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Monday, December 15, 2014

Trigger warning!

In which a USN Commander, RIDING THE RED HORSE contributor, and new Castalia House Associate comments on the new military science fiction anthology:
If having your assumptions challenged and your mind blown could upset your delicate little psyche, you’re gonna want to click away right now.

If harrowing scenes of speculative, futuristic combat or stories about the men and women who fight for something greater than themselves fill you with dread, flee from here.

If center-right positions, hard science, or frank discussions of our past mistakes and future concerns make you want to hide behind your momma’s petticoats, you’d best stick to your internet safe-zone with all countervailing opinions neatly blocked away.

If the phrase “Trigger Warning” is something you watch out for and is itself a potential trigger for bad-thought . . . yeah, I got a book you’re gonna want to avoid.

However, if you can handle it and are a fan of kick-ass science fiction, of near-prescient analysis on what our future holds, or of some of the best writing you’ll see all year by great authors both new and old, well, for you I have your new favorite book....
Read the rest of it there. What do I mean by "new Castalia House Associate"? What that means is that Thomas May's very good first contact novel is now available in DRM-free EPUB and MOBI for Kindle format from the Castalia House store for $3.99. And by "first contact", I should probably point out that I mean "violent space combat" with one of the most unusual alien races yet encountered in science fiction. If you enjoyed "Within This Horizon", then you're going to want to read A Sword Into Darkness.

The reaction to the new anthology has been almost uniformly positive, which is encouraging, but I have to say that I was probably most amused by these two comments at Instapundit's.
  • Tom Kraman and Vox Day...lemme guess, more of that namby-baby, Dem/Lib/SJW kumbaya fluff... said no one ever.
  • Kratman AND Vox Day? Is the publisher TRYING to make SJW heads into IEDs?
The collection is Blue SF, to be sure, but it is moderately less Deep Navy Blue SF than you might expect, mostly because unlike the gatekeepers of Pink SF, Tom and I don't believe in ruthlessly enforcing our ideological perspective on every contributor. As Larry Correia has gone to considerable pains to point out in the past, it is the story is the point, not the moral or the ideological object lesson. And the general conclusion appears to be that these are very good stories indeed.

Labels:

39 Comments:

Blogger Josh December 15, 2014 4:32 PM  

We're gonna need a bigger trigger warning...

Anonymous NorthernHamlet December 15, 2014 5:13 PM  

it is the story is the point, not the moral or the ideological object lesson.

The long, dark slippery slope to Jeff Koons and Alain Robbe-Grillet begins.

Anonymous Dumb founded December 15, 2014 5:17 PM  

Is it better to purchase via Amazon for the Amazon Sales Rank or via Castalia House?

Anonymous jack December 15, 2014 5:40 PM  

Just got it from Amazon. Ranked #1, 19, and 19 in category. Should be fun. Am looking forward to Rolf Nelson's offering in particular. I'm expecting great things from him into the future. 15 years from now, should I and the Republic [such as it is these days] last that long, I can see The Stars Came Back as a long a running series as the Honor Harrington one, which surprised me with how much I liked it.
Keep writing Rolf; strike while that iron is hot!

Anonymous VD December 15, 2014 5:44 PM  

Is it better to purchase via Amazon for the Amazon Sales Rank or via Castalia House?

Probably Castalia. But we're absolutely fine either way. The optimal would be to buy direct, but to post a review there. As a general rule, people who buy from Amazon seem to be more likely to post reviews there.

Anonymous Dave December 15, 2014 5:54 PM  

That present day naval & aerial warfare may very well become outmoded and obsolete within a generation is mind blowing. Thanks to ESR it doesn't seem all that speculative either.

This anthology has set the bar high for the future.

Anonymous Giuseppe December 15, 2014 5:59 PM  

Bought it. Purely on the basis that the stories in the anthology so far have been great, so I am looking forward to this one. Now...if only I could expand time...

Blogger Thomas Mays December 15, 2014 6:09 PM  

Thanks for the plug, Vox, and thank you for allowing me to contribute. I just had my first ideological dissenter over on The Improbable Author who seemed confused how a middle of the road, apolitical guy like me could have genuine high praise for your story and editing. Apparently, thinking something is damn good and worthy of praise on its own merits is beyond some folks' paradigms.

Blogger automatthew December 15, 2014 6:19 PM  

Tom and I don't believe in ruthlessly enforcing our ideological perspective on every contributor.

I wondered about this after finishing the Nuttall story, which has a definite, if not glaring, case of the poz: a pair of homosexual lovers as starfighter pilots. The story itself was good enough in terms of milieu and plot to overcome this flaw, and I'm guessing there's a reason you placed it immediately after Burnside's extraordinary essay on realistic physics in hard SF.

Blogger automatthew December 15, 2014 6:28 PM  

This is a very minor thing, but having the ebook's downloaded file name be "ASID-001" is not very friendly to people like me who don't immediately manage all the things they download.

Unless you're trying to inculcate better habits, in which case, I can report a partial success. I immediately copied it to my Nook.

Anonymous zen0 December 15, 2014 6:32 PM  

I wondered about this after finishing the Nuttall story.....

I believe the dictionary defines such a thing as "tolerance".
You won't find the same definition of tolerance in the SJW dictionary, however.

Anonymous jack December 15, 2014 6:33 PM  

Looked over at Amazon at the blurb on Sword and decided to buy it. 192 five stars cannot be too far wrong.

Anonymous VD December 15, 2014 6:38 PM  

I wondered about this after finishing the Nuttall story, which has a definite, if not glaring, case of the poz: a pair of homosexual lovers as starfighter pilots.

If it had been thrown in there just to be thrown in there for effect, that would have been one thing. But they were legitimate characters from a four-book series. Not the same thing at all. I thought Tom's intro to it was as appropriate as it was erudite.

Anonymous Dumb founded December 15, 2014 6:40 PM  

Thomas Mays, do you mean Luscinia? That is the well known troll who is banned here.

Blogger automatthew December 15, 2014 6:46 PM  

I thought Tom's intro to it was as appropriate as it was erudite.

That's something else praiseworthy. All the introductions so far have been useful, interesting, and smooth; rather than kick you out of the flow, they make it easier to transition from world to world. Really well done.

Blogger automatthew December 15, 2014 6:49 PM  

Thomas Mays, do you mean Luscinia? That is the well known troll who is banned here.

At least Andrew's mostly using only that one sock puppet these days.

Anonymous VD December 15, 2014 6:54 PM  

Thanks for the plug, Vox, and thank you for allowing me to contribute. I just had my first ideological dissenter over on The Improbable Author who seemed confused how a middle of the road, apolitical guy like me could have genuine high praise for your story and editing. Apparently, thinking something is damn good and worthy of praise on its own merits is beyond some folks' paradigms.

You're quite welcome, of course. That's Andrew Marston, one of the Internet's more ludicrous left-wing trolls. Just tell him that you'll be happy to send copies to Emma and Nina in his name since he's so interested in your work.

At least Andrew's mostly using only that one sock puppet these days.

No, he was here yesterday using a new one, nor is it the first time, despite my warning him.

Anonymous WaterBoy December 15, 2014 7:07 PM  

With greater technological weapon systems will also come greater technological disasters: [TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic autobahn accident footage]

Anonymous Don December 15, 2014 7:17 PM  

I thought the anthology was great. I am not a fan of the Nuttall story. Too much like being slapped in the face with a dead fish when the homoerotica is alluded to but otherwise it would have been a good story.

I'd get interested and read then 'bam' gay!. Get pushed out of the story and have to dig in again. The book was fantastic otherwise. Good stories and the non-fiction was just as good it was entertaining while being informative.

Anonymous bob k. mando December 15, 2014 7:17 PM  

so far as future warfare is concerned, here's something for the skiffy authors to think about:

http://tremec.com/menu.php?m=154

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rhinohoney.gmeter

did you know that your smartphone can sense angle changes down to a 1/10th of a degree?

that many of them come with GPS?

with a G-meter / accellerometer?

what does that mean? it doesn't simply mean that smartphones are converging with pad / computer technology.

it means that a generic smartphone is one fancy pants app programmer away from being the control mechanism for ... a guided missile. from remote controlling a car, or any number of other things.

that's near term.

what happens if e-m + quantum manipulation and supercomputer processing become man portable?

Anonymous maniacprovost December 15, 2014 8:26 PM  

Darn, I was hoping the next Carrera novel was going to be called "Trigger Warning."

Blogger John Cunningham December 15, 2014 8:29 PM  

I am about halfway through Riding the Red Horse, and I have a major complaint--the stories are too damn short. I hated bidding farewell to the characters and situations; this is an outstanding book. I also just bought A Sword into Darkness from Castalia and Remo from Amazon....might seriously cut into my sleep time next few days.

Blogger Vox December 15, 2014 8:47 PM  

And don't miss Tom's other great book, Low Voltage Electrolytic Capacitor Pulse Forming Inductive Network for Electric Weapons. Contrary to what you might think, it's actually a romance novel. With railguns.

Anonymous Orville December 15, 2014 9:18 PM  

Rail guns and lasers! Gotta say those swabbies got some cool toys.

Blogger Thomas Mays December 15, 2014 9:28 PM  

The sex scenes in LVEC-PFIN are pretty electric, but it all ends badly.

Blogger Thomas Mays December 15, 2014 9:30 PM  

Thanks, John. I hope you enjoy 'em!

Blogger automatthew December 15, 2014 9:56 PM  

Low Voltage Electrolytic Capacitor Pulse Forming Inductive Network for Electric Weapons.

Vast Active Living Impell Them Before You Recording Acoustic Signals of the Lamentations of their Women System?

Anonymous Mudz December 15, 2014 11:14 PM  

"The collection is Blue SF, to be sure, but it is moderately less Deep Navy Blue SF than you might expect, mostly because unlike the gatekeepers of Pink SF, Tom and I don't believe in ruthlessly enforcing our ideological perspective on every contributor."

I've been thoroughly enjoying reading through 'Riding the Red Horse', and I noticed.

It made me laugh when I figured it out (i.e. when the story whipped it out for my inspection). That bastard was being totally sadistic with that opening Princess and swim team allusion.

Still a fine story though, since it stuck in my head for reasons other than 'gay lovers, lol'. As long as I don't have to read any gay porn, I'll shrug off the rainbows and give any sequel inclusions a chance. One story with a silly pink hat won't kill me.

But if he's gets into gay space politics at any point, it better be intelligent and non-graphic, by damn, or I'm hitting that skip button. And. You. Don't. Want. That.

On a different note. Holy shit, I see why people love the crap out of Pournelle's fiction. The whole way through 'His Truth Goes Marching On' story I was thinking "this would make a bad-ass sci-fi show where I actually cared about people". Absolutely fantastic and morally intriguing story.

(For no particular reason, I'd also like to add that I just re-watched a season of Enterprise. A remarkable show in many ways. Not necessarily good ways.)

Blogger Tom Kratman December 16, 2014 3:16 AM  

Darn, I was hoping the next Carrera novel was going to be called "Trigger Warning."

Nah. The title's "A Pillar of Fire by Night."

I stick with biblical or ancient historical for the Carreraverse.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 16, 2014 3:21 AM  

"I wondered about this after finishing the Nuttall story, which has a definite, if not glaring, case of the poz: a pair of homosexual lovers as starfighter pilots."

If there hadn't been historical precedent I think I'd have balked. But there is precedent and the story's pretty clearly within it. The thing with the SJWs is that they're trying to create reality, magically where not tyranically, by controlling language and media to alter thoughts and perceptions for the future. But where there's historical precedent, you may notice, they tend to stay away from it because the "rest of the story" undermines that future they're trying to create. Take, for example, the SJW reaction to Amazon Legion.

Anonymous Sensei December 16, 2014 3:23 AM  

Nah. The title's "A Pillar of Fire by Night."

Wait, did we just get the first announcement?

Blogger Tom Kratman December 16, 2014 3:25 AM  

No. It's been known on Baen's Bar for a while. You can even find some snippets.

Blogger Markku December 16, 2014 3:39 AM  

Something is missing in this thread, but I can't quite point my finger on it.

Ah, now I know.

Original and whimsical thoughts on the subject from Joe Author.

Anonymous WaterBoy December 16, 2014 4:05 AM  

He wisely heeded the trigger warning?

Blogger Rantor December 16, 2014 6:04 AM  

Downloading now for reading today.

OT. Just finished Colder War, a book about Putin and how he is working to gain leverage in oil, gas, and uranium fuel over the coming decades... I am convinced he has a strategy while neither Obama nor Bush can see beyond the next quarter.

Glad to hear that the Pournelle story is good, one of my favorite authors growing up. Will be hard not to jump ahead and read him first. But I like to read anthologies in order. Sometimes the editors have a reason for the sequencing, I assume Vox has deliberately arranged this collection.

Blogger Markku December 16, 2014 6:22 AM  

The answer to Andrew's question should have been "Because we agreed that we need more Persons of Color to add diversity and vibrant multiculturalism."

Blogger Tom Kratman December 16, 2014 4:24 PM  

Just in case Chlamydia misses it there:

"Because you caught Intellectual Chlamydia, Andrew, from making whoopie in that factory devoid of life for the night, despite your having used a purple-sequined condom complete with two – not just one but _two_ – rows of beads of brilliant captive golden sunlight. At night. And did I mention “at night” at least twice?

Hey, Andrew, have you lately stalked any small Asian women that are disgusted by you, from your fortress of Casa Marston, in Marshfield, Massachusetts?

Hahahahahahahahaha!"

Anonymous Beardsley McTurbanhead December 16, 2014 6:29 PM  

I swear, Tom, your posts are like going on a sugar, crayons, and pcp binge with Ralph Wiggum and General Jack D. Ripper.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 17, 2014 1:29 AM  

Markku, is this yet another manifestation of the scourge of the Internet (and small Asian women), Andrew Marston of Marshfield, Massachusetts?

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