The Blood Of Giants Release Day!

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I’m so pumped for this book. It is leaps and bounds better than my other work and I’ve been waiting to release this almost all year. Zaira’s finally come into her own. She’s learning to command her airship and crew, and there’s so much development here.

You’re absolutely going to love this book. It’s got cool cultures, strange monsters, awesome airship battles and most importantly, epic character development.

If you haven’t read For Steam And Country yet, it’s on sale for 99 cents so you can get in on the ground floor very inexpensively. Knight Training is at 99 cents also. The Blood Of Giants can be read on its own, however.

It’s available now on Amazon. Pick it up. Read. Review. Tell your friends.

Buy the Blood of Giants here.

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Worldcon Director Advocates Against Civility With Conservatives, Proposes Violence

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It comes as no surprise just to how far the Worldcon board members will go at this point in their abject hatred and harassment of conservatives. Many on the board have been directly responsible with stirring up internet outrage mobs against me, including Mr. Andrew Trembley, whose social media feeds are filled with toxic anti-Trump hate and not much else.

There was a time in the science fiction world where I was friends with Trembley on facebook, only having positive interactions with him and his partner Kevin Roche (Worldcon Chair). That changed in 2016, when Trembley’s rhetoric kept increasing in calling Trump supporters racist, Nazis, bigots, and a whole host of dangerous and false terms that could lead to harm of conervatives–and certainly led to the very public defamation he and the other Worldcon board members harassed me with.

Trembley took personal attack against me when I bravely voiced that I support Trump, standing up against the bully mob. I was met with derision and several “colorful metaphors” as Mr. Spock once put it. Mr. Trembley was quick with the F-word and pushing hate of me just because I was voting differently than him.

But an anonymous fan sent a more recent post of his to me. What the Worldcon board doesn’t realize is that I still have a lot of mutual friends, they just don’t say anything because they know the way we get targeted if we speak out. It’s like a Soviet-style crackdown with these folk and it’s horrific to watch how they treat people who disagree.

Trembley’s comments are here:

The commentary on civility is, timing wise, in clear praise of the event where Sarah Huckabee Sanders was thrown out of a restaurant for her identity, simply a woman trying to get dinner. Trembley applauds this action because he can’t get a win at the ballot box with his extremist ideology. So he posits that everyone has to go more extreme.

Of course, he and the Worldcon board already treated me similarly over identity, so of course it’d be something he’d advocate. The next part is more shocking, where he takes Michell Obama’s call for civility in political discourse, “when they go low, we go high,” and changes it to advocate violence against conservatives.

How far will Worldcon go?

It’s a great question. We have a protest going on outside Worldcon at the San Jose convention center on Saturday, August 18th at 12:30 PM. The protest is twofold:

  1.  Standing against pedophilia in science fiction publishing and fandom
  2. Speaking out against violence against conservatives

Worldcon has issued a statement telling their attendees to hide from the protest, presumably so they don’t hear these messages, and hear how their board is harming conservative authors and voices in the community so this message can’t get out.

We won’t let them intimidate us or stop us even in the face of their violent threats.

I will note that Mr. Trembley’s statement is a clear violation of worldcon’s code of conduct, specifically in the harassment section where harassment defined as “any action that makes them feel unsafe”. It’s clear that no conservatives are safe around Mr. Trembley if he views physical violence as the only response to losing a debate. This being a threat of physical violence is also itself a violation of their code of conduct.

Worldcon must ban Mr. Andrew Trembley immediately, especially with how aggressively they’ve chosen to target conservative authors.

In the meantime, we must use our voices to peacefully protest this awful commentary by Mr. Trembley. Show up on Saturday August 18th. And make sure to back my IndieGoGo, Flying Sparks and support brave authors who stand up against this hate-mob mentality.

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Are Literary Agents Useful Or A Hindrance – By R.D. Meyer

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I meant to post this for friend Friday but after receiving physical threats over my attendance of Worldcon, I ended up busy in the morning making sure the police reports were filed and the like. It’s handled now… so let’s get back to business with a guest post by RD Meyer, author of Salvation Day:

I was speaking last week with an old friend of mine named Kevin. Several years ago,
Kevin was a potentially up-and-coming author who’d secured a literary agent for his
book Paws On The Ground. The book is about his time as an MP working with dogs in
Afghanistan, and the title is a take off of the military phrase “boots on the ground.” It’s a
way to say that you have to be in the thick of things and physically present to have an
impact.

Kevin had gone to a writing conference and an agent was impressed enough to sign
him. That’s when he learned that maybe literary agents aren’t the best route to go if you
want to get your message out to the public…

His first agent(I’ll get to why he was the “first” in a second) kept giving him edits and
corrections to make. Don’t get me wrong – if something can be made better, then I’m
totally open to someone pointing out what that might be. What I’m not open to is
someone who supposedly works for me – and yes, literary agents work for the writer,
not the other way around – insisting that his or her suggestions must be taken. I’m the
writer, and I get to decide what works best for the story.

There was lots of back and forth, and tons of new “suggestions,” but the agent never
tried even once to submit Kevin’s books to publishers for sale. Finally fed up, Kevin
fired the guy and turned to a new agent. This one didn’t offer too much to change, and
he sounded like he was enthusiastic about Kevin’s book. Then…nothing. The guy just
disappeared, as if the Earth had opened up and swallowed him whole. Kevin hasn’t
heard from him in more than two years, and he has basically given up on anything
happening with his work.

Those who know me know of my antipathy towards literary agents. I think, for the most
part, that they’re useless. To start with, they’re supposed to be selling your work and
negotiating a contract, but every one I’ve encountered has no background in business
or intellectual property law. Most, in fact, have MFA or English degree and appear to
simply want to be writers themselves without running the risk of putting their own work
out there. No, they’d rather criticize actual writers behind the scenes and then take
credit for what someone else wrote.

Were I to ever decide to go the traditional route for my work(the offer would have to be
really high for me to give up the freedom of indie publishing), I wouldn’t need another
literary critic. I’ve got beta readers and people I respect for critiques. Since reading
taste is subjective, I have to be the final arbiter of whether or not a suggestion makes
sense. What I need instead of another critic is someone familiar with intellectual
property law. What rights do I retain? When do the rights revert back to me? Is the
publisher insisting on a right-of-first-refusal for my next book? What will the publisher
do from a marketing standpoint and what does that publisher expect me to do? MFAs
and English degrees are great, but they don’t credential someone to determine whether
or not a contract offer is to my advantage. And since the main advantage most of these agents offer is access to a traditional publisher, it’s more in an agent’s interest to get
better terms for the publisher than for me so that the agent can stay in the good graces
of the publisher.

Most agents rely on the naiveté of new authors to yoke them into their corral. This had
its merits…25 years ago. However, in the new age of indie publishing, all it takes is
some initiative and common business sense to get what an agent could. If you want a
traditional contract, then get an intellectual property attorney for your contract. You can
hire your own cover artist, your own editor, and market your book yourself. Sure, it may
not have a big-time publisher’s name attached, but a lot of successful books don’t have
that. Remember that The Martian and Fifty Shades of Grey both started off as indie-
published. It wasn’t a literary agent or traditional publisher that made them successful.
They were successful the same way I Am Legend or The Shining were successful –
they captured lightning in a bottle and caught a break(luck and timing are the biggest
pieces an agent won’t talk about, pretending instead that they can make you the next JK
Rowling rather than acknowledge that most books, even those represented by a
traditional publisher, don’t earn that kind of money).

If you want the comfort of having a literary agent, go ahead, but know that you’re likely
making a mistake. Most agents I’ve encountered think they run things rather than that
they work for their client, just like a lawyer or interior decorator. If you want to retain
your freedom and not worry whether or not someone who has an MFA but has likely
never published in their life approves of you, then eschew the agent route and put stock
in your own abilities. After all, you have some control over those.

Check out Salvation Day by RD Meyer! 

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Worldbuilding: The Greater World Of Rislandia

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I want to call it the “greater world of Areth” or something different because Rislandia ends up being such a small corner of my steampunk world that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to call the world by that… but people know Rislandia by name from my award winning and #1 Bestselling steampunk series, the Adventures of Baron Von Monocle, so I’ll go with that for now.

Minor spoilers for the books ahead.

Book 2 is going to be dropping next week, and my primary focus for this book was to take Zaira and her airship crew off into an actual swashbuckling adventure, now that she’s got her feet wet with a little airship battle action and has a little experience.

For those not paying careful attention, it may seem like I pulled a continent out of left field for The Blood Of Giants and we were just going off on an adventure with no background… but that’s where you’re wrong, kiddo!

You’ll notice that there’s chapter headings in for steam and country which detail out Zaira’s fathers past adventures. They’re used to communicate the feel of the chapters that follow as Zaira is confined within the story to where the plot swept her to.

I wanted to have a much bigger world for grander adventures over time. For Steam And Country was Zaira’s coming of age. The Blood Of Giants is the first time where Zaira really takes the mantle of Baron Von Monocle and makes it her own. So where I didn’t want to bog down the plot with tons of world description, I left little hints — names, places, events, history, in the chapter headings, and in the stories the character Harkerpal told about Zaira’s fathers earlier adventures.

There were a lot of places mentioned in the first book, and eventually I had a map made which you can view here:

As you can see, Rislandia is a smalllll portion of this huge world. It’s in the center there in the southern hemisphere. The yellow on the map with the green wyranth empire just below it. We’ve only experienced a tiny, tiny portion of this epic world. There’s a lot of exploring for Zaira and us to do, and there’s lots of fantastic creatures and cool civilizations out there to explore as well.

Book 2 takes us to Zenwey, the big red continent in the north. It’s got a tropical southern portion followed by a huge desert that’s bigger than Rislandia as a whole, and then some brushlands to the north. This is where we’re going and where the fantastic happens — and Zenwey was mentioned as part of Zaira’s father’s travels in the first book for those who look carefully.

There’s a lot there that I’m building on what came before, and I’m excited to get you the first part of this next week. I try to use every detail I put into the book and make the worldbuilding that much richer and integral to the reader experience.

Now I just need someone to help me put together a wikipedia so all this information can be easily searchable…

If you haven’t checked out my steampunk world yet, now’s the time. The new book comes out next week. For Steam And Country is available in all formats including audio. Knight Training is a nice follow up and standalone if you want to check out my writing — that novella bridges the gap between books 1 and 2 (as there’s a little bit of a time jump involved). Catch up now. The fun’s about to begin in earnest in The Blood of Giants.

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Don’t Talk To Fake News, Talk To Our Media

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For the first time ever we’ve got a movement of culture creators who are overtly conservative, ranging from sci-fi books to comics, it’s all out there and we’re all moving upward with incredible speed. It’s awesome.

But there’s still a lot of folk out there who don’t realize we have friendly media outlets to our side. I just went on 1380 AM this morning on the Phil Cowan show — and even the AM radio is now starting to get in on culture. This has never happened before in history. Most legacy media has always ignored the cultural fight, but we are finally making enough waves and enough noise that it’s starting to matter. And great hosts like Phil understand that culture is the way to change this country long-term.

We are here for you. Whether that’s Phil, me, Megan Fox at PJ Media, Ian Miles Cheong, Bounding Into Comics or others, we have ways to boost the signal and get the message out. They can’t discriminate against us anymore and get silence in return. And it’s a beautiful thing.

By contrast — don’t talk to their media. They hate you. They will twist your words, they will do everything they can do to destroy you. Take Comedy Central’s treatment of Richard Meyer as an example. The normal crowd see that hack-edited job, but they don’t notice that, all they see is that Richard and anyone who associate with him must be evil. That’s exactly why we don’t give them the ammo. By contrast, the friendly host on AM radio has an audience of normal folk who are on our side, who will edify us and lift us up. That’s how we make a real dent long term in the culture.

Support our media, support our creative works, and keep this thing going. We have huge momentum for the first time in decades and it’s only going to get better from here.

If you like my work and all I do, make sure to check out Flying Sparks and support my IndieGoGo for my comic book. It’s already made more than $15,000 and it’s reaching new heights every day. They can’t stop the signal as long as you tune in. The next stretch goal is at $20,000 and is an 8-page short story prequel to the comic which you’ll want as it adds a lot of depth to the world of Flying Sparks! Back it here.

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The Culture War Is More Than Just Comics

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I mention on a lot of ComicsGate livestreams that Sci-Fi publishing is even in worse shape than the comic industry. It’s true, even though that’s hard to believe because comics has gone so crazy.

We’ve been supporting a lot of indie projects but there’s sci-fi stuff we need to make sure gets funded as well.

The first is Cirsova Magazine. This magazine really changed my life — and I mean it. It introduced me to a new flavor of action-packed writing which actually comes from the good ol’ days when science fiction was selling in the millions instead of thousands. It changed the way I write and it could use your support before it closes shortly. Don’t worry about the numbering, these are standalones with short stories in them. If you love comics and want to get more into reading, this is about as close as it gets to having short, digetable stories in comics but in prose writing form. Check it out here. It’s about a thousand from funding and only 4 days to go. It needs you!!!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1161542777/cirsova-vol-1-final-issues-9-and-10

Also up is Bradford Walker’s Star Knight Saga. This is again an old pulp adventure style book but this one’s a novel. It already funded and I believe on the first day.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/star-knight-saga-book-one-reavers-of-the-void-adventure/x/7822803#/

Both have low costs and low buy ins and we need folk like this to make dents in sci-fi just like we’re doing in comics. So please don’t be shy.

I’m now moving my broadcasts to youtube, in the form of The Lunch Stream with my new cohost S. Misanthrope. Please go to youtube and subscribe as you won’t want to miss these broadcasts.

 

 

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Official Statement On The Personal Attacks In Dynamite Entertainment’s Centipede Book

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Last night I discovered that a print book of Atari’s Centipede property referenced me in multiple places by name in an effort to defame and diminish me as a comic creator and a human being. The most egregious of these statements was “Jon Del Arroz is a never was fat piece of shit who blames everyone but himself for his ineptness.”  Bounding Into Comics posted the relevant panels in the comic here. 

What letterer Taylor Esposito was hurtful, wrong, and about the most unprofessional thing I’ve ever seen come out of the industry. This book went out to hundreds of shops, and my name is now circulated in thousands of print books without my permission, and in a demeaning fashion. This sort of thing has no place in fandom, and is especially shocking to be done to a minority creator like myself. It is bullying, pure and simple.

Esposito owes me an apology.

However, I have been in contact with Dynamite Entertainment, who apologized themselves and said they were unaware of the situation and that it slipped past editorial by mistake. They also say it’s been corrected for the trade paperback edition. They also very cordially said they would support my Flying Sparks indiegogo effort as I’m trying to launch my own comic career.

I believe them.

It would have been very easy for Dynamite to ignore me and to let this go, but they in their quick response and quick taking action to remedy this are doing the right thing. The company was hoodwinked by a rogue contractor who has lost the trust of the entire industry by inserting personal animus into a book, and saying the most horrific things about a fellow creator. They understand this, they are doing what they can to make it right even though the hurtful damage has been done.

I do not want my fans and followers to boycott Dynamite or take any action to try to harm them. As I said, the company has been consummate professionals to me and I appreciate their efforts they’re going to to make this right. We do not want to be like our political opponents and go down the line of “an apology is not enough!” That sort of thing is what dehumanizes and hurts people for doing the right thing, and Dynamite is doing the right thing here.

Personally, I am supporting two Dynamite books monthly: Dejah Thoris and Swashbucklers. As you are aware if you read this blog, I always put my money where my mouth is. I will continue to buy these books and thank Dynamite again for their quick action they took in this matter.

If you want to support me, again, don’t hurt this company, but do support Flying Sparks, my IndieGoGo comic. It features art from a long time Dynamite artist, Jethro Morales, who worked on Dejah Thoris and Green Hornet. Despite the mistake in Centipede, this company is an ally.

Thank you everyone.

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