Monday, July 24, 2017

Review of Astounding Frontiers by the Leader of the #PulpRev

Jeffro Johnson, who more or less created the Pulp Revolution with Appendix N, has reviewed Astounding Frontiers #1.

His review goes story by story. The review is here. But the part that amuses me....
“According to Culture” by Declan Finn — Russell Newquist has argued that Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” really the living embodiment of what pulp is all about. And I can sort of see that. I mean, pulp puts entertainment first. It’s got a lot of action. It is not the fiction of people that are going out of their way to be uber-serious or to be taken seriously. But the sort of camp and snarkiness he projects is, in my opinion, more in line with the silver age than anything I see in “real” pulp. And Finn’s piece is definitely closer in spirit to contemporary concepts of the action genre than, say, A. Merritt or Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is in fact Liam Neeson’s “Taken” in space! And to his credit, Declan Finn does not pull any punches. His description of the imperial capital was I thought reminiscent of the sort of prose in Jack Williamson’s Legion of Space. And like Larry Correia’s Hard Magic, this tale pulls off a prefect false denouement that segues into a final round where the combatants pull out all the stops. This is a really strong piece! And I think it is even better because it deals with real ideas and real political questions rather than trying to produce a neutral work that pretends that all of that sort of thing necessarily falls under the domain of “message”. (It doesn’t!)
Heh.  Yeah. Jeffro caught me. In fact, the original document title? "Taken.doc."

Because I'm subtle.  Heh.

Pick up AF #1 here.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Last Flight of the Dragon

The Dragon Award is closing its nominations in 24 hours ....

I suggest you get on it.

At this point, I don't care if you vote for me, one way or another. I just want them to have tons of votes. Obviously, I'd like a nomination. But I'd also like to win the lottery.

You want me to be blatantly honest? Sure. Let's do that.

Do I think it's possible for me to get a nomination? Sure. Definitely.

Is it PROBABLE? I wouldn't bet against it. Heck. Honor at Stake came out of nowhere. I didn't expect that to go anywhere.

Is it possible for me to get a WIN?

..... That has so many factors, I'm not even going to try to do the math on it.

But, as my father always says, "If you don't ask, you don't get."

So, I'm asking that, if you have the genre slot open on the ballot, plug me in there somewhere. If you wouldn't mind.

And if you have something else for best Horror / fantasy / apocalyptic ... then what am I going to do? Complain?

Talking about the Dragon awards gives me an excuse to talk about books. It is, in part, PR. In some cases, it gives me an excuse to talk about books I've already reviewed, or merely want to read. Without the Dragons, I'm not sure I would have gotten to Another Girl, Another Planet until well into next year. (Yes, next year. My reading speed has suffered due to my work schedule.)

It's not like I have a lot of excuses left. People keep taking those excuses away from me.

Be well all.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

The Catholic Geek: Astounding Frontiers #1 07/23

The Catholic Geek: Astounding Frontiers #1 07/23 by We Built That Network | Writing Podcasts:

Join host Declan Finn and the writers of Superversive SF's new Pulp Magazine, Astounding Frontiers. Today, guests include AM Freeman, John C Wright, Ben Wheeler, and Lou Antonelli.

Astounding Frontiers #1: Gives us Ten Minutes, We'll Give You a World, is available from

Friday, July 21, 2017

LibertyCon XXX AAR

I don't have an awful lot to say about LibertyCon, so this will be a short one. In fact, I think I said everything the other day on that podcast with my Silver Empire Publisher and Editor. It's a nice little con where the best parts are probably the conversations that take place in the hallways.

You know, the drive by conversations with Chuck Gannon, or Jeff Dunteman. Or casually conversing with a friend I only knew from Facebook as he sharpened the little knives I brought as giveaways. It was nice to meet Hans Schantz in person, and Karl Gallagher.

It's a fun little con. My only concern was going to be if internet drama turned into real life drama. Thankfully, it doesn't.

That's... really the short version. I made a lot of bad choices for LC XXX, including a hotel that was off the bus route (which I was lied to about), I drove down from New York, and not fighting for panels I was better suited for. My publisher wants to do LC XXXI for the release of A Pius Stand. So I'll probably do that as well. We'll see.

But it was nice to drive down and see John C Wright and Jagi on the way to Chatanooga. They were awesome hosts, as always. They're good people. Anyone says otherwise, I will fight them in the street.

Anyway, the Dragon Awards are due Monday. Just remember: I have three eligible books out, so .. .enjoy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dragons and Puppies

THERE IS LESS THAN A WEEK to vote in the Dragon Awards. Voting needs to be in on Monday. But you can vote Monday, too, honest.

Vote here to nominate.

And if you don't believe me, the voting has to be in by 11:59 PM EST, Monday, July 24.

And yet ... I have no idea what else there is left to say.

I've made suggestions of what to vote for.

I've given you my own list of nominees -- and a list of everyone else's nominees.

I've made suggestions on how to vote for Live and Let Bite. And I've made my case for it for best horror. Twice.

I'm not going to belabor the point. If you haven't voted for the Dragons, good luck, have fun, enjoy the voting.

And ... that's it.

Here, have some puppies.


.... Because they're cute.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Faster than the Speed of Pulp #PulpRev

Last week, Larry Correia noted that, since George RR Martin last came out with a Game of Thrones novel, Larry had published ... a lot.

Larry Correia Pulp Speed

 I can understand why fans who give a crap about Martin's snuff porn -- sorry, it's written, so snuff erotica -- are impatient. If you like this stuff, and want to just get to the end, pulling out your hair seems reasonably. All the "harassment" Martin gets from fans led to Neil Gaiman whining to Martin's fan that "GRRM is not your bitch."

To which I say, "No, Martin is a bitch. And so are you, Neil." But that's another story.

Brian Niemeier jumped on that bandwagon and rode it.

However, the book Larry mentions is from 2012. It occurred to me that my career STARTED in 2012.

And what did I bloody well come out with?


If this looks strangely unfamiliar to you, it's because Dawn Witzke did the cover. Because she really wanted the last one to go.

Then A Pius Legacy, then A Pius Stand, which have been pulled from shelves, so no link. But Legacy will be back in December.

Then the short stories, and the history ... also pulled from the shelves. Ending up in 5 books of The Pius Trilogy

Then, in a post-Pius universe...

And the companion piece. Sort of.

And with mustn't forget my solution to dystopias ... with gun fire.

And, of course, the series everyone likes....

With accompanying short stories....

And, of course, my nonfiction.

And, of course, we can't forget the short that appeared here.

So, 14 books, four short stories.

But wait, there's more!

I've been accepted to the following anthologies thus far.

  • Mercury (From Superversive Press)
  • Trump Utopia (From Superversive Press)
  • A Superhero anthology (Silver Empire)
  • Knights of the Round Table Anthology
  • And two for Lyonesse . (Silver Empire)
14 books, 10 Short stories,

And I've already submitted to Venus, Mars, and I'm waiting for Earth to accept submissions, I've got that written.

I've already got a murder mystery nearly done, so it'll be out by year's end. Good to the Last Drop will be out by DragonCon, I suspect. The Witzke / Finn Dark Court project, TBD.

So, God willing, by the end of 2017, I'll have 16 books published, and 13 short stories

All in five years.

Not bad.

Granted, Martin doesn't need to do anything for money anymore, does he? He has a TV show. He could die before he runs out of money, and he'd never have to write another word. Maybe they could get Brandon Sanderson to finish up his work, too.

Thing is, even if I hit the jackpot like that, I can't imagine doing anything more than taking off for a month or three every year. After a few weeks, the voices in my head want me to write them, and won't go away. I guess Martin has it easy -- every time a character bothers him, he murders them.

If I ever get that sedentary about my work, there are standing instructions to poke me with a stick until I write again.

On that note, I'm almost done with the murder mystery. It's book 1 of three. Perhaps book 1 of 5.


And don't forget the Dragon Awards.

Kennings & Cantrips Episode 1.3: Declan Finn

Item The First: Please remember that it is six days until The Dragon Award closes nominations. You've been warned. Yesterday's post has my own personal voting, if you're interested (okay, it's also in the featured post in the right hand column). And you can vote for the Dragons here. Enjoy.

Item the Second: The sales rank on A Pius Man was interesting. Why? Mostly for where it was.

Or who it was over.

Image may contain: 1 person

I trust I don't have to explain the joke.

Item The Third:

So, my publisher, Silver Empire, has a podcast.

It would be here.


So, yeah, I've been busy. I literally can't keep up with my own output. Oy!

Anyway, remember the Dragon.  And if you have time, remember A Pius Man.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Flight of Dragon Awards

Sorry. I just had to use that title again... though, damn, I feel old every time I think of how old that film is.


The Dragon Awards are the end of the month... July 24th, to be precise.

Which means they're due in a week.

By now, if you've been here, you know what's going on, but a fast recap: Dragon Con is one of the biggest SFF conventions in the United States. Held in Atlanta, it hosts a minimum of 60,000 people each year -- at least, that's what they tell the fire marshal.

No, that last part? Not even kidding. I have, of course, posted Dragon Con reports, so many that if you click the tag DragonCon, you'll see all of my reports.

Set to Kill may or may not have some slight similarity to DragonCon. It's a murder mystery that takes place in Atlanta, at a place called WyvernCon, in the middle of a political war about Tearful or Hydrophobic Puppies versus Puppy Punters from traditional Big Publishing. Obviously, this book has no similarities to real events.

Anyway, in the wake of the Great Puppy War....

Enter: The Dragon.

Yes, I did have to use that line as well.

The Dragons give out awards by genre, and they do not go by calendar year, but from the start of July to the end of June.


Moving on.

I've mentioned the genres, and I've mentioned the place. Now here's the important part: the who.

Who can vote?


Yes, anyone can vote in the Dragon Awards, whether you have attended the con, or if you will never attend the con.

You can vote here, once you're registered. Keep in mind, you can only vote for each book ONCE. If you try to vote for, say, Murphy's Law of Vampires in more than one category, like best horror / best fantasy / best YA, your ballot will be invalid.

I will reiterate, because this has been a problem: this isn't a calendar year eligibility process, nor are these categories by length, but by genre. And yes, you can wait until the end of July to nominate various and sundry novels for the Dragons. You can vote at the end of July if you like.

I don't recommend waiting quite that long, since the Dragon award website encourages early voters.

So, vote early, vote often?

.... Nah, only if you're in Chicago.
Dragon Awards won by John C Wright, Brian Niemeier
and Nick Cole 2016

Yes, yes, I know, "Shut up, Declan. Are you going to do the damn post already?" I will. Just please note that I am saying that these are my picks. These are not my bets.

If you want to see the votes of OTHER PEOPLE, I have a few at the bottom, but in case you find them more interesting.
Happy Frogs
The Injustice Gamer
Richard Paolinelli
Russell Newquist
Dawn Witzke
Jon Del Arroz
Yes.  It's time for me to actually say what the Hell I'm voting for. We'll see if anything is going to happen with it.


Best Science Fiction:  Escaping Infinity: Richard Paolinelli.  I reviewed this book, and it was awesome.  This is my candidate. This is also the candidate of Jon del Arroz. So this should tell you it's not just me.

Best Fantasy Novel: Murphy's Law of Vampires.
Yes, I'm voting for myself. Why? Because the last fantasy novel I remember reading is JCW's Iron Chamber of Memory... which isn't eligible. As for other candidates, I have some suggestions at the bottom, so keep reading.

YARachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland, by L. Jagi Lamplighter. I've only read book 1 of Jagi's series, but I've liked enough of it to conclude that I'd suggest people take a look at this before voting. Richard confirms this one.  As does Jon del Arroz.

MilSFF: Jon del Arroz would like me to vote for his Star Realms: Rescue Run, instead of his For Steam and Country.... Sorry, Jon, didn't read it, won't vote for it. I'm going to do John Ringo, Monster Hunter Memiors: Sinners.

Best Alternate History: I finally read Lou Antonelli's Another Girl, Another Planet. It's awesome. It's also reviewed by me on this blog, and maybe one or two others.

Best Apocalyptic: I hate this genre. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I co-wrote one, so I'll say Codename: UnSub. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother. I can say that The Injustice Gamer really liked this one.

Best HorrorLive and Let Bite ... As I've said before, this is the book. This is where I'm putting my money. I have made my case for it to win a Dragon. As I said before, this is everything from Honor at Stake and does more. Romance? Action? The stakes? Pressed down and overflowing. It's just logical.  Heh. Yes, I would love for this book to be registered under "Urban Fantasy," and then thank God that there isn't a Harry Dresden book out, but aside from that ... I have demons and vampires and minions with machine guns. This is probably where I will make my stand, whether I like it or not. Jon del Arroz concurs. Really. And Richard ... wanted something else. Heh.  And The Injustice Gamer

SFF TV series: Grimm. It's the last chance for the show.

SFF Movie: Doctor Strange. Because Cumberbatch.

Video Game: Pass. I have no thoughts on this one. I literally only started Dishonored.

As for the rest .... I got nothing.

However, remember, other people have lists, so if you feel you need to fill in every category, these folks have some thoughts for you.

Happy Frogs
The Injustice Gamer
Richard Paolinelli
Russell Newquist
Dawn Witzke
Jon Del Arroz

And there are just some of the other people I've suggested nominating in the past, and are probably eligible in other categories. So if you don't like my thoughts, about about other people.

Brian Niemeier, The Secret Kings: Best SF / MilSF?
Discovery: Karina Fabian: Best SF (Recreate a similar list for CWG?)
Keeping the Faith, by William Lehman: Best Fantasy / Best MilSFF?
Murphy's Law of Vampires: Best Horror / Fantasy / MilSFF?
Live and Let Bite: Best Horror / fantasy / MilSFF?
Loose Ends, John Van Stry: Horror / MilSFF
Psychic Undercover Amie Gibbons: Fantasy / Paranormal
Rachel and the Many-Splendored DreamlandL. Jagi Lamplighter Wright: Best Fantasy / YA
Swan Knight's Son  / Feast of the Elfs / Swan Knight's Sword by John C. Wright.   FOR THE RECORD,  I've asked, and if anyone votes for John under YA, he'd rather shoot for Swan Knight's Son
Path of Angels, Dawn Witzke: Best YA / Apocalyptic
Monster Hunter Memiors: Sinners and / or Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge, by John Ringo: MilSFF / Fantasy
Blood of Invidia
Star Realms: Rescue Run, by Jon Del Arroz:
Carwright's Cavaliers, book 1 and 2 and 3, by Mark H Wandrey: Best MilSFF
Louis Antonelli, Another Girl, Another Planet: Best Alternate History
Cadain's Watch, Daniella Bova: Best Apocalyptic / Alternate History?
Codename: UnSub, Yoskowitz, and Finn: Best apocalyptic / MilSF?
Dan Humphreys, Fade: Best Fantasy (Paranormal)

Feel free to post some reminders and thoughts.

If you haven't already, check out some of the books below.

And if you have, please leave a review.