So Long and Thanks for All the Puppies 5/1

aka The Good, the Bad, and the Yapping

Rachel Acks and Abigail Nussbaum begin the May Day roundup, followed by Mark Leeper, John Scalzi, Paul Kincaid, David Langford, Laura Mixon, Kiesa, and a colleague who has chosen a saner course.  (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Milt Stevens and Laura Resnick.)

Rachel Acks

“The Hugo Nomination Problem or, I Am a Bad Reader”  – May 1

I’m sure this does not reflect on me well as a human being. I also know I used to read a hell of a lot more back before I didn’t have a full time job and a part-time writing gig and a daily commute during which reading tends to give me severe motion sickness. But here it is, the call for help. I seriously need some helpful soul, or maybe some kind of crowd-sourced thing that can tell me what I should be reading as things come out so I’m not floundering under drifts of pages on book mountain when the Hugo nomination period opens. Preferably some recommendation engine where my fellow writers, bless you guys I love you all but damn I know how we are, are not allowed to nominate or push their own books. I don’t want reviews, I don’t even want opinions, I just want a simple list or titles and authors and maybe a helpful link where someone can say hey, I think this book should totally get a Hugo, and then other people who agree can maybe give it a plus one, and that’s it. Let me form my own opinions.

Does something like this already exist and I’ve just never seen it because I’m a failure at google? Is this something a complete computer incompetent like me could set up on her own site pretty easily? I’d do it in a heartbeat if I knew how.



Abigail Nussbaum on Wrong Questions

“The 2015 Hugo Awards: A Few Thoughts as Voting Opens” – May 1

In addition to No Award-ing the Puppies, there are two other categories where I will be voting No Award for all nominees.  I’ve already written about the Best Fan Writer category, and in addition I will not be voting to give a Hugo in the Best Novelette category, even though it contains a non-Puppy nominee in the form of Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s “The Day the World Turned Upside Down.”  Chance has written eloquently about the many problems with this story, which does not deserve to win a Hugo by default.

Speaking of Chance, she’s thrown herself on the grenade of the Rabid Puppies’ short fiction selections, and is reviewing them one by one with sad and hilarious results.  Her reviews are required reading, first if you like funny and snarky writing, but also if you’re still under the impression that literary merit has anything to do with this campaign.


Anna Kashina

“Hugo awards: what can be done to save them?” – May 1

Going forward, I believe that the best way to redeem the situation and restore the prestige of the Hugos (and perhaps the other awards) is to ensure that every nominator and voter actually *reads* the work they are voting for and actually considers it to be better than the other comparable works published the same year, based on valid criteria. Barring that, the awards have no meaning, I think everyone would agree to that.

How to achieve it practically?

For one, every nomination should be publicly listed, with the name of the person nominating and voting for each work openly accessible, along with the checked “yes” next to the questions on whether they personally read the work, and whether they truthfully consider it the best in the genre.

I would go even further, though. I would request for each nomination to contain a short paragraph of what you like about the work and what made it stand out for you and seem like it deserved the award. This information should also be made public from the start and required with each nomination (notably, reasons based on the race, ethnicity, and political and religious views of the author should not be permitted).

I am aware that this would probably drastically reduce the number of people willing to nominate. But I bet that no slate voting would be possible with this kind of a system. Even if a person is willing to outwardly lie on a public form, if the writeups for the slate voters are commonly generated through a campaign, this fact would become immediately transparent.


Celia Darrough on Bustle

“How The 2015 Hugo Awards Became A Battlefield (And Not Over Science Fiction)” – May 1

If the science fiction and fantasy literary genre has an Oscars, it’s the Hugo Awards. Since the 1950s, the awards have recognized the works of science fiction and fantasy (SF/F) greats, including Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, George R. R. Martin, and Michael Chabon. But, if you look at a complete list, you’ll notice one thing about the roster of past winners: A majority of them are white men. And this year fans, the media, and the organizers themselves claim there’s a conspiracy to rig the Hugo Award nominations to keep it that way.

Here’s what’s happening: For close to a decade, the Hugos have made strides toward increased diversity, with deserving women and members of minority groups added to the nomination list. (See: Octavia Butler, Ann Leckie, Saladin Ahmed, Nalo Hopkinson, N.K. Jemisin, and Ted Chiang, all of whom, save Butler, were nominated after 2000.) But the 2015 awards, whose winners will be announced in August, have become a battlefield as longtime supporters of the awards allege that two online groups known as the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies tried to subvert the nomination process, apparently to keep the awards mostly white and male — a statement that the leaders of the Sad Puppies — Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen — and the Rabid Puppies — Vox Day — vehemently deny.


Mark Leeper on MT Void

“The Puppy Crisis” – May 1

I think a lot of people have given in to a myth. The myth is what I think is a basic misunderstanding about what the awards are. In the case of the Hugo awards, the myth is that the fans have gotten together to pick God’s anointed best science fiction pieces published over the previous year in each category. Once they pick the stories democratically chosen by mutual consent to be the best they–the fans–have spoken. What they have chosen is God’s Anointed choice. It works like the selection of the new Pope.

Pardon me but that is not what happens when a novel wins a Hugo. The Hugo Award is not about the book; it is about the voters. In this case it is about the attending and supporting members of the upcoming World Science Fiction Convention. We all pretend that this is a reasonable set of people to judge and decide the question. We have pretended that for years. But they cannot make a book be the best novel. They can only decide as a popularity poll what book they most want to see win. Their choice tells you about them. It tells you something about the minds of the people, but voters do not make best novels. Writers make them.


John Scalzi on Whatever

“The Myth of SF/F Publishing House Exceptionalism” – May 1

Sanford is correct in his point that as a matter of books from Baen whose individual sales can compete with the sales of individual books from other science fiction publishers on a month-to-month basis, as charted by the Locus list, Baen’s showing is modest (the May Locus lists, incidentally, show no Baen books, whereas Tor shows up five times, Orbit five times, DAW four times, Del Rey three times, Ace and Harper Voyager once each, and non-genre-specific publishers like Bantam and Morrow taking the rest of the slots).

But does that mean Ringo’s larger assertion (sales of SF/F publishing houses are down since the 70s except for Baen) is false? Not necessarily! Here are some reasons Ringo might still be right:

  1. Ringo’s first assertion (SF/F publishing houses sales down since the 70s) is independent of how any individual title by any publishing house stacks up against any other title by any publishing house in the month-to-month or week-to-week horse races known as the best-seller lists. That a book is #1 on the Locus list one month does not mean it sold the same number of books as any previous #1; nor does it speak to the overall sales of any particular publishing house….

Ringo appears wants to make to two arguments: One, that Baen has experienced consistent, across-the-board growth in its sales where other SF/F publishers have not. Two, that this is due to Baen not publishing authors or tales that are “SJW”-y; only “cracking good tales” allowed, the definition of which apparently preclude any Social Justice Warrior-ness (although apparently may include any number of conservative/reactionary tropes)….

The second part of Ringo’s assertion, the implication that Baen’s continuous sales upswing is due to cracking good SJW-free tales, I’m not going to bother to address seriously, because what a “Social Justice Warrior” is at this point is something of a moving target, the most consistent definition of which appears to be “Anyone left of Ted Cruz who certain politically conservative authors want to whack on in order to make whatever dubious, self-serving, fact-free point they wish to make at the moment.”  I believe George RR Martin has recently been relegated to SJW status for being upset with the action of the Puppy slates and the Hugos; this is a curious maneuver if we’re talking “cracking good tales” and sales numbers as a proxy for… well, whatever they’re meant to be a proxy for.

It’s also bunk because while Baen is being used by Ringo as a synecdoche for a certain subgenres of science fiction (and the non-SJW agendas of the authors who produce it and the readers who read it), I have to wonder whether Baen itself wants that responsibility or affiliation. I mean, as just one example, we’re all aware that Baen published Joanna Russ, yes? More than once? Joanna Russ, part of the “new wave” of science fiction that Ringo identifies as a proto-SJW movement? Joanna Russ, who was the very definition of what is labeled a Social Justice Warrior before any conservative or reactionary person even though to spit such an epithet from out between their lips? That Joanna Russ? The only way that Joanna Russ does not fully qualify for retroactive SJW status is if the definition of “SJW” actually includes “cannot be published by Baen Books.” And yet, apparently, she could tell a “cracking good tale,” because that’s what Baen publishes. Strange!


Paul Kincaid on Bull Spec

“Paul Kincaid’s From the Other Side, April 2015: awards coverage, big announcements, new books, and more” – May 1

Look, I wasn’t going to talk about this, it’s not really in my remit, but the one thing the Sad Puppies have done is guarantee that the Hugo Awards this year are all about politics and nothing to do with the quality or otherwise of the works nominated. A win this year, in any category, and regardless of whether the winner was on a slate or not, will not have the cachet that a Hugo win once had. They have spoiled the awards even for those they are supposedly trying to promote.


David Langford on Ansible #334

“Dysprosium & Puppygate” – May 1

Since I consider slate voting a thoroughly bad thing, I expect to make judicious – though not indiscriminate – use of the No Award option on the final Hugo ballot. Meanwhile, all sympathy to John Lorentz’s hard-pressed Sasquan Hugo committee; to Kevin Standlee and others who’ll be running a perhaps overcrowded and fraught Worldcon business meeting at which anti-slate rules changes will be proposed; and to slate nominees who were unaware either that they’d been included or that this placed them in an exposed position on a new battlefield of the US culture wars.


Kiesa on Kiesa’s Mutterings

“Hugo 2015 Best Novelette”  – May 1

Up to this point, I was feeling really good about the novelette category. I could, without any reservations place the three slate stories below no award because I didn’t feel they were good. However, then I came to “The Triple Sun: A Golden Age Tale”. I felt this was a really good story. It is by far my favorite of the five options. The story pulled me in from the first paragraph. I got bogged down a tad during the journey to the alien world. However, once they landed it picked up again and had a great ending.

So . . . I’m still not sure how I’ll actually vote. I’ll probably vote in the order I’ve listed above. However, any stupidity that appears between now and when I place my vote may change my opinion.



Laura Mixon

“Yes. But.” – May 1

At the risk of yes-butting people over my report on Requires Hate/ Benjanun Sriduangkaew/ Winterfox, I want to respond to a few points that have been made in recent posts or in their comment threads regarding my Hugo nomination.

Kate Nepveu:   Yes, but (1) my statistics were poorly supported or cited, and (2) the wrong people commented on and/or supported my efforts.

Abigail Nussbaum:  Yes, but (3) perverse pie charts! plus (2) the wrong people commented on and/or supported my efforts.

Shaun Duke:   Yes, but (4) Requires Hate has stopped her abuses, apologized, and deserves forgiveness. [UPDATE: while I was adding links to this post in preparation for uploading it, I saw that Shaun Duke has apologized. I’m leaving my response to point #4 up, because I have heard others raising the same point, and I want my position to be clear.]

Geoff Ryman:   Yes, but (5) racism! The Sad Puppy/ Rabid Puppy attack on the Hugos is a much bigger problem than Requires Hate.



133 thoughts on “So Long and Thanks for All the Puppies 5/1

  1. *checks thread if GK has offered any evidence of his latest assertion.*

    Nope ,still none I see. Cmon GK, how hard is it for you to pull up a few links at changed reviews? Yet, there are still none. It’s almost like you pulled that claim out of your arse.

  2. David K.M. Klaus – that is exactly the problem being addressed with the current issue: that the genre has been allowed (collectively) to degenerate to a point where its stars are midlist writers that are entirely unknown outside of very small circles, and aren’t producing enduring work.

    This is not a knock against those midlist writers bearing that flickering torch as best as they can. Not at all. It is merely an observation that the readership has fallen to such a degree that if you might have been authorial giant in the field, you have moved on to more fertile fields.

    There are no Asimovs or Silverbergs left in the genre for the most part, because the genre has fallen on hard times, thus the Amazon and Publisher’s Weekly declines of the genre. Now, there are those who write literary science fiction who will argue otherwise, that it is just that SF has expanded its scope and inclusiveness as to what constitutes SF that any talk of a “revival” is just neo-reactionary code for retro-style homages. But your nostalgia is nevertheless justified: in the 1970s, there was at least an understanding that sales and circulation mattered as a measure of viability.

    And Nick, Amazon ranking snapshots being “the least hard numbers in the world” is a preposterous claim, easily disproven by anyone who has direct access to his sales figures via Amazon. Those ranks reflect velocity of sales reliably. Either you do not have direct access to your sales figures, or you are intentionally making a misleading statement. But neither ignorance nor deception are valid excuses to make such statements.

  3. Sorry, I was unclear. Did the person on Metafilter ever publish their findings after taking up the challenge? And is there a link to that?

  4. ULTRA: The person went through several years and found some interesting pieces, and then there was a discussion of how to define message fic. I haven’t checked metafilter in a couple of days, but the person had the nickname “corb.” Dunno if he or she is still doing it, but results may be forthcoming, and it seemed like an honest attempt at the time.

  5. @nick, you’ve been told. Amazon rankings not only perfectly reflect the speed of your sales, they’re also pin point precise as to the direction of sales.

  6. If only blog comments could be bronzed like baby shoes, as the defense of amazon rankings as hard numbers by literally describing how they are *not* hard numbers is both adorable and worth preserving for the ages.

    Amazon ranks are relative—they’re influenced by the book’s own sales, by the sales of *other* books, and also involve some historical information. (Thus it measures relative “velocity”—it is relative because there are multiple objects involved at different and changing velocities.) The difference between a book with a rating of 130K and one with a rating of 330K means that the first book probably sold one copy today and that the second book probably sold one copy yesterday. Or that some other books sold and pushed the rankings of the two examined titles apart. Some ranks are recomputed on an hourly basis, some on a daily basis. This is by no definition a set of “hard numbers.”

    But really, who might actually has direct access to amazon sales for a variety of books (not just my own)—me, or some pseud?

  7. As far as I can tell, until a few days ago “Manpain” was simply a literary trope. Achilles sulks in his tent because he is a man that feels pain. But now that you mention it, there is a certain amount of gender politics in the literary trope. Because women that feel pain don’t, in my reading, get the same leeway in fiction to act badly because of their painful experiences.

  8. GK ‘I answered Nick. I also presented hard numbers. If you have a different set that we should review let me know.’

    You never really answered him.

    ‘Since Nick has now insulted both me and my family’

    He said that he didn’t know why you’d bring your wife into it at all, if she existed. While the second part could be construed as an insult I guess, you’re using a moniker of a deceased writer, no one knows you. I’ve worked with cancer patients and I’m truly glad that her diagnosis is cancer free, but also have no idea why you mentioned it. Of course it’s a big deal though so maybe it was on your mind. Regardless I think your emotional state over your family has you seeing further into his comments than he said. As far as you, well he has called you a liar so that’s certainly an insult. Now I’m going to be lengthy because this boxing match sucks after all the hype for it.

    ‘of course is the first trap. Presuming I _could_ make a list I’d fail here. But what is even more subtle is that it is a straw man which is why Nick shifts in the new challenge that, “Corriea made no claim about authors having to pass a political litmus test, but he did talk about message fic.”’

    If you could make a list but fail that’s sort of the point Nick’s trying to make. In relation to the history of the Puppies he’s inferred a lot about politics, however I don’t see that the quote you used of his in response mentions anything about needing to pass a political litmus test. It was against the idea that they should start their own award. In the stated goals of the past Sad Puppies it’s been a lot of discussion about literary, message fic, mainstream, and a lot of various descriptions about ‘certain kinds of stories’ with very little clarification as to what that’s supposed to actually mean.

    Personally I’d challenge anyone to find even nominees over the last ten years whose work showed any indication of being unworthy, whether that was some sort of liberal SJW conspiracy, the literati, message fic or for any reason. I’ve seen VD list 3. The dinosaur story, Redshirts and Ancillary Sword. That’s out of hundreds of nominations for the last ten years. That’s not proof of anything other than varying tastes. I for one like the Monster Hunter International books more than I liked Ancillary Sword, but it won every award so I’m content with saying it’s just not my thing and despite not enjoying it I think it’s wonderful for that author.

    And though I like the MHI books they’ve never been in the best books I’ve read. Not because he owns a gun store (I love target shooting) or because of his SJW rants, or anything other than it’s fun but only ok. One of favorite movies last year was The Raid 2 but it wasn’t close to the best I saw either.

    The numbers you provided were Amazon sales ranks, which don’t come near telling you lifetime sales, but just current popularity of the title. The numbers you provided had nothing to do with the argument about message fic or political bent in regards to the Hugos. You provided numbers that aren’t very good for totaling sales in order to ask why NPR interviewed one author over another. Aside from trying to sales shame Mr. Matamas not sure how that’s relevant to saying the Hugos are political or whatever. It shows maybe NPR is, or maybe that person’s book fit the theme of what they were discussing.

    If it was meant to be a rebuttal to his challenge…well I’m not seeing it. If anything RP/SP showed it only takes a small group voting together to knock everything else out because people vote on a ton of different things. It didn’t reveal a force preventing anyone from voting or being voted for. It revealed that not enough member were actively participating in the vote. Please though, if you can show how Hugo voting was skewed over the last 10 years to exclude anyone, share! If it’s because some books didn’t make it, man a lot of books I like didn’t either and I bet they’re different books. Normally we’d come together and say “I wish this had gotten a nomination.” and I’d have a whole new reading list.

    I still find it amusing though that much of what Mr. Torgerson described about what they slate nominated would (and did) leave the Three Body Problem out. It’s a literary book, TOR published, cover doesn’t do much justice to the tale inside, isn’t a pulpy book by any stretch, written by a demographic not normally seen in the awards, and it appears favored by the Worldcon crowd. VD likes it, I like it, many do and it almost didn’t even get on the ballot even though it’s a fantastic book. If leaving books like that out are an effect of the Puppies, yikes. I hope this slate nonsense ends so the focus can go back towards celebrating and talking about great books (I’d bet VD has interesting perspectives about 3BP, I may not like his politics but I’m a nerd about books and would find them interesting despite myself) instead of a bunch of grandstanding, villain speeches and mental gymnastics. I mean it’s entertaining, but I hope it goes back to being about books soon.

    And sorry for the keyboard diarrhea.

  9. xdpaul ‘that the genre has been allowed (collectively) to degenerate to a point where its stars are midlist writers that are entirely unknown outside of very small circles, and aren’t producing enduring work’

    Ok this is straight up bullshit.

    I love the classics. Love them. But you can’t seriously consider the current relevancy of Sci-Fi/Fantasy in our culture to have waned since 1950, right? Plus while some of the forefathers of the genre had amazing fantastical ideas the actual writing wasn’t always so good.

    Degenerated? You mean aside from there being several major publishing houses, many authors able to exist on only the sales of their work instead of having other jobs, some of the most popular movies and TV shows being Sci-Fi/Fantasy, more books in the genre come out than most could ever read in a year, and so on and so forth. This is the dark age?!

    Man, I guess we will have to deal with Niel Gaiman, George RR Martin, Michael Chabon, Naomi Novik, Brandon Sanderson, China Mieville, Niel Stephenson, Dan Simmons, Tim Powers, the aforementioned Liu Cixin, and the hundreds of other writers just keeping the torch lit. Oh well.

  10. Matt Y I am talking about the uncontroversial sales declines in SF books. Like it or not “Straight up bullshit” it isn’t.

  11. Nick, you have successfully demonstrated you don’t know what a hard number is. Yes, we get this.

  12. ‘I am talking about the uncontroversial sales declines in SF books. Like it or not “Straight up bullshit” it isn’t.’

    Sure it is. You talking print or eSales? If you’re talking print, guess what, so is everyone. eSales are doing pretty good but it’s harder to track those.

    Regardless decline of sales doesn’t automatically equal a decline in quality. Sales of Sci-Fi are certainly higher than in Asminov’s time. If you went to a convention there and bemoaned that thhe wider world didn’t know about and author you’d be laughed out, it’s was a much more niche genre compared to the culture today where it’s widely accepted.

    Foundation’s Edge was the first book by Asminov (whom you invoked) to reach best-selling status. By your logic his prior career wasn’t as good of quality because it didn’t sell as well.

    I mean you can say sales are down, but if you want to compare our time versus Asminov’s to say that Science Fiction has ‘degenerated’ that’s bullshit.

  13. Actually, it is bullshit. The sales PW reported were the adult-coded SF titles. But tons and tons of science fiction and fantasy books are coded YA, a category that has been booming for more than a decade. Look only at Bookscan’s SF and Fantasy Adult titles as PW did, and you miss titles like THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (which is BISAC coded JUV037000 JUV018000 JUV008000) which Bookscan reports sold over 300K in hardcover, and another 300K in paper across its two major editions, plus who knows how many ebooks but probably in the six digits as well.

    Oh, and it won the Hugo. So clearly even the hardcore snooty fans liked it.

    Then you have something like THE HUNGER GAMES (BISAC code: JUV053000), which did well over 5 million in hardcover. I’m talking the first volume, not the whole series. Hell, even the box set sold over a million copies according to Bookscan.

    The first DIVERGENT book did over 2 million in paper. It also have a JUV BISAC prefix.

    Then there are romances: the first OUTLANDER book did just under 800,000 in mass market—it’s coded FIC027090 (for Romance/Time Travel).

  14. Ooh, whoops, did I use some actual hard numbers (rounded off, of course)? Gosh, I did!

  15. I’m still laughing about how you think that velocity is not a hard number.
    “Really officer? 15 mph over the speed limit is the least hard number on earth!”

    No wonder we think science fiction is doing so well! We don’t know what science is anymore.

    If SF is doing well because children’s literature is booming is the best you’ve got, well, go back to your velocity studies. At this rate,you’ll win the Indy 500 in an ’85 Rabbit.

  16. Yeah, lots of people don’t understand relative velocity and frame of reference. It’s sad. In xdpaul’s hometown, I guess people don’t get pulled over for going 15mph over the speed limit, but for going 15 mph faster than someone going 25 mph nearby, in the opposite direction.

    That people are reading tons of science fiction and fantasy labeled YA isn’t just the best I got, it’s actually the best. Quick, what makes The Graveyard Book *not* fantasy? What makes The Hunger Games *not* science fictions? Be careful, all of Heinlein’s juveniles are at stake!

  17. Both Scalzi and Correia were NYT best selling authors in much less time and I believe more often already than Asminov did. Truly both must be better Sci-Fi authors according to paul’s logic.

    You’re also appearing to not understanding the fact that they represent the ‘velocity’ of sales in that very moment compared to all other books within that category. The next day the number could be lower or higher based on not just the sales of that book but other books that day. It’s not a great assessment of anything other than how that book is doing at that moment in the Amazon store.

  18. Now that you have tripled down on your mistake, Nick, would you also argue that while an Apollo rocket may have hit 24,000 miles/hour it really isn’t a hard number because eventually it slowed down?

    You are a gold mine of comedy, Nick. Don’t ever admit to making a mistake: it is much funnier this way.

    Come on, buddy, dazzle me.

  19. It’s funny that you think an amazon rank snapshot is the same as a vehicle reaching some mph. I mean, forget the idea of relative velocities, do you know what the English word “ranking” means.

    Me: How long did it take you to run the twenty-six miles of the marathon?
    xdpaul: Four-hundred ninety-third place!

  20. I’m sure everyone’s impressed with your ability to recognize that the sales velocity at Amazon is based off of a combination of number of sales respective to the sales velocities of competing items, especially since you are unable to recognize that that number is nonetheless a hard measurement.

    We know how Amazon works, Nick. We also know that you don’t know what a hard number is. But please, continue to talk down to your audience from a position of smug ignorance. Really, it is very funny stuff. Sort of a poor man’s Colonel Blimp.

  21. That’s the difference between you and me, Nick. You attempt to ascribe words to me that I have never said to make your point, and I simply quote you to make mine.

    “Amazon ranking snapshots are perhaps the least hard numbers in the world.”

    Brilliant. Really. Too funny. Really, don’t ever walk that one back or admit it was a simple error in a hamhanded attempt to score points. Let that one march on infinitely in the annals of comic ignorance. Seriously: bravo.

  22. xdpaul quietly leaves off showing links re: GK when asked.
    xdpaul quietly leaves off discussing why YA or romance BISACed fiction doesn’t count.
    xdpaul wants to stick with the definition of “hard numbers.”

    Okay, let’s say hard numbers (really “hard data”, as “hard numbers” is a casual term) means something that is measured and quantified: what does looking at an amazon rank between two books at some point in time—say one afternoon—measure? What is actually being quantified: do spell it out for us!

    Does it measure what GK insisted that it did? The book’s popularity? An amazon rank snapshot is essentially an anecdote, even within amazon. I can sell one book on Monday and be ranked 420,000 and one book on Tuesday and be ranked 321,000.

  23. @Matt,

    Thanks for your reply, that was well thought out. We’ll have to agree to disagree on the Amazon numbers. They are the best metric available that I know of that show how puppy authors generally aren’t recognized even if they are relative (and in fact for this case being relative is _useful_). And yes, it fits into NPR’s formate because NPR is left leaning. Nothing wrong with that and I am a very regular listener. One of my favorite shows is “Wait Wait”. But that illustrates how blind the WorldCon audience is. They start with a preconceived set of notions that hasn’t been challenged in a long while.

    “but also have no idea why you mentioned it”

    It was the only thing I was thinking about at the time and Mike asked why I had been gone from the discussion.

    “see that the quote you used of his in response mentions anything about needing to pass a political litmus test”

    This is confusing. He doesn’t talk about having to pass a litmus test. He claimed the the puppies never talked about grouping.

    “with very little clarification as to what that’s supposed to actually mean.”

    That’s fair because it isn’t a specific thing. It is the sum of behaviors. Again, Larry’s description of the con is a good one that I think would help with this or his response to GRRM.

    Sorry don’t follow you.


    What is fascinating is that you are trying to deflect that relative ranks are entirely useful for this discussion about reviews and how certain authors are “overlooked”. Amazon ranks being relative (that is your cars going in different directions) is actually directly useful to the discussion.

    And thanks to that link that rcade sent over I see now that you were writing papers all the way up until 2007 (year before an article in ’08). This wasn’t even a rookie mistake. It was darned near a career. Tell us more about honor and integrity and the spirit of the awards while you engaged in academic fraud.

    It really does blow my mind that there isn’t a rush to disavow someone like you that knowingly, actively, for years, engaged in this behavior.

  24. ‘Again, Larry’s description of the con is a good one that I think would help with this or his response to GRRM.’

    I read that and assuming he was treated poorly (it sounds though he went in with an idea of how he would be treated and it makes me wonder how much was him jumping to conclusions as well), that to me is more of an anecdote than proof there’s something wrong with the Hugos. I’ve had a bad time at conventions before that were issues with individuals and never considered it to be systemic.

    Like Martin responded, Worldcon is supposed to be a positive place to celebrate the works within the genres, if someone is being treated poorly they should report it.

  25. So GK, quick, how can you tell which direction a book is moving from looking at a ranking on amazon at point n, since the ranking also takes into account what all the other items in the category are doing?

    How is this different than, say, standing in the middle of a Barnes & Noble for an hour, and seeing that one person bought a copy of Book X and then deciding that Book X is more popular than Book Y?

    (Or to put it another way, LOVE IS THE LAW on Bookscan has five times the sales of A THRONE OF BONES. Why wouldn’t it? The latter book is primarily an e-book play; the hardcover is only available used on amazon, so it’s likely out of print in that edition. Its sales won’t be measured as effectively by Bookscan as a book printed and placed in stores will.)

    Oh, and I’m glad to see that you finally admitted (to someone else) that Larry in fact wasn’t talking about authors having to pass a political litmus test. As when you said: “The idea was that your politics barred entry to the clique. Please review Larry’s comments on the same going all the way back to SP1.” (

    (Which, I’ll remind you, for a fifth time, that I did and showed that you were wrong: and that’s when you decided to start lying to me, liar:

    PS: Here’s something else that’s sure to blow your mind: I teach at a college! Embraced by the academy against which I committed “fraud”!

  26. GK

    You made the following claim in your post at May 2, 2015 at 7:44 am:

    “I base this on the fact that some stories became magically good in the anti-puppies crowd as they were withdrawn from the award.”

    You claimed that this was all apparent from “go back to the threads when the withdrawls were announced or read the twitter feeds. Suddenly authors became readable again.”

    Beyond this incredibly vague and unspecific note, you have not provided ANY examples of such reviews. I would very much like to see them, and would greatly appreciate if you could provide a few links.

  27. “One point I made on the show: the term-paper clients had to sign a waiver saying that they would not present the paper as their own work. And when they’d lie to me, or I thought they would, I’d turn them in.”

    Hi-larious. That’s definitely going on the blog later today. I wonder how many new Puppies you personally are going to create.

    Talk about an answer to Voltaire’s Prayer. Nick, I don’t know that I could invent a more useful opponent than you.

    You rhetorically-limited idiots never seem to figure out that although we prefer dialectic, we can use rhetoric too. Now, whatever shall we call you… I think McCheater will do nicely.

  28. oh look. GK and XD have united to decide that Nick is a great big poopyhead and a LIAR. Nevermind the numerous people in the last two weeks that have shown xd and GK to not know what they’re talking about, and to get confused by simple reading comprehension. Truly a historic meeting of the minds.

    And then to top it off Mr. Beale shows up to tell us how he can use rhetoric SO GOOD, by… spending his time mocking Nick. I’m not sure where “I’m going to make up a name for you and then call you it” is rhetoric, but it probably involves a swingset.

  29. Hi-larious. That’s definitely going on the blog later today. I wonder how many new Puppies you personally are going to create.

    – Theodore Beale

    So you’re gonna make more puppies by repeating something on your hugbox filled with puppies?

    The more you speak the more convinced I am that you don’t understand how anything works, including lying, prose, ethics, logic, rhetoric, finance, college, magnets, marketing, SEO, the internet, or even how to into rhyming meters.

    I read that and assuming he was treated poorly

    – Matt Y

    Note that Larry’s first con report from immediately after attending the con didn’t mention any of the “bad treatment” he whined about recently, and actively contradicts his later claims about mistreatment in several places – it was a really sad case of lying in a way that is immediately and easily checkable, and even sadder that GK Chesterton is slowly running out of his own half-assed lies to tell and is now borrowing from Correia.

  30. ‘ we can use rhetoric too. Now, whatever shall we call you… I think McCheater will do nicely.’

    Wow, Socrates is slapping is forehead and wondering why he didn’t think of that!

  31. McCheater of course is the new character that will replace Patrick Dempsey on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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