Author Archive

Reviewer Praise for ‘The Ideal Machine’

Posted October 1, 2014 By John C Wright

The maiden voyage of the SciPhi Journal has embarked with Issue #1, and Mr. of Castalia House has reviewed it, giving it high praise indeed. According to the reviewer, even the weakest of the stories or articles provided food for thought, something not seen in science fiction since the 1980’s.

I was honored to be asked by the editor, Mr. Jason Rennie, to contribute a novella to the issue. Here is a snippet of the review:


The Ideal Machine by John C. Wright

Although Wright’s early characterization of two important characters is unusually off (at least at first) by Wright’s standards, The Ideal Machine is a novelette about the nature of this world and the one beyond. Also, aliens. Wright can and should be forgiven for not quite nailing the camaraderie of a pair of Lieutenants off the bat.

This tale is a very clever (clever in a good way) homage to Invaders from Mars-style pulp stories that ends up adding meaning to its predecessors. In subtle turns it provides an important and natural answer to both Arthur C. Clarke’s The Star while turning the philosophical principles of The Forbidden Planet beyond its Jungian vision. For the conspiratorial-minded, the heroic priest of the tale associates with Rossignol, the medieval poem about a secret affair that also overtly (in the text) ties to an “endless genealogy” worthy of the Templars. Wright leaves the impression that the fellow who stands on the borderland of The Rulers of Evil and the quiet Christian subservient to the civil authorities must, in either case, die to himself every day.

But don’t let the spook business confuse you. It is a fun read that happens to have depth and great action while surveying the landscape of superheroism, alien invasion, occult sorcery, federal degeneracy, and the Eschaton.

“We don’t have secret police in America,” said Hynkel.

The old priest shrugged. “Well, if you knew about them, they would not be a secret, I suppose. Before the police come here to kill me, which one of you would like to rule the world?”

-The Ideal Machine, John C. Wright

By all means, read the whole review, and then go read the magazine. Read the remainder of this entry »

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SUPERVERSIVE: The Art of Courage

Posted October 1, 2014 By John C Wright

Blow the trumpets and sound the gong, ignite the skyrockets and release the kraken! The first essay of the Superversive Literary Movement is here.


The Art of Courage

by Tom Simon

Behold the Underminer! I am always beneath you, but nothing is beneath me!

The Incredibles

For about a hundred years now, ever since the First World War broke the confidence of Western civilization, it has been fashionable to praise subversion. Art, music, and literature, as many of the critics tell us, are not supposed to go chasing after obsolete values like truth or beauty; they are supposed to shock, to wound, to épater les bourgeois – to subvert the values of society. Here is a fairly typical example, from the literary critic, John Grant:

It must meddle with our thinking, it must delight in being controversial, it must hope to be condemned by authority (whatever authority one chooses to identify), it must be at the cutting edge of the imagination, it must flirt with madness, it must surprise.

Grant is prescribing goals for fantasy, but the same demand has been heard in every genre and every art form, much to the harm of the arts. Most people don’t share Grant’s ideological preoccupations; they see the arts not as vehicles of propaganda, but as entertainment. Trying to get yourself condemned by authority may be good sophomoric fun while you are doing it, but it makes a dull spectator sport. Considered as entertainment, it has no virtue except novelty; and it has not been novel since about the 1920s. This is one reason why the ‘serious’ arts see their audiences shrinking year after year, until they are only maintained in precarious existence by public subsidy.

Part of the trouble comes from that apparently blank cheque, ‘whatever authority one chooses to identify’. In practice, this always means the same authority: the ghost of Mrs. Grundy, the narrow-minded, puritanical, bourgeois authority that lost most of its power in 1914, and does not exist at all anymore. If you rebel against a different authority – the Chinese Communist Party, or the rulers of militant Islam – you will not find the critics so approving. They will call you reactionary or even neocon, and the hand of Buzzfeed will be raised against you.

For the world of art and literature is largely dominated by the Left, and the Left is dominated by people whose world-view is inherited from their great-grandfathers. In this view, we need labour unions to defend us against the peril of child labour, Big Government to defend us against Standard Oil. America is one false move away from theocracy and Jim Crow; Europe is one false move away from another World War. Nothing can save us except a wonderful new panacea called Socialism, which has never been tried before, and with which nothing can possibly go wrong. These, in the main, are the ideas of the Left even today; and the people who believe these things have the nerve to call themselves Progressives. They call for progress; but they are still trying to progress from 1914 into 1915. They call for subversion; but the thing they are trying to subvert no longer exists.

By all means, read the whole thing.

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When Christianity Recedes, Slavery Returns

Posted September 30, 2014 By John C Wright

Robert Oscar Lopez has an article over at The American Thinker everyone should read:

Children have an inalienable right to a mother and father, cannot be bought or sold, and are entitled to know their origins. Whether it is straight people or gay people using divorce, surrogacy, trafficking, or any other means to deny people these rights, I oppose it.

This is a teachable moment because it reveals a great deal about what makes the Human Rights Campaign tick. They’re after your kids, plain and simple; all their other issues are mere window dressing.

They have convinced themselves that gays are a tribe unto themselves, so their consuming goal is to populate the tribe so they don’t disappear.

Parenthood is their great white whale. They want to have children to love them and call them Mom and Dad. They need to get those children from you because biology prevents them from siring them naturally. Gentlemen readers, these folks are trying to find a way to get the sperm out of your testicles and into their laboratories; lady readers, these folks need to find a way to implant an embryo of their sperm in your womb, keep you obedient during the gestation, and take your baby away forever.

The main item on the gay lobby’s agenda is patently insane. People don’t generally want to let lesbians milk sperm out of their testicles. People don’t usually like the idea of gay men gestating babies in their wombs and then taking them away. (And no, “visitation” plans where these gamete donors get to see their progeny a few times a month are not a good arrangement; that stuff’s really creepy.)

And at least with me, these HRC lackeys cannot pull the old “are you saying my children are worth any less?” routine. Just because you control a human being doesn’t mean that’s your child. Even if someone is your child, criticizing you is not the same as insulting your child. This is basic, but somehow the HRC manages to whitewash the complexities. Despite all the choreographed photographs of happy gay couples with children, people generally do not like growing up and knowing that half of them was sold to a gay couple.

In America, a large segment of the population has been lulled into accepting same-sex parenting. Virtually everywhere else, there are roadblocks, as there should be. The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that gay marriage is not a human right. The U.N. Human Rights Council recently voted to affirm the centrality of the family in international law, citing the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, whose seventh and ninth articles would seem to nullify any legal basis for same-sex parenting.
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SciPhi Journal #1! On Sale Now!

Posted September 29, 2014 By John C Wright

Buy yourself a copy now, and two or three for friends and family, of the journal devoted to science fiction and philosophy, two great elements that combine into wonder!

Issue #1 of the Sci Phi Journal is now available at: and

It includes an original Novellete from John C. Wright, The Ideal Machine, a tale of aliens from a distant star come to visit an old country church and offer our world a chance for the future.

The Goodreads page for Sci Phi Journal: Issue #1 is at

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SUPERVERSIVE: Storming the Moral High Ground

Posted September 29, 2014 By John C Wright

Sarah Hoyt hosts a significant announcement by my lovely and talented wife:

“Why can’t we have more stories that don’t involve poop?

“You know, good stories? No anti-heroes. No dour nihilism. No descriptions of gross stuff for no particular reason except to produce a mood we didn’t want to read anyway. Just…action, adventure, heroism, even perhaps a few…I realize this is going way out on a limb and no one else wants to read this but me but…good Christians, or something really outrageous like that.

“But not pious stories mind you. I’ve never found those entertaining. No stories where good guys are squeaky clean, and only very, very obviously evil people who cackle and have warts are allowed to use magic.

“Why can’t we have good stories and good messages. The dreary, depressed literary crowd have held the moral high ground for far too long, I think some people have forgotten that good stories can get there, too.”

“So you want good stories? Heroism? Christian values? What we need is a literary movement.”

There was a pause in the moving car.

“Why don’t we start one. Let’s storm the moral high ground!”
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What a Man!

Posted September 27, 2014 By John C Wright


I came across this article from about a year past:

I was at first baffled at this selection of what to me seems a rather handsome bit of advertising art portraying a rather cute and frankly desirable situation: a man with a loving wife and daughter.  He adorns the wife with jewels. She shows a becoming modesty upon being discovered by the daughter.

This picture, dear reader, is meant as scorn. This picture is an attempt to depict a nightmare of neanderthalish and hateful agape, unconditional love of man for woman, Christlike and self-forgetful love.

The hit piece is here:

The original article of mine which the dwarf-hearted toad is too pusillanimous to link to is here:

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A Note on Book Pedigree

Posted September 27, 2014 By John C Wright

Do you remember the first book you read that opened the door to one of the major interests in your life?

For me, it was hearing a young blonde lawyer on the telly call the Europeans a race of cowards which the fathers of the American risked life and limb by sea storm, by starvation, and by Red savages to flee, that first made me believe that politics in the abstract had an interesting real world application. Her name was Anne Coulter. Thanks to her, I started listening to G. Gordon Liddy read the news on the radio.

It was Ayn Rand who first got me interested in politics in the abstract, since it was she who first argued to my satisfaction that morality and economics and politics were interrelated manifestations of the same thing. Her novels interested me, at that time, less than her nonfiction essays.

It was Ludwig von Mises, not Adam Smith, who first got me interested in economics, since it was he who first convinced me that economics was a legitimate branch of philosophy, and a science that could be studied rigorously, not a mere mass of bafflegab and opinion, as, for example, Keynesian so called economics is.

A.E. van Vogt, in his novel WORLD OF NULL A first persuaded me to study philosophy, by making it seem like a superpower: the use of reason to learn not only the truths of the universe but the Truth about mankind, and about oneself!

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Teddy Roosevelt’s Lion and Bear. Obama’s Bike Helmet.

Posted September 26, 2014 By John C Wright

Someone posted a link to this in the comments, and I wanted to emphasize and applaud this clear and even wonderful article. Hear, hear.

It begins thus:

Conservatives like to talk about the causes of Western Civilization’s downfall: feminism, loose morality, drug abuse, Christianity’s decline, reality TV. Blaming civilization’s downfall on lardy hagfish such as Andrea Dworkin is like a doctor diagnosing senility by an old person’s wrinkles. The fact that anyone listened to such a numskull is a symptom, not the cause, of a culture in decline. The cause of civilizational decline is dirt-simple: lack of contact with objective reality. The great banker-journalist (and founder of the original National Review) Walter Bagehot said it well almost 150 years ago:

History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it.

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Judging the Judge of Ages

Posted September 26, 2014 By John C Wright

A review by Joseph Moore over at Yardsale of the Mind:
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Posted September 25, 2014 By John C Wright

I read this comment by one Joshua over at Vox Day’s blog:

When I was young they told me to be reasonable and negotiate and not resort to violence. I stupidly believed them, and was instantly beset upon by bullies who would push me around and torment me. I tried reason and truth, but that doesn’t work at all.

Eventually I decided to rebel against authority and decided to lift weights, become strong and meet force with even greater force. Unsurprisingly, this worked immediately, as the beaten bullies helpless retreated bloodied and humiliated from my iron fists.

These Leftists have never had to fight. They come from soft comfortable environments run by nannies and other overprotective womenfolk, who frown on masculinity and teach their boys to be sissies who act like women.

It was written on a topic unrelated to this, but by an odd process of association, I was inspired to write the following:

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