Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Music Blog: Celebration edition

Fierce readers, I'd like to thank everyone for making the first thirteen months of this blog an enjoyable work. Yes, it is work. But it's been good, and the numbers I'm seeing are reflective of that. So, I'd like to announce my new monthly pageview high, hit in December: 9008.

This calls for a little celebration:

What's that, fierce reader? Yes, you're right I did just get the numbers for January(silly blogger day). Let's see...

Ah, yes. Here we go. Well, that didn't last long. January yielded a slight increase. Yep. January had a total of 11, 204 pageviews. Guess we have to turn up the music a notch.

Ok. Time for one more, then I gotta kick you all out. I got work in the morning.

Thanks again for a great first 13 months.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Injustice Quick Reviews 2.1

Cower not, fierce reader! Yes, I'm going to version these by year. We have another fine selection of books for you to be engulfed in. Let us peruse the collection before us.

Maxwell Saga, books 2-5, by Peter Grant- Yes, I'm lumping them all together. The quality is consistent, and the story keeps flowing throughout, with gaps in time that let us see the next moments of import in Steve Maxwell's journey. Major crime: It's a military story with an awareness of national and racial prejudice and insularity, showing its good and bad points. 8 of 10 fell deeds

The Cinder Witch by Morgon Newquist- Morgon continues her magic school stories, and tells us a nice twist on the Cinderella story. The protagonists both grow through this story, and the relationship continues to build. Major crime: Healing involves facing and moving beyond the past. 7 of 10 fell deeds

  Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs- I read the John Carter books over a decade ago, and still I miss the local used bookstore that had old pulp galore. I had not, however read any of this series. I am completely amazed. Yes, even after reading Tarzan, John Carter, and some others of his, ERB still blows me away. Waiting for the movie, now. Major crime: It's by a dead white guy, who loved masculinity and femininity. 10 of 10 fell deeds. Yeah, I think it's that good.

Til Death: Second Impressions by Jason Anspach- Another mixture of semi-hard boiled detective and ghosts and spies. Solid storytelling that helps confirm why Nick Cole is working with him.  Major crime: More commie punching fun. 7 of 10 fell deeds.
A Place Outside the Wild by Daniel Humphreys- Mr. Humphreys provided me with a copy of this, and I'm glad he did. Most zombie stories I've encountered do try to do something unique with it's zombies, and while this has an interesting and frightening take, that's not the best part of the book. This book purposely has what other zombie books I've encountered lack: a sense of existential hope. That is, a communal hope, rather than a purposeful individual hope, or  worse, lack of hope. Religion plays a welcome role in this story, if incomplete due to the perspective characters' parts in the community and story.  Currently, Mr. Humphreys is in a clear shot at my Dragon Award postapocalyptic nomination. Sorry, Nick Cole, you've got your work cut out for you. 9 of 10 fell deeds

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Chicago Question

As a resident of the most corrupt state in the union, I feel the urge to rant a bit concerning that place.  The rates of shootings and homicides have skyrocketed for over a year, to the point where a weekend with 34 deaths is considered SLOW, and will rarely gain mention within non-local news.

The mayor and the ACLU have shackled the police with enough paperwork that even a routine traffic stop generates hours of work. There are neighborhoods where the police are reluctant to go without backup.

In addition to this, Chicago regularly exports its criminal element to the rest of the state, creating problem areas in small cities throughout. Not to mention the drain of the state coffers the city is and remains. For some reason, many people seem to think that Chicago is amazing, and nothing happens anywhere else.

The President has found it appropriate to give an ultimatum to the mayor of Chicago within his first week: get the homicides taken care of, or I'll send in the National Guard. I personally wouldn't waste the Guard on Chicongo. In addition to its impressive murder rates, for nearly a century Chicago has been home to rampant voter fraud. The joke is so common and old that it isn't even up for debate. With the influx of refugees and illegal immigrants, Chicago has become even worse in all these aspects.

Illinois needs a drastic solution. Every now and then, lawmakers propose making a second state along some lines, usually an arc around Chicago, with creative one extending up to and around Milwaukee, ridding two states of parasitical gorilla cities that drain the resources of the rest of the populace. I personally think these measures don't go far enough.

We need to stop Chicago from polluting the rest of the state with its poisonous brand of identity politics, and exporting the proponents thereof. Certainly, the universities within the state also pollute the state, as do the public schools. But Chicago remains the largest source of poison to the state.

We need a wall. Yeah, a big wall with guard towers. Perhaps some sea mines to prevent maritime escape. Shut down the highways and airports. How do we fund this? By making it a reality show, preferably produced by John Carpenter and hosted by Kurt Russell. I here and now ask for President Trump to start taking steps to making Escape from Chicago a reality. The ratings would be YUGE.

 When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Yes, I'm somewhat joking. But not entirely.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Some Musings and News

This is going to be a fairly short post, and I hope to have a book review up later this week. But, I will try to cover a few things here that may have passed below folks' radar.

First, I recently started listening to my friend JimFear138's podcast. He's a part of the Appendix N crowd, and likewise, has very strong opinions. I have found his podcasts to be entertaining thus far, as well as having good talking points. I will say he does curse on occasion, but it's his house, his rules. He is also breaking into audiobooks, and recently landed a fairly large project, so congratulations are in order.

Second, earlier today, Vox Day stated his suspicion that a major player is going to be coming into ebooks soon to challenge Amazon on their own level. Also, Macmillan launched something called Pronoun for ebook distribution; everyone that's looked at this thinks the business model is going to lose them more money. They could just expand Tor if they wanted to do that.  This in addition to looking at the collapse that is happening at Barnes and Noble.

However, Vox's most interesting piece doled out was this:

Yeah. those are pages in the works of a graphic novel of Quantum Mortis. This is EXCELLENT news. First, it shows that Vox is willing to work with a format that personally doesn't interest him (He's stated his lack of care about the Graphic Story Hugo category in the past.). Second, if this does well, this will open up the possibility for some other CH works to be adapted.  While I wouldn't want all of the catalog done so, Mr. Wright's Moth and Cobweb would be ideal, and The Missionaries and Brings the Lightning would also work(Don't believe in Western Comics?). This also would potentially open a possibility for working with Mr. Chuck Dixon, which I would welcome with no reservation.

Lastly, L. Jagi Lamplighter is trying to put together a list of Superversive SF. If you have any suggestions, or want some of what to read, go over and check it out. Of course, my reviews should keep most of those that stop by pretty busy, but I'm also mostly focused on newer material.

Speaking of, I'll be shifting that within my Quick Reviews this year slightly. I'm going to try to have one Appendix N or similar book in each of those. More of trying to balance my reading  than anything else. OK, I really wanted to read more Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard. Still better stuff than most of the current tradpub schedule.

Well, I thought it was going to be shorter.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thoughts regarding YA fiction

Declan Finn tagged me online yesterday, wanting to start a more serious discussion of what is YA (young adult) fiction. Now, I can see his concern, as he originally wrote Honor at Stake for that age/audience. Like Mr. Finn, I can't really say I like that type of labeling much, as it is largely an excuse to legitimize marketing departments at publishers and bookstores, as well as confer authority on librarians that may or may not know the content of the books therein.

Largely what happened in the facebook discussion was personal anecdotes of personal reading habits. There were also some mentions of books getting recategorized, such as the Pern novels, and YA novels now include such things as sex, prolific cursing, rape, and of course, SJW brainwashing.

I find I must once again weep for how far we have as a nation fallen is such a short time.

In my opinion, the only reason for including sex and rape in books intended for teens is the normalization of pedophilia. I've seen from some writers who do not employ such wretched content that their fan letters are largely from adult men. To push such content within the "genre" amounts to the equivalent of  pedophile erotica, at least in part.

Like Declan, I would prefer if the age categories involved reflected the vocabulary level of the books. Of course, this is too much to expect when we have college students engaging in remedial English courses and finding the vocabulary of a modern Bible translation(NAB, I believe) too complex for them. As we are granting diplomas from both high school and college to the functionally illiterate, if not the actually illiterate, I have little hope for a proper standard in that regard.

Looking at science fiction, the high point historically for what is now termed "young adult" would likely be the juveniles of Robert Heinlein. In modern sff we have some options of quality including Rod Walker(Mutiny in Space, Alien Game) and John C. Wright(Moth and Cobweb), to name two luminaries in the field. These do have in common a protagonist of similar or slightly older age to the intended audience, a lack of sex(while not ignoring romance), and plenty of action.

As to the question of Declan's Love at First Bite series being YA, I honestly don't know or care. Had I a child of 13 or so, I certainly wouldn't mind them reading these novels. The characters and story would open up plenty of possibilities to discuss theology, guilt, proper self image(morally), and the complicated nature of love and affection.

The best response I would give to a parent is read before they do. The best answer I have to Declan is, I don't see why not. In response to current publishers' marketing, I'd like to remove their workplace from existence, so they have to encounter reality.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Injustice Anthology Review: Freedom's Light

Cower not, fierce reader! This day we have another anthology. Marina Fontaine sent me a copy of this AFTER I reviewed Forbidden Thoughts, so she knew what was possible. Happily, we don't have the hard duty today. I'm not going to go through every story this time. Instead, I'll continue in broad strokes about the anthology, with a few specific references.

This is not a science fiction or fantasy anthology. This is, instead, a FREEDOM anthology. There's historical fiction, science fiction, and what might be literary fiction.  One thing that I thought was interesting was the inclusion of Story Synopses at the beginning.  It was irrelevant to my reading, so I skipped it, but I could see it being useful for someone wanting a particular feel of story.

The historical fiction is honestly great. We open with one of those, and it's got some history I was unfamiliar with. The others are all fine, and each stands out on its own.

The science fiction is more along the dystopian future settings, but each one is different. The number and stylings of these may tire some, but I think  there's plenty of variety myself. Marina Fontaine gave us another glimpse into the world of Chasing Freedom, which is welcome. 

Brad Torgersen sent in a tale that may be from someone he knows, or patched together like a Solzenitsyn novel, where the details all happened, but not altogether, and in several places. Nick Cole also gives us a bit of military fiction, albeit more of a over the top, and feels a bit like a military Monty Python skit.

I am truly pleased that we have an anthology that doesn't have a disappointing story. While some felt less strong to me, none of these displeased. I am happy to give a solid recommendation for this anthology. 8 of 10 fell deeds

Hugo Musings, and the Dragon

First, let's talk about the Dragon Award. I'm not putting anything up soon, as the nomination period ENDS on 7/24, with the eligibility period ending on 6/30. It is therefore, WAY TOO SOON to discuss the works for the award this year. I wish to be sure of my nominations, and not regret the choices I make. Yes, I have some favorites right now, but those are EARLY favorites. So, let's wait on the Dragon a bit.

Now, as far as my personal Hugo recommendations, I'm going to make some serious suggestions about one category: GRAPHIC STORY. The Sad and Rabid Puppy campaigns have all but ignored it.

I understand, not everyone likes the media of comic book/webcomic, but there are those that see it as more versatile than almost any other. It has the possibilities for narrative strength that text only stories do, and is actually MORE flexible than movies, through the ability to play with panels in unexpected ways, well past the splash page.

So, without further delay:

James Bond- Vargr by Warren Ellis (writer), Jason Masters and Dom Reardon (Artists),  Dynamite Entertainment.This is the best Bond movie you've never seen. And considerably better than some you have.

Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers by Joe Casey(writer) and Nathan Fox(artist), Dynamite Entertainment. Wonderfully mishmashed sff adventure that very much has an appendix N feel. Characters created by Jack Kirby.

Clinton Cash by Chuck Dixon(writer) and Brett R. Smith(artist), Regnery Publishing. Adaptation of Peter Schwiezer's book. Heads asplodey.

Twilight Children by Gilbert Hernandez(writer) and Darwin Cooke(artist), Vertigo comics. Great bit of paranomal and paranoia. This makes me wish David Lynch wrote comics.

Invisible Republic vol 2 by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko, Image Comics. Still a great SF story of political fallout after a regime fall. Secret histories and conspiracies abound.

Now to another category to discuss. Last year we saw the rise of the Castalia House Blog, and Jeffro Johnson, Morgon, and others as fan writers. This year, that field has opened up more with the additions of Jon Mollison, Hooc Ott, Nathan Housley, and more, including myself. I will recuse myself from making any recommendations on this category, and there's a DEEP field to choose from.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Injustice Book Review: Earthsong: Overture by Mark Wandrey

Cower not, fierce reader! Today we have a story of the eschaton. Steel yourselves for romance, adventure, action, and exploration should you undertake the reading of this book. Not for the faint of heart, let us proceed to the charges!

First, in many ways this book has a lot of old pulp elements. Not in characters, but the story's overall feel in conflict, subterfuge, and wonder. The stylings are more modern, which is no inherent flaw. My only stylist complaint is in fact the frequent perspective hopping without warning. It does fill the story well, and create a more complete picture, but the feel is occasionally jarring.

Second, this tale has some police officers as good guys. This is clearly a crime against the narrative, as the media would generally have us believe that they are a heartless, valueless enemy. The police contained here are complex, with histories that are hinted at, and of differing moral fiber and courage. In other words, they are human.

Apologies for the spoiler, but this is also a true eschaton, not a world changing event. There is a limited escape, and that is the great mover of this story. Corruption conspiracy abound over this, on all sides. Our protagonists even must engage in similar actions, as they see the foolishness of the actions of authority.

There's a great kitchen sinkful of ideas thrown together here to create something startling and enthralling. If you like the old pulps, I highly suggest trying it out. If you aren't, the writing isn't cranked out, it's very well crafted, and the characters are all individuals, and all have their own voices. Now, excuse me, I have other books to read, and the sequel to buy. 8 of 10 fell deeds

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 Planetary Awards

A few days back, I saw that the nominations for the 2016 Planetary Awards were up. While I've only been blogging for about a year, I am clearly a book blogger at this point, at least more than on anything else. The announcement can be found here.

As there are only 2 categories, one for long story(novels), and one for shorter story, this is a difficult choice for each category. However, Jeffro has made at least part of this a bit easier by nominating Mr. Wright's Swan Knight's Son. As I like there to be more names in the hat, here are my nominations:

For novel, I am nominating the third entry in the Soul Cycle, The Secret Kings by Brian Niemeier.

Filled with mythos, desperate characters, and adventure, this book was one of the hardest for me to give anything resembling a proper review. Many are starting to compare it favorably to Dune, and I'm inclined to think they have the right of it.

For shorter story, I nominate the story Edge by Russell Newquist, which appeared in the anthology Between the Wall and the Fire.

This story had a lot of payoffs for me, and reads like a recounting of a Shadowrun adventure from a character's perspective. However, this isn't retelling a module, nope. This is a personal story, filled with purpose far beyond money.

Anyway, if you are a fellow book blogger, put up your nominations and link them to their site. Let's have some good names and good competition.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Simple Steps to Killing a Community Movement and brand

Given some of this week's hubub, and the continuing veiled vitriol, I think it's now my turn for a post concerning how to kill a community. Of course, given that even I can find and follow these steps, albeit in retrospect in this case, it's almost like somebody wrote a book. These are condensed steps here. As the "community leaders" aren't naming names, I won't do so here.

Step 1(all others rely on this): Get into the community, start by establishing yourself. Appeal to the leadership to make your group more respectable. If somebody shows up with similar, yet differing goals to the original leadership, create tension and divisiveness to force that leader out. Worst case scenario is, they fork their branch of the community.

Step 2: Install leadership that doesn't care about the original goals, or comprehend how to accomplish goals. Ideally, this leadership should be as appealing to your community's opponents as possible, so if they accuse you of being "straight white Mormon males", for instance, your new leaders should be Atheist, feminist womyn, preferably with a history of being oppressed, that are more than happy to promote alternative lifestyles.

Step  3: As the new leadership takes over, make it clear the new direction is to be as accepting as possible, and increase the broad appeal to the include opposition members. Don't state that any ideas are correct, or give clear direction. Keep talking about how much work your doing, and how you're building the community, distracting everyone from the fact that you aren't pursuing the goals of the community. You won't really accomplish anything as a group at this point, and that's what you really want.

Step 4: Let's assume you're at a transition point here, and you're going to shift purpose. An up and comer in the community might attempt to relate the group back to the original purpose of the group. If this happens, don't react rationally and deal with the matter privately, and quietly. React loudly, preferably with your aides, and lie, misconstrue the past, belittle, disqualify, and definitely keep going. The sooner you can stop their success within the movement, the better. Ignore, downplay, or insult their accomplishments that are relevant to the group. Note: Don't ever publicly name this actor, but only in private groups.

Make sure everyone knows you and yours are in charge, and will disavow anyone who acts out of turn.

Step 5: Shift purpose quickly. Change the goal so that you are more acceptable yet to the authorities in the field of your movement. Downplay the original goals as much as possible, as they no longer interest you. If possible, expand your new focus to a field that actually doesn't have the rampant issues the original one does.

While you're doing this yourself, your support structure needs to keep focusing on the actor in the previous step. Now, veil the attacks as potentially relevant material to a group project that is only tangential to the community. As before, NEVER put forth a name. Others might research what happened, and sympathize, and God forbid this person's friends actually have a clue.

Step 6: Honestly, by now your community's going downhill with the original members at all levels of activity. On the upside, you're popular with your personal fans and now with the authorities that hated the originators of the movement. You've won, and the movement is now a joke.

This week's events serve as yet another reminder:

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Injustice Book Review: The Nine Laws by Ivan Throne

Cower not, fierce reader! This day we have good duty, if not easy. Nay, today's duty will be difficult, but you will be changed by it. This book may be aimed at men, but that is not to say that it is only for men. This book has much in common with mindset books, but it delves deeper into a philosophical approach. Let us examine this text for its crimes!

First, it is aimed at men, and helping them succeed and become dangerous within their realms. Ivan has received statements that it should be a crime to read this book. He's gotten death threats for having written it. As a result of this book, many an SJW takes aim on Twitter, and fails miserably, as though the "creativity" of a brainwashed fool lacking proper vocabulary would be a threat to him. He's overcome much, and shares two extremely difficult challenges that he has faced. 

Second, one aim of his book, perhaps a secondary one, is to help the healing process for men that have been injured in heart, spirit, and mind. I could speculate as to the nature of faith that Mr. Throne possesses based on this, but out of respect for his non-sectarian approach, I shall not here. 

He advocates for the building of men through community with men, something sorely lacking throughout most of society.  In this day, his advocacy is seen as for "toxic masculinity", rather than as building leaders, warriors, and sages of society. He pushes against the idiot male stereotype, and against the aging frat boy through instead the idea of encouragement toward larger and larger goals.

Mr. Throne takes a view of Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and Psychopathy that I have not seen before, and while perhaps it underscores many of the mindset/male improvement type book, it is explicit here. These traits are not allowed to run amok, but rather controlled, for each can lead to ruin in their own way.

While some parts of this book may appear to be cosmological hand waving, as I delved further I saw those components rather held together the lessons and methods of thought. Some of these are merely granting better questions to ask of oneself than you may have posed. Others may be routine, but the whole fits together well with them as crucial pieces.

I've read Mr. Cernovich's Gorilla Mindset. While I learned some things from it, there were some reasonings and ideas missing that prevented me from better use of the material. I'm not bashing Mike's book, but Ivan Throne underpinned everything  with a structure so that the damaged and introspective might better come to comprehension, and then plan, followed by action. I can say this from experience; I lost my ability to form plans well over a decade ago, when a family emergency prevented me from applying for graduate school. I will not say that it is restored to me, but perhaps, I can start to see a path again. I will be revisiting this text again, as well as Cicero's On Duties, as being essential to productive, responsible, and strategic(non military) thought.

9 of 10 fell deeds

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Injustice Anthology Review: Forbidden Thoughts

Cower not, Fierce Reader! We must be of resolute mind and steadfast spirit. It is with a heavy heart that I write this review, and will thus abandon my usual format.  We should not shirk in addressing the shortcomings of those we admire, in the hope that these issues do not repeat themselves. While my view of the anthology is not as poor as my friend Rawle Nyanzi, he does have a good point.  I'll address his review after I address the anthology.

The Bad(let's get it out of the way)

There are stories here which in my opinion, have no place in an anthology set to and marketed to be a successor to Dangerous Visions. This is no slight on the authors, even great authors have off days and stories. I hope that all involved appreciate that I hope for better work from them in the future.

If You Were a Hamburger, My Love by Ray Blank- Completely fell flat for me. I even had to take a second run at it to finish the thing. I know, that part of that is the original work it is satirizing, but I've read better ones than that. I'm confused, in fact as to why "If You Were an Award My Love" wasn't in here instead. That one entertained more. 

Graduation Day by Chromium Oxide- Look, I get the point behind the story. But the amount of self loathing required for the narrator of this vignette(there's no conflict) and approval of the hypocrisy of standards within the system just didn't work.

A Place for Everyone by Ray Blank- This has some decent moments, but they did not, make up for the fact that the story ultimately is straight out of O. Henry. Some of it plods, as well, and the lack of TANJ, instead opting for propriety, hurts this story further.

Auto America by E. J. Shumak- Meh. It's better than the above works, and it's short enough to not feel like a waste of time.

Now, there are some questionable editorial decisions as well to address. Some of  these, I believe, stem from the fact that Mr. Rennie and Mr. Zwycky have been running SciPhi Journal as a single story at a time project for awhile. It works for that, but other factors come into play here.

The Code by Matthew Ward- This was ok. I would not object, in fact if the rest of the anthology were all stronger than it; every anth. has a weakest piece. Also, I'm unsure if the final point was the evils of CoCs, or that Feminism is Cancer. If both, fine, otherwise, which?

The Social Construct by David Hallquist- I have no problem with this piece. It entertained me. My issue is that it is immediately outshined by A.M. Freeman's story. I'd rather this placed away from it, or better yet, in a different volume; I'm fairly certain there will be more.

Imagine by Pierce Oka- I put this in the same category as The Code. It's not bad, just weaker than the expectations I had.

By His Cockle Hat and Staff by John C. Wright- I make no secret of the fact that I believe Mr. Wright to be the finest writer we have today. Given last year's Iron Chamber of Memory, Moth and Cobweb part 1, and Superluminary, I think this justified. Honestly, I'd rather have one less story and a little more room for Mr. Wright to work. The characters need to exist a bit more. Otherwise, this is fine.

The Good(yes, I think there's still a good amount to like)

Milo's Foreward- This is entertaining, and well informed. Milo continues to show that he knows more than one tune.

The Razor Blade of Approval by Ben Zwycky- This is a good poem, and helps set the expectations for the anthology.

Safe Space Suit by Nick Cole- This was amusing. While it has a few issues, the consequences of tokenism, diversity, etc., is clearly shown in a way to make me laugh. It does need more actual conflict, though.

The Secret History of the World Gone By by Joshua M. Young- This felt pretty good. Not quite to the levels of REH with contemplation or action, but it did remind me of it. Somewhat along the lines of Kull without the violence, which would improve it. Otherwise, GOOD WORK, Mr. Young!

At the Edge of Detatchment by A.M. Freeman- Like I mentioned earlier, this outshone Mr. Hallquist's story. In fact, this may be the best Pro Life story since Philip K. Dick's The Pre-Persons. I do not level that lightly. She brought emotion, action, and revelation decisively and quickly to the story.

A History of the Sad Puppies by Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen- I've read this elsewhere, and have no issue with it's inclusion here. It is entirely appropriate.

Hymns of the Mother by Brad Torgersen- This is ok. I'd like a little more conflict, but there's at least plenty going on.

World Ablaze by Jane Lebak- This was good. Conflicts are all around, there's paranoia that's justified, and revelation that brings peace as it increases tension in the internal society of the story.

The Rules of Racism by Tom Kratman- The colonel puts forth an amusing pair of lists and these do feel true to the establishment versions of the main USA political parties.

Amazon Gambit by Vox Day- Yeah. This was well written, and clever, on top of striking at the female power movement in favor of women's real power. Amusing, as well.

Elegy for the Locust by Brian Niemeier- This takes place within the Soul Cycle setting. In many ways, it accomplishes some of the things Mr. Wright did structurally and seemed to aim for with his characters. Again, needs more conflict.

Test of the Prophet by L. Jagi Lampwrighter- Mrs. Wright succeeded where Mr. Wright did not: the characters are far more realized. Or character, rather. Enough conflict for the tale, and good resolution.

Flight to Egypt by Sarah A. Hoyt- We've got characters, we've got conflict, and a story. Great.

Forbidden Thoughts and Unmet Expectations

Now, Rawle Nyanzi posted his review, and it is scathing. I don't entirely blame him. There's plenty we won't agree on, as I'm less a part of the Appendix N crowd than he is. But, the biggest thing we will agree on is disappointment.

Rawle  stated that he felt this anthology held largely the right wing versions of Cat Pictures, Please. I'm not going that far, but he has a point about how formulaic some of this felt.(also, Fat Pictures, Please, which also appeared on Vox's blog would make another fine sub for the burger) Hence part of my criticism being about editorial choices.

Now, Rawle also didn't read everything after the Sad Puppies entry, and that's too bad, because there's more good stuff after than before that point.  In many ways, this felt like one of the so-called Year's Best SFF anthologies, where some of it's good, some ok, and some "how'd that get in here", with maybe one great piece.

I do not begrudge Jason the success this has had so far, but I do hope he learns from his critics on this. I've nothing against vignettes, they can make for decent contemplative SFF, but there need to be more STORIES. While part of this may be the current size of the Superversive movement, there's no Tom Simon in here, and I'm sure Dave Freer might have a story lying around.  There's a deep bench with these and many more, USE THEM.

Please, next time get us the very best anthology you can. I can only say the good stories justify the price. 5 of 10 fell deeds.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Poke a horrior SJW, and they're horrified by you

My friend Brian Niemeier, author of the excellent Soul Cycle, last night posted a reaction to the thing that calls itself Doris V. Sutherland (a 6 ft. tranny) whose original post he archived here. I wouldn't even bring this up, as Brian does a good job fisking the post, except that Doris went off target and after me a bit as well. Brian, being a wise and generous man, didn't touch those sections, but mentioned them and tagged me on twitter. So, let's start on the side rant against me.

My new comments in bold, his(and my quote) in italics.

Here is his reply to my comment about Souldancer‘s lack of reviews online:
Maybe some of us realize how active your type is at disemployment. Maybe we were busy reading books. At any rate, it’s not your crappy pastiche of urban fantasy, faerie tales, and WoD fanfic that you love.
Genesson starts his three-pronged rebuttal by suggesting, bizarrely, that people who give positive reviews to Souldancer are in danger of losing their jobs. He seems to expect us to believe that the legions of Souldancer fans have gathered into some kind of Fight Club-like underground subculture that dare not speak its name.

Well, you quoted accurately. That's a good start. You realize my rebuttal is three pronged, also true, you're making some progress. Then you think that it bizarre that I think you're crowd might go after our jobs.  Seeing as I've gotten threats over my opinions, I don't think it bizarre at all, especially after Brendan Eich, Sir Tim Hunt, and James Watson. And let us not forget Emily Youncis, fired from her pistachio selling gig for having the wrong thoughts.

Fight Club type subculture? Aren't you projecting. I'm mostly a reviewer and commenter on stuff. Some folks like it. It's not like I'm Russell Newquist, with a dojo and a publisher to run. That might be closer in his case. MIGHT. 

He then suggests that fans are too busy reading books to leave reviews,

Well, some folks are. Others are intimidated by those writing better reviews than they will. Not everyone has your (or my) idea that their thoughts are relevant to more than just themselves.

an argument which ignores the basic fact that fandom is built upon discussing media as well as consuming it

No wonder "fandom" is filled with OCD liberals that can't stand being disagreed with.  You also just explained how most fanfic came into being. 

a work that is not being discussed clearly has no fandom.

What?  No, it has fewer obsessives.  Which is why the mystery genre is healthier than SFF or horror; fans don't do massive cons as much, and stick mostly to reading. So the market can tolerate experiments and reward what works. 

 But most interesting of all is his third assertion: that I prefer “crappy pastiche of urban fantasy, faerie tales, and World of Darkness fanfic”.

Well, at least you find it interesting. 

This irrelevant ad hominem 

We agree that it may be an ad hominem, that doesn't mean it ain't true.  Truth isn't a logic class. Try harder.

(I was talking about whether a book is popular, rather than whether I personally like it)

That's a little better. But, all the Dragon Award is, is a popularity contest. You and yours didn't show. I thought fandom cared.

  seems to be a response to my earlier comment that the Sad Puppies have shown little interest in horror fiction.

Put out good books, and people will read them. Period. And what fool said I was Sad? I'm a Rabid Puppy. Clearly you can't be trusted to tell the truth further than my sister could throw your fat ass.

Genesson is trying to give the impression that he and the other Puppy supporters are actually hardened fans of the horror genre; but as he has no evidence to back up this claim, he settles for simply impugning my own tastes.

So those are your tastes? I never claimed to be a "hardened fan of the horror genre".  I read a lot. Some horror gets in, some true crime, some crime novels, some mystery, some theology, biography and more. I like a diversity of stories. This informs my tastes, clearly yours are deformed. 

He has no idea where my tastes lie, of course, and so makes a wild stab-in-the-dark involving urban fantasy pastiche and World of Darkness fanfics (a description that, amusingly enough, is not too far from Declan Finn’s Puppy-approved Honor at Stake).

I don't recall a hate for Christianity being anywhere in his novels, nor an annoying and stupid clan warfare bit with drug and sex addled lower classes.  His vampires follow theological rules and are individuals, subject to a singular council, not part of WoD clan structures. Again, try harder.  

As to your tastes, I'm guessing you might read some Walter Breen.

 Behind all of the bluster, Genesson’s post marks an attempt to frame the Puppies as the true custodians of horror fiction, with Brian Niemeier and (presumably) Declan Finn being the toasts of horror fandom. As for those horror fans who do not read Niemeier or Finn, well, they are merely consumers of urban fantasy and other forms of horror-lite. As I have already shown, this is a complete reversal of the truth.

True custodians? That whole idea is what got the Sad and Rabid Puppies started. No genre should have such, as no man is infallible.  If Declan and Brian were the toasts  of horror fandom, it would be more civilized, wiser, and more attractive to women than you. I didn't call anyone a poser, you did. Stop projecting.


And then he goes back to bashing Brian, continuing to lie and obscure the truth.

Now, that said, the horror community may indeed be kinder and more civilized than SFF fandom at large. I've indeed heard that from multiple sources. I hope that Doris doesn't represent it for certain, because he employs exactly the attitudes, methods, and lies that we are accustomed to from SJWs in SFF.

Oh, and Doris, if you don't want us to claim this year's Dragon of Horror, better get you and yours to show up. We will be returning.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Vox's Three Laws on Display

Over this New Year's weekend, I was made aware of a SJW by the name of Rex Douglas Stock, @RexDouglasStock on Twitter. I was on my phone at the time, and don't have a screencap of the tweet he deleted that brought him to my attention. But, the tweet was a photo comparison of the Romanov family of Nicolas II to the Trump family. I replied,  with this, and his subsequent reply:

Sorry about the blank space. But, the word may, like the word allegedly, clearly means that I am uncertain. I do not know the man's mind. Or rather, I don't know it well.  I do know he is hateful from these tweets:

He also messaged me before blocking me. Here's the message:
Please note, earlier, I did not claim anything. I simply advocated that in his comparison of the Trumps to the Romanovs, that the FBI might have cause to investigate him. I would state the same for his posts regarding others that he has apparently wished dead.  The Romanovs, of course, were killed during the Boshevik revolution in Russia, putting the Communist Party in control. Mr. Stock appears to be cut from the same thuggish cloth as the Bolsheviks, in his desire to see his enemies dead.

I have no such desire here. Mr. Stock did me the honor of lumping me together with Mike Cernovich in one tweet, and @andieiam in another. Both of these accounts have far more followers than I, and I have a measure of respect for most of their opinions. As a matter of fact, he has an order of magnitude more followers than I, so why would he take such measures to silence me? I should be seen as no threat whatsoever, unless I am close to the truth.  So brave, he has to threaten with libel when the word may is used.

I will not retract. This man has posted vicious statements. He believes the Virginia grid was hacked; it wasn't. He believes the government needs to protect us from Russian hackers, when the law states that companies and groups are not only responsible for their security, but liable for insufficient security. Quit while you're behind, Mr. Stock. I shall pray for you to see truth, and repent.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.