Welpendämmerung 6/13

aka Operas in The Collar Cycle by Wagger, also including Das Whinegold, Die Walkies, and Sig-Flea’d

Saturday’s roundup brings you Matthew Foster, Gray Rinehart, Gary McGath, Allum Bokhari, Vox Day, Barry Deutsch, Adam-Troy Castro, A (W) Hendry, Tom Knighton, Eric Flint, George R.R. Martin, Lis Carey, Spacefaring Kitten, Russell Blackford and Ken Richards. (Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editors of the day Octavia, Camestros Felapton and Kyra, as inspired by Scott Frazer’s original idea.)

Matthew Foster at Foster on Film

“What’s the Point? Human Minds and Sad Puppies” – June 13

So, how does this end? Not with Eric persuading or David Gerrold’s call for respect. Not with valentines saying “All is forgiven” and kumbayas. We, humans, are creatures of grudges. We should try to be better beings, but never forget reality while doing so. Those who forget history…

There will be no ending, no defined finish. But there can be, and almost certainly will be, a fading. There will be fewer articles, fewer rants, fewer votes cast for political reasons. It can gently drift away until it is a footnote. Or it can lessen, but still split fandom for years to come. How this works out depends on how it fades. If enthusiasm dies quicker from the anti-pups, the results will be less equality than in recent years, a continuation of the dominance of white authors, a touch less innovation in known writers, a reduction in the quality of writing, and a greater acceptance of minor racism and sexism in fandom, (keeping in mind those grand statements only apply to awards and to a corner of fantasy and science fiction fandom—the Pups are not going to be altering racism in general society—so how big a deal this is to you depends on how close you are to that corner). If it dies quicker in the Pups, things will float closer to how they were: increasing equality, a lessening of dominance of white authors, more innovation, and greater condemnation of racism and sexism (still just in our pocket of fandom—again, don’t get too excited by those lofty phrases). Either way, the effects will not be that large, except for The Hugos, where the awards will lose some of their prestige if the Pups end up more on top, and slowly gain most of it back if the Pups end up on bottom.

Of course things could get worse. New Pup leaders could arise who have the charm of Vox and the mouth of Larry. We could start getting death threats and rape threats.

I expect a very slow fade, with people snapping at each other for a few years at least, and grumbling when alone with their colleagues for many years. I hope the Pups will fade faster, but as it will be most likely determined by general fatigue, there’s no way to know. One “side” could fade faster (keeping in mind there really is only one side to this mess—the Pups are the side; everybody else are just fans who got stuck in a fight they didn’t ask for) if its leaders faded. If Vox or Brad or Larry were to go through some life change, or just get caught up in other matters, the Pups would fade faster and we’d have less Puppy smell. There are no leaders in the fans who dislike the pups, but some, like John Scalzi, David Gerrold, and George R.R. Martin might have more of an effect if they walked away in disgust.

So, what’s my point? Why do I write all these words over so many posts? Partly it is an obsession to support what I think is right, even when it will make very little difference. Partly it is because I know how she felt about the Pups, and would feel about their mess, though she’d have said a great deal less about it. Partly it is to help out friends. Partly it is to whip up the troops as I’d prefer less Puppy smell. Partly it is to be part of the community. But mainly, for me, it is a distraction. Because this was Eugie’s world, it feels a little important, and because it is not what I spent my time doing before, it doesn’t feel lonely, which makes it a good distraction. And that is the point.


Gray Rinehart on GhostWriter

“Halfway to the Hugos” – June 13

To aid the casual reader, here’s what I plan to cover in this overly-long post: – My disappointment, but also my ambivalence, at the way things have been characterized – The metaphor I’ve most recently developed to describe the situation I’m in – Some Scripture verses I am trying to hold on to as this process unfolds – My regret at being unable to attend the upcoming ceremony Forewarned is forearmed. Now, knowing what’s coming, if you don’t want to read the rest that’s perfectly fine…..

When the plane landed in Nomination City, some of us were surprised, because we expected to land in Passed-Over-Ville. (Every other time people have told me they nominated one of my stories, I haven’t even made the post-award long list, so I didn’t expect this time to be any different.)

It seemed that the plane had been hijacked. When the flight subsequently took off from Nomination City, en route to Hugotown, the reaction to the hijacking was loud and angry. Some passengers snuck off the plane during the Nomination City stop, and a couple bailed out later; I’m not sure yet if their parachutes worked, if they made safe landings, or if anyone has picked them up out of the wilderness. I hope they’re okay.

The more it looked like a hijacking, the more some people on the ground talked as if they wanted to shoot down the plane; some of them seem determined to do so, even if only with their own personal weapons. Just as worrisome, some of the hijackers have talked as if they want to crash the plane in the middle of Hugotown. My fellow passengers and I are left to wonder if there’s anything we can do to improve our chances of survival.

I’ve been in touch with my friends, both inside and outside the community of fans, throughout the ordeal. Those who contributed to my ticket or who like my work or who support me personally almost all told me that they want me to stay aboard, and ride it out. One person advised me to bail out, parachute or no. Outside my relatively small circle of family and friends, from what I can tell quite a few spectators are glued to their computer screens, watching every agonizing minute of the event; I don’t know if they care a whole lot what happens to me or the other passengers….

Some Closing Thoughts. Whenever we value something highly, when we have invested time or treasure in it and derived some reward (however intangible) from it, and that thing is threatened in some way, we rightly resent and are justified in trying to defend against the threat. That is true whether we are talking about our families and friendships, our homes and personal property, our reputations, or institutions with which we identify. I think sometimes we forget that others have the same right, to defend those things which they value.

Based on that, I understand the impulse on the part of longtime WorldCon participants and serious fen to protect the institution and its flagship award. I understand that barbarians storming the gates, brazenly and with unexpected success, is frightening and naturally foments resentment and anger.

I choose the barbarian example deliberately. Outsiders are labeled barbarians not because that is what they call themselves, but because their language is incomprehensible to the insiders — to the refined ears of the citizens it sounds like “bar-bar-bar” (which among science fiction convention-goers is not, in itself, damning). But the outsiders do have language and culture, however strange it may seem to the citizens: from their own point of view they are not barbarians but Goths, Visigoths, or Ostrogoths; Celts, Huns, or Vandals.

This year’s Hugo-nominating barbarians, unlike historical tribes characterized as such, brought alms with which they gained entry into the city and bought their citizenship: the $40 Supporting Membership. And they brought their own opinions — perhaps studiously formed, perhaps informed or even influenced by others – which they expressed in the nomination process. They joined the community, but some of the original citizens still see them as barbarians, as outsiders, and seethe. I understand that, and I have seen the results in some of the reviews and comments about my own nominated story.

So I offer this: Reading should be a pleasure and a joy, and if any Hugo Award voter is upset at the way my novelette wound up on the ballot and has not read it yet, I encourage them and give them my full permission to ignore my entry completely.


Gary McGath on Building My World

“On the Sad Puppies” – June 13

I’ve kept my distance from the “Sad Puppies” controversy in the Hugo Awards. I’m not registered for the upcoming World Science Fiction Convention, and I don’t follow a lot of current science fiction, so I couldn’t cast an informed vote without a lot of extra work. I have noticed quite a bit of nastiness from the anti-Puppy faction, including sniping at the people nominated because of the Sad Puppy and Rabid Puppy slates. If you dislike the methods of promotion, that’s fine, but attacking people for being nominated and failing to decline the nomination isn’t. It exemplifies the growing illiberalism and intolerance that I’ve seen in fandom….

There’s an outside chance that my Tomorrow’s Songs Today could be nominated next year in the category of “best related work,” and I’ve thought about whether I’d want that. Some people would very likely lump me, because of my views, with the Puppy faction, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few alleged friends turn on me. If it happens, I think I’d do more good by giving them reasoned responses than by running away from the situation.


Allum Bokhari on Breitbart.com

“TORpedoed! Media narrative on Hugo Awards incorrect, says Tor Books founder” – June 13

Because their chief opponents were a set of hard-line progressive authors hell-bent on ostracizing anyone who challenged their ideology, the Puppies were attacked by multiple media outlets as a force of ‘white male reaction’.

This panicked narrative has taken yet another blow after an intervention by Tim Dohety, the founder and president of Tor books, one of the most influential publishing houses in sci-fi. Writing on the Tor’s blog, the 43-year veteran of the publishing industry acknowledged that media stories portraying the Sad Puppies as a racist, sexist campaign aimed at promoting white men was entirely inaccurate.


Vox Day on Vox Popoli

“Bokhari on the Tor debacle” – June 13

We are admittedly making some minor, if encouraging, dents in the ongoing SJW onslaught. But while we should be encouraged, we should not be complacent or think that what we have accomplished will not be undone in a heartbeat if we stop paying attention and slip back into pushover mode.

And while it’s great to see the Publisher at the largest SF/F publishing house disavowing the SJW thought-policing in which some of Tor’s editors have engaged for the last decade or more, that doesn’t mean that he is absolved of the need to get his house in order. I have heard, from different sources this time, that Tor Books is very much concerned about the prospect of a boycott, particularly one that is supported by SF/F authors.

Which is interesting, because so far they have been unwilling to do the one thing that will end the matter. Indeed, Tor Books appears to have decided to stand by the broad spectrum insults of its Creative Director and its Associate Publisher. So, let’s see what Macmillan will do. And if they won’t do anything either, well, at least we will know that we gave them every chance to avoid what they apparently wish to avoid.

The key to Tor’s intransigence is their belief that the “thousands of emails” they have received are from “bots”. This is the same narrative #GamerGate has encountered to attempt to minimize its numbers. Therefore, we will need to find a way to demonstrate to Macmillan that those “thousands of emails” represent “thousands of bookbuyers”.



Adam-Troy Castro on Facebook – June 12

You know, there are an awful lot of people weighing in on this Sad Puppy situation, and it’s impossible to single out the very stupidest thing anybody’s said, not when some of the more stupid things actually qualify as signs of mental illness. But Edward Trimnell’s characterization of the kind of fiction the Sad Puppies think they’re advocating against, as excerpted on File 770 this morning, is certainly a monument.


A (W) Hendry

“Totally No Homophobe” – June 13

….Now, I’m not saying that straight white dudes don’t have it slightly easier than everyone else -we live in a society where the ruling class have fostered racism, sexism, and homophobia for centuries to suit their own ends- but the portrayal of heterosexuality, whiteness, or maleness as privileges has the effect of turning our focus away from the things we should be fighting -oppression, injustice, capitalism and class society- onto those things that we can not, and should not, fight -ourselves. The privileges identified by those who take an intersectional approach are unlike the privilege that 99% of the population think of when they hear the term: economic privilege. Unlike economic privilege these privileges can be neither given up nor adopted –no matter how hard some may try– and so, in practical terms, all a focus on them can do is turn introspection into a form of faux activism. It also has the effect of making those with the privileges the centre of attention -which is probably why it is so popular with white middle class kids- rather than the people experiencing the various manifestations of oppression…..

Now, to segue wildly back towards the topic of the Puppies and internet shit squalls, people like John C Wright and Theodore Beale serve a social purpose. They are there to be mocked and to have the piss taken out of them. That is their purpose and that is the full extent of that purpose. Engaging with them in any way beyond this is a distraction from engaging in actual political activity -something that suits them and their ilk down to the ground- and creating a society that has solidarity at its heart and which therefore would be a place unwelcoming of those who would seek to undermine that solidarity. If that’s what a person wants rather than merely wanting to have their ego stroked.

When people like the Puppies pipe up, as they inevitably will, just point, laugh, and carry on not buying their books.



Eric Flint


…Today, that structure is hopelessly outdated. Short form fiction is now a very small part of fantasy and science fiction, whether you measure that in terms of money—where it’s now a tiny percentage of the income authors receive—or in terms of readership. It’s certainly a larger percentage of the readers than it is of income, but it’s not more than 10% and it’s probably closer to 5%.

People who are active in fandom are often surprised to hear this and sometimes think it’s nonsense, but that’s because reading short fiction is much more common in fandom than it is in the general audience for F&SF. There are many more people who only read novels than there are people who read any short fiction at all, much less do something like subscribe to a magazine or regularly read anthologies of short fiction…..

But there is a grain of truth lurking beneath their claim, because it is in fact true that there is a quite heavy bias against popular authors in the way the awards are determined—the Nebulas as much the Hugos. That’s not due to anything conscious on anyone’s part, and it’s not due to any sort of deliberate bias or discrimination. It’s simply inherent in the divergence between the reality of the market and the structure of the awards.

When most popular authors work exclusively or almost exclusively in series or multi-volume works like trilogies and quartets (and quintets, and sextets) and 75% of the awards are given out for short fiction, then it is inevitable that most popular authors will never get a Hugo or Nebula award….

I’d recommend replacing the existing four awards with seven, as follows:

Short Story. Anything up to 7,500 words.

Novelette. Between 7,500 and 17,500 words.

Novella. Between 17,400 words and 40,000 words.

Short Novel. Between 40,000 and 80,000 words.

Novel. Any length above 80,000 words so long as it remains within one cover, if it’s a paper edition. If only an electronic edition exists, it cannot exceed 300,000 words (which is pretty much the effective limit of a paper edition).

Multi-volume Stories. Any length above 80,000 words provided: a) it is divided into at least two volumes in paper editions none of which is shorter than 80,000 words or is more than 300,000 words if it exists only in an electronic edition. And b) it must be a completed work.


George R.R. Martin on Not A Blog

“Hugo Voting Continues” – June 13

Both supporting and attending members get an electronic “Hugo packet” that will enable you to read many of the works nominated for this year’s rockets. You should do that, no matter what side of the Puppy Wars you are on; we want informed voters. Yes, sadly, IMNSHO this is the weakest Hugo ballot in recent memory, thanks to the Puppy slates… but there’s still some damn strong work there, especially in Novel and Dramatic Presentation. And of course it is possible that your own tastes may differ from mine. So join, read, vote. And fifty years from now, when your fannish grandchildren ask you, “Say, gramps, what did you do in the Great Hugo War?” you’ll have an answer for them.


Lis Carey on Lis Carey’s Library

“Departure Gate 34B, by Kary English” – June 13

Kary English is a nominee for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. This is a gentle, melancholy story about a ghost who doesn’t know they’re now a ghost, and the surviving spouse who still loves, but is ready to move on. Enjoyable, even if not a stand-out.



Spacefaring Kitten on Spacefaring Extradimensional Happy Kittens

“Dave ‘Cool Beard but Incoherent Rants’ Freer” – June 12

Okay, let’s start with something positive: Freer has managed to include in the Hugo package one blog post that is actually about SFF books and in which the acronym SJW is mentioned (in the comments) only once. Well done!

Freer seems passionate, and I do like passionate people. Too bad he’s passionate about things I find reprehensible, such as defending sexism with this incoherent rant which consists of satire quotes of nobody knows what and run-of-the-mill anti-feminist bullshit that never stops to make an understandable point. The post is turbocharged with obscure references to cases of supposed “misandry” I may not be familiar with. However, after reading the post, I wasn’t inclined to do any research.


Russell Blackford on Metamagician and The Hellfire Club

“’Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium’ by Gray Rinehart – Hugo Award voting 2015” – June 13

This is another work nominated in “Best Novelette”, and again we have a competent, thoughtful, but not especially distinguished, space adventure. The underlying theme involves conflict between humans and technologically advanced aliens, in this case the Peshari, a lizard-like bunch with a taste for open skies and a morbid distaste (or more than that) for anything to do with digging into the ground. By my standards, which are not binding on anybody else, “Ashes to Ashes” suffers from being far too talky.


Ken Richards on learning the world, one step at a time

“TOM Kratman’s anti war polemic” – June 13

Assembled as a blank slate, ‘newbie’ Maggie is thrust through a vile ‘Boot Camp’ experience, which manipulates and transforms her from an innocent lover of flowers, to a pitiless, immoral killer, always following orders, no matter how reprehensible her actions may be. The sequence recalls the Paris Island Act of ‘Full Metal Jacket’, as we Kratman tells how soldiers are broken as humans and remoulded into unquestioning killers and followers of orders in that age old practice of brutalisation, intended to strip away the since of self, and replace it with the sense of the machine. The final ‘Full Metal Jacket’ reference is saved for the final act, where the scrap metal dealer, the general and the politician (deliberately generic, one-dimensional characters, in contrast to the betrayed heroine) receive, like the brutal drill sergeant, their just reward. Bravo Sir.

669 thoughts on “Welpendämmerung 6/13

  1. @ Gabriel F.
    The Libromancer books are quite excellent. I particularly enjoyed the way the most recent 3rd book expanded the scope of the world in a really natural way. Unfortunately, I suspect that the open-ended nature of the world building and magic is going to to end up biting him in the butt in the long run. The implications and possibilities are going to make it hard to tell a story with appropriate stakes and satisfying solutions.

  2. “Claiming that knowledge that can be obtained from a google search makes someone intelligent when the content of their comment is so clearly off in lala land is very silly”

    “I agree completely.”

    Hmm. What does everybody think, does he not realize that he just called himself silly, or does he think that he cleverly turned that around somehow?

    Given his lack of insight, could be the first, given his debate skills (and lack of insight), could be the second.

    Place your bets!

  3. @Gabriel F

    I’m pissed off about the cult thing. We’re constantly disagreeing! In public! What criteria are they even using?

  4. @ Ryan F.

    Well I know he’s finished the first draft so I’m really looking forward to getting my grubby mitts on the thing. The stuff he randomly posts about it on his facebook are hilarious!

  5. @Maximillian

    My assumption was that he was trying to set a trap, which is why I ignored him. I didn’t think it was likely to be an interesting enough trap to be worth my time.

    @Gabriel F & Ryan H

    I’ve been meaning to read Libriomancer for awhile. Definitely worth doing then. 🙂

  6. @Gabriel F.:

    I’ve read the first two Bibliomancer books, but not the third (yet). Have you checked out Geekomancy and Celebromancy yet?

  7. Gaaah. Libriomancer, Bibliomancer… that’s what I get for letting my brain think it knows other languages. I think I must now punish it by counting from 68 through 99 in French.

  8. Has anyone here besides me read Jim C. Hines’ Libriomancer books? I can’t help but think lots of the folks here would love the concept.

    Yes – I enjoyed them. I was thrown a bit by the first one because (I don’t know why) I was expecting something more comical, when it was actually more action-adventure urban fantasy.
    Fun premise and ir is nice to think of all tge books I own as bring potentially a magical arsenal…

  9. @Gabriel F

    I really enjoyed Libriomancer. The entire concept is awesome. Lena Greenwood is a wonderfully complex character, and Hines makes no bones about the fact that she’s not white and not model-thin.

  10. Please notr: my original message had no typos. I used the secret edit facility to put them in after. Oh and I also deleted that really funny joke we all laughed at and that really wise observation that you all agreed with.

  11. CAmestros: “that really funny joke”

    It was such a hoot, I tweeted it. But then I forgot I’d deleted my twitter account months ago.


  12. @Ann – de Lint!!!!!!

    I didn’t recommend him, but I love almost everything he does. If I remember correctly, you’ve just met the Crow Girls and Raven, right?

    He has a number of very good short story collections as well. Enjoy.

  13. “For your next round up you can include the extended conversation between GRRM and BT in his blog”

    A writer of my acquaintance, older and wiser than myself, has told me that this is worst fight he has ever seen, the nastiest and most divisive war in the long history of our field. Worse than the Exclusion Act. Worse than the Cosmic Circle crap. Worse than the Breendoggle, than the Old Wave/ New Wave struggle, than the competing Vietnam War ads. The wounds will take a long time healing… if indeed they ever heal.

    And in large part you are responsible for that, Brad.


    It’s going to take more than a bandaid for that cut.

  14. Yep. there’s a total mic drop at the end of the GRRM postings. They very much should be included in the next roundup.

  15. Glenn:
    >> Ever heard of Theakstonizing? (Kurt has, I’m sure. If he hasn’t, you’re all going to watch me torture him by explaining it.) >>

    I not only know what Theakstonizing is, I know Theakston. And I’m old enough that friends of mine have edited books that used Theakstonizing.

  16. @Meredith – I suspect that another thing operating on Torgersen re: Flint is that Brad is struggling to believe that he is the martyred good guy in all of this. When a friend is politely and articulately disagreeing with him and shooting down his arguments one by one with the dreaded facts, choosing to believe that Flint has an ulterior motive is a defense mechanism. It’s almost certainly unconscious.

  17. Kurt: Then you know the look of pain people get when you tell them the process– usually around the time starting with the razor blade.

    Ann: It’s not even close to the first time I’m been taken as a major religious figure. There’s a somewhat notorious story about me at the Millennium Philcon…

  18. “There’s a somewhat notorious story about me at the Millennium Philcon”

    Aad you’re just dying for someone to ask.

    So, what notorious story, Mr Haumann? ::bats eyelashes innocenently::

  19. Wow…GRRM’s last comment even reads like a fantasy novel. With a set up like that clearly the Hugos will be saved by a poor farm boy who only now will learn his true destiny.

  20. @Glenn Hauman

    I don’t think I’ve read enough Star Trek novels to stand much of a chance, but I’ll certainly keep an eye out in future to see if I can spot any. 🙂


    I think you’re probably right about Good Guy self-image being an influence on Torgersen, based in part on what we saw during the Juliette Wade post, but I’m not sure that explains all his issues with reading comprehension. I’ll be fascinated to see if he makes a public reply to GRRM’s latest.

  21. Theakstonizing is, for a certain class of reader, like Saw and Hostel in slow motion. 🙂
    Alternatively, it’s a larval form of the Burroughs/Gysin cutup technique, and in due season the cocooned works will blossom into new entities like so many new Jack Kirby series.

  22. Ann Somerville on June 15, 2015 at 12:23 am said:
    Oh, Rivers of London was soooo good!

    I’m such a happy reader right now.

    Yay. I am glad the book recommendations are bringing happiness to folks. Richard Cowper will be my new reading after I finish my Hugo voting reading.

    I am going to go back to re-read some of the suggestions because I last read them when I was a teenager and I think for the books that have stood the test of time (aka suck fairy) I might find a new things there that my teenage self missed.

  23. Shambles: For your next round up you can include the extended conversation between GRRM and BT in his blog

    The lesson I’ve taken to heart from the last couple of days is this: May whatever gods you belive in have mercy upon what’s left of you should you get on the wrong side of Eric Flint and GRRM.

    They (unlike some of the aggrieved parties) can write. And write. and write.

    And they bring more to the table than petty name-calling or poor allusions.

  24. Good grief, GRRM gives it both barrels.

    He hits every highlight of the last few months:
    – None of the “you’ll never work in this town again” has been substantiated
    – Many puppies are pure “stick it to the SJWs”
    – The slate wasn’t democratic – Brad picked it himself
    – Major insults are coming from Brad – CHORF and puppy-kickers – and he needs to stop
    – Puppies are the boycotters, after peoples jobs
    – Brad’s persecution complex is nonsense.
    – “Did you really think fandom was going to lie back and thank you for gaming the Hugo awards and pissing on fifty years of tradition?”

    Will Brad have the nerve to address all of that?

  25. @Mike Gyler
    Your welcome. It’s the least I can do for the service you provide everyone here

    I came for the Hugo War – I stayed for the book recommendations !

  26. Ann Somerville : Oh, Rivers of London was soooo good!

    I’m such a happy reader right now.

    The sequels get darker….

  27. I’ve been reading Rosemary Kirstein’s The Lost Steersman today (the third volume in her Steerswoman series).


    Best first contact science fiction story I’ve ever read.

  28. @Ann ““Will Brad have the nerve to address all of that?”

    Of course not…”

    I bet he will. He can’t admit he’s wrong after digging down this far or quintupling down on his persecution complex. Obviously the CHORF’s have gotten to GRRM somehow, or else he’s being lead astray by friends who are taking advantage.

  29. I don’t think I’ve seen Brad ever respond to the questions asked and points raised, only the questions he wished had been asked and the points he wished had been raised. So no, he’ll do his slippery thing again and avoid responding substantively to anything Martin actually said.

  30. Speaking of facts that throw you out of a story, I did snort when Rivers of LondonPeter casually flips over an iPad and extracts its batteries….

    In your dreams, mate. In your dreams.

  31. Nigel on June 14, 2015 at 11:59 am said:
    Absalom! Absalom! Here Boy! Come On! Good Boy, Absalom!

    …dies of laughter

  32. I tried Libromancer and bounced off it, despite quite enjoying Hines’ Princess series. Honestly, I bounce off a lot of “books about traveling from books to reality or reality to books” books, despite thinking it’s a neat concept. Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next stuff didn’t do anything for me, even though I loved Shades of Grey. Tom Holt’s My Hero didn’t do anything for me, even though I really liked a bunch of his other stuff. I don’t know why. I think I’m expecting something out of them that I’m not getting, some kind of thoughtfulness of what the various books mean and how they related to each other and the real world, or why write about them? But somehow the ones I’ve read have always struck me more as, “Look! A character from one book has appeared … IN ANOTHER BOOK! Amazing!”, which just doesn’t do it for me.

  33. Glenn Hauman on June 15, 2015 at 12:13 am said:
    Kurt: Then you know the look of pain people get when you tell them the process– usually around the time starting with the razor blade.

    Ann: It’s not even close to the first time I’m been taken as a major religious figure. There’s a somewhat notorious story about me at the Millennium Philcon…

    I hadn’t heard. Does this have anything to do with that evangelical Christian group that was having a convention in the convention center at the same time as the con?

    (I was there, but busy.)

  34. @Kyra:

    I look on those as parallel universe stories without the fancy gadgetry, but I freely admit that I may be influenced in that perspective by Heinlein’s The Number of the Beast – which did just that with fancy gadgetry.

  35. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    Sequel: Go DOWN Moses! Down! Why Can’t You Be More Like Absalom? DOWN, boy!

  36. @ Glen, Kurt

    Theakstonizing is nothing! Meet William Stone, the man who created the first facsimile copies of the Declaration of Independence.

  37. Regarding people treating themselves as the baseline: I’ve just had to deal with a long rambling letter to the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee (which is who gets mail addressed to the info address at TheHugoAwards.org, and which is commonly mistaken as “the people who run the Hugos”). It was difficult to parse, but it appeared to me that the writer was addressing “The Hugo Committee” as the people who decided who gets Hugo Awards, and that the SFWA Board of Directors (and maybe Tor Books) were who made the rules.

    My guess here is that there are a lot of people who cannot possibly comprehend the idea that a bunch of other people have volunteered thousands of hours of labor and a lot of their own money to make Worldcon work and to administer the Hugo Awards, WSFS, etc. without doing so to rig things so that the things they personally want win, or for some other form of pecuniary gain. After all, they personally wouldn’t do that; indeed, from their point of view, no sane person would do that without Getting Paid in some way, so of course we must be Getting Paid, either directly or in some indirect way through winning awards or causing them to go to our friends. From their point of view, that’s how the Real World works, and they’re mystified by any other worldview.

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