Last week an anthology dropped from Superversive Press which features a story by me, “Compassion” — which is a prequel story to a novel I’ll be coming out with later this year, Justified: Saga Of The NanoTemplar. The story is a lot of fun and features a STRONG MALE LEAD (finally) so you’ll want to check it out.
Thanks everyone for all your hard work in going out and voting on this. It was a really tough fight on this front, because every book on the list was 100% deserving. It was even harder on one front, because of dozens of votes coming in each day for both For Steam And Country and the already award winning Moira Greyland’s The Last Closet for a really good reason. And for that reason. we need to talk about The Last Closet and just how important of a book it is in this context.
The CLFA exists because the culture in publishing, most specifically in science fiction and fantasy, has become so extreme that if you step off the reservation with any idea outside of extreme leftist ideology, you will have one or two things occur to your entire writing career: 1. you will be completely ignored and shunned 2. they will run a whisper campaign to destroy you. It happens every time, and this is a support network which is incredible. I don’t think I’d be able to keep going without them.
The publishing elite’s hate is that extreme. It’s to the point now where conservatives who are known authors like myself or John Ringo are kicked out of conventions just so the left doesn’t have to even see that other people who make other ideas exist.
Moira Greyland has been fighting this battle as a vocal Christian and conservative for a long time. She is truly one of the pioneering heroes who fought the good fight before there was a network, before there was anyone there to support and say “you’re doing the right thing.” Moreover, she stepped up in the context of extreme abuse.
Her parents sexually abused her as a child, and within this very science fiction community that has perpetuated since then. And because of the identity politics being so extreme, instead of nurturing her and caring for Moira as a victim, they instead shun her and talk badly about her. Why? because Moira’s mother is an idol for the identarians, as a feminist and homosexual.
That’s all that matters to them. Your identity. If you have one wrong aspect to your identity, as I do as a Hispanic conservative, you become vilified like none other. Moira has experienced this over the course of her life, as she once was very involved in the science fiction convention scene as a wonderful harpist and singer (check out her music), and since revealing the true, ugly facts of the abuse she endured, doesn’t receive the convention invites she used to.
Her book details everything that happened, just how ugly this culture is, and the extreme lengths the gatekeepers of this field will go to to hide the perversion and extreme pedophilia going on within their ranks. Early this year proved more evidence that the community is not willing to accept it has a problem, as I was banned from the Science Fiction Writers Of America under the guise of reasoning that I questioned why their president wouldn’t condemn this known pedophilia. Their president hates me for being of the “wrong” politics, and has turned the organization into one that doesn’t care about professional qualifications, and only cares about clique politics and personal squabbles. It’s shattered the organization and made it a joke.
But the CLFA has been a place where, from day one, authors can talk about different ideas, they can have camaraderie with one another. It’s the one breath of fresh air in this science fiction community, with so many supportive people. Moira is one of those people, quietly cheering on authors, being there for people, praying for us. She is a true champion and a true winner. What she endured, and how she’s come out of it and been able to live her life because of the strength she’s received from the love of Jesus Christ makes her an inspiration to everyone.
Today, pick up The Last Closet and see for yourself. It will shock you just how bad it really is. Moira’s story is why we have to fight for culture to bring it back to sanity. She deserves your love today.
First off, for the 220+ people who have voted for For Steam And Country already, thank you so much! Super humbled, and energized to work hard to get you books 2-3 out this summer, and the James Gentry novella “Knight Training” which will be available to patreon subscribers tomorrow.
But there’s just a few hours left to vote! It’s very close. Every book on this list is frankly wonderful, and well deserving. I’ve read almost all of them personally, and the ones I Haven’t I’m intending on reading before this year is through. The authors are top notch too, so I’m extremely honored that we’ve gotten this far.
Is the link, it closes tonight. This would be another huge milestone for For Steam And Country and for me as an author, and would be a great signal boost for the series as always.
And if you haven’t checked out the book yet, what are you waiting for? It’s on Amazon and even on Audible as an audiobook with a killer reading done by voice actress Katie Wright. Thanks again and we’ll check back tomorrow to see who won.
Happy to announce the James Gentry novella is complete, which was written at the request of several fans asking for a story where James is more developed and in the lead. This is entirely from his perspective, and will act as a bridge between books 1 and 2 of The Adventures Of Baron Von Monocle. It’s a buddy-knight story of male bonding and camaraderie amidst a war–and potentially a traitor!
The story will be available first to Patreon supporters which will function as my May short story. You can sign up here and get this and other great short stories from me every month for a mere $3: http://www.patreon.com/jondelarroz . Patreon helps me to produce content and keep the blog running as well as all the other creative projects I do, so I really appreciate anyone kicking in. Even at just $1/month it’s a nice help. Please subscribe today!
Otherwise, the story will be available on Amazon sometime this summer. Probably only on e-book for now. The second full Von Monocle book, The Blood Of Giants, will also be available this summer.
We love highlighting authors who are fighting the good fight over here, and Bokerah is one of those authors who does great works. She just released a clean reads middle-grade targeted novel, and we should support her efforts. If you have middle grade or young reader types, think of going this direction before something like Harry Potter.
Bokerah is a wonderful writer, having contributed a story to the Mars anthology I edited.
Twelve-year-old Imani Chausiku should be celebrating the most important day of her life by eating merfruit, casting flying spells, and laughing with her mother. There’s just one massive problem.
Her mother has been kidnapped by a giant troll, and now Imani is lost in the Fae Realm with no way back home to Virginia. Completing her rite-of-passage alone is inadvisable, but if Imani doesn’t want to lose the only family she’s ever had, she may have no choice.
Trans-portal train travel, underwater cities, submarines, sea dragons, and unexpected family all combine in Imani Earns Her Cape.
Buy Imani Earns Her Cape here.
I discovered The Continent because of a fake news Washington Post article, which accused author Keira Drake of using “racial slurs” in her fantasy book, which actually had completely unique and imaginary peoples within the book. The Post, of course, took the most salacious of bully posts from Goodreads, where Drake was the latest in a string of authors to get harassed and bullied, before her book even hit the stands. All the outrage mob wants to do is destroy careers and get outraged over anything, and that’s what the fake new WaPo failed to report, which is not surprising.
Drake made a big mistake in agreeing with the bullies, apologizing for her “representation” and went back to her publisher with the already printed book to actually do a full rewrite on it. She thought she could take the complaints as ingenious, and make peace with the mob. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen time and time again, she was wrong.
After the article, I monitored what was going on with the release of the book over the last several weeks, and saw that she quickly learned a painful lesson: never apologize, never give an inch to these outrage bully mobs on the internet. They aren’t there out of some genuine concern, they want to destroy you and any other author they can sink their teeth into. When they smell blood, they’ll keep going for the kill.
The book was hit with several fake one-star reviews on Amazon, calling Drake a racist, etc., saying her revisions were “not enough”. I’d already pre-ordered the book in solidarity with her, but with this, I moved the book up to the top of my very extensive to-read pile to see what the fuss was about, and if it was a solid book I could recommend to my readership, as we try to support bullied authors around these parts.
The Continent is the story of Vaela, an aristocratic girl in a fantasy society that seems to be modern-ish. They don’t use computers, so I would date them as 1940s or so if this correlated to the real world. They do have “heliplanes” to tour the continent, of which they visit but never set down upon. The Spire, the mainland, has abandoned war, and won’t have anything to do with anyone who is involved in war. They’ve achieved peace between four nations, and it’s somewhat of a Utopia.
Vaela gets chosen to go to the continent with her connected family for a tour, and, as the blurb states, crash lands on the continent. There she meets two peoples—the Xoe and the Aven’ai. The Xoe we don’t see much of other than the fact that they’re quick to violence and slaughter, but the Aven’ai are a pretty well-rounded people, with a very in depth culture.
The story progresses as Vaela gives up hope of a rescue, and starts to live among the Aven’ai, and the threat of a looming war with the Xoe grows ever the nearer, until the Aven’ai are faced with certain doom. I’ll try to keep that the limit of my spoilers for now, but it’s pretty obvious from the blurb that the plot would go similar.
What’s the REEEEEE About?
The fake news WaPo says in the original version the groups were very clearly drawn from an Indian tribe and a Japanese feudal society. I guess that’s offensive to internet outrage people. But again – these are not real. It’s absolutely idiotic to go crazy over that. Especially when the Aven’ai Japanese-ish people are very cool. From my understanding, some of the descriptions changed but their culture was not shown to be negative at all. Less advanced, certainly, but that’s what happens when you don’t have technology, you ARE less advanced. There’s nothing wrong with presenting that, and it has nothing to do with race.
In this revised version, I saw plenty of spots where Drake obviously inserted things like “that doesn’t make your culture any less valid!” after a character said something that was perhaps insensitive, but entirely realistic. These points detract from the book, to be honest, and to have honest characters would have been a bit more refreshing..
Drake also went out of her way to describe several of the more civilized peoples as “dark skinned” to try to appease these folks. At the end of the day, this book was completely innocuous and had nothing for anyone to complain about, even if these moments were obvious, there weren’t all that many of them.
Was There A Message?
If there was any message in this book, it certainly wasn’t some racist, xenophobic, cultural appropriating nonsense that the outrage mob likes to shout. It was a couple of simple things:
- Do what’s right even if it’s out of your comfort zone and against the grain of what the elites in your society tell you to do.
- Expand your horizons by trying to see other people’s viewpoints.
There’s some unintended thoughts in there that might have to do with positively portraying interventionist policies, but I don’t think it was intended. Reading into things to try to force a 21st century immediate politics narrative is destructive, and you have to reach to come to that conclusion with this book in my opinion. Her points above are the most explicit, and they’re very innocuous messages.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I actually messaged Drake about a third of the way in to offer my condolences to her and to give my feedback that the pace was very slow – and for the first third, it is. She spent too much time setting up the trip to the continent, which the real book and action only start once Vaela’s there.
That said, once it does get there, the book’s nearly impossible to put down. There isn’t a ton of action up front, but the looming sense of dread keeps you invested, and Vaela’s growth and transition from spoiled aristocrat, to someone who can manage her own house and work was very excellently done. We saw her hard work and change, and those domestic scenes were some of the best I’ve seen. I was especially glad that she wasn’t just some magical warrior girl able to fend off the Xoe singlehandedly, as it would have been very tempting to do in this situation. She is presented very realistically, can’t stomach war at all, and it’s really great to see her in that context and grow. The character work on her was just brilliant.
Noro was also a great character, the main Aeven’ai warrior lead. He’s basically a ninja assassin, and we don’t see him do his work on screen because it’s Vaela’s perspective, but he’s a hard working man that young men can look up to. I appreciate that in a lead. He is full of honor and loyalty, also very well developed.
The world is wonderful too. Very detailed. Vivid descriptions. The setting and conflict stakes are very well defined. It’s one of the better YA Fantasy worlds I’ve seen so far. The countries in the spire being named “North, South, East, West” might be a little lazy, but that doesn’t bother me at all, and everything else was very well detailed. The Xoe and Aven’ai are the center of what matters, and very well imagined.
Overall, the story went very well. There’s a couple points where I think Vaela’s solutions are kind of dumb and naïve – but I am fine with that, as she’s a 16 year old girl. Her solutions -should- be dumb and naïve from that perspective. It’s fitting with the character which makes for excellent storytelling.
The main conflict isn’t completely resolved, and I look forward to a sequel, which I will certainly be reading. After the opening, this is about as good as it gets for YA Fantasy.
My publisher, Superversive Press, has a couple of Christian-themed books out for Easter. These are top notch writers who I wholly endorse, written by very good men. If you want to read some quality fiction and keep your focus on Christ this weekend, here’s your spot. This is what’s out:
Lou Antonelli is a fellow Dragon Award nominee last year, and also contributed a story to my Mars anthology. He is one of my favorite short fiction writers out there in the field today, and his collection, In The Shadow Of The Cross, released this week:
Over a 15 year career devoted primarily to short science fiction, Lou Antonelli was unusual in that he accurately depicted the role of religion in people’s lives. In a nation and era when religion in general – and Christianity in particular – is being oppressed by the opinion leaders of America, Antonelli – who is a life-long journalist – depicted religion as it should be if political correctness in the science fiction field didn’t suppress it.
This collection gathers up stories Antonelli wrote over the years where Christianity plays a role. They range from down home and next door to far flung and in outer space. They remind us that despite the best efforts of a Godless material world, Christianity is a sturdy creed that remains a vital part of many people’s lives.
Next up is a debut author Frank B. Luke. I had the privilege of receiving an advance copy of Lou’s Bar And Grill: Seven Deadly Tales, and he tells some thrilling tales. These are focused around the 7 deadly sins, so it’s a little darker, but Frank keeps good Christian morality throughout.
This bar has no regulars. But it’s not a regular bar.
Customers drift into Lou’s Bar & Grill with the usual broken hearts and unfulfilled dreams, but Lou knows what they want and how to serve it up for them…for a price. There’s beer on tap for the average customer, but Lou recognizes the special customers, the ones who need just a little bit more.
Sheila sidles up to the table and asks what they want. A burger? Sure. But maybe Brad also craves that hot woman who’s always turned him down. Maybe Laney’s still humiliated by her cheating ex, and she’d gladly rip out his heart.
Moe can grill up that burger, and Lou’s got beer on tap, but once they sign their names at the bottom of the order pad, they might just get the house special. It’s a bargain–a Faustian bargain–and seven customers are about to get everything their hearts desire.
Lou’s Bar & Grill isn’t for the faint of heart. Everything they want is within their grasp, but always remember that when the Devil writes the contract, he’s also in all the details.
Get the book now and ready for this summer when books 2 and 3 will come out — along with a special James Gentry novella. We’re going to have a lot of airship action and it’s going to be a ton of fun. This is the best time to jump on board.
It’s available on Amazon kindle here for only 99 cents. Pick up your copy and tell your friends:
This book’s been coming together over the last year, an anthology I edited with Mars-themed stories. I wanted to incorporate both the God of War and the Red Planet and it came together really nicely with some great stories from fantastic authors. Thank you so much to both Chuck Dixon and Kevin J. Anderson for contributing to this!
I can’t speak highly enough of a lot of these stories. A couple I really want to highlight are Jay Barnson’s “The Martian Princess” and Avily Jerome’s “To Open The Gate.” While I love all the stories in this anthology, I’ve been watching these two grow as writers. They’re going to be major forces in the field with the talent they have and folk should get used to seeing their names out there!
Anyway, pick up the anthology and read the stories for yourself. I hope you enjoy!
Anyone who follows me knows that Chuck Dixon is one of my favorite comic writers. If comics had a Grand Master status, he would definitely have earned it. In fact, I’ll confer him the title Grand Master of Comics right now. But I discovered he also wrote prose fiction early last year, when I saw him post to a Facebook group, promoting the book, Levon’s Trade. I immediately picked up the book and found he’s an extremely competent prose writer as well.
Most of the fare I signal boost on here is fantasy or sci-fi, but Chuck’s series is a straight up action thriller. If you like Bruce Willis movies or Seal Team Six or Brad Thor books, this series will most definitely appeal to you. And with the 5th book of the series releasing this week, you have something cool to binge read as well.
His word is his bond.
A promise made in the past takes Levon Cade from the hills of Alabama to the caliphate of ISIS.
The US Marine turned backwoods vigilante returns to the Iraqi desert on a mission of mercy that will take him to the heart of terror.
It will take all his skills, all his courage and all his will to survive the hell that Mosul has become.
It’s time for Levon’s War.