Houndation 6/7

aka “Let’s get Sirius!”

In today’s roundup: Andrew Liptak, Jim C. Hines, Damien G. Walter, Tom Knighton, David Gerrold, Irene Gallo, Brad R. Torgersen, Sarah A. Hoyt, Vox Day, Michael Z. Williamson, Markov Kern, bhalsop, sciphi, Jonathan LaForce, Cedar Sanderson, Amanda S. Green, Jon F. Zeigler, C. E. Petit, Lis Carey, Rebekah Golden, Mark Ciocco, amd George R.R. Martin. (Title credit belongs to Whym and Anna Nimmhaus.)

Andrew Liptak on io9

“Women Dominate The 2015 Nebula Awards” – June 7

Takeaways from this? With the exception of the Best Novel award, women swept the slate in all other categories, notable in light of the Sad/Rabid Puppies controversy with this year’s Hugo Awards.


Jim C. Hines

“Puppies in Their Own Words” – June 7

I’ve spent several hours on this, which is ridiculous. I don’t even know why, except that I’m frustrated by all of the “I never said…” “He really said…” “No he didn’t, you’re a lying liar!” “No, you’re the lying liar!” and so on.

An infinite number of monkeys have said an infinite number of things about the Hugos this year. People on all sides have said intelligent and insightful things, and people on all sides have said asinine things. The amount of words spent on this makes the Wheel of Time saga look like flash fiction. File770 has been doing an admirable job of posting links to the ongoing conversation.

I wanted to try to sort through the noise and hone in on what Correia and Torgersen themselves have been saying. As the founder and current leader, respecitvely, of the Sad Puppies, it seems fair to look to them for what the puppy campaign is truly about…..

So are Brad and Larry racist? Sexist? Homophobic? What about their slates?

I don’t see an active or conscious effort to shut out authors who aren’t straight white males.

I do see that the effect of the slates was to drastically reduce the number of women on the final ballots.

Torgersen made a now-infamously homophobic remark about John Scalzi, which he later apologized for. I don’t see this as suggesting Torgersen is a frothing bigot; it does suggest he has some homophobic attitudes or beliefs he should probably reexamine and work on.

More central to the Sad Puppies, when I see Brad railing against “affirmative action” fiction, I see a man who seems utterly incapable of understanding sometimes people write “non-default” characters not because they’re checking off boxes on a quota, but because those are the stories they want to tell, and the characters they want to write about. Dismissing all of those amazing, wonderful, and award-winning stories as nothing but affirmative-action cases? Yeah, that’s sounds pretty bigoted to me.




David Gerrold on Facebook – June 7

Here’s how self-fulfilling paranoia works.

Decide that something has been taken away from you — even if it hasn’t. And even if you were never entitled to it in the first place.

Then, find a group of someones to blame for taking it away from you — even if they had nothing to do with your perceived loss. (Women, LGBTs, People of Color, SJWs, liberals, whatever.) Make sure it’s a big important group with big important members.

Appoint that group — it has to be a group — the enemy. Accuse them of horrible behaviors. This is the important step. You can’t be a victim without a persecutor. So you have to say or do something so egregious that the other guys will have to respond. Their response is the proof that you are being persecuted. Even if their response is, “Huh? Who are you?” — that’s just evidence that they’ve been deliberately ignoring your importance.

As soon as you engage that very big, very important group in a dialog, you achieve credibility — theirs. You are obviously just as important as they are. The more they engage with you, the more they respond to you, the more important you are. Therefore — you must continue to escalate so as to use up more and more of their time, so as to prove just how truly truly truly big and powerful and important you are.

When the other side brings out facts, logic, evidence, rational thought, and methodical deconstruction, you must repeat your original claims, change the subject, make new charges, or point to this as evidence of their continuing persecution. The more you do this, the more followers you will attract. Everybody loves the underdog — it’s your job to be the persecuted underdog.

This tactic works for any political or social position. It worked for extreme-left activist groups in the sixties and seventies — it eventually marginalized them out of the political process. They had to grow up or get out.


Irene Gallo on Facebook – May 11

[Here is a direct link. Perhaps it was always public and I just didn’t scroll back far enough when I searched yesterday.]


Irene Gallo in a comment on Facebook – June 6

Not friends, rest assured. And ZOMG, teeth! Somehow this got dug up from early last month and pitchforks are out. And since then more people are aware of, and excited about, the upcoming Hurley book. So as long as the thread lasts, we’re spreading the good news.


Brad R. Torgersen in a comment on Facebook – June 6

Irene Gallo, I am going to ask a question, and I expect a response other than a cat picture non sequitur. How did you arrive at your conclusion that Sad Puppies is “neo nazi”?


Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“Shout it from the rooftops” – June 7

However, let’s be clear: mud sticks. Get something associated with unspeakable sins like “racism, sexism, homophobia” and the idiots will go on repeating it forever, no matter how often it’s disproved. This is how they came up with the notion that Brad Torgersen is in an interracial marriage to disguise his racism, or that Sad Puppies is about pushing women and minorities from the ballot, even though the suggested authors include both women and minorities. And I’m not sure what has been said about me. Echoes have reached back, such as a gay friend emailing me (joking. He’s not stupid, and he was mildly upset on my behalf) saying he’d just found out I wanted to fry all gay people in oil and that he needed a safe room just to email me from. Then there was the German Fraulein who has repeatedly called me a Fascist (you know, those authoritarian libertari—wait, what?) and her friends who declared Kate and I the world’s worst person (we’re one in spirit apparently) as well as calling me in various twitter storms a “white supremacist” (which if you’ve met me is really funny.) A friend told me last week that he defended me on a TOR editor’s thread. I don’t even know what they were saying about me there. I make it a point of not following all the crazy around, so I have some mental space to write from.

However, enough people have told me about attacks, that I know my name as such is tainted with the publishing establishment (not that I care much, mind) and that some of it might leak to the reading public (which is why G-d gave us pennames.)….

This feebleness of mind was in stunning display recently in the Facebook page of one Irene Gallo, Creative Director at TOR. (I hope that’s an art-related thing. Or do they think authors need help being creative?)….

Note that those statements are so wrong they’re not even in the same universe we inhabit. Note also that when she talks about “bad to reprehensible” stories pushed into the ballot by the Sad Puppies, she’s talking about one of her house’s own authors, a multiple bestseller, and also of John C. Wright who works for her house as well.

Note also that when one of my fans jumped in and tried to correct the misconceptions, she responded with daft cat pictures.







“Tor and Sad/Rabid Puppies” – June 7

There is a war going on in the blogosphere between certain employees of Tor, the once great publisher of scifi/fantasy, and the proponents of alternate slates for the Hugo, the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies. I have watched it with some interest, since I am undoubtedly one of those the Puppies in general would not like, but I have found their position actually has merit.

There was a time, many years ago, when one could buy a book honored with the Hugo award and know that the book would be well written, well edited, and thought provoking. This has not been the case for several years, I am sorry to report. In fact, there was a time, again many years ago, that one could buy a book published by Tor, and have a good read that might be thought provoking but was at minimum a good story well told. This is sadly no longer the case. I used to buy a Tor book even if the blurb wasn’t particularly inviting, because I trusted Tor. This is no longer the case.

Tor employees have attacked the Sad/Rabid Puppies as racist, misogynist, right wing whackos. The fact is that this reviling became much louder after the Sad Puppy slate won most of the Hugo niminations. What? They outvoted you? Doesn’t this sound like the Republicans after our current president was elected? Are you sure you want to go there?


sciphi on Superversive SF

“Irene Gallo, #Sadpuppies, #Gamergate and Tor” – June 7

What I find particularly insulting is that I have been following #Gamergate for quite a while, since at least Internet Aristocrats original Quinnspiracy videos, and I am extremely right wing (Nazi’s and Neo-Nazi’s aren’t though, fascists really were/are kissing cousins of socialists), and I can tell you for a fact that the talking heads of #Gamergate like Sargon of Akkad are thorough going leftwing moderates, they just aren’t frothing at the mouth SJW’s (I guess that makes them “far-right” in SJW land). I’m insulted as an arch conservative and reactionary to be regarded as basically the same as such thorough going hippies.


Jonathan LaForce on Mad Genius Club

“Dear Tor” – June 7

Tor, let’s face facts: that you repeatedly allow straw man makers like John Scalzi to have a place in your stable, even as he vainly justifies his arrogant idiocy is absurd.  To allow bigots like NK Jemisin bully pulpits without regard for fact or truth is wrong.  To encourage people to put one-star reviews on Amazon, simply because you don’t like an author’s politics, rather than because you didn’t like the story is not only disgusting, it is a willful manipulation of the Amazon rating system.

Whereas I believe in the principles of the free market, I don’t want to see somebody create new laws over this.  We already have government invading our bedrooms, our computers and our bank accounts daily.  No, ladies and gentlemen, instead I ask you this:

Don’t buy anything made by TOR. Not pamphlets. Not novels, not audiobooks.  Not even if it’s free.  Let Tor know that they do not decide what we want as fans of science fiction and fantasy.  Instead, I ask that those of you whom trust my opinion cease to buy their products ever again.  Show them that in the end, the consumer drives the market. Why? Because nobody can make you buy anything.  Not health care, not books, not movies. NOT A SINGLE DAMN THING.

In older times, a bard who couldn’t sing or orate well, much less properly play an instrument (in short, when the bard could not perform well, the crowd kicked him out. And he went hungry until he got better or he died from starvation. Or he found a new profession that he was actually good at.


Tom Knighton

“Tor Creative Director bashes Tor authors among others” – June 7

Based on how she phrased this, she’s implying that that both Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies are extreme right wing to neo-Nazis.  Now, I generally don’t defend Rabid Puppies because Vox is a big boy and can fight his own battles, and since I’m not part of that group I really can’t speak for it. Vox has seen this, and I suspect he’ll jump in soon enough.

As a Sad Puppy, I’m freaking pissed.

First, I’m sick of being called “unrepentantly racist, mysogynist, and homophobic” simply because I don’t like their taste in books or because I disagree with them about what the government should spend its money doing.  It’s funny, because these are the same people who bitch about “slut shaming” or “fat shaming” or whatever, but now they’re trying to “thought shame”, like we’re horrid human beings just because we don’t trip over ourselves on identity issues.  No evidence, no examples, nothing except libelous rhetoric.  Nothing….

I’ve read multiple times that Tor isn’t so much a publishing house as a series of editorial fiefdoms, a confederation of miniature publishing houses under a single roof and a shared marketing and art department.  If that’s true, then there probably isn’t a lot of oversight on these kinds of things, so I really don’t think there will be any kind of change.


Cedar Sanderson

“Fear and Loathing at TOR” – June 7

Almost since the advent of the internet, there have been warnings about what to say – or not – on it. The internet is a vast and mostly public arena. Imagine, if you can, standing in Grand Central Station and screaming slurs at the top of your lungs, while the sane people standing near you back away slowly. Online, this doesn’t happen. One person starts screaming and frothing at the mouth, and others are drawn like moths to the flame to scream along with them.

This is disturbing and upsetting, but it is easy enough to avoid this kind of behaviour if you want to (and some like to troll-bait. Personally, I find it unkind to taunt the mentally ill and don’t stoop to pillorying their personal lives). On occasion, though, we are not dealing with a lone individual, but one that is tied to a corporate identity. And this situation is why most reputable companies have policies in place about the use of social media. Because when a person using their real name, which can easily be tied to their workplace, starts to cast slurs on their own colleagues, not to mention large sections of the business’s client base, that can reflect very badly on their employer.


Amanda S. Green on Nocturnal Lives

“Interrupting my vacation and not happy about it” – June 7

But what galls me is how she calls us “Extreme right-wing to Neo-Nazi”. To begin with, if she were to really look at who wound up on the final ballot, especially those backed by the Sad Puppies, she would see that there are conservative, libertarian AND liberals represented. There are women and minorities. If I remember correctly, not everyone on the ballot is straight. (I don’t remember because I don’t care what a person’s sexual preference. It has nothing to do with their ability as a writer.)

Then there is the personal reaction. Ms. Gallo doesn’t know me and I don’t know her. So she doesn’t understand what sort of wound she opened for my family by calling me “extreme right-wing to Neo-Nazi”. My family comes from Germany and the Netherlands. Fortunately, the family was here before Hitler came to power. But they remember what it was like living in parts of this country and having to defend themselves because they had a Germanic last name. Nazism is and always will be a personal anathema to my family and to be called a follower of that hated philosophy/government is beyond acceptable.

Did she commit slander or libel? No. Did she consider the impact her words would have on other people? I don’t know. Part of me wants to believe that she did not but I have my doubts. She used a number of “trigger” words in her response, words meant to create a negative impression. She did not consider or care about how her allegation would impact fans of those authors she was condemning nor did she apparently think or care about how such a hateful allegation could possibly lead to termination of employment.



C. E. Petit on Scrivener’s Error

“Pre-Road-Kill Link Sausages” – June 6

There’s a proposal to tweak Hugo voting rules somewhat jocularly labelled E Pluribus Hugo that I cannot support, for three reasons. First, it depends upon accepting the proposition that a popular vote among those who pay a poll tax to vote is the best way to determine actual quality. (I’d be probably be more supportive if the Hugos themselves were renamed from “Best” to “Favorite.”) Second, it does nothing whatsoever to deal with the far-more-serious problems of source restrictiveness and the inept calendar (really? for an award issued in late August, we start nominations in January?). Third, at a fundamental level it fails to engage with the dynamics of cliquishness (for both real and imagined cliques, I should note) that are at issue; in fact, it bears a disturbing resemblance to the evolution of voting patterns in Jim Crow country following passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1964, if not with the same obvious discriminatory animus.

I think this proposal has been put forth in good faith, in a highly conservative attempt to retain, and even reify, a particular (and wildly inaccurate) fannish/SMOFish perception of what the Hugos “are” and “mean.” The irony of that characterization is intentional, especially compared to the various canine complaints; it is obvious, disturbing, and all too typical of attempts to tweak selection mechanisms without pondering what is being selected… and whether that requires a farther-reaching change.


Rebekah Golden

“Reviewing; Meta Post” – June 7

This goes back to my post about Totaled. It was a good story. Had some interesting ideas. Didn’t do it for me and I think the reason why not has to do with compelling questions. Look at Ancillary Justice and the story is full of compelling questions. Then there’s Mono No Aware.

Cutting for spoilers about Mono No Aware, Totaled, and me….


Mark Ciocco on Kaedrin Weblog

“Hugo Awards: Short Stories”  – June 7

My feelings on short stories are decidedly mixed, because most of the short fiction I read is from collections that are, by their very nature, uneven. As with Anthology Films, I generally find myself exhausted by the inconsistency. Also, as someone who tends to gravitate towards actual storytelling rather than character sketches or tone poems (or similar exercises in style), a short story can be quite difficult to execute. A lot must be accomplished in a short time, and a certain economy of language is needed to make it all work. There are some people who are great at this sort of thing, but I find them few and far between, so collections of short stories tend to fall short even if they include stories I love. In my experience, the exceptions tend to be collections from a single author, like Asimov’s I, Robot or Barker’s Books of Blood. That being said, I’ve been reading significantly more short fiction lately, primarily because of my participation in the Hugo Awards. I found myself quite disappointed with last year’s nominated slate, so I actually went the extra mile this year and read a bunch of stuff so that I could participate in the nomination portion of the process. Of course, none of my nominees actually made the final ballot. Such is the way of the short story award (with so many options, the votes tend to be pretty widely spread out, hence all the consternation about the Puppy slates which probably gave their recommendations undue influence this year). But is the ballot any better this year? Only one way to find out, and here are the results, in handy voting order:

  1. Totaled by Kary English – Told from the perspective of a brain that has been separated from its body (courtesy of a car accident) and subsequently preserved in a device that presumably resembles that which was used to preserve Walt Disney’s head or something. In the story, this is new technology, so the process is imperfect and while the brain can be kept alive for a significant amount of time, it still only amounts to around 6 months or so. Fortunately, the disembodied brain in question was the woman leading the project, so she’s able to quickly set up a rudimentary communication scheme with her lab partner. Interfaces for sound and visuals are ginned up and successful, but by that point the brain’s deterioration has begun. This could have been one of those pointless tone poems I mentioned earlier, but English keeps things approachable, taking things step by step. The portrayal of a brain separated from the majority of its inputs (and outputs, for that matter), and slowly regaining some measure of them as time goes on, is well done and seems realistic enough. One could view some of the things portrayed here as pessimistic, but I didn’t really read it that way. When the brain deteriorates, she eventually asks to be disconnected before she loses all sense of lucidity (the end of the story starts to lilt into an Algernon-like devolution of language into simplistic quasi-stream of consciousness prose). I suppose this is a form of suicide, but it was inevitable at that point, and the experimental brain-in-a-jar technology allowed for a closure (both in terms of completing some of her research and even seeing her kids again) that would have otherwise been impossible. I found that touching and effective enough that this was a clear winner in the category.


Lis Carey at Lis Carey’s Library

“Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alis, Alex, and Tansy” – June 7


Another Best Fancast Hugo nominee.

Speculative fiction, publishing news, and chat. This podcast comes to us from Australia, and as far as I can find, they do not reveal their last names anywhere on their website. That’s a shame, because these are very engaging people, and they mention up coming book launches. (Feel free to enlighten me in comments. Please!)


George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“Reading” – June 7

I also read LINES OF DEPARTURE by Marko Kloos. This was part of the Hugo ballot as originally announced, one of the books put there by the slates… but Kloos, in an act of singular courage and integrity, withdrew. It was his withdrawal that moved THREE-BODY PROBLEM onto the ballot. This is the second book in a series, and I’ve never read the first. Truth be told, I’d never read anything by Kloos before, but I’m glad I read this. It’s military SF, solidly in the tradition of STARSHIP TROOPERS and THE FOREVER WAR. No, it’s not nearly as good as either of those, but it still hands head and shoulders above most of what passes for military SF today. The enigmatic (and gigantic) alien enemies here are intriguing, but aside from them there’s not a lot of originality here; the similarity to THE FOREVER WAR and its three act structure is striking, but the battle scenes are vivid, and the center section, where the hero returns to Earth and visits his mother, is moving and effective. I have other criticisms, but this is not a formal review, and I don’t have the time or energy to expand on them at this point. Bottom line, this is a good book, but not a great one. It’s way better than most of what the Puppies have put on the Hugo ballot in the other categories, but it’s not nearly as ambitious or original as THREE-BODY PROBLEM. Even so, I read this with pleasure, and I will definitely read the next one. Kloos is talented young writer, and I suspect that his best work is ahead of him. He is also a man of principle. I hope he comes to worldcon; I’d like to meet him.

519 thoughts on “Houndation 6/7

  1. Rev Bob: “Not to minimize their reactions, but…”

    But you are doing just that. You’re saying you as a cis gendered man find Ranma funny, as a supposed counterpoint to the stress the series causes Bruce’s trans friends.

    White people thought the Black and White Minstrels were entertaining, and Love Thy Neighbour hilarious back in the day too. The hurt these shows caused black Britons was, unsurprisingly, unassuaged by white laughter.

    Bob, you’re a fabulous, funny, astute guy and I don’t want to be the social justice police. But this kind of thing is like, the *essence* of unexamined privilege, and it needs to be answered.

  2. I’ve been rereading old favourites as a palate cleanser inbetween Hugo ballot Puppy crap.

    I’ve gone back to read the entire Analog issues that the stories nominated by the Puppies appear in. It has been rather interesting to see how lousy most of the Puppy nominees are even when only compared to the other stories that appear in the same magazine they appeared in.

    I’ve also been reading stories from The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One in between Puppy stories to remind me what old-fashioned science fiction actually was like, and to contrast it with the Puppy shit that is smeared all over this year’s Hugo ballot.

  3. @bruce

    I’ve taken to describing The Goblin Emperor as a secondary world West Wing. Maia is a Jeb Bartlett (and Csetevas his Mrs Lanningham)…

  4. I can’t remember if it was this thread or yesterday’s, but someone was asking for Tor books with non-straight protagonists.

    Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis is a 2013 book that knocked my proverbial socks off. There are two main characters, one of whom is a lesbian — for reasons that are relevant to the plot!

    I just finished reading Tregillis’ new novel, The Mechanical. It’s the start of a series, an alternate-history steam-ish-punk robot story. It may even be of interest to Sad Puppy-sympathizers, I don’t know, because most of the characters are believing Christians, and it contains a long conversation about free will (human and/or robotic) from contrasting Catholic and Calvinist perspectives.

    But I don’t know if the kind of people who bemoan the lack of a Christian perspective in SFF will like having two *different* Christian perspectives in one book.

  5. @ Rev Bob

    The thing is, you don’t get to decide that something “isn’t transphobic” if someone trans tells you they’re uncomfortable with it. You’re not trans, you’re not the arbiter of other people’s pain. No one said you have to stop enjoying it or watching it, and certainly you’re allowed to love the wacky situation comedy of it, but you don’t get to say what should or shouldn’t upset a trans person.

  6. @Kyra If you like Revolutionary Girl Utena you need to check out Star Driver. Many of the same people worked on it and it destructs the giant robot genre in the same way Utena deconstructs magical girl.

  7. I was just looking at the recent comments list to see which tabs I should reload to look at, and I found myself saying out loud, “Ahh, the Vox and the Hounds”.

  8. Far be it from me to even remotely presume to speak to what Rev. Bob has said, as he’s clearly shown he’s quite capable of doing that for himself, but he’s in no way, shape or form saying someone else shouldn’t be uncomfortable or upset by something they see. He’s merely saying that HE himself doesn’t see it as “transphobic”.

    I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but I’m an “other” of a different sort. I’ve been disabled since birth. Individuals see the world differently, even those who belong to the same out group. One person will be upset by something that someone else will dismiss outright.

    Personally, I long ago stopped worrying about representations in the media. People punching me in the face (literally) disturbed me far more than the Handi-man skit on In Living Color ever will or could. Friends of mine with disabilities wanted the SHOW taken off the air because the one skit hurt their feelings. I didn’t care one way or another about it and most of them got mad at me for not feeling the same way. That’s life.

    Show me precisely where Rev. Bob (a very articulate and precise man) presented himself as “…the arbiter of other people’s pain” and you may have a point.

  9. Note that my friends didn’t say that they found Ranma transphobic. They found it uncomfortable, for playing the gender switching for a variety of laughs. I know trans people who love it, though they’re in the minority among the particular population of trans and genderqueer anime fans I hang out with. All of this is in the nature of a “yes, but” addendum to Rev. Bob’s comment – here’s a problem some people have had with it, and if that’s something that can be a problem for you the hypothetical viewer, keep it in mind.

  10. @Rev. Bob, Ann, and Gabriel F.
    The thing is, there very well may be trans-people who share Bob’s opinion. I have a close friend on the autistic spectrum who regularly throws the word “retarded” around, and I know other people not on the spectrum who tell him not to use the word. What is okay varies person by person. What he seemed to me to be saying was that he didn’t think the show was transphobic, not that the show definitely wasn’t transphobic and no transgender person has any right to complain. For the record, I haven’t seen the show in question – I enjoy anime, just not very frequently.

  11. Robert, you answered this

    ‘Show me precisely where Rev. Bob (a very articulate and precise man) presented himself as “…the arbiter of other people’s pain”’

    when you said

    “He’s merely saying that HE himself doesn’t see it as “transphobic”.

    You make a valuable point – that minorities, however defined, are not monolithic. But I assume you would agree that your not being bothered by something means that another disabled person isn’t allowed to be. Women frequently disagree about whether something or other is actually sexist or just poor manners, for example.

    “Rev. Bob (a very articulate and precise man)”

    Yes he is, and the reason people are politely drawing his attention to this is that they know he is all that and more, and won’t throw a tantrum at having it pointed out to him. Which is more than you can say for a lot of people.

  12. It takes five seconds and a google search to find transgender people who like Ranma 1/2 but feel uncomfortable with some aspects, some who love it undpcknditionally, and some who found it helpful and uplifting to see a character who could switch gender. They also recommend, to each other, other animes with a similar (or sometimes more nuanced) gender bending element. Can we stop treating transgender people as a hive mind, too?

    I think a good compromise for anyone would be, when recommending or discussing Ranma 1/2, to talk about what is immediately relevant to the discussion, or for a recommendation what is loved, but also to mention that some transgender people are uncomfortable with how it represents gender and gender swapping. Sort of a trigger warning, if you like.

    (And just today I was reading a short discussion of the term gender bendng and its history, so this is all helping expand that discussion in my head.)

  13. Wow that’s an epic typo up there, and I’m ashamed I missed it on the preview. Please read it as: “some who love it unconditionally

  14. Will McLean: “What kind of person think’s that an international publishing company’s fiction policy is set by someone in the art department?”

    Mike Glyer: “Stan Lee?”

    Stan’s from editorial. You’re thinking of Carmine Infantino.

  15. Glenn Hauman: “Stan’s from editorial. You’re thinking of Carmine Infantino.”

    Well, what I was really thinking was not getting sealioned on a Stan Lee joke…

  16. Fun fact: Stan Lee was also art director at Marvel Comics, presumably for the extra paycheck.

    Rev Bob: Love you, man. Bruce already made the essential point: he never used the word transphobic. That was your anxiety glasses descrying that word. 🙂

    Everyone: Darnit, Bruce can speak for himself better than I can speak for him – hell, he can speak for me better than I can speak for myself usually, but he also never no not once suggested all trans people had a problem with Ranma 1/2. He specifically said some of his trans friends – “by no means all” – had this issue.

    P.S. This is where we all repeat, “It’s okay to like problematic things,” and hold hands.

  17. I’m surprised that bothers you, though inasmuch as it does let me suggest it probably didn’t bother Jay, who was being amazingly transparent and candid about his cancer fight.

    I can’t speak to what bothered Lake and what didn’t. I know he talked a lot publicly about his cancer and raised money through crowdfunding for a genome mapping campaign.

    When someone is talking about their serious illness on their blog or another forum, that’s an invitation to discuss it.

    But when they’re talking about something else entirely, I think it’s insensitive to bring the illness up without a really good reason to do so.

    I know this is just my take and it’s a highly subjective notion, but when Torgersen brought up Lake’s illness and also tried to make it sound lyrical (“the gradual dimming of your candle on this Earth”), he seemed like an blundering oaf.

  18. Jeffro Johnson: If you are tired of waging flame wars that maybe can’t even be won by anybody, please consider building a meeting of the minds in whatever neutral space it can happen in.

    The fact that you don’t appear to have the slightest idea what is wrong with that statement is, to me, very problematic.

    Non-Puppies are not the ones “waging flame wars”. The Puppies are. The Puppies are the ones who decided to start a war against a non-existent “enemy”. Non-Puppies have no interest in “winning” anything. They just want the Puppies to stop gaming the Hugo Awards (though ceasing the lameass lies and rhetoric that the Puppies have spouting non-stop would be a nice bonus).

    When the Puppies decide they are interested in “building a meeting of the minds”, ceasing the above activities is the first thing they will do. Until that happens, I don’t see why I or anyone else should feel compelled to try to persuade them to stop doing something they are clearly quite determined to continue doing.

    I also think it’s incredibly sad, for you, that you’re so focussed on the fantasy of the past that you clearly have not bothered to find out what sort of wonderful fantasy has been produced in the last 20 years. But that’s your loss.

    Also everyone, I understand the desire to lessen keystrokes, but when shortening his name, I would appreciate it if you would shorten it to “Jeffro” rather than “JJ”, kthxmch.

  19. RedWombat: Please keep us posted about Craig R! Tell him to recover swiftly, or we will compose filk about his condition and the only thing that rhymes with “aorta” is “Horta.”

    Well, that threat will no doubt have him up and around in no time.

  20. “Your fave is problematic, and that’s okay.”

    Seriously. It might be worth mentioning if you think its something people need to know, but its okay.

    Obligatory disclaimer: Obviously some stuff really is over the line, but it doesn’t happen that often. For example, with the latest Avengers film ybgf bs jbzra, rfcrpvnyyl ohg abg rkpyhfviryl puvyq serr jbzra, tbg haqrefgnaqnoyl hcfrg orpnhfr bs Oynpx Jvqbj’f yvarf gung pbhyq or frra nf pnyyvat urefrys n zbafgre orpnhfr bs ure vasregvyvgl. Ubjrire, ybgf, nygubhtu abg nyy, vasregvyr jbzra ybirq gubfr yvarf naq sryg qrrcyl gung gur punenpgre ersyrpgrq gurve bja cnva naq gurve bja srryvatf bs orvat zbafgref (abgr: gur nhgube qbrf abg srry vasregvyvgl vf zbafgebhf, ohg qbrf abg jvfu gb renfr gur inyvq srryvatf bs bguref), naq sbhaq vg irel zbivat. Gurl sryg frra naq npxabjyrqtrq.

    Guvatf ner eneryl oynpx naq juvgr.

    Translation @ http://www.rot13.com/index.php

  21. monopole says:

    Finally “The Wings of Honnêamise” is one of the best exercises in making an alternate world which is perfectly askew of expectations.


    Furthermore, Wings of Honneamise has fannish connections. The core group involved in made it first came together to make an anime for the edition of the Japanese national sf convention that they were running. Eventually, one of them chaired a Worldcon.

  22. @JJ,

    That remark that you have taken offense at was not at all intended to cause offense. I believe that everything I have said and done here on this thread indicates that I am willing and able to discuss things with other fans without picking any fights or pouring gasoline on the fire.

  23. @Ann Somerville First, if you would please explain to me how you think Rev. Bob gets to wanting to be the arbiter of someone else’s pain simply by saying that he doesn’t see something the same way someone else might, it would be very informative, as I for the life of me cannot see how you made that determination. From my reading, the only one Rev. Bob is speaking for is himself.

    Second, I made it clear that different people view the same thing differently. My feelings on any point in no way shape or form have any significance on how anyone else but me sees things nor should they. Things which I wouldn’t even notice might very easily knock someone else into a misery. So, obviously, my reactions are mine and not necessarily those of anyone else.

    I speak only for myself. I cannot control the behavior or reactions of anyone save myself. Even with the Puppies’ conniption fits over the Gallo post, I have no desire to tell THEM how they should react. If I were that thin-skinned, I’d have died by now, but I’m me, not them.

    I do not have any right to speak for Rev. Bob and I’ve done far too much of that up to this point, so I’m done. But from what I’ve read, he’s being castigated for something he hasn’t done/said, but for something others appear to believe he’s done/said.

  24. Robert Reynolds, I’m not ignoring your comment. I just don’t know how to put my point in a better way than I had in my remarks to you and to Bob.

    So perhaps I will leave it to smarter people to try and explain. Sorry.

  25. Jeffro Johnson: That remark that you have taken offense at was not at all intended to cause offense. I believe that everything I have said and done here on this thread indicates that I am willing and able to discuss things with other fans without picking any fights or pouring gasoline on the fire.

    Thanks, Jeffro — but you’ve missed my point. I wasn’t “offended” by your remark. I was pointing out that it indicates, to me, a real lack of understanding on your part about the situation.

    Non-Puppies didn’t start this “war”. Non-Puppies do not want a “war”, nor are they interested in fighting one. “Winning” is not something that non-Puppies are thinking about here.

    It is the Puppies who started the “war”, it is the Puppies who wanted it, it is the Puppies who seem to have the deluded belief that “winning” a non-war is actually a possibility.

    The fact that you yourself are willing and able to discuss things with other fans here on File770 without picking any fights or pouring gasoline on the fire does not change the fact that your cohorts and teammates are quite willing to do so, everywhere they get the chance.

    Instead of exhorting the people here to “please consider building a meeting of the minds”, why aren’t you posting that exhortation over on all of the Puppy blogs? They’re the ones who’ve created this mythical “war”. They’re the ones who can stop it.

  26. @several people:

    Robert Reynolds has my opinion pretty well right. I encountered Ranma back around the time DC killed Superman, a good twenty years ago. I was a lot younger then, and what immediately drew me to the manga was, “Hey, it’s a guy who becomes a girl at awkward times! That sounds neat!” Looking back, it was one of the first examples I remember where unexpectedly gender-bent interactions were depicted as simply awkward rather than shameful and wrong, and that affected my outlook a great deal… in a positive way.

    It’s a romantic comedy with elements of fantasy and martial arts mixed in, and I liked what I found there. It was very different from the testosterone-laden stuff coming from the more mainstream comics at the time – more laid-back in its storytelling, taking time to develop depth even while the characters themselves got thrown from one impossibly complicated situation to the next. That’s kind of what I like about Ménage à 3 (NSFW link) now: the willingness to have fun with sexual roles and place characters into awkward situations without turning them into stereotypes.

    There’s a fine line in media representation between “a gay character” and “a character who is gay.” (Substitute whatever other group you wish, if you like.) In the first case, the character is defined by being gay, so anything that happens to that character is seen as A Message About Gays. In the second situation, they’re a character first; “gay” is just an attribute with no particular weight. For those who see Ranma as problematic, all I can say is that I remember it in the second sense. Transformations caused awkwardness, but never harm, and it was generally resolved by the close of that story arc.

    It’s been a while since I’ve read any issues, but unlike the minstrel shows Ann refers to, I don’t recall any place where the joke was that Ranma (or any other transforming character) was somehow “less” than anyone else. The transformations were just another way to generate storytelling opportunities; I do not remember any value judgments being attached to them. (Well, except that going to that particular training ground was a Stupid Idea. People who took stupid risks often got into trouble as a consequence of making that bad decision. In that respect, “you turn into a girl/panda/pig for a while sometimes” comes across to me as “getting off easy.”) It was just part of who they were, and as such it was fair game. Yes, most of those story hooks were comedic – it’s a comedy series. If it had been a dramatic series, I would have expected them to be used for dramatic purposes.

    Other people are free to read/watch/experience the series differently. I can’t control that, nor would I wish to. All I can say is how and why I enjoyed the series. However, just as I do not speak for all cis men, I do not expect anyone else to speak for any other group. As Meredith points out, no group is a hive mind – and I’ll go the next step and say that treating them as such is problematic stereotyping.

    People are individuals. Read what you like, skip what you don’t, and let everyone else do likewise. Don’t be a Puppy about it.

  27. @JJ,

    I have answered a great many pointed questions here. I have never faced this degree of hostility, and yet I continue to attempt to find common ground with other fans here in spite of the circumstances that make that such a difficult task. Many of your associates here have applauded my civility and demeanor even though they know we don’t see eye to eye on everything. I have answered some very pointed questions here today… even ones that I might want to sidestep. But I answered the questions to the satisfaction of my critics. You don’t seem to do that. You seem to want me to fight the very culture war that I specifically declared I was going to set aside here in the interests of meeting together both as fans and human beings. I’m not going to do that. I don’t think that would be constructive at all.

  28. I have never faced this degree of hostility

    If you think this was hostile, you really don’t get out much.

  29. If you think this was hostile, you really don’t get out much.

    Go easy on the lad. He’s too nice to be a Puppy. We may yet win him to our side that is not a side at all.

  30. Jeffro: I have never faced this degree of hostility,

    A bunch of us felt the same when the guy who runs the web site and publishing house you’ve hitched your wagon to described, by name, a colleague as necessarily half-savage, not as human as himself, and necessarily a parasite on the culture invented by his forebears. We felt the same way when the guy he nominated for an unprecedented number of awards – and got him on the Hugo ballot, thanks to slate activity that all the rest of us had an easy time steering away from until now – described wishing he had the courage to assault a widely loved old man dying of a horrible degenerative condition, and when they and their colleagues defend the mass murder of teenagers, the general wisdom of shooting 14-year-olds in the head when it’s wartime (and insisting that no civilian is competent to judge the case, that we are fit only to submit to their judgment), the idea that hetero men naturally feel a desire to beat gay men to death, and on and on.

    Nobody here has wished harm to you, or your career. Nobody here heard news that your beloved dog was dying and filled up your Twitter feed with pictures of dead dogs and jokes about dead dogs, unlike people that your host at Castalia and several others directing the Puppies cheer on as better fans than us here. Nobody here has tried to get you fired, either from Castalia or from whatever your day job is, unlike Torgersen dealing with one of his critics. Nobody here has leveled slurs against your ethnicity, sexual identity, age, appearance, or beliefs, unlike the Puppies leaders.

    And so forth and so on.

  31. Jeffro Johnson: I have answered a great many pointed questions here. I have never faced this degree of hostility, and yet I continue to attempt to find common ground with other fans here in spite of the circumstances that make that such a difficult task. Many of your associates here have applauded my civility and demeanor even though they know we don’t see eye to eye on everything. I have answered some very pointed questions here today… even ones that I might want to sidestep. But I answered the questions to the satisfaction of my critics.

    As I previously posted in another thread regarding someone else who was being applauded for behaving like a mature adult: We give praise and rewards to toddlers when they don’t poop their pants, as an encouragement to continue the positive behavior.

    As an adult, presumably you are cognizant of the level of civilized and mature behavior which an adult is expected to meet. A few other people here seem to feel you need praise and rewards for behaving like a mature adult. My stance is simply that you should behave like a mature adult, and that praise and rewards for doing so should not even be part of the equation.

    Jeffro Johnson: You seem to want me to fight the very culture war that I specifically declared I was going to set aside here in the interests of meeting together both as fans and human beings. I’m not going to do that. I don’t think that would be constructive at all.

    No, that is not what I said at all. Please go back and read my post more carefully.

    I suggested that you give your own encouragement to “please consider building a meeting of the minds” to your cohorts and teammates — instead of exhorting the people here to do so.

  32. @Jeffro, than perhaps a simple suggestion – you don’t *have* to engage with a commenter that you think is being hostile, aspecially when you’re just here to have a disussion. Constantly doing so may just be winding them up. Disengage.

  33. Snowcrash makes a good point! The existence of a comment doesn’t often create any obligation of any kind to respond. I could do with more being oblivious myself. 🙂

  34. JJ said: Also everyone, I understand the desire to lessen keystrokes, but when shortening his name, I would appreciate it if you would shorten it to “Jeffro” rather than “JJ”

    @JJ – Oops. Sorry about that. My comment about the business side of SF&F was indeed aimed toward Jeffro Johnson, not you. (“Long-time listener, first-time caller” syndrome.)

  35. @Jeffro

    Just to reiterate that while we have our disagreements, I do respect you coming here and being A Fan rather than an attack puppy. We can be a difficult crowd at times, and while I also think you’ve earned some of that flack due to your association with Castalia House, I’m sure its not easy to stay calm and civil through all that, especially my occasional menacing of Lady Astronaut-related duels. I’d struggle. 🙂

    Especially considering Day deliberately throwing gasoline around has lead to higher tempers than when you came by a couple of days ago.

  36. gaffi8ed: Sorry about that. My comment about the business side of SF&F was indeed aimed toward Jeffro Johnson, not you.

    De nada. It will just help cut down on the confusion. 😉

  37. @JJ

    I do not think I can satisfy you.

    I will neither fight you nor defend myself from whatever you’re trying to accomplish here. It is outside of the scope of what I can reasonably be expected to deal with in this context. Feel free to take the last word of this exchange for the benefit of your peers. I will cease attempting to gainsay you.

  38. @snowcrash

    That’s true, I’ll third that-


    snowcrash is right, you can bypass comments you’re not comfortable with, or parts of comments, and focus on the discussion you’d rather be having. Its not compulsory to answer everyone.

  39. Jeffro Johnson: I do not think I can satisfy you. I will neither fight you nor defend myself from whatever you’re trying to accomplish here. It is outside of the scope of what I can reasonably be expected to deal with in this context. Feel free to take the last word of this exchange for the benefit of your peers. I will cease attempting to gainsay you.

    What would “satisfy” me is some indication from you that you actually understand what I’ve been trying to say. But I get the feeling that, instead of genuinely trying to comprehend my meaning, and respond to what I’ve actually said, you’ve decided to take it as an “attack”, and you’re responding to things I never said.

    I’m sorry that is the case.

  40. @Jeffro

    I’ve never met a running joke I didn’t want to ride into the ground. 🙂

  41. @JJ

    I’d like to see attempted peacemaker Puppies try and calm down the rhetoric (Aristotle!) on their side, too. I do understand the difficulty they have, though.

    Firstly, they have to “see” the aggression in the first place. From where they are, the Puppies are people who are nice to them and generally agree with them, and they’re less likely to notice the unpleasant bits of the rants because they’re busy nodding along to whatever it is that speaks to them.

    Secondly, its a big risk. If they start noticing the attacks, they will surely also realise that those attacks could be easily aimed at them if they dissent too much, with the added bonus that I wouldn’t be surprised if Day took a leaf from Requires Hate’s book and kept blackmail in case of defections.

    I don’t expect random authors and fans to stand up and volunteer for that, honestly. Even if I think its the right thing to do.

    So I don’t mind that they don’t do it. It would be very nice, but I think they should take their own safety into account. I would appreciate it if they’d stop telling us to make peace, though. We’re not the ones trying to turn fandom into a war.

  42. I don’t see the flame wars stopping anytime soon.

    I do believe it is possible to create spaces where people agree to set it aside in order to focus on things that make people into fans in the first place.

    People say I’m a dreamer… but people do it all the time with D&D sessions at conventions. My table is politics-free anyway….

  43. Jim:
    >> Fun fact: Stan Lee was also art director at Marvel Comics, presumably for the extra paycheck.>>

    He worked for Martin Goodman. I doubt there _was_ an extra paycheck.

  44. Meredith: I’d like to see attempted peacemaker Puppies try and calm down the rhetoric (Aristotle!) on their side, too. I do understand the difficulty they have, though… So I don’t mind that they don’t do it. It would be very nice, but I think they should take their own safety into account. I would appreciate it if they’d stop telling us to make peace, though. We’re not the ones trying to turn fandom into a war.

    That was one of the points I was trying to make to Jeffro. If he chooses not to attempt to persuade Puppies to take a more reasonable stance, it’s entirely understandable. I’ve seen how that mob turned on a Puppy who attempted to speak with the voice of reason, and I can understand someone not willing to become the subject of their hatred, threats, and doxxing.

    My point was that his coming here and encouraging the people who comment on File770 to go and try to “make peace” with the Puppies was not a constructive suggestion. If he’s not willing to take that on, why would he ask anyone here to do so?

    The Puppies have made it clear they have no interest in peace, only in “winning” the mythical war they’ve created — and unless / until that changes, no one here is going to be able to have any effect on them.

  45. @JJ,

    I am not telling anyone here to do anything. I’m not really arguing with anyone here. I have simply offered to meet people half way. If I’m the one making steps to come to the half way mark and you all don’t even have to move to get there, that is just fine with me.

  46. Jeffro: “I do believe it is possible to create spaces where people agree to set it aside in order to focus on things that make people into fans in the first place.”

    I just can’t reconcile this “let’s give peace a chance” viewpoint with the fact your blog is hosted by bloody Pox Day. I mean, the man just flat out admitted that he deliberately dropped the screen grab from Irene Gallo’s post four weeks after she made it, just to ‘strike back’ (presumably at non-Puppies or his critics). He’s an unrepentant troll and shit stirrer, not to mention someone who doxxes his critics and reviewers he doesn’t like. Just visiting your site is inviting him to harvest information about visitors and using that information in a harmful way if he choose.

    Could you not have found a more congenial and less inflammatory home for your blog? WordPress hosts the things for free, you know. At the moment you’re coming across more like Tariq Aziz than Joe Biden.

    While I find your addiction to really old writing ahead of anything written after 1980 annoying, it’s this incompatibility between your words and your actions which makes me doubt your understanding of the situation, if not your sincerity.

  47. Porco Rosso for favourite anime.

    I spent the time to kitbash the plane from Porco Rosso as a model for the tabltop game Wings of War (a WW1 dogfighting game).

  48. for Craig R. – isn’t it great that we live in an era where “had a heart attack” isn’t necessarily a euphemism for “died” ? Just like “had cancer” or “was in a car accident” !

    oh, and – “Beale, Ted’s Arrogant Slateventure”?

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