Survival Guide for the Conservative, Classically Liberal, & Libertarian Science Fiction & Fantasy Author

Hello, sir or madame. Since you’ve arrived at the service door — versus the red-carpeted, velvet-roped grand portico — I can only assume that you’re a conservative, classical liberal, or libertarian, seeking entrance into the great and spacious building known as Professional Speculative Fiction; encompassing science fiction, fantasy, horror, and a few other subgenres. Don’t be nervous. I know you saw everything that’s going on (through the windows) and you’re wondering if you should even bother trying to get in. Doesn’t seem like an easy place to fit, does it? They built it that way, by design. You’re not supposed to be comfortable here. You’re supposed to feel like you’re the sore thumb. Out of place. Unwanted. And if you’re doing this because you think it’ll be quick money, or because you wanted something less stressful than your day job, I suggest you recover your coat and hat, and seek a different venue.

Still here? Okay. Good. I know exactly why. You can’t let it go. Speculative literature speaks to you. Maybe you started with Heinlein? Maybe it was somebody else? Doesn’t matter. You want in, however you’ve got to do it. Because there are spec fic stories you believe need telling, and you’re the one to tell them. Stupendous. Speculative literature desperately needs its conservatives, classical liberals, and libertarians — protestations of the cognoscenti notwithstanding. This is the field of “What if?” and Dangerous Visions and effing the ineffable. It cannot call itself what it is, without solid conservatives, classical liberals, and libertarians holding their respective flags high. So as to keep the rest of the field honest, and not let the bastards off the hook.

But you need to understand a few things first. Things I didn’t understand when I originally dared dream of entering. Of becoming “pro” and walking in the footsteps of my heroes.

This is a field that really, really doesn’t like you. Or at least the avatar of “you” that the field generally has in mind, whenever the field thinks of admirers of Heinlein or Rand or Hayek or Friedman or Reagan or Limbaugh or FOX NEWS viewers. Hell, you don’t even have to be any of that. Just think that maybe socialism isn’t a great idea. Did you enjoy listening to Paul Harvey on your father’s car radio? Do you follow Mike Rowe’s page on Facebook? See, it doesn’t take much. To be on the outs with the people inside this great and spacious building. That’s why you’re at the service entrance, and not the front door.

Red carpet is for like minds. Red carpet is for people telling the field what the field wants to hear — about itself, and about the world in general.

You will not now, nor are you likely to ever, get the red carpet treatment.

At least if you choose to be open about yourself, and who you are, and how you think.

So, let’s consider your possible paths. Some of these, once you’ve gone down them, are permanent. Others can be deviated from in time, with consequences. Before you go inside, you need to be aware of the reality that you’re facing. Eyes wide open. Back straight. Shoulders squared. Nothing about entrance is impossible. There are simply choices you will have to make, and be ready to live with them. And if that sounds too nerve-wracking, again, there is no shame — zero, in fact — in turning around, and walking away. It’s been done many times before. There are 101 faster, better, less excruciating ways to make money, or achieve status, or reach an audience.

But since you’re still standing there, waiting patiently, I have to assume you are, in fact, afflicted with the same vision that afflicts many of the rest of us. Of journeying to the planets, and the stars. Of boldly going. Swords drawn against the orcs of Mordor. Because somebody has to help Frodo destroy The One Ring. And, dammit, Paul Atreides can’t ride those Sand Worms all by himself! Besides which, Emperor Palpatine is cackling on his throne, and somebody really ought to do something about the Romulans invading the Neutral Zone. Lest Slytherin take the Quidditch Cup and Lord Voldemort claim the Map of Creation from King Arthur and his Jedi Knights. The Kzinti want their damned time machine back, before the Morlocks take it to Foul’s Creche and help Nehemiah Scudder create an army of T-800 cyborgs — the likes of which not even Commander Adama and his Colonial Warriors from the battlestar Serenity can hope to defeat!

All right, we’ve established you are both crazy, and really want to do this. These — my insane friend — are your options. Read carefully. Take your time to decide. There is no rush. Just be sure, when you’re ready. As noted earlier, some of these are permanent.

But first, a practical reminder: Rome was not built in a day, and neither are your writing nor storytelling skills. If wishes were fishes, we’d all be richer than J.K. Rowling. Publishing is easier than it’s ever been. Success is still hard. Maybe harder? Because there are more people trying to publish more speculative fiction — now, in 2016 — than at any time in the field’s history. Many of those people are far more talented than you are. Some of them will be more hard-working. If you’re not willing to pay your dues — in rejection slips, or teaching yourself your craft, or doing the daily grind of punching out word count despite setbacks and your day job — it won’t matter what your politics are. Because you won’t have anything to offer the audience that’s worth offering.

(ahem) Now then . . .

PATH ONE: SILENCE
This is the safest, most time-honored path you can take. It merely requires you to never voice your opinions in a public fashion. No blogging. No editorials in your local paper. No loudly debating your colleagues at the con parties. Just . . . keep your trap shut. Oh, you can probably sneak some of your beliefs into your stories. But you gotta be stealthy about it. You might get on some awards ballots. Maybe even win a few? Straying from this path means you can never, ever go back again. Because people — and the intarwebz — remember forever. Start opening your mouth, disliking the latest Democratic candidate for President (or worse yet, failing to properly hate the latest Republican candidate for President) and you can never, ever be a silent runner again. You will have flipped over your cards. Be aware of that, in the years ahead, when the bullshit is piled so high and so thick, you feel like screaming. Can you vent privately to trusted friends? When the idiocy of the conventional wisdom in the great and spacious building gets to be just too much? Keep a private journal. Save your thoughts for a closed circle. It’s been done many times before. It can be done again. This is the form of “conservative” the great and spacious building just might respect. Or at least put up with. Because they never have to realize you exist.

PATH TWO: CHAMELEON
This is the double-agent’s path. Somewhat similar to Path One, but far harder and more dangerous, because you have to actively work to make the great and spacious building think you’re one of their kind. You have to be up on all the hip language and all the street signs of psuedo-liberalism. Attend the con parties and smile and laugh when they mock ideas and people you revere. Be sure to be seen praising whichever socially conscious author and/or book is being praised this year. Also be seen supporting whichever cause(s) the Jon Stewart set finds laudable. Thanks to the miracle of the World Wide Web, your performance can be done from the safety of your office or home. It’s not hard to make the great and spacious building love you, when you sound and act and talk and chirp just like all the others do. Be sure to re-Tweet all the “cool” people. You will know who they are, because they will be surrounded by sycophants who desperately want to be “cool” too, or who desperately want to be noticed by the people who are “cool.” Make sure everybody knows precisely how concerned you are about matters of Social Justice. Attend a few witch-burnings, for this very purpose. There’s always a witch-burning (some hapless heretic caught with his pants down) happening in speculative fiction these days. The chief problem you will have is: looking at yourself in the mirror every morning. Machiavellianism (in the arts) is as old as the hills, and twice as dusty. It may rest easier on your heart, than it does on the hearts of others. If you can’t sleep with that at night, don’t go this route. It’s really not worth it.

PATH THREE: OUT OF THE CLOSET
Many people — having gone down either Path One or Path Two — eventually decide they can’t take it anymore. They see and hear too much. The bullshit rises up over their eyebrows, and they simply can’t deal with it any longer, otherwise they’re gonna go nuts. So they elect to step out of the closet. It’s a delicate, usually painful process. Your closest, sometimes dearest professional speculative fiction friends, will gasp with shock and exclaim, “Oh my God, how could you?” Or, probably, “My God, how could you do this to me?” All this time, they thought you were one of the Good Guys. Or at least, one of the Silent Guys. Revealing who you truly are — what you truly believe — is going to come with repercussions. Rejection. Lots, and lots of rejection. Plus anger. And a quiet readjustment of your “stock” as its perceived in the field. If you were getting critical acclaim before, that spigot may slow or stop. If you were on awards ballots before, or within striking distance of awards, they too will become a non-option. Oh, you’ll keep selling. Unless you were so deep into Path Two that your stories and your work were also Machiavellian. Betraying the great and spacious building is survivable. Betraying your readership? Not necessarily so. Get a pen name. Try indie. You may wind up starting from scratch. But if you were a good, properly Silent fellow, with some connections forged, not all of them will snap. The great and spacious building isn’t run entirely by dicks.

PATH FOUR: THE LOYAL OPPOSITION
This is the path of apologia. Of forever having to explain or make excuses for what you believe, or for your friends who believe likewise. This is when you keep your temper in check, remain calm, mannerly, and no matter how rude or bombastic they are to you, you don’t let it ruffle your feathers. You will be a known quantity, right from the start — as one of those people. You will not be loved, for this reason. But you may be liked. Enough for the occasional, stray award nomination to come your way. Winning? Hah! No, most probably not. But that’s okay. You’re fulfilling your role — as the permanent minority. You’re not supposed to win awards. You’re supposed to be happy with your lot, or at least comport yourself as if you’re happy. They will occasionally egg your house, or toilet paper your trees. You might be the subject of a witch-burning, or three. Smile through the flames. Your friends in the business will be by to dust the soot off you eventually. Always be glad for the fact that they let you have a seat, even though they consider you a moral and intellectual n’er-do-well who is the authorial equivalent of second-class goods. You’ll still be expected to defend the great and spacious building against accusations of incompetence or maliciousness, from people on Path Five. This demonstrates your good faith to the house. In this way, you will maintain your credibility. Many people on Path Three, eventually wind up on Path Four. But not always.

PATH FIVE: JOHN WAYNE
Make no excuses. Walk in like you belong. Dare them to be unhappy with you. Speak your truth, loud and proud. The witch-burnings will be constant. Get an ice chest and a keg, and make it a barbecue. Invite your buddies. It’s a party! You will be surprised just how many people secretly wish they could do the same. You will get letters and communications from the Silent Ones and the Chameleons, cheering you on. They know how bad the bullshit is. They wish they too could give zero fucks. The great and spacious building will be appalled at your very existence. You are worse than they ever suspected your “side” could be, because you never say you’re sorry. A tiny handful of true liberals will actually tell you they disagree with you entirely, but they respect the fact that you aren’t afraid to state your case, and can do it with style. You will never, ever get awards. Not from the great and spacious building. You may get recognition from outside — from beyond the spec fic ghetto — but the building itself will loudly wish you did not exist. You are filth. You are inhuman scum. You are going to have a tough time selling to certain editors and certain houses. Be ready to go indie, if you’re not indie from the start. If you didn’t have a thick skin to begin with, develop one. And give some back. No, give a lot back. You are surrounded by gerbils. Be a mountain lion. Many people on Path Three, skip over Path Four and jump directly to Path Five. As with Path One, once you go Five, there will never be any going back. No matter how much you might want to.

But what does any of this have to do with surviving?

Look, here’s the thing. The Market (caps m) always wins. Your career can boom, or it can go bust, and this may or may not have anything to do with what the great and spacious building thinks of you. In the world of Patreon and Amazon Kindle, Kobo and Smashwords, you don’t even have to bother with the great and spacious building at all — if you don’t want to. There are an increasing number of successful examples all the time. Because the Market — speculative — escaped from the confines of gate-kept traditional publishing. Your two best survival traits will therefore be: productivity, and longevity.

I’m going to say it again: your two best survival traits will be productivity, and longevity.

These, and being unafraid to be your own businessperson.

Which, perhaps not coincidentally, were the same survival traits necessary to win before indie publishing took off at the end of the last century.

Now, if you can’t tell a good story, I am not sure anything can help you. If you go blustering into the great and spacious building, popping your six-shooters and looking for a bar brawl with one of the Eloi — but you can’t write your way out of a paper bag — the great and spacious building is gonna either ignore you, or laugh at you. Because you’re living down to precisely the level they expect from any conservative; especially a Path Five conservative. All bark and no bite, one might say.

So focus on learning your craft, and teach yourself (through hard learning and patient effort) what it takes to not just make stories that are worth a reader’s time, but which will so engross that reader, (s)he makes every effort to come back for more. Again and again. On your next book, your next story, or whatever it is you’re trying to do. A web comic? A podcast? Something else? It’s all intellectual product. Can you do your craft to the level of a professional chef, or are you just slinging frozen patties onto the hot clamshells at a McDonalds? We all start out in the grill. Moving out of the grill — up to something more sophisticated — takes time, effort, and (yes) talent. Talentless bluster also lives down to the level the great and spacious building expects. The great and spacious building will insist that talent and conservativism are inversely proportional. This is a canard the great and spacious building has been telling itself for decades.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t mistake chutzpah, for skills.

It takes a lot of both, to walk the talk — and be a spec fic author who wins in this business.

The good news is, you are not alone. The Cheka may have scared many people into silence and hiding, but not everybody. There are several short fiction markets and at least one major novel market who are not going to ding you for being un-progressive. In fact, they might see it as an assett. Your doors will not all be closed. There just won’t be nearly as many of them. And (as noted above) you need to really be ready to go indie — or if you’re already indie, go great guns at it. Boutique authoring doth not a powerhouse career make. Boutique authors are a dime a dozen in the great and spacious building. They publish sparingly, and often to great critical praise — awards, awards — but they ‘aint making much bank off it. You’re an un-progressive. Business is not a dirty word to you. Put your back into it, and have fun making money.

Again, productivity and longevity. Work your ass off, and don’t quit.

Basically, the same two principles that bring success in practically all other arenas of life. I know, I know, we were all expecting some kind of shortcut. We wanted this career to be so utterly unlike all our other jobs. We expected it to be all fun and no pain. T’aint so, my friend. T’aint so.

Meanwhile, locate those oases of sanity which present themselves. You will find them eventually. It takes a little effort sometimes. The great and spacious building has no idea just how many un-progressives have infiltrated. In fact, the great and spacious building likes to pretend that there were no un-progressives from the beginning — it’s progressives all the way down. Only, it’s not. Conservativism, libertarianism, and classical liberalism have always been part of the structure of the place. It’s just that the pseudo-liberal Karl Marx Memorial band noise (and floor-to-ceiling #SocJus banners) have kinda covered up the portraits — hiding some of the anchors from the field’s more cosmopolitan sector.

So, locate your calm harbors. At the conventions. On-line. In the marketplace. Forge relationships. Dwell therein. Be kind to your fellow travelers. Be funny. Be generous. Be relaxed. Be loyal. And absolutely try to be cool to the handful of bona fide liberals who don’t shit on you, for being un-liberal. Those relationships will be the toughest to foster and keep, because the performative tribal nature of our current politics demands that “they” never be seen having a good time with any of “us” on the “bad” side. Also, you’re going to piss them off from time to time. Just because liberals are from Venus, moderates are from Mars, and you’re from Planet Krypton. You’ll think you’ve just tapped them on the shoulder, playing around, but they’ll feel like you’ve punched them through the wall — into the next room. And they will expect you to feel bad about it, too.

But how am I going to get famous and make a lot of money?

Wait, what? Okay, let’s re-wind. I said there are far better ways to get rich, find acclaim, or get an audience. For example, there are two dudes on YouTube right now making six figures apiece for basically doing nothing of importance. They mess around for fifteen minutes per episode, just being two guys who are silly, and I’m pretty sure my soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old daughter thinks Rhett and Link are the Alpha and Omega of 21st-century entertainment. Rhett and Link seem to have a bajillion female (and a few male) fans all over the world, ages 10 to 25. You would do far, faaaaaaaaaar better trying to emulate Rhett and Link, than you would trying to become a moneybags spec fic author whose name is known to the world.

But if you’re like me — like us — and you can’t take your eyes off the stars, this can be a career for you. Not an easy career. Not a career free from rage-inducing stupidity of both a political and commercial variety. But a career just the same. And you are not alone. Understand? The great and spacious building wants you to think you are completely out in right field, far, far away from anything and anyone civilized. But your peeps — the ones who “get” you — are close at hand. As is your market. You just gotta dig a bit, work a bit, and find things the hard way. You’re not cherry-picking. You’re getting it out of the ground, like a wildcat miner. Not a job for the dilettantes or the nonchalant. You have to want it. And want it badly enough that you’re willing to put up with everything the great and spacious building will hurl at you — then hose yourself down, change your clothes, comb your hair, put something totally and outrageously Metal on your MP3 player, and get back to work.

166 Comments

Filed under BRAD R. TORGERSEN, WRITING: LIFE

166 responses to “Survival Guide for the Conservative, Classically Liberal, & Libertarian Science Fiction & Fantasy Author

  1. snowcrash

    Ah well. Such is life.

  2. *pops in Two Steps from Hell, and Audiomachine* If I’m going to give my heroes a world to save, well, it better be epic.

    • A woman after my own heart! Those are two of my favorite selections for my writing soundtrack. If you haven’t already, check out Brand X Music (not to be confused with Brand X, which is some kind of hip hop group, I think) and Epic Score (their Earthrise is a current favorite).

      • Two Steps, Audio Machine, The Immediate, Epic Score, film soundtracks, and Symphonic Metal for the warm-up. Although it’s hard to beat the soundtracks to the remade Battlestar for creepy “what is it? I don’t know? You go look. No, you look” settings.

        The first time I heard “Protectors of the Earth” from Two Steps, I saw Rachel and Joschka dancing.

      • Epic Score is awesome. So is (The?) Immediate Music. I have to chase up more Brand X. World Without End is playing at the moment. Of course, there’s the well known film track composers; Hans Zimmer’s Budget Meeting for …I think it was that King Arthur movie some years ago … is too awesome for words.

    • Jordan S. Bassior

      I’m coming to really like Two Steps From Hell. Only noticed them recently.

    • Since we are giving each other mindworms and music, here’s something for your exotic space souk… https://ctpoint.bandcamp.com/track/my-pyramid-or-yours

      • Apparently, some songs seriously induce earworm to the point that people want to listen to a repeated version. Two Steps From Hell – Strength of A Thousand Men has an almost 7 minute ‘extended repeated loop’ version, and one that goes on for an hour on Youtube. For The Win has similar looped versions; they’re very well done, especially for those of us who feel ‘wait, it’s OVER?! Noo!!!’ at the end of a really good song.

        I’ll have to check that out! Thanks! *bookmark!*

    • If I want to feel really, really epic, I put on Two Steps From Hell’s “Archangel” and change the batteries in the TV remote.

      • “BRB, saving the world” music *grin*
        May I also recommend Liquid Cinema’s Day of Judgement, Mecha, Overlord and War Machine? I listen to them in a playlist, queued in a row after Jonathan Mayer’s Biocode.

        And of course, Yoko Kanno’s compositions for anime, movies and video games. I can still listen to Vision of Escaflowne‘s OSTs after literally more than a decade has gone by. And of course, Yuki Kajiura’s work. (Funny how we supposedly anti-women Sad Puppies support and love so many women composers and aritsts.)

        A more unusual source for emotional orchestral music composition: the Jrock artist Gackt. His Journey to The Decade and The Next Decade songs have orchestra versions that is awesome background for writing. The Next Decade’s orchestral version has a very fantasy-western feel.

    • richardmcenroe

      Hawkwind’s Angels of Life, Sonic Attack, with or without Brian Blessed, Damnation Alley, Forge of Vulcan, Spirit of the Age and more. English Evening’s I Will Return and Big Country.

      • Ah, Hawkwind. In college, Quark, Strangeness, & Charm was my “antidote” to all the people playing Saturday Night Fever in the dorms. After I got better speakers and a more powerful amp than my next door neighbors, it also became my retaliation. They used to blare SNF way too loudly and, when I complained, always told me to turn my music up. It was…satisfying…to turn up the volume on Spirit of the Age and, when the next door neighbors complained, tell them to turn up their music.

        Good memories aside, I can’t write to music with lyrics. The song’s words get in the way of my words and my writing slows to a crawl.

    • LastRedoubt

      I’m more queuing up Sabaton – “The Last Stand” and “Resist and Bite” , as well as Within Temptation’s “Stand Your Ground”. And Rush – “Red Sector A” live from “Show of Hands”

      Mot yet time for “March of Cambreadth”

  3. Living well is the best revenge.

    I merely note that N.K.Jemisin is not going to be buying a mountain anytime soon, even with her $60k/year of Patreon donations.

    Whereas the International Lord of Hate has already bought one, and is laying in roads and a brand-new custom house. Although it’s still up for debate, what he’s going to fill the moat with, and he’s been VERY quiet on the dungeon design…..

    • aacid14

      Minotaur in the basement

    • Patrick Chester

      Does Wendell have his own wing, or is he buying property in Florida and renovating that? 😉

    • Wait.

      Patreon donations? She begs and grovels for Patreon donations?

      YGBFSM!

      HOW ABOUT JUST WRITING BOOKS THAT PEOPLE WANT TO BUY, PEOPLE?

      • Terry Sanders

        Well,to be fair, John C. Wright does, too. On the other hand, he doesn’t beg loudly, and he’s been paying for it with a truly rocking serial.* His patrons keep complaining that he isn’t asking for enough…

        *SUPERLUMINAL. Sort of Jack Vance meets Doc Smith, and they wander over to Olaf Stapleton’s place, where they all get roaring drunk and collaborate on an updated Flash Gordon serial. In the second episode the hero gets teleported to Pluto, and has to walk several miles of absolute – zero wasteland in his jammies. It’s a serious inconvenience. And he’s one of the wimpier characters…

      • Done right, a Patreon works like a subscription to a serial magazine/story you know is good, so I don’t object to Patreon (Or Kickstarter) in concept.

        I haven’t done Patreon largely because I cannot guarantee I’ll have X amount free for pleasure spending; I would’ve supported some artists I like if I had. (Music, writing, artwork…)

        • One can also support SciPhi via Patreon, thus ensuring that your face authors have a venue should the short story bug bite with an author-gets-paid feature.

        • Just a note… Patreon has, last I checked, a ‘per piece’ option as well as a ‘per time’ option. So if you think your output may be more sporadic that might be something to look into.

        • And miss read you said pleasure spending not pleasure drawing. *crawls under her rock… it’s a very gneiss rock not to be taken for granite.*

          • *giggle* S’alright. Nah, I’m not -in my own opinion- good enough for a patreon. I want more skill and development in my art, and I don’t regularly do writing/drawing to justify that. Sakimichan and the rest of the artists I see with patreons seem to do it regularly enough to warrant it. My work ethic and sense of fairness gets in the way.

  4. morrigan508

    yeah, I’m afraid I am the epitome of Michael Longcor’s “Dangerous Heros” (except I grew up in Michigan, instead of Indiana) I’ve never been able to keep my mouth shut when I’m really bugged by something, so paths 1-4 are just not possible for me (also explains why in spite of a really decent military career I never made chief, and why I’m not a senior management type at the shipyard…) So I’ll continue to tilt at windmills.

  5. Grumpy old fart over here… Not changing just to be PC, so I’ll continue to go my own way, but with head held high!

  6. Anything worth doing well is worth fighting for.

  7. *sigh* I guess that I circumvented a lot of this by going indy from the get-go.

    • Same here. I also haven’t been to a con since before my first book was released, either. I am trying to get added to Liberty Con’s Author Alley for 2017, though I don’t think that really counts as ‘enemy territory’ based on what I’ve read here.

    • Yeah. Screw the building; I’m out in the street busking.

      Frankly, I don’t understand the people who are still clamouring to get into the mephitic temple of trad-pub SF. Evidently they haven’t read the big sign above the doorway:

      INSANE ASYLUM

      Or the smaller message carved on the lintel:

      ALL CASH ABANDON, YE WHO ENTER HERE

      (Stipulated, you can still make pretty good coin if you are chosen for the Red Carpet Treatment. But that option isn’t available to thee and me.)

  8. Reblogged this on The Worlds of Tarien Cole and commented:
    I have too much interweb identity to take the path of silence. And it doesn’t suit me anyway. Besides, I’ve always been a John Wayne fan. 😉

  9. Christopher M. Chupik

    And you know what the worst part is? It’s when someone who has known you for years, who considered you a good person when they thought you were a liberal, suddenly treat you like a leper the moment they find out you’re a conservative/libertarian. You are still the same person, but now they see you as the enemy.

    • aacid14

      Ugh. I’ve had normal interaction with folks then say maybe BLM “Murderer” X wasn’t proved guilty or that right of association exists and next time you see your first thought is whether you have defensive tools on person.

    • Dude, please. Shit like that happens to me all the time. Idiots just assume I’m on their side, and when I mention admiring some conservative thing or other they’re all “how could you?!!!”

      I use it as a way of sorting the incognizant buffoons from the people that might actually be of some use in a pinch. It’s like a sport these days. Shock the hipster. Like hippy punching, but easier on my aging knuckles.

    • Patrick Chester

      …and their anger and rage is somehow your fault? :-/

      • Mark of the Left: nothing is -ever- their fault.

        Semi-related, the hipster twinkies at io9 are OUTRAGED, simply OUTRAGED I tell you, that somebody was selling replica guns at Wizard World. No, replica REAL guns, not replica Star Wars blasters, see? The horror, right? Because a Star Wars blaster isn’t a Sterling submachingun with the stock cut off. Nooo, nevar!

        http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2016/08/more-progressive-pants-wetting-replica.html

        It will not be long before these assholes get cosplay banned at comic cons. They are really going there.

        John Wayne all the way. Cowboy up!

        • I guess that I am spared a lot of the lefty virtue-signalling as I came in to writing long-format fiction as a mil-blogger and veteran. Not a lot of expectation that I’d be a happy conforming SJW, not with that CV.

        • Patrick Chester

          It will not be long before these assholes get cosplay banned at comic cons. They are really going there.

          Oh, they’ve already tried and forced some ladies to change out of their costumes. Then there’s the prohibition of aggressive display of cleavage and navel from PAX West’s 2015 “Booth Babe” policy.
          http://west.paxsite.com/safety-and-security

          • vavu2009

            I’m not sure, but I think tryingto force a lady out of her costume is against the law in most places.

            • Yeah, and telling a woman what to wear is rather… backward, isn’t it?

              • Mary

                Many feminists are extremely antifeminist. They are perfectly capable of telling other women that they shouldn’t trouble their pretty little heads with politics. The only difference being that they should vote according to what the feminists tell them, not the husband.

                Telling her how to dress is merely a continuation.

                • *chuckle* So, most of their protestations about who gets to tell women what to do is that it’s not the ‘feminist’ telling women what to do or how to live?

                  In other words, they’re bitching that they’re not in control of other people’s lives?

                  How easily their hypocrisy is exposed, isn’t it?

                  • Oh yes. Like the gal who dresses a la 1890 in the Seattle area and gets screamed at in public by strangers for “supporting the patriarchy” and “legitimizing the oppression of women” or something like that because she wears a corset and long skirts (and Victorian/Edwardian hats!!!!!) and looks nice doing so. Its 99% women who harass her, as of when her book was published.

                    • I have a co-worker who’s from there. She likes skirts and got yelled at repeatedly for ‘betraying the progress of feminism’. They’re nuts. She’s having a bit of trouble adjusting to fly over country… and more trouble with the notion she LIKES it here. I think she’ll adapt though.

                    • Idiots. I’ve worn a corset as part of going out with friends attire; and as part of my chosen work attire when I had a job that let me get away with it. It did wonders for my lower back pain and made me sit straight; easy to slouch when you’re working in front of a computer.

                      Looking damned good in it was just a bonus. Most folks didn’t even realize it was a corset.

                    • Corsets are also useful vs. anxiety and (sorry gents) menstrual cramps.

                      And of course quality foundation garments help make any costume (including the ones you wear to work) hang better.

                    • Oh, definitely on the benefit of easing ladytime cramps. I thought that was just me though…

                • I know an extremely outspoken* First Wave feminist who is still quite unapologetically feminist and thinks the current group is full of crap.

                  *She’s a Bern-er and married to a conservative guy. I like her because while being very vehement, she also listens and considers other POVs, even if she rejects them.

          • “Aggressive display of cleavage.” As if this is a problem?? For decades, dork dudes dreamed of their social sphere(s) being invaded by Elvira clones, and now that the Elvira clones are here, somebody just has to ruin it. (head in hands)

          • “Oh, they’ve already tried and forced some ladies to change out of their costumes. Then there’s the prohibition of aggressive display of cleavage and navel from PAX West’s 2015 “Booth Babe” policy.”

            Really! Hey, showing much skin ain’t my thing, but if someone wants to, that’s for them to decide. (esp, if that someone happens to be male and well built – oopps, sorry, did I say that aloud?)

        • Nathan

          Is io9 surviving Hogan’s leg drop on Gawker?

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Must be. After all, I had to go and ruin their perception of me with reality.

    • LastRedoubt

      “I don’t understand how an educated intelligent person like you could actually believe that stuff”?

    • Yep. And having jumped from 1 with shades of two to 5 I see A LOT of that. Gets tiring. I start spending more time with my cats, and looking out the window at the wild turkeys and the eagles.

  10. Hardest thing for me has been all the goals I’ve had to change in the last three years. I used to want to join SFWA, get published by Tor, and win a Hugo. Nice lofty goals. Now? I’m hair’s breath from SFWA qualified and I can’t see why I’d want to join. Tor hasn’t published much I’ve liked in the last few years, which implies they don’t want me. And the Hugos… well. Yeah.

    So I guess it’s “Get published by Baen, win a Dragon” now? Can live with that. Hugos are ugly, my Baen award and WOTF trophy are prettier anyway.

    • aacid14

      Ya. Had someone trying to talk up SFWA a few months ago and just stated no real drive to bother.

    • Same here. They finally relaxed the rules where I could have qualified as an indie, or as a game designer, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend a red cent for the privilege of being part of that hive of scum and villany.
      I still want to be published by Baen, and if I ever write a novel that I think could use the care of a publisher, I’ll forego a year’s worth of sales and submit it to them.

      • A friend of mine was recommending the SFWA years ago; I looked and it looked like there was a strong bias against certain political representation; and the short story magazine that was recommended I try to submit to seemed to favor stories with a certain political slant. It’s already too late for me to ‘hush up’ so I didn’t sign up for them – goodness knows there were plenty of ‘non-Leftists not welcome’ signs.

        Baen and Castalia House are my only pro options; and maybe Cirsova if I write shorts. But for now, indie is just fine.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      I guess I’ll qualify after my third short story comes out later this year, but there’s absolutely no way I’ll join. A competent writer’s organization with no political BS? Yes. SWFA. Nope.

      • Draven

        after i head been reading stuff here i went and checked and up, i qualified. … but nope not interested.

    • Don’t bother with SFWA. There’s really no upside for authors outside That Certain Circle. I dropped out a couple of decades ago, when they became obsessed with whether or not I (and many others) should be thrown out of the organization for not publishing often enough.

    • Join SFWA simply for the “Achievement unlocked!” aspect. This is worth it. Then, after a year or two at full pro status, let your membership lapse. In the era of the internet, there is nothing SFWA can offer you that you can’t get elsewhere.

      And yeah, I pretty much crossed TOR off my list when I began to realize what an utter and complete chode the co-brain known as Nielsen-Hayden is. It’s not getting any better, with Gallo pushing for her own place of power in the Game of Thrones known as TOR’s editorial caste system.

      • Oddly, at Sasquan, we discovered that of all John Wright’s animadeversions against the Torlings (and hence, Mr. Nielsen) the one that most torqued his shorts was being named a Christo-phobe. That means there is something eternal, beautiful and true that he cares about more than the metaphorical crap he and his wife have been sliming after for the past decade +

        That’s a hopeful thing. So, if you’re a praying man, pray for them that their feet will be guided out of darkness onto the path of peace. Miracles DO happen, after all.

        And boycott Tor books 🙂

    • Get published by Baen, win a Dragon… get paid enough to buy a mountain. *daydreams*

  11. Excellent post. The saddest thing is that liberals have as much to fear as conservatives, closeted or overt. The SF industry has become a genteel version of Stalinist Russia or Maoist China, where even True Believers must live in fear of being denounced as a reactionary/wrecker/enemy of the people. Look at how everyone is only one tweet away from having to conduct a self-criticism session or be branded a monster, regardless of everything you did before.

    White males, of course, are guilty until proven innocent, which they must do again and again (witness how Rothfuss and Gaiman can be attacked at the drop of a hat). White females are guilty of privilege and racism until proven innocent. Minorities who dare to voice Wrongthink are either patronized or vilified. You can be to the left of Bernie Sanders and still not be safe from a Twitter witch hunt. Merely failing to attack a worthy target with enough enthusiasm will get you outed as an Enemy of the People. There really is no point in playing that game.

    I’m happy that being indie means I can mostly ignore that garbage. The virtue-signalling hosts can do little to affect my career (even their 1-star reviews work as selling points to my intended audience). I’m making a decent living doing what I love without worrying about what the wannabe Red Guards think of me.

    • imnohbody

      White males, of course, are guilty until proven innocent […]

      ITYM “guilty until proven guilty”. Even “allies” are only given temporary consideration, pending the next slip of the tongue in saying something that might be construed as being a “microaggression” or some flavor of bigotry.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      What’s really pathetic is how Rothfuss and Gaiman defend the very same people who would turn on them at the drop of a hat. They’re talented guys. They don’t need those jackals.

      • Yeah, I don’t get that. It’s not as if playing the virtuous game is ever going to spare them from the next twitter lynch mob. Even if they sympathize with the goals, how can they stand the double standards (or more like quintuple standards, since they vary by gender, sexual orientation, race, disabilities or lack thereof and, although this one is strangely left largely unstated, socioeconomic status) their “allies” employ with abandon?

        About the only good thing about this is that social media outrage only matters if you care about the good opinion of the usual suspects. Except where the lynch mob can threaten people’s employment, which is becoming more common. Because nothing says social justice like disemploying people who disagree with you.

        • Hell, they weren’t spared the outrage mob the last time.

          See I could have understood if Gaiman was upset about the politicizing. Laying the blame solely on ‘Puppies’ then insulting the whole lot whether or not it was Sad or Rabid? Yeah, no, that’s telling me you don’t want certain types of fans to support your work and that you won’t tolerate our presence. So I’ll just take me and my ‘pathetic loser’ money elsewhere from now on.

          • Yeah, that still baffles me. When you read the actual statements of the Sad Puppies, there never was any justification for the vitriol they attracted. But I guess actually developing an informed opinion is too much work when you’re a ‘superstar’ like Mr. Gaimain. And besides, maybe he figures that if he joins in the lynch mob, it will be less likely to turn on him (hint: it won’t save him, not unless he has a sex change and… no, actually Caitlin Jenner still gets plenty of flak. Maybe committing suicide after donating every cent of his state to a worthy cause will do the trick. No lesser sacrifice will).

            • No, nothing can save him from the mob; no sacrifice, no obeisance will ever be enough. They’re like sharks, and when they scent weakness and blood in the water, the feeding frenzy isn’t far off. You see, they’re eternally hungry and can never be appeased. I’ve stopped comparing them to children or babies, because a child or a baby is capable of being contented – clean nappy, belly full of milk, cuddles, love = happy bubby. A SJZ only had their zealotry, and zealotry can never be satisfied.

              About the vitriol, Larry said something recently to the effect of “Funny, when I was saying that, I was the bad guy.”

              • adventuresfantastic

                Didn’t Gaiman get some flak because his last collection was entitled TRIGGER WARNINGS or some such, and some pearl-clutchers got their knickers in a twist because they thought it was disrespectful?

          • And calling Mr. Pournelle a loser stinks.

            If we can figure out how someone like Mr Gaiman, who personally experienced a good friend being mobbed by the WorldCon CHORFs (LonCon) and publically recognized the unfairness & wrong done, can side with that same mob against a group rebelling against these injustices….

            We’ll be on to something.

            • morrigan508

              take a good look at how the “great leap forward” and the “cultural revolution” in China went down. That’s how. Totalitarian communists don’t change.

            • Terry Sanders

              Quoting a comment I left on another blog that touched on the same question:

              You don’t understand. The Puppies are EVIL! If they do nice things that just makes them hypocrites, or Machiavellian, or something; and you have to distance yourself or have your soul contaminated.

              Whereas SJW’s are GOOD! Even when they turn on you and try to destroy you, they are the essence of benevolence and insight and wisdom and stuff, and maybe you deserved it.

              For most people I know, things like this are not a matter of fact or even morality. They are a matter of *identity.* To reject them, he would have to become someone else.

        • julieapascal

          They may be immune to the lynch mobs in the way that GRRMartin is immune. They’re just big enough that the lynch mob assembled to attack, mills about for a bit and then wanders off.

          • There is a lesson there. Writers don’t have all that much to fear from the outrage machine. Orson Scott Card has probably suffered the most from among big-time authors (lost Superman contract) and yet, he is still doing pretty darn well. Humoring the bleating mob gives it power; ignoring it seems to work most of the time.

      • I didn’t even see what Gaiman said. I guess I kinda don’t care. Gaiman probably thinks the entirety of Sad Puppies is just a Beale front — and has not taken the time to examine the fracas in close detail. Or, maybe he has, and he felt like taking a shot at us for the sake of demonstrating his loyalty to the great and spacious building?

      • Gaiman was very unhappy when his friend Jonathan Ross was banned from LonCon (on the basis that Ross might tell a fat joke). He even stopped wearing his Hugo Award lapel pin for a while.

        I guess he’s gotten over it.

    • You will all pardon me for a moment — as I fanboy over the fact that none other than C.J. Carella has come to the comments of my humble article.

      Mr. Carella, as a long-time fan of the Palladium Books RPG Rifts, I had an immense envy-crush on you back in 1995-1996. Having been a Rifts and Robotech RPG player (in my teens) I desperately wanted to get in on the action — writing Rifts sourcebooks for Palladium.

      I even went so far as to type up 80% of a worldbook I titled Rifts Antarctica. It involved a task group from the Robotech Expeditionary Force being dimensionally rifted to Earth, and crashing in Antarctica, thus founding a new nation on that harsh continent.

      Nothing ever came of it. I did send the manuscript to Michigan, but they sent me the world’s worst non-contract contract: give up all rights, and expect no pay, while your name may or may not appear on any of it — if it reaches print.

      Anyway, I eventually gave up on the dream of writing for Palladium, but I never stopped admiring the work you did for them. Very top-notch stuff. I had practically every Rifts source or worldbook to emerge from the Palladium presses, up through 1999.

      I raise my glass to you, sir.

      😀

      • Wow, thank you very much. Pretty amazing when someone whose work I respect a great deal likes my stuff. Consider my admiration for you to be at least as great. 🙂

        When I worked for Palladium they were fairly generous, but things changed later on, in no small part because the RPG market has been in something of a free-fell in the last few years (as in the past two decades, really). I’m not surprised their contracts got worse over time.

        I had a lot of fun doing roleplaying stuff, although writing fiction was always my dream (lots of rejection letters over the years), and going indie has been a huge blessing. But I’ll always have a soft spot for Rifts, because I was able to fully indulge in my gonzo kitchen-sink impulses (although some of that has seeped into my novels as well).

        Thank you again.

        • I am sorry to learn that RPGs are having a bad time of it. But this matches the information I get from friends who are game biz people; like Ken Burnside and Bob Defendi. As with SF/F in general, my impression is that more people are — now — trying to do RPGs and dice-and-paper games, than ever before. And they must compete with the video game market, which has gone to the forefront of RPGing with hyper-realistic titles like Skyrim. (Heck, I still remember SSI’s whole line of Forgotten Realms games; those were a blast!)

          • LastRedoubt

            Not a lot of money in RPG publishing today, but a few can make a couple bucks putting out high quality product. Got sick of Pathfinder for several reasons, but became a huge fan of Adventurer Conqueror King system, and got my hands on ye compleat original Traveller rules on CD

            Don’t know if anyone here should be thanked, but after Traveller and Battletech, despite having AD&D, I really, really, really loved the early Palladium RPGs , even as wonky as they were. Mechanoids. TMNT. Robotech.

            • Draven

              yeah well, gaming companies that think they can charge $30 for a pdf that was written 16 years ago, especially when i know that neither the writers nor artists involved see a dime of that, aren’t seeing a penny from me.

          • The decline began with card games like Magic, mainly because they disrupted the retail-distribution chain (the disruption brought a lot of money into the industry and new players, mind you, but it didn’t do the tabletop RPG publishers much good). Then distributors began to disappear, leaving only a few (by the time I left the industry, it was pretty much Diamond and a couple others).
            Things have improved, thanks to Kickstarter (a lot of companies finance their books by launching Kickstarter basically-preorder campaigns) and DriveThroughRPG, which offers distribution without many barriers to entry. So in some ways this is a new golden age for indie publishers just like it is for indie authors.

  12. Just disagreeing with methodology and not ideology (per se) is enough to get you pilloried. Just arguing for people you don’t agree with to express themselves freely.

  13. Excellent presentation – just the word of encouragement and kick in the pants I needed to get out of the rut and into the groove. Thank you.

  14. John Wayne method is clearly the only way left to go, given the astounding retardation on display -again- at WorldCon last night. More cheering for No Award, more booing and hissing of Unapproved nominations. More rules lawyering at the business meeting as well, all designed to exclude people from their august ranks.

    Kate Julicher above says: get published by Baen, win a Dragon. Hell yeah. That would be my definition of Making It.

  15. “Don’t pick a fight, but if you find yourself in one, I suggest you make damn sure you win.” – John Wayne.

    Which fits the current situation for non-progressives quite well, I think. We didn’t start this, but I see no reason we shouldn’t fight to win.

  16. Birthday girl

    Mr. Torgersen,
    You, sir, have been on a roll lately … very encouraging, thank you!

  17. Ironbadger

    Sancho, my armor!!

  18. airboy

    Living well is the best revenge.

    Does winning a Hugo mean significantly more $s? I’ve asked that question repeatedly for several years and there does not seem to be a clear relationship for either winning or gaining a nomination and $s after the nomination or a win.

    Can anybody answer that question? Does a Hugo (nomination or win) mean $s? If not, then Hugo-lust is just ego and pride. And pride is the most deadly sin of all.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Jemisin is still asking for money via Patreon, so evidently not.

    • Basically, no. My two nominations couldn’t even score me an agent, and I have heard privately from a couple of multiple award-winners that the money is still as thin as it always was, only the contracts are now much worse.

      • From what I’ve seen, Jemisin’s award winner jumped from the thousands to the low hundreds in Amazon sales rank after the award was announced. I bet it will be back down in the thousands before the week is out. So, a temporary sales blip at best.

        • The Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel is sitting at 451 on Amazon as I type (yeah, 451…approriate, eh?).

          By comparison, Larry Correia’s Book Bombs have been known to push books up into the 200-300 range. Winning a Hugo Award appears to be approximately as effective as having your book recommended on a prominent blog.

    • Hugos can mean more money in foreign resales, that’s very true. Ditto for Nebulas. But it’s not a mountain of money. More like, spare pocket change. The problem is that the Hugo has now (in 2016) been bestowed on something like a thousand people, for various things in various categories. The award’s “stock” is thus diluted. Not to mention the fact that a larger and larger number of book-buyers are cruising right over the top of the trad pub system, not relying on any kind of accolade or reviewer filter to “tell” them what to buy. In terms of domestic sales, I think Hugos don’t do any good at all. In fact, because so many Hugos have lately been going to “socially conscious” stuff — versus rip-roaring fun — there is increasing evidence that putting HUGO WINNER on a dust jacket, may be a net drag on sales. Because readers are getting burned, and remembering.

      • Yes, it’s following in the footsteps of all the other literary awards. At one time, the Newbery Award was a reliable indicator of a good children’s book. Now it’s a reliable indicator of a dull story about some boring kid living in misery (not that you can’t write a good juvenile about a kid living in misery — Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy comes to mind — but somehow those stories never win any awards).

  19. You know I love you, Brad.

    But your point is moot. Seriously, as you’ve pointed out in the past, the scifi “community” is exceedingly small, does not not make up even a small percentage of the total number of people who read or like scifi/fantasy.

    In the age of indy publishing, and with the (relative compared to the age of gatekeepers) ease by which a writer can achieve success on his own, there is no need to pay any attention at all to what the scifi “community” thinks.

    Back in 2014, I got into Sad Puppies because I thought it was fun, and a bit funny. Also because I abhor sanctimonious liberal douchebags and elitist snobs (but I repeat myself), and because I find the intellectual dishonesty and Orwellian doublespeak and thought suppression evident in the Progressive movement in general, and the goings-on in scifi in particular, an affront to liberty and justice. And never mind that I had no clue how the Hugos worked, or that the only scifi cons I’d ever been to were Star Trek cons, and the last one in…1994? 95? Something like that. Last year I participated again and was entirely pissed off at what happened.

    But as the nominations for this year came around, I realized that I truly do not give a flying f*&k about the Hugos, or about the scifi community in general. Not one f%*k at all. The only reason I paid attention at all this year is because of the amusement I got from watching Vox Day tweak their noses.

    But even that got old, because their reactions are predictable, and boring.

    As I considered my lack of caring, I really stopped to think: what impact can any of these people actually have on me, my family, my chances of success, or my happiness? The answer, since I could care less about getting a trad pub contract and at this point would only ever really consider one from Baen or Castalia House anyway, is none. None whatsoever.

    So screw ’em.

    The scifi “community”, as it currently defines itself, is meaningless, with no impact or relevance in the real world, or even in the literary world, outside of its little clique. If you look at Amazon and the other online stores, it sure seems that, perennial and predictable best-sellers like Butcher, Martin, Sanderson, et al aside, the folks doing best in scifi/fantasy right now, and those most likely to do best into the future are, by and large, indy, and have only a tangential relation to the “community”, at best. Because indies focus on appealing to their readers, and that’s it.

    So I say pay the political vagaries of the scifi “community” no attention whatsoever.

    No survival guide is needed in the modern world. Just consistent production of a quality product. The number of people who like scifi/fantasy and who pay no attention whatsoever to the scifi/fantasy “community” vastly outweighs the number within said “community”.

    To hell with it. Just do your own thing, and don’t worry about any of this other tripe, because it just doesn’t matter.

    Which I guess is your John Wayne path.

    But still, I think you’ve vastly overthought it.

    • On point. I am in the same boat. The only reason I even bother reading some of these posts if because I enjoy watching the sanctimonious douches clutch pearls. Im a 33 year old man who’s been reading, watching, and playing sff for two decades yet 99% of the time I have never even heard of these people. Nobody cares.

    • Orvan Taurus

      It’s funny. When i was very young, this is what the ‘radical’ hippies were saying:

      To hell with it. Just do your own thing, and don’t worry about any of this other tripe, because it just doesn’t matter.

      And now it’s so terribly, terribly UNhip.
      Oh, right. Ox ancient. World changes.

    • And then there’s folk like me. I’m not really liberal, and I’m not really conservative, and as for libertarian, though I’m probably closest to that one, I hold some views that would drive them around the bend… I have taken, of late, to calling it “extreme in all directions” and am planning to write up a fictional “party platform” to explain all of my positions. We’ll see if I pull the trigger on that one.

  20. A couple days ago I was video conferencing for the first time with a guy who started working for me a couple months ago about his experiences with SF conventions in MN. He volunteers/helps run a few of them. We began sharing authors we like. He started with his #1 favorite as Heinlein (good so far, right?), we were comparing military SF authors when he explained he couldn’t really read John Ringo because the conservative views are too blatant in his books and he just can’t stand reading a book by someone he so disagrees with….

    I wanted to reach through the screen and explain that’s exactly how the other half of the population feels about 80% of the current SF authors (obviously present company excluded).

    Anyway, for any who didn’t grok the 23 references to the “great and spacious building” above, see https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/8.26-28?lang=eng

    For a more scholarly analysis of the allegory (I especially like the comparison of the “Great and Spacious Building” to persecution of Christians) try https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/things-which-my-father-saw/4-lehis-dream-and-nephis-vision-apocalyptic-literature

    • What I learned from attending SFcon in MN is that the best way to have a good time if you are in MN is to make Step One be “Leave the state.” Alas, this goes for other gatherings as well. Really, unless blood relatives are involved, it’s best to go elsewhere. South Dakota, Iowa, Tennessee. I used to include Michigan, but it’s been increasingly dubious.

  21. Arwen

    “great and spacious building”
    I see what you did there. 😛

  22. Johnedko

    Very nice article Brad, I enjoyed reading it. As someone trying to get started in writing it kinda puts things in perspective. Although Michael makes a great point – maybe there is another path, the “Don’t give a sh*t” path – these people only have power because we (or others) think that they do.

    Although it is very hard to try to start writing in this group – they keep bringing new authors to read to my attention (just read Darkship Thieves and *LOVED* it, and read my first MHI book) and now they are starting with music too? The more I read these comments by authors the less time I have to write!

    Hmmmm…. maybe its a plot? Keep the newbies so preoccupied with new music and authors that they never write anything? It’s fiendish! Then garnish with plot bunnies who multiply before you can catch them all – its like Pokémon on Speed!

    Oh well, back to the job that pays the bills….

    -John

  23. thewerewife

    I’m probably WAY too late to this party, but your ninth paragraph above put me in mind of that wonderful morning waiting for the school bus all those years ago, when my little boy exclaimed, “The Ferengi are letting the Romulans take over the Pride Lands!” As a collector of crossovers (fan and pro), I was so happy to hear that.

    • that wonderful morning waiting for the school bus all those years ago, when my little boy exclaimed, “The Ferengi are letting the Romulans take over the Pride Lands!” As a collector of crossovers (fan and pro), I was so happy to hear that.

      As a geeky mom, oh my gosh, I teared up with joy. Raise him well, mama… raise him well!

      • thewerewife

        Sadly, judging by the state he’s in now in his 20s, I didn’t. The best-laid plans, and all that. He’s trying (in both senses of that word).

  24. Gregory Peter DuPont

    Option#5 speaks to my soul.

  25. “…and I’m pretty sure my soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old daughter thinks Rhett and Link are the Alpha and Omega of 21st-century entertainment.”

    Hah. Our daughters have read the same how-to-be-tween manual. Though I think Stampy has a slight edge with Glyph, since he and Ballistic Squid (mmmmmm…. Squid!) podcast the business and technical side of you-tubing.

    On that note, you and your daughter would benefit from having the scales dropped from your eyes on how much discipline, work (productivity & longevity-!) it takes to be an indie TV show-runner/creator. Mine did. Your lecture to indie sciffy authors is much of a muchness.

    Though the fame aspect is going to def. be superiour if you pull off success. We had SkyDoesMinecraft at our library con & it was a mob scene,

  26. Pingback: The Mote in Gernsback’s Eye | Brad R. Torgersen