How To Spot FAKE NEWS

First of all, I would like to congratulate Castalia House for trolling so hard, so funnily, that Amazon itself seems to be thrown into turmoil as separate employees keep putting their most recent book up and bringing it back down, as if no one can decide whether they should “punish” the publisher. They’re also due a congratulations for being so effective, that they’re making the typical shill news:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/amazon-pulls-castalia-house-book-for-ripping-off-john-s-1793533638

“Amazon Pulls Castalia House Book For Ripping Off John Scalzi.”

Well, that’s one way to put it. The reality is, when you’ve followed this situation since day one, that Castalia House put up a parody, mocking Scalzi’s late book to Tor, with a similar concept below the surface, which they, as an indie publisher were able to produce faster, better and get it released actually prior to Scalzi’s book. Tor threw a fit because their top author was getting made fun of, and pressured Amazon into taking it down.

Then they got it back up, because they were ready for that.

Then Amazon took it back down again.

Over a joke. Only an idiot would have mistaken Johan Kalzi and the “More Asimov than Asimov” labeled as “An Interstellar Science Fiction Epic In Space” as the actual work. That’s the point. Of course, Tor and Amazon want to presume their clients, their readers are all actually idiots. This is a hallmark of typical condescension from the establishment bloated companies that try to take down nimble, independent, competent members of the new media.

Old and busted. New hotness. In a nutshell.

And all they can do is run to their friends in the media to complain about it, as their sales decrease because people are sick of their blackballing and shunning their values, and second their shameful tactics of taking to the media like this and lying outright.

This is the same problem we see across the spectrum. It’s an example, a parable, a metaphor for every other piece of FAKE NEWS you see. It takes time to learn to spot this kind of thing, but once you do, you can see it everywhere. And it is everywhere. You saw this happen to me exactly just a couple days ago when I, your humble nimble and competent independent writer, blew the whistle on GIANT MEGACORPORATE DISNEY SUPERHERO DIVISION, and how their media friends responded.

I promised to teach you how to spot it.

If it’s about Donald Trump or Vox Day or Me, and it isn’t linked or sanctioned by us or one of our friends, it’s FAKE NEWS. They are lying about what we said for some agenda. They may even use actual words out of context to do so, but there is a context to it, and you shouldn’t believe it.

Bleeding Cool’s Attack Backfires Among Own Readers

It’s pretty easy to defend the truth, as I found when having to deal with a smaller news site attacking me a couple months ago. Look at all these positive comments:

Guy hit the nail right on the head… he spoke about them accurately and how everything is going with them

My love of diversity in storytelling says, yes, Marvel (and DC) should hire conservative creators as much as they hire democratic ones.

He’s not wrong and he can’t be any worse than the person writing America. Marvel does seriously need to clean house of the Slotts and Waids.

I say that Bleeding Cool should hire John Del Arroz

Tough love is always most appreciated in hindsight. Arroz said EVERYTHING Marvel absolutely needs to be hearing right now! God bless Arroz

Amen. Enough of the Social Justice League at Marvel.

He’s 100% correct about Marvel and it’s writers and why it’s in the shit can with sales.

I’d love to see John Del Arroz hired just because so many “great” comic book writers at Marvel are just overrated hacks.

#PulpRevolution. What is that? That sounds totally up my alley

would fit right in with some of Marvel’s talents.

Holy smokes.. I would buy 2 copies of every John Del Arroz comic if he were hired. After reading that rant he made, I felt compelled to stand up and salute! Marvel needs a guy like this

Man, how can ANYONE read this, and not want the guy to write to marvel?

And for the record, since they were quite concerned about how my post somehow in not mentioning the great comics writer, Chuck Dixon, was somehow a slight on him: I would totally approve of more books by Mr. Dixon. All the books by Mr. Dixon wouldn’t be a bad choice. I’ve also messaged him personally to let him know I offer up as penance my complete collection of his Nightwing run, in that I obviously was not a true fan enough. I hope he accepts!

How Fake News Operates

Got a nice message this morning to find out I was on Bleeding Cool news, a comic book news website for those who don’t follow such things. Last week, I forwarded them my 2nd blog on the troubles that Marvel is having, after my research going into every single one of their writers’ twitters and finding that they all hail from one side of the political spectrum, to an extreme bent, and how it looks like Editor in Chief Axel Alonso has a litmus test or a soft blackball of anyone who disagrees with that position from being on the staff.

My point was copied and pasted to the site, but with a headline and a takeaway that didn’t follow my whole point: that this blackballing is occurring in the entertainment industry across different media, which has now even been confirmed by Hollywood Reporter, no right wing blog there! That was the point, that was the message, anyone who could read my blog could see that… but instead, Rich of Bleeding Cool decided to focus on my little humor element at the end that called for Marvel Comics to hire me to fix their problems, in which I posted my pretty hefty resume of awesomeness.

Of course, the problem is, my blog wasn’t about that, and that was a joke.

The whole point is that Marvel DOESN’T hire anyone who disagrees with the lockstep groupthink, and it’s been that way for a while. Axel Alonso would never talk to me in the first place whether I wrote that blog or not. It’s true in Hollywood, it’s true in big publishing houses like Tor Books, it’s true in the music industry (‘cept country).  Anyone without a horse in the race would obviously read my call to action and smirk about it. Silly, and I’m certainly laughing about it now.

This is how, as my title says, fake news operates. The media takes something that’s “technically true” about what was said, ignores the context of it, and runs a headline that will get people to click/laugh/repost and shake fists, whatever. It happens every time, and in similar fashion to the way Marvel hires their writers, with anyone who doesn’t toe the line for the left wing political perspective.  Look at pretty much any freak-out headline this morning that will be like “But Trump said…”, completely missing the point of whatever he actually communicated.

Fortunately, normal folk don’t buy into that, and the reason the media is so freaked these days, is that with the internet it’s very easy to research exactly what a person said for themselves and come to our own decision. That’s why Brexit didn’t go the way the propagandists wanted, that’s why the US Election didn’t go the way the propagandists wanted, and that’s why the Hugo Awards had to change their rules because they couldn’t even deal with how many people were agreeing what was good science fiction, that went contrary to the establishment’s attempts to virtue signal. They want to keep their small power structures alive rather than grow with the times.

Now overall, I bear Bleeding Cool and Rich Johnston no ill will (though really I should do a separate blog questioning how he came to the conclusion that I’m slighting Chuck Dixon, who is one of my favorite comic book authors and was before I even knew what his politics were. Nightwing was the best!). I get almost all of my comic book news from them, have for years. We’ve had a cordial conversation privately despite this strange article written, which he hasn’t so far denied was an intentional hit piece. Not sure what the intention was of the article if he doesn’t seem to hold that view privately, maybe he could clarify.  It’s funny that a lot of the comments do seem to agree with my real premise of the blackballing problem, and some even think it wouldn’t be a half bad idea for Marvel to actually hire me, furthering my point that most folk will decide for themselves, despite the bad attempts at narrative.

Folk from Bleeding Cool and Rich, this time I call on you just to read my work. It’s pretty highly regarded, and is fun without any sort of underlying political message. You just might like it, as it captures the feel that Marvel & Co. used to have. Excelsior!

When The Blackballing Gets So Bad Even The MSM Reports

Hollywood Reporter actually posted an article A New McCarthyism today, following the theme of a lot of what I’ve posted about over the last few months, from my own local convention shunning me over politics, to Marvel Comics’ apparent litmus test of only hiring writers of the extreme left persuasion. This isn’t in Hollywood alone, but it’s something that’s across the entertainment industry from music, to writing, to comics, to games, and then to Hollywood itself. It’s actually far worse in some of the other forms of entertainment. I’ve posted up some of the direct name calling and shunning in public that’s been done to me by people like J. Michael Straczynski, hollywood writer, and Sharon Lee from science fiction publishing. As well as the doxxing that one of my former favorite bands The Early November did after they went off on a bizarre swearing tirade about the President on their twitter. The message is clear:

If you do not follow the groupthink exactly, you are not welcome here, and we will disavow you.  Continue reading

Rachel Maddow’s Lessons for Fandom

I’ll start with some funnies before we get into the serious. Above, I have the exclusive envelope in which was given to MSNBC last evening.  Wonder where it came from?

Last night we saw an all too common event escalate to levels where we haven’t seen it before. All of America tuned in to watch Rachel Maddow smugly go completely overboard to attempt to destroy a person — not critique policies in a fair manner, but destroy a person. This has been what the news media’s been about for over a year now, dedicating themselves wholly to this really bizarre cause that sickens most fair minded people. One would expect them to learn their lessons from this and start acting like professionals at some point, but, as we learn, they always double down.

There’s a global lesson here, however. When you’re so blinded with rage that you lose sight of everything and go hard after a person over and over again because you “must destroy them”,  it’s going to push you too far. This is the exact thing that we were warned about in the film, Dr. Strangelove, when we watch a character go completely nuts in attempt to rid of communists. It further adds to the zeitgeist’s thoughts of irony when we see Russia Russia Russia Russia. We do as a culture link those images in our minds, and rightfully so.

In that situation, people will run into further problems if they’re dealing with someone who isn’t scared to fight back. What’s happened in the modern internet age is that those institutions of TV media and fake news aren’t trusted anymore, because we can look things up for ourselves, can make determinations for ourselves. They try so hard at every moment to spin something negative (look at The Hill’s headline from last night for some lols) that no one except for the complete zealots buy it anymore. That’s very bad for your cause, zealots.

I’ve dealt with this over the last year myself, and seen my friends be even bigger targets of it than I am. For years I saw this writers group in science fiction called the Sad Puppies targeted by the small amounts of science fiction news that were out there. A lot of it came from Tor Books directly, as they saw that their award sales bump was being threatened by outsiders (the company pretty much exclusively had their authors poised for the award for best novel year after year).  But because they were a big platform, not unlike MSNBC, they got their messages that these fiction book writers were basically literally Nazis spread far and wide through science fiction’s fake news. Sound familiar? This sort of lazy mockery of journalism is going on across different spectrums. It’ll take a lot more time than this to root out, but it will spell the end of a lot of these companies as they lose consumer trust.

I had a long time “friend”, one who went into full destructive mode soon as these types of stories started circulating about me, who warned me about these Sad Puppies. He would go off relentlessly about how they’re awful people, ruining people’s lives. How do people who want some representation in awards and achieve that ruin people’s lives? Well, someone else didn’t get the award. It’s that sad of a hit piece for real, but a lot of people were brainwashed on it. I’d hear it over and over. Because of the internet however, I could investigate this myself.

I reached out to Brad Torgersen of said puppies in 2015, and learned that he was a nice guy, and even with his pretty famous status at the time, very approachable. He was very kind to me, still is, and never once seemed angry or distrusting or anything he was painted as.  I soon found out the exact same was true of Sarah Hoyt and Larry Correia. Moreover I read all three of their books over this period, after being told forever they were not worthy, and found that all three produced better works than I’ve been reading out of big SF publishers for years.  Something didn’t connect here.

And that’s what they were afraid of. That we would look up the information themselves. That’s why the media went so hard to destroy these people. It’s a direct parallel and analogy for what Rachel Maddow did last night. The problem is, with sci-fi and with the boogeyman tax returns, it’s been ringing false since the narrative began, and this just gave further evidence of what they’re doing. 

When my own issues began with the local convention programming director that wanted to stick it to me over how I voted, I faced this same thing. They panicked and got scared rather than addressing the problems with politics festering inside what’s supposed to be a gathering of fun. It went overdrive, people (including the “friend” referenced above) got really nasty on me. When they went to the fake news File 770, that’s when it really got bad, but not for me, for them.  They didn’t realize they’d engaged a zealot, a science fiction Rachel Maddow, in pushing there with half-information. When I produced real information regarding this, it was completely ignored. File 770 continues to attack me even after this has gone down. The site owner most recently took to a friend’s website in the comments to call me a liar and fling more mud at me. I have no idea who this guy is or why he’s so angry… but dude, learn from Rachel Maddow’s mistake!

I had to push back, and of course received private messages asking for reconciliation. Like Rachel Maddow, they thought they had got me good in disinviting me from their convention for the year and then hitting the media about it, but like Rachel Maddow, it hurt them badly in the public perception department as their attacks fell flat. I said that it’d gone too far, and they made it personal — and people who I knew personally before had gone off the rails attacking and swearing about me. I wanted a public apology for that and assurances about the political nature of the convention for the future, to make it a fun place for all of it. Sadly, though sounding somewhat contrite via private message to begin with, when met with the reality of what I needed to right situations with former friends that they are completely responsible for turning nasty against me, they wouldn’t budge. I imagine the same will be true with Ms. Maddow as she’s further torched her network’s name. 

As always, my point isn’t to list complaints, but as with the first time when I brought up the very real political problems with bigotry that the science fiction community has, I have a call for action: Be careful. Don’t take personal vendettas into a further personal realm and go off like Dr. Strangelove or Rachel Maddow. If you have a problem (this is mainly for you, Mike of File 770), talk to the person in question instead of attempting to smear them at every turn. If you’re in the media, you likely have that power to reach out. The smear isn’t going to work, it’s just going to make us win more. And you know what? We’re still not tired of winning.

Why A Revolution In Sci-Fi Is Necessary

This morning I had a conversation with what you would call an average reader. It’s not a rabid convention goer, not an author who’s got his favorite reads and plugging his friends, but a person who periodically reads books for fun and relaxation and happens to like to explore strange, new worlds. The kind of person that our creative industry needs to get out of our little bubbles and talk to more often.

What he told me is disconcerting for the state of the industry. As we’ve seen time and time again, it necessitates science fiction and fantasy going in a different direction to bring back the sense of wonder that most of us used to have when reading. In a lot of ways, it’s what the #PulpRevolution is all about, and while there’s a small group of us working on the independent level to fix the problem of the fact that big publishing is NOT keeping their readership in mind, it’s another warning to the Big Entertainment gatekeepers that something needs to be done on their end, lest they risk losing everything.

So, dear gatekeepers, as a service to you because I love science fiction and don’t want to see my small corner of the galaxy shrink, I’m going to give you a brief account of a normal reader’s conversation with me, and hopefully it will give a sense for how the market is not serving its customers.

The conversation started like I’ve heard dozens of times. He listed off authors that he used to read, talked about how he was a voracious reader before. He loved Asimov’s Foundation, Arthur C. Clarke, Niven’s Ringworld, Piers Anthony’s early work, Zelazny’s Amber series… I hear these names and these worlds over and over on repeat in almost every conversation I have with readers.

But then, something changed in science fiction. He didn’t feel like any of that fun was there anymore. The optimism of exploration really isn’t around.

“I know how you feel,” I said. “Everything past the 80s just feels so—“

“Dark,” he finished my sentence for me.

It hit the nail right on the head. I didn’t have to prompt.  I didn’t have to give him a lecture on Sad Puppies or Appendix N. He knew intuitively where sci-fi had gone wrong and what he desired as a reader. What is missing from today’s “literary” climate.

It shows in television as much as anything. The examples of sci-fi and fantasy that you’ll get on TV. Dark Matter, The Expanse, Killjoys, Game of Thrones, while all have excellent production we only could have dreamed of shows having in the 90s, they all have extremely dark themes, anti-heroes or outright villains as main characters, no one to root for, no real hope for their respective worlds. They’re filled with uncomfortable debauchery and graphic sex before every commercial break, and yes, this reader did mention that the over-sexualization is disturbing to him, as it is to most people. Even though some of these have decent elements that make them worthy to watch once, they aren’t the kind of thing you will share with your co-workers or especially your children. They aren’t the kind of thing where you will study, watch multiple times, relate to the characters for the rest of your life.

Gone are the Captain Kirks, the Spocks, the Picards.

Gone are the Luke Skywalkers, the Princess Leias.

Gone are the John Crichtons (Farscape, which I consider the last truly great science fiction tv show)

We don’t have lovable heroes we can root for anymore. We don’t have protagonists with real morals or real honor. It’s been a concerted effort by Hollywood to bring down our culture into its level of hedonism over decades, and it’s gone so far full tilt a normal person can’t relate at all anymore. But Hollywood is just a reflection of the literary world, as they steal their concepts, buy the rights to what they like, in order to make blueprints for their shows and movies.

It’s no wonder the only films that go anywhere are caricatures of the old Stan Lee stuff from the 60s, where it was heroes who start as ordinary, become extraordinary through their powers, and through their own exploration of self and sense of wonder, save the world time and time again. Those characters preach responsibility and loyalty, words that rarely are used anymore. That resonates with our basic human nature and desire to be better. That resonates with fun.

The sad part is that these readers and viewers are still out there, but they aren’t even looking for content anymore because they’ve been let down time and time again. They’ve been told, through the stories that are produced, that they’re basically not wanted and should buzz off. It’s been a systematic destruction of a customer base by big publishing, the comic book industry and Hollywood. Since the 90s, those groups have lived off of trying to create a shock value that is more horrific, more morally degrading and with bigger explosions than the last one in order to compensate for this.People do turn their head to watch a train wreck every time, we know that much to be true. The problem is, they won’t come back and watch that train wreck over and over because they feel disgusting if they do, and rightfully so. It’s short-sighted and lazy, and that’s what’s caused this downward spiral.

This is why we need adventure fiction that’s fun. These readers are out there and will come back if there’s something produced for them. It’s going to take time, and it’s going to take reshaping the image of the entire industry, but as Daddy Warpig has mentioned via his blog on multiple occasions, science fiction magazines, comic books, serial films and the like used to get millions of readers and viewers. Now they’re lucky if they can get thousands. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not the invention of the iphone that’s the problem. It’s the content that the industry produces.

Yet another warning delivered from a former avid reader. Do with it what you will.

More From The Anti-Christian/Conservative Bigots In SF/F

I hate having to post about this sort of thing so often, as I would like to have fun and enjoy astounding strange new worlds with thrills, action, adventure and romance… but unfortunately a group has been so brainwashed by a small but vocal group of haters that they will shout down anything, even a private club’s list of books they enjoy:

Superversive SF has released their "Best of 2016 list" from books

From Reddit.

This is a shame. If only conventions like Baycon didn’t promote this kind of hatred and vitriol, perhaps we could live in a world where people can enjoy art, books and culture without getting bashed.

I’ve had my share of this myself just from the author community. As I’ve linked in my testimonials page, several big name authors have, in their bigotry and hatred against me, called me all sorts of names and decided they can’t be associated with thoooooose types. It’s really sad that politics dictates everything in their existence.

I will call out the authors who were awful to me over these matters:

J. Michael Straczynski

Sharon Lee

Katherine Locke

M. Todd Gallowglass

End your bigotry now. Stop posting fake news shrieking about fake racist nazis ad nauseam. Act like human beings again and make Science Fiction fun again.  Even if you hate me personally because you literally can’t even, think of what you are influencing your fans to do to these other authors. Think about how hard you work to build an audience and how hard it is starting out. Reason and stop shilling overreactions and emotional hatred against your fellow artists.

 

SJW Mike Glyer Doubles Down

I don’t know what this guy’s got against me. I’ve never talked to him, met him, or had any interaction with him. I added him recently after he posted a fake news article about me, when he didn’t even bother to contact me for my comments on some libelous allegations that Baycon made to try to save face.

Soon after his fake news article posted, I reached out and tried to befriend Mike in hopes that perhaps he cares more about science fiction and truth than long-term libelous politics. I gave him a facebook friend request, asked him if he would like to meet for tennis and then drinks, as I was intending to make a brief sojourn to southern California in the near future. He did not respond to that, for whatever reason. As usual, I am friendly, open, trying my best, but SJWs are filled with such vitriol and hate, that they can’t handle a truly nice person trying to reach across divides, even if for the sake of fun science fiction. The only way they will accept you is if you are completely silent and let them degrade everything you stand for. This is why it’s war, and not reconcilable. Nothing matters to them except the identitarian hate. Mike — you should be praising me in the name of diversity!

Today, a new post was brought to my attention. I gave Mike’s very fake news blog the highest traffic for the month of February. He owes readership directly to me and my pretty face which he plastered all over the web to try to besmirch my good name. Like his original post, he couldn’t help but make a negative smug comment about me in touting his site’s traffic scores due to me.

Mike — what’s your beef? There is a huge problem with politics and hatred of anyone who doesn’t toe the SJW line across the semi-pro cesspools that are many local conventions. Did you not read my blog on Vox Popoli about the absolutely nutty level of programming that Baycon’s had in the past? Did you not read the screen shots of their programming director, Susie Rodriguez, admitting that this was 100% political, or in her words “speech based on ideology”? Did you not see their perennial guests– in which they invite for their own awards program dedicated, ironically, to good deeds– who called me names, tried to punish me outside the convention and dropped crazy swear words at me, which Baycon refused to disavow?

I even have the con chair who has admitted the political elements of it in messenger to me. He attempted to reach out to resolve this when the bad press hit them, because it’s big egg on their face, but refused to go as far as publicly apologize for the lies directed at me on File 770 and the behavior by their very unprofessional guests who made this personal. The truth came out even then. We can chat about that for your retraction piece, Mike, whenever you like.

But that’s not why I’m here or even why I posted to begin with. I posted because I care about Baycon. It’s my home convention. I want it to thrive. It needs to change, and instead of looking at their own problems, they came after me through MIke Glyer.

It’s a policy point on my end, not personal (though with how they’ve treated me, that’s changed, which is why I told their con chair Christopher Castro I required an apology from them). I want things to change in conventions and fandom so that we can all have fun together. I even tried to have fun with Mike as per above, even after all of the hate he had directed my way.

Mike, in your dishonest and sloppy reporting, did you ever stop to consider how this makes it very difficult for me to ever attend local conventions in the future? You’ve stirred people up to a point where it would be physically dangerous to do so. Maybe report on the death threats that a long time BayCon guest delivered to me on election night instead of this. I mean, there’s nothing political there going on at all, is there? It’s disgraceful and wrong to post things like you have without doing at least a little diligence.

This isn’t just a Baycon problem. It’s across the scene and that’s why I made a very important global call for change in my original post on this matter. Look at another convention, FogCon, and their programming: http://db.fogcon.org/schedule . This is another group that advertises science fiction, but are instead devoted to hyper-negative political whining. Their panels, much smaller than Baycon are about 20-30% political and unfun. Mike, do you think anyone like me would ever get an invite to this convention either? Probably just a “rotating guests” situation, huh?

“How Did You Survive The Election”

“Living Between”  (description below, the irony of anti-US culture for a convention that celebrates US culture isn’t lost on me)

Western culture — or at least USian culture — is pretty decent at coming up with labels and categories. Up/down, Black/white, Queer/straight, Urban/wild — we can probably come up with binaries indefinitely. But neither science nor psyche support binaries as accurate, or even necessarily useful, models. Where do we find models or communities that support non-binary options? Where have those of us who are particularly non-binary found models or communities of support? Where and how are our lives reflected in the world around us? How can we strengthen those places?

“When It’s Friends who are Hurting You” (Description Below) 

If you expect someone to be hateful, you can usually handle them one way or another; but how do we cope when it’s the people we care about who are hurting us? Language about micro-aggressions and unacknowledged privilege is available, but how do you have these conversations with the people you’re closest to?

Yikes. This is an epidemic. It’s not fun, and it’s killing our genre as people don’t want to have to deal with this when they’re trying to have fun. Now this group hasn’t done anything negative to me as Baycon has, but the same rooted problem of an intense political agenda that ensures that anyone who disagrees is not welcome. This is exactly why the Hugos had problems over the last years and needed someone brave to stand up, as that award became about political virtue signalling instead of fun science fiction as well.

This all needs to stop. Mike Glyer — be an agent of change instead of an agent of false reporting. And you’re welcome for all the traffic. Message me for my paypal account if you want to compensate me for it.