Disney’s “101 Nominations” 5/25

aka Crate Expectations

The Memorial Day roundup begins with Dave Freer and carries on with Cheryl Morgan, Jeff Duntemann, Sam Finlay, Adam-Troy Castro, Lisa J. Goldstein, Joseph Tomaras, Andrew Hickey, Rebekah Golden, Martin Wisse, Declan Finn, Steve Leahy and Dcarson. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day William Reichard and Jim Henley.)

Dave Freer on Mad Genius Club

“Making a living, and things that may interfere with it” – May 25

So far, to best of my knowledge, the Puppies, both sad and rabid, and their followers have avoided attacking things which make people a living. They’ve asked people to NOT take it out on the authors who have been pressured into stepping out of Noms. They’ve spoken out against punishing Tor Books despite the Neilsen Hayden’s and friends attacks on ‘Making Light’. No-one has called for a boycott or blacklist of David Gerrold, or Glenn Hauman, or to have their reputations tarnished and Amazon reviews deliberately lowered.

That’s of course NOT true in the converse. And while there’s been some passive-aggressive ‘semi-plausible-deniability’ ‘who will rid us of these turbulent puppies’ basically from the get-go it’s been attacks on the ability of the Puppy organizers and the nominees ability to make a living. We’re immoral destroyers (we obeyed the rules to letter. Patrick Nielsen Hayden broke the embargo rules with absolute impunity, not a word of criticism offered. Rules are only for little people.) who break every convention of good behavior (David Gerrold, the MC of the event, has been campaigning relentlessly against the Pups and the nominees – which is so far outside the canon of ‘acceptable behavior’ as to be a light-year beyond the pale). They organized smears on Entertainment Weekly to label us racists and sexists – which the magazine had to redact because they’re demonstrably untrue. It didn’t stop the smears mysteriously cropping up in ‘friendly’ outlets across the English Speaking world. Gerrold and TNH carefully listed all the nasty things –exclusion from Cons, denial of space in publications, editors closing doors to subs, reviews being denied… that just would happen to us. All things that would, had to affect the puppies ability to make a living. Not one of them said ‘hey, these people have families. They’re human too.’ In fact we had phrases flung about putting us down. Untermench. Then we have Glenn Hauman calling for people to use the Hugo package for a way to game the rankings against the puppies. “Oh, and to answer the title question: what do you do to rabid puppies? You put them down.”

 

Jeff Duntemann on Jeff Duntemann’s Contrapositive Diary

“Sad Puppies Summary and Wrapup” – May 24

Eveybody’s got a theory on how to fix the Hugo Awards process, but to me the process is fine; what’s missing is about 25,000 more involved nominators and voters. A large enough voter base is unlikely to be swept by something like a slate of recommendations. Whether so many new people can be brought into the Worldcon/Hugos community is unclear, but I doubt it.

That’s about all I’m going to have to say about the Sad Puppies topic for awhile. I’m turning my attention back to writing, to the concept of the Human Wave, and perhaps to a suspicion I have that fandom is in the process of splitting. The problems of fandom are caught up in the problems of publishing. Once Manhattan-style traditional publishing becomes more or less irrelevant, fandom may become an overlapping group of online communities centered on authors and genres. Each will probably have its own awards, and the Hugos will become only one among many. Is this a good thing?

You bet!

 

Sam Finlay on Return of Kings

“How Female-Dominated Publishing Houses Are Censoring Male Authors” – May 25

We continued talking about why the industry seems to be so focused on just playing to the tastes of upper-middle class women in New York City, and I then told him some things that Sci-Fi author Larry Correia had said recently in a podcast concerning the Sad Puppies-Rabid Puppies controversy, and how it struck me that by pursuing their current strategy the publishing houses are ignoring huge markets of people willing to buy books and are cutting their own throats.

He broke in saying, “I know, I know…But look, Sam…you gotta stop thinking. Just stop thinking! Thinking about all this will drive you crazy! Don’t go to bookstores, if they even still have any where you live. Don’t look at other books. You’ll just wonder how in the world this thing even got published,” and then told me some more anecdotes about how the sausage is made. He then quoted Otto Priminger, saying “Nobody knows anything.”

It was sad. He’s a good man, and was just as frustrated about it all as anybody, but he’s stuck fighting a literati who only look for books that support the current narrative, and is left trying to sneak in what stories he can, however he can.

 

Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – May 25

So if somebody unfamiliar to me wins an award I was up for, and more importantly gets a big contract while I’m left begging for more porridge at Mr. Bumble’s Workhouse, I honestly give serious thought to the premise that I have missed something that excels in a way my efforts do not.

By contrast, a glance at some of the rhetoric issued by {Gay-Basher McManly-Nuts} establishes a deep and unwavering belief that he, and those who work in his wheelhouse, represent the bastion of greatness against which the rest of us hammer in vain, like zombies trying to get past a boarded-up window.. To wit, if he hasn’t set the world on fire, if he is not met at the convention gates by a swarm of screaming groupies like the kids at the beginning of A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, if books that are nothing like the books he writes get more acclaim than his, the answer can only be that it MUST BE A CONSPIRACY, that justifies an EVEN MORE BLATANT CONSPIRACY. He has no doubts at all. He deserves this. He is angry, Mr. {Gay-Basher McManly-Nuts}. And it is not just regular anger. It is righteous anger, bringing us to the point that being righteously angry is not necessarily the same thing as being justifiably angry, not even close.

The difference between Mr. {Gay-Basher McManly-Nuts} and myself is therefore significant, and it boils down to the statement that while I am very capable of being an asshole about many things, I am not an asshole to that extent or in that particular way.

I also possess discernment about some things that apparently still confuse him.

For instance, I have absolutely no difficulty identifying my elbow. It’s the place in the middle of my arm that bends.

 

Lisa J. Goldstein on theinferior4

“The Hugo Ballot, Part 15: Back to Novellas” – May 25

Okay, I’m surprised.  Tom Kratman’s “Big Boys Don’t Cry” actually reads in places like an anti-war story.  Well, let’s not get carried away here — it’s more a story about the harm that fighting wars can do, the ways in which a personality can be twisted and perverted by the aims of those in command.

Maggie is a Ratha, an intelligent fighting vehicle who has been through countless battles, and been made to forget some of her more disturbing actions.  She has been mortally wounded and is being taken apart for scrap — but the more the workers drill down, the more she starts remembering things that now seem to her to be problematic…..

 

Joseph Tomaras on A Skinseller’s Workshop

“Hugo Short Story Ballot” – May 24

“Totaled” by Kary English is too good a story to be tarred with the brush of a slate. It makes good use of not-as-far-future-as-those-unfamiliar-with-the-field-might-think neuroscience to explore the mind-body problem, the relationship of emotion to cognition, and the furthest limits to which careerist self-sacrifice can drive a person. I wish it had first appeared either in a free online venue, or a magazine with broader circulation than Galaxy’s Edge.

Lou Antonelli’s “On a Spiritual Plane” attempts to cover similar ground, but there’s a crippling contradiction between the short story form, which requires some measure of crisis for the protagonist, and the author’s evident desire simply to set up a world that is confirmatory of the narrator’s Thomistic metaphysics….

 

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Jeffro Johnson Hugo Nomination Fanwriter Sample” – May 25

This might be the best of the Puppy Fan Writer nominees. At the very least, I can see real substance in it that doesn’t work for me, but surely will for its intended audience.

 

Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!

“Hugo Blogging: ‘Best’ Related Work” – May 25

For fairly obvious reasons, I am not going to give anything on those slates a ranking above No Award. Once again, however, I am grateful that my aesthetic instincts match my moral ones here — while these are (with one notable exception) much less incompetent than the fiction I’ve read so far, none of them are actually, you know, good.

Here’s how I’m ranking them.

Letters from Gardner by Lou Antonelli is half writing autobiography/how to break into SF manual, and half collection of short stories. Basically imagine The Early Asimov, but with Antonelli replacing Asimov and Gardner Dozois replacing John Campbell. Antonelli tells the story of how each of his stories was written, and how it was accepted or rejected. The difference is, though, that Antonelli has had an undistinguished career, lasting roughly a decade, while Asimov was one of the greats of the genre (at least in sales and critical status). There is an intrinsic interest in Asimov’s juvenilia which there just isn’t for Antonelli. The stories were pedestrian, and there were no real insights, but this might be of interest to someone. It’s not *bad*, just also not *good*…..

 

Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Short Story: Reviewing L Antonelli” – May 25

“On A Spiritual Plain”, Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, 11-2014)

If this had been longer than fifteen pages I would not have finished it. After I did finish it I looked up the elements of a story to see what was missing.

 

Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

“Preliminary thoughts — Best Graphic story Hugo” – May 25

During the various discussions about the Puppies, the Hugo Awards and everything somebody, I think it was Erik Olson, made the excellent remark that new Hugo categories only make sense if there are enough good candidates each year for it. If there only one or two or even five different candidates in any given year, what’s the point? It occurred to me that the converse is also true: any given Hugo category only makes sense if the Hugo voters are knowledgeable enough to actually vote for more than just a handful of the usual subjects year after year. Otherwise it means you just have an even smaller than usual group of people nominating and most people either not voting, or only voting for names they recognise.

The Best Graphic Story category, which was first awarded in 2009, at first seemed to fail that second requirement. The first three awards were won by Girl Genius and you do wonder whether that was because people recognised Kaja & Phil Foglio from fandom, rather than for the comic itself. The Foglios themselves were gracious enough to withdraw after their third win and since then the category has improved a lot, having been won by three different comics since. I’m still a bit skeptical of how well it will work out in the long term, or whether it’ll become just another category most people won’t care about, like the best semi-prozine or best fan artist ones and just vote by rote, if at all.

On the other hand though, if there’s one thing the Hugos, as well as Worldcon needs if it wants to stay relevant, is to get in touch with wider fandom, to not just focus on the old traditional categories. And comics suit the Hugos well. There are plenty of science fiction comics published each year, even omitting superhero series and there does now seems to be a core of Worldcon fans invested in nominating and voting. Since there isn’t really a proper comics orientated sf award yet, haivng the Hugos take up the slack is an opportunity to make them relevant to a primary comics geek, as opposed to a written sf geek audience.

 

Cheryl Morgan on Cheryl’s Mewsings

“The Wages of Sin” – May 25

Yesterday Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon, announced that they now have 9,000 members. Fannish mathematics thus makes it the first billion dollar Worldcon1.

On the back of this unexpected windfall the Commie Pinko Faggot Feminazi Cabal that controls Worldcon via Tor Books has announced the 10-year, $3.4 million deal for its primary gamma rabbit author, John Scalzi.

Scalzi’s editor at Tor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, explained the rationale behind this move. “It was a tough decision,” he said, especially as none of Scalzi’s books have sold more than a dozen or so copies, mostly to his friends and family. The convention revenue simply doesn’t cover the shortfall.” ….

 

Declan Finn on A Pius Man

“The Anti-Puppies (Sad Puppies Bite Back VI)” – May 26

[Putatively humor.]

[GRR Martin …gapes, blinks, then turns to NKJ] And you, hold on a second. You’re not content with having a personal vendetta and an online feud with Vox Day, but you want to deliberately taunt the Dark Lord of the Fisk!? Have you no sense of self-preservation?

[Scalzi frowns] I thought he was the International Lord of Hate

[Jemisin] Anything he says to me will prove that he’s a racist!

 

Declan Finn on A Pius Man

“Putting down the puppies (Sad Puppies Bite Back VII)”  – May 26

[Three hours later, down the road, lying in wait, are the Evil League of Evil. Tom Kratman tirelessly watches the road, awaiting the dog catcher truck.  John “Dr. O. No” Ringo, now that the sun is down, furiously taps away on his laptop, cranking out a rough draft of a 15-book series on an alien invasion. Larry Correia, the International Lord of Hate, is fisking the entire back catalog of The Guardian. The Cuddly Skeletor, Brad Torgersen, clutches the flamethrower on loan from Larry, looking like a kid waiting for Christmas morning.]

[LC looks up]  I’m running out of Guardian articles.  Are they coming or not?

[TK growls, frustrated]  I don’t see them sir!  We still have the Claymore mines ready and waiting to blow them straight to Hell at the first sign!  Assuming the land mines in the road don’t get them first! Or the three backup snipers!

[LC]  Geez, Tom, are you sure that we’ll even need to fire a shot, assuming they ever get here?

[TK] Better to be prepared than not, sir!

[LC sighs, closes the laptop, and stands up, taking care not to hit the flagpole above him]  Okay, everyone, we’re packing up. Brad, sorry, no flamethrower for you tonight.

[Brad, frustrated that he never got to use his flame thrower on the self-destructed anti-Puppies, fires it off into space.  The massive fireball makes it way to low orbit.  It impacts and explodes against a low-flying alien spacecraft, a scout for the incoming armada.  The armada, thinking their surprise has been ruined, turn around and retreat. The wounded ship hurtles in an uncontrolled descent, slamming right into Tor’s officers, taking out the entire suite of offices, and a few cockroaches — including an intern named Joe Buckley, but no one noticed one way or another, since interns are all disposable anyway. But Joe died happy. He FINALLY got to see an exploding space ship!]

 

Dcarson on Steve Jackson Games Board & Dice Forum

“Mars Attacks (Worldcon)” – May 24

Played Mars Attacks this weekend at Balticon. We noticed that the cities showing were all ones we had been to a Worldcon in. So for the next game we sorted through the city deck and if we allowed San Diego as the site of a Nasfic we had 16 city and monument cards. So a 4 player game of Mars Attacks the Worldcon.

 

 

501 thoughts on “Disney’s “101 Nominations” 5/25

  1. Shoggoths Old Peculiar

    Apropos of nothing, this story title sounds like the best name for a beer ever.

    You win the day.

  2. Laertes on May 26, 2015 at 3:24 pm said:
    Shoggoths Old Peculiar
    Apropos of nothing, this story title sounds like the best name for a beer ever.

    You win the day.

    That’s one of Neil Gaiman’s isn’t it?

  3. Ann Somerville : However, to address your complaint – there is no need to write an exposé of Beale because he has not spent more than a decade creating separate personas and cultivating people by one persona attacked under another persona. Beale uses sockpuppets but they are clumsy things and easily detected

    That we know of.

    I point out the simple fact that no-one has ever seen VD and Requires Hate in the same room…

  4. You might not appreciate what happens to you when you drink Shoggoths Old Peculiar. (Or Old Peculier if you’re Theakstonian purist.)

  5. Incidentally, if I were listing important female characters in early American SFF, C. L. Moore would be WAY higher up on that list for Jirel of Joiry than Stanley Weinbaum would be for Patricia Burlingame. (Jirel even comes first, if it matters — “Black God’s Kiss” came out in October 1934, while “Parasite Planet” came out in February 1935.)

    But anyway, I do completely agree with those who have said that it’s weird to bring up Weinbaum in response to someone expressing an appreciation for Kowal’s female characters. The two aren’t remotely comparable for a modern reader except in the most abstract sense. It’s just … odd. It’d be like if someone said they liked Laura Lam’s portrayal of an intersex character in her books, and was told, “Then read Michael Moorcock because there’s totally a merged male/female being that shows up in The Final Programme!”

  6. I point out the simple fact that no-one has ever seen VD and Requires Hate in the same room…

    Amusing though it might be to consider Nick Mamatas’s reaction if he discovered he had really been editing and supporting Beale, this line of conversation is harmful. For one, it allows Miss Hate’s apologists to claim her critics are all raaacists, and for another, it glosses over the uncomfortable truth that a queer woman of colour can be as big an abuser as the grossest white supremacists.

    People have met her, and confirmed she is a she. Beale would be apoplectic at the idea that his manly manliness might be sullied by girl cooties.

  7. Well, Eric, that was a spectacularly-long post crammed full of misrepresentations, false equivalencies, and blatant untruths, several of which have been addressed by other people here, but since you called me out specifically:

    Eric: “Correias announcement that he would not seek or accept a nomination was seen as self serving and empty by many people, including you if I recall JJ, so how is Kowals any different?”

    I don’t know anything about Correia supposedly announcing “that he would not seek or accept a nomination”. I don’t read his blog. I’ve been there a few times in the past, and the posts and comments are so filled with hate, irrationality, and childishness that I feel my time is better spent elsewhere.

    What I actually said was in response to someone else’s claim: “Say what you will about Larry Correia; the man explicitly denied himself the opportunity to put himself on the ballot, because that would be wrong.”

    And what I actually said was: “Oh, nonsense. He removed himself from the ballot because he knew that even the nomination, much less an actual rocket, wouldn’t have been worth a tinker’s damn, due to having been “achieved” by manipulation by the slate.”

    The difference? Correia declined an actual nomination which was achieved by the Puppies gaming the Hugo nomination ballot. Kowal didn’t decline a nomination, she removed herself from consideration before the possibility of a nomination had even occurred. But thanks for your clumsy attempt at falsely equating those two things.

  8. And I just have to laugh at all the claims that the ~100 sponsored memberships offered by Kowal and others (including Puppies) were “buying votes”. I saw the form to request such a sponsored membership. There was no tickbox asking “Are you a Puppy supporter? Yes/No”. Kowal had no way of knowing who the people requesting sponsored memberships were. Puppies were perfectly able to request sponsored memberships, and for all anyone knows, many of the people who requested and received one were indeed Puppies.

  9. I thought Kowal’s offer was gracious, generous, and kind (which just goes to show that the Puppies can twist anything around).

    Her behavior in no way parallels Correia’s. Correia seems to have been hustling for awards and status for years, and it is difficult to see his withdrawal from the slate only after it was obvious the yogurt had hit the fan as anything but opportunism and face-saving.

  10. Any Puppy withdrawal is political, since the Puppies have promised to continue their annual campaigns indefinitely. That is, he can always appear on a slate next year.

    Of course, so too can Kowal, buoyed by the goodwill of buying supporting memberships for people who might buy memberships of their own in 2017.

  11. >> I don’t know anything about Correia supposedly announcing “that he would not seek or accept a nomination.”>>

    If he announced any such thing, he failed badly at the first part. He was on the Sad Puppies 3 slate, and if he didn’t want a nomination, he could easily have declined to have his name included. He sought a nomination, and he got a nomination, and subsequently declined it before the shortlist was announced publicly.

  12. Nick Mamatas on May 26, 2015 at 4:08 pm said:
    Any Puppy withdrawal is political, since the Puppies have promised to continue their annual campaigns indefinitely. That is, he can always appear on a slate next year.

    Of course, so too can Kowal, buoyed by the goodwill of buying supporting memberships for people who might buy memberships of their own in 2017.

    Did I misunderstand? I thought Kowal had voluntarily recused herself from consideration for next year’s Hugos as part of showing good faith.

    Also, I don’t know about Kowal, but I thought quite a lot of people hate the idea of slates as slates, no matter who is on them.

  13. Lis Carey–“He (Weinbaum)doesn’t replace writers who are processing the world I live in in their fiction.”

    Heinlein’s greatest contribution to the field was the observation that people centuries from now are not going to look back on the United States of 1940 as the ultimate in human civilization. The same is true for 2015. Personally, I like writers who deal with the Really Big Picture. What will humanity 2.0 be like? What will the problems be for humanity after it splits into several species. We can be sure our grandchildren will scorn us. What virtues will they admire?

  14. “Much as I love Weinbaum’s work, for reasons that ought to be obvious to you, but perhaps aren’t, I will continue to spend most of my fiction reading time on writers, both male and female, who are more contemporary, who are aware of the real issues and challenges of life in the 21st century.”

    Hey, whatever floats your boat.

    I don’t know where I picked it up, but I thought the old pulp writers were supposed to be… I dunno… well, more in line with the much lampooned stereotype of the square jawed hero and the damsel in distress. But that’s not how it was. Science fiction was far more ahead of its times that it is typically given credit for.

    But Weinbaum is still relevant today even in this area where he is technically behind the times because he manages to create female characters that appear “strong” by some other method than surrounding them by weak men. There are quite a few people writing today that I wish were able to do that. There are things that writers from previous generations were able to take for granted that people today would struggle to even imagine. That in and of itself is mind blowing.

    Of course, I never told anyone to ONLY read the older works. (Though I have joked that everything went wrong starting in 1970. But that’s just teasing.) However I will say that a familiarity with the older works can provide not just perspective and insight into what’s going on today, but they are also worth reading because they are so incredibly entertaining.

  15. Kurt Busiek: “If [Correia] announced any such thing, he failed badly at the first part. He was on the Sad Puppies 3 slate, and if he didn’t want a nomination, he could easily have declined to have his name included. He sought a nomination, and he got a nomination, and subsequently declined it before the shortlist was announced publicly.”

    Peace Is My Middle Name: “it is difficult to see his withdrawal from the slate only after it was obvious the yogurt had hit the fan as anything but opportunism and face-saving.”

    Exactly.

  16. Milt Stevens on May 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm said:
    … We can be sure our grandchildren will scorn us. What virtues will they admire?

    What do you mean “will”? Surely many of us here are already old enough to be grandparents and can know for certain.

  17. >> She has made it clear that she will decline any nominations she receives next year as well.>>

    Yes, she has. But next year is 2016. Not 2017.

    Which is why Nick referred to 2017 in his 4:08pm post above, and has clarified since that next year is 2016, not 2017.

  18. Kurt – If he announced any such thing, he failed badly at the first part. He was on the Sad Puppies 3 slate, and if he didn’t want a nomination, he could easily have declined to have his name included. He sought a nomination, and he got a nomination, and subsequently declined it before the shortlist was announced publicly

    Heck he wrote a post explaining all the reasons why he had to accept the nomination, namely that his fans would be angry and JCW said Nemesis was his best work and he couldn’t argue with that.

    Then he wrote post later turning it down because he didn’t want Sad Puppies to be about him. Which made me laugh for a good minute.

  19. @Mintwich – Neat! I always love hearing from data wranglers. I’m not surprised to hear that the reviews are not terribly predictive. Too bad the puppies are convinced otherwise.

  20. Jeffro Johnson on May 26, 2015 at 4:17 pm said:
    I don’t know where I picked it up, but I thought the old pulp writers were supposed to be… I dunno… well, more in line with the much lampooned stereotype of the square jawed hero and the damsel in distress. But that’s not how it was. Science fiction was far more ahead of its times that it is typically given credit for.

    I suspect you got fooled by the rosy nostalgic mythos of the American past that many, not just on the Right, mistake for American history.

    Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen and John C. Wright seem to admire a fictional past era of lantern-jawed heroes rescuing buxom, passive female units with pow zing rockets and pew pew lasers, but so far as I can tell that did not even exist in the relatively unnuanced world of the Sunday funnies, let alone written SF.

  21. Ann Somerville

    I wholeheartedly agree with you; had someone devoted months of their life to investigating and analysing VD’s toxic effect on both individuals and SF/F in general over many years, and produced a Report setting it out in all its stomach turning detail, I would have regarded that as worthy of a Hugo.

    Of course, nobody has. Lorna devoted months of her life to investigating the behaviour of Requires Hate over her 10 year reign of terror, and it must have been dreadful for anyone who is not a sociopath, and therefore has feelings and principles, to go through the stuff as it came to light and see just what horrible things had been done. We all owe her an immense amount of gratitude.

    By this point you’ll probably grasped that I shall be voting for it!

  22. Kurt Busiek on May 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm said:

    >> She has made it clear that she will decline any nominations she receives next year as well.>>

    Yes, she has. But next year is 2016. Not 2017.

    Which is why Nick referred to 2017 in his 4:08pm post above, and has clarified since that next year is 2016, not 2017.

    Yup. I had a total comprehension fail. Sorry.

  23. When Correia announced the Sad Puppies 3 slate on his blog, he made a big deal out of how he’d offered for his novel not to be put on the slate:

    Then there’s me. I actually told Brad and the rest of the ELoE that I was perfectly fine with Monster Hunter Nemesis not being on the ballot. …

    Then the ELoE told me tough luck, and that if I dropped out, my fans (who make up the back bone of the growing Sad Puppies contingent) would get mad at me. Plus, John Wright said that MHN was my best book, and his vote for best book of 2014. And you really can’t argue with somebody who writes like John.

    For some reason, these concerns were absent when he made the Hugo ballot and rejected the nomination.

    His official explanation of why he did that aside, I figure the real reason to yank his novel was to be spared the embarrassment of finishing below No Award, which came within 110 votes of happening to him in 2014. This line from Day’s Wikipedia page shows why a writer might want to avoid that outcome:

    In 2014 Day’s novelette, “Opera Vita Aeterna”, was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novelette. It came in sixth out of five nominees, behind “No Award.”

  24. @Peace Is My Middle Name,

    And on that note, I must take my leave.

    Manly Wade Wellman’s “The Solar Invasion” just came in the mail.

  25. @rcade “And you really can’t argue with somebody who writes like John.”

    Well, you *can*, but it appears to be ineffectual in denting someone who’s insulated their ideas with that much bad prose. 🙂

  26. Correia may have just had a change of heart, partially for the practical reason that turning down a Hugo is a good talking point, partially because he wanted to start distancing himself from The Struggle and focus on his own books, and may have just decided to do something weird to keep people guessing.

  27. @peace Rosy Sunday funnies makes me think of Pogo, which always makes me happy (though not, I think, uncritically).

    Kavalier & Clay had a lot to say about this, I would suggest.

    And finally, I just note the old standby that history is always about the present.

  28. >> Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen and John C. Wright seem to admire a fictional past era of lantern-jawed heroes rescuing buxom, passive female units with pow zing rockets and pew pew lasers, but so far as I can tell that did not even exist in the relatively unnuanced world of the Sunday funnies, let alone written SF.>>

    Oh, there was some of it — though that lantern-jawed hero was often a scientist rather than (or in addition to) a spaceship captain, or the like. And it was there in pulp SF, in comic books, and more. It just wasn’t the only stuff there was.

    But I’ve read a lot of pulp SF in which by the end of the story, the hero has won the day, along with the affections of some authority figure’s beautiful daughter, like a prize for saving the Earth. Go to chaste embrace, implication of marriage, and then end the story fast, because for all that girls make fine rewards, it’s not like the readers want you to spend much plot time on them.

    There were clear exceptions, which is why characters like Jirel of Joiry stood out. But there was a lot of formulaic, expectation-meeting stuff too.

  29. Dick: The Man in the High Castalia
    Verne: Twenty Thousand Comments About the Controversy
    Carroll: Fandoms’ Adventures in Puppyland
    Donaldson: A Bark and Hungry Puppy Arises

    mickyFinn at 2:35 pm:
    Have you read Elizabeth Bear’s “Shoggoths in Bloom”? It’s one of my favourite Lovecraft-inspired stories.

  30. Will on May 26, 2015 at 4:39 pm said:

    @peace Rosy Sunday funnies makes me think of Pogo, which always makes me happy (though not, I think, uncritically).

    Kavalier & Clay had a lot to say about this, I would suggest.

    And finally, I just note the old standby that history is always about the present.

    Oh, well, I am a lifelong third-gen Pogo fan. I always found Pogo humane, but not necessarily rosy (“The gentle journey jars to stop. The drifting dream is done. The long gone goblins loom ahead; The deadly, that we thought were dead, Stand waiting, every one.”).

  31. @Kurt Busiek;

    I should not have implied that there weren’t lantern-jawed heroes smashing sinister villains and collecting plot stamps to trade in for a girl. There was a lot of that, for sure.

  32. One overview on Lovecraft I read called him a pop star of the horror scene. Wildly popular and well know even if his output wasn’t the best. The writer went on to suggest people look into the horror writings of HG Wells who he considered one of the best even if it isn’t what he is known for.

  33. One of the weird things about Torgersen’s nostalgia for the days of the “rousing space adventure” and “rousing fantasy epic” is that the pulp-style storytelling he describes was published far before his time.

    The pulps died out in the 1950s. Anyone under 70 is too young to know what it was like to plunk down a dime for a new magazine packed with SF/F stories on cheap paper.

    I’m in my 40s, like Torgersen. If the golden age of science fiction is 13, for both of us it occurred during and after the New Wave.

    Childhood yearning should make him nostalgic for a period of great experimentation that was a thorough rejection of pulp SF.

    Torgersen’s like a child of the Woodstock generation who thinks he grew up listening to big band.

  34. mickyFinn: “Lovecraft was good, and difficult, and not everyone’s taste. Like, really not to everyone’s taste. Not “once you appreciate how his writing works, you’ll come to appreciate it”. For me, his writing leaves me cold, but Gaiman and Stross’s uses of the Mythos makes it an awesome and significant thing.”

    I’m really not a Lovecraft fan at all (though, to be fair, I’m not generally a fan of horror of any sort). But I enjoy The Laundry Files stories, and liked Bear’s Shoggoths in Bloom.

    Though I have to admit that I’m getting a bit annoyed at all the books/stories I’ve read in the last year in which, when the aliens’ appearance is finally revealed at the end, they just happen to be large, amorphous, and have many tentacles.

  35. Brad’s childhood reading was composed largely of Star Wars tie-in novels. Then he discovered Larry Niven. Perhaps he saw a Kzin on a book cover and thought it was a Wookie?

  36. Rcade: Yeah! The year I was born, the Hugo nominees for best novel were The Wanderer, The Whole Man, Davy, and The Planet Buyer. (I think I’m just a few years older than you and Torgersen; that was 1965.) The days of Dirk Squarejaw, Unironic Space Hero, were gone.

  37. rcade: “His official explanation of why he did that aside, I figure the real reason to yank his novel was to be spared the embarrassment of finishing below No Award, which came within 110 votes of happening to him in 2014.”

    I think you are right on the money there. His desire for a Hugo has not disappeared. But he knew what was going to happen as soon as the ballot was made public, and he knew this time around he was likely to end up in the No Award Club with VD.

    This way he gets to look noble and self-sacrificing, without having to suffer the ignominy of being No Awarded.

  38. I always found Pogo humane, but not necessarily rosy

    Simple J Malarkey and the Cowbirds pretty much fixed that notion. (I grew up on Pogo.)

  39. > “The days of Dirk Squarejaw, Unironic Space Hero, were gone.”

    Given that the first best novel Hugo went to The Demolished Man, and I’m not sure that Dirk Squarejaw was ever the actual fan favorite.

  40. Well, way back when I was a yout (early 70’s), I understood Science Fantasy to be synonymous with Michael Moorcock. I still have a whack of the old Mayflower British editions and all of them are back-cover labeled ‘Science Fantasy’. I read somewhere later that this was a publisher’s compromise because ‘fantasy’ at that time was a great wasteland and they wanted to capitalize on the current popularity of ‘Science Fiction’.

    Hmm, I thought my Mayflower copy of “The Dying Earth” was also so labelled but it ain’t.

    In any case, I’d suggest for Moorcock ‘Fantasy’, try ‘The Stealer of Souls’, for ‘Science Fantasy’ try “The Jewel In The Skull” and for “Science Fiction”, well, anyone else remember ‘Behold The Man’?

  41. Will on May 26, 2015 at 5:13 pm said:

    @peace Pogo being not rosy is exactly the point I hoped to make.

    I am missing nuance left and right tonight.

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