Book Review: Knight Training (The Steam Knight Book 1)

knight

Cover art for Jon Del Arroz’s novella “Knight Training”

Yesterday, I finished reading Jon Del Arroz’s short story Knight Training, a small steampunk piece that’s part of his For Steam and Country universe. I won’t post these first few paragraphs at Amazon, but I feel it necessary, given the criticism I receive every time I mention Mr. Del Arroz on this blog, to say something about him, or at least how some folks perceive him.

About a year ago, another author, Jim C. Hines, wrote a scathing criticism of Del Arroz that he titled Jon Del Arroz’s History of Trolling and Harassing. I was doing some research on Del Arroz via Google and came across the missive (and it’s the only reason I became aware of Mr. Hines and his writing since he otherwise was not on my radar). If all this is true, it makes Del Arroz a pretty terrible person.

On the other hand, Del Arroz’s fellow writer Richard Paolinelli says he’s a pretty good guy. I like Richard and have no reason to doubt his word, but I must admit, I see two sides to a man who calls himself “The Leading Hispanic Voice in Science Fiction.”

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Here We Go Again: Comicsgate

superman

A public service announcement published in a DC comic book in the early 1960s

I’ve heard of this thing called Comicsgate, and after doing a bit of reading, discovered it’s pretty much the same sort of critter that launched the efforts of the Sad Puppies a few years back.

Allegation: The mainstream comic book industry (DC, Marvel) is overrun by Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) forcing their very narrow agenda down the throats of all comic book readers, no matter how totally unrealistic it is, so we independent comic book creators will fight back by creating more classic heroes of our own.

You can find out more about this perspective by following Jon Del Arroz’s twitter feed, particularly THIS and THAT.

Counter-allegation: Conservative, white, racist trolls want to destroy all participation of strong women heroes, people of color, LGBTQ+ writers, artists, and characters, and all other marginalized and vulnerable populations in comic books so comics are totally owned by white people, and we have to stop them.

You can read about Bill Sienkiewicz rebuttal at “The Mary Sue” (a fairly biased publication) as well as on his twitter feed HERE.

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Who is a Nazi and Why Should I Care?

hitler and staff

Adolf Hitler and his staff salute during the opening ceremonies of the XIth Olympic Games on Aug. 1, 1936, in Berlin, Germany. Getty Images

Nazi:
noun
1. historical
a member of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
adjective
1. of or concerning the Nazis or Nazism.

That’s the dictionary definition of “Nazi.” Of course, there’s a lot more to it, and to get the details, please visit the Wikipedia pages for Nazism and The Nazi Party.

Why am I bringing this up?

I read a blog post recently where apparently, speculative fiction author N.K. Jenisin called science fiction author Jon Del Arroz a Nazi on twitter. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a conservative being equated to a Nazi, but does this really mean Mr. Del Arroz belongs to the Nazi Party?

Not that I can tell. According to blog posts such as this one and his authoring articles like this one at the online magazine The Federalist, he is certainly a political conservative, but again, does that make him (or any other conservative) an actual Nazi?

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Am I Wasting My Time Trying to Become a Published Science Fiction/Fantasy Author?

news source bias
I read a wide variety of information sources, including conservative and liberal news, social media, and blogging outlets, in an effort to stay informed. I find that no one bias tends to render the world as it truly exists (in my opinion), so I try to find a balance between them all.

Finding that balance isn’t easy, since the creators of these information sources don’t seem to want to understand any viewpoint that differs even slightly from their own.

Okay, that probably isn’t fair, but that’s how it seems as I do my reading.

I put an image at the top of this blog post to illustrate the relative biases of the significant news agencies (I don’t necessarily agree with the exact positioning of some of these “elements,” but overall, it’s a pretty good indicator).

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