Saw this comment floating around regarding my books:

So, 5 copies of each book. $20 for each book written. For his time prompting the AI, formatting each book and if he actually read what the AI wrote, he probably made less than minimum wage for his efforts.

In the meantime, he and other like him are flooding the distribution channels saturating the market with crap, diminishing the possibilities of real talent to find their audience.

Not to come off as a grumpy grandpa, but reading through comments at scale, you start to wonder – who is the real AI?

People bitch and moan about how my books are ruining humanity, but what I’m seeing is for any viral thing (and this has proven out time and again on Reddit in my viral image sets) is that there are probably 5 or 6 responses which 99.99% of everyone just repeats & thinks that they are very original and clever for saying it. It almost seems…. idk, robotic?

Going back to that Stephen Marche article in the Atlantic again, he has some interesting inversions to share around originality & creativity & AI:

I feel that I should also point out something obvious to the many readers and writers who believe, in good faith, that this technology represents a threat to the value of human originality: You’re too late. Originality died well before the arrival of AI; we are currently in the most derivative period of human creativity since the Industrial Revolution. Every one of the top-10 grossing films of 2022 was a sequel or a reboot. I saw John Wick: Chapter 4 the other day. At one point, Wick fights his way up a flight of stairs in Paris for about 20 minutes, and once he reaches the top, a bad guy knocks him right back down to the bottom, and he has to fight his way up again. That’s the movies now: The same again, please.

And later:

AI may be an escape from the formulaic exactly because it is derivative art; it is frankly so. It is nothing else. […] Culture often works counterintuitively: AI may be a thread to lead us out of the labyrinth of the formulaic.

This is partly what I was driving at about pulp sci fi as a genre being intentionally trashy, formulaic, and derivative.

And believe me, by the time you reach about 40 books in this genre (and yes I call them “books” and no I don’t care about what you think a minimum word count is for a “book” because it is not by following the opinions and qualms of others that we create new things), you have pretty much exhausted all the tropes in the genre, and you’re forced to reach and reach and push and push and explore in new spaces. You’re forced to be original by the sheer volume and repetition of it. And as an artist, it is a very good and meaningful exercise.