One If By Land Two If By Puppy 4/18

It’s a midnight ride for today’s Sad Puppy link roundup….

Brooke Gladstone on On The Media (WNYC)

“The Sad Puppy Takeover” – April 17

The Hugo Awards are science fiction writing’s highest honor, and this year conservative fans, concerned with the liberal leanings of recent awards, banded together to nominate their sci-fi ideals. Brooke speaks with actor and writer Arthur Chu about how the awards controversy reflects a larger history of cultural backlash

 

Edward Carmien on Black Gate

“Fantasy Literature: Murder Hobos, Sad Puppies, and Change” – April 18

Enter the Sad Puppies (SPs), who hijacked the Hugo Awards this year. Read more about them here.

For the SPs a spaceship with guns blazing used to mean adventure; now it may contain a novel that, gasp, addresses colonialism. A novel with a cover depicting the quintessential Space Marine may in fact bring up gender issues. The horror.

To radically foreshorten the SPs argument, they want the River to not move — more to the point, to have stopped moving some decades ago. But without going into great detail on another topic, let me amend that to say instead “to have stopped moving some imaginary decades ago.” For not only has the River moved all this time, but the River always contained references to colonialism and gender issues. The SPs lamentation for a lost yesterday of SF & F rings as hollow as those who wail for a cultural return to Leave it to Beaver; neither ever existed.

 

John C. Wright

“Harlan on the Hugo” – April 18

No, he is not talking about Sad Puppies or Rapid Puppies. He is talking about the 1994 awards, which is roughly when the current Inner Ring of Morlocks started taking over. In other words, he is talking about the exact same people we are talking about, but he saw it coming way ahead of time, because he is an irate genius.

 

John C. Wright

“I AM SPARTICUS! Stand with the Badgers, Write an Email” – April 18

Support the Honey Badgers and join the #GamerGate email campaign against the sponsors of Calgary Expo. Send one email, just one to start.

 

John C. Wright

“An Outbreak of Peace” – April 17

I concur with the peacemakers, and urge my fellow fans to whom science fiction is beloved and for whom the Hugos still recall an echo of dignity to adopt a less belligerent posture.

Remove or silence those among you who see science fiction as a tool of social engineering and to whom entertainment is subordinate to political correctness, and I will break my saber over my knee and throw the shards in the sea.

Here are my terms: Halt the libels and lies and keep a civil tongue in your mouth, and there will be peace.

I offer no concessions in return because I have none to offer. When you and yours leveled the accusation that I was a White Supremacist Misogynist Hatemonger you knew it was false, as did every honest onlooker.

 

John C. Wright

“Why We Fight” – April 18

Sarah Hoyt holds forth her experience in the science fiction field, her conclusions, her resolve.

Remember as you read her words, this is the woman the Morlocks are trying to destroy. The fear she escaped is the fear into which our foes which all writers and readers to be bound.

The lack of interesting science fiction, the inability of writers to make a living, or win awards, the sheer boring dreck infecting the field is not an illusion produced by your nostalgia nor is it some unaccountable and inexplicable loss of talent and imagination in our field.

 

Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“If This Goes On” – April 16

They started out with the Creepy Pasta at Entertainment Weekly, Guardian, Wired.  When that failed to stick because of who we are and because accusations of racism/sexism/homophobia are self evidently stupid in our case (I think I have more gay fans than Lackey does, and most of those who contact me become friends over time) they’ve now descended to the Stalinist tactic of associating us with VD who copied the logo and some of the slate.  They have their big names — the names that even non-sf people recognize, like Martin and Willis and Gerrold — come out and punch down.  There is an element of the macabre in this as most of these people are on the other side of the age divide.  They came in when the field was fairer; they are if not internet illiterate, internet naive; they get pointed at the Daily Kos and think it is in any way a credible news source.  (It’s like when the village kids yelled a triggering sentence at the old lady, then hid, to get her to throw things at the next group of kids who walked by.)

Some of this has hurt me, just as it hurt me when people I thought were sane lost their sh*t when I pointed out they couldn’t win elections with a third party absent a massive cultural trauma (like us getting all our major cities bombed) and consequent fracture (and that third party then would more likely be totalitarian, not pro-freedom.)  Those people didn’t argue the idea, they attacked me and called me names.

In the same way, these people are not in any way trying to credibly pretend there were no cliques and no secret slates before (whereas ours wasn’t secret.) Martin admitted there were.  No.  They are attacking us.  It started with being wrong fans having wrong fun.  But it always defaults to calling us racist/sexist/homophobic.  Even if they have to tie us by third degree association to someone else, to do it.

And that part hurts, because some of the people acting most crazycakes are people I’ve enjoyed and admired and I keep thinking “I remember when they were sane.”

However — however — remember this for when the Hugo war comes to whatever you like to do; whatever your hideout and corner of fun; whatever your sacred space and privacy is: there is no backing down.

There is no backing down, because each battle the beast wins, each area they take total control of, causes them to want to devour more.  And having seen the totalitarians up close and personal, having seen how they’re willing to speak power to truth and punch down and obliterate characters and careers JUST to keep their power and their fake prestige, I can’t let it happen.  Yeah, I’ve been through the wars, but the battle is still going on, and so I must continue fighting.

 

 

Pep and Jose on Two Dudes in an Attic

“The 2015 Hugo Imbroglio” – April 17

I will say first that I am irate that the American Culture War has jumped the firebreak into SF. I would much prefer to enjoy my exploding spaceships in peace, but one has to fight these battles on every front or we will never conquer. And conquer we will. Anyone feeling too down about things should read The Emerging Democratic Majority, which takes on US politics, but is really about everything. SF is growing younger, more diverse, and more inclusive at an increasing rate. We can’t be passive about things, and there will be ugly moments, but it won’t be long before our numbers are overwhelming. People of all colors, genders, persuasions, and world views are joining the conversation; this is one brand of squeezable ketchup that isn’t going back in the bottle. The Glitter and Pan-Asian Cuisine Gang is the wave of the future. (It’s also healthier and more delicious. Teriyaki for everyone!) Valiant Brad fears that we are crushing Tradition under our sparkly boot heels, but I have every confidence that we can appreciate the heritage of SF while taking it to new, exciting places.

 

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“A letter to Popular Science” – April 19

Dear Editor, I am writing to demand a retraction and apology for the libelous article posted Apr 17th, 2015 at 3:00pm by Mike VanHelder….

Some of these additional errors include:

  1. Gamergate is not anti-feminist.
  2. Neither Sad Puppies nor Rabid Puppies courted any assistance from GamerGate.
  3. The extent of the collaboration between the THREE groups, (not two, as in the article) is not difficult to quantify. There are precisely two GamerGaters who are also Rabid Puppies, myself and Daddy Warpig.
  4. It is false to claim “No nominated author has ever before withdrawn their work after making it onto the Hugo ballot.” It is actually not uncommon for an author to withdraw one of his works after getting more than one nominated in a category. To give a few examples, Harlan Ellison withdrew his Hugo nomination in 1968. Jack Gaughan withdrew his nomination in 1968. Fritz Leiber withdrew his nomination in 1971, as did Robert Silverberg in 1972.
  5. Therefore, the action of withdrawing a nomination is not “unprecedented”.

I will appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.

 

George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“Once More, Into the Kennels” – April 17

One last question. You say you want inclusion. You say you want democracy. And you have already announced Sad Puppies 4, aimed at the 2016 Hugo Awards at Big Mac II. I understand that Kate Paulk of MAD GENIUS CLUB will be running things next year. I presume the mechanism will be the same — a call for suggestions, which will then somehow be winnowed down to a slate. (If that’s wrong, do correct me, I want to have the facts).

So maybe my last question is for Kate Paulk rather than you or Mr. Correia. I don’t know. But it’s a simple question. When you open up Sad Puppies 4 for nominations…

Can I nominate? I read a lot of books and stories. I have editors and fan writers and artists I think are shamefully overlooked, same as you. I am a fan too. Can I nominate my own favorites, and be assured that they will be given equal weight to Larry Correia’s nominations, and Brad’s, and John C. Wright’s, and all the other Puppies?

 

Kate Paulk in a comment on Not A Blog – April 17

Yes, you can, and yes, your nominations will get the exact same consideration as anyone else’s nominations. I’m planning to open for suggestions for the final list after this year’s winners are announced, in the form of open threads on as many blogs as will host me. If you’re willing to host a guest post at that time and allow me to take suggestions for Hugo-worthy works in any of the categories, I’d be honored to do so.

 

Lothlorien in a comment on File 770 – April 18

Now many RP/SP supporters are blaming the SF Establishment for bullying [Annie Bellet] into withdrawing (even though she claims they did not) and blaming the exclusion on them. They claim that Annie is a talented and deserving author (hence her inclusion on the Slate) who would have made the list anyway, but fail to realize that NOBODY WHO WAS NOT ON THE SLATE HAD A CHANCE. You pointed out earlier that instead of bringing new authors to the table, as they claimed was their goal, they kicked the table over and are doing what they claimed was being done to them: Excluding worthy and deserving authors.

I’ve been looking at all the blogs trying to find anyone who has brought this point (with the new data available which proves the point) and havn’t found anything. THIS is why Slate Voting hurts everyone, even the ‘deserving’ author themselves.

 

Helen Lewis in The Guardian

“If only the sci-fi writers who hijacked the Hugo awards had the wit to imagine a world beyond the Good Old Days” – April 18

If you were going to build a world, there are a million ways you could make it strange and captivating. Throw in some elves, a mermaid, a few robot monks; dream up a land where dinosaurs still exist or the Nazis won the second world war.

But for some science fiction and fantasy fans, none of these riches of the imagination are enough: the alternate universe they most crave is the Good Old Days. SFF is in the grip of its own culture war, with a group of authors suggesting that the recent success of female and non-white writers is proof that political correctness has spread its tentacles so far that it is now ruining stories that include actual tentacles. Like many culture wars, the specific details – orcs! busty maidens! angry bloggers with baroque facial hair! – make it seem faintly absurd, but the underlying arguments are vital. We shape our culture and it shapes us, and the struggle for an artistic voice is part of the struggle to be seen as fully human…..

Puppygate will force a reckoning in the SFF world, just as Gamergate did for videogames, and next year the debate will simply mutate into another form. “If you want a picture of the future,” as Orwell didn’t write in Nineteen Eighty-Four, “imagine a finger pressing refresh on an angry blogpost – for ever.”

Zion’s Fiction Kickstarter Opens 10/12

Zions FictionZion’s Fiction co-editor Sheldon Teitelbaum begins his appeal with this attention-getting reminder –

Israel is the only country in the world directly inspired by a science fiction novel — Theodor Herzl’s Altneuland, or Old-New Land. “If you will it,” he famously declared, “it is no dream!” Millions took him up on his challenge, with results no science fiction writer ever could have imagined.

Science fiction is also a facet of today’s Israeli culture – and making the rest of the world aware is the purpose of Zion’s Fiction: An Anthology of Israeli Fantasy & Science Fiction, projected to be the first of a three-volume English language collection of Israeli speculative fiction, provided enough money can be raised.

Pledges will be taken on Kickstarter beginning October 12 at 9:00 p.m. Pacific.

Many of the country’s finest authors, including Amos Oz, Meir Shalev, A.B. Yehoshua, Emile Habibi, Nava Semel, Gail Hareven, Michal Snunit, Orly Kastel-Bloom. Sayed Keshua, Etgar Keret and Shimon Adaf — Jews, Arabs, Russians — have written the stuff. It’s high time the rest of us got a chance to read it.

Free samples of four stories can be read at the main Zion’s Fiction website: “Mood” by Gail Hareven, translated by Emanuel Lottem; “Robotnik” by Lavie Tidhar, “My Lousy Autumn” by Nitai Peretz, translated by Jessica Cohen; and “The Stern-Gerlach Mice” by Mordechai Sasson, translated by Emanuel Lottem.

Zion’s Fiction has gathered an impressive set of endorsements, the most poetic being David Brin’s:

What a rate of mutation! That mystic shepherds should become a people of priests and sacrifices, then transform under hard pressure into enduring, argumentative teachers, then again into scientific pioneers… and now?  Zion’s Fiction explores the unlimited dreams of a people who have learned to stand on shifting ground. To face a future filled with danger and hope, forging into territory that can only be surveyed with the lamp of imagination on our brows.

Another by Jack Dann recalls his own groundbreaking 1974 collection Wandering Stars: an Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction — a book I remember reviewing when it came out.

Volume one of Zion’s Fiction will feature Israeli speculative fiction written since 1978, which Teitelbaum deems “the start of the golden age of Israeli SF.” If there are funds to produce the other two volumes, the second will showcase material published since 1948, “when hard-won independence gave rise to literary musings over alternate futures, presents and pasts.” The third will focus on material imagining different utopian versions of Jewish statehood, from the mid-19th Century and later.

Richard Lupoff hits the nail on the head when he says, “It is a land of scientific and human miracles. It makes perfect sense that Israel’s rich and tumultuous culture should produce a blossoming science fiction community.”