Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Catholic Geek: Superversive SF and the Wrights 07/31

John C. Wright and L. Jagi Lamplighter return to discuss superversive fiction, their work, and whatever else that might pop up.

John C. Wright is the author of Iron Chamber of Memory, Count to a Trillion, and Somewhither. He is is a retired attorney, newspaperman and newspaper editor, who was only once on the lam and forced to hide from the police who did not admire his newspaper.

L. Jagi Lamplighter is the author of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin and The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel. and the upcoming Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland, as well as the Prospero's Daughter Trilogy (Prospero Lost, Prospero In Hell, and Prospero Regained).She has also written a number of short stories, articles on anime, and is an author/assistant editor in the BaddAss Faeries series.

Anyway, if you haven't already, you might want to pick up Honor at Stake
Preferably before the sequel comes out.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Movie night: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon

From 1942, starring the usual suspects, Rathbone and Bruce again.

Anyway, if you haven't already, you might want to pick up Honor at Stake
Preferably before the sequel comes out.

LibertyCon 29 AAR

So, yeah. I went to LibertyCon. How was it?

It was okay.

To be honest, I got an attack of shingles during my trip to Chattanooga, so I missed the third day of the convention. But, to be honest, I was expecting to do more at the convention. On Friday, my only two things to do was to have a signing at 6, and a reading at 9.

I knew that I was going to have an hour. So, originally planned to do a reading for 45 minutes -- an intro, maybe some questions.

Then I learned that each hour was 50 minutes. Well, I planned for 45 minutes of reading, so I was good.

Then I learned that I had to read with someone else. Oh well. I had to make it up as I went along. You can see the video of my reading from a few days ago to see how well that went.

I arrived on Thursday, the day before the convention, and ended up in a party with Sarah Hoyt, and many of the people who I've known from Facebook. It was fun. And strange. I'm generally not a social person. But these were basically "my people." I think I talk more to more people face to face at conventions than I do every other month of the year. I met Lin Wicklund, and Dorothy Grant, and other people whose names haven't appeared on the blog. I was at least in the room with Gunny Mormon, but he was busy.

The first panel I saw on Friday was "Weaponized Artificial Intelligence" ... which went off the rails so much, someone from the audience screamed at the panel "TO GET BACK ON TOPIC ALREADY."  So that was fun.

Next was Eastern Weaponry, with Larry Correia and Baen editor Toni Weisskopf. Apparently, Toni's late husband collected swords. There was a nice collection of sharp pointy things.

The next panel I was at was Monster Hunter International, with John Ringo, Sarah Hoyt, Larry Correia, and it was high-jacked by Toni. The discussion turned to "writing about monsters." Toni had to leave, and the conversation went back to Larry's MHI universe. Ringo has done a trilogy going back to the 80s. Hoyt is doing a Julie Shackleford novel. And Larry is going back to Owen and the main series.

There were the opening ceremonies, where I managed to stand, wave, and sat down. I then tottered off to sign books and stuff.

Upon entering the dealer's room, I was stopped by Michael Z. Williamson. Mad Mike opened my blazer, checked my shirt, smiled, and said "Ah, that one," and wandered off.

The orange t-shirt I'm wearing in the picture above reads "Sometimes, I have to remind myself that it's not worth the jail time."

I do subtle so very well.

At 8 pm was "Georgette Heyer and her Influence on Science Fiction." Mostly, it was about how Heyer managed to do world building for historically-set novels, even down to getting slang right. Which of course, is also what you want to do when you're writing science fiction.

Not to mention that she did a lot of great character building, and did her best to write against standard cliche, in both character design and plot.

After my reading, I rushed to John Ringo's reading at 10 pm. I rushed there faster than Ringo himself did. So did everyone else, as we were jammed into a very nice, almost roomy, walk-in closet. He did readings from Monster Hunter: Grunge, which will be a laugh riot. It was standing room only, and I stood in the back, next to the door. At one point, someone in a bright green shirt came in; I think I noted him at first because he was the only other person as brightly dressed as I was. Then he sort of looked familiar. I looked down, and saw the tag "Tom Kratman."

Huh. Okay then. I went back to listening to the reading, and Col. Kratman wandered in and out of the room. I would have said hello (with an emphasis on "Thank you for the Sad Puppies Bite Back support"), but (if I gathered correctly) Kratman had been waiting for Ringo, and I wasn't going to be run over by John when he was running in "Convention mode."

Saturday morning. I was going to see Global Pandemics and Biosecurity, as well as "Bringing Modern Technology into Urban Fantasy," but my entourage wasn't moving quickly that morning, and we missed both of these panels. I also missed the first half of Principles of War.

However, I did run into Lou Antonelli, one of the nominees from Sad Puppies 3. He's a pleasant, genial fellow, who will even talk to a guy like me, and picked me out of a lineup. Who knew? Since I had no idea what to do for the next hour or so, I followed him to his panel "Retro-Futurist Alternate History." Basically, a high-tech alternate timeline ... sort of like the Fallout franchise, or Watchman, only fun, and with technology, instead of superheroes.

I went to Perspectives on Military SF ... which had very comfy seats. I must admit, I fell asleep. Which would have been interesting, because I fell asleep around the time that Peter Grant, military veteran, started arguing that you could only write military fiction if you're a veteran ... and he was arguing against another vet that insisted that, no, you didn't need to be a vet to write military fiction.

Afterwards, there was the very long winded title panel: Do Utopian cities or Dystopian cities make the better backdrop for Urban Fantasy? Starring Gail Z. Martin, MB Weston, Terry Maggert, and ... me.

I think I had only one good line. The question was "Can you have a plot in a true utopia? A utopia that has no dark underbelly?"

Me: "Remember, the first Utopia was written by Sir Thomas More. Utopia sounds like eu, as in good, like euphoric. So it's a good place ... only it's spelled with a U, which is a negative. It's a good place that doesn't exist. And at the end of the day, the book Utopia had no plot. It was just a travelogue. So the answer is probably not."

Martin: Unless someone is attacking or threatening the utopia from the outside.

Me: "Point."

I caught the second half of the Baen Slideshow, which is basically everything that's coming out in the next few months.

Panel Noir, With Kacey Ezell, Larry Correia, et al, was mostly a matter of dueling quotes by Hammett and Chandler. One of them did the best Sydney Greenstreet I've heard in a while.

Then I wound up doing the "Invasion of the Podcasters" panel. I think my best line in terms of giving advice was "be prepared for a crappy guest." I used the example of a man who had been at Inside the Actor's Studio with James Lipton, and the guest was Ed Norton. Apparently, Norton is such an empty suit, Lipton stopped the cameras, and bitched him out, telling him to straighten up, or else.

Immediately afterwards was the It's in the Blood panel from the video yesterday.

And Sunday, I ended up in the nearest ER, getting some nifty anti-virals. Yay. I'll spare you the pictures.

Anyway, if you haven't already, you might want to pick up Honor at Stake
Preferably before the sequel comes out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

LibertyCon 29 panel: It's in the Blood: What Fuels our Fears, Attraction and Fascination with Vampires

Premise: Karen Bogen moderates this panel on what motivates our unending quest for all things vampire.

Hilarity ensues.

To see what I actually do with vampires, take a look at Honor at Stake.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Declan Finn Reading Honor at Stake, LibertyCon 29

Obviously, there will be spoilers for Honor At Stake. Duh.


Publishing Schedule

The following schedule is liable to change without warning. I am held hostage by the whims of a publisher, and I can't really gauge when or how they'll be striking.

So, assuming everything goes to plan -- and assume it won't -- this is what my publishing schedule will look like this year. I'm going to give you some rational for it as well, so humor me.

Set to Kill -- Yes, this is still happening. I submitted it to Castalia House in May, and since they're now on 3-month turnaround, my rejection should be coming through by any day now. If, of course, they really like the book, this may be shunted to God-knows-when. I am, of course, killing time by having people read the book before the publishing date, getting feedback, prereviews, that sort of thing. Expect this to come out in August, 2016. When in August? No idea. Hopefully by the ides thereof.

Technically, this is a sequel to It Was Only on Stun!, but I wouldn't really say you had to read one to get the other. In fact, this is more of a sequel to The Pius Trilogy than anything else. Why do I say that? Because, well, there's way more blow back from Pius than from Stun!, that's all I'm saying.

For those of you who are wondering about the cover, well, it's brought to you by Dawn Witzke again, and I like it. I think it's charming.

But then, what do I know? I created the It Was Only On Stun! cover, and I thought it was perfectly feasible at the time.
After the events of "A Pius Stand," Sean A.P. Ryan has spent the last year in Italy, keeping his head down and his mouth shut. But now, he has been brought out of his exile for one big job: security at the world's largest science fiction convention, WyvernCon. His mission? To keep the peace between two factions warring over the "coveted" Hubble Awards -- the Tearful Puppies and the Puppy Punters. Even though Sean has a bad feeling about it, he takes the job, expecting a relatively quiet weekend.

Unfortunately, Sean soon learns that he has a bounty on his head. Every bounty hunter and mercenary within shouting distance of the internet is descending on the convention, each of them set on killing him. And his enemies list is long enough to cover half the free world, and most of the world still in chains. 

If that wasn't bad enough, the first casualties of the War of the Puppies happen at the convention. Could it have been one of the Puppies, who are all armed and dangerous? Or could it have been one of the Punters, who claim pacifist tendencies, and fanatical devotion to their cause?

With the bodies piling up, and the attacks becoming more frequent, Sean has to discover who wants him dead, and who the true Puppy killer is, before all of WyvernCon goes down in flames.
Heh. Heh. Heh.

Murphy's Law of Vampires (Love at First Bite, book 2) -- I submitted all three books to Castalia House in June. This includes Honor at Stake (in case they wanted it), and book two and three of the continuing adventures of Marco Catalano and Amanda Colt. So expect this to be out in September. Again, same disclaimer. If lightning strikes and they want any of these novels, I'm not going to say no. But I'm going to plan as though they're going to say no.

What is this one about? Blowback. Remember how Honor at Stake opened nice, and slow, with an easy, gentle buildup? Yeah. Don't expect that here. By the time we get to the second half of the novel, the crap will hit the fan, and will be in a flat-out run. Romance? There will be some. Not as much as in book 1, but I will tell you that some of the .... issues ... raised in book 1 will be resolved, leading the way to a very intense book 3, in more ways than one.

I'm going to start posting excerpts from Murphy's Law of Vampires next week, and every Monday thereafter.

The flap copy I have is...
After saving Brooklyn from a nest of vampires, Amanda Colt and Marco Catalano are a little banged up. He's been given a job offer to deal with vampires in San Francisco, and it's a tempting offer – it would get him away from Amanda, his feelings for her, and get her away from the darkness inside him. When a death in the family compels Marco  to move to the West Coast, they're both left to fend for themselves.

But when a creature known only as “Mister Day” leaves their world in tatters, they must once more join forces against the darkness. Only "Day" is no vampire, but a creature beyond their experience. It will take the combined might of Marco, Amanda, and all of their allies just to slow it down. They have no weapons that can kill him. They have no ways to imprison him. To even fight him is death.

But they have to try, or face the end of everything they love. 

Live and Let Bite (Love at First Bite, book 3) -- as I said, I've send all of these to Castalia House. So it should be the same rejection period. Which means that this book should be out in November 2016. Why November? Because I want the trilogy to be available for the public for Christmas. Duh. :)

What's the premise of book 3? If you recall, there have been suggestions since Honor at Stake that there was something darker out there. Murphy's will follow up on it, and this will be when the "something darker" will decide that it has had enough of Marco, and is going to just freaking end him. And Amanda. And everyone around him.

No flap copy, because it might spoil books 1 and 2.

If Hell freezes over, and Castalia House likes any of this, the times will be altered. Otherwise, expect this to be the general schedule.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dragon Awards Nominations close TODAY, Monday, July 25

Well, this is it. The Dragon Awards are about to be done. Finished. Finito. From the minute this posts, you will have until MIDNIGHT, this MONDAY, July 25th.

If you have not yet nominated, you can click here, now, and follow the instructions.

Now, let's admit it, Larry Correia will be getting a nomination for best fantasy novel for Son of the Black Sword. If you don't know why, this will tell you all about it. In short, he has unleashed the hordes of his fans. The tide is unleashed. It cannot be stopped.

Anyway, let's make things easier on people. If you do not know what you can nominate, I have made notes about it in the past, and I'm going to post it here, again, once more, so you don't have to go all over the place, hopping through multiple links.

I say unto you again, that as of the moment of this publication, there is only 24 hours (and counting) to nominate stuff for the flight of awards, and now, let's get down to brass tacks.

What is eligible for the Dragon Awards?

Works released between 7/1/2015 and 6/30/2016 are eligible for this year’s awards.
Okay, so anything from July last year and June this year are eligible.

There is nothing about nominating whole series. Sorry. We can't nominate the complete works of Terry Prachett, apparently

Now, you will note that my suggestions below are going to be very heavily influenced by the Sad Puppies 4 list.

Obviously, since SP4 covered all of, and only, 2015, some of these are things I've read. You will not be seeing Neal Stephenson or Ringo 2015, for example, since they're not eligible.

Why use the SP4 list? Because it's a list that makes my life easier, that's why. I can barely even remember what I read last year, to heck when I purchased it originally. I can't exactly date the tell of my book pile by placement.

So, much of this list is shooting from the hip. I've included links just in case there is someone out there who thinks they can read really, really fast.

Now, keep in mind, everyone -- THE RULES SAY YOU CAN ONLY NOMINATE ONE ITEM ONCE. That's it. You can't nominate Honor at Stake in multiple categories, nor Son of the Black Sword, nor Somewhither.

Now, on with the suggestions.

Best science fiction novel -- Oh, we have such a list here: SouldancerTorchship, by Karl Gallagher, several David Weber books (I'd list them, but I can't keep track), Black Tide Rising. And, The Big Sheep ... though it might be best for dystopia / apocalyptic.

Best fantasy novel (including paranormal) -- Honor at StakeSouldancer Brian Niemeier, Correia's Son of the Black Sword, David Weber's Sword of the South, John C. Wright's Somewhither or his Iron Chamber of Memory, and Jim Butcher's The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Mind Over All, by Karina Fabian. Ten Gentle Opportunities, Jeff Dunteman

Best young adult/middle grade novel -- Honor at Stake ... yes, really, it was meant to be YA. And the only other YA I know lately isn't that good. and Sad Puppies had nothing about YA stuff.

Best military science fiction or fantasy novel -- Honor at Stake (ninjas, remember), The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass; and anything by Weber within the time frame. Larry's Son of the Black Sword may also be eligible for military, but I'm not sure.

Best alternate history novel -- assume Harry Turtledove is going to win this one.

Best apocalyptic novel -- Chasing FreedomBlack Tide Rising

Best horror novel -- Honor at Stake?  Black Tide RisingSouldancer? Yeah. One has vampires, one has not-zombies, and the other I haven't actually read yet. Sorry.

Best episode in a continuing science fiction or fantasy series, TV or internet: pick something from Daredevil, The Flash, Arrow, Person of Interest ... I can't even keep track

Best science fiction or fantasy movie -- Captain America, Civil War. See? That was easy. Oh, and The Martian. and Deadpool, if you're into that sort of thing.

Best science fiction or fantasy PC / console game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Until Dawn, Rise of the Tomb Raider

Best science fiction or fantasy mobile game -- Fallout Shelter

As for the rest ... damned if I know. However, there are people out there who have some thoughts on the matter. The Injustice gamer can help you fill these in, if you're interested.
  • Best comic book
  • Best graphic novel
  • Best science fiction or fantasy board game
  • Best science fiction or fantasy miniatures / collectable card / role-playing game


Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Catholic Geek: Hugo Award Nominee, Brian Neimeier 07/24

Hugo Award Nominee (John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer), Brian Neimeier, joins us to discuss his books, and perhaps discussing his experience with the Hugo Awards. We'll also get to talk about his radio program, Geek Gab, with the great and powerful Daddy Warpig.

Brian Niemeier is a nominee for the 2016 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer for Nethereal. He chose to pursue a writing career despite formal training in history and theology. His journey toward publication began at the behest of his long-suffering gaming group, who tactfully pointed out that he seemed to enjoy telling stories more than planning and adjudicating games. He has also published the sequel to Nethereal, Souldancer.

Friday, July 22, 2016

#SDCC Update on Marvel's Defenders, and Movie night: Pursuit to Algiers

Sand Diego Comic Con is up, and Marvel is showing off all of their new shows as they build up to The Defenders. I have the full article here, at the Catholic Geeks, along with my analysis of where they could be going.

But, for today's viewing pleasure, I give you Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in Pursuit to Algiers (1945)

Yes, I know I'm using these a lot, but I'm told people enjoy them, and it's hard finding whole films on YouTube.

By the way, please remember that MONDAY IS THE LAST DAY TO VOTE FOR THE DRAGON AWARDS.  Thank you. And, honestly, if you haven't voted for the Dragon Award nominees yet, why not? Clear here to nominate, or click here for my suggested nominees.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Music Blog: What Lies Below

How's this for whiplash? :)

By the way, please remember that MONDAY IS THE LAST DAY TO VOTE FOR THE DRAGON AWARDS.  Thank you.

And, honestly, if you haven't voted for the Dragon Award nominees yet, why not? Clear here to nominate, or click here for my suggested nominees.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Top Ten Radio Shows of The Catholic Geek

My metrics are back on Blog Talk Radio. I can finally say what was the most listened to podcasts of all time! Yay!

Since the #900 blog just came up, I figure it's time to look back over my 47 episodes (yes, I've taken one vacation too many) and find out what the top episodes are.

My highest rated show is .... John C. Wright on Somewhither. Are we at all remotely surprised?

Second highest? Tom Knighton on SP4.

Third? Synods and Starships with Matthew Bowman doing the show.

Fourth -- shocker -- the first appearance of Mr. and Mrs Wright.

Followed shortly thereafter by .... John C. Wright on Iron Chamber of Memory

Maybe I should just give them the radio show. Hmm....

Next up is Marina Fontaine's appearance, talking about her book Chasing Freedom.  Followed by Kia Heavey's Animal Farm with Cats.

Number eight is ... a show that never was. My guest didn't come on, and I flew solo the whole way. 206 listeners.

Number 9 is ... my Superbowl edition, where I also monologued. Huh. Maybe I should do that more often.  186 hits.

Number 10? Honor at Stake and Sad Puppies Bite Back.  Yeah. I don't get it. My bottom three from the top ten list is just me showing up to the show and talking. Hell, this one was all about reading from my work. I think I prerecorded this one. This is the lowest listener count at 182 listeners.

Not bad for someone who's only been on a whole year, huh?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

900 Posts later

Yup, it's blog number 900. Who knew I would last this long?

One of the things I do at this point is to note all of the top ten blogs of all time.

Though of course, first, I'm going to remind everyone that the Dragon Awards are still out there, and they're they still need voting on. So, get to it. Click here, and have fun.  If you need some suggestions, I have some for you right here.

Now, as far as the top ten biggest blogs of all time are concerned....

1. Who would Captain America vote for? An election special.

From the 2012 election, I think this one was carried more by Alex Ross art than anything else. But it's still going strong as the #1 blog of all time.

This was fun. I was just going over the top and insane.

But here, Captain America punching Hitler in the face.

Can we have one of Captain America punching Osama in the face?

From April of last year. Leaped to the #2 spot immediately.

If you have no idea what SPBB is ... click the Sad Puppy Tab above. It is a really, really, really long flipping story. It was a one-shot that spiraled so far out of control, I really don't see the end of it. But people are still coming to the blog just to read them.  I may be doing a little more with this along the way.

How?  Heh heh heh.

Yup, it's still in the #3 spot. Right after the dawn of DC's New 52 Universes in 2011, the comics had gone into a sideways spiral of strange. 

Catwoman screwing Batman on a roof? Check. 

Starfire becoming an amnesiac slut? Check .... except that they're not even that clear, and backtracked, rewrote, and I'm not even sure that DC Comics know what the hell they were doing then. 

I think this the popularity of this had something to do with sex being in the title. You don't even want to see what the search terms look like.

From 2010, I ripped apart with every stupid decision that Marvel comics had made for the previous 5 years.  Sadly, some of those decisions are still going strong. But it's hard to figure out which ones. 

Except for One More Day. F**k that, and them, and Joe Quesada.

I think I have to do this again. Because, well, Captain America as Hydra. Gah.

Seriously, Marvel, stop it.

5. Sad Puppies Bite Back (Part 2)

This is where things started going really odd. And I probably should have seen it coming that things were going to really go sideways ... "sideways" as in "The Puppies have taken over my blog."  I think part one got suggestions of nominating this for a "Best related" award from the Hugos. 

I would have enjoyed watching the Puppy Kickers go insane. But we can't have everything. 

Oh well. Heh. 

From Apr of 2015, this was after Entertainment Weekly's libelous article about Sad Puppies, written and published without talking to anyone within Sad Puppies. At all. Yes, really.

Believe it or not, in retrospect, this was not what got me really into the Sad Puppies bandwagon. That was when someone decided to go after Brad Torgersen's wife. Then, then I had a meltdown, and decided someone needed a stern talking to.

From this June, 2016. This is a month old. Heck, in the course of a week, this shot up. This is what happens with the use of hashtags.

I'm still blown away that, well, this was a political post. I don't do politics here. I tend to avoid them. I'm surprised anyone bothered.

And all I did was round up arguments I've seen others make online. 

Funny thing? The douchebags whining in the comments are pretty much invalidated by the existence of the truck attack last week in Nice, France.

Shocking, huh?

This one hit the top ten most popular posts on the blog within 24 hours of being posted.

This is what happens when authors like your reviews.

Who knew?

9. Puppies Come to WorldCon (SPBB III)

Still here from last year. This was going to be The End. Period. Dot. Final. The last straw. The Puppies were going to come to the Hugos, and it would have to end there. Why? Because there would be nothing left for me to write until the Hugos came out. It was a perfect out, right? Right?

Yes. And that worked well.

This is from April. The entire problem of waif-fu: where tiny little girls beat up 6'5" men. No. That doesn't work. Period.

How did this make it to the top ten? Was it that good? Maybe.

It made it to Castalia House's "radar sweep" -- they liked it enough to put it up on a roundup.

Next time, let's not have tiny little girls beating up on guys about the size of Larry Correia, huh?

Looking over this list, I've come to the conclusion ... that I should probably make this blog all about sex, Sad Puppies, politics, book reviews, and comic books.  But then, I reach that conclusion every few hundred posts or so.  We'll see about doing that sometime next time around.

Sadly, I'm all out of Puppy material. Oh well. Maybe something will blow up next week.

Dragon Award Countdown -- One Week

Yes, there's only a week left to vote in the Dragon Awards. Yes, I know this is a Tuesday blog, and the 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 25.

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

I've made suggestions of what to vote for.

I've made suggestions on how to vote for Honor at Stake after Larry Correia suggested to his fans that they vote.

There is also the CLFA book bomb still kicking around there -- and yes, it's a two day event.

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

And, you might want to check out the CLFA book bomb. They've got a few good books here.

If you haven't figured it out, I'm really tired, and still sick.

Here, have a photo of Batwoman by Alex Ross. Because it looks shiny.

Monday, July 18, 2016

CLFA Book Bomb

"The Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance is happy to announce that we will now be featuring book bombs, where we focus attention on lesser-known fiction authors who deserve to be better known. For the next two days (Monday, July 18 and Tuesday, July 19), please consider purchasing one or more of the books on this list. (Come on … You know you need a couple good reads for your vacation!) If your friend asks for a good book recommendation, send them a link to this page. If you think pop culture should better represent the voices of conservatives and libertarians, please help spread the word."

Yes, I'm on the list.

Yes, so are authors that I've reviewed before.

So are one or two books I've reviewed before.

Take a look, I think you'll enjoy some of these. Especially the first few. Enjoy.

1. The Notice by Daniella Bova

2. Honor at Stake by Declan Finn
"One's a bloodthirsty monster, the other is a vampire. Welcome to New York City, where Vampires Burn."

3. Chasing Freedom, by Marina Fontaine
"Geeks and outcasts fight an oppressive regime in near-future America."

4. Iron Chamber of Memory, by John C. Wright
"On an island time has forgotten, a man remembers a lost love, a lost soul, and an eternal evil."

5.The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright
"Fringe meets Narnia at Hogwarts"

6. Her Brother's Keeper by Michael Kupari

7. By the Hands of Men, Book One: The Old World by Roy Madison Griffis

8. The Gods Defense (Laws of Magic Book 1) by Amie Gibbons
"In a world where the gods and magic have returned, enforcing justice just got a lot more hazardous!"

9. Portals of Infinity: Kaiju by John Van Stry

10. Beyond the Mist (The Chara Series Book 1) by Ben Zwycky

11. Echo of the High Kings by Jacob Spriggs
"In a world of vengeful spirits and dark gods, a handful stand against the darkness."

12. On Different Strings: A Musical Romance, by Nitay Arbel
"Penniless Texan guitar goddess teaches British engineering professor. Hearts start beating in harmony. The world has other ideas."

13. Fight for Liberty, by Theresa Linden

14. Van Ripplewink: You Can't Go Home Again, by Paul Clayton

15. Amy Lynn: Lady of Castle Dunn, by Jack July

16. The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama, Matt Margolis

17. The Devil's Dictum by Frederick Heimbach

18. The Good Fight, by Justin Justin T Robinson

19. The Violet Crow by Michael Sheldon

How to Write People of Faith when you're an Atheist

The Injustice Gamer saw a tweet of my post "Fisking "How to Write Protagonists of Colour When You're White," and suggested, well, this topic.  At first I thought of how to reduce my brain to that of a "standard" atheist -- well, the public face of one, like an insult-spewing twat like Dawkins, or a snide, sneering Brit like Hitchens. And I figured it wasn't worth it. One of the reasons I am religious is that it's quite obvious to me that there must be a Deity out there (it's called the law of Causality, people, come now), and anything short of the Judeo-Christian God is just too damn small. Any argument I've seen by Hawkins et al to circumvent the existence of God to create the universe just sounds like bat Star Trek fan fiction (Temporal loops? Multiverses? Really, Steve? Really?). To pretend to be so closed minded so as to completely exclude the possibility is beyond my ability.

And, no, for the record, I have never completely excluded the possibility that there isn't a God. It's just that every time I've chewed over that concept, it really turns out to be inedible.

Now, obviously, the presentation of atheists as seen above is unfair. What is above is truly more representative of a species known as the "anti-theist." Not only do they not believe in God, they believe that those who do believe are dangerous. The Oslo bomber who used "Christianity" to mean "Western Culture," and thought that religion was for the weak? Yeah, one of them. I expected him to cry out "Dawkins-hu akbar."

I have found reasonable, truly libertarian atheists to be closer to agnostics -- "I don't care what you believe, can we go on?" I count some of those folks as friends.

But anyway, for those of the anti-theist persuasion who have no idea what a religious person believes, or how they think, let me enlighten you.

Step 1: Unlearn What You Have Learned

Remember the film Inherit the Wind? That was a fictionalized version of the Scopes Monkey Trial? It's usually what anti-theists like to hold up when they like to say that Religious folk are anti-evolution. After all, they put someone on trial for evolution!

Total bullcrap. Any connection between that and reality is purely miraculous. Besides, the textbooks Scopes was using in real life also had some wonderful thoughts on eugenics. I wouldn't try defending those, were I you.

In the long run, take all those generalizations and just forget them. You might want to brace yourself.

This includes obligatory Psycho Preacher #55, Deranged Pederast #09, and of course, foaming at the mouth nut job #69.

Other cliche?

  • Don't make them see miracles everywhere. Read Chesterton's Father Brown mysteries for a model of the theistic skeptic. Or, read The Exorcist and how many tests are required for an exorcism to happen.
  • Don't make them see symbols in everything. Sometimes toast is just toast. 
  • The religious person isn't constantly talking about JESUS!!! or IT'S THE DEVIL!!! 
  • Know the precepts of the denomination or religion you're writing about. A Catholic thinks he's eating Christ; a Baptist thinks he's eating bread.
Step 2: Not Everything Is About Evolution

I don't know what the anti-theist obsession is with evolution. Last time I checked, it was still called "the theory of," not the "certifiable fact of" evolution. Doesn't matter. I'm relatively certain it's right, or near right enough, for the purposes of general scientific inquiry.

But by God, the few anti-theists I've interacted with have a hard on for Darwin, and Lord knows why. One friend of mine insisted that he had hope for me because I believed in evolution, and it was a short trip from there to being a good atheist.

Except here's the thing: The Catholic Church has declared that evolution is not antithetical to Church teaching since the 1920s. Even Pope Pius XII said nice things about it. So did Pope Francis most recently. So, using that same criteria, the Popes of the last 100 years have been close to embracing atheism, because they, too, either believed in evolution, or saw nothing threatening in it.

Here's the thing, atheists, for Christians who believe in evolution, it is merely the mechanics by which God has created the Earth. That's it. Pretty much the same for the big bang. For an eternal being (ie: one that is outside of time) "a day" can be a really, really long time. Which leads into...

Step 3: Not Everyone is a Literalist

Chesterton once noted that there were people out there who spend so much time arguing over the historicity of Adam and Eve that they miss the entire point of the story, which is Original Sin.

My point? It is the same as Cardinal Bellarmine when he said that the Bible tells us how to go to Heaven, not how the Heavens go. Which is a line I think he stole from Augustine a thousand years before him. I could be mistaken.


Thank you.

Come to think of it, the Catholic Church, I believe, has long ago decreed that literalism is a heresy.

What's literalism, you ask? I'll try to explain. A literalist reading of Scripture is one usually found among fundamentalists. EG: the Bible says the world was created in six days, therefore, it was created in 144 hours. Also, eg, if the Bible says  humans were present at the very beginning of Creation, humans coexisted with dinosaurs.

See also Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Fides et Ratio, using the First Vatican Council's Dei Filius:
Even if faith is superior to reason there can never be a true divergence between faith and reason, since the same God who reveals the mysteries and bestows the gift of faith has also placed in the human spirit the light of reason. This God could not deny himself, nor could the truth ever contradict the truth.
Just because we believe something is true and real doesn't necessarily mean that we believe that it's a minute by minute account.

Which leads to...

Step 4: Christians are Not All The Same.

Looking at some anti-theists, you would swear that every Christian worships under a large tent and handles venomous snakes every Sunday. We have no philosophy, philosophers, no body of real thought, nor believe in the mechanics of the general universe.

It sure is confusing when you recall that Gregor Mendel, who discovered heredity, was a Catholic monk who founded modern genetics. Or that half the craters on the moon are named after the Jesuits who founded them. Or all of the Catholic scientist priests, listed in alphabetical order.

So, a word to the wise, if you say that, for example, Catholics don't do science, check the above list, and then remember we have a blessing for a seismograph.

And I know we started with not all Christians are the same, but not even all religious people are the same.

If you want to bitch that all religious people are uneducated, please look at the history of Jewish intellectuals. Then lock yourself in a room with Simon Schama so he can snark you to death.

In fact, every time you even start to think, "Well, all religious people believe...." just stop. Why? Because, unless the thought is "all religious people believe in something more powerful than themselves, and there is a proper way to worship It," then you're probably wrong.

There is a heavy theme of monotheism kicking around -- there were / are some strains of thought among Greek / Indian believers that the pantheon merely represented many faces of one Being. But even that isn't even consistently represented within Greek and Indian theology.

Yes, while we're at it, please recall that Christianity isn't the only game in town. Because, let's face it, by anti-theists having their attitudes against belief, they also include everyone from Jews to Druids, they just seem to like to pretend that everyone is an evangelical Christian and ignore the rest, or assume the rest will follow if that one falls. Sorry, not happening.

Step 5: Belief Isn't Irrational

Seriously, if you're just going to assume that any believer isn't rational, I suggest you look up Maimonides. Or Thomas Aquinas. Or Heisenberg. Or Pasteur. What do all these philosophers and scientists have in common? They all believe.

Heck, remember the Big Bang? Starting point of the universe? I wonder if Stephen Hawking is so against the idea because it suggests a starting point to the universe, and thus a "who started it" question, but it was also proposed by a Catholic priest scientist. Again.

Step 6: Sex. Religious People have it

Fun fact, if you're new here, a lot of religions encourage sex. Catholic marriage is a contract to have sex.

In fact, studies show that not only do religious folk have more sex within marriage than other people, they enjoy it more. Funny that, isn't it?

Let's just expand it to religious people are also human.

Step 7: Do Your Research

So, how do you write a believable believer? Simple, JUST DO YOUR DAMN RESEARCH. Seriously, if you want Catholic theology, read Thomas Aquinas or his imitators, like Chesterton or Peter Kreeft.

Hell, if you want basic Christianity, CS Lewis' Mere Christianity is a good primer before you research a specific subsection of a belief system.

Ditch your preconceived notions, your stereotypes, and pretend for a few minutes that a believer might not be a horrid human being. Thank you.

Suggested Reading.

Michael Z. Williamson's A Long Time Until Now has an atheist writing a believer. Try it. Take notes. Also, Babylon 5, Passing Through Gethsemane. by a former Catholic, now atheist. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Catholic Geek: On Gaming with Daddy Warpig

The Catholic Geek: On Gaming with Daddy Warpig 07/17 by We Built That Network | Video Games Podcasts:

At 7:30 pm, EST, on this Sunday, the 17th,  Jasyn Jones, the great and powerful Daddy Warpig of Geek Gab, will be joining Declan Finn for a rousing conversation on gaming. Along the way, we'll probably have some conversations on GamerGate, the state of gaming in general, possibly movies, and whatever else strikes our fancy. Expect hilarity to ensue.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Music blog: She Moved Through The Fair (Moira Greyland )

In my defense, I have not posted this one before because it is incredibly difficult to make this something to listen to. This version works.

And, honestly, if you haven't voted for the Dragon Award nominees yet, why not? Clear here to nominate, or click here for my suggested nominees.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review: Tom Stranger: Interdimensional Insurance Agent

It occurred to me that I could do a post that I didn't need to put that much brain power into. A LibertyCon AAR would require more brain power and recall than I have right now.

So, let me go into Larry Correia's audio book, The Adventures of Tom Stranger: Interdimensional Insurance Agent, narrated by Adam Baldwin.

Yes. Really. I'm not making this one up.

Have you ever seen a planet invaded by rampaging space mutants from another dimension or Nazi dinosaurs from the future?

Don't let this happen to you!

Rifts happen, so you should be ready when universes collide. A policy with Stranger & Stranger can cover all of your interdimensional insurance needs. Rated "Number One in Customer Satisfaction" for three years running, no claim is too big or too weird for Tom Stranger to handle.

But now Tom faces his greatest challenge yet. Despite being assigned the wrong - and woefully inadequate - intern, Tom must still provide quality customer service to multiple alternate Earths, all while battling tentacle monsters, legions of the damned, an evil call center in Nebraska, and his archnemesis, Jeff Conundrum. Armed with his Combat Wombat and a sense of fair play, can Tom survive? And will Jimmy the Intern ever discover his inner insurance agent?

It's time to kick ass and adjust claims.

Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck) performs Larry Correia's madcap interdimensional tale of underwriting and space travel, where the only thing scarier than tentacle monsters is a high deductible.
My first response? "Oh good God, what the sweet hell is this?"

But it's by Larry, and it was free, and I am both a fan of Correia's as well as a cheap bastard (I am partially Scottish), so why not?

I will say this: I didn't crash the car.

Chapter 1: Tom's 9am meeting, takes place in a dimension in which the star of the five-season libertarian space cowboy show (and three blockbuster movies) has become president ... yes, Adam Baldwin.  His secretary of defense is  R. Lee Ermey. They are being invaded by the attack of the flying purple people eaters on meth, steroids and rocket fuel.

Adam Baldwin does a great Ermey impersonation.

Chapter 2: The Mediation.

The mediator is Chuck Norris. The awesome is hilarious, as is Baldwin's impersonation thereof. Just bask in the awesome.

Chapter 3: Hell Comes to Nebraska.

Best bit of the book. Not only because it blows up a science fiction convention, but because it stars Larry Correia in multiple formats, and Wendell the Manatee as CFO of CorreiaTech, creator of the Combat Wombat. There are also legions of Hell invading Nebraska, and then there's the Balrog.

Chapter 4: The book gets a plot!

Just when you thought that this was just a string of vignettes from a day in the life of Tom Stranger, surprise, we have a plot. And we make fun of Kung Fu Panda.

I won't continue with the chapter breakdown, because I can give spoilers at that point, but the short version is that this is off the walls insane and hilarious. Granted, a lot of the humor is of the WTF variety, and it makes Set to Kill look staid, but it was hilarious.

However, if you dislike having your sacred cows made into hamburger, you might have some problems. Here, Larry takes shots at Obama (did I mention that Adam Baldwin does a terrifyingly good Obama?), Joe Biden (alcoholic clown, heh), Kung Fu Panda, call centers, squishy degrees, and even nerds to some degree, because Larry's been to conventions.

But, yeah, this was a wonderful ball of strange from the get go ... no pun intended.  Much.

Anyway, while you're here, you might want to check out my own novel, Honor at Stake. You might like it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Flight of Dragon Awards

I finally went there. You know I had to.

Deadline to nominate in the Dragon awards is on July 25.

To nominate me, you click.... the exact same place.

Ahem. Anyway....

Larry Correia has finally had more than enough of the mother-loving SJW / 770 crowd screwing around with his mother-loving DragonCon.

According to Larry
This weekend I was at LibertyCon, and I ran into one of the organizers of the Dragon Awards. He said that he was kind of surprised that he hadn’t seen me talk about them online much. I told him that was because of Sad Puppies, I’m a controversial figure, there are just too many bitter harpies and poo flingers from fandom’s inbred pustulent under-choad who automatically flip out about anything I do, so I didn’t want to rock the boat for them.

But his response? Screw that. This award is for ALL FANS. And you have fans. So GO BUG THEM! We want so many people voting in this thing that no little clique or faction can sway it. The more fans involved, the better.

(an attitude that demonstrates why DragonCon is awesome)

There is no *gasp that outsider author dared to talk to his enthusiastic fans rather than suck up to our cliques discreetly* nonsense. Come to the Dragon Award and fly your wrongfan flag proud.
My first thought is "Good for you, Larry! Screw those bastards!"

My second thought, "Oh darn, he's in fantasy. I'm in fantasy. He's unleashed the hordes of his fans. I am so, so screwed."

Though, technically, Honor At Stake can be in other places.
Best Science Fiction Novel (yes, really. There is science in there. It goes metaphysical, not physical, but it's there.)
Best Fantasy / Paranormal Novel (Obviously. Because Vampires)
Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel (I originally meant it for a YA audience. Shows what I know, eh?)
Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel (Maybe .... I do have a paramilitary strike force in the Vatican ninja, and an engagement of forces at the end, but this is a stretch.)
Best Horror Novel -- I've actually gotten one vote in that category already.
Yeah. I'm going to guess that Best Horror is going to be my bet. But I'm not laying any money on it one way or the other.

Hell, for all I know, DragonCon is going to have a moment of "This Finn joker is in five categories. We should probably let him be nominated in something."

Yeah, no idea. I'm just spitballing here.

Things are going to get strange. Well, stranger.

Speaking of stranger, tune in tomorrow.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hi. I'm a little dead

For those of you who might have noticed on my Facebook page, I have not exactly fared through Chattanooga, Tennessee, and LibertyCon unscathed. For the record, I will live. The exact term for what I have is called shingles. Which I suppose means I can now do roofing tiles with my face.

For the record, I also have photos of my condition. However I do not see any need to post pictures online and make that bear any resemblance to either the Phantom of the Opera, The Elephant Man, or Two-Face from Batman. The after-action report on LibertyCon will be obviously quite delayed up until the point that I am sufficiently recovered to put together a full, competent and hopefully coherent report. I do appreciate your understanding in this matter.

For those of you who are wondering about my medication routine, it is something called antivirals. They seem to be kicking my butt more than even the virus did. I have been told that I should mainline chicken soup and morphine. Now while narcotics seem to have no effect on me as evidenced by a run-in I had with Vicodin some years ago, in retrospect I probably would have stuck with the chicken soup.

The Catholic Geek: Emergency Substitution Edition!

The Catholic Geek: Emergency Substitution Edition! 07/10 by We Built That Network | Culture Podcasts:

Hello, sports fans! This week's guest host will be Matthew Bowman, SF&F editor and founder of The Catholic Geeks. With Declan offline for the weekend, it's time for a tag-team swtich-hit in the ninth inning while only ten yards from the goal line! We'll be talking about everything from space news to Church news, Lego building to worldbuilding, the new Catholic Geek Library, and why this particular geek should never be allowed to attempt sports metaphors. We'll be taking your calls and chat room comments as they come in, too. And if you like us, subscribe! We occasionally produce stuff worth looking at. If you really like us, consider joining our new Patreon campaign, and help our friendly neighborhood admin pay Declan and the others in a higher class of peanuts.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Movie night: Pearl of Death

Yes, another Ratherbone as Sherlock Holmes, in Pearl of Death (1944).  If you're familiar with the original story, you might get some amusement from this.

At LibertyCon, still. Will be there a while. This should be interesting.

And if you haven't done the Dragon Awards yet, why haven't you? Clear here to nominate, or click here for my suggested nominees.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Music Blog: Within Temptation~ The Cross

Right now, I'm in Chattanooga, at Liberty Con, where I will be lugging around 70 pounds of books, hopefully, selling them all.

Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, have you voted for the Dragon Awards yet? Clear here to nominate, or click here for my suggested nominees.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

LibertyCon Ahoy, Castalia House Updates, Dragons

So, I'm off to LibertyCon. By the time this posts, I will either be on the plane, or getting on the plane, or something like that. Depends on whether or not the airplane decides to screw around with me or not.

While I'm away, please remember to vote in the Dragon Awards. By the time I get back, there will only be two weeks remaining. Clear here to nominate, or click here for my suggested nominees. I will be banging the drum on this from now until the 25th. If you're not there yet, get your bloody act together.

Also, according to Vox Day's blog, Castalia House now has a three month turnaround policy. I submitted Set to Kill in May, so expect word on it by the end of July. Perhaps the start of August.

Right now, I'm armed with 70 pounds of books, and a suitcase to carry them all around in.  Right now, my deepest desire is to break even on all of this.

Be well, all. With luck, the plane won't crash.

And if it does ... well, you'll figure it out soon enough.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why Superversive fiction?

CS Lewis' demon, Screwtape, once had to advise his nephew Wormwood about a moment when the junior demon could not influence his targeted human. Screwtape patiently explained that Wormwood made the mistake of allowing the targeted human to read a good book. Any demon worth his sulfur should know that they must make certain that the humans they tempt must only be made to read important books. When people read good books that warm the soul, it cloaks them in a fog that a demon can't penetrate.

“Important” books like that have been why the term “literature” has always had a bad rap – especially 19ths and 20th century literature. Because, you will notice, that Lord of the Rings is rarely put in the literature section of a bookstore – if ever. I know of no English Literature program that will include Lord of the Rings as part of the curriculum. No. For “literature,” people are subjected to Steinbeck, or Lord of the Flies, or half of Russian literature, which makes you want to slit your wrists by the time you're done. To heck with being subversive, I would submit that much of the drivel labeled as “literature” is in fact corrosive to the human spirit, if not the human soul.

Much of the science fiction during the Cold War has the same problem. Ellison's I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream, may indeed be great literature, or even brilliant, but I do come away from it wondering why I cared, or why I read it. It's a good example of Cold War science fiction, filled with the despair for the future. Heck, one of the reasons Star Trek worked so well is that it was perhaps the first Cold War sci-fi that showed a world after World War 3 that didn't look like a variation on Mad Max or The Terminator.

So, that's why Superversive fiction has always been a mystery to me – not because I didn't understand the concept, but because I didn't see the need for the term. Growing up, I always understood the difference between fiction that edifies and fiction that doesn't. Which was my original problem with the concept of Superversive fiction. Shouldn't all fiction be Superversive?

Obviously, the deeper one looks at some of the fiction being shoved into the face of the general population, the more it becomes apparent that we need a Superversive movement, mostly because of all the works being labeled “important” and then thrust into the face of the general reading public, insisting that we should read it. Too much fiction tries to be “important” fiction, and in being “important,” goes for “reality” … only their reality is grim, dismal, and amazingly Unreal. If you're trying for literature, and making it a matter of despair, you're doing it wrong. Because, sorry, I've met people whose lives have been misery, and hope is quite abundant in them. To be Jean Paul Sartre about life is to invite suicide.

J. Michael Straczynski, in his comic The Book of Lost Souls, has one tale of a street artist who recently lost her boyfriend to drug abuse. Soon after, the mural she made of him has come alive, and is talking to her … and telling her to come and join him, offering her a needle. And it is not the voice of a demon, or a monster, but, as our hero explains,
“It is the voice of reason and resentment .… The voice of madness is the voice that Believes, despite all of the evidence to the contrary … that sustains us when logic demands that we surrender to the louder voice – the voice of reason, and resentment. And it always comes in the guise of those who love us most, who want only the best for us …. Someimes their motives are pure, wishing only to save us from pain. And sometimes the pain they wish to spare is their own, because if you can be convinced to set aside your own dreams, they can remain comfortable with their decision to do the same. The Voice of reason is the voice that tells us that our dreams are foolish ….[it sometimes becomes] a genius loci, the spirit of the place. And the spirit of this place is despair.”
And that's the problem with those “literary” souls who want to sacrifice their characters, and their audience, on an alter of “reality.” Sometimes, just because something is “rational,” doesn't necessarily make it true.

This concept of “the real” is as unreal as Tolstoy's lie, that "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," an idea that probably requires being Russian to believe. Is there any more Russian concept than to believe that being happy is bland and uniform, but being miserable is unique? It is a lie, but perhaps Tolstoy didn't know that at the time. If those of the self proclaimed literati truly see the world as miserable as they write it, it does make me wonder why the authors in question just don't do away with themselves and leave the rest of us alone.

I would argue that most true literature is written by those who aren't trying. There is more truth in the hope of John Ringo's Black Tide series, than in the shallow materialism of Wagner's Ring cycle (his Twilight of the Gods has the hero die, the villain die, the king die and his sister die, the girl die, and her horse die, and the mermaids of the Rhine get their ring back and they live happily ever after … and why did we care?). Then you have the epic scope of John C. Wright's Iron Chamber of Memory and the magic around us, and the wonder and majesty of the world and the universe.

And if you doubt me that there's wonder and majesty in the universe, go Google some Hubble photos.

If you're writing a novel, and no one in it laughs, or has a reason to hope, or live … or writing sci-fi and fantasy without a sense of wonder … or you write about space without the terrifying beauty of what's in the dark … you might just be doing it wrong.

Just consider, for a moment, that Captain is about a psychically perfect human – not ubermench, not a superman, or a supernatural man, but essentially more preternatural – and that says and suggests more about the dignity and ability of the human person than anything in that Thomas Hobbes knockoff, Lord of the Flies. (Yes, I have problems with a whole book based upon one line by a philosopher who has no real concept about how human beings or society works).

To write well is to write Superversive. To write fun, entertaining books is superversive. Because to entertain well is to edify, to build up the reader. I would put more faith in Die Hard than in Lord of the Flies. I would put more faith in John Ringo, Larry Correia and Wright than all of the art films in the world. I'd rather read CS Forester and David Weber than Heart of Darkness or Lord Jim. Hell, I'd read any Ringo novel with a 90% casualty rate than anything by Stephen King.

At the end of the day, Superversive fiction – any fiction worth its salt – could be summed up by GK Chesterton: “Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Which makes them a thousand times more real than anything most recent “literature” has to offer.

Why Superversive fiction? Because it might not be "real," but it's true.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

LibertyCon Prep

So, my bags are packed and I'm ready to go .... To Tennessee. To be precise, to Chattanooga.

Seventy pounds of books? (Ten copies of each book) Check

Clothing? Check. And yes, I'm going into Chattanooga with the idea of a costume ... or uniform ... or branding.  Let's face it, Ringo's "the one in the kilt," Larry's the "walking mountain with the tetsubo as a walking stick," I'm ... probably going to be the one in the loud suit with the quirky t-shirts and the NYPD baseball cap, lugging around a suitcase.

Also included: Crystal Light, water bottles, meal bars, and a book for me to read. notebooks for notes.

Do I have any plans? Just what I posted the other day.

What might I be doing?

Fri 02:00PM Frontiers of Nanotech
Fri 02:00PM Eastern Weaponry --- with Toni Weisskopf and Larry Correia

Fri 04:00PM Monster Hunter International -- with Larry, Sarah Hoyt, and John Ringo
Fri 05:00PM Opening Ceremonies -- Everybody
Fri 06:00PM Autograph Session (Cochrane, Finn, Herring-Jones, J. Young)

Fri 07:00PM Technological Future of War
Fri 07:00PM First Contact Improv  -- with Larry Correia and Tedd Roberts

Fri 08:00PM Georgette Heyer and Her Influence on Science Fiction (Mostly for the people on the panelSarah A. Hoyt, Jody Lynn Nye, David M. Weber, Toni Weisskopf)
Fri 09:00PM Reading: Declan Finn & Jeremy Hicks
Fri 10:00PM Reading - John Ringo

Sat 10:00AM Global Pandemics and Biosecurity
Sat 11:00AM Principles of War (with Kratman)
Sat 02:00PM Do Utopian cities or Dystopian cities make the better backdrop for Urban Fantasy?
Sat 04:00PM Ice Cream Social
Sat 05:00PM Panel Noir (Larry Correia, et al (several from Black Tide Rising)
Sat 07:00PM Invasion of the Podcasters (Me)
Sat 08:00PM It's in the Blood: What Fuels our Fears, Attraction and Fascination with Vampires (Me again)
Sun 10:00AM Kaffeeklatsch
Sun 11:00AM SIGMA Panel
Sun 12:00PM Black Tide Rising Roundtable
Sun 01:30PM Black Tide Rising Mass Autograph Session
Sun 02:00PM Gene Editing - the Making of Better Humans

That's the broad strokes. Obviously, some sections I have to be at. Saturday is "skimpy" ... by various definitions of skimpy. I'm not booked solid, but I'll live.

Also, this keeps my schedule wide open in case I want to be social. We'll see if that happens.