Great review of the anthology. They really liked my story.
Because I’m a history nerd, I did the Ancestry.com DNA test a year ago. My results were that I was:
34% Southern European
21% Eastern European
13% British Isles
7% Central European
As you can see some of those are really broad groups that encompass a whole lot of area. At the time Ancestry said that as they did more work, analysis, and added more people to the database they would be able to become more and more accurate, and would be able to break down genetic populations with increasing accuracy.
They just sent me the tightened up results, where each of those above categories has been broken down into smaller sub groups. This is absolutely fascinating stuff.
West Asia< 1%
Trace Regions< 1%
Edit to add, the trace group here is Middle East. Didn’t open that up before cutting and pasting.
So in a year their database went from differentiating 6 population groups to 11. At this rate in a few years they’ll be able to tell you which valley your ancestors came from.
As a retired number cruncher, I’m curious what happened with their British Isles/Scandinavia numbers from the last time around to this time. Apparently my Vikings were actually Irishmen all along. :)
The biggest change was the very broad southern European breaking up into smaller categories, mostly Iberian can now be separated from western European. So actual Iberian, I’m only 20%. Which is funny, since culturally that’s the one that won, what with my last name and how I grew up. (Yeah, we never talked about mom’s family, because she was an Okie!, which is funny since she’d never been to Oklahoma in her life, but if you weren’t Portuguese or Mexican in the San Joaquin Valley, you were considered an Okie).
The North African makes sense. Even on the last go around the note on the Iberians was that they were usually around 10% North African, but they didn’t have a clear break down of that yet.
The 1% European Jewish is interesting, since as far as we can tell that’s from the same branch of the family tree as the big Europe East, so they were genetically Polish but practicing Jews. Fascinating stuff.
I’ll be really curious to see what these results look like in a few years.
Sort of related, but my wife has started researching my family history. It is a Mormon thing, and hers is already done about as far back as can reasonably be achieved. She’s not had much luck on my dad’s side yet finding people, but surprisingly has on my mom’s. She’s discovered that one of my mom’s ancestors was named Lafayette Best, and I’m sorry, that’s like a really cool name, and I’m also descended from some Baldwins from Mississippi. I can only hope that means I’m related to Adam and not Alec. :)
I met Jeff LaSala the first time I book toured through New York City. During that trip he gave me a copy of a project that he edited. I say project instead of the usual book, because Foreshadows is a sci-fi anthology that includes a soundtrack.
The idea behind Foreshadows is really creative. They enlisted a whole bunch of musicians, who recorded songs. (That CD has been part of my personal writing soundtrack playlist ever since. On its own it is a really good album.) But then they had a bunch of authors listen to the songs, and then each picked their favorite to write a short story using that particular one as a theme/soundtrack. It makes for a really neat effect.
Check it out. It is a very creative and cool project. If you play the videos there, all of the songs are from the soundtrack.
I’m a fan of using music while I write, and also picking out certain songs to serve as themes for certain characters. I’ve just never seen anybody compose new music specifically to inspire stories before.
Monster Hunter Nemesis is still in it!
For some reason they stuck MHN in horror. Okay, whatever. I’m cool with that. It keeps me from having to go head to head against Jim Butcher and Brandon Sanderson. Frankenstein vs. demons, yeah, okay, we’ll run with it. Horror it is!
However, I’m up against Anne Rice (the one who pretty much created a genre), Jonathan Maberry (one of the best authors alive), Scott Sigler (hey, we’ve been in anthologies together!), Dean Koontz (been reading him since I was 12), John Connolly, James Rollins (I think both of those guys plays poker with Castle), M.R. Carey (who wrote Constantine and Hellblazer), Jennifer MacMahon (I actually don’t know her, but multiple NYT bestsellers),
Yeah, so this is pretty much in the bag.
Provided you guys go vote and spread the word of course, because I’m probably the only author uncouth enough to actually ask his fans directly. :)
After my post about the Social Justice Warrior’s cannibal feeding frenzy, http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/11/10/sjw-cannibal-feeding-frenzy/ I’ve had a few people ask me why I bother writing about these people. That’s a good question. The short answer is that I can’t tolerate bullies. The long answer is complicated.
I read Sarah’s post this morning, http://accordingtohoyt.com/2014/11/14/table-settings-at-the-cannibal-feast/ She is also talking about the SJW blogger getting caught being a total asshole scumbag jerk face, but to the SJWs the problem wasn’t that she was doing these horrible things, it was that she was doing these horrible things to the wrong people. Because when these horrible things are done to people like me or Sarah, then they are double plus good.
But one of her commenters said something that really struck me, and I want to quote it here.
Synova – Some of the comments by people who had been subject to the full treatment just made me want to cry. I didn’t think it was funny because the guilty parties and enablers aren’t the ones who are hurt. Yes, we can scoff at Scalzi when he makes a rational counter-argument and is made, ultimately, to retract and abase himself and agree in public and start proselytizing in public that no… you really can’t trust your own brain and if something seems wrong to you or you feel like defending yourself it is simply proof that you’re guilty.
But there were people who reported rather severe PTSD type reactions to even sitting down at a keyboard to write because they were so terrified of offending… again. Because *rationally* they’d done nothing wrong the first time, but they were forced to an irrational acceptance of their guilt. So now they’ve “accepted their privilege” and “checked it” and confessed and repented (they could come to the Dark Side and be welcomed, but they don’t know that, and have been taught that the Dark Side is evil, and that’s why shunning is so very evil within closed communities… being exiled is a horrific punishment) but since they had NO IDEA how they could have done something wrong in the first place, they also have no idea how to avoid it the next time.
Imagine doing this to a child.
The kid is walking through a room doing nothing much and suddenly POW… and then you tell the kid… well that was YOUR fault. You screwed up. You stepped on that spot on the floor.
So the kid looks at the spot and it looks like every other spot. But the kid is told that, no, the fact that she can’t even SEE the spot is what the problem is. You can’t SEE the spot… that’s why it is YOUR fault. Also, a good child will try to learn. You’re a good child, aren’t you?
So the kid says, yes… it was my fault. I could not SEE the spot. Not seeing the spot makes this my fault.
Afterward, it’s still impossible to see the spots, and walking across the room becomes fraught with danger. Sitting down at the keyboard gives this very “good” person the shakes and panic attacks… where are the spots? She still can’t see the spots but she MUST agree and believe that those spots exist.
I have a LOT of sympathy for those who were hurt, just like I have sympathy for any abused person.
Bingo. My problem is that I like stepping on their spots.
The issue with the Social Justice Warrior contingent isn’t just that they’ve got their causes, it is that they take those causes and use them to brow beat not only their opposition, but also the innocent bystanders, the undecided, and newcomers.
They’ve gotten away with it too, because they had cultural allies in high places, like academia, publishing, film, and the media. If you enter one of those industries they try to frighten you into staying within their arbitrary and capricious lines. If you color outside their lines, their punishments are slander, threats, rumor, lies, harassment, and whatever career damage they can come up with.
You know, all the stuff Requires Hate did to the wrong people. The threats, harassment, and slander weren’t special or unique. My side is used to them. Hell, according to the SJWs I’m a racist, sexist, homophobic, wife beating, rape apologist. None of those things are true, but it doesn’t matter to the SJWs. I’m a foe, and thus must be shunned. They stick as much stuff like that out there as possible in order to build a narrative about their targets. It is pervasive. The uninformed read those things and believe them.
Requires Hate only became controversial for getting caught using those tactics on people who’d obeyed and tried to color in their lines. That was a violation of the SJW’s social contract of not eating their own until they stray from proper goodthink.
The SJWs say they stand for equality. Only they don’t. That’s a smoke screen. They are champions of diversity, provided that everyone is diverse in exactly the same approved manner. At their core they are petty, vengeful, tyrannical thought police, who simply can’t abide someone sinning. They’re an unholy cross between puritans and communists, with a heavy dose of Zanax, and severe self-esteem issues.
Social Justice Warriors are control freaks. Nothing more. Their bizarre antics have given true feminists a bad name. Their mad accusations of racism against anything and everything causes real racism to get lost in the background noise. By accusing well meaning, good intentioned individuals of horrible crimes, they legitimize and empower the real criminals.
The most interesting part of last week’s big expose of Requires Hate was the comments from various left wing or moderate authors living in fear of being slandered or having their careers destroyed. All I can say to them is welcome to the party, buddy. Now do you understand why thought police are so dangerous? You can’t cheer when they go after those you disagree with, and then act surprised when the pack of vicious attack dogs you’ve fed, raised, and nurtured eventually turn on you. Attacking is what they are programmed to do. One day you will make a wrong move, or a move they at least perceive to be wrong, and then you’re going to get bitten.
Of course, once people like me and Sarah commented on this, the SJW Harpy Brigade took to Twitter to complain how horrible it was “White Men” feel they get a say in the matter… Let that bigotry soak in for a moment. Sure, this is our industry, and it affects our livelihood and our friends, but no opinion for you, because of skin color.
SJWs stifle artistic creativity. When artists, authors, designers, and creators are afraid of crossing the invisible lines, art suffers. What some of you haven’t realized yet however is that the lines just aren’t invisible, they move based upon how much the SJWs like you. Basically, if you are on their shun list, no matter what you do, you will give offense and cause outrage. And if you are one of them, you have a dispensation to sin freely.
If the SJWs decide you are an enemy anything you do is automatically sexist, racist, homophobic, or something, and they will tell thousands of complete strangers all about it. Regular nice people don’t like being accused of horrible, vile things, so usually they fall back in line. Of course, actually reading the books or knowing anything about the author is unnecessary before slandering them, which is how come to them I’m a white guy with white privilege who writes about manly white men doing white things for white people.
For those who end up on the shun list, if you have a minority character you are guilty of “tokenism” or worse, “cultural appropriation” which is a totally asinine concept, especially in a nation based upon cultural appropriating every winning idea and strategy in the history of the world. My children are Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Russian, Jew, Mormons, descended from conquistadors, Vikings, cowboys, pioneers, and prophets, and we had Indian food for dinner last night before watching a Japanese TV show while I glued together pieces of a Spanish war game. My ancestors introduced the chili pepper to Thailand and my wife’s ancestors were legal to shoot on sight in Missouri. Who the hell do you think you are to tell an American not to culturally appropriate stuff?
However, if you are a SJW approved writer you can write tweets that are so blatantly, absurdly bigoted and racist that if you do a find and replace of White Man for Jew it would read like a Heinrich Himmler speech.
The SJW’s campaign of suppression is insidious and far reaching. They don’t just come after you after you’ve created, they scare you before you start.
Back when I mocked the foolish demands of End Binary Gender lady on Tor.com http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/28/ending-binary-gender-in-fiction-or-how-to-murder-your-writing-career/ and then defended myself from the White Knights who rode up to defend the poor damsel in distress from my Big Evil Swarthy Menace http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/01/29/5687/ I heard from a whole bunch of authors, ranging from just beginning to superstars, but mostly political moderates or liberals, thanking me for talking about this. These authors are frightened of writing about certain things or writing about them in the wrong way. Basically, they were trying to be good kids, and they didn’t know where the spots were. And these authors couldn’t comment themselves because they knew that would draw the SJW attack dogs.
Interesting side note, it was fun to hear from a bunch of liberal authors how End Binary Gender lady wasn’t such an innocent damsel in distress, and how she was actually an attack dog bully who’d harassed people at conventions. Fast forward a year and we see her implicated as one of Requires Hate’s minions. Fantastic.
This stuff is pervasive. It is everywhere. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. I got involved in the End Binary Gender nonsense because I actually like encouraging writers, especially new ones. SJWs like scaring writers. They’ll lecture you on forbidden topics and forbidden words, because the most important thing in the creative process is that the author walk on egg shells, worried that he might inadvertently sin.
Some of my fans follow various SJWs on Twitter and send me links to the most ridiculous quotes. An award winning SJW author recently tweeted about how she wasn’t going to play the videogame Destiny because it used Dark versus Light. Then there were a whole mess of comments which basically said You Go Girl! That’s Racist Colonialist talk!
Now there are plenty of reasons to hate Destiny’s writing (I actually felt bad for Peter Dinklage during some of the nonsensical exposition) but racism isn’t one of them. Somehow to an SJW dark vs. light or black vs. white used as a theme to represent good vs. evil is actually racist and based upon human skin tone… So now aspiring authors are afraid to use this because they don’t want to be racist. Too bad this is like one of the oldest continual themes in human storytelling, dating back to when we figured out fire kept away the things in the dark that wanted to eat us.
In actuality every human culture, from every continent, has some form of good vs. evil myth represented by light vs. dark. Because I write Monster Hunter, I’m a folklore nerd, so within a couple of seconds of reading that I thought of myths from Africa, India, South America, and all over Asia where the good guys were represented by “light” and the bad guys were represented by “dark”. The Bible, the Torah, the Talmud, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, that is a theme is all over religious writings from every corner of the world, from Amaterasu to Zoroastrians, light good, dark scary. Light you can see. Dark you can’t. Duh.
Hell, there’s a Dark Side of the Force for a reason!
But you should totally not use that old and powerful theme that appeals to all of sane humanity in your work, because outrage. Stay in your lines, peasant.
Recently another author tweeted something about oh good, another story where a white man says things, does things, then shoots things. Yeah, that sounds pretty horrible, except it describes stories as diverse as Unforgiven to Blade Runner, or Raiders of the Lost Ark to the Godfather, or Inception to Apocalypse Now. So maybe, just maybe, there is more diversity to storytelling than the skin deep bullshit SJWs fixate on.
Basically, the SJWs want you to be screwed, no matter what. If they can only control criminals, then soon enough they’ll make sure that everything is a crime.
For creators, don’t play by their rules. Write what you want. Write about what inspires you. Make up whatever characters you think make for the most interesting story.
When the SJWs come for someone, and you know that they are liars, stand up for the truth. When they form an angry mob, at minimum don’t join in. If you’re like me and not adverse to confrontation, fight back. Tell the truth. When they say something bug nuts crazy, you’re not doing anyone any favors by validating their stupid opinion.
Don’t let them set the terms. When they say you’re something-ist, and you’re clearly not, tell them so. Never accept their lies. When they start explaining how you’re guilty because of invisible privilege, micro aggressions, or original sin, then all the observers will realize just how full of shit they really are.
When they judge someone based upon the color of their skin or their sex, rather than the content of their character or the quality of their ideas, call them on their bigotry.
Don’t let them determine what constitutes an acceptable response. They will show up, insult you, and then demand polite debate. An SJW can malign and insult you all day, but when you respond in kind, they call you rude, aggressive, hateful, and so angry, why you need to be dismissed! This is a one way street. They do it to individuals, groups, and even entire political movements. SJWs will pick the most bat shit crazy person on the opposition’s side and use them as the poster child to tar the whole movement. And if one of those people doesn’t exist, they’ll fabricate one.
When you’ve reached that point, you’ve got nothing to lose. Mock them relentlessly. When you discover that you’re dealing with a Concern Troll, just skip ahead to where you are going to end up inevitably anyway. The onlookers will appreciate your honesty.
SJWs are predictable in their responses. When I inevitably get attacked for this blog post, it’ll be all about how I’m something-ist or something-phobic, and want to keep Group X out of Industry Y. It is all about dismissing their opponent. The truth is optional.
Their predictability makes them vulnerable. Their toolbox is limited. That is why they can’t just condemn Requires Hate’s dirty tricks, because they those same dirty tricks are all they’ve got to cow the opposition into silence.
One thing you need to realize before joining in this fight, the goal isn’t to convince the SJWs. Swaying the decided is a nearly insurmountable task. The real goal is to convince the undecided, and debate is a spectator sport. When one side has nothing but lies, slander, and intimidation, all you need to do is expose them for what they really are.
Above I talked about the eternal human theme of light vs. dark. You’ll note in most of those mentioned religious texts from all over the world light and truth go hand in hand. The darkness hides the truth. SJWs thrive on ignorance, bigotry, hate, and fear. It is time to turn the light on and watch the cockroaches scatter.
This is an anthology of nightmare/dream themed horror stories, edited by Steve Diamond and Nathan Shumate.
That is just too awesome.
While whiny Americans are crying about cismale gendernormative fascism, and pasty authors are contorting themselves into awkward poses to protest sexualized covers, the Czechs say screw it, we want more guns, hot babes, and monsters. I can hear the heavy metal soundtrack as I look at these covers.
The Czechs are like “Patriarchy? What is this word? Is the succubus not sexy enough? Wait… Cis what? Do you mean we should make the werewolves on fire? We can do that. Dmitri! More fire! Now, why does this flabby man pose in his underwear like sexy pole dancer? You do not want to appeal to people who give you money? America is strange place.”
I love the Czech Republic. You guys rock.
The others are the same way.