The IX by Andrew P. Weston

Guest Post by Jim Morris

The IX is the most inventive science fiction novel I have read since Stranger In a Strange Land. That’s saying a lot. The plot is highly complicated, and yet so clearly and gracefully written that it is easy to follow.

In the far future in a galaxy far far away the Arden are besieged by the Horde and though it will take a long time it is clear that their defenses will eventually crumble and they will be destroyed … unless.

The Ardenese, in an act of creative self-immolation sacrifice their lives to save their DNA, in hopes that someone will eventually reseed the planet with its original inhabitants. Their lead computer, The Architect, also recruits defenders through time and space, specially selected for qualities that are not apparent to the Ardenese, from a far off planet called Earth. They snatch great fighters from different eras just before they were about to die anyway. So they’re thrown into a probable suicide mission with their bonus time.

There are problems integrating fighters who were snatched in the act of trying to kill each other, and from far different times, the IX Legion of Rome and Scottish tribesmen, the US Cavalry and Indian tribes, and 22d Century Royal Marine Commandos and terrorists, all welded into an integrated force.

The ending is to wildly inventive and too brilliant to give away here. Suffice it to say I ended the book with tears in my eyes.

Andrew P. Weston is a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on thel Greek island of Kos. An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the bestsellers The IX, and Hell Bound, (a novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell universe). Weston is also a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, and the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.

When not working he devotes spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories. He has also been known to do favors for friends, using his Royal Marine Commando skills.

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Equal Opportunity NASCAR

While watching the Cup races this season, it occurs to me that NASCAR is, in some ways, a perfect microcosm of American culture. In particular right now, I’m thinking of Danica Patrick.

Saturday’s All-Star race was wild and wacky from start to finish. The drivers, crew chiefs…even the announcers were confused by the complex format and rules. Tony Stewart, with his usual diplomatic finesse (ahem!) said something to the effect of: “This is the worst job of officiating I’ve ever seen. I’m glad this is my last one.”

But the Danica Patrick Factor is easy to understand, because it is symbolic of the Womyn Factor in our feminized society as a whole. She remained the backmarker consistently all through the race, only moving up from the back of the field when another driver was penalized, wrecked, etc., and sent behind her.

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This was the All-Star race. In an “all-star” anything, you’d expect only the cream of the crop to participate, and at one point in history that was the case.

Danica is not one of the elite drivers. She did not belong in the All-Star race. Why was she even there?

Because she’s a fan favorite. Fans voted her in.

Much like real life, the best women can’t compete with the best men in most physical contests, despite what the pop culture svengalis would have you believe. And average women can’t compete with average men. But there are more than enough white knights out there to give them opportunities they didn’t earn and don’t deserve, all while regurgitating The Narrative (which says that celebrity womyn like Danica are oppressed victims who rise to prominence DESPITE discrimination AGAINST them; which means they had to be even better than the men, blah blah blah.)

One easy example to point out from the culture is our social-engineered military. The latest fiasco is putting females in the Rangers. They can’t meet the standards men have to meet, so standards were changed to let them in anyway.

Because vagina.

Even in normal cup races, Danica always shakes out around the middle of the field–behind all the drivers who have support and resources commensurate with hers, but ahead of most of the independent, low-budget one-driver teams without the support and resources.

Organizations like the NFL are already fully SJW-converged. They’re not yet stupid enough to start forcing teams to add female players to their rosters, but the league is a zealous enforcer of the LGBT agenda. They already coerced the governor of Georgia to overturn the will of the people–it’s frightening to imagine what kind of muscle they must use to crush dissent within their own organization on behalf of the advancement of sexual deviancy.

This madness won’t stop until the cancer spreads to every once-great institution and destroys it. Keep in mind that even NASCAR is pushing for more “diversity” now. It’s only going to get worse.

A New Publisher in Town

I met author Jim Morris a few years ago, and we’ve been in sporadic contact ever since. It’s just come to my attention that some of his books are being picked up by a new publisher.

I contacted Chris and Janet Morris (no relation to Jim) of  Perseid Press, and they agreed to answer a few of my questions.

VP: What is your story–how did you become authors?

PP: We met when we were 19, actually through the music business.  Each of us had written songs, lyrics and music, independently. Both had begun playing instruments at an early age. Janet had created a school newspaper in the sixth grade and won prizes for poetry even earlier; Chris had worked in bookstores, and started playing guitar when he was 12.  Both families were highly literate, so music and musicals, as well as fiction and nonfiction, were always part of our lives.
Janet could read and write and tell time before entering the first grade; Chris’ influences took a more political path, since his father was a famous photojournalist, and picture editor for the Washington Post and the New York Times. We met in New York City’s Greenwich Village, where we first lived together; and those were heady, sometimes dangerous, times for all involved with the arts and politics.

We began writing songs together, joining bands, and put several bands together, two of which had production interest.  Janet started her first novel at 25, High Couch of Silistra, about the same time Chris started The Christopher Morris Band, and both projects got different agents the same week, and signed unrelated book publishing and record deals the same month.  Chris’ album on MCA and Janet’s first Silistra book, published by Bantam, were each released in 1977.  This led to a redistribution of effort:  Janet wrote three more novels in the Silistra series, later to be called the Silistra Quartet; Chris focused on his band and song writing.  We wrote together, edited and assisted one another.  And still do. In the late 1980s, we each became research directors for a Washington think tank, where we were the architects of the US Joint Nonlethal Weapons program,  and assisted select western nations in starting their own programs; we also led the first defense technical evaluation team to the then-Soviet Union to assess Russian military technology, and supported the US Army and the USMC in various areas, including what was at the time called the Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad (or MERS).  For a score of years we raised and showed American Morgan Horses, the remnants of the U.S. Government’s only horse-breeding program, and had several World Champions.

VP: Both of you’ve been writing SF/F for a while, now. What would you say makes your “brand” unique?

PP: Our books are not for the faint of heart, or the politically correct, nor are they dumbed down. They are challenging and meant to be so. We explore the human condition, and what relationship and responsibility an individual has to self, society, and planet.  Just as our deep experience with horses informs our books about ancient cavalry fighters, so do our futuristic books have a basis in technology areas that will shape our future. But most of all, the books we write are the books we want to read.  By pleasing ourselves and writing honestly, we bring a directness to the topic areas we explore, whether those are nuclear war, time travel, genetics and behavior, or questions about government itself, good and bad.  And we hope always to meet our own standard.

VP: Are there recurring themes you deal with in all or most of your books?

PP: We examine the heroic model, the importance of individual struggle in service to an ideal. In Greek mythology, philosophy and ancient history, we find lessons that can help people today, whether those lessons are presented allegorically or directly. We are particularly interested right now in hero-cults and how humans deal with crises, as well as considerations of metaphysics, mortality and morality.

VP: What motivated you to become a publisher?

PP: We stopped writing fiction when we began writing in the national and international security area.  This meant walking away from burgeoning careers as novelists, but we thought it important to serve as we did.  When, in 2009, we felt the need to write a new novel, which became The Sacred Band, we talked to our agent about sending it to the usual suspects, but we wanted to keep our e-publishing rights.  Under those conditions, a 21st century publishing deal of substance would be difficult, and this was the final deciding factor:  Rather than give up our e-publishing rights, we started Perseid Press, where we can control the covers, print size, book length, and production values as we had never been able to do when published by New York behemoths.

VP: Was it difficult establishing a publishing house; or with your contacts/network, was it just a matter of making a few calls?


PP: Anything worth doing is difficult. Perseid Press evolved, rather than being established.  We provided some backlist titles, our agent facilitated some e-publishing for us under Perseid’s name to begin with.  We revived our Heroes in Hell series so that we could help showcase emerging talents.  We conceived our “Authors’ Cut” editions so that we could go back and revise and expand books we felt deserve digital immortality. Writers came to us, people we knew and people we didn’t know.  So we have become a very small press, publishing what we like from writers who “write dangerously,” which is, in a nutshell, what we ourselves do.  Often the books we buy and write don’t fall into existing marketing categories.  And that doesn’t scare us.

VP: (Just a personal note, here: As a young GI (“cherry” in the unit-specific dialect) I quickly learned an axiom popular at my first duty-station–that there were probably 80 males for every female for a 50-mile radius around Fort Bragg, NC. It might have been an exaggeration, but it was true enough for practical purposes. Whenever time off was granted (but not enough to drive beyond that 50-mile radius), I got away from the barracks as fast as possible, even if I didn’t have a plan for what to do. Two of my favorite haunts were Ed McKay’s Used Books off Yadkin Road, or the news stand/bookstore in the Cross Creek Mall. At the latter, I remember seeing a few of your Heroes in Hell books. I almost bought one a couple times, but reading about anyone in Hell wasn’t quite the escape I was looking for. I was worried I might be on the road there, myself.)

What are your ambitions for Perseid Press?

PP: Our main goal for Perseid is that we not lose quality as we grow.  Perseid wants to be bigger than we had intended, and we are keeping a very tight rein on it, but new opportunities are hard to resist.  We have a website that functions as a bookstore of sorts, and a network of people who believe in what we’re trying to do.  In one sense we are a couple of fingers in the leaky dike holding back the flood of illiteracy; in another sense, we are curators selecting books we think should survive. In yet one more sense Perseid is a literary triage effort, for a society which has lost its cultural compass and lies close to intellectual death. This is an uphill battle, perhaps, but as Tempus said in The Sacred Band:  “We make the world better one battle at a time.”

VP: I hear you on the illiteracy deal. It’s been the bane of my existence for a few years. Do you plan to remain focused on SF/F?


PP: We love sf in the true sense:  speculative fiction with a moral component, but not a moralizing component.  We will always look at well-thought sf, if the adventurous literary quality is there.  We already have published a rigorous historical by Janet, I, the Sun, about the greatest king of the Hittite empire, and that character has much to say that applies to life today. We are publishing a magical realism/literary book called Truck Stop Earth by award-winning author and journalist Michael A. Armstrong, whose novel Bridge Over Hell we have already published; we have published a memoir about an ex-patriot in Peru, Reckless Traveler, by Walter Rhein. We are publishing Andrew P. Weston, the author of The IX, Exordium of Tears, and Hell Bound, in both fantasy and science fiction; Andy is a former Royal Marine and is still active in the security area.  A new addition to our roster is Jim (James Franklin) Morris, author of the bestselling War Story; we are honored and excited to be publishing Jim’s alternate history/magical realism novels, beginning with Tahlequah, and republishing at least three of his nonfiction books, including War Story.  And we’re readying our first entry in the paranormal-suspense area, Schade, by  J.P. Wilder, also a special forces graduate.  And of course, we continue the Heroes in Hell series, and have begun a new shared concept series with Heroika 1: Dragon Eaters, to be followed by…  you guessed it…  Heroika 2: Shieldless.

The Perseid Press website is: http://www.theperseidpress.com/

VP: Somewhat involved in the book biz myself, I’m impressed with what an increasingly tough racket it is. The pool of potential readers seems to be shrinking all the time, while the number of published authors grows rapidly. POD publishing and ebooks have revolutionized the industry, which is a double-edged sword: It’s easy to break into the business now, but it’s harder than ever for readers to find an author’s books (at least when that author is an indie, and doesn’t have some sort of platform to exploit). Frankly, so much of the indie fiction out there is poorly written, that the stigma indie authors are saddled with is understandable. Yet the Big  Five are in such trouble financially these days, there is speculation that indies and micropublishers will be the only game in town one day. As professionals in the industry, I’d love to hear any insights or opinions you have on the state of things, the future of publishing, etc.

PP: As far as insights into publishing as it changes: along with the rest of humanity, we are trying to deal with the information overload of the internet, which in its turn is reducing literacy and attention span. We see audio books as a possible mitigating factor, but no such factor will make up for the simple lack of education that is so pervasive, coupled with the pernicious assurance that the uninformed opinion is as important as the informed opinion.  We go forward based on our own goals, prejudices, and perspectives, hoping to attract a growing readership of like mind.  When we edited books or anthologies for the big NY publishers, we learned that you, as an editor, are looking as hard for a writer to excite you as that writer is looking for a simpatico editor.  When the two meet, sometimes magic happens, but not often enough.  We’re concerned by the “dumb like me” attitude we see growing, by poor-quality books proliferating — but then one remembers Henry James, who coined the term “trash triumphant” to describe publishing at the end of the 19th century. Literature survived those days; it will survive these days. There always will be bad writing, self-indulgent readers, and those who only want to hear ideas with which they already concur, literature that ratifies their pre-existing tastes.  We simply have more people today.  The ones who choose video games rather than books are not our readership.  We’re not serving the reader with a five-hundred word vocabulary, but we have no quarrel with those publishers or authors who are doing so, now that the slush piles of former days are all available free of charge.

VP: Please explain the “dumb like me” expression–I haven’t heard it before.

PP: “Dumb like me” is a phrase describing the attitude of those who consider reasoning a chore, a stressful exercise threatening to revisit dearly held notions of reality, worse, to overturn them with a priori observation, undermining ‘blissful’ ignorance. We won’t use it again in any way implying that we harbor such a view.

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” -Isaac Asimov

VP: Sounds a lot like what I routinely encountered in school, and on Facebook.

As I’ve found out first hand since throwing my hat into publishing, there are hundreds of reasons an author might fail to gather a following, and many of them seem to be completely random wrong time/wrong place kind of reasons. I have my own short list of authors to whom I am grateful because of the books they’ve written; but for whatever reasons they have not enjoyed the success I believe their writing deserves. Two such authors from the tradpub era are Len Levinson and Jim Morris.

Jim Morris has been slept-on for long enough. Now his latest book, Talequah/Battle of Sorcerors and some of his classic non-fiction (including The Devil’s Secret Name) have found a home where they’ll be getting new covers and some adept marketing. Virtual Pulp wishes him phenomenal sales, and thanks Perseid Press for taking the time to respond.

I can’t say exactly when, but we’ll be reviewing some Perseid Press books here in the future.

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Captain America: Civil War is More Than a Slugfest

In the Silver Age of comics, when Marvel became a serious competitor for DC, there was a distinct contrast in the storytelling styles of the two publishers, especially in the team titles (DC’s Justice League of America and Marvel’s Avengers, primarily). While DC spent most of its comic panels on plotting, Marvel’s approach was something more like: “Forget this silly script treatment–let’s have somebody fight!”

The “Marvel Misunderstanding” subplot became an inside joke with comic book readers–when there were no supervillains handy, excuses were dreamed up to have Marvel’s heroes duke it out with each other.

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The difference between Marvel’s characters on the silver screen and in comic book pages is almost as drastic as the spy novels of Ian Fleming compared to the cinematic James Bond in the Roger Moore days. Still, we got a little “Marvel Misunderstanding” throwback in the first Avengers flick.

As the title of this movie (“Civil War”) suggests, most of the screen time is dedicated to fraternal conflict among Marvel’s big screen pantheon. But not due to a misunderstanding–because of a fundamental disagreement about “oversight.”

Collateral damage caused in the previous Marvel movies has caused various globalist interests to call for “hero control” (my term, thank-you).

Iron Man, at one point a free market capitalist hero, is now more of a corporatist bleeding heart who believes the answer is for the Avengers to be leashed by the United Nations. Now there is a brilliant quantum leap in logic: collateral damage caused by saving the planet from despotic monsters must be curbed by putting the good guys under the direct control of an organization with a horrific track record, run exclusively by unelected bureaucrats who don’t believe in representative government and are not accountable to any people anywhere in any way.

Introducing, in the red, white & blue corner: the Title Character! With him are Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Falcon and Ant Man,
Introducing, in the red, white & blue corner: the Title Character! With him are Scarlet Witch, Bucky (AKA the Winter Soldier), Hawkeye, Falcon and Ant Man,

On the other side is Captain America. He doesn’t spell it out like I did, but amazingly, he senses the danger in such an arrangement, that would make the problem they’re trying to solve even worse (which is pretty much the de facto purpose of the United Nations).

Interesting analyses can be drawn from this scenario. It can be a metaphor for the whole “gun control” struggle or, more broadly, the march toward police statehood, and the belated reaction to it by Americans who prefer to be free men, partly represented in the Trumpening. Again, it’s amazing how accurately Tony Stark and Steve Rogers represent their respective sides, considering Hollywood’s blatant myopic axe-grinding in every other movie touching on the subject.

Marvel’s done a great job with characterization and humor in their movies, and that continues here, even though this might be their most somber one yet. Suddenly there is a whole subplot regarding Stark’s parents which affects his frame of mind in this movie. Robert Downey Jr. pulls it off with his usual panache.

...And, in this corner...the Invincible Shellhead, with a record of one knockout, one not-so-bad sequel, and one idiotic swan song! Backing him up is Black Widow, Black Panther, the Vision...
…And, in this corner…the Invincible Iron Man, with a record of one knockout, one not-so-bad sequel, and one idiotic swan song! Backing him up is Black Widow, Black Panther, the Vision, and War Machine.

There’s a lot of character tweaking I found annoying, as a one-time comic afficionado. Of course, I quit reading comics as they became 100% SJW converged, so a lot has probably changed since then. Black Widow is about 20X more badass than in the comics I read, but she has been that way in all the movies, because vagina. It was cool to see Black Panther on the big screen, but he punches way above his weight here, too. But the most annoying is Spiderman.

Apparently the webslinger is getting yet another reboot. This time Peter Parker has a younger, attractive Aunt May, and is given his costume by Tony Stark who, somehow, has discovered his secret identity without ever having met him. Normally Spiderman would be the heavy hitter of all the heroes in this story (when the character was introduced by Stan Lee originally, only Thor, the Thing and the Hulk were stronger), but he is reduced mostly to comedy relief. The way he was brought in, and dismissed, makes him seem like just an afterthought in the script. Too bad, because the actor played him better than any other has, IMO.

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…With special guest cameo by Spiderman 3.1! Or is it Spiderman XP? Spiderman Vista?

Physical prowess is treated inconsistently in every superhero adaptation for big and small screen. Of course part of this is necessary to conform to the feminist aspect of The Narrative. Much of it is no doubt contrived to make scenes more dramatic. Then there is the star clout of Downey Jr., who frankly got more attention in this film than the title character did. Spiderman and Captain America are not played by actors worshipped to the degree he is; therefore the characters must be depicted as inferior to his, one way or the other.

In any case, most moviegoers don’t know much about the source material anyway, so this should be a fun diversion for a couple hours.

Amerigeddon

A Counter-Narrative Hits the Big Screen

…On May 13 in select cities.

Not since John Milius filmed Red Dawn (the original) has Hollywood been slapped in the face like this. And while that cold war kiddie flick has aged poorly, and dealt with only the most superficial threat to America, this one digs much deeper.

Imagine this: In the not-so-distant future, a large-scale electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the U.S. energy grid wipes out all power in the country. Electronic devices cease to function. No more phones. No Internet. No TV. Credit cards become useless as the entire banking system grinds to a halt. Food, water and mere survival become every person’s primary concerns.

Amerigeddon” depicts a dystopia in which the American government reacts to a debilitating EMP strike by declaring martial law and stripping Americans of their constitutional rights and their guns. And by the way, it was the U.S. government, in conjunction with the United Nations, that staged the EMP attack in the first place.

It was a plot that none of the studios wanted to touch, so Norris and Heavin independently produced and financed the movie. In an interview with WND, Norris called it “a film of passion” that he and Heavin very much wanted to share with the world.

“We just decided we’re going to do it ourselves,” said Norris, the son of legendary actor and WND exclusive columnist Chuck Norris. “We said we’ll go take it to the theaters in areas that we think people would gravitate toward a film like this, and [hopefully] it’s something that resonates with people that believe in the First Amendment, the Second Amendment; people that believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights – this is a movie that was created just for them.”

 

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No kidding the studios didn’t want to touch a story like this. Their mission is to condition movie-going audiences to irrationally fear “right-wing extremists,” not seriously consider some of their concerns.

I don’t know for sure yet what kind of quality we’re looking at, here, in screenwriting, acting, etc., but it does seem to comprise some themes that need to be explored…all of it related to the fate of our country and the world, and how it will affect each of us–our lives, liberty, and property.

Those themes have been explored in indie fiction–including some published here at Virtual Pulp. But for people who haven’t opened a book since high school and never intend to, this movie could get them thinking. At least, I hope so.

Kudos to Norris and Heavin for the guts and commitment it took to put this on the big screen. Here is a list of theaters that will be showing it.

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The Culture War Heats Up

There is a surging groundswell in the grass roots of America. I’ve noticed it (I daresay I’ve been a part of it) for the last few years. It is pushing back against the left-wing cultural svengalis and their Narrative. It’s not huge or sensational (yet), but it is widespread.

Anti-war protestors in the 1960s had a saying that went something like this: “What if there was a war, but nobody showed up?” Well, I’ll tell you what happens when one side doesn’t show up: that side loses.

For generations centrists and everyone right-of-center simply have not shown up for the culture wars. Predictably, the leftisWWIIposterdefendfreedomts have blitzed right through battlefields of opinion and ideas unopposed–like the Red Army rolling through eastern Poland in 1939–so that their monopoly on the flow of information, including creative expression, was ironclad.

It took some irritated computer nerds to show us that the left is far from invincible.

WWIIpostercarpoolingIn fact, #gamergate showed the world that the SJWs, feminists and Marxists (cultural and otherwise) are not only vulnerable, they’ve become arrogant from never being challenged for so long, and prove to be weak, inept cowards when confronted by a smart, determined opposition. They are beatable. Very much so.

But you have to actually show up to the fight if you’re going to beat them.

In greater and greater numbers, the right wing is finally showing up to fight in the war for the mind and soul of our posterity.

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One of the armies joining battle now is the Conservative/Libertarian Fiction Alliance.

Looking for a good book to read, but tired of sucker punches and nihilistic misery when all you want to do is relax? You’re in luck … Behold! A gallery of conservative and libertarian-friendly fiction.

 

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The CLFA has expanded from Facebook into their own website, and are compiling a wish-list library of books written by non-leftists (or at least sans the ubiquitous leftist Narrative rammed down our throat at every turn).

Books need not be political or moral message fiction; we’re mainly looking for good, entertaining stories that happen to embrace things we love, like individualism, self-reliance, the importance of liberty, and so on. Sometimes these books are even written by self-proclaimed leftist authors. But whatever – a good story is a good story!

Hoowah. At least one of my favorite books was written by an author who I later met, and it turned out we were quite at odds, politically. WWIIposterbuybondsBut by whatever arrangement of circumstances, he told a great story.

It’s nice to read a novel with a political slant that cuts against The Narrative. But often, it’s even nicer to read a book that’s apolitical–no message or counter-message; just a good story, told well. But even those are more and more difficult to find, so it pleases me that such books won’t be excluded from the CLFA gallery.

(BTW, have you ever noticed how right-wingers are openwWIIposterbiggunshomefront about their political biases, but left-wingers pretend to be impartial centrists and throw a fit when you call them out on their biases? Hmm…there’s at least one blog post in that curious state of things.)

CLFA’s gallery of fiction is in its infancy right now, but already it is proving  to be as diverse as the right wing writ large.  Authors run the gamut from “social libertarians” and “establishment conservatives” all the way to radical “religious right” rebels like me. You’ll find not only tradpubbed popular authors like Larry Correia and Andrew Klavan, but plenty of indie authors you’ve been missing WWIIpostersavecansout on until now.

The CLFA has also organized its own award. I believe this is the second year of said award. The finalists have been chosen for 2015 and voting begins in June to determine the winner.

WWII was the last time the USA fought a war with the intention of pursuing absolute victory. It wasn’t just the soldiers, sailors and marines committed to the war effort–the wives, children, parents, grandparents and 4Fs also did what they could. They bought War Bonds, collected cans, organized bake sales, wrote letters to GIs overseas, and fed them or danced with them when they came home.WWIIpostermetaldrive

If you are a reader, consider doing your part on the home front of the Culture War. When you’re looking for a good book, go somewhere like the CLFA first. (And buy using their links, to help them offset the cost of their website–and provide them incentive for the time and effort they put into doing this for us.) If you’re going to spend your “voting dollars” on a book anyway, why not vote for books written by authors who are fighting to take our culture back?  When you discover a good read, don’t just finish it and go about your business–write a review and increase the book/author’s chances of being discovered by others who would appreciate it like you did. Then tell another reader about your discovery.

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It’s natural to assume that documentary films and nonfiction books would be the most influential weapons in the culture war, but they’re not. Entertainment, in its various forms (fiction, movies, music, etc.) has been an enormous influence on how people think. Consider which political faction has dominated entertainment; then examine the state of our culture today. If that dominance isn’t challenged now, while it’s still possible, you are only going to get more of the same and worse…but to a greater degree.

The soldiers on our side in this war are marching to the sound of the guns. Your support would be dearly appreciated, down in the trenches.

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