The Warrior Lives: Remembering Rosenberg

I was a fan of Joel Rosenberg’s work long before I ever met him, but I eventually came to admire him more as a man than as an author. I wasn’t a close friend of his, more the friend of a friend, but I did have the good fortune to get to know him over the last 15 years. It was a privilege for an SF/F fan, but more than that, it was a genuine pleasure. Growing up in Minnesota, which at the time felt rather like the cold side of the back of beyond, I had no idea that there were Real Live Writers living there, never being much inclined to read the author bios at the back. Like many a teenage boy in the Eighties, I had dabbled in role-playing games such as AD&D, Gamma World, and Traveller in the Time Before Girls, and so The Guardians of the Flame were a real revelation to me. Rosenberg’s novels were gritty long before grit became fashionable; he made a distinct impression on a young reader by killing off a major character practically at the beginning of the first novel, then went himself one better by killing off the lead character in only the fourth book in the series. I can’t recall being more shocked while reading fiction any time before or since. Karl Cullinane is dead? But… but what about the series?

Continued at The Black Gate

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R.I.P. Joel Rosenberg

Some bad news this morning. Joel Rosenberg, the SF/F author, Second Amendment advocate, and a friend of mine, died of a heart attack last night. He was 57. The OC has more information at the Friday Challenge.

If you haven’t read his books before, I highly recommend beginning with Not for Glory. It contains one of my favorite short stories, about the dangerous relationship between the treacherous general Shimon Bar-El and his nephew Tetsuo.

Layers within layers

I was reading Umberto Eco’s book On Literature the other day and his essay entitled “Intertextual Irony and Levels of Reading” caught my attention, particularly in light of Matthew David Surridge’s intriguing series of essays on Tolkien. (I haven’t commented upon them yet because they are sufficiently deep to require a second reading before opining, Matt, so my apologies for the tardiness.) Because the flip side of readers, presumably non-Ideal, who read things into the text that are not there are readers, definitely non-Ideal, who fail to recognize the deeper layers of the text that are, in fact, there.

Read more, including a minor revelation about one of my past novels, at the Black Gate.

A very good week in books

The Mises Institute released The Turgot Collection in both hardcover and epub format and I finally noticed that Umberto Eco’s latest novel, il cimitero di Praga, is in the bookstores.  (Spacebunny would like to point out that she informed me two months ago; I was under the impression it was a collection of newspaper columns in the mode of la bustina di Minerva.)  The best thing about having learned Italian is that I no longer have to wait a year for the English editions to be released.

Mainstream dodos

I have a feeling this sort of stunt is likely to backfire on Esquire:

In a stunning development one day after the release of Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, by Dr. Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah has announced plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first printing run of the book, as well as announcing an offer to refund the purchase price to anyone who has already bought either a hard copy or electronic download of the book.

In an exclusive interview, a reflective Farah, who wrote the book’s foreword and also published Corsi’s earlier best-selling work, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak out Against John Kerry and Capricorn One: NASA, JFK, and the Great “Moon Landing” Cover-Up, said that after much serious reflection, he could not go forward with the project. “I believe with all my heart that Barack Obama is destroying this country, and I will continue to stand against his administration at every turn, but in light of recent events, this book has become problematic, and contains what I now believe to be factual inaccuracies,” he said this morning. “I cannot in good conscience publish it and expect anyone to believe it.”

Apparently producing wish-fantasies and simply making things up is now what passes for “satire” in the mainstream media. Corsi’s book is a best-seller, just as we all expected it would be from the start. The amusing thing is that most of the people who “didn’t get it” were Obama fans who were citing the Esquire article as proof that the forged birth certificate is real.

The OC is famous

There are books being written about him and everything! Seriously, there is now an Amazon Kindle book entitled Science Fiction and Bruce Bethke, which is described as follows: “Bruce Bethke is a computer programmer who would originate cyberpunk, a dark genre in science fiction. In this book, we will explore his life and science fiction.”

I wouldn’t recommend buying it, however. And I can only marvel at the indefatigable creativity of the con artist. It truly knows no bounds.

New ebook prices

After some lobbying of my publishers, I was able to convince them to lower the price of the Kindle versions of The Irrational Atheist and Summa Elvetica. In order to close the deal, I offered to remove the free and complete PDF versions from the blog, which is why they are no longer listed here. Note, however, that an abridged, 8-chapter version of TIA is still available for free download in PDF format; it contains all the chapters dedicated to the specific rebuttals of the various atheist arguments for those who are looking for them.

The Irrational Atheist is now $1.99 and Summa Elvetica is $0.99. So, if you haven’t picked up an ebook version yet, I would encourage you to do so. I also expect to have some further announcements in this vein in the near future. If nothing else, it would be amusing to see TIA claim the top spot in the Atheism category, which is eminently doable considering RGD’s performance in the Economic History category.

UPDTE: Well, that was certainly quick. TIA is already up to #3 in Atheism.