Vox Day, in a case of beautiful irony, has been nominated for a Hugo Award, one of the highest awards given to Science Fiction and Fantasy writers, for his novelette “Opera Vita Aertna”. I have never read Vox before, but I did read all about his expulsion from the SFWA. It was a load of utter horseshit. He was expelled basically because he not only wasn’t liberal, he could also be mean sometimes. His nomination is a rare case of justice, at least in a small way, being served.
I DID read the novelette. It is absolutely brilliant, one of the best short stories I have read in years. This is why, no matter how much I might disagree with Vox Day (or, you know, agree with people who think he can be an asshole), I can’t help but respect the man. He understands pathos, tragedy, and redemption in a way few modern authors do, and “Opera Vita Aertna” is a short piece of great beauty. The pacing was spot on and the emotional beats hit perfectly.
If I had to criticize it I would perhaps say that sometimes Vox uses some cliche turns of phrase, but this is barely noticeable and hardly detracts from the work at all.
I encourage all of my readers to read it. It’ll take you about fifteen minutes. If you click on the link above, Vox is giving it away for free. If you need a program to read it on, try this Kindle App (taken directly from Amazon itself, by the way, so it is definitely bug-free).
I will most assuredly make an effort now to seek out more Vox Day material.