Author Archive

Brad Torgersen on the Treason of the Gatekeepers

Posted March 30, 2015 By John C Wright

Brad Torgersen holds forth on the preemptive attempts by the morlockian Social Justice Warrior, also known as the ‘No Fun Fiction’ crowd, to minimize and de-legitimize the Sad Puppies 3 initiative to appeal to the Hugo voters.

They want to tell us what to write and tell you what to enjoy. And we want them to stop bossing and nagging and vexing you (and us) and the mind their own business. For that we are dismissed, and our motives slandered as sinister and hidden. This nonsense is known as argumentum ad hominem, which is the sole weapon in their arsenal. Such defamation is not only impolite to fellow professionals in the field, worse, it is a logical fallacy.

https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/nail-house/

A quote. (The pics below are mine, not his. I thought them more apt, considering the subject matter.)

We’re about a week out from the release of the final ballot results, for the 2015 Hugo awards. These results will determine which picks are available for your choosing when it comes time for you to cast your ballot. Best Novel, Best Short Story, etc. Already, the critics of Sad Puppies 3 have been laying the groundwork for de-legitimizing SP3. To include statements which completely misunderstand the point of Sad Puppies. Some of it is innocent. Not everybody’s had time to do a deep-dig on the history of Sad Puppies, nor to be able to discern that each iteration of the project has tended to assume its own personality. What they’re hearing about SP3 is probably hear-say from friends, and much of that is at least one to two years out-of-date. And even then, many of the “facts” put forth, are demonstrably wrong.

But other commentary is not so innocent. There are people who find the very existence of Sad Puppies 3 to be an affront to their personhoods. A sinister outside force come to trouble their precious genre and its establishment. For the people deliberately misconstruing the purpose and thrust of Sad Puppies 3, it’s all about getting out in front and shaping a narrative. They’re smart. They know that truth can be overwhelmed with lies if you just spin your narrative adroitly, and with enough volume.
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Eulogy

Posted March 27, 2015 By John C Wright

Mrs Wright shares her thoughts about the passing of Leonard Nimoy:

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2015/03/27/i-heart-spock-my-meandering-reminiscence-of-my-life-long-love-affair-with-a-certain-superversive-vulcan/

star-trek-spock1

History has overlooked one of my favorite Star Trek characters. You never hear her name any more, even though you hear Uhura all the time. But no one ever mentions Nurse Chapel, but I loved Nurse Chapel as a girl.

Because she loved Spock.

Spock 7

The thought of the unrequited love that this fine young woman (played by Roddenberry’s wife, Majel Barrett, who was also the voice of the ship’s computer) held for the calm, logical Mr. Spock delighted my teenage heart. Especially in the Amok Time episode, where she looked so hopeful when he suddenly got emotional.

I felt so sorry for her.

See the rest here: http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2015/03/27/i-heart-spock-my-meandering-reminiscence-of-my-life-long-love-affair-with-a-certain-superversive-vulcan/

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Superheroes and Antiheroes, Story and Antistory

Posted March 24, 2015 By John C Wright

Upon a time, my son overheard me critiquing the movie WATCHMEN, and asked what I, supposing I had been hired as an author, would have done to revise the ending, or theme, or character arcs, to make the movie hale and sound?

How would I have filmed WATCHMEN?

It is a good question, worth pondering. My answer is: I would have filmed THE INCREDIBLES instead.

The comparison of the two films highlights the differences instructively.

Elsewhere I have described my admiration for WATCHMEN, as I watched it descent through the stages of reluctant admiration,  mixed feelings, indifference, and then into a distaste deepening into contempt. I do not propose to repeat those observations here, nor perform that autopsy again.

Nor will I rob Alan Moore of the high praise of which his genius is due: he can be credited with inventing an entire genre  and inspiring generation of epigones and imitators. This alone makes his name immortal, and elevates it above the crowded pantheon of lesser writers. He shares the empyrean throne along with such names as Thomas More, Edgar Alan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle, along with Robert E Howard and JRR Tolkien (who invented the utopian, horror, detective, sword-and-sorcery, high fantasy).

But I will not doff my cap, but rather bite my thumb, at what Alan Moore here wrought. WATCHMAN is  act of wanton deconstruction, desecration, and mockery of an entire genre. You have heard of antiheroes. Not until Alan Moore have we heard of antisuperheroes.

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Some details on the Sandbar Fight

Posted March 21, 2015 By John C Wright

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbar_Fight#Brawl

On September 19, 1827, both Bowie and Mr Wright attended a duel on a sandbar outside of Natchez, Mississippi. Bowie supported duelist Samuel Levi Wells III, while Wright favored Dr. Thomas Harris Maddox, both of Alexandria, Louisiana. About 16 men were present. Wells had also brought supporters, including Major George McWhorter and General Samuel Cuny. Maddox was supported by Colonel Robert Crain, Carey Blanchard, Alfred Blanchard, and several unnamed others.

Wright was late, and had not yet arrived when the duel began.

The duelists each fired two shots, and, as neither man was injured, resolved their duel with a handshake.

As the duelists turned to leave, Bowie came forward to meet them. Seeing this, Maddox’s friends ran forward to join the group. Cuny, who had previously fought with Crain, is recorded as having called out to him, “Col. Crain, this is a good time to settle our difficulty.”

Crain fired, missing Cuny but striking Bowie in the hip and knocking him to the ground. Cuny and Crain then exchanged fire, with Crain sustaining a flesh wound in the arm and Cuny dying from a shot to the chest.

Bowie, rising to his feet, drew his knife and charged at Crain, who struck him so hard with his empty pistol upon the head that it broke and sent Bowie to his knees.

Wright appeared, drew a pistol, and shot at the fallen Bowie, missing. Wright then drew his sword cane and stabbed Bowie in the chest, but the thin blade was deflected by his sternum.

As Wright attempted to pull the blade free, Bowie reached up, grabbed his shirt, and pulled him down upon the point of his Bowie knife.

Wright died quickly, and Bowie, with Wright’s sword still protruding from his chest, was shot again and stabbed by another member of the group. As Bowie stood, pulling the sword cane from his chest, both Blanchard brothers fired at him, and he was struck once in the arm. Bowie spun and cut off part of Alfred’s forearm. Carey fired a second shot at Bowie, but missed. As the brothers fled, Carey was shot and wounded by Major McWhorter.

The Battle of the Sandbar lasted more than 10 minutes, leaving Samuel Cuny and Norris Wright dead, and another four men—Alfred Blanchard, Carey Blanchard, Robert Crain and Jim Bowie—wounded.

Crain helped carry Bowie away, with Bowie recorded as having thanked him, saying, “Col. Crain, I do not think, under the circumstances, you ought to have shot me.” One doctor reputedly said “How he (Bowie) lived is a mystery to me, but live he did.” The doctors who had been present for the duel managed to patch Bowie’s wounds.

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Footnote on the Wisdom of Solomon

Posted March 17, 2015 By John C Wright

The deuterocanonical books, including Wisdom, were published in the original 1611 King James Bible. The deuterocanonical books was a part of the KJV for 274 years until being removed in 1885 A.D.

Many claim the deuterocanonical books should never have been included in the first place, raising doubt about their validity and divine inspiration. Others (including this writer) believe them valid, hence should never have been removed. These books were part of the Bible for nearly 2,000 years, and removed a little more than 100 years ago.

From St. Iraeneus alone there can be no reasonable doubt that the Canon of the Gospel was inalterably fixed in the Church by the last quarter of the Second Century. The Epistles, the Book of Acts, and the Revelation were authoritatively fixed in the canon during synods at Rome in the AD 382 and at Hippo in AD 393.

The authenticity of the scriptures was disputed by Reformers. Luther regarded  Hebrews, James, Jude, and Apocalypse as altogether uncanonical. Zwingli rejected the Apocalypse as uncanonical.

Sixteenth Century scholars, consulting Jewish experts, could not find the deuterocanonical books, including Wisdom, in any survival original Hebrew manuscripts known to those times. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating back to before AD 70  contained parts of the apocrypha books in Hebrew, including Sirach and Tobit [source], which calls this conclusion into severe question.

The deuterocanonical books were removed because in part for doctrinal reasons (a passage in Maccabees, for example, seems to support prayers for the dead, hence the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory) and it was convenient for reformers, despite their professed doctrine of Sola Scriptura , to look to extra-scriptural sources, such as the current Jewish scholarly opinion, to edit the scripture so as to remove inconvenient counter-arguments to their various heretical opinions.

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The Fall of Man, the Ascent of Man, and the Eternal Return

Posted March 17, 2015 By John C Wright

If the archeological evidence is evidence of anything, ages and eons passed over the earth long before the advent of Adam, obliterating all before them, and left countless creatures from trilobites to triceratops extinct, falling prey to pain and plague, famine, death, and the eternal war of nature red in tooth and nail.

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are not only older than Genesis, but pull the chariot of evolution, and therefore deserve the same reverence we should pay our ancestors, who, apparently, are apes.

But if evil entered the world with Adam, as we are assured by the Wisdom of Solomon it did, how can such evils have been sovereign here before him?

Here is the text of which I speak.

1 Wisdom of Solomon

13 For God made not death: neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.

14 For he created all things, that they might have their being: and the generations of the world were healthful; and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor the kingdom of death upon the earth:

15 For righteousness is immortal:

16 But ungodly men with their works and words called it to them: for when they thought to have it their friend, they consumed to nought, and made a covenant with it, because they are worthy to take part with it.

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A Glimpse of Somewhither (Update of the Update)

Posted March 14, 2015 By John C Wright

Dear readers, I proffer for your reading entertainment the opening chapter of SOMEWHITHER. The novel is unsold, unpublished, part of a trilogy that is unfinished, so this is the only venue where there is any chance to see this work. Here is the first glimpse, here updated, so as to make it a second glimpse. Speculations as to what is really going on and which of the characters is really crazy are welcomed. Enjoy.

 

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Ultimate Pi Moment Approaches! AD 4213 Approaches!

Posted March 13, 2015 By John C Wright

Tomorrow at 9.26 and 53 seconds, it will be

3/14/15 9:26:53

Which is pi.

This will happen only once in the history of time.

The world ends. Prepare yourself.

(unless you are not on military time, in which case it happens twice, am and pm)

Or, wait, maybe this happens once a century. Or perhaps the world ended in 1415? or in 1592 at 6:53? 

You see, the reason why no man knows the hour or day of the end of the world, is that the math is too complex. Also, it is based on the square root of two, not on the ratio of circumference to radius, so relax.

The world actually will end … hmmm…. 1.41421356237 works out to 1/41/4213 at 56:237 or in other words,  the world will end on January the 41st, in the year AD 4213, at 237 minutes past 56 0’clock, so we are safe.

 

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A Taste of Things to Come: The Somewhither Cover Art

Posted March 13, 2015 By John C Wright

Here is the preliminary cover art for SOMEWHITHER, my crosstime kitchen-sink action fantasy and anti-Dan Brown novel, due out later this year from Castalia House.

The artist is Jeremiah Humphries, who merits a round of applause. If you read the book, you will understand why I am so taken with this picture. You can see more of his work here (http://j-humphries.deviantart.com/)

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Review of Architect of Aeons

Posted March 10, 2015 By John C Wright

Publisher’s Weekly has this to say:

Wright continues his latest space opera (following The Judge of Ages) in this galaxy-spanning extravaganza with nods to the Odyssey, Shakespeare, and Japanese legend, as well as classic visionary and military SF. Brilliant posthumans Ximen del Azarchel, suave and snobbish, and Menelaus Illation Montrose, earthy and stubborn, continue their multifaceted relationship as friends, allies, deadly foes, and bitter rivals for the love of the Princess Rania, who long ago departed from Sol’s planetary system. As the two geniuses debate whether to oppose or welcome the invasion of the solar system by planet-sized intelligences sent from afar, their ongoing dispute over the princess also continues unabated, sometimes in jests between the two and at other times in actions that affect the fates of millions of people. The years roll by in the tens of thousands while humans ascend to the stars, revert to barbarity, and ascend again. Wright revels in a linguistic phantasmagoria, including Montrose’s detailed and colorful cursing and numerous multisyllabic scientific and pseudoscientific terms

To see the whole review, click here

I cannot recall to mind what Japanese legend, if any, my manuscript adumbrates.

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