Friday, June 23, 2017

Salon Admits Jeffro Was Right

Jeffro's detractors have called him a crackpot conspiracy theorist for daring to point out the concerted effort by major publishing houses filthy with secular midwits and tedious intersectionalists to commandeer the ship of science-fiction and steer it away from the open waters of action, adventure and heroism and onto the deadly rocks of collectivist thought.  They don't want to see that attempts to weaponize science-fiction is straight up non-fiction and so have ignored all of his cogent observations and connections.

Well, Slate (ramping up for the Hugo Awards - these stories always hit the press in greater numbers in June in order to help establish street cred for their garbage reporting on the Hugos) let the cat out of the bag.  I'm not linking to that fake news site, but here's my proof:
A few choice quotes:
If you’re surprised to hear that that science fiction might actually have a meaningful real world impact, you haven’t been paying attention. Science fiction and science reality have often found themselves in a feedback loop.
Okay, that's not exactly news.  We all know this to be true.  The article takes a turn for the sinister when it reports on an organization seeking ways to bridge the gap between dreaming of SJW futures and implementing them:
The newly announced Science Fiction Advisory Council, composed of a stellar selection of 64 bestselling sci-fi writers and visionary filmmakers, has tasked itself with imagining realistic, possible, positive futures that we might actually want to live in—and figuring out we can get from here to there.
Does anyone think that this council will be inviting Dragon Award winning author Brian Niemeier or best selling science-fiction (and non-fiction) author Vox Day or even a Nick Cole?  Beuller?  Beuller?  Yeah, didn't think so.  No room for badthinkers when you've got towering luminaries like Cory Doctorow, Charlie Stross, checkbox hire Malindo Lo, and colossal douche Neil Gaiman.  Although, you have to give 'em credit for including a few tokens like Niven and Mike Resnick.

This is a council interested in directing the future along paths that are pre-approved by the Narrativists and they cannot welcome guys with clear vision and deep understanding of how humans actually operate rather than how they might operate if only they would surrender control over their lives to the SFAC.  So you won't see even moderate voices like Larry Correia, John C. Wright, Brad Torgerson, or Sarah Hoyt win that Golden Ticket.

Bear in mind that this council goes well beyond previous instances of science-fiction writers - actually engineers who write science-fiction - advising the US military on potential new technologies.  The SFAC lists numerous roadmaps designed to steer the future along a "preferred future state" including "Planet & Environment; Energy & Resources; Shelter & Infrastructure; Health & Wellbeing; Civil Society; Learning & Human Potential; and Space & New Frontiers" (emphasis mine).

Anyone want to bet that the civil society they envision will include criminal sentencing for rodeo clowns who wear the wrong mask, but plenty of room for staged political assassinations (when the assassins' target is on the wrong side of the political divide?   Anyone want to bet that a big part of the roadmap for civil society will be finding way to reduce or eliminate the influence of Christianity, free speech, or the preservation of European culture?

 With a council like they have assembled, that's a sucker's bet.

But take heart.  Their roadmaps will be clumsy, ineffectual things.  They will be predicated on the same false notions of humanity possessed by most of the members of the council.  As their view of humanity is so fanciful, their roadmap will be a rainbow bridge built on dreams and wishes and just as effective at carrying vehicle traffic.  This is largely a collection of authors whose works do not resonate with readers, whose works have driven mainstream readers away from books, and whose only recourse is the ever popular appeal to amenable authority.  Their roadmaps will all be less about maps and more about traffic laws and ensuring that they control the highway patrol to force humanity to drive the direction they want, regardless of what the people want and regardless of what will be healthy for humanity.

Unfortunately, although their plans are guaranteed to fail, there's no telling how much damage they might do to civilization in the meantime.  So do your part to help stave off their inevitable dystopian futures - don't read anything written after 1940, and if you must, don't read anything published east of the Hudson River.

Hey, here's something that meets the latter criteria
and it's a heck of a lot of fun, to boot!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Escaping Infinity

At its core, Richard Paolinelli's Escaping Infinity, presents a Twilight Zone style mystery of a strange hotel that appears in many times and places, and that once you check in, you can’t check out.  The guests at this hotel become so taken by the perfect luxury of the place that they succumb to it like sailors on the isle of the lotus eaters.  Not so for our trusty hero, however.  He immediately notices a number of things out of place and sets out to unravel the mystery and escape Hotel Infinity.  I really enjoyed this part of the book. 

Peter Childress, the architect at the heart of the story, makes for a fine protagonist.  He is clever, determined, and has just the right level of randiness about him.  The romance set up and resolved during this portion of the book is natural, with a truly feminine ingĂ©nue who glides back and forth between dame and damsel with an ease that lends her a likable vulnerability without ever painting her as a knuckle biting coward.  The action and puzzles are original and believable.  It’s a great book.

The wonderful middle-section of the book – really three quarters of the book – suffers for the inclusion of a prologue that spoils much of the mystery and a postscript that veers away from the extra-dimensional nature of the Hotel Infinity and into a strange space opera “Happily Ever After” ending.

The funny part is that both the prologue and post-script are well written and great reads.  The Prologue makes for a great short story with characters struggling to react to a catastrophic error.  It touches on everything from acceptance of responsibility to loyalty in the face of disaster in ways that are heartfelt and intense.  The general spoilers in the Prologue leave enough specifics unspoken for the reader to still wonder about the nature of the Hotel Infinity, leaving that short chapter a great little tale in its own right.  The characters in the extended postscript are also great, even if the entire section reads like the unholy marriage of a Mary Sue and a deus ex machina.
The Prologue might have worked better had it been included as an omnipotent POV explanation for the origin of the hotel, and placed after Peter makes his escape.  The Postscript, with its entirely different tone and scope might have worked better as a sequel.  It’s hard to say, really.  Because both are necessary parts of this story – without the origin and denouement the escape sequence might feel like half of a story.

Which leaves this reviewer in the awkward position of concluding that Escaping Infinity might not be the perfect science-fiction story, but it’s a darn good three of them.

Monday, June 19, 2017

They Know

Politics is downstream from culture.
 
One of the reasons that the publishers in New York are doing everything they can to isolate independent writers and publishers like Castalia House is that they know it plays a vital role in establishing what kind of future we will have.  We represent a threat not just to their pocketbooks, but a threat to their goal to completely secularize all life in America.  Science-fiction grounded in a Christian worldview - even if it isn't explicit in the way of C. S. Lewis' Space Trilogy - serves as a counter to their efforts, and as one grounded in truth and beauty it represents a far more appealing vision of the future than anything the secular nihilists living in NYC can possibly offer.

In the run up to this year's Hugo Awards, the mainstream media is once again turning its attention to pushing back against rebellious newcomers like yours truly by fluffing up the credentials of the intersectionalists, secularists, and just plain Marxists.  NPR's Big Picture ran a typical overview piece that mistakenly reports science fiction's birth in the 1950s and repeats the lie of the false Trinity of the pervert Heinlein, the hack Asimov, and the pedophile Clarke.  No mention of Edgar Rice Burroughs or E.E. Doc Smith - at least in the first 30 minutes of the show.  I grew bored hearing the usual lies and distortion repeated and as such could not stomach the rest.
 
I did hear them mention and thereby tacitly endorse authors like boring Kim Stanley Robinson, a Marxist who wields global warming as a political club, and Margaret Atwood, author of the latest rage amongst the "haven't read a book since Harry Potter" crowd.  Her mediocre and contradictory book, "The Handmaid's Tale" is an explicitly feminist tale based in profoundly stupid understandings of how people work, but which has nevertheless proven to be a popular means of fearmongering by the elites.
 
Brace yourself for a wave of this sort of typical midwit writing by Fake Science Fiction fans writing stories about fake science fiction.  For far greater insights into the state of science-fiction today, watch the following video.  The narrator is talking about Marvel comic books, but his insights are accurate across all media.  He might as well be talking about the Hugo Awards.
 


If you can't stomach fake science fiction, why not give the real thing a shot.  I've got a post-apocalyptic tale featuring real people, real adventure, and real science fiction: