2016/07/28

Sad Puppies' Kate Paulk Reviews all Hugo Award Nominees

Sad Puppies 4

With five days of Hugo Award voting left, Sad Puppies IV leader Kate "The Impaler" Paulk concludes her reviews of works in every nominated category.

The Campbells being the last category on the list, it just so happens that Kate's final series of reviews includes my eligible novel Nethereal.
I couldn’t stop reading Nethereal. The combination of fantasy styling over science fiction with an intricate layered plot and remarkably human characters sucked me in and refused to let go. Of note: Niemeier is the only finalist in his first year of Campbell eligibility.
High praise indeed, considering I'm up against Andy Weir. And her official review wasn't the only place that Kate expressed praise for Nethereal. Here's a comment she left on my unveiling of the updated cover with a blurb from Larry Correia:

Nethereal - Larry Correia blurb
Kate Paulk comment Nethereal

Whether your sympathies run more lachrymose or hydrophobic, you've got to show Kate--and her co-conspirators Sarah Hoyt and Amanda Green--due respect. They took on the thankless task of running Sad Puppies the year after SP3 leader Brad Torgersen was raked over the coals by international media hacks. That takes real conviction.

On second thought, their efforts weren't entirely thankless, as evidenced by this message from one of my readers:
...finally finished Souldancer. What a book! Now, more than ever I'm so happy the whole Sad Puppies thing happened - I've found so many new awesome writers (including you) through the hashtag that I'm just amazed. I mean, I thought sci-fi, for one, was surely dying since the bookstores were selling nada but...then you guys happen! And world seems right again xD
These sentiments are hugely significant, especially since the ringleader of the clique that burned down the Hugos has been appointed to succeed Tom Doherty as the head of Tor Books.

The Big 5 NY publishers, especially Tor, continue to hemorrhage market share. Meanwhile their former readers flock to indie and small publishers who offer them stories they want to read instead of trying to force people read what the literati think is good for them.

In the absence of multi-million dollar advertising budgets, Sad Puppies has proven quite effective at connecting self-published and non-Big 5 authors with SFF fans who'd despaired of finding fun stories to read. That fact alone justifies SP's continuing campaign.

Four years ago, Larry Correia founded Sad Puppies to uncover the bias in the Hugo Awards process. It seems that while they were at it, the Puppies also saved science fiction.

So thank you Kate, Sarah, Amanda, Brad, and Larry.


My SFF books Nethereal and Souldancer are both available now. Read with caution unless you have a couple of weekends to kill.



2016/07/26

Over the Target

Denizens of Reddit's deepest bowels have taken umbrage at my observation that Hollywood is now a propaganda machine.
You heard it here first ladies: your existence in popular media is propaganda. Even though TFA became one of the highest grossing movies of all time and was pretty much universally well-liked, this fucking dude and like a thousand dudes just like him know the truth: it's actually leftist propaganda! They just know, guys. They figured it out.
It just so happens that I did figure it out. It wasn't that hard, especially since compulsively signaling their support for racial and sexual supremacy is all the rage among major film makers these days.

Case in point: Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams' response to a couple of Asian fans at last year's San Diego Comic Con:
First, I want to say: go, Asians! I’m not casting the movies that are coming up but if I was I would cast them as only Asian. I think you’ll see there are Asians in this film.
 Before you start furiously banging out comments pointing out that Abrams' comment is clearly a joke, I know. The quote above is there to give context for what follows.

Abrams went on to say:
We didn’t write Fin to be any color or anyone to be any color. We just cast the movie.
It looks as if that settles it. Taken at face value, Abrams' statement shows that his casting is totally color blind, and any claims that he chose a diverse cast for diversity's sake are completely off-base.

But then, there's the small matter of what he said in 2013 about how he cast his failed TV show Undercovers:
We wrote these characters but when we went to cast it, one of the things I had felt, having been to the Emmys a couple times — you look around that room and you see the whitest fucking room in the history of time. Its just unbelievably white. And I just thought, we’re casting this show and we have an opportunity to do anything we want, why not cast the show with actors of color? Like not for sure, and if we can’t find the actors who are great, we shouldn’t, but why don’t we make that effort because it wasn’t written that way
Read that quote carefully; then take another look at Abrams' 2015 SDCC comments. Notice how he used Undercovers' color blind writing to justify pushing an ideological agenda; then cited TFA's color blind writing as evidence that he didn't push his ideology with with Star Wars.

Of course, Lone Penguin-ing by urging onlookers to pay no attention to me because Sexist! is a sure sign that my arguments are inflicting serious cognitive dissonance on the peanut gallery.

So great was the cultural commissars' distress that they even took offense at a working author having the audacity to market his books.
Nothing says "fun, exciting yarn with the sole aim of entertaining you" like a conscious commitment to reactionary politics.
I understand that capitalism tends to produce insufficient bread lines and head pyramids for such commenters' tastes.

In addition, this one publicly betrays his inability to conceive of an author holding one set of beliefs while writing favorably or neutrally of others, or even--heaven forfend!--keeping politics out of his books altogether.

That's what I do. The failure of Ghostbusters 2016 is a good example of why.

But even pretending to authorial success while clearly not being a Real Writer™ isn't what made these people feel like someone peed in their Kool-Aid. What's really got their knickers in a twist is the mere existence of people who are...


Diverging from the Narrative

Although my opinion of TFA caused its share of freak-outs, the Reddit SJWs suffered a far worse case of butthurt over my failure to burn my pinch of incense to the flop that was Ghostbusters 2016.
is [sic] this about ghostbusters? yep. it's about ghostbusters.
jesus [sic] fucking christ, i've [sic] seen remakes of movies since the 90s and no one has ever made this much of a fuss over any of them. just [sic] don't see the damn movie and move on with your life.
Translation from the semi-literate crybully cant: "How dare you hit back!? You're supposed to curl into a fetal ball while chanting obsequious apologies as we kick you!"
I mean, jeez, AVGN, too, decided he wouldn't go see the movie, but he didn't make this huge fuss about "leftist propaganda", he just said he disliked the trailer and that's it.
Yeah. I should've kept quiet about the new Ghostbusters' brazen ideological slant and just not seen the movie. Just like James Rolfe did.

Because it worked out so well for him.

For the record, here is all the AVGN said:


Here's what he got for just saying he disliked the trailer and that he wouldn't see the movie:





The internet inquisition's claim to respect reasonable differences of opinion is a pathologically blatant lie. Far from respecting the free speech rights of people they disagree with, they're viciously hounding those who step out of line and censoring outspoken opponents on social media.

It's almost as if modern day witch-hunters always lie about their tyrannical intentions, always double down when their lies are called out, and always project their biases onto opponents.

Anyway, their true demands are clear: you will actively cheerlead for their pet causes. No dissent, or even neutral abstention, is allowed.


When the grievance-bots come for you

There was a time not too long ago when these torch and pitchfork-bearing cretins could destroy reputations and careers at will.

Those days are over.

The failure of the new Ghostbusters, the indie publishing revolution, and the death of Gawker all herald the dawn of a new, more intellectually and creatively open era. The gatekeepers are still there, but the walls have come down.

When a grievance mob comes for you, don't apologize. Don't play defense. These people are so used to getting their way whenever they throw a tantrum that they have no answer to a counterattack.

Like when I displayed my attackers' stupidity for all and sundry to behold on Twitter.

Result: my blog traffic and book sales doubled.

Thanks, Reddit mob!

The thought police are cowardly and ridiculous. They don't merit your fear; certainly not your obedience.

And just because it will piss them off:

My incredibly entertaining, award-nominated, category best selling SFF books are available now :)


@BrianNiemeier

2016/07/25

Podcast Roundup: Catholic Geek Gab

My weekend turned out to be a podcasating marathon. All told, I spent two and half hours in geekish conversation. Now you can enjoy the results!

The Catholic Geeks

First up, I went on Catholic Geeks, hosted by author Declan Finn. He gave me the whole show to myself, so we covered a wide range of topics, including the origins of my first SFF novel Nethereal, my Campbell nomination and Hugo Award predictions, and indie publishing. Being two overeducated Catholic guys, we even delve into a bit of theology and the meaning of art.

It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to be on Catholic Geeks again. In the meantime, you can listen to the episode here.


Your weekend would be lacking the recommended allowance of geekery without another geektacular episode of Geek Gab. Luckily we've got a fresh one for you!


Join Daddy Warpig, Dorrinal, and me as we gab about the new Netflix series Stranger Things and the enigmatic Star Trek Beyond.


Finally, I'd be remiss not to mention that today is the last day to nominate for the brand new Dragon Awards. Nominations close tonight at midnight, and participation is free for everyone.

As a reminder, my second book Souldancer is eligible in the Best Horror Novel category.


Fill out your nominating ballot here.

@BrianNiemeier

2016/07/24

I'll Be on Catholic Geeks Tonight

Catholic Geeks

Heads up!

I'll be joining Honor at Stake author Declan Finn on the Catholic Geeks show tonight at 7:00 PM Easter/6:00 PM Central.

Join us for what's sure to be a lively discussion of the Hugos, the publishing industry, and general Catholic geekery.


@BrianNiemeier