A Puppy Epilogue

By Mike Glyer: When the crowds watching the roundup in Times Square saw the last tag scroll off the news ticker (“…Lis Carey…”) there was complete silence for a moment.

Then an ancillary in the throng of unnervingly ambiguously gendered people lifted her voice and led everyone in singing, “May auld acquaintance be forgot….” People linked arms and swayed. Tears ran down their faces.

Mike watched Google Analytics until the Real-Time overview showed the first person had clicked on the roundup. After that she tabbed the edit page and checked the proper names again. She knew Jon F. Zeigler didn’t like seeing her name misspelled, and Laura could never understand why Mike always messed up “Tegan” yet seemed to have no problem with Gjovaag.

When that was done Mike stepped aside to let the carpenters through. Under the watchful eyes of a Smithsonian Institute curator they chopped the File 770 banner art free of its moorings at the top of the page. It fluttered into the arms of JJ and Kurt Busiek who rolled it up and hermetically sealed it in a case for shipment to Washington D.C., where it would be stored beside the Ark of the Covenant.

The band began to play. Commenters of every nation paraded into the stadium behind their national flags, smiling and waving. Simon Bisson, who had expected to carry the Isle of Jersey flag by herself, was surprised that some Alabama fans were eager to help.

When they passed the reviewing stand, Mike reached into a display case and gave Kyra and Alexandra Erin each a Hugo Award. Mike said how proud she was of the way they upheld the highest traditions of fannish humor. They hesitated until Mike reminded them she could easily spare a couple — she still had 48 more.

Meanwhile, Meredith served the cake Rachel Swirsky’s agent had sent to thank everyone in social media for giving “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” the third-highest Q-score after Shakespeare and the Bible, and gaining her client a new $3.4M contract for her next short story.

Soon Lee asked Peace Is My Middle Name for an autograph. Taking back the signed album she was pleasantly surprised to learn Peace’s first name was Love and her last name was Hope.

Simon Bucher-Jones won the swimsuit competition. Kary English was voted Miss Congeniality.

As Brian Z and Tuomas Vainio sat on the slopes of Mount Doom watching for eagles, Tuomas asked, “I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales?” Brian promised they would, “Because I intend to write them.”

The Imperial Star Destroyer aligned with the airlock. The seals blew and the door flew off in a cloud of white smoke. All the trolls whose first comments had never made it out of moderation were loaded aboard lifeboats and fired toward the surface of Tatooine.

Then Mike woke up. She wasn’t back in Kansas. It hadn’t been a dream.

[Hat tip to Ian Frazier’s “The Last Segment.”]

187 thoughts on “A Puppy Epilogue

  1. Thank you Mike and everyone here. Though I rarely comment it’s been a very welcome daily read during my convalescence. I’ll be sticking round via the wonders of rss for the future of this site/community :-).

  2. Thank you for your labors, Mike. It’s been memorable.

    That will do, pup!

    (You have to imagine James Cromwell saying that).

  3. Well done, Mike, and thanks for the roundups.

    I mostly lurk but was here long before the Puppies and have no plans to leave now!

  4. It’s been an honour to have been tangentially involved with all you lovely people.
    Massive kudos to Mike for doing the work of hosting and to him and his editors for pulling this together day after day. Erin and Kyria and Simon Bisson in particular wrote things I wish I had!

    And what can I say, who know this hypno-toad skin swimsuit would finally pay for itself!

  5. Regardless, your wretched hive of scum and villainy now has a fixed spot in my RSS feed.

    Those still exist?! 😉

    Nice work, Mike.

  6. Thanks again for the wonderful updates and, most of all, the fascinating discussions of things not Hugo. I hope that you can weekly or monthly set up a thread where we can talk about items we think should be nominated for a Hugo. And I know that people have been doing that. Maybe one last list, please?
    Thank you so much again.

  7. Thanks, Mike. You have done what I consider a marvelously entertaining & informative job (with a side-trip into persuasive, that wasn’t too obviously biased) with the Puppies stuff.

    I especially like the way you’ve practiced something I discovered many years ago in The Cult (I think) — if you oppose some Idea, the most effective way to demolish it is likely to be by quoting one of its major proponenets, extensively and verbatum.

  8. Delurking to add my voice to the chorus. Thanks, Mike, for doing all this, and thanks to everyone commenting for making this the only site I check every day. I now have a tbr list long enough to keep me busy for a decade or so. (Well, maybe not a decade, but if everyone sticks around, I have high hopes for that.).

  9. May I also add my thanks to Mike for the sterling effort he has made collating these roundups. I am also a reader who found File 770 via the puppy kerfuffle, and I too will be sticking around.

    Thanks also to the regular commenters for the daily entertainment.

    Also, is it too late to nominate Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag for a Hugo for Best Blog Title. I can’t help but raise a smile every time I see ‘Blogitty blog blog blog’.

  10. Thanks, Mike, and all the assistant editors, for your hard and thorough labor. I have not been able to keep up much with a lot of the controversy (there’s only so much time in a day), but when I wanted to know the latest, I appreciated being able to go glean some of the commentary.

    I have also appreciated the holy heck out of the book, story, and other recommendations. To whoever first mentioned the Steerswoman series, thank you. Ditto the Ankeret Wells rec. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s been a lovely, dense iceberg, rich with solid writing. Thank you to everyone who recommended titles.

  11. Thank you Mike. This feature has inspired me to become a Hugos voter for the first time this year. I don’t know that I would have been so motivated without these marvelous updates in my RSS feed.

  12. Magnificent, Mike. I came for the mongrel roundups, but I stayed for the filks, book etc recommendations, and the intelligence and humor of the commentariat. My bookshelves thank you all (though my credit card doesn’t), as does my RSS feed — so many new blogs to follow!

  13. Glad to have been a part, even though (like Nick and McJulie), I didn’t make the fable. Maybe we’re in the sequel?

    Honestly, though, your dog-catching skills are appreciated. Thank you, Mike Glyer.

  14. Another lurker adding thanks to Mike for the roundups, to all the commenters, and all the recommendations (how the TBR pile does grow!) I’ll be at Sasquan and look forward to the meetup.

  15. (almost as much of an achievement as the time I got tuckerized in The Onion)

  16. *Waves.* Thanks for all the book recommendations, people. My Kindle overfloweth. Read and really enjoyed “A Natural History of Dragons” last week. This has been interesting and I intend to lurk a bit longer to see if more book suggestions turn up.

    And it was a true joy to watch everyone cheerfully dismantle John C. Wright the other day. It’s been encouraging to see that as loud as the Puppies are, most people aren’t buying their shtick.

    I do really hope for a post-Hugos roundup or two. I wanna see how this all ends.

  17. Came for the Puppy news, stayed for the folks, the book talk, the book recommendations. And the silliness and delight. I don’t plan to leave.

  18. Thanks to Mike for the roundups and the space, thanks to everyone else for the company and the book recommendations.

  19. Another “came for the pessimism, stayed for the optimism” reader here. Thank you.

  20. Since when is mike a she? You pulling a jenner there mike?

    I assumed Ann Leckie wrote it.

  21. @SciFiMike: Thank you. Am I appropriately flattered.

    @Ridley: Same for me. I took the plunge in part due to the round-ups and in part due to the comments on the round-ups. Despite the despicable quality of many of the nominees, I’ve found it an enjoyable process overall. So, more kudos to Mike.

  22. Ahhh didn’t get the Leckie reference. Haven’t read any of the ancillary series since every review I saw talked about the use of pronouns but none of them talked about whether the story was any good or not. On the other hand I just recently ordered Dave Vs The Monsters because every review I saw was either someone bitching about how “ist” the books were, or someone raving about how entertaining it was.

    Given a choice between wrongFUN or rightThink, its wrongFUN every damn time. But then I am one of those horrible misogynist, racist, neo-nazi, puppy supporters who likes bad to reprehensible works of fiction.

  23. marsultor13:

    Haven’t read any of the ancillary series since every review I saw talked about the use of pronouns but none of them talked about whether the story was any good or not

    I understand, Mars — you don’t read comments here, you only write them. How you knew someone had explained the reference, prompting your reply, I’ll just have to chalk up to your being a deity.

  24. marsultor13 on July 7, 2015 at 8:15 am said:

    Since when is mike a she? You pulling a jenner there mike?

    Psst. It’s a reference to last year’s Hugo winner, “Ancillary Justice.” And quite wittily done too.

  25. Just count me as one of the many lurkers who came for the puppy summaries and stayed for all the fantastic comments and book recommendations. You guys are so entertaining, I have no idea what I’m going to do with myself if I can’t pop in here to read you all every day!

  26. Uhhh … This is just a test of the moderating system. This is only a test. If this were an actual emergency I’d be posting something with meaning.

    At any rate, I can’t recall if I added enough gratitude to the pile. Thanks, Mike Glyer, for your dedication and work and devotion to what must have sometimes been a pretty exhausting task, and thanks for tolerating such a motley crowd in the comments. It’s been an interesting oasis of good cheer and mutual support.

  27. @Marsultor13, Haven’t read any of the ancillary series since every review I saw talked about the use of pronouns but none of them talked about whether the story was any good or not

    Then it appears you haven’t read a single one of the numerous reviews of the Ancillary books posted right here on file770; very nearly all of them, to my recollection, said something on the order of “this is a cracking good space opera; what’s the big deal about the pronouns?”.

    Which is to say, it’s FUN. Of course, if you’re hung up on pronouns to the point where you can’t enjoy a story where you can’t differentiate genders, you might not like it.

  28. Ahh. It would appear naming the troll with the Augustan cult name was got my comments chucked into moderation. Sorry, Mike.

  29. Given a choice between wrongFUN or rightThink, its wrongFUN every damn time.

    Or, as you seem to have admitted, you’ll pick what you are told to pick as being “fun” by other people.

  30. Meanwhile, Meredith served the cake Rachel Swirsky’s agent had sent[…]

    *kermitflail!*

    Ahem. A very fitting sendoff for the excellent work done on putting together the roundups in the first place and rescuing us from moderation, as well as the brilliant community fostered here – long may it continue! 🙂 I’m not going anywhere though, I like it here too much. 😉 *settles giant beanbag on the floor* *curls up on it* Make my pizza a marinara, JJ!

    ETA@marsultor13

    If no-one else has put it within your sight yet: The Ancillary books are great, fun classic space and raygun stories. The pronoun thing is just a part of the worldbuilding, and you’ll barely notice it after a chapter or two.

  31. I just want to stick my nose in and thank Mike and all the regular commenters for their witty, enlightening thoughts on the current kerfuffle as well as other tangential/related matters. I’ve been lurking for a couple weeks and mostly biting my tongue, but am pleased to be voting on the Hugos for the first time this year. May the best texts win.

  32. I had a blood pressure enforced “nap” today (more accurately: I passed out, then transitioned to sleep, bloody weather screwing up my sleeping patterns) and this was absolutely lovely to wake up to – including all the people declaring intent to stick around. I don’t want to have to miss anyone. 😀

  33. @ Mike Glyer

    Not sure what your comment is referring to. If you mean that people in the comments section here have talked about whether or not the ancillary series was any good, given the vast disconnect between my own tastes and the group consensus here on what is a good story you can probably understand why I don’t pay much attention to reviews here. For an example I thought all of the puppy nominations for short works were awesome, which would seem to be a minority opinion here. By the same token I thought that “If you were a dinosaur my love”, was 3 minutes of my life i will never get back, which also seems to be a minority opinion here. By reviews I was referring to the reviews I saw for Ancillary Justice at places like goodreads and various other review sites. OTOH I bought Dave Vs the Monsters partially because I saw so many of the people who have tastes similar to the average commenter here hated it. That and the fact that everyone who didn’t hate it gushed about how fun it was.

    I don’t particularly care whether the books I read have an approved messages, I just want to enjoy what I read. But again, I’m just one of those evil puppy lovers which means that I am, by definition, an evil misogynistic, racist, sexist, hatey McHaterson who wants all women to be barefoot and pregnant and making me a sammich right? 😉

    Though in truth I am a bit surprised to find out that I hate women as much as women do, but then I learned long ago that I don’t know myself nearly as well as people on the internet know me.

  34. If you mean that people in the comments section here have talked about whether or not the ancillary series was any good, given the vast disconnect between my own tastes and the group consensus here on what is a good story you can probably understand why I don’t pay much attention to reviews here.

    So what you meant to say isn’t that you haven’t seen any reviews that talk about the Ancillary books being good stories. You just decided you wouldn’t like them without bothering to read them. Even though there are several reviews that you now admit you are aware of that say the exact things you said none of the reviews have said.

    In short, you’re both a liar and someone who will only read Puppy-approved fiction because that’s what you’ve been told to like. And you wonder why no one takes any of you Puppies seriously on any subject.

  35. Or maybe make up your own mind about what you like, rather than just reading whatever you imagine that the people you hate don’t like. Just a suggestion, right? Bless.

  36. I don’t particularly care whether the books I read have an approved messages, I just want to enjoy what I read. But again, I’m just one of those evil puppy lovers which means that I am, by definition, an evil misogynistic, racist, sexist, hatey McHaterson who wants all women to be barefoot and pregnant and making me a sammich right?

    Blah blah blah… insert smug trope of victimization… blah blah blah… insert variant of WrongFUN/you only read social approved messages… blah blah blah… you’re all sheeple because I read stuff that offends people and that makes me a smarter, better, more moral puppy… blah blah blah.

    Yeah Mars, we got it the first thousand times or so someone vomited up this script here over the last two months. At least try a little creativity with your trolling. Torgersen has already beat this one firmly into the ground.

Comments are closed.