Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
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excerpts (55)

There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write. ...   (read more)

This is the best - and by far the most useful - book I've read in a long time. It's roughly based on the Stoic philosophers. It is a pleasingly quick, light, and breezy read - particularly for something which may contain the secret of life! My father told me that "attitude is everything". As I go on, I realise he was much righter than I (or perhaps even he) ever knew....   (read more)

So it turns out that immortal, affecting stories tend to work for surprisingly universal and archetypal reasons. Understanding these archetypes and principles, and how to employ them, gives the storyteller seemingly magical powers. I feel like I have just gotten my first glimpse or two behind that veil; and am now at the very beginning of being able to do these things myself - just, and fumblingly....   (read more)

You find certain writers who when they write, it makes your own brain voice like a tuning fork, and you just resonate with them. And when that happens, reading those writers becomes a source of unbelievable joy. And I sometimes have a hard time understanding how people who don't have that in their lives make it through the day....   (read more)

“Every two or three generations the world gets vastly different, and the context in which you have to learn how to be a human being, or to have good relationships, or decide whether or not there is a God, or decide whether there's such a thing as love, and whether it's redemptive, become vastly different.”...   (read more)

This following is excerpted from Roberts' essay "The Value of Self-Experimentation". I think this is a powerful line of explanation about why there are still so many question marks over health, nutrition, etc....   (read more)

So I generally take a pretty live-and-let-live attitude toward religious people and clerics. As regards the Pope's current state visit to Britain, my position is probably that he should be allowed to visit Britain like pretty much anyone else...   (read more)

"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good, in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it." - John Stuart Mill...   (read more)

"Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations." - Yasser Arafat (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, 1994)...   (read more)

Proud to be an American again today. A federal judge has ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violated the 14th Amendment's rights to equal protection and due process of law....   (read more)

In what might perhaps be a semi-regular feature, here's a song so great that I think we should all be singing it for 100 years....   (read more)

When she had last been around this group, they had all been full of optimism and excitement and initiative and self-confidence. Now, they had been out in what we call the real world for three years. And all of that was just gone....   (read more)

Unless he belonged somewhere, unless his life had some meaning and direction, he would feel like a particle of dust and be overcome by his individual insignificance....   (read more)

This is the conclusion that turns up again and again... Everything must be its own reward....   (read more)

In every pro-Palestinian European forum I hear the left yelling with fervor: "We want freedom for the people!" Not true. They are never concerned with freedom for the people of Syria or Yemen or Iran or Sudan, or other such nations. And they are never preoccupied when Hamas destroys freedom for the Palestinians. They are only concerned with using the concept of Palestinian freedom as a weapon against Israel....   (read more)

We wandered into a warren of barricades and ranks of police officers, some of them visibly equipped for heavy weather. My onboard radar for such things perked up and I declared: "Gotta be the Israeli Embassy....   (read more)

Watching the "international community" rush to pour condemnation upon Israel once again, for having the temerity to defend itself, is deeply depressing....   (read more)

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." - David Foster Wallace (1962 - 2008)...   (read more)

I'm very pleased to say, and feel obliged to say (after my spew of vitriol about Brown), a few quick, heart-felt, gushing things about the new PM, Deputy PM - and 'our Liberal Conservative government' (to borrow Cameron's phrase)....   (read more)

Yesterday our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, out on the campaign trail, had a very pleasant, smiling chat with a local woman, then jumped in his limo with his wireless mic still attached, and proceeded to completely slag her off....   (read more)

Ian McEwan's now-no-longer-quite-new book, On Chesil Beach, is, it turns out, is an entire short novel, in the classic English pastoral literary mode, about a wedding night premature ejaculation....   (read more)

There's a pretty important and powerful line of argument against the nationalisation of health care. I figured right-wing nut-job columnist Mark Steyn would have done the best job articulating this....   (read more)

I am herewith additionally reprinting David Foster Wallace's essay, "F/X Porn"...   (read more)

"I understand why war is not popular, but I also know this: The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Evil does exist in the world." - Barack Obama...   (read more)

"I keep remembering this strange little story I heard in Sunday school when I was about the size of a fire hydrant....   (read more)

The Howling Fantods - your source for all things David Foster Wallace - reports that Wallace's final novel, The Pale King, may be delayed until autumn 2010....   (read more)

"I'm not about to pretend that I'm the leading expert in this field, so I tell him a fable that I remember my dad passing on to me, about the Cherokee Indian teaching his grandchildren....   (read more)

I'd forgotten, until reminded late this morning, that today is 7/7 - the fourth anniversary of the London Tube and bus bombings. So today seems a good, if not entirely un-controversial, day to point up the recent report: Sharia Law or 'One law for all'? from the think-tank Civitas...   (read more)

D.T. Max has a totally stunning piece in The New Yorker: The Unfinished - David Foster Wallace's struggle to surpass Infinite Jest....   (read more)

As you will have read (and some of you thoughtfully commented upon), Dutch MP Geert Wilders was refused admission to the United Kingdom yesterday due to his political views... Below is the speech that Mr Wilders would have delivered in the House of Lords, had it not been banned....   (read more)

Since the periodicity of my long-running quotations series has been getting asymptotic with infinity, here are the quotes that have been piling up since the last edition...   (read more)

I've just gotten around to reading Overclocked, Cory Doctorow's latest collection of short fiction. Doctorow, you will recall, is digital rights activist, fellow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, bane of DRM implementers everywhere, and co-proprietor of the world's most popular blog....   (read more)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the Somali-born feminist, writer, and politician who has been living under 24-hour guard since a promise to kill her was found pinned to the body of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gough...   (read more)

So, in the wake of the Archbishop of Canterbury's call for Islamic Law in Britain, I've been making an ass of myself by debating the issue with a friend, and for some reason not really giving a damn about politeness or civility or humility....   (read more)

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and (thus) head of the Church of England, gave a speech in which he predicted that the adoption of some parts of sharia (Islamic religious law) within the UK were "inevitable"...   (read more)

"And fight in the Way of Allah [1] those who fight you ... And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out."...   (read more)

No, I don't mean the Saturday that's Ian McEwan's novel, though it's really rather good and you should probably read that, though not at the expense of reading Atonement, which is just amazingly good....   (read more)

One knew, of course, that the whole racket of American evangelism was just that: a heartless con run by the second-string characters from Chaucer's "Pardoner's Tale." (You saps keep the faith. We'll just keep the money.)...   (read more)

Shortly after posting my recent piece on the spectacularly and amusingly unsuccessful attacks in London and Glasgow, I realised I'd mislabelled the perpetrators in calling them "losers". Much more apt would have been the lovely, amusing, and oh-so-useful British epithet of "muppets". These guys truly are muppets of the first rank, and they're running a Muppet Jihad....   (read more)

My purpose is to suggest a cure for the ordinary day-to-day unhappiness from which most people in civilised countries suffer, and which is all the more unbearable because, having no obvious external cause, it appears inescapable....   (read more)

"It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world. . . ....   (read more)

In the life of man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his senses a dim rushlight, his body a prey of worms, his soul an unquiet eddy, his fortune dark, and his fame doubtful....   (read more)

"Defying the suicide bombers and head-hackers, courageous Iraqis went to the polls in huge numbers. Before the vote, the naysayers told us that the indelible purple dye on each voter's finger would mark them out for punishment by 'insurgents'. Instead, it became a defiant symbol of the country's freedom....   (read more)

If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world....   (read more)

The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind....   (read more)

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. - and Remembrance Day in the UK. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the entire country stops, sits in two minutes of total silence, and remembers the men and women who died on their behalf....   (read more)

Humanity on its raft. The raft on the endless ocean. From his present dissatisfaction man reasons that there was some catastrophic wreck in the past, before which he was happy; some golden age, some Garden of Eden....   (read more)

Anyone moderately familiar with the rigours of composition will not need to be told the story in detail: how he wrote and it seemed good; read and it seemed vile; corrected and tore up; cut out; put in; was in ecstasy; in despair...   (read more)

Ah! and when the hour-glass has run out, the hour-glass of temporality, when the worldly tumult is silenced and the restless or unavailing urgency comes to an end...   (read more)

How many times do you really face a choice in life? How many times will you get the benefit of arriving at a crossroads, where you don't have to fight the tug of rolling inertia, and your choice isn't going to hurt someone you love?...   (read more)

about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Seven - Death of Empires, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Eight - Empire of the Dead by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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