Ayes Wide Mutt 7/3

aka The Doxxer Rebellion

In today’s roundup: Malcolm ‘f.’ Cross, Tom Knighton, Dorothy Grant, Adam-Troy Castro, David Gerrold, Mike Resnick, Lawrence Person, John C. Wright, Nicholas Whyte, and Patrick May. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Will Reichard and Kurt (not Kent) Busiek.)

Foozzzball (Malcolm ‘f.’ Cross)  on Weasyl

“My ounce of bile: Yarn is cowardly” – July 3

….Here’s the thing. These guys (and a very, very few women) are all screaming, defensively, that they’re writing good old fashioned YARNS. Entertaining STORIES. Books with rocket ships on the covers instead of that inconvenient new-fangled social commentary. And they point at luminaries like Heinlein, and Asimov, and all those golden age authors.

Heinlein who was talking about contemperaneous issues like the cold war, the morality of total warfare, free love, the impact of new and changing technology and the need for retaining simple skills (such as the much loved slide rule), and was a man who spoke very much to the issues of his time. Asimov who attacked major issues of his lifetime like eugenics and social engineering through his work (what, you think Foundation’s psychohistory has nothing to say about the pursuit of social purity?), wrapping up issues of perception and belief and creation in rip-roaring stories.

These men were not writing yarns. They were products of their time, attacking the issues of their time. That they did so skilfully, entertainingly, and thought-provokingly is testament to their genius. They were not saints, their opinions are not sacrosanct, they, like any other person, held opinions agreeable and disagreeable.

You know who else wasn’t just spinning yarns? Orson Scott Card. Ender’s Game is fundamentally about the boundary between being a soldier and a human being. It’s implicitly about genocide, about hands on the big red button, about the ignorance required to perform such a terrible action and remain innocent. It was originally a short story written in 1977, in the middle of the cold war, and rewritten as a novel by 1985, just as the cold war got terrifying all over again. Attacking the issues of his day, OSC put together a masterpiece. And then, quite honestly, he started looking at his personal bugbears instead of the wider world, and never did anything so good again in his life. That’s when he started writing yarns.

Fiction isn’t about entertainment. It never has been. From the earliest stories we’ve told ourselves, the myths that grew into religions, Aesop’s fables, the fairy-tales you were told as a child, they’ve all been about communication. Discussion. Opening a dialogue. They are vehicles for exploring, and thinking about, the world. This is all fiction, not just science fiction…..


Tom Knighton on According To Hoyt

“On Villainy” – July 3

…Right now, the most popular villain is the turdnugget who decided to walk into a church in Charleston, SC and kill people for nothing more than the color of their skin. This is something that the vast majority of us are unable to comprehend. I mean, skin tone is as arbitrary a dividing line as hair color or eye color, so why kill people for just that factor?

We can’t grasp it, yet it happened. I refuse to actually write the turdnugget’s name anywhere, because I don’t want to give him any more press. He already got his fame, which I suspect was a factor in his attack, but I refuse to add to it. It’s a small effort to keep people from mimicking his efforts.

All too often, people think of “villains” as those who oppose them on whatever issue they hold dear. Monsanto is the villain to people like “Food Babe”. The NRA is the villain to the gun control crowd. The Sad Puppies are the villains to the Puppy Kickers. The flip side is also generally true as well.

The thing is, most of us have never truly experienced real “villainy”. We’ve never witnessed the pits of dead Albanians following the break-up of Yugoslavia. We never witnessed the Rwandan tribal slaughter. Many of us have never met a Jewish concentration camp survivor. To us, that level of villainy just doesn’t exist except as an abstract…..

And yet, there are those who are ready to ascribe such motives to us. They’re ready to link this turdnugget to us, despite the fact that most of us not only decry his actions, but we actually supported several authors who don’t fit the “white, Mormon male” narrative (to say nothing of the fact that authors were nominated that we may disagree with politically).

Look, I’m going to make this clear. Bigotry is stupid. Racism is beyond stupid. All we have ever wanted is people and works to be judged based on quality, both the quality of the person and the quality of the work. Anyone who opposes a work because the author is black, or a woman, or gay, or a socialist is a moron. Anyone who dislikes a work because the author is white, or male, or straight, or a conservative/libertarian is just as much of a moron.

There are real villains in this world. How about some of the people screaming the most about villains try something different and start looking at real villains for a change.


Dorothy Grant in a comment on Tom Knighton’s post “On Villainy” at According To Hoyt – July 3

I suspect that people who have very little life experience and not much in the way of bedrock principles shrink their scale of villainy to fit their experience.

The best example of this is the root of the Tor boycott; Irene Gallo was upset at people voting for the Hugos in ways that did not benefit her logrolling clique, and she started calling her customers and her own authors neo-nazis and the books she had even worked on “bad to reprehensible.” In her pampered, privileged world, someone not giving a plastic statue to the clique that was certain they deserved it is the worst villainy possible.

Then there’s my husband, who has traded fire with real, actual neo-nazis and dealt with their carbombs and terror tactics. He was working on ending apartheid and giving every human being in South Africa the vote and the recognition of their human dignity. The worst villainy possible that he’s seen… let us pray fervently to all our spirits and deities that we never see its like again.



John C. Wright in a comment on File 770 – July 3

“Putting this in perspective, John C. Wright is trying to stave off a boycott of the publisher who pays him, because of a creative director there who dared to suggest that some of his movement are neo-Nazis, and he’s doing this by applying the adjective “Christ-Hating” in part to an editor named Moshe who wears a yarmulke.”

What a vile and cowardly ort of feces this is. I see the method here is merely to make so many false and outrageous accusations that no one can possibly refute them.

Since I am an open philosemite, active supporter of the State of Israel, an unapologetic Zionist, and married the daughter of a Jew, and since I immediately ban any holocaust deniers who dare to show their subhuman snouts on my blog, the accusation that I am an antisemite is beyond libel, beyond madness.

Why not simply accuse me of being a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater while you are at it?

The Christ-haters hate Christ because they are Social Justice Warriors, which is a religion that is jealous, and excludes the practice of Christian and Jewish faith alike.

It was the God of Abraham, the God worshiped by all practicing Jews, who destroyed the city of Sodom and outlawed the practices which made that name a curse. I am being reviled precisely because I love and fear the God of Moses.

I am against the SJWs precisely for the same reason I am for the Jews. I hate bullies and cowards, and I hate liars, and I hate antisemitism with an unquenchable burning hatred, and I love the people that God loves.

Mr Glyer, for a while, you had won my respect, as you seemed to be an honest fellow, trying to maintain some sense of fairplay. I called your blog a wretched hive of scum and villainy as a joke, which you took up.

But this is beyond the pale, that you should print such things of me, or aid and condone these libels. I trust you will reprint these remarks of mine in a prominent place.


Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – July 3

…I am aware that I’ve been cited in Larry Correia’s environs, though as far as I know not specifically by Larry Correia (I am careful to make that distinction), as the “stupidest man in science fiction.” Some of my friend Brad Torgersen’s pals have come here to spew rage at me and calling me a false friend for daring to tell Brad that on this subject, at least, he has his head so far up his own ass that he can’t see daylight. I had an illiterate crazy guy come here to slam me for my liberalism, and when the height of his wit was that I should put on my big boy pants, I pretty much plowed him under with a demonstration of how ploughboys should not draw on shootists. And then there’s Tom Monaghan, who has yet to discover the comma, but who has showed up at least one convention panel just to hop up and down in his audience seat and yell at me.

These are glimpses. It is possible that I have not been under any further discussion at all, by these people, because I am that much beneath their notice, and that would make me tremendously happy; it is also possible that there are extended exchanges about what a low-life idiotic liberal prick I am, and this I cannot care much about either, because aside from these manifestations I have not seen it…..

I don’t know. There may be entire threads out there, closed to me, about what a piece of shit I am.

This does not particularly please me. Making enemies can be fun, but having enemies is not.

So why do I persist in doing stuff like pointing out that a guy who uses the phrase “Christ-Hating Crusaders for Sodom” when talking about a Jew, and counts among his allies a lunatic who cheers on spree killers, has little basis for high moral dudgeon at the suggestion that the movement of which he’s a part extends to the realm of neo-Nazidom? Why would I put myself in the cross-hairs of those among his fans who are exactly as crazy in potential as he is in rhetoric?

Simply put: because the one discussion thread I cannot escape is between my ears, and the one troll I cannot block is my conscience…..


David Gerrold on Facebook – July 3

Because silence equals death.

I don’t know Brad or Larry or most of the others who have spoken up on the puppy side of the kerfuffle. I only know them by what they post online.

They may be good people. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I disagree with them. I disagree with their perception of SF. I disagree with their interpretations. But I would never use that disagreement as a justification for behaving unethically.

I don’t speak for anyone else, but I think I know why so many others of merit in the field — George R.R. Martin, Eric Flint, Connie Willis, John Scalzi, Adam-Troy Castro, Mary Robinette Kowal, and many others — have spoken up. It’s why I have spoken up.

For those who missed it the first time, and who think I’m a terrible person — well, yes I might be, but I’ll say it again. I would have cheered a recommended reading list. I would have discovered books I might otherwise have missed.

But the slate-mongering was wrong. It wasn’t about the quality of the work. It wasn’t about excellence. It was about a political agenda. And the justifications that have been offered — “we’re creating diversity and inclusiveness” — are disingenuous. (That’s the polite word for pants-on-fire lying.) You don’t create diversity and inclusiveness by denying other people a fair opportunity.

And when I have asked for some discussion, for some explanation why the authors of the slates felt their nominated stories represented “best of the year,” how do these stories represent excellence in the genre, no one has stepped up to the microphone to answer that question, except the usual crickets to indicate an embarrassing silence. When we read the comments by those who are sludging their way through their Hugo packets, we do not find the joyous exhilaration of excellence. We see reactions that range from skeptical to hostile, confirming the perception that the slates were motivated by political bias.

So, yes, I have spoken my opposition to the slates. I have spoken my opposition to the name-calling (regardless of which side it’s coming from), and I have spoken my opposition to the political polarization of this community. I would call it a disastrous miscalculation — except that I wonder if perhaps this polarization is exactly what a couple of the people behind this mess intended from the beginning.

If you want to talk about what makes for a great science fiction story, I’m interested. I’m there. If it’s a conversation I can learn from, I want to be a part of it. If it pushes me in the direction of being a better writer, sign me up.

But all this other stuff — slates and name-calling, boycotts and shit-stirring? I’d say “include me out” except as I said above, silence equals death. ….


Mike Resnick in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine

“The End of the Worldcon As We Know It” – July 3

….Ah, but this year will be different, I hear you say. This year we’ll be voting No Award in a bunch of categories, and history will thank us.

Well, it just so happens that No Award has triumphed before. In fact, it has won Best Dramatic Presentation three different times. (Bet you didn’t know that Rod Serling’s classic “Twilight Zone” series lost to No Award, did you?)

But the most interesting and humiliating No Award came in 1959. The category was Best New Writer, and one of the losers was future Worldcon Guest of Honor and Nebula Grand Master Brian Aldiss, who actually won a Hugo in 1962, just three years later. That No Award was so embarrassing that they discontinued the category until they could find a sponsor eight years later, which is how the Campbell Award, sponsored by Analog, came into being.

Please note that I’ve limited myself to Worldcons. I haven’t mentioned the X Document or the Lem Affair or any of the other notable wars you can find in various pro and fannish histories (or probably even by just googling them). This editorial is only concerned with The End of Worldcon As We Know It.

And hopefully by now the answer should be apparent. You want to End Worldcon As We Know It? Don’t feud. Don’t boycott. Don’t be unpleasant. Don’t be unreasonable. Don’t raise your voices in mindless anger.

Do all that and none of us will recognize the Worldcon that emerges.


Nicholas Whyte on From the Heart of Europe

“2015 Hugo fiction: How bloggers are voting” – July 3

For three of the last four years, I carried out a survey of how bloggers were planning to vote in the Hugos. Last year this proved a fairly effective methodology, calling Best Novel and Best Short Story correctly and pinging the actual winners as front-runners for Best Novella and Best Novelette. In 2013 two winners were clear and two were missed (including Best Novel). In 2011, however, my survey failed to pick a single winner of the four fiction categories. So this should be taken as a straw poll, necessarily incomplete and this year earlier than usual. There is certain to be a selection bias in that people who feel more strongly are more likely to blog about it; so we have no insight into the preferences of less articulate or invested voters.

Having said that, the results are interesting. In particular, No Award appears to be leading in all the short fiction categories (though not necessarily decisively in every case), and there is no clear single front-runner for Best Novel….


Patrick May

“2015 Hugo Awards Novel Category” – July 3

[Comments on all five nominees.]

My Hugo ballot for this category is:

  1. Skin Game
  2. The Goblin Emperor
  3. Ancillary Sword
  4. The Three Body Problem
  5. The Dark Between the Stars

I would really like to give “Skin Game” spots 1-3 and “The Goblin Emperor” and “Ancillary Sword” spots 4 and 5 to demonstrate my real preferences. The other two novels aren’t what I consider Hugo quality, but I’m leaving them above No Award because they’re no worse than some recent winners like “Redshirts”. (I’m not hating on Scalzi. I think all of the “Old Man’s War” series is Hugo worthy. But “Redshirts”? I’ve read better fanfic.)

If Kloos hadn’t declined his nomination, I would have ranked “Lines of Departure” just after “Ancillary Sword”.

322 thoughts on “Ayes Wide Mutt 7/3

  1. Mike, I propose a topic about to whom we should mail assorted collections of non-consecutively numbered small bills… 🙂

  2. Bruce Baugh on July 5, 2015 at 12:53 am said:
    Mike, I propose a topic about to whom we should mail assorted collections of non-consecutively numbered small bills…

    Small bills? Like from finches?

  3. In Wright’s case, conversion seems to have done nothing for his towering rage, overwhelming conviction of correctness, willingness to dish out endless abuse, or willingness to accept criticism. But that just tells us that, at least for now, Wright remains Wright, just as Lori remains the welcome commenter, sympathetic neighbor, and cool person she’s always been.

    I’m reminded of the section of one of the Narnia books where CS Lewis in the person of Aslan talks about how people who do kind things in the name of Tash actually were accorded for their deeds by Aslan, and those who did hateful things in the name of Aslan were accorded for their deeds by Tash. Which makes me consider, if there are deities, just who is taking note of and approving of John c. Wright’s words.

    In lighter subject…

    @brains in a jar: whenever this subject comes up, I’m reminded of the usenet persona of Gharlane of Eddore was as a brain in a box. One with a preference for redheads. I still miss his acerbic wit.

  4. ULTRAGOTHA on July 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm said:
    Peace, the one at Etsy would be perfect! Alas there is only one. I think I’m going to need 10 or so. $200 is too much, yes.


    Have you considered making them? I once made nine tiny wax wringwraith candles for a friend for a nine-year-old’s birthday cake when nothing suitable could be found online. Beeswax is malleable when warm. Or you could use Sculpy or something similar for more permanent figures.

  5. RedWombat on July 4, 2015 at 8:51 pm said:
    @ Peace – My stepmother used to be in the miniatures market. Sold them at shows and whatnot. The market dropped out a bit after the recession, but yeah, there was a big thing for a long time.

    So my dad flew into Canada to pick up a load of dollhouse parts and drive it back, during that weird window when you didn’t quite need a passport to travel back and forth to Canada, but they were starting to selectively enforce it at the border. He comes back in a panel van trying to get into the US and the guards demand his passport, which he didn’t have. “But it’s Canada!” he said (repeatedly.)

    Problem is that my dad was born in Lebanon, just got back from a year in Egypt, thinks sunscreen happens to other people, and says “Inshallah” a lot,* so the border guards at this little podunk border crossing were absolutely convinced they had a real live terrorist and wanted to unpack the van.

    They open it up and gaze at a wall of dollhouses and itty-bitty furniture. And my father says “Sure, we can unpack it, but you’re helping me pack it back up again, because it will take twelve hours otherwise.”

    They eventually decided that no terrorist would use a cover so humiliating as dollhouse courier–or just couldn’t bear the thought of rewrapping all those tiny little parts in tissue paper–and let him go.

    Years later, when I helped them move, my entire job was to break down the dollhouse collection, which is when I learned that many moving companies have specific riders on their contracts for dollhouses. They won’t touch ’em. (According to the one mover who would talk to me in an undertone, they’re way too fragile and dollhouse people are notorious.)

    I dreamed about wrapping tiny little objects in tissue paper for weeks after that.

    *He’s one of those people who picks up linguistic markers and never really loses them. After a year in Egypt, a year in China, and ten years on the border with Mexico, his vocabulary is…idiosyncratic.

    This would explain a lot, actually.

    RedWombat, you tell the best stories.

  6. NickPheas on July 4, 2015 at 11:49 pm said:
    I will be sad to see you go.


    Ah, there’s the problem with nuance on the internet again. Can you tell I’m not a writer?

    I meant I *would* hang around but I would try not to be a pest about it.

    I still have that mental image someone posted a few weeks back of Mike Glyer as Bilbo Baggins, watching slightly open-mouthed as endless dwarves file in to partake of his hospitality.

  7. ULTRAGOTHA on July 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm said:

    Peace, the one at Etsy would be perfect! Alas there is only one. I think I’m going to need 10 or so.

    It’s not quite a classic caryatid, and they’re not going to be available until September or so, but Reaper Miniatures is going to have a plastic caryatid column about an inch and a half high, probably for around $3 or $4: http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/previews/latest/77378

  8. > “I still have that mental image someone posted a few weeks back of Mike Glyer as Bilbo Baggins, watching slightly open-mouthed as endless dwarves file in to partake of his hospitality.”

    Be a troll and flame the guests!
    That’s what Mike Glyer detests —
    Drop a screed and then flounce out!

    Dox the posters, then the host!
    Put a threat up on his wall!
    Add some swears to every post!
    Make him moderate it all!

    Hit him with a DoS attack;
    If that fails, then try this hack –
    Just locate his server rack
    And give that thing a goodly whack!

    That’s what makes Mike Glyer mean!
    So, carefully! carefully with his zine!

  9. Peace re-posts the image, and I go “yeah, yeah, somebody filk it!” and less than two hours later Kyra has provided. Kyra FTW. You guys are awesome.

  10. Kyra has run us out of internets so someone’s gonna have to go to the store.

  11. *standing ovation for Kyra!* (I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Dwaves’ dishwashing song, book and film, and this was PERFECT).

    On that note (HAH), I’ve seen the ideas spinning out for future fanac on 770 because a number of us so appreciate the community that came together here.

    Count me one of them!

    This group has been the most fantastic: yes, horrified discussion of the imbroglio, but sharing of fannish stories across ages, countries, genders, area of fandom, plus filk, and puns, and mocking of trolls.

    I don’t plan to leave, and would love to keep it going.

    I love the suggestions people have posted so far for activities. As I was vacuuming today (the litter box room–yep, we have an entire room for litter boxes from the days when we had 13 indoor cats–actually having all the litterboxes in one room is an improvement now that we’re down to four), I had another idea.

    One thing a number of us have lamented is lack of knowledge of new stuff to nominate.

    How about a monthly or weekly or a whenever “review and recs” thread where people post reviews of their own, or links to reviews. Given the Hugo categories and the fact that few people can keep up in all of them, maybe have dedicated posts for specific categories.

    And I’d love to see other “first” stories: I’m thinking “first con stories,” first active fandom, etc.

    One of the things that I most appreciated was that people active in what are often considered separate/conflicting fandoms, like transformative works fandom, book fandom, etc. could discuss their fandoms without knee-jerk responses denigrating those activities. I’m not sure if that can be elicited by posts, or if it just has to happen, but I *VERY MUCH* appreciated that openness and generosity of spirit shown throughout this whole process, especially given how much hateful exclusionary rhetoric was being vomited by Some Puppis People.

  12. I love the community here. Its the most connected I’ve felt to fandom in years.

  13. Re: McCaffrey + thalidomide = The Ship Who Sang

    It wasn’t thalidomide that sparked the story — it was that scourge commonly known as “Polio.” Take a look at a picture of someone in an iron-lung, and think about Helga and her compatriots.

    Moreta’s Ride = 1918 Swine Flu epidemic

    Lackey does this too, see the Owlflight sequence of Valdemar stories…

  14. Lori Coulson on July 4, 2015 at 7:51 pm said:

    Bravo Lima Poppa, glad to know I’ve more company. What sort of plane do you fly? I took aviation ground school in high school but never had the money to get my license.

    Glad to have the company.

    Sorry, not a flyer too tall and nearsighted – though it amused me to death when Air Force recruiters tried to sell me with images of Top Gun. If they’d used ELINT, ECM/ECCM or crypto I’d have signed up. Or if the Army and Marine recruiters had used artillery. No matter.

    I learned the NATO alphabet from my ex-Marine dad due to his hearing issues when I had to work with him and read back serial and model numbers. I’ve used it ever since because it makes e-mail addresses and such crystal clear.

  15. Yes, I use it too when spelling over the phone — I think it’s also easier to memorize that way, but THAT could be just my funky memory in action.

  16. John C. Wright says he loves “the people that God loves.”

    Last I heard, God loves everybody, even Christ-haters. I did some research and there’s nothing in the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, or the Principia Mathematica that indicates John C. Wright speaks for God, or any God-like force.

    Just sayin’

  17. @Pat Cadigan

    I’m fairly certain, after a frankly depressing level of exposure to his blog posts and comments, that he would claim he is loving the sinner but hating the sin. By insulting the sinner, at length, sometimes with weaselly “this is what I would say if I were saying anything, which I’m not” statements. Its not what I was raised to call Christian, that’s for sure.

  18. lori: I’m also in the started but DNF flight training category, in my case I moved away from living near a airport that had flight training to it being a pain in the arse to get to an airfield. and life happened in general.

  19. Lori,
    The reason I suggested thalidomide was the children were born deformed. Three quotes from the first couple of pages:

    She was born a thing and as such would be condemned if she failed to pass the encephalograph test required of all newborn babies. There was always the possibility that though the limbs were twisted, the mind was not, that though the ears would hear only dimly, the eyes see vaguely, the mind behind them was receptive and alert.

    For her first three vegetable months she waved her crabbed claws, kicked weakly with her clubbed feet and enjoyed the usual routine of the infant.

    When they were forced to, Central Worlds shrugged its shoulders, arranged a tour of the Laboratory Schools and set the tour off to a big start by showing the members case histories, complete with photographs. Very few committees ever looked past the first few photos. Most of their original objections about “shells” were overridden by the relief that these hideous (to them) bodies were mercifully concealed.

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