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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Though I am loath to endorse any hyperlink that leads back to the dreadfully awful Montreal Gazette, the following story is both important and uplifting to anyone who believes that all Quebecers should have the same full, and equal, rights under the law. This should encourage anyone who believes in freedom of expression, of multiculturalism, and most of all, of courage in the face of overwhelming (albeit utterly discredited) opposition and even violence.

I reprint it here, without permission, solely to ensure that in the likely event the Gazette caves to pressure from a "special" interest group comprised of a goon squad of separatist racists.

One woman against the anti-Royal mobBy David Johnston, The Gazette

Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

She was a single lone woman up against a noisy nationalist mob tonight outside of the Black Watch armory on Bleury St., in the hour before Prince Charles arrived with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

As the bright lights of national television created an something of a chilling aura around the 150 slogan-chanting Quebec nationalists, a small determined woman named Suzanne Reny walked up to the front lines of the protest and told them they were all a disgrace.

Speaking in fluent French and English, and carrying a well-known Scottish flag, the Rampant Lion, this petite daughter of a retired Canadian air-force pilot, and husband of a man of Scottish orgin, tore a strip off the protestors in front of a dozen cameras.

She called them ignorant and stupid, and she called them other things that can’t be printed – and the protestors were taken aback at first, until one man pushed her, prompting other protestors to intervene on behalf of her.

“If they are allowed to have their way in public, then I am allowed to have my say in public, too,” said Reny, the daughter of a father from the Beauce region and a mother from Trois-Rivières.

“If they are going to come here as a gang and say ‘We’re the Jeunes Patriotes’ and all that stuff and ‘we represent Quebec,’ well, I’m here to say they don’t represent Quebec,” said Reny.

Royal-family lovers who had come to stand outside the armory in the hope of greeting the royal couple looked on in amazement as Reny took on all comers and stood her ground in the glare of TV lights against the intimidating mob.

“Am I afraid? No way!” said Reny, who grew up in Lachine, LaSalle and Dollard des Ormeaux.

One of the protestors, a red-haired francophone woman named Danielle Fortin who said she was “a quarter” Irish and who was carrying an Irish flag, said to Reny, “Whose the real minority here? Don’t you know your history?”

Reny shot back, “Where did you learn your history? At the University of the St. Jean Baptiste Society?”

The louder Reny shouted the protestors down, the more the protestors in the background craned their necks to get a look at this woman who had come to stand them down. She was a one-woman counter-demonstration, and the royal couple’s and Black Watch’s strongest defender.


U Suck said...

While I expect you will not allow this comment onto your page.. I will make it anyway. The woman you are canonizing merely proves that there is at least one idiot in any gathering of people.

As for your books. I have just finished reading "The Unearthing". Not too bad of a story premise... but then with the vivid sex descriptions the story took a nosedive. Don't misjudge me, I am no prude, and I like to fuck as much as the next guy... but in this sort of a story, it merely comes across as sophomoric. It is like you are writing a good novel, then you start getting horny and go off on some fantasy tangent. Are you unable to help yourself? Does sex really prey on your mind to that extent? Reading your book is like sitting in on a serious discussion about politics, religion, and philosophy with someone whose idea of making a useful contribution is to stick their hand in their armpit and make fart noises. Ya need to decide if you want to write science fiction that will be taken seriously.. or write dime-a-dozen crotch-novels for Harlequin. I have read literally hundreds of sci-fi novels, and not one of the books that are memorable went into explicit sexual imagery... a good story does not need it. Grow up. Go buy a hooker for an evening... as maybe getting laid once in your life will help you to get over your fixation.

Steve Karmazenuk said...

Well, I would like to thank you, MR Suck, for your comments.

May I call you "U"?

As to the sex scene, which seems to be the most pressing issue, I had actually decided to put it in (no pun intended) because it flowed naturally from the (SPOILER ALERT!)

terrorist attack that left Laura close to death and James and Allison lost and in shock.

The explicit nature of the scene was one that I contemplated long and hard(No pun intended) before writing it.

Likewise, I actually spoke with a couple of people about the scene, before deciding to include it.

My decision to leave the scene as written was based on the simple fact that it was not only in keeping with the characters of James and Allison up to that point in the story, but because I was fairly well just as explicit with everything else I wrote about. Likewise, I stand behind those scenes because of what they reveal about Allison, and particularly James.

I am glad that you liked the rest of the story, and I sincerely hope you will not hold that one scene against the tale as a whole. I also hope, given your dissatisfaction, that you downloaded the eBook, and did not drop the publisher's suggested retail price on the hard copy.

I'm honestly surprised that the interstitial chapter, the "Report to the World Ship Council" wasn't more of a source of ire for you; most of the negative feedback I've gotten has centered around that little nightmare of a chapter; so much so that when I re-launch the eBook, I intend to leave it out.

While "The Unearthing" wasn't the first thing I wrote, it was my first "serious" attempt. A (significantly less sexually explicit) follow-up, titled "Through Darkness and Stars" will launch in 2010 - and I hope that I will have the 6 chapter preview launched before the end of the month (Google "Douglas Adams on deadlines" for the likelihood of that!)

I hope, U, that you will give the follow-up a chance, and not hold it's predecessor's (admittedly, anomalous) sex scenes against it.

A word of caution, however: The other eBook I'll be releasing next year, "Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind" deals specifically (and explicitly) with sex and drug abuse, among twentysomethings in the early 1990s. It's not sci-fi and is totally unlike "The Unearthing".

That being said, I hope that you will continue to take chances with new and utterly unknown authors like me. Most of them are diamonds in the rough, and I think the talent pool is better than most of what's in mainstream print these days. I'll leave it to you to decide whether I'm counted among that talent pool, or not.