Saturday, February 29, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: The Amaris Civil War (BattleTech)

Today's Leap Day Special is from a BattleTech fan channel, Black Pants Legion, regarding the big event that would shatter the Inner Sphere: The Amaris Civil War.

Outside of gaming, BattleTech doesn't get its due respect as a successful mecha property. Best summarized these days as "Game of Thrones with giant robots", it's a sad thing that this American original science fiction property has languished for so long due to the rights being so spread apart (and that's before all of the issues with Harmony Gold).

Even worse is that attempts to break out of this rut and ghetto are greatly complicated due to its reliance on art assets originating with other properties (Macross, Dougram, and Crusher Joe) for many of the well-known BattleMechs and vehicles; you have to look at the Clans to find the first truly original icons of the property.

I would like to see BattleTech make a new attempt to break out of the gaming ghetto, but it would require a production team with balls as well as experience and partners outside of Western media (i.e. Japanese studios and publishers) to do it, and the way forward is to lean heavily on that "Game of Thrones" element punctuated by the Realest of Real Robots going at it good and hard. I'd start with putting together a manga adaptation of this very story, simultaneously published in Japanese and English, and then following up with an anime version.

Yeah, a bit of cultural recursion, but it wouldn't be the first time.

Enjoy an afternoon of Princes & PPCs, folks.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Star Knight Lore: Robeasts Are Ancient

A while back I made a joke:

Why do you have giant robots?

Giants.

If it worked for the greats--Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, Macross--then it works for me.

I don't make a big deal of it in Reavers of the Void, but the past of Galactic Christendom involves wars against giants- and those giants were not stupid brutes with clubs and spears. These giants were the first post-Cataclysm resurgence of the Nephilim, arising in various places initially as false saviors against the global problem of the undead hordes.

The Real Robot end of mecha development went pretty much in a believable fashion: Powered Armor kept scaling up as technologies improved, exploding when the Church provided the information preserve from the pre-Cataclysm era that made such explosive growth possible, as the monsters kept getting bigger. Eventually as the giants became truly supernatural in stature and power, the Church would provide the first Super Robots and the Crusades would begin.

So we're talking anti-zombie armors becoming anti-giant robots over time.

This means that biological warfare and augmentation is a thing, and so are psuedo-biological technologies. I don't have them on deck for the next two books, but in the background that narrative structure will be erected, building on what I put down so far, and there's some big plot twists coming down the road but for now I'll tease it with this: the sins of the Watchers included genetic manipulation, their creations were not all destroyed in the Great Flood, and not all of them are just giant-sized men.

In short, the "Robeast" archtype of Super Robot shows is not that far-fetched or recent.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Revisionism of Science Fiction

Made in 2017, and still relevant today, is this QuQu video on how Commies killed Science Fiction and turned it--step by step--into the shitter it's in now in the West, a process they want to repeat in Japan and elsewhere as well as in other related media.

Which leads to stupid takes such as "Star Wars isn't sci-if" because said Commies successfully gaslit the population into believing their revisionist history of the genre, with the "Sci-Fi is about Men With Screwdrivers fixing Big Problems with SCIENCE!" being the first and most persistent such revisionism. The most accurate summation is in a comment in this video's page:

The only thing the Campbellians and Futurians managed to accomplish was taking SciFi from a hugely popular genre into being a media ghetto that the mainstream entertainment industry looks down it's nose at. Had it not been for them, we'd be getting works that'd make Star Wars and Star Trek look like footnotes in comparison. Leftists ruin everything they touch.

In the nearly three years since this video went live, we've seen this born out with increasingly clarity. TradPub entries since 1980 have waned in the core qualities of the genre, being increasingly replaced with qualities associated with the primary female-dominated publishing genre--Romance--more and more over time, alongside more frequent and more blatant subversive propaganda in service to the dyscivic Death Cult in control. Brian Niemeier's been very good at marking this slow-rolling revelation at his blog, especially in light of the dominance of Military SF in actual publishing success in the genre vs. what TradPub would have you believe.

All Jeffro Johnson did by publishing Appendix N was expose the gaslighting for the fraud it is, and those who benefit from it as the fraud they are, and now the push to purge this corruption is well underway. Sooner or later, it shall succeed and all those who profited from it shall see their just due gotten.

Regress Harder.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Mollison on "The First Space Opera"

Friend of the Retreat Jon Mollison published a post today on the origins of Science Fiction, predating E.R. Burroughs by over a decade: Robert William Cole. He wrote a story titled "The Struggle for Empire: A Story of the Year 2236", published in 1900 (so 12 years before E.R. Burroughs' A Princess of Mars), which is in the Public Domain and so can be found here at Google Books.

As Mollison's post shows, this tale is a true and proper Scientific Romance--what Science Fiction, true and proper, actually is--and therefore I put to you that this story was an influence on Edgar Rice Burroughs. Not the influence, of course, anymore than Kurosawa was this influence on George Lucas for the original Star Wars film, but an influence- as a proof of concept. Quoting the post's summary of what goes down when the Big Conflict kicks off, it's not hard to see what E.E. Smith had as a baseline to top.

  • Fleets of thousands of space ships flung headlong into days’ long battles
  • A rain of debris over the continents, mountains, cities, and seas of Neptune
  • In keeping with John C. Wright’s definition of “space opera” the blowing up of not one, but two moons, at the same time
  • Three-dimensional naval tactics, and
  • The frantic last minute search for a savior weapon that might knock the bombarding Sirian ships out of the tropical skies above London.

The other thing this shows is that John Campbell's push, putting the genre into a ghetto and making it all about Big Men With Screwdrivers (i.e. Porn For Werner Von Braun Type), really is a heresy. When you strip the Romance out of the genre, you're engaging in cultural iconoclasm. It is not a surprise to me anymore that that rejecting Romanticism led to genre ghettoization because by stripping out the wonder you also strip out the beauty and the ties to (believe it or not) tradition that makes any body of literature able to hold the substance that carries meaning to the audience. It's exactly the same thing that you see to college girls who go Feminist and deliberately make themselves ugly and wretched in service to that Satanic ideology.

Add this to the To Read pile, and revise your historical timelines accordingly.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Business: Mouse Wars Morons Make Me Mirthful

I would be mad about this if I didn't see this as an obvious sign that I'm going to have the opportunity to overtake this decaying property sooner than later.

Pop Cultists on suicide watch.

I get how Vox Day feels now when he sees another Marvel or DC decision being done about how the SJWs just got to double-down one more time and increase the poz in the product. No wonder he went ahead with doing a small indie film of "Rebel's Run" to promote Alt-Hero; with the Big Two racing each other to the suicide chamber, the Japanese eating their lunch, and Euro comics doing just fine it's not a mystery at all as to why he's unconcerned with them vs. Arkhaven's superhero offerings.

If this is what we can expect out of the Mouse going forward, then it's clear that neither Filoni nor Favearu will save this property unless and until they seize power and pull a Night of the Long Knives on Culty Kathy's followers in the company (which means canceling this project)- and that this is coming out now indicates that such a thing is not at all guaranteed.

So, rather than get mad, I see this as an indicator that Star Knight--if I can do my part--will become a real and viable competitor sooner than later and I need to adjust my expectations accordingly. Excuse me while I adjust my 2020 and 2021 schedules.

Monday, February 24, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Taking Opportunities Others Missed

While folks worry about Corona-chan compelling the Coof across the globe, I've got something happier to talk about today. First, a bit of context.

This very What-If scenario gets its due in a future Star Knight book. If you need a reminder as to why Lucas wanted Mifune for Obi-Wan, here's a refresher.

There's a documentary out there all about Mifune's life and influence. Go see it.

This character is one of the Nine Martyr Lords, and so will be styled "Sir [name], Lord of the Seat of [Martyr]", and he'll have some patronymics to make him stand out, but that's all I've got so far because it's going to be a while before he appears and thus it's not important to flesh him out right now. What you can expect is a tribute to Mifune and his iconic roles, in the context of a Christian warrior in service to the Church and in the model of a Lensman. Laser sword? You bet. Giant robots? Yep. His own retinue? Likely. Based out of Japan? Of course.

Feel free to draw concept art.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Narrative Warfare: High Profile Pop Cult Bullshitting

Author and friend of the Retreat David Stewart took the time to talk about some Pop Cult stupidity by Kevin Smith.

Two points to take away here:

  1. Pop Culture is not sufficient to replace religion.
  2. Folks have done it anyway, and religious thinking is being applied to it, hence why we have a Pop Cult.

This is not surprising, as Dragon Award winner and multiple-time nominee Brian Niemeier observed some time ago. While lacking all of the qualities of a religion, the Pop Cult has just enough to suck people lacking one into it and thus diverting energy otherwise given to that religion to it instead.

As a test, I made this comment in several Comment threads on Doomcock videos decrying Corporate/SJW control of a pop cult idol: "Call it heresy and be done with it." Every time I get that comment highlighted and upvotes are high; if I wanted to be a Redddit karma whore, this would be one want to farm it. I have yet to get any stick for putting it this way; it shows to my satisfaction that they do engage in psuedo-religious fervor over these idols.

I could probably say the exact same thing with other fan channel whine-fest videos with near-identical results.

And I maintain that the problem is that this is idol worship. It's why they are unwilling to just switch to alternatives that aren't so messed up, and it's that idol worship that makes Pop Cultists vulnerable to recruitment into the Death Cult.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Narrative Warfare: Gen X Just Wants To Be Loved

Following up my post on How To Trap Gen X, here's a video for a song released when the prime Gen X cohort started graduating high school and entered adult life.

Matthew Sweet's 1991 album "Girlfriend", with this eponymous song as the lead single, was his big breakthrough. He used clips from the 1982 film version of Space Adventure Cobra, instantly getting attention from an audience raised with Voltron, Robotech, and similar fare. Cobra, like Bond, was set up as a Man's Man who couldn't help attracting the ladies to him and enjoyed their attention.

The song is about a man encountering a woman and expressing a desire to make her his mate for life. The song unveils the man as a socially-awkward lonely heart who goes about this in the manner of a stalker. It's not unlike "Every Breath You Take" by The Police in that respect.

Generation X is an unwanted generation by their Boomer parents. Unlike Generation Y, whose experience with Boomers was being set up to fail via an idyllic childhood, Generation X was set up to fail by being ignored in favor of Boomer careerism and hedonism. It's a divide of attitude that isn't unlike that of a women before and after she hits The Wall, and I would not be surprised if a critical mass of Boomer women hitting The Wall did provoke that change.

The result is a generation whose sense of social normalcy is derived in large part by mass media, and for boys in particular they got set up to fail because their fathers didn't bother to teach them how to become men. That got gleaned not only from mass media generally, but also from the stashes of porn kept by said fathers. If not for remaining, though waning, institutions such as team sports and the Boy Scouts there would be nothing at all to guide boys in what it means to be a man- and therefore what it takes to be worthy of a woman's attention.

If you doubt this, go look at Millennial men- especially the soy brigades.

What the Supreme Dark Lord would formalize as the Social-Sexual Hierarchy was informally acknowledged before this, but Boomer men didn't pass on this knowledge anymore than they passed on any other inheritance bequeathed to them by their elders. The result was the mass of men who have no idea what love is, or how attraction works, or anything else about the relations between men and women in reality. Gen X had to piece it together themselves, and it's no surprise that the majority--the Deltas--are so messed up; take a look at the now-disbanding Manosphere and you'll see the major players being Alphas and Betas trying to fix Deltas, and you'll find mostly Gen X and Gen Y trying to fix their brothers.

The video is an expression of what Gen X at the time believed love to be. The song is the expressed belief; the clips are the imagined fantasy.

Gen X just wants to be loved. Their cynicism stems from this lack; it's how they cope, and without someone they trust showing them how to fix their problems--as their fathers should have done--they end up doing cargo cult behaviors and wonder why it doesn't work until they give up in frustration. It also makes them very vulnerable to love-bombing, as my previous post showed by example.

If Gen Y years to escape to a better past, then Gen X wants the embrace of someone who loves them- they want to be wanted, not merely needed or tolerated. Trapping Gen X means playing on those vulnerabilities.

Friday, February 21, 2020

My Life As A Writer: It Ain't Hard To Entertain While Being Interesting

Sabaton put up a new lyric video for "The Red Baron" today.

Fantastic video for a fantastic video about a fantastic hero who should be celebrated.

What if I told you that this man was an inspiration for another famous red-clad war hero?

I don't know if that's true or not, but damn if it doesn't feel right.

Which leads to a point about Star Knight: many in Galactic Christendom believe Char Aznable existed, with some actually making this connection in some form or another. As with other historical or pseudo-historical figures from before the Cataclysm, Char's story is just so compelling that people want to believe that he existed and so this folk belief got traction- especially during an era marked by wars against inhuman powers requiring heroic struggle to overcome.

"But that's silly!"

Uh-huh. Two words: Robin Hood.

While he's not venerated as a saint (officially) like Simo Hähyä or Ichiro Itano, he's seen as an aspirational figure and many model themselves after him. I make this clear with Dashing Jack, as [REDACTED] is definitely invoking that image and associated mythology, and Jack has own reasons for going along with it.

That's how you (a) use a Char clone, (b) comment on the trope, (c) do something interesting with it while (d) respecting the original and (e) entertaining the audience. If Sunrise could do that with Full Frontal in Unicorn, I can do that with Jack.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

My Life As A Historian: They Said That After Rome Fell Too

For those following Brian Niemeier's push to re-calibrate generational reckoning and the group psychological profiles thereof, you want to read the following.

The Millennials didn’t grow up in a vacuum. They weren’t born in the cabbage patch, sprouted legs one day, and then “POOF,” 22 years later found themselves $120K in debt with a Master’s degree in Diversity and Inclusion. Like everyone else they were a product of their environment. And a huge part of that environment, if not the most influential part, was the elders who would raise them. Parents, teachers, professors, guidance counselors, therapists, bosses, even politicians and media personalities would directly and indirectly wield incredible, if not total influence over the Millennials and would be the single most determining variable in how the Millennials would turn out.

This is the way it has always been throughout human history because there’s no other way for it to be. Younger generations have to be raised by older generations. But the Millennials were going to be raised by a very unique generation of elders. A generation of elders that the world had never seen before in terms of its wealth, stability, pampering, and privilege. Nor had the world seen such an arrogant, self-important, completely delusional, and completely wrong generation before. And it was this generation that was going to prepare the Millennials for the real world - the Baby Boomers.

What I absolutely love about the Baby Boomers, what I find so incredibly rich is how they were the generation that coined the phrase “Never trust anybody over 30.” And you need to really break down this statement to appreciate how hypocritical, delusional, arrogant, and simply wrong that statement is and therefore how wrong the Baby Boomers are.

First, Boomers said this when they were young. Not only stupid, but inexperienced and young. They were a bunch of teenage, 20 something know-nothings, who never worked a job, had yet to start families, draft-dodged a war, but somehow they thought they knew better than their elders and the culminated eons of human history. Not only is this against common sense, it’s the epitome of hubris and arrogance. Many of them hadn’t even gone to college to have a political religion installed in them so they’d parrot such outlandish stupidity. They were just that naturally stupid and arrogant on their own!

More of that is here.

And yes, the Supreme Dark Lord summarizes succinctly:

It's remotely possible that the Baby Boomers aren't the worse generation in human history. But they certainly did manage to destroy what was once the wealthiest, freest, most powerful nation on Earth. It wasn't entirely their fault; they did not plant the seeds of that destruction. But instead of weeding the garden of those evil shoots, they enthusiastically watered them.

And that is why future generations that never even knew them will hate them. They will not hate the Boomers for the same reasons that Gen-X and Gen-Z hate them, but they will hate them all the same.

Count on it. It wouldn't be the first time that this happened.

Most of you reading this may find that statement a bit of hyperbole. There are places in the world where resentments against the failures of previous generations are very much a thing, and any such post-living-memory resentment against the Boomers will follow that pattern. They won't necessarily call them Boomers, but they will castigate them for despoiling a posterity passed unto them instead of stewarding it as was their duty for the good those after them. (There's that "This life ain't about you" thing again.)

And yes, this is not me talking all academic-like. You'll see this in action in my Star Knight series.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: Laughing At The Death Cult

The SJWs in tabletop RPGs come again at the RPG Pundit.

That Church Lady preening demanded a Witch Test, so I hit her with one. Results pending, but given the presence of Muh Pronouns in the bio, I'm expecting a positive result.

What makes this hilarious to me is that this witch claims that Pundit is "extremely right-wing" and "shunned".

I am far to Pundit's right. Pundit's a firm adherent to the Enlightenment and modern republican government. Pundit, at most, is center-right and that may be pushing it. He's at the table with his co-hosts on his podcast, a table that would have no problem welcoming Sargon of Akkad (the English YouTuber, not the actual Akkadian ruler, for those of you in the far future reading this), and actual right-wing political philosophy is not his brand of tobacco.

Not that the SJW cares. Her moral preening is as much virtue-signalling to her fellow travelers as it is thought-policing, and--as Brian Niemeier repeatedly points out--that moral preening assume a Christian cultural foundation, and therefore assumes Christianity. The Witch Test is there to compel her to choose between her cult allegiance or the source of her authority.

Being female, and haranguing men, she's going to fail the Test if she doesn't back down and apologize. It won't be hard to tell why.

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. - 1 Timothy 2:12 (KJV)

No one patrols thots like He does.

I know the Pundit's laughing. He knows he has followers and other friendlies who, like me, are far to his right; he knows what right-wing looks like, something this witch couldn't find no matter how big her broomstick is. Praise God for granting Voltaire's prayer in making His enemies foolish before the hammer comes down. If you want to lend ol' Pundit a hand, buy his stuff. This link goes to an Amazon search for his stuff, and this goes to DriveThruRPG.

UPDATE: In a display of hubris-driven honesty, she confessed to being a witch.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Second Star Knight Campaign Coming

I will launch a crowd-funding campaign to finish work on the next two books in April. The following perks will be offered. More may be added.

  • Build A Mech (4 slots)
  • Build A Ship (4 slots)
  • Be In A Book (4 slots)
  • Get Killed In A Book (2 slots)

Yes, Brian Niemeier did them first. They work, so why reinvent the wheel? Perks claimed will be applied starting with Book Four, as I have Two and Three well into the works at this point. If you want me to consider other Perks, suggest below. In addition, if you want non-book merch such as posters then now is the time to show me it's worth doing it.

Monday, February 17, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Book Twitter Is Pathetic

I made this observation on Twitter today.

It's fucking retarded.

The amount of utterly useless bitching, whining, and moaning about OldPub pushing this or that or the other thing on authors--being it agents or publishers--shows that most of them somehow haven't accepted that they don't need either of them anymore to get their books out there and before the buying public. I can only conclude that, for many of them, they are far more concerned with the prestige of OldPub's approval via publication than actually putting out their work before people who want to buy it.

I am not sympathetic at all to them.

And no, BookTube is no better.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The Praxis of Religion

A while back Dragon award winner and multiple time nominee Brian Niemeier wrote a series of posts on the cults afflicting Western Civilization: The Pop Cult, the Death Cult, the Fap Cult, and most recently the Mammon Mob. Using the former two as examples, Brian would explain how a cult works as a religious system.

First, let's define our terms. To qualify as a religion, a group must have three elements:

  • Cult: a consistent body of rituals for public worship
  • Code: a set of moral rules
  • Creed: a canon of shared myths that defines a shared identity

I'll add a further criterion introduced by reader D.J. Schreffler. A religion offers adherents explanations for their past, present, and future.

  • The origin story--this is part of the creed.
  • Ritual laws for the here and now--see cult and creed above.
  • Eschatology--the final chapter of the creed.

To which I will add this: when put into practice, a religion's praxis translates its tenants into a holistic system of governance. A viable religion is one that is self-enforcing and self-sustaining, requiring no external entity for either requirement. It is the cornerstone upon which all institutions of Civilization emerge upon, and without which such institutions hollow-out and collapse.

The Pop Cult fails because it is neither. The Death Cult fails to sustain itself; it is nothing more than a parasite. The Fap Cult and Mammon Mob also fail these tests; Fap mirrors Pop and Mammon mirrors Death.

The reason for these conclusions is simple, and that reason is this: when the cult tenants are imagined to be implemented in an environment where no external pressure exists (ie. a fantasy world), and then external pressures are introduced, they collapse under pressure every single time. The Pop Cult cannot defend itself against any aggressors, the Death Cult cannot sustain losses, the Fap Cult folds faster than Superman on laundry day, and the Mob rolls over like a kicked dog.

The real-world proof is the hostility these cults show towards actual, viable religions. They know they're inferior parasitic cults and resent real religions accordingly, nevermind the true faith, and this hatred seethes out of every institution they've hollowed out and wear as a decomposing skinsuit. It should be no surprise that civilizational collapse comes as a consequence of the presence of such cults and the degeneracy they promote.

And for those in the back, it is exactly this sort of practice--born of decades of being a a tabletop RPG GM and the world-building one routinely engages in--that slowly brought me back from the mire of irreligion.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Narrative Warfare: The First Step In Defeating A Trap Is Knowing It Exists

Dragon award winner and multiple-time nominee Brian Niemeier penned "A Gen Y Tale" and published it on his blog last year. Author David Stewart has turned that short story into what you see below.

This is a story about something Generation Y is very vulnerable to, which is The Nostalgia Trap.

What strikes you most whenever you get Ys to open up and discuss the past is how similar their experiences are--but only when woolgathering about beloved past diversions. For another "better seen, not heard" generation like the Jonesers and the Silents, Gen Y will blab your ear off about 80s and 90s brands.

The megacorps figured this out sometime around 2010. It's no coincidence that was about when Ys' finally found big boy jobs, and they had some extra scratch to spend. The paypigs who declare they're "over" Star Wars one minute only to turn around and reserve tickets to J.J. Abrams' latest fanfic are almost entirely Gen Y.

David and Brian talked about this at some length in this podcast.

A lot of the problems are generational in their root, in that a specific cohort's formative experiences leave marks that cannot be easily recognized and therefore overcome, and until that awareness is achieved and the knowledge internalized no amount of work can get you out of its grasp. You can cope, but like an alcoholic you can fall off the wagon and slip back into its thrall if your mechanism collapses.

This is a Narrative Warfare post. You should be expecting something by now.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day To SF's First Couple

Happy Valentine's Day. May your love thrive through times of trouble as well as times of peace, just like the First Couple of Science Fiction: John Carter and Dejah Thoris.

And if you somehow don't have a copy of A Princess of Mars, shame on you! It's in the public domain, so you can get it free on Kindle at Amazon (and epub elsewhere, I assume) and print copies are not hard to find.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Star Knight Lore: The Sons of Ken

Earth in Galactic Christendom is directly held by the Vatican. Most of the great nations of Galactic Christendom maintain households planetside for the specific purpose of maintaining diplomatic ties with galactic neighbors. However, there is one nation that calls Earth its homeworld: the Sons of Ken.

Most never see a Son by the dawn of the 4th Millenium, and when they do it's usually in the company of an Inquisitor or a Brother-Knight of Saint George. They are a nation whose unique calling concerns the supernatural, specifically the killing of it, and their continued existence is a reminder of the previous centuries of high weirdness as giants and other monsters once strode across the land and Mankind was on its heels prior to re-establishment of the Church by Pope Simon I, The Miner's Son.

The Sons tell the tale that their father was once an ordinary man, born and raised in the final years before the Cataclysm, who could not--and would not--conform to the sick spirit of that age. Ken wandered the land, stalking the monsters that preyed upon Mankind as they preyed upon Man, often getting little but appreciation and assistance escaping from the corrupt officials hunting him.

But Ken's true calling came after the Cataclysm. It is said that he was the only man burned by the flames that was not consumed by them, but instead transformed- first by the flames, then by the deadly-cold frost of the depths of Winter. He assumed the mien now famous among his kin: skin white like a winter wonderland, eyes burning like a thousand suns, nails become talons, teeth become jaws. Soon thereafter, having found himself surrounded by the undead hordes of The Necromancer, he took the last tool of terror from that first Dark Lord by consuming the consumers of human flesh.

He was not acclaimed. He was not beloved. He was feared at first, and in time respected, but no honor came to Ken until his own time had come. An aged Simon came to him, long after the Necromancer's fall, and took Ken's final confession before the father of monster hunters died in the manner rare to his own: peacefully, in his sleep, in his own bed, of old age. Ken was 120, and 80 of them were after the Cataclysm.

By then he had sons and grandsons, and the truth of his blood bore out: his sons were like unto him, while his daughters merely carried his traits dormantly and were otherwise as ordinary women. Despite the fates many would meet over the centuries since, the Sons fought in every Crusade and would set foot across the galaxy in pursuit of ever-rarer prey, and as such the Sons are spread thin. However, by decree of The Miner's Son, the lands of Ken's origins deep within North America would be recognized as the homeland of the Sons and no one has ever been crazy or stupid enough to encroach on a nation whose every boy is raised to stalk and kill as a way of life.

And soon the Sons will be needed in strength yet again.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Kindle Store Cracked?

This one's for my fellow indie authors. Below is today's video from a YouTube channel I follow, "The Business of Writing", on how to sell on the Kindle Store.

I am not in any position to make immediate use of this information, but some of you reading this post are, and especially if you're in a position where you are doing what this man's done I want to see you comment on it. Below is fine, and so is on your own blog (just link back here please).

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Narrative Warfare: When Lawfare Backfires

Tonight on the Darkstream, the Supreme Dark Lord talks lawfare regarding a recent U.S. District Court decision goat-screwed Doordash for fucking over its employees.

The commentary is on point. These arbitration clauses are intended to be used to mitigate risk by gatekeeping access to a service behind a Terms of Service Agreement contract that goat-screws users and employees from suing. As many of the actors involved are also either wholly or partially converged by SJWs, and thus to the Death Cult, the effect was--until recently--meant to deny those deplatformed by the SJWs within those actors a means to fight back.

Then someone bothered to actually read them, and get them put before competent lawyers, to find out that they didn't design their clauses competently. In effect, the SJWs didn't properly test their game design before pushing it live (metaphorically speaking), and as such the system they erected didn't work as intended. This is how the Supreme Dark Lord has managed to get Amazon and Indiegogo (so far, Patreon to follow) to bend the knee.

Now we're seeing that the U.S. Federal Judiciary is also starting to pay attention. The SCOTUS decision the SDL mentions is here, and it will influence things going forward, and thanks to the SJWs wielding the praxis of this decision like the club it is people are now paying attention and finding the flaws in this scheme. Flaws found turns into paths to practical countermeasures, and now we're here.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Narrative Warfare: Del Arroz Deplatformed & OldPub Ossifies

Friend of the Retreat Jon del Arroz, the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction and independent comic book success story, got deplatformed from Storybundle today.

When popular author Jon Del Arroz opened an email regarding the recent Steampunk StoryBundle offering, he expected to find a contract, as one had been promised by its curator, the legendary Kevin J. Anderson, who accepted Del Arroz’s new release The Steam Knight into the bundle, but what he found instead was an email informing him that StoryBundle had blacklisted him from their platform.

The full press release is here.

He's spending today's Lunch Stream talking about it.

It's easy to dunk on Jon due to his habit of trolling his haters, but this just makes him serve as a lightning rod. When he gets struck, it's because he's highly visible more than it is for what he stands for; the intent is to use striking him down to intimidate the rest of us, in the same way that obvious high-profile murders of opponents by criminals is meant to intimidate others into silence and compliance.

The reality is that each deplatforming turns into an expose. Each incident reveals another node of Death Cult convergence. Each episode reinforces the reality that OldPub is nothing more than a long-decomposing zombie shambling about ever-slower as more and more of its rotting corpse finally collapses and reduces the zombie's capacity to operate at all. The Twitter thread below goes into this.

And OldPub is tied to Big Retail like B&N.

I welcome the collapse, because it means the Pedo Pals that run the Hugos and their enablers will collapse with them- and they will be forced to compete with us out in the open. Flushed from their bunkers, they'll find things to be very different for them thereafter.

And nothing of value will be lost when they go out like they got hit by Getter Robo's Stoner Sunshine.

Be not afraid, friends. With every step, they cinch the rope that hangs them. Deus Vult.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Notes From "The Tragedy of Lady Olga"

I'm taking a little time tonight to do an outline for the first Star Knight gaiden. It's been burning in my head for a while, so it's time to get it out of there and thus out of the way.

When I outline, I lay down points where events turn and write some notes for my memory later. Here's a few that you might find interesting.

The battle armor of New Vienna's royalty is highly stylized, taking after its Super Robot, König Adler, in its Martial Mode.

The systems of Köing Adler require a DNA scan to unlock, and will not unseal to anyone not a male of the royal bloodline or possessing an Override Protocol- something kept in secret by the Star Knights of the Vatican Solar Guard.

Olga is beloved by her subjects in no small part due to her accomplishments in music alongside Countess Gabriela Robin, but disliked by her in-laws, who dislike a Russian being on an Austrian throne even if by marriage- and, by extension, the accord of both families. Even if the present crisis ends well enough, she faces their plotting to dispossess her son of his birthright.

Both the aggressors and the defenders are well aware of the resemblance to the 1683 battle. Plans are adjusted accordingly.

Aside from technical and intelligence assistance beforehand, there is no active intervention by either Azazel or [REDACTED]. The Jannisarries and their allies are on their own, but are aware of their part in the larger galactic offensive going on at this moment.

Everyone underestimates Creton, except for Olga and her husband, to their cost.

Creton's actions here will have consequences for at least two generations, one of which will literally come to his door years later.

Olga's death, and Creton's valor, is what brings the Tsar firmly on the anti-Vikuun side of the war- and with it, the full and total mobilization of the Russian Kingdom.

Need more Osprey books.

König Alder is a full and proper Super Robot, with alternative mode for flight, and it should be something that should be mistaken as being the Hero Mecha from a Brave series.

That should give you something to mull over for a little while. Soon I'll be making new Lore posts, so come back soon for more.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Narrative Warfare: It's Malice, Not Incompetence

Dictor von Doomcock, Future Ruler of Earth, cut another video on the other space opera train wreck going.

I mentioned previously that Doomcock is the most self-aware of the Pop Cult channels as to what the Pop Cult is, albeit from the inside, and the language is the tell. This comes up again here, and not just in his use of the language, but that of what he criticizes. In character, the religious language aforementioned gets used in the specific mode we're often talking about with regard to the Pop Cult.

The timestamp for his talk of mythology, and the show's in-character usage of it, is here. Doomcock's laying out that this show, as with everything else tied to Bad Robot, is a specific Narrative Warfare campaign to destroy this alt-mythology Pop Cult sect and its idols. He sees this as a deliberate act of malice, and he's not wrong; it is, and the use of incompetent writers is the praxis of malice- you deliberately put two-bit hacks into position because they'll fuck it up.

Now it makes sense, doesn't it? Those in the Death Cult who are running the Pop Cult deliberately demolish these idols to induce despair, and when vulnerability is greatest they move in like the cult recruiters they are and pull an emotion-targeting attack to indoctrinate the Pop Cultist and bring them fully into the Death Cult as the answer that relieves the pain of their Pop Cult being destroyed. Mouse Wars, Marvel/DC, videogames, etc. all use this playbook: the Pop Cult is the honeypot, then the front is demolished and because the Pop Cultist has nothing real to fall back on they are left open to being preyed upon and pulled into the Death Cult in full to relieve the grief.

This? This is malice. The incompetence is the method used, nothing more; those hacks are as disposable as the audience to the cult. The Mammon Mob is there to provide cover from the other end of society while financing operations, even if they sometimes take control from the Death Cult because the Cult threatens to ruin their business, but ultimately it too serves the ends of the Cult.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

My Life As Historian: Sabaton History, "Winged Hussars"

You knew it was coming. Sabaton History presents, "Winged Hussars".

I am impressed that Sabaton and Neidell's collaboration has been this successful to date. This is the sort of popular presentation of history that actually engages audiences. Congratulations for doing this for year, and I hope this keeps up for years--and albums--to come.

Oh, and watch Day of the Siege, the 2014 dramatization of these events.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Narrative Warfare: OldPub Does Blackface & Wold Scolds Do Veruca Salt Impressions

Leave it to OldPub to find new ways to shoot themselves in the foot.

To kick off Black History Month, Penguin Random House and Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue is partnering up to give twelve classic young adult novels new covers, known as “Diverse Editions.” The books will hit the shelves on Feb. 5, and Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue will have the books on display in their massive storefront throughout the month of February.

Which look like this.

And the Woke Scold crowd made Woke Scold Noises, like this:

And yes, the Supreme Dark Lord also noticed:

And this is why Castalia Library is not only important, it is downright necessary. Because it is only a matter of time before Amazon starts deleting the non-updated versions from your digital libraries.

The amusing thing is that black authors are rightly irritated that Penguin and Barnes are attempting to use Black History Month to sell books by dead white authors instead of live black ones.

Speaking of the live black authors, I have a bone to pick with them and the rest of the Woke Scolds Done Told.

Why are you expecting the people you hate to do your job for you? It's not their job to publish you. It's not their job to promote you. It's not their job to do jack shit for you, ShitLib or not. All of that--every single step--is on YOU. You're doing your best Veruca Salt impressions, and as such you deserve her fate.

This, by the way, is why the Cat Lady Crew so cynically exploits you Woke Scolds. They know you'll bitch, whine, and moan--even blog it up and cut videos for YouTube--and when push comes to shove you'll show up and buy it new on release anyway. Because you don't have the discipline required to actually walk your worthless talk, as you're spoiled children when it comes to actually getting the changes you say you want. Star Wars fans are better at this than you are; either you're also lying frauds, or you're utter fuckwits, if you can't manage to just Not Buy Shit New.

What so many of you chase is not the satisfaction of your work being done and on the shelf. You want the clout and status of being a Published Author. You want the C-Span shows, the NPR appearances, the book tours, and all that stuff you see on Oprah without realizing that they don't do that for most of the writers under contract. They do that for a select few, so few they can likely name them all off the top of their heads, and you will never be one of them. No, it doesn't matter where on the stack you are; this works just like Scientology, and you're not one of their Celebrity Center cultists.

You're better off going indie. The sooner you accept this, stop screaming at people who hate you--and they do--to do your work for you, and get on with it the better you'll be- but that means accepting the reality of being a writer and abandoning the fantasy you want so badly.

Amazon is right there. You can get an Author Page up before you finish your next Twitter screed. You can publish ebooks via Kindle and use them for POD-based paperbacks until you know what you're doing. You can hire your own editors, illustrators, and cover artists. You can join groups like 20Booksto50K and learn how the folks making bank make that happen directly. The resources to make yourself succcessful without the OldPub crews exist. Stop being a bitch and do it yourself already. That white guy you hate already is.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

My Life As A Writer: Another Reason To Read The True Howard

Author David Stewart cut another video about Robert Howard's Kull of Atlantis.

This unpublished short David talks about is found in all of the Howard collections in that series. Unpublished stories with Conan, Kull, or other characters Howard created are often included. So is his poetry--and that man nailed poetry--and even some non-fiction stuff, like the essay outlining Conan's Hyborian Age. You've got a massive treasure trove of literary greatness now freely available with the click of a button, and you're a damned fool to not get print copies to put in your library. Howard's someone best read alone, in silence, in solitude--in conditions not unlike his heroes much of the time--and that means away from screens and noise, with maybe a lamp for electrical widgets.

Here's the links to the (US) Amazon listings just to make this convenient for you:

And hit the Follow button on Howard's Author page while you're at it. These volumes are so good that everyone ought to have them in their library at home.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Narrative Warfare: Making It Impossible To Enforce

This is a big deal.

I'd been keeping an eye on this for a while. The dream is to develop 3D printing and home machining (e.g. Ghost Gunner) to make gun control impossible at the technical level, rendering regulation moot. The follow-ups later in this Twitter thread shows that the folks behind this project are aware of other vulnerabilities; ammunition creation is said to be in the works, and I know that making powder and primers will be the wall for such a project.

This may seem odd to you. I remind you that "making firearms out of home workshops" has been a thing for generations, worldwide, and the directions for WW2-era firearms meant to be done like this are available online- and some are still very effective, such as the M3 "Grease Gun". Ammunition can also be made at home; "Kyber Pass Copies" including making ammo from scratch. The issue has always been build-quality; this project aims to eliminate that issue, and so far they're on track.

For we in the United States, especially outside of anti-gun states, this seems moot. For other countries, this is going to be taken as the threat to state power that it is; expect all sorts of attempts to ban or restrict accordingly. It's already been attempted here, without success. However, once this project gets combined with others such as the scene regarding making printers that can print their own replacement parts (and thus replicate themselves), we'll soon see it become technically impossible to enforce bans.

And given scenarios where state or criminal actors move opportunistically to oppress a nation, being able to gin up the tools to resist with force at home is very attractive.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

My Life As A Gamer: This Is What Not Getting It Looks Like

In "We're Using Wokeness To Cover Our Asses", Evil Hat shows their ass.

For those that are curious, this is what Palladium did: Splicers.

"Splicers® is a science fiction role-playing game set on a devastated world where machines rule, and human beings are vermin who are hunted and exterminated. The human struggle is complicated by a nano-virus that instantly turns metal objects touched by human flesh into killing machines. Consequently, humans have been forced to turn to organic technology to battle the world-dominating machines if they hope to reclaim any portion of their planet back for themselves."

Notice the difference here. Palladium took the concept of Teriminator, mixed with some other stuff, and made their own take. Evil Hat just swapped out Cthulhu for Skynet and called it a day, then thought that Woke Scolding would be enough to cover their asses. This did not go well; look at the replies to Evil Hat's tweet, and you'll see for yourself. They don't get any of this.

Fuck this. Play the real Call of Cthulhu if you want Lovecraft on your tabletop.

And if you want Terminator, give Uncle Kevin some dosh and buy his game. At least Kev gets the property he made his game in emulation of.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

My Life In Fandom: Razorfist Presents "Metal Mythos: SAXON"

Razorfist did two things over the last decade to get him the audience he now enjoys. The first are his rants. The second are his reviews/retrospectives. The Metal Mythos series is the most ambitious of the latter, and here's the latest: Saxon.

That runtime should tell you why it took so long for this to get done. He had to find the video clips and audio files, do the historical research, put down the timeline of events, and then write and record the script. These are not trivial things for an hour-plus video like this, and he had other things requiring his attention to manage in the meantime.

This is him, with at most two others helping, doing serious work that would've been on MTV or VH1 back in the day and releasing it on YouTube. We live in an age where we are spoiled for quality content, despite it being in a vast ocean of offal online. Take the time to give this a watch, and spread it around to your metalhead friends. Let them know that this is what you can do these days given the resources now available.