Friday, April 17, 2015

John C. Wright: The Hugo-nominated works

John C. Wright burst onto the science fiction scene in 2002 with his astonishing The Golden Age. Published by Tor Books, declared it to be “the most ambitious and impressive science fiction novel since China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station. Amazingly, it is John C. Wright’s debut novel.”
Publishers Weekly wrote: “It’s already clear, however, that Wright may be this fledgling century’s most important new SF talent.”
In 2014, Castalia House began publishing collections of Mr. Wright’s short fiction, much of which was hitherto unpublished, including Awake in the Night Land, City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis, The Book of Feasts & Seasons, One Bright Star to Guide Them, and Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth.
A record-setting five of those works were nominated for the 2015 Hugo Awards in three categories. A sixth work was also nominated for Best Novelette, but was subsequently ruled ineligible by Sasquan. All four of the Hugo-nominated short fiction works, as well as an essay from Transhuman, are included in this special release, which is available for free from Castalia House in both Epub and Mobi (Kindle) formats and will also be available in the Hugo packet.

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Anonymous t.c. April 17, 2015 3:03 PM  

Thanks for making them available.

Blogger Gilbert Ratchet April 17, 2015 3:09 PM  

Did you see Eric Flint's commentary on this whole thing?

Anonymous aviendha April 17, 2015 3:23 PM  

To echo Marku: Yes we will continue to harass you. Moar paper books please.
I need another epic for my right hand as I hold AToB in my left to beat back the crazed SJWs at Sasquan. While Awake in the Night Land is beautiful, it looks a little sissy in comparison as a book used for self defense.


Blogger Markku April 17, 2015 3:25 PM  

Victoria goes to print today

Anonymous Daniel April 17, 2015 3:30 PM  

Hey, isn't that cover done by Hugo nominee Kirk DouPounce?

Blogger Kyle Hutson April 17, 2015 4:00 PM  

Nice! I'd bought a couple of these, and just added the other three from my "need to buy when I get time" list to "need to read when I get time" list.

Anonymous Tom April 17, 2015 4:12 PM  


John C. Wright's stuff is like crack only better. At least if you're smart enough to understand it, which it seems the SJW's aren't.

And by the way, how in the heck can anybody who has read the "Fall of Metachronopolis" stories that are on the Hugo ballot say that the Rabid Puppies didn't have unique and different science fiction?

I might not be familiar with a chunk of the SciFi cannon, but I cannot remember any stories or settings involving time travel that handled it the way that John C. Wright did. If anybody can point any out, let me know. But his take on the paradoxes and timelines and resolutions certainly seemed unique and frankly better than any I'd seen before.

Anonymous MendoScot April 17, 2015 4:17 PM  

Have them all. I haven't started T&S and was reading F&S along with the calendar, but I'll make sure to read the relevant parts in time for the voting.

Blogger S1AL April 17, 2015 4:23 PM  

That Eric Flint essay is excellent. He makes a lot of very good points. I think he's actually halfway correct on the issue of politics - it's not just a political issue, but rather a clique issue that overlaps with a certain segment of the political left (aka SJW's). That certainly adds some nuance to the discussion.

Blogger bob k. mando April 17, 2015 4:25 PM  

what are you using for a non-Kindle reader?

Blogger Markku April 17, 2015 4:29 PM  

Bob, when you say non-Kindle, do you just mean non-physical-Kindle, or are you against the format itself? If not, Kindle for PC is free, and still has the best typesetting engine of them all. It's also available for Android.

But if you insist on the freedom of epub (it's just a zip of xhtml files) then I recommend Calibre for PC, iBooks for Mac, and Aldiko for Android. All free.

Blogger bob k. mando April 17, 2015 4:34 PM  

Markku April 17, 2015 4:29 PM
when you say non-Kindle, do you just mean non-physical-Kindle

non-physical. didn't know / forgot about standalone readers.

do you have a page for recommended e-readers at CH? as heavily focused on e-publishing as you are, that would probably be useful for old fuddy duddy luddites like me.

Blogger Markku April 17, 2015 4:37 PM  

Well, yes, sort of. When you go to details of any book, you will see "About e-book formats‎" on the right.

But there is a problem. Myself, I like Google Books. It's just slick, visually. However, it is also the most nazi about epub correctness of all readers. So, usually the file that Vox uploads to the site, is not going to work. Then someone eventually complains to me, and then I fix the file. And then it works.

So, I recommend Google Books with that caveat. If the book doesn't work, email us and use Calibre in the meanwhile.

Blogger borderwalker April 17, 2015 4:39 PM  

This is my first year participating in Hugo nominations/voting.

I can't find anything on the Sasquan website about a "Hugo packet". (I do remember being asked when I registered if I wanted electronic copies or paper copies of publications, and I checked "paper".)

Would anyone here who has been to this rodeo be kind enough to tell me when the "Hugo packet" is likely to be available, and how it works?


Blogger Vox April 17, 2015 4:49 PM  

Sasquan contacts all the nominees and asks if they will participate. Then they collect them, put them on a website in multiple formats, and provide download links to the registered members. This will probably take about a month before they get it together, if I recall correctly.

Anonymous BGS April 17, 2015 5:05 PM
Vox let your friend ROOSH know about this opportunity: The U.S. Air Force is paying Mike Domitrz $2,222 an hour to teach airmen when it’s OK to kiss on a date. …roughly $325,000 per year from military contracts at 50 installations.

Also SF schools-" The program has also removed the social drama of the cafeteria from the program by feeding students in their classrooms. “Eating breakfast in the cafeteria can be very socially isolating,”

According to a Defense Department-approved “sexism course,” the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence all contribute to modern sexism.

Blogger Danby April 17, 2015 5:15 PM  

For a non-kindle reader, Nook if you want a table, kobo if you want a pure e-ink e-reader. The kobo by itself is very difficult to manage the books on, it seems the designers never considered the case of a user with more than a couple dozen books on the device at the same time. I currently have several hundred and my wife has a couple thousand. But with the use of calibre, it becomes much much easier.

Blogger Danby April 17, 2015 5:15 PM  

or nook for a table. It is kinda small for a table

Blogger bob k. mando April 17, 2015 5:48 PM  

Gilbert Ratchet April 17, 2015 3:09 PM
Did you see Eric Flint's commentary on this whole thing?

it's not bad. but while he and Larry may disagree a bit on how much ideology is involved in the clique, Larry's been harping on the clique problem from the get go.

so it's not really much of a distinction.

his non-cyclical general achievement solution is completely unworkable. especially if he wants to get 'a very large and prestigious body of sponsors' involved in it.

because the SPONSORS need to get something out of the deal as well. and if they can't get some sort of return on the money that they're throwing at the lit award ... they're going to stop throwing money.

and a big part of what they 'get back' is the whole annual marketing angle.

now, if you'd rather support an award via Patron ( like the Sheikh of all Arabia ) rather than Sponsors, per se, then you can get away with this. because the Patron is just using the award as a big dick wagging social signalling symbol to show how awesome his taste is. so he doesn't need any monetary return off of it. so the annualness isn't a concern to him, the basking in the reflected limelight is.

this is also why it's useless to complain about the annual nature of the WorldCon / Hugo. the thematic PURPOSE of the WorldCon is ... to award the Hugo. any damn fool can host a skiffy convention. many do.

the Hugo is the marketing tool of the WorldCon. the WorldCon is the revenue generating ( sponsor ) stream for the Hugo. you can't break them apart. complaining about it because they are annual is to completely misunderstand how they function.

this critique COULD be made of the SFWA / Nebula awards but i don't think it works very well against them either. the SFWA is going to have annual meetings simply for incorporation purposes. the Nebulas give them something to do to take their minds off of the boring business aspects of the meeting.

as far as 'market size' being a problem today, i think he's absolutely correct. only, that aggravates Larry's complaints about the ideological litmus test.

IF you physically can't keep up with all of the SF/F books published this year
AND you have to sieve the novels you actually bother to read
THEN when little Suzy Social Warrior walks up to you and starts telling you that so-and-so is a douchebag, gunclinging Godwobbler ... if you're in the mushy middle, are you going to bother to read his stuff? are you going to give it a fair shake? i mean, come on, look at all this other stuff you've got that you could read. you don't want to make Suzy mad, do you? she might unfriend you if you started professing an interest in the gunclinging, Godwobbler douchebag.

so that's why the SJWs have control of the voting clique.

Resnick is a specious counter example. he's never been nommed for a novel AND he's a longtime industry insider who has already made attachments to the ruling clique. and that STILL hasn't saved him.

Resnick has NO nominations since the whole SFWA bulletin 'daring to refer to women as ladies' blowup in 2013. so, a man who was nominated every single year but two from 1989 to 2012 is suddenly getting blanked year after year?

huh, nothing ideological about that at all.

not that i think his 25 year run was necessarily a good thing either.

Anonymous MG April 17, 2015 6:13 PM  

Thanks for the books!

Blogger bob k. mando April 17, 2015 6:19 PM  

i think Flint's complaints about the award definitions have merit.

i don't think his solution is very well thought out. as he himself notes, he could wind up with 14 different literary awards.

how bout we just rejigger the definition of the all the existing categories?

IF the avg novel used to be 40-60k words
AND the avg novel is now 80-120k words
THEN maybe we should just move the whole scale up?
bump the bottom word count for novel from +40k to +70k
novella from 17.5k-40k to 30.5k-70k
novellette from 7.5k-17.5k to13k-30.5k
shorts are everything smaller.

at most you'd simply add another category such as 'Opus' for works +100k or something.

the floated 'Comedy SFF' category variants is absurd. yeah, he's trying to get Pratchett an award. yeah, Pratchett deserved some awards. this is the backasswards way to do it.

you want to get Terry an award, blow up this stupid voting clique that can't figure out how to appreciate stories that are actually good.

oh, wait. somebody is already doing that.

"The number of F&SF writers or convention-going fans who look good in a skimpy gown or swimsuit is… ah…
Not large."

sexism by old white man detected.

Anonymous slowness April 17, 2015 6:53 PM  

well played, vox.

Blogger Danby April 17, 2015 7:08 PM  

Proper Categories:

Short story eligible for 1 year from date of publication, publication being picked up by a publishing house, or offered on Amazon or on paper. Does not include blog posts, and indie published getting picked up by a publisher gets a second shot.

Short novel (<40K words) 1 year as above

Novel (40K-120K words) 2 years as above

Opus (120+ words, "trilogies" or other single-story arc in multi-volume sets) >3<5 years after completion of the series. GRRM would not qualify yet.

Series (novel length, separate story arcs, independent books, indeterminate iterations) Must have at least 6 volumes, eligible at any time, but cannot win twice for same series

Web story (up to novel-length, published only on the author's website within the last year

Anonymous Trev April 17, 2015 8:11 PM  

Cool beans, I haven't read any of Wright's stuff yet. Thanks.

Anonymous viktor April 17, 2015 8:26 PM  

Mary Robinette Kowal's Supporting Membership Giveaway ends tonight midnight Central Time.

Entrants will be drawn randomly.

Blogger RAH April 17, 2015 8:34 PM  

Thanks for the link I had not heard of Mr Wright before this recent kerfuffle. I am enjoyning reading the first story.

Blogger James Dixon April 17, 2015 8:38 PM  

Meredith and I have talked the matter over, and given how little time I have for reading at the moment, we're buying a single supporting membership in her name. I can't promise she'll vote a full rapid puppies slate, but she will vote based on her appraisal of the quality of the work. Depending on what happens this year, next year I may vote also, whether I have time to read the works or not. In fact, depending on what happens, we may decide to attend the convention in Kansas City.

Blogger bob k. mando April 17, 2015 8:43 PM  

sounds good to me, Danby

Blogger automatthew April 17, 2015 8:45 PM  

It has been said before, and it will be said again: John C. Wright is this century's Gilbert K. Chesterton.

Let this be a warning to you atheists: "A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading."

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales April 17, 2015 8:55 PM

Hey Vox, you gonna comment on this?

Blogger Vox April 17, 2015 8:59 PM  

I can't promise she'll vote a full rapid puppies slate, but she will vote based on her appraisal of the quality of the work.

I don't know why you would. My top vote for Best Novel will be THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM and that's not on Rabid Puppies.

Blogger bob k. mando April 17, 2015 9:45 PM  

the beach ball droid in the new Star Wars movie?

evidently not CGI ....

so they've got to have the head magnetically coupled to a frame / counterweight system that tracks around inside the ball ...

Blogger bob k. mando April 17, 2015 9:48 PM  

Vox April 17, 2015 8:59 PM
My top vote for Best Novel will be THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM and that's not on Rabid Puppies.

what the shit is this?

how can we have bloc slate voting when the RSHDiC won't even vote his own damn slate?

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! this will never do.

Anonymous IncoherentM April 17, 2015 9:55 PM  

Thanks once again for the free reading. I've read or own a few of these and look forward to reading what I don't already have. This appears to be a great "primer" for those who aren't familiar with Mr. Wright's work.

Anonymous Gapeseed April 17, 2015 10:37 PM  

Popular Science has weighed in on the side of the SJWs.

Blogger Kull April 17, 2015 11:37 PM  

Just a few days ago I plunked down five American for Awake in the Night Land and here it is for free.
Not at all. That is money well spent. All the hugo kerfuffle reminded me to catch up on my Castalia reading and that was first on the list. There is nothing like Wright's prose. Vance comes to mind but it is not a perfect comparison. Vance is wry and somehow seems economical and lush at the same time. Wright is like a cathedral builder. Word by word he constructs a vaulting edifice full of space and light.

I would rather read Wright's grocery list than any of the "literary" stuff in the genre now. How did the MFA crowd get so entrenched in the SFF anyway? How did that come about I wonder? We see the result plain as day, the dinosaur story that has become the but of 1000 jokes here. What was the other story? Two guys pouring water on each other? Now that magical realism is a thing you would think these people would be headed for snootier pastures. Really though, what do they gain by slumming it in SFF? More prestige and more grants in the literary world I would think. Too much competition over there?
Anyone interested in the sad state of literature now, at least as far as the big deal literary stuff goes, needs to read B. R. Myers' A Reader's Manifesto .

Anonymous JRL April 17, 2015 11:50 PM  

Big winner Vox Day is an outspoken white supremacist and campaigner against women’s education and suffrage,

Vox, if you could just take a break from burning crosses on people's lawns until this Hugo stuff blows over, that would be great...


Anonymous Alexander April 18, 2015 12:06 AM  

Oh hoh! GRRM is at it again. It seems he is under the impression that the divide has been successful, and now it's on to stage 2, infiltrate.

One playbook. Every time.

Anonymous roo_ster April 18, 2015 12:20 AM  

Vox sure put a whole lot of terrific story and essay together. I own them all save metachronopolis. I like jcw and his writing so much i think i will go out of my way to pay for it anyways. I am no longer poor and can afford such small but wonderful pleasures.

Blogger GK Chesterton April 18, 2015 12:21 AM  


Anonymous Rolf April 18, 2015 12:35 AM  

Gapeseed - that's the sort of thing I saw in PopSci with increasing frequency, and after several years finding less and less science of interest and more political correctness (and falsity) within its covers I finally let my multi-decade subscription lapse. And I have not looked back. It used to be pretty good.

Blogger John Wright April 18, 2015 1:37 AM  

"I would rather read Wright's grocery list than any of the "literary" stuff in the genre now."

How funny you should mention that! I happen to have my grocery list right here.

Items to pick up:

a pound of Apples, despite that this mortal fruit is the one whose taste brought all our woe in paradise;

a sack of flour, child of an unworthy grain, those firstfruits offered by the first murderer and his first victim, his brother, which horrid fratricide to this day we repeat;

four heads of Lettuce, which the antediluvians ate, meat being forbidden to them.

a pounds of Beef, eaten by humans for the first time under the gracious light of a rainbow, wonder unadored ere then.

a rack of Lamb, eaten when the angel of death passed over the chosen seed of Abraham

Remember to get some lunchmeat for the kids.

a quart of Milk and a jar of Honey -- to remind us of a great promise.

And, finally, remember to get a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, to remind us of the one and only time the blood of the divine was shed on this dark and morbid globe we call the earth.

Fried fish, as was eaten by the shores of the sea on Easter Sunday, as Peter was asked three times whom he loved.

Also, a package of turkey, justly renowned as the humblest meat from the stupidest bird eaten with prayers of thanksgiving by the Pilgrim fathers who bless and planted this nation, whose harvest was the freest and greatest people Earth has ever known: under socialism, you could not nip down to the store and buy these things, or any things, since socialism spends human blood and purchases nothing but misery and want.

Blogger Krul April 18, 2015 3:11 AM  

Downloaded. Vox, Markku, John and whoever else is involved, thanks for the freebie. I travel by plane soon, and this is the perfect companion.

Anonymous Freddy April 18, 2015 3:25 AM  

Well stated John C W.

The musings one finds in our pockets, brilliant.

Blogger SirThermite April 18, 2015 6:00 AM  

"Big winner Vox Day is an outspoken white supremacist and campaigner against women’s education and suffrage" - Popular Science

They left out how Vox uses the blood of SJWs to bake matzos, and how his associate John C. Wright is responsible for a plot involving the death of a government official. Typical PopSci tripe- all fluff and not enough science-y detail.

Blogger Kull April 18, 2015 9:34 AM  

Wonderful! My hyperbole was just melted down and cast into a charming knick knack at home on desk or mantle. There is no "off" switch located on Mr Wright! It's a good time to be alive.

Blogger maniacprovost April 18, 2015 11:03 AM  

In all seriousness, the rise of slate voting should improve the Hugos, particularly if the slates are posted in, say, December/January, and then updated after some internal debate. This way the filter mechanism has multiple passes, and the readers have a chance to check out the proposed nominees they haven't read. This is the only way to cast a net in Eric's Sea of Midlist Novels.

You could do even better with a technological improvement to the voting process itself. Now is not the ideal tome for a rules change, but imagine this... Each voter ranks their preferences in order, the leaders are publicly updated in real time, and your vote can be changed at whim. Ultimately the finalists are voted on in secret.

Anonymous Lana April 18, 2015 11:35 AM  

The link going to the free download leads to "error establishing a database connection", both the one from the blog and the link you posted in Twitter yesterday.

Blogger Markku April 18, 2015 1:12 PM  

Just a few days ago I plunked down five American for Awake in the Night Land and here it is for free.

No, the TOC is a bit confusing. It's just an ad, not the book.

Blogger Markku April 18, 2015 1:14 PM  

As for the site, we didn't quite expect it to get this popular this fast. Next year, we'll probably switch to a more expensive ISP that can handle more traffic. In the meanwhile, if you get the database error, try again in about 30 minutes.

Blogger beerme April 18, 2015 4:51 PM  

As for the site, we didn't quite expect it to get this popular this fast.
Lies. We all know that Vox is always thinking five steps ahead and planned for Marcher Lord's ownership to change long before he wrote ATOB.

Blogger Wayne Earl April 18, 2015 10:17 PM  

Thanks to Vox and he puppies for bringing my attention to SF/F that doesn't suck.

Blogger Jordan179 April 19, 2015 1:39 AM  

Hee hee, I bet Scalzi and the Haydens are tearing out their hair over that cover. :D And the best part? Your cover copy is absofreakinglutely true, so if they tried to sue over it they'd just make themselves look like fools in public. Excellent!

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