Go Vote

Go Vote 🗳

If you’re like the nearly one hundred million other Americans who voted early (myself and Kari-Lise included), then this post is just noise. But if somehow you haven’t voted yet, today is the perfect day for it. Need to know where to go? Find your polling place here. If you’re an adult US citizen, remember, no one can keep you from voting. Stay in line. Get counted. You got this. As I quoted on Instagram earlier today…

“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government.
Governments should be afraid of their people.”

Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

Funny enough, that quote is loosely based on a similar spurious quotation often attributed to Thomas Jefferson. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation has a little article on it over on Monticello.org, and it’s worth a read if you like delving into the etymology of quotations. Often they’re like a little game of telephone.

No matter the outcome, I’m proud of every American who got involved in the process. This election is arguably the most important election of our lives. We’re seeing record turnout everywhere. For me, it’s thrilling to see so many Americans stepping up and making sure their voice is heard and their vote is counted.

Aim High, America

Get Your Vote On 🗳

It’s not even Election Day yet in the United States, and here I am urging my fellow American citizens to get out and vote. Why? Many reasons! First, this is a critical election. Due to the pandemic and to help spread folks out a bit more many states have opened up early and absentee voting. It’s also becoming clear that there will be a big turnout, so the sooner you cast your vote, the quicker it can be counted.

“We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”

Thomas Jefferson

I voted last week. Washington State has been vote-by-mail as long as I’ve lived here as a voting-age adult. It’s an incredible process and one I’ve always appreciated. It’s very secure. It prevents villains from doing scummy things like shutting down or limiting polling places or purging voter rolls. They even have a handy tracker showing you where your vote is in the process. (If your state doesn’t have this, you should ask for it.)

My ballot was counted yesterday (October 22nd!)

Make time to vote. If you don’t or can’t do it early. Then be sure to make time on Election Day. (That’s Tuesday, November 3 this year.) Most states require employers to give you paid time off to head to the polls, and in states that don’t have specific laws, you’ll find that employers will often give you time off. (You can check which states have voting laws at vote411.com.)

I mention this every election, and I will keep mentioning it until I don’t have to anymore: anyone trying to prevent or make it difficult for citizens to vote are the bad guys. As an American citizen, no one has the right to stop you from voting. Your voice deserves to be counted. If you’re in line to vote when the polls close, they are legally required to allow you to vote. If you’re intimidated at polls or have problems voting, keep these numbers handy:

  • 866-Our-Vote (English)
  • 866-Ve-Y-Vota (Spanish)
  • 866-API-Vote (Asian Languages)

Find out more information at 866ourvote.org.

So let’s do our civic duty, submit out ballots, and participate in our electoral process.

It’s National Voter Registration Day

It’s National Voter Registration Day

It’s the fourth Tuesday in September, and here in the United States, that means it’s National Voter Registration Day! Voting is an essential part of our democratic process, and everyone needs to register so they can exercise their power and make the voice of the people heard.


There are a few ways to register, but here are a few of my favorite resources:

Vote.org

This is my favorite. Here you find tools to register, and you can check the status of your registration. Be sure to do the latter, some states occasionally purge voter rolls for inactivity and people can get lost in the shuffle.

How to register to vote #RegisterToVote

Google has built a handy tool to help you figure out how to register in your state. Just simply search for that phrase (or click the link above) and all the information is at your fingertips.

Rock the Vote

This nonprofit and nonpartisan organization focuses on increasing the turnout for younger Americans and has been around since 1990.


It’s worth noting that only 38 states allow online registration. Here’s the official list. Is your state missing? Do the leg work, register, and then elect leaders that will make online registration official. It’s 2019 for goodness sake.

Finally, as I’ve said before, today is an appropriate day to restate that anyone trying to prevent or making it difficult for citizens to vote are the bad guys. In an era of voter disenfranchisement, suppression, and gerrymandering, the people must step up and elect leaders that fight for the rights of the citizenry. Do your duty: register and vote.

H.P. Lovecraft's Patriotic Poetry

H.P. Lovecraft’s Patriotic Poetry

Ol’ Lovecraft fancied himself a poet, and he had a bit of a Hallmark streak in him and often penned verse to national holidays. I’ve shared his Christmas versification in the past, and we looked at his Halloween verse. Here in the United States, our Independence Day celebrations are right around the corner so I thought it’d be fitting look at Lovecraft’s patriotic poem.


Ode for July Fourth, 1917

As Columbia’s brave scions, in anger array’d,
 Once defy’d a proud monarch and built a new nation;
’Gainst their brothers of Britain unsheath’d the sharp blade
 That hath ne’er met defeat nor endur’d desecration;
  So must we in this hour
  Show our valour and pow’r,
And dispel the black perils that over us low’r:
 Whilst the sons of Britannia, no longer our foes,
 Will rejoice in our triumphs and strengthen our blows!

See the banners of Liberty float in the breeze
 That plays light o’er the regions our fathers defended;
Hear the voice of the million resound o’er the leas,
 As the deeds of the past are proclaim’d and commended;
  And in splendour on high
  Where our flags proudly fly,
See the folds we tore down flung again to the sky:
 For the Emblem of England, in kinship unfurl’d,
 Shall divide with Old Glory the praise of the world!

Bury’d now are the hatreds of subject and King,
 And the strife that once sunder’d an Empire hath vanish’d.
With the fame of the Saxon the heavens shall ring
 As the vultures of darkness are baffled and banish’d;
  And the broad British sea,
  Of her enemies free,
Shall in tribute bow gladly, Columbia to thee:
 For the friends of the Right, in the field side by side,
 Form a fabric of Freedom no hand can divide!


The US got involved in The Great War in 1917, so it’s fair to say Lovecraft is offering up a bit of reflection for past events and the current situation in the world. I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for the whole national personification thing—it’s such a delightfully weird tradition.

Happy Independence Day, fellow Americans and happy Tuesday to everyone else.

🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸


Are you Lovecraft fan? Like cosmic horror? Like gritty urban fantasy? Why not check out my novels—they’re cosmic horror adventures set in a post-apocalyptic world after the return of Lovecraft’s monstrosities. Buy the series here read reviews over on Goodreads. All three are available in eBook or paperback.

The Bell Forging Cycle

 

A Metric United States?

A Metric United States?

When writing Coal Belly—still very much a work in progress—I decided to keep my weights, distances, and measures in US Customary Units. This was an intentional decision. I felt that our strange and often confusing system fits a weird-west setting a bit better than a metric one—even in a secondary world. Feet, acres, miles, hogsheads, tons, they all just feel old-west.

But there is a modern simplicity to the metric system. It is superior, if not as charming. But, in the United States, we’ve resisted making the switch. Why? Well, Verge Science put together a great explainer video that goes into details on why we’re still using our bastardized version of the Imperial System, where it matters in society, and how we have already secretly converted despite our resistance. Watch it below.

*Gasp!* 😱 A DEEP STATE SHADOW SYSTEM OF UNITS AND MEASUREMENTS! A vast conspiracy! Inches defined by millimeters. Pounds defined by kilograms! Gallons defined by liters! Human Sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

Or, it’s just good science and smart business. Take your pick. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


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Cyberpunk is Real

Cyberpunk is Reality

Yesterday, I came across a tweet from Carl Zha (okay, technically it’s from his auntie) that included a video clip of evening skyline above the city of Chongqing in southwestern China. There is a cyberpunk quality to the city that enthralled me. I felt as if Chongqing was plucked from the pages of William Gibson’s Neuromancer or Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash. Below the tweet, Zha also linked to the following video which goes even further, giving the viewer a close-up view of the city which only further cemented my opinion, check it out below.

The slick soundtrack and artistic jump-cuts only add a level of depth that expands the ultra-cool visuals of a city of the future. For a Westerner, it’s almost hard to imagine Chongquing as a real place. Our own cities are dull by comparison. This is the stuff of anime and Hollywood blockbusters, not reality.

It’s easy to become absorbed in the sleek aesthetic and forget that the cyberpunk genre was meant to serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unregulated capitalism, economic inequality, and the rampant abuse of technology. Warnings we’ve mostly ignored. I hesitate to prognosticate on the ramifications we’ll face. As Gibson once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

At least Chongquing looks cool.