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Monday, September 16, 2013

Lions Den V: Brad Torgersen

Brad Torgersen is an award-winning author who was nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula awards in 2012.  Due to his failure to be sufficiently vibrant, irreligious, or other adjective indicative of the Left's various totems, he found himself the subject of an SFWA hate campaign to deny him the awards which bore certain similarities to my own experience with that organization. Review volunteers are now in, thank you.

Lights in the Deep is the product of three years of effort, plus one long summer of editing, proofing, packaging, and wrap-up.  It contains ten different pieces of short science fiction, all previously published in either Analog magazine, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show magazine, or L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers and Illustrators of the Future, vol. XXVI. This collection is my first “best of” album, and features my Writers of the Future award winner, my Analog readers’ choice award winner, and my Hugo and Nebula nominee.

I believe my job is to entertain the reader, and provide the reader with a worthwhile, uplifting experience.  I don’t write stories to shock, challenge, make the reader squirm, or (Lord help us) raise awareness.  I do write stories with the idea that “scientifiction” is about the science as much as it is about the fiction.  Since Larry Niven was perhaps my most influential template in this regard, I try to tell interesting stories featuring engaging characters, set in universes which are plausibly founded on science as we know it.  And if I stray from science as we know it, I work hard to keep my extrapolations consistent, and only bend the rules if it makes sense for them to be bent.

In related news, Larry Correia is lighting a fuse for a book bomb on Mr. Torgersen's behalf. He explains:

"Why does Brad deserve a Book Bomb?

"First off, he’s actually an extremely good writer. Brad is the guy who was nominated for the Hugo, Campbell, and Nebula award, all at the same time, and who was then swiftly attacked, maligned, and sabotaged by the inner clique of literati douchebags because he was 1. Military. 2. An outspoken conservative. 3. Openly religious. 4. White and thus incapable of being a ”real” writer."

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50 Comments:

Anonymous Alauda September 16, 2013 9:24 AM  

Or maybe Brad just isn't that good. Have you thought about that, Vox?

Anonymous Stilicho September 16, 2013 9:36 AM  

This isn't the warren alauda. If you had a third grader's reading comprehension you would have recognized the fact that Vox didn't endorse or laud the author as well as the fact that the book is being presented for critical review. Of course, one could hardly expect a rabbit to be familiar with either concept.

Anonymous LL September 16, 2013 9:40 AM  

@Alauda, yes, because an author being nominated for 3 different awards from 3 different organizations in one year is obvious evidence of shitty writing. Who knew?

Anonymous VD September 16, 2013 9:50 AM  

Or maybe Brad just isn't that good. Have you thought about that, Vox?

That's irrelevant, Dan. The email discussion between people attempting to arrange for someone else to win the award leaked out into the public.

You really are a poisonous little beast. But you do provide amusement.

"So, what are your names, wayfarers?"

Anonymous JartStar September 16, 2013 10:09 AM  

That's a cool cover illustration.

Anonymous VD September 16, 2013 10:15 AM  

That's a cool cover illustration.

Ah, the artist approves.... I like the title myself.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother September 16, 2013 10:16 AM  

Called out by real name, even. Gots to sting a little bit, eh Dan?

Anonymous VD September 16, 2013 10:24 AM  

That's enough about Danny. He's said his usual piece, let's leave it at that. I'm more interested in Torgensen's statement that science still has a place in science fiction. No wonder SFWA didn't want anything to do with him.

Anonymous Josh September 16, 2013 10:31 AM  

Well...if you have a science fiction story in a world of multiverses, you have an infinite number of sexy sensitive alpha males to fall head over heels in love with our smart tough vibrant independent heroine. So there is a role for science to play in increasing the number of potential romantic partners.

And another benefit of a multi verse? Infinite drama.

Anonymous VD September 16, 2013 10:42 AM  

Especially if you name each of the characters in the love triangle after chemical elements. Then it's totally science fiction of the highest order.

"Hold me in your strong arms, Bromine!"

"Fluorine, is that you? And why are you kissing your stinking brother?"

"No, Strontium, it's not what it looks like!"

Anonymous Josh September 16, 2013 10:51 AM  

Love triangles are so universe. With a multiverse, we can have a love apeirogon.

Blogger GK Chesterton September 16, 2013 11:48 AM  

Well if nothing else I'll pick it up. It sounds good and I have to admit the cover art/title (very nicely 1960's) won me over.

Anonymous Pinakeli September 16, 2013 12:24 PM  

I want to thank Alauda/Dan for the snide comment. It prompted me to go and buy the Kindle edition. Unfortunately I won't have time to read it for a couple weeks, so I won't make the deadline for a reviewer.

Blogger comreich September 16, 2013 12:49 PM  

Needed something for the plane on Monday since I'll probably have the Grimnoir series done by then. Thanks to Vox and this "Lion's Den", now I've got some splainin' to do to the missus. Four books in as many weeks! Long live good SF.

Anonymous VD September 16, 2013 1:00 PM  

I want to thank Alauda/Dan for the snide comment. It prompted me to go and buy the Kindle edition.

It is funny how he continually sabotages himself in that manner. I mean, you're on the fence, but the fact that it clearly upsets him is enough to push you into action.

Anonymous The Artist, also known as Brad September 16, 2013 1:01 PM  

I cut my teeth reading the works of men like Allan Cole, Chris Bunch, and Larry Niven. All three of whom made huge impressions on me as a teenager. Their "flavor" definitely leaks around the edges in my own stories. I do make an effort to put science into my science fiction, without driving out (or abandoning by the roadside) the characters themselves. I've developed a penchant for plunging ordinary people (not unlike you and I) into extraordinary circumstances, thereby bringing out their extraordinariness in the process. My heroes tend to be somewhat blue collar, plain-spoken, and are *not* prone to lecturing through the Fourth Wall about ists, isms, or correctness. Rather, they are simply trying to survive and find a little piece of happiness in this universe. Not always easily done.

Anonymous Eric Ashley September 16, 2013 1:05 PM  

The cover is good, but a bit over clever/cute.

Book sounds interesting.

Blogger jaericho September 16, 2013 4:22 PM  

I picked up a copy for my kindle. It's in the queue.

Anonymous Concerned Rabbit Hunter September 16, 2013 4:24 PM  

Amazon shows that the cover was previously used on Ray of Light, also by the author.

Anonymous Stickwick September 16, 2013 4:37 PM  

"First off, he’s actually an extremely good writer. Brad is the guy who was nominated for the Hugo, Campbell, and Nebula award, all at the same time, and who was then swiftly attacked, maligned, and sabotaged by the inner clique of literati douchebags because he was 1. Military. 2. An outspoken conservative. 3. Openly religious. 4. White and thus incapable of being a ”real” writer."

Based on this alone, I bought the Nook version of this book. I may make it my default to buy at least one work by any sci-fi / fantasy author who's attacked, maligned, and sabotaged by the inner clique of literati douchebags.

Anonymous Stickwick September 16, 2013 4:40 PM  

By the way, I agree with JartStar. The cover is really cool.

Anonymous The Artist, also known as Brad September 16, 2013 5:02 PM  

Bob Eggleton is the artist who did the original painting, which was specifically commissioned for my novelette "Ray of Light," which was the Hugo/Nebula nominated story in 2012. I was very proud of this painting, and loved being able to get Bob's permission for the cover. It's an excellent piece of art.

Anonymous Catan September 16, 2013 5:02 PM  

So, this Brad fellow gets mentioned in a positive manner, and somehow he merits zero-minute response time from an angry, one-liner spewing knuckledragger?

Intriguing. Must be something to the guy.

Sold.

Blogger JartStar September 16, 2013 5:22 PM  

I bought a copy as well. Thanks for the heads up Dan!

Anonymous REG September 16, 2013 6:36 PM  

Bought- Thanks Dan.

Anonymous Alauda September 16, 2013 6:44 PM  

Don't lie to yourself, you'd have bought it anyway.

Anonymous Stickwick September 16, 2013 7:00 PM  

Don't lie to yourself, you'd have bought it anyway.

LOL. I'm buying another copy for my dad's Nook just for that. He doesn't read fiction at all, let alone science fiction.

Anonymous VD September 16, 2013 7:03 PM  

Dan, thanks to you, it's already a bestseller!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,029 Paid in Kindle Store

#25 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Science Fiction > Hard Science Fiction

Anonymous JohnS September 16, 2013 7:43 PM  

Purchased on my phone for kindle app. Midway through 1st story, not bad so far.

And $4.99 is an irresistibly low price to make Dan weep in bitter rage...

Blogger Markku September 16, 2013 7:46 PM  

"Brad just isn't that good"
-Dimwit Dan

Now, tell me that wouldn't look good on the backside.

Anonymous The Artist, also known as Brad September 16, 2013 8:24 PM  

For Dan's information, I like to think my Writers of the Future award, and my Analog readers' choice award, were the two things which proved (more or less) that I didn't suck. The former was won "blind" by a panel of bestselling judges who graded the story strictly on its own merit, while the latter was won purely for the story itself; it was my first ever publication in Analog magazine, with zero name cred behind it.

Having said this, taste is taste. Not every book or story is written to the taste of every reader or reviewer. I content myself with the wins when I get them, and don't fault people for not taking a liking to my style or my subject matter. Nothing personal. It's just business.

Blogger Markku September 16, 2013 8:29 PM  

Having said this, taste is taste. Not every book or story is written to the taste of every reader or reviewer.

Every right-thinking individual is against Dimwit Dan's taste. It's reliable like Old Faithful.

That's why I recommended Doug TenNapel's Creature Tech earlier, just based on Dan hating the author.

Anonymous Morris September 16, 2013 8:29 PM  

Count me as another who has bought the book based on Dan's 'recommendation".

Liberals are almost always so deluded they don't even see they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Anonymous Jill September 16, 2013 9:04 PM  

I plan to purchase this book, but it really has nothing to do with an ambiguous person on the internet called Dan. However, if Dan can sell books that well, perhaps more authors should use his dissing services. It could be a very lucrative, yet hush-hush operation for him and the authors alike.

Blogger Markku September 16, 2013 9:12 PM  

No, don't dilute the Dan brand!

Anonymous kh123 September 16, 2013 9:36 PM  

"... L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers and Illustrators of the Future, vol. XXVI."

Otherwise known as "Give us your social security number before we can declare you this years' contest winner and cut you a check". Scientology at its finest.

Other than that, cool cover.

Anonymous The Arist, also known as Brad September 16, 2013 10:24 PM  

To be fair to the Contest (the administrators of which do work very hard on behalf of us new genre folk) putting your SS# on a contract is pretty standard in the biz. For IRS reasons. I figured since I let the federal government jab me with needles at least once a year (for Army purposes, and I really have no idea what's in those syringes) I could trust Joni and Co. with my SS#. (grin) So far the gov shots have made me seriously ill on at least two occasions. The Contest has yet to empty my bank account. (wink) Can I trust the Contest more than the feds? Yes, yes I can!

Anonymous Daniel September 16, 2013 10:36 PM  

Hey, Dan, what do you think of my books?

And the Writers of the Future anthology is - no question about it - about the only traditionally published recurring anthology worth its salt that pays writers well.

Yes, the fact that Scientology can figure out a way to advance great new science fiction, treat its non-conforming writers like actual stars, and never ask for their blood in return is a lesson to the SFWA and Tor. When and L. Ron Hubbard org has you beat on the grounds of civility and fair play, that piece of metal irritating your rump? That's a fork.

Thanks Dan, and cheers, Brad. Here's hoping you hit #1...with a bullet.

Anonymous The other skeptic September 16, 2013 10:55 PM  

I figure that I will buy that book soon as well. As soon as I get this RDMA stuff done.

Anonymous Ulick McGee September 17, 2013 1:40 AM  

Bought on my phone with Kindle app.

Anonymous kh123 September 17, 2013 2:35 AM  

"putting your SS# on a contract is pretty standard in the biz."

Key word being "contract". Not solicited over the phone, sans paperwork, after playing up the "You've won!" angle.

Anonymous Lazybug September 17, 2013 6:42 AM  

Evocative title, made me think immediately "Drums, drums in the deep"

Anonymous Catan September 17, 2013 7:32 AM  

Don't lie to yourself, you'd have bought it anyway.

Guffaw. Actually, no I wouldn't have. I've never heard of this author before. Your recommendation did the trick.

When are you rabbits going to understand that reality does not synergize with your irrational, self-centered hamster brains?

Just because you find something uncomfortable, doesn't mean it didn't happen. I can't believe I'm having to explain this to an adult.

(He IS an adult, right?)

Anonymous Eric Ashley September 17, 2013 9:38 AM  

Rabbits are permanently stuck at fourteen.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 17, 2013 10:11 AM  

The cover art of Lights in the Deep reminded me of something and it just hit me -- Thomas Kincaid paintings.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 17, 2013 10:17 AM  

Count me as another who has bought the book based on Dan's 'recommendation".

Careful, lest Dan try to trick y'all into a battle of wits. Is he Sicilian?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_eZmEiyTo0

Anonymous The Artist, also known as Brad September 17, 2013 12:08 PM  

I'm currently at #9 in Hard SF, #9 in Tech SF, and #13 in Post-Apocalyptic SF. At Amazon.com's rankings. And I am nestled right up against Orson Scott Card's book. Heinlein would be proud! Thanks, Populists (Populi?) for the buys, and the signal boost. I hope you all like what you find between the pages. Either paper, or electronic. And thanks again to VD (as he swiftly kicks me under the table) for being willing to host me at the Lion's Den. Also, thanks to Dan for inadvertently psyching some sales for me. The internet is strange like that. Negativity can either be like acid, or like water. In this case, it was like water. You poured it, and it made something grow!

Anonymous Eric C September 17, 2013 12:12 PM  

Thanks, Populists (Populi?) for the buys, and the signal boost.

Ilk. The Dread Ilk.

Y'all come back now.

Blogger Markku September 17, 2013 1:31 PM  

In this case, it was like water. You poured it, and it made something grow!

In this allegory, I think Dan's part was the fertilizer.

Blogger JaimeInTexas September 17, 2013 3:30 PM  

I bought Lights in the Deep, kindle edition, earlier today. Pathos, a quality that evokes pity or sadness, is how I would describe it so far..

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