Pug Jack Barron 5/31

2007_1aka ”He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty puppy!”

Today’s roundup brings you Amanda S. Green, Rachel Iliffe, Sarah A. Hoyt, Vox Day, Lou Antonelli, Camestros Felapton, Jeet Heer, Joseph Tomaras, Lis Carey, Lisa J. Goldstein, Rebekah Golden, and cryptic others. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Whym and Hampus Eckerman.)

Amanda S. Green

“The gloves came off” – May 31

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been fighting the urge to respond to a post in a private Facebook group that is supposedly dedicated to the appreciation of the writings of Robert A. Heinlein. I say supposedly because it had become more and more apparent that wasn’t necessarily the case. But the crowning point came when one of the members posted a link to a story about why Connie Willis would not be presenting at the Hugo Awards. I’m not going to get into Ms. Willis’ reasons other than to say I don’t agree with them. But it was her decision and she will have to live with the consequences — good, bad or indifferent.

However, what got to me was the poster of the link starting out by saying that she was a so far unpublished science fiction writer who is just so angry at the “talentless and angry malcontents” who have supposedly ruined the Hugos. Okay, nothing new there. Still, it was a bit surprising to find such a position being advocated in a Heinlein forum, especially when it became clear that the whole issue was that there have been more men nominated for a Hugo and that more men have won than women. Again, nothing new….


Rachel Iliffe on Rachelloon Productions

“#HugoAwards Follow Up: Dextrous and Sinister” – May 31


  1. 2500 people are not representative of the entire SF fandom.

This is the number I’ve been hearing anyway, from various people–the estimate of who, in recent years, was actually submitting and voting on the books in question. And from what I can make out, these people are also mostly made up of the fan clubs of a certain select group of authors; suggesting they are perhaps not particularly diverse in their opinions.

Again, it’s not that anything untoward happened to lead to that–no one was stopping other people from getting involved, the whole event just seemed to have become more obscure in recent times, but the lack of mass involvement in recent years has been telling. Perhaps the event just hasn’t been publicised properly, I mean–it’s supposed to be like the Emmys for SF, right?

How was this ever going to change, but by some ‘radical’ action? I’m not saying it had to happen the way it did–I would have preferred it hadn’t since so many authors have felt the need to disassociate themselves–but for new life to be breathed into the Hugos, someone had to put them in the spotlight again. And I do think they needed new life.


Sarah A. Hoyt on According To Hoyt

“Truth and Fiction” – May 31

Which brings us to the other “Big Lie” that we just want “pulp” or “adventure” or “old fashioned” stories.

This incredible nonsense doesn’t pass the smell test. None of us has said that. What’s more, as far as I can tell, none of us believes that. I have in the past advised fledglings not to try to write in the style of long-gone-by writers (except the occasional send up. I’ve been known to do Bradbury pastiche.)  Writing styles and tastes have changed.  No one wants to work that hard for their fiction.

Much as I love say Jane Austen, I’m aware styles of prose have changed completely since her day. You see, we are a lot more visual. Also omniscient narrator doesn’t seem to do as well as it once did, because competing with visual media forces writing to employ its one advantage: putting you in a character’s head for a while.

Also, frankly, with some exceptions, I have great trouble reading science fiction published before the sixties or so, because I’m sensitive to language shifts and also because some of the assumptions are risible. (You know the exceptions, Simak, Heinlein and half a dozen others.)

Yes, I just did a post exhorting us to recreate the Golden Age, which I note File 770 immediately echoed, even though it had clear nothing to do with the Hugos. They picked it up because they thought it supported their narrative. One despairs of trying to talk to whole-word-readers.

That post of course exhorted writers to write for their fans not the publishing establishment. And it exhorted the fans to support their writers. It also exhorted writers to be a little more daring with their science (because that’s why science fiction is getting its lunch eaten by fantasy.) In my opinion that’s what Golden Age IS. It was not about writing pulpy. Not that I expect anyone there would get it.


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Sad Puppies can’t be wrong” – May 31

Let’s just say their behavior shocked me about as much as the discovery that the sun rose again this morning. There are precisely four things that have surprised me about the SJW response to date:

  1. John Scalzi more or less keeping his mouth shut. Now we know why.
  2. Charles Stross attempting to doxx Castalia and his insane Finnish Nazi theories. I genuinely thought he was smarter than that.
  3. The public approval of Mary Kowal openly buying supporting memberships for other people. It’s so hard to imagine anyone else making effective use of that tactic in the future.
  4. Popular Science being one of the publications in which they planted their hit stories. I knew from past experience they would plant hit pieces in the media. But that would not have been among the first 250 publications I would have guessed.



Lou Antonelli on This Way To Texas

“Still an honor” – May 31

Those of us who feel the Hugo award is an honor well worth pursuing, such a myself, probably feel some resentment – as I do – towards those Sad Puppy “fellow travelers” who have made statements indicating they want to burn down or destroy the awards.

Folks, if you don’t like the award, then why allow yourself to be nominated in the first place? I mean, we can all differ on the meaning, usefulness or value of an award, but if you don’t even believe in it – why bother? It’s a free country, which means we all have the right of free association. Nobody forced you to participate in the Hugo process.

At the very least, bear in mind – in light of the hostility that the Puppy effort has engendered – how your comments hurt those of use who would be proud and pleased to win one of the awards. Heck, I’m still proud to have been nominated, regardless how it turned out.

The “let it burn” folks on the Puppy side are, to my mind, the corresponding opposite of the “No Award everything!’ side on the anti side. I suspect the vast majority of people who care about the subject are in the vary large middle territory.


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“367” – May 31

There are exactly 367 Vile Faceless Minions, as it happens, in addition to an unknown quantity of Rabid Puppies, Dread Ilk, and Ilk. As to what their staying power is, and if they are really going to stay interested enough to do this again next year, I have ordered Malwyn and her colleagues to unmuzzle them and thereby permit them to speak for themselves, if they so wish.


Camestros Felapton

“On petunias and whales: part 8” – May 31

Puppy slate adds data

The 2015 Puppy slates did not claim to be only nominating conservatives but it is reasonable to assume that if either of the puppy slates was intended to cove works that would otherwise not get nominated then the proportion of conservative writers should be higher. Notably the final nominations had a much smaller set of authors than might be expected. John C Wright was nominated fives times (it would have been 6 but one work was disqualified on a technicality). Given circumstances highly favorable to conservative writers it is notable that the nominations had to include the same writer multiple times (including 3 spots in bets Novella).


Camestros Felapton

“On petunias and whales: part 9” – May 31

A conclusion

Dave Freer’s argument does not show what he thinks it shows. The flaws in the argument are:

  1. His description of a left wing category of authors is probably faulty as it relies on key issues that enjoy more popular support in the US public than some conservatives realize.
  2. Consequently his estimate of 15% while accurate for genuinely “solid liberal” people is too low when considering Hugo eligible authors. The likelihoods he needed to model may have an upper range beyond 50%.
  3. The model he uses in his analogy has some flaws but is not unreasonable and the flaws don’t severely undermine his argument
  4. Using his model an expected proportion of 45% for what he calls “red” nominees would produce results that are not highly improbable and which match his analysis of past Hugo nominees for best novel.
  5. His choice of years to analyze may be distorted by avoiding 2004 and by including WorldCon years held in countries other than the US, but his analysis would still hold if his assumption of 15% for reds was correct.
  6. There is some plausible evidence of statistical bias against very conservative authors but overall the evidence of bias is slim
  7. Dave’s argument even if it was sound does not address multiple sources of bias – some of which may be beyond WorldCon (or Puppy) influence



Joseph Tomaras on Skinseller’s Workshop

“My Last Word on the Hugos” – May 31

Campbell Award for best new writer: This is the category about which I am angriest, and not primarily or even secondarily because this was my first year of eligibility. Remember that “in addition to myself, I have also nominated Usman T. Malik (to whom I would be honored to lose), and Benjanun Sriduangkaew (who is in her second and final year of eligibility, and who I fear is unlikely to win due to some ridiculous drama).” And for a bit more about the latter, see this entry. Puppies aside, I have to question the legitimacy of a ballot with neither Malik nor Sriduangkaew. They are simply out-writing most everyone else in the present cohort.

I know I have read and enjoyed some short-form pieces by Wesley Chu. So I was mystified when I opened the Hugo voters packet, looked at the first page of The Deaths of Tao, and read this Bulwer-Lytton Award-worthy sentence:

The lone black car slunk through the dark, unlit streets, a ghostly shadow creeping past the decrepit warehouses and abandoned storefronts along the South Capitol at the outskirts of Washington DC.

Contrast that to my enthusiastic response to “Totaled” by Kary English. As for the rest of the nominees, they either have never reached my notice, or never merited it. Ballot:

  1. Kary English
  2. Wesley Chu


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Elitist Book Reviews, edited by Steven Diamond”

Unfortunately, during as much of the nominated year as I could push through, it’s visually hard to read–light text on dark grey background. I also didn’t find the tone and style of the reviews engaging, but I was probably less receptive because of the dark background and very light, thin text. For me, that’s a dealbreaker. If I’m going to read it, it has to be readable. Not recommended.


Lisa J. Goldstein on theinferior4

“The Hugo Ballot: Novel” – May 31

My main problem with this being on the Hugo ballot is that, as I said, it’s a formula.  It’s comfort reading, the kind of book you turn to when you’ve had a hard day and need to relax, when you don’t want anything too challenging or surprising, when you’re pretty sure the good guys will win in the end.


Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Short Story: Reviewing Turncoat” – May 30

This story was readable. I have read some very old style English books that drone on with details that had greater meaning when they were written. It would have been more fun if I’d thought the numbers provided all had masonic meaning but the author gave no hints to that effect so again I’m not going to credit him with my random imaginings that are really just a desire for this story to have been better.


Rebekah Golden

“2015 Hugo Awards Best Short Story: Reviewing Totaled” – May 30

This story is the best of those I’ve read in the short story category so far. It made me cry at the end, touched on two interesting points, and was written literately. There’s been a lot of debate about what makes something “Hugo-worthy” and where/if to place something on the ballot if it’s good but not great, bad but not worst, etc. I find it vaguely sad to be reviewing short stories that should have been nominated for being “Hugo-worthy” and being impressed simply by it being written in a well put together English.


Marion in Deeds & Words

“The Hugos, 2015, Chapter Five: Big Boys Don’t Cry” – May 31

It’s too long.

I haven’t done an exact word count, but this thing must run about 14,000 words. That is at least 4,000 words too long. A look on the Hugo Awards page tells us that a shorter version of this appeared earlier and this version, which is longer, was published in 2014. If the longer version had provided context it could have been fine. The words here now are like empty calories, and gives a reader too much time to ask too many questions, questions the writer doesn’t answer.


489 thoughts on “Pug Jack Barron 5/31

  1. I’m not sure I have many woah! moments. I was reading sf/f since I could read, which I don’t remember learning to do, and I suspect that its a lot harder to have those woah moments if you were having them at an age where basically everything is new to you. I suppose the closest thing would be the first time I read about someone having a loss of faith (The Vampire Lestat – I know, I know, in my defense I don’t think I was even a tween at the time), or the first time I came across a home-educated character that felt, to me, anything like how being a home-educated kid actually was (but that wasn’t really sf/f – Stargirl).

    I still haven’t come across another home-ed character that felt “right”.

  2. Mike wrote:

    “Since I learned to read before I entered school — where they did, indeed, teach phonics — I don’t know that I can disclaim being a whole word reader. So there’s that.”

    I had the sneaking suspicion you were an early reader — me, too. I entered Kindergarten already reading — when the teacher expected none of us to yet know the alphabet — and she thought I was lying when I told her I could read. She wouldn’t believe me until I read to her from something she knew I couldn’t possibly have ever seen before.

    I don’t remember — and probably wouldn’t have recognized it as such — whether the other kids were taught phonics or whole words. While they were taking reading as a subject, I just sat at my desk and actually read to myself whatever I had available, frequently bringing with me from home a young person’s book about computers, astronomy, natural science, or rocketry and astronautics. (No comic books allowed, though, not even Classics Illustrated.)

  3. Mk41

    I remain fascinated by someone who admits that s/he wasn’t present but claims to know what happened, irrespective of the fact that s/he wasn’t present.

    Surely you must understand that in the real world people would describe you as barking mad; after all, this is precisely the sort of statement which would result in you being classified as barking mad in the first place…

  4. I was an early reader, lots of Hardy Boys Books, YA mystery novels that my parents had growing up and were toting around everytime we moved, lot of books from the library. Dad was stationed overseas when my Grandparents almost died (Carbon Monoxide Accident) and I stayed with friends for a week while they went back home. The Ords were readers, bookshelf upon bookshelf of stuff. That was the summer of 85, when I read Ender’s Game, Dune, Starship Troopers and Moon is a harsh mistress back to back to back. That was my woah moment. Been a few since but that’s when it started.

  5. I remain fascinated by someone who admits that s/he wasn’t present but claims to know what happened, irrespective of the fact that s/he wasn’t present.

    I remain fascinated at how a claim of having an impression and/or finding something convincing can possibly be interpreted as being a claim to know. (If this comment is not the one being discussed, I apologize for the snark).

    @ anyone who was there — is there something about DSM’s account that is particularly unconvincing, or about her apology that appears insincere?

  6. Owlmirror

    If you scroll back you will find the observations of someone who was there. I entirely agree with your unwritten requirements that there should be evidence to support a claim, but we already have evidence from someone who was present.

    If you have evidence to suggest that her observations are incorrect then you need to provide that evidence so we can consider it.

    I must say that Mike’s rules are well formulated; otherwise I would have been extremely rude about your post, on the basis that you really are required to read the posts before you demonstrate your ignorance.

    I must concede, however, that Mike seems to be rather good at this…

  7. @Owlmirror

    I have a suspicion that the reason her apology is considered insufficient (by bystanders – I’m not sure what Dr Sperring’s feelings are) is because she hasn’t apologised for replying to (which has lead to the assumption of association with) RH, rather than it having much to do with her report on the panel in general.

    Aside from whatever Deirde Saoirse Moen’s relationship with RH is, the whole thing sounds like everyone was playing Chinese Whispers (gosh, what a PC name that children’s game has) and getting angry about it.

    To avoid any misunderstandings from the more enthusiastic participants: I knew of Winterfox back in my livejournal days and was perfectly aware that was an individual to avoid, and my feelings haven’t changed since.

  8. the whole thing sounds like everyone was playing Chinese Whispers (gosh, what a PC name that children’s game has)

    If you’d like an alternate name, I learned it as Telephone.

  9. If you’d like an alternate name, I learned it as Telephone.

    Thank you. 🙂 That seems to be the American name, so it will be useful for internet usage, but I’m not sure anyone would know what I was talking about if I used it in person; I’m British. I’ll have to hope someone comes up with a respectable British name in the near future à la the new words for Eeny Meeny Miny Moe.

  10. Petrea

    I would be better at replying to you if my technological incompetence did not include how to spell your name correctly on my iPad.

    Chinese whispers or Telephone seem equally appropriate. The thing which really bothers me is that there are still allegedly educated people living in England who believe that people with brown skins require people with white skins to explain to them how they should behave.

    That was the thing which I found utterly nauseating about the way in which white skinned women (I’m a white skinned woman) thought it was OK to try to force a brown skinned woman to comply with what they wanted. I am not prepared to give these people a free pass; if they didn’t realise that this was racist behaviour then they’ve had almost a year in which to think about it, and yet they still haven’t grasped that their behaviour was profoundly racist.

    So, I don’t care how they label it; what matters is the substance…

  11. @Stevie

    To do letters with accents on an iPad, tap and hold the appropriate letter (in this case ‘e’) then slide to the accent you want to use. Petréa. 🙂 I only figured out how to do that recently despite using an iPad nearly full time for accessibility reasons – now I wish there was a way to quickly select html tags. (If there is, please tell me. Opening and closing them requires three pages of the keyboard and its driving me nuts.)

    I’m not sure which brown-skinned woman you’re referring to.

  12. It is true that when the question was specifically asked on Twitter on 4/29 who had spoken about the VD/RH “slash” on the Eastercon panel, I did answer that it was Kari Sperring. I’d only known that for about an hour, though. Rick and I had talked about that aspect of the panel later that night (in early April), but I’d never asked him which person said what. At the time of the panel, I was unaware that Sperring and Sriduankaew had any history. I found it off-topic and an offensive thing to say (especially given the word “slash”).

    For more context of how everything unfolded, there’s also Asymbina’s post, which gives context I didn’t know until I read it, e.g., how it happened to escalate on Twitter in the first place.


    (Note that Sperring has since locked her twitter account, so those links from Asymbina’s post don’t work.)

  13. Quick terminology thing: Dr Sperring’s use of the word “slash” was wrong (quick reminder that ignorance is not a sin), but “slash” does not require sex, either. I think back in the distant history of fanworks fandom the “slash” just referred to any relationship (pairings are all listed in the style of “Kirk/Uhura”, and the word “slash” comes from the line between the names), but of course that was decades ago.

    I find the endless willingness of some people to defend Winterfox’s decade plus career of being a generally terrible person a little tiresome.

  14. Rev Bob:

    It occurs to me that The Menace from Earth – the collection, I mean – is a perfect refutation of the “Nutty Nuggets” thesis, for exactly the reason you describe. The title (and, as I recall, the original cover) both evoke Adventure! and Monsters!

    It did! It was that collection – probably with the Gene Szafan cover, which could be a monster, you never know – that I’d picked up when I was 12, and I was terribly disappointed in it – ew, relationship cooties when I wanted a monster! But I got over it, even though I was 12.

  15. I think back in the distant history of fanworks fandom the “slash” just referred to any relationship (pairings are all listed in the style of “Kirk/Uhura”, and the word “slash” comes from the line between the names), but of course that was decades ago.

    See, I got the exact opposite story. As a total outsider to fanfic communities, I started off using the word “slash” to refer to any and all fanfic pairings, following the logic you outline above. But I got scolded for it. “The word ‘slash’ is only correct when referring to M/M pairings,” I was told, “because it doesn’t just refer to the punctuation mark, but specifically to its use in Kirk/Spock fics, which arguably kicked off the whole genre.” This struck me as silly and arbitrarily restrictive, because a slash mark is no less a slash mark for being found with other letters or names on either side of it; but I filed it away for the benefit of future interactions with members of a culture to which I do not belong and to which I do not seek to cause needless offense.

    I know which use of the word makes most sense to *me*, but I’m not part of the community, so it’s not up to me to dictate usage.

  16. James Worrad at 6:42 am:

    No apologies necessary. As I said, there have been so many Puppy titles, not to mention the many (many!) more suggestions scattered around the threads by commenters that there is no easy way to keep up with the deluge.

  17. @Nicole

    Well, it does specifically mean homosexual pairings now, but newcomers or outsiders being confused about the usage of slang in any particular subculture is entirely understandable. 🙂 Jumping down someone’s throat over ignorance or misunderstanding is rarely justified.


    Ah, Loenen-Ruiz. She’s definitely earned all the support fandom can give. I just wanted to check that you didn’t mean RH. 🙂

  18. Meredith

    As always I manage to screw up at least one thing in a post; it’s Rochita, not Rachel. It’s just as well I think Rochita’s words explain it a great deal better than mine would.

    I was very unhappy to discover that there are still white women here in England who think brown women need to be told what to do by white women; I thought that was a war which had been fought in the 1970s, and concluded with the awareness that such beliefs are profoundly racist. Clearly I was wrong.

  19. @Stevie

    One of the depressing things about the RH stuff was her tendency to declare herself the one true arbiter of what brown people should do and think, and then have anyone who disagreed with her basically declared a race traitor and fair game. Sort of cult-like…

  20. @Stevie;

    I think quite a number of battles which seemed to have been settled in the 1970s turned out not to have been won after all.

  21. @Peace & Stevie

    I can never quite get over the shock that women being allowed to vote is still being debated in some corners of the internet.

  22. Meredith on June 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm said:


    One of the depressing things about the RH stuff was her tendency to declare herself the one true arbiter of what brown people should do and think, and then have anyone who disagreed with her basically declared a race traitor and fair game. Sort of cult-like…

    I have been deeply disappointed in some of the people supporting her campaign of exclusion and hatred.

  23. Meredith, Peace

    I must confess to having been shocked at the willingness of some people to completely ignore the vicious way in which RH attacked people, and assert that she was just someone who had spent a decade or so when she was 19 going through the usual adolescent phase. It’s utter tosh.

    My daughter, whose 29th birthday was yesterday, has spent that decade training as a doctor (yes, if you specialise in something difficult it takes a long time). She’s got another three years to go.

    She encounters everyday sexism at work; viz the patient attempting to grope her while she examines him to discover whether he’s seriously ill or not. When she told him to stop it he said ‘Well, what else are you good for then?”. What he didn’t realise was that she was about to save his life, because he was very seriously ill. In her shoes I would have kneed him in the balls and left him to die, but, fortunately for him, my daughter is a lot more ethical than I am when it comes to dealing with mysogynists.

    I think it’s pretty clear by now that I respect people who try to use their gifts to help others; if anybody in England decides to go Galt I’d probably be helping handing out the high energy meals for the poor suckers who managed to crawl back, having discovered that ‘Going Gault’ would result in them being hailed as the ‘geniuses’ who couldn’t reason their way out of a wet paper bag…

  24. Peace

    I am disappointed that my long post, on which I spent an hour so, wring to you, Meredith and anonymous parties has disappeared into the cyber void, from which no traveller reurns. It isn’t in moderaration so cyber void has eaten it.

    Fortunately, you and Meredith will deal with nit-wits without even bothering about your manicures; you know a great about this profoundly unpleasant person who is RH, and you don’t put up with bullshit. I’m glad!

  25. Mike Glyer: Stevie – It was kicked into spam — I have posted it now.

    Out of curiosity, what in the world in that post would have triggered the Bayesian filter? (I had this happen to one of mine the other day, and I also thought it had gone off to la-la land — only to be surprised by someone posting a response to it much later.)

  26. DSM:For more context of how everything unfolded, there’s also Asymbina’s post, which gives context I didn’t know until I read it, e.g., how it happened to escalate on Twitter in the first place.

    For those wondering how much of a reliable source Asymptotic Binary is:

    1. They posted a hit piece on another author on RPG.net to head off the early word getting around about Benjanun Sriduangkaew being Winterfox.


    2. They put forth a ton of lies attempting a character assassination against Pat Cadigan after Alex Daly MacFarlane originally painters target on her.


  27. JJ: As you know, it’s one thing for a comment to be held in moderation, which I could explain, and another for WordPress just to kick it into spam as happened to Stevie’s comment. I keep trying to figure out what makes that happen. No theory I’ve come up with so far has proven true.

  28. Mike Glyer: No theory I’ve come up with so far has proven true.

    Bizarre. Neither Stevie’s post nor mine contained any links. I’ll have to go dig mine up and see if I can identify anything they have in common.

  29. Meredith: Ah, Loenen-Ruiz. She’s definitely earned all the support fandom can give.

    She and Tade Thompson deserve a lot more recognition for their work providing a safe space for Winterfox’s victims. RLR and so many others did a lot while still taking fire from RH and her clique and that shouldn’t be downplayed.

    Nalo Hopkinson also needs to be pointed out for setting a positive, constructive tone when everything was at its most chaotic.

  30. @Stevie & Peace

    I’m 25 and quite clearly remember being 19, and while I was far from perfect, I never behaved like RH. I didn’t know anyone who behaved like that, either. The idea that being 19 (let alone being 19 for a decade..!) would excuse acting like that is bizarre. I make allowances for age, but only in expectations of maturity, not in meeting basic standards of decency.

    Your daughter sounds very impressive. I think I would have to have grit my teeth very hard indeed to work with that patient.

  31. Brad Torgersen: This isn’t about book covers, as much as it’s about the field as a whole having a brand label struggle. People got into SF/F in large numbers because of the adventure, the gosh-wow-gee-wiz worldbuilding, the broad-chested heroes and buxom heroines, the laser blasters, the starships zooming at warp speed to save the day, etc. Our genre still preserves a patina of swashbuckling, but it’s usually only that: a facade. Nowadays you’re liable to be served up a lecture on Womens Studies, versus getting taken for a ride with the Gray Lensman, or Captain Kirk for that matter.

    When I watched Amok Time, years ago, I was struck by T’Pring’s chilly logic. In some alternate universe, I imagine Torgersen in his pajamas, Nutty Nuggets flying all over as he’s carried away by the fight.

    Sarah Hoyt: Oh, holy Jeez. Guys, can you take it? He can’t understand the difference between “Stop being stuck in defying a past that never existed and write good stuff” and “we want to go back to the past.”

    I guess by that she means the past that never existed before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or the past that never existed before the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, or the past that never existed before the Civil War and emancipation. Or, the past in which women have always been a part of science fiction and sexism has, too.

    But, writing about any of that stuff is “women’s studies” and “defying a past that never existed.”

    Torgersen’s two-fisted adventures are part of a larger whole. They’re predated by Mary Shelly andFrankenstein, by Jules Verne and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by H.G. Wells and The Time Machine, by Edgar Allan Poe, by weird fiction, and– Right. Anyhow, Torgersen ignores history in his drive towards the One True Rocket. Hoyt ignores it in her drive towards something something Maoists.

    Science fiction is larger than they are. It’s always growing, always changing, like the rest of fantasy, like the rest of fiction.

    Some measure of the *P zero sum game may come from seeing other subgenres rise and flourish relative to Nutty Nuggets. For people who like Nutty Nuggets, this might be disconcerting– Why aren’t they as popular as they used to be? Why is so much attention being paid to this other stuff– These combinations of fruit, grains, meats and vegetables. What the heck is that? It’s not even food! How could anyone like it? They must be lying, that’s it. It’s a conspiracy to keep Nutty Nuggets on the shelf with King Vitaman, when they should be everywhere. In fact, the supermarket should carry Nutty Nuggets and nothing else.

    Because you’re lying when you say you don’t want them. And everyone knows Nutty Nuggets come in every flavor: Nutty and Nuggets. So, stop whining about a healthy diet. Only Maoists eat that other stuff. Are you a Maoist?

    No, that’s not a cat-based ideology. That’s totally something a Maoist would say. It’s not Meowist, shut up.

    As an external observer, it looks that ridiculous. Like Torgersen is hunched over a box of Nutty Nuggets like a laden hamster, grobbling around in the box for the Uncle Scrotor toy inside. It had better be there, because it was on the cover.

    –OK, I think I have that out of my system. So, part of the zero sum game may be due to seeing other forms of science fiction flourish relative to two-fisted space opera, Christian fantasy and military SF (to use some arbitrary examples). The same thing happened in music, with the rise of rock and hip hop. Musical and literary genres go through cycles of invention, growth and maturity. It’s normal.

    So, don’t panic.

  32. I am disinclined to ever forgive anyone who attempts character assassination on Pat Cadigan.

  33. Not a single person in my family who has gone through the age of nineteen has ever become a vicious prima donna queen bee internet stalker (or the equivalent from the Paleolithic).

  34. Mokoto

    ::slow clap::

    Truly, I think that The Tale of Two Puppies is reaching the OMG THE STUPID IT BURNS stage in terms of evolving justifications offered up by the Pups.

    Like I said, this is GG writ small, and this endless cascade of bs reasoning that wouldn’t stand up to even the slightest non-bubble scrutiny is what the rest of us are gonna have to look forward to.

    Until, of course they start repeatedly spouting “It’s about ethics in SF Awards” without the slightest hint of shame or self-awareness.

  35. I wish Brad Torgersen would stop referring to science fiction literature as a matter of “brand labels.”

  36. Until, of course they start repeatedly spouting “It’s about ethics in SF Awards” without the slightest hint of shame or self-awareness.

    I would never stop laughing.

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