Combat Frame Data: CF-016 Grenzmark III

CF-016 Grenzmark III


Technical Data

Model number: CF-016
Code name: Grenzmark III
Nickname: Grenthree
Classification: mass production multipurpose combat frame
Manufacturer: Zeklov Corporation
Operator: Earth Governments in Exile
First deployment: CY 1
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 17.5 meters
Weight: dry weight 57.5 metric tons, full weight 72.1 metric tons
Armor type: titanium alloy/aeorgraphene/ceramic composite
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 1582 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 2x 50,000 kg, 2x 25,750 kg, 2x 24,250 kg; top speed 1750 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 18, 180° turn time 0.85 seconds; legs: top ground speed 190 kph
Sensors: Halo radar/optical target acquisition and identification system mounted under grilled radome "head"
Fixed armaments: x2 2-Tube missile launcher, mounted on legs
Hand armaments: 115mm machine gun, 40 rounds per magazine; plasma lance, main head rated at 0.60 MW, secondary head rated at 0.40 MW, stored on recharge rack on back, hand-carried in use

General Notes

The EGE found themselves in dire straits when ZoDiaC reneged on their agreement to fund the exiled Earth governments' own combat frames. The Coalition's introduction of the CF-014 Ein Dolph and CF-015 Zwei Dolph seriously tipped the already lopsided balance of power in the SOC's favor. The EGE military needed a solution--and fast--if there was to be any hope of thwarting the Kazoku-driven grounder genocide.

EGE Private Tod Ritter stepped forward with a long-gestating combat frame concept of his own. Sieg Friedlander had given valuable input on the design before Ritter's conscription into the EGE, and legendary weapons engineers Maximus Darving and Zane Dellister added their own finishing touches. With funding guarantees from SOC Governor Prem Naryal, the EGE approached Zeklov Corporation with a contract to mass-produce Ritter's CF-016 Grenzmark III.

At first glance, the Grenthree appeared to be nothing more remarkable than an upgraded Grenzmark II. More than one Kazoku pilot proceeded from that mistaken assumption and paid with his life. Despite their surface similarities, the Grenthree not only far outclassed the Grento in every respect, it rivaled the Coalition's prized Zwei Dolph. As Naryal herself observed, the Grenthree's overall combat performance may have been slightly superior. Its only shortcoming was its main ranged weapon--an old style Grento machine gun retained at Ritter's insistence. Dellister argued for equipping the Grenthree with a current-generation plasma rifle, but budget constraints caused Naryal and Zeklov to side with Ritter. Still, the Grenthree's trademark plasma lance instantly became the most feared close combat CF weapon on the battlefield. A pair of missile launchers was added to compensate for the Grento rifle's relative lack of ranged firepower.

The Grenzmark III saw only one deployment during the last major CF engagement of the Kazoku War. There, the EGE's new Grenthrees proved Naryal correct, triumphing over a (smaller, admittedly) Zwei Dolph force with EGE losses well within the acceptable range. A notorious Grenthree would see combat twice more the next year during the fight for Neue Deutschland's liberation.


Tolkien Bashing's Back on the Menu


Alex over at Amatopia reports on the latest round of Tolkien bashing instigated by the grandfather of fantasy's soyfed, unjustifiably smug inferiors.

Everything that is good, true, noble, and beautiful must be destroyed. The recent denunciation of the legend J.R.R. Tolkien and his masterwork The Lord of the Rings is just the latest incarnation of this madness.

Sci-fi author Andy Duncan is the most recent destroyer to whine about Tolkien’s supposed racism. Get a load of this:
The Lord of the Rings series has been branded ‘racist’ by a science fiction writer who claims orcs are discriminated against and written as inferior.
American author Andy Duncan said British author JRR Tolkien depicted evil creatures such as orcs as ‘worse than others’ and said this had ‘dire consequences for society’.
Alex does a fine job of dissecting Duncan's verbal flatulence. I'll just add that denouncing Tolkien for depicting evil creatures as evil is a textbook Stalin style demoralization ploy. It's absurd on its face, and everyone knows it's absurd, which perfectly suits Duncan's motives since the whole point is to get everybody parroting absurdities they know are lies.

However, since the Left can't meme, Duncan winds up stepping in the bear trap he himself set.
Duncan also compared the depiction of the orcs to modern day refugees and appeared to criticise President Donald Trump over the situation at the Mexican border.
He added: ‘It is easier to demonise one’s opponents than to try to understand them and to understand the complex forces that are leading to, for example, refugees trying to cross the southern border [of the US] legally or illegally.
‘It’s easier to build walls and demonise them as “scum”.’
Has Duncan ever read The Lord of the Rings? Hell, has he even seen the movies? It's made explicit in both that the orcs want to conquer the free peoples of Middle Earth, despoil the land, and enslave anyone they don't slaughter outright. Thanks to Duncan's uncontrollable fit of Trump Derangement Syndrome, he couldn't help drawing parallels between the orcs' invasion of Gondor and the third world's invasion of the West. It's an allegory Tolkien didn't intend, but it's now firmly entrenched in Daily Mail readers' minds. Nice own-goal, blubberlips.

Authors used to write about truth and looked like this:

Tolkien war photo

Now authors spew lies and look like this:


It's almost as if there's some kind of causal relationship at work.


Stay Away from Conventions

Gregory Benford

Author Jon Del Arroz reports on yet another deplatforming of a major science fiction author from a convention. This time, it was astrophysicist and Reason Magazine editor Gregory Benford who ran afoul of the SJW hatemob.
Gregory Benford thought he was just speaking on another panel, something he’d done dozens of times over the last 40 years of his career, especially after his novel Timescape won the Nebula Award and has since been hailed as one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written. The topic is The New Masters of Sci-Fi, letting panelists know who in the current day takes on the mantle of the greats like McCaffrey, Heinlein, and Pournelle, and having a robust discussion among authors and friends alike.
It should have been a fun time had for all, as LosCon had a wonderful line up of panels this year that many other conventions could do well to take note of, but for those who attended this panel at LosCon, they’ll only remember one thing for the rest of their lives– a moment soured by identity politics. Another convention ruined by outrage culture and the extreme left doing anything but allowing people to have a good time.
In the context of the discussion, Bedford made an innocuous statement, not to anyone in particular, but talking to himself about what makes science fiction great. He simply uttered the words,”If you write sf honey, gotta get the science right.”
Most of us reading along will nod our heads along with that statement. Of course, the science is important to at least maintain a certain veneer of accuracy. But for a woman in the audience, Bedford’s words triggered her.
She started ranting about sexism, about the word “honey” as if it were some kind of insult. Even though nearly all of the new modern classic authors mentioned by the panelists were women, somehow women couldn’t get their fair shake with this panel.  A long time champion of fandom, Barbara Landsman described the incident: “I couldn’t believe it. My heart started pounding and I knew nobody else was going to say anything. When I caught Benford’s eye I knew that I was just going to do something.Somebody had to stop her. But it didn’t work. She came in there with a political agenda. She wasn’t happy with anything that anybody on that panel said.”
Read the rest of this by now familiar story.

Spoiler alert: It includes Benford being pulled out of a signing and unceremoniously given the boot.

While LosCons treatment of Benford was reprehensible, it's yet another milestone on literary sci-fi cons' terminal descent into irrelevance. The once mighty World Con has reduced itself to a sick joke. The lesser cons are rapidly following suit.

JDA likewise senses the old cons' swiftly approaching doom. Some highlights:
It’s unfortunate, because while most convention committees have given into this political terrorism that festers in sci-fi fandom, LosCon actually had a slate of panels mostly FREE from identity politics. Other than inviting Literally Wu, it seemed like a pretty good slate. It was just going to be a fun weekend. But people remember when their fun gets ruined by these crazies, and the people stay away from conventions. I don’t know what occurred at years past, perhaps such outbursts or commentaries were commonplace, but LosCon is suffering now due to this ever-outraged political tyranny. Their attendance was reported as low to begin with.
I haven't attended a convention in over two years, and I have no plans to go back. Jon touches on a major reason why.
It’s going to be hard for us all to get back into fun in 2018. The political is the personal now, and vice versa. The rabid fake news media has sent us all into spirals of anger and panic over everything. Nothing can be left untouched. We even have a man who is probably going to be the next president of SFWA calling Tolkien “racist” in recent days. The absurdity of this kind of behavior from the leaders of the field is to blame, and it’s why so many reasonable people walk away, turn to comic cons and indie books on Amazon, rather than deal with these dying establishments.
Legacy outfits like World Con and LosCon are tradpub artifacts. It's not that identity politics is making the old cons sick. It's that SJW infestation is a telltale symptom of a sick industry. Look at Comics. SJWs didn't cause the crash of 93. They just descended afterward to pick the corpse. Similarly, tradpub becomes increasingly converged as newpub makes the Big Five publishers increasingly irrelevant.

Is there a way back for the old SF con scene? Declining attendance won't give the organizers a road to Damascus moment. We already know SJWs don't respond to market pressures. The only remedy that might prove effective is Chicago rules style lawfare. We saw a bit of that this summer during the Origins and ConCarolinas debacles. But the fact is, most big time SF authors don't find it worth their while to take legal action against cons that manifestly interfere in their business--which goes to show what little impact convention appearances have on authors' business.

Go to conventions to meet up with industry friends if you want. Head to Dragon Con if you're in the mood for fun. But if you're an author looking to reach new readers and keep in touch with your existing customer base, your time is better spent writing and maintaining your digital platform.




A delightful little internet flap occurred over the weekend wherein a Twitter user going by the name of David Wu declared he was reporting camera THOTs to the IRS for tax evasion.
David Wu allegedly is reporting sex workers who pimp themselves on Snapchat to the IRS.
Sex workers on Snapchat pimp their wares with abandon, grabbing up dolla dolla bills from thirsty denizens of social media. Ladies who prostitute themselves on Snapchat may not be paying their full share of taxes however… and that’s where our story begins.
Judging by the amount of misinformation I saw thrown around on Twitter, like the cam thot who told her colleagues they don't have to declare self-employment income under $20,000, it is indeed a good bet that many of these gals ain't paying their fair share.
He claims that he has reported girls who have Premium Snapchat accounts to the IRS for unreported income. He encourages others to do the same, and provides the link for reporting suspected IRS Tax Fraud, where you download and fill out the 3949-A form and return by postal mail.
Wu is a genius. He's targeting a major source of societal degradation with the power of the federal government--and not a corrupt and incompetent federal agency like the FBI, but the corrupt and ruthlessly effective IRS. Remember: Al Capone went down for tax evasion, not racketeering.

The original article's Libertarian author proceeds to blow smoke--big surprise--by suggesting that concerned citizens can't snitch on tax cheats because camwhores are unlikely to post their personal and financial information on Snapchat. This is squid ink meant to discourage Thot patrolmen.

One, you'd be surprised what even a relatively unskilled researcher can dig up thanks to most people living and working online. That goes double for Snapchat prostitutes.

Two, the IRS page linked above just instructs informants to provide as much info on the suspected cheat as they can. Not all of it is mandatory.

And as for government workers being lazy, that may apply to the make-work hire tasked with taking your photo at the DMV, but the Internal Revenue Service is uniquely and highly motivated to round up that unreported paper.

By the way, a Libertarian trying to downplay the IRS as a threat = top kek.

Let #OpThotAudit march on!


Metal Fiction: #AGundam4Us

Armored Core Kawamori
Image by Shoji Kawamori
It is my sincere honor to welcome Metal Fiction into the growing ranks of #AGundam4Us. Here I reproduce Brent's call to arms in full.
I fell in love with mecha back in the 80s: Transformers, Mighty Orbots, Challenge of the GoBots, Robotech, Voltron, BattleTech… I watched/read/played everything I could, and I haven’t stopped loving mecha since.
However, genres come and go, and mecha was one of those that just kind of faded into the background. As part of the science fiction genre, it never truly went away (the Gundam and Macross franchises have been going for 30 years now), and thus, every now and again, a new anime (Voltron: Legendary Defender, Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse), novel (Peter Tieryas’ United States of Japan novels), movie (Pacific Rim films) or game (BattleTech revival) brings a little light into the world.
So when I heard of #AGundamForUs, I was ecstatic. Originally posted on Twitter, it has become a hashtag rally to mecha lovers everywhere. Though, not a member of this group of authors (helmed by Brian Niemeier, Bradford Walker, and Rawle Nyanzi – links directly to related articles/blogs), it gives me nothing but pleasure to help them raise the flag. Over the years, I have been working on my own mecha project, “Screaming Metal” which has been in development for 3 years now – woefully too long – and #AGundamForUs has been a nice kick in the behind.
If you’re a mecha fan, go check out and support the various writing projects under #AGundamForUs (as well as any others you find on this site), and, by all means, if you have your own media project, contact me. I’ll be happy to share any and all information and updates here.
Welcome aboard, sir. The field of science fiction--and the mecha subgenre in particular--is ripe for reconquest. To all readers of sci-fi who've been let down by years of agitprop peddled as adventure stories and thinly veiled romances in space, Combat Frame XSeed, The Star Knight Saga, Shining Tomorrow, and Screaming Metal are restoring the fun to mecha SF. You can expect some big announcements in January.

And to any authors passionate about returning the fun to SF by way of giant robot stories, hop on in. The water's fine.


Pro Writing Tips: The Sentence Level


Working as a professional writer and editor these past years has not only taught me a lot about writing; it's shown me much that I didn't even suspect I didn't know. Since I always try to have one hand reaching down the ladder to help folks below me up while my other hand reaches for the next rung, I periodically like to share writing insights I've gained.

Most author blogs these days are laser-focused on the business end of writing, with a particular emphasis on marketing. While salesmanship is an indispensable skill for all authors, today's post will tackle a subject that's woefully neglected in my opinion: the nuts and bolts mechanics of prose writing--specifically writing at the sentence level.

Hang out your shingle as a freelance editor, and you'll soon find that today's aspiring authors are saddled with a load of bad writing habits picked up from 90 IQ public school English teachers, social media, and movies. I can always spot writers who are more influenced by film and video games than books. That few people read much fiction written before 1980 compounds the problem.

Print media are not visual media. There are all kinds of tricks movies can pull that don't work in books. Then again, novels can get away with stuff that makes screenwriters jealous. To succeed as a professional, you have to know your medium. I'm here to help new writers increase their understanding. Because people who shun proscriptive teaching are bleeding heart hippies, Here are some common sentence-level vices to root out.

Pairing an -ing verb clause with a non-simultaneous action

Pulling the door open, Dave walked in.

Arranging the sentence this way indicates that the action on both sides of the comma is happening at the same time. In this case, Dave is either walking into the partially open door or somehow phasing through it-which would require prior setup.

To clearly describe a character opening a door and walking through it, write, Dave opened the door and walked in.

Compound sentence follies

A lot of writers these days have trouble with compound sentences. I'm not sure why. The rule is pretty straightforward: A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses--clauses that could stand alone as sentences--joined by conjunctions preceded by commas.

Here are some examples of what not to do:

Rupert set the gun on the table, and picked up the salami. "Picked up the salami" is not an independent clause. Thus the example is not a compound sentence, and a comma should not precede "and".

Eugene grabbed Rupert's gun but the mag was empty. Those are both independent clauses, so a comma should precede "but".

"It's raining cats and dogs," Olivia said and opened her umbrella. This is an especially grievous violation I've seen cropping up a lot lately. There's so much wrong with the above example, I don't know where to start. "And opened her umbrella" is not an independent clause, so this isn't a compound sentence. But the whole construction is such a mess, that's the least of our worries.

To see why this example is an abomination, take off the dialogue. We're left with, "Olivia said and opened her umbrella." Is she saying "her umbrella" while opening an umbrella? That's what the sentence indicates, even though the idea it's trying to convey is that Olivia is saying, "It's raining cats and dogs." Then she's opening her umbrella.

What we have here is an unnecessarily messy attempt to form a pseudo-compound sentence from a dialogue tag and a dependent clause. In the first place, dialogue tags should be invisible, and constructions like this draw undue attention to them. Moreover, there are much more elegant ways to handle such situations.

The right answer: "It's raining Cats and dogs." Olivia opened her umbrella.

Readers will naturally attribute dialogue directly preceding or following action to the acting character, so we can ditch the dialogue tag. Also, two short sentences flow better than one long sentence stitched together with conjunctions and/or punctuation.

Frag grenades

Likely due to misguided attempts to ape movies combined with common misconceptions about prose pacing, some writers massively overuse sentence fragments.

Plunging through the icy surface. Struggled in the black depths. Lungs burning. Air!

Some folks seem to think that staccato, fragmentary writing makes for taut pacing. It doesn't. Instead. It's choppy. And distracting. For. Readers.

The occasional sentence fragment is okay for economy's sake. Peppering your prose with sentence fragments means you're trying to be clever, which usually comes at the expense of clarity. If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this: When it comes to writing prose, be clear, not clever!

Head spinning

Shiro looked up at the smoke-blackened ceiling. A shout drew his eye to Fred, who stood wreathed in flames. Glancing all around, Shiro locked eyes on a fire extinguisher.

The whole point of writing in first person or third person close perspective--which all of you should be doing--is to firmly establish a single character through whose point of view we experience the story. If you do it right and clearly identify the POV character in each scene, there is no need to state that he's looking at something. You're making extra work for yourself by not simply describing what he sees. This is the real value of show, don't tell.

Now let's fix it.

Shiro stumbled through the black smoke rising to the chapel ceiling. Fred screamed in the aisle, his body wreathed in flames. A fire extinguisher hung on the vestibule wall. Shiro dashed for it.

Note how cutting out all that stage direction made room for lots more setting detail and action.

Now you're all out of excuses. For each of these errors I find in a manuscript one of you submits, I shall impose a penance of seven slaps on the wrist with a rolled-up copy of Strunk & White.


Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving remains the only major holiday that the forces of American consumerism have yet to fully commercialize--though not for lack of trying. Gathering with family and giving thanks to God for the year's blessings is still the centerpiece of the day.

I'm especially thankful for my readers. Living my vocation as a writer would be utterly impossible without you. Thank you for giving me a career that most aspire to but few indeed attain. I thank God for the talent and skill to keep you entertained and perhaps offer an hour's escape from the cares of this world.

Whatever trials and sorrows beset you, take today as an occasion to cultivate gratitude for every gift you've received. As disciples of Christ know, everything is a gift--even the suffering that can seem arbitrary and pointless. Because through the Cross, we can join our suffering to His.

Enjoy the feast with your family. Count your blessings, and say a prayer of thanks.

And if tonight you're tempted to stand in line freezing your ass off till the clock strikes midnight and the shops open, stay home just this once. Perhaps instead you could call that old college friend you've drifted apart from and let him know you think of him now and then. Instead of seeking perishable goods, you could give your loved ones the infinitely greater gift of your presence.

Finally, before you turn in for the night with a full belly and hopefully a full house, you can meditate on the bountiful era in which we are blessed to live and recall that this world is passing away.

Happy Thanksgiving,
-Brian Niemeier




Science fiction grandmaster John C. Wright announces his next space opera odyssey--and you can help him realize his vision!
Have you been disappointed by the drab, dull, and unimpressive way most space sagas, franchises, and the beloved epics of childhood have been treated in recent times?
Writers of space adventure stories, if they dare write the kind of old-school, honest, rousing, tale of action, intrigue, and interstellar deeds of derring-do we all enjoy, when men were men and women were space princesses, are ignored by modern publishers, scorned by the press, shunned by the long established science fiction awards.
Space opera is the genre where at least one planet is blown into asteroids before the end of Act One. Such tales are peopled by dashing star-captains, villains space pirates, lovely princesses, cunning secret agents, roaring monsters, ancient ruins on accursed planets, dying worlds, exploding suns, and dazzling visions of grandeur.
But where is the reader to turn, who yearns for a return to the thrills of yore? This things are not lost. The pulp magazines may be gone, and the serial cliffhangers extinct, but their spirit is reborn! Space Opera lives again!
John C Wright, and his inner circle of space allies, seeks to break the fetters on the imagination which have bound our brains for too long. There are rich, loud, outrageous tales of heroism and villainy yet to be told, against the infinite backdrop of the stars, and all the reaches of eternity.
STARQUEST is an homage, a renaissance, and a return to those epic space yarns of yore. No editor with a political agenda can censor this work, no decrepit publishing house can push postmodern pretensions into the text. No one will spoil our fun. The writer answers directly to the reader, you. You are my beloved customer: I am writing what you want the way you want it: because I am a disappointed fanboy myself, and, rather than complain that science fiction is dying, with you help, I can do something to cure it.
STARQUEST is a crowdfunded experiment in pulp publishing. The working title for the first episode is PHANTOM PRIVATEER VERSUS SPACE PIRATES OF ANDROMEDA. That title should tell you what we have in mind.
Help save science fiction. Support Starquest on Indiegogo now!


Political Dissolution

The Audacious Epigone recently ran the numbers on the issue of American secession. Here's what emerged.

Graph by Audacious Epigone
AE's comment:
There is no longer any racial, religious, moral, cultural, political, linguistic, or ethnic unity in the US as it is currently defined. The last remaining bond holding the thing together, beyond inertia, is economic expediency. It's why talk of dissolution will begin in interest once the impending economic downturn hits. The Federal Reserve, with rates already under three percent, will be unable to stave it off.
It is as a nationalist that I support political dissolution. A nation requires a shared sense of the aforementioned characteristics. As currently constituted, the United States shares none of these things. It is not a nation. It is an empire comprised of several disparate nations inside of it. The empire must fall for those nations to flourish.
Cultural codependent David Atkins stands athwart the tracks yelling, "Stop, bigot! (don't leave me)":


Sorry to crush David's hopes, but considering that a) the Californication of America requires a continued influx of Hispanics and Asians and b) both of those groups favor secession in far larger numbers than whites, he's in for a nasty case of Thanos syndrome.

From the comments on AE's piece:
Worse even if the left and foreigners /non complaints are expelled partition will be complicated by very different strains of Conservatism. I'm not interested nor will I tolerate a Neo Liberal economy if I have just fought to be rid of a liberal tyranny. Its just substituting State for Corporation 
I also don't want would be theocrats , Deus Volt types deciding on laws I live under either. 
This means either a lot of negotiation or a lot of strife 
Its is still a better outcome than the Commies but its not easy, more of a last ditch effort to prevent hundreds of millions dead. 
The commenter's desire to avoid a continent-scale bloodbath is admirable. His wish to have his cake and eat it too, i.e. casting off Neo-Liberalism while rejecting Christendom, is pure fantasy. It's no coincidence that the advance of secular globalist Neo-Liberalism followed hot on the heels of widespread Western apostasy. The Left has gone from strength to strength while Conservatives wring their hands and posture about possibly thinking about looking into taking it under advisement to maybe do something after the next election. This is because the enemy has the confidence of their convictions, and our supposed leaders have neither confidence nor convictions.

Political and economic crises are collateral damage in the real battle between the West's foundational Christian faith and an invading hysterical death cult. Republicans tried to slow the rate of spiritual attrition with appeals to normal Americans' sense of disgust and the free market. They failed. Atomized individualists will fare no better with empty demands to be left alone to smoke and copulate according to their personal preferences.

The decision rapidly approaching us all comes down to a choice between eking out a wretched existence as despised tax cattle in a heathen tech-fiefdom or living in nations where public life is informed by Christian faith and morals.

You'd much rather live in the latter, I assure you. So would David Atkins.The last normal man leaving California will have to pry Dave off his ankle.


Combat Frame Data: YCC-013-1 Jagannath

YCC-013-1 Jagannath

Technical Data

Model number: YCC-013-1
Code name: N/A
Nickname: Jagannath
Classification: custom energy weapon optimized command combat frame
Manufacturer: Zeklov Corp modification of a Seed Corporation design
Operator: Systems Overterrestrial Coalition
First deployment: CY 1
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 21 meters
Weight: Dry weight 58 metric tons, full weight 73 metric tons
Armor type: palladium glass microalloy/aeorgraphene/ceramic composite
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2081 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 2x 42,000 kg, 2x 36,550 kg, 2x 25,500 kg; top speed 2150 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 12, 180° turn time 0.95 seconds; legs: top ground speed 190 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted behind visor in head
Fixed armaments: Large plasma sword, fed by main reactor, power rated at 0.61 MW, stored in recharge rack in skirt armor, hand-carried in use.
Hand armaments: Prototype Dolph plasma rifle, power rated at 1.15 MW, 10 shots per magazine; shield, attaches to either forearm

General Notes

Governor Prem Naryal's first act upon her appointment to oversee the SOC's Mideast Region was to requisition  a combat frame for her personal use. Aware of the region's instability, she sought out a unit capable of intimidating would-be rebels and crushing anyone foolish enough to persist. Seed Corporation graciously gifted her an early prototype incorporating concepts from Zane Dellister's XCF-08D-1 Dead Drop.

Pleased at the prospect of fielding one of the first energy weapon optimized CFs on Earth but dissatisfied with the utilitarian design--which would form the basis for the CF-014 En Dolph--Naryal commissioned Zeklov Corporation to modify the prototype to her personal specifications.

Seed Corp had built the YCC-013-1 on an unusually large chassis to accommodate the oversized generator required to power its plasma weapons. Naryal took inspiration from her CF's hulking size and an aspect of Vishnu from Hindu myth. She had her CF's armor upgraded and redesigned to match her cultural aesthetic. Its original gray exterior was repainted entirely in gleaming gold. Naryal renamed her golden giant Jagannath.

Next, Naryal ordered upgrades to Jagannath's drive systems. The additional rockets and maneuvering thrusters gave Jagannath speed and agility belying its massive size. The giant CF had come from Seed Corp equipped with a generator-fed large plasma sword and a Dolph plasma rifle prototype. Zeklov Corp tweaked both weapons' efficiency to coax even more destructive power from the CF's reactor. They also added a plasma-resistant shield at Naryal's request.

The finished Jagannath was delivered to the Jeddah airport in advance of the new governor's arrival. Naryal immediately inspected her new CF and declared it satisfactory. She began a regimen of daily piloting lessons under Jeddah CSC chief Davis, supplementing Jagannath's considerable power with her own rapidly growing skill.


SJWs Take White Wolf's Pelt

White Wolf Paradox
White Wolf, publishers of Vampire: The Masquerade--a tabletop role-playing game that gained massive popularity in the 90s--has succumbed to an SJW outrage mob.
Sales and printing of the V5 Camarilla and Anarch books will be temporarily suspended. The section on Chechnya will be removed in both the print and PDF versions of the Camarilla book. We anticipate that this will require about three weeks. This means shipping will be delayed; if you have pre-ordered a copy of Camarilla or Anarchs, further information will follow via e-mail. 
 In practical terms, White Wolf will no longer function as a separate entity. The White Wolf team will be restructured and integrated directly into Paradox Interactive, and I will be temporarily managing things during this process. We are recruiting new leadership to guide White Wolf both creatively and commercially into the future, a process that has been ongoing since September.
 Going forward, White Wolf will focus on brand management. This means White Wolf will develop the guiding principles for its vision of the World of Darkness, and give licensees the tools they need to create new, excellent products in this story world. White Wolf will no longer develop and publish these products internally. This has always been the intended goal for White Wolf as a company, and it is now time to enact it. 
The moral panic began over the summer, when a game blogger with nothing better to do than root through RPG sourcebooks for instances of badthink accused White Wolf of marketing their upcoming fifth edition of Vampire to neo-Nazis.

Here's the excerpt that ran afoul of the thought police:
Common perception place punks, gang-members, maladjusted immigrants rejected by the society that should protect them, and placard-carrying and Molotov wielding rioters among the Brujah. While the clan definitely includes substantial numbers of vocal and visible outsiders, their desire for rebellion reaches as deep as the fraudster ripping off his own company, the lawyer representing the poor pro bono, the neo-Nazi claiming to be “alt-right,” and the basement-dweller downloading thousands of movies illegally for redistribution on streaming sites. Fledglings Embraced to fight and protest are commonly known as rabble.
You're probably wondering what an SJW soy boy could possibly find objectionable in that wall of flavor text. The neo-Nazis are mentioned in the same breath as corporate con men and IP thieves. There's even a nod to the open borders crowd. What's the appeal for literal Nazis?

The meddling scold who stirred up the hate swarm "explains":
“The game’s in-universe antagonists share many traits that nazis and fascists associate with their real-world enemies,” The Dice Dog argued, “meaning that readers who share that ideology will be able to easily see it as representing themselves.”
You read that right. Dice Douche is beside himself with worry that Vampire fifth edition might allow people he disagrees with to generate self-insert wish fulfillment characters.

Editor's note: The entire point of role-playing games as a genre is enabling players to immerse themselves in a fictional world where they can act out wish fulfillment fantasies. Purging the rule books of trigger words won't thwart players who deviate from your lockstep CommiePuritanism. The only way to do that is either a) Ban non-Leftoids from purchasing the game or b) intimidate White Wolf into making concession after concession to your hysterical cult until the game itself is destroyed.

Looks like they chose option b.

To show you just how shiveringly demented the RPG SJWs' claims are, check out this quote from Vampire's 1992 second edition:
Brujah tend to dress in whatever style is the most outrageous of the period, though some dress in a way that conflicts with the rest of the clan so as to be the “most” rebellious. Leather coats, spiked hair, chains and black boots are common today, as are the various garbs of antiquity, especially those of the Renaissance. They may also dress and assume the attitudes of street hoods, neo-Nazis, or even Deadheads.
If we grant Dog Dick's premise that the offending language in Vampire fifth ed. means the game was "...purposefully marketed to 'the alt-right'..." that means White Wolf has been pandering to the alt-right since 1992--decades before the movement existed! WW should've used their crystal ball to play the lotto instead of courting a group with little spare cash for RPG books since payment processors are busy kicking them out of the economy.

Not that White Wolf themselves didn't line up to denounce Emmanuel Goldstein.
White Wolf is a very diverse team, and we feel that we are a global company and that we have a global community and that everybody is welcome in that community. Unless you are a Nazi or a neo-Nazi, or a member of any other hate group that uses these disgusting philosophies to advance your hateful agendas. If you are a member of one of those groups or support those agendas we don’t want you in our community. You aren’t welcome, and if we find you spreading your hate in our community you will be shown the door. We don’t want your money. You can keep it.
Disavowal issued. Dissolution and absorption by parent company follows.

Nice try, White Wolf. Your one miscalculation was forgetting that the tackle-faced freaks haranguing you define 60% of the population as "Nazis". Get woke, go broke.

Parting meditation: Consider the poetic symmetry of Vampire falling victim to a witch hunt.


The Judge of its own Membership


Ann Coulter offers some salutary advice, complete with direct historical precedent, to GOP leaders struggling to deal with Florida elections plagued by rampant voting irregularities.
Republicans control the state legislature and governor’s office in Florida. They control the U.S. Congress and the presidency. If that’s not enough to prevent two statewide Florida elections from being stolen, the GOP is more useless than I’d already imagined.
Republican weakness is the most powerful weapon in the Democrats' arsenal.
Here’s a primer for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan on how to deal with all the Senate and House election “recounts” that keep magically flipping seats to the Democrats.
In 1974, Republican Louis Wyman won his race for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, beating Democrat John Durkin by 355 votes. Durkin demanded a recount — which went back and forth by a handful of votes until the state’s Ballot Law Commission concluded that Wyman had indeed won.
Wyman was certified the winner by the New Hampshire secretary of state and was on his way to Washington, D.C., when … the Senate refused to seat him. New Hampshire’s certification of Wyman as the winner meant nothing, because, you see, Democrats held a majority in the Senate.
The Senate spent months examining disputed ballots. Unable to come up with any method whereby they could declare the Democrat the winner, the Senate forced New Hampshire to hold another election.
Demoralized Republicans stayed home and, this time, the Democrat won.
Hey, Mitch! Don’t Republicans hold a majority in the Senate?
Republicans used to know how to play hardball. The GOP-controlled Congress did in fact refuse to seat Southern representatives and senators from states that opposed the Reconstruction Amendments.

More recently, remember when GOP establishment types were calling on McConnell not to seat Roy Moore if their smear campaign failed? Side note: Trump should nominate Moore to replace Ginsburg.
In 1984, Democrat Frank McCloskey won a razor-thin re-election to the House from Indiana’s 8th Congressional District. The state held two recounts, both of which the Republican won. The Washington Post reported that there were “no allegations of fraud” in the recount, and 90 percent of ballot disqualifications had been agreed to “by election commissions dominated by Democrats.”
Consequently, Indiana’s secretary of state certified Republican Rick McIntyre the winner.
But the Democratic-controlled House simply refused to seat McIntyre. Instead, the House undertook its own “recount.” You’ll never guess who won!
Don’t Republicans have a majority in the House for six more weeks?
Yep, and it's six more weeks instead of two more years because the feckless halfwits did something that Democrats never do: They told their base "no".
In 2008, Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota won his re-election bid against challenger Al Franken by 725 votes. But for several weeks after the election, Democratic precincts kept discovering new votes for Franken — including ballots sitting in cars, as well as a write-in vote for “Frankenstein” — which was counted as a vote for Franken. (Duh.)
These late-discovered ballots eventually put Frankenstein ahead by 312 votes, whereupon he was immediately certified the winner by the George Soros-backed secretary of state.
The U.S. Senate was in Democratic hands, so there was no question but that Majority Leader Harry Reid would seat the cheater, Franken. And that, kids, is how the Democrats got the 60th vote for Obamacare.
Four years later, we found out that more than 1,000 felons — ineligible to vote — had cast ballots in the 2008 Minnesota election. (To state the obvious, felons support Democrats by about 10-1.)
In the middle of the Democrats’ open theft of the Indiana seat in 1984, The New York Times pompously reminded readers of the “basic constitutional principle that Congress is the judge of its own membership and that lawmakers can overrule state laws in making that determination.”
You’ve already caved on Arizona, Mitch. How about taking a page from the Democrats’ playbook? You don’t have to go full Daley Machine. Democrats steal elections they actually lost. Republicans just want you to hang on to the seats they won.
Imagine, for a moment, what the political scene would look like if the GOP actually represented its constituents' will. You might see Governor Scott arresting every Broward County election official and ordering his secretary of state to certify the election day vote tally. Failing that, you'd see Mitch McConnell declaring Dem beneficiaries of obvious voter fraud illegitimate and refusing to seat them.

The consequences of failing to thwart and punish such broad and deep election stealing are severe. If Democrats can get away with voter fraud this brazen, the US political process will have officially descended to third world levels. A sizable number of Americans already dismiss elections as kabuki theater. If electoral shenanigans that would make Joe Kennedy blush are allowed to stand, the last embers of faith in the system will die, the government will lose the Mandate of Heaven, and all bets will be off.

Republicans used the Congressional ban hammer to rebuild the Union after the first Civil War. They may well be looking at round 2 unless they find the backbone to use it again.


Galaxy's Edge Level

Early reviews are pouring in for my upcoming mecha/Mil-SF series Combat Frame XSeed.
...it is fantastic. Just excellent
We aim to please!
Only 18% of the way through Combat Frame Xseed, and I'm already disappointed that the sequel isn't out yet.
Never fear. I've already started work on the second novel, Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40. And the short story bridging books 1 and 2 is available for free exclusively to readers of the first novel.

CFXS: CY 2 Gaiden

Speaking of XSeed book 2:

Galaxy's Edge Level

You be the judge. Watch the Combat Frame XSeed book trailer.

Read the first chapter for free.

And check out the extensive body of mech lore that my international team of publishing experts and I are just starting to reveal!

Combat Frame XSeed officially launches in January. In the meantime, do pick up the sensational Galaxy's Edge series by Jason Anspach and Dragon Award winner Nick Cole. Their grand space opera/Mil-SF saga just wrapped up its first season, making now the perfect jumping-on point.

Galaxy's Edge Retribution


RIP Stan Lee


Yesterday we saw the passing of comics giant Stan Lee. With the possible exception of George Lucas, Lee's influence on American pop culture was arguably unrivaled--and you'd need a damn good argument against it. You can't open a web browser, turn on the TV, or walk down the street without seeing at least one of Lee's creations.

Like George Lucas, Stan Lee lost control of the multimedia empire he founded. Unlike Lucas, he was never bitter about it. Lee remained publicly upbeat until the end. Such unflagging hope should recommend him for sainthood, considering the state of the industry he left behind.

It's a crowning irony that comic book properties have reached the height of their popularity as comic books themselves sink to their lowest depths. The American comics industry as we know it was conceived in New York by a bunch of nice, hard-working Jewish boys in the prewar years.

The country was on the road to recovery from the Great Depression. We had a global menace to unite behind. Lee's early work embodied the scrappy determination of the time. Sure, the chips were down, and the deck was stacked against us, but we'd win despite the odds because we had to.

What Lee and his fellow creators couldn't have anticipated was said best by a now A list character from rival DC Comics: "Victory has defeated you."

After decades of parents dismissing their sons' four-color funny books as silly wastes of time, the manifest and pervasive silliness of the world beyond the fourth wall makes the campiest 1970s Spider-Man story seem like Crime and Punishment.

Just look at the comics industry itself. Creators with Lee's plucky exuberance and wholesome vision are nowhere to be found. Say what you want about Stan Lee--actually, don't, because it's unmanly to attack those who can't defend themselves--his characters exemplified virtue in a way we simply don't see anymore; not in comics, not in the movies they spawned, and sadly, not in our neighborhoods.

"With great power comes great responsibility" has become "Power is an end in itself."

These many years, comic books have been a wasteland of propagandists masquerading as artists and lesser imitators deconstructing the work of craftsmen like Lee. They kept breaking down the superhero, ostensibly to find out what made him tick, but then out of pure spite. Now only empty capes remain to be filled by this month's casting couch favorite.

Stan Lee, the father of modern comics, is dead. He suffered the cruelest fate the world can visit upon a parent: outliving what he conceived.


Sieg Zeon

Zeon Flag

In their ceaseless campaign to eliminate fun, SJWs have finally gotten around to condemning Gundam. The pretext? They find the Zeon flag problematic. Because blah blah blah Third Reich something something.

Zeon Idiot

Unfortunately for the SJW scolds, #GamerGate veteran Lo-Ping proved more than a match for their grade-inflated public school B- in history. It got even worse for them when Gundam fans showed up and went all Operation Stardust on the Leftoids' breadbasket. Only instead of a colony drop, they used Zeon memes.

Sieg Zeon

Delaz Gato

Char Mocking

With the obligatory Bright Slap for good measure.

Bright slap

The Left's conditioning really has rendered them incapable of interacting with culture in any way besides destroying it. Luckily, these bold Zeonposters have shown us the way.

Waste their time

 Will the SJWs finally learn their lesson? Doubtful. One does not care to acknowledge the mistakes of one's youth. But relentlessly mocking their ridiculous tantrums sure is fun!

And if they found Zeon triggering, wait till they get a load of the Empire of Neue Deutschland in "Combat Frame XSeed: CY 2 Gaiden".

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 2 Gaiden


The Dead End State of Pop Culture

Author JD Cowan offers a grim prognosis on the fate of pop culture based on Hollywood's manifest inability to connect with its audience.
The Predator is a shallow, spiritually dead movie of stolen imagination and rehashed ideas with a message that could only have been thought up by someone too pathetic to grow up beyond adolescence. And it was written by someone who was there when the original film was being made. And not a talentless man, either. He wrote the original two (and best) Lethal Weapon films as well as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He knows action and how to give the audience what they want.
And yet not only is this film completely out of joint with the franchise, it is completely out of tone with the genre it is supposed to be. It doesn't give the audience what it wants, and it doesn't do so on a scale that is as impressive as it is inept.
Which sums up the dead end state of pop culture as it is right now.
I didn't expect to write a post about this movie, but I had to do so after recent events involving bad decisions by Marvel. The fact of the matter is that the MCU has peaked. There will never be another film like the original Avengers' impact on the genre, and there will never be another Infinity War of building up around a decade of work to one event. It will never happen again.
So we begin our downhill slide of the company telling audiences what they want and cramming uninteresting characters into their own films to replace beloved ones. The MCU has passed its peak with these two new Avengers movies, like every other trend, and will never be the same again.
And that's fine. Trends come and go all the time. Superheroes first hit it big with X-Men and Spiderman back in the early 00s and we're nearing two decades. Just like westerns, action films, noir, and fantasy films, we're nearing the end. But there is a problem.
The difference this time? There is no trend coming.
The brimming treasury of cultural capital built up by the West has been ransacked and squandered by the entryists who converged our institutions. We're rapidly devolving into a mass of atomized consumers that have little or nothing in common with the man next door. Many people, especially in the teeming cities, go months or years without saying a word to their neighbors.

It's a vicious cycle that erodes a people's ability to create and share cultural touchstones. I'm becoming more convinced each day that decentralizing the overconcentrated urban population into more scaled-down, homogeneous, and tightly knit communities would go a long way toward resolving our current ills.

In the meantime, there are those of us who keep telling stories--first and foremost for entertainment, but also in the hope of contributing one brick; one mosaic tile; one dab of paint to the new and now-gestating culture. JD himself has a new contribution in the latest issue of Story Hack. Check it out!

Story Hack


The Winds of Change


This week has seen a series of major upheavals in Washington, and the Democrats' return to majority status in the House may not be the biggest development.

First, no sooner had the dust settled on the midterm elections than President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The former AG frustrated the President and his base by failing to prosecute Deep State actors who attempted a soft coup against Trump and by recusing himself from the bogus Russian collusion investigation. If not for Sessions, it's doubtful that the interminable Mueller probe would have swelled into the Tetsuo-like monster that threatens to engulf the executive branch.

Sessions' chief of staff Matthew G. Whitaker--pictured above--has been named to serve as acting AG in his old boss' place. In stark contrast to Sessions, Whitaker has publicly called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt and has proposed ways to neutralize the rogue special prosecutor without firing him. Based on his past statements, it's likely that Whitaker will slash Mueller's funding to the point that his office can no longer operate.

Early rumors suggest that Trumpian candidate Kris Kobach, who lost his bid for the governorship of Kansas, is the front runner to be Sessions' permanent replacement. Kobach's tough stance on immigration propelled him to national prominence, and he's said to have the President's ear. Trump has his pick of cabinet nominees thanks to his expanded Senate majority, and nominating Kobach would let the President avoid pulling a current Republican officeholder like Devin Nuñes, Ted Cruz, or Lindsey Graham from Congress--a misstep he made with Sessions.

Whoever Trump chooses for AG, the firmly Republican senate will fast-track his confirmation.

Speaking of imminent Trump appointments: 

It is now being reported that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized after taking a nasty spill in her office on the same day Sessions stepped down.

While we of course wish no one harm and pray for Ginsburg's complete healing in mind, body, soul, and spirit, it's apparent that continuing in office at her advanced age poses a significant health risk. Neil Gorsuch's confirmation stirred up rumors of the oldest Justice's retirement, and Brett Kavanaugh's successful battle to take his seat on the high court stoked them to a fever pitch.

Ginsburg has weathered numerous health scares before. Then again, so did her fellow globalist John McCain. Ginsburg has to be wondering if she really wants to follow him down the Weekend at Bernie's route or if she'd rather retire with her dignity intact. There's also the Trump curse to consider.

Whether Ginsburg decides to throw in the towel or run out the clock, Trump's chances of placing a third Justice on the Supreme Court now look better than ever. With a 6-3 SCOTUS majority in his favor, Trump can make an end run around the obstructionist House with executive orders while denying the Left their only effective avenue for pushing their agenda.


Sleepy Sessions out.

Alpha Whitaker in.

Rising star Kobach on the way up.

Witchfinder General Mueller on the run.

Even sleepier Ginsburg on the way out.

I know MAGA is supposed to be on the ropes. The blue checks on Twitter swear up and down that it's over for us bigots. Somehow, though, this doesn't feel like losing.


A House Divided

McConnell Pelosi

Another national election has come and gone. The 2018 US midterms treated voters to an electoral street brawl, complete with cheerleaders, hecklers, and odds makers barking from the sidelines. Numbers guys on both sides predicted big wins for their respective teams. With voter turnout at record highs, the only question seemed to be whether we were in for a blue wave or a red tide.

The actual result has left almost everyone scratching their heads. To use a personal example, I forecast Republicans eking out a narrow House majority while gaining 4 or 5 Senate seats. We now know my first prediction was 180 degrees backwards, since it was the Democrats who won the House by a razor-thin margin.

But that was the only major victory Democrats could claim last night--and a feat hardly worth boasting about. The all-powerful blue wave proved to be pollster agitprop after all, as Dems fell far short of the 70 seats that define a wave election. They also failed to retake the Senate, actually losing 4 seats, which confirmed my prediction for the upper chamber. As a final slap in the face, voters denied the Democrats a majority of the country's governorships.

It's still early, but we know enough to make some useful observations about the midterm results.

Let's take a look at the House first.
  • The polls were indeed wrong. The twist is that they actually erred on the side of Republicans in tight races.
  • Democrats' election day turnout was sufficient to mitigate the massive GOP early voting lead.
  • Blacks and Latinos still voted Democrat at Soviets-voting-for-Stalin levels. #BuildTheWall
  • The MSM pundits were right about Midwestern women in the suburbs defecting from the GOP. #RepealThe19th
  • The 40 cuckservative reps who retired for fear of the blue wave cost the GOP its incumbent advantage. Republicans could have weathered all the other factors above if not for this blunder.
  • Nearly all the defeated GOP congressmen opposed Trump and/or refused to let him campaign for them.

Now let's do the Senate.
  • The Kavanaugh Effect was real. Donnelly, Heitkamp, and McCaskill, who voted against Justice K's confirmation, all went down to defeat.
  • Trump's campaign strategy paid off. His focus on Indiana and Florida, for example, helped the GOP win close races.
  • Republican senators' eleventh-hour Trumpist conversion spared them the voters' wrath, unlike their obstinate counterparts in the House.
  • So much for the Narrative that Trump's populist nationalism is a fad. If he were as unpopular as the Left says, Dems would have taken the Senate.
Quite the roller coaster ride. Contra all the black pillers out there, I consider this election a Pyrrhic Dem victory at worst and a long-term Republican win if the GOP keeps the gloves off. 

Just look at Democrats in the news and on social media. Some of them are putting on a brave face, but they're not gloating like they did in 2012. The more intelligent among them know what a small House majority and continued Senate minority status means. Impeaching Trump and Kavanaugh, which the Dems promised their unhinged base, is off the table. So is any meaningful legislation. The Demnocrat-controlled House is stuck in the position of a figurehead king who's nominally in charge but wields no actual power. We get to watch and laugh as they fail to advance their agenda while flailing impotently at Trump like Hero Boy fighting a Kaiju.

The downside is that Trump won't be getting his agenda items turned into legislation, either. But the House cucks were preventing that, anyway, so it's a wash on that front. In the final analysis, the traitors within the GOP were far more dangerous. The Dems have done us a favor by clearing out the fifth columnists. The Republicans we've gained in the House and Senate are more solidly Trumpian than their predecessors, putting us in a good position for long-term gains.

Oh, and we get all the judges now. If Cocaine Mitch could get guys like Judge Dredd confirmed before, Trump could confidently nominate Alex Jones to SCOTUS with the new cuck-proof Senate. A 6-3 Supreme Court majority is now guaranteed.

A final note to the House GOP: You clowns convinced Trump to let you handle the midterms your way by postponing MAGA for your dumb bow tie shit. You passed an omnibus bill that kicked your base in the crotch. Then you abandoned ship at the first ripple of a blue wave. You deserved to lose. Moreover you deserved to lose in a 70 seat blowout, but instead of the electoral ass-kicking you begged for, but Trump reduced the sentence to a light spanking. You'd better bow the knee like your victorious Senate colleagues, or not even Trump will be able to help you next time.


When Elephants Fight


The following is a blanket response to questions and comments from several people both on and off this blog.

We authors know that the reader is king, and that we are competing with TV, movies, and beer for his hard-earned dollars. I would not presume to gainsay readers' market preferences.

At the same time, solidarity with my brothers in the craft obliges me to make sure readers' sovereign decisions are as soundly informed as possible.

It's undeniably true that Indiegogo has engaged in partisan and unethical behavior toward creators on their platform. They should face repercussions for those actions.

It is also true that the only currently viable alternative to Indiegogo, Kickstarter, has a much worse track record of gross partisan discrimination. To refresh the reader's memory, Kickstarter rejected a film exposing the butchery committed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Indiegogo allowed the film makers to fully fund the project.

I have always said not to give money to people who hate you. Like all aspirational statements, it admits of degrees. Indiegogo takes only 5% of what backers pay to the author, while arch-Leftist Jeff Bezos' Amazon takes 30%. I do business with the latter because it involves no formal and low material cooperation with evil. My dealings with Indiegogo follow a similar moral calculus with even lower material cooperation, and the evil is less grave.

Indie authors, by definition, do not enjoy the benefits provided by a traditional publisher. They must pay for editing, cover and promotional art, and formatting out-of-pocket. Nor do indies receive advances to offset the cost of time spent writing.

Mitigating the production and opportunity costs incurred by foregoing a traditional publisher was the last obstacle keeping indie authors from devoting our full efforts to publishing stories normal people want to read. The new patronage system ushered in by crowdfunding seemed to have solved this problem. Unfortunately, one major crowdfunding service has consistently embraced SJW behavior, and the other has brazenly stolen from a dissenting publishing house. Indiegogo will not miss the $100 denied them if an indie author's campaign fails, but he'll certainly miss the $2,000 he'd hoped his readers' goodwill would provide.

I see no good solution. When elephants fight, the grass suffers.


Killstream Kobayashi Maru

Photo by Daniel James
Citizen journalist and web drama enthusiast Ethan Ralph's popular #Killstream show has been banned from YouTube.
YouTuber Ethan Ralph accused The Wall Street Journal of sabotaging a fundraiser he held in September to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
On September 29, the host of the popular YouTube show #Killstream utilized a new YouTube feature called “Super Chat” to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The show, said to focus largely on free speech absolutism and “drama, news, and politics,” raised a total of $26,000 for the charity to support children battling cancer, according to Ralph.
I'm a long-time follower of Ralph's who heard him planning the charity drive over multiple episodes of his show. This wasn't a cynical attempt to own the libs. St. Jude is one of his favorite charities, and the #Healstream was legit. Yet the enemy's hatred of dissent is such that they didn't hesitate to bring the banhammer down on a man who raised nearly $30K for kids with cancer.

That's life under the iron boot of an unaccountable tech cartel. Knowing that a hospital full of sick kids got a pile of money is some consolation, at least.

Oh, wait.
On Friday, Ralph reported that donors were receiving notification from YouTube that their donations from over a month prior had been refunded by St. Jude’s. Ralph asserted that the refunds were issued “due to pressure from The Wall Street Journal.” Though no article had yet been published, Ralph started the hashtag campaign #WSJKillsKids, noting the likely connection between the timing of article and refund of old donations.
YouTube originally responded to the reported comments by revoking Super Chat capabilities for Ralph’s channel and taking down individual episodes of the show, but later went further. The company confirmed Friday evening that they had permanently removed Ralph from the platform.
Koh’s original email to Ralph listed her deadline as 10 p.m. Thursday night, but the article was not published until late Friday evening. The published piece focused largely on Ralph and the events that unfolded after Koh contacted him, including returned donations and the removal of Ralph’s channel from YouTube. Koh reported that when she contacted St. Jude’s “earlier in the week,” she was informed that the organization “was aware of the chats and was making arrangements to reverse any donations.”  
“We had no intention of receiving or accepting any of the funds associated with the live stream,” a St. Jude’s spokesperson told WSJ Friday.
In his Friday night live stream, which was hosted on an alternative website, Ralph said that he “didn’t believe” that St. Jude’s had plans to return the money before being contacted by WSJ.  
“I think that we’ve been a thorn in the side of YouTube for quite some time,” Ralph told The Daily Caller. “Our show wasn’t really supposed to get as popular as it did, but we ended up regularly topping the live trending chart on the site even with all the obstacles they threw in our way.”
Ralph's popularity certainly shook the YouTube hive. Can't have any messages contrary to the Narrative gaining traction. Might upset the NPCs, you know.

Still, YouTube's timing is suspect. They didn't ban Ralph right after the #Healstream. Instead they waited for the backlash against St. Jude refunding donors' SuperChat money.

What we may be seeing here is the enemy stepping up their tactics. The Right's penchant for voting with their wallets, as in the Kellogg's and Star Wars boycotts, combined with a tendency toward purity spirals, creates an opening a knowledgeable enemy can exploit.

In this case, #Killstream viewers looking to monetarily punish those responsible for Ralph's ban find a children's cancer charity in the lineup. It's the closest I've seen the Left come to setting up a Xanatos gambit. If the Right withdraws support from all the implicated parties, kids with cancer pay a toll. If they limit their backlash to YouTube and the Wall Street Journal, they look inconsistent. If they do nothing, YouTube and the WSJ get away scot-free.

This could be a randomly emergent phenomenon--a blind squirrel finding a nut. Or the opposition could finally be taking a page from Sun Tzu. Pray it's the former. The Left's fear of leaving their bubble has been one of our biggest advantages.


Galaxy Ascendant

Galaxy Ascendant - Yakov Merkin

Author Yakov Merkin announces the exciting Indiegogo campaign for the third installment in his galaxy-spanning sci-fi series, Galaxy Ascendant.
Do you miss the days when grand, epic sci-fi franchises like Star Wars and Mass Effect were good? Do you want grand-scope, creative, action-packed, and FUN space opera fiction?
Then come on over to the Galaxy Ascendant! We have action, adventure, romance, space battles that are among the largest in all of space opera fiction, and truly heroic characters!
Readers have only great things to say about the series so far, and A Shifting Alliance takes it to a whole new level. 
Come join us now!
One detail that makes this campaign so attractive is that you get all three eBooks in the series at the $5 tier and all three eBooks plus the new paperback at the $25 tier. It's a generous offer that lets new readers jump right into the series from the start. Think I'll steal the same approach for future Combat Frame XSeed campaigns.


Combat Frame Data: CCF-017K Kurfürst

CCF-017K Kurfürst


Technical Data

Model number: CCF-017K
Code name: N/A
Nickname: Kurfürst
Classification: custom close combat dueling combat frame
Manufacturer: Zeklov Corporation
Operator: Wehrbund Bavaria
First deployment: CY 2
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: Head height 19 meters
Weight: 67.3 metric tons
Armor type: palladium glass microalloy/carbon ceramic/titanium composite
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 1956 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 38,000 kg thrust each, top speed 980 kph; booster rockets: 2x  68,650 kg thrust each, top speed 2750 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 12, 180° turn time 0.95 seconds; legs: top ground speed 192 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main cameras mounted behind visor in head
Fixed Armaments: x2 punching heat dagger, mounted in forearms
Hand armaments: heat chain Zweihänder, battery-powered, hand-carried in use
Special Equipment: ECM suite, jams radio-based sensors and communications

General Notes

When the Systems Overterrestrial Coalition overthrew Kaiser Maximilian, the last crusader Emperor of Neue Deutschland, most of the routed German armed forces retreated to free territories in Africa and Asia. The only significant underground resistance to remain was Wehrbund Bavaria. Headed by the once-prosperous Eckhart family, the Wehrbund secretly conducted COINTEL, propaganda, and sabotage operations against the SOC occupation force. But Irwin Eckhart, the German underground's leader, knew that Wehrbund Bavaria would have to face the Coalition and its combat frames in battle if the people were to reclaim their homeland. In preparation for the day when his group would fight openly, he commissioned a mech that would serve as a formidable front line fighter and inspire the German people to rise up.

Notorious arms manufacturer Zeklov Corporation realized Eckhart's vision beyond his wildest expectations. Taking the Nouvelle French dueling combat frame CCF-09V Veillantif as a starting point, Zeklov sought to create a German analogue that would embody the Teutonic fighting spirit. Whereas Veillantif was quick and agile, excelling at hit-and-run tactics, the new unit would be built for power and toughness while being capable of making bursts of speed to close with and demolish opponents.

Following his design principle of refashioning Gallic concepts in a Germanic mold, Zeklov armed the new CF with a massive two-handed sword. As a final touch, he lined the blade with a rotating chain set with superheated teeth. The resulting weapon delivered equal amounts of crushing, burning, and slicing damage to anything foolish enough to stand in its way. Enhanced arm servos allowed the CF to wield this giant weapon with startling speed. A retractable punching heat dagger was installed in the bracers mounted on each forearm as backup weapons. Finally, an advanced ECM suite was installed to confound ranged weapons' targeting systems and allow the CF time to get in close for the kill.

In terms of standard ground and air speed, the new CF performed only slightly better than a CF-06 Grenzmark II. However, additional booster rockets were installed on the unit's legs, allowing short bursts of speed in excess of Mach 2. Opponents deceived by the CF's bulky appearance found themselves caught off-guard when the Zweihänder-swinging combat frame charged into melee range in the blink of an eye.

Zeklov assigned his new creation the model number CCF-017K and presented it to Eckhart, who christened the centerpiece of his new CF force the Kurfürst after the prince-electors of old. The Kurfürst would receive its first live combat test in CY 2 when Wehrbund Bavaria made its move against rogue Coalition Governor Ronson Troy.