Friday, January 19, 2018

The Murder of the Sword and Sorcery Genre

Jim Fear makes some excellent points.

Nobody who doesn't really care about your pet issue is going to think it's anything but you preaching, and that isn't what they came to sword & sorcery for. They came here to watch good guys bash bad guys (or at least reasonably okay guys bash bad guys), airship pirates conducting daring raids, wizards of vast and deadly power hurl spells, monstrous creatures eating people, underwater kingdoms threatened by ancient evil, unthinkably valuable artifacts stolen by intrepid thieves, and on and on the list goes of things you could be doing rather than putting people to sleep with your boring message fiction that seems to be trying to take up the majority of fantasy literature these days.

I've said something similar in the past; if your story is more focused on "the message" than "the plot," then you are preaching instead of telling a story.  And the only people who don't mind being preached at are the already converted--to whom preaching is a total waste of time anyway.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Looking forward to Arkhaven!

As a long-time comic book fan--heck, I can remember when the entire X-Men team was made up of five white teenagers and their bald mentor--I'm definitely looking forward to Castalia House's new comic book imprint.  They've got scads of comics raring to go, starting with Quantum Mortis and expanding from there.  Check them out!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Worldcon: Arroz is in good company

Jon Del Arroz discovers there is a historical precedent set by Worldcon to ban people they didn't want speaking.

The Futurians were kicked out of the first Worldcon because organizers feared that they would distribute communist propaganda. The group included a number of luminaries including Asimov and Pohl.
Because  of their fear of not Asimov hurting anyone...but spreading political ideas that they found too dangerous for the times...WorldCon banned Isaac Asimov.
The implication is clear. The elites in science fiction believe I have the potential to be the next Asimov. They want to ensure I’m deplatformed as much as possible because they fear the influence I’ll have politically to change their stodgy, outdated culture, which would change science fiction into something that’s thriving and fun. In the process, they’d lose their control over the kinds of stories that are published.
...that's the kicker, isn't it?  Somehow, it always comes back to the gatekeepers.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Retro-Rocket Review: The Funniest Star Trek Novel Ever

I have been reading aloud to my kids for more nights than I can count.  We started bedtime books when the eldest was nine...and that kid now has a PHD.  We still do bedtime books now, when the youngest is 12.  We have read the Narnia books, and the Tolkien books, back-to-back-to-back, and with the possible exception of some of the Percy Jackson books and two or three of the Myth Inc. books, none of them has had my kids rolling on the floor as much as How Much for Just the Planet.

Think about it.  Federation prospector ship and Klingon battle-cruiser discover a huge deposit of dilithium on a planet, simultaneously.  The Federation crew is forced to abandon ship, sending it on to contact the Enterprise.  However...the ship's computer is malfunctioning, and as the escape pod leaves the ship, the food replicator begins spewing out an unstoppable flood of peppermint milk shake.

It only gets weirder from there.

Then, when both the Enterprise and the Klingon cruiser Fire Blossom arrive to negotiate for the rights to the dilithium, the natives decide to make their point...musically.  The book reads like a Gilbert and Sullivan musical, with the crews of both ships being dragged along on one misadventure after another.

Fun, laid back, refuses to take itself seriously.  


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Worldcon Ejects Arroz

That's right, the World Science Fiction Convention committee has decided to "downgrade" the membership of writer Jon Del Arroz from the "attending" level to the "supporting" level.  This comes across as censorship, since Jon has been critical of the industry, and the fact that he's a Hispanic writer speaks volumes also.

In slightly related news, there will be a new set of awards to be handed out around the same time as this year's Worldcon.

UPDATE:  PJ Media has picked up the story.

"With Worldcon's statements about 'intent' to violate their rules, and failure to specify rules, this is a clear targeting over my politics because I'm a vocal Christian and Hispanic Trump supporter," says Del Arroz. "The left claims I should be banned for controversial political opinions, but the only opinion I espouse on a regular basis is that artists should not be blackballed for their politics. That shouldn't be a controversial topic. It is imperative that artists be free from fear of retaliation of their industry in order that they might create great works of art. This is the ultimate free speech issue."

Friday, October 13, 2017

Messing with Mythology

My latest article on is now live.  It's sort of a guided tour; it starts out at Star Trek, meanders through the suburbs of mythology, takes a sharp turn into the ghetto of comic books, and finally ends at the bright shiny new high-rise that is Alt-Hero.

Check it out.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Friday the 13th

Yes, it's Friday the Thirteenth!  You know what that means!

No.  Not that.

Or that.

Sheesh, some people...

No, every Friday the Thirteenth, I knock the price on Perchance to Scream down to 99 cents!

Get it while it's hot!