For the First, and Hopefully not the Last Time…

…I get to share positive press of my work. Here is praise for “Take Up Your Cross”, from author Edward Lerner:

All the stories were — for my taste — well worth reading, and I found these especially thought-provoking:

  • “An Iron Shell of Ritual” (Jeff Racho): about war, captivity, and whether robots (and the people who send robots into battle?) have souls.

  • “Icarus Falls” (Alex Shvartsman): about memory, duty, and loss.

  • “Take Up Your Cross” (Anthony Marchetta): about spirituality and causality (with a hat tip toward time-traveling Deloreans).

  • “The Wallet” (Paul Levinson): a nifty time loop/paradox story.

So I was singled out for praise! It’s good! Get the Journal! Read the story!

(Interestingly, my favorite story was E.J. Shumak’s “Bunny Rabbit”, which did not make his list of favorites. But Mr. Lerner’s picks are all very good.)

  • “The Wallet” (Paul Levinson): a nifty time loop/paradox story.

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EVERYBODY Looks Like People

A fan said they “Can’t see Dumbledore as gay”. That’s it. They “can’t see him in that way”.

Rowling’s response?

“Maybe because gay people just look like…people,”

This is a mindbogglingly stupid comment. I’m trying to write why, but there are so many reasons I don’t even know where to start. Maybe my three to five regular readers can write something down.

Rowling’s absurd social views have always disappointed me more than most because of how much Harry Potter affected my life. Blech.

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Justified

MAJOR spoilers below.

Like, massive.

You’ve been warned.

*          *          *

AVA SHOT BOYD

AVA SHOT BOYD

AVA SHOT BOYD IN FRONT OF RAYLAN

That is all.

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One Thing About “Awake in the Night Land”

I was not as in love with “The Last of All Suns” as much as everybody else seemed to be, but I will say this: The final line of the story, and by extension of “Awake in the Night Land”, is mind-bogglingly, unbelievably brilliant. It is a simple four word, four syllable sentence but every time I read it anew my jaw always drops in awe.

I absolutely loved the ending of “Awake in the Night” as well, but eve more than what actually happened is the extreme power of those exact four words. In a story bursting with beautiful descriptive prose it is only fitting that it ends with as brief a description can possibly be imagined.

I’ve been appreciating “Awake in the Night Land” more as time has gone on. If I can bring Mr. Wright onto my project I must remember to request that he writes the final story.

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Cogs Starting to Turn

I have e-mailed several excellent and high profile authors recently and asked them if they were interested in contributing to a project I am working on. I don’t want to give away any information on it until enough authors have signed up for it that I feel comfortable making an official announcement, but I will say this: The first author I contacted just e-mailed me her story, and guys, it’s AWESOME. Like I was hoping, it took the original concept for the project and took it in directions I never would have considered.

If things work out, this whole thing can be Way Cool. Stay tuned.

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Reading Between the Lines

Take a careful look at this article on a human sex trafficking law stalled in Congress over abortion. The article says that .”..so far, neither side has been moved enough by the plight of tens of thousands of trafficking victims to bend and find an acceptable compromise.” This is true, kind of. But here’s a better question: Which side is trying to offer the unacceptable compromises?

First off, here is the original offer. Read closely:

But just as floor debate was to begin, Democrats raised alarms about a provision blocking money in the victims’ fund from paying for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.

I, of course, am more extreme on this issue than most, but from my perspective there already is a compromise, namely, there is an exception in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.

To continue. What is the Democrats’ counter offer?

Feinstein told Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the lead GOP sponsor, that women have lost too many fights over abortion and would not back down.

“It is our reproductive system. In a sense this has been a battle for our identity,” Feinstein said. “There are many of us who believe this is one small step for womankind.”

So, their counter offer is “no compromise”. Okay. Are the Republicans going to be similarly pigheaded?

In a word, no:

In the wake of that exchange, Cornyn, too, started sounding unwilling to budge. He proposed routing the victims’ fund through Congress’ regular annual appropriations process, but maintained language specifically referencing an abortion exception, and Democrats refused.

In other words: He DID offer a compromise. But the democrats again said no.

So, in summary: democrats care so much about woman that they would rather not place restrictions on sex trafficking then agree to ANY compromise on abortion.

This is the party that claims to be on your side, ladies. Do you really think they’re your friends?

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A Good Illustration of My General Attitude

Lydia McGrew of “What’s Wrong With the World” just posted an excellent review and criticism of John H. Walton’s book “The Lost World of Genesis One”. I give it my highest recommendation. Go check it out.

Mr. Walton posted in the comments, and I responded. Instead of giving my commentary on it, I’ll just post the exchange. This is a good example of why I sometimes use the language I do, and it might give you all a better idea of where I’m coming from.

Mr. Walton:

1. When I find that I am having trouble understanding what someone is saying, especially when others have understood and found the work helpful, I am inclined to give him/her the benefit of the doubt and try harder to understand what he/she is saying rather than assuming he/she is incoherent.
2. When I feel that a fellow Christian is misguided I would consider it the most charitable and biblical option to talk to them privately and personally rather than to denounce them publicly.

Perhaps that is part of “what is wrong with the world?”

Me:

Mr. Walton,

You wrote a book, and she reviewed it, and it contained errors which she believed were potentially harmful to other Christians.

Also, seriously? Assuming you are incoherent? You have some nerve considering the in-depth treatment she gave to your work.

This is a childish response, and speaks to an inability to take criticism.

Smart a man as you may be, it is cowardly to cry about criticism when you put the work out there for public consumption. You owe Lydia an apology.

Mr. Walton:

For those who truly want to understand, more information is given in my more extensive monograph, Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology (Eisenbrauns, 2011). I also tried to refine the position in the opening chapters of Lost World of Adam and Eve. I doubt that these will satisfy any who are determined to be critical.

When a book is published on a topic as controversial as this the author must expect some negative reviews. That is fair, but one expects them to be even-handed and carried out with courtesy and professionalism. Furthermore, previous reviewers who gave negative reviews (mentioned above), have sought me out and I have been able to give clarification. I believe they understand my position better now, though we still have disagreements. I don’t think any the worse of them for that and I hope that they continue to have respect for me.

Any further conversation that I would be involved in would not be in the public sphere of a blog.

I want to point out: Lydia’s review is 74 paragraphs long, not counting direct quotes and one line paragraph headers. And he is claiming that she is assuming he is incoherent – a word she never even used! This despite that she not ONLY read the blog, but also watched two hour long video interviews of Mr. Walton.

So, my response:

You are a coward. You really think that everybody who negatively reviews your work is obligated to contact you specifically before publishing?

The hubris is stunning.

Here is the money section. Commenter Peter Grice said this to me:

MarcAnthony, I’m not sure why you felt such a personal attack necessary. Do you really think that Walton is obligated to invest time in any particular forum? Perhaps your own comment illustrates why he seems to have a personal policy against it? That was a terribly harsh display.

So this paragraph I give in response is as good and cogent an explanation as any of my general writing style. If you’re ever wondering why a response I make seems overharsh, you can refer to this:

MarcAnthony, I’m not sure why you felt such a personal attack necessary.

Because he deserved to be called out for his cowardice. He was incredibly disrespectful, and so I wanted to make it clear that I found his comments disgusting.

I’ll spell out my distinction here: You are more upset that I called Walton out on his cowardice than Walton’s cowardice. That is a problem.

He came into a forum where somebody gave an incredibly in-depth review of his work, expressed annoyance that the reviewer didn’t contact him before posting said negative review, then claimed that he wouldn’t actually address the reviewer’s concerns. He’s not only a coward, but an intellectually dishonest one because he had to come up with an excuse to avoid responding to the criticism.

Now, if he does respond, I’ll redact the claim of cowardice. But he would still be dishonest for claiming that Lydia was somehow not giving him his due diligence, because he very clearly was. He owes Lydia a sincere apology.

And dishonesty, as well as cowardice, more than warrants my harshness.

Oh, and let it be said that it’s not like I’m some blind rah-rah Lydia supporter. I’ve disagreed with and even called out Lydia several times in the past. But she is in the right here, very much so.

Do you really think that Walton is obligated to invest time in any particular forum?

No. Who cares if he does or not?

Perhaps your own comment illustrates why he seems to have a personal policy against it?

I don’t care if he does or not. My comment had nothing to do with his policy on forums. Anyway, he apparently did not have a policy against posting on forums earlier in the thread.

That was a terribly harsh display

It was also warranted. Paul and Christ both had no problem with harshness in the proper context. This was the proper context.

I put it up to my readers to make up their minds about whether or not I was out of line. This, however, is the whole exchange; those who believe I am leaving something out are invited to check out the thread themselves.

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