The Dogs My Destination 5/18

aka Recent studies have shown that approximately 40% of authors are sad puppies. The rest of us just drink.

Today’s roundup delivers alisfranklin, John C. Wright, Alexandra Erin, Kevin J. Maroney, Betsy Wollheim, Dave Freer, Lela E. Buis, David French, thezman, Eric Flint, Joe Sherry, Scott Seldon, Lis Carey, Lisa J. Goldstein, Larry Correia, Jeff Duntemann, and Declan Finn. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Tuomas Vainio and Laura Resnick.)

alisfranklin on Unassigned Readings

“As for gaming the Hugo Awards it is surprisingly…” – May 18

You want to talk about slates of nominees and culture wars and take-overs? Fine, let’s talk about that. Because you know what I want to see for the 2016 Hugo awards?

I want to see Welcome to Night Vale up for awards in Best Novel and Best Dramatic Presentation. I want to see Stephen Universe and Agent Carter and whatever anime is big right now. I want to see Homestuck. I want to see something from the OTW and I want at least one videogame up for Long Form and one DLC/expansion up in Short Form. I want to see fanfic writers and fanartists up for their categories. I want to see someone get nominated purely on force of their Tumblr.

Whether or not I like the individual nominations doesn’t matter. I just want to see them, because seeing them will tell me the Hugos are relevant again. That they mean something to kids who were born after the invention of the personal computer, let alone born this century. You want to talk about logrolling an awards ceremony? Tumblr fandom is orders of magnitude bigger than the voting pool for the current Hugos. If y’all want those awards, they’re yours. No old greybeard muttering about “true fans” and “golden age SFF” can take that away from you. Literally not; by numbers alone there just aren’t enough of them.


John C. Wright

“WSJ on SJW” – May 18

A lamebrain and lazy Wall Street Journal article:

For any reader without the patience (or the nose-clothespin)  to wade through this, the summary is: “We asked two white guys with lots of awards and they said the system was fine and the Sad Puppies are pulp-writing carpetbagging  racists.”

First, the issue is not about literary fiction versus pulp adventure fiction. The Social Justice Warriors do not write literary fiction, they write boring lectures and finger-wagging trash. They are members of a clique who have controlled the awards for about a decade.

They excuse the poor craftsmanship of their meandering tales by claiming them to be written to erudite and aethereal literary standards beyond the grasp of the hoi polloi. (Or they would say, if they were literary enough to use phrases like the hoi polloi  (a Greek remark!), or drop Gilbert and Sullivan  allusions casually into their sentences.)

For the record, I write literary fiction, and Larry Correia writes pulp, and he and I are on the same team.


Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Situation Normal: All Fisked Up” – May 18

So Brad Torgersen, leader of the Sad Puppy campaign for this year, has a post up on his blog called “Fisking The Broken Narrative”. Fisking, for the uninitiated, is an art from in which one takes a written work, quotes the whole or majority of it in-line, broken up with zingers a la Mystery Science Theater. At least, that’s my understanding of the typical fisking. The Sad Puppies seem more inclined to just rant and rave in the interstices, and Torgersen in particular spends more time reacting to what it would have been convenient for his narrative for the source editorial to have said than he does responding to the actual text…..

Mr. Maroney, the individual whom Torgersen was attempting to fisk, did in his source attempt to gently clue the Puppies in to the inadvisability of labeling their opponents “reactionary” while holding a stated goal of “stop people from trying to change things and bring it back to the way it used to be”, but all Torgersen appeared to take away from it was “STOP SAYING MEAN THINGS”. We could speculate about whether this was due to an inability to comprehend the point or a tactical decision to only respond in ways that further the Puppy’s narrative, but I don’t see the percentage in it.


Kevin J. Maroney in New York Review of SF

“The Puppies of Terror” – May 17

The Sad Puppies are a group of writers and other fans dissatisfied with what they saw as a trend in the Hugo process toward overrepresentation of “liberal” works at the expense of traditional, meat-and-potatoes science fiction and fantasy. So in 2014 they gamed the Hugo nomination system to place nominees in several Hugo Award categories. What the Puppies did was very simple: They encouraged people to buy Worldcon supporting memberships and vote for the Puppy slate of nominees, and they got one or two nominees into several categories. These “Sad Puppy 2” nominees failed to land any trophies; in fact, with the exception of Toni Weisskopf in the Best Editor, Long Form, the SP2 finalists came in last in every category. And, like any well-intentioned, thoughtful group of principled actors, the Sad Puppies responded by encouraging the attention of a group of woman-hating terrorists.


Kevin J. Maroney in New York Review of SF

“The Puppy Fight” – May 18

The entire Puppy movement, rhetorically, is based on the idea that the science fiction enterprise has changed tremendously and not for the better, since the fabled Golden Age when all of the Puppies were young. The head Sad Puppy himself, Brad Torgersen, has taken to referring to his enemies as CHORFS, “Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary, Fanatics.” So, yes, the person who is bravely positioning himself as the force that will stop the people who want to change things believes that his opponents are “reactionaries.” This is, apparently, someone whose understanding of words is limited to “what sounds like an insult?”


Lela E. Buis

“Is there too much diversity in SF&F?” – May 18

So, is there really too much diversity on the ballot? This might not be a popular observation, but I can personally see a clear political agenda, at least in the US and Northern Europe, to increase acceptance of diversity. Everyone must have noticed this. Diversity is billed as a good thing, something we should respect that can bring in new ideas and new ways of doing things. It also implies acceptance of differences like gender, LGBTQ status, religion, disability, race, national origin, etc., etc., etc. But, the truth is that diversity makes us all nervous. Political scientist Robert Putnam, researching community trends in 2000, made the inconvenient discovery that greater diversity in a community leads to less trust, less volunteering, less cooperation, less voting and less civic engagement in general for average members of the community. As a liberal, Putnam was so disturbed by this finding that he waited until 2007 to publish the results, i.e. that diversity damages communities.


Betsy Wollheim on Facebook – May 16

I’ve been silent about the whole disgusting Hugo mess, but frankly I’m shocked by some of the mainstream coverage it’s been getting. For the record, many people on the “puppy ballot” were never asked permission, like my business partner, Sheila Gilbert, who has no affiliation with any puppies, but will not withdraw because (in my opinion and that of her authors) she damn well deserves a Hugo after 45 years dedicated to editing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Personally I think the puppies are fucked. There has always been a “Wellsian and Vernian” split in the field, but this takeover of the award is just abominable! Not only New Republic has spoken out against them, but now, the Wall Street Journal.


Betsy Wollheim on Facebook – May 16

I am personally grateful to George R. R. Martin for bravely supporting the rational and historical side of the Hugo brouhaha. As someone who has been attending conventions since age six (1958) I can say there have always been political divisions in our field, but prior to the internet neither political side has had the power (nor inclination!) to game the field’s most prestigious award. If you look at the novels that have won the Hugos over the decades. You will see that as many are great adventure yarns as books with political messages. It’s really pretty even. But this current fiasco is just plain disgusting. Also, as an editor, it makes me angry to see a writer as important as GRRM having to spend his valuable time informing ignorant people about the history of worldcon and the history of the Hugos.


Dave Freer at Mad Genius Club

“Who we write (and publish) For.” – May 18

It’s been very revealing during the various bursts of rage at the Sad Puppies by traditionally published authors and their publishers. We’re getting to see that dislike, that disdain, that ‘second (or possibly far lower) class citizen, should not be allowed to vote, aren’t ‘Real Fans’, should be put in a dog-pound (we’re not human, and there is no need to treat us as such, apparently. Now I do understand that as far as this monkey is concerned, but most of the pups, their supporters and friends are as human as their detractors.) You get editors like Betsy Wolheim at DAW telling us filthy hoi polloi “as an editor, it makes me angry to see a writer as important as GRRM having to spend his valuable time informing ignorant people about the history of worldcon and the history of the Hugos.” Thanks Betsy. A good spin attempt to blame us for GRRM’s decisions. He’s adult, he can decide what he wants to do. We pig-ignorant revolting peasants can’t actually MAKE him do anything. He wasn’t going to write any more if Bush was re-elected IIRC. The tide of BS from this has overflowed my gum boots.


David French at National Review

“Sci-Fi’s Sad Puppies” – May 18

A literary revolt against political correctness It turns out that pop culture doesn’t inexorably drift toward political correctness. The forces of “social justice” are not invincible, and conservative artists do have cultural power. Just ask the very angry, very frustrated members of the science-fiction Left.Conservatives are by now familiar with the depressing pop-culture script. Angry at perceived injustice or exclusion and eager to spread their particular brand of “social justice,” the Left targets for transformation an artistic medium that was previously not overtly or intentionally politicized. Within a few short years, the quality of art — or its popularity — becomes far less relevant than either its message or the identity of the artist. As part of this process, prestigious awards are no longer a means of rewarding the best work but rather a means of rewarding the best work from the list of acceptable choices. [The remainder of the article is behind a paywall, cost 25 cents.]



“Sad, Rabid Puppies on the Front Lash” – May 18

The only area of fiction with a male audience is sci-fi/fantasy. So-called serious fiction was taken over lunatics and feminists to the point where it has no audience outside of the academy. The fiction that sells best is the rape fantasy stuff popular with middle-aged white women. Otherwise, fiction for men is mostly aimed at harmless weirdos who prefer to be the female character in on-line games.

That’s why the lunatics are making war on sci-fi and fantasy fiction. They sense this group of white males are weak and can be bullied. After all, a guy who gets beat up for wearing his Frodo costume to school is not going to push back against the heavy weights of the genre. At least that’s the assumption. It’s why the cult has made a fetish of bullying, by the way. They want it as their exclusive tool for socializing children.


Eric Flint


James May, who keeps posting here, is the gift that never stops giving. In one of his most recent posts, he insists once again that the SJW (social justice warrior) hordes are a menace to science fiction. So, in this essay, I will go through his points one at a time to show how ridiculous they are whether examined in part or (especially) as a whole…..

In one of my former lives I was a TA in the history department at UCLA. In that capacity, I read and graded a lot of essays written by students in which they attempted, with greater or lesser success, to advance an historical proposition.

So far, James May’s essay advancing the proposition that science fiction as a genre—or at least its most prestigious awards—have been overwhelmed by a radical lesbian-centric racialized feminist crusade is getting an F. He’s made no attempt to substantiate a single one of his claims. Literally, not one.


Charmingly Euphemistic

“Received my Hugo voters’ reading packet today” – May 18

Slates are extremely powerful.  In normal voting everyone reads different stuff and has different tastes, so no one work will receive more than maybe 10% of the nominating votes.  But slate voters agree to vote on the same five nominees for each category. This means a slate needs to come up with about 10% of the nominating votes to sweep every category. The 90% of individual voters are swamped and overwhelmed by the 10% of slate voters.  Lest you think I am exaggerating, over two thirds of the slots on this year’s Hugo ballot are on the Sad Puppy Slate or the Rabid Puppy Slate, or both.

I am really afraid that if these slates see any success at all, it will be slates all the way down from now on. Therefore, in order to whatever I can to discourage slates in future years, I plan to  only vote for non-slate works above “no award.”

While the extreme sexist and racist attitudes of some of the slate organizers sickens me, it is the damage to the Hugo awards that will be done by slates that motivated me to get involved this year.  I don’t want slates of progressive writers either.


Joe Sherry on Adventures in Reading

“Hugo Nominee / Voter’s Packet Available” – May 18

You can find Zombie Nation online, but there’s no way to tell what is included in the nominated collection. I’ve been boldly reading the comic from the start, powering through, but I’m only up to 2013 strips, so it’s taking a while. But, you can look at any 2014 work from Zombie Nation and use that to evaluate Carter Reid for Fan Artist if you don’t want to wait for Zombie Nation to hit the voter’s packet (or attempt to read five years of strips).


Scott Seldon on Seldon’s SF Blog

“Ann Leckie – What A Hugo Award Winner Should Look Like” – May 18

I quickly followed reading Ancillary Justice with the sequel, Ancillary Sword. It was as good and as engrossing, bringing with it new aspects of the universe and the characters. If a sequel ever deserved as many awards as the original, this one certainly does. It is a magnificent world given to us by a magnificent writer. I can’t way for the third book. I definitely have a new author to add to my list of favorites. I can’t wait to see what she does next. Her nomination for this year’s Hugo Awards is justly deserved.


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“One Bright Star to Guide Them, by John C. Wright” – May 18

This wants so badly to be an allegorical fable in the manner of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. And it fails so, so badly.


Lisa J. Goldstein on theinferior4

“The Hugo Ballot, Part 11: Novellas” – May 18

I love the idea behind “The Plural of Helen of Troy,” by John C. Wright.  There’s a City Beyond Time, Metachronopolis, with shining towers and bridges and gardens.  Fog caused by too many time changes shrouds the lower towers, and in the upper stories live the Masters, who control the forces of time. Unfortunately there’s something of a fog on the story as well.


Larry Correia on Monster Hunter Nation

“Sad Puppies 3: The Ensaddening” – January 26

It is that time of year again. If you’d like to nominate good books, stories, and related works for the Hugos so that the biggest award in sci-fi/fantasy isn’t just a Social Justice Warrior circle jerk, you need to get yourself a supporting membership to Sasquan before the end of January.

color-sp-1 LARGE

Declan Finn on A Pius Man

“Sad Puppies Bite Back, V: a Puppy Wins the Hugo” – May 18

[DF adjusts speakers.  SWAT team Irish step dances down the street, never to be seen again.  DF sighs, moves to mailbox, muttering] I wonder if John C. Wright will loan me some of his Vatican Ninjas. It’s not like he gets SWATted like this. He’s a living brain in a jar, what are they going to slap the handcuffs on?



506 thoughts on “The Dogs My Destination 5/18

  1. Peace Is My Middle Name
    “@Andrew, are you blaming fandom for being taken by surprise by the Puppies’ actions?”

    I don’t know that Andrew specifically feels this way, but less reasonable puppies have said things along those lines that I would paraphrase as saying that fandom should stop wearing such short skirts if they object to the Slatening.

  2. Are you kidding, the only possible issue with this year’s nominations is puppy action, as they controlled virtually all the nominations

    And will, I took some interest in your postings, until it became waaaaahhhh.

    Now I think you whole act was some sort of mole attempt, false flag if you will. Either that or you are about 30 years younger than your avatar?

    Odd business

  3. “It happened, in plain view and in full sight …”

    The Sad Puppies 3 slate wasn’t decided in plain view. They took some suggestions on a blog then Correia, Torgersen and a few others engaged in some private deliberative process that often disregarded the public suggestions in favor of their pals and colleagues.

  4. Maximillian on May 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm said:
    Peace Is My Middle Name
    “@Andrew, are you blaming fandom for being taken by surprise by the Puppies’ actions?”

    I don’t know that Andrew specifically feels this way, but less reasonable puppies have said things along those lines that I would paraphrase as saying that fandom should stop wearing such short skirts if they object to the Slatening.

    For some reason I am reminded of the old Doonesbury line, “But the pension funds were just sitting there!”

  5. “Long ago, the Worldcon community lived together in relative harmony*.
    Then, everything changed when the Puppy Nation attacked.”

    *Apart from the occasional** kerfuffles, brouhahas, contretemps, flamewars, epic fails, feuds, disagreements, arguments, dust-ups, fracas, and quarrels.


  6. Will said: “I apologize for the snippy tone of these last posts. Clearly, I have engaged way too long on this, and now I swear, for my own sake and yours, I shall move on and never again utter the word Hugo.”

    This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. Saying, “Oh, well, I guess I’ll stop talking now because people are disgreeing with me” is essentially trying to claim that disagreement is harassment. People are not being snippy with you. They are pointing out that you’re saying some things that are upsetting them, and providing them with specific reasons. You deciding not to engage with those reasons and instead to take your ball and go home because people are being mean is not going to resolve those disagreements. A disagreement is the beginning of a conversation, not the end. Not even when you’re wrong. Especially not when you’re wrong, in fact.

  7. John, I apologized. I said I was snippy, not anyone else. If that wasn’t clear, I’m making it clear now.

  8. It was clear before. It was also a passive-aggressive attempt to shut down the conversation rather than engage with other people’s arguments by saying you wouldn’t ever bring up the Hugos again, leaving the reader to infer that the people disagreeing with you were too unreasonable to even converse with. It’s generally frowned upon as a way of ending discourse that is getting fractious, is what I’m saying.

  9. Like the passive-aggressive tactic of forcing someone to keep talking to you until they agree with you?

  10. You’re flouncing wrong. If you stay at the keyboard and keep frantically hitting refresh, you are absolutely going to see something that you’ll want to respond to.

    Once you drop the mic, you have to stalk off the stage without looking back. If instead you stand there, veins in your neck throbbing, daring anyone to speak, then you’re going to wind up sheepishly picking the mic back up and lamely continuing “…okay, one other thing…”

  11. Hampus Eckerman @ 10:16 am- We agree!!! A Single Samurai was a very good short story.

    And I give Baen brownie points for releasing the entire collection within Baen’s Big Book of Monsters. There’s a lot to enjoy. 🙂

    rcade @ 10:33 am- Taste’s differ, is something I hear constantly. Maybe one should consider that BT did the best he could within his personal tastes, which are not the same as everyone’s?

    That being said, I think he’s done a great job nominating good works.

    Hampus Eckerman @ 11:00 am- Eric Flint is a great writer and 1632 is an excellent novel. Good call. If my Swedish grandmother were still alive, I’d have a copy in her hand in a hot second. And then I’d listen to her: 1) tell me it was a great story; and, 2) if men would simply stop thinking with their muscles and guns, and instead learned how to dance, the world would be a much better place.

    When I joined the Marines, I thought she was going to stroke out. And then she wrote me at least once a week for four years. She was pretty awesome and a very wise woman, mostly. Sometimes dancing doesn’t cut it, and the world needs muscles and guns.

    rcade @ 1:15 pm, 2:38 pm and 2:51 pm- I know we don’t agree on much when it comes to fandom and SP/RP, but we agree on this. Children should not be sexualized. Period, end of discussion. Thank you for stating the case plainly and without equivocation.

    Two thumbs up.

    John C. Wright @ 1:26 pm- I sympathize. There are a lot of people on here and elsewhere who like to tell us what we think, as opposed to simply accepting the words we’ve written.

    And for the record, I think you’re a great writer. I really enjoyed your Everness and Golden Age books. I will read the Orphans series soon.

    Lis Carey @ 1:38 pm- Tastes differ.

    From my perspective, and I’ve been reading a lot of the nominees, I haven’t seen the “dreck” you’ve referred to. It’s been, without exception, very good. Though I dislike the numerous passive protagonists that I’ve encountered so far.

    Steven Schwartz @ 2:09 pm and 3:23 pm- When I read your posts I had to wait a couple of hours before responding. Now that I’ve calmed down, I have two comments:

    1. There is no comparison between the drinking age and the age to consent to voluntary sexual relations.
    2. You are focusing on the wrong end of the problem. There are many CHILDREN who desire a healthy, positive, nurturing relationship between themselves and an adult. It is a SICK TWISTED EVIL adult who takes that normal desire in CHILDREN, who have something lacking in their lives, and transforms it into a sexual relationship which has the purpose of satisfying the carnal desires of the adult, not the emotional and developmental needs of the child.

    So if you think children are capable of voluntarily consenting to sex with an adult, then God have mercy on your soul. You’ll need it.

    Stevie @ 3:21 pm- My biological parents were heroin addicts and eventual felons. As a result, I spent over two years in foster care. I was the “target” of child sexual abuse. You, Rick Mamatas, and Samuel “Chip the SFWA Grandmaster” Delaney can all fuck off.

    I’ve deleted some other unkind words I have to say on the subject, which I’ll freely share with you if and when we ever meet.

    I’m struggling to avoid things that need to be said. I’ll content myself with saying you are either deeply ignorant or deeply stupid.

    rcade @ 3:45 and 3:54 pm- Good for you.

    Seth Gordon @ 4:00 pm- You are wrong.

    Stevie @ 4:07 pm- If they are the allies you are grateful to have “protecting” your back, you might want to re-consider where you are standing.

    Jim Henley @ 4:26 pm- You got it right in one.

    Will @ 4:31 pm- Other than you, who says you are in the middle of the room?

  12. Will on May 19, 2015 at 5:56 pm said:
    Like the passive-aggressive tactic of forcing someone to keep talking to you until they agree with you?

    Be fair. You did say you were leaving. No one called you back or forced you to keep talking.

    If this place is getting too much for you, I really do recommend walking away and *not* peeking back in.

  13. Sometimes you stare into the eyes of a puppy for so long that it stares back.

  14. Steve Moss, The stats don’t hold up to your belief in the numbers of the slatevoters.

  15. @Laertes:

    He’s not flouncing. He’s setting up camp in the DMZ between flouncing and not flouncing.

  16. Will said: “Like the passive-aggressive tactic of forcing someone to keep talking to you until they agree with you?”

    Or until I start agreeing with you. Or until we can find a civil way to work out the conversation and agree mutually that there may not be further productive discourse to be had, barring new developments. Or until we hug it out. 🙂 None of those are particularly well served by saying, “I swear, for my own sake and yours, I shall move on and never again utter the word Hugo.” That’s not expressing a disagreement, that’s a melodramatic statement designed to evoke sympathy for your horrible plight of having been told you’re wrong, and I’m sorry to say that I just don’t have the patience for it. I’ve read enough of your previous comments to expect that you can find a way to disagree reasonably, and I’m not going to let you prove me wrong easily because I consider you to be capable of more. This is basically tough love.

    Or I’m just being a jerk and someone will call me out on it.

  17. @Will: You explicitly declared your allegiance with the Sad Puppies. I’ve declared my allegiance against them. In terms of this particular dust-up neither of us can claim that we are “stuck in the middle”. I’ve certainly taken my licks for my choice. In the bigger scope of things we’re both probably more towards the middle, though for different reasons. That doesn’t mean either of us can claim to be in the DMZ for this fight.

  18. You know, if he’s gone we can just stop talking about him.

  19. Peace: it’d probably be for the best, we’ve had a few discussions that extended past their useful life in the last week or so, mostly due to everyone needing to get the last word in.

    I’m as guilty of it as anyone else, but at some point you need to recognize when an argument has turned into being hit on the head lessons, and let it go.

  20. @will:

    I am convinced enough to have made an act of faith, but I have to admit, all I see from here in the middle of the room is two lines of people at opposite ends of the field so far, which is not a very, uh, interesting place to be, and it’s clearly not helping many others, so perhaps it is just better that I duck out of here and say: not my table, sorry for getting in the middle of someone else’s game.

    I feel about this the way I felt about Rick Moen’s statements late in the Thread of Trials. It’s probably praiseworthy to be that guy. But it’s tacky to say you’re that guy. And it’s ethically perilous to think you’re that guy. Because getting caught up in the image of yourself is a quick route to no longer being that guy.

  21. Reading Steve Moss’s entire long ass rant… what did I miss?! *goes back to check*

  22. Mr. Wright, if you are still here, can I please offer you this one in the spirit of good humor. Mr. Schmidt, I have absolutely no excuse for featuring your name other than it conveniently rhymes with quit, and I hope you won’t mind too much either.

  23. The outlook wasn’t brilliant for Castalia House that day;
    The score stood 16 of 20 with one story out of play.
    And then when Koos withdrew at first, and Bellet did the same,
    A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

    A straggling few turned off the stream in deep despair. The rest
    Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
    They thought if only John C. Wright could get a whack at that–
    We’d put up even money now with John Wright at the bat.

    But Vox preceded John Wright, as did Bryan Thomas Schmidt,
    Resnick already had 36, and Schubert, he had quit;
    So upon that Evil League of Pups a pall was settling in,
    For there seemed but little chance for John Wright’s editor to win.

    Thomas Schmidt’s Kickstarter was still in its final surge,
    And Vox, the much despis-ed, had so far failed to reemerge;
    And when the list was opened, and the pups saw what had occurred,
    There was Resnick safe at second and poor Bryan hugging third.

    Then from 5,000 pups and more there rose a lusty bark;
    It echoed through the group blogs, it rattled Riverfront Park;
    It blasted like a ray gun shining from the Golden Age,
    For John Wright, mighty John Wright, was advancing to the stage.

    There was ease in John Wright’s manner as he stepped into his place;
    There was pride in John Wright’s bearing and a smile on John Wright’s face.
    And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
    No rabbit in the crowd could doubt ’twas John Wright at the bat.

    Ten thousand eyes were on him as he dipped his pen in ink;
    The hoi polloi applauded as he urged them to the brink.
    Then as Social Justice Warriors began to jibe and snip,
    Defiance flashed in John Wright’s eye, a sneer curled John Wright’s lip.

    And now the silver-plated rocket came from off the stage,
    And John Wright stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
    Close by the sturdy penman the trophy unheeded sped–
    “Remember, nits make lice,” said John Wright. “No Award,” the Emcee said.

    From Ustream, thick with puppies, there went up a muffled howl,
    While Torgersen swooped in again like Weasley’s Great Gray Owl.
    “BOO HIM! BOO THE CHORF!” shouted someone in the thread;
    And it’s likely they’d have booed him had not John Wright raised his head.

    With a smile of Christian charity great John Wright’s visage shone;
    He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the show go on;
    He signaled to the Emcee, and once more the rocket flew;
    But John Wright still ignored it, and Mr. Gerrold said, “Strike two.”

    “Fraud!” cried the rabid puppies, and echo answered fraud;
    But one scornful look from John Wright and the audience was awed.
    They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his fingers strain,
    And they knew that John Wright wouldn’t let that rocket by again.

    The sneer is gone from John Wright’s lip, his teeth are clenched in rage;
    He scratches with hyperbole his pen upon the page.
    And as Due holds the envelope, he continues to compose,
    And now the air is shattered by the force of John Wright’s prose.

    Oh, somewhere on the favored fen the sun is shining bright;
    The filk is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere pups are yelping, and somewhere children shout;
    But there is no joy at Sasquan –mighty John Wright has struck out.

  24. hmm… oops, should be:

    And now the silver-plated rocket sat beside the chair,
    And John Wright stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

    I gotta run folks, if I missed anything else please feel free to touch it up.

  25. @Alexdvl ‘rant’
    Now, now, Steve wasn’t ranting[1]. He has done us the courtesy of being civil in these threads, we can do the same.

    1 – except maybe for the bit where he seems to have misinterpreted what anyone in this thread was saying about sexuality or child abuse and reacted excessively, but that sure is a hot button issue for a lot of people

  26. Had a few days convalescence (and a few more ahead), so I thought it a fine time to catch up on my Hugo reading.

    Thanks to a very good local library, I have been reading most of the Best Novel nominees on the traditional Ent-corpse editions. “Skin Game” was everything I thought it would be – no more, no less. “Three Body Problem” was either over my head or not something to read on medication (I will revisit next month). Even though I had not read the first novel, I enjoyed “Ancillary Sword”. It wasn’t until the end when I realized that not every “She” was female (again, medication).

    With renewed access to my laptop, I started greedily digesting the Hugo packet.


    The worst thing about the packet is that I have to wait until they release the list of what would have made the Hugo ballot sans-slate so that I can read those works.

    Having read that one story by John C. Wright (do not bother me with quibbles – they are all the same story*) five times was, admittedly, rough work. Luckily I had left the Graphic Story for afterwards. I nearly ruptured something reading “Rat Queens”.

    * It reminded me of my children’s Talent Show last year. There were so many renditions of “Let It Go” that the song opened the show, ended the show, and appeared between every other act. Seventeen versions of the same song.

  27. A tiny, humble offering: I think the second line of the fourth stanza might scan better if “despis-ed” wasn’t hyphenated and therefore read as two syllables instead of three.

    Once again, that’s beautiful work. It was a joy to read it. Thank you.

  28. random Hugo voting question:

    So, having got my packet, I started reading tonight. Let me contextualize this question with a disclaimer: I am not a comics or graphic novel guy (watchmen, v for vendetta, and from hell excepted). I gave my best shot at reading the graphic nominees, but abandoned each within a few pages. So, my actual preference, based on the material is no award. But, given my starting condition, perhaps I am a poor judge. Is it then more ethical to remain silent on that category?

    any insights appreciated. Essentially a first time voter, though I did vote for a boston world con in the 80’s.

  29. P J Evans: “Or saying “the El Camino Real” in the Bay Area.”

    Nick Mamatas: Eight years in the Bay and I have never heard anyone say “the El Camino Real.”

    I know saying “the 101” in the Bay Area marks you as a Southern Californian, but I’ve never heard it appled to El Camino either.

    These things tend to accumlate if left unchecked – just look at Brust’s Bengloalafurd Ford, or the (apparently apocryphal) Torpenhow Hill.

  30. I have no idea who Rick Mamatas is, but the plain fact is that a leading marker of a sexual abuser is past sexual abuse, especially among men:

    This by no means is the same as saying that everyone who was sexually abused becomes a sexual abuser. Nor is there any evidence that Delany is a sex abuser—he appears to be attracted to adults (lots of ’em). But it’s fairly obvious that his bizarre claims about sexuality are rooted in his early childhood experiences.

    That’s not the same as saying that you, Steve Moss, or me, Nick (or even Rick!) Mamatas, or anyone else who was ever targeted for sexual abuse will either become an abuser or create a pseudo-intellectual framework for normalizing childhood sexual abuse.

    But clearly it does happen *sometimes*, and it happened to Delany.

  31. Is it then more ethical to remain silent on that category?

    If you read it and felt that the material wasn’t worthy of award for any reason, No Award. If you have no opinion on that particular medium being voted on and don’t want to log an opinion at all, skip.

  32. @Gully Foyle: It is your ballot, do as you please. If you feel the work is just that awful then you should vote “No Award” on top. If you feel that you’re just not that into comics and are ambivalent you can choose to not vote in the category. Very few voters actually vote in every category, and actual participation varies wildly by category.

  33. The simple proof that there’s no organized “enemy” massed against the Puppies would seem, to my eye, to be this:

    If there was, they wouldn’t have succeeded so wildly. I think even they understand that, even if some of them won’t admit it.

  34. Gully Foyle, it is always ethical to choose not to vote in any category where you just don’t feel you can evaluate the material well enough to make meaningful judgments. Most people don’t vote in every category.

  35. My impression is that it is generally considered ethical to vote 1) No Award in a category where either a) you don’t think any of the nominees merit a hugo for Best [BLAH] (this requires being familiar with the [BLAH] field)
    or b) you don’t think there should be a Hugo awarded for [BLAH].

    If you think that there should be a hugo for best [BLAH], but don’t know the field well enough to make a judgement on what is a good [BLAH], its probably best not to vote in that category.

  36. On a complete side note, I’ve started re-setting up and re-naming all the devices on my home network. I’ve decided to name them all after ship names from Iain M Banks’s culture series. (The old setup was names from Mass Effect). I’m a little curious if anyone else here has a SFF based naming scheme for their computers?

  37. Kurt Busiek: “The simple proof that there’s no organized “enemy” massed against the Puppies would seem, to my eye, to be this: If there was, they wouldn’t have succeeded so wildly. I think even they understand that, even if some of them won’t admit it.”

    Why do so many people who get taken by scammers make not 1, but 4 or 5 or more payments before they finally empty their bank account, or a family member intervenes, or the authorities swoop in, or they are finally able to acknowledge that they are being defrauded?

    Because it is a very human response to not want to have to face the fact that you were gullible enough to be fooled by someone, when you should have known better. It’s easier to keep sending money to someone who always has a new, plausible excuse for not showing up at the airport, or needing more money, or not paying you back, than it is to admit that you’ve fallen for a scam, hook, line, and sinker — that you’ve been incredibly stupid. No one wants to face such a horrible truth about themselves.

    I have no doubt there are some souls amongst the Puppies who joined the movement because they genuinely believed what they were being told, that there really was a horrible cabal of evil SJWs who were preventing the really good SFF from being recognized with awards which were instead being given to SJW buddies who had published far-left-wing propaganda, and that this was a worthy cause to fight.

    How many of them are going to be able to recognize the various bits of evidence that they were fooled with lies by Torgersen, Correia, and Company, and to admit to themselves that they’ve been snookered?

    Not terribly many, I’d imagine. No one wants to have to face the fact that they’ve been gullible and foolish.

  38. In my previous job, all the servers had Tolkien names for hostnames. Some conversations were hilarious.

  39. @Kurt Busiek: Is it not an elementary principle of drama that the more powerful the antagonist, the sweeter the protagonist’s victory? Surely the Puppies would rather believe that they have defied a battalion of evil-doers with manly firmness than believe that they are merely a well-trained dog pack among unherded cats.

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