Archive for the ‘Books’ category

The Left’s true nature

April 8, 2014

http://www.scifiwright.com/2013/11/saving-science-fiction-from-strong-female-characters-part-4/

Most of the Left’s ops aren’t isolated incidents. They are coordinated, if only loosely.

So what is my objection?

My objection is to falseness, insincerity, propaganda, bad drama, bad art, and treason against the muses. My objection is to using art for propaganda purposes. My objection is to Politically Correct piety. My objection is to the Thought Police.

My objection is to the spirit of totalitarianism.

For about ten years now, I have been writing and posting essays and articles on my electronic journal, and in all that time, I have been subjected to the Leftist mob tactics of mass hatred once and once only. It was the time I mocked the Sci-Fi Channel for kowtowing to Political Correctness. My motive for objecting was perfectly clear to everyone: I would like to write without censorship, formal or informal, based on political considerations. Formal censorship is state enforced; informal is enforced by organized mob-tactics, minority pressure groups, yelling, screaming, boycotts, hysteria and general bullying.

Because I would like to write without informal censorship interfering with my livelihood, I objected to Sci-Fi channel, or anyone in my field, surrendering to the minority pressure groups screaming and yelling and mob-tactics and bullying. So I mocked the Sci-Fi channel for encouraging the bullies by bowing the knee to them.

And in return the mob tried to bully me, of all people. As if I give a tinker’s damn for the opinions of these yowling halfwits. (There was exactly one person of the seven hundred or so who wrote in to me who seemed sincerely offended, and to him I apologized. To remaining six hundred and ninety-nine or so, I offered defiance in public, and in private prayed for their fool souls, hoping despite all appearances they were not damned fools.)

This taught me a lesson, but not the one the mob organizers wanted to teach. It taught me what they were afraid of. Not of me: no one can be afraid of a fat and balding nearsighted science fiction writer with a dull swordcane.

Nor were they offended by calling sodomy a sexual perversion, which I have done frequently before and since, never eliciting a single angry comment in reply, or attracting the slightest notice.

Since my legions of drug-maddened terror troops are all stranded on Salusa Secondus, the third planet of Gamma Piscium, 138 lightyears away, surely the mobsters of Political Correctness are not afraid of any physical force I can bring to bear. Neither am I in a position to deny any man any economic opportunities, nor am I influential enough to provoke public opinion or create any controversy. I doubt I could even do as much myself against them as they have done to me, such as hack a Wikipedia page or send around an open letter and expect it to be published and reprinted.

To explain what they are afraid of, I am afraid I have to explain something of the pathology of Leftism.

It feels satisfying to see the rest or others of the 3% telling it as it actually is, without the limitations of intellectual retardedness or unwillingness to face the true nature of the Left.

Also per chance I liked the books of that author, but I never read his politics or blog posts. My instinct for the sane must be getting refined over time.

Golden Age of Science Fiction nostalgia

April 8, 2014

An introduction to the Golden Age of hard SciFi.

http://www.scifiwright.com/2013/02/the-big-three/

Science Fiction Writers of America

April 7, 2014

What America, that’s the question.

http://www.voxday.blogspot.com/

But for someone that got kicked out of SFWA, it’s an interesting backstory for the author’s books.

With a subtitle of “Purged by the Science Fiction Writers of America”, I have not heard of this author before. Now I have and while the backstory is insufficient to convince me I would like his books, it is a strong and persuasive argument so far.

Given that I’ve reviewed David Brin and John Scalzi’s beliefs concerning American culture and philosophy, it sets up a neat juxtaposition.

Larry Correia Tom Kratman
Sarah Hoyt Brad Torgersen
John C. Wright Lou Antonelli
Jerry Pournelle Michael Flynn
Kerry Nietz Mike Williamson
Andrew Fox SASS

His listing of outstanding SF writers has an amazing match with my own preferred reading. I recognize six names out of the box.

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2014/03/combative-and-confrontational.html

Since I already did the work of searching that post out, might as well read it. It covers a little of the background behind what Scalzi, purge, SFWA, and Vox have to go together. Background data is great for intel assessments and profiles.

Reading reviews about martial arts books

April 2, 2014

Chasing Dreams To China Successor

Chasing Dreams To China Successor

Buy from Amazon

http://benotdefeatedbytherain.blogspot.com/2014/02/chasing-dreams-to-china-successor.html

I haven’t bought the book or read it, but I found it interesting to read what other people who did, what they had to say about it.

As a human that also studies and practices Chinese internal arts, and as a philosopher that has delved deeply into the Democrat slave plantations of Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, etc etc, the setting sounds familiar on several levels.

Words of Radiance: Military Training

March 11, 2014

The novel, Words of Radiance, itself was well constructed, as expected of Sanderson’s peculiar genius abilities. And I use the Japanese sense of the word, tensei, that’s not based upon a mere monkey IQ test. This isn’t a review but a connection. Kaladin, one of the characters in the book, was faced with a challenge in training some soldiers for war. Due to circumstances, there was a severe lack of motivation on the part of people to fight.

http://baen.com/WarTraining-Part5.asp

The specific squad training highlighted in the book is what interests me and this essay by one of the authors I respect, discusses it in a more modern world scenario.

The Army’s record, I know, and the Marines, I’ve been told, is not all that good here. We waste a lot of time. We misdirect a lot of time. Worst of all, we centralize in such a way as to remove from non-coms, especially squad leaders, their historic responsibility to train their own troops. A side effect of that institutionally directed irresponsibility is that the squad leaders are often a lot weaker than they ought to be.

Westerners are not good at love triangles

February 3, 2014

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/02/02/an-interesting-admission-of-error-by-j-k-rowling/

If you want love triangles, try the Japanese material.

The West, and I’m not just pickcing on Rowling or Americans, just don’t know. They don’t know how to do it. They have no effing clue.

Ebook refund policies at Amazon

December 18, 2013

http://www.lindsayburoker.com/amazon-kindle-sales/refunds-for-amazon-ebook-sales-should-you-be-worried/

This is an interesting topic and discussion.

Essentially, it’s a conflict between open source data competition on the net and old traditional values bound up in private book stores and policies.

No matter what their policy is or what they do or don’t let you return, the fact of the matter is that they cannot force consumers to buy anything. In the ancient days, when star authors and genres were rare and only held by a few publishing houses with books totaling economic investment of years, control economic policies make sense. In the context of the internet where your biggest problem is actually increasing your market share and audience, there isn’t as much control or limitations in choices to make readers buy things at certain prices.

So it becomes a matter of free will. If you were on Mars, paying for your oxygen may make a lot of sense, but you don’t have a lot of choices about that. If the price is bad or the service is bad, then you still have to buy oxygen, from someone. But on Earth, do you buy oxygen? No? Why not? Because it is free? Or because the supply is too great to make as high a profit on selling O2? People do sell oxygen, for diving and various other functions, after all.

The issue of intellectual property must be addressed given how the net has invalidated much of the property rights perspective most legal systems use. In a control economy based upon limited supply but huge demand, you can set controls and make higher revenue. But in an economy based on almost limitless supply, and ever increasing demand, the economy isn’t run by authoritarian central controls. You can’t make writers write. You can’t make readers buy. All you can do is to match up those who want to pay the author for X amount, with an author they like.

Since authors aren’t told by book publishing houses how many people burn up, tear off, or return their books, but Amazon does tell them about the return number, this has started causing some mobilization. Given perception becomes reality, and it seems with every refund Amazon charges the authors for the download charge.

While there are deals that can be made that fixes most of the issues for either side, it cannot be done on the traditional thief vs property owner dynamic.

Larry Correia’s On Stand Your Ground

August 9, 2013

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/on-profiling-and-stand-your-ground/

I’ve always said that slaves and serfs were never designed to oppose their aristocrat lords, as if they had two legs to stand on. The difference between a slave and a free human in this country is becoming more and more differentiated.

LC is the author of some number of noir action/sf fiction at Baen.com

Wheel of Time Conclusion: By Brandon Sanderson in Memory of Light

May 10, 2012

I initially came across Wheel of Time because I was looking for shounen, or youth, fiction/fantasy to busy my time with. The first 1-5 books seemed like a very good action packed adventure that told the epic heroic story of a protagonist battling greater and greater foes in pursuit of some long term goal. Then book 6-9 felt like the most interesting parts were about the protagonist and yet the protagonist was only suffering, not going anywhere. I felt increasingly the need to skip all other sections of the book that had no relationship to the protagonist, and that was more than 50% of the book in itself. It got a little bit too melodramatic and turned into a soap opera, which was an entirely different genre from shounen action. The American market doesn’t have genre names for such conventions which is probably why labeling Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series was so hard for fans who started becoming disillusioned. It was fantasy, but that label had no meaning when it came to the shift that happened in the series. Because what readers were promised at the start isn’t what they got from the last half of the series… until Brandon Sanderson was selected by Jordan’s widow (and editor) to be Jordan’s estate inheritor: Sanderson inherited the authority to conclude the story that Jordan died before finishing.

Sanderson brought his own unique talents and vitality to the series, making it much more enjoyable. Of course I enjoy Brandon Sanderson’s books by themselves because I believe he is a very original thinker and creator of magical universes. But even still, I was so soured by the negative outcome of the WoT series so that, that I hesitated for several years before flipping through audiobook (public source) chapters and realized that Brandon Sanderson made things more interesting. All the annoying things were still annoying but because they didn’t take up 50% of the book, it was easy to skip them or not think about them. And all the interesting things that I wanted to happen, started happening. People often say that Robert Jordan had it all planned out in his mind, that every little detail would lead up to a final conclusion, and that was true. For a trilogy or 6 book series. But this wasn’t a six book series. People got greedy and extended the contract for more books. Ridiculous, really. That’s not how it should be in done. In Japan, they don’t “extend” the series by making the authors write “filler” in between books or chapters of an original story. They hire “other people” to write in “filler fan fictions” and let the author stay true to his created vision. If there is something the fans want more, they can buy it as an additional “fan disc” or “side story”. This American book publishing concept of extending a popular fantasy series from 3 books to 12 books or 6 books to 15 books, is pretty stupid. There’s a reason why editors told authors in the past to “cut down on the number of words in each book”. Because too many words interrupted the flow and got things tangled up. That applies to a single book. What happens when you tell a writer to “embelish” and write 6 more books than he planned, all the time the ending kept getting delayed until the 12, then 15th book came out? It would be a hell of “are we there yet” comments as fans had to wait years for the ending they were promised, but were never delivered. It’s like you’re loaning the book publishers money without them having to pay you a cent in interest for TEN YEARS.

I have rarely seen a writer of his caliber that also appealed to my aesthetic tastes and values. Truly a genius at the creative arts.

Excuses for writing and reading

March 6, 2012

http://www.writingexcuses.com/

That was originally something I found from reading Brandon Sanderson’s comments on the net. I went and visited and in the process of reviewing their archives, I found the author of Monster International, published by Baen. I had seen this title when browsing Baen’s ebooks, but the blurb didn’t seem all that interesting. My analysis changed when I heard that the author, Larry Correia, was a self-published or at least very close to one before he signed up with Baen. Because I’m always interested in rare items that the established status quo, monopolies, and corporations are not willing to consider, this perked my interest enough for me to read it. I liked it.

The writing style was different and provided a good change of pace, and the plot development was interesting enough for me. Most books are boring for one reason or another, after encountering Japanese style literature, writing, and plot development. Monster International is unique enough in terms of its thriller component and action component that that for an American demographic, it was rather new and strange. The sequel also provided a develop and expansion, rather than simply a repetition of old material recycled. So that’s my excuse for not reading it before and reading it after.

You can hear the 15 minute audio podcast here if it really interests you.

I will say this though. Hearing the authors talk about their own books and the details they viewed as important, is a lot more beneficial to me, a potential reader, than reading some blurb that spoils the plot on Amazon or the cover. Then again, the status quo businesses were never really out to cater to consumer preference. That’s the problem. And therein lies the solution.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.