Lord Foul’s Baying 6/14

aka Spaceships and Solar Sails and Puppy Blog Tales.

In the roundup today: Brad R. Torgersen, George R.R. Martin, MD Laclan, Scott Alexander, Peter Grant, Vox Day, John C. Wright, Sarah A. Hoyt, J. A. Micheline, Ray Blank, Spacefaring Kitten, Mark Ciocco, Lis Carey, Russell Blackford, Rebekah Golden, Bonnie McDaniel and Silly But True. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Bruce Baugh and Jack Lint.)

Brad R. Torgersen in a comment on George R.R. Martin’s Not A Blog – June 13

Which of the Puppies are clueless? Is it me? The readers? Somebody else? From which way does the venom flow? There’s a lady over at TOR who’s in a lot of hot water right now, because she regurgitated venom she’d absorbed (or been spoon-fed) by folks on your “side” of this thing. Her chief mistake was in assuming that she knew who she was calling names, when she did not.

And now the customers are remarkably unhappy with her.

I’ve said it before: I don’t mind people who criticize Sad Puppies 3 for either mode, or method. If you can criticize the method, without impugning the integrity of the man, all well and good. That’s a conversation worth having.

Problem is, some opponents of Sad Puppies 3 have been impugning the man (singularly, collectively) from the get-go, and the invective has been of a type and kind so outlandish, so below the belt, so filled with promises both dire and dreadful, that I’ve struggled to understand why people who claim to tread the high frontiers of the world’s most imaginative form of literature, can be frightened into nasty hysterics by the fact that a democratic process was exercised democratically.

Eric Flint’s a friend of mine, and I trust him on most things. But he’s not immune from getting it wrong. I think his criticism has been better then most, because he’s tried to be fair-minded. But he’s also gotten a few things out of whack.

CHORF came about because the SMOFs who are supporting Sad Puppies didn’t want to be lumped in with the hysterical crowd calling Sad Puppies a lot of terrible stuff.

Puppy-kicker was suggested to me by a female member of the Sad Puppies 3 slate who was tired of seeing anti-Puppy ad hominem attacks. So, I adopted Puppy-kicker as a means of referring to people who are in it for the sake of personal vendetta, or who can’t seem to stop themselves from being nasty churls at a personal level, against everything and everyone Puppy-related.

CHORF and Puppy-kicker may seem offensive to some, but they are attempts to refine the conversation while not letting the bad-spirited, badly-behaving actors off the hook.

And to be blunt about it, George, some of the folks on “your” side have been very, very bad-spirited, and made it their personal business to be fantastically terrible to not just myself, not just Larry Correia, but to all of Puppydom. And as Tom Doherty discovered, Puppydom also includes respected colleagues and authors with decades of investment in this field. As well as a heap-load of readers. You know, those people who pay us money for the crazy shit we make up and pull out of our heads?

I’d love to see things dialed down, but the bulk of the dialing has to come from your “side” and to be honest, I am not really sure the fans (aka: customers!) who’ve been tarred with the anti-Puppy brush, are feeling terribly pleased at the moment. This was never a top-down effort, it was always grass-roots. Larry, myself, Sad Puppies, we gave faces and a name to a sentiment that’s been there for many years. Among the readership. Among people who were tired of being treated like they were second-class citizens, either because of their Fandom pedigrees, or because of their Fandom tastes and interests, or because they were professionals deemed to be “cut-rate” in the back-room conversations amongst other pros.

That kind of thing leaves bruises to the bone, George. And whether you like it or not, it’s some of the people on your side eagerly doing the bruising.


George R.R. Martin replies in a comment – June 13

[First of five parts.]

I have spoken out against name-calling from the first, Brad. It is the Puppies and their supporters who started it, and who keep dialing it up. I will concede that you yourself have been mostly civil, but read the comments in your own blog, or Correia’s, or even on FILE 770, and it is all venom and epithets.

>And now the customers are remarkably unhappy with her.

The vast majority of customers have no idea about any of this. The “unhappiness” here is a campaign orchestrated by the odious Mr. Beale, and once again you Sad Puppies have lined up behind the Rabids. Early in this debate, I heard a lot of stuff from your side about careers being threatened and your opponents saying “you will never work in this town again” and similar crap. Not one instance of that was ever substantiated. But now we are seeing a deliberate internet campaign to cost someone their career — and it is coming from VD, with the full howling support of Puppies of all stripes.

No one on “my side” ever threatened anyone’s livelihood or career. Your side is doing just that. In public.


MD Laclan on Fantasy Faction

“Breakfast of bullshit: Futurephobia, the Hugos and the invention of SF’s past” – June 14

What you doubtless wanted when you sparked up this blog was another comment on The Hugos controversy, where – summing it up – a bunch of right wing idiots have been acting like right wing idiots and annoying the good and sensible folk of the SF&F parish. OK, then.

SF – and the debate seems centred on SF rather than fantasy – shouldn’t be about social issues, they say, it’s rayguns and aliens. (I’m obviously making their argument slightly more complex than it is – it seems to reduce to ‘er, girls, thinking, ugg, sissy, me feel insecure.’)

Particularly annoying seems the inclusion of a diverse cast of protagonists – transgender people, homosexual people, female people and black people. They actually say this, which seems surprising in 2015 as opposed to, say, 1915.

Rightist light sabre rattler Brad Torgensen says on his blog that buying SF with a spaceship on the cover nowadays is like buying one kind of cereal but getting quite another.


Scott Alexander on Slate Star Codex

“Fearful Symmetry” – June 14

Likewise, when people wanted TV star Phil Robertson fired for saying (on his own time) that homosexuality was unnatural and led to bestiality and adultery, they said it wasn’t about policing his religion, it was about how these were “hateful” comments that would make the people working with him feel unsafe. At the time I said that was poppycock and that people who wanted him fired for having a private opinion were the worst kinds of illiberal witch-hunters.

On the other hand, consider Irene Gallo. I know nothing of her except what the Alas blog post says, but apparently in science fiction’s ongoing conflict between the establishment and the anti-SJW “Sad Puppies”/”Rabid Puppies” groups, she referred to the latter as:

Two extreme right-wing to neo-nazi groups that are calling for the end of social justice in science fiction and fantasy. They are unrepentantly racist, sexist and homophobic.

These are some pretty strong allegations, and range from “false” to “bizarre”; Brad Torgenson, leader of the group she called “extreme right wing neo nazi unrepentant racists”, is happily married to a black woman. And the people she’s talking about are her company’s authors and customers, which hardly seems like good business practice. Some authors have said they feel uncomfortable working for a company whose employees think of them that way, and others have suggested boycotting Tor until they make her apologize or fire her.

Barry says that since she said these on her own private Facebook page, it is a private opinion that it would be pretty censorious to fire her over. Part of me agrees.

On the other hand, if I were a sci-fi author in one of the groups that she was talking about, I’m not sure I’d be able to work with her. Like, really? You want me to sit across a table and smile at the woman who thinks I’m a racist sexist homophobic extremist neo-Nazi just because I disagree with her?


Peter Grant on Bayou Renaissance Man

“Do empty vessels make the most sound?” – June 14

I’ve been quietly amused by the number of SJW’s who are trying to dismiss the current brouhaha over Tor as something ‘manufactured by troublemakers’, individuals who don’t have a following and are ‘nobodies’ making a fuss over nothing.  They take great care to attack ‘Puppies’ supporters and commenters, often going so far as to attribute emotions and attitudes to them that have no existence whatsoever in reality – but they never address the real issues involved, as I pointed out recently.  It’s a very strange, almost surreal attitude to life.

I’m sure many of my readers have seen SJW attacks on Larry Correia, Brad Torgerson, Vox Day and the like.  Even humble little me has come in for his share of them – as, for example, in comments to this article at File 770.  For your entertainment, here are some of them, with links: ….


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“The outrage is not manufactured” – June 14

So, now it is time to demonstrate that we are not bots. Now it is time to let Macmillan know that we truly exist and we do NOT approve of the senior SJWs at Tor Books who have been publicly attacking us for more than a decade. It is time to prove to Macmillan that the senior SJWs at Tor are lying to them by sending ONE email apiece to the following people on MONDAY morning. (Emphasis added as a result of already seeing emails in my inbox.) Send the emails separately, do not CC them or send out one email to the three email addresses at the same time. The point is to make it clear that you are NOT a bot, you are a human being, and therefore the people at Tor Books are lying to their superiors at Macmillan.

  1. tom.dohertyATtor.com
  2. andrew.weberATmacmillan.com
  3. rhonda.brownATmacmillan.com

The three emails should be short, straightforward, polite, and respectful. It should have I AM A REAL PERSON in the subject, CC voxdayATgmail.com, and address the following points:

  • I am a real person and not a bot.
  • I do not approve of the behavior of the senior people at Tor Books, specifically Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Moshe Feder, and Irene Gallo.
  • I am requesting you to require Irene Gallo to resign from her positions at Tor Books and Tor.com as a consequence of her egregiously unprofessional public attack on science fiction readers and writers.
  • I request a response to confirm that my email has been received and read.

Something to that effect, anyway. There is no need to mention any possibility of a boycott, tell them how many books you buy in a year, or anything else. The people at Macmillan are smart, they are professional, and they know what is at stake. What they do not know is something we are going to have to demonstrate to them: SJWs always lie.


John C. Wright

“I Am A Real Person” – June 14

I have received more messages, publicly and privately, from fans who enjoy and buy my works but who, deeply offended at at least four, perhaps more, of the ranking officers of my publisher, have told me they can no longer buy my works.

This is unprecedented, or, I should say, at least I have never heard of readers disavowing books based not on the content or author, but the publisher.

Some have likewise written to Tor books to express their displeasure at this high handed and unprofessional treatment.

However, the latest slander issued from the enemy is that these readers do not exist.

They are trying to blank you out of their minds. You are unpersons. The claim is that the emails and letters sent to Tor expressing the displeasure of the customer are said to be faked, counterfeit, written by robots.


Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“This, That, The Other, Now With More Robots” – June 14

This bizarre belief that thousands of pissed off fans are just a “robot army” invoked by the Lord of All Evil is one of the ways of pinching off reality and self-insulating so the faith can stay strong.  They know that those who disagree with their progressive view for the future are few, old, and frankly probably too dumb to read for fun.  They know also that VD has some mysterious mastery of the dark forces of computing which they don’t fully get.  Ergo, presto, the annoying supposed evidence they might not be right is enemy action and fakery.


Ray Blank on Superversive SF

“On Worldcons and World Cups” – June 14

Torgersen is right about Worldcon and the awards it hands out. It is an event for Americans, by Americans. Everybody else assimilates, or is excluded. Worldcon might promote an American industry to customers overseas, but reveals little appetite for international diversity within that industry. That would imply more competition for American writers and American businessmen, and it would also mean more competition amongst ideas.

I like my science fiction to be challenging, and I find the world to be a challenging place. Not everyone is like me, and not everyone shares my tastes or opinions. It would be unreasonable to expect otherwise. So I must expect that some will prefer to observe the world whilst wearing blinkers or rose-tinted spectacles. They have a right to free speech, even if they only use it to talk amongst themselves. If it makes them happy, they should continue as they are. But nobody should pretend that the members of Worldcon aspire to realize the greatest, most diverse potential of the SF market. They may refer to their event as Worldcon, but this ‘fandom’ retreats from the world at large.


J. A. Micheline on Women Write About Comics

“A Message From Tom Doherty: We Are An Apolitical Island, Nothing to See Here” – June 14

Some of you may be familiar with the Rabid/Sad Puppies Hugo Award Scandal of 2015, which has basically been a study in gatekeeping, sexism, racism, and all the less-than-cute things we have all come to know and hate about…well, fandom. Last month, Tor.com’s Associate Publisher and Tor Books’ Creative Director Irene Gallo made statements on her personal Facebook page that expressed her disgust with the Rabid/Sad Puppy movement. She describes them as “right wing to neo-nazi,” and “unrepentantly racist, misogynist, and homophobic.” She also did not clarify that these statements were her own and not reflective of Tor.com/Tor Books as a whole.

You know. Even though they were on her personal Facebook page.

So, naturally, on Monday–coincidentally, mere days before the winners of the Nebula Awards were announced–Tom Doherty, Tor Books President and Publisher took to the Tor.com page to let everyone know that (1) that Sad Puppies is “not all (white) men,” (2) that Tor is about publishing a diverse set of books and has no political agenda, and (3) that Irene Gallo has been tamed and put back in her cage, y’all, so let’s get back to business and forget this ever happened.

I mean, I’m paraphrasing, but you get it.

I’m not going to spend time debunking the “not all (white) men” portion of the post because other people have already made this point about the Rabid/Sad Puppies’ agenda. I’m just going to let it sit there that the odd circumstantial nature of this statement coming out a month after Ms. Gallo’s words but just in time to distract from women basically sweeping the Nebula Awards. I will say that making a list of some of the women and people of color included on their slate to prove that they aren’t racist or sexist is a very, very weird thing to do if your site and/or publisher has no political agenda.


JoeMama on Eaton Rapids Joe

“Sad Puppies” – June 14

Traditional publishing houses are still pretty good at putting physical copies of books on the shelves of physical book stores.  It can do that because of its access to commercial credit….the ability to take on debt.

They also retain the ability to promote although most readers find a hundred favorable on-line reviews infinitely more compelling than a frothy blurb written by a shill-for-hire.

And, until this year, traditional publishing houses “owned” the Hugo award process and thus controlled the free publicity the Hugos generated.

But the chickens came home to roost this year.  All of those writers that the gate keepers were discarding because their politics were not “good”….they never went away.  They self published.  They banded together to create pools of alpha and beta readers.  They communicated.

And they got mad.  These are smart people.  They were able to synthesize the Big Picture.  And they did not like it.  They were filled with the anger of a spurned lover, one who had been ditched for a rich girl.

Here is the joke, the rich girl only looks rich.  She is living on debt and past glory.  She is about to collapse like a brittle drunk.  The traditional publishing industry is doomed unless it has its own  Counter Reformation.


Brad R. Torgersen in a comment to Eric Flint  – June 10

4) Mike Resnick is an outlier, Eric. You yourself have always talked about outliers. And the reason Mike is an outlier is because Mike has been in Fandom (caps f) for his entire life, and is known and beloved to many, and he’s never made it his business to broadcast his politics on social media. The great sin of the 21st century Fandom landscape, has been for conservatives and libertarians — like Michael Z. Williamson — to actually display their beliefs in the public square. I know you don’t think much of William F. Buckley, but he was dead right when he said, “Liberals will often tell you that they are open to other opinions; then react with shock and dismay to discover that there are other opinions.” That’s progressive Fandom in a nutshell. Notice that Mike Resnick got his cojones rosted on a spit the second he and Barry Malzberg actually did express themselves, in the pages of the SFWA Bulletin. They were castigated, maligned, and ejected.


JT’s German Adventure

“The REAL Hugo Controversy” – June 14

The Sad and/or Rabid Puppies may try to convince you that there’s a bias at work in the Hugo Awards*, and they may be right. However, they’ve overlooked the REAL shameful secret of the Hugo Awards. That secret? No novel written in a language other than English has ever won. Do you really believe that the best sci-fi/fantasy novel of the year was originally written in English… for SIXTY consecutive years? This stretches credulity.


Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“Grimm: ‘Once We Were Gods’” – June 14

I had never watched an episode of Grimm prior to this year’s Hugos, so it’s a new show for me. I checked out a few of the very first episodes and then skipped to the third season, watching some of the episodes leading up to the 15th one that is up for a Hugo. Grimm seems to be the male version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with fairy tale backstory and some police procedural thrown into the mix. It’s a decent show, with crimes perpetrated by different monster species, all with German names, and a council of unionized monsters to complicate matters here and there.


Mark Ciocco on Kaedrin Weblog

“Hugo Awards: The Dark Between The Stars”

The idea of a distinction between a true Auteur and a craftsman is what keeps coming to mind when I think of Kevin J. Anderson. I mean, books aren’t collaborative in the way movies are, but the distinction between a craftsman and, let’s say, a master, is what I’m falling back on here. He’s a fine author, his prose gets the job done, and the books I’ve read by him are enjoyable. I still find them a little too diffuse, a little too derivative. So Anderson is a fine craftsman, and honestly, I could see myself revisiting this universe because I had a decent enough time with it. But he’s not a master, and while this represents good old-fashioned SF comfort food, I’m not sure it’s well executed enough to be worth the stretch.


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Transhuman and Subhuman: Essays on Science Fiction and Awful Truth, by John C. Wright” – June 14

With a bit more restraint, his prose could be lyrical–the opposite of the transparent prose the Puppies say they’re looking for, and certainly not to everyone’s taste, but offering its own kind of enjoyment. Without that restraint, alas, it too often becomes word salad, and at best is tiring and annoying.


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Flight of the Kikayon, by Kary English” – June 14

Kary English is a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

This story is a rare treat in the 2015 Hugo Voters packet.


Russell Blackford on Metamagician and The Hellfire Club

“Concluding comments on “Best novelette” category – Hugo Awards voting 2015” – June 14

And the winner is…

well, I don’t know who will win this award. I will not be voting “no award” ahead of any of them. However, the standout is Heuvelt’s surrealistic fantasy story, “The Day the World Turned Upside Down”.


Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Fan Writer: Reviewing C Sanderson” – June 13

My eyes glazed over and I didn’t learn anything new about some awesome corner of the sf/f community. Not my best fan writer.


Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Fan Writer: Reviewing L J Mixon” – June 13

She writes about fandom and meta issues. Am I being unfairly focused? Is my definition too strict? It’s harder to tell with someone whose politics align with my own. Still, for me, one of my favorite writers will not be best fan writer. She did not improve my understanding or love of works in the sf/f realm. I’m sticking to my definition. And feeling sad.


Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Fan Writer: Reviewing J Johnson” – June 13

I opened up Jeffro Johnson’s PDF in the voter’s packet for the Hugo Awards and breathed a sigh of relief. This. This is what I’ve been looking for. Jack Vance and D&D. YES. Each article is full of Johnson’s enthusiasm for the genre, tidbits of collected information, quotes, and references. This is a fan writer! After finishing reading I know more than I did, I appreciate more than I had, and I am (momentarily) interested in exploring more. Well done.


Bonnie McDaniel on Red Headed Femme

“The Hugo Project: ‘Best Related Work’” – June 14

[After comments on each nominee…]

Mr. Noah Award in a runaway. In fact, Noah is the equivalent of the magnificent Secretariat thundering down the stretch in the Belmont Stakes, straight and true and overpowering, leaving his competitors in the dust.


Silly But True in a comment on File 770 – June 14

…Fifty-four rubbed his temples. Voting had been so much easier before the Dog Wars destroyed the world. It was a terrible thing to watch first hand as a civilization died from a lack of civility. And Fifty-four was old enough to have survived the those times — even the worst of the fighting of 2019 when the atomics and bioweapons started being deployed. He checked his Aggregator 9000 and saw he still had some time left to complete his recommendations, if he chose to make any more, which could count on the final ballot, or not, depending on how many people agreed with him, or not.

He thought about how it would be nice to take a morning stroll after being cooped up in his ever so small cubicle. But that was stopped after the Slate Cullings of 2021. The initial recommendation-based society had quickly imploded as people found they could convince others of their recommendations. Soon, what had begun as cliques grew into gangs, and then armies, and then nation states. Finally, after the tactics had become so vile, the last people left alive on earth set about enshrining rules for the recommendations that could never be gamed. One of the side effects is that all human contact with one another was stopped.

So, Fifty-four sat in his box. Alone. Thinking of whether he should maintain the strength of his single vote, or dilute it for a time by adding more.

That was odd. Lights blinked on his Aggregator 9000. That never happened before. But there it was. A series of blinks. Some long. Some short. Suddenly, an epiphany struck Fifty-four. The sequence was Morse code, but for the life of him, Fifty-four could not remember what letters the dits and dahs represented…..

1,311 thoughts on “Lord Foul’s Baying 6/14

  1. Homosexuality is a crime in Qatar punished by seven years imprisonment for non-Muslims and execution for Muslims. There also are questions about whether alcohol would be allowed. A Qatar bid would be staggeringly unpopular.

    On the upside, with no alcohol and no gay people John C. Wright will be all for it.

  2. Ultragotha, forgive me, but without some specifics, Mamatas will weasel out of it by claiming, as he’s done here before, by saying it never happened.

    Although he won’t reply to me, as he never has replied to me, because in addition to being an admirer of a sociopathic bully, he’s also chickenshit.

  3. (And since I didn’t make it as clear as I’d like, Rachel Swirsky is awesome.)

  4. Jeb,

    Thanks for coming to File 770, I hope you hang around and add some book suggestions.

    It is great to hear your take on SP3, what you say rings very true about the way Brad expected things to go and why things went as they did.

    My problem with your analysis is that if the slate did take off out of his control, I would have expected him to be more open and reasonable about objections. The reality(from my perspective) is, every time Brad has been given a chance to head in a more neutral or concilatory direction he has instead doubled down on his rhetoric.

    I understand how when a person gets lots of critisism they can get defensive, but there comes a time to step back and acknowledge your errors before moving on. If you are reading this whole thread you will see XS do just that.

    Finally, getting back to the books, what is your favourite light read? We have been having a great discussion about books that make us joyous, please join in.

  5. @Jeb Kinnison:

    Hello there. Welcome to File 770 comments!

    I think you made a hash of your attempt to be charitable to Irene Gallo for reasons various women in the thread have already detailed. I think you should take what they wrote to heart. But I like the fact that you were trying to be charitable to a hated figure on “the other side” as well as to your man Torgesen. But now I’m going to tell you how I think you made a hash of that too.

    I suspect he, like other SP3s, expected their little protest to result in maybe a few noms, and he slapped it together in the limited time he had. Now we have people with the benefit of hindsight asking why it was so slapdash — the answer is because they didn’t expect to be very successful, and they were as shocked as anyone when they swept a few categories.

    Okay, so your charitable reading of Torgesen’s actions was that he did a slapdash job because of a lack of time. But here’s the thing: he didn’t have to do it at all. He could, instead, have decided, “It turns out I don’t have time to curate a list of superb work in all Hugo categories. And I refuse to do a second-rate job. So, sorry, folks, no Sad Puppies list from me this year. Talk amongst yourselves.”

    Literally nothing bad would have happened had he simply not done SP3 at all. Even if you think SP3 was okay in principle, or even a good idea in principle, there was no rush.

  6. Danny:
    >> Kurt, when you get to the Best Fan Writer nominees, you’ll find that Laura Mixon was nominated for her documenting of the Sriduangkaew debacle — a debacle in which Mr Mamatas played a certain role. >>

    I know she was. I’m looking forward to it — well, for values of “looking forward” that cover “many people have praised how she handled it” but not “I’m glad that stuff happened.”

    But that still doesn’t make it appropriate to declare that “everybody” thinks one way or another about it, or extends whatever they think about it to their view of Nick. I don’t like being lumped into a group and told what I think when the Puppies do it, and I don’t like it when others do it. I’ll make my own choices, thanks.

    On the other hand, XS has said sorry, won’t do it again, and I’m fine with that, too.

    >> Reading the comments, I have to wonder…how is this site and Vox Populi little more than a doppelganger of the other?>>

    I think you missed a word there. But I would presume part of the answer is, “File770 isn’t gaming the Hugos, coordinating carefully-timed outbursts of outrage, trying to get someone fired, calling for e-mail-bomb campaigns, or any of an assortment of other such activities.”

  7. I find nothing positive in adding to someone’s micraggression load. I view it as more piling on and hurtful.

  8. I read “Jackalope Wives” after it won the Nebula and loved it. I’ll be checking out “Digger” soon.

  9. @Soon Lee

    Agree on both counts. The name-calling is absurd, and very childish.

  10. Did you guys know that Apex Magazine podcasts one story a month? Because I did not know that until I went looking for Jackalope Wives and found it, and downloaded it. Check it out, there’s another Ursula Vernon Story for the January 2015 podcast! Pocosin. If the link doesn’t work, try the Apex website for issue # 68, January 2015.

  11. @Jeb Kinnison: “A general publisher in the US has to recognize that 50% of the population is in the Red Tribe, and alienating those people is unwise.”

    You have at least two unstated assumptions there:

    1. Voting percentages accurately reflect the full population.
    2. The full population is the publisher’s audience.

    Consider: Does Coulter or Limbaugh need to worry about throwing the term “feminazi” around? Not really, because the people offended by it aren’t part of their audience.

    Many Puppies have been vocal about their dislike – even hatred – of Tor as a publisher. Why, then, should Tor cater to them as an audience?

    There are large numbers of readers “beyond the pale” of insular fandom, and reaching out to the rest of the world (China, India, etc.) and even Red Tribe US is important if SF&F is to remain healthy.

    Doesn’t that also imply that reaching out to people who do not feel represented by the current “mainly straight and white” SFF protagonists is also “important if SF&F is to remain healthy”? More to the point, are you also preaching this gospel of global outreach to the Puppies, or is yours a one-way crusade?

    @Doctor Science: “Why are OZ export rules so restrictive?”

    I blame the flying monkeys. 😉

  12. Camestros,

    Australians are just too different to mesh with you guys I think.

    For instance, if you complain about a lack of female representation in Fantasy to an Aussie they will just look at you blankly. For us women rule the Fantasy genre and people like Martin and Sanderson and Weeks are johnny-come-latelys.

  13. Aaron: has it ever occurred to you that for me, the front man of SP3, to begin playing favorites — ergo, singling out specific works for praise — I’d be doing a disservice to the whole slate? Like every other year at the Hugos, not every work on the list will be to all tastes. I am only disappointed in everyone who claims “The Hugos should be a celebration of quality and excellence!” in one breath, then shout, “Everyone on the Puppy list sucks, their work sucks, and I will Noah Ward the lot of them; sight-unseen!”

    Mark: ah, right, so you’re just a two-bit troll. Good thing to know. In the future, I’ll remember not to take anything you say on my blog seriously.

  14. By the way, I know that New Zealand is not Australia, but since I feel like it I’ll add in a recommendation for Elizabeth Knox’s Dreamhunter Duet anyway.

  15. Although he won’t reply to me, as he never has replied to me, because in addition to being an admirer of a sociopathic bully, he’s also chickenshit.

    Do you want this to be a place where calling somebody “chickenshit” is fair game?

  16. Brad, if you’re here and actually reading, I’ll repeat myself…

    Do you understand how I would find it hurtful that you’d claimed my Hugo was affirmative action, and I hadn’t earned it? Can you see how I’d feel that was an attack?

    I knew nothing about you, you were a name on the Campbell ballot, and I woke up to discover that you were claiming that a thing I was very proud of wasn’t deserved, and that it was because I was a girl. Can you at least understand how I’d find that upsetting? That I’d feel like that was an attack from someone I’d never met or interacted with before?

    Or would you at least like to say to my face that I didn’t deserve the honors I won?

  17. Jeb:
    >> I’d ask you to not to be too hard on the excesses of people who feel they’re being attacked >>

    And have you asked them the same, given how odd it seems to many that the aggressors in all this are seeing themselves as the victims? That, for instance, they point to Irene Gallo’s post as an attack, after months of them demonizing Tor and throwing around Nazi comparisons of their own. The idea that, perhaps, Gallo might feel that she and her colleagues were under attack and so perhaps they might not want to be too hard on her reaction doesn’t seem to have occurred to many Puppies.

    It just seems to be, “We gamed the Hugos, insulted voters, fans, administrators and authors and made up insulting names to the point that a glossary is helpful…but any response to this other than hailing us as liberators is an attack!”

  18. “Who in his right mind calls his own authors and readers, on whom his livelihood depends, neo-nazi racist psycho bigots on the ground that they prefer this year’s offering by Cixin Liu to that of John Chu?” – John C. Wright

    So why didn’t the puppies nominate Cixin Liu?

  19. Leaving aside the RH stuff, because I haven’t the spoons for it… (Note: Seriously, don’t pull me into any of that. I’m not up to it tonight.)

    Nick Mamatas has a very sharp tongue, and people who often make sharp tongued comments are also more likely to receive sharp tongued comments in return. I’m not surprised if that has lead to an impression of dislike for observers, but I don’t personally think that the odd sharp tongued comment has to mean personal dislike.

    We have other sharp tongued commenters, and I don’t believe they’re widely disliked for that, either. All sharp tongued commenters get pushback when they’re perceived to be over the line, but otherwise I’m not seeing any feuds going on.


  20. Tenar, I know, right? Awesome.

    There is no story on Brad’s Broken Ballot that can touch that lovely gem.

  21. Thank you, Stevie. I did not know that Ursula Vernon was such a talented visual artist as well.

    I loved Jackalope Wives and Toad Words. I just finished Bryoney and Roses. It was excellent and went in a direction I did not expect.

    I would have loved to read her take on Maggie, the flower loving gigantic cybertank applying a Gauss Rifle to recalcitrant clays.

    Stupid autocorrect. Why have you not heard of cybertanks? If I’d meant cybernates I’d have written that.

  22. I am only disappointed in everyone who claims “The Hugos should be a celebration of quality and excellence!” in one breath, then shout, “Everyone on the Puppy list sucks, their work sucks, and I will Noah Ward the lot of them; sight-unseen!”

    As you’d know if you bothered to peer outside your own bubble, people voting No Award without looking at the slate nominees are doing so in protest of bloc voting as a tactic. It has nothing to do with whether the works are good or not.

    The people who are voting No Award because slate nominees suck are reading the nominees before they make that determination. And some of them are voting for some slate nominees above No Award when they think them worthy, regardless of your bloc voting scheme.

    There’s no one saying that the slate nominees all suck “sight-unseen.” You’d lose the argument if you engaged what people are really doing in objection to your actions, so you’re pushing a false narrative.

  23. Brad Torgersen said: “has it ever occurred to you that for me, the front man of SP3, to begin playing favorites — ergo, singling out specific works for praise — I’d be doing a disservice to the whole slate?”

    Um…are you seriously trying to argue that in the midst of your singling out specific slates of work as Hugo-worthy, it’d be somehow unbecoming of you to single out some of them as more Hugo-worthy than others? That you’re willing to elevate six specific works of your choice (well, yours and Larry’s and Sarah’s and possibly Ted Beale’s depending on whose account you read) above all others as the best works out there, but to actually talk about why those six works were relevant and merited consideration would somehow display bias?

    Because that makes no goddamn sense and you have to know it.

  24. Dear other peeps with a background in fanworks fandom:

    If you must use fanworks fandom slang or acronyms, please explain what they actually mean. We’re a minority here and acting like people should know what our in-group terminology means is obnoxious. It doesn’t take more than an extra minute to define your terms or rephrase into more fandom-wide friendly phrasing.

    Dear not-fanworks fandom peeps:

    Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is OK was the one above, I think.

  25. @ Brad T.

    “The Hugos should be a celebration of quality and excellence!” in one breath, then shout, “Everyone on the Puppy list sucks, their work sucks, and I will Noah Ward the lot of them; sight-unseen!”

    Except you know that isn’t true. You know people are reading them. You know the complaints about the quality are coming from those of us who have actually read this stuff. Sure, there are some people who are going to blanket no-award to protest the way you gamed the ballot, but you also know damned well that there are a lot of people with absolutely informed opinions on how bad or award-deserving this stuff is.

    Can you just stop pretending people don’t exist for 5 minutes?

  26. @Mr. Torgerson, this will contain no assertions, no claims, merely questions.

    Consider v.1.0 of the Sad Puppies justification, what is the cause of this late discovery that Ancillary Justice, City and the City, et. al. might be a source of differing tastes instead of mere affirmative action cases? Could this distaste for the Puppy list have something to do with that?

    Or could it be that I actually killed a weekend’s reading time on each of your Sad Puppy nominees, and find it cute that you whip for Mr. Wright’s essays, and then feel shocked that someone would describe them as homophobic, misogynistic, or racist? Perhaps Ms. Gallo merely read her packet, and called a horse a horse? Perhaps she merely used the search function on the blog of one your co-slate organizers?

    Is this the beginning of Sad Puppies v.8.0? Or is it v.9.0? I remember back when this was merely about not being able to know what was in a book by its cover – or is that now some prior Asia we’ve always been at war with? Or will we circle back in some great oruborus back to great plots of SJWs?

    Now if you could tell me what I meant, as you’ve done in these threads before? Or will we be told to forget that we can look up your previous visits here?

  27. Brad:
    “Aaron: has it ever occurred to you that for me, the front man of SP3, to begin playing favorites — ergo, singling out specific works for praise — I’d be doing a disservice to the whole slate?”

    Has it ever occurred to you that you might not realize you were doing that? That maybe a broader group making the final call on a recommendation list might have helped avoid that?

    And, as a matter of democratic accountability, who were the ELoE for that purpose?

  28. Mr. Torgersen, I’m sure you’re a devoted and loving husband, and a caring and dedicated father.

    Your parents must be very proud of you. And I sincerely hope that you find all your many and varied accomplishments to be emotionally fulfilling.

  29. @Brad R Torgersen

    Do you plan on actually addressing GRRM’s criticisms in full?

  30. Thanks to everyone who has made constructive observations about the difficulties of hosting a Worldcon in Doha. You are all correct, of course. In fact, you underestimate the difficulty, because whilst you are conscious of the problems with hosting previous Worldcons in developed countries, you may not be aware of other difficulties particular to the proposed host nation, such as the… unpredictability of how rules and regulations may be applied in practice. However, their convention facilities are good, and they are investing to improve them further. Naturally I will need to explore costs and budgets amongst other things, but Qatar is not a country lacking ambition when it comes to hosting international events.

    Please let me assure you all of two things. First, I thoroughly expect that the bid will fail. However, it will not fail for want of trying. If it fails, the purpose will be to document the challenge, in order to construct a repository of advice for any similarly ambitious future bidders. (It is possible that such advice already exists, in which case the aim is to augment it.) Second, the suggestion of Qatar was based on my living there previously, and having observed not just their facilities and national character, but also their appetite to host what they consider to be prestigious international events. So turning around the way some of your comments were phrased, this is partly a test of whether the Worldcon brand can appeal to this market. (I hope you agree that members of an event called ‘Worldcon’ should have the ambition to appeal to people all around the world.)

    If there is insufficient local interest to realistically run an event in Doha, then this will still be a useful experiment. Being more outward-looking, Worldcon members might ask themselves the question: “what might we do to raise our profile to people around the world who rarely notice us?” as well as asking: “is this particular bid good enough for us?”

    On the specific point whether Qataris, and the many expat residents of Qatar, would be able to accommodate the customs of Worldcon, let me reiterate their international ambition. However, if the spirit is always to ask whether ‘they’ are sufficiently like ‘us’, I think that will illustrate something even more important than the practical difficulties of taking the Worldcon to a new country. As an outsider, I have no expectations. But as an outsider, I am curious to learn how regular Worldcon members treat outsiders.

    @ Bruce Baugh, you are right to bring up the role of easily exploited expatriate labour in Qatar’s economy. That is not a point I wish Worldcon members to be ignorant of. On the contrary, I am glad you mentioned it, and it was in my mind when suggesting this location. I recommend you all read what the International Trade Union Confederation says on the topic; they have been outspoken for much longer than others. There should be debate about the desirability of taking an event like Worldcon to a country with has a record like Qatar’s. But that is part of a larger question about what Worldcon thinks it is. Qatar is in the world. Qataris are human beings. If Qatari laws and customs make it unworthy to host Worldcon, I would say the onus is on Worldcon members to clearly communicate what their expectations are, before developing countries go to the trouble of investing time and money in orchestrating a bid, only to find they had no chance whatsoever because of factors outside of the control of the bidding team. Keep in mind that the unreasonable, arbitrary or ill-informed imposition of moral standards might appear to some to be motivated by racism, snobbery, imperialism, or in this case, Islamophobia.

  31. @Brad Torgersen

    “Everyone on the Puppy list sucks, their work sucks, and I will Noah Ward the lot of them; sight-unseen!”

    Strawman. Most of the proponents of No Award base that solely on a stance on principle against slates. Something that was warned about in SP2, but you guys decided to ignore because, well, I guess you decided everything was second to your own ego.

  32. Keep in mind that the unreasonable, arbitrary or ill-informed imposition of moral standards might appear to some to be motivated by racism, snobbery, imperialism, or in this case, Islamophobia.

    Playing social justice cards in defense of a country that has laws to execute Muslims for homosexuality is pretty rich. Can we anticipate that your official Qatar Worldcon bid would be composed in a perfect moral vacuum?

  33. Like every other year at the Hugos, not every work on the list will be to all tastes. I am only disappointed in everyone who claims “The Hugos should be a celebration of quality and excellence!” in one breath, then shout, “Everyone on the Puppy list sucks, their work sucks, and I will Noah Ward the lot of them; sight-unseen!”

    Does that paragraph make sense in your head?
    Who said the first quote, who the second?
    Why should anyone care about your disappointment given your general anti-social attitude and lack of respect shown towards anyone you’ve decided isn’t part of “your” clique?
    Why are you so mad at the Hugos?
    Why are you associating yourself with that maniac Tom of Kratland?
    When did you first start to feel that everyone was conspiring against you?
    Have you ever experiened audio or visual hallucinations, like small black moving smears at the edge of your vision or the feeling like there’s someone whispering barely comprehensible words or phrases into your ears?
    Why does a disproportionate number of things you put on your slate suck so hard?
    How did you manage to go through so many magazines and pick out only the worst?
    How did you manage to find so many failed attempts at prosaic writing married to slow, actionless plots?
    Also; Why?
    What is your problem with homosexuals?
    How many unnameable gay friends of yours died via suicidal AIDS?

  34. Meredith on June 15, 2015 at 6:31 pm:

    Thank you.
    I had to search to even to find out what “fanworks” means, and even then I had some trouble, due to overlapping usage of words that don’t mean (in that context) what I think they mean (in my usual context):
    http://fanlore.org/wiki/Fanwork says that “A fanwork is a creative work produced by one or more fans, generally intended for other fans. A common defining phrase used in fandom is ‘by fans for fans,'” which sounds to me like a fanzine, until I went on to the next bits about “canon work” and “Transformative Works”

  35. And I was supposed to have an early night tonight, but when Ursula expressed herself I couldn’t help but to stay here.

  36. Ray Blank, one word of advice: Marrakech. Plenty of tourism, a fair amount of booze in the new neighborhoods, pretty laid back social conventions in the same touristy zones, etc.

  37. Ray Blank, it seems like if you’re going to put forth the effort, it’d be better to put forth the effort for a bid from a country that lacks some of Qatar’s problems and (crucially) where there are local fans who want to do it. I see that that includes most of Europe, all of South America, all of Asia except for Japan, and like that. This feels, frankly, arrogant and condescending to everyone. I suspect you’d get much better reception (and quite likely better results) if you to try something like cultivating awareness of existing and planned or considered bids from countries that haven’t yet hosted, rather than making it about your particular glorious doomed crusade.

  38. Brad is correct—he couldn’t go choosing favorites among his many business and personal connections that make up the Puppy slate. What if one of his friends gets annoyed?

  39. @Brad Torgersen:
    I understand that you don’t like the group you lead as being described as misogynistic and homophobic. Nobody would. But those are the words I would use, and indeed have used, to describe the actions of the Sad Puppies. To take the clearest example: In the Best Related Works category Transhuman and Subhuman appeared on your slate. It is a work which has some not-particularly nice things to say about women, particularly the essay Saving Science Fiction from Strong Female Characters. In the course of the various essays the virginity of women is referenced at least 30 times, often as the means of determining a woman’s social and moral worth. It’s statements about homosexuality and religious minorities are no better. Based on that, I would call the work homophobic, misogynistic and several other mean vile things. Do you disagree with this reading of the work? If not, why isn’t it fair to criticize you specifically, and the Sad Puppies in general, for promoting this work via your slate?

  40. Argh! I am never going to catch up! Sheesh, spend a few days laying concrete and experiencing searing back pain and get thousands of comments behind.

    I love Bridge of Birds and find it excellent to have found people who also use it as a comfort read.

    I am pretty sure Friday was my first Heinlein and I read it several times. I remember being totally engrossed by the idea that you could build your own family. That and hiding secret messages in you belly button.

    Digger is absolutely awesome and I will happily join Stevie in the streets to march for a sequel to Nine Goblins with the caveat that Nurk also gets to have another adventure.

  41. @Morris Keesan

    To be honest, we usually just call ourselves “fandom” so “fanworks fandom” is a less than ideal way of differentiating. 🙂 Transformative Works Fandom might be better – do you think it would be easier to understand if I used that in the future?

    @Fred Davis

    Have you ever experiened audio or visual hallucinations, like small black moving smears at the edge of your vision or the feeling like there’s someone whispering barely comprehensible words or phrases into your ears?

    Am I missing some context here? It sounds uncalled for.

  42. @Brad I am only disappointed in everyone who claims “The Hugos should be a celebration of quality and excellence!” in one breath, then shout, “Everyone on the Puppy list sucks, their work sucks, and I will Noah Ward the lot of them; sight-unseen!”

    Brad, you’ve built this narrative of an unified association of anti-puppies, and you’re letting this narrative blind you to reality.

    Yes, there are many, many people who belive that the Hugos should be a celebration of quality and excellence.

    Yes, there is a subset of people who have read the works, find them lacking, and will be No Awarding some-to-all.

    Yes, there is a subset of people who will be No Awarding some-to-all the Hugo categories or nominees, sight unseen, for *various* reasons. I will note that this, like your slate creation, is perfectly legal.

    But here’s the thing Brad, the above 2 categories are not necessarily the same people. There is a whole host of different people in the non-Puppy category, and we don’t all fit into your narrative of “puppy-kickers” or “CHORFS” or whatever new pejorative you’ve decided to come up with to refer to us by.

    We’re fans too Brad. I’d really love it if at some point you could see fit to acknowledge that, instead of this constant strawman that you keep referring too.

  43. has it ever occurred to you that for me, the front man of SP3, to begin playing favorites — ergo, singling out specific works for praise — I’d be doing a disservice to the whole slate?

    That is the most ridiculous evasion that I have seen this week. Are you saying you have no opinion at all on the quality of the works you wedged onto the slate with your slimy smarmy tactics? You expect everyone to believe you are incapable of elucidating what you liked about each work? Are you really that disingenuous? Or are you actually incapable of explaining because you’re that much of a dullard?

    You don’t have to “pick favorites”. You just have to give reasons why you liked one thing and then reasons why you liked a different thing. No one asked you to rank them. As usual, when confronted with an issue, you didn’t actually address the issue, you invented a completely different question and tried to answer that. And as usual, your answer to your made-up question didn’t even make sense.

    Like every other year at the Hugos, not every work on the list will be to all tastes. I am only disappointed in everyone who claims “The Hugos should be a celebration of quality and excellence!” in one breath, then shout, “Everyone on the Puppy list sucks, their work sucks, and I will Noah Ward the lot of them; sight-unseen!”

    There is no functional difference between No Awarding the entirety of the slated works based on quality and No Awarding the slated works because they got on the ballot via a slate. They all suck that badly. I suspect you know this, which is why you are dissembling when asked to explain what you liked about them.

    Heck, explains why you think the complete waste of bandwidth that is Zombie Nation is Hugo worthy. It is the only Puppy nominated work in the category, and to be blunt, it looks like complete shit next to its competition. Did you even bother to read it before you put it on your slate?

  44. Mr. Ray Blank, I have some questions for you:

    Have you ever attended a Worldcon?

    Have you ever been on the committee of any Science Fiction convention?

    Do you understand that Worldcon staff is ALL VOLUNTEER, and that you want the key members of the bid committee to have experience in running a convention?

    There is no need for you to re-invent the wheel, you might want to take a look at this site: http://www.smofcon.com/

    I’ve been in fandom for over forty years and went to my first Worldcon as a tiny cog in a Worldcon bidding committee. If you have no experience with any SF con you have no business trying to run a Worldcon bid, even as an experiment, unless of course you’re a glutton for punishment as well as courting poverty.

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