The Fellowship of the Puppy 5/8

aka The Puppies Who Circumnavigated the Hugos in a Slate of Their Own Making

Today’s basket of puppies comes from Alexandra Erin, Lisa J. Goldstein, Chris Gerrib, T. C. McCarthy, Matthew Bowman, Erin Bellavi (Billiard), Brandon Kempner, William Reichard, John O’Neill, Laura Liddell Nolen, Spencer Shannon and L. Jagi Lamplighter. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day mickyFinn and Dawn Sabados.)

Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Sad Puppies Review Books: MADELINE” – May 8

madeline-209x300Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired) …

In the interest of a fair review, I made myself flip through the rest anyway. What I picked up is that the character of Madeline is everything that Feminazis say they want in a “strong female character”, as we are told from the beginning that she’s not afraid of anything, including mice and a tiger in the zoo.

Are we supposed to impressed? Mice aren’t scary and the tiger is clearly in a cage. Does anyone think this precious little snowflake would have lasted five seconds against that tiger in a real fight? Hell no! She wouldn’t have. Not even five seconds and that’s the truth this book takes such pains to conceal from you.

SJWs want us to believe that women are just as strong as any man but then they stage this kind of ridiculous pantomime where we’re supposed to be impressed that they aren’t frightened of zoo animals. But it is the SJWs who are sexist against women by suggesting women should be afraid of caged animals and tiny rodents.

Anyway, it seems like Madeline isn’t such a “strong female character” when her appendix gets inflamed! She cries like a little girl, and guess what? That’s right, a MAN comes to her rescue.


Lisa J. Goldstein on theinferior4

“The Hugo Ballot, Part 5: Novelettes” – May 8

We’ve left short stories and are now in the land of the novelettes.  And the first story here, “The Day the World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, is also the first story on the ballot not from the Sad or Rabid Puppy slate.  As you probably noticed, I’ve been struggling with the puppy-related stories, so I was glad to see something different.  And at first I thought my optimism would be rewarded — the writing is clear, with a light magic realist touch, and the situation — man dumped by his girlfriend — is interesting and relatable, at least in the beginning.


Chris Gerrib on Private Mars Rocket

“Really?” – May 8

The only freely-available Hugo novella I have been able to find is Arlan Andrews’ Flow. I just finished reading it, and am frankly underwhelmed.



“Championship B’Tok” – May 7

So.  The Hugos.  Up until this year I was not aware that this was a vote-by-random-people-with-memberships award.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m not really an awards person at all.  I tend to disagree with all the award-winning choices and therefore don’t put much stock in them.  It’s very political … which this year’s Hugo Debacle (I think it deserves capitalization after all of the drama generated) aptly demonstrates.  Many other bloggers and authors have explained it much better than I can, but I was curious to read some of the short stories and novellas that were up for awards.

I’d read a book by Edward Lerner a long time ago: it was Fools’ Experiments.  I remember that I didn’t really like it because it seemed silly, but I had hoped that Lerner would grow as an author and clean up the writing a bit.

I think things got better.  They’re not fantastic or mind-blowing or OMGREADTHISNOW, but I rather enjoyed Championship B’Tok.



Matthew Bowman on Novel Ninja

“Fake Geeks Go HomeL A Hugo Fisk” – May 4

This would be entertaining if it weren’t so sad. After all, as I keep saying, we’re not asking anyone to vote without reading. That would be a heck of a lot easier. And why would anyone pay forty bucks to vote if they didn’t actually care about the topic?

Remember, your own side is buying votes for other people. If suggesting to other geeks that a Worldcon supporting membership is worth them buying themselves is bad, how is it okay for the anti-Puppy crowd to actually buy votes?


Erin Bellavi (Billiard) on Toasted Cheese

“Negotiating Social Media for Writers: A Conversation With Jim C. Hines, Mary Robinette Kowal & Kameron Hurley” – May 7

TC: Of course, one drawback of the internet is the anonymous hate and trolling that sometimes goes along with having an online presence. Can you describe a time when you had to deal with hate and/or trolling?…

MRK: Yesterday. So, I decided that it would be a nice thing to offer to help people who couldn’t afford a supporting membership for the Hugo awards, by doing a drawing to give some away. This led to cries of “Vote buying!” even though I wasn’t up for an award. My feed became infested with people associated with GamerGate. So I did something I call “politeness trolling.” Which is that someone says something hateful to me, and I answer them with a request for clarification, often accompanied by an apology. More often than not, this actually leads to an interesting conversation.

And the ones that are just trolling me? Heh. I grew up in the South where we’re taught to say, “That’s nice,” instead of “Fuck you.” I can bless someone’s heart all day.


Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

Hugo Award Nomination Ranges, 2006-2015, Part 2 – May 7

The Hugo is a strange award. One Hugo matters a great deal—the Best Novel. It sells copies of books, and defines for the casual SFF fan the “best” of the field. The Novella, Novelette, and Short Story also carry significant weight in the SFF field at large, helping to define rising stars and major works. Some of the other categories feel more like insider awards: Editor, Semiprozine. Others feel like fun ways to nod at the SFF fandom (Fanzine). All of them work slightly differently, and there’s a huge drop off between categories. That’s our point of scrutiny today, so let’s get to some charts.


William Reichard

“So if a Puppy wins a Hugo…will it be a real award then?” – May 8

Honest question. Will it be used on book covers?

“Winner of the top prize from the morally bankrupt and politically corrupt organization of strongarming fools and their sycophants that I spent two years excoriating in every venue I could think of!”?


John O’Neill on Black Gate

“The Top 50 Black Gate Posts in April” – May 8

Looking over our traffic stats for last month, I want to give a shout-out to M Harold Page, who managed to heroically crack the Top 10 without once mentioning the Hugo Awards or Rabid Puppies. Well done, Mr. Page!

He was the only one to accomplish that extraordinary feat, however. Every other article in the Top 10 for April (and more than a few in the Top 25) directly addressed the ongoing Hugo Awards controversy, which began on April 4th when Worldcon announced the nominees for the 2015 Hugo Awards — a group which usually represents the finest science fiction and fantasy of the year, but this year was largely dictated by a single individual, Vox Day (Theo Beale), and his Rabid Puppy supporters, who crammed the slate with 11 nominees from Theo’s tiny publishing house, Castalia House, and nominated Vox Day personally for two Hugo Awards.

Not coincidentally, Black Gate received the first Hugo nomination in our history, and one of our bloggers, Matthew David Surridge, was nominated for Best Fan Writer, both as a direct result of being included on the Rabid Puppy slate. We declined those nominations, for reasons that I think should be fairly obvious.


The Writers Life eMagazine

“{Virtual Book Tour} A Book Chat with Laura Liddell Nolen, author of ‘The Ark’” – May 6

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I love visiting the sites of authors I respect, especially the ones who also do a great job of keeping their blogs up. There’s been no shortage of big names making public statements lately: Mary Robinette Kowal, George R.R. Martin, John Scalzi, and plenty of others have had lots to say about the Sad Puppies’ slate of Hugo-nominated works. Right now, GRRM has had the most activity on his site I’ve seen in a long time. It’s clear that he is still as invested in worldcon as he ever was. In other words, his mind-blowing success hasn’t changed his passion for the form. Given his tenure, his opinion is not to be taken lightly. Last week, he made something like three posts within 24 hours. I can’t look away.



Spencer Shannon on Dig Boston

“Alternate Universe: Queer/Trans Narratives Mix for Fun Effect in New Performance” –  May 8

The event will bring together a menagerie of local speculative fiction writers in one room, and will allow attendees to connect directly with writers who share a desire for inclusive, radical creativity in the media they consume. Author and editor K. Tempest Bradford will serve as MC—she immediately said yes when Jarboe reached out to her about WF&S. “[Bradford is] a pretty vocal feminist and anti-racist who uses her platforms to question old guard and mainstream, and she’s so charismatic, too. I thought she’d be a good fit as a prominent personality who also immediately sets the tone that this event isn’t about the old guard or the mainstream,” Jarboe says. “In fact, you can truly love speculative fiction and comics and games and see the mess that is the Hugo Awards this year, and Gamergate, and all that nonsense, and be like, ‘Whatever, I’ll start my own thing.’”


L. Jagi Lamplighter on Welcome to Arhyalon

“Tempest-in-a-teardrop” – May 8

Amusing pro Sad Puppy comics by our dear friends Codex & Q.

See the first comic here

I believe:

Larry Correia is the bear

Brad Torgersen is a carrot

Sarah A Hoyt is the mouse

John is the raven

The figure with horns is Vox Day


Codex & Q at Tempest In A Teardrop


Yes, we understand: you need to lay into Codex & Q with both barrels, but are stymied by the limitations of public decency. Here’s an insult generator for all your invective needs: have fun! And you’re welcome.

294 thoughts on “The Fellowship of the Puppy 5/8

  1. Brian Z:

    Your link to support the idea of an “international dimension” of the puppies movement is just bizarre. I have no idea what you want to say with that one.

  2. alexdvl: “I use the information presented to me in the author bio, or how the author presents to the audience at large. If… the author doesn’t present, I just leave it blank.”

    Author bios in Wikipedia or the Worlds Without End database will often have information about pseudonyms and the author’s gender.

  3. Bian Z, in what way is the existence of a book on the history of strategy evidence of “a fascinating international dimension” to the Puppies?

  4. To quote Sun Tzu as a basis for strategy is like quoting a fortune cookie as a basis for wisdom.

  5. That’s a link to our expatriate friend VD editing an Israeli military historian for his SF publishing house in Finland with a forward by one of the living legends of science fiction (who is admittedly an American living in America). If that’s not an fascinating international dimension, I’ll eat my hat.

  6. Hampus, you live in Europe, maybe I should ask you: does the Castalia House presence in Europe have no connection with any European people or viewpoints? Feel free to correct me if my thinking about this is wrong.

  7. It shows the international dimension of writing about strategy. It has nothing to do with the behavior or complaints of the Puppies, or indeed anything to do with sf.

  8. @Brian Z – as Rev Bob just pointed out, you are trying to shift the goalposts in the midst of a single paragraph.

    The accusation of “SJWs are running a Sekret Conspiracy to impose leftist message/political correctness on Hugo awards nomination and voting at the expense of Story” is a central tenet of the public justification of the SP/RP campaign. To try to soften that stance now to be “the writing shows progressive sensibilities but the stories show very good writing” is disingenuous at best.

  9. Brian, I think Mike posted a comment by one of the organisers of the Helsinki Worldcon bid at Stross’ site, where in essence they said that Castalia has no involvement with Scandawegian fandom

    It was sometime last week I think.

  10. As one who has been reading through these puppy-themed link roundups since Mike Glyer started doing them (and thank you for doing that work, Mike), and who has read most of the comments as well, I am irritated at this continuing refusal to name Hugo nominees and winners in which the story suffered for the sake of the message. I’ve seen it several times (I believe at least once from Larry Correia) framed as “Oh, I don’t want to malign any particular story”, but the result is that they’re all maligned a bit by implication.
    I believe I have also had it with the notion that there is no such thing as quality in fiction, only popularity. That would of course imply that there is nothing at all wrong with blatant message-fiction, so even if the puppy claims of such blatant message-fiction having won too often were accurate (need I say that they aren’t?), it would be unclear what they were complaining about.
    As someone who has no problem at all reading fiction written from a strong religious viewpoint – I loved Mary Doria Russell’s “The Sparrow” and “Children of God” – I have to say, such of Wright’s fiction as I have read, which I read because I do feel an obligation to read all the nominees regardless of how I vote ’em, is mushily plotted and subject to as close-to-literal a deus ex machina as I have seen. And I’d forgive that for the sake of amazing writing and use of words, which it also does not have.
    I will close with my own title suggestion: “Yes, Puppy, There Is a Santa Claws”.
    What, too soon?

  11. I know it’s probably bad form, but I’m having so much fun I can’t help inviting everyone to join me in writing flash fiction about these events:

    Everyone wins! (Literally.) No rules. Publish anywhere you like, but it would be great if it linked back here at least, because it would be a lot of fun to read what people come up with. (Or if this has been done, apologies, and please share the link/s.)

  12. Seth Gordon @ 9:44 am- I don’t know about moving goalposts, as I’ve never set them on this issue.

    The reason I posed the question is that the original alleged premise, posited a Hugo winning novel with a lefty message which overpowered the story.

    Hugo winners are easy to determine.

    A lefty message should be easy to determine; likewise, a conservative message should be easy to determine. Though if the writer is skilled and subtle, probably not.

    Overpowering a story would be largely a matter of subjective opinion. A conservative would have far less tolerance for a “lefty” message in a story than would a “lefty”. Vice versa would also be true.

    There is also the issue of the author’s politics coloring the readers perception of the novel, or the desirability of reading it.

    Brian Z @ 9:49 am- If we’re reaching back to Heinlein Hugo winners, we’re going back a long way.

    And libertarian does not approximate conservative. I’d venture that libertarians are more liberal than liberals on inclusiveness, for example.

    Matt Y @ 10:02 am- I don’t think Old Man’s War and Ancillary Justice are Hugo winners. And the themes of Old Man’s War was hardly conservative, and I believe Scalzi is becoming anathema to conservative readers. I haven’t read Ancillary Justice yet, so will reserve judgement.

    Lis Carey @ 10:05 pm-

    I would assert the hypothesis that whether one believes that a politics has overwhelmed story, largely depends on the politics of the reader. That line would constantly shift, depending on the individual.

    I would also hypothesis that the lack of a (presumed) conservative Hugo novel winner over the last 2 decades, says something about the current culture of fandom that may not have been present in previous decades.

    Brian Z @ 10:26 pm- Yes, largely. When I read the messages to Tuomo, it occurred to me there is another way of looking at it, which is why I posed the question.

    When a story is overpowered by message and/or an author’s politics, is a matter each reader decides and when that line is crossed will largely be dependent, I think, on each reader’s depth of (adverse) political feeling.

    Which then raises the question as to the Hugo voters, where, in their collective viewpoint, is that line crossed? Presumably, novels with lefty messages can win the Hugos. Can novels with conservative messages win Hugos? The answer is, I think, probably not in the last 2 decades (though libertarians can, in prior years).

    The best writers, like Zelazny, either inprint no political messages within the story or, if they do, it is either so subtle as to be inoffensive or, alternatively, written in such a way that just about anyone can accept it and find it non-offensive.

    But this is merely a hypothesis. I don’t know, only suspect.

  13. Brian Z – ‘Ancillary Justice wants to escape gender binary (a valuable thing SF can do),’

    No it doesn’t. I mean me and others have discussed the use of pronouns in that book but at no point is the central theme or at any other point about binary gender roles. I mean for that you could go back further into some of the nominees where there actually were more than two genders represented and really with fictional alien races the idea of more than two genders is not only not a new thing but rarely itself a message about escaping gender roles.

    However you might’ve noticed something I missed within the text and it was a while ago I read it, but in what way was that a message within Ancillary Justice? (btw if you do want to see an example of that Mirror Empire from the Locus award nominees certainly has more than two genders, it’s not a message in the book at all though it’s just part of the world building)

    ‘Redshirts is not overtly political but its author is a well known liberal bogovator who has attacked conservatives in public (and I often tend agree with many of his political positions)’

    So not liberal message fiction, okay.

    The Windup Girl is a preachy environmental parable (which I thought was spot-on in many respects, though not in the problematic treatment of the titular character)’

    The environment was a product of companies that gene manipulated food and crops, which might be a parable about the potential issue of such misuse fr which I’m not really sure that’s any more political than the idea that robots might be programmed to attack citizens or whatever, but it was mostly background setting for the world the story existed in. Like there’s an environmentalist in The The Body Problem who goes to extreme lengths to fix the problem he sees affecting the environment, but it’s not the message of the story in any way.

    ‘China Mievelle’s Marxist politics informs every aspect of the way he walks and breathes, not to mention the way he writes; and that is just the last couple novels, which I thought were all great, without even getting into short fiction.’

    Again the writer’s politics isn’t in question, it’s the progressive themes you’ve said are pushed in many of the Hugo books. What books and messages? It’s certainly apparent in Un Lon Dun, now that is an environmental parable because the main antagonist is literally pollution, so what messages has he pushed?

    Maybe we have a different idea of what progressive messages and themes in fiction are. Typically I’d assume a message is somehow related to the core of the story, like the movie Snowpiercer is absolutely about social class. This actually existed a bunch in earlier Sci Fi both liberally and conservatively, but contrary to SP claims it seems less evident in the modern Hugos than ever.

  14. Steve Moss, FFS, Ancillary Justice is the most recent Hugo winner. I know you don’t place much stock in proof, but try not to make such amateur level errors.

  15. snowcrash @ 7:32- You are, of course, correct. I meant to type Wheel of Time and allude to the fact that I hadn’t read Ancillary Justice yet.

    The “FFS” component of your response surprises me.

    I place a lot of stock in proof in the context of a court case. Not so much when it comes to making daily life decisions. It would slow things down a bit if I conducted a trial on whether to order a pepperoni pizza as compared to one with olive and onions this evening.

    As to committing amateur errors, as I am an amateur I will, of course, commit them.

  16. Steve Moss, if conservatives are finding liberal messaging overwhelming good storytelling in all or most Hugo winners for the last twenty years, it shouldn’t be so hard for you, Brian, or others of your general opinion to name specific examples and say what aspects of it cause you to say that.

    Instead, you all keep skittering off onto other, at best vaguely related, points.

  17. For shame Lis. Reality has a clear SJW bias. That’s why they’ve moved the goalposts to both

    a: Hugo Winners containing any sort of left/ liberal/ progressive messages as an example of message-fic

    b. Lack of Hugo Winners containing any sort of right/ conservative messaging as evidence of bias in the Hugos.

    It’s kinda amusing really, because we’ve gone from the Puppies saying that they don’t want works to go through a political litmus test to complaining that they can’t find anything that passes their political litmus test.

    I suspect they don’t quite see the irony just yet.

    (as an aside, I suspect any sufficiently detailed and willful analysis would be able to find any such messages in pretty much any work).

  18. @Lis To me (despite the fact that I agree with you), that’s a slippery slope. Because the Things can always be Interpreted. They will take up that challenge…they like a clear order, from what I’m gathering. And as somebody who tends to think the stuff they really hate, I therefore can’t win in their minds, by definition. And so, I’m more amused by how they set out to prove that the rules allow you to nominate and vote for anyone for any reason you want but that’s only a bad thing when people they don’t like do it. As someone who would like to try voting for the first time next year, I say, Grant them that: You can nominate and vote for anyone for any reason you like, just as the puppies proved to us last year. If that’s all it is–if there’s no other meaning to the award–then that’s all it is. This is why I was wondering if it would become a “real” award if the puppies actually won some. This goalpost, I do not see how it can be moved without moving it off the field altogether.

  19. ‘John Scalzi’s career suffices to falsify that hypothesis’

    Such gall and wormstone, that must be.

    ‘it’s about fighting the pernicious and destructive influence of SJWs wherever they appear, in Games, in SF, in Comics, or in OSS.’

    Handy quote there for anyone who still insists it’s about the works.

  20. Oh, and no explanation of why you chose your vote is required unless you care to. That’s democracy, right?

  21. @nigel Just saw that today, and whoa, it’s a biggie. Apparently the only thing worse than totally disagreeing is partially disagreeing.

  22. Now, now, Lis. If you are going to require something more rigorous than the “I know it when I see it” level of verification for “lefty things overwhelm the story,” as Steve Moss seems to be drifting towards, you are going to be unfairly restricting the freedom of rhetoric for the SP/RP supporters.

    I wonder, is there a named “logical fallacy” that equates to “using a pile driver to set the goalposts?”

  23. Will – “In recent years, what share of the Hugo voters have been from outside the U.S.?”

    There’s no way to know. We can see how many Attending and Supporting members are from outside the US, but we don’t know which of them voted.

  24. Whoa, Nigel, I didn’t realize that the WW II Office of Strategic Services was part of this Sekret SMOF Cabal’s (SFC) history!

    No wonder the “dirty tricks” can’t be exposed! The SFC has been perfecting these tactics over the span of over 7 decades! Wow, those lessons they learned from the Masters of Zion, the Illuminati and the Rosicrucians really must work!

  25. ‘1. Over the last 20 years, which Hugo novel winner has been politically conservative?….
    2. Over the last 20 years, which Hugo winning novel has had a pro-conservative message within story line?’

    Here’s something useful you could do: provide us with a yardstick so we can be more informed about what you’re looking for. What politically conservative writers and what pro-conservative works have been overlooked in past years for the Hugo, in your opinion?

  26. @nigel I felt really bad for that guy … he’s like the Stormtrooper who failed to bring back the droids.

  27. I am pretty sure that OSS=Open Source Software. FWIW, IMHO.

  28. I await with interest the news that a new SJW module will be added to the Linux kernel, and forced into all distributions — perhaps something like a natural language parser will examine everything you type, and every time the racist, homophobic and/or misogynist rhetoric (Aristotle. . . !!) goes too much over the top, the kernel will print:
    and lock the system. If this happens more than, say, ten times, the kernel will wipe the system and display:

    I am sure that shortly after this occurs, social justice warrior monkeys will fly out of John Scalzi’s butt.

  29. @owlmirror Hah! I’ve totally been waiting for someone to release a Puppy flavor for the occasion. (They call them puplets, as you probably know, so I’m thinking: Rabipuplet.) I’ve been wondering if those innocent folks have been seeing a surge of weird traffic. “Install Puppy” can mean a couple of things…

  30. “I am irritated at this continuing refusal to name Hugo nominees and winners in which the story suffered for the sake of the message.”

    For what it’s worth, I did some digging through Brad Torgersen’s blog a while ago to try and locate some specifics; I consider this exercise a bit silly because he has shifted around the goal posts a fair amount. A few things I found:
    * He says that he can name a dozen Hugo campaigns that he’s seen in the past.
    * He believes Ancillary Justice won because of political correctness.
    * He believes that The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere won because of political correctness
    * He believes that Chicks Dig Time Lords won because it had a lot of authors who had a lot of friends.

    So yes – while all of the puppies have been depressingly sparing with specifics, these are a few you can sink your teeth into.

  31. The 2014 Worldcon Membership Demographics from Loncon 3 only tell us what the members’ addresses are, not their nationalities or other demographic information, and do not tell us whether they voted or not. (There’s an existing WSFS resolution (1995-1) that tells Worldcons that it’s inappropriate to collect any additional demographic information about voters other than what’s needed to efficiently administer the election, so don’t expect detailed breakdowns about voters.) The headline numbers on total membership are interesting to me. (There are membership classes other than Attending and Supporting. YA members could vote like A+S; the others could not. Go look up the details if you want more.)

    UK: Attending 2316, Supporting 156, Total 4260
    US: Attending 1776, Supporting 2202, Total 4184
    Others: Attending 1435, Supporting 524, Total 2382

    Totals: Attending 5527, Supporting 2882, Total 10826

    First: For a big change (possibly the first time ever, but I don’t have the numbers), Americans were not the single largest group of members (except among Supporting, where they were 76% of the members). Not unusually for non-North American Worldcons, Americans were not a majority, and indeed nobody was: UK 39%,US 39%, everyone else 22%. Loncon 3 was, by Worldcon standards, amazingly international and not actually dominated by a single international group unless you consider Americans + UK + Canada (the third largest national group) to be a monolithic bloc, which they are not.

  32. @owlmirror I hear it’s all moving to the cloud these days and will be run on the Aristotle Distributed File System (ADFS).

  33. SOCIAL JUSTICE KERNEL PANIC scans the same as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or at least close enough to fit the applicable theme song.

  34. @owlmirror One big advantage of the system is, it doesn’t have errors. It also kicks you in the shins to help you remember to do it right the next time.

  35. Will –
    “I would be interested in knowing what the nation of address of members was for some of the U.S. Worldcons.”

    If you google to find the web sites of the last several US Worldcons, who mostly still have their web pages up, you will find the demographic information. Sasquan has that data on their web site as well.

  36. “[Torgersen] believes Ancillary Justice won because of political correctness.
    [Torgersen] believes that The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere won because of political correctness
    [Torgersen] believes that Chicks Dig Time Lords won because it had a lot of authors who had a lot of friends.”

    See, that’s the thing with the puppies. If other people don’t share their taste in breakfast cereal — or SF/F — they can’t imagine it is because other people actually do like other sorts of cereal, or SF/F.

    No. It’s got to be a conspiracy; or because these other people have entered the SF/F world for social justice reasons; or — in the case of John C. Wright, apparently — because these people are controlled by (or is it influenced by? Is that it?) Satan; or — in the case of VD, who knows. The kudzu of his nonsense is too boring and stupid to read, and frankly, who cares.

    The simplest answer — that other people do in fact like these other works, and that is why they nominated and voted for them — can’t possibly be the truth, for obvious reasons, since that would mean their sort of SF/F is not, in fact, the most popular SF/F in the world right now.

    And we all know that just can’t be true.

  37. @Leslie C:

    SOCIAL JUSTICE KERNEL PANIC scans the same as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or at least close enough to fit the applicable theme song.

    I was thinking about the monkeys (flying out of Scalzi’s butt), and hey, maybe they’re code monkeys. And they each specialize in a different field (OS/DB/Web server/User apps), and support a different SJ cause (feminism/anti-racism/LGBQ/trans*).


  38. Brad Torgersen thinks “Chicks Dig Time Lords” won a Hugo because of anti-conservative bias in secret voting cliques?

    And not, perhaps, because Doctor Who fandom outnumbers literary SF fandom by a couple of orders of magnitude?

  39. Since every Worldcon is independent, every one of them keeps their information in different ways. (This can be very challenging if you’re trying to accumulate historical data. It’s one of the reasons it often takes months or sometimes years to get figures for the Long List of Worldcons.)

    You don’t even really need to use a search engine to find past Worldcons. Start with the Worldcon web site and then go to past Worldcons’ sites. Worldcon web sites do not last forever, and some not-long-ago Worldcons have completely folded their tents, dissolved their conventions, and closed their sites. but here’s what ten minutes of poking around found:

    Chicon 7 (2012) Memberships by Region

    Renovation (2011) Membership Demographics

    Nippon 2007 (2007) Membership Stats

  40. Steve Moss: “The best writers, like Zelazny, either inprint no political messages within the story or, if they do, it is either so subtle as to be inoffensive or, alternatively, written in such a way that just about anyone can accept it and find it non-offensive.

    All fiction is written and read from someone’s perspective. All fiction has a message, intentional or otherwise. The best messages are universal, human. Shakespeare survives like Tolkien will, because their work is set on that foundation. The worst are trapped, stuck in time and space.

    More prosaically, the best writers show— A Deepness in the Sky contrasts libertarian and totalitarian societies without falling for polemic. The Emergents and Qeng Ho are who they are and readers can draw their own conclusions from them. Compare this to Atlas Shrugged, where the story is a vehicle for Ayn Rand’s idealized form of capitalism.

    I’m receptive to Vinge’s work in a way I’m not to Rand– Vinge shows, Rand tells.

    Narnia? Show, mostly. The Parliament of Beasts and Birds? TELL.

    I know that’s less exciting than red vs blue whatever, but I believe science fiction belongs to everyone in the same way that speech belongs to everyone. Our right to speech protects the unpopular, the controversial, the terrible– Especially the terrible. Otherwise, what good is it?

  41. Peace,

    It’s sorta like comic book geeks getting mad because the comics they’ve loved for ages are now being turned on their head and are pandering to “filthy casuals” who only started reading because they enjoy the MCU movies.

    The top selling comic book so far this year is Star Wars #1 from Marvel with almost a million copies sold. That’s an impressive number.

    As of last week, Avengers: Age of Ultron made over 657 million dollars and it hasn’t even opened in China or Japan, the world’s second and third largest markets.

    So.. comics are following the money.

    Just like Sci Fi/ Fantasy is. All those kids who grew up on Harry Potter, Twilight, DIvergent, etc. are going to be the next generation of SF/F readers and fandom. Anyone who thinks that publishers and awards should continue to pander exclusively to people over the age of 40 is missing out .

  42. Craig R. @ 6:34 am:
    “@Brian Z – as Rev Bob just pointed out, you are trying to shift the goalposts in the midst of a single paragraph.”

    As I said in direct reply to you, Craig R., at 2:16 am:

    “Brad Torgersen [said that] WorldCon insiders always vote for lefty message over telling a good story (a rough paraphrase). Nick Mamatas demolished that idea ages ago. I have no clue why anyone is still arguing about it since it has been shown to be obviously untrue.”

    Craig R., when you break into an ongoing conversation and make up stuff about what people said to you without reading it, that is not dialogue, that is drive-by vandalism of dialogue. Cut it out, please, and read other peoples’ comments more carefully before you reply.

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