The Dogcatcher In The Rye 6/17

aka The Summer of our Manufactured Discontent

In today’s roundup: Sarah A. Hoyt, Vox Day, David Gerrold, Steven Brust, John Scalzi, Peter Grant, Laura J. Mixon, Laura Resnick, Spacefaring Kitten, Chris Gerrib, David Gerrold, Adam-Troy Castro, Lis Carey, Larry Correia, Brad Johnson and mysterious others. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Nigel and DMS.)

Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“Fun House Mirrors” – June 17

But I’ve been on a slow simmer since the Irene Gallo comments, and that was brought to a boil yesterday.

Why yesterday, you ask?

Because the hypocritical scum (I apologize to any scum I might have offended) who runs file 770 has been gleefully linking anything of mine that even uses the letters H-u-g- and o in the same paragraph, but yesterday I wrote about his hypocrisy in taking a sentence of mine out of context and linking it with a clever-daft punchline of the “Hydrophobia that falls on you from nowhere” to imply I was homophobic.

Did he link yesterday’s post? Are you kidding? Even though he’s fairly sure his blinded followers will rarely click through, he couldn’t afford to explode his narrative. He’d on the flimsiest of “evidence” – i.e. my refusal to go into details on same sex marriage and other accommodations for more “exotic” orientations in a post to which it wasn’t even incidental – declared me homophobic, and he couldn’t risk the narrative being exploded.

I confess that when my Baen colleagues were making fun of file 770 and going on about “Mike Glyer, Fifty Hugos” (the number of nominations he’d had) I thought they were being a little mean. After all, the man was just well-intentioned and blinkered, and believed the narrative.

Guys, I was wrong, you were right. He’s not deceived, but he willfully deceives. He is not a useful idiot, but one who would seek to make idiots out of others. He’s not the sheep, but the judasgoat.

Why does that matter to me? Why do I get so upset if it’s not true? Isn’t it an axiom (at least on the left side of politics) that you only get upset if it’s secretly true?

[I reminded Sarah A. Hoyt the roundup titles are a trope, not a comment on the writers quoted. She did not take me up on my offer to run another excerpt, so I can only commend the entire post to you — “Dispatches From Another World” – June 12.]

Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Updates” – June 17

Since many of you have been asking, no, no one has received any response from anyone at Tor Books or Macmillan. We know at least some of the emails have been read by the recipients. Be patient, we have to give Macmillan time to investigate the situation and discover for themselves just how dysfunctional and unprofessional their U.S. subsidiary is. Remember that Julie Crisp, Editorial Director of Tor UK, left the company “following a review of the company’s science fiction and fantasy publishing” in May, and her public behavior was unobjectionable in comparison with that of Irene Gallo, Moshe Feder, and Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

Also, Jagi has asked that when you send her your pictures of your Tor books, please tell her what state or country you are from. She’s received them from 65 people to date.

David Gerrold in a comment on Facebook – June 17

So, Vox Day has declared a boycott of Tor Books.

I expect this will be as effective as the Baptist boycott of Disney World.

Peter Grant on Bayou Renaissance Man

“The blindness of the ideologically bound” – June 17

And so, when Ms. Gallo accused me – me – of being ‘unrepentantly racist’ purely because I happened to support the Sad Puppy cause, that was the last straw.  I’d heard that lie from SJW’s before, of course, and been able to get over it . . . but lies like that are like the Chinese water torture.  Sooner or later, something’s going to snap.  Her accusations were, to me, unforgivable;  and since she’s never seen fit to retract them, they still are.  Since her employer has seen fit to allow her, and others like her, to pontificate about something of which they apparently know absolutely nothing, to make false accusations and toss denigrations around like confetti, doing so on company time and using company computers and networks . . . that employer is complicit in the whole mess.  Hence my outrage against Tor.  Hence the boycott for which I will call on Friday if Tor and its holding company, Macmillan, don’t act against those responsible.

I won’t take this any more.  I know I’m far from the only Puppy supporter who’s had enough of the SJW’s lies and slanders and libels.  They want a war?  They can have one.

Laura J. Mixon

“I stand with Irene Gallo, and I stand with Tor” – June 17

Bullies and abusers rely on the larger community’s desire for comity—our willingness to live and let live—to impose their will and silence dissent. In such a case, it’s incumbent on people with standing in the community to speak up against them, providing a counterweight to their destructive ideas. By speaking when she did, in my view, Irene was doing what other thought leaders in our field like N. K. Jemisin, John Scalzi, and the Nielsen Haydens have done: guarding the health and well-being of our SFF community by standing up against hate speech.

Some feel the stark terms Irene applied to the Sad and Rabid Puppies movements in her FaceBook post—racist, misogynist, homophobic, neo-nazi—were too harsh and too broadly applied. That she spoke out of turn and had no business criticizing the Sad and Rabid Puppies campaign while promoting a Tor book. They protest that their views are not extreme, and using such terms unfairly maligns them, by lumping them in with someone they don’t support. Some members of the Sad and Rabid Puppy campaigns have indeed distanced themselves from Beale, and perhaps they were initially unaware of just how extreme his views were.

I believe that communities can grow and change. People can learn; viewpoints can shift. I have a seed of hope that someday, through continued dialog and education, we can find a way through this and mend some of the rifts that this conflict has exposed.

But there is no getting around the fact that a misogynistic, homophobic white supremacist, who has spoken approvingly of shootings and acid attacks on women, and of Hitler and the Holocaust, who has called a respected SFF scholar and popular writer an ignorant, “not equally human” savage, stands at the heart of this conflict. Beale’s followers and fellow travelers may not themselves hold all the bigoted views he does, but information on who he is and how he feels about women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and others has been widely shared by now. If people are emailing you calling for Irene to be fired, they are unavoidably supporting Beale’s hate-filled agenda.

Laura Resnick on Facebook – June 17

I’m guessing that, for a raft of reasons, Tor and Macmillan will not meet any of these demands, and so it seems likely the Puppies will boycott the biggest publisher in our genre starting on Friday. I’m skeptical that a few hundred people will have an effect on a program the size of Tor, and also skeptical that their numbers will grow. So I’m more concerned about what persons, organizations, or businesses will be the Puppies’ next target. I didn’t think they would stop with the Hugos, and I’m skeptical they’ll stop with Tor, either.

Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“Answering Peter Grant” – June 17

Sad Puppy activist Peter Grant was one of the most vocal people pushing for this week’s hatemail campaign directed at Tor….

He says:

I’ll do my best not to stoop to name-calling, with the exception of referring to the other side as ‘social justice warriors’ or SJW’s. I do so only because I have no other name in my vocabulary to adequately or accurately describe them. If anyone can suggest a better, more acceptable alternative, I’ll be grateful.

I replied in the comments that the best alternative would be Happy Kittens. Sadly, it seems like my comment was deleted.

I’d like to rephrase my suggestion here: please drop the SJW and start using Happy Kittens if you insists on having a handle for the people who are critical of Sad Puppies. It’s not offensive. It’s kind of funny in the same way as Sad Puppies. It looks ridiculous in an angry sentence. Plenty of good reasons.

Chris Gerrib on Private Mars Rocket

“Puppy Bites Woman AGAIN, Pictures at 11 !!!!” – June 17

I find a notable fact buried in the piles of puppy-doo.

I’m going to dig said fact out and clean it up for you. I’m doing this because facts have been one thing in short supply in this debate. For the most part, what we get are vague statements that some unnamed person committed some undefined offense sometime during a large event. But now we have a fact.

Per Vox, 765 individual people emailed Tor complaining about Gallo. That sounds like a lot, except, 79,279 people bought a copy of Redshirts in 2013. So, if you take 765 and divide it by 79,279, you get .00964. In other words, less than 1% of the people who bought one book from Tor are complaining. You’d have to magnify that complaint number by an order of magnitude to get anybody’s attention.

David Gerrold in a message on Facebook – June 17

A friend has pointed out to me that any attempt to calm people down is doomed unless everyone involved wants to calm down. He then went on to point out that too often there are individuals who will have a vested interest in escalating the uproar. It increases their visibility — and their illusion (delusion?) of power.

It is — according to my very wise friend — a kind of ferocious madness that has to reach a peak before it can burn itself out. It cannot be calmed and those… efforts are doomed. It has to be inflamed by those who are enraptured by the heat they can generate and like any addiction, the dosage has to be increased, they can only crave more and more — until the whole thing becomes a bonfire and they are finally, ultimately immolated in the flames.

He might be right.

I’ve seen flame wars online that have destroyed whole forums — and I’ve seen the perpetrators of these flame wars move from forum to forum, leaving a trail of ruined relationships behind them. I cannot think of a single instance where a call for peace was effective. Even Gandhi died by a bullet.

Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – June 17

I have heard more than one person say that they’re dreading Worldcon.

I won’t say that this is what the Sad and Rabid Puppies want as a group, even if I do think it’s what of a couple of the individual standard-bearers want. I will say that it is certainly what a great number of the trolls slamming so-called SJW writers on their behalf want. (And I do think it would tickle Beale the Galactic Zero no end. This is the guy who cheers spree killers, after all.)

Alas, I am not going to Worldcon this year. It would take an unexpected windfall of colossal proportions. Maybe next year, or the year after.

But if I was, “dread it”? To hell with that. I go to have fun, to catch up with old friends, to make new ones, to find treasures in the Dealer’s Room, to talk about my pop-culture obsessions and to hear others talk about my pop-culture obsessions. I’d be going, this year, to see my friend David Gerrold in his Guest of Honor gig and to see him and my friend Tananarive Due nail their Hugo-hosting gig. You think, if attendance was in my cards for me, I would waste more than one millisecond of brain energy on the premise that some no-neck gibberer with a fixation on his own imaginary oppression might say something nasty to me?

Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“Cedar ‘Go Buy A Shooter Bimbo Shirt’ Sanderson” – June 17

Cedar Sanderson is the third member of the Mad Genius Club in this category, and she has produced what is probably the single best blog post in the voters packet I’ve read so far that has actually something do with SFF. In it, she ponders the shortcomings of generic fantasy on the lines of Diana Wynne Jones’ Tough Guide to Fantasyland which is a book I should probably read sometime. The text would be stronger if Sanderson had gone into specifics and given some more concrete examples of bad fantasy, but it’s not bad as is.

H.P. on Every Day Should Be Tuesday

“Review of Rat Queens vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe” – June 17


Each of the four members has her moments, the story is intriguing enough, and the comic is genuinely funny. They’re foul-mouthed, horny, and have a distinct tendency to cause disproportionate property damage. And can drink their rival adventurers under the table as easily as they kill their enemies. They’re joined by a host of cool minor characters, from a long-suffering captain of the town watch who’s sleeping with one of the Rat Queens to the friendly rival adventurer group named the Four Daves (exactly what it says on the tin) to a villainous local merchant to one very annoying town watchman. All in all, it probably has the best combo of awesome female characters around.

Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Best Editor, Long Form — 2015 Hugo Award Nominees” – June 17

[She reviews all five nominees. I excerpted the one that struck me as the most favorable.]

Sheila Gilbert: Ms. Gilbert is, with Betsy Wollheim, Publisher at DAW. Ms. Gilbert did provide both a list of edited works, and sample chapters. Her writers include Seanan McGuire, Julie Czerneda, and Jacey Bedford, and the sample chapters include both science fiction and fantasy. Within the limits of my ability to assess her work as an editor, I’m very impressed. There are also some new works added to my To Be Read list.

Font Folly

“Hugo Ballot Reviews: Graphic Story” – June 17

[Preceded by reviews of all nominees.]

Rat Queens is hands-down the winner of slot number one on my Hugo ballot in this category. And with Zombie Nation at number five, the only thing left up in the air is where how I’m going to rank Saga, Sex Criminals, and Ms. Marvel, because I want all of them and Rat Queens to take home an award, dang it!

Larry Correia on Monster Hunter Nation

“Somebody sent me a Sad Puppies holster” – June 17

I’ve not been saying much about the Sad Puppies controversy lately, because right now it is out of my hands. Some employees of a publishing house said some pretty outlandish things, and their customers are ticked and writing lots of letters. I’m staying out of that one.

But some author friends had this made for me and sent as a gift. I’m pretty sure they don’t want to be identified.

Sad Puppy 1911 Holster Right Hand

Sad Puppy 1911 Holster Right Hand

1,023 thoughts on “The Dogcatcher In The Rye 6/17

  1. Octavia, it is midsummers eve here. I have better things to do than hang out with you
    oh so nice and tolerant people. I have to eat pickled herring, pickle my liver and generally have a gay old time.

    I lied about the flouncing and sneaked back in. How low can I go?

  2. aeou on June 19, 2015 at 1:08 am said:

    I lied

    Awww… we’ll make an SJW out of you yet.

  3. I lied

    Careful. You seem to be catching SJW-cooties.

    Aside from that, enjoy your Midsummer Eve’s celebration. Makes me wish to be farther up north.

  4. Do you know, it never once occurred to me that trolls coming here tended to be singlets rather than pairs was anything more than kind of funny.

    That the recent cannot-be-disemvowelled (I assume that’s the joke) troll here thought it was an accusation of sockpuppetry is just … Wow, so that’s the way that one thinks, huh. Okay.

  5. Peace, I have been accused of sock puppetry about ten times in these threads. How stupid of me to assume more of the same. Further it was down right silly of me to leave open the possibility that that was not the case and answer that too. Wow, just wow.

    Jesus Christ, man!

    Octavia, cheers!

  6. Peace, ol’ Voweller also thinks disagreement is intolerance, much like when yesterday RAH thought disagreement was offence. Which is rhetoricks, but never mind.

  7. Eh, I’d rather discuss books and interests and life in general. Seems a more worthwhile use of one’s time.

  8. aeou: I have not forgotten that which I have not read.

    Given that you don’t seem to read much of anything, including any science fiction or the works that have been nominated for a Hugo in this year or any other, there’s not much for you to not forget.

  9. May Tree on June 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm said:

    Part of me loves the idea of doing the nominations by STV to get a list of five for the ballot, then doing the final vote as usual, but I’m doubtful people want to do the “rank your favorite five” thing twice in a row. I could be wrong, though! I do wonder if STV might answer any legitimate issues the Puppies have with feeling like conservative SF is unrepresented at the Hugos, even though those issues appear to be entirely in their Puppy-biscuit obsessed brains and not evident in reality. I find myself wondering if STV defeats slate voting, though.

    The E. Pluribus Hugo proposal does incorporate STV as part of the solution to the nominations problem. Ranking for nominations was firmly squashed when it was suggested, several times. In fact, there’s no change to how members nominate at all. The change is in how those nominations are tallied.

    It’s almost polished up and on its way to the Sasquan business meeting agenda. There should be a new thread started over at Making Light in the next day or two that has the final language with explanations so everyone can see and comment. The plan is to notify Mike Glyer to post it at File770 when that happens. This current link has the final 800 or so comments of sausage making in it, so the language at the top of the post has been changed some, but you can get the gist.

  10. I’d predicted the article at WND that got him fired would have been the last we heard of Beale,

    …fired? From WND? Do tell?

  11. Aeou, buddy, you left all those softballs just lying there unanswered? You flounced just to tell us you were a liar?

    I thought you elk were supposed to be here to prove something about intelligence. Ah well. Maybe next time, eh?

  12. …and here I thought we only ever got one because when two showed up, they’d start contradicting each other. Didn’t we have a “if you don’t read all the nominees, you prove us right!” coming perilously close to crossing a “I haven’t read any more by X because I know I won’t like their work!”

    And that would have gotten messy.

  13. RedWombat on June 19, 2015 at 6:56 am said:

    …and here I thought we only ever got one because when two showed up, they’d start contradicting each other. Didn’t we have a “if you don’t read all the nominees, you prove us right!” coming perilously close to crossing a “I haven’t read any more by X because I know I won’t like their work!”

    And that would have gotten messy.

    Never cross the streams.

  14. @RedWombat:

    “I shall dine out for years,” I said, “on the story of how I trampled Neil Gaiman on the way to the nacho bar.”

    Heh. My Neil Gaiman story involves him showing up to do a reading at the Bathurst Street Theatre (which used to be an old gothic church, and which was rented by local comic book store The Beguiling for this). One of my friends was talking afterward about how she wanted to jump his bones. I simply said, “You realize he’s standing right behind you.” She sort of rolled her eyes, said “Yeah, right,” in a sarcastic tone of voice, looked back briefly, then turned back to me.

    And then did a double-take, spun, and made a rather loud squeak as she realized that he was in fact standing just behind her, though admittedly facing in the other direction and talking to someone else so he hadn’t noticed anything until that moment.


    I can’t do anything useful with Ummagumma.


    With regards to the animal/alien viewpoint, I have to say that in comics, at least, I consider the king of the alien viewpoint to be Matt Howarth. His Kief Llama: Xenotech stories aren’t necessarily alien viewpoints, strictly speaking; the main character is a human who specializes in the period between first contact with aliens and the diplomats. She’s the person who has to figure out how the aliens think and what they might actually want, so she has to deal with the alien viewpoints.

  15. Mark Russell says:

    Plague Dogs! I remember, after reading Watership Down for the first time and loving it, thinking I would give some of Adams’ other books a try. But the opening of Plague Dogs was so depressing (the thing about a dog having to swim in a tank until he nearly drowned) I gave up pretty quickly.

    Plague Dogs is that depressing for almost the entire book. About five pages from the end, the fourth wall suddenly shatters and then there’s an ending in a totally different style than rest of the story. It’s like watching an Ingmar Bergman film where someone has inadvertently spliced the big finale of some massive Technicolor musical onto it.

    Another great non-human POV I’ve just remembered: Crucible by John Brunner.

  16. For a File 770 meetup, why not just meet in the fanzine lounge? That’s what it’s there for…


    “When in doubt, wash” has also stuck with me for years. I read that book as a child and had forgotten both the title and author. Thank you for reminding me! We had the Honorable Cat book by him as well, but I don’t believe I’ve read The Silent Miaow (yet).

    Assorted other commenters – I’m loving all the suggestions, both the ones I which I knew and are old favorites (and am now terribly tempted to reread), and for new ones I’m eager to begin (sheep detectives?).

  18. Jenora:
    >> One of my friends was talking afterward about how she wanted to jump his bones. I simply said, “You realize he’s standing right behind you.” She sort of rolled her eyes, said “Yeah, right,” in a sarcastic tone of voice, looked back briefly, then turned back to me. And then did a double-take, spun, and made a rather loud squeak as she realized that he was in fact standing just behind her, though admittedly facing in the other direction and talking to someone else so he hadn’t noticed anything until that moment.>>

    I had a “standing right behind you” moment with Susan Cooper, though it didn’t involve me saying anything about jumping her bones. I’d been comparing a Christmas Revels pageant she’d (unknown to me) been historical advisor on to THE DARK IS RISING, and raptly talking about how good her books were.

    It was considerably better than my previous “standing right behind you” moment, which involved the junior high school gym teacher and me excoriating him as a moron and a jerk…

  19. @Bruce Baugh:

    it’s clearly okay with Tor for someone they pay to disagree so strongly with what’s up with one of their very most successful authors.

    GRRM is not actually one of Tor’s most successful authors. Not that he’s not successful, it’s just that I’m having trouble finding any of his books that are Tor books; I can’t help but suspect that you’re confusing him with Robert Jordan.

  20. May Tree,

    The Chicago filk was absolutely awe-inspiring!

    (Late to the party, as usual … hi everybody – delurking at long last.)

  21. David Goldfarb: GRRM is not actually one of Tor’s most successful authors. Not that he’s not successful, it’s just that I’m having trouble finding any of his books that are Tor books; I can’t help but suspect that you’re confusing him with Robert Jordan.

    Actually, GRRM does very well for Tor.

    The Wild Cards 20+ book series is published by Tor, as is the Old Mars / Old Venus series, as was the Warriors series, as was the Dangerous Women series, as have been numerous other anthologies done with Gardner Dozois (there have been many over the years). The GRRM / Dozois anthologies sell quite well, get good critical reviews, and are sometimes nominated for awards.

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