aka A Can-On-Tail For Puppy Wits
Today’s roundup contains these multitudes: Kameron Hurley, Chuck Wendig, Vox Day, J. Lassen, Carolyn Cox, Tobias Buckell, Jim C. Hines, Lou Antonelli, Tom Knighton, Jay Hathaway, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, Paul Cornell, N.K. Jemisin, Kate Elliott, K. Tempest Bradford, John Scalzi, Jessica Price, Amanda S. Green, Martin Wisse, Mur Lafferty, Andrea Phillips, Harry Connolly, Steven Brust, Mary Robinette Kowal, John C. Wright, Sigrid Ellis, J.C. Salomon, Mark Pitcavage, Joe Vasicek, Katrina A. Templeton, L. Rhodes, Eric Flint, Lis Carey, Spacefaring Kitten, Russell Blackford, Cirsova and Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day ULTRAGOTHA and Pip R. Lagenta.)
Here’s what fucking pisses me off: it’s that this fucking pissing contest between a bunch of dudes – none of whom will actually have careers harmed in this fucking circle jerk, let’s be real – is hurting the exact people it’s meant to hurt, because they’re the most vulnerable, the ones most likely to get thrown under the bus, and those guys and their mobs fucking know it.
You can’t even say “the sky is fucking blue” on the internet, as a woman, without public shaming. Where was the public employer outcry during RaceFail, or FrenkelFail?
I’d like to tell you there’s no solution to it, and corporations are corporations, and this is how it is, but one can write a politic letter reminding people that a company’s employees are not speaking for the company on their personal social media pages (which the Neilsen-Haydens have been doing for YEARS without public reproach) without calling out one particular person who simply explained on her personal page in simple terms the politics of a handful of people who hijacked an award ballot, the politics of which have been well documented in pretty much every major news piece (including one I wrote!). Funny, isn’t it, that nobody was publicly castigated by their employer for comments related to RaceFail or FrenkelFail but my god a woman said some dudes are sexist bigots because they have said sexist bigoted things and pushed a slate that resulted in fewer female nominees for the Hugos than in recent years past and OMG:
TRUE THINGS WERE SAID BY A LADY ON THE INTERWEBS AND HERE WE ARE.
If you’re an employer faced with a mob of bigots because a female employee said a true thing in public, maybe take a step back and ask how you’d have responded (if at all) if they came after one of your top dudes for saying the exact same thing. You may not even have to think very long because they probably already have.
Then ask yourself how awesome you really are now that you’ve publicly named and shamed her and basically threw her out to the Gamergate/Puppy wolves to be harassed online and in the comment sections of your own post. Ask yourself how awesome and fair-handed you are to do that.
Chuck Wendig on terribleminds
“I Stand By Irene Gallo” – June 9
I stand by Irene Gallo because she is a person who has the right to air her personal sentiments, regardless of whether or not we find them disagreeable. She has that right without being smacked across the nose by her employer in a sanctioned public shaming. I do not agree with Tor’s posturing on this point because it represents a double-standard of sexism and favoritism. I do not agree with Tor because they are opening the tent flap to the worst among us. The publisher is cultivating an invasive species with a letter like that. They are lending them space on the debate floor, turning this whole affair into a clownish, brutal, and bullying mosh pit.
I Stand By Irene Gallo: http://t.co/FOSV1ymrVX As do I.
— Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) June 9, 2015
Vox Day on Vox Popoli
“The rules of the game” – June 9
Those priorities, of course, are their prerogative. Unlike Tor Books, everyone at Castalia House, from our volunteers to our Publisher, respects and values our authors. We value every single one of them, even those with whom we inevitably disagree on one issue or another. We value our customers as well, and as those who have had the occasional problem with getting their books delivered know, we go out of our way to take care of them even if the problem is on their end. The idea of actually attacking them is the polar opposite of our attitude towards our customers. Without our customers, we not only don’t exist, we have no reason to exist. Tor Books appears to have forgotten that. Stephen Ashby is nevertheless dubious:
You expect a resignation? I can see why you want one, but I don’t see what would lead you to expect it. Personally I expect Tor will simply pretend the matter is dealt with, and if you don’t accept that then they will claim you’re the one being unreasonable.
Absolutely. I expect one because I don’t believe Tom Doherty or Patrick Nielsen Hayden are entirely stupid. If they don’t accept her resignation soon, then I expect Macmillan, who I don’t believe to be stupid in any way, shape, or form, to not only fire Gallo but also remove those executives who have been derelict in their management duties. The further away one is from the cultural battle in SF/F, the more totally inexcusable Gallo’s behavior appears. Especially from the purely corporate perspective. Not only was Ms Gallo’s attitude and statement in direct conflict with the Macmillan Code of Conduct, it is is direct conflict with one of the most basic rules of business: cherish your customers and treat them with care and respect.
Vox Day has successfully managed to have #SadPuppies drama overshadow the nebula awards, so he may be smarter than I originally thought
— SocJustice Witcher (@mylittlepwnies3) June 10, 2015
— Jeremy Lassen (@jlassen) June 9, 2015
Carolyn Cox on The Mary Sue
Many of the authors nominated by the Sad Puppies slate write books with positive representation; many of those same authors have also spoken out against the group in the same way that Gallo did. I’ve no doubt that some Puppies have honestly good intentions, but considering the group’s loudest messages condemn me for my sexuality and gender, I side with Irene Gallo, too.
And no, feeling persecuted for being a Puppy isn’t the same as the persecution faced by members of marginalized groups. It’s one thing to throw a woman to Gamergaters in an official post, and something very different to use a personal social media account to critique people for aligning themselves with a dubious online group.
The first thing I thought was, “where was the public post for Jim Frenkel serially harassing women all throughout many cons for how long with public apology or note regarding how editors should behave?”
Chuck calls this is a triple standard, and I have to say, I believe much the same thing.
Jim C. Hines
My post about the Sad Puppies is up to 100+ comments at this point, and several of those comments have expressed frustration that I didn’t write about something different, generally things like, “Why didn’t you do a similar post on things said about the Sad Puppies” or “You should be talking about the Rabid Puppies instead of the Sads.”
I didn’t write about the Rabid Puppies in part because there doesn’t seem to be much confusion or ambiguity about Theodore Beale’s beliefs and motives, and I’m not all that interested in giving him attention. As for things said about the puppies…said by whom? I was blogging about the official pupmasters of the Sad Puppies movement, and despite claims of conspiracies and wars, there is no equivalent Anti-Puppy group.
Lou Antonelli on Facebook – June 9
I suspect, the “reviews” being as biased and bitter as they are, that most reasonable people are now being repelled by these screeds. The other comments are not helping, either. David Gerrold has become a tedious scold. Attacks, such as the one by Irene Gallo of Tor books which came to light recently, only create sympathy for Sad Puppies.
Neither side has covered itself in glory, but from what I see, when Sad Puppies have behaved badly, it is because they have been viciously and unfairly attacked. It’s a defensive reaction. I am the first to admit that, if you insult and attack me, it’s quite possible I’ll lose my temper. I’m Italian, remember?
On the other hand, I get the impression most of the viciousness from the Puppy Kickers has been cold-blooded and heartless. Given the choice between wearing my heart on my sleeve, and not having a heart at all, I’ll take my chances with losing my temper – and being hurt – by keeping my heart.
Eric Flint gave a master class in how to put principle over ideology, and he has my deepest respect for that. I’ve seen him blow up during this mess like everyone, but anyone can lose their temper. What I’ve consistently seen from him during all of this was what I hope to see from all my opponents on a given issue.
So, as an died-in-the-wool capitalist gun-toting libertarian, I am going to try and emulate Eric’s approach going forward. As a passionate, mercurial kind of guy who seems to do his best work when he’s pissed off, however, I won’t hold my breath on succeeding.
Recently on Twitter, and apparently it was shared on File770, I made the comment that I didn’t think compromise was possible between the two sides. I’m not sure that there is, but I’m far more hopeful that I’m wrong than I was when I made that statement.
I maintain that I think the other side is wrong, but people like Flint believe that I’m just wrong, not evil. If that attitude is what comes to the table, then we can talk.
— Ken Liu (@kyliu99) June 9, 2015
Jay Hathaway on Gawker Review of Books
Puppy supporters have been talking shit about Tor from the beginning of their campaign, largely because Tor editors Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden have been openly critical, and were among the first to note that Gamergate and the Puppies were making common cause. In April, Larry Correia, who started and named the original Sad Puppies campaign two years ago, had to tell Puppies supporters to chill out with their attacks on the publisher, because—as Tom Doherty also pointed out—Tor has published Puppy favorites like John C. Wright. Wright rode the Puppies slates to a record-breaking six Hugo nominations this year.
“I’ve held onto this since I had the screencap, which as you correctly note was made several weeks ago … I have long been in the habit of never using all of my ammunition at once, or pointing-and-shrieking for its own sake,” Day told File770, a sci-fi fansite that’s been keeping meticulous records of this year’s Hugo drama.
Apparently, the reaction was loud enough to move Tom Doherty to publicly chastise Gallo and put forth a soft defense of the Puppies and their motives. I contacted him to ask how he made that decision and what his personal feelings about the Puppies are—because he’s made clear they don’t align with Gallo’s. I haven’t yet heard back.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw on The Daily Dot
Doherty’s response attempted to characterize Tor as a neutral entity in the ongoing culture war within sci-fi fandom. But to some, it felt more like throwing an employee to the wolves.
Others pointed to what they saw as a double standard. While Gallo received a public dressing-down, Tor has been mum on star author John Scalzi calling the Sad Puppies bigots and feuding with Vox Day, and editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden describing the Sad Puppies as “downright evil.”
Standing with @IreneGallo this morning, as the Puppies find yet another way to degrade our genre.
— Paul_Cornell (@Paul_Cornell) June 9, 2015
Are you. Fucking. Kidding me. Shame on you, Tom Doherty. HR policies can be clarified in a way that doesn't serve the interests of bigots.
— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) June 9, 2015
If there is one thing 26 years in the SFF field has taught me, it is the extent of the double standard imposed on women as compared to men.
— Kate Elliott (@KateElliottSFF) June 9, 2015
(1) But seriously, Tom Doherty didn't waste time defending John C Wright from Irene Gallo's (frankly) mild FB comments, still hasn't >
— K Tempest Bradford (@tinytempest) June 9, 2015
(2) apologized to Tor authors & consultants Jim Frenkel harassed. Interesting who he's willing to go to bat for, and against whom.
— K Tempest Bradford (@tinytempest) June 9, 2015
Editor serially harasses: no public letter. Contracts person attacks woman on public blog. No public letter. Woman comments on personal FB?
— Tobias Buckell (@tobiasbuckell) June 9, 2015
This is a thing I did once, and would happily do again. pic.twitter.com/Y6h16cJ1dZ
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) June 9, 2015
Jessica Price on Bedside Notepad
“I Stand With Irene Gallo” – June 9
And Tom Doherty, founder of Tor, felt the need to post a piece on Tor’s site. In it, he talks about how the Puppies aren’t really that bad, and how Irene Gallo’s views don’t represent Tor’s, and how she’s been reprimanded for her post.
Just to be clear:
- A woman speaks up against a racist and misogynist hate movement.
- Her male boss shuts her up.
- Her male boss then goes public, reassuring everyone he’s shut her up and that he has no issues with the hate movement.
- He also makes sure to call her out by name.
I don’t know if you’ve been on the internet lately, but in the current Gamergate climate, a man calling out a woman for talking about misogyny is a fucking bat signal to the worst elements of the internet. It’s basically painting a giant target on her back for harassment, threats, doxxing, and all the other methods misogynist mobs use to attempt to shut up women they don’t like.
I didn’t expect that the publishing industry would have any more spine than the videogame industry did in standing up to this crap, but I didn’t expect to see them cheerfully throw a female employee to the wolves. (The ass-covering could have been done without naming her.)
HERE SHE IS, BOYS! THIS WOMAN, RIGHT HERE! GO GET HER!
You don’t get to pretend, Tom Doherty, that you don’t know what the potential consequences are for her. None of you men in games, tech, SFF do.
Amanda S. Green on Mad Genius Club
“Oh the noes” – June 9
Oh my, the last few days have been interesting if you are a fan of science fiction or fantasy and if you have been following the controversy surrounding the Hugo nominations. I have thought long and hard about what, if anything (more), I want to say about the situation surrounding the comments Tor artistic editor Irene Gallo made and the subsequent statement by Tor’s elder statesman Tom Doherty. At this point, I think I will stick with saying just two things. Firs, Ms. Gallo’s comments were beyond over the top and her apology did not go nearly far enough for the simple reason that she did not apologize for anything except possibly hurting people’s feelings and painting with an overly broad brush. Second, I appreciate the fact that Mr. Doherty took the time to not only say that Ms. Gallo’s opinions were not the opinions of Tor and he put the lie to at least one of the accusations against SP3, that it was only trying to advance the work of white men.
Eldritch on Observation Deck
The other comments are outraged that Doherty could do this to Gallo. The implications that he bended his knee to the Puppies is awful and it’s worse that he decided to take the heat off by throwing a woman under the bus for them. People are disgusted he wrote that letter and found it disheartening that it looks like Tor has thrown its lot in with the Puppies. Voices of disappointed reason are Mary Robinette Kowal and Chuck Wendig.
Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words
“Two faced Tor” – June 9
As you know Bob, I’ve been saying for a long time that the whole Sad/Rabid Puppies operation is just another extention of the American rightwing’s Culture Wars, the blueprint established in the cockpit of partisan politics imported into the arts and now science fiction fandom. This was again confirmed for me over the weekend, as Vox Day and his fellow fascists ginned up controversy over a month old Facebook comment by Irene Gallo, a Tor Books employee, in which she called them rightwingers and neonazis. That’s a move straight out of the Breitbart playbook, where being accused of racism is always a much greater offence than actually being racist and you lie and manipulate your enemies into doing your dirty work for you.
Mur Lafferty on The Murverse Annex
“Standing With Irene” – June 9
I’m not an eloquent debate enthusiast. My words dry up when struggling to defend myself or my positions. Fiction is easy. Arguing is not. It’s just the way I am. And as it’s the end of the day, more eloquent people than me have written about this. So I will link to them, and just say I stand with Irene. I definitely would want someone to stand with me.
“Get Thee to HR, to Be Hanged” – June 9
This weekend, Tor creative director Irene Gallo got some heat for expressing some opinions on Facebook about the Sad Puppies, and was thrown under the bus by her employer. And a lot of people are calling for her to be fired, too.
This is our nuclear option on the internet, and we go straight there whenever our dander is up. Someone should get fired over this. Salt the earth. Wreck their Google results. Make it so they never work in this town again, or any other town for that matter.
“The Reclamation has already begun” – June 9
Let me state for the record that I commend Mr. Doherty for graciously and clearly noting that neither Sad Puppies nor Rabid Puppies are about promoting racism, misogyny, or homophobia. The personal opinions of the creators and supporters of these slates on the subjects of race, feminism, and homogamy are NOT reflected in the nominees put forward in the two slates, as anyone with an even halfway-open mind would readily be able to see. Mr. Doherty is to be applauded for acknowledging what so many of his colleagues at Tor Books and Tor.com have so much difficulty in seeing: Sad/Rabid Puppies are about giving recognition to works of sci-fi and fantasy that actually deserve them. Period f***ing dot.
Now, let us come to the business of Ms. Gallo’s rather intemperate comments and her non-apology….
Ms. Gallo’s words were published on her personal Facebook page. She has every right to say whatever she wants under the protections of a document that, as far as I can tell, she personally detests: the Constitution of the United States of America.
Ragin’ Dave on Peace or Freedom
I have read Mrs. Gallo’s so-called “apology”, and it’s the Diet Coke of apologies; saccharine, bland, and not real. I have read your statement whereupon you claim that Mrs. Gallo does not speak for Tor Books. Given the statements of Mrs. Gallo, both of the Neilson Haydens, and Mr. Feder, I can say for certainly that you may not wish them to speak for Tor Books, but they are doing just that. I’m a military man, Mr. Doherty. Once is accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is Enemy Action. And you have four individuals who have all attacked, impugned, slandered and defamed good, honest people, and I am quite honestly fed up with it.
I will buy no further books from Tor Books until Mrs. Gallo is relieved of her duties and issued a pink slip. I will not buy books from a company that hates me.
Did Tor CEO Tom Doherty release a letter apologizing publicly for Frenkel’s or Fodera’s behavior, while insisting that they should have been smarter about separating the personal from the professional? Of course not. For one thing, Frenkel’s shitty behavior happened while he was representing Tor Books at public events. For another, they were dudes and their victims were women.
However, it took Doherty less than 24 hours to issue a letter of apology for Gallo’s comment on her personal Facebook, and assuring the internet that he’s going to talk to her about being clear on the when she’s speaking for herself and for the company…..
When I looked at Making Light this morning, the site clearly said the Nielsen Haydens work for Tor, but there was no disclaimer about their opinions being solely their own, etc. Why should there be? It’s 2015; people know the difference between personal and professional spaces. At least, they ought to.
But of course, Gallo is a woman, and the loudest voices enraged by her remarks are men. Unlike the Frenkel or Fodera incidents, Gallo’s requires correction from the highest level. Frenkel can get a bland announcement that he’s no long associated with the company; Gallo must be corrected in public. The double standard is disappointing.
Even worse, what is Tor thinking leaving the comments open on the letter? Is it a honeytrap so people like John C Wright can embarrass themselves by claiming not to be homophobic in the most homophobic way?
Or maybe Mr. Doherty thinks Ms. Gallo hasn’t been getting her full share of abuse as a woman on the internet.
Selected Comments from “Tom Doherty: To Our Readers And Authors” at Tor.com
[I can’t get the comment links to work, so I have listed the numbers instead.]
Steven Brust in comment #68 – June 8
Irene Gallo? Yes. She makes my books look good. I like that. We’ve never discussed politics, but I’ll bet next year’s royalties we don’t agree on much of anything. Can’t say as I care. I’ve heard from what I consider reliable sources that Tom Doherty and I would disagree even more should we ever talk politics. Can’t say as I care about that, either. They, along with many others at Tor with whom my political principles have little or nothing in common, make my books better. I like that.
Make the point that she was speaking for herself, not for the company? All right, sure, I guess. But I would be very sad if Tom, or Irene, or anyone else in publishing felt unable to express a personal opinion for fear of being fired. That would make the world uglier indeed, and would do nothing to contribute to there being better stories out there for me to read.
Mary Robinette Kowal in comment #82 – June 9
As one of your authors, I want to say openly that I find this apology upsetting. In a large part because I was directly harassed by a Tor employee and received no apology from the company. From the employee? Yes. But from Tor? No.
The fact that you are now defending the Sad Puppies campaign, even implicitly, and apologizing to them for being offended is really distressing. It implies things about the priorities of Tor that I find uncomfortable and would very much like to be wrong about. At the moment though, I feel as though the safety of women authors, and authors of color is less important to the company than the feelings of those who attack them.
While I understand that the Sad Puppies list did, indeed, include women and writers of colour, the works that made the ballot are largely from the Rabid Puppies list. One category is made up largely of a single author’s work, which seems like the very opposite of diversity. While I recognize that the two groups are separate, they are so interconnected that it is hard to view them individually, particularly when the Sad Puppies claim the Rabid Puppies slate as their own victory.
So when you feel the need to apologize to people who have said that they want to see the Hugos destroyed, and emphasize that Irene’s views are not your own, I can’t help but wonder what your views are. All of which leaves me confused and distressed.
John C. Wright in comment #84 – June 9
Dear Peter D, and all of you who claim Irene Gallo’s statement was true–
You are saying things you know or should know to be untrue, and you should be deeply ashamed for letting your emotions out of control, tempt you to dishonesty, and for yielding to that temptation.
I am not unrepentantly homophobic. I am nothing of the kind. It is a lie.
I follow the Catholic teaching on same sex attraction and how one deals with it. In public, I have heaped scorn on those who use a children’s cartoon, one I loved, to insinuate their pro-perversion propaganda in a cowardly and craven way.
I have no hate, no fear, nothing but respect for homosexuals.
You and people like you who use the false cloak of compassion for homosexual to lure them into ruining their lives, you are the ones for whom I have no respect. You are the ones who hate them; you are the one who urge them down ever darker paths.
One of my family members committed suicide because he pursued the homosexual lifestyle you and yours continually urge him and poor souls like him to pursue.
You are the ones who offer a drunk a drink before he gets behind the wheel of a car, and when Christian urge sobriety, you claim our motive is fear and hatred for the drunk, not prudence and compassion.
He abandoned my stepsister when she was six years old, and my step brother when he was four.
Your evil, vile, repulsive philosophy of pure selfishness is what I hate, not the homosexuals you use as a shield for that philosophy.
As for the other lunatic assertions of Irene Gallo that you now leap to claim are true — misogynist? neo-nazi? I wonder what St Mary and St Maximillian Kolbe would say if either thought me their enemy.
Racist?I wonder what my daughter, who was born in Chinese to parents who abandoned her, would say if I were racist.
Another one of my family members was wounded in World War Two, awarded a Purple Heart for his efforts in liberating a Nazi death camp.
You know nothing of me, nothing of my life, nothing of what I have known or suffered. Irene Gallo make statements beyond false: they were reckless with hatred, whereas I have ever spoken of her with gratitude and respect for the wonderful illustrations and compositions with which her department adorns the books she and I sell.
I am only the writer. The book is a team effort. Irene Gallo is a member of the team. She has apologized for her lies, and I accept her apology.
I would like you, sir, to do the same, and never dare to libel me again. When you do not know whereof you speak, close your mouth.
Sigrid Ellis in comment #94 on Tor.com
I find myself troubled and distressed that the hurt feelings of a handful of people, led by vocal and proud bigots, are being treated with such careful public consideration. Why is Irene Gallo, speaking as a private individual, someone to apologize for? Why is Tor concerned with reassuring bigots that they are welcome?
What manner of hold do the Rabid Puppies have over Tor, to garner such consideration? Or, distressingly, is it merely that management at Tor shares some of the bigots’ views?
I had never thought that was the case. Now I am worried it might be.
I hope that a clarification is forthcoming. I look forward to the same sort of apology and reassurance that Tor has given the Rabid Puppies campaign, as Tor is, apparently, for everyone.
J. C. Salomon in comment #131 on Tor.com
Vox Day is quite open about why he and his keep calling for Ms Gallo’s ouster: They see this incident as part of the Culture Wars, and are therefore determined to use the Alinskyite tactic of “Make the enemy live up to his own rules.” They’re not (quite) wrong on the Culture Wars aspect. But I would much rather have the “He’s racist-communist-fascist-conservative-liberal-sexist-homophobic-sinful; get him fired!” tactic taken off the table entirely.
Mark in comment #137 on Tor.com
John C Wright, you are a homophobe.
I appreciate that you don’t understand that you are, that you feel there is some important distinction between making the statements you do out of religious duty rather than hate or fear, but that distinction is a false one. You say homosexuals ruin their lives, are perverts, that they must be brought away from their sexuality, that their lives go down dark paths, that it leads them to suicide. You believe people are homosexual because they have been urged to be, not because they quite simply, naturally, are.
I know you see that as right and true, but it is not. You are treating homosexuals as less than yourself because you truly, genuinely believe that they are. That is homophobia. You are a homophobe.
Mushashi in comment #165 on Tor.com
One thing in particular stands out in this whole mess: The use of the word “homophobe”. As though any dislike or disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle/agenda stems from an illogical, possibly irrational “fear” of homosexuality. This term is used as a slander and as a means of silencing any opposition. It’s cheap, childish, and naturally, dishonest to the core. Irene Gallo is someone (along with many commenters here) that seems to think they’re immune from any criticism regarding their choice of ad hominem attacks……they’re not. Neither is Tor. Like it of not she represents your organization, “personal opinion” backpedaling notwithstanding. Her outrageous name-calling and slander should not be tolerated in the publishing business or any other.
Tor – demonstrate the conviction of your stated principles and remove Irene Gallo.
Mark Pitcavage in comment # 244 on Tor.com
I am very disappointed that this is Tor’s only reaction to an ideological campaign to take over the science fiction field’s oldest major award. I would have hoped for a principled stand. Tor should pay attention to the businesses that reacted to recent events in Indiana and Arkansas.
Joe Vasicek on One Thousand And One Parsecs
“My take on the Sad Puppies” – June 9
But in another sense, I cannot avoid having a dog in this fight. Science Fiction and Fantasy is my livelihood, and the Sad Puppies controversy affects the very core of my field. Authors whom I look up to and respect have become targets of some of the worst smear tactics, and if no one stands up against these bullies, things are only going to get worse. The lines have been drawn, the wagons have been circled, and my voice, however small, is needed in this hour.
With that out of the way, here is where I stand:
I believe that everyone who loves science fiction and fantasy has and should have a place in this genre, no matter how reprehensible I find them or how vehemently I disagree with their views.
I believe that SF&F authors flourish best when there is no single dogma, political or otherwise, that dominates the field. Those who enforce their brand of social justice through bullying and smear campaigns are anathema to everything that makes science fiction and fantasy great.
I believe that TRUE DIVERSITY in the SF&F field is good and worth working toward. TRUE DIVERSITY includes women, people of color, other ethnic minorities, and people of every gender and sexual orientation. It also includes Republicans, Conservatives, Libertarians, residents of the “flyover states,” and devout practitioners of every faith, be they Christians, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, or supplicants at the temple of Athe.
I believe that sexism that is directed against men is still sexism.
I believe that racism that is directed against whites is still racism.
I believe that it is impossible to defeat racism and sexism through racist and sexist means. Those who attempt to do so are bigots and hypocrites of the worst possible stripe.
I believe that no one is entitled to any award. True recognition is earned, not bestowed…..
Katrina A. Templeton on katster’s closet
“It’s OK if You’re a Puppy” – June 9
I’ll grudgingly give Beale credit for this — he knows his army of sycophants, suck-ups, wannabes, and fellow travelers very well, and knew dropping that screenshot on the Internet would be like throwing raw meat to hungry dogs. All the outrage that had been dying down is back, kicked up yet another notch. And I’m certain this amuses him very much.
It strikes me that Beale doesn’t want dialogue. He doesn’t want us to understand each other, because if we can understand — if we can glimpse that the other side of the screen sits another human being not all that much different from us — then his culture war is dead. He cannot afford to lose that — it is his driving force and his motivator.
I’m a science fiction fan because I like to read, Beale. I’m not here for your bullshit culture wars, and I really wish you’d take them somewhere else.
L. Rhodes on Upstreamist
“…Some Women and Writers of Color” – June 9
“Media coverage of the two groups initially suggested that they were organized simply to promote white men,” Doherty wrote, “which was not correct. Each Puppies’ slate of authors and editors included some women and writers of color…” That’s technically true, but misses the deeper point. The Puppies’ aim was not to promote white male authors to the exclusion of others. Rather, the goal was to crowd out science fiction and fantasy that addressed social issues from a progressive perspective, including stories in the long and heralded tradition of using genre to criticize gender, race and sexual inequalities. To that end—as well as to head off the obvious criticisms—the slate the Puppies chose highlighted women and writers of color whose work was deemed socially neutral or merely escapist.
A statement of neutrality in defense of Tor’s own authors was, perhaps, to be expected, but it seems to me that Mr. Doherty has overstepped by offering that weak tea explanation excusing the Puppies’ slate. If, as the message concludes, Tor is dedicated to publishing “on a broad range of topics, from a broad range of authors,” then it would do well to acknowledge that the Puppies are vocally in favor of overshadowing all but a narrow range of topics and promoting only the range of authors that play it safe.
“A RESPONSE TO BRAD TORGERSEN” – June 9
[Another lengthy post of which this is just one bit — ]
But this is the method Torgersen uses himself—and has from the beginning. He points to—refers to, rather; it’s always a wave of the hand rather than a pointing finger—incidents at least some which are genuinely outrageous in terms of unfair and sometimes scurrilous charges being leveled against him or other Sad Puppies. And then, by leaving the details and specifics unclear, tries to inflate the incidents into the literary equivalent of the Albigensian Crusade.
So, any insignificant nitwit spouting insults on a panel at an SF convention becomes the equivalent of being blackballed by publishers. Any lout spewing venom in a discussion anywhere on the internet becomes a Secret Master of Hugodom, even though nobody’s ever heard of him except his (few) friends and family. Any troll with a blog that has a very modest number of readers is transmuted into the She-Devil of Political Correctness.
As time goes by, talking to each other in their echo chamber, Torgersen and his supporters have persuaded themselves that this (not so very large) pack of trolls, jerks and assholes are science fiction’s equivalent of the iron fist of the KGB dragging poor helpless little puppies into the bowels of Lubyanka Prison, there to be silenced by bullets in the back of their heads.
What makes this even more ridiculous—not to mention annoying—is that while the Sad Puppies have indeed been the victims of excessive belligerence and vituperation, they are just as guilty themselves.
Consider this gem of hyperbole, spouted by Brad Torgersen:
“Nielsen-Haydens, your fellow travelers, and media goombahs . . . I MOCK YOU! I MOCK YOUR ASININE INCESTUOUS CLUSTERFUCKED LITTLE CULTURE OF DOCTRINAIRE PROGRESSOSEXUAL MEDIOCRITY MASKED AS SUPERIORITY! You are all dolts. You are moral and physical cowards. You are without ethics, without scruples, and if you weren’t so patently pathetic, I’d say you might be dangerous.
Fuck you. Fuck you all. The forces of the progressive pink and poofy Xerxes were met at the Hugo Hot Gates, and repelled by a few brave dudes and dudettes with the stones to stand up to your bullshit.”
Anybody who posts something like this online has no business complaining about the rhetoric of other people.
Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library
This essay is quite decently written, and very effectively covers the ground of why science is a process, not a result, and truly never finally settled. Sadly, while never going at the subject head-on, it’s laced through with excuses for climate science denialism.
Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens
“Amanda S. Green Question Time” – June 9
… Third question: Is Green going to be saved by the multi-target post in which she attacks the all-female Nebulas, the disinviting of Archon Fan Guest of Honor Tim Bolgeo because of some racist jokes in his fanzine (that’s on the Hugo ballot this year, by the way) and some bad con arrangements that self-published/indie authors had to suffer somewhere? To say something poisitive in this post, there were a couple of marginally interesting points in the last bit, actually, but then she goes back to slamming SJWs and GHHers (what’s a GHHer?) in the end.
Fourth question: Does stating the fact that it may not be a good idea to change your story’s genre in the middle of a book series — that’s what the last post is about — help her regain some sympathies that were lost with the previous posts?
Russell Blackford on Metamagician and The Hellfire Club
At this stage, I’ve read only two stories in the category: “Championship B’tok” by Edward M. Lerner, and “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale” by Rajnar Vajra. For my money, “The Triple Sun” was the stronger of the two, though both were competent stories of adventure in space (with elements of hard science fiction). Whether either is strong enough to be worth a major international award is another question. Again, I’d be happier to see “The Triple Sun” win the award, partly because it simply has better shape as a standalone story (“Championship B’tok” seems more like an instalment of something much longer; the problem isn’t that it is, but that it seems like it).
“Hugo Reviews: Rat Queens Vol 1” – June 9
The only crime of crude humor is when it’s not particularly funny and a lot of the jokes in Rat Queens feel crude for crudeness sake. After a few pages, it was incredibly tiresome and I’d lost interest before the story had even gone anywhere. Reading Rat Queens is like reading a real-play of D&D session run and played entirely by dude-bros. There is a lot of girls talking about sex, striking sexy poses, and doing the whole ‘we’re in-your-face badgirls!’ thing that feels like it’s trying too hard and never comes across as being particularly sexy.
Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag at Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog
The Hugos were no doubt getting a little insular due to lack of interest from general fandom: in that sense I agree with the “puppies”. There are people who attend conventions and people who enjoy science fiction, and the two groups don’t always overlap. The Hugos were mostly something that was voted on by people who attend conventions, not by all of general fandom, so of course they aren’t always going to reflect the tastes of fandom as a whole.
While the “Sad Puppies” seemed to be trying to fix that, they a) went about it the wrong way by encouraging people to lie by nominating works they hadn’t read and b) pretty much allowed an incredibly misogynistic sicko to take over their effort.
My biggest problem with them is the lying bit: creating a slate and asking people to nominate without clearly saying, “read it first and only nominate if you consider it the best thing you’ve read in the past year.” That behavior already puts them in the doghouse, where their self-proclaimed name says they belong. But it’s the second bit I just don’t understand. I’ve tried to read VD’s blog. It’s disgusting. He’s disgusting. His comments on women in general and certain women in particular are appalling. Nobody who believes that women are people could possibly agree with VD. And yet the “Sad Puppies” let this sick person take over their idea and acted happy when it succeeded. And, frankly, I doubt it was the sads that got all those slate nominations in. I’m pretty sure it had more to do with VD’s efforts, considering that more of “his” slate got on the ballot.