Larry Correia Channels
His Inner Dogberry

Yesterday, when Larry Correia wrote “I Need Your Help (gathering links to SJW attacks in sci-fi for a news reporter)”, seeking negative remarks about himself to pass on to a pair of Breitbart.com writers, readers flocked to his aid.

I mentioned bias, and specifically anti-conservative bias among the voters. They asked if I had links to blog posts, comments, etc.

I don’t keep track of most of what these people say about us. Honestly you can only get called a racist hate monger by so many crazy people before it just becomes background noise. So if you guys don’t mind, would you please post your favorites in the comments below.

James May/Fail Burton specifically, I know you are like the archivist of their racist Twitter posts. Time to bust out the files.

Here are selected quotes from the comments —

CORREIA: O that he were here to write me down an ass.

FAIL BURTON: I am here. You are written down an ass. And I have more.

CORREIA: Fallible blessings on your prodigious quill.

FAIL BURTON: (Still quoting several hours later) — “…Evil, wretched man who calls himself a man of the cloth. Evil, wretched, EVIL, WRETCHED, EVIL, WRETCHED…”

CORREIA: Enough. They’re under deadline.

Today Breitbart.com published “The Hugo Wars: How Sci-fi’s Most Prestigious Awards Became a Political Battleground” by contributors Allum Bokhari and Milo Yiannopolous. (Trigger warning for copyeditors.)

Today, no-one is safe. Right-wingers like Theodore Beale face ostracization over accusations of racism (Beale is himself Native American), while even staunchly progressive authors like Bryan Thomas Schmidt are denounced as “cultural appropriators”; in Schmidt’s case, because he prepared an anthology of nonwestern sci-fi stories. Peak absurdity was achieved in 2014 when Jonathan Ross was forced to cancel his appearance at the Hugo Awards after the SJWs of SFF whipped themselves into a panic-fueld rage over fears that Ross might – might! – make a fat joke. Even the New Statesman, which sometimes reads like an extension of Tumblr, came out and condemned the “self-appointed gatekeepers” of SFF.

But while the examples of manufactured grievance may be absurd, few members of the SFF community are laughing. New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia told us that SFF is currently in the grip of a “systematic campaign to slander anybody who doesn’t toe their line,” which is breeding a culture of fear and self-censorship. “Most authors aren’t making that much money, so they are terrified of being slandered and losing business,” he says. The only exceptions are a “handful of people like me who are either big enough not to give a crap, or too obstinate to shut up.”

After years on the back foot, that obstinate handful are preparing to fight back.

The rest of the article explains that “fighting back” consists of getting readers to stuff the Hugo ballot box with their Sad Puppies slate of nominees, as if that was an awesome example of moral leadership under fire.

Bokhari and Yiannopolous also support their claims with historical examples from an alternate universe — obviously not the one we live in —

In the postwar period, conservatives like Robert Heinlein and liberals like Isaac Asimov were both among the leading figures of science fiction. Political tolerance, an idea loathed by radical activists, has ever been the norm in the community, and it has thrived because of it.

Yessir, happy kumba-yah political tolerance has ever been the hallmark of fandom … I’m sorry, Sam Moskowitz, what’s that? Oh, you remember kicking the Futurians out the first Worldcon because of the political flyers they were going to distribute? And Mr. Heinlein, you remember writing to Forry Ackerman complaining fans were avoiding the army in WWII? And Mr. Campbell, you say you were aware fans and writers divided over the Vietnam War?

Well, let’s not get enmeshed in trivia. Other than a few hundred exceptions, up until the end of the Twentieth Century every fan calmly tolerated every political opinion ever expressed.

However, I do remember Jerry Pournelle once complained about Isaac Asimov, “You’re allowed to make your own arguments, but you’re not allowed to make up your own facts,” an admonition Breitbart.com should take to heart.

Indeed, once readers discover Bokhari’s and Yiannopolous’ willful obliviousness to actual fanhistory, can anyone believe they are devoted to portraying a true and accurate account of today’s science fiction scene?

55 thoughts on “Larry Correia Channels
His Inner Dogberry

  1. Well, you did say breitbart.com; so “true and accurate” is not in their heritage or their genetic code. I’d assumed Correia was talking to actual journalists.

  2. Indeed, once readers discover Bokhari’s and Yiannopolous’ willful obliviousness to actual fanhistory

    …unfortunately, who says they will? Or will even believe it? They have their own facts, your counterexamples (and there are far more than those) be damned.

  3. Milo Yiannopolous is kneedeep in GamerGate nonsense (actually, it’s all about harassing women online in videogaming journalism) and Beale has been sort of kinda promoting this as well.

    Basically they’re trying Culture Wars 101 on science fiction fandom.

  4. Yiannopolos lacks the self-awareness endowed on most rocks. A number of years ago he would appear on any British TV programme that need an antagonist to decry plans for gay marriage. Mr Y is gay, conservative and Catholic and he would claim that homosexuals should just know their place and this was an unnecessary change being forced upon upon society. A “useful idiot” for homophobes, basically. Since gay marriage has been instituted, within the last year he’s written an article saying how wonderful it is that he’s now engaged and how good marriage is for society. Buffoon or hypocrite, take your pick.

  5. Sorry, but a DNA test result doesn’t make one a “Native American”, but the writers of this horsecrap couldn’t care less about fact, obviously.

  6. It’s what authors have to do since we don’t have a queen to award them the Order of the Bath.

  7. I think that we need a new science fiction anthology: “Assholes Destroy Science Fiction”.

  8. Unfortunately I was right. James May accused me of being blind to the fact that SFF is now in a “race war” and that IS a new development in fan history in his view.

  9. He doesn’t pay attention to what most fans have to say about conservative authors, because he just doesn’t pay attention to what most fans have to say, full stop. Which explains why he’s never realized that most fans don’t pay much attention to author politics, and just vote for stories that we like.

    And holding the Sad Puppies up as defending *diversity* in fandom… I guess the writer hasn’t read Torgersen’s post about Nutty Nuggets, which makes it pretty clear that at least for Torgersen, SF should be the same story over and over, so that the buyer knows what they’re getting. That’s not defending diversity, it’s demanding uniformity.

  10. Let me get this straight. Heinlein wanting more volunteers for WWII was an act the equivalent of withdrawing an invitation to be a speaker at a Con? Being aware of the deep divide in this country re: the Vietnam War is the equivalent of the feminist demands that the World Fantasy Writers stop handing out Lovecrafts (because of his politics) and start using Science Fiction author Octavia Butler because she’s black and female to boot?

  11. Let me get this straight. You’re another victim of the internet’s Two-Legged Syllogism Plague?

    Everything you list is an example of the expression of political views within fandom which have neither been universally accepted nor expressed without opposition.

    The point being made here, in the context of a comment about Breitbart.com’s misrepresentation of fanhistory, is that there has been a constant flow of political controversy in fannish discussions.

  12. Fannish history on the Real World Politics has always been ebb and flow. Many times there is a controversy about political leanings or shifts or breaking from tradition. Still, a lot of fannish history is about personalities and observational humor or absurdity. How political was Bob Tucker? He still generates copy in discussing his life and inclinations, Not too much these days on Vietnam, far less discussion on the recent wars (due to Internet overload?) than I would have thought.
    Whining about not getting an award isn’t going to help anyone. I might see a story by one of the sad puppies in an anthology, but it is going to have an emotional tag on it before I even read it. “Oh THAT guy!”

  13. “Sad Little Puppies of the Old Pulps”-The sad little puppies discover time travel. They attempt to save science fiction from modernity by going back in time to the 1939 Worldcon to kill The Futurians.

  14. With the exception of the Michelists attempt to socialize fandom in the 30s, and the Viet Nam war divide in the 70s (handled far more professionally in my opinion than the current ‘debate’) it’s my impression that political fights within fandom have largely centered on internal, fannish politics as opposed to external, mundane politics. Not true?

  15. Commenting on my own comment: isn’t it also true that following those divides over ‘real politics’, didn’t we all pretty much decide not to play in those sandboxes? Guess the reminder will be helpful if the lesson is learned. Again.

  16. Wow I have been Reading Sci-Fi since the mid 70s and on Sci Fi con committees since 1990 and I never know you existed till I read your piece from Corriea’s website. Says how relevant you are.

    The problem is that in this universe Wolfhiem has won. And the leftist do not want to let any voice but theirs be heard. Yes there has been dissension within SciFi but with a few noticeable exceptions we have allowed other viewpoints to be expressed. But now, the left wing has tried to silence writers of other viewpoints. But since the award you are using to promote your fellow left wing writers in named for “Hugo the Rat”. I suppose he would approve.

  17. Well thank God, or at least Larry Correia, that after 25 years in the sf field you have finally heard of me. How to attract your notice has always been one of my biggest concerns.

  18. I watched the Sad Puppies last year with a bit of skepticism. I’ve been a Sci-Fi fan most of my life. The genre got me dreaming about science, which eventually lead me to my job as an Engineer. What captured my young mind was the sheer variety in Sci-Fi. There was the pure science, the futuristic military, the re-imagining of distant worlds, or alternate histories of this world itself. The genre was an open genre where pretty much anyone could go and find a story that interested and captured their imagination.

    I expected that the Sad Puppies would cause some consternation, but that honest brokers would read the books nominated. Those claiming they stuffed the ballot box are being misleading, as that collection of people did nothing more than major publishing houses have done every year, and nothing more than some of the historical Hugo authors have admitted doing.

    I think it first struck me how much this genre that I had grown up loving had changed when I started reading multiple people declaring that they would put the Sad Puppy books on the bottom without reading a single word of the story.

    By the response to the slate of Sad Puppy books, Correia pretty much proved his point. It’s too bad that it turns out he was right.

  19. “stuff the Hugo ballot box with their Sad Puppies slate of nominees”
    Umm…dude…that’s not stuffing the ballot box. That’s just following the rules and nominating the kind of non-PC-message-based fiction that many fans actually like to read. The fact that you can’t recognize this, and you demonize the works by their non-lefty origin instead of fan appeal, vindicates the argument that the Hugos have become a PC, lefty-love fest instead of an award for the best writing.

  20. Pseudotsuga writes, “The fact that you can’t recognize this, and you demonize the works by their non-lefty origin instead of fan appeal, vindicates the argument that the Hugos have become a PC, lefty-love fest instead of an award for the best writing.”

    I’m sorry, my pine friend, but repetition of the same weary assertion does not constitute proof.

  21. Mike, if you wanted to attract Brad’s attention, you should have done something such as winning a few Hugo awards, or at least getting nominated once or twice, since he obviously has so much interest in them.

  22. I’d have thought my one pro sf story sale would have generated all the fame anyone could want!

  23. Mike McInnis: “Those claiming they stuffed the ballot box are being misleading, as that collection of people did nothing more than major publishing houses have done every year, and nothing more than some of the historical Hugo authors have admitted doing.”

    Elaborate, please. Where did “major publishing houses” and “historical Hugo authors” publish a slate of works and tell their fans, “Nominate these works to make people we don’t like unhappy”?

  24. pseudotsuga: I think you’re making the (common) mistake of assuming that what you like is what All Normal People like, and that therefore anyone nominating anything you don’t like must be doing so for nefarious purposes, since of course All Real Fans only like what you like.

    There really is a difference between saying, “Here’s what I published last year; I hope you read and liked it enough to nominate it” and “Here’s a slate of works that All Right Thinking People Must Nominate Because it Will Make the People We Dislike Cry.”

    Having said all that, I encourage all people who like SF/F to join WSFS and nominate those works that they personally liked and would like to see be rewarded by the members of WSFS for excellence. I discourage people from nominating or voting for works solely because someone else told them to do so, particularly if they’ve never read/seen those works, but of course it’s not possible to prevent this.

  25. “Here’s a slate of works that All Right Thinking People Must Nominate Because it Will Make the People We Dislike Cry.”

    Fortunately, no-one has actually done that.

  26. Anyone who claims that Heinlein was a “conservative” (and, by extension, anyone who can read that statement and not dispute it), probably isn’t qualified to make any declarative statements on… well… anything really, and expect to be taken seriously.

  27. Anyone attempting to place Heinlein somewhere in the political spectrum runs a strong risk of sounding like one of the blind men describing the elephant. Is he conservative because he was patriotic? Respected the military? (Although can’t someone of any political stripe hold those views?) Is he liberal because of his views about sex and marriage? Is he a libertarian? And yet aren’t most of his works statist? Heinlein is a frustrating study for anyone who needs him to pass any particular ideological litmus test.

  28. I saw plenty of Sad Puppies last year saying *they* weren’t even going to read all the Hugo nominees. So I don’t see that they get to complain if some non-Puppy Hugo voters said the same thing.

    I think most Hugo voters read all the nominees there was time to read, and voted based on what (and to some extent who) they liked best. Like any popularity contest, being a complete jerk repeatedly in public is unhelpful.

    Though in the case of the Sad Puppy stuff, most of it wouldn’t have done well even without the jerk aspect. It ranged from reasonably competent potboiler (could have done without the basic errors in physics and culture, but okay) to Waiting for Godot without the witty banter and like-able characters.

  29. So Cat, the interesting thing about the Sad Puppies supporters is that they are generally fans, that simply want to be entertained by a story they read. It really isn’t anything magic. People want to be entertained as much as they want to be “provoked”.

    I saw multiple people from the other side claiming they weren’t even going to read the sad Puppies stories, more than I saw of the reverse. From the results, I’d have to believe that the main people that didn’t read the stories were from the entrenched, a position that you yourself enjoy. Anyone with 45 ish nominations from one of the highest awards in Sci-Fi must be one of the most prolific and well read authors out there…

    What stories exactly have you put out again?

  30. Kevin,
    Every Year Tor publishes their list of stories that they believe are Hugo worthy. Scalzi has admitted that he does much the same thing asking his readers to nominate his works etc.. a small sample set, but not really any different than what the sad puppies did last year.

  31. The worst part about this whole mess is that every single person in this conversation should be promoting Sci-Fi as an inclusional Genre. Sci-Fi is dying, the readership is falling off and it no longer captures the imagination of young readers.

    Instead of whining about the politics of other authors, perhaps people should be talking about how to tell a good story?

  32. Mike McInnis: “What stories exactly have you put out again?” People have been trying variations on this all day. Why am I expected to rise to this bait? If I had written Seanan McGuire’s Hugo-nominated stories instead of her, you wouldn’t treat my opinions with any more reverence, would you? I’m guessing you’re not someone who necessarily reveres every view expressed by genuine award-winning fiction writers, unless it already conforms with your own.

  33. ” Sci-Fi is dying, the readership is falling off and it no longer captures the imagination of young readers. ”

    Well I hope the writers have second jobs lined up.

  34. It’s perfectly possible to want a two-fer: To see a story you really liked nominated for an award, AND to want to see people’s head explode over an author on the extreme end of the political spectrum being nominated for an award.

    People should try to separate their judgment of a writer as a person from their judgment of his/her fiction. That’s an ideal not always easy to live up to.

  35. Mike McInnis:

    Publishing a list of things you (or your company) published last year and saying, “I/we think these works are worthy of the Hugo Award, and I hope you do too” is not the same thing as saying, “Here’s a list of other people’s works that Right Thinking People Must Nominate because they are the Right Sort of People.” And that is exactly what the SP campaign looks like to a lot of people.

  36. Mike McInnis:

    “Sci-Fi is dying, the readership is falling off and it no longer captures the imagination of young readers.”

    Are you aware that people have been saying this, in different variations, since before I was born in 1965? That is, the SF genre has always been dying. It’s amazing the patient has survived as long as it has, dying as it has been for a least fifty years.

  37. Mr Glyer,

    Asking what works you had put out was an honest question. You have apparently been nominated for a Hugo something like 45 times. Someone with that many nominations should be Asimov like.. It is amazing, and if the Hugo award truly is an award for the best Sci-Fi, then you must have some fantastic stories out there. I don’t recognize your name, but that could simply be that I have not come across any of your works.

    Interesting thing is that I am not a writer. I am a fan of Sci-Fi and really couldn’t care less about the political views of the author. I care about reading a good story that captures my imagination. I’ve enjoyed works by Le’Guin, Huxley, Asimov, Corriea, Butcher, Flint and Orwell (1984 is one of my all time favorite stories, as is Brave New World).

    The idea that you are an award winning author isn’t actually all that impressive. The idea that you are black/white, male/female, left/right, or other really shouldn’t matter.
    The idea that you are a good author that can tell a good story is much more impressive.

  38. Kevin,
    What the Sad Puppies did was publish a list of books that the person publishing that list enjoyed reading. He specifically said that people should read the works and decide for themselves, but he wanted to put together a list of stories that he didn’t think could ever get nominated or treated fairly at the Hugos.

    Like I said earlier, when people started campaigning to just have others rank the Sad Puppy stories last without even reading them and judging them on their own merits, it pretty much proved his point. Not every Sad Puppy should have been a winner, but they certainly were worthy of the nomination.

  39. Mr Walsch,
    I am very aware of the multiple categories. I admit that I speak of stories because that is what I enjoy.

  40. Isn’t Eggleton an artist? A pretty good artist at that? Without looking it up, I believe Whelan is also. So, I think that I recognize the names of the first two on your list, so I have to expect the rest may also be artists? That’s fine, then the answer for Mr Cryer is that he is an artist and not an author. Not sure that is entirely germane to this conversation, but cool.

  41. Mike McInnis: There are Hugo categories for fan activity as well as fiction, media and art. It is in the categories for fan writer and fanzine I have received my nominations. Nearly all of my production has been nonfiction. I have a few representative examples linked at the top of this blog, including this review of a work by Dave Langford, a fan Hugo winner who in contrast to me actually does have some excellent stories to his credit.

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