An Universal Apologia for the Universal Church

Posted September 25, 2016 By John C Wright

With some reluctance, I surrender to a reader’s request to place, in one spot easily opened, my series of essays explaining my reasoning that compelled me to accept the Catholic Church as being one, true, apostolic and catholic in nature, and rejecting respectfully the claims of the others.

My reluctance is for the obvious reason that in this late hour of history, when the lamps of the faith are being extinguished one by one, and the whole is rotted and stinking with the open corruption of venal secularists and their perversions combining with heretical and apostate Mohammedans to form a single and insanely violent death cult bent on the destruction of the West and the enslavement of all her children, is the worse moment to stir up old wounds between brothers.

I wish enmity to none of my brethren in Christ, and, as I hope we will meet in heaven, we can lay to rest our petty and odious theological disputes there, when the light of truth shall abolish them. Whoever turns out to have been wrong will laugh and weep, and whoever turns out to be right will be ashamed at his lack of charity, if he failed to love the mislead brother all the more, as he ought to have done.

Nonetheless, truth has its own claim, and I must speak it as best I may, if I may do so without pride:

This long essay is also available by clicking the APOLOGETICS button on the front page of this journal.

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Wright Stuff

Posted September 24, 2016 By John C Wright

We now have a shop at Zazzle. There are collections there with items from the Books of Unexpected Enlightenment, the Prospero’s Children (Daughter) series, Tales of Moth and Cobweb, and the general writings of John C. Wright.

So if you need a nousepad of Mab, a cheerweasel bag, or a clock adorned with the Dark Tower from SOMEWHITHER, here is the place to sate your needs.

Please note that the black and white drawings were penned by yours truly, so if you have ever dreamed of seeing what a sardonic sheep named Gaius or mad English warlock boy named Sigfried or the ever-popular Mephistopheles Prospero (a name far more ominous than he is) look like on mug or mousepad, pillow or T-shirt, now your dreams come true.  Read the remainder of this entry »

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Occam’s Razor and the Beard of the Philosopher

Posted September 24, 2016 By John C Wright

This is the too-long did not read version of a previous column. I write in in hopes that the many people who have misunderstood my point will understand if earnestly asked.

In the following argument, no claim is being made that inexplicable things are explicable. No claim is being made that the atheist model is wrong. The single claim being made is that the atheist model is inelegant, that is, it is a model that is less parsimonious and less robust than the Christian model.

I said it at least four times in a prior column article, but the concept that a lawyer is only arguing the one point he says he is arguing is confusing to many, so I will repeat it:

I am asking the reader to compare the two models of the universe. I make no arguments as to which is true. I am only talking about (1) what they claim and (2) whether the model requires ad hoc after-the-fact rationalizations to save the appearances. I called these ad hoc ‘epicycles.’

The atheist model either claims that the origin of the universe is a mystery beyond human power to know, or claims it is beyond present human knowledge, or claims that various speculations (spontaneous creation, multiverse, or endless cycles) are the most satisfactory speculations currently available.

The Christian model claims the origin of the universe is known because the originator made it known. The model neatly avoids the logical fallacy of an infinite regression of causes, and the unscientific claims about reverse-entropy, the paradox of multiple universes, or causes arising spontaneously.

And likewise for various other claims about the origin and nature of morality, the origin and nature of aesthetics, of free will, and for historical claims of the causes of the triumph of the Christian Church and of Western Civilization. The atheist explanation of why Christians act as they do does not fit in with the atheist model of human nature, motivation, and behavior, or says it is beyond knowing.

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A Glimpse of SF History

Posted September 23, 2016 By John C Wright

After a fascinating discussion with Dave ‘Slayer-of-Snowflakes’ Truesdale (the first, but not the last, man to be expelled from a science fiction con for speaking truth to falsehoodlums) He shared a tidbit of history with me, that I would like to pass along.

Mr Truesdale says by way of background:

At the tender age of 24, in April of 1976 my third or fourth con ever was a Minicon. I interviewed a ton of the Giants at that con (and the previous Minicon in 1975) and published the interviews in the original Tangent, which was devoted to articles, book reviews, and interviews. Turns out that one of those interviews was with Leigh Brackett and husband Edmond Hamilton, said interview since verified as the very last one of them both together.

Within a year and a half both of them had passed away. With all
humility I observe that it is regarded as a classic by many. It is quite long but looking back on it now after 40 years it still holds up. The kid lucked out.

My comment: Leigh Brackett, although I never met her, never wrote her a fan letter, has always had a very special place in my heart. Her space-noir adventure stories stand out from the crowd of pulps, and her penning EMPIRE STRIKES BACK should confirm her fame to those who have forgotten that she wrote THE BIG SLEEP screenplay.

But, in my case, her imagination is the first one from which I stole a character and a situation for a RPG game of mine, a villain named Alandur, a vampire, not of blood, but of beauty.

Of Edmund ‘World-wrecker’ Hamilton, I fall mute in admiration. He is like a pagan god to me. A shrine to his work burns forever with votive candles in my imagination. He wrote CAPTAIN FUTURE, ferpetessake! You cannot get more scientifictionary than that.

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Superluminary, Episode 19, The Surrender of Saturn

Posted September 21, 2016 By John C Wright

Superluminary, Episode 19, THE SURRENDER OF SATURN, is posted on Patreon:

Episode 19 The Surrender of Saturn

In this exciting episode, Darius Tell, Lord Pluto, battles with his brother Lord Saturn. Aeneas forces the captured Lord Saturn to use his secret powers to reveal the long-hidden and primordial origins of earthly life that the missing, mad Emperor, Lord Tellus, kept from his family.

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Reviewer Praise for SOMEWHITHER

Posted September 21, 2016 By John C Wright

Mr. Peter Nealan, the author of the American Praetorians series has some kind words about my book. I think he and I are mutual fans of Larry Correia.

Somewhither is seriously one of the wildest mishmash pulp/sci-fi/fantasy/Christian fiction stories I’ve ever read.  (And in case anyone is worried about the “Christian fiction” part making it too tame, don’t worry.  There’s plenty of violence and bloodshed to satisfy the strictest action junkie.  Some of it’s almost more graphic than the stuff I write.)  Wright has thrown just about everything plus the kitchen sink into this universe (multiverse?).  There are magicians, vampires, werewolves, giant armored zeppelins, interdimensional gates, monsters of all shapes and sizes (many of which come from various medieval sources that are sadly underutilized when people start coming up with monsters for fantasy stories).  There’s adventure and superpowers and lots of combat.

In short, it’s a wild roller-coaster of a multiple universe swashbuckler, with some deeper metaphysical themes woven in between the blood and guts and derring-do.  If you have enjoyed the Jed Horn series, by all means, go read Somewhither.  You will not regret it.

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Occam and Atheism

Posted September 20, 2016 By John C Wright

On the Inadequacy of the Atheist Model

I have been asked to explain some of the ways in which the atheist model of the universe is either inadequate or inelegant, hence not the most rational approach to use to explain the facts of reality, nor to answer the deep questions of philosophy.

Now, I should say at the outset that a dogma shared by all atheists I’ve met or read to date (I include myself back when I was an atheist) is their unquestioned assumption that disbelief in Christ is a reasonable position, and belief unreasonable.

The firmness with which the atheist hold to the assertion of Christian irrationality is directly proportional to the strength of the argument supporting said assertion.

In reality, Christians believe in Christ for the same sort of reasons people believe in heliocentrism, Darwinism, bimetallism, monogamy or anything else: the unreflective man believes what he was taught by his parents and elders, and sees no reason to reexamine that belief; the reflective man believes because no other answer is as simple and yet suitable to the evidence and axioms.

In my case, I submit that Christianity is reasonable because atheism leaves so much either to be explained in an awkward, ad hoc, and unconvincing fashion, or not explained at all.

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On this Superversive Round table we have Dave Truesdale, ejected from World Con for upsetting snow flakes and Dragon Award winnders John C. Wright, Nick Cole and Brian Niemeier as well as the usual group.

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Names in Superluminary

Posted September 16, 2016 By John C Wright

I recently posted in this place my notes of the role playing game on which my pulp serial SUPERLUMINARY is based. Some reader asked me about the names, which for a variety of reasons, I changed.

For the convenience of any curious readers, let me post here the list of characters of the drama.

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A Culinary Compliment

Posted September 16, 2016 By John C Wright

I am just shameless enough to be amused by this compliment:

THE GOLDEN OECUMENE is like a lavish banquet, crafted with equal parts art and science and served in the feasting hall of some splendid palace. It’s a truly unforgettable experience.

Scalzi is the Chef Boyardee of science fiction.

From a comment by a reader named Steve.

Now, I read OLD MAN’S WAR and liked it. On a scale of one to ten, I would give it a five. It is written in a craftsmanlike fashion, and has a good hook at the beginning. As science fiction, no new or mind blowing ideas are introduced, the characters are forgettable ciphers, and the logical ramifications of what one could do with the body-alteration technology are not mentioned nor explored. The writing, however, is readable, and the author makes it easy to turn the page. That virtue makes up for almost every other drawback.

I have not had the pleasure of finishing any other of Mr. Scalzi’s works, but reviewers whose opinions I trust tell me this work was his best: sort of a lighthearted military SF book. I have heard that REDSHIRTS is a fun, light, quick read.

And as someone whose fame comes from writing in the backgrounds of writers better than I, William Hope Hodgson, A.E. van Vogt, and Jack Vance, heaven forbids that I would ever even imagine disparaging anyone who writes an homage or steal material from other authors.

The ghost of Virgil haunts any poseur who overpraises originality, or mocks the tried and true tradition of intellectual kleptomania poets from the dawn of time have used.

Not everyone wants a nine course dinner for every meal. Sometimes a nice can of factory-made ravioli is what one is in the mood to eat.

And need I point out that Chef Boyardee is a successful company, and has been around for a generation? No shame in that.

The only shame, indeed, does not stick to Mr. Scalzi but to those unwary puppykickers who did not have him in mind when making the claim that the Hugo Award is too literate and highbrow to be given to writers of mere lowbrow populist fiction like myself.

Many a partisan, overwhelmed with the odium theologicum of those who argue matters of dogma, says nonsense in the heat of a civil war which cooler heads would later regret.

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