Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review of Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge

What happens when you bring together one of the best SF&F writers into one of the best fantasy worlds in books today? Grunge.


At LibertyCon, John Ringo mentioned that he was reading Monster Hunter International because, well, it's not the sort of thing he would write, so he wouldn't be stealing anything from it. I know that feeling. (For the record, John, feel free to read my books, I can't imagine you writing anything like them anyway).

Instead, Ringo ended up writing three books for MHI. Heh.
When Marine Private Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is killed in the Marine barrack bombing in Beirut, somebody who might be Saint Peter gives him a choice: Go to Heaven, which while nice might be a little boring, or return to Earth. The Boss has a mission for him and he's to look for a sign. He's a Marine: He'll choose the mission.

Unfortunately, the sign he's to look for is "57." Which, given the food services contract in Bethesda Hospital, creates some difficulty. Eventually, it appears that God's will is for Chad to join a group called "Monster Hunters International" and protect people from things that go bump in the night. From there, things trend downhill.

Monster Hunter Memoirs is the (mostly) true story of the life and times of one of MHI's most effective—and flamboyant—hunters. Pro-tips for up and coming hunters range from how to dress appropriately for jogging (low-profile body armor and multiple weapons) to how to develop contacts among the Japanese yakuza, to why it's not a good idea to make billy goat jokes to trolls.

Grunge harkens back to the Golden Days of Monster Hunting when Reagan was in office, Ray and Susan Shackleford were top hunters and Seattle sushi was authentic.
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge has everything that I've come to expect from Ringo: a smart character (in this case, super-genius) taking over-the-top situations, and responding to them very pragmatically. Swarm of zombies? Shoot them in the head. And shoot faster. Have a dream about a mission from God? Well, it could be a dream, or it could be a vision. We'll see.

Also, 57. And baby-killer first class.

Heh. You'll have to read the book to get that one.

One of nice bits of business I liked was the interaction with Agent Franks, where you're fairly certain that our hero was given access codes to a secret handshake between himself and a creature like Franks.

However, if you're looking for the John Ringo of Ghost ... don't. First, I never thought the first novel was representative of his work (even representative of the rest of his series). Second, Grunge feels a little bit more like my personal favorite of his series: Special Circumstances. And I swear that Ringo immersed himself in Japanese culture and has come back to his Catholic roots -- there's a lot of both in there.

Ringo also brings in politics to the realities of monster hunting. While Larry Correia goes for a more laissez faire attitude between government and private enterprise ("Seriously, federal government, leave us the hell alone"), Ringo has a more intricate view of this. This is due to the fact that Larry's books are nonstop action pieces that largely take place over the matter of days, while Ringo's is a look at years of service in a particular region (in this case, Seattle). And even most of the politics boils down to "This is the nuts and bolts of how things get done .... poorly and with plenty of cash."

From what I can gather, the series will be broken down by region, Grunge is Seattle, Sinners will be New Orleans, and I presume the third one will take place in MHI's home base of Cazador. But that's just a guess.

Due to the way Ringo has this book set up, there's much more time for a look at the day to day operations of an MHI outpost -- dealing with MCB agents that aren't running the whole bureau into the ground; sometimes, making deals with things and people who you'd rather see shot dead, but the sausage has to get made. Larry's "Problem" with that is that his novels usually start with them up to their neck in crap, with a truck backing up with another load.

This is a little more laid back. Granted, Chad, our narrator, is ... okay, I don't know why he sleeps with everything that moves, but thankfully, if it's off-putting to you, you don't have to worry about it. There's nothing graphic .... barely anything suggestive .... and doesn't drastically impact the story a lot. Most of it is how to get along, mostly.

And everything fits together.  There are plots for this book, and an overarching plot that will spill over into the next book, if not the next two books. And while Ringo even tells you who the ultimate bad guy is (and it's not difficult to deduce), it doesn't change anything.

Obviously, there are cameos from some of the supporting characters in the series, and I suspect they will play a larger role as Ringo's series continues.

Overall, I recommend this one. It deals with the politics of monster hunting, how the boots on the ground MHI personnel interact with local law enforcement, and even how locals interact with the feds and the MHI alike. Also, let's just say that the politics of an otherworldly fashion come into play. And boy, do you want a lawyer for them. Heh.

I suspect the rest of the series will be just plain fun.

Speaking of fun ... insert a shameless plug for Honor at Stake.
The Dragon Award Nominated Novel
Vote Early, Vote Often

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WorldCon is Food for the Dragon

In case you thought that my post-Hugo analysis hasn't been very thorough, I've got some professionals involved.

Larry's thoughts?
Funny. When I started Sad Puppies four years ago, the narrative was all about how the Hugos were a celebration of what was great, representing the best of all of fandom. I said nope, it is decided by cliques, ass kissing, and politics. They called me a liar. Fast forward to now, and at least they are open it is all politics. Hell, they’re celebrating it.

Just ask yourself this, what kind of scumbags would give No Award to Larry Elmore? This is a man who is one of the most prolific and popular fantasy artists of all time. His covers dominated the better part of a decade, a whole generation of writers grew up with his posters on their wall, yet, he never got nominated for a Hugo that entire time.

Larry Elmore wasn’t involved in any campaigns. When he found out that fans finally recognized him for a Hugo nomination he was surprised, honored, and humbled.

No Award.

Moira Greyland exposed to the culture of rape and pedophilia in old fandom, and not the made up “rape culture” the modern feminists accuse anybody who disagrees with them of. It was a gut wrenching expose in a category normally won by fluff. But they wanted that swept under the rug.

No Award.

Toni Weisskopf? No Award. But we already knew that was coming. Sure, she’s one of the most successful editors and publishers in the business, exactly the sort of “empowered woman” these liars claim we want to keep out.

And Jerry Pournelle… Living legend. You pieces of shit are honestly going to tell us that Jerry Pournelle is not award worthy?

Sure. Why not?

And to Neil Gaiman, boldly standing up to those pesky Puppies during his speech…

When you got your buddy Jonathan Ross to volunteer to MC the awards, it wasn’t those jerky Sad Puppies that formed an angry twitter mob because he *might* tell a fat joke. He got sacrificed on the altar of PC.

When you were getting yelled at for making light of Trigger Warnings, it wasn’t the Sad Puppies who were triggered.

And when some dilettante couch surfer was demanding that readers judge authors by the color of their skin rather than the content of their books, and holding up your book as the example for her finger shaking scolding, it was the Sad Puppies who said that was nonsense.

Now, I know you’re a multi-millionaire A-lister and your career is so awesome you can safely pat those yapping jackals on their tender heads and not lose a hand, but most authors aren’t in your lofty tower.
Brian Niemeier of course, has not only done an analysis, but has tossed in number crunching.
I don't claim to be unbiased in this matter, even though I'm confident that neutral observers will reach the same conclusions from the documented evidence.
If I'm grateful to Worldcon for one thing, it's that I now have something in common with the great Dr. Jerry Pournelle: we both placed last under No Award.

Being snubbed by geriatric perverts isn't what I'd call a personal tragedy. However, the CHORFs have made the tactical error of insulting the readers who nominated me for the Campbell. The Worldcon clique have publicly rebuked my readers by declaring that I was unworthy of their consideration.

I answer to my readers; not a bunch of leftover hippies. To vindicate the fans who believed in me, I will dedicate my victory in the first annual Dragon Award for Best Horror Novel to them.

Though I'm doing this for you, I can't do it without you. The Dragon Award winners will be decided entirely by the fans. If you enjoy my work, you have it in your power to confound the CHORFs who mocked you by taking an author you support from last place in the dying Hugos to first place in the rising Dragons.
Yes. The numbers are over at his link.

First of all, DAVID TRUESDALE'S AUDIO THAT CAUSED WORLDCON TO TOSS HIM OUT

Yes. Really inflammatory, huh?.

David Truesdale had a comment or two.

Another Worldcon Expulsion From "State of Short Fiction" Panel:
I have just become aware of the following blog where a fan in the audience was also expelled. He wrote it up as a con report, with the expulsion part coming around the halfway point.

First of all, there was another fan at the back of the room very early on who took me to task for hypocrisy. You'll hear the clapping from the audience. He just spontaneously shouted it out. Okay, fine.
Neil Clarke, who had turned his chair so that his back was to me (some short time later, listen to the tape for specifics, that's what it's there for), then turns to his mike and shouts "I call bullshit!" To which a fan in the third row then shouts something to the effect that it was Neil who was being intolerant. At the time I had no idea who the fan was, or what he really said even though he had to kind of shout over the crowd noise. So this was the second fan shouting from the audience, at which point I asked for no more stuff from the crowd, that there would be plenty of time at the end for the Q&A for folks to express themselves. Everyone in the audience was as polite as could be after that.
So now it turns out the fellow who challenged Neil Clarke gets home from the con to find he had been expelled from worldcon because he harassed a con member. In his case, worldcon _did_ send him an email asking him to get in touch to talk it over. The problem for him was that he never checked his email until today. At which point worldcon had already sent him a second email letting him know that since he hadn't replied to the first email, he was now expelled. He provides the verbatim worldcon email at the end of his con report.
So Neil Clarke can swear (the only swear word of any kind during the panel; I suspect if I did that I'd be getting calls for my expulsion from all quarters :-) ), and another fan can shout something challenging something I said, but this poor fan does a single shout (and as he puts it is thereafter quiet as a church mouse) and he also gets the boot. So make of all this what you will. Is there to be no audience engagement of any sort now? Who will decide if a comment (funny or rude or anything else) from the audience at any future worldcon is to be grounds for expulsion--or at least reported on and brought to the principal's office? Yes, he might have gotten off with a warning or one day suspension of he'd checked his email, but the mere fact that he was called on the carpet for this oh, so grievous offense is quite troubling. I had things under control. The audience was perfect after I politely asked for no more interruptions form them. Think about where this is heading. No, we don't want guests, panelists, or fellow fans harassed, but on the other hand are we going to have to stock every panel room with con guards listening to every word everyone says from this day forward?
And there's someone else who was at the panel who had their own comments on it.

Everyone here has pretty much mentioned "well, there's the Dragon Awards, who needs the Hugos."

Speaking of which, Russel Newquist has a gladitorial shootout between D&D monters, and characters from Honor at Stake, and my nearest competitor for the Dragon Award for best horror.


Here's my book, which is nominated for best horror novel.

Monday, August 22, 2016

CLFA August Book Bomb

The Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance is doing another book bomb, where they focus attention on lesser-known fiction authors who "deserve to be better known." Yesterday and today is the book bomb.

Yes, I'm on the list.

Yes, so are authors that I've reviewed before.

So are one or two books I've reviewed before.

Take a look, I think you'll enjoy some of these. Especially the first few. Enjoy.


1. Freedom/Hate (Freedom/Hate Series, Book 1), by Kyle Andrews

2. "A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller," by Declan Finn 
"Sometimes, history can be murder."



3 Reservations, by Richard Paolinelli
"Death stalks the Reservation"

4. Farside, by Patrick Chiles
"A missing spacecraft, a cryptic message, and a fearsome secret hiding in plain sight."

5. The Raven, The Elf, And Rachel, by L. Jagi Lamplighter



6 American Warfighter, by J. Pepper Bryars
This book is about what went right in the Iraq War: The untold acts of valor by some of America’s most highly decorated combat veterans, the brotherhood they shared, and the fighting spirit that kept them alive through the war’s darkest hours.

7 From Roundheel To Revolutionary: by Susan Kaufield (A Novel By Jeff Daiell)


8 Night Machines by Kia Heavey 
It's not really cheating if it's only a fantasy … right?



9 Decisively Engaged (Book One of the Warp Marine Corps series), by C.J. Carella
They picked a fight with the wrong species.

10 Not By Sight, by Ken Prescott 

11 Operation Renfield, by Steven G Johnson

12 Nobility Among Us, by Ben Zwycky
A noble family's quiet revolution against a crumbling hierarchy of tyrants.

13 Cruncher and the Ghost, by Robert Bruce O'Connor
A story so scary you'll wet your pants laughing

14 Renegades: Origins. 
A group of misfits, including aliens, psychics, mercenaries, and a rogue assassin struggle to escape an alien prison where survival is measured in hours.

16 The Hidden Truth, by Hans G. Schantz

17 Levon's Trade, by Chuck Dixon
Levon's trade is death.

18 A Sea of Troubles, by Rado Dyne, 
Tagline: A short science fiction story about growing up, guns, and the gravity of the situation.

19 HARD BITE by Anonymous-9
A paraplegic serial killer whose daughter was killed in Los Angeles by a hit-and-run driver now targets them for murder with the help of a pet monkey.

20 On Different Strings: A Musical Romance by Nitay Arbel
Penniless Texan guitar goddess teaches British engineering professor. Hearts beat in harmony. The world has other ideas.


And, since we're doing marketing, here, the DRAGON AWARD NOMINATED HORROR NOVEL HONOR AT STAKE

You haven't read it yet....It's a speedy read. Most people can't put it down. So it'll be done in time for the Dragon award vote.


Post Hugo Roundup

There will be no article on the Hugos today. I think it was all covered on Twitter, and on the radio show.

I recommend listening to the radio show from yesterday.  As for anyone else .... Larry doesn't care (hasn't written anything last I saw, aside from "Vote Dragon.")...Vox Day has some thoughts on the Hugos....  As does John C. Wright.  Wright has some interesting commentary on the aftermath, such as the idea of pulp, as well as come comments on the award winners.

There was an incident at WorldCon where a man named David Truesdale was apparently run out on a rail. Vox has some thoughts on it. As does the always interesting John C. Wright.
There will be more on the Truesdale incident as the days go by. I'm sure

Anyway, so we care?  Sigh. Not really. My kneejerk reaction is to brawl with the morons who decide to defend the indefensible. But there's no reason to do so.

Why? Because from now on, [slide on shades] we'll be riding the dragon.

YYYYYYYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH.

Anyway, by all means, let's move on.

Please go vote for the Dragons.


And for those people who are wondering....

Yes. These books are out. They're here. Yay.

Covers by Dawn Witzke.

Pius History




I'm going to take a nap now.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Catholic Geek: Hugos 2016, AAR 08/21

The Catholic Geek: Hugos 2016, AAR 08/21 by We Built That Network | Culture Podcasts:



Declan Finn will have various and sundry spies reporting from WorldCon, discussing the state of the convention, and the Hugos. Who went insane this year? How much DID Vox Day win? Why were most of the the award winners so eye-bleedingly WHITE? No, seriously, aren't they supposed to be diverse?

Also to be discussed, David Truesdale, decades-long veteran of science fiction editing, was thrown out of WorldCon entirely. Why? Because he dared to discuss how political correctness screws with short stories in .... a panel on short stories. Watch as WorldCon employees try to spin as fast as they can to justify their lies, exiling Truesdale, and praying to whatever demons they worship that they don't get their asses sued off.



Declan Finn is the author of the Dragon Award nominated novel Honor At Stake, and and the recent nonfiction books Pius History, and For All Their Wars Are Merry, an examination of Irish Rebel Songs.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

For All their Wars are Merry, The Final Roundup


Well, it's here, the roundup.

.... For All Their Wars are Merry will be out by tomorrow.

And in case you're new here, this is what the book is about.

On IRA Music and Free Books
When I first referred to this insanity coming out. And debuts "My Little Armalite"

Pius History, And #SadPuppies Bite Back
Where I explain where this comes into the overall plan.

COMING SOON: For All their Wars are Merry
.... This is mostly just an excuse to post "The Supergrass."  Heh.

A best summary of what I'm doing, really, complete with a bit of history, an outline, and even more of the songs.

....Yeah. I haven't done a whole heck of a lot to set the ground for this one. And sorry about that. But I've been pushing myself to keep publishing as fast as I can. AND dealing with the Hugos. AND dealing with the Dragon Awards. AND preparing for Castalia House's rejection, so I can get THOSE books set up and ready to publish....

And working on a nonfiction proposal for Ave Maria press.

So, yes, I keep busy.

Enjoy all.

Oh, and if you haven't, please vote in the dragon awards.

And if you haven't read it yet....click here, that'll get you started. It's a speedy read. Most people can't put it down. So it'll be done in time for the Dragon vote.



Thursday, August 18, 2016

For All Their Wars Are Merry, THIS SUNDAY

First, since I haven't mentioned it all that often, please go, look into The Dragon Awards, register, and vote.  And please, but all means, vote for me. If you wouldn't mind. It's under "Horror."

Back to business.

I've mentioned For All Their Wars Are Merry a few times. It's a book about Irish Rebel Songs. It's going to be one of those that's a little drier than my usual fair. Little will blow up in grand fashion, though there will be quite a few train wrecks along the way.

There's a reason that the full quote from GK Chesterton is
“The great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.”
Except, of course, for some of their songs about war. And trust me, if you lost as many engagements as the Irish did, most of the after action songs would be depressing as hell....But they're not. Not all of them, anyway. There are at least two hero songs where the hero ends BADLY, and they're still generally bright, upbeat songs, even in the lyrics.

If you don't believe me, look up a song of "Father Murphy, of County Wexford." Father Murphy was a badass.

For All Their Songs Are Merry comes out this Sunday, just as I said it would. (I said it would be this past Sunday or this upcoming Sunday....well, it's this upcoming Sunday.)

Once more into the description: 
"For all Their Wars Are Merry" is an examination of the uses and implications of songs in Irish terrorist organizations such as the IRA and all of their various and sundry splinter factions. Basically, it will examine why the Irish have these songs as such a widespread phenomenon, and what the songs tell us about these Irish terrorists.

From songs like “My Little Armalite” to “Come out Ye Black and Tans,” one gets the feeling that the IRA doesn't quite take their British opponents as seriously as one would think, given the amount of bombs and firepower the IRA and all of its mutations has thrown at them in their fight to have Northern Ireland united with the Republic of Ireland, or at least independent of the United Kingdom.
Along the way, it will cover why the Irish terrorists have such songs, why they apologize for their atrocities, how Catholic they thing they are. It will trace these traditions going back back to the days of the Druidic Bards-Irish poets-of the early Celts some three thousand years ago, up to and including the poet Patrick Pearse in the 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin.
The book will come out in Kindle and in Paperback, and it will be strangely priced.  How so?

Well, I did something strange, and I priced it according to Amazon Guidelines. Yes, Kindle now has a program where it takes your book, everything you say about the book (genre, categories, keywords) and puts together an algorithm for how it should be priced as a Kindle copy.

And so the Kindle Edition of For All Their Wars Are Merry is $3.49.  Why that and not $2.99? I have no idea. It's not like I get that much more, but I'm going to something really odd and trust that Amazon knows how to sell Amazon books.

The price of the paperback will be .... the usual price of a paperback. Yes, Sorry, but for the dimensions of the book, $14.95 is still the most reasonable. I swear that the cut Createspace takes is getting bigger as we go along.

Anyway, that's it. The Kindle and Print editions are already in the works. They'll be up on Sunday, and I'll send a letter to Amazon to make sure that the pages are linked sometime before Hell freezes over this time. It took a week and direct action to make Pius History linked up.


And if you haven't read it yet....click here, that'll get you started. It's a speedy read. Most people can't put it down. So it'll be done in time for the Dragon vote.




For All Their Wars are Merry -- What's it really about?



I already mentioned what For All Their Wars Are Merry is about.

It's about...

"For all Their Wars Are Merry" is an examination of the uses and implications of songs in Irish terrorist organizations such as the IRA and all of their various and sundry splinter factions.  Basically, it will examine why the Irish have these songs as such a widespread phenomenon, and what the songs tell us about these Irish terrorists.

From songs like “My Little Armalite” to “Come out Ye Black and Tans,” one gets the feeling that the IRA doesn't quite take their British opponents as seriously as one would think, given the amount of bombs and firepower the IRA and all of its mutations has thrown at them in their fight to have Northern Ireland united with the Republic of Ireland, or at least independent of the United Kingdom.  
Along the way, it will cover why the Irish terrorists have such songs, why they apologize for their atrocities, how Catholic they thing they are.  It will trace these traditions going back back to the days of the Druidic Bards-Irish poets-of the early Celts some three thousand years ago, up to and including the poet Patrick Pearse in the 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin.

Well, what does that look like?

Introduction
The Limits of Terror: How to Define a Terrorist and a Rebel.
This is a little dry, but the short version is that this isn't just "IRA songs" because, well, while not all Rebels are terrorists, all terrorists are rebels.

Chapter 1: 
A Brief History of the Irish Rebel: A Sketch of Rebellion
A do a brief overview of the Irish versus the British, and noting that, gee, the Irish do have several distinct qualities to them, with some odd songs. To match. So we're going to use the songs to examine what makes the Irish unique in their blowing stuff up.

Chapter 2: 
Heroes and Hatreds: Examining Songs of Irish Rebel Heroes
From The Tain to today, the Irish do seem to like a good front man. It's the bard in them, I think.

Songs covered include
"Bold Robert Emmet”
“James Connolly”
“Kelly, the Boy From Killane”
“Henry Joy”
“Kevin Barry”

And more. Those are just the ones I mention in the first paragraph of the chapter. Literally.

Chapter 3: 
The Rebels Whom Bards Forgot: Rebels Who Were Not Honored
I highlight several people who had been either instrumental in the modern era of Irish rebels, and why they never got songs, even though they possibly should have.

Chapter 4:
Dances With Armalites: The Rebel Songs of Humor.
Obviously, I look at the Irish rebel songs that are almost jokes in execution. And they're a little insane.

The following are only SOME of what I use
"Rockall"
“My Little Armalite”
“The Supergrasse”
“Auf Wiedershein Crossmaglen”
"The Black Watch"
“Come Out Ye Black and Tans"

Chapter 5:
Wrap the Flag Around Me, Boys: Examining Irish Memorial Songs
Again, the title, is kind of self explanatory.

SOME of the songs used?
“Boys of the Old Brigade”
“Tipperary So Far Away”
“Wrap The Green Flag Round Me, Boys”
“Lonely Woods of Upton,”
“Gallipoli”

Chapter 6: 
Soldiers and Bombers: The Self-Image of the Rebel
Why don't the IRA have suicide bombers? How Catholic do they think they are? Are they religious, political, or communist?  Yes, communist. It was a thing for a bit. Yeah. It gets strange.

“Down by the Liffey Side”
“Provo’s Lullaby,”
"A Nation once again!” 
“A Soldiers’ Song”
Chapter 7:
Apologies and Other Oddities: The Irish Rebel as Catholic
Considering that "Catholic" is the most common impression of Irish Rebel groups, it deserved d a section to itself.

Songs? "A Sniper’s Promise” is the major new one. I also used songs from before.

Chapter 8: 
A Bard One Cannot Refuse: Comparing Songs of the Irish Rebel to Songs of the Italian Mafia.
Yes. I do a compare and contrast. 

Short version? The Mafia is not at all apologetic. Ever.

Chapter 9: Conclusion.
As noted.

And this book is dedicated to William D. Griffin ... my professor who died in 2011.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Murphy's Law of Vampires, Chapter 2

There will be spoilers for book one... obviously.

If you haven't read it already, you might want to pick up Honor at Stake

Preferably before the sequel comes out.

And now...



Chapter 2: I'll get you my pretty, and your little human, too
New York City, April 26th
Robert's rules of order would frown on two disputants eating each other, but it was unlikely that the man who wrote the rules of conduct for meetings meant it to apply to vampires. (It certainly didn't apply to werewolves, since packs were less of a democracy, and more of an enlightened dictatorship. Some charitable vampires thought that wolves invented hockey.)
These thoughts drifted through the mind of Amanda Colt as she wandered into the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall reserved for the meeting of the New York City Vampires Association. Of course, the NYC-VA didn't have even ten percent of New York City's vampire population. This was for the powerful, the affluent, or the really, really troublesome.
Amanda Colt didn't know what category she fell under. She had never been invited to the NYC-VA before.
However, Amanda Colt's role as a troublemaker was assured, even though it wasn't her fault. Marco Catalano was the focus of the trouble.
But, these vampires thought of Marco as her human, so she was credited with his trail of destruction, including the recently re-killed, the property damage, and generally spreading so much fear through certain ranks of the vampire community that he bordered on being a terrorist.
So, Amanda didn't quite know if she was supposed to be there as a member of the general assembly, or if she was there to be executed as a local troublemaker.
If it was the latter, and they tried to hold even the semblance of a trial, she was going to rip them a new one. Maybe a new three or four, while she was at it.
As she looked around the hall, she could recognize a few faces. There was a bar owner from the Blood Bank, an Upper East Side vampire bar not far from Mount Sinai Hospital; he was a gruff, burly fellow who had served as an Irish cop in the nineteenth century. And not far from him was Kalsey, a tall, well-built and well-dressed Anglo-Indian vampire who owned The Platelet.
Well, Kalsey had owned the Platelet, before Marco had gotten there. Amanda heard that its replacement was still under construction.
Though it didn't seem like losing his major source of income had hurt Kalsey all that much. He still wore Armani, carried his well-crafted sword cane, and even had a Rolex Le President, top of the line gold.
However, for all that, Kalsey didn't seem happy.
Amanda didn't even bother sitting, but stood off to the side. The VFW hall was lined with collapsible chairs, set up in nice neat rows. However, she didn't expect to be sitting much, especially if she was called to defend herself—verbally or physically.
The vampires on the dais were finally starting to file in. Amanda noted them, and she swore she knew some of them, but she couldn't remember from where. The one in the center position was female, blonde, and about Amanda's height, dressed casually in a comfortable leather jacket and blue jeans.
However, Amanda knew from experience that vampires were not socially advanced, nor matriarchal. To get to a position of power, you had to be powerful, not to mention manipulative, long-sighted, and willing to stab allies in the back … or whatever angle presented itself.
The blonde thwacked the gavel down on the table. “This is the twenty-second meeting of the 235th session of the New York City Vampire Association, President Jennifer Bosley presiding. I hereby call this meeting to order,” she said in a British accent that Amanda could narrow down to London. “First order of business. Reading of the minutes from the last meeting? Is there a motion?”
One of the committee members on the dais raised his hands. “Motion to waive the reading?”
Three hands went up from the crowd. Jennifer banged the gavel and said, “Motioned, and seconded. Is there any old business?”
One person stood up in the back of the room … it was a male vampire in a dress. “Yes,” he said in a thick accent. “I would like to object, once again, to acknowledging New York City as it currently stands. This place belongs to the British, and—”
President Jennifer Bosley slammed down the gavel again. “Edward, I said old business, not concluded business. For the last time, I don't care how old you are, or if you were the royal governor, the entire continent has moved on. If you bring this up again, you'll be banned from these meetings for another decade. Are we understood?” She dismissed the three hundred year old vampire as though he was already dead and dusty. “Next.”
The meeting went on for a while, and it covered a lot of the topics one would expect: border disputes, blood supplies, old grudges, territorial haggling due to the latest construction rearranging geographic markers. Vampire bureaucracy was like a regular bureaucracy, but worse, since some topics and situations could drag on for decades, if not centuries.
There was even one man complaining that Little Italy should declare war on Chinatown, because Chinatown was swallowing it whole, and “Back in the days when I was a Centurion in the Roman Empire—”
That one, at least, was cut off by a dozen different groans. Even President Jennifer Bosley seemed weary. She sighed and said, “Giuseppe, you weren't part of an Empire. Mussolini's ambition did not match his ability. You were a sergeant in his army, and we're still telling jokes about that. Now, shut up and sit down before we revoke your territory … what little is left of it. As it is, you'll be hiding in your great-grandson's basement in Howard Beach in another two decades. I hope you don't mind swimming when it floods. Now, if that's enough of old business …” Jennifer gave the room a glare that told them it was, and if they didn't like it, she had a stake in the back room with their names on it. “New business?”
Kalsey jumped up from his seat so fast, Amanda half-expected him to shoot straight up to the ceiling. “Yes!” He thrust his cane at Amanda as though he were stabbing her. “She and her pet human destroyed my bar, slaughtered some of my most loyal and valuable retainers, then she had minions poison me with time-delay release Holy Water capsules. I demand that she, and her human, make full restitution.”

Anyway, if you haven't already, you might want to pick up Honor at Stake

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Madness of the Puppy Kickers



I was going to do an entire post dedicated to my upcoming nonfiction history, For All Their Wars are Merry, but no, this had to happen.

So, Beth Elderkin of Io9 is apparently a deranged, psychotic nutjob, and she apparently gets paid for it.

Harsh, you say? Well, that depends, how do you read this comment on one of her articles?



If you're answer is "I can't really read that comment, the lettering is too small," here, let me show you.

WARNING: RATED-R LANGUAGE ALERT.
"Can’t these stupid puppy assholes be euthanized or something like unclaimed strays at the pound? The fact that sci-fi and fantasy conventions have to create a new set of awards because the genre’s most prestigious and well respected award organization have been ruined by xenophobic idiots and people who don’t understand the progressive nature of science fiction’s foundation shit their pants every time they don’t get their way is dispiriting to fans of the genre at large. If these assholes had their way, Uhura would have been played by Donna Reed and Star Trek would have never been the game changer it was in the 60s."
Wow. Nicely done. Hmm... Does Elderkin NOT reply to her comments? Because this looks like something the mods should be hitting the panic button over.

Nope. Not a single blink.

Can we break down that statement for a moment?
"Can’t these stupid puppy assholes be euthanized or something like unclaimed strays at the pound?"
Can't these stupid puppy kicking psychos be tranquilized? Or at least investigated for inciting assassination of puppies?
"The fact that sci-fi and fantasy conventions have to create a new set of awards because the genre’s most prestigious and well respected award organization have been ruined by xenophobic idiots and people who don’t understand the progressive nature of science fiction’s foundation shit their pants every time they don’t get their way is dispiriting to fans of the genre at large."
Seriously, learn punctuation. Run on sentences are bad.

Also, "the genre's most prestigious and well well respected award organization" has been overrun with, well, deranged, murderous nutjobs like yourselves. I'd say that we "don't feel safe" around people openly advocating our assassination, but it's more accurate to say that we're bored and annoyed with being spat on in this fashion. Also, I would have sworn that many of this quack's fellow travelers insisted that non CHORFs go play with their own awards.

Well, we found one we're happy with. Can't you be happy?

Apparently not, because this is a CHORF. They don't believe in being happy. That's why they're Childish, Histrionic, Obsessive Reactionary Fanatics. If they could be happy, they'd get a life.

And "the progressive nature of science fiction’s foundation" ... you do realize that includes Robert Heinlein? HP Lovecraft? Other people with decidedly un-PC opinions?
"If these assholes had their way, Uhura would have been played by Donna Reed and Star Trek would have never been the game changer it was in the 60s"
You realized that a large part of the reason that Star Trek was a game changer was, you know, having a science fiction world where World War III happened, and the future didn't SUCK after that? And perhaps having good stories? Or perhaps having ideas without cramming them down people's throat?

Also, Donna Reed was a big enough star that I think their ratings would have gone up. Heck, they probably would have made her the Captain.

I don't think I've seen quite this many stupid concepts jammed into one space before. Of course, the run on sentence as well.

What started public homicidal rages. What did Elderkin post? Well, I'll give you a hint, Brian Niemeier had to change the title of their article for them.



Yeah. io9 had to make DragonCon about the Hugos. Can they get more self centered?

I mean, look at how it starts!
A lot of people in the scifi/fantasy fiction community are still hurting after two seasons of Hugo Awards drama, but another competition is trying to bridge the divide.
"A lot"? Before Puppies got involved, barely 2000 people voted in the Hugos every year. WorldCon membership shot up for Sad Puppies 3. DragonCon has 60,000 people. Trust me, "a lot" is relative.

And "bridge the divide" ... seriously? Are you huffing glue?
The Verge called the nomination list a “bit of a compromise between various factions within fandom,” with nominees ranging from the popular to the obscure, with even some self-published works. Part of this is attributed to the fact that you don’t need a membership in any organization to vote for the Dragon Awards—they’re free and open to the public.

It also could be because it doesn’t look like either Sad Puppies or Rabid Puppies released Dragon Awards-specific slates.
Pardon me while I slam my head against a wall for a moment. Because the title says that those dirty puppies are mostly exorcised. Then it's "a compromise," then they note that NO PUPPIES DID ANYTHING FOR THE DRAGON AWARDS. AT ALL. Unless you count individuals like me, who wanted a shot at being nominated.

So, where do the Puppies enter into this? At all?

I guess having an entire headline called "DRAGON CON RELEASED NON-POLITICAL AWARD FOR FANS, BY FANS" wouldn't have caught as many people's attention, would it?

But wait, it gets dumber.
The 2016 Rabid Puppies slate has dominated this year’s list of [Hugo] nominees...

In comparison, a couple of Castalia House books were nominated for Dragon Awards this year, but the presence is nowhere near the onslaught that’s overtaken the Hugo Awards two years in a row. 
Hey, Beth, you realize that last year was the year of the SAD Puppies, and this was the year of the RABID puppies, and that the two this year looked really sort of different? Didn't catch that?

And, really, "Castalia House" is somehow the end all and be all of the Rabid Puppy list? Please, continue to not pay attention.  Because, oh, look, the Rabid Puppy list had ... The Cinder Spires, and Naomi Novik, The Sandman: Overture, by Gaiman. The Martian film,

NONE of those being published by Castalia, and, also, NOMINATED FOR A DRAGON.

Twit.

So, how about we both stop pretending like you've actually done any actual research for this story you pulled from the air?

How about we go through the actual lists, shall we? If you have the attention span, Beth.

1. Best Science Fiction Novel
Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm by John C. Wright (Sad, Rabid)
Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Sad Puppy. Yes, really.)
2. Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher (Sad Puppy, Rabid Puppy)
Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia (Sad Puppies)
Changeling’s Island by Dave Freer (A Sad Puppy Author).
3. Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel
Changeling’s Island by Dave Freer  (A Sad Puppy Author).
Calamity by Brandon Sanderson  (A Sad Puppy Author).

4. Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
The End of All Things by John Scalzi (A SAD PUPPY NOMINEE. Heh)
5. Best Alternate History Novel
1635: A Parcel of Rogues by Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis  (Flint, A Sad Puppy Author).
League of Dragons by Naomi Novik  (A Sad Puppy nominated Author).
1636: The Cardinal Virtues by Eric Flint & Walter H. Hunt (Flint,  (A Sad Puppy Author).)
6. Best Apocalyptic Novel
Ctrl Alt Revolt! by Nick Cole  (A Sad Puppy supporter ... Castalia House).
A Time to Die by Mark Wandrey (A Sad Puppy supporter)
Chasing Freedom by Marina Fontaine (A Sad Puppy supporter)
7. Best Horror Novel
Souldancer by Brian Niemeier (A Sad AND Rabid Puppy Author).
Honor at Stake by Declan Finn (A Sad Puppy Author).
9. Best Graphic Novel
The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman (Rabid Puppy)
So, right there, that's 17 nominees that either showed up on a Puppy list, or support the Puppies. Shockingly, most of them aren't Castalia either.

This took me a whole fifteen minutes to pull together while reading two lists, and chatting with three people on Facebook. Where the hell were you, Elderkin?

Now, this is mostly a casual reading of where the Hugo awards and the Dragons over. Brian Niemeier pulled together 27 works and authors on the Sad Puppies 4 reading list. And it's more like 31. Out of 76 entries.

So, "mostly" Puppy Free, huh?

Well, it explains the homicidal comments below. The cognitive dissonance must have driven her readers around the bend.

No, honestly, how does a company allow a person like this to be on their roles? Truly, this is not only bad journalism, it's incompetent. In fact, even as propaganda, it's crap. It's inept, and forced. Trying to stuff Sad Puppies into the Dragon Awards, even though no puppies ran lists or slates for the Dragons is desperate. Why couldn't it be "Hey, Sad Puppies 4 was entirely fan voted. So were the Dragon Awards. For that reason, there was some overlap. I'm shocked."

Why? Because .... they're both fan nominated, and you vote for free. Therefore, there was overlap. I'm shocked.

Seriously, Sad Puppies was all about HAVING FUN BOOKS GET AWARDS. The Dragon seems to be about HAVING FUN BOOKS GET AWARDS. Why would anyone be surprised about an overlap? It would have been better had Elderkin just dismissed the overlap, like I did.

Now, seriously, I have to ask ... is it really worth getting pissed off over a cheap looking plastic rocket? The homicidal nature of her comments are deranged, violent, even by my standards, and .... no, really, how do Elderkin's readers sleep at night? This one twit comes off as so pissed that s/he should be awake at night with their ulcer.

Anyway. if you want, Brian Niemeier has his post.

Larry Correia also dismantles the stupidity.

Anyway, it's only io9. Hulk Hogan will fire her later, I'm sure.

Anyway, I hope you've all had a laugh. And remember, you can vote for the Dragon Awards until almost the last minute. So have fun.

Anyway, if you haven't already, you might want to pick up Honor at Stake