Ayes Wide Mutt 7/3

aka The Doxxer Rebellion

In today’s roundup: Malcolm ‘f.’ Cross, Tom Knighton, Dorothy Grant, Adam-Troy Castro, David Gerrold, Mike Resnick, Lawrence Person, John C. Wright, Nicholas Whyte, and Patrick May. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Will Reichard and Kurt (not Kent) Busiek.)

Foozzzball (Malcolm ‘f.’ Cross)  on Weasyl

“My ounce of bile: Yarn is cowardly” – July 3

….Here’s the thing. These guys (and a very, very few women) are all screaming, defensively, that they’re writing good old fashioned YARNS. Entertaining STORIES. Books with rocket ships on the covers instead of that inconvenient new-fangled social commentary. And they point at luminaries like Heinlein, and Asimov, and all those golden age authors.

Heinlein who was talking about contemperaneous issues like the cold war, the morality of total warfare, free love, the impact of new and changing technology and the need for retaining simple skills (such as the much loved slide rule), and was a man who spoke very much to the issues of his time. Asimov who attacked major issues of his lifetime like eugenics and social engineering through his work (what, you think Foundation’s psychohistory has nothing to say about the pursuit of social purity?), wrapping up issues of perception and belief and creation in rip-roaring stories.

These men were not writing yarns. They were products of their time, attacking the issues of their time. That they did so skilfully, entertainingly, and thought-provokingly is testament to their genius. They were not saints, their opinions are not sacrosanct, they, like any other person, held opinions agreeable and disagreeable.

You know who else wasn’t just spinning yarns? Orson Scott Card. Ender’s Game is fundamentally about the boundary between being a soldier and a human being. It’s implicitly about genocide, about hands on the big red button, about the ignorance required to perform such a terrible action and remain innocent. It was originally a short story written in 1977, in the middle of the cold war, and rewritten as a novel by 1985, just as the cold war got terrifying all over again. Attacking the issues of his day, OSC put together a masterpiece. And then, quite honestly, he started looking at his personal bugbears instead of the wider world, and never did anything so good again in his life. That’s when he started writing yarns.

Fiction isn’t about entertainment. It never has been. From the earliest stories we’ve told ourselves, the myths that grew into religions, Aesop’s fables, the fairy-tales you were told as a child, they’ve all been about communication. Discussion. Opening a dialogue. They are vehicles for exploring, and thinking about, the world. This is all fiction, not just science fiction…..


Tom Knighton on According To Hoyt

“On Villainy” – July 3

…Right now, the most popular villain is the turdnugget who decided to walk into a church in Charleston, SC and kill people for nothing more than the color of their skin. This is something that the vast majority of us are unable to comprehend. I mean, skin tone is as arbitrary a dividing line as hair color or eye color, so why kill people for just that factor?

We can’t grasp it, yet it happened. I refuse to actually write the turdnugget’s name anywhere, because I don’t want to give him any more press. He already got his fame, which I suspect was a factor in his attack, but I refuse to add to it. It’s a small effort to keep people from mimicking his efforts.

All too often, people think of “villains” as those who oppose them on whatever issue they hold dear. Monsanto is the villain to people like “Food Babe”. The NRA is the villain to the gun control crowd. The Sad Puppies are the villains to the Puppy Kickers. The flip side is also generally true as well.

The thing is, most of us have never truly experienced real “villainy”. We’ve never witnessed the pits of dead Albanians following the break-up of Yugoslavia. We never witnessed the Rwandan tribal slaughter. Many of us have never met a Jewish concentration camp survivor. To us, that level of villainy just doesn’t exist except as an abstract…..

And yet, there are those who are ready to ascribe such motives to us. They’re ready to link this turdnugget to us, despite the fact that most of us not only decry his actions, but we actually supported several authors who don’t fit the “white, Mormon male” narrative (to say nothing of the fact that authors were nominated that we may disagree with politically).

Look, I’m going to make this clear. Bigotry is stupid. Racism is beyond stupid. All we have ever wanted is people and works to be judged based on quality, both the quality of the person and the quality of the work. Anyone who opposes a work because the author is black, or a woman, or gay, or a socialist is a moron. Anyone who dislikes a work because the author is white, or male, or straight, or a conservative/libertarian is just as much of a moron.

There are real villains in this world. How about some of the people screaming the most about villains try something different and start looking at real villains for a change.


Dorothy Grant in a comment on Tom Knighton’s post “On Villainy” at According To Hoyt – July 3

I suspect that people who have very little life experience and not much in the way of bedrock principles shrink their scale of villainy to fit their experience.

The best example of this is the root of the Tor boycott; Irene Gallo was upset at people voting for the Hugos in ways that did not benefit her logrolling clique, and she started calling her customers and her own authors neo-nazis and the books she had even worked on “bad to reprehensible.” In her pampered, privileged world, someone not giving a plastic statue to the clique that was certain they deserved it is the worst villainy possible.

Then there’s my husband, who has traded fire with real, actual neo-nazis and dealt with their carbombs and terror tactics. He was working on ending apartheid and giving every human being in South Africa the vote and the recognition of their human dignity. The worst villainy possible that he’s seen… let us pray fervently to all our spirits and deities that we never see its like again.



John C. Wright in a comment on File 770 – July 3

“Putting this in perspective, John C. Wright is trying to stave off a boycott of the publisher who pays him, because of a creative director there who dared to suggest that some of his movement are neo-Nazis, and he’s doing this by applying the adjective “Christ-Hating” in part to an editor named Moshe who wears a yarmulke.”

What a vile and cowardly ort of feces this is. I see the method here is merely to make so many false and outrageous accusations that no one can possibly refute them.

Since I am an open philosemite, active supporter of the State of Israel, an unapologetic Zionist, and married the daughter of a Jew, and since I immediately ban any holocaust deniers who dare to show their subhuman snouts on my blog, the accusation that I am an antisemite is beyond libel, beyond madness.

Why not simply accuse me of being a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater while you are at it?

The Christ-haters hate Christ because they are Social Justice Warriors, which is a religion that is jealous, and excludes the practice of Christian and Jewish faith alike.

It was the God of Abraham, the God worshiped by all practicing Jews, who destroyed the city of Sodom and outlawed the practices which made that name a curse. I am being reviled precisely because I love and fear the God of Moses.

I am against the SJWs precisely for the same reason I am for the Jews. I hate bullies and cowards, and I hate liars, and I hate antisemitism with an unquenchable burning hatred, and I love the people that God loves.

Mr Glyer, for a while, you had won my respect, as you seemed to be an honest fellow, trying to maintain some sense of fairplay. I called your blog a wretched hive of scum and villainy as a joke, which you took up.

But this is beyond the pale, that you should print such things of me, or aid and condone these libels. I trust you will reprint these remarks of mine in a prominent place.


Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – July 3

…I am aware that I’ve been cited in Larry Correia’s environs, though as far as I know not specifically by Larry Correia (I am careful to make that distinction), as the “stupidest man in science fiction.” Some of my friend Brad Torgersen’s pals have come here to spew rage at me and calling me a false friend for daring to tell Brad that on this subject, at least, he has his head so far up his own ass that he can’t see daylight. I had an illiterate crazy guy come here to slam me for my liberalism, and when the height of his wit was that I should put on my big boy pants, I pretty much plowed him under with a demonstration of how ploughboys should not draw on shootists. And then there’s Tom Monaghan, who has yet to discover the comma, but who has showed up at least one convention panel just to hop up and down in his audience seat and yell at me.

These are glimpses. It is possible that I have not been under any further discussion at all, by these people, because I am that much beneath their notice, and that would make me tremendously happy; it is also possible that there are extended exchanges about what a low-life idiotic liberal prick I am, and this I cannot care much about either, because aside from these manifestations I have not seen it…..

I don’t know. There may be entire threads out there, closed to me, about what a piece of shit I am.

This does not particularly please me. Making enemies can be fun, but having enemies is not.

So why do I persist in doing stuff like pointing out that a guy who uses the phrase “Christ-Hating Crusaders for Sodom” when talking about a Jew, and counts among his allies a lunatic who cheers on spree killers, has little basis for high moral dudgeon at the suggestion that the movement of which he’s a part extends to the realm of neo-Nazidom? Why would I put myself in the cross-hairs of those among his fans who are exactly as crazy in potential as he is in rhetoric?

Simply put: because the one discussion thread I cannot escape is between my ears, and the one troll I cannot block is my conscience…..


David Gerrold on Facebook – July 3

Because silence equals death.

I don’t know Brad or Larry or most of the others who have spoken up on the puppy side of the kerfuffle. I only know them by what they post online.

They may be good people. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I disagree with them. I disagree with their perception of SF. I disagree with their interpretations. But I would never use that disagreement as a justification for behaving unethically.

I don’t speak for anyone else, but I think I know why so many others of merit in the field — George R.R. Martin, Eric Flint, Connie Willis, John Scalzi, Adam-Troy Castro, Mary Robinette Kowal, and many others — have spoken up. It’s why I have spoken up.

For those who missed it the first time, and who think I’m a terrible person — well, yes I might be, but I’ll say it again. I would have cheered a recommended reading list. I would have discovered books I might otherwise have missed.

But the slate-mongering was wrong. It wasn’t about the quality of the work. It wasn’t about excellence. It was about a political agenda. And the justifications that have been offered — “we’re creating diversity and inclusiveness” — are disingenuous. (That’s the polite word for pants-on-fire lying.) You don’t create diversity and inclusiveness by denying other people a fair opportunity.

And when I have asked for some discussion, for some explanation why the authors of the slates felt their nominated stories represented “best of the year,” how do these stories represent excellence in the genre, no one has stepped up to the microphone to answer that question, except the usual crickets to indicate an embarrassing silence. When we read the comments by those who are sludging their way through their Hugo packets, we do not find the joyous exhilaration of excellence. We see reactions that range from skeptical to hostile, confirming the perception that the slates were motivated by political bias.

So, yes, I have spoken my opposition to the slates. I have spoken my opposition to the name-calling (regardless of which side it’s coming from), and I have spoken my opposition to the political polarization of this community. I would call it a disastrous miscalculation — except that I wonder if perhaps this polarization is exactly what a couple of the people behind this mess intended from the beginning.

If you want to talk about what makes for a great science fiction story, I’m interested. I’m there. If it’s a conversation I can learn from, I want to be a part of it. If it pushes me in the direction of being a better writer, sign me up.

But all this other stuff — slates and name-calling, boycotts and shit-stirring? I’d say “include me out” except as I said above, silence equals death. ….


Mike Resnick in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine

“The End of the Worldcon As We Know It” – July 3

….Ah, but this year will be different, I hear you say. This year we’ll be voting No Award in a bunch of categories, and history will thank us.

Well, it just so happens that No Award has triumphed before. In fact, it has won Best Dramatic Presentation three different times. (Bet you didn’t know that Rod Serling’s classic “Twilight Zone” series lost to No Award, did you?)

But the most interesting and humiliating No Award came in 1959. The category was Best New Writer, and one of the losers was future Worldcon Guest of Honor and Nebula Grand Master Brian Aldiss, who actually won a Hugo in 1962, just three years later. That No Award was so embarrassing that they discontinued the category until they could find a sponsor eight years later, which is how the Campbell Award, sponsored by Analog, came into being.

Please note that I’ve limited myself to Worldcons. I haven’t mentioned the X Document or the Lem Affair or any of the other notable wars you can find in various pro and fannish histories (or probably even by just googling them). This editorial is only concerned with The End of Worldcon As We Know It.

And hopefully by now the answer should be apparent. You want to End Worldcon As We Know It? Don’t feud. Don’t boycott. Don’t be unpleasant. Don’t be unreasonable. Don’t raise your voices in mindless anger.

Do all that and none of us will recognize the Worldcon that emerges.


Nicholas Whyte on From the Heart of Europe

“2015 Hugo fiction: How bloggers are voting” – July 3

For three of the last four years, I carried out a survey of how bloggers were planning to vote in the Hugos. Last year this proved a fairly effective methodology, calling Best Novel and Best Short Story correctly and pinging the actual winners as front-runners for Best Novella and Best Novelette. In 2013 two winners were clear and two were missed (including Best Novel). In 2011, however, my survey failed to pick a single winner of the four fiction categories. So this should be taken as a straw poll, necessarily incomplete and this year earlier than usual. There is certain to be a selection bias in that people who feel more strongly are more likely to blog about it; so we have no insight into the preferences of less articulate or invested voters.

Having said that, the results are interesting. In particular, No Award appears to be leading in all the short fiction categories (though not necessarily decisively in every case), and there is no clear single front-runner for Best Novel….


Patrick May

“2015 Hugo Awards Novel Category” – July 3

[Comments on all five nominees.]

My Hugo ballot for this category is:

  1. Skin Game
  2. The Goblin Emperor
  3. Ancillary Sword
  4. The Three Body Problem
  5. The Dark Between the Stars

I would really like to give “Skin Game” spots 1-3 and “The Goblin Emperor” and “Ancillary Sword” spots 4 and 5 to demonstrate my real preferences. The other two novels aren’t what I consider Hugo quality, but I’m leaving them above No Award because they’re no worse than some recent winners like “Redshirts”. (I’m not hating on Scalzi. I think all of the “Old Man’s War” series is Hugo worthy. But “Redshirts”? I’ve read better fanfic.)

If Kloos hadn’t declined his nomination, I would have ranked “Lines of Departure” just after “Ancillary Sword”.

322 thoughts on “Ayes Wide Mutt 7/3

  1. Jim, that was very potent. Funny, but harshly illuminating at the same time. Better precisely for being within the realm of choosable possibility.

    I see Clif already said something I wanted to, but what the heck. 🙂 Conversion doesn’t seem to change a person’s personality very much – it just shapes its direction. Sometimes it does, as with the account of St. Paul going from zealous persecutor to enthusiastic community builder, but in a lot of ways St. Francis’ take seems more typical. He went from being a good guy to, well, being a good guy. And so many tales of former villainy turn out to be lies promulgated by con artists, who are presumptively not at all good people.

    In Wright’s case, conversion seems to have done nothing for his towering rage, overwhelming conviction of correctness, willingness to dish out endless abuse, or willingness to accept criticism. But that just tells us that, at least for now, Wright remains Wright, just as Lori remains the welcome commenter, sympathetic neighbor, and cool person she’s always been.

    (As for this place after the Hugos: I, at least, will be hanging around for all the other cool stuff Mike links to and posts about, and to continue discussing worthy fodder for upcoming awards.)

  2. re: Brain in a jar…
    In the Rim Worlds stories by A. Bertram Chandler the Psionic Communications Officers use “dog’s brains in aspic” as amplifiers. And speaking of puppies…I don’t think they ever mention Chandler. Odd because his stuff sounds like what they claim to like.

  3. Reading recent roundups, I’m coming to the conclusion that whoever’s writing the J.C.Wright character has gone overboard, and needs to dial back the level of parody. His latest screeds go beyond the level of a believable lunatic, into jump-the-shark extreme caricature territory. Whoever’s writing this, try lowering the tone a little bit — you’re never going to be able to get people to keep believing in this character if it continues to be so ridiculously over the top. The “hating crusaders” bit was already pushing readers’ credulousness, but this latest rant is beyond my suspension of disbelief.

  4. Actually, I am thoroughly thrilled with the prospect of an emboldened VD, but then I belong to the school of giving people enough rope to hang themselves with.

    VD is accustomed to a collection of not very bright people thinking he’s a dominant hero leading the charge to destroy the forces of evil. He isn’t.

    Instead he cowers wherever provides a refuge for a trust fund kid who can’t get past the whole cowering thing, but wants to pretend otherwise. He’s idiotic enough to believe that he actually understands science, whilst demonstrating, with monotonous regularity, that he’s completely clueless about it. His attempts at economics demonstrate only too clearly that he hasn’t got the mathematics to even understand it, much less argue meaningfully about it.

    And, worst of all, he know fuck all about money, which comes as close as we get to a treason offence in the City of London, and the Big Swinging Dicks are not noted for their kindliness in these matters…

  5. Tintinaus:+1 to all the praise for Jim’s dream of hope.


    It’s the Goblin Emperor of File770 comments.

  6. Of course Heinlein did social commentary. Stranger in a Strange Land, I Will Fear No Evil, certainly Time Enough for Love and his Future History stories. But FIRST he wrote can’t bear to put them down books. Stayed up all night and Read Stranger. Slept through 3 of 5 classes the next day. I don’t care if you have message in your story. But for the love of God have a story.

  7. To be fair to McCaffrey, she did write the original The Ship Who Sang story in 1961, four years after thalidomide was introduced so birth defects were very topical and not well understood. If you want an idea of how many of the seemingly intellectually disabled had been treated at that point, try William Horwood’s Skalagrig.

    From memory Ship conditioning was only mentioned twice. First for discouraging suicide(and given the topic of The Ship Who Killed, that was a huge sucess), and secondly to avoid fixating on what their flesh body looked like. The brains as part of their learning did have waldos and wheels but these were removed when they were placed in a ship. I tended to think of it as being a waste of their time to be looking after the little stuff that others could deal with, like an office worker who calls the building manager to fix a faulty fluro. Although it is recognised that Fleet went to far in removing the independent sensory equiptment, when kidnapped Brains were sent mad from deprevation in The Ship Who Disembled.

  8. I’m please to see that it continues to be the Fourth of July in the US, notwithstanding the fact that it ceased to be so almost 3 hours ago in England.

    I very much hope that everyone celebrating has a great time!

  9. Stevie: I could wish our neighbors dialled back the fireworks (rural Texas, they’ve been going off since yesterday afternoon), but we did have a lovely dinner.

    I want to say that I always enjoy reading yourcomments–don’t know that I’ve had a chance to reply or not, but they’re one of the features of 770 that make it so great.

    Also: driveby thank you to whoever recommended Heather Rose Jones Alpennia books. I’m on the first one and they just left the convent and OMG OMG OMG! INCREDIBLE stuff. THey’re…..wow. All I can say is they hit an incredible sweet spot (sort of Georgette Heyer crossed with Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman’s Swords, but EVEN BETTER *flails*).


  10. rrede

    I’m so glad that it went well, and thank you for kind remarks; there are many, many people, including yourself, who communicate very well here, which seems to be something which Mike has cultivated.

    On that happy note I must get some sleep…

  11. @ William

    It always amazes me when religious people assume that Non-Believing = No Ethics. A person’s ethical grounding doesn’t come just from a book, no matter how holy. It comes from their society, upbringing, reading and teaching(both holy and not) and finally their own reasoning. From his writings, it seems that Mr Wright has failed to see how his current attitudes are obviously fostered by things other than the bible(Unless he has some weird edition edited by Lovecraft or something).

  12. It always amazes me when religious people assume that Non-Believing = No Ethics.

    The problem isn’t religion. There are plenty of openly religious people who make no assumption, and plenty of irreligious ones who do. It is a fault of people who try to force the world into their carefully reasoned, top-down ideology.

  13. I enjoy the comments here. It’s been a hearteningly stable and sensible community here these last three very strange months. I will miss the community and the interactions of Jim Henley and RedWombat and Stevie and Kyra and Kurt Busiek and rrede and McJulie and Nigel and Soon Lee and CPaca and JJ and nickpheas and Laura “Tegan” Gvojaag and whoever it was who said I was one of the more polite posters here (I was too boggled to comment back at the time) and all the thoughtful folks who’ve taken the time to think and comment and respond. Heck, I will miss Brian Z, who had some good things to say amidst the rest.

    I hope not to be a pest about it, but I may hang about afterwards.

    We are still on the Fourth. Neighbors have been making booms since darkness fell, and I anticipate several hours’ worth yet. Some saxophonists marched past late this morning, which was rather nice, and we had friends over for gaming and traditional USAdian fare.

    The neighbors’ dogs are making unhappy noises, the poor critters. 🙁

  14. First time poster, long time lurker. Needed to ask –

    Seriously, is there an official drinking game yet where we all do a shot every time JCW uses the word “libel”?

  15. Jim, that was marvelous. A welcome remedy to the grimdark!

    I have enjoyed you all enormously but why are we all suddenly sounding as if we’re leaving? Is it August and I missed it? Have all the Hugos been handed out and the camera is about to pull back and we’ll all be in a snowglobe?

  16. Cat: I’m sorry about the barbeque being canceled. I kind of understand how people would have thought it was inappropriate, but sometimes it’s a comfort to get together with family.

    Lis Carey: I would have liked to go ahead with the barbeque, to be with everyone, but prevailing opinion was clear. We are looking at other dates,in a few weeks.

    When my grandmother (the one who’d done decades of family genealogy research and hosted massive extended-family holiday dinners for years) died, there were aunts and uncles and 1st and 2nd and 3rd cousins at the funeral reception, and many of us hadn’t seen each other for years, or even decades. I looked at my dad (her son) and said, “Grandma would have loved that we are all getting together and seeing each other”.

    I’m glad to hear that your family will still be getting together, Lis. I hope that you will all be able to find some joy in happy memories of your mother and of each other.

  17. Chris.

    I perhaps should have said “some” religious people but given the people here who have told us of the way their faith differs from his, I didn’t think it was necessary.

  18. @RedWombat:

    I think it might be that things have slowed down some. The Puppy posts have had nothing particularly new to say for some time now. The pace of comment posting has slowed a bit (thank goodness, as I found it hard to keep up at times). The deadline for Hugo voting is within sight and a lot of people seem to be finishing up or have finished their Hugo reading and are submitting their ballots.

    People have been able to catch their breath, maybe for the first time since early April, and maybe we are thinking ahead to when this will be over.

  19. Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag: I’m looking at the “Professional Editor (Long Form)” category, and there are two Baen editors on it. For Toni Weisskopf it just says to go to the Baen website. There’s no information at all for Jim Minz in the notes. I can’t find any place on that website where it indicates who edited which works. Does anyone know where I can get a list of works edited by these two nominees?

    I read a fair number of Baen books and stories as a matter of course (quite a number of which thank Weisskopf profusely for her work as their editor). At least in the last couple of years, the Baen works have been so typo-ridden (as in, I’m thinking “did I accidentally get hold of a pre-proof ARC???”) that the Baen editors are going beneath No Award for me.

    Someone here said something a while back (can’t find it) about Baen having decided to forego editing because it didn’t make an appreciable difference in the number of copies sold. I find that believable, based on the editorial quality of the Baen works I’ve been reading.

  20. Back home after having to work the 4th while technically still on vacation (but back in town so…) feet still mad about 10 days tromping around Ireland are now really aggravated about standing for 6 hours. Fortunately the post fireworks traffic unsnarled relatively quickly and I was relieved and sent on my way. Trying to work up enthusiasm for a late dinner. cereal or English muffin?

    SF short story rec (actually I think it’s a Novella at 11000 or so words): “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander, July issue of Lightspeed. Lots and lots and lots of cuss words, and a quasi brain in a jar (well trapped in cyberspace) to boot!
    Link: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/shall-know-trail-dead/

    ETA: and yay, it’s raining, so the amateur fireworks have ended and my dogs can stand down.

  21. Bruce Baugh, thank you for the compliments, you, sir, are a scholar and a gentleman. I hope I continue to live up to them.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I intend to drop in here at least once a day once this year’s Hugos are history. I figure there will be great discussions of the potential nominees for next year’s Hugos.

    Bravo Lima Poppa, glad to know I’ve more company. What sort of plane do you fly? I took aviation ground school in high school but never had the money to get my license.

  22. Waaaaay back in some former thread, I said I was looking for a lapel pin for a certain nominee. I’ve found one but its chief attributes are that it was really cheap and lights up (snort). I’ll need to paint it silver. It will do if I can’t find something more close to what I want. I also found gummy candies. Not sure what I’ll do with those.

    I am now, for a completely-different-but-still-related-to-SF purpose, looking for inexpensive Caryatid figures. Maybe cake pillars? Or flower vases? I’ve googled and googled and found an image of a cake that uses Caryatid pillars but no notion of where to purchase any. I’m hoping someone might have a lead.

  23. Lori: If I ever see signs of you turning into something horrible, I’ll say. 🙂

    I finished The Goblin Emperor today, and I am so pleased. This one’s going at the top of my ballot.

  24. OMG Ursula liked a thing I wrote! Using words! Words used by me! This is too awesome.

    I have enjoyed you all enormously but why are we all suddenly sounding as if we’re leaving? Is it August and I missed it? Have all the Hugos been handed out and the camera is about to pull back and we’ll all be in a snowglobe?

    In my case, it was just part of the conceit of the fantasia – that of course the Great Reconciliation would end all controversy and we would all exit, holding hands and singing. Not sure what we’d be singing, mind you. Part of me wants “Bhindi Bhagee,” but damn you gotta sing awfully fast to do that one.


    I have seen tiny (about 1.25 inches) caryatids for sale on Etsy for about $4 each.

    I thought that might be pricey, but then I found dollhouse caryatid candlesticks, 1.5 inches high, for around $200 a pair. :O

    I guess dollhouse collectors don’t blink at prices like that.

  26. I liked the Light speed story. O originally read it just for the illustration. Glad it caught my eye.

  27. Try miniature instead of dollhouse – that turns up some D&D-sized caryatids too. I do 1/12 scale minis, but I wouldn’t pay $200 for candlesticks unless they were vintage Victorian originals.

    ETA: “model” turns up more options.

  28. Peace, the one at Etsy would be perfect! Alas there is only one. I think I’m going to need 10 or so. $200 is too much, yes.


  29. @ Peace – My stepmother used to be in the miniatures market. Sold them at shows and whatnot. The market dropped out a bit after the recession, but yeah, there was a big thing for a long time.

    So my dad flew into Canada to pick up a load of dollhouse parts and drive it back, during that weird window when you didn’t quite need a passport to travel back and forth to Canada, but they were starting to selectively enforce it at the border. He comes back in a panel van trying to get into the US and the guards demand his passport, which he didn’t have. “But it’s Canada!” he said (repeatedly.)

    Problem is that my dad was born in Lebanon, just got back from a year in Egypt, thinks sunscreen happens to other people, and says “Inshallah” a lot,* so the border guards at this little podunk border crossing were absolutely convinced they had a real live terrorist and wanted to unpack the van.

    They open it up and gaze at a wall of dollhouses and itty-bitty furniture. And my father says “Sure, we can unpack it, but you’re helping me pack it back up again, because it will take twelve hours otherwise.”

    They eventually decided that no terrorist would use a cover so humiliating as dollhouse courier–or just couldn’t bear the thought of rewrapping all those tiny little parts in tissue paper–and let him go.

    Years later, when I helped them move, my entire job was to break down the dollhouse collection, which is when I learned that many moving companies have specific riders on their contracts for dollhouses. They won’t touch ’em. (According to the one mover who would talk to me in an undertone, they’re way too fragile and dollhouse people are notorious.)

    I dreamed about wrapping tiny little objects in tissue paper for weeks after that.

    *He’s one of those people who picks up linguistic markers and never really loses them. After a year in Egypt, a year in China, and ten years on the border with Mexico, his vocabulary is…idiosyncratic.

  30. There have been enough electrons expended by all & sundry that anyone with an interest in this affair has plenty of material from which to draw their own conclusions. The new material (the rate of which has slowed right down) isn’t going to change anyone’s mind at this point. And I expect most people with an interest have already made their minds up; I have.

    So now we settle in and wait for the voting deadline, then the awarding of this year’s Hugos and release of the statistics in August. That should see a spike in discussion as we digest the results, the statistics, and the outcomes of the Business Meeting.

    OGH Mike Glyer said in one of the roundup threads that he was open to suggestions on what to do after the Hugos with respect to File770. I confess that while I had been aware of File770 for a while, until this year, I would visit no more than a handful of times a year. Now it’s a daily addiction. Post the Hugos, the occasional “Open Conversation” thread might be a way to keep the community going, to kick-off the sort of rambling & enjoyable digressions that have come to populate the Hugo roundup threads (alongside actual Hugo discussions).

  31. delurking on July 4, 2015 at 9:13 am said:

    On another subject, I am thoroughly sick of the puppies giving as an excuse that they have relatives who are Jewish, or who are black, or who are gay, or whatever, and that THEREFORE they cannot hate Jews, they are not bigots, they are not homophobes. Please…

    My backside, you can’t.


    Drives me nuts when they claim this stuff. I have relatives who fall into most of the above categories and a family that claims to love them, but very often treats them miserably, both to their faces and in gossip behind their backs. From the “love the sinner, but not the sin” bull to putting children of a mixed marriage in a children’s home when they became “inconvenient”. But they looooooove them, so they’re actions aren’t homophobic or racist or…..Blech!

    Beyond the overt actions are the more subtle sexist, racist, ableist, etc. thoughts, words and actions everyone spews without premeditation because, you know, it’s part of our culture.

    So, no, you don’t get a free pass because of your relatives. You have to do the hard work of re-educating and retraining yourself and showing your work in how you act and what you say.

  32. Soon Lee: OGH Mike Glyer said in one of the roundup threads that he was open to suggestions on what to do after the Hugos with respect to File770.

    A Sharing Topic of the Day/Week would seem to be a good idea. So far, we’ve come up with great lists including: Mature/Older Protagonists, Young Adult SFF, Lesbian Romance, Anime, The (Faux) History of the Hugos, and SFF Mashups.

    I imagine we could submit ideas for Sharing Topic of the Day/Week to Mike, and he could curate the topics.

  33. I very much like the idea of a general community post, a time or few each week.

  34. In my case, it was just part of the conceit of the fantasia – that of course the Great Reconciliation would end all controversy and we would all exit, holding hands and singing. Not sure what we’d be singing, mind you. Part of me wants “Bhindi Bhagee,” but damn you gotta sing awfully fast to do that one.

    Unfortunately, the Puppy leadership are the ones standing in the way of this. As long as they hold to the conviction that they can force their one true way upon others by force, I don’t know how any sort of compromise is possible.

  35. junego: putting children of a mixed marriage in a children’s home when they became “inconvenient”

    Oh. That is horrific.

  36. The “hating crusaders” bit was already pushing readers’ credulousness, but this latest rant is beyond my suspension of disbelief.

    Poe’s Law in action. I could easily believe that most of these clowns are The Onion/Colbert Report style parodies. But they’re not.

  37. Finally caught up on today’s File770 after coming home from my eldest son’s bar mitzvah. His reading included the section of Micah containing the lines that Jim Henley quoted yesterday. (Attn RedWombat: The festive meal included hot dogs and potato salad.)

    Orwell, in “Notes on Nationalism”, remarked on how nationalists could quickly change the object of their allegience without changing the intensity of their passion—communists becoming fascists and vice versa. His central insight, that nationalists are obsessed with comparative prestige (and the tokens thereof), helps illuminate many social pathologies, Puppy-ism among thm.

    Brain in jar: The Face of Boe, from Doctor Who.

    And so to bed.

  38. It’s late here, and it sounds like the neighborhood fireworks parties have finally shut down. Went to Mass earlier this evening so I can sleep in tomorrow. ‘

    I bid you all “Good Night!”

  39. *He’s one of those people who picks up linguistic markers and never really loses them. After a year in Egypt, a year in China, and ten years on the border with Mexico, his vocabulary is…idiosyncratic.

    Oh lord, like my cousins… my uncle is from Alberta (aka Texas North), and used to do work setting up branch and exploratory offices for an oil company. His wife is Norwegian, and his two children grew up travelling to places like Rio de Janeiro, Jakarta, and Brisbane. Idiosyncratic is a good word to describe some of their vocabulary.

    And having known a couple of dollhouse people (including my grandfather before his eyes got too bad) I can well understand moving companies really not wanting to deal with the hassles.

  40. @ Seth Gordon – As long as you keep the potato salad and the hot dogs separate, they don’t rekindle their ancient war.

  41. Okay, just finished Stross’s Annihilation Score. Overall, I’m quite pleased and impressed. There were a couple moments of “This is where Bob would say X” which felt like “The author thought of a cool phrase here but it doesn’t fit Mo’s voice.” But other than that, very nicely done, with enough foreshadowed to make the ending satisfying while keeping a good element of surprise. I’m looking forward to Nightmare Stacks.

    Also finished Scalzi’s End of All Things. The first couple segments grabbed my attention, the third dragged a bit, and the fourth…um. It wrapped up the story from Human Division, but the phrase “And so it ends, not with a bang but with a whimper” came to mind. I think too many of the revelations hit in the last section, so there wasn’t enough time for them to build. (An interesting contrast with Stross there.)

  42. Brad J on July 4, 2015 at 10:25 pm said:
    Okay, just finished Stross’s Annihilation Score.

    Fun, as always. I realise he must have finished it long before the height of the Puppy Kerfuffle but there were a few lines that seemed like commentary .

  43. JJ on July 4, 2015 at 9:08 pm said:
    junego: putting children of a mixed marriage in a children’s home when they became “inconvenient”

    Oh. That is horrific.

    Yes, it was. It happened several decades ago before there were as many mixed race children as there are today, especially in the South. It was considered an ‘acceptable’ solution by the family, if slightly shameworthy.

    I was absolutely livid when it happened and tried to get custody of the children, but I was a single mother in a different state and couldn’t take them across state lines without legal custody, which my relative refused to give me! Since they were put in a ‘good’ home, I was advised no (freakin’ Texas) court would have forced a legal change from their mother.

    The children were ‘allowed’ to go to family events…holidays, grandparent birthdays, etc. I will give the family that much credit. That, at least, helped to change the thinking of the cousins in their own generation who got to know them – because of just how obviously unfair and immoral their situation was as second class family just because of the color of their skin.

    They have turned out to be wonderful adults with fulfilling lives and families. I’m really happy about that and keep in touch with them. They’ve forgiven their mother…mostly. (Their father had disappeared into drugs and his mother was too disabled to take them.)

    So claims of being immune to charges of prejudice because of your relatives is one of my hot buttons.

  44. We should remember that SF has at least one author known to have been a racist and anti-semite who married a ‘Jewess’ as they were known at the time: HP Lovecraft. The marriage didn’t last long, as I recall.

  45. JJ:

    I imagine we could submit ideas for Sharing Topic of the Day/Week to Mike, and he could curate the topics.

    That’s probably the best way to go. While I have been driving the roundups themselves, the community has been creating all these great subtopics which attract so many comments.

    No reason we can’t start transitioning to that now. Send me ideas — mikeglyer (at) cs (dot) com

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