Pixel Scroll 3/19/16 The Fog Scrolled in on Pixilated Feet

(1) KEN LIU ON THE SCROLL. Ken Liu notes that we’re back to scrolling, in “The Grand Evolution of Books” at the Powell’s Books blog.

A similar shift may be happening today as we go from reading on paper codices back to endless (electronic) scrolls in the form of Web pages. Hyperlinks and sophisticated search functions have allowed scrolls to catch up to and even surpass the advantages of codices in random access and ease of reference, and electronic texts offer many more advantages: user-controlled text formatting and flow, instant access to encyclopedias and dictionaries, ease of note-taking and quote-sharing, community-based discussions, and so on.

Yet, we persist in pretending that the scroll is not authoritative.

Shocking.

(2) SCIENCE FICTION LEAGUE IN CHICAGO. Doug Ellis chronicles “Jack Binder and the Early Chicago SF Fan Club” at Black Gate.

Back in the mid-1930’s, one of the most active science fiction fan clubs was the Chicago Science Fiction Club, which had among its members such fans as Jack Darrow (among fandom’s most prolific writers of letters of comment to the SF pulps), Earl and Otto Binder (the Eando Binder writing team), Jack Binder (their brother, an artist), Walter Dennis and Paul McDermott (both of who had started the Science Correspondence Club in 1929 and later published The Comet, edited by Ray Palmer and arguably the first SF fanzine), William Dellenback, Allen Kline (brother of author Otis Adelbert Kline) and Howard Funk. The Chicago Club had formed as the Chicago Chapter of the Science Fiction League, the nationwide fan organization created and promoted by Wonder Stories. The Chicago Chapter’s activities were prominent in the pages of Wonder Stories, and in Sam Moskowitz’ words, it was “the outstanding chapter of the time.”

(3) DINING WITH DOYLE. Episode 4 of Scott Edelman’s Eating the Fantastic with Tom Doyle is now live —

Writer Tom Doyle and I recorded Episode 4 of Eating the Fantastic at Ethiopic Ethiopian restaurant nearby the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and Union Station in Washington D.C.—which unless I’m mistaken has the largest Ethiopian population outside of Ethiopia after so many resettled here during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Tom’s the author of a contemporary fantasy series from Tor which began in 2014 with American Craftsmen, returned in 2015 with The Left Hand Way, and continues in the third installment War and Craft—the manuscript of which he handed in to his editor mere days before we met.

Edelman’s next guest will be Carolyn Ives Gilman.

(4) HAMILTON PHONES ADAMS. “The Legacy of 1776: A Conversation with William Daniels and Lin-Manuel Miranda” on New York City Center.

CITY CENTER: Before we get too deeply into ticketing, I want to talk a bit about 1776. Today we think of it as being in the pantheon of great musicals, but in the 1960s, the show was so unconventional that Sherman Edwards had a hard time getting it produced. “Some of the biggest [names] in the theater,” he recalled, “looked at me and said, ‘What, a costume musical? A costume, historical musical?’” Mr. Daniels, do you remember your initial reaction to the idea?

WD: I read the script with a bunch of people at somebody’s apartment. Sherman Edwards was a former schoolteacher from New Jersey, and he had written not just the songs, but the script. It was a little stiff; I remember thinking, We’re in the middle of Vietnam, for Christ’s sake, and they’re waving the flag? I really had to be talked into doing it. At any rate, when the script came back to me, Peter Stone had taken ahold of it, and he’d gone back to the actual conversations in the Second Continental Congress. He had written them out on little cards and injected them into the script, and it made all the difference in the world. It added humor and conciseness and truth.

LM: I love that anecdote, because it gets at something that I discovered in writing Hamilton: the truth is invariably more interesting than anything a writer could make up. That Peter Stone went back to the texts written by these guys, who were petty, brilliant, compromised—that’s more interesting than any marble saints or plaster heroes you can create. And the picture you all painted together of John Adams was so powerful; in the opening scene, he calls himself “obnoxious and disliked,” which is a real quote. We don’t have a John Adams in our show, but we can just refer to him, and everyone just pictures you, Mr. Daniels.

(5) SOVIET MOON LANDER. “Giant steps are what you take, walking on the Moon”, from The Space Review.

If there is an infinite number of universes, then certainly in one of them Alexei Leonov climbed down the ladder of the Soviet Lunniy Korabl (“lunar ship”) and put his bootprint on the surface of the Moon. But Leonov did not take such a step in our universe and, as a result, the Soviet effort to beat the Americans to the Moon is largely forgotten. Had the Soviets ever gotten that far, had they ever sent Leonov to the Moon, he would have died rather than eventually become a genial geriatric cosmonaut, ambassador of the Soviet space program, and living legend. That was my thought when looking at the ungainly and rickety LK-3 test article on display at London’s Science Museum a few weeks ago. It is the second time that a lunar landing craft has ever ventured outside of Russia (one was displayed at EuroDisney in Paris in the 1990s), and will probably be the last time for many, many years to come.

Soviet moon lander.

Soviet moon lander.

(6) ENTER STAGE LEFT. M. J. Herbert has a long, intensively researched piece about the earliest days of Doctor Who in “Doctor Who and the Communist: The art and politics of Malcolm Hulke” at Fantasies of Possibility.

The origins of Doctor Who Sydney Newman’s  success on ITV led him to being poached by the BBC, who offered a job as Head of Drama: he  started work in January 1963. Looking back 20 years later, when interviewed for a BBC oral history project, he described what he found at the BBC.

The material didn’t really cater to what I assumed to be the mass British audience. It was still the attitude that BBC drama was still catering to the highly educated, cultured class rather than the mass audience which was not aware of culture as such . But above all I felt that the dramas really weren’t speaking about common everyday things…” 

They needed to come up with a new series for was the late afternoon slot at 5:15 between the end of the afternoon sports programme Grandstand and the start of  Juke Box Jury. At a number of meetings in the spring of 1963 Newman and his staff evolved the notion of a mysterious Doctor who could travel in time and space. The aim of the series were educational, similar to Pathfinders in Space,  with the remit  of teaching its young audience in an enjoyable way  about space and history. In its first years the serials alternated between a science fiction adventure and an adventure set during a dramatic historical event such as the travels of Marco Polo, the Crusades, and the St Bartholomew’s Eve Massacre of 1572  (an extraordinary subject for a tea-time children’s serial, although no actual killings were shown).

Newman brought in as producer a young woman he had worked with at ABC, Verity Lambert, which caused a stir as the BBC was then a very male world. Verity persuaded the veteran actor William Hartnell to take on the role of the Doctor. Hartnell had been working as an actor since the 1930s,  but was frustrated by the limited roles he was being offered, often as an army sergeant. Verity had been impressed by his part in a recent British film This Sporting Life.

(7) TREK IN CONCERT. STAR TREK: The Ultimate Voyage visits the Hollywood Pantages Theatre on April 1-2.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage brings five decades of Star Trek to concert halls for the first time in this galaxy or any other.

This lavish production includes an impressive live symphony orchestra and international solo instruments. People of all ages and backgrounds will experience the franchise’s groundbreaking and wildly popular musical achievements while the most iconic Star Trek film and TV footage is simultaneously beamed in high definition to a 40-foot wide screen.

The concert will feature some of the greatest music written for the franchise including music from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Starfleet Academy and much more. This never-before-seen concert event is perfect for music lovers, filmgoers, science-fiction fans and anyone looking for an exciting and unique concert experience.

(8) SUPPLEMENTAL CHAOS. Brandon Kempner returns with an alternative set of rankings, “Final Best of 2015 SFF Critics Meta-List” at Chaos Horizon.

To supplement the mainstream’s view of SFF, I also collate 10 different lists by SFF critics. Rules are the same: appear on a list, get 1 point.

For this list, I’ve been looking for SFF critics who are likely to reflect the tastes of the Hugo award voters. That way, my list will be as predictive as possible. I’m currently using some of the biggest SFF review websites, under the theory that they’re so widely read they’ll reflect broad voting tastes. These were Tor.com, the Barnes and Noble SF Blog, and io9.com.

For the other 7 sources on my list, I included semiprozines, fanzines, and podcasts that have recently been nominated for the Hugo award. The theory here is that if these websites/magazines were well enough liked to get Hugo noms, they likely reflect the tastes of the Hugo audience. Ergo, collating them will be predictive. This year, I used the magazines Locus Magazine and Strange Horizons, the fan websites Book Smugglers, Elitist Book Reviews, and Nerds of a Feather (to replace the closing Dribble of Ink; Nerds didn’t get a Hugo nom last year, but was close, and I need another website), and fancasts Coode Street Podcast and SF Signal Podcast.

(9) LOCAL APES MEETUP. The Damn Dirty Geeks’ second annual Planet of the Apes Day gathering to celebrate the classic 1968 film Planet of the Apes and “all its sequels, remakes and re-imaginings”takes place April 2 at the Idle Hour Cafe in North Hollywood, CA (map below) beginning at 5 p.m.

The organizers ask those planning to attend to RSVP on the Facebook event page and note that you plan to be there in person. Space is limited.

(10) IRISH ORIGINS DEBATED. According to the Washington Post, “A man’s discovery of bones under his pub could forever change what we know about the Irish”. (Tolkien is quoted in the article.)

From as far back as the 16th century, historians taught that the Irish are the descendants of the Celts, an Iron Age people who originated in the middle of Europe and invaded Ireland somewhere between 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C.

That story has inspired innumerable references linking the Irish with Celtic culture. The Nobel-winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats titled a book “Celtic Twilight.” Irish songs are deemed “Celtic” music. Some nationalists embraced the Celtic distinction. And in Boston, arguably the most Irish city in the United States, the owners of the NBA franchise dress their players in green and call them the Celtics.

Yet the bones discovered behind McCuaig’s tell a different story of Irish origins, and it does not include the Celts.

“The DNA evidence based on those bones completely upends the traditional view,” said Barry Cunliffe, an emeritus professor of archaeology at Oxford who has written books on the origins of the people of Ireland.

(11) A DIFFERENT PUPPY DISCUSSION. Sarah Hollowell has a dialogue with Chester the Corgi, in “Put Fat Girls in Your SFF YA” at Fantasy Literature.

Yeah, you’re right. Okay. Okay. Let’s go.

You’re a fat teenage girl, and you love YA. You especially love scifi and fantasy. Space? Hell yeah. Magic schools? Hell yeah. Magic schools in space? Sign you up. And everyone says dystopias are out of style, but you still can’t get enough. Got it?

Got it.

So you read all these books, as many as you can, and it becomes difficult not to notice a pattern. You realize all the girls in all the books are just different kinds of skinny. You can’t for the life of you find a girl that looks like you. Books are supposed to help us dream and dream big but you’re starting to feel like you’re just too big to dream. You’ve read a couple books where fat girls get to be loved in the real world, and that’s wonderful, but fat girls don’t get whisked away into alternate worlds and told they’re a long lost princess. Fat girls don’t get to see the magical underside of New York City. Fat girls don’t save planets.

(12) DIED ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY

  • March 19, 1950 — Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • March 19, 2008 — Arthur C. Clarke

(13) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born March 19, 1928 – Patrick McGoohan

(14) STARZ PRODUCTION OF GAIMAN NOVEL. In “’American Gods’ Casts Its Laura Moon”, The Hollywood Reporter says A Series of Unfortunate Events alum Emily Browning will take on the role in the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel.

(15) A METAPHOR FOR AN ANALOGY. “It’s Over Gandalf. We Need to Unite Behind Saruman to Save Middle Earth from Sauron!” at Daily Kos.

Gandalf had the crazy idea that some little hobbits could stand up to and defy the power of the billionaire class Dark Lord Sauron. But I guess that was a pipe dream after all.

Gandalf failed. He got his ass locked up atop Saruman’s tower when he foolishly defied the head of the Democratic Party council of wizards. And now that he’s locked up it’s not like some eagle is going to magically appear and rescue him. It’s over. And now Saruman is our only hope against Sauron.

We need to stop saying nasty things about Saruman or it will be difficult to rally the people of Middle Earth to his side. Here are some things we should no longer mention, or if we do, we should put a positive spin on them so people will still see Saruman is our only hope.

  • Saruman’s Environmental Record: While it is true that Saruman has supported clear cutting huge ancient forests, and while an old hippie tree hugger like Treebeard might tell you lots of those trees were his friends, we ARE talking about trees here. And sure, Gandalf has a much better record on the environment but he’s done now. It’s time to focus on how much worse Sauron’s environmental record is. I mean, have you seen Mordor?

(16) A TREE FALLS IN THE WOODS. Alastair Reynolds, in “’Slow Bullets’ and Sad Puppies”, says his request to be removed from the SP4 List has not yet been posted in comments at Mad Genius Club.

I was away for a few days without internet access and discovered when I returned that my novella “Slow Bullets” has been included on the “SP4” Sad Puppies list for Hugo nominators. At this point it’s of no concern to me whether this is a slate or a set of recommendations. Given the taint left by last year’s antics, I don’t care for any work of mine to be associated with any list curated by the Sad Puppies. The list was announced at Kate Paulk’s website Madgeniusclub.com. Late last night I left a comment asking – politely, I hope – for the story to be removed, but after I checked the site in the morning I couldn’t find my comment and the story was still listed. I’ve tried to leave another comment to the same effect.

(17) ANTIQUE PREHENSILE. In the event someone wants to run out and buy a fanzine I published in 1973, with a 1973-appropriate Grant Canfield nude on the cover, Prehensile 10 is for sale on eBay. Since the seller doesn’t say what the contents I wondered if I remembered correctly. Checked my file copy — yes, that’s the issue with Jerry Pournelle’s article about how to reform the Worldcon, written the year he was President of SFWA. Lots of good stuff by Richard Wadholm, Bill Warren, Jerry Pournelle, Marc Schirmeister and others.

(18) INSIDE JOKES. A mash-up of references to Bewitched and Star Wars in this Brevity cartoon.

(19) ALL LIT UP. Darth Maul: Apprentice, a Star Wars fan film, is basically 20 minutes of lightsaber fights.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Mark-kitteh, Martin Morse Wooster, Will R., and David K.M. Klaus for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Gregory N. Hullender.]

305 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 3/19/16 The Fog Scrolled in on Pixilated Feet

  1. Hmmm. I thought the Eligibility field for the Campbell nominees was for first or second year of eligibility. Ah well, all the ones I’ve nominated are on the Writertopia page anyway.

    ETA: It would be clearer if they said “Example” like some of the other categories. Or is it the first eligible work they are asking for?

  2. The four honest fans recommending “Slow Bullets” will be appalled to learn the shocking truth about their brand. Turns out it’s a scarlet letter P.

  3. Thank you, Brian Z, for confirming my suspicion that any attempts to engage the Sad Puppies would end up purposely misconstrued and twisted*. I won’t make that mistake again. Congratulations on the success of your Xanadu strategy, and fuck you, asshole.

    * No, I didn’t recommend Slow Bullets, but I did recommend other works by non-Puppy authors. Not sure how I didn’t see at the time how that would be used against them.

  4. Brian Z: The four honest fans recommending “Slow Bullets” will be appalled to learn the shocking truth about their brand.

    Those who are honest fans will be well aware that the Sad Puppies are a toxic brand, and will absolutely understand why he doesn’t want to be associated with that brand.

    If they refuse to acknowledge that, well, then, they’re not being honest with themselves, are they?

  5. @kathodus,

    No, I wasn’t responding to the thoughtful comment you had made earlier. I was responding JJ’s short discourse on honest fans vs. the Sad Puppy brand.

    Re your previous comment:

    I was saying that perhaps “antics” referred not just to the slating, which was bad, but doesn’t appear to be the case this year, but also to the constant insulting of writers whose only sin has been to publish works that ended up winning awards.

    You might be right that Reynolds feels that way and did not say so in so many words, but I don’t know.

    the people who are against them come from various (diverse?) political perspectives, and would be just as angry if a left wing group decided to create a slate favoring their friends

    The various “puppy” campaigns have not been terribly ideologically uniform. But sure, the blogs that have hosted them are places that host talk about conservative politics.

    There is righteous fannish outrage about the perceived misuse of the nomination process, which the SP3 organizers claimed was unintentional (in that they never realized what kind of impact their campaign would have) and others believe was intentional (whether to get awards for their buddies or in service of a political agenda or both.)

    It is also fair to say that there is also anger about politics going around these days.

    Can the two be separated? I hope so.

  6. Sad Puppies is a toxic brand, and it’s a shame SP4 are being jerks about removing people’s names. It’s not that hard to understand. It’s like if I made cat sculptures out of bacon, and someone took a photo of me and posted it on a “Bacon Lovers” blog. So far, so good. Then someone else posted that photo on a “Bacon Lovers for Evil Zombies and/or Satan” blog. Which is a problem, because I don’t support either Evil Zombies OR Satan. It’s not a stretch to think that the polite thing for the “Bacon Lovers for Evil Zombies and/or Satan” blog is to remove my photo, since it implies an endorsement that does not exist. So I’m sympathetic to Cat Vallente.

    It’s worth noting that there were 2 votes for her novella (not mine, haven’t read it yet), and there are at least 3 File 770 regulars who decided to rec things on Sad Puppies, in part because hey, sci-fi recs, and in part because “let’s see what happens when I rec one of my favorite novels of the year, N.K. Jamisin’s “The Fifth Season.”

    Sad Puppies 4, to its credit, did in fact just tally up the number of recommendations, That’s how Ann Leckie’s “Ancillary Mercy” got #12 on the list, and it’s how a certain short story I was championing made the top 10 (and a certain Campbell author made the top 5). Given the low numbers of participation in SP4, one should not assume that all Sad Puppies 4 rec list works came from identified Sad Puppies.

  7. For the record, I have absolutely no problem with any of my recs that happened to make the SP4 list requesting removal, and if I were in charge of the SP4 list, I would cheerfully, and unhesitatingly, remove their names/work without being public or throwing a fit (Hugo nominees are allowed to decline their nominations, and the declining is totally private, and the Hugos didn’t throw a fit at all when Neil Gaiman declined to give someone else a shot at the prize.)

  8. I was just looking over the individual rec pages on SP4 and it’s a very small group making and seconding recommendations. I saw 3-4 regular filers involved as late as mid-February who offered the book and/or added the 2nd or 3rd recommendation to get it on the SP4 final list.

    Its slightly baffling to me how anyone couldn’t have foreseen the situation they’d be putting authors in. On the one hand I get what you’ve said here. But on the other hand we’ve had 3 years of watching puppy leaders treat people badly. Several of the women in charge this year have been keeping up with the nasty name calling and the general US cultural war. How could non-puppy/anti-slate authors who ended up on the SP4 ballot not want off? Why put someone you respect in the position of being a puppy leader target? Just puzzles me.

  9. The toxicity of the Sad Puppies brand depends on your vantage point. It’s not some objective thing obvious to everyone who draws breath, with only dishonesty standing between a Puppy and the light of knowing they’re wrong, wrong, wrong. Puppies are people and just like the rest of us, they see themselves as largely good and doing the best they can.

    A primary talking point last Hugo season was Slate, Don’t. So, they didn’t. It was a pretty lackadaisical process and talking about the marvelous job done by Kate Paulk doesn’t make it so, but it was transparent in inception and in the discussions and, as happens here, some people took the recommendations by their peers and read new things.

    Sad Puppies don’t think of Sad Puppies as being a toxic brand any more than Filers think of themselves as dishonest lackeys in the pay of Tor, even though that is the considered opinion of some of the commenters at MGC. I think. Something like that anyway.

    The people making the recommendations on the SPIV website were honest fans talking about things they loved and were excited about and most of them were Puppies. I imagine almost all of them are also honestly surprised that their love has been rejected and rejection is rarely something any of us are calm and reasoned about. Nor are many of us so self aware that we have a deeply nuanced view of who we are and what we do.

    If somebody slaps at me, I don’t always calmly consider what I might have done to precipitate it. How many people do?

  10. Cheryl S.: The people making the recommendations on the SPIV website were honest fans talking about things they loved and were excited about and most of them were Puppies. I imagine almost all of them are also honestly surprised that their love has been rejected

    Except that their love was not rejected (although that is the false story that Paulk, Hoyt, Brian Z. and Puppy commenters are trying to sell).

    What was rejected was appearing under the Sad Puppy banner.

    Cheryl S.: If somebody slaps at me, I don’t always calmly consider what I might have done to precipitate it.

    And yet that is the desirable response of a mature adult. So I’m not really inclined to let off the hook Puppies who are not willing to engage in that sort of self-examination.

  11. Brian Z: I reached a different conclusion about the honesty of those four fans, but if you disagree, you can feel free to go take it up with them.

    You’re a bad-faith, malicious troll. Why would I need to discuss your opinion with anyone else?

  12. You might be right that Reynolds feels that way and did not say so in so many words, but I don’t know.

    Yes, yes, you are right there is simply no way to be sure that ‘antics’ includes the insults! It was only one of the most notable aspects of the Puppy campaign so it seems safer to assume possibly not!

    Turns out it’s a scarlet letter P.

    It turns out that authors who prefer not to be associated with the puppies are worse than the people who sold out Jews to the Nazis! But you’re right, that’s fair and reasonable and Reynolds was rude and the scarlet P is much worse, though some cranberry juice might help clear that right up.

  13. @Cheryl S.: I appreciate that you’re trying to be neutral, but there’s a vast difference between those two things.

    The toxicity of the Puppy brand is easily verifiable fact, while the Torspiracy is the product of a fevered imagination.

    Puppies could look at the hurtful, insulting, abusive things they’ve said in the last year or so and realise why people wouldn’t want to be associated with that behaviour. Nobody here is going to wake up and realise they’re an SJW strawman that’s been working for Tor the whole time.

  14. a post on tantrums from Parents.com is instructive. First, the slightly (very slightly) edited version:

    Meltdowns are terrible, nasty things, but they’re a fact of puppyhood,” says Ray Levy, PhD, a Dallas-based clinical psychologist and co-author of Try and Make Me! Simple Strategies That Turn Off the Tantrums and Create Cooperation. “Puppies — haven’t developed good coping skills yet. They tend to just lose it instead.” And what, exactly, sets them off to begin with? Every single tantrum, Levy says, results from one simple thing: not getting what they want. “For puppies, tantrums often stem from trying to communicate a need — more milk, a diaper change, that toy over there — but not having the language skills to do it,” says Levy. “They get frustrated when you don’t respond to what they’re ‘saying’ and throw a fit.”

    The unedited version follows:

    Meltdowns are terrible, nasty things, but they’re a fact of childhood,” says Ray Levy, PhD, a Dallas-based clinical psychologist and co-author of Try and Make Me! Simple Strategies That Turn Off the Tantrums and Create Cooperation. “Young kids — namely those between the ages of 1 and 4 — haven’t developed good coping skills yet. They tend to just lose it instead.” And what, exactly, sets them off to begin with? Every single tantrum, Levy says, results from one simple thing: not getting what they want. “For children between 1 and 2, tantrums often stem from trying to communicate a need — more milk, a diaper change, that toy over there — but not having the language skills to do it,” says Levy. “They get frustrated when you don’t respond to what they’re ‘saying’ and throw a fit.”

    I probably didn’t even need to provide the edited version. The alignment is so stark it would be funny under different circumstances. In particular, that last line.

  15. @Oneiros:

    @Cheryl S.: I appreciate that you’re trying to be neutral, but there’s a vast difference between those two things.

    The toxicity of the Puppy brand is easily verifiable fact, while the Torspiracy is the product of a fevered imagination.

    That’s readily apparent to you. That’s readily apparent to me.

    But you’re making the additional logical leap of: “This is self-evident to me, therefore, any Sad Puppy arguing that conclusion is lying.”

    And that’s just not true. The Sad Puppies have built up their own wealth of suspicion, bias, and ill-will. They’ve formed their own opinions of what’s self-evidently toxic. And though you can say “Mine are right, theirs are wrong,” I will agree with you, but that doesn’t neutralize the effect of those biases on their every-day decisions and assessments.

    In other words, you are vastly underestimating how difficult it would be for them to understand your point of view.

    It’s entirely possible to have both good intentions, and heavy biases. The biases make it hard for the intentions to shine through; backlash can weaken the good intentions and strengthen the bias.

    IMHO Cheryl isn’t trying to be neutral. She’s pointing out that some comments here are making a lot of assumptions about the Puppies being deliberate. That the Puppies disagreeing with the proposition “The Sad Puppies are harmful” shouldn’t be taken evidence of the proposition “The Sad Puppies are harmful on purpose” – that making that leap just escalates the outrage cycle further, with both sides doubling down even more (“How dare you do be awful to me on purpose?”, “How dare you accuse me of that?”).

  16. Seems like Alastair Reynolds is pretty easy to reach. I imagine if his Four Honest Fans are in doubt whether Reynolds despises them personally they will find it easy enough to ask him. Me, I am willing to guess at the answer ahead of time.

  17. Brian Z on March 21, 2016 at 7:51 pm said:

    The real issue is with your audacity in not understanding that Reynolds has any number of ways to express such a desire ranging from “I don’t approve of Hugo stuffing” to “if nominated I plan to decline” which do not involve inhering in the author the property of instructing readers on what they can’t or can’t recommend.

    At which point did Reynolds instruct readers on what they can or can’t recommend? This looks like one of your famous paraphrases.

  18. She’s pointing out that some comments here are making a lot of assumptions about the Puppies being deliberate. That the Puppies disagreeing with the proposition “The Sad Puppies are harmful” shouldn’t be taken evidence of the proposition “The Sad Puppies are harmful on purpose” – that making that leap just escalates the outrage cycle further, with both sides doubling down even more

    The Pups have an established track record of trying to be harmful on purpose. The first SP was trying to “make people’s heads explode”. The Pups have anticipated with glee that their actions will cause “wailing and gnashing of teeth” (it didn’t happen, but that was their hoped for result). They have desired that more than one person be fired from their job. They have expressed the hope that their actions will damage authors they don’t like enough that they will have to stop writing and instead get jobs delivering pizza. And so on and so forth.

    There is plenty of evidence that the Pups are harmful on purpose that have nothing to do with whether the Pups disagree with the statement “The Pups are harmful” or not. People believe the Pups are trying to be harmful on purpose because the Pups have frequently said they are trying to be harmful on purpose.

  19. “This looks like one of your famous paraphrases.”

    Aristotle! *drinks*

  20. @Standback: No, I’m fully aware that such bias exists. I’m just constantly amazed that it exists in such vast quantities that Pups are able to overreact HUGELY to the tiniest provocation, while insulting all and sundry outside their little white picket fence, without ever getting a nosebleed from the cognitive dissonance that must cause.

  21. @Standback is correct in that I’m not trying to be neutral. It’s impossible for me to read something like Dave Freer’s or Sarah Hoyt’s latest frothiness and think, oh, hey, I’d love to have coffee with them. I wouldn’t.

    However, I also wouldn’t like myself much if I didn’t say something in the face of faulty reasoning – I know this is toxic and bad and therefore you should too and it’s dishonest if you don’t – because that’s its own form of bullshittery. That thing that @Oneiros cites, about overreacting HUGELY, it’s something that happens everywhere, including here. Because it’s human.

    There are very few people I’m comfortable othering. So while I’m quite aware of the (from my vantage point) ludicrous aspects in this particular fjord of the culture war, I’m still going to see individuals when I can, acting the way humans do. Sarah Hoyt and the woman who was blown away by Valente’s story are not the same, and the latter is no more responsible for Hoyt’s antics than I am for the occasional frothiness that happens here, where File 770 represents a brand Puppies see as toxic, if the comments on Freer’s piece are to be believed.

    The truth often depends on where you stand and while I’ll loudly proclaim my version of truth, I’m not going to ignore the uncomplicated concept that it’s different for others.

  22. Bukes what I have read lately:

    The Spider’s War, Daniel Abraham.
    Highly enjoyable conclusion to excellent and original five book fantasy series. Those of you who like to wait until all volumes of a series are complete can now rush out and get the first one, The Dragon’s Path.
    Two Of Swords, the latest instalment, K.J. Parker.
    Very Parkeresque – the sort of thing you’ll like if you like that sort of thing. I think upon completion it will also be more than the sum of its parts.
    Tom Swan and (…), the latest instalment, Christian Cameron.
    Series of historical novelettes/long short stories, fifteen so far. A lot of fun and expertly written. I came across this writer first with his “Miles Cameron” fantasy novels which are doing something powerful and fresh with some very classic fantasy tropes, and went on to read all his historicals. Impeccable research is the baseline and then good storytelling atop that.
    When the Heavens Fall, Marc Turner.
    Couldn’t get into it, didn’t engage me at all. Stopped reading a few chapters in. Anybody think it’s worth persisting?
    Those Above, Daniel Polansky.
    This on the other hand sucked me right in and I paid more than my usual ebook price limit to get the sequel straight away.

    Have just bought “Clash of Eagles” alternate history Roman Empire goes to 12th Century North America – 99p on Kindle UK (also serves the Irish market).

  23. Laura on March 21, 2016 at 9:15 pm said:

    Hmmm. I thought the Eligibility field for the Campbell nominees was for first or second year of eligibility

    It is.

  24. Amazing I talked about non-puppies/anti-slaters who participated on the SP4 rec process. Cheryl S turned it into a puppy discussion and everyone followed.

  25. brightglance on March 22, 2016 at 7:47 am said:

    The Spider’s War, Daniel Abraham.
    Highly enjoyable conclusion to excellent and original five book fantasy series. Those of you who like to wait until all volumes of a series are complete can now rush out and get the first one, The Dragon’s Path.

    Tom Swan and (…), the latest instalment, Christian Cameron.
    Series of historical novelettes/long short stories, fifteen so far. A lot of fun and expertly written. I came across this writer first with his “Miles Cameron” fantasy novels which are doing something powerful and fresh with some very classic fantasy tropes, and went on to read all his historicals. Impeccable research is the baseline and then good storytelling atop that.

    Mount 770 keeps on growing…

  26. @Tasha: I read Cheryl as responding to comments above yours.

    As to your actual point — I agree with you that this kind of result was to be expected. It’s a messy situation, though; I can see reasons why a non-Puppy might decide that participating in SP4, in some fashion, is the best of many poor options.

    If you want to understand their reasoning, I think you can ask them directly, and better to ask them for their reasoning first, than ask them to defend themselves against your take on it 🙂

    It’s also worth pointing out that at least Valente wasn’t recommended by any of our familiar non-Puppy names. Which means, pretty much, that some authors were going to get dunked in the shark tank with or without those non-Puppies stepping in.

  27. @Tasha Turner – Amazing I talked about non-puppies/anti-slaters who participated on the SP4 rec process. Cheryl S turned it into a puppy discussion and everyone followed.

    I generally don’t know how to deal with your peevishness at your perception of being ignored. Today, I do.

    There was a different conversation going on prior to as well as subsequent to your comment. Your interjection doesn’t trump that earlier conversation. Besides, I offered an easy way for people to say someone was wrong on the Internet.

  28. @Cheryl S
    I mistakenly thought you responded to me. Oops. Sorry. I was wrong. Your completely correct that my comment didn’t trump the earlier conversation.

    @Standback
    You also make good points. Thanks.

  29. @Tasha Turner – I mistakenly thought you responded to me. Oops. Sorry. I was wrong.

    No worries. I quote when I’m responding to someone, because it’s easy to mistake which conversational thread I’m pursuing. I didn’t quote this time, because there wasn’t one person to whom I was writing.

    In terms of the SPIV recommendation lists, if they had been more actively about books, I would probably have participated. I really like sharing book talk and don’t generally object to behavior that might happen but isn’t happening at the moment. Also, I recognize the overlap at fandom and willingly share that designation with anyone who wants to claim it.

  30. Kevin Standlee on March 22, 2016 at 8:13 am said:

    Laura on March 21, 2016 at 9:15 pm said:

    Hmmm. I thought the Eligibility field for the Campbell nominees was for first or second year of eligibility

    It is.

    Thanks, Kevin. Others had mentioned putting examples of work in. I just entered 2014 or 2015 as applicable.

  31. @Henley, oh yeah. Sure. Someone here totally said that Alastair Reynolds despises fans, exactly. Geez.

    But he was absolutely schooling his readers. Obviously some of their reactions were way, way over the top. Note that others said they see no problem with authors asking to be taken off the list.

    Whatever his intentions, he ended up saying I would like you people to kindly refrain from recommending that still more of you people should go out and buy and read my work. The lot of you can go take your custom elsewhere. Don’t say my name again where I can hear it. That wasn’t the right thing to say. Even if you think “the puppies” have said worse things. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

  32. For the record, I despise Alastair Reynolds’ fans. I won’t be content until they’ve been driven from science-fiction fandom in tears. Except, after that, I don’t want them to find homes in new communities of enthusiasm either. I never want them to know even another moment of joy. But let’s face it: we all feel this way. I’m just saying what everybody thinks.

  33. Judging from the comments over there, a fair number are preparing to return to the darkness from whence they came, and I’m sure they’ll never darken your door again.

  34. Brian Z: [Reynolds] ended up saying I would like you people to kindly refrain from recommending that still more of you people should go out and buy and read my work. The lot of you can go take your custom elsewhere. Don’t say my name again where I can hear it. That wasn’t the right thing to say.

    But of course, that isn’t what he said.

    Don’t you ever get tired of lying all the time?

  35. He said take my name off your recommended reading list, oh tainted ones.

    If you want to live in that world, JJ, welcome to it.

  36. Brian Z: He said take my name off your recommended reading list, oh tainted ones.

    He said “Take my name off the Sad Puppy Hugo recommendation list, that group has been responsible for a lot of bad behavior.” Not at all the same thing.

    Brian Z: If you want to live in that world, JJ, welcome to it.

    I live in a world where people don’t make up lies about other people all the time. You should try joining me here. You might even find you like it.

  37. JJ – I waffle between having to address “SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET!!!” and knowing that every time I enter the fray I just add to the noise. Constantly. I hate it. Brian is so obviously disingenuous, but if you respond to what he says, he’ll twist your words so that you have to respond to untwist them, and then he’ll twist that, ad infinitum. It’s even more disturbing with Brian Z than with eg. The Phantom, because Brian can be interesting and cool and have good taste, but then he descends into Beale-ish capering and raspberries, as if he doesn’t actually give a fuck at all. It’s very frustrating, and tends to bring out the worst in me.

  38. I think the world would be a better place with no Hugo Awards campaigning or pimpage posts hosted by authors on their blogs. I don’t care whether it is done by Hoyt or Freer or Torgersen or Scalzi or Martin or anyone else, whether their list is called Happy Kittens or Obsequious Otters. I don’t care whether the list is democratically crowd-sourced or they make a list of their best friends and pretend they pulled the names out of a hat. It’s a fan-run award. There’s no way each and every fan can get a million page views, though lord knows they try. So I’d vasty prefer if the authors would just keep their mouths shut, which Reynolds usually does. I’m not attacking Reynolds, since he’s generally been doing a better job than the whole lot of them put together. But he made a misstep, in my view.

  39. @Brian Z –

    He said take my name off your recommended reading list, oh tainted ones.

    If you want to live in that world, JJ, welcome to it.

    That is the funniest thing I read today.

  40. “Whatever his intentions, he ended up saying I would like you people to kindly refrain from recommending that still more of you people should go out and buy and read my work.”

    Brian Z paraphrasing = Not at all what was being said = Aristotle

    *drink*

  41. Hampus Eckerman: Brian Z paraphrasing = Not at all what was being said = Aristotle

    *drink*

    I figured you’d be in the hospital with alcohol poisoning by now. 😉

  42. So I’d vasty prefer if the authors would just keep their mouths shut, which Reynolds usually does.

    You seem pathologically unwilling to admit that there might be good reasons for a person to wish to not be associated with Sad Puppies.

  43. Brian Z on March 22, 2016 at 10:04 pm said:
    I think the world would be a better place with no Hugo Awards campaigning or pimpage posts hosted by authors on their blogs. I don’t care whether it is done by Hoyt or Freer or Torgersen or Scalzi or Martin or anyone else, whether their list is called Happy Kittens or Obsequious Otters. I don’t care whether the list is democratically crowd-sourced or they make a list of their best friends and pretend they pulled the names out of a hat. It’s a fan-run award. There’s no way each and every fan can get a million page views, though lord knows they try. So I’d vasty prefer if the authors would just keep their mouths shut, which Reynolds usually does. I’m not attacking Reynolds, since he’s generally been doing a better job than the whole lot of them put together. But he made a misstep, in my view.

    Brian, you’re criticizing Reynolds for stating that he wishes to refuse to participate in a Hugo Awards campaigning effort organised by a group of writers… when such an effort is what you apparently don’t want.

    In what way does this make any sense?

  44. @rob_matic

    Brian, you’re criticizing Reynolds for stating that he wishes to refuse to participate in a Hugo Awards campaigning effort organised by a group of writers… when such an effort is what you apparently don’t want.

    In what way does this make any sense?

    Aristotle!

Comments are closed.