The Vox Day Interview
At long last, and with sincere thanks to Kevin and James over at Pex Lives for hosting, I am pleased to announce that my interview with Vox Day is live. You can find that right here. It’s a roughly two hour long discussion if John C. Wright’s One Bright Star to Guide Them, one of the Sad/Rabid Puppy nominees for Best Novella this year, and Iain Banks’s debut novel The Wasp Factory, which I’ve previously covered here. Though don’t worry if you’ve not read them; the interview should be perfectly accessible to anyone who doesn’t mind some spoilers.
I’ve also recorded a conversation with Kevin, James, and Jack Graham that’s something of an afterparty, in which the four of us and Jack’s cat Quiz have a nice long chat about the interview, our thoughts on it, and what it revealed. It’s at times very silly and at times very interesting, and is available here. While the interview itself is obviously the more general interest item, I have to say, if you’re coming at this from the perspective of someone who likes my stuff, which, since you’re here, I assume you are, the afterparty is frankly essential listening.
I think both make for excellent and edifying radio, and hope you enjoy them.
June 8, 2015 @ 9:08 am
I'm excite to hear this finally. Will there be a transcript?
June 8, 2015 @ 9:13 am
Yes, but it'll be a few days.
June 8, 2015 @ 9:44 am
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June 8, 2015 @ 9:44 am
Not all the way through, but I'm surprised what an interesting interview this is. While I despise Vox Day for his ideology, the two of you are both very eloquent vocally and since your worldviews are so different (and you aren't insulting each other as these things often descend into) there is enough contrast here to make a really compelling conversation. I'd actually listen to another one of these? Weird.
Anyways, you did a very good job.
June 8, 2015 @ 9:50 am
Twenty-five minutes in. VD got his first good counterpoint in when Cicero came up.
He was getting very uncomfortable on the Christian dominionism. The submission to god notion he was praising in Wright's work is also very Islamic.
June 8, 2015 @ 9:59 am
I will say, Jack has an absolutely hilarious moment towards the end of the afterparty regarding the Cicero claim.
June 8, 2015 @ 10:08 am
Can we please top indulging Ted "trust fund multimillionaire with a Christian SF/F micropublishing hobby" Beale's vanity by using his idiotic nom de plum? He's no more the vox of the deus (or the dies) than my left ass cheek is.
June 8, 2015 @ 10:08 am
The comment about the prospect of Abortion in society being a magical ritual somehow managed to be both the most ridiculous and fascinating part of this so far.
June 8, 2015 @ 10:11 am
I go back and forth, but ultimately tend to feel like it's polite to call people by their preferred names.
June 8, 2015 @ 10:19 am
I think consistency is important. While Vox is pretty vile, he deserves the right to chose his own name. Changing a name for privacy, career, divorce, marriage, transitioning, whatever reason, even if not officially is worth defending I think.
June 8, 2015 @ 10:20 am
I've skipped over to the after party now. I'm going to go back and listen to VD's views on the Wasp Factory a bit later – sounds like he is conflicted with wanting to show off how literary he is by praising Banks while claiming the novel is badly written.
June 8, 2015 @ 10:35 am
LOL – skipped to end for the Circero bit. Very funny but I get the feeling we'll all be hearing about how Phil Sandifer wants to murder children from VDs supporters ad nauseum.
Also, Quiz the Cat? Adorable – and I hope not some Jesus metaphor…
June 8, 2015 @ 10:43 am
If Beale were in the habit of asking his wife, children and business partners to address him, in person or in private communications, as "Vox Day" I would be more sympathetic to this argument; I have never heard any evidence to suggest that this is so.
Anyone of course is welcome to pick whatever pen name they'd like (my own birth certificate contains neither the words "Doctor" nor "Memory", more's the pity), but there's a qualitative difference between a pen name chosen for amusement (especially for amusement at the expense of whoever chooses to use it) and a name picked to reflect one's actual identity, and I see no reason to indulge Beale's attempts to grief the well-intentioned on this score. YMMV.
June 8, 2015 @ 10:48 am
@Doctor Memory – but here in this context we'll still address you as Doctor Memory. Unless the name is obvious trolling it makes sense to refer to people by their handle/nom-de-plume/stage-name. I don't feel we owe Vox Day much respect but if you use that name people know who you are talking about.
June 8, 2015 @ 11:47 am
The second half was interesting, but not quite entertaining. While the first half was actually a really fascinating discussion, the second half involved Vox repeating himself so often, and seemingly not being able to understand the Wasp's nest having a different aesthetic focus than he would prefer it to that govern the story's narrative even as he used a similar argument about Phil not appreciating the aesthetic cohesion of "Bright Star". I got frustrated with his inability to understand that.
As a personal aside, his gender existentialism was pretty gross. Not that anyone here is surprised by that obviously, but seriously. Its worth stating that.
Phil really won the second half, strongly. The first half was much more even, and Vox at least managed to make a case for why his own personal tastes make him enjoy that novella. Of course, its a case he undercuts by rejecting parallel arguments in the second half, but there you go.
June 8, 2015 @ 12:00 pm
Interesting. I was less confident in the Wasp Factory half, partially because it was much more "talking past each other," partially because I got thrown off script very early on when Vox suggested we open with what I liked about the book, whereas I'd been expecting to start with his dislikes, so I had to cobble together an overall defense of it out of my scattered notes about specific points I wanted to make.
Though I do think the most powerful part of the interview comes in that part – I'm very proud of my "speaking as someone with a profound respect for and investment in mystical and visionary experiences, I think the message 'be wary of them' is much better than 'obey without question'" point. I think that's probably the moment that best encapsulates my horror at his world.
June 8, 2015 @ 5:22 pm
Both pieces re-listen to quite well all edited up and packaged for consumption.
I'll admit: part of me wishes I was more vocal during the after-party, but a greater part of me just intensely enjoys listening to you and Jack riff off of each other. Providing the occasional prompt or chuckle felt like enough of a value add. Well done on the whole project, Phil. I was glad to play a minor role in it.
June 8, 2015 @ 5:33 pm
Yes, Jack and I can be a somewhat overbearing double act. 🙂
June 9, 2015 @ 12:23 am
Maybe I'm missing something, but the beauty of skepticism with regards to 2 + 2 is precisely that skepticism will allow you to conclude for yourself that it does, indeed = 4. Skepticism is a way to uncover truth, it can't obscure truth (that would be denial – or if I'm feeling grumpy, faith).
June 9, 2015 @ 1:30 am
Has anyone on Vox's fascist hateblog ever called you Feel Sad-ifer?
June 9, 2015 @ 1:32 am
Also I giggled at John C Wrought- no one can accuse you of name calling cos you were just using the naming convention he demonstrated with Sandofer.
ALSO: please change the header to Philip Satandifer for a week!
June 9, 2015 @ 9:10 am
I can personally testify that Quiz bears very little resemblance to Jesus.
June 9, 2015 @ 10:25 am
Jack – that is a worrisome sign, as christian-allegory-cat-lions don't tend to resemble Jesus much either 🙂
June 9, 2015 @ 10:40 pm
I've not been able to listen yet and as I have a really busy week of work, it will be a few days before I can listen properly. But sooo looking forwards to this! Well done Phil.
June 13, 2015 @ 8:16 am
Good point Kit, I often apply questioning, discussion with what may be an initially skeptical attitude in situations, with an aim to get to discovering deeper truths. I find it a good tool and one that I am easily willing too to let go of.
June 13, 2015 @ 8:19 am
"Though I do think the most powerful part of the interview comes in that part – I'm very proud of my "speaking as someone with a profound respect for and investment in mystical and visionary experiences, I think the message 'be wary of them' is much better than 'obey without question'" point. I think that's probably the moment that best encapsulates my horror at his world."
This along with the concept of not carrying out death threats from your god are points I really ally with from the interview. Well done and great work in stepping into the loin's den – especially in Vox's comments feed!
August 15, 2017 @ 10:44 am
You guys are TOO good.
December 12, 2017 @ 3:20 am
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