2019/02/15

Decline and Fall of an Industry

Evidence for my theory that American pop culture exhausted its creative capital in the late 90s continues to mount.

recorded music revenue per capita, feb 2011

This graph tracks the US record industry's per capita revenues by year. Note the dramatic decline beginning in 1994 that hit a low point in 1997. We now have a visual representation of American pop culture's implosion. Yes, there was a brief uptick that culminated around the year 2000, but the almost immediate drop off that followed shows no signs of abating.

Also noteworthy: Whereas the introduction of CDs temporarily saved the industry from the late 70s crash, the so-called digital revolution hardly slowed down the 2000s descent.

The graph above put me in mind of another chart I came across not too long ago. Legacy science fiction publishing follows a similar pattern to the record industry, with introductions of new media cutting into old media market share while bumping up overall sales. The difference is that sci-fi has avoided the record labels' wild fluctuations and is charting an overall upward trend. And these are oldpub numbers. Indie is doing even better.

SFF trad ebook & audio sales

It's important to keep in mind that oldpub sci-fi's continued growth is reliant upon reselling backlisted books by long-established authors, much as the record industry was bailed out in the 80s by forcing everyone to re-buy their favorite 60s and 70s music on CD. The exact opposite is happening in newpub, where new authors' new books are eclipsing the sales of oldpub's back catalog.

What this tells us is that there's still a spark of life and creativity in newpub science fiction. Perhaps those of us who are engaged in creating stories to entertain audiences with no regard for New York publishers' arbitrary strictures may keep the flame burning through the encroaching Dark Age.

We'll see. In any event, help independent science fiction authors like me continue to bring you the fun, exciting stories you love. Combat Frame XSeed, my first foray into military science fiction, helped breathe new life into the genre. You can help keep the momentum going by backing the sequel today!

2019/02/14

Combat Frame Data: XCD-102


XCD-102 Emancipator

XCD-102

Technical Data

Model number: XCD-102
Code name: Emancipator
Nickname: N/A
Classification: transformable attack-use combat frame
Manufacturer: Browning Engineering Corporation
Operator: HALO
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in head
Height: 19 meters
Weight: 105 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 5x 16,800 kg, 2x 32,600 kg, 4x 35,200 kg; top speed 3240 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 26, 180° turn time 0.80 seconds; legs: top ground speed 194 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in head; Vercingetorix laser targeting system
Fixed armaments: x2 plasma cannon, power rated at 1.3 MW, mounted on skirt armor, detach to form plasma carbines, hand-carried in use, barrels detach to form plasma swords rated at 0.45 MW, hand-carried in use; x2 30mm Vulcan cannon, mounted in chest

Fighter configuration

XCD-102 fighter config


Length: 17 meters, wingspan 16.70 meters
Weight: 105 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 5x 16,800 kg, 2x 32,600 kg, 4x 35,200 kg, 2x 25,000kg; top speed 4212 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 26
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in cockpit canopy; Vercingetorix laser targeting system
Fixed armaments: x2 plasma cannon, power rated at 1.3 MW, mounted under wings; x2 30mm Vulcan cannon, mounted in nose


General Notes

One of four XSeed-class combat frames repurposed from Project S designs and sent to Earth to fight the Coalition, the XCD-102 Emancipator combined the XCF-08D-1 Dead Drop's versatility and the HVRJ-2 Thor Prototype's transforming ability while boasting speed in excess of both.

As a combat frame, the Emancipator was more lightly armed than its fellow XSeeds. But what it lacked in raw firepower, it made up for in adaptability. The two plasma cannons at its hips could detach to form hand-carried plasma carbines, and these weapons' barrels could in turn separate to form a pair of plasma swords. A pair of fire-linked Vulcan cannons carried over from the unit's air frame ancestry rounded out is weaponry for occasions when energy weapons were uncalled for.

In its fighter configuration, the XCD-102 could achieve a higher top speed than any previous aircraft in its general class. Its carbyne construction allowed it to maintain those speeds indefinitely. Furthermore, the Emancipator was capable of unassisted atmospheric entry from space. This feature in particular made it the designated backup unit in case the XCD-101 Ezekiel couldn't fulfill its role as the Vercingetorix targeting module.

Unlike the XCD-001-1 and its two variants, the Emancipator could power its weapons directly from its reactor or from its onboard capacitor. 33 percent of any energy weapon hit was absorbed through the XCD-102's armor and stored in the capacitor. Stored energy could be discharged by firing Emancipator's plasma weapons or via a tight beam laser transmission that was all but undetectable to anything the beam wasn't directly aimed at. This system allowed the XCD-102 to take direct plasma hits and send a significant portion of each attack right back at the enemy. It also remained invisible to radar and thermal sensors as long as the capacitor had room to absorb energy.

Gundam Wing meets Ender's Game: Support the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 Indiegogo campaign today!

2019/02/13

Star Wars Misandry Adventures

Last night I made a special appearance on Geek Gab to discuss my new mecha mil-SF book Combat Frame XSeed and its impending sequel. During the show, I was asked if I'd seen Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures. I hadn't, because I know that Star Wars' current owners secretly hate me. Doing some cursory research, I discovered that their hatred is no longer secret.

For those who don't know, the concept behind Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures is that they take the original audio from the classic movies and dub it over low-quality animated reimaginings of those scenes. I expected the results to be inept, and those expectations were met. What I didn't expect was the brazen, foaming-at-the-mouth misandry on full display in every frame.

You doubt me? Here's a little comparison between three frames from the original Star Wars and the corresponding frames from Galaxy of Adventures.

In our first scene, Luke, Han, Chewie, and Leia are pinned down by stormtrooper fire in the Death Star cell block. Leia is questioning the wisdom of their plan. She's about to take matters--and Luke's blaster rifle--into her own hands. Note that her expression is frustrated with a touch of concern. But her body language is open, and she's in dialogue with Han. Meanwhile, Luke cautiously peeks out from behind cover.
Leia 1

Here's the corresponding scene from Galaxy of Adventures. This Leia, whom I will refer to as Fake Leia, isn't just frustrated. She's livid with anger. She's also not facing Han, but glowering at Luke's back like she wants to plant a knife there. Note her closed, hunched posture, which makes her look more threatening. Here, Luke fiddles with his rifle in the middle of a firefight like moron.
Fake Leia 1

Back to A New Hope. Leia grabs Luke's gun. Again, she's facing the character she's interacting with. Also, her face conveys determination with a bit of mischief.
Leia 2

In the "updated" version, Fake Leia violently seizes Luke's gun from behind. Her eyebrows are at a severe diagonal, indicating anger. She's looking at the blaster, not at Luke, and her teeth are bared in a scowl. Luke is utterly bewildered.
Fake Leia 2

Here's my visual closing argument. It's the original Tarzan swing scene. Luke hands Leia his gun this time. He capably pays out his grapple line before the throw, and Leia gives him a kiss for good luck.
Leia 3

The Galaxy of Adventures version is the diametric opposite of the original. Luke is portrayed as so incompetent, he's tangled himself up in his own line. Instead of being handed Luke's gun and kissing him, Fake Leia grabs it and smacks him in the face.
Fake Leia 3

The whole video is like this. Fake Leia rages like being rescued is an affront to her dignity and her rescuers are affronts to her existence. At least she doesn't mow them down like a psychopath, which can't be said for the hapless stormtroopers.

It's Star Wars Galaxy of Cluster B Personality Disorders.

The animators know what they're doing. They've vandalized a classic to vent their irrational rage at the men and boys who were Star Wars' core audience.

Disney hates you. Don't give them money.

I just want to entertain you. Consider contributing your hard-earned entertainment budget to my Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 project. Thanks to generous backers like you, we have met our initial goal, and the first stretch goal of CFXS series two trading cards has been unlocked!

CY 40 106%

Besides trading cards, we still have two Be in a Book perks, one Be Killed in a Book perk, and one Build-a-Mech perk left. Plus, one platinum-tier backer still has the chance to commission a short story to spec from me.Pick a character from any of my works--including one you create via the Be in a Book, Custom Character, or Be Killed in a Book perks, and a story idea. I'll write it and publish it professionally. You won't get this offer from any other Dragon Award-winning author.

For prospective backers who'd rather not do business with Indiegogo, email me at soulcyclebooks@gmail.com, and we'll make alternate payment arrangements.

2019/02/12

They Still Make Dubbed Anime?

Vic Mignogna

Last night on Twitter, a reader asked me if I had a take on the Vic Mignogna controversy. I had to admit I didn't, since my schedule has been rather full with my own anime-adjacent projects. Plus, I stopped watching new anime back when it became clear that Bleach was spinning its wheels.

Upon looking into this bit of business, I found the typical struggle session playing itself out again. This time, instead of a shrieking cat lady mob massing to keep a man off the Supreme Court or 
 out of the Senate, unless he's a Democrat, anime voice actresses are drumming a man out of their industry based on sudden recollections that he may have once creeped a number of them out.

Here's one voice actress' account of a harrowing brush with Mignogna:

Mignogna denies the allegations. It should be noted that they only surfaced soon after he starred in a highly successful Dragon Ball Super movie.

Is he guilty? Who knows? He's lost his career though, which is what his accusers wanted. That they cited Mignogna's clout within the industry as their reason for not coming forward before, only to lodge accusations when their alleged harasser reached the height of his career, gives one pause at the least. He didn't help his case by committing one of the classic blunders, viz. apologizing to SJWs:


As always, the apology served no purpose other than to confirm his guilt in the witchfinders' minds. Mignogna can't get arrested in the voice acting industry anymore.The statements released by his former employers are a hodgepodge of SJW cant so hackneyed that you already know the content without reading it. Suffice it to say, invocations to "diversity", various "communities", and making everyone feel safe abound. Straight white men have no reason to feel safe in this climate, but they don't count.

What's my take on Vic Mignogna's banishment to the outer darkness? The same take I always give in response to the increasingly frequent occurrences of situations like this. Pretty much every industry is controlled by a frothing death cult perpetually in search of new sacrificial victims. They'll eventually get around to you.

That's why it's vital to support independent creators who are dedicated to pleasing their audience. Back the sequel to my smashingly entertaining mecha Mil-SF novel Combat Frame XSeed today, and  choose from several special perks. Want to be a character in one of my books, design a canonical CFXS mech, or commission your own short story written to spec by a Dragon Award-winning author? All of those perks and more are currently available, but supplies are limited, so become a backer now!

Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40


2019/02/11

Back Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40!

Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40

Can you believe it's already been four months since our triumphant crowdfunding campaign for Combat Frame XSeed? My team of international publishing experts has been hard at work, and it's now my pleasure to announce that the Indiegogo campaign for the highly anticipated sequel is now live!

This is your chance to get in on the ground floor, and I've made a brand-new book trailer for the occasion!


Here's the pitch:

They made him necessary. He’ll make them pay.
Earth groans under the yoke of the Systems Overterrestrial Coalition. Socs enjoy privileged status while grounders languish as second-class citizens.

Student Thomas Arthur Dormio leads the Brussels Service Academy’s history club, a front for a dissident grounder cell. The Human Liberation Organization conducts a campaign of blackmail, sabotage, and terrorism to free Earth from the Socs.

En route to make contact with the HLO, Second Lieutenant Theodore Red arrives in orbit over Western Europe. But before he starts the next phase of the resistance on Earth, Red has a man to kill.

Will the HLO avenge themselves on the Coalition? Or will personal grudges and conflicting purposes tear them apart? Find out in the pages of Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40!

Returning backers will be glad to know that popular perks like the series one trading cards, Be in a Book, Be Killed in a Book, and Build-a-Mech are back, along with some new surprises that long-time readers will surely find intriguing. If you're new to the CFXS universe, don't worry. I've bundled the digital version of the first book with almost every perk.

The first stretch goal will be series two trading cards. Look for a poll as to which CFs will be featured in coming days.

And if for some strange reason you haven't bought the first book yet, you know what to do.

Bonus: I'll be making a special return appearance on Geek Gab tomorrow night at 9:30 Central. More details forthcoming!

This is gonna be huge. Back CFXS: CY40 now!

2019/02/08

Combat Frame Data: XCD-101

XCD-101 Ezekiel

XCD-101 Ezekiel

Technical Data

Model number: XCD-101
Code name: Ezekiel
Nickname: Zeke
Classification: space use electronic warfare combat frame
Manufacturer: Browning Engineering Corporation
Operator: HALO
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 19 meters
Weight: dry weight 100 metric tons, full weight 130 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 41,790 kg, 4x 20,910 kg, 2x 12,100kg; top speed 2800 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 31, 180° turn time 0.90 seconds; legs: top ground speed 185 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in head; Vercingetorix laser targeting system can daisy-chain with remote modules
Fixed armaments: orbital laser cannon, power rated at 6 MW, back-mounted, swings down onto right shoulder in use; remote launcher, holds 4 remote modules, back-mounted behind left shoulder; large plasma sword, power rated at 1 MW, stored in charging rack on skirt armor; burst system, broadcasts EMP from resonance chambers in pauldrons


General Notes

The powerful XCD-001-1 Prometheus was itself a mere proof of concept for one component of a cataclysmic weapons system devised by the tyrant Sekaino Megami. The technologies necessary to realize Megami's genocidal vision wouldn't reach maturity until CY 40.

That year, the HALO Conflict began with the arrival on Earth of four XSeed-class combat frames repurposed to fight the Coalition. Of the four, the XCD-101 Ezekiel most perfectly met the requirements set forth in Project S. Its 1D carbyne armor could resist nearly any conventional attack and could channel 33 percent of an energy attack striking its surface into the XSeed's onboard capacitor. Its main armament, a six-megawatt orbital laser, was capable of vaporizing targets on the ground from space. Ezekiel could take advantage of its laser's unlimited range by launching up to four self-propelled remote modules, which could daisy-chain their sensors with the XSeed's own. The remotes also carried targeting mirrors, enabling Ezekiel to bend its beam for greater versatility. By strategically placing its remotes, the XCD-101 could wipe out an entire enemy CF team with a single shot.

The XSeed Ezekiel carried a large plasma sword for close quarters defense in case an enemy managed to get past its impressive ranged weaponry. Unlike the prior generation of XSeed-class combat frames, the XCD-101's main weapon could feed directly from its reactor, eliminating the need to reload by taking hits from energy attacks. When its capacitor was full, Ezekiel could discharge the stored energy gradually through its laser or all at once in an EMP burst channeled through resonance chambers in its pauldrons. This burst was capable of inflicting serious damage to the electrical system of any nearby CF up to a Grenthree.

Its near-indestructibility, capacity for unleashing highly precise devastation at extreme range, and invisibility to radar made the XSeed Ezekiel a holy terror on the battlefield. Yet the XSeed was itself a part of something far more terrifying.

Combat Frame XSeed


2019/02/07

Mercedes' Ride Ends

Smith, Melinda mugshot

Mercedes Carrera, a porn actress known for her involvement in #GamerGate, has been arrested on child sex abuse charges.
A man and woman who both work in the adult film industry were arrested after being accused of sexually abusing a young girl in Rancho Cucamonga over the course of months, authorities said Wednesday.
Deputies began investigating last Thursday when they learned of alleged sexual acts against a child under the age of 10, according to a Rancho Cucamonga Police Department news release.
Detectives interviewed the young girl, who reported being sexually abused multiple times by a man and a woman over a four-month period.
"The sexual abuse consisted of inappropriate touching, oral copulation, and digital penetration, which occurred over four months," deputies said.
The pair were identified as Jason Whitney, 43, and Melinda Smith, 35, both of Rancho Cucamonga.
During the investigation, detectives determined that Smith was an adult film actress who went by the name Mercedes Carrera, according to the release.
Porn is not normal. Porn is not healthy. Like any serious sin, porn eventually destroys those involved with it. And it's rarely practiced in isolation by those who are ensnared in it.
When detectives served a search warrant at their home in the 10800 block of Church Street last Friday they uncovered "a large amount of evidence corroborating the victim's statement," according to the release. Methamphetamine and two loaded handguns were also found in the home, authorities said.
Everyone has his own temptations. Everyone has personal struggles and crosses to bear, and there is no sin that is beyond God's healing and mercy. But His healing and forgiveness are predicated on repentance and firm resolution of mending one's ways. Those who willingly and openly engage in--or worse, promote--porn production and consumption are not and cannot be our allies. However noble their original intentions, Satan already has his hooks in them.

This is a sad and difficult moment--most of all for the young victim of this atrocious crime. I do not bring the following up as an "I told you so." First of all, I didn't make much mention of it at the time, though in retrospect perhaps I should have shared my concerns with friends from #GamerGate who still followed Ms. Carrera. Let it serve as a warning that disordered human relations all too often go hand in hand with a broken relationship with God.

Different Fables

It may seem trivial in comparison to the crimes with which she is charged, but Ms. Carerra's endorsement of garbage tier anti-Christian propaganda and glib dismissal of Satan as fable were sufficient red flags for me to stop trusting her. Note also how she identifies Lucifer with the Asherah temple prostitution cult, which she implicitly rebukes the Hebrews for banning. The announcement of the charges saddened but did not entirely surprise me.

To paraphrase a commenter on a previous post, demons devour those who are mired in sin, despise those who repent, and dread those whose repentance bears fruit in holiness.

Sin is a demon crouching at the door, but you can be its master.

2019/02/06

A Triumph of Mecha Action

The hits keep coming! Benjamin Wheeler is the latest reviewer to rave about Combat Frame XSeed.
Brian Niemeier’s masterpiece, Combat Frame XSeed, is out! Check it out here.
Combat Frame XSeed is one of the #Gundam4us books I’ve been looking out for for quite some time. It’s a triumph of mecha action. Taking cues from Gundam, Macross and other famous anime mecha shows, Brian Niemeier weaves a fast paced and violent plot filled with fleshed out characters and awesome ideas that never fail to entertain the reader. It is a masterclass in tight plotting and mecha action. All the pieces come together from chapter climax to book climax in a never ending, glorious climb.
After this, Benjamin launches into his lavish mental storyboards for a conjectural CFXS anime series opening. I won't steal his thunder by reposting it here, but I heartily encourage you to experience his vision at Superversive SF.

Back to the review:
Brian Niemeier knocks the novel out of the park at every level. The characters are well done, from Sieg’s constant revelations to Todd Ritter’s choices to Masz’ slavish obedience to Jean Claude’s nobility, not a single character is left undeveloped or unused. It all moves together on greased wheels.
The plot changes and unfolds itself every time you turn a page. From Todd Ritter defending Chinese colonists in Africa to his acceptance into the EGE, to his flying the Mab, to his final climax at the very end, he provides an excellent main view point for the reader to follow. It is his new eyes that see the introduction of the Dolphs, the appearance of the Mabs, the XSeed combat frames and everything else.
Over all, I have no major complaints. Perhaps I’d like more Zeklov and Tesla Browning. While the plot was fast and exciting, the switch from Ein to Zwei dolphs so fast hurt the menace the Dolphs generally had, and I would have have had just one or two Zweis with Eins making up the bulk of the force. Lastly, there are some things introduced or mentioned that are unremarked on by characters who probably should have went “60 million what now? Years? WAT.” But these are small things that in no way took away from my enjoyment and will certainly be answered in the sequels.
This book is like watching a mecha anime with not-slow pacing. It is fast, furious and adventurous. I heartily recommend Combat Frame, XSeed to anyone fond of the Mecha Genre and recommend it above just about everything else coming out of Japan.
Look, I get that some of you are wary about the switch from philosophical horror in a science fantasy setting to philosophical horror in a Mil-SF setting. But even if you don't take my word for it, look at the reviews. My business is entertaining you, and I know my business. So far, the most critical review of XSeed from a staunch Soul Cycle fan has been "a solidly satisfying four out of five".  Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority are leaving reviews like this one, which favorably compares Combat Frame XSeed to C.S. Friedman's career-making In Conquest Born.

Even if you're not into military sci-fi or the mecha subgenre, keep in mind that the whole point of #AG4U is to shake up the status quo and breathe fresh life into a stale scene. My goal for XSeed was to do for mecha what Galaxy's Edge did for Star Wars, and the growing consensus is that it succeeded.

The history of science fiction since the 90s has been lifelong readers throwing up their hands in frustration and leaving to do something else. But past performance does not dictate the future. I don't want anyone missing out on the fun because oldpub poisoned the well.

That's why I made Combat Frame XSeed available through Kindle Unlimited. If you're a Prime member, you can read the whole book for free. Don't worry about me. I still get paid. More importantly, you get to have fun.

Don't miss out! Read Combat Frame XSeed today!

Combat Frame XSeed

Already own CFXS and hungry for more? Never fear! I'm currently putting together the book trailer for Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40. When it's done, we launch the Indiegogo campaign for the sequel, where backers can get early access. Be there!

2019/02/05

Better Dying than Crying

Saginaw Bishop

This is s good news/bad news scenario. The good news is that some among the new cohort of Catholic priests from generations X and Y understand the demographic and liturgical crises that are bringing the Church to her knees.
It is no secret that in many (if not most) Catholic diocese across the county, attendance for Sunday Mass has been in steep decline for the last 50 years. Some would even say the deadline has been precipitous in the post-conciliar-church.
Faced with this reality, many priests, pastors, and bishops have been confounded as to what can be done to stem this tide. One priest in a small Michigan diocese gave a homily as Advent started that lays out a real actionable plan that looks to the past to find hope for the future.
When Rev. Edwin C. Dwyer, of the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan received the report of the annual Diocesan attendance count, the numbers spurred him to give an epic homily.
I'll just jump in to say up front that nothing in Fr. Dwyer's homily should be considered scandalous, controversial, or revolutionary. It is only "epic" compared to the milquetoast sermons most American Catholics are spoon fed each Sunday.
The entire diocese of Saginaw saw a 7.3% drop in Mass attendance this past year. Since 2013 (five years ago), the diocese as a whole has seen a drop of 23.7% in Sunday Mass attendance. Since 2005 (13 years ago) the Sunday Mass attendance in the Diocese of Saginaw has dropped by nearly 45%. Roughly 22,700 fewer souls attend Mass in this diocese than did when I graduated from CMU. I’ll say that again: 22,700 fewer souls are being fed by the Word of God, and the Holy Eucharist on Sundays since 2005: a 45% decrease. The raw population has only dropped 10%. Would any business, or political party look at similar numbers and decide to continue with the status quo? I will not do so either. We must make changes.
What did these changes entail?
The first step is to acknowledge where we are suffering the most in terms of demographics. So, look around the pews, and take note at the proportion of old and young. I’m 36 years old. How many folks do you see my age or younger? If we do not have folks my age or younger, who will have the children to be baptized and taught in the faith? Who will be the families at this parish in 15 years? Will we be able to stay open in 15 years without the young? Personally, I don’t see how we can. Again, no business or political party would see how they could.
I want to be clear. I will rejoice in any soul I help bring to Christ. I am in this job for the zeal of souls. So if a 98-year-old man wants to be baptized, I will rejoice just as I would if a college student asked for the same thing. I’m in this to save souls, but I wouldn’t mind if I could save a parish along the way. If we are going to keep this parish afloat into the next generation, the major focus must be on what emboldens younger Catholics, and what attracts younger non-Catholics to the Church.. . . . . So what works?
Believe it or not, tradition works. So-called “old ways” are quite popular among younger Catholics. Smells, bells, classic hymns, chant, prolonged silence, and, hold on for this one, LATIN are all largely embraced by the younger generations of the Church. Furthermore, when younger non-Catholics experience these traditions they are struck by how different they are from everything else they experience in a noisy, secular culture. These “old ways” are beautiful to them, and beauty is a great place to introduce young folks to Jesus Christ.
Thus, we are going to make Sunday beautiful at Our Lady of Peace. That’s not to say it isn’t now. I have nothing but respect for all who help with our worship, but we are going to make it more beautiful with tradition. We are going to look, and sound, and smell vastly different from the rest of the world on Sundays. It will be a religious experience that, at the very least, will be memorable to the young who encounter it. We’ve already taken a few steps with Communion distribution, and the altar server attire. I have not been here long, but folks tell me they’re noticing more young families, and crying babies. And if the church ain’t cryin’, the church is dyin’. My goal is to hear a chorus of crying babies before my time here ends. To do that, however, we need to embrace what works with the young. We need to more greatly embrace timeless traditions. We cannot keep the status quo.
If you want to see a bit of what I mean by tradition, come to the 6 pm Mass at SVSU (Saginaw Valley State University). I’ll happily give you directions. It’s not the pre-Vatican II Mass, but we have restored many lost traditions that Vatican II requires us to practice to the delight of the students.
I've given my prescription for revitalizing the Church. Fr. Dwyer's measures are a good start, but they represent the bare minimum necessary to stave off the graying and emasculation that are poised to devastate the Church in the West. Still, the fact that any pastor is willing to celebrate tradition over failed innovation is encouraging.

Now for the bad news.

In a letter released Friday, Bishop Walter Hurley attempted to explain his actions in removing Fr. Edwin C. Dwyer, the parochial administrator at Our Lady of Peace Parish in Bay City, Michigan.

“For some time now I have been aware of a number of issues, particularly with the Liturgy, that have divided the parish community at Our Lady of Peace Parish, Bay City,” Hurley wrote. “This is a serious concern in that our worship should draw us together, rather than divide.”

The “issues” Bishop Hurley references are the slow introduction of some traditional elements to only one of the three weekend Masses celebrated at Our Lady of Peace. These changes were not offering the Tridentine Liturgy, or even offering the Mass Ad Orientem. The changes included placing candles on the altar, the use of incense, the ringing of sanctus bells during the Consecration, and reducing the amount of extraordinary Eucharistic ministers.

[Emphasis mine.]
These minor and gradual changes were met with resistance by a small portion of entrenched parishioners at Our Lady of Peace, but met with joy and hope by younger members of the parish. The vocal minority forced a “town hall” parish meeting on Jan. 21 to complain, and the meeting was marked by acrimonious statements, sometimes becoming blatantly disrespectful, from a handful of discordant and disrespectful, mostly baby-boomer generation parishioners.
Just days after this town hall meeting, Father Dwyer was relieved of his duties as chaplain at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) without warning by Bishop Hurley. The reason giving was that his work at SVSU was causing “conflict” at his parish.
Note to aloof Catholic prelates: It's no longer 1972. "Appealing to the youth" does not mean constantly massaging the egos of aging Boomers who pay lip service to serving young Christians' needs but pitch a royal fit anytime they're not the exclusive center of attention. Condescending letters based more on SJW cant than the Gospel will no longer serve as fig leaves for your cowardice in throwing pastors dedicated to the cure of souls under the bus.

Christ commanded you to let the children come to him, not "Let the children come to Him, unless it makes Baby Boomers feel unhip." If the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll generation doesn't like bells, candles, and incense, they can go to the Protestant church down the road.

Related: Protestant friends have asked my why the Catholic Church seems to have been copying off them for the last 50 years. I hope this post resolves that mystery.

Back to our millstone candidates: sacrificing a Gen Y priest like Fr. Dwyer who's at least aware of the demographic crisis, to assuage shrill Boomers who are on their way out one way or another, demonstrates disastrously poor foresight.

Too many in the current Catholic hierarchy are not wartime consiglieri. And the diabolical forces currently working day and night to destroy the West are first and foremost making war on the Church.

Bishops who are too oblivious, too cowardly, or too addicted to the government trough to energetically oppose the forces of Mammon and Moloch should step aside and let more capable shepherds take their office.

Perhaps Providentially, parents of the kids being sold out by the hierarchy at the Boomers' behest are waking up and pushing back. The list of persons and organizations potentially being sued by lawyers representing the calumnized Covington students includes:

  • Diocese of Covington
  • Diocese of Lexington
  • Archdiocese of Louisville
  • Diocese of Baltimore

The Church's renewal will come from the laity. It is our vocation to consecrate the world to Jesus Christ, and that includes prelates who seek the praises of the world rather than God.

"Brian Niemeier’s masterpiece"

2019/02/04

The Best of East and West

Nathan Housley reviews Combat Frame XSeed at the Castalia House Blog:
Brian Niemeier brings the same otherworldly imagination from his award-winning Soul Cycle to the mecha genre, creating an homage to Gundam and Tom Clancy. At a time where military science fiction has ossified into space marine wars of attrition and Horatio Hornblower battles in space, Combat Frame XSeed offers instead an espionage thriller where raids and revelations change the histories of entire nations. Sieg Friedlander’s failed rescue of his sister sparks a conflagration of intrigue and war that engulfs the solar system many times over as he seeks revenge against Director Sanzen for killing his sister. Along the way, Sieg finds allies in Tod Ritter, a noble fighting to free Neue Deutschland from Coalition control, and Zane Dellister, a Coalition deserter who is obsessed with the advanced combat frame prototype he’s stolen. But the Coalition is not a united front, and as Director Sanzen tightens his control over Earth, factions in his government seek their own purposes at his expense. The result is a whirling mix of shifting alliances, betrayals, and revelations as secret histories are hinted at and revealed.
I've long respected Nathan as a critic because he has deep and broad knowledge of science fiction, he doesn't play favorites, and he consistently offers useful criticism; not fannish fawning or trollish heckling. He's never hesitated to point out flaws in my previous books, so his rave review of Combat Frame XSeed leaves me genuinely humbled. I wrote CFXS as a reward to my readers for sticking with me. Based on the book's overwhelmingly positive reception, they would appear to be pleased.

This is my favorite part of Nathan's review:
The action is warband against warband and champion against champion, as men and machines clash over issues of freedom and revenge. This feudal approach adds to the thriller’s twists and turns by allowing Sieg, Tod, and Zane a freedom of action not found under strict military discipline. The result takes the best portions of Stephen Lawhead’s Arthur and C. S. Friedman’s In Conquest Born and lets them run loose with giant robots.
After finishing 6th in the Campbells behind No Award, seeing a serious critic favorably compare my novel to the book that made Campbell winner C. S. Friedman's career feels pretty vindicating.
Strongly recommended for fans of adventure, science fiction, and far future thrillers, Combat Frame XSeed captures the spirit of the real robot genre without resorting to the thin reskinnings that plague many Western copies of Eastern genres. Better yet, its knights and thrillers approach breathes new life into military science fiction adventure.
What are you waiting for? Pick up Combat Frame XSeed today!

Combat Frame XSeed

2019/02/01

Between the Wolves and the Tiger

Zhao

They will never leave us alone, and nowhere is safe.

Item 1: New author Amelie Wen Zhao, a refugee from Communist China, was recently harangued by SJWs into pulling her upcoming debut novel from publication with Delacorte Press. She was further compelled to post a 1984 style confession and apology for her thought crime.

Here's author Larry Correia's take.

TL; DR: Legacy New York publishing isn't just making war on dissenters like Nick Cole. Now they're eating their own.

Item 2: Amazon scrubbed Castalia House's KDP account yesterday.
You may have noticed that you can't find any Castalia House ebooks on Amazon right now. That's because Amazon shut down our KDP account on the basis of a wildly spurious claim of publishing material to which we do not have the necessary rights. 
Translation: An SJW cube farm drone picked an arbitrary cover story from a drop down menu.

CH has been reinstated. For now. But Amazon's recent pattern of behavior doesn't bode well for independent authors.

The takeaway: Authors seeking freedom from oldpub's war on truth and beauty thought Amazon was Robert the Bruce. They're turning out to be Napoleon.

The hysterical Leftist death cult is coming for you. Retreat will not be an option.


Combat Frame XSeed
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