The Collapsing Tor-pire

It would appear that Castalia House has decided that a certain 6'3" ex-Marine badass hasn't been piled onto enough for the questionable quality of his writing:
The Third Edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction says: "If anyone stands at the core of the American science fiction tradition at the moment, it is Scalzi." That explains a great deal about the precipitous decline of American science fiction, does it not? The award-winning McRapey is, we are frequently informed, the very best that 29-time Best Publisher Tor Books and mainstream science fiction has to offer. That may be true. Nevertheless, from concept to cover, from title to text, THE CORRODING EMPIRE is a very clear and public demonstration that the Castalia House team can do what they do, and do it better, even as an in-house joke in our copious spare time. 
After all, what would be more amusing than for THE CORRODING EMPIRE to outsell and outrank The Collapsing Empire? [It already has, Supreme Dark Overlord.] This isn't a lame Bored of the Rings-style parody, it is, quite to the contrary, a legitimate Foundation-style novel that effectively demonstrates how hapless Tor's latest imitative mediocrity is by comparison.
This should be highly amusing to read. I've read all of the original Foundation novels (except the anthology Forward the Foundation), and there is no question that, while the original novel was really rather good, it had some serious holes in its ideas which only grew larger and more absurd in the later books.

And given that John Scalzi's work is little more than a tenth-rate rip-off of Robert A. Heinlein's greatest efforts, it says a lot for how easily Castalia House could produce what is essential a parody of a parody by simply taking the concepts that Isaac Asimov came up with in Foundation to their logical extremes.

It's not like their authors don't have day jobs, after all.

Even the name of the author involved is intended to be humourous. "Johan Kalsi"? As in, J-K? Hard to get much more meta than that, really.

It amuses me no end to see that, as of today, the Amazon pre-order sales rank for this parody book is now ranked at:

How does its intended target compare?
And if you thought those numbers were bad, you should see how bad the hardcover sales ranks are.

Paging John Scalzi... paging John Scalzi... please report immediately for treatment to your nearest burn unit...

See, chaps, this is why we are eventually going to win the war for our culture. It is going to be a long and terrible hard slog before we get there, but we are going to win because we have the Truth on our side. We are going to win because we have better ideas. We are going to win because we have more skilled people.

And we are going to win, by God, because we have a sense of humour and we know how to use it.

Our idea of humour isn't badly written snarky nonsense that then gets endlessly self-promoted as the high-water mark of the field as it currently stands. Our idea of humour is actually funny.

I do wonder, though, exactly how Tor Books are going to explain away the fact that their single biggest author in terms of sales and brand-name recognition is now falling behind a work that was clearly designed to lampoon him.

To anyone other than an SJW, there could be no clearer indication of one's own mediocrity. But Tor Books in general is infested with SJWs (like, say, John Scalzi, and the editors that make his continued relevance in the face of terrible sales numbers like this possible). To them, this sort of thing appears to be some twisted and strange measure of success, I suppose.

To be honest, I've no idea how that can be the case. But then, I'm not a social justice warrior.

And yes, in case you're wondering- of course I pre-ordered The Corroding Empire. Unlike their competitors at Tor Books, Castalia House actually produces good work that is highly readable and entertaining instead of being one long and painful snark-filled SocJus wankfest.

I heartily recommend that you do the same. I would love to see Macmillan (Tor's parent company) explain away this particular debacle once they see that a clear parody, written in a hurry and on a shoestring budget, is spanking the shit out of their Chosen One.


  1. Looking forward to it.

  2. Umm... Foundation is Asimov, not Heinlein.

  3. ahh, nevermind, the order of your verbiage was vaguely confusing for a moment there. Now I see what you were saying.


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