Get Out Your Bingo Card

Meanwhile, somewhere on the Internet, I suspect there’s a tune going on right now that sounds a little something like this.

As they say, bless their hearts.

100 thoughts on “Get Out Your Bingo Card

  1. Who is this Twitter rant modeled on? Oh, you know. It’s an amalgamation of a couple few folks.

    Bear in mind that my momentary lapse into schadenfreude should not suggest that if you like the writing of authors who may be kvetching about their loss somewhere on the Internets, that you should stop enjoying their writing. Enjoy it! I encourage you to read widely and to like what you like.

    Oh, and The Mallet is out. Behave yourselves, but also be aware that given the nature of what I just wrote, I expect some level of contention in this comment thread.

  2. I went to Someone’s site as soon as I saw the results, and you’re near close. You forgot his actual close, ‘I can honestly say that I have never had so much fun losing an award.’ It was the ‘I meant to do that!’ of blogging.

  3. Having looked at the ballots, it is nice to see that Ancillary Justice not only won, but it won handily, doubling the votes of the nearest contender on every round. (Not to mention that a certain contender was never even remotely in the running.)

  4. And of course, on the comment bar during the upstream broadcast, there were the expected howls alleging vote rigging and, gasp, political correctness.

  5. For some reason, wordpress wants to ‘correct’ UStream to upstream, even after I change it back.

  6. If this year’s Hugos are A REFERENDUM ON THE FUTURE OF SCIENCE FICTION, then the future is bright. And the Big Losers won’t lack for income sources – they can always self-publish and overcharge their fans or put scammy ads on their sites.

    But we still want The Rest of the Story that Charles Stross didn’t tell in his acceptance speech.

  7. I believe if you look closely you can see blogposts like

    PRE-HUGO

    “We will win! And if we don’t, we will change things forever, which will be shown in the voting. And if it doesn’t, it’s because we motivated the rabbit-people WHO ARE ALL RUNNING SCARED OF US!! So WE WILL WIN, EXCEPT IF WE LOSE!!”

    POST-HUGO

    “We didn’t get anywhere WHICH IS JUST AS I PREDICTED. This PROVES I am soneone special!!”

  8. I’m cool with most of the winners. I think that Beneath Ceaseless Skies should have won best semiprozine.

    I figured that Ancillary Justice was a lock, but I would have been fine with any of the best novel candidates winning (other than Wheel of Time, which obviously isn’t a novel).

    I also wanted Pacific Rim to win… Gravity was a better movie and Frozen was more popular, but neither had giant robots. GIANT ROBOTS.

  9. When I see these posts of John’s, I occasionally do some googling and am absolutely appalled at who is writing science fiction I don’t read. Misogynists and racists!

    Seriously. Those are the children of Heinlein, Bradbury and Roddenberry? Hey, at least they don’t win awards!

  10. I think it was not a good showing for the future of Sci-Fi. The genre, sales and revenue wise, is not doing blockbuster, and its’ being crowded out by YA, by ever bigger single or series book blockbusters of many different genre’s.

    It’s nice to see quite a few (is it all? I think so) fan favorites winning – that’s a nice aspect of the Hugo’s that rewards fan intensity. But it doesn’t wholly solve the problem of relevancy to the world. Is Ancillary Justice the face of sci-fi to the world? It is for now. Redshirts, even though I did not enjoy it, was a great winner because it was highly formulaic, funny, and commercial (as the forth coming TV series will show).

    The genre is getting swamped, and it’s shedding net readers. Other genre’s are picking up huge readerships (and sales) with the types of works that this genre still haven’t found and recognized in quite some time.

    More work is needed, fast, to expand the genre to more readers, with more tastes. If the present trend continues, even fewer authors even be able to afford to attend cons, and even fewer of them will be full-time authors.

    I regularly read the blogs you have joined into the essence of the above theoretical diatribe. The lesson is not that the other side has lost, but they have seen successfully the model to use to make the award process overtly political.

  11. William– “Hey, at least they don’t win awards!”, but you can really say that about, you know, virtually everyone in the industry. Only a tiny handful will ever be awarded.

  12. dh – and sufficiently unpopular that they don’t enter into my privilege bubble? As much SF/F as I read, the real awful folks of SF are largely invisible to me.

  13. For what it’s worth, I thought Vox Day’s story actually was pretty well-written. From a quality of writing standpoint, I’m not actually sure it deserved to be voted below “No Award”. Of course, the author himself is apparently a racist, misogynist a-hole, but he seems to be a racist, misogynist a-hole who can write.

    That being said, I didn’t go see Ender’s Game because, as much as I liked the books, I didn’t like what Card had become. So, shrug, whatever.

  14. Robotech– that’s why the Hugo’s are very good and long-lasting. You don’t have to agree, but you do get to see what fandom in total thinks about something and, also, someone.

  15. Partly answering dj: I don’t have any sales figures but I guess SF has always had fewer readers than the other genres. I love horror & detectives but they are comfortable formats for readers. The individual books may be great but the genres aren’t really challenging readers – while SF has many unchallenging/dumb books but as a genre it is quite demanding. Which may be why SF will always have a relatively small core of readers.

    (Perhaps that’s also why you do have quite a large audience for SF movies: individually some may be brilliant but as a genre it’s hardly challenging…)

  16. William– yeah, I mean, I am the same way, which is I read 1-2 novels a day, and there are still thousands of well respected authors I’ve never read. And even clearing 400-500 novels a year, I still will never read all or most of it. Even with wide interests, I still end up bubbling towards the same type of stories and the same type of authors.

  17. Jantar, you are probably right. I think SF/F started as fairly unheralded pulp that was not well respected. But someone with more historical knowledge may have to really address that.

    But even from where it started, it’s declining. Without YA SF/F and audiobooks, total revenues would be pretty bad. If you take out blockbusters, which are increasingly eating a bigger slice of the sales pie, you are left with an even bleaker picture for the rest of SF/F.

    Hopefully we’ll get some more winners with broad commerical success, like Redshirts, only bigger and more appealing to wider audiences.

  18. dh:

    YA science fiction is science fiction — if it’s successful then the genre is successful. It’s not shedding readers; rather science fiction has successfully positioned itself at several points in the sales chain. I think we’ll be fine.

  19. And the feud goes on…. Actually Vox Day should be very thankful as no one would even know about him were it not for John Scalzi

  20. dh – I suggest that dismissing YA as “not really science fiction” echoes unfortunately with more general dismissal of, and disavowal of value of, interests/hobbies/jobs etc with high (or increasing) proportions of women & other marginalised groups participating. (See: erasure of women from the history of computer science; weighting of perceived value of caring professions vs banking; etc etc etc.)

    It isn’t very clear to me what it is you mean by “the rest of SFF”, and what criteria you’re holding works to in order for them to “count”. As a long-time fan and first-time attendee at probably-the-biggest-WorldCon-ever (with the Hugos with the largest voting turnout ever) I can’t quite see where your concern is coming from.

  21. Blackadder:

    Oh, I don’t know. Seems to me Larry Correia did a rather better job of being Day’s willing accomplice than I did this particular year.

  22. I didnt meant to say that YA science fiction is not science fiction, I meant to say that even with YA Science-fiction the genre is still losing readership. If you took out YA like it was it’s only genre (which is not out of the question, YA has some similarities that make it sort of it’s own genre regardless of the content of the story), the number of SF/F look way way worse.

    Basically, audio and Y/A SF/F is propping up the numbers, and without those, it looks even worse. Even given those bright spots, it still looks quite bad.

  23. kab– I think that Loncon is likely to be a high-water mark for a bit. The Loncon organization looked to be very polished and very professional, plus the Western friendly location made it very hospitable. But it’s really important to understand that a Con only represents a very small, very activist base of the genre readership. Whats the big print, TV and news media going to do with Ancillary Justice? Will it get a mention? It might get a few here and there. There is a reported sales bump with winning the awards and so hopefully a clean sweep will raise up the profile of the work. Despite a long history, the Hugo’s and the Nebula’s are not very prestigious outside of our little fraction of a fraction of the publishing world.

    JS, I appreciate that “we’ll be fine” is almost axiomatic, because you’ve already made it. You have very good odds of selling whatever you have in store next because your great commercial track record. As do many of your colleagues.

    I think it’s somewhat less clear that you could, being 15 years younger, re-birth your career right now with the same works that you did the first time around. Reading Old Man’s War, it’s violent and I think I even read a few tweets (of yours) that indicated you thought it has rough spots with gender roles and gender balance.

    I also think it’s somewhat less clear what’s going on with new readership. I get the distinct feeling that it’s the same people who’ve always been buying books, and, err, well.. we aren’t getting any younger. It’s great that the next generation (I’ve noticed you posted that your own daughter is reading some of the same cannon that you were born into) is coming up, but it’s less and less clear that they are replacing the fading generations in either intensity or numbers.

  24. dh:

    “I meant to say that even with YA Science-fiction the genre is still losing readership.”

    Given that this assertion runs entirely counter to my own personal and not ill-informed knowledge of YA SF sales, I’m gonna have to disagree with you here, dh, and suggest that you’ll need to offer sources if you want to keep making that assertion. Bear in mind you will additionally need to explain, if YA SF is not helping the numbers, why fully half of the NY Times YA Series Best Seller list consists of science fiction books.

    Also, you know. My numbers have been pretty good. Ernie Cline’s numbers have been pretty good. I strongly suspect Ann’s numbers, already decent, are about to get significantly better. Let’s just say I’m not entirely convinced the genre is on life support yet.

  25. For the LOVE OF GOD, APOSTROPHE ESS IS POSSESSIVE OR A CONTRACTION OF “IS” BUT NOT NOT NOT PLURAL!

  26. JS–

    YA SF sales are doing great. (As are audio, which you probably also know from personal experience) I don’t think I said anything to call that in question. However, even with NYT bestsellers all over the place with Y/A SF/F, the overall genre numbers are bad. If you take out the huge huge blockbusters with movie ties and all that, fiction sales are also net down.

    When you have a few huge books eating up the oxygen, it’s a problem when none of those books are from the SF/F genre.

  27. James Nicholl: For the LOVE OF GOD, APOSTROPHE ESS IS POSSESSIVE OR A CONTRACTION OF “IS” BUT NOT NOT NOT PLURAL!

    Listen to the man – he probably once had a rogue apostrophe nearly kill him.

  28. dh:

    “When you have a few huge books eating up the oxygen, it’s a problem when none of those books are from the SF/F genre.”

    An interesting assertion to make when The Magician’s Land will be the #1 book on the NYT Hardcover list, if not this week, then the week after this (it’s already happened, the charts just need to catch up) and Brandon Sanderson’s book also debuted in the top slot earlier this year.

    So, again: I’m not 100% behind your police work, here, dh.

  29. JS, one more note just about sales. What I am specifically talking about is this:

    1
    Four: A Divergent Collection
    Veronica Roth, Author

    2
    If I Stay
    Gayle Forman, Author

    3
    The Fault in Our Stars
    John Green, Author

    4
    King and Maxwell
    David Baldacci, Author

    5
    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    Laura Hillenbrand, Author

    The gap between getting some SF/F on that chart of overall best sellers is very daunting. You know the number, but it’s to imagine that we are talking about a factor of 10x to get a Hugo Winner on that chart. Maybe 5x if the rest are having an off week?

  30. JS, I think that’s slighly disingenious when you are talking about a sliver of the market, namely, hardcover.

    When you look at the same title on the overall combined list, it’s down in the #10 slot. And it’s completely swamped by movie tie’s and romance novels, and Y/A.

    Bookscan says sci-fi numbers – units and revenue – are net down, and that the bright spots are YA and audio, and blockbusters. Do you think that this information is fundamentally wrong?

    I also think the fact that the two works you highlighted are not Hugo winner’s is also sort my point. Why isn’t Ann Leckie on that list this week? Will she be next week?

  31. Scalzi–

    Yes, a blockbuster with a movie tie in. Why didn’t it win the Hugo though? Will it win next year? (If anything, probably not for the novel).

    The YA books and blockbusters with ties are swamping the award winning work. Even with that, the genre is declining.

    That’s not good! I mean it’s fine if you have happen to have a movie deal and TV deals, but for the genre, it’s not great.

  32. dh:

    “JS, I think that’s slighly disingenious when you are talking about a sliver of the market, namely, hardcover.”

    i.e, the market segment that’s actually the most profitable for publishers? Uh, yeah, dh.

    “Bookscan says sci-fi numbers – units and revenue – are net down, and that the bright spots are YA and audio, and blockbusters. Do you think that this information is fundamentally wrong?”

    Considering that I know for a fact that Bookscan regularly captures only a fifth of my total sales of any recent book, it is at the very least fundamentally incomplete. I wouldn’t use it to make many solid conclusions, no.

    dh, this is me telling you to drop this particular discussion now, because I guarantee you that you’re not going to come anywhere close to making the cogent argument that you think you’re making, and you’re going to annoy me as you try to shuffle your feet around to find better footing. Thank you.

  33. DH

    It would help if you stopped assuming that the USA is the only SF/F market; your conviction that the NYT bestsellers are the lodestone does reveal a profound ignorance of global publishing.

    It would also help if you provided some numbers to back up your claims; at the moment you have provided absolutely no evidence to even suggest, much less prove, that “overall genre numbers are bad.”

    Otherwise it looks like just another rant about how evil womenz are spoiling it all…

  34. Stevie:

    I’ve already mentioned to dh he needs to drop this particular discussion. Asking him to add more information after that point is not fair to him.

    Also, dh, you are welcome to keep commenting on the thread, just not on the particular topic of sales.

  35. Stevie- I think women are the only reason that SF/F isn’t a footnote in publishing right now. Men and especially younger readers have moved in large numbers to other entertainment sources in droves. Just take YA out of the best seller list and see what I mean. It’s fairly bleak.

    JS has better data than what is publicly available, so I won’t reference Bookscan again. They release quarterly summaries which was the source primary source I reference when talking about trends.

    It’s pretty telling that JS did not predict Ann Leckie to get onto any top 5/top 10 bestsellers list, despite a clean sweep. That’s the problem.

  36. dh:

    No worries. Although in the future do me a favor and aggregate your posts, please — multiple sequential posts from the same author bother me for some inexplicable reason. Thanks.

  37. For the sake of my sanity I would like the entire Internet to print off James Davis Nicoll’s comment and stick it on a handy wall for future reference.

    (What do you mean I can’t order the Internet around???)

    And I’m pretty sure the comment was directed at dh, not OGH.

  38. I don’t know that either the Hugo or the Nebula is considered an award that moves books off the shelf in the weeks immediately following a win. My (admittedly limited) understanding is that they can help keep a book in print over the long haul, perhaps along with other works by that author. But even that’s not guaranteed.

    (In truth, very few literary awards actually result in a sales boom.)

  39. Ron Hogan:

    My expectation is that indeed the benefit to Ancillary is going to be over the long haul — the awards sweep signals its quality and it’s an easy add now for lists of essential SF, school classes on SF/F, book clubs and etc. And I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see the sequel Ancillary Sword, do very well when it comes out later in the year.

  40. Perhaps this is stating the obvious and apologies if it’s too OT, but if anecdotal evidence is admissable — young adult readers of YA SFF often grow up to become adult readers of… adult SFF. Not to denigrate YA because there’s some great stuff there (Cat Valente’s Fairyland series anyone?) — point is, interest from young readers is great for the genre as a whole.

  41. Cecilykane, et al:

    I do think we’re wandering off topic a bit, yes. YA SF/F is SF/F, period; where it sits in the bookstore doesn’t change that fact. Having acknowledged that, let’s move on, please.

  42. @moggybreath – several! :D It’s to be a trilogy! And there’s some in-’verse short stories, too…

  43. [This part deleted because I already said to dh to close up this line of discussion, so addressing comments to him on this isn't fair. No worries, Mike -- JS]

    Robotech_Master writes:

    For what it’s worth, I thought Vox Day’s story actually was pretty well-written. From a quality of writing standpoint, I’m not actually sure it deserved to be voted below “No Award”.

    I thought it was OK. I found myself caring about what happened to the characters.

    I don’t think it deserves a Hugo. I rated it 4th on my ballot. I liked it better than several pieces of short fiction on the ballot since 2012.

  44. John, could you clarify your feelings about sequential posts.

    Is it sequential posts from the same author on the same point, or just in general.

    In my previous post, I combined comments on two different topics in the thread; I don’t think they belong in the same post. I aggregated them because you often request that we do, but I must say that it feels completely wrong to me. An angry English teacher is going to chase me through my dreams.

  45. Mike:

    Sequential in general. Comments aren’t composition papers, it’s okay if they have more than one topic. Don’t worry, your English teacher can’t get you now!

  46. So essentially you’re asking us to… pause and think before we post? What kind of world is this???

  47. Personally, I don’t think the goal of the ‘Correia Slate’ really was to win any awards, it was to pitch the books to their own True Believers and spread the word of their ‘repressed status’ to the portion of the mass audience who believes anybody Conservative is ‘repressed’ and whose favorite Science Fiction is the FoxNews segments on Climate Change (except they don’t realize they’re Fiction). This is a fertile ground for picking up new audience/readers/buyers because they put a lot of other garbage on the Best Seller list (VERY frequently without actually reading them). I still suspect the ‘controversy’ sold more books for Orson Scott Card than the movie version of “Ender’s Game”. But as for appealing to the Liberal Elite? That’s a much much harder sell and the publishers and authors know that; most of the SF authors that the L.E. have embraced are the ones who generally deny that their works are SF.

    And yes, I think you are feeding this beast. The John Scalzi Seal of Disapproval is a strong selling point in the Wacko Nation.

  48. onefellswoop:

    Eh. I don’t care if my disapproval whips up a bunch of dipshits. They’re dipshits; they can be whipped up by anything.

    Likewise I certainly agree that Correia, et al, make a big play out of not wanting to win the awards, but I don’t think you spend as much time as they have chasing the awards if you don’t ultimately crave the approval that they bring. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Here’s a tell for you: If any of their PR notes their Hugo nods moving forward, then you know the posturing about not caring about the Hugo is just that, posturing.

    In other news, I’m turning off the comments for the night, because I don’t imagine this thread won’t sprout trolls overnight. The comments will be back on in the morning, possibly a little later than usual, as I have to take my daughter to her first day of school, and then my mother-in-law to a doctor’s appointment. Be patient! They’ll be back on eventually!

    Update: Comments back on.

  49. I’m sure VD thinks that they proved… something or other that is beyond rational ken.

    His short was one of the worst things I’ve ever read – it’s like a pastiche of bad fantasy cliches, blended into a polemic, ending up as a dense word salad porridge. Lazy world building, not even thinly disguised cod-medieval background, portentous overblown prose meaning nothing. Not sure how magic-using elves lets Christianity develop without at least some challenges to the basic worldview of the religion, but that potentially interesting idea is just run over and completely ignored. It fully deserved to rank below no award.

    The Warbound thing – it’s popcorn, spiritual successor to the pulps, lightweight brainless entertainment. Plus it has airships so gets points for that.

  50. For what it’s worth, I thought Vox Day’s story actually was pretty well-written. From a quality of writing standpoint, I’m not actually sure it deserved to be voted below “No Award”. Of course, the author himself is apparently a racist, misogynist a-hole, but he seems to be a racist, misogynist a-hole who can write.

    Fifth paragraph, emphasis mine:

    “The traveler came closer with each long stride. He was very tall, wearing a dark green cloak over a hooded robe, and he bore on his back a large leather pack that appeared to be half‐empty. He carried nothing but a long, black walking stick that looked knotted, but turned out to be carved in an extravagantly ornate manner. His grey robe was brown from the knees down with the dust of the road, but it was woven from the sort of wool the monk would have expected to see a very rich man wearing.”

    But, but, but. The X looked like Y, but. The entire first chunk of the story is riddled with this construction. I recognize it quickly because it’s a crutch I use way too much. You’re trying to build some rhythm and contrast but (whoops) you wind up using “but,” “however,” “except” all over the place and it just ends up clunky.

    The word choices are iffy as well. That whole opening bit about the pallid sun sounds pretty good until you ask yourself why intangible rays of light would have any problem penetrating northern winds. Something like “countering” would have been better.

    It’s high quality amateur prose. If I had to guess, I’d say the problem here is that Vox spends too much time being pleased with himself and not enough time editing.

  51. Re Warbound, I enjoy airships, but they’re not going to confuse someone’s gravity powers. Two seconds thought would have revealed that gravity works on hydrogen exactly the same way it works on *everything* else. That’s the only reason we have anything *but* hydrogen and a tiny amount of helium.

  52. I’VE LEARNED MY LESSON AND MY LESSON IS THAT WE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH PATENT RACIST SHITBAGGERY ON OUR SLATE WHAT THAT WAS GOOD WRITING MAN

    Perhaps the author you’re channeling here, and his friends (his? Hers? Naah, definitely his) can go start their own alternative to the Hugos.
    Hey, it worked for Conservapaedia, didn’t it?

  53. @dh – you wrote ” I think women are the only reason that SF/F isn’t a footnote in publishing right now. Men and especially younger readers have moved in large numbers to other entertainment sources in droves. Just take YA out of the best seller list and see what I mean. It’s fairly bleak.”

    Not sure where you get that idea. My 23 year old son and his male friends are avid SF/F readers, as are the sons of most of my friends. In fact, these days I get many of my best book recommendations from my son.

  54. I’ve seen a lot of discussions (particularly from the sad puppy side of things) about book sales. My author outsells your author. My author sells more then the top Hugo slate combined. Author’s of X Political Persuasion’s sales are sinking. That sort of thing.

    In all this, I’m not seeing a lot of referencing. I know, I don’t expect the truly broad statements to be defensible, but even the narrow ones – Author X outsells Author Y. By what numbers? Even an estimate?

    Nielsen Bookscan was mentioned here, but it looks to be a subscription service. Amazon rankings don’t provide hard numbers (and don’t seem to back some of the claims I’ve seen anyway). Is there some common, reliable source for sales figures? One open to the general public?

    Or is everyone estimating? Do authors only get concrete numbers from their publishers? I’ve always wondered about this, and where these broad statements stem from.

  55. Richard:

    “Is there some common, reliable source for sales figures? One open to the general public?”

    No.

    Bookscan doesn’t capture a lot of electronic sales (or audiobook sales), so its numbers are not a reliable guideline for total sales; for example, it only captured about a fifth of my total Redshirts sales when the book was out in hardcover. Nor is it a consistent fraction — it depends on the book.

    People throwing around sales numbers in comparison to the sales numbers of other are probably relying on incomplete data. The only numbers an author is likely to know solidly are his or her own, and even those might be several months out of date depending on whether they’re relying on royalty reports, which generally do not feature timely numbers.

    So, yes. Treat sales numbers with skepticism.

    Also, recognize that generally speaking the politics of a writer don’t mean squat, in relation to sales; most readers in my experience don’t care and even if they do the universe of sales is broad enough that someone who only wants to read works from conversatives can do so, and someone who only wants to read works from liberals can do so, and both quite happily. There are conservative writers who sell well, and liberal authors who sell well — and authors who don’t fit either discription who sell well too. Likewise authors of all political persuasions who sell only adequately or hardly at all.

  56. Also, recognize that generally speaking the politics of a writer don’t mean squat, in relation to sales; most readers in my experience don’t care and even if they do the universe of sales is broad enough that someone who only wants to read works from conversatives can do so, and someone who only wants to read works from liberals can do so, and both quite happily.

    How many readers have any notion about the politics of authors? I suspect that enough noise got made surrounding the release of Ender’s Game that perhaps a large number of people may have a notion about Card. Tom Clancy has given interviews on political talk shows. I suspect that for most writers, readers don’t know or care, or may make a few inferences from the author’s work. How many of John’s book readers read Whatever frequently enough to see his more political posts?

    People in organized SF fandom are probably more likely to know about an author’s politics than most readers. How many readers are even aware that SF fandom exists, as a thing separate from comic conventions? Even then, some authors are more likely than others to make political statement.

  57. Mike, I don’t think it’s fair to lump Tom Clancy in with the likes of Card. Most of Clancy’s books that I’ve read make his politics very clear–his books involve politics. His main characters support his political ideologies and his villains are often those on the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s consistent enough that you’d have to be brain dead not to know which way Clancy leaned, even if you never saw him on TV.

    Card, on the other hand? The Ender’s Game books are not explicitly political. Knowing his leanings, you can see where those influenced him, if you look closely. Unlike Clancy, though, Card never beats you over the head with his politics in the text of his books.

    I can’t read Clancy’s books any more. I loved them as a teenager, but as I’ve gotten older and learned how simplistic the political ideology that he espouses in his books is, I can’t help but be annoyed every time I try to read one. There’s no separating the work from the author because the author inserts himself and his ideologies so explicitly in the work. If he were still alive, I wouldn’t buy his new stuff.

    Now, I don’t reread the Ender’s Game series either. I can’t stand the author, but the real problem is that I think it’s boring–fun on the first read-through, but not substantive enough to go back. If I liked it more, I’d reread it (as well as his new stuff), no matter how distasteful the author’s politics. His work isn’t so tied up in what makes him such a dreadful human being.

  58. Sheesh — have read both you and Corriea. Honestly liked his books better and now confirmed you are a small minded, little, petty and in general a jerk. Will log in every now and then just to see who you recommend just so I can avoid like minded twits.

  59. Michael:

    I also smell bad and EAT KITTENS ALIVE. Remember to tell that to people too.

    On the plus side, I don’t willfully associate myself with bigoted shitholes, so I have that going for me.

  60. O.K., Mr. “I don’t associate with bigoted shitholes.” Don’t you associate with people who are bigoted AGAINST bigoted shitholes? I’ll bet some of THEM are shitholes! So, hah to you!. And while we’re at it, calling people on their racism is actually “playing the race card” which makes them racists!

    Deny it if you can!

    ;)

  61. Mike: “How many readers have any notion about the politics of authors? I suspect that enough noise got made surrounding the release of Ender’s Game”

    Well, sometimes the politics is in the story itself. Ender’s Game was riven throughout the story with the politics of scarcity, power, and xenophobia, which are usually associated with right wing politics.

    On the other hand, it is kind of odd that there are scenes in Ender’s Game that, had they been written by a gay man, would probably have genererated quite an uproar as homoerotic, but then it turns out that the author is a homophobe. So sometimes, you can’t tell by the story alone.

    I think the thing about SF and Fantasy is that they generally have to first posit the existence of a world, and in presenting that world to the reader, a certain framework of politics are needed for that world to make sense.

    I didn’t read the story by VD, but others on Whatever did and reported back some snippets and summaries that point to some of VD’s politics embedded in the story.

  62. Just an fyi to people unfamiliar with the book, If I Stay is arguably SFF as well. It’s certainly not a straightforward romance without any supernatural or magical elements, at least.

  63. I did try to read some of Larry Correia’s books and just couldn’t get into them. It seemed to me that everything he wrote had already been written by someone else, only a lot better, which is not exactly an incentive to keep reading.

    Perhaps one of the drawbacks of a lifetime spent reading an awful lot of books is that response:

    been there, done that, got the t shirt, and really, really don’t want to buy another t shirt…

  64. I had to laugh at one comment I saw on Facebook:
    “SJW’s seem to have bent the rules/votes again. Larry doubled the voters registered and voting…so should have gotten through more of our choices for real good writing and sci fi.”

    Oh yeah…the “SJW” slate won because THEY OBVIOUSLY CHEATED EVEN THOUGH WE TRIED TO STUFF THE BALLOT BOX. Besides all the great stuff winning because it’s great stuff, I’m gleeful they all wiped the floor with the Sad Puppies.

    I suppose I see it as: “Look y’all, you guys want your all-white conservative sandbox to play in, sure, fine…just don’t expect the rest of the world to give you a medal (or a shiny rocket) because of it. Prejudice should NEVER be awarded. Science Fiction is for EVERYONE.

  65. Julie:

    Yeah, I suspect your Facebook friend may have overstated Correia’s influence on registrations and voting somewhat. For one thing, Warbound received exactly half the nominations of Ancillary Justice, and less than third of Ancillary’s first places votes on the first balloting. If we (dubiously) grant that he’s responsible for the registration of every person who gave him a first place vote on the novel balloting, that would mean he brought in… 332 voters. Which is nice, certainly, but less than 10% of the total votership, and of course rather less than the more than 1,700 claimed.

    Note also that 332 first place votes on the first balloting wouldn’t have done much for Correia last year, either, even with half the ballots of this year’s race. It would have had him third on the first ballot, and presuming his numbers ran similar to what they did this year, he would have been out of the running a couple passes later. As it is, Correia’s fifth place finish was not substantially better than Seanan McGuire’s fifth place finish the year before despite so many additional voters, mostly because Warbound finished only 109 votes higher than “no award,” while Blackout cleared that hurdle with more than 700 votes to spare.

    So, yeah: Rumors of Correia’s influence on the final ballot voting appear not to match up to reality.

  66. Dave’s in a different thread on this topic; I suspect the response wound up in the wrong place.

  67. (try to imagine this uttered with gleeful cachinnations):
    “AAAAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAahahahHAHAHAHHAHAHAAhahaha…. douchebags, amirite?”

  68. Who published No Award? And is it available in ebook form in Europe?

    On a more serious note, I hope that any backsplash from the campaign didn’t splash back too badly on Schlock Mercenary.

  69. >How many readers have any notion about the politics of authors?

    Well that depends. Writers like Tom “The Ammonia King” Kratman, Pox Day and Michael Williamson beat readers over the head with their political and social views (to the point of leaving no actual plot sometimes), while Card and Ringo are somewhat more subtle, but still obvious. Flint and Webber are far more careful.

  70. [Card's] work isn’t so tied up in what makes him such a dreadful human being.

    Missed Hamlet’s Father, did you? I wound up buying the library a new copy after subjecting it to Dorothy Parker’s suggested fate for a bad novel, and it was worth it.

  71. @Epiphyta

    I did miss it, yes. I’ve only ever read the Ender’s Game series because I’m just not that enamored of his books. The later ones especially are rather dull for me. I probably shouldn’t have made such a sweeping statement about Card’s work, then. Let me amend it: The Ender’s Game series isn’t so tied up in what makes Card a dreadful human being.

  72. Mike & Greg: Note that Ender’s Game was published in 1985; Card didn’t go completely batshit-crazy on the topic of homosexuality for at least another decade.

    Julie: There’s one glaringly obvious flaw in that argument — the assumption that every single vote of those doubled numbers was FOR the Sad Puppies slate. I know people who bought a supporting membership specifically to vote against some or all of that group, and others who bought one primarily to vote in the site selection but also voted in the Hugos because they could. Also, this is why they publish the full results of the vote counts, so that the process is transparent to anyone who wants to make the effort to look.

  73. I feel compelled to point out that as far as I can tell, Eric Flint is not even in the same ballpark as Ringo, much less VD. He is published by Baen, but he doesn’t seem to share the political perspective that seems to characterize so many of their other authors. If you read his stuff, he’s pretty firmly in favor of unions and the rights of the common person, as well as the notion of politically organizing to effect positive change. I guess one could argue that he may have the “America is the Shining City on the Hill” gene, but his work doesn’t make me feel lectured to and be-slimed the way many of the Baen crowd do.

  74. One of the, admittedly many, things which pissed me off with the Sad Puppies Slate was that people were put on it without even asking them if they wanted to be, and who didn’t even have an eligible work which could be nominated.

    I have recently become addicted to Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler; I think it’s absolutely outrageous that he was shanghaied into apparently keeping company with VD et al against his wishes. I like space opera, straight as in Ancilliary Justice, and comic as in Schlock Mercenary; I’m happy to be in the big tent which encompasses them both.

    It’s the Sad Puppies Masters who are trying to kick people out of the tent, not the other way round…

  75. Kat

    He didn’t know it till later. In his own words back in April:

    ‘I’m not sure why Larry put me on his Sad Puppies slate. It’s certainly not something I asked for, nor is it something I’ve EVER asked for. I like it when fans read and recommend my work, but I don’t campaign for that. I certainly don’t think that Schlock Mercenary not winning a Hugo (five times in a row!) is somehow a sign of Great Injustice somewhere. Because that’s just ridiculous. Not winning means it’s not good enough. That’s okay. I can keep making it better. And other people will keep making other excellent graphic stories, and thank you, Hugo Awards, for encouraging an ever-raising bar.’

    At:

    http://file770.com/?p=16685&cpage=1#comment-217888

    Of course, if Corraia had bothered to ask he would have known that Tayler didn’t have a qualifying work, but then Corraia really didn’t care; what he wanted was a propaganda tool, and the fact that association with VD would damage Howard’s reputation really seems not to have mattered to him.

    I know I’m supposed to be polite but these were really slimeball things to do…

  76. Katherine, I came across as snappish, and I apologize. The buyer had purchased it solely based on the author’s name: she had no knowledge of the pedophilia or homophobia, and had the book in the YA section. I was working with QUILTBAG teens at the time, and . . . .

  77. Stevie: Well now, I’m actually angry about the whole thing. I had assumed that Correia contacted each of the authors he wanted to put on the slate and asked them if they wanted to be on it and they’d said yes. Maybe they hadn’t each realized the full extent of what was going on, but I’d assumed there had been the common courtesy of getting their consent, rather than them being drafted in a political protest. Getting their consent and pushing the slate, removing any author who changed their mind later, is a perfectly justified thing to do, whatever a person’s personal views, in my view. Stump for votes and take your chances.

    But that isn’t what Correia did, apparently. And for me, his actions completely de-legitimizes what he did. You don’t use people as political cannon fodder in your cause against their will. If he does this bit again next year, I strongly urge people to pester him with questions about whether he asked the authors for their consent. At the least, warn the authors he is drafting.

  78. @Epiphyta

    No worries! I’ll be the first to admit that I’m far from an Orson Scott Card expert. My impressions all come from a single read-through of one series (granted, his best known series) and general knowledge about his political life. Frankly, I’d rather not delve much more deeply than that.

    Had I accidentally read Hamlet’s Father like you did, I’d probably have the same reaction. I’m glad you gave that copy the death it deserved, even if it did cost you to replace it.

  79. Dear Lee,

    Uhh, Orson Scott Card was batshit crazy pretty much from Day One. We (fandom) didn’t know it until 1990, when he wrote “The Hypocrites of Homosexuality.” I do NOT recommend looking it up, unless you like getting upset. But, among other stunners, it advocates jailing people. People like me … and Xopher and Dave Nee, and Elizabeth Lynn, and Joanna Russ and Chip Delaney … because we won’t stay invisible. Card recommends we be jailed to set an example for the rest of society.

    Really.

    In 1990, not 1960.

    Not by specific name, of course, but by type: Those of us who will not going properly and quietly back into our closets of invisibility.

    That sort of radical view does not suddenly spring full blown from the brow of Zeus.

    So, yeah, always batshit crazy about da gayzz.

    All that’s been changing is that as we win more and more and he loses more and more of his cultural imperative, his screams, unsurprisingly, become increasingly frantic.

    pax / Ctein
    ==========================================
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery http://ctein.com
    — Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
    ==========================================

Comments are closed.