I've been meaning to, but hell's bells - what's out there to read these days? WL Emery has released a few teasers that will be first on my list. He has one in the works now apparently that looks REALLY promising. Problem is, he's too busy hunting elephants and tigers on safari in Africa and when he's not doing that, he's sits around in posh bars sipping 40 year old scotch and signs autographs for starry eyed big boobed bimbos n' bubblegummers. Like all literary celebs, that guy has no sense of priorities and if he's not careful, he'll end up like that bum - whatsisname? Earnie? Earnie Hemingway? Bah! Whatever!
I haven't been motivated to read anything in the science-fiction genre in ages. About 15 years ago the genre got hijacked by the queers and social justice warriors. Gone were the Crichtons, the Asimovs, the Heinleins - replaced by pasty-faced, bedwetting authors who were more worried about being politically correct than about punching out a good yarn or story. We got formulaic, derivative fictional crap about lesbian time travellers, butt-blasting space marines, and bitchy, unlikeable Powerful Women. GAH. I ain't reading that shit. Nor is anyone else, really. Last time I was in the book store the science fiction genre was down to two small shelves - pretty much all Star Trek and Star Wars. Anything else had pics of authors on the covers where the women had pink hair, pierced noses, lips, ears and eyebrows - and could beer belly bop a locomotive into the middle of next week. The guys had no chins and no hair and a few of 'em wore tutus if ya catch my drift.
You can imagine my utter shock when I saw this one by Vox Day, of all the bloody people.
Lieutenant Colonel Max Kruger stood at attention and saluted as General Markham, SUBCONCOM, debarked from the flyer with the ease of a man four decades younger and strode across the landing pad towards him.
“At ease, Colonel,” the general ordered. “Good to see you. Now, come with me, we’ve got a lot to discuss before the press conference.”
The general had four centims on him and was walking quickly, so Kruger had to lengthen his stride in order to keep up with the taller man.
“The Grkese signed the contract?”
“They did indeed,” the general confirmed. “And the Duke himself selected you as the contract CO, Max.”
“Honored,” Kruger murmured, as expected. And it was true, he did feel honored, although he wasn’t exactly surprised. Of the various officers in the Rhysalani Armed Forces qualified to command low-tech forces, he not only possessed the best record with regards to successfully completed contracts, but he had beaten Col. Thompson, his closest rival, rather soundly at the Duke’s Command Challenge last year. “I presume it will be 3rd Battalion?”
The 3rd Battalion of the Ducal Marines specialized in low-tech combat, particularly combat below TL10. Kruger had served with them on two previous deployments, both of which had taken place on Dom Sevru. The men of 3rd Battalion were trained to be able to fight with everything from swords and shields to plasma cannon and sub-atomic armor.
“No,” the general replied, to his surprise, as they entered the elevator that would bring them down to the heart of the airbase command center. “The Lord General suggested that this would be the ideal opportunity to show the subsector what the 11th Special Battalion can do. And the Duke concurred.”
Kruger couldn’t hide his astonishment. Or his dismay. He looked at his superior in disbelief, and while he saw everything from amusement to sympathy in the older man’s eyes, he detected no sign at all that his leg was being pulled.
“Dear God, you’re not joking!”
“Afraid not, Max. The Duke has spent a fortune training and equipping those women for the last five years, and he’s decided that it’s about time to see a return on that investment.”
Kruger didn’t trust himself to speak. The first five or six responses that sprang to mind would have earned him at least a reprimand, if not a court-martial. The next three, if uttered openly by an officer of the Armed Forces, technically amounted to lèse-nobilité and would theoretically merit a firing squad. So he said nothing.
The general grinned nonchalantly and raised an eyebrow. He knew damn well what Kruger was thinking. “He’s not wrong, Max. Their negotiators were so impressed that they paid triple our usual rate. Half up front.”
“They did? Why the hell would they do that?”
“Well, as I understand the sales pitch, our highly trained female soldiers have proven to be much better communicators than their male counterparts, and as a result they are considerably less inclined to needlessly break things and kill people. In this particular case, the estimated savings in infrastructure damage when taking and occupying the primary objective alone is expected to more than make up for the increased cost of the contract.”
“Assuming we can complete it. What’s the tech level again?”
This time, Kruger couldn’t restrain an oath. The general raised an eyebrow, then slapped Kruger on his oak-leafed shoulders as they approached a door with a pair of Ducal Marines on either side.
“Try to keep it clean for the cameras, Max. If you don’t know what to say, just smile and declare that you’ve got every confidence in the troops. Do your best to sell it. God knows we’ve all had to tell a few humdingers in our day. Your record speaks for itself, so let it do the talking. Now, you’ve got an hour to review the contract and meet with the battalion’s officers before the press conference, so I suggest you hop to it.”
“Yessir,” Kruger said morosely. “Any chance I can get out of this, General?”
“None at all, Max. None at all.”
HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR! HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR!
Vox and I are old enemies because he likes to think of himself as an intellectual. When I pointed out that by his own definitions and reasoning that his son was a beta male, and he himself was a gamma male - I got banned from his site. (I'm always in shit with my fellow bloggers - I am on Uncle Bob's shit list because I am a good friend with George Dubya Bush...). Ya never know what's gonna trigger someone and I take those opportunities when and where I can!
It's always been my position though, that if the author is a 10 lb. sack of crap in a 5 lb. bag - I won't put a friggin' penny in his pocket by buying his books. I don't care how great a novel Steven King writes - when he started using his status as a celeb writer to push gun control - welp, Steve can push his books up his own arse as far as I'm concerned. I'll just swipe a copy of his latest book off Chicken Mom's coffee table when she's not looking! :) When John Scalzi turned out to be an SJW mangina I stopped buying his unremarkable books too. I'm sure those guys won't miss the 27 and a half cent royalties they would get from me buying their books - but it's worth a two bits and a couple pennies to tell those idiots where to go and how to get there! HAR!
This one by Voxxie, though...hoo boy. I might have to take back some of the rotten things I've said about him!
(All the rotten things I've said about BW, Gorges Grouse and Quartermain still stand though - I will retract them if and when I need to borrow some money...).