You know what they say – nothing is inevitable except death and Sad Puppies.
The passing of Terry Pratchett triggered a surge of internet activity so great in extent that a five-year-old post with an image of his coat-of-arms became the second most-read thing on this blog in March – exceeded only by readership for a tempestuous debate about the neverending Sad Puppies campaign.
Holly Lisle’s resignation from SFWA drove two other posts into the Top 10 as people vented about her associating a loathing for income tax with SFWA’s intent to obtain public grants.
Several long-lived controversies also resurfaced this month. WisCon finally drew a conclusion about a harassment complaint that had been open for two years. Benjanun Sriduangkaew decided it was a good time break a self-imposed silence, George R.R. Martin having just endorsed the author of an investigative report about her for the Hugo. And Chi-Fi’s chairman provided fresh examples of the public relations cluelessness he first displayed as a rookie in 2014.
Here are the top 10 posts for March according to Google Analytics.
- Paulk Proclaims Puppy Party 4
- Terry Pratchett’s Coat-of-Arms
- Lisle Resignation Follow-up
- WisCon Issues Report on Lemberg Complaint
- Benjanun Sriduangkaew Counterattacks
- Peggy Rae Sapienza (1944-2015)
- Holly Lisle Resigns from SFWA
- Chi-Fi Keeps The Fie In Sci-Fi
- Your Emergency Holographic 2015 Hugo Short Fiction Reading List
- Gen Con Threatens To Move If Indiana Governor Signs Religious Freedom Bill
In February readers returned day after day to follow developments in science fiction’s culture war. And what did I do in the war?
- Announced Brad Torgersen’s release of the Sad Puppies 3 Hugo recommendations.
- Reported that the author of a story touted by Sad Puppies 3 asked to be dropped from the list because he didn’t like being associated with some of the attitudes embraced by two of its prominent backers.
- Poked fun at Larry Correia’s appeal for help in finding insults people had written about him for use by a pair of Breitbart.com writers in an article about the politicization of the Hugo Awards.
- Recommended my own radical formula for finding Hugo nominees: Actually read stuff and if it deserves an award write it down.
- Looked over the Locus Recommended Reading List and couldn’t understand how dozens and dozens of works were worth a mention, but absolutely none from Baen Books.
- Observed with amazement commenters at Mad All The Time Genius Club taking absolutely literally the satirical opening of “Why You’re Not A Fan”, raging at its fake Fannish Purity Panel (which several assumed was real), and turning up their noses at its real message about the wide-open doors of fandom.
- Said my piece about Larry Correia’s attack on Tempest Bradford’s reading challenge. Went 15 rounds with my own commenters. Spent some time on the canvas but kept getting back up.
Finally, discovered somebody found a topic so hot that File 770 got its first-ever hits from DoNotLink. Never did track down the source of those – I guess it worked!
Here are the top 10 posts for February according to Google Analytics.
- Larry Correia Channels His Inner Dogberry
- Author Dave Creek Declines Sad Puppydom
- Why You’re Not A Fan
- The Day After The Book Bomb Dropped
- Sad Puppies Wag Their Tales
- Another Day at the Kerfuffle Factory
- 2015 Locus Recommended Reading List Appears
- Supanova Boycott Controversy
- Kameron Hurley’s Further Comments on the Relationship Between Awards and Sales
- How To Nominate for the Hugos
Tapping that vast wellspring of love for the author, “Viewing the Remains of Bradbury’s Home” went viral, receiving 10 times more hits than anything ever posted here before. John King Tarpinian’s story and photos about the teardown of Ray’s house were picked up by the LA Times, LA Curbed, NBC Los Angeles, and Architect.com as well as forums on Reddit and Metafilter, and were linked by any number of Twitter users.
Any other month, Brad Torgersen’s announcement of Sad Puppies 3 — that miserable effort to reduce the Hugo Awards to a left-right fucktard slapfight — would have been the top post. Even so, it ranked second and carried two related posts into the Top 10.
Apart from the Chip Delany tribute anthology, you might have been hard-pressed to find any “happy news” in this list had not a three-way tie for tenth place lifted the Lovecraft Beer story above the event horizon…
Here are the top 10 posts for January 2015 according to Google Analytics.
- Viewing the Remains of Bradbury’s Home
- Torgersen Volunteers To Be Leader of the Pack
- Letter To A Higher Critic
- Did Sad Puppies Save Worldcon?
- FJ Bergmann Defends Against WisCon Harassment Complaint
- The Demolished Fan and Other Bradbury News
- What Stories Are In “Stories for Chip”?
- Cops Bust Fans With Fake Guns On Their Way To Canadian Anime Convention
- Melissa Conway Retires from the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy
- (tie) O Sasquan, My Sasquan
- (tie) Joe Franklin, R.I.P.
- (tie) Lovecraft Beer Premieres 1/19
Here are the 50 the news stories and commentaries people were most interested in reading in 2014.
File 770 broke some of these stories — like Tor pulling its MZB birthday article, Harlan Ellison’s stroke, the turnover in the WisCon committee. In other cases people linked here as the story of record for certain information — the list of 2014 Hugo nominees that had been on Larry Correia’s slate, or various developments with convention harassment complaints.
That’s the work I like to take credit for. However, I confess item #4 ranks that high because it was such a spectacular dud everyone came to see for themselves…
Nature decrees that certain things tend to rise – such as the hitcounts on blog posts filled with bad news. Sometimes there are exceptions – in December, Sue Mason’s winning the 2014 Rotsler Award attracted more readers than the rest of the tragic and toxic news items that commanded attention all month long.
That included a couple of older posts which returned to the top 10 due to new links from Jim C. Hines’ and Jason Sanford’s blogs. Those authors have also been tracking the continuing fallout from Ohio’s Context convention. Since the committee addressed harassment complaints in September there have been resignations, the directors of the parent corporation dissolved the board, and now the future of con seems in jeopardy.
In another story, George R.R. Martin managed to find the silver lining after computer hackers and threats derailed Sony’s plans to release The Interview. He was one of the independent theater owners who stepped up offering to play the film, and it screened was his Jean Cocteau Theatre in Santa Fe.
Here are the top 10 posts for December 2014 according to Google Analytics.
- Sue Mason Wins 2014 Rotsler Award
- Two More Con Code of Conduct Complaints Go Public
- Stu Shiffman (1954-2014)
- Craig Ferguson’s Relative Dimensions in Time and Space
- Dublin 2019 Worldcon Bid Proposes Code of Conduct
- Early Science Fiction Clubs: Your Mileage May Vary
- Resignations From Context Committee Over Harassment Policy Enforcement
- George R.R. Martin Offers To Screen “The Interview” at His Theater
- Almost The Final Frontier
- Ohio’s Context: Mostly Dead?
- Furry Convention Evacuates After Chlorine Gas Released in Stairwell
Ring out the year 2014 with the new issue of File 770!
- My Short Career as a Chess Non-Prodigy by Rich Lynch
- A Switch In Time: Mr. Peabody and Sherman by Taral Wayne
- World Fantasy Convention 2014 report by Martin Morse Wooster
- NASFiC, My NASFiC by John Hertz
- The Glicksohn Memorial Service… and Other Memories of Mike by Joel Zakem
- Remembering the “Dean” of 1950s Fandom by Rich Lynch
Plus, Cover by Steve Stiles (in which the artist makes a Hitchcockian cameo appearance…), bacover by Jose Sanchez, illos by Brad Foster, Alexis Gilliland, Sue Mason, Steve Stiles, and Taral Wayne.
Also news, selected features from the blog, and letters of comment.
Click here — File 770 #164
Jetpack’s annual statistical report for File 770 (which you’re welcome to read) ranks the most prolific commenters of 2014. I thank them for making this a more interesting site!
- Robert Whitaker Sirignano
- David K. M. Klaus
- Taral Wayne
- Morris Keesan
A beautiful new fandom may someday emerge like a butterfly, but right now the cocoon is filled with a lot of mess and spilled guts. Turnover in the WisCon and Context committees were top stories. As was the revelation that an online troll and a recent best new writer nominee were one in the same person.
This was also a month of bittersweet memory. The passing of Stu Shiffman was an opportunity to honor his gift of friendship and many accomplishments. And others who passed earlier were called to mind for any number of reasons – Frank Dietz, Ray Bradbury, Bob Tucker.
Here are the Top 10 posts for November 2014 according to Google Analytics.
- More Changes In WisCon Committee Revealed
- Stu Shiffman (1954-2014)
- A Case Study in Trolling
- Two More Con Code of Conduct Complaints Go Public
- The Great World War II Comic Book Myth
- Frank Dietz Passes Away
- Serendipity and Mr. Bradbury
- Glen Larson (1937-2014)
- A Century of Tucker
- Harlan Calls for Spinrad To Be Named SFWA Grandmaster
The news of Harlan Ellison’s stroke had everyone worried — to the extent that within 24 hours the announcement became the fourth-most-read post in the history of this blog. Over the following days people were gratified to hear how rapidly he regained use of his right arm. He has since returned home, though with more work ahead on his mobility.
Last year many conventions adopted a Code of Conduct or anti-harassment policy, so there is heightened interest about how they are being administered and what stress they add to a conrunning community. This past month there were several stories in that vein, one of them detailing what had been made public by two fans who filed complaints after a bad experience.
I also spoke out about Brianna Wu’s plight, with a capsule explanation of GamerGate and the threats she received.
And by the end of October I had nearly set a new File 770 record for most posts in a month — but not quite.
1. Ellison In Hospital Following Stroke
2. Eyewitnesses to Ellison’s Recovery
3. A Harvest of Apologies
4. Two More Con Code of Conduct Complaints Go Public
5. More Changes In WisCon Committee Revealed
6. Vijay deSelby-Bowen Passes Away
7. Internet Dumpster Diving
8. Brianna Wu Fights On
9. The Most Valuable Hugo
10. Vintage Trek and Batman Clips
Forty percent of the stories in the September Top 10 are Bradbury-related. Two on the auction of his estate, one about the campaign to “save” his Retro Hugo for IUPUI’s Bradbury center and, for lagniappe, a Trivia Quiz where the choices were Bradbury or Vox Day. (Naturally, the right answer was Bradbury.) Four out of 10 is awfully good, but rest assured my Bradbury source John King Tarpinian is scheming a way to beat that record.
The answers for a different post were: Vox Day and Larry Correia. The question is: “Which writer’s blog sent more readers to pound on Mike Glyer?” The post was: “Letter To A Higher Critic.” After I observed that Day’s NY Times Bestseller List one-and-done litmus test applies not only to his habitual target, John Scalzi, but also to his patron Larry Correia, many people showed up to give me a piece of their mind. Including a few who had none to spare.
You may ask, is it possible for a post to make the Top 10 from simple enjoyment — no keruffle, no drama? You need look no farther down the list than #3, about the Noreascon Three Sunday Brunch in 1989 which gathered all then-existing generations of sf pros and fans for a day that can never be repeated.
1. Letter To A Higher Critic
2. Looking for Angel to Save Bradbury’s Hugo
3. Remembering “Science Fiction’s 50th Anniversary Family Reunion” at Noreascon Three (1989)
4. Bradbury Estate Auction Begins Online
5. Which One?
6. Today’s Homicidal Trivia Quiz
7. Cameron KO’s Roger Dean in Avatar Suit
8. The Dorms of Middle Earth
9. Lovecraft 2, PC 1
10. Final Tally From Bradbury Auction