness in science fiction isn’t there?

The difference between science fiction and fantasy is that while both seem mystical, fantasy actually is mystical and in Sci-Fi everything can be explained by science. 

Neal Stephenson’s Snowcrash. I read this while working at Silicon Graphics in 1997-8 showing off virtual worlds- a part of science fiction whose imagination has far exceded the speed of our manifestations. Cyber as a working word in English was established in this action adventure.

Brave New Wold by Aldous Huxley. Whenever I forget why I love this book, I read it again. And again I remember why I love this book. I need to read it again now. Maybe it’s just that he’s the author of Doors of Perception. There’s something striking about having your teenage awakening — and realizing that an established and extremely well recognized author has been there, written about it so well and in doing so publicly impacted our lexicon, music, and literature.

This song has the following meanings for me:

1. When I first heard this song I discovered The Glitch Mob at Burning Man and had my insight on glitch music. That was probably my entrance to loving dubstep for the multilayered funk groove bass that it is. 

2. I listened to it for a year straight.

3. Nobody gets out unscathed: DJs, Yogis, Stoners, Hippies… The message in this song had never been expressed in hip-hop: essentially telling progressives who thought they were greater-than-thou to check themselves. “I’m down with VWs and flossed-out caddys on 22s too.”

4. The Grouch now lives on Maui. I met him first at yoga not knowing who he was. Then I met his family while working at Hali’imaile General Store. I met him at least half a year after I started listening to “You Ain’t Artier Than Me”. We are exporing producing a video in the Colorbox

5. They call it “Artsy” I call it “Artier”. 

LYRICS:
Artsy

by The Grouch.

You ain’t artsier than me…
Cuz you got sideburns and a vintage Tee

i said You ain’t artsier than me…
Cuz you pluck a guitar.. that ain’t f-ckin bizarre

You ain’t artsier than me…
Cuz you live in Los Felis, bitch you ain’t jesus

You ain’t artsier than me…
I got a colorful vocab… watch the low jab.

So what you’re a vegan?
It shows in your presence you be geekin’
and you be seeking the same life
speakin the game like the enemy

hang tight

I got a tail about 6 foot 1 by infinity
full of sun, rain and potential energy
all you saw were the K-swiss,
clean crisp creased jeans means this.

So you thought in ———– ?
thought-tipper, unzip the zipper
no I don’t wear hemp or drink liquor
and that don’t make me the man, just a little bit sicker

Spit-kicker with an eye fom the big dipper
from an island clip emerges a loud whisper
and I’m proud of this. it’s my art
You’re doin yoga just to look the part

You ain’t artsier than me…
cuz you chop up breaks and you dig in the crates

You ain’t artsier than me…
You’re just a trendy lesbian.. dreadlocked thespian

You ain’t artsier than me…
cuz you make weed brownies and knit wool hats

You ain’t artsier than me…
you pseduo-elitst old-school sap

Don’t let an 808 scare ya
shake stripes off your shirt and clear the whole area
I’m humanoid too
and if you’re cool with me then I’ll look past the void in you
…instead of through
I’m down with VWs and flossed-out caddys on 22s too.

I Bang for good fools
I kill for nothin
I bill for something
family and peace

hand me the piece I’ll hit it… i’m social
hear my opinion. I’m proud. I’m vocal
local in a foreign place
more digital than dusty but trust me I be tourin space.

you be whorin’ at a comfortable pace
you be skippin a chore just to jump in the race
I be bumpin my bass like you collect comics
I’m not weird. I’m honest

You ain’t artsier than me…
cuz you only read books, don’t watch tv.

You ain’t artsier than me…
cuz you shop at whole foods in open-toed shoes

You ain’t artsier than me…
cuz you speak real soft and drink chai tea

You ain’t artsier than me…
I recycle too… I’m kinda like you

I just look cleaner. grown demeanor
wear deoderant… registered voter and
tree hugger too… not in these clothes
me lovin you but it’s gotta be both ways

most days I’m earthy, stay grounded…
often it’s a paper chase.. I’m well rounded
straight to face
it’s all boundless
i’ll make a sound universally dope

overcome adversity
reshape the worst of me
do it for the love and release it commercially
like a blockbuster started at sundance
you can’t stop man you only get one chance

presentation is key
hesitation ain’t me
innovation is my A R T
dedication is free
occupation is me
innovation is my A R T

You ain’t artsier than me…
cuz you drive a hybrid and carpool with three

You ain’t artsier than me…
cuz you a sixteenth mexican, you ain’t ethnic and

You ain’t artsier than me…
you’re just a broke-ass poet with the same old cadence

You ain’t artsier than me…
we was conscious first… welcome to earth.

Learn how to fail fast and recover quickly

Create a system, use materials, work with dynamic people, do whatever it takes to operate in such a way that the response to failure is quick. Love this example- airplanes. If I was trying to fly better I would spend all my time thinking of lighter materials, better aerodynamics, all of the things that are right to think about, but I’m missing the big picture of how my time is spent. If I fail, which everyone did for a number of years, all my time is spent on rebuilding. 

The flying example also indicates how a clear goal helps. (duh).

What other examples of goals or intentions are there where you could recreate your system so that recovering from failure was part of the plan? And this I think isn’t really even his point— he says we are attacking the wrong problem. What are other examples of wrong problems you are attacking?

COLOR SHORT: “Sphere that’s not a Sphere” (by gabemott)

i made this t-shirt when i was 16. That makes it 22 years old. The quote on the shirt is from Larry Bird when he said, “I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.” Jordan had just scored 63 points in the playoffs against the Celtics. I traced the jordan image off the Sports Illustrated cover. 

 Thanks Michael Ryals for the shot. (This is at SOURCE) I posted this image after trying to link to the actual photo in Facebook— I copied and pasted the URL, I tried right clicking and copying the URL, I tried everything. Every time I put it into Tumblr and saved, the link was broken.

The link was blocked by Tumblr (it seemed) once and by Facebook 5 times. I even tried Bit.ly to short the link and Facebook still blocked it.

Just a note on FB privacy: this is an image I’d rather have linked to on FB, the T-Shirt is twenty two years old and I made it in High School, but FB wouldn’t let me. I used Jing to capture my screen. As I was image capturing, I chose to capture as much of the moment as possible including an alive conversation from a few days before…

Privacy and control are thrown about on facebook in general and often vague ways, it’s important that we find examples where we would see it both ways. 

In this case, Facebook was too controlling and wouldn’t let me link to this page from Tumblr. It was probably protecting my privacy.

In this picture, behind me, is the video of Jacob Liberman and my visuals and as well, a small digital frame, off my right hand sliding thru the Pixels at the Center of the Color Wheel

The cover of Jordan is here.

This is the cover for Sports Illustrated that I traced in 1988. Chris Gordon was working at a t-shirt shop and I designed a silk screen with the Jordan image and this quote to make a silk screen:
 ”I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
Jordan had just scored 63 points in the playoffs against the Celtics.
A link to the t-shirt is here:
http://gabemott.tumblr.com/post/4041668211/thanks-michael-ryals-for-the-shot-this-is-at

This is the cover for Sports Illustrated that I traced in 1988. Chris Gordon was working at a t-shirt shop and I designed a silk screen with the Jordan image and this quote to make a silk screen:

 ”I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

Jordan had just scored 63 points in the playoffs against the Celtics.

A link to the t-shirt is here:

http://gabemott.tumblr.com/post/4041668211/thanks-michael-ryals-for-the-shot-this-is-at

Saved from deletion on Kickstarter: My bio

Visual and Sensory Artist

Age 0-18=Seattle, 18-22=Berkeley, 23=Asia, 24-30=San Francisco, 30-32=Oakland, 32-37=Maui

Transformational Space Art: The Cherish Tree

Documentary: The Black Box

Solo Shows: The Art House, San Francisco; Mystical Street Art, Oakland; Vision Thru Color, Amsterdam

Installation: A Color Box, Maui