Tuesday, February 04, 2020

New from Gustavo Bondoni

From my most recent Tule Fog Press newsletter...

It's Winter!

Not sure about where you live, but Kansas is cold right now! Freezing rain expected this week. So the joy of snow and a white Christmas is over - now comes the dark dreary days of real winter.

All the more reason to read a book! And we have just the thing coming up in about a month. A new release from Tule Fog Press - Gustavo Bondoni's collection of dark fantasy called Pale Reflection.

We've created a Facebook Event Page here, so be sure to attend this special launch online, March 1, 2020. (The book will go on pre-order sale later this month!)

Gustavo is a prolific short story writer and a novelist to boot. Hailing from Argentina, his work ranges from science fiction to mainstream stories, passing through sword & sorcery and magic realism along the way. He has been published in fourteen countries and seven languages to date. To find out more about Gustavo Bondoni's projects visit his website here.

And as always, thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Recommended Reading - After the Sky

Recommended Reading - 5 Stars
Book Review of After the Sky by Milo James Fowler

After the Sky (book 1 in Spirits of the Earth series) by my writer friend Milo James Fowler is pretty darn good. It's a "Post Apocalyptic Tale with a Paranormal Twist" according the publisher, Aethon Books. That's an apt description.

I liken it to "The Silos of Wool meets World War Z" - and I'm pretty sure it will appeal to fans of Wool, Stephen King or Dean Koontz, and The Walking Dead.

At a nice and solid 400 pages, you'll get to spend some time with this motley crew of heroes - and you'll want to. There are multiple points-of-view and timeframes, so the storyline takes some attention.

Fowler is a good plotter, however, and you'll be rewarded with an engrossing tale that will leave you wanting to read the rest of the books in the series. I've read numerous stories by this author and he handles the long form just as well as the shorter works I'm familiar with.

(Disclaimer: Yes, I got a free ARC from the publisher, but I also bought it as a pre-order because it was that good, check my Verified Purchase tag on Amazon! Oh and if you like my review, will you click HELPFUL when the review goes live on Amazon? Thanks. You can also follow me and read my Goodreads review here.)

For more books, go to Tule Fog Press.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Free Fiction Friday - She Raced the Waves

Here's a prose poem for your enjoyment. I don't write a lot of poetry, but when I do... ;)

Hope you have a great weekend! Let me know what you're reading. Email me any time.

She Raced the Waves by Lyndon Perry

She raced the waves as they crashed behind her
with thunderous applause
as if she’d won a gold medal at the Olympics.
When the packed, sea-heavy sand changed abruptly
to thick, ankle-deep grains of brown and gold
she flopped to the ground and basked in the sun’s warmth.
Her eyes shut tight against the sun’s glory,
she could still hear the roar of the waves
and every third or fourth pounding
felt the spray of the ocean beckoning her
to return and run and frolic along its expansive coast.
Making sand angels instead, she felt
the tiny rocks polish the backs of her arms and legs;
she could taste the salt and smell the drying kelp as well.
But it wasn’t the allure of any of these magnificent and sensual pleasures
that finally compelled her to return and baptize herself
one final time
in the crisp, rejuvenating waters a block from her home.
It was the call of her mother
for lunch
“don’t bring any of that sand in the house with you this time.”

She Raced the Waves © 2017 by Lyndon Perry
For more to read, visit Tule Fog Press

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

New Release! Thee Will I Cherish

Thee Will I Cherish
An Inspirational Amish Love Story 
by Joyce Daley

David and Naomi Bontrager have a secret. To protect their adult children, Daniel and Anna, they agree to leave their Amish community in Buck Mill, Ohio, and become Englisch. The siblings, however, find it impossible to stay in Eastern Ohio after their parents’ shunning. So Daniel and Anna move to a small Amish town a few hours away in Western Pennsylvania. 

Rumors of their family’s scandal, however, chase them across the state line and some of the Elders of Levity, PA, are none too pleased to have Daniel and Anna settle in their community. Will their parents’ shame prevent the siblings from finding love and acceptance? Or will each of them, with God’s grace and guidance, find a new life with the person of their dreams?

Email me, Lyn Perry, directly to purchase an e-book of Thee Will I Cherish (choice of format) for only $2 via PayPal.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Why I'm Not In Favor of the Death Penalty

I’ve stated on Facebook (and may re-post those arguments here later) that I do not see an inherent contradiction between being pro-life and pro-death penalty. That being said, while I am pro-life, I am not an avid proponent of the death penalty, even though I can affirm it in principle.

Here are some reasons I’m not generally in favor of the death penalty, or rather the implementation of the death penalty. These are not necessarily persuasive taken individually, and they are admittedly not equal in weight. The first three, for example, are more pragmatic to my way of thinking and so aren’t automatic game changers. But cumulatively, they make a difference in my mind.

1) The death penalty does not appear to serve as a deterrent against future homicides. The delay between conviction and execution can take decades. This doesn’t seem to be an effective strategy to me. And I’ve heard that studies don’t really provide evidence of the death penalty being a deterrent.

2) The way the legal system works today means that a lengthy appeals process will inevitably put off the day of execution into the far, far future. This creates an exceptional expense for society and burdens all parties involved. I’ve also heard that studies show it’s cheaper for prisoners to serve life terms than go on death row.

3) The death penalty (if its purpose is to remove a person from society) is not necessary (at least in the U.S.) in light of the life-in-prison option. No one in high security, supermax type facilities escapes (that I’m aware of) and life-without-parole effectively does the same thing as putting a person on death row (given that a number of inmates on death row die before their execution date).

4) More weighty in my mind is that the potential for an innocent life to be taken is ever present. In some (many?) murders, the murderer is obvious; the case is open-and-shut. But in some (many?) situations, there may still be reasonable doubt, yet the jury decides to convict. This is a troubling possibility and should be troubling to any thinking person.

5) Which leads to an uncomfortable, and immoral state of affairs. The wealthy in America can generally avoid the death penalty, while the poor cannot. This is just a fact and an indictment on our current system. Do we really want to entrust the process of deciding to end a person’s life to a system rigged in favor of the wealthy?

Now, for me, a strong reason to support the death penalty is that it is the government’s job to remove from society immediate threats to its citizens. In other words, execution is a form of protection and self-defense. Just like when a person defends him- or herself against an imminent threat to his or her life. I am, as a citizen, permitted to defend myself. This may result in the death of someone else. The goal is not to kill, but to keep one’s self, one’s family safe. 

By the same token, a government must keep its society, its nation safe. This perspective acknowledges that all life has value, even the criminal who is being convicted and executed. That person simply forfeited his or her right to life by perpetrating a crime.

That being said, while the ‘government’ has a right to execute such criminals, it really is not the government (a faceless, no person) that is injecting the drugs, flipping the switch, opening the valve, pulling the trigger, or dropping the rope. It is a person or persons doing each of these acts.

So a final (and for now, the last, but not ultimate) reason I’m generally opposed to the implementation of the death penalty (and so also against war itself) is the trauma it causes the executioner. This seems to be a terrible moral burden to place on another human being, the responsibility to end a person’s life. It is a grave matter, and one in which the dark humor of the pun involved is included reluctantly.

Well, I’m sure I have more to say but for now this will do. I’m not tied down to this position 100% - it’s a topic that I will continue to reflect on and develop. I’m interested in your perspective, but not interested in arguing back and forth. If you have rational reflections on this issue, feel free to comment.

Thoughtful regards, Lyn


Note: Some of the above points are addressed by Matt Walsh in a 30-minute podcast from 2015 (see link below). He also includes a few more points: a discussion of the danger of trusting the government with such absolute power, along with the argument that if killing itself is unjust, killing a killer is also unjust (‘two wrongs don’t make a right’). Plus, as a person committed to the pro-life position, Walsh sees an inherent conflict with being pro-death penalty. He tries to explain this biblically, but goes a bit off the rails when he starts talking about OT and NT scripture in the last 5 or 10 minutes. If you have time, take a listen and let me know what you think.

Another thought. Some people like to throw this one up as a kind of gotcha – how can you be pro-life and still be pro-death penalty?

Sure, it may be slightly problematic to be pro-life and pro-death penalty – to hold these views together. I don’t think it’s a logical inconsistency because I believe one can forfeit one’s right to life by committing murder. However, it must be admitted that there are opposing arguments to be considered. For example, if killing is unjust prima facie (as Walsh posits, correctly) then killing the killer is also unjust despite what the killer has done. My initial response to this is that there are differences between murder and killing. But still, I understand the point.

That being said, while pro-lifers need to carefully think through this issue, pro-aborts who are against the death penalty are in a far worse position – they have no leg to stand on and are in complete hypocrisy here. They can not explain how murderers should be saved yet babies can be executed. Theirs is a depraved position. So my response to their ‘gotcha’ is this: When they answer logically how they can be pro- guilty murderer yet anti- innocent child (they can’t), then we can take our turn to answer logically (we can) how one can be pro-life and pro-death penalty at the same time.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

SynCorp Saga Continues

A couple of SF writer friends of mine - Chris Pourteau and David Bruns - are expanding their SynCorp Saga into the next trilogy with the upcoming military/corporate syndicate science fiction novel, Valhalla Station (available for pre-order NOW, March 12, 2019 for only 99 cents - ebook launches on March 21 for 99 cents as well, but price may go up later, never know).

Either way, you'll want to pre-order your copy this week!

I was fortunate enough to land an ARC and just finished it. I'll post my review on Amazon and Goodreads later this month, but you can rest assured it's a solid Book 1 of a new stand alone trilogy that continues the near-future story of "corporate intrigue that spans from the boardrooms of Earth to the red sands of Mars." (from the description on David Bruns' website)

The first three books are: The Lazarus Protocol, Cassandra's War, and Hostile Takeover.

I admit, I have not yet read these first three books, but Valhalla Station works as an adventure in and of itself, and one need not be familiar with the SynCorp universe to enjoy this new offering. (Note, though, Valhalla Station is definitely part of a new trilogy, of which the remaing two books will drop in the coming months - so you won't have to wait long once you get hooked on this new storyline.)

If you're not a big fan of military SF, never fear. This is more adventure and corporate intrigue (think multi-national conglomerates dividing up the solar system for their own ends). It is an adult SF book for adults, however - probably rated R if put on the big screen. Nevertheless, it will keep you reading and whet your appetite for Books 2 and 3. Again, pre-order now for 99 cents.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

My Thoughts on Pronouns

My Thoughts on Pronouns

Words have meaning. This is because words are connected to reality – they represent something actual and thus convey what’s real, what’s true. Sure, words themselves (I’m thinking of nouns, especially) aren’t ontologically related to objects. A tree is real, the word tree is a mere representation. A tree could just as well have come to be known as a gigglypoo.

But over the centuries, definitions arise, standards are set. We recognize that words mean something. Now, I wouldn’t use the phrase ‘social construct’ (because of its current political and SJW connotations) but if you made the point that what we call things seems arbitrary, I wouldn’t argue with you. Why isn’t a tree a gigglypoo? I won’t go into language theory at this point, but the short answer: that’s how it is.

You can insist on calling a tree something else, but that simply causes confusion and discounts centuries of dictionary usage. I recall in junior high one of my friends had a running gag calling cows fish. On the bus to school we’d laugh at his juvenile (and nonsensical) joke, but we all knew his words were being twisted beyond meaning.

I think you see where I’m heading with this.

Pronouns, too, have meaning. He, him, his refer to the male of a species. She, her, hers refer to the female. They have done so (through various forms and via word/gender endings) for centuries. They represent biological reality. Pronouns (and words in general) adhere to standards that help society function smoothly, with clarity and precision. Meaningful words make communication possible.

Enter gender theory, which finds its roots in the writings of a French philosopher and novelist named Simone de Beauvoir. She was one of the first to popularize the conception that, “One is not born, one is made a woman.” (The Second Sex, 1949) I think she was arguing against gender roles (which is a separate and important topic), but extreme feminists have since proclaimed that we are ‘assigned’ gender at birth (which is complete nonsense, by the way, since our sex, also known as gender, is biologically determined at conception, no one assigns it to us).

The biological reality is that there are two sexes, two genders. And the words representing these realities have meaning insofar as we adhere to reality. Gender confusion has produced pronoun madness – people are insisting that they be referred to in fantastical ways. Women want to adopt he, him, his pronouns; men want to adopt she, her, hers pronouns. (Some even want to adopt they, them, theirs – as if a singular person can be a plurality!)

This is delusion. This is fantasy. This breaks with reality. This is untrue, incredible, and nonsensical. A man cannot become a woman; a woman cannot become a man. Chromosomes are what they are. We are binary beings. Talk of non-binary persons and third gender persons is simply a journey through the rabbit hole into absurd silliness.

Unfortunately, the situation we find ourselves in today is not silly. It is dangerous. The Evil One has cast a great deception on our culture with regards to gender and pronouns – and this has real world consequences.

For example, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are censoring views like this one from the public square. This post (or link to this post or tweet about this post) may be arbitrarily taken down for violating an ever-changing set of ‘community standards’ – which, by and large, defines opposition to the prevailing regressive left’s agenda as hate speech. One can be banned for simply pointing out biological reality (if that’s the case here, it’s been nice to know you). There is an admitted bias in Silicon Valley against conservative views.

Big tech companies aren’t alone in their attempt to suppress free expression. Mastercard and Visa have been pressured by the country’s leading hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, to discontinue servicing groups the SPLC deems are hate groups. This is a very dangerous precedent and amounts to an attack on free enterprise.

Back on topic – for NOT using a student’s preferred pronoun, a teacher in Virginia was fired. The teacher said he would call the student by her new name (she wants to be viewed as a male and has taken on a masculine name) and would simply refrain from using any pronouns at all with regard to this student. But that was not good enough for the trans-movement tyrants. He must be *compelled* to use untrue speech. This, too, is a dangerous trend.

And this is the issue. Pronoun madness is forcing people to use words that no longer align with reality. And communication suffers as a result. Now if you are going by a different name than the one you were ‘assigned’ at birth, great. Your choice. Your name was assigned. Your gender was not. If you want to be called Gigglypoo, wonderful. But if you want me to use gigg/giggly/poo as your preferred pronouns, then you are living in a fantasy land. I mean you’re free to do what you want, you’ve got free speech as well, just don’t expect me – or force me – to eat the mushrooms with you.

Happy New Year.

Addendum: There are many more words that have lost or are in danger of losing their meaning due to extended misuse, including phobia, gender, racism, privilege, Nazi, hate, marriage. And literally.