As We Win More Bigly, Our Enemies Get More Desperate

What a couple of weeks its been! First, I want to thank my readership for their tremendous support and faith in Gravity Of The Game. I’ve only received great feedback on how wonderful of a story it is, and most of that is coming from non-baseball fans! Like always, I put a heavy focus on character and I believe that is the key to storytelling that resonates, regardless of the topic.

There’s a couple reviews from professional book reviewers already:

https://hubpages.com/literature/The-Gravity-of-the-Game-a-Book-Review

https://thebookwyrmspeaks.blogspot.com/2017/10/review-of-gravity-of-game-by-jon-del.html

With this kind of consensus, I’m inclined to believe this might be my best work yet. Definitely something to look at for your Hugo ballots in the novella category.

On the other front, the personal attacks have stepped up in a major way. You can see it based on the frequency of the persistent haters who like to comment here, and the level of bitterness coupled with those attacks. I’ve mentioned a few of them here, and some of you who are a bit more connected have seen how the Sci-Fi establishment elite has stepped up the blackballing game to a level that’s unbelievable.

Nevertheless, he persisted.

It hasn’t just been me either. Maybe it’s the time of year. Maybe it’s the preference cascade that the elites are seeing in a shift of the readership’s eyes to indie authors. We’ve seen the launch of Vox Day’s Alt-Hero, one of the most tremendously successful crowdfunds of all time, followed by more outrage, mockery and shrieking than I’ve ever seen. Because someone’s making a comic book. Despite his never making a comic before, the fans and the readers are all over this project. They are starved for content that isn’t combed through and sanitized by sensitivity readers. The few preview pages listed on the project already carry much more emotion and fun than the entire Marvel Comics line.

And then there was Brian Niemeier yesterday, who apparently really gets under NYT Bestseller and former SFWA President John Scalzi’s skin by questioning why Scalzi would make a rant about how he can’t be productive in 2017. Why can’t he be productive, well, Donald Trump! Everything is Trump’s fault after all, including the Colorado Rockies loss last evening in the NL Wildcard Game. How? We’ll think of something later. What’s important is we show outrage about it first!  Scalzi had a rare moment of losing it so much from the response to his blog that he actually linked Brian’s blog. Brian has been incredibly productive with a lot of amazing editing projects and pumping out volumes upon volumes of books on his own.

We’re all working at pulp speed, cranking out book after book, each one becoming more successful as the readership wants their fun, and doesn’t want it censored by a small group of elites with mental disorders. They’ve taken the fun out of fiction for decades, and we’re putting it back in. It’s working, and we’re not only winning, but winning bigly. That’s what’s got them so scared.

There’s some big announcements coming VERY soon, so hold onto your hats, dear readers. The ride is about to take off at speeds you’ve never seen before.

 

Gravity Of The Game Novella – Out Now!

It’s new release Wednesday and I’m pleased to bring you this short book I’ve been working on for awhile. It’s already getting phenomenal reviews from advance readers and it’ll be a great quick read for you as well.

Commissioner Hideki Ichiro is planning a field of dreams on the moon. The World Baseball League’s viewership has declined to some of the most alarming levels in the game’s history. To survive, baseball needs to expand to a new market, and the only place to go is out to the stars. There’s one hitch in the plan: playing baseball is impossible without Earth’s gravity.

Can Hideki navigate new technologies, angry owners, and the drive-by media before time runs out for both baseball and his own career? 

Explore baseball’s future in the heart-warming novella by multi-award nominated science fiction author Jon Del Arroz!

Buy it on Amazon and please share with your friends!

https://www.amazon.com/Gravity-Game-Jon-Del-Arroz-ebook/dp/B0763KN3R7

Why Did I Write A Baseball In Space Novella?

I did a little informal chat on periscope earlier about this, and chatted about my process and where my ideas come from as best as I can. And a reminder, I’ve now got it set up where I’m broadcasting replays of the periscope on YouTube. So if you don’t know how to use the Periscope app, you can watch here. Do subscribe and don’t forget to check out my new novella, Gravity Of The Game, launching soon!

Speaking of which, I have my first review here: http://thebookwyrmspeaks.blogspot.com/2017/10/review-of-gravity-of-game-by-jon-del.html

Thursday Youtube: RPGs and Writing With Jeffro Johnson!

Jeffro Johnson literally wrote the book on RPGs and writing, a critical analysis that changed my life and my perspective on fiction in SF. The book is Appendix N, named after the famed appendix in the original Dungeons & Dragons, showing the influences of its creators in Sci-FI and Fantasy. It’s beautiful, and the genre is so much more fun and richer than I ever knew before reading this. There’s so much history.

He’s also the purveyor of the multi-hugo-nominated Castalia House blog, which is part of my daily reads, and I’ve guest contributed a couple of times.

Youtube is here. Join us at 9 PM PST on Thursday for what should be an epic adventure of a discussion:

 

And don’t forget, my new novella, Gravity Of The Game, is out this week. Look for it on Amazon!

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