Pixel Scroll 1/1 Let Scrolled Acquaintance Be Forgot…

rhinowaiting(1) HORNING IN. Another rhino run starring Jim Mowatt — “New Year Parkrun Rhino Running at Temple Newsam House”

We set off past the glorious Elizabethan mansion and out through the formal gardens. Down the long hill, left at the motorway and curl back along the edge of the woods until we are once again struggling up the hill toward the house. Twice around we go and the second time we are curved around the hill a little until we burst out into the finish funnel. I queue to be scanned behind the girl in the orange tee shirt. I’d finished before her at Woodhouse Moor but she was really pleased to finish in front of me here at Temple Newsam. “I couldn’t be beaten by a rhino twice in one day” she said.

 

(2) CARRIE FISHER. James H. Burns writes: “Considering that I was never particularly a fan of Carrie Fisher as an actress, I am finding myself becoming quite a fan of her mind!” Burns had just read “Carrie Fisher shuts down the ageist haters as only Carrie Fisher can” on Salon.

She soon followed up with a more direct command, saying, “Please stop debating about whether OR not aged well. unfortunately it hurts all 3 of my feelings. My BODY hasn’t aged as well as I have. Blow us.” It’s been favorited over 35 thousand times — and still going.

(3) FIRST AMENDMENT. Has he been listening to Fisher, too? George Lucas definitely spoke freely on the Charlie Rose show broadcast on December 25:

At one point he said that filmmakers in the Soviet Union had more freedom than their counterparts in Hollywood, who, he maintained, “have to adhere to a very narrow line of commercialism.”

Mr. Lucas appeared particularly unhappy with the direction the “Star Wars” franchise has taken since he sold the rights to it, along with Lucasfilm, his company, to Disney for $4 billion. He compared the sale to a breakup and a divorce.

“These are my kids. All the Star Wars films,” he said. “I love them, I created them, I’m very intimately involved in them.”

He added, trailing off with a laugh: “And I sold them to the white slavers that take these things and. …”

(4) BABYLON 5.1. Blastr’s headline runs a little ahead of the facts – “Straczynski bringing sci-fi classic Babylon 5 back to life with movie reboot in 2016” – in that he hasn’t finished a script and he doesn’t have a commitment from a studio to produce the movie.

Thanks to some shrewd negotiating, Straczynski actually owns the film rights to the franchise — so he isn’t beholden to getting a particular studio to sign on. But he is apparently hoping Warner Bros. (the studio that produced the original series) might be interested once the script is complete. You know, assuming it’s good.

If Warner Bros. doesn’t bite, Straczynski apparently aims to finance the film through his own Studio JMS, though that might be a tall order to bankroll an $80-100 million sci-fi epic. But considering the franchise’s name cachet with genre fans — not to mention the fact that studios are mining just about any brand they can get their hands on these days — you’d think someone would be interested in co-producing.

(5) MARSHAL BURNS. Ken Burns the documentarian was this year’s Rose Parade Grand Marshal, prompting an exchange between John King Tarpinian and Phil Nichols:

[Tarpinian] The documentarian is this year’s Rose Parade grand marshal.  They keep taking about his “moving” stills as having been groundbreaking, calling it Ken Burns effect. Now his documentaries are very well done and quite enjoyable however when I saw the first one this moving-still effect reminded me of Icarus Montgolfier Wright.  I’m thinking Ray Bradbury and George Clayton Johnson’s contribution to this effect was a bit earlier.

[Nichols] Good point, jkt! In fact, the technique had been used prior to ICARUS, most famously in a Canadian documentary called CITY OF GOLD (1957). In the UK, it has only recently become known as the Ken Burns effect. We have our own Ken (Ken Morse) who did similar work for the BBC for decades. We used to call it “movement in stills”, until the American influence became irresistible.

(6) STAR WARS SPOILERS. Beware spoilers in Alex Ross’ fine discussion of “Listening to Star Wars” at The New Yorker.

Williams’s wider influence on musical culture can’t be quantified, but it’s surely vast. The brilliant young composer Andrew Norman took up writing music after watching “Star Wars” on video, as William Robin notes in a Times profile. The conductor David Robertson, a disciple of Pierre Boulez and an unabashed Williams fan, told me that some current London Symphony players first became interested in their instruments after encountering “Star Wars.” Robertson, who regularly stages all-Williams concerts with the St. Louis Symphony, observed that professional musicians enjoy playing the scores because they are full of the kinds of intricacies and motivic connections that enliven the classic repertory. “He’s a man singularly fluent in the language of music,” Robertson said. “He’s very unassuming, very humble, but when he talks about music he can be the most interesting professor you’ve ever heard. He’s a deep listener, and that explains his ability to respond to film so acutely.”

(7) 40% PUPPY CONTENT. Brandon Kempner at Chaos Horizon takes his first cut at predicting the 2016 Best Novel Hugo. Pups get 2 spots out of the top 5.

The difficulty in predicting the 2016 Hugo lies in how little information we have: how big will the Rabid Puppies vote be? How will the Sad Puppies 4 operate? How much will the rest of the Hugo vote increase? Will other Hugo voters change their voting habits to stop a Puppy sweep? Will specific authors turn down endorsements and/or nominations?

(8) RETURN TO SENDER. Kate Paulk, in “Offer? What Offer?” at Sad Puppies 4, dismisses Steve Davidson’s reconciliation post for failing to treat with “the management.”

I’ve heard through the Internet (all right, Facebook) that someone who fancies himself a big shot in the field has “offered” to stop claiming Sad Puppies 4 is all things evil in return for a few “reasonable concessions” on our part.

Since the person in question hasn’t bothered to make this offer to me, Sarah Hoyt, or Amanda Green, Sad Puppy supporters can reasonably assume that the so-called offer is not actually genuine.

(9) KNOW JOHN, NO PEACE. John C. Wright deconstructed George R.R. Martin’s reconciliation post in “Peace on Mars, Good Will Toward Puppies” .

…Mr. Martin wills the ends without willing the means. He wishes for a cessation of enmity but does not identify who caused it and why, nor does he offer any apology or concession. Perhaps he is merely wishing for the status quo ante. Perhaps he regards his role in the matter as an entirely innocent one.

Be that as it may, honor demands a courteous response to a courteous overture….

The second group is a parasite on the first. Its sole purpose rests on expropriating the glory and reputation the award in times past painfully and honestly earned in the public esteem, and expending this stored capital profligately on unworthy objects to give them an outward momentary appearance of worth.

For example, the parasites seek to elevate REDSHIRTS to the stature of DUNE by an outward show of praise without the book being as praiseworthy. However, according to the inevitable rules governing such counterfeits, as soon as the public opinion grows aware of the inflation and adjusts its estimates accordingly, the parasites fail, and the original host fails with them.

In this case, failure means the Hugo Award no longer represents to anyone an honest judgment of worth. The boast ‘Hugo Award Winning!’ becomes a leper’s bell rather than a badge of honor, and any undeceived science fiction readers flee it. REDSHIRTS is not elevated to the stature of DUNE, but DUNE sinks.

Perhaps Mr. Martin can see a means whereby the host and the parasite that forever seeks to destroy the host can coexist in peace. I, for one, cannot….

(10) AN INTERVIEW WITH URASIS DRAGON. But once Wright had a look at Steve Davidson’s reaction to Martin, he discovered a new comradely admiration for GRRM, as expressed in “Constant Discord from Imaginary Dragons”.

Good grief. Observe that by kicking up this smokescreen of false reconciliation, Mr. Davidson actually makes it more difficult for any parties wishing for true reconciliation (I believe George RR Martin is one such) to accomplish the task…..

For the sake of any undecided readers toying with the notion that the puppykickers have some sort of valid argument or same vestigial desire for peace, allow me to address Mr. Davidson’s four points in order.

Point One: Please note that in the same column he says ” Anyone can become a member and all members enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other member.”

So, when we Sad Puppies did exactly this, Mr. Davidson uses this as an example of us “scamming the system” and advises us, as a condition of reconciliation, that we stop.

Logically, since we cannot cease to do what was never done to begin with, the condition cannot be met. As if one offered peace to a confirmed bachelor on the condition he stop beating his wife.

And Mr. Davidson also uses this to contradict our (accurate) accusation that a small group of inside elite writers and editors over the last fifteen years has been manipulating and dominating the awards secretively, that is, scamming the system.

(11) AMAZING NEGOTIATIONS. Meanwhile, Fandom’s self-appointed Ambassador Plenipotentiary Steve Davidson is experimenting with a unilateral cease-fire, which he calls a “Self-Inflicted Puppy Moratorium”.

I’ve finally whittled my suggestions down to two:  1.  leave the current SPIV recommendation list as a pure recommendation list.  (It’s almost not a slate – all that needs doing is to drop the associated political rhetoric and the curation down to a “final list” and it will BE a recommendation list) and 2. disassociate SP from RP in a publicly demonstrable way.

I’ll note in passing that BOTH of these suggestions are things that the Sad Puppies are claiming to want to do – or to have already done.  It would, therefore, seem to be an easy set of requests to comply with.

As quid pro quo, I offered the following:  I would consult and participate in their recommendation list(s) (participate in order to ‘prove’ that I was doing so); I would give serious consideration to any proposal(s) they might make at WSFS business meetings (they’ve called for a Hugo for tie-ins, among other things);  I will honor their votes and nominations as being valid participation in the Hugos (in other words, won’t assume it’s all politics and market grab on their part); will continue to keep Amazing as an open source (that it has always been – the ONLY people I’ve ever received a “never coming here again” are those who complain the site is biased against them, which, if they stuck around instead of running for the hills….)

AND – I promised a unilateral moratorium on puppy-related posts for two weeks (starting yesterday) while I awaited their response.

(12) NEW YEAR’S FIREWORKS DISPLAY. Scott Lynch, who for reasons explained in the post felt unable to do so immediately after Sasquan, rang in the New Year with a defense of Patrick Nielsen Hayden against John C. Wright’s characterizations.

…This was especially frustrating in the wake of the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention, after which the ponderously self-important blowhard John C. Wright publicly accused veteran editor and lifelong fan Patrick Nielsen Hayden of both assaulting Wright’s wife and masterminding the long-term “corruption” of the Hugo Awards, to which the SF/F field largely replied: “Meh.” Now, some of that is certainly due to Wright’s tireless self-marginalization and frothing bigotry, but regardless, I think Patrick deserved better of his friends and colleagues. He deserved to have someone stand up and state plainly what he could not– that John C. Wright talks a big game about truth and courage, but that he is demonstrably full of shit.

I wanted to be that person. I prepared a lengthy post to that effect. And then anxiety did its usual crushing, grinding thing, and days became weeks, which became months. It is now the new year, Hugo chat has started up in earnest, and Wright is once again plying his mealy-mouthed combination of false civility and vicious nonsense on the subject. I have decided to weigh in with a reminder that the narrative Wright wants to push is an absolute full-blown fabrication….

(13) YEAR IN REVIEW. Like on that game show, Lou Antonelli delivers the answer in the form of a question: ”2015? The Year in Review?” at This Way to Texas.

And then, what I would have thought would be be a great thing, being nominated for the Hugo award twice, turned out to be the worst thing that ever happened in my life. But it helped me realize that, in the end, I really only write for myself and friends, and in literature – as in other things in life – trying to please other people is the fast track to misery.

[Thanks to Stephen Burridge, Morris Keesan, Nila Thompson, John King Tarpinian, Zenu, and Bruce Arthurs for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]

Update 01/02/2016: Corrected item (8) after readers pointed out Paulk was commenting about Steve Davidson’s reconciliation post, not George R.R. Martin’s.

328 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/1 Let Scrolled Acquaintance Be Forgot…

  1. Been reading Welcome to Night Vale which is like reading a fortune cookie from a restaurant where the menus aren’t in any known language and pictures on it are vague but unsettling. I wasn’t sure if it would work well as a book but it’s still clever and amusing and weird as it is on the podcast. Fun read.

  2. Matt —

    I had no familiarity with the podcast before reading the book. I thought there was a little too much repetitive weird-referencing, to the point that to me at least it seemed to be going nowhere (or at least, I couldn’t tell the plot weirdness from the callback-to-show weirdness), but it pulled together and had a satisfying ending.

  3. (1) Good for Running Rhino Jim. I admire his stamina and dedication.

    (2) Carrie Fisher is a much more interesting human being now than she was back in the day. I <3 her.

    (3) George: shut up while you're behind, m'kay?

    @Petrea (and I do apologize for never putting the accent: blame my American keyboard) congratulations on your shared genetics. 🙂 The Eight Deadly Words alone would make your aunt’s contribution to the world everlasting.

    @Kurt Busiek: I’ve never listened to the podcast either (though I know not to go to the dog park), but if you say the book works even so, I am encouraged to check it out when next I am in the market for weird.

    I’ve just finished all available novels (but not shorter works) in “The Expanse” series and um, wow, we are in trouble here. You can tell those guys worked for GRRM by the body count (although they don’t have rapes, bless them).

    Now to beta-read a novel for a friend and do Retro Hugo reading.

    In unsurprising news, Puppies still have poor reading comprehension, are still lying about things they themselves said and consider directly quoting their own words as evil. And JCW still can’t write worth shit.

    Also, since Mrs. Impala has clearly said SP will not distance itself from RP, we may now go ahead and officially consider the two groups as one and treat them the same. Teddy must be very happy to read this; it’s so much easier when the useful idiots (that’s a term of art, Pups, not a reference to your yoooge IQ scores) come right out and sign up for it like that. He’s steepling his fingers and cackling that they’ve put their own heads into the nooses, THE FOOLS! (Mr. Burns GIF here)

    Egads, I still have some champagne left. Must go remedy that.

  4. John C Wright:

    The boast ‘Hugo Award Winning!’ becomes a leper’s bell rather than a badge of honor, and any undeceived science fiction readers flee it

    Chris S:

    I’m assuming that you will, of course, follow the logical path and decline any further Hugo nominations that come your way?

    I doubt it. Like Mr. Wiggin, he deplores us whining hypocritical toadies with our colour TV sets and our Tony Jacklin golf clubs and our bleeding masonic secret handshakes… and yet is desperate to get into the lodge.

  5. @Zenu–

    So… I have argued on a number of cases that the Puppies are not doing well in the Goodreads Choice awards either. I did that during this recent round of puppy barking. Seems Little Teddy is going to do something about that. He opened his Rabid Puppy Goodreads Group today and his minions are going to be patrolling the Goodreads reviews.

    Ah, this may explain a recent comment on one of my reviews of last year’s Hugo nominees–and means maybe I can expect more. 🙁

    Finally got to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Excellent!

  6. @Vicki Rosenzweig

    Or that, like at least one Texas police department, [the Sad Puppies] had been infiltrated by a Mexican drug cartel. (I can’t imagine what Los Zetas would want with the Sad Puppies […])

    Due to a deplorable language misunderstanding, the Zetas thought they were a dog fighting ring they could usurp. It took them a while to find out that these dogs won’t hunt.

  7. Kurt –

    Hadn’t even considered what it might be like for someone who hadn’t listened, but yeah, I can see what you mean by that. I found it pretty impressive that they managed to create a consistent-ish plot within the framework of the universe they built in the show.

  8. Re: Puppies and Goodreads

    They don’t have the numbers to do much to the awards, but if someone has the time and energy it might not be a bad idea to keep an eye on other activities, if they’re going after reviewers. Individual reviewers are a lot more vulnerable to malicious actions and I find it hard to celebrate Rabid activity in that area even if the continued lack of impact on the awards results next year proves something.

    Re: Dune

    Middle sister, who is dyslexic and struggles with reading, adores the series. It takes her a long time to finish books so a lot of the time she ends up not bothering, and I can’t help but feel some affection for a series that inspires her to persevere even if I don’t feel strongly about it personally. (Speaking of which, if anyone has if-you-liked-Dune-you’ll-like recommendations I’m all ears.)

    @Peace

    Yes, the difference between then and now is quite marked. I suspect one of the reasons we get less lead Puppies turning up these days is because now they can’t try to bully OGH without being jumped on by half a dozen irritable defenders with a truly vicious ability to quote people accurately and read comments from the previous pages. Puppies show a marked preference to staying in Puppy-friendly locations (which is understandable – I’d rather be here than there after all) and refusing to link or accurately quote not-Puppy-friendly sources (which I’m less sympathetic about).

    @Jack Lint

    Sometimes the Puppies complain about Chicks Dig Time Lords, too (as far as I can tell because of the title). Oh, and Seanan McGuire’s nominations are Proof Of Slating (but they never have proof that any such slate existed and rarely say anything about her actual work; I’m not sure any of them have even gone to the effort of reading the first half a dozen pages like they did with Ancillary Justice). I think that’s about it.

    @Mike Glyer

    The anti-fan sentiment was front and centre in the comment section from February, not to mention various anti-Fan/Trufan polemics since. Quite bizarre for a movement that claims to be empowering fans. If I were inclined to be cynical I would say that their attitude towards fans is “seen but not heard, except when properly flattering and subservient” based on some of the things they’ve said when challenged by fans. (Not to mention the repeated insistence that people like me – little-f fans who didn’t like the Puppy slates and didn’t feel at all like No Award in response to Puppies was a rejection of little-f fans – don’t exist. I’m pretty tired of that one.)

    @nickpheas

    Is Paulk a professional? She’s a professional writer, because she takes writing seriously and sells books. Whether she acts like a professional in other contexts is another matter.

    This:

    To me Katie looks a desperate housewife style fantasist

    Was not okay. Gender stuff and otherwise. Even if she sold one book every five years it wouldn’t make her opinions inherently less of worth. Her opinions by themselves handle that just fine without catching perfectly innocent and sensible writers in the crossfire.

    @Mike Glyer: The Sequel

    I love the idea of the celebratory first sale Fanquets. 🙂

    @Robin

    Most of the people I know from Warcraft know me by my middle name instead of my forename because I violently dislike people misspelling “Meredith” and the four-lettered “Kate” is pretty difficult to get wrong. Or so you’d think. One of them insists on calling me “Katey” even after I explained that the reason I’d really rather not use that form (or Katie) is because I inherited the name from my eldest sister who died as an infant, and a source of frustration for my mother throughout the experience was that the nurses at the hospital insisted on calling her Katie no matter how many times they were told it was not her name. I like the guy fine most of the time, but man it felt disrespectful to disregard my wishes on the subject especially considering the background.

  9. @RedWombat

    @McJulie – I am all in favor of private crying if it helps people cope, and should not have implied otherwise!

    I should probably have said “whining.” A good private whine to a sympathetic friend as you both drink toasts to each other is one thing, but the public whining is objectionable.

    I didn’t mean to imply that I thought you meant otherwise! I consider my intense hurt feelings at ordinary literary rejections to be a personal problem that I’m striving to overcome, as it not only causes me a lot of unnecessary emotional pain, it also tends to keep me from submitting my stuff and in other ways neglect my writing career.

    But, yeah, there’s a huge difference between “cry about it to my husband over a beer” and “cry about it in public with the intention of making it sound like I’m hard done by.”

  10. if-you-liked-Dune-you’ll-like

    In the sense of being novels about isolated worlds with colourful inhabitants whose primary significant product is elixirs of immortality: Joan Vinge’s The Snow Queen and Cordwainer Smith’s Norstrilia. In the sense of being heavy and written by Frank Herbert, The Dosadi Experiment. In the sense of it reminded me of Dune, Smith and Trowbridge’s Exordium books.

  11. @Meredith I had forgotten about Chicks Dig Time Lords. Is it usually mentioned because it beat the first volume of the Heinlein biography? (When SP3 failed to include the second volume? Seems a bit much.) Given how well Doctor Who usually does in the short dramatic presentation category, I’d think that has more to do with Doctor Who fans than SJWs. And the list of contributors does include a number of Hugo nominated writers.

  12. Camestros Felapton :

    The worm has turned.

    Well, you know how it is. I got to the scenes where the Bene Gesserit Jessica is stuck in the desert and overdoses on melange, then starts chewing the scenery with over the top mystical rants. And then the thought of spicy ham sand witches just made me put the book down and go have lunch.

  13. The only reason I would read Raising Steam before The Shepard’s Crown is to be able to say Terry’s last book ended somewhat on a high note. I found Steam to be lacklustre at best and tSC really needed a couple more drafts done. It was okay Tiffany but no where near as good as the other Tiffany books.

  14. When the puppies use Orwellian expressions it always makes me chuckle. I don’t know how they can simultaneously hold the opinions ‘SF novels with heavy-handed messages by left-wing authors should be shunned’ and ‘1984 by George Orwell is a great novel and everyone should read it’. Seriously, do they put that little thought into what they’re saying?

  15. @Jack Lint

    Correct on all points. Hypocrisy is no stranger to the Pups, though. They’re still yapping about how not-Puppies don’t appreciate Weir despite the Pups being responsible for costing Weir a Campbell nomination that not-Puppies voted to give to him.

    I suspect their problem was with the “chicks” part of the title – can’t be having women having opinions without men around. I’ve never seen them answer a direct question about why something Whovian shouldn’t win, only evasions.

  16. I had forgotten about Chicks Dig Time Lords. Is it usually mentioned because it beat the first volume of the Heinlein biography? (When SP3 failed to include the second volume? Seems a bit much.) Given how well Doctor Who usually does in the short dramatic presentation category, I’d think that has more to do with Doctor Who fans than SJWs. And the list of contributors does include a number of Hugo nominated writers.

    As far as I remember, Brad Torgersen was bothered that Chicks Dig Time Lords beat the collected Mike Resnick/Barry Malzberg columns from the SFWA Bulletin (pre-uproar). And since Torgersen considers Mike Resnick a mentor, that cannot be. Even though Chicks Dig Time Lords is exactly what he claims he wants to see at the Hugos, a celebration of a massively popular media property.

    Though I’m sure the “chicks” bit has something to do with it as well.

  17. @Meredith said:
    “They don’t have the numbers to do much to the awards, but if someone has the time and energy it might not be a bad idea to keep an eye on other activities, if they’re going after reviewers. Individual reviewers are a lot more vulnerable to malicious actions …”

    I am sure they have the best of rabid intentions. VD’s post called “The New Battleground” and responses as follows:

    —-Begin exerpts—-

    “I created my Goodreads account yesterday, as it is clear that with Amazon increasingly policing their reviews, Goodreads has become a primary locus of effort for SJWs. It’s time to for us to start contesting that territory; create an account there and friend me. If you’ve already got a Goodreads account, friend me. You can also follow my author page there. And then start rating. Don’t worry about writing reviews for now, just hit the ratings for the time being….

    …With that in mind, in addition to rating whatever books you’ve read, those participating should go through the various reviews of the books of the Castalia House authors and flag every review that contains content focused on author behavior rather than on the book itself….”

    12. Blogger VD January 02, 2016 8:32 AM
    Okay, I created a Goodreads group called Rabid Puppies. I’ll need a pair of moderators to run it; if you are VFM and wish to do so, email me.

    20. Blogger doug whiddon January 02, 2016 9:20 AM
    We really need to do some work on the Hugo’s this year. Get Gamergate stirred up and involved. Anyone attending other Cons should talk about it. Se if we can get some names to talk about it (like Larry Corriea, for example). Bulk up our numbers. I didn’t vote last year, but I will this year.

    27. Blogger Doseux January 02, 2016 10:19 AM
    Ah, to wake up with matching orders in your ear! Actually, that wouldn’t be so fun in real life, but here it makes me smile….

    …I’ll trawl through the reviews and see if I can’t find anything….

    28. Blogger Mint January 02, 2016 10:27 AM
    Created a goodread’s account and flagged a review of ATOB as inappropriate which talking about your conduct and not the book’s content.

    31. Blogger Red Bane January 02, 2016 10:54 AM
    Flagged quite a few ‘conduct’ reviews. Get busy folks. Work to be done.

    35. Blogger Were-Puppy January 02, 2016 11:39 AM
    It’s easy to go on a tangent there looking for stupid 1 star reviews. I was flagging even on the black book of communism 😛

    36. Blogger VD January 02, 2016 11:39 AM
    I’ve been quite surprised that Castalia was so poorly represented on GoodReads. But given the issues going on there, it’s also probably better to hit it in force rather than individually.

    39. Anonymous A Minion January 02, 2016 12:10 PM
    As the Dark Lord wishes, the minions humbly obey. Accounts will be created this weekend. Off to mix a martini. Except instead of salt, I like to rub a little SJW blood around the rim…

    42. Anonymous Jill January 02, 2016 12:27 PM
    Goodreads is such a cesspool.

    54. Blogger Achilles January 02, 2016 2:26 PM
    Honored by your Goodreads friendship. No safe spaces for the SJWs.

    59. Anonymous lr_vfm5411 January 02, 2016 7:22 PM
    Wow.

    A lot of the reviews of Opera Vita Aeterna were… just shy of being obvious I-didnt-read-it-hit-jobs.

    “Oh, and the author’s horrible views, and the prose was turgid and dull, and there was no point to the story”

    —- end excerpts —-

    And the beat goes on. And the beat goes on.

  18. @Meredith I had forgotten about Chicks Dig Time Lords. Is it usually mentioned because it beat the first volume of the Heinlein biography?

    In the usual context I’ve seen, it’s typically been Brad Torgersen complaining that it beat The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg.

    That he manages to to this while at the same time complaining that Worldcon is insular and doesn’t honour tie-ins/ popular works is….impressive.

  19. In another example of puppy-like logic, http://wonkette.com/597518/whiny-mra-jerk-babies-declare-victory-over-star-wars-your-saturday-nerdout

    Yep. Because of Star Wars being “a tool of “Social Justice Warrior” (SJW) propaganda”, MRA types have boycotted it to an amount, they claim, of a massive $4M. Because a sample of ~500 is totes representative when done on a Twitter poll, but losing a Hugo by several thousands just means the wrong people were voting.

  20. @Meredith: urgh, names. I don’t have anything like as emotional attached to mine, but professionally I use the full form of my first name. It’s not a long or difficult name to say or type, and yet I’ve lost count of the amount of allegedly professional contacts who decide that I’m just being uppity and shorten or change my name, including one person who I’m sure wasn’t being deliberately insulting by repeatedly mis-spelling it in emails.

    @Centurion13: There was no misquote. Try again.

    Re Chicks Dig Timelords: Yeah but Dr Who is the wrong media property! It’s British, full of pesky SJWs, wildly successful and none of Brad’s friends (as far as I’m aware) have had even the smallest hand in its success.

  21. @Oneiros

    I’ve never had warm fuzzy feelings about people who alter names without consent so I’d be inclined to think your contacts were jerks anyway, but I have to admit after months of the Puppies coming up with silly nickname after silly nickname for both individuals and groups my tolerance is at an all time low.

    @Jamoche

    I’m sure Hollywood accountants are shuddering in their boots.

  22. @Lis Carey on January 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm said:
    @Zenu–

    So… I have argued on a number of cases that the Puppies are not doing well in the Goodreads Choice awards either. I did that during this recent round of puppy barking. Seems Little Teddy is going to do something about that. He opened his Rabid Puppy Goodreads Group today and his minions are going to be patrolling the Goodreads reviews.

    Ah, this may explain a recent comment on one of my reviews of last year’s Hugo nominees–and means maybe I can expect more. 🙁

    Regrettably, Theodore Beale is exactly the sort of person Goodreads’ setup and moderation culture is vulnerable to.

    The Goodreads policy of sweeping complaints under the rug and erasing posts considered objectionable, with no advance warning to the poster or opportunity to defend themselves, before or after, means that unscrupulous people who want to scrub the site of those they dislike have free rein to complain and have reviews and posts erased.

    It seems to be a problem of inadequate moderation (a few years ago they had seven moderators for two million members, and no one was on duty at all on the weekends) combined with what appears to be a desire to avoid all appearance of controversy.

  23. Of course John C. Wright misread George R. R. Martin’s recent essay. Martin was talking about making peace. Pups can’t do that.

    As the last few years have demonstrated, nothing can separate the Pups from their sense of wounded entitlement. (It’s a characteristic they share this with Gaters and MRAs.) Their tragic martyrdom makes them special, gives them a blanket excuse for their bad behavior, and costs them nothing.

    An example from Lou Antonelli’s recent 2015? The Year in Review?:

    And then, what I would have thought would be a great thing, being nominated for the Hugo award twice, turned out to be the worst thing that ever happened in my life.

    I doubt this is true or even possible, and if it is, it’s certainly not undeserved; but Antonelli doesn’t hesitate to baste himself in self-pity. He got two Hugo nominations, lo how he suffers!

    Check out other Puppy responses to GRRM’s piece. There’s an unnaturally high proportion of strange misreadings and twisted logic, leading to the unwarranted conclusion that everything’s still awful and they’re still being mistreated. All that’s different about JCW’s version is that he’s more colorful, and he doesn’t have the sense to keep it short so his reasoning doesn’t show as much.

  24. “I doubt this is true or even possible, and if it is, it’s certainly not undeserved; but Antonelli doesn’t hesitate to baste himself in self-pity. He got two Hugo nominations, lo how he suffers!.”

    I actually believe this might be how he feels and I see absolutely no reason to denigrate a person for feeling misareble, regardless of if it might have been deserved or not. Antonelli is human and it must have been a terrible situation for him where badly miscalculated the reactions of the Worldcon fandom and also managed to create a horrible PR catastrophies right before which severly damaged his reputation.

    I guess he now feels that his carreer has been damaged, possibly with no chance of recuperation and it is absolutely something he is allowed to feel miserable about.

  25. He’s certainly allowed to feel miserable, and in isolation, the blog post does nothing to indicate how much responsibility he feels for that….miscalculation.

    In…ah…gestalt, I’d be surprised if he took any responsibility for his part in it, but I suppose he could surprise me. I do hope his next year is better–regardless of how much of an ass he’s been, financial instability sucks. But I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t give his commentary a little bit of a side-eye, considering.

  26. Hampus, I’d feel more sympathetic if I hadn’t watched Antonelli and the other Pups repeatedly go way out of their way to misinterpret friendly-to-neutral fannish input as further evidence of their martyrdom. They insist on it, even when doing so requires that they flat-out contradict known and easily checked facts.

    When people work that hard to embrace that unlikely a conclusion, I start doubting that it hurts, or that they don’t want to reach it.

  27. Fantasists?

    Indeed, we all are. I’m a fantasist who likes to imagine the future when Edith Keller’s monologue is true. Larry Correia’s a fantasist who’s in a far more exciting life than being an accountant. Paullk writes fantasies that fit her taste; we all read/create fantasies that suit us, or challenge us, or both.

    We’re in this mess because a segment of the community wouldn’t respect other’s fantasies, and in the case of Wright and Antonelli and others, decided that they could impose their fantasies of events on innocent others.

    So let’s let people dream of what floats their boat. I can object to them demanding it float mine, but until they do that, let’s dream away.

  28. Mark: Paulk drops a further post, in which she goes so far as to be clear that she’s talking about a “Steve”. Seriously, what is her objection to being clear about who she’s talking about?

    This makes perfect sense, as do many of the Puppies’ words and actions, if you understand that the main purpose of the Puppy campaigns is to make Puppy authors more famous and to sell more books by Puppy authors.

    All those inflammatory Puppy blog posts attract politically-like-minded individuals who will buy books in sympathy, and who will stick around and buy books later on. If she fully names — and even worse, actually links to — the websites and blog posts of the people she is smearing, then she is sending book- and magazine-buyers their way, instead of keeping them on her own website. That’s just not good business sense!

    The attempts to steal Hugo nominations and rockets mean that Puppies can put “Hugo-nominated author” on their websites, book covers and Amazon blurbs — and the Puppies have seen that Hugo-nominated authors sell more books, so if they can get nominations for themselves, it means that they will sell more books! What they utterly fail to understand, of course, is that Hugo-nominated authors sell more books because they have written high-quality works, not because of the label.

    No matter with what sort of idealistic claptrap the Puppies try to camouflage their campaigns, the real purpose is to raise their profiles and gain awards, both of which will help sell more of their books. It’s an entirely mercenary endeavor.

    It’s a shame that Puppies don’t instead channel their energies into, you know, learning their craft and improving the quality of their books so that they become worthy of awards — but hey, that would take waaaaay too much work, and it would take years to see results. This method is soooooo much faster and easier.

  29. Responding at random…

    I’m still a big fan of Dune. The rest of the sequels I think can be fired into the sun, but Dune itself remains a tremendous work in my opinion.

    Lynch’s response is great, but I suspect considering the delay, he might have been better served letting it go.

    I’ve talked to a couple of book store owners in Toronto and someone is sending out Jim Hines roundup of the SP/RP affair. As a result, they are stopping making orders for Correia, Wright, Torgersen, Williamson and others of the worst broadcasters who have supported homophobic statements. I would assume the originator is part of Toronto’s gay community (which was oddly intertwined for years when Baka Books and the GLAAD bookstore were next door). It’s only the independents that I’ve heard so far, but if it hits Book City or Indigo, that could be a big repercussion.

  30. @Hampus: I’m absolutely positive he feels that way, but that doesn’t change the observable reality wherein his own actions have damaged his reputation far more than anything else.

    @Meredith: I usually lean toward a more charitable “they’re just trying to be friendly” and/or “they want something from me” view of things, and maybe they don’t realise that it’s actually belittling. Still annoying though.

  31. I’m absolutely positive he feels that way, but that doesn’t change the observable reality wherein his own actions have damaged his reputation far more than anything else.

    I’ve said multiple times that the worst thing that could happen to the reputations of the Pups is that people would start reading their work. I should probably amend that to “the worst thing that could happen to the reputations of the Pups is that people would start reading their work or start paying attention to what they say”.

    Time and again, the Pups have proved that they are their own worst enemies.

  32. JJ said: “What they utterly fail to understand, of course, is that Hugo-nominated authors sell more books because they have written high-quality works, not because of the label.”

    As we write, VD has put the word out to freep the Goodreads ratings and start getting ready for next years award. And magically “Opera Vita Aeterna” (which has a ton of negative reviews) received 37 rating all in one day – all 4 star and 5 star.

    It just gets funnier by the day.

  33. I have finished MHI by LC. It shouldn’t have taken that long for such a short book. I will say I did laugh right up to the end. I also groaned right up to the end. I kept wondering why the MHI team hadn’t found a better way of killing supernaturals over 80 years. Like a weapon which would shoot wooden/silver tipped stakes. Why don’t any of the big exploding things blow off vampire heads? The amount of ammunition used and hunters dying just seemed wrong. It is a first book so I’m probably being unfair. I won’t be reading anything else by LC however as its just too much guns and not my cup of tea.

  34. If getting nominated for two Hugos and not winning is the worst thing that’s happened to Lou Antonelli, I envy him. Seriously. And my life has been pretty darn sheltered; I think of the personal hardships, injuries, and deaths of loved ones I’ve dealt with, and then I think of what other people I know have dealt with, and I figure I’ve had it easy. And even so, if the worst thing that had happened to me so far was that I got nominated for even one Hugo and didn’t win? Holy smoke, that would be amazing.

    Seriously, what is her objection to being clear about who she’s talking about?

    I’m reminded of something Suzette Haden Elgin (RIP) once posted on her LJ about a class — I don’t remember whether it was her fellow grad students when she was one, or her students once she was a professor — being actively encouraged to chant in unison “Cite! Your! Sources!” whenever a visiting speaker made an unsupported claim. (Apologies for not providing a link; Google search is, as I’ve noticed earlier, apparently no longer useful on LJ posts. Argh.)

  35. There’s a lot to be said for a straightforward application of the economics notion of “revealed preferences” in social interactions. Look at what someone says their priorities are, and look at what, in practice, they actually get passionate about. I apply to this myself every so often, when I find myself getting worked up, to see whether I’ve let my claims and my actual actions slip out of alignment. Again.

  36. @Teresa Nielsen Hayden said ”
    I don’t trust that I know what’s in the Pups’ hearts. They’ve lied way too much for that. I observe what they say and do, and I watch for patterns.”

    The pups just do what they are told. They are made to fill important by a “cause”. What they don’t understand is the “cause” is really just the Puppy authors trying to sell books by stirring up these wars. There is a lot changing in the US demographics and it is producing a huge culture war/backlash. The LC/VD/BT leaders tapped into that with stories of SJW’s, Chorfs, TOR Cabals and attacks on straight white males to produce an “us verses them” mentality. Other conservatives have joined up. They use that to sell books to their minions. Correia has done this for years. It is how he got started.

    One has to remember that the politically disaffected is a large number in the US and they are mad as hell. It’s a good target market for authors that need sales. It’s why there can never be peace from the puppy side.

    To your credit and with everyone’s thanks, the attack on the Hugos end with the next business meeting and the ratification of EPH. After that, the target marketing will continue, but nobody will care. The puppy numbers are small now and after EPH they will get smaller.

    Thanks for hosting the EPH discussions and bringing the solution forward.

  37. @ MikeG:

    There’s a strong tendency for various writers to think this Hugo controversy is only between pro writers.

    Good point. There is that tendency. I do it, too. And it is, of course, wholly inaccurate. The people who run the Hugo Awards (and who’ve been falsely accused of incompetence and/or dishonesty by various Puppies) are fans, as are most of the voters and quite a few of the nominees and recipients.

  38. @ Ryan H — I really enjoyed Sense8. It got me very involved in the characters despite there being about =8= POV characters. I’d have said that couldn’t work, yet they made it work for me. And it was also the focus on the characters that got me to go along with the premise. (A lot of sf/f focuses on premise at the expense of focusing on characterization, IMO, and I’m not a premise reader, writer, or viewer. Unless I get really invested in the characters, I’m just not engaged and don’t even really care what the premise is.)

  39. @ McJulie:

    The constant harping on a small handful of usual suspects (Redshirts and Ancillary Justice and Tor Books — oh my!) makes it seem that not only are the Pups primarily engaged in a personal vendetta having very little to do with science fiction,

    This has been my impression of the Puppies ever since reading the first SP3 launch post, and it’s been reaffirmed by reams of Puppy commentaries since then. It has seemed to me from the very first announcement onward that SP3 was about personal vitriol and professional resentment, rather than about the various platforms and justifications the Puppies floated over the course of 2015.

    And:

    Accepting rejection of all kinds is simply part of being a professional in the creative arts.

    Yep. It’s not always easy (and often it’s very hard and disappointing, and occasionally it’s hurtful or humiliating), but it’s part of the job. People who cannot recover and move on after a disappointment are not well-suited to this profession.

    @ RedWombat:

    I should probably have said “whining.” A good private whine to a sympathetic friend as you both drink toasts to each other is one thing, but the public whining is objectionable.

    One of the things I’ve noticed about the various Puppies is that it’s a regular, recurrent event for them to write public posts that are patently bound to attract criticism, and then react with shock and anger that they’re being criticized for those posts.

  40. @ Mark:

    Is anyone going to be shocked when I point out that this statement by JCW yesterday is demonstrably untrue, and JCW actually wrote an entire blog post excoriating Davidson by name in April?

    LOL! Of course.

    @ Matt Y:

    The Puppy stuff is just the same recycled whimpering.

    Yep.

    @ Zenu:

    So while the puppy stuff (SJW, CHORF, affirmative action, we want Heinlein) will continue, it won’t much matter and not many will much care.

    I agree. I think the inevitable reduction in the Puppies’ influence over the Hugo ballot (in 2016, many fans are going to be much more engaged in nominations process than in 2015; and in 2017, measures will probably be in effect to mitigate the effects of the sort of orchestrated block-voting that created the 2015 ballot) will mean a reduction of attention for them, in general.

  41. Zenu said:
    “… the attack on the Hugos end with the next business meeting and the ratification of EPH. After that, the target marketing will continue, but nobody will care. The puppy numbers are small now and after EPH they will get smaller.”

    There is no guarantee that the Business Meeting will ratify EPH, so I wouldn’t count my chickens just yet. But the increasing rate of posting by self-identified Puppies helps to remind us of the need for EPH, so there is that.

  42. Laura Resnick on January 2, 2016 at 11:44 pm said:
    I agree. I think the inevitable reduction in the Puppies’ influence over the Hugo ballot (in 2016, many fans are going to be much more engaged in nominations process than in 2015

    Indeed – so long as we all remember to nominate 🙂

  43. I think the inevitable reduction in the Puppies’ influence over the Hugo ballot (in 2016, many fans are going to be much more engaged in nominations process than in 2015

    Indeed – so long as we all remember to nominate 🙂

    That’s what I’m worried about. It takes a lot of attention for the 2500 odd to individually choose things to consume and then narrow it down to the best picks for nominations. The people nominating that way, the majority, won’t have any shortcuts and their vote will be diffuse. It takes hardly any attention at all for the 300-500ish Puppies to follow marching orders and concentrate their vote – with edits for each individual Puppy, of course. I expect the usual method (based on self-reporting from Puppies last time) will be that each Puppy will have their own nominations, perhaps 1-2 in a few categories, and then fill out the rest with slate works. This is, of course, depending on whether the Puppies make a slate or leave it as a recommendations hub.

    I’m also not completely confident that EPH will pass or that EPH will work as well as hoped. I’d rather be pessimistic now and pleasantly surprised later than blithely confident now and bitterly disappointed later.

  44. Mark asks:

    Seriously, what is [Paulk’s] objection to being clear about who she’s talking about?

    In the last month, she’s been writing for the SP4 site as though it’s a personal blog rather than the official voice of a campaign, so IMHO it’s just a failure to remember that she’s writing for a wider readership with SP4 that doesn’t have the context of knowing what the current hot issue in the Puppy blogosphere is.

  45. @Meredith

    Given the numbers, I expect none of the particularly egregious Puppy picks (Wright, Castalia) to make it in Best Novel. But downstream – editor, fan awards, shorter works – I expect their presence to be more significantly felt.

    I also do expect the Pups to do some not inconsiderable bandwagon jumping – ie onto things like Seveneves etc.

  46. There’s an unnaturally high proportion of strange misreadings and twisted logic, leading to the unwarranted conclusion that everything’s still awful and they’re still being mistreated.

    ‘George RR Martin says you’re not a real fan of you get your books from libraries’ was a lovely new wrinkle on the chestnut from the ‘Torgersen’s response’ comment thread.

  47. snowcrash: I also do expect the Pups to do some not inconsiderable bandwagon jumping – ie onto things like Seveneves etc.

    Given that Stephenson and Robinson are more than a bit SJW, it would certainly be funny if they decided to jump onto a Seveneves or Aurora bandwagon.

    But then, since I’m sure that they won’t have actually read those (or any other) books by those authors, they won’t have any reason to know that they’re SJWs.

  48. @Snowcrash

    I’m sort of expecting one bad novel and a high proportion of bad in most of the other categories. Dramatic Presentation should be fine if the same thing as last year happens. I won’t say what I’d be worried about for those two categories because we don’t know who might be reading and I really don’t want to provide ideas. Related Work and the Campbell are the ones I’m most worried about, for various reasons.

    @Nigel

    ‘George RR Martin says you’re not a real fan of you get your books from libraries’ was a lovely new wrinkle on the chestnut from the ‘Torgersen’s response’ comment thread.

    I’m still annoyed about that one. It would be one thing if it was just a reading error in a time of emotion – which happens – but describing it as something that GRRM “very explicitly” said when he didn’t even mention libraries once is going a bit beyond accidentally thinking ill of someone’s words.

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