I am a novelist with work published in science fiction, fantasy, mystery and historical "novelized biography". I've won the Prometheus award and the Dragon award. I also write under the names Elise Hyatt and Sarah D'Almeida. http://sarahahoyt.com/
“Quick. She went to answer the door,” the woman said.
He hesitated, by the blue glowing oval of the time portal “Are we sure we want to do this? She’s a minor author of no consequence, at the edge of the turmoils.”
The redhead, lifted her head from the time-scope. “Oh, come on, Bril, you know how hot all the antiques from the 21st century are. And the fact she was a minor celebrity helps.”
Bril sighed. Someday he would learn to say no to pretty women, but probably not today.
“Do the records show how long she is by the door?”
“Are you kidding? Most was lost in the turmoils. Just go.”
He hurried through the portal, shuddering as he crossed the time barrier. On the other side, he found himself in a small hall, filled with a bewildering number of boxes. The woman was at the door, speaking to a younger man.
He was so afraid she’d turn, he grabbed the first two objects he could reach and ran back.
Turned out what he’d brought back was a cup still filled with coffee — apparently King Harv’s Coffees Earth blend, if the timescope showed the package on her counter right — and a small sander.
The objects fetched a good price at auction, not the least for the possibility of recreating 21st century coffee, but also stray author-DNA on the cup’s rim. The sander fetched less.
But Bril and the girl got to watch the minor, irrelevant 21st century author wander the house cursing up a blue streak for losing her coffee and what she called the mouse sander.
“They sanded mice in the 21st century?” The redhead asked.
“I don’t know. The whole time was psychotic. That’s how we got the turmoils.”
“Yeah. Maybe. I’m glad I’m here with you now, instead, Bril,” the redhead said.
…. And that’s my story of what happened to my coffee cup and mouse sander yesterday morning, which we haven’t been able to locate no way no how. And we include a contractor who might have been sent as the answer to a prayer, so I don’t die doing this.
I’ll be going home for some portion of the weekend, to see my husband and cats, but I will try to post. This house will, unfortunately, probably take another week.
However a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders and things look doable.
Supposing we don’t go over the edge in the next month, we’ll be okay. So, fingers crossed.
Genies and bottles; Tigers and tails; and other Good Ideas that Bite – a guest post by LawDog
In 1998 a record-breaking settlement was reached against the tobacco companies for providing a still-legal product to consumers.
Shortly thereafter, and citing the tobacco settlement, litigation started regarding ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke, or “Second Hand Smoke”). This boils down to: Joe smokes; Frank doesn’t. Frank decides that Joe’s smoking has harmed him in some nebulous way, so Frank sues the tobacco companies.
Let me state that again: Frank sues the tobacco companies for providing a perfectly legal product to Joe. The end game is clear: some folks don’t like tobacco. They can’t get this legal product made unlawful, but they discovered they can litigate it to the point that the producers can’t afford to supply it anymore. Voila! Banning a product, without the cumbersome, uncertain process of making it unlawful!
Anyone following the gun debate in this country knows that the current hotness is suing the gun manufacturers. Joe acquires a gun, does something tragic with it. Frank gets a case of the hips, fails to sue the critter, you know, who pulled the trigger, instead he sues the gun manufacturer for providing a perfectly legal product to someone (someone, not Frank).
Again, the endgame on this is clear: the gun banners can’t get guns made illegal, but … if they can litigate this perfectly legal product to the point that the gun makers can’t afford to make guns anymore … well, they don’t have to try to get politicians to make them illegal, do they? Voila! Banning a legal product without, you know, banning it.
If you’re following the watermelons, you’ve no doubt heard of the lawsuits being filed against the petroleum companies for “Global Climate Disruption”. Several dozen, as I write this, filed by various and sundry individuals and politicians.
As above, it boils down to the fact that fossils fuels are not going to be prohibited. However, if it becomes too expensive to produce this perfectly legal product … So, several hundred million Joes are driving their cars around, or flying in planes, or heating their homes with dinosaur squeezins, or using plastic products, so Frank sues the petroleum companies.
As is the case with the examples above, the desired result is not any recompense for damages to Frank, the desired end result is to litigate the petroleum industry out of business, and thus ban perfectly legal petroleum without, you know … banning it.
Got a feel for lawfare now? You think a legal product/service shouldn’t be legal. You don’t have enough votes to convince politicians to make laws against the product/service, but if you sue enough, sooner or later a sympathetic jury will make it too expensive for the product/service to be provided. It’s a nifty little legal end run around American lawmaking.
Now let us cast our eyes to Texas, where some State lawmakers decided that “Sauce for the gander being sauce for the goose and all that”, hauled off and made it official that Francine could sue the legal provider of a service used by Jo-Betsy.
Cue the wailing, the vapours, and the rending of garments. And more than a bit of teeth-gnashing.
One of the juvenile traits of the American Left that tends to stick in my craw is their tendency to gleefully go for the political/legal nukes against the “loyal opposition”, but then squalling like kicked pups when those same nukes get used against them.
Case in point: The Democratic Party holding multiple solemn press conferences when they did away with the 67% of the Senate to approve a Presidential nominee; replacing it with a simple majority. The worm turned, and the Republicans stated approving nominees with a simple majority, and the Democrats screamed bloody blue murder. Y’all set the damned precedent, quit whinging.
I’m here to tell you that the Venn diagram of folks who think the gun makers should be sued out of business; and those who think that the petroleum companies being litigated out of business is perfectly okay is damned near a perfect circle with the “My Body My Choice” crowd.
Y’all grabbed this tiger by the tail and used it to savage people you didn’t agree with. Now it’s biting you. I find myself completely unmoved by your protestations. You uncorked the genie and used it against the politically icky, and now that it’s at your door, you’re screaming about how unfair it is. Wah.
Y’all set the damned precedent for this law, and continue to do so. I have no sympathy.
This is your wakeup call: Stop using the courts to get around Congress.
I woke up at almost four am with horrors. In this case it was an infinite sense of grief and loss, like I’d just seen a loved one die before my eyes. And it wouldn’t dissipate. It just wouldn’t.
Eventually I picked up the computer and started poking around. Anything not to be alone, with that sense of dread. Which considering how tired I am… (And yes, I have thought it is a mercy of the Lord that I’m in this endless project right now, kind of like being laid down with a fever when you’d otherwise go berserk. Though the fact Dan is moving tomorrow and we will follow when this is done (there are reasons) doesn’t help. This is no time to have the family separated.)
I think — hope, rather — it was just the date. That’s bad enough.
But the events since January have left us open to a lot of other attacks that are similar or worse. I won’t list them. You’re political junkies. You know.
Though the sheep on the street might not get it, our government is acting in a way that will bring attacks on us in a thousand ways in the next ten years. Children playing today will die because of this idiocy which they won’t even be aware of.
Even the first nine eleven shouldn’t have happened save for institutions that consider Americans the real enemy.
For me? I can’t believe it’s been twenty years, or the friends — entire circles of them who went insane in this time.
Even if my stand didn’t make them froth at the mouth, our views of the world would be too different.
There is a world in which 9/11 never happened, and I’m writing my stories, and no one has any clue what my politics are. It’s not the world I have to live in.
Perhaps better, perhaps not. To quote the song linked above “I wouldn’t know; I’m just holding the fort. Since that day they wounded New York.”
But where we are twenty years in, it’s time to remember we’re Americans. Sure, our government is worse than poisoned wet kleenex when it comes to protecting us, and we might have to protect ourselves from it.
But we’re Americans. Land of the Brave, home of the Free. Not because our government and laws make it so, but because we are.
Remember we have heroes in whose footsteps we can follow, too.
WE THE PEOPLE. WE. WE THE PEOPLE OF THESE UNITED STATES, having suffered a long train of abuses and infringements, Biden Junta, are at our wits end with your fuckery.
But your FICUS (Fraud in chief of the US) is not a we. He’s probably not even an I, being an empty shell of a depraved, self-serving, immensely stupid, bizarrely short sighted, blatantly corrupt, insanely malignant piece of shit man. Which is why I’m not in the least chagrined that you’re using him as a demented meat puppet who mutters and mumbles about having his butt wiped. It’s like a Victorian play where bad people come to rotten ends.
BUT YOU malignant Junta of a malignant pretend-president installed by China over our fair land are NOT a we. Not unless you’re a we in the sense that you’re a hive creature, full of malice and evil and with no resemblance of humanity. If that’s what you’re saying, then let us hear it. Because we know how to deal with hive minds. We’ll bring DDT back into use!
Or in other words — and in case you can’t tell my fingers are almost shaking too much to type — get a load of this bitch:
“Our patience is wearing thin?” Our, you scrofulous bitch of a Xi dog? OUR?
Who the holy fuck do you think you are, you evil bastards?
WE THE PEOPLE ARE SICK AND TIRED of your shennenigans. You hell hounds, you filthy spawn of the ass of Mao, you disgusting magots on the corpse of communism. Get back to the hell that created you, before we send you there.
To quote a friend in chat a few minutes ago:
“Yes, yes. Strife, death, societal collapse. If my options are those things vs a fascist or communist, I’m on board with strife and death. Hell, I’ll invite Death to tea and serve him fancy cookies.”
I might even serve him the fancy store bought cookies.
Do not threaten Americans. Do not threaten Americans when our patience is already thin. OUR patience.
You’re not our father, you’re not our mother, and you’re most certainly not our president.
You are at best a demented and corrupt despot manipulated by overgrown children who don’t know they’re playing with nuclear fire.
DO NOT THREATEN US. DO NOT TALK TO US. LEAVE. DEPART FROM OUR SIGHT, before we make you.
We suggest China for your (very brief) retirement.
You leave us a terrible mess, but Americans will cope. We always do. Which you would know if a single one of you were Americans in your minds and heart.
I was talking to Thomas Kendall (Yes, I know, I should give it up, it just makes me think and we all know where that leads) and he was on a lovely rang (just before he sent me the lovely rant that took up yesterday) and he blew up to the tune of “the problem is that the establishment– well, all of the establishment — got rid of our kind, if they could find us, and now they’re trying to replicate our creativity. And what we get is fifty seven genders and a dog named Binny, all of it so boring you fall asleep after the first two paragraphs.”
When I was done laughing, I joined the amen chorus, which is par for the course, but also part of a thesis I’ve expanded here in the past.
Look, creativity is weird.
No, I mean, really weird.
If you can create — really create, not just make the same thing but in black, or with more post-modernism, or more irony or whatever — and particularly if you have to create, you are by definition an Odd.
This never occurred to me, till I was in my teens, because of the family I came from. Part of the reason we might have been “poor as Job” (to quote my brother) but never noticed it, is that the family was creative. By which I don’t mean we were artistic. Oh, sure. The art was there, and some generations would go that way. My mom’s parents met on stage. My paternal grandmother’s father was a sculptor and also a singer (besides being a cattle drover in between. Don’t go there. Yes, Great grandfather was a proto-hipster.) And there painters, and poetry reappears again and again, like a recursive genetic illness. BUT–
But mom designed (and often made) clothes, and dad wrote (or declaimed off the cuff) poetry, and grandma made up stories to tell me, and both my grandfather’s were carpenters, but more importantly and above all else, we were good at “making.” Which meant if someone had an expensive whatchamacallit and we couldn’t afford it, and either wanted or needed it, we took scraps and bits, and a ten cent of nails, and we made it, by gum. Like mom seeing an expensive rack/shelf set to store fabric and thread, and making herself one from used cheese crates begged from the merchant across the street. Or the fact that my crafting as a kid often involved hand tinted paint, from discarded leftovers someone was throwing away. Or– You get the point. The family’s way of getting by was: get creative. Spending money only came if the creative didn’t work.
I was used to people extemporaneously creating whatever was needed, sometimes to imitate what we couldn’t afford, and sometimes dreamed up out of whole cloth. I THOUGHT all humans were that way.
Then when I was in middle school, we were given an assignment, to write a made-up legend. And all my classmates did was retell the last legend we’d read. AND THE TEACHER DIDN’T NOTICE. Worse, she looked at what I’d done, and accused me of plagiarism. Because it was so different from everything we’d studied and yet so well written/plausible, that she couldn’t believe I created it.
Took me some years to figure out that some people are not just stunningly non-creative. They don’t believe that anything new CAN be created.
Then there was the writing, where I had to reign in and bring it back to “what people expect” before I could sell. Not complaining about that. writing exists within certain boundaries.
Of course, when I did that, I felt like I was being stunningly uncreative, until a friend in the field told me I couldn’t write normal Urban Fantasy because I couldn’t create normal ANYTHING.
Took me even longer to figure out what she meant was that I was creative in a way she didn’t get. Which since this came from a creative professional was…. weird.
But most creative professionals aren’t that creative. Yes. Most of them are leftist too.
In fact, the fact leftists and “progressives” took over creative fields means that it’s almost impossible for really creative people to get in.
The idea that creative people are leftists, or primarily leftist is deranged. It’s born of the idea that leftism is somehow “rebellious.” Only of course, it’s not. Hasn’t been since FDR. In fact, that entire fable is one of those long-running-cons society has accepted.
Am I saying that politics flow from a certain political viewpoint?
Well, no. But I’m saying that creatives aren’t in general conventional anything.
Some of them are “leftist” in the sense they haven’t thought about it, and they get all their news from the MSM. Not in any other sense.
Those who parrot or ARDENTLY follow the ever changing party line can’t be creative. They can’t be creative because if they were they would occasionally accidentally create something that got them cancelled.
So, the creative fields, in the hand of the totalitarian group-thinkers, has slowly blackballed and pushed out any creatives.
Yes, there are exceptions. I might have found one of them in mystery. I’m listening, stunned they haven’t been blackballed. (They because it’s a team effort.) But they’re very rare.
Mostly, having run out all the Odds, and everyone consumed by the fires of creation, they’re left with people who have no idea what “creating” means, and dutifully invoke all the shiboleths of the sacred writ of Marx, then run it by the sensitivity reader. Yes, indeed. Fifty seven genders and a dog named Binny.
I mean, we’re talking about people who can make hot and heavy erotica BORING.
And now they’re in charge of everything else, including our economy and government.
This is bad. Of course it is. It’s very bad.
They don’t believe in creation, which is part of their devotion to redistribution.
But it is also an opportunity.
You see, they can’t create, they hate creation, but most of all, they don’t realize that people can create, or use things for …. um… off label uses, shall we say? And I’m not talking drugs.
We can. We Odds can’t avoid doing it. Kind of like my family when I was growing up, we create with careless largesse and without realizing it.
The hard thing is to stop us from creating.
…. they’ve tried. Oh, Lord they’ve tried.
Only it hasn’t worked. And we keep…. slipping through my fingers.
Therefore my friends, in this lethal pause between boxes? Let’s get creative.
I was talking to Sarah yesterday and I had a revelation I think is worth sharing.
Let’s begin at the beginning. About a month ago, Instapundit posted this.
Now, I’ve been thinking of the rise and fall of civilizations lately. I can’t think why it’s been on my mind. It’s a tale as old as time—a civilization emerges, establishes a new worthwhile order, the good things brought forth by said order soften up the people maintaining it, the softening turns to decadence, and the decadence gives way to the barbarians, who clean the slate. Where would you say things are lately?
Here’s a hint. A friend and I were discussing another observation that someone made in an article recently (I wish I could find the original. I’d give credit if I could find it). The basic idea is—
In short—the federal government of the United States of America has become impotent at almost all good things.
Expanded out—There is no start to its talents. It cannot maintain its borders. Since the “election” it doesn’t even try. No surprise there. It cannot maintain friendly relationships with allies—as our recent screwing of Britain on our way out of Afghanistan shows. The “leader” of the “free world” could not be bothered to pick up the phone for our closest ally. Speaking of Afghanistan, it can’t win a war. It can’t even lose gracefully. In fact it fucked up leaving so badly some people are entertaining that it intended to fuck it up, because how the fuck does somebody above the age of six not notice that pulling the military out first and the civilians out second is not even a remotely workable strategy? Resulting in leaving millions of dollars of equipment—and—excuse me, what? Millions of dollars of dollars in the desert? Fantastic.
It makes self sabotaging and idiotic choices to stymie its own domestic oil industry, while accepting a pipeline not from Canada, but one that’s a joint Russian-German venture instead. Which means the problem, contrary to any environmentalist whining, isn’t the pipeline—it’s the pipeline with a friendly country. Big surprise— its only true interest in the environment lies in international agreements that hamstring us while doing nothing to China, the world’s largest polluter. It either can’t be trusted on energy production and the environment, or is trying to get it wrong.
It can’t manage its economy. What could have been a “V” shaped recovery has been turned into an “L” shaped one. What could be contributing? Paying people to do nothing? Rampant inflation? Meanwhile all the dumbasses running the country can think of is spending several billion more dollars that don’t exist. The country has infrastructure problems for a fact, but they’ll only acknowledge that to the extent of cynically plastering the word on an “infrastructure” bill which is in fact just a far Left wishlist that largely ignores actual infrastructure, in the hopes people will be dumb enough to support it because it has the right label.
What aptitudes does it have besides taking money, trampling civil liberties, and ignoring constitutional laws at gunpoint? News flash, dummies: We don’t need peaceful protestors incarcerated without a trial. We don’t need the weight of the federal government turned to the problem of violating states rights because Texas passed a law Biden doesn’t like. We need military egresses that look like they weren’t planned by Bozo the clown and an economic plan better than something China would design for us as an attempt to permanently sink the country. Is there anyone at all in DC who can provide that? If not, is there anything useful they can do? I’ll wait.
And if you want to understand what decadence really means watch this. It’s been making the rounds for good reason. Behold, our advanced civilization! *shows a picture of a urinal*
For this shit, shit that makes even most Americans roll their eyes, which nobody at all takes seriously except dipshit Leftists who have reached the form of retardation accessible only to those with PhDs—for this we have spent 20 years sending American farm kids to their death in the sandbox? Did anyone tell them that before they signed up? I wish I could go back in time and do it. These were the ideals we were supposed to be standing for this whole time? These were the things we were going to inculcate in orthodox muslims? While giving them semi-automatic rifles and training on how to use them? Are you fucking kidding me right now?
This is what decadence looks like. When the government stops even attempting competence because nothing and nobody that currently exists can replace or displace them so who cares about results? When comfort and plenty have become so common, been taken for granted for so long, that the question of utility or even basic sanity isn’t even distantly considered. When it’s assumed that self-harming policies that will obviously damage the country won’t really matter because nobody has ever known a world without America and fundamentally has no idea how the present day came to be. When the country’s most educated start chasing bizarre and unimaginably stupid ideas on economics that boil down to “inflation won’t happen if you double the monetary supply by printing money, if only you just believe hard enough”. In fact, when education stops being a means to greater insight, more useful abilities, and a better life, and becomes a cult devoted to the kind of idiocy that can survive only with strenuous censorship, the tenets of the cult being treated by the indoctrinated as a collection of sacred mysteries and deeply-thought paradoxes— while to those not similarly trained it is self-obviously a collection of contradictory and self-serving lies.
Verily, decadence is here. We can infer that what comes next is the barbarians. And we have options. Mexican illegals? A heady mixture of poverty-stricken Marxists who have never known a system that wasn’t corrupt, functionally lawless, and devoted to the tenets of voting oneself rich; and outright criminals with lives like “a demon’s resumé”? Perhaps radical Muslims? By sheer numbers worldwide they’re the most likely option. The Taliban just got a huge infusion of cash and a big boost in morale. In a few short days we’ll know whether they’ve arranged a thank you gift for Zho Bi-Xen and his kleptocrat marching band to commemorate his intended pull-out date. But even if, and God I hope, they have not, we can expect an uptick in terrorism and quite shortly. Or perhaps China? The Middle Kingdom would laugh at being called barbarians, but I call genocidal communists like I see them. Mao was morally three steps below a pig and Xi has enough power to aspire to greater depths. As is I wouldn’t dream of feeding a pig Mu Shu Xi due to the great risk of poisoning the pig.
But there is a barbarian group not considered. Us.
Hang on. Before you balk, listen. Look again at what these idiots are selling as the fruits of civilization. Defenses of pedophilia and urinals as art. And more, too—sterilization and disfigurement of teenagers in the form of sex changes. Black supremacy as a panacea to made up threats of white supremacy. Books nobody reads, movies nobody watches, paintings that exist only to launder money—even the ones not made by Hunter Biden.
What good person would not be proud to be considered a barbarian by these miserable, over-decorated Faberge people? I’d be mortified if they agreed with me! So they think I’m a sexist or a racist or whatever. Fine. They do not use these words to mean the same things I mean, so it’s a pointless argument, and they are now officially beneath my explaining myself to them. When the people who are calling me names are so morally opaque that the Taliban can make devastating critiques of them just by referencing the foundational works of their own gender studies programs, I’m done caring about the names. Fine. I’m what you think is a racist. I’m what you think is a sexist. But you think a lot of very stupid things, and as the curtain continues to draw back on the carnival of madness that’s been behind the scenes the entire time it’s occurring to me that what you think and reality overlap so seldom that the only time not to ignore you is when I can ridicule you. If that is your civilization, someone hand me a pointy horned helmet.
So you disagree with the conservative standpoint? Fascinating. From your track record that means it’s probably correct. Also we did the Pepsi challenge. We’ve tried turning the spigot of Leftist bullshit on, off, and recently on again. The results correlate closely with you being full of shit. So blow it out your ass.
Yes, this is a moment of peril, but also opportunity. See in your country what every hostile group listed above sees in it—the makings of great civilization, along other, less stupid lines. All of it guarded by weak, fat, stupid people with no will and no self-belief. Take that mindset and go forth.
Get involved in your local systems. There is an old prayer for God to make ones enemies ridiculous. Congratulations to whomever was still praying it. Your prayers have been answered. Will you tell me that you cannot defeat these people? People who lose casual debates to terrorists not on principle but on basic facts?
Emulate those who are taking back their school boards. The educational system was the place where the corruption started, it’s fitting it’s the first place to start getting won back. It’s defended by fluffy fools whose highest moral value is their own paycheck and the accolades of equally soft idiots on Twitter. They’re rooting for COVID in the hopes they can maximize their time to not teach your kids while getting paid, and the worst part is that given what they were probably teaching your kids that would actually maybe be a win-win. You can’t reason with them so don’t bother. Recent events have made it clear you may as well try to talk sense into a three-day-old mackerel. Just confront them with their own stupidity so that people who see the inevitable video understand what this is about, and don’t feel that you are too good to shout them out of the room. You’re the barbarian, remember? Not like the nice civilized people with their gender-queer Tik-Tokers pushing vaccine propaganda. That means you’re excused from conversations with morons. Don’t bother trying to find common ground. Look at where they’re standing! Do you want to try to find the midpoint between that and reality? Silly. Pointless. Send them back to their walled online gardens to whine to their equally stupid friends about the barbarians.
Can we take it back from the ground up? I don’t know. But hey, it’s got to be worth a shot. Join the fun! Find some friends and locate a low-hanging political event to raid. When was the last time you went to a town hall for your town? Isn’t just a part of you curious to know whether your local county commissioner starts by declaring her pronouns? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see someone like that made very uncomfortable? You can make that happen. You can probably do it within the next month. Bring a few friends! Or a few dozen. Some of the people reading this probably were afraid to do that kind of thing for fear of losing their job. The Biden economy might have freed up some of your time. What have you got to lose now? More importantly, the way things are going, are you going to lose it anyway if things continue as they are? Think on it.
And consider this—the odds are in our favor, in that we’re well positioned. All the other barbarian groups have to come over here. We just have to drive down the block. The engine of our government is undoubtedly and unquestionably corrupt. But it’s also begging to be rendered irrelevant. There are more of us than them, and more than that, there are more of us than they can imagine.
You can certainly be assured that they will not win. That’s not at issue. Their entire goal is to lose. If you ever doubted, you’ve had the better part of a year of their stupidity to reflect on. You can quit wondering. They will lose. They want to lose. The only question is who they lose to. They want to lose to China, but I think losing to the radical Islamic world is their consolation prize. Let’s spoil their day. Let’s make them lose to America.
I don’t believe in woo woo stuff. Woo woo stuff tends to follow me around like a cat you fed once, and who keeps returning.
Given that and despite the fact that none of the Odds are “very good x” where x means religion, because our minds and emotions tend to work at right angles to normal humans, and heaven only knows (literally) how our minds work, I choose to stick to the religion I was (mainly) raised in.
It’s sort of like when you venture out on a foggy night, across a shallow brook, you stick to the stepping stones someone put there centuries ago. They might not be the only way. They might not be the best way. They are there, however, and they’ll allow you to deal with the uncertainty and the fog semi-dry shod. Even if you’re not going to drown if you just go whichever way — maybe. What if you get tripped up and fall and hit your head? — you’ll likely cross more or less dry and functional and with fewer chances of incidents.
Here is where my atheist and “only physical reality exists” readers are shaking their heads and deciding I lost my mind.
Yeah. Okay. Look, I am convinced there’s about 1/3 of humanity who are “blind” to whatever it is the rest of us perceive, but trust me, there is something there, just like I can assure blind people that there are colors.
For one, think about it: primitive people’s living extremely close to the bone believed in this stuff. In situations in which you shed everything that didn’t work. So, it works. At least most of the time.
What works? Well, any number of things, really: foreknowledge, telepathy, coincidences that can’t be coincidences, all the way up to and including seeing and talking to “entities.” (I wouldn’t recommend. Contains live bobcat. Not that I’ve done it, but I’ve read things. If you’re inclined to play in those waters, go and read “Hungry Ghosts.”)
The problem is that while on balance the woo woo works, it is …. slippery. And …. inconsistent.
The US as well as Russia had programs studying this stuff. The Russians supposedly were far more advanced, because of course they were. I mean, they could just make up stuff wholesale. And yes, sure, I have heard the US used the program — called Stargate, weirdly — to hide the fact they had spies in the USSR. Waggles hand. Well, that’s what they say now, because that stuff went out of fashion with stunning rapidity.
It kind of tends to, because it’s inconsistent, slippery, and…. well… mostly filled with lies. Like, whatever entities are in charge of this stuff? They’re tricksters… Kind of like our mainstream news, who I sometimes think are following this kind of thing, somehow. Well, maybe not somehow. A lot of Marxism seems to be in tune with the type of thing these entities (?) say.
Again, read Hungry Ghosts for that sense of “there is something there, and it’s malicious.” Read it with the light on, and maybe sleep with the light on while reading it, okay?
So, why am I talking about this?
Mostly because, as I’m cleaning and painting and refinishing I’m tired and therefore in a highly susceptible state. No, not to woo woo. To things my mind interprets as “suggestions.”
Someone mentioned John Keel in the comments, and I remembered that when I was in between houses, after #1 son was born, I went through his ouvre and also that of Jean Vallee (sp?) and came to the conclusion that UFOs (at least most of them. I’m not excluding real aliens. Not in 2021) and fairies and spirit guides and the like were all the same entities and they didn’t mean us well.
Wondering if I had come to that conclusion on air, and realizing (the now late) John Keel’s books were on prime, I read through two. At night. Before going to bed.
He himself came to the same conclusions, actually.
But while he lumped religious experiences in with the “paranormal” wilderness, he at the same time believed that some of these were “good” and “guiding us to a superior consciousness.”
Since most of the things he was convinced this superior consciousness was guiding people towards was the mistakes of the age: free love (couldn’t they settle for reasonably priced), anti-capitalism, and all the insanity that USSR agit prop planted among us, I don’t think he was right. (Yes, I do hope he found his way to the right place after death anyway.)
Anyway…. One of the things he did was collect a lot of incidents that are absolutely unexplained and possibly unexplainable. (Not all of them. My dad has opinions about the Marie Celeste, for instance. wind him up and watch him go.)
So…. something is out there. Something exists that is not really clear to our senses. And mostly, it doesn’t mean us well.
Not here, I’m not speaking of Himself.
Yes, there are ways to tell if something is coming from Himself or these…. “Tricksters” to put it no lower.
For one, and this leaked out in Keel’s perspective, the tricksters tend to put humanity down. Like at one time he says that after we die, our personalities, memories and history would obviously dissipate, because anyway “what would humans have in that sense that’s worth preserving.”
It can get worse than that, but in general the tricksters really really really hate humans and strive to make us feel bad and worthless.
Himself…. not so much. Sure, you might be corrected, but He seems to find worth even in the most severely flawed of us. (Like any good author.)
Anyway, mostly I advise not believing in these things even if they exist.
It’s part of the reason that I prefer science fiction to fantasy. If you think the “miracles” obey laws of science we just never figured out, it’s safer than if you think you can alter reality with a few words. Because the people and things invested in the later aren’t… right.
Oh, and part of the problem with staying away from this altogether is that it seems to partake of a nature with “gateway writing” which has effects. As in, if you have 3 “gateway” writers working in the same house, the house will be haunted. No, I don’t know why. And it’s a little scary. (Of course, if an unsolved murder happened in the house… well.) Even 2 gateway writers, at times, my having heard anedacta.
No, I have absolutely no idea what to do with that point of data, except I try not to write evil.
The other part of this was that after I put the last Keel book down, I started thinking: the left currently wants to humiliate and destroy and hurt humanity. And they despise humans as humans. Um…..
Anyway: if you have to go walking across that river, stick to the stepping stones. (Why the churches being shut down for a year and a half, effectively, probably are going to come back to bite us, honestly.) But if you can stick to the foggy shore, and ignore the voices that come from the fog. Particularly the ones who pretend to be enlightened and your friends, but obviously don’t like you much.
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Almira Hartington was heir to the largest fortune in the galaxy, amassed by her father during his time as a director of the Andromeda Company. But when Sir Josiah commits suicide, Almira discovers that she and her siblings are penniless. All three of them must learn to work if they wish to eat, and are quickly scattered to the far reaches of the universe. Almira stubbornly remains on-planet, determined to remain respectable despite the sneers of her former friends.
Sir Percy Wallingham pities the new Lady Hartington. But the lady’s family will take care of her, surely? It’s only after he encounters Almira in her new circumstances that he realizes the extent of her troubles and is determined to help her if he can. He doesn’t know that a scandal is brewing around Sir Josiah’s death and Almira’s exile from society. But it could cost him his life, and the lady he has come to love.
When Corporal Frandsen’s marine battalion was tasked with retaking a space station from enemy forces, he expected a hard fight. What he got was a fight for his life with a time-limit that could kill his entire battalion. What is an enemy willing to risk to win a battle at any cost? Everything.
Lord Axel Ivan Vinogradov Is a Mentalist with the Fast Reaction Teams that protect the small population of the Sanctioned Research World of Siberia Max from acquisitive Cross dimensional Worlds.
As the Three Part Alliance crumbles, Axel–code name Igor–finds himself overstretched between his duty, and his family. Especially after he is accused of murdering his corrupt and very much not-loved uncle.
As the conflict between primeval supernatural enemies heats up, her choice will tip the balance.
Six months ago Anastasia Fiore, an intelligence officer in Italy’s foreign security service, led an even more secret life on the side. She ran off-the-books missions with her friends Olivia and Beta, American and Czech foreign intelligence officers. The three women shared the same goal: take down predators.
And then Stasia’s life got way more interesting.
After a complicated, surreal mission that went sideways, Stasia learned that she has angel blood, making her an Elioud. She’s seen what Elioud warriors are called to do, and she’s not interested. Stasia can handle herself with a traditional surujin, a British WWII combat knife, or a 9mm handgun. But she prefers crafting a cover identity so compelling she can charm what she needs from her target instead. In fact, she’s so skilled that the Carabinieri’s Art Squad requests her help tracking down a stolen Rembrandt painting.
That’s what she was doing when Miró Kos, a Croatian Elioud she’s already chained, slashed, and drugged, showed up. He was there tracking the buyer, and whether Stasia likes it or not, she’s now inside another surreal mission. One that will make her question what her Elioud blood means. And what the quiet, intense warrior means to her. For his part, Miró cannot let another woman come before his duty. Or near his heart.
As Stasia sets out to recover the Rembrandt, she and Miró discover that there is more than a stolen painting at stake. And more than one Dark Irim stalking Stasia.
Can Tam successfully pose as a servant and discover which of the lords is a traitor? If she fails, not only will her family die, but their world will be thrown into chaos.
Amidst grief, she must undertake a dangerous rescue mission, aided by a mysterious alien relic. Can this young lass succeed or will the assassins at her heels cost her all?
You’ll love this Epic Fantasy, because it’s science fiction with a twist.
Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.
So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.
We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.