Santa Claus vs. P.U.P.P.Y. 6/25

aka Fetch-22

In the roundup today: Francis Turner, Greg Ketter, Kristel Autencio, Lyle Hopwood, Abigail Nussbaum, Ridley, Cheryl Morgan, Rachel Neumeier, Brandon Kempner, Kevin Standlee, Lis Carey, Spacefaring Kitten, JT Richardson, Laura “Tevan” Gjovaag, Rebekah Golden, Tim Matheson, Damien G. Walter and less identifiable others. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Dave Clark and Will Reichard.)


Francis Turner on The Otherwhere Gazette

“The Future of Tor” – June 25

The posts inspired me to take a look at my book buying habits and it turns out I jumped the shark gun on the boycott thing because it seems I’ve been boycotting Tor for a while now. Not intentionally, but that’s probably more serious for Tor and its owners than a straightforward determination to boycott. You see Tor don’t actually publish books I want to read and, Kevin J Anderson apart, haven’t done so for a few years.


Greg Ketter on Facebook – June 25

[Greg Ketter of DreamHaven Books is offering Tor hardcover books at 40% off through the end of July to show support for Irene Gallo. For locals, the store address is: DreamHaven Books, 2301 E. 38th St., Minneapolis, MN 55406.]

Alright. Enough’s Enough…

I’ve been following some of the Hugo controversy and the follow on Irene Gallo / TOR dust-up and I’m truly tired of the demands for Irene’s ouster as some mis-guided and some other downright evil people threaten boycotts. It’s completely disgusting and JUST PLAIN WRONG and, well, I can do something about it in terms of sales of Tor books.

From now until the end of July, I will sell all TOR hardcover books at 40% off cover price. If I don’t hav…e it in stock, I’ll order it. You can come in the store or you can order by phone or email. This should make it easier to support Irene and negate any minimal effect the boycotters may have. A letter in support of Irene to the very same people that Vox Day and Peter Grant and others are asking you to send hate mail to would also go a long way.

I’ve been quiet on the whole subject mostly because I just couldn’t be bothered to spend any time on it. I wasn’t worried about adverse effects on my own business since I sincerely doubt the kinds of trollish behavior I’m seeing is from any of my customers. I’m amazed that the biggest complainers would have bought any books from Tor, ever, since they admit their reading tastes are generally contrary to everything that Tor holds dear (this is a totally facetious statement since I have no idea what it could really mean – I’ve been buying Tor books for my store since they first started and from what I can see, they publish books that they can sell. Period.)

So, I’m declaring July to be TOR BOOKS MONTH around here and I wish you all good reading.


Kristel Autencio on BookRiot

“The Brave New World of Spec Fic Magazines: A Primer” – June 25

Let’s address the giant, unhappy elephant in the room. When I started building this primer early in June, I automatically rounded up some of my favorite short stories published on the Tor website, acquired by keen editors such as Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Ellen Datlow and Anne Vandermeer. I was going to talk about how each story is paired with some of the most arresting artwork in the genre, thanks in large part to the art direction by Irene Gallo. That was before Tor publisher Tom Doherty proceeded to throw Irene Gallo under the bus, succumbing to an extended campaign by so-called Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, whose reason for existence is their opposition to the fact that more people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and women are taking up space in the SFF landscape. Rioter Brenna Clark Gray goes more in-depth with this story.

This is not the recommendation I had wanted to write.

Some who are appalled by these developments are disavowing support for Tor, since it is an institution that would rather appease genre reactionaries than support their own employees who are doing vital work. This is a valid response.  But Tor (both the website and the publishing house) is also home to stories that Irene Gallo and other people like her are working hard to champion, the very voices that the Puppy Industrial Complex are saying should not be recognized by the Hugos or the Nebulas. It is your prerogative to not give Tor any of your money or your clicks, but I urge you to take note of these names, all of whom I first encountered through this publication: ….


Lyle Hopwood on Peromyscus

“’Do you mean to throw a level playing field under the bus?’” – June 24

In an impassioned argument against the proposal for a Hugo for “Sagas”, a professional SF writer writes:

Under the bus screenshot

“Do you mean to throw a level playing field under the bus?” I don’t know whether that fantastic image makes me more likely to buy their work or less. I’ve been thinking about the phrase to throw someone under the bus recently, as it was used approximately 16,993 times in the discussions about publisher Tor’s open letter disavowing Irene Gallo’s Facebook comment, which, since it referred to her by name, was widely considered to be throwing her under the bus.



Ridley on Stay With Me, Go Places

“Doing Slightly More Than Nothing About The Hugo Awards” – June 24

For the first time in my life, I’ll be voting on the Hugo Awards this year.

I’ve been reading science fiction for several decades now, but this is the first time I’ve felt strongly enough about the awards to get involved. One vote isn’t much, but I feel like it’s important to do what little bit I can. I’ll share my ballot after I submit it.


Cheryl Morgan on Cheryl’s Mewsings

“Archipelacon – Day 1” – June 25

Thus far I have done one panel. It was about the Puppies and what to do about them. Hopefully I managed to convey the fact that there’s not much any individual can do because of the determined way in which WSFS refuses to give anyone any power. All that Kevin, or I, or anyone else can do is try to make things better and hope that sufficient people come along with us. No matter what we do, large numbers of people will think we failed, because so many people refuse to believe that there isn’t a secret cabal running everything.


Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

“A Best Saga Hugo: An Imagined Winner’s List, 2005-2014” – June 25

I’m using the assumption that Hugo voters would vote for Best Saga like they vote for Best Novel and other categories. Take Connie Willis: she has 24 Hugo nominations and 11 wins. I figure the first time she’s up for a Best Saga, she’d win. This means that my imagined winners are very much in keeping with Hugo tradition; you may find that unexciting, but I find it hard to believe that Hugo voters would abandon their favorites in a Best Saga category. I went through each year and selected a favorite. Here’s what I came up with as likely/possible winners (likely, not most deserving). I’ve got some explanation below, and it’s certainly easy to flip some of these around or even include other series. Still, this is gives us a rough potential list to see if it’s a worthy a Hugo: ….


Rachel Neumeier

“Just about ready to vote for the Hugo Awards” – June 25

[Reviews all nominated fiction, movies, and pro artists. Then continues with comments about Hugo rules changes.]

The best post I’ve seen about the situation with the Hugos this year, incidentally, is this recent one by Rich Horton at Black Gate. I think he is dead right about the desirability of reforming the Hugo Award so that any one person can only nominate so many works per category, and then the categories contain more works than that. I don’t think I would say that anyone can nominate up to five works and then there will be ten nominees, though. Ten is a lot. I think it is too many. My preference would be: you can nominate only four works per category, and there will be six (or, fine, eight if necessary) nominees. That should really help break the power of both bloc voting and over-the-top fan clubs to put one author on the ballot five times in a single year.

I would also be in favor of a more specific reform: No author can have more than two works up for a Hugo in one year, or more than one work per category. If more than that make the cut, the author must choose two total, one per category, and the rest must be eliminated from the ballot. No one – no one – ever has or ever will write one-fifth of all the best stories produced in a given year. It is absolutely ridiculous to allow a ballot that implies that is possible, and worse to deny exposure to other works that might otherwise be nominated….


Kevin Standlee on Fandom Is My Way Of Life

“Procedural Notice: Recording Committee of the Whole” – June 25

I have mentioned a few times and in a few places that at this year’s Business Meeting, what I call the “technical” discussion of complex proposals such as E Pluribus Hugo (and possibly Popular Ratification) might best be handled by having the meeting go into what is known as “Committee of the Whole.” A proponent of the proposal would then hold the floor during the COTW and do a Q&A-style discussion. Such discussions are procedurally more difficult to do in the main debate because of the rules regarding who can speak and how often; however, the two proposals I’ve named (and possibly others to come) are sufficiently complex that I expect that many members simply want to ask the sponsors of the motions what the proposals mean…..

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Interstellar, screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Lynda Obst Productions, Syncopy)” – June 25


Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form 2015 Hugo nominee Interstellar is visually magnificent, exciting, thought-provoking, and a bit long. It pains me to say that last bit. I wanted to love every second of it. In the end, I couldn’t, though I did love most of it. Parts of it did just drag, and there’s no way around that.


Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“The Bondesque Superhero Action of Captain America: The Winter Soldier” – June 25

All Captain America is good for seems to be posturing and telling everybody what’s the moral thing to do (in addition to throwing his shield around which looks sillier in movies than in comic books). I almost rooted for the comically sinister Nazis.

Score: 4/10.


JT Richardson on JT’s German Adventure

Hugos 2015 Read – Best Graphic Story – June 25

Zombie Nation

I am, and have long been*, a MASSIVE comics fan. My tastes generally run to superhero comics, though I’ve dipped my toe into the more “serious” waters — Maus, Persepolis, Blankets***, Logicomix****, and the AWESOME Cartoon History of the Universe. But this year’s noms are a pretty nice mix — One Marvel, 3 Image (Hooray for creator-owned!) and one webcomic. DC was too busy planning its semi-annual reboot to generate nominees*****. Best Graphic Story — As a long-time reader of superhero, especially Marvel, comics, I’m definitely biased toward the capes. But this year’s noms only have one (which I have already read, and loved). Here are my thoughts, in reverse alphabetical order: ….


Reading SFF

“2015 Hugo Awards Reading: Why Science is Never Settles – Tedd Roberts (Best Related Work)” – June 25

Apart from that, my main criticism of the article regarding its Hugo nomination is the fact that its SFF-relatedness is nothing more than a single reference to one of Eric Flint‘s novels. So, even though this is a good article, I don’t think it should be on the Hugo ballot as a “Best Related Work”, irrespective of whether it was published by SFF publisher Baen or whether it contains a SFF-al reference.

In conclusion, this nominee will not appear on my ballot, it should never have been nominated in this category as I don’t consider it to be a “Related Work”.


Reading SFF

“2015 Hugo Awards Reading: Turncoat – Steve Rzasa (Short Story)” – June 25

The plot is nothing special and unfortunately for me, the reader, it was predictable how things would turn out very early on (the title of the story was a big give-away, but even without that title the plot design would have been obvious).

Still, the story is good enough that I will place it above No Award.


Reading SFF

“2015 Hugo Awards Reading: Wisdom from my Internet – Michael Z. Williamson” – June 23

Wisdom from my Internet is a collection of very short jokes (tweets maybe?) on a variety of subjects, mainly US-American politics though. It self-published by the author in an imprint he fittingly named “Patriarchy Press”. I started reading, then skimming then fast-forwarding through it with short stops to see whether it had improved further on (it hadn’t) until I reached the end. That was fast. And easy to judge: not on my ballot will this thing ever be. No Award. Because:

Are you* serious?

*By “you” I mean Sad Puppies, Rabid Puppies, and whoever gets to decide whether a given nominee is an eligible nominee.


Laura “Tevan” Gjovaag on Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog

“Hugo Reviewing – Professional Artist” – June 25

[Comments on all five nominees before concluding –]

It’s not hard to figure out that Dillon’s work impressed me the most, by a fairly large margin. I’d then go with DouPonce for my second-place choice. Pollack and Greenwood rank about the same and Reid is last, not because he’s worst, but because his art doesn’t seem to fit for me. I might even mix it up and put Reid above the other two. This is another one I’m going to have to sleep on.

With the exception of Dillon, whose subjects I enjoyed, and Reid, who had a wide variety of subjects, the choice of imagery was fairly standard for the artists. They were cover art for the most part, but they were fairly static. As a comic book reader, I like my art to flow and have some sense of movement… like your mind will fill in the next scene. Pollack, Greenwood and DouPonce had art that felt like it was posed. Dillon’s work was more natural. Reid, of course, is a sequential artist, so he didn’t have that problem.


Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Novel: Reviewing Ancillary Sword” – June 24

I’m glad I read Ancillary Sword. It was an interesting book with some very topical thoughts on oppression and distribution of wealth. Anyone who is familiar with the concepts of company towns will find similar motifs in Ancillary Sword. Anyone who read and enjoyed Ancillary Justice will find Ancillary Sword to be a fitting continuation of the story, well written, well thought out, well developed. The compelling questions behind it aren’t as striking as in the first novel which I think is why it falls a little flat comparatively. Still, solidly good military sci-fi in the tradition of Elizabeth Moon and Tanya Huff.


Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Graphic Novel: Reviewing Rat Queens” – June 24

I know there’s a lot of nostalgia over D&D right now but personally I’m tired of fictionalized D&D campaigns no matter how clever or well drawn. Throw in a little Lovecraft, add a college dorm element, top it off with some back story and potential for depth, it’s still D&D nostalgia. And nostalgia must be written let it at least have a twist. No twist. Fun, well drawn, nostalgia.


Tim Atkinson on Magpie Moth

“Hard science, hot mess: Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem” – June 25

The Three Body Problem was a late arrival to the Hugo ballot this year, being added after withdrawals due to voting slate politics.

The work of one of China’s most prominent science-fiction writers, Liu Cixin, it is actually nearly ten years old. In 2014, it finally penetrated the cultural myopia of the Anglosphere in translation, and is therefore eligible for a Hugo.

And I’m jolly glad of this, since The Three Body Problem is one of the two stand-out novels on the shortlist, along with the very different The Goblin Emperor. Amid space opera and fantasy (urban and classic flavours) it sticks out like a tall poppy because it is full to the brim of ideas.


708 thoughts on “Santa Claus vs. P.U.P.P.Y. 6/25

  1. We can all just stop commenting now. Between yesterday and today @kyra has won File 770.

    @mike glyer can we get her a trophy or something?

    Not only File 770 but the internets.

  2. Wow Kyra,
    definitely don’t forget to post that wonderful ABC of stories to your revived LiveJournal.

  3. I supported SSM in the early 80s on the grounds that it was cruel to deny men dying of AIDS the presence of loved ones in hospitals.


  4. 5 short stories:

    Or All the Seas with Oysters by Avram Davidson
    The Day Before the Revolution by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Wake Up to Thunder by Dean Koontz
    Heresies of the Huge God by Brian Aldiss
    Mars Is Heaven! by Ray Bradbury

    Note: I do not guarantee these are all technically short stories.

  5. Kyra that was fantastic and I, too, have been crying off and on all morning because this is a wonderful, wonderful day.

  6. Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keys Moran

    I’ve seen a couple of posts that say this, and no. I love Daniel Keys Moran’s work (starting with All the Time in the World which was in one of Isaac Asimov’s SF magazines, and later expanded into Armageddon Blues), but Flowers for Algernon was written by Daniel Keyes. Quite different fellow.

  7. Jared Dashoff on June 26, 2015 at 10:36 am said:
    We can all just stop commenting now. Between yesterday and today @kyra has won File 770.

    @mike glyer can we get her a trophy or something?

    The alphabet poem was magnificent!

    What was yesterday’s magnificent Kyra opus?

  8. Ann Somerville:

    If we acknowledge all these butthurt people who wrongly believe they are being cut out willynilly, why should it take more form than “I’m sorry you feel sad, but this is just the natural progress of history”?

    How, many crusades and genocides have been launched and how much blood has been spilled through history with pure faith like that?

  9. Delurking to add my praise to Kyra. A work of supreme ingenuity. We are not worthy of such pleasure.

  10. Peace

    Lesbian SF/F archive was Kyra’s contribution yesterday; the only thing I’m wondering about is what is going to be the encore!

  11. I forgot to mention “The Ball Room” by China Miéville (Wikipedia tells me it was co-written with Emma Bircham and Max Schaefer). I already found IKEA somewhat unsettling, and this makes it downright frightening.

  12. @Alain I can see that; to me, I thought we were seeing Koscuisko’s struggles to convince *himself* he was a decent human being, despite what he was doing/learning.

    And it is very true — he’s using privilege to try and work within, rather than oppose from without. This becomes even clearer later, but it remains the same.

    @Simon Bisson

    I just acquired a proof of the new Moorcock. I may be some time.

    I admit when I read this my first reaction was “But his work is often contradictory, so you can prove *anything*” Followed by realizing that Jerry Cornelius’ behavior is what you get when you encode Gödel deep into an AI.

    @Bruce Baugh

    I promised you this yesterday, so:

    What struck me about the 5 stories I listed, and a few more stories.

    “Why I Painted…” is a story about the power of art, both over the world, and about the artist. I am also a dragon-lover of long standing, and Griaule was a dragon I could truly admire and stand in eye-gazing awe over.

    That, and the metafictional construction worked beautifully for me.

    “And I Awoke…” There was something so delightfully bleak about this, because it spoke from a different (to me, then, and still somewhat to me, now) perspective — the culturally colonized. The ones on the outside losing to the great cultural vortex.

    “72 Letters” was just such a brilliant conception, and so excellently worked out, scientifically, socially, and philosophically. It didn’t hurt that I am the child of a Ph.D. in genetics and one in cellular biology.

    “Dogfight” was a simple gut-punch. I still have trouble rereading that story. I am sure it would have had less impact were I not a WWI aviation buff, but it connected with me at a very visceral level.

    “Time Considered…” was my introduction to Delany as someone who could appreciate him; (I do not count “Aye, and Gomorrah…” at 7.) And a dazzling view of the potentials of language and structure.

  13. Hmm. Five short stories that have stuck with me, and I’ll limit myself to one per author.

    Poul Anderson, “No Truce With Kings”
    Isaac Asimov,. “The Last Question”
    David Brin, “Thor Meets Captain America”
    Arthur C. Clarke, “Superiority”
    Roger Zelazny, “A Rose for Ecclesiastes”

    Hmm. You can probably tell my tastes were largely formed back in the 1970s . . .

  14. Five short stories:

    Plus X/The Space Willies – Eric Frank Russell
    The Railways on Cannis – Colin Kapp
    The Odour of Thought – Robert Sheckley
    5,271,009 – Alfred Bester
    BLIT – Dave Langford

    Guilty pleasure: Philip E. High.

  15. @Brian Z

    The mystery deepens, to me. Because our politics are close enough — we have points of argument and discussion, I’m sure, but…

    …the signifiers aren’t lining up for me.

    Because someone as discerning as you appear to be on matters literary, and capable of fine distinctions political, should be able (to my lights) to see things like why “SP3 was a good-faith attempt to bring more people into the community” is untrue. A good-faith attempt would come with a coherent rationale, an an apology or acknowledgement if things went sideways, rather than what we have seen — a wildly spinning carousel of varied rationales, doubling-down on talking points, etc.

    Nigel hit it yesterday in the last post on yesterday’s roundup, but I will restate it here; if the responses *here* are “horrific”, adjectives fail when it comes to the varied Puppy blogs — and the responses here are “horrific” only if you feel that calling someone, say, sexist or racist or homophobic is, by definition, a horror. If that’s what you need for things to be civil, then I’m afraid there won’t be civility.

    But I am stuck; because how someone could love Disch and Delany and Tiptree and find that horrific….does not, in my head, compute.

    To paraphrase: I beseech you, Brian Z, in the bowels of the convention, consider that you might be wrong about SP3, and about the Puppies in general.

    Because it pains me much more to see this than it does to see someone like Tank Marmot or John C. Wright wander further down their paths than it does to see someone I suspect I’d enjoy talking to find a deep blind spot and get stuck in it.

  16. More wild applause for Kyra!

    And the Supreme Court!!! Well, five members of it . . . the last paragraph by Kennedy is gorgeous. And this . . . “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. . . . It is so ordered.”

    Postings on Twitter bawl-worthy as well: two gentlemen in their 80’s showing up at the Records building in Dallas to get a marriage license.

  17. @ Steven Schwartz
    Pfew! That’s a relief, because I think like at least a half of mine were novellas. 😉

  18. “I’ll just get caught up on today’s File770 thread,” I said. “Then I’ll get right to work. What can go wrong?”

    Several hours later… :-/

    About -isms: The post by Bruce Baugh on June 26, 2015 at 12:41 am is a thing of great beauty and truth. I can only think of a few nuances to add, in light of Happy-Puppy’s various objections throughout the conversation:

    On redefining racism: It’s not that (paraphrase) “Racism used to mean lynchings and burning crosses; now you get called racist if you just do something well-meaning but stupid.” It’s more that the social conversation as a whole has grown to encompass awareness of the many, many innocuous-seeming actions and attitudes that cause real harm to marginalized individuals and act in ways that support institutionalized racism and reinforce unacknowledged racist attitudes. And when I say “awareness,” I mean privileged people’s awareness; you can bet that marginalized people were pretty damn aware of all that harm.

    Put another way: It used to be that only the big dramatic instances of racism were allowed to be called racism and called out, while the “smaller” day-to-day incidents were normalized such that calling them out was shamed. Today, the “smaller” incidents are growing less acceptable, and it’s more acknowledged that they, too, cause harm, and give cover to the ground where the larger acts are sown and grown.

    I think this is a change for the better, because I have no wish to be allowed to “get away with” expressing unconscious racist attitudes. I absolutely wish to be called on them when they arise, so I can become a better me and help society become a better we.

    On apologies: Happy-puppy’s chagrin at Paula Deen’s apology being deemed insufficient echoes a comment someone made on a post, linked from a File770 round-up weeks past, about The Art of the Apology. The commenter lamented that a particular public figure, despite apologizing for his thoughtless racist comment, still got fired.

    But here’s the thing. If you find yourself needing to apologize, it’s because in some way you caused harm. And harm has consequences. On the physical plane, a driver who through carelessness caused a fatal accident should not be given their job back just because they apologized. Their apology can demonstrate that they’re a decent person who wants to do better, but it doesn’t magically make them a trustworthy driver for the company just like that. They have to then go forth and rebuild the trust that they squandered.

    On the plane of emotional harm and racist words, there are usually less fatalities, but the issue of trust remains. Someone who carelessly hurts their coworkers and customers through casual racist acts and words may well give a genuine apology when they’re called on it, but the apology doesn’t magically rebuild the trust that they broke when they proved themselves prone to racist behavior when careless. Their employer may well decide that, at this time, that person has revealed themselves to have too much prejudice on board to be trusted to wear the uniform, represent the company, and serve all customers with equal faithfulness and excellence.

    A genuine apology tends to acknowledge this sort of thing. “I’ve caused harm. I regret that. I will accept the consequences of my actions and I will try to make amends.”

    As apology given in hopes that it will act as a magic incantation that restores all to as it was before? That’s not a genuine apology.

    On Twitter and other social media: …Did anyone else find it distasteful to watch an able-bodied person tell a disabled person how to do activism, and to insist that, yes, but you know that Twitter’s inadequate for social activism really to the person who just told him that it was invaluable? It made me twitch.

    On politics versus aesthetics in literary criticism: You can’t really separate the two. A reader’s politics will inform their view of aesthetics.

    To use the given example of hero versus anti-hero: Can two readers with different politics even agree on whether a female anti-hero is one? There is a marked tendency to reject female anti-heroes as “unlikeable” and “unsympathetic” for doing pretty much the same thing that widely beloved male anti-heroes do. Here is an article that goes into that in more depth. And here’s an article on the same website about unequal requirements for likeability in differently gendered protagonists.

    See also the FerretBrain review of The Name of the Wind for how awesome-at-everything female protagonists pretty much always get dumped in the Mary Sue bucket, while awesome-at-everything male protagonists make critically acclaimed literature.

    And then there’s the ever-raging argument over “message fiction,” where depending on your politics, “message fiction” might mean “the author erects a strawman and then designs their whole fictional world as a referendum on it” or it could mean “the author made the protagonist a transwoman for no plot-relevant reason I could see–must be affirmative action!”

    You can’t honestly separate political bias from a discussion of aesthetics when political bias informs how you approach aesthetics in the first place.

    Peter S. Beagle short story about Death: That’s “Come Lady Death”, and it’s awesome.

    On the good news out of the US Supreme Court: *kermitflail!* And also – @stevie:

    Actually, the people whose lives are enhanced go way beyond the number of people who wish to marry people of their own sex; hating people is not a fun way of spending time, and it’s amazing how quickly people who have been antagonistic cool down once no one is really that interested…

    This is too true! Also, all of us who are in a marriage, want to be in a marriage, or have every been in a marriage in the United States have now had it affirmed from the highest court in the land that marriage really is, truly is a right guaranteed to all, and should not be treated as a privilege granted to the few. Marriage is not something to be revoked from unpopular demographics and awarded to the favored populace–and thank goodness, because if it were, everyone’s marriage would be on quicksand. But the SCOTUS says that, no, it’s the right of everyone. That strengthens every marriage. It strengthens the concept of marriage. It solidifies the position of everyone at every point on the Kinsey scale in regards to marriage.

    Things are complex. I’m Pagan, I’m bi, I’m childless by choice. But I am married to a man via the state of Louisiana, I can pass for straight, and no one is trying to invalidate childless or non-Christian marriages at this time. But if marriage were a privilege and not a right, it would remain forever a possibility that one day, my own marriage might come under debate for any of those reasons. It’s a “what-if” spectre and nothing like the ongoing injustice that was RIGHT NOW being perpetrated on every same-sex couple who wanted equal rights to marriage. But it’s real skin in the game that everyone has, and it’s often overlooked by straight couples who feel utterly secure in their privilege which allows them to consider the question an abstract one of Constitutional jurisprudence.

    Fred Clarke at Slacktivist was the one who first raised the point for me. I’d link to it, but I fear Google will fail me. But the tl/dr version is this: Even totally heterosexual same-sex couples in the highest privilege bracket should be in favor of this ruliing, because it says their marriage is theirs by right and not by virtue of their sex lives enjoying popular approval.

    …and that’s all I’ve got and it’s freakin’ lunch-time already. Dammit. I want my morning back!

  19. Kyra wins the internet! I’m so glad I checked in on File770 today. What a joyful poem!


    In re: SCOTUS: The dissents, especially Scalia’s, remind me strongly of Puppies and other “culture warriors.” Not only does he object to the perceived tone of the majority opinion (“The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious
    as its content is egotistic. It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so.”), he does so with actual egotism and belittles his peers with words that don’t require the reader to interpret “tone.” He also responds to various points made in the majority opinion with the following judicious and meticulously crafted legal counters:
    * …no social transformation without representation.
    * …what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch.
    * These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry.
    * …the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent.
    * Ask the nearest hippie.
    * Huh?
    * …whatever that means…never mind.
    * Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before a fall. (NB: No, it does NOT. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall, Justice Scalia, and it’s interesting that you chose to MISQUOTE the Christian BIBLE in your objective, rational, and entirely secular legal riposte.)
    * …we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.

    In sum, Scalia’s objections are
    1. Rhetorick!
    2. Aristotle!
    3. His amazing psychic powers (telepathy, and?)
    4. Hand waving!
    5. God said so!
    6. My penis, what about my penis? Teh Gays are giving me erectile disfunction, send help!

    If I had help to give, I would totally send it, post-haste. The other dissents are less apoplectic.


    In re: short stories – many many years ago, I think it was in Omni Magazine, I read a story about the .001% being so privileged that they ate stars. It was sort of science-fantasy I think, but the imagery is still with me, although I’ve never been able to find the story again. I don’t even know the title or author. So sad.

  20. @Steven Schwartz One thing that bothered me and that comes from someone who isn’t squeamish was the detailed descriptions of the enhanced interrogation. I am not sure how much they were actually necessary to the story. Admittedly it drives the point home that the Jurisdiction is a very ruthless government/ empire.

  21. @stephen schwartz

    I can see how some thought SP3 WAS a good faith effort. There are some in our community that continue to define fan in certain ways, although we are getting MUCH better at it. As such, there is cause for saying, “We want to bring the walls of the tent out, point you to new voices, and welcome new fans.”

    However, when that effort was all but co-opted by VD and went sideways, it’s leaders, rather than admit it had gone sideways, were either prideful or scared or something, and doubled down rather than apologize and say “We messed up.” That doubling down surely hurts the leaders and the continuation of the effort as it has created an argument (or train there of) that seems to fold faster than a card table.

    If someone were to claim that RP was a good faith anything, then I’d have questions.

  22. All these fall in the category of “and the world disappeared until I finished”:
    All Summer in a Day – Bradbury
    Saint Amy’s Tale – Orson Scott Card
    Scanners Live In Vain – Cordwainer Smith
    24 Views of Mt Fuji, by Hokusai – Zelazny
    Shambleau – CL Moore

  23. @Alain I can understand that as well. I personally feel it was necessary, both to make it clear to people what was going on, and to heighten the tension between “This is horrible!”, “This is my duty.”, and “Oh, by the Holy Mother, I’m enjoying this!” But I can also see why people would find that different.

    There are some novels I recommend without hesitation. There are some novels I make sure I know the person, their tastes, and their views quite well before I recommend, no matter how good I think they are. Chip Delany’s _Nova_ I throw at anyone who’ll stand still long enough* — _Exchange of Hostages_, I am vastly pickier about.

    *I have owned 9 copies of the paperback; I am at two at the moment, because one of the people I gave it to returned it with a “Thanks, but not my cup of tea”.

  24. Earlier today I was trying to remember the names of 2 short stories and quickly found them via my advanced Google-fu. They are worth mentioning, too:

    The Road Not Taken by Harry Turtledove (aliens attack Earth using their vastly inferior technology.)

    The Man Who Came Early by Poul Anderson (man accidentally travels into the past, finds his superior knowledge not very helpful.)

  25. I don’t think SP3 was a good-faith effort at all by its leaders. I am quite willing to believe that a fair number of followers got scammed because of their honest (not factually grounded, but honestly held in advance of some reflection and testing) views.

    One more note on the subject of bias, and here I’m following the lead of Ta-Nehisi Coates: Racism in America is not a problem black people (and other minorities) can or have to fix. It’s a problem that white people have to fix – the fix is us acting differently. Likewise, sexism is not a thing women can or have to fix. It’s a problem that men have to fix by acting differently. And so on down the line. When a group suffers marginalization, discrimination, and persecution, it’s those in the majority or the dominant minority who have to alter their behavior to knock it off.

    This is, certainly, not a very comfortable thought. It can lead to downright angstful self-doubt. But it’s still what has to happen.

    Nicole, thanks for kind words. 🙂

  26. @ Steven Schwartz it looks like Baen has issued ebooks for the whole Jurisdiction series. I think the themes are worth exploring or I wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place. I have the remaining novels at home I might give #2 a chance in the future. We shall see.

    @Jared Dashoff it might have been a good faith effort by the common folk in the Sad Puppies group but not to put it to finely they got scammed by their leadership. The sad part, ok just one of the sad parts, is most of them don’t realize it.

  27. One last one last–since I see Tiptree mentioned, I still remember as a teenager reading her story In the Midst of Life in (Analog, was it?) about a man who committed suicide and what happened afterwards–then reading the editorial that, BTW, this is the last thing she wrote before killing her husband and herself.

  28. I do believe that eventually today’s dissenting Supreme Court Justices’ opinions will be read for semi-amused disbelieving horror, the way some of the terrible rationalizations of slavery before the Civil War are read today.

  29. Jamoche on June 26, 2015 at 11:40 am said:

    I am also very fond of C.L. Moore’s “Shambleau”. It’s one of the reasons I picked up the Dozois-GRRM-edited anthology “Old Venus”, which I am looking forward to reading.

  30. Only five? Woooof.

    Kij Johnson: The evolution of trickster stories among the dogs of North Park after the Change

    Rachel Swirsky: The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window

    Connie Willis: The Last of the Winnebagos

    Ray Bradbury: All Summer in a Day

    Kim Stanley Robinson: Green Mars. (This is a different work than the novel of the same name.)

    * * *

    And a bonus short story from comic books: Jaime Hernandez: Izzy in Mexico

  31. Peace

    I loved ‘Old Venus’; it has some wonderful stories, and it really brought home just how bad the attempts at ‘Golden Age’ stories in the Hugo contenders are.

    I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

  32. […] the tension between “This is horrible!”, “This is my duty.”, and “Oh, by the Holy Mother, I’m enjoying this!”

    Lawrence of Arabia flashbacks, anyone?

  33. @Peace Is My Middle Name on June 26, 2015 at 11:53 am said:

    I do believe that eventually today’s dissenting Supreme Court Justices’ opinions will be read for semi-amused disbelieving horror, the way some of the terrible rationalizations of slavery before the Civil War are read today.

    already happening. I have not had so much fun with dissents since 2003’s sodomy ruling, although Windsor was rather amusing, too.

  34. I also wish people like Brad, Larry and other SP notables would come out and say “Hey, this* isn’t what we intended or what we hoped would happen. We’re sorry the whole thing has become such a mess.” (*where “this” means locking up the ballot and shutting out other works)

    I don’t consider myself a spokesperson for the SP, or even an SP notable, but I’ll say it. I never got involved in this with any idea that I’d even make the ballot, much less that VD would run his own campaign or that there would be a ballot sweep. If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have participated. To the extent that I’ve been part of that, even unknowingly, I apologize.

    It seems I can’t say anything remotely in that vein without someone saying that if I truly thought that, I would withdraw. I’ve already given my reasons for not withdrawing, but I’ll mention again that a large part of it is not giving Vox Day the satisfaction.

    All that stuff about nominating liberals just to watch them self-flagellate and see how fast they withdraw? I’m not his marionette, and I won’t dance to his tune. He set us up to be targets, just like he set up Irene Gallo. I’m not giving in to Vox Day.

  35. 5 stories. So hard to choose from so many.

    My favorite story now and forever is

    (1) Light of Other Days by Bob Shaw
    Slow glass is a neat concept. It is a beautiful, sad story.

    (2) The Women Men Don’t See by James Tiptree, Jr.

    Could have picked any number of Tiptree stories, but my mom specifically pulled this one off the shelf for me to read years ago.

    (3) Masks of War by J. Kathleen Cheney

    (4) Fold by Tanith Lee

    (5) Speech Sounds by Octavia Butler.

    And really, I could just as easily have put together a list with nothing but Ray Bradbury.

  36. I’ve never read any of Tiptree’s short stories. It’s increasingly clear that this is a serious omission that I should rectify.

    Can anyone recommend a Tiptree collection, preferably available on Kindle?

  37. Kyra –

    “Foster just left, but we haven’t forgot her,
    and now that it’s Ended, I hope that He Caught Her.”

    I’m not even a huge fan of that story, but this couplet made me tear up, not even kidding.


  38. @Kary English:

    My sympathies on your difficult position.

    Personally, I think no weight should be given to anything Theodore Beale says, pro or con. He has blown all credibility and changes with the wind.

    I have thought for some time that the Puppies did not expect these results because they had talked themselves into believing there really actually was an actual real secret cabal with actual power and force opposing them; they appear to have worked up their strength anticipating some contrary action, of which of course there was none because there never was any secret cabal.

    But once it was clear the Puppies had been successful beyond the dreams of avarice, that they had grabbed all because there was in reality no conspirator but themselves, the more thoughtful of them should have grabbed the opportunity to apologize gracefully. They might have salvaged something if they had rather than doubling down with the wrath of the guilty.

  39. Since the Rabid pups have overrun the Sads, I really don’t understand why anyone not wishing to affiliate with Beale still identifies as a pup.

  40. mintwitch,
    Yes, there are similarities. When argument based on facts fails, then some resort to arguments that flail.

    I thought Roberts’ more in sorrow than in anger argument about how this decision is a failure in obtaining democratic acceptance of rights and freedoms first was arguably more insidious. (Because we’ve heard that kind of thing before, for other widely accepted things where there still continues to be a fight. Massive resistance, closing public pools and recreation centers etc.).

    ObSF: I just don’t get how existing and being present in stories, writing, getting awards and being active in fandom takes away from anyone who was already there. Somehow, for some people, sharing a space seems to invalidate that space. Perhaps it is as simple as one’s definition of oneself. Thus, if I define myself by what I am not, then when “what I am not” shows up where I am, who am I then? It must be very hard to handle, but there are days when I simply cannot muster sympathy for those so beset. Today seems to be one of those days.
    ETA not very just, I know.

  41. Well, congrats to all the folks who can now do what they always should have been able to do in the first place.

  42. I have thought for some time that the Puppies did not expect these results because they had talked themselves into believing there really actually was an actual real secret cabal with actual power and force opposing them; they appear to have worked up their strength anticipating some contrary action, of which of course there was none because there never was any secret cabal.

    That’s always been a weird point to me. If there really was a secret cabal in charge of the Hugos, who’ve been weighting the ballots and controlling the nominations… how did the slates sweep the ballot? They’ve made a very big deal about how few of them it took sooo… where’s the opposition? Why weren’t they fighting at least an equal force doing the same thing? Why were their “underdog” numbers enough to topple the whole thing?

    Critical thinking isn’t a strong suit among the puppies, I’m afraid. And that is genuinely sad, because they’re being led along on a really short leash.

  43. I love these short story posts. It’s so fun when I see old favorites mentioned! @Kyra, awesome poem, and the ending made me get all misty-eyed. I can’t do just five, I’m gonna do five I read way back when and five I read somewhat more recently.

    Night Wind, Edgar Pangborn
    Slow Sculpture, Theodore Sturgeon
    The Great Wide World Over There, Ray Bradbury
    A Rose for Ecclesiastes, Roger Zelazny
    Days of Grass, Days of Straw, R. A. Lafferty

    More recent:
    Jackalope Wives, Ursula Vernon
    The Truth About Owls, Amal El-Mohtar
    The Water that Falls on You From Nowhere, John Chu
    Miss Hathaway’s Spider, James Van Pelt
    Stone Hunger, N.K. Jemisin

    @Mike, I forgot you had already linked to the original Jemisin post, thanks for reminding me.

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