Book Review: HITLER IN HELL

A review of HITLER IN HELL by the ever-insightful John C. Walker:

Hitler tells the story of his life: from childhood, his days as a struggling artist in Vienna and Munich, the experience of the Great War, his political awakening in the postwar years, rise to power, implementation of his domestic and foreign policies, and the war and final collapse of Nazi Germany. These events, and the people involved in them, are often described from the viewpoint of the present day, with parallels drawn to more recent history and figures.

What makes this book work so well is that van Creveld’s Hitler makes plausible arguments supporting decisions which many historians argue were irrational or destructive: going to war over Poland, allowing the British evacuation from Dunkirk, attacking the Soviet Union while Britain remained undefeated in the West, declaring war on the U.S. after Pearl Harbor, forbidding an orderly retreat from Stalingrad, failing to commit armour to counter the Normandy landings, and fighting to the bitter end, regardless of the consequences to Germany and the German people. Each decision is justified with arguments which are plausible when viewed from what is known of Hitler’s world view, the information available to him at the time, and the constraints under which he was operating….

This could have been a parody, but in the hands of a distinguished historian like the author, who has been thinking about Hitler for many years (he wrote his 1971 Ph.D. thesis on Hitler’s Balkan strategy in World War II), it provides a serious look at how Hitler’s policies and actions, far from being irrational or a madman’s delusions, may make perfect sense when one starts from the witches’ brew of bad ideas and ignorance which the real Hitler’s actual written and spoken words abundantly demonstrate.

Read the whole thing. It’s always interesting to read Mr. Walker’s reviews, regardless of the subject.


Dragon Awards deadline

If you want to nominate for the Dragon Awards, you’ve got to do so today or tomorrow. Here are my recommendations. Remember that a work cannot be nominated in two categories.

On a not-at-all-unrelated note here is a pair of recent book reviews by Jevaughn Brown, the latter of which concerns A SEA OF SKULLS, which is eligible in the Best Fantasy Novel category and is written by an author who is not only handsome and charming, but is also said to be “the most underrated fantasy author in fiction.

A THRONE OF BONES

A Throne Of Bones in one book is the kind of story/world in essence that I had thought A Song Of Fire And Ice was going to develop into by now, but hasn’t quite. I loved how thoroughly embedded and powerful the Magic systems are into the fabric of Selenoth, yet they’re not a cure-all in the slightest, playing a part at fitting moments within “believable” limits.

The interactions between characters based on their circumstances and personalities had the feel of Real People rather than caricatures acting in contrived ways only to advance the plot. When we’re taken inside a character’s perspective, you really get how justified they feel in their worldview – as we all are.

I personally haven’t read more detailed yet visceral battle scenes. Vox retains the grandness of ancient armies and big sword-and-shield battles without washing out the fear and carnage and courage and confusion and skill and luck they really entailed.



A SEA OF SKULLS

As richly developed as its predecessor was, A Sea Of Skulls added many new dimensions to this world and the crisis it’s in. All the positives I spoke of in my review of A Throne Of Bones, and more, were leveled up.

The standout achievement of this novel could be how well Vox takes us into the minds of the non-humans of Selenoth, and gives us just a taste of their civilizations – The underground dominion of the Dwarves, the stagnant decadence of the Elves, and the structured melee of the Orcs. Such is the depth Vox goes with such viewpoint characters that you may even find yourself *almost* starting to kinda sorta briefly feel a little empathy for an orc!

Minor characters are used meaningfully and there’s no one I would want to cut out. There’s a lot of traveling or being camped-out for extended periods, but we don’t get lost in dozens of pages of interminable wandering or stagnation, a major grievance I had with parts of both A Song Of Fire And Ice and the Wheel Of Time series.

Also much appreciated was the expansion on Dalarn culture as its warriors made their last stand, and on the Savondir side of the world through Marcus’ struggles and Theuderic serving his kingdom. If Book 1 left you asking for more elves and more battle magic, then your wish was granted. But again, the magic is the icing on the cake of well-scripted battles that feel as real as epic fantasy can get.

Things get unapologetically dark several times, so gird your mental loins going in. Every fan of Epic Fantasy should read this series.

You really should read it. At present, Theuderic is busy assisting the Marquis de Poncheaux perform a fighting withdrawal at a bridge near the town of Rouvillier. It’s a cracking scene.


REVIEW: A Throne of Bones

This is a nice, detailed review of ARTS OF DARK AND LIGHT Book One, A THRONE OF BONES. 854 pages and free on Kindle Unlimited.

This is great a fantasy book and a insanely promising start to the series.

  • Great set of characters and their development. Unlike ASOIAF saga, there is no boring point of view in the book, and all the main characters are interesting and different between them. Very glad also that honorable characters are not stupid, and the “bad” ones have interesting motivations and aren’t just doing evil things so the good guys can fight them. My favorite is Marcus.
  • Attention to detail. This creates interesting, logic and spontaneous situation development. Unlike other books where it seems the author is cheating every time to move the pieces at his will, Vox moves pieces, but it seems he limits himself with some set of rules based on rational causes and effects, and this makes the narration more natural. It’s clear Vox is very knowledgeable about:
  • War strategy and tactics. No insta teleporting troops, or building entire navies like in GoT show. This creates interesting progression and great battle narration.
  • High Fantasy conventions and role playing games. It’s great to see interesting mages lore, and spells. Very important to give authenticity to the world.
  • Female psychology. The female characters are very interesting, especially Severa being her very enigmatic and humane at the same time, and not femme fatale, psycho, mother or strong woman boring templates.
  • World building. The setting is fascinating. From the more realist aspects like the roman empire-like territory, to the supernatural characters and lore. This last thing is obviously only teased, but can’t wait to read more about it.
  • Non-materialist human perspective. Shit happens in the book and people make bad actions, but most of them (not all) are not only moved by money, lust and power, and have religious convictions. I find this refreshing in a world full of nihilist fiction, despite some of it being very good, like the Abercrombie saga. Here the violence flows naturally although brutally, it has reason to appear more than shock value. No more rapes or tortures every 20 pages for the sake of it, like in Rape Rape Martin books.
  • Some powerful crafted scenes. And not only flashy and with shock value, but with real emotional power. Very good rhythm despite the amount of pages without neglect attention to detail.

I can’t recommend this book enough for Fantasy fans or people who wants a good novel. I’m going to start the continuation ASAP.


Three book reviews

First, a new fan of Summa Elvetica and Selenoth with an literarily eminent heritage reviews the precursor to Arts of Dark and Light.

As fantasy within the noble ranks of the great JRR Tolkien, you’re being overly modest if you fail to see that SUMMA ELVETICA is more than a worthy sucessor. No doubt Tolkien himself would have been greatly pleased at how you have been able to successfully and seamlessly synthesize many of the beings and creatures of Middle Earth with Earth’s ancient and modern history as we know it, thus making both all the more relevant in the process.

The Elvish soul question then functions more for me as a thematic jump-off point from which springs a very satisfying adventure tale, both grounded and uplifted by the problematic duality and contradictions inherent in Church doctrine. In other words, I’m glad, as you state in the “Author’s Note,” that you decided to pursue a more narrational rather than philosophical structure to the book. For me the tale and detailed descriptionn of its inhabitants – be they Elves, Men, Dwarves, Orcs, Trolls, Goblins or Ulin — is the meat, and the philosophy is the spice; not the other way around.

Not that you need hear it from me, but your prose is as poetic as it is precise, and your storytelling gripping. Makes for a very satisfying read in the finest Tolkien tradition. Naturally I gleaned much intelligence from your terrific podcasts and interviews, but it didn’t prepare me for the power and command you exhibit in your fiction.

Something I find fascinating — and it may not necessarily be how you intended it to be viewed when you wrote it — is that the realm of SUMMA ELVETICA can be seen as either prequel, sequel or a parallel realm to that of LORD OF THE RINGS. When the Elves depart from Middle Earth at the end of the trilogy, it’s said that it’s now the “Age of Men.” Marcus Valerius appears to be a worthy if not exactly a heroic successor to the great King Aragorn (who married an Elf Princess), but overall, if Amorr is a successor to Gondor, it is — although not unexpectedly when viewed from the perspective of this world we inhabit — comparatively fallen, debased and considerably less heroic, and that’s reason for sadness.

It’s a very kind review, but I don’t think “poetic” is a phrase one is often likely to hear used to describe my prose. I am pretty sure that “workmanlike” is a more accurate description. That being said, I am very pleased to hear that people are enjoying Selenoth to the point that they regard it as a worthy successor to Middle Earth rather than, say, Westeros or Malazan. And, of course, there are a few songs in A Sea of Skulls….

Second, a less-than-flattering review of SJWAL:

Excretable Nonsense
What twaddle. Now I know why no one takes you seriously. I didn’t think my eyes could even roll that high. 

And another one of Crisis & Conceit:

WASTE OF TIME
Don’t waste your time. 

I’m always rather curious what these obvious fake reviewers think they are accomplishing, if anything. I used to think they were simply trying to drive the average rating down, but over time, I’ve come to conclude that they are actually trying to relieve the pressure on their amygdala caused by the very existence of the book and/or the author. Regardless, it seems a very strange way to attempt to effect change.



Crisis & Conceit: a review

The first review of Volume II of my collected columns:

Great read from a gifted writer

As stated in the description, this book is a collection of Vox Day’s published articles from 2006 – 2009, a time of immense changes in the political and economic landscape. This collection is historic and will make some future thesis writer extremely happy with a progression of articles that week by week chronicles the changing face of America and the World, with a lens that addresses religion, politics, soccer, NATO and, most tellingly, economic forces. There he is, in black and white, foretelling the meltdown of world markets.

It may be that his greatest strength is his well versed long view of history. He has the knowledge of the past and the flexibility to apply that learning to the issues of the present. There is a great depth of understanding of macro and micro movers across many civilizations that adds a welcome sense of gravitas to his writing.

His opinion of George W. Bush is not flattering to President Bush, but in hindsight, I believe Vox Day’s opinion is painfully accurate. A disappointed libertarian at heart, his view of the 2008 election over the course of the year is a prolonged scream against what most of us did not see coming. His disdain for John McCain as a candidate is almost as venomous as his disdain for Hillary, whom he refers to as The Lizard Queen. The articles also cover other candidates, including some things I had not heard about Obama, but were about rumors swirling around Obama that were not being covered or investigated by the media (February 25, 2007!). I was shocked to realize that the Obama cover-ups started so early.

His articles also foretell the the immigration issues that about to engulf the entire world in a few short years.

An excerpt:

Rainbow mutations
March 27, 2006

What does the shape of a Minneapolis stripper’s naked bottom have in common with a landmark of English finance? And how is it possible that the color of the roadside prostitutes in Italy can harbor any implications for the ability of a New York woman to stay home with her children? The point of commonality, as it happens, is historical patterns of migration.

In 1990, Umberto Eco wrote an article titled “Migrazioni”, which was published in L’Espresso. In that essay, he presciently noted that what Europe was undergoing at that time was not a phenomenon of immigration, but of migration. The difference is significant and one of degree—an individual can immigrate or emigrate, but only a people migrate.

Eco observed that migrations result in inexorable changes to the region of destination, changes to the normal form of dress as well as changes to the color of skin, eyes and hair. A secular humanist in good standing, he adroitly avoids committing the grand faux pas of criticizing this hybridization, fatalistically accepting the inevitability of a new Afro-European culture. For to even hint at criticism would, of course, be crude racist ethnocentrism of the first degree, and not even the reputation of one of the world’s leading intellectuals could survive accusations of that.

But what the great dottore mentions only in passing, and what the defenders of the diversity faith avoid discussing like sorority girls pretending not to hear a bulimic sister purging her caloric sins in the neighboring stall, is that changes to the political culture as well as the physical mean are likewise unavoidable. For 40 years, the people of nations such as Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom believed it was possible to bring Muslim immigrants into their countries in order to replace their declining workforces. They believed their governing elite’s assurances that prolonged exposure to the French or English way of life would suffice to turn these immigrants into ersatz Frenchmen or Englishmen.

What they did not realize was that their governments were not permitting immigration, but were instead inspiring a mass migration. Now, there are demands for Sharia in the land which once mobilized against a Catholic armada, the French are showing signs of wishing to revive Maurice Papon’s practice of baptizing Algerians in the Seine and even the notoriously tolerant Dutch are beginning to question the once-sacrosanct notion that all cultures are created equal.

While in the United States, Islam is still an issue of immigration, not migration, this does not mean that Americans are not facing their own migrational challenge. With the importation of 30 million immigrants of varying degrees of legality in the last 35 years, most from Spanish-speaking countries that have never known individual liberty or free markets, combined with 34 million native women listening to the siren song of feminism and putting family life on the back burner, the probability that America will be able to retain its unique political identity and the tattered remnants of its Constitution are rapidly decreasing.

For example, the vast majority of native-born Americans of African and European descent consider the notion of a supranational American Union with Canada, Mexico and various Central American countries to be unthinkable and would oppose it if they recognized it to be the natural progression from NAFTA and the FTAA. But is the same true of the growing Spanish-speaking population across the Southwest, an outspoken segment of which is already calling for closer ties with Mexico? As recent events in Afghanistan and the Palestinian Authority have demonstrated to all and sundry, democratic institutions are not capable, by themselves, of moderating ideology, religion or cultural identification.

It is unlikely that Europe can solve its demographic problems without violence—Eco seems uncharacteristically untroubled when he notes that periods of mass migrations are not known for being peaceful—but it is not necessarily too late for the United States. The answer is simple, but it will require inspired leadership that is conspicuously lacking today. If America is to remain America, sovereign, liberal and free, then her people must completely turn away from the ideologies of multiculturalism, immigrationism and feminism. If they do not—and continue on the present path—she will not be sovereign, liberal or free within four decades.

This country, like her Old World progenitors, stands on the brink of precipitate change. In embracing the rainbow, America has been engulfed in its lethally mutating rays and the resulting cancer will surely kill her if it is not removed in the near future.


She’s got THE POWER

A book review of The Power by Naomi Alderman by an author who shall remain nameless.

One of my favorite hobbies is asking just what would happen if humanity encountered an ‘Outside Context Problem,’ something that would change our society in unpredictable ways.  The return of magic, first contact with an alien race … it doesn’t even have to be something completely out of this world.  How many early writers – Rand, Asimov, Doc Smith – failed to anticipate the birth of the microchip, the internet, smartphones … things that have already reshaped parts of our society?  What next will change the world?

The Power asks just such a question.  And, in many ways, the answers are disturbing.

The basic premise of The Power is that, all over the world, teenage girls are developing the ability to generate and channel bursts of electricity.  (Not unlike electric eels.)  The ‘power’ can push someone away … or kill them.  Furthermore, younger women can awaken the power in older ones.  The handful of early ‘awakenings’ rapidly becomes a river, then a flood.  The Power makes its way around the world before human society quite realizes what is going on, chaos following in its wake.

The story is told through four viewpoint characters – Margot, an American politician; Roxy, the daughter of a British gangster; Allie/Eve, an American runaway; Tunde, a student who becomes a roving reporter.  All four of them have their lives uprooted and reshaped by the Power – Margot starts climbing the latter to the very top, Roxy takes over her father’s ‘business,’ Allie/Eve founds a whole new religion and Tunde documents everything, travelling the world to film the effects the Power.

Beyond this, The Power is framed as a historical novel written in the far future (perhaps not unlike The Handmaid’s Tale, although it has been years since I read it.)  I actually forgot this as I started reading the main story, only to be reminded of it at the end.  The author deserves full credit for this as the epilogue explains some of the odder parts of the story, the bits that didn’t quite make sense.  But I’ll get to that in a moment.

The Power presents itself as an ‘event’ story – it tries to touch on the lives of all four characters and tell a global story.  And it does, to a very large extent, a very good job – three of the main characters remain localized, while the fourth walks the world and provides a global perspective.

Indeed, Alderman deserves credit for not forgetting that there is a world outside the US and UK (she’s British).  The Power causes disturbances in America – Britain doesn’t seem to be so badly affected, at least at first – but it causes immediate upheaval in places like Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and India.  Alderman has no truck with the belief that women are uniquely oppressed in the West.  Saudi women, feeling their strength for the first time, rise up against the religious police and a social structure bent on keeping women firmly under control.  In India, women make shows of force against rape culture; in the Balkans, women trafficked and sold into slavery fight back, first against the traffickers themselves and then against their entire society.

I’ve heard the book described as a SJW rant.  It is not.  Alderman clearly does not believe that a world run by women would be a kinder, gentler place.  Given power – the Power – women can be just as bad as men, if not worse.  Throughout the second half of the book, as the world starts to slip further and further off its axis, it becomes clear that the Power is something akin to a drug.  Women can get drunk with power, just like men.  And the results can be just as devastating.

Alderman does very well in presenting a world where some societies have fragmented and others have an uneasy sense that they’re on thin ice, trying to find ways to tame or remove the Power before it’s too late.  I wish, in many ways, that she’d actually written a longer book, because the details are fascinating.  On the other hand, it would be easy to get lost in detail if there was more of it.

On the other hand, there is something subtly wrong about the main characters.  It actually took me some time to put my finger on the true fridge brilliance.  The Power doesn’t just feature a change in human biology, it predicts a change in human nature itself.  The three female characters become more and more like men as they go along – Margot starts out as a likeable character, then devolves into a parody of a powerful and untouchable man.  Indeed, the roles have reversed themselves completely.  Roxy, midway through the book, recounts being molested as a child and how her gangster father taught the bastard a lesson; later on, it is Roxy who avenges her brother after he is raped.  By the end of the book, the reversal is striking – women act like bad parodies of men and vice versa.

This also leads to another deconstruction – deliberate or otherwise – of the ‘all girls want bad boys’ trope.  Tunde’s early reaction to encountering the Power has a lot in common with female scenes from bad bodice-rippers (or Twilight, for that matter); he is poised between arousal and fear.  And while the idea of having a super-strong vampire stalker or a millionaire with a BDSM kink for a boyfriend may sound cool, it doesn’t take long for the real unpleasant implications to sink in.  Alderman may well be pointing out the true dangers of the trope – it blinds Tunde to the danger of losing his rights and freedom until it is almost too late.  

Indeed, there is an air of inevitability about the ending.  I found that annoying at first, then I was reminded that the whole thing is presented as a historical novel, written by a man in a matriarchal society.   The outcome, as far as he is concerned, is preordained.  Indeed, the social collapse at the end of The Power is so far in the past that the male-dominated world is believed to be a myth.  They literally don’t believe in it, to the point where the female editor regards the male writer with amused condensation.

I don’t know how likely that actually is to happen.  Our society took the shape it did for many reasons, not just male physical strength.  But if you smash human society into fragments, what takes its place might be very different.

One of the odder aspects lies in the legal response to the Power.  One (American) politician insists that women with the Power are effectively comparable to people walking around with loaded guns.  He wants them banned from government offices.  Alderman clearly wants us to draw a comparison between the Power and male strength, but there is a legal response to physical assault.  A man who attacks his co-worker – male or female – will be arrested, tried and imprisoned.  Why would this be different when a woman attacks her co-worker with the Power?  On the other hand, Alderman could have been pointing out the fallacy of the ‘I couldn’t control myself’ argument.

Another odder point lies in politics.  Margot did very well when it came to handling the early problems caused by the Day of the Girls.  She certainly had an excellent opportunity to parley her success into greater political power.  Men – and women too, I think – admire movers, shakers and … achievers.  (Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, love them or hate them, were definitely achievers; Hillary Clinton conspicuously was not.)  Margot made a series of correct calls and her political career benefited.  On the other hand, she semi-accidentally attacked her opponent during a political debate and won anyway.  Even she wonders at her victory after that.  I am unaware of any American politician in recent history who did anything of the sort and got away with it.

And, in the end, I couldn’t help wondering if Alderman was commenting on identity politics too.

Most historical societies operated on the rule of force – the strong issued the orders and the weak did as they were told or got thumped.  The ideal of the West is something different – the rule of law.  Our society is based on the legal principle that all are equal before the law, regardless of every little detail.  This is true equality.  Feminists – and everyone representing a marginalized group – should be very careful not to imperil this.  This is the bedrock of our society.

Identity politics are gnawing away at our vitals.  If the group identity of a criminal is more important than the personal identity, we lose.  If one group is seen to have power and privileges that other groups lack, those groups will demand it for themselves and/or turn against the whole concept.  The recent attempt to brand people who didn’t make eye contact as racist, for example, was so stupid that people could be forgiven for ignoring all suggestions of racism forever.  They might not be right, but they would have a point.  This, perhaps, is the true problem facing modern-day feminism.  It’s in danger of losing sight of what is truly important.

Alderman, in an interview, proposes that every girl be given self-defense training.  It is actually a very good suggestion, one that feminists should adopt.  When seconds count, help is minutes away.  It’s certainly a more practical suggestion than many others I’ve seen from Social Justice Warriors.  The men who pay attention when they’re told not to rape aren’t the ones who need the lessons.  What are you going to do about them?  Or about women who make fake accusations of rape, casting doubt on genuine reports?

Several other reviewers have commented on other aspects of the book.  It largely ignores race and makes little mention of transgenders.  (Of course, a crueler society might mock the transgendered rather than taking them seriously.  Argus Fitch can self-identify as a wizard, if he wishes, but he’ll be lucky if he only gets laughed at.)  Truthfully, The Power covers so much ground – in a relatively small book – that I don’t blame Alderman for not touching on everything.

Overall, The Power is a thought-provoking book … although there is plenty of room to disagree with some of the answers!  I don’t generally like the present tense format Alderman used, but she made it work.  The letters framing the story are amusing, yet bitterly ironic.  On the other hand, a cynic might argue that the true moral of the book – and of a society ruled by force – is that the world is always divided into ‘victims’ and ‘victimizers’ and that it is better to be a ‘victimizer’ than a ‘victim.’

Personally, I consider that rather sad.  And it is a demonstration of precisely why we need the rule of law.


No gods, only reviews

If you like action SF/F but haven’t checked out Kai Wai Cheah’s NO GODS, ONLY DAIMONS yet, you really should. This is why:

  • Great book, that took a surprising twist on the usual mixing of Urban Fantasy and Military cloak and dagger genre, plus a bit of alternate history. I”ll need to re-read it because there is a lot under the surface of this hard to put down well written book. The author is from Singapore and if I had not read the author notes, I would have had no idea. The action is fast paced and it reminded me of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series that is just a fun read, but with a much more sophisticated, serious world view.
  • It was a fun book, I enjoyed reading it. The action scenes were exciting, fun to follow and the book quickly moved from point to point without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.
  • Mr. Cheah wrote a very good military spy/thriller, of the type that pulls you into intense action. The key difference is that he wrote the book for an alternate Earth where sufficiently advanced technology and sufficiently subtle magic become impossible to distinguish from each other. Following World War III, the Atlantic Alliance (Hesperia and its partners) face Persia and Musafiria. Both sides are armed with advanced weapons and alchemical elements aetherium and nythium. But the Persians also use ifriti and djinni like machine guns and cannon, and they seek stronger weapons from other realities. Think of Clancy and Thor novels wrapped into a supernatural setting.
  • I would compare this favorably with Larry Correia’s “Monster Hunter” series – action oriented, lots of weapons, but with supernatural elements. If you liked his books, you will like this book. I am definitely looking forward to the sequels from this exciting new author!
  • Here’s the Cliff’s Notes: it’s a magical universe Splinter Cell meets From Paris With Love, starring Harry Dresden if Harry had joined the Army instead of moping around Chicago letting policewomen punch him in the face. The plot is ripped from next Tuesday’s headlines, not that that’s a bad thing.
It’s available at the Castalia House bookstore as well as on Amazon.
EXCERPT:

“The three Musafireen are moving out,” I said. “The one in the middle with the suitcase is likely Selim.”
“Do we follow him?” Eve asked.
“Stand by.”
Moments later, the other two Musafireen threw money down on the table and left.
“Brick, the other two guys are following Selim. They are exiting now. Target has a four-man PSD.”
“Roger,” Pete replied. “I have eyes on them. They are turning left—your left—and are heading down the street.”
“Got it. Eve, let’s go. Get to the car.”
Eve and I packed up and headed out the door. The wait staff couldn’t stop us; we’d already paid. Eve had parked her car down the road on the other side of the street. As we power-walked to her sedan, Pete maintained a running commentary. The Musafireen turned left at a street junction. I got into the shotgun seat, Eve took the wheel, and she slid out from between a pair of cars.
“I don’t like these odds,” Eve said. “What’s the plan?”
“We hit them in transit,” I said.
“This is a public area. There will be witnesses.”
“If we let them return to their safe house, they can hole up in there, possibly access better firepower. This is the best of our bad options.”
“Fisher, they’re splitting up,” Brick reported. “Selim and two guys are going into a red BMW. Selim in the rear seats, PSD in front. The other two are entering a green coupe. Looks like they are forming a two-car convoy, with the coupe in the lead. Can’t make out license plates from this angle.”
“Sonofabitch,” I muttered under my breath. With two vehicles in play, it would become exponentially harder to set up an ambush—and much easier for them to spot and lose us. “Eve, speed up. Brick, we have to take them now. Circle around the block and set up for a side-on intercept. Hit the BMW. Say again, BMW.”
“Fisher, copy that. I’ll have to drive past them and set up ahead of the targets.”
“Acknowledged. Eve, get on them now.”
We took the left turn. The target convoy was dead ahead. Pete drove past them and turned right at the junction down the road.
So, of course, the cars turned left.
“Brick, the convoy turned left,” I said. “You’re going to have to circle around again.”
“Roger.”
Eve kept three car lengths away from the convoy. Cars and bikes slipped in to fill the gap between us. The convoy passed a couple of streets, steadily overtaking vehicles ahead of them. I continued radioing the targets’ movements, silently urging Pete forward.
“Fisher, Brick. I’m parallel to their track.”
“Roger that. They are coming up to another crossroads. Lights are turning yellow. Set up now.”
The cars ahead slowed to a stop. The BMW and the coupe slid out the lane, slipping into the gap between cars, and sped for the lights. It was a standard countersurveillance tactic: anybody who followed them was guaranteed to be a threat.
“Brick! They’re gonna run the lights!” I warned. “You ready?”
“Hell yeah!”
The convoy ran the lights. The coupe passed the intersection. Seconds later, Pete’s van shot in, striking the BMW’s trunk. The car spun uncontrollably and skidded to a halt. Pete hit the brakes, easing into a tight J-turn.
Eve didn’t dally. She broke out of the lane and rammed her way through. The car jolted and shuddered. Side view mirrors broke off and flew past the window. Breaking free, she jammed the brakes, bringing us to a sudden, skidding, stop.
“Go! Go! Go!” I called, opening the door.
KTISTES NIKA!” Eve screamed unexpectedly.
What was that?
I drew my pistol in one hand, flashlight in the other, then raised the light high and clicked it on. A man staggered out from the driver’s seat of the BMW. Not Selim. I pumped four rounds into his upper torso and face. Eve fired a burst too. He dropped.
A second threat jumped out the front passenger side. Pete lit him up, first with his light and then with his pistol. Four shots later, he went down.
We sprinted towards the BMW. I swept the car with my light and gun. Selim was in the rear, curled up into his seat. I closed in on him. Eve was to my left. I yanked the door open, and we put our guns in his face.

SJWs will SJW

The latest 5-star review of SJWs Always Lie:

My friend told me he ‘didn’t mind me’ reading this ‘as long as I didn’t pay for it’ (his words)

First off, I’d like to dedicate this review to an acquaintance named Ryan, who demonstrated a neighborly concern for my finances when he discovered I was reading this book.

“I truly hope you didn’t give that man money,” he said.

My response: “I have never been shy about my willingness to read anything by anyone, no matter the stigma attached to the author or subject.”

“I don’t mind you reading it. I just hope you didn’t pay for it.”

‘I don’t mind you reading it.’ That was big of him to permit my appraisal of this ‘problematic’ tome, wasn’t it? Typical SJW response. He said nothing of value in outlining his hatred for Vox Day, rather he responded with such vitriol in the hopes of currying favor with the countercultural overlords who supply his alcohol at a convention every November.

As such, I’m not too concerned with how peers might judge me for this review, because I’ve actually read the book while they treat it with the same icy contempt as a fundamental Christian would an Iron Maiden record in the 80’s. My first loyalty is with books, not literary cliques. Books by authors of every color, gender, inclination, religious or political persuasion, historical paradigm or fictional conceit. In short, the very same diversity they claim to embody.

I can’t find it within me to stigmatize a book that draws from resources as rich as Aristotle’s Rhetoric and lectures proffered by military strategists. Real men born for the battlefield.

This book also provides great examples of how detrimental the enforcement of diversity can be to not just a workplace, but a nation. Not because diversity is a bad idea in and of itself, but because it is unenforceable.

Aristotle once said “Before some audiences, not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct.”

When you throw the words ‘misogynist’, ‘racist’ and ‘homophobe’ around every single day over anything from a statement taken out of context to a critic panning a movie or a work of fiction not having enough diversity, these words lose their meaning. You cry wolf enough times, guess what? People stop taking you seriously. It’s both sad and farcical that these significant words have entered the every day vernacular. You’re not responding to modern day events. You’re responding to history, and history doesn’t answer to you no matter how much you grit your teeth or stomp your feet.

I especially appreciated the satirical scenario Vox wrote in the middle of the book in which the SJW and the anti-SJW engage in a duel of honor, moderated by a fence sitter who kept giving the SJW extra shots because he couldn’t control the gun. Hilarious.

With all of this being said, I don’t share all of Vox’s convictions and don’t follow how he arrives at some of these conclusions, but even if I listed them, his detractors would only focus on the positives referenced above.

What I find noteworthy about this is the reliable SJW focus on attempting to deny resources to non-SJWs.  The ebook sells for $5.99. A reasonable share of that massive amount comes to me. Yet the SJW will actively seek to deny even the most trivial sum, literally a dollar or two, to anyone who questions the Narrative. And you think they won’t gun for your job if you neglect to abase yourself and mouth the current dogma on demand?

Is it any wonder that, once they harbor sufficient power, they inevitably start killing people? For all that they constantly scream about fairness and justice, they grant no mercy and they give no quarter.

And, of course, as the book observes, they always lie. The reviewer’s acquaintance most certainly did mind him reading it, but he wanted to strike a reasonable posture so as not to alienate the moderate. But we know perfectly well that SJWs very much mind people reading SJWAL, which is why they post fake reviews about it attempting to dissuade people from doing so.

We are in a cultural war. Do not grant them any ground, because if you give them an inch they will immediately try to take a mile. Do not grant them any consideration or mercy, because absolutely none will be given to you. There is no benefit, however petty, that they will not seek to deny you.


Two reviews

In case you happen to be new around these parts, I do occasionally commit the fiction.



Arts of Dark and Light Book 1, A THRONE OF BONES:

I’ll never forget reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy one childhood summer. I was hooked on fantasy novels and read many series over the years. Eventually it started to get repetitive and I stopped reading the genre. After a long break, I read AsoIaF and found them interesting in that they were something different in the realm of fantasy stories. Although AsoIaF is a bit meandering and exhausting at times.


I have to say, A Throne of Bones really took it up a notch. The writing style has a nice precision to it, which I found refreshing. The battle scenes are the best I’ve ever read. I felt immersed in the battles from a strategic and tactical point of view. I wouldn’t have thought it until I read it, but Romans, Vikings, and a French monarchy set in a world with magic, elves, orcs, and such works flawlessly. The story has an excellent pace and never meanders.


This is a gem, and now I can’t wait to read A Sea of Skulls.


Thanks for a great book. So when is the mini-series?





Arts of Dark and Light Book 2, A SEA OF SKULLS:

Why did it take me so long to find Vox Day? What a great storyteller this man is, a grand master of multiverse chess.


After Summa Elvetica, I was hooked on this universe that Vox Day graciously shared with us all, the fantasy world of Tolkien creatures, the nobility and callousness of the Roman Republic and the grace and liveliness of the church as it might have been. It is a powerful mix, skillfully woven with terrific battle sequences and complex characters. In another review of his work, I mentioned the breadcrumb trails he leaves us in the past, in the characters and their relationships, in the objects that go from hand to hand and place to place. Day is the Master, with a deep understanding of the details of back stories and future lives of all the inhabitants and the reader is at his mercy, racing through the adventure at break neck speed.


There are no one-dimensional characters here. The prologue features a disturbing attack from the victims point of view and many chapters later, the same attack is remembered from the attackers point of view. We hear and see real human pain, but much later, we watch the orc trying to nurse his burned body back to use through his pain and fear. We see the humanity of a once enslaved dwarf and the inhumanity of ambitious men.


I’ve read some comments about this book that complain that it is nothing but filler material. I completely disagree. There is no great resolution offered in Book 2, but these characters matter more to me now, they have had their story lines filled out and are moving on to their great moment. Civilizations must fall in Book 3, but those Civilizations are fully fleshed now. The pieces are all on the board.


And the Grand Master of this universe will soon show us his great game.