2020/01/23

Someone Is Aiming for You

Author J.D. Cowan announces the launch of his latest pulp romp.

Someone Is Aiming for You - JD Cowan
SEVEN TALES OF MAYHEM IN THE MAGIC CITY! 
Vigilantes fight from the shadows. In Summerside, Dark Magic poisons the dying city of cultists and gangsters. This is where heroes are made. 
A man with a deadly touch, an ex-hitman, a concrete teenager, an invisible myth, and an indestructible knight, are but a few of those who stalk the midnight hour.
In these seven stories you will meet those fighting for the soul of the city, and those hoping to bring it to a brighter future. But is there anything left worth saving in a world of death? 
Powers or Magic. Only one will win this war.
From the reviews:
n Something is Aiming for You, there are far worse fates than death. Which isn’t necessarily obvious to the people of Summerside, who assume that robbery and graft are still the prime movers of the city. It is probably easy to pretend, at least until they come to drain your blood, or worse, you find that you are on the blood detail when you thought you were just shaking people down for protection money.
For all the wickedness of Summerside, a major theme of this collection is the possibility of redemption. Most of the guys in a gang with an apocalyptic name like Sunset Red, looking forward to taking advantage of the chaos of the End Times, really aren’t nice guys. But, a few might be good, if given the right opportunity.
But not everyone chooses that opportunity, when it arrives, and so there is evil to be vanquished in Summerside. Conflict abounds, between powers and dark magic, between good and evil, between rivals just squabbling for turf. If you want to know what happens, you are just going to have to pick up this volume. I suspect you’ll have a hard time putting it down.
Support creators who are working hard to entertain you! Buy it now!

2020/01/22

Fumes and Leftovers

Evidently our little project to reclaim Generation Y from the Madison Avenue Boomer memory hole is gaining some traction in the wild.

Fumes and Leftovers1

Millennials do not remember the pre-internet, pre-9/11 world. By and large, they celebrate the cultural apocalypse of Clown World as the first generation to be fully indoctrinated at school to believe that tradition is bad.

Ys, in stark contrast, mourn the murdered traditions, families, countries, and world.

Fumes and Leftovers 2

And whereas Millennials' generational vice is extractive self-centeredness, Gen Y copes with their grief by retreating into an inner world of nostalgia and neglecting harsh reality.

Fumes and Leftovers 3

Boomers got the whole buffet. Jonesers got dessert. Xers got the last dry, rubbery chicken breasts. Ys got fumes and leftovers.

Critics of my generational theory have objected that it's a self-indulgent attempt to arbitrarily separate younger Xers and older Millennials from two generations they don't like. The result, they accuse, is a generation which conveniently happens to be "better" than the preceding and succeeding cohorts.

Nobody who's read my posts honestly would reach that conclusion. I've never argued that Gen Y is somehow superior to Gen X or the Millennials. In one key way, Ys are demonstrably worse. It is malignant Gen Y nostalgia that drives the hollowed out Hollywood franchises and helps spread Pop Cult agitprop worldwide.

Break the nostalgia cycle. Support creators who tell exciting new stories that put entertainment first!

2020/01/21

Tea Party Tactics

Boomer vs Soiboi

The Virginia gun rally has come and gone. Blessedly, my fears of a potential bloodbath went unrealized. Our rulers were hoping for Charlottesville, and instead they got the Joker opening.

Most commentators ascribe the event's relative uneventfulness to the sheer number of protesters who showed up. Accounts vary, but we know this rally dwarfed Unite the Right. Many participants also open carried in defiance of Governor Northam's executive order. What we saw yesterday was a proof of concept in miniature that the Framers were right about guns protecting people from their government.

A little-reported-on aspect of the orderly protest is the protesters' refusal to take the offered bait. Here's an obvious plant trying to play "Let's you and him fight!" getting shut down by demonstrators who aren't having it.

You can sum up the pro-2A protesters' approach yesterday as Tea Party Tactics. And yes, they cleaned up after themselves. Most of all, they took pains to play by the Left's rules.

lolbertarian

That's why the rally is already being memory holed by mainstream media outlets--even nominally Conservative ones like National Review and Breitbart. Don't let the Beardy McOperator cosplays fool you. The protesters clearly signaled that they pose no threat to our elites. What the rally achieved was to reinforce normies' conditioning to play by the rigged rules and cede the moral high ground to the Left.

The Death Cultists still think white gun owners are extras from Deliverance. Ralph Northam is still going to sign vindictive, nonsensical gun legislation aimed at punishing rural whites. These laws will end up before the Supreme Court, where most of their provisions will be struck down--but what remains will ratchet the erosion of gun rights another step leftward.

Some are lauding the Richmond rally as proof that street-level grassroots political action still works. Those people aren't looking at long-term outcomes. Here's the Catch-22 of Current Year dissident street action:

  • If you get infiltrated, have bad OpSec, and violence breaks out, your whole movement is destroyed, everyone associated with you becomes a pariah, and the Left gets a bloody shirt to wave in normies' faces.
  • If you carefully observe the rules, keep your rhetoric within the Overton Window, and leave the lawn cleaner than you found it, you get ignored and the needle keeps moving leftward.
This is what dissenters need to get through their heads. The media is controlled by people who have a firm, fixed view of the world wherein you are an irredeemable oppressor. You're not going to talk them out of it, and cognitive dissonance is going to make them purge anything that contradicts their biases from memory. Your protest will only get attention if something goes wrong and draws negative attention. Not all press is good press. Ask anybody who's been cancelled for stepping outside the Death Cult's arbitrary lines.

In short, street protests are just thousands of people talking to the corrupt media at once. If you ran around waving an aluminum rod in a thunderstorm twice and were struck by lightning once, that doesn't mean it's safe and fun for the whole family.




2020/01/20

The End of an Era

Jason Rennie, editor-in-chief of Superversive Press, took to Facebook to share some sad news.

For those who don't know

Jason broke onto the scene as a publisher during the Sad Puppies saga when his magazine Sci Phi Journal received a Best Semiprozine nomination. It was an honor having Jason publish my short fiction in SPJ and in Superversive Press' breakout hit, the best selling Forbidden Thoughts.

One small publisher made a lasting mark on science fiction during an era of rapid change. One result of those changes is the end of the publishing house as a business model. One publisher, one man, could no more change that than hold back the tide.

Superversive Press will be missed, but rest assured, the torch has not gone out. A generation of independent authors dedicated to overturning the status quo from above by putting readers first forge ahead bearing that flame.

2020/01/17

Croglin Grange

Vampire Woodcut
Image by Jason McKittrick

Back in Cromwell's day, the Fisher family left their ancestral home in Cumberland and moved south to more spacious accommodations. Loath to sell their old farmhouse called Croglin Grange, they leased the one-story home to Amelia Cranswell and her two brothers.

The Cranswells enjoyed a peaceful first winter in their new country home.The summer came hot and damp, and on one especially stifling night, the family retired at moonrise to sleep through the heat.

Amelia lay atop her bed sheets, hovering on the edge of sleep, when a strange fancy moved her to sit up and look out her window. A pair of lights like red fireflies flickered in the dusk through the grounds of the old Norman chapel adjoining the grange.

The young lady sat anxiously spellbound until the twin lights vanished near the churchyard wall, only to reappear on the near side. Amelia's unease grew as the red lights darted through the small copse of trees between the wall and the yard. The spell broke, and Amelia lay back down in the hope of putting the unwholesome vision out of sight and mind.

Sleep still eluded Amelia. Still, she resisted the growing urge to rise from her bed until the scratching of sharp claws on glass sounded from her window.

Amelia sat bolt upright. The sight that greeted her outside her window moved her to dash from bed to her chamber door. A swarthy scarecrow of a creature stood hunched outside her window, scrabbling at the panes with the long nails of its bony fingers. Its crimson eyes burned blue afterimages into the young woman's vision.

Faint but definite clattering reached Amelia's ears from across the room. Terror froze her at the door as she realized that the nightmarish visitor was picking away the lead that held the mullioned panes in place.

The chime of breaking glass roused Amelia from her trance. Her numb hands fumbled with the lock as she watched a clawed withered hand reach through the opening it had made and unlatch the window. With predatory speed that belied its shriveled form, the intruder lunged across the room and sank its teeth into Amelia's neck.

Their sister's scream woke Amelia's brothers, who raced to her room, only to find that in her fog of fear, she'd actually locked it. By the time they broke down the door, Amelia lay bleeding on the bed, and her attacker was fleeing across the lawn.

One brother remained to tend his sister's wounds while the other gave chase. The intruder outran him in the gathering dark and soon disappeared into the churchyard.

The thwarted pursuer returned to the house where, thankfully, he found Amelia lucid despite her serious wound. She recounted the grisly incident, speculating that she'd fallen prey to an escaped lunatic.

The Cranswells decamped to Geneva to aid Amelia's recovery. While there, she engaged the services of a Swiss gunsmith to obtain a pair of pistols and a number of bullets. The iron of the region bore large traces of copper, giving the pistol balls a novel green hue.

When Amelia recovered, the family returned to Croglin Grange--but not before she issued a pistol to each of her brothers with instructions to keep them by their bedsides. They passed another placid winter at the grange, but one night in March, Amelia spotted a grimly familiar pair of red lights flitting through the neighboring graveyard.

This time, Amelia immediately summoned her brothers, who burst in when the shabby creature broke into the room as it had before. The intruder took flight, but not before one brother shot it in the leg.

All three Cranswell siblings set out in pursuit of the housebreaker. Spatters of blood led across the yard, through the trees, and over the wall. The red trail ended at the closed doors of a crumbling crypt.

Amelia advised her brothers that the wounded ghoul wasn't going anywhere and to defer further investigation till morning. At first light, the Cranswells returned to the churchyard and breached the ancient crypt.

Several coffins lay jumbled about in the tomb's musty confines--only one intact; its lid ajar.

The brothers opened the coffin, and there lay a blackened, desiccated corpse.

With a bloody wound in its leg, from which Amelia's brother dug the same telltale green ball he'd fired into his sister's attacker.

The body was summarily taken from the crypt and burned, and the Cranswells enjoyed many years of peace at Croglin Grange.


For more eerie horror, read my award-winning Soul Cycle!