To Your Scattered Kennels Go 7/6

aka Last and First Puppies

The Ultimate Roundup brings you Benjamin Domenech and Robert Tracinski, Samuel John Klein, T.P. Kroger, Vox Day, Doctor Science, Aidan Moher, Brandon Kempner, Martin Wisse, Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag, David Steffen, Lis Carey and Cryptic Others. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Bruce Baugh and Milt Stevens.)


Benjamin Domenech and Robert Tracinski on The Federalist

“Welcome To Culture War 4.0: The Coming Overreach” – July 6

Culture War 4.0

Today we live in the early stages of that triumph, and as a small number of public intellectuals and media commentators predicted, it is a bloody triumph indeed. Culture War 4.0 brings the Counterculture full circle: now they have become the blue-nosed, Puritanical establishment. Once they began to achieve their goals and saw the culture moving their way, they moved from making a plea for tolerance and freedom to demanding persecution of anyone who dissents against the new orthodoxy in even the smallest way.

Whichever side believes it is winning will tend to overreach, pushing too far, too fast, and alienating the public.

In just the past two years, the Counterculture’s neo-Puritanical reign has made things political that were never thought to be: Shirtstorms and Gamergate, Chik-fil-A and Brandon Eich, Indiana and Sad Puppies, and don’t you dare say Caitlyn Jenner isn’t a hero.

History teaches us two clear lessons about the ebb and flow of the Culture War: first, that whichever side believes it is winning will tend to overreach, pushing too far, too fast, and in the process alienating the public. The second is that the American people tend to oppose whoever they see as the aggressor in the Culture Wars—whoever they see as trying to intrusively impose their values on other people and bullying everyone who disagrees.


Samuel John Klein on The ZehnKatzen Times

“The Sad Puppies May Have A Point” – July 6

One of the most juvenile, at least to me, of the Sad Puppies’ plaints about the trend of modern SF (you can fill in speculative fiction or science fiction, as is your wont) is elaborated by this point made by one of the leading opiners of the movement, Brad Torgerson: ….

And then it occurred to me that one of the cornerstones of this insurgency is apparently the right to judge a book by its cover. This is something that I was told never to do, that it was the sign of shallowness and unwarranted prejudice.

But then, I thought, what if there was a point to made here? Maybe I just work too hard at wanting an experience here. I mean, if I, as a consumer, should want to be guided with pretty shiny images, then who am I to complain? They do me a service, after all, in truth-in-labeling (as a liberal, I’m supposed to like that).

So, truth-in-labeling. Okay. We’ll go with that. I hold in my hand a Berkeley 1981 re-release of one of my favorite novels, written by an acknowledged master of the form, one who went on to create iconic works of SF that inform the genre to this day. But, book-by-its-cover now … okay, I see an organically-formed, liquid, almost-melting edifice on a horizon under a hot yellow sky, and that edifice appears to be a building … after all, there’s something that looks like a tiny figure standing in one of the openings (is it a window). On the whole, it looks like something Frank Gehry came up with in a fever dream.

In the sky, an eye orbits. Setting or rising, I can’t tell, but there it is. to the right of the building, a small thing resembling a misconceived volcano seems to launching a weather balloon, or maybe Rover from The Prisoner. It’s all on a purple plain resembling fused glass, with two rocks resembling rocketships in the foreground, and in the extreme foreground it appears that some poor soul has died, being embedded in the fused glass of the plain.

Needless to say, I expected a tripping-balls adventure about a science-fictional acid trip, but what did I actually get? Some lame story about an alternate past where the Japanese and Germans won WWII and divided up America between them.

Oh, by the way, here’s the book:


And, to fit the Sad Puppy profile of undeserving novels, it won the Hugo.

In 1962.

Clearly, this conspiracy has gone on way longer than any of us imaginers could have possibly imagined.

Wake up, sheeple!




Vox Day wrote in an e-mail – July 5

One of your commenters said this:

“Like the persecution they are always whining about, it doesn’t exist.  Claiming it does only makes them look foolish.”

You could read the FIVE Guardian pieces libeling me. Or the Entertainment Weekly piece, the Boston Globe piece, the NPR report, or the Popular Science piece. Note that none of them ever interviewed me, even though the Guardian guidelines require a subject to be interviewed if they are identified by name.

Note that three of the individuals on the SFWA Board were actually guilty of the charge that I was falsely accused of. I did NOT attack an SFWA member in an official SFWA forum, in fact, I didn’t even LINK to an attack on an SFWA member in an official SFWA forum. (@sfwaauthors is not the official SFWA Twitter feed, and the feed belongs to Twitter anyhow, not SFWA.) Stephen Gould, among 70 other SFWA members, did.

This is why no one on our side gives even the smallest damn about anything the other side says. We know they are all absolutely and utterly full of shit. And we also know that even when we prove something beyond any shadow of a doubt, they will not change their mind in the slightest, but will promptly move the goalposts.

We will never, ever talk to them. There is no point.




“Nerd Entitlement or: How to stop hating and accept diversity” – July 6

This phenomenon isn’t limited to gaming. Hell the term GamerGate was first coined by the actor Adam Baldwin, a man whose Twitter feed is a smorgasbord of right-wing rambling that would fit right in at a Rick Santorum dinner party. Then there’s this years Hugo Awards, which has managed to be hijacked by a group right-wing authors and their supporters calling themselves ‘The Sad Puppies’, even managing to raise the ire of George R.R. Martin. Whilst they’ve been around for a couple of years with very little effect, their sudden rise in influence has coincided with the emergence of GamerGate. And then there’s the YouTube channels that have jumped on the crazy train. I remember watching Thunderf00t videos to do with astronomy years ago. Imagine my surprise when swathes of his channel is now dedicated to bashing feminists.

It’s become a lightning rod for those who had their niche, a thing that they could call their own. Now that it’s become more inclusive they’re rallying against feminists, “Social Justice Warriors” and those who think that maybe, just maybe, having more equality is a good thing. Because everything in geek culture in the past was aimed at a smaller market to which they belonged, their sense of entitlement is so that they feel that should continue.

Do I think that the likes of Adam Baldwin gives a toss about video games, aside from being paid to occasionally be in them? No. But it helps to further their agenda and people who see themselves as victims get swept up in it.

Is there a solution to this? Can those of us who, through our fandom, hobbies and interests are inextricably linked to these people, do or say anything to turn people away from such hate? I would like to think yes. We need to support those game developers, film makers and creative types who are helping to diversify geek culture. It’s important to not be afraid to provide constructive criticism when they drop the ball from time to time.

It’s my hope that, given time, opportunists like Baldwin, the misogynists GameGate, the Sad Puppies and countless YouTubers will become increasingly marginalised. With the widespread critical acclaim of the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Her Story and the increasing condemnation of shows like Game of Thrones for its treatment of women, I’d like to think that perception is starting to change. Sadly, I feel that for the time being those that shout the loudest will continue to impinge on geek culture.


Doctor Science on Obsidian Wings

“Hugo voting: how, why, for what” – July 6

This is a guide intended for fans from the transformative works/Tumblr ends of fandom who are voting for the Hugo Awards for the first time.

There are two basic principles for Hugo voting:

  1. You do not have to vote in every category
  2. When you *do* vote in a category, you have to at least look at all the legitimate nominees. You don’t have to finish them, but you’re honor-bound to at least try…..


Aidan Moher on A Dribble of Ink

Aidan Moher: Well, I wear my Hugo Award on a platinum chain around my neck — Flavor Flav-style — so, that tells you all you need to know about my perspective on awards. If you got ‘em, flaunt ‘em. Life’s too short for humility.


Brandon Kempner on Chaos Horizon

“Inside the Locus Results” – July 6

My copy of Locus Magazine arrived today, and with it some interesting insights on how the Hugo nominees did in those awards. While not a perfect match to the Hugos, the Locus are the closest thing going: a popular vote by SFF “insiders” to determine the best novel of the year…..

You’ll notice that the Top 2 from the SF and the Top 1 from F make up 3/5 of the Hugo Best Novel ballot. Neither the Jim Butcher nor the Kevin J. Anderson made the Top 28 SF novels or the Top 21 fantasy novels. If you were going by Locus vote counts alone, VanderMeer and Gibson would have been next in line for nominations. Since Hugo voters have ignored Gibson since 1994 (seriously, no nominations since 1994), the 5th spot would have been a toss up between Scalzi and Bennett. Given Scalzi’s past Hugo performance, you might lean in that direction, although we’ll find out when the full nomination stats are released.


Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

“Best Novel Hugo vote 2015” – July 6

I don’t have to tell you I won’t be voting for any Puppy candidates, right, so the question becomes which of the three non-Puppy candidates will get my vote. Even diminished, this is a great shortlist:

The Goblin Emperor — Katherine Addison.

The Goblin Emperor at heart is a very traditional power fantasy, about the boy of humble origins who becomes emperor by happenstance and now has to very quickly learn how to survive in a world of political intrigue he’s completely unprepared for, filled with people who either want to manipulate him or replace him with a better figurehead. It’s one of those fantasy scenarios other writers can write multiple trilogies about to get to that point, but Katherine Addison has her goblin hero confirmed as the emperor within five pages, the rest of the novel being about him getting to grips with his new job, woefully inadequate though he feels.


Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

“The Three-Body Problem — Cixin Liu” – July 6

If it hadn’t been for Marko Kloos doing the honourable thing and withdrawing his nomination, The Three-Body Problem wouldn’t be on the ballot for this year’s Best Novel Hugo. And that would’ve been a shame, since The Three-Body Problem is the first translated novel to make the shortlist. The start of a trilogy, it originally came out in China in serialisation in 2006, with the novel version coming out in 2008. The English translation was done by Ken Liu, who has won a Hugo Award himself. The sequels will come out this year and next.


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

“Hugo Reading – Related Work” – July 6

[Comments on all five nominees]

This entire category seems like a race to the bottom. “Wisdom” is clearly meant as an insult to anyone who actually cares about the Hugos, and none of the rest are award-worthy, though some are ok or even almost good. I feel like the time I spent reading this category was completely wasted. The only thing to do with this one is vote “No Award” and leave everything off the ballot.


David Steffen on Diabolical Plots

“Hugo Short Story Review: ‘A Single Samurai’ by Steven Diamond” – July 6

“A Single Samurai” by Steven Diamond was first published in The Baen Big Book of Monsters published by Baen Books.

In this story a mountain-sized kaiju has arisen in Japan, rising from beneath the land itself where the landscape had built up around it.  The monster is moving across the countryside, crushing everything in its path.  A samurai has survived its uprising where so many others haven’t by riding the kaiju as it rose up and climbing up its back even as the soil and trees and rocks shift off the kaiju as it walks.  To save Japan he has to finish his climb and find some way to kill the monster.


Familiar Diversions

“Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie” – July 6

Ancillary Justice has been on my TBR for a while, because books with prominent AI characters that aren’t evil are my catnip. Then the whole thing with the Sad Puppies and the Hugo Awards blew up. Ancillary Justice was one of two works that kept coming up again and again as one of the works most hated by the Sad Puppies, so I suppose I should thank them for reminding me I hadn’t read it yet…..


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Edge of Tomorrow, screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, directed by Doug Liman (Village Roadshow, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, 3 Arts Entertainment; Viz Productions)” – July 6

Groundhog Day meets every high-tech war movie you’ve seen. And, really, too violent for my tastes; I don’t do war movies. My nerves don’t handle the sound and images well. But this, honestly, is very good.

1,887 thoughts on “To Your Scattered Kennels Go 7/6

  1. @RedWombat, It’s all good. And well deserved!

    I’d have been less concerned I’d mislead you if I’d realized A) World Fantasy didn’t pre-notify nominees and B) alcohol was involved. (ha!)

    But I got to be first with congratulations. That almost never happens!! 😉


  2. Brian Z on July 19, 2015 at 12:15 am said:

    You don’t think that stating in advance your intent to rule that releasing the data is not a violation of privacy constitutes pressuring the Administrators. I might (respectfully) disagree, because I do think it would be a violation of privacy, for the reasons I stated previously.

    And considering that I’ve actually discussed the issue with the Administrators, telling them that my official opinion is the WSFS Constitution allows them to do this without requiring them to do so, no matter who asks for it, and that none of them have disagreed with this, means that IMO I’m not pressuring them. I’m expressing an opinion as a WSFS rules expert. The reason I’ve ruled it in advance is to save time and argument among those who have expressed a desire to request the data; now they know it’s legal to ask (it’s not something the rules prohibit), but that they can’t rely on the mere request being sufficient to get the information they want. Asking is okay. Being told “no” is also okay. No hard feelings all around.

    Trust me, the people in question are not shy about telling me if they think that I’m wrong. They’ve done it before, and they’ll do it again if they think I’m wrong. Indeed, in a completely different context, one of this year’s Administrators is the person to whom I report on a certain convention committee, and I’m certain that if he thought I’d been being that obnoxious and unacceptable, he would have found someone else to do my job.

    (Note that this sort of collegial environment isn’t really that unusual in SF/F fandom. As Chairman of this year’s WSFS Business Meeting, I report to the WSFS Division manager, Linda Deneroff. One of the members of my staff is the Business Meeting Secretary… Linda Deneroff. That makes Linda her own grand-boss.)

    Again, Brian, the Hugo Award Administrators aren’t nameless, faceless trolls in some secret distant hidden ivory tower. They’re a small group of individual human beings who are decently well known in the Worldcon community. Their names are published. Not everyone is an anonymous internet troll.

    The real secret of the Secret Masters of Fandom is that they’re not actually secret.

  3. Ooh, ranking Stephenson is what finally pulled me out of lurkerdom here! Who’d a thunk?

    Tough call, though… Right now, I’d say:
    * The Baroque Cycle
    * Reamde
    * Seveneves
    * The Diamond Age
    * Snow Crash
    * Cryptonomicon
    ***No Award***
    * Zodiac
    * Anathem

    If I ignore the lack of endings, The Diamond Age and Snow Crash would jump up to 2nd and 3rd place respectively, and Cryptonomicon to just above Seveneves. I love them all to bits though, and only Anathem never quite clicked for me. (I’m very happy to recognize it as still excellent in several aspects, but the pie-slicing diagram just pulled me too far out of the story, and the whole just wasn’t there for me.)

  4. @RedWombat

    I’ve really enjoyed Jackalope Wives and Pocosin.

    Looking for Nine Goblins and Byrony and Roses I’ve only come up with electronic editions. Any plans for a dead tree release?

  5. @ Stoic – Seventh Bride will have a dead tree version in November. Bryony & Roses will have an audio book release at some point–contract negotiated but no hard dates yet.

    As long as publishers keep randomly buying my self-pub stuff, I’m holding off on the others because I don’t want to burn first physical pub rights (and because I can’t bear the notion of formatting for another medium!)

    After November and Bride’s re-release, I’ll probably take stock again and see how it’s looking.

  6. Kevin, you are doing a great job as a rules expert and all around member of the community. Thank you for all your effort. Regarding a ruling that releasing the data would not be a violation of privacy, it is just that to my non-expert eye that would seem to be their call.

  7. @RedWombat

    Thank you for the info! My girlfriend loved both both short stories mentioned too. Plus she’s an avid gardener and I understand gardening plays a part in Byrony and Roses. It seems like a perfect gift for her but an e-book just doesn’t feel gift-y. I’ll keep my eyes (ears?) open for the audio book.

  8. ::smacks head:: realized I forgot to rank Seveneves….and it’s challenging. I think I’d have to equate it to Anathem actually, So:

    Snow Crash
    Diamond Age
    / Seveneves (tie)
    ***No Award***

    ***everything else by him***

    Also, how long do you all give it before the resident troll starts claiming that non-Puppies/ EPH proponents/ the Worldcon Committee / the Cabal (TinC) / Kevin Standlee have been calling all their respective critics as “anonymous internet trolls” for further concern trolling? I think about 6 hours.

  9. @ JJ and Soon Lee: I loved Stephenson’s Snowcrash and The Diamond Age (have taught the second one in a gender and sff class). But I could not get into the next one, Cryptonomicon, I think it was, and have not even tried the others–as JJ said (too much science, not enough character and plot–same problem I had with Three Body Problem). But I can go back and reread with great enjoyment the first two novels–may take a peek at Seveneyes or at least read some reviews.

    Have been fighting off a cold the last two days, so have been indulging with fun reading: now must go buy Ursula Vernon’s work (loved all of her T. Kingfisher novels and short stories), and get more of Sarah McCarry’s work (About a Girl is *so* amazing!). Archivist Wasp is ALSO absolutely amazing (that’s going on my 2015 Hugo nom list).

  10. I see that this thread is still faltering on, sort of zombie-like,mostly because of Brian Z.

    Kevin: your patience, clarity, and willingness to explain/help someone who has done little beyond insulting you is stellar.

    Beyond everything else, one of the things that really bugs me is when somebody spends all their time trying to nag other people into doing something (I see that a SHITLOAD at my university, usually from male academics, sitting on their butts plantively whining that “somebody should do X or Y,” when X or Y always takes a good deal of work on top of all the work everybody is already doing). As an old grumpy faculty member, I get to look at them and say more or less, if you think it’s important to do, then get off your butt and do it.

  11. rrede: As an old grumpy faculty member, I get to look at them and say more or less, if you think it’s important to do, then get off your butt and do it.

    Or, the really short version: ‘You just volunteered for that job.’
    (I be grumpy. I apparently have shingles. Again.)

  12. Ultragotha: I read Bryony and Roses and adored it–and have just now finished The Seventh Wife (INCREDIBLE), The Nine Goblins (brilliant deconstruction of some of the more probelmatic aspects of Tolkien–and I love Tolkien), and Toad Words (short story collection). ALL highly recommended–now going to buy some of Vernon’s work.

    The books recs from the File770 commenters have been fantastic!

  13. P J Evens: Or, the really short version: ‘You just volunteered for that job.’
    (I be grumpy. I apparently have shingles. Again.)

    I’m so sorry about the shingles–I have heard how horrificially painful they are!

    I am also old and cynical about volunteers since in my experience, only two out of every 10 volunteers shows up more than once, and only one is likely to stick to it and really do the work. I’m focusing more on stuff I can control myself, and working only with people who have proven in past collaborative experiences that they have a similar work ethic and ability to meet deadlines.

  14. Brian Z on July 19, 2015 at 9:35 am said:

    Regarding a ruling that releasing the data would not be a violation of privacy, it is just that to my non-expert eye that would seem to be their call.

    Brian. It is their call whether or not to release the information for any reason whatsoever. They don’t have to give a reason. They can say, “Because I don’t like the color of your eyes.” They could say, “Because I flipped a coin and it came up heads.” They could decide to say nothing whatsoever besides “no.” They don’t have to give a reason.

    But you like to make up reasons. In fact, you appear to want ballots to be so private that It’s impossible to actually count the ballots because nobody at all can look at them. And you make up laws and rules that don’t exist, and have been proven not to exist, to support your claim.

    Brian: When in a “mundane” election, there’s a manual recount, here’s a hint for you: actual human beings have to look at the ballots. This does not violate the privacy of the people who cast those ballots because it’s not possible to tie a given ballot back to an individual voter. You, on the other hand, seem to think that “secret ballot” means “my ballot is so secret that nobody at all can ever look at it, even to count it!”

    Brian, if you want to change the rules to make ballots so private that nobody at all is allowed to look at them for any reason whatsover, including counting them, that’s your right, and if you’re actually a WSFS member actually wiling to sign a real name to it, go ahead and submit it. But don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

  15. rrede, you are not helping my bank account, though you may be helping Ursula’s. (And another nephew birthday coming up. I may get Nurk for that nephew, too.)

    I loved, loved, loved Anathem with a fiery passion. I loved the worldbuilding. I loved the made-up words. I loved the way the worldbuilding was constructed in the story. I haven’t been able to get into any other Stephenson book. Wife brought Seveneves home from the library. If it doesn’t knock her unconscious falling asleep while reading it I may give it a try.

  16. @Ultragotha: Have you read The Just City? If you loved Anathem you might well like that also.

  17. Ultragotha: Will check out Anathem…..*looks at whimpering bank card with remote pity but no intention of stopping buying books alas (at least e books are cheaper?????)

  18. David Goldfarb: I have read The Just City and have The Philosopher Kings on my headboard. I can see the parallels between the City and a Math (source material is the same, after all) but the tone of the books are very dissimilar IMO. Both good, mind you.

    rrede, does your library have Anathem? Aside from it’s propensity for concussion in hardback form, that might be better than buying it as an eBook.

  19. @Aan

    As good a reason as any to delurk, I’d say. You’ve reminded me of Zodiac, which I actually have a bit of a soft spot for. It’s an early work and it shows, and the subject doesn’t really go anywhere, but I liked the main character despite him him being a complete asshole, and it does have an acceptable ending.

  20. @Mark I’d second that. I love Zodiac for the character alone. But also because it’s so much about PR.

  21. Brian. It is their call whether or not to release the information for any reason whatsoever. They don’t have to give a reason. They can say, “Because I don’t like the color of your eyes.”

    Yes. Of course.

    But I was referring to your statement:

    I’ve said in advance that I will rule that the Administrators releasing the raw voting information without any way of tracing it back to the individual voters is not a breach of any individual’s privacy.

    You can rule on the color their eyes too, I suppose, but they are the ones who will be assessing how releasing the raw information impacts privacy.

    Brian: When in a “mundane” election, there’s a manual recount, here’s a hint for you: actual human beings have to look at the ballots. This does not violate the privacy of the people who cast those ballots because it’s not possible to tie a given ballot back to an individual voter.

    I was given a drubbing earlier for making a weak analogy to a “mundane” election. To make your analogy work, you’d stipulate that your mundane government is a one-party system, refuses to allow political parties to form, and scrutinizes all the ballots for any signs that groups of people have voted for the same candidates for several offices so that this unacceptable behavior can be eliminated, accompanied by social condemnation of any campaigner or campaignee.

    It is a lousy analogy. A US state election bears little resemblance to an election organized by a small group of people in an organization – much less the group of people tasked with creating a shortlist for a literary award. There is precedent in many types of elections for the destruction of ballots once the results can no longer be challenged. There are decades of precedent of the Worldcon ballots being kept out of public view. To introduce the radically new practice of publishing the ballots is an inherently political decision.

    In addition to perceived negative outcomes for authors that have been mentioned previously, such as revealing that they only got a couple of votes or tarring them by the association of some of their fans sharing a political ideology, there is a concern over where attempts to guess or infer the identity (individually, or as a group) of those casting the ballots might lead, as noted by Todd Hamilton in his letter to Noreascon Three (on rec.arts.sf-lovers):

    Quite frankly, we found the prospect of questioning anyone on the reasons for the choices they made on a secret ballot to be abhorrent. Even worse, we would have had to question those who supported us as to their reasons for supporting us, and their ethics. We’re sure some might have felt that even their morals were being questioned. Your letter proposes an even worse situation in that we would be performing this inquisition in front of the entire Noreascon Three committee for your further “analysis” and any action you might choose to take. No, thank you.

    It should be obvious to everyone knowledgeable in the Hugo nominating process that, in order to make the statements you have made, Noreascon Three has scrutinized the nominating ballots to determine who nominated whom. While this is disturbing, it becomes even more so when one realizes Noreascon Three does not have a Hugo subcommittee. This means that most, if not all, of the members of your large committee have had access to some, if not all, of the nominating ballots. Your claim to be protecting the sanctity of the ballots is beyond belief, especially when committee members readily leak supposedly privileged yet still inaccurate information.

    You might think that in 2015 you have all of those concerns well under control. No fans ever need to worry about such tactics again. Authors will all think just like you do, and will never be concerned about information being revealed, whether their fans are merely pathetically few in number, are identifiable as part of an interest group, are blatant campaigners, or have voted as a bloc. But based on this year’s hysterical responses to a couple of people campaigning for a fan award, I’m not convinced.

  22. Oh, and because it (Zodiac) isn’t a doorstop.

    Will R.: I read it fairly recently and loved it, especially how it could tumble onto the floor in a small gust of wind.

  23. Ooh, ranking Neal Stephenson!

    The Diamond Age
    Snow Crash
    The Baroque Cycle

    Seveneves (unplaced -unread)

    With Crytptonomicon I must admit I usually only re-read the Laurence Pritchard bits and the scene about the dentist but know it is all good.

    Reamde is last because I got to the bit where the Russian Mob break into the wrong apartment in a Chinese slum to find they are confronting an Islamic bomb making cell run by a black Weshman called Abdallah Jones. It was here I realised this should have been a Snowcrash type farce that had been bloated by Neal’s inability to write anything short anymore. FAIL!

  24. @ Brian Z – Todd Hamilton. Sure.

    Far be it from me to dictate what hills people want to die on, but children conceived at the after-parties of that Worldcon are very nearly old enough to run for president. The rules are different, the world is different, and people might well be advised to move on with their lives.

    You, for example, Brian. What do you do in real life? Do you have any hobbies? What’s your favorite dinosaur?

  25. A friend has Ursula’s “Dragonbreath” books, and I’ve read chunks of them and of “Nurk” as bedtime stories to her five year old. They’re a hit, even though they’re really aimed at slightly older kids (and I liked them, too). If you enjoy kid’s books, I recommend them highly.
    Besides, that giant colorful metal garden dinosaur isn’t going to pay for itself.

  26. But based on this year’s hysterical responses to a couple of people campaigning for a fan award, I’m not convinced.

    This is how Brian describes a bloc-voting campaign that almost completely dominated the ballot — and more, that’s how he describes it to people who know he’s lying through his teeth.

    Within six months he’ll describe it to people who weren’t around as a gentlemanly disagreement over cocktails.

  27. Wow. All of puppydom taking 85% of the Hugo final ballot with works that are largely second-rate is ‘a couple of people campaigning for a fan award’?

    Huh. The funny thing is that the puppies themselves wouldn’t call it that. They would be offended that all of the dozen or so authors and couple hundred fans are reduced to two random people.

    I’m still curious about where he thinks he’s going with this. could it just be, to paraphrase Denzel Washington in that great work of American cinema, The Equalizer, “The old man gotta be the old man, the troll gotta be a troll.”

  28. RedWombat: Triceratops.

    (BTW I think there is another decade to go before the spawn of Noreascon III can run for president).

  29. Brian Z: “I read it fairly recently and loved it, especially how it could tumble onto the floor in a small gust of wind.”

    Is that why books are getting longer these days? So that they’ll stay put during these hurricanes?

  30. @ Cally – Those things ain’t cheap! But so glad the kids like Dragonbreath! The series is wrapping next year, but I hold out hope that the new series will hold up. It has hamsters riding quail into battle.

    @ Brian Z – Solid choice. I’m an ichthyosaur woman myself, but that’s a specialized taste, I admit.

    Was it only 26 years? Eh, my mistake, then. The grudges all blur together and I get confused. Apologies for the mix-up, and to anyone running for president on my say-so.

  31. @Will

    So true, the tendency to doorstop things unnecessarily is a blight on bookshelves everywhere. The authors who think otherwise are clearly closet survivalists trying making sure we have hefty objects for use in hurricanes and/or slow-moving zombie outbreaks.

  32. rrede: careful now, its observations like that which tend to finally stop threads growing.

  33. “But based on this year’s hysterical responses to a couple of people campaigning for a fan award, I’m not convinced.”

    I’ve said, on podcasts and elsewhere, that in the end, the Hugo Award is not such a big deal, given the size of the electorate. But this is rather understating the case, Brian.

  34. But this is rather understating the case, Brian.

    Paul Weimer, that’s a fair reply, but I’m also trying to be fair to Brad Torgersen, who clearly had no intention of using his “yay my mentors and friends! yay rayguns! get the SMOFs!” recommendation list to drive everything else off the ballot. Nor does the evidence (so far!) suggest that his fans tried to do so.

    I’d even, perish the thought, and I’m clearly just saying this to make myself popular, ha ha, like to be fair to Vox Day. He brazenly asked his readers to copy his ballot precisely, which was so far out of bounds as to be well-nigh reprehensible, but even Megamind himself was probably motivated, at the time, chiefly, by the desire to get more attention for his tiny publishing house’s little-known novellas, not all of which are by any means entirely bad. And there may even have been an admittedly short window there when he felt just a little bit sorry.

  35. RedWombat: @ Will R – Ah, but the red or yellow shafted variety?

    I liked the West Texas version: ‘yes’.
    (Intergrades. The one with the red mustache and the red nape was especially cute. We got half a dozen every winter, there for the ants and the heated birdbath.)

  36. I’m also trying to be fair to Brad Torgersen, who clearly had no intention of using his “yay my mentors and friends! yay rayguns! get the SMOFs!” recommendation list to drive everything else off the ballot.

    Regardless of what Torgersen originally intended, the result of his actions is that he did drive almost everyone else of the ballot. He also helped fueled the debate in the months since, by keeping up a vigorous (but piss-poor) defence of his original campaign, and by for example his liberal use of insults like “CHORFs” and puppy-kicker.

    And that’s what others have reacted to. When you describe people’s reactions to this behaviour as “hysterical responses to a couple of people campaigning for a fan award”, you’re either dumb or dishonest.

  37. When you describe people’s reactions to this behaviour as “hysterical responses to a couple of people campaigning for a fan award”, you’re either dumb or dishonest.

    To be fair to Brian, it seems he is both.

  38. A have a very soft spot for Ankylosaurs. Also, from the age of mammels, Glyptodon, which are essentially working from the same design sheet.

  39. And there may even have been an admittedly short window there when he [Beale] felt just a little bit sorry.

    It was rather pointless back in 1871 to speculate about the feelings of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow after she kicked over the lantern that night in Chicago. The proper response was of course to rewrite the fire codes rather than wonder if the cow felt any remorse, and the proper response to the Puppies’ gaming of the system is to consider EPH as a way to deal with future slates of Hugo nominees.

  40. @BrianZ “And there may even have been an admittedly short window there when he felt just a little bit sorry.”

    Did VD ever say anything remotely like that, for are you making this up out of whole cloth?

  41. Oh, and stegosaurus. I know that the fight scene in Fantasia is anachronistic, but I still loved it as a kid.

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