Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Update on Sirius submissions

The reading period for May at Sirius Science Fiction will close on Saturday, April 28. All stories submitted by then will be considered for publication in May. The list of the five stories selected will be posted on Monday, April 29 (May has five Fridays). Sirius S-F will publish each week's original story on Fridays. The first story will go live on Friday, May 3.

As of now, we have 31 submissions for consideration.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Now on Doutrope

Sirius Science Fiction has already been listed at Duotrope, almost two weeks before posting its first original story:

We have received 15 submissions so far, so it looks like we will have some stories to pour over soon.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The death of live and let live

The elitism and discrimination that dominates literary science fiction today should not be a surprise. It's the result of the same generational trends that have bedeviled American society as a whole, and is why Donald Trump provokes the neo-aristocrats into screeching paroxysms of hysteria.

The generation that grew up during the Great Depression knew nothing but poverty and deprivation. They in reaction spoiled their children, the Baby Boomers. Today we see the effects of the Baby Boomers' offspring on society. The children of the spoiled became even more spoiled.

The Soviet Union subverted and infiltrated college campuses during the Vietnam War era in an attempt to topple the U.S. without a fight. It didn't work, but it did result in the unusual societal outcome that the most spoiled and privileged segments of society are also the most leftist. Today's liberal leaders combine the snobbery of the Met Club with the ideology of the Khmer Rouge.

Just as they have taken over the media and academia, these same people now control literary science fiction. Back when I started writing, about 2003, Baby Boomers still held the reins - people like Gardner Dozois, who judged content first and didn't care about an author's personal faith and morals.

With the rise of people like John Scalzi and Cat Rambo, we find people in control who want to know who you are first before they consider the merit of your work. Remember, these people are so far to the left that 98 percent of authors are no good by their definition. They label you a fascist or Nazi if you believe in God, your country or yourself. They've made terms like Nazi or racist meaningless by using it so widely and indiscriminately.

I suppose the difference between the generations that produced Gardner Dozois and John Scalzi is that Gardner knew he was a liberal but he understood not everybody was - and that's okay. Little privileged pricks like Scalzi think only people like himself should exist and everyone else is profoundly illegitimate.

It's that same attitude - the deep seated fear that your enemies not only want to beat you but kill you - that stampeded thousands of people into voting for a candidate that has many flaws, but a lack of patriotism isn't one of them. Once Hilary Clinton called Trump supporters "deplorables" she assured his election.

Once the sci-fi establishment stuffed the ballot box by buying thousands of WorldCon memberships to euthanize the Sad Puppies in the 2015 Hugo vote, it assured the irrelevance of the award.

The old institutions remain, but they are like dusty trophies on the mantle of a cob-webbed private club. New ones are rising up because that 98 percent of sci fi authors need some place to call home. The Dragon Awards have already clobbered both the Hugos and Nebulas in both quality and prestige.

I look forward to Sirius Science Fiction taking its place in the ranks of venues that publish quality and entertaining speculative fiction.

I am one of those people who refuse to grovel, self denounce or apologize for existing. These snobs and assholes are headed, as Trotsky said, "to the ash heap of history". We have already made great strides in building up a powerful structure of independent publishing and innovative outlets for original fiction. I expect Sirius Science Fiction will play its part.

The Alfred Bester dilemma

I want to expand a bit on some previous comments regarding my present job situation.

Alfred Bester has always been one of my favorite classic s-f authors. He worked a number of regular jobs in the 1940 and '50 when he was producing such classic novels as "The Stars My Destination" and "The Demolished Man", as well as fantastic short stories such as "Fondly Fahrenheit", "Disappearing Act", and "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed".among others.

Bester loved to travel, and in 1963 he landed the editor's job at Holiday , an upscale travel magazine. He said this was his dream job, adding he didn't plan to write spec fic any more.

And he didn't, really, at least until the magazine folded in 1971. If you familiar with his output after that until his death in 1987, the long layoff certainly seemed to hurt his writing.

Alfred Bester
I've worked as a community newspaper editor most of life. I've always loved the scale of small newspapers and the human contact and variety. I tried my hand from 1995 to 2001 running a community weekly newspaper, but it eventually flopped because of my deficient business management skills.

At the start of 2018, as my wife and I bought the Clarksville Times, I found myself in a situation that reminds me of what befell Bester at Holiday. I have my dream job, and I'm not interested in writing fiction any more. And I have really haven't, although I have some previous commitments to honor.

It's just as well - the screws continue to tighten on authors who are not doctrinaire leftists and atheists in the science fiction literary world. An iron blacklist and open discrimination has driven hundreds of authors into independent publishing and alternative outlets. It's become a sort of sciparthied system, with a tiny elite controlling the institutions, and everyone else developing their own parallel system

While I am still not writing actively, I thought I might be able to lend some support and encouragement by contributing to the development of this alternate system of original fiction outlets, which is where I got the idea of starting Sirius Science Fiction. I launched the blog yesterday and I already have seven submissions. I plan to publish an original story every Friday starting May 3.

I'm doing well enough financially now that I plan to pay $25 per story. I plan to supplement with reprints and well as probably some original fiction of my own.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Dog Star

As you may or may not know, I have written almost no original fiction since the start of last year. My wife and I took advantage of an opportunity to buy my employer out and become self-employed.

I was managing editor of The Clarksville Times for a full three years before this opportunity presented itself. It seemed to be fate. I've grown very unhappy with the state of speculative fiction. The traditional avenues of science fiction and fantasy have been totally corrupted by political correctness and ideological intolerance. Quite frankly, I enjoy NOT writing spec fic any more, and I don't miss it one bit. I never would have taken it up if I knew I'd have to be cheek by jowl with such elitists and limousine liberals. It's not any fun any more.

Back when I started in 2003, editors tended to judge a work by its quality first, but since then there's been a shift towards investigating an author to determine his or her political correctness first before actually evaluating the merit of his or her work. There are a few venues that still for the quality of the work, but they are so few as to not merit mentioning.

Of course, I was radicalized by the way the Sad Puppies were abused in 2015. Time has proven us more right that we could have hoped for. The Hugos are now some kind of bullshit left wing participation prize. This year the Nebulas are in convulsions because some indie authors got on the ballot - not the "right" kind of people. Like in the French Revolution Reign of Terror, the s-f literary leftists keep purging their own ranks.

Although I enjoy not competing for recognition in a genre that is badly broken, there are still many good people and aspiring authors who care, and I feel bad for them. I had an idea to perhaps support and encourage them, and that's to open up a small e-zine they can be published in.

The idea coalesced when I made a connection between Sad Puppies and the Dog Star - Sirius. So I decided to name the e-zine Sirius Science Fiction. I also hope there is an echo of "serious" in the name.

I think that, with the iron blacklist being enforced by the leading short fictions against authors identified as conservatives or moderate, and/or Christians, there is surely a market for short fiction that will be considered without being subjected to any ideological litmus test.

I whipped up one of those free Blogspot blogs today and launched the effort. You can find it here:

I've already had four submissions in its first day. I plan to publish an original story every Friday, with launch set for May 3.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Or in this case, a son-of-an-obituary

Game of Thrones? I never liked high fantasy, and I'd think better of George R.R. Martin if he hadn't lent his name and prestige to the lynch mob that went after the Sad Puppy Hugo nominees in 2015. He black balled a bunch of nominees that year from the Hugo awards after-party, calling them "assholes", including myself. You just don't forget that kind of abuse and disrespect from someone you didn't hurt in the first place.

Of course, we've seen in the years since the Hugos degenerate into some kind of political correctness participation award for well-connected mediocre writers. No honest or intelligent writer takes them seriously any more.

In the meantime, I sit on the sidelines,rub my hands and wait to use one of the perks of my business.

I am SO looking forward to writing his obituary.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Community service

Clarksville, Texas, has a tradition of strong community journalism, starting in 1842 with Charles DeMorse and the founding of The Northern Standard, and since his death, continuing to the present day with The Clarksville Times.

I was just reminded of this when, as I was flipping through an old copy of John F. Kennedy's book "Profiles in Courage" - written in 1957, the year I was born - I found something that caught my eye in the chapter on Sam Houston.

Houston was the only senator from the South who voted against the Compromise of 1850, an important piece of legislation that probably staved off the Civil War for ten years.

He was severely abused for that, and in telling the story it's said that his vote "as described by the indignant Clarksville Standard—“the last feather that broke the camel’s back.”'

I read "Profiles in Courage" when I was a school boy, but of course the name of Clarksville meant nothing to me then.

I'm kind of proud to still uphold a long-standing tradition of community journalism.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Vonda McIntyre passes away

Distinguished author Vonda N McIntyre passed away Monday, following a rapid decline after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

When I first began writing s-f for submission in 2002, she was one of the first names I ran across because she wrote the definitive paper on manuscript preparation. I've followed that format for 16 years, and it's never failed me.

I was honored to share a table of contents with her in More Alternative Truths in 2017.

Update on Patricia’s health:

As some of you know, I stayed home to be with Patricia rather than attend LibertyCon. She was having health problems and I wanted to be with...