Hugo Nominated Stories & Essay — Free

Posted April 17, 2015 By John C Wright

For a limited time, my publisher, as a courtesy to all Hugo participants, is offering all my Hugo-nominated short fiction works for download, as well as an essay from Transhuman and Subhuman, included in this special Castalia House release:

http://www.castaliahouse.com/downloads/the-nominated-short-fiction-works-of-john-c-wright/

Included in the nominations are

The beautiful cover art is by Kirk DouPonce of DogEared Design.

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An Outbreak of Peace

Posted April 17, 2015 By John C Wright

I read a most interesting post today on the ongoing tempest in a teapot of the Hugo Awards:

https://floriskleijne.nl/wp/blog-entry/future-of-the-hugos/

This is a dialog between two members on opposite sides of the issue who, by treating each other with civility, suddenly discovered that peace broke out all along their front, and troopers in the trenches started singing Christmas hymns together, and exchanging gifts across the barbed wire and corpse littered no man’s land.

The two are riffing off a blog post by Sad Puppies 3 captain Brad Torgersen, in which identifies tribalism as the mechanism behind the enmity, or, at least, behind the high passions driving the enmity. This is why they refer to the two sides as ‘tribes.’

An excerpt:

Floris: To get to that point, I think it’s essential that all Tribes acknowledge their own responsibility for the whole fracas, tone down their rhetoric, and enter a dialogue about the things that they do see as positive in the other. Find common ground, explore the similarities in their opinions and objectives, and work from there. A bit like you and I are doing, assuming for the sake of argument that you’re more of a Puppies fan, and simplifying matters by sticking myself in the WorldCon tribe (both of which are probably major simplifications, if not errors). There are clearly Tribes in specfic fandom that reflect the socio-political Tribes in the world at large, but I expect that bottom-line, fans have more in common than these bickering sub-Tribes think, and that the tribe of specfic fans has more to unite than to divide them.

Keranih: Yes, yes, yes, this – Fans are My People. I reserve the right to be very cranky at other Fans, but still. Team Fandom!

Floris: LOL!

[…]

Floris: To get to this point, I think it’s essential that all Tribes acknowledge their own responsibility for the whole fracas, tone down their rhetoric, and enter a dialogue about the things that they do see as positive in the other.

Keranih: Yes. And I say again – we didn’t get to this level of vitriol overnight. We’re not going to fix it tonight. But we do need to start, and we need to acknowledge up front that it is going to be a long process with compromise, hurt feelings, and stop, I am too pissed off to talk to you any more right now from both (all? yes, ALL) sides. We need to be willing to invest the time and be willing to accept temporary deadlocks in order to get to the best solution.

I concur with the peacemakers, and urge my fellow fans to whom science fiction is beloved and for whom the Hugos still recall an echo of dignity to adopt a less belligerent posture.

Remove or silence those among you who see science fiction as a tool of social engineering and to whom entertainment is subordinate to political correctness, and I will break my saber over my knee and throw the shards in the sea.

Here are my terms: Halt the libels and lies and keep a civil tongue in your mouth, and there will be peace.

I offer no concessions in return because I have none to offer. When you and yours leveled the accusation that I was a White Supremacist Misogynist Hatemonger you knew it was false, as did every honest onlooker.

I could ask Brad Togersen’s wife to squint her eyes and grit her teeth and make herself Caucasian by an effort of will, but she lacks the power to do so. Nor can Larry Correia make himself non-Portuguese to please you. Nor can Sarah Hoyt by alchemy become a male. Nor can Vox Day cease being a racist because he is not one. You cannot even quote one unedited line of his writing to support the accusation.

Nor can I cease being a one horned one eye flying purple people eater for the very simple reason that I am not one now. I cannot become less of something I am not by any means, real or theoretical.

Nor can I unbaptize myself as a Christian: the chrism, being invisible, is ineradicable.

You and yours, however, can and may cease leveling false accusations at me at any time you wish, merely by ceasing to level them.

As I said, I concur with the peacemakers, but I predict the warmakers have the right of it.

I predict that the politically correct would far rather destroy what little meaning the Hugos retain than surrender the greasy pleasure of calling Vox Day a racist.

Give up slander? It is their only hobby. Give up the power to police thoughts and ruin careers? Give up on the Two Minute Hate? Give up the dream of trampling a human face forever?

It is the only distraction that fills their inward void.

The thought policemen will not exit the dim and comfy thought-prison of political correctness. One might as well ask the dotty old spinster to surrender her dozen cats.

I proffer the olive branch, knowing full well none will hear and answer. I do this only to demonstrate to undecided onlookers which side seeks peace.

If heaven is gracious, all my predictions will prove hollow.

I pray it so! I would rather be in the good opinion of men like George RR Martin and Charles Stross, men whose writing I admire and whose success is unquestioned, than continue to receive their unearned and unexpected sneers and slights. Mr Scalzi, to my knowledge, holds no enmity toward me, and I certainly hold none toward him. I find him likeable, and a writer of solid, if modest, accomplishment.

Mike Glyer seems a reasonable man. He might prove me wrong, and accept peace.

As for Mr Damian Walter of the Guardian, he is not a writer, not a part of science fiction, and scholarly opinion is divided as to whether he is part of the human race. I seek nothing from him and accept nothing from him. Let the earth swallow him at a gulp that he may vanish without an outcry.

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One More

Posted April 16, 2015 By John C Wright

This one from the Libertarian site:

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/04/allan-davis/leftists-attack-libertarian-sci-fi/

To no one’s surprise, the people who idolize reason and liberty are on the side of the science fiction guys weary, bored and annoyed with the yammering and sneering of the self-anointed thought-police, trying so desperately to police the thoughts of people smarter than they.

One of the most charming compliments I have received of late came from one I assume to be a libertarian or near-libertarian:

To paraphrase the sainted Ayn…

“Laugh at John C. Wright and hold John Scalzi as a great science fiction writer. You’ve destroyed science fiction. Build Rachel Swirsky and you’ve destroyed fantasy. Hail the Toad of Tor and you’ve destroyed book editing. Glorify John C. Hines and you’ve destroyed masculinity. Don’t set out to raze all shrines – you’ll frighten men, Enshrine mediocrity – and the shrines are razed.

One of the funnier quips I have heard recently also came from someone I suspect is a nonconformist:

First they came for Vox Day, but I did not say anything, because Vox Day was an asshole, and I was not.

Then, I didn’t say anything because he was so busy bitch-slapping them and I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t stop. So, that turned out well.

Allow me to state before the ears of the world that I salute libertarians and see them as allies.

To be sure, once the Pope and his army of Ape Clones, Ghosts, Vampire Samurai and Jesuit Dacoits takes over the world using the secret, Martian war-machinery buried under the Vatican since the Triassic period (when the Martian invaders exterminated the dinosaurs but were wiped out by smallpox) we Catholics will burn all libertarians at the stake as heretics, and then eat their burnt flesh in a horrific cannibal orgy. And we never read the Bible.

But until D-Day and H-Hour, the libertarians are kind enough to let all civilized men the heck alone and leave us in peace, and I would be honored to share a foxhole with any of them during these culture wars.

No libertarian ever donned the condescending mantle of thought policeman in dealing with me, and no leftwing has ever failed to do so.

The Lefties want to control our minds, destroy our minds, destroy our lives, and die, and the Libertarians want to live and let live, to leave us alone and to be left alone. Life and death. The choice is that stark. I choose life.

So, to all libertarians wherever you are, let me say this: I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death the right of the Inquisition to torture you into a bogus forced confession for saying it, before turning you over to the secular arm for a slow and barbaric public burning.

But then again, the Inquisition will let you call women ‘bossy’ and permit you to use the word ‘Black’ rather than ‘People of Color’ and allow you to applaud rather than using ‘jazz hands’ so our sadistic and vicious repression is better than their sadistic and vicious repression. At least we have written rules. And you can keep your money and own businesses under our pitiless iron scepter. Think of us as Lawful Evil rather than Chaotic Evil.

NOTE TO THE HUMOR IMPAIRED: Just kidding! The foregoing paragraphs are a jest!

(The Martians were wiped out by the clap, not smallpox, but I thought it inappropriate as a subject matter to put on a family friendly blog.)

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SJWs = Marketing Genius!

Posted April 16, 2015 By John C Wright

The previous round of false reviews and graffiti led to increased sales for my books previously targeted by these exemplars of courteous inclusiveness and civility whose sole motive is their nonpartisan love of the science fiction genre. I trust my readers will respond again in the same way.

I see the following notice from my publisher. The words below are his:

… two more people have responded to Glenn Hauman’s call for posting fake reviews on Amazon. Jeromy Stone has posted a fake review of Mr. Wright’s AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND, of all things:

One Star
By jeromy stone on April 15, 2015
Format: Hardcover
trash

You know the drill. Report for Abuse and Inappropriate Content. The more strongly we respond to these attacks, the more likely it is that Amazon will eventually step in and do something serious about it.

Ugggggggh!

on April 15, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Wow. Call me underwhelmed. If you like purple prose, this is the book for you. Bad writing plus bad editing makes for a bad book. Don’t waste your money on this dog.

As phangirl is a fan of Jim C. Hines, I ask Mr. Hines to make a statement to his readers concerning his opinion of posting fake one-star reviews of other authors’ works on Amazon. I have no doubt that Mr. Hines opposes the practice, out of sheer common sense if nothing else, and I hope that he will see fit to tell phangirl and his other fans to cease and desist such antics.

I’m contacting Amazon today to ask them to investigate Glenn Hauman’s call for fake reviews. It is readily apparent that his malicious attempt to harm Castalia House’s business is having real and material effects on our book reviews and I note there is legal precedent in the UK addressing compensation for such activities. My personal opinion is that Amazon should not permit authors who post fake reviews or encourage others to do so to sell their books on Amazon. It will be interesting to learn Amazon’s opinion of the matter, considering that they recently sued some companies that provide fake reviews.

And another:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/pdp/profile/A23P6HNPONQNHK/ref=cm_cr_rdp_pdp

One wag adds wryly

So just so we have this straight,

There is no campaign, no conspiracy. Just some guy connected to two publishing houses who is also a reader at Making Light, telling his audience to make sure to ‘review’ Rabid Puppies and ‘game Amazon’.

But there’s no slate, no whispers, no sir, everything is just fine.

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No, Virginia, There is no Stare Decisis

Posted April 16, 2015 By John C Wright

My story ‘Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus’ was disqualified by Mr John Lorentz and Miss Ruth Sachter in the name of the Sasquan Hugo Administrators, on the grounds that a first draft of the story was put out on my blog for my readers as a Christmas gift eight days before the beginning of 2014.

I did politely question the decision on the grounds that this case did not differ materially from a parallel case, where Mr Scalzi’s  OLD MAN’S WAR was posted to his blog in 2006 but was granted an award in 2013.

The reply I received was this:

John,In retrospect, “Old Man’s War” probably should not have been allowed on the ballot in 2006.But things weren’t as clear-cut when he first posted the novel on his web site in 2002.  I was able to attend more Worldcons in the early 2000’s than I have in recent years, and I remember there being a lot of discussion during the business meetings during those years as people tried to define what was meant by “published” (we were coming out of the years when only only way to distribute stories or books was by printing them on paper).

They finally settled on that it meaning whenever the text was presented to the public, whether it was on a web site, in an e-book or printed on paper.

Now, with many stories and articles being nominated that came from online magazines or sites like Baen.com and Tor.com, there’s no question that web publishing is a major means of publishing.  So posting a work on a public web site is treated as equivalent to printing it in a magazine.

I sincerely believe that a situation such as Old Man’s War won’t happen again–as long as the Hugo Administrators are aware of the initial publication.  (Since the Hugo Administrators change from year to year, I can’t guarantee that to be the case.  But if a future administrator reverted back to how Old Man’s War was treated, I’d certainly disagree with that action and I think most other people would, also.)

[…]
I hope that helps clarify the situation.  The Hugo administrators each year are only human, and we all make the occasional mistakes.  But we try to do our best in interpreting the rules clearly and impartially.
John Lorentz
Sasquan Hugo Administrator

This response, in my mind, raised more questions than it allayed, and so I wrote a second time, but have so far received no further answer.

I suppose the answer came when I stumbled across Mr Mike Glyers’ 770 blog, where the announcement of the decision was made.

N.B.: Mr Glyer has been nominated for 50 Hugo awards in his career.

Now, I did not think it proper to speak to Mr Scalzi himself on the matter, since he has no power to influence the Hugo judges, nor was he privy to the note sent me, and if there was any further written record of the decision or the reasoning involved in my case, it was not shown me.

But it seems someone did ask him, apparently in a fashion to which he takes  exception. In reply, Mr Scalzi holds forth his legal opinion as to why the two cases differ.

N.B.: Mr Scalzi has been nominated for 9 Hugo Awards in his career.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/04/15/the-latest-hugo-conspiracy-nonsense-involving-me/

I invite your comments. Is his legal reasoning sound?

The words below are his

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When Should We Abandon Our Friends?

Posted April 15, 2015 By John C Wright

The lovely and talented Mrs Wright holds forth on a difficult topic:

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2015/04/15/superversive-blog-when-should-we-abandon-our-friends/

This subject has been quite topical recently. I thought a longer treatment than fit in a Facebook comments box was due.

Imagine that you had a friend. He was clever and funny, loyal, brave and generous. He had done some wonderful things for your family.

BUT he posted some very odious ideas online.

Let’s say he was, oh, a racist.

Maybe he hates Blacks. Maybe he’s anti-semite. Maybe he is racist against whites.

Point is: it’s ugly.

Now, there are worse things than racism in the grand scheme of things: supporting fathers honor killing their own daughters or those folks in England who wanted to make it legal for parents to kill their babies.

Those are worse.

But racism is pretty bad.

It is judging someone based on the assumption that they were made in some other image and likeness than the Almighty, the One Altogether Lovely.

So, there you are. You have this friend. You have good reason to like and be loyal to this person, but what he prints online is totally odious. Under ordinary circumstances, you would remain friends with him.

But the Internets gone wild and people you like and respect are calling for his head.

What do you do?

She goes on to contemplate the pros and cons of cutting him loose or facing the fire. Worth a read.

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Silent Answers to Loud Slanders

Posted April 15, 2015 By John C Wright

In response to the observation by Vox Day that the books and stories on the Sad Puppies slate of recommendations routinely overmatch the Hugo nominations offered by the conformist establishment of the past decade, one Glenn Hauman of Comic Mix is asking the fairminded and tolerance-loving fans of science fiction to go onto the Amazon sites of various books and works of any nominees for the Hugo awards recommended by the Sad Puppies, and leave or laud negative reviews. https://archive.today/UCk4j

Mind you, he is not asking for the Evil League of Evil Authors to be scribbled on by fake reviews, but merely those persons who, in our humble opinions, we asked our readers to consider nominating for a Hugo, based on the quality of the work rather than any political considerations.

Dear readers, I recommend bringing his call to violate the Amazon reviews system to Amazon’s attention. Also, one may leave comments on a fake review so as to warn innocent shoppers who might read it and be deceived.

And Mr. Hauman of course must apologize and repudiate this petty act of incompetent crowd-sourced graffito. Read the remainder of this entry »

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You Know Who You Are

Posted April 14, 2015 By John C Wright

To whom it may concern:

If you ever become a writer, you will get on your knees and pray, dear heavens please send me some reader who will read my work and get it. After going through draft after draft, after sweating ink and weeping in frustration, and finding just the right word, the right phrase, the right way to carry the scene, the right quote from a musty old book, the right story from an ancient legend — please send me someone who gets what the story is about.

And sometimes, and no one can say when nor why, heaven will answer you abundantly, and send dozens of readers who eyes are opened and whose hearts are unclouded.

Thank you.

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Best Product Review Ever

Posted April 14, 2015 By John C Wright

Please see: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3RP8IR1GBP75M/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B003G4IM4S&nodeID=165793011&store=toys-and-games

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Link Roundup

Posted April 14, 2015 By John C Wright

Da Tech Guy blog has an adroit roundup of the libels directed against the Sad Puppies in the octave of Easter.

http://datechguyblog.com/2015/04/07/entertainment-weeklys-sad-puppies-libel-gets-around-the-world/

I had seen most of these, but some I had not. Perhaps the kind reader will tip his tip jar for doing us this small service.

Also, The American Thinker scoffs at George RR Martin’s aversion to the term Social Justice Warrior:

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/04/is_social_justice_warrior_a_pejorative.html

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