Review: Iron Chamber of Memory

This falls in the “Take My Money!” camp.

The Catholic Geeks

John C Wright has pulled off a great trick with his latest novel, Iron Chamber of Memory. What started out as a Nora Roberts style romantic comedy ended in an epic battle on the scale of Mary Stewart and her books of King Arthur and Merlin. Call it a fantasy romance. Quick! Where’s the soundtrack for Excalibur! I need O Fortuna to accompany the knights charging out of the mists!

Trust me, when I say it was epic, I mean EPIC.

You can kind of guess it from the cover.

Eye catching enough?

The description is as follows.

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

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. 😉

Mad Genius Club

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…

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This You Cannot Think

According To Hoyt

Recently, in a fit of my own form of quixotic insanity, I posted the following in my facebook page:

What did I want? I wanted a Roc’s egg. I wanted a harem loaded with lovely odalisques less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels, the rust that never stained my sword. I wanted raw red gold in nuggets the size of your fist, and feed that lousy claim jumper to the huskies! I wanted to get up feeling brisk and go out and break some lances, then pick a likely wench for my droit du seigneur – I wanted to stand up to the Baron and dare him to touch my wench! I wanted to hear the purple water chuckling against the skin of the Nancy Lee in the cool of the morning watch and not another sound, nor any movement save the slow tilting of the wings of the…

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This is How My Warped Mind Works

So I was reading an article from Moe Lane (who himself was quoting another comment) about how he would like a John Wick 2 (And I concur).

I saw his fantastic suggestion of a single season 13 episode Netflix series set in the Continental Hotel from the original. A swank hotel where all the true assassins meet as a ‘neutral zone’ where the one rule is there’s no murder. So of course, there are attempts routinely, dealt with more professionally than the hitmen. It’s a great concept, with stories on stories to be told.

And there I went: What if I made a supernatural Continental Hotel? Where the Vamps, Fae, and seductive sirens went to conduct their business, swap stories, and take deals. They would never break the sanctity of the Hotel, of course. Even if their people were at war in the world beyond.

Except when they do. Then there would be some righteous enforcement of the Code. The only problem is my Urban Fantasy is still in full masquerade mode. Everyone saying, “What? Magic? No Magic to see here. That was a gas explosion!” I may have to change that. 😛

Why Do Villains Listen To Classical Music?

I blame Ace of Spades for linking me to this. And it’s completely true. I would have said ‘culture’ even more than just beauty. But it’s the same constant: The supervillian wishes to destroy everything that’s good, bringing chaos and destruction to the world. Meanwhile he listens to the most well-ordered, meticulous form of music created. The epitome of the best of the culture he seeks to destroy. Desecration is the right word.

Take 2 Films

Bad guys listening to classical music is one of the most used movies tropes ever, and yet it still remains effective. What attracts bad guys to Mozart and Beethoven rather than Pink Floyd and U2? I don’t believe talent is an issue, as all the musicians I’ve just named are talented within their own niche. So there must be a reason why these villains choose to listen to classical over any other genre.

For starters, the stereotypical bad guy is highly educated and came from an upper class background. These class divisions can be traced back through history in the stories people told, in particular fairy tales. In the average fairy tale, like Cinderella for instance, the hero/heroine is usually lower class and works as a domestic, and the villain, the evil stepmother for instance, is usually upper class and habitually condescends to and abuses the hero/heroine.

For a lot…

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Oooh, more advice

Advice from literature snobs invariably involves how *not* to make money through writing. If it wasn’t for the fact CHORFS grow in University ‘Humanities’ Departments, where disdain for profit is assumed, one might think they garner their admiration of Collectivism through their complete inability to make a living by writing.

Mad Genius Club

First off, sorry for the delay posting. The last few weeks have been interesting in the proverbial sense and it all culminated with me being up all night writing, something I haven’t done in a very long time. There simply isn’t enough coffee anymore to help this battered body of mine continue going after no sleep for more than 36 hours. So, a nap and shower was needed before I could make any sense this morning. The good news is that I finished Nocturnal Challenge. It now gets to sit on the back burner for a few weeks. Then I will go back and do the final edits before releasing it into the wild. The better news is that it means I can finally get back to work on Honor from Ashes.

And that leads us into the basis for this post.

Yesterday, on one of my few forays onto…

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Why The Puppies Did It

I’ll disagree about the less sci-fi, more fantasy part. Fantasy fed dreamers in the gutters for ages as well. And many of us liked to alternate between dreams of Middle Earth and looking on the stars. The nobility of Tolkien’s heroes appealed to virtue in an era where society seemed quite willing to purge independence and perseverance from us.

Fantasy and Sci-fi traditionally were two parts of the same coin really. Fantasy asked: What price virtue? How far would one go to save what one loved? Would they sacrifice the noble for the personal? Would they put their people above themselves? And that traditional question has been put to the sword by traditional publishers just as much as sci-fi has. The Game of Thrones and its GrimDark minions hacked at all such questions with the cheerless smirk of the nihilist. And the publishing snobs exulted saying, “Here at last is fantasy in a REAL medieval world!”

Sci-fi properly asked, “What price humanity?” Would that be lost in sea of technological progress and increasingly impersonal governance? Well, you’ve hit on what the Ivy League snobs did to it quite well. They don’t believe in technological progress, so they excise it from their stories. They don’t think the impersonal nature of government is a BAD thing, so they relish in faux-diversity enforced by the dictates of our so-called betters. That they produce a vision of the future as joyless as the present the kickers live in is hardly surprising.

The Arts Mechanical

I’m not a professional writer. I haven’t pursued the muse in the makings of the craft.  I’m an engineer and designer.  Because most of my work has been in rather eclectic things, the average person will not encounter what I create, but their lives will be enriched from them through better manufacturing methods and being able to detect toxins in foods.  I’m not sure what experiments have been run on the Free Electron Laser, but I imagine that something significant was learned.

In any case I’ve been asking myself why I’ve been devoting so much time to the Hugo Awards, science fiction and the future of  science fiction and fandom.  Then I saw this.

I think that each and every one of the puppies is to some extent the kid under the stairs.  We are the odds that instead of looking inward at our rage, try to look forward for…

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