Reviewer Praise for IRON CHAMBER OF MEMORY

Posted April 10, 2016 By John C Wright

A Pius Geek reviews my humble work and judges it favorably:

http://apiusman.blogspot.com/2016/04/review-john-c-wrights-iron-chamber-of.html

F. Paul Wilson’s novel The Keep had impressed me growing up because it was a novel that had started out as Dracula and ended with Lord of the Rings.

John C Wright has managed and even greater trick with his latest novel, Iron Chamber of Memory. In this case, what started out as a romantic comedy, Nora Roberts style, and then, Deaver-like, ended in an epic battle on the scale of Mary Stewart and her books of King Arthur and Merlin. Let’s call it a fantasy romance, of sorts. Where’s the soundtrack for Excalibur! I need O Fortuna to accompany the knights charging out of the mists!

Trust me, when I say it was epic, I mean EPIC.

And

… the first 25% is a romantic farce. Like Bringing Up Baby, only funny. Then the next 25% is an epic romance. The third quarter …. transitions nicely into the last 25%, in which … we are in for one hell of a ride.

So we have some of your epic fantasy, we have some

Wright is obviously in a level all of his own, wherein he brings together so many myths and legends, there were moments I paused and went “How did I not see this?” His dissertation director at Oxford is a Dr. Vodonoy. If you don’t see it, don’t worry, I didn’t either. You will be amused by a Mister Drake in this novel. He doesn’t actually have any lines of dialogue, but trust me, when Wright reveals the joke, you’ll enjoy it.

And in all of those elements of epicness and mythology clashing, good against evil, we have a bit like this.

“I am the son of The Grail Knight. My father showed me the cup when I was a boy, still with heaven’s innocence in me, so that the shining rays were visible to me: and in the Blood of the Grail he anointed me.”

“And after…”

“We moved to New York, and he opened a used bookstore.”

The unexpectedness of that line was … well, I was glad I didn’t wake the neighbors.

Or:
“Are you suffering from cutlery dysfunction?”

It’s times like those where I’m wondering if I’m in Mary Stewart or in a Peter David novel. Either way, it works.

This is what, in my family, is called a “Novel novel.” There is more in common with Victor Hugo than James Patterson. It’s a book where I spent a lot of time admiring the crafting of story, and the crafting of words and phrasing. And I’m usually not the sort of person to note that sort of thing.

So, you want your humor? Check. Want your fantasy, triple checked. Want romance? Double checked in two different meanings of the world. Also, if you want a plot twist that makes Jeffery Deaver look like amateur hour? Quadruple checked (yes, really, four, I counted. Maybe 6.)

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Left Laughs at Gang Rape

Posted April 10, 2016 By John C Wright

A telling bit of film (hat tip to The Other McCain):

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Thomas Aquinas and Rod Serling

Posted April 8, 2016 By John C Wright

An article by Nicholas Senz well worth reading is called ‘Happiness and Hell in the Twilight Zone’. I quote the opening:

In “A Nice Place to Visit,” we meet a burglar, Henry Francis “Rocky” Valentine, at the end of his life, cut down in a shootout with the police. He awakens … a smiling man in white… announces he is Rocky’s guide, instructed to give him whatever he desires. Rocky … concludes he’s now in heaven.

After a month of wining, dining, and winning, though, Rocky becomes bored. He … laments, “If this is Heaven, I’d almost rather be in the other place,” to which Pip replies, “My dear Mr. Valentine, whoever said this is Heaven? This is the other place!” A chilling twist to suspenseful story!

Yet it leaves us with questions. Why isn’t Rocky happy when he gets everything he wants? How could Hell be depicted in such a way…?

It might surprise us to find that the themes and ideas touched upon in this episode were treated in detail 700 years beforehand. …

The first question of the prima secundae of the Summa Theologiae asks whether man has a last end. Is there something that all human beings have in common as their final purpose, their reason for being?

Yes, St. Thomas says, generally, all men have as their last end the “fulfillment of their perfection”—that is, the fulfillment of their nature, of what it is to be human.

But, he is quick to point out, not all men understand that end to be the same thing. Some men think that pleasure or money is their greatest end, and so they seek the maximum of pleasure or wealth.

…Thus, as St. Thomas says: “to every taste the sweet is pleasant but to some, the sweetness of wine is most pleasant, to others, the sweetness of honey, or of something similar. Yet that sweet is absolutely the best of all pleasant things, in which he who has the best taste takes most pleasure. In like manner that good is most complete which the man with well disposed affections desires for his last end.” (ST I-II, q. 1, a. 7, c.)

So, Rocky likes the things he likes—booze, beauties, big wins at the casino—and he seeks the maximum of each, thinking this will satisfy his desires. But yet they do not. Why?…

The second question asks whether man’s happiness might consist in any of a variety of created things: Power? Honor? Glory? Wealth? Pleasure? The answer to all of these is no

Read the whole thing: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/happiness-and-hell-in-the-twilight-zone

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Reviewer Praise for IRON CHAMBER

Posted April 8, 2016 By John C Wright

A Review of IRON CHAMBER OF MEMORY from BZ, a commenter over at Vox Popoli.

I’ll take the opportunity to write a somewhat longer review of Iron Chamber of Memory.

Summary: Things starts out seemingly a bit roughly, but reader, keep going. The pieces all fit together quite perfectly and the book actually ended up being some of the best fantasy I’ve read in recent years.

Some mild SPOILERS for a little bit.
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Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code

Posted April 8, 2016 By John C Wright

Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code from 1939:

1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.

2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.

3. He must always tell the truth.

4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.

5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.

6. He must help people in distress.

7. He must be a good worker.

8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.

9. He must respect women, parents and his nation’s laws.

10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

A question for the reader: how many of these do mainstream Leftwing politicians, pundits and speakers, routinely call for all of us to violate?

And I do not mean the Leftwing speakers and leader of ten or twenty years ago. I mean those who this year, this month, this week, or this hour? For the hour is late, and it is darker than you think.

 

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Puppy Service Announcement

Posted April 8, 2016 By John C Wright

My editor, the most hated man in Science Fiction, the never to be sufficiently accursed Vox Day, also known as Star-A-Star of the Patrol, whom Helmuth of Boskone referred to as THE Lensman, and Straw Larry (How I Hate That Guy!!) referred to as VOX DAYYYYY!!!! has an announcement, an exhortation, and an instruction which may be of interest to my beloved readers. The words below are his:

Rampaging Puppies

It has been brought to my attention, by several critics, that we of the Rabid Puppies have unfairly focused our attention on the Hugo Awards, and that it is only due to the unique nature of the Hugo Awards rules that our presence is able to make itself felt.

It has been suggested, for example, that were we to turn our attention to other awards in the field, with other, more democratic systems, that our dearth of numbers would become apparent to all and sundry.

Which is why, sweet, slavering Puppies, I would direct your attention to the venerable Locus Awards, that bastion of science fiction history, where Tor Books has won the Best Publisher award for 27 straight years, and which we are informed is more representative of the science fiction mainstream than the elitist Hugo and Nebula Awards. For those of you who were unable to afford the entry fee or otherwise missed registering for MidAmericaCon II, this is your opportunity to respond to the Call of the Dark and run with the Puppies.

You can enter your ballot here; though keep in mind that the voting ends in one week, on April 15th. My recommendations are as follows, although in many cases you will have to write them in, since Locus mysteriously tends to leave books published by Baen Books and Castalia House off its list of recommendations.

An unfortunate oversight, no doubt.

Best SF Novel

1    Red Rising, Pierce Brown (Del Rey)
2    Seveneves, Neal Stephenson (Morrow)
3    Somewhither, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
4    Agent of the Imperium, Marc Miller, (Far Future)
5    A Borrowed Man, Gene Wolfe (Tor)

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The Dragon Awards! Sign up Now!

Posted April 7, 2016 By John C Wright

All bold activists crusading to end puppy-related sadness and get an award that is given out for science fiction rather than for political correctness should sign up to vote for the Dragon Award.

http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_signup.php

DragonCon is a large convention, with an annual attendance in the tens of thousands. The awards will be based on nominations and votes from all fans, not just attendees, through an open system.

And remember, SOMEWHITHER is spelled with two E’s and two H’s. SOMAWITHER (one H) is a story about soma, the wine of immortality from Hindu mythology, fading and languishing in a melancholy fashion as the gods grow old and die, and I have not written it yet.

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Speaking Truth to Power is Speaking Love

Posted April 6, 2016 By John C Wright

A reader thanked me for speaking the truth. The compliment shames me, for I see my shortcomings.

I wish I spoke the more of the truth, a more holy truth,  more often. Often I speak out of wrath, and that is always a lie.

The Leftists, and Jihadists, Newspapermen, SJWs, Morlocks, Puppykickers and Crybullies all have one thing in common: they are vermin who prey on human goodness, and use our own goodness as a weapon of blackmail against us. If we were what they accused us of being, they would be dead and silenced and we would have peace.

We are the opposite of what they say of us, and, ironically, they are the opposite of what they say of themselves. They are neither crying victims nor crusaders granted the power of demigods by the naked virtue of their moral superiority.

These people cannot hurt us, no matter what they say. They cannot mar the sun or quench the stars or pull down the Cross no matter what laws they pass.

They cannot even stop the oceans from rising, no matter how many coal miners they put out of work. Christ is King and God is Father and these people are blind and dazed and Christ died for each of them even if that one had been the only person ever to sin.

I forget to pray for them. What else can one do to enemies made in the image and likeness of God? Guns and laws and harsh words cannot stop immortal souls, only the mortal clay in which they are garbed — and the clay is not where the battle is.

Dear reader, if you see me losing my temper against my enemies, feel free to remind me of my duty to love them. In the same way a coin bears the stamp of the king, even tarnished coins, a sinner no less sinful than I (and probably far less) bears the stamp of his Heavenly Father. If I love Him, I cannot hate them.

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I’m Not Saying It’s Demons, But It’s Demons

Posted April 6, 2016 By John C Wright

I have never played Baldur’s Gate, and never will. I am not a gamer guy, and that is not my world.

But the gamer world is being corrupted by the same forces that are corrupting science fiction, which is my world, and long ago corrupted the press, and the courts of law, which are also worlds of mine. So I know the spoor of the wolf in sheep garb, having seen it many a time before.

But it seems the game makers put out a recent, allegedly updated version of a game everyone in the gamer world admits is a classic.

Except the updating was not done to please the fans or make money, put to preach the same boring and abominable sermon about political correctness you heard this morning from the newspaper, from the latest legal opinion, the latest political speach, and, more likely than not these days, from the local pulpit of your nondenominational eco-friendly church, excuse me, faith group.

The sermon is that cis, white, het, males are boring and cowardly and bad and that tranny, brown, homo, fems are exciting and brave and good.

This is a quote from a reviewer on GoG:

just another vessel for SJW propaganda 

by installgentoo

Amber Scott, the writer of this game, says that the original Baldur’s Gate is sexist. Captain Corwin, a major NPC, is a single bisexual mother whose daughter calls you out for mansplaining to her. There is a transgender NPC. Etc etcIf that’s your sort of thing, then this review should be useless to you. But for people like me who don’t want to financially or morally support the ever more omnipresent liberal lunacy injected in all forms of art, perhaps you should skip this.

Apr 2, 2016

Here is a screen capture. Note the cringe-worthy yet wooden awkwardness of the prose.

Baldurs-Gate-Dragonspear-Mizhena

Mizhena: When I was born, my parents thought me a boy and raised me as such. In time, we all came to understand I was truly a woman. I created my new name from syllables of different languages. All have special meaning to me; it is the truest reflection of who I am.  

The three possible replies are (1) Thank you for sharing your story with me (2) An interesting past (3) I have to be going now.

This conversation could not go that way anywhere, real or imaginary, not in Middle Earth, or Earthsea, or Narnia, or Prydain. It is absurdly tin-eared and intrusive.

Given limits of time and screen space to display dialog, one wonders why the character development point that syllables of different languages have special meaning to a man whose family came to understand he was a woman was shoehorned in.

The responses do not include the sole response Leftists always and forever falsely accuse and insist Conservatives must always have but Muslims never do, which is to throw the deviant off a minaret while screaming bloodthirsty praises to God.

Had the writer been a corporate spy hired by a rival to ruin the game, the preening deafness to the consumers who pay the writers’ wage could not have been thicker. Here is the reply to the criticisms:

Baldurs Gate admission

Straight White Cis people, eh?

As I was reading this, I nodded off and had a strange dream that it was 1938, and I was in Hamburg, reading a pamphlet. The writer there was fending off criticism of some sort. “I don’t like writing about Jews all the time. It is not reflective of the real Germany, and it sets up their Bolshevik Zionism as the normal baseline from which other characters must be added, and it’s boring. I consciously add as much of the Germanic Aryan Masterrace as I can to my writing, and I don’t care if people think that’s forced or fake, I find choosing to write from a Semitic untermensch default just as artificial. I am happy to be a …”

Ah, but then I woke, and I never discovered what group it was that rated the worth of people, of works of art, of everything on the basis of race-loyalty.

But the unnamed collectivist authoritarian thug-group from 1938 Germany did not only round up Jews and Gypsies, but also Non-Lutherans, the Mentally Retarded, and (ironically, considering how many a Nazi was queer) Homosexuals.

Note the parallel. The modern collectivist authoritarian thug-group of Political Correctness is not just based on race-hatred (anti-White), but also based on shared dogma (nihilism), shared mental illnesses (narcissism), and shared sexual deviations (all of them, but especially pederasty).

This last point is worth pondering. One has to wonder why the SWJ’s are so obsessed with sexual perversions, sexual deviations, and sexual disorders?

Has any of them, even once, written about the love between man and wife?

Nothing is more erotic than a husband and wife off contraception trying to make a baby. Sex is sexier when it is used for its right purpose in its right way: anything else is either sick, or boring, or weakens the men and drives the womenfolk crazy.

Women go crazy when their men are weak, and men get weak when their women are crazy.

We need each other, and we each have different jobs to do and different natures to do it with. That is the reality. That is the norm. That is what is healthy, sound, and wholesome, both fun and sublime.

So what is the obsession these days about social justice warriors desiring to praise, uphold and applaud men who are sick in the head, castrate themselves, and dress in women’s clothing?

The sad freaks are not Negroes being oppressed by Southern Democrats nor are they Jews being killed by Mohammedans. They are persons suffering from an objective disorder of the sexual passions.

 

Here is the answer, and you will hear it no where else. Others who know this rarely speak of it outside church walls.

Mankind is in the no-man’s land of a war between two opposing powers that can neither been seen nor heard, except in the quietest parts of the praying heart, or the dreams of visionaries.

To one side is heaven, who wishes to shower upon us infinite joy and endless life, but will not stir a feather to aid those too proud to ask for aid: love cannot compel or be compelled.

To the other side is darkest hell, a black cloud filled with clamor, uproar, wailing, screaming, shrieking, and the sounds of all torment and terror and woe. They want to hear you scream.

The sole weapon of Hell is a simple and horrible thing that makes evil look good and good look evil. Due to sin, the glory of the naked body, for example, is a matter for shame. The wonder and ecstasy of romantic love is a matter for neurosis, betrayal, selfishness, pornography, degradation, perversion.

Hell hates children because they are innocent and hates sex because it produces children. Hell likes sex when and only when it is done illegally, unhappily, selfishly, lovelessly.

Because sex is the most potent drive in the human soul and the greatest wonder and gift of heaven to man, it has been the focus of hellish perversion since Eden.

Everything which could be done to disrupt, ruin, corrupt, and mar this most glorious source of happiness has been done, from the time when Lamech took more than one wife through the heresy called Puritanism to the absurdity called the Sexual Revolution, to the ghastly horror of Feminists believing that loving and serving a man is oppression.

So the weapon of hell has been sharpened and refined to be precisely what will do the most damage to the souls of all concerned according to the psychology of all involved: the Social Justice Warrior is drunk on self-righteousness, and celebrates unspeakable perversions one cannot even discuss in front of children, and meanwhile the same social justice warrior is flung in our faces like poop flung by a monkey, to drive contempt and hatred into our hearts, so that we no longer see the damnable Morlock as human, as a child of God and beloved of Him.

Our cries of outrage make the social justice warrior feel special, hardening his heart; but if we say nothing, our already corrupt and vile society slips one more notch down the wide and easy path into the burning sewer of hell.

For Uncle Screwtape, it is a win-win.

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Liberalism is Dead; Long Live Statism

Posted April 5, 2016 By John C Wright

The calm and measured L Jagi Lamplighter weighs in on the question of the drawbacks of having political correctness replace freedom of speech as a core Liberal value.

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/2016/04/04/political-correctness-vs-the-search-for-happiness/

For myself, I think she is more mild and forgiving than a just and clear eyed view of the situation requires. But perhaps it is a proper role of women to soften harsh masculine judgment.

What prompted this?

My darling wife just had a bit of an argument with some leftwing oddments online, including the potty-mouthed N.K. Jemisin, who told her that Political Correctness does not get people harassed and fired, no indeed. It is the lack of good sense and sound judgment betrayed by insufficiently kowtowing to Political Correctness gets people harassed and fired.

The rather unrefined potty-mouth claimed that politeness and elegant of courteous speaking was her sole (expletive deleted) motivation. The sheer audacity of that would be admirable, were it a deliberate falsehood of magnificent insolence, rather than mere frothing lunacy from a demonomaniac.

One reader, a solid and lifelong Liberal, pointed out the logical contradiction with this.

This is merely one example of many that convinces me that the old time leftwing liberalism of my youth are dead, eloi who have been eaten by the modern Morlocks of statist politically correct thought policeman.

Liberals of old have little in common with the Politically Correct crybullies who have inherited their mantle. Liberals are not Leftist: they have been left behind.

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