Le Mutt d’Author 6/2

aka The Curs of Chalion

Today’s roundup offers the collected wisdom of Sarah A. Hoyt, David Mack, Paul Weimer, Adam-Troy Castro, Alexandra Erin, Lis Carey, Brian Niemeier, Lyle Hopwood, Chris Gerrib, David Langford, and Less Identifiable Others. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day JohnFromGR and  KestrelHill.)

Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“Glamor and Fairy Gold” – June 2

We’ve seen the same effect over and over again with people who comment on blogs (clears throat) both cultural and political, and even historical and that, no matter how often they’re proven wrong, keep coming back and stating the same thing they said in different words, as though that would make it true. They seem incapable of processing challenges, doubts, or even factual disproof of their charges.

Glamor. They’re under an enchantment. Something has affected them so hard, they can’t think, but can only repeat what they were told.

It’s not true, of course. Or not quite.

The enchantment of the “cool kids” is the glamor of social approbation and of opinions as positional goods.

People who have bought into an hierarchy of opinions, with some of the opinions “politically correct” no matter how factually wrong, have agreed to put themselves under the arbitrary power of others, and to subsume their reason and thought to them.

 

David Mack on The Analog Blog

“Write back (not) in anger (#SFWApro)” – June 2

Last August, I received an e-mail from a reader who was so offended by my inclusion of a same-sex relationship between a Vulcan woman and Klingon (disguised as human) woman in my novel Star Trek Vanguard: Harbinger that he swore off all my books forever. My public response, which I admit in hindsight was born more from passion than from reason, got noticed by a few sites.

When that post went wide, I expected to encounter some blowback and some criticism….For the most part, I deemed those uninformed responses unworthy of my attention or response.

Until this past weekend, I would have said the same about this piece by Amanda S. Green on the Mad Genius Blog: Don’t break canon without good reason.

For the impatient among you, here is a quick summary of her post: Amanda S. Green, an author and blogger who appears to have no professional experience writing or editing media tie-in fiction, tried to school me on the importance of adherence to canon when working in established universes, and on how I should have answered my homophobic critic.

Though Ms. Green provides absolutely no evidence to support her assertion, she accuses me of “breaking canon” vis-a-vis Star Trek for no reason other than to be “politically correct.” Her feeble attack on my professionalism and on my novel was published the day after my original post. Because Ms. Green did not mention me by name or link to my post, I didn’t learn of her essay until this past weekend, when a friend brought it to my attention…..

[Mack then analyzes the topic at length.]

Now, all this might seem to some folks like a lot of noise for very little signal. But I think it’s important to remember that as a nominee in the Best Fan Writer category, Ms. Green was offered the opportunity to submit self-selected examples of her work for the Hugo Voter Packet, to demonstrate which of her writings from 2014 show her to be worthy of taking home a Hugo award. That she chose to include the post I dissected above — an unresearched, factually deficient essay in which she lacks the basic courtesy even to name me as the author of the piece she tries (and fails) to deconstruct, never mind link to it so that readers can review the original materials and arrive at informed conclusions with regard to her arguments — speaks volumes.

I grew up knowing the Hugo awards stand for excellence in the broad and ever-changing field of science fiction and fantasy literature. Nothing I have seen in this essay from Ms. Green persuades me her work contains the insight or intellectual rigor that would make her worthy of being honored as a member of that longstanding tradition.

I also suspect she doesn’t know as much about Star Trek as she thinks she does.

 

 

Adam-Troy Castro

Open Letter To The Ants At the Base Of The Monument – June 2

Few things mark you as a schmuck faster than attacking a master for being “old.”

You can have great differences with a master. You can argue bitterly with a master. You can even think a master is an asshole.

But the second you start using his age and past accomplishments as a negative in your rhetoric. you mark yourself as a non-entity, a jackass, a pipsqueak, an ant shouting at a monument.

This sin, currently in evidence among some supporters of the Sad Puppies, is not exclusive to either end of the political spectrum.

Fans from the left wing thought they had reason to be upset at Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg, a couple of years back, and though it was arguable that they had a case, it was downright appalling how many of them thought they were issuing slammers when they complained that these greats hailed from before their time, or were “old and irrelevant,” or, tellingly, “I never even heard of them!”

That controversy provided fuel for this one, where among things fans from the right wing are slamming David Gerrold for being old and senile and irrelevant and all those things he most assuredly is not.

 

David Gerrold on Facebook – June 2

Okay, so now that I’ve laid some groundwork — see my two previous essays about communication forensics and compelling questions — I’m going to ask some compelling questions.

In the past, I’ve asked these questions about the sad-puppy slate and the rabid-puppy slate:

1) Who are the horrible, no-good, terrible people who have conspired against the science fiction that has been “overlooked?” How have they conspired?

2) What are the qualities of storytelling that define excellence? How are these qualities recognized by the reader?

3) The stories on the sad-puppy slate and the stories on the rabid-puppy slate? How do they demonstrate the qualities of excellence that would make a reader consider them award-worthy?

Let me add a few more questions here:

4) If you are a supporter of either or both slates, then did you read the stories on the slate you support before the ballot was announced? Did you nominate any or all of the stories on either slate? Did you nominate any story you had not read? Why?

5) Have you now read any or all of the stories on the final Hugo ballot? If so, can you please tell us which stories you feel are award-worthy? Why? (Let me rephrase that.) Without considering the author or the politics of the author, can you explain why any of the stories from either slate are award-worthy?

6) Which do you feel is more important in the award process — the excellence of the story or the political views of the author?

I’m not the only one posing these questions.

 

 

Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Because hope springs eternal.” – June 2

[Quoting a comment Erin left on Brad R. Torgersen’s blog.]

I’m sure I’m not the first person to try to tell you this, but the people who spew hot air about “warriors for social justice” are all over here with you. That’s not a thing people called themselves. It’s a pejorative made up to dismiss people, a la calling someone “PC patrol” or “feminazi” or “thought police”.

Some people have taken it as an ironic badge of honor or made geeky riffs on it (like “Social Justice Paladin” or “Social Justice Bard”), but by and large, you’re chiding people for not living up to the standards of a label that was foisted upon them in the first place.

Which is actually part of the function of the label. Most of the people I have seen getting slapped with the “SJW” label not only don’t describe themselves as social justice warriors, they don’t describe themselves as activists. They’re just people, living their lives, dealing with their own problems, and acting their consciences.

 

bibliogramma on My Life In Books

“Campbell Award Nominations: Jason Cordova” – May 26

Basing my assessment on these two submissions, Cordova has a future as an SF writer to be sure, and I enjoyed them both, but to me, his work does not rise to the level of previous Campbell winners such as Spider Robinson, C. J. Cherryh, Ted Chiang, Nalo Hopkinson, Cory Doctorow, Elizabeth Bear, Jo Walton, and others.

 

bibliogramma on My Life In Books

“Campbell Award Nominations: Wesley Chu” – May 26

Obviously, I am very much impressed by these two novels. Chu easily passes my standard as a worthy candidate for the Campbell.

 

bibliogramma on My Life In Books

“Campbell Award Nominations: Kary English” – May 26

English has some definite writing chops, but I felt that there wasn’t a lot of variety in the pieces offered, which weakens my overall assessment of her as a Campbell nominee. I have already noted the similarities in protagonist choice. There are also structural similarities in the pieces, and I was irked in that I wanted to use the word “bittersweet” in describing all three stories. I think English has definite potential and I hope she continues to develop her craft.

 

bibliogramma on My Life In Books

“Campell Award Nominations: Eric S. Raymond and Rolf Nelson” – June 2

Rolf Nelson and Eric S. Raymond did not submit any pieces [to the Hugo Voters Packet], but as there are samples of their writing in the Castalia House anthology Riding the Red Horse, submitted by the publisher in support of nominations of other pieces in the anthology, I read those in order to gain some sense of Nelson and Raymond’s work. I was not inspired by what was available to go searching for any more samples of either author’s work.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Christopher J Garcia, Lynda E. Rucker, Pete Young, Colin Harris, and Helen J.Montgomery”  – June 2

Journey Planet is visually attractive, filled with interesting and thoughtful articles, well-written, and well-edited. I’m totally impressed. Go read it. Highly recommended.

 

Brian Niemeier on Superversive SF

“Transhuman and Subhuman Part VIII: Gene Wolfe, Genre Work, and Literary Duty” – June 2

The eighth essay in John C. Wright’s Transhuman and Subhuman collection is a meditation on the merits of speculative fiction occasioned by SFWA making Gene Wolfe a Grand Master. “He is the greatest living author writing in the English language today,” Wright declares, “and I do not confine that remark to genre authors.”

“Sometimes in this life,” Wright says in regard to Wolfe’s accolade, “we see justice done.” If honors are rightly given to those who perform their duty, what obligations do SFF authors owe to their readers, to society at large, and to the truth itself?

Wright seeks the answer through a critical via negativa. What causes our disappointment–even outrage–when due honor is denied?

 

Chris Gerrib on Private Mars Rocket

“Hugo Thoughts, Down-Ballot Edition” – June 2

More thoughts on this year’s Hugo.

Best Fan Writer (777 nominating ballots, 265 entries, range 129-201)

Dave Freer
Amanda S. Green
Jeffro Johnson
Laura J. Mixon
Cedar Sanderson

Freer’s been an ass to me, and incoherent at length to pretty much everybody, so no rocket for him. Green and Sanderson seem to not like SJWs like me, so I’ll return the favor. I’m a bit reluctant to give Mixon the award for an expose. Johnson at least restricts himself to book reviews, so my ballot is Johnson and no award.

 

Reading SFF

“2015 Hugo Awards reading: Kevin J. Anderson – The Dark Between the Stars (2014)” – June 2

I did not finish this novel. I abandoned it at about 25% in (and I am “proud” of having made it so far) but the book did not grab me and the writing is not good enough to keep me reading for the sake of the writing. If I have the time (and I probably won’t have the time) to get back to the book before voting on the Hugos closes, I will try to finish it. But only then.

 

Lyle Hopwood on Peromyscus

“Big Boys Don’t Cry by Tom Kr*tman (Castalia House)”  – May 30

This is a Sad Puppy and Rabid Puppy nomination.

It’s is an okay story about the basic training of AIs used in combat. The methods used are cruel, but the humans don’t care. They wall off the AI’s memories of pain and injury after training is complete, but in the case of Maggie, severe damage during combat allows her (she’s a she) to recall the training sessions. All the while she is accessing her memories, she is being investigated for scrap value, and she can see and hear the humans discussing her fate. It’s not a very new concept, but it’s handled well. It’s just so very long. It’s interesting to compare this with Steve Rzasa’s story, Turncoat, as the AI warships come to very different conclusions about humans.

 

Alexandra Erin at Blue Author Is About To Write

“Sad Puppies Review Books: STREGA NONA” – June 2

strega-nona-225x300

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

If you want chilling proof of the radical feminist lesbian witch cult (also known as “Social Justice”) that has infiltrated all ranks of society, look no further than this book which blatantly glorifies witchcraft, matriarchy, and the creation of a loyal slave nation of emasculated beta male cucks.

Exactly as foretold in a literal straightforward reading of the Book of Revelation, this book portrays a near-future world where even the Catholic Church itself is in thrall of a woman. The church is no longer the Bride of Christ but the scarlet woman of Babylon.

“Although all the people in the town talked about her in whispers, they all went to see her if they had troubles. Even the priests and the sisters in the convent went, for Strega Nona had a magic touch.” If that isn’t straight out of the Bible then I don’t even know what the Bible says. I do know that it says to not suffer a witch to live, not to treat her as a valued civic leader.

 

David Langford in Ansible #335 – June 2015

File 770 has proudly adopted a new motto on its website masthead: ‘”… the 770 blog, that wretched hive of scum and villainy …” – John C. Wright.’ Another satisfied customer!

487 thoughts on “Le Mutt d’Author 6/2

  1. So, wait–did Torgersen actually finally *say* who curated the slate? Name names? What names did he name?

    If someone could put up 1) the names and 2) a link to where he gave them, that would be an enormous help, because then I could just do a search for the part where he named them.

    He’s incredibly verbose and I don’t have time to trawl through all of it…

  2. The weirdes book title at Castallia has to go to Astronomy and Astrophysics – Biblical Supplement. I an not sure how they get away with selling a home schooling textbook with one line of text saying.

    Astonomy and Astrophisics have no connection with any biblical text or religious doctrine.

  3. XS on June 3, 2015 at 7:46 am said:
    I feel oddly offended on Vetinari’s behalf.

    Indeed!

    The rest of the TK thread had passed me by, which is a pity, because I think I had managed to discuss civilly with him for a little.

    Tuomas Vainio on June 3, 2015 at 7:12 am said:
    @Tuomas Vainio http://file770.com/?p=22898&cpage=3#comment-274532

    Moron, you forgot to clarify

    May I suggest that we forgo the throwing around of gratuitous epithets? Or, if we really have to, that we try to be creative about it? Thou fawning sheep-biting gudgeon!, for example, is grandiose at least. And there are tools… The Shakesperean Insulter, for example.

  4. @Chris. The most damning thing about that is Torgersen allowing it to stand. SP4, is this what you will stand for? Anyone who dares to question you gets doxxed? What’s your platform on this?

  5. “If someone could put up 1) the names and 2) a link to where he gave them, that would be an enormous help, because then I could just do a search for the part where he named them.

    He’s incredibly verbose and I don’t have time to trawl through all of it…”

    If the answers to those questions really mattered to you, you’d be doing the research yourself.

    Besides, I thought the answer to that question was settled a few weeks ago?

  6. @Chris S http://file770.com/?p=22898&cpage=3#comment-274585
    The finnish language does not have gender pronouns. Thus Google translate just randomly tosses coin here and there when it comes to words such as him and her.

    The word “liikevaihto” means “revenue/turnover.” Net Sales is similar in meaning, but not quite the same.

    @rob_matic http://file770.com/?p=22898&cpage=3#comment-274588
    8000~ books based on what is very likely the revenue from the first year of bussiness. And lets face it, Castalia House was never heard of when the nomination results came out for 2015’s Hugo Awards. The publishing house had not even existed for two years.

    So, given that context. The Rabid Puppies Slate appears to have been a simple publicity stunt.

  7. Cat – So, wait–did Torgersen actually finally *say* who curated the slate? Name names? What names did he name?

    Nope. He just said he’d already answered that question and hand waved about multiple sources as to why the thread of nominated works didn’t match the slate. Correia said it was the Evil League of Evil who curated it completely. Maybe Torgersen meant that was the alternate source. For his 100% open democratic slate there’s still a lack of clarity about the whole thing.

  8. One personal note regarding Ms. Green and her essay:

    Mr. Beale has (falsely) claimed I have called for false reviews of his works. However, one of his own nominees for Best Fan Writer has chosen as one of her outstanding examples of her writing… a negative review of a book she never read.

    I wish I could be surprised by his mindset anymore, and his easy willingness to bear false witness.

  9. The weirdes book title at Castallia has to go to Astronomy and Astrophysics – Biblical Supplement. I an not sure how they get away with selling a home schooling textbook with one line of text saying.

    They have five page preview (http://www.castaliahouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/biblicl_sample.pdf) which states that science has conclusively proven that the universe was created whole cloth 6,000 years ago, that the Big Bang was a lie and that the universe is not expanding.

  10. @Will
    “Anyone who dares to question you gets doxxed?”
    The way I read it, snow1985man questioned TK’s military credentials and insulted him by belittling them. That’s substantially different from daring to question someone and I believe the distinction is important. Also, no one was doxxed. Doesn’t excuse the doxxing threat. Or Torgersen letting it stand uncommented.

    While I’m at it, I believe it has been suggested to you repeatedly in these threads, that you’d safe yourself a lot of grief if you cut down the rhetoric and aimed to be as precise as possible. I concur.

  11. Just have a look at that sugar coated sales distribution curve. Castalia House is doing great. Well, at least compared to those on right side of the median.

    I’m not sure how a graph that doesn’t include any numbers on either axis is supposed to demonstrate anything at all in this context.

  12. Tuomas Vainio on June 3, 2015 at 8:20 am said:
    @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan http://file770.com/?p=22898&cpage=4#comment-274591

    I believe I am allowed to call myself a moron whenever I so deem it appropriate. But nevertheless, the willingness to shield me from misuse from myself, is greatly appreciated.

    But wouldn’t you rather call yourself “Thou surly hedge-born scullian!”?

    I’ll go, I’ll go… take my plume-plucked hat and go…

  13. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan on June 3, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Great, now I’m sucked into the Shakespeare Insult generator, again.

    How now my sweet creature of bombast? Thou art a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality. I will most humbly take my leave of you. You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will not more willingly part withal.

    (And I actually am going to take my leave, as I have to prep for a meeting in 30m.)

  14. @Aaron http://file770.com/?p=22898&cpage=4#comment-274603

    Let us pick two authors. On the left we have GRRM, and on the right we have any four of the hundreds of thousands who barely even sell a single book. Authors who sell astronomically well will skew the avarages.

    For example, let us assume that GRRM sells 1,000,000 books and the four others one per nose. Thus total of 1,000,004 books were sold and so ‘on avarage’ each author sold 200,000.8 works. Except that those four others still just sold one per nose. The median will be much better when it comes to estimating how much the ‘sixth’ author will sell.

    Thus against that backround, the actual numbers are not needed in this case. If anyone publishes a book, and it is easy to do with ebooks, it is more than likely that it will not sell anything at all.

  15. Brad Torgersen suggesting that the Hugos might become a “juried system” shows that he has made no effort to educate himself on the discussions at Making Light and elsewhere about potential voting reforms.

    This is not a surprise. He’s more wedded to his own ignorance than any other prominent voice in the debate over Sad Puppies. Day must have been delighted to have such a patsy take over Correia’s sore loser movement so he could use it for his own ends.

  16. Chris Hensley on June 3, 2015 at 8:18 am said:

    The weirdes book title at Castallia has to go to Astronomy and Astrophysics – Biblical Supplement. I an not sure how they get away with selling a home schooling textbook with one line of text saying.

    They have five page preview (http://www.castaliahouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/biblicl_sample.pdf) which states that science has conclusively proven that the universe was created whole cloth 6,000 years ago, that the Big Bang was a lie and that the universe is not expanding.

    That view of the universe is so much more pinched and crabbed and cramped and constrained than the expansive, illuminating, awful, brilliant, weird, scientifically investigated and pieced together altogether wondrous and awe-inspiring actual history — so far as we can determine and comprehend — of the universe.

  17. Filling in numbers you pick out of the air doesn’t tell you anything about the actual average, the actual median, or how Castalia House is doing one way or the other.

    In addition, a graph intended to illustrate the relative performance of self-published authors would seem to have limited relevance when assessing the performance of a small press publisher.

  18. @mk41 Torgersen says he’s in charge of SP3 and he apparently approves of the threat as a tactic.

  19. Also, no one was doxxed.

    On Torgersen’s blog, Tom Kratman got angry at Snow1985crash, then posted comments seeking to obtain his real name and address. Then he began posting personal details about his name, age and address while continuing to threaten him with violence.

    How is that not doxxing?

  20. Tuomas – “I believe I am allowed to call myself a moron whenever I so deem it appropriate. ”

    Please do feel free to call yourself a moron, especially as the link you provided went to someone else’s (spacefaringkitten’s) post.

  21. Peace: Last weekend a neutrino physicist I know told me about a new kind of supernova that might or might not exist (subdividing Type 1a supernovae into two possible subtypes which would be very, very different from each other in cause, though not necessarily in observed effect), and if it does (and it’s still very speculative that it might), it changes what we know about the kinds of signposts we use to determine things about the universe, and isn’t that cool? (I should note that this was at about 3am, so I’ve not retained much about the subject.)
    But he’s right. Isn’t it cool that we’re still learning? That we don’t know it all? That we might never know it all? Any book that claims we already know everything we need to know is sadly, sadly small. Heck, we’ve recently learned something ENTIRELY NEW about human anatomy! http://neurosciencenews.com/lymphatic-system-brain-neurobiology-2080/ All the human anatomy textbooks will have to be rewritten.
    That’s what I find so sad about the God Did It and That’s All I Need To Know people, like the ones who claim the universe is 6000 years old and there’s no sense looking further. There is a universe of Deeply Cool Stuff out there that they’re refusing to look at. I’d much rather hang out with the God Did It and Let’s Learn More people and the No God Is Required and Let’s Learn More people. You can get into the BEST discussions at 3am….

  22. What does an article on self-published authors have to do with Castalia House?

    Other than to point out that a very small amount of self-published authors ALSO make more money than an entire publishing house?

  23. Speaking of moderation policies, Alexandra Erin has selectively deleted my third (out of a total of four) comments on her recent blog post about Torgersen. It was my response to this in which she wrote:

    No, Brian, you do not “see what I mean”…

    …As for the comment about “straw puppies”… what response do you think it merits, given what I actually said?…

    Brian, I don’t know if you’re going for Columbo or Socrates with your schtick here, but it doesn’t suit. This is twice in a row you’ve responded to something I’ve said by responding to nothing I’ve actually said…

    My reply, earlier held in moderation and now gone, was:

    It’s fine. “I see what you mean” means I do. “What he was saying” means he listens to the Eric Flints of the world but doesn’t have time for armchair activists who spew ad hominem, as opposed to polite critics who engage in reasoned discussion. I don’t know whether Brad thinks that his sloppy use of “warrior” as if he might think that armchair activists like to call themselves that is a key point or needs further discussion. He doesn’t seem to be responding to many comments in general.

    I replied a second time not to play Socrates but to express my interest in your reaction to the “erecting a pack of straw puppies” part. I would guess that they are likely talking about your parody book reviews, which as I said I personally enjoy.

    She’s perfectly within her rights to choose not to host my comments on her blog, though I’d rather she would keep or delete all of them rather than pick and choose. I’m still wondering what she thinks about the “pack of straw puppies.”

  24. @Cally:

    Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow. That’s going to open a lot of new medical directions for sure.

    Give me the “hey let’s explore and find out” people any day.

  25. @mk41 I guess I am curious about how those things are substantially different. What do you mean to suggest by saying the distinction is important? You say the threat still isn’t justified. Are you saying the person in question had a right to be mad? OK, maybe. I wouldn’t argue with that; who could? But I’m not sure I quite follow your implication as it relates to the threats and to Torgersen’s letting them stand.

  26. On Torgersen’s blog, [name withheld] got angry at [pseudonymous person], then posted comments seeking to obtain his real name and address. Then he began posting personal details about his name, age and address while continuing to threaten him with violence.

    How is that not doxxing?

  27. The extremist fundamentalist Christian image of home education, as spread by awful texts like the one mentioned above, is so depressing. I have to explain we’re not all like that, even in person, even though the fundamentalism is mostly an American thing. We’re still rare enough that most people get their ideas about it from the internet, and the ideas on the internet are almost always based on American principles. /grumpy Brit

  28. Tintinaus : The weirdest book title at Castallia has to go to Astronomy and Astrophysics – Biblical Supplement. I an not sure how they get away with selling a home schooling textbook with one line of text saying.

    Astronomy and Astrophysics have no connection with any biblical text or religious doctrine.

    Sigh. Let me cover this for you one more time.

    If you drop a Bible weighing 2 kilograms with an electrical charge of 10 coulombs and no spin component into a black hole…

  29. Astronomy and Astrophysics have no connection with any biblical text or religious doctrine.

    Really?

    And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
    And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
    And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
    And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
    And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
    And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

    The view that God is so limited that He can only create a static thing, and cannot create a self-sustaining, discoverable system of things says more about the believers than the deity.

    Which is more awesome and difficult? Creating a bunch of horses? Or creating a system that starts from a point of creation and is capable of, eventually, causing horses to come into existence?

    It’s a very sad tiny world some folks live in where their vision of God is so blighted and limited.

  30. “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” was such an obviously superb story that Torgersen dissing it seems to prove that he wouldn’t know good writing if it ran up and started biting his ankles.

  31. @McJulie

    I wonder if the (homophobic, affirmative action) right-wing dislike for that story stems from the sole representative of their viewpoint being the antagonist. I wouldn’t like being cast in that role myself. That doesn’t excuse the inability to recognise its many good qualities or accusations that it only won because of affirmative action, though.

    Most of the Puppy picks are poor enough on a structural level that I can’t understand why anyone would think they’re Hugo nomination worthy, and putting those on the ballot while insisting The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere was an affirmative action beneficiary hammers home that quality assessment is not Torgersen’s strong point.

  32. @McJulie
    ‘ “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” was such an obviously superb story that Torgersen dissing it seems to prove that he wouldn’t know good writing if it ran up and started biting his ankles.’

    Did he diss the story somewhere other than his blog?

    This was all I could find on his blog (said by him), which actually seems to be critical about where the story was published and not the story itself. In fact, he says the story should have been published elsewhere so it “… would have been in the running for bigger mainstream literary prizes …”.
    https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/nail-house/#comment-8030

  33. (Note, that the guaranteed 3 noms requires that the Puppies get a third of the total nominators, which would be a dramatic increase from previous years).

    In fact, the proposal (‘E Pluribus Hugo’ is its current name) doesn’t guarantee any slots to the minority voters: it’s intended to prevent them from locking out the majority, as they did this year. They might well get two or three nominations through – but they’d still need the votes to do it, and if they don’t nominate works of better quality that this year’s lot, that won’t happen.

  34. @ Matt Y

    Thank you for answering my question. That was about what I expected but I wanted to make sure I hadn’t missed something important.

    @ Eric,

    And that was precisely why I didn’t want to go trawling through Torgersen’s (multiple, long, repetitive, self-pitying) posts myself. Because it would take forever and I didn’t want to do it in the (very likely) event that there was nothing to be found.

    Seriously the “I already did this and don’t want to repeat myself” claim is only believable when answering the question would take more than a sentence or two. How long does it take to type out “The people who chose the SP3 slate were: John C. Wright, Vox Day, Larry Correia and Sarah Hoyt,” after all? (or whoever the people actually were.)

    In this context “I don’t want to repeat myself” models very nicely as “I don’t want to admit who chose the slate.”

    Which gives rise to an idea:

    Who Chose The Slate
    TTO I Saw The Light

    Who chose the slate? Who chose the slate?
    Whose job was it to curate?
    If it was honest, why hesitate?
    Come on, Brad! Who chose the slate?

  35. Rek said: “Did he diss the story somewhere other than his blog?”

    As previously quoted in these comments, he said on Phil Sandifer’s site that he believed the story benefited from “a massive affirmative-action campaign”. You’d think he would be able to produce evidence of this campaign, if it was so massive, but perhaps it was the kind of massive campaign that happens without anyone noticing.

  36. Did he diss the story somewhere other than his blog?

    This was all I could find on his blog (said by him), which actually seems to be critical about where the story was published and not the story itself. In fact, he says the story should have been published elsewhere so it “… would have been in the running for bigger mainstream literary prizes …”.

    It’s been mentioned before, but it deserves instant repeating because there’s so little concrete material to which the puppies have pointed: Torgersen commented on Phil Sandifer’s blog that it “benefit[ted] from a tremendous groundswell of affirmative-action-mindedness”.

    Also, that particular comment on his own blog suggests that Torgersen believes the story was written to “stick it to people who want science fiction or fantasy in their science fiction and fantasy”, which is a pretty big slam on the story. It’s not a knock on the style, but it’s sure as heck a knock on the intent behind it.

  37. Ugh. TK may moderate himself better in real life, but based on his online antics, I don’t want to be at the same con as him, let alone in the same room. His disproportionate anger is a serious red flag.

  38. @Meredith

    The Mad Genius Club specialises in weirdly disconnected essays that only make sense if you’re well-versed in USA right-wing dogwhistles. I’m not sure they realise how odd the things they write look to people who don’t live in the States and aren’t invested in those culture wars.

    Ah! The lack-of-making-sense makes more sense now.

  39. He Who Shall Not Be Named (on this blog if you want to avoid the mod filter) has proven himself perfectly capable of behaving himself and contributing to a reasonable discussion on this blog, but seems to prefer playing the vicious, violent clown – or rabid dog. Its an act I find hard to respect.

  40. It was Torgersen’s comment on Sandifer’s post that I was referring to. I’d seen it before and it still makes me fume.

    I can accept, in theory, that tastes differ, and there are people out there sincerely impressed by stories I don’t think are very good. So, the puppies as champions of dreck — okay. Obviously they don’t think it’s dreck. (Their underhanded techniques for getting their particular brand of dreck on the ballot are still a problem, of course.)

    But when they couple that with scornful dismissal of what I think is obviously much better writing, and even go so far as to suggest that I can’t possibly sincerely like it myself — that’s no longer a matter of de gustibus non est disputandum. It’s like they’re trying to pick a fight.

Comments are closed.