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duskpeterson [userpic]
FIC: Law of Vengeance 1/21 (The Three Lands), new distribution

AO3 FICTION

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Chapter 2/21 of Law of Vengeance (The Three Lands).

"For many years, I have wished to make a memoir of my life to pass on to future generations of Emorians who desire to learn what it means to have complete dedication to the Chara and his law. This is not to be the memoir I intended, but I find the time passing slowly here in the Chara's dungeon . . ."

For over twenty years, Lord Carle has told the heir to the Emorian throne that vengeance is only the other side of mercy, and that disobedience and treachery should never be forgiven. Finally it seems that his message has been received. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that Carle should have chosen this moment to break the law.

As war threatens and the foundations of his life crumble, his only hope for rescue lies with a man who has every reason to hate Carle.

Rated T. Boilerplate warning for all my stories + my rating system.

NEW DISTRIBUTION

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Duties of a Second-Ranked Master (Waterman) is now available as an e-book at online bookstores.

TIPS

How you can offer support, either financial or non-financial )

duskpeterson [userpic]
Con reports: Flights of Foundry, WisCon, Balticon, Nebulas, Juneteenth BookFest, Rainbow Space Magic

I attended six virtual conventions in the space of five weeks. (Yes, this is me collapsing into a whimpering puddle.) Below are my brief highlights, with links to the tweet descriptions I wrote about panels, as well as links to the con videos and other con material where they're available.

Tons of links )

Unfortunately, what I discovered is that sitting for a weekend's worth of panels, and doing lots of social interaction and tweeting, is no healthier for my body or my hypomania than going to an offline con is. I was really bummed out to discover this. I'm committed to attending [community profile] con_txt this month, but it's only a one-day event, so that should help. Whether I'll do any virtual cons after that is highly problematic.

But there's nothing to prevent me from gradually listening to - preferably while I'm making meals - the oodles of con panel videos that have been dropped onto the Internet this year (not to mention ones from previous years). Here's what I have on my slate to watch:

Social Book Distance Fest (multigenre).

Everywhere Book Fest (children's literature and young adult literature) - panel videos here.

BookConline (multigenre).

Golden Crown Literary Society (lesbian literature).

Kidlit Pride (queer children's literature and young adult literature).

Reddit Fantasy (fantasy). An entirely text-based con; I'm really sorry I missed this.

VidUKon (fanvids) and their cons by year (click on a year and scroll to the bottom of the screen), as well as their magnificent database of past con vids. I was officially signed up for this (and got their lovely con book by overseas mail - check out their cute masked rabbit, folks!), but I was just burned out after attending four cons in the second half of May. Fortunately, the vids from this year's con and past years await me.

For those of you who want to catch the excitement of a virtual con, I highly recommend Con.txt for queer fanworks; I've been to their offline con many times in past years. At the moment, the two main upcoming SFF virtual cons I know of are the most important conventions in the SFF literary community: Worldcon (aka CoNZealand) and World Fantasy Convention. If you've always yearned to go to one of these, this is your chance. Unfortunately, they both charge hefty admission fees. (WFC does sponsor memberships for people of color. Worldcon offered scholarships to marginalized people, but the deadline for applying expired before the con went virtual.) My impression at this point is that free virtual cons can be just as high in quality as for-charge virtual cons. (My two favorites were both free.) But if you have a particular author in mind whom you want to hear, then you should certainly check out their convention schedule for the year.

Beyond that, [personal profile] tozka is keeping a short list of SFF cons and fan cons. Also, [twitter.com profile] ISTeahouse has been tracking SFF-related cons, both free or low-cost cons and cons costing more than $50. They both have some cons that I didn't list above, so do check out those threads periodically if you'd like to attend a virtual con.

duskpeterson [userpic]
FIC: Duties of a Second-Ranked Master (Waterman), Law of Vengeance 1/21 (The Three Lands), new ed.

PATREON FICTION

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Duties of a Second-Ranked Master (Waterman).

"Trafford came first. Trafford was always going to come first, Davenham quickly gathered when he announced his intention to take a liegeman."

Studying at boarding school is hard enough. Balancing the needs of your liege-master and liegeman is impossible.

As Davenham struggles to be both loyal and protective, he finds that he must consult the most despised student at school. But what use is it to seek advice on duties from a boy who seems incapable of mastering his own duties?

Rated T. Boilerplate warning for all my stories + my rating system.

All my latest releases appear first at Patreon. If you join my Patreon account, you'll receive access to my fiction there for as little as a dollar a month.

Excerpt )</br>

Next Patreon fic: "Liegeman's Service" (Waterman).

AO3 FICTION

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Chapter 1/21 of Law of Vengeance (The Three Lands).

"For many years, I have wished to make a memoir of my life to pass on to future generations of Emorians who desire to learn what it means to have complete dedication to the Chara and his law. This is not to be the memoir I intended, but I find the time passing slowly here in the Chara's dungeon . . ."

For over twenty years, Lord Carle has told the heir to the Emorian throne that vengeance is only the other side of mercy, and that disobedience and treachery should never be forgiven. Finally it seems that his message has been received. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that Carle should have chosen this moment to break the law.

As war threatens and the foundations of his life crumble, his only hope for rescue lies with a man who has every reason to hate Carle.

Rated T. Boilerplate warning for all my stories + my rating system.

NEW EDITION

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Runaway (Waterman) is now available as an e-book at online bookstores.

TIPS

How you can offer support, either financial or non-financial )

duskpeterson [userpic]
Dialogue, battle, and the dangers of both

G. K. Chesterton once said that the world needs both soldiers and pacifists. Although the context of his remarks was disagreeable, I've always felt his statement was fundamentally true. Even if one eliminates the use of violence, there will always be people in every conflict who feel more inclined toward direct action against the enemy, as well people who feel more inclined toward dialogue with the enemy.

These two impulses need not be in opposition to one another. They may even be found in the same person, though I think most of us can honestly say that we incline more toward either dialogue or battle in societal conflict. In the end, societal conflicts cannot be won only through dialogue or only through battle. Not everyone can be reached through dialogue; not everyone should be fought in battle. Both dialogue and battle are needed in order to achieve justice.

But both impulses bring their own dangers.

In the first part of my Life Prison novel Mercy's Prisoner, Thomas is a man of dialogue. The conflict here is between the prisoners and the guards, who hold different views on the proper way in which to keep the peace in the prison. There's no question that Thomas's sympathies lie with Merrick and the other prisoners, who are being abused by the guards. Yet Thomas regards both sides as lacking a full perspective on the situation. So he engages in dialogue - and in more subtle, wordless methods - as a means to reach the guards and prisoners, so that they can both expand their perspectives.

When I began writing the sequel, Hell's Messenger, my heart sunk. This was the last thing I had expected: that during the years between Mercy's Prisoner and Hell's Messenger, Thomas would have sunk to complacency, appeasement, and withdrawal from the fight for justice.

Yet the possibility was there all along. Merrick had recognized that. He saw that, if twisted the wrong way, Thomas's desire to bring peace through dialogue could end up bringing greater harm.

Complacency. Appeasement. Withdrawal from the fight for justice. That is the danger faced by those of us who are primarily inclined to achieve justice through dialogue. But there is another danger too.

In the Three Lands novel Blood Vow, the Jackal provides Andrew with a choice: Andrew must side with the Koretian rebels and fight the enemy to bring about peace, or else Andrew must allow his native land to be destroyed by the enemy.

It is a false choice, one that Andrew ultimately rejects. Andrew recognizes what the Jackal fails at that moment to recognize: that treating the conflict as a black-and-white matter of Us versus Them will not achieve the justice that the Jackal aims for.

I've been reading a lot of posts and documents recently about the danger of dialogue - the danger of complacency, appeasement, and withdrawal from the fight for justice. These are all very good posts and documents for me to read, since my danger lies precisely in that direction. I have indeed fallen into those tendencies in the past, and despite my best efforts, I expect I will do so again in the future. This is a danger I need to fight within myself.

But I think it's also important to remember that being a soldier for justice brings its own danger. The danger is in adopting the same harmful techniques that may be used by your enemy. The danger is becoming your enemy.

Going from writing Blood Vow to writing Law of Vengeance brought me a different type of sinking feeling. It's no coincidence that who is the Good Guy and who is the Bad Guy is flipped in that novel. Because that novel is - among many other things - about the danger of demonization, the danger that you will adopt such a hard "Us versus Them" attitude that you will end up, not only with a distorted view of your enemy, but also with a distorted view of your potential allies. You will see the world as a matter of White Hats versus Black Hats, and you will fail to recognize how your own hat is growing dingier and dingier, the more that you build walls to divide yourself from the unjust enemy. Soon everyone around you, except for your close allies, are the enemy, and even your close allies are under constant pressure to demonstrate that they are faithful, true believers.

It's easy to recognize demonization when the enemy engages in it. It's darned difficult to recognize it when we engage in demonization ourselves.

This can happen to anyone, but it's especially likely to occur to the soldiers on the front lines of battles for justice - those who must engage in the painful, courageous task of directly battling against evil. This is the soldiers' special danger: Demonization. Adopting an "end justifies the means" tactic of warfare. "If you are not with us, you are against us."

I'm going to add here a series of quotes that I've kept close to me during the past few years, as I've watched the rise of demonization in society and, increasingly, within fandom. But before I do, I want to remind everyone that the other danger - the danger of complacency, appeasement, and withdrawal from the fight for justice - is just as great.

Other people's thoughts on this subject )

Fight for justice. Defend those without power. But don't let yourself adopt poisonous tactics in the process. Don't become the enemy.

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