Demon with a Glass Hound 5/30

aka The Pup Who Circumnavigated Hugoland In A Slate Of His Own Making

The roundup includes Lela E. Buis, Samantha Noll, David Gerrold, Max Florschutz, Vox Day, Alexandra Erin, Jim McCoy, David Mack, Wei Ming Kam, Lis Carey, Pluviann, Chad Orzel, Bonnie McDaniel, Ursula Vernon, May Tree, Laurie Mann and less identifiable others. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Jim Henley and Alexandra Erin. Update: In case you’re keeping score at home, the subtitle is similar to one previously contributed by Dawn Sabados, but not identical.)

Lela E. Buis

“SJWs in space” – May 30

The Puppies debate has some interesting facets, and it’s also an unusual opportunity to observe a little human behavior. One of the main accusations of the Puppies’ spokesmen Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day), Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia is that SF&F has been taken over by social justice warriors (aka SJW) who are pushing a liberal and literary agenda while forcing out old fashioned, right-leaning SF&F. I’ve just been reading about social justice, as it turns out. According to Professor Michael Reisch the definition of social justice is fairly open to question. This mutability means that different groups tend to co-opt the activist strategy and organize to advance their own definition of what social justice really is. Clearly, the Puppies have taken on the mantle and have now become social justice warriors, the very thing they have been loving to hate.

 

Samantha Noll on Dispatches from the Philosophy of Science Association’s Women’s Caucus

“A War of Words and Ideas: Philosophy, Science Fiction, and the Hugo Award Controversy” – May 30

So why is this important for society in general and for philosophers of science in particular? The answer to this question may become clearer when we reflect on why fringe groups are escalating their campaigns in science-fiction and other genres aimed at disenfranchising and silencing entire groups of people. As Kameron Hurley of The Atlantic argues “the truth is that our wars of words and narrative matter, especially those that tell us what sorts of possible futures we can build—and groups like Gamergate, Sad Puppies, and Rabid Puppies understand this.” During a time where the United States is becoming ever more diverse and citizens’ views ever more liberal, the push to suppress this trend is becoming ever more rabid, to appropriately apply Beale’s terminology. Barring those writing from diverse standpoints from receiving formal recognition helps to limit the exposure of these works and thus silences the authors. This is one of the reasons why it is important for those living in a democratic and multicultural society to ensure that those like Beale and Correia are not successful.

 

David Gerrold on Facebook – May 29

Worldcons, as we know them, have been around since 1939. Hugos have been awarded since 1953

Thousands of people have invested an enormous amount of time and energy into keeping the traditions of the World Science Fiction Convention going. Thousands have invested an enormous amount of time and energy in developing an award system designed to acknowledge excellence in the craft.

No award system is perfect — but it’s hard to argue with a system that has recognized the excellence of Dune, Left Hand Of Darkness, Starship Troopers, Ringworld, The Stars My Destination, Dragonflight, Stand On Zanzibar, Flowers For Algernon, City On The Edge Of Forever, Aye And Gomorrah, Blink, and other works that not only represent the best of the year — they also redefine what’s possible in the genre.

To some extent, there is an element of popularity in the voting. To some extent, there is an element of promotion by publishers and authors. To a larger extent, the problem with the Hugos is that the field has gotten so big and so sprawling that it’s impossible for any fan to be as widely read as in the past. This is why recommended reading lists are a great help.

There’s also a tradition of respect in fandom.

 

David Gerrold on Facebook – May 29

Some people have advocated going to Amazon and Goodreads and other sites to post one-star reviews of works by authors whose views they oppose.

Please, don’t do it.

It’s a failure of integrity.

If you’ve read the work, then post your honest opinion, good or bad. But punishing an author by down-voting his/her work — that’s not fair to the author, to the work, or to readers who are looking for useful reviews.

If you’re claiming to be one of the good guys, you gotta act like it.

 

Max Florschutz on Unusual Things

“I’m Not a Fan of Science-Fiction and Fantasy?” – May 30

I may not be a Science-Fiction and Fantasy fan.

Which is shocking. I always thought I was one. But no, according to a lot of these posts and comments I’m seeing and reading, I am not a “fan.” Or, to use the terms that some of the insulars have started to use, I am not a “trufan,” a term which, quite honestly, reminds me quite a bit of the ridiculous amount of self-inflicted (and mostly declarative) segregation in the gaming community between the “PC Master Race” and the “Console Gaming Peasants.” The console gamers aren’t really gamers, you see. They’re just casuals.

 

Caitlin on Devourer of Words

“Why I am voting for the Hugo Awards this year” – May 30

In general, I am disappointed that a small number of people think they have the right to dictate what the genres of sci-fi and fantasy consist of. In particular, people like Vox Day make me physically ill, and I don’t want promising new authors with awesome new ideas to leave the genre because of them. Vox Day in particular deserves to be defended against: this is a guy who doesn’t believe women should be allowed to vote…

 

 Vox Day onVox Popoli

“Eric Flint, SJW”

You know, we’ve wondered who was going to the new Hitler ever since Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proved to be such a washout in that regard. My money was on Putin, so I had absolutely no idea it would turn out to be me. Someone get Hugo Boss on the line, we’re going to need some snappy new outfits for the VFM, stat! Let’s address the issues as Mr. Flint, real deal SJW, puts them forth.

  1. I don’t share Hitler’s views on race, as I have a basic grasp of human genetics and I am neither a eugenicist nor an Aryan supremacist.
  2. On the subject of Jews, I am a Zionist who edits and publishes the eminent Israeli military historian Dr. Martin van Creveld.
  3. I’m not opposed to women learning to read and write. I am opposed to women being encouraged to obtain advanced degrees in the place of husbands and children. Unlike Mr. Flint, I can do the demographic math.
  4. I don’t support honor killings. I never have.
  5. I don’t hide what I really believe. Mr. Flint claims to know what I really believe without me ever putting it into words because, and I quote, “peekaboo”. If anyone is “a fucking clown” here, it is observably Mr. Flint.
  6. I’m not trying to win Hugo Awards. I don’t care about winning awards.
  7. I have no delusions of grandeur. I’m not the one who keeps running to The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, The New Zealand Herald, NPR, Popular Science, or the Wall Street Journal to talk about me. I haven’t issued a single press release or called a single member of the media about the Hugo Awards or anything else, for that matter.
  8. Western civilization is in peril. In large part thanks to idiots like Mr. Flint.
  9. I don’t like to portray myself with a flaming sword. That was the brainchild of the Star Tribune photographer who was taking pictures of me for a story the paper was doing. Apparently he was onto something, as it’s an image many people have remembered….

 

Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“How big is the doghouse?” – May 30

So, Kate Paulk has been tapped as the standard-bearer of next year’s Sad Puppies campaign. She has declared that next year’s Hugo ballot-stuffing initiative will be done in a transparent and democratic manner. This does not fill one with confidence, since Brad Torgersen has made the same claims about this year’s ballot-stuffing initiative.

It also needs to be pointed out that it hardly matters who leads the Sad Puppies campaign or what they do or how they do it, as this year’s otherwise failed campaign only managed to achieve accidental relevance through the fact that the successful Rabid Puppies campaign largely copied and pasted their agenda.

With all that in mind, I have to say that I’m interested in Kate Paulk’s post about what she considers to be Hugo-worthy work only as an academic matter. If the list she assembles using it winds up being the ballot, it will likely be only because someone truly nasty as well as small-minded got behind her and started shoving, as happened this year.

 

Jim McCoy on Jimbos Awesome SFF Book and Movie Reviews

“Kate Paulk’s ConVent” – May 30

Before I get too far into the book, I wanted to mention Kate’s involvement with the Sad Puppies. She is next year’s evil, evil, evil ringleader. If you support evil, mean people who evilly think that you should evilly vote for good fiction written by evil people who evilly put story over message (because they’re evil) she’s worth supporting. Oh, and her book also kicks ass, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I just wanted to take a minute to give evil praise to Her Evilness, The Duchess of Snark. Does that make me evil? Probably. I’m OK with that. Now, onto the book.

 

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“The Ones Who Walk Away from Fandom” – May 30

It’s more than a little amusing. And those who walk away are the wise ones, because, as it has been sung:

Never kick a dog
Because it’s just a pup
You’d better run for cover when the pup grows up!

 

 

Wei Ming Kam on Fantasy Faction

“The pros and cons of the voting processes behind major SFF awards: Part 2” – May 31

This year, there is reportedly a massive upsurge in people buying supporting memberships of Sasquan, so basically people want to vote in the awards but have no interest in going to the con. Normally, the number of people who vote in the awards is small, so it’s reasonable to say that the upsurge is a result of the resentful manchildren making this year’s awards political. SADFACE. SAD SASQUATCH SADFACE.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“The Revenge of Hump Day–Hugo Nominated Best Fanzine” – May 31

It’s all perfectly competently and clearly written. I’m sure it’s well-received by its intended audience. On the other hand, I don’t see any exceptional excellence.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Sex Criminals Volume 1:One Weird Trick (Sex Criminals #1-5), by Matt Fraction (writer) Chip Zdarsky (artist)” – May 30

This one I did not expect to like. I got a surprise. It’s intelligent, thoughtful, does some really interesting things, and Suzie, as an adult, is a librarian, and a well-done librarian is always a win for me, Yes, it’s self-indulgent. So sue me.

 

Pluviann on The Kingfishers Nest

“On a Spiritual Plain – Lou Antonelli” – May 30

Imagine a great caravan of giant aliens travelling across a bleak and open plain, above them the most glorious auroral display fills the sky, and travelling with them is a human chaplain on a segway enclosed by faraday cage. This image comes from Lou Antonelli’s ‘On a Spiritual Plain’ and it deserves fanart. It’s the best part of the short story, and the idea of a faraday segway in particular really tickled me.

 

Award-Winning Reading

“Best Fan Artist” – May 28

Fun fact: I almost voted No Award for this entire category. Now I’m voting for Elizabeth Leggett and No Award for everything else. I went looking at each nominees website to make sure that I was looking at everything that is award eligible. Ninni Aalto, Brad W. Foster and Steve Stiles all have similar styles (to my very untrained eye) that just does not appeal to me. Add in that I didn’t find the subject matter that interesting, and there is no reason for me to vote for any of them. I like that Spring Schoenhuth’s work consists mostly of jewelry. I don’t really recognize most of it though, and again the style doesn’t really appeal to me, so I won’t vote for her.

Award Winning Reading

“Totaled by Kary English” – May 29

There is some science talk in this story, but it was unobtrusive and easy to understand. It was just enough to give the story weight without pulling attention away from the storyline. The writing is beautiful. Descriptive, but concise. It really drew me into the story in a way that I was not expecting.

 

Award-Winning Reading

“On a Spiritual Plain by Lou Antonelli” – May 28

I liked the writing style. Not overly wordy but descriptive enough to ground the reader. I do also like that the story made me confront the idea that I decided what the story was about when I was halfway through and then got mad when it didn’t follow like I thought it should. While I’m a bear to be around when that happens, I like to be reminded that authors can do whatever they please without catering to my idea of what it should be.

Chad Orzel on Uncertain Principles

“Hugo Reading: Not-Novels” – May 30

In the short fiction categories, two of the longer nominees were weirdly incomplete. “Flow” by Arlan Andrews and “Championship B’Tok” by Edward Lerner are perfectly fine, but just… stop. I wouldn’t object to reading more in either setting, say if these were the introductory chapters of longer novels, but as self-contained stories, they’re kind of lacking.

“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” by Rajnar Vajra is a complete alien-contact story, and good enough in a Heinlein-pastiche sort of vein. It’s maybe a little shaggy, but it’s enjoyable enough. “The Day the World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt is kind of stupid and pointless, featuring a world where gravity literally reverses itself after the narrator gets dumped. I’m not sure it’s all that much more stupid and pointless than last year’s “The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere,” though, and that ended up winning, so…

“A Single Samurai” by Steven Diamond is built around the nice image of a samurai climbing up the back of a mountain-sized monster in an attempt to kill it, but doesn’t quite pay off, and the bits where the narrator explains samurai stuff were kind of tedious. “Totaled” by Kary English may have been the best of the lot, a brain-in-a-vat story that had some genuine emotional content.

I don’t think any of these are brilliant, but I didn’t find any of them strikingly awful, either (“The Day The World Turned Upside Down” comes closest, but remained at “sigh heavily but keep reading” rather than “close the file and move on to the next thing”). I suspect there were probably better stories out there, but I say that almost every year that I read the short-fiction nominees, so…

 

Adult Onset Atheist

“Don’t crush THAT Hugo, hand me the SNARL” – May 30

Decades later I would find out that “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers” did not barely lose out to “No Award”, and that “Blows Against the Empire “ by Jefferson Starship had actually come in second place. I know that the Jefferson Starship supergroup that put out “Blows Against the Empire” was not really the same band that “Built This City” in  1985 (“Worst song of the 80s” by a Rolling Stone Reader’s poll), but the fact that they had the same name, and several of the same members, makes me think it was better that “No Award” won in that year. In addition to the dubious distinctions of most “No Award” winners, and for propelling films like “Flesh Gordon” (nominated 1975) to prominence, the Best Dramatic Presentation has been a place where stories too far ahead of their time could be reconsidered in a digested visual format some of the members of fandom could better relate to.

 

Bonnie McDaniel on Red Headed Femme

“The Hugo Project: ‘Wisdom From My Internet’” – May 30

I picked “Wisdom From My Internet” to review first, mainly to see if all the rumblings I’ve heard about it are true, and it is indeed the worst thing to disgrace the ballot in decades.

May I be perfectly frank for a moment?

Great Cthulhu, kill me now.

What the hell is this shit?

I really don’t want to hurt Michael Z. Williamson’s feelings, but I’m afraid it’s going to be unavoidable.

 

 

May Tree in a comment on File 770 – May 29

Voting for Noms On a Summer Evening

Whose noms these are I think I know.
His blog is quite a silly show;
He will not see me stopping here
His lousy choices to forego.

My Siamese Cat must think it queer
To stop without a Hugo near
But I must set aside this slate
And vote again another year.

These stories, at best second-rate,
Were stuffed by Pups (and GamerGate?!)
The rockets they would try to sweep
Their wounded egos to inflate.

The Puppy Poop is much too deep,
My sanity I’ll have to keep,
And “No Award” before I sleep,
And “No Award” before I sleep.

 

Laurie Mann on Facebook – May 30

This is not a joke. This group, Snarky Puppy, is playing in the INB Theater 3 months after the Hugo Awards are presented in the same building.  http://www.inbpac.com/event.php?eventID=270

Snarky Puppy

466 thoughts on “Demon with a Glass Hound 5/30

  1. >> Whether one “has to” or not, among the first hits that come up when you google the whole affair are things like “The Puppy Free Voter’s Guide” –>>

    Something that doesn’t even pretend to be organizing people, of course, but you can’t seem to understand that it’s a tool for those who want to make that choice, not a call to follow it. As evidenced by:

    “Follow, or don’t, your choice. If you are voting the strict ix-nay uppy-pay slate, here’s the options in each category:”

  2. JJ, Kurt, you know, seeing as I’ve already said that what that meant by that was I’m happy to see two bunches of people who despise each other spending a little time talking about the same piece of great literature, I’m not sure why you guys keep trying to impute other motives to me. But I guess you’re about to tell me.

  3. @Mike Glyer:

    Morris Keesan: “Jim Henley, no, nothing in the Hugo rules requires a Dramatic Presentation to have a video component.”

    Quite right. And I took a quick look at the link — would definitely swear it won’t run afoul of the other rule about being eligible in any other category!

    Thanks, guys. That’s actually interesting. I still wouldn’t vote for it ahead of The Flash, mind you. I was really just having a fun. But it’s good to know the rules better.

  4. >> JJ, Kurt, you know, seeing as I’ve already said that what that meant by that was I’m happy to see two bunches of people who despise each other spending a little time talking about the same piece of great literature, I’m not sure why you guys keep trying to impute other motives to me.>>

    I didn’t. I explained why you got a bad reaction to your choice to describe “two bunches of people who despise each other” by insulting them both. You didn’t mean to be an ass, you just didn’t realize that’s how you’d come across.

    The fact that you went on to declare that the people here you’d just insulted were organizing to block vote for a particular result was just more cluelessness on your part.

    None of that is motive. It’s social ineptness.

  5. Brian Z.: Watching you gamma rabbits… but if you guys can organize to place Noah Ward over two whole slates

    Two whole campaigns but definitely less, given VD’s copy, paste and add a few things from Castalia House method, than two whole slates. Without actually going back and checking the amount of overlap between the Sad and Rabid slates, I’m not even sure between the two of them they’d add up to one full slate, which I’ll define for present purposes as enough distinct things proposed for nomination to add up to five nominations in all categories (not that they were equally attentive to all categories).

  6. Brian Z.: seeing as I’ve already said that what that meant by that was I’m happy to see two bunches of people who despise each other spending a little time talking about the same piece of great literature, I’m not sure why you guys keep trying to impute other motives to me. But I guess you’re about to tell me.

    Brian, you’ve repeatedly demonstrated that you’re an Unreliable Narrator. So you have to understand that when you say “I meant this…” or “I wasn’t saying that…”, that a lot of people, including me, have gotten to the point where they’re not going to believe that what you claim your motives and intententions are is true, they’re going to judge for themselves by the things you actually say and do.

    You had numerous comments from, at this point, more than 20 people here to that effect. The fact that you choose to disregard what they say isn’t going to make them believe differently about you.

  7. I can get behind putting Mad Max: Fury Road on the ballot

    “Man, they never stop beating off that dead horse.” *rimshot*

    Furthermore, the best line of Teddy’s rant about Mercedes Lackey is
    “But she does not have a gift for writing or storytelling.”

    It’s like a kindergartner scribbling on a piece of construction paper and declaring that Picasso knows nothing.

  8. You know, Beale strikes me as so very unpleasant that it’s oddly reassuring to know that everything about how I live my life, from my job to my marriage to my reproductive choices to my writing, is guaranteed to give him conniptions.

    Well, I did cook dinner. He would probably approve of that.

    Wait — I cooked it on a grill with charcoal. He probably considers that sacred manly men’s territory in which I am a hideous civilization-destroying interloper.

  9. Two whole campaigns but definitely less, given VD’s copy, paste and add a few things from Castalia House method, than two whole slates.

    Jon, you are absolutely right. I was indeed unwisely employing rhetoric in my new campaign to get Going Clear its much-deserved place on next year’s ballot. And I hope all of us – rabbit or rabid – might get behind that one.

    (But MM:FR is awesome.)

  10. “I don’t know what that implies for the future. Beale himself obviously believes in nursing a grudge to the end of time, so HE’S not going anywhere. But how many minions does he actually have? What’s their staying power? Are they really going to stay interested enough to do this again next year?”

    They are not going anywhere. They are a committed group. Don’t believe me, I have no dog in this fight, but they have high IQ’s, are relentless, and seek to destroy “Pink SF” (whatever that means). Now, some of you here merely lump them in the category of racist misogynists. Great, but they are more than that. Winning, or destroying them, or whatever end goal you have in mind, requires understanding how they operate. Seriously. Read their blogs, learn their tactics, figure out their patterns, then beat them at their own game. Merely calling them terms they couldn’t care less about does observably no good.

    Read what you want. Write what you want. Create what you want.

  11. JJ,

    Brian, you’ve repeatedly demonstrated that you’re an Unreliable Narrator

    I promise to wear it as a badge of honor.

  12. Fury Road is definitely making my shortlist thus far, as is Ex Machina. Is Predestination qualified for next years ballot?

    Also, let’s face it, chances are that The Force Awakens will get on there as well.

    Going Clear does not seem to be my thing, and it’s SF connection is tenuous to me. Sure LRH came up with it, but that’s it.

    Having said that, after the 80’s blockvoting thing, I’d find it hilarious if Going Clear was nominated.

  13. Fury Road is definitely making my shortlist thus far, as is Ex Machina.

    I haven’t seen Ex Machina and have my doubts. But you know what I really loved so far this year? It Follows. Rarely do I walk out of a cinema without wishing a single thing had been done differently, and so far this year it’s happened twice.

  14. “Read their blogs, learn their tactics, figure out their patterns, then beat them at their own game. ”

    contrasts very much with your final sentence of

    “Read what you want. Write what you want. Create what you want.”

    I am not a puppy. I have no desire to beat them at “being a puppy”.

    Being a human, and not being an asshole is win enough for me.

  15. Re: Wright sacking Omelas and other ‘utopias’

    Am I the only one who is troubled that Wright’s idea of a good time appears to involve destroying that which makes other people happy?

  16. >> Don’t believe me, I have no dog in this fight, but they have high IQ’s, are relentless, and seek to destroy “Pink SF” (whatever that means).>>

    They have no ability to “destroy Pink SF.”

    They can mess with the Hugos for a little while, because the Hugos are affixable by small groups of people acting like assholes. But they’re not going to make urban fantasy — a very popular genre — go away just because they have a snotrage going on for its authors and fans. Hell, they can’t even slow John Scalzi down, much less destroy what they seem to claim is the bulk of the field.

    >> Read what you want. Write what you want. Create what you want.>>

    Much better approach than trying to beat them at their own game.

    “Hey, let’s force a bunch of crap onto the Hugos, and when SF fans read it, they’ll flock to our side!”

    That’s not a winning game, not long term.

    kdb

  17. Joe Author: but they have high IQ’s

    [citation needed]

    People who enjoy wrecking purely for the pleasure of hurting others, and who slavishly follow a leader who tells them what to do while repeating, robot-like, all of the leader’s talking points, are generally not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

    Why you would think any non-Puppies would have interest in engaging in their one-sided “war” is a mystery to me. Right now, they’re a real annoyance.

    After the Hugo nomination process is changed to prevent gaming by any sort of slate, the Puppies and their “war” will just be irrelevant.

  18. “Affixable”? I don’t even know what word I meant any more, but it wasn’t that. “Effectible,” maybe.

  19. snowcrash at 9:30 pm:
    “Fury Road is definitely making my shortlist thus far, as is Ex Machina. Is Predestination qualified for next years ballot?”

    Predestination was first released in 2014 (and if I’d seen it in time, I would have nominated it), so it wouldn’t be eligible this year. It is possible to extend its eligibility if the original release was extremely limited. I don’t know if it would qualify under that criterion but so far nobody has submitted such a proposal to this year’s WSFS Business Meeting.

  20. Yeah, if the puppistas who turn up here are any indication, I’m going to have to call shenanigans on the claim that they’re highly intelligent. Like Day’s claim to be highly empathic, this seems to be belied by what we’ve seen.

  21. Brian Z –
    As I already stated, much of Leguin’s work, “Omelas” included, can be informed by the readers perceptions/background. If, for example, ypou see a Gnostic strain running through it, fine. It’s not something *I* see.

    My memory of my elementary anthropology courses, lo, more years ago than I want to count, prompts me that there were also societies that ritually isolated a child in darkness for years, and then brought that child into the light, a new birth, then slaughtered them, as propitiation to the gods/earth/whatever. (And where is my copy of The Golden Bough when I want it?)

    And as for Wrights RPG, he also missed the difficulty of keeping the city dwellers from simply selecting a new child, and a new cellar. This would, of needs, cause his players to have to devise some way, short of destroying all the city and its inhabitants, from that happening. How do you keep your wandering band of players from simply having to become an occupying garrison?

    He certainly missed his opportunities. And, as some others pointed out, he could also have structured the scenarios so as to require other temptations to his players to join forces with the city dwellers.

  22. Mike: “I can see my opinion of you is of no importance whatsoever.”

    Don’t read so much into my paranoia about possibly thin-skinned moderators. I realised a little while later what the trigger word was. But that filter’s existence proves my point about the kind of person who hangs about *here* and not *there*, making *there* a safer place in many ways. At least for me.

    “Perhaps it’s less anonymous to you than it is to me?”

    Or perhaps I’ve spent more time reading there and getting a feel for the participants. The gender breakdown is occasionally discussed there and there is a more than 50% participation by women as far as anyone can tell.

    ” I enjoy having your participation here”

    Thank you.

  23. And as for Wrights RPG, he also missed the difficulty of keeping the city dwellers from simply selecting a new child, and a new cellar. This would, of needs, cause his players to have to devise some way, short of destroying all the city and its inhabitants, from that happening.

    Craig R., ah I see. Wright wasn’t saying his RPG scenario was the answer to Le Guin’s conundrum. I read him to be agreeing with the previous poster that “Le Guin’s propaganda criticizes privilege AND glorifies cowardice,” and that the city dwellers of the story were the ones who should have taken responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen to children. The RPG story was an illustration of how one of his players felt the same way when she read it in school, and thus enjoyed the chance for a “revenge fantasy.”

  24. Craig R: He certainly missed his opportunities. And, as some others pointed out, he could also have structured the scenarios so as to require other temptations to his players to join forces with the city dwellers.

    But that lack of imagination is consistent with the lack of imagination in his stories. He saw the Omelas setup as merely a chance to grab the child and run, rather than as an opportunity to make a truly challenging game scenario out of it.

  25. JJ: I think H.L. Mencken describes well the sort of thinking that JCW’s group brought to that session. “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.”

  26. How is it that we’re talking about Graphic Story nominations and nobody is mentioning The Sandman: Overture? Issue #5 came out this last week, and even if it takes the usual 4-5 months for the next (last) one, there’s still plenty of time in the year for it to finish. The story is Neil Gaiman at the height of his powers, and J.H. Williams III’s art is breathtaking. To my mind it’s the frontrunner in the category.

  27. Laura Resnick: JJ, you’re expressing puzzlement over Vox Day’s incoherent, nonsensical rant almost as if he’s ever written a blog post that was NOT an incoherent, nonsensical rant. (whap!) Pull yourself together, man!

    I can now die happy: I have been whapped upside the head by a Campbell Best New Author.

  28. Sandman: Overture is almost certainly a lock for this category, but I’m waiting for the whole thing to come out.

    I would also suggest that people look Kieron Gillen’s Über – it’s one of the few comics that I impatiently wait for the next issue.

    I don’t follow Marvel trades, but I guess the current pre-Secret Wars runs of Thor and Mighty Avengers may qualify, and if they do they’re (to me) some of the best examples of superhero comics out there now, outside of Astro City, which I doubt anyone here has heard of.

    As a totality, the Spider-verse event was amazingly (HAH!) well done, and I say this as someone who doesnt really follow the Peter Parker Spiderman. But I think it’s too large too qualify….

  29. Also in Graphic Story, Grant Morrison and many, many, artist’s meta-as-hell, complex, and just over all astounding tour of the DC multiverse in Multiversity should be looked at.

    Also the last two volumes of Fables came/are coming out this year, either of which would be great to see (well, hopefully on the last one).

    And Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s western science fantasy apocalyptic series, East of West deserves to be considered.

  30. Joe Author on May 31, 2015 at 9:14 pm said:

    “I don’t know what that implies for the future. Beale himself obviously believes in nursing a grudge to the end of time, so HE’S not going anywhere. But how many minions does he actually have? What’s their staying power? Are they really going to stay interested enough to do this again next year?”

    They are not going anywhere. They are a committed group. Don’t believe me, I have no dog in this fight, but they have high IQ’s, are relentless, and seek to destroy “Pink SF” (whatever that means). Now, some of you here merely lump them in the category of racist misogynists. Great, but they are more than that. Winning, or destroying them, or whatever end goal you have in mind, requires understanding how they operate. Seriously. Read their blogs, learn their tactics, figure out their patterns, then beat them at their own game. Merely calling them terms they couldn’t care less about does observably no good.

    No, no I don’t think so.

    But thank you for your advice.

    It seems to me, regrettably, that your assessment is couched entirely in the Puppies’ own terms, which center entirely on them.

    There is no reason to accept the Puppies’ definitions of the situation, nor their prescriptions for how we must deal with it.

    The Puppies are demonstrably unreliable and lacking judgement.

    There is no need to mythologize needing to understand how they operate as if there were anything deep or mysterious about it.

    There are much better ways to deal with tantrum-throwing bullies than studying the nuances of their tantrums.

    “Their own game” is a stupid and obvious one.

    Devoting one’s life to beating them at it is an inefficient strategy.

  31. “They are not going anywhere. They are a committed group. Don’t believe me, I have no dog in this fight, but they have high IQ’s, are relentless, and seek to destroy “Pink SF” (whatever that means). ”

    Funny, you don’t SOUND like somebody with no dog in this fight, what with praising their “high IQs” and regurgitating their notion of “Pink SF” and all.

    “Winning, or destroying them, or whatever end goal you have in mind, requires understanding how they operate.”

    Are you intending to respond to the part of my comment that you quoted? Because if you are, this seems like a non-sequitur.

    “Seriously. Read their blogs.”

    No, thank you.

    “learn their tactics, figure out their patterns, then beat them at their own game. ”

    I already know their tactics. Everyone knows their tactics. Slate voting. That’s their tactics. Their tactics are the primary thing that most of us here object to. It’s not in the least mysterious. It doesn’t require study.

    And I have no intention of attempting to beat them at “their own game,” because that would mean COUNTER-slate voting. We’re trying to beat them at NOT their own game.

    “Merely calling them terms they couldn’t care less about does observably no good.”

    What terms would those be? They called themselves “rabid” and “sad” — that wasn’t my idea.

  32. NelC: “Yeah, if the puppistas who turn up here are any indication, I’m going to have to call shenanigans on the claim that they’re highly intelligent. Like Day’s claim to be highly empathic, this seems to be belied by what we’ve seen.”

    To be fair, he said high IQ, which is only the potential for intelligence.

  33. I’ve got to admit, Joe Author’s post is pretty hilarious. Clearly the Puppies are totally baffled and disappointed at not getting the response they expected, so periodically they show up over here, attempting to provoke and goad people into giving them the response they expect — using the same techniques which would work to goad and provoke them, but which fall utterly flat with non-Puppies.

    It’s like Andrew so aptly put it in the other thread:

    Actually I think it just means they don’t like that response. They want threats and power struggles and, essentially, engagement. The response of “Oh hey, you exploited this hole. Let’s plug it up.” is all wrong for The Struggle. They want to be screamed at for being religious or conservative or whatever so they can be justified in hating their wicked foe — and what they’re getting is mathematical workarounds. It’s like they put on their armor and their sword to charge into a cooking competition. [None of their opponents] is interested in sword fighting, and it turns out wearing armor around a bunch of hot ovens isn’t very fun.


    It is no doubt incredibly frustrating to the Puppies that the reaction to them is not “OMG! The Big Scary Puppies Are Attacking Us! We must attack back!” but “Yeah, whatevs; we’ll just use ‘No Award’ liberally, and fix the Hugo nomination process to prevent gaming by any sort of slate, and in 2 years’ time, the Puppies and their ‘war’ will just be irrelevant”.

  34. @JJ:

    I didn’t address the point that it is absurd to claim that the interest of everyone upset at what has happened to the Hugos needs must include either “winning, or destroying [the Puppies].”

    How grandiose.

    Both concepts are predicated on the Puppies’ worldview that there is some great apocalyptic struggle going on that we must enter on their terms, rather than the somewhat more rational view that a group of disgruntled individuals has disrupted a normally orderly bureaucratic process and working out a fix for the process would make things better.

  35. Peace Is My Middle Name: I didn’t address the point that it is absurd to claim that the interest of everyone upset at what has happened to the Hugos needs must include either “winning, or destroying [the Puppies].”

    How grandiose.

    Both concepts are predicated on the Puppies’ worldview that there is some great apocalyptic struggle going on that we must enter on their terms, rather than the somewhat more rational view that a group of disgruntled individuals has disrupted a normally orderly bureaucratic process and working out a fix for the process would make things better.

    I know, it’s quite bizarre — and very revealing — as an observer to see this, isn’t it? It’s like a glimpse into a mind which is utterly alien from mine. And it makes you wonder what their interactions with the real people in their lives must be like: how everything is viewed as a zero-sum, “either I win or You win” proposition.

    It makes me very glad that the only interaction I must have with such people is just in passing on the Internet.

  36. @Ann Somerville: “I wrote a novel about a strong independent male protagonist fornicating with a giant (male) cat. Does that make my stuff Blue or Pink?”

    Male on male? Oh, definitely Pink. Blue SF rejects any copulation that deviates from one man and one woman… preferably hidden behind a row of asterisks, with the lights off and the man on top.

  37. Back at 3:19 NelC said “It occurs to me that setting up the chief administrator group-mind of the Radch empire to engage in civil war with themself is entirely the way that the Culture would prefer to deal with the Radch.”

    Yes the shock twist ending will be that the Presger are actually the Culture. Sadly the prize for first person to guess this has already been won.

  38. > “If more than a tiny fraction (much less than a tenth – there are no hard numbers) of eligible voters had read and nominated short fiction, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.”

    Actually, that’s not true at all. It would have taken thousands upon thousands of voters voting for whatever short stories they felt like to overcome even one slate with only just ~150 voters. That’s the problem with slates.

    I intend to nominate next year (and scour the earth to find 5 worthy nominees in all categories), but unless every single eligible Hugo voter also does that, something I find extremely doubtful, I don’t have any illusions that it will beat a slate. Slates are just going to keep winning year after year until the rules change.

    > “I already know their tactics. Everyone knows their tactics. Slate voting. That’s their tactics. Their tactics are the primary thing that most of us here object to. It’s not in the least mysterious. It doesn’t require study.”

    Yep.

  39. Rev. Bob, it does not help that imagining Puppy porn as illustrated by Don Martin.

    I blame you.

  40. @Kurt Busiek: “Affixable”? I don’t even know what word I meant any more, but it wasn’t that. “Effectible,” maybe.”

    Afflictable?

    @Soon Lee: “Predestination was first released in 2014 (and if I’d seen it in time, I would have nominated it), so it wouldn’t be eligible this year. It is possible to extend its eligibility if the original release was extremely limited.”

    That may be a possibility, if the DVD release date (Feb. 2015) is a factor.

    @snowcrash:

    The Spider-Verse story was neat, but the hardback is shameful. They took the time to present a chronology of the event’s stories, then proceeded to present those stories in the hardback in a completely different order. Thus, if you want to follow their chronology, you need a fistful of bookmarks so you can flip between the different issues. If I’d bought this as a PDF, I’d be busy slicing it up and splicing it back together into the proper reading order… and that’s aside from the detail that the five Edge of Spider-Verse issues got broken out into a separate trade paperback. Really unimpressive presentation.

    @Ann Somerville: “Fortunately I like pink”

    I can’t wait ’till J.B. gets this book finished. It’s a smutty New Adult contemporary-fantasy romance that starts with a gender-swap gimmick… and oh, my, there’s a whole ton of pink. (In many senses.) The latest snippet on J.B.’s Tumblr has a brief “conversation” that takes place without a word, happening as gestures and expressions between two lovers so their third can’t overhear them. I have my red pen out for when I receive the chapter, but I like the snippet as a first draft.

  41. @Bruce:

    I was going for an oblique Heinlein reference with the “row of asterisks” bit.

    Can’t wait to see what you make of that summary of the book I’m editing, though. “Blue” characters are definitely a minority in there, at least among the significant cast. (I’d have to run some numbers on the crowd at a Halloween party, but considering that an invocation to Bacchus goes a bit haywire, that scene might not help Team Blue all that much after all.) I’m quite confident the Puppies would despise the book overall, though; between polyamory, blurred gender roles, an assortment of kinks, and an overall theme of self-discovery through exploration of the artificial lines between binaries, it’s not exactly their cup of tea.

    Why, J.B. hasn’t even put any spaceships or flashy magic spells in it!

  42. Going to Maine: In describing how he wasn’t able to do so, he revealed that he misconstrued the story’s themes; he consequently blames Le Guin for both creating a bad story and making his game boring. The end. From this, we get that a) he misread the story, and b) he wasn’t a very good DM for one session.

    Well, that sheds light on why he treated Le Guin so poorly in Transhuman & Subhuman.

    John C. Wright: I once ran a role playing game where the player characters were utopia hunters, that is, supernatural beings sent out from paradise to destroy false utopias from various books and shows.

    Wright running a campaign in which beings from “paradise” are sent to destroy the works of other authors is no surprise at all.

  43. Other people have already said it, but to lend my voice to the crowd: I don’t want to beat them at their game. Their game – using a slate to dominate the ballot with a minority of voters – is what I object to in the first place. I’m happier to cheer along the people using a better game – changing the voting rules so slates can’t do that anymore.

  44. Rachel @ 6.54 pm May 31st

    Wright asserted that all (presumably straight) men want to use ax handles and tyre irons to beat all gay guys to death.

    This is self evidently false, and the kindest thing one can say about Wright is that he was projecting his own desire to kill gay men onto others. A less kind interpretation would be that he was hoping to encourage people to beat gay guys to death.

    When it became obvious to him that he was getting no support, apart from the usual idiots, he edited it out. This is the Internet and his text had been copied before he edited out, which is how we know what he had written.

    I look forward to you explaining to me how this fits into your claim that he has a functioning moral compass.

  45. Whym

    That was a glorious take down of VD’s incoherent ramblings on women; I greatly enjoyed it. Thank you!

  46. Hey Rev. Bob, I’ve been looking at picking up the Edge of Spiderverse trade for a while. What’d you think of it?

  47. Neil W — I don’t think randomly attacking civilian ships and killing the crew and passengers is really the Culture’s style, though. And Ancillary Sword hints that Mianaai’s breakdown might just be down to the size of the empire making it difficult to keep themself in sync, and may be nothing to do with the Presger. At least, so my head-canon has it.

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