Reviewer Praise for FEASTS AND SEASONS

Posted February 26, 2015 By John C Wright

Yard Sale of the Mind has a fulsome and flattering review of BOOK OF FEASTS AND SEASONS. I had the odd sensation of wanting to read the stories thus described, they sounded so fascinating.

The reviewer makes the unintentionally funny comment that I might mislike being compared to one of the most famous writers of the century, Flannery O’Conner. I also might mislike being told I am as handsome as Adonis, strong as Sampson, and as logical as Spock, but then again perhaps I might not.

https://yardsaleofthemind.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/book-review-the-book-of-feasts-and-seasons/

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A Fan Manifesto

Posted February 26, 2015 By John C Wright

Challenge accepted, Mr. Torgersen!

Background: More than rabbit-souled one self-declared foe of the Sad Puppies slate of Hugo candidates has urged their fellow lapines to shun us and bite us with their wee square rodential teeth to drive us trembling into exile, away from the fuzzy and comfortable warren of right-thinking, that is to say, left-leaning, that is to say, non-thinking conformists.

Their claim of right and clamor of noise was that we were all disqualified from being heard, on the grounds that we are not ‘real’ science fiction fans.

Nothing wrong with fans holding forth their opinions, far from it: Science fiction is blessed to have such an active and enthusiastic fanbase. Nothing wrong with fans telling pros how to conduct their business, far from it. You fans are the employers. The customer is always right.

But their is something wrong with one fan wagging the insufferable finger of correctness at other fans, and telling them they are not members of the one, big happy family, because then you are frelling with my customers, you loon, and mucking with my paycheck. So shut your fat and drooling trap, friend.

My normal Vulcan equanimity is perturbed, causing me to raise one supercilious eyebrow an alarming inch and a quarter up my otherwise unwrinkled forehead by anyone who claims that I and mine are not ‘real’ fans because our participation in fandom is somehow insufficient or politically incorrect.

One Rob at CDN (https://anthrobob.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/so-im-not-cool-enough-to-be-a-fan/) takes exception to the restrictive definition; and was joined in his umbrage by Brad R Torgersen (https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/my-fanifesto/) and Paterick Richardson (https://otherwheregazette.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/not-a-real-fan/) and Kerry English (http://karyenglish.com/2015/02/on-discovering-sff-and-becoming-a-fan/) and an anonymous passer-by on the internet, who, because he happens at the moment to agree with me on this one issue, I trust as I trust the Oracle at Delphi and the Sibyl at Cumae, combined! (https://westfargomusings.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/a-fan-in-my-own-way/)

So, in that spirit, let me say that, while you were still in kneepants, I was a fan. I embarked on my life of crime for the sake of fandom.

My life as a criminal began in the Fifth Grade. During lunch period and recess, because I preferred to read rather than play on the playground, and because my book and my MUNSTERS lunchbox were too big for my small hands to carry both, it was my habit, just before the bell rang, to walk over and unlatch one window the merest crack. Then, while other children were getting healthy exercise, I would sneak back to the classroom building, open the window deftly, and slither inside, retrieve my book, close the window, and depart my the front door, locking it behind me. I would have gotten away with it, too, if Mr Geisel, my teacher, had not collared me during one break-in. My career as a first-story man, or boy, seemed cut short. But when he realized I was trespassing in order to get a book, to read it, something no other child seemed wont to do, I was not sent to Alcatraz, nor to the Principal’s office.

I agree that, compared to the career of Adam North, the Napoleon of Crime, or Professor Moriarty, that Irish mastermind, or of Blackie DuQuesne, that superscientist of villainy, my crime wave was short lived. But I got away clean as a whistle, which is more than two of the three of them can can say.

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Help Cure Puppy Related Sadness in Short Stories

Posted February 25, 2015 By John C Wright

The follow announcement is from my publisher. The words below are his:

Sad Puppies Short Fiction Bomb

The Mountain That Writes turns around and comes back for a second pass:

This Book Bomb is a little different. Because the ones I’m doing right now are to get more people exposed to the works we nominated for the infamous Sad Puppies slate, we’re bombing a bunch of works at the same time. I don’t like putting this many links, but time is of the essence, and next week I’ll post about the Campbell nominees and Best Related Works.

We did three novellas last week and it was a huge success. They’re still selling well a week later. Overall we sold a couple thousands novellas, which in novellas is freaking huge.

But shorter fiction is tough, because it isn’t always available for sale by itself, but is usually bundled as part of an anthology, or in a magazine which often isn’t available on Amazon.

As you can see from the list below, luckily many of these are available on Amazon, and some are available for FREE: Read the remainder of this entry »

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Woot!

Posted February 24, 2015 By John C Wright

Unlimber the big guns, ring the church bells, release the kraken, remit all executions, free the gladiators, gather the greenskinned Orion dancing girls, decree a clone parade of endless twins, and have the Death Star blow up the peaceful and unarmed planet Alderaan in joyful celebration! Two firkins of water shall be distributed to every Fremen!

I just typed the last period of the last sentence of VINDICATION OF MAN, which is the sequel to ARCHITECT OF AEONS. One last read through for glaring errors, cut some material to make room for my appendices, and then I ship it to the editor! Hurrah!

Boy, that Menelaus I Montrose, he has a life that just sucks lemons. A really, really long life that really, really sucks. So glad I am not he. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Suggested Reading List for Racialist Whineloons

Posted February 24, 2015 By John C Wright

Right Fans posts the list:

Commentary: If You Want to Avoid Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors for a Year…

.. have I got a list for you!

Sarah A. Hoyt, for example, is a first generation Portuguese immigrant who grew up in an impoverished village (at least by our standards). She is also a winner of the Libertarian Futurist Society’s Prometheus Award, which honors outstanding fiction with pro-liberty themes.

Larry Correia is also a “writer of color” who grew up in disadvantaged circumstances. As he relates in a recent post, “I grew up with all that fancy Portuguese Dairy Farmer Privilege, where I got to have an alcoholic mother and a functionally illiterate father… where I got to spend my formative years knee deep in cow shit at 3:00 AM, so that I could later work my way through Utah State.” Despite starting life on the bottom rung, however, Larry persevered and is now a multiple-award-winning urban fantasy author.

Jason Cordova is yet another “writer of color” and a survivor of sexual abuse who was bounced from group home to group home in his formative years. After a childhood fighting the oppression of “the system,” he went on to write some pretty fun kaiju novels. The one at left is especially noteworthy.

And let’s not forget James Young, an up-and-coming African American writer who has dipped his toes in both military science fiction and alternate history. An Unproven Concept is an excellent place to start sampling his work.
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Book Bomb Tomorrow!

Posted February 24, 2015 By John C Wright

We have received a message, via the Gridley Wave from our Warlord, Marshal, Ninja-sensei, Cowpuncher and Commander-in-Chief of Sardaukar Terror-Troops, the International Lord of Hate, Larry Correia, about the next planned bombing run.

Sad Puppy Update: Book Bomb for the short fiction this Wednesday.

Mark your calenders. We will be Book Bombing the short fiction categories this Wednesday.

The Novella Category Bomb was a huge success. Thousands of copies were moved. A week later and they’re still on their respective genres bestseller lists. So basically we made sure that these will be the most widely read items in their category.

Now we’re going to do the same thing for the short stories and novelettes. Sad Puppies is all about getting people to nominate based on what they like, as opposed to what they are supposed to like.

Sad Puppies is all about you guys enjoying what you want, regardless of the finger shaking scolds.So, mark your calenders, Book Bomb this Wednesday. Where you can check out some of the awesome short fiction we’re suggesting on our Sad Puppies slate… Oh, and I think some of the authors aren’t horrible white “cismales”, and thus K. Tempest approved, but I since I don’t give a shit I haven’t bothered to check.

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David Warren on Hobbes and Hobbits

Posted February 24, 2015 By John C Wright

This is your must read column for this month, dear reader. It is a meditation on the rights and duties of sovereign power, including Shakespeare’s and Tolkien’s refreshingly Mediaeval take on the issue:

http://www.davidwarrenonline.com/2015/02/23/on-legitimate-government/

The idea of the autonomous “prince” is modern. The mediaeval idea of hierarchy precluded it. The man at the top was lynchpin for a regime consisting of persons in various ranks of nobility, but in a curiously invertible pyramid, for though each in his place is servant to a master above him, he is also servant to the servants of those below him in station, pledged to their defence. The idea of “public service” survives today, but with a much different flavour. This is because the individual has ceased to be defined as a soul, a “being,” with duties. He has been redefined as a cypher or “function” with “rights.” Where to the old Christian view, rights followed from duties in the same man, to our post-Christian view the arbitrary rights of one man translate to duties for unaccounted others. (My right to a free lunch translates to your duty to pay for it, &c.) In this sense, all modern political thinking is in its nature totalitarian.

At the opposite extreme are the politics of Hobbitry: in its nature mediaeval, or if you will, sane. This I gather from perusing recent works on the political views of J.R.R. Tolkien, principally that of Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards in, The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot. […]

The Hobbits of the Shire live under a system of Hardly Any Government. Almost everything is decided at the family level, which leaves, on the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, hardly anything else to decide. But it is better than this, owing to qualities in the Hobbits themselves. It appears that they have no understanding whatever of the concept of “fairness,” and no intellectual ability to distinguish redistribution of property from theft and rapine. They see things rather as they are. On the other hand, they have a perfect understanding of self-defence, engaged when they are occupied by liberal do-gooders. The solution to the problems these do-gooders create is thus very simple. Get rid of them. It is a task which everyone can join in.

Saruman, his Orcs, and their contrivances, provide the metaphor to liberal do-gooders and their obsessions with “process” and technology. They proved their value in resisting evil, arguably, once upon a time, until they became evil themselves. They would not understand Christ’s mysterious instruction, “resist ye not evil,” nor the parables in which He shows that “fairness” is of the Devil. They arrive in power with a do-gooder agenda, and in this are typically modern men. They toggle between damnable efficiency, and damnable inefficiency. They care not which, for over time their project is to create such a cat’s cradle of inter-dependencies that all freedom of action expires, and they may feed on human souls unchallengeably. (Whenupon, God destroys them.)

Hobbits lack agendas of any kind, which is what makes them pushovers, when dealing with the guileful. Instead they have customs, such as the meal times for which they are famous (breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, &c). Their outlook is redemptively mediaeval. But how to protect them from e.g. Saruman and Orcs?

That is where thinking on kingship comes in. My suspicion is that the authors have been led by Tolkien’s whimsy into thinking him more naïve than he was. True enough, Tolkien the man hated democracy, and particularly hated tax collectors. Put more simply, he hated evil. He cannot have failed to understand that his Hobbits were in need of some sort of protection. They were not, however, in need of being changed. As a scholarly mediaevalist, Tolkien would have seen this plainly. I’m not sure Witt and Richards see it.

Read the whole thing.

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Larry Correia on Portuguese Dairy Farmer Privilege

Posted February 23, 2015 By John C Wright

Larry Correia is a fisking genius. Certain works of art cannot be analyzed, only admired in speechless awe. His line by line analysis and snappy answers to stupid comments written today is one such.

Seeing Larry Correia perform a Low Single Leg Takedown Duckunder Fireman’s Carry throw followed by a Knife-Hand Throat-Lock Stand-Up Peterson Hip Heist segue into a Triple Camel Backspin Vulcan Death Grip on a brainless Leftwing loon with a fat head and loud mouth is a joy and a wonder.

The creature (some nobody who has never published anything I’ve read — who is this again?) is asking you to stop reading anything written by Jews for a year, because of their long-nosed Jewish privilege has contaminated the field of Science Fiction literature. DOWN WITH THE UNTERMENSCHEN!!

Or, if it was not Jews, it was some other ethnic group or identity group, I forget which one. Maybe Larry knows. The words below are his:

The Social Justice Warrior Racist Reading Challenge, A Fisking.

I’ve got work to do. I’ve got to finish the rough draft of a novel for a gaming IP by the end of February, and then I’ve got two short stories due the first part of March, but Monday morning I see this nonsense. How could I not take a minute to fisk it?

http://www.xojane.com/entertainment/reading-challenge-stop-reading-white-straight-cis-male-authors-for-one-year

As usual, the original is italics and my comments are in bold.

I Challenge You To Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors For One Year

Bold headline. Short answer? No.

I thought: what if I only read stories by a certain type of author?

On purpose? Then you’d probably be a racist.

K. Tempest Bradford

Pick any whackadoo Social Justice Warrior controversy in sci-fi/fantasy publishing over the last few years and you’ll find K. Tempest Bradford in the middle of it.  She is perpetually outraged that someone may be out there, right now, having fun wrong.

Read the rest: http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/02/23/the-social-justice-warrior-racist-reading-challenge-a-fisking/

Milords, Ladies, and gentlemen, there is only one way to fight this. The author the creature was mocking is Neil Gaimen, who is one of the few bona fide big-name rock star level writers working in the field today. I have met him at Cons: he is personable, professional and all around nice. To have his name blackened by this modern overweight version of Gollum is intolerable, unacceptable, and inconceivable.

Go to Amazon right now and buy a copy of TRIGGER WARNING by Gaiman, photograph the receipt, and mail it to K Tempest Bradford, cod.

Then buy a Larry Correia Monster Hunter book, because those are fun reads.

ADDENDUM:

Nip over to Superversive SF, and see the the crafty Jason Rennie unleashes a farcical facial fish slapping of sarcasm into the quivering jowls of the Politically Self-Lobotomized blowhard of blither. http://superversivesf.com/2015/02/24/take-sjw-reader-challenge-today/

The money quote:

So in the spirit of taking this challenge seriously, I will be making an effort to avoid such writers and see what it does for my outlook. So I guess I should make a list of authors that are “acceptable” to read because they aren’t “cis white het males” to make it easier for anybody that wants to join me.

So lets see what is in?

and out

  • John Scalzi – Cis Het White Male
  • Jim Hines – Cis Het White Male

My comment: allow me to quote one Patrick Chester quoting Larry Correia, from his comment over at Larry Correia’s MHI page:

I challenge you to read books based upon what you think sounds awesome, and never give into the finger shaking scolds.

Can we give the finger shaking scolds the finger?

And the wise Mr Jakub Mařík on Fadd this droll and clear remark:

I am very, very sorry but I can’t accept this challenge.

Because in my country we rarely see photos of authors on books I even don’t know how most of them look like. I don’t know (and care) about their gender, color, sexual orientation, social background or their opinions on politics, global warming, lesbian humpbacks or forced migration of lemmings oppressed for their darker fur.

I’m just reading books and judging them by words on their pages.

Allow me also to quote one Josh from Vox Day’s page, regarding the statement by Gollum that Or you could choose a different axis to focus on: books by people from outside the US or in translation. Josh wryly remarks:

We should heed her call for diversity in reading and read more books in translation.

Homer, Aristotle, Virgil, Cicero, Caesar, Thucydides, Herodotus, Marcus Aurelius, Ovid, Tacitus, Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Bede, Aquinas, Dante…

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Geek Gab! Episode 14

Posted February 23, 2015 By John C Wright

The gentlemen of Geek Gab are discussing ‘One Bright Star to Guide Them’ in their podcast.

They mention my name starting at about 5.30. Daddy Warpig says that there is nothing professionally published authors find nothing more endearing than hearing unpublished schmucks talk about their work: I assume he means this ironically, but he unwittingly speaks the truth.

There is no entrance exam to take to be a fan, aside from reading enough of the books to give your opinion heft.

Nothing is more democratic than being a fan: your vote or mine for making a story famous counts as much as any Tom, Dick, or Harry, and believe you me, there are a lot of Dicks with opinions, so a few schmuck opinions will make a nice change.

(Yes, Daddy, I listened to the show. I am a man of my word.)

Much of the discussion is spent wondering what One Bright Star would have been like had it been a novel.

 

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Pedantolatry

Posted February 22, 2015 By John C Wright

I cannot speak for other village atheists, whom I have not read, but I can take the tenor of man on this topic after even short notice, since I used to be the champion and paladin of the forces of atheism, and I can tell true atheists from false.

True atheists worship nothing. That is the point of atheism and the definition. True atheist do not give a tinker’s damn about the damns of tinkers, because true atheists do not believe in damnation, nor salvation, not any other supernatural folderol.

True atheists do not believe in magic. Hence the true atheist fears no symbols for he holds that symbols are arbitrary and manmade conveniences used by men to convey ideas, one mind to another, having no supernatural powers, eliciting no awe, worthy of no worship. True atheists do not bow the knee to idols for the same reason true Christians do not: because we love the truth, and will not bow to anything false and undeserving.

True atheists do not make and idol out of anything, no, not even science, and we certainly do not make an idol out of atheism. That would be somewhat against the point.

Back when I was an atheist, I had no respect for Mr Dawkins and thought him an embarrassment if not a calamity to the noble cause of godlessness he and I both served. I was a champion of reason over superstition. I could not imagine what in the world he pretended to be.

A champion of reason uses fact, and the logical deductions from facts, as the basis for his beliefs. He does not use falsehood. Why bother? No man shoots blanks at a foe when he had bullets. Only a desperate man does that, one whose arsenal is empty, who hopes mere loud noise might startle the foe.

Likewise, no champion of reason uses unreason, nor thinks so poorly of his foe, as if mere loudness of noise were a substitute for a well laid argument.

I will not in this place recite the arguments and their refutations, nor fisk Mr Dawkins’ many public statements shown repeated to be in error, and not corrected by him. Others have done this ably enough, and the matter would fill a book. If you are not convinced my assessment of Mr Dawkins’ public behavior is just, look for yourself. The matter is public. Read and decide.

For me, my conclusion is this: Mr Dawkins believes the worst of Christianity not because he has examined the evidence, and, after full and fair consideration, decided Christianity is bad. He hates Christianity for reasons no one outside his own heart knows, and he invents flimsy reasons to support and justify the hate.

I do not know what is in his heart, but I know a flimsy reason when I see it. This is not a case of someone sincerely looking at the history of science and concluding that the Church opposed rather than aided it. This is a case of someone losing one religion, and finding another.

In this case, science is being treated not as an efficient and honest method of determining the truth of empirical theories. For him, science is Baal, and idol to whom he bows the knee, and serves and loves, and, like all lovers, inflated the worth with high words of the beloved; and, like all idolators, losing all sight of the plain truth when he bows his trembling head in submission to his false and absurd little godling.

Science, the skeptical study of natural phenomena, makes a bright, splendid, great, fine and honorable branch of philosophy. Science makes a wretched, low, nasty and unsightly idol.

The worship of science inevitably boils down to the worship of professors and grad students, astronomers and botanists, which is to say, un-skeptical acceptance of the authority of anonymous pedants whose work you never check.

Who is less worthy of worship than a pedant?

What is more directly antithetical to skeptical inspection of scientific claims than the gullibility of adorers?

What is more foolish than thinking science can save your soul or build the shining towers of utopia the day after tomorrow, when science never has, never can, and never will make any such claims?

As idols go, Uranus or Apollo, Serapis or Isis, Kannon or Baldir the Bright have far more dignity when placed on a pedestal and worshiped.

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