Let's face it: one of the surest signs that our political system is broken to the point of needing an entire truckload of Super Glue is when pols come crawling out of the woodwork to lessen the blow of sentencing of yet another Illinois "statesman" gone horribly wrong.
The man in question this time around is convicted fraudster and alleged serial pedophile Dennis Hastert. And one of his defenders is Tom DeLay, who may not be in prison anymore but still qualifies as high-grade pond scum - especially after putting up the mistletoe on this one.
Normally the cliché pretty much goes "it is to laugh", but that's far too polite for my mood. Try inserting the word "vomit" instead and you've got it just about right.
- Current Mood: pissed off
It takes a special kind of obnoxious to be John C. Wright these days.
It isn't just the past odd behavior he displayed towards an animated series that displayed approximately one moment of supposedly questionable morality that caused him to go completely nuts online. It's any number of things beyond that (a few of which are pointed out here), but the one that finally caused me to comment here is the wonderful, wonderful job he recently did sucking up to an especially unpalatable dipshit in order to apparently restart their mutual vendetta against "Puppy-kickers", which apparently includes anyone who chooses to crack open a SF novel that might not have been authored by the flatulent ghost of Benito Mussolini.
First things first, though. This is the tongue bath that he gives the unfathomable Mr. Beale as quoted in a post from File 770:
The Puppy-kickers are our ideological foes bent on replacing popular and well crafted sci fi tales with politically correct science-free and entertainment-free moping dreck that reads like something written by a highschool creative writing course dropout.
The Puppy-kickers have repeatedly and vehemently assured us assured us that soliciting votes from likeminded fans for stories you judge worthy was a “slate” and therefore was (for reasons not specified) totally and diabolically evil and wrong and bad, was not something insiders had been doing for decades, and was always totally inexcusable, except when they did it, and voted in a slate to grant ‘No Award’ to categories where they had lost their stranglehold over the nominations.
In that spirit, I hereby officially announce in my capacity as the Grand Inquisitor of the Evil Legion of Evil Authors, that the following list is the recommended reading list of our Darkest Lord only, and not a voting slate.
These are the recommendations of my editor, Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day, the most hated man in Science Fiction, but certainly the best editor I have had the pleasure to work with.
Wow. Pompous, self-servingly inaccurate and vitriolic. Three great tastes that taste great together.
Memo to John: there's an actual reason why Beale is so hated in SF circles. It's because he's done everything to destroy those same SF circles (ineptly and without success, but the effort is still there) as we know them. And because he's a vituperative fascist crank. On practically everything. I mean, you have actually read some of the stuff he's written in the past, right?
But beyond that, this is what gets me: a few weeks ago, David G. Hartwell passed away. As is pointed out in the File 770 link above, he was John C. Wright's editor at Tor Books - you know, the same Tor Books Wright now wants people to forget was his former publisher. Even Wright managed to come to his senses for once and was quite respectful of Hartwell after his death.
But now Beale is the best editor he's ever had the pleasure to work with, despite not possessing a single molecule of the same sort of talent Hartwell had, much less the graciousness.
Sure. Of course. Two birds of a feather, etc.
It just affirms that whatever resides under Wright's fedora, it's certainly not helping him to think.
Hugo winner: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (translation, Ken Liu), 2015
My take: in many ways, this is the exact opposite of what can be stereotypically termed an "action-packed" SF novel; the violence it depicts - although occasionally quite brutal, as with the opening chapter that occurs during the Cultural Revolution - is either in flashback form or so much at a remove from anything currently happening in the main plot of the novel that the violence is more of a news report than a direct threat to any of the main characters. That's not to say that Three-Body isn't full of menace. Without resorting to spoilers, the Trisolarans are one of the most ominous alien invasion forces recently dreamt up by an author specifically because they're so subtle in terms of strategy. They don't need death rays, UFOs or other varieties of traditional BEM-style super-weapon to deal with their future human antagonists because what they have in their arsenal is both so subtle as to be nearly invisible and so powerful that it could put humanity in a potential tailspin years before the invasion actually happens. But don't take my word for it; read the book.
Nuggety?: You really might want to re-read the previous paragraph if you think so.