My answer to Worldcon 2016, Sad Puppies, and the Hugo Awards

So Worldcon 2016 and the Hugo Awards happened over the weekend. It went down about how I expected it would: the award for Best Novel went to an outspoken racist, one of the most prominent female editors in the field lost (again) to No Award, and the TruFans and SJWs made the convention Safe for Diversity by silencing or evicting everyone who did not think, act, believe, or look like them.

In other words, it was a complete crapshow, and I’m glad that they didn’t get any of my money. Instead, I’ve decided to follow in the Grand American Capitalist Tradition by offering you an opportunity to give me your money instead.

That’s right: “Welcome to Condescension,” my Sad Puppies short story, is now available on all the major ebookstores. Check it out!

Welcome to Condescension

Welcome to Condescension

Genres: Humor, Science Fiction, Short Stories
Length: Short Story
Publication Year: August 2016
The graying of fandom was never this much fun.
Buy now!



SALUT, SALAAM, and SALUTATIONS to CONdescension 373, proud denizens of fandom! We welcome you to our convention this year, held in the beautiful underwater city of New Galveston.

We hope that you will help us all work together to keep the convention friendly and welcoming for everyone, and not repeat the unspeakable disaster of CONtamination 146. Unfortunately, time does not heal all wounds in fandom, especially when we are all functionally immortal.

Have fun!

This story is rated T according to the AO3 content rating system.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. You will not receive any additional charge.

Cover reveal: Welcome to Condescension

Worldcon 2016 is this week, and in honor of that, I’m releasing a new short story: “Welcome to Condescension!”

Here is the cover:

WTC (cover)

If you’ve been following the inanities of the Hugo Awards controversies for the past couple of years (and I can’t blame you if you hadn’t, since most SF&F readers don’t follow the Hugo Awards), then the puppy on the cover should make perfect sense. If it doesn’t, don’t worry: you can still enjoy the story anyway. And the puppy!

To be updated on when this story is available, be sure to sign up for my email list!

Next project

So after finishing the rough draft of Gunslinger to the Stars a couple of weeks ago, I took an unofficial summer break to work on other things. But I’m back now, ready to pick up a new WIP. There are quite a few to choose from. Here are the ones I’m leaning towards:

The Sword Keeper — This one has been in progress for quite some time. When I left it off, it was about 3/4ths of the way finished, with a whole bunch of action scenes right up to the very end. I could probably finish it in a couple of weeks.

Edenfall — This is the sequel to Genesis Earth, and it’s been on the back burner for years. There seems to be a lot of growing interest in the first book, though, which makes me wonder if it’s time to finish the trilogy. If this is the book that my readers really want, then that’s the book to write.

Sons of the Starfarers — This series hasn’t really taken off the way I’d hoped it would, which is why I’ve more or less tabled it for now. There are four more books left, and if I’m going to write the next book (Patriots in Retreat), I’m going to finish all the other books as well. This could take a while, though, and I’m not sure now is a good time to pick up that project. If there’s enough demand, though, I’ll see what I can do.

Children of the Starry Sea — This sequel to the Star Wanderers series ties in a bunch of stuff from Sons of the Starfarers that I haven’t written yet, so now is probably not the time to write it.

A Beachhead in Time — This is the first book in a trilogy that I’m cowriting with my friend Scott Bascom. We’ve already started it, so technically it’s already a WIP. Not sure whether to make it my primary project at the current time, though, or to juggle it with a personal WIP.

So those are the options. Personally, I’m leaning a bit toward Edenfall at the moment, but when I’m between projects I tend to vacillate a lot until something really sticks.

Unthinkable truths

If you told the average person that you believed with near 100% certainty that intelligent alien life exists in the universe, they would consider you crazy. Yet the truth is that our universe is so incredibly vast, so full of Earthlike planets, that the odds that intelligent life only emerged here are low enough to be indistinguishable from zero.

Yet the near-certainty of intelligent life is, to most people, an unthinkable truth. It’s something that many people, perhaps even our entire society, just cannot accept.

Our world is full of unthinkable truths. Indeed, our society is built upon them. We can find examples of them in our taboos and social mores, or in the unspoken things that everyone “just knows.” In order for civilization to function properly, there are certain things we must all agree on, such as the idea that all men are created equal, or that we all have certain rights. It’s easier and more efficient to just program people not to accept some ideas than it is to encourage them to examine everything, and hope that truth prevails.

For Americans, one of our most unthinkable truths is the idea that our constitutional rights and freedoms are fragile, and can all be taken away. Those of us who were born in this country don’t realize that the United States is, in many ways, an aberration. We take it for granted that the world around us will continue the way it always has, and that our nation will endure. Anything else is unthinkable.

But how many nations have endured? How many republics have survived the crucible of history? Rome barely lasted a thousand years, and the republic was dead long before the empire reached its greatest glory. The Middle East is full of the bones of dead empires, from the Hittites and Babylonians to the British and the French. Even the most powerful dynasties ultimately fall into ruin, and the periods of relative freedom are the exception in history, rather than the rule.

I got into an argument on Facebook (yes, I’m back on Facebook, though I haven’t decided whether to stay back permanently) where the other person said, quite unironically:

We live in an Era in which our rights are secured by the free dissemination of information; not through the ability to send rounds down range… the fact that you can type those words is proof enough that [you don’t need an AR-15].

As a student of history, this argument strikes me as obscenely absurd. There are numerous countries in the world today that have access to “the free dissemination of information” via the internet just as we do, but are horribly repressive even by historical standards. In China, for example, political prisoners are held in concentration camps and harvested for organs. In Syria and Iraq, ISIS burns people in cages and carries off young non-Muslim girls as sex slaves. In Canada and Europe, you can be imprisoned or fined for merely saying things on social media that the government deems “right-wing.”

The mere existence of Liberty does not guarantee its preservation. The only way that any people have ever remained free is by cultivating a culture of self-sufficiency. Without the right to bear arms, self-sufficiency is impossible, because it forces people to depend on the government for their own self-defense and preservation of their Liberty.

I’ve blogged before about why I need a gun. This post is largely a continuation of those thoughts. It’s unthinkable to us here in the United States that our country may one day fall, but if history is our teacher then that fall is inevitable. It may not come for another thousand years, but it may also come within the next ten.

Truth prevails—even the unthinkable truth.

Free SF&F ebooks, all retailers, this weekend only!

2016-8 patty promoHey guys! I’m doing a book promo this weekend with a bunch of other Science Fiction and Fantasy authors. This promo is not exclusive to Amazon, so if you’ve got a nook or a kobo, be sure to check it out!

More blog posts coming next week. I’ve been taking a bit of a break from things after finishing Gunslinger to the Stars, but I’ll be back in the saddle soon enough. Also, another short story coming out soon!