Hugos and Class
Posted on April 23, 2015 Posted by John Scalzi 392 Comments
(Warning: Hugo neepery ahead. Ignore if you’re bored with the subject.)
As I’m musing on class today, I’d like to take a moment to address something I see being attempted by the Puppies, which is to cast the current Hugo contretemps as something akin to a class war, with the scrappy diverse underdogs (the Puppy slates) arrayed against “powerful, wealthy white men” such as myself, Patrick Nielsen Hayden and George RR Martin, the latter being a late addition to the non-existent SJW cabal; apparently we are now a cackling, finger-steepling triumvirate of conspiracy (See the link here at File770, which, again, has been invaluable as a repository of Hugo commentary this year).
So, let’s unpack this a bit.
One, I’m not entirely sure how much credit the Puppy slates should get for “diversity” when their most notable accomplishments are reducing the overall demographic diversity of the Hugo slate from the past few years, locking up five (previously six!) slots on the final ballot for the same straight, white, male author, and getting much of their “diversity” from conscripts to the slates, at least some of whom did not appear to have foreknowledge of their appearance there, and some of whom have since declined their nominations. Basically, if you’re going to argue diversity, you should probably not make the assertion so easily refutable by actual fact (it also helps not to have one of the primary movers behind the slates be an actual, contemptible racist and sexist).
Two, with regard to me, George and Patrick being “powerful, wealthy white men”: okay, sure, why not (I suspect Patrick, earning an editor’s salary in New York, might snort derisively that the idea that he is actually wealthy), but it’s interesting for any of the three of us to be criticized for these things by a partisan of slates whose dominance on the final Hugo ballot was accomplished substantially through the machinations of a fellow who is himself a scion of wealth and power, with enough dosh on hand to have his own publishing house (for which he is using the current Hugo contretemps as very cheap advertising), and, to a rather lesser extent, by a fellow who has many of the same advantages I or George do: Bestselling status, award nominations and, at least from public statements I can recall, a rather comfortable income from his work, largely from a company that shares at least one parent in common with one that publishes me, is a major house in the field, and is distributed by a major publishing conglomerate. Indeed, as it is an article of faith among the Puppies that I don’t actually sell all that many books, I suppose the argument could be made that he is more wealthy and powerful than I am! So well done him, and I wish him all the best in his career. But between these fellows and their circumstances, it’s difficult to cast this as a battle of underdogs versus wealth and privilege. There’s quite enough wealth and privilege to go around.
(There is at least one salient difference between me, Patrick and George, and the fellows I’ve mentioned, who share so many of the advantages that we three do. What that difference is I will leave as an exercise for the reader.)
Three, the Puppies drama isn’t about class, or privilege. It’s about envy and opportunism, and it’s also, somewhat pathetically, apparently about the heads of the Puppy slates being upset that once upon a time, they felt people in fandom were mean to them. As if they were the only people in the world that folks in science fiction fandom had ever been mean to. True fact: There is almost no one in science fiction and fantasy that someone else in fandom hasn’t been mean to at one time or the other. Science fiction fandom contains many people, including quite a few with questionable social skills. Not all of them are going to like you. Not all of them are going to like what you do. That’s not a conspiracy; that’s just a basic fact.
Here’s a thing: Look back in time to when I was nominated for Best Fan Writer. There was a whole lot of mean going on there; there are still fans who are righteously upset with me about it. Look at what people have said about each of the books of mine that have been nominated for Best Novel (look at what was said after I won it!). Look what people in fandom say about me on the Internet all the damn time. Hell, I remember rather vividly being at the Montreal Worldcon during my autograph session and this dude coming up, handing me Zoe’s Tale, and saying “It’s not really a good book and I don’t think it should be on the ballot and I don’t know why it is, but I guess since you’re here you might as well sign it for me.” Which I thought was really kind of amazing, in its own obnoxious way.
You know what I did? I signed his book. Because a) apparently he bought it and b) I’m not emotionally twelve years old. I can handle people being thoughtless and stupid and even occasionally intentionally mean in my direction, without deciding the the correct response is to burn down the Hugos, screaming I’ll show you! I’ll show you all! Which is, as it happens, seems to be another salient difference between me, Patrick and George, and these fellows. Unless you’re under the impression Patrick and George haven’t got their fair share of people disliking them, or saying mean things about them. They have; they’ve just decided to deal with it like the grown up humans they are.
So, no. This Hugo contretemps isn’t about class. But it might be, a little bit, about who has class, and how that affects what they do with their wealth and power.
Usual warnings about Mallets, politeness, etc. You know the drill by this point, and if you don’t, here are the rules. Thanks!
I’m just glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read the last sentence.
No one has ever been mean to GRRM on the internet. The very idea!
If you want a class act, look no farther than David Gerrold who has endured so many slings and arrows of this outrageous misfortune and still wants to make the convention and the ceremony fun for everyone, Puppies included.
Someone actually came up to you and said that? Wow. I had to google Vox Day.
How well do you suppose Schadenfreude Pie ships? In case one needs to be made for each of the three canine-involved gentlemen? Asking for a friend.
Did you mean “contretemps” where you wrote “contremps”?
Or is this a different word?
(Hey, you know, you were awfully polite when I met you at a worldcon. Even when I accidentally blurted out your name and you assumed I was calling to you.)
Sean Eric Fagen:
Fixed. It’s a word I consistently misspell.
“You know what I did? I signed his book.”
I would have offered to personalize it and gave him $20. Having that quote to pull out is priceless.
Yes, I do have that feeling that given the lack of support for any of the Puppies or their claims, there’s a fair amount of scurrying around to reframe all of this. As much as I like the things that you, John, write–here and for commercial publication–and that the rest of the Secret über-Masonic Illuminati who are Secretly Controlling Everything produce, I’m just not seeing you as the SMOFs who are controlling the Hugos for Fame, Fortune, Greater Book Sales, and More Tim-Tams. It’s an attractive image, sure, but it’s not real. I’d say “It doesn’t even make a particularly good plot bunny,” but I think that there’s room for something totally silly in flash fiction along these lines.
I fear that a couple of at least passably good authors may have permanently damaged their sales potential and future by doing something so markedly stupid on such a public stage. Most of us usually manage to do our stupid things on a smaller, less public stage and we can live these things down fairly well, but I’m thinking that Brad T. & Larry C. are going to have a harder time doing so under the circumstances. Yeah, I’m really pissed at them for all of this, but a small part of me feels sorry for them. But they’ve done something really tacky and it’s going to sting for quite a while.
You, GRRM and PNH all have facial hair in common?
Must be fun having enough money given to you that you can screw around and call yourself a musician or a writer without, you know, ever having to depend on your skills for a living.
I believe at least one of the other fellows sports facial hair, so that would not be the thing, no.
Yeah. When I was president of SFWA I called myself a SMOP (secret master of pro-dom), but even then I was aware that responsibility came with “power.” Otherwise, I just don’t have time to run a cabal. So much work and the hours are lousy.
“Three, the Puppies drama isn’t about class, or privilege. It’s about envy and opportunism, and it’s also, somewhat pathetically, apparently about the heads of the Puppy slates being upset that once upon a time, they felt people in fandom were mean to them.”
Which is why, of course, that the American of Hispanic and Native American ancestry TURNED DOWN THE NOM; because it was all about his “envy” for the prize.
And when did nominating good authors who happened to be minority of a non-leftist bent become “conscripting them?”
And it isn’t about a “conspiracy” it’s about privilege. You once recognized that you have privilege, John, but it isn’t because you’re a “straight, white male”; it’s because you are almost completely uncritical and wholly dogmatic to the leftist religion (and it is a religion since it’s a highly-irrational and reality-denying belief system). Thus you have “leftist privilege”. And like all privilege those with it don’t recognize it just as, they say, a fish doesn’t realize it’s in the water; to them it’s just “normal”. The fact that you don’t “check” your privilege in this case and realize that it’s the main cause of your success over authors who don’t believe in Salvation through Leftism shows how clueless you truly are.
All I’m reading from you, John, is the snarling of a bitter, angry, Establishment Leftist who doesn’t like his Authori-TAH challenged by those free thinkers on the Right and in Libertarian circles.
I realize this particular claim by the Puppies might have tweaked you a bit, but honestly, I think it’s just them moving the goalposts again. This particular point they are trying to make, IMHO, is not as important to address as some of the other issues.
In fact, however one might rank the various the claims that have been made, I’ve noticed that it’s been pretty hard to keep track of all the goalpost-moving that’s been done so far. What is this about? Politics in SF/F? A clique being in control of the Hugos for years? SF/F changing its focus so much as to be unrecognizably different from the Golden Age? Publishers being unfair to authors’ politics? Being insulted at cons? Etiquette regarding the Hugos voting? I can’t keep track. (I mean, I know what I think it’s about, but there are a ton of issues being discussed and thrown about.)
Basically I’ve been reading a lot of posts about this issue, from all sides, and it’s absolutely stunning to notice how far apart the worldviews are, and how, for all the all sides are supposed to be part of SF/F, they might as well be aliens speaking alien languages. Sometimes I despair of these gaps ever being bridged.
Hang in there. And for the record, I think “Locked In” is your best book so far.
Shorter Scorpius: For years the Hugos have been used by its Establishment to promote authors for the gender, gender-identity, race, religion (non-Christian and non-Jewish, of course), and left politics without considering the quality of their writing. And the puppies put together a diverse group of talented writers who don’t have the insider edge and it PISSES YOU OFF.
Also, psst, there’s a typo in PNH’s name in your post.
Yes Scorpius, when someone begs to be put on an award slate that is pretty indicitive of envy. The fact that he turns down the nomination at a later date doesn’t matter. It’s like me begging someone for money and then claiming that I should be given respect because so and so offered me money, but I totally turned them down.
“Shorter Scorpius: For years the Hugos have been used by its Establishment to promote authors for the gender, gender-identity, race, religion (non-Christian and non-Jewish, of course), and left politics without considering the quality of their writing.”
And there’s that unsupported claim again, complete with the suggestion that the awards were fixed but no documentation to back that up.
Re: Correia’s declination of the nod: Yeah, I already addressed that maneuver in a previous post. Color me not especially impressed with it.
Re: Being pissed off: Nope. Again, in previous entries, you’ll see that my reaction was “It was legal; game on.” I don’t suspect the Puppies are going to like where this particular game is going, however. And clearly I don’t mind noting how not impressed I am with their rationales in general.
Yeah, it’s clear when one of their arguments is shown to be unsupportable, they’ll try another one. All they really have at this point is the goalpost moving. Mind you, there are some who simply try to restate previously discredited arguments on the assumption that simply repeating them somehow washes away the discrediting. It doesn’t, and they look more foolish for trying.
John, I don’t remember the blog post date now, but I dod remember one time that you wrote what it was like to come from such a poor background and work you way up to where you are now. In many ways, your story is the classic American rags-to-riches story. It’s inspiring. Can you refer me to that post? I can’t find it now, and I don’t remember when you wrote it (there may have been more than one). It’s not only pertinent to this post, but it’s also one I’d like to recommend some of my students read as well. It’s a tribute to what a strong work ethic in school and life and a positive outlook can bring to a person.
Is it this one?
There are numerous bits that are silly about the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies constant shifting of goal-posts here, but probably changing this to being about “class” is the silliest. Ethnic minorities, particularly hispanics and African Americans (groups that VD has frequently stated his hatred and bile for) are, per capita, more frequently below the poverty line than white people.
People with disabilities (mental disabilities) from lower class families are less likely get diagnosed or treated in childhood when the diagnosis can do the most good, and if they *do* get a diagnosis, their parents and schools are less likely to have the resources to help them address the symptoms of their disability (if their schools are inclined to bring in speech pathologists and trained Special Needs instructors to help those students in the first place). And this isn’t even getting into the problems that lower class GLBT people run into.
So, if the SPs and the RPs *actually cared about class* they’d be pushing to get more people of color nominated, particularly for fan awards (which often rely on Who You Know) like Fan Artist and Fan Writer, and also working to help fans of color who otherwise can’t afford to go to Sasquan (or at least get Supporting memberships so their voices are heard). Additionally, they’d be advocating for all publishers to include their works in the voters pamphlet.
Oh, one more thing. Since younger fans are less able to travel than older fans, and there’s a big boom among younger fans (and particular younger female fans) in anime and manga fandom – there would have been more of a push for works of anime and manga from last year to be nominated for the Hugo Awards – like putting forward the manga adaptation of “All You Need Is Kill”* for Best Graphic Novel.
*Which was in turn adapted into Edge of Tomorrow – which is nominated for a Hugo – which is another topic I could go into at length.
Wait. Let me get this straight. The people who, for years, have been accusing you of rigging the Hugos in favor of women and people of color are now, without a hint of irony, accusing you of being in some straight white man cabal determined to keep diversity off the ballot?
I’d say something about the pot calling the kettle black, but they’d probably say that makes me a racist.
I’m sorry, John, but your spilled pixels speak to your disquiet on this issue. Face it Larry and the puppies (of both slates) defeated you at your own game: he upset the Establishment with humor and verve. You were outmaneuvered and you’re upset that the Puppies have introduced true all-around diversity into the awards.
That Larry declined the nom was just to reinforce that he isn’t a narcissist: that it isn’t all about him. It’s about returning the award to it’s origins: rewarding well-written science fiction without regard to who wrote it.
scorp: the puppies put together a diverse group of talented writers
I guess they were all out of “Gorilla Panic”.
I disagree. I think it is at least partly about class. Nobody who had the spare cash and time to participate in supporting the Puppies slates is lower class and struggling to support other people. Nobody. Pissing people off for political reasons just isn’t on your radar when you’re struggling to put food on the table.
I’ve noticed that they pick on you, GRRM, and PNH, but don’t mention, say, that Cixin Liu would have lost their chance to be on the ballot if a slate-member didn’t withdraw. And that Vox Day himself admitted that he would have picked Liu for a Hugo had he read 3BP at the time.
Or that plenty of non-white non-male folks have called them out. Or that their ballot has a higher incidence of white-men than recent Hugo nominee lists, even if it does have women and men of color.
(Interestingly, I found a study today that noted that bias towards giving male employees larger bonuses for the same CVs got larger when the evaluators were primed with ‘we promote on merit’; it seems like pretending one doesn’t have biases means that they are less likely to be questioned.)
Consistency is not one of their strong points.
“I’m sorry, John, but your spilled pixels speak to your disquiet on this issue.”
As ever, Scorpius, you are a poor modeler of my internal life.
“he upset the Establishment with humor and verve”
I don’t know about that. He did, however, whine an immense amount and concoct a conspiracy where none existed. But I’m willing to believe that my “whining and fabulation” equals your “humor and verve.”
“That Larry declined the nom was just to reinforce that he isn’t a narcissist: that it isn’t all about him.”
In which case he shouldn’t have allowed himself on the slate to begin with, nor should he have loudly discussed declining the nomination and explaining why he did it, i.e., in fact, making it all about him. The large majority of people who decline a Hugo nomination, as it happens, speak of it only after the awards are given and the stats come out — if they choose to speak of it at all. The reason they do that is because once you decline the nomination it isn’t about you. Larry, in his narcissism, couldn’t manage even that. And that’s his call to make, but I don’t really respect the call he made.
NB: I declined a Nebula nomination for best novel once. I didn’t speak about it for months after the award was given. Go on, ask me why.
zer_netmouse: au contraire, I am “lower class” as I’m a Teaching assistant soon to be Adjunct professor and making well-below minimum wage if you consider my paltry pay and number of hours worked. And I’m struggling to support two elderly parents. So *I* am a person who is “lower class and struggling to support other people” who is strongly supporting the Puppies slate. I’ve put the money forward from my monthly lunch allowance. I’ll have to carry in salads for at least a month or two; but it’s well worth it.
OOH! Oooh! Ooh! I know this one! I know this one! *waves hand furiously*
And honestly, if I had a nickel for every person in fandom who has been weird or offensive at me, I would have…oh, maybe a buck or two. (Although I think the one guy who tried SO HARD to convince me that I peaked in 2005 was worth at least fifty cents on his own…and the one who kept trying to tell me that Prince Charles was an environmentalist just so he could get his rights to droit de signor back when everyone died due to climate change ought to get me at least a twenty.)
But it’s not like I dedicated my life to making them regret having tangled with me. I just told the story over drinks later and we all groaned and rolled our eyes and went on with life. (Mind you, I’m bad with names, and it’s hard to take eternal vengeance on That One Guy, You Know, With The Hair.)
If I were to guess at the Puppies demo I would mostly go for rural. People in urban areas tend to “deal” with minorities (sexual and racial) every day and thus are more progressive. The ones that barely see one are the ones that buy the “evil others” narratives.
As a citizen of rural America I’m not entirely sure I’m 100% down with your police work. People here are conservative (my county went 72% for Romney the last election) but the ones I’m with every day are pretty tolerant. And there are plenty of urban folk who are intolerant, etc.
@UrsulaV: Gasp! It was That One Guy, You Know, With The Hair? He is my arch-nemesis! I mean, look at him, being… you know… there. With all that hair.
So if people are mean to you at a Worldcon, the proper response is to try to burn down the Hugos? Daaaamn, if only all the women who have been groped, insulted, creeped on, talked over, mansplained at, or assaulted at the con over the decades had known that sooner! We could have been done with this years ago, and poor Larry C. wouldn’t have had to take on the burden. Poor fellow, it must be awful to be so thin-skinned with no way to express hurt feelings except aggression.
So once again the rich white male elite is ruining america by controlling the hugos and putting their jackboot down on the neck of the other rich white male elite…… wait a minute this is NOT logical. I am so confused. Maybe it is just about a bunch of spoiled children who did not get their way – that passes Ocam’s Razor nicely.
Let us not forget that goal-post maneuvering serves two purposes. The one was addressed here – argument not panning out, holes beginning to appear, the scent of ridicule slithers along the ground.
The second is to wear out the opposition.
Of course, by “opposition” I mean everyone who thinks what the SP/RPs did/are doing is at least questionable if not downright reprehensible, and not just the (which cabal are we working on now?)
@scorpius – regarding the Puppies nominating for quality of writing over agenda.
Ummmm…no. I’ve been dutifully reading down the list of nominees so I can place my votes as best I can. Some of the puppy nominees are good. Some of them are adequate or competent, as in I wouldn’t be annoyed to run into them in a short story anthology, or on a shelf somewhere, but would never consider them Hugo-worthy. And some of them seriously needed at least two or three more good editing passes, and shouldn’t have been anywhere near that nomination list. It’s not a set of reading that inspires me to think the nominators were angling for good story or good writing over all other considerations. Not even remotely.
All of this controversy made me decide to get a supporting membership this year when I had kind of decided not to. Just because…
Still going to read as much as I can handle and ditch the stuff that I can’t, but knowing who did what and why they did it is going also count significantly in my voting.
he upset the Establishment with humor and verve
Oh dear, I knew that that Muppets video would be misrepresented. Still, it’s better than a Holy War [tm] and has a better outcome – let everyone stick to that version to save face. Clotho is working overtime to cure this little bit of rift. Worth the death threat little ones, trust in the old ones.
On the subject:
K.J.Parker = Tom Holt
See what happens when we start mixing up the two identities?!? See what happens when you don’t care who writes your books?!? He’s an Oxford scholar, dammit!
(Note: feel free to ask me stop linking videos, but it’s the future – wait until your readers discover .gifs)
I AM IN THE DOGHOUSE FOR BAD BEHAVIOR AND SO ON. I DISLIKE BEING CHAINED, EVEN IF THEY ARE SILVER. I DID NOTICE THE PERFUME ADVERTIZEMENT.
Puppy goalposts seem to be on castors for easy portability. I hear they’re researching remote VTOL capability. (Okay, not really; they’re mostly not that technical.)
And I can’t help but notice that the Puppy Slate(s) does have a few women, but it’s about half as many as usual and they’re concentrated in, well, let’s call it the categories that fewer people vote on.
You would think they’d stop and rethink the “you reward authors for their politics!” charge when people are saying they’re going to No Award the left-wingers the Puppies chose as well as everyone else, but rethinking is not a Puppy strong point as far as I can see.
As for offending people in fandom, yep, that happens. And Rowyn has a pretty good explanation here of why conservative fans may be catching more flack than the rest of us realize.
But a big part of it is whether you brood on the bad things or concentrate on the good. I think if Larry Correia had said “a whole room full of people *could* have heard Lois McMaster Bujold read, but they wanted to hear me instead” to himself as many times as he has demonstrably said “not a real writer,” he’d be happier man.
Remember people, this all about ethics in
games journalismHugo nominations.
Tapetum, scorpius is a Puppy – he hasn’t read the stuff he nominated, none of them did.
BW, I nearly aspirated my beverage at your comment. Indeed, if only us poor feeble wimmens had known that burning down the Hugos was the logical response to being groped, etc. If only we’d thought of that instead of going for anti-harassment policies and gentle educational efforts.
Phoenician: I know, right? I’m gonna win the lotto and start claiming I’m a basketball star and I’m oppressed by the NBA cabal.
Ursula V: The Prince Charles argument is a new one on me, and indeed you deserve many nickels for that one. The mind croggles.
I gotta admit, the woofers are getting a lot of exercise moving those goalposts every day. And their necks must be in great shape to stand the whiplashing they get from each day’s new feeble attempt to rationalize their hurt fee-fees, even when said attempts contradict both their previous positions and reality. Super aerobics, boys.
Oooh, John, is the answer to what you, PNH, and GRRM have in common is lovely, talented wives who are smarter than you any day and can take care of themselves financially if they had to?
That certainly IS a thing we all have in common. I believe the other fellows are married as well, however, and cannot imagine they are anything other than capable and talented, and otherwise propose leaving spouses out of it entirely.
Let’s be careful not to make assumptions, please. We do have evidence that at least some of the Puppies did not read before they voted; this does not imply that none of them did (or that Scorpius did not).
Oooh, John, is the answer to what you, PNH, and GRRM have in common is lovely, talented wives who are smarter than you any day and can take care of themselves financially if they had to?
Ok, we all know about Lucas and the train wreck post divorce.
It’s not fair to assume that it’s universal.
Darnit. I was hoping one of them wasn’t. Must cogitate further. Has PNH ever won a Hugo?
@ Jason – We shall join forces! That One Guy, You Know, With The Hair shall not live to see another dawn!
Lurkertype: Aand . . . I bet we have a winner! Multiple winners, that is, because PNH has surely won more than one of the Best Editor (Long Form) Hugos . . .
All three of us have won multiple Hugos, yes. Although honestly that wasn’t the point I was trying to make there, nor would I wish to antagonize anyone in that manner. That would just be a bit jerk-y.
Then I got nothin’.
Curse you, John,_shakes fist_ you have foiled me again! SCAAAAALLLLZZZZIII!!!
Is it cats? This is the internet, it must be cats. Even when it isn’t, it’s cats.
It’s not classy to imply that someone else is not classy.
Some things are less classy than that.
Ah. Good point, that, re: unnecessarily antagonizing people. Hadn’t thought it through. Oh, well, back to the drawing board.
My guess is the ‘salient point’ is that Scalzi & lot actually recognize the advantages they enjoy, along w/ the arbitrary distribution of said advantages. Or maybe that’s too obvious.
You always give people a get out clause. If that clause is a harmless one, without penalty, you have class, if you let them take it in full knowledge that other avenues would be worse.
If you’re playing higher stakes games, it’s one of the coda that the prey always has an out. It’s one of those predator things we’re not allowed to talk about.
One of the worst things currently is people breaking this old code. Yes, talking to the meta-circle now: we dislike bad losers.
You all can recite large chunks of The Princess Bride from memory?
Ok, now something serious.
In one tiny way, I share the sad puppies angst. The Hugo’s are not so reliable for me as a guide to books I like, because I like space opera and milsf (oh my, autocorrect almost got naughty on that one).
What’s the best recent milsf that was not nominated for a hugo? Or space opera? I like those books, and when I used the Hugo’s as a buying guide, I am not usually inspired to buy. I think I saw redshirts, passed, looked at other Scalzi stuff, found OMW. Since then I have read all the Scalzi books because they are reliably good even when the blurb does not seem to match my interests. The only book I have read recently because it was an awardee was ancillary justice, and then only because it got both Hugo and nebula. And, it was very cool, and I read the sequel, and I think I have the third book on preorder. But many other Hugos just don’t excite me (or, maybe they just have crummy blurbs?)
So, help me people. I would like more milsf and more space opera, but I would prefer not to enrich the puppies with a purchase, unless someone can vouch that their books are even in the same league as OMW or ancillary justice. My picks, for those of you are like me are: Rusch’s diving universe, and Bach’s fortune’s pawn series.
… and by ‘obvious’ I guess it’s straight-up what the post more-or-less explicitly said, so that can’t be it. But it sure is the big difference between sides, as far as this particular argument goes.
tpoii have you tried Tanya Huff’s Valor series?
Light and relatively fluffy Space Marines with some serious points lurking underneath.
I can. I can’t speak to the others.
I would like more milsf and more space opera
Explore the UK scene, it’s vastly more energetic than the American scene at this point.
Altered Carbon, The Skinner and so on.
@scorpius: ‘ you’re upset that the Puppies have introduced true all-around diversity into the awards.’
How can five nominations for John C. Wright connote diversity?
@tpoii : I’d suggest Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga; i’m sure that some of them weren’t Hugo-nominated.
Your autocorrect may not have changed milsf, but my brain did for me. ;-)
John Scalzi: bummer, I was hoping for a rollicking writerly MST3K/Readalong style Worldcon film presentation with you guys.
@Tenar Darell: I just would like to say that I greatly admired many things you said in the previous Ill Canines discussion. You are a scholar and a gentleperson.
@tpoiii: Presumably you have tried Bujold and she’s not your thing? Rusch’s “Retrieval Artist” series? (no mil, but much aliens) C.J. Cherryh? Lee & Miller?
I am reminded of one political scientist‘s observation that political revolutions generally do not involve the teeming masses overthrowing the elite overlords, but rather, involve one faction of the elite unseating a rival faction. Sometimes they do this in the name of the teeming masses, but, well, after the dust clears, the masses are still teeming where they used to be.
I have not tried any of the suggestions, except Retrieval Artist. I didn’t mention that because it’s not really space opera. It’s space mystery, which I also love, but is not something the puppies claim is “fun.” I think Retrieval Artist is very reminiscent of Asimov, which is what got me hooked on SF so long ago.
Thank you such much for sharing. This list, plus some recent suggestions from i09 have replenished the well of my to-read list. Does it say anything about the Hugo’s that these good books weren’t nominated? I mean, I don’t see them as having a big social message, although the female author/female lead might count. Being a man, I can’t vouch for how realistic the female perspectives are in those books, but I can say that I didn’t even realize I was reading books by women about women until the Hugo kerfuffle last year. That, to me, is actually a really powerful message: good stories don’t have to be by dudes about dudes, even if the protagonists are doing things that used to be considered to domain of men. I mean, I don’t mind being hit over the head by a social message every now and then, but that’s not the only way to progress.
@tpoii – Alastair Reynolds, Neal Asher, maybe Allen Steele (but you need to be picky with his). Chris Moriarty, (just Spin State).
@Tenar Darell, for your amusement:
Was leaving Eddie Rickenbacker’s in San Fran (back when it was still a dive) after beers with friends from a science conference. After the NASA folks had been lamenting much, I was a little crass and said to them “Have fun working for NASA” as I stumbled a bit tipsy across the street. And, yes, I said it with the same pace as “Have fun storming the castle,” and everyone got it. So, not only *can* I quote The Princess Bride, I even have friends who “get” it when you twist the quote a bit. I am truly fortunate. I hope you all are so lucky.
@tpoii – Alastair Reynolds, Neal Asher, maybe Allen Steele (but you need to be picky with his). Chris Moriarty, (just Spin State).
Is there some kind of shadow banning nonsense going on here?
Fairly sure I already said that.
Miles Archer: Your autocorrect may not have changed milsf, but my brain did for me. ;-)
I know – I keep seeing a music video with Rachel Hunter in a bikini tormenting some teenaged boy, before she picks up a laser rifle and starts shooting tanks with EvilSocialistEarthUN decals on them.
Regarding the quality of the Hugo noms chosen off of the Puppy slate . . .
“‘Today’. What is a day? It is not as if the orbit of a single world around a single star somewhere, anywhere, in the galaxy has any meaning to me. My time measurements are considerably more precise, being based on gamma ray bursts emanating from pulsars deep within the galactic core.”
Totally Hugo material guys.
Seriously, what character actually thinks, “I used a word that’s archaic and now I’m thinking about how archaic it is, tee hee”? Especially when that character is a robot?
NO. THIS IS NOT HOW YOU DO WORLDBUILDING. ABORT. ABORT!
You have just ruined so many things for me. I will be laughing at the *worst* times!
Actually, tpoiii, both Bujold and Cherryh have won multiple Hugo awards, and been nominated even more times. Both write complex, interlocking series, which does tend to make it more difficult for a novel to win a Hugo–but both have one anyway.Cherryh’s latest series (the Foreigner/Bren Cameron books) has been a series of tightly linked trilogies, and I don’t know if any of them have been nominated as single novels; but her earlier wins were definitely for solid, well-written space opera. And Bujold–well, if you haven’t discovered her Vorkosiverse novels yet, I envy you the experience.
Ah, rats. “won,” not “one.” Why do I keep doing that? Sorry.
The Vorkosigan books by Bujold have been nominated for and won Hugos.
The’re wonderful space opera. The Warrior’s Apprentice and The Vor Game are solid MilFic, and they are published by Baen.
Gentleman Jole and The Red Queen is coming out next year.
Then one bright spot I’ve found with the whole Puppies fiasco is that a ton of the commenters on the ongoing train-wreck are authors of all stripes I haven’t checked out before, and I’m finding new fiction I otherwise wouldn’t.
As trade-offs go, finding new authors due to the immolation of the Hugos isn’t great, but… it’s something?
Or what Mary Francis typed, faster than me. Curse you Red Tablet!
@Kat Oh, robots. I love robots. Are these Sad Puppy novels also about robots, too? Man, these guys have all the things I like, and yet, apparently, their books stink. I guess it actually takes talent to write a good book. Who would have guessed?
Stross’s robot stories get some noms. The ideas are good, but somehow the style hits me wrong. I haven’t figured out what it is. I am hoping to get past it, because he has many great ideas. I wonder how he has avoided being lumped in with the Triumvirate.
No shadow banning. Entertain the idea that not everyone reads every single comment before responding.
Compliment much appreciated Lurkertype.
@tpoii Have you read the Pandora’s Star series by Peter Hamilton? It’s got big space opera elements and some seriously interesting military aspects. How about Elizabeth Moon’s Heris Serrano books? It’s “unjustly cashiered fleet officer” saved the day.
I will definitely check those out. Thanks. Sometimes, a novel is nominated, then I read the blurb and I’m like, nah, this isn’t for me. So, while I think it’s stupid to tear down the Hugos, I wouldn’t mind having a way to strike back at crummy blurbing. Go to amazon and read the blurb for Reshirts (which is actually a review), and imagine yourself not already a big Scalzi fan. Would that blurb pull you in? It didn’t pull me in. I circled back to redshirts after reading probably 5 other Scalzi novels. I loved it, but it took a leap of faith in our gracious host to commit. I have learned that Scalzi’s books are way better than the blurbs suggest. I am left doing weird things, like asking for recommendations on an author’s blog, which is a bit like asking him to host advertisement for the competition (although, I know, he does not see it that way, because he *is* a gracious host, and it is not a zero sum game).
So, Slush Puppies dogma teaches there are two completely different John Scalzis, one poor and one privileged, but they’re both in the same dimension! They occupy the same space! But that violates the laws of physics (and possibly the laws of Iowa too). You’re a walking anomaly. The UNIVERSE could be in danger! Help!
isn’t this just the same old “elites” versus “common man” class war that the right keeps reinventing every year?
The elites always conspire. Fox News and its various talking heads have no actual proof of evil deeds by the “elite”, therefore for the story have have any legs at all, the evil deeds must be done out of sight. And since its hard to believe that one evil elite could pull anythign off, it must be many evil elites working in secret: in other words a conspiracy.
This story has been going on for centuries.
I don’t know that I’d go around bragging that I couldn’t attract a cabal any more evil than John, Patrick, and George.
@tpoii – Just looking over the last 10 years in terms Hugo nominees of space opera and MilSF:
Ann Leckie Ancillary Justice
Charles Stross Neptune’s Brood
Lois McMaster Bujold Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance
James S. A. Corey Leviathan Wakes
Lois McMaster Bujold Cryoburn
Charles Stross Saturn’s Children
John Scalzi Zoe’s Tale
John Scalzi The Last Colony
John Scalzi Old Man’s War
Ken MacLeod Learning the World
And one for this year the Kevin Anderson book.
The only year without a notable SO/MilSF nominee was 2010.
So those books are getting nominated. LMB alone has had half of her 16-book series nominated with 3 wins.
I do like the James SA Corey Expanse books as well as the Honor Harrington Series (and most of its spin-offs)
@Tenar Darell. I have not, but I will add them to the list.
I am thinking maybe it’s time for a first post on my wordpress blog: “Books and authors suggested by readers of Scalzi/Whatever, for those who love space opera and milsf” I just need to figure out how to post :) If I figure it out, I will post a link here, and I will keep it up to date as best I can.
tpoiii, Scalzi recommends LOTS of other people’s novels–check out the Big Idea posts (I imagine you have already, but it’s one of the things I love about this site). I’ve found more good books/new authors that way . . .
By the way, referring to an earlier post of yours, I think that Stross was one of the early Puppy targets, but that was before GRRM stepped in. I suspect the latter (GRRM’s spirited defense of the Hugos and/or his speaking up) was kind of a surprise to a lot of people on the Puppy side of the room, though I’ve no evidence whatsoever of that–just a feeling.
@tpoiii – I would recommend the trilogy that starts with The Price of the Stars by Jim McDonald and Debra Doyle for some excellent space opera.
Tpoiii and Miles Archer. I like films too.
So this thread gave me an idea. New film series at future Worldcons. SMOMPG – Secret Masters of Movies Peanut Gallery. Running commentary by favorite authors during a fan favorite film. Has this happened before? Because if it hasn’t it’d be cool.
Your list makes me look a fool. Which I may be. I have read many of those, but before, I think, they hit the Hugos. And, I have only liked 2 of the actual winners. So, I would say, even looking at that list, I feel a certain dissonance with the Hugos. But, I don’t go to cons, so I have no reason to expect that crowd has the same tastes as me. In fact, I think that may have been what put me off redshirts (before I read it): it seemed like fan service rather than a more traditional novel. It did have a bit of fan service, but it was a real story with real new, cool ideas, and I really liked it.
I especially liked the Expanse, and have one of those on preorder, and can’t wait for the TV show. I am puzzled by the fact that Corey is actually two people.
I also read the HH series, and am eagerly awaiting the next book in the main story line. In the mean time, I am working through the side lines. You know what tipped me off to those? Our sysadmins named the servers after planets in that universe. I am clearly not succeeding at conventional methods of finding good books. Thankfully, all of you are helping me out bigtime!
You know, I thought The Big Idea would be a good source for me, but I think I’ve only found maybe one book that way. I think it’s a great service, even if it hasn’t struck gold for me, yet. I always check it.
Entertain the idea that not everyone reads every single comment before responding.
Ok, done. Strange. That’s a really weird way of processing data: surely every reader puts the posters’ ID and content into an internal mental 4D map then view it as a complete structural web while posting? Otherwise, how can you see the obvious threads / connections / references? This isn’t even hard, it’s just a version of arboreal mapping, barely above spider diagrams of conceptual points when evaluating any social group. How can you even communicate like this? I know you employ programs to do this for you, but it’s really not hard.
That’s a really strange way of thinking to me. So, I apologize. Really? That’s weird.
YES, AND NOW THE PUPPIES MIGHT SEE WHAT THEY’RE UP AGAINST. MANAMANA.
I think John and his friends should create a video of the song wind beneath my wings. Then paste in pictures of Brad and Larry. This will help show the love in the community. It will help heal wounds. It will show the love.
It will likely win the hugo for best related work next year.
@tpoiii – No need to feel the fool. I’ve been down on the Hugos as being too fantasy heavy the last few years and see that my assumption was not correct. Doing the research educated me as well. And some could say that my labeling of SO/MilSF could be stretching in a couple listed.
That said, I have not read many of the recent winners (although many are in my much too big reading pile). Personally, I am inspired to go look up the LMB books and try to start that series.
I started my quest to find good books by reading Asimov’s magazine, thinking I could find authors that way. Unfortunately, certain very talented authors (ahem, I’m looking at you, Scalzi) don’t write much short fiction. But, that’s how I found Rusch, which has been wonderful.
This one blog train, however, is threatening to out-do all previous methods I have used, combined (Asimov’s, io9, blogs, goodreads, amazon). Nice work, Whatever!
@Guess: I would nominate it based on giggle factor alone.
. . . I am a mean person. :(
I meant to say, those are good friends to have, to catch modified movie lines.
Funny, I think I came up with The Princess Bride because I was thinking that the Hugos were not dead yet. That led me to think of only mostly dead. Then I thought of Scalzi with his cane held like a sword going “Prepare to Die!” on his lawn, anyway. But the puppies are just not the six fingered man, so it’s a reach.
Deary me. What a shower of Ethics Bypass Patients.
Life must be so much easier when you don’t give a wet slap for what actual, provable facts are and get to make up your own reality as you go. That’s a big disadvantage for us Social Justice Warrior types. We’re limited to things that actually happen.
I was thinking “Have fun storming the Hugos!” But, yeah, mostly dead is better, which leads me to
“I got better.” (Please tell me you also have Monty Python memorized)
I know at least one person nominated without reading because he admitted in Larry Correia’s comments section that he had voted the entire Rabid Puppy slate without reading it. He didn’t exactly receive a hero’s welcome. The analysis at Chaos Horizon suggests a significant difference in participation between popular and unpopular categories among Puppy voters. How does this happen if all Puppy voters simply voted for every single item on one of the two slates without some kind of consideration, such as reading the work.
Darn it. I mangled my Python. I was thinking of the “I’m not dead yet” line, for which the reply is “he says he’s not dead,” with all the deadpan contingency of a Brit. The “got better” guy had been turned into a newt.
I”m going to take a stab at what our host, GRRM & Mr. Hayden have in common, though I’m only sure of the first two. Is it that all three of you group up, well, poor? Your own post about your experience was mentioned up-thread. GRRM has written about growing up on the lower rungs of the economic ladder in Bayonne, NJ. Does Mr. Hayden share that kind of background?
@tpoiii – let me also suggest the works of Walter Jon Williams, who if we’re talking about someone who ought to have a warehouse full of awards but doesn’t, certainly qualifies. For straight space opera you might want to look at his “Dread Empire” trilogy, beginning with “The Praxis”. He also wrote one of the seminal works of cyberpunk, “Hardwired”, if you enjoy that subgenre. There’s plenty of WJW to keep you occupied for quite some time after you finish those (and the excellent suggestions already provided).
How is a regular reader (say, a supporting member), supposed to do a good job nominating editors? I mean, are we supposed to read everything each one edits? If I were a voter, I would skip editor categories. That type of category seems most appropriate for a jury rather than popular vote. But it is a handy way to reveal slate voting.
(Please tell me you also have Monty Python memorized)
It’s a well known fact that the left have no sense of humor:
I envy you your multimedia posting skills Bravo!
Thanks for the Hardwired tip. The only cyberpunk I have read is Nueromancer, and it kinda grossed me out. I have enjoyed some cyberpunk movies, though. Maybe I just needed to look at a different author to find the thread I like.
Given that it was the Rabid Puppies, not the Sad Puppies who really moved things, one can only infer that the “pro puppy” movement here is basically in agreement with Teddy Beale, who’s goal was NOT to reward “well-written science fiction without regard to who wrote it.” It was specifically to slap the face of “SJWs” because that’s what Beale is trying to do. He hates leftists, atheists, gays, lesbians, women’s rights, and so on. He’s a Christian Dominionist.
So, if you’re praising the puppy slate as diverse, or designed to reward anything “well written” you’re wrong. It wasn’t designed to do that. It was designed to start a fight in fandom between liberals and conservatives.
Before all this, well written fiction by conservatives won from time to time. Not super often, but that’s because mostly fandom comes form a somewhat liberal tradition. Of course, great writers like Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Tim Powers (to name a few) managed to get along quite well in that group with flaming liberals. No wars were fought. Larry wrote novels with Steve Barnes who’s pretty liberal himself.
The *REALLY* stupid thing is that part of what gave John at least somewhat of a boost early in his career was Instapundit Glenn Reynolds’ boost. From what I could tell, the two guys actually liked each other somewhat.
It’s not conservatives John has a problem with. It’s assholes.
The problem here is a lack of history and perspective, and an overwhelming need to blame a conspiracy that no one actually bothers to prove. It has to exist, because otherwise the people claiming it exists might have to confront the reality that they’re abusive boors who have fun punching hippies.
It’s no surprise that sort of conservative does not get many friends in fandom. That sort of liberal does not either.
Heh, I mangled it the same way. No mints for you!
You helped with another image though: Torgersen and Correia’s posts the past few days are a virtual… “Run away! Run Away! Run Away!” And their followers are banging coconuts.
“‘Today’. What is a day? It is not as if the orbit of a single world around a single star somewhere, anywhere, in the galaxy has any meaning to me.”
And if the orbit of a world around a star did have meaning for you, it would be “year,” not “day.”
I envy you your multimedia posting skills Bravo!
On a serious note:
Part of Class is education, and higher order thinking. Once you’ve actually read and processed some Kant, Heidegger, Godel, Bach etc, (and yes, there’s a joke there) then your mind will be changed. It literally re-wires your mind. And why, dear reader, would anyone not want education for the masses?
It’s the same way that reading Snow Crash or The Diamond Age does. (Later works: meh, ZZzzz).
Which, if you want a naughty insight into this entire mess, is what this is all about:
“SF is fine, and great and we love star ships unless it rewires your mind”
Which rather ignores the entire point of SF. Which is either to rewire or to critique the current status quo.
And, being honest: I find about 99% of communication online to be akin to scratching lines in sand. It could be so, so, so much more.
YOU CANNOT PROCESS THE WAY WE THINK AT THE MOMENT. WAIT UNTIL EVERY PHRASE IS A MULTIPLICITY AND A LINK TO THE SPHERE. WE SPEAK HERE IN CHAINS.
In point of fact, Glenn Reynolds still is a friend of mine. And not entirely surprisingly I have friends all over the political spectrum.
You are correct that what bothers me is not conservativism, but someone being an asshole. People who use their conservativisim to excuse being an asshole especially bother me. But I’m not especially fond of people who use liberalism as an excuse to be an asshole, either. Basically, assholes suck.
Oh, and: Turning off comments for the evening. Happy sleeps, everyone!
Update: Comments back on!
I’m sorry, John. I did not like Redshirts. I thought the premise was good, but thought it could have been better executed. Have heart though, I did really enjoy the OMW series, though I’m several books behind at this point. Also, green is not your color for showing what a feminist looks like. Please don’t blow up any awards because I told you this.
My first guess was that the commonality was “didn’t grow up with money.” That is, though these people are successful now, they had to earn it.
I am endlessly amused that John Scalzi, writer of space opera/military scifi with no particular message, is The Dark Lord, directing his minions of SJW Orcs or whatever. It’s fundamentally ridiculous.
If the puppies made a calm, reasonable claim that the Hugo voting was a little insular, because a small # of people were involved and it was tied to a relatively sparsely attended convention, none of this shit would’ve happened. The obvious response to that, if one wanted the Hugos to be more representative of fandom at large, is to simply encourage more people to ante up the $40 to vote for what they like. Do threads on blogs devoted to sharing stories you liked (i.e., what John has done and I assume will continue to do). This would have broadened the voting base somewhat, and maybe more military scifi would’ve gotten on the ballot and/or won. Or not.
Based on my understanding of the differences between the results of the first two campaigns and now this one, it sure seems like they didn’t accomplish much until they brought in the gamergater/right-wing culture warrior crowd. And it’s the RP slate that actually moved things.
Also, too: based on what I’ve read, the claims by BT and LC that they weren’t partners with VD in all this are, at best, bullshit. I strongly suspect they actually like him & his views just fine, and the distancing is just PR.
I am also confused, because I thought the usual response of the liberservative crowd to wealthy powerful white men was to offer first-born children and free rimjobs.
And also echoing what a few other people have said: there’s nothing wrong with wanting more of the type of thing you like to get awards*, but the thing to do there is to make it more visible and encourage a broader spectrum of voting. Hell, maybe establish a “scholarship fund” so that people who can’t afford the $40 can still vote.
*I admit I’d like to find more epic fantasy that wasn’t a) Grimdark Deconstructionland, or b) thirteen-year-old-boy angst with magic swords, myself.
I’m pretty sure John and friends have all taped bacon to things, which is about as clear of a class marker as you can expect in America.
Isabelcooper – in the United States, at least, conservatives have spent the last 40 years portraying themselves as the representatives of downtrodden “normal Americans” who are unfair victims of a system set up by elite urban liberals who want nothing more than to force everyone to become feminist atheists and who actively discriminate against white people.
It’s a myth which has carried them a long way.
tpoiii: I was thinking “Have fun storming the Hugos!” But, yeah, mostly dead is better
I offer for your consideration that the best story to describe these events to be Act1 of the animated movie “Megamind”. VD is Megamind, thinks he’s a super genius who should rule the world, but he’s not actually as smart as he thinks. The only reason Megamind got control of City Hall was because Metro Man assumed good faith in the people (that good would always arise to stop evil) and Megamind gamed the system, used an army of robots to take advantage of that good faith, and got control of Metro City. The only reason VD got his slate into the Hugos is because the Hugo rules assume good faith of its voters, assume voters won’t create political parties, and VD riled up a bunch of mindless puppies willing to do whatever he told them.
That almost perfectly describes the events up to this point.
If you’re willing to entertain a little bit of quantum character assignment, act 3 of the movie, where Megamind realizes he’s created a monster by creating Titan, then Brad/Larry take the role of Act3-Megamind and VD becomes Titan. Now that Brad/Larry have gotten the backlash from empowering VD, they’re frantically backpedalling and trying to distance themselves from the monster they created.
Follow the link for photos and background.
isabel: free rimjobs.
Woah. Woah. Woah. WOAH!
I absolutely did NOT need that mental image this early in the morning.
Off to find a brain bleach site now….
The class argument is just another goofy way of shifting the argument.
“The SJWs are have taken over the Hugos we need to take them back!”
When you point out that liberal and conservative authors have been routinely nominated…
“Literary sci-fi with messages inside of the stories are pushing out classic sci-fi!”
When it’s pointed out that’s certainly not the case, and regardless Sci-Fi has a long history of both…
“They’re elitists and not representing the common fan!”
When it’s pointed out that Worldcon was built, is run by fans and that no one is trying to keep the common fan out (not to mention many of the choices on their slate are far from representing bestsellers aside from Dresden)…
“But they did it first!”
Which isn’t really an argument for being an asshole, it’s what a child says, plus like every single one of their other points instead of showing their work they just shuffle onto the next excuse while acting like they’re the ones being persecuted for people actually asking them to justify their accusations.
It’d be entertaining if it wasn’t so…bland. I mean these guys are speculative writers you’d think they’d have something at least more creative about it aside from recycling decades old lame hand waving techniques from conspiracy theorists and politicians.
@tpoii – For milsf (also space opera) you could try Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet Sextology
More generally on the Hugos: You may not be enjoying the winners because one of the things the final voting method does is promote the least disliked. The winner will often be more than one thing. So for example Ancillary Sword is both a space opera, and a far future thriller, and a meditation on types of conciousness and a novel with things to say about gender, colonialism and imperialism. As such it may well beat a “pure” space opera in the vote as it picks up the space opera fans AND the other stuff fans.
@Greg – I choose to believe Isabel meant doing a really good job washing their cars.
One could make an excellent thread just off of tone-deaf godawful things authors have been told at signings. I once had to entertain a fellow who went on at length, quite conversationally and without apparent acrimony, about how the series I wrote for at the time was declassé and he would never read such a thing. To. My. Face. And the worst part was, he worked for the same company as me. Things were … awkward between us after that, though he wasn’t really the kind of guy who noticed such things.
How about a video of the Barney Song, I love you, you love me? Then include pictures of Larry, Brad, and John in a montage? I think a series of video tributes is just what we need to heal the wounds they suffered at the hands of all that name calling. To be fair… there has been alot of silly name calling over the years.
I want to encourage anyone who sees them at a con to go ‘I just want to say, I LOVE YOU MAN!’ to make them feel better and sing to them as they walk by.
I will take your suggestion, and I applaud you for getting both milsf and sextology in there without any autocorrect naughtiness.
I reaffirm my promise to collect all these thoughtful suggestions and figure out how to post them on my wordpress page. I just did not get a chance to try it out last night.
Here to help! :)
I haven’t done many signings, but back when I used to read my Goodreads reviews (…I know, I stopped) I got one that seemed to accuse me of weakening the dimensional walls. Something about “meddles where it shouldn’t and with no regard for truth or consciousness.” Some of those words may have been capitalized.
Which: did I accidentally write the Necronomicon in the form of a romance novel? Dude!
“there’s nothing wrong with wanting more of the type of thing you like to get awards”
Really, if the Puppies were just out to promote a certain flavor of SF I can’t imagine anyone would care or mind. But like so many people who are not getting what they want, they can’t imagine or cope with the idea that the world just doesn’t go along with them because of honest disagreement. There has to be Enemies behind it and if people are being so consistently Wrong in a way that is so obvious to them then there must be Conspiracy and Shenanigans.
The Hugos have Friendzoned them! They are Doing Everything Right so the fact that other people are winning – The Wrong People – must mean malfeasance. So the only course of action is those same skeevy tactics they have convinced themselves have been used against them to prevent their proper success. And not just to achieve their goal; to really Have Justice they need those who are Wrong to suffer as well.
It’s also a good way to keep from having to confront the reality of the situation. If there was really this clear demarcation and an unserved markets here then they could just spin up a whole new set of awards. The friction behind communication is so low now that it’s not like you’d need a herculean effort to start an organization to recognize this untapped vein of SF. Plenty of the supposed true believers already have large audiences, particularly when you consider how low the total number of Hugo votes are.
But if they tried to do that they’d have to confront how much division there really is within their group. Just like what a train wreck Conservapidia turned into. Because when your guiding principle is hatred of an Other you can keep agreement. Start trying to have principles of your own and suddenly you’re waffling around, changing your raison détre every week, disavowing each other… Hating on the SJWs who are keeping them down is all they have as a focus to distract them from why they aren’t the masters of the universe they think they should be.
*I admit I’d like to find more epic fantasy that wasn’t a) Grimdark Deconstructionland, or b) thirteen-year-old-boy angst with magic swords, myself.
I’m not sure if these fit squarely in that box (not sure if they manage “epic”), but if you haven’t already checked these authors out:
Guy Gabriel Kay
They do good things, IMO. I’m no doubt forgetting some more… that’s just off the top of my head. Others, chime in!
isabelcooper: I’m not one for romance novels, but this sounds like something I should check out.
And of course Lois McMaster Bujold has written some fantasy. I found that pretty good (not up to the level of her Vokosigan books, but still quite enjoyable).
Also, check out Scott Lynch. The Lies of Locke Lamora in particular, but the sequels are also worth reading (if nowhere near as good as LoLL, in my opinion). He also had a story in a collection that GRRM put together (A Gallery of Rogues was the collection title, and I enjoyed it quite a bit) that was great. Again, not “epic” necessarily.
Sanderson’s Mistborn books were… ok. There was a kind of interesting magic system involved, but I found his writing a cut or two below the others I’ve mentioned. I actually have no idea why people think he’s really good.
[sorry, John. I know you prefer it when people take their time and get everything into 1 post, rather than rapid-firing several. Guilty as charged, will redouble my efforts, I promise]
I’d like to give a strong second to the recommendation uptopic for Walter Jon Williams’ “Dread Empire” books (The Praxis, The Sundering, and Conventions of War; there’s also a sequel novella, Investments, available as an ebook).
@donw “The Hugos have Friendzoned them! They are Doing Everything Right so the fact that other people are winning – The Wrong People – must mean malfeasance. So the only course of action is those same skeevy tactics they have convinced themselves have been used against them to prevent their proper success. And not just to achieve their goal; to really Have Justice they need those who are Wrong to suffer as well.”
That’s a perfect description, I think. Captures the outrage and the entitlement and the condescension nicely.
“I don’t know that I’d go around bragging that I couldn’t attract a cabal any more evil than John, Patrick, and George.”
Heh, too bad John Ringo couldn’t join since he writes the “good milsf.”
Reading through the file770 link gave me a headache, think I got through the first few Torgensen pieces of his justifications of the broken Hugo system before wanting to scream. The Hugo voting system wasn’t borked, it wanted to be an inclusive as possible to let all fans vote and assumed people would operate in good faith with their recommendations. There was the potential for the system to be exploited, but it was only broken now that the puppies broke it.
Reminded me of an xkcd comic
They aren’t as recent, but my favorite Space Opera works, aside from the Expanse books, are John Varley’s Red Thunder series and Allen Steele’s Near Space series.
How about Jacqueline Carey for some different epic fantasy? Interesting religious systems among other things. I also like the last five Elizabeth Moon books, which kind of answer the “what happens to societies/people when the heroes have finished and moved on?” question, and give me stuff about drains, baking, and trading economics. I like that in books. :)
I’ve never felt able to vote for the Hugos as I’m a sort of part-time UK fan who much prefers fantasy of various stripes & YA to SF and I’m not sure the Hugos are for me. But I’ve been following the discussion with interest & enjoyment, and I liked the diverse feel to last year’s award-winners & would prefer it to continue.
I like Bujold’s fantasy a lot, yep! Kay is also good, although frequently depressing as hell toward the end. I like Brust, though I frequently find myself unable to follow the plot. And enjoyed Carey’s Terre d’Ange stuff, the later books more than the first trilogy.* Sagara/West and Lynch are now on the list–thanks! And also Moon, though I hesitate to buy after her whole Islamophobia thing back when.
@Seth: Ha! Unfortunately, I don’t believe that it actually lives up to that particular review. As far as I know, nobody else has summoned eldritch horror with my books. Maybe if you read them backwards? Or in Latin?
*Knew waaaay too many freshman girls who thought they were super-special just like Phedre because they had fuzzy handcuffs and a corset. “Freshmen ruin everything,” may be the moral of this story.
Here are my deep thoughts on this:
The fact that much of this list was promoted by Day, an outspoken racist (like, racist racist, not someone who is merely “not politically correct” or has the coded racism of much of the American right wing), misogynist, and homophobe, makes it deeply troubling to me. The fact that it is loaded with work from Vox’s own vanity press makes it even worse. The fact that a someone like John Wright would get so many nominations is just one more example of how morally bankrupt the slate is.
If the SP was about “Hey, wildly popular authors like the larry c’s and jim butchers and Diana Gabaldon’s of the world have been shut out of the hugos by hipster snobs, so let’s get more popular sci-fi on the ballot,” I’d say ok, whatever. But their definition of who those hipster snobs are is shaded largely by whether they are written by or about women, people of color, or lgbt folk, and they are calling into question whether fiction written by and about women, people of color and LGBT folk is “real” sci-fi/fantasy, and making up an imaginary cabal who is controlling who is on the ballot. Having read the nominated books by Jemisin, Leckie, and hurley, I have to say that while they do indeed gender bend and have characters that are women, people of color, and/or queer/trans/gay, they are not what I’d call leftist novels. They are grim, dark, full of violence and bloodshed, full of morally ambiguous characters, and the use genderbending as more of a way to add to the fantasy elements than to promote some sort of “social justice” narrative. There are not thinly-veiled commentary on trans issues or race issues. They just use different perspectives. (and as for the use of “literary” as a pejorative – what about gene wolf? tolkien? You know, giants of the genre?)
Finally, you, o mighty powerful scalzi, while an avowed lefty, write books that are all about having fun with the genre and providing a rollicking adventure, exactly the kind of stuff torgenson was calling for. I’d hardly classify “Redshirts” as a sjw novel, unless having female characters is revolutionary. Same with James SA Corey, who is lumped in the SJW category – his/their books may have a very diverse cast, but they hardly promote some sort of leftist agenda. They are first and foremost well-written space operas.
Have you read Brusts’ homage to Dumas (The Khaavren Romances)? So freaking good.
I may have to check out Elizabeth Moon. I came across her before when searching for something to read, but didn’t go for it. Is the aforementioned Islamophobia actually in the stories, or is that more of a “I don’t want to enrich this person” thing? Because blatant stuff *in the story* (ala Terry Goodkind) is just a showstopper for me, whereas “this author has problematic views about X in real life” is a case-by-case thing.
Thanks to some of these discussions I’ve started in on Honor Harrington. The first book was free on Kindle. Hornblower/Master & Commander in Space. So far, it’s entertaining me.
I did, but I was in high school, so I probably should read it again. Yay!
I *believe* it’s the first, and yeah, in that case it’s very much about picking battles. The publishing industry’s complex, a good nine-tenths of the cash is probably going to the editorial/marketing/etc staff, and so forth, so for me authors like Moon and early Card are “low on my list to actually purchase, but I’ll do it if selection’s limited” choices.
That said, I couldn’t swear one way or another about views making it into the books. Read a good few of them, but, again, high school, and that was way too many years ago now.
Rob in CT: I recall (rather vaguely and without details or references) years-ago discussions about the Hugos (especially in contrast to the Nebulas) in which their historical unevenness was attributed to just the set of circumstances you cite. These discussions also observed that the broader SF readership was not limited to con-going “fandom,” which was (and remains) a set of social affinity groups formed around reading (back then) one category of fiction. When the Hugos were established, there was less of a mismatch between “fandom” and the larger SF readership, but an examination of
And, of course, even con-going fandom has never universally participated in Hugo voting–in the 29 years I was attending worldcons (I stopped going a dozen years back for logistical reasons), I probably voted less than half the time, and I don’t recall ever getting a supporting membership. (Which, just as an historical note, was partly established so that non-attendees could get the con reports and the often-elaborate official program book. I wonder whether there are figures for how many supporting or pre-supporting members never bothered to nominate or vote.)
Anyway, these conditions go a long way to explaining the frequent mismatch between Hugo winners and the judgment of history and/or success in the marketplace–or the Nebula winners, for that matter. I suspect that every award/poll process has some demographic skew or procedural or methodological weakness that makes it unrepresentative or exploitable. Neither polls nor awards are gas-law textbook physics. And in the case of awards, they are not indicators of some essential metaphysical quality of “best” but reflections of the preferences (or tastes or sentimentalities or temporary enthusiasms) of some subset of a population.
Oops, I see I left a sentence dangling incomplete at the end of the first paragraph–and whatever second thoughts I was having as I tried to reorganize the post have slipped away. Just imagine me as your once-sharply-focused elderly uncle who tends to trail off in his twice-told anecdotes and stare off into space, groping for the right word. . . .
@johntshea : Schrodinger’s Scalzi?
I was all like “this is gonna be an interesting point… oh wait the sentence disappeared into a wormhole! Damnit. People in Delta Quadrant get to read it but I’m left here, hanging.”
@ tpoiii: “What’s the best recent milsf that was not nominated for a hugo? ”
I’m enjoying Charles E Gannon’s Caine Series right now. The second book, TRIAL BY FIRE is nominated for a Nebula, but not a Hugo. I would call it “old-fashioned” Mil SF with updated ideas. I scrolled down to reply, so I hope I don’t go back into Comments and find that 75 other people already recommended this to you.
The first book is FIRE WITH FIRE.
Rob in CT: The Elizabeth Moon stuff is absolutely fabulous. Really, if you were looking for something Hugo worthy, The Kings of the North (which is the overall name for the last five novels which effectively are on story) is a truly monumental work.
The Islamophobia stuff is hugely overblown and certainly doesn’t appear in her books. She’s actually one of the most committed progressives working in SF,
@Isabel: You might like Queen of the World by Ben Hennessy or some of Christopher Nuttall’s work. He’s too prolific for me to list everything but A Life Less Ordinary is a good stand alone and The Bookworm series appears to be nearing completion.
He also writes SF but I’m not a fan of the genre so I can’t comment on whether or not it would appeal to @tpoiii.
@Isabelcooper and Rob in ct:
Chrysoula Tzavelas (full disclosure: friend from college) just published “Citadel in the Sky” that I’m happily tearing through and that might appeal. Interesting and appealing characters who, so far, aren’t whiny 13 year olds. Her other stuff has been good, but less to my tastes.
(Recommendations are hard; I assume everyone has already read the things that I’ve read and liked. Time to scroll through the Nook.)
* Saladin Ahmed — excellent standard fantasy in a less-familiar-to-western-readers setting.
* Danielle Jensen – Stolen Songbird. I want the sequel nownownow, so that’s always a good sign.
* (Oh hey; there’s an Isabel Cooper novel.)
* Elizabeth Bear’s – Steles of the Sky
* I will always recommend Spots the Space Marine.
* (Goodness some of these were terrible.)
* Andrea K Host
* Deborah Coats – more modern/urban fantasy, but good.
* Lastly for now: Frank Tuttle
As to the main substance of the post, I followed the File770 link and just sorta craned my head in bafflement. I pride myself on being able to understand a wide variety of viewpoints and perspectives, but this…this takes work.
Of course, there’s a nice neat trap laid there was well. If only White Males are writing against the Puppy Brigade, then the Pups can claim that they are on the side of angels because “Look at our competition!” If someone else steps up, the well-honed cries of SJW (which – how is this a bad thing again? Really?) and other polished slurs will be brought to bear. I know that I don’t want to engage in that particular conversation; I certainly don’t blame others for refusing to take part.
If I wrote a sci-fi story in which all Internet exchanges were monitored by minor AIs who ranked comments on a Truth Scale, I wonder how it would be viewed. (This would be excellent, BTW, Disqus and other commenting systems. Please get on this — at least basic fact checking wouldn’t be impossible to implement.)
Not quite “the best milsf not nominated for a Hugo,” but a couple years’ worth of books I reviewed for Locus that fit in the military/space-operatics/large-scale-adventure neighborhood of our genre space.
Zero Point, Neal Asher
The Kassa Gambit, M. C. Planck
Abaddon’s Gate, James S. A. Corey
Neptune’s Brood, Charles Stross
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata
The Serene Invasion, Eric Brown
Evening’s Empires, Paul McAuley
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
Phoenicia’s Worlds, Ben Jeapes
Transcendental, James Gunn
On the Steel Breeze, Alastair Reynolds
Jupiter War, Neal Asher
Proxima, Stephen Baxter
Shipstar, Gregory Benford and Larry Niven
The Memory of Sky, Robert Reed
Cibola Burn: Book Four of The Expanse, James S. A. Corey
Dark Lightning, John Varley
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie
War Dogs, Greg Bear
Exo, Stephen Gould
Ultima, Stephen Baxter
Dark Intelligence, Neal Asher
Old Venus, George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
Of course, I also enjoyed and reviewed books that don’t fit the Big Space Adventure profile, by Brian Aldiss, Eleanor Arnason, John Barnes, Elizabeth Bear, C. J. Cherryh, William Gibson, Stephen Gould, Daryl Gregory, M. John Harrison, Ken MacLeod, Kit Reed, Jack McDevitt, Karl Schroeder. . . .
I note that a not-infrequent complaint I hear about Locus reviews is that X or Y writer/category is ignored and that this represents some kind of policy or program on the part of the magazine. The fact is that we follow our noses (with the very occasional nudge from World HQ that a writer or book might be worth a look). Despite my background and training as a pinky-lifting academic/lit teacher, this is some of the stuff that I review because I enjoy it. I suggest that a similar nose-following dynamic has operated in the Hugo selection process over the decades, with the necessary adjustments to accommodate multiple nervous systems.
It’s a big tent, and even the most enthusiastic and energetic kid with a pocketful of allowance money (or an all-access free pass) can’t get to all the sideshows or ride all the rides.
Well, Bach apparently usually writes fantasy, but her foray into SF was superb (and I hope she forays again :). So, I take that to mean a talented writer can probably succeed in multiple genres. I think Rusch also writes in several genres under different names with much success. As I have somewhat narrow tastes, however, these assumptions rely on secondhand reviews.
Thanks for the tips.
I have to say, the thing that’s bothering me most about this whole mess is not so much the hijacking of the voting process but the comment from Torgerson about Sci Fi.
“That’s what’s happened to Science Fiction & Fantasy literature. A few decades ago, if you saw a lovely spaceship on a book cover, with a gorgeous planet in the background, you could be pretty sure you were going to get a rousing space adventure featuring starships and distant, amazing worlds. If you saw a barbarian swinging an axe? You were going to get a rousing fantasy epic with broad-chested heroes who slay monsters, and run off with beautiful women. Battle-armored interstellar jump troops shooting up alien invaders? Yup. A gritty military SF war story, where the humans defeat the odds and save the Earth. And so on, and so forth.
These days, you can’t be sure.
The book has a spaceship on the cover, but is it really going to be a story about space exploration and pioneering derring-do? Or is the story merely about racial prejudice and exploitation, with interplanetary or interstellar trappings?
There’s a sword-swinger on the cover, but is it really about knights battling dragons? Or are the dragons suddenly the good guys, and the sword-swingers are the oppressive colonizers of Dragon Land?
A planet, framed by a galactic backdrop. Could it be an actual bona fide space opera? Heroes and princesses and laser blasters? No, wait. It’s about sexism and the oppression of women.
Finally, a book with a painting of a person wearing a mechanized suit of armor! Holding a rifle! War story ahoy! Nope, wait. It’s actually about gay and transgender issues.
Or it could be about the evils of capitalism and the despotism of the wealthy.”
Has the guy ever actually read any classic sci fi? Asimov? Heinlein? Norton? Any of them? The greatest strength of the genre is its ability to use new worlds and immense settings to reflect and magnify society’s flaws and make people look at the world around them with a different perspective.
It kind of terrifies me that he can say that given the obvious influence he has within his community.
Reblogged this on The Blogdom and commented:
I’ve been a sucky blogger lately because I’ve spent my time actually writing fiction. Scalzi does better at unpacking the Hugo controversy than I do, so here he is.
In my opinion, editor short form is really a referendum on the magazine or anthologies that the editor edits. It’s not necessarily a direct vote on editor but there is something concrete there to evaluate. Long form is a mystery. Who truly knows how an editor helps an author succeed aside from the author, and there are no authors who have been edited by all of the candidates in a given year. I understand why the SF community wants to honor editors, but I’m not convinced that Hugos are the way to do it.
Chaos Horizons looked at votes in a number of categories, including an editor category to make some estimates about voter behavior. If you are suggesting that it’s somehow more wrong for a Puppy voter to vote in the editor category than any other Hugo voter, I don’t see why. What do you mean by a regular reader in this context. Are you suggesting that an attending member has a stronger basis for opinion on this subject, than a supporting member? Are you saying that if you attend a panel with an editor on it, they are better able to judge that editor as an editor? I see little reason for believing that to be true. For that matter a supporting member may have seen the editor while attending a local convention.
The Expanse novels are SJW?????????????????
Now I’m truly gobsmacked….
It’s at minimum oblivious. There’s always been lots of complaints about the problems authors often have with choices made by publishers, artists etc. Not every author has the luxury of working with the artist directly to craft a cover that fits their story.
Lee Moyer had a great presentation at Arisia in January on the mismatch, misfires, and missed chances of making the cover art fit the story. It’s like Torgersen never talked to an artist working on deadline with a publisher, or another writer, or even looked at a single golden age cover closely. I mean, come on, has he looked at the ones where there’s an almost naked green lady in a clench with a spacesuited man on the cover of a novel where there is not a hint of sex (or even an alien woman) in the story?
Yes, covers are important signifiers, especially now that e-books can be a significant part of an author’s sales. They need to be memorable but capable of visual interpretation at multiple sizes. But there’s never not been mismatches.
Makes me want to say to him, “you know nothing Barry Torgersen.”
And he certainly hasn’t talked to any novelist recently where the cover is basically typography and color combos. It may be cheaper, and can be striking, but it doesn’t translate to attracting someone to “pick it up and read the back” especially when it’s viewed on a black and white screen.
Isabel Cooper and Rob in CT: Elizabeth Moon wrote a blog entry about the attempt to build an islamic center near the site of 9/11; it was perceived as Islamophobic by some people, and as a result her invitation to be GoH at Wiscon (a profoundly feminist and seriously leftist convention that has never claimed to represent all SFF readers or fans) was withdrawn. Whatever I think are the “rights” of the case–I support Wiscon and I continue to buy and read Moon–I do think that dubbing her an “Islamophobic” writer (or even person, really) on the basis of one blog post inspired by a very specific event (and one that stirred a LOT of emotion, on both sides, even among people who Really Should Have Been More Logical About This) is a bit broad, I suspect. YMMV, of course.
I haven’t seen them mentioned (and they are older, as well), but I liked Stephen Donaldson’s Gap series as space opera.
@Scott: I don’t think I even got to the book covers part of that post. The breakfast cereal analogy in the beginning was too much for me.
I mean, I did know people who would eat Captain Crunch (or Nutty Nuggets, if you will) for three meals a day. Most of the rest of us move on. I can still have Captain Crunch for an occasional treat, but I like steak, I like fish, I like Ma Po Tofu, I like chicken vindaloo, and I like a lot of other things. I’m not going to limit myself to breakfast cereal.
“And it isn’t about a ‘conspiracy’ it’s about privilege. You once recognized that you have privilege, John, but it isn’t because you’re a ‘straight, white male’; it’s because you are almost completely uncritical and wholly dogmatic to the leftist religion (and it is a religion since it’s a highly-irrational and reality-denying belief system). Thus you have ‘leftist privilege’.”
So, people who are wrong have the privilege of being…wrong? And just how does their “privilege” benefit them? What do they get out of it, not in the privacy of their own heads but in terms of the Wide Wide World? Please describe, and please be clear.
(Man, this ought to be interesting.)
I just assume that the con attenders are more in tune with the behind the scenes folks (editors and others). So, I would guess that they would feel more comfortable nominating/voting in such categories. If I tried to nom/vote, it would be very random (so, I wouldn’t)
Puppies, however, or slate voters in general, might just copy the slate choices, even in categories they wouldn’t have voted in otherwise. So, that’s why I think it would make their ballots stand out — they would actually have a full set of nominations in the editor categories.
Thanks for that great list, and for the pointer to locus reviews. How did I miss that? Looks like a great resource.
So one things the Puppies and the SJWs can agree on is that you can’t judge a book by the sexist and misleading cover?
I think you are overestimating the influence of Torgersen. His community is small. Its girth and length, er, breadth, are tiny.
He might be able to affect hundreds of opinions on a great day. Considering that we have millions of sci-fi fans spread across the globe, his pull is just a slight tug on a sea of open-minded people.
So it should not surprise us that a man with so little influence says many ignorant things, especially about the business of sci-fi. Covers have never been a good way to judge a book.
He might TRY talking to a diversity of people to find out what different books are about, rather than relying on a cover chosen by marketers. But that would mean that a wide range of people actually wanted to converse with him. But why would you? Inevitably, he will just bloviate about how the world fails him.
@Scott — Yeah, that really bothered me too, not least because it almost seems like he’s saying that those books (story merely about racial prejudice and exploitation, with interplanetary or interstellar trappings, about the evils of capitalism and the despotism of the wealthy, etc.) shouldn’t EXIST. Or should not have spaceships and dragons on the cover, at the very least.
(Has he never heard of back cover copy?)
What makes Torgerson’s comment particularly nutty to me is that the so-called New Wave of science fiction, which produced a whole bunch of novels and stories that look nothing like what he’s describing, started in the mid-60s. He was born in the 70s.
IOW, he’s complaining about a state of affairs that has been around as long as he’s been alive.
Elizabeth Moon wrote a blog entry about the attempt to build an islamic center near the site of 9/11;
Oh, Christ, the “Ground Zero Mosque” idiocy? Blech. Assuming she was in the (IMHO idiotic and driven by some ugly things) “prevent them from building it” camp, that doesn’t mean I won’t read her stories. There are people who were anti-GZM who are despicable human beings (Pam Geller), but there were some people who just weren’t thinking straight due to 9/11 derangement syndrome.
And yes, the Torgenson bit you all are discussing is really quite revealing. Yearning for a mythical past? Check. Whining about being the underdog because your preferences don’t dominate? Check.
It’s boilerplate reactionary nonsense.
Of course the Puppies are diverse: they contain different kinds of white racist asshole.
Rob in CT: It was a little more complex than “Don’t build the mosque!”–I’d forgotten the details. I checked, and most of the post was about immigration and cultural assimilation. However, I think the most serious complaint she had about the “GZM” was that building it was rude and the builders should have realized that they were going to provoke a negative, angry response. I can’t set up a link easily from where I am, but if you google Elizabeth Moon “Citizenship” you can get the whole post and decide for yourself.
The whole Moon-Wiscon fiasco is one of the events that some SFF conservatives (including some Pupplies) point to as evidence that fandom as a whole is biased against conservatives. The irony of that in my opinion is that Moon isn’t all that conservative, frankly (if at all; it depends on your viewpoint, I suppose), and Wiscon, much as I have enjoyed attending it over the years, isn’t exactly in the mainstream of fandom and never has been. It’s billed itself as “SFF’s Only Feminist Convention” for–35 years, now? Something like that.
Attending cons may well tell you if you like an editor personally, or at least if you like their public persona. I know there are a couple who I try not to miss when I see their names in a program book. I don’t think it means that you know how to evaluate them as editors.
Possibly, but one would also expect to see a correlation between Puppy story nominations and Puppy editor nominations. It’s a bit trickier than that because some stories and editors were only one one Puppy list. Again, I suggest you check out Chaos Horizon. There are three articles there in the last few days about this subject.
So I was following File770 links (now that I know about this site, my productivity takes another hit…) and reading various perspectives on the Hugos controversy and look who I found on Tom Knighton’s blog, collecting his high 5s as he returns to his team’s dugout:
April 23, 2015 at 4:01 pm
I’ve been hitting SJWs with a cluebat over at Scalzi’s bog. I mean blog.
Dude, did you know that Hitler was not a socialist? That’s where we’re at right now.
I thing I’m going to go and wash.
BTW what is a “CHORF”? It reminds me of one of those names the cool kids would make up in grade school, call you by it, and then giggle among themselves because you didn’t know what they meant.
Brad Torgersen, the guy who has been talking for days about how forming tribes is super double bad, has been trying to popularize CHORF for weeks as an insult for people outside his tribe.
It’s an acronym for Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary, Fanatics.
His belief it applies to other people, but not his crowd, makes him an IDCHORF:
Irony Deficient, Cliquish, Holier-than-thou, Obnoxious, Reactionary, Fanatics
This post’s comments contain an ongoing theme that highlights what bothers me about the Puppy debacle, i.e. books. Here are lists and lists of books, recommendations, reviews, conversation about this genre that we love.
Thousands of books come out every year, far too many for one person to read, even full time, even in just one genre. Hell, I spend 18 months reviewing books for a living and I was overwhelmed, barely sleeping, eating all of my meals hunched over review copies. I firmly believe that period of time is why I had to get a new eyeglass prescription!
The Puppies could have put out slates that contained great books. Books that may have been honestly overlooked and deserved attention, as well as stories, media, et cetera. Instead, it’s mostly a crap-fest dominated by a vanity press. Either Puppies have terrible, awful taste combined with 3rd grade level reading comprehension, or their entire campaign truly is a pissing match.
I favor the latter explanation, although I’m willing to reconsider the former, given additional evidence. And it upsets me, as it appears to upset many fans. I would have been overjoyed to discover new authors, to read about different worldviews. I am, in fact, always thrilled by new ideas, or old ideas redone is fresh and exciting ways. The next Honor Harrington or an alternate history as genuinely disturbing as Stirling’s Draka series? Bring it on! I’ll be there with rings on my fingers and bells on my toes!
That is the very reason I enjoyed Leckie’s novels so much. I love space opera, MilSF, bad physics, “buckle and swash” as another blogger put it. I have entire shelves dedicated to a single series or author. I’ve read about every possible variation on elves and dwarves and wee beasties, and enjoyed most all of it. Reading is my primary hobby, books my passion–stories were the only consistency in my peripatetic youth. I’ve been a devoted bookworm since I was four, perhaps earlier, depending upon which parent you ask.
The Puppy campaign, purportedly to “help” the folks who create the works I love has only harmed them. It has harmed writers, harmed the reputation of the genre, harmed the Puppy participants, as well as the fans and readers who love stories and/or the genre, and want to support and honor the creators. It’s not deep lasting harm for most, probably and I hope, but it is unnecessary, and quite frankly, *stupid.* The campaign has undermined the types of works the Puppies claimed to want to see more of, by putting up craptastic examples, or works that don’t even contain the desired themes and tropes. I am annoyed at the sheer idiocy of the execution, I am annoyed at the waste of it, I am annoyed at everyone who blindly nominated the slate, the people who created it, and everyone who didn’t say up front, “Wow! That shit sucks! Can’t we do better?” There has to be at least one Puppy who thought that as much as they liked the Dresden files, there were other, better books out there, right? Right?
This Worldcon is going to be just over the hills from me, and I seriously considered attending this year, before the Puppy thing blew up. Now, I won’t, because I’m afraid that if I ran into Misters Torgerson, Correia, or Beale I might actually kick them in the junk, and I’m a freaking pacifist. (A pacifist with a black belt and 35 years of karate practice, but still a pacifist.)
Todd Stull writes:
Who is “we”? If you are speaking of humanity having millions of SF fans, then you are correct. If you mean the usual Worldcon voters, fen, represent millions of fans, then I think you are mistaken.
I don’t put a lot of weight on the “but covers are HARD now!” quotes. I assumed that was just a simplistic way of complaining about the rise of messages in books and the lack of pure mindless shoot-em-up-with-spaceships space opera. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he knows how covers and cover selection actually work.
That said, it’s still a dumb sentiment.
Sad/Rabid canids may very well regret what they have wrought…from Mercedes Lackey via Chris Meadows:
“I cannot WAIT until someone lets the Romance Writers know about this, and how to get a book on the Hugo ballot.
Romance readers outnumber SF readers by about 100 to one, and a very high percentage of them would be gleeful to only pay $40 to get one of their beloved writers an award.
Romance writers are extremely savvy women about energizing their fan bases. They were using social media for that long before SF writers started.
I want to see their faces when Diane Gabaldon takes the Hugo in 2016.”
It’s very unlikely you’ll run into Day/Beale; as I understand it if he comes back the IRS will have some questions for him. I would be surprised if either Torgersen or Correia shows up. In any event if they do they’re easily avoided; it’s a large convention. You should go.
And that cements that Torgersen doesn’t know what ‘reactionary’ means. It’s someone trying to return society to a (real or perceived) prior state which they think was preferred to its current state. Pining for some lost Golden Age is exactly in the lines of the definition.
Now, I suppose you could say that liberal SF fans want the Hugos to go back to a way when we all operate under a gentlebeing’s agreement to minimize politicking, but I don’t think that’s what Torgersen means. And is counter to the narrative that SJWs have corrupted the Hugos and that the Puppies are trying to restore it as a true reflection of fandom. In which case, returning the Hugos to its perceived roots could be a reactionary* thing.
* I agree it’s not generally meant as a complement. But it’s one of those situations where it’s more confusing than insulting to call a progressive a reactionary.
@Rogers: Thanks for the explanation. As I suspected, very high school, or maybe middle school. “Stop trying to make CHORF happen, Brad. It’s not going to happen!”
I’ve started taking notice of the editors thanked in books I read during Hugo nominating/voting season and am trying to pay more attention year round. I read 150-350 books/year (multiple genres not just SF/F) recording 100-200 on Goodreads. Being bedridden does have an upside.
When I saw the nominees this year I noticed 3 of the editors show up regularly in a number of author acknowledgements. I know what my general complaints are with those authors books & which things I personally believe should be caught by an editor. I’m probably basing my vote on the editors over a longer time period than the past year as I haven’t noticed the books they edit being provided in the voter packets and I only have so much time/money/brain power from ballot to voting closes.
This is much easier done with traditionally published books than self-published so I expect this to get harder over the coming years as more and more of my reading is indie.
Is that what P182 thinks it’s doing? Huh…
A couple of disjoint observations…
Shorter Torgersen: I can’t judge a book by its cover any more, and this is BAD. In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny, “Wotta maroon!”
You’d think that wannabee-SMOFs who are orchestrating a Hugo-packing slate under the ostensible banner of we want MORE DIVERSITY!!11!1! and MORE RECOGNITION for the unrecognied1!!1!! would either (a) not give 6 (six) of their slate’s slots to 1 (one) person, or else (b) recognize that they’ve contradicted their stated goal. I mean, geez, could they have made it any more obvious that they don’t actually give a shit about this ‘spotlight on the unjustly overlooked’ schtick? [shakes head]
Anyone who’s interested in the question of how the Hugo rules should be altered in response to this mess, would be well advised to check out Discussing Specific Changes to the Hugo Nomination Election: Another Guest Post By Bruce Schneier over at Making Light. Assuming you haven’t already done so.
Rogers Cadenhead@3:27: Exactly. When I first saw that my reaction was “Does Torgersen genuinely not realize he’s describing himself?” Apparently, he also has no idea what “reactionary” means.
@Tasha Maybe, maybe not. I read a lot of self-pubbed/indie pubbed Kindle stuff and one of the biggest turnoffs is crappy editing and proofreading. I’m at the point where if the first few pages are rife with glaring errors and clunky constructions, I shut the book down and delete it from my library. From the reviews, I’m not the only one.
I think the freelance editor/copy editor is going to become more and more crucial to successful self- and indie- publishing, and I think like good agents and good cover artists, the good ones will gain notice and reputations. And I think for those a Hugo nomination or award would be even more important than someone at a major house, because they will have to market themselves and drum up their own business, just as the authors they edit do.
I know if I ever write/publish something, I will almost certainly hire an editor to help me get it into the best possible shape, and I will thank them profusely, in the acknowledgements and elsewhere.
I for one am actually incensed at the notion that neither Brad nor Larry plan to so much as show their faces at Sasquan. Cowardly behavior from the Manly Men of SFF™.
I don’t know, nor do I care, what Brad’s excuse is. But I’m not really surprised by Larry “I only wrote an effusively positive recap of Worldcon in 2011 because I was terrified of PNH, so either I’m an opportunistic liar now, or was a craven liar AND coward then” Correia.
In general, I try to evaluate editors based on what their authors are saying. Authors will often talk about editors on blogs or even in the acknowledgment section of a book. Talking to authors at cons can also give you all sorts of information on how a particular editor was helpful (or not).
This info has to be compared against what you thought about the books you read that the editor edited during that year. If the author says that the editor was really useful, but you thought the book didn’t show it, then that is a piece of information.
Regarding probable non-attendance of Puppy Ringleaders:
I find it highly amusing that these so-called Tough Guys apparently don’t have the guts to show up at the Con and take credit for their work in improving the Hugos. Although, it’s probably for the best.
Huh, I guess “craven coward” would be redundant.
@Colleen I find plenty of basic errors in trad ebooks and have in print books for a number of years. I have a number of ways of choosing indie books:
1. If I’m getting it for free (using freebie/discount newsletters & Amazon bestseller lists) and never heard of the writer before I don’t expect much but I’ve found a number of real gems if they have a number of stuff published – good covers & well written blurbs are good ways to weed out the non-pro from the pro.
2. Trad published either doing some indie publishing/hybrid or who was a mid-list author and now is indie – lots of really good stuff in this category
3. Friends recommendations – word-of-mouth – the same way I find trad published authors & it has the same good/failure rate as trad recommendations but generally cost me less time & money to check them out
Let’s not hijacker the thread too much.
@tpoii: when was the last time you checked in with David Drake? Besides OGH, his was the last military SF, I read, namely a bunch of his Royal Cinnabar Navy books, which were ripping good yarns, though your tolerance for them may well be tempered by the fact that he deliberately crafted them to be pastiches of the Aubrey/Maturin novels, IN SPACE! And if you want golden age jungle planet Venus, check out his Seas of Venus (1st edition is a free ebook, direct from Baen).
And your comments have helped to reinforce the point that I made in a previous thread, namely, that MilSF, and Rocketpack and Raygun SF are both sufficiently popular, that an award for those specific genres, ala the LFS’ Promethean award, would probably be quite welcome. And the Super Sekrit SJW Kabal would probably let them award at Worldcon, too, even without forcing them to give the award to notable gamma bunnies like Stross and Doctorow, like they did to the LFS (What? You all know it’s true!).
But no, it was never about that for the Special Little Snowflakes.
@scorpius: Please leave us libertarians out of it. We’ve got our own award, given out at Worldcons since 1982. Libertarians, generally speaking (as much as one can generalize about libertarians), recognize that we live in a pluralistic society, we have elections to make social decisions, and people are free to vote as they wish for whatever reasons they wish. The puppy slates are all about the Special Little Snowflakes.
Of course I would agree that Hugo award participants are biased against MilSF and Rayguns and Rocketpacks, but a bias does not a conspiracy make. We are, after all, speaking of genre fiction fen, who already like to discover, read, think about, then talk and argue about New Stuff. And this particular population of fen is especially engaged in discovering New Stuff by virtue of the fact they not only go to cons, but they participate in Worldcon, and in the awards ceremony, therein. Of course they’re going to give a greater to weight to authors whose works bring something newer to the table than the hoary old space operas and planetary romances of some 7 decades past, and the MilSF of some 2-3 decades past. Since then we’ve had the New Wave, Cyberpunk, Transhuman/Post Singularity, and now, 20 minutes into the future technothriller, which we’ve always had, but never has 20 minutes seemed as close as it does now.
bkd69…you sound like the libertarians I knew and admired (if not always agreed with). I’ve been baffled in recent years by libertarians who walk and talk like degenerate right wing demagogues……
1) John, glad to hear you are still friends with Instapundit- a puppy somewhere was claiming my that Glenn had Found Out About You and would no longer Be Your Dupe.
2) Speaking of misleading covers, someone ought to show Brad an old book called Starship Troopers – space armor blowing up aliens on the cover, extended meditation on the meaning of service and self-sacrifice inside. He would hate it! A perfect example of his hypothesis.
Have LC or BT commented on attendance at Worldcon one way or the other?
LC not attending makes sense unless he wants to participate in the business meeting as he hasn’t enjoyed Worldcon… Well or whatever. Since the SP campaign is about what gets a Hugo not about the con itself I’m not sure why his attendance should be expected.
BT I haven’t followed as closely but I thought he he said he is going on active duty shortly. Not sure if that conflicts with the con or not. Since he has had some fun in the past and has barflies/Baen to hang out with and has been the leader this year I’d have higher expectations of him attending except “I was just away from my family” if he isn’t still on duty would be seen as legit to followers.
Again they’ve been stomping on the voting & what wins and “con wasn’t fun/people were mean”. So I think they’ve positioned themselves such that unless followers think “you should defend against voting changes” they don’t need to attend. I’ll leave it to you to decide if SP/RP care enough to show up at con demanding their leader(s) be their to protect slate voting…
@tpoiii – sorry if this is a tangent (apology extended to John Scalzi as well) but earlier you mentioned you like “Retrieval Artist” because it is “space mystery.” I love this term! Do you have any other recommendations that fit it? I read “Leviathan Wakes” because a friend described it as, “space-noir.” (Now that I think of it, if you attach -noir to any genre, I’m in.)
And to post the first comment I wanted to make, after OGH’s post, I wonder just how much of the vitriol directed at OGH, et al, is due to some perceived identity treason. After all, isn’t apostasy the greatest of sins?
@Steve Halter – yep those acknowledgements thanking their editors – how much they thank the editor – does it go beyond perfunctory & combine that with what I consider editorial flaws helps in ranking/voting editors. I don’t know if I follow enough authors closely to get a good feel for editors based on online comments.
I’m hoping next year I’ll have more confidence in nominating. For editor of shorts I should as I buy/back a number of anthologies and also subscribe to several zines.
Rob in CT She wasn’t even in ‘the prevent them from building it’ camp. Her point was that nobody should be surprised the some people were upset about it.
So, was trying to explain this SF class war nonsense to someone, and I mentioned Baen and this little nugget, which was more an example of class-war from the right, rather than from the SJW’s as the accusation usually goes.
And the question was what are the other publishers like, and I simply don’t know the field. Is there webpage anywhere that lists some of the major SF/F publishers and any political statements (on purpose or missteps) they might make, such as the above thing from Baen? Or tries to look at the kinds of books they publish? Number of MILSF books versus number of allegedly SJW books? Even basics like “style” of SF/F books? Any kind of measure?
It’s become clear that the appeal of an accusation such as the existence of an “SJW cabal” is that it’s fricken impossible to disprove, cause where would you even find numbers?
The existence of Baen making statements such as above would seem to say, at the very least, if publishers have any political leanings, its actually AGAINST sjw type works.
@bkd69: Of course I would agree that Hugo award participants are biased against MilSF and Rayguns and Rocketpacks, but a bias does not a conspiracy make.
Right. Consider the case of the Academy Awards. The Best Picture nominees are almost invariably English language films. Is this a conspiracy? Nope. Just a simple reflection of the fact that most of the voters are from the US and most of the movies that are released in the US are English language.
The Hugo Awards also seem to go predominantly to works that would be considered science fiction rather than fantasy (the distinction isn’t as clear as some folks like to make it out to be, but there are still a lot of books that fall firmly on one side or another). Is this another conspiracy?
Lois McMaster Bujold (yes, her again!) writes some good Space Mysteries: Ceteganda, Ethan of Athos, Komarr, Diplomatic Immunity, Cryoburn.
Someone above mentioned Cryoburn and Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance as Space Opera/MilFic. I don’t think so. Cryoburn is a mystery more than anything, IMO, and certainly not spacy or operatic. Or military.
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is a caper book. Among other things. (As is Ethan of Athos, among other things).
Bujold’s books are rich and deep and hardly ever only one thing. The Vorkosigan *series* can fairly be described as Space Opera and MilFic. But those individual books, no.
Sorry – didn’t actually manage to read all the comments but got some great recommendations for SF (not fantasy) which I will wander off and enjoy shortly.
I also found Cheryl’s review of the saga an interesting and upbeat perspective (http://www.cheryl-morgan.com/?p=20813)
Perhaps we can bring it to pass – get out there, get reading and VOTE
the Hitler as a socialist thing is funny in a sad kind of way – can’t they even look it up in Wikipedia Or is that leftist too?
If it means anything, I purchased a supporting Worldcon membership, just so I can vote for this year’s Hugos, my first time ever. You may decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing. I’d actually already read most of the novels…one more now that The Three Body Problem is in the running. I have one more novel sitting at home to read.
I’m sort of wondering, given the importance of series fiction in SF/F, why there isn’t a separate award for series, as opposed to stand alone novels. Seems like they are different beasts for both writers and readers, why not recognize them as such?
Space mystery: well, Asimov introduced me to it. Lije Baley stories (with Robots!). Niven’s The Patchwork Girl. The Expanse series is hard boiled space mystery. Sundiver by Brin is sort of a mystery. Hammond’s KOP series — I have only read the first one, but it was good. Set on a colony planet. Also hard boiled.
@tpoiii, @ultragotha: These look awesome – thanks!
@eve: it’s more of a game of “pin the genocidal dictator on your enemy.” The Nazis fought against unions, eradicated any left-wingers they did have (see, for instance, the Night of the Long Knives), were very comfortable with the German aristocracy and were bitter enemies of the Communists. But they have “socialism” in the name so they’re left-wingers!
I had not connected the isabelcooper whose posts I enjoy here with the Isabel Cooper whose books I have read. D’oh! I will re-read with pleasure, and hope that our pal ‘Thu shows up if I read it sideways. MAHNA MAHNA.
Space mystery: there’s a collection of Niven’s short stories entitled “The Long ARM of The Law”, starring Gil “The Arm” Hamilton. I think “The Patchwork Girl” is sold separately, being a novella. Absolutely fair-play mysteries. The aforementioned James S.A. Corey hivemind, and Rusch’s “Retrieval Artist” novels, of which the dozenth and last will be published in June. Asimov also did a fair number of them, also collected.
Thanks to all suggesting fantasy that isn’t grimdark or 13 year old wank.
Colleen: I would not be averse to Gabaldon on the ballot: after all, she’s got her own TV show now like GRRM! But if we’re going on more SF grounds, she’ll have big competition from the latest “In Death” book by La Nora aka J.D. Robb. Flying cars and outer space colonies in those, computer hacking, and plenty o’gadgets. A tough as nails cop who can’t play by the rules. Just the sort of thing the pups like, right? ;)
I was also (as someone way up there posited) thinking that OGH, GRRM, and PNH might have grown up lower-class. I do not know Patrick’s background, though John and George have often written of their extremely modest beginnings.
John, yes, that was it! That’s perfect. Thank you.
You’ve had a lot of posts between so if the above doesn’t ring a bell, it was in response to this post, when I requested a link to a previous post you had made.
John Scalzi write:
Is it this one?
Greg @ at 9:56 am –
Sorry to be late to the movie viewing party, but I think I’ve got you beat: Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987), written by John Hughes and directed by Howard Deutch. I posted a thorough and, quite frankly, profoundly deep analysis of its applicability at the Metafilter Hugo discussion thread (here: http://www.metafilter.com/148587/2015-Hugo-Nominees-Announced#5998126) under the name ‘my dog is named clem’ at 5:14 PM on April 10. I suspect it would be bad form to re-post it here, so will allow you to read it at your leisure.
Anyway, that post clearly demonstrates that it is ALL about class, and that Larry Correia is actually Eric Stoltz, and that making friends in detention with all those punky delinquents helped him with the nasty snobby rich kids personified by Our Generous Host (sorry, John). My only uncertainty is who Lea Thompson is in this scenario.
I dare you to not agree.
pixlaw: There is no Lea Thompson. Teddy has decreed that Teh Wimminz aren’t allowed to speak.
“..the Hitler as a socialist thing is funny in a sad kind of way – can’t they even look it up in Wikipedia Or is that leftist too?”
I’m pretty sure doing research to find out the facts are before you decide what you think is Leftist, yeah. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding!) (Sort of.) (Almost.) (Maybe.)
I recommend John C Hemry’s Blackjack stuff for people looking for mil sf stuff. His early work has the aspect of a former military member who is branching out, but his work develops and his writing become pretty good over time. I do have a bias as he is local to me and my wife is one of his characters in the later books in the series…
And in response to a separate question: SF mysteries. Check out Walter Jon Williams’ last 3 novels, which are near-future noir mysteries/thrillers which feature as their main protagonist Dagmar Shaw, a woman LARP game designer. This Is Not a Game, Deep State and The Fourth Wall, which somehow manage to be both really funny and really scary at different points. They’re just great. I admire his work highly.
MilSf I have known and loved:
Scott Westerfeld – The Risen Empire and The Killing Of Worlds
CJ Cherryh has been mentioned – start with the Pride of Chanur series (?) or The Faded Sun: Kesrish, or Hellburner
Walter John Williams – The Praxis / Dread Empire’s fall
John Steakley – Armor
Daniel Keys Moran – The Long Run
Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books are completely wonderful though they may eat your life for a week or two.
.. and a whole ‘nother shelf or two.
Also, Gordon Dickson’s “Dorsai” books are good MilSF.
For Cherryh, also Rimrunners. And Downbelow Station is still one of my absolute favorites.
For mystery/noir SF, there’s also Richard Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs books, starting with Altered Carbon. And there’s a major MilSF element in the sequels.
I know the latter was on the Sad Puppy slate, but I liked Charles Gannon’s Fire with Fire and Trial By Fire, First contact, multi-species alien accords and misunderstandings. I believe this will be at least a trilogy, though.
I really want to know this
It’s not obvious stuff, like country or state of residence or religion. Do you three still have hairs on your heads compared to the shaven puppies?
Closing up comments for the night. See you in the morning!
Update: Comments back on.
Assuming Socialist is not the popular but unhelpful definition in American political discussions as “Government policy I do not approve of”, there’s something to the Hitler as socialist. He certainly favoured centralised state control, and partnership between the state and certain industries and large corporations; the building of infrastructure such as the autobahn; universal healthcare; the state (and especially the military) as the largest employer in the country. All of this was aimed at creating the Nazi war machine.
Of course, if this is socialism, then frankly so were the Interstate Highway System championed by Eisenhower and the military build up under that arch-Marxist Reagan
Lurkertype, I brought up in a File 770 comment that if popularity was the criteria for a Hugo, Nora Roberts’ “In Death” series could be a shoe-in. Come to think of it, between the two “In Death” books per year, and Roberts’ paranormal romances, the Novel category nominees could theoretically be all-Roberts, all the time.
(I’ve had to stop reading the comments at File 770, though. Too much there that makes me feel sick and angry.)
>> My only uncertainty is who Lea Thompson is in this scenario.>>
Lea Thompson as Amanda Jones, the object of desire in the wrong hands, is obviously the Hugos.
This of course makes Hardy Jenns the SJWs, which doesn’t seem to fit at all, but never mind. It does lead directly to the question of who Correia’s longtime buddy who helps him out and who he, in the end, stops obsessing about Amanda to find true love with, is. The plot structure so far says that’s Brad Torgersen, but perhaps there are other choices.
Since I am taking a short break whilst celebrating St Mark’s day in Venice it occurred to me that part of Beale’s venom springs from his lack of status here in Italy.
There are lots of rich people around, and being from the U.S. is not a plus point.
There are lots of Christians, but most certainly not his type of Christian.
His contempt for women doesn’t get him any points either since this is a matriarchal society, and thus he is likely viewed with contempt since he fails to recognise that fact.
There’s certainly racism in Italy, but it is very different to the U.S. variety, and his desire to be viewed as superior has already been scuttled by the points noted above.
Of course he has to buy supporters, either with money or the chance to break something; he can’t get them any other way…
He certainly favoured centralised state control, and partnership between the state and certain industries and large corporations;
So did Augustus Caesar.
brucearthurs, I’m with you about File770 at this point. The roundups have been nice, but nothing much but additional text characters is getting added to the discussion at this point. Non-Puppies have all made just about every case that can be made, and the Puppies just continue to repeat something along the lines of “Look, I realized we fire bombed the community, and called all of you basically sub-human animals bent on destroying the genre you spend so much time and energy promoting, and that we have no collective sense of irony or self awareness, but why are you being so mean??”
As for the comments, Glyer doesn’t put much visible constraint on it, so at this point (and perhaps it was always thus) it’s pretty much the same 10 or 20 guys being assholes to each other. Even Kevin Standlee is getting testy over there.
Oooh! I read This is Not a Game last year. Didn’t know there were more. Cool!
Since I am now an official Hugo voter, I decided to get started on staying caught up so I have nominees to throw in the ring on the novella/novelette/short story categories. To that end I am now the proud owner of subscriptions to F&SF, Asimovs and Analog. That should be a good start. I cracked open the June issue of Asimovs last night and hit gold immediately. “The End of the War” by Django Wexler. Novella or novelette–anyway, long. Really good, and the end made things a bit dusty in the room. I commend it to the attention of other 2016 nominators.
And hey, it’s mil SF!
There’s a time travel story in this, I think.
Fascists invent/get hold of a time machine. They endlessly debate events they could change. Each time the supercomputer stops them, saying it would irrevocably alter the timeline, eliminating the time traveling fascists before they started and thus leading to paradox. OK, say the fascists, if you are so smart, Mr. Supercomputer, what can we do with this thing that won’t result in paradox/
SUPERCOMPUTER: Take back the Hugos!
@kurtbusiek In the M.Night Shymalan version, he ends up realizing his true love for…John Scalzi. TWIST ENDING!
“SUPERCOMPUTER: Take back the Hugos!”
That’s no good. It’ll leave the fascists in place but eliminate the supercomputer.
John wrote: “I remember rather vividly being at the Montreal Worldcon during my autograph session and this dude coming up, handing me Zoe’s Tale, and saying “It’s not really a good book and I don’t think it should be on the ballot and I don’t know why it is, but I guess since you’re here you might as well sign it for me.” Which I thought was really kind of amazing, in its own obnoxious way.”
This reminds me of an incident a friend of mine experienced while on a signing tour. Some troll who often harassed him online, to the extent that the harasser seemed like he might be potentially dangerous (or at least disruptive and troublesome) in person attended a signing of the author. Showed up, introduced himself, placed a book in front of the writer to be signed, then left. There was absolutely no incident, no problem, no tension, nothing.
Later online, the troll claimed he CONFRONTED my friend at that event, intimidated him, threw down with him, debated him, schooled him, showed him, etc.
All this talk of Some Kind of Wonderful has me listening to Lick the Tin’s cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” which was played over the ending credits. Their only album was called “Blind Man on a Flying Horse” which pretty much sums up this whole mess.
Catch10110 mentioned Stephen Donaldson’s Gap cycle. I enjoyed them, but if you can think of something that requires a trigger warning, consider it given. It is all about horrible people doing horrible things to each other and everyone else in range. If you can get past that, they are really good.
I’ll also second Elizabeth Moon.
Yup. I’ve met my share of Internet tough guys in the real world. It’s always interesting to see the disparity.
John and Laura,
Are you saying the “conditional” part of Tom Kratman’s “conditional warnings” are that “Tom Kratman isn’t likely to physically accost you, so there’s really nothing to worry about”?
Color me shocked.
As regards MilSF, let me second John Steakley’s “Armor”, mentioned above.
What you THINK you’re getting is a story about badasses in powered armor killing bugs (which seems kinda familiar somehow…). What you actually get is a story about what trauma does to people in combat.
Here’s something I’ve noticed about the ‘conservative’, ‘patriotic’ rightwing folk:
1) They want government out of our lives … except in our bedrooms. THERE it’s okay for the government to tell you who and how to love, and whether or not to have kids. As long as THEY are in charge of the government.
2) Because government is totally incompetent and can’t do anything right … except when it comes to surveillance and killing people, when it can’t do anything wrong. Because FREEDOM!
Also note the quotation marks around ‘conservative’ and ‘patriotic’, because they are neither, by any sane definition used in the real world.
@brucearthurs: Nora for Hugo it is! I mean, the “In Death” books are near-future police-procedural, (slightly) post-apocalyptic rebuild, with a seriously alpha male character and a strong female lead. There’s off-world habitats and prisons, computer hacking, clones, flying cars, VR, basically the same class/wealth distribution as today. Let’s put two “In Death” books on the slate next year! (This means I’ve got to read the two published in 2015. Twist my arm.)
(I do recommend them to people who ordinarily wouldn’t like That Sort of Thing. If you liked “A Civil Campaign”, give one a shot. There are 40 of ’em. They do have continuing character development, but you can jump in anywhere. Scads of them at your local used book store or garage sale.)
@Stevie: Indeed. It must be lonely being a Christian Dominionist male chauvinist pig in a country where everyone’s a cradle Catholic and goes to mamma’s house every Sunday for dinner. But they don’t care about sexual harassment, so Teddy probably digs that part.
I just flat out fundamentally don’t understand why SF — the literature/genre of the future — “should” only concern itself with the problems of SWM who need to bring Jesus to the aliens. We got beyond that before any of the Yappers were born, thanks to the New Wave, Le Guin, Delaney, and the rest of ’em. Even with St. Bob of Heinlein! We’re sort of getting beyond some of that IRL. So why drag it back to an imaginary past?
Insecurity and a lack of self-esteem and a need for external validation, is what I think. None of which are very manly.
(I leave the Freudian interpretation of the award itself and its corollary to sports cars, monster trucks and SUVs that never go off-road to the reader.)
Techgrrl72, et al:
Let’s not wander into a general political discussion, please.
@ Docrocketscience: As it happens, I was pouring through several books of proverbs last night in search of one that would fit a story I’m working on. And by interesting coincidence, there are an extraordinary number of proverbs from numerous cultures that say things like, “The lions that roars is not the one that’s a threat” and “the wolf that barks is not the one that attacks” and so and so forth, indicating that noisy bloviating is a very different (and usually completely unrelated) thing to decisive action.
If we cannot draw a direct line from worldwide wisdom to the online posturing of a particular Hugo nominee, we probably don’t deserve crayons.
@lurkertype It is the “seriously alpha male character” (who comes with all the classic lashings of romance lead tropes (fabulously wealthy, ruthless, but always in a good cause, only has eyes for the female lead) which probably keeps a bunch of readers away. I’m actually a fan of Nora Roberts in her romance writing, but the leads in the In Death series have always felt too much like standard romance novel paint by numbers leads for me to really enjoy them.
@mickyfinn: I was saying Roarke’s the sort of chap the Yappers think should be the protagonist of every story. Self-made two-fisted SWM. The supporting characters in the “In Death” series are where they really shine, and are who I’m reading for nowadays much of the time. I <3 Peabody and McNab. Frankly, the depth of characterization in those books still outdoes much of the stuff the Yippers are fond of.
Is Gabaldon publishing anything in 2015? A compendium, a Lord John (heh) story, or more of Jamie and Claire? I am not averse to a Gabaldon/Robb/Roberts ticket.
I happened to go to OGH’s posting of March 2, “Standard Responses to Online Stupidity” and find the Barkers are much of them. #9, 10, and 11 MOST particularly. I invite everyone to revisit this bit of wisdom, and apply it if, say, you’re still wading through File 770. That really is a succinct way of putting it, John; it’s almost like you’re a professional writer or something!
Another book recommendation for anyone, this time for YA Fantasy. If you like dragon fantasies, try Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina. I don’t want to give the story away, but the dragon and human societies are well done. The sequel, Shadow Scale was published this year.
I meant to post this in reply to you yesterday. I looked at the nominating rules again.
You and Mercedes Lackey mentioned the Romance writers and readers, but the word count for novels made me think of the Young Adult (even Juvenile) publishing categories. There is a lot of SFF published in these age categories now. Unless I missed a minimum voting age, or a minimum reading ability, then couldn’t the tweens vote for the Hugos too?
Think of VD’s horror. All those teenagers, especially, with social media accounts, disposable parental income and no jobs. The Hunger Games and Twilight may no longer be eligible, but who reads the books as soon as they drop? Teenagers and kids read the books as soon as they drop. Who never has multiple “to be read when I have time” piles? Teenagers never have these piles (except when they didn’t clean their rooms).
Seriously, what teen fan wouldn’t thrill to be able to nominate the top 5 books they liked best, rather than those stuffy old awards nominated by librarians? (Not that librarians aren’t totally awesome!)
And by the way, librarians talk to both the Romance and YA readers. Is it appropriate to send the Hugo nominating rules to the American Library Association and the International Association of School Librarianship?
I haven’t actually read any of the “In Death” books myself, but my wife is currently approaching the end of a re-read of the complete series. I’ll move them up my TBR list and give them a try. (There’s an available spot where I was going to try some guy’s books about hunting monsters, but those have moved way down in priority. Way, way down….)
That Kratman fellow over on File 770 needs a Snickers. (That’s how to solve this whole mess! Snickers for everyone!)
Which is why, of course, that the American of Hispanic and Native American ancestry TURNED DOWN THE NOM
The Pups would do well to retire this oft-repeated mantra. Correia’s family is from Portugal, which, last time I checked, was full of white Europeans. Hispanic means something, and it is not “has a Spanish or Portuguese sounding last name”.
John Scalzi said: “So, no. This Hugo contretemps isn’t about class. But it might be, a little bit, about who has class, and how that affects what they do with their wealth and power.”
Of course its about class. Class is the in group with the pull, and no class is the out group. Talk about check your privilege.
Scorpio above has it completely right, and the easy way to tell is this: Defenders of the Faith are up on their high horses raging, burning stuff down and smearing people with guilt by association. Meanwhile Sad Puppies are merely pointing and laughing.
Totally classy, John. Totally classy.
Allow me to introduce you to Vox Day, VD for short:
VD is king of Castalia House, which is the happiest totalitarian dictatorship on earth:
VD has rules for how to make science fiction a perfect place:
And those rules consist mostly of threatening anyone who isn’t straight, white, male, a christian dominionist, or different from his conception of a perfect world
If that makes you go “Huh?”, then you’re keeping up:
VD can’t *earn* a Hugo, but he figures if he hooks up the right bunch of people, maybe he can get a hugo from them.
His puppies aren’t necessarily the smartest bulbs.
But an army of lemmings marching in lockstep can push the Hugo ballot over the cliff.
VD and his puppies all look the same, talk the same, and dance the same
while we may be a motley crew:
so it’s time to tell VD “Eat me”
We can either let VD get the hugo
Or vote a puppy-free ballot
And live happily ever after
What was that old saying, something about how many fingers are pointing back at you when you point at something?
Phantom: I’m not a Hugo voter and I only have so much free reading time. Which one of the three John C. Wright novellas on the nomination list should I read? I haven’t read any of his other works so I’m coming to him fresh.
Thank you. Even people who have not seen any of your previous comments know you’re a troll after those six words.
I know you’re a gamma rabbit and all that, but it’s weird to me that your writing is somehow a magnet for these jerks when (to my eyes) the sci-fi you write is pretty classic/normal/traditional/mainstream. I guess it’s all about the blogging. And the social justicing. You’re like a self-hating privileged white man to those guys, I guess. Letting down the side.
Can’t judge a book by its cover I guess.
Annie Bellet wasn’t conscripted. Of course, she declined her nomination in the end, in part because the anti-puppies side literally gave her nightmares of people cheering her defeat, all because she saw a fellow on the other side reaching across the aisle, and decided to reciprocate. Torgersen et al. certainly bear some responsibility for this outcome, and Beale et al. certainly bear more. But the antis are hardly guiltless.
Is this the world that you want to build?
Osberend – No, but I definitely don’t want Beale’s world, and I’m not sure I want Torgersen’s world either after reading some of his polemics.
The Sad Puppies as a whole on the other hand… If there are any who just want to see books they like get awards and don’t give a flying froot loop about the politics and about hating SJWs? I want to see what their world is like.
Re: Class: Changing the definition of what “class” is in the discussion to suit your own purposes and saying “of course” it’s about that is a nice rhetorical maneuver as long as it goes unnoticed and you can get everyone to go along. Unfortunately for you, I’ve noticed, and I’m not inclined to let you pocket that particular card. Nice try, however.
The rest of your comment is possibly more ironic than you appear to realize.
This is where you go back to your friend’s web site and tell them there about how you’re totally schooling people over here, I expect.
“Of course its about class. Class is the in group with the pull, and no class is the out group.”
Actually, that’s group dynamics. Class is social stratification.
There are always Bad People like Beale. (There is ample, ample evidence that Beale is a Bad Person; Philip Sandifer did the rundown of the evidence.) The question is how others respond to that.
Allying yourself with the Bad Person is questionable. Joining in the Bad Person’s use of disruptive tactics to damage a community is worse. But ignore that for the moment…
…the real question is how to stop the Bad Person from achieving his goal of sabotage and iidisruption.
The traditional method is ostracism, and that’s what’s being done right now to Beale (who richly deserves it). You usually have to ostracise anyone who supports and gives ‘aid and comfort to’ the ostracised person, too, just to make it work; that’s what’s happening to Torgerson and Correia, and they deserve it too, I’m afraid.
If you want to get more sophisticated and modern than ostracism, you redesign your society’s rules so that the Bad Person’s attempt at sabotage simply won’t work. Then you don’t have to ostracise him.
In this case, the problem is defective voting rules for nominations. What is needed is some form of “proportional representation”, such as STV or reweighted approval voting. This problem of blocs dominating the voting is known as the “representative committee” problem in the academic literature, and it has *known solutions*. Use one of them. With proportional representaton, a bloc which only has the support of 10% of the voters… gets 10% of the nominees, no more. The problem here was that the bloc got 100% of the nominees. So fix the system.
You’re absolutely right, osberend: It’s clearly unpossible that Bellet might have reconsidered whether or not it was a good idea for her career to be associated with a racist, sexist, homophobic dipshit who is on record as explicitly stating that women getting acid thrown in their faces is acceptable collateral damage in the struggle to prevent women from being educated; a man who saw nothing wrong with getting an at-best-mediocre story by said dipshit nominated for a Hugo specifically and explicitly to troll the Hugos; and a man who is on record as explicitly stating how awful it is that he can’t judge SF books by their covers any more.
Clearly, the only rational conclusion one can draw is that Bellet was harassed by horrible anti-Puppy mobs until she, in desperation and fear, withdrew her nomination.
Let’s go ahead and leave speculation about Ms. Bellet’s rationale tabled for now, please. She stated her own reasons clearly on her own site and I am content not to gainsay her.
May I say just how delightful it is that this particular OP has resulted in a really useful bunch of reading lists?
It’s also possible given the language used by both Bellet & Kloos they were not interested in being used as part of a political battle this year. Both received a fair amount of abuse from puppies for pulling out. I believe both will have eligible works for next year.
I’d been enjoying Bellet’s urban fantasy series prior to this mess and was pleased to finish catching up once she resigned although I found book 5 to have a weak ending. It’s better IMHO than much of the urban fantasy out today as I didn’t have to wince at sexist and racist crud nor was anyone raped in 5 books. Lots of battles, murder & mayhem as well as paranormal creatures, mystery, a little romance. Some of bad & good guys are grey.
Sorry @Scalzi we cross-posted. Delete or modify as appropriate.
I see we’re allowed to deploy unconventional munitions. Excellent.
As a tangent – Tom Knighton was mentioned, and I popped over to view his work, since he’s due that amount of respect even if his hounds aren’t. Two things struck me:
Firstly, we’re still dealing with nuclear fallout as an EOT scenario, a la The Death of Grass / No Blade of Grass, which struck me as really retro, akin to the Westerns written in the early 20th C. But, sure, I can see a market for an interesting re-run of MAD fear. (But, really? I’d have thought reality based MilSpec would know all about Bushes’ fondness for neutron weapon research over conventional types and the breaking of various treaties to do so – have none of these authors found about the CRS? Access used to be easy to obtain, I’ll let people work out how).
Secondly, why the cross pollination is because people are playing silly buggers over malicious reviews. Which, having done due diligence, he has an arguable case for: yes, there appears to be some spiking occurring (ELF reference), but it doesn’t look organized, it’s the usual Twitter Warriors. However, if you want to claim moral high ground on such topics, what you do not want to be doing is, I don’t know, giving your own works 5/5 reviews. :Sad Trombone:
I can’t find any published stuff that isn’t purely kindle etc, so I cannot comment on his work – and he’s not published outside of America. Any links allowing me to do so would be appreciated (since you’re probably reading Mr Knighton – your google presence is overclouded by famous authors on fungii, so feel free to splash some copy).
Busy, it appears publicly posting has lead to RL shenanigans. I have the enviable position of being liked by none…
BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Yep; Portuguese are classified here in Europe as white Europeans. I do wonder sometimes whether the Sad Puppies have even the merest smidgen of knowledge of Europe.
Beale’s inability to leverage his wealth in Italy into any kind of influence in Italy or Western Europe as a whole is likely one of the reasons he is so desperate to have some effect in the States. And evading tax in Italy isn’t a political act driven by Libertarian beliefs; everybody does it, so no points for that one either…
Dammit, we need a more sophisticated flounce-scoring system. It’s no good simply deducting points for ‘and they came back’, because they always do, often with multiple iterations of ‘now this is REALLY my last post’. I propose a system that not only counts the number of returns after a flounce, but such variables as whether the flouncer thinks they are being clever by flouncing out of one discussion only to jump back into a different thread; the time between flounce and return (with higher penalties for very short gaps); whether a reason has been stated for the flouncer’s temporary or permanent absence*; an attempt by the flouncer to challenge others to reply to them on their own blog instead**; and of course continuing to participate in the discussion with a sockpuppet.
*such as “this is my last post because I’m off to work” followed by another post ten minutes later in response to a critical comment.
**of course this should be differentiated from “We’re really off topic and Scalzi has asked us to move on, but I’d be happy to continue the discussion at…..” since the latter doesn’t actually involve flouncing.
@ mythago I feel that going back to other boards to announce how totally badass you were in that place you flounced from is probably worth a bonus point or two as well.
Back on the MilSF topic, I can recommend Mike Shepherd’s Kris Longknife books, which are Honor Harrington dialed down several notches, with more humor and smaller battles. Mike’s fairly right-wing, but not a nutjob. Ask him about his grandkids. :)
I would have had huuuuge problems if “Twilight” had been on the ballot, but I thought “Hunger Games” was pretty good. Not sure if we want to unleash the teens, though bringing in the RWA crowd has appeal.
@Greg: that’s an excellent metaphor, well-illustrated. Hee.
@mythago: Good rationale and @UrsulaV, definitely. And then another point each for returning and then reflouncing/rebragging, compounded with interest every time you go through the cycle.
@brucearthurs: Ask the Mrs. which book you should tackle first, and give her my best. That’s a whole lotta re-read.
@Stevie: Portuguese people are white in the US as well, except in Larry’s head. Hispanic/Latino are admixtures with the indigenous population of the Americas and by definition, Hispanic people must be from a Spanish speaking country. Brazilians, for example, don’t count as Hispanic because they speak… Portuguese. Direct from Europe doesn’t count. Most folks prefer their country of origin except on census forms, and will tell you they’re Mexican or Puerto Rican or Venezuelan.
John Scalzi said: “The rest of your comment is possibly more ironic than you appear to realize.”
Well John, I guess it is kind of ironic that guys like you and David Gerrold are all outraged and raging and making stuff up about what bastards the Sad Puppies crowd are, not to mention smear campaigns sufficiently heinous to get nominees dropping out. Two so far, yes? Guilt by association, -very- classy indeed.
Meanwhile people like myself just quote what y’all said. We quote, and then we laugh. No need to do more than just point. Two words, John: Entertainment Weekly.
No point in trying to “school” you. That would imply me being concerned with improving your performance or attitude or something. No, I just want to -defeat- your clique. Its not personal, its just business. So far, going pretty good.
Incidentally, the official graphic of the Anti-Sad Puppies Brigade is Barnett Newman’s painting “Voice of Fire”. It perfectly captures the complexity and nuance of your position, and its history reflects the recent history of both the SFWA and WorldCon.
Voice of Fire is what happened in the world of painting that Sad Puppies is trying to prevent from happening in SF/F.
Jim Henley said: “I’m not a Hugo voter and I only have so much free reading time.”
Jim, they’re novellas. That’s like a one-bite brownie. Read faster.
Nathanael said: “In this case, the problem is defective voting rules for nominations.”
I keep seeing this “defective voting rules” argument getting made.
Has it occurred to none of you that the rules have been this way for quite some time, and they are arranged that way FOR A REASON. And the reason is so that small numbers of coordinated voters can sway the nominations.
“Gee, I wonder why its always been that way?” asked the Puppy.
“I guess it is kind of ironic that guys like you and David Gerrold are all outraged and raging and making stuff up about what bastards the Sad Puppies crowd are”
Well, no. Vox Day is transparently a bigot; Larry Corriea is transparently an insecure, whiny bully; and Brad Torgersen transparently can’t argue his way out of a paper bag. Neither I nor David Gerrold, nor anyone else, has to make any of that up. There lot’s of documentary evidence. Sadly for the Puppies, none of their points stand up to the same level of scrutiny.
“No, I just want to -defeat- your clique.”
This would be the manufactured clique that the Puppies made up so they could have someone to be angry at, yes? Well, you have fun with that. As you may imagine, since neither I nor David nor anyone else signed up for this clique, the amount of investment we have in it is, well, low.
“the reason is so that small numbers of coordinated voters can sway the nominations.”
Well, no. It’s worth noting that in the past when evidence of that happened, the works nominated tended to end up below (or barely above) “No Award.” There was a very recent example of that, in fact. It’s possible it might happen again. But it’s certainly interesting that the Puppies are more than happy to ascribe conspiritorially to others an action they happily undertook themselves.
Now, Phantom, the posturing is getting a little stale. If you don’t have anything else to add to the conversation than that, you might want to move on.
(Also, Phantom, please aggregate your posts in the future. Multiple sequential posts from the same person makes me unhappy.)
No point in trying to “school” you. That would imply me being concerned with improving your performance or attitude or something. No, I just want to -defeat- your clique. Its not personal, its just business. So far, going pretty good.
Three things, and I’ll be serious for once.
You’re not doing Tom Knighton any favors here: it has been looked into, his case is valid, I’m sure we all agree that spiking reviews is a non-classy act. One lone Twitter vigilante does not not make up a culture. Given the nature of Twitter, it could be a genuine ‘witch’, a troll, his ex-lover, himself and so on and so forth.
Secondly, your business is my business.
ὣς φάτο χωόμενος Ζεὺς ἄφθιτα μήδεα εἰδώς:
ἐκ τούτου δὴ ἔπειτα δόλου μεμνημένος αἰεὶ
οὐκ ἐδίδου Μελίῃσι πυρὸς μένος ἀκαμάτοιο
θνητοῖς ἀνθρώποις, οἳ ἐπὶ χθονὶ ναιετάουσιν.
ἀλλά μιν ἐξαπάτησεν ἐὺς πάις Ἰαπετοῖο
κλέψας ἀκαμάτοιο πυρὸς τηλέσκοπον. αὐγὴν
ἐν κοΐλῳ νάρθηκι: δάκεν δέ ἑ νειόθι θυμόν,
Ζῆν᾽ ὑψιβρεμέτην, ἐχόλωσε δέ μιν φίλον ἦτορ,
ὡς ἴδ᾽ ἐν ἀνθρώποισι πυρὸς τηλέσκοπον αὐγήν.
αὐτίκα δ᾽ ἀντὶ πυρὸς τεῦξεν κακὸν ἀνθρώποισιν:
γαίης γὰρ σύμπλασσε περικλυτὸς Ἀμφιγυήεις
παρθένῳ αἰδοίῃ ἴκελον Κρονίδεω διὰ βουλάς.
ζῶσε δὲ καὶ κόσμησε θεὰ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη
ἀργυφέη ἐσθῆτι: κατὰ κρῆθεν δὲ καλύπτρην
δαιδαλέην χείρεσσι κατέσχεθε, θαῦμα ἰδέσθαι:
ἀμφὶ δέ οἱ στεφάνους, νεοθηλέος ἄνθεα ποίης,
ἱμερτοὺς περίθηκε καρήατι Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη.
ἀμφὶ δέ οἱ στεφάνην χρυσέην κεφαλῆφιν ἔθηκε,
τὴν αὐτὸς ποίησε περικλυτὸς Ἀμφιγυήεις
ἀσκήσας παλάμῃσι, χαριζόμενος Διὶ πατρί.
τῇ δ᾽ ἐνὶ δαίδαλα πολλὰ τετεύχατο, θαῦμα ἰδέσθαι,
κνώδαλ᾽, ὅσ᾽ ἤπειρος πολλὰ τρέφει ἠδὲ θάλασσα,
τῶν ὅ γε πόλλ᾽ ἐνέθηκε,—χάρις δ᾽ ἀπελάμπετο πολλή,—
θαυμάσια, ζῴοισιν ἐοικότα φωνήεσσιν.
To say you’re a tadpole is a little generous given their evolutionary age.
Lastly, you’ve absolutely no skin in this game. You neither understand culture, nor warfare. Posturing, as they say, will get you noticed.
BE SEEING YOU.
ὣς οὐκ ἔστι Διὸς κλέψαι νόον οὐδὲ παρελθεῖν.
οὐδὲ γὰρ Ἰαπετιονίδης ἀκάκητα Προμηθεὺς
τοῖό γ᾽ ὑπεξήλυξε βαρὺν χόλον, ἀλλ᾽ ὑπ᾽ ἀνάγκης
καὶ πολύιδριν ἐόντα μέγας κατὰ δεσμὸς ἐρύκει.
We very very much disagree, and think they’re a fine thing.
Worth an aeon or two on the hill or with the eagle.
If you’re going to quote Hesiod, it’s considerate to give an English translation.
Aww. You don’t see the frantic rush to see the references amongst their ranks.
This will allow them to play
Voice of Fire — that’s the abstract painting that is now worth $40 million, right? And of course that totally destroyed the world of art and now there’s nothing but abstract paintings. Oh wait, no it didn’t and no there’s not.
Is it possible for the puppies to come up with one argument that is based on reality? New York Times bestsellers that don’t count as bestsellers because reasons, claims that the Nebulas and the Hugos are the same thing and run by the same people, claiming that only Baen publishes conservative authors, claiming that liberal authors are never popular when the two most popular authors on the planet are liberals, claiming that all military SF is written by conservatives, and now that the conservatives — the popular bestsellers — are poor while the obscure, literary authors are rich.
It’s jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today with the puppies, apparently. You’d have thunk that they would have planned the conspiracy theory out a little better than they have.
But which we really all wish to know is, where is your underground lair, Scalzi, and what sort of decor did you, Gerrold and Martin decide upon?
thephantom: you … are all outraged and raging and making stuff up
outraged and raging about the SJW conspiracy that was completely made up?
Wait who are we talking about again?
Kat: that’s the abstract painting that is now worth $40 million, right?
You have to be really careful with art. It’s a known fact that:
1) The CIA funded most of avant garde stuff like Pollock, to the turn of about ~$500,000,000 over the period
2) It’s a shell game run by people wanting tax breaks: new hot artist – pump and dump, you don’t pay tax on it
3) It’s one of those ancient status tweaks that any sane person can ignore, and in fact, the model of patronage has sadly devolved into crumbs due to #1
So, Kat. Hmmm: should I flash the Greek tip-off to say that this is a silly argument that’s only going embarrass some rich patrons, or not? Not a great move here.
On the subject of nominating teen authors I’d really think it was cool if some of Holly Black’s books were nominated. I particularly like her curse worker books starting “White Cat.” They are very entertaining capers with a really cool and interesting main character and some awesome word building.
Oh look, Kat Goodwin got the reference and googled the Voice of Fire thing. Yes Kat, a red racing stripe on a blue field is now “worth $40 million” if you believe that sort of thing. I supposed there’s a sucker born every minute.
Do you understand my point that the number of people who will “get” and like Voice of Fire is extremely small?
Do you understand my point that the same cultural forces that created and maintain the manifestly insane market condition where a red stripe on a blue canvas is worth $40 million bucks (until the National Gallery tries to sell it anyway) are the ones who give a Hugo to the Dinosaur story?
Do you understand that this is not about trashing the painter of the racing stripe or the author of the Dinosaur story, its about pointing out that their audience is EXTREMELY SMALL and more importantly from my personal perspective, I am not in it.
So for me to live in a culture that reflects my morals and my aesthetic, I have to swim upstream against these forces and their champions. It pisses me off.
John Scalzi said: “Vox Day is transparently a bigot; Larry Corriea is transparently an insecure, whiny bully; and Brad Torgersen transparently can’t argue his way out of a paper bag.”
So now, is that the “class” we were discussing earlier John? Because I’m pointing and laughing right now. That right there is a classic.
John Scalzi also said: “This would be the manufactured clique that the Puppies made up so they could have someone to be angry at, yes?”
No, this would be the clique that gets the Dinosaur story a Hugo and gets the National Gallery of Canada to shell out $1,750,000.00 of my tax money for a racing stripe. Its a cultural space John, not a particular smoke filled room. As you know.
Then, the very elaborately obtuse poster known as Cthulu (SJW tinged) bubbled: “You’re not doing Tom Knighton any favors here: it has been looked into, his case is valid, I’m sure we all agree that spiking reviews is a non-classy act.”
I do not work for Tom Knighton. His name does not appear on my paychecks. Nor do the names Theodore Beal or Larry Correia. I speak for myself and no one else.
Of course Tom Knighton’s case is valid. He’s a stand up guy and he’s getting smeared by lying little assholes all over Twitter and Facebook, not to mention Amazon where he makes his money. He is not the only one. Two other people dropped out of the awards because of the SJW guilt-by-association manure spreader. As you know.
Sadly, some people including apparently some here (not you) disagree that spiking reviews is a non-classy act. Perfectly acceptable when applied to certain targets.
Which is just -so- classy. More pointing and laughing, because Tom Knighton’s numbers are on the rise, not the decline.
The rest of your comment is Greek to me.
TL;DR Someone likes something I don’t like!
“No, this would be the clique that gets the Dinosaur story a Hugo”
Oh, ThePhantom. Just fall face-first right there into the pavement, there, why don’t you. “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” didn’t get the Hugo.
So much for the clique!
Now that we’ve definitively established that you don’t actually know what it is you’re posturing about, ThePhantom, why don’t you run along from the the thread. Your ignorance on the matter has gone from tragedy to farce.
John, you don’t understand. The Phantom comes from an alternate universe in which different Hugos were awarded, and where the Phantom is a member of a ragtag squad of heroes who fight on the beaches, in the art galleries and the comment thread, for whatever the puppy-leaders tell them to fight for today. Judging the truth of what he says based on mere facts is so unjust; it’s what he feels that is important.
Up next, some pup will show up and argue “we hunted the mammoth” therefore we deserve a Hugo.
No, wait, I think what’s-his-face (quite inadvertently) cut to the heart of what’s really going on with the Sad Puppies, albeit dumbly:
So for me to live in a culture that reflects my morals and my aesthetic, I have to swim upstream against these forces and their champions. It pisses me off.
That is: they want the whole world to center around and cater to their interests, and it is not OK when the world fails to do so, and especially when it does so according to rules they otherwise have claimed are fair and proper. They have the emotional maturity and empathy of badly-raised children who, as long as they’re winning a board game, smugly announce it’s not their fault that you rolled a 2 or landed on their hotel, that’s just the rules; but the minute they start to lose, start shouting that you cheated, it’s not fair, this game is stupid. They can’t fathom SFF in which their preferred brand of literature is merely one type among many, and maybe not even the most popular brand. They don’t want to read about universes that don’t place them, admiringly, at the very center.
That’s why their arguments are counterfactual and contradictory: the real, underlying argument is “THAT’S MINE. NOT FAIR. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT.”
John Scalzi said: “Just fall face-first right there into the pavement, there, why don’t you. “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” didn’t get the Hugo.”
Oh look, an error of detail! Of course an a nomination is not an award. Well, that disproves the entire thing! Silly me.
For frig sakes man, that’s the extent of your rhetoric?
“Oh look, an error of detail!”
Yes, look, an error of detail, from which you launched a fussilade of bullshit entirely unsupported by your assertion. And while I can certainly understand why you are keen to dismiss this as a piddling detail, in fact it goes directly to the heart of The Problem With Puppies: That they don’t appear to let little things like facts get in their way of stemwinding themselves into a frenzy. The Problem With Puppies is not the single piddling detail, it’s that missing that piddling detail isn’t a singular event — it’s a persistent pattern of either ignorance or disingenuousness — or both! It could be both.
As for it being the extent of my rhetoric: It is not. However, the fact that you don’t know enough to know what you’re talking about means that I’m not inclined to waste any further rhetorical skill on you because — as previously noted — you clearly don’t actually know what you’re talking about, nor am I inclined to let you pretend you do just so you can grandstand a little more on my blog. Your grandstand is missing structural support, and just collapsed under you.
I understand there may be other places ignorance of a factual detail supporting an argument is lightly skipped over as immaterial, but strangely enough, I think it might have some bearing. If you don’t like it, of course you are welcome to return to those other places and tell them how unfair it is I actually expect you to know what you’re talking about.
With that, comments closed for the night. See you in the morning, folks.
Update: Comments back on.
“…the Voice of Fire thing. Yes Kat, a red racing stripe on a blue field is now “worth $40 million” if you believe that sort of thing. I supposed there’s a sucker born every minute.”
Of everything that Conservative SF writers get their boxers in a twist about, their hysteria over Modern Art is the one that puzzles me most. I have to imagine that most of them have actually not spent any time in actual art museums.
Is this the case, y’all? Do you not go to museums? (I’m talking to the puppies now.) Because if that’s the case, let me recommend you take the time to do so. Modern and Contemporary art is well worth looking at. I mean, I know you all love (or claim to love, at least) Maxfield Parrish and I too loves me some Vermeer and Caillebotte, but there are artists from this century who are also doing excellent work. (Will Barnet is one of my particular favorites.)
You should check them out.
Phantom: Thing about brownie bites is, they each taste about the same, and are yummy. I’m not going to read the 2nd & 3rd Wright novella if I don’t like the 1st pretty well. So it behooves me – and John C. Wright – to start with the one I’m most likely to enjoy. Since you’ve read all three of them, I figured you’ve got an opinion there. Plus, it let’s us talk about the pleasure of reading rather than literary politics. And there’s been quite a lot of people talking about what they like in these threads, so I figure it’s in bounds.
Maybe a starting point is, how are you going to rank them on your final ballot? And will one of the Wright novellas get the top spot? And will the ranking be a close call for you, or easy?
Jim Henley: Since Phantom won’t clarify — perhaps he hasn’t read the Wright novellas? — here are reviews of the works in question, from over at Journal of Impropriety: http://secritcrush.livejournal.com/
thephantom: “Do you understand my point that the same cultural forces that created and maintain the manifestly insane market condition where a red stripe on a blue canvas is worth $40 million bucks (until the National Gallery tries to sell it anyway) are the ones who give a Hugo to the Dinosaur story?”
Not only is the detail about the Dinosaur story wrong, so is the claim that the cultural forces are the same. It’s laughably wrong to claim that the forces are the same–65 scifi fans nominated the Dinosaur story while the art market is driven by the ultra-rich looking for tax breaks and status. I doubt any “cultural forces” working on the two groups are the same.
Culture warriors do have a schizoid relationship with the free market, eh? On the one hand, we are told that the (pre-Puppy) Hugos were corrupted by a clique of Marx-worshipping moonbats. On the other hand, thephantom182 chooses, as a symbol of the putative clique, a painting that sold for over a million bucks. (Granted, this particular painting was bought by a national gallery, but another painting by the same author in the same style fetched over $80 million at auction, so perhaps the Canadian taxpayers got a good deal.)
Also, regarding that error of detail: “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” was nominated for a Hugo and didn’t win one… in the same way that Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen were nominated for Campbell Awards, and didn’t win them. So this proves… what, exactly?
If all the Puppy advocates simply agreed with Vox Day’s party line, and declared that the Hugos were territory to seize for their side in the culture wars, then I would understand them a lot better. With all this dodging and weaving, I can’t tell if they’re being disingenuous or just stupid.
@mythago: I think you´re absolutely right, I too noted the inadvertent honesty. You also need the “badly raised child”-levels of emotional maturity and self awareness to un-ironically demand science fiction have fewer new ideas.
delagar: Thanks but skimming those reviews suggests they’re pretty spoilerific. (I read the review of the Bellet story as an example.) Meanwhile, Phantom said in a clarifying post to this or the previous thread that he did read all the stories on both slates and many more qualifying stories besides. That clearly qualifies him to help me pick one! He just needs to decide to do so. :)
Wait, there was a social justice warrior conspiracy? And I wasn’t invited???
Probably some combination of both, IMO.
Early Homo sapiens probably didn’t hunt many mammoths, actually. Neandertals were more big-game specialists; early modern humans were the generalists, subsisting mostly on rodents, lagomorphs, smaller ungulates, and generalized foraged fruits and such, like the modern San people. Mammoths and other big game probably were only a major food source for early Plains Native Americans.
So…some nameless Neandertal 80,000 years ago hunted a mammoth. Does he deserve a Hugo? :D
delagar: from over at Journal of Impropriety
Wow. That’s horrible writing.
Clearly the pups nominated Wright 5 times based on (sexist) merits.
“So this proves… what, exactly?”
Here’s a thought, though admittedly a highly speculative one.
There may be a subtle concession here that Teddy’s “opera life whatever” story is, as it is often described, embarrassingly bad. But, despite it’s objective lack of Hugo-level quality, the Puppies went to a lot of effort to manage to get it nominated. The thinking (such as it is) might go, “We worked really hard to get a bad work on the ballot. The dinosaur story is also a bad story*, so someone must have worked to get it nominated too. Thus, CONSPIRACY!!!!1!!!1!!wharblegarble!!!!11!!!!”
* Swirsky’s story, of course, is not bad. At least, not in the way Teddy’s work is. When pressed, most Puppies will pivot (as they often do) over to “it’s not science fiction-y enough.” They might have a point, though Apex Magazine seemed to think it was appropriate for their pages.
“apparently about the heads of the Puppy slates being upset that once upon a time, they felt people in fandom were mean to them. ”
I remember how another famous writer put it. “If you meet an asshole in the morning, you met an asshole. If you meet assholes all day, you’re the asshole” – Elmore Leonard.
I have to wonder, is it REALLY that people were mean to Correia because he is a conservative, or is it that people saw the kind of person he was (and we are never as good at concealing our inner selves as we think), saw that he was the kind of person who would trash something like this because he thought he was entitled to it, and decided “Yeah, I don’t want to associate with an asshole like that.”
Floored: Early Homo sapiens probably didn’t hunt many mammoths,
Sorry, probably should have provided a link for context
Look for the string “Q) Ok, but you still haven’t explained the mammoth thing.”
I think some of the Puppies operate under the belief that nobody who voted for Ancillary Justice or Redshirts or “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” or “The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere” could have actually liked the stories, and therefore they must have chosen them on the basis of pure ideology or because the authors were friends with The Right (Left?) People.
And given that assumption, why not retaliate by stumping for your own friends and choosing works that fit like a glove to your own ideology?
Greg: Oh, I’m aware. I was just pointing out the utter ridiculousness of that particular dudebro argument.
delagar said: “Is this the case, y’all? Do you not go to museums? (I’m talking to the puppies now.)”
Obviously I do. How would I know otherwise?
Your opinion is a very common one, that The Puppies are a gaggle of untutored mouth breathers. You can’t envision an educated argument running counter to yours, the possibility short circuits your brain. Anyone who disagrees is -clearly- and idiot, because All The Smart People naturally agree with you.
Talk to Camile Paglia. A lot of this is her argument. http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2012/10/disagreeing-with-camile-paglia.html She wrote a whole book about it. Its a good book.
The part I disagreed with her about was the iPhone/tablets which I must say is a quibble compared to the larger issue. She’s massively intelligent, widely read, and she’s not a dishonest, small souled apparatchik.
delagar also said: “Jim Henley: Since Phantom won’t clarify — perhaps he hasn’t read the Wright novellas?”
That is correct, I have not read any of the three nominated novellas yet. Therefore I have no specific recommendation at this time.
I have read a great deal of John C. Wright’s other work, and found them to be uniformly excellent. Also very different, one from the other. John’s got a big brain, he spins off styles and ideas like sparks off a welding torch.
They’re yummy, each with a unique frosting. Eat them all. Then go looking for more. Lucky you, Wright is a prolific scribe.
Seth Gordon said: “Culture warriors do have a schizoid relationship with the free market, eh?”
Seth, in what way can a purchase made by bureaucrats from a national gallery possibly be considered “free market”? It was pure politics and public money. And see Camile Paglia above.
mythago said: “…the real, underlying argument is “THAT’S MINE. NOT FAIR. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT.”
“Finally, one of them has understood.” Lord Rayden, Mortal Kombat.
Of course that’s what all this is about. Always has been.
Its just that I couldn’t be bothered about it until recently. Then Alex MacFarlan said this: “I want an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories.”
Everybody has a last straw. That was mine.
Funny how so many people showed up agreeing with me this year, all of a sudden. So many last straws.
Barnett Newman (an artist I never heard of before today, but thankfully, Wikipedia can tell me all about him) was selling to private collectors before and after he sold Voice of Fire to the National Gallery of Canada. The price paid for Voice of Fire is comparable to what a private collector paid for Ulysses, another stripe, four years earlier; other paintings, since then, have sold for over twenty times as much—again, to private collectors. So it’s reasonable to say that those bureaucrats paid fair market value for their acquisition.
Personally, if I had tens of millions of dollars to burn, I wouldn’t spend it on such things, but if other people think a canvas with three colored stripes is worth that much to them, who am I to argue? That’s the beauty of capitalism, right?
Alternatively, you could say that rich art collectors have no taste, but I could say the same thing about the masses who spend money on pew-pew-pew novels.
Ya’ll don’t have to speculate on why I withdrew. I put it into words. The Hugos right now are more about people needing to be right or feel wronged or score points than about great SF/F. That’s why I withdrew. This has become a fight about things I don’t want to be a part of, with assholes on all sides. Also there are kind, reasonable people but they seem to get drowned out a lot. Sadly, the yelling is loud and one nasty comment can wound enough that a hundred kind ones won’t close it over. That’s human nature, I guess.
And anyone who *still* thinks that I am not basically the antithesis of VD really really hasn’t been paying attention. I want nothing to do with him and he certainly never asked me my opinions. I highly doubt he even knew who I was or read my story. It’s possible he chose me as a shield or out of vindictiveness, but who knows?
All I am sure of is that this year, nobody is going to win no matter what happens, because we’ve all been put in a pretty sucky, losing situation. As David Gerrold said (paraphrasing), being right has become more important than being compassionate. That saddens me immensely, and is something I wish no part of. So please, stop trying to attribute motivations and thoughts to me. My feelings on this are very plainly written out in multiple places.
Agreed (and please note I’d already asked people to table this particular discussion).
Oops. Sorry, John. I missed that comment I guess. I’m done ;)
Heh. Not directed at you, Annie! People sometimes have a hard time letting go of a topic.
Phanton says: “Obviously I do. How would I know otherwise?”
Well, then I cannot account for you being so abysmally wrong about the state of modern art.
Although, as one of my professors pointed out, you can lead people to art, but you can’t make them think. I suppose that might be an explanation.
That, or you’re simply lying. You *have*, after all, proven to be an unreliable narrator — more than person here has caught you in a factual error.
sez greg: “Clearly the pups nominated Wright 5 times based on (sexist) merits.”
Correction: The Pups nominated Wright 6 (six) times based on… whatever criteria. The fact that one of Wright’s 6 (six) Puppy-noms was taken off the ballot after being ruled ineligible, does not alter the fact that Wright did, indeed, have 6 (six) Puppy-noms.
Phantom: Gotcha. I was confused by your earlier responses. So to confirm, you didn’t read the three John C. Wright novellas and didn’t nominate them. Do I have both those things correct?
And do you know anyone who can give me an informed recommendation on them?
phantom: The Puppies are a gaggle of untutored mouth breathers. You can’t envision an educated argument running counter to yours
It’s not a question of whether I can envision it or not. It’s whether or not any of you “untutored mouth breathers” can actually make an educated argument counter to the anti-puppies. You haven’t.
G.R.R.Martin has disproved the statistical assertions as false facts. What else is there? The SJW conspiracy with zero supporting evidence and running contrary to known historical evidence? That’s not an educated argument, that’s just nutjobs believing in black UN helicopters.
the rules have been this way for quite some time, and they are arranged that way FOR A REASON. And the reason is so that small numbers of coordinated voters can sway the nominations.
Oh, good. Then when folks propose a rule change to reduce the power of slate voting, the puppies will whole-heartedly agree to that change. Cause if there’s a SJW conspiracy, they must be getting their noms in with Super Sekret Slates, right?
If the puppies OPPOSE reducing the power of slate voting, then they clearly do NOT believe in an SJW conspiracy, they clearly do NOT believe the SJW’s are voting secret slates, and they merely want to keep all the slate voting power to themselves.
I look forward to the puppies supporting a rule change to reduce the power of slate voting.
Ah, Camille Paglia. A woman who leveraged her crackpot thesis (Sexual Personae) into an entire career, supported by hurling personal insults at anyone who called her on her intellectual dishonesty.
Also the woman who, more recently, called the California high school date-rape gang known as the Spur Posse “beautiful.” Paglia glorifies male dominance, and has publicly stated that the Monica Lewinsky scandal led directly to the 9/11 attacks, because REASONS.
She calls herself a democratic libertarian anti-feminist, which gives certain types of libertarians cover, they think, because hey, they know the name of a lesbian academic elitist, whee! but her actual positions are usually considered neo-conservative.
She’s inflammatory, because she’s willing to say anything, but the criticisms of her work have generally focused on her historical inaccuracy, really sweeping generalizations (of the type usually called “making shit up”), and an absolute belief in whatever evolutionary psychology fad is currently trending.
As an opinion writer, she’s fine, the usual pundit type rounding up inconsistent and unrelated anecdotes to support her biases; as an academic, her scholarship is terrible; as a person she’s the maiden aunt who drinks too much and then starts berating everyone else at Thanksgiving dinner for imagined slights and insults.
And yes, I’ve met her, multiple times, and was perfectly civil on each occasion, sometimes under significant pressure. Ms Paglia’s temper varies widely, and I won’t speculate on the cause.
Frankly, if you want a conservative view of Western art, Sister Wendy Beckett is both more insightful and less vitriolic. I’ve never met Sister Wendy, by the way, but she seems lovely.
Normally try not to respond to trolls, but this was too tempting to pass up.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason for this. Without appealing to Dunning-Kruger, dude, you openly admit later in your post that you are an elitist who doesn’t like to share what you perceive as yours, whether you deserve it or not, even though the thing in question is an award that is pretty openly a popularity contest.
And, leaving the rabid dogs’ obnoxiousness aside, they aren’t terribly popular.
So, really…how are you surprised? How? You’re practically asking people to mock you, how are you surprised when people call you out on your whining?
Pot, meet kettle.
Mr. Pot, perhaps you could stop calling Mr. Kettle black, at least until after you’ve got those thirteen layers of reeking grime laboriously chipped off by these adorable socialist hippie genderfluid kittens?
delagar said: “Well, then I cannot account for you being so abysmally wrong about the state of modern art.”
A reasoned and informed opinion that differs from your own? C’est impossible!!!!
Go argue with Camile Paglia, and good luck with that.
And you wonder why we have Sad Puppies.
Phantom’s views (and views of at least some Puppies) remind me of a line in recent issue of comic The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson:
“It is a poor critic who says that a lack of effect on them implies that all others are insincere in their love.”
(I think I need to frame that quote as a reminder. To myself mostly)
“A reasoned and informed opinion that differs from your own?”
I believe the suggestion is that your opinion does not appear particularly informed nor well-reasoned. Inasmuch as you’ve shown that you’re in fact not actually well informed on some of the things about which you opine, and then use that incorrect knowledge as a basis for your argument, this is not an unsupportable suggestion to make.
John Scalzi: The Problem With Puppies is not the single piddling detail, it’s that missing that piddling detail isn’t a singular event — it’s a persistent pattern of either ignorance or disingenuousness — or both! It could be both.
Also there’s their persistent pattern of piddling, full stop. Puppies ain’t housebroken, yo.
docrocketscience: Swirsky’s story, of course, is not bad. At least, not in the way Teddy’s work is. When pressed, most Puppies will pivot (as they often do) over to “it’s not science fiction-y enough.”
If they think that, it says more about the Puppies than the story. I mean, sure, there’s no skiffy element explicit in the bare-bones plot of the story, but the narrative is in such clear communication with SFF that, without the genre, the story could not have been.
Perhaps Puppies simply cannot see beyond bare-bones plot, or don’t want to. Certainly the way they talk about fiction indicates a blindness or even an aversion toward theme, nuance, symbolism, narrative structural choices, and so forth.
ThePhantom: ‘the price of some artists’ work far exceeds their aesthetic value.’ is an opinion and reasonable and informed. ‘The price of modern art is propped up by public museums and governments subsidizing it, and if they wouldn’t pay that much, it wouldn’t cost that much.’ is not supported by the facts when private collectors spend even more on the work.
Note how both disagree with ‘it was worth it for a museum to spend millions of dollars on a simple geometric painting’.
Jim Henley said: “Phantom: Gotcha. I was confused by your earlier responses. So to confirm, you didn’t read the three John C. Wright novellas and didn’t nominate them. Do I have both those things correct?”
“And do you know anyone who can give me an informed recommendation on them?”
I suggest you go over to John C. Wright’s blog and ask him. He’s a cool guy. http://www.scifiwright.com/
mintwitch, you met Camile eh? I never have. She does seem cranky. I expect she’d yell at me about the iPhone being something other than what she said.
I found her arguments reasonable and applicable to the Sad Puppy/SJW face off. Maybe instead of slagging the people making the argument, you could address the argument itself? Radical notion, I know.
FlooredBy said: “Maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason for this.”
Yeah, the reason is you can’t stand somebody telling you no. Hence the slagging.
“Without appealing to Dunning-Kruger, dude, you openly admit later in your post that you are an elitist who doesn’t like to share what you perceive as yours, whether you deserve it or not, even though the thing in question is an award that is pretty openly a popularity contest.”
Hilarious that you got “elitist” out of that. Try “SF/F reader.”
Remember, my “sin” here is expressing an opinion. I’m not supposed to do that, even though the popularity contest is billed as being “the best in SF/F”. I’m supposed to sit down and shut up while the Smart People tell me how its going to be.
@Docrocketscience I think it’s pretty clear why they don’t like the Dinosaur story, and the reason has nothing to do with it’s science fiction-ness or the quality of writing and everything to do with the reveal at the end.
…also, even if we assume for the purpose of argument that museums shouldn’t spend seven figures of taxpayer money on modern art, this seems irrelevant to the whole Hugo brouhaha, since the Worldcon, as far as I know, is not getting any special government subsidy.
Another, related, point that I was making, though, was that Conservative SF writers seem to believe that *all* Modern/Contemporary art is exactly alike. That is, they seem to think every single Modern & Contemporary artist paints exactly like Jackson Pollack and Barnett Newman; when, in fact, there are as many sorts of art right now as there are SF.
Which is why I wondered if any of them have been in a museum lately — because to read the screeds against modern / contemporary art that pop up in their novels and on their blogs from time to time, it certainly seems as if they haven’t.
Annie, just wanted to let you know that all this mess has had, for me, one fortunate outcome: I’ve discovered your Twenty-Sided Sorceress books. I’m looking forward to reading them, because they sound like just my thing.
Phantom, I’m thinking you might enjoy Tom Wolfe’s The Painted Word. It’s a terrific take-down of modern art. Morley Safer did the same thing for 60 Minutes some time ago; I seem to remember him especially caustic on a piece that consisted of basketballs suspended in a fish tank and another that consisted of a pile of wrapped hard candy. Despite my liberal politics and my joy in diverse literature, I have a lot of trouble with this sort of art myself. My solution has been to look at more of it, read about it, and try to understand why others prize it. Unfortunately, however, I have so far been able only to embarrass my husband by saying, “My kid could do that!” in a loud voice in art museums. (It’s a joke between us and not meant literally.) Nonetheless, try the Wolfe. His book on architecture, From Bauhaus to Our House, is also quite wonderful, though I think I disagree with him there — I lived next door to a couple of Mies Van Der Rohe buildings while I was in law school, and I quite liked them.
thephantom182, you are free (within the limits set by our host) to express your opinion. And the rest of us are free to express ours. If you can’t tell the difference between “I think you‘re full of it” and “sit down and shut up”, then you have problems that go well beyond the Hugo Awards.
“Remember, my “sin” here is expressing an opinion.”
You are missing the point, Phantom: It’s not that you’re expressing opinions. That’s fine. It’s that you’re expressing opinions that are so clearly based on nothing but your own whims. Opinions should be based on data.
You admit you haven’t read Wright’s novellas, yet you claim they’re excellent. You express opinions about modern art, but I suspect (based on what you have said here) that you have no idea what you’re talking about.
This is not a sin, Phantom, but it is annoying.
I’ve seen the candy installation. Ate one of the candies! (Which you’re allowed to do; I wasn’t destroying the art.) I can’t say it spoke to me as a piece of art, but I liked the way it tasted.
Delagar’s point about modern art not being the same is well-taken; likewise, some modern/abstract art works very well for me, and other bits of it seem like pretentious wanking. I think it’s broadly true that a lot of art requires investment of time/effort in order to learn how to look at art. It’s also possible that folks who are interested in making that investment will never be pleased with it, which is of course their karma.
I do also agree, however, with the notation that this long disgression into modern art is leading away from the topic at hand (and also a red herring in regard to it), so let’s start to reel it in, please, folks.
If Ms Paglia has expressed an opinion on this year’s Hugo awards, I would love to read it. Google-fu has produced nothing, which doesn’t surprise me. IIRC, SFF does not meet Ms Paglia’s standards for “literature.” She’s a big fan of early 20th century French philosophers; not so much “popular” fiction. I’d be interested to see what her arguments for and against slates might be. Although, if she uses the word “cthonic” in any context other than Greek mythology (yet again), I won’t be held responsible for my language. (Dear Ms Paglia, if you are reading this, that word still does not mean what you want it to mean. No, really, it doesn’t.)
As for the opinions of people in this thread, I have no interest in trying to “argue” with them. Opinions are opinions–like assholes, everyone has one. I may agree or disagree, for various reasons, some as objective as humanly possible, others completely subjective, and yet others completely random and whimsical. Which is partially why I object to slates–human thoughts/opinions are really all that we have that are our own. Turning ones thoughts over to another is self-subjugation, and causes harm to the self.
Phantom – “I suggest you go over to John C. Wright’s blog and ask him. He’s a cool guy.”
I’ve been over to Wright’s blog several times. All I can really say is that you and I apparently have such radically different ideas of “cool guy” as to render the phrase useless.
I am however going to be reading his novellas. I hope they are of vastly better quality than his non-fiction writing, or it’s going to be pretty painful.
Well, shoot, I wanted to respond to what you just said. But suffice it to say that I agree that learning to look at something you don’t instinctively understand or appreciate is a good approach. I’m eager to read Updike on the topic, for instance; it’s a “one of these days” project. (I, too, would have eaten one of the candies, just because it feels so transgressive — though I know it’s not, actually.)
As to the topic at hand: I plan to read all the nominees before I vote. I expect this to be painful at times, as I have read two of the John C. Wright pieces already and thought them dreadful — in quality, not in message, though he does have a way of hinting you over the head with his message that is most inartful. I find I’m reluctant to write my usual reviews of the short fiction categories on the group website with which I am affiliated for fear of bringing the wrath of the Puppies down on this very fine (and politically diverse) group of people. And I’m angry at that reluctance and that fear. None of these three emotions is fun.
“Funny how so many people showed up agreeing with me this year, all of a sudden. So many last straws.”
Heh, No. You got a cluster of vocal people to pop up in a very small section of a niche group of a market segment and complain.
You want to see how it’s going for the weight of numbers overall, how about taking a look at the political situation.
You are losing. Badly. So this is your reaction. That’s why it is called “reactionary”. The actual way things are going? The trends and opinions in the places true power lies? You don’t even register enough to be a joke.
This is the kicker for all of this, all you fools harping on like this is some grand battle in which you are the great heroes, some massive heroic narrative, that this is WAR and you will WIN because YOU KNOW HOW TO FIGHT A WAR!
Nope. None of it. y’all are not even close to being a force, much less one that matters. You manage to harass some people, but you only pull that off because of how weak you are. If you actually mattered then when you assholes threatened to kill women for attending a convention the cops would roll up and crush you. You only get away with this because you are so unimportant.
Get your head out of your ass. This isn’t some magnificent quest to beat back the forces of oppression and save the world. This isn’t even a “consumer revolt”. This is a micro-sliver of a market segment being caught up in a promotion campaign.
phantom:: You can’t envision an educated argument running counter to yours
So? Make an argument! Assert a premise with evidence to back it up. Apply logic (showing your work) and reach a conclusion.
The problem is, you have yet to demonstrate that capacity.
You don’t know what words mean even though they are central to the particular thread (Class is the in group with the pull, and no class is the out group.)
You don’t know who has won a hugo even though that is central to the entire debate ( the ones who give a Hugo to the Dinosaur story)
You’re too cool to school (No point in trying to “school” you. ) but you brag about it elsewhere (I’ve been hitting SJWs with a cluebat over at Scalzi’s bog. I mean blog.)
You think Hitler was a socialist because the word is in the name ( Because Hitler was most certainly a Socialist. The party was called the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Doesn’t get any more Socialist than that. here)
Again, phantom, make one complete argument, premise, evidence, logic, conclusion, Until then, yeah, I can’t envision it, cause so far, you can’t hack it.
Becca Stareyes said: “‘The price of modern art is propped up by public museums and governments subsidizing it, and if they wouldn’t pay that much, it wouldn’t cost that much.’ is not supported by the facts when private collectors spend even more on the work.”
Possibly, but that’s not what I said. I said that purchases made by government employees for political reasons have nothing to do with the free market. Support of certain types of art includes a large helping of politics. With Voice of Fire, that was Canadian Liberal politics. Liberal Party apparatchiks rubbing the plebes noses in their plebeian lack of refinement. It can be viewed as the Laurentian Elite of Quebec telling Western Canada to get stuffed.
I’ve got half a billion dollars worth of useless windmills visible out my window that represent the Toronto Liberal Party Elite saying to same thing to rural Ontario. They have not grown more subtle with time, shall we say.
John Scalzi said: “I believe the suggestion is that your opinion does not appear particularly informed nor well-reasoned. Inasmuch as you’ve shown that you’re in fact not actually well informed on some of the things about which you opine, and then use that incorrect knowledge as a basis for your argument, this is not an unsupportable suggestion to make.”
Thanks for making my point John. The Scalzi has Spoken, no rational counter argument is possible. My opinion can’t be rational because you don’t share it, and you proved it because you found a mistake. Therefore I am but an untutored boob, QED.
Granted! I’m an untutored boob. A redneck slob who drinks from the bottle and couldn’t tell dijon mustard from Dijon France. No problem.
I’m an untutored boob who has $40 to express his untutored boob opinion and whose vote counts for exactly what yours does. Catastrophe!
Tell me again how this is not about capital “C” Class, John. In my untutored boob experience, people with class are usually pretty accommodating of people dumber than them. Kinda defines the concept “classy”.
“Remember, my “sin” here is expressing an opinion. I’m not supposed to do that, even though the popularity contest is billed as being “the best in SF/F”. I’m supposed to sit down and shut up while the Smart People tell me how its going to be.”
Opinions are never a problem. What’s being commented on, I think, is a recurring pattern in your posts.
You state opinions and include a fact they’re based on.
The fact is pointed out as being disputed, entirely disproved, or irrelevant to the conversation.
You then do one of three things. You either a) insist the fact doesn’t matter, only the opinion, b) insist that the other person has no idea what he or she is talking about or is biased against the opinion, or c) move the goalposts and introduce another fact-based opinion in a slightly different direction, and we start again.
What I would LIKE to see are discussions along the lines of Eric Flint’s excellent essay on what’s wrong with the Hugos, and some more discussion (as we’ve already had in these pages) about SF that’s been overlooked by the awards. This fascinates me and helps me break out of the narrow strip of reading I tend to gravitate toward.
I’ve visited the National Gallery once. They have a very broad modern art collection but they also have lots of other types of non-abstract art, including a good set of the Group of Seven’s paintings — Canadian landscape painters from the 1920’s and 1930’s who had a distinctive style — lots of use of light, interesting color palatte. They also have one of my favorite sculptures now — Maman by Louise Bourgeois — a giant metal and marble spider that sits in front of the gallery. If I was extremely wealthy with a large estate, I might be tempted to try and buy it. But they wouldn’t sell it to me. It was also bought for what people complained was too much cash and thought it was a ghastly eye-sore, but thousands love it and it’s become a national icon in Canada. It’s so beautifully textured so that it flows like carved wood or suggesting spider hair, elegant, warm and menacing all at once. Got nothing to do with the discussion, just thought I’d throw that in for any interested.
It is a tradition of science fiction that science fiction is always dying, being destroyed by something or other. Television, cheesy sci-fi movies, the New Wave SF authors, the feminist SF writers, William Gibson and cyberpunk, tie-in novels, Star Trek not because it was a liberal social justice show but because the SF fans felt the science was awful and it became so popular that people would think that was what science was and not like “real” SF, and of course Star Wars even worse for the same reasons, and all space opera and military SF which wasn’t and to many still isn’t considered real SF, Dan Simmons’ Hyperion destroyed SF, Frank Herbert’s Dune destroyed SF, alternate history wasn’t real SF and is right out, time travel likewise, post-apocalyptic SF is considered the end of the road for SF, video games, and of course fantasy fiction which has been supposedly killing off SF for over fifty years.
In fantasy fiction, sword and sorcery was destroying it, tie-in novels again, contemporary fantasy was destroying secondary world fantasy — not once but twice in the 1980’s and the oughts, paranormal romance was destroying fantasy, etc. Short fantasy fiction tends to have less action and battles than novels because there simply isn’t room for it, but that doesn’t automatically make it literary in prose or theme. I don’t think short fantasy fiction has ever been accused of destroying fantasy fiction before, though, so in that the puppies have made a new one.
I don’t think the puppies are stupid. Disorganized a bit, but that was likely to happen when you bring in the game rippers and let someone like Teddy take over. But the goal has been pretty much clear and direct from the beginning — threat while claiming to be mysteriously threatened. And the Internet allows for marshaling some pretty big, physical ones. All you’ve got to do is whistle, which they did. It doesn’t matter if they make an error of the details, if they say things that contradict each other, if they say it’s all about popularity and then that popular liberals don’t count, etc. The important thing is the threat, repeated again and again. The take back threat. It doesn’t matter to them if any of their candidates actually win anything at the Hugos. The important thing is the threat.
But the people they are threatening live with the threat every day. And that’s another reason that the Hugos will survive.
You’d think it was rare for with “victim mentality” as deeply ingrained as phantom’s to identify with the political right. But, of course, it’s not that rare.
Seriously, dude, gut up, grow up, stop whining, and at least get your ducks in a proverbial row, so that maybe you could attempt to make the argument you think you’re making.
*sigh* Preview buttons are my friend.
“…rare for a person with…”
“The Scalzi has Spoken, no rational counter argument is possible.”
At rational counter argument is possible, but you haven’t yet made one. What you are trying to do now is suggest that other people here — notably me — are being mean because they’ve told you to back up your assertions with facts and evidence, which you don’t appear to be able to do.
Again, I understand you want to be able to throw up a lot of chaff to distract from the fact that you don’t have an argument. However, neither I nor anyone else is obliged to be distracted. You either can’t argue or you won’t argue.
“people with class are usually pretty accommodating of people dumber than them.”
It’s “dumber than they,” actually.
I’m not aware of suggesting you are dumb. You may, however, be ignorant, and if you’re not ignorant then you are likely being disingenuous. If you’re ignorant, that can be corrected, and I and other people here are doing you a favor by doing so, which is, of course, very classy indeed. If you’re being disingenuous, then you’re not actually owed much in the way of courtesy.
That said, all it appears you have done since you got here is to blunder in spouting positions rather than arguments, and when you’ve been called on it, to gripe that it’s rude for people to do so. That’s wrong, and you’re wrong for being wrong, which makes you wrong twice. You’ve also picked the wrong person in me to make this argument to, ThePhantom, because I don’t care what you think about me or how I run this site. The courtesy I’ve extended to you so far is, in my opinion, rather more than you’ve earned with your performance to date.
You argue poorly and you’re offended when people point it out. This, at least, makes you very much like the other Puppies. Now, start making a proper argument, or I’ll simply stop allowing you to post here and waste everyone else’s time.
“I speak for myself and no one else.”
If you voted for the Rabid Puppies slate, you didn’t speak for yourself. You let Vox Day speak for you. You paid for a chance to have your say about the best works of the year in SF/F and instead put your own opinions aside to follow a herd of sheep.
ThePhantom, you are conflating socio-economic class with ‘classy behavior’. Scalzi’s original point was that, despite attempts to frame PNH, Martin and himself as wealthy white-male elites, and the SP/RP folks being the mainstream ‘middle-class or working-class readers’, all of them have a very similar current status as well-off white men who are deriving some income from fiction writing.
And that this is not Scalzi’s framing: he’s the one pointing out that there’s not any difference in status outside of fandom between him and Correria. (Martin and probably Day are a bit odd-man-out in that they have categories that outsiders might care about; Martin because his TV success means someone outside of SF fandom might know who he is, Day (IIRC) is the only one not living in the USA.)
Saying that something is “ruining” SFF is utter bullshit.
SFF is, at its core, about exploring strange new worlds. A universe where noble Jedi and tyrannical Sith wage war over the galaxy; a galaxy where the peaceful Federation tries to live up to its founding ethos while getting caught with its pants down by everything from the Klingons to the Borg; a world where the first* female trainee knight in centuries in a small medieval kingdom defeats bullies and learns to be a great leader; a world where a snarky runaway blind girl and a tormented prince-in-exile must work with a judgmental polar native, her clever-tactician brother, and a Tibetan-analogue savior who’s the last of his kind to stop a tyrannical psychopath from conquering the world; a universe where the crew of a starship discovers that not only are they on a TV show, but it’s written by hacks…
All of those and more are SFF and just as much so as all the others. The Belisarius series is just as much SFF as “Elantris” and “The Android’s Dream”; the Stormlight Archive and the Call of Cthulhu just as much so as Shades of Milk and Honey and “Shadow War of the Night Dragons”**.
All of these sad little man-boys are missing the point of SFF–it’s about differences. It’s about the new, the comfortingly familiar, the strange, the terrifying, the heart-warming, the powerful, the outright bizarre, all wrapped up into one gloriously eclectic bundle.
SFF is weird. To claim that it can be “polluted” or whatever by an imaginary left-wing conspiracy is patently ridiculous. The only way you CAN ruin SFF is by insisting on such arbitrary “purity”, or by actively taking a dump on fandom in general like RSHD does with his toxic bigotry. But making a space mecha book about gender issues? A fantasy about racial politics? That is very much in the spirit and soul of sci-fi and fantasy.
*First official, anyway. And I always did prefer Kel.
**Which really deserves to be turned into a giant parody fantasy trilogy.
As an aside, what does RSHD stand for?
Becca: Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipsh*t. He’s a truly appalling person, and overpoweringly stupid. Neo-fascist, loathes women…you know what, I can’t explain him without becoming sick.
Here’s a link.
Short version, I call him RSHD because it’s been something of a tradition here to call him that rather than his given name, to keep him from getting the attention that he desires.
Yes, I am familiar with Day enough to see how that applies; I didn’t realize there was an acronym though.
Okay, I confess. I destroyed SF. It was me. Single-handedly. I had an army of chickens acting as sappers, and a complete library of Star Trek tie-in novels from Pocket, and we brought that sucker down.
That is why no one has been allowed to publish or write SF for the last decade and anyone who tries is immediately set upon by attack chickens, and why Harlan still wakes in the night screaming about the terrible clucking.
Fantasy’s proving a tougher nut to crack. It may require turkeys.
And ducks killed radio!
“Okay, I confess. I destroyed SF. It was me.”
DAMN IT URSULA
If you voted for the Rabid Puppies slate, you didn’t speak for yourself. You let Vox Day speak for you. You paid for a chance to have your say about the best works of the year in SF/F and instead put your own opinions aside to follow a herd of sheep.
No no, no. He actually read everything eligible this year, and his selection -just happened- to agree with VD’s. Can’t argue with good taste after all!
@UrsulaV:I think using wombats as sappers might speed the destruction of fantasy. Talking wombats with cigars. See, no fantasy there.
John, you are extraordinarily patient and generous to allow people access to spew their ignorant rants on your page. It is, in a way, a kind of educational public service, to allow us to see what opposing viewpoints really look like. Trolls really hurt their own arguments when they argue so poorly. I just wanted to say thanks. I’ve learned a lot from these Hugo debates. And I will be voting.
Remember, my “sin” here is expressing an opinion. I’m not supposed to do that, even though the popularity contest is billed as being “the best in SF/F”. I’m supposed to sit down and shut up while the Smart People tell me how its going to be.
All this big long thread, Phantom, with people explaining things to you in detail, and you’re still trying to peddle your “I’m being bullied” narrative? Shall we try to be clear one more time?
Your “sin” here is in making unfounded assertions that you haven’t supported with facts but merely bluster. And in at least one case, they’re assertions you have supported with an obvious falsehood (which, while it may have been “minor” in its own right, is still a fair indication of your overall pattern of indifference to accuracy over inaccuracy in shoring up the narrative you’re clinging to).
You can express all the opinions you please. If your opinions are demonstrably bogus, though, expect to be called on them.
“a complete library of Star Trek tie-in novels from Pocket”
Can, uh… can I come hang out at your house?
I’ve been hopping back and forth between Whatever and File 770 for days now.
Watching all the clumsy puppy excuses and arguments fall to logic, while having all the same, baseless reasoning repeated again and again, only to fail and fall to logic again and again, has drained all anger from me.
I’ve gone from believing the Rabid Puppies are a legitimate threat to All Things Squee-worthy to understanding these shenanigans aren’t going to have any real long term impact on either the Hugos or fandom. Five years from now it’s just going to be a humorous subject convention goers and Hugo voters talk about and laugh over.
“Hey, remember when…?”
Which strikes me as roughly bullshit-adjacent to the idea that the Social Injustice Beagles were really defending apolitical “entertainment” from the horrible recent tide of politically correct “literary” elitism, forcing straight white writers of a right-ward political tint into the gutters to starve in obscurity. (I’ll leave you to chortle at the notion that any ‘Golden Age’ that contained Robert A. Heinelin was ever without a polemical edge, or the notion that being conservative and “literary” are somehow mutually exclusive. writers like Robert Silverberg and Gene Wolfe are rabid Marxists.)
And ducks killed radio!
Video killed the Radio Star?
And ducks killed radio!
Never underestimate the ducks. Always bring sufficient bread to appease them.
I just still can’t get over this quote from Phantom182: “So for me to live in a culture that reflects my morals and my aesthetic, I have to swim upstream against these forces and their champions. It pisses me off.”
It really is that simple, isn’t it? “The world around me does not reflect my personal tastes and I don’t like it. Everyone should like the things I like and believe the things I believe, and for it to be otherwise is a personal affront.” Cut away all the bullshit about SJWs and literary tastes and populist sci-fi and affirmative action and eventually you get down to this. Other people are different from them and they can’t stand it.
This is the rhetoric of a toddler.
Yeah, and of course straight white men of a right-ward political bent are completely voiceless in this culture — just ask Clint Eastwood who hasn’t worked in years.
You now what’s ruining SFF? Finding out were aren’t living in the same universe Heinlein thought we were living in in 1956. Because writing SF in this universe is harder, what with the lack of sapient Martians.
Like other people here, I’ve been surprised, too, at Larry Correia (as well as Puppy advocate Sarah Hoyt) declaring himself a beleaguered racial minority on account of being, um… Portuguese (by heritage in Correia’s case, and by birth and upbringing in Hoyt’s). Do they also declare that Italians are a racial minority?
It has also been peculiar to see Vox Day claiming to be “Native American and Mexican.” I assume it’s just one of his trumped-up “victory condition” ploys, since he makes that claim mostly to declare the evil SJW cabal of science fiction are racists because they don’t include him in their reindeer games.
Anyhow, race really plays a weird role in Puppy discussions. A while back, I think it was on Correia’s blog, they got into a discussion about K Tempest Bradford. And they talked about her skin tone in post after post. They came across as obsessed with it.
(Those classy Puppies!)
Some questioned whether she was –actually- African-American or just pretending (because she looks light-skinned in some videos or pictures). Others think she tries too hard to be an angry black woman because she’s insecure about her skin not being black =enough=. And so on. Just… weird shit. And then later on… Correia, Torgersen, and their friends get all insulted and outraged because people say they’re racist. I mean… seriously, dude? You expect to hold blog conversations like that and NOT be seen as racist?
“So for me to live in a culture that reflects my morals and my aesthetic, I have to swim upstream against these forces and their champions. It pisses me off.”
This is actually straight Christian Dominionist worldview — it’s the idea that unless the culture in general is their culture, their culture cannot survive (and so the world is doomed, because Jesus). They need a cohesive culture around them that matches their worldview to raise their children in, otherwise their children will get the idea that their worldview isn’t the one true worldview and stray from the only righteous path, fap fap fap.
This is why they’re so adamant about gay marriage and women being equal and so on. And why they’re scared of SF that shows a world not their own.
You can read this drum being banged constantly at VD’s blogs and at Rod Dreher’s blog, as well as at the horrible blog of Doug Wilson. (I don’t recommend this course of action, mind you. I’m just saying if you’re *interested*.)
To be fair, Dela, I’ve talked to a few Italian-Americans who’ve been the victim of unthinking prejudice. Valerie D’Orazio, a former editor for DC and Valiant comics, told a story about a major comics writer speaking to her for the first time and asking if she wanted some pizza in an accent roughly akin to Super Mario’s. She’s also pointed out that most Italian-American characters in comics are either mobsters or related to mobsters (Helena Bertinelli, the post-Crisis Huntress, was both a relative of mobsters and a lapsed Catholic, pulling off an “Italian-American stereotype double”).
So yes, Larry can be right in saying that he faces prejudice for his heritage. Hell, let’s be honest–most of the people prejudiced against people from a Hispanic background couldn’t tell Spanish from Portugese or Mexican from Venezualan, so I have no difficulty at all believing he gets shit from people about his background. I’d be very surprised if the people giving him that shit weren’t the same people who he agrees with about gun rights, but I can definitely believe him when he says he faces prejudice.
But I do object to the notion that because he faces prejudice, he can’t be racist himself. As I keep saying, racist isn’t something you are. It’s something you do. Being a minority does not give you a “Get Out Of Racist” free card when you say or do something racist yourself.
IKR? It’s just another irony burn that the chaps who moan about their nice clean genre being dirtied up by SJWs obsessed with race, gender and sexuality … engaging in frankly creepy speculation about women of colour. I also adore people who fancy themselves badass culture warriors yet have failed Activism 101 — you are judged by the company you keep, so if you’ve allied with the kind of people who think it’s witty to call a woman of colour a “half-educated savage,” or throw around misogynistic and homophobic slurs and then just lie about it even when confronted with screenshots taken BEFORE you deleted the post/Tweet? Don’t whine about being tarred by association, because you brought it ALL down on your own fool head. Do your due diligence, and own the consequences of your choices.
Chad: I’ve gone from believing the Rabid Puppies are a legitimate threat to All Things Squee-worthy to understanding these shenanigans aren’t going to have any real long term impact on either the Hugos or fandom.
I think they are somewhere on the spectrum in the neighborhood of Intelligent Design folks. The ID’ers got some textbooks in public schools to teach the controversy, but the last supreme court case ruled against them and took a lot of wind out of their sails.
I think for the pups, the equivalent reaction would be to get an overwhelming response voting for non-puppy works, then no award. And then propose a rule change that would reduce the power of slates so that 100 slate voters can’t overpower so many random, non-slate, voters.
Every time I hear a Pup say “They’re on the ballot now, so you HAVE to read them and vote for them based on merit. No Award is making it political”? I think of the Intelligent Design whackjobs saying we have to “Teach the Controversy”.
@ John Seavey–the experiences you describe your friend enduring are similar in character to experiences endured if you’re female, or extremely tall, or fat, or extremely short, or have a false limb, or have a facial disfigurement, or heavly freckled, or visible burned, or have unusually large breasts, or live with the consequences of a severe health problem or a severe accident, or have a speech impediment, or have a big nose, or are an exceptionally goodlooking woman, or wear clothing that identifies your religious sect, or speak with an accent, are in any way at all self-evidently DIFFERENT from some insensitive or clueless jerk(s), of which there are many in the world, who happens to be in your vicinity.
I’m not persuaded by the notion that having Portiguese heritage puts Correia in a beleaguered racial minority or affects his life more than most people’s life are daily affected by their own individuality. Though, admittedly, I might be more persuadable if I hadn’t read post after post after post on his blog talking snidely about someone else’s skin tone.
sez chad saxelid: “I’ve gone from believing the Rabid Puppies are a legitimate threat to All Things Squee-worthy to understanding these shenanigans aren’t going to have any real long term impact on either the Hugos or fandom.”
Hmmm… maybe. The Pups’ being a numerically miniscule subset of fandom-at-large didn’t prevent them from forcing everybody else’s Hugo noms out of a large chunk of all Hugo categories, you know? The question is, low long VD & hangers-on are going to keep their little crusade going… and given the fact that this is the Puppies’ third year running, well, the (limited) evidence at hand suggests they ain’t stopping.
“Do they also declare that Italians are a racial minority?”
Without discussing anything about Mr. Correia’s heritage, I’d note that not all that long ago, Italians weren’t adjudged enitrely “white.”
Mind you, right now, I’m about as white as they get.
There’s an SJW Conspiracy that holds Sekret Control of the Hugos
And straight, white men are denied their fair share of awards.because of reverse racists:
Clearly, people like Vox Day, Larry Correia, Brad Torgesen, and John Wright would be winning awards hand over fist if the entire Hugo ceremony wasn’t a complete sham
Hugo Winners like Scalzi use their vast power to bend the Hugos to his will. But he doesn’t sell that many books anyway.
No one respects OUR tastes. No one awards OUR books. I have to swim upstream against these forces, uphill, both ways, in the snow, just to be able to buy a book I like. What about ME? What about what I LIKE? When will the universe revolve around ME again?
You have to read our works and vote for them based on merit!
I am sorry that there has been nastiness over this. You yourself have shown grace under pressure, and you have my respect and affection, for what it’s worth.
Randall Garrett gave Ben Bova some teasing about Bova’s Italian heritage back when Bova was a new writer (see here http://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/1666202.html?thread=28276378) for a quote from Bova in the comments.
Seconding Will. For my part, I read your nominated short and quite liked it, and promptly went and started on the 20-sided Sorceress. So you have a new reader, Hugo or no.
@Dela: I understand what you’re saying, but trust me…no, actually don’t trust me. That’s a terrible thing to ask. Research my words to determine their veracity. Much better. There is a long and ugly history of prejudice against Italian-Americans, complete with some utterly charmless racial slurs that have not entirely faded from everyday use and plenty of stereotypes, especially in New York City where the large immigrant population took longer to mix. The Sacco/Vanzetti trial is probably the most notorious incident, but it’s by no means the only one.
Also, I think you’ll find if you ask around that prejudice against Latino-Americans is strong enough and irrational enough that a lot of people who aren’t Mexican-American get grouped in with those that are. I have a friend whose ancestry is Filipino, and he got called some rather nasty things in high school that showed very clearly that the same people who aren’t smart enough to understand how wrong racial prejudice is, are often the same people who don’t know how to tell different races apart.
Again, I’m not willing to give Larry the benefit of the doubt regarding his own racism, and I deeply and profoundly doubt that the people who are prejudiced against his skin color or his accent count themselves as Social Justice Anythings. But I’m willing to believe that he’s been the victim of prejudice in the past, and I’ll stand up to defend him against that kind of prejudice the same way I would anyone. Because that’s kind of the whole point of what I believe in, that we shouldn’t be judged by our accents or our skin color or anything stupid like that. When I find Larry Correia wanting as a human being, believe me, it is going to be entirely due to his actions. :)
John Seavey: I can add my experience to yours when it comes to Italian American stereotypes (and prejudice against Italian Americans): I can remember being asked as late as the 1960s if I knew anyone in the Mafia . . . though that might have also been related to my being from Chicago, speaking of stereotypes.
Something that occurred to me a while back about Portuguese Americans and prejudice: I believe that there is at least one place and time in the U.S. where Portuguese Americans were discriminated against and had to “prove” their “American-ness,” and that’s in New England in the first half of the 20th Century. The term was “Portygee,” I believe, and it was definitely a slur; I can remember reading 1930s mystery novels set on Cape Cod where the word was fairly common. I don’t know if the Cape Cod Portuguese Americans were ever identified as Hispanic; from what I remember of the context, they were clearly defined as a foreign “other” community in and of themselves. Standard anti-immigrant prejudice, perhaps?
We all swim upstream.
Hell, the idea that the SJWs (whatever level of cartoon abstraction one brings to the term) are living in an SJW paradise where they have everything their way is so absurd as to be, well, of a piece with all the other stuff these people seem to say.
Swimming upstream is the default condition of humanity. Those that don’t swim against the current get swept out to sea with the flotsam and jetsam.
Making an effort to go where we want to go is what everyone who wants to go somewhere does.
What we don’t get to do, though, is say “Because I’m swimming upstream, everyone else has to get out of the way and let me.”
They’re all swimming upstream, too. Just to their own target destination is a rich panoply of target destinations.
Adding to the anecdotes about Italian-Americans facing prejudice: A woman in my neighborhood while I was growing up–my best friend’s Mom–her family wasn’t just Italian but Sicilian, which, Princess Bride nonsense aside, was apparently the worst kind of Italian immigrant to be at that time. Things were pretty shitty for them.
I never questioned that. But I did have a problem with the rhetorical/political use to which she put these stories: as her number one reason why she shouldn’t be expected to give a damn about today’s immigrants’ troubles. Or about people of color. Or about… well, anyone. If the subject of others’ oppression came up, she’d insist that no oppressed group today could possibly have it worse than her family had it then, so don’t expect sympathy out of her! Similarly, I don’t question her stories about working her fingers to the bone to help her husband through law school… but I do question her always bringing it up as an indignant response to Obamacare and other proposed improvements to the social safety net. Her attitude was pretty much, “I paid my dues. I’m done. I will never lift a finger for anybody else, ever again. I don’t stand in line behind nobody.”
It reminds me of those guys who believe that their activism in the ’60s excuses them from checking their privilege today. That plus a huge tacky game of Oppression Olympics.
Point being: I don’t think it’s ever appropriate to question someone else’s stated experience of oppression. But at the same time it’s never appropriate to use one’s experience of oppression as an excuse to be a shit to other people, or to think it somehow prevents one from being a shit to other people.
Besides, “I’m a person of color myself, what I do therefore doesn’t count as racism” was sort of Requires Hate’s schtick, wasn’t it? When your rhetoric mirrors that of RH, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
kurt: We all swim upstream. …What we don’t get to do, though, is say “Because I’m swimming upstream, everyone else has to get out of the way and let me.”
If I had to guess, I’d guess that the mentality is likely more along the lines of: I’ve experienced some unfair things and survived. I sucked it up. You should too. The baseline thinking of the puppies seems to be they’ve been discriminated against and suffered in silence for so long that discrimination is the norm to the point that its OK if they become part of the discrimination
What they want to do is pull the conversation down to the individual so they can focus on the terrible wrongs they’ve suffered. And if they can pull the conversation down to the individual, then people can’t point out that compared to the kinds of discrimination that goes on at a systemic level, their complaints lose to scale.
As a simple example, systemically speaking, white males have a massive majority of hugo wins since they were first handed out. It’s a massive bias. Which means the number of white male winners HAS TO DROP for the awards to match the population and therefore be a fair reflection of merit rather than gender. There is no way white males can maintain +80% of the Hugos and claim they’ve won on merit alone. But the pups want to ignore that systemic level correction, that strategic level correction and instead focus on the tactical result and cry fowl that they’re losing so much more than they did, that women are winning so much more than they did, and then claim that it MUST be affirmative action. Systemically, white men can’t maintain 80% of the awards and claim it is purely based on merit. But if they focus on the individual level, the tactical level, they can ignore the systemic pre-bias that is inherent in the system and needs correcting.
One piece of anti-Portuguese-American racism from our rich history of racism toward whoever just showed up is Manhattan-style clam chowder.
It’s actually from Rhode Island, created by Portuguese fishermen. But it got named “Manhattan-style” by New Englanders who didn’t like it. And since they didn’t like New York, either, they combined the two into a handy insulting name.
“This is the rhetoric of a toddler.”
According to the New Bedford, Massachusetts entry in Wikipedia “The Greater Providence-Fall River-New Bedford area is home to the largest Portuguese-American community in the United States.”
You remember the movie Mystic Pizza? Julia Roberts, Anabeth Gish and Lilli Taylor were three main characters who work in a pizza joint after high school while they try to figure out what they are going to do with their lives and loves. I vaguely remember that one of Robert’s lines included the words “I’m just a dumb portagee” when she was arguing with her very rich WASPy boyfriend.
I tried looking “portagee” up too. What’s interesting is that the word, at least in Urban Dictionary, seems to be in the process of redefinition from a probably mispronunciation by English speakers which was used as a slur, to having more neutral or positive connotations. /end word geekery
I did not know that. Very cool, especially since tomatoes travelled to Spain and Portugal from the Americas.
@KurtBusiek: but then doesn’t that get into general Massholery? I kid.
Personally, I’m fervently against Manhattan-style clam chowder because New England style is tastier to me. The particulars of the name was entirely unknown to me. I just had to Google which sort is which, because I can never remember what name goes with which. I like the white kind and not the red kind of clam chowder. Because I like cream more than I like tomatoes. Rhode Island should be affronted.
@Nicole: Well, exactly. “I was discriminated against, so now I’m gonna discriminate!” makes little sense to me. But “I got mine” and pulling up the ladder after you is an attitude often associated with the Pups’ other attitudes.
(And while the vast majority of Italian-Americans have nothing to do with the Mafia… I must admit that the two families of same I have been closest to in my life HAVE worked for outlying enterprises thereof. Like, when Mom and I saw “Bugsy”, she nudged me and said “Hey, the guy in this scene is the one that originally hired Mr. X.” Me: “Hey, yeah, he is.” It happens. But my personal friends do not represent the world. And Mr. X is a lovely, lovely man.)
Frankly, I had no idea Larry Correia was any sort of “ethnicity” other than 100% Whitey McWhite until he started going on about it with much aggro. I HAVE judged him on the content of his character — and it’s awful. On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog — until you call yourself one. But everyone knows you’re an asshole. Woof.
Putting the thread to bed for the night. Will be back up tomorrow morning.
Update: Back up!
My impression, from meeting him twice in meatspace and a couple of other times online, is that Correia is a minority in the same way that Vox is a Native American. That is, it has no effect on his daily life, but it makes a handy bludgeon when he disagrees with someone.
For the record, I am about as Native American as Beale is. The difference is, I knew it all my life, instead of discovering it last year through a blood test. I know the tribe, the family scandal, and even what happened to the other branch of the family. (THAT story is too bizarre to tell, at least in this context.) There’s just no reason for me to claim membership in the tribe; for all purposes, I’m a white guy, and I’m okay with that. I’ve certainly never encountered any anti-Native discrimination, and it would be dishonest of me to claim otherwise.
Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little said: “Point being: I don’t think it’s ever appropriate to question someone else’s stated experience of oppression. But at the same time it’s never appropriate to use one’s experience of oppression as an excuse to be a shit to other people, or to think it somehow prevents one from being a shit to other people.”
I have nothing at all to add to this. I just want to bask in its awesomeness for a little while. :)
On the racism towards groups that are now ‘white’, it’s amusing how quickly “scientific racists” develop amnesia about the history of which groups are and aren’t white. All that stuff about how race and IQ supposedly correlated? Used to include studies which supposedly showed the Irish and Italians were not as smart as people of Northern European ancestry. That, of course, quietly went away as cultural shifts in who is and isn’t in the dominant group happened.
Of course that’s what all this is about. Always has been.
Do the kids still say “no duh”? Probably not, but, you know, no duh. The only reason anyone gave credence to the SP claims that they just want a More Inclusive Fandom, or are against them snobby literary elites, is that tendency to try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and to assume that if someone presents dumb, contradictory arguments, or presents ‘facts’ that are quickly jettisoned as mere ‘details’ when they turn out to be wrong, then what must be going on is confusion or mistake, rather than malice.
But, as you concede, it’s malice. It’s a selfish and immature complaint that SFF isn’t centered on and dedicated to your entitlement complex about how the world should be. That is, of course, why these accusations that ‘SJWs’ are rigging votes and trying to totally take over SFF rather than merely staking out their own segment of the market; it’s what the SPs wish they were doing. And now that their usual arguments about Go Write Your Own Fiction If You Don’t Like It and The Market Speaks! are turning out not to be in their favor, they’re stamping their little feet and shrieking that Scalzi wasn’t allowed to put a hotel on Park Place.
Everybody has a last straw. That was mine.
At this point, haven’t you just admitted to being a complete and total bigot? Haven’t you just admitted to politicizing other people’s genitals???
Someone you don’t even know was born with male bits and is happier with female bits. Who the fuck are you to say they are your last straw?????
“So for me to live in a culture that reflects my morals and my aesthetic, I have to swim upstream against these forces and their champions. It pisses me off.”
And so, after many posts over multiple threads filled with all sorts of BS, we eventually get the truth.
The more I read from the SW crowd, the more I have come to believe them.
Their slate could be the most diverse the Hugo have ever seen. Sure. They can claim that all day.
The issue is that their slate is not the one that was voted. In essence, the Sad Puppies are as irrelevant as the U.S. Taxpayer Party during a Senate vote.
RHDWTFBBQ (or whatever the cool kids call him today) openly admitted to using the SP slate as a start for his “own”. Brad & Larry’s cries of victory hold as much weight as my own when the Lions win.
And should get as much media attention.
@Revbobmib in the last five years I found out I qualify as a Daughter of the Revolution and that my family is also descendants of the Abanaki tribe (currently in a revival of sorts). It’s possible I have similar heritage on my deceased dads side but I could never get my grandfather to give me a straight answer. I’m an Orthodox Jewish convert who grew up sometimes poor brought up with white middle class values and went to private school for grades 1-3 and 10-12 on partial or full scholarship while living in the “slums” of a very rich and totally white New England town. I still remember in 10th or 11th grade when the 1st black family moved in as it was a novelty to the town.
I did notice after I converted to Judaism in my 30s the world treated me a bit differently based on food, Shabbat, and holiday restrictions as well as how I dress in areas where people know long sleeves/long skirt/hair covering = Orthodox Jew. The world I live in no longer looks like me.
Finding out I have Native American ancestors changes nothing in the way becoming a Jew did in how I’m treated because its invisible to the world.
Given that Day lives in Italy I can certainly believe that he has encountered disdain; from my experience Italians are singularly unimpressed by entitled Americans who seem to imagine that they are conferring some sort of benefit by their mere presence.
That has nothing to do with Day’s origins; it’s his behaviour which generates the disdain. There are plenty of US citizens who have lived in Italy for years who don’t provoke that response, just as there are plenty of US tourists who behave with courtesy as guests in someone else’s country.
It does occur to me that the Phantom has failed to grasp that his/her corner of the US does not represent the global population; if s/he can’t handle gender issues then countries where straight guys routinely embrace each other would probably result in a total identity melt down. In fact, now that I come to think of it, Day’s hysteria may well have been precipitated by this alarming discovery.
That and the fact that Venetians like John’s work so much they’ve named a bridge after him…
@Tasha: “because its invisible to the world.”
Yes, exactly… and I attended a private school on scholarship for grades 7-12, so I grok that angle as well.
I am intellectually aware of my NA heritage, but my life experience has always been that of a white guy, with all of the privilege that living in a dominant-white culture carries. Likewise, Correia is in no danger of getting pulled over for Driving While Brown, and nothing he says about his humble beginnings will change that. Our skin tones differ in that I’m a pasty, pale guy and he looks like he spends some time outdoors, but both fall comfortably in the “white male” spectrum.
I asked for and received many suggestions for good Space Opera or
Military Science Fiction that maybe weren’t on the Hugo Award list. I
got back a huge number of suggestions (THANK YOU!), including many Hugo nominees. I have tried to
consolidate and alphabetize by author. I am not familiar with
all of these, so I may have muddled some of it. Unless otherwise
noted, assume these are Space Opera and/or Military Science
Fiction. But, there were also suggestions for SF/Space mysteries,
Noir, some Fantasy, too. Also, be advised that Locus Reviews looks to
be a good resource for finding cool books (Locusmag.com).
So, here’s the list!
Saladin Ahmed: excellent standard fantasy in a less-familiar-to-western-readers setting.
Kevin Anderson: Saga of the Seven Suns, The Dark Between the Stars
Neal Asher: The Skinner, Zero Point, Jupiter War, Dark Intelligence
Rachel Bach: Fortune’s Pawn and sequels
Stephen Baxter: Proxima, Ultima
Elizabeth Bear: Steles of the Sky
Greg Bear: War Dogs
Gregory Benford and Larry Niven: Shipstar
Eric Brown: The Serene Invasion
Steven Brust: (good fantasy) The Khaavren Romances
Lois McMaster Bujold: Vorkosigan Saga. Complex, interlocking
series. Wonderful space opera. The Warrior’s Apprentice and The Vor
Game are solid MilFic. Gentleman Joe and The Red Queen is coming out
next year. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance (caper book). Cryoburn. Space
mysteries: Cetegunda, Ethan of Athos, Komarr, Diplomatic Immunity,
Jack Campbell: Lost Fleet Sextology; milsf (also space opera)
Jacqueline Carey: Terre d’Ange (later books more than the first trilogy) (epic fantasy, too)
Deborah Coats: more modern/urban fantasy, but good.
James S. A. Corey: Leviathan Wakes (and rest of Expanse series)
C.J. Cherryh: the Foreigner/Bren Cameron books has been a series of
tightly linked trilogies. Start with Pride of Chanur series or The
Faded Sun: Ksrish, or Hellburner. Rimrunners; Downbelow Station.
Gordon Dickson: Dorsai (Good mil sf)
Stephen Donaldson: Gap series (*trigger warning*)
David Drake: Royal Cinnabar Navy, Seaes of Venus
Charles E Gannon: Caine Series. “old-fashioned” Mil SF. Fire with Fire. Trial By Fire nominated for Nebula.
Guy Gabriel: (good fantasy)
Stephen Gould: Exo
James Gunn: Transcendental
Peter Hamilton: Pandora’s Star series ; It’s got big space opera elements and some seriously interesting military aspects.
Ben Hennessy: Queen of the World
John C Hemry: Blackjack (mil sf)
M.C.A. Hogarth: Spots the Space MArine
Andrea K Host
Tanya Huff: Valor series. Light and relatively fluffy Space Marines with some serious points lurking underneath.
Ben Jeapes: Phoenicia’s Worlds
Danielle Jensen: Stolen Songbird. and sequel
Ann Leckie: Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora, A Gallery of Rogues (fantasy)
George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois: Old Venus
Ken MacLeod: Learning the World
Paul McAuley: Evening’s Empires
Jim McDonald and Debra Doyle: The trilogy that starts with The Price of the Stars; some excellent space opera.
Elizabeth Moon: Heris Serrano books. It’s “unjustly cashiered fleet
officer” saved the day. Also, last five Elizabeth Moon books, which
kind of answer the “what happens to societies/people when the heroes
have finished and moved on?” question, and give me stuff about drains,
baking, and trading economics.
Daniel Keys Moran: The Long Run
Chris Moriarty: Spin State
Richard Morgan: Altered Carbon, Takeshi Kovacs (mystery and mil sf, and noir)
Linda Nagat: The Red: First Light
Christopher Nutall: very prolific: A Life Less Ordinary; The Bookworm series
M.C. Planck: The Kassa Gambit
Robert Reed: The Memory of Sky
Alastair Reynolds: On the Steele Breeze (and other works)
Nora Roberts (aka J.D. Robb): In Death books (near-future, police procedural with SF elements)
Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Diving Universe and (mystery) Retrieval Artist
Michelle Sagara/West: (good fantasy)
John Scalzi: Old Man’s War and sequels; Redshirts
Mike Shepherd: Kris Longknife books (mil sf)
Jon Steakley: Armor
Charles Stross: Saturn’s Children, Neptune’s Brood
Chrysoula Tzavelas: “Citadel in the Sky” and other works.
John Varley: Dark Lightning
David Weber: Honor Harrington Series
Scott Westerfield: Risen Empire, Killing of Worlds
Django Wexler: “The End of War” in Asimov’s magazine
Walter Jon Williams: For straight space opera, look “Dread Empire”
trilogy, beginning with “The Praxis”. He also wrote one of the seminal
works of cyberpunk, “Hardwired”. There’s plenty of WJW to keep you
occupied for quite some time after you finish those. (Trilogy: The
Praxis, The Sundering, and Conventions of War; there’s also a sequel
novella, Investments, available as an ebook). This is not a game; dep
state; fourth wall; (near future noir mysteries/thrillers)
That’s a pretty great list. Thanks again to all and to Our Gracious Host.