The Cold Nose Equations 6/6

aka Summa Rabid Puppies: A Casuistry of the Hugo Controversy

In today’s roundup are Pat Cadigan, Max Florschutz, Craig R., Kevin J. Maroney, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Vox Day, Peter Grant, Camestros Felapton, Russell Blackford, Nicholas Whyte, Lis Carey, and Spacefaring Kitten. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Dex and sveinung.)


Max Florschutz on Unusual Things

“The Coming of the Ent March” – June 6

And that’s what the insulars are truly afraid of, and why this year isn’t really the big year for an asterisk. Next year will be that year. Right now, the insulars are shouting as loud as they can, trying to drown out the barking puppies. And you know what? To most Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans, it’s just noise.

But it’s noise that’s waking them up. Making them look around and say “What’s going on here?” It’s noise that’s drawing attention to the Hugos, alerting the silent readers who before, like the reader of my other blog, never even knew that they were allowed to participate. And regardless of who they agree with … a lot of them are going to say “Oh, cool,” and get in line for the chance to support their favorite works.

That‘s what the insulars are afraid of. The Hugos have been a large award for a long time, but they’ve also been voted on by a phenomenally small group of people for an award that’s suppose to represent Sci-Fi/Fantasy as a whole.


Craig R. on The Boston Progressive

“Where Are My Nutty Nuggets? I Want My Nuggy Nuggets!” – June 6

"They told me there would be Nutty Nuggets!"

“They told me there would be Nutty Nuggets!”

Sad Puppy Central seem to have given up on their first justification, that there was some Super Double-Sekret Social Justice Progressive Cabal that was blocking the Manly Man Rocket Adventure Stories that they Like So Well from making either the nomination lists or the winning slots.  Except for Freer, who, I guess, didn’t get the memo.

This is because they actually swamped the nomination choices.  Now, this has got to be embarrassing, if you’re all fired up to crow about having Proof, I tell you! Proof! That it’s all a fraud and that we couldn’t get on the ballot ’cause there is no way that we could succeed in gaming the system.  There’s no way that simple a cheat can get us on the ballot….

Uhh, why does the ballot look like this?

The latest reason put forth for poor prior puppy performance in the ballot is that there has been this long-running con, where each year the convention committee for the WorldCon is purposely making it hard for people to find out how to nominate and vote!

Yeah, that’s it! Well, lets look at the websites for the past 4 world cons:….


Kevin J. Maroney in a comment on “The Puppies of Terror” at New York Review of Science Fiction – May 30

The only substantial regret I have about my editorial is that it moved too seamlessly from discussion of the *Puppy movement to discussion of Panzergroup Asshole, making it seem as if I thought they were the same people. I don’t.

Let me elaborate on Panzergroup Asshole and online harassment. PGA is a real thing–probably 400-500 people who participate in systematic online harassment*, a weapon waiting for a target. There’s a larger body of casual trolls among whom PGA hide–sometimes PGA follow the other trolls and sometimes PGA’s activities attract the other trolls.

*This can run the gamut from purely online attacks like verbal abuse, tweet flooding, sealioning, comment spam, account takeover, and DDOS attack to offline dangers such as publishing personal information, leaking nude pictures, elaborate death threats, bomb threats, credit card fraud, and SWATting. I’ve had multiple friends say to me that they won’t mention certain names online for fear of attracting the attention of GG and the abuse it brings. Using the fear to silence one’s opponents has a name: “terrorism”.

I do not believe the *Puppies–the leaders and most of their supporters–are themselves members of Panzergroup Asshole. However, the Puppy leaders (Correia, Torgersen, and Day) deliberately and repeatedly invited an alliance with GamerGate, a movement inseparable from Panzergroup Asshole.

Asking people to block-vote for the Hugos (as the Puppies did) was a dick move, taking advantage of the good will assumptions inherent in the Hugo process. This is not significantly different in kind from the outright ballot-box stuffing that got Black Genesis and The Guardsman onto the nominee lists in 1987 and 1989. It’s shameful and nasty, and if they had stopped there, the second half of the editorial wouldn’t have been present. But by deliberately positioning themselves as part of GamerGate-writ-large was a step beyond.

And if it’s “assholery” to point out that someone is allying themselves with terrorists–I think I can live with that charge.





Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Turbo-charging the award pimpage” – June 6

As it happens, I’d been contemplating following the International Lord of Hate’s lead and recusing myself from the ballot in the future, since I didn’t want to end up with more Hugo nominations than the likes of Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov. That would be ridiculous. However, now that I know the SJWs are preemptively planning to No Award me, I think I would be remiss if I did not consider award pimpage for every single Hugo Award for which I am even remotely eligible for in 2016. Let’s see. In addition to the professional categories, there is Best Fan Writer, Best Related Work, and perhaps I can throw a few doodles together for Best Fan Artist while I’m at it.




Peter Grant on Bayou Renaissance Man

“Is it time to call for a boycott of a mainstream SF publisher?” – June 6

I’ve remained silent about many previous slanders and libels about this situation, but this is just about the last straw.  I would very much like to know whether Tor shares and/or espouses the false, slanderous and libelous views expressed by Ms. Gallo.  If that company doesn’t take a stand against such lies, or even chooses to remain silent about them (despite their being propagated by one of their editors), then I will have to assume that the time has come to openly call for a boycott of Tor by all objective, non-partisan, independent fans of science fiction and fantasy.  I’ll be discussing this option with other SF/F authors (and individuals involved in this controversy) during the coming days, to see whether we can co-ordinate a suitable response.


Camestros Felapton

“A short post about Aristotle and syllogisms” – June 6

So Chris Hensley is right. It isn’t that the system of syllogistic reasoning that Aristotle proposed was wrong but it genuinely has been superseded. The fact that we are using computers to discuss this is partly as a consequence of that. In the 19th and 20th century logic went through a revolution that took it far beyond the simple syllogism. Liebniz, Boole, Frege, Whitehead, Russell, Tarski, Godel made giant leaps and these leaps were not just freaky abstract navel gazing.

Consider this chain: Russel and Whitehead’s Principia inspired Kurt Godel’s incompleteness theorem. Alonzo Church and Alan Turing developed a related theorem that examined incompleteness from the position of an abstract mechanical device. John Von Neumann at around the same time was also looking at logical foundations of mathematics. The jump from freaky-abstract-navel gazing to birth-of-the-modern-electronic computer is almost a direct one.

So what is wrong with syllogisms? Well nothing as far as they go. They adequately describe one form of logical reasoning but it is essentially self limiting. Later Stoic philosophers made significant headway in developing Proportional Logic. Propositional Logic itself has limitations but it allows for more complex arguments to be modeled and to deal with the notion of implication. The basic difference between the syllogistic logic and propositional was the kinds of units that were being used. In syllogisms terms are important. For example take this Syllogism:

  • All SJW’s lie
  • Camestros is a SJW
  • Camestros lies….


Russell Blackford on Metamagician and The Hellfire Club

“Concluding comments on “Best Short Story” – Hugo Awards voting 2015” – June 6

The problem will keep recurring this year: how much stronger might this list (each list) of nominees have been without blatantly political block voting delivered care of the “Puppies” campaigns? We’ll never know. Meanwhile … none of the stories really blew me away, but one came closer than the others. In this company, the standout, for me, was “Totaled”, by Kary English : for its skill and innovation, it will receive my vote. I doubt that any of the others merit such an important international award.


Nicholas Whyte on From the Heart of Europe

“My vote for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), Best Fan Writer, John W. Campbell Award” – June 6

I usually enjoy tracking down the various entries in this category (I rarely have time to watch the movies nominated for the Long Form equivalent). But unfortunately three of the finalists in this category were helped to get onto the ballot by a campaign led by a misogynist racist whose declared intention was to destroy the Hugos. I am not going to vote for them, and am not going to any great lengths to watch The Flash: Pilot or Grimm: Once We Were Gods…..

1: Doctor Who: Listen. In a Doctor Who season with one very low point (Kill The Moon) this was very much a high point, Moffat with some of his best lines – Clara in particular getting some good ones (“People don’t need to be scared by a big gray-haired stick insect but here you are” balanced by “If you’re very wise and very strong fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly – fear can make you kind”) in a story that actually makes sense and taps into some deep human fears. Gets my vote without any hesitation or special pleading, and I suspect it will win.

Also, just to record a couple of items here which are not worth separate posts: I’m voting No Award for Best Fan Writer, and giving Laura J. Mixon my second preference. I take very seriously Matt Foster’s argument that a ballot with only one non-slate finalist does not offer enough choice to make the award meaningful….


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Dungeon Crawlers Radio” – June 6

Another Best Fancast Hugo nominee.

This is also an interview podcast, in this case focused on gaming and related subjects. As such, it doesn’t really speak much to me, as this is not an area of interest for me. However, it is fairly cleanly and professionally produced, even managing an effective interview presentation in the midst of the chaos of Salt Lake Comic Con. I would expect this to be at least very interesting for viewers more into gaming. The knowledge of the interviewers I can’t seriously assess, but they at least seemed knowledgeable and reasonable to me.

If gaming is your thing, you should at least give this a try, if you haven’t seen it yet.


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch #2), by Ann Leckie (author), Adjoa Andoh (narrator)” – June 6

There’s a lot going on here, in character development, revealing more about the history and culture of the Radch, and action as the conflict between the Mianaais and even older tensions in the Radch empire play out.

I’m looking forward to the third volume, Ancillary Mercy.




Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“’The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale’ by Rajnar Vajra” – June 6

Slates: Rabid Puppies & Sad Puppies

“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” is a lightweight adventure story that — according to its subtitle — tries to take us back to the Golden Age of science fiction. There are space cadets who get into trouble because of a fight and have to make it up for it by going on an expedition to an alien world, the inhabitants of which the Earth scientists have a hard time understanding.


Will McLean on A Commonplace Book

“Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword” – June 6

It requires the usual suspension of disbelief required for interstellar empires, FTL, artificial gravity and decanting extensions of machine intellects into human bodies; in short, what is normally required for space operas.


Camestros Felapton

“A warning from the future” – June 6

[A satire that lists future Hugo slates.]


“Dear traveler from the future” I cried “You are in need of medical care! I would take you inside but I’m afraid that Timothy has a thing abut people he doesn’t know arriving unannounced. Let me fetch you a pillow and a glass of water.”

“No…” she gasped “it is too late for me…I have come to bring you a warning”.

She was briefly consumed by a coughing fit, after which she spat out a green mess of mucus and fundamental void particles.

“They didn’t realize…they tried to tinker with the Hugo rules…but instead…” she paused again

“Yes? The rules? Is this the WorldCon 15 rules you mean?” I inquired as gently as I could despite my ankle pain and a croquet hoop digging into my thigh unpleasantly.

“The horror of Spokane they called it. The rule changes…they went wrong…a memetic virus was introduced…it spread through blog posts…the world became consumed by puppy-slates”


477 thoughts on “The Cold Nose Equations 6/6

  1. Completely off-topic, but I read a really good short story a while back on the recommendation of one of these threads and I can’t remember what it was called so I can link it to my husband 🙁 It had a playwright stuck in an apocalypse bunker with a genie and the world was covered with some sort of white creeping mold. I don’t want to give more detail because I’d hate to spoil it for those who haven’t read it… but can anyone name it and the author for me so I can find it again? It was posted in its entirety online.

  2. Maximillian:
    The correct answer, as noted upthread by an actual lawyer, is that different jurisdictions have different standards. Being a civil matter doesn’t ordinarily mean a higher standard of proof.

    Most notably the differences between the UK and the US are significant when it comes to libel and UK libel courts have been very permissive when it comes to considering whether the libel case could be heard in the UK (i.e. neither side needs to have been in the UK).

    The burden of proof for libel in the UK has some historical quirks.

  3. @Camestros “The burden of proof for libel in the UK has some historical quirks.”

    I may spend too much time reading about free-speech issues on Popehat, but I heard ‘quirks’ as if it was said with a sneer. 🙂

    But yes, defamation is much easier to prove in Britain, though if the defaming party is in the U.S., it is unlikely that such a decision could be enforced, due to the SPEECH Act.

    Oh, and while I am dispensing amateur legal advice, to whoever was talking about a RICO case- let’s not do that. I’m told that trying to use RICO is he hallmark of the unhinged Wikipedia-trained litigant.

  4. Hello All.

    I have been a lurker here and elsewhere, avidly reading both sides and being generally conflicted about the whole mess. I frequently throw up my hands, channel John Stewart and say, “Stop! You’re hurting Fandom. All of you!!”
    As amusing as it is to see what I have started to call “the bad dogs” (Anti, Rabid and Sad) run full bore into Godwin’s law and come out smarting, confused, or just simply licking their privates, this whole petty slap fight is disappointing. It’s all pandentic gotcha arguments with very little substance, and a obsession with being unoffensive (unless you’re the opposing side, then it’s the goal).

    I tend to agree more with the SP folks (and Eric Flint) view of recent trends and clique-a-tood in SFF. It’s Literary, steeped in group-think, masturbatory and not particularly interesting to me. Not that I think the origin of SP is anything other than a marketing effort for Correira. It worked very well and now Torgerson and other’s have joined the gravy train.

    Just wanted to share view of a fan/outside on this whole mess. 🙂

    Couple other things:

    Re: Libel Yes, the US has stricter rules. Yay, Free speech! Boo, The Truth is not important. I also wonder if, as internet services exert more editorial control over content, there will be greater needs to revisit the good parts of the DMCA.

    Re: Talk like Radchaai day. It has been my experience that people in transition may be sensitive to this sort of thing as there is a significant amount of asserting identity, but most would see the humor, positive intent and the opportunity to discuss assumptions about gender. That being said, I still think it’s a dumb idea. I didn’t particularly care for how to book dealt with the issue but that’s not really the point.

  5. I just noticed that 4-time Hugo winner and feminist fan writer Susan Wood’s initials spell out SJW.

    Coincidence, or all part of the SJW clique’s eeeevil plan?

    On a serious note, Wood’s 1978 essay “People’s Programming”, which discussed her experiences with sexism in fandom, is an excellent read. I think someone on one of the threads last month directed me to it, so I’d like to repay the favor – here.

  6. Kyra: Alas, our spouse Merrem Kyraran as of yet still refuses to address us as “Serenity”.

    Often derided, occasionally loved, obsolete and falling to pieces?

    I’m glad my wife isn’t a “Firefly” fan or she’d INSIST on that as a title for me…

  7. Stevie: It really isn’t difficult to understand that the rest of the world doesn’t give a toss about US culture wars, unless, of course, you assume that there is nothing outside the U.S.

    It ends up generating a scenario in which a black writer from Mali could create an amazing work of science fiction, set in her country, receive a Hugo for it from a Worldcon in Japan and somehow this is affirmative action. As more people write more science fiction, Worldcon will spend more time away from America. The more it does, the more ridiculous it will be to frame a literary genre (or even just the Hugo Awards) in the context of the worst aspects of American politics.

    @Craig R: Careful with those pearls!

    I mentioned the article in an earlier thread, but it’s good enough to relink:

    It’s a wide-ranging interview. I was particularly struck by Gaiman’s comment about going to China and wonder what influence it had on The Three-Body Problem but there’s a lot there that’s worth reading.

  8. It ends up generating a scenario in which a black writer from Mali could create an amazing work of science fiction, set in her country, receive a Hugo for it from a Worldcon in Japan and somehow this is affirmative action.

    I am disappointed to realize that this is probably a hypothetical scenario, because I was really looking forward for a moment to reading that book.

  9. @Christian K:

    You seem to be saying that a lot of books I’ve read and loved over the past decade are steeped in group-think and masturbatory or were you saying the people of Fandom are like that?

    Either way it sounds like you have some strong opinions on other works that would have been worthy of hugo nominations. Care to name a few?

    (We could chat about the works you thought were too literary for the Hugos instead, but its probably more fun to talk about stuff you actually enjoyed.)

  10. Maximillian:
    I may spend too much time reading about free-speech issues on Popehat, but I heard ‘quirks’ as if it was said with a sneer

    I don’t think I could manage a Popehat sneer 🙂
    The quirk was unironic – the burden of proof looks funny in the UK because (I was told, don’t quote me) from when all cases were one person accusing another of something (e.g. Aelwulf accuses Aelric of stealing a pig etc). So as the person who is doing the libeling you are the person accusing somebody of doing something bad and hence the burden of proof lies with you. Which kind of make sense but is also bugeyed crazy.

    English law and constitutional issues look like the developers were deeply concerned about maintaining backwards compatibility.

    tl;dr don’t libel people kids and if you do stay away from England!

  11. They’re referred to as hexicows in the story itself.

    I couldn’t remember, and didn’t feel like looking. Sigh. So everyone calls them cows and it still doesn’t occur to them that maybe they really are cowlike?

    Could we Talk Like A Radch Who Has Access To All The Cultural Data and use people’s preferred pronouns when we know them, but “she” when we don’t?

  12. Gabriel F – Ya’ll are straining my book budget 🙂 Thank you!

    Library! I checked out a couple books from these threads myself and they’ve been pretty damn good so far.

  13. Yes, I made the title! I should be less chuffed but I’ve been hanging out here in a forum with some great discussion and one of my favourite comics writer.

  14. Don’t libel people kids and if you do stay away from England!

    Oh, that’s nothing. There are countries in Europe where libel is a criminal offense, not a civil one, and is punishable by jail time.

  15. Jamoche – I couldn’t remember, and didn’t feel like looking. Sigh. So everyone calls them cows and it still doesn’t occur to them that maybe they really are cowlike?

    Nope! It was a 30 years, not months I went back and checked, where they tried to talk to livestock in different ways because they found a bracelet on them. 30 years. So dumb.

  16. So a Tor employee described the Sad Puppies as extreme right-wing, the Rabid Puppies as neo-Nazies, and the combined company as racist, homophobic, and misogynistic.

    Here’s how Brad talked about a couple of Tor employees on a Dave Freer post at MGC in April: “Nielsen-Haydens, your fellow travelers, and media goombahs . . . I MOCK YOU! I MOCK YOUR ASININE INCESTUOUS CLUSTERFUCKED LITTLE CULTURE OF DOCTRINAIRE PROGRESSOSEXUAL MEDIOCRITY MASKED AS SUPERIORITY! You are all dolts. You are moral and physical cowards. You are without ethics, without scruples, and if you weren’t so patently pathetic, I’d say you might be dangerous.
    Fuck you. Fuck you all.”

    Does spewing such comments in public really put Brad Togersen in a position to call out someone ELSE on their conduct? ANYONE else?

    “…your asinine incestuour cluster-fucked little culture…dolts… moral and physical cowards… without ethics, without scruples… pathetic… Fuck you. Fuck you all.”

    THAT’S okay in Puppydom. THAT’s rhetoric deserving virtual applause and pats on the back, which Brad immediately got… But Gallo’s comments are, in the view of Brad and his friends, unacceptable?

    Seriously, dude?

    And that’s just one example.

    My hat tip to whoever already said it here: Boy, does Brad ever set a high standards for OTHER people’s behavior. His own behavior, I see, always gets a free pass from himself, no matter how bad it is.

    And I must admit, I don’t think Irene Gallo’s characterization of the Puppies is unfair. Not based on what I have seen of their rhetoric. I think they enjoy the kudos and support they get in their own echo chamber for extremist comments, and that they’re angry about the OTHER consequences…. which is that outside of their echo chamber, their behavior draws sharp criticism. I think the various Puppies just want to be able to say extreme things *without being criticized for it*, let alone categorized in negative terms for it.

  17. Boy, does Brad ever set a high standards for OTHER people’s behavior.

    Brad is in the running for the title of thinnest-skinned hypocrite alive. His only competition consists of his fellow Puppies Correia, Antonelli, and the K-Man-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

  18. Dela: Here’s how Brad talked about a couple of Tor employees on a Dave Freer post at MGC in April:

    Nielsen-Haydens, your fellow travelers, and media goombahs . . . I MOCK YOU! I MOCK YOUR ASININE INCESTUOUS CLUSTERFUCKED LITTLE CULTURE OF DOCTRINAIRE PROGRESSOSEXUAL MEDIOCRITY MASKED AS SUPERIORITY! You are all dolts. You are moral and physical cowards. You are without ethics, without scruples, and if you weren’t so patently pathetic, I’d say you might be dangerous.
    Fuck you. Fuck you all.

    I’m trying — and failing utterly — to get my head around the fact that someone who aspires to become an established, respected professional author in the SFF genre would see no problem with behaving like this in public.

  19. Because he got Hugo nominations for his current publishers Baen, Analog, Wordfire (through Anderson), and Galaxy’s Edge/Resnick.

    One mid-sized publisher for novels, one small press for collections and weird little projects, one widely read pro magazine and one smaller magazine.

    It’s really all a writer needs. So what if he tells off Tor—he also suggested that Moshe Feder wasn’t doing his job (he heard whispers from Feder’s midlist authors, he said)—they weren’t going to publish him and he wasn’t going to submit to them anyway.

    There’s little enough churn in publishing that he won’t have to worry about Feder getting a desk at Baen in three years either, and the Nielsen Haydens certainly aren’t going anywhere.

  20. @ JJ

    I’m trying — and failing utterly — to get my head around the fact that someone who aspires to become an established, respected professional author in the SFF genre would see no problem with behaving like this in public.

    Especially to people running a major publishing house, even if you don’t like the company or the folks running it. Not burning bridges and acting like a professional adult is usually a given if you expect to succeed in any field. At very least until you’re important enough (or your talent is acknowledged widely enough) that you can thumb your nose.

  21. @ Nick Mamatas

    So his publishers are completely okay with him acting this way to other publishers? No one thinks it’s a good idea to “snag him by the ear” and give him a talking-to about shitting his pants in public?

  22. I surely don’t know, but I suspect not.

    Remember that writers are not employees, and publishing contracts don’t generally have clauses that dictate behavior or allow a publisher to make decisions based on author behavior. (First, nobody worth publishing would sign such a contract; second, such a contract might later be used to help an author claim that he *is* an employee of a publisher and is thus due back pay and benefits—especially if it is activated to end the author’s relationship with the publisher.)

    Also keep mind that many people are shocked about Authors Behaving Badly, there’s a whole subgenre of prison writing and prison memoir. Brad’s a loudmouth, but is it worse than being a mobster, or a pimp, a drug addict and petty thief, or a bank robber?

    Publishers have a thick skin when it comes to the personal behaviors of their authors, as they should. Sales is the important thing, followed by professionalism in interactions with the publisher—don’t denigrate your own editor, make deadlines (more or less), respond to edits, tweet your amazon links, etc.

  23. >> There’s little enough churn in publishing that he won’t have to worry about Feder getting a desk at Baen in three years either, and the Nielsen Haydens certainly aren’t going anywhere.>>

    There is churn, though. And while those editors may be unlikely to move, colleagues of theirs might. Or editors who like Torgersen might wind up at Tor.

    Still, his career, his choice. He’s chosen to try to build a cult of personality rather than a following due to skill and talent. If it backfires on him, too bad.

  24. You know, I used to think Torgersen at least meant well. Now I think… Well, I still think he thinks he means well, but that doesn’t mean a lot in the face of rank hypocrisy, cowardice and generally poor behaviour, does it?

    Since I’m sure the cowardice comment will upset some people, allow me to explain: He comes into threads and throws his weight around, and then runs away back to his echo chamber, hiding behind his uniform, if people point out his errors or ask too many questions.

    Its very disappointing. Even more so if the theory he’s doing this for career reasons has an element of truth in it. (We don’t have anything other than circumstantial evidence for that.)

  25. Still, Eric Flint speaks positively of Torgersen, so some part of me still believes this is all part of some inability to admit errors that got dialed way up to 11.

  26. @Meredith “You know, I used to think Torgersen at least meant well.”

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he still thinks that he is on the side of Right. I’ve heard a number of people say that he’s a nice guy in real life. I think he honestly has no idea how he comes across online- remember that no matter how horrible he gets, there are still plenty of people who tell him that he is exactly right and anyone who disagrees is just a big meanie.

  27. @mk41 & Maximillian

    True. Perhaps I should spend a day or two carefully patching up my ability to give Puppies the benefit of the doubt.

    I do wish it would occur to him that people who aren’t Eric Flint might also have valid criticisms and opinions on his actions.

  28. “Still, Eric Flint speaks positively of Torgersen, so some part of me still believes this is all part of some inability to admit errors that got dialed way up to 11.”

    IA, there are lots of fundamentally decent people throughout history who will go through pretty much anything rather than admit to themselves and others that they’ve made jackasses of themselves.

  29. I believe Brad apologized to Mr Flint for some comments that went on between them. That sort of thing goes a long way.

  30. If only Torgersen would apologise to the rest of us for, well, any number of things. He could start by (publicly) apologising to Irene Gallo for mischaracterising her words in multiple locations, resulting in a dogpile, and then work backwards from there. While he’s at it he could tell us how the slate was open and democratic.

  31. @influxus

    Please don’t let me discourage you from loving the works that you loved. Not that I think I’d have any chance of that! Nor was it my intention. That’s part of the fun in Fandom: vigorously loving and debating. Hopeful without it getting too personal. SFDebris has a line in his review of The Day of the Doctor that for the first time in Fandom when confronted with debatable minutiae (renumber the Doctors on the DWWiki) Fans looked at the issues and just let that it slide.

    2014 works I thought were award worthy? Hmmm.. For fanworks I would say Race for the Iron Throne by Steven Attewell. Very good analysis. Novels? Well, I haven’t read any 2014 books I would nominate or vote for so far. I do have AG Riddle on my “to read”, which looks interesting. I would love to see something more on the m/m or paranormal side. Nothing comes to mind at the moment.

    Last year winners? Ancillary Justice annoyed me. I thought the pronoun game was initially confusing and then annoying. From a plot perspective I got bored and didn’t get past the first two chapters. That it won over the whole Wheel of Time series? Meh.

    Oh and SFDebris for… Fancast? Not sure where he’s fit but he has some of the best and most entertaining commentary.

  32. @Christian K “From a plot perspective I got bored and didn’t get past the first two chapters. That it won over the whole Wheel of Time series? Meh.”

    Huh. I didn’t love Ancillary Sword, but I feel that the takeout menu from the local pizza joint should have won out over WoT. And yes, I have read all of it.

  33. Even WoT supporters were suggesting that people reading the books for the first time in the Hugo packet skip several of them.

    Imagine being told by a supporter of Ancillary Justice that the book is really great if you skip pages 150-332. It’s essentially a declaration that the series doesn’t deserve an award, but the boosters of the series getting an award!

  34. Writing has been my full-time living for 27 years (yes, I started as a zygote), and I’ve worked in two fiction genres (in several subgenres), as well as in short fiction and nonfiction. And the one constant I’ve seen and experienced consistently all along the way is CHURN.

    Editors come and go, and get laid off and fired, and quit and retire and die. They get overwhelmed by their workloads as they get promoted and so offload (or get ordered to offload) some, half, or sometimes all of their writers to editors with fewer management responsibilities.

    Of the editors I’ve worked with over the years, roughly 11 are no longer in publishing at all. Of the others who remain in the biz (quick head count comes up with 6 off the top of my head), NOT EVEN ONE of them is still at the same company where I worked with them. (The only exception is my current editor, Betsy Wollheim, who co-owns the company, DAW Books.) In several cases, I’ve worked with editors again years after the first time I worked with them elsewhere, and that’s pretty common.

    Publishers come and go, too. I’ve written for publishers that no longer exist, as have many of my friends. Companies that were powerhouses when I broke into publishing 27 years ago are now gone or have dwindled to near irrelevance, and others have been gobbled up by conglomerates; the same is true of various companies that were “hot” or “important” only 10 or 5 years ago. Publishers and imprints get acquired, dispersed, folded into, shut down, restructured, gobbled and merged, etc. Like most of my friends in the biz, I’ve been through this multiple times in my career.

    Writers also come and go, too. Your editor leaves or dies or gets promoted or goes insane, and your new editor isn’t interested in you, dumps your current work into the market like a dirty secret, and doesn’t acquire your next book–or ever answer your calls again. (This has happened to me more than once, and to many of my friends at least once.) Your imprint whittles down, and you’re one of the writers cut from the program. Your whole program shuts downs, and you’re sent an apologetic note informing you you’re out of work. Your sales don’t grow fast enough, and so you’re dumped. Reader attention shifts to new subgenres, and publishers’ attention follows them there, shifting the composition of their lists and your writing ceases to meet their needs at this time. And so on. (Or maybe you’re difficult to work with and they don’t want you around anymore.)

    Whether your publisher disappears or decides it’s time to show you to the door, losing a publisher is common in this business, not unusual. Losing an editor is also common; and meeting editors again and again over the years is also not unusual.

    All of which is among the reasons that picking public fights with editors and/or publishers for no good reason is not an advisable course of action for anyone who’s serious about a writing career.

  35. There was a lot more churn when there were many more publishers. And of course, churning OUT of the field isn’t relevant to Torgersen sending his next ms in to Baen and, kaboom, it’s Moshe Feder who gets to champion it or not at the next meeting.

  36. Nick Mamatas: It’s really all a writer needs.

    Not quite. What amazes me is that these writers don’t realize that there are other people in the chain between them and their audience (assuming they aren’t thinking they can live by PDF sales alone).

    What makes them think their antics will play well with their distributors? Or bookstore owners? Or librarians?

    For that matter, isn’t Baen still partially owned by Tom Doherty? Do you think he will look kindly on a Baen author– say, Jon LaForce– trying to take down his company?

    And hey– isn’t Baen distributed by Simon & Schuster? And didn’t S&S just start up their own SF imprint, Saga? If I were Baen, I’d be a little worried about giving them reasons to dump them.

  37. You think S&S is keeping tabs on what’s going on in Hugoland and then…doing what? Directing whoever Baen sends up to New York to spend forty seconds on the average Baen novel instead of a full minute at the sales conference? Is S&S going to stop filling orders because a Baener—who has yet to publish a novel with Baen anyway—was Mean on the Internet?

    Further, S&S distributes many publishers, including other SF publishers—they do so to make sure their infrastructure is running at capacity, to make money. Why would they dump Baen to focus on Saga, which is a fairly small imprint? Why not keep the pipeline full? Because some author put up a blog?

    I also doubt the average bookstore owner or librarian is going to remember any particular Baen author and keep him or her off the shelves when it’s time to order books.

    I seriously doubt Doherty is very concerned about the Puppy boycott, which seems to be composed of perhaps two dozen people who a. weren’t buying tons of Tor Books and who b. decided to launch their boycott over the weekend when nobody but hardcore nerds are paying any attention at all.

    What the Baeners might be doing is making reviewers less likely to review them (though most Baen titles are review-proof anyway) and making anthologists unsympathetic to the Puppy slates less likely to solicit them (though I do see a John C. Wright story coming my way in the latest issue of Dark Discoveries, from horrorland, where the Hugos are just a distant rumble).

Comments are closed.