#Steampunk Month Guest Post: Author J.M. Anjewierden

This marks the first time I’ve ever had a guest post on my blog. Not sure how often I’ll do it but I saw that J.M. here had a really awesome Steampunk novel released this week, and invited him to come talk about his release a little bit. The book is Penny Dreadful and the Clockwork Copper, and it is available now on Amazon here.


Here’s what J.M. Anjewierden has to say about Steampunk and Penny Dreadful:

Steampunk Month. What a time to be alive! While I’m mostly here to talk about my own new Steampunk novel I’m going to cover some other ground as well, so strap in.

First, who am I?

Well, glad you asked. I am J. M. Anjewierden, author extraordinaire, librarian defender of truly free speech, and possessor of the magnificent beard of mystery.

I have two books out this year, the first of which is ‘The Long Black,’ a Space Opera/Blue Collar story about a starship mechanic, but that’s not why we’re here today. Oh no. You want to hear about the other one, the newly released ‘Penny Dreadful and the Clockwork Copper.’

(Blurb) Viva-3 was built to discover secrets. But they made her too well. She’s the perfect spy: the lethality and persistence of the police clockworks in a body that can pass as human. What the Empire’s police don’t know is that she doesn’t have to obey their orders or her programming. She can think and decide for herself. And she’s doomed if they find out.

Viva is sent undercover with orders to unmask the city’s vigilante hero, Penny Dreadful. She is supposed to stop his one-man war against the criminals of Monte-Ostrum. It will be dangerous, but just maybe Dreadful will be more useful as an ally rather than an enemy… (End Blurb)


Penny Dreadful is, of course, a familiar term to any long-time fan of Steampunk, and literature in general. Most recently attached to a horror TV show, it originally was a term for the cheap mass produced stories sold for – of course – a penny.

So that is reason number one for referencing that in my work: The Penny Dreadfuls were the Pulps of their day, and I am firmly in the camp that the Pulps were the Golden Age of SF/F, and further that ebooks represent a chance to recapture the best parts of the Pulp Era. Especially since digital publishing frees the author from the limited publishing schedule of the major houses, often only one book per year. As with anything else, practice makes perfect, and an author who can put out five, six, or more books a year will generally be able to improve their product faster than someone limited to one new release each year.

As for the other reason, well, that requires I bring in my lovely editor, Miss CJ, whose day job is writing for the Chicks on the Right website. (Yep. I married my editor. Very much a time saver, assuming she doesn’t start to go soft on the parts I write none too good. I think we’ll be fine though, I married her first: Most authors who run into trouble with editors no longer editing harshly enough married them second.)

Miss CJ: Penny Dreadful came about – believe it or not – based on a character from a tabletop RPG we tried out with our gaming group. We spent several sessions playing “Airship Pirates,” an indie published steampunk RPG set in the world of the band Abney Park.

I came up with a character who was part of the nobility, but who tired of the tediousness of noble life and wanted to do something more than simply “be a noble.” Also – the character needed skills to serve on a crew of airship pirates. This character spun out into the vigilante, Penny Dreadful. It’s always sounded like a name to do something fun with (and if you read the book, you might also notice there’s also some clever pun work at play. Spoilers, sweeties). Also, it was hilarious during the course of our RPG campaign to have Penny Dreadful run into “fans” who’d read about Penny Dreadful’s adventures in penny dreadful novels.

  1. M.: Yep, Penny Dreadful started out as an RPG character. Honestly, I imagine there quite a few characters and series kicking around that started the same way.

There is an interesting thing to point out with RPG conversions, though. I’m sure you all know that video game movies are just about always rubbish, right?

Have you ever wondered why that is? True, part of it is simply that the producers and directors (and screenplay writers) often have no idea what makes the property tick, but it also goes back to what the medium does well, and does not do well. Video Games (like RPGs) derive a lot of their impact for the audience because of choices, and potential choices. Do I play a wizard, or a fighter? Do I sneak into the building, or go in guns blazing? Those choices give the narrative more impact, because the player will always wonder, what would have happened if…

With a film or TV series that element of choice is lost. Without it the power of the narrative starts to weaken, and that is dangerous because that strong narrative is often all that sustains the property through long bouts of (gloriously) gratuitous fight scenes.

That’s why, in my not so humble opinion, I find that the best adaptations of RPG characters and worlds pointedly focus on things other than the actual game campaign. They might be prequels, or sequels, or origin stories. They might also just take the setting and run with it in new and interesting ways.

In my case I adapted the origin story rather than the campaign arc. Yeah, at the beginning of the game the characters are on an airship working as Sky Pirates, (it is in the name after all) but that isn’t where they started. That is the story of Penny Dreadful and the Clockwork Copper.

Also, I stress to add, I adapted the backstory because I have no desire to steal the creations of Abney Park. They are one of my favorite bands, and their Steampunk is freaking awesome. Aside from having airships and pirates in said airships there is not much in common between the setting they present in their fun RPG and in my book.

In fact, while I already have a rough outline for the next book in the series, it has nothing to do with the campaign we played last year. That story will probably never appear in the sequels. Funnily enough, as a writer I have all those same choices and more as I do when playing a game, and those what ifs have siren calls…

One other thing I wanted to touch on, and I promise this is the last one, since if I indulge in any more tangents you’ll be here all day. (Or more likely not. Better I don’t wear out my welcome.)

Clockwork Copper, why call them that? Part of it is obvious, Cop(per) has been a nickname for the police for quite a long time, and applying it to an artificial policeman actually made out of metal was too good to pass up.

Of course, as the blurb notes, Viva-3 is a copper, but not a metal one. The first instinct would be to name them something else, but stop and think about it. Words persist long after the reasons for their original meaning is no longer relevant.

Heck, just look at the save icon in pretty much any program you use. When was the last time you actually had to put in a 3.5” floppy disk to save? Yet the icon persists.

So, yeah, referring to flesh and bone constructs as clockworks is silly, but no more silly than talking about Xeroxes, or using a floppy disk as the save icon.

As the joke goes, ‘Fiction is harder to write than reality. Fiction has to make sense.” That’s true in a lot of ways, but I find that adding a bit of that real life weirdness into books helps them feel a bit more real to the readers, and of course that helps you enjoy them more.

And after all, it’s my job to entertain you.

And this monkey intends to keep on dancing.

Bre Faucheux Interviews Jon Del Arroz – Wednesday May 31st!

I’m super excited to be talking with Bre. She’s got a really cool series of Fantasy novellas called Violet Blake, and she’s one of my favorite youtubers. I’m slightly offended that I didn’t get to be on “Champagne Thursday,” as I’m sure I’d about 3x as fun an interview with champagne, but what can you do. Maybe next time 😉

Here’s the link for tomorrow:


Hello Massive Influx Of New People!

Seems like I get these huge spikes in readers every couple of weeks. This time it came in from a couple sources — new friends at Clockwork Alchemy (I’ll do a write up of the convention tomorrow) and from space opera writer J.A. Sutherland who was kind enough to send out a nice newsletter post recommending Star Realms: Rescue Run. Sutherland writes the Alexis Carew series and it looks right up my alley for a read. Something the folk who read regularly here might want to check out as well.

For the new folk:

Hello, all! I’m a sci-fi writer, focused mostly on Space Opera, but will be releasing my first Steampunk book on June 15th, titled For Steam And Country. If you haven’t seen the cover yet, it’s here:

Otherwise, I’m about 40% through a third draft of my own space opera book, which hopefully I’ll be able to get to you this fall, and will be the start of a big universe I hope to write in for a long time. Stay tuned on that. Otherwise, I do a lot of book/comic reviews, talk about a lot of subjects that are important to me here (especially free speech and the problems with the entertainment industry, which are often related). I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and try my best to reply to comments (sometimes it takes me  a sec to get to the computer and approve). I did a project round-up awhile back that has a lot more of my random tidbits that I’m working on, but this is the most important stuff. I hope you stick around.

Appearances wise: I’ll be at LibertyCon in Chattanooga, TN at the end of June. It is already sold out, but if you happen to be going, I’ll be there. If you’re in TN or whatnot and can’t get a ticket, I’ll make time to go sign a book or whatnot if you’d like as well, cuz I don’t get out east very often.

I hope you new folk enjoy Star Realms: Rescue Run as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Tally ho!


Storyhack: A New Short Fiction Magazine Inspired By The #PulpRevolution

Storyhack is a new short fiction magazine, which is up on kickstarter now. I read their free Issue 0 which is available on their website, and have backed this kickstarter project as it’s got some of my favorite short fiction writers involved:  Jay Barnson, Jon Mollison, and David J West to name a few. It’s also got a contribution by David Boop who’s quite the veteran in the industry and has his own weird west anthology coming out soon.  I’ve blasted the short fiction market lately, and that’s largely because of a lack of fun projects out there that has torpedoed the market. Storyhack fills the void left by some of the old guard publications, and is worthy of support as it’s one of the few sources out there seeking to fix the market. I backed their first issue, which is up on Kickstarter now, and sat down to talk with their editor, Bryce Beattie:

Hey Bryce, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. If you have a
quick pitch for Storyhack for my readers, what would that be?

StoryHack Action & Adventure is a modern day pulp showcasing stories in
a variety of genres that embrace the passion and pace of yesteryear’s


A magazine so epic a 12 year old boy would stop playing his new XBox
just to read it.

What’s your background with the SF/F genres?

As a youth I started into fantasy with Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain
Chronicles, then moved on to Tolkien, then everything by Terry Brooks. I
was an adult before I tasted the sweet melancholy of sword & sorcery. I
know I read more, but I only really remember 2 science fiction works as
a youth: I, Robot (to which I thought: Gee, that’s interesting) and
Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars books.

Of course, I’ve been a SF/F fanboy in other media as well most of my
life. I got some pretty sweet Yoda undies after Return of the Jedi came out.

The pulp influences kind of drifted in here and there throughout my
life. One Christmas I got a couple of sets of old time radio shows on
tape. The Shadow was one, and a variety of hard boiled detectives was
another. That’s when I started seeking out detective pulps.

Years later I got a first generation ereader but didn’t have much
spending cash, so I was always on the lookout for fun public domain
stuff. At some site or the other (probably blackmask.com or gutenberg) I
discovered Robert E. Howard (What? Conan was books first?) and Edgar
Rice Burroughs. My mind was blown. Those stories had more life and vigor
in them than anything I had read before. At some point a religious
leader pointed me toward Doc E. E. Smith (thanks, Blaine!)

Who would you consider your favorites in the genre, past or present
and who do you strive to produce like?

Classic stuff first:

As you might expect, I love everything I’ve ever laid eyes on by Robert
E. Howard. Besides the easily recognizable stuff like Conan and Solomon
Kane, I dig the supernatural horror Conrad & Kirowan stories, the Sailor
Steve Costigan fight stories, the westerns, all of it.

Reading A Princess of Mars is actually what made me want to start
writing. So Edgar Rice Burroughs will always be a favorite. Confession:
I’ve read most of the Barsoom books, as well as a couple of the
Pellucidar series. However, I have never read the original Tarzan, which
is a sin I intend to repent of this year.

And when I get sick and depressed, my go to reading is a stack of Doc
Savage reprints I bought a decade ago at a local used book shop.

Modern Authors:

There’s a lot of current genre authors that I would consider pulp. I
think Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files are a lot of fun and match the pulp
ethos very well – a hard working, competent lead with a moral code
getting into bizarre trouble in scenes of bombastic action.

Gregg Taylor is another modern favorite. His work is filled with
mystery, action, great character moments, and most of all fun. His main
two series are the chronicles of a Shadow-esque superhero called The Red
Panda, and the hard boiled detective tales of Black Jack Justice.
Gregg’s written & recorded over 200 individual radio theater episodes,
several comics, and 7 novels. I think he nails the style about as well
as anyone. Plus, he’s helped keep the pulp torch lit for at least 12 years.

David J West has written some very inventive stuff. Many of his old west
stories feature a fictional version of the colorful real-life Mormon
gunslinger Orrin Porter Rockwell. I’m excited to read his upcoming sword
& sorcery team novels.

And who do I want to produce like?

The Shadow, because that was twice a month and sold like crazy. Can you
imagine how much work that must have been? Adventure, because it covered
so many types of story. Planet Stories for the covers and
imagination-widening fiction. Apparently I want it all.

Were you influenced or moved to action on this by Jeffro Johnson’s
Appendix N last year? It looks like you’ve connected with a lot of the
authors who are in the #PulpRevolution movement surrounding it.

It actually happened the other way around for me. I learned of Appendix
N by way of the of the PulpRev authors I was meeting.

How did you find the authors for Storyhack?

I posted on the sites where I knew to post calls for submission, but the
first big push came when Daddy Warpig caught wind and tweeted it, then
Jeffro included it in a sensor sweep over at Castalia. I didn’t even
know Castalia House existed until like a week later. Seriously, though,
I owe those two big time. Guys, if you’re ever in town, look me up and
I’ll smoke you a pork shoulder or something.

Were there submissions or was this an invitation?

Open submissions. I received and read about 100 of them. I had no idea
how hard it would be to pare down to the few I could afford buying, or
how thirsty the authors of pulp are for publication.

Any funny stories about anyone involved?

In the funny “strange” department, I ended up choosing 3 authors who are
also from Utah, only one of which I knew lived here (David J West) when
I chose. I actually accepted Jay Barnson’s story in person. I kind of
doubt I’ll ever get that chance again. But I plan on doing this a long
time, so you never know.

I also had one author include a rather long stream of consciousness
cover letter asking me if I would please, please, please read and
consider the story even though it was submitted four and a half hours
after the midnight deadline. Two hours later this author sent a follow
up basically saying “Oops, please excuse my pleading, I just realized
the deadline is tomorrow.” That story made it in.

If you could make Storyhack revered as one pulp magazine of the past,
what would that be and why?

That’s a hard one to nail down. Weird Tales is certainly a contender, as
it inspires copycats to this day and shows no signs of slowing down. But
then the Shadow has near complete cultural awareness. Even folks too
stodgy to consider touching a pulp magazine have heard of him, and thus
the magazine. The Doc Savage tales were pretty much the template for
every action hero since. In the end, though, I’ll go with Amazing
Stories, which basically birthed the genre of Space Opera by publishing
Skylark of Space and Lensman. I think I’d like to give birth to a genre.

Hey, a guy can dream, right?

What do you think of the current short fiction market, and what do you
think needs to be done to get more people interested in reading short
fiction again?

I think there’s a need  right now that is not being met.

The short fiction market is narrow. Even the biggest name magazines only
publish across couple of genres. And really, they only print a tiny
subset of those genres. That was actually the direct impetus for me
launching this project. I couldn’t find anyone publishing the kind of
shorts I was writing (and wanted to read.)

That being said, this only reveals immense opportunity. Yes, there are
some things to learn if you want to put out a ‘zine, but you don’t have
to pay for a 3,000 copy print run. You don’t have to sell xeroxed copies
out of the back of a station wagon at cons. You can do the technical
stuff basically for free if you are willing to learn how. And you can
put your baby on a digital shelf at the world’s largest book retailer.

People today are busy, sure. That means an awful lot of them only really
have time for shorter fiction. Short stories can fill that bus ride into
the office or that quiet minute before the kids get out of bed again.

There are also many in the up and coming generation that simply are not
interested in reading flowery think pieces masquerading as fiction. But
if they’re given a chance to find action and romance and imagination and
excitement in a story, they’ll be hooked for life.

As far as what needs to be done to get readers into short fiction again?

Two things.

One, there needs to be people willing to try out this publishing thing
without copying the current industry big names. Instead they need to be
publishing stories that _regular_ people will actually want to read. Can
you imagine a fast food line cook, a plumber, or a bored-to-tears file
clerk picking up a magazine that should be subtitled “SciFi with
Literary Predilections?” Neither can I. So would they want to read?
Well, take a look at what they’re watching: Summer blockbuster action
movies, sword fighting vikings, power-hungry kings, superheroes in
peril, CIA agents racing the clock, that kind of fare.

Two, the word must spread like a cold, person to person. We are
inundated with advertising today, and the vast majority is just white
noise getting filtered out. But a recommendation from a friend? That’s
how people find new things to try. So once you find something you like,
you have to share it. Without being a jerk. That’s the only way pulp
will spread again.

Bonus third thing: Parents, read to your freaking kids.

What’s next when this successfully funds?

Once I get Issue 1 funded and fulfilled, I’ll set up some form of
per-issue subscription and continue publishing fun yarns. I expect to
still need to pony up a few bucks to fund the next couple of issues as
subscriptions increase and StoryHack gets established.

But the long term “next” is simply more and better. I’ll get better at
editing, layout, marketing, and all the background business stuff that
goes into making a sustainable magazine. As reach and sales increase,
that’ll mean more fiction per issue and more money for the authors. I’d
like to add an audio edition as well.

Thanks so much for the interview, and your support of the magazine!


Again you can back Storyhack here and make this a reality!


From time to time the topic of sensitivity readers comes up in my writing circles, and naturally most artists I know in the independent world balk at the concept. I tend to agree — I think it’s a scam of a few people who are telling people what’s okay and what’s not to write, which amounts to a soft censorship. As Big Publishing adopts this more and more, we’re going to get more watered down, monotone sounding books as a result.

What’s occurred in the fantasy and science fiction field over the last decade, and has recently trickled into YA is this: there’s a few active book bloggers who are extremely negative, extremely bitter, and scream at people if the book doesn’t match what their utopia worldview of phony skin-deep diversity looks like. These book bloggers have armies of readers ready to go onto a book’s amazon or goodreads page and torch the author and work with fake reviews without even having read the book.

Publishers, attempting to be business-minded, met this shrieking with a smile, trying to get good reviews out of this cabal for their books, promising and virtue signalling that they will make a “commitment to diversity.” You started seeing calls for women and minority authors more often, and then projects where only women and minorities were invited to work on projects. At first it was a “hey, we’re just giving equal representation” concept, which was innocuous enough, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. As time went on, the innocuous publishers were replaced with some of these more rabid people from the book blogosphere in editorial decisions, and the entire industry came to a point where it actively attempts to blackball and discriminate against white, male, Christian or Conservative authors. If you’re a mix of those, your chances of being published diminish significantly — if you’re all of them, consider yourself blackballed.

In content itself, the conversation shifted in the last year away from one of “you should include a diverse representation of characters”, which I always found to be fine. Depending on your world, it makes sense to have the people you’d see in a day to day environment now in the future extrapolated. I take exception with putting token representation into historical fiction or alt-history, as it comes across as really forced and it’s inaccurate, but for visions of the future, having different characters from different backgrounds feels natural. I feel like Firefly accomplished this without sounding preachy, and created a cool setting with it, for example.

But now it’s “you’re culturally appropriating.” Now a white Christian writer isn’t allowed to put those cultures in the work, but simultaneously their work is constantly being hammered as “not representative enough.” It’s not about actual content anymore, it’s about censoring a certain class of individuals listed above. And that’s where this is dangerous.

A writer should be able to write what they want. If you want to write a message, do it. If you want to write about other cultures, do it. If you want to make the villain in your book an allegory for Muslim terrorists, that is just as valid as every villain being a type-A white male that we see in almost every book and film these days. Most of the time fiction isn’t about a message, and one’s overly-read into it to the point where it’s absurd. I took a lot of flack for being “too anti-corporate” in my debut novel for example, to the point where I had people calling me a fraud for actual my political/religious identity. That’s a prime example of reading too much into a villain (though I mean… big corporations are pretty bad, that’s kinda the point of this article too!).

I don’t believe in censoring myself, and I don’t want other writers to censor themselves either. It’s very easy to see how this creeps in from “you must have representation” to “you can’t write about that culture because you’re appropriating!” These mandatory diversity ploys aren’t concerned with actual diversity at all, but with forcing social justice politics into every aspect of our lives. There’s a reason that in the science fiction elite spheres you don’t see many Hispanic writers for instance. If you think it’s because Big Publishing underrepresents Hispanics intentionally, you’re dead wrong. It’s because the biggest name hispanic authors are all politically conservative, and that doesn’t fit their narrative agenda. The applause for “diversity” only applies to those who play up their identity grievances with the right politics.

The only way to put a stop to this is to mock the concept of sensitivity readers. Mock the concept of cultural appropriation. If you think about it — all cultures appropriate, that’s how culture works. You take what is good for your society from the zeitgeist around you and extrapolate on it. That’s what fiction is. Instead of fretting, openly and unabashedly culturally appropriate and be insensitive in your work.

Don’t care what anyone thinks except for your readers. They’re all that matter. Chances are, if you’re having fun and telling a compelling story, they’ll like it too and won’t give two craps about whether you’re culturally appropriating.

A Moon Full Of Stars by Jon Mollison!

There’s another Jon out there in SF who’s very much worth your while, and his name is Jon Mollison. He writes in the vein of the old school pulps like very few I’ve seen. If you’re into hard action/adventure in your sci-fi, this work’s for you. Fun fact: he’s also an audiobook narrator, most recently known for John C. Wright’s Somewhither (in which he did a stellar job, about one of the best readers I’ve ever heard on a book).  This story looks to be a planetary romance-style book in the tradition of Leigh Brackett. I’m pretty excited.

Here’s the blurb:

All Rome ever wanted was to earn a place in the village as a hunter, so that he could explore beyond the safe confines of the village farm fields, but when monstrous slavers destroy his village he is forced to head west into the irradiated wastelands in search of anything that might give him the power to save his people. Accompanied by his chief rival, his journey takes him farther than he ever imagined.

You can buy A Moon Full Of Stars here. 

For Steam And Country Cover Reveal!

The moment everyone’s been waiting for is here! For Steam And Country is set to be released next month, my second novel, and my first venture into Fantasy. I had an incredible time writing this book, and early reviews are saying it’s even better than my award nominated debut novel. You’ll not want to miss this. Below is the cover by one of the best artists in the business, Shawn King:

Make sure to share everywhere and let everyone know how hyped you are for this book!

There will be some fun giveaways, rewards and more, including a FREE short story for those who help spread the word. Updates are in a facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/519333975122120/  go ahead and join or ping me and I’ll get you in there.

Or my mailing list:


Tally ho!


#SpaceOperaWeek Geekchats Special: Space Opera and Woldbuilding with Sarah Hoyt

It’s #SpaceOperaWeek and I’m excited to have one of my favorite authors working in the field right now, Sarah Hoyt, on tomorrow to talk about her Darkship series, her inspirations, what space opera means to her and some of the helpful tricks she used to come up with such a rich and imaginative world like Eden. It’ll air live May 19th at 12:00 PM PST:

Tordotcom Celebrates #SpaceOperaWeek By Censoring Popular Space Opera Author

When I first heard about #SpaceOperaWeek, I was excited. It provided a chance to talk about the sub-genre of Science Fiction that I love more than any other, and cross-platform across the internet through the use of the hashtag to where I’d be able to reach and connect with a lot of people.

Unfortunately, the promise that Tordotcom made in #SpaceOperaWeek turned out to be nothing but thin air.  The launch page really didn’t talk about space opera at all, just having some big logo announcing their initiative. The next post wasn’t about space opera or the joys of its fiction — but presenting a false narrative that women are somehow oppressed and erased in the genre (rebutted by the Hugo-nominated Castalia House who’s been active talking about the great women of space opera for years), a post about ponies in space,a post about the “underrated importance of ordinary, everyday life” in storytelling, and then shilling for a couple of Tor authors. Nothing else. No real space opera discussion at all.

I took matters into my own hands. I started using the hashtag, talking about Space Opera in earnest. I am somewhat of an authority on the genre at this point, having written 3 books in it (one published which you may have heard of, the others I’m revising), and read the genre the entirety of my existence. I’ve spoken on Space Opera on podcasts and at conventions, done interviews on it, written essays on it. If there’s one thing I know what I’m talking about — it’s Space Opera. A lot of cool people from the #PulpRevolution joined in the discussion, as many of those folk write space opera and all of us are heavily read in the genre. If you go look at the hashtag on twitter now — there’s no one who’s reading Tordotcom or any authors from Tordotcom talking about #SpaceOperaWeek, it’s only us. Author Yakov Merkin even released a new Space Opera book in the midst of the event.

Naturally the result was a number of fans and friends commenting to Tor that they’d like to see some essays or an interview with me. I produced one of the most relevant Space Operas of the last year, hailed by authors cross the spectrum from Mary Robinette Kowal to Vox Day, which was a Top-10 Amazon bestseller in the genre, so it would be fun to get some perspective, especially given the Tor writers self-admittedly don’t even like the genre (which is why there’s so little discussion).  I came to find out that after the first five requests — Tor deleted the next 10+ of people requesting I write without so much as reaching out to anyone on the matter.

That’s fine, that’s a lot of comments! I understand that though with the overwhelming readership demanding something you’d think they’d take action. I was so flabbergasted by the article about not liking space opera and about how ordinary, everyday life was what was important to write about — the opposite of everything Space Opera is about — that I took to writing a rebuttal article on the Hugo-nominated Castalia House blog. Not only do we now have a highly relevant space opera writer talking on the subject — but writing an article for a site that has garnered such prestige and honor in the genre that it is a finalist for science fiction’s top award. You’d think that #SpaceOperaWeek would certainly care about that. Nothing more could be on topic.

I posted a link to the article, mentioned it’s a rebuttal and how I’d love to further discuss space opera. Very respectful, as always, and earnestly interested in opening up more dialogue on my favorite genre.

Tordotcom deleted it rather than actually talk about the important literary elements of the genre. They censored the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction. They shun the site, contributors and readership of a Hugo-nominated blog.

So if the point isn’t to talk about Space Opera and celebrate together with leaders in the genre what is #SpaceOperaWeek for? Why do they have people who don’t even like the genre writing about it?

A lot of people reading are rolling their eyes and saying “it’s tordotcom what do you expect?” That’s not acceptable as an answer to me. I’m watching our industry and our form of entertainment that’s been a staple of western culture for the past one hundred years go from millions of readers to thousands of readers. The fun’s been sucked out of Science Fiction, and the whole point of Space Opera is that it brings the fun back to it. The term was originally something derogatory used by “real” science fiction writers and readers to talk about this “fantasy in space” that didn’t push heavy scientific or sociological concepts. The term itself is an attack on people who just like to tell fun stories in space.  Sounds a lot like how Tordotcom treats me and the #PulpRevolution crew, doesn’t it? The irony is thick.

Tordotcom hates Space Opera is the only conclusion. They have no real interest in discussing it, but fortunately there’s some places where they are. Do follow me on Twitter at @jondelarroz and look for articles by me and others for #SpaceOperaWeek that actually address the genre at:



We’ll have some real talk, and we won’t delete your contributions to the subject either.