I Am Not a Puppy, I Am a Free Man 5/15

aka “My name is Canis Dolorosa. You ganked my rocket. Prepare to die.”

Today’s heavily self-referential roundup trots out John Scalzi, Chuck Wendig, C. Robert Cargill, Michael Rapoport, Vox Day, Cephus, Nicholas Whyte, L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright, Vann R. Newkirk II, Lis Carey, Spacefaring Kitten, Alexandra Erin, William Reichard, Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little , Happyturtle, ULTRAGOTHA, jayn, Sarah, J.C. Salomon, Steve and Jim Henley. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Paul Weimer and Alexandra Erin.)

 

 

Michael Rapoport in the Wall Street Journal

“The Culture Wars Invade Science Fiction” – May 15

Mr. Scalzi likens the Puppies’ campaigns to the backlash that women and minorities have faced in other geek-culture arenas—notably “Gamergate,” the videogamers’ campaign widely associated with threats against feminist videogame critics.

But Larry Correia, another Sad Puppies organizer, doesn’t see the Puppies’ campaign as a backlash against diversity. “That’s a narrative they came up with to try to discredit us,” he says. He and Mr. Torgersen have distanced themselves from Mr. Beale’s extreme views, but the Rabids are “still fans, they’re still people, their votes still count.”

 

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“the most despised man in science fiction” – May 15

Despised, feared, it’s pretty much all the same, isn’t it? The Wall Street Journal takes note of the Hugo Awards, with an article entitled “The Culture Wars Invade Science Fiction Online campaigners are pushing to give SF’s annual Hugo Awards to popular space yarns, not more literary fiction or tales of diversity”. It’s not entirely negative despite the reporter feeling the need to get the opinion of two writers, John Scalzi and George Martin, who don’t know a damn thing about what the Puppies are doing. But regardless, the main thing is that the reporter correctly grasped that this is a new front in the cultural war and not a self-serving attempt to pick up meaningless trophies.

 

Difster VFM #109 in a comment on Vox Popoli  – May 15

They WSJ (anagram for SJW I might note) was not entirely negative.

 

Cephus on Bitchspot

“The SJWs Lose at the Hugo Awards” – May 15

It is time that people rise up against this kind of absurd liberal oppression, where it’s political correctness that means more than actual merit.  The Hugo Awards were not designed to award people for their social consciousness, but for their work in the field of writing science fiction and fantasy.  It doesn’t matter what you think, it matters what you write.  The same is true of television and movies, where it shouldn’t make a difference what a director or an actor or a producer thinks, only the end-product of their labors.  Unfortunately, these liberal idiots get butt-hurt because someone doesn’t follow the social justice collective and they must set out to call them names, harm their careers and deny them their due for what they’ve actually done with their lives.  Is it any wonder there’s such a backlash against liberal stupidity these days?  Here’s hoping it keeps up and picks up in the future.

 

Nicholas Whyte on From The Heart of Europe

“My vote for Best Novel” – May 15

Matt Foster has made a good argument in favour of not only voting No Award above all slate nominees, but also voting No Award top in all categories where there are only one or two non-slate contenders, on the basis that the slate organisers have denied us a proper choice in those categories too. I find myself sympathetic to this line of thought. I was already planning to put No Award top in Best Novelette (because I was not impressed by the one non-slate finalist) and Best Fan Writer (because the one non-slate finalist has been nominated for a single piece of work rather than for a body of work over the last year), though in both cases I will rank the non-slate finalist second to minimise the chance of a slate win.

I had been going to vote for Julie Dillon as the one non-slate finalist in Best Professional Artist, but I shall consider Matt Foster’s’s arguments carefully; if the choice is Julie Dillon or nobody, is that really a choice? I like her work in general, but I don’t actually like the category anyway (which is a different argument for a different time), and this year’s ballot is deeply flawed due to the intervention of the slatemongers. Again, she will get at least a second preference from me, to reduce the chance of a slate nominee winning.

Anyway, for Best Novel these arguments no longer apply, since the honourable withdrawal of one of the (unwitting) slate nominees has given us three excellent books to choose from, each of which would be an acceptable winner in a normal year. Ranking them is difficult, but it’s got to be done. My vote is as follows.

 

L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright on Superversive SF

“Hugo Nominee Interview: Mike Williamson” – May 13

1) All the Sad Puppies selections came from a list of stories that fans felt were their favorites from 2014. What about your story do you think brought it to the attention of whomever suggested it?

Obviously, they, like me, hate humanity and want children to die. I would like to thank Brad for seeing through the haze and realizing I’m a scorching liberal right wing gay-agenda-endorsing homophobe and terrible parent who’s teaching his mixed race children to be white supremacists.  And with the assistance of Gamergate, the Illuminati and Elvis, I might actually win to spread our Gospel.

 

Vann R. Newkirk II on Gawker Review of Books

“The City Is a Crossroads: Daniel José Older on Protest Art and Urban Lit” – May 15

Do you consider decisions like that in your work to be political, whatever that entails?

I do. Well, I consider all books to be political. I think if you ask authors on any side of the spectrum whether they meant to write a political book or not, most would tell you that they just went into it to write a book and a great story and didn’t intentionally include politics, but I would like to call bullshit on that. We are always including our politics. You can actually not do that, and we do ourselves an injustice when we pretend to not be conscious of it. I’m very strategic in how I choose to bring politics into my writing and I can’t think of any other writing advice that tells you to not be conscious or strategic about stuff. There’s this idea that if you don’t think about politics, it’ll just seep through. And for some people that’s true.

To bring it around to the Hugos, you’ll see this conversation pop up in the sense of the Sad Puppies folks lamenting that suddenly science-fiction and fantasy have become political, as if Tolkien wasn’t thoroughly writing a political book about the supremacy of western culture. There’s nothing more political than that; it’s just so normalized that people read it as, ‘Oh it’s just another fantasy story.’ You have a message; it’s just a message that’s normalized. People act like only folks coming from the left have a message to give, and that’s bullshit. These are very political books, and they always have been. Fantasy and sci-fi have always been a political project. Look at Lovecraft….

So, more about the Hugos and the Sad Puppies stuff. Do you think the back and forth represents something of the larger cultural conflicts going on?

Yes. Definitely. First of all, it represents people who are again so normalized to the idea of their comfort being provided for that they freak out entirely the second that it’s slightly off-kilter. Because sci-fi and fantasy have always been a very white, very straight, very heteronormative, male political project. A very colonial project. In the past couple years, their big complaint is that suddenly people that aren’t them are winning awards, winning Hugos and that is cause for them to, you know, create this great big stir and takeover.

When we’re in a time when we have to proclaim in the streets that Black Lives Matter, literature is one of the first places where we learn what matters and whose life matters and whose doesn’t. And literature has been saying for centuries that black lives don’t matter. By not publishing black authors, by not publishing books about black people, that’s become the message by default. Whiteness being the default has been the message. So, the fact that we now have to fight to just get a fair Hugo ballot because a few people have hurt feelings and want to grasp at relevancy after decades of this really destructive form of erasure from fantasy and sci-fi absolutely speaks to the movement in the streets today, to what’s going on with the police, to what’s going on in politics. Literature is always a reflection of society and society is always a reflection of literature, and when publishing is as white as it is, we have to look at those numbers and understand that they are connected. They are 100 percent connected. There’s no way to disconnect them. But people always want to act surprised.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale, by Rajnar Vajra” – May 15

There’s a story here, and it’s decently written. Unfortunately, it’s also a bit cliched, and in some ways strains my suspension of disbelief in ways that are not good.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium, by Gray Rinehart” – May 15

This is a competently, professionally done story, and a good read. I recommend it on that basis. However, it’s no more than competent and professional, and a Hugo winner needs to be more than just competent and professional.

 

Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“’Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium’ by Gray Rinehart” – May 15

The plotting would have needed some more work, even if the story is decently written. There’s just too much talking heads to keep me intrested. Now the whole story was about the dying guy’s friend finding out what it was all about, but the really interesting part would have been what happens next and what further complications there will be. It’s frustrating when a story fails to focus on the most interesting aspects of its proposition.

 

Adult Onset Atheist

“SNARL: The Parliament of Beasts and Birds” – May 14

I picked up this book expecting SF/F, and I was disappointed. Imagine someone going to the store and buying a box of “Best NUTTY NUGGETS Ever” because they love “NUTTY NUGGETS”, only to find that they were so awful they might not even be “NUTTY NUGGETS”, and were quite inedible. Then imagine them going back to the store and buying another box of “Best NUTTY NUGGETS Ever” only to find out that they were similarly not even edible “NUTTY NUGGETS”. I’m sure they would be Sad, and maybe even Mad; some people might do things that were Bad. “SAD, MAD, BAD” sounds like a children’s book, and so does this story. It has talking animals that start to walk upright because … God.

 

Adult Onset Atheist

“SNARL: On a Spiritual Plain” – May 14

Dead people on the planet Ymilas get trapped as ghosts, when they get tired of that they travel to giant Stonehenge at the pole to “move on”. It is a weak premise executed poorly.

 

Doctor Science on Obsidian Wings

“The Demolished Puppy” – May 15

The setting: An Account of Juliette Wade’s Withdrawal from Sad Puppies 3, at File770….

The surreality was seeing Torgersen re-write someone’s motives to their face, while people were watching. It’s always difficult to get a real sense of social atmosphere over the internet, but it seemed to me that I was watching Torgersen’s reputation sink before my eyes, in real time. It certainly happened for me….

In case it’s not clear to you why I was appalled: Torgersen talked at length and repeatedly about how Wade was motivated by fear, and never seems to have noticed that (a) she never said nor implied that was true, and (b) she was really pissed that he attributed made-up motivations to her.

And the rest of us just stood there (digitally), watching while Torgersen kept trying to re-write a history we could read by scrolling up.

Alfred Bester‘s The Demolished Man won the first Hugo Award for best Novel, in 1953. The Demolished Man is about a murder, but it’s not a mystery: we know from the start (because he’s a POV character) that Ben Reich killed his business rival Craye D’Courtney, after Reich proposed a merger and D’Courtney turned him down. But [SPOILERS] the detective on the case is baffled, because Reich seems to have no motive: D’Courtney sent Reich a message accepting his offer.

In the end, we find out that Reich mis-heard the message, because he was already determined to kill D’Courtney — who, it turned out, was his biological father.

Bester makes the whole reveal pretty Freudian, which didn’t impress me when I read the book in the 1970s and is rather quaint now. But watching Torgersen editing his perceptions in real time, the plot of The Demolished Man starts to seem much less contrived, much more psychologically realistic.

 

Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Sad Puppies Review Books: MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS” – May 15

make-way-for-ducklings-229x300

Reviewed by John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired)

If you want evidence of the deep rot that has infested the once-great Caldecott Medal, look no further than this book, which is a putrid example of ham-handed message fiction given an award by Feminazi SJWs basically as a participation prize for having a “strong female protagonist who doesn’t need a man”….

Why doesn’t she just open a Patreon account while she’s at it? She could tell the sob story about how she was almost hit by a bicycle and the victim bucks would come pouring in, let me tell you. They all have Patreons for some reason even though they produce nothing of value to anyone. It’s nothing but welfare for hipsters. It should be illegal…..

Did you know that only fifteen people in all the world choose the winner of the Caldecott every year? How are the opinions of fifteen people supposed to determine “most distinguished American picture book for children”, I ask you?

 

Will in a comment on File 770 – May 15

I stopped commenting at File770 and all I got was this stupid T-shirt

 

Happyturtle in a comment on File 770 – May 15

For Puppies Sad did Torgersen
A stately rocket ship decree:
While mouths of many loudly ran
Through websites measureless to man
As long as wifi’s free.

Had we but slates enough and time,
This Hugo, Puppy, were no crime.
We would sit and discuss which tales
We love and which we think are fails.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two ballots diverged at a con – Sasquan! –
I chose the one less voted on,
And that has made all the difference.

 

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little in a comment on iFile 770 – May 15

I’m a Puppy! Who are you?
Are you all — Puppies — too?
Then there’s a bloc of us!
Don’t tell! they’d banish us — you know!
How sad — to be — an Ess Jay Dub!
How PC — like a CHORF —
They bully us — the live-long Spring —
WOOF WOOF — ARF-ARF-ARF!

…ok, it kind of fell apart there at the end.

 

ULTRAGOTHA in a comment on File 770 – May 15

This is Just to Say
We have nominated
The stories
That were on
The ballot
And which
You were probably
Hoping
For better stories
Forgive us
Revenge is delicious
So sweet
And so cold

 

jayn in a comment on File 770 – May 15

For each Pup kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a crummy book,
Some with a whiny word…

 

Sarah in a comment on File 770 – May 15

Now my pups are all o’erthrown,
And what sads I have’s mine own,
Which is most faint: now, ’tis true,
I must receive awards from you,
Or sent to Spokane. Let me not,
Since I have my Hugo got,
And pardon’d the SJWs, dwell
In this bare website by your spell;
But release me from Amazons,
With the help of your book bombs.
Gentle praise in your emails,
Must fill, or else my project fails.

 

Alexandra Erin in a comment on File 770 – May 15

I am the very model of a modern Canine-Miserable.
I’ve indignations slight, imagined, and quite risible.
I know the Nielsen Haydens, and I quote their slates historical
from novellete to best short form on ballots categorical;
I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters dialectical,
and syllogisms, both implied and also quite elliptical,
About rhetorical speaking I’m teeming with a lot of news
with many outraged squeals about the lies of SJWs.
I’m very good at inference and attributing animus,
I know the things I know are true without any analysis.
In short, in outrage slight, imagined, and quite risible,
I am the very model of a modern Canine-Miserable.

 

J. C. Salomon in a comment on File 770 – May 14

With the Hugo coverage on File 770 going meta like this—half the links are to comments made on this blog—is it fair to say there’s a puppy chasing its tail here? ?

 

Steve in a comment on Vox Popoli – May 15

[Speculating about who will accept Vox Day’s Hugo at Sasquan.]

Because I like the idea that, as soon as your name is mentioned by a grimacing David Gerrold, a fell cry rends the air and freezes the blood of every CHORF present…

The ceiling groans as if in hideous pain, then there is a hellish crash as concrete and tile yield to an enormous creature. The minion lands in the middle of the convention, its iron boots striking the floor with a terrifying thud, then flexes its vast, midnight-black leathery wings to shake off the dust.

It points an armoured finger at Gerrold, a thin wisp of sulphurous smoke curling from its clawed tip.

“The Lord of Fear sends his regards. I am his emissary. Give me the trinket.”

Gerrold cringes and hides behind Due as the minion ascends to the podium.

“My Dark Lord authorises me to bid you thanks for this trifling bauble, and to assure most of you that he wishes you no specific harm. As a token of his noblesse oblige he advises those of you who are afraid of giant sentient scorpions to avoid the Losers Party this evening. You may find it… distressing. That is all.”

Clutching his trophy, the minion runs at the windows and leaps through the glass, its wings pounding the air as it departs in malevolent triumph.

David Gerrold attempts to compose himself.

“And… umm… the n-next award goes to…. OH… FFFUUUUUUUU….”

“What’s wrong?”, cries Due.

“I-it’s T-tom K-kratman…” sobs Gerrold, just as the gun turret of a Tiger tank erupts through the back wall…

 

Jim Henley in a comment on File 770 – May 15

If you were a dinosaur, my love, you would be a time-traveling dinosaur, who retroactively justified Sad Puppies 1 and 2, launched before your nomination was known. Your scales would shimmer with tachyons.

If you were a dinosaur, my love, you would be all puppies could talk about, because dinosaurs are freaking cool, and big and scary, and puppies are small and easily frightened.

If you were a dinosaur, my love, you would be free on the internet, and short enough to read quickly, with an easily digested precis, so that all your critics could get through you or at least take the word of someone who had without being obviously wrong on the facts. So you would be an easy example of What Has Gone Wrong With All Reptiles even though you were but a single dinosaur. You would be the dinosaur that stops all conversations before they start.

If you were a dinosaur, my love, you would be a magic dinosaur that irradiates a field that makes some people reeeeeeaaaaaaalllllyyyyyy lazy. “What about all the other dinosaurs?” others would say. But the people in the field would respond, “Hey, man. Why do you keep nagging me?”

 

433 thoughts on “I Am Not a Puppy, I Am a Free Man 5/15

  1. nickpheas on May 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm said:
    “XS on May 16, 2015 at 12:37 pm said:
    Peace:”Cripes. Are you saying Requires Hate and her cronies attacked Pat Cadigan?!?

    So … she and they had no shame and no sense of decency whatsoever?””

    I can see how the Cardigan event could have been read in different ways. As far as I understand it:

    1. Gamergater started dropping hints that RH aka BS was someone worth looking at.
    2. PC referred Gamergater to LM’s piece on why BS is the worst person in the world.

    What I saw did not make it terribly clear if PC’s motivation was “dude, this is an old story, other people are on it already, just let it lie” or “Well, if you’re thinking that this person might be a fun target then look at this, it’ll help you reach a conclusion.”

    And perhaps she lept to the conclusion that it was the latter not the former. I can understand why.

    Knowing Pat Cadigan, I would strongly, strongly have presumed it was the first and never in a million years the second.

  2. May Tree on May 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm said:
    On the subject of Octavia Butler covers, check this out:

    http://bfar.us/eBay/2009/DawnHCFC.jpg

    That was the cover on the edition of Dawn that I bought. I was a teenager. That lily-white brunette on the cover? That’s Lilith Iyapo. It wasn’t until I had to look up what “Yoruba” meant that I realized Lilith was black.

    O.o

    Egads.

  3. Delurking – Yeah, that goes back to my comment earlier about most of what I read being older than I am. I’ve sampled a variety of stuff written by women in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, and I try to keep up with major hits… Harry Potter (ofc) and Hunger Games (meh) made the list, can’t think of anything else by women recently. Given that a lot of it is just paranormal romance (not at all my cup of tea), there aren’t actually that many options.

    And non-white authors? uhhhh… nothing in modern fiction that I recall. A few famous translated works, but even most of those were various flavors of European. I intend to give Ahmed’s “Throne of the Crescent Moon” a shot one of these days. And considering all of the positive things I’ve heard about 3BP, very excited for it.

    As for the stories you linked – again, paranormal romance is REALLY not my thing, which ruled out the first. The second didn’t appeal to me. The third caught my attention and made me laugh, but I’ll have to finish it later.

    And, frankly, I find getting caught up in checkboxing to be, well, boring. If the work is something I enjoy, it’s something I enjoy. If it’s not, it’s not. That’s about the limit of my reasons for reading books by any author.

  4. Nickpheas

    No; I can’t understand how any reasonable person would construe Pat Cadigan’s remark in that way.

    I can understand how someone who has shown herself to be completely unscrupulous in manipulating those around her would try and find another target to spew her hate on; it is, after all, par for her course. She seems to enjoy it; she’s certainly been doing it for so many years that it’s exceedingly unlikely that she will grow out of it.

    Short form: liars gonna lie, haters gonna hate.

  5. “Max, dude, The Goblin Emperor had 70K characters.”

    Granted, only 159 of them are named. Still, that’s enough that you should be surprised if at least one of them *wasn’t* gay.

  6. @S1AL:

    Kameron Hurley is a pretty exciting new woman author. Her “God’s War” is brual militaristic SF set on a planet where all the young men are sent off to war where most of them apparently die, so almost all of the characters, from scheming politicians to brutal mercenaries to insect-using sorcerers to criminals to the cops are women.

    It’s a harsh look at what war does to a society, and it’s really, jaw-droppingly good.

  7. I love Clancy’s earlier works — for a starting point, go with “Patriot Games” rather than “The Hunt for Red October,” IMHO. I enjoyed the books up through Rainbow Six and Bear and Dragon — then I found out Clancy had one of my favorite characters assassinated, and dropped the books cold at that point.

  8. “And non-white authors? uhhhh… nothing in modern fiction that I recall. ”

    My father used to believe he hadn’t read any great fiction by a black person. Then someone informed him that the dumpy middle-aged Jewish guy named Samuel R. Delany was black.

  9. Max – Read the article at OneLazyRobot, would suggest a number of different reasons for inclusion of more gay side characters in general.

    When creating characters writers seek to differentiate them within the text, names, attitudes, etc. Some take the cheap route and think that scars or aesthetic marks are a substitute for creating individual characters. Most those have characters that have overcome some kind of personal conflict in the past. You see these characters with bad childhoods, military pasts, etc and so on. While the main protagonist is going through a conflict of their own these characters can draw on their experiences for assistance. Struggle with sexual identity as a narrative device for character development.

    Many of the books, like City of Stairs and The Goblin Emperor deal with world building on a large scale. So it addresses sexual preference, but also religion from different angles, class, gender, politics, and everything else because it realizes that it exists and is treated like another building block.

    In many other aspects with speculative fiction it would be stranger if it wasn’t mentioned in some cases. Just like multiple races, religions, hair colors, eye colors, and all the other potential variations, it’s not an aberration that it’s mentioned and in nearly all of the books it’s not any more significant a description for a character than an minor trait.

  10. I love Clancy’s earlier works — for a starting point, go with “Patriot Games” rather than “The Hunt for Red October,” IMHO.

    I’ve read half a dozen of his, and kept only two: ‘Red October’ and ‘Red Storm Rising’.

  11. Mad Mike is a centrist libertarian, and Larry is a conservative-leaning libertarian (far more the latter than the former).

    It is always adorable to see conservatives try to claim they are actually libertarians.

  12. For some Gamer gate is about ethics. For many is to push back against Anita Sarkessian complaint about tropes. Though she showed them very well. At least thatis what I figured. Not being in the group this is what I see from the outside.

    Games do cost a lot. Story is very important. However the complaint I have is bad story and dumbing the difficulty. down. That may be to entice of less skilled gamer into buying and playing. But it tics off the experienced gamer.

  13. S1AL: “The vast majority of works in which I generally take an interest (science fiction, fantasy, philosophy, political theory – preferably general) are written by people who are more-or-less white, and often male.”

    Addison, Bujold, Clarke, Leckie, Walton and Willis are not writing fantasy and science fiction that might interest you? Are you sure?

  14. RAH: Actually, as the costs of games go up, if you want the game/story to be completed by the widest possible audience, the difficult pretty much _has_ to come down.

    And there will be stratification there as well. Bloodbourne/Dark Souls being the obvious “We’re not simplifying the game” example.

    And there’s a sizable contingent of the GG crowd that will tell you stories in games don’t matter at all. The “just let me shoot stuff and not THINK about it” crowd. I imagine the cross-over between them and “people who read SFF” is pretty small, though.

  15. Mike:

    Which Hugo categories were you counting when you counted conservative Hugo winners?

  16. Story is very important. However the complaint I have is bad story and dumbing the difficulty. down.

    Regardless of GG and the concern about ‘ethics in video game journalism’ (yet somehow they seem irrationally focused on a few women who aren’t in fact journalists), I’d agree with you that narratives in video games are for the most part poor. Dumbing the difficulty down is an old, bad complaint though. Games originally tried to get you to spend as many quarters as possible. It wasn’t about crafting an experience, it was about milking the consumer (and hey, they still get you with DLC and other ways still). Then game length was restricted by memory. Games now aren’t less difficult, they’re different, longer, and with the ability to save/checkpoint more but are also several times longer and more complicated. When nowdays a significant portion of people playing Super Meat Boy can’t finish the game, those complaining are just trying to say it was better in their day. I was there, it wasn’t.

  17. Regarding “a conservative version of the Daily Show” I found a few episodes of “The Flipside” on youtube and tried to watch them. I can see why it failed, and I don’t think that’s due to the nature of the politics behind the (and I’ll use the word loosely here) jokes.

  18. alexvdl on May 16, 2015 at 6:13 pm said:
    Teddy actually thinks that he’s going to get a Hugo this year.

    Does he? I thought the quote was from some follower of his blog.

    Mind you, I would think it a risky thing to speculate about in public, no matter how certain one might think the results.

  19. RAH

    I can understand your disappointment, but it all boils down to the market; companies want to generate as much profit as possible, and extending the size of the market is the obvious way to go. No commercial entity is going to stick to rules which constrain them to doing what their original customers wanted; pitching it so that 50% of potential customers are excluded doesn’t go down well with the suits.

    They may lose some of their original customers who are unhappy with changes but that is always going to be insignificant in terms of the new customers who can be gained.

    After all, very few gamers are going to be ticked off to the extent where they give up gaming altogether and take up playing croquet instead…

  20. Peace, his recent post at his blog talks about getting a porn star “dressed like an Indian” to accept the Hugo.

  21. If you haven’t read The Hunt for Red October, do. Really. Patriot Games, on the other hand, I found to be weak, compared to Red October, the Jack Ryan novels that followed the n the next few years, or Red Storm Rising.

    A Woman of the Iron People by Eleanor Arnason is also a treasure you should go read, if you haven’t.

  22. “For some Gamer gate is about ethics. For many is to push back against Anita Sarkessian complaint about tropes.”

    Absolute horsecrap. Gamergate was founded for the purpose of gathering an Internet-based mob to harass a young woman into committing suicide because they didn’t like a free game she made and they didn’t approve of her sex life, which her scumbag of an ex-boyfriend helpfully provided them details about because he knew they wanted a weapon to attack her with. When the Chan trolls who came up with the idea saw how easy it was to get insecure, frustrated, socially inept young male gamers on board with their “ethics” garbage, they spread it out to cover anyone in the game industry they didn’t like, mostly women. The whole thing was utterly vile from the start and it hasn’t improved with age. (Citation: Heron, Michael James; Belford, Pauline; Goker, Ayse (2014). “Sexism in the circuitry”. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society (Association for Computing Machinery) 44 (4): 18–29. doi:10.1145/2695577.2695582. ISSN 0095-2737 for any fortunate soul who hasn’t seen this stuff yet, and who actively wants to lose a little more faith in humanity.)

    They were so successful at being hateful that naturally Larry Correia thought of them when he wanted to ruin something else nerds love. This same group tried to start “MetalGate” — and failed — and “ComicGate” — mostly failed, though you can still find them ranting about the female Thor, who they helpfully refer to as “Whor”, and the Muslim Ms. Marvel.

    “However the complaint I have is bad story and dumbing the difficulty down. That may be to entice of less skilled gamer into buying and playing. But it tics off the experienced gamer.”

    So what? The “experienced gamer” market is thoroughly saturated. The casual gamer is where the money is now, so that’s where the market will go in search of greater revenue. It’s called “free market capitalism” and if you don’t like it, you need to take that up with Adam Smith.

  23. It seems to me that it would be quite difficult to come up with a complete count of the number of conservatives winning Hugos in any given year, because a lot of the winners are fairly quiet about their 21st c. politics.

    And conservatives may not be the most useful metric in any case, because the puppies are mostly complaining that their tribe is being oppressed by the othernest pismires. And some of their tribe would prefer to describe themselves as libertarians, who overlap more with Republicans than Democrats in the U.S.

    And that raises the issue that the political spectrum varies worldwide: that an author who’s a moderate leftist in Europe is a crazed socialist to the puppies.

  24. In honor of S1AL, as filk is their kryptonite.
    (Please forgive any slander on the presenter of the campbell at the Reno worldcon, and any abuse I’ve done to AB Patterson’s work.)

    It was the pup from MHN who struck Reno Worldcon,
    He wandered over klatsch and room, he wandered up and down,
    He loitered here, he sweltered there, where ever he could plod
    Until at last in sheer despair, he sought the hugo nod.
    “Put that tiara on me head, I’ll lord it with the Fen,
    I’ll take it home and show it off, to them at MHN”

    The presenter was small and flash, as speakers mostly are,
    He wore a strike-your-fancy sash, he smoked a huge cigar:
    He was a humorist of note and keen at repartee,
    He laid the odds and kept a `tote’, whatever that may be,
    And when he saw our friend arrive, he whispered `Thats him then!
    Another welcome nominee, this one’s from MHN.’

    And then around the campbell rolled, twas time to end the doubt,
    They had the sheet with names ‘pon it, they brought the trophy out,
    But no! the prize was not for him, the vote had gone astray,
    the Trophy was for Lev Grossman, pulp-monsters lost the day.
    The loss curdled inside of him, and to his blog he ran,
    And `Bias! Bloody Bias!’ yelled the man from MHN.

  25. Aaron – It’s not my fault if you don’t understand that there’s more than one axis of politics. I also don’t remember saying anything about my politics.

    Will McLean – I said “majority,” not “all.” Again, I’m still going through works from several decades, even centuries, ago… The vast majority of which is by white men. That’s a simple, objective truth.

    May Tree – Yeesh. Your understanding of the situation is hilariously wide of the mark.

  26. Max Florschutz: “I stumbled across this post by Anthony Vicino which points out that of the 2014 Locus awards for Sci-Fi and Fantasy, 90% of them feature a homosexual primary character. Which as he observes, is actually really, really high. And, this is my own conjecture here, but especially for a movement that claims it’s being misrepresented or marginalized.”

    Sorry, Max, but I see the card that you palmed there. You did a pretty poor and transparent job of that, too. You need to spend some time working on your card tricks.

    I’ve read many of the books on that list. And the majority of them do not have a primary character who is gay. They have a character who is gay. Nowhere did Vicino use the word “primary”. You did.

    I had more written on this regarding the 10% of the population who is gay and that it’s not at all surprising that a book which contains 10+ characters will include one who happens to be gay, but I see that Mr. Busiek and others have done a stellar job of making the same points, so I’ll not post it.

    I will, however, point out that your attempt to minimize the difference between that article and what you claimed it said as a minor difference, is incredibly disingenuous.

    You have joined Correia and Torgersen in my list of people who have demonstrated that they are Unreliable Narrators.

  27. Eric:

    Almost immediately after Correia was nominated, the talk began. “How did he get nominated? Why did he get nominated? How could someone with his beliefs get nominated?” He came to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that he wasn’t being judged on his writing, but his beliefs.

    It was the rest of the voting crowd that apparently took issue with his nomination. Familiar tune these days…

    Peace Is My Middle Name:

    Do you have citations for that? I didn’t hear anything like that at the time and am curious to hear what was actually said.

    rcade:

    I think he’s throwing a pity party for himself and you’ve been fooled into showing up with a present. He is no more mistreated than any other SF/F pro who argues politics all day long on the Internet.

    Alexandra Erin:

    I fully believe that when any person was nominated, there were immediately people asking how that person had made it onto the ballot.

    Exactly. I’ve asked that question myself about a number of nominated works over the years.

    I never heard any aspersions cast on Larry Correia’s writing after he was nominated for the Campbell. I read the packet, including Monster Hunter International and Vendetta, and found them enjoyable (despite Correia’s incessant flogging of the reader with his heavy-handed NRA! Gun Rights! Ammo! Second Amendment! message) enough to get Alpha from the library and read it, too. But award-worthy? Um, no. The Monster Hunter books are like pizza: tasty and fun to eat, but I have yet to consume one which I thought was worthy of a gourmet dining award.

    I was absolutely blown away by Lev Grossman’s work, and Beukes’ and Ahmed’s work certainly ranked above Correia’s on my list — without any prompting from anyone else.

    I didn’t see his panel at Worldcon, but based on his hostility and attitude problem as repeatedly exhibited on his blog (long before the Campbell nomination), I think that if any confrontation did actually happen, it was more than likely at Correia’s own instigation.

    Do I think there were people saying uncomplimentary things about him? Given the public persona he had worked so hard to cultivate prior to that Worldcon, I don’t doubt it. It’s a very rare SFF author who doesn’t have their vocal critics. Do I think there was an orchestrated campaign against him? No. I think he’s being a big baby.

    Bruce Baugh:

    I disbelieve some substantial part of Correia’s and Torgersen’s account because of my own observations.

    Correia has demonstrated himself so consistently to be an unreliable narrator, that at this point, I would actually have to see something he says happened for myself before I would be able to believe him.

    Methinks Mr Correia is engaging in a considerable amount of speculative fiction with his claims of persecution after his Campbell nomination — probably brought on by the fact that he didn’t win, when clearly, according to him, he should have done so — so, obviously! Persecution!.

    I also strongly suspect, based on things he’s said, that he didn’t really know what Worldcon was (a mass assembly of SFF’s most amazing authors, including some who earned that title decades ago and are still writing), and he showed up expecting everyone to know who he was (and care), and that the red carpet would be rolled out for him. When that didn’t happen, when most fans had no idea who he was, when other authors had a huge deal made out of them and he didn’t, it was no doubt rather a blow to his overinflated ego.

  28. @S1A1 “May Tree – Yeesh. Your understanding of the situation is hilariously wide of the mark.”

    No, it really isn’t. Just check out the initial history of GG. Are they going after publishers or reviewers? Not really, or not effectively. All the ones you see online are spending all of their time harassing women who happen to be indie developers or one commentator. If it was really about ‘ethics in journalism’, then wouldn’t they be trying to influence the gaming magazines who review the big AAA games?

  29. Peace Is My Middle Name:

    Kameron Hurley’s God’s War Trilogy is an absolutely stunning work. I am so glad that the series interruption caused by the publisher’s demise was remedied, and that all those works finally got to see the light of day.

    The story is grim as hell, yes. But the incredibly imaginative worldbuilding and depth of characterization are fantastic payoffs, if the reader can handle the dark dystopia.

  30. @s1a1 it’s also pretty telling when the major figures in gamergate have all sortsa issues with ethics. Unless you consider harassment, scams, threats, dead naming, doxxing, and massive racism, sexism, transmisogyny, holocaust denial, and child porn apologia to be highly ethical activities?

  31. With regard to The Three-Body Problem: I generally polish a novel off in an evening or two. TBP took me days, in small doses. It presents some really novel and interesting ideas, but the characters are essentially cardboard cutouts to service the plot… which does not move swiftly.

    I love Hard SF, but this one was a struggle. I suspect some of that is the cultural difference in SF writing styles, as described by translator Ken Liu in his commentary.

    Do I think it deserves its nomination? Yes, based on the comments and analyses I’ve seen posted by many other people, but I won’t be ranking it first or second.

    Those who are interested in a spoilery discussion can find a good one over at Making Light, entitled “The Three-SPOILER Problem”. I’m not linking to it to avoid the temptation for people who haven’t yet read the book. But you can find it easily by Googling the blog and the thread name.

  32. Owlmirror:

    Thanks for the Cliffs Notes on Message 652. I’ll try to get back to it at some point and have another look.

  33. JJ on May 16, 2015 at 7:11 pm said:
    Peace Is My Middle Name:

    Kameron Hurley’s God’s War Trilogy is an absolutely stunning work. I am so glad that the series interruption caused by the publisher’s demise was remedied, and that all those works finally got to see the light of day.

    The story is grim as hell, yes. But the incredibly imaginative worldbuilding and depth of characterization are fantastic payoffs, if the reader can handle the dark dystopia.

    I’m not generally much into dystopias, preferring optimistic works, preferably with humor, such as James H. Schmitz’ “The Witches of Karres” or Barry Hughart’s “Bridge of Birds” or anything by Terry Pratchett.

    But I had heard good things about these books and felt it would be a good thing to stretch out of my comfort zone.

  34. Maximilian – I guess you haven’t been paying attention, then. There are a lot of gaming news sites that made changes (ethics and disclosure policies) or tanked hard because of #gamergate. Those links are really available. And there’s been a ton of discussion across the spectrum about to what extent those policies should extend.

    Alexvdl – there was, ahem, unpleasantry on all sides. Pro- and anti- both got hit with the doxxing bat. The interesting part is that most of it appears to come from third parties, especially Bohamet (sp?), an infamous troll site.

    But do you really want to play the “tar everyone with extremists” game? Because that doesn’t end well.

  35. Only VD could be so unsophicated as to imagine that a porn star, with or without an Indian costume, would evoke shock/horror/terror in those attending Worldcon in general, and women in particular.

    The more likely reaction is that writers would be queuing up to talk to her about her experiences, for incorporation in future works, and VD’s hated feminists would be queuing up to discuss the issues confronted by sex workers in a society which, on the one hand, demands the production of porn for the market but on the other hand denigrates the actors who provide that porn.

    Poor VD has very little grasp on reality…

  36. Stevie: He might have to settle for me being upset and insulted if he did that, if you’re right that everyone else will be too sophisticated and nonchalant.

  37. S1AL, there are no gaming news sites that have tanked hard because of gg. The two sites gaters seem to hate most, Polygon and Kotaku, have actually shown increases in pageviews since gg started.

    Furthermore, it’s funny you bring up Baphomet. That’d be a doxxing board on 8chan, which is the main gg chan hangout after 4chan kicked them off of it’s boards. The owner of 8chan, Hotwheels, is a prominent gater who has largely turned a blind eye to the child pornograph and other such thigns on his site, but has actually talked to baphomet members and made sure they know they have his blessing.

    It’s also purely coincidence that members of Baph go after gg targets. I mean surely no one has ever looked into the fact that baphomet seems to have a lot of connections to gaters, and … oh. wait.

    https://storify.com/sadcrow/admin-of-warns-randi-harper-about-all-the-illegal

    A frequent refrain from gaters who don’t like it when news media, or celebrities say mean things about them is that they should “do their research and understand what gamergate is really about”. You might want to take your own advice. 🙂

  38. Really anyone can easily look up the Quinspiracy, the name of the harassment campaign prior to Adam Baldwin dubbing it GamerGate, and decide for themselves how much about ethics that nonsense really is about.

    Given there are enough websites for that bullshit I don’t see the point of it being dredged up here too.

  39. S1AL, there are no gaming news sites that have tanked hard because of gg. The two sites gaters seem to hate most, Polygon and Kotaku, have actually shown increases in pageviews since gg started.

    Furthermore, it’s funny you bring up Baphomet. That’d be a doxxing board on 8chan, which is the main gg chan hangout after 4chan kicked them off of it’s boards. The owner of 8chan, Hotwheels, is a prominent gater who has largely turned a blind eye to the child pornograph and other such thigns on his site, but has actually talked to baphomet members and made sure they know they have his blessing.

    It’s also purely coincidence that members of Baph go after gg targets. I mean surely no one has ever looked into the fact that baphomet seems to have a lot of connections to gaters, and … oh. wait.

    https://storify.com/sadcrow/admin-of-warns-randi-harper-about-all-the-illegal

  40. S1AL: Who created the GG hashtag again? And what video did they reference when they did it?

    Ethics in Games Journalism is a catchphrase with as much veracity to it as “SJWs always lie”

  41. Stevie:

    Only VD could be so unsophicated as to imagine that a porn star, with or without an Indian costume, would evoke shock/horror/terror in those attending Worldcon in general, and women in particular.

    The more likely reaction is that writers would be queuing up to talk to her about her experiences, for incorporation in future works, and VD’s hated feminists would be queuing up to discuss the issues confronted by sex workers in a society which, on the one hand, demands the production of porn for the market but on the other hand denigrates the actors who provide that porn.

    Yeah, I think the expected response from that would seriously backfire on him, given that the Worldcon Masquerades used to be contests where participants seemed to be contesting for who could be the most risque without actually appearing to be nude.

  42. Argh, you see what you people have done? You’ve driven me to commit filk. Curse you all!

    The Bigotry Hillbillies

    Come and listen to a story ‘bout a man named Ted.
    A poor blogateer who was very rarely read.
    And then one day he was blogging in the nude,
    And found his true calling spouting Internet Crude!

    (Sexism, that is. Race hatred too. And homophobia, of course!)

    So in 2014, Puppy Larry said with spite,
    “I’ll get Vox Day a Hugo ‘cuz the Devil doesn’t write.”
    But Ted’s prose was really bad, and it left the WorldCon bored,
    And his story ended last, under author Noah Ward.

    (Crap, that is. Worthless dreck. Puppy poop.)

    Well now it’s 2015 — Larry, Brad, and Ted, again,
    Have tried to steal the Hugos that they couldn’t fairly win.
    It seems these mangy Puppies would prefer to snarl and bite
    Than do something productive — like learning how to write!

    (Lazy, that is. Whiny too. Pay your dues, boys! No one likes a cheater, y’know?)

  43. “It is always adorable to see conservatives try to claim they are actually libertarians.”

    You’ve heard the definition of libertarian, I assume? A Conservative who wants to smoke pot and buy hookers?

    (Not original with me. I hear it frequently here in Arkansas, but I doubt it’s original to the fellas here either.)

  44. Mike

    I didn’t say nonchalant because I didn’t mean nonchalant. I did say unsophisticated, which is an entirely different matter.

    I think this may have something to do with our respective continents; we shipped off our Puritan Brethren to what became the US, where, as Gore Vidal pointed out, they could be Puritan and they could persecute people who weren’t Puritans to their heart’s content. They have certainly taken their opportunities to do so; the Prohibition era being the most obvious example.

    Porn stars are actors; as you’ve perhaps guessed, I don’t think it’s insulting to have actors around the place. Of course, Beale is incapable of grasping the fact that they are actors, which is why he’s spinning this particular nonsense in the first place. He wishes to offend people but he can’t even get that right; he’s wants a Hugo but he can’t see the problem inherent in publishing religious screeds and then sending a porn star to collect an award relating to that religious screed…

  45. JJ

    Yep! Decades ago I went to the world costume con in Chicago and there were definitely a lot of sequins missing in strategic areas. I met some wonderful people and it was enormous fun, but definitely not safe for work…

  46. Mike

    My apologies for being obtuse; its 4.53 am in England and I should have been asleep a long time ago…

  47. @Max Florschutz:

    I stumbled across this post by Anthony Vicino which points out that of the 2014 Locus awards for Sci-Fi and Fantasy, 90% of them feature a homosexual primary character. Which as he observes, is actually really, really high. And, this is my own conjecture here, but especially for a movement that claims it’s being misrepresented or marginalized.

    I read that analysis, and it’s either a huge mathfail or deliberate deception. I’m going to assume the former, even though that has its own troubling implications.

    The problem is, books generally feature multiple major characters – so taking his rounded 10% statistic and assuming only five significant characters per book, ten books give fifty characters, of which five non-straights would be proportional representation. Smear ’em out evenly, and you average one per two books. By his methodology, that would count as 50% and “over-represented!”

    Now, how many of those books actually have more than five major characters? More to the point, if there are ninety significant characters across the whole set, having nine non-straights among them would fit his estimate of what proportionality should look like: 9 is 10% of 90 characters.

    Somehow, he never got around to looking at that. Like I said, mathfail. And that’s without even nitpicking his unsubstantiated claim that Ancillary Sword has non-straight characters. I’m about a third of the way in and haven’t seen any evidence of even one non-het character. Of course, I could say the opposite just as easily; when the narrator’s language doesn’t differentiate, the reader can imagine people with any combination of parts sleeping together, even in the same passage. (So far, I know the “plumbing” of precisely one character in the book.) He cited evidence for the other books; why not this one? Or is the mere ambiguity enough?

    The troubling implication is that he’s not talking about LGBT characters, but LGBT books – and one non-het character is all it takes to make a “normal” book into an LGBT one. Frankly, that sounds a lot like the old “one drop of black blood” standard to me, and I don’t care for it. Not one bit.

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