Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Review: Making Peace

I've been following Adam Lane Smith on Twitter for a while now. A few months ago, he asked me to look over his (first) novel of Making Peace. The review was held off due to the fact that my Kindle died.

But, now that one of my wedding gifts was a Kindle Fire, I'm now back up and running again.

So, Making Peace ...
Interstellar romance author Belkan Candor has had a string of bestsellers, and his latest hit, My Mech, My Love, is flying off store shelves. When he takes a job as an embedded journalist with a peacekeeping organization, he expects a plush assignment with a big payout. What he gets is an exposé into human trauma and psychological pain, and a twisted conspiracy on an entire planet looking to stay off the grid.
Swords are swinging and magic is flinging, and Belkan is right in the center of it. Assassins, serial killers, prostitutes, and obsessed romance novel fans collide in a web of intrigue and violence which threatens to tear his world apart.
Will he survive, or will this novel be the death of him?
Image result for making peace adam smith
I even like the cover art.
Here's the short version: This is the best epic fantasy novel I've read in years. It's even better than Correia's Son of the Black Sword.

Hell, it starts with a flipping memo, and it isn't boring. Which is an achievement all by itself. Then again, the memo has a fun bit of meta-humans. ("I noted that bit in the waiver you had me sign: death by, among other things, giant lizards? This book had better make enough to settle all my debts")


Our hero, Mr Candor (really, Mister Smith? Really?) is essentially sent to serve in a less friendly Ankh-Morpork, only played less for laughs. (Or just shown from street level, which is fairly messy to start with). Only a war between the noble houses is brewing and the peacekeepers are the only ones who can nip it in the bud before there's riots and blood in the street ....

If you're also a fan of Terry Pratchett, you might think of this as Thud!, as told from the perspective of the city accountant who is sent to audit the Watch, only to be drafted into the front lines of the riot squad.

And yes, I'm comparing Smith to Sir Terry. If you have a problem with that, then buy the book, read it, and tell me where I'm wrong.

But, yeah, this was awesome, from start to finish. I wish I had been writing this well for my first published novel.

Overall, the characters carried this one for the most part. And there's a nice solid formula for character exposition -- because our narrator is an embedded, so of course he can interview each character for in-depth pieces. That formula isn't even that formulaic, because there's an issue while trying to interview the team barbarian, but what else can you expect from barbarians? We still get the character exposition in a genuine and organic manner -- while being held at knife point.

And yes, I will admit, there are elements that are formulaic and simple, but it's a helpful for the readers as they track the six characters we open with, before Smith goes into the depth of each character. And yes, each character has depth. Hell. even the character development and evolution was subtle and so gently sloping that you don't really notice it happening until it's already happened -- and yes, it was happening the entire time.

You could say that this is a very simple fantasy story, but that's only if you're not paying attention.

I spent a lot of Making Peace appreciating this from a technical perspective. "Gee, cute, I can track most character attributes through the names" -- which were Shield, Ugly, Candor and Vapor (the water nano-mage who's part cyborg and part Raven from Teen Titans). It was basically an RPG party-- barbarian, healer, mage, rogue, bard -- which will make the PulpRev crowd happy (I'd note more, but I the closest I've ever come to D&D is Order of the Stick). But this was both highly entertaining as well as technically sweet.

Smith also does a nice does of genre-blending. Mages come from nanite enhancements. We have magic and Valkyries, but three of our characters are from off planet. We have an odd sort of coming of age story, a thriller, at least one romance and total war. He's got political intrigue that easily outdoes George Rape Rape Martin, a story and setting that would make Terry Pratchett happy, and just enough philosophical depth that would entertain John C Wright or Tim Powers (certainly more deep than Neil Gaiman, who is about as deep as a dinner plate in comparison to Smith).

Frankly, my only problem with the book is that chapter 2 is almost pure data dump. Going from chapter 1, which is a fight in an alley, where he's been wounded, to the data dump of chapter 2 is a moment of whiplash. But even that is well-balanced within the story, due to the narrator serving as an embedded reporter. But honestly, it's not how I would have done it. I skimmed and skipped most of the chapter, and didn't even notice.

So yes, Making Peace was awesome. Go buy it now. Leave a review demanding a sequel, please, because I would like more of these characters.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Quick Updates

There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes over at Silver Empire and Declan Finn, Inc.

You all know about Hell Spawn. As soon as the sale link goes up, I'll post it on the blog.

Something you may not know, however....

Lover at First Bite is going to be coming out in hardcover.

Yes, hardcover. I'm actually quite excited about it.

If you're one of those people who will only read electronic (or paperback), they're already out.

With Hell Spawn, however, I should note that the first edition that will come out will be a hardcover.  The paper and e-editions will be coming out sooner rather than later. Within the month of the hardcover release.

This is going to be so much fun.

Monday, October 8, 2018

DEATH CULT COVER REVEAL

Since the Kickstarter broke two of three stretch goals. you have unlocked cover art for Book two of Saint Tommy, NYPD.

There are only 20 hours left to the kickstarter as of this minute. Thus far, stretch goal 1 and 2 were books 4 and 5. We need less than $400 to meet stretch goal #3, which is book 6.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Vampires in Legend, Folklore, and Fiction, DragonCon 2018

So, this panel was described as follows

Description: Long a staple of urban fantasy, vampires first appear in folklore, often unrecognizable from the versions contemporary readers and viewers are familiar with. Our panel explores how those early stories have influenced the fictional depictions they create, and others they admire.

Time: Fri 10AM Location: Chastain 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)

Melissa F Olson, E.J. Stevens, Declan Finn, Clay and Susan Griffith, J.F. Lewis, Dacre Calder Stoker

This is the complete panel   



For those of you who might want my parts, as for some reason, they have the best audio, right here:



For those of you who are new here and wanted to see the video, we have the complete Love at First Bite Collection





OR





Tuesday, October 2, 2018

VIDEO: Looking at Classic Fantasy from the Viewpoint of Today, DragonCon 2018

You will note that I have embedded this video twice in the same post. That is not a mistake. The audio and video quality is variable at different points on each video. So, I thought I should give you an option.

The above video was shot by my wife at DragonCon this year, in part because this was our honeymoon. Aww, isn't that cute?  (Okay, there was a bit of CYA, after what happened to Dave Truesdale at WorldCon a few years ago.)

The video below is the official DragonCon video footage.

To be honest, this was a fun, fun panel to be on. The audience was great, the panelists were amazing. Everyone was sane. Who knew?

The description of the panel is as follows:

The Isms: Looking at Classic Fantasy from the Viewpoint of TodayDescription: Social consciousness changes, but books are forever. Something that was once progressive today may seem anything but. Are these works simply products of their time or true reflections of the person? Let's not toss the dragonet out with the Hatching Sand and shells. *Trigger Warning*

Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Embassy EF - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

(Panelists: Jody Lynn Nye, Larry Niven, Declan Finn, Lisa Manifold. Moderator: Toni Weisskopf)





Monday, October 1, 2018

Hellspawn: A Change in perspective

Before I knew anything about the characters of Hellspawn, before I ever started the plot, I was only certain about a handful of things.

The premise was a cop who would become a saint versus a serial killer possessed by a demon.

And that the first line was "My name is Thomas Nolan, and I am a Saint."

Yes, I know, fun, ain't it?

But that's not the point in this instance.

I always knew it would be first person. In part because that was the only way to get the premise through immediately.

Anyone who knows anything about Catholic doctrine and sainthood should already know how Nolan's story ends. Just from that one line.

But no, it had to be first person. There were other options, but none felt valid. Why? Because "I'm going to tell you all about this Saint" really just sounds like I'm painting him in pastels and bright pretty colors. Perfect characters don't change. They don't grow. They don't have to. After all, they're perfect.

The best way to keep him from being perfect was to show his actions from his point of view.

Why? Because even Saint Francis is on record as saying "I am the worst sinner I know."

You see, Saints didn't go around boasting about how awesome they were. Heck, by all accounts, Saints like Thomas Aquinas were a little bit flakey and spread jokes about his own weight and about how fat he was.

If I tell you, as a 3rd person omniscient narrator that Nolan will participate in church functions and charities and guards the little old ladies praying outside of abortion clinics, he looks almost Mary Sue level perfect and awesome.

However, if I'm inside his head, and I show you that his mind sees church functions / charities as the only way he's going to interact with people outside of his job, or he sees protecting the little old ladies as merely an extension of his job, it sounds an awful lot more practical than being holier-than-thou. In fact, he sees a lot of what he does as "Why not? I have the time / energy / etc." He thinks he loses nothing. But he has no idea what his "Why not?" will cost him in the long term.

You see, one of the problems in character generation that a lot of people have seems to be creating a character who is both a good person, and also interesting. This is largely a conversation for another time. But I didn't want to fall into the trap of "Christian Fiction Mary Sue." Lord, I hate that.

But just because he's good doesn't mean he's not dangerous. As I noted earlier, in the middle of a firefight, he has no problem shooting people in the back -- especially if announcing himself will merely serve to get him shot. I can't even discussed some of the other fight scenes...

Then again, since I've written two of them back to back, the lines sort of blur between the books. Also, there's so much action, it's a bit of a problem picking them out. Right now, the fights that come immediately to mind is the shootout in Bellevue, the machete duel, the backyard battle .... and that's all book two, Cult of Death.  Oops.

Anyway, yeah, we need good people who aren't annoying. My best way to do it was making it first person. Because one of the nice things about saints? They don't become egomaniacs. It's probably best to show that off in order to avoid Mary Sue issues.

Click here, and support the kickstarter so you can get a sample of the first 50 pages of Hell Spawn right this minute.


Meet the Authors, Dragon Award panel 2018

This took forever to get up. Mainly because I wanted to see if anyone posted something with better audio.

Then again, I listened to it and discovered, nope, you can hear most of them.

Description: Listen to the nominees of the Dragon Awards. Maybe we will even have this year's winner sitting with us. We will have past year nominees.

Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: International North - Hyatt 

Panelists: Declan Finn, Marina Fontaine, Larry Correia, Bill Fawcett, Mark H Wandrey, R.R. Virdi, Jonathan P Brazee,


OR

THE OFFICIAL DRAGONCON VIDEO




For those of you who are new here and wanted to see the video, we have the complete Love at First Bite Collection





OR






Friday, September 28, 2018

Hellspawn: Making the Demon

When I started writing out the outline for Hellspawn, I didn't know I was going to be writing a horror novel. I figured it was going to be a bit of a tossup between Urban Fantasy meets a police procedural.

Then I went into the details of the adversary for Hell Spawn.... and realized this was full horror.

Let's put it this way: I was congratulated by several readers on portraying R-rated murders in PG-13 ways. The only time it went really gruesome was when I described the murder in perfectly clinical terms by the ME.

It was also less the gore (since I only hinted at it) and more the impending sense of dread throughout the novel. This evil SOB felt like he could appear anywhere, at any time, for any reason. And he does.

After all, the adversary here is a demon. Just imagine every nightmare from The Exorcist, only with an adult male. And we're not simply talking about making a bed shake. I figure if this SOB is going to be telekinetic, we're going to be throwing cars.

Also, this is one villain who prefers to use a knife. Because demon -- bullets are too quick.

Of course, I also started looking into demonic infestation. Which was a problem when I'm writing scenes at two in the morning. Because take a guess what element can sometimes bring on infestation?

Thinking about it too much and too hard for too long.

Lucky me, huh?

But yeah. Part of the thing about demons? You have to read the book of The Exorcist. Why? Just so you can read all of the tests they put the possessed through. Because if you can find someone more skeptical of demons than the Catholic church without going full atheist, I'd be surprised. Not only are their a hundred tests to run, there are a hundred layers of church bureaucracy to get through. There's an army of doctors and an army of red tape.

But what happens when there are no doctors? There is no red tape? There's only a psycho trying to kill our hero and he's literally hurling cars so he can escape?

The short version: it's gonna get messy.

Click here and you can find out how to read the first 50 pages of Hellspawn TODAY. Right this minute. Then you can tell me if this is the best thing I've ever written.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

What makes Hellspawn different

Hell Spawn was a nice change because I was forced by the character to make him a good guy.

If I have one running theme in my books, it's that "People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Probably the most true thing Orwell ever wrote.

Sean A.P. Ryan in Pius? Dark.

Marco Catalano in Love at First Bite? Darker.

Then there's Tommy Nolan, a saint.

But then, just because I made him a good guy, a saint, didn't mean that I made him an angel.

Over the course of the novel, I was surprised at some of the darker choices he made, but he made them all for practical, prudent reason. And prudence is also a gift of the Holy Spirit.

But no, some of the decisions surprised me.

For example, there's a shoot out in front of the police station, an attack on the precinct house by MS-13. Now, I have been not-a-fan of MS-13 for nearly years. Around the time I learned that they were a "street gang" with RPGs, automatic weapons, and trafficked women and children for sex. We won't even go into their drug trade. Even Vince Flynn (RIP) made them a villain well over a decade ago. They are not nice people, and they need to be put into the ground whenever possible.

But during this shootout, my hero, this saint ... shot someone in the back.

I was taken aback, but he explained in the first person narration
"They're shooting at a police station. Shouting freeze! Police! would only serve to give them fair warning. Marquis of Queensbury is not written down in the Bible. The only fair fight is the one I win."
Every time I was worried about a Saint being almost mean or cynical about things here and there ... I then tripped over some real saints and how they acted. I quickly came to the conclusion that Nolan was still eligible to be a miracle-using saint. He can't be a good man if he's weak. If he's weak, then his restraint is because of weakness. If he's strong and capable of violence, but uses his might judiciously, only then can he be good.

Let's face it -- when confronted by evil, there is no negotiation. You don't negotiate a rapist down to only raping a few people. You don't ask killers to cut down on his per diem kill rate. They are either arrested, or dead. I prefer dead, which is why no one wants me to be in charge of law enforcement.

But Nolan is different in that he can smell evil. The problem for him is that when evil gets a good look at Nolan, and realize that he's looking at them a little too long, the weapons come out and the fun begins.

Thankfully, Nolan is good. But that doesn't make him weak, or limp-wristed. He doesn't mind hitting first when he sees trouble coming. He doesn't mind shooting someone in the back during a full fire fight.

And that's BEFORE the demon shows up.

Click here to see how you can read the first fun-filled 50 pages of Hell Spawn TODAY.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hellspawn: the best thing I've ever written?

My next new release is entitled Hell Spawn, part of my "St. Tommy, NYPD" series.

It may also be the best thing I've ever written, if I go by some of the responses I've gotten.

People who read it already want to nominate it for a dragon award.

My publisher has said he thinks it's the best thing I've ever done.

My new editor (more on that later) thought it was awesome when she was only 25 pages in!

I post small snippets on Facebook, and I have get least three MORE new readers who want to read it NOW.

This isn't one of my newer ideas. I took a course on Christian Spirituality and Mysticism course in college, some (muttermumble) years ago. While I listened to some of the abilities of certain saints -- like the ability to levitate, or smell evil, or bilocate -- all I could think was "Nice. When do we get that superhero movie?"

The short answer is, as usual, if I want to see if done, I have to do it myself.... (This is usually the point where someone tells me that it's already been done, but please, I was part of the Catholic Writer's Guild for years. If someone had done it and the CWG HADN'T heard of it, then they don't deserve the name)

I don't know why, but originally, I had considered my Saint as a uniformed patrolman. Probably because I wanted to see someone wearing all of that equipment floating in the air.

When Russell asked for "a new Urban Fantasy IP," I had bounced a quick summary off of him, and he loved it.
Officer Thomas Nolan is a saint. He can smell evil. He's forgiving to the lesser criminals who are merely desperate, and even the criminals he put away tend to like him. But when a serial killer wages war on the city, he's going to face the darkness on more levels than he can imagine. Because this killer leaves a stench Nolan can follow a mile away: but proving it is going to be a problem: because how do you do forensics on a killer possessed by a demon?
That was the pitch. Russell caught it, and it became a fastball... and that expends all of my baseball metaphors.

Somewhere along the line, between the time I pitched it and the time I started pounding out the outline, my main character, Thomas Nolan, had become a detective. Huh. I'm still not 100% certain how that happened. And he's married. Which also came out of nowhere. I usually have a romance subplot somewhere in all of my stories -- be it Pius, or Winterborn, even UnSub, to some degree.

The hard part was doing the outline...

For those of you who are new here, I generally don't outline. I sit down, I start writing, and I don't stop until I need to eat or sleep. This tends to be a general strain on my ability to rest, but it keeps the words flowing. I work 9-5, if not 10-6... sometimes, 8AM-10PM. No outlines usually mean that I can throw in a gunfight whenever the I feel the plot slows down.

But Russell wanted an outline.

After a few days of dwelling on it, I had an outline. There were only two murders, but they utilized everything I knew of serial killers and everything I could put together on demonology.

Unfortunately, there was a slight error as I went along...

You see, I used everything I had on hand about demons and serial killers.

Everything.

Think about that for a moment.

Yeah, not fun.

So, this will get a little messy

So, what started as an urban fantasy definitely turned into horror.

Oops.

At least next year, when I'm nominated in Best Horror at the Dragon Awards, it'll be right on target.

Obviously, once I started writing, the outline didn't quite survive first contact with the enemy. I felt the plot slow down at least once ... so I threw in a gunfight. In the outline, I had a random encounter at his precinct ... during the writing of the novel, I had a completely different random encounter (that I hadn't outlined) that allowed me to tie everything together, and created a subplot that I hadn't known was there. This became a subplot that's running through all three novels.

And there's at least three chapters that went entirely the right direction by the wrong route.

For the record, no, that car bomb wasn't in the original outline.

I finished this novel at just under 60,000 words in 6 weeks. I was slowed down by Christmas.

Right now, the most difficult part of the series was a title -- either for the series or for the individual novel. I decided that this was going to be the series where I would name the book after the villain.

Hence Hell Spawn.


I even had a few different choices for the series. My initial idea, Patron Saint of Detectives, was a little long. Then there was NYPD Saint. Blue Saint (I didn't like the initials). Someone suggested Tin Saint. "St. Tommy, NYPD" won out.

It'll be out in October. Making it eligible for the Dragon Awards in best horror in the 2019 Dragon Awards. Heh.... Yeah. I really do want one of those awards. Not for the PR, or for the honor, necessarily, but damn those are shiny.

Book two, Cult of Death is already written, and ready to be launched.

Go to the kickstarter, and find out how YOU can read the FIRST 50 PAGES of Hell Spawn TODAY. This very minute.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Catholic Geek Returns, #AGundam4Us with Brian Niemeier

The Catholic Geek Returns, with Brian Niemeier 09/23 by We Built That Network | Books Podcasts:



Dragon Award Winner Brian Niemeier joins host Declan Finn for an in-depth discussion about Brian's latest project, Combat Frame X-Seed. Along the way, we talk World Con, Dragon Con, and the publishing industry.

To check out Brian's IndieGoGo project, click here.





To check out my kickstarter for Hellspawn, click here.


Enter: Hell Spawn

I've mentioned that Hell Spawn is going to be the first in the series of a cop with saintly powers.

I've mentioned that it features this Saint Cop versus a possessed serial killer.

I've mentioned that it's gonna be awesome.

I didn't mention that there's gonna be a kickstarter.

Yes, it's all the rage these days, I know. Comic books and mecha novels and hero series and such like. And you're probably wondering, "Declan, what does a publisher need with a kickstarter account?"

Good question.

The answer is: sales are going too well. Once upon a time, Silver Empire could pay quarterly royalties ASAP. Instead of waiting the TWO MONTHS Amazon holds the royalty payments on, it was a simple matter of paying out of pocket. After all, my publisher is the owner of TWO of his own businesses.

Now, sales are too good. And while Silver Empire waits upon Amazon to pay up, Silver Empire is doing six other things.

This kickstarter helps them pay me faster than Amazon can pay them to pay me.

Not only that, but the kickstarter is going to the costs of cover art, printing books, promotional artwork, and .... again, me.

What are the goals of the kickstarter?

As Russell notes on the main page:
Stretch Goals
$1,000 - Mr Finn will commit to at least a fourth novel in the Saint Tommy, NYPD series!
$1,500 - Mr Finn will commit to at least a fifth novel in the Saint Tommy, NYPD series!
$2,000 - Mr Finn will commit to at least a sixth novel in the Saint Tommy, NYPD series!
So, if you like the idea, and the samples thus far, you're going to want to get in on this soon.

You'll also like the description from Russell.
You'll get some of the best horror books ever written, from an author who has been a Dragon Award finalist for "Best Horror Novel" twice in the three short years of the award's history. These books are available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats for your convenience. What's more, all hardcover and paperback editions will be signed and personalized by the author!
Come to think of it, I think the only people who have been nominated 3 times already have been me, Jim Butcher, Mark Wandrey, and perhaps JF Holmes. Which puts me in some nice company.

What's the schedule like on release.?
Book 1, Hell Spawn, is nearing completion and will be shipped by the end of October. Book 2, Death Cult, will ship 4-6 weeks after that, and book 3, Infernal Affairs will ship 4-6 weeks following Death Cult.
And don't worry. While book three is not done yet, I'm already over 20,000 words into it in 2 weeks. And, as Russell notes.
Mr Finn writes books so fast that we at Silver Empire have suggested "the Declan" as the new SI unit of measure for writing speed. We have 100% confidence in his ability to not only finish any books he commits to, but also to finish them in a very timely manner.
In other words, probably the end of the month.... Okay, okay. The start of October.

What's the rewards tree look like?
  • Pledge $1 or more: The first 50 pages of HELL SPAWN. Available immediately. 
  • $3 or more -- You get the ebook. The whole ebook. Probably before it comes out, but that's just a guess. In PDF, MOBI, and EPUB formats for your convenience. Notice that it's probably cheaper than most e-books. So you're just buying the damn thing early.
  • Pledge $12 or more - Not only do you get all of the above, but you get a SIGNED paperback edition of HELL SPAWN.  You'll get the paperback in November, and everything else ASAP. Which means that you're getting the SIGNED paperback and the e-book for cheaper than the price of most paperbacks.  Yes, I'll be signing them. 
  • Pledge $15 or more -- Hell Spawn paperback
  • Receive a SIGNED paperback edition of HELL SPAWN, book 1 of the SAINT TOMMY, NYPD series. Also receive an ebook edition of HELL SPAWN in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB formats for your convenience.
  • Pledge $30 or more -- Hell Spawn hardcover - Early Bird!  To heck with you, I want want of these. I get a hardcover. Ahh... Yeah, I've always wanted one of those. It'll be awesome.  It'll also come with the e-book versions. Also due to backers in Novermber.
  • Pledge $30 or more -- 3-book Paperback collection - Early Bird  ($40 if you don't get in there quick.) It'll probably come together by April.
  • Pledge $35 or more -- the hardcover for those people who come a little later. See, the people who show up first pay less.
  • Pledge $80 or more -- 3-book Hardcover Collection - Early Bird ($95 if you don't get in there ASAP). Again, I think even I'm going to want a set of these.

Anyway, here's the link for the Kickstarter. Go ahead, you know you at least want to give $1. Just $1. That way, you want to look at the first 50 pages, and decide if you want the rest. You may even want them in hardcover, because look at that cover, why wouldn't you?


Monday, September 24, 2018

Hell Spawn: Cover Reveal

It occurs to me that I should have done this before I got married, but I was a little busy....

Getting Married.

Anyway, welcome to Hell Spawn, the first in my latest, newest series. Saint Tommy, Detective. It's about a NYPD detective with all the powers of a Wonder Worker ... ie: a future Saint.... and I put him up against a serial killer with a special history: he's a serial killer.

Long term fans of mine will be amused by this cover.


Are you not getting it? Don't worry, here's the first edition cover for A Pius Man.



Yup. Some of the same stock art.

For the record, my publisher, nor the cover artist, had any knowledge about this edition of APM. Please remember that I had come to Russell's attention around my vampire series. By then, Dawn Witzke had already done the cover art on book 1 again. After release.

Yeah. This is only the start. Just wait until you see some of what's in Hell Spawn.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The #CaptainMarvel trailer

Image result for miss marvel
Oh look, the trailer is out for the upcoming Marvel film....

For the record, Miss Marvel, which was Carol Danvers' first of many identities, was a six-foot blonde who got her powers through less than conventional means... even for the Marvel universe. On the right, you get to see Miss Marvel in her original, and best, outfit. She's muscular and feminine at the same time. So, not bad.

Now, Captain Mar-vell was an alien who turned on his people to save humans from his own people, eventually dying to save humanity.

Marvel comics would eventually give Danvers a promotion in the air force and they would relabel her Captain Marvel, which is something that a lot of old school fans are less than happy with. Then they redesigned her suit so that it was ugly, then retooled her look to cut her hair to a crew cut. Then, eventually, removed her boobs entirely to give her pecs like Captain America.

Don't believe me? Look at this picture.



Captain Marvel is the one in the middle. The one on the right is supposed to be She-Hulk. Yes, these characters are all supposed to be women. Ugly, isn't it? There's a reason I super sized the top pic.

Now, knowing a little bit of the backstory so you can understand my trepidation going into this, let us begin.





7 seconds: Ooooooo. It is that ancient temple to the vid gods known as Blockbuster. Surely we are in ancient times....

Yes, I know it's a good way to establish setting, but this is a trailer. They're already lingering on it too long. It's 7 of the first 13 seconds. That's at least three minutes too long.

20 second makr: "War is the universal language?"  No no no, Nick Fury, that's "War. War never changes."

22 seconds: And good God I hate that outfit. It's so flipping ugly.

22 - 52 seconds: Nothing but Sam Jackson narration and special effects. This is a Nick Fury origin movie! This'll be great.

(Also, Fury knew about aliens in the 1990s? Really? Then why blame Thor for the Tesseract powered weapons in The Avengers? Why hasn't everyone been trying to develop new super weapons since this film?)

52 seconds in, SHE SPEAKS. And she sounds so .... what's the word? Pathetic? Wimpy? I'm not finding the right word. After

1:00: She has flashes of memory ... oh FFS, another hero with amnesia problems? Are we kidding? And the whole film will be told in retrospect? Oh, screw you people. I'm already having problems getting psyched for this film, and you want to BEGIN by taking the tension out of it by showing us she survived in advance?

1:06: Female fighter pilots ... in the 90s. Am I the only one with bad memories about that?

1:14: Are they going to subject her to her entire life story? Because if so, I'm bugging out of this film already.

1:15: FINALLY we get space stuff. Took them frigging long enough. Except the more I look at this image, the more I think everything is CGI in this shot, including her and her suit.

1:20: Oh, look, she has resting bitch face and apparently no charisma. I am not enthused for this film. Do something, trailer! DO SOMETHING!

1:22: ..... Should I know this actor that you're spending a close up shot on him? This is a trailer. Every second counts. Give me SOMETHING to latch onto aside from Sam Jackson trying to look like he did in Pulp Fiction.

1:30. We have Skrulls! Evil, shape-shifting SOBs. So we have a villain! This trailers has something for me to care about?

1:27-1:31:  "What makes a hero?" followed by our lead punching a little old woman in the face. Without any context at all for people who don't already know that the Skrulls are shape shifters. Way to sell this film to the general public.

1:33: Oh, look, it's Agent Coulson back when he was cool.

1:40: Oh good sweet Lord, not that costume. That costume is ugly.

1:45: "I'm not what you think I am."  Oh, lady, you don't wanna know what I think you are.

Is it me? Am I the only one who is less than thrilled about this movie? Don't get me wrong, this looks like a great film for the backstory on Fury and Coulson, but this isn't supposed to be a SHIELD origin story is it?

Is it that the trailer is poorly edited? Long lingering shots, excessive focus on everyone but our main character? I remember the trailers being more interesting than this. Then again, I'm coming into it with some preconceived notions. But this just looks like a mess.

Anyway, here, have a heroine who's feminine and badass, a hero he's manly and lethal, and hordes of the damned trying to kill them both.




Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Reviews for Good to the Last Drop

When Good to the Last Drop first came out, I had some awesome reviews by some long time fans.

Sadly, I never had a chance to post these reviews.

Now that the new edition is here, time to have a party.

To start with, JD Cowan. Just some excerpts.
What makes these books so successful is how much fun they are. There are clear good guys and definitive bad guys, there is humor, there is plenty of action, there is a solid plot with developing characters, and the central romance is engaging. It's the sort of vampire tale not seen since at least the days of The Lost Boys when you could be serious and fun at the same time without insulting the lore or the audience. It also helps that the vampire mythos the story is built on is well established and builds off of concepts Bram Stoker used way back in Dracula and are given solid rules that must be obeyed. There are no glittering pseudo-vampires here.

As an end to the series, it's a suitable final chapter. Each book had slowly grown with scope and ambition leaving few places left for the series to go without devolving into self-parody. But the author avoids that trap by ending it at just the right point when the stakes hit critical mass. You will see carnage and death, and you will see if good really does ever win in this world of horrors. The last encounter is the final statement on all four books and the definitive last period on just what it is all about. I would argue the last few lines of the book sum it up even better, but I'm not going to spoil that.....

As it is, this is the best vampire series I've read. An engaging run from start to finish as each book improves on the last and finishes with a conclusive ending that wraps everything up neatly. If you've been waiting for vampires to be great again: these are the books you've been waiting for. 
Good to the Last Drop, as well as the whole series, comes highly recommended. You can't get better vampire-related entertainment than this.

You can see why I wanted to hold onto that review until the latest version.

Then there was Lori's review.
If you thought the other books in the series were full of great fight scenes and characters, hold on to your hats, because this one is the best yet.

The fight scenes are a lot of fun, well done, and intense.  The characters are still convincing, compelling, and occasionally hilarious, in an understated, New-Yorker kind of way.  Marco and Amanda are full of their various faults, but loveable for them.

My favorite aspect about Amanda?  How many times can you watch a TV show or read a book with a “tough girl” who isn’t automatically an evil, catty, bitch?
....

Other than that rare feat of talented writing, the best part of this book is the way he managed to tie in the worldbuilding and the plot in a perfect end-of-the-series sendoff.  Without any spoilers, let’s just say that the idea of a good vampire that makes sense pays off magnificently at the end.  There’s a perfect juxtaposition of downright, pure evil on the one side, and rare, beautiful goodness on the other.
....... I think that's all I need to say here.

Buy the novel here.

Buy the series here.  Because it's out and it's complete.


Back from the Honeymoon, and DragonCon

Yes, I'm back from my honeymoon. And from The Dragon. I'll be posting pics soon enough. But I'm sure everyone wants to hear about the Dragon Awards....

Assuming they haven't already....

Best Science Fiction Novel went to. .... Artemis by Andy Weir.

...Are we surprised? Heck no. Even I figured this much out ahead of time.

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal).... Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Again, even I called this.

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel ....Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

Who? I knew at least two or three of the YA authors, and this isn't one of them. This one is a bit of left field.

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel ... A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope

Again. Not shocked at all.

Best Alternate History Novel ... Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson

I'm so happy to see that KJA has FINALLY gotten an award. He's only had about 60 bestselling books. And no, I couldn't call this one. It was a four way shootout.

Best Media Tie-In Novel ....Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray

[shrug] Whatever.

Best Horror Novel .... Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Oh. Look. King won a horror award. I'm. So. Shocked.

... Is anyone?

Best Comic Book ....Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and James Harren, Marvel Comics

Does anyone care?

Best Graphic Novel .... again, went to Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M.  Gopez, Dynamite Entertainment

This was just too easy.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series ...Game of Thrones, HBO

Eh. I voted for Lucifer.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie .... Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler

Four Marvel films. I'm only surprised that they they didn't cancel each other out.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game ... Middle-earth: Shadow of War by Monolith Productions

Considering all of the loot box controversy, I was surprised at this one. But I liked the first game. I will buy this one.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game .... Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City

I wanted the Shadow of War Mobile game. But it won PC, so cool.

As for the rest, I neither know nor care.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains by Slugfest Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game
Magic: The Gathering Unstable by Wizards of the Coast


While you're here, if you haven't checked out my Dragon Award Nominated series, Love at First Bite.










Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Unleash .... THE HEROES

Image may contain: 2 people
Today I would like to give you some blessed relief from me talking to you about my books....

.... So I can talk to you about other people's books.

Superheroes are in.

You may have noticed.

Well, Silver Empire has. 

They've been working on a project for the past few months to feed the public's ever growing interest in Superheroes: Heroes Unleashed. 

What is it? Glad you asked. It's actually a shared world on the scale of old-school Marvel or DC -- think of Crisis on Infinite Earths or Secret Wars, first edition. One superhero world, in one superhero city....

With five authors.

This is the brain child of Morgon Newquist, my editor, and one of the better authors in some of the anthologies I've been in.

Kai Wai Cheah, 2017 Dragon award nominate author
JD Cowan, who has reviewed ... most of my books.
Jon Mollison, of the late "Sad Puppy Book Club" website.
Richard W. Watts who ... I should know, but don't ask me for his credits right now.

But today, my publisher Silver Empire brings you -- The Kickstarter Campaign.
Five Amazing Authors, Five Super Novels!

Here at Silver Empire, we've been waiting nearly a year to bring you the exciting Heroes Unleashed project! We've collected the best up and coming authors to bring you this amazing, first of its kind collection of new, interlinked superhero novels! No, these aren't comicbooks or graphic novels, these are straight up novels, packed with all the superhuman action and goodness you could ever ask for!

Authors Morgon Newquist, J.D. Cowan, Kai Wai Cheah, Jon Mollison, and Richard Watts bring the Heroes Unleashed universe to life with their five Phase I novels. Each novel will begin a series of its own that will continue for at least three books.
I'd go into details on these books, but you can see it here, on the Kickstarter page

On the Kickstarter, today, as well as while the campaign develops, they intend to add more and more art and samples from the novels throughout, so if you're not impressed by what's there today (and I think you should be, it's kinda awesome) come back every so often over the 21 days the Kickstarter will run.

The backer rewards are as follows
* $1 - the first 100 pages of Heroes Fall right now (don't even have to wait for the Kickstarter to end).
* $5 - pick 1 ebook from the Phase I selection
* $15 - pick 1 paperback from the Phase I selection (signed)
* $20 - the complete Phase I ebook selection
* $30 - a limited edition Heroes Unleashed "Phase I Backer" t-shirt
* $40 - pick 1 hardcover from the Phase I selection (signed, limited edition, Kickstarter only)
* $90 - complete Phase I paperback collection (signed)
* $190 - complete Phase I hardcover collection (signed, limited edition, Kickstarter only)
* $1000 - YOU get to be a minor hero or villain in a future Heroes Unleashed book. Includes custom art. Limit 5. 
Each of the rewards are limited, so, keep that in mind. Sooner would be better.

Keep in mind, this is only Heroes Unleashed PHASE 1.  Yes, phases. The new Marvel Method ... the one that makes money, not the current batch of comic books with art so bad, it even makes my cover art looks good. (Not that it annoys me or anything....)

There will probably be even more data on the future of the project during the campaign. Just a guess.

Now, I'm sure there will be some people who are wondering why do this now. "But Declan," I hear you say, "they already publish books ... like yours ...without needing outside cash."

As they point out
What we need
To be honest, we don't need a whole lot. Four of the five books are already basically done (first drafts are finished, editors have had a crack at them). All we really need at this point is covers and promotional artwork.

What your pledges support  
Your pledges support getting us those covers and promotional artwork, they'll help us promote the books, and - most of all - the authors will get paid at their respective royalty rates, which will help ensure that they keep writing more Heroes Unleashed stories!
You will note in the kickstarter page, everything is co-authored by the little man who wasn't there. This of course brings us to one nifty little trick that more than a few publishers employ -- a shared co-author on all of these books. Like "Richard Castle" of the real life Nikki Heat and Derek Storm novels has one name, multiple authors, this has a similar track. In part, it's a way to mess with Amazon's algorithms. According to an author at I-Con, back when it was my local con, Baen would have senior writers work with junior writers, so the bestselling author name would confound Barnes and Noble's purchasing algorithms (for example, back when March Upcountry came out and Ringo was relatively new, the computer for the bookstore thinks "David Weber sells millions of books. We should order millions of books. Ignore that John Ringo name, Weber sells millions of books.")

Again, that's just what I heard at I-Con. I may be wrong.

In the case of Heroes Unleashed, Amazon will give higher priority to authors who sell books more often. I heard that about a year ago, I think. Anyway, now, HU has a single co-author on all of the books, even the ones that aren't written yet.

It's a little meta.

Anyway, look over the kickstarter, see what you think. And, frankly, give at least one dollar. At least one. Why? Because for one dollar, you get the first hundred pages. And if you like them, kick in more so you can get more stuff.

I'm a cheap bastard, and that's a good deal even for me.

Kickstarter here.



             

Sunday, August 19, 2018

On the Latest Catholic Scandal (2018)

You know, I saw the most recent headlines on the current Catholic scandal out of Philadelphia, and I felt like I was back 20 years ago when they basically ran the same headlines word for word about Boston.

My reaction?

Well, I wanted to scream, and rant, and rave.

I wanted to point out that the numbers are "300 CATHOLIC PRIESTS OVER 70 YEARS IS 4 BAD PRIESTS A YEAR! AS A CORRUPTION RATE, THAT DOESN'T SUCK"

I wanted to point out that almost all of the priests involved (probably all of them, really) might as well be time-stamped with "The Sexual Revolution" intended into their foreheads.

I wanted to point out that there are 30,000 child molestation cases a year with the Public School system, where the hell are all of THOSE stories?

But you know what? I literally wrote this blog already. Right here.

And the facts have changed so little, I don't even need to change anything.

So I'm going to not waste my breath.

Though I am curious about what the PA AG thinks he's doing, when the statue of limitations are over, and most of the abusers are 80 years old. Does he think he's distracting from the Democrats raping each other over and over again? Does he think he's actually adding anything new? Or does he just want to grab headlines and the media are desperate to grab at something?

Nevermind.

Not like anyone's going to listen anyway.

Here, have some fun Catholic books.



             

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Honor at Stake: The Paperback Edition

Honor at Stake is back!

.... Again.

For a third time.

The 2016 Dragon Award finalist for best horror is finally back in Paperback.

And we are ready to kick some ass! Yee haw...

Anyway...

The paperback is out just in time, really. It gives everyone time to purchase one of these snazzy new covers for DragonCon. Heck, it gives me time to get some for DragonCon. Either way, it works.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone is ready for the upcoming rerelease of the novel Good to the Last Drop. The grand finale of the series should be fun.

Heh heh heh.

Also, coming soon: Silver Empire is nearly ready to unleash something massive. I'll discuss that when there are more details.

But right now, here's Honor at Stake, in paperback.




Monday, August 6, 2018

Enter: The Dragon Awards 2018

The nominations are in and counted. Time to see who the current Dragon Award nominees are

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • It Takes Death to Reach a Star by Gareth Worthington and Stu Jones
  • Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
  • The Mutineer’s Daughter by Chris Kennedy and Thomas A. Mays
  • Win by Vera Nazarian
  • Sins of Her Father by Mike Kupari
  • Artemis by Andy Weir

I'm happy to see Chris Kennedy on the list again. And Mike Kupari. Chris is good people, and I've liked some of Kupari's other works.

Though at the end of the day, I think we can all lay money on Andy Weir getting it. Because he's Andy Weir.

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

  • Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta
  • War Hammer by Shayne Silvers
  • Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Land: Predators by Aleron Kong
  • The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston
  • A Tempered Warrior by Jon R. Osborne

I'm relatively certain this one goes to Brandon Sanderson. Not because I like the man (I've never read anything by him) but because many people seem to like his stuff.

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • Cold Bath Street by A.J. Hartley
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  • When Tinker Met Bell by Alethea Kontis
  • Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I'm going to take a shot in the dark that this one goes to Sarah J. Maas. Why? Because most of my internet tribe have heard of her, even people I don't consider "readers" (granted, by my lights, "reader" means that they have a library that outstrips the local lending library)

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • Communications Failure by Joe Zieja
  • Points of Impact by Marko Kloos
  • Ghost Marines: Integration by Jonathan P. Brazee
  • Price of Freedom by Craig Martelle and Michael Anderle
  • Legend by Christopher Woods
  • A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope

Oh, look. Timothy Zahn writing in the David Weber universe.

I wonder who will win Best MilSFF this year?

Duh.

Best Alternate History Novel

  • Dark State by Charles Stross
  • The Sea Peoples by S.M. Stirling
  • Witchy Winter by D.J. Butler
  • Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt
  • Dream of the Iron Dragon by Robert Kroese
  • Minds of Men by Kacey Ezell

Oooh. Four way split between Stirling, Kroese, Anderson and Ezell. That's going to be tough.

I think I'm going to place money on Kroese. Why? I expect the other three to cancel each other out among an overlapping fan base. That's why.

Best Media Tie-In Novel

  • Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray
  • Before the Storm by Christie Golden
  • Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson
  • Fear Itself by James Swallow
  • Legacy of Onyx by Matt Forbeck
  • Desperate Hours by David Mack

Who cares?

Best Horror Novel

  • Beneath the Lighthouse by Julieanne Lynch
  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • A Time to Run by Mark Wandrey
  • The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
  • Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
  • Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry

Now that's a tough one. First of all ... did I know that Mark Wandrey was in horror? (checks last blog post) Yes, yes I did. Nice going, Mark. Two categories this year. Well done. I know exactly how you feel, since I was in two last year myself.

Best Comic Book

  • Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and James Harren, Marvel Comics
  • Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, DC Comics
  • Aliens: Dead Orbit by James Stokoe, Dark Horse Comics
  • Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads, DC Comics
  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, Image Comics
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader by Charles D. Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli, Marvel Comics

And ... yup. We're now back to I don't care. Next.

Best Graphic Novel

  • Chicago Typewriter: The Red Ribbon by Brandon Fiadino, Djibril Morissette-Phan, and James Greatorex, Dark Legion Comics
  • Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M. Gopez, Dynamite Entertainment
  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
  • Monstress Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda, Image Comics
  • Vision (The Vision) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Marvel Comics
  • Paper Girls Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang, Image Comics

This might be the year of Brandon Sanderson.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

  • The Expanse, Syfy
  • Game of Thrones, HBO
  • Lucifer, Fox
  • Supernatural, CW
  • Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access
  • Altered Carbon, Netflix
  • Stranger Things, Netflix

I'm voting Lucifer. I can tell you that I don't think STD will win.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

  • Incredibles 2 directed by Brad Bird
  • Thor: Ragnorok directed by Taika Waititi
  • Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve
  • Avengers: Infinity War directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
  • Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler
  • Ready Player One directed by Steven Spielberg
  • Deadpool 2 directed by Dave Leitch

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I don't have anything to say to this aside from

Image result

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

  • Fortnite by Epic Games
  • Cuphead by Studio MDHR
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War by Monolith Productions
  • Destiny 2 by Bungie
  • Battletech by Harebrained Schemes
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus by MachineGames

Well, I at least called it that Cuphead would be in the lineup here.

While I was a fan of the game before Middle-earth: Shadow of War, there was a lot of anger around SoW's microtransactions and end of game gameplay that encouraged in game purchases. Destiny 2 has had mixed reviews. While Battletech and Wolfenstein are classics, I didn't hear of this new Battletech, and reviews for Wolfenstein II were disappointed in the gameplay and execution.

My money is that this is between Fortnite and Cuphead.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

  • Planescape: Torment by Black Isle Studios
  • Nocked! by Andrew Schneider
  • Lineage 2: Revolution by Netmarble
  • Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition by Square Enix
  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City

Final Fantasy XV. Why? Because at this rate, Harry Potter is for old people.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game
  • Rising Sun by CMON Games
  • When I Dream by Asmodee
  • Mysterium: Secrets and Lies Expansion by Asmodee
  • Azul by Plan B Games
  • Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains by Slugfest Games
  • Photosynthesis by Blue Orange

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

  • Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition by Games Workshop
  • Force and Destiny Role-playing Game: Knights of Fate by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Bubblegumshoe – RPG by Evil Hat
  • Cooking with Dice: The Acid Test by Oddfish Games
  • D100 Dungeon by Martin Knight
  • Magic: The Gathering Unstable by Wizards of the Coast

I have nothing for you in either case. I'm generally out of those scenes.

.... What's that? Why didn't I mention Good to the Last Drop not being nominated? Duh. It was off the shelves months ago. It's kinda hard to push a nomination of a book that no new readers can get into, now isn't it? It was a long shot even if the books were on the shelves.

This should be an interesting year for the Dragon Awards.

Non illegitimi carborundum.




GenCon: This Won't Stop

I generally dislike discussing politics, but enough is enough.

In a move that will shock no one, after months of Anti-FA violence and rioting in the streets, calls for right wingers to be harassed and assaulted...

A right winger was harassed and assaulted at Gen Con. Shocking, huh?

Brian Niemeier has the details on the incident in question.

Richard Paolinelli has called for sanity to reign, saying clearly that This Must Stop.

I'm here to tell you that it won't stop.

To look at the history of Leftism is to look at the history of mass slaughter and bloodshed.

The French Revolution? Tens of thousands dead. Check.

Slavery in America? Tens of thousands dead. Check.

National Socialism? Tens of MILLIONS dead. Check.

Any Socialist movement? HUNDREDS of millions dead. Check.

Abortion movement? Tens of millions in America alone, God knows how many worldwide.

I don't know why, but Leftist psychopaths never really know when or where to stop. Even at the beginning, with the French Revolution, it devolved into purity tests and the Committee of Public Safety. Ultimately, the Committee itself was fed to the guillotine.

Today? Well, the Leftist nutters of today don't know where to stop. Part of it is the higher ups in the Democratic party encourage violence ... possibly as a way of keeping the base engaged.

But looking at violence spreading to Gen Con, I'm here to tell you this: the only way to make the violence stop is to force them to stop. Psycho Leftists won't play this game if they know they're going to lose.

  • Step one: When they attack, hit them fast and hit them hard.
  • Step two: Press charges.
  • Step three: Sue them for everything they're worth.

Let me explain.

Step one: The will to self defense.

First and foremost, keep your head on a swivel. Keep aware. And be ready to hurt someone if they take a swing at you. The first step to stopping attacks by Lefty psychos is to make sure that every time they try to hurt someone, they're the ones who are left bleeding in the gutter.

Get self defense training. Carry knives where legal. Carry guns where legal.

But most importantly, if you wish to defend yourself? Reconcile yourself to the fact that defending yourself will require harming someone else. Because defense training and weapons will do no one any good if the owner doesn't have the will to use them. If you punch someone, punch through them. If you shoot, shoot to kill. If you draw a knife, be willing to draw blood, or don't bother.

And frankly? Given that these people attack people from behind, or attack people only when they're in mobs? I suggest that if you find yourself in this situation, reconcile yourself to using deadly force. Because if more than one person tries to corner me, I expect to have to kill at least one of them before the attack will stop.... and since most police will probably arrest everyone left standing until everything is sorted out, expect to spend some time in cuffs, even if you're 100% in the right, and you can prove it with video footage. I also recommend body cameras / cell phone cameras, just to make sure that the gang of idiots don't foot, then edit, their own footage.

Because if two or more people come up to attack you, and you AREN'T in fear for your life, I sincerely worry about you.

Step two: Press charges

There is no such thing as a friendly bar fight anymore. I know that for some people, they can take a couple of swings at each other and end up with drinks in the back of the bar. But these lefty nutcases? No. They only exist to hurt people. First, hurt them fast and hard, preferably with blunt objects.

Then, after the attacker is on the floor, if he's still alive, don't walk away. Don't try to have a friendly chat. Don't try to convince him that he's in the wrong, and you understand that he's insane. No. Call the cops, have the cops haul his ass away and throw him in jail. Because not only will these Lefty psychos stop when they risk getting hurt, but they will also be unable to hurt anyone else when they're in jail.

And once they start getting thrown in jail? Well then, that'll make the average human being think twice about starting a fight.

Step three: Sue them.

Most street cops have better things to do than to try and sort out the details of a fist fight. Most prosecutors have better things to do than to spend countless hours prosecuting an assault.  You may never get to the trial stage. The attacker may plead down to a misdemeanor.

That's when the civil suit comes out. And pick your charges with your lawyer. Mental injury. Physical injury. The short version is that by the time you're done, you will own them.

Jim McCoy has also touched on this a little. The right to self defense. Because the Gen Cons and the 770s of the world want people who disagree with them DEAD. Not converted, dead. They label any dissent as the work of "Nazis," and claim it's time to punch "Nazis," because "Nazis" are untermench. They are subhuman. Are you a Jewish Libertarian like my friend Jason Garrick? "Nazi." Do you support Israel over Palestine? You're a "Nazi." Are you a Democrat who believes in conversation and discussion with people who disagree with you? "Nazi." Are you a woman / black / homosexual who wants to #WalkAway from the Democrats? "Nazi."

I disagree with almost every -ism of Lefists, and a good chunk of those among the right. So, yeah, I expect them to come after me sooner or later, because they don't believe in my right to exist.

So, I hate to break it to Richard, but yes, this has to stop ... but we'll have to stop them. By force.

Because we talked about peace.

They don't want peace.

We talked about cooperation.

They don't want cooperation.

They. Want. War.

I only suggest that we acknowledge that the lefty psychos have already started this fight, and that we should be the ones to finish it. And we should finish this fight by putting the violent ones in the hospital, before they start putting people in the morgue.

Non illegitimi carborundum.