infovore + writing   344

Frog and Toad and the Self: How Arnold Lobel's Books Taught Millennials to Cherish Their Individuality - The Atlantic
I loved all of these, but more than anything else, I loved Owl at Home. It's years since I've read "Tear-water Tea", but I can still remember Owl's list of sad things, and they still make me sad. But they were good books about being a person, and sometimes being quiet, and it all being OK.
frogandtoad  owl  arnoldlobel  books  children  writing 
3 days ago by infovore
England In The 90s reminds us cricket used to be front-page news | Barney Ronay | Sport | The Guardian
"The bowlers are a joy too, players with home-made, defiantly un-homogenised actions, all oddly-angled run-ups and sweeps of the arm. Devon Malcolm ran in like a heavy goods vehicle triumphantly veering off a mountain pass. Allan Mullally’s run-up didn’t seem to be anything to do with sport at all, resembling instead a man running along the beach or about to catch a Frisbee." Delightful cricket writing.
sport  cricket  writing 
11 days ago by infovore
Nicholas Fisk obituary | Books | The Guardian
A favourite to borrow from the library as a child. And: what a life. I did not know he played guitar.
nicholasfisk  obituary  books  writing 
13 days ago by infovore
Adventures in Narrated Reality — Medium
Ross Goodwin on algorithmic prose, machines to make writing, neural networks, and more. Suddenly feel very inadequate; a reminder of what staring at a topic for a long while looks like.
neuralnetworks  prosegeneration  poetry  writing  art  rossgoodwin 
10 weeks ago by infovore
Giles is both good at writing and good at blogging. This was good reading after a set of long-distant train journeys for work this week.
trains  windows  seeing  writing  blogs  gilesturnbull  gilest 
11 weeks ago by infovore
Love Stories for High-XP Characters | Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
"There are so many good stories to tell about relationships with some history. The stakes are higher than the stakes of a first crush; there’s all that context to add meaning to the interactions. The characters are invested in each other. And relationships between older people typically have involve juggling other responsibilities and commitments — jobs, children from previous relationships." Excellent stuff from Emily Short on all the *other* shapes of relationships you can show. (It made make think of two very different films I've seen recently that showed deep, adult, *sibling* relationships, for starters).
emilyshort  if  games  writing  interaction  romance  relationships 
12 weeks ago by infovore
We're in this crazy situation called life
George Saunders on 'story'; watching this, and hearing him talk, I begin to see more about his writing emerges. It's still a mystery, but it feels like a tiny bit more of a known mystery.
writing  georgesaunders  story  process  kindness 
january 2016 by infovore
How the Ballpoint Pen Changed Handwriting - The Atlantic
"Perhaps “saving handwriting” is less a matter of invoking blind nostalgia and more a process of examining the historical use of ordinary technologies as a way to understand contemporary ones." Fascinating and thoughtful article about the relationship of tools (the fountain pen), materials (ink), and skills (cursive script).
writing  script  handwriting  pens 
november 2015 by infovore
Translating Gender: Ancillary Justice in Five Languages Alex Dally MacFarlane | Interfictions Online
Fascinating article capturing how various translators worked around their languages to translate not only the absence of gendered language _suggested_ in Ancillary Justice, but also the author's deliberate use of the feminine as a generic case. (Also, how to translate things for different cultures - what they expect and what they intimate).
annleckie  writing  gender  language  translation 
november 2015 by infovore
Rod McLaren — Hand & Brain — Medium
"The characteristic grid-like simplicity of the view, the absence of barriers… a landscape where nothing officially exists, absolutely anything becomes thinkable, and may consequently happen… — that’s Reyner Banham describing deserts, though I like to imagine he was looking at a spreadsheet." Rod's component of By Hand & By Brain is just wonderful.
rodmclaren  writing  craft  spreadsheets  making  imagining  mirrorworlds 
july 2015 by infovore
Telling a Digital Story with J.G. Ballard - HER STORY
I've loved playing Her Story, and if you had any doubt that some of its success were more down to coincidence than writing - well, Sam Barlow's blog will prove you wrong. This, on Ballard's use of fragments, and that as a motif for storytelling is cracking. (And: lots of the readings of Her Story are coming about not just because of the quality of Barlow's work, but because non-linearity leads us to strange and exciting places; the skill is allowing the text to support that not by covering every base, but by hinting at many bases).
storytelling  linearity  sambarlow  jgballard  writing  games  herstory 
july 2015 by infovore
Melioration | Motherboard
Wonderful little story from Saxey about language, gender, and singular-they, although as with the best stories, it's all in the telling. Lots of good brain-tickles in here.
esaxey  writing  stories  fiction  sf  language 
june 2015 by infovore
Not only but also … remembering Dudley Moore the jazz pianist | Music | The Guardian
Lovely article on Dudley Moore's jazz playing; I'd always enjoyed what I'd heard of it, but this gives a broader overview. That take on 'My Blue Heaven' is just great.
jazz  dudleymoore  music  writing 
april 2015 by infovore
motion and rest · Nick Sweeney
"The mobile internet is the internet of motion, defined by mapping and directions, activity tracking, travel schedules, GoPro, Passbook and Uber. We have been given GPS receivers and three-axis accelerometers and proximity sensors for our pockets and purses, and the things we build for them urge us to keep moving. They are optimised to tell us that we’re not where we want to be: miles from our destination, steps from our daily goal, seconds from our personal best, an immeasurable distance from our rose-gold aspirations.

What, then, does the internet of rest look like?" Double thumbs-up for Nick Sweeney
nicksweeney  writing  iot  mobile  computing  quietcomputing  calm  holgate 
march 2015 by infovore
The word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape | Books | The Guardian
"There are experiences of landscape that will always resist articulation, and of which words offer only a distant echo. Nature will not name itself. Granite doesn’t self-identify as igneous. Light has no grammar. Language is always late for its subject. When I see a moon-bow or a sundog, I usually just say “Wow!” or “Hey!” Sometimes on a mountain, I look out across scree and corrie, srón and lairig – and say nothing at all. But we are and always have been name-callers, christeners. Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes grained into our words."
landscape  writing  language  britain  robertmacfarlane 
march 2015 by infovore
The Shield - The Wallflower Collection
A spreadsheet cataloguing all of "wallflower"'s episode-by-episode guide to The Shield - his writing on it is so, so good.
theshield  tv  writing 
february 2015 by infovore
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 85, J. G. Ballard
Rather wonderful interview with J G Ballard in 1984, in the Paris Review; effusive, head-screwed on, but god, his working process is hardly something you can emulate: such absolute control and certainty!
jgballard  writing  process  society  interview 
january 2015 by infovore
On File Formats, Very Briefly, by Paul Ford · The Manual
"WordPerfect was always the best word processor. Because it allowed for insight into its very structure. You could hit a certain key combination and suddenly the screen would split and you’d reveal the codes, the bolds and italics and so forth, that would define your text when it was printed. It was beloved of legal secretaries and journalists alike. Because when you work with words, at the practical, everyday level, the ability to look under the hood is essential. Words are not simple. And WordPerfect acknowledged that." I grew up on WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, and Reveal Codes. Some days, I wonder if it's why I got on with markup so well.
paulford  writing  technology  history  revealcodes  markup 
december 2014 by infovore
9 Things You Need To Write A Novel | tobylitt
This is a good list, from Toby Litt, and clearly one earned many times through fire.
books  writing  process  discipline 
november 2014 by infovore
fauxthentication | the m john harrison blog
"The constant bolstering of the “world” _constantly reveals it not to be one_, ie never to be complete the way the world is. This seems to say more about the limits of writing & the act of suspension of disbelief (an immersion which can clearly be brought about in other ways) than it does about the actual need for a world to seem to be present in front of the reader. Also, it strikes me as a bit mad to be a fiction writer if you have to struggle desperately with the pretence that you’re not." MJH on world-building again.
worldbuilding  fauxthentication  mjohnharrison  writing 
october 2014 by infovore
What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making | Quiet Babylon
"Something that journalists sometimes do is publish a disclosure statement. It’s sort of like an About Me page except it’s a listing of all their conflicts of interest—all the areas of coverage where you might have good reason to think they should not be trusted. It’ll say things like I once worked at Google or I’m married to an employee of Microsoft. I have never written one of these but I have fantasies about doing a comprehensive one. It would be the length of a novel, I think. An endless and yet incomplete litany of all the blood, privilege, history, and compromise on my hands." I could have quoted lots of this, but I chose this. It's good. It encapsulates the beginnings but not ends of lots of thoughts, and reminds me why, right now, I'm afraid of assuming anything about anything, why stereotyping "big companies" as being identical isn't just inaccurate but also unhelpful, and why the point of boundaries is that they always exclude _somebody_.
timmaly  writing  capitalism  contextcollapse  boundaries  communities 
september 2014 by infovore
BOMB Magazine — The George Saunders Interview, Part 1 by Patrick Dacey
Cracking interview with George Saunders, from 2011 (so pre-Tenth of December). Lots about the craft of writing, and about what Just Turning Up looks like. Also, his imaginary writing class in which Hemingway punches everybody out made me laugh out loud.
writing  shortstories  fiction  craft  georgesaunders 
september 2014 by infovore
What Bits Want — The Message — Medium
"Of course this is pure anthropomorphization. Bits don’t have wills. But they do have tendencies." This piece by Kevin Kelly is great - though this line neatly explains my suggestion that 'things' sometimes have 'desires' better than I ever have before.
writing  technology  bits  kevinkelly  medium 
september 2014 by infovore
How to Be Polite — The Message — Medium
Paul is right. And: I will endeavour to remember his point about holding off talking about jobs (or yourself) as long as possible. I keep working on this stuff, because it's important and makes the world easier, so often. Listening first is always a good start.
paulford  ftrain  etiquette  politeness  writing 
august 2014 by infovore
Let’s fly — The Message — Medium
"Arrive early. Arrive early? Sounds simple. It is — let me show you.

Arrive so early that a friend will text you, What R U sixty years old? No, you’re not sixty, you’re much older, because the wisdom of the early arrival seems to have eluded even most sixty-year-old travelers."
writing  travel  flying  craigmod 
july 2014 by infovore
Ebooks for all — The Message — Medium
Really strong piece by Craig Mod on Worldreader and their achievements, focusing on a school in Ghana.
ebooks  publishing  literature  craigmod  writing  africa  ereaders 
june 2014 by infovore
Arcfinity - We're reading BARRICADE by Jon Wallace
"There’s a general principle of book reviewing, set out originally by, I believe, Cyril Connolly. He advised reviewers that they should write for the reader when reviewing a book they like, but if they dislike it they should address the author instead. This creates a distinction between a public recommendation, which pleases the author and possibly makes readers interested, and a more personal discourse intended for the author, but which is likely to be discouraging and disappointing... Well then, Mr Wallace, what are we to say to each other in this semi-public place?" Oh boy. Christopher Priest really hated this book (and his argument seems reasonable, to be honest.)
sf  writing  criticism  christopherpriest 
june 2014 by infovore
what I am like in real life | the m john harrison blog
"keep some parts of myself severely to myself, am thus able to maintain a deep fruitful disjunction between this real world & the real real world." (and: of _course_ the "Robin" commenting on MJH's blog is Robin Sloan)
mjohnharrison  writing 
june 2014 by infovore
how to be a blackbird
A lovely game - almost a poem, but definitely Enough Game - by Holly Gramazio, about being a blackbird in a city. It made me feel many things, which is what the best writing does. Also, I shall now probably play it again.
games  twine  hollygramazio  writing  poetry  cities 
may 2014 by infovore
Learning From Legos -
"When my brother and I wanted a new toy, we cannibalized whatever we’d made before, which had been made of all the things we’d ever made before that. So of all those years of guns and starships, I have only that Wrightian feeling for form in the fingertips — and the sound, somewhere between rustling and clinking, of a thousand plastic pieces tumbling from an overturned bucket into a disorderly pile, rippling away from a seeking hand." As Paul M pointed out, that sound is very, very visceral for many of us. This is a lovely article about what Lego does to the head.
lego  design  making  writing 
march 2014 by infovore
"First Novel is not the first novel by Nicholas Royle. First Novel is the seventh novel by Nicholas Royle. The protagonist is a novelist called Paul Kinder who teaches Creative Writing in Manchester. Nicholas Royle is a novelist who teaches Creative Writing in Manchester. Paul Kinder is fascinated by first novels. Nicholas Royle is fascinated by first novels. Paul Kinder is friends with novelist and short story writer, Elizabeth Baines. Nicholas Royle is friends with novelist and short story writer, Elizabeth Baines. Paul Kinder has a fascination with the uncanny. Nicholas Royle has a fascination with the uncanny. In other words, First Novel is very much in danger of disappearing up its own arsehole." I greatly enjoyed First Novel - I'm somewhat a fan of Royle's work - and this is a nice interview, especially his comments on the various overlaps with reality.
writing  fiction  nicholasroyle  reality 
february 2014 by infovore
Inside Monopoly's secret war against the Third Reich • Articles • Board Game •
"Houdini received this sort of letter every day, but Clayton Hutton's was different. Clayton Hutton was different. By accepting his challenge - by promising Clayton Hutton the considerable sum of £100 if the packing case in question defeated him - Houdini set in motion a strange chain of events that would, in a wonderfully mad and circuitous manner, impact the course of a vast global conflict that was at the time still 26 years away." Somebody please commission Christian to write a book? Soon? Thanks! (This is great).
monopoly  ww2  history  christiandonlan  games  writing 
january 2014 by infovore
A breakdown of 2013's most fascinating video game moment | Polygon
"In another view, the "true Spelunky" is the live-streamed experience, both for broadcaster and spectator. Spelunky - as a concept, as an experience, as an entity — isn't just the game binary that you download onto your computer. It's also the Twitter banter about the game; it's the daily slog to get better at the game, slowly but surely, death after death; it's the communal effort to uncover new exploits and weird secrets; it's something that's equally "ours" as it is Mossmouth's. Spelunky, like any sport or game that matters — I mean really matters — is inseparable from the culture around it." Doug Wilson's analysis of Bananasaurus Rex's Solo Eggplant Run makes a great late contender for games writing of the year. It's precise, expert, and yet exciting, all at once; it demystifies and celebrates all at once. Great stuff.
spelunky  dougwilson  difficult  streaming  sharing  games  writing  feedbackloops 
december 2013 by infovore
Letters From Schwarzville: What it feels like to write a picture book story
"Think of it as theatre. Picture books are a lot like theatre, 32 pages of performance to help parents entertain, educate, encourage an audience of one - over and over again. Thousands of copies, each one a paper theatre. You provide the script, the sets, the costume, the stage tricks." Yes, that.
stories  writing  reading  readingaloud 
november 2013 by infovore
▶ Dan Abnett: "Ka-Boom! (And Other Made-Up Words)" - YouTube
Dan Abnett talks about writing. A lot of his writing is formulaic and genre-based, but he's really eloquent about the craft of writing to spec, and the simplicity of getting to know your medium. Really enjoyable talk about craft that percolates nicely.
writing  comics  genre  danabnett 
november 2013 by infovore
Lookspring » Mind games
"I like co-op games where the other player gets a beer, not a second controller, but can still be utterly pivotal to the outcome of a game." Yes, that, and indeed, all of this lovely post from Margaret. I should return to FTL - I played a lot of it last year, and loved it, even if it mainly was a game about seeing how quickly somebody would asphyxiate when the Oxygen Machine blew up. Again. Sigh.
ftl  games  writing  margaretrobertson 
november 2013 by infovore
M John Harrison interviewed - infinity plus non-fiction
Rather good interview with MJH; covers lots of bases, carried out just before Light was published.
writing  interview  mjohnharrison  sf  fantasy  fiction 
october 2013 by infovore
The Kefahuchi Tract trilogy: A future without nostalgia
John Gray on M John Harrison - not just the Kefahuchi Tract trilogy, but also Viriconium and Climbers.
writing  sf  mjohnharrison  johngray 
october 2013 by infovore
IF Comp 2013 Roundup | Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
"...I feel like five or ten years ago we had a common critical vocabulary robust enough to talk about what is going on in low-agency, linear, or hypertext games, but that the community has shifted enough not to be using that vocabulary now that there are lots of such games to talk about." Emily Short's roundup of the 2013 IF Comp. Really good notes on the state of the modern competition; also good notes on the nature of interactivity. Worth your time.
emilyshort  interactivefiction  writing  games  if 
october 2013 by infovore
TED talks are lying to you -
"Had our correspondent developed the gift of foresight? No. He really had heard these stories before. Spend a few moments on Google and you will find that the tale of how Procter & Gamble developed the Swiffer is a staple of marketing literature. Bob Dylan is endlessly cited in discussions of innovation, and you can read about the struggles surrounding the release of “Like a Rolling Stone” in textbooks like “The Fundamentals of Marketing” (2007). As for 3M, the decades-long standing ovation for the company’s creativity can be traced all the way back to “In Search of Excellence” (1982), one of the most influential business books of all time. In fact, 3M’s accidental invention of the Post-it note is such a business-school chestnut that the ignorance of those who don’t know the tale is a joke in the 1997 movie “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.”" This is a brilliant article on the literature - and culture - of talking about 'creativity'.
creativity  business  popularscience  writing  confirmationbias 
october 2013 by infovore
the way back home | the m john harrison blog
"Why doesn’t popular fiction encourage writers as entertainingly skilful as this? Because we do not value the skillset itself, only the story it mediates. We long ago separated the skillset out and donated it to literary fiction. Danny MacAskill doesn’t tell a story. He just is. Indeed, by the look of it, he just is the skillset. As a result I cry every time I watch him perform, because the performance is so much more intense than anything I’ve ever made." Great writing, by a great writer, about a great performer. Perfect.
dannymacaskill  trials  bikes  cycling  mjohnharrison  writing  fiction 
october 2013 by infovore
Wot I Think: Castles In The Sky | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"Castles In The Sky is a tiny window into a delightful bedtime story. I imagine parents reading it aloud to their children as the child is fascinated by the huge bounds the boy makes through clouds. Very little happens but kites and planes go by; the music gently ebbs into your mind and as the story ends you feel peaceful and contented. It has thawed me a little, from a week of thinking only about GTA V and how serious life must be all the time. It has made me think about how five year old me used to listen to stories in our community library crosslegged and have to shut up, at least for a little while." This is a glorious piece of writing from Cara. And: a reminder that the thing I've always known is that being read to - and reading aloud to others - is so often a complete delight.
writing  games  caraellison  readingaloud 
october 2013 by infovore
My life as a Pokémon trafficker • Articles •
"I was no boy naturalist, unlike Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri - whose collecting habits earned him the nickname Dr Bug among friends. And yet I vividly remember catching my first tadpole in a Golden Wonder crisp packet, then cradling this sloppy pouch all the way home to a sluiced-out jam jar. When you know Tajiri wanted to make a game to communicate his joy in catching insects as a boy, and look at Pokémon, it is impossible not to feel how powerfully he succeeded." A really lovely piece of games writing, about breeding and trafficking Pokémon as an adult - but, secretly, about the appeal of the series to players of all ages.
pokemon  games  writing  surprise  charm  gottacatchemall 
october 2013 by infovore
a few rules of breathing | the m john harrison blog
"The compass knows the map, son, it knows when the map is near. Let the compass direct you to the map but whatever else you do in this stained forsaken world keep them apart. Else there won’t be sufficient salt water in the oceans to quench the soles of yr burning heart."
mjohnharrison  writing 
september 2013 by infovore
Frank Chimero × Blog × The Inferno of Independence
This is a great piece of writing from Frank Chimero, if only because the thing it emphasises is not a brutal the-work-above-all-else approach, but a gentle talk on the same idea. And the thing I'm slowly shifting towards in the manner of my work (if not always the practice of it) is a particular kind of quiet gentleness: be kind; work hard; keep going. Gentle is underrated, and gentle is not the same as easy or soft-touch. It has value for all involved. Also: I loved the point where he wrote "you have to earn those words". Yes.
writing  culture  technology  creativity  independence  frankchimero  gentleness 
september 2013 by infovore
Twitch-based: Exploring the Salty Bet phenomenon • Articles •
Yet another entry in the weird, wonderful world of "why I like fighting games and their community". The vast amount of jargon that the streams lead to is weird, hilarious, and entirely befuddling for an outsider. McCormick's article is nice because it captures the excitement of the weird end of the community, and explains it to an outsider well.
mugen  saltybet  twitch  fgc  fightinggames  games  writing  journalism  jargon 
september 2013 by infovore
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson
"Coming up with a word like neuromancer is something that would earn you a really fine vacation if you worked in an ad agency. It was a kind of booby-trapped portmanteau that contained considerable potential for cognitive dissonance, that pleasurable buzz of feeling slightly unsettled." There is so, so much in this interview, that quoting it feels somewhat futile. It's a really lovely thing piece, that goes far beyond cyberpunk, and delves deep into Gibson's writing and history. There are at least five meaty quotes I wanted to yank; it's worth reading and rereading.
williamgibson  writing  literature  interview  sf 
july 2013 by infovore
street etiquette | the m john harrison blog
Its fragments like this that make it easy to explain why I love Harrison's writing.
mjohnharrison  writing  fragments  culture  society 
july 2013 by infovore
Not a geek - Matt Gemmell
"I remember a Christmas as a boy where I was given both a bicycle and a copy of The Hobbit, and strict instructions to make immediate progress with both. [My dad and I] continue to find it very easy to choose birthday gifts for each other." Mainly linked just for this paragraph.
books  parenting  learning  writing 
july 2013 by infovore
James Somers – Web developer money
"A lot of the stuff going on just isn’t very ambitious. ‘The thing about the advertising model is that it gets people thinking small, lean,’ wrote Alexis Madrigal in an essay about start-ups in The Atlantic last year. ‘Get four college kids in a room, fuel them with pizza, and see what thing they can crank out that their friends might like. Yay! Great! But you know what? They keep tossing out products that look pretty much like what you’d get if you took a homogenous group of young guys in any other endeavour: Cheap, fun, and about as worldchanging as creating a new variation on beer pong.’" Still thinking on this article a bit. It touches on lots of things I have issues with - the startup scene, and in particular the US startup scene, and the usefulness of what it makes; wrestling with the idea that making IS value, something I do a lot; having watched recent Bret Victor videos, what something meaningful would work like. But also: it reminds me why I've chosen some of the work I have recently, that values are something you reassess and fight for, that value isn't just curing cancer or better pill bottles, but also charm and joy and wit and provocation and art. (It's probably not another niche dating service).
employment  culture  programming  writing  startups  values 
june 2013 by infovore
a necessary stage | the m john harrison blog
"As I understand it, B says, the cliche “writer’s block” actually describes the inability to write anything at all. If you have a problem with a plot, she says, you’re not blocked, you are in fact writing; because the maddeningly slow solution of difficult problems in the context of specific pieces of work is part of the process of writing. In B’s opinion, you aren’t blocked in the cliche sense unless you’ve written nothing for several years and can be played by Mickey Rourke." Yes, that.
writersblock  writing  process  mjohnharrison 
june 2013 by infovore
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The Start-Up Ride Stops Here.
"All Macs will be replaced with PCs, because this is a business, not a summer camp. If Russell Crowe can play Javert, you can use MS Expression to mock up your wireframes."
startups  mcsweenys  writing  tumblr  tech  satire 
may 2013 by infovore
climbers: the journal | the m john harrison blog
"Though I lost the original notebooks, I still have the journal. It stood in a complex relationship with, and served as a feeder for, the actual writing of Climbers, which went on concurrently elsewhere; also as a record of one of happiest and most productive times of my life. The pages were carefully numbered. The photographs, especially polaroids, have become faint and dark-looking at the same time, tinged with purples and greens not present in the lived scene." Beautiful documentation of work in progress.
books  climbers  mjohnharrison  process  writing 
april 2013 by infovore
National Novel Writing Month
"It’s not always about writing more words or drinking more coffee. Sometimes getting to the end of a novel simply takes remembering that the world is more complicated than we know, and then sticking some of those complications into the story." Applies to lots of things.
writing  tips  complexity 
april 2013 by infovore
Real As Hell: A Conversation With George Saunders | The Awl
"In class I do this drawing of this big mountain, that I call Hemingway Mountain. And talk about how, early in my writing life, I just wanted to be up there near the top. And then I realized: Shit, even if I made it to the top, I'd still be a Hemingway Imitator. So then you trudge back down—and look, there's Kerouac Mountain! Hooray. And then it's rinse, lather, and repeat—until the day comes when you've completely burned yourself out on that, and you see this little dung heap with your name on it, and go: Oh, all right, I'll take that—better to be minor and myself. So that is painful. Especially at first. But it's also spiritual, in a sense—it's honest, you know. It’s a good thing to say: Let's look at the world as it is, as opposed to the way I'd like it to be. Let's see how the world seems to me—as opposed to the way it seems to me, filtered through the voice of Hemingway (or Faulkner, or Toni Morrison, or Bukowski—whoever)." This whole interview is great, but as a creator, I liked thinking about this.
fiction  georgesaunders  writing  authorship  voice 
april 2013 by infovore
No to NoUI – Timo Arnall
I won't do Timo a disservice by quoting one fragment of this essay; it's one of those lovely pieces of writing where not a word is wasted, where it all builds an argument, and you should just read the whole thing. Lots of topics I've been touching on in recent years, in part because of my time at Berg, and the designers who are my friends and peers. This is what needs to be beaten into the world, a little; the way to beat it in is to build it in, through our work and products. I should work on that more.
design  timoarnall  writing  ui  materials  readability  evidence 
march 2013 by infovore
The Aleph: Infinite Wonder / Infinite Pity
"I wanted to present a version of what The Aleph might look like now, designed as an endless stream of descriptive passages pulled from the web. For source texts, I took the complete Project Gutenberg as well as current tweets. I searched for the phrase "I saw.""
generative  text  writing  fiction  aleph  bots 
march 2013 by infovore
what you won’t know
"The problem of writing is always the problem of who you were, always the problem of who to be next. It is a game of catch-up, of understanding that what you’re failing to write could only be written by who you used to be. Who you are now should be writing something else: what, you won’t know until you try."
writing  mjohnharrison 
january 2013 by infovore
Press X Not to Die - Kill Screen
"We were jealous of the younger kids in the one-to-one ward, because they had a PlayStation. It didn’t have the best games, but it had Micro Machines and Tomb Raider and it was better than what we had." I'd rather not quote anything other than the first line of this; you should just read it. A beautiful, haunting piece of writing from Mary Hamilton, about the things games can sometimes save us from (and sometimes can't). The kind of honesty you can't look away from, which is so hard to capture in writing, but which is here. Striking. (Trigger warning for self-harm).
maryhamilton  games  writing 
december 2012 by infovore
It's always been true (Phil Gyford’s website)
"When we complain about Shoreditch changing, about it being too expensive to stay here any longer, we are echoing the complaints and weary jokes of all the combat-trousered webmasters and the cocky conceptual artists and the serious synth-poppers and the upholsterers and tailors and printers and showmen who have been here before us."
shoreditch  london  history  change  writing  philgyford 
december 2012 by infovore
Night and the City • Articles • Xbox 360 •
"We drove about for another hour or two after that, and by this point dad was hooked. Not hooked on L.A. Noire's narrative, perhaps, or caught up in the complex chains of missions, but hooked on the city, on the fascinating, insightful job that Rockstar had done in stitching the past together. Even though I can't actually drive, and the car we were in wasn't a real car anyway, I had a strong sense that I was in the front seat, turning the wheel beneath my hands, and he was riding low in the back, face pressed to the glass. Role reversal. It happens to all fathers and sons eventually, I guess. Why shouldn't it happen because of games?" Chris Donlan takes his Dad - who grew up in late-40s/early-50s LA - on a tour of LA Noire's Los Angeles, and what happens is a remarkable piece of virtual psychogeography. Perhaps my favourite piece of games writing this year.
games  christiandonlan  la  history  psychogeography  parents  writing  eurogamer 
october 2012 by infovore
The XCOM: Enemy Unknown review that took 18 years to write | Quarter to Three
1994 Tom Chick and I have a lot in common - a love of submarine sims and slightly over-technical flight simulators. And X-Com. (Well, UFO, really). A lovely piece of writing about what game design in 2012 looks like (amongst other things) compared to our youth.
games  writing  tomchick  xcom  ufo  youth 
october 2012 by infovore
russell davies: coming top at culture
"Millions and millions and millions of people also love Gregory's Girl and OMD and Brookside and Underworld and Evelyn Glennie and the shipping forecast and that is deeply joyous and important." Yep, that.
olympics  culture  society  writing  russelldavies 
july 2012 by infovore
Tom Bissell reviews Spec Ops: The Line and explores the reasons why we play shooter games. - Grantland
"Not all shooter violence is violent per se. As the game critic Erik Kain notes, "killing people in video games is actually just solving moving puzzles." Which is a true, smart, and helpful way to think about video-game violence. However, most puzzles don't bleed or scream. Why do gamers want their puzzles to bleed and scream? And why on earth do they — do we — also want our bleeding, screaming puzzles to be embedded within a nuanced story?" This is subtle, nuanced writing about an oft-repeated topic; the subtlety is what makes this good. Also, his list of "shooters that handle violence well" is pretty much the same as mine - Metro 2033 was one of the most striking games I played this year.
tombissell  games  writing  shooters  violence  fps 
july 2012 by infovore
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Eeyore Gets a Marketing Boost Through Synergetic Merchandising Cross-Promotion.
"It was a sunny, tunny spring day in the Hundred Acre Wood, and Pooh and Piglet were walking along the trail, looking for something. They had forgotten what they were looking for, but decided to keep looking anyway, in case it was there. As they debated whether it was or wasn’t or could be, they came across Eeyore, who was kicking his iPhone with his hoof." Some magic from McSweeny's.
marketing  branding  pastiche  winniethepooh  writing  mcsweeneys 
june 2012 by infovore
10 Timeframes | Contents Magazine
Paul Ford is always a joy, but this is a particular joy. To be savoured, and to let filter through you. There are lots of pithy quotations, but what sticks is what lies between the lines.
paulford  writing  speech  design  time  measurement  quantification  culture 
june 2012 by infovore
Paul Gravett | Article Detail
"Over the past few months I have been collaborating with her to curate her first ever career-spanning exhibition. Retrospective Posy Simmonds: Essentially English opens on June 12th at the beautiful Art Nouveau, Victor Horta-designed Belgian Comic Strip Centre in Brussels and continues until November 25th 2012. I’ll be adding photos from the exhibition shortly, but below are the texts I have written for the explanatory graphic panels." Paul Gravett on Posy Simmonds - some great sketches in here and details of early work.
posysimmonds  paulgravett  comics  cartoons  illustration  writing 
june 2012 by infovore
fragmince: The Mechanics and Meaning of That Ol’... - Fresser.
"Have thought about this a lot. The SYN/ACK of an acoustic coupler is like a tattoo that got written on the inside of my head, sometime in the 80s. For me the greatest transition over these 20 years hasn’t been to broadband connectivity, but to persistent connectivity, without that little handshake to say hello, are you with me?"
synack  modems  connectivity  kevinslavin  writing  history 
june 2012 by infovore
Stet by Me: Thoughts on Editing Fiction · Meanjin
"In publishing we now talk about immersive narrative, mainly because we are tense about the future of books. People who love reading are in it for exactly that: to soak themselves in story. To forget whenever possible that there even is a story outside the book, particularly the bubble-busting story of how the book was made. As a reader, I cling to the sense that this all but transcendent experience comes directly to me from one individual imagination. The feeling I have when reading fiction—of a single mind feeding me experience and sensation—is seldom articulated but incredibly powerful. As a reader, I don’t want fiction to be a group project." But, as the article points out, the role of the editor(s) means it always is. A lovely article about books, publishing and fiction.
editing  books  publishing  fiction  writing 
may 2012 by infovore
The dreadful luminosity of everything |
"I think that the physical and the digital are inseparable in culture in the same way that waves and particles are inseparable in light." This is great, and reminds me how Berger-esque some of James' art-writing is getting.
art  light  network  physical  digital  jamesbridle  writing  stml 
may 2012 by infovore
It’s The New Thing! | FreakyTrigger
"So here are some social media and music articles you could go away and write yourselves: I’ve even included example sentences to get you started." Social media is like All The Things.
socialmedia  tomewing  comparison  writing  funny 
may 2012 by infovore
Hard Copy, pt. 1 – Quinns
"The point is that this is lossless game design. There is no shark pit. When you buy a board game, what you take home and play is the original concept precisely as it was in the designer’s head. That’s the mecca for video games. For board games, it’s the norm."
boardgames  design  quintinsmith  writing 
april 2012 by infovore
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The Only Thing That Can Stop This Asteroid is Your Liberal Arts Degree.
"I don’t need some pencilneck with four Ph.D’s, one-thousand hours of simulator time, and the ability to operate a robot crane in low-Earth orbit. I need someone with four years of broad-but-humanities-focused studies, three subsequent years in temp jobs, and the ability to reason across multiple areas of study. I need someone who can read The Bell Jar and make strong observations about its representations of mental health and the repression of women. Sure, you’ve never even flown a plane before, but with only ten days until the asteroid hits, there’s no one better to nuke an asteroid."
humanities  mcsweeneys  humour  writing 
april 2012 by infovore
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