Marko Kloos, the undisputed king of military science fiction

I first heard about Marko Kloos when his novel Lines of Departure was nominated for a Hugo award in 2015. For whatever reason, his book was included on a slate of titles put together by the right-leaning group of fans who called themselves the Sad Puppies. Their goal was to take over Worldcon, the organization whose members vote on the Hugo Awards and elect their hand-picked slate of recipients.

When Marko Kloos found out how he ended up as a finalist for Best Novel, he asked the Worldcon organizers to remove him and his novel from contention. He didn’t want anything to do with the so-called Sad Puppies or their agenda.

I didn’t know anything about Marko Kloos, but I immediately liked the cut of his jib. I immediately bought Terms of Enlistment, the first book in the Frontlines series and I was hooked. When I finished reading that, I moved on to Lines of Departure. Since then I’ve purchased every other book in the series as soon as it’s published.

Marko Kloos writes the best military science fiction I’ve ever read. Yes, I’ve read Robert A. Heinlein, Joe Haldeman, and John Scalzi. Marko Kloos is the better writer of military science fiction. Don’t believe me? Read Terms of Enlistment and then the other books in the Frontlines series.

I’m currently reading or more accurately, thanks to my Audible membership, listening to Points of Impact. I’ve been taking my time with the book. I read on Marko’s blog that his next book will take place outside the Frontlines universe. That means it may be a while before I get to read the sequel to Points of Impact.

Marko Kloos, the undisputed king of military science fiction.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out what a cool guy Marko Kloos is. He was born and raised in Germany and even served in the West German military. He now lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two kids. He writes his books in English, not his native German. Just thinking about that makes me feel puny and insignificant. I speak only one language and at times do so quite poorly.


John Scalzi blames writing problems on Donald Trump

Hugo award-winning writer John Scalzi shared in a blog post that he has a bit of writer’s block. He is currently working on Head On, a novel coming out next year. He’s having a hard time getting the words out. Luckily, he’s figured out the problem: Donald Trump.

From his post:

I’m not trying to be mysterious about what it is about 2017 that is different. The answer is obvious: Trump is president, and he’s a peevish bigoted incompetent surrounded by the same, and he’s wreaking havoc on large stretches of the American experience, both in his own person and by the chaos he invites.

Donald Trump is an incompetent ignoramus

I agree Trump is incompetent. For me, that’s his best characteristic. No matter what he tries to accomplish as president, he fails. If Trump wasn’t such an ignoramus, he’d be able to change things. Becuase he’s failed over and over again to change anything, life under Trump doesn’t feel any different than it did under Obama.

John Scalzi continued:

Here’s one way to put it: Twelve years ago, when Hurricane Katrina hit and the US Government flubbed its response and hundreds died, I was so angry and upset that I almost vomited in sadness and anger. It’s not an exaggeration, by the way — I literally felt like throwing up for a couple days straight. I eventually had to write “Being Poor” because it was either do that or go crazy. That was a week of feeling generally awful, and it wrecked me for another week after that. It took two weeks for me to get back on track with the novel I was writing at the time.

Got it? Okay, listen: 2017 has been me feeling like I felt when Katrina hit every single fucking month of this year.

Nothing compares to Hurricane Katrina

That’s just not rational. Hurricane Katrina was a terrible, horrible thing. To say that every month in 2017 has felt like Hurricane Katrina trivializes Hurricane Katrina. Comparing anything to a disaster that cost over  1,200 of our fellow Americans their lives dishonors those lives.

John Scalzi continued:

Because, well. Pick a month, guys. Every month of 2017 has been a treat. Travel bans, white supremacists marching, awful health care repeals that just wouldn’t die, and not one, not two, but three historically massive hurricanes and the scouring of Puerto Rico. Russia. Fucking Russia, man. Not to mention Spicer, Scaramucci, Flynn, Price, Bannon, Gorka and the rest of that ridiculous cast. Any one of those is enough to get me (and not just me, lots of people) spun up and distracted. And it’s not just any one of these things. It’s that all of these things keep on happening. When you’re already spun up, it doesn’t take all that much more energy to stay spun up and distracted.

How does banning foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen from traveling to the United States negatively affect John Scalzi’s life? If he allows something like this to spin him up and distract him, that’s on him.

If white supremacists march and nobody is there to hear them, do they make a sound?

The same applies to white supremacists marching. Big deal. These people make up a micro-fraction of our society. If John Scalzi allows himself to get worked up because they march in public holding tiki torches, then that’s on him.

We live in a free society where people have a right to speech. That includes speech most people find reprehensible and icky. With that said, just because someone has a right to say something doesn’t mean I have to listen to it. That’s what I do with speech I don’t like or speech I know I’m not going to like, I don’t listen to it. It works for me.

Did I mention Donald Trump is incompetent?

Why does John Scalzi allow the fact that Trump has gone through so many cabinet members to spin him up and distract him? Trump is incompetent. He has a problem surrounding himself with competent people. Each time someone in the Trump administration resigns or is fired, the ability to replace that person with a competent individual gets even harder. Why would any competent, capable person want to work for Donald Trump? My advice to John Scalzi is to get used to this. This revolving door of advisors and cabinet members will continue as long as Trump is president.

John Scalzi, you need help

My final piece of advice to John Scalzi is this: seek mental health help. The way you’re processing things is not normal. It’s not rational. You should have sought help after Katrina, but what’s done is done. You need help brother. There’s nothing wrong with seeking mental health help. I recommend finding a psychiatrist and a therapist. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, something I think you need. I’m currently taking antidepressants and antianxiety medication. I listen to a lot of Enya music. This seems to be helping me. It would probably help you too.

A therapist can talk you through your feelings and emotions and try to help you find more productive ways of processing them. Finding a good psychiatrist is fairly easy, finding a good therapist, not so much. The sooner you work at finding a therapist, the sooner you’ll find a good one.

Why not start now?