Thursday, April 28, 2016

Submitting to Castalia House, 2



I mentioned a while ago that I was going to take a shot at Castalia House for publishing either Sad Puppies Bite Back and / or Set to Kill. It's a long shot, but I'll happily take it. If you don't ask, you don't get.

If you remember from last time, Castalia desires "a one-page author bio describing who the author is and what the author stands for rather than the author’s credentials."

If you remember last time, you might recall that it was a little scattershot, and all over the place. I've refined it, and you can see it, well, here.

I started writing at sixteen, turning out a 4,000 page series of novels in 15 months. I majored in history in college because I saw it as nothing but endless possibilities for stories. When researching Pope Pius XII as a graduate student in history, I was so angered by the lies told about “Hitler's Pope,” I proceeded to write an epic trilogy dedicated to the truth around Pius XII. (Making Dan Brown look like the pompous lying idiot that he is was an added bonus.) The only reason I don't have a PhD is that I assumed the university in question cared more about truth than about politics. I prefer writing fiction because it is sometimes easier to write truth that way.

I write because fiction should support the truth. Evil is real, and cannot be negotiated with, sated, or reasoned with. The Prince of this World may triumph, but said Prince can have it over my smoldering corpse. There are only two paths for evil. Either evil should be redeemed, or evil should be ended at the point of a sword. More often than not, the cliché that “a villain does not see a villain in the mirror” is merely an excuse to justify evil; it also presupposes that the villain believes in villainy, or heroes, or good, or evil, as moral equivalency and subjectivity are the first refuge of villains.  Though, every time I have a fully developed, three dimensional villain that lasts for any length of time, they are either killed off as soon as possible, or eventually redeemed.

As an ultramontane Catholic and as a realist, I believe in the Nicene creed and in Murphy's Law, usually in that order. My beliefs can be summed up by the Baltimore Catechism, the Summa Theologica, sprinkled lightly with the Demotivators of Despair, Inc. As Thomist by training, I have no problem taking reductions to absurdity and making them a punchline. (See “Sad Puppies Bite Back” at my blog for prime examples).

In the 2016 years Roman Catholics have been around, we have discussed everything from Just War and regicide (“Yes, you may take Hitler or Putin out back and shoot him in the head”), to hating the sin, but loving the sinner. At heart, any good Catholic is a happy warrior, and the culture wars are a battlefield that can always use more people. 

As of now, I'm still proceeding as though they are going to reject me. I'm going to have someone working on a cover, I'm going to have another reader take a gander at Set to Kill. I'm going to have an alternate version of Sad Puppies Bite Back called Tearful Puppies Bite Back, and it will tie in with Set to Kill.... because if I'm self publishing, I'm going to cover my behind something fierce. Because lawyers are a thing. And annoying at times.

However, if I'm going with Castalia, I'm going to dedicate the majority of my energies to promotion, and working on any edits they want me to make.

If I'm not going with Castalia, I'm going to have to have a version filled with aliases at the ready.

As for those people who are editing my vampire novels ... don't worry, my fans, you'll learn about it when I do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Future of the #HugoAwards and #SadPuppies

If you look at the Hugo Awards as a Sad Puppy route -- in everything but Best Novel -- one should ask, What is the point, purpose, and future of Sad Puppies? Should there be an SP5? If there is, what does it do? Does it chase the Dragon? Does it stick with the Hugos?

If you look at the Hugos and its latest collection of nominees, such as "Space Raptor Butt Invasion," be this the end of the Hugos? Won't everything just be No Awarded again?

And the answer to that my friends, is ... do any of us care?

Yeah, you heard me, do we give a flying $%*& about anything the Hugos do? Do we care if they can be saved from themselves?

In fact, no offense to Vox, but at this point, do we even bother burning them down?

Everyone obviously knows where I stand: we're done.



The Dragon award will be a fair, unbalanced place to get genuine fan feedback in awards. 60,000 fans all there to have fun, and all of them nerds. Let's see someone, ANYONE, try to rig that. No one has that many people in their back pocket, not Vox, not Scalzi, not 770, not Larry et al.

Obviously, the Dragon is only starting, and it's still in flux, and they're trying to get their baring. But let's face it, with that many people on board, it's not even a contest.

As for the Hugos ... The very existence of the Dragon will out muscle the Hugos, by numbers if nothing else. Looking at the farce from last year, if you asked me how long the Hugos would last as a presence, I would have said 10 years. It would slowly peter out, becoming a close-knit, clubhouse award within 5 years, and in another 5, it would fade away so much, people would think it's died a natural death, even if some people still bother with it.

With the Dragon in the mix? I'm not even sure I'm going to lay money on it lasting five years. Maybe three, if Vox decides that it's still worth his time.

Yes, Rabid Puppies seems dedicated towards the destruction of the Hugos. Or taking them over. One or the other. Though if it becomes too easy, maybe even Vox will decide to let them fester and die on their own. No idea, one way or the other.

Vox, meanwhile, has declared the Sad Puppies irrelevant, since we only really impacted one major category. Though I think the entire enterprise is just beating a dead horse at the time.

There is an argument against walking away from the Hugos, of course.

Technically, ignoring the Hugos from now on would be forfeiting. If this were a sport or a war, that would be tantamount to surrender. Though I would think that it's more along the lines of knife fighting on a frozen lake, and then your opponent falls through and can't swim -- if you don't continue fighting, their last words can be about how you walked away, you pathetic cowards, and blurb blurb blurb ....

And sure, if Sad and / or Rabid walked away from the Hugos, the SJWs could go and laugh about how they sure beat those ruddy Puppies, they sure beat us, and gee, why has everyone gone to Atlanta?

I've had conversations with several people over the future of the Sad Puppies. It's been suggested that we should do, well, something with it. I concur, moving on to something else would be interesting. Though no one is really considering having the Sad Puppies impact the Dragon awards, unless, somehow, something becomes really freaking screwy with them. But that's been rejected as a possibility by every sane person I know. And most of the insane ones.

We mustn't dismiss the possibility of the Sad Puppies refining this year's technique so that we kick ass and take names next year. Though I'm wondering ... why would we want to?

Though thus far, the best reason I've heard for continuing Sad Puppies with the same mission? Just to drive left-wing douche bags insane. Which I guess is a good enough reason.  After all, if the SJWs want to troll us, then I see no reason not to return the favor.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#HugoAwards to #SadPuppies: We're Rabid

I told you so.

As I said on Tuesday's post, I wouldn't be getting a Hugo nomination.

Surprise surprise, no nomination. Not one, out of three categories.

Part of that is because that the Hugos this year have gone rabid. Very, rabid, really.

Seriously, the tagline for Vox this year should be "All your Hugos are belong to us."

Look at this, for example:


Everything here is Rabid. Everything.

Asymmetrical Warfare is the only overlap with Sad Puppies.

No, I don't have a prediction outside of No Award....

Except .... This category was given no award last year. It might look suspicious if they did it again. (Nice category you have there, would be a shame if something should .... happen to it.)

With television, you might notice something stand out....



For the record, the My Little Pony nomination is definitely a Rabid choice, as well as a Sad Puppy choice.  Hmm.

Supernatural: Rabid

Grimm: Rabid

Doctor Who: Sad.

Jessica Jones: Nobody.

Prediction: if the Puppy Kickers show up, it'll be Jessica Jones. If it's the Rabids, it's My Little Pony. Otherwise, it's up for grabs.

Best Related is almost entirely Rabid. I mean, look at this.


Jeffro works for Vox. SJWs Always Lie is by Vox.  Safe Spaces as Rape Room is a Rabid pick.

And Gene Wolfe, the author, is awesome. The pick is rabid. As is the Moira Greyland one.

Appendix N and Safe Spaces as Rape Rooms had additional Sad Puppy Backing. But there was no other overlap.

So, yes, very Rabid.  And I'm apparently not Rabid enough, even though I'm very apathetic to the Hugos in the first place.

If I were to make a guess, if the Rabids get one, they go for SJWs always lie. Or Jeffro.

If the Kickers go for something, the safest bet is with Gene Wolfe and only Gene Wolfe. Remember, Gene Wolfe has been published with Tor for longer than the Neilsen-Haydens have been alive.

And now, I present Sad Puppies 4: The Revenge of Baen.



Oh look, Shiela Gilbert and Toni Weisskopf. Again. Because screw you, David Gerrold. Let's see them No Award Toni this year, huh?

Jim Mintz? Nominated by both puppies. Was was Toni, I believe.

And Vox is Rabid. Obviously. Though he wasn't nominated by the Sad Puppies. Then again, Sad Puppies only had three editors they were interested in this year.

Liz Gorinsky, by the way, it also of Tor. And responsible for the Tor website. Which means I'm all in favor of her losing.

Next up is the award for Best New Writer, and our good acquaintance Brian Niemeier (from whom I stole all of the numbers crunching earlier one) wanted to be on this list, and this one alone.


And he got it. He was a joint pick, between Sad and Rabid.

Then again, he's also against Rabid pick Pierce Brown, Sebastien de Castell, and the almost guaranteed winner Andy Weir.

I have no idea who or what an Alyssa Wong is, except she's a Sad Puppy.

If Brian is reading this blog, 1) congratulations, 2) enjoy your hate mail, and 3) let me know if you need any help answering your hate mail. In public.

Yes, yes, I can hear you now: Come now, Declan, show us best novel, there's a good author.

Oh, you're probably wondering about best novel, aren't you?

Well, this is one where everybody, even the Puppy Kickers showed up in force.


And by "in force," I mean the Puppy Kickers got ONE novels. That's it, one. Because remember, this is what the Sad Puppy list looked like for Best Novel.


And Leckie will probably bow out (if I recall correctly, she didn't want to play this year).

At the end of the day, NK Jemisin, who would probably kill Vox if she could, is the only Puppy Kicker pick here. 

Butcher? Stephenson? Rabid and Sad nominated. 

Leckie and Naomi Novik? Sad Puppy only.

And Jemisin slipped through the crack there. (Though she was #12 on the Sad Puppy list, IIRC)

However, something I find interesting: first, nothing that was Rabid only was nominated for best novel. Which is odd, I would have thought, given most of the categories, that Vox would have had a monopoly. 

So what does this mean? It means that the Sad Puppies turned out in force for the Best Novel category, and perhaps only Best Novel. I mean, compare the voting. People turned out for Best Novel head and shoulders above every other category. This tracks with the voting on the original list. Most votes were cast for Best Novel than anything else.

Looking at the original Sad Puppies list, my bet is simple: The Puppies had already read Novik, Butcher and Stephenson, and no time to read anything else. So while they could agree on the top three novels (out of five) tastes varied wildly on the rest of them (Ringo and Correia said no, and Niemeier was more interested in the Campbell -- and Williamson is a matter of taste).

And let's face it, I don't have a wide readership yet. So ... no, that wasn't going to happen. Sorry, but no.

Leckie got in because the Hugo baseline already went for her book once, so that wasn't all the difficult. Same for Jemisin.

Frankly, it's the only reason I can think of for why John C. Wright didn't get a nomination this year. Remember, John was nominated in at least three different categories last year (it may have been five). And some of those categories, Wright was nominated three times.

Analysis

Yes, if you compare the whole list -- and I give props to 770 for doing that job for me-- you'll see quite clearly just how much Vox dominated this list. It makes me wonder what would have happened if we went with five nominees this year instead of ten.

And, with a few exceptions, anything that isn't Rabid is Sad.

There is, already, I kid you not, a movement to no award the Hugos again. This tweet went up within the hour of the nominees being mentioned.


If you can see it properly, you can see that removing all of the Rabid stuff would no award best short story, best related and best graphic story -- the former two were no awarded last year.

I also suspect that there is a combination of 1) Sad Puppies focusing a lot on the Best novel and little else and 2) a lot of Sad Puppy followers becoming more rabid.

But let's look at this, shall we? Take it away, Nicki Kenyon.
Best Novel: All 5 nominees were in the top 12 recommended by SP4, including 3 of the top 7 recommended by the fans.

Best Novella: All top 4 SP4 recommendations were nominated, and all 5 nominees were in the top 8 slots SP4 compiled.

Best Novellete: Only 3 of the nominees were on the SP4 list (all within the top 6 slots). 19 works were recommended by SP4 overall.

Best Short Story: Only 2 of the nominees were on the list, both within the top 20 listed; 38 works were listed overall.

Best Editor (Long Form): 2 of the 3 recommendees by SP4 made the nominee list. Sadly, politics will almost definitely keep the extremely deserving Toni Weisskopf, who is one of the most influential and successful women in publishing, from being recognized with an award.

Campbell Nominees: All 5 of the works on the shortlist were recommended by SP4, including the top 3 selections agreed upon by the group. 19 total works were recommended overall.
So, despite appearances, Rabid Puppies didn't take EVERYTHING. But it feels like it. Well, I don't do "the feels." I do "the facts."

Though right now, according to Vox, the numbers are around 60 nominations out of 80-something. There is overlap, of course, but the Rabids came and they swept most of it.



As was noted
This year, the Sad and Rabid Puppies have done it again. Ten out of fifteen Hugo Award categories have been completely dominated by Puppy-endorsed nominees — double what the campaigns achieved in 2015. The Puppies have also secured three out of five nominations for Best Novel, three out of four nominations for Best Short-Form Dramatic Presentation, and three out of five nominations for Best Long-Form Editor.

In total, the Rabid Puppies swept six categories on their own, while a combination of Sad & Rabid puppy nominations swept a further four.

Some of the Rabid Puppies nominations this year — such as a My Little Pony episode for Best Short-Form Dramatic Presentation and a porn parody in Best Short Story — seem clearly intended as troll options, a demonstration of the Puppies’ power to exert their will on the awards.
Tell me again how the Puppies are irrelevant?



And of course, right after the Hugo nominations were announced, The Guardian published an article titled: "Hugo awards shortlist dominated by rightwing campaign."

As Kenyon continues to note, the usual puppy kickers made the following claims.
1) the Sad Puppies nominated quality works, but the quality works Sad Puppies nominated were nominated despite the Sad Puppies and
2) HUGOS WERE HIJACKED BY BAD BAD EVIL RIGHTWINGERS AGAIN THIS YEAR, AND I’M BUTTHURT ABOUT IT!
John Scalzi had an article about the Hugo awards TWENTY MINUTES BEFORE THE FINALISTS WERE ANNOUNCED. Nice trick, there, John-John. Are we using the Force again, or just a lucky guess?

Scalzi's column?

Well, to steal from Daddy Warpig on Facebook....





In short, here we go again.

As for me?

Yeah, I'm good. Remember, I didn't even think I'd get on the Sad Puppy list, and you think I'd honestly expect a Hugo nod? Heh. I wasn't even sure I wanted a Hugo if they offered me one.

Also, I'm not worried about the Hugos. Why?

Because I'm....  [slides on shades] ...... chasing the Dragon.

YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH.

Yes, yes, I know that the likelihood of me even being nominated for a Dragon is even worse than being a Hugo finalist, but hell, I didn't even think of getting on the Sad Puppy 4 list. What have I got to lose? If you don't try, you don't get.

I've had some people speculate that there might be something fishy about the Sad Puppy / Hugo discrepancy. There is none, really. Fans of mine voted for Honor at Stake on the SP4 list, which they were free to do, at no cost to themselves, I had about twenty fans do so. Those people who had never heard of me didn't have the time to read all of the books on the list. Let's face it, when you're given ten books and a small time frame to read them in, how are we going to play it? Are you going to read them in order, or are you going to read the ones with Big Names attached to them, that are vaguely familiar?

Anyway, this is my obligatory pull for Honor at Stake to be nominated for a Dragon Award.  Go, sign up, vote, it's free.

Be well all. And grab some popcorn, because we're not even done yet. Over the next week or two, expect people to be bullied off the nomination due to "concerns" about Puppies, or people who don't want the nomination to inform the Hugos loudly and publicly.

Brace yourselves, everyone, things are about to get interesting.

COMMENCE: THE SADDENING.

The Hugos are coming, the Hugos are coming

If you go by the expected traditional wisdom, I don't have a hope in Hell of getting even a single Hugo nomination.

Oh well. I really wanted those death threats from my betters, who would go out of their way to show that I was inferior and stupid and barbarian Catholic and stuff.

How do I know this? Well, I'm told that the Hugo nomination people would have contacted all of the nominees. My publisher on Honor At Stake should have gotten something. I should have gotten a contact on Sad Puppies Bite Back

I have heard nothing. At all. And are we really surprised? Doing the math, about 20 fans voted for me in best novel with Honor at Stake. That doesn't translate into sales, especially since the Sad Puppies list came out about two weeks before the nomination. So I'm not shocked.

Though I am a little surprised about Sad Puppies Bite Back. Though I guess I shouldn't be. I got six votes in best fan writer, 12 for best related. But it's not exactly like it's that long ...

Okay, Sad Puppies Bite Back is about 24,000 words. Yes, I counted. That's half a novel. Yeesh. Who knew? So I guess it's not that surprising that people didn't speed through it and decide if it needed to be on the Hugo's nominations.

Ah well. My only problem here is that I need to actually work on making more blogs. I was going to rely on utterly insane comments.

This is where I shrug, say it was a nice ride, and move on to the next project.

Oh well, I can at least retire this image.


Yeah. That would have been so much fun, though, really. Heh.

I'll probably examine the rest of the list either later today, or just save it for Wednesday's blog. Depends on how the day goes. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Set To Kill, Meet the Puppies

As my regular readers know I'm writing this new book called Set to Kill: a murder mystery that takes place at "WyvernCon" in Atlanta.

Yes, WyvernCon. Because I'm subtle. 

I have two groups at WyvernCon, the Tearful Puppies (the Hydrophobic Puppies didn't show up), and their Puppy Punters ("Dog Catchers" didn't convey my meaning).

Puppy Punters include

Patty and Terry Smith-Smythe-Smits, publishers at Rot books (Name of Publisher to change ... I hear "Midden" is a good idea).

Their minion Fred Moshevsky, a drooling hunchback.

Kendall Adler, who draws on company walls with the

Author S Typhoon Teacup

Johnny Noah Prada

Nicole K.Victoria Daalman.


And Charles RR Martinez. ... who is so white it's pronounced Martin-es.

Yama "Crabs" Marshman, Internet stalker, from the back end of Boston.

And, of course, Jerry Friedman, an aging author still claiming cred for a popular creation over 50 years ago, the Hairballs.

Tearful Puppies include ....

Gary Castelo, intergalactic lord of rage / dark lord of the fisk.

Rachel Hartley, Vile yet Glamorous Fairy Princess

Jesse James, and his daughters Faith and Sophia. Do not mention the old west outlaw to him.

Omar Gunderson

Colonel George Bradley

Tom Knighton

Cryomancer, an Australian artist

Calvin Y, "Crazy Cal" Jefferson.

I won't even go into Agnes O'Day, leader of the Hydrophobic Puppies

Yes, because I'm subtle.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Music to Write to Within Temptation - Edge of the World Lyrics

With this one, it's mostly the refrain that carries this one for me.

For the record, there will be no radio show on Sunday. Why? Because I don't have a guest. And I don't think anyone cares about me monologuing.

Unless I magically get a guest this weekend, I'll be taking this Sunday off. Well, not really. I'll be spending it trying to fill a radio schedule.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Movie Night: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

So, this one has Leslie Howard &  Merle Oberon.

Yes, a while ago, I did Pimpernel Smith, so I figured that I should at least do the original. Yes, I'm doing it backwards, but free films. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Making Things Difficult

Dear American Airlines,

When I originally planned a July 7th flight to Chattanooga for LibertyCon, I specifically scheduled your 10:30 am flight, funneling me and my party through Charlotte. Which I accepted. It would put me there at 3:30 pm local time. 

Now I find that you have shunted that flight to 8:30am, meaning I have to drag everybody out of bed, kicking and screaming, cram them into a car at 6:00 am, in order to get them to an airport by 6;30, because this New York, planning for airport security to NOT screw us over is a bad, bad idea.

I would like to thank you, American Airlines, for making my life even more difficult than it had to be. 

Of course, I would also like your ignorant asses for not informing me of this at all. In fact, had I not booked through Priceline, I doubt that I would have been informed about this until 24 hours before the flight.

I would like to thank you again, American Airlines, for being consistent in the quality of service I have come to expect from you.

Next time, I'm taking the bus. In fact, if you're not careful, I may do that anyway. I bought flight insurance.


Sincerely,                  

Declan Finn

With luck, you cannot tell that I'm sleep deprived by how I wrote the above.

However, you know that something must be off, because I didn't use a music blog, and I don't have a substantive premise for today's blog.

But hey, this seems to work for Sarah Hoyt.

Actually, there is a new bit of business that's new to me. And this involves some audience participation.

I have been informed that I've made TV appearances. I've even had my books at Borders (RIP) and on The Catholic Network.

I say that I've been informed, because this is the first time I've heard of any of this. At all. Ever.

Seriously, why does no one tell me about this stuff?

So ... from now on, if you see something, say something. No, really. I have no awareness of things like this. As far as I know, the only PR I have is reviews, this blog, my Twitter account, Google+, and Facebook. That's it. Apparently, there's more than that.

Anyway, if you see my books on the shelf of a real bookstore, or in some place I didn't personally put it, please, let me know in the comments. It'll be nice to know.

Until then, here, have a meme about Harriet Tubman, gun-toting Republican who just replaced an American President on the $20 bill.

Terminator Tubman1 - Harriet Tubman says "Come with me If you want to live"


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Can We Stop?

Fun Fact: homosexuals are somewhere between 2% and 5% of the US population, and about 1.85% of the entire planet Earth. Previous estimates were brought to you by the vile slander of a Doctor Kinsey, who had enough of his own problems that biased his research methodology as well as his results.

At which point, you have to wonder what the numbers of genuine "transgender" people are.

And now, we've got .... this.



The stupid. It burns. It burns so badly. I mean, look at this, these students have become so open minded that their brains have fallen straight out of their heads. Honestly, is there anything here that they won't "accept?" Because "acceptance"?

Look, the biggest number I've seen on the Trans population is .3% of the population of the United States, and that's from a study that strikes me as seriously, seriously off. I don't know if it's biased, the stats are bad, or the metrics are rigged, but looking at the rest of the "stats" in that study, I want to take that with a pinch of salt and a shot of tequila.

And heck, researchers from the American Society for Suicide Prevention, and from the Williams Institute, did a study on suicide attempts in transgender and gender non-conforming adults. The data was drawn from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS). This survey was conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality.

Their conclusion?  That people who "transition" are TEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO COMMIT SUICIDE THAN THE REST OF THE POPULATION.

So ... with these two facts, I have to ask some questions. Even assuming that there are that many Trans people in the entire country, why should we pass laws like "gender neutral bathrooms"? Doesn't that inconvenience an entire population for less than a fraction?

And if those who transition are more likely to off themselves, why are we hearing about more "rights" for them, and not about more screening and therapy? Because, really, it sounds like either these people were not mentally fit to have this surgery in the first place, or they were not sufficiently prepared for life as a butterfly. Yes, butterfly. Because I'm tired of this terminology BS. Aren't those people pushing for all transients to transient, then aren't they basically trying to rush them into a procedure that will more often than not lead to them murdering themselves?

Frankly, here's my thing: if you were born with two sets of genitalia, and the wrong ones get cut, then that's a genuine problem. Not even up for discussion. But obviously, that's not even being CONSIDERED. It's "You can be whatever you want to be." Yeah, well, I want to be a bestselling author, and that's something I have to work for, not wish upon a star and get it. If I want to be Batman, or anyone or anything else, also not going to happen.

And now, we've got Doctor Strange having gender bending -- I mean, hell, we're bending space and time, why not something else while we're at it -- and it's generally being shoved in everyone's face. And why? No real reason that I could find. Because ... "Oh look, gay marriage, now what's next"? Honestly, I neither know, nor care, I would just like the screaming to stop. I want the stupid "LET'S SHOVE IT IN EVERYONE'S FACE" to stop.

How about we make a deal, world? If I get in your face, feel free to punch me in the face. And if you continue to get in mine, I will do the same to you? Is that fair? Is that accepting enough for you?

And why the good ***damn do I have to accept anyone or anything? Is my accepting of who and what you are so vitally important to you? Do you know me? Do you respect my opinion so much that it is vital to your continued well being? Am I such a person of importance and veneration, that if I don't approve of your every single action, that you will fold like a house of cards?

No, seriously, I'm curious, why should I care? I mean, hell, on the one hand, imagine that a butterfly is going to use a public restroom ... if this person looks like the proper sex for that bathroom, who's going to check? Unless said person has had really lousy surgery, who'll notice? Anyone wearing beard or a mustache hair while walking into a women's bathroom will probably have trouble. Though to be honest, if a guy dressed like a woman used a urinal right next to me, I probably wouldn't even notice, I live in New York.

I reiterate, why should I care? And frankly, why should my apathy upset anyone?  But the refrain is that I, and people like me, will be made to care. Guess what folks, when people ram pamphlets into my face about saving the wales or decreasing our nuclear arsenal, my first thought is that we should nuke the wales as soon as possible.

I am a really cranky human being who has to force himself to not going into full-on misanthropy. Do you really want to force me to give you that much attention? Because it will probably not end well. Trust me, there are people who have asked for my signatures on petitions who know better. Then again, they were asking for signatures against "attacking ISIS" while I was wearing a t-shirt that says "waterboarding instructor," so that's its own joke right there.

I must ask, does this "acceptance" and "tolerance" go both ways? Hi, I'm Catholic, I believe that the Pope can make infallible decisions, that babies shouldn't be aborted and that violent criminals should be fed to sharks (dead or alive), and that torturing terrorists is no big deal if they're following Inquisition guidelines, and tyrannicide is still approved by the Catholic church. You must accept that belief, right? I'm sorry, do you not accept that belief? Why don't you accept that belief? How dare you NOT accept that belief. You SHOULD!! You MUST! Because TOLERANCE!! And ACCEPTANCE!!! And HAVE I MADE MY POINT YET, OR MUST I STICK IT IN YOUR EYE?

....

Anyway, can we all move on to something else now? Let the washout, has been music stars like Ringo Star and Bruce Springsteen have their temper tantrums, as long as the rest of us are left alone? Can we agree on that? Please?

And, no, for the record, I am not having trans, gay, lesbian, or bi characters in any of my work unless there is a damn good reason for it. If you don't like that, I invite you to attempt anatomically impossible acts upon yourself.  Unless there's a surgery for that too.

Right now, I would just love it -- love it-- if we could have news stories and controversies about something relatively important. What's ISIS doing? Has Baghdad or Damascus fallen? Has Putin taken Georgia yet? And frankly, if this LGBTQMOUSE stuff is your bailiwick, here's an easy one: people are being slaughtered all over the world for being anything less than straight, and we're having arguments over bathrooms. Maybe you can find something important about that.

But seriously, can we just stop?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Submitting to Castalia, the Intro

As I've mentioned, went I have them both ready, I'm going to send Set to Kill and Sad Puppies Bite Back to Castalia House.

Their submissions page is interesting.
We are looking for writers who believe there is a fundamental distinction between good and evil. We are interested in writers who harken back to the Golden Age of SF and the Inklings. We are seeking writers who respect the past as much as they anticipate the future. We want to publish writers with souls, writers with chests, writers who possess a sense of the numinous and the ineffable. We hope to hear from authors who are just as interested in telling a fascinating story and entertaining the reader as they are in demonstrating literary pyrotechnics.
Oh yes, this looks awesome. I have found my people! Yay!

Now, what they require is a single document of

  • a one-page synopsis
  • a one-page author bio describing who the author is and what the author stands for rather than the author’s credentials
  • the completed manuscript.

Huh. The first one is standard, the third one is obligatory, the second one ... huh.

Okay, granted, doing a synopsis of Sad Puppies Bite Back is going to be a train wreck. SWATting here and there, some replies by the Puppy Kickers, counter attacks by the Puppies, ending in the arrest of The Stalker, then an interlude for A WorldCon Carol, and ending at WorldCon .... with the head of Castalia as the Supreme Evil Overlord trying to kill them all. Yeah, that'll go over well.

There's a reason I'm holding off on that until The Hugo nominations come out. After all, if SPBB is a nominee, that would be great.

As for my bio, that needs some work. Especially the way they want to do it. I should probably just sum up my entire worldview as "See the Baltimore Catechism and the Summa Theologica" and go from there.

Anyway, this is what it looks like thus far. Be amused.

As an ultramontane Catholic and as a realist, I believe in the Nicene creed and in Murphy's Law, usually in that order. My beliefs can be summed up by the Baltimore Catechism, the Summa Theologica, sprinkled likely with the Demotivators of Despair.Inc. As Thomist by training, I have no problem taking reductions to absurdity and making them a punchline. (See “Sad Puppies Bite Back” for prime examples).

Evil is real, and cannot be negotiated with, sated, or reasoned with. The Prince of this World may triumph, but said Prince can have it over my smoldering corpse. There are only two paths for evil. Either evil is redeemed, or evil is ended at the point of a sword. More often than not, the cliché that “a villain does not see a villain in the mirror” is merely an excuse to justify evil; it also presupposes that the villain believes in villainy, or heroes, or good, or evil, as moral equivalency and subjectivity are the first refuge of villains.  Though, every time I have a fully developed, three dimensional villain that lasts for any length of time, they are either killed off as soon as possible, or redeemed.

I write because fiction should support the truth. When researching Pope Pius XII as a graduate student in history, I was so angered by the lies told about “Hitler's Pope,” I proceeded to write an epic trilogy dedicated the truth around Pius XII. Making Dan Brown look like the pompous lying idiot that he is was an added bonus. 
Yes, I know, needs work.

Now, let's look at the odds for a second, shall we? None of these are science fiction or fantasy. Okay, maybe Sad Puppies Bite Back is a fantasy. It's just that deranged. And when you get to A WorldCon Carol, we are so far into la la land, we might as well be in Los Angeles.

But Set To Kill? Different kind of fantasy, and a different kind of deranged. I somehow suspect that it's the wrong kind of both. It's a murder mystery at a science fiction convention where the cops don't solve the mystery.

It's as much a fantasy as, well, Jessica Fletcher

Again, I suspect the wrong kind of fantasy.

There's a reason I'm already making alternate plans to get them self published.

What's that you ask? I'm not running them through the publisher of Honor At Stake? Nope. They've already got a series under contract from me, and they have enough problems. Backlog can be a bear and a half.

Anyway, Hugo nominations are announced on the 26th. So, I have a few days to get this all submission ready.

This is going to get so very, very strange.