Pixel Scroll 2/28/16 Little Old Lady Got Mutilated Late Last Night, Pixels Of London, Again

Your host will be on the road for a couple days attending Nic Farey’s wedding to Jennifer AlLee on February 29. I have prepared a couple of Scrolls in advance.

(1) CAN’T WE JUST ALL GET ALONG? Roz Kaveny tills the unsatisfactory middle ground between five recent studies of “Tolkien’s English Mythology” in the Times Literary Supplement.

In a sense, of course, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are offcuts from Tolkien’s principal and in the end unfinished and unfinishable work, parts of it published after his death as The Silmarillion, others as the Unfinished Tales. Although he was a Christian who absolutely believed in the literal and metaphysical truth of that body of stories, Tolkien was impressed enough by Elias Lönnrot’s assemblage of Finnish myths and legends as the Kalevala that he wanted to assemble, even forge in both senses of the word, a specifically English mythology that owed nothing to the Celtic or Norse pantheons, or to the Arthurian cycle (he also wrote his own version of that, as he did of Lönnrot’s story of Kullervo). Tolkien wanted to reclaim elves and Faerie from mere decorative prettiness and embed them in a narrative of fall and redemption that functioned as a secondary world; this was a spiritual as well as a creative enterprise, an attempt to understand God by doing imperfectly what He had done.

The success or failure of such an enterprise is in a sense irrelevant; what he produced in the main body of his legendarium is a heap of glorious moments rather than anything entirely achieved. Along the way, however, he wrote a children’s book called The Hobbit which might have been just another light work like Farmer Giles of Ham but turned out to be his gateway into a more approachable version of the legendarium, something that included a voice of the ordinary among gods, monsters and tyrants. In due course, his publishers’s and admirers’ desire for a sequel led to something considerably more ambitious but still puny by the standards of what he intended; one of the most attractive things about Tolkien is how he coped with being famous for something less than his lifelong ambition, not least because it achieved and exemplified some of his aims on a smaller scale.

This is why some of the complaints against him are beside the point – he had planned something compared to which Paradise Lost or the Prophetic Books of Blake would look modest, but if people wanted a superior adventure story, he would give them a superior adventure story with enough of his greater intention embedded in it to make itself visible in sudden vistas down narrative corridors. Whatever Tolkien thought about the literature of his time – not much, since he regarded, or affected to regard, everything that had been written in English after the late Middle Ages as a colossal mistake – he has a lot more in common with, say, T. S. Eliot than he or Patrick Curry would have been comfortable acknowledging.

(2) CCUBED. Those interested in gathering to talk about running conventions should look into ConComCon 2016, which will be held June 10-12, 2016 in Portland, OR at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel.

Marah Searle-Kovacevic  says, “The theme will be ‘Building Bridges’ between different types of conventions, the convention and the hotel, convention staff and members, and other bridges. There will also be the usual discussions on hotel contracts, crisis management, parties and hospitality. There will also be a time Saturday afternoon for choosing topics that you want to talk about as programming items.”

You can also buy a membership or book a hotel room at the con web site.

Also, SWOC (founded as the Seattle Westercon Organizing Committee) is offering a scholarship to each convention for one person to attend CCubed. We would like this to be for someone who has not attended a CCubed before. If your convention is interested please contact Searle-Kovacevic through info@concomcon.com.

(3) CONTRASTING BLOODLINES. Doris V. Sutherland continues her comparison of non-slated with slated Hugo categories in “2014 Hugos Versus 2015 Sad Puppies: Related Works” at Women Write About Comics.

Sad Puppies founder Larry Correia presumably had this book in mind when he quipped that “the usual [Related Work] nominees are things like Transsexual WereSeals Love Dr. Who.” This seems unfair, as Queers Dig Time Lords has entertainment value—and that, after all, is something that the Sad Puppies are supposed to be fighting for. That said, I will have to admit that the book is closer to a fan blog than to a Hugo-worthy piece of media criticism…..

Given the book’s jack-of-all-trades approach, it is hardly surprising that Letters from Gardner is something of a mixed bag. To be honest, the fourteen-year career outlined here is simply too uneventful to make a particularly gripping biography. It is somewhat novel to see such an in-depth look at the beginning of a writer’s creative period—I can imagine Letters from Gardner inspiring many of its readers to try their hands at fiction themselves, with Antonelli making the process look easy—but too often the book gets bogged down in irrelevant details. The low point is when Antonelli spends multiple paragraphs waxing nostalgic about those Bic ballpoint pens with orange shafts, which are apparently hard to find in America these days.

(4) A NUANCED THEORY. Douglas Milewski explains “Why the Puppies Bid for the Hugos Failed”.

I’m not sure who taught Conservatives that SJWs only succeed because they browbeat everyone else. (Correct me if I’m mis-characterizing.) That’s the sort of information that sets you up to lose. SJWs win by building coalitions from the ground up, and they’ll take decades to do it. Most of this is done quietly, not because of secrecy, but because that sort of projects just takes time. This coalition building isn’t just a fanciful notion, but the cornerstone of their power. The number one weapon of the SJW is the narrative, building a story that holds the coalition together. A good narrative wins the battle. (Gay marriage is a fine example of this.) So who joined the SJW coalition when the fight got started? The best SF&F writers in the world joined, that’s who. They wrote the SJW narrative. That’s the sort of opposition that you must absolutely respond to, and the Puppies did not adapt.

One more analyst proves with geometric logic that writers, not fans, determined the outcome of their own award.

(5) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • Feburary 28, 1996 Tromeo and Juliet premieres.

(6) LIGHTS, CAMERA, MISSING-IN-ACTION. CinemaBlend says he is “The Indiana Jones Actor Who Refused To Come Back For Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull”.

John Rhys-Davies portrayed Sallah in the first and third entries of the Indiana Jones franchise. It turns out, he was asked to make an appearance in the fourth as well, but declined because they only wanted him there for a cameo. What’s worse, he tells Digital Spy that he wouldn’t even have been interacting with any of the other characters.

I was asked to be in the last one, but they wanted me to do a bit of green-screen – walk in, sit down and clap – and they were going to cut that into the wedding scene at the end. I turned it down because it seemed to me that that would be a bit of a betrayal of the audience’s expectations. Sallah is a popular character – there’s a greatness of soul about him that we all love and admire…

(7) H8TERS GONNA H8. In “How real is that Atlas robot video?”, The Guardian pooh-poohs a viral video I linked to the other day.

The Google-owned company’s most recent video shows the latest version of Atlas opening fire doors, prancing about through snow, being abused by an evil scientist wielding a hockey stick, and doing an uncanny impersonation of an Amazon warehouse worker. It looks incredibly impressive, but how much of it can we take at face value?

(8) THEY’RE TEASING. The Spaceballs 2 teaser poster has arrived….

(9) BY POPULAR DEMAND. Here is bloodstone75’s take on Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s Cradle.”

Pup’s in the Manger

A man wrote some books the other day
With Monsters and Guns in the usual way
And they attained some scratch, and won some praise
New writer win? They said “Not today”

And when he didn’t nab a Hugo, his anger grew.
He said “It’s ‘cause I’m not like you, right?
I’m never gonna be like you!”

And the Pup’s in the manger, and he’s venting spleen,
Larry boy’s blue, and it’s making him mean

When you giving up, Lar’
“I won’t say ‘when’; but I’m gonna vex the Fen;
You know I’m gonna vex those Fen.”

A year went by, Larry couldn’t wait
He said “This time it’s mine, yeah, my story’s great.”
But he wanted revenge — they just had to pay!
“I got to make them cry,” he said. “Meet Vox Day
And he, he carved a slate, and his smile was so grim,
And said “They’re gonna choke on him, yeah.
They’re really gonna choke on him.”

CH

Well, he passed his banner to another guy
So much like himself he just had to smile
And he scored a nom, but then he turned it down
He shook his head and said “I’m no clown.
All I really want now is to torment the lefties.
Won’t be happy ‘til they’re on their knees.”

CH

So though he’d “retired”, he still mixed it up
He built a slate with the other Pups
He said “You made us do it; you rigged the vote.
I got my own cabal, now you can watch us gloat.”
But the Pox was ascendant, and the shit hit the fan.
And the backlash sign-ups began, yeah,
The fan enrollment began.
And as they read out the votes it occurred to him
Their rocket hopes were dim
His hopes were just so dim

CH

(10) ALICE SEQUEL. Coming May 27, Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass.

In Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” an all-new spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Directed by James Bobin, who brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” the film is written by Linda Woolverton based on characters created by Lewis Carroll and produced by Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton with John G. Scotti serving as executive producer. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” reunites the all-star cast from the worldwide blockbuster phenomenon, including: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. We are also introduced to several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.

 

(11) INTERFACE. Kill Command opens May 16.

Set in a near future, technology-reliant society that pits man against killing machines.

 

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Will R., Andrew Porter, and Woodwindy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

174 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/28/16 Little Old Lady Got Mutilated Late Last Night, Pixels Of London, Again

  1. Douglas Milewski, the author of (4) A NUANCED THEORY, wrote this as a reply to a comment on his blog:

    Part of what makes the post weird is that I presumed that the Puppy’s world view was correct (which it wasn’t). The other weird part is that I had this idea half-formed in my head, and this dump was some attempt to wrestle with the mess. In many ways, it’s still a mess.

    In other words, he’s not a puppy; he’s writing the piece tongue-in-cheek as what an intelligent activist might write if he/she genuinely believed in the puppies’ cause. That was how I took it, and, taken that way, it’s pretty funny.

    I did post a comment of my own over there asking about the “asymmetrical operations” phrase, since that bothered me too. I’ll bet the answer is that he just didn’t think it through.

  2. (4) I’m not seeing a call for terrorism. First, he emphasizes that the best approach is to throw out the armed conflict model entirely:

    If the Puppies want to face the SJWs on their own turf, they need to build coalitions. … All this would involve actual work, and not just grandstanding and rousing the base.

    So then he says, all right, if you absolutely must have a war metaphor:

    If not this, the Puppies’ other alternative is to shift from a symmetrical operation to an asymmetrical operation.

    But:

    A good solution would combine the two, as the Puppies must learn how to handle each transition on their way to influencing the Hugos.

    Okay, so he does mention “an asymmetric operation”. All that means, AFAICT, is for the Puppies to recognize that they are not actually the majority and they’re never going to get anywhere until they admit it to themselves.

  3. @Petréa Mitchell

    (4) I’m not seeing a call for terrorism.

    I agree.

    Okay, so he does mention “an asymmetric operation”. All that means, AFAICT, is for the Puppies to recognize that they are not actually the majority and they’re never going to get anywhere until they admit it to themselves.

    I think this really has more to do with the article being “a hot mess” (in the words of the author) than anything else. I don’t think he had anything specific in mind at all when he said “asymmetric operation.”

  4. The perfect asymmetric war operation for the Puppies would be to outflank the evil SJW Hugoistas by creating their own goddamn award.

  5. Why the Puppies lost.
    Politically they coalesce around political stances that represent somewhere around 15% of the US population and also in a particularly US sort of way (despite their multinational backgrounds) but saw themselves as representing >50% of the US population that doesn’t self identify as liberal.

    While the movement morphed into various approaches the core complaint was a bias in Hugo voters against conservative fiction. However, they also believe that the bias exist in *publishing* against conservative writers – which implies that very few get published (i.e. the bias would lie at stages long before Hugo voting) and hence look to indie or self-published novels. They have been singularly unsuccessful at finding he mother-lode of exceptional, indie/self-published conservative fiction around which they can rally a successful campaign.

    Without an actual literary movement to boost, the Sad Puppies have ended up as campaign that either has no purpose or, if it has a purpose, is to promote the standout writers of a non-existent literary movement.

    However, having brought together some kind of coalition, the Sad Puppies still exist. They are lacking purpose and direction but their capacity to either morph into something positive or morph into something destructive remains.

  6. @Camestros: Oh man, you just sidled up to the irony of ironies. Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracies* applies to the Puppies. The Pups are a little bureaucracy, so of course they are going to keep on keeping on. They can’t help it.

    ————————
    *Which is kind of just a pithy restatement of Public Choice economics and for that matter the well-known principal-agent problem.

  7. Reading pieces like that I’m often reminded of the Father Ted scene where Ted is explaining perspective to Dougal. “These are small, those are far away.”

    We’re not all “SJWs”. Most of us are just folk who like books and don’t like people dumping political crap all over them. It’s time for the self-defined Puppies to get a little perspective and realise just why things backfire on them.

  8. Jim Henley on February 29, 2016 at 9:57 am said:

    @Camestros: Oh man, you just sidled up to the irony of ironies. Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracies* applies to the Puppies. The Pups are a little bureaucracy, so of course they are going to keep on keeping on. They can’t help it.

    ha! – hadn’t thought of that! Thanks for the epiphany. 🙂

  9. We’re not all “SJWs”.

    It seems that from their perspective, anyone who is not within the very small circle they have drawn around their insular group is an SJW. This is the same sort of impulse that drives ardent conservatives to describe those who are insufficiently ideologically pure as RINOs, and to rail against those who would broker compromises in order to get half of something rather than all of nothing.

  10. The perfect asymmetric war operation for the Puppies would be to outflank the evil SJW Hugoistas by creating their own goddamn award.

    Yes, but then the evil SJW Hugoistas would unfairly destroy it by not paying attention to it.

  11. The thing that always surprises me is the degree to which they’re wanting to fight against obviously ‘good’ things like people being free to do what they want and get treated like human beings. Quite how they manage to square the gleeful trumpeting of the horn of evil with their professed love of Christ is confusing.

  12. Yes, but then the evil SJW Hugoistas would unfairly destroy it by not paying attention to it.

    Or the evil SJWs would destroy the purity of the free and open democracy of the Puppies by participating and voting for the wrong things.

  13. Simon Bisson on February 29, 2016 at 10:03 am said:

    Reading pieces like that I’m often reminded of the Father Ted scene where Ted is explaining perspective to Dougal. “These are small, those are far away.”

    We’re not all “SJWs”. Most of us are just folk who like books and don’t like people dumping political crap all over them. It’s time for the self-defined Puppies to get a little perspective and realise just why things backfire on them.

    I’ve been spending time following back Puppy arguments from their current form to earlier versions. It is notable how vehement Kate Paulk in particular was on the controversies around the SFWA Bulletin in 2013 and early 2014. That, the SFWA Vox expulsion and also presumably the RaceFail controversies from 2009 helped shape a view of fandom. That views was that there was a large but weak political middle that was repeatedly bullied by a small but vocal left [NOTE: that isn’t what *I* am saying about those past events!]. In that model a strong counter-voice from conservatives would be sufficient to rally the weak political middle against the SJWs, something, something, victory! This is basically the model common among sections of the Republican Party that suggests that nominating a more ideologically pure conservative is, counter-intuitively (and probably counter-reality) the way to win over the center of US politics. The additional irony* being that the net effect of the Puppy campaign was the exact opposite – radicalize the middle in opposition to the Puppies.

  14. @Jim Henley

    Yes, that’s it in a nutshell. And ironic, by being from Pournelle, who is soooper genius approved.

    @Cat

    “Generally no danger” is the thing. I think this is true. It’s that with the set of totems and beliefs they all have, the risk posed by the uncommon is concerning.

  15. Douglas Milewski replied to my question about his use of “asymmetrical operation.” It says, in part:

    I’m not talking terrorism here. . . . An example of asymmetry would be holding con parties that pushed books by Puppy favored writers. . . . Likewise, they could grow the readership by bringing back disaffected fans with these more-conservative books.

    Not quite what I expected, but harmless nevertheless.

  16. @RDF Yes, but then the evil SJW Hugoistas would unfairly destroy it by not paying attention to it.

    When any of them talk about creating an award their biggest fear seems to be how to keep wrongfans who might vote for wrongbooks out. They seem less concerned with us ignoring it as they are with us paying attention to it.

    Who is them? Who is us? Who am I?

    #NotAllPuppies #NotAllConcervatives #NotAllHugoVoters #NotAllSJWs

    ETA: ninja’d by Aaron

  17. Tasha Turner on February 29, 2016 at 10:45 am said:

    @RDF Yes, but then the evil SJW Hugoistas would unfairly destroy it by not paying attention to it.

    When any of them talk about creating an award their biggest fear seems to be how to keep wrongfans who might vote for wrongbooks out. They seem less concerned with us ignoring it as they are with us paying attention to it.

    They worry about both – it is just like how they react to Mike’s round-ups. 🙂

  18. @nickpheas: It’s been observed elsewhere, by pithier people than I, that it takes a special kind of person to use “you care about justice” as an insult.

    Also, obgeek: I *would* be an SJW, but I didn’t make the strength roll.

  19. @Camestros Felapton
    I’m sure there is a third and forth things some pups worry about which we are forgetting;)

    I forgot how strong some of the puppies (#NotAllPuppies) cognitive dissonance is. Tron/Jay Maynard’s new storytelling award suggestion at Black Gate was a thing of… Well it caused me a migraine on the first reading trying to comprehend what he was trying to accomplish. Once I got past the web of trust it was much easier to understand.

  20. @Greg

    But doesn’t all that happen now? I mean Baen hosts parties does it not, and there are particular online fora which are more receptive to Conservative (in their terms) thought etc.

    But I think part of the problem is the identity issue. Milewski paints a dichotomy between SJW and Conservative fiction. When in reality Hugo voters do not have a problem with conservative fiction and authors – has as been noted plenty of people I (and others) would consider conservative have been recently nominated for and won Hugos without any puppy help. The identity claimed as Conservative is really a much narrower identity than conservatism in whole, and as such is much more of a minority taste (especially outside the US), albeit one with fervent supporters.

    So I think that good stories will continue to get recognised with or without help. That if the RP/SP continue in slating recommending crap or continue in well-poisoning then when they do recommend worthwhile works people will at best ignore them. What the SP team have done this year is a small step in the right direction (so far) but it isn’t sufficient. The final selection of an ordered list of X works is the problem – not the wide-ranging list of good stuff I read from a variety of broadly sympathetic voices. I think it would have been pretty cool if people talked about the works as well as just named them, and hopefully conversations happen when people are prompted into reading suggestions – but maybe that happens elsewhere (he says charitably).

  21. Not quite what I expected, but harmless nevertheless.

    Also, not something that is likely to work. The problems the Puppies had wasn’t that people weren’t exposed to their work and given the chance to read it. The problem was that people did read the books and stories they promoted, and found them to be sorely lacking.

  22. Cat:

    But there were several good editors in the editor categories who would probably have reached the ballot honestly in the absence of the Puppies, who hadn’t asked to be slated, or agreed to it, who would have made perfectly reasonable Hugo winners, and who were resoundingly No Awarded in the scrum.

    A couple, yeah. I know that for long form, I started with VD AT the bottom, the Baen people just above him, and then tried to evaluate the other two based on the packet and a google search. At least one of them did end up above NA on my ballot.

    I’ve read Baen books for a long time; my husband has been a David Drake fan since the first Hammers Slammers collection. I have definite opinions on Baen since Jim died.

    Short form I don’t remember much about offhand. I’ve never actually been much of a short form reader, so I had very little background info to draw on. Resnick’s column in the SFWA Bulletin came up a couple of times, and I think both the packet and the google search gave me meager info to work with. Which is why I’m delighted to see the editor discussions going on now and think they should be encouraged.

  23. @andyl

    What the SP team have done this year is a small step in the right direction (so far) but it isn’t sufficient. The final selection of an ordered list of X works is the problem – not the wide-ranging list of good stuff I read from a variety of broadly sympathetic voices.

    Do you think it was possible for SP4 to succeed, though? They would have needed perhaps 10x more participation, I think. Unfortunately, their association with white supremacists likely scared a lot of people away (some sh*t doesn’t wash off easily, and they weren’t even trying very hard to wash it off). That and the fear that putting something on their list might guarantee it ended up under No Award.

    I suspect there will be no SP5.

  24. Greg Hullender – That really depends on you might consider “succeed”. Or what they might have.

    As it is, however, the SP4 slate/list won’t be published until it’s too late to have any influence on the general voting public, which is already sending in its nominations.

    It was, I’m convinced, an idea whose time should never have come.

  25. Aaron

    Or the evil SJWs would destroy the purity of the free and open democracy of the Puppies by participating and voting for the wrong things.

    Nah. I point to the Prometheus Awards as a pretty good analogue of what a Sad Puppy award would be like, and the level of interest it would garner. A bunch of ideological cranks award something to SF they can shoehorn into their cranky ideology – and few people outside their circle notice or care.

    As has been stated here before, the Puppies tried hijacking the Hugos because they wanted to gain from the hard work and kudos that had been built up by the fans who had worked on it in the past. They’re not going to do their own award because if they can’t ride on someone else’s work, their own efforts simply aren’t good enough.

  26. There are two failure points in the SP4 strategy. To make out that their not a slate has some kind of democratic authority they need to get mass participation in the SP process. They don’t seem to have managed that. To translate that into anything more they need to convince people with nominating rights to follow that list, ideally with the list becoming an RSR like go to place for suggestions as to how to vote. No idea if they’ve managed that. Let’s hope not. Are they likely to have fallen at both hurdles? Perhaps.
    The two communities though don’t need to be the same people. We assume that the puppies did get some people to sign up for Sasquan. Obviously the mainstream got more, but the mainstream isn’t disciplined.
    Of course all of that’s somewhat moot. I think we can be reasonably sure that the mainstream will sign up again to defend the honour of the awards if a substantial pile of poop is gamed into the shortlist.

  27. I voted for Sheila Gilbert, and was disappointed to see her not get the Hugo which she so richly deserves; try comparing and contrasting her with the other long form editors nominated. She provided a sample chapter of every book she had edited in 2014 (17), plus a chapter from a book she and Betsy Woolheim had co-edited. The two Baen editors refused to even say which books they had edited, much less provide samples, and we all know what VD brought to the punch bowl.

    I read all of those sample chapters and went on to buy several of the books, as well as a couple of earlier ones in a trilogy which I liked; I’m not a writer, but if I were I’d like to have an editor who took every opportunity to get my work out there. As a reader I valued her commitment, not only to her writers but to the Hugo voters so we could have a place to start; she behaved honourably, a concept which seems to elude much of Puppidum. I tracked down a writer who had been edited both at Daw and Baen, and she contrasted Gilbert’s hands on approach with the laisser faire of Baen; she preferred the former. That put Sheila Gilbert way above the rest.

    GRR Martin completely ignored the contents of the Hugo package on long form editor, which he was perfectly free to do, though it rather undermined his ‘vote on the merits’ argument. I did vote on the merits, in this and every other category; the stuff which went below no award went there because it deserved to.

    I’m nominating on merit, as well, though I’m slacking a bit at present; I’m reading the follow up to Veronica Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and enjoying it immensely. I know, A Gathering of Shadows has only just been published but it’s hard to resist; I think the first volume is worthy of a nomination…

  28. Niceness to right of them,
    Kindness to left of them,
    Decency before them
    Politeness on ev’ry hand;

    Reasoned at, tooth and nail,
    This time they would not fail!
    Down deadly Hugo trail
    Wagging a draggled tail,
    Wrote brave guerilla band.

  29. @Red Wombat:

    Anybody remember that incredibly messed up mini-series in the 80’s with the Jabberwocky exploding out of the gift wrapped box?

    Wasn’t that was the star-studded semi-musical/mashup with Carol Channing as the White Queen, singing “Jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but never-ever jam today!”?

    I vaguely recall hearing that one of the actors had a bad reaction to the makeup during that. Think it was Jack Warden, who played the ‘Owl’, a mostly newly added character to give cryptic warnings.

  30. @Peace Is My Middle Name

    I am recalling a fundamentalist Christian person who was something of a liaison for President George W. Bush, who recalled President Bush expressing bewilderment that Christian groups were disenchanted with him when he had given them so much, and the liaison tried to gently break it to the President that he had repeatedly and confidently *promised* them things he had never carried through.

    John Dilulio ?

  31. @Michael Eochaidh:

    The perfect asymmetric war operation for the Puppies would be to outflank the evil SJW Hugoistas by creating their own goddamn award.

    Is there such a thing as Trap Filk ?

    Con los Hugoistas [random electronic noises]
    [bass drop]
    Then do the Pixel Scroll. [random electronic noises]

  32. microtherion on February 29, 2016 at 4:13 pm said:

    @Peace Is My Middle Name

    I am recalling a fundamentalist Christian person who was something of a liaison for President George W. Bush, who recalled President Bush expressing bewilderment that Christian groups were disenchanted with him when he had given them so much, and the liaison tried to gently break it to the President that he had repeatedly and confidently *promised* them things he had never carried through.

    John Dilulio ?

    Oddly enough, no. I am pretty sure it was someone else, rather later on.

    It is no surprise, to be sure, if Bush continued disappointing people in exactly the same way throughout his presidency.

  33. @nickpheas: “No Award” wasn’t a surprise to Teddy since his POS story had finished behind that in SP2/RP1 voting the year previous. Or was it the year before that, even? Sooper geenyus didn’t ‘splain that to the dead elk or unhappy canines, tho.

    @PIMMN: Yes, the constant war/combat metaphors from Puppies are a little disturbing and extremely tiresome. It’s a minor literary award, you doofuses, not the struggle against beheadings, refugee crises, poverty, pollution, etc.

    But the threats to come armed for bear to KC are an extension of that mindset; one can only hope that the concom announces a weapons policy sooner or later. Which will be identical to the weapons policy of EVERY SINGLE CON I’ve been to since the mid-80’s, which is NO REAL GUNS, even unloaded and peacebonded. And KC requires a Missouri permit to carry concealed weapons; might one of them be stupid enough to try anyway, and then get arrested? Petard, hoist.

    @Stevie: Puppies also ignored the huge chunk of Worldcon voters who ARE Americans who mostly don’t share their cultural views, as Spokane vividly demonstrated. I expect them to plotz again further at the Helsinki awards — all those Europeans, who don’t believe in God or even speak languages other than English!

    I personally also failed the strength roll to be a true SJW. I guess I’m a social justice bard (lowest rank, that of blog commenter).

    Why the Puppies don’t just take over the Prometheus Award is beyond me. Is it insufficiently religious, what with all those Angry Internet Atheists who are also Libertariloons? But they could probably swing that pretty easily. They don’t have the patience to start small and work up to larger, though.

  34. @JJ: Thanks for the link/info re. Marco Palmieri.

    @Stevie: Sheila Gilbert had one of the best approaches to the Hugo packet I’ve seen. She’s not the only one, IIRC; didn’t Ellen Datlow did something similar, or am I mixing up Datlow and someone else? Anyway, it’s a shame Gilbert was slated. BTW I enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic a lot! 🙂 It’s on my ballot so far (subject to change without notice, as I read moar booksss).

    @snowcrash: LOL at the Science Combat, thanks!

    @Tasha Turner: I misread what you wrote a page back as “…their slate of denial.” Heh. 😉 I needs moar sleeps.

    @Kip W: Very nicely done!

  35. ObSFReading: I left my iPad at a friend’s house Saturday, so I started reading Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory. Me likey! It’s quite different from We Are All Completely Fine, which I also liked a lot. I vaguely recall it’s YA??? But it doesn’t feel YA to me (I read little YA, but if more of it were like this, who knows).

    I’ll probably finish this very soon (I’m ignoring my iPad, gasp!). It’s making me want to reread We Are All Completely Fine, which, if I’d read it in the right year, I’d probably have nominated for a Hugo. The audiobook for WAACF is tempting me….

  36. @Marshall Ryan Maresca,
    I don’t suppose you have any idea of which books Gilbert has edited in 2015? That information would be helpful. Also helpful is if you (or someone else similarly inclined) could add that information to the Hugo spreadsheet of Doom.

  37. @Soon Lee

    I can name some of them: both of mine from this year (The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages). Also Julie Czerneda’s This Gulf of Time and Stars, Seanen McGuire’s from 2015 (Red Rose Chain and Pocket Apocalypse), Jim Hines’s Unbound. Those are ones I know for certain, but there are many, many more from 2015. Literally about half of DAW’s output, which means 20-24 books on her part.

  38. the idea that some of the finest writers writing the SJW narrative was just plain wrong.

    Point of clarification: you’re confusing pro writers with good writers. The non-pup side had a LOT of good writers, most if not all better than the pup side, wailing against the pup campaigns. They didn’t have to be the finest writers, they just had to be better and more persuasive at it than the pups were– a bar easily hurdled.

    Some became much better known from their writings on the topic– Alexandra Erin is the first name of many that comes to mind– but no one used $BIGNAMEPROWRITERAUTHORITY to pound puppies, they used better writing and better arguments.

    It IS a bit tautological, though; if the pups were better writers, they might have won awards in the first place. The fact that they couldn’t win there should have indicated that relying on inferior narrative skill as their main weapon against better writers was a faulty strategy– which is why they abandoned it in favor of slating.

  39. @Marshall Ryan Maresca

    Thank you, having authors talk about editing and editors from their perspective is extremely helpful

  40. Glenn Hauman:

    Some became much better known from their writings on the topic– Alexandra Erin is the first name of many that comes to mind– but no one used $BIGNAMEPROWRITERAUTHORITY to pound puppies, they used better writing and better arguments.

    There probably is something to the idea that the non-puppy side had an advantage by having “big names” on their side. While fans didn’t take marching orders from GRRM – which we know since fans voted No Award more than GRRM wanted – his blog posts on the subject reached a lot of people, made people aware of the issue, and probably colored their view.

    But my main problem with this “best writers …” part is that it overstates the importance of presentation and understates the importance of facts. Sure, being able to present your arguments eloquently is a plus, but having arguments based on actual observable facts is more important. And more importantly: While it’s possible to win a campaign by lying, I don’t want a society where that’s the preferred way to win.

    The puppies lost because their narrative about an SJW conspiracy is fiction, and not because that fictional narrative wasn’t well-written enough. And I think it’s a little bit scary to see puppy-sympathizers respond to that with something that boils down to “we need to wrap our lies better”.

    (And of course, it’s a bit ironic that this admission – “the other side have better writers” – comes up in a debate about a writing award.)

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