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Monday, December 10, 2012

WND column

No doubt some of you are getting a little bored with the book announcements, but since WND was happy to let me use the column to let its readers know about it, that's the subject of today's column.  But it is more than just an announcement, it is also a reminder that simply running away from the poisoned, intellectually-stunted kultursmog is not a viable long-term strategy for Christians and conservatives.  The old ways will reassert themselves in the end, they always do, but in the meantime, it is the responsibility of those who keep to them to continue pointing the way out to those enmeshed in the mire.

A THRONE OF BONES

Christians and conservatives are world-class complainers about the current entertainment culture. Their complaints are entirely justified as there is a tremendous amount about which they can quite reasonably complain. Television is filled with perverse and immoral characters, the only reason representatives of some of the nation’s largest demographic groups appear on screens large and small is to be mocked, and the traditional virtues are openly despised and denigrated in the name of public entertainment....

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40 Comments:

Anonymous Kyle In Japan December 10, 2012 5:37 AM  

I'm not getting bored with the book posts. As far as I'm concerned, I'd love more posts on books and writing in general. I tend to get a lot more out of those than, say, writing about sports. But it's not my blog to run.

I'm about 60% through the book - I'd rather take my sweet time and enjoy it rather than blast through at full speed. It is a true joy to read a book absent of all the stupid politically correct tropes and risible post-modern thinking that tends to dominate fiction in general these days. Reading a book with good guys, bad guys, a coherent and interesting plot, and characters who I don't feel compelled to punch in the face is always nice.

Maybe most of all, I like the male characters. Even though I'm much more of a geeky hipster than the average gun-toting, football-loving Ilk, I like that the men in this book aren't wimps, aren't led around by the balls by their "better halves," and generally act in a heroic or otherwise interesting manner.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch December 10, 2012 5:51 AM  

Vox,

Could you expand a bit more about what you said here:

But it is more than just an announcement, it is also a reminder that simply running away from the poisoned, intellectually-stunted kultursmog is not a viable long-term strategy for Christians and conservatives. The old ways will reassert themselves in the end, they always do, but in the meantime, it is the responsibility of those who keep to them to continue pointing the way out to those enmeshed in the mire.

Anonymous Jesus H. Christ, aka your Savior. December 10, 2012 5:56 AM  

"Goddamn it!! Will somebody get Jerry Falwell's fat lazy ass out of my recliner. I'm trying to watch the NFL network!!"--Jesus Christ, as told to Martha Stewart.

Anonymous jack December 10, 2012 6:26 AM  

I have not received the hardback yet and went ahead and dove into the ebook. Now, I was reading it using Kindle for PC for the larger screen and had not bothered to keep track of the pages. I spent a large amount of time over two days and, suddenly, there was a half page with the notice 'closing time' at the bottom. I realized, almost with shock, and that is no exaggeration, the book was ending. Then a small depression set in knowing that it would be a long two years or so before I could continue reading.

Darn you Vox.

Its good. I knew it would be; but not this good. Thanks.

Anonymous MikeH December 10, 2012 6:30 AM  

Some of us sat through your evisceration of Me So Michelle and chuckled the whole time. I think we can manage through some wellmdeserved self promotion

On a side note: I am waiting for the ankle-bitters to start ripping into the book. I hope that happens 'cause I could use a good laugh soon.

Blogger Rantor December 10, 2012 6:41 AM  

Just finished seven minutes ago. Thank you very much. Great and compelling story. I have started many books that I do not finish for various reasons. With fiction it is usually that the story doesn't move quickly enough or that I could care less what happened to the characters. You succeeded on both counts, interesting characters and a story that advances nicely.

Now to figure out how many copies I will by for friends and family...

Anonymous Knochel Biter December 10, 2012 6:43 AM  

The book simply is not that good. He says it's "based on" the Roman Social war, yet we apparently disagree about what "based on" means. I think it means using something as a loose frame work, Vox however thinks it means copying out of a history book, but adding a few letters to everyones name. Taruquinus!?!?!?! COme on!!!!1!!one!!

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 6:43 AM  

Its good. I knew it would be; but not this good. Thanks.

That's great to hear. You're quite welcome, of course. Three things:

(1) we just uploaded a new file to Amazon that cleaned up all of the errata that came up in the final proofing for the hardcover, plus another round of additional errata removal and the "Markku Special" reformatting which blew away even the professional publishers. We'll be sending it out to all of the ML buyers before Christmas and will figure out a way to get it to those who bought from Amazon between last Wednesday and today as well. It's easy to tell which version of the ebook you have; if the title page has a skull and there is no appendix, you have the older one. If the title page looks like a Roman carving and there is an appendix, you have the revision.

(2) POST A REVIEW!

(3) I know that feeling very well. I'm delighted to hear that I finally managed to create it in a reader on the 5th try. I'll post about this another time, but I really do know what you mean about the small depression that sets in when one's time in a different place is done. But I'm already writing Book Two and I am determined that it is going to be better, deeper, better-written and with more pyrotechnics than Book One.

And you won't have to wait two years for some new material. A new ebook with two short stories will be out in a month or two for Kindle Select and the SE hardcover will contain both those stories as well as two more new ones. I don't believe in prequel novels, but I do think prequel short stories and novellas can be a nice means of exploring some interesting historical threads.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 6:45 AM  

He says it's "based on" the Roman Social war, yet we apparently disagree about what "based on" means. I think it means using something as a loose frame work, Vox however thinks it means copying out of a history book, but adding a few letters to everyones name.

Well done, that.

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 6:50 AM  

As for the Markku Special: If you had a reader that was 100% compatible with the original auto-generated code, it is going to look almost exactly the same as the one you have. What my reformatting did, though, was dramatically increase the range of readers that display it properly.

Anonymous Roundtine December 10, 2012 7:36 AM  

I ordered the hardback. I don't read on the Kindle because it doesn't have pictures.

Anonymous The Great Martini December 10, 2012 7:41 AM  


The old ways will reassert themselves in the end, they always do,


If that were true, we would still be living, approximately, in first century Rome. Things always change, usually through interplay between progress and tradition. The old will not be made new again, not usually, unless you want to live under a regime that actually imposes tradition. Traditional wisdom should inform and moderate progress, but progress indicates errors in tradition. You can't have one without the other, not in a happy world.
Where did tradition reassert itself after a period of productive interchange between tradition and progress to good effect?
Old ways don't reassert themselves, despots impose old ways on subjugated people.

Blogger James Dixon December 10, 2012 8:16 AM  

> If that were true, we would still be living, approximately, in first century Rome.

Given the similarities between Obama and Nero, are you certain we're not?

Anonymous Rantor December 10, 2012 8:17 AM  

Great Martini

No despots normally force their supposedly progressive ideas on the population.

Anonymous Susan December 10, 2012 8:30 AM  

TGM, have you not heard the old saying,"The more things change, the more they stay the same", and then there's that goody, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Old ways are always to be found in modern times. We may put some frills and lipstick on them, but when you break them down, chances are that they originated in ancient times.

For example, I was reading the commentary by the historian Josephus. I was really surprised when I got to the part about Rome's military. You could have substituted our modern army very easily in the pages he wrote. Old King Solomon wrote at the end of his days lamenting that there was nothing new under the sun. He had seen everything.

Another example, read the Bible OT, I think its Deuteronomy, where all those miscellaneous laws are put down on how to handle most any given situation. Notice the similarity between them and some of our modern laws?

Another example could be the similarity to the 1930's era and what is happening today with the rise in class warfare and jew hatred.

Mankind is lazy. Why come up with something original, when you can take somebody else's ideas, tweak slightly, and make them your own. Each generation always thinks they can do it better than the previous. That is why I totally agree with VD. The old ways will reassert themselves.

Anonymous Susan December 10, 2012 8:32 AM  

That paragraph in italics reminds me of another Biblical example, NT: As it was in the days of Noah...

Anonymous JartStar December 10, 2012 8:35 AM  

The secularists didn't win the battle for fantasy in a major conflict, instead they arrived and saw the battle field abandoned by the Christians.

Anonymous Heh December 10, 2012 8:48 AM  



I was glad that Vox avoided the "Turtledove on Rails" syndrome, in which every event in the story, and almost every person, has a real-life analogue, and thus if the reader is familiar with history, he knows how it's going to play out. At first it is amusing to see what he's going to do with each event or person (oh, he's gonna make the Confederates the Nazis with the blacks in the role of Jews... oh, he's making the Fuhrer of a victorious Nazi Germany into Gorbachev) but once you figure out the formula there's almost no point in reading it.

Anonymous VryeDenker December 10, 2012 8:49 AM  

What the hell is up with Amazon charging me $2 extra for the Kindle edition because I live in South Africa?

The book is certainly worth every cent and more at $6.99 (going on past experience with the author), but I still think they're rude for charging a poor African such as myself more just because he happens to live on the dark continent.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 8:55 AM  

The secularists didn't win the battle for fantasy in a major conflict, instead they arrived and saw the battle field abandoned by the Christians.

True, but having taken it over, some of them are intentionally doing everything they can to prevent it from being reclaimed. It's not an accident that publishers like Tor sought out a mediocre, derivative writer like Scalzi and push him as hard as possible.

Numerous writers at Black Gate have called, in some cases openly, for Black Gate to be blackballed simply because I occasionally post there. They've even complained about the fact that Black Gate would post an announcement of the publication of A Throne of Bones there, despite the fact that BG routinely does so whenever anyone affiliated with it in any way does so.

Fox News showed how its done, to a certain degree, but it requires the prospective viewers to be willing to actually change the channel. I've made it difficult for people to either ignore me or claim that I'm not good enough to be published by the mainstream. But that doesn't matter if people complain about all the crap that's out there as they continue to buy stuff like 50 Shades of Grey, Twilight, and Scalzi's Redshirts.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 8:58 AM  

I was glad that Vox avoided the "Turtledove on Rails" syndrome, in which every event in the story, and almost every person, has a real-life analogue, and thus if the reader is familiar with history, he knows how it's going to play out.

I was so disappointed when I started reading Byzantine history in college and discovered that Turtledove hadn't invented much of anything in The Misplaced Legion series. I quit reading his stuff after the Krispos books.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo December 10, 2012 9:19 AM  

Just bought the book. The last fantasy I read was the Tales of the Otori series (nevermind strong independent Kaede -- "The Harsh Cry of the Heron" takes a hammer to her) and The Kouga Ninja Scrolls (not very good), so I hope that this doesn't disappoint.

I'll e-mail you my thoughts when I'm done.

Anonymous Faust December 10, 2012 9:27 AM  

Vox-

I just finished the book. It's excellent, really, one of the best pieces of fantasy I've read in a long, long time. I love the world, and especially the nation of Amorr.

One question, though...
Did it really need so many characters named Marcus?

Anonymous jack December 10, 2012 10:18 AM  

Faust: Did it really need so many characters named Marcus?

I had to think a moment or two while reading but, then, Marcus had to be a common Roman name [same in Amor, of course] so why not?

I just had to be sure I was cheering for the right Marcus....

Anonymous orlock December 10, 2012 10:26 AM  

WELL SAID. BRAVO SIR. I intend to buy my (secular humanist/atheist)book loving son your book, hopefully God see fit to use it. I am glad for your ministry via your blog and books.

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 10:31 AM  

VryeDenker: Again that's nothing. "$8.04 Kindle Edition".

Anonymous VryeDenker December 10, 2012 10:37 AM  

What's the extra 4 cents for?

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 10:41 AM  

I'm guessing they have an extra percentage per country, that they add to the US price. (Which, of course, completely ruins "psychological prices" - a human being would have understood to make it $7.99)

Blogger Markku December 10, 2012 10:46 AM  

But weep not for me, for my freebies abound.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia December 10, 2012 11:06 AM  

Question, VD, do you make more off of an electronic sale or the hard copy? Is there is any difference to you at all?

I lean to the hard copy, but not if it is more helpful to you to buy electronically.

Anonymous Cheddarman December 10, 2012 11:16 AM  

Vox,

I loved the book.

I look forward to the next books in the series.

I will pray for your work.

sincerely

Cheddarman

Blogger James Higham December 10, 2012 1:29 PM  

Watching with interest.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 1:32 PM  

VD, do you make more off of an electronic sale or the hard copy? Is there is any difference to you at all?

Probably the hard copy, but honestly, it makes no difference to me. Orders from Amazon help on the awareness side, but if you're seriously torn between a $35 hardcover and a $5 ebook, then you obviously prefer the hardcover. Go with that, I've seen the jacket and it is lovely.

Anonymous VD December 10, 2012 1:36 PM  

I just finished the book. It's excellent, really, one of the best pieces of fantasy I've read in a long, long time. I love the world, and especially the nation of Amorr. One question, though... Did it really need so many characters named Marcus?

I actually played that down quite a bit. There were a grand total of 20 praenomen in Republican Rome, and that's assuming that you count Caius and Gaius separately. That's 20 in a city of at least 500,000 male inhabitants.

The publisher was on my case about it at first, until I showed him that the one character was loosely based on one of the many Marcus Livius Drusus's. Imagine if Patronus was also named Marcus... and Corvus was also named Marcus... and Aulan was also named Marcus.

That would have actually been more historically realistic.

Blogger JartStar December 10, 2012 2:18 PM  

It's less common than it used to be, and I don't remember you doing it in the book, but thankfully little or no dialogue written from the perspective of thick accents. What I mean is that when they have a thick accent it is mentioned, but not spelled out so that the reading becomes a chore.

He said in a deep Southern accent, "Houston is a big, big city". VS. He said, "Yewston es a beg beg citay".

Anonymous Daniel December 10, 2012 5:16 PM  

I actually played that down quite a bit. There were a grand total of 20 praenomen in Republican Rome, and that's assuming that you count Caius and Gaius separately. That's 20 in a city of at least 500,000 male inhabitants.

The publisher was on my case about it at first, until I showed him that the one character was loosely based on one of the many Marcus Livius Drusus's. Imagine if Patronus was also named Marcus... and Corvus was also named Marcus... and Aulan was also named Marcus.

That would have actually been more historically realistic.


In discussing an older work (SE or a short story, I don't remember), I referred to the naming convention of the Romans as an unfortunate restriction, but there really is no good solution. It is such a distinguishing feature of the Amorrean culture - how else would they distinguish themselves from the outsiders?

JartStar's example of phonetic accents would have been a much worse decision. Even worse would have been the typical authorial cheat in fantasy: make up a bunch of linguistically insane names. If you ever suffered through Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth, you'll find the usual garbage names with lots of "Z's, X's and Klingon apostrophes" unnecessary nonsense words for normal things (demons were called something stupid, I can't remember)...and the hero is a guy named Richard.

Still, I bet I'm going to need an excel sheet for Book 3. But heck, I practically did for Dance With Dragons, but that was just to give me something interesting to read while I slogged through it.

Anonymous PC Geek December 10, 2012 8:25 PM  

Hi all

A bit of food for thought regarding Christians and culture, and the way that they have mostly ceded it to the secular realm.

I always thought that that was one of the biggest blunders of the 20th century Christians (well Churchians really) and their pietism - by abandoning the cultural battlefield (as per JartStar's comment) we have abandoned one of the greatest ways to reach people for the Gospel and to present it's truths. Very few people reach their beliefs due to rational arguments (or even a pretense of them) - all the apologetics in the world have likely evangelized far less effectively than LOTR or Narnia. As Tolkien discussed in depth in his wonderful essay "On Fairy Stories", mythmaking is more than just storytelling for fun (though there is nothiing wrong with that). Mythmaking is a fundamental organ of truth, and can discuss and portray truth more deeply than can cold, rational argument. As he is careful to point out, this does not denigrate rationality, it merely realizes that there is more to reality than that which our rational faculties can adequately address.

As Tolkien put it:

“We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”"

Definitely check this out - tons of other great quotes and amazing insight.

http://bjorn.kiev.ua/librae/Tolkien/Tolkien_On_Fairy_Stories.htm

Anonymous LES December 10, 2012 8:37 PM  

OK! I'm buying a Kindle so I can buy all the books. Is there any order in which they should be read?
(I already own RGD and TIA.)

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 9:57 PM  

I'll say this. Vox Day has himself a great deal over at WND. He can write advertising copy disguised as a column and it gets published. I always thought that WND gave up on the concept of editors.

Anonymous Tad December 10, 2012 9:59 PM  

@jartstar

The secularists didn't win the battle for fantasy in a major conflict, instead they arrived and saw the battle field abandoned by the Christians.

What kind of Christian-inspired literature could possibly advance Christianity and still be believable or credible, particularly as the belief system has continually over the decades and centuries devolved into silly defenses of the incredible?

May as well write ab out elves.

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