Conservative Hispanic Writer Jon Del Arroz banned from Worldcon Sci-Fi convention

I just found out one of my favorite authors, Jon Del Arroz, has been discriminated against by ‘Worldcon’, an alleged science fiction convention. I have interacted with Jon online and he’s a decent human being and kind to weird people like me. But someone doesn’t like the fact that he’s conservative. Or Hispanic. Or Christian. Or that he wears a USA ball cap sometimes. Or that his name means ‘Jon with rice’ in Spanish.

According to Megan Fox of PJ Media, Jon Del Arroz has been banned from Worldcon 76 even though he is the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction, and that he bought a ticket. They are not even refunding his money.

Their reason is that they are mind-readers and somehow know that he is planning to ‘engender a hostile environment.’ Actually, they are engendering hostility when they ban probably the only Hispanic conservative sci-fi author that had paid to attend.

Read more here: https://pjmedia.com/trending/sjws-bar-conservative-hispanic-writer-worldcon-claiming-racist-bully/

I have recently read Jon Del Arroz’s book, For Steam and Country. It is a steampunk novel with a female main character and other characters who are females in powerful positions. I could well imagine a good liberal teacher reading the book, noting the Hispanic author and strong female characters, recommending the book to students. The book can be enjoyed by various political points of view. Here is the link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071JNR9HB

I’m asking all the readers of this: if you like science fiction, or even if you just like not discriminating against the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction just because he is conservative, or Christian, or allegedly planning a thoughtcrime, PLEASE do something to help. Spread this blog post at Megan Fox’s article over all your social media.

You can also get in contact with Jon Del Arroz.

Web Page/Blog: http://delarroz.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jondelarroz

GAB (a free-speech alternative to Twitter): https://gab.ai/otomo

NOTE: Jon Del Arroz is a nice guy who is nice to me even though I have Asperger Syndrome. So if you go online to bully him, I’m getting out the big guns: I’m calling out the SAINTS on you. So if you bully, expect to become a Catholic.

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Interview with Moira Greyland, daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley

I am excited and pleased to have an interview with Moira Greyland, daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley and author of the new book The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon, which tells the story of Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband, Walter Breen. I am a very former Marion Zimmer Bradley fan, since learning about MZB’s misdeeds made me aware of all the questionable content in her books. In case you are unaware of Marion Zimmer Bradley, she was the author of the Darkover series, which I liked, and the Mists of Avalon, an Arthurian legend I didn’t much care for. And now, here is the interview. My questions are in bold.
Please tell a little of what your new book is about.

My book is a biography of my famous gay parents, Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of The Mists of Avalon, and Walter Breen, coin expert and convicted pedophile.  It is about how being raised by gay people who have a sex-positive philosophy affected my life, and that of the other children in their orbit.

It seems like other people knew about your father’s sexual attraction to kids but figured that it wasn’t proven to have really harmed the kids. Do you feel they are guilty/responsible for protecting your father?
Anyone who did not stop my father when they had direct knowledge of his crimes will have to answer to a higher court than any of us here.  I do understand how hard it is to swim against the tide.  The usual social consequence is ostracism, and worse, not being believed.

 

Do you feel legalized gay marriage is harmful or helpful to the children of such marriages?

Gay marriage puts children into a situation where normalizing non-mainstream forms of sex is the basis for the relationship.  It denies children a normal model of male-female relationships, and puts undue pressure on them to imitate their parents.  Even if the pressure is tacit, it can be nearly impossible to avoid.  The children of gays I have spoken with have almost invariably been molested, and have tried to become either gay or trans themselves.  Even in the best case, where a child is not molested or openly pressured, children imitate their parents, since our parents are our models for humanity.  Also, since our parents will have openly rejected either a male or a female, we can struggle with the rejection either of our sex or the other sex.

Do you feel that the ‘Free Amazon’ storylines in your mother’s books were intended to wean women away from traditional ideas about marriage?

Yes, of course they were.  Between that and a host of other feminist books, women were meant to abandon husband and family in favor of “meaningful work” and “self-actualization.”  This has led to a lot of unhappy women living alone, and unable to find a husband.  Many will struggle, as I did, between wanting the husband and kids and wanting the career.  We are supposed to be able to have both, but it is exhausting.  Women should not be shamed for wanting a family.

I have heard that you have PTSD. Did that make it harder to write this book?

Yes.  My Complex PTSD symptoms made writing this book nearly impossible at times.  Between flashbacks, panic attacks, and periods of incapacitating depression, it is certain that the book would have been finished much sooner if I had had no symptoms.

In your book you tell you became a Christian. Has your faith made it easier to come to terms with your past?
Yes, I am a Christian.  I am not certain what coming to terms with my past means though.  I am focused on the present and on the future.  The past mostly intrudes in my life through symptoms, and I try not to dwell on it, the book notwithstanding.  My faith in God is the core of strength in my life, and His love for me reminds me that I have things to do, places to be, and most importantly, people to love.

 

Do you have a favorite poet, author, composer, book? Please share.

Too many to name.  Poets?  My taste runs to song lyrics for the songs of Debussy and Richard Strauss.  Ordinary poets I love include Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edward Gorey, and Ogden Nash, to name a very few.  Authors I love include C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engel, Charles Dickens, Tolstoy, Georgette Heyer, Tom Clancy, and Brad Thor. Composers I love include Puccini, Verdi, Brahms, Mozart, Mahler, Beethoven and Howard Shore.  My favorite book is the Bible.  Other books on that list would make it too long of a list.

Moira Greyland

End of Interview.

I might mention that I have read Moira Greyland’s book. It deals with a very adult subject, the sexual abuse of children. But I feel Moira Greyland did a good job of tackling this subject without dwelling too much on sexual details that many readers might not like being exposed to. I think it is a good book that can make the reader more aware of sexual child abuse and the problems in some Gay households. And it also tells us a bit of the history of science fiction and fandom in the era when her mother was active it it. I hope many who read this blog post will buy a copy. Just don’t let your nine-year-old read it.

How to write like uber-popular author Louis L’Amour

Louis L’Amour was born in 1908 and died in 1988. The heyday of his writing career was in the 1950s and 1960s. But— a few weeks ago I went into WalMart in the book section to find a Louis L’Amour book still available.

What is the secret of Louis L’Amour’s fiction-writing power? Why is he, a writer known for writing Westerns, not the most popular genre today, still on the WalMart buyer’s mind as someone to keep in stock? It may be in the nature of the very first book Louis L’Amour published.  A book of his poetry called Smoke from this Altar.

You see, here is the difference between writing a novel and writing poetry. In a novel there are thousands of words, and a writer who worries overmuch about whether word 27322 is exactly the most powerful and best word for that position doesn’t finish many novels. Words and sentences in a novel can be bland or dull, so long as the action in the novel keeps coming and you find ways to make readers identify with the characters.

In a poem, every word counts. A novel can have unnecessary words, sentences and even paragraphs so long as they don’t interfere with the flow of the story. A poem must not have a single word that does not serve the poetic purpose. The words in a poem must be powerful and evocative. Even the sounds and rhythms of words must be considered in a poem.

So what happens when a poet, or someone who loves and reads poetry, writes a novel? The language gifts of the poet may find their way into the prose, making it more powerful. Here is an example taken from L’Amour’s ‘The Sackett Brand.’

“The trouble was, when I walked out on that point my mind went a-rambling like wild geese down a western sky.

What I looked upon was a sight of lovely country. Right at my feet was the river, a-churning and a-thrashing at least six hundred feet below me, with here and there a deep blue pool. Across the river, and clean to the horizon to the north and east of me, was the finest stand of pine timber this side of the Smokies.

Knobs of craggy rock thrust up, with occasional ridges showing bare spines to the westward where the timber thinned out and the country finally became desert. In front of me, but miles away, a gigantic wall reared up. That wall was at least a thousand feet higher than where I now stood, though this was high ground.”

Lest you think the above example was too descriptive, rest assured that someone gets shot by the end of the page. It still is an action-packed western. It’s just that L’Amour knew how to use language very well, as a result of his work as a poet. So he could through in a good bit of description that could bring the West to life.

If you are curious about the poems of L’Mour, his book ‘Smoke on the Water’ is available and so you can see for yourself. But until you get so far, here is an example poem that tells a Western story.

I have three friends, three faithful friends,
more faithful could not be-
and every night, by the dim firelight,
they come to sit with me.

the first of these is tall and thin
with hollow cheeks, and a toothless grin,
a ghastly tare, and scraggly hair,
and an ugly lump for a chin.

the second of these is short and fat
with beady eyes, like a starving rat-
he was soaked in sin to his oily skin,
and verminous, at that

the crouching one is of ape-like plan,
formed like a beast that resembled man:
a freakish thing, with arms a-swing,
and he was the third of that gruesome clan.

the first I stabbed with a Chinese knife,
and left on the white beach sand,
with his ghastly stare, and blood-soaked hair,
and an out-flung, claw-like hand;

the fat one stole a crumbling crust,
that he wolfed in his swinish way-
so i left him there, with eyes a-glare,
and his head cut of half-way.

we fought to kill, the brute and i,
that the one that lived might eat,
so i killed him too, and made a stew,
and dined on human meat.

and so these three come to visit me,
when without the night winds howl-
the one with the leer, the one with a sneer,
and and one with a brutish scowl;

their lips are dumb, but the three dead come
and cough by the hollow great-
the man that i stabbed, the man that i cut,
and the gruesome thing that i ate.

their lips are sealed, with blood congealed,
but they will not let me be,
and so they haunt, grim, ghastly, and gaunt,
till death shall set me free.

i have three friends, three faithful friends,
more faithful could not be-
and every night, by the dim firelight,
they come to sit with me.

Banning ‘white’ male heterosexual authors from publishing

neganlucilleRecently I’ve read about the scheme to stop ‘white’, male, and/or heterosexual authors from publishing for a year. Also there are special snowflakes out there who are personally boycotting such authors and encouraging others to go thou and do likewise.

Now, I know there are folks out there who think there is nothing more important that judging authors and other people by their sex, skin color or sexual behavior. But, really, is this proposed ban really necessary? Or possible?

Since the major publishing houses are run by left-of-center people exclusively, I’m sure many would participate in such a ban. Except for the fact that anti-discrimination laws on the books make it illegal. But what would happen if the laws were changed to make the ban possible?

The first thing banned authors like James Patterson would do would be self-publish. If the major self-publishing firms were participating in the ban, any web site that lets people download files in exchange for cash would do. And some struggling authors would publish e-books for free if that was the only way to get their work before the public for a year.

But what about the authors that stood to gain from the ban— the female, queer and/or person-of-color authors? Established authors in these categories might sell more books without being tainted, but for the young, up-and-coming authors, the ban might only get them noticed as ‘second-rate’ writers that needed special help to get their work published, in the form of a ban on competing, more popular authors. Some of these authors actually are second-rate, but only because they are young writers who haven’t yet grown as writers the way older, more established authors have. But if they gain their first writing contracts because of then ban, much of the public will see them as permanently second-rate.

What about the authors who, for whatever reason, keep their true sex, race or sexual behavior private? Will they be included in the ban unless they give up their privacy? If they are not, what is to keep the dreaded ‘white male heterosexual’ author from creating a minority female pen name to publish under? There was once a famous Gothic romance novelist who was, years later, revealed to be a male author. So readers can’t necessarily tell.

Finally, what if the publishing world, left-leaning as it is, decides to extend the ban— perhaps only in the case of certain authors who aroused ire by complaining about the ban or by self-publishing in spite of the ban. Or authors suspected of having conservative views which the left loves to characterize as being ‘racist.’ I would think an author under a five year publishing ban might find his career might never come back from it.

We haven’t yet got to the point where a publishing ban has gone through. But there are signs out there that a lot of influential people believe that such a ban, for the sake of ‘diversity,’ might be the only right thing to do.

Fighting Censorship: CTRL ALT Revolt.

 

66e97ea9f8371e1ba7fb1f7470515d72-bpfullhttp://www.amazon.com/CTRL-ALT-Revolt-Nick-Cole-ebook/dp/B01BKWKBCS/

Once upon a time, science fiction was the genre for the thinking man. Now, some thoughts are forbidden— thoughtcrimes— at least as far as megapublisher Harper Collins is concerned. In ONE CHAPTER of Nick Cole’s book, a Thinking Machine decides that if humans abort their own young, they might react to the advent of Thinking Machines the same way. It wasn’t a major theme of the book. Just a moment. But it had to be censored. Read more about the story here: http://www.nickcolebooks.com/2016/02/09/banned-by-the-publisher/

But there are some things to Celebrate about this sad situation. Nick Cole turned to self-publishing, and his book is now available to the public both in Kindle and in paperback version. As Stephen King, a left-wing writer once said, if you find that they are banning a certain book, READ THAT BOOK. As trad-publishing becomes more and more centralized in just a handful of companies, we need to become indie readers, and not just suck off the politically correct publishing teat.

Another thing to Celebrate is that it is SO easy to fight back against censorship these days. Even if you are a ‘nobody’ as far as the world is concerned. You can just start Tweeting Nick Cole’s blog post (link above) and sharing it on Facebook and blogging about it. For that matter you can Tweet/share THIS blog post. You don’t need to leave your house or even get dressed. Just do it!

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. You can find the blog hop here: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2015/01/celebrate-small-things.html

Do you have a Facebook author page? I have one, here: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/        Please visit sometime! There are kitten pictures. And you can share a link to your author blog and I will like it if possible.

Hedwig Courths-Mahler and the Nazis

HedwigCourthsMahlerOnce upon a time, there was a German girl who loved stories…. When she grew up, she was an industrious writer who produced more than 200 novels. Her novels were so widely regarded that during World War One, cheap editions of her novels were provided to the troops at the front.

And then she was an old woman, with two daughters who were writers as their mother had been. And the Nazis came to power. Hedwig Courths-Mahler clearly did not share the Nazis hatred for Jews— one of her daughters had married a Jewish man, with mother’s approval.

One day a prominent Nazi came to visit the famous writer. He had a suggestion— she should rewrite all her old books, making the villains Jews. And the heroes and heroines should be made over into National Socialist Aryans with blond hair and blue eyes.

Old Hedwig was not about to do that. But neither was she about to defy the Nazis in a way that might threaten her daughters— one of whom was already endangered by being married to a Jew. So she just told the Nazi that she was far too old to do all that work. The Nazi accepted her answer.

From a realistic perspective, had Hedwig wanted her books to be Nazified, she need only have given her consent to some other writer to make the small, necessary changes. Clearly, however, she did not want her life’s work to be turned into propaganda for a party she did not agree with. And, luckily, she did not have to permit this.

This story reminds me a bit about the divided times we live in today. A certain political faction is spreading the belief that all members of the other political party are haters in the same way that the Nazis were haters. And the CEOs of the various publishing houses are overwhelmingly from that certain political faction. Even the best known of the Evangelical Christian publishing houses are owned by these big publishing houses.

I have not yet heard that these publishers are suggesting that some popular and prolific author rewrite his books to make the heroes progressives and the villains political conservatives, prolife & pro-marriage activists, and/or believing Christians. But the ideology of the publishers is affecting the books that are published.

I remember once reading a new author (Charlaine Harris) and in the first book I had hope that the author might have Christian values. The main character went to church regularly. She felt guilty, after taking a vampire as a lover, about having sex outside of marriage. She felt bad that she could never go to church together with her vampire boyfriend.

But as the series progressed, openly homosexual characters were added as ‘good guys’, and a Christian organization which objected to ‘equal rights’ for vampires on the ground that vampires killed people (which was true in the world of the story) was portrayed as an evil conservative ‘hate group’. The Christian pastors in the main character’s small town are portrayed as ‘bigoted against vampires’, therefore evil.

Now, these leftie parts of the story became so strong it was clear that Mrs. Harris was not just responding to pressure from her publisher, that she actually had these opinions. But the publishers are the ones that chose to publish Mrs. Harris, and perhaps reject a half-dozen other writers with potential who happened to be ‘haters’ i.e. Christians and/or conservatives.

So here is the question for many young writers seeking publication: do you go along with the ‘Nazis’ of today who believe that only writers who salute the progressive cause in their writing are non-hateful enough to be published? Or do you follow your own star and hold fast to what you really believe?

More about Hedwig Courths-Mahler:

Wikipedia article in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_Courths-Mahler

Wikipedia article in German: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_Courths-Mahler

Biography in German: http://www.amazon.de/Hedwig-Courths-Mahler-Leben-Siegfried-Pistorius/dp/3404118324

Tanith Lee (1947-2015), Novelist and Poet

Tanith Lee

Tanith Lee

A rose by any other name
 Would get the blame
 For being what it is –
 The colour of a kiss,
 The shadow of a flame.
 A rose may earn another name,
 So call it love;
 So call it love I will,
 And love is like the sea,
 Which changes constantly,
 And yet is still
 The same.
Poetic excerpt from Tanith Lee’s ‘The Silver Metal Lover’.
I must confess, I was never a Tanith Lee fan. I’ve always been a picky reader and tend to stick to authors I know until I’ve read everything. But I might have become a fan of Tanith’s. I know she was on a list of authors to read if you like Marion Zimmer Bradley (which I do, obsessively), and I’ve recently discovered that she wrote lesbian fiction under the name Esther Garber, even though she wasn’t a lesbian. At one time, when I was not a Christian, I read quite a bit of lesbian fiction. So I could have been a Tanith Lee fan— and perhaps I still will become one, once I start reading her work.
I found out about Tanith Lee’s death from a post at Poet’s United.   According to Rosemary Nissen-Wade, who wrote the post, Tanith Lee was a poet but her work was hard to find online. She has poems scattered throughout her books. I don’t know if Lee ever published a book of her poetry or whether her poems were published in poetry journals or science-fiction/fantasy magazines that publish poems. But I believe that even if her poems were only published embedded in her fiction, she is still a poet.

Tanith Lee’s web page: http://www.tanith-lee.com/

Tanith Lee at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanith_Lee

Tanith Lee obituary at SFWA: https://www.sfwa.org/2015/05/in-memoriam-tanith-lee/

Tanith Lee Tribute at Poet’s United: http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-living-dead_29.html