MAGA 2020 & Beyond News & Reviews

PJ Media wrote up a nice article about MAGA 2020 & Beyond today. Emphasis is mine.

Have you ever wondered what events await you in a post-2016 election world? Have you imagined what making America great again will actually look like? A group of conservative and libertarian fiction writers has done it for you. MAGA 2020 & Beyond is an anthology published by Superversive Press that includes a collection of short stories and essays by a wide variety of thinkers sure to delight any reader not suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). From Barron Trump’s escapades in a military “Trump Mech” suit to stopping zombie invaders at the completed border wall to a dystopic future in Canada where reparations are taken from your account by street police if you offend a minority, MAGA 2020 & Beyond is what winning looks like in book form. Read more

We’ve also gotten several nice reviews on Amazon.

This was a varied, entertaining, and thought provoking collection. The highly readable stories convey an upbeat, can-do message- namely, to Make America Great Again (MAGA). I especially appreciated the humor in several of the pieces. Overall, the stories were quite insightful… ~ Amazon Reviewer

Not all of the items in this collection are comedic or even tongue in cheek celebrations of making America great again. This collection includes a few thoughtful pieces as well, but every single one is salve to the souls of those who treasure their red hats and tire of the gloomy Gus writings of the mainstream media. ~ Amazon Reviewer

Finally, a fun collection of speculative fiction short stories and thought-provoking essays for people who want to Make America Great Again. ~ Amazon Reviewer

BUY on AMAZON

Astounding Frontiers Issue 5 is out Now

In Issue #5 of Astounding Frontiers we bring you more pulpy goodness with stories from Julie Frost, Arlan Andrews and Patrick S. Baker as well as continuing serials from Ben Wheeler, Corey McCleery and David Hallquist. We also have another article from Pulp expert Jeffro Johnson and a fun poem by myself that should be familiar to long-term followers of this blog.

Please join us in travelling to Astounding Frontiers!

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The Right’s Neglect of Art and Literature

Tonight, I was involved with an interesting twitter exchange that got me thinking about the right’s attitudes towards art, literature and culture.

They claim that they want the culture to change. There are a ton of nonfiction books scolding the society for the state it’s in and ranting about how it needs to change. There are commentators on the radio and television going on and on about how horrible things are today in society. Well, what do they expect?

The Right cannot ignore art and literature and then expect the culture to change. Politics alone will not do that. You can’t legislate morality. You have to change society through many different avenues, politics being only one of those.

Yes. Yes. I know the argument. I’ve heard it before. However, laws do not legislate morality, they legislate actions, which some equate with morality. But, they are not the same.

Cussing in front of a lady could land a man in jail at one time. Did not cussing in front of ladies change a man’s idea of the right or wrong of cussing? Of course not. It just punished the behavior. That same man could cuss up a storm when ladies weren’t present.

When you neglect society, eventually, society changed the laws. Which is exactly what has been happening over the past 50 years. We went from a society with cohesive traditional values and work ethic to a hedonistic society where “if it feels good do it” and individuals aren’t responsible for themselves.

So why conservatives think that ignoring culture, art and literature in favor of ranting about politics is going to somehow miraculously change society? They’re daft.

Last year, when I was at the National Diaper Bank Conference in Philadelphia, the keynote speaker talked about influencing moms in regards to caring for their children. She sited statistics that showed fictional television programs did more to change what people do than fact based PSAs. Mom’s emulated their favorite characters on the shows.

Messaging in shows is now a common practice. Watch any television show and you’ll see messaging designed to change your thinking on certain subjects as well as your actions.

Now when that is coming from an ultra liberal, that is a scary thing. The left has been using literature and art for a long time in order to change the direction of society. They have been putting in messaging to change the way you think and act. And it happens without you realizing it.

Feed yourself a steady diet of liberal leaning literature and you’ll soon find yourself agreeing with liberal ideals, whether you want to or not.

Why do you think the shift to supporting gay marriage happened so danged quickly? It was because literature and art were feeding this opinion into the minds of Americans.

Yes, it does sound very much like a conspiracy theory, but it’s not. It’s backed up by years of scientific and advertising research designed original to get consumers to buy certain products.

Contrast today’s liberal leaning, hate everything traditional, literature and art with classic shows from years ago.

Lately, I’ve been watching episodes of Zorro with Guy Williams. I had watched reruns of the show as a child and fell in love with the characters. I decided to look it up online and found some of the episodes on Youtube. Boy was I shocked.

There is a sense of class in the old show that has been long gone in modern TV. And as anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that I was impressed that there was a great respect for religion. The newer versions of the legend either eliminate religion completely or use it for comedic purposes with little respect shown.

As a child watching the old shows, Zorro, The Lone Ranger, Rocky & Bullwinkle, I wanted to emulate these types of characters. I wanted to be on the side of good and fight for what’s right.

If we want to return to a society of traditional values and morals, we need to focus on art and literature. We need to bring back the class and the morals that used to be integral in our society. We need to feed the minds with good solid stories, art, television and movies.

If you’re not into the arts, you can still do your part by supporting the advancement of conservative literature and art. Money gets those works out into the world where they can be influential. Heck, just talking about conservative authors and their works would do wonders to help build a solid foundation in which to rebuild the culture from the ground up.

I’m not talking conservative message fiction. I’m talking good stories grounded in conservative values. You don’t need to shove values down people’s throats to pass them on. Just create good stories that people want to read with good characters people want to read about and emulate.

If you need somewhere to start, check out MAGA 2020 & Beyond.

Finally, a fun collection of speculative fiction short stories and thought-provoking essays for people who want to Make America Great Again.” ~ Amazon Reviewer

 

The Superversive From Japan: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

It’s been a while since I recommended a series for Superversive seekers, and once more I bring a series from the Gundam franchise to your attention. This is one of the “alternate continuity” series from the 1990s, one that hit big in the United States: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.

It is now remaster for HD, and the folks running the Gndam Official channel have made the entire series available for free to view in the hopes that you’ll head over to Amazon and buy the Blu-Ray disc collections.

This is one of the Superversive entries in the franchise, as the pretty boys who form the core of the cast are expressly out to liberate the world from a corrupt and oppressive world-state. What they do, and how they do it, vary greatly. Their opposition isn’t stupid or hamstrung, and the series’ antagonist is himself motivated by high ideals that contrast well against the heroes’ own. For a show aimed at boys entering adolescence (just a few year younger than the heroes), that’s some heavy storytelling.

You get a lot of philosophical conflict over the morality of government, of artificial intelligence, of the centralization of power and authority into an elite vs. decentralization into autonomous communities, and of the possession of warfighting capabilites by private individuals. (Alas, it also has one of the worst Straw Pacifist tropes in world fiction, but they can’t all be perfect.)

If your household has youths of roughly that age, or a little older, this is a perfect series to use to get them talking about things that they need to handle as adults- this is a story that is timely despite being over 20 year old, featuring concerns that they will have to deal with sooner than later.

And in the end, despite significant missteps, it is an overall Superversive series. Recommended.

Thor: Ragnarok, a review

If you know Norse mythology, you know that Ragnarok is basically the doom of Asgard. It is the end of all things. Can Thor, god of thunder, stop the cataclysm from happening?

Going by the first minutes of the film, yes. Yes he can.

When last we saw our intrepid Avenger, Thor had flown off in search of the Infinity Gems (the shiny MacGuffin devices from half the franchise). Finding none, he is now in search of the cause of his dreams: dreams of Ragnarok. It leads him to Surtur … some sort of magma …Satan … thing. Surtur monologes a bit about how he will destroy of of Asgard, bwahahahaha … and Thor interrupts him for some comic moments, and we’re off.

However, the end of all things isn’t quite averted. Hela, goddess of death, has been trapped for half a million years, and she’s out, she’s pissed, and she’s ready to rule everything.

So, nicely epic. But can they pull it off?

Largely, yes.

After resolving some dangling plot threads in Thor’s arc, we go straight into the film. When Hela is released, Thor and Loki are the first people she sees. Due to a problem with the Rainbow Bridge, the brothers don’t get a full confrontation with Hela, but are thrown onto an alien planet. Thor is captured via cheap technology tricks, and is thrown into a gladiatorial arena owned by Jeff Goldblum….sorry, the “Grandmaster.”  Yes, Jeff has tired of playing with dinosaurs, and wants to play with comic book characters instead. At least he left his stutter at home. It’s all very strange.

Then again, the whole film is strange from start to finish. There is a definite departure in tone from the other Thor films, giving it more of a Guardians feel. Thor, the deadly serious, makes for a surprisingly good slapstick artist. I was surprised. I think I laughed at this one more than I did at Guardians.

All in all, this was straight up fun. There are shoot outs that make me think of Flash Gordon (the one with Topol, Queen, and Max von Sydow) to such a point that I thought excerpts of the soundtrack would start playing at any moment. At one point, “Pure Imagination” does start playing. Yes, really.

There’s comedy. There’s some well-done plotting. Nothing is really forced (okay, one scene is, to be discussed below). I’d even say the Pulp crowd would be entertained, given that we have a space ship firing a machine gun at Fenris while a horde of zombie soldiers are being mowed down by a lightning-wielding demigod, who shot his way out of an intergalactic gladiatorial ring with a laser rifle.

Now, you know that there are several elements they must address in the film, such as the post-credit scene in Doctor Strange. You know from the end of The Dark World that Loki is on the throne of Asgard, pretending to be Odin. You know that Thor was looking for the Infinity gems. You know that someone might want to mention that Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) isn’t in this movie — and frankly, I have no idea how they could have fit her in on top of everyone else. All of these plot concerns are actually addressed and resolved within– at a guess– about fifteen minutes in.

I have two major problems with the movie, and a minor one. One, we have a moment that is a variation on the “you have hidden depths” meme that we’ve seen before — though I don’t have a problem with how they did it, I have a problem with where they put it. It’s rather awkwardly jammed in. I blame whoever edited the film together. It’s fairly jarring.  You’ll probably catch it. I liked the scene itself (it could have been a minute longer), and it was well written, but it’s sort of shoehorned in, like the editor went trigger happy somewhere along the line. I know there are several shots and lines of dialogue cut from the trailer to the film; I know that it happens, but given some parts of the ending, I think someone went overboard.

My second major problem: character deaths. Of the five character deaths in this film, only one is lingered on for any length of time. The other four were murdered off-handedly, making me wonder why some of these actors were even brought in for filming.

The acting is surprisingly well done. Hemsworth is a great straight man, and pulls off the big epic moments, as well as the slapstick. Don’t worry ladies, you’ll get shirtless Thor — though he seems to have bulked down, and has gone more for martial art muscle than gym muscle.

Cumberbatch as Strange is even better and funnier here than he was in his own movie. It was fun, and they got rid of him in a matter of three minutes– a good thing, since he might have stolen this film if he was more than a cameo.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki … is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Has anyone ever had any problem with his Loki? Loki’s still insane, but dang, he’s got style. And he knows how to make an entrance.

Hela … is a serviceable villain. She’s fun, and she leaves more of an impression than the dark elves from The Dark World. She even comes with her own army of zombie Rivendell elves. Yes, I know they’re supposed to be old Asgard warriors. And she comes with Fenris as her pet. She also has motivation. It’s simple and straight forward. She’s more Kali by way of the thugee, so she doesn’t really need much.

“Valkyrie” — Sigh. You know, I don’t mind Idris Elba as Heimdall, because he brings gravitas and .. he ACTS LIKE HEIMDALL. I didn’t mind a random Asian dude thrown in as one of the Warriors Three, since they’re largely background characters. But when you replace Valkrie, a six-foot blonde who should be built like Red Sonja, with a 5’4″ Tessa Thompson, I have multiple levels of why this is a problem. It will help if you have no actual attachment to the comic book character in the first place. Trust me on this. While I liked her character, all I could think is “You couldn’t have at least given her any other name? Ever?”

Karl Urban as the Executioner … while I like Urban, I’m not sure that this character is anything like the comic book, except with some mild overlap. I presume that this is the last Thor film, for multiple reasons, but most of all because they felt the need to jam in certain characters without bothering to make them anything like their comic book counterparts.

Aside from these complaints, which are largely nitpicky on my part, this was a fun film. It is certain this is the best Thor film. It’s possibly the funniest Marvel film. Though I’m surprised at their restraint, plot wise: I had expected at least new one Infinity Gem, and didn’t get one. If I recall correctly, there are still two missing.

But we’ll see.

Ragnarok is definitely recommended on the big screen. 8/10.

Signal Boost: Silver Empire UF Giveaway

Russell Newquist of Silver Empire press is giving away 10 Urban Fantasy ebooks this week, and 2 signed paperbacks.10 Urban Fantasy eBooks + 2 Signed Paperbacks!

The URL is: The books:

  • Beast Master by Shayne Silvers – plus SIGNED paperback!
  • War Demons by Russell Newquist – plus SIGNED paperback!
  • The Builder’s Pride by J.A. Cipriano
  • Devil’s Descent by Percival Constantine
  • A Game of Witches by Kit Hallows
  • Fade by Daniel Humphreys
  • Fae Generations by Tom Keller
  • Death Mage by Brad Magnarella
  • Skull Master by William Massa
  • Underground Druid by M.D. Massey

For YOUR chance to sign up for these novels, just click here.