It’s Been A Good Run

It’s time for a long, serious, big announcement. The short version is this: I’m going to be stopping new posts on the Creative Corner and focusing all my blogging energy on Fuldapocalypse now.

For the longer explanation…

 

As I’ve said many times, Fuldapocalypse has grown and developed beyond my wildest expectations. It started off as me trying to give Team Yankee/Red Storm Rising/The War That Never Was-style conventional Soviet/American-WWIII fiction a clearer look.

Of course, I quickly started burning out and read another cheap thriller, setting the stage to read more than that, which made Fuldapocalypse more and more of a general fiction blog, which meant that Fuldapocalypse took up more and more and more and more and more “jurisdiction” from this blog. And more motivation.

I’m not sure what this means for search engines. I’m not sure what this means for followers. It’s just that what started out as a small side project suddenly mushroomed. And it worked amazingly. But it’s also kind of split everything awkwardly among two blogs. And Fuldapocalypse has just taken up more and more of everything.

This is a problem because one of the reasons why I started Fuldapocalypse was so that the Creative Corner wouldn’t get clogged up with a lot of review posts around the “miscellaneous miscellany”. However…

  1. Fuldapocalypse has become a general fiction blog with some historical sidenotes.
  2. So was the Creative Corner, all things considered. I’ve made the occasional personal post, but as it’s the kind of thing I’m understandably hesitant to do on the internet, it had become fiction-centric by the time I started a separate blog.

So I have this feeling of competing against myself that’s grown and grown as the months and now years have gone on. I’ve entertained thoughts like “Oh, I’ll put fiction reviews on Fuldapocalypse and nonfiction stuff on the creative corner”. But it all seemed forced and arbitrary. Even when-arguably especially when-I actually posted it.

Juggling two blogs wasn’t the biggest problem in the world, but it still came across as more trouble than it was frequently worth. On the Creative Corner, I commented on history (often military history), wargaming, and fiction. Now on Fuldapocalypse I comment on history, wargaming, and fiction with considerably more enthusiasm. When I put the “Weird Wargaming” on Fuldapocalypse and not here, I felt that it was the last straw.

So with a heavy heart, I’m hereby closing the doors on the Creative Corner. It is NOT being deleted, I must emphasize. It’s staying up as an archive. But I just want to go to the place with more focus and more momentum in my mind.

It’s been a good four and a half year run. This has gotten me used to running a blog. This has gotten me the fun and experience of speaking my mind on everything from history to silly fighting games.

To everyone who’s read and commented on this blog, thank you.

temeraireforblog

And this blog goes into the sunset.

 

 

Tank Pioneer

Ludwig von Eimannsberger was an Austrian military officer and armored theorist whose 1934 book “Der Kampfwagenkrieg” proved prescient (though as with everything else, there’s argument about just how influential he truly was).

Regular infantry divisions for the grinding, independent tank brigades designed to be attached to the infantry units for support, and a pair of specialized exploitation forces-divisions with hundreds of tanks to spearhead the exploitation and motorized infantry divisions with massive amounts of antitank artillery to guard the flanks of the tanks. The heavier artillery (Eimannsberger was an artillery officer) was intended to be multipurpose, able to be used for anti-tank, anti-air, and both direct and indirect support fire.

His armored division is a little (forgivably) tank-heavy and infantry light. The formations overall are, with hindsight a little too pure and over-specialized. More interestingly, Eimannsberger was a World War I artillery commander who still thought like a World War I artillery commander in terms of command and control. It’s an open question as to whether a more modest and stiff but doable system like his or a shoot-for-the-moon deep attack that the Soviets proposed at the same time, but were unable to meaningfully do in practice until after years of war and hard lessons was “better”.

Still, it’s an interesting historical footnote.

My 2019

I had a good 2019, all things considered, and had several major accomplishments.

  1. Completing the CMO manual. This was the biggest task and it’s my proudest accomplishment this year. In 2013, I was just someone watching a stream of Command: Modern/Air Naval Operations. In 2019, I’d completed three official DLCs and had the honor of writing the manual for the sequel, Command: Modern Operations.
  2. Getting my first Sea Lion Press book published. The Smithtown Unit, an alternate history homage to “men’s adventure” novels, was written in the summer of 2019 and published in late September.
  3. Revving up Fuldapocalypse. Now, I read incredibly fast, so I didn’t lack for books to review. Still, Fuldapocalypse really got going this year. I ditched the clunky format meant for differentiating very similar books and made all my reviews “unstructured”, enabling me to write a lot of of them very quickly.

Action Hero Names And Backgrounds

So reading this Nader Elfhefnawy speculation on “Thrillers and Social Class” brought me to some of my thoughts I had on the subject.

  • A lot of character background in the pulpier stuff extends only to their ability to buy their arsenals. John Rourke somehow got the money to build his mountain bunker lair, his wife wrote children’s books, and that’s basically all we know of his pre-apocalyptic social status. It’s generally not mentioned that much.
  • W.E.B. Griffin preferred wealthy characters for the flippant explanation of “Rich people are more interesting than poor people. “
  • Irish names seem to be strangely common. John Rourke, Blake Murdock, John Brannigan, and of course, Blaine McCracken are some of the names I’ve seen. I honestly think this is a pure coincidence that wasn’t conscious on the part of any of the authors, but an interesting one nonetheless.
  • I’ve encountered three different main characters by three different authors who all have the last name “Stone”. Mark Stone, Luke Stone, and now John Stone. It’s a coincidence with a common name, I’m sure, but still interesting as well.
  • The worst cases have obvious author Mary Sues. For instance, Ben Raines in William W. Johnstone’s Ashes series mysteriously was a paperback book author before becoming Mary Sue Alexander Temujin.

 

The Worm And The Snake

There is a piece of fiction that, although deservedly obscure, has attracted a mammoth amount of attention on a small part of the internet, an instance of being incredibly narrow and incredibly deep.

Said piece of fiction has a legitimately distinctive setup that attracts attention, yet is filled with darkness for darkness’ sake and a huge amount of author explanations that can make it across as more possible to a casual observer and less possible to a trained critical eye. However, it has flaws that can deter more casual readers.

Yet the story is in the right place at the right time to enter and fill the niche, attracting controversy and written fanworks in response. However, those fanfics diverge not just in terms of accuracy, but in terms of tone as well. People come to know it from those fanfics and an internet telephone game, not the original source.

That describes Worm, the Spacebattles/Sufficient Velocity darling.

Yet, with me having finally read the four novels in the infamous Draka series, the stereotypical bane of the alternate history community, it can describe them pretty decently as well.

There’s obviously differences, especially in terms of personal taste. Stirling, for all his flaws, is an overwhelmingly better prose writer than Wildbow. A web serial is different from four conventionally published books. A consistent YA-styled superhero drama is different from the zigzagging genres of the Draka series. Worm doesn’t have as explicit a “bad guys win” in spite of its darkness.

But the biggest similarity I’ve found is that a sort of “huh, that’s it” feeling I felt when actually seeing the original(s) in depth. I agree with a lets reader that Worm is ultimately just insubstantial, and my impression of the Draka series was that it was middling trashy pulp. Yes, they have a “superheroes that aren’t the big two or a knockoff” and “distinct alternate history” as their legitimately interesting setups, but the meat isn’t that substantive. Almost certainly not enough to propel them to their (limited) notoriety alone.