The Hydrophobia That Falls On You From Nowhere 6/12

aka The Puppies of Wrath

Today’s roundup stars David Gerrold, Tom Knighton, Rand Simberg, Phil Sandifer, Abi Sutherland, Doctor Science, Edward Trimnell, Jenn Armistead, Lela E. Buis, Peter Grant, Sarah A. Hoyt, Natalie Luhrs. Robert Sharp, Lis Carey and Lou J. Berger. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Seth Gordon and Steve Moss.)

David Gerrold on Facebook – June 12

Okay — so far, so good. If you wanted to suggest that there is a certain insular attitude among regular Worldcon attendees and supporters, even a clique-ishness, you could make that case — from the outside, it could look like that.

But actually, no. Because any convention — especially the Worldcon — is open to anyone who wants to buy a membership and attend. So no one is being kept out.

The issue — the idea that I’m creeping up on here — is the perception of a science fiction community. It’s an open community. Anyone can be a member of this community. Just show up. The ceiling constitutes an introduction. (ie. “You’re in the room, you’re here, you’re one of us. Hello!”)

So, in actuality, the community isn’t insular and it isn’t a clique — but it does have a lot of people in it who’ve known each other for a long time, and that can be intimidating to newcomers.

Now — here’s where I’m going to make some assumptions.

1) Based on the evidence of his online screeds, Vox Day does not consider himself a member of the science fiction community. In his own mind, he apparently considers himself a righteous and noble warrior fighting an evil establishment that sprawls like a cancer across the literary landscape. Based on the evidence of his online statements, he is at war with the community. He wants to disrupt and destroy. He has — by his own devices — selected himself out.

2) Brad Torgersen and Larry Correia, and others who have identified themselves as the “sad puppies” are very much a part of the SF community. They have demonstrated — by writing and publishing stories, by attending conventions, by being nominated for awards, by writing blogs and participating online — that they have a personal investment in the workings of the SF community. They are not enemies, they are (to the extent they participate in fannish endeavors) fans like everyone else.

Now, having made those distinctions, let me expand on them. ….

 

Tom Knighton

“David Gerrold: Sad Puppies ARE part of ‘SF community’” – June 12

I’ve been very upset by some of the things I’ve seen from David Gerrold since the Hugo nominations were announced.  Honestly, knowing such a person wrote my mother’s favorite Star Trek episode was upsetting on a personal level that really doesn’t make any sense, but there it was.

However, Gerrold’s tone has mellowed recently.  Today, he stated something that few would acknowledge, and that was how Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen, and the rest of us are part of the science fiction fan community in a post on Facebook early this morning. ….

That said, I’m willing to explore alternatives, but only so long as the horrid things we’re called ends.  Gerrold brings up the Paris Peace Accords and the amount of time it took just to get things rolling for various reasons.  In light of that, a comparison to a bloody war, I think it’s fair to note that I see no reason for us to disarm if the other side refuses.  CHORF and SJW remain in the arsenal, and will be used if necessary.

Calling us Sad Puppies won’t bring them out from me.  Calling us racists, homophobic, misogynists, or similarly will.  I’m damn sick of it.  Those words have meanings, and they’re being stripped of those meanings by using them to describe minorities of all stripes who stand with the Sad Puppies simply because they like different books.

 

Rand Simberg on Transterrestrial Musings

“David Gerrold” – June 12

..says Sad Puppies are a part of the SF community.

Well, that’s mighty white of him.

 

Philip Sandifer

“John C. Wright Has Just Advocated For My Murder” – June 12

In the comments over at Vox Day’s blog, John C. Wright posted the following:

Wrought

The first line is Wright quoting a previous post of mine. The second paragraph is him advocating for my murder. Because he disagrees with my definition of mysticism. I am, to be clear, not particularly scared by this. I do not imagine that John C. Wright will now be hiding in my bushes, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. This is empty, vicious rhetoric of the sort that Day and Wright specialize in – sound and fury that, while not exactly signifying nothing, is still clearly told by an idiot. Hell, if I were a woman blogging about the stuff I blog about I’d get half a dozen far worse threats a day. The threat itself is not a big deal.

 

Doctor Science in a comment on File 770 – June 12

If any Puppies are in the neighborhood: *this* is what the conspiracy of Hugo voters you think has been going on for years looks like. Not covert conversations, not a sekrit batsignal telling us who the Approve Authors are this year, but a lot of people saying, “I just read this thing, it’s great!” and explaining *why* it’s great, with other people saying things ranging from “me to!” to “what are you, nuts?” to “meh”.

 

Edward Trimnell

“So why are they mad at Tor Books?” – June 12

The science fiction community is currently divided into two factions: For the purposes of our discussion here, we’ll use the names they’ve assigned to themselves: the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) and the Sad Puppies.

*  *   *

The SJW faction believes that science fiction is primarily a vehicle of identity group politics. For the SJW faction, the ideal science fiction story would feature an angry feminist of color who receives a visitation from a band of transgender aliens one night as she is driving home from a Women’s Studies seminar somewhere in Massachusetts.

Over the course of many chapters, the transgender aliens explain to her why all of her problems result from white male exploitation.

The plot line is resolved when the angry feminist of color leaves her husband or boyfriend, gets a closely cropped haircut, and moves into a lesbian commune in western Massachusetts. (A closing monologue about the evils of the George W. Bush administration is optional.)

 

Jenn Armistead in letter to Library Journal – June 1

If the Sad Puppies don’t want to be conflated with the Rabid Puppies or called mean words like misogynist, perhaps they should have done a better job of explaining how what they were doing wasn’t a reaction to the “large” number of minorities who won the Hugos last year (Wilda Williams, “Set Your Phasers to Stunned: 2015 Hugo Nominations Stir Controversy”). Yes, it’s lovely that your slate also has women and brown people and that women and brown people were involved in creating Sad Puppies, but if you are going to claim the past winners didn’t deserve their awards but received them because of their gender/race/sexuality/whatever, you have to be very, very careful with your messaging, because it is going to tend to sound like you don’t like women/brown people/LGBT/whatever winning awards instead of white men.

The choice of the term Sad Puppies also doesn’t help your position. It was obviously chosen as a nod toward the anti-SJW [Social Justice Warrior] term, and it is rather disingenuous to claim otherwise. At the very least, your message was not received as it was intended. At worst, you sound like Gamergaters crying, “But it’s about ethics in game journalism!”

At the end of the day, I don’t think it matters. This is about a small subset of the sf reading population vying with another small subset of the sf reading population over a popularity contest. The rest of us readers will continue to read whatever we prefer. If we don’t see ourselves and the works we care about reflected in the ­Hugos, we’ll just go elsewhere.

—Jenn Armistead, Literacy Coordinator, Tulsa City-Cty. Lib. Syst.

 

Lela E. Buis

“Replying to intent” – June 12

As a mere short story writer, I’m coming late to the front. I’m just picking up on the issues here. I don’t know what Vox Day has against Tor, but it looks to me like he’s attacking the editors as a way to get at the organization in general. As a battle-hardened flame warrior, I have to say that it’s important to look at the enemy’s intent instead of what s/he says. Attacks can be shut down if you know what they’re really about.

John Scalzi? Just a guess.

 

Peter Grant on Bayou Renaissance Man

“Tor: the latest developments (or lack thereof)” – June 12

I wonder whether Tor’s and Macmillan’s lack of response to my letters, both public and private, is because they think I don’t mean it?  Do they think I’m just ‘small fry’, not worth bothering about?  Do they think my words are ‘a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing‘? Do they think I’m making an idle threat, or don’t have any support?  Time will tell.  I know what other authors and individuals in the SF/F community have said to me.  Let’s see whether they back up their words with action.  Whether they do or they don’t, I know what I’m going to do if the situation doesn’t change.

 

Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“Dispatches From Another World” – June 12

But one thing is to know it instinctively – and even then when I write about it, people email me to tell me that I am wrong and “paranoid” and yeah, one is always afraid – and another to have one’s nose rubbed in it in the form of a supposed adult saying with the simplicity of a 12 year old that the people who oppose her are “racist, sexist, homophobic” and “bad to reprehensible” even before the “poopy-head” level classification of “neo-nazis.”

Look, it is the fact that Irene Gallo is sincere and, in her own mind, fighting on the side of angels, that is shocking and scary. And it fits perfectly with what I’ve seen in the publishing world (other than Baen, natch) in my years working as a professional writer.

These people don’t live in the world we live in.

Most of us – well, some of us – went through excellent universities, and read voraciously, and were subjected to the barrage of media that projected the same mental picture Ms. Gallo has: the left is eternally right (when they were wrong, their mistakes – like segregation – are now attributed to the right) and the future is a bright socialist utopia (really communist, but we’ll call it socialist so as not to scare the squares) and anyone who stands against it is an evil right winger, a fascist, a neo nazi and by definition racist, sexist, homophobic.

 

Natalie Luhrs on Pretty Terrible

“Links: 06/12/15” – June 12

Has there been any more fan writing about this? I’d really like to read more fan perspectives as I work my way through the giant pile of angry thoughts I have about this. I feel like the fan perspective is important, for a lot of reasons: first of all, most of us are doing this because we actually do love the community and most of the people who make up the community. Second, we often have more at risk: fan labor is almost by its very definition free labor, we have smaller platforms, and what happened to Irene Gallo is chilling across multiple axes.

I stand in solidarity with Irene Gallo. I respect the hell out of her and her work and I think she is doing amazing things with art direction. She makes an incredibly difficult job look effortless and easy.  And publicly chastising her for what she said on her personal Facebook page was wrong.

 

Robert Sharp on Medium – June 12

It is now time for a “personal opinions” icon. Millions of people like Irene Gallo could add the symbol to their personal social media accounts. Ideally, the symbol would link to some standardised “these are my personal views” text that would insure both the individual and their employers from being dragged into something that should not concern them.

What would such an icon look like? That is a challenge for graphic designers. It needs to work at extremely small resolutions. My initial idea was simply a shape with a letter ‘p’ in it, but that does not translate across cultures. Perhaps a speech bubble with a face or head inside?

I urge designers to take up this challenge.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“The Hot Equations: Thermodynamics and Military SF, by Ken Burnside” – June 12

This is easily the best of the Best Related Works Hugo nominees. Burnside lays out what thermodynamics really mean for military actions and combat in space, at least if you are writing “hard” sf, intended to be based in scientific reality.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Letters From Gardner: A Writer’s Odyssey, by Lou Antonelli” – June 12

The memoir portions are perhaps less fascinating than Antonelli imagines. It’s a bit of a slog to get to the first few little notes from Dozois, which, while obviously highly encouraging to a new writer for whom any personal comment from an editor, especially one as notable as Dozois, are in themselves very ordinary. They just do not have the  thrill for the reader that they would obviously and appropriately have had for Antonelli when he received them. What’s hard to understand here is the lack of the most basic proof-reading and copy-editing. There are errors of tense and number, but always when the error is just one letter, suggesting a typo that a spellchecker wouldn’t catch, and a human eye didn’t catch. There are dropped words that momentarily bounce the reader out of the narrative. And it’s not just one or two instances; it keeps happening. It’s as if Antonelli relied too heavily on his newspaper-honed ability to produce readable copy on short notice, and didn’t think he needed an editor, or even a proofreader. The danger of that is that after you’ve spent too much time with your own prose, you see what you meant to type, not what you really did type. It’s an unwise choice that weakens even the best work. All in all, I can’t see this book being of real interest to anyone except Lou Antonelli’s devoted fans. A “Best Related Work,” it is not.

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Riding the Red Horse, by Tom Kratman (editor), Vox Day [Theodore Beale] (editor)” – June 12

Unfortunately, it’s a very uneven collection. It includes the very good The Hot Equations, by Ken Burnside, and the very disappointing Turncoat by Steve Rzasa. There is, early on, a casual endorsement of the probable “necessity” of genocide on the grounds that Those People aren’t smart enough to modify their behavior. A point Beale’s fans will have difficulty with is that such inflammatory language makes it less likely that readers will take in the point the author was attempting to make. A better editor would have caught it and told the author to dispense with pointless provocation and just make his point.

 

Lou J. Berger on Facebook – June 9

As David Gerrold proposed, WorldCon in Spokane this year will be a party, a place to revel in our shared love of Science Fiction, a place to be inclusive and supportive of one another.

Remember, we are ALL Science Fiction!

I’ll be passing these badge ribbons out to whomever asks for one at Sasquan.

We Are ALL Science Fiction ribbon

Lou J. Berger on Facebook – June 11

#?WeAreALLSF

The hashtag is gaining momentum, and if you agree that Science Fiction has been sundered, but believe we can repair the situation, please consider sharing the hashtag, along with a short paragraph or so of WHY you agree that re-unification of the various factions is vital….

There’s LOTS of room for all of us in the field of Science Fiction. Hijacking ballots, or dismissing milSF as “not real SF” says more about the person stating it than about the field at large.

We are ALL Science Fiction, and we’ve taken this genre from pulp to mainstream.

Let’s put down our scathing vitriol and find a way to support each other.

We are ALL Science Fiction.

823 thoughts on “The Hydrophobia That Falls On You From Nowhere 6/12

  1. To Estee: I have bought and read (all?) 4 Rivers of London novels. I really don’t know why’d you think puppies wouldn’t like them. The main character is African descent but nowhere in the books does the author say : stupid evil Tories are trying to destroy the NHS, or talks aboit how evil Thatcher’s council housing policy was or chooses to have an extended rant about how the POV wasn’t able to go college because of racism.

    The world bulding was excellent. There are IMO two gaping problems with the world building that I have to studiously ignore in order to enjoy the novels — but as I like the characters I give the author a mulligan.

  2. Seriously. No award it all. I’m just hoping 3BP and TGE split the vote so Butcher can eke out a win.

    You do realize that in a system that uses Australian Instant Runoff Voting there isn’t really “splitting the vote”, don’t you?

  3. @Meredith, thank you. It took a $20,000 hospital stay, three and a half weeks of antibiotics, and the sacrifice of a molar, but I am feeling at least 90% better.

  4. Happy-Puppy: Seriously. No award it all. I’m just hoping 3BP and TGE split the vote so Butcher can eke out a win.

    Aaron: You do realize that in a system that uses Australian Instant Runoff Voting there isn’t really “splitting the vote”, don’t you?

    I don’t think many Puppies have bothered to actually find out much of anything regarding the Hugo Awards. They’ve just been told “Vote these slate entries and stick it to the SJWs!” And of course, the Puppy leaders haven’t bothered to explain to their minions that the voting procedure is very different from the nominating procedure, and that Puppies aren’t likely to get any satisfaction when the awards are announced. Because if the minions knew that, they’d probably get bored and wander off.

  5. To Rev. Bob: Hoppy-Poppy.

    I like. I was reacting to what i felt was a scolding tone to Meredith’s post. But using humor to gently mock and correct comes across much better over the internet when all of the non-verbal cues we use IRL are missing.

  6. @gaffi8ed

    Good lord. I suddenly feel ever more grateful for the NHS. I’m glad you’re feeling better!

  7. aeou:

    “The other side of that coin is that the Sweden Democrats got above ten percent in the last election while two of four major newspapers explicitly asked for people not to vote for them. SD were formed by a bunch of dictionary definition racists. I don’t know if they’ve changed since inception and I don’t much care. But since no-one of all Hampus’ white friends are racists that vote does not exist. So Hampus pretends they do not.”

    Actually, what I said was that immigration and muslims were part of the cultural war. And that is all what SD is about. Please read what I write instead of inventing things. That I didn’t write a long screed about SD is because there is primarily a blog for SFF and going to deep into my countries politics wouldn’t a bit too off topic.

    “. In the face of normalcy the queer-bdsm indoctrination lasted for all of three weeks.”

    What kind of stupidity was that line about?

  8. Puppies aren’t likely to get any satisfaction when the awards are announced. Because if the minions knew that, they’d probably get bored and wander off.
    Let’s hope so. I fear some will excitedly denounced the way the votes have plainly been rigged.

  9. aeou: Accept the reality that most traits are mostly heritable

    I’m sorry, I’m a bit late here– is this an argument coming from Theodore Beale or his followers?

    Because it would be a heck of a thing for the son of a convicted criminal with noted mental problems to claim that most traits are heritable and nurture wouldn’t change a thing, and for his followers to be following a man with such things in his nature.

    Robert Whitaker Sirignano on June 13, 2015 at 6:33 am said: The Hugos this year about about “Science Friction”.

    Actually, with the digression into Israel and Palestinian politics, it’s Zion’s friction.

    Yeah, yeah– I know you were all happy when I shut up for a day.

  10. ‘‘Boneland’ by Alan Garner is one of the best books I’ve read this year.’

    What an INCREDIBLE book. Beautiful, haunting, strange and scary. Heartbreaking, though, but it does make some profound affirmations about life.

  11. Sorry this is a belated reply – had to go out for beer and then sleep.

    Someone asked for Richard Cowper recs.

    The White Bird of Kinship trilogy is a great read. Set in a future England after the sea-level has risen, and the Church is in a much more powerful position than today. However the books mainly concern themselves with members of a challenger faith. It is one of those novels (and series) where bits are told from a future perspective from large portions of the action. Very good prose, and certainly not heavy-handed god-bothering. It was definitely packaged as fantasy although I am not sure that it cleanly fits genre definitions.

    The three volumes are The Road to Corlay, A Dream of Kinship and A Tapestry of Time. The first volume was on the Nebula and British Fantasy Award shortlists. The first book also contains Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (which is the first chunk of the novel) which was also nominated for the Hugo (as well the Nebula and British Fantasy Award).

  12. Morris Keesan —

    > “I don’t know off-hand about the others, but I can’t think of any tie-in books written by Asimov. Perhaps you’re thinking of Fantastic Voyage? That was a novelization, which I consider to be different than a tie-in book. If not, what book(s) were you referring to?”

    I was counting novelizations, but in fact he also wrote “Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain”. Although admittedly that one is probably as loosely based on “Fantastic Voyage” as it’s possible to be while still being a book called “Fantastic Voyage II” which is about miniaturized scientists entering a human body.

  13. Silly But True:

    “To be sure. No, by “much worse” I’m not speaking any by-laws.”

    “I’m talking a man raping little boys.”

    Serious crimes is what we have due process, courts and prisons for. Generally, for that sort of thing the internal procedures of a group like SFWA are both inadequate and superfluous.

  14. And Thufir Hawat’s advice to Paul (never sit with your back to a door) proved to be a life-saver in many a role-playing game…

    During my family’s reunion in Hawaii, we ran a humane test that revealed that all of us, given a chance, will choose a dinner table next to a fire exit with a clear view of the whole room. And it’s not just the Nicolls who were raised by wolves: the ones with sensible parents do it too.

  15. I wish she’d had more time to write. Somewhere in the cosmos, in my Imagined Library in Paradise, there is a sequel to Hellspark that I’m hoping to have a chance to read one day . . .

    ah, a detail about Hellspark that I might as well share – some years back, shortly after having read it, I had a dream about Scheveschke ceilings; I wrote to Kagan to tell her how beautifully her work had infiltrated my mind, and she told me that they, and the entire culture that they implied, had been inspired by a low-roofed home she and Ricky visited at one point.

    Isn’t it amazing where ideas come from?

  16. @ Silly But True : “The relationships and animosities of the SFWA is inseparable from the issues at hand,”

    If that cut off without finishing, as the comment indicates, I’d love to hear the rest. If it was a mistyped period, however…can you explain in clear, lucid prose how SFWA’s internal grumbles are related to the Hugo controversy?

    SFWA does not administer the Hugos. The Puppy leaders are not SFWA members, so far as I know, barring Antonelli. SFWA has made no official statement on the matter. And–I think I can state this without breaking forum confidentiality–at least one member of the Rabid Weasels has said something to the effect that they were rabid first and are in no way affiliated with the Rabid Puppies.

    You seem convinced this is all of a piece. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I’d like to hear your chain of thought that gets you from A to B, because I don’t follow.

  17. nickpheas on June 14, 2015 at 12:59 am said:

    Puppies aren’t likely to get any satisfaction when the awards are announced. Because if the minions knew that, they’d probably get bored and wander off.

    Let’s hope so. I fear some will excitedly denounced the way the votes have plainly been rigged.

    Alas, I suspect the posts screaming Outrage about how the rules were “rigged” or “unfair” or something like that have already been written and merely await the publication of the results. After all, we already got a tiny taste of that last year when the Best Editor Long Form Hugo went to a finalist who didn’t lead at the end of the first round. Remember, in the You-nited States of ‘Merika, the only real country in the world, whoever has more votes than anyone else is the Winner, the way God intended, and anything else is the work of the Devil! Or maybe Scalzi.

    I also expect a bunch of people to scream that the rules weren’t explained to them, that they’re secret, hidden, and manipulated by SMOFs, despite many patient attempts by many of us to explain how the rules work

  18. @James Davis Nicoll:

    During my family’s reunion in Hawaii, we ran a humane test that revealed that all of us, given a chance, will choose a dinner table next to a fire exit with a clear view of the whole room.

    Quite sensible, if Nicoll Events are a family trait.

  19. @James Davis Nicoll: That piece of advice became so ingrained that once I was asked by an FBI agent if I’d been a member of “The Detail” (by which he meant the Secret Service). I replied, “No” and asked what made him think I had. He mentioned the dining room habit AND the fact that when walking I tended to place myself at the head of the group positioned so I could see around corners.

    When we got a new investigator in the office, she came in one morning, and then asked if I was expecting trouble and I answered, “What makes you think that?” and she replied, “You’ve got everything you could reasonably throw at an attacker lined up so you can reach them easily.”

    Strange what habits books can lead us to form…

  20. GSLamb on June 13, 2015 at 4:17 pm said:

    Jumping back to Hugos, I finally had another (less medicated) run at Three Body Problem, only to bounce off again. Don’t get me wrong, I can see that it’s well written, but I cannot seem to get into this (and I was mostly able to remember all the folks in Goblin Emperor). Has anyone else had this issue?

    I’ve bounced off of it twice now also. I agree that it appears well written and translated, but I keep getting kicked out of the story by the completely unnatural actions/motivations of the characters.

    Some of the problem may be that these characters are stereotypes who represent cultural tropes/placeholders. I think I recognize some actions or characterizations from Kung-fu and monster movies…the unreasoning panicky reactions when frightened/upset, the seeming lack of curiosity or resistance when told to do/think something by an authority figure, etc. I still can’t figure out why scientists would commit suicide because there was anomalous data. Is that some part of the alien plot revealed later? Because in the story it just seems to be accepted as an understandable reaction!

    I’ll try one more time to finish it before voting closes, but only because it has received so many accolades. If I bounce again the question will be whether to put it last before No Award or first after No Award.

  21. Morris Keesan on June 13, 2015 at 9:31 pm said:
    Lori Coulson on June 13, 2015 at 1:39 pm said:

    …in the short story category, where one story was so good that it made me wonder how it had gotten onto the slates. I’m voting for it behind No Award, not because it was slated, but because there are other stories better than it, that got pushed off the ballot by the slates, and No Award is my proxy for those other works. In the Novel category, I don’t consider either of the slated works award-worthy, so they’re not on my ballot, but in addition, I think there were books that were better than The Three-Body Problem, so it’s going below No Award on my ballot.

    I’m doing the same in short story to, probably, the same story. My added reason for doing it this way in all applicable categories (where there is a good slate nominee) is that I want to honor the extremely difficult but, imo, ethical choice of Kloos, Bellet, et al to withdraw from the Hugo ballet. Putting even good slate works above No Award seems to discount their decision.

    Sure nice to see a similar opinion on TBP. I’m still waffling about exactly where to “not vote for” the book. :^]

  22. Meredith–you might try Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. It’s basically a Victorian novel about sentient dragons. It doesn’t quite have the feel of The Goblin Emperor, though.

  23. Ann Somerville on June 13, 2015 at 9:38 pm said:

    BTW, Just rereading that Making Light/Electrolite thread where VD got the hump with Scalzi….

    Him calling Kim Stanley Robinson “Mrs Robinson” sums up his ignorance so beautifully. Cracks me up. (I mean, he didn’t just misgender KSR – he went the whole hog and assumed ‘she’ was a married woman too. Idiot.)

    VD definitely got his rearend scorched in that thread, but it seems that he was making a ‘joke’ with the comment about Robinson. There are later comments where someone figures it out and apologizes for the one untrue shot that was leveled at him.

    That apology is part of what I admire about so many people in this community. The truth is important, even if it doesn’t support what you originally thought.

  24. @James Davis Nicoll

    I’ll check them out. 🙂

    @Rachel (That’s my name too)

    SENTIENT DRAGONS YES I am all signed up for that. Definitely going on the to-read pile, and probably bumped up to reading soon, it sounds right up my street.

  25. Soon Lee on June 13, 2015 at 3:44 pm said:

    Silly but True at 3:33 pm:
    When one calls Jerry Pournelle (multiple award winner incl. Campbell, Prometheus, Heinlein) or William Barton or Susan Shwartz (multiple award winner, including Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick) silly names it reflects poorly on the ones calling them names.

    Actually no. We can honour them for their achievements but still point out when they behave like an ass. More importantly, they don’t get to use their achievements as a shield from criticism. if they later do or say idiotic things.

    And Jerry Pournelle has been behaving like a colossal idiot for a great many years.
    The final, final straw for me was when he created a special hell dedicated to Rachel Carson (and her ‘ilk’ of course) in the Inferno sequel Escape From Hell.

  26. I’m wondering if the negative impressions of The 3 Body Problem have to do with it’s being a translation. I know, for myself, I often bounce off of books that are translations, even ones that are considered very good. Something just doesn’t work. I’m getting that sort of vibe from 3BP, a third of the way through roughly and finding it difficult to summon the will to keep going. Even though, on the whole, I like it.

  27. Alas, I suspect the posts screaming Outrage about how the rules were “rigged” or “unfair” or something like that have already been written and merely await the publication of the results. After all, we already got a tiny taste of that last year when the Best Editor Long Form Hugo went to a finalist who didn’t lead at the end of the first round. Remember, in the You-nited States of ‘Merika, the only real country in the world, whoever has more votes than anyone else is the Winner, the way God intended, and anything else is the work of the Devil! Or maybe Scalzi.

    Unless you’re George W. Bush.

  28. rochrist on June 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm said:
    And Jerry Pournelle has been behaving like a colossal idiot for a great many years.
    The final, final straw for me was when he created a special hell dedicated to Rachel Carson (and her ‘ilk’ of course) in the Inferno sequel Escape From Hell.

    Ouch. Seriously? Rachel “Silent Spring” Carson?

    I’m so glad I gave up on Niven-Pournelle after “Lucifer’s Hammer.”

    And I’d like to add my agreement that having massive talent should not ever, for anybody, mean immunity from criticism.

  29. @rochrist:

    Do you think it might be good for you to take a little coffee break or something? That last (1:55 pm) post was kind of pushing the mockery and anger a bit far, based only on speculation, not actual evinced behavior.

  30. Brian Z wrote:

    “Do you think it has been proven that most human behavioral traits are heritable? Or just that there is a likely heritable component?”

    I worked for five years on a Stroke/Traumatic Brain Injury rehabilitation ward, and have made a concerted layman’s effort to keep up with the developments in science and treatment.

    It’s been established to a likelihood which approaches “beyond doubt” that both classical mental illnesses (Major Depression, Bi-Polarity, Paranoid Schizophrenia, etc.) and what are considered “syndromes” (Alzheimer’s, ADHD, all autistic-spectrum disorders including Asperger’s[*], Borderline Personality Disorder, etc.), are heritable — they are as physical in their causes as equally heritable diabetes or hemophelia, the only exceptions being those who have developed a disease or syndrome because of Brain Attack (the new, preferred phrase over “stroke”), or other Traumatic Brain Injury.

    What bothers me is that the definition of “hyperlexia” (the most clear and obvious “symptom” of which is a self-taught ability to read while at a pre-Kindergarten age) considers that early-age ability a deficit.

    To me, it’s one of the greatest gifts DNA could give a person.

    [*] — “Asperger’s” is a term which the Gods Of The DSM are trying to erase, although it’s much better known than Their vague — to me — replacement phrase, which seems to require a knowledge of basic geometry to understand.

  31. @Kyra “Barbara Hambly has a section on her website called “Further Adventures”, which contains 22 stories set in the worlds of her various books for $5 apiece. These include stories featuring… Jenny and John (Dragonsbane/Winterlands), Sun Wolf and Starhawk…”

    But what are they like? I would like to be to see more on those characters, but I’m afraid of reading any more of her work after that Jenny and John book where she lost her mind and sent one of them to a a scifi book and tortured them. Not cool.

  32. Count me in as another Kagan fan. In a better world, she kept up the same level of productivity in the 90’s – 2000’s that she did in the late ’80s; she gave us half a dozen novels in the universe of Hellspark, and most of them got Hugo nominations; she branched out into fantasy which was similarly well-received; and in general is considered a star on Bujold’s level.

    Alas, we do not live in a better world. We must settle for this one.

    I was going to give Meredith some recommendations for mannerist SF, but James Nicoll beat me to them.

    Someone here mentioned Graydon’s The March North. I also enjoyed it. I have A Succession of Bad Days but haven’t gotten to it yet.

  33. aeou wrote:

    “Nothing but signalling and endless construction and reaffirmation….”

    Mike Glyer and I determined in a telephone conversation over thirty years ago that the constant use of in-references and social-group-unique words and phrases (in our particular case, fannish words and phrases) was both psychological and anthropological: it’s an ongoing conversation test to make sure the other person is part of your “tribe”, so to speak, that you’re not speaking with an Outsider.

    I’m not very knowledgeable about comparative linguistics, but I’d suspect this has been a part of human psychology and speech since the very invention of language.

  34. @David Goldfarb

    I appreciate the thought, anyway. 😀

    @David K. M. Klaus

    It does seem a little bit like having the vapours over humans being humans. Especially since File770 seems to have an infinite capacity for absorbing friendly lurkers into the regulars ranks with open arms. I don’t see any evidence that this isn’t true for fandom as a whole. Fans like sharing their passions with other fans, and having to explain, or ask to have explained, an in-joke or two along the way isn’t hard.

    It might not be so nice for people who don’t want to be friendly and just want to shout people down with no consequences, but in those cases “reap what you sow” seems appropriate.

  35. David K. M. Klaus on June 14, 2015 at 2:13 pm said:

    What bothers me is that the definition of “hyperlexia” (the most clear and obvious “symptom” of which is a self-taught ability to read while at a pre-Kindergarten age) considers that early-age ability a deficit.

    To me, it’s one of the greatest gifts DNA could give a person.

    That’s a thing? There’s a word for it?

    And … what’s wrong with that? I was reading by three because everything was so interesting.

  36. I’m glad I am not the only one having a problem with 3BP. The first bit that takes place in the cultural revolution was so full of foot notes from the translators, I got totally bored and wonder what all this had to do with SF. I found the writing stilted, frankly, and often catch myself rewriting phrases as I read. But that can be forgivable in a translated text. People committing suicide because results of experiments aren’t consistent? Never met or heard of a scientist who wouldn’t get all excited by anomalous data. I’m still ploughing ahead, but I’m finding it hard to understand the characters and their motivations. I cannot identify with any of them.

    I did not expect much from a book about elves and goblins, but almost immediately fell in love with the “people” because they did become people to me. Loved the book. Hope there will be others in this universe.

  37. The horrible truth is that my fiction reading had slowed to basically zero for years, and it took Ancillary Justice to get me going again. I read it and went around gushing to people about it for weeks.

    Even so, I probably wouldn’t have started reading fiction again if it hadn’t been for the puppies. I had read Sword (and then I re-read both Justice and Sword in quick succession), but it was reading The Goblin Emperor that made me realise that I could still lose myself in a book. When did this end, and why? I don’t know.

    Just wanted to quote this because it describes my own experience so perfectly I had a moment of “did I write that and not remember it?” 🙂 If nothing else, this has got me reading again. I’ve also really been enjoying reading along as the conversation here has increasingly reached “eh, the puppies are boring, let’s talk about books instead”.

    Almost all my fiction reading is genre (at this point, “literary fiction”, or whatever the preferred term, is seems like it’s all written by the Guy in Your MFA or Annie Proulx), but I recently read A Man Called Ove and really enjoyed it.

  38. @Ultragotha “Oh, and for Heyers Fans into SF, try Komarr and then A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold”

    It was the other way around for me.

  39. David M. Klaus:

    What bothers me is that the definition of “hyperlexia” (the most clear and obvious “symptom” of which is a self-taught ability to read while at a pre-Kindergarten age) considers that early-age ability a deficit.

    Followed by Peace Is My Middle Name: I was reading by three because everything was so interesting.

    I’m having the same exact response as peace: I was reading on my own at age three (mispronouncing some words—”island” in particular because apparently I did it through word recognition since my parents and grandparents just read aloud to me a lot, and didn’t know about phonics—this was 1958). And then I got into TROUBLE in first grade (serious meetings were held; I was told I was reading WRONG—and at the wrong level, i.e. they said I was at a fourth grade level). I just quit freaking reading because that’s what you do when you’re told you’re doing X wrong. Luckily a friend introduced me to the Oz books and saved me. But really—a deficit? I wonder if that’s what was behind all that kerfuffle.

    There were more meetings in sixth grade when my Oz friend and I were tested at reading 900 plus words a minute with 99% comprehension—we lived in a college town and in those days the Ed department swanned in multiple times a year to do tests. My main memory seemed to be, again, that they couldn’t figure out how we were doing it, and it threw all their numbers off, and we were WRONG. They had some nifty new “method” of teaching reading which involved a bunch of cards with small excerpts and questions on them (color-coded, as I recall) that students were supposed to work through at a self-paced level. She and I zoomed through them in the first month, but then got told we could read our books as the other students kept plodding through cards. (I tend to this day to have issues with “Reading” academics–I’m an English professor, and sometimes students are shocked to learn that “Reading” is done in another college).

    Huh. Hyperlexia. Thanks for the info: I googled and read a bit about it. Definitely seems to describe me!

    Meredith:
    Especially since File770 seems to have an infinite capacity for absorbing friendly lurkers into the regulars ranks with open arms. I don’t see any evidence that this isn’t true for fandom as a whole. Fans like sharing their passions with other fans, and having to explain, or ask to have explained, an in-joke or two along the way isn’t hard.

    I was the advisor for five or six years to my university’s science fiction student group, and every once in a while, either reporters from the school paper, or students in a class requiring an ethnographic study of a community would ask if they could come observe, etc. I always said they’d have to come and ask the members, but warned them it could be dangerous because they’d be swarmed/swamped with people eager to tell them All. about. Everything. A surprising number of the ethnographic observers ended up members; maybe not surprising since they might have had some interest already or they would have chosen another group to observe.

  40. I don’t remember not being able to read, and I definitely didn’t struggle with reading at all, but one of my sisters is two years older and dyslexic so I would’ve been a bystander for much of the teaching that went into getting her up to speed. I think that would’ve helped even if I wasn’t consciously paying attention.

  41. @Glenn – “Actually, with the digression into Israel and Palestinian politics, it’s Zion’s friction.”

    Wait, did I walk into Callahan’s by mistake?

  42. Ann — if you like dance — try Spider Robinson’s “Stardance.” It’s my favorite of all his books, even though it almost broke my heart in places, but all’s well that ends well.

  43. I was reading by three because my mom didn’t want to put an eyepatch on her little girl for lazy eye, so instead everything in the house got a label on it to encourage me to focus. I’m told the cat was not appreciative.

    There was a short story in Analog back in the days when Usenet’s signal-to-noise wasn’t horrible that I – and several other readers – found utterly baffling. It took Usenet to point out that the POV character was illiterate and trying to hide it – having no recollection of a pre-literate time, we simply couldn’t recognize or even imagine the condition. Some of the other posters were equally baffled about how we could’ve missed it.

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