Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Submitting to Castalia, the Intro

As I've mentioned, went I have them both ready, I'm going to send Set to Kill and Sad Puppies Bite Back to Castalia House.

Their submissions page is interesting.
We are looking for writers who believe there is a fundamental distinction between good and evil. We are interested in writers who harken back to the Golden Age of SF and the Inklings. We are seeking writers who respect the past as much as they anticipate the future. We want to publish writers with souls, writers with chests, writers who possess a sense of the numinous and the ineffable. We hope to hear from authors who are just as interested in telling a fascinating story and entertaining the reader as they are in demonstrating literary pyrotechnics.
Oh yes, this looks awesome. I have found my people! Yay!

Now, what they require is a single document of

  • a one-page synopsis
  • a one-page author bio describing who the author is and what the author stands for rather than the author’s credentials
  • the completed manuscript.

Huh. The first one is standard, the third one is obligatory, the second one ... huh.

Okay, granted, doing a synopsis of Sad Puppies Bite Back is going to be a train wreck. SWATting here and there, some replies by the Puppy Kickers, counter attacks by the Puppies, ending in the arrest of The Stalker, then an interlude for A WorldCon Carol, and ending at WorldCon .... with the head of Castalia as the Supreme Evil Overlord trying to kill them all. Yeah, that'll go over well.

There's a reason I'm holding off on that until The Hugo nominations come out. After all, if SPBB is a nominee, that would be great.

As for my bio, that needs some work. Especially the way they want to do it. I should probably just sum up my entire worldview as "See the Baltimore Catechism and the Summa Theologica" and go from there.

Anyway, this is what it looks like thus far. Be amused.

As an ultramontane Catholic and as a realist, I believe in the Nicene creed and in Murphy's Law, usually in that order. My beliefs can be summed up by the Baltimore Catechism, the Summa Theologica, sprinkled likely with the Demotivators of Despair.Inc. As Thomist by training, I have no problem taking reductions to absurdity and making them a punchline. (See “Sad Puppies Bite Back” for prime examples).

Evil is real, and cannot be negotiated with, sated, or reasoned with. The Prince of this World may triumph, but said Prince can have it over my smoldering corpse. There are only two paths for evil. Either evil is redeemed, or evil is ended at the point of a sword. More often than not, the cliché that “a villain does not see a villain in the mirror” is merely an excuse to justify evil; it also presupposes that the villain believes in villainy, or heroes, or good, or evil, as moral equivalency and subjectivity are the first refuge of villains.  Though, every time I have a fully developed, three dimensional villain that lasts for any length of time, they are either killed off as soon as possible, or redeemed.

I write because fiction should support the truth. When researching Pope Pius XII as a graduate student in history, I was so angered by the lies told about “Hitler's Pope,” I proceeded to write an epic trilogy dedicated the truth around Pius XII. Making Dan Brown look like the pompous lying idiot that he is was an added bonus. 
Yes, I know, needs work.

Now, let's look at the odds for a second, shall we? None of these are science fiction or fantasy. Okay, maybe Sad Puppies Bite Back is a fantasy. It's just that deranged. And when you get to A WorldCon Carol, we are so far into la la land, we might as well be in Los Angeles.

But Set To Kill? Different kind of fantasy, and a different kind of deranged. I somehow suspect that it's the wrong kind of both. It's a murder mystery at a science fiction convention where the cops don't solve the mystery.

It's as much a fantasy as, well, Jessica Fletcher

Again, I suspect the wrong kind of fantasy.

There's a reason I'm already making alternate plans to get them self published.

What's that you ask? I'm not running them through the publisher of Honor At Stake? Nope. They've already got a series under contract from me, and they have enough problems. Backlog can be a bear and a half.

Anyway, Hugo nominations are announced on the 26th. So, I have a few days to get this all submission ready.

This is going to get so very, very strange.


  1. Don't worry about genre. They publish military essays, gardening, and political philosophy as well. They're spreading out a bit, but still have a worldview emphasis.

    1. Really? Didn't know that.

      Also, I'm surprise at how optimistic the general response has been.

    2. Well, I'll have to self publish.
      Here, have a preorder

  2. Regarding Mrs. Fletcher... You know Kris Rusch explains her observation powers, right? http://www.wmgpublishinginc.com/project/murder-she-workshopped/

    Take care.

  3. Extremely nitpicky note, but in your bio, do you mean "sprinkled lightly" rather than "likely"?

  4. Castalia's pages haven't been updated since they took on Mike Cernovich in an editorial position, or David the Good for audiobooks. Give them something worth reading, and they might go for it.

    You might try contacting Mr. Wright to see if you might collaborate on a book of Christian Philosophy. Or anything else. That would be some worthwhile reading.

    1. Really? Huh. That's an idea. Also, I'm surprise at how optimistic the general response has been. Interesting.

  5. Hey, don't make fun of famous author Dan Brown.


    1. That was the best backhanded "compliment" and smackdown I think I've ever read. Kudos.

      Also ... 3 years since his last book? Who does he think he is? George RR Martin?

    2. Elsewhere...


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