ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

There will be war

Back in March, about a month after we launched Castalia, I contacted Jerry Pournelle with the idea of reviving his great military science fiction anthology series, THERE WILL BE WAR. He was entirely open to the idea, but he was busy and quite naturally had a lot of more important things to do than be pestered by an insignificant publisher who at the time published a single novella by Tom Kratman.

So, I gave up on the notion, contacted Tom, and we put together RIDING THE RED HORSE instead. That went rather well, as you know, and Dr. Pournelle became sufficiently interested in the project to graciously contribute two pieces to it, one fiction and one non-fiction. I was rather pleasantly surprised when, after he received a copy and had the chance to read a few reviews, he asked if I might be interested in having Castalia re-release the nine volumes of THERE WILL BE WAR in ebook format.

You can probably imagine that it didn't take me long to indicate that, yes, we might be willing to contemplate the notion. I daresay we contemplated and cogitated at least a nanosecond or two. The result of all this cogitation was the suggestion that with war looming on nearly every horizon, it might be the right time to consider reviving THERE WILL BE WAR as an anthology series, since it had lain dormant since the end of the Cold War. Dr. Pournelle concurred, which made the timing of this Amazon review of RIDING THE RED HORSE more than a little ironic:
Should be called "There Will Be War Volume 10", February 2, 2015
By Chris Gerrib "Author, Pirates of Mars"

Generally a very solid work, modeled after the old "There Will Be War" military SF anthologies. The difference is that there is a mixture of non-fiction and fiction in this work. I don't agree with some of the ideas presented (others I do) but everything is thought-provoking and well-written.

On the full disclosure front, Jerry Pournelle's contribution is "His Truth Goes Marching On" which is a classic but has been reprinted seemingly everywhere. Having said that, it's probably Pournelle's best short work. All in all, well worth the time and money.
I say ironic because on that very day, Dr. Pournelle agreed to revive the series with Castalia House, beginning with THERE WILL BE WAR Volume X. The two anthology series will remain entirely separate, as RIDING THE RED HORSE will consist of entirely new material while THERE WILL BE WAR, as before, will primarily consist of high-quality reprints. Tom Kratman and I will continue to edit RIDING THE RED HORSE, while Dr. Pournelle will edit THERE WILL BE WAR.

There have been a lot of military science fiction stories published since Volume IX appeared in 1989. We're going to want to identify and feature the very best of them in Volume X, so if you happen to have any suggestions in this regard, or believe that you happen to have written one of them, please don't hesitate to bring them to my attention.

As for the original nine volumes, we intend to release them in individual ebooks and as a set of three three-volume hardcover omnibuses, beginning later this year.

Labels: ,

56 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous February 03, 2015 8:34 AM  

And this great man is still (reportedly) recovering well from his stroke.

God bless

Richard W Comerford

Blogger Tank February 03, 2015 8:34 AM  

And Good Luck.

This old person downloaded the Kindle app and purchased Riding the Red Horse a couple of days ago. It's up next. Hope it lives up to my anticipation because I haven't been this excited about reading a book in awhile.

Blogger pdwalker February 03, 2015 9:20 AM  

Fantastic!

Thank you.

Anonymous Rico February 03, 2015 9:24 AM  

Isn't Chris Gerrib a detractors of yours? I remember him posting here a few times.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 9:30 AM  

Well, there is a long list of things on which VD and I disagree. That does not mean I can't or won't read stuff he's written or edited.

Blogger Vox February 03, 2015 9:36 AM  

Isn't Chris Gerrib a detractors of yours?

I wouldn't say that. He's a critic, but there is nothing wrong with that. He's certainly not a troll. It's stupid to believe one can only enjoy the work of someone with whom one broadly agrees. I think China Mieville is an absolute cretin with regards to economics, just to name a specific topic, and I will nevertheless insist that he is one of the best science fiction writers writing today.

Blogger JaimeInTexas February 03, 2015 9:45 AM  

Well, Castallia is certainly marching on.

Blogger JaimeInTexas February 03, 2015 9:46 AM  

oops, sorry, Castalia

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 9:46 AM  

Well, there is a long list of things on which VD and I disagree. That does not mean I can't or won't read stuff he's written or edited.

Well, this disqualifies you as a rabbit or pink shirt, so the only other option is the fascists of the evil league of evil.

Welcome to the dark side.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 03, 2015 9:51 AM  

I am delighted to hear about this. My own There Will Be War collection was destroyed in a flood a few years ago.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 9:52 AM  

this disqualifies you as a rabbit or pink shirt - except I'm a fan of Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal and Jim C. Hines, to name three "pink" SF writers.

Frankly, I get a bit cranked with this whole insistence on viewing everything through a political lens. Whether I agree or disagree with an author's politics (in part or in whole) has nothing to do with whether they wrote a story I like to read.

Anonymous Rolf February 03, 2015 9:54 AM  

As am I. A couple of mine sprouted feet, went walkabout, out and never walked home.

Bastards.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 9:57 AM  

Whether I agree or disagree with an author's politics (in part or in whole) has nothing to do with whether they wrote a story I like to read.

And this is why you're not a pink shirt. Because the pink shirts view everything through a political lens.

Look at the people shouting that they will never read anything on the sad puppies slate, for example.

Anonymous dh February 03, 2015 9:58 AM  

CG is definitely a Scalzi-ite. He had a Big Idea. I read his martian pirate hostage novel, which I did not enjoy. It's been a few years (is that right? I think so) so it's a little foggy.

Chris, look, abandon the SJW movement. They are never going to like you, you will never get published by Tor or become a real friend of the powerful. For one thing, you are a gun apostate. It's never going to work. They will say things like "we have no problem with responsible gun people" but it's a lie. Secondly, your ship has sailed. They are never going to pickup a middle-aged desk-jockey white guy as a new author. Scalzi had to ingratiate himself to PNH and TNH via slime-ball methods, and built his own fan base before they would pick him up.

Go back to the drawing board on your story. The timeline isn't all there. Work on it some more. Imagine what a real hostage situation is like. Imagine what real kidnappers and ransom holders are like. Read some non-fiction that was not made into movies about how hostage takers really work, how (Earth) pirates really work. Go read a few of the Aubrey-Mautrin novels and soak in the spirit of the nautical adventurer, and think about how that applies to future space explorers. Think about the emotions of being held captive, about being prisoner, about resistance, and about rescue. Ask and then answer for readers what about the friendship between Jack and Peter would cause one to risk a rescue for the other. In the Aubrey-Mautrin series, Capt. Jack reflexively jumps into the darkened ocean after his friend Stephen, who has gone overboard. This is after years of war, and love, and friendship, and service to God and Country. 10 novels worth of it. It's impetuous, bold, brave, stupid, death-defying. All things that readers have been conditioned to expect about Capt. Jack. It was natural as him boffing a scully maid in Minorca back when he was a lowly junior leftenant. Show readers why either character would be in a volunteer rescue service. Justify why such a thing even exists. There's barely even such a thing on Earth's tiny oceans, why would there be such a thing in space in the first place. Answer the question about why people would go into space. And forget the Star Trek SJW reasons. Look at real life. Why are we going to space? Who is pushing the envelope on it? Is it the Red Cross? Or is it starry eyed capitalist masters of the universe full of hubris and bright ideas?

Go through all that, and you'll probably end up with a story that shows why men would go into line of work: money, sexual advantage, violence, force, or some combination of all of the above. Think of why the two men would risk their lives for each other. Think about why real men would do it on Earth. Go read some stuff by Mark Bowden to get inside the head of real young men who have done it.

When you are done with all that, you might have a great novel, or you might not. But it won't be Pink SF. And you may even find a new market for it.

Blogger jaericho February 03, 2015 10:00 AM  

You can probably imagine that it didn't take me long to indicate that, yes, we might be willing to contemplate the notion.

Maybe 10-20ns??? Congrats, Vox. I look forward to adding this to my collection.

Anonymous Daniel February 03, 2015 10:13 AM  

Careful there, Mister. How on earth will Worldcon deny Castalia House a Hugo next year?

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 10:15 AM  

dh - well, actually John C. Wright and Our Host, VD, both had Big Ideas on Scalzi's site. In fact, that's how I heard of both men.

Yeah, Pirates of Mars was published in 2012. I'm sorry it wasn't to your tastes. I will say I explicitly based my pirates on the modern Somali piracy, down to the name and corporate organization thereof.

The Volunteer Space Rescue Service was based on Great Britain's Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which was founded in the 1800s and is to this day a private charitable organization which handles coastal rescue in Great Britain and Ireland.

At any rate, I'm working on a re-issue of Pirates and possibly some other stuff, so I will take your comments under consideration. I mean that seriously, because as a writer any time anybody goes to the effort to tell you why they didn't like your stuff, you (the author) should take that to heart.

Blogger Vox February 03, 2015 10:17 AM  

I get a bit cranked with this whole insistence on viewing everything through a political lens.

Chris, that's our side's basic position. It always has been. It's the Scalzis, Hineses, and Kowals who disagree. That doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy their stuff; if you like it, you like it. That's fine.

But we do read the other side from time to time. After all, how could I mock Scalzi's derivative mediocrity if I hadn't read three of his novels, the first of which I liked. I just didn't realize that all of the elements I liked were Heinlein pastiche.

Anonymous Rico February 03, 2015 10:18 AM  

Well Chris, it seems I need to apologize for calling you a"Punk ass bitch" here 1 year ago since that does not appear to be true.

Anonymous EG February 03, 2015 10:18 AM  

Chris, you seem like a reasonable enough guy, even if I disagree with your politics. I think Josh's point is that you will be denounced as a counter-revolutionary merely for reading (and then failing to categorically denounce) works on certain folks' ersatz Index Librorum Prohibitorum, so you might as well declare for our side now, since they will consider you in league with us anyway.

Blogger Vox February 03, 2015 10:18 AM  

I will take your comments under consideration. I mean that seriously, because as a writer any time anybody goes to the effort to tell you why they didn't like your stuff, you (the author) should take that to heart.

Wise words. Substantive and honest criticism is like gold to the writer.

Blogger CarpeOro February 03, 2015 10:21 AM  

Excellent news. Between moves and downsizing my collection, I have no clue where my "There Will Be War" series books went.

Anonymous dh February 03, 2015 10:31 AM  

Chris-- not surprised to see you based it on the RNLI and Somali pirates. I did not find anything resembling a real pirate attitude in the work. Good luck. I think the "Big Idea" is interesting, but now that Scalzi is internet famous, the last >3 years are all basically hard core SJW's. I stopped reading about a year ago so maybe it's different today.

Anonymous Giuseppe February 03, 2015 10:33 AM  

Substantive and honest criticism is like gold to the writer.

Indeed. Though most also have to contend with the Slaine moment in order to appreciate the gold (in the graphic novel, the Horned God, in order to meet the goddess Slaine has to first kill his own ego. It's a nice image in this context).

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 10:37 AM  

Chris, that's our side's basic position I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here. I don't see those people as not reading "blue" SF because of the politics of the authors. I see them as (possibly) not liking "blue" SF, or (more possibly) finding it okay but not award-worthy.

I liked the Heinlein parts of Old Man's War - I grew up reading Heinlein. I *also* liked the parts where Scalzi took the story somewhere Heinlein didn't go. [Insert long rant about how slavish devotion to a dead writer nearly killed Westerns here. Find it on my blog if you really want to read it.]

Rico - thanks.

Blogger Josh February 03, 2015 10:42 AM  

Ian Sales@ian_sales
I see fascist scumbags’ve posted their ballot & they’re a force to be reckoned with which is why same few names appear lots of times on it

Ian Sales ‏@ian_sales
surprised Jim Butcher is on their list, didn’t know he was a fascist. Not that I’ve read his books or ever plan to

Anonymous Jill February 03, 2015 10:47 AM  

I think it's rather incredible how quickly you've built up Castalia House.

Blogger JartStar February 03, 2015 10:53 AM  

Giuseppe,

I loved Red Space. The raw emotion of the protagonist at the end was well done.

Anonymous Nathan February 03, 2015 10:58 AM  

Chris,

I think some of the argument isn't necessarily Left vs. Right or Pink vs. Blue, but style vs. storytelling or literary writing vs. genre. It's safe to say that the Hugos value style and message over storytelling, even to the point of awarding stories that aren't SFF. Yet it is easier for certain people to accept the idea that a story must be entertaining before it tries to educate from Harlan Ellison than from Larry Corriea. Both are opinionated, but Ellison is Right People where Correia is not. However, that writers in the field still need to be reminded that story comes before message thirty-some-odd years after Ellison's initial insistence is troubling.

I too have to step away from the vitriol I've tossed your way in the past. I thought you were one of the typical anklebiters that reflexively criticism our side. I was wrong.

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 11:16 AM  

Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 10:37 AM
modeled after the old "There Will Be War" military SF anthologies. The difference is that there is a mixture of non-fiction and fiction in this work.




there's no non-fic in TWBW, only in Imperial Stars? weird, i thought there was.

oh well, things get a little fuzzy after 25 years.




Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 10:37 AM
I don't see those people as not reading "blue" SF because of the politics of the authors.



that's because you're too busy projecting accusations of everything the Pinkshirts actually do, onto the Blueshirts who aren't doing any of it.

i have recommended Robin Hobb more than once here. in spite of the fact that she has written some real howlers ( she spent most of one book in the POV of a 14 year old middle school girl ... which was as painful and trite as one could imagine ) and is fully wrapped up in the Female Imperative approach to relationships.


go on, Chris. tell us how awesome 'If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love' is.

you can't.

because we've read and critiqued it. along with most of the other short story noms that year. all of them are ludicrous, logically AND EMOTIONALLY incoherent and incontinent. they are, frankly, painful to be subjected too.

Blogger Vox February 03, 2015 11:31 AM  

I think it's rather incredible how quickly you've built up Castalia House.

Thank you, but I'm generally a bit more competent than my critics would tend to have you believe and we had a core reservoir of support here in the Dread Ilk. This sort of thing is really quite easy compared to game development, where one programmer getting sick is enough to make you look outdated and stupid versus innovative and brilliant.

That being said, we have a long way to go. We really need to be selling about 10x more books than our current flow rate to get firmly established in our own right. Of course, since this is just a sideshow for the game stuff, it's worth doing regardless. And it's much more rewarding doing this than trying to fix SFWA in spite of itself.

Anonymous Jill February 03, 2015 11:36 AM  

Most indie presses probably don't think "this sort of thing is quite easy". :)

Anonymous Alexander February 03, 2015 11:51 AM  

Oh I dunno, bob - IYWAD,ML has its selling points, depending on where you stand on certain larger issues.

For instance, Mohammad Ibn Mohammad might likely find IYWAD,ML to be the most persuasive and comprehensive argument yet presented on the need to subjugate the western world to shariah law. And within the parameters of the work, I would have a hard time refuting that.

Given that the pinkshirts hate western culture and desire to see it either transformed from within or conquered by the vibrant other, the real question is how could they possibly have given the award to anything else?

Anonymous Quartermaster February 03, 2015 11:54 AM  

"A couple of mine sprouted feet, went walkabout, out and never walked home."

What Jerry Pournelle calls "The Brotherhood of Book Borrowers." I know it well as I am a part of it. I've gained about as many books as I've lost, although it's been awhile. Last book I lost to the Brotherhood was "Washing of The Spears" which I loaned to a Scouting friend, forgot who had it and moved to Ohio before I remembered it.

OpenID malcolmthecynic February 03, 2015 11:55 AM  

When I look at reviews of books from other indie publishing houses, many of them have no reviews at all. But Castalia House books have twenty to 60 reviews on almost every book. That's remarkable.

I think part of it might be because you guys not only got new authors to contribute but also asked established authors with fanbases to publish with Castalia House. That's a great idea that many publishing houses probably wouldn't be ABLE to pull off because they don't have the connections.

Anonymous Quartermaster February 03, 2015 11:56 AM  

Bye the bye, "There Will Be War" did have non-fiction essays.

Blogger Quadko February 03, 2015 12:32 PM  

Great news! Keep up the good work; I'm enjoying Riding the Red Horse #1 and look forward to future stuff.

Seth Godin says you just need 1000 (or some number - more? less?) who buy "everything" you produce to "make it" or "be successful" or "break even". I'm apparently becoming one of Castalia House's 1000. :)

(Now I just have to learn how to spell it right the first time without looking - A follows T, say it with me, A follows T, not 'castle', casta-lia'! And I still wish you'd get Lind listed on the non-fiction page: http://www.castaliahouse.com/non-fiction/ , minor nitpick.)

Blogger Rantor February 03, 2015 12:59 PM  

Great news, grew up reading Pournelle and always enjoyed his work. I have some of his There will be War books. Sounds like I'll need the hardbound set.

Anonymous Alexander February 03, 2015 1:14 PM  

I loved Riding the Red Horse and have tangentially picked up Nuttall's Arc Royale book 1 and am enjoying that as well.

Anonymous Monty February 03, 2015 1:52 PM  

Are there any plans for the return of Imperial Stars?

I still have them and a few of There Will Be War, but they're getting a bit worn.

Blogger Vox February 03, 2015 1:53 PM  

Are there any plans for the return of Imperial Stars?

If this goes well, I expect we will expand the program.

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 3:22 PM  

bob k. mando - since "Dinosaur, My Love" did NOT in fact win the Hugo (nor, for that matter, did "Wakulla Springs") I'm not sure why I have to defend them. In fact, both works came in 3rd on the final ballot.

To various - it's been a while since I read a "There Will Be War" anthology so I may mis-remember about the non-fiction content. What I *do* remember was one edition had a straight-up Western with US Cavalry chasing after Apaches with hostages. Good story, IIRC.

Blogger The Pathetic Earthling February 03, 2015 4:02 PM  

I love that collection -- especially the story that describes the battle that took place just before the opening of "The Mote in God's Eye" -- I see why it didn't fit in the novel, but it's a great bit.

Anonymous Holmwood February 03, 2015 8:00 PM  

@Chris Gerrib Kudos to you for posting and actually engaging. I confess I'd previously dismissed you as _a_random_SJW_001.

Yep, you're wrong on the non-fiction issue in TWBW. Not a biggie. Been a long time for me too and I had to go pull out a few of the old paperbacks.

Dinosaur, My Love, did win the Nebula for short story. It's not unreasonable to assume that Sad Puppies denied Dinosaur the Hugo in 2014. While I know there were ilk that loved the idea of it winning the Hugo, there were a great many that thought that idea ludicrous.

[I'd have said, repeating in part the words of others, more of a prose poem than a story; competent in style perhaps, but startling ignorant and bigoted towards people outside the author's social and class circles. Not SF even by generous standards. Almost a parody of SJW rage and irrationality.]

No need for you to "defend" it unless you view yourself as fighting some sort of knightly battle on behalf of the SFWA establishment against the Dread Ilk. In which case, have at it, good sir.

On a different topic: your novel. Do you plan on putting it on sale at any point? Given your response above, I'd read it and critique it honestly and sincerely [long time sf fan and I've acted as a beta reader here and there in the past] but nearly C$6 is getting pretty pricey for something I suspect I'd be a bit ambivalent about.

Regards,
-Holmwood

Blogger automatthew February 03, 2015 8:18 PM  

"While I know there were ilk that loved the idea of it winning the Hugo, there were a great many that thought that idea ludicrous."

If the lovers of truth and quality in fiction were not an overwhelming majority, we could diminish the value of the Hugos by voting in a worse-is-better manner. But because we are not a minority, because we are not emotionally damaged freaks, throwing around our ever-increasing weight is a winning game. In the short run, it is entertaining to frighten the freaks.

And here, at least, the short run is father of the long run.

Blogger Vox February 03, 2015 8:37 PM  

If the lovers of truth and quality in fiction were not an overwhelming majority, we could diminish the value of the Hugos by voting in a worse-is-better manner.

I was inclined to nominate Scalzi for everything he was eligible for, every time he published anything. Considering how Redshirts cracked the credibility of the Hugo in much the same way The Quantum Rose destroyed the reputation of the Nebula, that would have been darkly hilarious. But I was reliably informed that doing so would be Much Too Evil.

Anonymous malcolm February 03, 2015 8:42 PM  

OT, but I can't wait to see what Vox has to say about this: http://www.sfwa.org/2015/02/sfwa-welcomes-self-published-small-press-authors/

Blogger Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 9:25 PM  

Holmwood - I'm not a Nebula voter, so I have no idea what they were thinking, but bob mando asked so I answered. Frankly, the entire Hugo short story category for the past 2-3 years has left me underwhelmed. I suspect that's because the short category is so fragmented with lots of stories not getting large audiences that a handful of voters can make a difference.

Regarding the novel - Pirates' pricing is controlled by my current publisher. I'm in negotiations to do a re-issue with a different publisher, so we'll see. There's also a self-published book by me, The Mars Run (under Christopher Gerrib) that's going for USD 2.99 in ebook. (Conversion to Canuck money is left as an exercise for the student.)

Blogger automatthew February 03, 2015 9:33 PM  

Vox: "But I was reliably informed that doing so would be Much Too Evil."

It would be a direct personal attack on Scalzi's sense of worth, and it would turn the SJWs against him. Imagine if, because of your Rabid Bunnies campaign, John won awards year after year after year.

Yes, that does cross a line.

Blogger bob k. mando February 03, 2015 9:39 PM  

Chris Gerrib February 03, 2015 3:22 PM
I'm not sure why I have to defend them. In fact, both works came in 3rd on the final ballot.



because THAT is the type of crap that the Pinkshits are putting on the ballot.

and no, you don't have to 'defend' the quality of Pink writing.

what you have to defend is your assertion that "I don't see those people as not reading "blue" SF because of the politics of the authors" when they repeatedly and publicly state that this is EXACTLY what they're doing.

Anonymous Rolf February 03, 2015 10:04 PM  

Mocking someone by giving them yet another copy of an award they are most proud of, thereby devaluing what they already have by making it clear to all that it's a gag that's getting old, would be.... at least as evil as ensuring someone else they cannot stand gets it.... On balance, either way would be fun to watch.

Blogger automatthew February 03, 2015 10:20 PM  

"Mocking someone by giving them yet another copy of an award they are most proud of, thereby devaluing what they already have"

Liberalism is the stance that farces itself.

Anonymous roo_ster February 03, 2015 11:46 PM  

Sweet. RTRH was very high quality. Can't wait to see what Pournelle digs up. I read two or three TWBW back when I discovered Pournelle. I recall I enjoyed them. Finagling a JP short story for RTRH was a coup. Getting JP to compile a whole spanking new anthology is the shinola.

When I read the OP, I had a vision of one of my favorite movies: Ed Wood. There is Ed Wood/Vox Day, working with Bela Lugosi/Jerry Pournelle, the old master of his craft in his declining years, getting some good work in the can. In black & white. Of course, the analogy falls apart when I wonder who is the stand-in for Bill Murray's character Bunny. And the thought of everyone in a swimming pool getting baptized by Beverly Hills Baptists leaves me woozy.

I'd best get to sleep.



Pull the strings! Pull the strings!

Blogger Ken February 04, 2015 1:21 AM  

My dad read the first "There Will Be War" anthology to me when I was still in the womb, and it was one of the first "adult books" I picked up as a kid. I'm quite pleased to hear that I'll be able to carry that tradition on.

Thank you.

Blogger Clint February 04, 2015 5:14 PM  

Speaking of Castalia hardcovers, any news the A Throne of Bones case hardcover?

Anonymous Quartermaster February 04, 2015 8:32 PM  

I'd love to get "There Will Be War" in e-book format as well as hard back.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts