Saying No

Early this week Jon Del Arroz was on his Facebook page denying that he misrepresents what people say about him here, that he stalks Filers as well as others on other social media to harass them, and gaslights them about it after he’s done it (even when it’s something he openly planned on Gab, see screencaps here and here). And in his FB comments section the amateur hour was in progress, with people stepping all over themselves trying to get in a fresh shot at me and this blog. Larry Correia was watching this and had a “Here, hold my beer” moment. The discussion wasn’t filthy enough, or vicious enough, or about him enough — and whatever it lacked, he was going to supply.

Correia followed that act by making the lowlights of his FB contributions into a post on his blog. I feel that needs to be addressed because he’s been writing about me like that for a couple of years and can be expected to continue.

Ultimately Correia remains enraged at me today because four years ago, I was one of the people (as were some of you) who said no to him when he wanted to help himself to the Best Novel Hugo. Not that I could actually stop that from happening, but when I started covering as news what Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, and everyone else had to say about the controversy (in their own words, with links to the rest of their posts), I had an impact by facilitating the growth of a new community of people who wanted to talk about these issues — most of them opposing the vandalism of an institution they had spent years building up.

In 2013, Correia had decided that someone with his sales figures and blog readership, who had twice had a book on the New York Times bestseller list (for a single week) deserved a Hugo, and started organizing his readers to make it happen. He didn’t think of the members of fandom as his neighbors or colleagues; he approached it like the raid culture of ancient times where you go and steal somebody’s cattle if you think you can get away with it. Despite all of the agitation he stirred up among his followers, he got only 101 nominations and failed to make the ballot.

Larry knew that since the previous summer’s raid hadn’t worked out as well as he’d hoped, to sack Troy, he would need more boats and warriors in 2014. He wrapped his nomination campaign in the flag of the culture wars. Literary awards don’t fire people up, but political motivations do. He called on readers to nominate himself plus selected friends and editors as a way to ”stick it to those SJWs”. His book made the final ballot with the third-highest number of nominating votes (184) and lost to Ancillary Justice. Two hundred votes is enough to do any amount of damage to the Hugo nominating ballot — but after two years of effort by a bestselling author, it doesn’t seem like much of a number.

In 2015 Correia gave the project to Brad Torgersen, his Patroclus, who couldn’t wait to don Larry’s armor and lead the Sad Puppies 3 campaign. Torgersen put together a slate composed of both willing and unwilling writers (with some demanding to be removed), and spearheaded his campaign with a series of abusive political tirades against the Worldcon voters. However, his band of award pirates soon discovered that the Agamemnon of their scenario was really Vox Day. His Rabid Puppies slate blanketed nearly all the Hugo categories, and his followers dictated the 2015 ballot. Larry Correia’s latest novel was one of the things on their slate, but despite three years spent jacking up his readers and colleagues to get him this award, at this point he refused his nomination, went back to his tent, and let everyone else go forward without him.

File 770 covered that story and became a place people gathered to discuss it, and correspondingly became a lightning rod for Larry Correia’s wrath. In the past two years, whenever my name or this site’s name is mentioned in comments on his blog he can always be counted on to erupt in a spew of obscenities about me — in fact, one of his followers regularly injects my name into the conversation just to see him go off. And that same spirit controlled what Correia said on Facebook, and wrote in his post. Likewise the blizzard of comments from Correia’s followers, filled with playground taunts and references to Japanese pornography and prison sex. And these things can be expected to continue because of his example and that they’re encouraged in his comment community.

I have a temper of my own, but one thing I learned early in my fanwriting career is that bad language is a dead-end — if somebody tells you what you wrote is bullshit, and you tell them, no, what you wrote is bullshit, you’re both still there and still have to think of an actual response. So while I am a graduate of middle school boys Phys. Ed. and have tried all the innuendo out for myself, there’s nothing to be gained by reciprocating. And I’ve been reminded that losing my temper doesn’t make me smarter, as witness my attempt to use Alexa stats to demonstrate that I have more web traffic than Correia, when it should have been as obvious to me that number isn’t any good as it is to everyone else. But I have decided to make this statement, because I also know from experience that when someone is trying to bully me and shut me down, I need to speak up. Which brings us back to where this story began four years ago.

No comments will be taken on this post. Your continued participation here is all the encouragement I need to continue.

Top 10 Posts for May 2017

Filers reaction to a linked essay by Eric Raymond at the Libertarian Futurist blog veered into a long and heated debate about the government of the Shire, all adding up to File 770’s most-read post in the month of May.

Worldcon and Hugo-related news dominated the non-Scroll Top 10 — although fan interest in Camestros Felapton’s parody about my favorite alt-marketing specialist lifted it into third place.

  1. Pixel Scroll 5/11/17 I Got Two Pixels When I Scrolled The Bones
  2. Pixel Scroll 5/1/17 Heigh-Ho, The Derry-O, A Pixel We Will Scroll
  3. Pixel Scroll 5/15/17 Scroll Sat Alone On His File Of Stone, And Pixeled And Godstalked A Bare Old Bone
  4. Pixel Scroll 5/19/17 And He Beheld White Scrolls And Beyond Them A Far Green Pixel Under A Swift Sunrise
  5. Pixel Scroll 5/2/17 Pixel Packing Mama, Lay Your Pixel Down
  6. Pixel Scroll 5/8/17 I Saw A Pixel Filing Through the Streets of Soho With A Chinese Menu In Its Scroll.
  7. Pixel Scroll 5/28/17 No File For You Till You Scroll All Your Pixels
  8. Pixel Scroll 5/21/17 What A Strange Pixel — The Only Winning Scroll Is Not To File
  9. Pixel Scroll 5/16/17 Will No One Pixel Me This Troublesome Scroll?
  10. Pixel Scroll 5/18/17 For I Am A Bear Of Very Little Files, And Long Scrolls Bother Me

Top 10 Without Scrolls

  1. Worldcon 75 Releases Hugo Voter Packet
  2. 2016 Nebula Awards
  3. If You Give Del Arroz Publicity
  4. Worldcon 75 Membership Report
  5. Where to Find the 2017 Hugo Finalists For Free Online
  6. Another Fan Artist Disqualified from Hugo Ballot
  7. Clash Over Cultural Appropriation Spawns Opposing Canadian Awards
  8. Arthur C. Clarke Award 2017 Shortlist
  9. It Was Forty Years Ago Today, Princess Leia Taught the Band to Play
  10. Measuring the Rabid Puppies Effect on the 2017 Hugo Ballot

Top 10 Posts for April 2017

The revelation of the Hugo Awards finalists and curiosity about the Rabid Puppy impact on the ballot were the two biggest stories for the month of April.

However, Monica Valentinelli stepping down as Odyssey Con GoH led to a chain of high-interest news and energetic discussion in the comments of several articles and Scrolls.

As a result, widely-followed reports about the new design for the World Fantasy Award and the fate of the Lovecraft nominee pins finished way down the list.

  1. 2017 Hugo Awards Finalists
  2. Measuring the Rabid Puppies Effect on the 2017 Hugo Ballot
  3. Pixel Scroll 4/12/17 Blah, Blah, Blah, Pixels, Blah, Blah, Scroll
  4. Monica Valentinelli Withdraws as GoH of Odyssey Con
  5. Where to Find the 2017 Hugo Finalists For Free Online
  6. Pixel Scroll 4/21/17 Pass The Pixel On The Left Hand Side
  7. Pixel Scroll 4/20/17 How Many Books Must A Pixel Scroll Down Before You Can Call Him A Fan?
  8. Pixel Scroll 4/18/17 There Is A Scroll In Everything, That’s How The Pixel Gets In
  9. Pixel Scroll 4/25/17 If All You Have Is A Pixel, Every Problem Looks Like A Scroll.
  10. Pixel Scroll 4/4/17 I Used To Be A Filer Like You, But Then I Took A Pixel In The Knee

Top 10 Without Scrolls

  1. 2017 Hugo Award Finalists
  2. Measuring the Rabid Puppies Effect on the 2017 Hugo Ballot
  3. Monica Valentinelli Withdraws as GoH of Odyssey Con
  4. Where to Find the 2017 Hugo Finalists For Free Online
  5. The Replacements: Odyssey Con’s New Guests of Honor
  6. Odyssey Con Loses Last GoH
  7. More Changes In WisCon Committee Revealed
  8. Jim Frenkel Banned By Wiscon
  9. Lovecraft Pins Being Retired Too
  10. Writers React: Thumbs Up for New WFA Design, Thumbs Down for Lovecraft Nominee Pins

Top 10 Posts for March 2017

We only need one list this time around because four news posts broke the Scroll’s customary monopoly on the Top 10. And I assure you none of these items are April Fools, improbable as that may seem from the story lines.

Fans avidly followed posts tracing Amazon’s brief suppression of a Castalia House imitation/parody of the John Scalzi’s new book. And the top-ranked Pixel Scroll was galvanized by six comments Vox Day left harassing Rev. Bob about the one-star review he gave that goon book on Amazon.

Here are the 10 most-read posts in March according to Google Analytics.

  1. Pixel Scroll 3/22/17 I Scroll The Pixel Electric
  2. Amazon Yanks Castalia House’s “The Corroding Empire”
  3. Amazon Keeps Freeze on Sales of Castalia’s “Corrosion”
  4. What Did You Nominate for the 2017 Hugos?
  5. Pixel Scroll 3/27/17 On The Gripping Hand Of Darkness
  6. Pixel Scroll 3/24/17 No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Scroll
  7. Pixel Scroll 3/23/17 I Fifth The Pixel Electric
  8. Rabid Puppies 2017 Arrives
  9. Pixel Scroll 3/19/17 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual!
  10. Pixel Scroll 3/29/17 “Scrolls! They Were Inwented By A Little Old Lady From Pixelgrad!”

2017 Recommended SF/F List

By JJ: This thread is for posts about 2017-published works, which people have read and recommend to other Filers.

There will be no tallying of recommendations done in this thread; its purpose is to provide a source of recommendations for people who want to find something to read which will be Hugo-eligible next year.

You don’t have to stop recommending works in Pixel Scrolls, please don’t! But it would be nice if you also post here, to capture the information for other readers.

The Suggested Format for posts is:

  • Title, Author, Published by / Published in (Anthology, Collection, Website, or Magazine + Issue)
  • Hugo Category: (Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Related Work, Graphic Novel, etc)
  • link (if available to read/view online)
  • optional “Brief, spoiler-free description of story premise:”
  • optional “What I liked and didn’t like about it:”
  • (Please rot-13 any spoilers.)

There is a permalink to this thread in the blog header.

Top 10 Posts For February 2017

In February’s most-read post a link to Rawle Nyanzi’s discussion of the Pulp Revolution fueled comments about everything from to Doc Savage to Jeffro’s Appendix N.

Here are the Top 10 posts for February according to Google Analytics.

  1. Pixel Scroll 2/1/17 We Had Scrolls, We Had Fun, We Had Pixels In The Sun
  2. Pixel Scroll 1/31/17 Is It A Scroll? Is It A File? No, Its Super-Pixel!
  3. Pixel Scroll 2/2/17 If You Give A Kzin A Kazoo…
  4. Jon Del Arroz Off BayCon 2017 Program, Claims Decision Is Politically Motivated
  5. Pixel Scroll 2/13/17 Scroll Me The Pixel Of Alfredo Garcia
  6. Pixel Scroll 2/15/17 Do These Protocol Breeches Make My Throne Look Fat?
  7. Pixel Scroll 2/23/17 We Scroll Not Because It Is Easy, But Because It Is Hard
  8. Pixel Scroll 2/19/17 Put A Pinch Of Pixel Into Five Cups Of Scrolls And Knead Until It Becomes Lembas
  9. Pixel Scroll 2/27/17 That’s it! Scroll Over Man, Scroll Over!
  10. Pixel Scroll 2/12/17 Who Knows What Pixels Lurk In The Heart Of Scrolls?

Leading the list of non-Scrolls with the greatest readership was the report of Jon Del Arroz blowing the lid off BayCon’s effort to leave him off programming this year – although they had already invited him come back for 2018.  A true case of someone exposé-ing himself.

  1. Jon Del Arroz Off BayCon 2017 Program, Claims Decision Is Politically Motivated
  2. 2016 Locus Recommended Reading List Is Out
  3. Leading Critics Form Clarke Award “Shadow” Jury
  4. Ed Bryant (1945-2017)
  5. Corrected 2016 Nebula Nominees
  6. Oscar Gaffe Brings Back Memories of SF Award Blunders
  7. Weisskopf To Receive Solstice Award
  8. 2016 Nebula Award Nominees
  9. A Chance To Help Ted White
  10. Letter To A Higher Critic

Top 10 Posts of January 2017

Readers returned again and again to the most-viewed post this month to discuss Lou Antonelli’s claim that editors have been boycotting him. Traffic was stimulated by a visit from the author himself, who started by saying: “Hey Aaron, old chum, I knew you’d show up. I wanted to (sarcastically) thank you for all you did to help Donald Trump get elected President….”

Current events also stirred a strong response to John Hertz’ “A Nonconformist Among Noncomformists,” making it the most-read non-Scroll in January.

Here are the Top 10 posts for January:

  1. Pixel Scroll 1/5/17 But You Scroll One Lousy Pixel….
  2. Pixel Scroll 1/6/17 It Scrolls! It Pixels! It Makes Julienne Files!
  3. Pixel Scroll 1/4/17 Four Scrolls And Seven Pixels Ago
  4. Pixel Scroll 1/29/17 Have Space Suit, Would Travel, But Ain’t Got No Visa
  5. Pixel Scroll 1/26/17 What Is The Pixel Capacity Of A European Scroll? Laden or Unladen? Aaargh!
  6. Pixel Scroll 1/19/17 She’s Got Electric Trolls, A Pixel Scroll
  7. Pixel Scroll 1/7/17 And Someday, If I Can, I’m Gonna Be A Pixel Scroller Just Like My Old Man
  8. Pixel Scroll 1/11/17 Ask Not What Your Pixel Can Scroll For You; Ask What You Can Scroll For Your Pixel
  9. A Nonconformist Among Nonconformists
  10. Pixel Scroll 1/9/17 Old King Cole Had A Merry Old Scroll

And here are the most-viewed posts, Scrolls excluded.

  1. A Nonconformist Among Nonconformists
  2. Herding Puppies
  3. The Big Three and a Lesson About Fixing Things Wrong
  4. Survey of International Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans About The Hugo Awards and the Puppies Controversy
  5. 2017 Hugo Nominations Open
  6. Take Online Survey of Shortlisted YA Award Titles
  7. “Marvelous Nerd Year’s Eve” Joins Ranks of Failed Media Conventions
  8. A Speculative Kerfuffle
  9. On Another Tentacle
  10. Peter Weston (1943-2017)

Carl Slaughter Hugo Eligibility Post

By Carl Slaughter: 2016 was a good year. 225 interviews, features, profiles, reviews, essays, editorials, and news tips in three major fanzines, File 770, SF Signal, and Amazing Stories.

Ken Liu and Cixin Liu at the Autograph Session during SFWA Nebula Weekend 2015.

Ken Liu and Cixin Liu at the Autograph Session during SFWA Nebula Weekend 2015.

This includes the first English interview with Liu Cixin (Liu Cixin, The 3 Body Problem, and the Growth of SF in China), exclusive author commentary from Michael Swanwick (Swanwick Sets the Frame for his Mongolian Wizard Series; and Michael Swanwick On His (Many) Short Story Collections); interviews with Ann Leckie, Tina Connolly, Jason Sanford, Kris Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith (man that guy cranks out the volume), Kevin J. Anderson (man that guy cranks out the volume), Jonathan Maberry (man that guy cranks out the volume), and Mike Resnick (man that guy cranks out the volume); editors and publishers of Clarkesworld (Neil Clarke), Starship Sofa (Jeremy Szal), Escape Pod (Alasdair Stuart), and Amazing Stories (Steve Davidson); so many SWFA and HWA administrators and former administrators I lost count (M.C.A. Hogarth, Kate Baker, Lee Martindale); a couple of game pioneers; a couple of Hollywood script writers and novelizers; and a fistful of awesome debut authors.

Ann Leckie

Ann Leckie

Features on a horde of series and trilogy authors, including the Joe Ledger, Hard Luck Hank, Young Wizards, and Shannara series. Several anthologies and encyclopedias. Popular discussions about cover art (Describe Your Favorite Cover Art) and piracy. Fascinating and controversial memories from Ray Bradbury (Ray Bradbury and the Power of the Subconscious in Storytelling; Ray Bradbury Versus the Idiots.)

Launched a series of guest essays (Rick Deckard: Overrated!, Carl Slaughter’s Open Letter to the CEO of Google; Techno Dystopia Premise; Fiction Philosophy) and a series about themed stories by debut authors.

None of this would have been possible without Mike Glyer, whose feature designs are second only to John DeNardo and whose turnaround time is blinding compared to other zine editors. Mike has been working hard to expand news coverage of books. 2016 is equally the fruit of his labor.

Top 20 Posts of 2016

Happy New Year! Here are the most-viewed posts from the past year with notes explaining what helped make them so.

While I was laid up in the hospital, Filers rallied around to keep the place buzzing and did such an awesome job some of these posts had the most traffic of the year.

This was the place to look if you wanted to know how many Rabid Puppy nominees landed on the final Hugo ballot.

This Scroll was the last one up before I was hospitalized, and with service interrupted got about a week’s worth of hits.

Another all-hands effort with a lot of participation.

This report tried to satisfy curiosity about the Dragon Awards ceremony.

Vivienne Raper debating people about Sad Puppies drew large numbers of comments, and follow-up discussion about Mark Oshiro’s ConQuest complaints (see #8) accounted for the rest.

Somebody who didn’t realize the public could read them planning to disrupt Goodreads ended up getting the Rabid Puppies Group and Vox Day booted from the site 36 hours after they set up shop.

Two-time Hugo nominated fanwriter Mark Oshiro (Mark Watches Star Trek), ConQuesT’s Fan Guest of Honor in 2015, publicly aired his grievances about the racism, sexual harassment, and abuse he experienced at the con after working within the con’s complaint process produced no action.

Not expecting his Goodreads account would be deleted by next morning, Vox Day dropped in to make a provocative comment about it that kept people busy the rest of the day.

People liveblogged the meeting and discussed the many motions intended to make the Hugos less vulnerable to slating.

Program organizer Darrell Schweitzer learned never to name a panel “Spicy Oriental Zeppelin Stories,” among other things.

GRRM’s takedown of John C. Wright, and allegations that a Rabid Puppies choice for Best Fan Artists had created kiddie porn, fueled the day’s discussions.

Filers’ love for used bookstores, and vastly divergent views about what is the proper format for dates, drew hundreds of comments.

Vox Day convinced Black Gate to oust Foz Meadows’ guest post in which she referred to him as a “neo-Nazi.”

John C. Wright dropped by to disagree with a line in the day’s Scroll, ”John C. Wright deconstructed George R.R. Martin’s reconciliation post in ‘Peace on Mars, Good Will Toward Puppies.’” He admonished the editor “Please do not spread a false impression or create an appearance of division in the one case where none exists.” That kept people busy for days.

You’d be amazed how many comments can be stirred up by a discussion about the meaning of names in their original languages.

A news item triggered an extended argument about the difference between free speech and unbridled assholism when commenting about religion.

Comments on the concept of Twitter shadowbanning generated both heat and light, and continued alongside a discussion of whether pants-dropping at ConQuest was art or offense.

19. Pixel Scroll 4/28/16 All My Hugos

While some debated whether no-platforming the Puppies would work, others noodled improvements to E Pluribus Hugo, and Pixel Frost contributed the definitive Paulk’s Tavern poem which begins —

Whose bar this is I think I know
She’s on another planet though
And yet it can’t be sci-fi here
The bar’s a tavern, and there’s snow

Special guest troll KT kept people worked up for a week about a topic RedWombat summed up in this comment:

So KT tried to imply that Con or Bust gave Alexandra Erin money, and has no proof and refuses to look it up, but is really worked up about it, despite not knowing if it’s true. That’s…

Top 10 Posts For November 2016

Sarah A. Hoyt’s announcement of the fifth annual running of the mournful mutts attracted the most rolling eyes last month.

Even more than the Pixel Scroll in second place — a roundup of what sff authors had to say about Donald Trump being elected to the White House. (Priorities, people, please!) 😉

Here are the Top 10 posts for November

  1. Going To The Dogs Again
  2. Pixel Scroll 11/9/16 The Pixel Was Already Scrolling When I Lay Down On It
  3. Pixel Scroll 11/14/16 The Fen From S.C.R.O.L.L. And P.I.X.E.L.
  4. Pixel Scroll 11/1/16 We Have Scrolled The Pixel, And It Is Us
  5. Pixel Scroll 11/8/16 When We Scrolled The Pixels On Board, We Thought They Were Cute
  6. Pixel Scroll 11/24/16 And He Pixeled A Crooked Scroll
  7. Pixel Scroll 11/18/16 R.U.R. Or R.U.Ain’t (My Baby)
  8. Pixel Scroll 11/23/16 A Pixel On All Your Houses
  9. Pixel Scroll 11/10/16 I Grow Old… I Grow Old… I Shall Wear The Bottoms Of My Pixels Scrolled
  10. Pixel Scroll 11/12/16 Like A Scroll On A Wire; Like A Pixel In A Midnight Choir

And here are the most-viewed posts, Scrolls excluded.

  1. Going To The Dogs Again
  2. Barkley — Since You (Didn’t) Ask — Trumplandia, Weeks One and Two
  3. Carl Slaughter’s Open Letter to the CEO of Google
  4. Northern California Fans Find 56 Flags, Pro-Trump Slogans on Lawn
  5. Worldcon 75 Posts Its Code of Conduct
  6. Crystal Huff Resigns as Co-Chair of Worldcon 75
  7. After The Fall – Walter Jon Williams’ Praxis Universe
  8. Spoilers Ahead: Open Discussion of the Movie Arrival
  9. MACII’s Code of Conduct Response Procedures Posted
  10. Famed Tanith Lee Series Coming Out From DAW