2017/09/22

The Convergence of Science Fiction

YouTuber Max Kolbe recently had me on his show to explain how the SJW convergence of tradpub science fiction happened. Max is particularly interested in the sudden shift from stories that took the Christian worldview for granted to overtly atheistic, anti-religious works. We discussed how John W. Campbell ended the reign of the pulps and how the Futurians fomented a Marxist revolution in SF publishing.

The episode garnered a lot of praise. Listen in and learn how sinister forces relegated the once-dominant SFF genre to a cultural ghetto.


Max himself is an unabashed sci-fi fan from way back, and I couldn't help nodding along as he related how he drifted away from the genre about twenty years ago. He'd also been led to think of the post-1937 Campbell era as the "golden age" of SF and to regard everything that came before as trash.

The highlight of the episode for me was when Max looked over Gary Gygax's Appendix N--with which he was already familiar--and realized that most of the entries are a) not Campbellian and b) take Christianity--or at least some form of spirituality--for granted. It was an honor and a solemn duty to redpill a long-time SF fan on how the genre was purposefully hijacked by a clique of 50 New York editors.

But the tide has turned. Barnes & Noble is collapsing. The big New York publishers who rely on their paper distribution monopoly are hemorrhaging money. The ranks of indie authors who are writing fun stories that fans actually want to read are growing by the day.

I'm gladdened and humbled that SFF readers have singled out my highly unique Soul Cycle as an antidote to the failing gatekeepers' message fic. It's a pleasure to announce that I've retained world-class artist Marcelo Orsi Blanco to return and design the cover of the fourth and final SC book.

If you haven't read all three current Soul Cycle books, now's the time to get caught up for the award-winning series' mind-blowing conclusion!

The Soul Cycle

16 comments:

  1. Outstanding that all four books will feature the same cover artist. Marcelo Orsi Blanco captures the mood and tension of your books, and the coherent cover art will bind the books as a series. Well done, Brian!

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    1. It's by design, brother. As soon as I saw Marcelo's cover for James Dashner's Death Cure, I knew he was meant to do the covers for the Soul Cycle.

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    3. Brian

      Voxday has a post about this reacting to news about how Diversity and Comics is being harassed by hanger on as well as some artists employed or comissioned by the comic book companies
      http://voxday.blogspot.sg/2017/09/journolist-comics-edition.html

      And Vox's take 8n the 3 archtypes of superheros
      http://voxday.blogspot.sg/2017/09/the-three-types-of-superheroes.html

      In both posts many commentators have posted linked to other converged comics. I must say the comments are illuminating.

      I'm seriously wondering if English speaking comic book creators should publish in Quebec. At least they'll be left in peace where comics are still respected
      xavier

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    4. Xavier -

      Nah. Kill off the Big 2 and Mid 2 comic book companies by filling the void, just like with books. It'll be slow, but it'll be sure. Build FUN and they will come!

      Market your materials and communicate with your customers as if they were your employer (they are), and don't treat them as if they are your enemy (Marvel, DC -- whoopsis!).

      That faux pas on the Big 2's part will go a long way to destroying Marvel/DC from within -- too bad, they had a couple of nice companies there.

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    5. Man of atom

      You know the market better than me :) i simply proposed a backup plan.
      Question if the companies go bankrupt who own the rights to the characters?
      And would some of the minor characters be available in the public domain?
      xavier

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  2. The market in the US probably is better than Canada due to their onerous hate speech restrictions.

    Bankruptcy of Marvel would leave the properties with Disney. If Disney spun off Marvel and didn't retain the properties in the sale, then Marvel would own the rights prior to bankruptcy.

    No doubt the Kirby Estate would attempt to collect one or more (such as Captain America and the Fantastic Four).

    The likelihood of the latter happening over the former is slim to none.

    Previously (1980s), Disney and monied Hollyweird interests pushed the US Copyright laws to 75 years plus the life of the author (in some cases). This is incredibly damaging to the whole of Public Domain works.

    This year is the first time in many years US Public Domain works should "unfreeze" and release materials into full-and-open use.

    Disney fears losing the Mickey Mouse copyright (among others), so I expect that they will attempt further tampering to keep it and continue to damage the rights of the Public to access materials that should have gone PD long ago.

    Another good reason for 'Disney delenda est'.

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    1. I also wouldn't touch CN due to higher respective labour costs and taxes. But yes, you can lose your livelihood pretty easily over words in Canada these days.

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  3. Man of atom
    thanks again. I hadn't if this change but unsurprising. It makes Gutenberg's job much tougher. Worse are 5hos creations that languish becausectge copyright holders are too lazy and top greedy to be reasonable.
    Reminds me of something I read of the successor company to RKO which has thousands of unpublished radio show scripts and ideas. Would it be nice if we could air or publish yhem

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    1. The best way to prompt release of this material is to be part of successful Indie revolution in Media.

      Indie success means value of held works that are not available actually goes down not up. Build your success and make these guys sweat.

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    2. Excellent point. I hadn't realized that unpublished works diminish in value if readers buy published stuff. Sorta like diamond when Russia and Canada started mining and selling their own diamonds.
      Got write publish
      xavier

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  4. Glad your getting the same guy. It drives me nuts when series change design partway through. It insults the earlier buyers, especially the OCD ones.

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  5. Regarding that video that you were in with Max Kolbe, I'm somewhat curious about how one factor of some of the authors of the pre-1937 era was ignored.

    Specifically, in the video, the point is repeatedly made that science fiction used to contain a lot of spirituality, that the authors listed by Gygax are examples of this, and that it wasn't until 1937 that this began to change.

    Granted, 1937 was the year that certain more spiritual viewpoints began to get smothered out of the industry, but atheistic and agnostic science fiction and fantasy writers go much further back, including some of the writers in Gary Gygax's list.

    Edgar Rice Burroughs was an atheist, and the Therns in "Gods of Mars" were intended by him as a metaphor for organized religion. Fortunately, he was subtle enough in the way that he wrote it that they could just be seen as a metaphor for cults or false religions, but the Therns are emblematic of how Burroughs viewed religion in general, including Christianity.

    H. P. Lovecraft was also an atheist, and he based his mythos around the idea that Earth and humans are insignificant and doomed to extinction. The only "gods" present in his universe are unfeeling horrors destined to one day snuff us out. It's a nihilistic worldview based on the belief that there is no benevolent God, no eternal salvation, and no hope. Furthermore, his worldview was materialistic (this is especially evident in those many instances of his personal correspondence in which he disparaged religion). It is strongly implied in his work that "gods" like Cthulhu are not truly divine or spiritual in any meaningful sense, but natural beings that are simply so grand that puny human minds see them as gods. The way that they are presented is sort of a materialistic satire of the concept of deities. His stories hint an an apocalyptic end for humanity, but with no New Heaven and New Earth afterward; just doom.

    Like Burroughs, Lovecraft was a skilled enough writer that his works can often be interpreted in ways other than what he had in mind when writing them, but he had an anti-religious worldview of nihilistic scientism that heavily influenced his fiction, sometimes more overtly than other times.

    Robert E. Howard was an agnostic. He wasn't downright anti-religious like Lovecraft (saying that his physician father had witnessed seemingly spiritual events and that he didn't dismiss the possibility that he was right about these things). Due to his lack of a harsh antipathy toward religion, his works tend not to be overtly anti-religious or anti-Christian, although his Solomon Kane stories do hint at times that Kane's Puritan views may be too closed-minded.

    Although he wasn't named in Gygax's list, H. G. Wells was a heavily important pioneer in early science fiction. He was a generic "theist" for a while (he wrote a book called "God the Invisible King", that presents a concept of God and religion that one Amazon reviewer described as "Ayn Rand and Karl Marx join forces to create a churchless theocracy run by nobody"), and apparently later became an atheist. Even in his theist years, he had an antipathy toward Christianity, which shows up in the form of the insane Curate in "The War of the Worlds", and far more explicitly in his non-fiction "Tono-Bungay" (in which he stringently derided Christianity). He also made his socialist views clear in some of his works (such as his science fiction novel "When the Sleeper Wakes", in which he openly names socialism as a good thing to be striven for).

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  6. EDIT: I mistakenly described "Tono-Bungay" as "non-fiction" rather than "non-science fiction".

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