Vox Day

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Vox Day
Vox Day by Tracy White promo pic.jpg
Vox Day
Born Theodore Beale
(1968-08-21) August 21, 1968 (age 47)
Minnesota, United States
Education Bucknell University
Known for Writer, computer game designer, publisher, musician
Religion Nondenominational Christian
Parent(s) Robert Beale
Website voxday.blogspot.com

Vox Day (born 21 August 1968) is an American publisher, science fiction writer, journalist, philosopher, musician and video game designer.

Early life[edit]

Theodore Beale was born and grew up in Minnesota, the son of entrepreneur and jailed tax protester Robert Beale.[1] He claims to be of English, Irish, Mexican, and Native American descent.[2] He graduated from Bucknell University in 1990,[3] where he studied economics, history and Japanese language. Beale first began to write short stories while he was in college.[4]

Music career[edit]

Between 1992 and 1994 Day was a member of the electronic band Psykosonik, which recorded four[5] Billboard Top 40 club play hits. These were "Silicon Jesus" in September 1993, "Welcome to My Mind" in February 1994, as well as "It Has Begun" and "Unlearn".[5] Beale is credited with composition and lyrics on all four songs.

In 1987 Beale was playing in a cover band called NoBoys. He first met Paul Sebastian at The Underground in Minneapolis and the two men put together a band with Beale on keyboards and Sebastian on guitar and vocals. They found a drummer Michael Larson and a production engineer Daniel Lenz. The band Psykosonik began recording electronic music at Sebastian's apartment where he had a recording studio, and later found performance opportunities in local clubs. Their first successful song was "Sex Me Up."[6]

Video game and writing career[edit]

Beale and Andrew Lunstad founded a video game company in 1993 named Fenris Wolf. They developed the game Rebel Moon in 1995, and its sequel Rebel Moon Rising in 1997.[7] Fenris Wolf was developing two games, Rebel Moon Revolution and Traveler for the Sega Dreamcast, when it closed in 1999 after a legal dispute with its retail publisher GT Interactive.[8] In 1999, under the name Eternal Warriors, Day and Lunstad released The War in Heaven, a biblical video game published by Valusoft and distributed by GT Interactive.[9] Day holds the design patent[10] for WarMouse, a computer mouse with 18 buttons, a scroll wheel, a thumb-operated joystick, and 512k of memory.[11] Day participated to some extent in the Gamergate controversy, but was accused by some sources as trying to hijack the publicity for his own benefit.[12]

In 2000, Day published The War in Heaven, the first in a series of fantasy novels with a religious theme; entitled The Eternal Warriors. The novel investigates themes "about good versus evil among angels, fallen and otherwise".[13] The third in the series was published in 2006. Day went on to publish several other book-length works.

Day served as a member of the Nebula Award Novel Jury in 2004[14] and in 2007.[15] He was a contributor to the Black Gate blog until December 2012.[16] He first began writing under the name Vox Day for a weekly video game review column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press,[17] and later continued to use the pen name for a weekly WorldNetDaily opinion column. His columns have been nationally syndicated three times, once by Chronicle Features and twice by Universal Press Syndicate.[18]

In 2008 Day published The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens, a book devoted to criticizing the arguments presented in various books by atheist authors Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Michel Onfray.[19] The book was named a 2007 Christmas recommendation by John Derbyshire in the online conservative magazine, National Review Online.[20] Day's 2008 book, Summa Elvetica: A Casuistry of the Elvish Controversy, was nominated for an American Christian Fiction Writers award in 2009.[21]

Day currently publishes a blog called Vox Popoli which translates as "voice of the people" after the Biblical phrase Vox popoli, vox dei. This blog is his primary outlet for commentary and accumulated over 3 million views in 2015.[22] He also publishes the blog Alpha Game.[23]

Castalia House publishing[edit]

In early 2014 Beale founded Castalia House publishing in Kouvola, Finland. He acts as lead editor and has published the work of such writers as Jerry Pournelle, John C. Wright, Tom Kratman, and Rolf Nelson.[24][25][26]

In 2014 Castalia House published the novel Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation War, an American military fiction novel written by William S. Lind.[27] Lind wrote the novel in the 1990s but could not find a publisher at that time.[27] Victoria was published by Castalia House under Lind's pseudonym Thomas Hobbes.[28]

Controversies[edit]

Inflammatory remarks[edit]

In 2013 Day ran unsuccessfully against Steven Gould to succeed John Scalzi as president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). African American writer N. K. Jemisin, during her delivery of the Guest of Honour speech at 2013 Continuum in Australia, complained that 10% of the SFWA membership voted for Beale in his bid for the SFWA presidential position. She went on to call Beale "racist, misogynistic, and hateful." Beale responded by posting comments that called her an "educated but ignorant savage."[29] In the resulting interactions, he also called writer and editor Teresa Nielsen Hayden a "fat frog."[30]

A link to Day's comments about Jemisin was tweeted on the SFWA Authors Twitter feed. Day had previously made controversial remarks, but in this case he was investigated by the SFWA Board, who subsequently voted to expel him from the organization over his use of the promotional SFWA Twitter feed in a manner that allegedly violated organization guidelines.[31] Day posted a scan of the letter notifying him of the decision on his website. He later maintained that the vote did not signify his expulsion from the organization.[32]

2014 Hugo Awards[edit]

In 2014 Day's novelette, "Opera Vita Aeterna", was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novelette[33] as part of Larry Correia's Sad Puppies campaign to manipulate the Hugo ballot. Correia later explained that he had included "Opera" in his campaign because he had enjoyed it, because he wanted to increase participation in the Hugo nomination process, and because he wanted to upset people, stating that he "nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period."[34]

The Hugo voters ranked "Opera" sixth out of five nominees, behind "No Award."[35][36][37][38]

2015 Hugo Awards[edit]

In 2015 Day implemented a slate of candidates for the Hugo Awards called "Rabid Puppies", which successfully placed most of its nominees on the ballot. Two of the nominations were for Day himself, and eleven were for works published by his small Finnish publisher Castalia House,[39] where Day acts as lead editor.[40] Of those other nominees, two authors, an editor, and a fanzine subsequently withdrew their own nominations; three of these four explicitly cited the wish to dissociate themselves from Day as being among their reasons for doing so.[41][42][43]

Day included himself in the categories Best Editor, Long Form and Best Editor, Short Form. He came in sixth of five in the Long Form category and fifth of four in Short Form (thanks to the withdrawal of Edmund R. Schubert).[44] When asked why he included himself in the nomination, and what it meant that the voters preferred that no one win the award rather than give one to either Day or a Day-endorsed entry, Day stated, "I wanted to leave a big smoking hole where the Hugo Awards were. All this has ever been is a giant Fuck You—one massive gesture of contempt."[45]

Feud with John Scalzi[edit]

Since 2005 Day has engaged in an exchange of online criticism with science fiction writer John Scalzi. According to Beale, this resulted from Scalzi's response to a Beale article blaming the lack of woman hard SF writers on poor science education in universities.[46][47] In February 2013, Scalzi attracted media attention with a pledge to pay $5 to various charities and nonprofit advocacy organizations every time Day mentioned him. After others echoed this pledge, over $50,000 was pledged in under a week.[46]

In 2015 Day released a book about social justice warriors titled, SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police, intended as a serious work and presented as a guide to “understanding, anticipating, and surviving SJW attacks.”[48] The book was positively reviewed by the conservative online magazine American Thinker.[49] Progressive writer Alexandra Erin then wrote a short parody of the book titled, John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular: How SJWs Always Lie About Our Comparative Popularity Levels. Scalzi took advantage of the publicity to use Erin's book in a fundraising drive for a charity promoting diversity.

Vox Day's supporters then released their own parody book on Amazon, titled, John Scalzi Is A Rapist: Why SJWs Always Lie In Bed Waiting For His Gentle Touch; A Pretty, Pretty Girl Dreams of Her Beloved One While Pondering Gender Identity, Social Justice, and Body Dysmorphia. The parody became the top seller in the “parodies” section of the Kindle store, two places ahead of Erin’s book. However, it was removed following complaints from Scalzi.[48]

Boycott of Tor Books[edit]

In June 2015, Day and science fiction writer Peter Grant promoted a boycott of Tor Books after editors at the company posted comments critical of conservative authors. They called for the public to stop buying Tor Books until the parent company Tom Doherty Associates dismissed the editors.[50][51]

Hugo Award nominations[edit]

Day has been nominated three times for a Hugo Award.

Personal life[edit]

Day is married and is a member of Mensa.[citation needed] He also claims to speak English, Japanese, French, German and Italian.[54]

Philosophical views[edit]

Vox Day is known for conservative and traditional views. In 2007 he defended Nobel Prize winner James Watson against accusations of racism in his column. Watson, who with Francis Crick discovered DNA, was widely attacked for linking human inequality with DNA.[55] According to the site Know Your Meme, Day is a "proponent of the philosophy of racial realism, which states that one’s race directly correlates with their ability to think and create."[22]

Day's views first attracted wide attention in 2009 when he published a blog called "There Is No Marital Rape" where he argued that marriage was a contract that gave both partners rights to sex, which could only be voided by divorce.[56] In 2008 Day published a column at WND where he complained about the separation of science and religion and blamed female equalitarianism for damaging science education, maintaining that men "are the intellectual driving force of humanity."[57] In 2010 he published a blog where he discussed a Scientific American article that related autism to atheism and materialism, suggesting that atheists suffered from "mental impairment."[58] In 2014 he posted a blog saying that he refused to bow to political correctness and include female characters as gladiators in his video game designs because women could not "credibly fight as gladiators." In the blog, he maintained this was based on realism and not misogyny.[59]

Day describes himself as a libertarian. Writing for Publishers Weekly, Kimberly Winston described Day as a "fundamentalist Southern Baptist",[13] but other journalists have made more pointed characterizations, such as Mike VanHelder's assertion in Popular Science that Day's views are "white supremacist."[60] Similarly, an article by Jeet Heer in The New Republic says that Day "has written that women should be deprived of the vote and refers to African Americans as 'half-savages'",[61] an interpretation of comments in Day's article "Why women's rights are wrong."[62]

Discography[edit]

Video games[edit]

Game name First released System name(s) Role(s)
X-Kaliber 2097 1994 SNES Music (Psykosonik)
CyClones 1994 DOS Audio
Rebel Moon 1995 DOS Game designer, co-producer
Rebel Moon Rising 1997 DOS Game designer, co-producer
Rebel Moon Revolution Planned 1999 Windows Game designer, co-producer
The War in Heaven 1999 Windows Game designer
Traveller Planned 2000 Sega Dreamcast Game designer
Hot Dish 2007 Windows Game designer

Bibliography[edit]

Selected novel length works include:

As a contributor:

  • Quantum Mortis: The Programmed Mind (2014), Jeff Sutton, Jean Sutton. Castalia House. ISBN 978-952-7065-13-6
  • Quantum Mortis: Gravity Kills (2013), Steve Rzasa. Marcher Lord Hinterlands. ISBN 978-952-7065-12-9
  • Quantum Mortis: A Man Disrupted (2013), Steve Rzasa. Marcher Lord Hinterlands. ISBN 978-952-7065-10-5
  • Rebel Moon (1996), Bruce Bethke. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-671-00236-7
  • The Anthology at the End of the Universe (2004), Glen Yeffeth (editor). BenBella Books. ISBN 978-1-932100-56-3
  • Archangels: The Fall (2005) ISBN 978-1-887814-15-7
  • Revisiting Narnia: Fantasy, Myth, and Religion in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles (2005), Shanna Caughey (editor). BenBella Books. ISBN 978-1-932100-63-1
  • Halo Effect (2007), Glenn Yeffeth (editor). BenBella Books. ISBN 978-1-933771-11-3
  • You Do Not Talk About Fight Club (2008), Chuck Palahniuk (Foreword), Read Mercer Schuchardt (Editor). BenBella Books. ISBN 978-1-933771-52-6
  • Stupefying Stories October 2011 (2011), Bruce Bethke (Editor). Rampant Loon Press. ASIN B005T5B9YC
  • Stupefying Stories March 2012 (2012), Bruce Bethke (Editor). Rampant Loon Press. ASIN B007T3N0XK

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tevlin, John (2008-05-04). "Tax deniers' crusade 'becomes a religion' - Wealthy CEO Robert Beale might not fit the profile of a tax evader -- except for an unshakable faith in his own convictions.". Star Tribune: B1. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  2. ^ Did not see that coming, by Theodore Beale, at Vox Popoli; published August 1, 2014; retrieved August 12, 2014
  3. ^ "Bucknell Magazine Summer 2008" (PDF). Reviews and Criticism. Bucknell University. p. 17. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Interview -Theodore Beale". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Psykosonik". Billboard. Retrieved 10 Nov 2011. 
  6. ^ "The true and obscure history of Psykosonik". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  7. ^ "Fenris Wolf Ltd.". Retrieved 2015-04-10. 
  8. ^ "Fenris Wolf Sues GT Interactive: Developer of Rebel Moon Series Charges Breach of Contract". IGN. February 11, 1999. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  9. ^ Lohr, Steve (October 18, 1999). "It's Demons vs. Angels in Computer Game With a Religious Theme". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  10. ^ "United States Patent Number: D602493". 
  11. ^ Stern, Joanna. "WarMouse Meta review". Engadget. 
  12. ^ Audureau, William. "A la rencontre du GamerGate, le mouvement libertarien qui veut défendre " ses " jeux vidéo". Le Monde. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Winston, Kimberly (April 16, 2001). "Other Worlds, Suffused With Religion". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  14. ^ Nielsen Hayden, Patrick (May 1, 2005). "New heights of prestige for the Nebula Award". Electrolite. Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  15. ^ Silver, Steven H. (May 8, 2007). "News - 2007 Nebula Novel Jury Announced". The SF Site. Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  16. ^ "Throne of Bones". Black Gate. 
  17. ^ Loftus, Tom (July 31, 1998). "Fenris Wolf". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  18. ^ "List of Books by Theodore Beale". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  19. ^ Smith, Lori (March 3, 2008). "In Defense of God: Atheist bestsellers have spurred on protectors of the faith". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  20. ^ Derbyshire, John (November 21, 2007). "Christmas Shopping 2007: A Time for Recommendations". National Review Online. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  21. ^ Schab, Linda (26 July 2009). "Announcing the ACFW Book of the Year finalists!". Grand Rapids Examiner. Retrieved 13 Nov 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Vox Day/Theodore Beale". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  23. ^ "Vox Day". Retrieved 16 Jan 2016. 
  24. ^ "2015 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  25. ^ "2015 Hugo and Campbell Award Finalists". Locus Online. Locus Publications. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  26. ^ "Announcing the 2015 Hugo Award Nominees". tor.com. Macmillan. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  27. ^ a b S. Lind, William (June 17, 2009). "Washington’s Legitimacy Crisis". The American Conservative. 
  28. ^ "Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation War". Castalia House. 
  29. ^ El-Mohtar, Amal (13 June 2013). "Calling for the Expulsion of Theodore Beale from SFWA". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  30. ^ "Beale Expelled from SFWA". Locus Online. August 14, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Beale Expelled from SFWA". Locus Magazine. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 15 Feb 2015. 
  32. ^ Beale, Theodore (August 14, 2014). "The SFWA Board Decides". Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  33. ^ "2014 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  34. ^ Correia, Larry (14 April 2015). "George R. R. Martin responds". Monster Hunter Nation. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  35. ^ "2014 Hugo Award Statistics" (PDF). World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  36. ^ Beale, Theodore (August 17, 2014). "Hugo Awards 2014". Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  37. ^ Baker-Whitelaw, Gavia (August 18, 2014). "5 reasons to pay attention to the Hugo Awards—and one big reason not to". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  38. ^ Glyer, Mike (August 18, 2014). "Hugo Statistics Dress Sad Puppies in Black Armbands". File 770. File 770. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Yhdysvaltain scifimaailmassa riehuu sota, johon Game of Thrones -kirjailijakin on sotkeutunut – ja kaiken keskiössä on tämä kouvolalaismies". Nyt.fi (in Finnish). March 6, 2015. 
  40. ^ Waldman, Katy (April 8, 2015). "How Sci-Fi’s Hugo Awards Got Their Own Full-Blown Gamergate". Slate. 
  41. ^ "Two Authors Withdraw Their Work From This Year's Hugo Awards". io9. Retrieved 2015-04-15. 
  42. ^ "Black Gate Withdraws from Hugo Consideration". Retrieved 2015-04-20. 
  43. ^ "In Which Edmund Schubert Withdraws From the Hugos". Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  44. ^ http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/2015-hugo-awards/
  45. ^ Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters, by Amy Wallace, in Wired; published August 23, 2015; retrieved August 26, 2015
  46. ^ a b D'Addario, Daniel. "Sci-fi writer makes $50,000 for charity off of his "troll"". Salon.com. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Why women can't think". WND. 21 Feb 2005. Retrieved 21 Jan 2016. 
  48. ^ a b Bokhari, Allum (2 September 2015). "Vox Day book turns Amazon Kindle store into battleground". Retrieved 15 Jan 2016. 
  49. ^ Chantrill, Christopher (1 September 2015). "Fighting Back Against the SJWs". American Thinker. Retrieved 15 Jan 2016. 
  50. ^ Grant, Peter. "The Tor boycott is on". Retrieved 23 Jan 2016. 
  51. ^ }Day,Vox. "Tor Boycott announced". Retrieved 23 Jan 2016. 
  52. ^ "2014 Hugo Awards". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  53. ^ a b "2015 Hugo Award Nominees". Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  54. ^ Johnson, Greg. "Greg Johnson Interviews Vox Day". Counter-Currents Publishing. Retrieved 27 Jan 2016. 
  55. ^ Day, Vox. "The new Galileo". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  56. ^ Day, Vox. "There is no "marital rape"". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  57. ^ Day, Vox. "THE REAL ASSAULT ON SCIENCE". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  58. ^ Day, Vox. "Scientific American and social autism". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  59. ^ Day, Vox. "Why we don't put girls in games". Retrieved 14 Jan 2016. 
  60. ^ VanHelder, Mike (April 17, 2015). "Culture Wars Rage Within Science Fiction Fandom". Popular Science. 
  61. ^ Heer, Jeet (April 17, 2015). "Science Fiction's White Boys' Club Strikes Back". The New Republic. 
  62. ^ Day, Vox (8 August 2005). "Why Women's Rights Are Wrong". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Writing
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Media