Pixel Scroll 9/3 The Nine Billion Noms of Dog

(1) Digg has the best space images from the month of August. They are beauties.

As we tediously while away our days down here on Earth, satellites are zooming through space, snapping incredible pictures of Earth, the solar system and outer space. Here are the highlights from August.

(2) Answer just 4 questions, and the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Sonnet Generator will create a unique 14-line love sonnet just for you!

What Is Lovely As A Summer Slate

Based on the William Shakespeare Star Wars series by Ian Doescher

When sorely press’d by Sith-like enemy,
I think on thee, and soon have no regret.
My heart is lock’d, yet thou dost hold the key,
Our lives are join’d in lovers’ sweet duet.
Let us unto Naboo, its shores of green,
There meet the call of passion at our best.
If thou wert droid, I’d love thee, though machine
If thou would claim mine heart, I’ll not protest.
Love, like a lightsaber, one’s heart can slay,
Love is the new-grown fruit sprung from the heart,
Love plunges one headlong into the fray,
Love is the canvas, passion is the art.
Let rivals come, who chase me at the rear,
Thou hast e’er been my solace, dear.

(3) Radio Times learned nothing from Christopher Eccleston about Doctor Who in a recent interview.

When asked if he’d been watching his successor Peter Capaldi onscreen recently, Christopher Eccleston replied in the negative – in a pretty big way.

“I never watched Doctor Who when I was a child,” he retorted. “I never watched MYSELF as Doctor Who!”

(4) Pat Cadigan on Facebook

After recent events in which Bryan Thomas Schmidt did a solid for both me and everyone else working on MACII, I’ve had some thoughts:

Whatever else happens on social media, on websites, in review columns, on Amazon, or anywhere else, I want a kinder, gentler worldcon.

Worldon is our annual gathering of the clans, not a field of combat. We go there to enjoy ourselves and to be among friends. For a few days, we get to hang out on Planet Science Fiction/Fantasy.

Worldcon is *not* a battlefield.

This is not to say that those with opposing perspectives can’t have a meaningful, even spirited dialog. But there’s a big difference between a heated discussion between people who feel strongly about their respective positions and gladiatorial combat in the Colisseum for the lurid amusement of people who didn’t even bother to show up and in fact never intended to.

I don’t care what your point of view is; I don’t even care if you don’t like *me*––you’re welcome at MACII and I will do nothing to make you feel like you aren’t. But worldcon isn’t a passive, static thing like a department store. Worldcon is interactive (worldcon was interactive before it was fashionable)––what you get out of if, for the most part, is what you put into it. If you go to the panels, check out the dealers’ room and the art show, meet some writers or artists or other pros at kaffeeklatsches, literary beers, or signings, go to the bid parties, and make a little effort to meet new people, you’ll have a great time…

(5) Can you tell this book by the cover?

(6) Tom Knighton gives his “Thoughts on Sad Puppies 4”.

For most people, the idea of tens of thousands voting for the Hugos should make you giddy.  For us, it has added benefits of rendering any small group influence on the awards non-existent.  No, our favorites may not win, but you know what?  That’s life.  What we want to see win is the stuff the actual fan–the people that [George R.R.] Martin may dismiss but who buy books by the truckload–actually reads.

While Martin doesn’t think it will add to the prestige of the award, more fans voting on them will do one thing from my perspective.  We’ll start to see some books win that actually look interesting and then deliver on the inside.  With the exception of Three Body Problem (which I haven’t read yet, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt), that hasn’t been the default position of the Hugos in some time.

(7) Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring, Extradimensional Happy Kittens – “My first (seven) reactions to the surprise announcement of Sad Puppies 4”

4 reasons to pet the Puppies:

  1. Tone

The Puppy organizers Kate Paulk, Sarah A. Hoyt and Amanda S. Green have written things that I consider stupid, hateful and obnoxious, but the Sad Puppies 4 announcement was phrased very un-obnoxiously. Civility is a nice thing.

  1. It’s not a slate, really

Listing more works than one can nominate for the Hugos and stating up front that one should read the stuff before suggesting it are good and play down the slate aspect.

  1. No more shady correct taste comissars

With Sad Puppies 3, Brad Torgersen had a somewhat similar nominee suggestion phase (that had humorously few participants). After that, though, he ditched most of the stuff people had suggested and went on with the things that were written by his chums. There will be no more of that, it seems.

  1. Focus on MOAR

The Puppy trio has promised to focus on participation instead of ideological screeds. It remains to be seen if that is a promise they are able to keep.

(8) Barry Deutsch – “Don’t Be Fooled – Kate Paulk’s Kinder, Gentler Sad Puppy Slate Is Still A Slate”

For instance, in 2012 (before the puppies), 611 Hugo voters turned in ballots for short stories. The most popular short story, E. Lily Yu’s amazing The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees, was listed on only 72 of those 611 ballots (about 12%). At least 60% of those 611 ballots didn’t vote for any of the top five nominated stories.

And that’s fine. That’s how the Hugo nominations are designed to work. 611 Hugo voters, acting as individuals, each nominate whatever short stories they think are award-worthy. From that list of hundreds of short stories, the five most-nominated make it to the final ballot.

Unfortunately, it’s an easy system to game, as the Puppies have proven. If you can form a voting bloc of just 100 people who will nominate an agreed-upon list, instead of voting as individuals, that’s enough to completely overwhelm the much larger number of Hugo voters who are voting as individuals. 100 people voting for just 5 works will beat out 500 people voting from among hundreds of works.

(9) Philip Sandifer – “Weird Kitties: An Organized Anti-Slate For The 2016 Hugos”

The good news is that there are five thousand of us, united, if nothing else, by the facts that 1) We voted in the Hugos, and 2) We are not Puppies of any stripe. We are not a campaign. We are not a political movement. We are not playing some elaborate game of four-dimensional chess in order to topple Christendom. Indeed we, in the sense of “me and everyone reading this,” are not even all five thousand voters. But nevertheless, we are a bunch of fans defined by the simple fact that we’re eligible to nominate things for Hugos next year, and we’re not Vox Day’s pack of rabid dogs.

One of the most helpful things, then, would be if all five thousand of us nominated, and if we nominated a full ballot. Among us, we’ve got 25,000 open slots on our ballots in every category with which to push a work over the slate-busting threshold of 541. That’s doable, but it’s also hard. A lot of us, myself included, don’t identify five eligible Hugo-worthy items in every category in a normal year’s reading. In many categories, a lot of us don’t identify one. We don’t all have writing Winds of Winter to be distracted from, after all. And we could use some help.

So I’m creating Weird Kitties for exactly that. It’s going to be an ongoing conversation about awesome science fiction and fantasy that’s come out and is coming out in 2015, conducted for people who want to fill in their Hugo ballots with things they love.

(10) Camestros Felapton – “How big should the Hugo Awards”

What is the ideal number of people to vote on the Hugo Awards? I’d say it should be around whatever the number of people is that feel they can make a reasonable decision on the least popular story category (Novelette? I haven’t checked historically) – i.e. how many people are taking an active interest in SF/F Novelettes published in English in a given year. I don’t know what that number is but those are the interesting people. Why? Because they are people looking at newer writers and people doing interesting things and who are interested in trends etc.

(11) John C. Wright – “Hugo Controversy Quiz Questions”

Theodore Beale, who writes under the pen name Vox Day, joined us as an ally, but disagreed with the goals. He thought the award could not be salvaged and restored to its former glory; indeed, the only thing that could be done would be to force the politically-correctness faction (which he calls by the mocking title Social Justice Warriors, at one time their own name for themselves) to reveal their true purposes. His plan was to make it clear to any honest onlooker that the awards were being given out not based on merit, but due to politics. For this reason, he promoted his own slate of suggested works for his fans to read and vote upon, called the Rabid Puppies.

The Social Justice Warriors did in fact react precisely as Mr Beale predicted, and after the Sad Puppies unexpectedly swept several categories in the nominations, the SJWs used their superior numbers to vote NO AWARD into that category rather than give the award to whichever work was most worthy among the candidates.

This was done purely and openly for political reasons. The mask is torn. No honest onlooker can doubt the motive of the Social Justice Warriors at this point, or ponder whether the claims made by the Sad Puppies were true or false.

(12) Sarah Mirk of Bitch Media interviews Ann Vandermeer in “’Sisters of the Revolution’ Collects Powerful Feminist Sci-Fi”

I was wondering what you think of the “puppies” pushback to the Awards and what that reveal.

Well I have to say I was really excited at the people that won. The best novel category, I was very, very excited about that, because I know both the writer and the translator, so that was—I mean the way that I look at the outcome of the entire awards ceremony is it was showing you that science fiction is bigger than just the United States and the U.K. That’s how I felt. The science fiction community is definitely making that outreach into the wider world. When you think about the Hugos, what you’re looking at is a popularity contest in a sense because the awards are going to be voted on by the people that buy the memberships. It’s plain and simple. It’s not a juried award, there’s no judge, it’s just who’s voting and how they’re voting. So it’s just by the numbers. When you look at it that way, the thing that was really exciting to me is that this past year they had more than double the average number of people voting than they’ve had in the past. I think they had close to 6,000 people who voted.

Did more people turn out to vote because they’d heard about the controversy over the awards?

Well, I think people were getting more involved in the discussion. If you take a look at the numbers, and you look at the number of people who are actually members of World Con, every single person who signs up for a membership, whether it’s supporting or attending, can vote. So, typically, only half of the people that have memberships, vote. Only half. It’s kind of like when you take a look at our Presidential elections, what’s the percentage of people that vote? Not everybody. But we had so many people that actually voted. Now, here’s the good thing about that. It’s not true for every voter, I’m not naïve, but a lot of voters went in and read the stories, which to me is amazing. So a lot of those stories got a larger audience than they ever would.

(13) Didact’s Reach – “So what now, Hugo?”

The detailed statistics behind the awards results showed very clearly that the voters at WorldCon and Sasquan were perfectly willing to undermine the legitimacy of their own award process in order to keep out those that they don’t like. LTC Tom Kratman, John C. Wright, Steve Rsaza, a number of Baen authors, and Toni Weisskopf herself, were all denied awards that they richly deserved and should have won for their respective categories.

Yet, instead of even bothering to consider the alternatives, five different categories were given “No Award”. The Hugo and Nebula Awards were, essentially, reduced to a farce. And all because politics overruled etiquette, courtesy, wisdom, and good judgement.

The SJWs who currently control the nomination and award process have made it perfectly clear that they intend to amend the (already incomprehensible) rules for next year’s ballot in order to prevent a similar uprising from happening again. Good luck with that; I have every reason to think that the Sad Puppies leaders for next year, Amanda Green, Kate Paulk, and Sarah A. Hoyt, will simply adapt, react, and overcome in order to get works by actual skilled authors that fans actually might want to read up for nominations.

(14) Jed Hartman on Lorem Ipsum – “Why I love the Hugos”

I acknowledge that the system is contentious and complicated and initially confusing, and I’m sad that people feel excluded, because I want everyone who’s interested to feel like they can be part of it. In general, I feel like bringing more people into the process means that the awards are more valid, because they’re less likely to represent the views of only a few people.

And there’s a whole lot of room for expansion. Even though I agree that the financial barrier to entry is high, that’s certainly not the only issue, because every year a large percentage of the Worldcon members who are eligible to vote don’t do so. So it’s great that the nominating and voting numbers have been going up and up in recent years, but there are still a lot of people who could vote but don’t, and a lot of other people who want to but can’t.

But even so. Despite all of the system’s flaws; despite my eye-rolling when an MC yet again does the “I’m going to make this ceremony last as long as possible” schtick; despite occasional bad behavior on the part of an MC or a presenter or a nominee; despite my personal disappointment that the magazine I edited for twelve years hasn’t yet won one (I’ve wanted a Hugo since I was a kid); despite the sometimes-contentious arguing about what should be nominated and what should win; despite my dubiousness about making nominees sit there tensely waiting to find out whether they’ve won, and about the basic idea of declaring one particular work or person to be the “best” of the year; despite everything—the Hugos are important to me.

And I especially love the Hugo ceremony itself, in all its disparate parts. The pause to honor the people in our field who’ve died over the past year, as their names scroll by on the screen. The awards honoring contributions to fandom, like the Big Heart award. The occasional very entertaining MCs. The beautiful designs for the Hugo award base. The passing-along of the Campbell tiara. The delight of most of the winners. The sometimes gracious and sometimes funny and sometimes overwhelmed acceptance speeches. The rush to analyze the stats afterward. The whole thing, flaws and all. It’s one of my favorite things about Worldcon, which is (despite its flaws) one of my favorite conventions.

(15) Robert Bevan on Caverns and Creatures “Hugo Loss (Sad Puppies Can Eat a Dick.)”

  1. What do the Sad Puppies see as the problem? 

SJW, the all-too-often abbreviated form of the “Social Justice Warrior”. It’s most often used as a lazy means for bigots to dismiss opinions which differ from whatever they were told by their daddy/preacher/grand wizard.

Having said that, I will admit to being annoyed by people I perceive as SJWs (in the derogatory sense) as well. In fact, they were an entry in my Reviewers Who Can Eat a Dick post right up until the final edit. I ended up removing that entry because I felt it made me sound like a whiny asshole, and because it’s so hard to differentiate an actual advocate for social justice, which is something that I admire, from an obnoxious loudmouth who’s only interested in scoring sensitivity points by pretending to be offended by innocuous words. (If enough people read this, I’ll get a few comments calling me a misogynist, in spite of the SJW nature of this post, for using the phrase “Cry like little bitches.” in the above entry.)

The puppies’ stated problem was that these SJWs had already compromised the integrity of the Hugos by voting along the lines of authors’ race, gender, sexuality, or politics, rather than based on the quality of the actual books they were voting on. Books with “messages” and meaning were winning out over good old-fashioned fun space romps, like the kind Puppies like to write.

That last sentence is paraphrased from what I read on one of the puppies’ blogs. The implication seemed to be that their books were more deserving of a prestigious award specifically because they were devoid of anything important to say. By that metric, my books should be pulling in Hugos left and right.

(16) Vox Day declares:

John Scalzi can ban all the parodies he likes. The VFM [Vile Faceless Minions] will just publish more bestsellers. Strike one down and two pop right back up to the top of the category within 24 hours.


(17) Scalzi looked over the goods and said…

(18) Kevin Standlee is working on a proposal to drop some Hugo categories and add others.

I think we’ve reached a point, in small steps, where a significant proportion of the Hugo Award electorate doesn’t know how to actually nominate in at least three categories, and at worst derides those categories because they think they are so complicated or need specialist knowledge that they’ll never have. This is not good for the health of the Hugo Awards. I therefore propose that we should delete three existing categories that people find confusing and unclear and replace them with three new categories that, while not perfectly defined (it’s difficult to define things completely air-tight), are at least more accessible and understandable to the people picking up the ballot or reading the results list.

Categories to Delete

  • Best Semiprozine
  • Best Editor Long Form
  • Best Editor Short Form

Categories to Add

  • Best Professional Magazine
  • Best Anthology or Collection
  • Best Publisher

(19) Andrew Porter writes:

Couldn’t get to Smokane? The smoke made it to the East Coast … by the middle of last week, according to this report. That explains the haze and pollution so many places on the East Coast have been experiencing.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Steven H Silver, Mark, Barry Deutsch and John King Tarpinian for some of these links. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day John Seavey.]

580 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/3 The Nine Billion Noms of Dog

  1. Ginger on September 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm said:

    I’m posting from the year 8656. (Hey, it must be the Jewish calendar!)

    Nope, don’t blame us. We’re just a couple of weeks from the end of 5775.

  2. To Buwaya: everything you’re saying about Swirsky’s SJW-porn is correct which is why you’re getting such fierce pushback although in my comments about it on File770 I did not go so far as to label it hate speech — I just said the narrator was bat-shit crazy. So of course I was accused of saying the authoress was crazy.

  3. @cmm: (Bionic Woman, McCoy and Ace, et al.)

    Remember, it wasn’t just Bigfoot – it was robot Bigfoot! 🙂

    I got the chance to meet Ms. Wagner at DragonCon a couple of years ago, on the last day of the con. Very nice woman, and I was glad of the chance to tell her that I liked seeing her working in the genre (in Warehouse 13) again… while buying a signed copy of Bionic Woman, season one from her.

    While the first Doctor Who story I ever saw was a PBS airing of a Tom Baker story (The Sontaran Experiment, which totally underwhelmed me), I count McCoy as my first Doctor. One of the first friends I made at college was a total Whovian and gave me a proper introduction to the series, and I liked the “dark and mysterious” vibe McCoy brought to the role. Ace was a great complement to that.

    @Laertes: (Southern Reach Trilogy)

    Sounds like I could save myself a lot of time and effort by simply rereading Heinlein’s “Goldfish Bowl.”


    Are you implying that the other big boob does?!? 😮

  4. Swirsky’s SJW-porn

    If you want people to respect you and your comments, you might want to rethink remarks like that. That’s straight out of the hydrophobic canines. And it doesn’t give me confidence that you can be fair or honest.

    ETA: (hey, it’s 5475!)

  5. No, no, it’s great for people to be honest about their beliefs rather than putting on a false mask out of a desire to gain respect or look good. That way, the saintly know who to talk to in their patient pedagogical attempts, and the rest of the population knows… well. Everyone has a different coping strategy, I’m sure.

    Courtesy is another matter, of course. But meeting local norms of courtesy is a bare minimum of participation, not the key to gaining respect.

    Possitangent, midnight wanderings… spent too long doing storyline quests, they just chain back-to-back like nobody’s business…

  6. Soooo….my family unto the last generation on both sides were working-class white Americans and I am very nearly certain they never beat anyone to death. We have some weirdass skeletons in the closet, but not that one. (The trick rider from the rodeo, sure, the guy who punished goldfish, okay, but not much in the way of beating strangers in bars. It would have come out. Everything came out eventually, which is why Ev stabbed Albert with the fork.)

    My grandmother’s third/fifth husband shot a guy, but the guy was robbing a Woolworths and he regretted it to the end of his days.

    So I really don’t know how you’re getting to this being a slur on all working class white Americans, unless you’re implying that working class white Americans are all a glass of gin from beating people to death, in which case I will tell you where you can go.

    this seems like one of those things–if you don’t do this, I’m not talking to you, so you really don’t need to protest how you don’t do this.

  7. RedWombat: Well, of course, the Puppies do fantasize about beating enemies to death (and shooting them, and so on), or at least their leaders do. They also like to fling every slur that occurs to them at enemies. I continue to think that the paragraph in Swirsky’s story where the asaulters throw every slur, including mutually exclusive ones, at their victim must have felt to the Puppies leaders like an attack aimed quite directly at them. That’s what they do, and here she is saying it’s bad!

  8. You know what a major left-wing cause is? Worker’s rights, unions, that sort of thing. You know who mainly gets that sort of shit done? Working class people. You know what that makes a lot of left-wingers? Working class. What on earth do you think socialism is?

    (If anything, I’d have said that the impression I’ve got from USAmerican media was that they wanted to pretend the American Dream meant classes and classism didn’t exist at all, rather than a hatred of the working classes. It’s certainly a lot less clear about it than British media.)

  9. Queen Elizabeth likes herself a gin with Dubonnet; obviously the story’s about her social circle, and no other.

    Or maybe we should just take the word of the author and the evidence of the words in the story itself that the attackers are not shown to belong to any specific group (white, working-class, or otherwise).

  10. Daniela said:

    It’s not. They like to hold up Hoyt as “Latina”, but to expand the definition to make Portugal count, we would have to then include everyone in France, Italy and any other Romance-language country as “Latina”.

    I once saw a definition of Latino/Latina that said “someone from a country with a language based on Latin”. So, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal.

    Or Romania or Moldova (Romanian).

    (5 September 9131 at 14:41)

  11. Jamoche said, of the television series Space: 1999:

    My childhood memories are: Season 1 – boring as hell. Season 2 – new characters, interesting plots. Whole thing – just how fast is the Moon moving, anyway?

    Fast enough for the crew of Moonbase Alpha to meet a different species of human-looking, English-speaking aliens each week.

  12. Laertes said:

    @Chris S: Kerbal Space Program seriously messed with my suspension of disbelief when watching Sunshine. “Okay, so you’re in a low-periapsis solar orbit, and you…happen to be more or less crossing paths with an object orbiting Mercury? Okay, that’s a billion-to-one shot, but…okay…and…it’s only a tiny adjustment to match orbits?”

    That was just one of the many clangers that ruined my enjoyment of Sunshine, because it tried to be a serious, hard-science sf film. Among them:

    Outside the spacecraft, astronauts float in zero gravity, as is proper, but as soon as one re-enters the craft, an earth-standard gravity obtains. From external views of the craft, we do not see the crew quarters rotating, which would produce centrifugal force (yes, I know, I know). (However, some pole-like structures are rotating around the craft’s axis, for some unknown reason.)

    When a transit of Mercury occurs from the point of view the craft, it seems to come as a big surprise to the crew.

    The spacecraft is on a mission of utmost importance for the survival of entire humankind. One would therefore presume that the crew had been selected carefully for their skills and abilities, including the ability to function and cooperate during a long voyage. However, two crew members come to fisticuffs over something minor I don’t even remember.

    For some reason, a vital piece of equipment is serviceable only by accessing it via opening a panel on the spacecraft’s sun-facing mirror, which protects it from burning up.

    The sun, which is becoming cooler for some unexplained reason, can apparently be fixed by dropping a payload in it. This payload is vastly, vastly smaller than the sun; its dimensions do not exceed one kilometre in each direction.

    Et cetera, et cetera.

    (5 September 9575)

  13. Peter J said:

    An untranslated Chinese novel getting onto the shortlist would make life interesting. Or, considering these 20,000-strong cons in Helsinki, a Finnish novel in 2017 …

    I was thinking of going into novel-writing. However, to get onto the Hugo ballot, I might need a little boost. Could I presume to count on your support, dear readers?

    (It’s now the year 0426.)

  14. Heather Rose Jones said:

    So here’s an interesting discussion topic: if there were a Hugo category “Best Publisher”, how would you personally select the publishers you would nominate and vote for?

    I would vote No Award, because I see this potential category as so problematic, including for those reasons described by you.

    (year 0650)

  15. Camestros Felapton said:

    Ah! New theory – the past few months were a Stephenson novel all along. Think about it – it seemed to go on for a lonnnng time, there was an awful lot to take in and lots of twists and turns, it was all a bit geeky, occasional massive info dumps (‘single distributed vote you say? Tell me more about your algorithm Keith’). There was a big climax but somehow the ending was a bit confused.

    Well put. Though I do enjoy Stephenson’s novels more than this real-life story.

  16. Finally caught up, and meant first to reply to some book stuff, but I don’t want to dirty that up with this buwaya stuff I feel, for some reason, a need to respond to, so I’ll make that comment next.

    Two things I feel like people don’t want to talk about, because it doesn’t help either sides argument regarding whether “If You Were A Point of Data that Puppies Would Hold on to for Dear Life With Their Tiny, Sharp Teeth, and Never Let Go, Ever Ever Ever” is a great work:

    1) “Soaked in gin” is a re-wording of gin-soaked – a cliche. She used a cliche. Surely we’ve all heard that term used without specifically referring to the British lower class of the, what, 1700s? I imagine it was the most evocative phrase that came to mind at the time. Maybe a bit of sloppiness? If so, I didn’t really notice it when I first read it, but it’s certainly garnered a lot of attention. But a signifier of the working class? Come. The. Fuck. On. Gin? The working class drinks gin? I love gin. If I want a classic gin drink and I’m not at a fancy-pants modern cocktail bar, I have to specify that I want gin, because Regular Folk drink vodka. How do the puppies not know this? But even then… the working class drinks macro beer. Did she say “Miller-soaked?” “Bud-soaked?” Then why the Hell do the puppies imagine she’s talking about simple working class blokes? Do the puppies ever actually hang out with the working class? Seriously? Caveat: I’m from the US (like most of the puppies). Gin may be drunk differently elsewhere, but as someone who’s drunk many places in the US, I can say with some confidence that gin is not the go-to drink of the proletariat.

    2) The weakest aspect of the poem, in my modest opinion (and I must admit, in all modesty, I am the most modest opinor of those modest opinors modestly opining today), is the vagueness of “calling you a fag, a towel-head, a shemale, a sissy, a spic, every epithet they could think of, regardless of whether it had anything to do with you or not.” It seriously lessened the impact of the entire poem for me. It’s a simple pointer to “Generic Bigot.” Up until then, I thought it was brilliant. I see the problem, but I have no idea what the solution may be.

    Regardless, the idea that the poem is a hate screed is so completely contemptible, it’s hardly worth considering. If Buwaya and his puppy pals have never seen people of all walks of life reduced to pure id by alcohol, have never seen people’s lowest aspects exposed by inebriation, they are incredibly sheltered and should probably refrain from discussing popular culture, as they obviously haven’t been immersed in it, or even much exposed to it. If we lived in a Gay Caliphate, the epithets may have been different: “calling you a breeder, a Christ-hugger, a manly-man, macho, a honky, every epithet they could think of, regardless of whether it had anything to do with you or not.” But we live in a society that is largely Christian and values heterosexuality to the point that we’ve barely arrived at the point where same sex marriage is legal. The thugs in that poem are killing The Other, and as much as JCW et al. may feel they’ve been othered, they’re pretty mainstream.

  17. JCW: “I thought “If You Were a Dinosaur My Love” was well crafted, only mildly bigoted against Southern whites, and successfully delivered the emotional punch it was trying to deliver.”

  18. There are so many evolutionary reasons for dogs to eat their vomit that it’s just something you have to be aware of and deal with. Just like you learn to take what would otherwise be a strange and possibly unhealthy interest in feces.

    Both “dogs are wolves” and “dogs aren’t wolves” have been the basis of human behavior that’s harmful for dogs. There have been times when I’ve fantasized about taking one of each kind and knocking their heads together.

    I am struck dumb by such creative misunderstanding of “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.”

  19. I come from a long line of Southern white people who thought working class folk were so far up the socioeconomic scale as to be like unto millionaires compared to them, and like RedWombat’s folk, they never felt the need to beat anyone to death after a few drinks. Nor did they drink gin. Or describe what they drank as gin. Gin means yuppies and hipsters and trust-fund kiddies.

    (I also come from mid-afternoon of 1958, and I may need some gin to deal with the temporal whiplash.)

    The whole campaign “we’ll tell you what’s good”, pros dictating to fans… I say it’s Pupsplaining, and I say the hell with it. They really do think they’re superior, and the rest of us should bow down and grovel before their definitions of words, concepts, and quality. Which as far as I can tell, are diametrically opposed to what the rest of the world means by that. I’d accuse them of taking 1984 as an operating manual, except I doubt they’ve actually read it.

    Lorcan’s extended audio-visual theory really holds water. I mean, other than the fact they’re unable to look past the surface tropes in anything visual produced since the 50’s. The golden age of science fiction, indeed. (12)

  20. @lurkertype

    Lorcan’s extended audio-visual theory really holds water. I mean, other than the fact they’re unable to look past the surface tropes in anything visual produced since the 50’s. The golden age of science fiction, indeed. (12)

    Oh yeah, I meant to bring that up, too. I noticed a while back that Torgersen is close to my age, and felt like I’ve seen his type before (though his type is, I’m sure, ageless). Regardless, it totally makes sense that the Puppies are primarily inspired by TV/movie SF/F, which, except for the most fringe stuff, tends to have less depth. Maybe I was lucky in that I discovered a small box of classic SF novels in our basement when I was maybe 10 – Alfred Bester’s “The Stars My Destination” is the only one I can distinctly remember now. That hooked me and had me at the library as often as I could get a ride out there.

  21. “Who/what comment are you referring to there there?”

    The one by Happy Puppy. The ableism and sexism made me unperson them in the traditional File770 manner.

  22. @Ann Somerville: Oops. Didn’t search in-line for that quote or I would’ve figured that out on my own.

  23. “Both “dogs are wolves” and “dogs aren’t wolves” have been the basis of human behavior that’s harmful for dogs. ”

    Genetically dogs *are* wolves. But domesticated animals, especially dogs, differ in key ways from their wild ancestors. I’m not sure what’s wrong with those statements, but they’re just facts, so… ::shrug::

  24. Kathodus and others:

    Rachel Swirsky wrote a bit about the choice of “gin”:

    I will say that I did not intend “gin” to be a class marker. My primary association with gin is hipsters. I have friends who make their own. (I pictured a college bar when I was writing the story, although I didn’t want that image—or any distinct markers–to be in the story itself.) My secondary association with gin is bathtub gin as discussed in musicals about the 1920s. My third is the inappropriate anecdote that Eliza tells about gin in My Fair Lady–which, I suppose, should have clued me into the class association.

    I did not want the assailants to be marked at all, except that they were into beating people up with flimsy excuses, an activity of which I disapprove.

    In the discussion thread, people kick around a lot of possible replacements for “gin,” but none of them really seemed to work.

  25. Doug: When you ask some people what the opposition to the Puppies should be called, the answer is the opposition should be called ‘fans’. It’s not hard to see how BRT came up with ‘wrongfan’. I’m sure he thought he was a fan, so it would be annoying to hear that his opposition was called ‘fans’ which meant that he wasn’t.

    But what else are you going to call people who aren’t Puppies? Because, literally, the one single thing those people all have in common is that they are SFF fans who aren’t Puppies.

    They’re not all liberals, they’re not all conservatives. They’re not all British, they’re not all Americans. They’re not all Caucasians, they’re not all some other racial heritage, either. They’re not all university graduates, they’re not all high-school dropouts. They’re not all wealthy, they’re not all poor. They’re not all employed, they’re not all unemployed, they’re not all retired.

    So what the hell else can you call them — except SFF fans who think that the people who gamed a slate onto the Hugo ballot have done something wrong?

    It doesn’t mean that Puppies are not SFF fans. It just means that there is no other label which would legitimately apply to all SFF fans who aren’t Puppies.

    But of course, expecting BT to be able to process that concept is asking way, way too much.

  26. Bitty: Trying to nominate this year means constantly checking the library website to see whether they’ve ordered books yet. For one book, I was checking twice a week, and still wound up being 14th in line when it did appear. I need a more efficient search schedule.

    Does your library have a “Suggest a Purchase” function? Because I use that to request any book they haven’t already ordered, and when they do order it, I automatically get put on the Hold list (and usually I’m first, because the Acquisitions people for my library system pretty much order everything I ask for, and usually several copies).

    Maybe your library does this, too. You might give it a try.

  27. rcade: Does anyone have any tips for finding out a story’s word count?

    The ISFDB usually classifies a story as either novella, novelette, or short story (though occasionally they get it wrong).

    Mark: But seriously, who writes a story at 7507 words?!?

    Someone who wants their story to fall into the less-cluttered classification of Novelette, come award nomination time.

  28. @Morris Keesan:

    Nope, don’t blame us. We’re just a couple of weeks from the end of 5775.

    L’shanah tovah tikatevu, Morris. (A month in advance.)

    (Candidate pixel scroll title that, oddly enough, I think hasn’t yet been used: ‘To Say Nothing of the Puppy’.)

  29. For those who would be interested in reading Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World which was mentioned earlier in this thread, it can be had here from the University of Adelaide, in several different formats including epub and mobi.

  30. @rcade:

    Does anyone have any tips for finding out a story’s word count?

    Stuff you may already be fully aware of:

    Given e-text, good ol’ ‘wc’ suffices to determine word count. wc is a standard tool on any Unix including OS X. On MS-Windows, Cygwin retrofits wc and all other standard Unix tools.

    Write story plaintext to file, then:

    $ wc -w /tmp/penrics-demon
    34544 /tmp/penrics-demon

    (‘-w’ means report word count.)

    I elided Bujold’s ‘* * *’ section separators, and expunged space chars from her ‘. . .’ ellipses, to avert erroneous guessing of word boundaries. (wc is fast but obtuse.) Anyhow, 34,544 words for ‘Penric’s Demon’ is probably dead-on correct.

  31. bloodstone75 on September 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm said:

    @Christian Brunschen: That Raumpatrouille is pretty cool (especially since I know a smidge of German). I look forward to watching them all. Thanks for the tip!

    I just re-watched the first episode and, while of course I had to make sure I was wearing my suspenders of disbelief and the nostalgia-tinted glasses, it is still eminently entertaining to watch (as long as you take it for what it is). And like with any popular science fiction TV series, there were of course spin-off novels. There’s a Wikipedia Article.

    (Apparently I was writing this in the year (0)845!)

  32. @Morris: I know. I’m a secular Jew; my mother’s family was from Eastern Europe. My grandfather’s name was Morris, too, although he was known as Mac.

  33. JJ But what else are you going to call people who aren’t Puppies?
    I think non-Puppies or non-Puppy fans would do. Used cautiously, anti-Puppy for someone who has spoken out against the Puppies or slates is not unreasonable.

    In practice there would be the underlying problem, that whatever they label the amorphous group, whether SJW, CHORF, Puppy-Kicker etc., they then give every member of the group the attributes they assume they have. Therefore everyone who opposes the puppy slates is an elitist literati marxist etc.

    The Sad Puppies are a varied group who have come together with as many motivations and intentions as there are members (if not more). There opposition is an even more varied group who have failed to come together in any meaningful way except for in the Hugo ballot. There are leaders and manifestos, but they exist by the dozen (see any random Puppy or Pixel Scroll post here on File770). Yet Puppy leaders continue to write about groups who oppose them in general and seem surprised when they miss the mark.

    So, you know. Anti-Puppy would do. But saying anything other than “The anti-puppies oppose the puppy campaign,” about them would be almost automatically wrong.

  34. @Neil W:

    Well, “SJW” is right out. It’s been months, and I still haven’t received my Siamese cat!

  35. Neil W.: Anti-Puppy would do.

    No. I don’t think so. Because “anti-Puppy” implies that fans are against the Puppies themselves (which is, of course, what the Puppies want everyone to believe).

    I do not accept the label “anti-Puppy”. The reality is that the vast majority of non-Puppies are simply against slates and gaming of the Hugo nominations. Most of them feel like me: I don’t care who the Puppies are, or what they think, or what else they do with their lives, as long as they participate in the Hugo nomination process in a fair manner as individuals, just as everyone else does.

    People who are not Puppies are just SFF fans. That’s all.

  36. Well, “SJW” is right out. It’s been months, and I still haven’t received my Siamese cat!

    (Shuffles nonchalantly in front of large box from which yowls are being emitted)
    Can’t imagine where it went.
    I do have a small white cat with probably every parasite known to catdom if anyone wants her, though. Also needs spaying and possibly antibiotics. But she’s free!
    (Not technically my cat, and if I am very, very lucky, will not be my cat. She’s very sweet, but that may just be because I gave her food, which I had to do to get her off the roof)

  37. Well, “SJW” is right out. It’s been months, and I still haven’t received my Siamese cat!

    Did you at least get your copy of Quotations from Chairman Mao for ranking The Three Body Problem over No Award?

  38. My preferred term for the non-Pup segment of the fannish community is either “everybody else”, or else “the rest of fandom”.

  39. I wouldn’t feel right about taking that BBS for free. But I tell you what, I’ve got this perfectly good low-mileage cat I can trade you.

  40. @Leslie C Oh no, I could never accept such a queenly gift. Cats were once worshiped as gods, it is too much.*

    *plus mine is taking up all my energy, she recently developed the diabetes, doesn’t flinch or even stop purring when the needle goes in but whines most of the rest of the time.

  41. But of course, expecting BT to be able to process that concept is asking way, way too much.

    plus it doesn’t advance his aggrieved, disrespected, whiny cause to actually view people not exactly like him as anything approaching human .. you know with legitimate feelings, emotions, etc.

  42. The only name I will regularly accept, aside from fan, is anti-slate. I don’t like anti-Puppy, and while Happy Kittens is cute I think people were right to resist being shoved into a group or movement. I sort of like Villains (which only applies to File770 commenters), but again I don’t like to encourage Puppies to think of people as an amorphous mass of SJWs, so I have mixed feelings about it.

    @Happy Puppy

    I remember that event, and I think it was down to your attempt at humour distorting your phrasing more than anything else. Don’t blame others for your own mistakes.

  43. @Ann Somerville

    “Dogs are wolves” and “dogs aren’t wolves” are both factual statements and both worth remembering. Unfortunately, they are also both used as the starting points for approaches to dog training and care that can be nutty and harmful. One is how people justify “you must be DOMINANT or your dog will take control!” The other is how dogs get treated as human babies, carried around in purses, or fed vegetarian diets. It’s how dog owners get told it’s cruel to crate train your dog, or how (as much in favor of positive training methods as I am), people get told it’s cruel to ever do a leash pop or raise your voice to your dog.

    And yet handled sanely, both statements are, as you say, factual, and both are useful to remember in relating to your dog.

    @Leslie C

    An important question: Does the white cats head shape and body conformation suggest that proper Siamese points might develop later?

    I am currently reading A Natural History of Dragons, which would not have happened without this happy community.

  44. I found the (a?) DoNotLink, and I’m now sort of confused because it seems to think something was going on that wasn’t. #crypticonpurpose

  45. Golden eyes, so no colorpoint markings. She’s had at least one litter, and she’s either young or stunted – I doubt she weighs even five pounds, though that’s partly due to skinniness. She’s going in to work with me on Tuesday to have her most obvious problems dealt with.

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