Category: Debarkle

  • The weird attempt at a 2014 revival

    Given this blog recently enjoyed great success with a whole book centred on right-wing shenanigans in 2015, I perhaps shouldn’t complain about the latest culture war gambit. I say “latest” but I can’t think of a better way of putting it than “let’s do 2014/15 again”. A lot of this is coming from the Twitter […]


  • Rockets & Raytheon: Jack Parsons

    In the previous post in this increasingly irregular series, I looked at the thread of esoteric thought within science fiction and how it worked syncretically with the genre’s apparent philosophical materialism and pro-technological stance. The idea in these essays is that there is something in particular about rockets that joins multiple separate topics: These connections […]

  • Big in Seattle

    OK, I’m drunk on actual numbers because since starting this blog, I’ve had to make do with proxies like Goodreads data, Amazon rankings or Wikipedia views. The Seattle Library data has a big limitation, as already noted: it’s one part of the world and in some ways, a weird part of the US and this […]

  • A minor Debarkle footnote update

    Chapter 43 of Debarkle covered the shambolic “Tor Boycott” of June 2015, one of the more toxic phases of the Sad/Rabid Puppy campaigns. The issue at the time was a description of those campaigns as: “There are two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups, called the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies respectively, that are calling for […]

  • Sub-genres and fascism

    This was provoked by a minor discourse on Twitter which I won’t quote because the original take wasn’t some terrible thing, it was a reasonable idea — I just think it is incorrect. Essentially, somebody was speculating whether the relative popularity of fantasy over science-fiction reflected the current fascist trend in wider society. I think […]

  • Rockets & Raytheon: Fandom, Science and the Esoteric

    In the previous chapter of this set of occasional essays, I looked at the fandom connections with rocketry both as a hobby and as a discipline. The first half of the twentieth century saw multiple connections between technical hobbies and genre fiction. For example, Hugo Gernsback built up his proto-science fiction fandom on the back […]

  • Rockets & Raytheon 2: Verein für Raumschiffahrt

    Rockets & Raytheon 2: Verein für Raumschiffahrt

    The underlying theme of space and the military was not one that I set out to highlight in Debarkle. However, it runs through this story from the early chapters onwards. In Chapter 4, I discussed Sam Moskowitz’s 1954 history of fandom The Immortal Storm. In discussing international fandom, one of the groups Moskowitz highlighted was […]

  • Rockets & Raytheon: A Debarkle Coda – 1

    Rockets & Raytheon: A Debarkle Coda – 1

    In the last weeks of 2021 I attempted to write just one more chapter of the Debarkle series. It was poor timing and that additional chapter quickly spun out of control. So I put it aside and decided to return to it later on. The reason for the chapter was twofold. The initiating issue was […]

  • John C Wright Consumed by Dinosaurs

    Mentally that is. Wright had been running Chris Chan’s 8 part set of essays on the Sad Puppy campaign (entitled “No Award”). At the end of the last post Wright added a comment on how the conflict could be encapsulated by two stories: “As a useful appendix to this series of columns, in this space […]

  • Hugo 2022 Comments Place

    This is an automated post because I’m actually fast asleep. If my timing is correct then Chicon should have announced the Hugo finalists for 2021, so this is a post for initial reactions. Of course, I don’t know who the finalists are and I’m asleep but if you are reading this then you do know […]