Author Archive

The Joe Doakes Challenge

Posted August 27, 2015 By John C Wright

I promised myself that after I heard two hundred people make this comment, I would publish it. Unfortunately, I lost count after twenty, because I am innumerate.

So I have no idea how many times I have heard remarks like this, from Joe Doakes over at Vox Populi:

In my youth, Hugo and Nebula on the cover meant “Good.” Since about 1990, it’s meant “Politically Correct.” But the point of reading SF/F is to escape the relentless political correctness of modern American life so I quit reading it.

He goes on to say

I’ve been digging back through the last couple of decades of Hugo and Nebual winners, trying to find something worth reading to change my mind. “Among Others” won both in 2012 and the library lends Kindle books free, so why not? The heroine is a SF/F reader herself so every page lists SF/F titles she’s read, which is fun because I’ve read most of them and found a few others to try.

But get this . . . the SF/F books listed in the story are our kind of books, written long ago and mostly by White men exploring fascinating intellectual concepts.

For crying out loud, even the Characters in modern politically correct SF/F hate modern politically correct SF/F.

Let me ask my readers to take the Joe Doakes challenge. Look at the first twenty years of the Hugos, and in your mind assess the worth of the books. Weigh whether or not they are imaginative, well crafted, and form the backbone of any well read SF reader’s library.

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For Your Reading Pleasure

Posted August 26, 2015 By John C Wright

Some posts about the recent Hugo self-immolation by the clique of self-congratulation:

If there are any honest columns, or even a column not choked to the brim with lies, from the viewpoint of our dishonorable and lying-ass attackers, I would surely link to it.

There are none. Even columnists who perhaps imagine themselves to be neutral or balanced blithely fall into the orchestrated falsehoods, and do not admit what this struggle has always been about:

We are attempting to pry the control of the Hugos out of the hand of a clique or Inner Ring run by Patrick Nielsen Hayden for the benefit of his abortive antichristian ideology and the fiscal benefit (which, at one time there was to be had for publishing Hugo Award winning works), and return control to the fans.

We wanted it to stop being the Tor Award for Political Correctness and to return to being the Hugo Award.

Since I am a Tor author who was benefited by this arrangement, no unseemly fiscal motive can be attributed to me: I was acting against my own financial interests, and still am. I love science fiction more than I love Tor Books, which is saying a lot. It grieves me that the greatest publisher in the field would be so desperately and forcefully committed to the corruption of the field, and riding the decline into the abyss of irrelevance.

Our motives are precisely what we said, both seriously and in jest.

Seriously, we thought and said that limiting the award to the radical-feminist Intersection-Theory Critical-Theory homonormative crap that the Inner Ring likes damages the brand and threatens to turn science fiction into one more postmodern wasteland of dreary garbage, neither edifying nor entertaining.

When is the last time an award winning science fiction tale or related work had even an iota of real science in it? THE MARTIAN by Weir was crammed with diamond hard science. It won nothing.

When is the last time an award winning science fiction tale had profound literary merit, seeped in the traditions of Western epic and romance from the classical period to now? My one THE GOLDEN AGE was both imaginative and rooted in the classics. It won nothing.

When is the last time an award winning science fiction tale was fun? Read HARD MAGIC by Larry Correia. It won nothing.

In jest, we said that the leading cause of sadness syndrome in cute furry puppies was the predominance of brain-meltingly absurd uberleftist ideological agitprop  being rocketed to the top of the most prestigious awards in the field, and we asked for the sake of the puppies to grant awards based on merit.

This is not about conservative versus liberal.

The Morlocks are not liberals, except in the sense that they use the liberal vocabulary to express their illiberal ideas. And, of the four founding members of the Evil Legion of Evil Authors who decided to stand up to the Inner Ringwraiths,  I am the only social and political conservative properly so called.

This is not about white males versus minorities.

Again, of the founding four, I am the only white male. (For those of you racists who insist we call carry an Ahnenpass, the others are Female, Hispanic, American Indian).

This is not about fun adventure fiction versus highbrow literary fiction.

I write highbrow literary fiction more filled with allusion and philosophical depth than anything the Morlocks recommend. Each time they claim to be what I am, an refined aesthete of exquisite literary accomplishment, another imp in hell laughs in the delight and the Empire of Lies grows another inch. Unlike the poseurs and pretend intellectuals, however, I can also read, admire and applaud wrecked but well meant pulp fiction and lowbrow fun. Because I am human and I like humans, whereas the Morlocks regard humans as food animals.

This is not about returning to the past of John W. Campbell versus the wondrous new future promised by Michael Moorcock and the New Wave, or whatever. This is not about rebels versus reactionaries.

Good fiction is timeless, and politically correct excremental sludge the Morlocks favor is never good fiction, it is merely propaganda in the service of a faction with no taste for science fiction and no taste for fiction and no taste.  Indeed, if anything, the New Wave mavins, still trapped in the mindset of Woodstock, are the reactionaries. They have not noticed that, ever since STAR WARS hit the silver screen, and HALO hit the computer screen, the genre has changed forever.

We said this over and over again. We all said it. Everything we did was aboveboard, and in the open, and honest. And the Morlocks vomited up so many lies in a blitzkrieg of Alinskyite shitstormtrooper tactics, that many a disinterested passerby, not even aware that there was another side to the argument, is and remains deceived.

The passersby think that we boasted about logrolling, votebuying, and ballotbox stuffing, and that our motive was the creation of the Fourth Reich: that was the narrative, and the Morlocks will die before they admit otherwise, because to admit otherwise is tantamount to admitting our charges of corruption are correct.

So, no, there is not a single column, perhaps not even a single paragraph, of honest reporting from the other side. For a time, I thought that perhaps Mike Glyer of File 770 might prove to be a man of such character as to be able to look at both sides of the issue. He is not.

For an hour, I thought perhaps George RR Martin, a man with whom I have worked on two projects, or more, might prove to be an honest broker above the fray, and able to reconcile the factions, able to have a civil discussion. He did not. He surrendered entirely to malice, and claims I and mine must be excluded from fandom, because we were never fans to begin with. The man with more Hugos than Heinlein claims the system is not corrupt.

There is some freak at the Guardian whose name I forget who is the first to earn the name Morlock from me. He is brain damaged, but not due to physical damage to his nerve cells, but due to the spiritual damage ongoing devotion darkness, madness and lies eventually creates. I mention him only to mock him, but I cannot recall his name. Walters? Walter? Something like that.

One inaccuracy in the Lew Rockwell article: I was up for six, not seven, nominations, and after one of stories ever was correctly disqualified this meant I had five nominations, not six. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Poetry Corner

Posted August 26, 2015 By John C Wright

Lines to a Don

By Hilaire Belloc

Remote and ineffectual Don
That dared attack my Chesterton,
With that poor weapon, half-impelled,
Unlearnt, unsteady, hardly held,
Unworthy for a tilt with men—
Your quavering and corroded pen;
Don poor at Bed and worse at Table,
Don pinched, Don starved, Don miserable;
Don stuttering, Don with roving eyes,
Don nervous, Don of crudities;
Don clerical, Don ordinary,
Don self-absorbed and solitary;
Don here-and-there, Don epileptic;
Don puffed and empty, Don dyspeptic;
Don middle-class, Don sycophantic,
Don dull, Don brutish, Don pedantic;
Don hypocritical, Don bad,
Don furtive, Don three-quarters mad;
Don (since a man must make an end),
Don that shall never be my friend.
*       *       *
Don different from those regal Dons!
With hearts of gold and lungs of bronze,
Who shout and bang and roar and bawl
The Absolute across the hall,
Or sail in amply billowing gown
Enormous through the Sacred Town,
Bearing from College to their homes
Deep cargoes of gigantic tomes;
Dons admirable! Dons of Might!
Uprising on my inward sight
Compact of ancient tales, and port
And sleep—and learning of a sort.
Dons English, worthy of the land;
Dons rooted; Dons that understand.
Good Dons perpetual that remain
A landmark, walling in the plain—
The horizon of my memories—
Like large and comfortable trees.
*       *       *
Don very much apart from these,
Thou scapegoat Don, thou Don devoted,
Don to thine own damnation quoted,
Perplexed to find thy trivial name
Reared in my verse to lasting shame.
Don dreadful, rasping Don and wearing,
Repulsive Don—Don past all bearing.
Don of the cold and doubtful breath,
Don despicable, Don of death;
Don nasty, skimpy, silent, level;
Don evil; Don that serves the devil.
Don ugly—that makes fifty lines.
There is a Canon which confines
A Rhymed Octosyllabic Curse
If written in Iambic Verse
To fifty lines. I never cut;
I far prefer to end it—but
Believe me I shall soon return.
My fires are banked, but still they burn
To write some more about the Don
That dared attack my Chesterton.

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Voice of the People

Posted August 25, 2015 By John C Wright

I have been wondered whether there were any men on the Left who saw what the Left has become, and who, like Reagan, realized the that the real Left really left long ago, leaving only shrieking Eloi and troglodyte Morlocks in their wake to inherit the ruins.

I was delighted by, and here reprint in full, this comment from a reader over on VOx Day’s blogsite:

Yep, I was a committed leftist myself, back when the left was about Martin Luther King Jr. style “race blindness” anti-racism, free speech, and concern for the working class. Today, class is irrelevant to the left, they eagerly promote a private grade school Harvard Law grad named Obama over any working class O’Malley; any “affirmative action” is just political nepotism dressed up in base race grievance mongering. The idea that a working class white might not be as “privileged” as a middle-upper-class black is completely lost on them, or rather, they cynically exploit outdated race grievances to oppress the working class. My great-grandfather was a fiery union organizer who’d never dream of voting Republican. My grandfather followed him until the 1970’s, when the left decided it was more important to socially engineer society — with a focus on sexual deviancy — than to protect the economic interests of the working class. A “Reagan democrat.” I naively thought there might be something to what my liberal professors were talking about until I entered the working world, which the left assiduously isolates itself from. Pretty much all of my family has followed suit.

So, congrats, left. You’ve alienated working-class Midwestern families — literally “born and bred” Democrats — who were the strongest supporters of what you originally stood for: race-blindness, free speech, and a voice for the working class. You traded that for race wars based on extremely flimsy pretexts, undermining what Dr. King fought for, championing obvious cynical hucksters like Al Sharpton. You ceded any moral authority you might have had against the old “family values” Protestant mainline by your totalitarian support of family perversion. And you eagerly undermine the American working class by importing millions of low-skilled workers — illegally. Enjoy your little media cliques and “no awards” parties. I think you’re about to find out that there’s actually a lot of people living in “flyover country.”

I’m definitely in for a Worldcon membership this year. I was never much of a scifi fan (more Tolkien, Lewis and Lovecraft), but “A Canticle for Leibowitz” is on my reading list — although one wonders if it still qualifies as “science fiction” and not “magical realism.” I will try to read everything nominated, but given the obvious attempts at social ostracism, the nature of the Hugos has been made clear, and I will entrust my voting choices to our dark lord. You have only yourselves to blame, SJWs. You created the puppies, and we’ve tasted blood.

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Mr Smith Goes to WorldCon

Posted August 25, 2015 By John C Wright

Mr. Rothman and I had lunch at WorldCon. Here is his report of the outcome, from the point of view of his children:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204934540299315

And another:

http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/24/the-hugo-awards-why-the-waronnerds-is-a-war-on-art/

It disturbs me that the lies of the Morlocks are so widespread and so pervasive that even sympathetic onlookers absorb them without even noticing they do so. (This is sort of like how a conservative starts using “he and she” without noticing that this use of the pronoun buys into the logically absurd notion that thought is controlled by imaginary connotations of power relations hidden in vocabulary.)  In this case, the writer quotes Mr George RR Martin objecting to conservative adventure fiction, without questioning the dishonest assumption that the Sad Puppies are conservative adventure fiction writers.

Meaning no disrespect to my fellow Evil Legion of Evil Author Legioneers, I am the only conservative in the group.

Here is another falsehood from Mr. Martin:

grrm

Aug. 24th, 2015 02:16 am (local)
Every word you say proves that you are not a fan.

A fan is not just someone who reads SF and fantasy. A fan is a member of a community called “fandom” whose roots go back to the 1930s.

Fans are tolerant, friendly, good humored, warm, welcoming. They love worldcon, they respect and value the Hugos, they honor fannish tradition.

You are your fellow Pups seem to have nothing but contempt for all that. Instead of joining the community, you do all you can to destroy it.

Edited at 2015-08-24 02:18 am (local)

 

I will leave to other pens than mine to describe how warm and welcoming WorldCon fandom was to me. Perhaps Irene Gallo or Mr. Moshe Feder can explain why my religion makes me a writer with whom they cannot tolerate to be associated, or automatically makes my works so wretched that their appearance on a ballot cannot possibly be the honest opinion of honest fans of SFF?

The pathetic lie here is Mr. Martin in his portrayal of me and mine as interlopers or outsiders. I was in an anthology edited by him ten years ago. My story appears just before his in another anthology, called FEDERATIONS. We have been at cons together and appeared on panels together. My first published short story was in Isaac Asimov years before that.

I have been reading in this genre since I picked up HAVE SPACE SUIT WILL TRAVEL as a child, and DREAM QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH as a younger child. The first story I ever completed writing was a childish homage to Keith Laumer’s DINOSAUR BEACH called AGENT OF NEXX. This was at age nine.

Who is the interloper, then? Whose work is in keeping with the traditions of the earlier generations of science fiction? I write so precisely in the make and mold of writers as difference as Jack Vance and A.E. van Vogt and William Hope Hodgson that my work appears as authorized sequels or in homage volumes to them, including one you yourself edited.

Indeed, if anything, a retelling of the War of the Roses set in Middle Earth with a grindingly nihilistic viewpoint is, if anything, more foreign to the mainstream of science fiction tradition than anything written by me, is it not?

You have been in the field longer than I. But Jules Verne was here before you, and I of his Church and his school of writing.

I have been in science fiction my whole life, Mr. Martin. I have never been anywhere else.

I am not going anywhere else.

If you cannot tolerate to be in the same field as a Roman Catholic because of your bigotry against me, it is you who must go elsewhere, not I.

This is my home. I am staying.

 

 

 

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Now for a word from Hitler

Posted August 24, 2015 By John C Wright

I am getting back to my next novel, which stars a boy expelled from school trying to be a knight in modern day rural North Carolina, and his dog that can talk. Obviously this is serious business, so I have little more to say on the whole Hugo debacle. But I have come across this gem:
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In Memoriam

Posted August 24, 2015 By John C Wright

The Hugo Award voters paid me the signal honor of burning down two or perhaps three whole categories of awards merely to prevent me from being awarded the spaceship which the breakdown of the votes shows I was due.

I am humbled by the laud shown my work: it is not everyone who can point to the smoking wreckage of a great city whose fanes and temple, colonnades and palaces, baths and coliseums and alabaster towers the burghers burnt with their own hands to prevent falling into his.

Even stranger to behold the beast-yowling burghers dancing with odd jerks of the elbows and knees around the bonfires of their own homes where all their best beloved scrolls and trophies burn, as if some signal victory is won, while the putrid smoke climbs up forever.

Nevertheless, I take no joy and proffer no vaunt. I am no barbarian, but a Christian conqueror, and I pity even my foes. Therefore let us take a moment of solemn silence to doff our helms and lower our eyes for the dissolution of a once great institution.

This is what the Hugos once stood for:

  • “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] tied with (2) “Savage Pellucidar” by Edgar Rice Burroughs [Amazing Nov 1963] tied with (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] tied with (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] tied with (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.

So for such works the Hugos once stood. For what do they stand now?

The nihilists voted for nothing. No one is surprised.

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Smeagol Nielson Hayden

Posted August 23, 2015 By John C Wright

As regular readers of this column know, there was a Hugo Award ceremony this weekend. Speaking personally, let me say that I had a lovely time visiting with friends and meeting fans.

I was asked beforehand more than once if I thought there would be any unpleasantness or insults from the few but vocal pests in jest I call Morlocks who have been steadily infiltrating and corrupting the science fiction community in general, and the Hugo Award process in particular, over the last twenty years.

I answered in the negative. The Morlocks are a cowardly lot, and would not dare say to my face the foolish lies they say behind my back on the internet. Besides, like me, they came to have a good time and to celebrate our mutual love of science fiction, and applaud in the fashion of good sports what we each severally take to be the best the genre offers. I thought there would be no incident.

I am sad to report that I was mistaken. The Archmorlock himself displayed his courage against the short and girlish figure of my meek and gentle wife.

At the reception just before the Awards Ceremony itself, my lovely and talented wife, who writes for Tor books under her maiden name of L Jagi Lamplighter, and who had been consistently a voice of reason and moderation during the whole silly kerfluffle, approached Mr. Patrick Nielsen Hayden at the party to extent to him the olive branch of peace and reconciliation.

Before she could finish her sentence, however, Mr. Hayden erupted into a swearing and cursing, and he shouted and bellowed at the tiny and cheerful woman I married.

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Quote of the Day

Posted August 23, 2015 By John C Wright

There are times when a man grows breathless at the sheer dizzying artistry of a genius of poetry.

This is from a commenter named Steve over at the Vox Day website:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2015/08/they-proved-larry-right.html?showComment=1440400310261#c3182311945030057222

If we were to erect a monument to the spirit of our age, it wouldn’t be something sublime like the Eiffel Tower, St. Peter’s Basilica or the Empire State Building. No grandiose frescos would decorate it. No wondrous ostentations in gold leaf and lapis lazuli would adorn it. No clean-limbed marble statuary would guard it.

No, it’d be a squat, ugly thing, like a paleolithic fertility fetish or a Morlock or typical WorldCon polyamory enthusiast. It would be sexless, androgynous and gendernonconforming all at the same time, and rendered in drab wattle and daub. Its most striking feature would be a great big mealy mouth, from which would drip liquid bromides and taurine fecal matter. Hordes of hooting crypto-humanoids in their mobility scooters would gather under this toxic shower to pray for equality and more all-you-can-eat buffets.

I am so putting that Morlock statue in my next book, somehow. Damn that is a fine bit of imagery.

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Shanghaied Again

Posted August 20, 2015 By John C Wright

So, on Tuesday, I was woken up again by the Cherubim saying gruffly: “Mom, Mom. Go to store. Buy some milk!” (Teenage boys. Lots of milk use here.)

And this time, thanks to you, I was able to get up and buy milk and a number of other things that we needed.

In fact, thanks to the astonishing generosity of John’s wonderful, wonderful readers we were able to pay all our bills in August. And with the help of two gracious and amazing friends, we have our mortgage for September covered.

The manna in the desert was not more miraculous. ;-)

God bless you guys!

(And prayers for a peaceful, harmonious Hugos weekend are most welcome!)

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