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George R.R. Martin on Jerry Pournelle, RIP
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From the blog of George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones:

A Sadness

Sep. 10th, 2017 at 3:51 PM

Jerry Pournelle has passed away. He was 84.

… Pournelle has been a major figure in the field for as long as I have been a part of it. I first met him in 1973 at the worldcon in Toronto, where both of us were finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer (along with Lisa Tuttle, Ruth Berman, George Alec Effinger, and Robert Thurston). …

I came out of the night all right. It was an honor, a huge honor, just to be nominated. And in the aftermath I came up with the idea of a Campbell Awards anthology. A couple editors told me it was an idea worth pursuing, but of course I needed to get all the nominees to sign on… and the key one was Jerry, the winner. So I bought him a drink and pitched him the notion, and he said yes (though, being the consummate pro, he made that contingent on me being able to pay competitive professional rates). Eventually that conversation led to my NEW VOICES anthology, and launched my career as an editor and anthologist… and I’m still going strong there, forty-four years later.

The Hugo voters knew what they were doing when they gave Pournelle that first Campbell; he went on to have an amazing career, both on his own and in collaboration with other writers, particularly Larry Niven. With INFERNO, LUCIFER’S HAMMER, FOOTFALL, and (especially) MOTE IN GOD’S EYE, the two of them helped transform the field in the 70s. They were among the very first SF writers ever to hit the big bestseller lists, and among the first to get six-figure advances at the time when most writers were still getting four figure advances… something that Jerry was never shy about mentioning. Though he was nominated for a number of Hugo Awards in the years that followed, he never won one… but if that bothered him, he did not show it. “Money will get you through times of no Hugos better than Hugos will get you through times of no money,” he said famously.

Pournelle was fond of talking about all the help Robert A. Heinlein (whom he always called “Mr. Heinlein,” at least in my hearing) gave him when he was starting out, and he was a passionate advocate of RAH’s “pay it forward” philosophy, and did much to help the generations of writers who came after him. He served a term in the thankless job of SFWA President, and remained an active part of SFWA ever after, as part of the advisory board of Past Presidents and (even more crucially) on GriefCom, the Grievance Committee. Jerry could be loud and acrimonious, yes, and when you were on the opposite side of a fight from him that was not pleasant… ahh, but when you were on the SAME side, there was no one better to have in your foxhole. I had need of SFWA’s Griefcom only once in my career, in the early 80s, and when we met at worldcon with the publisher I had Jerry with me representing Griefcom. He went through the publisher’s people like a buzzsaw, and got me everything I wanted, resolving my grievance satisfactorily (and confidentially, so no, no more details).

His politics were not my politics. He was a rock-ribbed conservative/ libertarian, and I’m your classic bleeding-heart liberal… but we were both fans, and professional writers, and ardent members of SFWA, and we loved SF and fantasy and fandom, and that was enough. You don’t need to agree with someone on everything to be able to respect them. And while MOTE IN GOD’S EYE may not have won the Hugo in its year, it remains one of the great classics of space opera, destined to be read and re-read for as long as people read science fiction (it IS an honor just to be nominated).

…R.I.P. Jerry. You were one ornery so-and-so, but you were our ornery so-and-so. Hoist a pint for me at that Secret Pro Party in the sky, and say hello to Mr. Heinlein.

Thanks to Ali C. for this.

 
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  1. “Money will get you through times of no Hugos better than Hugos will get you through times of no money”

    Mr Pournelle was obviously a fan of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fabulous_Furry_Freak_Brothers#Catchphrases

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  2. res says:

    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece. Raises him in my estimation a bit (especially with some of the political things in his blog pushing me in the other direction). Now if he would just finish the book already.

    Read More
    • Agree: Vinteuil
    • Replies: @tsotha
    Heh. That's exactly what I was thinking.
    , @Dieter Kief

    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece.
     
    Aesthetics and politics are only the same for - ehem - - - - - bullocks? Dumbheads? = The others....the uneducated, those, who don't know, how to play (how important it is to play (= to write fiction))***).

    ***
    Ok - Friedrich Schiller - - (A human being is only fully human as long as he plays).

    , @Vinteuil
    "...if he would just finish the book already..."

    No kidding! But it really looks like he's just going to let HBO's screenwriters finish it for him. GRRM is no JRRT. In the end, he lacked artistic vision.

    Seems like a nice guy, though - as this tribute to Jerry Pournelle illustrates.
    , @Orthodox
    I will be surprised if SJWs aren't on his case about that soon enough.
    , @Desiderius
    One suspects he's caught a whiff of Nemesis and it has frightened him back into line.

    Not uncommon as one draws closer to meeting one's maker.
    , @SFG
    It's a generational thing, really. In GRRM's day you could still respect people with opposing political views. Now they've cast out Orson Scott Card for having incorrect views on gay marriage. I don't follow these things that closely anymore but you may remember the fuss over Sad and Rabid Puppies in the Hugo Awards. (Google it; it's kind of funny in that, much like the alt-light and alt-right, there were moderate and extreme wings of the right-wing reaction, and the extreme wing had all the energy.)

    To be honest I was almost as depressed by the appearance of the Puppies as the trends they were reacting to. Does *everything* have to be political?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    Read More
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    That string of Tweets has enough excerpts from the book that I don't need to read it. Thought it would be bad, but surprised how bad nonetheless.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. tsotha says:
    @res
    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece. Raises him in my estimation a bit (especially with some of the political things in his blog pushing me in the other direction). Now if he would just finish the book already.

    Heh. That’s exactly what I was thinking.

    Read More
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  5. whorefinder says: • Website

    I am convinced that in GRRM’s basement/on his computer they’re going to find many, MANY incriminating things one day. He’s far too creepy, left-wing virtue signalling not to be hiding something, and that’s before we get to his obsession with incest and rape in his works.

    Similar to Steven King. I only recently learned of the apparently-well-known scene in the novel of It involving all the young, innocent, naive teens losing their virginity….in a voluntary gang bang. Described in detail. From female character’s point of view. What kind of diseased, obsessive mind would put that in? Then you take a good look at how Steven King looks and the way he talks/acts in interviews and you realize that if he were hanging out by a school you’d immediately call the cops.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    I am convinced that in GRRM’s basement/on his computer they’re going to find many, MANY incriminating things one day. He’s far too creepy
     
    All you have to do is look at him. If physiognomy is even half real, that guy is a walking chimera of perversity.
    , @SFG
    It's entirely possible all the nasty thoughts get sublimated through their writing.

    Not saying the basement-dungeon theory is impossible, but not saying it's necessarily true either. My personal suspicion is GRRM is not healthy enough to be overpowering anyone.

    Also I suspect the virtue-signaling is the price of admission for a white guy with no diversity Pokemon points these days, at least in the media. It's depressing to watch them do it.

    , @SteveRogers42
    James LaFond had some interesting comments about King:

    http://jameslafond.com/article.php?id=8489
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  6. @res
    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece. Raises him in my estimation a bit (especially with some of the political things in his blog pushing me in the other direction). Now if he would just finish the book already.

    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece.

    Aesthetics and politics are only the same for – ehem – – – – – bullocks? Dumbheads? = The others….the uneducated, those, who don’t know, how to play (how important it is to play (= to write fiction))***).

    ***
    Ok – Friedrich Schiller – – (A human being is only fully human as long as he plays).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    I could not disagree more strongly. The defining characteristic of a Traditionalist is that his politics and his aesthetics both echo the same transcendent metaphysical ideal. Only when the Right develops the will to punish its political enemies will it make any political gains. To make allowances for people whose politics dictate that they must destroy you, just because they are skilled artificers of fantasy, is to permit bloodthirsty enemies to dwell among your tents. When battle comes, these people will not give you any quarter and will not remember those times when you, in your broadminded admiration of their bardery, threw open your gates to them and laid your laurels at their feet. Instead they will kill you, and they will call it justice. Don't cuck to the syncopated pipings of the the liberals' flute.
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  7. Vinteuil says:
    @res
    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece. Raises him in my estimation a bit (especially with some of the political things in his blog pushing me in the other direction). Now if he would just finish the book already.

    “…if he would just finish the book already…”

    No kidding! But it really looks like he’s just going to let HBO’s screenwriters finish it for him. GRRM is no JRRT. In the end, he lacked artistic vision.

    Seems like a nice guy, though – as this tribute to Jerry Pournelle illustrates.

    Read More
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  8. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I appreciate the write up. But I am sick to death of White liberals. They don’t extend any courtesy to those they disagree with and they are forever stabbing us in the back.

    Stephen King hates the majority of Whites and I am tired of pretending otherwise.

    Read More
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  9. Orthodox says:
    @res
    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece. Raises him in my estimation a bit (especially with some of the political things in his blog pushing me in the other direction). Now if he would just finish the book already.

    I will be surprised if SJWs aren’t on his case about that soon enough.

    Read More
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  10. That was nice.

    I always thought it worked best when SF was for the right-libertarians, fantasy for the hippies (& a few reactionaries). The Convergence on left-liberal/Social Justice norms for both since around 1990 or so seems to have done terrible damage to SF.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Raymund Eich
    The rise of independent publishing in science fiction since about 2010 has broken up the left-liberal convergence imposed by New York editors. For example, look for books published by Castalia House (run by Vox Day) or CV-2 Books (my DBA).
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson II
    I agree. 1990 is about the time I left the SF genre behind. SJWs are corrosive and destructive wherever the ply their dishonest trade.
    , @SFG
    Is *that* when it was? I remember Niven and Pournelle making quite a bit of center-right scifi which was quite good, at least to my young-teenage mind. That was 1980s, right? I've actually been meaning to go back and check out the stuff I missed, and it's nice to know when a good cutoff date is.

    Asimov was a lefty, Heinlein was a libertarian (kind of?) and I can't remember Clarke's politics for the life of me, but it didn't really ruin their work all that much. I mean, you could argue the Foundation series reflected a faith in Big Government just as all of Heinlein's juvenilia showed libertarian self-reliance, but that was all at the level of subtext and they didn't need to beat you over the head with it.
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  11. Krass92 says:

    Steve, have you read what Daily Beast has written about Mr. Pournelle?

    Read More
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  12. @Dieter Kief

    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece.
     
    Aesthetics and politics are only the same for - ehem - - - - - bullocks? Dumbheads? = The others....the uneducated, those, who don't know, how to play (how important it is to play (= to write fiction))***).

    ***
    Ok - Friedrich Schiller - - (A human being is only fully human as long as he plays).

    I could not disagree more strongly. The defining characteristic of a Traditionalist is that his politics and his aesthetics both echo the same transcendent metaphysical ideal. Only when the Right develops the will to punish its political enemies will it make any political gains. To make allowances for people whose politics dictate that they must destroy you, just because they are skilled artificers of fantasy, is to permit bloodthirsty enemies to dwell among your tents. When battle comes, these people will not give you any quarter and will not remember those times when you, in your broadminded admiration of their bardery, threw open your gates to them and laid your laurels at their feet. Instead they will kill you, and they will call it justice. Don’t cuck to the syncopated pipings of the the liberals’ flute.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    You wouldn't have much art in your world, would you?

    Creatives by definition have high openness, and are always going to be pushing against the boundaries, one way or another. Its always been that way, whether with Leonardo Da Vinci rebellion against Pope Sixtus IV's requests, or even Socrates questioning the mores of his day.

    Your ideas are extreme and would lead to a Soviet-style destruction when the young abandon anything traditional as "uncool."
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  13. I know U Gunn was a leftist and was popular back in the 1960′s. Phillp Dick was another one on the left. So, there were plenty of the left in Sci-Fi in the old days as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    Left was a different animal back then. The rallying point was economics, not ethnic or gender identity. Democratic politicians used to call their party "the party of the Working Man." The masculine, straight-arrow actor James Garner was an unabashed Democrat, for example.
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  14. @Simon in London
    That was nice.

    I always thought it worked best when SF was for the right-libertarians, fantasy for the hippies (& a few reactionaries). The Convergence on left-liberal/Social Justice norms for both since around 1990 or so seems to have done terrible damage to SF.

    The rise of independent publishing in science fiction since about 2010 has broken up the left-liberal convergence imposed by New York editors. For example, look for books published by Castalia House (run by Vox Day) or CV-2 Books (my DBA).

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  15. @Simon in London
    That was nice.

    I always thought it worked best when SF was for the right-libertarians, fantasy for the hippies (& a few reactionaries). The Convergence on left-liberal/Social Justice norms for both since around 1990 or so seems to have done terrible damage to SF.

    I agree. 1990 is about the time I left the SF genre behind. SJWs are corrosive and destructive wherever the ply their dishonest trade.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    SJWs are corrosive and destructive wherever the ply their dishonest trade.
     
    Agreed. Social Justice Warriors ruin everything.
    , @wren
    Iowahawk on twitter a few years ago:

    David Burge @iowahawkblog

    1. Identify a respected institution.
    2. kill it.
    3. gut it.
    4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.
    #lefties
    , @Hunsdon
    Try Anspach and Cole's Galaxy's Edge series, books 1-4 are on Kindle now for the cheapness. Think "Star Wars" if George Lucas was kept far, far away, and hits all the "Empire" beats.
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  16. @res
    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece. Raises him in my estimation a bit (especially with some of the political things in his blog pushing me in the other direction). Now if he would just finish the book already.

    One suspects he’s caught a whiff of Nemesis and it has frightened him back into line.

    Not uncommon as one draws closer to meeting one’s maker.

    Read More
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  17. Svigor says:

    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece. Raises him in my estimation a bit (especially with some of the political things in his blog pushing me in the other direction). Now if he would just finish the book already.

    Same here, except I don’t care what he finishes. I gave up on his work (books & show) as that of a sadist/diseased mind a good while back. Way too much of a freak show.

    Read More
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  18. Truth says:
    Read More
    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    Funny...or IS it??????
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  19. Val342 says:

    Except he didn’t get past the politics, setting aside his last paragraph to disavow Pournelle’s while declaring his own. To leftists everything is politics all the time, and so they must always signal their allegiance to the cause while distancing themselves from the Other. Might not get invited to all the really great parties otherwise.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JeremiahJohnbalaya
    Right, the fact that he even brought up politics is obscene. And it was an obvious virtue-signal. Liberals ruin everything, even obituaries.
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  20. SFG says:
    @Simon in London
    That was nice.

    I always thought it worked best when SF was for the right-libertarians, fantasy for the hippies (& a few reactionaries). The Convergence on left-liberal/Social Justice norms for both since around 1990 or so seems to have done terrible damage to SF.

    Is *that* when it was? I remember Niven and Pournelle making quite a bit of center-right scifi which was quite good, at least to my young-teenage mind. That was 1980s, right? I’ve actually been meaning to go back and check out the stuff I missed, and it’s nice to know when a good cutoff date is.

    Asimov was a lefty, Heinlein was a libertarian (kind of?) and I can’t remember Clarke’s politics for the life of me, but it didn’t really ruin their work all that much. I mean, you could argue the Foundation series reflected a faith in Big Government just as all of Heinlein’s juvenilia showed libertarian self-reliance, but that was all at the level of subtext and they didn’t need to beat you over the head with it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Heinlein changed views quite a bit over time, somewhat in response to his latest wife, somewhat due to changing historical circumstances, somewhat due to just getting bored with his old views.
    , @Simon in London
    The old crowd were still writing and being published in the 1980s, but there didn't seem to be so much new stuff coming up. Political Correctness became the dominant Western ideology pretty much overnight around 1990; up until then the cultural Marxists had been operating pretty much underground in places like academia and the teacher-training colleges. Once they had done a Gulen-style seizure of the means of production of future teachers, they started spreading out and taking over everything very swiftly in what looks like a sort of coup against Western civilisation. The media seem to have been pre-primed to accept this. As far as I can tell the New York publishing houses transitioned swiftly in the 1990s.
    , @SteveRogers42
    Oddly enough, Asimov did a hell of a piece on the National Anthem:

    http://purewatergazette.net/asimov.htm

    Much can be forgiven...
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  21. SFG says:
    @res
    I really like that GRRM managed to get past the politics to write such a fine piece. Raises him in my estimation a bit (especially with some of the political things in his blog pushing me in the other direction). Now if he would just finish the book already.

    It’s a generational thing, really. In GRRM’s day you could still respect people with opposing political views. Now they’ve cast out Orson Scott Card for having incorrect views on gay marriage. I don’t follow these things that closely anymore but you may remember the fuss over Sad and Rabid Puppies in the Hugo Awards. (Google it; it’s kind of funny in that, much like the alt-light and alt-right, there were moderate and extreme wings of the right-wing reaction, and the extreme wing had all the energy.)

    To be honest I was almost as depressed by the appearance of the Puppies as the trends they were reacting to. Does *everything* have to be political?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    Not heavily involved with the whole Puppies thing. But my understanding is that, much like the rise of the alt-right, they were a reaction to what they saw as politicization by the other side.

    Awhile back I picked up a recent Hugo/Nebula winner, on the grounds that this meant it would be a good read. Wow! All about gender-bending, and poorly written. At least from my perspective, it looked like it got the award for its "transgressive" politics.
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  22. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Don’t forget Martin’s fantastic work with the Beatles.

    Read More
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  23. bored identity’s respect for old R.R. Martin just grew exponentially.

    As Judge Leonard White would say :

    ” And decency is not a deal.

    It isn’t an angle, or a contract, or a hustle!

    Decency… decency is what your grandmother taught you.

    It’s in your bones!

    Now you go home.

    Go home and be decent people.

    Be decent. ”

    bored identity sometimes gets too mushy.

    Read More
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  24. MEH 0910 says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson II
    I agree. 1990 is about the time I left the SF genre behind. SJWs are corrosive and destructive wherever the ply their dishonest trade.

    SJWs are corrosive and destructive wherever the ply their dishonest trade.

    Agreed. Social Justice Warriors ruin everything.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    Captain Kirk agrees with you.

    https://i.redd.it/p253sedwe8nz.jpg
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  25. Svigor says:

    I appreciate the write up. But I am sick to death of White liberals. They don’t extend any courtesy to those they disagree with and they are forever stabbing us in the back.

    Stephen King hates the majority of Whites and I am tired of pretending otherwise.

    King grew up, lives in, and will die and be buried in Maine clown world, a very, very, very, very HUWHITE place from which to virtue-signal his love of the darkies he’s never known or lived around. Hence his self-serving obsession with teh Magical Negro.

    Read More
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  26. @SFG
    Is *that* when it was? I remember Niven and Pournelle making quite a bit of center-right scifi which was quite good, at least to my young-teenage mind. That was 1980s, right? I've actually been meaning to go back and check out the stuff I missed, and it's nice to know when a good cutoff date is.

    Asimov was a lefty, Heinlein was a libertarian (kind of?) and I can't remember Clarke's politics for the life of me, but it didn't really ruin their work all that much. I mean, you could argue the Foundation series reflected a faith in Big Government just as all of Heinlein's juvenilia showed libertarian self-reliance, but that was all at the level of subtext and they didn't need to beat you over the head with it.

    Heinlein changed views quite a bit over time, somewhat in response to his latest wife, somewhat due to changing historical circumstances, somewhat due to just getting bored with his old views.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wren
    I have been expecting to see the iSteve authoritative post (or series of posts) on men who have changed their opinions on things due to their choice of wives.

    Krugman or Kapernick (from what little I know) jump out, but, for example I had no idea about Heinlein.
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  27. wren says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson II
    I agree. 1990 is about the time I left the SF genre behind. SJWs are corrosive and destructive wherever the ply their dishonest trade.

    Iowahawk on twitter a few years ago:

    David Burge @iowahawkblog

    1. Identify a respected institution.
    2. kill it.
    3. gut it.
    4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.
    #lefties

    Read More
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  28. wren says:

    I am always happy to see Mote in God’s Eye get some respect, as seems to happen in the comments section here once every few years.

    Sorry to go OT, but this article bugged me:

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Fentanyl-Bust-Heroin-NYC-Biggest-Ever-445568863.html

    One drug bust of a few hyphenated Spanish surnamed folks netted enough made in China Fentanyl to kill 32 million people.

    Hopefully breitbart or somewhere will give us a few more details.

    Very sad.

    Read More
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  29. wren says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Heinlein changed views quite a bit over time, somewhat in response to his latest wife, somewhat due to changing historical circumstances, somewhat due to just getting bored with his old views.

    I have been expecting to see the iSteve authoritative post (or series of posts) on men who have changed their opinions on things due to their choice of wives.

    Krugman or Kapernick (from what little I know) jump out, but, for example I had no idea about Heinlein.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    And who can forget the Laura Bush administration?
    , @SFG
    That would actually...be a really nifty idea. The sort of thing all the other smart guys are too un-PC to notice.

    I'd like to signal-boost this (if Steve isn't still annoyed with me over that last crack.)
    , @whoever
    Don't leave out Mark Twain. Olivia Langdon, his wife, is said to have had a profound influence on his later writing, and even on what he chose to write and what he abandoned.
    She is commonly blamed for the ruined ending to Huckleberry Finn, as well as for his abandoning the sequel, in which two white girls are kidnapped by Sioux Indians and Tom, Huck and Jim set out to rescue them, discovering that "book Injuns and real Injuns ain't the same." Twain got about 15,000 words into a novel of dark and hard-edged realism before abandoning it. Perhaps he realized that what he wanted to write -- what he had to write to tell the truth about the Western frontier as he knew it -- would not be something he would want his wife to read, or that she would approve of.
    Twain might well have been a much different writer, and perhaps a much better one, a founder of American realism and naturalism, without the influence of Olivia. But he also might be a forgotten one -- after all, who reads Hamlin Garland or Frank Norris, or, aside from The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane, or besides Call of the Wild and maybe To Build a Fire, even Jack London?
    Twain's output might have been vastly different had he married the true love of his life, Laura Wright, about whom he wrote My Platonic Sweetheart, published after his death.
    It seems Wright was the inspiration for Becky Thatcher, perhaps the prototypical "Becky": "a lovely little blue-eyed creature with yellow hair plaited into two long tails, white summer frock and embroidered pantalettes." She was the woman Twain felt destiny had meant for him.
    Maybe she was.
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  30. Rod1963 says:

    Still GRRM couldn’t help himself and took some cheap shots at JP in his obit for the man. What a pathetic POS. The guy is dead you bearded road apple. Thou hast no decency.

    And it shows in his “Game of Thrones” is nothing but nihilistic fiction. Some even call it torture porn. Reminds me of the other sci-fi show like “The Magicians” that is saturated in hedonism, sexual deviancy, drugs, boozing, treachery and detestable characters you’d wish were killed off.

    Read More
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  31. maciano says:

    I’m sorry for your friend, Steve.

    My condolences.

    Read More
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  32. @SFG
    Is *that* when it was? I remember Niven and Pournelle making quite a bit of center-right scifi which was quite good, at least to my young-teenage mind. That was 1980s, right? I've actually been meaning to go back and check out the stuff I missed, and it's nice to know when a good cutoff date is.

    Asimov was a lefty, Heinlein was a libertarian (kind of?) and I can't remember Clarke's politics for the life of me, but it didn't really ruin their work all that much. I mean, you could argue the Foundation series reflected a faith in Big Government just as all of Heinlein's juvenilia showed libertarian self-reliance, but that was all at the level of subtext and they didn't need to beat you over the head with it.

    The old crowd were still writing and being published in the 1980s, but there didn’t seem to be so much new stuff coming up. Political Correctness became the dominant Western ideology pretty much overnight around 1990; up until then the cultural Marxists had been operating pretty much underground in places like academia and the teacher-training colleges. Once they had done a Gulen-style seizure of the means of production of future teachers, they started spreading out and taking over everything very swiftly in what looks like a sort of coup against Western civilisation. The media seem to have been pre-primed to accept this. As far as I can tell the New York publishing houses transitioned swiftly in the 1990s.

    Read More
    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @SFG
    That makes sense, and I remember seeing a shift in the culture and deciding I liked the 80s better (hah!). I'm just wondering about the timing. When did they invade the universities to flip the culture in 1990 (more or less)?

    Anyway, thanks for the hint. I'm sure there are caveats and exceptions, but it's an easy enough heuristic it can tell me where to go ('don't read anything published after 1990 for fun'). Thanks a lot!

    Yes, I know, there's always Castalia House.

    And admittedly even the SJW stuff is OK when they don't lay on the politics too thick; I enjoyed Scalzi's Redshirts (it was a good idea--what if the redshirts on the Enterprise noticed what was happening?) but had to wait to find it in a secondhand store so I didn't give the PC mangina any money.
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  33. @wren
    I have been expecting to see the iSteve authoritative post (or series of posts) on men who have changed their opinions on things due to their choice of wives.

    Krugman or Kapernick (from what little I know) jump out, but, for example I had no idea about Heinlein.

    And who can forget the Laura Bush administration?

    Read More
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  34. @whorefinder
    I am convinced that in GRRM's basement/on his computer they're going to find many, MANY incriminating things one day. He's far too creepy, left-wing virtue signalling not to be hiding something, and that's before we get to his obsession with incest and rape in his works.

    Similar to Steven King. I only recently learned of the apparently-well-known scene in the novel of It involving all the young, innocent, naive teens losing their virginity....in a voluntary gang bang. Described in detail. From female character's point of view. What kind of diseased, obsessive mind would put that in? Then you take a good look at how Steven King looks and the way he talks/acts in interviews and you realize that if he were hanging out by a school you'd immediately call the cops.

    I am convinced that in GRRM’s basement/on his computer they’re going to find many, MANY incriminating things one day. He’s far too creepy

    All you have to do is look at him. If physiognomy is even half real, that guy is a walking chimera of perversity.

    Read More
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  35. SFG says:
    @whorefinder
    I am convinced that in GRRM's basement/on his computer they're going to find many, MANY incriminating things one day. He's far too creepy, left-wing virtue signalling not to be hiding something, and that's before we get to his obsession with incest and rape in his works.

    Similar to Steven King. I only recently learned of the apparently-well-known scene in the novel of It involving all the young, innocent, naive teens losing their virginity....in a voluntary gang bang. Described in detail. From female character's point of view. What kind of diseased, obsessive mind would put that in? Then you take a good look at how Steven King looks and the way he talks/acts in interviews and you realize that if he were hanging out by a school you'd immediately call the cops.

    It’s entirely possible all the nasty thoughts get sublimated through their writing.

    Not saying the basement-dungeon theory is impossible, but not saying it’s necessarily true either. My personal suspicion is GRRM is not healthy enough to be overpowering anyone.

    Also I suspect the virtue-signaling is the price of admission for a white guy with no diversity Pokemon points these days, at least in the media. It’s depressing to watch them do it.

    Read More
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  36. SFG says:
    @wren
    I have been expecting to see the iSteve authoritative post (or series of posts) on men who have changed their opinions on things due to their choice of wives.

    Krugman or Kapernick (from what little I know) jump out, but, for example I had no idea about Heinlein.

    That would actually…be a really nifty idea. The sort of thing all the other smart guys are too un-PC to notice.

    I’d like to signal-boost this (if Steve isn’t still annoyed with me over that last crack.)

    Read More
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  37. SFG says:
    @Simon in London
    The old crowd were still writing and being published in the 1980s, but there didn't seem to be so much new stuff coming up. Political Correctness became the dominant Western ideology pretty much overnight around 1990; up until then the cultural Marxists had been operating pretty much underground in places like academia and the teacher-training colleges. Once they had done a Gulen-style seizure of the means of production of future teachers, they started spreading out and taking over everything very swiftly in what looks like a sort of coup against Western civilisation. The media seem to have been pre-primed to accept this. As far as I can tell the New York publishing houses transitioned swiftly in the 1990s.

    That makes sense, and I remember seeing a shift in the culture and deciding I liked the 80s better (hah!). I’m just wondering about the timing. When did they invade the universities to flip the culture in 1990 (more or less)?

    Anyway, thanks for the hint. I’m sure there are caveats and exceptions, but it’s an easy enough heuristic it can tell me where to go (‘don’t read anything published after 1990 for fun’). Thanks a lot!

    Yes, I know, there’s always Castalia House.

    And admittedly even the SJW stuff is OK when they don’t lay on the politics too thick; I enjoyed Scalzi’s Redshirts (it was a good idea–what if the redshirts on the Enterprise noticed what was happening?) but had to wait to find it in a secondhand store so I didn’t give the PC mangina any money.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    Military SF is still quite readable. Flint, Stirling, Weber, Ringo. John Ringo in particular wrote perhaps the most un-PC thing I've ever read in The Last Centurion.

    Baen Books publishes quite a bit of good stuff, with much of it available in their Free Library.
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  38. Svigor says:

    And it shows in his “Game of Thrones” is nothing but nihilistic fiction. Some even call it torture porn. Reminds me of the other sci-fi show like “The Magicians” that is saturated in hedonism, sexual deviancy, drugs, boozing, treachery and detestable characters you’d wish were killed off.

    It’s definitely perverse. It’s more like torture/mutilation/freak porn. Notice any healthy people who survive under reign of the dark god Nitram? Me neither. The bastard almost qualified, despite being an advertisement for bastardy, but nope, too good, healthy, and normal.

    detestable characters you’d wish were killed off.

    That’s why I dropped ASOIAF; “I’m supposed to care about these freaks? No.”

    I am convinced that in GRRM’s basement/on his computer they’re going to find many, MANY incriminating things one day. He’s far too creepy, left-wing virtue signalling not to be hiding something, and that’s before we get to his obsession with incest and rape in his works.

    I think it was right after the “red wedding” that I stopped reading. I knew I was reading the product of a sicko working out his perversions. Or maybe it was when he resurrected The Mountain (I get the show and the books confused, looking back; that’s definitely when I stopped watching the show).

    Similar to Steven King. I only recently learned of the apparently-well-known scene in the novel of It involving all the young, innocent, naive teens losing their virginity….in a voluntary gang bang. Described in detail. From female character’s point of view. What kind of diseased, obsessive mind would put that in? Then you take a good look at how Steven King looks and the way he talks/acts in interviews and you realize that if he were hanging out by a school you’d immediately call the cops.

    Being a Good Party Man doesn’t say good things about you.

    Aesthetics and politics are only the same for – ehem – – – – – bullocks? Dumbheads?

    Except for the fact that they overlap 95% of the time now (at least), sure.

    Steve, have you read what Daily Beast has written about Mr. Pournelle?

    Has DB hired any goyim yet?

    Intelligent Dasein says: • Website
    September 19, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT • 100 Words

    Well said. Left wants a war. You don’t rise above that, and you don’t play defense, either. You fight back.

    Read More
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  39. @cynthia curran
    I know U Gunn was a leftist and was popular back in the 1960's. Phillp Dick was another one on the left. So, there were plenty of the left in Sci-Fi in the old days as well.

    Left was a different animal back then. The rallying point was economics, not ethnic or gender identity. Democratic politicians used to call their party “the party of the Working Man.” The masculine, straight-arrow actor James Garner was an unabashed Democrat, for example.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Maybe but that sure doesn't describe Philip Dick's leftism.
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  40. @The Anti-Gnostic
    Left was a different animal back then. The rallying point was economics, not ethnic or gender identity. Democratic politicians used to call their party "the party of the Working Man." The masculine, straight-arrow actor James Garner was an unabashed Democrat, for example.

    Maybe but that sure doesn’t describe Philip Dick’s leftism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    But neither was PKD an SJW
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  41. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Intelligent Dasein
    I could not disagree more strongly. The defining characteristic of a Traditionalist is that his politics and his aesthetics both echo the same transcendent metaphysical ideal. Only when the Right develops the will to punish its political enemies will it make any political gains. To make allowances for people whose politics dictate that they must destroy you, just because they are skilled artificers of fantasy, is to permit bloodthirsty enemies to dwell among your tents. When battle comes, these people will not give you any quarter and will not remember those times when you, in your broadminded admiration of their bardery, threw open your gates to them and laid your laurels at their feet. Instead they will kill you, and they will call it justice. Don't cuck to the syncopated pipings of the the liberals' flute.

    You wouldn’t have much art in your world, would you?

    Creatives by definition have high openness, and are always going to be pushing against the boundaries, one way or another. Its always been that way, whether with Leonardo Da Vinci rebellion against Pope Sixtus IV’s requests, or even Socrates questioning the mores of his day.

    Your ideas are extreme and would lead to a Soviet-style destruction when the young abandon anything traditional as “uncool.”

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  42. Hunsdon says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson II
    I agree. 1990 is about the time I left the SF genre behind. SJWs are corrosive and destructive wherever the ply their dishonest trade.

    Try Anspach and Cole’s Galaxy’s Edge series, books 1-4 are on Kindle now for the cheapness. Think “Star Wars” if George Lucas was kept far, far away, and hits all the “Empire” beats.

    Read More
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  43. WTF is up with the (tiny) white on grey font of his blog. My vision might be permanently ruined.

    Read More
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  44. @Val342
    Except he didn't get past the politics, setting aside his last paragraph to disavow Pournelle's while declaring his own. To leftists everything is politics all the time, and so they must always signal their allegiance to the cause while distancing themselves from the Other. Might not get invited to all the really great parties otherwise.

    Right, the fact that he even brought up politics is obscene. And it was an obvious virtue-signal. Liberals ruin everything, even obituaries.

    Read More
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  45. @Anonymous
    https://twitter.com/sam_kriss/status/909209029792157696

    That string of Tweets has enough excerpts from the book that I don’t need to read it. Thought it would be bad, but surprised how bad nonetheless.

    Read More
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  46. MEH 0910 says:
    @Sam Haysom
    Maybe but that sure doesn't describe Philip Dick's leftism.

    But neither was PKD an SJW

    Read More
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  47. Not a skiffy fan at all. But I used to Read Jerry’s columns all the time in the old Byte mag that taught me about computing way back when it was all new and wonderful. He wrote as a User not as a tech and certainly not as a hacker (and that was back when a hacker was just a guy who could hack out a bit of code when needed but couldn’t or wouldn’t call himself an expert coder/programmer. A real expert back then was someone like Kerrnigan and Ritchie and no code hack would put himself into that regal company. Jerry would get equipment from the makers and review it in his own special way for the Byte readership. Fond memories. RIP, Jerry.

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  48. whoever says: • Website
    @wren
    I have been expecting to see the iSteve authoritative post (or series of posts) on men who have changed their opinions on things due to their choice of wives.

    Krugman or Kapernick (from what little I know) jump out, but, for example I had no idea about Heinlein.

    Don’t leave out Mark Twain. Olivia Langdon, his wife, is said to have had a profound influence on his later writing, and even on what he chose to write and what he abandoned.
    She is commonly blamed for the ruined ending to Huckleberry Finn, as well as for his abandoning the sequel, in which two white girls are kidnapped by Sioux Indians and Tom, Huck and Jim set out to rescue them, discovering that “book Injuns and real Injuns ain’t the same.” Twain got about 15,000 words into a novel of dark and hard-edged realism before abandoning it. Perhaps he realized that what he wanted to write — what he had to write to tell the truth about the Western frontier as he knew it — would not be something he would want his wife to read, or that she would approve of.
    Twain might well have been a much different writer, and perhaps a much better one, a founder of American realism and naturalism, without the influence of Olivia. But he also might be a forgotten one — after all, who reads Hamlin Garland or Frank Norris, or, aside from The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane, or besides Call of the Wild and maybe To Build a Fire, even Jack London?
    Twain’s output might have been vastly different had he married the true love of his life, Laura Wright, about whom he wrote My Platonic Sweetheart, published after his death.
    It seems Wright was the inspiration for Becky Thatcher, perhaps the prototypical “Becky”: “a lovely little blue-eyed creature with yellow hair plaited into two long tails, white summer frock and embroidered pantalettes.” She was the woman Twain felt destiny had meant for him.
    Maybe she was.

    Read More
    • Replies: @flyingtiger
    During the American Civil War, Virginian George Thomas fought for the Union. His wife was from New Yourk State.
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  49. His Arming the Incomplete Enchanter, a non-fiction work, was excellent. It showed his knowledge of medieval weaponry, and Sprague DeCamp’s ignorance.

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  50. Logan says:
    @SFG
    It's a generational thing, really. In GRRM's day you could still respect people with opposing political views. Now they've cast out Orson Scott Card for having incorrect views on gay marriage. I don't follow these things that closely anymore but you may remember the fuss over Sad and Rabid Puppies in the Hugo Awards. (Google it; it's kind of funny in that, much like the alt-light and alt-right, there were moderate and extreme wings of the right-wing reaction, and the extreme wing had all the energy.)

    To be honest I was almost as depressed by the appearance of the Puppies as the trends they were reacting to. Does *everything* have to be political?

    Not heavily involved with the whole Puppies thing. But my understanding is that, much like the rise of the alt-right, they were a reaction to what they saw as politicization by the other side.

    Awhile back I picked up a recent Hugo/Nebula winner, on the grounds that this meant it would be a good read. Wow! All about gender-bending, and poorly written. At least from my perspective, it looked like it got the award for its “transgressive” politics.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    what they saw
     
    was the nose in front of their face.

    Pomo mealymouthing is how you got into this mess.
    , @Melendwyr
    You likely left out the title because you didn't wish to mention a specific work by name, but I am rather curious. If I may ask (and you are in no way obliged to answer): what was the book?
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  51. Logan says:
    @SFG
    That makes sense, and I remember seeing a shift in the culture and deciding I liked the 80s better (hah!). I'm just wondering about the timing. When did they invade the universities to flip the culture in 1990 (more or less)?

    Anyway, thanks for the hint. I'm sure there are caveats and exceptions, but it's an easy enough heuristic it can tell me where to go ('don't read anything published after 1990 for fun'). Thanks a lot!

    Yes, I know, there's always Castalia House.

    And admittedly even the SJW stuff is OK when they don't lay on the politics too thick; I enjoyed Scalzi's Redshirts (it was a good idea--what if the redshirts on the Enterprise noticed what was happening?) but had to wait to find it in a secondhand store so I didn't give the PC mangina any money.

    Military SF is still quite readable. Flint, Stirling, Weber, Ringo. John Ringo in particular wrote perhaps the most un-PC thing I’ve ever read in The Last Centurion.

    Baen Books publishes quite a bit of good stuff, with much of it available in their Free Library.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    Get ahold of the old There Will Be War anthologies that JP edited.
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  52. @Logan
    Not heavily involved with the whole Puppies thing. But my understanding is that, much like the rise of the alt-right, they were a reaction to what they saw as politicization by the other side.

    Awhile back I picked up a recent Hugo/Nebula winner, on the grounds that this meant it would be a good read. Wow! All about gender-bending, and poorly written. At least from my perspective, it looked like it got the award for its "transgressive" politics.

    what they saw

    was the nose in front of their face.

    Pomo mealymouthing is how you got into this mess.

    Read More
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  53. @whoever
    Don't leave out Mark Twain. Olivia Langdon, his wife, is said to have had a profound influence on his later writing, and even on what he chose to write and what he abandoned.
    She is commonly blamed for the ruined ending to Huckleberry Finn, as well as for his abandoning the sequel, in which two white girls are kidnapped by Sioux Indians and Tom, Huck and Jim set out to rescue them, discovering that "book Injuns and real Injuns ain't the same." Twain got about 15,000 words into a novel of dark and hard-edged realism before abandoning it. Perhaps he realized that what he wanted to write -- what he had to write to tell the truth about the Western frontier as he knew it -- would not be something he would want his wife to read, or that she would approve of.
    Twain might well have been a much different writer, and perhaps a much better one, a founder of American realism and naturalism, without the influence of Olivia. But he also might be a forgotten one -- after all, who reads Hamlin Garland or Frank Norris, or, aside from The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane, or besides Call of the Wild and maybe To Build a Fire, even Jack London?
    Twain's output might have been vastly different had he married the true love of his life, Laura Wright, about whom he wrote My Platonic Sweetheart, published after his death.
    It seems Wright was the inspiration for Becky Thatcher, perhaps the prototypical "Becky": "a lovely little blue-eyed creature with yellow hair plaited into two long tails, white summer frock and embroidered pantalettes." She was the woman Twain felt destiny had meant for him.
    Maybe she was.

    During the American Civil War, Virginian George Thomas fought for the Union. His wife was from New Yourk State.

    Read More
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  54. Melendwyr says: • Website
    @Logan
    Not heavily involved with the whole Puppies thing. But my understanding is that, much like the rise of the alt-right, they were a reaction to what they saw as politicization by the other side.

    Awhile back I picked up a recent Hugo/Nebula winner, on the grounds that this meant it would be a good read. Wow! All about gender-bending, and poorly written. At least from my perspective, it looked like it got the award for its "transgressive" politics.

    You likely left out the title because you didn’t wish to mention a specific work by name, but I am rather curious. If I may ask (and you are in no way obliged to answer): what was the book?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    Well, I left it out because I can't remember the name. Eminently forgettable, apparently!

    I suppose I could track it down.

    Found it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancillary_Justice

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  55. @SFG
    Is *that* when it was? I remember Niven and Pournelle making quite a bit of center-right scifi which was quite good, at least to my young-teenage mind. That was 1980s, right? I've actually been meaning to go back and check out the stuff I missed, and it's nice to know when a good cutoff date is.

    Asimov was a lefty, Heinlein was a libertarian (kind of?) and I can't remember Clarke's politics for the life of me, but it didn't really ruin their work all that much. I mean, you could argue the Foundation series reflected a faith in Big Government just as all of Heinlein's juvenilia showed libertarian self-reliance, but that was all at the level of subtext and they didn't need to beat you over the head with it.

    Oddly enough, Asimov did a hell of a piece on the National Anthem:

    http://purewatergazette.net/asimov.htm

    Much can be forgiven…

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  56. @MEH 0910

    SJWs are corrosive and destructive wherever the ply their dishonest trade.
     
    Agreed. Social Justice Warriors ruin everything.

    Captain Kirk agrees with you.

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  57. @Logan
    Military SF is still quite readable. Flint, Stirling, Weber, Ringo. John Ringo in particular wrote perhaps the most un-PC thing I've ever read in The Last Centurion.

    Baen Books publishes quite a bit of good stuff, with much of it available in their Free Library.

    Get ahold of the old There Will Be War anthologies that JP edited.

    Read More
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  58. @whorefinder
    I am convinced that in GRRM's basement/on his computer they're going to find many, MANY incriminating things one day. He's far too creepy, left-wing virtue signalling not to be hiding something, and that's before we get to his obsession with incest and rape in his works.

    Similar to Steven King. I only recently learned of the apparently-well-known scene in the novel of It involving all the young, innocent, naive teens losing their virginity....in a voluntary gang bang. Described in detail. From female character's point of view. What kind of diseased, obsessive mind would put that in? Then you take a good look at how Steven King looks and the way he talks/acts in interviews and you realize that if he were hanging out by a school you'd immediately call the cops.

    James LaFond had some interesting comments about King:

    http://jameslafond.com/article.php?id=8489

    Read More
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  59. @Truth
    Speaking of sci-fi characters...

    https://twitter.com/MrPatriarch11/status/909802628019826688/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.henrymakow.com%2F

    Funny…or IS it??????

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  60. Logan says:
    @Melendwyr
    You likely left out the title because you didn't wish to mention a specific work by name, but I am rather curious. If I may ask (and you are in no way obliged to answer): what was the book?

    Well, I left it out because I can’t remember the name. Eminently forgettable, apparently!

    I suppose I could track it down.

    Found it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancillary_Justice

    Read More
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