#FearlessMen: Jason Cordova on being Fearless

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We are very pleased to have a special guest post from Jason Cordova, a bestselling Hispanic major award-nominated author and veteran. He’s also a huge hit in Japan, with his novels having been translated to Japanese. We at JDA Books are proud to support his brand new book, Darkling, as the first in our #FearlessMen series. I’m a big fan of book one in this series, Wraithkin, and am very excited for this to come out today. Let’s see what Jason has to say about being Fearless: 

For some reason there is a small group of individuals who are afraid of the hashtag #FearlessMen. I don’t know why, really. I mean, I wasn’t bothered at all by the trending #FearlessWomen hashtag. What’s there to be afraid of? In the end, it’s all about self-empowerment, which basically means that you’re responsible for empowering yourself up to achieve what you want. And if being applauded for picking yourself up off the ground, brushing the dirt away, gritting your teeth and not giving up causes some to get their knickers in a twist, well then, they’re not fearless at all, are they?

They’re threatened.

Why anybody would feel threatened at anyone else’s success is beyond me. I mean, I will make fun of If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love until the day I die, but do I resent the author? Not even a little. It’s her story, and she can write whatever the hell she wants. Not my desire to be some sort of overbearing gatekeeper who uses a supposed moral authority to judge whether a book or story meets their merit list or not. I want everyone who writes to be successful and make money on their creations. Art is expression, but your kids don’t get fed by kind words and pundits praise.

Anytime the voice of dissent seems to arise nowadays, it is ruthlessly squashed in the name of safe space. For some, the 1st Amendment only applies to those who agree with what they are saying. This is silly, of course, but fear drives people to do silly things. It’s why I watched the #FearlessWomen Twitter… debacle with some trepidation. Why, you ask? Well, because I did not see empowerment. I saw kowtowing. I saw applause for following a trend, and heard nothing but crickets to those women who decided that they wanted to be truly fearless. Women who aren’t afraid to potentially make enemies or hurt some feelings in order to speak their minds.

Paul Laurence Dunbar once wrote a profound poem titled “Sympathy”. (side note: I’ve quoted Dunbar in the past and I love his work. Personally, “We Wear The Mask” speaks to me more so than any other poem I’ve ever read). In the third stanza of the aforementioned poem, there is the following verses:

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings –
I know why the caged bird sings.

      –Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Sympathy”

I know why those who yell into the digital void of social media do so, though they themselves do not. In an era of unprecedented freedom and prosperity, fear drives men and women to seek the comfort and familiarity of some form of being controlled. True freedom, and responsibility, makes us want to keep our head down and quiet lest we make waves. A caged man or woman can protest to their heart’s content because they know that they are in their “safe space”, even if it is a new form of slavery. They enjoy being told when to do stuff, where to, how to, etc. One of the saddest sights I’ve ever seen was when I was walking around a college campus one day and spotted a “free-speech zone”. It was a painted area away from the main campus of the school and students were welcomed to exercise their free speech and protests there, and there only. The area was maybe 100 feet by 100 feet, and protesters were milling about, occasionally shouting chants, mostly texting and updating their social media accounts. That’s not fearlessness, but being herded and controlled. Everything we do these days is tightly controlled and censured, yet more and more people are perfectly okay with this. This is true censorship, ladies and gentlemen. Yet some are perfectly content with this.

#FearlessMen and #FearlessWomen both should step up and put a stop to this. There is no reason that an individual’s rights should be taken. I cannot fathom anybody willing to argue and attack someone over what their political affiliation is when there are much bigger problems going on. In order to be truly fearless, we have to believe in it. And until people are willing to step outside of their comfort crowd and shout it to the skies, there will be nothing but fear and safe spaces.

Make sure to check out Jason’s new book Darkling, military science fiction following an elite armored special ops soldier and his brothers. Wraithkin, the first book in the series, was one of the best military sci-fi novels of 2016. These characters are #FearlessMen, and the heroes we all strive to be.  

 

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Marketing And Mindset: What To Learn From #FearlessMen #FearlessWomen

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When readers discovered my science novella, “Gravity Of The Game” (hint: you can get it for free up top this site by signing up for my mailing list), the commentary. I received the most was “I don’t love baseball, but it’s very clear you do, and I loved this book despite not being interested in the sport.” It was a risky proposition putting out a sports-themed novella to a market who’s used to my swashbuckling steampunk and epic space opera, but it worked anyway. There was a key to it: having fun.

When you’re having fun and you have real joy, that’s attractive. People like to see that kind of thing, and it resonates. A lot of what we’re taught as authors is that writing should be a struggle. It should be torture. We are starving artists and it’s terrible to endure the process, the edits, etc. Well, if that’s what you’re posting, you’re like the person always vague booking about “UGH, NOT AGAIN” or posting all of their medical problems on repeat — it’s not very fun to look at. It won’t grow your following.

I very carefully stay relentlessly positive on social media. It takes some conscious thought, and it helps with the mindset of always promoting, always selling, and always closing, which is what it takes in this business.

#FearlessWomen

Yesterday, Tor announced a year-long initiative to highlight #FearlessWomen in publishing. They presented the strategy as if women are some oppressed minority, that there’s a huge problem in the industry, that it can only be corrected by consciously playing identity politics an ignoring male authors. Again. You’ve probably seen this a lot with Escape Podcast’s “Artemis Rising” which they do a couple times a year — where they refuse to publish anyone but women. Or in the Feminist Frequency book bundle, which highlighted women. Or in the countless anthologies where it’s dedicated toward “strong female leads”. The entire industry has been pushing this narrative for decades, even though the publishing industry is mostly comprised of and mostly publishing women.  Even back to the 90s, Dave Tuesdale of Tangent Online showed that pro markets were about 50/50 between men and women. So what is this?

Tor was trying to rile up angry women for identity politics to sell a few books. There’s just one problem with the strategy — it’s not having fun. It’s seeking problems where there are none. It’s getting people in a hostile mindset. The responses were about as you’d expect:

Pure anger. Why aren’t you looking at this other angry cause? I’m so oppressed. These people are so oppressed. When you start your marketing off from that kind of a mindset, not actually dialed in on sales or making your readers feel good, but on creating problems, you’ll see that more problems are created. I’ll note that the commentary I’ve seen is disproportionately from pro-authors who aren’t going to be buying/reading books anyway.

It’s a horrible start for a marketing initiative that probably took weeks in their marketing department, hammering out the details of who to promote, and then getting indignant outrage about a non-issue in publishing (even NYT bestseller Rachel Caine, when she came to attack a smaller author like myself calling me “nonsense” yesterday, admitted Tor’s catalogue was 60% female 40% male), and receiving more indignant outrage.

It’s mindset. Tor has forgotten to be about “fun books” and gone all in on identity politics for so long, they don’t know how to promote their authors. There’s one female author on their list I’ve probably done a better job of selling her books than they have, simply because I like it. I never lead with “OMG This is a Female Feminist Author Down with the power check out this book.” It never comes up. I just say, “This is a really fun fantasy book, and a lot like mine.” and my readers check it out. See the difference in mindset?

#FearlessMen

Blog readers who didn’t have the context of my social media posts might be wondering why I posted my odd #FearlessMen post yesterday. It looked to be the weird rhetoric of Tor’s marketing department — because it is. I took their exact language, and just changed the words to men. Why?

For fun.  I love co-opting their initiatives as I did with #SpaceOperaWeek last year, when my fans and friends dominated the conversation about space opera, and Tor again fizzled by trying to talk identity politics in a genre that’s about fun epic romps.

I immediately took to fun with the hashtag. The Tor authors got REALLY mad, and it provided for even more fun. I owe most of it to V.E. Schwab, who was incensed that men would dare question this initiative. It’s what gave me the inspiration for #FearlessMen, and I said so.

She didn’t take kindly to that:

I guess #FearlessWomen just fear that there’s men in publishing who can send a tweet supporting male authors. So brave.

But it went on from there. I listed a number of great authors who are male (and David West / Richard Paolinelli I didn’t forget you!). They’re putting out tons of books this year and this summer with no sign of slowing down. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and we’ll continue to highlight them for the fun of it.

My results? I sold a lot of books the last several hours. All by spending five minutes messing around with a hashtag on twitter. It’s still rolling, and it’s still fun. The mindset is everything. What do you choose: high energy fun? or low energy outrage?

Think about it for your marketing and for your life. You only get to dwell on this world once.

If you like high energy fun, read The Stars Entwined. It’s got a little of everything for everyone. #FearlessMen in Sean and Tol. #FearlessWomen in Tamar and Maela. A thrilling epic space opera / military sci-fi awaits. Check it out here.

 

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JDA Books Presents a Year of #FearlessMen

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Men are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Men are here.” Instead, #FearlessMen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Men will thrive here.” Despite the efforts of companies like Tor Books to shut them out of the industry.

Beginning this summer, meet a new generation of #FearlessMen who are shaping new blockbuster worlds—and re-shaping our own. Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors Nick Cole, Robert Kroese, Richard Fox, Jon Del Arroz, Larry Correia, Mark Wandry, as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Yakov Merkin, Jon Mollison, Jason Cordova, John C. Wright, Brian Niemeier, Adam Lane Smith, and G.D. Stark. #FearlessMen will be a celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about men in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.

 

JDA Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will be using the hashtags #FearlessMen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May.  We’ll also be coordinating exclusive giveaways through our authors’ mailing lists.

The Aryshan Empire and Earth are on the brink of war!

The Stars Entwined is the first installment in an epic space opera series by multiple award-nominated science fiction writer, Jon Del Arroz. If you like Old Man’s War by John Scalzi or Rogue World by B.V. Larson, then you’ll love this epic adventure with action, intrigue, and an escalating interstellar war between galactic civilizations.

After several recent attacks along the border of Aryshan space, internal affairs agent Sean Barrows is brought to Palmer Station to ensure the Interplanetary Navy’s on the right track in their terrorism investigations. What he discovers could lead to the biggest war the galaxy has ever seen. Sean’s work leads him to his most dangerous assignment yet—into the heart of Aryshan territory as a spy.

Meanwhile, Aryshan Commander Tamar is being groomed by the Ruling Committee to one day assume leadership of her people. First, she needs to prove herself in warship command. As tensions increase with Earth, Tamar finds herself increasingly isolated as one of the few in opposition to the war. Her troubles deepen when she comes face to face with a new member of her crew, the most intriguing man she’s ever encountered.

Trapped 1300 years in the past, they have one mission: survive.

In the 23rd century, humanity has been hunted to the verge of extinction by an alien race. When an exploratory ship accidentally travels back in time to Viking age Scandinavia, the human race is given a second chance. Pursued by the power-hungry King Harald, the four surviving crew members join a ragtag band of Vikings as they pillage their way across Europe. It will take all their ingenuity, courage and technical know-how just to survive. But survival is only the beginning. To save humanity, they must somehow return to the stars.

Thus begins a decades-long effort to teach the Vikings to build a craft capable of reaching space—a ship that will come to be known as the Iron Dragon.

THE DREAM OF THE IRON DRAGON is the first installment in the IRON DRAGON trilogy. The sequel, THE DAWN OF THE IRON DRAGON, will be published in June 2018. The saga will conclude with THE VOYAGE OF THE IRON DRAGON in December 2018.

THE IRON DRAGON trilogy is being produced as part of the phenomenally successful SAGA OF THE IRON DRAGON Kickstarter, which raised over $10,000. Meticulously researched and packed with action, THE DREAM OF THE IRON DRAGON is a must for sci-fi and alternate history fans.

Dragon Award winner Brian Niemeier’s groundbreaking Soul Cycle reaches its startling conclusion in The Ophian Rising, the highly anticipated sequel to The Secret Kings.

The Zadokim healed the cosmos from the ravages of the Cataclysm, and the survivors made them kings. Now the Ophians, a ruthless insurgent movement, wage a vicious uprising against their immortal rulers’ two hundred year reign.

Xander and Astlin have transformed the desert world of Tharis into the hub of a flourishing trade empire. Their Nesshin subjects spread a new faith promising true freedom in another universe. But when Astlin seeks forbidden knowledge to resurrect her long-dead family, sinister forces exact a terrible price from those she loves.

With the Ophian threat engulfing the spheres and a primeval terror rising from its prison, Astlin must turn to a shiftless gambler, the outlaw squire of a fallen knight, and a mismatched pair of smugglers to escape the ghosts of her past and save all souls from eternal death. But can mortals succeed where even gods have failed?

The Earth is doomed. Humanity has a chance.

In the near future, an alien probe arrives on Earth with a pivotal mission—determine if humanity has what it takes to survive the impending invasion by a merciless armada.

The probe discovers Marc Ibarra, a young inventor, who holds the key to a daring gambit that could save a fraction of Earth’s population. Humanity’s only chance lies with Ibarra’s ability to keep a terrible secret and engineer the planet down the narrow path to survival.

Earth will need a fleet. One with a hidden purpose. One strong enough to fight a battle against annihilation.

The Ember War is the first installment in an epic military sci-fi series. If you like A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo and The Last Starship by Vaughn Heppner, then you’ll love this explosive adventure with constant thrills and high stakes from cover to cover.

 

 

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The Continent By Keira Drake: The Book The Outrage Mob Doesn’t Want You To Read

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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 Book:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

The Verdict:

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.

8/10

Buy The Continent and support Keira Drake here.

 

 

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What You Missed In #MisandryInPublishing Last Week Will Shock You

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Misandry in publishing is very real. It’s a women’s game, as I produced evidence with in science fiction, a genre with a false-perception that it’s the only man-controlled wing of publishing, last year. What happened when I called it out? The president of the lone trade guild in science fiction, SFWA, actively tried to destroy my career and life by going around to different friends and acquaintances to tell them not to associate with me. The whisper campaign she started made me lose my cover artist, and made me scramble as an independent author, and led to the harassment I’ve received by Worldcon 76 and people stalking me in real life. Simply asking a question as to fairness as a man will get you this treatment.

And we saw it again last week. Twitter erupted with this hashtag, something one wouldn’t expect to see, shooting into trending topics. What happened?

An author named David Kearns, someone with no following, with only one out of print published work from more than a decade ago, no real presence, no power in the industry, was submitting a novel to an agent, like any normal Jane-blow author.  Except he wasn’t a Jane, he was a Joe. And this posed a problem. He went on a rant on twitter, which he didn’t thread, so I’ll post up the highlights.

 

A woman, a professional with more power than David, was ranting that men couldn’t write descriptions of women properly. As a class. She was demonstrating her complete bias against the male sex in doing her job, something that interferes with these authors’ civil rights. And David called it out.

Like I said, he didn’t have much of a following, so how did this go viral? It wasn’t men being incensed about how they’re treated by female editors/agents/publishers. It was women in the industry who took this and launched an attack.

Professional agents and editors started swearing about him. They shunned him, they said nasty things about him and men. His mere act of questioning what was going on because an agent was TARGETING men, led to absolute crazy behavior in the industry. A couple highlights:

There are thousands more like this. Even some men joined in the attack.

I engaged a few of the professional agents attacking this poor fellow on here, as I am in all situations, a defender of independent publishers, and these agents similarly lost their collective minds on me. How could anyone defend what Dave was saying? He stepped outside the Narrative, which states women have a harder time getting published than men, and he proved a point without much emotion involved. It’s shocking to see how crazy these women — in actual positions of power in the industry — will go just to not allow some random guy (he didn’t tag any of them) not to have his opinion.

This is what happens in the publishing industry every time. Someone says something that’s factual, isn’t part of the establishment’s creed, and they get torched and destroyed. Every time. Artists and authors don’t feel free to produce the art they want, they’re forced to even produce content that appeases this outrage mob. One woman had to rewrite her book entirely because the mob went crazy on her before her book even came out. It delayed the novel for a year, and is out now–and the mob still isn’t happy, still calling her racist, still trying to destroy her career for merely writing a fantasy novel (I’ll review her book on the blog tomorrow).

It’s absolutely crazy the lengths these folk will go to to defend their false Narratives. No one is safe, but if we all speak out together in the way that they do it to us, we can start to make legitimate opinions and discourse something that can occur in the publishing industry again. We need your help to do it. If they can’t concentrate on a target, they can’t create the bully mob. Everyone must speak out so we can all have a voice, a brave voice like David Kearns.

If you like my free speech, you’ll probably like my novel about heroes who go against the grain in their society to try to make a difference. War is coming, and it’s nonsensical, but very few are even willing to question their superiors Can they make a difference before millions die? Find out in The Stars Entwined.

 

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Robert A. Heinlein Is J.K. Rowling

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…at least to the right-libertarian crowd.

You can’t go through a single conversation about books, science fiction, anything without Heinlein being invoked as if he’s some kind of deity, or as if his future history is somehow prophecy (even though it was kinda poorly strung together later as a retcon to make them all in the same universe).  You see his books talked about in almost the same fashion as SJW millennials do with… yes, Harry Potter.

Yes, the average right-libertarian’s facebook page looks almost like the sign above when it comes to Robert A. Heinlein. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress proves government should get out of our lives! In both cases, I gotta tell people — it’s not real.

While Heinlein’s work tends to have a bit more political philosophy in it than Harry Potter, in both instances they are taken to extremes for “the cause” which just cause onlookers to eye roll because it’s yet another instance of the same thing being repeated. And it glosses over that Heinlein’s obsession with free-sex relationships in later books gets borderline on downright creepy. You don’t usually hear those being championed in these circles.

Whether you’re a Harry Potter’d millennial or a right-libertarian Heinlein obsessee, the solution remains the same: read another book.

Edgar Rice Burroughs and Poul Anderson often present better archetypes for living. As was mentioned on Twitter today, ERB’s Mars/Venus stories amount to a young strapping man exploring and working hard, and he topples evil dictatorships by just his sheer willingness to fight. We don’t have that anymore, and it’s something you can’t really find in protagonists in Heinlein books. Anderson presents positive aspects of military service and loyalty in his Fire Time or Young Flandry series, and gives some awesome Deus Vult In Space action in The High Crusade. But these books never get referenced in terms of policy, debate, or anything else. Why not?

The breadth of reading is what stretches our imaginations and will enable us to come up with better, more creative solutions than the same talking points regurgitated about a couple of authors. Let’s develop some new references so we don’t look like dated millennials.

If you find me amusing or heck are even offended, another book you could check out is my The Stars Entwined, just out a couple of weeks ago to positive reviews. It tackles themes of loyalty, love, war, and what it means to be human. Kinda like a lot of Heinlein books. Check it out here.

 

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The Happy Frogs Hugo Awards Slate Is Creating Waves At File 770

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Like clockwork, the crazies at File 770 went hard on attacking me, Christianity, everything the last couple of days and this morning as they saw the OFFICIAL Happy Frogs Hugos slate.  Being on the Happy Frogs slate is honestly a greater honor than the Hugo Awards themselves, so I know most of the writers are thrilled to be on there.

What’s funny is they really couldn’t say anything about the Happy Frogs slate, because the slate itself is so steeped in the identity politics that they agree with (to be fair, all the other nominees are too), that, much like my extremely highly reviewed books, they can’t knock the content. All they can do is move into tangential attacks.

And bizarrely enough, they moved to attacking both Christianity and me for proclaiming Christianity. It was brazen anti-Christian nastiness on display with this crowd, which ties into Worldcon’s shameful banning of me, as all of this is related.

This entire world for these people is all based on identity. Identity is first, everything else is second. Since I’m “wrong identity” — creating incredible cognitive dissonance for them as not only a Hispanic, but a Trump supporting one– they have to do everything they can to try to invalidate what I say. It invariably twists my words to mean something completely different than what I ever said.

Note Worldcon. When they were called out on the fact that they treated me differently than others on the left, holding me to different standards in violation of my civil rights because of my identity. They were caught in the act and immediately backpedaled based on someone’s finding on social media that said that i would have a camera on me in case someone tried to attack me or frame me for a crime (as Wolrdcon was made aware that there were dangers and refused to reply). It was a peaceful way of handling threats to my safety, but they twisted that without ever talking to me to mean I was planning on running around shoving cameras in people’s faces. It doesn’t make any sense given the context of my statement, and they had to outright lie in order to try to make me look like a villain. They did this because they had my identity: Trump supporter = evil, and then in their minds, they couldn’t grasp that there would be a threat to my physical safety (even though there is), so they had to twist it in order to keep their narrative in their head. After all, in their heads, they’re “punching Nazis”, and are superheroes for banning me. It’s been very ugly since the 2016 election where this group has consistently dehumanized folk.

On File 770 yesterday, it was a similar thing. My slate exists… and somehow my slate is tied into Christianity? I don’t understand what that has to do with a group nominated for science fiction awards, but they kept at it. One commenter even made up a statement claiming I “proclaim how great a Christian I am”, which I can’t find my ever having done. I put up a tweet this morning proclaiming myself a terrible sinner to clarify the record.

But this was invented because my slate got to the folk on this website that much. They care that much about my having a slate, that they don’t even care about the content of it because of identity. To justify the cognitive dissonance, they go directly to spinning into something completely irrelevant to the topic, because they HAVE to hate whatever I say.

Shockingly, Mike Glyer, the purveyor of the site, was the voice of reason. He called out his contributor JJ directly for making bigoted remarks about Christians, as JJ is wont to do. “I’m sorry that you think making people around you miserable is some kind of patriotic duty.” — A pretty savage statement. One wouldn’t expect Mike to go that harsh on this. I’m very impressed that he took a stand for what’s right here.  I wish he’d do so more regularly, as he likes to stir up this kind of abject hate pretty often on the blog. If that’s happening in this instance and annoys you, why not turn the blog into something different? Mike, I challenge you to do so. Stop the echo chamber hate brigade. You can make File 770 better than this (and about science fiction instead of identity politics). It starts here.

But anyway, vote Happy Frogs! It’s so important that this slate of nominees win. Important enough that it’s got the hate brigade on full tilt.

I have a story about someone pushing fighting and war at all costs, and the dangers that it presents when someone goes that far. It’s called The Stars Entwined, and it’s got a better review score than John Scalzi’s hugo nominated Collapsing Empire. Readers love it, and with protagonists who stand up for what’s right in the face of that kind of danger, you’ll probably relate if you’re a fan of this blog. Check it out.  

 

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My New Patreon Short Story Is One Of My Best

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I wrote a fairly long story this month for the short, but it’s one that I’d been developing conceptually for awhile. It’s got a lot of cross-genre elements to it, as I mashed up a lot together. It’s standalone, not in any of my other worlds (though I thought of a sequel story to it this morning… which I might do). I think it turned out really great and it was a ton of fun to write so please check it out.

I give my monthly short stories at a $3/rate, which is inexpensive, and I’m told really good pricing compared to other authors. The funds from this help me supplement my comics, my blog, my broadcasting, as these things are done without any tangible return.  If you want to support just to help the blog out and keep reaching hundreds of people daily, you have my appreciation there as well.

We also have a Patreon-only discord channel where I chat regularly. Lots of cool stuff. Help me grow this venture into a thriving artistic community. Link is below, and so is the opening of this month’s story.

The construct shook, steam protruding from its hybrid mechanical-biological underarms. Its optical sensors flashed red. Its hulking mass loomed at twenty times a normal human avatar. Veins, piping, and electronics protruded from its form.

Kenji had been here before, with his guild mates. Last time they tried this, their party wiped. They couldn’t move fast enough in the three-second warning space before the monstrosity’s ultra attack—Megaquake. This time, they’d be able to fan out to the safe distances between the flurried lines of earth magic. Hiro, guild leader and warrior tank, stood dutifully at the front, pounding away at the enemy, even while the creature drew itself inward in a defensive posture. Uehara, the mage, stood in the proper position away from the monstrosity as to not take much damage from the coming attack. The safe zones were limited, but Kenji managed to find himself close enough to a place where he, as a barbarian melee class, could keep from losing too many hit points, while still staying close enough to counter-assault. Everyone was in position, but where was Ayame?

A brief glance behind him was all it took to see she was in the path of danger. The cleric was near-frozen, in the middle of her special defense-healing spell, Holy Reckoning. And she was right in the path where one of the tendrils of earth would hit her. Dammit, Ayame.

Kenji dashed toward her and pummeled into her. It would interrupt her spell, but so would the Megaquake. Even facing away from the monstrosity, Kenji could feel the ground reverberating. The earth rumbled. Rocks fell from the cavern ceiling. A swarm of boulders was headed for them. Kenji managed to push Ayame out of the way in time to be pelted by serval large rocks to the back of his skull.

Everything went dark.

To be continued on Patreon! 

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CLFA Book Of The Year Award Voting Open

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The CLFA Book of the Year award voting is open, to the public at this. I, of course, implore you my humble readership to vote For Steam And Country, the hottest new steampunk series of 2017 for this exceedingly influential and prestigious award. We’re already off to a hot start in the lead for the voting this morning but there’s a long way to go.

You can vote here:

Time to vote for CLFA Book of the Year 2018!

And it’s only a couple of clicks, no need to sign up or anything like that. It’s frankly such an honor to have this book nominated that I’m already blown away by the tremendous support. So thank you! If you haven’t read the book yet, you can do so here. It’s available ebook, paperback, and audio, and we’re at 98 positive reviews (not one negative!).

 

 

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Civil Rights Aren’t Just For Groups Of People You Like

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The entire concept of civil rights is that they apply to groups of people you might be uncomfortable with over their identity. It’s a civil right because it’s a right that is due every human. “This doesn’t apply to x group” goes against the very essence of what civil rights really are.

In an effort to attack me last night, commenters on the hate website File 770 have shown that they will literally say anything just to take an opposite stance of me. One stated:

“Attending a public event in a bar is not at all related to “cviil” [sic] rights” 

I think Rosa Parks would disagree with you here.

The entire civil rights movement in the 1960s was because blacks were forced into separate restaurants, separate schools, made to sit separately from whites, made to drink from different fountains than whites, etc. A black man couldn’t walk into a white bar without getting harassed and removed, similarly.

Being able to go to a public event at a public bar is very much a civil right, as is attending a conference (i.e. worldcon) that is open to the public. It doesn’t matter if you like the group who wants to attend, in fact, if you like them and there’s no issue for them, there is certainly no civil right at stake there because they are an accepted group.

Civil rights are necessary to uphold for unaccepted groups. The outcasts. The people who you are not comfortable around because of their identity. The whole necessary factor about that is to remove the identity from the equation legally, so that we all can come together as Americans. We all bleed the same red blood, after all.  And that goes for you, File 770 commenter, as well as anyone who identifies as conservative-libertarian. They have the same rights to assemble in places open to the public as you do. Especially in California where our laws are a lot stricter in that regard, in an effort to put a stop to the kind of bigotry displayed from the File 770 commenter above.

My fight is for what’s right, for diversity, and for inclusivity. We’ve seen how conventions act in the past toward conservative-libertarians. They can get kicked out of conventions under false pretenses. They can threaten to frame people for crimes. They can ban conservative-libertarians over associations with other conservative friends. Or they can get pre-banned for being concerned about their own safety. People on the left don’t have to fear this sort of harassment from convention staff and members, which is why the civil rights need to be applied to people on the right.

Conventions need to take extra steps toward the safety of conservatives, and need to tell authors who are in the minority identity “we have your back if someone is going to harass you.” A lot of conservatives have given up conventions all together because they don’t want to have to deal with the harassment, the scorn, and the inhuman treatment from the in crowd, like is on full display at File 770. This is what this is all about. And this is what I will continue to push for until Worldcon does the right and legal thing.

If you appreciate my fight for civil rights, check out my book, The Stars Entwined. It’s about individuals standing up for what’s right in the face of an epic galactic war between civilizations. It’s available here.

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