Orion’s Cold Fire – The Origin Story

Now, you’re gonna have to bear with me for a bit.  This will be a rambling seemingly incoherent rant.  But I’ll try by the end to bring it back to the point.


Over the course of the last few years I have become aware of the range of “philosophies” and personalities that exists on the right wing.  I do not have an exhaustive knowledge of all the players, nor do I want or need to.  I think it would be fair to say these personalities run the gamut from extremely sober to raving lunatic.  And over the course of the last few years this has given me reason to pause and consider how or if I fit in with this spectrum of individuals.  Surprisingly, I have learned that not all the serious individuals are right and not all of the nuts are wrong.  Now, that doesn’t make it easy to commune with the lunatics.  In fact, most of the time you probably shouldn’t.  Lunatics tend to the mercurial and don’t always play well with others.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear what they are saying.  And by the same token, the sober guys may be charming and polite individuals but listening to them may be counter-productive.  Especially if they are extremely clever.  Sophistry can be highly entertaining and unfortunately also highly deceptive.  To my mind that is kind of how we got where we are now.  Cheerleaders for supposedly conservative ideas convinced a lot of people that the Bushes and John McCain and Mitt Romney knew what the word conservative means.  That was sophistry.


So, the people you agree with logically aren’t the same as the people you enjoy listening to.  What that means is that you tend to have to compartmentalize your relationships.  Some people you can discuss your political beliefs with easily and other people you can’t.  Some people are fun to discuss zombie movies with and others only want to discuss the actual apocalypse.  It’s not the most comfortable arrangement imaginable.  It’s sometimes annoying.  And it’s the way things are going to be for the foreseeable future.  Trying to avoid this reality will lead to trouble.  For example, suppose you have a good friend who likes the same sports you do.  The two of you can go to a ball game anytime and sit up in the stands and talk all day about Joe Dokes’ batting average or who the best relief pitcher is.  It’s great.  But if you try discussing politics with him you’ll end up in a shouting match and probably won’t want to get together for months.  Very not great.  And alternatively, you might know someone either in real life or on the web who you agree with politically almost completely.  The two of you can discuss politics and even cooperate on political action and other projects.  A mutually beneficial relationship.  But otherwise you have nothing in common.  You like country music he’s a gangsta rap enthusiast.  You like science fiction he reads books on playing golf.  Absolutely no common ground.  What about these two scenarios?

What about them?  There’s nothing wrong with either one.  They reflect the reality of the world around us.  You accept that division.


Now, of course, the best case scenario is when both spheres align.  Now you can talk about baseball and the revolution at the same time.  Better still, you can start a fantasy baseball league for right wingers!  And for something like baseball or hockey or NASCAR you might do quite well lining up people who fit both sides of the equation.  No problem!


But what if your interest is photography or science fiction?  Now it’s not so easy.  If you happen to be a photographer and also happen to not be a left winger you’re probably aware that the majority of photographers both professional and amateur skew pretty hard left.  As with a lot of the “creative” professions these people seem to be steeped in a bohemian, urban culture that is extremely hostile to right-wing values and individuals.  When I first got interested in photography I experienced this hostility over and over at a number of photography websites.  It was both on a subliminal level and also on a purposeful, even confrontational basis.  Whenever anything in the news offended the denizens of these sites it inevitably was dragged through the forum pages in the most strident and challenging terms.  Basically, it was a public challenge to deny the libel being foisted.  And interestingly if you succeeded in presenting a logical argument that was too convincing, the powers that be on the site were very likely to step in and either erase your posts (or force you to erase them) or ban you from the site altogether.  To say this was a sorry state of affairs would be an understatement.  The only way to coexist (what a loaded word) in such an environment would be to keep your mouth shut and ignore these virtue-signaling spasms.  You can only imagine how much fun that would be.  But there was no other way.  Eventually I found one website that had a policy that I found commendable.  They specifically forbade divisive discussions that involved non-photographic topics.  So, no political, racial, religious or ethnic discussions were allowed to drift into an argument.  It could be a little restrictive but it totally avoided the type of nonsense I was discussing above.  Interestingly, I could still tell which individuals would be the worst offenders if it was allowed.  They were always the ones being censured by the moderators.  And it never was anyone on the right being stopped.  Always rabid leftists.  You could tell they thought it was highly unfair that they were not allowed to lecture us all on the topic of the day.  I have to confess I took a good deal of delight in posting complaints against the worst offenders whenever I could.  But it was still only a grudging allowance of what was obviously a despised minority opinion.  I believe the site owner was a right-wing guy who found that, to avoid alienating the lefties, the best he could do was try to avoid all flash points.  He knew that the demographics were against him and he settled for this uneasy truce.  I still have great respect for the way he maintained that arrangement.  It was the best environment that existed for right-wing photographers that I ever found.

Another of my interests is (or was and now is again) science fiction and fantasy stories.  Growing up in the nineteen sixties and seventies I can remember finding all the classic books by the Golden Age authors and just eating that stuff up.  And there was all kinds of range to the quality of the stories.  Some were great and some were pretty bad.  And even as a kid I knew that.  And yet, I could still enjoy even the bad ones because at least they were of a kind.  They involved science and adventure and space flight and alien creatures and time travel and inter-dimensional mumbo-jumbo and especially cover art involving scantily clad green-skinned women.  Who could ask for anything more?  But as time passed and it moved into the late seventies something started to change.  Fantasy books weren’t about orcs and dwarves.  They were about nature spirits fighting back against modern western civilization to protect Mother Gaia.  And science fiction wasn’t about humans exploring the galaxy but sexually confused individuals exploring their various orifices.  And along with all these “improvements” was the overarching message that the most important problem that science fiction and fantasy needed to solve was how can we make books that no straight white men would want to read?

And I’ll be the first to admit they succeeded with a vengeance.  For a few years I still picked up new books and gave them a try.  But without a doubt something bad had happened.  It was like all the nit-wits who had made the sixties into a stinking hippie nightmare went off and got MFA’s and started writing sf&f.  And worse still they had taken over the publishing houses and the awards ceremonies and only allowed their own kind of stories to make it to the bookstore shelves.  Well, eventually I stopped trying and gave up on the genres.  I figured it was me.  I was no longer a child and I had to put away childish things.  But a few years ago, I read about the Sad Puppies.  I think the link was at PJ Media.  After reading about the Hugo Awards and the way nominations were only handed out to those who fit the club and wrote only right-think it all clicked.  I read all I could about the Puppies and started picking up some of their books.  And they were good!  Of course, not everything was great.  Some was just okay.  But all of it was recognizable as sf&f.  And there was a community of people who believed in writing stories and not social justice agit-prop.  And they had websites where like-minded individuals could talk and discuss writing and stuff they liked without having to get approval from the better sort.  And I heard them talk about what it used to be like before the Puppy movement, how everyone had to kowtow to the better sort and if you wanted to get ahead you had to like the right sort of stories and hold the right kind of ideas.  And how even if you went through this kabuki act you still had to wait your turn and if you had the wrong plumbing and skin tone chances were you wouldn’t ever get a shot at the brass ring.

But what really sounded familiar was how everyone had to hate the same things.  There was an orthodoxy and if you didn’t hate George Bush and the military and straight white men, then you were cast out.  And that I recognized.  It was the same group-think I had seen on the photography sites.  These were the same people.  The Artists.

And it got me thinking.  If the Puppies could do it for sf&f why couldn’t I make a photography site where right-wing opinion wasn’t something you had to hide.  Now I wasn’t looking for some kind of gated community where only right-wing right think was allowed.  But a place where I wouldn’t have to hear a two minute hate every time Donald Trump’s name was in the news.

So that’s kind of my whole reason for making this site in a nutshell ( a very long 1900 word nutshell).  I wanted this site to allow me to discuss right-wing issues both seriously and with a little humor.  That’s for all those folks who agree with me politically but don’t speak my language on hobbies.

And for those who happen to also have an interest in either sf&f or photography it’s a place where I could talk about those things.  And other general things like tv and movies and other culture topics with like-minded people.  So, if any of those things interest you stop by and have a look and leave a comment.

And finally after the revolution when I am elevated to the highest circles of the new order, hopefully in the movie version of my life story I’ll be played by Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin will play Camera Girl.  And they really should include “Angel in the Morning” in the soundtrack but absolutely nothing by Wham!  They really suck.

See I told you I’d bring it all back in the end.

September 11th Election Update

September 11th is too solemn a day for me to publish a Trump comedy. I’ll just sum up the bizarre combination that surrounds the events of this day and the impressions they leave. When September 11th 2001 occurred there was still the semblance of a united country. That has long since dissolved into a hodge podge of leftist grievance groups, disillusioned citizens and ignorant children. Watching as Clinton puts on the clown hat that Trump has momentarily dropped is tragically funny. To see the US presidency contested by two truly awful human beings and realize that in some sense each one is sort of what the country deserves is simultaneously enormously funny and heartbreakingly tragic.

But we have no choice but to see it through. As I’ve said before I look forward to the election’s completion.

If Clinton wins then I can read a eulogy over the United States of America. Hillary intends to appoint leftists to the Supreme Court and gut the 1st and 2nd amendments. That will more or less end the experiment started in 1776. It will also end my concerns with this sinking ship. After that I’ll just concentrate on me and mine and any like minded folks I find. Amen.

If Trump wins I’ll be almost disappointed because I won’t be out of my misery. I’ll still have to bang my head against the wall over the endless foibles of the lunatic asylum that Trump will usher in. But I guess the old saying about life and hope remains. So let’s say that would still be the more favorable outcome.

Anyway after the bizarre occurrences of Hillary’s fainting spell it’s not beyond possibility that the democrats end up with a different candidate. Maybe Fauxcahantas or Crazy Uncle Joe. Either way we are about to see a circus like nothing dreamed of before. Watching Trump berate the democrat candidate and the democrat moderators will be close to a Monty Python skit. After this morose and boring post I’ll try to uphold my plan of mock chronicling the election as a farce with all the mockery and sarcasm that both sides richly deserve. With any luck Trump will prevail and I’ll be able to continue the comedy in the inaugural season. If Hillary wins I’ll have to quit this project. Under her regime this writing would probably be a felony. I’ll move on to something more profitable (and less candid).

So stay tuned for the fun. I predict that Mr Trump will continue his fascination with popular culture and bring great enthusiasm and dignity to all of his endeavors. And since I’m currently fascinated by all things Deadpool I predict more mashups of the two. After all what better metaphor can there be for the current chain reaction pile-up that is our world than the opening scene of Deadpool with a slow motion view of a spinning, tumbling car crash complete with mayhem and bodies ejecting to their deaths all to the tune of Just Call Me Angel In the Morning?

The Dragon Awards Results

Well the winners were announced yesterday. You can see the official announcement here:


I’ll copy the results here:

Best Science Fiction Novel
Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm by John C. Wright

Best Fantasy Novel
Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia

Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
Hell’s Foundations Quiver by David Weber

Best Alternate History Novel
League of Dragons by Naomi Novak

Best Apocalyptic Novel
Ctrl Alt Revolt! by Nick Cole

Best Horror Novel
Souldancer by Brian Niemeier

Best Comic Book
Ms. Marvel

Best Graphic Novel
The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
Game of Thrones – HBO

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
The Martian

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC/Console Game
Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks

Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Mobile Game
Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks

Best Science Fiction of Fantasy Board Game
Pandemic: Legacy by ZMan Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures/Collectible Card/Role Playing Game
Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (7th edition) by Chaosium Inc.

So what do I think?  Great!!!

What’s not to love?  Oh sure, I have to disagree with picking The Martian over Deadpool for best movie, but you know, it’s just the movies and movies are for kids anyway.

So good for the Dragon Con folks for finally making SF&F great again

Some people are saying that the Dragons are to the People’s Choice Awards as the Hugos are to the Oscars.  I guess that’s supposed to be a put-down of the Dragons.  But I’ll take that analogy.  Have you seen the Oscars lately?  Every movie they award and most of the movies they nominate suck

You can do a lot worse than let people pick what they like.  At least it gives you a good indication of what they’re willing to spend their money on.  And that’s good news for the winners.  When a Con that musters 60,000 participants runs an award that can really put a lot of eyeballs on the results.  And that’s especially good for the newcomers and the smaller categories.  Excellent.

Congratulations to all of them.

But of course a bonus feature of the Dragons is who hates the results.  All the familiar cast of characters.   The Puppy-kickers one and all.   But happily they’re not gloating.  They’re exhibiting all the familiar characteristics of angry SJWs.  The three laws in full effect.  Their pets didn’t win.  Fraud, ballot box stuffing, skullduggery and possibly even flimflammerry!  Larry Correia!  Vox Day!  Puppies!!!

The administrators must be questioned and found guilty of serious offenses.  Pressure must be brought to bear on them to confess their sins and cleanse the awards of its populist taint.  Special Snowflake Fairy Dust must immediately be power sprayed onto the contest so that next year the requisite number of special categories will fill the winner’s circle with socially just empowerment.  They’re not following The Narrative!  Attention must be paid!!!

Or something like that.  Anyway, bravo Dragon winners.  Well done.   All in all, a nice holiday weekend treat.

Bring on the SFFexit

Trump vs October

Scene:  Trump home,  90th floor of New Trump Tower

Donald Trump (DT): Melania, Where’s my Halloween costume?

Melania Trump (MT): I don’t know schmoopy, what does it look like?

DT: It’s a Dead Pool costume, schmoopy.

MT: I do not know the Ned Poole.

DT: Not Ned Poole, Dead Pool. He’s a super hero who kills bad guys and makes fun of them at the same time. He’s a lot like me only poorer and he kills bad guys. Also he’s very popular. If I dress up like him I’m sure to get the youth vote.

MT: Okay, what does it look like.

DT: Well it’s your typical lycra spandex super hero suit with a mask that completely covers the face.

MT: Schmoopy, I don’t think spandex is your look.

DT: Don’t worry there is molded body armor underneath to … ummm? … contour my physique.

MT: Will it compensate for “small hands?”

DT: I have no idea what you’re talking about… but yes it will.

MT: But doesn’t covering your face detract from your biggest advantage?

DT: My stunning good looks?

MT: Uh… yeah that too, but I was thinking about your famousness.

DT: Already have it covered. The costume will be customized to show my hair.

MT: Okay good choice but I haven’t seen this costume in the 90th floor bedroom. Maybe it’s in the 88th floor closet or maybe the 97th floor closet.

DT: What the hell is going on around here? The system is breaking down. I need that costume right away. It’s almost Halloween and I have to start practicing my walk for the Halloween Presidential Debate Red Carpet stroll.

MT: But schmoopy that’s two whole months from now.

DT: I know but there’s a lot of preparation. I have to identify the rest of my entourage. I’m going to need a side-kick. I guess that’ll be Pence (oh boy!) and a super villian, probably dress Chris Christie up as Hillary (he’ll need some extra padding now), and a super hot girlfriend in a see-through skin-tight, topless thong arrangement.

MT: Well at least you don’t have to look for her. I have just the outfit, it’s perfect.

DT: Uh schmoopy I don’t think that’s a good idea.

MT: Why? Just because I’m gonna be the First Lady I can’t show off the merchandise.

DT: Uh … yeah, that’s it. But also for this occasion I’ll need to maximize the effect. I’ll need someone between twenty two and twenty two and a third years old. It’s been researched. I’m depending on getting the young nerd vote and any one older will turn them off.

MT: Oh!!! This politics is ruining our lives. You told me I had at least three more years before I’m too old for you! This is most unfair.

DT: No, no schmoopy, it’s made things better. After I win the election you’ll have at least four years. I’ll need to sew up the second term and it wouldn’t be smart to dump you in the middle of the campaign. You see, it’s a win/win.

MT: Oh schmoopy, you’re so smart. So tell me more about this Dead Pool. Why does he wear a mask? To hide his secret identity?

DT: No, he’s horribly disfigured. Boy I’m glad I’m not really him. It would be a terrible loss to the culture to lose this beautiful face. I mean think of it. If I weren’t this handsome I would never have been able to capture you.

MT: Huh? Oh yes, yes. That’s right. A girl needs a handsome face. That’s all, that’s all. Sure, sure. Uh listen schmoopy, I’ve got to go out right now I’m trying on a few platinum and emerald ball gowns for the Inauguration and I can’t decide whether they are too traditional. I’ll see you tonight in Sydney for the Opera.

DT: No can do schmoopy. I’ve got to get this Dead Pool thing straightened out. The election and the country are depending on me to get this right. Otherwise, disaster.

MT: Suit yourself. (Heads out the door.)

DT: …Now where was I? Oh yeah, (selects a contact on his phone and it rings). Hello Christie, yeah go ahead with the Hillary costume. I don’t care if powder blue makes your ass look big. And also I’ll need you to close up traffic on the George Washington Bridge for a few hours. Oh stop complaining you’re not gonna get re-elected anyway. If it makes a difference we won’t do it during rush hour. I need to be able to jump off one of the cables and crash through the roof of a car while playing “Just Call Me Angel In the Morning.” Why? You’re asking why?  Don’t you know anything about becoming President?

Dead Pool: A Short Movie Review

So, I’m not a comic book guy. I don’t have a dog in DC vs Marvel. I despise the X-Men. It seems to be some thinly disguised stand-in for every grievance group’s revenge wet dream (OUR SPECIALNESS IS OUR SUPER POWER!!!). Iron Man and Captain America have been fun. But it’s only a matter of time until Joss Whedon consigns them to gender re-assignment surgery and makes them a lesbian couple. Now they’ve even ruined Batman and Superman. All they do is whine and brood about how tough it is to be invulnerable or a billionaire. Wow.

So it is with great joy that I announce that there is at least one super hero who is having fun. Dead Pool. I’d never heard of him before this movie (remember, not a comic book guy). I heard some good word of mouth from friends so I was hopeful. But other than the fact that it wasn’t for kids I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Being hopelessly old, I rented the DVD from what used to be called Netflix and last night I watched it.

I’ll say from the very opening scene (which includes some very amusing credits) right up to the final credits it entertains the hell out of you. It’s funny, obscene, funny, violent, funny, clever and just plain funny. All the major characters and even some pretty minor ones are excellent. The action scenes are well done and exciting. The dialog is outstanding. The plot is pretty much the usual meaningless super-hero origin story but Dead Pool hasn’t decided that his suffering will elevate him to a noble avenger. He’s just a really pissed off jerk bent on revenge. It’s perfect.

His attitude toward everyone (good, bad or just bystander) is the same, “I’m gonna do some really dangerous stuff to kill a lot of people I really don’t like. Sorry I didn’t warn everyone else but I really don’t care because I’m basically a selfish jerk.” It’s wonderful.

One of the best features of the character is his constant mockery of movie conventions. At a certain point Dead Pool (played hilariously by Ryan Reynolds) recruits two X-Men characters to help him save his girl (portrayed by the still incredibly hot Firefly alumna, Morena Baccarin). But he does it with as little grace and gratitude as humanly possible. One of the X-Men characters is named ( I kid you not) Negasonic Teen Warhead and is a rather short girl with a slightly stubbly shaved head. Sort of the epitome of the surly teen girl super hero. He mocks her incessantly sometimes pretending she’s Sinead O’Connor. Then he taunts her thus, “Look! I’m a teenage girl! I’d rather be anywhere than here! I’m all about long, sullen silences, followed by mean comments, followed by more silences. So what’s it gonna be? Long, sullen silence or mean comment? Go on.” This may be the most refreshing thing I’ve seen in a sci-fi movie in twenty years.

All in all a first rate comic book movie presentation. Long live Dead Pool. I just wonder if a sequel is possible.