Combat Frame Data: XCD-104

Editor's note: Stick around for the big announcement immediately following the CF data sheet.

XCD-104 Eschaton

XCD-104 Eschaton

Technical Data

Model number: XCD-104
Code name: Eschaton
Nickname: N/A
Classification: close quarters stealth attack combat frame
Manufacturer: Browning Engineering Corporation
Operator: HALO
First deployment: CY 40
Crew: 1 pilot in cockpit in chest
Height: 18 meters
Weight: 95 metric tons
Armor type: “1D” carbyne laminar armor
Powerplant: cold fusion reactor, max output 2950 KW
Propulsion: rocket thrusters: 4x 38,900 kg, 4x 21,700 kg, 2x 36,300 kg; top speed 3672 kph; maneuvering thrusters: 24, 180° turn time 0.60 seconds; legs: top ground speed 200 kph
Sensors: radar, thermal, optical array; main binocular cameras mounted in head; Vercingetorix laser targeting system
Fixed armaments: none
Optional hand armaments: x2 three-section heat staff, can lock to form x2 heat bo, stored crossed on backpack, hand-carried in use
Special equipment: Dynamic optical camouflage, A.I. operating system

General Notes

Inspired by his chivalrous ethos and his betrayal by his wife Prem Naryal, Jean-Claude du Lione created a dueling combat frame with advanced stealth capabilities. Though produced first, Jean-Claude’s XSeed was assigned model number XCD-104, last of the four 1-Series XSeeds. He named his creation the Eschaton—or Last—XSeed.
The Eschaton boasted speed, stealth, and close quarters combat abilities surpassing any contemporary combat frame. Its 1D armor could channel one-third of an energy attack into its onboard capacitor while ablation sapped another third of the damage, granting the XSeed high resistance to energy weapons and invisibility to radar—until its capacitor was fully charged.
Jean-Claude took the XSeed’s stealth to the next level by incorporating dynamic optical camouflage into Eschaton’s armor. This dynamic camo made the XCD-104 practically invisible when moving in a straight line or standing still.
In keeping with its close combat role, Jean-Claude gave the XCD-104 an extra set of powerful arms and a pair of carbyne-titanium heat staves. With all four arms wielding both three-section staves at once, the Eschaton could surround itself in a whirling cloud of superheated metal able to deflect almost any attack while demolishing anything in its path.

The Eschaton’s one weakness was its total lack of ranged weapons. It relied totally on taking targets by surprise or rushing them down. Luckily, Jean-Claude gave his design the most powerful drive system ever installed in a combat frame. Only the XCD-102 Emancipator’s fighter configuration surpassed the XCD-104’s blistering speed, and the Eschaton boasted slightly superior maneuverability.

Lacking energy weapons, the XCD-104 relied on a pinpoint laser transmitter to bleed off its capacitor’s charge when full. This system allowed the Eschaton to discharge its capacitor without giving away its position, since no one would detect the laser unless it was pointed right at him. Not designed as a weapon, this laser had negligible offensive capability. It did allow the Eschaton to continue absorbing radar waves and plasma bolts indefinitely.

The XCD-104 XSeed Eschaton was one of four XSeeds sent to Earth early in CY 40. Along with the XCD-101, XCD-102, and XCD-103, it proved invaluable in the fight to free Earth from the Coalition.

Bonus announcement! The Second Series of Combat Frame XSeed trading cards are now available!

Eschaton trading card

Thanks to everyone who's backed the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 crowdfunding campaign, our first stretch goal is now funded. That means the Second Series of our popular Combat Frame XSeed trading cards is now available at Indiegogo!

The cards are featured in a wide variety of perk tiers--too many to list here, in fact. Just for example, you can get either set on its own, bundled together or with the digital and/or print versions of both novels, and even signed! Take your pick. Back the campaign now!


A Simple Solution

Leading Hispanic author Jon Del Arroz recently took to Facebook to explain why those who boycott major platforms such as Patreon, Indiegogo, and Amazon, mainly hurt indie creators on their own side, despite having the best of intentions.


Well-meaning commenters soon arrived to propose workarounds.

AP 1


The solution is very simple. Just add a storefront to your web site. And learn to code a custom version of that site so you don't have to deal with Blogger or WordPress. And build your own distribution network to get your books to retailers, which you'll also need to build. You'll also need to build your own payment processor, and you should probably found your own international bank while you're at it so you can issue your own credit cards. Oh, you'll also need your own domain registrar because the existing ones can just yank that puppy if they don't like the cut of your jib.

JDA responds:


All kidding aside, Jon is right. "Build your own X" is a nonstarter when the Big Tech cabal can and will collude to throttle X.

Payment Processor Market Share

America First host Nick Fuentes correctly grasps the only viable solution.


Amazon, Indiegogo, and PayPal won't even notice if you deny them their 5-30%. The indie creators who must rely on those converged services to survive, however, will definitely feel the loss of their 70-95% of each transaction.

Not wanting to give money to people who hate you is laudable. I urge people to avoid paying for the privilege of being insulted. But there's a fundamental difference between shelling out 30 bucks on tickets, popcorn, and corn syrup at the cine-multiplex to directly support frothing Hollywood death cultists, and backing an indie comics project on Kickstarter just to spit in the latter's eye. The problem is, you're spitting into a gale force wind, and it's the indies on your team who get wet.

Is this a shit state of affairs? Yes. Will cutting ties with the tech oligarchs and publishing exclusively out of a personal web site with a storefront solve the problem? Demonstrably not. That way lies accelerated self-ghettoization and total market exile.

The only realistic approach is to keep using the dominant though converged services while we still can, then make the rubble bounce when we're banned. Better to use the enemy's strength against him and get our ideas in front of a mass audience than fall back to a digital Benedict Option.

Hopefully the government, the only people with enough power to take Big Tech down, get the antitrust ball rolling. Indies are already eating oldpub and old comics' lunch on Amazon and Indeigogo. Imagine what we could do on a level playing field.

Speaking of Indiegogo, the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 campaign proceeds apace! Two brand new perks have just been added that collectors are gonna love. the Signed Paperback perk gets you a signed copy of CFXS: CY40, plus the digital version of that book and the original. For super mech fans, there's the Signed Book Bundle, which includes everything above plus a signed copy of the original Combat Frame XSeed in paperback. Personalized inscriptions available!

CFXS TPB Mockups

Back the project and choose from these and other awesome perks today!


Good News

Methodist Good News

As a nice change of pace from the usual news about Christian leaders tripping over themselves to accommodate the spirit of the world, today we have a couple of refreshing positive developments.

First up, African Methodists call their pozzed American brethren's bluff in the face of an attempted shakedown.
(Here are remarks of Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, Dean of Gbarnga School of Theology, United Methodist University in Liberia, to the Reform and Renewal Coalition Breakfast at the United Methodist Church Special General Conference Session in St. Louis, Missouri, Saturday, 23 February 2019.)
NB: The event name has two red flags in it. Here's Dr. Kulah:
As I understand it, the plans before us seek to find a lasting solution to the long debate over our church’s sexual ethics, its teachings on marriage, and it ordination standards.
This debate and the numerous acts of defiance have brought the United Methodist Church to a crossroads (Jeremiah 6:16).
One plans invites the people called United Methodists to take a road in opposition to the Bible and two thousand years of Christian teachings. Going down that road would divide the church. Those advocating for the One Church Plan would have us take that road.
Another road invites us to reaffirm Christian teachings rooted in Scripture and the church’s rich traditions.
It says, “All persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God,” that “All persons need the ministry of the Church,” and that “We affirm that God’s grace is available to all.”
It grounds our sexual ethics in Scripture when it says, the UM Church does “not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers [it] incompatible with Christian teaching.”
While “we commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons,” we do not celebrate same-sex marriages or ordain for ministry people who self-avow as practicing homosexuals. These practices do not conform to the authentic teaching of the Holy Scriptures, our primary authority for faith and Christian living.
However, we extend grace to all people because we all know we are sinners in need of God’s redeeming. We know how critical and life changing God’s grace has been in our own lives.
We warmly welcome all people to our churches; we long to be in fellowship with them, to pray with them, to weep with them, and to experience the joy of transformation with them.
Friends, please hear me, we Africans are not afraid of our sisters and brothers who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, questioning, or queer. We love them and we hope the best for them. But we know of no compelling arguments for forsaking our church’s understanding of Scripture and the teachings of the church universal.
And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”
Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S.
A little context: The United Methodist Church is currently considering three proposals regarding their teachings on sexual ethics. The Modified Traditional Plan is basically what it says on the tin, and it's what the Africans support. Some of the Methodist leadership in the US are pressuring their African brethren into adopting the more liberal plan by essentially saying, "Nice American financial support you got there. Shame if anything happened to it."

To such crass coercion Dr. Kulah replied:
Some Africans have been told that if a gracious exit petition is passed our evangelical friends in the U.S. will go their own way and no longer support efforts in Africa. That is not true.
Many of us in Africa have developed deep and long lasting friendships with our brothers and sisters in the U.S. Those relationships will not be severed if a gracious exit petition passes.
Unfortunately, some United Methodists in the U.S. have the very faulty assumption that all Africans are concerned about is U.S. financial support. Well, I am sure, being sinners like all of you, some Africans are fixated on money.
But with all due respect, a fixation on money seems more of an American problem than an African one. We get by on far less than most Americans do; we know how to do it. I’m not so sure you do. So if anyone is so na├»ve or condescending as to think we would sell our birth right in Jesus Christ for American dollars, then they simply do not know us.
We are seriously joyful in following Jesus Christ and God’s holy word to us in the Bible. And in truth, we think many people in the U.S. and in parts of Europe could learn a great deal from us. The UM churches, pastors and lay people who partner with us acknowledge as much.
Please understand me when I say the vast majority of African United Methodists will never, ever trade Jesus and the truth of the Bible for money.
In the West, Christian leaders of all denominations are turning their backs on Christ and the Scriptures. They should really study those Scriptures more closely, because in them God clearly explains what happens when a people forsake Him.

Speaking of the Kingdom being taken away from apostates and given to others more faithful, here's a viral video of Nigerian soldiers--the guys fighting Boko Haram--practicing Eucharistic adoration:

The phrase they're enthusiastically repeating at the end translates to "King Jesus!"

My diocese has brought in a number of African priests to compensate for the worsening priest shortage. At this point, the Catholic hierarchy could do much worse than to defrock all clergy guilty of sex abuse, as they recently did with ex-cardinal McCarrick, and replace them with African priests who are proving to be much more serious, dedicated, and yes, holy.

Item 2: After decades of dominating in the court of public opinion, abortion supporters suddenly find themselves in a dead heat with Americans who oppose infanticide.

The recent debate over late-term abortion,[ed. disingenuous Fake News scare quotes removed.] fueled by state measures in New York and Virginia that loosened, or sought to loosen, abortion restrictions toward the end of a woman's pregnancy, has caused "a dramatic shift" in public attitudes toward abortion policy, according to Barbara Carvalho who directed a new Marist poll, commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization.

By the numbers: The poll found Americans are now as likely to identify as pro-life (47%) as they are pro-choice (47%). Last month, a similar Marist survey found that Americans were more likely to identify as pro-choice than pro-life 55% to 38%, a 17-point gap.

  • The survey also found that 80% of Americans support abortion being limited to the first three months of pregnancy, an increase of 5 percentage points since last month's Marist poll.

Between the lines: Marist has been polling Americans' attitudes on abortion for over a decade, and Carvalho told Axios this is the first time since 2009 that as many or more Americans have identified as pro-life as have identified as pro-choice.

  • But what Carvalho said she found most significant was that Democrats, specifically those under the the age of 45, seem to be leading the shift: This month's poll found 34% of Democrats identify as pro-life vs. 61% pro-choice. Last month, those numbers were 20% and 75%, respectively.
  • Among Americans under 45, 47% identify as pro-life vs. 48% pro-choice. In January, those numbers were 28% and 65%, respectively.

"This has been a measure that has been so stable over time. To see that kind of change was surprising," Carvalho said. "And the increased discussion [of late-term abortion] in the public forum in the past month appears to have made the biggest difference in how people identify on the issue."

Dear Pro-Life leaders: Wholly independent of your milquetoast efforts, the Left's reckless barbarism has once again served you a golden opportunity on a platter. Don't let this chance go to waste like you did with Kermit Gosnell's Chamber of Horrors and Planned Parenthood getting caught on tape selling baby parts.

Public opinion is surging in your direction. Introduce amendments to state constitutions defining abortion as murder. Sue to get Roe v Wade overturned now that Coach K is on the court. And FFS, knock it off with the pedestal-polishing, "Abortion hurts women the most!" rhetoric. It hasn't worked in 40 years. It won't work now. People rightly see your vilification of abortionists while excusing mothers who pay to have their own children killed as incoherent. Abortion is murder. Doctors who perform abortions should be charged with murder. Women who hire those doctors to kill their babies should be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Do that, and watch abortion rates plummet.

There is no reason why someone who had seventeen of her children killed--which would be classified as serial killings in any other context--should be free to walk the streets.

In short the solution, as always, is brimstone, millstones, and stonings.


CY 40 on Superversive SF

Last night I returned to the Superversive live stream to discuss my current crowdfunding campaign for Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40. Host Benjamin Wheeler and I talked Combat Frame XSeed, I gave some tantalizing details about the forthcoming sequel, and offered new writers some action and pacing writing tips.

Here are some select previews:
  • I confirmed that CFXS; CY40 will be a revenge story partly influenced by The Count of Monte Cristo wherein militant grounders finally take up arms against the Coalition.
  • In response to multiple questions about the new book's major characters, I intimated that my goal in writing Arthur is to make the reader feel at least fleeting pity for the Socs.
  • I broke the big news that Combat Frame XSeed will not be a four-book series as initially planned, but will instead consist of five books. As I wrote CY 40, it became clear that depicting all the events of that pivotal year in the manner they deserve would result in a Nethereal-sized tome and a delayed release. Happily, there was already a perfect dividing line between the story's two main acts, which gives the first part a natural Empire Strikes Back style ending. Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 will launch on time next month. Stay tuned for further announcements on that arc's concluding volume, Combat Frame XSeed: CY 40 Second Coming.
And here's some sample writing advice:
  • Don't write a book as if you're dictating the action of a movie playing in your head. The supplemental visual cues and effects that make movies work aren't available to books. However, novelists can pull tricks that make screenwriters jealous. Play to the strengths of the print medium like deep POV
  • Being too repetitive and too confusing are the two author mistakes most likely to make readers put a book down and never pick it back up.
  • Fast pacing has little to do with sentence and paragraph length. Pacing depends on building and maintaining tension and making sure characters stay properly motivated.
Hear all this and more in this episode of the Superversive SF live stream!

P.S. Thanks to our amazing backers, the Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 crowdfunding campaign is still going strong! We're 182% funded at last count. If just one more backer signs up to be killed in a book--and trust me, I'll make it interesting!--the second series of trading cards will be funded.

There are plenty of other great perks too, with more being added all the time. Have a book dedicated to you, create your own canonical character, or commission your very own short story from a Dragon Award-winning author! Plus every backer gets a digital copy of the book, and all perk tiers except for the CY40 only eBook perk receive the original Combat Frame XSeed eBook as well.

P.P.S. It's been brought to my attention that some CFXS crowdfunding transactions haven't gone through because Indiegogo's confirmation emails are getting lost in backers' spam folders. At least one backer reported getting a confirmation email only to receive a second one that went to spam and prevented his perk claim from processing. If you've already backed the campaign, I strongly suggest checking your inbox and your spam folder to make sure that no messages from Indiegogo have fallen by the wayside. If you haven't received confirmation from IGG, your contribution may not have gone through. Please double check to ensure perk fulfillment. If you'll be backing the campaign for the first time now or in the near future, please be sure to check your email, including the spam folder, to make sure you don't miss your confirmation message. Thank you!

Combat Frame XSeed Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40


A Hot Mess of Algorithms

International Lord of Hate Larry Correia suspects foul play from Facebook in regard to his most recent BOOK BOMB.

Hot Mess of Bots

Hot Mess of Bots 2

TL; DR: Larry Book Bombed his departed friend Zach's posthumous first novel, hoping to drive sales and boost the book's Amazon ranking as much as possible. That means getting as many eyesballs on the Book Bomb as possible. But he found that Facebook was only showing his posts to a fraction of his thousands-strong following.

Facebook, ostensibly a social network designed to connect people, appears to be throttling users--deliberately withholding their posts from wide circulation and showing them only to a small number of users' friends.

A Hot Mess of Bots 3

What's FB's motive? Larry suspects Facebook of using throttling to strong-arm users into buying ads on the site. Want your post seen by all your followers? Then pay up.

Best selling author Brad Torgersen backs up Larry's observation and notes that FB seems to target posts with outside links for throttling. His description of Facebook as "a hot mess of bots and algorithms" seems quite apt.

Not coincidentally, Parliament recently slapped another unflattering label on Facebook, calling the company, "digital gangsters".
Facebook broke the law in its quest to destroy other businesses and behaved like a 'digital gangster', MPs say
  • The Culture Committee report says Facebook would 'starve' other tech companies of data to destroy their business model 
  • Documents seized from Mark Zuckerberg also reveal it was willing to override users' privacy settings to transfer data to other developers to make money
  • The report, published today, calls for an investigation by the Information Commissioner, and the Competition and Markets Authority
  • Facebook denied that it had broken anti-competition and data privacy laws 
Larry and friends appear to have found a workaround. Links appearing in comments and videos embedded directly into Facebook seem exempt from throttling. If you still use Facebook and want anyone to see your links, you'd be well advised to try it.

When prominent conservative authors are having their posts throttled by one of the biggest big tech companies, you have to wonder if petty greed is the only motive at work. We already know that fellow social network Twitter actively censors conservative accounts. Facebook themselves have been caught engaging in censorship. Is it beyond the pale to suspect that FB's throttling disproportionately targets users who dissent from the Narrative?

To paraphrase Warpig's Laws of Twitter, these sites are so poorly programmed that malfunctions are indistinguishable from malice. At the same time, the people in charge use their shoddy platforms as fig leaves for their malice.

One thing is certain. Rough times lie ahead for anyone who's unwilling to publicly profess his love for Big Brother. Support honest creators who are working hard to entertain you, as Larry and Brad are, and as Zach did before his untimely death.

Consider my own humble offerings. My thrilling mech Mil-SF novel Combat Frame XSeed is available now, and you can back the earth-shattering sequel Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40 on Indiegogo. Claim amazing perks, and get the book first!

Combat Frame XSeed Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40


A Very Special BOOK BOMB!

Sakura - Zachary Hill

Larry Correia, the Mountain that Writes, announces a very special BOOK BOMB for the late author Zachary Hill:
For those of you new to this, a Book Bomb is when I pick out a good book, where the author could use some more publicity, and then we get as many people as possible to buy it on the same day, to push it as high as possible in the Amazon bestseller rankings. The higher we get it, the more new people see it, the more exposure the writer gets.
That’s a normal Book Bomb. I want this one to be our Cyber Nuclear Book Bomb! (it’ll make sense once you read the book, trust me) But this is a very special Book Bomb.  I’m asking all of my fans to share this and spread the word, and as you read on I hope you can see why I think it is important.
Zach was a very good friend of mine and one of the all around coolest people I’ve ever met.  He finished the rough draft of this novel three days before he died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism.
He was truly an extraordinary man.  I wrote about his life here: http://monsterhunternation.com/2016/01/18/in-memory-of-zach-hill/
I got to read an early version, and it is really good. I’m not just saying that because Zach was my friend (because I would totally lie for him!) but I don’t need to, because this book rocks. It’s everything that Zach thought was pure distilled awesome in book form.
It’s the story of a heavy metal singing android super star, who becomes an assassin during a cyberpunk apocalypse.  Zach lived in Japan, loved the culture, the people, and the music, and it shows. It’s ninjas, and bullet bikes, and gun fights, and jet packs, and killer robots, and lots and lots of heavy metal. This book is Zach and everything he loved.
And that’s why I want as many people as possible to see this, so they can get a glimpse into the fun, neat, guy that some of us were lucky enough to know in real life.
I don’t ask my fans for many favors, but this time I am. Please spread the word. This is a good book, and I want people to read it.
Lots of big authors publicly state their desire to give new authors a leg up. Larry Correia is one of the few who walks the talk in an unmistakable, materially verifiable way. I know. Larry held a Book Bomb for my first novel, so I've seen the king-making power of his fanbase.

Larry went above and beyond to help launch my career. I can never repay that monumental act of kindness, but I will do my best to pay the favor forward to his departed friend.

I humbly ask my cherished readers to support today's Sakura BOOK BOMB. Just so you know I won't ask you to do what I wouldn't do myself, I've already purchased the book. Go and do likewise for the International Lord of Hate!


Catholic Reads Reviews Strange Matter

Strange Matter

Eric Postma recently reviewed my short fiction anthology Strange Matter for Catholic Reads.
Ready for the end of the world, battle mechs, and body swaps? This collection of short stories has it all. 
Strange Matter is a collection of short stories from one of my favorite contemporary authors. Niemeier has a range of talent, covering various genres in this volume including sci-fi and horror. It ranges from the whimsical to the terrifying, to the thought provoking.
Eric really knows how to flatter a guy! Enough about me. Here's a sampling of select reviews:
Strange Matter”, the story that gives the book its title will be more familiar in some ways to avid sci-fi fans. Russel begins his day shaving as many do. Things get odd though when he finds himself shaving again, and again, again. After a brief period of wondering if he has gone crazy, Russel realizes he is reliving the same 10 minutes over and over. Through a lot of trial and error, he eventually realizes that the cause is a particle accelerator test that happened nearby. A test that may have actually ended the world.
Naturally, he tries to stop the test. I’ll say no more expect to say that despite his best efforts, he doesn’t manage to do so. What he does manage, is to learn that he is not alone.
“Elegy for the Locust”...provides a little more background into the world of the author’s Soul Cycle series [and] explores what happens when we let envy rule our lives.
"Anacylosis” functions as a preview of Neimeier’s next series, Combat Frame XSeed and a thought experiment on what future religious orders might look like.
All in all, a delightful and informative review. If you haven't bought Strange Matter yet, I highly advise checking it out, especially if you're enjoying the post-future world of Combat Frame XSeed.

Speaking of which, I have some exciting new announcements regarding the crowdfunding campaign for Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40, in progress right now. We're over 132% funded as of this writing, and narrowing in on the second set of CF trading cards, which become available at 200%. CFXS posters are now back as well. This time, you can choose between the original stunning Combat Frame XSeed cover or the brand new Coalition Year 40 cover, both in 17" x 11" posters suitable for framing or hanging as-is. The original eBook and the sequel both come with either poster. Back the campaign now!

Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40


Machine Learning Disability

Wherein a Twitter user dispels the illusions of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Machine Learning 1

Here's the news report on the mystery. It turns out a YouTuber illegally uploaded clips from a fifteen-year-old Japanese TV show that featured "Over Your Shoulder" by Dinosaur Jr. Japanese viewers started to binge on the videos, and social  media created a self-reinforcing feedback loop. When Dinosaur Jr. charted above Ariana Grande, the YouTuber got spooked and scrubbed all the clips from his channel. That left Billboard scratching their heads as to how the anomaly happened.

Machine Learning 2

Pretty fucking terrifying, yes.

Machine Learning 3

"Machine learning" is rhetorical at best and more literally a contradiction in terms. "Learning" is predicated on an intellect, and man can never build a machine with a true rational intellect. Intelligence isn't a matter of sufficient complexity or processing power, as shown by the potentially disastrous results of entrusting scientific research to massive lumps of code.

As should always have been apparent, the scientific method's efficacy relies on scientists' informed intellects, and its accuracy relies on their freedom to run valid experiments. Since both the intellect and the will are non-material faculties, it doesn't matter how much silicon you stack up. Only trained human beings can do science.

A corollary to the thread above pointed out by another Twitter user: Science is as self-correcting as accounting.

None of this is to say that we won't have increasingly sophisticated Chinese room style "A.I.", and it's always fun to speculate about artificial intelligence in science fiction. Soft A.I. figures prominently in my upcoming second martial thriller Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40. We just added two tantalizing new perks to the crowdfunding campaign, with more on the way. Get in on the ground floor. Back the project today!

Combat Frame XSeed: Coalition Year 40


Inquisition Declares Exterminatus on McCarrick


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, originally known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, has found former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick guilty of serial homosexual abuse.
According to a Vatican statement, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a “decree finding Theodore Edgar McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, D.C., guilty of the following delicts while a cleric: solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”
The decree was issued on January 11 at the conclusion of a penal process, the Vatican said, imposing on him “the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state.”
Having examined McCarrick’s defense, the CDF confirmed the prior decree and notified McCarrick of the decision on February 15, 2019.
Pope Francis has recognized the “definitive nature” of this decision, the Vatican statement added, meaning that no further appeals will be admitted.
Better late than never. Pope Francis should have defrocked McCarrick upon learning of his crimes back in 2013, but at least the Catholic Church has an office with the judicial authority, moral weight, and centuries-old pedigree of the Inquisition. Even the most Modernizing, anti-traditional pope would think twice before outright ignoring their verdicts.

It's encouraging to see that Holy Church is finally taking steps to purify the corrupt among her hierarchy. The CDF should open inquisitions in every country worldwide to smoke out the abuse-committing and concealing rats before turning their attention to rooting out Modernist heresy.

Lay Catholics can't just sit back and expect the hierarchy to do all the heavy lifting themselves. Consecrating the world to Christ is our job. We must find the courage to stand up and speak out for right doctrine and proper worship.

Don't entertain any illusions. There will be social and perhaps even economic costs to standing up for the truth. I'm not asking you to do anything I haven't done myself. I've incurred the wrath of the self-important and spiritually indifferent HR ladies who all too often run the Church's nominal institutions while bishops cower. But as is becoming increasingly clear, the rabid death cult now in power in the West is first and foremost bent on destroying the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

The enemy knows better than many of us that the Church is the sole living pillar of Western civilization capable of defeating their diabolical war on truth, life, and beauty. Because that pillar is the mere tip of an inverted iceberg descending from heaven to touch the earth. The enemy cannot, in the end, succeed, but the question left for us to answer is: How long do we wish our posterity to toil in the ruins before the ember of civilization kindles once more into a blazing light unto the world?

For an award-winning science fiction author's vision of what such a future might look like, read my highly praised martial thriller Combat Frame XSeed. To support independent authors who refuse to bow the knee to the death cult propagandists in New York publishing, back the sequel today.


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!


Combat Frame Data: XCD-102

XCD-102 Emancipator


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
Special equipment: A.I. operating system, transformation capability

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!


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.


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


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!


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
Special Equipment: A.I. operating system

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


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.


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!