Those Whom the Gods Destroy

… they first drive mad.

From a puppykicker. She offers her opinion of SOMEWHITHER

Even if one considers that the Dragon Awards seem to be aimed at populist and action-packed SFF, Raising Caine or Agent of the Imperium still fit the bill much better than Somewhither, which – going by previous experience with Wright’s work – is neither action-packed nor populist and probably also very preachy.

Yes, you heard it here first. SOMEWHITHER is not action packed.

And not just preachy, mind, but very preachy. (I am hard pressed to say what the sermon in this allegedly very preachy book might be. “Stabbing is fun; determinism is not” would seem to cover it.)

And I cannot make heads or tails of what is meant here by populist. Populist is a pro-Tribune Roman political faction that opposed the pro-Senatorial Optimate faction, used often metaphorically to refer to any political appeal to the common man for the overthrow of the ruling elite. In America, the word is usually used to refer to nativists and protectionists such as the anti-Catholic Know-Nothing party of the 1850s. Anti-Catholic is the one thing the book is not: I assume she meant to say popular.

An Elementary Treatise on Determinants, With Their Application to Simultaneous Linear Equations and Algebraic Equations — going by previous experience with Charles Dodgson’s work, this is probably a fun and nonsensical phantasmagoria, filled with gentle satire and whimsy.

It is customary to read a work before holding forth an opinion about it.

* * * * *

This lightweight is surely not worth the number of words I spend below. But keep in mind to whose defense I am leaping. The fans voted on the awards. You voted. It is not me she is dismissing, dear readers: it is you.

You are the targets of her sneers.

* * * * *

She goes on to say that “But Vox Day and Wright himself heavily pushed Somewhither and their minions voted.”

Heh. Heh heheh heh.

I should laugh myself sick. I should chortle until choking or chuckle myself to upchucking. This is richer than saying the book is not action packed.

Let us pause to puzzle over this sad joke for a moment.

So I apparently have minions.

Spurred by curiosity, I went back through my records of my columns and counted each time I mentioned the Dragon Award and asked for a vote.

Here is my complete quote where I am apparently pushing my minions to vote for my work. Nay, heavily pushing. I printed this when the announcement that I had made the shortlist was brought to my attention.

A message from DragonCon that might be of interest to my readers, both of you, and to my fan. The three of you have accomplished great things!

I am totally kidding. I know I have way more fans than that. The other three guys who read my books brings it up to an immense half a dozen!

But let us ignore the other five for a moment. You, the one person who reads my words, you are the one for whom my books and tales are meant. Just because other people also read the book, does not mean it is not meant for you, personally, to please and entertain you. The reward of your good favor, even if I never meet you or hear from you, is the only true reward. Public awards are merely an outward sign of an inward reality.

Heavily pushing! Practically leaping bootfirst down the unsuspecting reader’s throat!

Then there was this:

SOMEWHITHER is currently a candidate for the Dragon Con Award, and I hope any reader wishing to support my work will consider voting for it.

Superheavy pushing!

And this:

I read this announcement at the Monster Hunter Nation website, and wanted to pass it along. Vote for SOMEWHITHER, or I will George RR Martinize your favorite characters!

Hyperultrasuperheavy pushing!

Well, technically, that time I was only posting a link to someone else soliciting that voters sign up for the Dragon Award, so maybe that counts as my soliciting a vote and maybe not.

And this! I am embarrassed at how shamelessly I pander, truckle, beg, and plead for votes!

Several readers have pointed out to me that my novel SOMEWHITHER is up for the Dragoncon award this year, its first year.

This comes as a very pleasant surprise, since I was unaware that it was a candidate at all.

Below is list of finalists for the book categories. There are other categories.  Register to vote at The award is purely popular. Any fan can vote. There are no wrongfans and no entry requirements. Anyone who says he is a fan is a fan.

Transmegahyperultrasupercalifragilistic heavy pushing!

My mistake. I did not even ask for a vote at all in that column. Nor in any other that I can find.

I did write a joke column asking people not to misspell the name, where I also told fans to sign up without any mention of a vote.

Counting up, that is two times I asked anyone to vote for my work for this award, of which one was a gentle joke ribbing George RR Martin. At that time, I had no expectation of getting even a single vote, much less a majority, and was not aware that anyone outside a small circle of friends had read the book. Let us not count that toward the total.

The remaining two mentions were asking people to sign up, including what is clearly a dismissal of the honor as insignificant, where I say I am not writing to win awards.

In other words, the sum total of times I asked for votes at this award: one.

A whopping one time. Singular.

“I hope any reader wishing to support my work will consider voting for it.”

So, this leads to the all important question. Why did this puppy kicker tell such a pointless lie, and a lie that is so easy to discover and explode?

Anyone can do a search and count how often I have solicited votes. No one who knows me would believe either that I have minions nor that I pressed heavily for the vote. No one who does not know me has any reason to care what I do or why.

It is an unconvincing lie, a pointless lie, a silly lie.

It is, above all, petty.

So why say it?

For that I have a theory, but not an answer.

The theory is that when a man is trapped in a false-to-facts worldview, a worldview that holds loyalty to unreality to be the supreme good, and admission of reality to be not merely weakness, but treason, he will utter falsehoods not because he expects to fool anyone, but as an act of defiance: a way of screaming “NO! NEVER!” in the face of reality, so that reality will be nonplussed at one’s hopeless courage.

It is also a jest. A cultist expects others of his cult to laugh along when he mocks an outsider. Whether he lies or not when making a jest is no concern. No one expects a joke to be literal: it is just something said to amuse likeminded passersby.

Truth is not significant to the political Left. It is not that they cannot tell. It is just that they do not care.

Hence, we see a man disparaging a book she has not read on grounds that make no sense at all, and, from that, coming to the conclusion that therefore the winning of the award for said book was something I solicited beyond the dignified degree of yearning, and therefore the awarding of the award was illegitimate. Because minions.

And, in the above sentence, I am using the word therefore to mark the spots in the chain of reasoning where there is no logical connection whatsoever between the first part of a thought in the man’s mind and the second.

My theory is that these people live in an endless drone of free association thinking, and float in a fact-free smog of opaque mental operations.  It is not a very flattering theory, and I am sorry to say it. One can always hope contrary evidence will come in.

Or, as Vox Day would say, SJWs always lie.

* * * * *

I am still chuckling over the non-action packed remark.

Looking at my writer’s checklist that defines action-packed, I see that SOMEWHITHER contains fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles.

For those of you who have the manuscript open, there is fighting and fencing in chapters seven, eight, nine, fifteen, seventeen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-nine, thirty, and thirty-two; torture in chapters ten and twelve; revenge in chapter nineteen; the giant is in chapter seventeen et seq.; monsters in chapter seven et seq.; chases in chapters two, thirteen, fourteen, nineteen, twenty-two, twenty-four, twenty-nine, thirty and thirty-one; the escapes are in chapters six, twelve, twenty-nine and thirty (one escape happens offstage); true love in chapter one (and I don’t mean Ilya); and miracles in chapters five, fourteen, eighteen and thirty.

So, let us review the logic once again:

Based on induction from other works by Wright (invalid), because this book is very preachy and not action packed (facts not in evidence), and because the Dragon Award seems to be aimed at populism [sic] and action packed adventures (facts not in evidence), therefore the award being granted this book is illegitimate (nonsequitur).

She also remarks that judging from the jacket blurb, the work was not science fiction. There, I happen to agree: it is not science fiction except in the broadest sense. Unfortunately, I invented a new genre for his book, so I am not sure where else the voters could have categorized it.

Ah, and the bold captain of words closed comments on her site, so no facts could worm their way past her diligent defenses! Well done, ma’am! I salute you as the perfect exemplar of your ilk!

Hugo Delenda Est.