The Scarlet Litter 6/21

aka Puppy on a Hot Tin Roof

Today’s roundup brings you Spacefaring Kitten, Gary Farber, Peter Grant, Tom Knighton, Sgt. Mom, Martin Wisse, David Nickle, Edward Trimnell, John Scalzi, N. K. Jemisin, Neil Clarke, David Gerrold, Ferrett Steinmetz, Jonathan Crowe, Andrew Hickey, Jason Cordova, Nicholas Whyte, Tim Hall, Mari Ness, Kevin Standlee, Mark Ciocco, Lis Carey, Vivienne Raper, and Jonathan Edelstein. (Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editors of the day Daniel Dern and James H. Burns.)

Martin Wisse on Wis[s]e Words

“Having a successful boycott is not the point” – June 21

As I said before, Day is following the Tea Party/Breitbart Culture Wars playbook. Gin up outrage, energise your base, focus their attention on the designated enemy, then fleece the suckers. Vox knows how the game is played because he’d been working for Worldnet Daily one of the low rent rightwing clearing houses his daddy had set up until he became too loony even for them. What are the odds on the next instructions of Day, as “leader of the Rabid Puppies”, will next issue instructions that the only proper way to boycott Tor is to instead buy books by goodthink publishers like Baen or his own vanity press?

The key is not to win, the key is to keep the fight going and make some money doing so. That’s been the career path for whole generations of roghtwing bloviators: fart out articles and blogposts and books about the evil of libruls and blag your way onto wingnut welfare. But to do so you need that red meat to keep the suckers in line. Without the month late fauxrage at Gallo’s comments the Puppies wouldn’t have anything to talk about. But this? This they can spin out until long after this year’s Hugo results are revealed.

It’s hard to deal with this. Just ignoring it is one option, not giving the oxygen of publicity to these people, but can obviously backfire. You can’t deal with this thinking these are normal fans, and that just ignoring it will starve this “controversy” of the fuel it needs. People like Day (and Larry and Brad) are perfectly capable of keeping the fire stoked indefinitely. Not responding just cedes ground and helps them keep up the pretence that they’re speaking for some imagined silent majority.


Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“Kittens Will Prevail” – June 21

The culture war in science fiction and fantasy fandom is practically over before it even began — and it sure was the lamest war ever. The thing that has been clear for everybody except the Sad Kennelkeepers is that an overwhelming majority of SFF fans, authors and editors are and have always been liberal, in the broad sense of the word.

Yes, a huge part of fandom consists of unpolitical SFF enthusiasts who may from time to time sneer at pro-diversity people who suggest things they find a bit hardline, such as not reading books by straight white males for a year or something, but they’re still open-minded and tolerant. And sure, there are political conservatives in SFF too, but very few of them are interested in really taking any part in the culture war project lead by Larry Correia, Brad R. Torgersen and Vox Day/Theodore Beale, because they’re aficionados first and political activists second or third (and they, too, are mostly open-minded and tolerant). Importing the culture war dynamic somewhere where the other side is missing is not going to end well.


Gary Farber on Facebook – June 21

I can barely skim the Puppy summaries at FILE 770 any more because I literally start to feel physically ill. These people and their utter lack of interest in facts, their lunatic paranoia, their rationales for justifying every kind of tactic and practice on the grounds of imagining and alleging that their enemies do it, their crazy tropes (the Nazis were really left-wing!; Planned Parenthood is genocidal!; Emanuel A.M.E. Church isn’t a black church!; Tor Books is an leftist ideological publisher!”), literally make me sick. John C. Wright: “The other side consists of people at Tor who regard Tor as an instrument of social engineering, an arm of the Democrat Party’s press department, or a weapon in the war for social justice.” That would be why they publish … John C. Wright. Thirteen of his books so far.


Peter Grant on Bayou Renaissance Man

“Latest developments over the Tor imbroglio” – June 21

Speaking of Vox, he’s taken note of speculation from SJW’s and their ilk that the individuals at Tor who’ve been named in connection with the boycott may be at risk of violence.  Since I’ve seen not a single reference to that – even the vaguest hint – from our side of the fence, I, like him, can only put it down to paranoia, or an utterly warped, twisted sense of reality (or the lack thereof), or deliberate lying.  It’s absolutely insane . . . yet they’re hyping it up.  (Edited to add:  James Sullivan absolutely nailed the process in a comment at Vox’s place.)



Sgt. Mom on The Daily Brief

“Making Blight at Tor” – June 21

And what ought to be the response of those who feel deeply and personally insulted by employees of Tor, such as MS Gallo, and those who clearly stand in agreement with her ill-considered remarks? And what ought Tor to do, over what they already have done? Clean house seems to be the basic consensus; leaving the precise details up to Tor. And to effect that? Some of the offended recommend and are participating in an outright boycott. Some of them – like me – have tastes that run to other and non-Tor published authors, and haven’t bought anything from Tor in years. Others favor purchasing their favorite Tor authors second-hand, and hitting the authorial tip-jar with a donation. I still have the sense that for many of us – after having weathered numerous comments along the same line as MS Gallo’s without much complaint – this was just the final straw.


David Nickle on The Devil’s Exercise Yard

“Art Lessons” – June 21

It seems to me that the life of my father Lawrence is a good example to bring up right now, in this very political culture war about what is at its root, an art form.  The point of doing art, to paraphrase Neil Gaiman, is to make good art. It is not to chase awards, or other sorts of validation; it is not to look enviously at those who do receive those awards, who bask in that validation, and try to supplant them through forces democratic or otherwise.

It would be naive to say that such things don’t happen in communities of proper artists. They do, again and again, and are happening now in this science fiction and fantasy community of proper artists.

But I think my father would have said that the behaviour of the Puppies whether sad or angry, is the one sure sign of not being a proper artist. He would take it as a vulgar sign of weakness. It would earn his quiet but certain contempt.


Edward Trimnell

“Boycott Tor Books, you ask?” – June 21

A few readers have recently emailed me to ask if I plan to join the boycott of Tor Books, or if I publicly support the boycott.

The short answer is: No. But let me give you the longer answer—because this covers some important issues.

First of all: I am on record as disagreeing with the positions of Patrick Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi. (I’ve taken Mr. Scalzi to task on this blog many times.) I’m not as familiar with Moshe Feder and Irene Gallo. But what I have seen of them so far, I don’t evaluate favorably.

That said, I think the boycott is a bad idea. And here’s why:

I dislike the Internet mob—whether it is a rightwing mob, or a leftwing mob. I dislike the Internet’s hive mindset, which says:

“If you say something we don’t like, we’re going to whip up all of our minions into a frenzy, and then destroy your livelihood, or harass you into silence at the very least. Oh—and we’re going to do all of this anonymously, hiding behind bogus screen names, avatars, and IP addresses! And aren’t we courageous!”

That is, of course, exactly what the SJW crowd does. But I’m not one of them—and I’m not a joiner, either. Just because I disagree with John Scalzi & Co. doesn’t mean that I’m eager to flock to the banner of Vox Day and others on the far right.


John Scalzi on Whatever

“Note to WSFS Members: Killing the Best Novelette Hugo is a Terrible Idea” – June 21

[Excerpts two of five points.]

  1. It is unnecessary to get rid of the Best Novelette category in order to “make room” for the Best Saga category. I’m unaware of the need in the WSFS constitution to limit the number of Hugo Awards given out; it’s not a zero sum game. Speaking as someone who has both emceed the Hugos and sat in its audience, I understand the desirability of not having an infinite proliferation of Hugo categories, because the ceremony can be long enough as it is. But that’s not a good enough reason to give one fiction category the axe at the expense of another, nor can I think of another good reason why the inclusion of the “saga” category requires the doom of another fiction category. It is, literally, a false dichotomy.

This false dichotomy is bad in itself, but also offers knock-on badness down the road. For example:

  1. It privileges novel writing over short fiction writing. Bud Sparhawk, a writer and human I admire rather a bit, complained to me once (in the context of the Nebulas) that calling the Best Novel award “the big one,” as many people often do, is an implicit disrespect of the art of short fiction writing, and of the skills of those who write to those lengths.


John Scalzi in a comment on Whatever – June 21

Now, if the Best Saga Hugo proposal hadn’t had tried to unnecessarily murder the Best Novelette category, is it something I could see my way toward voting for?

My current thought about it is “no, not really.” Here’s why: …

[Makes a four-point argument.]




David Gerrold on Facebook – June 21

You can have my Best Novelette Hugo when you pry it out of my cold dead hands.



Jonathan Crowe

“Some Initial Thoughts on a Couple of Hugo Award Amendments” – June 21

The [Best Saga] amendment points out that most sf/fantasy comes out in series nowadays — around two-thirds, they claim — whereas Hugo voters tend to vote for standalone books. According to the proposal,

for the past decade, the Best Novel category has been dominated by stand-alone works, with nine out of the eleven winners being such (and one of the two series novels is a first book in its series). The distribution of Best Novel winners is badly out of step with the general shape of the market, even though the nominees run close to the market trend.

I’d argue that a decade doesn’t give us nearly enough data points. Over the past quarter century, the split between standalone books and series books among Hugo winners is about fifty-fifty — and I’m including the first books of eventual trilogies, such as Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice (2014), Robert J. Sawyer’s Hominids (2003) and Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin (2006). Sequels to have won Hugos include Lois McMaster Bujold’s Paladin of Souls (2004), Vernor Vinge’s Deepness in the Sky (2000), and Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead (1987). Books two and three of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series won Hugos, as did the fourth installments of the Harry Potter and Foundation series. And that doesn’t get into the number of Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan books that have won Hugos as well.

So I’m not sure that the proposal’s premise holds up.


Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!

“Hugo Blogging: Sagas” – June 21

Were the “best saga” award to be brought in *and all books in series to be removed from the “best novel” category*, I would be ecstatic, because that would give more exposure to the standalone novels the field should be producing. As it is, though, it seems likely that it will encourage even further the decline of the field into a niche of thirty-book series called The Chronicles Of The Saga Of Dullworld. When the playing field is already tilted in one direction, tilting it further seems a bad idea.



Nicholas Whyte on From The Heart of Europe

“E Pluribus Hugo, and other proposals (long post)” – June 21

My conclusions on the various proposals: So with a slightly heavy heart – I regret that small-minded slate-mongers have killed off a large part of the wisdom-of-crowds aspect of the Hugo nominations process – I endorse E Pluribus Hugo as the best fix to prevent slates from dominating the process in future without irreparable damage to the credibility of the awards. Edited to add: I no longer think that a “large” part of the wisdom-of-crowds aspect has been killed off.

Three other proposals for reforming the Hugo process have been submitted to Sasquan. One is to abolish the 5% threshold; as I mentioned above, I agree with this faute de mieux, but E Pluribus Hugo removes the threshold requirement anyway, so I would only support it if E Pluribus Hugo is rejected.

I don’t support the proposal to merge two of the short fiction categories and create a “Best Saga” category. The multiple short fiction awards at present reward writers who express their ideas succinctly rather than at big commercial length, and I’m in favour of that. The “Best Saga” proposal doesn’t fix any existing problem but does create new ones – not least of which, who is going to have time to read all the finalists between close of nominations and close of voting?

I do support the “4 and 6” proposal, to restrict voters to a maximum of four nominations rather than five as at present, but to extend the final ballot to include six rather than five finalists. If E Pluribus Hugo is not adopted, the “4 and 6” proposal is a lesser safeguard against slates, in that it becomes much more difficult to marshall your minions to support six slated works if they have only four votes each. And if E Pluribus Hugo is adopted, voters who nominate five candidates will get less value for their nomination than those who nominate four, and so on; the first part of the “4 and 6” proposal seems to me a decent indication to voters that a slightly different nominating strategy is now necessary (even though it’s not actually part of E Pluribus Hugo). As for the second part, I do feel that good work is left off the Hugo ballot every year, and while Mike Scott’s proposal from April (1, 2, 3) would have designed a certain responsiveness in the system specifically in reaction to the slates, I’d prefer a broader, simpler and less slate-dependent change, and I think that expanding the final ballot to six rather than five does that.


Tim Hall on Where Worlds Collide

“E Pluribus Hugo” – June 21

Out of Many, A Hugo, the proposal from Making Light for changing the Hugo Awards voting system in an attempt to fix the problems that came to a head this year.

It uses a Single Divisible Vote, which is a form of proportional system rather than the first-past-the-post system used up to now, and is designed to prevent any well-organised minority from dominating the nominations out of all proportion to their numbers.

I like the system a lot, although the complexity of the counting system means the count must be computerised. It has many of the same advantages as the widely-used Single Transferrable Vote system, though a notable difference is that you don’t need to rank your nominations in any kind of order.


Mari Ness

“Proposed changes to Hugo Awards” – June 21

Moving onto the “KILL THE NOVELETTE CATEGORY ALREADY!” question, well, I’m a short fiction writer, so I’m an interested party here.

First, I’ll note that there’s some precedence for this, with the World Fantasy Award which does not offer a separate category for novelettes. Second, I am deeply sympathetic with the complaints of voters who do not want to check the word count for the short fiction they’ve read, and that the dividing line between novelette and short story has issues because of where it lands (at 7500 words) and that really, novelettes are just long short stories and should be treated like that. Not to mention the complaints that the Hugo ballot is waaaaayyyyyyyy too long as it is. I’ve made that last complaint myself. My understanding is that the novelette category has historically gotten fewer nominations than other categories, so even as a short fiction writer, I fully get the keeeeellll it! keeellllllll it dead! feeling here.


The first problem is the number of eligible short fiction works versus the number of eligible works in most of the other categories. Novels possibly come close, and, with blog posts eligible for the catch-all category of Best Related Work (which this year includes a nominee that isn’t even particularly “related”), that category does as well. Novellas are currently experiencing a resurrection, so those numbers might creep up.

Otherwise – the number of eligible podcasts is in the double digits. The number of semi-prozines and fanzines is also in the double digits; the same names keep popping up in those categories for a reason. The number of eligible graphic novels probably in the triple digits. Films are in the double, maybe triple digits. Television episodes, including cartoons, might pop up to a little over 1000. The number of eligible short stories, in that category alone, is conservatively around 6000. Expanding that category to include works up to 10,000 words will just expand that number.


Kevin Standlee on Fandom Is My Way Of Life

“New Business Is New Business”  – June 21

The deadline for submitting proposals to the Business Meeting this year is August 6, 2015. The procedure for submitting proposals is listed on the Business Meeting page on the Sasquan web site under “New Business Submissions.” The WSFS Rules are published online and are distributed to the members in the progress reports. None of this is secret. And if you have questions about the process, you can write to me or to the entire WSFS business meeting staff through the wsfs-business address

I’ve written a Guide to the Business Meeting that tries to explain this. I’m available to answer questions. I just beg of people to not assume the worst of everything. It’s very frustrating to work this hard and to hear people assuming that it’s all rigged in some way. Well, it’s set up to allow the members who choose to participate in the process to come to a decision in a way that balances the rights of the members as a whole, of the members who attend, of majorities and minorities, of individuals, and of absentees, in a fair manner. However, “fair” and “I got what I personally wanted” are not always the same thing, and it would be wise to keep that in mind when approaching any form of deliberative assembly.


Mark Ciocco on Kaedrin Weblog

“Hugo Awards: Novelettes” – June 21

[Reviews all five nominees]

Novelettes! Good old novelettes! What do you call something that’s longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel? A novella, of course, but that’s too easy. Let’s invent something between a short story and a novella, and call it a novelette! On the one hand, it is a bit odd that SF/F seems to be the only genre in literature that makes this distinction (something about a legacy of SF’s pulpy magazine roots, where different sized works had different pay scales) and it seems rather pointless and confusing for no real reason. On the other hand, it just means we get to read more fiction, which is actually a pretty cool thing. Once again, none of my nominees made the final ballot, but such is the way of short fiction awards. Last year’s Novelettes were pretty darn good (with one obvious and notable exception), and it looks like this years will rival that:…


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine” – June 21

Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine is a 2015 Hugo nominee for Best Semiprozine.

Visually, I found this a lot more appealing than Abyss & Apex, the only other nominated semiprozine I’ve looked at so far. On the other hand, I was not as impressed by the accessible fiction. Also, there seemed to be no means to access the relevant material, i.e, what was actually published during 2014.


Vivienne Raper on Futures Less Traveled

“Reading the Rockets – Best Short Story” – June 21

[Reviews all five nominees.]

First up, Best Short Story. The nominees are:

  • “On A Spiritual Plain”, Lou Antonelli (Sci Phi Journal #2, 11-2014)
  • “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds”, John C. Wright (The Book of Feasts & Seasons, Castalia House)
  • “A Single Samurai”, Steven Diamond (The Baen Big Book of Monsters, Baen Books)
  • “Totaled”, Kary English (Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, 07-2014)
  • “Turncoat”, Steve Rzasa (Riding the Red Horse, Castalia House)

These range between dire and good. And only one of them, in my view, is even remotely worthy of being considered for a Hugo Award (if I’m being charitable). And that, surprisingly, is the military SF story Turncoat.


Jonathan Edelstein in a comment on File 770 – June 21

Officer Pupke


Dear kindly Sergeant Pupke You gotta understand It’s just that we’re fed up-ke About our losing hand; The lefties run the ballot And us they underrate: Golly Moses, that’s why we’re a slate!


Officer Pupke, we’re really upset Our writing never got the love that it ought to get. We’re not really rabid, we’re misunderstood – Deep down, our books are pretty good.


There’s some good!


There is good, there is good There is unread good! In the worst of us, there is some good.



Jonathan Edelstein in a comment on File 770 – June 20

[Parody of ”Guys and Dolls”]

…When you see a guy froth without knowing why You can bet that he’s angry about some CHORF. When you spot a dude sounding like he’s von Krupp Chances are he’s a Pup whose full-measured cup of outrage is up.

When you see Vox Day swear he’ll make Gallo pay And direct all his minions to cut Tor off Call it dumb, call it cloying But the thing that is most annoying Is that he’s only angry about some CHORF….



753 thoughts on “The Scarlet Litter 6/21

  1. Meredith: Bloody! There’s a swear word which I don’t think has anything terrible associated with it.

    Right, I’ll do you for that! Come back here and take what’s coming to you! I’ll bite your legs off!

  2. Camestros,

    I guess what EPH might penalise is what we could call coincidental common voting. I.e a lot of people all nominating a very similar group of works without any prior collaboration.

    That’s a very interesting way of putting it, thanks, but I’d say “without any prior agreement to vote in lockstep for a slate of multiple works” since “collaboration” could also encompass having the kinds of conversations about what we want to vote for that are deemed more acceptable.

  3. Huzzah! I’ve finally caught up with the comments!

    Wait, what? A new round up’s been posted…?

  4. Richard Brandt, OK, but also don’t forget that the “Sad Puppies” slate actually had only one piece of John C. Wright’s fiction, “One Bright Star,” which some of his fans like.

  5. Gabriel F: And it matters that Beale didn’t put Three-Body Problem on its slate. It’s there only because Marko Kloos (who’s impressed the heck out of me and earned my ongoing attention to what he writes next) is a better person than Beale. Likewise, because half a dozen mutually flattering bigots happened not to think of Patterson’s biography of their claimed hero [1], the rest of us are denied whatever chance we might have had to vote on it. The harm is all their fault, mitigated only because some of their chosen beneficiaries turned out to be better than they thought.

    [1]: Seriously, though, can you imagine what they’d make of Heinlein if he were a contemporary author? A libertine, advocating for social experimentation, hostile to traditional religion and anything done purely for tradition’s sake? Yeah, right, sure they’d still venerate him and his work.

  6. ETA: Erm… Oh dear. I didn’t realise it was that long.


    I visited Edinburgh a couple of years ago and my answer to that is: I have no clue how people who live there manage because it was basically a very steep inaccessible hell. Beautiful and charming, but I couldn’t get anywhere.

    London isn’t quite so bad at least on the steep front, but until the recent change to allow wheelchair assistance for trains without booking 24 hours in advance for every step it was pretty awful to get around. I was protesting the requirement (which I felt was discriminatory) with the minor civil disobedience of not booking and then asking for assistance anyway, but it did get me told off in a very patronising manner more than once.

    I have an excellent mental map of museums and galleries in part because their loos are accessible and free. 😀 (I have an extended rant about difficulties opening the doors and cleaners not understanding that the alarm cord has to reach the floor, but mostly accessible.) (The disabled loo in the British Library has an electric door! I was very excited. I could get in without fifteen rolls back and forth trying to wheel forwards and open the very heavy door at the same time.)

    I would sign any petition to flatten a lot more of the curbs in London (and England generally – also the world) as I’m a puny wheelchair user and curbs are not my friend. Some places have a very clever solution to stairs that can’t be turned into a ramp. I wish more of them adopted something like that, but it has to be summonable without needing a companion.

    A lot of shops anywhere in England aren’t fully accessible, some for good reasons (really tiny shop) and others because they didn’t bother (I’m looking at you, House of Fraser), and that’s pretty rough. London is a little better than most just because there are so many options, and I visited a comic shop in Peterborough that had a very decent amount of floor space that was basically heaven, but in general its not good.

    Also eating out is an enormous pain in the ass!

  7. Dishonest Troll:

    “OK, but also don’t forget that the “Sad Puppies” slate actually had only one piece of John C. Wright’s fiction, “One Bright Star,” which some of his fans like.”

    The question isn’t if he has fans. The questions is if those fans would be enough to win using honest methods. As the work was on a list for block voting, highly endorsed by Wright himself, we can’t get an answer on that.

    What we have got an answer for is that Wright is a man who encourages dishonesty in voting.

  8. @Bruce Baugh

    I’m very curious to see what turns up on the full nominating list to see what should’ve been on the ballot. I plan to seek them out and read them, and I’ll check out Patterson’s biography whether it would’ve had the nomination or not.

  9. @ Brian Z (dammit!)

    Richard Brandt, OK, but also don’t forget that the “Sad Puppies” slate actually had only one piece of John C. Wright’s fiction, “One Bright Star,” which some of his fans like.

    SO WHAT? The Sads didn’t carry the votes – the Rabids did. The Sads are ultimately irrelevant except where the slates overlapped.

    It’s nice how you jump from the Rabids to the Sads whenever it suits your narrative. And how you ignore people’s valid points in favor of continuing your empty arguments.

  10. Meredith: Me too. Should be a lot of good reading in what got bumped off by the egoism of lying whiners.

  11. @Brian Z.
    Richard Brandt, OK, but also don’t forget that the “Sad Puppies” slate actually had only one piece of John C. Wright’s fiction, “One Bright Star,” which some of his fans like.

    Hadn’t forgotten, actually. Have you forgotten that there was another slate?

    When you have a response that actually addresses the point in good faith and isn’t just an attempt to derail the conversation with irrelevancies, we’ll be here reading.

    (Holy crap, that’s the only takeaway you had from my comment?)

  12. John Seavey,

    if there is an organized movement whose leaders and prominent figures (ie Torgersen, Correia, Williamson, Wright, Beale) all express clear opinions on race, gender, and sexual preference you don’t agree with, then you should stop identifying as a member of that movement. This isn’t like still enjoying ‘Ender’s Game’ even though OSC is a jerk, this is like saying, “Well, I’m still a member of the Klan, but I’m mostly in it for the picnics.”

    John, respectfully, I don’t identify as a member of any movement, among the current gaggle of US presidential candidates I am most sympathetic to the voice of Bernie Sanders, and I don’t much like the kind of science fiction and fantasy Brad Torgersen decided to slate for fan awards.

    Though if there are puppies among us who think they fit the bill you described, maybe they can respond.

  13. Richard Brandt,

    (Holy crap, that’s the only takeaway you had from my comment?)

    Let me expand:

    I just think he’s arguing entirely in bad faith.

    What do you think is my goal?

    the term “slate voters” would be using it to refer to “people who voted for slates.”

    Will you accept “lockstep voters”?

    Why suggest considering whether something is possible, when you can just ask us to think about whether it “might be possible”?

    To help you put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

    While it might be possible that some Sad Puppy followers had no interest in voting a straight ticket, I suggest that the voting results are not possible without most of them voting the straight ticket.

    “The voting results are not possible without most of them voting the straight ticket” is incorrect. How many did, we’ll have a better idea in August.

    (What’s the opposite of “mindlessly voting the straight ticket”? Mindfully doing so?)

    Ask the Reverend Mother of Snark.

  14. Dishonest Troll:

    “I just think he’s arguing entirely in bad faith.

    What do you think is my goal?”

    Same as for all trolls:

    1) Steal energy.
    2) Feed on reactions.
    3) Make people have a worse time than they otherwise would.

  15. Brian Z. What do you think is my goal?

    a) waste as much time and energy of the people here as possible,
    b) while spreading vast amounts of lies and disinformation
    c) which is sympathetic to the Puppies
    d) and discourages passage of E Pluribus Hugo
    e) and discourages the use of “No Award”,
    f) while simultaneously engaging in shameless narcissistic self-promotion of your new blog.

    Did I miss anything?

  16. Brian Z:

    So you’re admitting that a) through e) are true.

    Thanks for that clarification.

  17. Lenora Rose, re: soothing read-alouds –

    The fantasy authors that come immediately to mind are Patricia McKillip and Meredith Ann Pierce, two authors I reread specifically to get lost in their lyrical use of language.

    *Thinks longingly of collection of McKillip paperbacks still languishing in storage…*

    My husband and I read books to each other, and I’ve chosen a few of of McKillip’s books for that exercise (Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Shadows Over Ombria, and the Riddlemaster trilogy). The other day, he said he’d rather like to do a re-read-aloud of Riddlemaster — first read-aloud repeat he’s asked for. This time, he says he should be the one to read it to me. Which would be awesome, because he might be less susceptible than I am to crying like a baby through the final chapters of Harpist in the Wind. The emotional experience is one of the (other) reasons I reread it, but it’s kind of embarrassing to have it choke down the vocal cords during a read-aloud.

    We also read Pierce’s Darkangel trilogy together, but he was less enthusiastic because of the way Aeriel seemed required by the narrative to be slow to catch on. I expect this wouldn’t be a disrecommendation in your case, in that it should not be a problem with any but the most discerning of infants.

    Whee, first use of the Edit button!

  18. JJ:

    No, no, then you have to say “I never said you were a drunkard.” My word, have you no respect for the classics?

  19. @Alan Ziebarth: “And speaking of song parodies, does Correia rhyme with Maria. Just asking.”

    Yes, it does. You should have no trouble doing what I think you’re doing. 🙂

    @Pluviann: (tie-ins and novelizations)

    I was particularly happy with Peter David’s novelizations of some of the Marvel movies. He used the extra space to add some more depth, including several Easter eggs and references to the larger Marvelverse.


    I see your toe/tow and rein/reign, and raise you rein/reign/RAIN and pore/pour. 😀

    Yes, I’ve seen people include “rain” in that triptych of confusion.

  20. @Meredith

    I visited a comic shop in Peterborough that had a very decent amount of floor space that was basically heaven,

    I live in Peterborough. The comic shop (we only have one) is wonderful for lots of reasons. Light, airy, plenty of space, a nice friendly person working there. It has only been open for about a year.

    Anyway onto Doctor Who tie-in novels. It is interesting to note that four people associated with the New Adventures have interesting non-tie-in genre series on the go at the moment. Ben Aaronovitch and Paul Cornell have been talked about quite a bit. Rebecca Levene has her Hollow Gods series (starts with Smiler’s Fair), and Philip Purser-Hallard has his Devices trilogy (starts with The Pendragon Protocol). All are worth reading.

  21. rcade: ” If the person I quote doesn’t want to talk to me, that’s fine. The comment’s not just intended for that person.”

    No, of course not. But then the person you quote is entitled to respond. Is that not the case?

    Redwombat: ” I think you’ve been super calm in the face of what was occasionally rather a lot of provocation.”

    Yes, it’s so easy to be calm when one is being hugged and cuddled. The woman who gets angry when provoked is clearly a bad person because we all know nice girls don’t get angry.

  22. Thanks to everyone who managed to parse my post and realise that I was referring to claims made by puppies, not making those claims myself. Those who missed it: your comments are misaimed and irrelevent.

    rrede – I rise from my fainting couch only momentarily to say “you can keep your shitty insinuations that I don’t care to talk about sf because I’ve had to spend my comments responding to people instead of talking about sf and shove them you prat” and then I faint dead away.

  23. @Gully Foyle: gravatar test

    Um, I’m no doctor, but maybe you oughta have someone take a look at that… 😉

    @Gabriel F.: (Farscape swearing)

    The box set is on my shelf, honest. It just hasn’t bubbled up to the top of the media mountain yet.

    For the curious, the peak of Mt. Media is currently and in no particular order: The rest of Hogan’s Heroes (from season 4 on; disc 1 is currently in the player), Predestination, Lord of Illusions, Prince of Darkness, Bubblegum Crisis (on Blu-ray!), an Alice Cooper concert, RoboCop 2 and 3, Lucy, the Genesis “Three Sides Live” concert, Dracula Untold, and the Criterion release of A Night to Remember. Under that are various other discs, mainly TV seasons: Orphan Black 1 and 2, Arrow 2, Haven whichever-that-is-maybe-4, Dark Angel complete, Under the Dome 2… and that only clears out what’s right here in reach. There’s much more in the main room.

    And on top of that, I may finally have a full first draft of that smutty NA romance I’m editing in hand by the end of the month. The author tweeted earlier tonight that the end is near, which may mean that he can get her ass to work on hir tie-in shorts before I am forced to utter the eight-letter D-word in their general direction. (The confusing pronouns are intentional; the author refuses to state a preference and will answer to all the ones I’ve used so far.)

  24. @Meredith: (Bloody!)

    Bloody and bleedin’ just seem too tame to me. Sure, I’ll use ’em, but much like I would “hell” or “damn” – which is a fine class of words, but not when you wish to convey something truly bleep-worthy.

    As for “crikey,” see also “gee” and “zounds,” to name only the first two that came to mind. Not that I object to using profanity (or obscenity, really), but it’s amazing how many Bad Words are or derive from insults to large groups.

    @the whole Brian Z EPH BS:

    At this point, I’ve written Brian off as an active obstacle. I do not care whether he cannot or will not be reasoned with on this subject, because it does not matter. Engaging with him is a waste of time and spoons, and I recommend against it.

    @Meredith, later: “Also eating out is an enormous pain in the ass!”

    Oh, we have that here in the States. Depending on preference and location, we call it either “Krystal,” “White Castle,” or “Taco Bell.” 😀

    Yes! Caught up at last!

    What, new roundup? No, can’t be. Not until next diurnal interval.

    (checks watch and time zone)

    Oh, bloody ‘eck.

  25. @andyl

    Close Encounters, right? I was there earlier this year and I was very impressed. Good staff, decent selection, fantastic turning circles. The only problem is I wouldn’t stand a snowballs of getting in or out without help as that entryway is veeery steep. I almost tipped right out of the wheelchair going down because it started tipping over before my partner grabbed the back.

    @Rev. Bob

    Yes, it is very mild. Sigh.

  26. @Meredith

    Yep that’s the one. They also have shops in Bedford and Northampton that have been around a bit longer although I don’t know if they are as spacious inside.

  27. Lenora Rose on June 22, 2015 at 8:31 pm said:

    I blame Pratchett for the fact that I, and my son, know all 5 verses to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, instead of the single one everyone knows.

    Wretched, aren’t they? It strikes me there’s a reason people only remember the first verse.

    Very small children in my family know all the verses for sarcasm.

  28. Gabriel F. on June 22, 2015 at 10:02 pm said:

    @ Dex

    My ex husband stole random books out of all my series when I moved out. He waited til I boxed them up, then went behind my back and did things like stealing books 1 and 3, or 4 and 5, just at random so I could no longer re-read my favorite series without re-buying the books. I was SO MAD. I’m one of those people who tries never to crease the cover or break the spine too, so replacing them with undamaged used books was a nightmare and my budget was very tight at that time.

    In the long run, compared to stalking me and killing our mutual pets, it wasn’t as big a deal, but it was just really crappy and petty.

    Wow, that was a dick move.

  29. Gabriel F: My ex husband stole random books out of all my series when I moved out. He waited til I boxed them up, then went behind my back and did things like stealing books 1 and 3, or 4 and 5, just at random so I could no longer re-read my favorite series without re-buying the books. I was SO MAD. I’m one of those people who tries never to crease the cover or break the spine too, so replacing them with undamaged used books was a nightmare and my budget was very tight at that time.

    In the long run, compared to stalking me and killing our mutual pets, it wasn’t as big a deal, but it was just really crappy and petty.

    I have a horrible ex — but as petty and nasty and vindictive as the things they did for years, they didn’t come close to the things you’ve described having to endure.

    I’m so sorry that you went through this. I’m very glad you made it out — and I hope that you’ve managed to heal from what must be some pretty horrific memories.

  30. @ Gabriel F – Jesus! I’m so sorry you had to deal with that, and glad things are better now.

  31. Hampus Eckerman on June 22, 2015 at 10:08 pm said:
    Brian Z:

    ““Slate voters,” however, is neither here nor there.”

    No, they are most definitely here. Occupying the majority of the ballot with subpar works. You are arguing like a tobacco lobbyist, always trying to sow doubt regardless of facts.

    Ha! Great comparison, Hampus. It fits perfectly.

  32. Brian Z: it would be good to have an independent review of the amendment before ratification

    At least five people have been reviewing it using the 1984 nominating ballots, and they’ve also been testing with data sets created for the purpose. AFAIK they’re working independently. (You probably weren’t paying attention to their results: except in one case, they’re getting the same results for 1984.)

  33. Also, Kilo’s offered up the data set he assembled at my request – a bunch of votes matching the info we have on the 2013 voting plus a slate, which seems like it’d be handy for evaluating. Anyone who wants to do independent testing with it can, and indeed someone did, and got the same results once a point of detail was cleared up.

    It’s really a great model for community effort.

  34. @Brian Z.
    What do you think is my goal?

    To waste my time. (Well, I’m sure you have other goals, such as wasting other peoples’ time.)

    Will you accept “lockstep voters”?

    No. While the actual problem is people “bloc voting” the slate, “slate voting” is an acceptable shorthand for people voting the entire slate. Why do you act as if calling it something else will make it less offensive to one party or more acceptable to another?

    In truth, I do wish people would focus more on the “bloc voting” aspect, but the problem when people are obviously bloc-voting an entire slate is that it argues against each having independently concluded that the slate represented the best choices they could find in their year’s reading.

    “The voting results are not possible without most of them voting the straight ticket” is incorrect.

    If you argue (as you have. although of course you couch it in the kindest possible terms) that Rabid Puppies had greater success in “lockstep-voting” their slate onto the ballot, then the fact that when one of the short story nominees withdrew, the replacement was a story which appeared only on the Sad Puppies slate, suggests that the Sad Puppies were bloc-voting either (a) in nearly as great numbers as the Rabid Puppies or (b) in nearly as coordinated a fashion. That the two Sad Puppies picks which the Rabid Puppies forced off the initial ballot didn’t then both make it onto the ballot in a tie suggests either (a) the Sad Puppies turnout wasn’t 100% in lockstep or (b) the odd stray vote for the nominee that made the ballot.

    By the way, in case you couldn’t tell from my response, I consider being ordered to “Try to think” about something as vaguely insulting; as if thinking about your hypothesis would require an extraordinary effort on our part; as if thinking is something to which we’re not really accustomed; as if we might not already have evaluated your hypothesis and found the evidence lacking.

    By the way, as if you needed any further persuasive evidence that the Rabid Puppies had the greater impact on the ballot, consider the mysterious case of the missing novel.

    Sad Puppies had five picks for Best Novel. Four of them were also picked by the Rabid Puppies and received enough votes to make the ballot (Larry Correia declined his nomination however). The fifth Sad Puppies pick, Charles E. Gannon’s Trial by Fire, didn’t make the ballot. This suggests that without the additional votes from Rabid Puppy supporters, Sad Puppies didn’t have enough support to get a novel onto the ballot. Especially since when Correia declined his nomination, the replacement wasn’t the missing Puppy pick.

    When Marcus Kloos withdrew his nomination, again the replacement wasn’t the missing Gannon pick, but The Three-Body Problem. This even further supports the claim that Sad Puppies either didn’t have the numbers, or, as you’d probably prefer to think of it, didn’t vote sufficiently in mindless lock-step, to get the Sad Puppy picks onto the novel ballot.

    Of course, this also argues against the Puppy claim that “SJW’s” have been doing the same thing since time immemorial. Since at least one novel was popular enough to make the ballot in spite of the Rabid Puppies’ ballot-stuffing, logic dictates that it would have been on the ballot anyway whether a relatively small cabal was pushing it or not. If the “SJW’s” have been bloc-voting their “slates” onto the ballot for years, they should have been able to keep Rabid Puppies from being so successful unless they were simply overwhelmed by the RP’s numbers.

    You could argue that the extraordinary number of nominating ballots for Redshirts and Ancillary Justice, which each broke the record for number of nominating ballots received, simply reflect the ballooning of Worldcon membership in recent years. However, this would suggest that the “Sekrit SJW Cabal” would have had less influence in recent years, as the number of ballots required to put a book onto the ballot have surged past the the minimum requirement in previous years, as has the number of ballots required to suppress a really popular title.

    But this would also suggest that as the SJW’s influence has waned, Hugo ballots in recent years would have been less dominated by the kind of fiction that sets Puppies off so.

    (The wild card in discussing this year’s results is the novel that Rabid Puppies picked to replace Gannon’s on their slate: Brad Torgersen’s The Chaplain’s War. It’s possible that without the combined efforts of Sad and Rabid Puppy voters, neither slate had the clout on its own to get titles onto the Best Novel ballot, since it is the category which attracts the most nominating voters. On the other hand, since Brad had announced he was recusing himself from Sad Puppies 3, it’s vaguely possible that Brad’s book received enough nominations to make the ballot, and he simply declined the nomination, without feeling the need to crow about it like Larry did. I don’t consider it all that likely [although I encourage you to try and think whether it might be possible] and I suppose the final numbers will tell us something.)

  35. @Brian

    This is a little surreal. I said:

    This is what everyone objects to:
    1. Lock-step voting

    You said:

    And I objected to it too.

    But then you said:

    “Slate voters,” however, is neither here nor there

    It’s exactly the same thing. How you both object to it and also think it’s niether here nor there?

    Try to think about whether it might be possible that most (clearly not all) of the stalwart volunteers in the puppy brigades have no interest in mindlessly voting a straight ticket.

    Yes, I can think about this easily. I’ve seen a few comments on posts about the whole SP3 debacle from people claiming to be Sad Puppies who didn’t vote the exact slate. Most seems highly unlikely to me, but we won’t have a better idea until the ballots come back (and even then, TruFen and Sad Puppies aren’t numbered).

    Perhaps they saw the puppy campaign as a way to raise interest and attention for a variety of authors, or to draw lots more people into the fan award process (not inherently bad!)

    But what is the one major action that SP3 have taken that has raised interest and attention for a variety of authors? Bloc-voting the slate.

    so I feel the term “slate voter” unfairly tars them all with the same brush.

    I feel the term ‘slate voter’ is a fair term to describe ‘puppies’ in general. Not because everyone who sympathises with the puppies necessarily bloc-voted, but because bloc-voting is the only action that puppies have taken as a group.

  36. I was going to beg to differ that Great Lakes Brewery is in Cleveland and googled to confirm, and the first page is all Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland hits. I had to add Ontario to get the hit, despite the slight name difference. I guess Google wants me to stick to drinking Burning River Pale Ale.

  37. Meredith –

    That is ingenious! I was mostly thinking of shop and restaurant loos and overall maneuverability space… And trying to navigate the underground. So many stops that a wheelchair can’t get to!

    Thanks for sharing more about your experiences!

  38. Pluviann: slate voter’ is a fair term to describe ‘puppies’ in general… because bloc-voting is the only action that puppies have taken as a group

    … apart from the “Tor Boycott” — which was of dubious effect.

  39. @Mike Glyer
    Richard Brandt: Brad Torgersen did not decline a nomination. I checked with him and reported on this

    Mike, thanks for pointing this out! That tends to reinforce my initial impression, that neither Sad Puppies nor Rabid Puppies seemed to have the voting strength required to fill the Best Novel ballot on their own. Had I only started following File 770 on this topic sooner, the mental gyrations I might have spared myself.

  40. @Nicholas Whyte: Back when I could drink real beer, I went to a restaurant and the waitress said they had Belgian beer. You know, Stella Artois.

    (Having said that, I agree with you. But you should try something from Ommegang or Unibroue next time you’re in North America.)

  41. And @Rev. Bob and @Alan Ziebarth you can go fuck yourselves.

    One argument about a single comment and now I’m getting snide remarks about filks being written about me? Now I’m as famous as Correria?

    The puppies are wrong, there’s no evidence that there is a cabal cutting them out of the awards, a fair look at the winners, losers and runners-up shows no evidence of bias or collusion; but I can see how they got that impression – if you make one wrong move – criticise the wrong person or say something wrong then people get their hackles up and start acting like cliquey snide twats.
    No wonder they didn’t feel welcome, when they *actually* disagreed with you on substantial stuff, no wonder they felt like they were being shut out – I practically feel like that and there’s nothing to shut me out of – except you guys being nice to me. I think you need to take a long hard look at yourselves and ask yourself if you’re really treating people the way you should.

  42. Richard Brandt,

    Just catching up to this.

    This even further supports the claim that Sad Puppies either didn’t have the numbers, or, as you’d probably prefer to think of it, didn’t vote sufficiently in mindless lock-step, to get the Sad Puppy picks onto the novel ballot.

    Well, if you acknowledge that both are possibilities, isn’t it premature to call them bloc voters (or your preferred term, slate voters)?

  43. Brian Z: Well, if you acknowledge that both are possibilities, isn’t it premature to call them bloc voters (or your preferred term, slate voters)?

    If you look at all the Hugo categories, no, it’s not at all “premature” to call them bloc voters or slate voters. That’s what they are.

    And what does it matter what terminology you use?

    The Hugo nominations process is going to be fixed, and after next year it’s not going to be a problem any more.

  44. Reposting from the newer thread:

    Hi, MariaVonIt’sATrap, I’m glad to see you’re still here.

    I got an e-mail notification with your last frustrated post in the other thread, and I wanted to say it seems as though there’s been such a huge misreading on both sides there, and it’s really regrettable.

    At first I thought you were a huge troll — and then I read your initial posts again more closely and realized that the way you posted them, they weren’t formatted in such a way that it was clear that in certain passages you were quoting Puppies, rather than saying those things yourself.

    Not surprisingly, you got very bad reactions from other commenters who read your posts the same way I had initially, to what appeared to be Puppy trolling because of the formatting failures, which prompted bad reactions on your part, and then it just sort of spiralled out of control.

    Then someone asked if “Maria” rhymed with “Correia” — which you apparently took as a reference to you… and maybe I read it wrong, but I got the impression the other person was implying doing a filk to “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Correia?” from The Sound of Music, and not referring to you at all.

    Some of your posts, to me, seemed pretty clearly to be in good faith, and it’s really a shame that this has happened. I hope you’ll stick around and give other commenters the opportunity to recognize this, too.

    There should be “b” and “i” and “quote” buttons up there ^, which you can use to make it clear when you’re quoting others. It helps to put “VD: ” or “Puppies: ” or the commenter’s name in front of quotes, to make the attribution clear.

    Anyway, glad you’re still around.

    And including the response:

    MariaVonIt’sATrap on June 24, 2015 at 7:21 am said:

    Hi JJ, thanks. I think you’re right, I misread an innoccuous reference as referring to me. I will look into the formatting problem and see if I can be more clear in the future. Glad to be here still too 🙂

  45. @Rev. Bob and @Alan Ziebarth It seems I owe you an apology, if my comment makes it out of moderation (lets hope it doesn’t). Sorry, I think I misread you and thought you were talking about me when you weren’t – thanks to JJ for pointing that out.

    Edit: I see you made it before me JJ, thanks again!

  46. Brian Z

    This even further supports the claim that Sad Puppies either didn’t have the numbers, or, as you’d probably prefer to think of it, didn’t vote sufficiently in mindless lock-step, to get the Sad Puppy picks onto the novel ballot.

    Well, if you acknowledge that both are possibilities, isn’t it premature to call them bloc voters (or your preferred term, slate voters)?

    Not at all. Sad Puppies were clearly in support of a slate this year, regardless of the degree of support and the discipline in voting straight-ticket. Given that, calling them slate voters is a fair call, as it’s a strategy they are fully in support of. Or are there any significant Sad Puppies who are opposed to slate voting, and have said so publicly?

    BtW Brian, I assume you have no issues with calling Rabid Puppies slate voters?

  47. @MariaVonIt’sATrap:

    Er. Actually the matter of rhyming “Maria” and “Correia” was originally brought up some small time before you showed up here, immediately in the wake of a brilliant parody of “Officer Kruppke” and in the context of satires using Broadway show tunes. Nothing to do with you, to be sure.

    As for snappishness, well, I was honest about being confused by your first post here. It read like some of the crazy rants drive-by Puppy posters have plopped in here, and while it was clear you were saying something passionately, it wasn’t immediately clear what that was.

    I think there was a tangle of misunderstanding around your initial posts. I apologize for my part in it.

    I hope you do stick around. This place is not really a unified community, but perhaps because of that it has a certain courtesy and openness to lots of viewpoints.

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