Author Archive

A Message from my Editor: Last Call for Charity

Posted July 22, 2014 By John C Wright

Below are the words of my editor, Castalia House, concerning the charity drive for Stillbrave, and my own drive to sell my humble work:

Last call for charity

As I mentioned when we announced the book, a substantial portion of the first month’s sales revenues (approximately half), will be donated to Stillbrave, the children’s cancer charity. An estimated $1,350+ has been raised for Stillbrave to date. Today is the final day of the release month, so if you are interested in supporting either Mr. Wright or Stillbrave, I encourage you to buy it now, either from the Castalia House store (EPUB format) or from Amazon (Kindle format).

If you have not read the reviews, of which there are now 22 averaging a 4.7 rating, I hope you will not mind if I happen to share a few of the newer ones with you. And to those of you who have already purchased the book, thank you very much for all your support.

Review 1: I, or my other timeline self, really enjoyed this. I have to admit, I like this better than Awake in the Night Land. I mean, it has a time travelling gumshoe, who can’t like that? The twists and turns of chrono-based events was fun. If I ever ran into anything that was even remotely difficult to understand, I just went with it, knowing that my other self on a different timeline would understand it. Or maybe I didn’t. Well, never mind…. Good book. Go with it. You or your other timeline self will enjoy it.

Review 2: Time travel has been a staple of science fiction for decades, as has the usual paradoxes. But Wright has tried a new twist – the morality of time travel. What is right and wrong when you can go back in time, rerun the past, and create the future? And what horrors can you conceal? Wright tells these stories with an elegant phrasing rarely seen today. Highly recommended.

Review 3: This is the third book of John C. Wright I have read this year. I was introduced to Wright’s writing with his book “Awake in the Nightland,” published by Castalia House. The second was “Count to a Trillion,” published by Tor. This third book, “City Beyond Time,” is published by Castalia House. “City Beyond Time” is along the same vein as “Awake in the Nightland.” Both are a collection of short stories within the same setting…. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves time travel science fiction. It is better then most time travel books that are linear in style and movement. It is by no means predictable and keeps you reading for more. I hope Wright writes more stories about Mr. Fontino in the future, perhaps even give him his own novel series.

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

The Devil’s Dictionary

Posted July 18, 2014 By John C Wright

Vox Day here ponders the odd Eleven Commandments of Progressivism, here propounded by that Moses of the Left, Elizabeth Warren.

Allow me to introduce my own translation from Newspeak to English:

1. “We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”

Translation: We want the benefits of a free market system, but without banks and speculation and other financial institutions we neither understand nor trust, despite that they benefit us. We are willing to fight because we are, at the root, riotous, tumultuous, and uncivilized, as evidenced by the fact that (see above) we neither understand nor trust financial institutions.

Because we are chumps, we do not know that stronger enforcement actually leads to bribes via campaign contributions, regulatory capture, and incest between big government and big business. We are being played for patsies by establishing a type of socialist syndicate state fitliest called fascism, which our ideals allegedly oppose more vehemently than anything else in our dogma.

2.”We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

Translation: We believe in Junk Science, because our brains are filled with mush. Environmentalism is easier than communism to serve as a basis for dismantling the institutions of civilization we neither understand nor trust, despite that they benefit us.

We are also willing and eager to be distracted by completely imaginary and fictional dangers in large things no one can possible influence one way or the other, like the weather, as this makes it easier to ignore, blithely, blindly, and with gooselike foolishness, real dangers from real threats our dogmas do not allow us to recognize, such as international terrorism, and, before that, international communism.

Read the remainder of this entry »

56 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

BEAUTY by Scott Burdick

Posted July 18, 2014 By John C Wright

Take the time to watch this, please.

It is very similar to an essay I wrote recently on the EveryJoe website, but, I think, makes the point more clearly.

Read the remainder of this entry »

13 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

And Now a Message from my Editor re Hugo Awards

Posted July 18, 2014 By John C Wright

Reprinted from his website. If the sorry state of modern science fiction does not remind you of the sorry state of modern painting, please wake up and pay attention to what is happening to our beloved genre.

Keep in mind that his is not a parody. These subhumans are completely serious, and regard the short stories described below as the best of the year.

Voting for the Hugo Awards closes soon!  The voting page for the 2014 Hugo Awards is located at http://www.loncon3.org/hugo_vote/hugo_vote_form.php.  The voting page for the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards is located at http://loncon3.org/hugo_vote/retro_hugo_vote_form.php.  You will also find links to paper ballots which can be filled out and mailed in.  The deadline for voting is Thursday 31 July 2014, 11:59 PM PDT.  The online voting pages will close and any paper ballots mailed in will need to be received by that time.

“If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky. Not just bad, but laughably, risibly, embarrassingly terrible. When the history of Pink SF/F is written, this Nebula Award winner should stand as Exhibit A. The fact that it was written and published is indicative of a problem in science fiction and fantasy. The fact that it won an award, any award, is a veritable indictment.

“The Ink Readers of Doi Saket” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Reasonably well-written, seemingly well-researched story set in Thailand. Extremely boring and I’d have to read it again to identify the point. Not interested enough to bother. Neither science fiction nor fantasy.

“Selkie Stories Are for Losers” by Sofia Samatar. The structure is piecemeal, the story is tedious, pointless, amateurish, and narcissistic. On the plus side, it is, unlike the others, identifiable as fantasy. Bad fantasy, to be sure, but fantasy.

“The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu. Homosexual angst story about a Chinese man afraid to come out about his white boyfriend to his family, written by a homosexual Chinese man. It would appear someone took the advice to “write what you know” a little too literally. The writing isn’t bad and it would be the best story of the lot (which isn’t saying anything at all) if it had anything to do with science fiction or fantasy. Which it doesn’t.

Read the whole thing.

Just for the purpose of comparison and contrast, allow me to list short stories who won the best short story category of Hugo Awards back in the day.

If you are not familiar with these stories, please turn in your science fiction fanboy card and report to the depersonalization chamber. Either that, or look up and read these stories. All of them have been anthologized countless times.

  • “Allamagoosa” by Eric Frank Russell [Astounding May 1955; Sci Fiction, scifi.com 2004-09-15]
  • “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke [Infinity Nov 1955]
  • “Or All the Seas with Oysters” by Avram Davidson [Galaxy May 1958]
  • “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes [F&SF Apr 1959]
  • “The Long Afternoon of Earth” aka “Hothouse” by Brian W. Aldiss [F&SF Feb,Apr,Jul,Sep,Dec 1961]
  • “The Dragon Masters” by Jack Vance [Galaxy Aug 1962]
  • “No Truce with Kings” by Poul Anderson [F&SF Jun 1963] (2) “Savage Pellucidar” by Edgar Rice Burroughs [Amazing Nov 1963] (3) “A Rose for Ecclesiastes” by Roger Zelazny [F&SF Nov 1963]
  • “Soldier, Ask Not” by Gordon R. Dickson [Galaxy Oct 1964]
  • “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” by Harlan Ellison [Galaxy Dec 1965]
  • “Neutron Star” by Larry Niven [If Oct 1966]
  • “Light of Other Days” by Bob Shaw [Analog Aug 1966]
  • “The Last Castle” by Jack Vance [Galaxy Apr 1966]
  • “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” by Harlan Ellison [If Mar 1967] (2) “The Jigsaw Man” by Larry Niven [Dangerous Visions, 1967]
  • “Nightwings” by Robert Silverberg [Galaxy Sep 1968]
  • “Dragonrider” by Anne McCaffrey [Analog Dec 1967,Jan 1968]
  • “The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World” by Harlan Ellison [Galaxy Jun 1968] (2) “All the Myriad Ways” by Larry Niven [Galaxy Oct 1968]
      • That same year, the winner for Best Dramatic Presentation was 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) [Paramount] Screenplay by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick; Directed by Stanley Kubrick; based on the story “The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clarke
      • And, likewise, that same year, a Special Award was given to Neil Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, and Michael Collins – for The Best Moon Landing Ever.

That Special Award, to my knowledge, has never been granted again, because we are the generation that had the moon and lost it.

As for the gap between “The Dragon Masters” or “Nightwings” or even “Dragonrider” versus “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”, when I contemplate the depth of the fall, grief and awe dumbfounds me, and words fail, so I turn to a wordsmith greater far than I to speak for me, and for us:

…’My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away…

73 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Matt Walsh Letter to his Daughter

Posted July 17, 2014 By John C Wright

Nearly every time I read a Matt Walsh column, I believe it to be the best one ever. He is a strong and powerful writer, and he tells the truth. His latest is darned good and strikes very near and dear to my heart. It is about female beauty.

http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/07/16/dear-daughter/

Dear Daughter,

I hope you never notice the magazine rack at the supermarket.

I hope you never see the billboards on the highway or the ads on the side of the city bus.

I hope you never learn about Hollywood and the fashion industry.

I hope you never listen to pop music.

I hope you never walk down the makeup aisle.

I hope you never hate your own appearance.

I hope you never pick up the habit of putting yourself down whenever someone compliments you.

I hope you never feel the pressure to physically conform to the perverse standards of a disordered world.

I hope you always stay exactly as you are right now. Innocent, carefree, unencumbered, pure.

But these could only be the hopes of a foolish idealist like your Dad. I can rub the genie lamp and make a thousand stupid wishes, but you will grow. You will start to learn about the culture that surrounds you. You will form opinions about yourself. Your vivacious, bubbly happiness will give way to more complex emotions. You will develop new dimensions.

In these times, here in your very early life, you only cry because you’re hungry or tired or you want me to hold you. One day, though, your tears will come from a deeper place.

And, when that day comes, I want you to remember one thing: you are beautiful.

Beautiful. A work of art — full of life, exploding with a unique, dynamic, vibrant energy.

Beautiful. Eyes like the morning, a strong and powerful spirit, a face that brims with joy and hope. Beautiful because you were formed by God.

[...]

That’s the game.

Never play it.

That’s the lie.

Never believe it.

Never believe it.

[...]

Read the whole thing: http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/07/16/dear-daughter/

17 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Heh

Posted July 17, 2014 By John C Wright

This is for my 28 second half-a-sentence appearance in an documentary:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5039610/

8 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

And She Acted Like a Girl

Posted July 17, 2014 By John C Wright

This is a comment from another thread by Mduz, which is too good not to share. Needless to say, I agree wholly with the sentiment:

On the JL cartoon, Wonder Woman was most appealing as a character when she was trying to lasso Batman or babying tiny infant Etrigan, least appealing when she was being pissy and murderalising people on the street. In fact, the scene where she’s getting the crap beaten out of her by Mongul (or whatever his name is) is one of the ones I remember most, because Damsel in Distress, super-powered or no, makes you care. If you’re not going to capitalise on the girlness of a girl character, then there’s no reason for her being a girl in the first place.

They should take a lesson from that Starfire on the Teen Titans cartoon. She was the Superman of the group, but yet incredibly sweet and likeable, because she was so girly, and she acted like a girl.

What’s annoying about these prog-stunts is that when they flop, they’ll inevitably start looking for any excuse other than “we’re sh*tty writers”. It’ll have to be sexism, or ‘the world isn’t ready for such advanced notions’, or something.

Wonder Woman is a babe, but if you just have her running around stabbing people saying how much she likes blood, she’s gonna be tedious. (And the scene in “War” with her talking to strawman Republican/conservative/badman was almost as cringeworthy as Lois Lane’s speech about ‘girls who don’t know their own strength’ in Unbound (which is probably the worst DC movie so far. Boy I hated Lois in that one. In fact, all the characters were pretty losery.))

Still, I’m just waiting for DC to stop calling Superman the ‘big blue boyscout’ (he’s a grown man, you dweebs) and maybe create an animated series about him punching the stuffing out of planets and alien armadas and fixing inter-dimensional plumbing, while everyone weeps tears of exaltation at his hyper-masculine awesomeness.

Starfire___HQ

22 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

The Wright Perspective: Seven Right Ideas (Romance)

Posted July 16, 2014 By John C Wright

My Latest is up at Every Joe.

http://www.everyjoe.com/2014/07/16/politics/secret-to-the-most-mind-blowing-sex-ever/

I will tell you the secret of the most amazing, mind-blowing, ecstatic, overwhelming experience of total sexual pleasure you can possibly imagine. I am not kidding and not fooling you. I know the secret and will tell you at the end of this essay, if you have not guessed it beforehand.

You would know the secret as well, except that you have been lied-to your whole life.

Yes, people you know and people you don’t know, people who have no worldly reason whatever to lie to you, have all been deceiving you. Some do it because they don’t know true from false, and they are just repeating what they’ve heard; but most know better, or should know better, but they have something they like better than they like hearing the truth, knowing the truth, telling the truth, and so their brains are full of feculence and their tongues are full of lies.

What they prefer to truth is flattery and self-deception and self-righteousness and all that heap of steaming manure called Political Correctness. What they prefer to their happiness is your unhappiness. The harpies are willing to eat filth and lick pus just so long as you don’t get to eat fresh bread and quaff bright wine.

But let us not pause to denounce sad falsehoods when the glorious truth beckons with her fiery lamp. How can one experience the perfect sexual experience?

31 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Wright’s Writing Corner: Diamonds, Piano, Chicken

Posted July 16, 2014 By John C Wright

The latest from my beautiful and talented wife:

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2014/07/16/wrights-writing-corner-the-diamonds-the-piano-and-the-chicken/

Excerpt:

 

What does your character want?

This is one of the number one things aspiring writers leave out of their
manuscript. They tend not to tell the reader what the character wants.
In particular, the reader needs to know: What is the character’s goal?
What is his motive for his action? What are the stakes if he fails?

Why is this important?

If a character achieves a goal that the reader is unaware he desired, it
means nothing to the reader.

If I don’t know what a character wants, I, the reader, can’t want it
either. So I am not capable of caring about whether he gets it.

Even if I really, really want to care.

To illustrate this, imagine the following scenario: A damaged pirate
ship captures a freighter. The freighter contains as cargo: a piano, a
chicken, and a thousand diamond.

 

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2014/07/16/wrights-writing-corner-the-diamonds-the-piano-and-the-chicken/

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

A Breif Note on Incentives

Posted July 16, 2014 By John C Wright

The basic difference between Right and Left is that the Right understand the power of incentive to behavior. Whatever your reward, you get more of.

The Constitution — that ultimate rightwing instrument embodying our worldview — was set up to have limited powers, checks and balances, in order to limit the rewards of corrupt or dishonest behavior in office. It become in the self-interest of one branch to police and check the other two, because their self-interest suffered otherwise. Self interest, the bane of good government, became harnessed as its workhorse.

One thing the Founding Fathers could never have foreseen or imagined was the rise of an ideology that would motivated people to unselfishly and altruistically destroy their system of government and sell themselves into slavery.

And yet that is exactly what the rise of Politic Correctness does. Someone in the Legislative branch or Judiciary acts against his own self interest and takes one for the team in the hope of augmenting the Imperial Executive power to usher in the Party Policies and the sunny candy-colored Utopia of which all Lefties dream.

They are committing self sacrifice for the sake of self destruction.

42 Comments so far. Join the Conversation