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. Princess Leia was a spy. She was captured because she was a spy, not because she was a princess, and she chose to make herself the decoy so that the other agents, less detectable, could escape. So long as the enemy plans got to her accomplices, her freedom was irrelevant.

    “Rescuing the princess” was either a lucky break, or a bit of The Cosmic Tides of Destiny/The Force taking a hand to bring old enemies and future friends together for Fateful Meetings — but it wasn’t part of the heroes’ original plan, which was to go to the allied planet of Alderaan and work from the shadows some more, any more than getting in a showdown with the enemy flying fortress…

    So if the Boys’ Own Adventure Nutty Nuggets crowd had their views shaped by Star Wars exclusively, they managed to miss most of the plot there, too.

  2. Hey, I remember S&T – I had a subscription to it in the mid-70s (played Sniper, Wooden Ships and Iron Men, Dark Ages, and the really detailed 1815 campaign games, as well as Napoleon At Waterloo); and I remember playing AH games like PanzerBlitz and France 1940 as well (sometimes I feel old). I miss hex-based tabletop gaming.

    Re gin-joint: these days I would think it survives mainly as a reference to Casablanca.

  3. The idea that leverage are prejudiced against the working class is bandied about a lot, but there is little to support it, especially when one considers that a large percentage of liberals are in fact working class.

    If you assume the attackers in Swirsky’s story are working class, that’s on you, not her. There are plenty of fraternity boys, yuppies, black guys, and any number of other people who would do every thing described in the story. There are plenty of Northerners, Midwesterners, and Canadians who would happily gay bash.

    If you assume that the story is talking about white working class Southerners, that’s your prejudices at work, not Swirsky’s.

  4. Here it is –

    “…an erect man may expose himself in an aperture…” from the rules to Sniper,
    SPI’s 1971 game of man to man WWII combat.

  5. @Isabel C.
    Doubt Swirsky was trying to drum up a panic, but the Shepard story was big in popular consciousness, as was Brandon Teena’s. Drawing from those two is not an unreasonable thing.

    One of those stories played out in Wyoming, and the other in Nebraska, so…

  6. @Jack Lint

    Let us not forget the sinister cult leader Unamit Ahazredit.

    I seem to recall that the designers borrowed a lot of character names from one of their early D&D campaigns. That must have been a very odd campaign.

  7. Aaron on September 4, 2015 at 4:50 pm said:

    The idea that leverage are prejudiced against the working class is bandied about a lot, but there is little to support it, especially when one considers that a large percentage of liberals are in fact working class.

    If you assume the attackers in Swirsky’s story are working class, that’s on you, not her. There are plenty of fraternity boys, yuppies, black guys, and any number of other people who would do every thing described in the story. There are plenty of Northerners, Midwesterners, and Canadians who would happily gay bash.

    If you assume that the story is talking about white working class Southerners, that’s your prejudices at work, not Swirsky’

    I suppose the language and epithets used means that we can identify them as English speaking North Americans.

    [1753 – thrown back to the past]

  8. “I miss hex-based tabletop gaming.”

    So do I. Computer games just don’t cut it. These were real social activities.
    Computers do help manage complexity. My favorite of all computer games is Matrix’s Pacific War, which make the completely unplayable at least theoretically playable. But its more of a model/reference than a game.
    And video games are the work of the devil.

  9. So some people are still determined to read classism and other prejudices into If You Were A Dinosaur’s intentionally blank slate every-bigots.

    I’d “love” to see how they’d twist the blank slate city of Omelas in order to take offense. Or maybe they won’t, since Omelas’ sin is narrowly focused on something that no one would dare defend while the attack in Dinosaur could be of a variety that some people insist doesn’t really happen that way or would simplify rather not talk about because of the identity of the victims.

  10. Zil:

    As a dog returneth to its vomit, so the fool returns to his folly.

    Funny-sounding sort of a saying, anyway — though I’ve never owned a dog, so who knows, maybe this is an actual canine habit. (If so, I am glad I have never owned a dog…)

    It is, unfortunately, so much a canine habit that, when a dog is given hydrogen peroxide to make it vomit after a dietary indiscretion (which can be anything that will go down a dog: once it was several ribs, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries and the cover of a book), the dog and the vomit must be separated lest it all go down the dog again.
    If whatever went down the dog was soft and not likely to obstruct or puncture, sometimes one gives vaseline instead to help it on its way. Some dogs even eat the vaseline willingly. Then the owner gets to watch for everything to reappear.

  11. Ouch. You’d think that would be evolutionarily inadvisable, considering that poisons and such are likely to induce vomiting. I mean, the whole point of the exercise is to remove the bad inputs from your body, isn’t it?

  12. The Dog’s view of food is, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

    The Dog’s response to another dog’s vomit is, “Excuse me. Are you through with that?”

    It sounds disgusting, but it’s like having a very specialized Roomba.

  13. There’s a Hyperbole and a Half story about Allie Brosh’s “simple dog” getting carsick on a long journey and then realizing she has become a magic food-regenerating canine machine. For hours on end.

  14. “You’d think that would be evolutionarily inadvisable”

    It’s how wild puppies are fed by their parents. The parents bring back meat and regurgitate it when the puppies beg.

    And domestic dogs are just somewhat juvenile versions of wild dogs. We exploit that to keep them under control.

  15. RE: Gin = low class

    Oh ye of little knowledge — have you NEVER heard of “bathtub gin?”

    Think “Prohibition.”

    I’ve got relatives that were Virginia moonshiners…

  16. Jack Lint — I think it was a dragon rather than a kaiju. I recall the counter had the same dragon graphic as the dragons from Sorcerer. Unless I’m mis-remembering; it was a long time ago.

    I never managed to persuade anyone to play Swords & Sorcery, but I did enjoy the illustrations. The killer penguins and the Rex Rotary have had a special niche in my imagination ever since.

  17. I believe for dogs it can also be a matter of erasing signs that could help them be tracked down by predators. Hence all the litter box raids; they’re trying to protect your cats, maybe.

    It’s similar to how they often turn around before lying down. It’s to flatten the tall grass beneath them as a mattress.

  18. “she has become a magic food-regenerating canine machine”

    I don’t know whether reading that or about dogs’ love of cat litter boxes would be worse!

    Although I do love stories about that “simple dog” 🙂

  19. It depends on the dog: the kind of dog who will eat the things that necessitate induction of vomiting are the dogs who will eat the ejecta.

    I had a roommate in vet school whose dog — recently spayed — ate a month’s supply of birth control pills. We laughed, but we were vet students. (Then we induced vomiting, and she was no longer a happy puppy.)

  20. @Edited to Add:

    Dogs are scavengers, and have eating habits that reflect that legacy.

    Yes. This is why scientists like the Coppingers think it was a mistake to reclassify domestic dogs as a subspecies of grey wolf. Different diets make for different behaviors and distinct breeding populations. And that’s before you get to the damage that the “dogs are really wolves” notion does to human-dog relations. (**koff-koff** Cesar Millan **koff**)

  21. Ginger, was it you who told the tale of the line of lavage kits in the surgery? They were all lined up by weight of dog, and this was prep for the chocolate candy holidays — Halloween, Christmas and Valentines?

  22. @Lori: no, not I, but that’s funny. Sad, but funny. Some of my dogs have consumed a fair amount of chocolate, and never got sick, because it depends on what kind of chocolate as well as how much.

    Then again, my dogs right here ate 2 pounds of grapes without dying, so there’s some kind of luck, maybe.

    Luckily, dogs can eat Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and ribs. Books, not so great.

  23. No truer words spoken today than Kyra’s plaintive question about why The Cukoo’s Song isn’t more famous.

    I set it aside with shaking hands when I was done.

    Also: a heads up for those planning to read the Doomsday book. I am an easy weeper and was warned that it was kind of a sob-fest, but for 99% of the book there was this undercurrent of ‘I just don’t really see this making me break down’ as I read. And then I read the very last bit and ended up crying so much my face was raw and I was sick to my stomach.

    So, you know. If you’re a weeper don’t rely on it for your only reading material on public transportation.
    (I had to go sit in the Amtrak bathroom for about 45 minutes. Yuck.)

  24. @Jim Henley

    And that’s before you get to the damage that the “dogs are really wolves” notion does to human-dog relations.

    Not to mention all the myths people have about wolves in the first place (the prevalence of wolf attacks and “alphas” most notably).

  25. @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!

  26. Can someone re-post a link to the script for controlling comment visualization? Pretty please? I tried searching for it and can’t seem to make my search-fo work at all.

    I am fighting off a blazing headache and keep accidentally reading the blather from people I normally skip over when I am more alert. It is rather like being punched by surprise and isn’t helping the headache problem at all.

  27. @Jim Henley

    I’m not one much for having my books autographed, but I am a proud owner of a signed L. David Mech book. (I can’t remember which off the top of my head though.)

  28. Now that we have sophisticated computing engines, I keep hoping someone will release a turn-based, vector-based, full-3D spaceship combat game (a la Mayday or Traveller book 2, but with more dimensions.

  29. Of course, we keep coming back to “message fiction is fine so long as it’s the correct message,” and we keep coming back to how little the puppy leaders have actually read.

    If you follow back heroes rescuing beautiful space princesses, you will reach Edgar Rice Burroughs, and ERB was not shy about stating his own philosophy in his fiction. “The Gods of Mars” found plenty of time amongst the daring-do to savagely criticize organized religion.

    I still have most of the books the Science Fiction Book Club sent me back when I was a teenager. I got “The Foundation Trilogy” for joining, and Heinlein’s “The Past Through Tomorrow” was an early selection. I also got the two-volume anthology edited by Anthony Boucher called “A Treasury of Great Science Fiction” (which included four complete novels, including “The Stars My Destination” and “The Weapon Shops of Isher”). Not SFBC, but the huge anthology of 1940s Astounding sf, “Adventures in Time and Space,” was available at that time from the prestigious Modern Library for all of five or six dollars.

    I didn’t read much Verne as a kid, but I practically had the Wells collection of 7 SF Novels on permanent loan from the library, I checked it out and reread it so often.

    When I got into fandom, it seemed like most people I met had read all this stuff, too. Times change, yes, and there’s a lot more history-of-the-field to absorb now than there was back then. There’s also more new stuff published every year, so less incentive to go back to the old stories.

    Ah well. It was fun. It is fun. I still read and reread old stories as well as reading new books. I have to put blinders on sometimes, but that’s okay. It also means I’m not as well-read on the current writers as I could be. (I found Kyra’s brackets humbling.)

  30. I wish the lead Puppies–the professional writers–would pause just long enough to ask themselves what business they have trying to meddle in fan awards. It’s the fundamental wrongthink of this whole affair. And as a practical matter, no campaign led by pros, driven by their ego/identity/validation needs, and organized as a ‘correction’ of what the fans have been doing, is going to be welcomed. “Here, let us fix that for you” is never going to be anything but patronizing and presumptuous.

    If the Puppy writings of the last few days are representative, I’m afraid that GRRM, David Gerrold, and Pat Cadigan are destined to have their hopes for reconciliation dashed.

  31. @rcade and snowcrash

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I got it to work and now there are these glorious blank bits in the comments. Hurray!

  32. @Lori: is that the post where the dog was stealing sweet potatoes? I loved that story…which I should ‘re-read, seeing as I’m posting from the year 8656. (Hey, it must be the Jewish calendar!)

    ETA: yes, it is that story!

  33. @Michael Kube-McDowell:

    I wish the lead Puppies–the professional writers–would pause just long enough to ask themselves what business they have trying to meddle in fan awards. It’s the fundamental wrongthink of this whole affair.

    The fact that SP/RP is a writer’s revolt fits very well with Delany’s 1998 prediction in “Racism and Science Fiction” though:

    As long as there are only one, two, or a handful of us, however, I presume in a field such as science fiction, where many of its writers come out of the liberal-Jewish tradition, prejudice will most likely remain a slight force—until, say, black writers start to number thirteen, fifteen, twenty percent of the total. At that point, where the competition might be perceived as having some economic heft, chances are we will have as much racism and prejudice here as in any other field.

    We are still a long way away from such statistics.

    But we are certainly moving closer.

  34. “Or the former president of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, who like many Peruvians has Japanese ancestry. ”

    And the largest concentration of Japanese people outside of Japan is in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    Oh dear, it’s 266 (AD, I assume). Everybody Wang Dun tonight.

  35. Bingo.

    SP (in particular) has been labelling itself a readers revolt, but all its prominent spokesbeings are writers. As writers I would expect them, rather, to issue manifestos regarding what they themselves were going to write, à la the Futurists or the Vorticists, or the Imagistes. Instead, they are messing with fan awards given to other writers. Is there any major SP figure who is not a professional writer?

    (RP is very much a writer’s group – one particular writer.)

  36. Brian Z on September 4, 2015 at 9:13 am said:
    “I’m always puzzled when I see a statement like “I’m a conservative but not a puppy.” How is that possible? Isn’t conservatism, at bottom, about radically and quickly remaking long-standing institutions to suit the whims of the moment?”

    It’s official! the third least self aware comment.

    Gully Foyle on September 4, 2015 at 9:19 am said:
    brian z – please google sarcasm

    Gully Foyle:

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