2018/01/18

The Fake News Awards

President Donald Trump has announced the winners of his highly anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards.

Here are the fakest news stories of 2017:

1. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.

Krugman

2. ABC News' Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.
Brian Ross

3. CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.

4. TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.

5. Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.
Weigel

6. CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.

7. CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a “significant breakdown in process.”

8. Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.
Polish handshake

9. CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.

10. The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.

11. And last, but not least: "RUSSIA COLLUSION!" Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!
Collusion Hoax


And the fake news media's response?
Terrifying

Pay close attention to the legacy media's response to being called out on their deliberate and constant journalistic malpractice. Do they even try to back up their biased reporting with facts? No. Instead they whine that the President's just use of his platform to defend himself from their unremitting lies is "terrifying".

Of course the bullies are going to complain when the guy they picked a fight with punches back.

The corrupt news media is rightly terrified. Their credibility is tanking and continues to decline with each hysterically mendacious narrative they spin.

Mass media trust

Sad.

2018/01/17

Nerd Culture Is Dead

Ready Player One Movie

Over at the Emperor Ponders blog, the Frisky Pagan charts the decline of Western culture using the highest-grossing films of each decade as a benchmark.
Since there’s a lot to rant about this, I will focus on a single hypothesis: since the late 90s, there has been a divorce between quality and popularity. I’m sure you could go further back in time, but at that point is where it becomes evident. Before the mid-90s, you could go see the top box-office success of the year, and there was a high chance that you would see a competent or even a great movie. Even if the movie was boring or not your style, at least the movie would be a proper movie.
The following are the highest-grossing films per year according to Box Office Mojo. Underlined movies are those that filmsite ranks as the best of all time.

1950: Cinderella
1951: Quo Vadis
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth 
1953: Peter Pan 
1954:  Rear Window
1955: Lady and the Tramp
1956: The Ten Commandments
1957:  The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958: South Pacific (1958)
1959:  Ben-Hur

1960: Swiss Family Robinson
1961: 101 Dalmatians
1962: How the West Was Won 
1963: Cleopatra
1964: Mary Poppins
1965: The Sound of Music
1966: The Bible: In the Beginning and Hawaii (virtual tie)
1967: The Jungle Book
1968: Funny Girl)
1969: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

1970: Love Story
1971: Billy Jack
1972:  The Godfather
1973: The Exorcist
1974: Blazing Saddles
1975:  Jaws
1976: Rocky
1977:  Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
1978: Grease
1979: Kramer vs. Kramer

1980:  Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982:  E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
1983: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi 
1984: Ghostbusters
1985: Back to the Future
1986: Top Gun
1987: Three Men and a Baby
1988: Rain Man
1989: Batman

1990: Home Alone
1991: Beauty and the Beast 
1992: Aladdin
1993: Jurassic Park
1994: The Lion King
1995: Toy Story
1996: Independence Day
1997: Titanic
1998: Saving Private Ryan
1999: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

FP posits that the decline began in the 90s. I see signs of cultural degradation as early as the 70s with garbage like Love Story and Kramer vs. Kramer. The 70s dip makes sense considering that the national mood was in the gutter. But Star Wars ushered in a brief renaissance that carried us through the 1980s and into the early 90s. After that, I'm with FP. American cinema became a sterile, blasted hellscape.

We rejoin the Frisky Pagan in the early aughts:
At first, it seems… OK-ish if you are into nerd stuff:
2000: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
2002: Spider-Man
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Shrek 2
2005: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
2006: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest 
2007: Spider-Man 3
2008: The Dark Knight 
2009: Avatar
But then...
2010: Toy Story 3
2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
2012: Marvel’s The Avengers
2013: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
2014: American Sniper
2015: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
2016: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2017: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Besides a couple of standouts like Toy Story 3 and American Sniper, it's wall-to-wall "Read Another Book" crowd pandering.

Back to FP:
None of this can be considered a worthy cultural product and almost all are painfully recent. The most they can aspire to is to be mildly entertainment and then be forgotten in a year (like Avatar.) And I’m not sure about the entertainment bit.
There's much more in the OP. His Friskiness identifies likely causes for these trends, such as increasing reliance on the global markets and catering to women as the Next Big Thing. The latter represents a self-fulfilling prophecy wherein political and corporate interests pushed for the economic ascendancy of women and now tailor most pop culture products to them in order to suck that money back out of their wallets.

FP further makes some well-considered predictions about the near and medium-term pop culture landscape. The prognosis: not good--at least not until independent content creators can effectively circumvent the gatekeepers to reach mass audiences directly.

Thankfully, there is one corner of the entertainment industry where indie creators are successfully making an end run around the ossified old guard: independent publishing.

Take Galaxy's Edge by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole for example. FP foresaw attempts to rival Star Wars coming from overseas, but Galaxy's Edge is shaping up to be a homegrown answer to Disney's globalized, homogenized, and sterilized SocJus Wars.

Your humble host is also busy making whatever small contributions he can to the revival of Western culture. If you're looking for a somewhat darker space opera series with zero political preaching, check out my award-winning Soul Cycle, which is now complete at four books.

The Soul Cycle - Brian Niemeier

2018/01/16

Twitter Shadowbans Confirmed

In light of Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe's investigation proving that Twitter does in fact wield shadowbans to censor users, I thought it worthwhile to repost the well-documented account of my own deep shadowban.


No Twitter

Having written before about Twitter's nasty penchant for censoring and outright banning users who deviate from the company's rigid left wing ideology, I fully expected the Twitter thought police to come for me. Milo Yiannopoulos warned as much.

I just didn't expect them this soon.

Daddy Warpig tweet 1

Late Friday afternoon: friends on Twitter started complaining that they couldn't see my tweets. Daddy Warpig placed the blame on a shadowban.

NB: if you're unfamiliar with the concept of a shadowban, it's an unofficial and highly passive-aggressive method that Twitter uses to censor people who disagree with them, but who haven't broken any rules. By keeping the shadowbanned user's followers from seeing his tweets or even notifications from him, Twitter can say it's a bug and maintain plausible deniability.

Shadow bans usually last for 24; sometimes 48 hours.

Daddy Warpig tweet 2

Mine was still in effect a day later.

Keep in mind, this whole time I hadn't received any communication from Twitter. No prior warnings, no notice of a TOS violation, no explanation of what was happening or why. Nothing.

This wasn't a surprise, since it perfectly fits the kind of arbitrary censorious behavior that conservative and libertarian users have sadly come to expect from Twitter. I'm neither a conservative nor a libertarian, but Twitter just puts everyone to the right of Chairman Mao into the same badthink box.

The censorship continued through Sunday and into today. Lasting longer and with more extensive effects than ever before, this represents a new form of Deep Shadowban.

Rawle tweet 1

Brand visibility is a matter of life and death for a writer's career. Until quite recently, deplatforming an author could only hurt his career. That's clearly what Twitter was banking on, but for a social network they're pretty mired in analog thinking.

The shadowban's main effect has been to piss my followers off.

PoW tweet

I can't blame them for getting mad when conversations that look like this to me:

Convo 2

look like this to them:

Convo 3

But it's the unintended side effects that should really make Twitter rethink the wisdom of shadowbans, especially in this age of antifragility.

Convo 4

Greyed tweet

My number of followers before the shadowban: 970.

My number of followers now: 1,033 and counting.

And has this whole messy business helped me sell books?

You bet :)

I'm not upset with Twitter for censoring me. Like a small but growing number of independent authors, that only makes me richer and stronger.

I am upset that my readers are upset. I answer to them; never to Twitter. So I'd appreciate it if Twitter would kindly stop belaboring my bosses' social media experience.

Of course, I expect Twitter to double down. Again. They enjoy making people weaker than them miserable. Let's see how they like it when the tables are turned.


I just want to entertain people. A major media corporation wants to censor me. You know what to do.

The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier

UPDATE: Breitbart's Allum Bokhari has published an article condemning my shadowban.

If the purpose of a shadowban is to silence dissenters, Twitter should consider that a direct result of their censorship has been to catapult me from relative obscurity to international news in the span of 24 hours.

2018/01/12

Changing Perspectives

Point of No Return - #GamerGate

This incisive comment on my Fifth Columnists post by reader Constantin illustrating how #GamerGate gave many normies their first taste of the red pill merited its own guest post.

Here's Constantin:
This entire article summed up every change of perspectives I've experienced since 2014 until now. 
GamerGate opened my eyes that something bad is trying to infiltrate the video game industry, and from then onward my perspective broadened enough to realize that SJWism is a cancer that has infected the entire entertainment spectrum and really Western Civilization as a whole. It doesn't help that most of the debates that happen on the subjects described in this article are relegated to Social Media which is a place where people trade insults, not arguments, and since the left is king when it comes to snarkiness(having to compensate for their lack of arguments), most of the time they end up as winners and people assume their position is stronger even though they never made any arguments in the first place.
I'm really glad I started looking into the past for entertainment; it's not as if I've been pushed to a corner and am now scrambling for any bit of entertainment that doesn't contain SJW themes, no matter how badly is written; the Pulps had some genuinely fantastic stories from talented writers. Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs(who I had initially wrote off as childish, proving that it was me who was being a child), Clark Ashton Smith(underrated as hell) etc.
Couple all that with old movies where men didn't act like pushovers and women acted like actual women, I'm going to be occupied for a long, long time. That's not even taking into account the writings that came before all these.
Honestly, I've got no reason to complain; the Left can keep modern entertainment for themselves, it's garbage anyway.
And I have no sympathy for people who hate Social Justice themes but continue to support companies that promote them. You reap what you sow. Case in point; the Last Jedi. All the signs that this was going to be a SJW shitfest were there, but people, even those who were aware of it, still watched it, because "it might be fun". It's like they can't get their entertainment from something else. I didn't watch it and I didn't lose anything. Star Wars was dead since Disney bought the rights. Time to look for other alternatives.
My reply:

Thanks to Constantin for sharing his insights. He's not alone. #GamerGate opened many people's eyes.

There's not much to add to his excellent comment, except to assure him that SJWs are in fact losing in the public arena.

Taking the debate to social media isn't a handicap. It's been an overwhelming advantage since we finally learned to use the SJWs' weapons against them.

I sympathize with his disappointment over the failure of dialectic. But the fact is that logical argument has never convinced more than 10% of people, anyway.

The Left attained cultural dominance through rhetoric. They weren't even that good at it. As Constantin pointed out, they've since degenerated to nothing but snark.

SJWs have no answer for a taste of their own medicine. There's a reason that #TheLeftCantMeme has become a modern truism.

And if you want proof of our superior effectiveness, look at how Twitter, Facebook, and Google have been censoring anyone to the right of Mao. They can't control the narrative now that legacy media is on the decline and new media is ascendant.


And they're rightly terrified.

P.S. If you're fed up with political propaganda in your entertainment, check out my thrilling Soul Cycle series for 100% politics-free escapism.

The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier

2018/01/11

We're Winning

Winning

While my recent posts may have struck some of you as rather downbeat, bear in mind that the last two articles especially focused on the present state of dissident political action. I've said all along that there's no voting our way out of our current predicament.

If it wasn't clear before, the past year has proved beyond doubt that our ruling class lacks the political will to make policy changes that may have mitigated the coming collapse. Don't look so surprised. An ironclad consequence of "Politics is downstream from culture" is that politicians emerge from the prevailing cultural milieu and are beholden to it. You can't expect tigers to change their stripes--though our leaders are more like overfed, genetically disenfranchised house cats.

The fact that most of the country is viscerally opposed to our elites' shenanigans is itself a good sign. It means that the counterculture that usurped the old, stable order in the 60s has long since become the establishment. Now a new counterculture has arisen that finds the establishment's worldview anathema.

And that counterculture is kicking the establishment culture's wrinkly ass.

How, you ask? Let us count the ways.

NFL viewership is tanking


Empty Seats

Football game ratings are in steep decline, in large part due to a brazen injection of Leftist politics. The emptying stadiums and dwindling viewership are conspicuous signs that the entertainment-media complex has lost touch with its audience.

The NFL's plummeting popularity has major implications beyond the realm of professional sports. It's no secret that ESPN has grown increasingly SJW-converged, and their Monday Night Football license costs them about two billion dollars per year. They've also been losing 15,000 subscribers a day.

ESPN does report that its revenues are up despite its flagship show's ratings nosedive and its vanishing subscriber base. But as we all know, getting a growing share of a shrinking market is certain death.

Even bigger potential repercussions loom due to the fact that Disney--perhaps the single most converged entertainment corporation--owns ESPN. The failing sports network used to make the Mouse more money than its theme park and movie divisions. Now that the well is drying up, Disney is belatedly making a desperate push into streaming services, but their success in that fickle market is far from certain.

Star Wars is floundering


The Last Jedi 50 percent
Speaking of Disney, the simmering discontent with the company's handling of Star Wars has reached a boil with fan pariah The Last Jedi. Not only is Disney's second numbered Star Wars entry viewers' least favorite in the whole franchise, it suffered a colossal 77% drop off in its second weekend.

TLJ now stands as a brutal monument to Leftist overreach. Disney-owned Lucasfilm thought they could put out a movie designed to insult their own core audience and presumed that said audience would sit there and take the abuse. Their overconfidence is their weakness.

Traditional publishing is dead


Closed Barnes & Noble

The New York publishing industry that helped outright Marxists in the science fiction movement shove the pulps down the memory hole is already dead. Amazon struck the fatal blow, but the New York publishing establishment's corpse is still twitching thanks to shocks delivered via its fading paper distribution monopoly.

The sole remnant of that monopoly, Barnes and Noble, is rapidly folding. The last big bookstore chain has seen sales decline by eight percent year-on-year. In the unlikely event you've set foot inside a B&N in the last year, you probably saw that the location resembled a toy store cum coffee shop more than a bookseller's.

B&N's inevitable demise will hammer the last nail into tradpub's coffin.

Lefty epistemic closure bubble bonus round: B&N's CEO blames their financial woes on Trump.

Meanwhile, indie thrives

Galaxy's Edge: Legionnaire - Anspach and Cole

One of my cherished readers dubbed 2017 The Year Indie Went Mainstream. That's a fitting assessment, especially considering the runaway breakout hit that is Galaxy's Edge.

Not only did authors Jason Anspach and Nick Cole figure out how to play Amazon's algorithm like a fiddle, they've garnered serious attention, including perking the interest of major game and media companies. The details are hush-hush for now, but I expect earth-shaking developments before long.

2017 was also the year that converged SFF institutions like World Con and the Hugos were rendered utterly obsolete as the Dragon Awards came into their own.

Consider this: In one year, I went from being the only indie author to win a Dragon Award to one of multiple indie finalists. And once again, a self-published author took home a Dragon as best seller Richard Fox won top Mil-SF honors.

It gets even better! World Con darling N.K. Jemisin and former darling John Scalzi also snagged Dragon nominations. Jemisin declined the nom--perhaps the only context in which that statement can be true--backstabbing the fans who wanted to honor her. It was probably a smart move on her part though, because losing a people's choice award with four times the Hugos' participation rate would drastically undermine her back-to-back Hugo wins. Still, the fact that she thought it prudent to withdraw from the contest speaks volumes about her chances had she competed.

Meanwhile, Scalzi threw his hat in and out of the ring until finally opting to stay in the race. His decision proved Jemisin's withdrawal wise, as he--and I--lost to James S.A. Corey. Already having a Dragon, I didn't mind since the total shutout of World Con favorites and the Hugos' resulting slide into final irrelevance proved ample compensation.

As was the release of my final Soul Cycle book, The Ophian Rising. OR was my biggest launch yet and is my most favorably reviewed book to date. Esteemed critics are even saying that the Soul Cycle's conclusion gave Galaxy's Edge stiff competition for best novel of the year. Though I'll never be done honing my craft, those are good signs I'm on the right track.

On a final high note, I have direct personal knowledge of several up-and-coming indie authors who are committed to giving readers solid entertainment for years to come. In my night job as an editor, I helped a few of them self-publish books to critical and commercial success.

There's no question that troubled times lie straight ahead. But a glimmer of light is cresting the horizon. The Leftist-hijacked legacy culture is in steep decline, as was inevitable from the moment when feckless Conservatives ceded the institutions without a fight. A dynamic, energized counterculture is on the rise, and it will supplant the cultural Marxists who destroyed its original inheritance.

UPDATE:
The Last Jedi 49%


2018/01/10

Devil's Advocate

Devil

Reader Xavier chimes in to play devil's advocate regarding yesterday's post.
Brian.
Outstanding post. Let me play devil's advocate. I think the Benedict/St Anthony of the desert option is one of the choices in a multifaceted strategy. We also need the Franciscan one of engaging the world the Dominican at the universities and the new movements like Opus dei for work and neighbourhoods. Retreat from the world is ok but it should be for a very small minority.
As for women, the 2 biggest problems is tha the state has usurped the role if the husband provided. How are guys supposed to provide and protect when the state is the buggest alpha male? The biggest obstacle to returning sanity is to radically reduce the state's intrusion in our lives.
Second problem:deep down women don't like to work. They're shocked to discover that work is a man's world where it's physically and mentally demanding and sometimes kills. Women have a different kind of resiliency best seen as volunteers at schools, hospitals and neighbourhood organizations and of course at home.
The biggest challenge i see for my kids generation is to recover subsidiarity. The state isn't civil society
xavier
I answer:
Some of Dreher's proposals, like urging Christians to pull their kids out of public schools, are spot-on. It's the cowardice that comes from mixing Liberalism with his Christianity that's his fatal flaw.

Franciscan engagement is closer to the mark, but most people--especially college kids--are far too ignorant and dialectically illiterate for the Dominican approach to be much use right now. What would really help would be for the bishops to start excommunicating the many fake Catholics who publicly and flagrantly scoff at Church doctrine. To have any meaning, Christianity has to make demands of its adherents.

Yes, the state has replaced husbands and fathers. That's because a) women voted for it and b) men let them. Women form such a large voting bloc that sufficiently reducing the size of government is effectively impossible unless more women marry earlier, have kids, and stay married. But as Xavier said, the state offers perverse incentives for delaying and avoiding marriage. Repealing women's suffrage would solve the problem instantly--as Ann Coulter said, if women couldn't vote, no Democrat would be elected ever again. But that would require women voting away their own voting rights. Once again, we're not voting our way out of this.

Thought experiment: Imagine what rush hour traffic would look like if 2/3 of the women in the work force quit to be full-time moms.


Yes, subsidiarity is the key. It's something you don't hear preached about from the pulpit these days.

2018/01/09

Fifth Columnists

The Fifth Column

The war to save Western civilization stands at a turning point. For years, the West seemed fated for terminal decline into a dystopia micromanaged by SJW kommissars. #GamerGate, Sad Puppies, and the election of Donald Trump offered hope that the tide was turning against anti-civilizational madness.

At this moment, neither a descent into barbarism nor a resurgence of Western culture seems inevitable. The future looks far less certain than it did just a few years--or even months--ago.

The current stalemate with the rainbow-haired, Commie-Puritan hordes is not due to the foe's strategic genius, or even their base cunning. Indeed, God has done us the great favor of making our enemies ridiculous.

SJW Screaming

Take a moment to laugh at the infantilized androgyny on display. Then consider that the mewling freak show escapees we're up against have not yet been driven--or helicoptered--into the sea. They still control the major power centers of government, academia, and the media.

No, my friend. The men of the West are not being held in check by the invincible bogeymen that make bow tie-bedecked Conservatives huddle under the covers. If such pathetic opposition has not been swept from the field, the fault lies with you and me.

A perennial weakness of conservative, libertarian, and traditionalist movements has been a penchant for radical individualism that undermines their solidarity. In effect, such groups tend to produce their own fifth columnists--members who sabotage the movement's efforts from within.

Here is brief guide to the most destructive types of fifth columnists within the pro-civilization movement.

Moderates
Fence Sitting

The cultural upheavals currently shaking the West to its core have reached a crisis point. We are now embroiled in a civil war fought (mostly) online with words and memes (for now).

It is the solemn duty of every man of good will to resist this all-out attack on the culture his forefathers bled and died for. The enemy have always been quite clear that they will give no quarter in battle and no mercy in victory.

Despite facing intractable opposition and the highest stakes imaginable, the hoary ranks of Conservatism are still rife with self-professed moderates who continue advocating compromise with an implacable foe.

Usually arguing from the Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis model and adopting some form of Horseshoe Theory, moderates fussily busy themselves with tone-policing those of their allies who actually take the fight to the enemy.

Political Horseshoe
Though fond of appearing sober and reasonable, moderates are actually ruled by a fear of being disliked by the Left that prevents them from accomplishing anything useful. Their calls for civility are only ever directed at their own side, while the barbarians they hope to impress howl for the blood of the moderates and their children.

Moderate self-assessment
Do you:
  • Spend more time rebuking your own side than mocking the Left?
  • Operate out of a need to feel morally superior to your allies, i.e.: Do you get off on being The Only Adult in the Room?
  • Fear an SJW calling you a racist, sexist, homophobe, transphobe, islamophobe, misogynist, or general bigot more than seeing your children reduced to second-class citizens?
  • Believe that the US Constitution is a powerful grimoire capable of transforming nihilistic postmoderns into red-blooded Americans if its incantations are recited correctly by those of sufficient ideological purity? 
If you answered "yes" to most of those questions, kindly get out of the way so the rest of us can preserve a world where your cherished principles are still relevant.

Heretics
Witch Burning

Christianity is a necessary pillar of Western civilization. Not only do the Church's teachings inform our cultural and legal traditions, she has saved the West from destruction time and again. If not for the brave Christian soldiers at Tours, Lepanto, and Vienna, Western civilization would have been scoured by the face of the earth by invading Muslim hordes.

Not only are men like Charles Martel and Don John of Austria sadly lacking today, a particularly loathsome breed of heretic has cropped up to undermine the Church from within.

Tainted by many of the same postures that motivate moderates, the new heretics fail to meet the intellectual rigor of Docetists, Nestorians, or Pelegians. Instead they give lip service to orthodoxy while indulging in the sin of despair--a material rather than a formal heresy.

To find the poster boy for this emasculated strain of Christianity that seeks preemptive surrender to the enemies of Christ, one need look no further than American Conservative columnist Rod Dreher. Here he is explaining how The Last Jedi contains several key themes of his cowardly Benedict Option plan for Christian self-ghettoization.

Luke Milking
Surely retreating from society and living off sea cow milk is how Christ intended us to witness to the Gospel.
Sea Cow Option Heretic Self-assessment
Have you:
  • Decided to forgo having your own children in favor of adopting from a Haitian orphan mill?
  • Been so cowed (not sorry) by anti-Christian propaganda invoking the Crusades and the Inquisition that you avoid standing up for your faith?
  • Bought the exegesis, contra history and Tradition, that "Turn the other cheek" is an injunction against national, neighborhood, and home defense?
  • Come to deny the clear and consistent teaching of Scripture and the Magisterium that peoples have a God-given right to build nations and define themselves within the bounds of Christian charity?
Then know that you have weakened the Church on earth like an autoimmune disease afflicting the Body of Christ. Furthermore, you have scandalized those who are turning away from the emptiness of atheism and atomized consumerism only to find their search for truth and fellowship obstructed by lukewarm (still not sorry) pseudo-apostates. You now have a chance to acknowledge your errors and repent. Failing that, Templar NEETs will be around soon to conduct you to a festive bonfire in the public square. I'm sure you'll go along quietly.

THOTs
Begone THOT
No, I'm not including pictures of any THOTs. That's exactly what they'd want me to do.
Every popular movement attracts leeches and grifters who hop on the bandwagon in search of money and attention. Perhaps the most conspicuous--and potentially detrimental--camp followers of the traditionalist movement are the crop of young women who've taken to social media to leverage their looks and superficial traditionalism for fame and filthy lucre. Common parlance labels such an opportunistic female pundit a THOT--"That Ho Over There".

If you've noticed that the types of fifth columnists seem interconnected, you're quite observant. While Christian moderates foment the soft heresy of despair, men who resist emasculation and seek traditional male-female relations are falling prey to THOTs.

"What's the harm?" you might ask. The danger posed by THOTs goes beyond frivolous demands on men's time and wallets. Nearly all major THOTs, to my knowledge, have turned out to harbor corrosive feminist ideas and/or unsavory personal histories that are far from traditional. THOTs are not only a distraction, they pose a real risk of poisoning love-starved men's minds.

Former pick up artist guru Roosh V, who some say is in the midst of an Augustinian-style conversion, provides a handy THOT checklist.
  • “Are you against homosexual marriage?”
  • “Do you believe it’s ideal for a woman to remain a virgin until she gets married?”
  • “Do you believe that it’s best for children to be raised by a stay-at-home mother?”
  • “Do you believe a woman’s choices should be constrained by her husband, tribe, or church with the intention of doing what’s best for her?”
  • “Do you believe it’s wrong for a young girl to find herself by traveling around the world and trying new experiences?”
If your favorite bubbly, Jordan Peterson-parroting YouTube girlpundit wouldn't answer "yes" to at least two of those questions; run--don't walk--away. You're being played.

White Knights
White Knight

THOTs aren't the only women who are undermining Western civilization. As philosopher Stefan Molyneux points out, Western women in general favor bigger government and unchecked immigration while remaining woefully uninformed on relevant policy matters.


The only factor that reliably turns women away from socialism and open-borders civilizational suicide is marrying and having children with a non-Leftist man. The upshot is that women will follow the lead of men who are worth following.

Unfortunately, decadent pop culture has indoctrinated multiple generations of men with the lie that the way to earn women's respect is to coddle them, placate them, and unconditionally validate their every decision. The result is a legion of white knights who will rush to defend any woman whose decisions are publicly questioned--regardless of how ill-advised those decisions may be.

When half the population is constantly reinforced in the contradictory notions that they are entitled to unchecked power and immunity from all accountability, the result is civilization-wide disaster.

It's not hard. If you want equality, you have to have equal accountability. If you can't stomach that, your choices are matriarchy or patriarchy.

White Knight Self-assessment
Are you:
  • Convinced that girls you follow on Instagram will sleep with you if you give them enough fawning affirmation?
  • Quick to rush to the defense of any woman who faces disagreement from any man in the hope that she'll sleep with you?
  • Loath to caution a female friend against another tattoo/piercing/student loan because if you admonish her, she might not sleep with you?
  • Hopeful that your female best friend will ditch the multiple felon she's currently dating if you reply "You go, grrrl!" to enough of her FB posts and sleep with you?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, know that the object of your affections sees you only as an easy source of emotional validation, and that no amount of obsequious placating will convince her to see you as sexually desirable. Hang up your spurs and delete your account.

Pop Culture Paypigs
Entertainment Companies

Hollywood hates its audience, and evidence continues emerging that the entertainment industry is controlled by evil perverts who treat men, women, and children in their power like cattle.

Continuing to support the mass entertainment media complex is now immoral. Not only does the money you shell out for a movie ticket, Big Five-published novel, or AAA video game get funneled into Leftist politicians' coffers, it lines the pockets of sex criminals.

Yet otherwise upright, self-respecting people who are aware of this sorry state of affairs continue forking over their rapidly depreciating currency--not even for the fleeting pleasure of being entertained--but to bitch about how awful the latest poz machine offering is.

Sexual deviants have a name for those who pay money to people who insult them without the benefit of any reciprocal pleasure: Paypigs.

If you:
  • Attended a showing of the latest entry in that SJW-converged franchise because "My wife/girlfriend really wanted to go!"
  • Purchased the newest phone book-sized volume in that long-running fantasy series from that publisher whose employees called you a Nazi because "It's my guilty little pleasure!"
  • Still subscribe to ESPN to follow that league whose millionaire players accuse you of oppressing them because "I'm a lifelong [Sportsball Team] fan!"
  • Bought the direct-to-video sequel to that early 90s animated hit that the since-converged studio only released as a cash grab/vehicle for Crowleyan satanism because "My girls just love that song!"
Congratulations, you have reduced yourself to a groveling little Paypiggy who actually does go there to be insulted. 

Don't GIVE money to people who hate you.

Don't give MONEY to people who hate you.

Don't give money to people who HATE you.

It's no use arguing that there's nothing better to do, not when the fruits of Western civilization have placed a rich cultural patrimony at your fingertips.

Seek out and read novels from the old pulp masters. The treasure hunt is half the fun.

Sample archive.org's library of old-time radio plays. There's more than you could listen to in a lifetime.

Similarly, archive.org features an extensive selection of free movies. Not only do they hail from a time before Hollywood was entirely pozzed, they're superior to the current-year trash. You could watch one a day for fourteen years and never see the same film twice.

Already read the genre classics? There's a growing field of talented, pro-civilization authors who are working day and night for your entertainment. To head off references to glass houses and stone-throwing, you can't say I haven't done my bit to help rebuild the memory-holed SF canon.

Facing uncomfortable truths about oneself is never pleasant, but one advantage we have over the slavering hordes of the Left is our capacity for introspection and self-examination. If you find yourself committing one or more of the behaviors listed above, stop and think of one actionable step you can take to correct that vice.
  • Confront your fear of others' disapproval by posting something that you think will earn a Leftis's displeasure. You might be surprised by the results.
  • Ask your pastor to preach a doctrinal sermon on the Church's teachings on marriage, artificial contraception, or abortion.
  • Unfollow that pert young eCelebrity who turned to peddling traditionalism after living for years as an amateur escort.
  • Say "no" to one trivial request that your girlfriend makes today.
  • Pick up a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E. Howard at your local used bookstore.
The battle for the future of Western Civilization is being fought now and will be decided this year. Which side are you on?

2018/01/08

Geek Gab Returns

Daddy Warpig and Dorrinal are back! Join them as they return from their new year's hiatus to discuss the new films Jumanji--which toppled The Last Jedi from #1 at the box office, Coco, and Bright.


Related: Bright is confirmed to have had the biggest launch of any Netflix original production. And sequels are on the way.
[The] epic conclusion to one of the most original series I have read in a long time

2018/01/05

Most Memorable Read of 2017

Reader Prince Laqroix has written one of those rare book reviews that will leave any author grateful and humbled, no matter his level of monetary success.
I’ll just come out and say it; The Secret Kings is a fantastic read. It hits the floor running and doesn’t stop until the thrilling, yet satisfying conclusion. While not without some  minor issues, the series as a whole might be the most memorable thing I’ve read in 2017.
That opening paragraph alone would have been enough to gladden my heart, knowing I had satisfied  loyal reader, but Mr. Laqroix had more to say:
The plot moves along quickly and never really stops to smell the roses, which I really like. Something is always happening to push the plot forward. As a result, the book is very hard to put down. Best of all, various plot threads from the previous two novels are interwoven throughout The Secret Kings. As such, paying attention to small details throughout the previous novels makes for some satisfying payoffs.
[Lightly redacted to avoid spoilers] After reading through the first three books, it’s awesome watching the author improve his characterization. Astlin, Teg, Elena and Nakvin have surprising depth to them and really make you care for them. They have their own personalities and quirks and motivations, and it makes for some great reading watching these characters interact with each other...
In addition to the protagonists, the villains are awesome. Shaiel, in particular, is given awesome god-like dialogue. You can practically feel the cold ooze off each line of dialogue. A lesser writer would likely have ruined Shaiel’s character and turned him into something cheesy and laughable. In Niemeier’s hands, Shaiel is truly menacing in a way that few evil god-characters have been. The Anomian creatures are genuinely creepy Lovecraftian monsters that do not feel like Cthulhu pastiches. Other great villains abound, but these two really stood out to me.
I will say one thing as a precaution to other potential readers. This series is deep and does require a bit of careful reading. Simply zipping through these novels in an afternoon is out of the question. I attempted to zip through this one and found myself scratching my head a few times. Luckily, I was able to search through the Kindle version for key words, and it helped clear things up. I probably could have saved myself the confusion had I paid more attention. The series demands attention and reflection.
Mr. Laqroix's advice is correct. The Soul Cycle doesn't lend itself to light skimming on the bus or during coffee breaks. There are layers of interwoven meaning. But as this reader found, committed reading yields deeply satisfying rewards. I'm also told that the included glossary and list of main characters are more than sufficient to keep most readers up to speed.
I’ve recently come across an interview with the author over at the Castalia House blog. After hearing what the author was trying to do with the series, I’ve come away with much deeper appreciation. I practically never reread books, much less series. But after this interview, I really want to go back and reread everything and mine the depths of this series because I plan on sharing this series with my children when they are old enough to read.
The greatest potential fruits of the various indie literary movements emerging in this new Dark Age won't be monetary rewards for the authors. We will, if God grants it and we pursue our work with fidelity to the embattled virtues of Western civilization, build a new canon enshrining truth, goodness, and beauty for our children and their children.

Those who don't mind a few spoilers should read the whole review here.

Buy your copy of Dragon Award finalist The Secret Kings here.

The Secret Kings - Brian Niemeier

2018/01/04

What Is Weimerica?

Weimerica

Heinlein called it "The Crazy Years". Others refer to it as Clown World. Return of Kings contributor Bryce Lockwood prefers the term Weimerica: a portmanteau of Germany's prewar Weimar Republic and America, which he defines in this helpful guide.

Among the defining statistics Lockwood cites for our decline into Weimerica are:
  • homicides being up 20% from 2014 (equivalent in raw numbers to more than the September 11th attacks).
  • 66,324 drug overdose deaths in a 12-month period (the Vietnam War saw 47,434 hostile deaths over 15+ years).
  • 44,193 suicides in 2015, with suicides being at 30-year highs in 2016, and suicide being one of the top ten causes of death in Weimerica.
  • 23,000,000,000 views on Pornhub in 2016 (729 per second every single day non-stop for the whole year) with there being only 7,466,964,000 people on Earth.
  • 70% of Weimerica being on prescription medication with 20% being on more than five medications at once (and life expectancy still dropping).
  • real income showing little to no gains for decades on end.
  • being worse off financially than your parents.
  • everything being fleetingly temporary, you won’t have that long lasting job, house, car, marriage, etc., like your parents and grandparents did.

In sum:
Weimerica is a colossal, dystopian shopping mall filled with 325 million atomized, rootless individuals with no common culture, cause, language, religion or background, united only by their shared consumerism (“Did you see the Giants game last night?” “Oh my Gawd, Stranger Thingssss!”).
As Vox Day has noted, the United States is no longer a nation. Since the first Civil War it has been a multi-ethnic empire increasingly obsessed with micromanaging at home and meddling abroad. If that scenario sounds familiar, it should.


Despite its inherent flaws, this arrangement remained relatively stable until early in the last century, when the coastal elite who'd come to dominate American politics, media, and academia abandoned the mainline Protestantism that was their nominal faith and fully embraced the heretical death cult of globalist, socialist utopianism.

America's conquest by Massachusetts trundled along rather smoothly until the ruling class turned openly apostate. Now the majority of Americans who identify as Christians labor under the yoke of a managerial class who hate them--and who waste no opening to mock and deride their subjects.

Consider the scale of this apostasy. Then look at the murder rates--especially the glut of infanticide--in the original post. Better peoples have faced more severe divine chastisements for far less.

The enemy, as always, is Satan and sin. Pause from the incessant chatter of Weimerica, and take a long moment for introspection. If you don't like what you see inside yourself; repent, resolve to do better, and beg the Christ to mitigate His just judgment against us.

Divine punishments are also divine gifts. Pray the lesson takes quickly and sticks this time.

2018/01/03

Bright

Bright

Max Landis' urban fantasy Bright is an appreciable, rough-around-the-edges popcorn flick. That it's showing up on people's Best Movies of 2017 lists reveals more about Hollywood's--Bright was produced by Netflix--inability to tell an entertaining story than it says about the movie's quality.

Before we get to my review, here are two pictures that readers of this blog will want to see juxtaposed:

The Last Jedi - Rotten Tomatoes
Bright - Rotten Tomatoes

Other than pointing out, once again, that The Last Jedi was a con game, there's not much to say about those images. TLJ's makers and media water-carriers are openly bragging about it being a piece of cultural Marxist propaganda. Most film critics already fall into the water-carrier category. Disney currently has the money and the muscle to whip the few dissenters into line.

The movie they're fawning over was created as a triumphalist hate letter to its own core audience. The divergence in TLJ's critic and fan scores is a mystery only to people who find either John Oliver or Ben Shapiro edgy.

Bright is being hailed in some quarters as a sort of anti-Last Jedi. Audiences liked it about as much as critics liked TLJ, but critics loathed Bright far more than fans disliked SJW Wars.

Why the disparity? 1) Netflix has neither the resources nor the inclination to buy/threaten critics like Disney does. 2) Landis had the gall to transgress the Hollywood pieties by writing a race allegory while white and male. No matter that he substituted fantasy creatures for real-life ethnic groups and took care to make the cast of human characters extra diverse. There's no pleasing utopian cultists. It certainly can't help that 3) the writer is about to get #MeToo-ed out of a career.

With the preliminaries out of the way, on to the review!

I'll try to keep this spoiler-free.

Bright follows from the premise: "What if The Lord of the Rings actually happened?" It's present-day in this alternate universe where orcs make up an oppressed underclass, the Eldar reap the fruits of elf privilege, and a small segment of the population can wield magic.

Will Smith plays a veteran LAPD officer who's been partnered with the first-ever orc policeman. I can't recall Smith's character's name, but I think the orc's surname is Polish. Smith is opposed to this arrangement and faces pressure from co-workers and superiors alike to jettison orc-cop by fair means or foul. He's working up to it when a random call thrusts an elf girl and a magic wand into Smith and his partner's custody.

NB: In the world of Bright, being a magic user is akin to having a suitcase nuke. Wands are necessary to cast spells, and only the aforementioned fraction of the populace--called Brights--can touch wands without disintegrating.

Well-photographed and choreographed hi-jinks ensue.

What I liked about Bright:
  • Looks slick. Minimal shaky cam. Workmanlike effects.
  • Taking a page from Del Toro, faeries are rats with wings.
  • Some genuinely funny character-based humor.
  • The stakes are known, and high, reasonably early in the film.
  • More creative than Hollywood movies are allowed to be these days.

What I disliked about Bright:
  • Obligatory PC lecture from gratingly precocious, token post-racial child. Clearly included to spare Landis from the hatemob. Failed.
  • The script needed another draft. Hobbled by plot holes you could fly a star destroyer through. Numerous Chekhov's guns hung prominently on the mantel but never fired. The Internal Affairs subplot was unnecessary and had no effect on the rest of the movie.
  • The magic system gets points for originality, but in this world magic is effectively omnipotent. To invoke Brandon Sanderson, what magic can do is always less interesting than what it can't do.
  • Choppy editing: Suffered from "and then" syndrome. Instead of always moving forward, the action doubled back and even went in circles on occasion. At least two scenes needed to be cut entirely.
On the whole, Bright made for an enjoyable evening's entertainment. It falls short of the magnum opus Landis is touting it as, but you can see a glimmer of the potential that a more skilled director, editor, and script doctor might have realized.

Big changes start small, and Bright is a sign that Silicon Valley will replace Hollywood as America's entertainment capital.

Such an exceptional series with some of the most unique world building I have come across.
The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier

2018/01/02

Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

This review is admittedly late. I don't go to see movies in the theater anymore, so I only recently saw Blade Runner 2049 at the behest of a buddy now that it's out on home video.

All of the popular YouTube film critics have already thrown their two cents in on this movie. The impression I got from the usual pundits' reviews, in aggregate, is that this movie is pretty, has depth--or at least pretensions of depth, and features some nifty action scenes. The main flaw most critics point to is that the whole affair is rather superfluous.

I must concur. The original Blade Runner explored its themes so thoroughly that there wasn't much left for a sequel to say.

Now that I've waded through the whole picture--which my buddy failed to do; he fell asleep, something he's never done during a move--my conclusion is that Blade Runner 2049 is an attempt to tell a William Gibson story set in the world of a Philip K. Dick novel. You can tell because, like a typical Gibson story, this movie is long on plot and light on story.

Indirect spoilers ahead.

The more I've thought about Blade Runner 2049, the more I've come to discern that it bears many of the same failings as Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Bear with me for a minute. You have the character of K--not the one from Men in Black, the one played by Ryan Gosling. He's a replicant blade runner tasked with hunting down other replicants. His coworkers treat him like a household appliance, he lives in a dreary apartment, and his only friend is a hologram. His life sucks, but he's not allowed to notice.

As a mystery arising from a seemingly routine case spurs a high stakes investigation, K begins entertaining a glimmer of hope that he might not be a disposable nobody after all. He may, in fact, be one of the most important people on earth. But of greater interest to our terminally lonely blade runner is the possibility that he may have been loved once.

Then K has the rug unceremoniously yanked out from under him. His only hope was just a ruse; the plot inconsistencies handwaved away with a throwaway line of dialogue. He's immediately asked to murder an innocent man--a job that would've carried far more dramatic weight had K's false hopes about his own past been true.

There's a car chase, a shootout, and a knife fight. Our hero spares the man he was urged to kill before dying disgraced, friendless, and jobless in the cold. Despite a lot of big talk about a replicant revolt, K's sacrifice accomplishes nothing except for giving a woman he'd met only once the chance to meet her absentee father. Yet even that act of kindness gravely endangers the aforementioned uprising.

Like Rey from Star Wars, K turns out to be a nobody who comes from nowhere, accomplishes nothing, and goes nowhere. Critics have stated that both characters share the same arc: They are nonentities who come to terms with that fact and finally embrace it.

Unlike Rey, K forfeits his life in the course of his daring exploits. The purpose of his lonely, alienated life is to help a strange woman discover her true identity, after which the world has no further use for him, and he summarily dies.

If I were the kind who thought that Hollywood had lost the ability to tell a coherent story and was henceforth only capable of churning out intersectionalist propaganda, I might detect a not-so-subtle message in K's tragic life and ignominious end.

The most metal thing I have ever read.

2018/01/01

2017 Year in Review

Calendar

2017 was an interesting year--often in the sense of the old Chinese curse. The past year eluded hard and fast valuations like "good" or "bad" but instead ushered in great change. It was a year that saw many a seemingly invincible cultural edifice demolished, yet demolition precedes new construction.

Since the science fiction scene saw more than its fair share of the upheavals that rocked pop culture in 2017, I thought it would be worthwhile to do a brief retrospective on the year from an indie SFF writer's point of view.

Right up front, I'll confess that 2017 defied my predictions from last year. In my defense, the explosive growth of 2016 would be a tough act to follow in the best of times. Happily, 2017 didn't turn out worse than I'd expected. It did end up being more eventful than I could have anticipated.

Here is a partial list of the biggest happenings that affected my corner of the indie publishing world in 2017.

Forbidden Thoughts launch
Forbidden Thoughts best seller

The momentum I'd gained in 2016 carried over into the new year with the launch of the Forbidden Thoughts anthology from Superversive Press. Not only did my canonical Soul Cycle short "Elegy for the Locust" get to rub shoulders with offerings from John and Jagi Wright, Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, Vox Day, and Nick Cole--with an introduction by MILO--the stellar sales won all of us contributors Amazon best seller bragging rights.

Monsters of Pulp
Geek Gab - Monsters of Pulp

Still one of the highlights of my career thus far was having the honor of co-hosting (read: sitting quietly and listening in awe) as pulp guru Jeffro Johnson, science fiction grand master John C. Wright, and sunglasses-bedecked sage Razörfist descended on Geek Gab for an epic discussion of all things pulp!

My recollections are still a bit foggy, but the North American continent may have been utterly destroyed.

On the Books
Speaking of Geek Gab, 2017 was when alpha geek Daddy Warpig graciously gave me my own writing-themed show on the Geek Gab Podcasting Network. I'm grateful to my listeners for giving the first season of Geek Gab: On the Books such a positive reception. Another season is still a possibility, time permitting.

The Hymn of the Pearl launch
The Hymn of the Pearl - Brian Niemeier

The first big curve ball thrown my way in 2017 occurred when forces beyond my control forced a sudden adjustment to my publishing schedule. Luckily, I was able to channel a little pulp speed editing to get my first standalone novella out the door in June.

The Hymn of the Pearl debuted to rave reviews and turned a profit faster than any of my books to date. If you haven't yet read my first foray into high fantasy--which definitely ain't your daddy's high fantasy because hey, it's me--the book is currently free to new mailing list subscribers.

But June had far bigger developments in store for indie pub fans. I could only mean the launch of...

Galaxy's Edge
Galaxy's Edge - Jason Anspach & Nick Cole

Who doesn't love stories of dark horse contenders who come out of nowhere to win it all? Authors Jason Anspach and Nick Cole spent the first half of 2017 quietly laying the groundwork for a new Mil-SF series first revealed to fans under the project code name #StarWarsNotStarWars. They'd done their homework on the brave new world of publishing and had enough confidence that they'd figured out how the system really works that they built a whole series on those premises.

Some were skeptical when Nick and Jason unveiled the Galactic Outlaws web site and started offering Galaxy's Edge in serialized form on the subscription model. But unless you've been in a coma, you know how their plan worked out. Legionnaire and its five sequels became the breakout SF hit of 2017. Not only have the authors turned out quality content, they've done so on a monthly basis. That alone is an accomplishment worthy of the pulp masters of old.

Skim the comments of any blog where Galaxy's Edge readers gather, and you'll quickly learn that GE has tapped into a vast and growing underserved market of SF fans disillusioned with Star Wars' new direction under Disney. Coming along at the right place and time with the knowledge of how to beat Amazon's algorithm has started a wave that Nick and Jason are riding high on--and it shows no signs of stopping.

I've written often about the need for parallel institutions to replace the crumbling cultural icons of yesteryear. If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have told you that Star Wars would be the last mega-franchise to be replaced--if it ever could be. Contra my expectations, Galaxy's Edge is poised to become the first indie SF series to seriously vie for a place at the table that decaying major franchises are rapidly vacating.

Somebody get the phone.
Star Wars: The last Jedi - Rotten Tomatoes

While we're on the subject of major franchises in decline, I called the Last Jedi's implosion back in July.

nailed it

The Dragons come calling again
Dragon Con

Following the trail blazed by its Dragon-winning predecessor Souldancer, my late 2016 release The Secret Kings was honored by my loyal readers with a Dragon nomination of its own. We didn't win the Best Science Fiction Novel trophy, but thanks to you neither did Waffling Scalzi. Ol' Blue Lips' loss has secured the Dragon Awards' integrity. That's a prize worth losing to a dude with his own TV show any day.

Praxis
Praxis - Justin Knight

No 2017 retrospective would be complete without a nod to Praxis, the second book by my friend Justin Knight. The success of this working class SF story is extra gratifying to me, since it's the first novel-length release I've edited.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat...
Scalzi GG meme

Scalzi and I crossed paths again in October when a post at Whatever blaming his writer's block on politics and the weather came to my attention. His passive-aggressive sniping made my reply here at Kairos my all-time most viewed post and precipitated a sustained 30 percent rise in my blog traffic.

Postscript: At the time of the original article, Scalzi confessed his inability to finish the novel he was working on in ten months. I took two novels from start to finish in half that time. And I'm only getting faster.

The end of an era
As one door opens, another closes. The accelerating degradation of Hollywood, as mentioned above, led to my departure as a co-host of Geek Gab. Doing the show was a blast, and I continue to wish Daddy Warpig and Dorrinal the best as they forge ahead with the Gab.

The cycle is complete
The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier

I reached a major milestone and fulfilled a key promise to my readers all at once with the release of The Ophian Rising, the fourth and final book of the Soul Cycle, in December. Taking a page from Jason Anspach and Nick Cole, and with the support of readers like you, OR's launch was my biggest yet!

These days it's rare for a spec fic authors to finish his flagship series, and even rarer for a series to maintain its initial level of quality. Judging by the Amazon reviews and general reader feedback, not only has the Soul Cycle kept to the high standard set by Nethereal, the series has only improved with each book. Thanks to all the readers and authors who helped make this labor of love successful beyond my wildest hopes.

That said, it's always important to deal with reality as it is and to remember that failure is an even better teacher than success. 2017 wasn't without its disappointments. Though I lapped Scalzi, I fell short of pulp speed, having written three books and published two. Fortunately, my new editing endeavors picked up the slack. Thanks to all of my clients.

Also, while 2016 saw my rise to the J list, I didn't break through to the next level in 2017 as I'd hoped. The primary culprit: not releasing new content fast enough. Rest assured that I've already made relevant changes and set plans in motion to remedy that underperformance this year.