The Ballad of Lost C’Nine 5/13

aka Think Blue, Bark Two

Brad R. Torgersen, John C. Wright, T.C. McCarthy, Michael Senft, Henry Dampier, Lis Carey, Chris Gerrib, Alexandra Erin, Font Folly and Protest Manager are the featured participants in today’s roundup. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Morris Keesan and Craig R.)

Brad R. Torgersen

“Musings, not necessarily sorted” – May 13

Because ultimately this isn’t even about Sad Puppies, or what we said, or did not say, or what we did, or did not do.

This is about the Hugo award, and Worldcon, and decades of seeping stagnation, and the ossification of the mindset of the so-called “keepers” of the field’s self-proclaimed “most prestigious award.” An award that seems to too often deliberately avoid what’s actually happening in the marketplace, has become the personal toy of a self-selected crop of individuals who are happy to play at being large fish in small fishbowls, and does itself and its legacy a disservice by catering to taste-makers and taste-shapers. Both for reasons related to art, and for reasons related to politics. As I said above, the number of people in this group is finite. The actual fans (small f) are legion.

Sad Puppies 3 is an effort to bring fans (small f) to the table. No matter how much people have bashed it, lied about it, or tried to paint it as something it’s not, Sad Puppies 3 is “open source” and egalitarian. We asked for suggestions in the run-up to the formation of the slate, and we encouraged everyone to buy, read, and participate with an open mind. No expectations. No tests. No rules. We demanded nothing. We threatened nothing.


John C. Wright

“On the Unwritten Code” – May 13

A meme currently circulating among the Social Justice Warriors in their relentless attempts to made poor, poor big-eyed puppies sad with their heaping awards upon talent-free uberleftist message fiction is that Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen and Vox Day, merely by asking fans to read and nominate worthy works, have violated the strict and scrupulously observed unwritten code of gentlemen forbidding the crassness of asking for votes in public.

Asking for votes in private, or if you are a Politically Correct leftist in good standing, of course, provokes no furor, as it is evidently not a violation.

I call it a meme because it is a thoughtless and absurd white noise of words, a self replicating sentence phrase that means nothing and says nothing. It is an accusation leveled because the accusers have run out of other, more credible, accusations, and they are not well behaved enough to shut their mouths with dignity after their case has been argued and lost.



Michael Senft on Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

“Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal talk fantastic women throughout history” – May 13

We also touched briefly on the Hugo controversy, with both authors weighing in, although Mary understandably was reticent to discuss Puppygate. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

Brennan: I sincerely hope that slates will not become the wave of the future, because I find them utterly antithetical to the entire spirit of the Hugos. It is one thing to say “here’s what I published last year” (I’m grateful for that one, honestly, because it reminds me of when things came out, and which categories they fit into, and oh hey I meant to read that story); that doesn’t bother me. Neither does people posting to say “here’s stuff I think is Hugo-worthy” — that’s just fannishness at work. But a named campaign, stretching across multiple years, whose public rhetoric focuses less on the awesomeness of the stories and more on the political message they will send to the “other side”? I’m not in favor. And that would be true even if the slate in question were filled with stories I had already enjoyed.

Kowal: I can’t actually comment on this much, because I decided to try to do something to bridge the gap between the multiple groups of fans and am crowdsourcing a set of supporting memberships for WorldCon. So I’m trying to stay neutral to avoid swaying votes. Which means that I’m declining any Hugo nominations next year (since a supporting membership this year means you can vote next year) and attempting to not express opinions about any of the nominees.

I will say that I’m seeing a lot of people, all around, who are feeling alienated. I think everyone needs to do a better job of listening.

(The principal text of the interview is online at


Font Folly

“The stories we have to tell” – May 13

“Moreover, men literally have no clue how much they talk. When Spencer asked students to evaluate their perception of who talked more in a given discussion, women were pretty accurate; but men perceived the discussion as being “equal” when women talked only 15% of the time, and the discussion as being dominated by women if they talked only 30% of the time.”

My conclusion: men think women talk too much because they think women should be silent.

This perception problem isn’t limited to gender issues. Any person in a position of power or privilege thinks that any time someone outside their group talks or is recognized more than a tiny fraction of the time that the others are dominating the situation…..

  • And yes, it’s part of the reason that someone like Larry Correia and his cohorts—Brad Torgerson, Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day), and John C. Wright—can see more than one or two women or people of color nominated in a single category for the Hugo Awards and start screaming that science fiction is being taken away from people like them.


Henry Dampier

“About Progressive Situational Dominance” – May 13

The point of this is to argue that it’s a bad idea to challenge progressives in areas where they have institutional control. You could counter by using the recent example of right-wingers crashing the Hugo Awards, but ultimately, what that was good for was just demoralizing fringe progressives while heartening some right-wing genre fiction fans. The official science fiction author’s groups are, for the most part, still solidly progressive, and will continue to be so. Creating alternative institutions is more important and effective than trying to take over progressive institutions which are only nominally neutral.

The more profound impact on progressive institutions has come from the re-emergence of self publishing and small publishing enabled by Amazon and its eBook platform — a mostly neutral bookstore which has contributed much to the weakening of the progressive critical establishment, which they complain about endlessly. When the opposition complains about something, it’s wonderful, because they’re telling you where the pain is, and if they’re telling you where the pain is, then that’s where you should apply more pressure to cause more of it.

It’s also important to understand that, when making moral arguments in a progressive country, where most people believe in most of the tenets of progressivism, that you have the low ground when making such arguments. It’s futile to criticize progressives on moral grounds which they don’t accept, and which the majority of Westerners tend not to accept. You have to shore up the alternative moral institutions to provide those opposing sources of authority in order to create a self-sustaining resistance


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Championship B’Tok, by Edward M. Lerner” – May 13

Paragraph by paragraph, this story is decently written. Character development hovers in the vicinity of competent. The plot, unfortunately, wanders all over the place, and doesn’t go anywhere really interesting. It’s possible this is a piece of a larger whole, and I can easily conjecture a larger whole in which this piece would make more sense, and being doing some important work for the larger story. Sadly, that is in no way indicated, and it’s nominated as a novelette.


Chris Gerrib on Heroines of Fantasy

“Wednesday Review: A Sword Into Darkness” – May 13

There’s an ongoing debate in Science Fiction at the moment.  One very loud faction says people are abandoning SF because all our stories are “social justice novels” and we’re handing out awards not for good work but to hit a racial / ethnic / gender checklist.  Since I vote on one of the awards (the Hugos) I found that argument rather unconvincing.  One of the gentlemen on the other side, I discovered, had penned an SF novel entitled A Sword Into Darkness [by Thomas A. Mays]. The ebook price was right, so I bought it and read it. Overall, it’s a pretty good book – I’d give it three stars.


Sad Puppies

“Celebrating What Is Best In Science Fiction: Foundation” – May 12

Over the past month we here in the Sad Puppies Revolutionary Vanguard Party Ministry of Truth have received a number of questions about which classic works of SF do and don’t exemplify the goals of the Party. While our cohort John Z. Upjohn has done a fantastic job identifying SJW-infused works, we do not wish to present ourselves as wholly negative, so today we’re going to talk about one of the all time great works of SF, a classic of yesteryear which could never win a Hugo today. Yes, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation.


Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Sad Puppies Review Books: IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE” – May 13


After a few hours of study, it seemed obvious to me that there must be an agenda at work, and as soon as I knew there was an agenda I could see it everywhere. It’s so easy to see agendas I’m surprised more people don’t do it.

The reason that SJWs have arranged for this hollow mockery of a book to be praised by all quarters is that it is basically a modest proposal for welfare benefits to immigrants. It starts by asking you the reader to imagine a mouse just shows up on your door unannounced and says he’s hungry, and then suggesting that you feed him. The words like “if” and “might” make this sound so polite, so reasonable. The rhythm of the book is I believe intended to lull the reader into a daze where you will nod along. “Makes sense,” you will say to yourself. “If a bunch of hungry vermin want to invade my home, why shouldn’t I give them the food off my table?”



And I don’t know whether I’m emotionally ready for this, but it is rather stfnal….


551 thoughts on “The Ballad of Lost C’Nine 5/13

  1. Heck, even Scalzi has admitted to being “strategic” in getting nominations from time to time. What do you think he’s meant by “strategic”? Here’s the quote:

    “But if the suggestion is that I’ve been strategic about getting onto the Hugo ballot at times, well. It would be disingenuous of me to suggest I haven’t. I have, and certainly I know that’s annoyed people before.”

    I could easily claim his strategy was writing to a particular length to get a given story into a category with fewer contenders, similar to bulking up or slimming down to get into a particular weight class. “Novelette” has many fewer candidates than “Novel”, for example.

  2. “Certainly not in my case. Everything on the Puppy list could be the best SF or fantasy ever written, but I won’t read it.”

    Yup, that’ll show em.

    Top Ten Books, hrm.

    Enders Game. First SF Book I read way back when that I remember having a big impact.
    Starship Troopers.
    Forever War.
    Flowers For Algernon. Be very interesting to see a modern movie take on this IMO
    Effingers Budayeen series, the three books and the collection of shorts.
    Special Deliverance by Simak. I’ve read a lot of his books, liked Way Station, but for some reason I really liked this one.
    For Want of a Nail, by Robert Sobel. I liked how he wrote it, the different perspective for each chapter. May not be true SF/F, but I like it.
    Man in the High Castle.
    The Diamond Age. I like Snow Crash and Cryptonomicron as well, but I like this best. I can’t get into his other works, and almost threw Remde across the room when I read it. Its been awhile, I could try it again.
    And 11: Fitzpatricks War, by Theodore Judson. I remember seeing on the shelf at Hastings, and picking it up, thinking, this could be a fun read. I think I read it once a year. It and several other hardbacks were destroyed in the Great Basement Flood of ’11, its one of the few I’ve replaced in print form.

    There have been a ton of enjoyable books as well, Gibsons Neuromancer series, Ready Player One, Novik’s Temeraire Series, American Gods, Bring the Jubilee, Foundation, a lot of the Laumer Retief stories…long list…but those are my favorites.

  3. David W. @ 2:42 pm- “Obtuse blather”?

    Just so we’re using words with the same meaning, here’s a discussion of what log-rolling means:

    And here’s GRRM discussing it:

    “The Nebulas were even more vulnerable to this than the Hugos, because the pool of voters is so much smaller. Once upon a time, you could see the log-rolling clearly, because the Nebula Awards Reports published the names of the members recommending a story beside the recommendation. You only had to look at the latest NAR to note, “oh, Bill has nominated Ted, and Ted and nominated Bill, and both of them have nominated Alice,” or, “hmmmm, gee, all these guys from Alabama, they’re in the same writer’s group and they are all nominating each other.”

    Thing is, though, it didn’t really hurt. It all balanced out. And besides, it might have been above board. It’s only human for friends to read the work of friends and be predisposed to like it. Maybe there was vote-swapping going on and maybe there wasn’t. No way to prove it. It did bother me, however, when a certain segment of the membership demanded that the NAR stop listing the names. I suspect the same thing went on as before, only now it was hidden from sight.”

    Now, look at the cross section of Hugo and Nebula nominees. It doesn’t take a genius to figure our there is a lot of commonality. The reason for that is likely a portion of the SFWA. It doesn’t take a lot to deliver a nomination for either a Hugo or a Nebula.

    People will act out of self-interest. It is a given. We are not pure hearted, not even the best of us.

    I don’t think anything I’ve said on the issue is “obtuse”; it is not hard to understand. It is not blather, in that it is common sense.

    If any of the above shocks you, then I’d say you are the one who is slow to understand and lacking in common sense. Good luck with that.

  4. Tuomas, I think you missed apologizing for assuming that a Naval warship wouldn’t have fine china and crystal. If a submarine can have it, why wouldn’t a spaceship?

  5. brtrisk: If I’d signed up for the 2014 Hugos, I would happily have put “If You Were A Dinosaur, MY Love” second or third on my final ballot, on the grounds that it’s a story about sf/f in the life of people in great need. This is admittedly an edge case and I don’t have a criticism of anyone who feels it’s an edge on the outside. 🙂 But…

    Theodore Sturgeon once defined sf this way: “A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem, and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content.” In this case, the problem is the narrator’s grief and helplessness in the face of her loved one’s suffering. The solution is her flight of fancy drawing on our understanding of dinosaurs, and, implicitly, the history of pulpy stories putting dinosaurs and humans together.

  6. Moar sheem meepage:

    Lord of the Rings
    War of the Worlds
    The Dying Earth series
    Childhood’s End
    The Left Hand of Darkness
    The Forever War
    Courtship Rite
    The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  7. My list of best SF&F from top of my head (if I went into a library and checked the titles, the list would change):

    The Anubis Gates, Tim Powers
    Nightwatch, Sergei Lukyanenko
    The Good Fairies of New York, Martin Millar
    Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. LeGuin
    The Moon is A Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein
    The Reality Dysfunction, Peter F. Hamilton
    Snowchrash, Neal Stephenson
    Gateway-series, Fredrik Pohl
    Assassins Apprentice, Robin Hobb
    City, Clifford Simak

  8. Ultragotha @ 2:25 pm:

    I think you are mistaken. Here’s Mr. Standlee’s advice:

    “I like some of the candidates, but not all of them and don’t want any of the others to win. How should I vote? Rank the candidates that you do want to win in preference order, then No Award. If you dislike all of the remaining candidates equally, leave them all off your ballot.

    What happens when I rank things below No Award? This is where people seem to get the most confused. In the initial counting of ballots, we count No Award like any other candidate. That means it can be eliminated like any other candidate. (Most years, it drops off first, as it gets fewer votes than any of the other candidates.) As with the item above, when you’ve ranked every candidate you liked and reach the point where you’d rather have nothing win than what’s left, mark No Award. Then comes the tricky part:
    If you dislike all of the remaining candidates equally, leave them all off your ballot. You’ve just voted against all of them identically. Anything you leave off your ballot is (in effect) tied for last place.

    If there are candidates that you nominally prefer over others below No Award, rank them in the order you prefer them. This is saying that “I’d rather X, Y, and Z not win at all, but if one of them must win, I’d prefer X over Y over Z.” You’ve still voted against all of them, but you’ve said that one of them winning is slightly less obnoxious than the others.”

    Glenn Haumann @ 2:49 pm- You are correct, in that adding to or cutting down a work might be considered “strategic”. It seems like an awful lot of work, however, which would imperil the story, when asking for votes and/or trading votes amongst your frients would be far less time consuming and far more likely in getting a postive result.

    But if that is your interpretation, okay.

    Hampus Eckerman @ 3:01 pm- I was surprised that Assassin’s Apprentice didn’t get a Hugo nomination or other award nomination. At least Anubis Gates got a couple of awards, if not Hugos.

  9. Wasn’t Armor great? Rocked my world. Loved Vampire$ too. I wonder why we only got two novels out of him.

  10. In a week or so, I will go through this thread and copy all top lists. Then I will start to order the books I haven’t read. The best result yet from this debacle.

  11. Yes, it’s possible to tell a cow from a bull, though I suspect Breq wouldn’t bother. For her purposes the difference between a cow and a bull is that a bull is more likely to charge, but anything that charges Breq gets shot, and when it’s dead on the ground, what does she care?

    Unlike cattle, humans frequently wear clothes. Unlike cattle, humans look at you in an unfriendly way if you’re obviously trying to scope out their primary and secondary sexual characteristics.

    Plus I expect there are people Breq finds it easier to type, and people she finds harder. I’m more than six feet tall, keep my hair short, and rarely wear skirts; I get taken for a guy fairly routinely, usually by someone who isn’t quite looking at me, and says “can I help you sir” to the cash register or “excuse me buddy” to the back of my head.

  12. “I could easily claim his strategy was writing to a particular length to get a given story into a category with fewer contenders, similar to bulking up or slimming down to get into a particular weight class. “Novelette” has many fewer candidates than “Novel”, for example.”

    If the stories are to be believed, such horse trading was common in the “smaller” Hugo categories, when it took maybe 20-30 people to influence a vote. There was also a feeling that many nominees in the smaller categories were there simply because of name recognition, and it was more their name and not their work that kept them on the ballot. Frank Wu alluded to this when he announced he was declining any more noms IIRC.

  13. Laertes:

    He died if I remember correctly. He had been working on a sequel to Armor for several years before that. Love both of them too.

    Someone had Swordspoint listed. Also, one of my real favourites. The first page just blew my mind,

  14. “I don’t think anything I’ve said on the issue is “obtuse”; it is not hard to understand. It is not blather, in that it is common sense.”

    What’s not hard to understand is this: you’re exaggerating what GRRM was talking about to imply there’s something that’s been going on for years that’s equivalent to the SP/RP slates gaming the Hugo nominations. I know you’ve been told, time and time again here, that they aren’t equivalent (and GRRM has said as much too, elsewhere), but you keep on repeating the same line. I think you’re being deliberately obtuse in order to keep on repeating your allegations about the past as a way to excuse what the SP/RP perpetrators have done. There’s a huge difference between fans having favorites and authors currying favor versus stacking the nominations via the use of slates that leads to repeated appearances of John C. Wright in a single category.

  15. And since we’re listing our favorites, just off the top of my head and limiting it to five:

    The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
    Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
    The Algebraist, Iain M. Banks
    The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut
    Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

  16. Laertes @ 3:05 pm- I think Steakley had money and wasn’t desperate to write. Then he died. I don’t know where I recall this from, however, and I might be wrong.

  17. Regarding No Award, and whether to rank after it, consider the edge case where it would make a difference:

    All the ballots but yours have been counted. No Award didn’t get enough votes. Nothing you voted above No Award got enough votes. Everything you *didn’t* want to have win is tied for first place. Yours is the last ballot to be counted.

    If your verdict would be “call it a tie, give them all Hugos and let’s go home” then don’t rank below No Award. If your verdict would be “Aw heck, I didn’t like Sawdust, but I’d rather it won than tied with Poison Oak Soup,” rank Sawdust right below No Award, and Poison Oak Soup after it.

  18. @ Steve Moss:

    Pedantry time!
    When parsing this sentence:
    “The problem with “chick-lit” is that it isn’t SF/F.”
    … the “it” resolves back to “chick-lit”, suggesting that, yes, you think that chick-lit isn’t science fiction. It sounds like that wasn’t your intent, but nonetheless it was what you wrote.
    Okay, pedantry time over. Everyone agrees that character-driven stories about relationships can be SF.

  19. I’m using a completely random method to assess the Hugo nominations, but am concentrating on the novels ’cause they’re the most time consuming. To wit:

    1) TGE-actually bounced off on my first try. Initially thought “isn’t this a bit YA-ey?” Then came back and got completely sucked in. Maia is a wonderful character. His development arc was riveting. One thing I haven’t seen anyone here talk about is his mental struggle with the effects of 10 years of mental, physical and emotional abuse and the change in his reaction/relationship to his abuser. Can’t remember the exact wording now, but near the end he essentially says that he does and always will HATE Setheris but he requires of himself not to let that hatred dictate how ultimately he treats him.

    2) AS – Have to finish AJ first. Really like AJ at halfway mark. The pronoun thing strikes me more as a ‘keep reminding me that Breq is alien’ effect. Being an old hippie and reading books back in the 70s that had all of the non-specific pronouns changed to she/her in place of he/him, I was more predisposed to being unstartled by the useage.

    3) 3BP – I am really struggling with this one. Just cannot get past the characterizations. I suspect there are cultural stereotypes that they are supposed to be stand-ins for. The spiffy, sciency ideas aren’t pulling me in enough to overcome the character bounce. About 1/3 through. I’d give up, but I’m trying to find what others claim they see. If not by 1/2 through I’ll probably decide this is a matte rof taste and rate it at #3.

    Later for the rest.

  20. @Steve Moss: ““It” is a reference to If You Were a Dinosaur My Love.”

    Ah, so you failed basic grammar. Why didn’t you just say so?

    For any lurkers, given this sentence at the beginning of a paragraph:

    The problem with “chick-lit” is that it isn’t SF/F.

    The pronoun “it” only has one valid antecedent, the noun “chick-lit”. Thus, this “it” cannot be a reference to a story that is not mentioned for another two sentences, at the end of the paragraph. For that to be the case, there would need to be a lack of an antecedent here, indicating by an unusual structure that “it” is referencing a noun that is still to come. For instance, either of these paragraphs would do that:

    The problem is that it isn’t SF/F. I wouldn’t complain about Diana Gabaldon, etc. But exactly how is “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” SF/F?

    The problem with [it] is that it isn’t SF/F. I wouldn’t complain about Diana Gabaldon, etc. But exactly how is “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” SF/F?

    By completely removing the first noun, or by replacing it with another pronoun, the paragraph now becomes about IYWADML by elimination. We’re looking for a reference to “it” in the latter sentences because there is none in the first. The second sentence provides none, because it is a counterpoint to the first sentence, and thus we are left with IYWADML as the only option.

    But that’s not what Steve wrote. He gave a clear antecedent: “chick-lit.” For Steve to have been talking about IYWADML specifically, he has to be really bad at grammar… and if that’s the case, he hardly has grounds to complain when someone does not properly discern his meaning from his words.

    Frankly, I think he’s just backpedaling as fast as he can, throwing a few insults around to cover his tracks.

    (Should I have let him know that I’m an editor, and saved him the embarrassment of claiming that what he wrote isn’t what he meant?)

  21. I keep seeing these long lists of titles and for a brief moment I wonder why none of the entries have Puppy/Puppies in the them.

    If we’re going to do Ziggy Stardust and the Puppies from Mars, we should also do

    Diamond Puppies
    Young Canine Americans
    Puppy Dory
    The Puppy Who Fell to Earth
    The Puppy Who Sold the World (And Lost the Hugos)
    Kennel to Kennel
    Scary Puppies

  22. Aaaand of course I missed the closing /blockquote. Mike, if you’re watching, can you add that in at the obvious place?

  23. Steve Moss:

    “Plus by voting No Award as no. 2 after Butcher, I’ve done a little but to ensure that if he doesn’t place above No Award, nobody does.”

    Which is actually saying that if Butcher doesn’t win, you want to do your best to make sure nobody does. That seems mean-spirited.

  24. You are correct, in that adding to or cutting down a work might be considered “strategic”. It seems like an awful lot of work, however, which would imperil the story…

    Any writer with enough skill to be a contender for a Hugo nomination is more than capable of doing so, and in most cases without doing anything to the story noticeable to the reader.

  25. Isn’t it awesome? That is how you do space opera. When I get to visit Lucian’s library, first thing I grab is the next novel that Banks set in that universe.

  26. It’s nice of Steve to regurgitate some of Kevin’s words for us. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t.

  27. Regarding disemvowelling at Making Light, I took part in the initial discussion about voting rules, which as a mathematician I found very interesting. There was a contributor there (I don’t remember his name) who was an expert on voting systems and made the most valuable contributions. I certainly learned a lot from his posts. Then he made a post where he mentioned his web site (which was on topic, because it was about voting systems and potentially of interest to the people who were taking part in that discussion) and he was disemvowelled, which is something that I had never seen before and found absolutely bizarre.

    Ostensibly the reason was for spamming, although as I said the poster was the one who had made the most valuable contributions to the discussion and the link was not off-topic. Talking about it, he got several more posts disemvowelled. I respect owners’ right to moderate content in their sites, but I found the practice of disemvoweling abusive and humiliating, more indicative of a petty bully in charge showing her power than of a serious moderator, and it convinced me that I did not want to have anything to do with that site.

  28. David W. @ 3:08 pm- So log-rolling is acceptable, with all that implies, but slates are not?

    Accepting for argument’s sake the definitions of some, a slate is a list of public recommendation with a common political interest. That’s bad.

    Log-rolling, quietly horse-trading votes based on self-interest (I want to win and need to be “strategic”), that’s okay.

    Leaving aside the debated to death argument on slates (which I disagree is bad), it occurs to me the greatest sin the SP/RP have committed is exposing the Hugo process to the light of day. Now that more fans know: 1) that it didn’t/doesn’t take much to get a nomination; and, 2) about the behind the scenes chicanery, the Hugo loses some of its luster.

    I think the position of some in fandom is laughable. What SP/RP did is the exact same thing; they just did it better and publicly. And that’s unforgivable.

  29. Some of my favorite books off the top of my head (subject to change) (and admitting that not all are necessarily stellar, just favorites):

    Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
    The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Little, Big, by John Crowley
    1632, by Eric Flint
    Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler
    The Fallible Fiend, by L. Sprague de Camp
    The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynn Jones
    Moving Pictures, by Terry Pratchett (really, the whole series after the first three books)
    The High Crusade, by Poul Anderson
    Soulless, by Gail Carriger
    Silverlock, by John Myers Myers
    Ishmael, by Barbara Hambly

  30. Just a point of order here. I am not “one of the gentlemen on the other side” as Chris Gerrib put it. I have no dog in this hunt. Chris has admitted that he originally had me confused with James May when he called me one of the louder voices on Brad Torgerson’s blog, but it brought him to my book, A Sword Into Darkness. Yeah, a sale!. I’m glad he enjoyed it somewhat, and as it was intended as an homage to some of the mil and hard SF I grew up with, I do understand his charge that it may seem “recycled” or “trope-ish” (though I and my fans don’t necessarily agree). What I don’t understand is why he keeps copying, spreading, or reposting this review around with the misleading intro. It’s a free ‘Net, so he can do as he pleases, but it seems to suggest he has more ideological axes to grind than I do. For the record, I’m a middle of the road guy and a newbie to this industry. I can see and appreciate both perspectives, but believe the rhetoric and vitriol folks keep injecting into the “discussion” may be actively preventing a fair resolution to the issues at hand rather than expediting that resolution. I myself would have loved to have gotten the recognition of being selected for a non-ideological Puppy slate before it all blew up. Now? I get how the anti-puppies feel about the recommendation slate perhaps skewing results, though I’m reserving judgment on whether or not it was bloc voting until after the ballots are revealed. I will not have any part of the No Award movement though, and I’m about halfway through my reading list. I’m looking forward to the Hugos, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Sad Puppies 4 responds to the criticisms of SP3. For all those who wanna check out my non-nominated, but much referred to novel A Sword Into Darkness, it’s for sale now on Amazon and Smashwords. Take care, Tom Mays

  31. on May 14, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Did you think we wouldn’t notice that your post had absolutely nothing to do with the post you said you were replying to?

    This is just like the rest of your arguments here- dishonest and misleading. Sadly, it isn’t dishonest in any useful way that supports your arguments, as with VD and ‘rhetoric!’, it’s just obvious.

    If you must troll us, please report back to VD and pick up some better material. This is boring.

  32. I want to get in on this — looks like fun.

    The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
    Dune by Frank Herbert
    The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
    Way Station by Clifford Simak
    Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
    Foundation by Isaac Asimov
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
    Startide Rising by David Brin

  33. John C. Wrong: “A meme currently circulating among the Social Justice Warriors in their relentless attempts to made poor, poor big-eyed puppies sad with their heaping awards upon talent-free uberleftist message fiction”
    Apparently, The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson – 2013 Hugo winner for Best Novella – is “talent-free uberleftist message fiction.” As is Charles E. Gannon’s Fire with Fire, which was a Nebula nominee in 2014, the very same year that a certain Rachel Swirsky story won said award. And Jack McDevitt’s Firebird, a Hugo nominee from 2012. And a novelette called “Ray of Light” by a guy named… wait for it – Brad R. Torgersen.

  34. Going to Maine @ 3:12 pm- Thank you. If Rev. Bob had limited himself to criticzing my sentence structure, I think I’d be okay with it, after all I’m just a fan and not a professional writer. But he didn’t. He’s telling me what I think. The problem for him is that: 1) several of my other posts directly contradict him as to what I think; and, 2) I tell people what I think, I don’t need Rev. Bob to do it for me.

    Will McLean @ 3:16 pm- It is mean spirited. Which is why I’m only considering it. But I would note voting No Award for everything on a slate is equally mean-spirited. And what is good for the goose, is good for the gander.

    Rev. Bob @ 3:14 pm-

    If refer you to my post at 2:08 pm where I made my position crystal clear (as did my other posts, if read in context):

    “I’ll make it easy for you. Not all chick-lit is also SF/F. Some chick-lit is also SF/F. One short story last year is chick-lit and is NOT SF/F.”

    I’m not sure how one can be clearer than that. But congratulations, you managed to misunderstand or pretend to misunderstand. That takes a special kind of person.

    And thank you to the English lesson. Mr. Going To Maine did it a lot more timely and concisely than you, but good job nonetheless. In fact, I think you’ve earned another name. Rev.Bob aka The Snit-Picker. Enjoy.

  35. I’m not No Awarding the Puppies on principle, but it is easy enough to No Award them on sheer lack of quality.

  36. @alexvdl

    You demand an apology before you present your question.

    Well, let us answer your question first. A submarine travels underwater on a planet’s surface. Hence on a planet’s surface, gravity gives weight to physical objects, and as the result we have an up and down. (Unless we find ourselves momentarily withing a freely falling frame, and even then the effect of no gravity is only temporary and not really appliciable to submarines as far as I know.)

    Thus if a piece of fine china shatters within a submarine, the fragments will fall downwards because of the planet’s gravitý. Even if a fargment flies up, it will reach the tip of its arc and fall down. Hence important things like air filtering can be placed on the wall so that any unintended objects are unlikely to reach it.

    Now, withing space, under the conditions of no gravity, if a piece of fine china shatters its fragments will maintain their trajectory. The fragments will not change direction or loose their speed unless something else affects them. Thus where on the walls are you going to put your air filter? What spot is least likely to be hit by unintended objects?

    I do not think I have a reason to apologise for naval warships.

  37. Mr. Mamatas, when it comes to finding out what people believe, I prefer asking directly instead of relying on second-hand accounts, so I’ll ask you: are you a supporter of Requires Hate?

  38. In no particular order (and reserving the right to change my mind):

    Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
    Jhereg by Steven Brust
    The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust
    Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlien
    The Many Colored Land by Julian May
    Deadbeat by Jim Butcher
    Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
    A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin
    The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
    The Black Company by Glen Cook

  39. Good God, how long are you guys going to pursue this equivalent of “airfoils don’t help you turn in space and the explosions shouldn’t be making any noise” silliness?

  40. Tuomas, did you make any effort to ascertain whether there’s artificial gravity in the Radch stories, and if so, what sort it is (simple rotation versus something more speculative)? If not, why on earth are you holding forth as if you know?

    (It happens that I went to Google and put in this: ancillary justice artificial gravity. The last link on page 1 of my results was to a forum thread about it which confirms that, yes, there is artificial gravity in Radch ships.)

  41. I’m changing my mind already. Swap out Starship Troopers for Glory Road. Same author.

  42. Picking A Storm Of Swords out of the bunch is super interesting. I love ASOIAF, but it’s kind of an undifferentiated mass to me. What was it about that one in particular that rang your bell?

  43. Laertes @ 3:49- It seemed the plot was beginning to gel, threads were coming together, lots of good stuff and lots of good-horrible stuff (like the Red Wedding).

  44. @Steve Moss on May 14, 2015 at 11:39 am:

    Right, but you are missing the point. People aren’t saying that the puppy short stories are about things we don’t like, so they are badly written. People are saying, ‘wow, these stories are really poorly written!’

    For example, TGE is the kind of story I would normally avoid and consider very boring- but it is so well written that I think it’s going to the top of my novel list this year. It’s very impressive. Turncoat is exactly the kind of story I normally like, but the writing is so mediocre that I ended up annoyed with it.

    Both of these are exactly the opposite of your theory that ideology or prejudice is driving people’s opinions.

    And yes, it’s too bad Hawk didn’t get a nomination. Maybe next year there won’t be an organized campaign to put mediocre work on the nominations list and Brust’s next Taltos book will make it.

  45. “But in any case, you should have googled the term “Sad Pupppies 3 Slate” and that would have taken you to the Brad’s blog post where the works were originally listed. ”

    Except I am trying to go into the works unbiased here, when I can. Kinda thought that’s what you wanted…

  46. Well, off the top of my head…

    The Cyberiad and the Ijon Tichy stories
    A Bridge of Birds and sequels
    Pretty much everything Ursula K. Le Guin has ever written
    Pretty much everything Dave Duncan has ever written
    Pretty much everything Peter F. Hamilton has written from the Night’s Dawn Trilogy onwards

    …wait, are we talking just favorite books, or favorite sf?

    Mystery Science Theater 3000
    Classic Doctor Who
    Read or Die and the followup series
    Tiger & Bunny
    Yellow Submarine
    Planescape: Torment
    Star Control 3

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