Box Day, as it were.
So, it’s not exactly news that this has been coming, but Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons is now available. Purchase links below. As always, I have no preference where you buy.
Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons is my end-of-year collection, which is to say, a collection of my best work in 2015. For what it’s worth, which is, I hope, either $6.99 or $19.99 depending on your choice of formats, I think it’s also just my best book outright. Plus it has a space ship on the cover.
It’s not a book about Vox Day. It’s a book that starts with Vox – indeed with a revised and expanded version of the title essay. If you liked it before, and lots of people did, you’ll love it now. The background is more thorough, providing a pocket history of the Hugos and a full history of the Puppies. The definition of fascism is more rigorous (I use Umberto Eco’s “Ur-Fascism” for it). The analysis of Vox Day is more substantive. And I talk a bit about Ursula Vernon’s “Jackalope Wives” and contrast it with a John C Wright story, which is really funny. And it’s got my interview with Vox, the Shabcast “afterparty” (Jack is very happy to have himself saying “fuck you, Vox Day” in print in an actual book; page 167, incidentally) and some other stuff that mentions him.
It’s also got a preview chapter of The Last War in AlbionVolume 1 (the V for Vendetta chapter), a sort of best-of of The Super Nintendo Project, and the complete text of Recursive Occlusion, which also marks that book’s debut in ebook form. And a ton of stand-alone essays, including my big guide to Janelle Monae’s Metropolis Suite, my piece on True Detective, Hannibal, and the anthropocene extinction, and a short story in which I casually propose how to end capitalism. Oh, and an exclusive twenty-five page interview with Peter Harness about The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion in which he reveals his rejected Doctor Who pitch featuring “beheaded medieval bishops, gigantic wicker men, and Scottish nationalism.”
But none of this quite describes what the book is.
Warren Ellis, in one of his frequent bouts of profound wisdom, describes the job of the writer as just looking up, at the world, and describing what you see. 2015 was a year where the progressive science fiction tradition I ply my trade in came under a sustained attack. We fought back, and we won, but it was an ugly, harsh year. And that’s the sort of year where it’s important to do that. And that, more than anything, is what Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons is: an attempt to take stock and say “here’s where we are” in the wake of a hell of a year. An effort that starts by dealing with the right-wing zealots, but that moves on to far bigger questions like “other than opposing the fascists who explicitly want a scorched earth policy where the world is devoid of any expression of progressive values whatsoever, what should we be thinking about?”
I hope you enjoy. We’ll be back tomorrow with the usual post-Christmas ebook sale on Smashwords