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Saturday, July 02, 2016

Converged from the bottom

Lest you think I exaggerated when I described the SJW-converged state of publishing in my latest appearance on Stefan Molyneaux's podcast:
I struggled with rejections, too. Not because I feared crushing someone’s literary dreams (I had faith you’d be okay) but because we were asked to send personalized rejections for promising but still lacking work. There were four templates for rejection: 1) form rejection, 2) I liked a, b, and c but no. Go ahead and submit more work if you want,  3) Wow so close, but not quite. Definitely send us more work though, and 4) I loved this so much that I’m writing a response from scratch instead of inserting my thoughts into a pre-written paragraph, but unfortunately no *frowny face*.  We left #4 to the editors.

Like the nonexistent length requirements, this take on rejecting work is great for writers. I loved it until I realized it’s way easier to send a form rejection than come up with even a personalized one. Even submissions I loved ended up getting a form rejection after a week trying to convey my appreciation while still saying no. We had to be careful about this because we didn’t want to say something dumb or be too encouraging and have someone resend a piece with whatever corrections we’d accidentally proposed.

Moving things toward acceptance wasn’t much easier. We passed work we liked to another intern. If that intern liked it, they passed it to another intern. And if they liked it, one of the editors got it and made the final call. So it mattered little, dear author, if I thought your work was a masterpiece. A second or third reader who disagreed could kill it as easily as an editor. Once I got a submission that I thought was a great commentary on race, and another intern dismissed it because she didn’t see the “thematic relevance” – a very annoying phrase uttered so many times it ceased to have meaning.

I’m sure I annoyed other interns with this, too. Like when I said no to a piece on gentrification in NYC ( two other interns loved it) because its white dude perspective killed its otherwise stellar structure and language for me. I did the same with other pieces that were good except for their sexism or racism or *insert other -ism here*.
Slush reading is a necessary evil for all publishers; Castalia House now have sufficient admissions that we need to extend our one-month review policy to three months. Also, we will not provide any comments or advice on a submission, as Castalia House is a publisher, not a writer's workshop. However, we have no SJWs involved in the process and your work will be given a fair shake so long as you are not an SJW yourself and your work is not Pink SF or some other SJW strain. We have a "kill-on-sight" policy with regards to SJW-related submissions.

Hhowever, I will say that in my experience, far too many would-be writers are far too eager to submit what is clearly incomplete, unpolished, and unoriginal work. If you haven't even demonstrated that you have the discipline to finish a single novel, the chances that anyone is going to be so blown away by the talent demonstrated or the ideas presented in your unfinished work that they will leap to sign it is remote, to put it mildly. And not being Hollywood, Castalia is really not interested in the X meets Y formula. Do something original. And if you can't do that, you'd better do something great (John C. Wright, Owen Stanley), something genuinely classic (Jerry Pournelle, Rod Walker), or something world-class (Martin van Creveld, William Lind, David the Good.)

Most writers, and I include myself in this, simply don't put in the time and effort that even the second-rate successes like George R.R. Martin do. And no one these days goes to the lengths of a Tolkien or an Eco, both world-class academic specialists in fields intimately related to their writing. One reason that The Missionaries is such a stand-out novel is that Owen Stanley not only has first-hand knowledge of "Elephant Island", he quite clearly knows the Moroks very, very well.

At this point, the very best thing you can do to get published these days is to either a) become famous or b) develop a large Twitter following. I am reliably informed, by a VERY inside publishing industry insider, that the major publishers are increasingly disinterested in the content of the books they are signing, and their primary concern is the social media outreach of the author. This is not true of Castalia House, of course, as we are getting even more selective about the content we publish.

As I've said before, if there is no sound reason to believe your work has the probability of being a category bestseller, Castalia probably will not publish it. The Missionaries is the first debut novel we have published, Loki's Child will be the second, and both of them are manifestly not your average genre novel. We are more interested in quality than we are in staying in our genre lane. While we won't reject your novel because it doesn't conform to the SJW Narrative, that's not sufficient reason to publish it either.

Meanwhile, Barry Malzberg makes it clear that some women have always been bent on destroying science fiction.
Judith Merril (1920-1997) had big ideas in the 1950s: she was going to take down all of the barriers between what she called the science fiction "ghetto" and the "mainstream." She was going to prove that the barriers were artificially constructed and made no sense.

We were living in a science fiction world: Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth had proved that on the social register. And Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Sputnik demonstrated that this was not a sick little genre for (what Isaac Asimov called) "crazy kids."

She embarked upon her campaign, writing book reviews (she eventually became Fantasy & Science Fiction's regular reviewer) and inaugurating her Annual Best SF series in 1957, which was taken on by Dell for mass market and which became immediately the most significant and influential of all the annuals. She wrote pandering introductions to stories by Russell Baker and Jorge Luis Borges reprinted in her annuals, arguing that they proved that literary figures and New York Times columnists were writing the stuff just as well or better as the hacks in Astounding and Galaxy.

She persuaded Anthony Boucher (who had his own shaky and ambivalent fix on the field) that everything was science fiction. And Boucher hired Arthur Jean Cox to write an ongoing movie column in which he noted that the musical Li’l Abner was hard-core science fiction. Her columns in Fantasy & Science Fiction disdained or ignored category publications as largely hackwork, and she used the space to dismiss almost all of it and surely to propagate the British New Wave writers who were really shaking the earth and changing everything. That led to her commercially disastrous Doubleday anthology England Swings! SF, which Donald A. Wollheim, who published the paperback, told me was the worst-selling Ace paperback in history. This is just part of what the former Josephine Grossman was doing in the critical period 1955-1968 after she had essentially written finis to her career as a fiction writer; but it was quite enough to get the job done. A decent writer and a highly intelligent person, she did the field more damage than Raymond Palmer or Roger Corman, Ed Earl Repp or Ed Wood. The field certainly survived, it had demonstrated the pre-Lucas capacity to survive anything, but it was irreversibly damaged.

It was irreversibly damaged because Merril's influence in those years was great, and she was on a methodical, hardly understated campaign to tear down the walls and destroy the category. As a failed mainstream writer who had essentially been rescued by her friends Theodore Sturgeon and Philip J. Klass, and pointed toward commercial writing, Merril was determined to find another way into the mainstream. And if that involved rupturing or destroying science fiction, well, that would be collateral damage.

I had a little of this syndrome myself—like Merril I came to science fiction in my mid-twenties as a failed angry quality lit writer. But I never forgot that science fiction had essentially rescued me, that Final War which had been deemed "too grimly realistic" for The Hudson Review and condescendingly bounced had been taken by Edward L. Ferman, and in that simple act he had saved my creative life, and I was grateful. I was not contemptuous of science fiction or anxious to pummel the misshapen but occasionally beautiful field of literature because it was a means of default. Rather, I was grateful and having read a great deal in the genre at a formative time (so had Merril) I knew that it was a legitimate brand of literature which was being screwed mercilessly by the academy and the quality lit gatekeepers and spirits. Their casual contempt (like the contempt of the Hudson Review) infuriated me and still does. But I never blamed science fiction for what the larger culture had done to it. Merril did. Merril was the kind of liberal who in different circumstances would blame James Baldwin and Cassius Clay for bad manners, for giving their people a bad name.
The SF-SJWs are, of course, furious about this, as they always are when their dreadful behavior is revealed. They want to bury the past and pretend that the present is as it is for no reason beyond inevitable Progress. And it is all too typical of SJW entryism that a woman who hated science fiction would position herself as the arbiter of what was best in the field.

Which, of course, is how we eventually ended up with dreadful schlock like Redshirts and "The Rain That Falls On You If You're Gay" and "If You Weren't Beaten Into a Coma By Political Stand-ins For the Mean Girls Who Called Me Fat in High School, My Love" being deemed the best science fiction has to offer. Just the title of "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" is more thoughtful and entertaining than the sum total of those three award-winning works.

Also amusing is the protests of the SJWs. "But consider all her contributions to the field!" they cry. That's the point and that's also the problem. She did contribute a lot, and those contributions were negative and damaging to the field of science fiction. None of this really matters, though, as the SJW-converged world of mainstream SF is a dying one, and a new world, in which Castalia House is going to be a powerful force, is rising to take its place.

Thanks to you, June was another record month for Castalia House. Thanks to you, June was another record month of traffic for VP. Thanks to you, our hot new releases and category bestsellers have brought us to the attention of much larger companies who are extremely interested in working with us. Thanks to you, our productive capacities have expanded. Thanks to you, top authors are starting to work with us.

Thanks to you, the turbo-boosters are being fitted. Buckle up.

Labels:

85 Comments:

Blogger Starbuck July 02, 2016 6:02 AM  

Pity, I am not a writer. I like your integrity. I would definitely tried publish through you.

Blogger Starbuck July 02, 2016 6:04 AM  

I been up most of the night after having surgery. Forgive my sentence structure.

Blogger Human Animal July 02, 2016 6:22 AM  

In general, however, I can say that far too many would-be writers are far too eager to submit what is clearly incomplete, unpolished, and unoriginal work.
I complain about what gets published. I don't dare ask about what gets submitted.

Just the title of "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" is more interesting and amusing than the sum total of those three award-winning works.
Can't wait for the HBO adaptation.

Anonymous Rawle Nyanzi July 02, 2016 6:24 AM  

I read that article, and I could only cringe.

If I'm going to be rejected by anyone, it's going to be by actual readers. And with the internet, the launch lasts forever. No one cares how long your work has been up.

Anonymous User July 02, 2016 6:44 AM  

First, thanks for this refuge from the general mind stifling propaganda.

That said, since this post pretty much eliminates any need for further discussion that doesn't meet the criteria it lays out, I hope no one will mind if I use this space to ask if anyone knows of an uncucked alternative for the ACLU. Is there one that's effective?

Anonymous SciVo July 02, 2016 6:46 AM  

Say, what was Owen Stanley's reaction to his wild debut?

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 6:54 AM  

Say, what was Owen Stanley's reaction to his wild debut?

Somewhere between "bemused" and "oh, you don't say". He was so moved that he actually raised an eyebrow. As you can probably imagine, he's not exactly the flappable sort.

He did say that he found the reviews to be "most kind" and that he "greatly appreciated" the response to his book.

Blogger Chester July 02, 2016 7:02 AM  

"The SJ-SJWs are" Did you mean SF-SJW?

Blogger Student in Blue July 02, 2016 7:15 AM  

Turbo-boosters online and operational. We are now prepared for hyperspeed.

Buckle up.

Blogger residentMoron July 02, 2016 7:21 AM  

"Thanks to you, our productive capacities have expanded. Thanks to you, top authors are starting to work with us.

Thanks to you, the turbo-boosters are being fitted. Buckle up.


Rockin good news!

Anonymous SciVo July 02, 2016 7:22 AM  

User wrote:I use this space to ask if anyone knows of an uncucked alternative for the ACLU. Is there one that's effective?

FIRE and Samaritan's Purse. (I assume you mean 1A, since that's what the ACLU is most associated with.) But they're specific to higher education and Christianity, respectively.

Ever since the ACLU became fully converged and put entitlements ahead of its eponym, left-libertarianism has been dead. The 2D is a triangle; the only leftism now is left-authoritarianism; and even antifas & anarchists are against free speech.

Anonymous SciVo July 02, 2016 7:24 AM  

VD wrote:He was so moved that he actually raised an eyebrow. As you can probably imagine, he's not exactly the flappable sort.

Huh. Well, as long as he was gruntled.

Blogger John S July 02, 2016 7:38 AM  

On a related note, I finally clicked on the Control Alt Revolt link in the sidebar and discovered this is the book you were telling Molyneux about. The one with the HarperCollins editor chimpout over abortion (I can just imagine how that conversation went: "it's the current year, goy! I can't even...").

It turns out, after reading the reviews, its hostile AI's, not aliens, but whatever... So I bought it, naturally. Which brings me to the point of this comment: if you buy the Kindle version for ¢99, you can add the Audible companion narration (which is the full audiobook- 10 hrs) for $1.99. That's a pretty good deal for an audiobook, get on it while it lasts.

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 7:53 AM  

id you mean SF-SJW?

Yes, corrected.

Well, as long as he was gruntled.

Oh, he was most definitely gruntled.

Blogger Orville July 02, 2016 7:57 AM  

I remember Lil'Abner, and Lil'Abner is NOT SF. I enjoyed my brief stint as a slushy. With submissions up are you still needing readers?

Blogger Dave July 02, 2016 8:02 AM  

It's been fascinating to watch Castalia House evolve. To be some small part in supporting that is as gratifying and rewarding as knowing I can count on quality content at reasonable prices. An added bonus is the anticipation; what new author or new book will show up next.

I was trying to recall what was the first official CH publication? Also I just asked in another thread if the identity of the author of Loki's Child will be made known?

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 8:06 AM  

With submissions up are you still needing readers?

I will ask the Submissions Editor. Despite the deluge, he hasn't asked for help yet.

Anonymous Sorcerygod July 02, 2016 8:46 AM  

I occasionally write science fiction on my website, and humor

www.sorcerygod.wordpress.com

and I've gotten some good reviews for it.

Do you think praise from strangers on the Internet is as least as valid as praise from family/friends (and we know how reliable THAT is)?

The last piece of fiction I wrote was an imaginary scenario of Bill Gates' email server and the kinds of letters he got. I don't know, it amused me to have Bono pleading with him to give everyone free Pokemon cards. Come drop by if you want to check it out.

Blogger Remo - Vile Faceless Minion #99 July 02, 2016 9:12 AM  

Space Raptor Butt Invasion... 2!!! Castalia has to get the rights for this one.

Blogger bob k. mando July 02, 2016 9:16 AM  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Merril

*facedesk*

i am shocked, SHOCKED i tell you, to find that ((( Merril's ))) real name was Grossman and that she somehow combined Zionism ( for the Jew ) with International Communism ( for the Goy ).

every. FUCKING. time.

Blogger David The Good July 02, 2016 9:18 AM  

The growth of Castalia House has been wondrous to watch - I feel privileged to have beaten the rush and been picked up by Vox despite my complete misalignment with the original mission of restoring sci-fi storytelling. A gardening book from a sci-fi/fantasy publisher? Weird, but it works. My book sales from CH now pay the rent on our farm. That's something that can't be said by most authors, especially those who made deals with the old publishing houses. Viva la revolucion!

Blogger JACIII July 02, 2016 9:29 AM  

You guys have done a stellar job with Castalia House. Even writers have sense enough to pursue a better deal and less capricious business partner.

Any luck signing Chuck Tingle, yet?
It would be worth cooking up a publishing house just to claim Chuck Tingle exclusively.

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 02, 2016 9:37 AM  

Tip for getting published; make sure your story takes place in New York.

Nothing interesting ever happens outside of NYC, just ask any member of the Manhattan publishing community.

Anonymous 5343 July 02, 2016 9:39 AM  

JACIII wrote:It would be worth cooking up a publishing house just to claim Chuck Tingle exclusively.

No, no, it really wouldn't ...

Blogger bob k. mando July 02, 2016 9:48 AM  

22. JACIII July 02, 2016 9:29 AM
It would be worth cooking up a publishing house just to claim Chuck Tingle exclusively.



i've had just about enough of your conniption fits, young man.

alternatively, they already created a publishing house just to claim Chuck Tingle as one of their authors. it's called "Amazon".



notice another thing about Grossman ... no small part of her "success" in early sci-fi seems to be that she was fucking half of the Futurians.

Zoe Quinn before Zoe Quinn.

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 9:48 AM  

She also became one of the few female members of the New York City-based group of science fiction writers, editors, artists and fans, the Futurians.... A number of her contributions were to magazines edited by fellow ex-Futurians.

You don't say... Sadly for female science fiction writers, sexing your way to a career has become considerably more difficult these days.

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 9:56 AM  

My book sales from CH now pay the rent on our farm.

Very pleased to hear that. The better off our authors are, the better we will do long term.

Blogger JACIII July 02, 2016 9:56 AM  

Aliens in A Tenticle Porn Embrace: from the people who brought you Space Raptor But Invasion

Blogger Jack Ward July 02, 2016 10:04 AM  

@VD: Thanks to you,

No: Thanks to Markku and You! Castalia has come about, along with Baen and maybe a tiny few others [Smashwords come to mind, though, almost all my small publishing dollars go to Castalia] just in time to save the genre and re-invigorate fiction reading interest. If Castalia does nothing else, and it will do much more, it has done a service to Mankind. If nothing else than leaving sjws' incoherent with angry it has done service to Mankind.
It's been super fun watching all this evolve these last years. People talk about aticipating the latest author. Yes, that. But, more is the almost unbearable anticipation of the next rotten structure our esteemed and horrifying Dark Lord comes up with to upset the stultifying, hideous and nauseating, 'system'. The new wiki, maybe? The new google? Some wonderful adaptation of the principles of Broadchain; and, I don't mean anything financial like bitcorn. The possibilities seem endless. Now, Vox needs to stay healthy and live long and prosper.

https://aeon.co/essays/how-blockchain-will-revolutionise-far-more-than-money

Anonymous Big Bill July 02, 2016 10:12 AM  

The SJW/SFWAs are going to be weeping bitter tears.

How long until some of them (like some old girlfriend who has hit the wall) start calling you to see if you want to "get back together"?

Blogger Jim July 02, 2016 10:13 AM  

By what criteria does GRRM get categorized as a "second-rate success"? Like many other people I really enjoyed the first three books of ASOIAF, and if he would have died of a coronary prior to the fourth one being completed I could have gone on admiring his work and thinking what a shame he didn't get to continue it to completion.

Also, if dreadful shlock = completely derivative fanfic, then OK Redshirts is at that level. I didn't think it was that bad while reading it, but I also thought I could have written it while watching a weekend TNG marathon. I wouldn't have thought to write the "I owe you a blowjob" interchange which is probably the only original (if disturbing) contribution by the author. But then, I don't fantasize about giving other guys blowjobs.

Blogger bob k. mando July 02, 2016 10:38 AM  

26. VD July 02, 2016 9:48 AM
You don't say...



also, three different marriages + cohabitation with Walter 'A Canticle for Leibowitz' Miller. her first foray into fanzines was with her first husband ... and it failed after the first issue ... because her marriage to him was dissolving.

she's got an N of 4+ ( three involved in skiffy publishing ) and that's just what is noted in a short wikipedia article.

Blogger szopen July 02, 2016 10:41 AM  

I have always wondered whether it's harder for English s-f writers than Polish - English had far larger market, but also far larger competition. If you want to publish short stories, then, in Polish there is pretty much one surviving s-f magazine which still pays for the stories (plus several fanzines, including those which publish only on internet). Some publishing houses have strict policy of "no to Polish writers" or "no to debuts".

On the other hand, there is no SJW infestation (at least I hope) - one of my favourite authors is very rightwing anti-feminist guy (especially in direct conversation) who has no problem with finding a publisher (and he never had, except with some old publishing molochs).

I was able to sell just two of my stories. Funny thing: the last one was intended as anti-feminist rant, but one feminist I know actually loved it (she said "it contrast archetypical feminine and masculine, war contra motherhood, abstract versus concrete") and one of my two close friends said that if he had not know me, he would thought I am promoting "gender ideology, that cancer which destroys our civilisation". Also, the editor who accepted the story, I _think_ initially thought this is "promo story" for feminism. As if the main hero is female crazy feminist, then it somehow means authors shares main characters' views and ideology...

Blogger Cail Corishev July 02, 2016 10:41 AM  

If David Eddings had taken more than a decade to write books 4 and 5 of the Belgariad, turning them into doorstoppers that pointlessly killed off Durnik, Silk, and Barak and ignored Garion and the Orb for hundreds of pages while exploring court politics in Murgoland and Mallorea, and promised to wrap it all up someday with at least two more books -- and then some TV producers decided it would make a great series and picked it up and ran with it and made him wealthy -- would you consider Eddings more than a second-rate author?

Anonymous 5343 July 02, 2016 10:42 AM  

VD wrote:You don't say... Sadly for female science fiction writers, sexing your way to a career has become considerably more difficult these days.

Steve, this would be your cue to break out the usual visual delights ...

Blogger seeingsights July 02, 2016 10:43 AM  

I have a used copy of _England Swings SF_ edited by Judith Merrill. I believe Mr. Wollheim when he said that it was the worst selling anthology.

The stories in that book did nothing for me. It was as if the worst features of contemporary literary short fiction were mixed with SF. The stories had uncompelling subject matter. And with some stories, I had no idea what the story was about.

Blogger LordSomber July 02, 2016 10:47 AM  

Why were submissions going to interns in the first place? Do publishers actually do that?

Blogger John Wright July 02, 2016 11:00 AM  

@37
Yes. Publishers have no time to wade through crap looking for diamonds.

My wife worked for a small SF publisher as a volunteer intern, and on her first day, with no training, was reading slush pile manuscripts and sending out rejection notices.

Blogger Sam July 02, 2016 11:07 AM  

"One thing you need to understand is that the publishing industry is almost entirely ran by women who studied things like Creative Writing in college."
http://www.returnofkings.com/63888/how-female-dominated-publishing-houses-are-censoring-male-authors

Anonymous BGKB July 02, 2016 11:17 AM  

We have a "kill-on-sight" policy with regards to SJW-related submissions

So that's why "BigGaySteve's Guide to Dealing With Petulant Faggots" got rejected. You would think the title alone would make it a great gift book.

The Rain That Falls On You If You're Gay

I did a search for that and the top picture was Serena Williams clenching her fist & yelling.

develop a large Twitter following.

So buying fake twitter followers is a good investment?

Sadly for female science fiction writers, sexing your way to a career has become considerably more difficult these days.

Is this because the female fiction writers are uglier or because of the $5-$20 selections of mestizos in the home depot parking lot?

Anonymous Dave July 02, 2016 11:25 AM  

My book sales from CH now pay the rent on our farm.

What's the name of your farm; The Good Acres? Grow or Die Farms?



Blogger The Other Robot July 02, 2016 11:35 AM  

All I can say is I have rarely purchased books that are not from Castalia for the last year or more.

Almost everything else is crap.

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 11:36 AM  

Why were submissions going to interns in the first place? Do publishers actually do that?

All of them do. If editors reviewed all submissions, not only would no books every be published, but no editor would survive more than 12 months on the job.

Anonymous BGKB July 02, 2016 11:41 AM  

What's the name of your farm; The Good Acres? Grow or Die Farms?

He has a blog http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/ he left Ft Lauderdale and moved to the tropics, so costs should be lower there.

Ferfal from http://www.themodernsurvivalist.com/ has said you are better off moving to Spain than the tropics because of the higher crime (he is from Argentina), he says people that retire to Central/South America to live well/cheap never get accustomed to the crime & that Spain has reasonable costs with low crime.

Blogger Jim July 02, 2016 11:55 AM  

@34 Not sure if you're replying to my post or not. If so, the term used was "second-rate success" and not "second-rate author". If GRRM is a second-rate success, then who is a first-rate success? Rowling? Many here don't seem to like her work, but if she isn't a first-rate success I'm interested in how success is being defined.

It's been over 20 years since I read the Belgariad, and what I remember most clearly is thinking that it became tiresome at some point, but maybe not awful the way ASOIAF has in the last two installments. If it had achieved the same outcome for Eddings as ASOIAF has for Martin, I'd consider it a major success.

Blogger subject by design July 02, 2016 12:02 PM  

Does Castalia House always send a rejection notice? I'm wondering if my submission was even received.

Blogger Cail Corishev July 02, 2016 12:20 PM  

Not sure if you're replying to my post or not. If so, the term used was "second-rate success" and not "second-rate author".

A second-rate success in the context of writing. Don't be a sperg. If a guy is a crappy auto mechanic who showed a lot of promise at first but lately can't finish an engine rebuild, and one day he's changing the tires on a car and finds a winning lottery ticket under the driver's seat that makes him a millionaire, would you call him a "first-rate success" in a discussion of auto mechanics?

Blogger Cataline Sergius July 02, 2016 12:53 PM  

All of them do. If editors reviewed all submissions, not only would no books every be published, but no editor would survive more than 12 months on the job.

The only reason anyone, anywhere has ever heard of J. K. Rowling is because one assistant secretary liked the little drawing of Harry Potter that Rowling had made.

The manuscript itself was already in the reject pile.

Blogger The Other Robot July 02, 2016 12:56 PM  

And in another SJW first:

Ghostbusters toys marked down for clearance ...

Anonymous MendoScot July 02, 2016 1:05 PM  

You're welcome, and thanks to all the Castalia staff and slush readers for their efforts.

Missionaries review up, 4 stars.

Blogger Zimri July 02, 2016 1:13 PM  

I responded to that SJW ex-intern that she was a[n antiwhite] bigot. I said "You did damage to your publisher as well as to those" who submitted their work to it. I concluded, "apology NOT accepted".

Amanda Nelson has deleted that, responding "Your comment is being removed for violating our comment policy."

SAFE SPACE!

Blogger Tom K. July 02, 2016 1:30 PM  

The American Center for Law and Justice. Jay Sekulow, founder.

They are conservative free speech & Religion and anythjng else that pisses off the left.

I dont know a lot about them but what I know, I respect.

Blogger bob k. mando July 02, 2016 1:37 PM  

notice also that Merril is perfectly duplicating Sarah Hoyt's behavior, but transferred from SF onto US citizenship:


It was irreversibly damaged because Merril's influence in those years was great, and she was on a methodical, hardly understated campaign to tear down the walls and destroy the category. As a failed mainstream writer who had essentially been rescued by her friends Theodore Sturgeon and Philip J. Klass, and pointed toward commercial writing, Merril was determined to find another way into the mainstream. And if that involved rupturing or destroying science fiction, well, that would be collateral damage.


take your own insecurity, assert that it is as good or BETTER than the normal standards, demand that everyone else conform to your redefinition.

Anonymous Takin' a Look July 02, 2016 1:56 PM  

Congratulations to Castalia House.

Anonymous Takin' a Look July 02, 2016 1:59 PM  

"Steve, this would be your cue to break out the usual visual delights ..."


Let me pass out the hemlock.

Blogger Jim July 02, 2016 2:24 PM  

@47
"A second-rate success in the context of writing." I guess you mean the subjective standard of whether you personally liked the books. Wikipedia says the series has sold over 60 million copies as of June 2015. I'd define that a being first-rate success in that he is getting his stuff out there and getting paid. Larry Correia's blog leads me to believe Larry thinks the same way.


"Don't be a sperg." Shut up, he explained.


"If a guy is a crappy auto mechanic who showed a lot of promise at first but lately can't finish an engine rebuild, and one day he's changing the tires on a car and finds a winning lottery ticket under the driver's seat that makes him a millionaire, would you call him a "first-rate success" in a discussion of auto mechanics?"

Full Definition of non sequitur
1: an inference that does not follow from the premises; specifically : a fallacy resulting from a simple conversion of a universal affirmative proposition or from the transposition of a condition and its consequent
2: a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said

Blogger Stephen St. Onge July 02, 2016 3:16 PM  

        @11 SciVo wrote: "Ever since the ACLU became fully converged."

        Ever since?!?!?!  The American Communist Lawyers Union was born fully converged.  As Eugene Volokh once pointed out, founder Roger Baldwin was always a left-wing radical and fellow traveler (though for a time he pretended otherwise).  His article in the Sept. 1934 issue of SOVIET RUSSIA TODAY shows that the ACLU always existed to advance the Left.  And I can personally verify the pdf is genuine (ain't research libraries wonderful?).

        The Left has always been the enemy of the existing civilization, and has always sought total power.  Read The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy for the grisly details.

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 3:37 PM  

"the second-rate successes like George R.R. Martin"

Read as "even the most successful of the second-rate writers" if you prefer. As a bookseller, George Martin is very nearly unmatched. As an active genre writer, he is second-rate.

Anonymous Jill July 02, 2016 3:41 PM  

Castalia House generally puts out good books; I've been very satisfied with my purchases so far, but I wish ALL publishing houses, including CH, would spend more time proofreading. Typos become a distraction after a while. Minor gripe, I know, but it is the gripe of a repeat customer.

Anonymous Godfrey July 02, 2016 3:49 PM  

The first SF I read was "Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D." by Andre Norton. That book got me interested in SF. Up to that point in my childhood I had only read biographies on cowboys, Indian chiefs, explorers, and gunslingers.

What book got you interested in SF?

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 3:55 PM  

Castalia House generally puts out good books; I've been very satisfied with my purchases so far, but I wish ALL publishing houses, including CH, would spend more time proofreading.

I doubt that. All it would do is delay releases without significantly cleaning up the text. Most publishing houses do a fair amount of proofreading despite the fact that there is absolutely ZERO sales benefit to delivering clean text. Baen has even determined that editing does not increase sales at all.

Our method of producing ebooks first means that our print editions tend to be cleaner than books published by the mainstream publishers. When we did the EW ebooks from the final line-edited and proofread manuscripts provided by Simon & Schuster, we found an average of 127 typos in those three books.

So, if you see typos in our ebooks, make a list and send them in.

Blogger Stephen St. Onge July 02, 2016 3:59 PM  

        @25. bob k. mando wrote: "notice another thing about Grossman ... no small part of her "success" in early sci-fi seems to be that she was fucking half of the Futurians."

        And notice, also, that the Futurians were a notably left-wing group.  The only reason almost all of them weren't members of the CPUSA was because they were too young to join.  So instead, they became members of the Young Communist League, as Fred Pohl recounted in his autobiography.  And co-founder John Michel did go on to become a "card-carrying" adult commie.  The first great fannish feud, between the Futurians and Sam Moskowitz, occured be Moskowitz made fun of their ambition to turn sf fandom into a revolutionary communist group.

        Convergance never sleeps.

Blogger Orville July 02, 2016 4:20 PM  

I used to be that way about typos, but with ebooks now at $2 to $9 I can live with some typos as long as the story is great.

Blogger bruce July 02, 2016 4:25 PM  

OT, sort of? Norman Spinrad is my guess at the secret identity of Chuck Tingle, because:

1)Buckaroo. Haven't seen a lot of buckaroo in SF since A World Between, I think also published as The Pink and Blue War. Bucko power! Bucko Power! BUCKO POWER!!

2) Confirmment bias: Once you assume Spinrad is Tingle, you realize that the Hugo blathering of the past five years has been a re-enactment of his Pink and Blue War. Also, I haven't read Tingle, so I don't know why Spinrad would not be the author.

Blogger Brian Niemeier July 02, 2016 4:30 PM  

Vox, if memory serves, you predicted that CH will eclipse Tor as SF's #1 publisher within 20 years.

Do you think that recent developments merit shortening that estimate?

Blogger Jim July 02, 2016 4:35 PM  

@62
Is the main thing drawing low rank individuals to the CP the idea that if you just "communist harder" than the others then your intrinsic value (since your talents fall far behind your ambition) will be recognized and you will finally be somebody? Or is just mental illness? A little of A and a little of B?

Blogger Stephen St. Onge July 02, 2016 4:40 PM  

36. seeingsights wrote:

        "I have a used copy of _England Swings SF_ edited by Judith Merrill. I believe Mr. Wollheim when he said that it was the worst selling anthology.

        "The stories in that book did nothing for me. It was as if the worst features of contemporary literary short fiction were mixed with SF."

        That was pretty much the point of the "New Wave."

        "The stories had uncompelling subject matter. And with some stories, I had no idea what the story was about."

        Darrell Schweitzer coined the term "non-functional word pattern" to describe those kinds of things.  "Word pattern" because the words and their order were presumably not chosen at random (he may have been overoptimistic there), and "non-functional" for the reasons you stated.

        The "New Wave" always prized praise from English professors and editors of 'little magazines' over sales.

Blogger VD July 02, 2016 4:58 PM  

Do you think that recent developments merit shortening that estimate?

Without question. Possibly even considerably.

Blogger Stephen St. Onge July 02, 2016 5:11 PM  

66. Jim wrote:
        "Is the main thing drawing low rank individuals to the CP the idea that if you just 'communist harder' than the others then your intrinsic value (since your talents fall far behind your ambition) will be recognized and you will finally be somebody? Or is just mental illness? A little of A and a little of B?"

        In reading biographies of commies and ex-commies, I notice they frequently come from very screwed up families (see e.g. both Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers), and they also seem to have a lot of anger.  Richard Wright was pissed at being discriminated against by whites.  Arthur Koestler said he suffered from "chronic indignation," and the CP was an outlet.  Chambers said he never felt like a real communist till the night he was visiting his brother's grave, and grew enraged at the people in passing cars.  His brother was dead, and they didn't care!

        I think people join the Communist movement for various reasons.  Emotionally, Marxism offers everything.  Concerned about suffering humanity?  Become a commie, and work to make the world a better place.  Want to smash, kill, destroy?  Become a commie, there are enemies to be eliminated.  Want to understand the world?  Marxism is an intellectual system that purports to explain all human history.  Lonely (and many commies seem to have been lonely)?  Become a commie, and have instant friends and family.  On that last, note that the communist movement, like any cult, also worked hard to cut people off from non-communist friends and acquaintences.  Lots of pre-WWII communists dropped out of the movement during the war because they were forced to associate with large numbers of non-communists.  They just never went back.

        And underneath it all, the lure of power, of being important.  During her fellow-traveling days, Whittaker Chambers asked Diana Trilling to help him with his underground work.  Her immediate reaction was to feel immensely flattered.  'He thinks poor little timid me would make a good spy!'

        If it wasn't so evil, communism would be pathetic.

Anonymous SciVo July 02, 2016 5:21 PM  

Stephen St. Onge wrote:The American Communist Lawyers Union was born fully converged.  As Eugene Volokh once pointed out, founder Roger Baldwin was always a left-wing radical and fellow traveler (though for a time he pretended otherwise).  His article in the Sept. 1934 issue of SOVIET RUSSIA TODAY shows that the ACLU always existed to advance the Left.

So all that stuff about "but I will defend to the death your right to say it" was always a lie? There was never a left-libertarianism, except as a trick to fool useful tools?

I'm so disappointed. This world is even worse than I thought.

Blogger Brian Niemeier July 02, 2016 5:55 PM  

"Without question. Possibly even considerably."

Glad to hear it.

I self-publish but understand the need for quality-focused publishers like Castalia House to reverse the damage that folks like Merril have done.

Blogger Dave July 02, 2016 6:06 PM  

@Jill re typos

You haven't read the latest CH fiction if you're still lumping them in with the rest of the industry. Even from the beginning CH was order of magnitude better.

Blogger Were-Puppy July 02, 2016 6:20 PM  

Loki's Child

Loved this one

Blogger Dave July 02, 2016 6:32 PM  

Baen has even determined that editing does not increase sales at all.

B-but muh Best Pro Editor award!


Blogger Matthew July 02, 2016 6:39 PM  

We at Castalia House love getting error reports. They help us improve, even if only slightly, our product.

Public statements that our books are full of typos, without any specifics to help us locate them?

Opposite of helpful.

Don't be that gal.

Blogger Were-Puppy July 02, 2016 7:54 PM  

@21 David The Good

I love your books. Have put some of the gardening book into practice, and am being buried alive in peppers.

The homeowner doesn't approve of me following the composting advice of throwing everything on the ground, so I sneak and throw everything behind an out building, hoping for a luxurious compost pile to form secretly.

Blogger residentMoron July 02, 2016 8:06 PM  

Matthew wrote:We at Castalia House love getting error reports. They help us improve, even if only slightly, our product.

Public statements that our books are full of typos, without any specifics to help us locate them?


What's the best way to report them? by page number?

Blogger Were-Puppy July 02, 2016 8:15 PM  

@70 SciVo

So all that stuff about "but I will defend to the death your right to say it" was always a lie? There was never a left-libertarianism, except as a trick to fool useful tools?
----

Insert any of the following names into this scenario.

At a Donald Trump rally, a gun wielding commie leaps out, pulls a gun, and is prepared to shoot Trump.
Will any of these leap in front of Trump, to take the bullet, to protect his right to say things they dislike?

- Bill Kristol
- Glenn Beck
- Mittens
- Bernout Saunders
- Hildebeast
- anyone from the ACLU
- the list goes on and on :P

Anonymous BGKB July 02, 2016 8:59 PM  

The homeowner doesn't approve of me following the composting advice of throwing everything on the ground

If you don't own the property you can't really do permaculture. Depending on your situation you might want to try guerilla gardening in empty lots, or wooded areas were you toss a ball of self seeding seeds with potting soil onto the property. There are other ways to do it also.
http://www.permies.com/t/8119/permaculture/Guerrilla-gardening

Anonymous BGKB July 02, 2016 9:01 PM  

Also look at grow boxes/ earth boxes that you can take with you some are self watering.

Anonymous Jill July 02, 2016 10:02 PM  

@Matthew, I actually eke a living off editing and proofreading. The thought of doing it for free when I'm reading for leisure doesn't sound any fun at all. I was only thinking about it because of VD's emphasis on CH publishing books they expect or hope will be category bestsellers. It's the way of the market these days to put out sure sellers that aren't proofed the way books used to be. I really enjoy CH books--honestly, I do. That's my one criticism. Take it for what it's worth.

Anonymous Vox calls me RC July 02, 2016 10:58 PM  

I reviewed "Mutiny in Space" and sent in a list of typos.  I got thanks and a note that they'd been corrected in the e-book that day.

Now I wonder what fraction of the total typos I caught, and just how clean the book was 48 hours after the review copies went out.  Crowdsourcing this kind of thing seems to be very effective.

Anonymous Vox calls me RC July 02, 2016 11:08 PM  

While I'm on this subject, a couple years ago I was in a local independent bookstore (a jewel of the city, a favorite hangout for many people) and picked up something in the SF section that was touted as being by a local author.

I read a few pages.  They were so rife with typos I put it right back down, having decided that I could not stomach any more of such a carelessly-constructed work.  The author obviously didn't give a damn about keeping the reader in his story instead of mentally correcting his errors, and I wasn't going to pay for the privilege.  If I was going to read it I wouldn't do it for less than $1/page, and I'd never work for him again.

Anonymous R. J. Moore II July 03, 2016 10:56 PM  

Corman films are often very good, they're also often cheap and thereby a bit hokey, but shitty practical-effects spiders are no less retarded than the clearly-CG plasticy shit that fills big $ films

Anonymous ScarletNumber July 04, 2016 12:00 AM  

It has been said the best way to become a well-known author is to first be well-known, then be an author.

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