Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Complete Works of Declan Finn

Yes, I'm still heading for Atlanta. I still have a blog to do.

You know, it's occurred to me that I should probably so something really strange .... and have a blog post that actually collects, you know, my books.

Yes, I know, I'm slow.

I'm going to be putting these together in order, sort of. Mostly in chronological by story. Most of these books are not really that tightly interwoven. For example, It Was Only on Stun! marks the first appearance of Sean A.P. Ryan, but you don't need to read it in order to understand The Pius Trilogy. Technically, you don't even need it to understand Set To Kill when that comes out.

Granted, I want you to buy all of them, but I'm not going to force it.

This one, everyone knows. Why? Because it's "murder mystery at a science fiction convention." I won't say it's typical at all, because, well, this one has terrorists, assassins, and a psychotic who thinks he's an elf.

Or is he?

A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller                                        A Pius Legacy: A Political Thriller 
A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller          

You've seen every Dan Brown knockoff in existence. You know, a Mozart conspiracy, or a Michelangelo Pattern, and Daniel Silva, or I don't know, someone else who decides to smash pseudo-history together with "high technology" MacGuffins. 

Granted, Dan Brown is actually a knockoff of James Rollins, who had been putting theoretical science together with mysteries of history well before Brown's train wreck of a series.

The Pius Trilogy is pretty much where I started in the general insanity of my writing career. Stun! came first, but Pius is what I was passionate about for years. It ate a decade of my life, and if you don't believe, me, I can tell you I went through two agents just getting there.

You want history? We got history.

You want a culture war? We fight it with real bullets.

You tired of seeing religion put on trial? See it mount a defense.

Hate lawyers? I think we shoot some.

War on God? God will have none of it. I'm putting the militant in "church militant."

We have an evil Cardinal, a psychotic mercenary, shady priests, a zealous Pope, and everything you think I'm going to do with them, you're wrong.

The follow up anthologies, which are really prequels, are

Pius Origins
Pius Holidays

But, you can get both of them in the complete Pius Tales.

There are some people who might suggest that this comes first before any of the other books. Technically true. All of the stories in these are the result of, well, promotion. I was trying to build up buzz for the Pius trilogy with stories about the characters.  That's how I had....

Sean Ryan vs. the IRA, on twitter .... and versus the meth dealers, on a public street...and in a mall on Black Friday
Scott Murphy, Catholic Mossad Spy, blowing up Bethlehem and Boston.
Jon Koneig, Mafia Enforcer, versus drug lords.
Father Frank Williams .... vs. terrorists on St. Patrick's Day.

Yeah. I had some fun.

On the one hand, this is out of order. Other books have come out since then. However, this is the cherry on top of the trilogy. It's the final straw, really. It's all the footnotes, to pretty much everything I used over the course of the entire series.

Because when in doubt, through everything out there, and see what's bought.

Codename Winterborn

The year is 2093. Lt. Kevin Anderson is a spy.

Then everything he knew and loved was blown up by corrupt politicians.

This means war.

Can you tell that I like that song?

Anyway, this doesn't have any connection to the other books. But I enjoyed myself.

Honor At Stake

And, of course, the Sad Puppies and Dragon Award nominated book, Honor at Stake.

If I haven't talked up this book enough lately, I have not done my job.

For All Their Wars Are Merry

Exactly what the title says.

So that's all nine books -- and I'm not counting the pieces and parts of Tales, it's just one book, as far as I'm concerned. I have at least three more that are ready to launch within a matter of weeks. 

Don't worry, I'm not going away any time soon.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fall season 2016 preview

Why, yes, I am off at DragonCon. However, I have some things to look at before I go,

I've already started my look at the fall season, where we discovered that Lethal Weapon, Exorcist, and 24, were all coming back, with only one new show.

And how we have. ... Training Day (CBS)

Guys, when I joked that this was the return of everything? IT WASN'T A SUGGESTION.

On the one hand, I never liked the premise of the original. Yes, I've heard that Denzel was awesome in the film, but... Denzel? Bad guy? Yes, he was also the bad guy in The Siege (sorry, post 9-11, Bruce Willis it the hero of that one), but still, really?

This ... I don't know, I might be able to get behind it. It'll be nice to see Katrina Law as someone other than part of the League of Assassins (she's a side character, honest. She's there). It's also nice to see Bill Paxton as something other than being horribly misused on Agents of SHIELD. Okay, he was gleefully chewing the scenery there ... and looks like he might have a bit of fun here as well.

Here, Paxton seems a little less of a corrupt cop and more of a burnout cop, with a few corrupt tendencies. Though, to be perfectly honest, destroying a drug lab and stealing their money sounds like a reasonable way to deal with the problem.

Pro: It has potential.

Con: Never bought the idea of the original movie.

Pure Genius (CBS)

In APB, the new series from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, we have "Tony Stark takes over the police."

In this, we have "really boring Stark takes over a hospital."

Yes, I'm sorry, this does look an awful lot like one of those "inspirational shows," that looks about as inspirational as an insipid romance novel.

But then there's Reshma Shetty.

If you don't know Shetty, she's a fun Indian actress who was a star of Royal Pains for its eight seasons. She was charming and witty, and entertaining.

And yes, I'm hoping she's playing the exact same character, just with a different name.

And since she's going from a PA to being a doctor, my guess is that it's likely.

But yes, in general, it looks highly uninspiring. I've read Avon romance novels that had more depth and character.

Yeah, there's really only on Pro here. The rest, I can do without.


Oh God, not another time travel show.

I'm wondering what the bloody blue hell the writers were smoking. Did they binge watch Legends of Tomorrow back to back with Doctor Who and decide that time travel was the in thing?

Okay, yes, I'm being picky, but ... a show of hands, how many people think that this is going to have at least one preachy moment an episode? You know, the same exactly parts of Legends of Tomorrow  that really, really, really drag, and make me want to bash my head against a wall? Like trying to preach at us about the "sexually repressive sixties," even though, you know, IT GENERATED A BABY BOOM?

But, yeah, like with the bad episodes of Legends of Tomorrow, or with the entire series that was Cold Case, I expect that a good chunk of this series is going to be Orwellian rewriting of history to match whatever PC BS narrative is up and running.

I will give this a try in the hopes that it will try something new and creative with it. I won't hold my breath. I would like Goran Visnjic to have a good TV show, since I generally liked him, even on e.r. 

Pro: Goran, and perhaps a good action scene every episode.

Con: "In this episode, we have to make sure over a dozen people DIE on the Hidenberg." Yeah. That's going to be a barrel of laughs. Add in the potential preach factor, and the "I'm drunk, didn't think I'd be called in" cliche, and I'm not holding out a lot of hope.

MacGyver (CBS)

Oh come on. MacGyver? Why ... what ...

No, really? MacGyver?

Granted, in a world where Burn Notice lasted for years, we should have all seen this coming.

Also, he's still not comfortable with guns, but high explosives aren't a problem.

And oh God, the hair. Why? Wasn't the mullet bad enough?

And, while the original series had the concept of spy for hire (seriously, he blew up a Middle East nuclear reactor before the opening credits once), it wasn't quite this explicit.

Also ... where's the music?

Bull (CBS)

Dear Michael Weatherly ... was NCIS so bad that you had to leave it to come to this?

Sigh. On the one hand, the psychology of jury selection and running juries can be fun. Don't believe me, just watch The Runaway Jury. Or one of the Parker episodes of Leverage where it's 12 Angry Men.

This .... I'll give it a shot, though I think I'd rather shoot myself in the head by the end of it. Especially if they make it into multiple PC endings. "Oh, his alibi is he's gay."  Pull that once to get past your politically correct overlords, and I'll understand. Do that every episode, and I'm out of here.

Notorious (ABC)

Oh look, it's Piper Perabo, the blonde who made a CIA television show into a boring soap opera.

With games that slimy lawyers play action.

The description?
“Notorious” is inspired by the true-life stories of famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker, who serve as executive producers. The series is a provocative look at the unique, sexy and dangerous interplay of criminal law and the media
1) Geragos never looked that good.

2) Geragos is also known as the man who only defends the guilty, and does it badly.

Among Geragos' clients are:
Clinton crony Susan McDougal: spent 18 months in federal prison. In his defense, at least Geragos didn't get Susan McDougal the death penalty. Any additional damage Geragos could do to McDougal's case was nullified when Clinton granted her a presidential pardon hours before he left office. As Susan McDougal assured New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in 1997, Clinton would never pardon her: "He's not going to wake up one day and confer it on me." As to how McDougal knows the way Bill Clinton behaves when he first wakes up in the morning, I'll leave that to your imagination.

Gary Condit: suspected (but never accused!) of involvement in Chandra Levy's disappearance. Condit was never charged with any crime. But he hired Geragos to manage a media campaign to defend his reputation. The next thing Condit knew, he was kissing his 30-year political career goodbye when he lost to his Democratic primary opponent by a whopping 18 points. Or as the kids are saying these days, Condit got "shrummed" by 18 points. The only way Condit could have lost by a bigger margin would be if Bob Shrum had managed his campaign.

Winona Ryder: convicted of grand theft. Instead of having her throw herself on the state's mercy and beg for a plea bargain, Geragos took the case to trial, where the jury had to balance a videotape of Ryder caught in the act of stealing against Geragos' argument that the store security guards were mean to her. (If there was any more to the defense's theory, I missed it.) Geragos boasts that he won a sentence of only community service and probation for Ryder. That might be something to crow about if the prosecutor had asked for anything more than ... community service and probation.

Michael Jackson: fired Geragos almost immediately after hiring him.

Scott Peterson: convicted of first- and second-degree murder 
With him as executive producer (meaning he has direct control over the content of the show) expect this to be Geragos rewriting a lot of history to make him look good.

Seriously, though, Geragos? Has Shonda Rhimes run out of ideas for morally bankrupt bastards, so they had to go to the LA lawyer?

Designated Survivor (ABC)

On the one hand, Jack Bauer is back on television. On the other hand ... the last time Kiefer Sutherland had a season that focused really heavily  on politics, is was season 6 of 24, and none of us want a rehash of that.

And he's the HUD secretary? HUD as president? Oh good God, this has so much potential to suck.

Please, I really want Jack Bauer back. Don't screw this up, ABC....

Oh, who am I kidding, ABC is dedicated to the morally bankrupt and the vile, I think it's their primary audience. If you want to prove me wrong, feel free to point out when all of Shonda Rhimes' shows are off the air.

Pro: President Jack Bauer. And you thought President Jack Ryan was scary. And FBI agent Maggie Q investigating the initial attack, leaving us plenty of 24 like drama to play out.

Con: HUD secretary as President. With Kal Penn ... freaking Kumar ... former Obama employee ... as his aide de camp. We are so f***ing doomed.

Conviction (ABC)

Oh, Hayley Atwell, I really do like you. You have a great smile. Lovely eyes. You're downright beautiful. How the heck did you end up with this mess for a show?

Pro: It's a new concept. We're going to take a former first daughter, who has all the bad habits of Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, and every other child actor train wreck, all blended into one person, and put her in charge of reviewing cases that had come before the DA's office. Add to that Eddie Cahill of CSI: NY (my personal favorite among all of the CSI franchise).

Con: There is no way this would work in real life. Suspension of disbelief? Heck with that. Just turn off your brain entirely just to get into the initial premise. She's a law professor sleeping with multiple students, drug, alcohol and party habits? Once upon a time, you had to be smarter than lawyers to teach law, but this? This.... This.... gah!

Time After Time

Here we have a plot instead of just "Oh look, a time travel show!" Granted, it's HG Wells versus Jack the Ripper, but okay.

I don't know how to feel about this one. Mainly because HG Wells hanging around just to deal with one villain seems a little like a solid movie of the week, not an entire tv show. And no, I don't recognize anyone off hand, but that doesn't really mean anything.

Biggest con, though? In the trailer, he has Jack the Ripper at gunpoint, and doesn't pull the trigger.

When in doubt, YOU SHOOT JACK THE RIPPER. Seriously, dude, otherwise he gets kidnapped by the Vorlons and used as their own personal psychopath.

This season has a lot of mishmash around here. It may all suck. Only time will tell.

And while you're waiting for all this to come out, you can kill some time with my novel Honor at Stake. Heh.

And ... enjoy.

DragonCon or bust

I've off to Atlanta.

Have fun everybody.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Catholic Geek: Finding God Among the Stars, with Brad Torgersen


Host Declan Finn is joined by novelist Brad R Torgersen, where they will discuss religion in science fiction and fantasy, as well as religion in the modern secular 21st century American landscape, spiritual themes in a technological society, and how science can only ever answer the ?How? while we (as a species) often need religion to answer the ?Why.?

In short: We're going to have so much fun.

Brad R. Torgersen is a prolific science fiction author who first broke into print in 2010, with a double debut in the pages of Analog magazine, and the 26th volume of Writers of the Future. Since that time he's either won or been nominated for numerous awards, including three readers' choice awards from Analog, and has published in various magazines, e-zines, and anthologies. His novel, The Chaplain's War, from Baen Books, hit print at the end of 2014. In addition to being a science fiction author, Brad is also a Chief Warrant Officer in the United States Army Reserve, and returned from overseas deployment earlier in 2016. Married for over twenty years, Brad makes his home in Utah.

Please remember that today is the LAST DAY to register for a Dragon Award. Register Now, or forever hold your piece. You'll get an email. You can then vote for Honor at Stake. Sound like a plan?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dragon Award Z

Yes, I'm a pain about this. The registration for the Dragon Awards is ALMOST CLOSED. Registration closes THIS SUNDAY. SUNDAY SUNDAY.

So... click here. Get on it.

The Award Winner Announcement will be on Sunday, September 4th, at 2:30 PM.

However, there's no actually mention of a physical award. Hmm.

Dang it, I really did like the idea of this award.

Yes, I know, it's probably not what the award would look like, assuming there's an actual, physical statue.

But, then again, for all I know, they 3D print the awards on site.

Yes, I did basically make an entire post dedicated to that photo.  Because I'm strangely fond of it.

Anyway, I will probably wind up bringing home two Dragon Awards. Why? Because I volunteered to accept the award on behalf of John C. Wright, and for Brian Niemeier. I'm going to feel ridiculous if I've volunteered to pick up an award that's going to be mailed out later.

Anyway, if you haven't registered yet, do it not. This minute. Go ahead. CLICK HERE.

And, once you're there, vote for Honor at Stake. Heh. Buy the book here.

And ... enjoy.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Dragon Awards Registration Closing THIS SUNDAY

I will endeavor to make this a point on the show this weekend, but I should make it a point now.

This is nearly your LAST CHANCE to register for the Dragon Awards. 

You may register to receive a ballot until Sunday, August 28th at 11:59PM (EDT).

Now, obviously, I don't want you to sign up for the Dragon Award just to get me a Dragon. I'm fairly certain that Brian will kick my ass.  When even Vox Day's only commentary on his voting for Brian is "Sorry Declan, you're screwed," I'm relatively certain that, well, I'm screwed.

However, I'd like for this year to start out solid. The first ever Dragon Awards. Won't that be awesome?

I mean, look at this trophy....

Okay, this is probably not the trophy, just some proposed mock up, but dang, it looks awesome. Especially with the crushed Hugo.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Rabid Puppy ... mostly because I don't think the Hugos are worth that much energy. I don't think we need the battle cry Hugo delenda est, mainly because I think it's like watching the Hindenburg and deciding it needs gasoline poured on the flames. Or watching a man slowly die after one has pulled his life support. Or, as I've usually said, the Rabid Puppy's desire to destroy the Hugos feels like watching a drowning man, and decide that he's not drowning fast ENOUGH.

And hey, maybe the Sad Puppies are right and they can reform the Hugos. Why not? Dumber things have happened. Hell, if you don't believe me, look at the David Truesdale fallout -- you even have Moshe Feder saying that this has all gone too far. That suppression of Free speech is a Really Bad Idea.

Perhaps there's hope for them. However, there are at least three documented cases of people being banned from WorldCon / MACII / Whatever, all because they "made someone uncomfortable."  This includes Truesdale, the audience member who yelled back at the fellow bellowing at Truesdale, and a friend of a friend who needed a lawyer present. Big freaking deal. I'm sure I can make those pearl clutchers wince just with some of my t-shirts. So, no, I don't hold out hope for WorldCon, the Hugos, or any of their friends.

As it is, I would like the Dragons to be as big as possible. I've only seen a handful of people even mention the Dragon Awards. It used to be hard to find even on DragonCon's own page. Then I realized that DragonCon has it's own app, so you can register for the award that way.

Anyway, if you have a few minutes, go, register for the award now, and when the email comes in, pick out your favorites. And, IF you have no one else you'd rather vote for in horror, and IF you wouldn't mind, THEN vote for Honor at Stake.

But vote here:

And ... enjoy.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review of Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge

What happens when you bring together one of the best SF&F writers into one of the best fantasy worlds in books today? Grunge.

At LibertyCon, John Ringo mentioned that he was reading Monster Hunter International because, well, it's not the sort of thing he would write, so he wouldn't be stealing anything from it by accident. I know that feeling. (For the record, John, feel free to read my books, I can't imagine you writing anything like them anyway).

Instead, Ringo ended up writing three books for MHI. Heh.
When Marine Private Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is killed in the Marine barrack bombing in Beirut, somebody who might be Saint Peter gives him a choice: Go to Heaven, which while nice might be a little boring, or return to Earth. The Boss has a mission for him and he's to look for a sign. He's a Marine: He'll choose the mission.

Unfortunately, the sign he's to look for is "57." Which, given the food services contract in Bethesda Hospital, creates some difficulty. Eventually, it appears that God's will is for Chad to join a group called "Monster Hunters International" and protect people from things that go bump in the night. From there, things trend downhill.

Monster Hunter Memoirs is the (mostly) true story of the life and times of one of MHI's most effective—and flamboyant—hunters. Pro-tips for up and coming hunters range from how to dress appropriately for jogging (low-profile body armor and multiple weapons) to how to develop contacts among the Japanese yakuza, to why it's not a good idea to make billy goat jokes to trolls.

Grunge harkens back to the Golden Days of Monster Hunting when Reagan was in office, Ray and Susan Shackleford were top hunters and Seattle sushi was authentic.
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge has everything that I've come to expect from Ringo: a smart character (in this case, super-genius) taking over-the-top situations, and responding to them very pragmatically. Swarm of zombies? Shoot them in the head. And shoot faster. Have a dream about a mission from God? Well, it could be a dream, or it could be a vision. We'll see.

Also, 57. And baby-killer first class.

Heh. You'll have to read the book to get that one.

One of nice bits of business I liked was the interaction with Agent Franks, where you're fairly certain that our hero was given access codes to a secret handshake between himself and a creature like Franks.

However, if you're looking for the John Ringo of Ghost ... don't. First, I never thought the first novel was representative of his work (even representative of the rest of his series). Second, Grunge feels a little bit more like my personal favorite of his series: Special Circumstances. And I swear that Ringo immersed himself in Japanese culture and has come back to his Catholic roots -- there's a lot of both in there.

Ringo also brings in politics to the realities of monster hunting. While Larry Correia goes for a more laissez faire attitude between government and private enterprise ("Seriously, federal government, leave us the hell alone"), Ringo has a more intricate view of this. This is due to the fact that Larry's books are nonstop action pieces that largely take place over the matter of days, while Ringo's is a look at years of service in a particular region (in this case, Seattle). And even most of the politics boils down to "This is the nuts and bolts of how things get done .... poorly and with plenty of cash."

From what I can gather, the series will be broken down by region, Grunge is Seattle, Sinners will be New Orleans, and I presume the third one will take place in MHI's home base of Cazador. But that's just a guess.

Due to the way Ringo has this book set up, there's much more time for a look at the day to day operations of an MHI outpost -- dealing with MCB agents that aren't running the whole bureau into the ground; sometimes, making deals with things and people who you'd rather see shot dead, but the sausage has to get made. Larry's "Problem" with that is that his novels usually start with them up to their neck in crap, with a truck backing up with another load.

This is a little more laid back. Granted, Chad, our narrator, is ... okay, I don't know why he sleeps with everything that moves, but thankfully, if it's off-putting to you, you don't have to worry about it. There's nothing graphic .... barely anything suggestive .... and doesn't drastically impact the story a lot. Most of it is how to get along, mostly.

And everything fits together.  There are plots for this book, and an overarching plot that will spill over into the next book, if not the next two books. And while Ringo even tells you who the ultimate bad guy is (and it's not difficult to deduce), it doesn't change anything.

Obviously, there are cameos from some of the supporting characters in the series, and I suspect they will play a larger role as Ringo's series continues.

Overall, I recommend this one. It deals with the politics of monster hunting, how the boots on the ground MHI personnel interact with local law enforcement, and even how locals interact with the feds and the MHI alike. Also, let's just say that the politics of an otherworldly fashion come into play. And boy, do you want a lawyer for them. Heh.

I suspect the rest of the series will be just plain fun.

Speaking of fun ... insert a shameless plug for Honor at Stake.
The Dragon Award Nominated Novel
Vote Early, Vote Often

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WorldCon is Food for the Dragon

In case you thought that my post-Hugo analysis hasn't been very thorough, I've got some professionals involved.

Larry's thoughts?
Funny. When I started Sad Puppies four years ago, the narrative was all about how the Hugos were a celebration of what was great, representing the best of all of fandom. I said nope, it is decided by cliques, ass kissing, and politics. They called me a liar. Fast forward to now, and at least they are open it is all politics. Hell, they’re celebrating it.

Just ask yourself this, what kind of scumbags would give No Award to Larry Elmore? This is a man who is one of the most prolific and popular fantasy artists of all time. His covers dominated the better part of a decade, a whole generation of writers grew up with his posters on their wall, yet, he never got nominated for a Hugo that entire time.

Larry Elmore wasn’t involved in any campaigns. When he found out that fans finally recognized him for a Hugo nomination he was surprised, honored, and humbled.

No Award.

Moira Greyland exposed to the culture of rape and pedophilia in old fandom, and not the made up “rape culture” the modern feminists accuse anybody who disagrees with them of. It was a gut wrenching expose in a category normally won by fluff. But they wanted that swept under the rug.

No Award.

Toni Weisskopf? No Award. But we already knew that was coming. Sure, she’s one of the most successful editors and publishers in the business, exactly the sort of “empowered woman” these liars claim we want to keep out.

And Jerry Pournelle… Living legend. You pieces of shit are honestly going to tell us that Jerry Pournelle is not award worthy?

Sure. Why not?

And to Neil Gaiman, boldly standing up to those pesky Puppies during his speech…

When you got your buddy Jonathan Ross to volunteer to MC the awards, it wasn’t those jerky Sad Puppies that formed an angry twitter mob because he *might* tell a fat joke. He got sacrificed on the altar of PC.

When you were getting yelled at for making light of Trigger Warnings, it wasn’t the Sad Puppies who were triggered.

And when some dilettante couch surfer was demanding that readers judge authors by the color of their skin rather than the content of their books, and holding up your book as the example for her finger shaking scolding, it was the Sad Puppies who said that was nonsense.

Now, I know you’re a multi-millionaire A-lister and your career is so awesome you can safely pat those yapping jackals on their tender heads and not lose a hand, but most authors aren’t in your lofty tower.
Brian Niemeier of course, has not only done an analysis, but has tossed in number crunching.
I don't claim to be unbiased in this matter, even though I'm confident that neutral observers will reach the same conclusions from the documented evidence.
If I'm grateful to Worldcon for one thing, it's that I now have something in common with the great Dr. Jerry Pournelle: we both placed last under No Award.

Being snubbed by geriatric perverts isn't what I'd call a personal tragedy. However, the CHORFs have made the tactical error of insulting the readers who nominated me for the Campbell. The Worldcon clique have publicly rebuked my readers by declaring that I was unworthy of their consideration.

I answer to my readers; not a bunch of leftover hippies. To vindicate the fans who believed in me, I will dedicate my victory in the first annual Dragon Award for Best Horror Novel to them.

Though I'm doing this for you, I can't do it without you. The Dragon Award winners will be decided entirely by the fans. If you enjoy my work, you have it in your power to confound the CHORFs who mocked you by taking an author you support from last place in the dying Hugos to first place in the rising Dragons.
Yes. The numbers are over at his link.


Yes. Really inflammatory, huh?.

David Truesdale had a comment or two.

Another Worldcon Expulsion From "State of Short Fiction" Panel:
I have just become aware of the following blog where a fan in the audience was also expelled. He wrote it up as a con report, with the expulsion part coming around the halfway point.

First of all, there was another fan at the back of the room very early on who took me to task for hypocrisy. You'll hear the clapping from the audience. He just spontaneously shouted it out. Okay, fine.
Neil Clarke, who had turned his chair so that his back was to me (some short time later, listen to the tape for specifics, that's what it's there for), then turns to his mike and shouts "I call bullshit!" To which a fan in the third row then shouts something to the effect that it was Neil who was being intolerant. At the time I had no idea who the fan was, or what he really said even though he had to kind of shout over the crowd noise. So this was the second fan shouting from the audience, at which point I asked for no more stuff from the crowd, that there would be plenty of time at the end for the Q&A for folks to express themselves. Everyone in the audience was as polite as could be after that.
So now it turns out the fellow who challenged Neil Clarke gets home from the con to find he had been expelled from worldcon because he harassed a con member. In his case, worldcon _did_ send him an email asking him to get in touch to talk it over. The problem for him was that he never checked his email until today. At which point worldcon had already sent him a second email letting him know that since he hadn't replied to the first email, he was now expelled. He provides the verbatim worldcon email at the end of his con report.
So Neil Clarke can swear (the only swear word of any kind during the panel; I suspect if I did that I'd be getting calls for my expulsion from all quarters :-) ), and another fan can shout something challenging something I said, but this poor fan does a single shout (and as he puts it is thereafter quiet as a church mouse) and he also gets the boot. So make of all this what you will. Is there to be no audience engagement of any sort now? Who will decide if a comment (funny or rude or anything else) from the audience at any future worldcon is to be grounds for expulsion--or at least reported on and brought to the principal's office? Yes, he might have gotten off with a warning or one day suspension of he'd checked his email, but the mere fact that he was called on the carpet for this oh, so grievous offense is quite troubling. I had things under control. The audience was perfect after I politely asked for no more interruptions form them. Think about where this is heading. No, we don't want guests, panelists, or fellow fans harassed, but on the other hand are we going to have to stock every panel room with con guards listening to every word everyone says from this day forward?
And there's someone else who was at the panel who had their own comments on it.

Everyone here has pretty much mentioned "well, there's the Dragon Awards, who needs the Hugos."

Speaking of which, Russel Newquist has a gladitorial shootout between D&D monters, and characters from Honor at Stake, and my nearest competitor for the Dragon Award for best horror.

Here's my book, which is nominated for best horror novel.

Monday, August 22, 2016

CLFA August Book Bomb

The Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance is doing another book bomb, where they focus attention on lesser-known fiction authors who "deserve to be better known." Yesterday and today is the book bomb.

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. Freedom/Hate (Freedom/Hate Series, Book 1), by Kyle Andrews

2. "A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller," by Declan Finn 
"Sometimes, history can be murder."

3 Reservations, by Richard Paolinelli
"Death stalks the Reservation"

4. Farside, by Patrick Chiles
"A missing spacecraft, a cryptic message, and a fearsome secret hiding in plain sight."

5. The Raven, The Elf, And Rachel, by L. Jagi Lamplighter

6 American Warfighter, by J. Pepper Bryars
This book is about what went right in the Iraq War: The untold acts of valor by some of America’s most highly decorated combat veterans, the brotherhood they shared, and the fighting spirit that kept them alive through the war’s darkest hours.

7 From Roundheel To Revolutionary: by Susan Kaufield (A Novel By Jeff Daiell)

8 Night Machines by Kia Heavey 
It's not really cheating if it's only a fantasy … right?

9 Decisively Engaged (Book One of the Warp Marine Corps series), by C.J. Carella
They picked a fight with the wrong species.

10 Not By Sight, by Ken Prescott 

11 Operation Renfield, by Steven G Johnson

12 Nobility Among Us, by Ben Zwycky
A noble family's quiet revolution against a crumbling hierarchy of tyrants.

13 Cruncher and the Ghost, by Robert Bruce O'Connor
A story so scary you'll wet your pants laughing

14 Renegades: Origins. 
A group of misfits, including aliens, psychics, mercenaries, and a rogue assassin struggle to escape an alien prison where survival is measured in hours.

16 The Hidden Truth, by Hans G. Schantz

17 Levon's Trade, by Chuck Dixon
Levon's trade is death.

18 A Sea of Troubles, by Rado Dyne, 
Tagline: A short science fiction story about growing up, guns, and the gravity of the situation.

19 HARD BITE by Anonymous-9
A paraplegic serial killer whose daughter was killed in Los Angeles by a hit-and-run driver now targets them for murder with the help of a pet monkey.

20 On Different Strings: A Musical Romance by Nitay Arbel
Penniless Texan guitar goddess teaches British engineering professor. Hearts beat in harmony. The world has other ideas.

And, since we're doing marketing, here, the DRAGON AWARD NOMINATED HORROR NOVEL HONOR AT STAKE

You haven't read it yet....It's a speedy read. Most people can't put it down. So it'll be done in time for the Dragon award vote.

Post Hugo Roundup

There will be no article on the Hugos today. I think it was all covered on Twitter, and on the radio show.

I recommend listening to the radio show from yesterday.  As for anyone else .... Larry doesn't care (hasn't written anything last I saw, aside from "Vote Dragon.")...Vox Day has some thoughts on the Hugos....  As does John C. Wright.  Wright has some interesting commentary on the aftermath, such as the idea of pulp, as well as come comments on the award winners.

There was an incident at WorldCon where a man named David Truesdale was apparently run out on a rail. Vox has some thoughts on it. As does the always interesting John C. Wright.
There will be more on the Truesdale incident as the days go by. I'm sure

Anyway, so we care?  Sigh. Not really. My kneejerk reaction is to brawl with the morons who decide to defend the indefensible. But there's no reason to do so.

Why? Because from now on, [slide on shades] we'll be riding the dragon.


Anyway, by all means, let's move on.

Please go vote for the Dragons.

And for those people who are wondering....

Yes. These books are out. They're here. Yay.

Covers by Dawn Witzke.

Pius History

I'm going to take a nap now.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Catholic Geek: Hugos 2016, AAR 08/21

The Catholic Geek: Hugos 2016, AAR 08/21 by We Built That Network | Culture Podcasts:

Declan Finn will have various and sundry spies reporting from WorldCon, discussing the state of the convention, and the Hugos. Who went insane this year? How much DID Vox Day win? Why were most of the the award winners so eye-bleedingly WHITE? No, seriously, aren't they supposed to be diverse?

Also to be discussed, David Truesdale, decades-long veteran of science fiction editing, was thrown out of WorldCon entirely. Why? Because he dared to discuss how political correctness screws with short stories in .... a panel on short stories. Watch as WorldCon employees try to spin as fast as they can to justify their lies, exiling Truesdale, and praying to whatever demons they worship that they don't get their asses sued off.

Declan Finn is the author of the Dragon Award nominated novel Honor At Stake, and and the recent nonfiction books Pius History, and For All Their Wars Are Merry, an examination of Irish Rebel Songs.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

For All their Wars are Merry, The Final Roundup

Well, it's here, the roundup.

.... For All Their Wars are Merry will be out by tomorrow.

And in case you're new here, this is what the book is about.

On IRA Music and Free Books
When I first referred to this insanity coming out. And debuts "My Little Armalite"

Pius History, And #SadPuppies Bite Back
Where I explain where this comes into the overall plan.

COMING SOON: For All their Wars are Merry
.... This is mostly just an excuse to post "The Supergrass."  Heh.

A best summary of what I'm doing, really, complete with a bit of history, an outline, and even more of the songs.

....Yeah. I haven't done a whole heck of a lot to set the ground for this one. And sorry about that. But I've been pushing myself to keep publishing as fast as I can. AND dealing with the Hugos. AND dealing with the Dragon Awards. AND preparing for Castalia House's rejection, so I can get THOSE books set up and ready to publish....

And working on a nonfiction proposal for Ave Maria press.

So, yes, I keep busy.

Enjoy all.

Oh, and if you haven't, please vote in the dragon awards.

And if you haven't read it here, that'll get you started. It's a speedy read. Most people can't put it down. So it'll be done in time for the Dragon vote.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

For All Their Wars Are Merry, THIS SUNDAY

First, since I haven't mentioned it all that often, please go, look into The Dragon Awards, register, and vote.  And please, but all means, vote for me. If you wouldn't mind. It's under "Horror."

Back to business.

I've mentioned For All Their Wars Are Merry a few times. It's a book about Irish Rebel Songs. It's going to be one of those that's a little drier than my usual fair. Little will blow up in grand fashion, though there will be quite a few train wrecks along the way.

There's a reason that the full quote from GK Chesterton is
“The great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.”
Except, of course, for some of their songs about war. And trust me, if you lost as many engagements as the Irish did, most of the after action songs would be depressing as hell....But they're not. Not all of them, anyway. There are at least two hero songs where the hero ends BADLY, and they're still generally bright, upbeat songs, even in the lyrics.

If you don't believe me, look up a song of "Father Murphy, of County Wexford." Father Murphy was a badass.

For All Their Songs Are Merry comes out this Sunday, just as I said it would. (I said it would be this past Sunday or this upcoming Sunday....well, it's this upcoming Sunday.)

Once more into the description: 
"For all Their Wars Are Merry" is an examination of the uses and implications of songs in Irish terrorist organizations such as the IRA and all of their various and sundry splinter factions. Basically, it will examine why the Irish have these songs as such a widespread phenomenon, and what the songs tell us about these Irish terrorists.

From songs like “My Little Armalite” to “Come out Ye Black and Tans,” one gets the feeling that the IRA doesn't quite take their British opponents as seriously as one would think, given the amount of bombs and firepower the IRA and all of its mutations has thrown at them in their fight to have Northern Ireland united with the Republic of Ireland, or at least independent of the United Kingdom.
Along the way, it will cover why the Irish terrorists have such songs, why they apologize for their atrocities, how Catholic they thing they are. It will trace these traditions going back back to the days of the Druidic Bards-Irish poets-of the early Celts some three thousand years ago, up to and including the poet Patrick Pearse in the 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin.
The book will come out in Kindle and in Paperback, and it will be strangely priced.  How so?

Well, I did something strange, and I priced it according to Amazon Guidelines. Yes, Kindle now has a program where it takes your book, everything you say about the book (genre, categories, keywords) and puts together an algorithm for how it should be priced as a Kindle copy.

And so the Kindle Edition of For All Their Wars Are Merry is $3.49.  Why that and not $2.99? I have no idea. It's not like I get that much more, but I'm going to something really odd and trust that Amazon knows how to sell Amazon books.

The price of the paperback will be .... the usual price of a paperback. Yes, Sorry, but for the dimensions of the book, $14.95 is still the most reasonable. I swear that the cut Createspace takes is getting bigger as we go along.

Anyway, that's it. The Kindle and Print editions are already in the works. They'll be up on Sunday, and I'll send a letter to Amazon to make sure that the pages are linked sometime before Hell freezes over this time. It took a week and direct action to make Pius History linked up.

And if you haven't read it here, that'll get you started. It's a speedy read. Most people can't put it down. So it'll be done in time for the Dragon vote.

For All Their Wars are Merry -- What's it really about?

I already mentioned what For All Their Wars Are Merry is about.

It's about...

"For all Their Wars Are Merry" is an examination of the uses and implications of songs in Irish terrorist organizations such as the IRA and all of their various and sundry splinter factions.  Basically, it will examine why the Irish have these songs as such a widespread phenomenon, and what the songs tell us about these Irish terrorists.

From songs like “My Little Armalite” to “Come out Ye Black and Tans,” one gets the feeling that the IRA doesn't quite take their British opponents as seriously as one would think, given the amount of bombs and firepower the IRA and all of its mutations has thrown at them in their fight to have Northern Ireland united with the Republic of Ireland, or at least independent of the United Kingdom.  
Along the way, it will cover why the Irish terrorists have such songs, why they apologize for their atrocities, how Catholic they thing they are.  It will trace these traditions going back back to the days of the Druidic Bards-Irish poets-of the early Celts some three thousand years ago, up to and including the poet Patrick Pearse in the 1916 Easter Uprising in Dublin.

Well, what does that look like?

The Limits of Terror: How to Define a Terrorist and a Rebel.
This is a little dry, but the short version is that this isn't just "IRA songs" because, well, while not all Rebels are terrorists, all terrorists are rebels.

Chapter 1: 
A Brief History of the Irish Rebel: A Sketch of Rebellion
A do a brief overview of the Irish versus the British, and noting that, gee, the Irish do have several distinct qualities to them, with some odd songs. To match. So we're going to use the songs to examine what makes the Irish unique in their blowing stuff up.

Chapter 2: 
Heroes and Hatreds: Examining Songs of Irish Rebel Heroes
From The Tain to today, the Irish do seem to like a good front man. It's the bard in them, I think.

Songs covered include
"Bold Robert Emmet”
“James Connolly”
“Kelly, the Boy From Killane”
“Henry Joy”
“Kevin Barry”

And more. Those are just the ones I mention in the first paragraph of the chapter. Literally.

Chapter 3: 
The Rebels Whom Bards Forgot: Rebels Who Were Not Honored
I highlight several people who had been either instrumental in the modern era of Irish rebels, and why they never got songs, even though they possibly should have.

Chapter 4:
Dances With Armalites: The Rebel Songs of Humor.
Obviously, I look at the Irish rebel songs that are almost jokes in execution. And they're a little insane.

The following are only SOME of what I use
“My Little Armalite”
“The Supergrasse”
“Auf Wiedershein Crossmaglen”
"The Black Watch"
“Come Out Ye Black and Tans"

Chapter 5:
Wrap the Flag Around Me, Boys: Examining Irish Memorial Songs
Again, the title, is kind of self explanatory.

SOME of the songs used?
“Boys of the Old Brigade”
“Tipperary So Far Away”
“Wrap The Green Flag Round Me, Boys”
“Lonely Woods of Upton,”

Chapter 6: 
Soldiers and Bombers: The Self-Image of the Rebel
Why don't the IRA have suicide bombers? How Catholic do they think they are? Are they religious, political, or communist?  Yes, communist. It was a thing for a bit. Yeah. It gets strange.

“Down by the Liffey Side”
“Provo’s Lullaby,”
"A Nation once again!” 
“A Soldiers’ Song”
Chapter 7:
Apologies and Other Oddities: The Irish Rebel as Catholic
Considering that "Catholic" is the most common impression of Irish Rebel groups, it deserved d a section to itself.

Songs? "A Sniper’s Promise” is the major new one. I also used songs from before.

Chapter 8: 
A Bard One Cannot Refuse: Comparing Songs of the Irish Rebel to Songs of the Italian Mafia.
Yes. I do a compare and contrast. 

Short version? The Mafia is not at all apologetic. Ever.

Chapter 9: Conclusion.
As noted.

And this book is dedicated to William D. Griffin ... my professor who died in 2011.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Murphy's Law of Vampires, Chapter 2

There will be spoilers for book one... obviously.

If you haven't read it already, you might want to pick up Honor at Stake

Preferably before the sequel comes out.

And now...

Chapter 2: I'll get you my pretty, and your little human, too
New York City, April 26th
Robert's rules of order would frown on two disputants eating each other, but it was unlikely that the man who wrote the rules of conduct for meetings meant it to apply to vampires. (It certainly didn't apply to werewolves, since packs were less of a democracy, and more of an enlightened dictatorship. Some charitable vampires thought that wolves invented hockey.)
These thoughts drifted through the mind of Amanda Colt as she wandered into the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall reserved for the meeting of the New York City Vampires Association. Of course, the NYC-VA didn't have even ten percent of New York City's vampire population. This was for the powerful, the affluent, or the really, really troublesome.
Amanda Colt didn't know what category she fell under. She had never been invited to the NYC-VA before.
However, Amanda Colt's role as a troublemaker was assured, even though it wasn't her fault. Marco Catalano was the focus of the trouble.
But, these vampires thought of Marco as her human, so she was credited with his trail of destruction, including the recently re-killed, the property damage, and generally spreading so much fear through certain ranks of the vampire community that he bordered on being a terrorist.
So, Amanda didn't quite know if she was supposed to be there as a member of the general assembly, or if she was there to be executed as a local troublemaker.
If it was the latter, and they tried to hold even the semblance of a trial, she was going to rip them a new one. Maybe a new three or four, while she was at it.
As she looked around the hall, she could recognize a few faces. There was a bar owner from the Blood Bank, an Upper East Side vampire bar not far from Mount Sinai Hospital; he was a gruff, burly fellow who had served as an Irish cop in the nineteenth century. And not far from him was Kalsey, a tall, well-built and well-dressed Anglo-Indian vampire who owned The Platelet.
Well, Kalsey had owned the Platelet, before Marco had gotten there. Amanda heard that its replacement was still under construction.
Though it didn't seem like losing his major source of income had hurt Kalsey all that much. He still wore Armani, carried his well-crafted sword cane, and even had a Rolex Le President, top of the line gold.
However, for all that, Kalsey didn't seem happy.
Amanda didn't even bother sitting, but stood off to the side. The VFW hall was lined with collapsible chairs, set up in nice neat rows. However, she didn't expect to be sitting much, especially if she was called to defend herself—verbally or physically.
The vampires on the dais were finally starting to file in. Amanda noted them, and she swore she knew some of them, but she couldn't remember from where. The one in the center position was female, blonde, and about Amanda's height, dressed casually in a comfortable leather jacket and blue jeans.
However, Amanda knew from experience that vampires were not socially advanced, nor matriarchal. To get to a position of power, you had to be powerful, not to mention manipulative, long-sighted, and willing to stab allies in the back … or whatever angle presented itself.
The blonde thwacked the gavel down on the table. “This is the twenty-second meeting of the 235th session of the New York City Vampire Association, President Jennifer Bosley presiding. I hereby call this meeting to order,” she said in a British accent that Amanda could narrow down to London. “First order of business. Reading of the minutes from the last meeting? Is there a motion?”
One of the committee members on the dais raised his hands. “Motion to waive the reading?”
Three hands went up from the crowd. Jennifer banged the gavel and said, “Motioned, and seconded. Is there any old business?”
One person stood up in the back of the room … it was a male vampire in a dress. “Yes,” he said in a thick accent. “I would like to object, once again, to acknowledging New York City as it currently stands. This place belongs to the British, and—”
President Jennifer Bosley slammed down the gavel again. “Edward, I said old business, not concluded business. For the last time, I don't care how old you are, or if you were the royal governor, the entire continent has moved on. If you bring this up again, you'll be banned from these meetings for another decade. Are we understood?” She dismissed the three hundred year old vampire as though he was already dead and dusty. “Next.”
The meeting went on for a while, and it covered a lot of the topics one would expect: border disputes, blood supplies, old grudges, territorial haggling due to the latest construction rearranging geographic markers. Vampire bureaucracy was like a regular bureaucracy, but worse, since some topics and situations could drag on for decades, if not centuries.
There was even one man complaining that Little Italy should declare war on Chinatown, because Chinatown was swallowing it whole, and “Back in the days when I was a Centurion in the Roman Empire—”
That one, at least, was cut off by a dozen different groans. Even President Jennifer Bosley seemed weary. She sighed and said, “Giuseppe, you weren't part of an Empire. Mussolini's ambition did not match his ability. You were a sergeant in his army, and we're still telling jokes about that. Now, shut up and sit down before we revoke your territory … what little is left of it. As it is, you'll be hiding in your great-grandson's basement in Howard Beach in another two decades. I hope you don't mind swimming when it floods. Now, if that's enough of old business …” Jennifer gave the room a glare that told them it was, and if they didn't like it, she had a stake in the back room with their names on it. “New business?”
Kalsey jumped up from his seat so fast, Amanda half-expected him to shoot straight up to the ceiling. “Yes!” He thrust his cane at Amanda as though he were stabbing her. “She and her pet human destroyed my bar, slaughtered some of my most loyal and valuable retainers, then she had minions poison me with time-delay release Holy Water capsules. I demand that she, and her human, make full restitution.”

Anyway, if you haven't already, you might want to pick up Honor at Stake