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Monday, January 19, 2015

In which Morgan reads an anthology

In case you're wondering what an anthology edited by a diversity goblin would look like, the question has been answered.
The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry. This is a new anthology in the Mammoth series published by Running Press in the U.S. and Robinson in the U.K. Trade paperback in format, 515 pages, $14.95 price and Sean Wallace is the editor.... The cover: a photograph of a dude with chain mail grasping his sword hilt. This could have easily been a cover for a romance book. Remember the days when we had covers by Frank Frazetta, Jeff Jones, or even Ken Kelly?

When I heard about this anthology last year and saw the roster of writers, I joked to a friend that it looked like the product of a United Nations diversity seminar. “She was a tall woman clad in armor the color of dead metal,” makes you begin to wonder about English as a pseudo-second language. Just what the hell is dead metal, let alone the color?
The stories are all very nuanced takes on diverse, under-represented cultures and perspectives, where there isn't even one extraneous word and every character is pitch-perfect and [insert the usual pink flattery drivel here]. This description made me laugh out loud:

"The one story that encapsulates this anthology is Carrie Vaughn’s “Strife Lingers in Memory.” A wizard’s daughter narrates the return of the exiled prince of the realm who overthrows a tyrant. That is covered in a couple of paragraphs. The rest of the story concerns the hero wandering the castle at night, cowering in the corners, and bawling his head off. The wizard’s daughter, now the queen, goes out to comfort him every night."

Sounds fantastique, does it not? Read the whole review. And speaking of anthologies, Castalia House should have some news to announce on that front by the end of the month.

UPDATE: RPG fans won't want to miss Jeffro interviewing Ron Edwards, the designer of the groundbreaking RPG Sorcerer and the co-founder of The Forge.

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48 Comments:

Blogger skiballa January 19, 2015 6:14 AM  

Dead metal = armor is rusty. This is why preventive maintenance is important.

A former Ordnance NCO

Anonymous Steve January 19, 2015 6:37 AM  

The rest of the story concerns the hero wandering the castle at night, cowering in the corners, and bawling his head off. The wizard’s daughter, now the queen, goes out to comfort him every night.

Sometimes I really do think that men are from Mars and women from some alternate universe, the next brane over.

Because the whole idea of this story sounds less enjoyable than a trip to a drunk dentist who learned his trade watching Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man.

But I bet a lot of female readers will find the long descriptions of feelings to be fascinating.

This is a long-running debate between me and my wife. She sometimes accuses me of being an unfeeling heartless bastard. But I explain to her that I do have the normal range of emotions: angry, happy, hungry, tired and sexytime.

It's women who have a whole noosphere of extraneous and complicated feelings orbiting their angelic heads like a halo of exotic particles.

I'm glad they do, even if it is often baffling to deal with. What I can't understand is why women talk themselves into thinking they want men to be "sensitive".

They don't want sensitive men, or SJW types would take to carrying cattle prods to fend off estrus-crazed ladyfriends.

My theory is: women are crazy.

Blogger The CronoLink January 19, 2015 7:04 AM  

@skiballa

I think Morgan's point was that it was a clumsy and cringe-worthy way of describing rusted armor. I certainly think it sounds stupid.

Anonymous Stilicho January 19, 2015 7:16 AM  

The tortured prince roaming the halls at night, incapable of meaningful decision...alas, poor Yorrick, I've heard that somewhere before...

Anonymous Giuseppe January 19, 2015 7:22 AM  

I had a running tweet commentary with lightspeed magazine asking when they would do a "straight white men destroy SF" anthology. I also suggested one for blacks and Muslims. After several replies trying to misdirect my query they had nowhere left to hide ideologically after I pointed out I appreciated their strict segregation of women and LGBTs, because it was so inclusive, but subversively, but that it would be remiss to miss out straight white men.
Still waiting on the answer.

Anonymous VD January 19, 2015 7:25 AM  

Perhaps they would be more open to the idea of a "Native Americans Destroy SF" anthology. I could edit it for them.

Anonymous Giuseppe January 19, 2015 7:38 AM  

I did mention it but I didn't think of it that way! I was just focusing on the fact that there's probably not enough of you red savages that can write.
I guess my intrinsic racism didn't let me think about the whole editing thing. I mean...that's powerful white man work you've done there Vox!

As an aside, can you please, please, please make the BLUE SF logo be a red Indian chief face in full feathered headress? As a race, I think they went out mostly as men, fighting.

Anonymous Morgan January 19, 2015 7:47 AM  

The "dead metal" sentence is from Yoon Ha Lee's "Effigy Nights" which is a diverse take on space opera or rather the take over of a peaceful planet by a nasty galactic empire. The admiral of course is a woman. The context does not sound like rusted armor but some dull space armor.

Anonymous Rhys January 19, 2015 7:48 AM  

@ Steve What I can't understand is why women talk themselves into thinking they want men to be "sensitive". No they really do want a sensitive man....

A millionaire hard arse ex biker with a sensitive soul hidden under all that money and muscles that only this one, special woman can uncover...

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus January 19, 2015 8:11 AM  

The rest of the story concerns the hero wandering the castle at night, cowering in the corners, and bawling his head off. The wizard’s daughter, now the queen, goes out to comfort him every night."

That sounds pretty faggoty.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 19, 2015 8:17 AM  

I should have thought of this earlier. SJW fantasy porn.

Malik the Multi-Gendered-InSpirit-If-Not-Actual-Body sat upon his/her/it's gold and diamond encrusted wheel chair brooding. Both figuratively and literally as he/her/it was warming the eggs of his best beloved wife; a chicken named Rowena,*(Who truth be said would have preferred to raise her chicks herself but Malik insisted that that was cis-gendered retrograde micro-aggression.)

Long had Malik's wisdom been eagerly been eagerly sought by the diversity provosts of the Community College of the Unseen...


I'm sorry, I can't do this.

Anonymous Steve January 19, 2015 8:18 AM  

Rhys - ha ha, yes.

On the subject of unrealistic expectations, another thing that causes a bit of friction between me and the missus is that, while she likes being able to be a stay-at-home mum and never having to worry about money, she doesn't like the fact that I have to work late most nights as the sole breadwinner.

So basically women would like a billionaire cowboy astronaut who looks like Ryan Gosling but with the rugged machismo of Gerard Butler, is famous and successful but doesn't have to spend much time working, and is also a badass 6ft 2 ex-Marine and part-time fireman who enjoys long conversations about his secretly tender feelings.

I sympathise. My ideal woman is a Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley lookalike with Christina Hendricks' boobs, the cooking skills of a cordon bleu chef, and whose hobbies include giving me steak and blowjobs.

But apparently that makes me a pig.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 8:18 AM  

"That sounds pretty faggoty."

That's a pretty idiotic way to describe an implied incestuous relationship between a male and female. its many nasty things... but its not gay.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 8:20 AM  

"So basically women would like a billionaire cowboy astronaut who looks like Ryan Gosling but with the rugged machismo of Gerard Butler, is famous and successful but doesn't have to spend much time working, and is also a badass 6ft 2 ex-Marine and part-time fireman who enjoys long conversations about his secretly tender feelings."

You nailed it right up to the part where you got to the conversations about feelings. Women don't want that.

Anonymous VD January 19, 2015 8:39 AM  

who enjoys long conversations about his secretly tender feelings.

who enjoys listening in rapt, but rugged silence to her long monologues about her very important feelings.

Blogger JP January 19, 2015 8:55 AM  

Page 1: there was some fighting and shit where the male lead totally physically dominates everyone.
Pages 2 through 750: Dominant alpha male turns into suplicating, brooding romantic super-lover with a dick like a salami and poetry level OVER 9000.

Anonymous Steve January 19, 2015 9:08 AM  

Nate - I agree: revealed preferences.

But they say they do.

VD - Masterfully put.

I've gotten quite good at the nodding-and-saying-"uh huh" part, but usually fail the pop quiz afterwards.

Which elicits a "Why don't you ever LISTEN?!"

I'm not sure why, hundreds of millenia after our primitive ancestors invented language, women still expect men's minds not to wander while we're being regaled with ornate descriptions of how our helpmeet felt when her friend Amy said such-and-such.

But female nagging might be the secret driving force behind technological innovation. I'm convinced ancient man invented the wheel so he could get away from the cave for a while.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 9:13 AM  

"who enjoys listening in rapt, but rugged silence to her long monologues about her very important feelings."

A real married man game advice article would be centered around how one can pretend to listen to such drivel while appearing to be deeply involved. For example... I find that I can actually listen to a sentence on occasion. So you let her talk... while employing the "concerned face" technique... and then oh... every minute or so ... listen to one or two sentences... just enough to ask a relevant question. Ask that question... then go back to ignoring her.

one good well timed question will allow her to pretend you care and are listening... and that's all she needs.

Blogger Dago January 19, 2015 9:30 AM  

Nate, VD,
Indeed. And all my relationship problems stem from the simple fact my Aspie brain sees deception and dishonesty as wrong. Sinful if you like.
Also, I guess sentences like "why are you talking to me about that?" probably don't help.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 9:36 AM  

"Indeed. And all my relationship problems stem from the simple fact my Aspie brain sees deception and dishonesty as wrong. Sinful if you like."

Nate's Marriage Advice... Rule Number 1: Dishonesty is a key to any great marriage. The ability to lie well... and to know when to lie... is absolutely crucial.

Anonymous Giuseppe January 19, 2015 9:50 AM  

Nate,
Probably explains why I'm on my second divorce. I stem from another era. I suspect one where fire was the height of civilisation and when all the women belonged to the biggest monkey and disagreement resulted in death-duels. The biggest monkey had little need for deception. At least with the females.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 10:04 AM  

I cannot help but think the divorce rate would plummet if we could just get a significant percentage of the men out there to realize that women are NOT men with tits.

Blogger Quadko January 19, 2015 10:05 AM  

Just what the hell is dead metal, let alone the color?
I think the author probably just listens to too much Swedecore heavy metal and it bled over into their purple prose.

I got great enjoyment out of Esther Friesner's tongue-in-cheek pink Chicks in Chainmail series back in the day, but these people sound way too serious.

I'm reading Why is it Always About You on Narcissism, and I just read a point about the problems of counting "effort" rather than "results" in making, maintaining, and having to deal with Narcissism. Describing the author rather than the work is exactly this, raising and enabling such narcissists.

Blogger skiballa January 19, 2015 10:14 AM  

@ Chronolink

Oh,I agree, it's a cringy descriptor. I think the adjective was intended to imply a more dull, leaden appearance, but as a metal worker, I feel "dead metal" is a bad thing. That whole words have meanings thing I guess, creative use of the language can sometimes lead to interesting things. And sometimes you just have to shake your head.

Blogger JACIII January 19, 2015 10:35 AM  

"Why don't you LISTEN?"

Answer: I'm not your girlfriend (said while thinking, "How Goddamn stupid are you?")

Grumpy girl sounds follow, but happy housecleaning soon ensues.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 10:38 AM  

""Why don't you LISTEN?"

Answer: I'm not your girlfriend (said while thinking, "How Goddamn stupid are you?")
"

no no no...

"WHY DON'T YOU LISTEN"

answer: .... oh... huh? oh... ham and cheese is fine.

Anonymous Giuseppe January 19, 2015 11:19 AM  

I can honestly said I never had the "why don't you listen?"

Probably because in my experience it is women who don't listen; to anything except the loud noise they create in their own heads.
I have had quite a few "you don't care!! (about x)"

Surprisingly they don't respond well to my enthusiastic "Attagirl! Now you're getting it!"

Anonymous Homesteader January 19, 2015 11:39 AM  

"You mean you just want me to LISTEN"?

That was year five or so.

These conversations are hormonal; sex helps greatly to mitigate them.

I've explained to Mrs. Homesteader that, for Men, conversation is a means to an end. For many women, it's "I speak, therefore I am."

I've also informed her that:

1. Her girlfriends are a better first choice.
2. If no solution is wanted, say so.
3. Always have beer on hand when I arrive home.

That last was from the Honored Guest talk, wherein I was informed no beer was on hand for my arrival.
I pulled to the side of the road, and, hands shaking, texted her that henceforth, I was to be treated as any Honored Guest would be treated who was expected to arrive at our Homestead.
The house cleaned.
Mrs Homesteader attired in suitably pleasing clothing.
The children on hand to welcome me home.
Cold Beer.
1 hour of undivided attention.

When I arrived home, there was beer on hand.

I explained it thus- my needs are few. 1. Respect. ( I've earned it.) 2. Sex. 3. Food & Drink. 4. Love.

But, being few, they WILL be met.

And Steve, I've used almost the same terminology to describe the masculine emotional palette. Happy, Sad, Angry, Tired, (Horny, Hungry, Thirsty).

Thus, any woman who cannot satisfy her man must be considered deficient in some capacity.

Also, she who projects feminine sensibilities onto masculine behaviors is committing a grevious error.

Anonymous We Hunted The Manbooby January 19, 2015 12:01 PM  

Mammoth … mammoth… has manbooby Futrelle reviewed this, yet?

Anonymous Noah B. January 19, 2015 12:03 PM  

A real married man game advice article would be centered around how one can pretend to listen to such drivel while appearing to be deeply involved. For example... I find that I can actually listen to a sentence on occasion. So you let her talk... while employing the "concerned face" technique... and then oh... every minute or so ... listen to one or two sentences... just enough to ask a relevant question. Ask that question... then go back to ignoring her.

one good well timed question will allow her to pretend you care and are listening... and that's all she needs.


If this seems dishonest to anyone, keep in mind that when women are venting, they typically get upset if you're so involved in the conversation that you begin to offer solutions to their problems. Because to them, if you're thinking about how to solve problems, you're not listening.

Nate's approach is definitely optimal and probably transcends all linguistic and cultural boundaries.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 19, 2015 12:10 PM  

I cannot help but think the divorce rate would plummet if we could just get a significant percentage of the men out there to realize that women are NOT men with tits.

Women file the majority of divorce actions, not me. So more important would be for a significant percentage of women out there to realize deep down that men are not just women without tits.

Anonymous Rolf January 19, 2015 12:24 PM  

Speaking of game design....

What I'd like to see is a RPG for the social studies classroom (one DM, 20 to 35 players). Everyone tries to amass a fortune or power or both (the player's decision). Initially most students are dealt a "worker" or "entrepreneur" card, only a very small number politician, lawyer, government worker, and "on the dole" cards. But the rules are such that it rapidly becomes clear that being an ordinary worker leads to being broke, or break-even at best, "on the dole" was easy and low-stress and will "convert" a lot of the workers who just want to be lazy and avoid the game and their stupid teacher who makes them play it, wealth and power can only really be amassed by entrepreneurs buying politicians or votes (those on the dole) or vice versa, and government work is simple and low wage but powerful, and will also "convert" a number of workers. By the end of a typical 50 minute session, most of the class will have gone on the dole, be government workers, or broke. The rules should represent the actual incentives people face, not the idealized ones taught in the social studies texts.

An on-line version that could be played on classroom computers might be good, too. It wouldn't have to be a very complex simulation to get the idea across, I wouldn't think.

It would be a hit in some sectors..... Any takers?

Anonymous Rolf January 19, 2015 12:30 PM  

A simple question in a conversation forestalls a lot of unnecessary ambiguity. "Just venting, or looking for a solution, dear?" Works both ways pretty well. One require a police smile and an occasional grunt, the other actual thought and attention to detail.

Anonymous The other skeptic January 19, 2015 12:48 PM  

Krugman believes in fantasy, it seems.

Anonymous Rolf January 19, 2015 1:17 PM  

Other Skeptic - I hope Krugman's belief in fantasy isn't a surprise to you. Most of us have known for years.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 2:30 PM  

"Women file the majority of divorce actions, not me. So more important would be for a significant percentage of women out there to realize deep down that men are not just women without tits. "

/facepalm

Women know they are different from you ya moron.

Anonymous Enough January 19, 2015 2:35 PM  

A simple question in a conversation forestalls a lot of unnecessary ambiguity. "Just venting, or looking for a solution, dear?" Works both ways pretty well.

Not always. Suppose that the reply is a fast and furious stream of words about how youneverlistenandIhaveaproblemwhywontyouhelpme -- the words say "solve problem", the delivery / actions say "just venting". Therefore the answer is "both". And whatever is done, or not done, will be wrong. Leading her to more of the same, because rewarding bad behavior leads to more of it, and either way rewards her while enabling her bad temper.

Then it's time to contemplate today's AlphaGame posting. Door. Hit. Ass. On. Way. Out. Which is possibly the best way to deal with any woman in an LTR, sooner or later.




One require a police smile and an occasional grunt, the other actual thought and attention to detail.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 2:35 PM  

"A simple question in a conversation forestalls a lot of unnecessary ambiguity. "Just venting, or looking for a solution, dear?" "

Another simple solution... get up and go pour her a glass of wine and tell her to take a hot bath.

its my experience that it solves all manner of problems. And it lets you go back to editing / destiny / titanfall

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 19, 2015 2:40 PM  

"Women file the majority of divorce actions, not me. So more important would be for a significant percentage of women out there to realize deep down that men are not just women without tits. "

/facepalm

Women know they are different from you ya moron.

Sure. That's why they are constantly trying to change a man into their BFF girlfriend. Because they "know" this.

Women don't even understand themselves. You really belive they understand men?

Have a red pill. You need it.

Anonymous NAWALT January 19, 2015 2:44 PM  

Nate
Another simple solution... get up and go pour her a glass of wine and tell her to take a hot bath.

Suppose she slugs the wine down, refuses to get in the tub, continues to sputter youneverlistentomeIhaveaproblemyouwonthelpmenoneofyoursolutionswork
following you out of the room. Now what?

its my experience that it solves all manner of problems.

Great for you. NAWALT.

Anonymous Athor Pel January 19, 2015 3:07 PM  

"NAWALT January 19, 2015 2:44 PM
...
Suppose she slugs the wine down, refuses to get in the tub, continues to sputter youneverlistentomeIhaveaproblemyouwonthelpmenoneofyoursolutionswork
following you out of the room. Now what?
...
"



That's called a shit test.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 3:23 PM  

"Sure. That's why they are constantly trying to change a man into their BFF girlfriend. Because they "know" this. "

They constantly test you to make sure you ARE different from them son... not because they want you to be the same.

"Suppose she slugs the wine down, refuses to get in the tub, continues to sputter youneverlistentomeIhaveaproblemyouwonthelpmenoneofyoursolutionswork
following you out of the room. Now what?"

Then you smile at her... and a very calm stern voice... you say "Go to bed and I don't want to see you again until you're ready to behave like a civilized adult."

The fact is she only behaves that way because you let her behave that way. If you nip it in the bud they never start it in the first place. If they keep it up... you simply walk.

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 3:24 PM  

"Women don't even understand themselves. You really belive they understand men? "

No dumbass. I don't believe they understand men. But they misunderstand men differently than men misunderstand women.

As for your red pill... shove it up your ass. Game was written to describe men like me.

Anonymous Wendy January 19, 2015 4:18 PM  

Have a red pill. You need it.

You just told the guy with a harem to take a red pill?

Might as well go full ilk since it's so off topic anyway. Football! Guns! Boobies! Go!

Blogger Nate January 19, 2015 4:57 PM  

Like I've said so many times Wendy.. most of this blogs problems stem from AlphaGame...

Blogger rycamor January 19, 2015 5:16 PM  

A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 19, 2015 2:40 PM
"Women file the majority of divorce actions, not me. So more important would be for a significant percentage of women out there to realize deep down that men are not just women without tits. "

/facepalm

Women know they are different from you ya moron.

Sure. That's why they are constantly trying to change a man into their BFF girlfriend. Because they "know" this.


Honestly Paradigm, does that even make sense? If a woman thought men and women were the same why would there even be an effort to change men?

I swear, some men throw out all powers of reasoning or observation when it comes to women.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 19, 2015 8:37 PM  

rycamor

Honestly Paradigm, does that even make sense? If a woman thought


Stop there. Just stop there. Savor what you have written for a while. Don't NAWALT me, now, but work through your line of reasoning step by step, starting with the premise women think. Don't confuse emotional manipulation with thought. Then read on.

Honestly Paradigm, does that even make sense?

I'm discussing women, who notoriously desire fried ice, right now! What was your question again?

If a woman thought men and women were the same why would there even be an effort to change men?

Because if men are just women without tits then they should easily fall into the role of BFF and that would make everyone happy except when he's not manly enough (pout) which is also all his fault along with many other things wrong with the world. Yes, this is stuffed full of cognitive dissonance. So?

I swear, some men throw out all powers of reasoning or observation when it comes to women.

Yep. That's true.

Anonymous VD January 20, 2015 6:20 AM  

Like I've said so many times Wendy.. most of this blogs problems stem from AlphaGame

You have it backwards. If AG didn't exist, all the commenters there would be here all the time. That's why I split the blog in the first place; there are a certain group of readers whose primary interest is in matters socio-sexual. Which is fine, of course, just not conducive to discussions of other topics.

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