Author Archive

Musteline yet Lacking a Male Member

Posted August 30, 2014 By John C Wright

A comment by Brad R. Torgersen about a recent unsightly eructation at the Guardian

http://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/when-ignorant-snobs-attack/

The piece he criticizes so sharply and ably is here:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/aug/29/space-opera-new-guardians-of-the-galaxy-ancillary-justice

You may read it if you wish, although I recommend against it. The column is the vaporings of a stranger to the science fiction field applauding the applause given a book called ANCILLARY JUSTICE on the ground that, let me quote:

It continues the tradition of feminist writing within science fiction, famously adapting its pronoun usage as the central character struggles to understand the alien concept of binary gender.

This battle for the political high ground, while it is often petty, is far from unhealthy. The future science fiction has forecast and helped to shape, the future we are now deeply enmeshed in, is a profoundly political place.

The theme of the column proposes that there is a political war going on in science fiction between evil reactionaries who want to enjoy stories and benevolent social justice warrior whose mission is to enlighten us.

By Klono’s brazen claws, does anyone actually READ these preachy novels of feelbad flounderheaded pontification-fests for fun?

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Reviewer Praise for COUNT TO A TRILLION

Posted August 29, 2014 By John C Wright

My books seems to have caught Mr Moore over at Yardsale of the Mind when he was in a good mood. He begins as follows:

Nutshell: This is a good book. Go buy it now, and get a couple copies to give to unsuspecting friends.

The large pile of books I bought last year has been barely touched – I did get to read Mike Flynn’s excellent Eifelheim, reviewed here, as well as some Gene Wolf that crept into the pile of its own volition, and several good books for a Catholic reading group I’m in. But wasn’t making much of a dent.

But not anymore! I’ve got my Great Books man-cave set up, with all the stuff off the floor and into a bookcase atop a large desk, where a couple hundred books to be read or reread sit at approximately eye level, taunting me. So, cracked into John C. Wright’s  Count to a Trillion, the first book of an epic six book space opera.

Whoa.

First off, the experience of reading this book brought me back to my time in high school – in a good way. Back then, I didn’t give a crap about schoolwork (have I mentioned I’m a terrible student?) and so, when a book grabbed me, I’d read almost till sunrise if that’s what it took to finish it. Well, over the few days it took to read Count to a Trillion, I twice stayed up past midnight reading (I get up before 6 every day, and have a job and dependents and stuff, so the ‘read until 4:30 a.m.’ thing ain’t happening – but 1:30 is the moral equivalent at this point in my life.)  That’s a pretty gripping book to do that! AND – I picked up The Hermetic Millennia immediately upon reaching the end and its cruel cliffhanger. I’ll review volume 2 in a day or two when I’m done.

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Five Current Work Questions

Posted August 29, 2014 By John C Wright

What am I working on?

I am working on several projects: A short story for Sci Phi called ‘The Ideal Machine’; my next Count to the Eschaton, tentatively titled THE VINDICATION OF MAN volume is due early next year to Tor; I have agreed to deliver a short story to a possible anthology tentatively titled TRIGGER WARNINGS by this time next year; but at the moment and for the next month I will be polishing my second draft of the first volume of my Unwithering Realm trilogy to Castalia Books, called SOMEWHITHER.

In a nutshell:

I am writing an alternate history novel when the son of the buttkicking Deacon-ninja Templar working for the secret ‘special operations’ branch of the Vatican Swiss Guard has to outwit and outfence the evil Astrologers from an alternate timeline where the Tower of Babel was never destroyed by a miracle, so that planet has one race, one nation, one language and nothing they attempt is denied them.

Because of their ability accurately to predict the future, the Babylonians are conquering the other timelines (The other timelines include one ruled by giants where Noah’s flood never came; one ruled by Mummies and ghosts of mighty Pharaohs, where the rebellion of Moses never robbed Egypt of her work force; one ruled by mermaids where the waters of Noah’s flood have nor yet receded; the one where Christ was welcomed by the Jews and escaped the Roman authorities is ruled by vampires, because there are no crucifixes to drive them back.)

My young hero, Ilya Muromets, has to join forces with an invisible gypsy, a headless giant, an unpredictable monkey-girl with a weapon made of living metal, a levitating old-testament style prophet, Captain Nemo, and a sexy maneating mermaid from the conquered parallel worlds, and cut his way with his grandfather’s katana to where the mad scientist’s beautiful daughter from the Haunted Museum is imprisoned, slaughtering Latin werewolves and Greek Kallikanzaro and large-eared flying midgets and one-legged sciapods and one-eyed Arimaspians along the way, until he finds the forty-story tall prayer-powered robotic suit of armor needed to wrestle the Atlantis-sized leviathan turtle, to pick up the twenty-story tall burning neutronium spear, trample the armies of the dark tower, cleave the diamond admantium chains holding the trapped archangel of …

Never mind the rest. I am trying to write something as over the top as I can possibly get away with. That is why I am bringing this manuscript to Vox Day rather than Tor books. I think he has the vision to approve of the fight scene between the armored and over-adorned Babylonian Zeppelin driven by Emperor Nimrod the Hunter and the ironclad submersible Nautilus captained by Nemo, warrior-Maharaja and superscientist of Lemuria.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t know, but maybe the answer is, that this work differs from other alternate history books BY BEING TOTALLY AWESOME.

Also, the theory of how the parallel timelines divide is unique.

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Nobody Expects

Posted August 29, 2014 By John C Wright

I read this article in the Community Digital News, which reports an attack by an angry mob against a group of Mohammedans.

http://www.commdiginews.com/world-news/europe/muslims-flee-northern-ireland-to-escape-anti-islam-violence-18836/

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Labor Day Sale!

Posted August 29, 2014 By John C Wright

My publisher has an announcement:

Labor Day Sale on Amazon

Amanda Green of Nocturnal Lives has put together a Labor Day Sale in which all of the books listed are on offer for $2.99 or less. Check out the entire list there. Castalia House is participating and the following books are available for $2.99 all weekend at Amazon:

John C. Wright: Awake in the Night Land

John C. Wright: Transhuman and Subhuman

Rolf Nelson: The Stars Came Back

Vox Day: A Throne of Bones

Vox Day: The Altar of Hate

Steve Rzasa and Vox Day: QUANTUM MORTIS: A Man Disrupted  

Tom Kratman: Big Boys Don’t Cry

In addition, the following books are free for the next three days:

John C. Wright: Awake in the Night

Vox Day: The Last Witchking

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Poetry Corner

Posted August 28, 2014 By John C Wright

The Shooting of Dan McGrew

By Robert W. Service (1874–1958)

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o’-love, the lady that’s known as Lou.

 

When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
There was none could place the stranger’s face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

 

There’s men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he’d do,
And I turned my head — and there watching him was the lady that’s known as Lou.

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Coming soon: The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel!

Posted August 28, 2014 By John C Wright

My beautiful and talented wife’s next book is soon to be published.

I love, love this cover. One big advantage of the ‘new model’ of Internet publishing versus New York publishing is that authors can hire their own cover artists and describe the painting they want.

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An Unspoken Assumption

Posted August 27, 2014 By John C Wright

Over at Vox Popoli, this was part of the discussion. A reader there commented:

“I remember my Zen teacher (an American who was deeply immersed in Japanese culture, one of the first generation of top-level Zen teachers in America) remarking once ~30 years ago that in Japanese culture it is simply assumed that if a man and a woman are alone together, there’s some hanky-panky involved. May not always be the case, of course, but it seems to be a good default assumption, if you want to run a successful, lasting culture.”

My comment:

I assume I am a bit more old fashioned than most, but, honestly, this was the default assumption we once saw in American culture.

I was just showing my children CASABLANCA, the Bogart/Bergman film from just before WWII. Because the character Ilsa was traveling with the hero Victor Lazlo under her maiden name of Lund, Rick Blaine (and presumably the audience of the day) assumes she is a demimonde, that is, a fallen woman, a paramour, no better than a whore.

Without this assumption, Rick’s bitterness when he first speaks with her is incomprehensible: he think’s he’s been played for a sap by a manipulative harlot. When she announces in the next scene that she is married to Lazlo, the shock on his face is once again incomprehensible unless the audience understands the assumption that no woman travels alone with a man other than her husband, much less stays with him in the same hotel, unless there is ‘some hankie panky’ going on, or she is his sister.

These unspoken commonplace assumption are decried by feminists as unfair, even oppressive. Leftism is defined as a rebellion against reality and reason on the grounds that reality is unfair. Feminism is rebellion against sexual reality and reason.

In reality, these assumptions are sound and sane, and assuming a young man and a young woman can have a friendship without a sexual overtone to it is false: men young or old automatically start being gallant (that means boasting, preening, and showing off) around young women or feminine women of any age, and woman automatically being gracious (that means start flirting) whether they know it or not.

The idea that it is liberating for men and women to strip off their sex and turn into neutral eunuchs so that they can meet and work together as units in the factory or office is a false idea.

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On the Coyness of God

Posted August 27, 2014 By John C Wright

I’m fairly certain, if God is indeed maximally good and therefore would do everything he could to draw people, free agents, towards him, the greatest good, that logically, the best option would be to reveal himself not just occasionally, but always so that there can be no doubt as to his existence.

For though the heart of the atheist and other non-believers may be hard, and their minds closed off, I’m fairly certain even Dawkins and Osama Bin-Laden would have gotten on their knees and prayed for forgiveness and most likely would NOT have even needed to do so if God was always undeniably present.

What deficiencies, if any, are there on this option

 

Have you ever been an atheist? I was. I would have defied God to his face, and blasphemed the Holy Spirit. I solemnly assure you that I would have. The coyness of God is the only thing that saved from the one thing the Bible clearly says is an unforgivable sin.

The only real doubts about God’s existence come from sin, from a psychological unwillingness to face facts. God is abundantly, transcendentally, painfully obvious even to pagans — because otherwise they would not have bothered inventing gods if they did not know, deep down, that they were made for worship, designed by a designer, built by a builder.

Modern atheism springs from the wealth and plenty of the industrial revolution, men who think they can live without God, who then go looking for excuses, flimsy ones, not to believe in Him: Marx, Darwin, Freud.

1. Marxism looks for an unthinking and inanimate set of forces, call the material dialectic, to explain the fall of man, the progress of history, and the eventual restoration of paradise, all without God. But history is either an unplanned and undirected series of events, or it is a story. Marx attempted to make it a story, with a beginning (primitive communism) a middle (capitalism) and an end (worker’s paradise of socialism) but without a storyteller. That is a contradiction in terms a child can see.

2. Darwin looks for an explanation of the origin of species and the teleology of the parts of animals, that is, to explain their design and the perfect fittedness of each organ to its purpose without a designer. He wants creation without a Creator in the same way Marx wants a story without a storyteller. What his theory predicts is not borne out by the evidence around us: where are the birds who only build half a nest, or the newt with only half an eye, who are halfway to evolving real nests and real eyes? Those things that are presented as transitional or preevolutionary halfway marks, such as light-sensitive spots or bird who mash down grass without weaving a proper nest, still evince a teleology, a that-for-the-sake-of-which, which the bird or critter in question did not himself decide or determine. Either the organs and instincts are purposeless, or there is purpose in nature. But nature cannot hold a purpose unless nature is an intelligent being, that is, a being capable of making self aware decisions, which is what a purpose is.
3. Freud thought to explain, or, rather, explain away the conscience, sin and soul of men by means of fairy tales given austere Greek names. The concept of a ‘subconscious’ is a contradiction in terms: it means the part of our awareness of which we are unaware. Rather than speak of sin, be spoke of Id; rather than speak of soul, he spoke of Ego; rather than speak of conscience, he spoke of Superego, which he characterized as merely tyrannous, unthinking, negative, the source of all mental illness. His solution for madness was to urge people to indulge their impulses whether good or bad. What a boatload of rot.

Marxism and Darwinism and Freudianism are science fiction stories just as much as anything penned by HG Wells.

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Breaking Down Pink and Blue SF

Posted August 26, 2014 By John C Wright

At Castalia House, Daniel applies the definitions of Pink and Blue SF to what are perhaps the best examples of the genre. Both are short stories, and can be read in one sitting.

The first is Rachel Swirsky’s Nebula-Award winning and Hugo-nominated short story “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love”

The second is Gene Wolfe’s “Build-A-Bear”

Myself, I would say it is worth reading Mr. Daniel’s analysis if only to have an excuse to read Gene Wolfe’s story, which was new to me.

His article is here:

http://www.castaliahouse.com/pink-and-blue-sf-an-applied-breakdown/

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