2019/09/19

The Real Jobs Crisis

It's not the overall employment numbers. It's the work force participation rate, particularly among men.

FRED male workforce participation

While the administration touts low unemployment, American men are being forced out--and are increasingly opting out--of the job market.

Though the continued importation of unskilled laborers from south of the border and H1Bs from the subcontinent represents a betrayal of the American people by our rulers, immigration alone doesn't explain why men are dropping out of the workforce.

For the real answer, we must refer to this graph:

FRED workforce participation by sex

It's no coincidence that the massive influx of women into the workplace mirrors the mass exodus of men.

Not even self-proclaimed TradCons will admit it, but men as a whole are averse to taking part in goal-oriented group activities with women.

The reason shouldn't surprise any honest student of human nature. The sexes are different and have different innate strengths and preferences.

Men form associations to pursue those organizations' stated goals.They thrive on competition.

Women join male-created organizations to socialize and gain male attention. They are generally risk-averse and anti-competitive--except when it comes to gaining male attention.

The results of introducing women into the workplace en masse should be obvious. What do you think will happen to a company when a majority of their labor force is socially motivated rather than outcome-motivated?

Now imagine if your company had no HR department.

This is why feminist propaganda deceiving women into thinking that eschewing family and pursuing careers will bring them fulfillment.

Instead it pressures women into a competitive environment, which makes them miserable and makes displaced men feel useless, which makes them miserable.

All the while, the family and the workplace continue to degrade.

The universal vocation of all human beings is to perfect the virtues necessary for living out their divinely ordained state in life. Succeeding in this endeavor is the only way to find happiness. Failure guarantees misery.

The Death Cult's propaganda is designed to make you miserable. Don't take advice from people who hate you.

2019/09/18

An Irresistible Force

Mortuary Basement

My uncle epitomizes the freewheeling postwar American spirit. When he came of age, he rebuilt a beat-up motorcycle in my grandfather's backyard and hit the open highway. He rode from the Midwest to the West Coast, hopped a boat to Hawaii, and spent some time living in a tree house.

In time he returned to the mainland, made his fortune, and settled down with a wife and family around him. The spiritual disease that claimed many of his generation spared him. He worked for every cent he earned, and I'll have no man begrudge the fruits of his labor.

I heard the tale of his coming-of-age journey to paradise many times. Only the last time did he disclose a dark turn taken along the way.

My uncle arrived in Los Angeles in the late 60s. Soon after he rolled into town, he did a stint working odd jobs  to pay for passage to the islands.

Covering room and board while trying to sock away enough money for a ticket proved difficult, so it came as a relief when a local contractor hired him on for a relatively lucrative one-time piece of work.

My uncle was told to show up at a certain downtown address at a certain time. There he'd be filled in on the details.

Arriving at the specified time and place, he found that the site was a rather nondescript boxy building much like the others on the block, most of which dated back to the 20s. All signage had been stripped from the outside.

The contractor met my uncle in the alley out back and explained the nature of the work. The client wanted the building, which he'd recently purchased, totally gutted. No trace was to be left of the business that had formerly occupied the property. My uncle was to strip the basement down to the bare walls and floor, including tossing out a bunch of stuff the previous own had left behind. He'd get his pay when he was done.

My uncle headed down to the basement, crowbar in hand, sure he had it made. The pay on offer for such straightforward work promised to make this job well worth his time. As he descended the creaking steps into a basement redolent of mildew, he banished the gloom by imagining the tropical beach where he'd soon be resting from his labors.

The stairs led down to a narrow hallway. An open doorway gave on a large, long room beyond. The only light seeped in through narrow basement windows, but my uncle could make out some junk clustered throughout the room, including a few long boxes set against the white-paneled walls.

He stepped from the last stair and into the hall. It was the last forward step he'd take on that excursion.

Not because he saw or heard something that made him turn back. My uncle remained fully intent on reporting to his work site and doing his job.

He simply couldn't.

Some invisible, irresistible force kept my uncle from taking another step down that hallway. He described the feeling as trying to walk through a vertical wall of sand.

My uncle returned upstairs and tried to make sense of what he'd experienced. In the final analysis, he decided he had a job of work to do that needed doing.

He marched back downstairs. Again the phantom force stopped him. More annoyed than afraid, my uncle--a lapsed cradle Catholic--invoked the intercession of higher powers.

And went lurching forward as if a rope tethering him to the stairs had been cut.

The unseen obstacle--whatever it was--removed, my uncle set to work. He finished the job set out for him and presented himself to his employer.

The contractor looked impressed as his bent fingers counted out my uncle's pay. Neither of the two previous men he'd hired to clear out the basement had lasted an hour. Both had quit with hardly a word and fled the property as if chased by wild dogs.

My uncle mentioned the difficulty he'd had at the start and reported the constant feeling of being watched, but otherwise, he said, things had gone smoothly.

The contractor took my uncle aside, swore him to secrecy, and confided what he didn't dare tell the other men working on site.

The old building had been a mortuary notorious for its owners' less-than-ethical practices. Those shady owners had finally been forced to close up shop following scandalous goings-on that had been hushed up at considerable expense.

That basement room guarded by the unseen force had been a private viewing room reserved for funerals involving closed caskets, corpses produced under questionable circumstances whose families wanted no-questions-asked services, and mourners with reason to hide the proceedings from the press.

"Well," my uncle said, "that explains all the coffins I hauled out of there."


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Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/09/17

Between Scylla and Charybdis

Partisans in both conservative and liberal circles are agonizing over why dissident politics is growing despite their best efforts to play gatekeeper and censor, respectively.

One major reason is that normal people are sick and tired of being smeared as Nazis by both sides for holding positions their Christian grandfathers wouldn't have batted an eye at.

A perfect example of a professing Christian finding himself running the gauntlet between the neoliberal Scylla and Charybdis followed author Jon Del Arroz's launch of his #1 best seller. Justified.

One of the screencaps below originated from an online movement originally started in response to the blacklisting of Conservatives.

The other was occasioned by the news that a former Kickstarter executive had been fired for starting a union. The prevailing political sympathies of the parties involved should go without saying.

Read the excerpts below, and see if you can tell which came from the Conservative group and which came from the Liberal group.

bud

Jingoistic Pig

This is why more and more people are getting fed up with both sides of the bipartite ruling cabal. If Ben Shapiro and John Oliver are both going to call you a racist for expressing the mildest illiberal opinions, even normies eventually realize they're both on the same team.

Add in the threat of exile for transgressing the least of our overlords' ever-expanding list of secular pieties, and the growing ranks of men backed into increasingly crowded corners become more and more likely to hoist the black flag.

Which in Clown World, means raising the banner of Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified.


Join the legions of readers discovering the fun and adventure of Cruci-Fiction! Back Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming today!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/09/16

Death of the Publisher

closed

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I like to keep my finger on the pulse of the publishing industry. Staying abreast of developments in your field comes with the territory when you're a professional author.

I started out like most aspiring writers thinking I had to land a book deal with a Big Five publisher to make a living. Objectively studying the data soon convinced me otherwise. Love it or hate it, the paradigm shift ushered in by Amazon shook up the publishing biz forever.

The writing has been on the wall for at least five years now, but oldpub authors have muddled on, insisting everything's fine as their royalty checks shrink. I'm always amazed to meet new authors who are still querying agents and getting excited at the prospect of signing oldpub book deals.

In fairness, it was possible to make an ad hoc case for working with a publisher--until now.

Leftover hippie academics have been babbling for years about the death of the author. Now we're actually witnessing the death of the publisher.

What does that mean? It means that publishers now add zero value. There is no service they provide that you can't perform or commission yourself at equal or higher quality and at much lower costs.

You can hire the same artists the big boys use for under a grand per cover.

Need an editor? Skilled freelancers--like yours truly--have you covered for a reasonable one-time fee.

Formatting is so easy to do yourself, you could outsource it, but there's no need to.

Marketing? This old canard just won't die. The days of publishers' PR departments handling all the marketing so their authors are free to just write are long gone--if they ever existed at all. Whether they go with oldpub or go indie, all authors need to do their own marketing.

And we're much better at it.

"But I can't afford to front a grand in production costs!"

Here's a thought experiment. The average new eBook, oldpub or newpub, earns about $2000 in royalties over its launch window.

Imagine we sit down at your kitchen table, I stack two grand in cash in the middle, and I give you two choices.
  1. I divide the stack in half. A thousand goes to production costs, and you get to keep the other $1000, plus all royalties earned from then on.
  2.  I divide the stack in half. This is a 50/50 royalty split between you and the publisher. Except the publisher keeps taking 50% of all royalties from then on.
My question to you is, do you spend a little time and money now for more money later, or do you keep paying a percentage of your royalties forever in exchange for some one-time work?

Low time preference folks take option one every time. And low time preference is essential to success in any field.

"But oldpub pays advances!"

Again, it's a question of time preference. The standard oldpub advance is also $2000. This is not a gift. It is a no-interest loan against future royalties. Largely because oldpub pays shit royalties, half of traditionally published books don't earn out, so that two grand is the only money half of oldpub authors ever see for their work. Don't earn out? No second book for you. 

Care to bet your career on a coin toss?

If you're offered an oldpub book deal, sit down and ask yourself how long it will take you to beat the contract if you go it alone. On average, the answer will be, "not long."

All of my books have earned out their production costs.

The majority of them have beaten standard oldpub contract terms. My three most recent books beat the standard oldpub contract before launch.

And I'm near the middle of the scale. I could show you a dozen newpub authors who've broken out bigger than me in the past couple of years.

I'm not talking Galaxy's Edge outliers, either. The indie author group 20 Books to 50K put their heads together and figured out a reproducible method for earning a living at writing.

Can't afford the up-front costs? Crowdfunding has emerged as a viable way for authors to raise money for editing and cover art. I can personally vouch for book crowdfunding on Indiegogo.

TL; DR: Authors, ditch the gatekeepers, take control of your careers, reach more readers, and earn more money. The future of publishing is DIY.


XSEED CROWDFUNDING UPDATE: Thanks to you maniacs, we've left our third stretch goal in the dust! As promised, seats are now available at my virtual gaming table for the Combat Frame XSeed pen and paper RPG playtest.

Seats are limited, so claim yours now!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/09/13

Combat Frame Data: XCD-106 Reaper

XCD-106 Reaper
XCD-105 Reaper

Technical Data

Model number: XCD-106
Code name: Reaper
Nickname: N/A
Classification: close-mid range attack combat frame
Manufacturer: Ivan Eckhart and Togi
Operator: HALO/Wehrbund Bavaria
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 18 meters, 19.5 meters with wings
Weight: Dry weight 86 metric tons, full weight 96 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2966 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 37,650 kg, 4x 20,450 kg, 2x 33,800 kg; top speed 3360 kph; booster rockets: 4x 36,200 kg; top speed 6606 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 23, 180° turn time 0.66 seconds; legs: top ground speed 200 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras and targeting laser mounted in head
Fixed armaments: Plasma drone scythe output rated at 2 MW, stored on charging rack on back, hand-carried or rocket-propelled in use; x2 plasma drone sickle, output rated at 0.66 MW, stored in charging racks in skirt armor, hand-carried or rocket-propelled in use; x2 EM/flash grenade launcher, mounted in forearm bracers, ammo capacity 6 each
Optional hand armaments: Modified Grand Dolph rifle, 100 graphene-tungsten rounds per magazine, mounts high-explosive anti-armor grenade launcher under barrel, ammo capacity 6
Special equipment: Inertial damper, A.I. operating system



General Notes

Near the close of CY 40's HALO Conflict, the rapidly escalating arms race confronted Ivan Eckhart with the limits of his versatile but rather lightly armed XCD-102 Emancipator. The Wehrbund Bavaria and HALO ace set out to design a new personal combat frame adapted to the quickly evolving battlefield. To that end, he sought help from a most unlikely source.

Starting with replacement parts stored on Browning's Black Zone proving ground asteroid, Ivan and Togi assembled a new One-Series XSeed enhanced with technology the Secta had gleaned on their travels. Ivan initially planned to produce an attack XSeed capable of dominating opponents up close while boasting considerable mid-range combat ability. The results of his collaboration surpassed even these lofty ambitions.

Ivan and his collaborator built their basic design around the XCD-104 Eschaton's frame. They eschewed the extra set of arms to save weight and opted to forgo the unit's dynamic camouflage. Instead of the dual three-section heat staves, they designed a novel set of plasma weapons embodying Ivan's close-mid range attack profile and utilizing borrowed graviton-generating technology.

This combination yielded a plasma scythe mounting dual curved blades more powerful than any prior CF melee weapon and a pair of plasma sickle sidearms. In a masterstroke, the pair incorporated elements of the XCD-101 Ezekiel's remote system. Rockets mounted on the scythe and sickles allowed them to be thrown and guided across the battlefield by either the pilot or the onboard A.I. In a nod to the venerable YCF-00 Type 0, the scythe's rockets could be fired in melee to add extra force to a swing. Ivan duly christened his terrifying creation the XCD-106 Reaper to signal the SOC's final reckoning.

Overshadowing its stunning array of weapons, the Reaper's most impressive innovation was the inertial damper system added to supplement its powerful drives. Based on little-understood gravity wave and TC/D concepts, the damper could cancel g-forces below a certain threshold, allowing the pilot to withstand normally lethal acceleration. That acceleration was provided by a set of booster rockets hearkening back to the formidable CCF-017K Kurfürst. When activated, the inertial dampers produced a dual warping effect behind the Reaper which, though normally invisible, left a set of afterimages burned into an observer's retinas shaped like a pair of demonic wings. The Reaper could then make a blinding burst of speed, closing to mid-range targets so quickly as to mimic teleportation.

Though a trio of rocket-propelled plasma weapons capable of acting as A.I.-guided circular saw blades promised widespread destruction and terror, Ivan deemed his creation's mid-range attack capabilities insufficient. Taking another page from the Type 0 and the Kurfürst, he installed a pair of EM/flash grenade launchers in the unit's forearms to facilitate quick exits. As a finishing touch, Ivan scavenged a Grand Dolph machine rifle and added an under-barrel grenade launcher loaded with high-explosive anti-armor rounds. This eclectic weapons loadout enabled the Reaper to rapidly apply and maintain pressure up close while fending off medium-range threats and leaving escape options open. In live combat the XCD-106 unleashed devastation akin to a CF-sized wrecking ball hurled into enemy formations.

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Ultimate Book & TC Bundle 2

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2019/09/12

A Sea Change in Science Fiction

Talk about a signal grace. No sooner do I publish a post on the need for a confident, masculine Christianity willing to engage the culture than a new science fiction genre rises to the challenge.

Not one, but two vocally Christian authors have stepped up to deliver something not seen since the heady days of the pulps: men's adventure novels specifically informed by a Christian worldview.

I know what sorts of images the mention of "Christian Fiction" conjures in your minds. Banish all such notions this instant. These ain't your daddy's timid morality plays about the power of nice or hamfisted parables about exercising male headship by submitting to your wife. Susan from the Parish Council would not approve.

Book the First: Justified: The Saga of the Nano Templar Book 1 by the irrepressible Jon Del Arroz

Justified - Jon Del Arroz

I think the cover says pretty much everything that needs to be said about Jon's groundbreaking new book, but here's the blurb anyway.

To save a world…
…he must rely on God.
After years of fighting for justice with his deadly nanotech, Templar Drin abandons his post, crash landing on a desert world controlled by a tyrannical alien empire. Its inhabitants are forced into slavery, broken where a once-proud race cultivated its lands.

For the first time in Drin's life, he has no backup, no support, none of his brothers.

He stands alone against evil.

Drin must face overwhelming odds to liberate millions of slaves from their captors and bring faith to a downtrodden world. But in his way stands the most dangerous weapon in the galaxy.

Can Drin use his Templar training to survive?

Fans of Star Wars and Warhammer 40K will love Justified, the new military science fiction epic from #1 Bestselling author, Jon Del Arroz. Read today!


There's so much to love about this book, it's hard to decide where to begin. How about the fact that in one day, Justified hit #1 in all of categories, made it into the top 800 on all of Amazon, and landed Jon among the mega-bookseller's top 100 authors?

It's not just that I'm happy for Jon. His book's breakout success proves what sci fi sages like Daddy Warpig and the Pulp Archivist have been saying for years.

There is a vast underserved market of predominantly male, Christian readers who've been ignored by the witches in oldpub, the nihilist nudniks in newpub, and the milquetoast Boomers in Christian fiction for decades.

This untapped market is finally getting what they want: rollicking tales of Christian adventurers busting heathen skulls--a holy spectacle not seen since Robert E. Howard penned Solomon Kane.

And they're about to get more of it.

Gideon Ira: Knight of the Blood Cross - Adam Lane Smith

Gideon Ira: Knight of the Blood Cross is the forthcoming first entry in the new Deus Vult Wastelanders series by up-and-coming author Adam Lane Smith.

I've had great pleasure watching Adam's career move from strength to strength as his colleague, editor, and friend. Full disclosure: I edited Knight of the Blood Cross, but I have no reservations about saying I would buy this book just for the visceral fun even if I didn't know Adam from Adam.

Feast your eyes on this blurb:

Demons and Necromancers haunt a burnt and blasted future in the ruins of what was once America.
A holy crusader sworn to slaughter the dark cults of Ba’al the Ever-Hungry must rescue a band of innocent children with his blade and blood-soaked gauntlets, or die trying.

All of Hell thirsts for his blood, but a man of God will never be broken. This holy crusader’s vengeance will be brutal.

The first book in a new heavy metal Christian pulp series.


It's a good sign that we're already seeing some fun variation in this brand-new genre. Whereas Justified is nano Templars in space, Knight of the Blood Cross chronicles the grim struggle of mighty yet all-too-human Crusaders in a post-apocalyptic Earth ruled by demons.

Two great tastes that go great together!

Gideon Ira: Knight of the Blood Cross is available for pre-order now. Reserve your copy today!

Perhaps the best part of getting in on the ground floor of a new sci fi genre is taking a shot at naming it. Others have described these books as masculine Christian science fiction, muscular Christian adventure, and futuristic Christian pulp.

My editorial voice loves nothing more than word economy, so I suggest calling this genre Cruciform Sword and Planet.

Will the name catch on? The readers will decide. They've already decided that this genre, by any other name, is a hit.


Here's I'll take a moment to humbly point out that my Combat Frame XSeed series foreshadowed many of the elements we see rising to the for of Cruciform Sword and Planet SF. You've got a swashbuckling Catholic monarch piloting a winged mech to regain his throne, a Bavarian guerrilla band who practice Eucharistic adoration, and an underground monastic order dedicated to preserving the secret history of mankind.

Want to see more? For a limited time, you can get all three thrilling XSeed books for the price of one when you back my red-hot Indiegogo campaign!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/09/11

A Confident Masculine Christianity

confident masculine christian

As Western society comes apart at the seams, it's fascinating to watch dissident atheists grudgingly stumble toward the realization that Christianity is necessary for the preservation of the West.

One such blogger whom regular readers know I enjoy is the redoubtable Z Man. His progress on the Road to Damascus has been especially interesting since he clearly knows the cause of our ills and the solution but has been hesitant to unreservedly admit it.
A world without authority, especially an agreed upon authority, is anarchy, but humans naturally retreat from anarchy. This is because anarchism is just mob rule. The ideal of anarchism is the mob mutually and magically agreeing to not murder one another, while the reality of it is the mob demanding authority to bring order. It is why democracy, which is just mob rule, is always a transition state. It is the period between the respect for natural, hierarchical authority and authoritarianism.
An example of this from history is the slow collapse of the Western Roman Empire, first into constant warfare, then into chaos and finally into the anarchy of local authority in the early medieval period. The end of the republic was not the end of a natural authority in Rome. The rulers still had to respect the gods and traditions. It is when those sources of authority collapsed that the end was clear for the Empire. The subsequent rise of the West was the rise of authority, Christian authority.
The modern West is undergoing the same sort of collapse of authority. Christianity, like the pagan faiths of the ancient world, has receded to the fringe. Tradition and hierarchy has given way to mob rule and force. What’s missing from the analogy is a new religion that provides a coherent order to the gathering chaos. Progressivism is an anti-religion, in that does not provide order to the natural world. Instead it preaches a denial of order and the denial of reason. It’s a primitive revolt against the natural order.
Now, the broad strokes of Z's argument are correct. The West is mortally stricken by a virulent lack of legitimate authority. He is also correct that the Christian Church, Scripture, and Tradition did in fact provide that source of unifying authority. Furthermore, he hits the trifecta by correctly identifying Progressivism as the acid eating away at the three pillars that uphold Western civilization.

The one false note is the assumption that a new religion could possibly replace Christianity as the glue that binds the West together. That's like assuming you could replace the spherical form of a baseball with a cube and still be able to play the game.

It's not as if replacing orthodox Christianity is a new concept. The Arians tried. The Jacobins tried. The Communists tried. Practical atheists pretending to worship trees will hardly do better.

Being smarter than the average bear, the Z Man is evidently coming to terms with Christianity's necessity. Here he is taking the next vital step:
Of course, the neutral public space argument is a justification for not fighting the Left over cultural turf. By claiming a principled claim in support of an open and neutral public space, it rules out doing anything that could actually win the fight. After all, defending the public square from complete domination by the Left, means pushing them out of some portion of it. That would violate the sacred principles of principled conservatives, so they not only refuse to do it, they prevent others from doing it.
Something that never gets mentioned by dissidents is that this line of reasoning contradicts basic Christian teaching. To cede the public space on principle is to agree, in advance, to not proselytize. To preach and proselytize means staking out space in the public square, regardless of the consequences. The very founding of the Christian faith was on the bones of those, who martyred themselves to spread the word of Jesus Christ in the face of violent opposition.
That of course, raises the question as to just how sincere David French is in his religious conviction. He waves his Christian faith around almost as much as he waves around his military service, yet he is not willing to risk much for it. The Gospels are pretty clear on this point. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus instructed the rich to give away their riches and follow him. Surely, salvation is worth some principles.
This is where dissident Christians can find a niche in dissident politics. There is a long tradition of Christians preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of fierce opposition from authority. To be a dissident is to reject the authority of the prevailing orthodoxy. To be a dissident Christian is to know the source of all authority. The way forward to a society built around natural association is also the path to a society where Christians can proselytize and lead their fellow man to salvation.
This is what the backers of Frenchism fear. A militant, optimistic and aggressive Christianity would be wildly attractive to disaffected white youth. Imagine young guys in camo flash mobbing public events, while reading Scripture. Imagine them employing the protest tactics of the Left, but in favor of faith. That’s why millions are poured into Christian groups to advocate the surrender model. Their leaders get very rich while leading their flocks away from the public space.
To paraphrase, what the West needs is a confident, masculine Christianity whose members aren't afraid to publicly preach and live their faith. Contra the highly exaggerated rumors of the Church's death, those Christians are coming soon to a street near you.

It is now more important than ever to support authentic Christian creators. Even if you're not a Christian--even if you're an atheist, only God-fearing artists who hope in Christ have a chance against the NY and LA death cultists who spread the Left's anti-faith.

Support Christian science fiction. Back Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming today!

Second Coming 342%

UPDATE: Our third stretch goal has been unlocked. R&D on a a Combat Frame XSeed pen and paper role-playing game will be greenlighted when we reach 400% funding.

2019/09/10

Post Millennial Attacked

Zoe Quinn

In the aftermath of game developer Alec Holowka's suicide, the Post Millennial published an article which shredded the claims by confessed witch Zoe Quinn that precipitated the tragedy.
On August 28, 2019, game developer and activist Zoe Quinn issued a multi-post Twitter statement detailing abuse allegedly suffered at the hands of former partner and fellow indie developer Alec Holowka. On August 29, the Night in the Woods development team cut ties with Holowka, and within 48 hours, he had committed suicide. The same day as Holowka’s suicide, Zoe Quinn’s Twitter account was deleted, returning shortly thereafter under a protected lock which enabled only a few select people to access the tweets.
A source with access to Quinn’s locked Twitter account has provided The Post Millennial with important history which sheds light on the developer’s time with the now-deceased Alec Holowka. 
While, in Quinn’s August 28th public statement, Quinn did not specify when the alleged abuses took place, it was stated it was while living in Winnipeg at Holowka’s apartment. A cursory scan of their Twitter reveals Quinn was preparing to leave for Winnipeg at the end of March 2012 for an unspecified period of time and had arrived at the end of March or beginning of April 2012. While those tweets appear to have been deleted and were inaccessible even by The Post Millennial’s source, they had already been screen-captured and archived in a YouTube video prior to the deletion of Quinn’s Twitter account.
On August 28, 2019, game developer and activist Zoe Quinn issued a multi-post Twitter statement detailing abuse allegedly suffered at the hands of former partner and fellow indie developer Alec Holowka. On August 29, the Night in the Woods development team cut ties with Holowka, and within 48 hours, he had committed suicide. The same day as Holowka’s suicide, Zoe Quinn’s Twitter account was deleted, returning shortly thereafter under a protected lock which enabled only a few select people to access the tweets.
A source with access to Quinn’s locked Twitter account has provided The Post Millennial with important history which sheds light on the developer’s time with the now-deceased Alec Holowka. 
While, in Quinn’s August 28th public statement, Quinn did not specify when the alleged abuses took place, it was stated it was while living in Winnipeg at Holowka’s apartment. A cursory scan of their Twitter reveals Quinn was preparing to leave for Winnipeg at the end of March 2012 for an unspecified period of time and had arrived at the end of March or beginning of April 2012. While those tweets appear to have been deleted and were inaccessible even by The Post Millennial’s source, they had already been screen-captured and archived in a YouTube video prior to the deletion of Quinn’s Twitter account.
In an August 28th statement, Quinn claims to have been “physically confined” to Holowka’s unit, as well as “isolated” from the outside world. Tweets reveal a different story, with Quinn tweeting regularly throughout the time period in Winnipeg with Holowka, sometimes dozens of times per day, communicating with many others and describing Quinn’s time in the city, and documenting many excursions.
Following the article's publication, the Post Millennial came under DDoS attack.

The Post Millennial

The evidence points to Quinn's white knight sycophants making a ham-handed effort to cover her tracks.

The instigator of #GamerGate should take a lesson from Watergate. It's not the crime that gets you. It's the cover-up.


While legacy game, comics, and publishing companies keep promoting people who hate you, I strive to offer my readers honest entertainment. Support independent science fiction. Back Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming today!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/09/09

Mecha, Character and Mecha Characters

Kurfurst

One of the unique challenges of writing a mech series is figuring out how to balance your mechs and your human characters.

I don't mean that in a pen and paper role-playing game way. I'm talking about balancing reader expectations and the needs of the story.

When you're writing a mech novel, be it Eastern or Western style, you know readers are showing up for the giant robots.

At the same time, human characters with identifiable motivations are needed to have a plot--unless you're going the all-A.I. route. But ontologically, I'd argue that a true A.I. would be essentially human with some unusual accidents.

The challenge is to keep the big robots involved and integral to the proceedings without letting them overshadow the characters. That's a high wire act I pull off by giving the mechs a bit of character.

If you've read Coalition Year 40, you know what I mean. The XSeeds' artificially intelligent OS's start out the same but diverge to accommodate each mech's mission profile and each pilot's fighting style. The XSeeds' individual specializations also give each one an extra bit of visual flare.

The key is to keep the tried and true formula of giving your characters motivations befitting their backgrounds and throwing some serious opposition at them. Where the mechs come in is as obstacles placed by the enemy and as means of tackling those obstacles.

For a more in-depth treatment of giant robots and characters in mech fiction, see these live streams I appeared on over the weekend. First up, I return to Geek Gab to talk mecha with Daddy Warpig and Dorrinal. Then Ben Wheeler leads a thoughtful discussion of character on Superversive SF.

If you're interested in mech fiction in general, or Combat Frame XSeed in particular, I encourage you to check out both episodes.



As you may have noticed, I'm currently running a crowdfunder for XSeed book 3. Thanks to my generous readers, this campaign is on course to be our most successful yet. Keep the momentum going, claim sweet perks like Series 3 CF trading cards, and support a writer who doesn't hate you!

NB: If you've been eyeing my editing services, this Indiegogo campaign affords you the best deal going on a novel edit. The offer also includes a marketing consult, plus all three XSeed books in digital and Book 3 in trade paperback. It counts as a non-expiring retainer, too, so you're guaranteed a slot on my editing schedule whether you submit your manuscript tomorrow, next month, or next year.

To secure this deal, simply follow the forthcoming link to Indiegogo, scroll down the list of rewards, and claim the Pro Editing perk.

2019/09/06

B&N: Rising from the Ashes?

Waterstones

In a surprise twist I certainly didn't see coming, Barnes and Noble's new owners may have taken the only action that might just save the teetering brick and mortar bookseller chain from oblivion.
In 2018, it seemed like the days of the United States’ last major bookstore chain were numbered. A decade of falling sales, brutal layoffs, 150 store closures, six chief executives, and a $1 billion loss on its Nook e-reader had left Barnes & Noble in the throes of an identity crisis. 
A crisis that few corporations, let alone corporations in competition with Amazon, manage to survive.

Everyone expected the hedge fund that bought B&N a few months back to strip out and sell the copper pipes and wires then burn the place down for the insurance. But Elliot Advisors seem to be playing against type by naming James Daunt the beleaguered chain's new CEO.
A 55-year-old Englishman, Daunt has spent nearly three decades in the bookselling business. For most of that time, he was exclusively Team Indie, overseeing an idyllic, boutique book-buying experience as the founder of Daunt Books, which has six locations in well-heeled neighborhoods in London.
Despite his small-business bona fides, Daunt has in the past decade emerged as an unlikely savior for big-box bookstores, first overseeing the revival of Waterstones, a UK chain with close to 300 branches, and now at Barnes & Noble. His turnaround strategy is centered on a simple premise: In a world where Amazon offers unbeatable convenience and prices, big book chains will only survive if they act more like independents.
You may want to screencap that excerpt, because it isn't just a block of text. It is a unicorn. Chances are, you'll never again see a big corporation not obstinately doubling down on ruinous stupidity.

B&N has, against all odds, come up with the right answer. Oldpub's consignment-based lumber mongering business model is dead. It's just not broke yet, though following it was just about to land B&N in bankruptcy.

Now the company is steering away from the cliff by adopting a superior, viable business model.

America's biggest box book store is going indie.

Why not? It worked when Daunt ran Waterstones.
Daunt’s changes eventually paid off. In 2016, Waterstones turned a profit for the first time in eight years. In 2017, annual profits rose 80% over the year before, and in 2018 it was sold to Elliot Advisors. The turnaround was all the more remarkable because Daunt essentially convinced Waterstones to think locally—a reversal of the usual formula for success in big retail stores.
If your formula's not working--change it. How novel!
The UK consensus is that Daunt brought Waterstones back from the brink. Now Elliot Advisers is hoping he can do the same for Barnes & Noble. B&N operates at a much larger scale than Waterstones, with 627 locations, and its stores take up more square footage. Nonetheless, Daunt sees clear parallels between the two chains. As with Waterstones, he thinks this turnaround should start with giving booksellers autonomy over what they sell and display.
“That strategy has worked well for Waterstones, and it could work for B&N, which in its heyday gave some autonomy to regional and store managers and had regional buyers,” says John Mutter, editor in chief of Shelf Awareness. “Unfortunately in cost-cutting moves, buying has been centralized and made less personal, and most display ‘ideas’ come from headquarters. It’s one of many reasons that the company has had problems.”
The takeaway: Daunt plans to do what he did successfully at Waterstones--run Barnes and Noble as a series of indie book shops. It's a bold move, but less so than you'd imagine. Indie bookstores have actually enjoyed something of a comeback on Amazon's watch.

Bookshop Renaissance

These days, Daunt is philosophical on the subject of Amazon. In his view, the company’s unmatchable scale is liberating for booksellers; it means stores can focus on curating books that communicate a particular aesthetic, rather than stocking up on things people need but don’t get excited about. “They’re allowing us not to have the boring books in our shops and just be places where you discover books and talk about books,” he says. “We don’t have to clog up [stores] with medical textbooks.”
Translation: "We can't hope to out-compete Amazon, so we'll stop trying and focus on bookstores' inherent strengths."

That too, is the right move. Amazon may account for 80% of book sales in the anglophone world, but let's face it. Thanks to Amazon's algorithm, the top spots in fantasy and science fiction are cluttered with approved texts that bug people consume to signal their status in the cult, and space marine shovelware/chick porn billed as sci-fi for binge-reading whales.

If Daunt can transform B&N into a place where bibliophiles can connect for deep discussions about books, he'll earn my admiration. With the deck already stacked deep against him, the outcome of his grand experiment to indie-ify B&N remains uncertain. But it's worth the old college try.

I still see the mid-to-long-term future of publishing as a modified neo-patronage system. At the very least, my third successful Indiegogo campaign tells me the crowdfunding model isn't a fluke.

Support indie publishing. Claim awesome perks, and help lock in Series 3 CF trading cards. Back the project today!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/09/05

Series 3 Trading Card Winners

This is just quick update to announce the winners of our Combat Frame XSeed Series 3 trading card polls.

And the winners are:

XCD-100


XCDS-00M0 XSeed Metatron

XSeed Metatron


XXF-017K Kurfurst


AZX-003 Heavy Armor Dolph X


We're less than $150 from funding the cards. Back the campaign & crush that stretch goal!

Second Coming 287%

Berlin Interferes

Merkel - Berlin

The sidelining of popular Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, which I mentioned in yesterday's post, appears to have been orchestrated by top EU oligarchs in Berlin and Paris.
Several Italian newspapers reported on efforts by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European officials to prevent early elections in Italy — solely to stop Salvini from becoming prime minister. Merkel reportedly ordered leaders of the PD to reach a coalition agreement with M5S. "Make the agreement and stop Salvini," she reportedly said.
A leaked document showed that outgoing EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger had offered to relax EU rules on public debt in exchange for "a pro-European government that does not work against Europe."
Writing for the Italian daily Il Giornale, political correspondent Andrea Indini noted:
"Berlin's interference with the decisions of the Democratic Party are not surprising at all. As we have reported in recent days, the first meeting between M5S and PD dates back to July 16, when Ursula von der Leyen was elected president of the European Commission, thanks in part to support from M5S and PD. Von der Leyen is not just any person, she is Merkel's clone. Her election is part of a strategy executed alongside French President Emmanuel Macron to split the nationalist bloc in Europe. It is certainly not a coincidence that, moments after Salvini pulled the plug on his government, [former Italian prime minister and former European Commission president] Romano Prodi, faster than a slingshot, called for Italy to be governed by an 'Ursula Coalition' that is formed by the same political forces [M5S and PD] that helped to elect von der Leyen.
"That there are international interests behind the formation of the new coalition government is now clear to most. 'The Democratic Party is at the service of foreign countries,' Salvini said last night during a rally in Pinzolo. 'They think we are all sheep and slaves, ready to wait for what they say in Brussels and Paris, but the League defends the Italians, because we are free men.' At this point Salvini has no choice but to play the next match against the opposition with the weapons he has available. His men have already made it known that they will pass nothing in the Parliament that comes from M5S-PD, but above all from those who sponsor them: Merkel, Macron and Ursula von der Leyen."
We should have known that the risible accusations leveled against Trump for colluding with foreign powers to rig US elections was projection on the globalists' part. Here, the EU, Germany, and France have been caught red handed interfering in Italy's political process.

Note, too, that these creatures are incessantly bleating about "threats to democracy" while they themselves scheme constantly to undermine the people's will. Salvini and his League enjoy massive popularity, yet now the Italian people must endure a government espousing the exact opposite policies they voted for--perhaps for up to four years.

The old institutions are dead. They are like the corpses of our ancestors risen to feed on the blood of the living. Electing new politicians is as useful as choosing new people to become vampires in the hope they can steer the coven in wise directions. Neither reform nor management is possible. They will be destroyed--through either their own corruption and incompetence, or by the nations they oppress.


Collapse is the scenario I selected for the background of my mecha thriller series Combat Frame XSeed. To see how an insurgency against a space-based managerial state might play out with giant robots, back the Indiegogo campaign and get all three books for the price of one!

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/09/04

The String Pullers

Marionette strings

The Z Man lays bare the fraud of Western democracy.
An ugly as the Trump era has been, it is civil and decent compared to what is happening in Europe. The Italians are now watching their political class submarine the will of the people in an egregious series of deceits by the Five Star Movement. The Italians voted for a populist, anti-EU coalition. Instead, the Five Star Movement cut a deal with the internationalist, pro-EU party to sabotage the nationalists. The result is the exact opposite of what the people voted for in their last election.
In Britain, the government put a choice before the people back in 2016, as to whether remain in the EU or become an independent nation again. The public chose nationhood by a respectable margin. In any democracy, getting 52% of the vote, particularly in a highly popular election, is a solid majority. Here we are, more than three years on, and the political class is still debating whether to accept the election results. In other words, the elected officials are deciding whether the election results matter.
To make matters worse, you now have members of one party actively colluding with members of other parties to undermine the orderly process in Parliament. Up until this week, the “remainers” could plausibly claim they are operating within the democratic process, despite thwarting the will of the people. Britain is not a pure democracy, so the pols have some leeway. Now, they are in active revolt against the system that they are sworn to uphold, in an effort to upend the result of the Brexit referendum.
In all of these cases, the question that never gets asked in the media is who is bribing these people to carry on this way. The most likely reason Five Star finked on its voters is the leaders too bribes from Brussels. In Britain, the “remainers” are certainly on the payroll of global enterprise. Those paymasters are most likely foreign. In the United States, of course, both political parties are wholly owned by the donor party. No one in the media bothers looking into it, as they are owned by the oligarchs as well.
The tell is that these shenanigans always work one way. You’ll never see the party of the globalist suddenly have a crisis of conscience and defect to the nationalists. It’s always the other way. There are no “remainers” siding with the Brexiteers in order to respect the will of the people, despite their own misgivings. In Washington, no globalists have switched teams to support Trump. In the charade that is democracy, the fink is always played by the same character in exactly the same way.
The one clear benefit of Donald Trump's election has been confirmation that elections don't matter. It's the international string pullers who decide public policy.


Our second stretch goal is within reach! Back Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming today!

Second Coming 285%

2019/09/03

A House With All the Children Gone

Farmhouse Door

Lately my mind has been wandering back to my first days of high school. The change from summer to fall often makes me nostalgic, and the feeling has been more vivid than usual this time. Perhaps this oncoming season bears a special resemblance to that long-vanished fall of my freshman year.

Having gone to the same school from kindergarten all the way through eighth grade, I found the prospect of changing schools for the first time daunting. Many of my grade school friends had already drifted away, and making new ones became a deep concern for me.

The first friend I made in high school had grown up in a rural suburb of St. Louis before moving to my town. One night around this time of year, we sat huddled in a mutual friend's basement playing West End Games' classic Star Wars RPG while a thunderstorm raged without and above. The game soon turned into a late-night gab session, and my new friend told this story.

Unlike previous tales of high strangeness I've shared on this blog, my friend's story doesn't involve dark woods--or any darkness at all, for that matter. The events he related happened in the full light of day under a clear blue sky.

Nor did he encounter any strange creatures. In fact, he encountered no one at all.

In spite of--or rather because of--those otherwise un-spooky circumstances, this tale remains the eeriest anyone has ever presented to me as a factual account.

One year before he would tell of what transpired that day, my friend had just begun his final year of junior high in the small Missouri town of his formative years. A neighborhood teen who'd gotten his license at the end of the previous school year pulled up in front of the house where my friend lived with his mother and sisters and told him he had something to show him. My friend hopped in the older kid's car, and they drove off.

Though people then were already complaining about the loss of social trust, it was still a more trusting time than now.

The young driver pointed his rattletrap first car toward the city limits and drove out into the green and brown quilted farmland beyond. My friend once drew me a map of the area with a handy, color-coded key. Yellow stood for corn, green represented soybeans, and gray signified nothing. The map was a big yellow splotch next to a big green splotch on a solid gray background.

The ride passed in silence. My friend, normally a talkative extrovert, sensed that small talk was uncalled-for. It was as if he were being driven to a funeral. Despite the mild sunny day, the mood in the car remained somber.

After perhaps half an hour's drive, the stark profile of a lonely farm house broke the horizon. My friend has an artist's eye, and he mused over the remote but not rundown building as the car approached it. He assumed his older friend would drive past the isolated homestead and was at first confused when the driver slowed down and turned in to the rutted dirt track leading to the house.

My friend's next sentiment after his confusion passed was a visceral aversion to the place. He considered telling his friend to back up and turn the car around, but he held his tongue.

The driver stopped the car in front of the house and said, "This is it."

"It" still looked like a white, two-and-a-half-story farmhouse set only a few dozen feet back from the road. But the closer my friend looked, the more oddities he noticed.

His up-close look confirmed the impression he'd gotten of the place from the road. The house would probably need a fresh coat of paint and a new roof in a couple of years, but it was clearly well-maintained.

The yard, though, was a glaring exception. The overgrown front lawn almost reached my friend's knees. A few paces across a porch reached by five sturdy steps, the front door yawned wide open.

At that point, the driver filled my friend in on the back story--what was known of it, at least. Rumors of an abandoned farmhouse out in the sticks had been making the rounds among the local high school crowd all week. A few upperclassmen had finally found the place, but they hadn't gone in.

My friend's associate was determined to do what his elders hadn't dared.

But he didn't dare do it alone. Hence his perfunctory invitation to my friend.

Another wave of trepidation washed over my friend, but his natural curiosity had taken firm hold by then. He took the lead, picking his way through tall grass. Four or five steps in, his foot crunched down on something hard-edged but brittle. His own cry of alarm in that desolate place spooked him even worse.

The older kid stooped down and fished around in the dry, sweet-smelling grass for a second and came up with a Batmobile toy--its plastic roof cracked by my friend's foot.

That black plastic car wasn't the only child's toy the two of them found that day. My friend said there must have been a toybox full scattered around that overgrown yard with no children in sight.

Having survived the minefield, my friend and the older kid hurried up the steps to the porch. They stood for a silent moment peering into the half-light of a rather normal-looking coat hall. specks of dust danced in a beam of sunlight slanting through a window somewhere to the right.

Once again, my friend went first. The house didn't smell of mold and decay. It smelled of dust, a thick layer of which coated the floor. The absence of footprints proved the driver correct. He and my friend were the first to enter the house in some time.

Despite the front door being left wide open.

And not only were there no human footprints in the dust. There were no animal tracks, either. Not even a roaming cat or stray dog had disturbed the house's emptiness.

The two of them looked around. Every room was fully furnished. Family portraits, including at least three children shown at various ages, graced the walls. Minor valuables remained on display. It was as if the family had left for the movies months before and never returned.

This exurban exploration had thus far confined itself to the ground floor. It was my friend who once more mustered the courage to cross another invisible boundary and venture upstairs. He climbed the creaking, dusty steps, keeping his eyes on the open door above.

When he reached the second floor landing and saw through the door into a short hallway beyond, he briefly paused in shock before he turned on his heel and raced back downstairs.

The older kid met him in the living room and asked what had happened. My friend showed him what he'd missed on his first trip up the stairs: a lone set of footprints in the dust descending the stairs from the second floor.

Where the child-sized tracks had begun in the exact middle of the hallway.

The three other doors in that hallway were shut tight, and the undisturbed dust before them proved that they'd been that way since it had begun to accumulate. The shod footprints came from nowhere, as if a young child had suddenly appeared in the middle of the hall.

That discovery convinced my friend and his accomplice to leave, but it wasn't the sight that chilled him the most then and haunted him thereafter.

My friend vividly recalled standing in the deserted farmhouse's kitchen and staring out the likewise open back door upon rolling soybean fields that stretched to the horizon. In that moment he felt like a castaway adrift on a vast green sea. He wondered what it would feel like facing that endless empty vista day after day. He wondered what thoughts that bleak view would sow in a weak man's mind.

He never found out for sure. The two interlopers left the house, returned to their homes, and went back to school the next day. Rumors of the deserted farmhouse soon faded, replaced by passing flights of teenage fancy.

Until the night my friend shared this story with me, as I have shared it with you.


This was a tale told to me as fact by a man I trust. If you'd like to read my fiction, now is the perfect time to jump on board. Back Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming, and get all three XSeed books for the price of one.

Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/09/02

#ZoeBodyCount Sparks #GamerGate 2?

Alec Holowka

The man in the picture above was accused of sexual assault by conniving Jezebel Zoe Quinn. Are the allegations true? We'll never know because he's dead now.

Game developer Alec Holowka killed himself on Saturday morning. His suicide followed his public drumming out of the industry as a result of Quinn's accusations.

Quinn, it should be noted, is the predatory tart whose escapades may have incited #GamerGate. Since then she's ridden the professional victimhood gravy train, raising $80,000 for a Kickstarter she failed to deliver on, landing a writing gig at Vertigo which helped kill the imprint, and failing upward to another writing job at Marvel.

Word through the grapevine is that Zoe's jet setting lifestyle drained her Kickstarter funds. Her Patreon has also seen a steady decline since her GG heyday.

Zoe Quinn Patreon

As if the timing of her allegations against Holowka wasn't suspicious enough, rumors are circulating that Quinn was about to face her own turn in the #MeToo hot seat. She has her own history of well-documented impropriety, after all.

Wolf Wozniak

Quinn's Twitter account remains deactivated or hidden as of this writing, but you can bet she'll be back once she finds a way to profit from driving a man to suicide.

Meanwhile, #Killstream host Ethan Ralph has started the #ZoeBodyCount hashtag, which he and his frequent collaborator Gator got trending on Twitter over the weekend.

Mister Metokur even surfaced from self-imposed exile to host a stream about the incident. As the man whose exposé of Quinn's unethical behavior did more to start #GamerGate than anyone gives him credit for, Jim denied that Holowka's suicide would lead to #GamerGate2.


In Zoe's absence, a host of blue-haired sycophants have mobilized to distract the public from Quinn's role in Holowka's suicide to the victim's alleged sexual misconduct.

Holowka isn't here to defend himself. If he was guilty, he's more than paid the price. Zoe Quinn, on the other hand, is still with us and may be guilty of murder and calumny, which is worse than murder.

If I were Holowka's next of kin, I would file a wrongful death suit against Zoe Quinn. But I'm not, and she is unlikely to see the inside of a courtroom.

The human hunger for perfect justice despite its absence from this world testifies to the reality of divine justice.


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Second Coming 258%

2019/08/30

Combat Frame Data: AZX-001 Heavy Armor X


AZX-001 Heavy Armor Dolph X
  
AZX-001 Heavy Armor Dolph X

Technical Data

Model number: AZX-001
Code name: Heavy Armor Dolph X
Nickname: Heavy Armor X
Classification: prototype heavy armor defense combat frame
Manufacturer: Zeklov Corporation/Astraea
Operator: SOC Transportation Ministry
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 19.5 meters
Weight: Dry weight 54 metric tons, full weight 156 metric tons
Armor type: laminar graphene over palladium glass/titanium/ceramic composite
Powerplant: x2 cold fusion reactor, max output 1727 KW and 276 KW, respectively
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 36,615 kg, 4x 20,285 kg, 2x 25,000 kg, 2x 15,875 kg, 2x 11,750 kg; top speed 2660 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 37, 180° turn time 0.80 seconds; legs: top ground speed 165 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted behind visor in head
Fixed armaments: none
Hand armaments: power mace, battery-powered, stored on recharge rack on back, hand-carried in use; machine pistol, clip-fed, 20 rounds per clip, stored in holster on skirt armor
Special equipment:  ion field generator; x2 remote launcher, mounted on shoulders, stores 3 defensive remotes each

General Notes

Tasked with designing a prototype for Astraea/Zeklov's new Dolph line, Heavy Team's X Group set out to develop the ultimate defensive combat frame in answer to Group Y's AZY-002 all-out attack CF. Also starting with a CF-015 Zwei Dolph, Group X added two layers of advanced composite armor for XSeed-caliber protection.

A breakthrough ion field generator projected a sphere of charged particles around the unit, granting effective protection against plasma weapons. Solid projectiles and laser beams could pass through the field, but the double-layered armor could repel multiple direct hits from either. Otherwise, multiple plasma hits--or a single shot from an incredibly powerful plasma weapon--were required to knock out the field.

Putting a twist on drone technology pioneered on the XCD-101 Ezekiel, Group X installed a pair of remote launchers on the heavy armor Dolph's pauldrons, which carried three remotes each. These remotes were not designed to reflect lasers. Instead, they each carried a miniaturized ion field projector. Just as agile as Ezekiel's remotes, the Dolph's drones could surround their parent CF, enclosing it in a nigh-impenetrable energy field. The highly mobile remotes could also envelop other CFs, objects, and areas within protective ion fields.

Group X equipped their prototype with minimal offensive weaponry. The heavy armor wielded a power mace which featured two settings: one to superheat the mace's head for better armor penetration and an EM setting capable of delivering a potent electromagnetic pulse to a target on contact, disrupting insufficiently shielded electrical systems at the point of impact. For a modicum of short-range attack ability, the prototype carried a machine pistol chambered for tungsten-graphene rounds similar to Grand Dolph rifle ammo but in a smaller 40mm caliber. The pistol's high rate of fire allowed its dense slugs to puncture 1D carbyne armor at point-blank range. However, its lower ammo capacity made running out of bullets an even bigger concern.

The defensive Dolph prototype had one more trick up its sleeve. Its ion fields could deliver powerful EMPs to electronics brought in contact with them. Test pilots soon devised the effective tactic of purposefully swarming an enemy with the CF's remotes and exposing it to multiple overlapping fields to disable its systems. Though less effective against heavily insulated CFs like XSeeds and other Dolphs, this remote EMP attack made short work of Guardian and Grenzmark-class combat frames.

Christened the AZX-001 Heavy Armor Dolph X, the defense-optimized CF proved an even match for the Heavy Armor Y. When tested against each other, both units scored the same number of victories, with success depending upon the pilot.

In the end, both the Heavy Armor X and the Heavy Armor Y were shown up by the  AZZ-003 Heavy Armor Dolph Z, Nevertheless, Astraea/Zeklov managing director Sullia Zend chose the Heavy Armor X prototype for her executive CF team.


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Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier

2019/08/29

The Politics of Post-Modernism

Volvo

The Z Man presents a brilliant post connecting the dots between the Enlightenment, post-modernism, and the Left's march toward nihilist chaos.
Post-modernism is the 20th century academic movement popular in philosophy, the grievance studies and the humanities. It denies the existence of a universal, stable reality, insisting everything is arbitrary and subjective. It is a reaction to science and technology that explains reality in objective terms. The post-modernist claims that reality is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own personal circumstances, within the social construct of society and the perceived reality of others.
This is why the Left is now so vehemently anti-science. A generation ago the proper leftists had a Darwin fish on her Volvo. This was supposed to be a signal that the owner was a member of the “reality based community” not a believer is magic, superstition or, of course, a religion. The Left insisted they were the sober minded realists, rooting their opinions in facts and reason. Their opponents were basing their opinion in fear and the irrational belief in nonsense, like tradition and religion.
In reality, the owner of that Volvo was signally a rejection of the very idea of objective or transcendent truth. That is, after all, what religion offers. It is a set of transcendent truths that define the reality of mankind. The point of a religious text, like the Christian Bible, is to have an objective set of rules that are not up to the whims of a cleric or a religious institution. Scripture is God’s rule book and not up to debate by man. The rejection of religion, is the rejection of such an objective set of truths.
Fast forward to the current year and the Left has moved on from rejecting religion and the reality of religion, onto the rejection of science. Genetics and evolution are nature’s rule book. If you prefer, they are the rule book of nature’s god. This biological reality is not only the framework of life, but puts hard limits on human organization. The rejection of science is the rejection of the possibility of reliable knowledge about the natural world and the nature of man. The guy in the sundress calling ximself “they” is the embodiment of this rejection of knowable truth and factual reality.
Of course, the practical benefit of a world unbound from facts and reasons is that the actors in such a world are unbound from the limits of reason. It is the ultimate freedom, as everything is possible and everything can be justified. It’s also why the Left insists their opponents demonstrate that their objections match up with some set of arbitrary standards selected by the Left. If their opponents are bound to reality, while the Left is free to form whatever construct it needs, the outcome is certain.
Here, Z describes the end state of the centuries-long corrosive process which undermined the epistemological foundations of the West.

That process needs to be pointed out to people because it proceeded in stages--each seeming an end in itself, yet each inevitably precipitating the next.

For centuries the intellectual life of the West abided by the maxim, "Unity in what is necessary, liberty in what is disputed, and in all things charity." The bedrock of Christianity, informed by Scripture and unified by the Church's authority, preserved a coherent understanding of man and the world..

The first rupture was the Reformation, which severed Scripture from its unifying authority. The Reformers sought to uphold Scripture alone as the final spiritual authority, overlooking the fact that Scripture is not self-interpreting.

Now, the downward spiral into Clown World probably would have been avoided if no one had pushed the line further. But once the precedent for kicking out legs supporting the West's chair had been set, it wasn't long before somebody concluded that if you could do away with the Magisterium, you could do away with Scripture, too. Enter the Enlightenment, which upheld reason alone as the ultimate authority, albeit unmoored from the context and authority that gave it coherence.

From there, it was a short, quick step to throwing out reason.
There can be only one form of post-modernist rule. The rejection of founding truths, the axioms of the human condition, provides not justification for political power, social status or even a social order. The void of nihilism can only be filled by the will to power and the necessary application of force to attain power and impose order. The perpetual revolution of post-modernism, the endless questioning of objective reality, is the only way for radicalism to attain power and maintain it. The on-going insanity of the Left is the necessary precursor to perpetual Progressive rule.
The endless cultural revolution is like rats gnawing at the support ropes. If left unchecked, there can be only one result from such a process. The endpoint of this perpetual social revolution, the institutional skepticism of reality, is a world without any order at all, even that imposed by the strongest. Even the reality of fear falls away and we fall into a world where it is a war of all against all. In this regard, what the Left has become is war on the very nature of man and the reality that shapes him.
This is the logical endpoint of the Enlightenment. Post-modernism did not spring from nothing. It is the continuation of political philosophy starting with Rousseau, through Nietzsche and into the current age. Western liberalism was born of the irrational belief that man comes into the world as a blank slate and can be fashioned into anything through the proper social structures. Ever since, the goal of liberal political philosophy has been to build the right social structure to achieve universal equality.
Since the utopian goal of universal equality is impossible, it leaves only the equality of nihilistic chaos. A world without truth is a world where noting is false. This is the ultimate equality, where everything is opinion and all opinion is equally worthless. While the Left may seem irrational, they are acting on that old Enlightenment impulse to achieve universal equality. If we cannot be equal in the utopian paradise of our own making, we can be equal in the utter and compete destruction of society. After all, the one place where all men are equal is in the cemetery.
And now you know why the Left is a fanatical death cult. They crave universal equality, which requires universal murder.


For a chilling vision of a world where the post-modern managerial state triumphed and a small band of partisans struggle to restore a semblance of natural order, read my military thriller series Combat Frame XSeed.

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Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming - Brian Niemeier