The Orville’s Ratings

I’ve been talking about The Orville almost every week, reviewing each episode on my Periscope thus far (which you can follow here where I do daily broadcasts live, or I upload to Youtube later here ). It’s a fabulous show, capturing the heart and soul of Star Trek in a way I haven’t seen since Voyager. About the opposite of the Discovery in so many ways.

I looked around for the ratings today to see how it’s faring and found this:

For its premier, it actually beat Discovery in the demo, and while we don’t have any info on Discovery after that, one can only imagine that more people are watching this network program than something for a pay service.

When they switched to Thursday, we saw a steep decline in viewership, which I’m rather sad about. It would have been nice if they left it on Sundays, but it is what it is. Moving show days is ALWAYS problematic for TV shows, and we see that coming here. I think the first show moving being the weird “two males with a baby” episode probably contributed to the decline in the following weeks as well — even though it wasn’t a bad episode at all, the concept looked a little iffy and so people might have tuned out at that point, and kept tuning out for a bit.

that said, the show keeps getting better. Every episode is better and has more Star Trek heart than the last. It’s really so good.

These ratings are really a bubble rating grouping for a show like this, not great at all, but not horrible either. If it retains the numbers, it will be in good shape, if it loses audience, it will be gone. I’m glad there was a small boost for “Krill” which I think was the strongest episode yet. TV By The Numbers commented that The Orville does have some leeway other shows don’t because Fox loves Seth MacFarlane — as much as I like to complain about him, his being the producer, writer and lead may actually be what keeps this show on the air as Fox wants to keep him happy, and it’s clear he’s very happy making this show.

For comparison, however, Family Guy has about a 1.3 rating now, slightly better than the Orville, but also a LOT cheaper to produce. Gotham, a branded show which is high budget has a 0.9, not doing quite as well.  Lethal Weapon, riding on a brand and not quite as good as Orville is getting a 1.2, so very close to the Orville’s numbers.

Interesting stuff but we all need to keep tuning in and telling our friends about this show to keep this going. It’s our last, best hope for a space-action show.

If you like cool space concepts with heart, you’ll probably enjoy my recent novella, Gravity Of The Game, which is getting a lot of buzz for a Hugo Award nomination. Check it here.  

Star Trek Discovery Goes Full Toxic

As if it hadn’t already. When they started shutting down fan productions because of the show, we knew there was going to be trouble.  When the producer started talk of “levels of diversity” we knew it wasn’t going to be much but a political show. They doubled down in their advertisements, stating the Klingons (who we saw look and act nothing like Klingons but now are generic space orcs) were going to be an allegory for Trump supporters.

And then we saw the first episode.

Gone were any Federation ideals. Gone was any idealism at all. It was generic dark action show with side characters with a lack of any real distinctiveness other than an alien who was nothing more than a whiny wuss, but also sensible compared to the lead woman named Michael. Yes Michael. To make it even more distracting and off-putting. She was imminently unlikable — pushing for war, being completely insubordinate and just doing non-sensical things in the interest of developing dark dark dark WARRRRRRRR. You know, like Star Trek is about.

I of course didn’t watch further than that. They put out publicity about a gay character of course, so stunning and brave when every tv show out there features one who is smarter, kinder, better, and better than any of their straight counterparts. Every single time. It has a lot to do with hollywood’s sexual proclivities, which we’re now learning go a lot deeper and creepier than they ever wanted us to know — but we knew. How many of these actors have been on a creepy producer’s casting couch?

There seems to be little point to the show at all except for virtue signalling and being dark and “edgy”. Trying so hard in those directions ensures it’s anything but.

And now they’ve gone and crossed another line, making the first Star Trek to use the F word. Wow. Going full off into the deep end of ensuring no family-friendly audience wants to even look at this show. I only learned it from a blog post, but in their effort to show a amoral, destructive culture instead of the extremely idealistic Federation that Star Trek was founded on, they seem determined to cross every line.

It’s sad to see this franchise fall apart even worse than I ever could have imagined. But this is why I am making my own sci-fi world. My Military SF / Space Opera will be done soon, a world of my own devising that I’ve been working on for 20 years. I’ll have more on that for you soon. It’s time to cut any attachment to Star Trek, as the people in charge don’t care about or even like it. Why should we?

Smoke And Fire

I’m not directly in the fire in CA,  but I’m close enough where the smoke has made the air pretty unbreathable.  Sorry for the lack of blogging, but because my kid has a lung condition and I thought it’d be best if we high-tailed it out of California for the sake of his breathing. We’re okay, but didn’t want to risk all that particulate inhalation.

In the meantime,  I did do a post on kinda how I fell into writing on a great flash fiction website a few days back. If you missed it:

The Power Of Rhetoric

One of the best parts of Vox Day’s Social Justice Warriors Always Lie book was the explanation of utilizing rhetoric vs. dialectic arguments. This is a small point, but something that flies over a lot of heads, and actually is the difference between success and failure in internet marketing and getting your point across in general.

I used to spend a lot of time arguing back and forth on facebook walls or here or whatnot trying to “prove” my point. If you just present the correct evidence, people will reason what happened and come to a logical conclusion, right?

Wrong. Every time.

People will come to whatever conclusion fits their movie in their minds. The BayCon debacle was my first real experience with this on a level where thousands of people were both cheering for me and criticizing me at the same time. My haters made several posts about how I was “lying” and all pointed back to a single post on a science fiction fake news hate website that stated I was lying. Did they have direct, tangible evidence of anything? Absolutely not. I actually in response posted screen captures of the event organizers literally saying they were blackballing “over behavior from politics” on their social media because I thought the best course would be to prove it. It was irrefutable evidence that would hold up in court for sure.

Scroll through my comments page. I’ve got the same 4-5 people here, months after the fact, STILL calling me a liar despite that, and still evidencing the same hate website which offered no evidence.

It’s because dialectic or logical reasoning doesn’t matter to a large portion of the population. This is a group that’s called many people “literal Nazis!” for a couple of years now, trying to ramp up hate so far over the line, that they can’t ever admit they’re wrong, despite the notable logical evidence of lack of any concentration camps or people being rounded up and killed, because it would be so embarrassing to be wrong on that scale, they can’t. Once you’re branded the Nazi by them, no amount of evidence on anything you say will ever matter.

So don’t bother with it.

I have a policy that I don’t get into policy discussions on social media. It’s super effective.

Now that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for dialectic reasoning. In my capacity as a journalist I definitely do put in the legwork because it’s a different format and for a different audience — my readers who DO care about logical reasoning. My expose on Marvel Comics took a lot of research. My whistleblowing on science fiction publishing did as well. I coupled very powerful rhetoric in those pieces, of course, but I laid out the evidence not for the haters in an attempt to argue — even to this day they just call me names back and never cite the “real figures” they claim I falsified, but for my audience of more intelligent rational readers. I don’t really engage the hate comments other than to post more rhetoric.

My haters will come back and say “ha! this proves he’s wrong!” but it doesn’t at all. It just proves I know how to rally my side and trigger yours. That I base my rhetoric on truth makes it all the more powerful, as a matter of fact. That’s part of the reason SJWs really can’t meme — because memes have to have reality to them in order to be effective, make someone laugh and/or make someone outraged. If it weren’t true, they wouldn’t care so much.

Most of the time it’s very clear to see who’s actually reaching out for understanding and truth, and who’s arguing for the sake of arguing. Most of the former will be done in private to talk to you one on one. The act of social media questioning in public is typically for the sake of grandstanding and nothing else. I can’t even count the number of posts I see scrolling through feeds on social media where it’s arguing relentlessly back and forth, usually a SJW pushing and pushing with pseudo-dialectic from talking points despite very obvious evidence. No minds are ever changed. It just gets people angry at each other — and depending on who’s feed/wall you’re on, you’ll get a pile on effect of either your friends bashing them or their friends bashing you. It does no good. You’ll only lose friendships (if they’re real friendships) over the arguing element, and the person you’re arguing against is probably incapable of real logical reasoning anyway.

And if you really want to trigger, not arguing dialectic in those environments frustrates them even more. 🙂

In conclusion:


If you like the way I communicate highly emotional rhetoric, my characters in my fiction come across that much more inspiring because of it: Check out my book For Steam And Country today! 



A Second Alt-Hero Novel Is A Go!

It’s been part of the stretch goals, but I haven’t wanted to talk about it much until it was a sure thing, but I am now contracted for not one but TWO Alt-Hero novels for this cool project that keeps expanding, keeps getting better, and is fast becoming an intellectual property to be reckoned with by the giants.

This is one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns for a comic in history, and it is a big historical landmark, despite the fact that it’s getting ZERO press from media outlets. That so much could be raised for such a project is absolutely amazing in and of itself.

God has blessed me so much so far on this writing journey, and I’m thankful every day, not just for his love and grace — but for cool friends like Vox Day and Chuck Dixon who have been so supportive along the way. I look forward to bringing you a couple of great books in the near future, and thank you everyone for reading and being here. I’m thankful for you too!

If you haven’t backed yet, check out the project here. And remember to click the ebook option at $5! If you backed the comic you do have to back again (think of it as a stretch goal) to get the pre-order of the book-book.

Alt★Hero Volumes I, II, and III


The Sci-Fi Elite’s Insulting Attempt To Erase History At NYCC

This weekend, N.K. Jemisin and Ann Leckie had a panel at New York Comic Con, one of the very few the book publishing industry can muster at these events. The topic seemed innocuous enough – “What Makes A Science Fiction Classic?” Something several friends could debate around a table, and is also something very hard to pin down, as you can almost not call something a classic while an author is still alive with very few exceptions.

It’s interesting to see the psychology of the elites as this breaks down. They truly believe they’re in a class of their own, and that’s why they had to “save” the Hugo Awards from the unwashed masses. She began with a statement: “literary commons are not open to everybody just yet” which I’d have to get a little more context for. Still, the way it’s phrased does communicate an elitist mentality that, despite their constant use of the word inclusive, is very exclusive.

This attitude ripped through the Hugos to a definition of new classics — one where men are apparently not invited for such honors any longer. It’s no wonder, given the extreme biases against men in publishing, as I exposed a month ago on this blog. It’s nebulous as to what they perceive as “quality” and interestingly as it gets explained later, it becomes more who the person is, than whether t he work is deserving or not. Just as many of her critics have been saying for years. She took about the most offensive tack with it, demeaning one of the most popular and influential works of not only the last 40 years, but in all of science fiction and perhaps all of fiction.. She did so by taking a show of hands as to “who believes Ender’s Game is a classic” — among an audience stacked for her and Leckie.

I don’t have footage of what those hands look like, but Jemisin proudly proclaims many more would have considered it a classic before recent times. It has nothing to do with how good the work is, how much it influenced a genre, it has to do with politics and how she wants to cast Mr. Card out as an apostate and unbeliever because he doesn’t share her extreme views. She goes on to say just that:  “Knowing about authors’ beliefs helps you understand how those beliefs influence their writing, and things you thought meant one thing, once you’ve got enough information about that writer, you suddenly realize mean an entirely different thing. That makes a difference. … And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.”

So because she doesn’t like Card’s politics, one of what most would call one of the greatest books ever is no longer a classic. And she’s the one to dictate that.  Because her current event, hyper-in-the-moment politics dictate he is something to be scorned?

Classics and what defines them are quite the opposite. This definition is incredibly offensive, stupid, and shows a complete lack of concern for quality of work, and what stands the test of time. Despite a massive smear campaign on Mr. Card over the last decade by the elitists, one that resulted in the original #ComicsGate of him being blackballed from writing comics (of which he did a very good job on Ultimate Iron Man — if only Marvel could have works like that anymore!), Ender’s Game rereleased with the film. It became a #1 NYT Bestseller again, forty years after its release. After Card’s politics were known. Why? Because it’s a great work. It Is a classic. NK Jemisin and Ann Leckie cannot take that away from us.

As always, it has nothing to do with quality, but everything to do with identity politics. Jemisin concluded: “the people who know full well that whiteness and maleness and straightness have meaning—the people who like that is has meaning—the people who like that its meaning is centrality and, in their mind, superiority, and who like the privilege that come with those things,” 

It’s about shutting white males out of the industry when it drills down to it. The problem . for her is– very few will ever accept her definitions of classic. Why? Because very few read the . works she promotes compared to books like Ender’s Game, which has sold millions upon millions, and will continue to do so.

Science Fiction has a huge political problem, politics of the moment, by people who hate history, hate the genre, and even hate the audience of the regular reader. They are bitter people who want everyone to suffer because they feel bad in their own culture war. But the people have had enough. This is another example of why more and more people are turning to independent fiction for their fix. We don’t need to be lectured, talked down to, or to receive these incredibly bigoted remarks from authors. We just want to enjoy a fun story.

Fun like Ender’s Game.

Praxis by Justin Knight

Last Friday, as I mentioned in my periscope earlier, we had a new science fiction novel come out by one Justin Knight, of which I had the privilege of reading an advance copy. Praxis is the story of a group of humans going to a mining colony for the first time, mostly focused on the organizational aspects of heading out on such an expedition, and the personal relationships that are impacted.

Much of the book is very slice-of-life, and Justin is fantastic at presenting unique and thoughtful characters that have conversations like you and I would have. I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters. It does get a little political on the right spectrum in the way it handles radical feminism, but not burdensome so.

There’s an interweaving side plot of aliens who are dealing with escaped prisoners which escalates throughout that. It culminates in solid action, but I won’t spoil that further for you.

Much of the book is close to hard science fiction in the not too distant future. The characters have a lot of things like kindles and the like, and it’s loaded with references to popular culture.

If this sounds like your speed, check out Praxis, available on Amazon. 

Chuck Dixon To Join Alt-Hero Team!

I’m frankly more excited about this than my own involvement. It’s a stretch goal that needs to be met, but Chuck Dixon has been brought in to write issues 7-9 of Alt-Hero.

If you’re not familiar with comics, Chuck is one of the most prolific and most highly regarded writers in the comic industry. He has written for a smattering of Batman titles as well as the Punisher. His bibliography is too long to list. He also has a great action series of novels that I highly recommend checking out. He’s probably best known for creating the Batman villain, Bane.

I’ve been reading Chuck’s work almost all my life, and this really turns Alt-Hero into something big and reshaping of the professional comic industry. My fondest memory of Chuck’s work is the character of Stephanie Brown — also his creation, who was a struggling superhero Spoiler. Her original story was one of overcoming sins of the father, and pushing forward to create her own destiny despite the odds. A great concept. She was some of the biggest inspiration for my own first foray into comics and my superhero, Meta-Girl. Stephanie went on to become Robin, despite all the legacy heroes telling her no, she couldn’t do it, she wasn’t capable. She fought hard to prove them wrong every step of the way — and eventually became Batgirl. Stephanie’s story a nice metaphor for how the alt-hero process is going in a lot of ways, and we owe it all to Chuck Dixon.

Don’t forget to back. This now is the biggest possible message to send to the comic industry, and it’s gonna be a great product with a lot of fun. If you want my novel, it’s the $5 mark, and Chuck’s will be with the digital content on the comics side. You can make multiple pledges (think of it like add ons for kickstarter) to get the different various works:

Alt★Hero Volumes I, II, and III

SJWs Ruin Board Games: FFG To Kill L5R Tradition

Legend of the Five Rings is a game I’ve played since it’s inception in 1994,  in both card game and RPG fashion. It was a CCG, similar to Magic The Gathering, and for a long time it was hailed as an alternative to the game.  I thought it was better. It required stronger tactics, more thought, and more it had such a rich background and flavor.

The card game results actually impacted the storyline of the game, which progressed as each set came out. Fiction was produced for the game, and Rokugan, the fictional samurai setting, became a rich and elegant world. One of the best settings ever developed.

Over the years, many SJWs have complained about “cultural appropriation” or “insensitivity” in relation to this game. It is definitely a western-ized samurai world, created by white designers who loved anime and romanticized this ancient culture in Japan to create the game. Even the card game players would dress in samurai armor, in kimonos, and katanas were often given out as tournament prizes. The entire concept of it is one big, as we oft referred to it, weeaboo fest.

Fantasy Flight has taken the PC “cultural sensitivity” to a whole new absurd level in their new incarnation of the game. Even though the whole concept of the game is by definition, culturally insensitive, by their standards — glorifying samurai who raped and killed and pillaged centuries ago. It was that culture, that emperor worship that gave rise to Japan’s extreme kamakaze style fighting in World War 2. It’s also a very fun culture to take a look at and turn into fantasy. Despite that, FFG is bringing modern PC nonsense into this, announced today:

Legend of the Five Rings has a rich history of passionate players and communities around the world. Much as the Great Clans of Rokugan are all part of a single united empire, local and regional communities are unified in their goal of sharing and enjoying the game they love. Many of the traditions these diverse communities practiced over multiple editions of these games are cherished ways to celebrate their passion, and invite others to join an inclusive group of players.

One of the most well known and long-standing traditions is the Banzai chant at large Organized Play events. While it bears similarities to historical chants and phrases, its creation is rooted in deference and respect of Rokugan and its Emperor. For many, this tradition instills a sense of belonging in competitors that have gathered from many different communities, unifying them as one voice before turning their focus to the battle at hand. Unfortunately, the real-world historical context of similar phrases has connected a number of negative associations to this chant, which undermines the tradition by detracting from the sense of community and positivity it seeks to establish.

Note the buzzwords “diverse communities”, “inclusive” “real world negative associations”. Utz Banzai as a chant was said through history like many others… so who’s getting triggered by this for real?

It’s insane, and it’s banning words in an effort to erase both real history, and the history of the game itself. It’s a standard SJW play to keep everything in the moment, to hold diversity above everything — including authenticity. They claim it undermines the sense of community even though it was t he sense of community. Now they are replacing it with meaningless, passionless drivel “For Rokugan!”

It’s really sad to watch gaming get targeted and destroyed by SJWs, including their storied traditions in games like this. But having been a part of this gaming community for a long time, and completely ostracized for how I voted  this cycle,  this is the end result they were hoping for. It’s time to put an end to the constant outrage nonsense and just let writers write, players play, and gamers game.  How much more of our beloved culture needs to be destroyed? At . what point will FFG just realize a whole caricaturized concept of a Japanese culture is far more culturally insensitive than a simple chant? If they really put their money where their mouths were, they would have to end this game completely.

It’s another disingenuous attempt to politicize everything by the SJWs.  And it’s sad to see this happen.

I’m ready to go to battle in defense of my culture, are you?