The Right Sort of Reactionary Fiction

I’ve been writing a novel, Sanity, for several months and passed 37,000 words into it yesterday. Originally I just wanted to get to 50,000 as a respectable length for a fairly short novel, but it feels like now it’s going to be 55-60,00 and I expect the draft to be completed in 3-4 weeks.

I shared an excerpt in April–I’ve since improved that section, but the post will stay as is. Writing a novel is a beautiful experience. It’s something I thought about a lot over the years, all the way back to when I was a teenager. Several times I wrote a page or two of notes and ideas (I have some I jotted between 16-hours shifts on a fishing boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska in 2000), but writing a book is just one of those things where planning is often just a way to avoid action.

Finally, someone on Twitter asked “who’s going to be the Tom Wolfe of the Dark Enlightenment/Red Pill” and I decided, I will. Thus, the book.

Almost every reactionary/DE/redpill site and commentator has at one time or another bemoaned the Left’s control of infotainment and media and suggested the Right needs to produce more stuff, good stuff, more fiction, more art with alternate points of view. Certainly some have actually done something about it; an example is Ephrem Antony Gray, poet laureate and editor at Social Matter. Since the 70s there has been some generally libertarian-themed science fiction that sold well, and was well-written. There has been very little that I know of that might be described as “Reactionary.”

In 2016 scientist/inventor Hans G. Schantz published The Hidden Truth, which he recently followed up with A Rambling Wreck. I think these novels are excellent and not only should you buy and read them, you should give them to your sons and daughters and their friends. I don’t claim to know exactly how Hans would describe his political/social philosophy, but the books have specific parts and points I’d call Game, pro-liberty, traditional honor and anti-Cathedralism. Also quite entertaining and satisfying as novels. That’s the point that needs emphasis.

I set out writing my book with “Tom Wolfe of the Dark Enlightenment/Red Pill” in mind but I knew from page 1 that preaching it wouldn’t work. What’s needed is an interesting story and interesting characters. What’s needed is what any good novel needs, making the reader care about what happens next.

What I’ve found is that if you just write the story, there are plenty of opportunities to slip the Dark Enlightenment and the Red Pill and whatever other points you want to make in as a natural part of the narrative. Here’s a brief example from my book:

“To answer your next question, I’m with what used to be called the Office of Special Investigations at the Department of Justice. It was set up back in the 70s to find and prosecute war criminals, that is, Nazis in the United States. It had great independent powers, more than anything else in Justice—investigation, litigation, subpoena, negotiating with foreign governments, right on through prosecutions. Greater independence than anything else in the whole federal government.

“They caught a few Nazis over the years, but they also had some problems, got a little too chummy with the Soviets during the 80s, screwed up a couple of cases. Eventually, the Nazis were almost all dead. So a few years ago they merged OSI with a couple other specialized divisions into something called the Special Prosecutions Section. Supposedly, the main thrust of the office is to go after our newer generation of war criminals, African warlords kidnapping child soldiers, that sort of thing.

“The reality is that the SPS is pretty much a cover for something else. There are eight career prosecutors who spend most of their time documenting human rights abuses in 100 and something countries. All of them are mediocrities from the bottom half of their tier-two law school classes.”

He chuckles. “They’ve gotten in one successful prosecution in four years, some sociopath who worked his child slaves to death mining diamonds in an African shithole. He was dumb enough to get arrested in Greece for beating up a hooker and extradited over here. Aside from reports, that’s what they’ve managed to accomplish, but nobody in Congress looks too close because, human rights!”

By now we’re on to the 66, headed over the Roosevelt Bridge to Virginia. He changes lanes to find an opening in the traffic and speeds up, looks over.

“The real work is me, two other guys, and the Section Chief. She’s ex-CIA. The three of us are ‘investigators.’ None of us are lawyers.

“In fact, Cal, we’re all ex-Special Operations Command. One Air Force, one Green Beret and me; I was in the SEAL teams for eight years.”

He smiles, showing some teeth.

“I hope the Marines don’t mind too much that I used them as cover. Fools think ‘Marine’ and ‘not too bright’ go together somehow. Anyway, it was something no one would pay special attention too, like they do SEALs.

“We have no name, no special place on an org chart, and as far as anyone knows we’re assisting the investigation of human rights violations around the world. It gives us good reasons to travel when needed. Sometimes we’re called on to eliminate threats that are imminent, that can’t be taken care of through normal channels. No memos, no paperwork, no phone records. You’re a smart guy. I know I don’t need to say more.”

I hope this post will inspire at least one person who has wanted to write a novel to get going on it–“Reactionary” or not. It’s not what I’m working on now, but the “Young Adult” category might be particularly fruitful. Robert A. Heinlein influenced a generation of bright young boys and girls, and helped inspire a Moon landing.

We could help inspire a generation to think clearly, protect its heritage, save its societies from invasion and dissolution, produce a new generation. Given those stakes, it’s worth a try.

9 thoughts on “The Right Sort of Reactionary Fiction

  1. Pingback: The Right Sort of Reactionary Fiction | Reaction Times

  2. Congratulations on your progress on your novel.

    In the Sad/Rabid Puppy controversy, there were many pixels illuminated decrying bad “message fiction” foisted off on us by the gatekeepers of traditional publishing. “Good fiction,” some argued, was old-fashioned action-adventure stories without left-wing political content – call it “superversive” or “pulp.” The lesson, we were told, was to avoid messages and focus on entertaining the reader.

    In a sense, though, all fiction is message fiction. What is it we find entertaining about action-adventures stories? They portray efficacious heroes with the power to shape their own destinies. They show a universe of cause and effect where actions and ideas have consequences. They prompt us to examine our values and our choices and inspire us by the examples of the heroes they depict. Good action-adventure stories ARE message fiction even if they have no explicit political content. If you can add a broader social or political message on top of that, a message that engages the reader and makes them think, so much the better.

    The most effective advocates for social change are story tellers. C.S. Lewis persuaded more readers through The Chronicles of Narnia than through Mere Christianity. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead influenced more readers than Ayn Rand’s nonfiction. Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World warn readers against totalitarianism and hedonist nihilism, respectively, vividly portraying the consequences of statism. We must build upon these narratives with new stories that not only make clear the evils of our contemporary culture, but also show readers the path to a better culture and then inspire them to follow it.

    Delighted to see your call to action, and I look forward to reading your novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment, Hans. Agree, all fiction is message fiction–the art being to get the message across so beautifully the reader isn’t even aware of it. Or is enjoying the story so much he doesn’t care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: This Week In Reaction (2017/07/23) - Social Matter

  5. Writing a novel is a beautiful experience. It’s something I thought about a lot… Several times I wrote a page or two of notes and ideas (I have some I jotted between 16-hours shifts on a fishing boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska in 2000)

    You should consider writing a fictionalized, or perhaps autobiographical description of your days doing 16-hour shifts on a fishing boat in Alaska. That is quite a compelling detail to include as a parenthetical aside!

    I hope that you derive as much satisfaction from the acclaim, wide distribution and brisk sales that I foresee for your novel as you did from writing it. Writing a novel can be a beautiful experience for a fortunate few. (I lack the necessary verbal gifts and self-discipline.)

    Rise to the next challenge: write short stories. Consider writing an anthology of short fiction following the debut of your novel? Even if not, please keep us informed with plenty of blog posts about your progress with Sanity!


  6. Pingback: Review: “A Rambling Wreck” – Book 2 of The Hidden Truth by Hans G. Schantz | Sanity in The Diamond Age

  7. Pingback: Sanity – a Novel is Published | Sanity in The Diamond Age

  8. Pingback: “The Powers of the Earth” by Travis J. I. Corcoran–a Review and an Appreciation | Sanity in The Diamond Age

  9. Pingback: Book Review: The Brave and the Bold, Volume 3 of “The Hidden Truth” | Sanity in The Diamond Age

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