The one I did not write alone…?


I am continuing work on Fox Crow II, and am coming up on 60K, which is… well I dunno. It feels halfway but these things surprise you.

I am Prepping for Lunacon, Balticon and Atomicon. Hopefully a local con as well, but no word yet.


As I am going a little mad trying to keep up with word counts, I decided to post a ghost story here. I was texting my wife and slipped the phone into my pocket. The voice recognition was still running I guess, and from that point some kind of ghost wrote a little story. I can’t swear it is sensical, or sane, in fact I think this is very HP Lovecract when you get down to it. Wife and I had fun trying to decode it.



“You even ask kristen tired I am send chat pizza punch will choice whether to be showing up we make rice and cheese ghost security call condition of time helping us to make a decision as if we will be using have to make a decision because the machine and does he want e my mind maintenance so I will give you the distance I had voice of mice talking about something else have to trust you to pick up this is tony we would find point us awesome I believe it’s my turn because my girl I’m not leaving trees down the galaxy sounds fine in n out and a reason that operation and I’m glad you have a minute romantic morning buddy when I’m tried the second foundation no way we are guys noticed and we offer a second galactic empire be different from the first human history no dictating all the time you 3 text me sometime violin 2 minutes and porn p do calling cost only send no need we have our school wanted to speech thing I’ll ever text decent I want nothing to do detroit diesel and twitter for I tried to make toys and cannot coffee said I was time to have a recent until you are sure what time please movies your mail I’ll swing set easter 10 us he’s thanks vernon find 1 turning west space reno find right galaxy and is in the celtics”

the one where I piss off women (again) by claiming they are equals.

This article can be summarized by:

“Women aren’t writing “real” science fiction, the fallacy goes.”

Fallacy spouted by whom? I may have only been a sci fi novelist for twelve years or so, but everywhere I go there are women saying that this is a common belief, so common it is never said anywhere.OK, maybe there is a cigar smoke filled room where giants in the industry light new stogies with C notes and guffaw such opinions out. Also, maybe there is a fan built like a beach-ball, a bachelor in his 60′s, who holds this view. These two are hardly representative of the whole of fandom.

I’ve mentored three writers into the industry from amateur status. All three were women, but I did it because of the quality of work, not the parts covered by a bathing suit.

It seems like there are more and more groups, associations, and anthologies open only to women, as if screening them from the full brunt of competition were helping them instead of tacitly telling them that there would be no other way for them to survive in the free market. If someone were to say that to me, I would laugh in their face. If they had said it to me when I was younger and vulnerable I would laugh in their face, and laugh again later as they picked teeth out of their own poo.

The article even promotes another of these, but tap-dances around the PC question thusly:

“And what is a woman? A woman is any human being who identifies as one, to whatever degree that they do so.”

Meaning a Transgender/transexual qualifies, but I – who only have a sensitive side as warm and fuzzy as a Flemish bunny – do not. Especially if I won. How do I know? Let’s just call it instinct, or else why not open the contest/submissions to everyone without qualifiers?

I just think that such things weaken the reputation of women, solidifying the idea that they need help to do more than fail.

Meaning the only people repeating the fallacy are those that need it to create a special interest group in which they feel comfortable and can make them dance to one tune.



the one where I spit on a white racist

It started with this screed:

I’m white so I can be a racist and nobody cares

Here’s the money quote, really:
“Let me make something clear right up front: you have no real idea what it’s like to be discriminated against on the basis of race.”

Firstly, to the author: Go die in a fire.

You have no idea what I have faced, where I have walked. There are no laws to help me succeed based on my race alone. I have been turned down for dates because I am not dark enough to be accepted by family. There are no quotas to help me get a job with a fire department. Say what you will, but there I have no leg up because of being a “wise latina woman”, and in fact if someone were to be promoted to a lifetime government position because someone were a “wise, white man”, the following impeachment would be vicious, fast, and involve knives.

Acting like these things are correct is to homogenize an entire race into voting blocks (wonder why). You are rendering the entire white race into ‘privileged’ and all others into ‘oppressed’ It robs them as much as it does me. The writer of this piece does so, however. And does it with self righteous zeal. That is the very definition of a racist.

Because to treat everyone as equal is to acknowledge that everyone has the talent, power and drive to succeed on their own. To show favoritism, no matter how good that paving stone looks, is the first block in the path to hell, for you are enshrining into law the fact that someone of another race needs your help. I’m glad your laws do not protect me. I would spit in your face for the insult.

And, from the complaint, the teacher goes far beyond teaching history or ‘diversity’ and into blaming the people in the class for things that happened 50-100 years before they were born. That is the definition of stupid. So is the author of this Huffpost article.

The one where I don’t draw my gun

A few days ago something happened, and a post from a complete asshat reminded me I should tell the story. Said monstrous walking array of fecal expressions was being nasty toward the NRA, gun owners, and so on.

Well, a  few days ago I was in a parking lot. It was packed – tis the season – and I was coming out of a big box store with some sundry or another I needed, when I heard a commotion. I heard some guy yelling, and I could not hear him distinctly, but he sounded rather irate. So: There I am, useless consumer knicknack in one hand, someone screaming, and a gun on. Allow me to digress for a moment.

I was carrying a pistol whose design goes back a century. A 1911. Made by Sig Sauer, one of the finest names in the industry, it was chocked full of seven big, beefy .45 caliber rounds with hollow points big enough to mix drinks in. For those of you that do not know, hollow points in bullets are made to peel open the bullet once it hits, and do things to a human body normally ascribed to werewolves. Oh, and two spare mags, cause I was a boyscout and I am prepared. Even for Zombies. End the aside.

So I got to my car, and I can hear this guy somewhere amidst the cars, talking trash about someone’s driving ability. Apparently -At least to hear this guy tell it- Satan himself ate nothing but Whitecastles, Long John Silver’s and Skyline Chili for seven centuries, then sat himself over the cockpit of the vehicle in question and took a long, loving movement worthy of an elephant Mozart. That driver, that pile of excrement, was the focus of his ire.

Look, I am not a cop. I do not pretend to be a cop, I don’t WANT to be a cop. Caps do a hard, thankless job and I am in no way trained. Tell, you what, though. I head a fist hit window with that particular hollow “thummmb” and I knew things were going to get bad. I also know that, while no cop am I, a pretty good witness is a cellphone. So I toss in the gadget, I lock my doors, hook keys to beltloop, and dig for cellphone.

I didn’t get far, because there he was in the very next lane, screaming at the car window just inches from the driver. People were avoiding the area like the plague, moving to other lanes to walk to and from the BBS so I was the only one the close enough to see what was going on.

He hit the window again.

I whistled.

Another aside: I have two whistles. One is a standard, pursed lips, snappy, I’m replicating a Disney song just a bit out of tune on a bright Sunday afternoon kind-of-sound.  The other is not. IT is a ear cracking shriek that is half death-of-a-nazgul and half Tween sensation soundtrack. It is ugly, and it is accusatory, and it gets your attention right friggin now.

So guess which one I used?

Sir Charming was a male, white, in a pale blue poli and kakis. His hair was white, but he appeared pretty fit, and as he looked up at me it was clear that what he was thinking is that he could take the tub of lard that faced him at the end of this old, golden Cadillac. That’s when the magic happened.

NO. He did not become airborne particles as my manly machine spewed high caliber Justice (which must be capitalized in this case) as an American flag fluttered behind me and someone played one of the less overtly sexual songs from AC/DC. NO. I did not draw my weapon, touch my weapon, fondle my weapon, show my weapon or even MENTION my weapon. As he tensed up and his teeth clenched so hard I swear the dental work was cracking and shearing under the strain, as he tensed to pounce, I watched him take a really good look.

He saw a man that was not afraid.

And I wasn’t. I was watching him so close I could have sweat blood, my heart was going so hard I could hear the work of every cardio cell I owned, I was prepping the magic spell of DRAWAIMFIRE and would cast it so fast my blubber would fly at the very second it was needed. But it wasn’t. In short: I thought about the two pounds of metal and I wasn’t afraid, and the colossal bully sensed it. He sensed it, screamed one last thing at the driver, and stalked off toward consumer heaven.

I gave it a few seconds. (Once again, I am a cautious fellow, not a cop, etc.etc.etc.) and then I walked forward. The driver was alone, face buried in her hands, shaking like a leaf. She was probably pushing 70, and so terrified she never saw me walk up to her door. I knocked lightly, but she acted like gunshots had gone off. I held up one empty hand and one cellphone to her. I said something she didn’t hear through the glass. She inched the window down a fraction.


“Are you alright? Do you need to call anyone, ma’am?” I again offered my cellphone.

She looked around from the periwinkle menace, “N-No… Is he gone?”

“Yes, ma’am. But if this is where you were going, he’s inside.”

Her lips hardened into a line, because this was a woman who had gone from Jeeps to Jet Planes. She had watched her world change from analog to digital, her moon from cheese to a fragment of the planet’s own core. She had seen radio rise, and TV, and then the internet come to shove them all aside. She had survived two massive wars, one cold war, and all the little brushfire miseries in between. Some jackass in kakis could startle her, even scare her, but she would not be kept down by the likes of him.

“I guess I should shop elsewhere, then.”

I shrugged, “Ma’am if you want to shop here, I will be glad to walk you all through that building and back out here if that’s what it takes.”

And I would have.

But she was a kind old woman, and she had been brought up to never put a stranger to one second’s trouble more than was necessary. She shook her head, “No, no. But thank you.”

I smiled at her, went back to my car, and drove away.

To this day I don’t know if it was a traffic near miss, or if she cut him off, or if he just imagined something after a day so long and horrid an otherwise sane man had snapped and become a thing of nightmares for this lady. What I do know is: don’t tell me guns kill people. Mine didn’t even have to get drawn to help out a little old lady.

the one where I whisper, for the words themselves roar…

Yesterday there was a New York Post article about a waitress.

Bored with her life and fresh off a New Year’s Eve epiphany, a 24-year-old Canadian named Amanda Lindhout quits her job as a cocktail waitress and decides to become a journalist. To get famous fast, she’ll start in Afghanistan,

After a close call or three, she finally falls into a trap she cannot talk her way out of. She is held for years, she is raped and gangraped over and over by people who see a woman as a useful receptacle instead of a person. She and her cameraman are abused, even tortured.

WHAT PLAN?Waitress Amanda Lindhout winged it as a freelancer in Somalia until she and a pal were kidnapped by an al Qaeda offshoot.

PALS NO MORE:Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan manage to smile after their ordeal, but they no longer speak to each other.

What? she should have converted? They did. But the Koran may say X it does not apply when the guy with the AK says it does not apply.

They tell their captors they want to become Muslim and are given Korans and a maddening, illogical tutelage: Yes, the jihadis agree, the Koran forbids Muslims taking money from other Muslims, but this is a special circumstance. Yes, they agree, a Muslim may not rape a Muslim woman, but this is a special circumstance. Yes, a Muslim may not kill another Muslim, but here there may be no choice.

Escape? They did.

They race toward a nearby mosque, screaming “Help me, I am Muslim!” in broken Somali. Everyone in their path turns away: With people this frantic, very bad men are soon behind, and by the time they reach the mosque, their most lethal captor awaits with his AK-47. They barge in, frantic, electric with fear.

The congregation freezes, and the lone woman present hugs Amanda, holding her tightly. A sympathetic worshipper hands Nigel an AK-47, telling him it is “the gun of the Muslim.” Nigel says he cannot kill anyone and gives it back.

An imam must be called, they say, to determine whether these two should live or die. Their captors pull them away, Nigel and Amanda clawing like animals. They are beaten savagely in public and placed in a new home. This one has rooms like coffins, three feet by seven, pitch black, prone to rats.

I leave the rest to those who want to read the article.

But this brings me to the point that the article steers clearly away from, with understandable intent. It may be rude, crass and callous to publicly tell a woman who was put through this particular kind of hell that she should have known better. But she should. The middle east has not been shown to be a happy, warm and fuzzy place since Aladdin, and if that’s where you get your idea of how the world works, you are a severely broken person. But even saying this brings up whole, volcanic arguments about blaming the victim and women’s rights. And really what its all leading back to is the cardinal flaw in western civilization.
Inside of Western Civilization we have done a pretty damn good job of protecting our children from the horrors of utter barbarism. We’ve done such a good job, that they in many cases have no real clue that such barbarism exists, and if told will utterly deny that it exists and call you a liar or racist for pointing out it out. This is how such films as 127 Hours inspire not only people to go rock climbing, but to not tell anyone they are going just like the guy in the movie, with similar results! I am shocked to the point of despair that it needs be said: Aron Ralston is not a role model, he was an idiot that missed the Darwin Awards by an eyelash!

Or the free spirit Christopher McCandless, who studies in college that the imperialistic American aggressors have blinded the proletariat and done bad things to all brown people. He believes this so much he walks away from a brought future to be a hippie in the woods, walking across the country. Now before you defend his interestingly long bout of self loathing, I remind you that this idiot dies from starvation, dehydration, and eating poisoned berries. If he were a genius, I am sure he would have found a way to fight against the American War Machine instead of screwing off to the woods, very nearly jumping into bed with an underage girl, and dying like a chipmunk. So… how do the mental giants that agree with Captain Supertramp remember his legacy? They try to off themselves in the same way, at the same place. No, seriously. Some die.

I am often asked why so many of my novels are bloody. Believe it or not, they are not bloody for the sake of shock value, or to revel in the blood like a slasher flick. They are bloody because violence is bloody, and they very often take place in places where there is very little civilization as we know it. They are brutal because they occur at another time and place, and those places are brutal.

Which circles back to my point: I believe we have failed as parents. We must instil in children a sense of wonder, of accomplishment, and of limitless potential. We must also let them know that once you leave the domain of Western Civilization, its sense of right and wrong, its cultural stability, and its mores no longer protect you. This applies in the lawless sections of Detroit or Somalia, or even in the far off reaches of the woods that will kill you as soon as look at you. They need to know that these places exist. We owe it to them to let them know what their forefathers built to keep them safe, and that it doesn’t cover the whole world.


the one where I finally nail it

This article begins:
Women who fight in jousting tournaments are awesome. Period. In fact, anyone who combats in a medieval setting earns my admiration but I especially look up to ladies because well, I’m a lady.

But I cry foul. 

KNIGHTS that fight in jousting tournaments are awesome. I do not hold ladies in any more esteem for doing those things a man does because I DO NOT EXPECT ANY LESS OF THEM.

It is the same with different races, genders, beliefs and sexual orientations. It’s a package deal: No glass ceiling, no doubts, no restrictions, and no pandering (Isn’t that cool a -whatever- won) BS when you win.

In a world that seems very often to be made up of psychotically offendable people, of people so ready to defend a CAUSE that they discard those people who may not treat their protected species with 100% kid gloves, in a world that wants to convince you that the only reason you struggle is not because LIFE IS STRUGGLE but because you are not white and male – (thus saying white guys have it easy and demeaning any of their accomplishments is never anyone’s problem), In that world I do not tiptoe around you, because I believe you can take boots. You punch me, I punch back. That way, when you win, it means something, and if I win, I get to claim that, too. I do not demean your achievement by saying how special of a (woman/gay/muslim) you must be to get this far. No restricted access to make sure you play in your own pool because you are delicate and must be protected from the big bad world and all the players in it.

Respect and reward equal to the effort because you EARNED it, only because you EARNED it. That is what is fair. 

If that’s not enough, GTFO because you are doing it for the wrong reasons.


And I think I may have articulated this in a way I am satisfied with.


samantha swords 1

the one where I give up the stage for a moment…

Does anyone remember the shoebomber? The guy one step above in IQ rank from the animal that tried to down a airplane by blowing off his Johnson? Well the shoebomber has been tried, convicted, and sentenced.  And, for once, it isn’t a decision that makes me want to run out and buy wigs and muskets. As such, I think it is appropriate to share here. 


Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his ‘allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,’ defiantly
stating, ‘I think I will not apologize for my actions,’ and told the court ‘I am at war with your country.’

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

Judge Young: “Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That’s 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years, again to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000, that’s an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government’s recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you, five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it, or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not—–, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You’re no warrior. I’ve known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 

‘You’re no big deal. ‘

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have, as honestly as I know how, tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty, and admit you are guilty, of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me, you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom’s sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice, is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers, will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That’s the flag of the United States of America . That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.”

Tonight I hoist a drink to  Judge William Young, and I sleep a little better knowing such is the nature of my countrymen.


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