Friday, November 18, 2016

The Rise of Alt-Tech

My latest LRC article covering Alt-Tech and the migration to it, is now live.  Check out


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Circuits and Slippers

It's all Bruce Bethke's fault.

Bruce ran The Friday Challenge, a weekly writing contest, and this particular one involved retelling a fairy tale as science fiction.  I immediately jumped on Jack and the Beanstalk, because I could see the trip up the stalk as a ride on a space elevator.  And rather than trading a cow for magic beans, my Jack traded an arm--literally--for his ticket up.

Once he's made it to the space station at the top of the stalk, he's going to have to face down the big man himself, and just wait til you see the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs--well, we don't want to pack too many spoilers into one blog post, now, do we...?

So, make sure to catch "The Girl, the Stalk, and Entropy," my take on the classic Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale, in Circuits and Slippers.



Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Tomorrow is the start of the Libertarian Fiction Sale!


New Mailing List

I think I'm being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the "marketing" world...

In preparation for the big libertarian fiction sale (starting tomorrow!), I've added a mailing list; you should see it off to the right.  And as an added bonus, anyone who signs up will receive a free copy of "The Whispering Worms of Wazarel," the poem that closes out my anthology of spooky stories "Perchance to Scream."

To sign up for this shiny new email notifications list, check out the link to the right, or just click HERE.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Obvious Solution...Is Obvious

I have been a science fiction fan since my mother gave me her copy of Dune when I was eight years old.  And I am ashamed of what happened at the Wordcon.

The Hugo awards are very simple.  “The BEST science fiction of the year.”  Not “the best message science fiction.”  Not “the best fiction written by a pre-approved clique of writers.”  And most definitely not “the best fiction but only if it’s nominated by the right people.”

There are two evils of Hugo voting.  The greater evil is “voting without reading,” and the lesser evil is “voting based on stuff besides the merits of the story.”

700 people thought Toni Weisskopf deserved a Hugo nomination.  1200 people thought she deserved the award itself, and well over 2000 people voted for one of three woman to win that particular award.

And then, 2500 zombie voters declared that all of those thousands of votes were null and void.  (Yes, I call them zombies because their tactics remind me of crooked Chicago politics; if the election isn’t going your way, dig up some denizens of the local graveyard to help swing the numbers back the way you want them.)  The same 2500 people locked out five categories in total.

Those 2500 zombies perpetrated both evils in one swoop.  They didn’t bother to read the stories, and then voted--not based on the merits of the work, or even the author of the stories themselves, but on the names of the people who nominated them.

And then they celebrated this fiasco.  They actually cheered for No Award.

Those 2000 people, who voted in good faith, what must they be thinking?  The neutrals are probably leaning Sad Puppy at this point, considering how they were treated.  The Sad Puppies are very likely to morph into Rabid Puppies.

And the Rabids themselves?  They are probably trying to decide what to nominate next year.  Top of their lists so far are J. Jonah Jameson for Best Editor, Baby’s First Star Wars Picture Book for Best Novel, and SJWs Always Lie for Best Related Work.

I am a voracious reader, as is all of my family.  And from here on out, when I go to buy a book, I will be checking the author.  If they celebrated this irrational victory of politics over principle, then my money will go to other writers.

The punchline to this is Three Body Problem, the book that won Best Novel.  Vox Day didn’t get a chance to read it before the deadline, so he didn’t nominate it.  He did rank it at the top of his final ballot, however, and declared that he would have nominated it, had he read it.  It won, solely because Vox did not nominate it.  And like Larry Correia points out, that’s the problem with the Hugos right there.  Three Body Problem didn’t win because the community thought it was the best--it won to supposedly spite the people who would have nominated it but for timing.

Science fiction is a community, and the Hugo voters are drawn from that community.  Pay your $40 and you’re in; no entrance exam, no psych eval, no blood test, just forty bucks and a love of the genre.  You can’t “police” that community, because there’s no wall around it; you can’t police a self-selecting group.

So, from that regard, the furor over this year’s Hugo nominations is horrendously overblown.  Science fiction fans paid their fees and voted.  

“Maybe if the Puppies had only gotten one or two of their works nominated instead of sweeping the ballots, things would have been different!”  Eh, maybe...except, that’s what happened in Sad Puppies 2, so I doubt it.

“Slate voting is EVIL!”  Voting without reading is evil.  Voting based on the name of the nominator is evil.  You can’t stop someone from saying “I like this book, you might like to read it too.”  You can’t stop someone from saying “I like these books, and I will be voting for them come Hugo time.”  Or do you want to install some kind of Hugo campaign law that says “you can only suggest THREE books for Hugo slate, not five or ten or fifteen…?”  So then what’s the difference between suggesting a book or two to read, and suggesting an EVIL SLATE to vote on…?

“But but but...VOX DAY!”  You know, Vox was insulted by “he tried to game the Hugos, and ended up placing sixth.”  That’s what led to Rabid Puppies.  Vox Day makes for an easy and obvious target because...he’s Vox.  If he hadn’t been offended and set up Rabid Puppies--if, say, Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen had run with Sad Puppies 3--the response would have been identical, just aimed at them instead of at Vox.

It’s been said before, but I’ll point it out, yet again.  The “racist” Puppies weren’t racist at all.  Even Vox picked Three Body Problem for Best Novel, which had to be translated from Chinese to become eligible.  The “sexist” Puppies weren’t sexist at all, with multiple women on their ballots.  And “Vox just wanted a Hugo” doesn’t even hold water.  Look at Vox’s final ballot.  In Long Form Editor, with Vox nominated, he’s placed himself fourth, with not one but two women ranked above him.

Like Larry Correia said, it’s about turf.  The furor over the Hugos isn’t about who’s doing the nominating, it’s about who controls the process.

By all accounts, the Nomination Domination Puppy Brigade numbered perhaps 350 voters.  However, over 700 people voted to nominate Toni Weisskopf for Best Long Form Editor.  This is a category that, in years past, has seen people nominated on as few as forty votes.  This year, for some mysterious and unknowable reason, Vox Day’s “slated” 166 votes were just barely enough to sneak him in to the number 5 slot.  When it only takes forty votes to get a nomination, the person who can slate 166 wields an enormous amount of power.  

But, stated another way:  In a world where it takes 166 votes to get a nomination, the guy who can slate 40 is simply powerless.

Do the extrapolation.  The “answer” to the “problem” of the Hugos is right there in that sentence.

In a world where it takes 1000 votes to get a nomination, the guy who can slate 166 is powerless.

There’s your answer.  Not more totalitarian control over the process, not more convoluted and draconian restrictions over who can vote and how much power those voters can wield, and definitely no bloc slate zombie voting tactics.  

No, the real answer is MORE...more slates, more Puppies, more voters.  The only way to take away the massive power of slate voters is to expand the voting pool to all of science fiction fandom.  Bring in more voters, by the hundreds, by the thousands, if at all possible.  “Sad Puppies 4:  The Embiggening” is an excellent start.

Of course, doing that would put the power to award Hugos into the hands of fandom as a whole, rather than The High Church of Science Fiction which has controlled it for the last several years.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Perchance to Scream

Today is the 14th of October.  We are a hair over two weeks from Halloween, one of the spookiest days of the year; and one day past that is the start of Nano, which is an even scarier prospect, but we will save that for another post.

Today is also the day that a brand-new ebook appears on bookshelves, called Perchance to Scream, which contains 13 stories and one poem--which, by some strange and unusual cosmic coincidence, also add up to 14.  Yes, fourteen spooky items, presented for your enjoyment, on the 14th.

It's got a haunted house, bloodsucking feathers, ancient evil entities with unpronounceable names, cybernetically enhanced zombies, mutant human-dragonfly hybrids, and a particularly nasty breed of psychic eel.  Being scared has never been so much fun!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Voice Work: World War I

I am happy to announce that two more of my voiceovers are now available:

World War One and the End of the Bourgeois Century by Ryan McMaken

For a complete list of all of my voice projects to date, check out the last section in my Online Resume, and please check out all of the latest additions to the Mises audio and video library.  And, as always, comments, critiques, and criticisms are definitely welcome.