Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Puppy 5/6

aka The Puppy Who Barked Hugo At The Hearts Of The Fans

A modest roundup today because Your Host is under the weather. Will catch up in the next post. Meantime here are thoughts from Eric Franklin, Megan Leigh, George R.R. Martin, Alexandra Erin, Soon Lee and less easily identified others.  (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Paul Weimer and Rev. Bob.)

Eric Franklin on Gamethyme

“Awards and Geekdom” – May 6

It’s caused a huge stir.  To the point where more than a few nominees have withdrawn, either because they don’t want to be associated with the “Puppies” lists or because the winners of this year’s Hugo awards may feel like there will always be an asterisk associated with that award.

And it’s a shame, because there are some really good works on the list. For example, I really liked Ancillary Sword (which is the sequel to Ancillary Justice, which is well worth the read).

To make things worse, the folks involved with this are using the “We didn’t break any rules,” argument. And have co-opted GamerGate language, referring to their opponents as “SJWs.”

As a gamer, I am well aware that “We didn’t break the rules,” is shorthand for, “I know I’m being an asshole.”  Because I hear it at the table all too often.

 

Nightly Nerd News On Facebook – May 6

So If I vote for someone on at a Puppy slate I am fighting “puritanical bullies” or “the amoral culture of human degradation” while if I vote for someone on the other slate, wait, there isn’t another slate. Those bullies and their amoral culture must have already subsumed and conquered everyone else. No wonder we are getting metaphors from the Puppies of their donning old gray uniforms or suits of armor to ride forth into battle. The most I see on the non-puppy side is “hey, we’re fantasy and science fiction fans, we should read all kinds of things by all kinds of people.”

Larry seems to have confused the “puritanical bullies” side.

I don’t like being dragged into wars, on either side. So I will read and look at all the nominees and compare some to Locus Award nominees and see if the Hugo nominees are really the best from last year and worthy of awarding.

My past preferences have always been I like all kinds of things from all kinds of people.

 

electricscribbles

“The 2015 Hugo Award Kerfluffle makes me glad I’m not a Trufan!” – May 6

Admittedly I’m a fan of Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, Michael Z. Williamson, Sarah Hoyt, John Ringo, well almost the whole Baen Stable really.  My politics are socially liberal and fiscally conservative, limited government with a hawkish bent (that’s my military upbringing speaking).  Classic Liberal if you will, libertarian versus Libertarian.   I’m a military veteran and I like military SF, it speaks to me.  But that’s beside the point really.  The sad reality is that both sides are more interested in tearing each other down then they are convincing anybody of the righteousness of their cause.

 

Megan Leigh on Pop-Verse

“The boys’ club: Why literary awards are so problematic” – May 6

To rectify this perceived problem, a bunch of white males have gathered together to herd the fans back into line. The Sad Puppies campaign, led by Brad L. Torgersen and Larry Correia, created their own list of suggested nominees for all categories. They asked those who were eligible to vote to follow their suggestions, which kept the number of female nominees to a scant 8, most of them being either writers of short stories or editors, none in the best novel, novella, or novelette categories. Not only do Torgersen and Correia take issue with the leftist movement in the voting, they disagree with the inclusion of these kinds of publications within their beloved genre at all.

 

George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“STATION ELEVEN Wins Clarke Award” – May 6

I must admit, I am partial to awards that come with cool trophies. I mean, the honor is great and all, but a plaque is a plaque is a plaque and a certificate-suitable-for-framing is a piece of paper, really. SF and fantasy have been uniquely blessed with some nifty awards. The Hugo rocket is, of course, iconic, and still number one for me… at least in the years when the worldcon doesn’t go overboard with the base. (We have had some VERY ugly-ass bases, huge ones that overwhelm the rocket, but also some great ones). Some people prefer the Nebula, and the early Nebulas with the quartz crystals were really striking, but in more recent decades they have been more hit-and-miss. I also love HWA award, the Tim Kirk haunted house, and of course the wonderfully ghastly head of H.P. Lovecraft (by the wonderfully ghastly Gahan Wilson) that is the World Fantasy Award. (I have one of the former, and three of the latter).

 

 

little-prince-225x300

Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Sad Puppies Review Books: The Little Prince”  – May 6

Reading this book it is obvious that the author was relying more on demographic appeal than quality storytelling, a fact that is only confirmed when you realize that The Little Prince was written by a Frenchman. It is well-known that the French have been Stalinists ever since they were conquered by Hitler. Did you know that Hitler was a leftist? They teach kids in school that Fascism is the opposite of Stalinism but Hitler and Stalin agreed to carve up the world between them and they would have got away with it if it wasn’t for God’s America.

397 thoughts on “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Puppy 5/6

  1. @Darrel – Butcher doesn’t have any standalones that I am aware of, but he is starting a new steampunk series this fall.

    But about starting his two series- a large number of his fans will tell you that the first 2-3 books of the Dresden series and the first of the Alera series are the weakest. The usual advice is to try to push past them, or even consider starting after them. His writing does get significantly better.

    I suspect the new series won’t have that problem, he’s been writing for a while now.

    If you don’t want to try any of those, go read Hary Connolly’s Twenty Palaces urban fantasy. Good stuff! Smart and well developed.

  2. @JJ re: don’t read the posts
    Good lord, I thought it was just me. I went over there last year sometime, maybe around when the Baen editor posted that weird essay about people not liking Heinlein in the right way. I swear I only got a page and a half into the comments before the posters had all started agreeing with each other that the Kent State massacre had been carried out by communist infiltrators instead of the Natiinal Guard. Freaky.

  3. Darrell: Butcher’s best work by far (IMO, duh) is the Codex Alera series. Very different from Dresden, but is a fairly epic fantasy setting. And is crazy awesome. IIRC, 5 books, fairly easy and quick to go through, and the first book works reasonablliy well as a standalone.

  4. My take on the Breq thing is similar to the issue I have with dogs. I know dogs well, I have two of them. The reality is unless I get up close and personal I can’t usually tell the genders… It doesn’t really matter on the whole, I have labs, they eat and chase balls….

    And the ‘is it hard to believe people like different thing’ cuts both ways.

  5. Maximillian: “Good lord, I thought it was just me. I went over there last year sometime, maybe around when the Baen editor posted that weird essay about people not liking Heinlein in the right way. I swear I only got a page and a half into the comments before the posters had all started agreeing with each other that the Kent State massacre had been carried out by communist infiltrators instead of the Natiinal Guard. Freaky.”

    Don’t do it, man. I beg of you, just don’t do it. Life is still worth living. Please don’t give up.

    I’ve got some really nice hallucinogenic mushrooms here that you can try instead.

  6. I’ve not read the Twenty Palaces books, but his A key, An Egg, an Unfortunate Remark is sitting in the TBR queue, thanks to a review by James Nicoll.

  7. @Annie Y

    Okay… cross-eyed— posts everywhere. Pages. Too many. Sleep, maybe? One more.. Grr… post. Idiots. Everhyewher. Typin nogof.

    *Several slaps on my own cheeks.*

    “What made people unhappy?”
    The same thing that has made people unhappy about the apparent success of the Puppy slates. The nominations were filled by works they were not a fans of. The kind of works they had not even heard of before. The kind of works that do not interest them in the slightest.

    So what happens when the award does not cater your interest? You either loose your interest or you get unhappy. Those who have lost their interest do not nominate nor vote. Those who are unhappy tend to grow disgruntled, and I cannot say it helps to see how year after a year the same names keep popping up in the nominations. It creates a sense that whatever you like, it simply will not be nominated no matter what is the quality of work.

    So who should have won instead? What works went ignored? You could start by looking at the votes that failed to get something nominated. For example 2013’s nominations: http://www.lonestarcon3.org/hugo-awards/statistics.pdf (Page 19 of 28)

    What is harder to get your hands on are the actually discussions people have both in real life and online after the awards are done.
    – ‘X’ won? How can that be? ‘Y was superior without doubt.’

    Now, as for me. The only reason I am showing my current level of interest towards the Hugo awards is the public outcry that was caused by the success of Puppies. The same claims that get repeated ad nauseam, even though facts are just one google search away.

    And as I have said for tens of times: Well it feels like it. Whatever got nominated, deserved its nomination. Same applies to the Hugos won. And as for voting itself, no one can be forced to do anything. Especially since the right to nominate and vote are both hidden behind a pay wall of at least $40. You kind of have to be a fan to waste money.

  8. @Maximillian I am tired and it would not be first time that pre-existing opinions affect reading comprehension.

    @JJ, well the same guys posting their recommendations online… etc. Ad nauseum.

  9. I read the first part of the The Dresden Files, then quit. It just wasn’t any good at all and there were a lot of good urban fantasy series out with much better writing. So haven’t returned to it. And don’t think I ever will. I can’t see any reason for reading a series that isn’t any good until after the third book.

    How well does The Skin Game work as a standalone book for someone that hasn’t read the rest of the series?

  10. @Tuomas- “@Maximillian I am tired and it would not be first time that pre-existing opinions affect reading comprehension.”

    No problem, I didn’t realize it was so late wherever you are. Glad to hear it, though, I was worried whether something I said could be interpreted to say that people can’t have opinions. Get some sleep, we can talk more tomorrow.

  11. @Hampus – Pretty good, I think, though you’ll at least want to read the wiki synopses of the earlier books, there is a big cast.

  12. @Tuomas Vainio

    With only 5 slots, there will always be stories that remain under the line – 5 is always less than the number of nominated works. Showing the list of the works that got votes is again evading answering a direct question. Let’s try it in a different way: Which ones do you think should have been above the line and which ones under the line? See – now we are down to a single year; last one to boot. That should be easily enough to remember.

    And “people say, look it up” is not exactly a valid defense of a position — you are a person, I am asking what do you think? If you think your opinion does not matter or is not something that anyone should care about, uhm… maybe I need a definition of “showing level of interest” from someone that is posting in an online thread. If you do not want to engage with people, you can just read you know… 🙂

    People say a lot of things – and in the case of SF/F, if you have 10 fans, you will have about 17 different opinions. Next year the same people that were unhappy last year, like what gets nominated. Or 2 years after that. But most people do not come and say “there is a conspiracy that made these books nominated and the one I loved not”. Someone did not like anything in the last 10 years (or was it 20?)? So what was good in those 10/20 years then?

    Back when 2312 lost (and not to my second choice but to my third), I was pissed. For about 10 minutes. Then I remembered that there is next year. And next. And that the awards belong to a LOT of people and my favorite won’t win every year (hey, it got nominated…). Or even get nominated in some years. There is only 1 winner, 5 finalists. It cannot fit everything that people like.

    Which facts are a google search away? The one that shows who made a slate this year? The ones that shows how this slate killed any honest recommendation? You are right, they are there. The list of the works that did not make it each year? Sure. Which books should have been nominated in the previous few years according to at least a few of the people that are defending or causing this year’s shenanigans? Uhm – sorry, can you help me and provide a link? I somehow fail to find these results.

    Look – if you would rather evade any question and just keep talking generalities and just repeat the same non-answers, I am fine with that. It answers my question a lot loudly and more clearly than a real answer would have done it. There seems to be an epidemic going around “no-direct-answer-postitis” when someone tries to understand what exactly did not make the ballot and should have the previous years.

  13. Tuomas: “well the same guys posting their recommendations online… etc. Ad nauseum.”

    As all you seem to look at are Amazon reviews, I can’t imagine why that would be a problem for you.

    As for myself, I put a great deal more stock in recommendations from avid SFF fans whose opinions I’ve come to trust, than in Amazon reviews from the author’s aunt or someone who just disagrees with the author’s politics.

  14. Mike Resnick has the most Hugo nominations for fiction, mostly for short fiction. More than Sturgeon, Asimov, Bradbury, Chiang, Tiptree, Zelazny, Silverberg, Le Guin and all the rest who are usually considered the best short story writers in SFF. But because he’s Torgersen’s mentor, that’s totally OK for the puppies, no signs of conspiracy there.

    Heinlein had pretty much stopped writing short fiction by the time the Hugos were created. His novels were still nominated pretty much every time, even when they started becoming barely readable for anyone but his extreme fanboys. Asimov didn’t publish any fiction between 1957 and 1973. After his comeback he was regularly nominated for a Hugo too.

  15. ‘We point to PNH, Stross and Scalzi having more Hugo nominations than Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke.’

    This is literally nothing more than ‘we don’t like what you nominate.’ Which is absolutely fair enough. But that’s all it’s proof of, and the only proper response is terrified cries of ‘So What?’ But you’re all there with your fantastically rhetoricky ‘You all eat shit and you like shit and you’re shit’ or whatever it was; but it all boils down to you not liking Redshirts, so forgive us if we find your claims, and your rhetoric, overstated and undercooked.

  16. @Stefan Mitev:

    Mike Resnick has the most Hugo nominations for fiction, mostly for short fiction. More than Sturgeon, Asimov, Bradbury, Chiang, Tiptree, Zelazny, Silverberg, Le Guin and all the rest who are usually considered the best short story writers in SFF.

    I see that comes to 36 nominations for Resnick.

    I recall reading some of his more recent works among the Hugo nominees, and being deeply unimpressed. I could certainly believe that there was a faction of Resnick fans that was going out of their way to give him nominations even though he hadn’t written anything good enough to really deserve it. Cabal! Conspiracy! Whisper campaign!

    Just playing around with grep a bit more . . .

    Sturgeon has 6 nominations.
    Asimov, as noted above, has 12
    Bradbury has no nominations for his own works — only for the film adaptations thereof (4)
    Chiang has 9 noms
    Tiptree has 9 noms
    Zelazny has 14 noms
    Silverberg has 27 noms
    Le Guin has 23 noms

    (and a few more I thought of:)

    Harlan Ellison has 26 nominations.
    Gene Wolfe only has 9. Huh. I thought he would have had more.
    Larry Niven has 19
    Harold Waldrop has 7
    Connie Willis has 24

    (I could go on)

  17. @Nigel
    They didn’t like Redshirts, but it wasn’t just about the book. VD, Larry, and Brad all *really* hate Scalzi. I’m not sure why for the other two, but VD has tried to debate Scalzi and you’ve seen his skills at that around here, also because Scalzi was the President of SFWA when they ejected VD.

    Basically, picture Khan at the end of Star Trek II, as he crawls through the burning wreckage of the Hugos to hit the self-destruct switch to try to take Kirk with him… This is how the lead puppies feel about Scalzi.

    That’s also why so many of the associate puppies claim that anyone who says they liked Redshirts must be lying.

  18. Darrell: I have a slight problem with your list.

    2003 A Forest of Stars by Charles Gannon

    That book doesn’t appear to exist. Considering that Charles Gannon won the Compton Crook in 2014 for his first novel in Genre… There is a book called a Forest of Stars, but it was written by Kevin J Anderson and published in Nov. of 2007 . Am

    MickyFinn: I thought the Rook was an amazing novel. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

  19. “VD, Larry, and Brad all *really* hate Scalzi. I’m not sure why for the other two, but VD has tried to debate Scalzi and you’ve seen his skills at that around here, also because Scalzi was the President of SFWA when they ejected VD.”

    We don’t hate Scalzi. We despise Scalzi, as any man with integrity is bound to do once he gets a handle on what Scalzi truly is. There is no more shamelessly dishonest, self-serving, two-faced individual in SF/F today than Scalzi.

    He’s not a horrible writer, he’s merely a facile mediocre stunt writer who writes in a single snarky voice. Nothing wrong with that, except of course when it is elevated to the status of Best in Field.

    We despise Scalzi because he is a disgusting and contemptible coward, and more importantly, a complete fraud. He’ll cheerfully run to the media everywhere from Canada to the UK to attack someone, but runs from direct engagement even when third parties offer it. I didn’t offer a debate, someone unconnected to either of us did. I accepted, Scalzi ran away.

    Scalzi was never as popular as he claimed to be. When he said he had 2 million monthly pageviews in 2010, he actually had 305,000. His traffic now is about one-quarter the amount of mine. The whole idea of “John Scalzi, enormously popular SF writer” is a fraud that he and PNH have perpetrated in order to turn him from a midlist writer into a bestseller. But it hasn’t worked.

    Scalzi also plotted with PNH to get me “expelled” from SFWA. They stopped paying their dues and threatened to quit if the Board did not vote to expel me. Which the Board did, but then refrained from holding the membership vote required for expulsion for fear that they would fail to get the required quorum and the expulsion would fail. So, they pretended I had been expelled and Scalzi and PNH both bought it (or pretended to buy it, I don’t know) and renewed their memberships. I am still a Life Member of SFWA in good standing until the Board holds another vote to expel me without a membeship vote, which they now have the power to do under the California bylaws.

    As I have repeatedly said, SJWs always lie.

  20. Nigel: “Basically, picture Khan at the end of Star Trek II, as he crawls through the burning wreckage of the Hugos to hit the self-destruct switch to try to take Kirk with him… “

    Oh, great. Now you’ve got me mentally shipping Khan and VD in slash fiction.

    Thanks EVAR so much for that. I’ll be billing you for the Brain Bleach.

  21. Man, someone should really give Beale a Thesaurus so he’ll learn that hate and despise are synonyms.

    I really think the best way to show you don’t care about someone is to write a 6 paragraph screed about them.

    I think the SFWA has a much different view on Beale’s expulsion than he does.

  22. ‘They didn’t like Redshirts, but it wasn’t just about the book.’

    No, but other than the Dinosaur story, it’s about the only work they point to as emblematic of whatever it is they’re so annoyed about. At least some of the Puppies are giving their critiques of nominated works on these threads which feels like a genuine attempt to engage with anti-puppies on the common ground of all being people who, y’know, LOVE TO READ THIS STUFF, even if I disagree with their assessments. Not TB, though. ‘YOU ALL EAT SHIT’ is what we can expect from him from now until doomsday.

  23. @Alex “I really think the best way to show you don’t care about someone is to write a 6 paragraph screed about them.”

    Yep! As I said, all three of them have this creepy obsession. The tone of that response was really telling. And you are right about the thesaurus.

    But he would say it wasn’t a screed, he was actually just rhetoricing at us! Aristotle!

  24. ITYM I think the *REALITY* has a much different view on Beale’s expulsion than he does.

  25. @VD “I didn’t offer a debate, someone unconnected to either of us did. I accepted, Scalzi ran away.”

    Ah, so this is then another example of you telling li… Sorry, telling a rhetoric? You seem to forget that just a couple of days ago someone posted a link to that argument you had with Scalzi years ago on (I think) PNH’s site. Or perhaps you don’t consider it a debate because you lost so clearly?

    But take heart, it wasn’t as embarrassing as… What, last week? When you tried to debate with @Popehat and were beaten like a rented mule.
    That one was especially funny, as they are all a bunch of right wing libertarians and you can’t use your usual SJW accusation on them.

  26. Maximillian,

    I don’t suppose you have a link to that do you? I’d like to see that.

  27. @JJ “Oh, great. Now you’ve got me mentally shipping Khan and VD in slash fiction.

    Thanks EVAR so much for that. I’ll be billing you for the Brain Bleach.”

    Good heavens. I appear to be immune to that image. Phew!

  28. @Nigel – Oh, no doubt. I have seen people complain in good faith about Redshirts winning. It’s not my favorite book either, so I can see their point- but it isn’t as bad as VD pretends.

    In fact, in a lot of ways, it is without political message and and just about the spaceship and blasters, just like Brad says they want.

  29. ‘But he would say it wasn’t a screed, he was actually just rhetoricing at us! Aristotle!’

    Careful, now, or you’ll end up getting a right good rhetorickalling.

  30. ‘but it isn’t as bad as VD pretends.’

    More than that, TB’s descriptions of it in particular are so overblown as to make them look utterly silly, and the book look better by comparison to people like me who thought it was decent enough, even surprisingly ambitious in its way, but not one for the ages. Likewise his description of Scalzi the man. If you use rhetoric as a crutch, better not extend it too far or you end up looking ridiculous and going in circles.

  31. So why don’t we talk about the books we like and why?

    I’m reading “Three Body Problem” and I’m finding it distant but intriguing. I’ve read Chinese works in translation before, so the writing isn’t a total shock, but it is different from the casually idiomatic English I am more comfortable with.

    I confess I was surprised at the details, fictionalized as they were, of the Cultural Revolution which came out. I did not realize the current Chinese government was okay with talking about them.

    The current main protagonist (about halfway through) is almost a complete nonentity. About all we know about him is his job, his hobby, and that he is rude to his wife and child, also ciphers, when upset. I still don’t know why he is doing what he is doing. But there are interesting pieces of Chinese history and philosophy woven in and a mystery. I have hope for the resolution.

  32. This is amazing!

    ” So, you block people all the time. And you’re trying to portray me, who blocks no one, as anti-free speech. You have no integrity.”

    It’s interesting to see that Beale thinks that preventing people from talking to you is “anti-Free Speech”

  33. The whole idea of “John Scalzi, enormously popular SF writer” is a fraud that he and PNH have perpetrated in order to turn him from a midlist writer into a bestseller. But it hasn’t worked.

    You might think that Scalzi’s place on the best-seller lists is, in and of itself, proof of Scalzi’s popularity, but a keen Aristotelian mind such as VD’s can perceive otherwise. Tens of thousands of people chose to drop their hard-earned cash on Scalzi’s books because PNH made Scalzi fake-popular. VD couldn’t sell a single copy of his book to anyone in the entire state of Minnesota, but that’s OK, because VD is true-popular, as measured by how many people will pay nothing more than a few seconds of attention to click through to his Web site.

    It’s a good thing that VD is on a higher mental plane than us “rhetoricals”, who are incapable of logical thought and can only be moved by base emotions, such as envy.

  34. Peace, I just finished reading The Red: First Light by Linda Nagata, which is an interesting near future Mil SF. I thought she deftly showed the cohesion of a small military unit, and was intrigued by the premise of a “rogue marketing program” that is nudging humanity towards… something. I’m very much interested to see where the series leads.

    I seem to be on a bit of Mil SF kick at the moment, as before that I read Lines of Engagement and Angles of Attack by Kloos, and all three books in Sandra McDonald’s Outback Stars series. Devoured those all over the course of a week. As I’ve said before I really liked the boring, running a division stuff in The Outback Stars. I enjoyed Lines of Engagement, but thought that Angles of Attack was the best thing Kloos has written yet. There were a couple of emotional punches in AoA that his me square in the gut.

    I just started Revision by Andrea Phillips. I’m only 7% in so far and it hasn’t really grabbed me, but the premise is interesting so we’ll see where it goes.

  35. @Alex – I can’t find the link to the blog debate/argument, someone else posted it a few days back. Perhaps that kind person would repost?

    It went to a discussion from around 2006 or 2007 and ironically, Scalzi started off trying to calm people down and was asking them not to bad mouth VD. Then VD showed up in the thread and everything went to hell. 🙂

    The tweets… Apparently there was more than one. They are hilarious.
    They start from 4/25/15 8:25PM and there are a couple of threads extending through the next day. The ‘unbalanced rage’ and VD’s repeated jumping up and down yelling ‘Do you admit you have no integrity?’ Are the real money shots.
    Search @PopeHat and @VoxDay and it will come up. Hilarious.

  36. @Peace – I read the e-sample of 3BP, will be getting it once I finish Ancillary Sword. I really liked the beginning, but frustratingly the footnote links didn’t work in the sample.

    Like you, I was amazed that the party allows people to talk about the Cultural Revolution in that tone… Or at all. Maybe there is hope!

  37. @alex
    “This is amazing!

    ” So, you block people all the time. And you’re trying to portray me, who blocks no one, as anti-free speech. You have no integrity.””

    Yep! You have to listen to him or you are against free speech! Aristotle!

    Wait until you get to the next day, with Popehat riffing off of Khan – “Vox, I’m laughing at the superior intellect.” Gold. Especially because I don’t think VD caught the reference.

  38. “So why don’t we talk about the books we like and why?”

    I’ve been re-reading Neil Gaiman, starting with American Gods. It’s also been almost 20 years to the day since Garth Nix’s book “Sabriel” was released (which holds a pretty special place in my heart, being one of the earlier fantasy books I read), so I’m returning to the Old Kingdom series too. Another author I’m particularly fond of is Robin Hobb – her two best-known characters, Fitz and the Fool, are incredibly fascinating.

  39. “Yep! You have to listen to him or you are against free speech! Aristotle!”

    It truly amazes me when people don’t realise that blocking someone on Twitter is basically the equivalent of the blocker wearing earplugs, rather than the blocked person being forced to wear a gag!

  40. @alex- I’m keeping those milSF recommendations by the way, I’m running low.

    @peace – oh, thought of another book I loved that didn’t get a nom, but was worthy: Sunshine, by Robin McKinley, 2003. Am I the only person who ever read that? Urban fantasy, but just beautiful characterization and world building with amazing craftsmanship for the writing.

  41. ‘I’ve been re-reading Neil Gaiman, starting with American Gods.’

    There was an anniversary edition that came out a year or two ago that restored a few thousand words that had been previously cut, (and also included The Monarch Of The Glen, which is ace) and while it was a long time since I read it, so I can’t be sure if it was the extra words or time, I thought the book was a lot better for it.

  42. I liked American Gods. It seemed to me an exploration of themes and entities Gaiman had dealt with previously in “The Sandman”, which lent a peculiar resonance to some of the imagery.

    The first *novel* of Gaiman’s I ever read was “Good Omens,” which I picked up because I liked his comics. That’s the novel that convinced me to give Terry Pratchett another go (his first two Discworld books were so disappointing after the hype).

  43. I think the SFWA has a much different view on Beale’s expulsion than he does.

    No, they don’t. They never announced my expulsion from the organization. Read the press release. Then read the relevant Massachusetts bylaws. There is no way they could have expelled me in 2013 without a vote of the entire membership, which did not take place.

    “http://whatever.scalzi.com/2008/04/08/the-big-idea-vox-day/”

    Yes, that was before I criticized his “Easiest Difficulty Setting” post in 2010 and the mask came off. That simply proves that I was willing to let all the 2005 bullshit go, thereby demonstrating the falsehood of some of the claims about my motivations.

    Why do you think I have such contempt for the fraud now? Why do you think I tell you that he is two-faced? I’m hardly the only one in SF who has seen both the smiling “hey, we’re best pals now” face and the vicious little attack-weasel face.

  44. Beale:

    I don’t think you have any rational reasons for anything you do, so you can’t expect an answer when you ask why we think you do what you do. The closest I can get is “because you’re kind of a loony”.

  45. It certainly looks like “we” in VD’s rant is supposed to refer to Correia and Torgersen, but does he really speak for them? I mean, Torgersen implied VD was a “weed”. . .

    For some reason, that “we” got me started hearing Gollum’s voice in my head.

    Precioussss rocketses, we wants them! No, wait, we doesn’t! We doesn’t care about shiny rockets at all! We wants culture war victory! Tricksy Scalzis, mediocre facile stunt writers! We despises them! Nasty PNH! They tried to expel us, but we are still right here, gollum! We will show them all! If we doesn’t get rocketses that we don’t want, no one will ever get one again!

    Perhaps it’s Sméagol Beale that wants the rockets, and Gollum Day that wants to strangle the SJWs, and the Worldcon, and everyone and everything associated with them.

  46. MickyFlynn – ‘Matt: I thoroughly enjoyed the first otherland book, couldn’t make it through the series. I lost faith that he was going to bring it home. Or ever finish. I do love his stuff, but think he needs a tighter and stricter editor (YMMV)’

    Part of the reason I love that series so much is because he was juggling about 30 plot threads but wove them together masterfully in the last book. I’ve no idea how he kept them all straight, if he had a room with a million strings stretch across it or a board with a million post it notes or what, but it managed to resolve everything. It’s one of the reasons I love it so much.

    Of course YMMV in that it requires actually being invested in 30 plot threads that are allowed to meander for chapters. Like pretty much any book it’s not for everyone, I love the series and think the final is a perfect example of how to provide closure to a complex narrative.

  47. Hypothesis: VD was willing to suck up to Scalzi back when he thought it would do him some good (the whole point of the “Big Idea” series is to give authors an opportunity to promote their work to Scalzi’s meager audience) and then turned on Scalzi when that relationship wasn’t giving VD enough ego-strokes.

  48. Alexvdl

    You are absolutely correct. I don’t know why I wrote Gannon instead of Anderson.

    There are a lot of nits to pick with this particular list that I compiled, just in the way that I put it together. I was trying to keep it within a recent timeframe, keep it to novels, eliminate collaborations ( because I’m not sure is collaborations are nominatable for Hugos), and to avoid novels in the middle of, or at the end of, a series. I found it impossible to juggle all of those balls at once and hit as many authors popular with the SPs as possible.

    Other than the two Wright novels I really don’t know if any fans of the listed writers would think the novels I chose are among those authors best — or even if they are particulary good novelists or are better know for their shorter fiction. Also a lot of these writers bumped up against each other in any given year so I was making a lot of judgment calls such as trying to keep fantasy novels to a minimum, find one of the few novel non-collaborations for an author in the selected time period, etc.

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