Pixel Scroll 9/15/16 Scroll On the Water, Pixels In The Sky

(1) A BEST EDITOR WINNER. SFFWorld interviewed editor Ellen Datlow:

A working life spent reading SF,  Fantasy, and horror short stories sounds like a dream come true.  Are there down sides to being an editor? Do you have any advice for aspiring editors?

ED:  I’ve always loved short stories, so working in the short fiction field is indeed the perfect job for me. It’s hard to find time to read outside the genres in which I’m currently working. I mostly read short fiction for work, so picking novels that I hope I’ll enjoy is the challenge. They usually have to be dark/horror so I can cover them in my annual Best Horror of the Year. The administration is a pain: sending out contracts, paying royalties to a hundred writers is onerous (even with Paypal).  But everything else is great. I love the whole editing process, from soliciting new stories that would not exist except for me asking; working with my authors on story revision (if necessary); and even the line edit.

Advice: Read. Read slush. If you don’t love reading, you have no reason to be an editor

(2) SCIENCE ADVISOR. Financial Times profiled Cal Tech physicist Spyridon Michalakis in “’I help Hollywood film-makers get their science right’”. (Warning: I had to answer a 10-question survey ad to see the full article.)

In the article Michalakis discusses his work through The Science and Entertainment Exchange, “which connects film and TV producers with scientists.”  He’s consulted on Ant-Man, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and other shows.

Here’s what he had to say about Gravity:

“It’s a shame when I see films that inadvertently forgo scientific accuracy for added drama.  For instance, in the movie Gravity when Sandra Bullock’s character grabs hold of George Clooney’s character while they’re both floating out in space, he tells her she has to let go of him, otherwise both of them are going to fly off and die because he’s pulling her farther and farther away from the space station.  The trouble is, they’re so far away from Earth that, in reality, nothing would actually be pulling them.

“I find myself watching that scene and thinking they could have achieved the same drama just as easily with something called ‘conservation of momentum.” With this, the only way for her to get back to the station would be for Clooney’s character to actively sacrifice himself by pushing Bullock away from him.  It would have been real science and it would have made the movie better.  You watch these things and you say to yourself, ‘I’m just a phone call away.'”

(3) OHH-KAYYY…. The Washington D.C. public library has an idea for drawing attention to oft-challenged books. Is it innovative, or over-the-top?

Every year, libraries around the country observe Banned Books Week, to remind the public that even well known and much loved books can be the targets of censorship. This year, Washington D.C.’s public library came up with a clever idea to focus attention on the issue: a banned books scavenger hunt.

Now, readers are stalking local shops, cafes and bookstores looking for copies of books that are hidden behind distinctive black and white covers. There is no title on the cover, just a phrase — such as FILTHY, TRASHY or PROFANE — which describes the reason why some people wanted the book banned.

(4) SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CONSERVATIVE. John Shirley, who identifies as a progressive, argues “Why Conservatives are a Necessary Component of a Vital Society” in a post for Tangent Online. I have to say it brings to mind the ending of Harlan Ellison’s “Beast Who Shouted Love at the Heart of the World.”

….Every democracy genuinely needs conservatives. And not so we can have someone to argue with. We need them for their perspective; we need them for their call for individual hard work, which is always a good thing in itself, when people can find it; we need them for the reluctance at least some of them show to get engaged in wars that squander blood and treasure. And we need them to be skeptical of our schemes.

We need them to push back.….

This website, Tangent Online, relates to the science-fiction field, and so do I. From time to time the sf field has been storm-lashed by political controversies, essentially conservative vs. liberal and vice versa. Going back, it cuts both ways: back in the day, Donald Wollheim and Fred Pohl and Judith Merril and others were slagged by conservative sf writers and editors for leaning left. Now the pendulum has swung way, way the other direction and certain reasonable conservatives amongst science fiction writers and critics are sometimes being over scrutinized, even punished, for outspokenness and some fairly normal speech tropes—most recently, Dave Truesdale was actually ejected from the Worldcon for having declared on a short story panel, in the space of a few minutes, that science fiction was being unfairly truncated by politics, and free speech gagged by political correctness emanating from the left. I listened to a tape of the remarks and could find nothing that broke any convention rules. Some defending the convention fall back on claims that his use of the term “pearl clutchers” is sexist, is hateful to women. But in my experience the term does not apply to women, particularly—it’s about people who are making a drama of nothing, probably just to get attention. Underlying the con committee’s action was, I suspect, emotional fallout from the “Sad Puppies” Hugo Award controversy. But people shouldn’t let emotions dictate their interpretation of the rules.

(5) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRL

  • September 15, 1907 – Fay  Wray

(6) RICK RIORDAN PRESENTS. Disney has announced a new Rick Riordan Presents imprint reports Publishers Weekly. Riordan will curate a line of books that introduces selected writers of mythology-based novels.

Rick Riordan has gotten a variation on the same question from his fans about a zillion times: When are you going to write about (fill in the blank): the Hindu gods and goddesses? Ancient Chinese mythology? Native American legends?

Now, he has an answer – of sorts: Disney-Hyperion is launching Rick Riordan Presents, an imprint devoted to mythology-based books for middle grade readers. The imprint, which will be led by Riordan’s editor, Stephanie Owens Lurie, hopes to launch with two books in summer 2018. The books will not be written by Riordan, whose role will be closer to curator than author.

…The plan is to launch the imprint in July 2018 with two books, though those books have not yet been acquired yet. “We’ve approached a couple of people but some of them are adult writers so they would be trying to do something completely different,” Lurie said. “The point of making this announcement now is to get the word out about what we’re looking for.”

“Rick just can’t write fast enough to satisfy his fans,” said Lurie, whose official title will be editorial director of the imprint. “I think he’s doing an incredible job writing two books a year already.”

There’s also this: ”I know he feels that, in some instances, the books his readers are asking for him to write are really someone else’s story to tell,” Lurie said.

(7) MAJOR SF ART EXHIBIT. The IX Preview Weekend Popup Exhibition will take place at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, DE from September 23-25. Tickets required.

Imaginative Realism combines classical painting techniques with narrative subjects, focusing on the unreal, the unseen, and the impossible. In partnership with IX Arts organizers, the Delaware Art Museum will host the first IX Preview Weekend, celebrating Imaginative Realism and to kick off IX9–the annual groundbreaking art show, symposium, and celebration dedicated solely to the genre.

Imaginative Realism is the cutting edge of contemporary painting and illustration and often includes themes related to science fiction and fantasy movies, games, and books. A pop-up exhibition and the weekend of events will feature over 16 contemporary artists internationally recognized for their contributions to Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Marvel, DC Comics, Blizzard Entertainment, and Wizards of the Coast, among others.

There will be workshops by two leading sf artists as well.

Sept 24 @ 7:00 pm

Workshop with Bob Eggleton: Seascapes Sept 24 @ 10:15 am – 12:15 pm and 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm During this hands on demonstration and group painting salon, Bob Eggleton will walk participants through creating a seascape in acrylic paint with a nod to the ocean as ‘character’. Incorporated into the illustration storytelling aspect of this demonstration will be construction of the ocean as narrative using elements, from the subtle to the extreme, like sea monsters, antique ships, rocks, waves, clouds, lighting, and odd bits of flotsam and jetsam debris. Bob will share his own experience as well as that of his heroes, classic 19th and 20th century illustrators and fine art Masters.  Pre-registration required. Supplies: Attendees should bring preferred acrylic painting setup, including brushes, paints, and paper/panels/boards.

Drawing Workshop and Lecture with Donato Giancola: Compositional Drawing Sept 25 @ 10:15 am – 12:15 pm and 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Donato will share his knowledge and approach to producing skillfully drafted drawings. From sketch to finish, the aesthetic and technical decisions the artist makes will be laid bare for observation and comments offering wonderful insight into the foundations of creativity of a modern artist. The four-hour workshop is for the artist who aspires to pursue further development and refinement of their skills in composition and as storytellers. Attendees of all skill levels are welcome as the focus of the workshop is upon creative problem solving, not technical execution. Pre-registration required. Supplies: Attendees should bring along their own preferred drawing utensils (pencils, paper,sketchbooks, etc) as well as a few favorite images/photos of themes they wish to create work upon. Alternative drawing supplies will also be available for use.

delaware-sf-art

(8) WHAT’S A HUGO WIN WORTH? Kay Taylor Rea of Uncanny Magazine says Hugo wins are helping sales there. (Uncanny won the 2016 Best Semiprozine Hugo.)

(9) NOT LETTING THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG. Mary Robinette Kowal posted a photo of what’s in the suitcase she’s taking to the Writing Excuses Workshop.

(10) NO ONE BEHIND THE WHEEL. Matthew Johnson is the latest Filer to leave a poetic masterwork in comments:

Inspired by item 7:

My self-driving car must think it queer
To stop without a charger near.
I wonder, did I hurt its pride
When I pressed DRIVER OVERRIDE?

Whose woods these are I think I spy:
in June the Google Car went by
And so the trees, though deep in snow, are green
When viewed upon my tablet screen.

Most days I doze away the route
That my car drives on our commute
And trade the sight of forests dark and deep
For just another hour’s sleep.

This night, the darkest of the year
Some demon woke me, passing here,
And so I stopped, though home is far
Got out and left my loyal car.

A single line of deer track goes
Into the forest, deep with snow
My road, I know, was once just such a trail
Blazed by cloven hooves and white-tipped tails

Crowdsourced by deer to find the gentlest route
Through tree and mountain, lake and chute
Then followed feet, at first in leather clad
To travel where the hooves of deer had.

My car’s soft beep awakens me:
To stay longer would unreasonably
Expose the maker to liability
And besides, it voids the warranty.

Well, a contract is a contract, after all,
And speaks louder than the forest’s call
So I return, my feet no longer free,
Because I clicked on I AGREE.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have Terms of Use to keep,
And miles to go while fast asleep,
And miles to go while fast asleep.

[Thanks to Lee, Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Dawn Incognito.]

312 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/15/16 Scroll On the Water, Pixels In The Sky

  1. @Dawn Incognito
    I’ve added Grass to the never-ending TBR based on your thumbnail description.

    Big rec from me, too, one of my fave Tepper tales. Just sayin’.

  2. Re: Craig Fergeson.

    I was in the audience when he had Neil Gaiman as a guest and that was a decent conversation and included talking about Doctor Who. Craig also had Paris Hilton on as well, which was a bit different conversation.

    What was interesting was that Craig came out during the commercial break and asked the audience if we thought he was being too hard on Paris during their segment. He decided no.

    After taping the final segment of the show, Craig came back out and decided to do an alternate take on it. I don’t know if that is a common occurence with talk shows or not, but it was not what I was expecting.

  3. @ Dawn Incognito and Petrea Mitchell: Cognitive Psychology? What book? I always enjoy learning about how we learn and perceive.

  4. I was fooled into digging “Binti” by the writing, but later found it left a bad taste in my mouth. Like others have mentioned, it starts falling apart once she boards the spaceship. I ended up putting it second on my ballot. I’d probably pick up subsequent stories set in that world.

    First on my ballot was “Penric’s Demon.” I was a little torn, because it seemed too happy in some ways, too optimistic and decent. As a comparison, Vernon’s stories I’ve read have been very optimistic and decent, but there’s also something dark and toothy lurking in the shadows. But it was such a refreshing story, I had to vote it first. I also immediately purchased the second novella in the series after reading the first, and read it right away, though I was in the middle of my Hugo reading at the time, and falling behind.

    I put “Slow Bullets” next. I was surprised I didn’t like Reynolds more. I’ve enjoyed the Hell out of some of his novels, but I felt like this wasn’t all that interesting or creative.

    “Perfect State” was my fourth. I don’t remember much about it now. Looking it up, I remember now. It was fun, but not much more.

    I bounced off the Builders so hard I barely managed to get far enough into it to put it under No Award.

    It is extremely unlikely that I would vote anything Castalia put out above No Award. Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with that issue with any worthy works they’ve released, as they haven’t released any, from what I’ve read (Hugo packet material only).

  5. I think the author’s litlle note about how her young daughter came up with the plot of Binti suggests that the plot doesn’t really bear close examination. It’s sort of a yarn, episodic and not too plausible. The story’s strengths are the character, her background and situation, and the colorful and interesting writing, it seemed to me. I liked the story but placed it 2nd to Penric’s Demon on my ballot. I didn’t think Slow Bullets was Reynolds at his best.

  6. Oh, and currently reading… still working on Wolfe’s The Sorcerer’s House, but moving slowly, as I’m back home and have less free time on my hands. The “aww shucks” huckster tone to the writing is starting to grate on me. I’m still digging the book, but just about ready for it to be done. That said, I have less than 20% left to go, so any day now…

  7. @ David Goldfarb

    You probably know this, but the tradition of switching into present tense at especially vivid narrative moments goes back to Herodotus and Livy. It may not be used much in English history, but it’s certainly not a new idea.

    Medieval Welsh goes even further, dropping into a tenseless, aspectless, personless string of verbal-nouns when it wants to get really “immediate”. There’s a lovely flight at the beginning of the first branch of the Mabinogi where, if you translate the verbal-noun as a gerund (which isn’t entirely accurate), you get a sentence like this:

    “And blowing his horn, and beginning following the hunt, and running after the hounds, and losing his companions.”

    Once you get used to it, it nicely captures the sense of events tumbling one after the other without stopping for breath.

  8. @snowcrash: “American libertarianism, as far as I can tell, is indistinguishable on a party/ candidate support basis from American conservatism.”
    “I know this American culture war b/s is bread and butter for you, but do you realise how ridiculous you come of when you say nonsensical stuff like this?”

    Snowcrash – I concur that 770 is largely USA political viewpoints.
    Your knowledge of voting behavior of American Conservatives vs. Libertarians – or the relative leanings of these groups in the USA is “nonsensical” and “ridiculous” to use your words. Johnson is currently polling at 8% nationally. There are more libertarian republicans knocked off by more conservative republicans and vice-versa on a regular basis. You don’t know what you are talking about in terms of US conservative views or voting behavior.

    In terms of protesting: I wrote my congressman and both senators about Libya and several other war issues. I cannot speak for others. But there was minimal to no protests by the left against Libya in the USA. Most dems supported it.

    @Aaron “Your cartoon version of conservatism is what it laughable. I’m willing to bet that many of the commenters here are more well-read in conservative thought than you are. Just my experience reading conservative and libertarian legal thinking during my years in law school makes me better grounded in conservative political thinking than most people who identify as conservatives.”

    Aaron – you use a common liberal trait of proclaiming that someone who does not agree with you “really does not understand much.” Project much? Lets see. I vote in every primary and general election. I’ve had multiple family members who were R. office holders, campaign chairs, ward chairs etc…. I’ve been a delegate to the State convention twice. I’ve read about this much of my life. But CLEARLY you have better knowledge of what I do and do not know.

    You went to law school. OK. How many actual conservative friends do you have? That you actually talk to? Do you read the conservative press? Fact is, I don’t know how much knowledge you have and don’t care to guess. Unlike you, I’m not going to project what your actual political knowledge is.

    I have regular discussions with actual conservative voters about policy differences. And I also will not vote for Republican candidates I disagree with. This will be the 2nd time I vote Libertarian for president.

    And I don’t engage all that much on 770 because I work a lot. I read most every day because I like nerd book news. I read the comments because they are often funny. Then I work. Then sometimes I come back to read again. And occasionally comment a 2nd time.

  9. I voted Fifth Season first, Ancillary second, and Uprooted third. My only struggle was between 2 and 3, but I would have been happy if any of the 3 had won.

  10. @Bravo Lima Poppa:

    Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. The Goodreads blurb:

    In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.

    Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Thinking, Fast and Slow will transform the way you think about thinking.

  11. @nickp: Ewww. I am horrified and disgusted. Spiders off the ground should NOT be that big. Shudder. But good for you for releasing the hummingbird.

    @Chip: Silverberg has in fact admitted he was an idiot, and was being sort of insecure/uninformed in his own masculinity when he said that — Tiptree had been a spy and in the military and world-traveled and stuff (none of which Silverberg had done), so he HAD to be a guy, right? OTOH, Harlan had said “all the best new writers are women except JT,Jr.” and cackled mightily at the reveal.

    @Jack Lint: Well, someone needs to get that t-shirt for MRK.

    @Lela E. Buis: Hugo voters are not responsible for the media spin by outside, uninvolved parties after the fact. Unless you’re implying that the media is 100% accurate about people’s private thoughts and motivations? Heh. Not.

    I voted for “The Fifth Season” because it was the best novel I read published in 2015, in any genre. And it had the best, most-grabbing opening two lines I’ve read in ages — destroying the world is the boring part? I must read on!

    “Uprooted” was okay, but it wasn’t as amazing in characters, world-building, quality of prose — and, frankly, it did strike me as YA. I didn’t think it was even the best “Beauty and the Beast” retelling published in 2015! If we had a YA award, it would have won that. I put it 3rd after “Ancillary”.

    We put Teddy’s stuff below “No Award” because it’s crap that wouldn’t have gotten on the ballot without a political effort. It’s unimaginative and badly-written.

    Either your reading comprehension and grasp of nuance is shockingly low for a professional writer, or you’re trolling/sealioning. Which is it?

  12. re: Tiptree Jr.:

    I’ve read the first few stories in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever because I realized my Tiptree was sorely lacking. Something that I’ve noticed is that it’s extremely male-gaze-y. Descriptions of men are barely there, while female bodies are described in exquisite detail. I wonder if that was a deliberate way to disguise her gender.

    ETA @lurkertype:

    I hear the distinctive bark of the sea lion.

  13. I was bothered by some aspects (not a fan of the dragon) in Uprooted, so I believe it came in third for me. I thought it started off well and I loved the tone, but, yeah, not a fan of the dragon. I flat out loved Fifth Season. I found it gripping, emotional, riveting, and masterful — as well as surprising — when it came to how the story was spun out. A very enthusiastic first place for me. It and Ancillary Mercy were both on my nominating ballot. AM was dandy, too, a really terrific payoff to a great series, but it didn’t blow all my circuits in quite the same way Fifth Season did. I think Uprooted may have been in the last spot on my nominating ballot, just because I had a few things I was dithering among and I don’t remember which one I ultimately chose for that last slot. I did like it. I just didn’t love love love it like I did Fifth Season or love it like I did Ancillary Mercy.

    Seveneves bored me to tears (I don’t like reading to feel so much like I’m trudging uphill through mud) and Aeronaut’s Windlass was dull, too, but in a different way. There are times, when I’m reading something and I think, well, I don’t hate it, but I also feel like I’m not the right reader for this. That was Aeronaut’s Windlass. If it makes anybody feel any better, I’d say the same for Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander. I get that M and C (and the other Aubrey books) have many enthusiastic fans, but it’s the kind of thing where I find my attention wandering. It’s supposed to be a gripping action scene, and I’m wondering if I need to feed the cat, if that’s a humming bird outside my window, if the AC is too cold, if there’s anything I need to take out for dinner…

    I can’t point to anything I don’t like, exactly. Just that I am not engaged with the book and I don’t want to finish. My conclusion is that I’m not the right reader for that book.

    That is different from Seveneves, where I felt the mechanics and the style were lacking. Holy Infodump, Batman. Weak and poorly drawn characters. I don’t know. Maybe that’s not fair. But I didn’t want to waste my time wading through the Great Info Swamps to try to be more fair to the characters.

    I think Seveneves was the only one in that category that I left off my ballot. I suppose that means it went below No Award, but I just give No Award the last spot after the things I want to rank and then leave the rest off my ballot. In this case, I think I ranked 1. Fifth Season, 2. Ancillary Mercy, 3. Uprooted, 4. Windlass and 5. No Award. And then called it a day.

  14. My ballot was AM, TFS (not because I didn’t love it, but because it’s the first book and knowing that kept it from being emotionally satisfying in the same way that the end of the Ancillary series was), Seveneves, Uprooted (which I didn’t love at all) and Aeronaut’s Windlass, which even though I despised it still came in fifth on my ballot.

    @stuck in history – Coming out of lurking to share this link of an excerpt…

    Thank you for delurking. That was a lovely piece by LeGuin. I’m looking forward to the book itself, which I thought I’d read (at least Malafrena) but now realize I was confusing it with something else.

  15. Lurkertype’s Longlist:

    I’ve got “The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe”. Great characters, good world-building, and some passages I had to reread for their beauty. Does not need familiarity with Lovecraft to work, but that would probably add another dimension (heh). Lives up to HPL by having somewhat archaic words I had to look up — you can gather the idea in context, but there were some pretty cool nouns I didn’t know in there.

    In Graphic, I’m all about “Monstress”. The art is AMAZING; realistic, manga, and art nouveau all at once. Story’s fascinating, the world is interesting, and the characters are well-rounded, good, evil, and in-between. If you don’t love the little fox, there’s something wrong with you. Also, cats. Kind of a perfect blend of Western comics and manga. Volume #1 (issues 1-6) is out now. Not for kids; teens OK.

  16. The win for ‘Cat Pictures Please’ was a defeat of the the slate, because it was a non-slate nominee winning over a lot of slated ones; and the win for ‘Folding Beijing’ was a defeat of the slate, because it showed they couldn’t put us off our stride by nominating something.

    Are you aware that “Cat Pictures Please” was on the Sad Puppies slate?

  17. This may surprise you, but not all of us regard the Guardian as particularly authoritative, especially when it comes to SFF fandom.

    I must raise a hand to murmur that while I know nothing whatever about the Guardian’s coverage of fandom and agree that a newspaper’s coverage of the Hugo kerfuffle proves absolutely nothing about why fans voted the way they did, I am grateful for the Guardian’s publication of Ursula K. Le Guin’s occasional book reviews and articles.

  18. @Lela

    If I remember correctly, the Sad Puppies did not have a slate for the 2016 Hugos. They had a list of recommendations instead.

  19. you use a common liberal trait of proclaiming that someone who does not agree with you “really does not understand much.”

    No, I am using your stated opinions as presented here to come to that conclusion. If you don’t want to come off as a foolish and cartoonish version of a conservative,
    you should present your ideas in a more thoughtful and intelligent manner.

    Project much? Lets see. I vote in every primary and general election.

    That’s irrelevant when determining how much knowledge you have concerning conservative thought.

    I’ve had multiple family members who were R. office holders, campaign chairs, ward chairs etc…. I’ve been a delegate to the State convention twice.

    I’ve dealt with conservative politicians quite a bit. Many of them are completely clueless. You’re not helping your case here.

    You went to law school. OK. How many actual conservative friends do you have? That you actually talk to?

    Quite a few. My closest friend, for example, is a conservative. So is the law professor I was closest to and still am. Several members of my family are, including both of my parents. I could go on.

    Do you read the conservative press?

    It depends on what you mean by “the conservative press”. National Review? Sure, I read that. Breitbart? Not so much.

    I have regular discussions with actual conservative voters about policy differences. And I also will not vote for Republican candidates I disagree with. This will be the 2nd time I vote Libertarian for president.

    That doesn’t mean you know much about it. One can “have regular discussions with conservative voters” and still be woefully misinformed. The fact that you’re voting for a whackaloon libertarian for President doesn’t help your case here either.

  20. Lela E. Buis

    Are you aware that “Cat Pictures Please” was on the Sad Puppies slate?

    Technically true, but I calculate that it only received four votes from them.

  21. @Dawn Incognito: I think Tiptree was basically a lesbian, or at least towards that end of the Kinsey scale, and she spent her life/was socialized in an extremely male world, so she ended up writing male-gazey. Which probably did help fool people, but I don’t think that was deliberate. But “The Women Men Don’t See” — I don’t see how people didn’t twig to her real gender with that. Plus “Houston, Houston…”

    @stuckinhistory: Thanks for the link. Stick around!

  22. Rob Thornton on September 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm said:

    If I remember correctly, the Sad Puppies did not have a slate for the 2016 Hugos. They had a list of recommendations instead.

    In some categories, though, they had few enough recommendations for it to function as a slate, in theory. For Best Editor Short Form, there appear to have been 38 people who voted their list as a slate.

  23. As is often the case, I think the truth lies in the middle. Many of the Rabid picks were genuinely bad, and genuinely belonged below No Award. (E.g. “Seven Kill Tiger, with a “Typhoid Mary Sue” protagonist.)

    Thanks for checking in, Greg. I agree that some of this year’s choices were unusual for Hugo finalists. Regarding “Seven Kill Tiger,” I’m left thinking Vox Day likes Chinese SF, and that it doesn’t translate to English very well. However, “Asymmetrical Warfare” was brilliant, published in a high-quality venue and certainly didn’t belong below No Award.

    What I do not believe–not for a minute–is that the skin color of the winners made any material difference in the outcomes. Not in their favor, at least. (I know they had the puppies voting against them, of course.)

    Still, I think the way the whole thing is being represented in the media suggests that skin color did make a difference. When an article says, “When the pups positioned their nominees as a rebuke to the women, people of color, and LBGTQ folks seeking a place in the science-fiction/fantasy world, that coalition struck back…,” it strongly suggests this coalition voted for diverse authors as a means of rebuking the Puppies, rather than on the basis of quality or readership of the works.

    It’s clear from the discussion that tastes differ, and estimations of the quality of both the winners and losers varies. However, I do think that the political tides at work don’t contribute to the best possible results.

  24. Are you aware that “Cat Pictures Please” was on the Sad Puppies slate?

    Technically true, but I calculate that it only received four votes from them.

    Four? Heh. What kind of coalition is that?

    Regardless, it indicates the members of the group thought it was a deserving work.

  25. However, “Asymmetrical Warfare” was brilliant, published in a high-quality venue and certainly didn’t belong below No Award.

    You think it was brilliant. I thought it was terrible, and that giving it a No Award was being too kind.

  26. “Regardless, it indicates the members of the group thought it was a deserving work.”

    All four of them?

  27. When an article says, “When the pups positioned their nominees as a rebuke to the women, people of color, and LBGTQ folks seeking a place in the science-fiction/fantasy world, that coalition struck back…,” it strongly suggests this coalition voted for diverse authors as a means of rebuking the Puppies, rather than on the basis of quality or readership of the works.

    No, it doesn’t. It suggests that this “coalition” voted for works without considering the Pups’ proclivities towards denigrating work by women, people of color, and LBGTQ folks. Voting on the basis of merit is a rebuke to the Pups. Your desire to see the the Pups and not-Pups as mirror images of one another leads you to erroneous conclusions.

  28. However, “Asymmetrical Warfare” was brilliant, published in a high-quality venue and certainly didn’t belong below No Award.

    Bzzzt. My mileage varies. Asymmetrical Warfare was glib, the “twist” was blinding obvious, and it’s the first one page story I’ve ever read that was far too long. I found it shockingly bad. If there was a level below No Award, it belongs there.

    ETA – ninja’d by others!

  29. @Nickp – I know you didn’t ask for suggestions, but some Middle Grade and YA that might fit the bill include the following: Diana Wynne Jones books (A Tale of Time City is great fun!), Jonathan Stroud’s books (I love the Bartimaeus series and Lockwood & Co. is turning out well), Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot, The Nest by Kenneth Oppel (also The Boundless), Sage Blackwood’s Jinx series, Gordon Korman’s Masterminds series, William Alexander’s Ambassador series and Zombay books, The Real Boy by Anne Ursu, The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm, Jonathan Auxier’s books, Adam Gidwitz’s Grimm books, Nancy Farmer’s Sea of Trolls series, William Sleator’s Interstellar Pig, Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart series, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, George O’Connor’s Olympians series, The Story of Owen by E. K. Johnston, Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, Un Lun Dun by China Mieville, M. T. Anderson’s Pals in Peril series.

    That is probably way more than you’d want, considering you didn’t ask for suggestions. 🙂

  30. That doesn’t say that the choice was political at all. It says that the Pups started a political campaign, and it failed to convince voters to choose their politically-driven choices. That actually shows the voters rejecting politically-motivated voting.

    But doesn’t the coordinated effort to counter the Puppies make this “coalition” into a political faction?

  31. A finalist from the Rabid Puppy slate won Best Graphic Story, Best Novelette, Best Long Form Dramatic Presentation, Best Professional Artist, Best Fanzine, and the Campbell Award.

    Thanks for pointing this out. I am aware of it, but I’m focusing on the four fiction categories just now, and how this has been treated in the media.

  32. But doesn’t the coordinated effort to counter the Puppies make this “coalition” into a political faction?

    What coordinated effort?

  33. Hugo voters are not responsible for the media spin by outside, uninvolved parties after the fact. Unless you’re implying that the media is 100% accurate about people’s private thoughts and motivations? Heh. Not.

    I’m not saying anything about the accuracy of the articles. It’s actually fairly clear that the writers didn’t do much leg-work and went very much on assumptions. However, media coverage, accurate or not, tends to become “truth” as the articles are picked up as sources and embedded as part of the body of knowledge that defines the history of, say the Hugo Awards. This means the spin becomes very important to the reputation of both the awards and the writers involved.

  34. FIYAH, a newly formed magazine focused on sf by black writers, is doing a State of Black Speculative Fiction Writer Survey. They would like to hear from writers who meet these criteria:

    * must have submitted at least one piece of short speculative fiction to a paying market in the last 12 months. You do not have to be published in order to participate in the survey. Speculative fiction includes fantasy, science fiction, horror, paranormal and all of their included subgenres. “Short” fiction includes shorts, novelettes, and novellas (under 40,000 words).

    * must identify as Black or of the African Diaspora (to include mixed/biracial)

    The survey closes on November 1.

  35. But there was minimal to no protests by the left against Libya in the USA. Most dems supported it.

    I’ll repeat what I said earlier – do you realise how ridiculous you come off when you say nonsensical stuff like this? Go back to my prior post, and read the link, especially the section on protests in the US.

    As to your point regarding Johnson – I’m aware of him. I’ll grant that there appears to be some fringe exceptions in American libertarianism. I still wonder though – how many self-proclaimed libertarians are voting for him?

    T5S – I put AM and Uprooted over it – AM by a lot, and Uprooted just barely. I found T5S to be a bit toooooo grim for my liking, That ending though….

  36. But doesn’t the coordinated effort to counter the Puppies make this “coalition” into a political faction?

    Provide proof of the coordination of effort, either from the articles you cited or with facts backed up with a more concrete source than your conspiracy theorizing.

  37. Nobody asked me either, but I read more children’s books than YA, probably because YA seems more specifically niche than that for children (which is somewhat more likely to be read aloud). I’ve recently read the first two books from The Mysterious Benedict Society and liked them quite a lot.

    @Chris S. – Bzzzt. My mileage varies. Asymmetrical Warfare was glib, the “twist” was blinding obvious, and it’s the first one page story I’ve ever read that was far too long. I found it shockingly bad. If there was a level below No Award, it belongs there.

    I really love the varied opinions here, including this one. I thought Asymmetrical Warfare was glib and slight and the ending was so obvious as to be laughable, plus I’ve run into the same story a few times over the decades, but its brevity got it a pass. Also, I despised it less than Slow Bullets which in another year (one without Seven Kill Tiger) would have ranked as the worst nominee I read, so I stuck it above No Award just because.

  38. But doesn’t the coordinated effort to counter the Puppies make this “coalition” into a political faction?

    What coordinated effort?

    The one the magazine is talking about. Plus, you have to agree that there was some discussion, mostly last year, about use of No Award as a way to prevent any of the Puppy slate from winning. That seems to be a coordinated effort.

  39. Yes, there was also lots of discussion about voting on merit too. And then after last year’s awards, lots of discussion on how rejecting the slates out of hand and voting on merit led to functionally the same results.

  40. In her ability to rouse a satisfying (to her) firestorm of attention by misstating history, Lela reminds me of Brian Z. Should that trend continue, I’m not going to wait a year to do something about it.

  41. The one the magazine is talking about. Plus, you have to agree that there was some discussion, mostly last year, about use of No Award as a way to prevent any of the Puppy slate from winning. That seems to be a coordinated effort.

    The fact that a magazine used the word “coalition” without describing, much less pointing to, any efforts at organized recruitment, or leaders of various factions coming to an formal agreement to act in concert as a group (the way the pups publically did repeatedly with their slate) means that you’re exempt from providing any proof of such a thing?

    ETA: Sorry, Mike. Won’t do it again.

  42. Aaron on September 16, 2016 at 6:05 pm said:
    “I’ve given up on Lela and airboy. Their commentary is too stupid to bother with any longer.”

    Aaron – if there was a button that could delete your ubiquitous nastiness of calling anyone who disagrees with you “stupid,” “uninformed,” “ignorant” and whatnot – I would push the button and the 770 stream would be far more cordial.

    You need to work on your manners and how you argue. I really wish I could face you in court as an expert witness. I enjoy seeing dogmatic attorneys get so angry that they stamp their feet and yell in court when I don’t answer how they wish I should answer. And then destroy them when they try to go to earlier depositions and cross me up.

  43. Ghost Bird: *polite cough*

    I might agree with you that that is perhaps a desirable form of government which is better than democracy. But sadly, given human nature, I cannot agree that it is a viable form of government. 😐

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