Release the Correia!

Posted December 11, 2014 By John C Wright

Another must-read too-good-to-miss fisking and public flogging by Larry Correia against the forces of darkness, or, at least, the forces of nagging nattering nonsense about nothing.

http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/12/10/fisking-the-guardian-again-this-time-for-hp-lovecraft/

As usual the original article is in italics and my responding comments are in bold.

Move over HP Lovecraft, fantasy writers of colour are coming through.

A stupid title. If you are so desperate to prove racism in sci-fi you’ve got to dig up somebody who has been dead for 77 years, your argument might be a little weak. 

By Daniel Jose Older.

Normally when the Guardian tries to prove how horrible racist/sexist/misogynist/homophobic sci-fi or fantasy is they trot out village idiot Damien Walter. This time they’re using somebody who has actually published something. Good for you, Guardian. Way to step up your game.

Non-white readers and writers are falling in love with speculative fiction in increasing numbers –

Excellent!

which is why we need to remove its racist figurehead

You’ll note that almost all SJW articles start like this. Here is a good thing, but here is why you are actually racist because of it.

Last month I walked through the crowded corridors of Javits Center with tears in my eyes.

Maybe it is just because I’m a manly cismale gendernormative fascist who is required by the patriarchy to keep my feelings bottled up, but the only thing that made me cry at the Javits Center was the line at the food court.

It was New York Comic Con and around me flourished a sea of black and brown faces, many partially concealed beneath goggles, prosthetic zombie wounds or masks.

I was also at this very same convention. I gave out a couple thousand free paperbacks and talked to people for three straight days. But since I’m not a SJW I didn’t feel the need to keep a tally of what color, religion, or sexual orientation every single person I talked to seemed to be.

The people I talked to were people who liked to read books. If you are an author and you feel the need to subcategorize much beyond that, you are setting yourself up to fail.

For one of the first times since I started writing speculative fiction five years ago, I felt at home in my own genre.

I started seriously writing speculative fiction seven years ago so I’m assuming we’re about the same age and we’re dealing with the same industry. This statement is either horseshit or Older hasn’t been to very many sci-fi conventions.

I’ve been to dozens of them all over America. I attended thirteen in 2014 alone. Cons and fandom are usually about the most inclusive bunch you’ll find anywhere. Hell, they accept Furries… FURRIES. Your argument is invalid.

But SJWs love to look for invisible micro aggressions at cons. Here is one where I fisked a SJW who tried to make GenCon sound racist  http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/08/19/no-tor-com-gencon-isnt-racist-a-fisking/ (short version, it isn’t).

Earlier this summer, the old guard of fantasy got very uncomfortable over a petition I started asking for the World Fantasy Award to remove the bust of HP Lovecraft as its statuette and replace it with Octavia Butler.

Uncomfortable? I don’t think that is a synonym for WTF.

A few things for those not in the loop. HP Lovecraft is one of the most famous authors in history, who basically created a whole genre. Authors commonly use the word Lovecraftian today to describe themes and elements that he popularized. Among the creators who list Lovecraft as a major influence are Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Joe Lansdale, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Brian Lumley, Clive Barker, Guillermo Del Toro, H.R. Geiger, John Carpenter, Mike Mignola, and Neil Gaiman. Plus thousands of other authors, artists, and film makers.

Have you heard of Cthulhu? Yeah. That guy.

Lovecraft has influenced video games, movies, comics, and more heavy metal bands than you can count. Almost eight decades after his death every nerd in the world knows who HP Lovecraft is. There have been thousands (not an exaggeration) of stories set in Lovecraftian worlds.

And hell, Lovecraftian is actually a word!

Octavia Butler was also an author. She passed away in 2006. I think I read a couple of her books as a kid but don’t remember anything about them. I’m certain she’s had some influence, but Lovecraft influenced orders of magnitude more.

Butlerian isn’t a word.    

Read the whole thing.

I actually used the word Butlerian in a novel of mine (JUDGE OF AGES) in total shameless ripoff respectful homage to Frank Herbert, but as I rushed to make the snarky comment on the blog, some machine intelligence beat me to it! Darn those machine intelligences! The Bene Gesserit Sisterhood should do something about them — if only I could think of what —

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The Torture and Martyrdom of the Apostles

Posted December 11, 2014 By John C Wright

I thought today would be an edifying time to review the fates of Apostles, which at one time, all Christians knew, in these days inexcusably forgotten. I list them here in order tradition assigns:

Read the remainder of this entry »

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The Martian by Andy Weir — Short Review

Posted December 10, 2014 By John C Wright

Simply the best novel I have read all year, and easily the best Hard SF novel I’ve read in five years, maybe ten. The science is harder than rock hard: it is diamond hard, so much so that I am unable to detect if he made anything up.

In days to come, I hope to post a real review, but I just finished the book, and am so elated, that I had to tell the world.

First INTERSTELLAR and now this. Hard SF is making a come back.

Away, sexually ambiguous sparkly vampire were-seals with moody emo girl problems! Give me astronauts who do not raise their voices during emergencies, who can change a tire on the moon and grow a potato on Mars! Give me a hero who knows how to patch a leaking spacesuit, and navigate using Phobos to measure his longitude! Give me protagonist who know how to make a bomb with pure oxygen, sugar, and a stoppered jar! Give me astronauts, I say!

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SUPERVERSIVE: Why “Realism” Isn’t

Posted December 10, 2014 By John C Wright

As part of the world-storming Superversive Literary Counterrevolution, my beautiful and talented wife describes the fundamental unreality of so called realistic literature:

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2014/12/10/superversive-blot-why-realism-isnt/

I have never liked dark, gritty, ‘realistic’ stories—the kind that are unrelentingly grim. The kind where there’s no hope, everything is covered in dirt, and terrible things are happening one on top of another like a stack of pancakes. (Sometimes, these stories have a lot of blood or sex, sometimes not.)

For a long time, I could not put my finger on why.

Friends would say, “Oh, I understand, they are too dark for you.” Or “They don’t bother me, I don’t find them scary.” But that did not seem to put into words the impression I suffered when reading/watching such stories.

I wasn’t scared. Something else was wrong.

Oddly, it was a funeral that finally solved the mystery for me.

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A Last Comment on INTERSTELLAR

Posted December 8, 2014 By John C Wright

When I saw this film, I honestly thought it had found that long-sought point of maximum overlap for all audiences, Leftwing and Rightwing, Science Fictioneers and Muggles, Faithful and Infidel, carefully crafted to put across its message of hopeless hope and the brightness of love in the darkest of worlds in a way that everyone would like.

I was a little surprised, but perhaps I should not have been, when Leftists hated it, though. They are simply much crazier than in my youth when they still had the Soviet Union to lust after. Now they have nothing aside from accusing the innocent to warm their cold and empty souls. While they talk about hope and change, and say they like films with messages, actually they don’t. So a message of faith and hope and love will of course provoke their ire. Gollum cannot eat the Elfish waybread.

When Science Fiction people started criticizing it, that shocked and confounded me, and the little numbered badge at my robotic neck began blinking, requesting help from Norman.

I could not fathom how anyone could find fault in a film that had taken far, far, far more painstaking trouble to get the smallest of astronomical details right, and complain about the science.

One critic complained about the size of the wings on the drone seen in the opening scene as being too small to hold enough solar cells. But the film never establishes anything about the propulsion or composition of the craft, nor how many years in the future this is, nor what technologies have been developed. The film simply does not say.

Another critic complained that the spectrum shift of dark lines seen through a spectroscope of the accretion disk surrounding rapidly rotating supermassive black hole should have created a visible brightening on one side of the accretion disk — even though such Doppler shifts are invisible to the human eye, and even though the film gives no figures of mass nor rates of spin nor temperature or anything else could be determined. The film simply does not say.

I did my homework on such things for one of my previous books, but even among science fiction writers, knowing the esoterica of Doppler shift and black hole spin rates and so on is rare, and no science fiction writer in his right mind expects the reader to know. Nonetheless, the what the film did say or show, the film got it right, and the critics got it wrong.

Such criticisms are not like complaining about the lack of altitude jets on Larry Nivens’ RINGWORLD, a story where there is teleportation, unobtainium materials stronger than possible, faster than light drive, and successful breeding for magical luck. There, Niven actually made an oversight in his world building which he corrected in a later sequel. It is like complaining about the lack of a counterweight asteroid on the beanstalk in Kim Stanley Robinson’s MARS Trilogy, when the author took the trouble to put the counterweight in!

This kind of thing is inanely trivial. If the wing size of a futuristic drone or the lack of a visible special effect for a phenomenon that, in real life, cannot be detected without an instrument anyway, or other trifling minutiae inconsequential to the plot jars you out of the film and ruins your ability to enjoy it, then there is no science fiction story, much less any science fiction film, nothing in the genre which can ever satisfy you.

There are more sound complaints: why does the earth liftoff require a multistage rocket, but liftoff from a world with 30 percent higher gravity not? How can a rocket make a transit to Saturn in merely two years? Again, the film does not say, but anyone with a highschool smattering of astronomy could answer the questions: the Earth liftoff is to get to escape velocity, which is a higher velocity than the orbital, or even suborbital velocity needed to rendezvous with a ship in orbit. The two year figure for Saturn is very low if a ship is matching the speed of Saturn, because a ship would accelerate, turn, and decelerate; but not if she is passing through a point in space near Saturn at a high speed, in which case the ship might as well accelerate the whole way.

The theological complaint is even less comprehensible to me. My brothers in Christ, if you cannot see that this film about faith, hope and love does far more to spread and confirm our worldview than infinite numbers of movies like LEFT BEHIND or FIREPROOF, you don’t know the power of story telling.

For nearly a hundred years the Left has used the power of story telling to propagate lies, but the stories are so well crafted, that they become part of the unspoken shared assumptions of the culture. How many people believe that institutional racism exist in America? How many people believe JFK was shot by a rightwing conspiracy rather than by a Commie? How many people believe sex outside wedlock is normal, expected, natural, wholesome, but premarital virginity is shameful?

If this is the way the Science Fiction readers or the Christian community, or just people who like good and complex stories that do not recite the trite messages of whining or sentimental pudding-headed Leftist bromides are received, we cannot expect film makers to go to the trouble to tale about the future in the future.

A little more gratitude and a little less criticism would seem to be in order.

Are you not sick and tired of the endless nihilism that pours out of Hollywood like an explosion in a sewerage factory?

This was a tale about a hero who does not boast and loves his daughter and who just wants to do his job and go home. It is a story about a pilot who loves to fly. It is a story about a little girl who grew up but who never grew out of her sense of hope and her sense of wonder.

This is the only film I have seen all year where the father was portrayed as a man, an actual masculine man in a leadership position who worked hard and could do a hard job well, and who was, as all fathers should be, willing to sacrifice everything for his family.

Even if all the criticisms about the theology and the science in this movie were true — and, so far as I have seen, not one of them are even making a prima face case — are you not hungry for heroes, O fans of science fiction? Do you not thirst for wonders? Let my eyes feast on the majestic rings of Saturn or the dark and blazing horror of a supermassive singularity!

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First Sale! Riding the Red Horse

Posted December 8, 2014 By John C Wright

Mr Tedd Roberts of our own Evil League of Evil announces that he has made his very first sale: his story ‘They Also Serve’ is to appear in the anthology RIDING THE RED HORSE, forthcoming from Castalia House, my publisher, to be released on Dec. 15.

The anthology is meant to reprise the format of Jerry Pournelle’s old THERE WILL BE WAR: a mix of military SF and military futurology, written by a SF authors, serving military personnel, and experts in military subject matter.

Related: the publisher is looking for some beta-readers for the anthology, or other contributors. See his announcement here: http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/12/riding-this-way.html

 

RH1_475

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The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is Today

Posted December 8, 2014 By John C Wright

So remember to go to Mass!

For those of you who are curious, let us see what the Catholic Encyclopedia has to say on the matter:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm

In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.” Read the remainder of this entry »

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An Open Letter to the Theo Scoffers of INTERSTELLAR

Posted December 7, 2014 By John C Wright

Dear people, and you know who you are, who have written the complaint about the film INTERSTELLAR:

You say that because Cooper, in the final climatic scene, speculates that the mysterious powers from the fifth dimension who saved his life and, working through him, saved the human race in the movie, are the remote descendants of the human race, from an era after our children evolved into beings and superhuman power and enter eternity, transcending the bounds of space and time, that this means this movie is hostile to God.

You say the filmmakers made the benevolent aliens into descendants of man rather than making them into angels in order to shut out the idea that the miracles that save man in this movie could have been arranged by Providence.

I will not, like the sci scoffers, tell you to go pound sand, because I think your mistake is understandable. It is, nonetheless, a mistake.

You are as utterly mistaken as to the intent of the movie as it is possible to me. Take it from me as a science fiction writer: when you put powerful, mysterious, unknown superbeings in a science fiction story, every writer assumes every reader will assume these are ALIENS, things strangers to us. When you find out that the aliens are human beings, the children of mankind, it is a discovery and a wild relief, because now you know they stand to us as Cooper stands to Murph. Instead of being horrible bug things from a methane world, the superbeings are our own daughters who came back in time to hug us.

If from that idea you somehow get the idea that the filmmakers were saying ‘these angelic and saintlikes beings are humans therefore not sent by God’ then you did not see the same film I saw. Nay, I will say more: if that WAS the film makers intent, they failed as miserably as it is possible to fail. If anyone makes a story about faith, hope and love, about falling into an inescapable darkness in an act of self sacrifice, turning into a ghost, seeing one’s loved ones again, aiding them from beyond the grave and emerging again by a miracle into the life and light, and then tries to add one line to say that all this is part of the godless, hopeless and loveless secular world, that filmmaker is attempting the impossible.

Your arguments is the same as if I were to argue that ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE is godless because Clarance is a human being rather than an angel, and that there is no mention of Christ by name.

The point of the scene was that the mysterious THEY who established the wormhole, saved Cooper, and saved all mankind are “Human therefore not alien” not “Human therefore not sent by God”

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An Open Letter to the Sci Scoffer of INTERSTELLAR

Posted December 6, 2014 By John C Wright

Dear everyone attempting vainly to find some scientific errors in the recent science fiction masterpiece INTERSTELLAR, I have two words: go pound sand.

Now, technically speaking, that is three words, not two, but the accuracy of my count is about the same as the average scientific accuracy in such critiques.

But, first, before I tell you to go pound sand, let me thank you for the compliment you pay the film. No one critiques the scientific accuracy of a film unless it is an honest-t0-goodness and serious attempt to write serious John W Campbell Jr style Hard SF.

With that out of the way:

It is perfectly fine to tell a muggle that the science in a science fiction film is bad, but I am a science fiction writer. I do this for a living.

If you make the story so accurate to modern and known science that there is no deviation from current technology, that is not science fiction. One overly critical critic told me that the solar powered aircraft seen in the opening scene of the film had wings that were too small to support the amount of solar cells needed to power a craft, made up of, um, unknown materials, with an unspecified power and propulsion source, based on technology not yet developed in the current day, etc.

No science fiction book whatsoever, not even a diamond-hard Hard SF book like the wonderful THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir, no, nor FALL OF MOONDUST by Arthur C Clarke, indeed not even a Tom Clancy novel could satisfy that level of skepticism and scrutiny.

We are not talking about a gaff where a space pilot says he can make the Kessel run in 12 parsecs, or even a fantasy where ships can fly faster than light or robots can think and talk like people. These are two examples of things routinely accepted as believable (or, technically suspension of disbelief believable) in the hardest of hard science fiction, works by Clarke and Heinlein and Asimov. We are talking about someone’s opinion about engineering details on a technology which is not only not speculative, we have it today.

So to anyone making criticism on that level, all I can say is that science fiction is not the genre for you. Go read a newspaper.

The other allegedly scientific criticisms I have read or seen so far are based on assuming facts not established in the film.

Read the remainder of this entry »

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A Feast of Reviewer Praise for Feasts & Seasons

Posted December 6, 2014 By John C Wright

Perhaps these reviews will persuade you to read the book. My normal shamelessness as a capitalist attempting to sell a commercial product fails me when I read praise as fulsome as this. I assume some friend of mine wrote it under and assumed name, or a close relative or something. But I pass them along in the hope that it was a stranger.

Beside, for all I know true modesty might reside in the act of allowing others to voice their opinions of the work without any fuss or fidgeting on my part, and to leave it to your candid judgment, dear reader, to see if you agree.

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Feasts-Seasons-John-Wright-ebook/dp/B00QEDGIQW

 

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