Still Not Tired Part 2: FREE Novella Giveaway!

Despite a concerted high school-style effort to get people to shun me by the Mean Girls club, I hit 1,500 followers of Twitter today. I like round numbers, so I’m going to celebrate by giving away a free advance copy of my forthcoming novella, Gravity Of The Game!

https://twitter.com/jondelarroz/status/913873451202445312

Leave a comment on Twitter here, and I hope you’ll follow and share with your friends to help spread the word of this very touching sci-fi story. If you love America, love baseball, or just like to see how culture shapes the world around us, this’ll be a great book. Totally PG and a little in it for everyone.

Since I like to hit all platforms, and I really like round numbers, I’ll do a similar giveaway for http://gab.ai/otomo  where if I hit 1500 there

Or facebook if I can hit 1500 friends there.

Or my Grand Rislandian Army facebook group (book discussion and promotion only – politics free!) if it hits 100 members: https://www.facebook.com/groups/519333975122120/

And youtube if I get to 100 subscribers: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrGNYo4n2qT9z52qtevon4Q

I’ve got an instagram…but I’m still trying to figure out how to use it effectively. jdelarroz there 🙂 Gimme a couple weeks on this one!

Whew! A lot of social media, and a lot of chances for a free book. I want to get this in as many hands as possible, because my advance readers think it’ll be a great candidate for the Hugo award for best novella next year!

Thanks everyone for your tremendous support. It’s been super encouraging and great so far. I can’t wait to share all these fun books with you as I get everything edited and polished for you.

Still Not Tired Of Winning

What a month it’s been! September saw about the largest smear campaign ever run against me since I’ve come on the scene as a science fiction writer and journalist. I’d thought it was bad in August when the Dragon Award finalists were announced, and NYT Bestselling Author John Scalzi took to twitter to make chain-tweet rants about me and shake his fist. He got a fellow NYT Bestseller Chuck Wendig to write a passive aggressive article on his blog about me, and we all saw the bizarre Facebook post Wendig wrote about me even though I’d never talked to him before. Then there was the Codex Writers group — whose industry insiders conspired together to remove me from their “pro writers club” despite the fact that I in no way violated their rules, and their moderators actually did violate their rules in nasty personal attacks on me without repercussion. Moreover, they were proud of it. I cancelled my subscription to Locus Magazine because one of these moderators works for them, and I’m not going to support that kind of behavior financially.

This month, my article on discrimination against males in sci-fi publishing made this blog’s traffic go through the roof again. Just doing some work counting up stories and asking questions about a podcast’s “Artemis Rising” event where a professional science fiction outfit openly advertises only accepting stories by women (or those who identify as women, please men, submit and say you’re women! they cannot question you or they’re bigots) made authors from Tor jump on me, and the magazine account itself attack me.

 

Because of that article SFWA’s president engaged in nsulting behavior toward me, of which she pushed it far too far, and then misled her followers by acting like I attacked out of nowhere from responding to her. Her actions escalated to the point where because of her toxic posts about me, it inspired a troll to go over the line and target my family last week. Both Ms. Rambo and SFWA have not disavowed or said a word about this behavior — I can only imagine they endorse and support it in their hate-fueled rage against indie authors who speak out.

Instead, they doubled down, because SJWs always do. Early this week I received a lot of attacks from mid-list authors, SFWA members and the like. There was a concerted effort to go after me, one to push further than before to make sure I’m blackballed or ostracized. People I didn’t know came after me hard. The bully tactics worked to some degree, several large name science fiction friends (ones I’ve bought drinks for, lunch for, know in person and have spoken with on the phone, talk about disloyalty!) defriended me, disavowed me, because they apparently felt threatened by what being “associated” — yes it’s that ridiculous that these people will comb through to see if they have the “wrong” facebook friends — worries them for their careers.

SFWA was leading the charge on this, because they are still incredibly outraged that I did some journalism proving that men had a harder time getting published than women, proves they are not a club for writers. They do nothing for writers. In fact, they hate any writer who dares talk against the narrative. I humbly suggested they change their name from Science Fiction Writers of America — since they’re so opposed to real Americans and the President (look at all their officers’ twitter accounts! Ugly stuff and a bad look) — to a more accurate, true name, Science Fiction Writers of Antifa.

They didn’t like that.

There is no place for disagreement in science fiction, no place for fact-based articles showing where discrimination truly takes place. There is only the narrative, and we’ll make our echo chamber smaller! It’s a religion to them, which is why they get so crazed about heretics.

The final front where I did an expose in journalism was breaking the story on Diversity & Comics, and how radical alt-left comic professionals, big names in the industry, were conspiring to goad him into committing a crime and getting kicked out of conventions, all because they hate his very poignant reviews on comics. A LOT of people came here from that, and hello to my new friends! As you see, since this, my troll activity on the blog has increased considerably. I let them say what they want, and they even criticize me for that lol. Never anything good to say.

Now I titled this about winning, and it looks like it’s just been a huge fight-fest with not much to show for it. Cower Not, Fierce Reader! (Tagline stolen, check out the very good book/game review site it comes from. I read it every day.)

A busy month! And the overwhelming attacks from multiple fronts look dire for your humble leading Hispanic voice in science fiction…

But here’s the honest truth: the industry professionals shrieking, panicking in closed circles are a very small handful of people with seemingly loud voices. But their voices are in a small, shrinking echo chamber as people see what happens over and over, and they tune out.

On the flip side, I get at least 3-4 messages a day, sometimes more, from people thanking me, saying they wish they were this brave, they see the heat I take, and they’re supporting me. These messages come from big industry professionals who I will never out for their safety (you’d be surprised! I’m honored in a few cases to be on some radars), and most importantly: readers.

For every hate post that a SFWA crony makes about me, I get 100 readers on the blog or buying my books because they appreciate what I’m doing. And usually once they’ve read For Steam And Country, they love the books even more because they’re just politics-free good fun, unlike what my enemies are creating.  My reviews are great, and they’re flooding in.

Moreover I’ve made great new allies and friends in the comic review world. There’s Diversity & Comics, Comics Division, Weaponized Nerd Rage, Douglas Ernst and several others. They all want to make comics fun again and they’re not only helping me gain even bigger followings, but are providing some great conversation where we can talk about books critically and honestly and have a good time doing so. It’s great.

I checked in with a lot of my audience yesterday. With the amount of worried gaslighting I get from the professionals, I had to make sure that I’m still connecting there, which is all that matters at the end of the day. The message my readers gave me was clear: keep fighting the good fight, we’ve got your back.

I’ve never seen such loyalty,  never had such a friend base in my life I’ve thought “wow, these are my people and they get me.” I do now. And it’s because I dared speak truth against the establishment. The support is tremendous, and there is nothing to fear.

Super-mega bestselling author of Galaxy’s Edge, Nick Cole, said this about the matter, and he really said it best:

You’re better off without them. Writers don’t need other writers. Especially SJW writers. They need readers.

I’ve been blacklisted and my sales are AWESOME.
No one cares what writers think. Only what they write.

This was the turning point for me. When the attacks happened, it seemed overwhelming, and I did have a moment of doubt, but Nick Cole came through and reset me straight. It gave me the power to work and write yesterday. I’m almost finished with writing this next novel and hopefully will complete it today.

They can’t stop me. They have no power over me. And that’s why they’re so collectively afraid. Now with the success of Alt-Hero in its opening crowdfunding hours, their fear is very legitimate. We are winning more readers every day. After the call for defriending and ignoring me, my follower count has gone up 30%, my blog traffic by 100%, my books are still selling at a steady pace. Literally everything they do only makes us stronger.

I also got a nice fat royalty check from For Steam And Country this week from Superversive Press. Let me tell you, petty little calls to ignore me by SFWA can’t sour the sweet smell of money in my account.

Next week I’ll be launching my baseball in space novella, Gravity Of The Game, which my advance readers already tell me is worthy of Hugo consideration. I’m going to be talking about process in writing that a lot next week — I actually did the direct opposite of what I usually do in my writing, as an exercise. I’ll talk a little about why I love baseball so much too, it’s a much more heady sport than the others.

Thanks everyone for being there. I appreciate your readership and support so much. It keeps me going during this really difficult fight with the blackballers and haters who dominate the industry. But we are winning, and we’re not getting tired in the least.

Busy week! Another Interview!

I’ve been really burning the candle with content this week, gearing up for the release of my new novella, Gravity Of The Game — a short book imagining the game of baseball being brought to the moon.

I appeared on Jeremy Maddux’s Quiet Place podcast to talk about my journalism last week and my big scoop in the comics industry where I exposed industry professionals conspiring against a youtube reviewer they didn’t like. I get into comics, culture and the problems with the overpoliticizing of everything in here. Check it out:

TQP 18: Madness, Milkshakes & Marvel Comics with Jon Del Arroz

Comic Review: X-O Manowar #7

Aric has donned the X-O armor up to the shoulders now, and is regularly wearing it, despite the fact that he spends time talking to the armor and telling it how it is simply a tool (poor good skin!). He’s uncovered in quick fashion that the plot of the general to bring in this monolith to subdue the Burnt had more to the equation, that the emperor made a deal with the aliens, in exchange for an artifact in his palace tower. He leads soldiers into epic battle, but is facing multiple fronts and is forced to choose which is the best course of action for the planet.

Story wise, it may be  the best issue so far. This isn’t a comic that you’re getting a big twist from, it’s not set up like a mystery reveal, but it’s interesting the way Kindt set up world-building reveals in every issue. The plot is simple — very action/adventure pulp, and that’s very fitting for a Conan The Barbarian In Space Armor story. It feels perfect for the character and the book.

It’s both extremely fast paced and yet still manages to be very single-issue contained for storylines. Each issue so far has been an escalating battle. First at a unit level, then into full armies, and now even against space invaders. It makes you wonder if the ante can really keep being upped every issue, but he’s managed to do so through seven issues so far. That’s what’s impressed me really is the fast pace and the single-issue storytelling (even though it does build into a larger arc). It’s very different than most modern comics.

The issue also has a side story, one that’s being told of the day’s events, and you can actually go back through and read the dialogue boxes in this issue by themselves (I did and I recommend doing so) after it’s done for a different perspective of the read. It’s extremely detailed and hard worked on in that regard.

Speaking of extremely detailed, it’s time to talk Clayton Crain, whose digital art graces this issue. I really loved Tomas Giorello’s original run and thought in many ways issues 4-6  with Doug Braithwaite surpassed that. Crain’s style is very much his own, you can see it on any book he touches. It’s extremely intricately painted, and beautiful on that level. I think it fit the scope of the alien invasion well and is beautiful to look at all the details within the panels. I’m a big fan and I thought the issue flowed fine like that. I did see it mentioned that it was a little tough to follow, as it’s so complicated at times with the frazzled, dark space battles it can get hard to read. This is something that happens in Crain books which I’ve seen a bit of. I believe it’s from the overuse of dark saturated colors, and a little brightness and less saturation would fix those issues, but this is his stylistic choice. It’s correct that because of that it’s not perfect, but the design of the aliens, the intricate details of every figure are so beautiful, that it may take a sec to focus and really absorb what’s going on, but it’s incredible work.

Overall, the storyline is getting even more compelling than before, even as of issue #7. It would be fine to jump on with this issue alone, but still better with the first six issues as a backdrop. If there’s one complaint I have, it’s that the wall-to-wall action doesn’t leave a ton of room for character development. There were only a couple of panels of those moments and I’d love to actually get to know some of this cast that gets explained in the opening credits every issue. There’s still not a ton of reason to care about many of them. But there are a limit to pages, and to keep this pace in which i love so much there definitely have to be some sacrifices… just like Aric has to make whenever he goes into battle (thematic!). Conclusion: Aric Rules!

10/10


Letter Cancelling A’s Season Tickets – #StandForTheAnthem

With all of the athletes and entertainers out there signalling their hate for America, for the flag, utterly disrespecting and paying no care to the soldiers or police who protect us, I decided to take action. I don’t just say #DumpTheNFL, but I put my money where my mouth is, even when it’s painful for me to give up something I cherish.

Baseball is a lot harder for me than football, as it’s one of my main passions in life. I’ve written a novella, out next week, which is basically my love letter to baseball and to the Oakland A’s in particular. I’ve been a huge fan since I can remember. It pains me so much to have to take action based on a player’s bad behavior, and an organization condoning it, to ensure that my family stays safe from this toxic identity politics culture in entertainment. My letter which i sent to the ticket office and to A’s team president, Dave Kaval, is below:

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this for a few days, as I love the A’s so much and love baseball. It’s upsetting and painful to have to make a decision that’s best for my family to remove us from a situation where it creates a hostile environment toward us and toward the country as a whole. This is why we will not be renewing season tickets for 2018.

I’ve been a season ticket holder since 2012, premium for the first time this year, and my parents were season ticket holders through my whole childhood. My fondest memory  is being on my dad’s shoulders in the one game of the 1988 world series where the A’s won, celebrating and hoping for a comeback in the series. I hope the A’s will be able to come back to senses similarly so I can share that kind of joy with my kids now.  

Unfortunately, with Bruce Maxwell’s recent actions, the A’s have signaled they’re going to bring baseball into politics. I’ve of course seen all the interviews and coverage, along with the excuses made, but at the end of the day the symbol of disrespect to America, the soldiers, and  the police are there, no matter how it’s framed. Bruce has always been an outspoken political advocate — which I don’t fault him for. If he wants to do that on twitter or in his own actions, that’s his right. Sean Doolittle used to do similarly and I’m sure they’re both fine individuals. However, when I come to a game, it’s my time to relax and have fun, to show my family a good time, and especially to give my kids a dream. Disrespecting the flag and America in that context is harmful to the sport and enjoyment for two major reasons.

First, when the dream is injected with politics, it becomes impossible to enjoy. The magic is gone. We were at fireworks night not thinking about what a beautiful night it was and how good it is to be at a baseball game, but thinking that the A’s catcher is disrespecting America on the field in front of us, and our presence there condones that.

Second, I teach my kids to stand for the anthem, to do the pledge of allegiance. I can’t go to a game where they are looking starry eyed at their heroes who refuse to do as they are taught. Kids are the most important part of baseball, and they don’t need to be subjected to identity politics. It’s toxic, and it will ruin childhoods if they have to worry about the world in that manner. The only recourse I have when they ask questions, would be to explain to them that their heroes are behaving badly, and what does that do to a child’s psyche? I don’t want to inject that kind of nihilistic thoughts about there being no real heroes into their heads. They don’t need to be thinking about identity politics or race at three or five or eight. That is perhaps the most important reason why the A’s have to put a stop to this immediately.  

Again, I love the A’s and I love baseball so much, but I love it for baseball, for the game, and not to have politics injected into everything 100% of the time. Our lives are already so stressful with the frantic pace in which we live these days, and the talk of “raising awareness” is laughable when you can’t escape from it. No one’s being made aware of anything, no one’s talking about whatever it is Bruce wants done, they’re just talking about the flag and the country. If Bruce has a message beyond that, he’s failed at it drastically, as have the other athletes.

It needs to stop. I don’t want Bruce fired , but I can’t in good conscience come to games where it’s going to open with toxic political preaching to me for the reasons above. Please, I implore you put an end to this before it destroys the sport of baseball. I have to choose America first if I’m forced with the choice at every game.

I wish you guys the best. The staff has been so phenomenal this year, down to the ushers. I really appreciate their hard work. I hope to be able to return to an A’s baseball game in the future, and it is with a heavy heart that I have to write this, and not return to the stadium for the coming year.

Sincerely,

Jon Del Arroz

Star Trek: Discovery – It’s About Hating You

We’ve seen how their marketing campaign led, with hailing virtue signalling and making claims that weren’t true to say how ‘diverse’ they were, to being straight forward that the villainous Klingons — who in no way resemble Klingons — were simply Trump supporters in disguise.

With the show getting terrible reviews from people who actually watched (and hailed by critics who aren’t in touch with audience demands), it seems things can’t get worse for the highly-divisive show.

After the release, however, the cast decided to make it more political, by posting selfies “taking a knee” — in a bizarre online “activism” apparently trying to get accolades from instagram fans, and signal that anyone who loves America should not watch the show.

One of the actors doubled down today, according to the Washington Times, by spewing names about Trump supporters who watch the show.

The message is clear to Americans: If you love America, don’t watch this show. They don’t want you. It’s time to tune out and definitely ignore CBS All Access.

 

Update:  An observation on Discovery: The Klingons start out by being “xenophobic” about the Federation, mentioning how even contact with them will destroy the Empire.

Federation immediately goes out in space suit and slaughters a warrior exploring. Then she goes back and tries to fire upon the Klingon ship immediately. So basically… the Klingons were right. The Federation is extremely dangerous and their multiculturalistic borderline religious fanaticism and zealotry towards bringing everyone into a single government probably will destroy the empire and their rich culture.

Maybe I’ll just watch this show after all and cheer for the Klingons who have a right to exist and have their own identities without being harassed by the Federation.

Storyhack #1 Out Today – Featuring A New Short Story By Me

This has been in the works for a long time, and I’m quite excited to see Bryce Beattie’s Storyhack come to fruition. In the storied tradition of great magazines like Cirsova and Astounding Frontiers, Storyhack promotes making science fiction fun again, focusing on both genres: Action and Adventure.

Their first issue features the first Weird West story I’ve written since working for the Doomtown: Reloaded card game in the Deadlands universe. “Taking Control” is about a thief who’s getting a bit too old for the gun-and-run game, and is looking for a better way to make a living. I know my readers will find some magic in the solution to her problems:

https://www.amazon.com/StoryHack-Action-Adventure-Issue-1-ebook/dp/B075TVYBH2/

It also features stories by some fantastic writers who are up and coming in the field. Jay Barnson, Julie Frost and John M. Olsen among them. A phenomenal line up.

If you’re into identity politics and all that: this is a story about an aging female protagonist by a Hispanic author. Wow! Talk about exciting identity. So diverse!

Yes, there’s every reason to buy this magazine no matter who you are :). Check it out!