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August 16th, 2016

05:45 pm: When Can We Murder Grandma?


Not a human

Many years ago, I was driving down the highway, from North Carolina to Maryland, in the company of a friend, with whom I was secretly in love, and we were discussing abortion.

I had told him my stance. I was very pro-abortion. (I realize that, since then, someone came up with cute little terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice”, but this was before that. We still called it pro-abortion and anti-abortion.)

My reasons were as follows:

I believed that all life was sacred, that to kill would be to break a commandment. I believed that this was in direct disobedience to the will of God. So, I personally would never have an abortion.

BUT, I felt I had made this decision on religious grounds. Thus, abortion should be legal so that everyone could make their own decision based on their own religion.

I felt very strongly about this. So strongly that I had voted a pro-abortion ticket one year.

I felt this was about defending religious freedom.

But, as I chatted about the issue with my friend, he brought up the word murder.

“Abortion’s not murder!” I scoffed.

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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August 12th, 2016

04:11 pm: Pokemon, Go!

poka - pokemon_go_logo

At Boy Scout camp, we had no reception. To use the Internet, we had to go to a narrow span of space inside the staff lounge and stand on one foot while leaning to the north, which was the only place the WIFI worked. I did this once a day to check my email, and, occasionally, I looked at a newsfeed to see if the outer world was still there. It was here, while balanced precariously in a northerly direction, that I saw the headline:

Pokemon Go More Popular Than Porn.

This was my introduction to Pokemon Go.

At first, I confused this with Pokemon Sun and Moon, the new DS game my kids have been waiting for. It took a little while before I realized that this was, actually, something new. Very new.

This was like nothing that had ever been done before.


Ash Ketchum gets off to a rocky start

but almost two decades later, he's still going strong!

A bit of history:

My first encounter with Pokemon was, well, probably before you heard of  it.

Back in the late 90s, I wrote for a briefly-existent magazine called Animefantastique. It was put out by the folks that publish Cimemafantastique magazine. They wanted to cover anime for the American audience, but maybe they started too soon, as it was not yet as big as it would be a few years later. So the magazine did not last long. My last article for them did not even get published.

My last article was on this new-fangled thing called Pokemon.

Poka - pika

A scene from the very episode my sister-in-law translated for me

So early in the Pokemon phenomena was this that, in order to review the TV show, I had to get my Japanese sister-in-law to translate an episode. It had not yet been released in English. This was before the release of the first movie, which came out in 1999, I believe.

Poka - Pokemon_the_First_Movie

This movie introduced Mewtwo.

Mew is cuter.

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

August 1st, 2016

07:59 pm: “A Little Touch of Harry In The Night”

Spoiler free musings on the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Juss wizard 16b

The Elf King contemplates his life of wizardly crime.

Saturday night, standing between the trolley witch’s cart and the wand maker, surrounded on all sides by charm and wonder that was the world of Harry Potter, I couldn’t help recall how I had come to be there.

Harry potter

The first time I ever heard of Harry Potter was nearly two decades ago. John had been reading an article that mentioned complaints about some “overly-masculine” book from England, where children characters still punched each other.

Some months later, I walked into Barnes and Nobles, and they had a display showing a rather charming book cover. The title of the book had the boy’s name in it. It reminded me of Encyclopedia Brown, Tom Swift, and other books John had loved as a boy. I called him over and showed it to him. His face lit up. “That’s the book I told you about!”

The title was: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry potter 2

Doesn't the cover even look like one of those old boys adventure books?

The title made me smile, because it reminded me of the Philosopher’s Stone (Little did I guess that it actually was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, only they’d dumbed it down for Americans.)

“Let’s get it.”

We read it to each other on our Christmas trip to John’s mom’s. We LOVED it.

It was entirely enthralling. It had the cheer and the wonder of a fairy tale, but the concreteness of the modern—or at least semi-modern day. There was a lonely orphan boy and a talking snake. A friendly giant who told the lonely boy that he was a wizard. (Even today, that scene brings tears to my eyes, every time I reread it.) There was a magical boarding school with moving staircases, cruel professors–though no more cruel that the real professors at the boarding school C. S. Lewis attended, and a Forbidden Forest.

What more could the child-like heart of a fantasy fan desire?

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Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

03:41 pm: The Ideal Election



This is the most interesting and unnerving election that has happened in my lifetime. Unnerving for several reasons.

When I was young, my parents were very thoughtful and idealistic people. They instilled in me a wish to see our country have a president who was as great as some of the most noble men of the past. So each election, I have searched the candidates for someone who truly believed and lived the ideas for which he stands.

Sadly, such candidates never appeared.

Until this year.

This year, in a strange and miraculous change of direction, we had not one, but two such candidates: Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders.

Whatever you might believe about these two men, their ideas really matter to them. They really believe what they stand for, and they stand for something concrete and obvious. They are willing to suffer and be ridiculed for what they believe.

Ted Cruz strikes me as kind of the Tim Tebow of politics. The Conservative Christians love him and very few other people seem to get him.

Bernie Sanders is just the kind of man I would have loved when I was a young liberal. Someone who is not part of the inner circle political elect, just a regular guy who believes what he says.

A contest between those two would have been interesting and strange, quite unlike any previous American election. However, it was not to be.

Enter the opposition:

Trump—an outsider known for his rudeness, his buffoonery, and his ability to stick his own foot deep into his mouth—who nonetheless won the hearts of hard-working Americans by recognizing and addressing topics that worry them but which the press and Washington will not address. Whether it’s immigrants, terrorism, or vaccinations, if the main-stream press dismisses it without serious discussion, Trump’s on it.

Trump is an outsider who was strongly rejected by the Republican party elite, who won his way to the nomination entirely upon a populist vote.

Clinton—an insider known for being corrupt, careless with state secrets, and, possibly, a murderess (by proxy, if not by her own hand)—brought to the table many years of practical experience. Solidly behind her is the press and the DNC insiders, the elite.

Clinton is an insider, chosen and raised to her current place of power by the Democratic elite, to the degree that they apparently colluded in interfering with the campaign of her opponents.

So, now we are stuck with a populist vs. an elitist candidate, neither of whom really seem to properly represent a large portion of their supposed constitutes—who are left wondering why they should bother voting at all.

Somehow, the current two party system doesn’t quite seem to be working the way most of us wish it would.

Are there other options? The Libertarian and the Green party are a bit larger than others, but as someone who has often voted Libertarian, I will just say: I’m not that happy with what they have to offer this year.

So I got to thinking:  What would the ideal election be like?

Ideal as in, you know, barring things like political realities and promises candidates made not to go maverick.

And I thought, to me, the ideal election would be if somehow, miraculously, Bernie Sanders had accepted the offer to take over the candidacy for the Green Party, and Ted Cruz accepted the nomination for the Libertarians or maybe the Constitutional Party.

So our choices would be:


(It was really hard to find a picture of all four of these guys that didn't make at least one of them look really bad. Best I could do.)

Trump – populist, voicing the unvoiceable  (both good and bad)

Clinton – bringing experience and Machiavellian cunning (both good and bad)

Cruz – offering a choice to those concerned with morals and principles.

Sanders – offering a choice for those who are socially progressive.


Now that would be an interesting election!!



Instead, we have: The Simpsons: "Go Ahead! Throw Your Vote Away!" — Now with Trump and Clinton!

(Alternate, slightly less topical and amusing version for those who can’t reach Facebook.)

The Simpsons: "Go Ahead! Throw Your Vote Away!"


May God have mercy on our souls!



Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 20th, 2016

07:52 am: Unexpected fans…the news you have been waiting for!

Quite a few of you have been asking for this for some time:

The Third Book of Unexptected Enlightenment!

On pre-order now!

Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland

Release date: October 14, 2016

!Rachel and the Many Splendored Dreamland art

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 18th, 2016

01:36 pm: Book Bombs Away!

The answer to your 

Summer Reading Needs!


The folks over at CLFA (Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance) have their first ever book bomb going today for 20 books.

This list includes books by myself, John C. Wright, and SuperversiveSF's own Ben Zwycky!  

Books marked with an * were finalists in the CLFA Book of the Year contest (which was won by Larry Correia's Son of the Black Sword.)

You can find the list here.

Please share!



Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 8th, 2016

09:03 pm: Magic come to Life!

For years, I decribed the cover I would like to see for Prospero Lost: Miranda in her old-fashioned green dress and Mab in his trenchcoat and fedora with his trusty lead pipe walking down the streets of Chicago with a lightningbolt shaped like a unicorn in the background.

My amazing cover artist, Dan Lawlis, brought it to life!

Here is the cover for the new release of PROSPERO LOST!

Prospero Lost!

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 6th, 2016

10:38 pm: We’re Famous!

Today's post from the merry folks over at Tempest In A Teardrop.



Rachel: "Do look, Sigrfried! We're famous."

Siggy, nonchalant: "I've always been famous. I'm Sigfried the Dragonslayer. But how nice for you."

(Note: it was asked whether Sigfried was a famous orphan to make him like another well-known famous orphan with magic. The answer is: No.  The original roleplaying game that The Books of Unexpected Enlightenment are based on had stats like: Family, Familiar, Fortune, Fame…  John, who was playing Sigfried Smith, designed his character in typical min/max fashion.)



Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

July 3rd, 2016

08:00 am: On Sale Now! The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin!

In honor of the release of the revised ebook for The Raven, The Elf, and Rachel, the first Book of Unexpected Enlightenment, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin is 


Only 99 cents on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

! Rachel Griffin Cover

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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July 2nd, 2016

12:00 am: A Head’s UP

The second Book of Unexpected Enlightenment, The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel, is live. In honor of this, on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th,  The first book, the new and expanded The Unexpected enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, will be only .99 cents!

I will post about it again when the time comes.

! The Raven- the Elf- and Rachel finish

Also, I added some more to the Roanoke Academy website.

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

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