Origins Game Fair Drops Larry Correia as Guest

Larry Correia won’t be one of the guests when the Origins Game Fair takes place June 13-17 in Columbus, OH. Shortly after publicizing that Correia had been added to the lineup, John Ward, the event’s Executive Director, received so many negative social media comments (on Twitter, particularly) that he announced Correia’s invitation has been rescinded.

Ward wrote on Facebook:

I want to discuss our invitation to Larry Correia a guest at Origins. By all counts he is a very talented author.

Unfortunately, when he was recommended I was unaware of some personal views that are specifically unaligned with the philosophy of our show and the organization.

I want to thank those of you that brought this error to our attention. Origins is an inclusive and family friendly event. We focus on fun and gaming, not discourse and controversy.

I felt it necessary to recend [sic] his invitation to participate in the show. I apologize again to those of you that were looking forward to seeing him at Origins.

John Ward, Executive Director

Many of the critical tweets mentioned Correia’s history with Sad Puppies.

Correia subsequently responded on Facebook with a statement that begins:

So I’m no longer the writer guest of honor at origins. My invitation has been revoked. It was the usual nonsense. Right after I was announced as a guest some people started throwing a temper tantrum about my alleged racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever (of course, with zero proof or actual examples), and the guy in charge (John Ward) immediately folded. He didn’t even talk to me first. He just accepted the slander and gave me the boot in an email that talked about how “inclusive” they are….

His statement also says “none of these people can ever find any actual examples of me being sexist, racist, or homophobic.”


795 thoughts on “Origins Game Fair Drops Larry Correia as Guest

  1. Incidentally, I’ve eaten breakfast with Jim Butcher, and found him a charming and erudite person. (It was an accidental juxtaposition; we were eating in a hotel restaurant at a convention and our tables were separated by about two inches.) He chatted amiably with us over bacon and eggs; if he was annoyed by fans gushing at him (I was eating with some friends who are dedicated Butcher fans) he never showed a single sign of it.

    Still voted Skin Game under Noah Ward; the Hugo is for the novel, not the author, and while one can make a credible case for the “Dresden Files” as a Hugo Series contender, the individual novel was not, in my opinion.

  2. Rail: @Mike: IIRC, the Puppies urged their followers to vote for 3BP, and there was some discussion of whether they had put 3BP over the top.

    That sounds familiar, now that you remind me.

    However, when you look at the 2015 Hugo Best Novel voting runoffs, Ancillary Sword was the last book eliminated in Pass 4, and when redistributed its votes split 587 for Three-Body problem and 635 for The Goblin Emperor. So a conspiracy-minded person who wants to can say, “See, that’s why 3BP still had enough of a margin for victory!” Or someone else could say, in the final runoff 3BP picked up 48% of the redistributed votes so maybe it won because a lot of people thought it was a good book.

  3. Mike Glyer:

    Paul King: I think that it is entirely possible that absent the Puppies gaming of the nominations 3BP would not have won.

    I guess I’m not following that line of thought. 3BP got on because Marko Kloos withdrew his book. Unless you think Kloos would have won, that still left 3BP up against The Goblin Emperor and the second book in Leckie’s Imperial Radch series, plus two Puppy picks. Are you saying a stronger book was out there that didn’t make the ballot?

    IIRC Kloos withdrew his book because of the puppy shenanigans, yes? Because his book was a Puppy nominee recommendation and he didn’t want to be associated with it (I very much admire him for thAt; in fCt it led me to check out his book and then his subsequent ones and I became a fan as a result.)

    Absent the puppies it is possible that Kloos makes the ballot based on the book’s merits (unlike many of the Puppy nominees, the book had a fan base outside of hardcore puppyworld) and therefore doesn’t withdraw because he is sure he has a “clean” nomination, and 3BP therefore doesn’t make it on to the final ballot and therefore doesn’t win.

    That’s how I understood it. Of course, with both Kloos and 3BP having been at least in part promoted by Puppies either onto the ballot at all, and in the case of 3BP, as the best choice for their bloc vote once the ballot was finalised, it’s possible that without the Puppies neither book makes it onto the ballot at all…

  4. @Mike

    Wasn’t there a system for measuring greatness in Dead Poets Society. Here, let me stand on my desk, it may come back to me…

    O Pixel! My Pixel!

  5. @Nate Harada: “Last year, Origins had a “true facts of GamerGate” panel moderated by an open and unambiguous GamerGate apologist on the schedule until…”

    Now I want Ze Frank to make a “True Facts About GamerGate” video. 😀

    @Eric Ashley: “Rev. Bob, I do believe you and I sat at a table one year, and you lectured me about how Paul reformed Christianity. I thought it was a conversation, but after an hour of you talking, I decided to essay a response, and you decided to leave.”

    That sounds unlike me, particularly as I am not a religious evangelist. I mean, I’ll share my thoughts on what Paul did to Christianity if the subject comes up, but they’re fairly brief and amount to using a thumbnail analysis of human nature and basic politics to show how a couple of centuries of Pauline thought in early churches led to his views dominating the Council of Nicaea through sheer numbers. (One faction is permissive. One is much less so. Start them off equal in size. Come back in two hundred years. Which faction will be larger? Now, make them vote on what goes into their holy book. Which faction will get better representation?) In no sense would I say Paul did anything so positive as “reforming” the faith; I believe he did considerable damage to the teachings of Jesus. I have, in point of fact, been heard to note that if I believed in an Antichrist, I would find Paul to be an excellent candidate for the role.

    Suffice to say that I am not a fan of “Saint” Paul, and the above paragraph is usually all I need to say to explain my reasoning. Doesn’t normally take anywhere close to an hour to express that viewpoint – and if it does, it’s not because I’m monologuing. It would be because I am reacting to someone who is presenting opposing, pro-Paul views. That would be a discussion, not a lecture.

    Also, I am a bit notorious for being the last guy conscious at a convention, precisely because I’m a night owl and I have a hard time tearing myself away from late-night conversations. Typically, I leave a friendly chat only because the con schedule says I have to be someplace. Finally, I believe you mentioned ConStellation? Never been there. Not to say we couldn’t have bumped into each other at another Southern con, but unless it was in Chattanooga, Atlanta, or at one particular ConCarolinas… wasn’t me.

    You would have cause for complaint if you knew there was a large market for disaster stories, and yet no editor would buy one because such would cast doubt that this was the most perfect of all worlds. Such would be a sociopolitical disagreement.

    Question: How does the author know there’s a large market while no publisher on the planet is willing to sell books to them? Where is this knowledge coming from, who is collecting it, and why have all the publishers been afflicted with a case of the stupids?

    If no editor would buy it, that would indicate an implausibly pervasive and colossally bad failure across an entire business sector… and businesses do not prosper by refusing to exploit verifiably large markets. There are certainly cases where publishers do not perceive markets, particularly for genre fiction starring minorities, but there’s always an underlying reason – and even then, there will be a publisher willing to take a chance on a well-written book. Maybe it’s a small press rather than a major publisher of the stature the author thinks they deserve, but if there’s genuinely an audience, someone’s ready to make money off of it. For example, I fully expect the smash success of Black Panther to kick off a surge in Afrofuturistic books from major SF publishers, but there are already publishers working in that space. It may be an undertapped market, but it is certainly not an untapped one. (Hell, Afrofuturism’s been around since George Clinton and Bootsy Collins! It ain’t new, but somehow white-run publishers had trouble seeing that market opportunity. Wonder why…)

    None of that changes the fact that, for instance, going to Orbit with a cozy mystery manuscript will result in a rejection letter. Orbit doesn’t publish those. They publish fantasy and SF. If you want to publish a mystery, either adjust it to Orbit’s market by adding some fantasy or SF elements or… shop it to a publisher who deals in mysteries. Likewise, if you submit a fantasy novel to the Luna imprint, there’d better be a substantial romantic element, as they publish romances.

    See how this works? Editors act on behalf of their publishers, not authors. Their literal job is to acquire and polish books that are good fits for their employers’ audiences. If your book doesn’t fit the imprint, the quality of your manuscript doesn’t matter. Harlequin doesn’t publish splatterpunk, Baen doesn’t publish Regency romances, and submitting those there will guarantee you a pair of rejection letters. They might even be suitable for framing.

  6. @Ian Scott

    It’s an old dog-whistle. Correia didn’t even entertain the possibility the book was nominated by merit, immediately attributing it to virtue signaling efforts of the voters. He made similar comments multiple times about past winners earning their awards for the same reason. I’m sure he tells himself that isn’t him being racist (and sexist and wholly tolerant of the blinding levels of homophobia and transphobia in much of the SP2/SP3 campaigns) but it’s a pretty obvious approach.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the onus of responsibility on this fiasco falls on the OGF and if I was Correia, I’d be angry as well. But his attempts to whitewash his past words and deeds as being a totally innocent bystander who is being unfairly attacked because he’s a conservative are nothing but self-serving lies, easily disproved with quick research.

  7. Ctein, so gatekeepers prefer the independent author to just shut up. Of course they do. You’re supposed to just take your kick in the teeth and be grateful. Sadly, the Internet has disintermediated those overpaid partisans in their NY offices. Some year soon, your editor pal is going to be out of a job. The old era of dull as dishwater fiction is over, and the tyranny of a quite small faction is over.

    Its a glorious new world where I have read a dozen new authors this year that I have never heard of, just this year. Its not like the old days of Books A Million where the same few authors got trotted out year after year.

    Conservatives who had been locked out by bigotry have benefitted, but so have a wide swathe of other authors. If you want to read bisexual dimension crossing science fiction, I can point you to a rather weird series. That would not have been possible in the old, confined world. The Day of the Hugo is done.
    Logically there has to be a best. Just because no one is superintelligent enough to define it matters not.

    The various pleas for subjectivity are a flee from accountability. Or they are humblebrags: Look, all the important gatekeepers I know hate your stuff, so tough luck. “None of your favorite authors are any good. So that’s why they don’t win awards.” You can insert professors or pundits or pols instead of authors.

    I was born at night. It wasn’t last night. What you guys are doing is fairly transparent. Gaslighting. Sadly for you, I’m pretty stubborn, and I don’t have to buy your stuff anymore.

    Like the Man said…..

    “On one otherwise ordinary Tuesday evening, I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth story window.”

  8. Also, add me to the list of Goblin Emperor groupies. I can’t remember now if I ended up putting it or Leckie as my first choice, but of all the books I read that year, it has stuck in my memory and I went back and got the audiobook to listen to as well. If I did put Leckie first, it’s probably because I hadn’t read Ancillary Justice yet and read it and Mercy back to back and the overall series had really hooked me. Had I read and voted for Justice the previous year,I likely wouldn’t have put Mercy ahead of Goblin because it doesn’t really stand out on its own so much as part of an excellent series.

    I did force myself though 3BP and it was okay but far from my particular sweet spot, being fairly dry and super duper sciency. SDS books have to have a LOT of personality, suspense or humour to make heavier science stuff entertaining for me, and 3BP didn’t where something like The Martian did. But that is not an intrinsic or objective failing of 3 BP, and I have no issue with it winning. It’s just not my favorite kind of book.

  9. Clif, I do not pay much attention to contemptible persons such as Clarke. However, he is certainly still alive, in some sense, and sadly* likely facing the judgment for his misdeeds.

    perhaps … or, equally likely, he is enjoying a favorite beverage whilst lounging in the Summerlands … either way one shouldn’t claim to be ANY kind of Science Fiction/Fantasy FAN while wallowing in ignorance of the fact that one of the MOST famous of Science Fiction authors is .. dead and has been for years.

    *your professed ‘sadness’ at his fate is belied by your use of the term ‘contemptible’ .. might want to rethink one or the other of those terms

    But you do you .. as the kids say.

    What I’m more curious about is your objective criteria for what constitutes the best book of any given year. You’ve been asked multiple times by multiple peoples … please .. do tell!

  10. @Rail

    @Ian Scott: Translating it from dogwhistle: Saladin didn’t deserve it for being good, but is just there because of SJW virtue signalling.

    That phrasing has a long, long, looooong history in the US.

    But accusing him of dog whistling seems at odds with other reports of him having no problem laying down viscous invective to specific people. I hesitate to call in disingenuous but I don’t see how someone who has said the things he’s said would hesitate to call out this Saladin as not worthy of the nomination if that is what he felt.

  11. @ Eric Ashley

    . If you want to read bisexual dimension crossing science fiction, I can point you to a rather weird series. That would not have been possible in the old, confined world

    Have you read the later works of Heinlein?

  12. Have you read the later works of Heinlein?

    you mean other than The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Puppet Masters?? No need 😉

    sorry I know better than to feed the troll .. won’t happen again

  13. @lee I had forgotten which book beat out The Goblin Emperor. I agree, that was a DNF to me, although I tried. I don’t do well with translations in general but that books just felt very …..cold to me.

  14. Re “Objectively Best” books.

    I did the math once, thanks to IPX routing.
    IPX routers broadcast a table that lists the number of ‘hops’ from themselves to other locations. Anything past 15 hops is invalid due to the “count to infinity” problem. Therefore, infinity = 16.

    With this knowledge, we now know that (16 monkeys × 16 years) = 256 monkey years to write the entire works of Shakespeare. Using the research of Edmund Malone, Shakespear composed his works from 1589 to 1614. This gives us a ratio of 25/256. If we know how long a writer took to complete their work, we can then use this ratio to determine each work’s Shakespearean Monkey Quotient.

    Example: It takes a writer 2 years to write a novel. Thus, (2 × 256)/25 = 20.48 SMQ.

    The larger the SMQ, the “objectively better” the work.

  15. @Eric Ashley

    so gatekeepers prefer the independent author to just shut up.

    There are multiple independent authors posting in this very thread.
    The independently published Penric novellas have been Hugo finalists, inc this year in Series.
    A YA Hugo finalist this year started on patreon followed by a small press edition
    Former independent authors have won Hugo/Campbell awards.
    I suspect I’ll be nominating a independent author in Novel for the Hugo this year.
    There are probably more examples that I’ve not thought of.

  16. @Mike Glyer

    I think that the Hugo voting depends very much on the shortlist. It doesn’t require a stronger book, the way the votes are distributed does make a difference. A book that appealed more to the people who put 3BP first could have seen 3BP eliminated. So long as it comes ahead of 3BP in enough balllots 3BP goes out first.

  17. @Ian Scott

    I hesitate to call in disingenuous but I don’t see how someone who has said the things he’s said would hesitate to call out this Saladin as not worthy of the nomination if that is what he felt.

    He may have softpedaled his words somewhat because he apparently knew Saladin personally, but it seems to me he IS saying outright that Saladin was unworthy of the nomination. I mean, he says he got the nomination because he has an ‘ethnic’ name – basically excluding the possibility that he got it because his work was actually good enough to be worthy of the nomination.

  18. RedWombat on May 15, 2018 at 9:03 am said:

    I would be very curious how one “objectively” measures a work of fiction as the best. What are our metrics? How does one quantify

    I surveyed a sample of one in my household and derived this formula:

    BQ (best quotient) = {v^2+e^c+R+k/10}/{P+n^(-1)+s}
    v=number of vampires
    e=number of explosions
    c=number of cats
    R=the robot factor – the implied total physical mass of robots in the story (i.e. one really big robot is equivalent to many much smaller robots)
    k= number of kaiju (divided by 10 so as to use the same units)
    P=number of pages
    n=the average word frequency based on a corpus defined by the D&D ‘Appendix n’
    s=average sentence length

    One really short sentence featuring vampires, giant robots, cats, explosions and kaiju expressed using words with really high frequency would be best.

    This is objective science now obviously.

  19. “Logically there has to be a best.”
    In actual mathematics not all combinations of sets and operations have a total ordering – that is there are pairs of elements for which neither is greater than the other. In actual mathematics a single space can have multiple metrics, with the relative size of two intervals being different with different metrics.

    The claim that logically there has to be a best requires that there is a one true natural metric for books, and that this metric produces a total ordering of books; neither condition is required by logic to be true.

  20. Obviously the objectively best book would have dragons in it. That is most definitely a universal truth and not at all based on my personal preferences.

    I could’ve sworn that Hoyt is published by Baen, who aren’t exactly famous for anti-conservative leanings. Am I misremembering?

    @Eric Ashley

    You protested against being treated as part of some illiterate right-wing hivemind monolith earlier in the conversation. Perhaps you should do us the courtesy of remembering that File770’s commentariat includes people from all parts of the industry as well as fans, including people who are both left- and right-wing. We’re not “gatekeepers”; we’re not Origins’ Concom; we’re not generic SJWs. We’re people and we’re fans.

    You never did say if you’d read any good books lately. I suspect the authors you’re apparently trying to champion would get more benefit from you talking up their books than engaging in culture war shenanigans. Care to share or would you rather just pick fights?

  21. @Stoic Cynic–

    I believe you have identified the objective criteria for the physical evaluation of SJW credentials and alternative SJW credentials. Not books.

    Easy mistake!

  22. Phhht. Dragons. Everyone knows the best science fiction has spaceships in it.

  23. @Stoic: “Have you read the later works of Heinlein?”

    If not, the existence of I Will Fear No Evil and The Number of the Beast will no doubt shock the hell out of him.

    @Eric: (blather about gatekeepers and “overpaid partisans” in the liberal NYC hellscape, the coming indie revolution, and the existence of objective quality in fiction)

    Pray tell, what color was the Flavor-Aid when you drank it?

    I am a compulsive copyeditor. Can’t help it – if I’m reading a book and spot a typo, I highlight it because It Tasks Me. Even found one in Scalzi’s Lock In a couple of days ago, where he used “Haden’s” (possessive) instead of “Hadens” (plural). I seldom read a book without finding something along those lines. For an example closer to your interests, I have a record here somewhere of the time John Ringo failed at basic math and nobody at Baen caught the error… although David Weber’s density error in the early Honorverse spaceships is rather more famous. (At least that one got acknowledged!) Hyperion/Disney’s not immune, either; I found several conjoinedwords and many inconsistent ellipses (. . . vs. …) in one of their ebooks the other day.

    Independent fiction is orders of magnitude worse on that front, and I’ve got receipts. It’s so bad that I’ve taken to noting the issue in reviews, usually in the form of “it’s a four-star story, but I deducted a star because it needs a good copyedit pass or two.” I’ve read many indie books with decent stories and characters, but simply incompetent grammar.

    One superhero novel, for instance, was written in past tense but inexplicably shifted to present for the paragraphs in the opening fight scene when Our Heroes arrived on the scene. It was the linguistic equivalent of that scene in House of the Dead where every so often, the fight stops and the camera spins around the paused figures like the special effect of a combo hit in a videogame.

    Another humorous SF novel I read had a slew of weirdly-broken paragraphs. I don’t mean they were short or that there was a stylistic effect which turned me off – I mean that paragraph breaks appeared in the middle of sentences for no discernable reason.

    Those “gatekeepers” you are so eager to denounce are by no means flawless, but they serve an important function nonetheless. They filter out the truly awful stuff and ensure that what they publish is of an objectively high quality with respect to structure, plot, and basic grammar. I, for one, am grateful for that. Far too many indies are so convinced of their own prowess that they never involve an editor at all, and it shows. I deliberately take breaks from indie fiction just because I get tired of seeing so many basic errors that just aren’t present in Big Five books.

    And yes, there are exceptions – in both directions. On the indie side, most of the well-edited books I see come from authors who either have or have had a foot in the tradpub world. On the tradpub side… Stephen King, of all people, has gotten woefully shoddy treatment of his backlist when converted to ebooks. I once spent a solid month bringing Skeleton Crew up to snuff, carefully comparing pixels to pages to restore lost formatting and decipher strange scanning errors. Tom Holt’s original backlist books were converted well, but someone was asleep at the switch when it came time to plug in the metadata – the ISBNs and titles, primarily. (Took what seemed like forever for me to get that sorted, and I had to get the vendor to contact the publisher in the end.) But those are exceptions, whereas awful indie grammar is the rule.

    When you rhapsodize about the death of tradpub gatekeepers, I hear the voice of someone who predicts that one day Red Lobster and Burger King will dethrone fine-dining establishments and take their rightful places at the top of the food pyramid. I’ve got nothing against either chain, as one look at my waistline will attest, but there’s a qualitative difference between what a fry cook produces and what Alton Brown makes.

  24. After we’ve determined the methods for objectively determining the best book, would someone here help me determine if it is, in fact, Duck Season or Rabbit Season?

  25. “Logically there has to be a best.”

    What’s the better vehicle: a Ferrari Testarossa or a Ford F-150? Clearly one of them must be better, since it would be impossible to define “a best” among a larger selection when you can’t even logically define it between two choices.

    The Ferrari? That can’t be best; it’s a terrible vehicle for carrying around a snowblower.
    The Ford? That can’t be best; it’s a terrible vehicle for going 180 mph.

  26. He may have softpedaled his words somewhat because he apparently knew Saladin personally, but it seems to me he IS saying outright that Saladin was unworthy of the nomination. I mean, he says he got the nomination because he has an ‘ethnic’ name – basically excluding the possibility that he got it because his work was actually good enough to be worthy of the nomination.

    You know, considering the ammosexual porn he churns out, slagging on Saladin takes a fair amount of chutzpah.

  27. Eric Ashley on May 15, 2018 at 11:34 am said:
    “conservatives locked out by bigotry”
    Hasn’t happened. Locked out by being crappy writers, mostly. (Some have done it to themselves by being obnoxious to their own publishers, editors, and cover artists. Fans do pay attention.)

  28. Cmm on May 15, 2018 at 11:21 am said:

    Absent the puppies it is possible that Kloos makes the ballot based on the book’s merits (unlike many of the Puppy nominees, the book had a fan base outside of hardcore puppyworld) and therefore doesn’t withdraw because he is sure he has a “clean” nomination, and 3BP therefore doesn’t make it on to the final ballot and therefore doesn’t win.

    There were 162 out of 870 nominations for VD in Best Editor Short and 166 out of 712 nominations for VD in Best Editor Long. That puts a figure on about how many puppies nominated.

    Remove ~160 nominations from the puppy slated books and you end up with a Best Novel ballot of:
    • Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie
    • The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
    • The Three Body Problem, Liu Cixin
    • Lock In, John Scalzi
    • City of Stairs, Robert Jackson Bennett

    Lines of Departure, with 270 nominations, probably wouldn’t have made the finals, absent puppy votes, over City of Stairs, with 160 mostly non-puppy nominations.

    Three Body Problem still would have made the ballot and been up against the four books listed above. Given how the voting population responded to 3BP (it was in first place in every voting round in the finals) I think it still would have won. Though it’s entirely possible it could have been knocked down as more people put Lock In or City of Stairs first or second on their ballots.

    ETA – It’s possible that Monster Hunter Nemesis might have made the ballot anyway, absent the puppies. It had 372 nominations. That would have knocked city of Stairs off the ballot.

  29. @Lis Carey

    Well I’m sure I googled something like objective puppy judging criteria 😛

  30. Pingback: Yip, Yip The Puppy Said | Camestros Felapton

  31. @Rev. Bob
    Or Friday. Which I read, and put (IIRC) somewhere in the area of Noa Ward that year, along with the Asimov that actually won. People nominating books by Big Names, I think, without noticing that they weren’t that good as stories. (IIRC, I put Courtship Rite first or second.)

    ETA: I think that ebook publishers need to do copyediting to fix those OCR errors in older books. I see too effing many of them, and I need to edit the books to fix them. They’re books from major publishers, too, and some are pretty familiar works. (I think I need a standard CSS file to use with Calibre for this.)

  32. The end result of saying someone only got nominated because they have a feminine or ‘ethnic’ name is suggesting that they’re not actually good enough; that their work isn’t worthy and they were only nominated because of their identity. When you keep saying it, over and over, about so many different finalists, it suggests that you don’t believe women and/or minorities are generally capable of producing work on a par with straight white men.

    I’m sure Correia et al mean it as a criticism of Hugo voters (look at those lefties and their virtue signaling, they’re so fake), but it ends up saying revealing things about their own personal bias, and the racist and sexist assumptions they’ve incorporated into their worldview. Correia’s no Vox Day, but he’s sure got a lot of work to do to interrogate his own assumptions.

  33. @PJE:

    I have to admit that Friday is one of my favorites. For good or ill, it hit the shelves in paperback just as I was discovering Heinlein, and a stray comment in a review spurred me to acquire more of his work.

    As for a standard Calibre CSS file… good luck on that front. It may be possible to take the house style documents from the Big Five and tweak them to suit your purposes, but even then you have to worry about special rules and version drift. If you do happen to find a reliable bulk solution, I would be interested in hearing about it. That still wouldn’t fix errors like “no spaces present surrounding smallcaps text,” though.

  34. If this comment thread was taking place on Twitter, I’d have muted Eric Ashley about a hundred fifty comments ago.

    (Data point: I’ve been on oh-so-notorious Twitter about three years. Number of people I’ve muted there: zero.)

  35. #nouns+(#adjectives*#verbs)/(# of times author uses “said”)^(log #adverbs)

    Scroll title! (credit: Adam Rakunas)

  36. @Rev. Bob: Hell, Afrofuturism’s been around since George Clinton and Bootsy Collins!

    The ghost of Sun Ra rises and says: “Ahem.”

  37. In mathematical terms, any finite set and many infinite ones can be “well-ordered,” but that just means you can say item A comes after item B comes after item C… for any pair of items {x,y}. I saw a t-shirt, years ago, showing the alphabet in “alphabetical order” by spelled-out pronunciations. That’s a well-ordering, but one in which H (“aitch”) and Q (“cue”) come before F (“eff”).

    So, sure, we could come up with an objective way of ranking books: say, from longest to shortest, and if two books are the same length, in reverse alphabetical order of the text. That wouldn’t find the best book in any useful sense, or one that most people would agree with. The main reason they’d disagree isn’t because “alphabetical order by title” as a tie-breaker is equally objective.

    The problem with saying something is “objectively best” is that “best” by itself is vague. Best for what/at what? The best novel of 2017 is very unlikely to contain the best bread recipes currently in print.

    More to the point, the “best” novel for me probably isn’t the “best” novel for the twelve-year-old who I asked for recommendations for, a few weeks ago. It won’t be even if we limit the competition to “science fiction books that are either in print or easily available from the library.”

  38. Dear Hampus,

    – “And I prefer to be called ‘Hampus’ as I find titles insulting”

    When I am asked if I should be addressed as “Mr. Ctein,” I reply that there are no honorifics attached to Ctein.

    Peculiarly, nobody has ever argued that point. Life is a mystery…


    Dear Rev. Bob

    – ” FYI, around here we generally find electric lighting to be more reliable than gaslighting. You may wish to keep that in mind.”

    Is that original with you? It’s brilliant. If it’s not, it’s still brilliant, I just want to be able to give credit where credit is due… before I steal it.

    I am in vehement agreement with you about how most conventions vet their guests of honor. “Due diligence” is such a wonderful weasel phrase (even in law) — It doesn’t mean anything more than you paid a reasonable level of attention to avoid fucking up. In these days of the Internet, if you’re not checking on the reputation of a prospective GoH *and* it turns out to be a fuck up, not close to a reasonable level of attention. It’s not like it takes a lot of time.


    Martin- “That sounds a bit contradictory and a tad hypocritically self-righteous–at the very least it’s disingenuous and intellectually dishonest.”

    That’s only the case if you ignore the reasons given as to WHY the body of voters so objected to the SP campaign, and at this point I have to assume that ignorance is willful. Very short form — collectively, we don’t like people who try to game the system. Hell, we don’t even like it when people try to lobby for votes for themselves for the Hugo. Sure, it’s legal, but just because something is legal doesn’t mean it plays well, and the Hugos ARE a popularity contest. And what the SP and folks and Eric like you know about reputation management wouldn’t fill a thimble.

    It’s entirely that simple. And internally consistent.

    If you twits are really the nimble and clever little mammals that you think you are, you should be able to outmaneuver us big, dumb, inflexible dinosaurs, don’t you think?

    Yeah, I know, someday, come the revolution… Pardon me if I don’t hold my breath.


    Dear Vicki,

    I’m not sure the adjectival phrase “well ordered” EVER belongs in the same conversation with anything relating to fandom.


    And last, and entirely least…

    Eric — Okay, so done with you. You argue like a first grader who thinks he’s as clever as a college graduate. You’re not. You intentionally and with malice aforethought misuse the word “bigotry.” You equate genuine prejudice and discrimination with not having your political opinions liked. And you don’t know shit about the publishing business. Larry and I would likely not get along in many ways, but I have no doubt we would entirely agree that your assessment of the state of establishment publishing is ignorant nonsense.

    Feel free to get in the last word, where I’m sure you will be convinced that your abject and venal stupidity has vanquished me. Bless your heart.

    – pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery. 
    — Digital Restorations. 

  39. This is a “yes, and” to @Rev. Bob’s excellent comments about untapped markets: one problem a lot of publishers and creators have dealt with through time is people who will tell you – and likely believe themselves – that they’re yearning for a chance to buy X, but when offered a variety of Xes, don’t actually buy any of them. It turns out that a bunch of folks who’ve spent years talking about the thing they wish for amongst themselves can very easily build up a sense of the proper X that doesn’t make any allowances for commercial realities, particularly if their X is one that only caters to their specific tastes and makes sure to go stomp on the wishes of anyone else for any other X at all.

  40. Was never a fan of Goblin Emperor. I found the protagonist too passive and the main storyline solved by a massive infodump. The rest I can’t really remember, nothing of it stuck. I mostly remember a general feeling of blandness. I can’t even understand what others liked.

  41. Since we are largely agreed that TGE is a very fine book, does anyone have any news on what Katherine Addison (or Sarah Monette) is up to now? Their Wikipedia page suggests that neither has published anything since.

  42. “Benevolent Airships, it strikes me that there’s two options:
    1. Set up non-profits specifically for the task.
    2. Talk to charities already engaged in distributing books to schools and seeing if they’re willing to work with us (Elisa’s looking into this in the USA, I think).”

    One of my fondest memories here on File 770 was when a school library asked for books and the filers went ballistic and started to order an enormous amount of their favourites. I would love to be part of that again.

  43. @David K. M. Klaus wrote:
    As I maintained in a similar situation in St. Louis a few years ago, it is rude and insulting: to invite someone to be a convention guest; have that someone accept and make travel plans, move work aside, alter family commitments, feel ego-buoyed by the attention; to publicize the appearance of that guest; and then publicly rescind the invitation. It’s the equivalent of a slap to the face.

    Since the invitation was recinded pretty shortly after it was issued, I doubt many such preparations had been made.

  44. I’m vaguely bemused at Mr. Ashley’s contention that “you guys” have embarrassed yourselves (ourselves?) Is somebody here on the Origins concom? I’m pretty sure File770 and Origins are very separate entities…

    I’m pretty sure that in the fevered brains of the * Puppies, Origins and WorldCon are secretly run by the same SJW cabal.

    In at least one basement, the Wall of Crazy now has a card marked “Origins”, connected by string to “WorldCon Cabal” , and from there, to the big card in the center marked SCALZI!!!

  45. NickPheas – as per Sarah Monette’s twitter, she’s got a new story up on Uncanny, and a nonfiction piece.

  46. Surely in the afterlife all books are judged by Alibris. If their story weighs less than a feather, they are judged to be good. If they weigh more, they’re fed to Amutt, the dog god, who chews them up.

  47. @PhilRM: I did not say (exactly) that Afrofuturism started with the P-Funk…

    @Ctein: While I certainly didn’t invent the term “gaslighting,” that particular turn of phrase is indeed my own. Glad you liked it!

  48. Rev. Bob on May 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm said:
    …if I’m reading a book and spot a typo, I highlight it because It Tasks Me.

    So it’s not just me.

    I learned a lot of what I know about regular expressions trying to speed up the correction of scanning errors in epubs from big 5 publishers.

    I occasionally try reading the odd indiepubbed title and usually bounce hard, more often from egregiously bad thinking-through of details that would be caught by even the sleepiest of gatekeepers editors (eg. skulls crushed by vacuum.) but still too frequently from weird grammar and usage.

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