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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Christian-Themed Short Fiction From Superversive Press For Easter!

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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.

 

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He Is Risen

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For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

This is of first importance, and don’t forget it. Jesus fulfilled prophecies, he came here for us, and he resurrected. He defeated death and evil once and for all. We have nothing to fear any longer. Go forth and spread the good news. Happy Easter!

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PRESS RELEASE: A Step Forward For Civil Rights In Fandom

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March 31, 2018

San Jose, CA

For Immediate Release:

Today was a step forward for the cviil rights of conservative-libertarians in SF/F, as Jon Del Arroz attended the Hugo Award Nomination ceremony without harassment from the Worldcon 2018 staff. It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Del Arroz is 1. not disruptive at Worldcon events — or any convention, as his FogCon appearance proved and 2. that the discrimination he faces from them was for reasons other than his being a danger to any guests, as WorldCon staff themselves does not believe him to be an issue at their events.

The Worldcon Staff was uninviting — a nearly all white group — not seeming to want to have a prominent Hispanic author in their presence. It is something we will have to overcome in fandom together in time.

Hopefully this leads to them reviewing their shameful action on January 4th of this year, in their unprecedented banning and defamation of a popular author in SF/F, and they will apologize in due course. The amount of bullying Del Arroz has suffered because of them and the hate website File 770 has been horrendous, but nevertheless, he persisted.

“Fresh off the heels of my successful new space opera, The Stars Entwined, I am eager to attend more conventions and enjoy science fiction together,” Del Arroz said.

Jon Del Arroz is the Leading Hispanic voice in science fiction, a cvil rights activist, a multi-award nominated author and journalist. His steampunk novel, For Steam And Country, is a #2 Amazon Bestseller in the steampunk category. His space opera, The Stars Entwined, was just released this last week. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children. 

Read my new book, The Stars Entwined! Great fun, diverse space opera that can appeal to everyone.
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Hugo Awards Finalists Announcement – Tomorrow

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I will be attending the Hugo Awards Finalists Announcement tomorrow in my capacity as a science fiction writer and journalist. Happy to sign books for any who attend.

The announcement will be at the 7 Stars Bar & Grill, located at 398 S. Bascom Ave, San Jose, California at 12:00 PM Pacific Time.  Hope to see you there!

Worldcon has asked me not to livestream the event as the nominees won’t be listed on their official channel until 1 PM, and of course I will abide by their reasonable wishes — though I will probably give a before and after action report on my Periscope.

In the meantime, while you’re waiting, check out The Stars Entwined, my new space opera that has everyone comparing it to Babylon 5!

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Retro Review: A Circus Of Hells by Poul Anderson

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A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Ensign Flandry, the first of the character of Dominic Flandry, and I was so impressed with the space opera that I found myself eagerly awaiting the second book. Been actually rereleased these books as 3-book omnibuses in a seven volume set a few years back, so I was able to pick up the entire series relatively inexpensively.

A Circus of Hells takes a drastically different tone than Ensign Flandry. Where Anderson set up the Imperium and the human structure against this giant Merisan structure as an epic in the first, this is much more localized. It also takes much more of a “James Bond In Space” feel. Whereas Ensign Flandry surprised me when he was suave with the ladies, in this one he is unabashedly out to get some action.

It starts out where he’s assigned on a backwater planet, and he gets pulled into some mob scheme to investigate the planet Wayland, completely off the radar to see if there’s mining potential for profit. A woman, Djana, is assigned with him. She’s a hooker, but a very noble one with a passion for Jesus. It’s an odd character, but she works.

They go together, get shot down on the planet which they find is infested by robots. It takes a 180 as they go and get captured by Mersians on another planet where there is intelligent life that some only awaken during certain climates of the year–a very interesting concept. Anderson likes to explore the hot/cold environmental aspects of what makes civilization tick, like he did in Fire Time, and that theme is developing here.

I gloss over Wayland because though he presents and interesting planet there, he drops the thread for the Mersian plot. I found the development of the new world after Wayland a little boring for awhile, it takes a bit to get jump started as if it’s a completely separate story. However once Flandry forms his escape plan, it starts to get interesting again.

The ending is really interesting, if unfulfilling. Djana gets left in the cold to some degree, and we see a flaw in Flandry’s character, which he blames on the job, but it’s a little more than that. It made me lose my liking for Flandry a bit, but, if he’s going to be a James Bond, he can’t be tied down.

Overall, I liked it, but enjoyed it a lot less than Ensign Flandry.  It’s a solid book, and it’s actually standalone so if it sounds more interesting to you, you can actually start here without any trouble. There’s no much reference to the first book beyond in passing.

It’s also very short. So it’s a quick read, despite the slowed pace when it shifts gears in the middle.

8/10

If you like Poul Anderson’s space opera, or my thoughts on it, you’ll probably like The Stars Entwined. It’s got a spy with a bit better of a moral compass when it comes to women. Check it out here.

 

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I Watched The Premiere of Roseanne, And Here’s What I Thought

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In this image released by ABC, Roseanne Barr, left, and John Goodman appear in a scene from the reboot of “Roseanne,” premiering on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST. (Adam Rose/ABC via AP)

Usually I stick to geek culture topics on the blog, as that’s what my readers through views have told me they care about, but, nothing in the last 24 hours has quite captured the general entertainment news media like Roseanne.

The relaunch of the show garnered a 5.2 share of the 18-49 demographic, which Deadline reports Hollywood as “soul-searching” because of it. Talk about melodramatic. And of course, when they dig into the demographics, they see that, much like the election in 2016, audiences from “flyover states” tuned in en masse where they had tuned out before.

To me, it’s very simple. Normal people want a quality of their entertainment that isn’t dark and nihilistic. It’s why movies are down, it’s why most TV is down despite elites rumbling about quality being higher than ever before. Look at comedy the last few years. Because of the social justice police, they’ve moved everything to “dark” comedies, where there’s really no laughter. Gone are the days where The Office or Arrested Development could mock whatever they want, because the outrage brigade would come down on them like they do any other piece of culture and try to not only destroy the show, but destroy the lives of those making the show.

Roseanne, for better or worse, is part of that generation of 90s “I don’t give a f***” attitude where it comes across in the show. And this opening episode for the relaunch let us know that from the first several minutes. We were presented with awkward fat/old people sex, political topics were hit, hot button social topics were addressed, all without a care in the world or reverence for anything.

We see Rosanne in a typical sitcom make up. She lives in this house with Dan, and her daughters, despite being 40-50 themselves, still live there, complete with grandchildren.  It’s ridiculous, there’s a laugh track, it’s not intelligent humor, it’s just set up and joke. And the pace of the jokes through the first episode are frantic. There is never a moment you’re left without laughing.

The main conflict is in that there’s her sister Jackie who has become one of those pussy hat wearing crazies, and so she’s dead to Roseanne. Rossanne’s even made a shrine to her sister and wrote an obituary. While over the top, it makes us laugh because we all have seen the divide over politics in our own extended families. Where Roseanne differentiates from other shows, is they don’t just knock the right/conservatives/Christians — she mocks everyone. The Hillary supporter takes it a little harder than the Trump supporter, but not by a lot. The show highlights the ridiculous attitudes of both sides–and therefore, even in it’s “I don’t give a f***” attitude, it kind of feels safe for everyone to watch. They’re clear they don’t care who they’re offending, and in that, the show is therefore completely non-offensive.

It’s not a show for conservative values. As I mentioned, there’s sex jokes, there’s a surrogate mother storyline where they very poignantly say “she can do whatever she wants with her own body” and everyone–including the Trump supporters–agree. One of the grandchildren decides to dress like a girl (who they claim is 9 and making these decisions… which is a bit unrealistic without pushing from parents in that direction), and the conclusion is “well we’re family so we’ve got your back.”  That won’t sit well with a few folk, but that message to be honest is a good one (gotta love your kids no matter what!), even if the parenting aspect is missing. It makes sense with the characters that the parenting aspect is missing, however, because the group is dysfunctional.

What I found is that over the hour-long premier, I got a little bored of it during the 2nd half. I think sitcoms shouldn’t really be that long, especially ones set up like this where it’s all in one location in the house.  But overall, I was amused and laughed a lot. It’s not brilliant, but it is entertaining and didn’t piss me off as I didn’t feel like I was being lectured to to be politically correct. It wasn’t dark. No one was really presented as villainous as a class or group, and you know, it just went for light-hearted fun.

We need more of this, and I hope it is a shock to the Hollywood system. Nihilism is indeed pointless and dreary, and as Roseanne said in her prayer in the episode, “Thank you God for making America great again!” It’s a big step in the right direction for culture, and I’ll continue to watch and support this even if it’s not perfect, but because it’s not treating me like I’m a child to be lectured to.

If you like my thoughts on Roseanne, you’ll probably like my produced culture which I think is the next level better. Support people who don’t hate you making new art, like my new book, The Stars Entwined. Check it out.  

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Why Disney Can’t Make A Good Star Wars Film To Save Their Soul

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Disney just can’t do Star Wars. They don’t understand it. And there’s a big reason why—they’re a soulless monolithic corporation trying to recapture nostalgia in a property that is really about intense spirituality. You can’t create spirituality if you have none.

Star Wars really fell off my radar after The Last Jedi, which I found not only to be a bad movie, but an insult to everything that Star Wars was. On the spirituality front, the whole message was a slap in the face to the religious, the spiritual. No matter what you do, evil will rise anyway, it’s pointless. You will fail. Nothing you do matters. Nihilism.  Those were everything we got not just from the movie universe all around, but from Luke Skywalker, who as a character in prior films, was all about being wide-eyed and child-like in his thirst for enlightenment and the spiritual. It’s a big 180 to the point where it doesn’t’ make sense from a character perspective, and that’s a big reason why the film comes across as such garbage. I know they technically explain it in the interactions with Kylo Ren in the past, but it’s thin, and Luke’s not shown as being very heroic in the past example either—he pretty much lies about the encounter. It’s all very messy, and anti-spiritual.

And the problem is you have an entire Hollywood who doesn’t understand spirituality. Nor do they understand religion. They act like the imperial officers who mock Lord Vader in the first film, calling it superstition, a hokey religion, etc. Vader just responds through action. Look at the power of faith. He says by choking them with nothing other than the force.

While Disney doesn’t understand faith from a business-side, the directors and their nihilism come at it from an even worse vantage, as mentioned before. The combination is a complete train wreck when it’s dealing with mythology. The Force Awakens sucked the soul out of the series, and The Last Jedi took that soul out back and beat it in an alley and left it for dead.  It’s frankly a worse mishandling of the properties than the prequels ever were.

But that perspective doesn’t understand Star Wars at all.

What brought this to my attention was a tweet by author, Scott Lynch, who is a very solid writer, but definitely comes from the dark-fantasy nihilism perspective, one that very much isn’t Star Wars. Someone mentioned “If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine” being an iconic line, but didn’t pay off—a person who doesn’t understand spiritualism. Lynch’s analysis is this (source, twitter):

I think it did, but you have to bear with me for a moment here. When Obi-Wan says this (IMHO), he’s not talking about anything he’s going to do himself. He’s not even talking about becoming a Force ghost and an afterlife tour guide/apologist. He’s talking about Luke, and he’s maneuvering himself quite specifically so that Luke will have a clear view of everything when Obi-Wan lowers his guard, closes his eyes, and gets cut down by Vader. Note the meaningful sideways glance before he gives in.

Let’s dissect this. One, he is talking about becoming a Force ghost, though putting it in accurate humanistic terms like that is missing the point of what he’s really becoming there. He is attaining pure enlightenment, becoming one with the force, or one with God as you will.  His concerns are not about Luke beating up Vader in a human sense. Those things are below enlightenment, below anything Obi-Wan or any Jedi is trying to accomplish. It’s off the mark because it ignores spirituality and religion as important to the movie’s messaging and subtext, which is because those aspects of life are not understood by Mr. Lynch.

It’s very similar to how Rian Johnson approaches these subjects, and it misses the point so far that it creates films that just feel completely wrong in the context of the originals.  Obi-Wan is not concerned about being an afterlife tour guide/apologist, this is true. He is becoming more powerful than ever because he’s removing his temporary earthly shell. If one can’t understand that basic premise of religion, of ascending, of complete transformation and glorification, one can’t understand the soul of what makes stories like the original Star Wars so great and resonate with so many.

The Guardian put out an article today saying there’s red flags on the new Han Solo movie. I could have told you that from the minute one was announced, because though Han plays the skeptic in the film, he deep down understands truth and righteousness, and comes to admit that to himself over the course of the trilogy – through the help of Luke and Leia guiding him and forcing him to reconcile that with himself. It’s a beautiful arc, but a new movie making him devoid of that spirituality is going to only end in disappointment, unless the people producing the film have a very real come to Jesus moment themselves.

If you like my perspective on character and story, you’ll probably like my books. Check out The Stars Entwined, a space opera that has characters who will grip you throughout the story.

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Image Comics CFO’s Thin Defense Of Attacking Christians

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On Sunday, the CFO and one of the original founders of Image Comics, Erik Larsen, posted a tweet mocking Christians. It was duly reported by Bounding Into Comics as something egregious and insensitive to the religious — especially done on Palm Sunday.  Many people on Twitter were offended by the tweet, and Erik Larsen joined in the fray himself to defend his insensitive remarks.

There’s been a curious silence by Image Comics, who is already under fire because one of their creators was trying to harass a veteran by trying to stir up rumors about his discharge (which was an honorable one), going so far as to state she wished that he had died during his tour of duty. It appears there is a problem at the company with an extremist group trying to attack different classes of citizens.

Several comic fans posited — if he had made an image mocking Mohammed during Ramadan, what would the comic companies and media react?

Larsen’s response was rather unkind to those who were offended:

Larsen hasn’t openly attacked Christianity in his comic, but he has placed President Trump in a villainous role in his Savage Dragon comic, creating an outcry among conservatives last year who saw Larsen’s “heroes” attacking the president in a quite literal fashion.

His defense of his actions rings thin to commenters on the matter, who very rightly see this as an anti-Christian middle finger on social media, on top of the toxic politics that’s appearing in his and other Image books. There appears to be a culture problem at the company where they can’t focus on making fun comic content — but they’re constantly signaling what fans they don’t want, and turning readers away because of their extreme views.

Readers also note that prominent conservatives are never allowed to shrug off anything they say as “just a joke”. Why should it be different for left-wing creators who show their intense bigotry through offensive commentary?

Calls to boycott Image Comics are now sprouting up across the internet. We will follow this story and report if real apology comes down from Larsen or the company, or if there will be any change within Image Comics related to these events.

In the meantime, if you want to support content of a creator who doesn’t hate you, read my new novel, The Stars Entwined. It’s getting comparisons to Babylon 5 and classic Star Trek. Join modern readers in building a movement of fun, classic stories again, and check out The Stars Entwined here.

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Space Opera Talk With David V. Stewart

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I went on author David V. Stewart’s youtube this weekend which did really great, over 1000 views.  We delved deep into writing and genre, and I think it was one of the more interesting streams I’ve recorded.

Now we’re about one week into The Stars Entwined‘s launch, which has gone really fantastic. Though I didn’t have as many guest blogs and the like as I did with For Steam And Country, the release was on par with it — and for Steam itself went crazy over the weekend, up to #2 in Steampunk, which is the highest it ever has been. So thank you everyone for checking out my books. Reviews have been stellar (pun intended) on The Stars Entwined also, which is really exciting. This universe really is my baby.

A lot more work ahead both with marketing and books, but the SF Elites out there are fast finding they can’t stop the signal because I produce too good of work for them to shut it down. And my readers are the best!

Here’s our chat if you missed it:

 

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