David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

books to make my flist's heads explode: John Ringo

Lately, some folks on my f-list have been looking at Lord King Bad profic. brown_betty gave us LEOPARD LORD, and cereta reviewed THE SHEIK, and burger_eater pointed me to Smart Bitches, Trashy Books's take on Shayla Black's DECADENT. These books, it should be admitted, are deeply awful, and as portrayals of their authors' ids, they're more than a little alarming. You don't want to look, but you can't look away. The awfulness becomes sublime.

So why am I commenting about this? Well, because I feel a little like Richard Dreyfuss in JAWS, during the scar scene: "I got that beat. I got that beat."

Permit me to introduce John Ringo.

Contains excerpts of fiction revolving heavily around 1) rape and 2) whores. If you're bothered by this kind of thing, YOU REALLY DO NOT WANT TO READ ABOUT THIS. Even though it's so bad it's funny.Collapse )
Tags: books, oh john ringo no
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I... Asking the mother of a college student not only permission to have sex with said student, but for the various sexual acts involved? O_O

Also, the United States has, as a punitive measure, dropped a low-yield nuke on Syria.

Because there's no way at all that a stunt like that could horribly backfire. Nope, none.

"What the fuck do we do with them?" Mike asked, looking at the nine girls lined up by the roadside.

I dunno, maybe something like sending them back home?

"Have them go find a street hooker that speaks Romanian and English. Reads it, too. One that won't be missed. Bring her back here. We'll just take her with us when we leave."

Higher a street hooker as a translator, then kidnap her and turn her into a sex slave?

[on the scum who were offering him up the twelve-year-old sex-slave] Other than killing bastards who actually let their demons out.

Yeah, if they were like the hero they'd wait until she was at least sixteen.

Oh, wait -- I just realized that I forgot to tell you about the whole part of the book where Mike discovers that the Kildar has droit de seigneur and is eagerly expected to deflower the Keldara women on their wedding night, in order to bring honor to them and their husbands.

Ignoring the fact that most historians think that droit de seigneur never actually existed (since it's not like these books are striving for historical accuracy), it boggles the mind that anyone would think that the peasant men or women would look forward to this.
Also, the United States has, as a punitive measure, dropped a low-yield nuke on Syria.

Because there's no way at all that a stunt like that could horribly backfire. Nope, none.


Hmm, let's see, they kidnapped 50 US Females so they could be tortured to death, and the videos released to the world. Oh, and they were caught red-handed w/ poison gas, and OBL.

9 times out of 10, that's going to get you nuked.

"What the fuck do we do with them?" Mike asked, looking at the nine girls lined up by the roadside.

I dunno, maybe something like sending them back home?


Um, Dad sold them into slavery in the first place. If they go back home, and they're lucky, Dad will just sell them again. If they're not, he'll kill them.

Bad plan.

"Have them go find a street hooker that speaks Romanian and English. Reads it, too. One that won't be missed. Bring her back here. We'll just take her with us when we leave."

Higher [sic] a street hooker as a translator, then kidnap her and turn her into a sex slave?


No, kidnap her in the first place. If you let her go, after she's helped the people who just destroyed her pimps, the replacements will kill her. So take her with you.

[on the scum who were offering him up the twelve-year-old sex-slave] Other than killing bastards who actually let their demons out.

Yeah, if they were like the hero they'd wait until she was at least sixteen.


In a good chunk of the world, and for a good chunk of history, 16's "married age". 12 is not. Hopefully you can see a difference.

Mike doesn't kidnap non-whores, and beat them until they become whores. Another difference.


Look, my stepdaughter is 15, my niece is 17. IMHO neither of them is even remotely old enough to be having sex. And I'm incredibly glad that they live in America, a technological country where they can be the equal of men (because machines are strong than humans, but not smarter, so brains (where women can compete with men) matter more than brawn (where, realistically, women cannot successfully compete with men). But that doesn't change the fact that life for women sucks in most of the world, and sucked everywhere for most of human history.

But "not liking it" and "pretending it's not true" are two entirely different things.

Hello! what planet are you from?

Anonymous

12 years ago

makin the best of it

Anonymous

12 years ago

oh, real reason it happens in this series

Anonymous

12 years ago

hradzka

12 years ago

Anonymous

12 years ago

In my own personal opinion these books illustrate a bit of fantasy as well as wish fulfillment in a way that hopefully gets the reader to ask themselves questions.

The problem is not so simple as whether a person is good or bad, the problem is one of what choices a person makes. 'Mike' is not a good person on the inside, he 'Chooses' to be on the outside. The person who can use the strength that comes from darkness with giving into it and becoming it is stronger by far than the one who has no darkness at all.

The whole of the series is about choices, good ones, bad ones and the ones you live through. Can any person who is never tested truly be said to be alive? What will you use for strength when dark days loom ahead, how will you survive.

It is all about what you do with what you've got. Even cottontail learns about helping and being helped by others.

Any government is a good one in the hands of good people, any government is a bad one in the hands of bad people, law merely delays the blow back. It is about the choices the series shows him making day in and day out, these are what define him, in his place could you? would you? are you all that?
Even cottontail learns about helping and being helped by others.

IN HER SPECIAL WAY.

(For the record, I never want Cottontail to go too fluffy. I like her as predatory and just this side of batshit insane.)
This is brilliant. And "Oh John Ringo, NO" is now my cry of ultimate dismay.
A belated thank you.

I should also note that, should you wish, you may now wear said cry of ultimate dismay on a T-shirt. (I don't make a dime; it's for charity.)

tharain

12 years ago

You know, as I was reading through this review, it kept nagging me as familiar, but then I couldn't figure out why.

Then I realized: I actually have a John Ringo book on my shelves! "East of the Sun, West of the Moon." I bought it this january when I was stranded in SF Airport for three days, and ran out of reading material; I figured space orcs would be moderately more interesting to read about than anything else on the shelves.

I never finished it, mostly because it become obvious pretty shortly in that it was a continuation of a series, and I hadn't read the first book (or books.) But I got far enough to recognize the following plot devices:

-a super-buff-manly, military hero
-a main love interest who has been raped (although this hero must be the light side of john ringo's psychology, as he states that they aren't having sex until she feels recovered from it.)
-a harem of ex-sex slaves that carry out the hero's plans
-including one who is 'cold, calculating, and heartless'
-an obsession with the finest details of imaginary sci-fi technology when it comes to weapons and spaceship layouts.
You are right. Herzer Herrick - the main character in the Council War series - is an "idealized warrior" who every woman loves and who has to control his urges to dominate his partners. Then it is love at first sight with a woman who was held as a sex slave in a harem and is trying to come to terms with the fact that she might have liked it (but doesn't like that fact about herslef). Some of her fellow harem members were happy as sex slaves (and Hezer sends a whole platoon to help one who is too horny to focus on her job) while another will never touch a man again.

I think Ghost helped him to define Herzer and his life better.

But the sex is a much smaller part of the Council books than the Kildar novels.

Re: Council War has a lot of Paladin in it

Anonymous

12 years ago

hradzka

12 years ago

anistastia

12 years ago

"A lot of fiction these days is implicitly liberal, because a lot of writers lean vaguely left and so their stories reflect their internalized truths. This may not be obvious for folks who lean to the left, and focus on the progressive failings of books (particularly representation and diversity), but for folks who lean to the right, it's a little jarring when, for example, a DC comics story implies that the US government shot war correspondent Lois Lane in order to get Superman to fly to the battlefield post-haste, on the grounds that his presence would motivate the enemy to surrender. If you lean to the left, this is a compelling storyline because it reflects your own unease with the US at war, and distrust of the government to do the right thing under these circumstances, as well as the belief that the government is more likely than not to actively do evil in order to facilitate its ends. If you're more conservative, you may well find that storyline deeply offensive, considering that the US is in the middle of a war with people who literally behead journalists they don't like."

-- Well said, and pretty dang accurate. Reading fiction, especially genre fiction can be especially painful for those of us of the libertarian/conservative slant. At some point, you get sick of being constantly portrayed as 1) evil, 2) stupid, 3) incompetent, or 4) you find yourself finding the author's intended sympathetic characters and situations the exact well, opposite of what you believe. Re: The reactions of people to SM Stirling's Draka Series are an interesting case study of this.

-- Beyond that, let me offer some disclosure: USAF veteran, current drilling Air National Guardsman, have been deployed and had previous assignments overseas in Korea and elsewhere. Along the way, I moved from liberal to just to the right of Attila the Hun to socially conservative/foreign policy hawk libertarian (ie - a social conservative who believes in minding his own business, but is also not naive to think we can sit here behind our two oceans and everything will be cool). With that mindset, and my status as a military member, don't you think we get a little sick and tired of EVERY military character you encounter in genre fiction appearing as a villain, or an obstacle, or a dupe? It. gets. Old. Or, the only "heroic" characters are deserters, or disenchanted ex-soldiers, you get the idea. IT GETS OLD. For once, I would like to read a Zombie book or see a movie where the zombies AREN'T the result of an "evil military bioweapons plot." (WWZ comes close....)

-- IOW, we're sick of the way we get portrayed. Most writer's version of "us" seems stuck in Vietnam, and not even the "real" Vietnam, but the Oliver Stone/Hollywood "'Nam." Very little of those portrayals jibes with anything me or most of my brethren and sistren have experienced in our time in the service, and yes, most of us do come from the conservative, moderate or libertarian mindsets. Most.

Outside of the Paladin discussion here for a moment, Ringo, Kratman, Weber, Haldeman and Heinlein often portray a view of military members that I can look at and say "I know that guy. I served with him." Even Mike Harmon has characteristics of people I know.

MOGS
I think as a result of the situation you mention in your review, a lot of the conservative/libertarian genre fiction that is out there comes out as "reactionary," because, well, it IS reactionary. Let's call a spade a spade. To be really presumptuous, I think "we" are also rather tired of the trend for liberal self-righteousness in genre fiction, whether it's Captain America, SLAN, or what have you.

Do I think that Mike Harmon is a "hero," no. Does he have "heroic" characteristics, yes indeed. Do I expect it to all come to a crashing halt for this guy at some point, absolutely. Will I enjoy the ride? You're goddamn right I will!

Lastly, there just isn't a lot of genre fiction (no, I do NOT nor will I read the "Left Behind" stuff - not interested) that is out there from a conservative position to begin with, I think much because of the reasons you mention, which seem to put every story, every book out there automatically in the same realm as the "Turner Diaries" - guilt by association, or that we somehow all want to be Draka ourselves..

..and as far as the sexuality of the books, I think a big reason people can focus in on Ringo is because Heinlein has been dead for years (ummm, incest, free love, polygamy, polyamory anyone?), and no one actually reads Piers Anthony's "Bio of a Space Tyrant" - mostly because it isn't all that good I think but my god, the rape and sexual violence in THAT story turned me off inside of 45 pages. I've REAL all of Ghost and Kildar and look forward to the rest....

Re: A couple things

3fgburner

12 years ago

Re: A couple things

Anonymous

12 years ago

Re: A couple things

Anonymous

12 years ago

As it goes on, it just keeps getting weirder and sicker -- OH JOHN RINGO NO!

The asides, the turns of phrase ("Whoreverine", "Cottontail the Bionic Whore") -- OH JOHN RINGO NO!

I haven't read anything so gonzo since Hunter S Thompson shot himself. Like you've been channeling Raoul Duke as book reviewer -- OH JOHN RINGO NO!

At least Ringo seems to be taking this in stride. It's like he went out of his way to see how bad he could write -- over-the-top Gunpowder Jerkoff action-porn -- just to get a rise out of people. (If I were him, I would worry about any LARPers/cosplayers/drooling fanboys of this series. No matter how crazy you get, there's always someone out there twice as crazy and Dead Serious.)
Actually, John comments on that in a rant on his website. I believe the line goes something like, "Of course I have problems. I wrote Ghost, and because I wrote Ghost I have to beat of female subs with a stick, which doesn't necessarily work because they like it." Take from that what you will.

Admittedly, I actually like the Paladin series. (And yes, a lot of it does come back and bit Mike on the butt, especially the bit about the ritual.) For that matter, so does my mother and brother...

Re: Now THAT's a rant!

Anonymous

12 years ago

There's obviously something deeply disturbed about me! I just enjoyed the books (admittedly with the odd cringe - I don't actually enjoy sadism) but I appreciate those "rough men" and I don't appreciate political correctness.
I just hope there's another one after "A Deeper Blue"
Ted
there was a earlyer post on John Ringo's web site this year where he said he had another book in the series in the works (i think there might have been a mabey) and a spin off of the series (he has a good track record with spin offs so i hope its good(go cottentail X(crossed fingers))) for sure.
Thank you, because this made me laugh, and also killed any lingering doubts I might've had that, maybe, just maybe, I ought to give any of the other books in this series a try after I read GHOST.

... yeah, one was more than enough. :)
You're welcome! ...but in all honesty, they get better after GHOST. I think that's the one Ringo himself is most horrified by, because he *really* didn't want to write it.

rowyn

12 years ago

o.o I actually want to read these books.

hradzka

May 13 2008, 17:04:05 UTC 12 years ago Edited:  May 13 2008, 17:04:35 UTC

You can get the first three online free; there's a link somewhere among the comments, but John Ringo's been such a good sport I have to say that you should go buy GHOST at the very least. (Also, if you have a hardcopy, you can lend it to unsuspecting friends.)
That was my reaction when I read the first one, and I just quite haven't been able to pick up the rest. Thought I want to.
Yeah, the first one is a little hard to get past. If I'd read it first, I probably wouldn't have picked up KILDAR.

As it was, when I read KILDAR, I thought, "Wow, that quick summary of his previous adventures is *insane.* There must be another book!" So I actually sought out a copy of GHOST.

I know, right?
Hi I got pointed here by three toed sloth, and wow, was it worth it. I have never heard of John Ringo, but this review was well worth reading. I am going to friend you in the hopes that all of your posts are this amazingly awesome.
Welcome aboard! I do not know about my awesomeness quotient, but I hope you enjoy hanging out here.
Bookmarked to read when I had time...and enough privacy that the shrieks of OH JOHN RINGO NO wouldn't draw unwelcome attention.

"Whoreverine." Ahahahahaha. Wait, wasn't that the origin of X-23...?

The books I have no interest in actually reading, but your review was spectacular, and I'm looking forward (!) to the next one. :)
They get better as they go! Really! They do!

(And thanks.)

heh heh heh

Anonymous

May 7 2008, 22:34:14 UTC 12 years ago

Iv already read all the books up to A Deeper Blue, and read off of John Ringo's web site that hes making another book in the series, and a spin off as well. I dont think im a pervert for linking the series, but some of the darker seans in the first book were actually a real turn on (i know im not sick, i know im not sick, i know im not sick, i think im not sick, OK mabye a little bit) but im really looking forward to the next installment, as soon as the names out im going to preoder it. And as far as i can tell from the comments to this review it looks like a lot of other people are going to as well.
(Whoreverine BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

Heres what John Ringo said on his web page a few months ago.


'Claws that Catch: Sequel to Manxome Foe. Scheduled but I'm not sure for when.

Eye of the Storm: The next 'new/first' Mike O'Neal book which will reintroduce many of the characters from the earlier Aldenata books as well as some drawn from the Tom Kratman and Julie Cochrane collaborations. Done, waiting to be scheduled because it has to come after...

Honor of the Clan: The last of the Cally trilogy. The whole purpose of the cally books have been to set up the conditions of the universe that will reintroduce Mike. I'd intended to have him only be a cameo character in HotC with a big reintroduction in Eye, but he's turning out to be one of the main ones in HotC.

Tuloriad: With Tom Kratman. The story of Tulostenaloor after his escape from Earth and the spiritual journey of the Posleen who have figured out that maybe The Path of Fury isn't a long term survival trait. At least with Humans in the galaxy. Finished, unscheduled. (Not sure if this should come out before or after Eye of the Storm. It has spoilers either way.)

All other series' there's no definite word. My writing this year has been severely disrupted. I think I'm getting past that but I have six started novels and none that gelled. If I can get the muse kicked into gear I can probably finish any of them in fairly short order. (Two Ghost novels including a spin-off, two Special circumstances and two 'what are these?') There are indications that that may be the case lately, but I'm not promising anything. With four novels in the pipeline nobody should be complaining.'
Hi. I just followed a random link here, and decided to tell you that this is hilarious.

I have to ask, though: What is Lord King Bad Fic?
Lord King Bad Fic is a story that you write in the full knowledge that it will be terrible and overwraught, because it has such a strong pull on your id anyway. The Lord King Bad thing comes from vidders, where the attitude is sort of, "if you were a really earnest thirteen-year-old, YOU'D LOVE IT."

John Ringo was a pretty dark thirteen-year-old, I guess.

(Also: obligatory link -- there are now OH JOHN RINGO NO T-shirts.

karma_kalisutah

12 years ago

Just a comment, for the politically correct who can't stand to give John Ringo any cash just yet.

You can read the first four books in whatever format desired by doing a Google search for "Baen CD" and looking within for the "Unto The Breach" CD, which is hosted free and legal online.

Then you can decide whether or not to give cash to the author.

OH JOHN RINGO NO. :)

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  • moving stuff update

    Managed to hurt back and leg, and got an eye problem requiring medical attention, which put cramp on ability to pack, which meant I had to cancel…

  • strong backs or suggestions for obtaining same needed, DC-ish

    Folks, a request: I am up at Ma's for a few days (Silver Spring, MD) to load up a moving truck with a bunch of my stuff from her house to drive down…

  • house pictures

    OK, it's taken me a while to get pics sorted, but here you go. PICTURES OF THE HOUSE. At this point, I need to emphasize something: this house…