Pale Realms of Shade

1

It was not the being dead that I minded, it was the hours.

No one ever calls me up during the day, and most people decide to wait until after midnight, for some reason.  I am a morning person, or was, so meetings in the still, dark hours lost between midnight and the dawn make me crabby.

This time, it was not some comfortable séance room or picturesque graveyard with moss-covered stone angels. I came to the surface of mortal time on a street corner of some American city, mid-Twentieth to early Twenty-First Century. You can tell from the height of the buildings that it is American, and from the fact that the road names are written on signs rather than walls. And Twenty-Second Century streets are not lit up at night, of course.

The main road was called Saint Street. The small alley was called Peter Way. Great. I was crossed by Saint and Peter.

I smelled her perfume before I saw her. I turned. There she was, outlined against the streetlamp beyond. I could not mistake her silhouette: slender, alluring, like a she-panther as she walked.

“Matthias,” she breathed in her low whisper. Her voice was throbbing music to me, despite everything that had happened. “You look well — ah — considering.”

“Lorelei,” I grunted. She was just wearing a blouse and skirt and a knee-length gray coat, but on her the outfit could have made the cover of a fashion magazine. Or a girly magazine. Her wild mass of gold-red hair was like a waterfall of bright fire tumbling past her shoulders to the small of her back. Atop, like a cherry on strawberry ice-cream, was perched brimless cap. My arms ached with the desire to take her and hold her. But I could never touch her, or, for that matter, anyone ever again.

She sighed and rolled her enormous emerald-green eyes. “Sweetheart, this time, you have to tell me if you were murdered. You have to!”

I took a puff of an imaginary cigarette, and watched the smoke, equally imaginary, drift off in a plume more solid than I was. “I ain’t saying.”

“But you must! I cannot rest until I know!”

Now I knew when and where I was. Because I died the day the Korean War ended. July 27. Mark the day on the calendar. That was the day I gave up smoking. This was only a a few months after, judging from the dry leaves scuttling across the sidewalk, the bare branches of the one tree, surrounded by concrete, across the street. Late October or early November.

“My heart stopped,” I said. “I died of natural causes.”

She pointed a slender finger at the holes in my trench coat. “You’re dripping!”

I looked down. The rest of my body was black and white like an old talkie, a thing of sable mist and silvery moonlight. Only the blood was red, bright as Lorelei’s lipstick.

It was not something I was deliberately imagining myself to look like. I guess it was part of my self-image, subconscious or something. That seemed unfair. I had had a tricky subconscious my whole life. It was one of the things I had thought I had gotten rid of, left behind.

“That’s natural,” I said. “When bullets pass through the lung cavity, they naturally make a large holes. One of them went through my heart, and caused it to stop, like I said.”

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Posted in Free Fic | 22 Comments

Wright’s Writing Corner: Heroines and Monsters

Today’s guest blog is an excerpt from an academic paper by a YA author
who, amazingly, quotes–of all people–me. ;-)

Are Kick-Ass Heroines Always Also Monsters?

by Margo Bond Collins

One of the things that I’ve always loved about the use of the term “kick-ass” is that it indicates approval of heroines’ tendency to move from more traditionally feminine roles into behaviors more usually associated with the male heroes of action movies and literature; these women carry weapons and aren’t afraid to use them.

But the shift of heroines’ roles in urban fantasy from passive recipient of romantic love to active participants in violence and killing also carries a certain amount of anxiety in our culture. L. Jagi Lamplighter (my fabulous host today!) notes that “today’s audiences have welcomed this golden age of butt-kicking heroines with great relish,” but also claims that these heroines face a “fundamental conflict between modern culture and drama”:

read more:
http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2014/04/23/wrights-writing-corner-guest-post-author-margo-bond-collin

Posted in Wisdom | 2 Comments

Ma-ha-ha-ha-ha!

I have shanghaied this blog. You will have to read this post quickly, before the Master of the Blog returns and purges my post.

I did not feel John’s comments on the Sneerers covered the matter sufficiently. In particular:

-It is a classic bit of special pleading with extra sentiment and tearjerking self pity to boot. Since I’ve read some of Wright’s other blog posts I can assure you that if someone were to frighten him out of his new found religion and back into his old supposed logical atheism he wouldn’t become a worse person. He never altered his basic attitude towards other human beings which is contempt for them–especially for women who aren’t feminine by his standards. He simply transferred his contempt from believers to atheists. He remains, as he always was, an authoritarian personality in search of a group to oppress, and a stronger group to cling to for protection. C’est tout.

The problem with this is it suggests John became Christian and then turned on atheists. But it actually happened in the opposite order. He became disgusted with the illogic of his fellow atheists and, thus, became more friendly to Christians.

At the time, I thought this was foolish. After all…we Christians know that there are many strange and outlandish folks among the Christians whose arguments make no sense. But later, I realized that one of the reasons John was an atheist is that he thought atheists were reasonable and religious folk were not.

But even now, years later, John still is troubled when he hears bad atheist arguments. He begins twitching with the desire to go set things right and mutters under his breath, “They are a disgrace to the Powers of Evil!”

He will then turn to me and say, “I could put that across so much more clearly!”

To which I say….”True…but you aren’t supposed to be helping the Powers of Evil.”

To which he says, slightly deflated, “Oh…right.”

The biggest lesson I take from all this, however, is to be careful when I judge others. I can see how a person reading John’s work could easily draw the conclusions drawn above…but they would be totally wrong about the kind of guy he is and his motivations. Makes me think I should be slower to judge others based on their public statements.

Okay…back to our regularly-scheduled blogger!

Cheers,

Mrs. John C. Wright

 

 

 

Posted in Wisdom | 27 Comments

Quote for the Day: Principled Unbelief and Moral Adventure

From David Bentley Hart, my hero:

Simply said, we have reached a moment in Western history when, despite all appearances, no meaningful public debate over belief and unbelief is possible. Not only do convinced secularists no longer understand what the issue is; they are incapable of even suspecting that they do not understand, or of caring whether they do. The logical and imaginative grammars of belief, which still informed the thinking of earlier generations of atheists and skeptics, are no longer there. In their place, there is now—where questions of the divine, the supernatural, or the religious are concerned—only a kind of habitual intellectual listlessness.

You may read the article in context here: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/05/gods-and-gopniks

And, come to think of it, if you have the free time to read my humble journal, you have the time to read FIRST THINGS, which is somewhat higher than I on the Great Scale of Eternal Being.

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Posted in Only Posting a Link | 18 Comments

On the Way!

I wrote a short story in honor of Easter I hoped to share with my readers. But my schedule has been a little hectic, and I had to take the kids to see CAPTAIN AMERICA — well worth the ticket price, may  I add.

I hope to get the story up this week. It was based on an opening of the story I wrote for a workshop. We each had an hour to write a one hundred word opening paragraph. I wrote a thousand, and I read mine last because I was the pro in the room. I did not know what to do with the opening until now.

Posted in Announcement | 5 Comments

Banned

Just a note for those of you who do not take me seriously.

Someone whose name I will not bother to repeat had the effrontery to write this question to me:

(quoting me) I am as patient as Job, and so entertain any comment that does not devolve either into swearwords or Holocaust denial.

Mr. Wright, would you have any respect at all for a Protestant blogger who refused to countenance “Spanish Inquisition denial”, let alone, say, a Buddhist blogger adopting the same stance in a show of solidarity with Protestants?

My father in law was a Jew in Germany during the war. He saw the camps. He wounded his hands tearing down the fence of one when it was liberated. He was awarded a Purple Heart.

I am not required by any possible interpretation of the rules of courtesy and goodsportsmanship in debate to listen to lying-ass would-be National Socialist vermin racist filth call my dead father-in-law a liar. Such a creature is an enemy to whom no quarter nor parley need be granted.

Let no one dare to send any message to me on this topic again.

pile-of-shoes_dachauIf the picture is too small to be clear, it is the shoes of the victims gathered at Dachau by the efficiency of the Germans. Count the number and divide by two.

 

Posted in Announcement, Other | 20 Comments

A Sneer is Not an Argument

Eoin Moloney writes and asks:

Mr. Wright,

I have read you for some time, and respect your opinion, but I was hoping you could respond in more detail to the claims advanced by the commenter on Strange Notions, the one that is quoted earlier in this thread. I reproduce here a few of the choice points that the commentators seem to be making against you.

This is the second time I have been asked this. It is a complete waste of time. I thought I was clear that there is no point to answering heckling. One cannot reason with a sneer because a sneer is not a rebuttal of anything.

However, out of sheer courtesy and generosity of soul, I will answer what I can. The questions are in bold.

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Posted in Reasonings | 44 Comments

Teoria Unificată a Cîmpului Scrîntelii

My grand unified field theory of madness has been translated and published in Romanian at the conservative website Inliniedreapta.net. It is just in time to help the Romanian public understand the insane viciousness of the pro-Putin newspapers attacking them, and to understand why the center-right caved.

For those of you who speak the language, here is the link: http://inliniedreapta.net/dereferinta/john-c-wright-teoria-unificata-cimpului-scrintelii/

This is the first part (sections 1-4); the second part will be published in the next weeks.

For those of you curious to read the original in English, it is here: http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/03/the-unified-field-theory-of-madness/

My thanks go out to Mr. Liviu Utiu who honored me with this opportunity to address readers on the battlefront of the Long War for Civilization.

Posted in Announcement, Only Posting a Link | 9 Comments

Total Conversion

Vox Day looked up somewheres online and found my conversion story. Here it is:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-testimony-of-john-c-wright.html

For those of you who are interested in hearing the same story told impromptu, without notes, and curious about what my voice sounds like, here is a podcast of a radio program where I was interviewed on my conversion experience:

http://radiomaria.us/conversionkeepshappening/2014/04/11/april-11-2014/

For those of you who read my words in this space, and somehow imagine a ranting, driving, bellowing voice of startling anger and grinding seriousness, rest assured that is not what I sound like. Frankly, to me, I sound pompous and ridiculous and ridiculously amused at myself. I am not laughing with me, I am laughing at me. I cannot possibly take myself seriously, and I am always shocked and confused when others do so. So if you do listen, pay no attention to me. Pay attention to Him of whom I speak.

ADDED LATER: Whoa. There was one topic I had forgotten: I should have remembered that there was a moment when I spoke of the doctor who wanted to murder my son. Yes, friend, there I am angry, and deeply angry, and still angry. A man who is not angry when someone tries to kill his children is not a man.

Posted in Apologetics, Only Posting a Link | 71 Comments

He is Risen

Rejoice! He is Risen indeed. Why seek ye the living among the dead?

 

Joyous Easter to all. Let the victory celebrations shake the world!

Posted in Greetings | 17 Comments

Chronophobia

As befits Good Friday, my post today is as bitter as the passover herbs. Turn and look back, all ye, at the Egypt we should flee. Freedom is a wasteland for many long and weary years of tramping: but beyond it, the river, and beyond that, the promised land flowing with milk and honey.

Being an honest gentleman not particularly brave or bold, but also not particularly interested in being lead by a lemming mob possessed by extraordinary popular delusions over the lip of an abyss into madness, I have on many occasions received comments, or, rather, white noise contorted into the shape of words, from various gibbering of poop-flinging yahoos, maudlin waifs, cringing serfs, drooling children, shrill man-boys, cocoa-sipping pajama boys, gormless Eloi, eunuchs, and nyctalope cannibal troglodyte Morlocks of the Left.

The mob dislikes anyone who does not worship the mob, their Glorious Leader, or whatever fickle idea, bright as a butterfly, that wanders through their collective empty heads during the current news cycle. They will, of course, dislike with equal disdain anyone who does not worship the brief and fugitive idol darting before their glassy and unblinking wide-open eyes tomorrow, even if the first directly contradicts the second. Logic is not their strong point.

Normally I do not mind. I am as patient as Job, and so entertain any comment that does not devolve either into swearwords or Holocaust denial. However, on two and only two occasions, the comments were so blatantly dishonest, so angry, so unrelated to reality, so starkly, shriekingly, shockingly insane, that my patience was exhausted, and the conversation could not continue.

Instead of a dialog, I was exposed to overhearing a ranting monologue addressed to an imaginary character in the ranting moonbat’s head, which the moonbat could not tell was not me, even though there was no resemblance between me and the imaginary character.

I was not permitted to testify on my own behalf to say what I believed or did not believe. THEY told me what their theory said I believed, and the tiny fact that, in non-moonbat reality, I believed no such thing — ah! That was ruled as not being evidence.

Each time I asked either moonbat to quote back to me anything I had said to justify the assertion that I believed what was being attributed to me, both moonbats simply ignored the requests. It was as if I had not spoken.

Usually, when a normal but unskilled debater falls into a straw-man argument, you can correct him, and he will not continue to argue against a position you have repudiated, and will not continue to insist say you said something you did not say.

One of the two moonbats even had the effrontery to say that he did not believe me when I told him what position I held on the issue. No, his friends had read something I wrote, and so they told him what was the position I held. His friends were better witnesses of what were the thoughts in my head than was I.

For some odd reason, both outbreaks of Lovecraftian madness concerned the same topic: my attitude toward ages past.

In one case, it was the Middle Ages, and in the other, the 1950s.

I thought this an odd coincidence. What is it about the past that makes the raving moonbats so much more lunatic and noctilionine than usual?

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Posted in Musings | 89 Comments

Time to Water the Tree of Liberty

From Time Magazine. I have no comment to make about the matter, lest I abridge the law which makes fomenting an armed insurrection a crime.

On Tuesday, officials at Brandeis University backed off granting an honorary degree to Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Alian, a staunch women’s advocate and fierce critic of Islam, due to many faculty members’ requests and a large online petition. Here is Ali’s statement in response to the university’s actions:

Yesterday Brandeis University decided to withdraw an honorary degree they were to confer upon me next month during their Commencement exercises. I wish to dissociate myself from the university’s statement, which implies that I was in any way consulted about this decision. On the contrary, I was completely shocked when President Frederick Lawrence called me — just a few hours before issuing a public statement — to say that such a decision had been made.

When Brandeis approached me with the offer of an honorary degree, I accepted partly because of the institution’s distinguished history; it was founded in 1948, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, as a co-educational, nonsectarian university at a time when many American universities still imposed rigid admission quotas on Jewish students. I assumed that Brandeis intended to honor me for my work as a defender of the rights of women against abuses that are often religious in origin. For over a decade, I have spoken out against such practices as female genital mutilation, so-called “honor killings,” and applications of Sharia Law that justify such forms of domestic abuse as wife beating or child beating. Part of my work has been to question the role of Islam in legitimizing such abhorrent practices. So I was not surprised when my usual critics, notably the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), protested against my being honored in this way.

What did surprise me was the behavior of Brandeis. Having spent many months planning for me to speak to its students at Commencement, the university yesterday announced that it could not “overlook certain of my past statements,” which it had not previously been aware of. Yet my critics have long specialized in selective quotation — lines from interviews taken out of context — designed to misrepresent me and my work. It is scarcely credible that Brandeis did not know this when they initially offered me the degree.

What was initially intended as an honor has now devolved into a moment of shaming. Yet the slur on my reputation is not the worst aspect of this episode. More deplorable is that an institution set up on the basis of religious freedom should today so deeply betray its own founding principles. The “spirit of free expression” referred to in the Brandeis statement has been stifled here, as my critics have achieved their objective of preventing me from addressing the graduating Class of 2014. Neither Brandeis nor my critics knew or even inquired as to what I might say. They simply wanted me to be silenced. I regret that very much.

Not content with a public disavowal, Brandeis has invited me “to join us on campus in the future to engage in a dialogue about these important issues.” Sadly, in words and deeds, the university has already spoken its piece. I have no wish to “engage” in such one-sided dialogue. I can only wish the Class of 2014 the best of luck — and hope that they will go forth to be better advocates for free expression and free thought than their alma mater.

I take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me and my work on behalf of oppressed woman and girls everywhere.

Posted in Only Posting a Link | 8 Comments

Worth Repeating

I would like my kind readers to reflect upon the difference between the Bureau of Land Management, which controls an acreage of land larger than France and Germany combined, and is able to field a private army larger than that of Holland, but is run by entirely anonymous bureaucrats. If rumors are true, it is run for the benefit of deals with the Chinese concerning solar panels and rare earth minerals and relatives of high-ranking Democrats in the Senate.

Compare this to the Charter of the Forest:

In 1217, King Henry III signed the Charter of the Forest, which despite various amendments and replacement statutes remained in force in Britain for some three-quarters of a millennium, until the early Seventies. If Magna Carta is a landmark in its concept of individual rights, the Forest Charter played an equivalent role in advancing the concept of the commons, the public space. Repealing various restrictions by his predecessors, Henry III opened the royal forests to the freemen of England, granted extensive grazing and hunting rights, and eliminated the somewhat severe penalty of death for taking the king’s venison. The [National Park Service] have not yet fried anyone for taking King Barack’s deer, but it is somewhat sobering to reflect that an English peasant enjoyed more freedom on the sovereign’s land in the 13th century than a freeborn American does on “the people’s land” in the 21st century.

hat tip to Mark Steyn

Posted in Musings | 6 Comments

Rest In Peace

I was just sitting down to write a letter to Mr. Andrew Robertson, my editor and my friend, when I received a brief note from Malcolm Dickenson, his brother-in-law, saying that although Mr. Robertson was expected to return from the hospital today, he suffered a massive stroke, and extensive bleeding on the brain. The doctors say he probably felt no pain. His body is on life support, but he has been declared dead.

Please pray for the repose of his soul.

 

Posted in Announcement | 10 Comments

Do I Role Play? Ask Rather, Do Ever I Stop? — Part Three (Edge of the Empire)

There is also a game I am playing, which my best friend Mark is running. Yes, it is a STAR WARS EDGE OF THE EMPIRE game.

What is it like to have a published and professional science fiction author as a player? It’s really annoying, because when inspiration strikes, I write an entire 10,000 word short story to describe my character’s background!

Are you curious? Do you have too much time on your hands? Here it is!!

****************************************************************

Rurra Lya’lya, Lady Scoundrel

Something Wrong with Life

Rurra was raised in the lap of luxury on the vast estates of clan Ilya on planet Kothlis, where acres of the legendary singing grasses emit eerie serenades from their crystal flowers beneath the mingled lights of the seven gem-bright geode moons.

The five thousand year old mansion house was acre upon acre in extent, a massive pile of intricately carved ivory, shining silverwood, polished teak and cherry, a blaze of stained glass windows, and each chimney adorned the air with the many perfumes and incense wafts to which the Bothan nose is particularly sensitive.

Beneath the mansion was an older dwelling place, and endless warren of tunnels and buried museums, domiciles, strongrooms and workshops were the vassal clans beholden to Ilya were dormitoried, the lesser clans of Swy and Vwyl, Lal and Llorl and the hereditary assassins beholden to Ilya, the cunning Yroon.

Beyond the groves of singing trees stretch the pampas which Rurra in her youth loved to ride on her pet human, a tall and athletic steeplechaser named Arno, who would carry her on his shoulders as he loped across the plains of this light and low-gravity world.

The pampas were scarred by deep and narrow arroyos in which the lowest class of Bothans made their homes in the fashion of the beastlike burrowing ancestors: half-buried huts whose thatched roofs were flush with the ground, with tunnels leading through soil and roots. Such huts blended into the soil, and the scent of their owners masked by fragrant grasses and herbs, so that one could ride with a stone’s throw of a village of them and suspect nothing.

In these tall grasses the low-caste Bothan nerfherders would herd their nerfs, lumbering beasts like walking whales from whose ambergris and sweetbreads the perfumers of Ilya extracted essences, and the assassins brewed poisons. Of course, being Bothans, the nerfherders spent their time gambling and smuggling and plying each other with tricks and multilayered deceptions, and trying to get someone else to do their chores.

Only infrequently would the nerfherders trample a rival village under the bellies of their wallowing nerfs, or to celebrate those special holidays commemorating ancestral battles and successful acts of treachery.

It was when she was still a kitten of the Third Season, at the age that in a human would be equivalent to a sixteen year old, just at the dawn of womanhood, when Rurra first became aware of something amiss in the galaxy.

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Posted in Fancies | 5 Comments

Wright’s Writing Corner –On Judging a book by its cover

The good news, prospective writers, is that it is now much, much easier to get published as an author than ever before in human history. The bad news is that it is much, much harder to find the reader to buy your books. A good cover is crucial.

The beautiful and talented Mrs. Wright has an article on getting a cover that will attract rather than repel the reader:

Commission a cover painting – this is an idea option for many books…but you have to be careful. Bad paintings look worse than anything else, except perhaps bad photoshopping. In particular, human figures that are distorted or not in proper proportion can be really off-putting. So, if you are going to go to the trouble of having a real cover painting, make certain that the artist you pick can produce a pleasing human image.

This last point cannot be stressed too strongly. Human images out of perspective and photoshopping that doesn’t trick the eye are worse–much much worse–than a simple solid cover with lettering on it. Do not pick a cover image that will turn away more readers than it draws!

So…Now, you have a decent cover image. Everything is great, right?

Not quite.

Read the whole thing:

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2014/04/16/wrights-writing-corner-beware-the-sneer-of-reader-x-or-dont-skimp-on-the-cover-art/

Posted in Wisdom | 3 Comments

Do I Role Play? Ask Rather, Do Ever I Stop? — Part Two (The Dream Game)

Indeed, I still play role playing games. I usually invent my own dice mechanics for each game I run, based roughly on the Chaosium system. I find using percentile dice is intuitive: I have a grasp of what 75% means, but I do not have a grasp of what rolling a 14 or better on 3d6.

Just this month, I had a dream about a role playing game, where my character had to overcome an enemy’s resistance roll, in order to use my special power to copy his superpowers. And when I told my children, they insisted I invent the game and run it.

Let me give you a taste of the rules and background I am using.

The children and I decided to use a system of five stats, taken equally from the EVERWAY game and the NARUTO  cartoon: stats are  Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Dream. There is also a ‘Rank’ stat that defines your caste, fame or social rank.

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Posted in Fancies | 21 Comments

A Marvel from A.D. 801702

GreatSphinx

It is discovered that H.G. Wells was wrong in his prediction. We need not wait until AD 801702 to see the English devolve into the troglodyte cannibal Morlock and the effete, pampered frail and helpless Eloi too foolish to realize that they are food animals.

No, the subhumans in England this day in 2014 combine both the anthropophagic viciousness of the Morlocks and the dainty weakness of the Eloi at one and the same time!

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Posted in Musings | 38 Comments

Do I Role Play? Ask Rather, Do Ever I Stop? — Part One (Roling and Writing)

A reader asks if I still play Role Playing games. Indeed I do.

Let me count the ways. This will take more than one post. Let me here mention the rpg’s I have played in the past which influenced my writing; then I can talk about games I am running or playing in now.

AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND was written because while I was still in school in the 1980s I had moderated a role playing game I invented based on Roger Zelazny’s JACK OF SHADOWS. Because I thought the Dung Pits of Glyve were not sufficiently horrific as a place to go when you die, I decided to place the Last Redoubt from William Hope Hodgson’s THE NIGHT LAND at the West Pole of the tide-locked and unrotating world inhabited by the Jack of Shadows magicians. I decided that Origob, the evil god from the planet Tekumel invented by MAR Barker and Cthulhu were one and the same, and that they were behind the Great Watching Things besieging the pyramid, and that the psychic vibrations of the Last Redoubt created the citadel of Kadath from H.P. Lovecraft’s DREAM QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH in the mass subconsciousness of the humans living nearer the Terminator, the lands of eternal twilight nearer to the sunlight. Consequently, I had an enormous amount of material invented about the people of the Last Redoubt, but after the game ended, I put the thick folder away sadly.

Years later, my wife brought to my attention a tiny notice in a trade magazine asking for stories in the Hodgson’s Night Land. An editor named Andy Robertson was soliciting work. I had met Mr. James Stoddard at a Science Fiction convention at about that time, whose book, THE HIGH HOUSE, by pure coincidence, I happened to have found and read that week before. It turned out that he knew Andy Robertson, and was able to introduce us, and inspiration struck, and I wrote my first short story for him. The rest is history, but it started with a role playing game.

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Posted in Fancies | 27 Comments

Time for a BOOK RIOT!!!

The esteemed and inestimable Larry Corriea, Monster Hunter, who is clearly my Siamese Twin severed from me at birth, is organizing a what we members of the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffable Flame call a ‘number storm.’ He volunteered to do this on my behalf with no prompting from me. The words below are his:

 

Today we are Book Bombing John C. Wright’s Awake in the Night Land

Many of you already know John for being an awesome sci-fi writer. Personally, I found him because of his blog. http://www.scifiwright.com/ Like me, John is an out of the closet conservative. Only where I am blunt and sometimes crude, John is eloquent and intellectual. I’m a tetsubo. John is a rapier. I’ve got a lot of respect for his writing, and I don’t say this lightly but I really do believe he is our modern C.S. Lewis.

For example, this is the first thing of his that I read: http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/01/restless-heart-of-darkness-part-two/

Seriously… I was shocked to discover that A. This guy was on my side. B. He gets away with that while writing for Tor!

This new book is a collection of 4 interconnected novellas. However, it isn’t from Tor, it is from a new publisher, same place that did Kratman’s Boys Don’t Cry, and this house is run by somebody who is even more hated in left wing sci-fi than I am, so that is just icing on the cake. :)

The purpose behind a Book Bomb is to get as many people as possible to purchase a book on the same day. This causes it to move up the rankings until it gets on the different daily bestseller lists. The higher it gets, the more people who notice it, the more attention it gets, the more new readers the author picks up. All that means the author GETS PAID!  And you guys get a really good book to read, so everybody wins.

Right now it is sitting at:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,504 Paid in Kindle Store

I want to bump that up higher because I think John is a great writer and a voice of reason in the wilderness. So please tell your friends, repost this on your FB or Twitter or whatever you are in to.

Amazon used to update differently and book bombs would see movement in the first hour, but now it takes a few hours before there is anything significant.  So I’ll update the number during the day.

Extra points for anyone who can tell me who the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffable Flame are, or what a number storm is.

UPDATE: at the moment, this book is #8 in Dark Fantasy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books/9803/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_b_1_5_last

Posted in Announcement | 18 Comments

Blood Moon in Holy Week

NASA reports that a total lunar eclipse will be visible from the East Coast of North America, lasting from 2.00 in the morning to 3.00.

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2014.html

Meanwhile, the Good Book reports that

“And I will show wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Jehovah.”  Joel 2:30 -31

“The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious Day of the Lord.” Acts 2:20

I have heard (but cannot find a confirming report) that there was such an eclipse during the Passion of Our Lord.

Holy Week is a fine time to repent, go to confession, and get clean. Fasting is good to tame lust and gluttony, almsgiving to tame greed and avarice, and prayer to tame pride.

If anyone tells you that Easter Eggs is a pagan survival to worship the great goddess ‘Oestre’ — this is a lie. The habit in the older times was to give up eggs for Lent, and the children would celebrate the end of the strictness of 40 days of Lenten fasting by eating eggs. ‘Oestre’ just means ‘Spring’ in the some Northern European languages. I am sure you can find a goddess named ‘Spring’ somewhere in some pagan mythology — even though I have never heard of her, outside arguments like this, despite my years of study in mythology and folklore — in the same way you can find gods named ‘Sky’ such as Uranus and goddesses named ‘Earth’ such as Erda. In any case, if Easter were a survival of Oestre-worship, why is the word for Easter in all the romance languages named for the Paschal Feast? (Italian=Pasqua; Spanish=Pascua; Pascques)

Posted in Greetings | 28 Comments

The Diskos

A reader has a question about AWAKE IN THE NIGHT:

Mr Wright,
I’m having a little trouble visualizing the Diskos. Sometimes I see it as a lance with a cone shaped spinning shaft or blade and sometimes as an ax like weapon. Am I right with either visualization? Ah I have reached the part of the second story that describes a Diskos without the blade.

Happy to help! The diskos looks like a pizza cutter. Or maybe like a unicycle.

I do not have the paragraph in front of me, but I believe that the narrator calls the ‘blade’ of the weapon by the term ‘diskos’ that is, the disk-shaped cutting blade, but he also uses this term for the whole weapon, the same way we might call a sword ‘a blade’.

Maybe a picture will make this clear.
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Posted in Fancies | 24 Comments

And More Pictures!

After posting a number of pictures of eye-candy, I should also show you some pictures which excite me even more.

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Posted in Fancies | 9 Comments

Would You Like a Slice of Cheesecake?

Allow me to present some pictures of the lovely Donna Reed, to which a reader brought my attention:

donna_reed_over_shoulder_profile

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Posted in Drollery | 31 Comments

Read Matt Walsh

Simply a suburb article today by Matt Walsh.

As you might imagine, I was recently reacquainted with the rather sickening idea that I have a duty to show reverence for a political office, when I wrote a post last week where I merely called the president a liar. Indeed, anytime you criticize the president with an intent more serious than playfully teasing him for picking the wrong team in his March Madness bracket – anytime you attack authority, particularly presidential authority, particularly THIS president’s authority — the ‘respect the office’ propagators will come streaming in, fingers-a-wagging and heads-a-shaking.

‘Respect the office,’ they gush. Noticeably, the folks most concerned with respecting Obama’s office weren’t to be heard from during that certain eight year period where Bush was daily cut down as anything from Hitler Incarnate

Read the whole thing here.
http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/04/11/i-dont-respect-the-president-or-his-office-and-neither-should-you/
I disagree with him on one technicality: officers in uniform must properly salute the Commander-in-Chief and proffer other signs of subordination and respect as military discipline requires. Otherwise, I agree wholly. As civilians, we need only proffer signs of respect for the Constitution that the President serves and we obey. Our respect for him is the minimum requires to maintain public order, and is abrogated when he acts against the office and the Constitution.

Posted in Only Posting a Link | 9 Comments