Portrait of the Artist as a Young Puppy 5/12

aka The Puppy Who Was Death

On hand for today’s roundup are Jason Sanford, Lyda Morehouse, Martin Wisse, John C. Wright, John Scalzi, Brian K. Lowe,  Damien G. Walter, Fred Kiesche, Rebecca Vipond Brink, Megan Baxter, Lis Carey, Brian Niemeier, Lisa J. Goldtstein, James Weber, Keith “Kilo” Watt, The Weasel King, Alexandra Erin, Sonya Craig, Gabe Posey and Christopher Chupik. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Steve Moss and Paul Weimer.)

Jason Sanford

“An engaged fandom means “No Award” won’t kill the Hugos” – May 12

No Award won’t mean the death of the Hugos

With voting for the Hugo Awards now open I’m hearing through private messages and on social media how many people have voted. Based on these comments it appears “No Award” is poised to do very well. In fact, I’d be surprised if No Award didn’t win several categories, notably the Novella, Novelette and Short Story categories, along with other categories where the Puppy slates make up all the nominees.

Despite what the Puppies will try to say if No Award wins, this doesn’t result from some organized attack on their slate. Instead, most Hugo voters appear to be reading the nominees and deciding that many of them are not worthy of being on the final ballot. A smaller group of voters appear to be voting No Award because they dislike how the Hugos were politicized.

One of the strengths of the Hugo Awards has always been how voters punish stories and works which were placed on the ballot through political maneuvering and campaigning. We saw this in the 1987 Hugo Awards for Best Novel, where Black Genesis by L. Ron Hubbard made the final ballot through political campaigning. End result: Hubbard’s novel placed sixth in the voting, behind No Award.

We appear to be seeing a repeat of what happened in 1987. And the good news is that a more engaged fandom, as indicated by Worldcon membership numbers, not only means that people are rejecting PuppyFail, they’ll also make it harder for the Puppies to game the Hugo nomination process in future years. That means any threats to destroy the Hugos if No Award wins will turn out to be meaningless.

 

Lyda Morehouse on Bitter Empire

“On Sad Puppies, The Nebula Awards, And Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation” – May 12

There has been some talk in the science fiction community that the next target for the Sad Puppies might be the Nebulas.

For myself, I highly doubt it. First of all, even though it takes far fewer votes1 to get on the Nebula ballot, the Nebulas are nominated and voted entirely by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction Writers of America. Talk about insiders. This is actually a fairly exclusive group of people, and a small enough that a lot of us know one another personally.

Thing is, it’s actually fairly difficult to become a Nebula voting member of SFWA and, possibly more importantly if you believe the “Sad Puppy Data Analysis,” they would be bereft of their highly effective Rabid Puppy ally, Vox Day, because he was one of two people, EVER, to be forcibly kicked out of SFWA.

Similarly, on a personal level, since they changed how SFWA accepts nominations, I find it kind of baffling to actually do the process of nominating. There are passwords and forums involved now and I am an old lady who can’t always figure out Twitter. I used to only have to shoot an email to the Nebula coordinator with the pertinent info from a member-valid email. While I miss the old way, you can see why the change. The Nebula nomination process is far more protected from hack this way.

That being said, the Nebula is also the science fiction version of the Cannes Film Festival. The Nebula nominees come out significantly sooner than the Hugo and often end up reflecting the current science fiction gestalt, if you will.

 

Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

“The Baen fallacy” – May 12

Eric Flint is one of Baen’s old guard of authors, somebody who has been writing and editing for Baen since at least the nineties. He’s also one of the more insightful of Baen’s stable of authors, being an old lefty rather than a rightwinger, though it’s only noticeable in his fiction because his gun toting heroes defending the American way of life are unionised. Whereas a Larry Correia or Brad Torgersen show little evidence of thinking things through, acting purely on rightwing reflexes, blaming everybody else for their failures to get Hugo nominations, seeing conspiracies in the everyday actions of fandom, Flint thinks much more nuanced and sophisticated about why the Hugo Awards have failed to reward much of the sort of science fiction Baen publishes. Unlike them, he isn’t so much looking for excuses as for looking for explanations. He’s still wrong though, but he’s interestingly wrong and he provides as clear headed a defence of what I like to call the Baen fallacy as is possible….

 

John C. Wright

“An Answer” – May 12

“Then came the Rabid Puppy/Sad Puppy debacle and I was heartbroken. Not because your beliefs and mine are so different, but because you and your fellow Puppies were so *rude*. You, Vox, Day, and Torgenson tore into the heart of fandom out of sheer cussedness and that’s it. Your arguments for nominating a slate and violating the unwritten code underlying the Hugos were irrational and make no sense outside of the right-wing ‘reality bubble.’

Yours,

Rob Thornton Catonsville, MD”

It is a hard letter to read. I aim to please by readers, and when I fail, the fault is mine.

 

John Scalzi on Whatever

“Reader Request Week 2015 #4: Bullies and Me” – May 12

Well, with regard to the Puppies specifically, I don’t think they’re trying to bully me. They just like to use a fictional version of me as a poster boy for Everything That’s Wrong With Science Fiction, and occasionally the poster boy for Sure We’re Doing a Shitty Thing But This Guy Kinda Did It First If You Squint Real Hard, and always as the poster boy for WAAAAAAAAAAAH SCALZI WE JUST HATE YOU SO MUCH AND WISH YOU WOULD DIE. Which is different than bullying. There’s not much to do but snark on that, honestly. They keep at it, I suppose, as a community-building activity. Which, you know. I guess is nice? None of their rationales for slating holds up to even casual scrutiny but at least they’re united in their dislike of me? Bless their little hearts. I wish them joy.

 

Brian K. Lowe

“Friends with Enemies” – May 11

I am what some call a Social Justice Warrior (“SJW”). Not that I crusade for liberal causes; other than voting and contributing to a few, I don’t get much involved. But the Sad Puppies and their allies would call me an SJW for that alone, or because I believe awards should go to stories that are more than just popular, or for a hundred other reasons. Fine. Call me what you want. It just shows how short-sighted such labels are, because in the end, I read the same stuff you do.

The Puppies put Jim Butcher on the Hugo ballot. I love Jim Butcher’s books. Larry Correia would have been on the ballot if he hadn’t taken himself off. I enjoy his books a lot. Most of the other Puppy offerings I am unfamiliar with, but my point is made. They want books that have spaceships on the cover to be about space exploration and high heroics. Well, guess what? So do I. You want proof? Read “The Invisible City.” It’s about a guy who ends up in a (mostly) invisible city. Truth in advertising. End of plug.

But I also believe that the influx of new authors who are not white males is a good thing. The only thing wrong with saying, “F/SF is a wide field with room for all kinds of authors and stories,” is that it implies we’re still writing and reading in a ghetto….

 

 

 

Fred Kiesche on Bernal Alpha

“The Nuclear Option (My 2015 Hugo Vote)” – May 3

I spent a lot of working on my list of nominations of works worthy of a Hugo Award that appeared in 2014. However, unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you’ll know that most of what I nominated did not make it.

There has been a lot of talk about how to vote. Well, long story short: You (Puppies, Either Stripe) have your opinion and some of you (Puppies, mostly Rabid) have made your threats. You dug your grave. Go lie in it. I may have voted for some of your nominees in the various categories such as Best Professional Editor (Long Form) if you hadn’t gone the route you went. I have nominated some of your names in the past; I did so again this year [specifically, again, Best Professional Editor (Long Form)].

But…you stand for something I do not. Those nominees who have not dropped from your slate have, in my opinion, embraced your philosophy. So, no vote, no matter how I may have felt previous to this.

 

Rebecca Vipond Brink on The Frisky

“Kirsten Powers Might Be Right About ‘Illiberal’ Feminist Rhetoric” – May 12

I’ve been thinking a lot about what George R. R. Martin said about the Tone Argument in regards to the Hugo Award takeover a few weeks ago: “I am against punching and kicking. Up, down, or sideways. No punching here, please.” The idea that we should “punch up” becomes less and less appealing the more we classify as “up,” the more we classify as “power” to which we need to “speak truth,” and the more hatred and vitriol we excuse as “truth-speaking.” I know for a fact that I’m going to be archiving my blog and starting fresh, because I regret some of the sentiments I’ve employed in order to make a point (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t regret some of the sentiments I’ve employed on The Frisky, too). And I’ve been fiddling with ceasing to call myself a feminist, too, because I really don’t want to be associated with the loud minority who tend to be cruel, censorial, and proscriptive.

 

Megan Baxter on Smorgasbook

“Hawksbill Station By Robert Silverberg” – May 12

Look at the covers above. They may not tell you everything about the book, but if the Sad Puppies narrative is to be believed, they’ll be a straightforward adventure yarn, instead of harbouring something more subversive. You hear that, Silverberg? You guys didn’t write anything more complex than that, right? Wait, what? These books are about the criminalization of left-wing dissent, and the exiling of left-wing would-be revolutionaries to the Pleistocene, on a one-way time travel trip? They’re jam-packed full of references to Marxism, Trotskyism, debates over non-violence versus violent revolution, and the tactics and long-term strategies of the revolution?

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Totaled by Kary English” – May 12

Another 2015 Hugo nominee from the Sad Puppies slate. Quite competently written, and there are some interesting ideas. Maggie Hauri, a research scientist in brain/computer interface, is killed in a car accident. Due to the research rider on her insurance policy, her still-aware brain becomes a research subject in what was her own lab.

 

Brian Niemeier on Kairos

“Transhuman and Subhuman Part III: Whistle While You Work” – May 11

The third essay in John C. Wright’s Hugo-nominated collection Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth tackles the enduring question of why small animals help Snow White with her housework.

Yes. It really does.

The author formulates his answer in terms of Aristotelian metaphysics.

 

Lisa J. Goldstein on theinferior4

“The Hugo Ballot, Part 7: Novelettes” – May 12

The dialog is a weird combination of fake Western, epic speech, current catch-phrases (“Made in the shade”), and even Yiddish.  This could be the result of a great mixing of languages among Terrans who have forgotten their roots, but the sudden switches in style kept making my head spin.  “Ever seen a kid with a toy what he ain’t playing with it, then some other kid comes along and picks it up?” Teo says.  “Give Bowman his space and he’ll beat feet.”  Just a few minutes later his speech becomes formal, epic, complete with references to himself in the third person: “Very strange was that house-within-the-hill… Then, seeing the bravery of Teodorq and his stalwart companion, the headman of the shuttle summoned them to her council chamber. This was Jamly-the-ghost.”  Anya points out that ghosts can’t be seen, and Teo replies, “Duh, they’re invisible?”

 

James Weber on Alligators and Aneurysms

“Ancillary Justice: Scandalously Good” – May 12

Basically, Ann Leckie was out sick the day they went over pronouns in elementary school — or rather Breq, the main character, was sick that day — and so every single one is a she, even when the character speaking, being spoken to, or being spoken of, is not a she.

Also, Leckie decided: “Stories don’t start at the beginning and move straight through until the end. They start at the beginning and the middle at the same time. And then they race to see who can get to the end quicker. But they also perfectly complement one another so that comprehension of what is actually going on can only happen with both.”

And I’m convinced that this story could not have been told any other way. I wish I could have been there the moment she decided that’s how she was going to do it. I imagine she couldn’t wipe the smile from her face. I imagine that anyone standing around was like “Are you OK?” And she was like “Oh I’m way better than OK. I’m amazing.”

 

Keith “Kilo” Watt on Making Light

“Discussing Specific Changes to the Hugo Nomination Election: A Post Not By Bruce Schneier”  – May 12

After a couple thousand posts, here’s the current proposal, summarized in this comment by Keith “Kilo” Watt.

[Plain-Language Explanation of SDV-LPE]

Least Popular Elimination (formally called “single divisible vote with least popular eliminated” or SDV-LPE for short) is very simple and straightforward.

– You have one nomination “vote”, which we’ll call one “point” to avoid confusion.

– You can distribute that nomination “vote” among as many works as you feel are Hugo-worthy, and it will get divided among them equally. So, if you nominate two works, each gets half a point, if you nominate three works, each gets one third of a point, etc.

– All the points for each work from all the ballots submitted are added together, and the two works that got the least number of points are compared with each other. One of these works is the least popular and will be eliminated.

– For those works that are eligible to be eliminated, we compare the total number of nominations they each received (that is, the total number of times that work appeared on anyone’s nomination ballot). The work that received the fewest number of nominations is the least popular and now completely vanishes from the nomination process as though it never existed.

– We start over for the next round, and repeat the process, however, if one of your nominations was eliminated, you now have fewer works on your nomination ballot — so each one gets more points since you aren’t dividing your vote among as many works.

 

The Weasel King

“This is my new favourite blog” – May 12

Alexandra Erin is snarky as fuck and it’s great. (That link is specifically to her “Noisy Nonsense” category, wherein she is doing an excellent “Sad Puppies Review Books” series.)

 

Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Rabid Puppies Review Books: IMOGENE’S ANTLERS”  – May 12

imogene-231x300

Reviewed By Special Guest Reviewer Theophilus Pratt (Publisher — Hymenaeus House)….

Well, John Z. Upjohn has been reviewing books here for a week with not much to show for it. If anything, the SJWs have treated the whole thing as a joke! He means well, but the problem is the SJWs don’t. His fundamental decency shows through in every moderate, conciliatory word he writes, but they spit in his face every time. That’s why I’m taking over for the day, to show him how it’s done.

This is a culture war, and the SJWs take no prisoners. They are the most ruthless thought police the world has ever seen. This is why every last trace of their philosophy must be expunged from existence and all who extol it punished suitably.

Our battle ground for the day is Imogene’s Antlers, which from the very cover obviously promises to be an amusing if instructive lesson in the fundamental truth of the rhetoric of the SJWs and their myriad lies. I purchased this book not with Congress-issued coins of gold and silver but unbacked fiat currency, an irony which was not lost on me when I considered that this book, too, was mere paper backed by nothing of value.

 

https://twitter.com/gabeposey/status/598170830586126336

 

323 thoughts on “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Puppy 5/12

  1. Just finished Ancillary Sword. It is excellent, and worthy of a Hugo. With The Goblin Emperor, that makes two for two of the Hugo nominated novels I’ve read. The Hugo novels category will be fine.

  2. Tuomas

    I’m sorry to have to break the news to you but Rabid Puppies maintain that women should stick to sewing and cooking, girls should not go to school, women should be disenfranchised, and the Taliban knows the right way to set about achieving this including murder and throwing acid in women’s faces.

    I think we can safely predict what Furiosa’s response to these views would be, not least because it’s in the plot, so we do, indeed, have a yawning chasm between VD the Taliban champion, and a female character who successfully does all the things he thinks she shouldn’t or couldn’t.

    Frankly, if you havn’t grasped this by now then I suggest that spending some time with Google would be helpful. That way you might discover why lots and lots of people strongly object to being told that a few bottles of acid thrown into women’s faces would be helpful in reforming society…

  3. @Will McLean http://file770.com/?p=22495&cpage=5#comment-261358

    I started reading the free preview of Ancillary Sword on Amazon, but gave up with the first mentions of the dinnerware sets.

    I get the reference to 18th-19th century generals and military leaders who, by default were affluent members of nobility and hence entitled and expected to live with certain form of extravagance, and to provide similar battlefield living conditions for their captured enemy officers.

    A concept that I do not think works at all while you are out there in space. Just consider how things tend to float around and otherwise act erratically. Hence any dinnerware sets not made of the hardest and flame resistant ‘Tupperware plastic’ possible, pose a considerable security risk. For example you could drop a regular plate on the floor and watch how it gets splintered into a multitude of pieces. Now imagine that you are in space, and those pieces could fly in all directions, possibly causing damage onto the life support systems such as heating, ventilation and air filtering. You know, something absolutely disastrous when a human being resides within an artificial pocket of surviable conditions amidst the harsh and unforgiving cold vacuum of space.

    So… Does it get any better from that? Or does it require continued suspense of disbelief?

  4. Stevie, Tuomas has been following Beale on Twitter for some time, and congratulating him on this and that. He already has a stance.

  5. @Tuomas Vainio: “A concept that I do not think works at all while you are out there in space. Just consider how things tend to float around and otherwise act erratically.”

    Yes, because no SF spaceships have any sort of artificial gravity, and it’s not like this novel had a predecessor that established either that or the high cultural value placed on etiquette.

    Oh, wait a moment…

  6. The Radch are pretty strange. Besides the thing where they like taking plates into space, they’re unlike modern humans in lots of other ways too. So even if you were to get past the thing with the plates, it probably wouldn’t be long before you found something else to trip over.

  7. “…Now imagine that you are in space, and those pieces could fly in all directions, possibly causing damage onto the life support systems such as heating, ventilation and air filtering….”

    Good thing Leckie isn’t writing SF, because then she might be writing about technology which has advanced beyond the 21st Century. ON EARTH.

  8. “Steven Schwartz: One of General Patton’s biographers, Carlo D’Este, hypothesizes Patton was dyslexic based on his extreme difficulty with book-based learning. Patton continually struggled with whatever the difficulty was throghout his childhood, nevertheless made it through West Point.”

    Thank you! I’ll have to dig that biography up, as I don’t think I read it when I was younger and much Patton-obsessed. The obsession faded away, but those things never die.

  9. Not security risk, I meant safety risk. *Face palm.*

    @Stevie http://file770.com/?p=22495&cpage=6#comment-261360

    I actually have, believe it or not. And what you just flunged at me, is largely exaggerated and snippets pulled out of context. Otherwise, you would have provided actual direct links yourself… because… if there is HD security camera footage of a crime scene it is going to be used in court. (This doesn’t mean I agree with their stances or views, only that your claims do not go beyond the realm of exaggerated hearsay.)

    And anyhow, anyone willing to spend at least $40 can nominate in the Hugos. They can even if they were in deathrow waiting for their excecution.

  10. @Laertes:

    Maybe Tuomas should take up bona fide, certified Real SF, something like the Honor Harrington books Baen publishes.

    Oh, wait, no. Those ships have artificial gravity, too, and their captains even have stewards who arrange formal dinners that double as meetings. Why, I hear tell that the central character is even a woman with a battle-ready cat that accompanies her everywhere! Oh, the horror!

    (Granted, I rather like the Honorverse books, but if Leckie is to be damned for these things, Weber is destined to be next against the wall.)

  11. JJ–“The fact that the attendance at Worldcon is much lower than at ComicCons is a feature, not a bug. It’s an intimate, friendly atmosphere — compared to the cattle-barn crowd-crush at the megacons.”

    I used to tell people that worldcon was the science fiction fields answer to Christmas, New Years, Fourth of July, and mating season. If you want to keep the worlcons more or less like that, you don’t want 20,000 people in attendance.

  12. @Will McLean: “Just finished Ancillary Sword. It is excellent, and worthy of a Hugo. With The Goblin Emperor, that makes two for two of the Hugo nominated novels I’ve read.”

    I’m reading both of them right now, along with C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner. So far, I like Ancillary Sword better than The Goblin Emperor, but about the same as Foreigner.

  13. @Rev. Bob http://file770.com/?p=22495&cpage=6#comment-261364

    This is the image where the book cover comes from: http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–GB_l45tP–/svw3p4qfkwih4an3e6wr.jpg

    The cover of the book has an image of a smaller vessel. Hence, combat is expected. In combat, unless it is just friendly lazer tag, the vessels are bound to be damaged. Humans can survive in zero gravity with relative ease, but not without air or if the temperature gets too low. Hence, when a vessel is damaged in combat, maintaining gravity within a ship is not as important as having breathable air for living beings.

    And what comes for the etiquette, if it is know to the enemy… It is an aspect to be abused. Rattle a vessel, shatter the fine china, and the enemy either surrenders distraugthed, or starts making ever more mistakes out of being outraged.

    @Laertes http://file770.com/?p=22495&cpage=6#comment-261365

    I guess I’ll take your word for it.

  14. @Tuomas – Firstly, they have artificial gravity, so they don’t think space is nearly unforgiving as you do.

    More importantly, they have a fascinating SF device called a ‘storage cabinet’. It allows them to put things inside a space and then *close a door to keep them inside*!

    What will these people think of next!

  15. Those ships have artificial gravity, too, and their captains even have stewards who arrange formal dinners that double as meetings.

    There’s that scene in Mote in God’s Eye where they sit around the dining table and discuss *the table*

  16. Bruce Baugh

    Thank you; I’m not on Twitter, but judging from his posts here I was fairly sure I was dealing with the hive mind, but wanted to at least give the guy enough rope to hang himself, which he promptly did.

    It’s interesting, and disappointing, that he ran away when I and others brought the dreaded facts into the question; I still keep hoping that there may be puppies with sensible views to put forward a rebuttal of VD, in the way that Laura J Mixon did it for Requires Hate.

    I’m Not holding my breath up though

  17. Rattle a vessel, shatter the fine china, and the enemy either surrenders distraugthed, or starts making ever more mistakes out of being outraged.

    Because no one could ever stow such items in a secure location.

  18. @Tuomas –
    “And what comes for the etiquette, if it is know to the enemy… It is an aspect to be abused. Rattle a vessel, shatter the fine china, and the enemy either surrenders distraugthed, or starts making ever more mistakes out of being outraged.”

    So you believe the enemy won’t be concentrating on trying to blow them up, they’ll instead be thinking ‘maybe we should try to rattle their ship so that they have to use disposable plates at their victory celebration’?

    Hmm. Poe’s Law? I can’t tell if that’s the silliest quibble I’ve seen this week, or some master-level trolling. Either way, I can see way Tuomas never stays around to offer any kind of substantive response.

  19. “And anyhow, anyone willing to spend at least $40 can nominate in the Hugos. They can even if they were in deathrow waiting for their excecution.”

    You think people in prison have access to the internet?

    Furthermore, even here on 21st century Earth, we have naval fighting ships with fine china and crystal. There’s this magickal thing called “stow for sea” where you ensure that everything is secured so you don’t have things turning into projectiles during … energetic maneuvering.

    Then on submarines, you get to do something called “Angles and Dangles” where you find the wrenches you lost in the overhead or the bilge when they fly through the air and smack you in the forehead. It’s a fun time!

  20. I can’t tell if that’s the silliest quibble I’ve seen this week, or some master-level trolling.

    AJ/AS have an interstellar empire with multi-bodied AI’s, starships that jump through gates into hyperspace, inscrutable aliens, a functional Dyson sphere, and guns that can shoot through anything, including armor that is impenetrable to everything else, and what he finds difficult to swallow is the use of breakable plates.

  21. Tuomas Vainio : The cover of the book has an image of a smaller vessel. Hence, combat is expected. In combat, unless it is just friendly lazer tag, the vessels are bound to be damaged. Humans can survive in zero gravity with relative ease, but not without air or if the temperature gets too low. Hence, when a vessel is damaged in combat, maintaining gravity within a ship is not as important as having breathable air for living beings.

    *sigh*

    I’m not too up on how the AJ universe works, but I imagine it would have similar aspects to the Honorverse.

    Tuomas, space ships go places. To go places in a narratively-interesting time, they have to accelerate lots and lots. In the Honorverse, artificial gravity is a trivial side-effect of the much larger problem of nullifying the effects of that acceleration on people inside. When ships get hit hard enough to knock out that nullification, the people inside will tend to experience lots and lots of acceleration for the brief period of time it takes the engines to cease working as well.

    As in hundreds of gs. Broken china and free-fall are unlikely to be considered serious problems in the aftermath of that.

  22. including armor that is impenetrable to everything else, and what he finds difficult to swallow is the use of breakable plates

    I find that refreshing over the constant complaints of the pronoun usage as though it was some big feminist message. Though that at least is an easy way to tell people who’ve read the book and who haven’t.

  23. Tuomas Vainio @ 5:12 pm

    You do realize that this forum and the Hugos are about Science Fiction and Fantasy and not contemporary fiction, correct? That all those books we keep talking about have technology beyond what we have now, aliens, magic or orcs (or all of the above)? The whole point of the SF(speculative fiction here – Science fiction and fantasy are the more popular ones in it) genres is that you need to be able to imagine things. If you need to suspend disbelief in order to imagine artificial gravity and spaceships that are more advanced than what we have now (as if we actually do have some…), you are reading the wrong genre. Try something that describes the world as is and not the world as it can or could be.

    I wonder what your reaction will be when you realize that some of those people on this ship are actually ancillaries of a ship and that the ship can think as a person.

  24. @Tuomas Vainio: “This is the image where the book cover comes from: [URL removed] The cover of the book has an image of a smaller vessel.”

    So you’re (a) literally judging the book by its cover while (b) ignoring the huge frakkin’ carrier ship in the background?

    Brad, is that you?

    Here’s a clue, Tuomas. The Justice-class ship in the first book has at least ten decks for active personnel, in addition to the cryo-stored ancillaries. This is not a small vessel that engages in dogfights. It is a troop carrier, equipped with shuttles for planetary invasions.

    And yes, it has dining rooms and tea service.

  25. rcade – ‘Since you’re claiming the whole thing was “100% open,” post the links to the public discussions where the Evil League of Evil worked on the slate’

    I found it greatly amusing those defending Togerson to be saying that if he was 100% open you wouldn’t believe it anyway, not realizing that’s by default in agreement that he hasn’t been 100% open despite his claims of such.

    Next year they should rename it Gullible Puppies.

  26. alexvdl, I missed that, but have seen other instances of it lately. Impressive, in its way.

  27. Whym:

    I liked The Goblin Emperor a bit better than Ancillary Sword. But if Ann Leckie wins, I am fine with that. Both are worthy.

  28. Stevie on May 13, 2015 at 5:38 pm said:
    Bruce Baugh

    Thank you; I’m not on Twitter, but judging from his posts here I was fairly sure I was dealing with the hive mind, but wanted to at least give the guy enough rope to hang himself, which he promptly did.

    It’s interesting, and disappointing, that he ran away when I and others brought the dreaded facts into the question; I still keep hoping that there may be puppies with sensible views to put forward a rebuttal of VD, in the way that Laura J Mixon did it for Requires Hate.

    I’m Not holding my breath up though

    Oh, Tuomas will be back. He has returned again and again, each time ignoring the demolished arguments and pointed questions that were asked of him the previous time and doggedly posting new, claiming-to-be-neutral points.

    It was what, the first time he posted here that it eventually turned out that he’s not even an SFF reader, after long long-winded posts that he finally admitted were relying solely on anonymous other people’s Amazon reviews and Wikipedia pages to bolster his argument about which books were good or bad.

  29. I see that Tuomas has gone Tuomas Vainio: Master of Stating the Bloody Obvious as Dazzling Revealed Truth to Tuomas Vainio: I want to Judge a book by it’s Cover, Dammit! and Tuomas Vainio: So, This SF Book doesn’t Require Supension of Disbelief, Right?

    Good times….

  30. “The cover of the book has an image of a smaller vessel. Hence, combat is expected.”

    This is not the way logic works. (Also, smaller relative to what?)

  31. “There is a rowboat next to this yacht. Therefore combat is expected.”

  32. “There is a rowboat next to this yacht. Therefore combat is expected.”

    Also, “Using dishes on this speedboat would be unbelievable, therefore using dishes in an aircraft carrier mess hall would also be unbelievable.”

  33. Tuomas Vainio: “The blog post I was commenting used the three covers as an example of how “Puppies” would expect them to contain straightforward adventure yarn.

    As I find myself leaning towards the Puppies side of this argument. I posted my thoughts on these three covers, and explained why after seeing them, I would not expect to find “straightforward adventure yarn.”

    So when it comes to saying: “Yeah…” I am just saying that those covers are not as subversive as they were claimed to be.”

    Looking at covers 2 and 3, I would totally expect the book to be a rousing SF space adventure — if I were stupid enough to think that one should be able to tell what a book is about by looking at its cover.

    Tuomas Vainio: “I started reading the free preview of Ancillary Sword on Amazon, but gave up with the first mentions of the dinnerware sets.”

    “I get the reference to 18th-19th century generals and military leaders who, by default were affluent members of nobility and hence entitled and expected to live with certain form of extravagance, and to provide similar battlefield living conditions for their captured enemy officers.”

    Well, there’s part of your problem right there. You’re attempting to relate the book to something you know about, when in fact the book is not referencing that at all.

    Tuomas Vainio: “The cover of the book has an image of a smaller vessel. Hence, combat is expected.”

    You’re saying that your perception of the ships described in the Ancillary books is based on the picture of the ship on the cover? That is another one of your problems, right there.

  34. Is he talking about the cover of Ancillary Sword? Because that doesn’t show a larger ship and a smaller ship.

    Isn’t that Mercy of Kalar docked at Athoek Station?

  35. Ryan H – in re Weber’s Safehold

    A lot is subjective 🙂

    For me, I’m having fun from the action sequences (I have doubts about some of the accuracy of the naval battles, but *Sparklys!* *Things that go BOOM!*)

    In some ways Merlin is a stand-in for John Carter (remember Heinlein’s (?) comment about filing off the serial numbers). I’m also having fun with the character growth shown among the various characters, not just the leads.

    As for the clergy – there are some Vicars, outside of the Gang of Four, who have chosen to remain true to precepts of the faith, such as caring for the poor and the sick, outside of the main power structure, including one who, while weak, has stood up and accepted the devil’s bargain offered to be able to do some good for the poor. Other clergy, usually in the lower ranks, genuinely want to do the best for their flocks, and stand up to the bigots and opportunists. My impression is that the majority of the clergy may have some belief in the Revealed Truth, but are starting to view the Four as more frightening than any punishment that may be meted out by returning Archangels.

    Aside from the technical aspects in the worldbuilding (and yes, there is a lot of repetition from the concept a future tech knowledge base transfer that we saw in the Prince Roger series) I really appreciate that Weber has been able to craft characters that I care about or, in the case of Clytham(sp?), am interested in his gradual descent into madness.

    But, as with most SF, tastes vary. My spouse is left with no interest in the stories at all, and I have no interest in some books/authors she loves. (‘course, that means that we have an easier time scheduling who gets to read the various new books that come into the house)

    Does that help?

  36. I blame society.

    =-=-=-=-=-=

    Toward the end of a stormy summer afternoon, with the sun finally breaking out under ragged black rain clouds, Castle Worldcon was overwhelmed and its population destroyed.

    Until almost the last moment the factions among the fans were squabbling as to how Destiny properly should be met. The SMOFs of most prestige and account elected to ignore the en­tire undignified circumstance and went about their normal pursuits, with neither more nor less punctilio than usual. A few CHORFs, des­perate to the point of hysteria, took up weapons and prepared to resist the final assault. Others still, perhaps a quarter of the total population, waited passively, ready—almost happy—to expiate the sins of fandom.

    In the end death came uniformly to all; and all extracted as much satisfaction in their dying as this essentially graceless process could afford. The letter hacks sat turning the pages of their beautiful zines, or discussing the qualities of a century-old essence, or fondling a fa­vorite Powers cover. They died without deigning to heed the fact. The hot-heads raced up the muddy slope which, outraging all normal rationality, loomed above the parapets of Worldcon. Most were buried under sliding rubble, but a few gained the ridge to blog, hack, tweet, until they themselves were shot, crushed by the half-alive power-wagons, hacked or stabbed. The contrite waited in the classic pos­ture of gafiation, on their knees, heads bowed, and perished, so they believed, by a process in which the Puppies were symbols and fannish sin the reality. In the end all were dead: letterhacks, actifen, faans in the lounges; dealers in the dealer rooms. Of all those who had inhabited Worldcon, only the media fans survived, creatures awkward, gauche and raucous, oblivious to pride and faith, more concerned with the wholeness of their hides than the dignity of their con.

  37. Thanks. 🙂 I couldn’t think of a compact suitable passage from Wolfe, so figured, Vance is also great and will suffice.

  38. “Alas, we have months to go before Mike gets to use “The Last Puppy” …”

    Well, there’s next year too…

  39. We should start an organized slate to get our favorite titles on this blog!

  40. @Craig “As for the clergy – there are some Vicars, outside of the Gang of Four, who have chosen to remain true to precepts of the faith, such as caring for the poor and the sick, outside of the main power structure, including one who, while weak, has stood up and accepted the devil’s bargain offered to be able to do some good for the poor. Other clergy, usually in the lower ranks, genuinely want to do the best for their flocks, and stand up to the bigots and opportunists. My impression is that the majority of the clergy may have some belief in the Revealed Truth, but are starting to view the Four as more frightening than any punishment that may be meted out by returning Archangels.”

    For a minute, I thought this was an allegory…

  41. @craig That’s a joke–I don’t know what your views are and am not trying to suggest anything–the writing just jumped out at me (as fun).

  42. @Bruce “In a civil war… every side is wrong. It’s hopeless to try to untangle it. Everyone is a victim.” (Time Out of Joint.)

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