Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Puppies 5/5

aka The Puppy Who Mistook His Bark For A Hugo

Today’s roundup gathers together excerpts of Puppy-related thoughts from Mercy Pilkington, Paul St. John Mackintosh, Mike Glyer (who let him in here?), Deborah J. Ross, T.C. McCarthy, Kevin Standlee, Vox Day, Michael Kingswood, Tom Knighton, Lisa J. Goldstein, Jane Frank. Steve Davidson, Alexandra Erin and players to be named later. (Title credits go to File 770 contributing editors of the day Danny Sichel and Dawn Sabados.)

Mercy Pilkington on Good E Reader

“The Sad Joke That Is the Hugo Awards” – May 5

Unfortunately, this year’s nominations have allegedly been shanghaied by a small collective of people under the name “Sad Puppies” and a rival group “Rabid Puppies” who are disheartened with the “touchy feely” decline of science fiction into a genre that allows gay couples and women who don’t have giant breasts to exist. The groups have garnered enough voting support to send their favorites to the top of the lists, then have seemingly been quite open about achieving their goals.


Paul St. John Mackintosh on TeleRead

“Locus Awards finalists show the power of open voting” – May 5

You’re either forced to assume that the liberal-left-loony conspiracy beloved of the Sad Puppies ringleaders extends across the entire internet – or that the SP promoters are just a bunch of histrionic opportunists who hijacked the voting process of a particular set of awards in the name of a particular ideological agenda. Which also makes you wonder what future history will make of the 2014 Sad Puppies Hugo list, if not a single one of them has made the cut in a more open ballot. Apologies to any fine writers besmirched by that comment, but in the circumstances, it’s understandable. And apologies too to the Locus Awards for casting their fantastic slate of contenders in the shade of the Hugos/Sad Puppies fiasco. All the same, people, compare and contrast.


Mike Glyer in Uncanny Magazine

“It’s The Big One”  – May 5

Does The Award Matter? The award was forged as a weapon in the original culture war—the battle to earn acceptance for science fiction itself.

Isaac Asimov gave readers a taste of the mockery early science fiction fans endured in his introduction to a collection of Hugo–winning short fiction:

“You can imagine the laughter to which we were subjected when sensible, hard–headed, practical, every–day people discovered we were reading crazy stories about atomic bombs, television, guided missiles, and rockets to the moon. All this was obvious crackpotism that could never come to pass, you see.”

….Openly campaigning for a Hugo has long been culturally discouraged in fandom, however, that old–school tradition has not survived a collision with some other significant forces. Individual authors have been forced to shoulder the publicity burdens once carried by their publishers and one aspect of gaining attention is through awards – an approach discussed by Nancy Fulda (“Five Things You Should Know About Award Nominations”) on the SFWA Blog in January 2015. Furthermore, people steeped in the social media culture of constant self–expression and self–celebration have been conditioned to feel reticence is unnatural: Why wouldn’t they recommend themselves for an award?


Deborah J. Ross on Deborah’s Journal

“In Which Deborah Learns A New Word” – May 5

Normally, this is a politics-lite zone. Growing up in the ’50s with the McCarthy nuts breathing down my family’s neck has not endeared me to rancorous public discourse. I have, however, been following PuppyGate because I know some of the folks who withdrew their stories from the Hugo ballot and/or Puppy slate. The online debate has at times been pretty vile.

One of the few delightful things to come out of this mess is a new word: Puppysplaining. Akin to mansplaining, it refers to “Explaining to you how you really have no idea how completely wrong you are about your own lived experiences.” It comes to me from Gamer Ghazi. If it follows you home, you have my permission to keep it.



Kevin Standlee on Fandom Is My Way of Life

“Scheduling WSFS Business” – May 5

Because of a comment on the File 770 web site, I find that I’d better write about the subject of when the Business Meeting in Spokane will or might consider specific items, because it would appear some folks are taking this spot as the journal of record on such things.

Parliamentary Neepery about Business Meeting SchedulingCollapse )

So it’s possible for the meeting to put off consideration of proposals until Day 5, the morning after the Hugo Award Ceremony. How could it do this?

Agenda-Setting MechanismsCollapse )

I hope this explanation makes sense. It gets into a number of the finer points of parliamentary detail, but given the complexity of the tasks we may fact this year, I think it important that people understand what tools they have at their disposal.


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Bi-discoursality” – May 5

The interesting thing about rhetoric is that it makes no sense to those who are limited to the dialectic. I didn’t fully grasp the way it worked until reading RHETORIC for the second time. It can be bewildering when people tell you that they have been convinced by something that you know can’t logically have persuaded them. In such cases, you know they have been persuaded by rhetoric, not facts, reason, or logic.

I wouldn’t expect an individual who only speaks one form of discourse to be any more able to follow me into the other than if I abruptly switched to speaking Italian or French after beginning in English.

For example, this was written for dialecticals. Rhetoricals only see “blah blah blah, I’m so smart, blah blah blah, Aristotle” and scan through it seeking to find some point of attack they can use to minimize or disqualify me. And if they can’t, that’s when they strike a bored pose or return to the snarky ad hom.


Michael Kingswood on Magic, Swords, and Laser Beams

“Myke and Brad” – May 5

Look, I’ve had to set fellow officers straight before because they were messing up.  Mostly those junior to me, occasionally a peer, and once or twice more senior officers, up to and including my CO.  It’s part of the job, and expected: forceful backup is a primary tenet of submarine operations.  So I have no issue with one officer correcting another.

That said, there is a way to do that sort of correction, and I do take issue with the nature, style, and content of Myke’s open letter.

The entire letter is condescending, and lacking in professional courtesy or respect.  Does he honestly think that Brad doesn’t know that, as an officer, he has a duty to all of his men, regardless of their personal situation?  Or does he just think Brad knows but doesn’t care?  Brad’s been doing this for a long time now.  I think he gets it.  And who the hell is Myke to lecture anyway?  He doesn’t work with Brad, doesn’t serve with him.  They’re not in the same chain of command, and neither has authority over the other.  Has he ever observed Brad’s professional behavior?  If not, he’s just speculating not even based on hearsay, and has no standing to judge or cast dispersions.


Tom Knighton

“An Open Letter to Myke Cole” – May 5

Dear Myke,

As a veteran who is now firmly ensconced in civilian life, I’m writing you to discuss your open letter with CWO Brad Torgersen.  This is not to defend Brad’s comments, because there is nothing I feel like defending.  Brad was out of line, and I think he knows that.  One thing I agree with John Scalzi on is that being gay is not anything to be ashamed of, so there’s no reason it should be categorized as an insult.  Thus far, we are in agreement.

However, you chose to address this issue in an open letter.  In and of itself, this wouldn’t normally be an issue.  Open letters are quite common in this day and age.  However, you opted to do so as a commissioned officer who is addressing a warrant officer.  This is where I must take issue.

You are a commissioned officer, a lieutenant in the United States Coast Guard Reserves.  You are addressing a warrant officer in the United States Army Reserves.  In essence, you are addressing a junior officer in a different chain of command.  As you are an officer, one would assume that somewhere in your training, you were instructed in how to address junior personnel while counseling them in matters such as proper execution of their duties.

If you were, then I am quite sure that the Coast Guard instructed you similarly to the way the Navy instructed me in such matters.  Simply put, you handle stuff like this behind closed doors.  A private message, an email, something.  You address it directly and privately and, if that doesn’t resolve the matter, you address it with his chain of command.

However, that’s not what you did.  Instead, you opted to put your disagreement with Brad’s comments out in public.  Again, had you done this as one writer addressing another writer, then so be it.  You didn’t.  Like most other things on your website, you couched it all under the color of your own uniform and did so publicly.


Font Folly

“Visions and Ventures: why I love sf/f” – May 5

As an adult, I’ve been attending sci fi conventions for decades. I’ve even been a staff member at a few. I’ve had some of my own tales of the fantastic published, even though most of my published stories have been in fanzines and other small semi-pro publications. I’ve had the good fortune to be the editor of a fanzine with a not insignificant subscriber base. I count among my friends and friendly acquaintances people who have been published in more professional venues, people who have run those conventions, people who have won awards for their sf/f stories and art, even people who have designed some of the trophies. Not to mention many, many fans. I have even occasionally referred to that conglomeration of fans, writers, artists, editors, and so forth as my tribe.

All of that only begins to scratch the surface of why I find the entire Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies mess so heart-wrenching. Yes, part of the reason the situation infuriates me is because the perpetrators are all so unabashedly anti-queer. For this queer kid, sf/f and its promise of better worlds and a better future was how I survived the bullying, bashing, hatred, and rejection of my childhood. To find out that there are fans and writers who so despise people like me that they have orchestrated a scheme whose ultimate goal is to erase us goes beyond infuriating.


Wikipedia  entry on “Science Fiction”

A controversy about voting slates in the 2015 Hugo Awards highlighted tensions in the science fiction community between a trend of increasingly diverse works and authors being honored by awards, and a backlash by groups of authors and fans who preferred what they considered more traditional science fiction


Sappho on Noli Irritare Leones

“The flames of the Tigers are lighting the road to Berlin” – May 5

This year’s Hugo Awards have proved more controversial than usual, with the sweep of several categories of Hugo Award nominations by two slates known as Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies.

I don’t mean this to be a post about Puppies. If you want to know more about puppies, you can check out the blog of, well, almost any science fiction author right now, or Google “Hugo Awards 2015? and look at all the Puppy posts and articles. But the debate about Puppies raised a meta-Puppies point that interests me: the relationship between politics and art.

You see, two things are true, at the same time. The first thing: Art has always been, and always will be, political, and in the sense in which “politics” is being discussed here, politics can’t be extracted from art. The second thing: What Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns, and Money likes to call aesthetic Stalinism – preachy message fiction where the message overwhelms the story, and preachy reviews that evaluate books, movies, music, or other art solely on their political implications – is really, really annoying.



Lisa J. Goldstein on theinferior4

“The Hugo Ballot Continued: Short Stories” – May 3

The next story up is “Totaled,” by Kary English.  English is the only woman to make it onto the ballot in the writing categories (short story, novelette, novella, novel) from the Sad Puppies’ slate, although another woman, Annie Bellet, made the ballot but withdrew her story from contention.  Elsewhere the Puppies tout the diversity of their nominees, but their record in this slate is pretty terrible, at least concerning women who write.


Lisa J. Goldstein on theinferior4

“The Hugo Ballot, Part 3: Short Stories” – May 5

The story after Diamond’s is John Wright’s “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds.”  Wright’s style here is deliberately archaic, in a stately, somewhat pompous, King James Bible vein, and for the most part this serves him fairly well.  Every so often, though, he will stray from purple into ultraviolet and become lost to human ken.  What, for example, is one to make of “All about the walls of the city were the fields and houses that were empty and still,” which seems to have one too many “were”s in it?  Or a description of leaves as “wallowing”?  Leaves may do a lot of things, but I’ve never seen one wallow.  And then sometimes Wright will leave this style altogether and use words King James would have a hard time recognizing, like “sangfroid.”  The effect for this reader at least is to be yanked, hard, out of the story.

[There should be a law that anyone who wants to write in this style has to read Ursula Le Guin’s essay “From Elfland to Poughkeepsie.”  Sorry, no exceptions.]


Jane Frank on Amazing Stories

“The Artful Collector: On the Topic of ‘Puppies’ from a Former ‘Loser’” – May 5

And It’s not that attempts to skew Hugo outcomes have been solely the province of that literary set.   Lobbying to get certain (overlooked) artists on the ballot has been attempted, as well. In years past I’ve been approached to participate in these efforts, to garner support (assuming I had such influence!) from other voters I knew, and get them to nominate one artist or another. I guess I was seen as the perfect lobbyist for such a cause, considering I was then selling original art for such well –known (but never nominated) artists as John Berkey, Paul Lehr, Darrell K. Sweet.  To name just three  . . that never enjoyed that honor during their lifetimes.

Not that such efforts would have been without merit, or weren’t well-intentioned. But even I – an outsider who actually never minded the objectification of women AND men on the covers of books and magazines (how else are you gonna get young men to READ, duh?) – knew enough to know that such lobbying was simply NOT DONE.   Voting has always been an individual thing – and I never had any interest in influencing the votes of others. Indeed, I have always been able to act as has been suggested by others. That when I wasn’t familiar with the work, if I hadn’t read the story, if I never heard of the artist, saw the TV episode or movie, I just didn’t vote for it.


Steve Davidson on Amazing Stories

“OMG! That SJW Fannish Cabal is WAY Bigger Than They Thought!” – May 5

So lets get this straight.  Locus Magazine publishes the final ballot for this year’s Locus Poll – a poll of the readers of science fiction and fantasy, one that costs nothing to participate in*, one that doesn’t require special membership in a special organization, a poll of the READERS rather than just a poll of those nasty liberal WSFS Trufans and Message Fictioneers, a poll presumably participated in by the folks who really count – consumers!, the ones untainted by the crushing weight of 75 years of special cabal-think (libprog, social justice creep), the Goodread and Amazon four-star-review-unless-we-don’t-like-you crowd, the great unwashed masses of REAL FANS(tm), the folks who supposedly believe that sales figures and best seller lists are the only markers one needs to confer awards, the readers who the Suicide Puppy Squad claim want nothing more than entertaining adventures  (weirdly homoerotic broad chested man adventures at that) is published with NOT ONE SINGLE WORK BY A Puppy of any breed!  (Thank goodness for super lungs!)


Aaron Kashtan on The Hooded Ultilitarian

“The End of Comic Geeks?”  – May 5

This piece originated as a paper presented at the 2015 University of Florida Comics Conference. A slightly different form of this paper was incorporated into my lecture “Change the Cover: Superhero Comics, the Internet, and Female Fans,” delivered at Miami University as part of the Comics Scholars Group lecture series. While I have made some slight changes to the version of the paper that I gave at UF, I have decided against editing the paper to make it read like a written essay rather than an oral presentation. The accompanying slide presentation is available here ….

Now in other fan communities, the opening up of previously male-only spaces has triggered a backlash from the straight white men who used to dominate. The obvious example of this is Gamergate, where the inclusion of women in video gaming has led to an organized campaign of misogyny which has even crossed the line into domestic terrorism. SLIDE 6 A less well-known example is what’s been happening in science fiction fandom. In recent years, novels by liberal writers like John Scalzi and female and minority writers like Nnedi Okorafor and Sofia Samatar have dominated the major science fiction awards. SLIDE 7 When this started happening, certain mostly white male writers became extremely indignant that science fiction was becoming poiliticized, or rather that it was being politicized in a way they didn’t like. So they started an organized campaign known as Sad Puppies SLIDE 8 whose object was to get works by right-wing white male authors included on the ballot for the Hugo award, which is the only major science fiction and fantasy award where nominations are determined by fan voting. And this led in turn to the Rabid Puppies campaign, which was organized by notorious neo-Nazi Vox Day and which is explicitly racist, sexist and homophobic. SLIDE 9 And these campaigns succeeded partly thanks to assistance from Gamergate. On the 2015 Hugo ballot, the nominees in the short fiction categories consist entirely of works nominated by Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, and this has led to an enormous public outcry.


Alexandra Erin on Blue Author Is About To Write

“Sad Puppies Review Books: THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK” – May 5


The cover of this book promises a monster, which implies there’s going to be a battle. But there’s no battle. There is barely even a monster! Just some blue gamma male wimp who begs and pleads with you to stop reading the book on every page.

Looking at the obviously inflated Amazon reviews I can only conclude that a number of weak-willed liberal readers gave in to this blue cuck’s loathsome SJW bullying tactics and stopped reading before the disappointing reveal. Of course this doesn’t stop them from lavishing it with glowing reviews. These people care only about politics and demographics, not merit or value.

Well, I read it all the way to the end. The last thing you want to do is tell this red-blooded American he mustn’t do something or shouldn’t read something because I believe in the first amendment and I will read whatever the hell I want.


474 thoughts on “Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Puppies 5/5

  1. “I mean Christina Sommers”

    Who is a bought and paid for shill for the American heritage Institute with no credibility.

    “And Milo has openly apologized for those articles”

    And yet he is still an incredibly unethical journalist who was sued for failing to pay his employees (and tried to blackmail them when they did ask for payment) and has invented stories that even if true would be breaches of journalistic ethics, such as “outing” Brianna Wu as transgendered.

  2. TC McCarthy:

    As an european, I don’t agree with you. For me, this american cultural war is hurting WorldCon and the Hugos. And it is more or less an isolated american war because of a dysfunctional political system.

    I, as an european, have a huge problem with the Hugos now and that problem is americans thinking the Hugos are part of their political conflict. Play at diplomacy wherever you want, but this is not anything the WorldCon or the Hugos should be involved in. At all. Just leave your cultural war at the door. Or at least, let it stay at american conventions where it would make more sense.

    Oh, and if you want to integrate with Fandom? Please accept that fandom is not a pure american thing. At a WorldCon you will have to integrate with the rest of the world. We also have opinions on where the problem with the Hugos are. And my guess is that the opinion of most europeans differs quite a lot from that of the puppies.

  3. “3. Many important WSFS business decisions over all this will likely take place over the next 3 years; it makes sense to hold WorldCon where the principals involved on BOTH sides can most readily attend. My opinion: Helsinki does not meet this requirement.”


    So let me get this straight: a minuscole fringe part of American SF throws a hissy fit and this means that the rest of the world doesn’t get to host a WorldCon until they get over it? Don’t we get a say? What part of WORLD translates into “The US and some holiday spots if we feel like it?” What if the European, Australian, Asian and African parts of fandom would like to chime in?

  4. Anna,

    Well that depends. How many white, straight men are there in those parts of Fandom?

  5. Hampus, I liked this joke a lot more before I realized how depressing it is.

  6. Regarding site selection:

    One of the reasons you have to pay to vote (and you already have to be a member of the current Worldcon just to be eligible to make that payment) is that WSFS only wants people who are willing to join the N+2 Worldcon wherever it is to have a voice in the site selection process. To people who say, “I’ll only buy a membership if it’s within easy travel distance of me,” this seems “unfair.”

    Ironically, the members of WSFS for the past two decades or so have shown a willingness to spread the Worldcon around to so many places that I have seen people who apparently think “the rules” require Worldcons to be outside of the USA periodically, which they do not and in fact never did except for two years in the early 1970s that nobody except Ben Yalow remembers. (I wouldn’t have known about this if he hadn’t told me about it.)

    Mind you, I also hear Europeans who scoff at the Canadian Worldcons, telling me, “That’s just part of the USA,” to the annoyance of Canadians (and honorary Canadians, like me; I’ve been on the committees of the past three Canadian Worldcons, the past Canadian Westercon, and on the board of directors of two Canadian conrunning non-profit organizations. This seems to mystify Americans who can’t conceive of being part of anything other than what’s immediately local to them.)

    But in any event, I want the people voting on this year’s Worldcon site selection to pick the site that they think will be the best Worldcon for the members of WSFS, not “whatever is personally most convenient for me.” However, people will vote however they will and for whatever reason they will, as we’ve seen with the Hugo Awards.

  7. I feel compelled to speak to some of the comments here.

    Most people know I am heavily involved in the DC17 bid (the hotel is literally down the street from my apartment). Most people also know I am involved in Worldcon Business Meeting Fandom and have been on head tables before and will be Deputy Presiding Officer at Sasquan and will Chair the meeting at MAC2.

    Let’s take that to its logical conclusion. DC17, should we win, needs someone to chair the Business Meeting, someone with WSFS BM experience. They’d probably look at the bid committee first. Yep, that’s right. IF DC17 wins, I would chair the BM in 2017.

    So let’s get something very, very straight. No Business Meeting is going to be more or less open to both sides. Not all SP supporters live in the US and not all anti-SPs are here either. This is an international fandom. I am CERTAIN there are SP supporters that will find it easier to go to Helsinki (or Montreal or Japan) or will just go anyway. Same for anti-SPs. People go to Worldcon’s across the globe all the time. My parents took two kids to Glasgow. I promise that wasn’t easy. So let’s not go around selecting our Worldcon sites based on BM attendance.

    Also, let’s note that it is VERY LIKELY that proposals related to the Hugos will come up at Sasquan. If passed, they would be up for ratification at MAC2 next year. By 2017, you’d have proposals in place and I would assume. from my long history with the BM, that BM attendees would not be willing to change the rules again without first seeing how the first change played out.

    DC has a lot of great things going for it. It is highly accessible (3 airports, a major train route, and a major interstate hub with plenty of parking at the hotel). It has a great Metro system that is fully accessible, stops RIGHT OUTSIDE the hotel, and will take you anywhere in the city you want to go. It has great museums (a BUNCH of free ones), the National Zoo (also free) galleries, bars, nightlife, restaurants, outdoor sculpture, parks, monuments, architecture, etc. We have a great CVB we have been working with who really wants to bring Worldcon to DC. We have a great committee who comes from all walks of fandom (fanzines, gaming, costuming, art collectors, dealers, publishers, etc.) and has a mix of new faces and well-seasoned Worldcon vets. We have a great, beautiful hotel that will let us hold our entire convention under one roof, with beautiful soft breakout spaces, plenty of elevators, a HUGE lobby for convening, dozens of restaurants of varying types nearby, and a staff that is really ready for Worldcon (in our first on-site, they pulled out pictures of Discon 2, which happened on the same site, under a different hotel chain name and before renovations). We have great ideas for Worldcon, and we really hope you will consider us as your first choice for 2017.

    If you want to vote just because we are in your backyard, that’s cool, too. I think that is a perfectly acceptable reason. We want fans to come to Worldcon. If fans don’t think they can make a site, then Worldcon suffers and that is the last thing we want.

    But please, don’t vote for us to stir controversy or make the BM meeting more fun. It’ll be fun where ever we go. I promise, I have been to enough to be sure. I can say as a representative of DC17 that we aren’t in the business of promoting any agenda, in the BM or otherwise, other than let’s make the best Worldcon possible.

  8. @Maximillan @Annie Y – My fault for not being more clear in my sarcasm, with many ridiculous things being said it is like snowcrash mentioned, I stuck my foot right into Poe’s Law.

    Moss had asked initially asked me if I thought Redshirts was better than Skin Game and if I was going to vote No Award, I said yes to both. My response to Rev. Bob was snark based on Moss’s argument. The ‘little known’ comment was just poking fun at the idea that someone with his fanbase needed the help of anyone else.

    From what I can tell of his argument in this thread has been that Skin Game is Hugo worthy because it’s popular, because as he put it Butcher is a ‘decent’ and ‘competent’ writer, that it has really good Amazon reviews, that the only reason that Butcher hasn’t received the honor before is because the Hugos are a Country Club which is why he joined this year because the Old Guard is out of touch.

    While people have listed their issues with the book, surprisingly he hasn’t mentioned one good thing he enjoyed about the book itself, content to parrot reviews. For someone so passionate about the book it’s surprising he doesn’t bother to argue the merits of the text itself.

    He and I have something in common, this is my first year as well. He joined because he’s a fan of Butcher’s. I joined because I’m a fan of science fiction and consider the Hugo one of the highest awards in the field and do not want to see it go to a novel because the Amazon reviews were good, or because the writing was decent or competent, or because it was put on a slate to really stick it to some fictional enemy. I want it to go to a novel that is one of the best in the field of SFF and to an author who has earned it.

  9. I find comments like “it makes sense to hold WorldCon where the principals involved on BOTH sides can most readily attend” confusing.

    There is not a “BOTH” sides. There is one side, the Puppies, consisting of a minuscule number of disgruntled American authors and their allies, and … nothing else. There is no other side.

    There is Fandom, which has a core of dedicated volunteers running the conventions at great personal expense and time invested, a larger number of invested members who regularly attend conventions and talk to each other and know each other, and an even larger (but still small in the scheme of things, even in the scheme of all people who like SFF) group of casual hangers-on like myself.

    And there’s all the other people in the world who read SFF and don’t particularly know about or care about the Puppies, and all the people in the world who may or may not read SFF but care about literary awards and notice when a fix is in.

    Only in the Puppies’ imaginations is there “an” other side, rather than people worldwide with entirely independent and individual reasons for disliking what ey have done.

    So no, arguing about a place where “BOTH sides” can meet is pointless. There is only one “side”, and claiming that everyone outside of their groups is on a single side against them won’t wash.

    I don’t think that getting together in a room and yelling is a healthy or normal way for adults to dispute things either.

  10. @Peace That is truly the heart of the problem, here and in so many other arenas these days. Everything must have “sides.” If it doesn’t, sides must be created. The only proper state is lungs-out nose-to-nose screaming of completely opposite statements. Nothing less is acceptable. As a former journalist, I have to say journalism contributed strongly to this by presenting everything as X says/Y says. There always had to be a Y, regardless of how obvious or evident X was. The appearance of a lack of an X is now the tip of the wedge for any possible argument that will lead to screaming polarization that paralyzes everything. I wish I knew what the answer is.

  11. Just wanted to say, everything Jared Dashoff and Kevin Standlee have said on the recent site selection matter, I applaud. Please note that they are both speaking in a careful and eloquent manner for the benefit of the Worldcon, something particularly difficult in a partisan atmosphere. I appreciate their efforts.

    Rick Moen

  12. @Rick Moen

    I try. Something about working in Public Affairs (read communications) for a living helps. Plus, no one gets to see my GChats or the scribbles I make in private.

  13. What Peace Said.

    Personally I would love the WorldCon to be in Helsinki not because it would be more convenient for me (the flights might be less expensive but I am not sure the experience as a whole would be, and frankly right now it looks doubtful I will be able to afford another WorldCon any time soon), but because Scandinavian fandom has never hosted a WorldCon, non-english speaking fandom only got I think three WorldCon in what, seventy years? Heidelberg, The Hague and Tokyo. I couldn’t go to Tokyo and I am too young for Heidelberg, but I enjoyed the hell out of The Hague in part because it was easier for people outside the usual circle to come.

    One of the great pleasures of WorldCon is meeting those several thousands close friends of mine that I meet there; but the other is the opportunity to meet people who make a special effort to come from very far away. Hell, my first convention was a WorldCon, in 1987.

    I’m not only not American; I’m not even properly English-speaking. English is my second language and while I live in London now, I was part of fandom long before I left Italy, and I probably woulnd’t have had the opportunity if the WorldCon hadn’t been close enough for me to attend in 1987.

  14. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan: Lasciate ogni speranza, cuccioli ch’entrate.

    (Pity that’s not an SF title reference, though I suppose I could cheekily claim it’s from Niven & Pournelle’s Inferno.)

  15. Thanks for the kind words for Jared and me. We’re in something of a time of transition for WSFS business leadership, with Jared Dashoff and Jesi Pershing representing the next wave of leadership the way I was when I showed up in the early to mid 1990s, and I’m happy to be working with them.

    As a bit of trivia, note that while Jared is my deputy this year, next year in Kansas City I am his deputy. Also, as I recall, the leadership for the 2015 meeting was destined to be either me or Jared in one combination or the other, as all three bids for 2015 had picked a combination of the two of us to run the meeting before the election results were decided. You can in this sense consider us the Sir Humpreys of WSFS, working as hard as we can to make sure that while Worldcons come and Worldcons go, WSFS endures. (This analogy is close to my mind given the UK election going on today and the possibility of a hung Parliament. The Permanent Undersecretaries are doubtless busily working to keep things running while the politics settle out.)

  16. @Will: I wish I knew what the answer is.

    (Speaking only for myself, describing the facts as I see them:) The answer is that WSFS will continue to conduct its affairs the way it has for 76 years and counting.

    Some people seem to be under the impression that the WSFS Business Meeting is a summit or a town meeting, that you can show up there and require that the assembly ‘negotiate’ with you. I’m not entirely sure where this idea came from, but I assume it’s one or more blog of parties that have recently been attempting to inject US culture warfare into the Hugo Awards.

    The Business Meeting is a deliberative assembly that works through (i.e., progresses through) a published, orderly agenda. Thus the term ‘business’. It is governed in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, the WSFS Constitution, Standing Rules, and Resolutions and Ruling of Continuing Effect. All attending members of the current Worldcon may equally participate, but you as an attendee do not make the rules that govern your participation. WSFS does. Learn the rules, as the Business Meeting is under no obligation to slow down to teach them to you. You have no right to require the assembly to continue to deal with some matter of interest to you, if the assembly has voted to move on, if you have exhausted your time allocated to speak, etc. You, I, everyone else is not a special snowflake. And when the agenda and duly qualified new business has been dealt with to the satisfaction of the assembly, the Business Meeting adjourns. Finis.

    That’s the way it works, and has for 76 years. Anyone who doesn’t like that, feel welcome to create your own convention and your own awards.

  17. @rick moen That is good to hear. I should be clear my characterization was meant to be of the template for online “discussion” in general these days. Didn’t mean to suggest the con would be (or should be or could be) a free-for-all of some kind. I’d guess the parties know that, which is probably precisely why the online debate has become such a melee.

    I will be more careful to delineate these things in any further comments I make–what I really care about here is what’s being asserted about sci-fi as a whole rather than about what’s happening here in particular (which I’m aware I’m almost totally ignorant about). Sorry about that. Cheers.

  18. What IS the procedure on getting someone kicked out/banned from a WorldCon?

  19. @Alexvdl:

    Banning Puppies of any stripe from WorldCon is a sucker’s game. Even supposing Vox, Larry, Brad, and Kate were barred, there’s still the matter of at least a hundred supporters of their cause. Furthermore, banning any of them will inevitably fuel the flames by making them right about being shut out. If you want to see a Puppy recruiting drive of epic proportions, just ban Vox Day from WorldCon.

    Now, let’s say we went ahead with that horrible idea anyway. That wouldn’t silence them. They still have their blogs, and they can say whatever they please there. They can still organize campaigns and recruit people to become supporting memberships. They will still attract like-minded voters.

    That’s exactly why I support gutting the power slates can wield instead. Assume they’re going to happen and make the system resilient enough that no slate can dominate the ballot.

  20. Disinviting people from Worldcon is a crazy idea. For one thing, several of the puppies have already said that they don’t like cons any more than they like fandom, so they already won’t be going. More importantly, it would have nearly zero effect on their slates, while giving them a real grievance to complain about.

    They’ve made it this far with only imaginary grievances, what would they be like with something real?

  21. @Will: I actually might have missed that intent in your upthread comment, in which case my apologies. Unfortunately, real life is happening with my family at the moment, and has been for the past couple of weeks. So I have been fixated on grave matters (a terrible pun, but good enough for Shakespeare).

    Rick Moen

  22. @rick moen No worries at all–looking back at what I was responding to, I could see how it could be read that way, so I was glad to clarify. All the best, Will

  23. Maximillan – ‘Disinviting people from Worldcon is a crazy idea. For one thing, several of the puppies have already said that they don’t like cons any more than they like fandom, so they already won’t be going. More importantly, it would have nearly zero effect on their slates, while giving them a real grievance to complain about.

    They’ve made it this far with only imaginary grievances, what would they be like with something real?’

    If anything I’d hope they would actually show up. It’s one think to accuse a faceless mass of people on the other end of a computer of evil plots to exclude you, if they came and saw the reality that it is just people having fun and celebrating Sci-Fi I’d imagine it would be more difficult to harbor such anger and angst against it.

  24. Rev. Bob, oh I agree. I’m not suggesting we do that at all. Beale will get bored soon enough. I mean he keeps telling us all about how many irons in the fire he has.

    I’m just curious about the actual mechanics of doing such a thing. Is there a procedure for such things?

  25. @alexvdl: Each Worldcon has its own operating management and its own rules. The few things that Worldcons are positively required to do or not do, you can find at wsfs.org:

    Your question makes me wonder, with admitted cynicism, why you are asking. I am reminded of a note in the introduction to AT&T research scientists Cheswick & Bellovin’s classic text on network and system security, Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker:


    In the past, some people have interpreted our descriptions of our security mechanisms as an invitation to poke at us, just to see if we would notice. We are sure, of course, that their hearts were pure. Conceivably, some of you might entertain similar misconceptions. We therefore humbly beseech you, our gentle readers:


    We have quite enough other things to do; it is a waste of your time and ours, and we don’t really need the extra amusement. Besides, AT&T Corporate Security has no sense of humor in such matters.

    Please do not encourage people to attempt to find out what is required to get ejected from a Worldcon or any other SFF convention. Please do not be that variety of jackass, either. Tusen takk.

    Rick Moen

  26. I honestly don’t see what good it would do to officially disinvite VD from Worldcon. It’s not like he had to be physically present at a Worldcon to cause all the nuisance he’s caused so far.

  27. Rick Moen, you should read the Gerrold piece linked above if you want to know why I was asking.

    And again, I have no specific person in mind, or any desire to figure out how to get dis-invited, or any other nefarious plan. I thought that the Gerrold piece was pretty damn close to calling for such a thing, and it made me wonder what the procedure is. Specifically, my mind turned to the situation at RavenCon with with the Wu’s and Ralph.

  28. @Maximillian: Disinviting people from Worldcon is a crazy idea.

    Ah, see, this is where it’s really useful to have read some fannish history, because every dumbass feud including severe intrusion of real-world political squabbling, and just about every dumb mistake in reaction, has happened again and again and again.

    One of the reasons I get the giggles at the notion of a left-wing cabal suddenly overtaking SFF fandom’s hallowed institutions is the implication that the speakers never even heard of the Futurians: Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Virginia Kidd, Robert A.W. Lowndes, Damon Knight, Cyril Kornbluth, Judith Merril, Frederik Pohl, Larry Shaw, Donald A. Wollheim (founder of DAW Books), and John B. Michel.

    Their literally communist politics and the big-ass feud that resulted from that makes the recent puppy piddle look like nothing at all, in comparison.

    What was that line in one of the Pournelle MilSF volumes? Something like ‘Ain’t going to study war no more, because we’re already good at it.’ Don’t try to feud with fandom; fandom picked up feuding in kindergarten.

    Rick Moen

  29. [i]If WorldCon is going to actually live up to the “World” part of its name[/i]

    You know it’s named “Worldcon” because the first one was held at the site of the World’s Fair in NYC, yes?

  30. @Alexvdl: David Gerrold expressed an opinion, and this is of general public interest why exactly?

    I feel like this is a bit of a waste of time, but will note that Gerrold merely expressed (at his overlong and discursive Facebook comment) the ‘Worldcon as an institution, should have the same power to invite someone to the egress’. Which is correct, by the way, although the sovereign power to do that resides in the current year’s operating convention committee (Sasquan’s, in 2015), not in ‘Worldcon’ as such, nor in WSFS.

    Gerrold doesn’t quite come out and say ‘Beale should be disinvited by the Sasquan concom’, though he sort of walks all around saying so.

    To my knowledge, Gerrold hasn’t made this request to the Sasquan concom, so this is just a guy burbling his personal opinion in his blog.

    He is one of two Hugo Award presenters this year. He does not to my knowledge hold an executive position (or any other sort of position) at Sasquan. Thus, he is one of seven billion people with an opinion.

    Any actual point I’m missing? Seems like a total waste of time, to me.

    Rick Moen

  31. … nope, you pretty well covered it. The difference being you think it’s a waste of time, and I”m actually interested in the minutiae of how such a thing would work.

    As stated previously, I’m a big fan of bureaucracy porn.

  32. @alexvdl: You know where sasquan.org is. If you can’t find what you want there, I suppose you could ask the volunteers, but would personally rather you didn’t, since they have rather enough to do preparing to, y’know, run a very large all-volunteer event.

  33. You know it’s named “Worldcon” because the first one was held at the site of the World’s Fair in NYC, yes?

    And the World Series was originally named after a newspaper. Your point?

  34. Thanks, Rick, for believing in my ability to use a web browser. It’s gotten considerably easier since Mosaic, but your faith is really what gets me there.

    As to your second point, yeah, I’m aware. It’s almost as if I asked here so that some random SMOF with more knowledge than I could answer the question, instead of bothering people who have actual jobs to do.

  35. “Disinviting” someone who can’t possibly attend because he’s effectively barred from entering the country where the convention is being held is a doubly foolish notion.

    On a related matter, there are people who are convinced that there are going to be people attending the WSFS Business Meeting solely for the purpose of physically disrupting it. I have said repeatedly that anyone who behaves within the rules will be treated justly within the rules. (That doesn’t always mean you get what you want, though.) If the members can’t behave like civilized people, the meeting will not be in order and I’ll adjourn it and call upon those people who are responsible for dealing with disorderly groups (not me and not the rest of the WSFS Business Meeting staff).

    To try and put it more plainly: Act too much like an idiot and you’ll likely find that you’re no longer a member, and the Meeting has no obligation to admit non-members to its gatherings. Preemptively barring someone? I seriously doubt it. Members are presumed to be on good behavior until they demonstrate otherwise.

  36. Ok; I think I’ve finally managed to reboot my brain on the ‘two sides’ view which, notwithstanding the subsequent efforts to pretend that ‘two sides’ really didn’t mean ‘two sides’, is a clear indication of the ongoing panic on the puppy front that another Worldcon outside the U.S. is going to have lots of people who are totally uninterested in US culture wars.

    Instead those people will believe that Worldcons are about enjoying and celebrating SF/F, a perspective which is apparently so alien to those of a juvenile canine persuasion that they can’t wrap their brains around it. The puppies seem to be locked in to a fantasy in which they are confronting dastardly villains at High Noon, and whilst I rather enjoy old Westerns I lean more towards the spaghetti formula.

    Helsinki is an extraordinary place which I should like to visit; the prospect of Washington DC in August, on the other hand, looks to be downright unpleasant. And if the Worldcon is going to carry on being Worldcon, then locating it somewhere convenient for people who apparently wish to destroy it seems not a sensible idea…

  37. @Rev. Bob: If you want to see a Puppy recruiting drive of epic proportions, just ban Vox Day from WorldCon.

    The 2015 National Barbie® Doll Collectors Convention will be held in Virginia, July 29 – Aug 1.

    I say we start a petition to get VD, Correia and Torgersen preemptively banned from there instead.

    (Besides, VD won’t be showing up at any convention held in the US, super-alpha dialectical genius that he is…)

  38. Since a World view of WorldCon is coming up here, there is a survey about that by Shaun Duke.

    Non-US Fandom Survey: Perspectives on the Hugo Awards.


    Two quick additions for transparency (my apologies for adding this so late):
    1) This survey was created by Shaun Duke, one of the hosts on The Skiffy and Fanty Show (which was nominated for a Hugo last year).
    2) The information discovered through this survey will be used for a write-up (the location of which has yet to be determined; either Shaun’s personal blog, The Skiffy and Fanty Show blog, or an sf/f online magazine such as Strange Horizons, assuming their interest). The intent is informative: to figure out what non-US sf/f fans think about the Hugo Awards, its structure, its importance in the sf/f field, and its controversies. This information may also be referenced in an academic paper that Shaun is working on with a colleague at the University of Florida (based on data analysis of Twitter since the Hugo ballot was released).

  39. @alexvdl: In general, you will probably find that Worldcon conrunners are in no hurry to borrow trouble. I actually had a serious point in suggesting you look at sasquan.org, though: I believe you will find a Code of Conduct setting expectations about what sorts of behaviour are deemed harmful conduct or harassment at Sasquan, that Operations Dept. would deal with the immediate incident and report to the con Chair, and that the Chair would take any follow-up action he/she deems appropriate. That might be the sort of procedural trail followed concerning various sorts of claimed trouble during this convention — without excluding other remedies by persons in charge of individual events (as Kevin will be as Chair of the Business Meeting).

    Although Worldcon conrunners dislike borrowing trouble, they are by contrast quite glad to learn from past trouble, hence a popular learning exercise among groups of conrunners called variously ‘If I Ran the Con^W Zoo’, the ‘Zoo Game’, and doubtless a dozen other names I’m currently forgetting. During the Zoo Game, you hear about sometimes hilarious things that have actually gone wrong at conventions, always carefully anonymised or cited as having occurred at Genericon in Sometown, and what was done to cope with those incidents.

    If you care to attend a SMOFcon, ConComCon (also known as C-Cubed), ConStruction, or any of the other conrunners’ gatherings, you too can hear these tales, gape in disbelief (‘They did what from the sprinkler system?’), be assured that, yes, that really did happen, and boggle.

  40. If you care to attend a SMOFcon, ConComCon (also known as C-Cubed), ConStruction, or any of the other conrunners’ gatherings, you too can hear these tales, gape in disbelief (‘They did what from the sprinkler system?’), be assured that, yes, that really did happen, and boggle.

    My personal favorite from a con I was the programming head for, and Harlan Ellison was a special guest. Apparently Mr. Ellison was having trouble sleeping because the parties were too damn loud. He wound up downstairs in the Klingon party, and was reported to threaten to toss their loudspeakers over the balcony into the parking lot below.

    Harlan won.

  41. Rick,

    I’ll be going to Balticon one weekend, and then Phoenix Comic Con the next, and then I’ve got obligations to the government that are going to keep me from any further con going (or even getting a honeymoon) for the rest of the year. We’ll see where I land in January, but I’m hoping the next year has more cons on it.

  42. @TC McCarthy: I just wanted to comment on this bit of yours, with which I concur but have some bits to add that I hope are worthwhile:

    instead, it’s going to need personal involvement, face to face, and if there’s one thing I’m critical of vis-a-vis Sadpuppies it’s this: not getting involved more heavily with WorldCon. I understand and believe Larry when he says he’s had bad experiences at WorldCon in terms of being insulted, etc., but that’s not enough to justify not getting involved at a personal level.

    Last July, over the Independence Day weekend, my wife Deirdre) and I were at Westercon 67 in Salt Lake City (and Deirdre stepped in as co-head of programming during the con). Larry Correia was one of the Special Guests of Honor. I knew him from his Monster Hunters series, which I enjoy, but also on account of the then-ongoing SP2 effort. I’d sort-of followed some of the online rhetoric, but leapt at the opportunity to go hear him in person, because I distrust word-weaponry contests and was more interested in seeing Larry be Larry.

    Saturday afternoon, July 5th, in one of the bigger rooms, Larry had his solo panel: ‘Guest Spotlight with Larry Correia, Reading and Q&A about his recent release, Monster Hunter Nemesis’. Some of the back and forth was about the book, of course, but much of it was his Q&A with fans about his SP2 campaign and his resentment against various mostly not specified people who he said had been nasty to him both online and at LoneStarCon 3 and Renovation.

    I didn’t doubt his stories exactly, though I kept wondering who specifically indulged jerky behaviour. (As I’ve said before on File770.com, fandom has always had its quota of assholes, and doubtless always will.) And I was also struck with the colossal chip on his shoulder. But he came across as a likeable guy, at least to me.

    Here’s the thing: On the one hand, I wanted to speak up and say something to Larry, either during the panel or immediately after, but I honestly didn’t know what to say. I figured I could say ‘Hi, I’m a fan of your books who sees no reason to be rude to you for any reason, and I’m also a small-time conrunner, a feminist, and a political liberal from Silicon Valley. I hope this is OK by you?’ But that seemed like a tokenism stunt, and those are rubbish, so I didn’t speak but just enjoyed the talk and applauded at the end. (And also, I didn’t know where that would go that would be useful.)

    More to the immediate point: I don’t represent anyone. And, if I’d been someone in particular, say, Co-Chair of LonCon 3, I’m unclear on what I’d have said. Maybe ‘Sorry to hear that some people were jerks to you at prior cons. That sucks and shouldn’t have happened. Good luck in this year’s ballot, and I appreciate your work.’ But LonCon3 Co-Chairs Steve Cooper and Alice Lawson were not at the Westercon.

    So, anyway, you’re certainly right that people talking to each other couldn’t hurt much (or, as Churchill said, ‘Jaw-jaw is better than war-war’). I’m just not sure who and what. Like, LoneStarCon3 and Renovation were long gone and dissolved before Larry got around to complaining that he’d been dissed at them. The con chairs of those Worldcons could have read about those vaguely-described incidents, but all they could say would be ‘Well, I’m sure that sucked’, because their conventions were both over and wound up.

    Steve Cooper and Alice Lawson? They should make a long-distance (they would say ‘trunk’) call from the UK to Larry in Utah and say… what? ‘We’re sorry about rudeness you say happened to you at past Worldcons. if it happens again at LonCon3, let Ops know and we’ll do what we can.’ Like that?

    Conventions in general deal with problems as they occur, when reported to convention authorities. Since Larry never reported contemporaneously the rudeness he says happened, nobody could investigate them when it would have been useful to do so. Also, when it comes right down to it, is it even the problem of the concom or Operations merely because some attendee spoke to another attendee and one called the other a bunch of names?

    So, I’m a big fan of talking, and I’m also glad to say the assholes don’t speak for me, but some sort of mini-conference with conrunners, just because some people don’t like some other people, and neither one is SF convention management, doesn’t strike me as appropriate at all. Don’t forget, the conrunners are just giving away their free time to build something fun. It’s not a job, and they’re not your employees.

    If you’re saying the Puppy types are angry at some people who’ve mistreated them, maybe the latter are the people they should have a face-to-face discussion with. I don’t see them having any beef with the volunteers who comprise WSFS, so don’t try to make this WSFS’s problem, or WSFS is going to get and remain even more annoyed, and then the Puppies will have an issue with WSFS.

    And if an alleged beef against WSFS is ‘you guys haven’t been voting for the right books’, then fsck off. As in, here, let me show you how freedom to vote one’s preference works. Don’t like it? Sorry to hear that, but that’s the way things work out. For the record, my choices seldom win, either, but I don’t think I’m owed face-to-face discussions when it happens.

    Rick Moen

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