A Puppy Epilogue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

187 thoughts on “A Puppy Epilogue

  1. @Dex:

    Three months.

    It’s been three months, not two.

    Poor Mike Glyer.

    In those three months I have gotten rather weary of Puppies showing up here with all sorts of bad words and insults that no one here says except themselves and crying that they are being insulted by all the terms they have lugged over here themselves.

    It’s strange, since many Puppies give the impression they read these comment threads. You’d think they’d notice.

    On the other hand, discussing books and movies and games and recipes and pets with the other commenters has been a delight.

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

    Aww…. somebody wants to give us all some trolling to go out on. What a sport!

    When I started coming here I was pretty depressed about the whole Sad-n-Rabid thing. I faced a depressing collection of Hugo nominees gamed onto the ballot by a depressing bunch of people for depressing reasons. Some of them even went so far as to suggest that their literal intent was to ruin the Hugos forever, and how depressing is that? To set out to ruin something other people love just because you can.

    And… you guys cheered me UP, dammit. You were funny and clever and wise and interesting and full of love for the Hugos and SF&F (and pizza). You inspired me to want to participate. You reassured me that it was all going to be all right. You made me look forward to Worldcon again. You…

    All right, I’m going to stop before I make myself cry.

    Darn, too late.

    Thanks to all you wonderful people, and our awesome host, Mike!

  3. McJulie:

    Aww…. somebody wants to give us all some trolling to go out on. What a sport!

    I feel exactly the same way.

  4. Longtime lurker, just wanting to say “thank you” to Mr. Glyer and to add how much I’ve enjoyed the book recs and the feeling of community that has been created here. I will be continuing to read here and, like many others, am looking forward to the Hugo Awards this year and in future years with a renewed sense of optimism. You guys are so much fun!

  5. @Marsbarcutter27:

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

    Dude, you can lie to yourself till dying-earth SF becomes mimetic, but that doesn’t mean you can fool us.

  6. I’m not going to go away, File770 will be going into my “check daily” bookmark folder, but I still think the most appropriate thing I can say is; “Mike, So long and thanks for all the fish”

  7. Okay, I know this sounds like a joke, but I have been away at a con all weekend (and it was a blast, BTW! Convergence is such a well-run con with amazing people and great volunteers and excellent panels and so many guests who come back just for the sheer fun of it all!) and I have no idea what’s going on. Why are the Puppy round-ups going away? Is Mike just sick of people complaining that he quoted them accurately? Is there no longer enough interesting material to constitute a round-up each day? Or is it just that there’s no longer a need for it as we’re now so close to the Hugo ceremony that the outcome is whatever it’s going to be?

  8. @John – I think we reached peak puppy and fatigue set in. Plus the EPH will defang the puppies (and any other slate) after next year.

    I do have to ask, though, what’s with pineapple on pizza?

  9. The final Roundup was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the utmost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky — seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness. The Roundups were soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. So the Roundups beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Whatever the Roundups had missed, they possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past. And so farewell from your little droog. And to all others in this story profound shooms of lip-music brrrrr. And they can kiss my sharries. But you, O my brothers, remember sometimes thy little Roundup that was. Amen. And all that cal. As if that blind rage had washed the Roundup clean, rid the Roundup of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, the Roundup opened itself to the benign indifference of the world. Finding it so much like the Roundup itself — so like a brother, really — it felt that it had been happy and that it was happy again. For everything to be consummated, for it to feel less alone, it had only to wish that there be a large crowd of spectators the day of its execution and that they greet it with cries of hate. The Roundup loved Big Brother. The knife came down, missing the Roundup by inches, and it took off. It is a far, far better thing that the Roundups do, than they have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that they go to than they have ever known. Oh, my Roundups, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this. Perhaps the Roundup’s done already, perhaps they have said it already, perhaps they have carried it to the threshold of its story, before the door that opens on its story, that would surprise it, if it opens, it will be the Roundup, it will be the silence, where it is, it doesn’t know, it’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, it can’t go on, it’ll go on. And then the Roundup asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around the Roundup yes and drew the Roundup down to me so it could feel my breasts all perfume yes and its heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

  10. Dammit Kyra, you’ve achieved the unachievable: making me like something about James Joyce’s writing.

    What a fantastic pastiche.

  11. I do have to ask, though, what’s with pineapple on pizza?

    It’s a sin against both man and the gods.

  12. Chris S: I do have to ask, though, what’s with pineapple on pizza?

    snowcrash: It’s a sin against both man and the gods.

    Exactly. It’s an abomination.

  13. snowcrash: and that is why we eat it with our head covered with a large napkin, to hide our decadent and disgraceful act from the eyes of god.

  14. John Seavey: The quality and quantity of roundup material has finally tailed off to a point that I feel it would trivialize what has already been accomplished to keep prodding the series along. While people likely will on occasion surprise us with new perspectives — consider Charlie Jane Anders’ book-themed post the other day — that’s stopped happening on a daily basis.

    Things have lasted this long because Vox sprang the Irene Gallo quote and gave the play a third act in the form of the Tor boycott. Now that impetus has petered out.

    When the next development comes along, you can be sure I will cover it.

  15. The whole peas in guacamole thing has made me leery of foodshaming the choices of others.

    But pineapple pizza is right down there with cutting round pizzas into square pieces.

    Says the ULTRAGOTHA who thinks Round Table is the epitome of pizza….

  16. Its good to have confirmation that its about the lack of quality discussion to round up, not an attempt to discourage the Dwarfs from cluttering up your lovely Hobbit Hole.

  17. Wow. Joyce, now, Kyra? That’s some scary mimicry skills you got there 🙂

  18. Canadian bacon with pineapple may be a heretical pizza, but it’s delicious. So is sausage with pineapple. (Shrimp and anchovies, on the other hand, are an affront to all right-thinking pizza-eaters.)

  19. I used to eat black olives with chocolate spread so I don’t think I have any room to shame anyone else about their food choices. I don’t especially like pineapple but I’m sure putting it on a pizza makes some people very happy, and more power to them.

  20. Dang it, I’m still kind of melancholy.

    McJulie, that was very much how I felt too.

    Kyra, that was brilliant. I only recognized some of those last lines but boy, were they good.

  21. Kyra: Your pastiches have been one of the brightest of the many bright spots on this blog. Thank you.

    For some reason I am reminded of Philip Jose Farmer’s story in Son of Return of Dangerous Visions Part II, “Riders of the Purple Wage”, which ended in the pun “Winnegan’s Fake!” But that says more about me than about you.

  22. The thing with pineapple on pizza is that it adds a sweet element to a spicy dish, and one that doesn’t overpower the spiciness. I know most people think of the classic Hawaiian, which has ham/Canadian bacon, but I think it goes better with something like pepperoni or a spicy sausage. Chorizo/pineapple maybe? Gotta see if I can find someone who’ll do that around here.

  23. Savoury/sweet (meat/fruit) is a classic combination: not only ham & pineapple, but also pork & apple, turkey & cranberry, chicken & apricot…

  24. I had a longer comment written about savory/sweet combinations and fruit salsas, but it got eaten by a browser hiccup.

    ObSF: I recently read Revision by Andrea Phillips and enjoyed it very much. I was tickled to discover that she was involved with writing the scripts for the fitness app The Walk, from Six to Start (who also do the app Zombies, Run!).

  25. So Kyra is actually seamlessly pastiching the final lines of eleven different books (Joyce is just the final one, and not the only post-modernist/absurdist in there), by my count. It makes for a great game to try to ID each one. How many did *you* get?

    (I correctly IDed 3, 4, 6, 8, and 11).

    It’s like that (blows out a match)… and then the Roundup’s gone. I reckon I got to light out for Sasquan ahead of the rest, because the regulars said they was going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I’ve been there before. And that’s the hardest part. Today everything is different; there’s no action… have to wait around like everyone else. Can’t even get roundups – right after I got here, I checked my RSS feed, and I got no updates. I’m an average nobody. Get to live the rest of my life like a schnook. It’s a magical world, ol’ Roundup. Let’s go exploring. Our comments moderated in a certain dawn… a blog post… a summons… There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said–no. But somehow we missed it. Mike–? Kyra–? Well, we’ll know better next time. Now you see me, now you–

  26. I haven’t got many endings to work with, but I think this one will do
    If we round-ups have offended,
    Think but this and all is mended,
    That you have but surf’d here
    While these comments did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme,
    No more yielding but a dream,
    Posters, do not reprehend:
    If you pardon, we will mend.
    And, as I am an honest Puck,
    If we have unearnéd luck
    Now to ‘scape the Puppy’s tongue,
    We will make amends ere long;
    Else the Mike a rhetorician call:
    So, good night unto you all.
    Give me your hands, if we be friends,
    And Glyer shall restore amends.

  27. I’m sorry for following MickyFinn’s work of exquisite beauty with such a downmarket offering.

    There is an old blogger from LASFS,
    With rockets galore in a brass mass.
    Once fen rouse his ire
    He’ll never retire
    Until we can get all of our dross sussed.

  28. @Greg:

    No offense, but Kyra’s a freaking genius. Yours is a yeoman effort, but hers … Wow.

  29. Baby’s first attempt at trolling. I like it. The backhanded nod to Brian Z was pitch perfect.

    Kudos, Mike.

  30. Thank you for the roundups! This has absolutely been a great place to keep up on what has been happening, encounter other fans, learn about other authors, discover new blogs, and generally learn that the Tribe is still strong and healthy. ~ RAHilliard

  31. @Kyra: Wow.

    Okay, I see Svgmtrenyq, Ohetrff, Pnzhf, Bejryy, Qvpxraf, and Wblpr. There’s a bunch in there I don’t recognize. Who am I missing?

  32. Thanks for the round ups Mike it’s been enlightening. My wallet is also poorer for all the recommendations I saw in the various threads.

  33. Speaking of Puck, there was something special about Stanley Tucci’s Puck that I’ve never seen before or since: He made the line “…else the Puck a liar call” a threat. I suppose it’s probably always supposed to be like that? But somehow he’s the only Puck I’ve ever seen who made it so.

  34. Okay, Google tells me that it opened with Pbaenq and Furyyrl, but I didn’t recognize those passages without machine assistance.

  35. *pours tea for everyone* Who wants some pepparkaka? Got a fresh tin from *cough* Ikea. There’s nothing like a good cuppa and a cookie/biscuit for reading those fantastic posts — oh, well done Kyra! As usual, you’ve outdone yourself.

    This community has grown up suddenly, like pots of flowers in a hothouse. I like it. I’m sticking around, even if I’m quieter at times.

  36. I have – let me see – oolong, jasmine, liquorice and mint, aaand a spiced rooibos, if anyone wants tea variety. 😀 (I wouldn’t knock back too much of the liquorice and mint, though, it can boost blood pressure. Good for me, lousy for all of you, probably.)

  37. … And a nespresso machine with a variety of different flavour capsules, if anyone prefers very small cups of coffee. I’m afraid I don’t have a French press, so someone with more coffee nerdery than me will have to provide larger cups of coffee. 😉

  38. (Laertes — If you want spoilers for the others, “the precious, the incommunicable past” is Pngure; “the knife came down” is Uryyre; “I never can wish you a greater happiness than this” is Nypbgg; “in the silence you don’t know” is Orpxrgg.)

  39. Thank you, Mike, for the roundups, the moderation, and your depthless patience. You are indeed the hostess with the mostest. I’m very glad I found this site and it’s now in my daily bookmarks until Ragnarok.

    Our roundups now are ended. These our puppies,
    As Mike foretold us, were all spirits and
    Are melted into air, into thin air:
    And, like the baseless fabric of the internet,
    The circling satellites, the Marxist bloggers,
    The solemn SJWs, the great Web itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall evolve
    And, like this insubstantial fanwar faded,
    Leave not a rocket behind. We are such commenters
    As filks are made on, and our little fisk
    Is rounded with WorldCon.

  40. Hmm Wonder why my last post this morning never made it out of moderation……

    I find it rather funny that Im being accused of “trolling” when all i have done is state my own opinions in a polite and civil way. But then it does seem the definition of trolling here is “disagreeing with the group think”. Not all that surprising really.

    Whats even funnier is being told I’m allowing others to define what I enjoy because I know my own tastes and don’t find the reviews of people who don’t share those tastes to be particularly compelling. But then that’s also par for the course here. The warm moist smell of smug is well and truly ingrained in the fabric of this site.

    The funniest of course is Jim Henley’s attempt to psychoanalyze me. Please continue. I love it when strangers on the internet tell me all about myself. It’s so educational. Especially when they engage in childish re-namings of those they disagree with, its almost as juvenile as as disemvoweling.

    I find it quite amusing that I’m being lambasted for not reading the ancillary series despite the fact that its clearly not the type of work I enjoy, especially considering how many here have refused to even read the puppy nominees and how many others have posted reviews of them in bad faith. (and you can always tell its a hit piece by how vague the complaints are)

    As an example if you were to ask me why I found “The day the earth turned upside down” to be and absolute failure as a story I would point out that the author had failed to even think through his premise, which was clear by the 5th paragraph. I don’t expect a scifi/fantasy story to comply with the rules of the real world of course, but when an author can’t even keep his own rules consistent for a single page then the work is a failure as far as i’m concerned.

    Ahh well. As always I find the content of these comments to be hilarious, but then I always have enjoyed watching and laughing at lemmings as they merrily march themselves over the cliffs in lockstep. It also helps that hypocrisy provides me with hours of entertainment.

    In many ways it reminds me of a very good friend of mine. Although we have known each other for years, our tastes are almost diametrically opposed. As an example the very reasons I loved “Kingsmen” were the exact same reasons he hated it. I loved it because it was ridiculous, over the top, and most of all fun. (Plus it has my new all time favorite movie line “If you save world, we can do it in asshole” now that’s writing!) He hated it because it was over the top, ridiculous, and didn’t take itself seriously. Some people feel the need for their entertainment to be serious, and IMPORTANT! Some of us just wanna enjoy ourselves. Needless to say we learned years ago that if I loved something he’ll probably hate it, and vice versa. Who’s wrong? Well neither of us. I like what I like, he likes what he likes, and we are both right. Though I suspect that such a concept is utterly lost on the regulars here.

    Ahh well. Thanks for the entertainment, though it was entirely unintentional on all y’alls part. And thank you Mike for pointing me to voices I was unaware of, who share my tastes and worldview.

    I suspect that there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth here when the winners are announced, but i could be wrong. If I’m not, you can be sure iIl swing by to watch the show.

    Either way, Its already apparent that Mike can’t help but continue rounding up puppy related comments, even if he did title this post “the puppy epilogue” so I suspect there will be many more opportunities for the regulars here to show just what type of people they really are. And that is always entertaining.

  41. @troll

    Your posts have been many things. They have not been polite and civil. I imagine that is why the earlier comment never made it out of moderation.

  42. I find it quite amusing that I’m being lambasted for not reading the ancillary series despite the fact that its clearly not the type of work I enjoy

    Well, you wouldn’t know that, since you haven’t bothered to actually try to read them. You just went along with the Puppy groupthink and didn’t bother to even try, despite numerous reviews pointing out what you said none of the reviews pointed out, making your initial claim as to why you didn’t try to read them an obvious lie.

    especially considering how many here have refused to even read the puppy nominees and how many others have posted reviews of them in bad faith.

    You mean other than the numerous people here who have read them and posted honest reviews of how terrible they are? Oh wait, they don’t count I suppose, since they didn’t toe your Puppy party line.

    You’re a troll because you lie. And we know you’re a troll because your lies are obvious and transparent.

  43. Not sure where idea that we don’t like fun things comes from. One of my favourite film franchises is Fast and the Furious, and you couldn’t exactly accuse any of the films of being deep and serious and complicated. Most of us like Pratchett, and while he’s definitely deep his work is definitely also fun.

    I think the closest anyone has come to telling someone they have the wrong kind of fun is telling them they’re doing pizza wrong, and that’s definitely said with tongue firmly in cheek (er… mostly).

    I don’t think I’ve seen anyone called racist/sexist/homophobic/etc. after one comment that didn’t say anything that could be described as such. The “why are you teaming up, willingly, with people who have said xyz?” stuff is not actually an accusation of personal racism/sexism/homophobia/etc..

    Sometimes when Puppies come by I think they’re talking to strawenemies rather than anyone who’s actually here. Even our harshest people don’t act like Puppies describe. (They have their own individual ways of responding, or so I have observed. It rarely matches up with strawpuppykicker stereotype.)

  44. When I see someone come in pre-emptively insulting themselves, or deciding that everyone will disagree with them on everything, or the ever popular first line of “I’m sure this will get moderated” (or similar), I think… Victim complex.

    That victim complex may or may not be justified, but it still irritates. Its better to grit your teeth and state your case without those silly asides.

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