Why SAD PUPPIES 3 is going to destroy Science Fiction!

It’s remarkable how fast word travels on the intarwebz these days. No sooner had I posted the (rather tame) announcement that SAD PUPPIES was coming back for a third go-around, than some people began carping about it. Which is to be expected. SAD PUPPIES breaks the rules. RULE #1: thou shalt not publicly campaign. Even though campaigning (in this award) has been done for many decades. RULE #2: thou shalt not publicly point out blind spots or biases in the voting body. Even though behind-closed-doors rage about these biases and blind spots has also been going on for decades — just not always about the same biases and blind spots. And lastly, RULE #3: thou shalt not publicly criticize Worldcon or “fandom” proper. Even though “fandom” (as an actual, coherent label for a specific body of people) hasn’t been applicable since the 1970s, nor has Worldcon actually represented the largest gathering of the largest body of consumer fans.

So . . . some personal opinions. Take ’em or leave ’em.

I could care less about Rule 1 and Rule 2, since these are endlessly violated anyway. Rules which are perpetually broken behind the curtain, are not actually rules. And if SAD PUPPIES is to be damned for breaking them, fine. At least we’re honest about what we’re doing. I don’t have much patience for people who aim an accusatory finger at us, then do precisely what we’re doing, just sneaky-like. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy, even when it dresses up in its Sunday best and has good table manners.

Rule 3 deserves a larger thought bubble. Because (as I have stated many times in the last few years) “fandom” does not really represent FANDOM anymore. From the 1930s to the 1970s you could probably say that, yes, the group of people attending World Science Fiction Convention were the “core” of the consumer audience, and could actually carry on a coherent conversation about “the state of the art” in Science Fiction & Fantasy. The genre(s) had not exploded yet, on the popular cultural landscape. Star Wars and Judy-Lynn del Rey had not happened yet. The enterprise was not “big” the way it is BIG now. But as soon as the genre(s) did go BIG, the “center” was lost. As I pointed out last year (“Wence Fandom“) this isn’t your grandfather’s SF/F anymore. The Venn diagram of FANS is a crazy pastiche, and not all of the circles overlap with one another. There are people coming into “fandom” blissfully unaware of “fandom” as it existed from the 1930s, until Stars Wars and Judy-Lynn del Rey overturned everything. They are comic book enthusiasts, or as often as not, comic book movie enthusiasts. They are video game players. They are people who fell in love with SF/F on the small and the big screen. They know absolutely nothing of the Futurians, nor of SMOFs, nor of the arcane and occasionally turbulent contest of personalities that rumbled through written SF in the 1950s and 1960s: Campbellians vs. New Wave.

And that’s OK. See, SF/F grew up. It moved out of the basement. It went to Hollywood, got a job, took over the public imagination, and now almost all of the top-grossing theater films of all time are Science Fiction and Fantasy. The nerds won! This is amazeballs awesome, right? Except, “fandom” at Worldcon hasn’t seemed to notice. There are no video game categories at the Hugos, even though SF/F video games (and stories told through SF/F video games) are a global, billion-dollar industry that merely grows larger every year. There is never a tie-in Star Wars novel on the ballot. In fact, the more successful and sweeping a novel franchise’s publication history has been, the more “fandom” seems to dislike it. Witness the literal booing and groans (last year) when it was announced that Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time was nominated.

Ironic, since you could populate a substantial city with the number of fans who are ardent lovers of Robert Jordan (and now, Brandon Sanderson.)

You could not fill even the lower section of a modest college football stadium, with the entire attending body of a larger, recent Worldcon.

Which is why (again, as I have mentioned before) the Hugo awards have a relevance problem. You can’t have “science fiction’s most prestigious award” (as advertised right on the web site!) when the total number of people voting for that award, are a very small group of people who have gradually (and often unconsciously) lost sight of the bigger picture.

Take a look at this graphic.

The big blue circle is the total body of SF/F consumers (all types, all over the world) while the little yellow circle is the total body of “fandom” at Worldcon; which ignores games, tie-ins, comics, and other forms of popular SF/F. Now, as with schematics of planetary motion, it’s difficult to draw this to scale. In reality, the yellow circle would be the size of a pea, and the blue circle would be the size of Texas. But you get the idea. “Science fiction’s most prestigious award” lacks prestige, precisely because it’s an award for a “small” crowd with “small” tastes. The vast (and I do mean vast) majority of SF/F consumers don’t know about the Hugo, or if they do know about the Hugo, they don’t care about the Hugo. Or even (worse) the Hugo has come to mean something negative. Because “Hugo winner” or “Hugo nominee” has become code for: too boring, not adventurous or exciting enough, too little speculative or fantastic content, too much ideological preaching, and too little optimism.

In other words, while the big consumer world is at the theater gobbling up the latest Avengers movie, “fandom” is giving “science fiction’s most prestigious award” to stories and books that bore the crap out of the people at the theater: books and stories long on “literary” elements (for all definitions of “literary” that entail: what college hairshirts are fawning over this decade) while being entirely too short on the very elements that made Science Fiction and Fantasy exciting and fun in the first place!

I’ll say it again: the Hugos (and the Nebulas too) have lost cachet, because at the same time SF/F has exploded popularly — with larger-than-life, exciting, entertaining franchises and products — the voting body of “fandom” have tended to go in the opposite direction: niche, academic, overtly to the Left in ideology and flavor, and ultimately lacking what might best be called visceral, gut-level, swashbuckling fun. The kind of child-like enjoyment that comes easily and naturally when you don’t have to crawl so far into your brain (or your navel) that you lose sight of the forest for the trees.

SAD PUPPIES simply holds its collective hand out — standing athwart “fandom” history — and yells, “Stop!”

Lest more puppies be given Teh Sads(sic).

Please, think of the puppies?

To that end, SAD PUPPIES has basic objectives:

1) Get works and authors onto the Hugo ballot who might not otherwise be there; regardless of political persuasion. Think we’re just a crazy minority of right-wingers out to destroy science fiction? You’d be wrong. For instance, we’d love to see Eric Flint on the Hugo Best Novel short list. Eric is not only a popular author who does the genre credit with his work, he’s a card-carrying Trotskyite. A man who (unlike most slacktivist internet liberals these days) was willing to put his ass on the line for what he believed — back when identifying as a “red” was physically dangerous business in this country.

2) Encourage people who are SF/F consumers (but not “fandom” according to Worldcon) to participate in the nomination and selection of works. To include gamer fans, tie-in fans, movie and comic fans, and everyone else who might want to have a say in deciding who gets selected for “science fiction’s most prestigious award.” But maybe they’ve not gotten the word? Maybe they’ve just been having fun, and the Hugos have simply sailed beneath their notice year after year? “Fandom” seems to think this is a feature of the Hugos: the fewer who vote, the “better” they are. I say it’s a flaw. Bring on the BIG fans. The ones who keep the SF/F pump primed with dollars and enthusiasm every year! SF/F survives and thrives because they put their money where their excitement is. So SAD PUPPIES tries to encourage them to also put their money (and their votes) where the Hugos are.

I don’t have a list drawn up yet. I’ve had a great many very good suggestions, and I am mulling the potential list now. It’s not designed to be an iron-clad “or else” list. Rather, it’s a suggestion. Something to plant seeds and boost signal.

And just for the record, as I discussed with some friends earlier in the month, I am recusing myself from SAD PUPPIES 3. Mostly because I think I’ve demonstrated, after being the rare triple nominee for Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell awards, in 2012, and after two Analog magazine readers’ choice awards, plus a Writers of the Future award, and dual Hugo nominations again in 2014, that I know how to tell a better-than-average story.

There are lots of deserving authors — Tad Williams? Steven Barnes? Chuck Gannon? Kevin J. Anderson? L.E. Modesitt, Jr? — who have all done tremendous work in the field, and who deserve (I think) very strong consideration for nomination. People who can’t seem to buy a Hugo nomination, even with very good books or stories coming out every year. Individuals who have proven (again and again) that they are top craftsmen and ambassadors of the genre(s). They deserve their slice of the Hugo sunlight too. And not just when they die or retire. When they are still working.

3) As a tertiary objective, SAD PUPPIES would like to see the Hugo categories re-structured so that consumer sectors like gaming are not ignored. To do this, some in-roads would have to be made with the World Science Fiction Society. (More on this, as a coherent plan is developed.) Suffice to say, if the Hugos can split off yet another category for what essentially amounts to Worldcon insider baseball, they can at least acknowledge what’s going on out in the BIG world of SF/F. How many people play Borderlands or Skyrim or Minecraft? How many children will become life-long fans because of their involvement in same? The Hugos ought to at least give a nod to this aspect of the larger SF/F culture, among several others.

And . . .

If SAD PUPPIES happens to make a few people cry a Grinchy boo-hoo-hoo along the way, and if we give the Hyper-Progressive Pissypants Club (HPPC) heartburn because we’re ruining things by trying to get the larger SF/F consumer world involved . . . well, that’s just a cross we’re prepared to bear — with a large cup of soda in one hand, and a big bucket of theater popcorn in the other.

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297 thoughts on “Why SAD PUPPIES 3 is going to destroy Science Fiction!

  1. I argue that fandom still can apply to the literary con scene. Granted they still aren’t the core of your audience, but they still have a lot of early adopters who get a lot of pull in their own rights, or writers still wouldn’t waste time going. I grant that World Con is not a good example of this anymore for various reasons, and that fully literary cons don’t often exist anymore. This is why certain conversations among fen were happening 10+ years ago trying to implement a knowledge base quiz before you could buy a ticket. This failed miserably. Yaay us!

    Granted, I would have done a LOT better than average on that quiz, even back then. But I was still against it, because I knew fandom would die without it. So… I played devil’s advocate and lost. 🙂

  2. I disagree with the premise of the post. The Hugo is supposed to be a science fiction award. Too much of what is sold and obviously enjoyed as “SF” is just fantasy fiction. Some well written and some just retreads of often used scripts. “Opening up” awards such as the Hugo and Nebula to more “popular” works would be like opening a jazz music award category to hip hop – just because hip hop has more fans than jazz.

  3. It would be nice if the Hugo awards weren’t just the Nebula awards part 2. The correlation between the two awards is just a little too strong.

  4. Albert, that’s just plain incorrect. From the official FAQ:

    Q: Aren’t Hugos just for Science Fiction?

    A: While the organization sponsoring the Hugos is named the World Science Fiction Society, our charter explicitly makes fantasy as well as SF eligible for our awards. Works of fantasy have often won Hugos, and, in fact, Hugos have been won by works that some people consider horror or even mainstream. There will never be universal agreement about the precise distinctions between genres and sub-genres, so WSFS’s position is that eligibility is determined by the voters. To paraphrase the great SF editor and writer Damon Knight, a Hugo winner is what the Hugo voters point to when they award a Hugo.

  5. “The Hugo is supposed to be a science fiction award.’

    Because nothing says “science fiction” like eighth-grade Mary Sue revenge fantasies like “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love”, right?

    That story was not science fiction, by any non-clinically insane definition of the term, and yet it won the Nebula and got nominated for the Hugo.

    Well-written hip hop (and yes, there is some) has far more in common with jazz than IYWADML has with science fiction.

  6. “Witness the literal booing and groans (last year) when it was announced that Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time was nominated.”

    wait wait… in their defense… Wheel of Time is objectively horrible.

  7. ‘Ironic, since you could populate a substantial city with the number of fans who are ardent lovers of Robert Jordan (and now, Brandon Sanderson.)’

    and while this is true… you’re leaving out the fact that for every fan there is at least two passionate detractors.

  8. Nate: that’s the rub, there is nothing ‘objective’ about any of this. Many say Stephanie Meyer is horrible too, but it’s difficult to argue with that kind of success. Obviously Twilight was speaking to somebody. Love them or hate them, the Robert Jordan books are also speaking to somebody. This is why I would love to see Eric Flint on the ballot. 1632 and its many follow-on books, has been hugely popular. A landmark alternative history series that is very much SF/F from a man who is very much an SF/F writer. Is 1632 the same kind of book as Yiddish Policeman’s Union? No. But it shouldn’t have to be.

  9. “that’s the rub, there is nothing ‘objective’ about any of this. Many say Stephanie Meyer is horrible too, but it’s difficult to argue with that kind of success.”

    oh come on. that’s like saying coke is better than milk because lots of people drink coke. Rand al’Thor is objectively terrible as a character. i can’t imagine how many people just put down the books because they hated him so much.

  10. i do not disagree however that we need a much more representative ballot… and the fact that gaming is left out is just shameful.

  11. i wouldn’t be surprised if Bungie makes more money off Halo and Destiny than the entire print SF world makes combined in a given year.

  12. Brad: I see a lot of assertions of facts that are not in evidence. You say, for example, that gamers aren’t represented at Worldcon. Except Tobias Buckell, my dinner companion one night at Worldcon, is a big gamer. As is game player John Scalzi, who’s written for games. Jim C. Hines got into SF writing via Dungeons and Dragons. I could go on, but my point is Worldcon is lousy with gamers.

    I would also point out that, if you want to add a category for games, all it takes is going to the business meetings at two Worldcons (one to introduce the amendment, the second to approve it.) IMO, adding a comic book / graphic novel category would be a good thing. (Look up Kevin Standlee for guidance on changing the rules.)

    You say, “They [most fandom] know absolutely nothing of the Futurians, nor of SMOFs, nor of the arcane and occasionally turbulent contest of personalities that rumbled through written SF in the 1950s and 1960s: Campbellians vs. New Wave.” You know how I found out about all of this? I went to my first Worldcon in Reno in 2011! There were (and usually are) a whole bunch of people at these events who are new to the whole fandom thing.

    I guess, Brad, if you really want to change the Hugos, do what Chuck Gannon did – go to Worldcon! (I met Chuck there – we had a nice chat.) Bring your friends. Hell, bring your enemies too. We’ll be in Spokane – a short flight or a day’s drive from you.

  13. Gaming leaves print SF/F in the dust. The publishing world would sign a deal with the Devil in blood, to get the kind of numbers that gaming gets. Gaming is even bigger than movies, if you look at top-grossing titles. A “good” midlist book from a New York SF publisher is lucky if it sells even 10,000 copies, electronic & paper both. Lifetime. The bigger games (especially MMORPG) have consumer fan bases that are measured in the millions. It’s a gargantuan slice of the SF/F consumer audience, and the Hugos act like this arena . . . does not exist.

  14. Gerrib: alas, I will be in West Africa with the Army Reserve this year. No Spokane worldcon for me. I did Reno in 2011 and Chicago in 2012. There is a very strong surge of interest (with Baen fans) regarding Kansas City. I might try to make it then. And yes, go to the business meetings specifically.

  15. “It’s a gargantuan slice of the SF/F consumer audience, and the Hugos act like this arena . . . does not exist.”

    Indeed.

    of course gaming doesn’t care. Gaming has no real Hand Me a Trophy Award Ceremonies. It doesn’t need them. After all… there are gaming companies that have purchased banks just to make their financial dealings go more smoothly.

  16. Many say Stephanie Meyer is horrible too, but it’s difficult to argue with that kind of success.
    This is assuming that the only criterion is how much money a book makes, and there are no points of objective craftmanship to criticize.

    With Twilight, this is not the case. The series has objectively bad craftmanship. They’re crap books.

  17. Worldcon can’t be that bad, can it? You make it sound like a bunch of MFAs pissing and moaning about the state of the Novel or guys at NYCC remembering what it was like when it was all about the comics, man. In any event, I think this is a brilliant campaign, if only because it inspires me to read more widely.

  18. I have been into Fantasy and SF all my life from LotR, D&D, videogames, silly shows like Hercules etc. and so have all my friends. I have never heard of the Hugo until I tried to get involved in r/fantasy just so I could talk about books I like. 20+ years of fantasy reading and I never noticed or cared about it. It was last years Sad Puppies that I stumbled upon that got me interested in following the whole thing and it also how I came across your book.

    I think there is a serious SERIOUS disconnect between a lot of the midlist authors like the ones you link, the type that constantly bitch and moan about diversity, feminism, etc. and the real reading public. My wife, my friends, normal people love to read for entertainment and things like the dinosaur short story fail miserably. You can see a good example of this mindset on reddit r/fantasy. The majority of posts are about exciting adventure books written by Lawrence, Sanderson, Abercrombie, Butcher etc. People enjoy fun, big scope adventure. But at least once a week you have some jackhole post a link to his blog chiding the community for being sexist, not reading enough diverse crap etc. It gets tiresome.

  19. The size of WorldCon isn’t an issue as far as the literature goes. A small elite of connoisseurs who know their stuff can have a huge influence. But take a second look at last year’s nominees. The best you can say is these people are crass in their tastes. I mean velvet paintings flea market crass.

    The two emcees made the Dick Van Dyke Show look like Lenny Bruce when it comes to sheer redneckery. For people who are always going on about pushing boundaries, that was a remarkable giveaway, as was the mental breakdown on Twitter over a pedestrian U.K. personality (who is himself a conformist industry media redneck) hosting the awards as if he were the Hell’s Angels. That puts the lie to feminist edginess. What’s more redneck than redneck? What they really mean by boundaries isn’t artistic boundaries but that of some racial or sexual identity. These people consider themselves waking up in the morning to be edgy just because they put on their gay or PoC (preferably both) shoes.

    And that brings us to the worst one can say about last year’s nominees. For sheer obsessive racial and sexual hate speech, the ballot was probably unsurpassed in WorldCon history. Why you want anything to do with these truly bizarre and hateful people is a mystery for the ages. I just don’t get it. I don’t get it at all. These are people we used to made sure never came to our parties because they were so completely uncool. Why not just cut lose and put your money and effort and a new award into the Salt Lake Con or something? It seems to me that if you’re organizing separate nominations you’re already part way to a de facto separate award anyway.

    These people have an astounding visceral hatred for anyone even remotely connected to this Sad Puppies slate and I doubt many writers are going to want to participate and put up with the hostility or an informal boycott staged by the Social Justice Inquisition. That wouldn’t happen at Salt Lake and 100,000 people would probably be worth more bucks.

    I liked the original Hugo Winners anthologies as much as anyone but the culture that produced that is dead and gone. R. Crumb participated in the Charlie Hebdo issue. Since he is now a reactionary racist, that puts WorldCon to the extreme far Right. Stiff redneckery, institutional racism and segregation, smug stupid nunnish conformist moralizing and empty sit-commish literature: does any of that sound familiar? It’s why underground comix were invented. You (and the genre) might be better off spiking their punch with LSD.

  20. As a happy cat (the opposite of a sad puppy) I’d be glad to see Eric Flint on the ballot, but I think both novels he published in 2014 were 1632 sequels. And while I really liked the first few books in that series, I think it has got long enough that it will be hard to persuade people who haven’t read his stuff to read the number of books necessary to understand what is going on in the books published in 2014. Sort of the same disadvantage WoT had last year, if not quite to the same extent. If _Portal_ came out in 2014, that might be a good bet–the end of a trilogy is more do-able, but I think it was 2013.
    I’d also be glad to see Steven Barnes on the ballot. But I can’t find that he’s published anything in 2014; maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.
    If you want to bring in more voters, I think that’s a wonderful idea. About 1,500 new voters joined the Hugos last year, and if you could bring in as many more this year, I’d be thrilled.
    If you want new categories in the Hugos, what you need to do is get a bunch of people to *attend* Worldcon, because they’ll have to go to the business meeting (which must be attended in person) two years in a row. This would be an excellent time to start if your fans are mostly from the USA, since we’re going to have two USA-based Worldcons in a row. I think that doesn’t happen very often. Also you will want to brush up on the rules by which those meetings are run, so you’ll know how to get your proposals on the agenda and so on.

  21. I couldn’t find anything by Barnes either, which is too bad (because it means there was nothing new to buy…).

    Portal was April 2013. Castaway Planet (book 4) is January 2015, so maybe next year. Spoor did have Paradigms lost (though that’s listed as a rewrite & expansion of an earlier book), and Phoenix Rising in 2014, in terms of eligible… Phoenix seemed like part of a larger whole though, not really able to be completely judged on its own.

  22. Spoor’s Phoenix books are a trilogy. Paradigm’s Lost is a rewrite of Digital Knight, which is in the same universe. One could go further, and say that one can’t fully appreciate anything Spoor writes in that universe unless one knows who Virigar is, and wants to see him dead.

  23. If you come to KC, do it for the barbecue.

    Not for the science fiction and certainly not for the weather.

    Respects,
    Murph
    On the Outer Marches

  24. “With Twilight, this is not the case. The series has objectively bad craftmanship. They’re crap books.”

    And yet, as objectively crappy as they were, they connected with unbelievable masses of people. What’s up with that? What about them transcended the crap writing? I’m not arguing Twilight here, because I skimmed one and couldn’t manage more than a page or two because the writing was crap. I’m more interested in the general principle. If the writing was crap, something about it was enough to make up for it many times over for vast numbers of fans. I managed Wheel of Time for 5ish books before I couldn’t take it anymore. Obviously those books connected with essential humanity, somehow, in order to gather a very large fan base. Popularity means something and dismissing it simply because it *is* popular is foolish.

    Capturing the imagination of such a large audience means something, even if that connection only exists for a moment. For that *moment* it means something, even if 10 years from now the connection is entirely gone.

  25. If you guys want to get specific works that you believe do interest a wide audience on the ballot (which is fine, of course), I think you are making some mistakes here. The biggest of them is pissing off people you have to be in good terms with to win a Hugo. Saying that Hugo voters like stupid books is not going to help you, because you need a sizeable cut of regular Worldcon goers’ votes, even if you get new people to attend. I very much doubt that accusing people of political biases when in fact they only have different tastes than you is getting you anywhere.

    Why not do a positive campaign? Why not say that Ancillary Justice was a good and fun SF novel (which I think it was) and, by the way, look at this great book by Eric Flint of Tad Williams or whoever?

  26. Accusing people of political biases? These are not accusations but a reflection of actual quotes of nominees themselves. Those nominees are in turn a reflection of the voters. And let’s stop using the word “political” for an ideology founded and centered on race and gender hatred that is the go-to orthodoxy of the SFWA and WorldCon. If Jews were the single unchanging focus of this hatred would you call that “political”? There is no mistaking what a Hugo-winner means when they say a white actor leaves a “bad taste” in their mouth, which is all the more remarkable when you consider that same person considers insensitively writing about half-dragons to be a form of “prejudice. You can’t dehumanize an ethnic group any lower than that. That’s not a mind but ethical insanity and racial supremacy that declares themselves never wrong no matter what and others never right no matter what and each decided by race. There is no mistaking what a person means when they say they are tired of “white saviors” or what they would say if I said I were sick of “black saviors” scoring the winning bucket in the NBA and NCAA. Support of such views were reflected in almost 90% of last years nominees. That is not “bias,” that is a lake. How is lying about Ancillary Justice going to change all that? And “different tastes”? Are you mad?

    And now you have C.C. Finlay just put in charge of the Magazine of F&SF. That is the equivalent of putting Andrea Dworkin in charge, which is astounding considering Finlay is a man. It’s like putting Anita Sarkeesian in charge of video-gaming. For those of you who don’t know who Finlay is, if there is any more fawning figure in SFF when it comes to falling down and prostrating himself to feminists, I don’t know who that would be. That’s pretty telling considering the competition for that post. You need only visit his Twitter feed or just read his truly remarkable feminist review of the last X-men movie to get the full Andrea Dworkin/Anita Sarkeesian effect.

    F&SF started in 1949 with a run of 70,000 copies in a country of 150 million people. Today in a country twice the size it has a circulation of perhaps between 10 and 15 thousand. I can’t think of a worse person to be put in charge of that magazine. It is as good as dead right now. The entire core community that has inherited SF’s legacy is dead from the neck up. The best and most successful SFF writers in the world quietly ignore that community and are ignored in turn. Their crime is they write fun SFF they do not pie-chart or affirmative action into the ground accompanied by Tweets and blog posts that run their own readers down as racist women-haters. When you think how great F&SF used to be it is amazing how these people have squandered that legacy and good will. Now F&SF will stand for Feminism & Science Fiction and the “science fiction” will have an asterisk to mean “not necessarily.”

    The only consolation is the PC haven’t figured out how to infiltrate Amazon yet and even Goodreads puts them in their place. My recommendation is to go to Salt Lake, hunker down, and quarantine the PC out.

  27. If you guys want to get specific works that you believe do interest a wide audience on the ballot (which is fine, of course), I think you are making some mistakes here. The biggest of them is pissing off people you have to be in good terms with to win a Hugo.

    Wait, are you saying we might not win Hugo Awards this way? Brad, you’re going about this ALL WRONG!

  28. Pingback: Walking the Plank | madgeniusclub

  29. If you guys want to get specific works that you believe do interest a wide audience on the ballot (which is fine, of course), I think you are making some mistakes here. The biggest of them is pissing off people you have to be in good terms with to win a Hugo.

    Maybe that’s the problem. You’ve got a small, self selected group that gets to decide who wins a Hugo, and we’re supposed to kiss their butts?

    Or, could we rally the troops, overwhelm them, and make the changes we’re talking about?

    Hmmmm…not a hard choice for me.

    Why not say that Ancillary Justice was a good and fun SF novel (which I think it was) and, by the way, look at this great book by Eric Flint of Tad Williams or whoever?

    Because Ancillary Justice made me want to scratch the back of my eye with an icepick through the cornea. Why would I lie to these people who have already made it a point that I don’t matter because I disagree with them on “things”?

  30. “Why not say that Ancillary Justice was a good and fun SF novel”

    Because, as several others have noted, that would be a lie. It is a one-trick pony (“Let’s make a point about how much gender doesn’t matter in this world by mentioning gender roughly 19.5 times per page!”) with a stupid premise and lousy execution. The story (to the extent there is a story) is told (to the extent that it is told) in a turgid pseudo-“literary” style that borders on unreadable.

    I will freely admit that I only got one chapter into the book. Perhaps it gets better, but from scanning reviews I don’t think that’s the way to bet.

    You might argue that this…whatever it is…is worthy of the same award as, say, Dune, but most people are just going to point and laugh.

    Observe that the previous year’s winner, Redshirts, is currently getting its ass kicked on Amazon by the 19 year old The Diamond Age, the 23 year old Barrayar, the 29 year old Ender’s Game, the 49 year old Dune, the 54 year old Starship Troopers, and doubtless many other award winners of yesteryear.

    These are not Star Trek novelizations or game tie-ins. They are Hugo-winning SF novels, competing head-to-head with the current Hugo crop.

    If a two year old Hugo-winning SF novel is getting stomped by fifty year old Hugo-winning SF novels, it’s pretty clear that there is a profound disconnect between the current Hugo voters and the SF reading public.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I personally don’t expect that the Hugo can be recovered as a legitimate award at this stage; it’s too late for that. Reputations are almost impossible to rebuild, once lost. Rather, I enjoy the Sad Puppies campaigns because they annoy the shit out of a bunch of preposterously self-important people who desperately, desperately deserve to be annoyed (“taunting the tauntable”, as it were).

  31. Pingback: Thoughts on ‘Sad Puppies’ Three | Blog, Jvstin Style

  32. James May you said it perfectly. Forget the Hugos, Nebulas, and other nonsense, there needs to be an alternative that separates sff from silly sjw nonsense. I also think some sort of community place online to talk about good sff is needed.

  33. If you don’t clear it with the authors first, how many are going to want their names dragged through the mud of 70 different blogs and who knows how many Tweets? Playing this prank might assure them of never getting an award, to say nothing of lost sales for essentially no reason if they’re not already on the radar of social justice warriors as persona non grata. None of the SJWs ever mentions K. Anderson or Modesitt.

  34. “…things like the dinosaur short story fail miserably.”

    I think it’s worth pointing out that Hugo-winning fiction has reached the once inconceivable point where a dinosaur short story can fail.

  35. Pingback: Science Fiction Fandom and SJW warfare | Jeb Kinnison

  36. On the subject of popularity – McDonalds sells hamburgers by the millions, yet nobody over the age of 5 would vote them “hamburger of the year.” The nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards are not the top grossing pictures of the year. I could go on, but clearly “popularity” and “worthy of an award” are not the same thing.

  37. “On the subject of popularity – McDonalds sells hamburgers by the millions, yet nobody over the age of 5 would vote them “hamburger of the year.”

    I wasn’t comparing Scalzi with Stephenie Meyer or the Sweet Valley High books. I was comparing him with previous Hugo winners.

    Tell me with a straight face that Redshirts has more literary merit than Dune or The Diamond Age. Explain what makes Redshirts cordon bleu and A Canticle for Liebowitz McDonalds.

    Go on. I dare you. I double-dog dare you. Put up or STFU.

  38. “The nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards are not the top grossing pictures of the year.”

    Thank you for proving our point. The Academy Awards are simply the Hugos with a bigger booze and cocaine budget. People are not spending their money to go see Academy Award winners any more than they are to buy the current Hugo winners.

  39. The irony about the Hugo voters chasing mainstream literary approval (“See! See! We gave Michael Chabon a Hugo and Lev Grossman a Campbell!”) is that the mainstream lit crowd still thinks SF/F is gauche, common, unrefined, and second-rate. This is how they’ve always thought. And it’s likely to always remain thus. So while it’s perfectly fine (in the eyes of the cognoscenti) for a Grossman or a Chabon to occasionally go “slumming” in SF/F, very few writers who are of the body of SF/F from the beginning are allowed out of the slum. If your name is not Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin, or Harlan Ellison, the lit snobs have no use for you. Yawn, go away, little nerds. Go back to your spaceships and lightsabers while we sophisticated grownups decide which books get to be important this decade.

    So what does SF do? Invent for itself its own cognoscenti, who precisely ape the grownups sitting at the Big People table.

    And so we have (as was noted earlier, by an astute commentator) Hugo and Nebula winners which struggle mightily to match the impact and caliber of Hugo and Nebula winners which have gone before. When Scott Card took the Hugo and the Nebula twice in two years, you could reasonably say that Ender’s Game and Speaker For The Dead really were the best books of their respective seasons. They have withstood the march of time. They will be read avidly long after their creator is dead.

    Ancillary Justice? With all due respect to Leckie (with whom I have no personal quarrel) I think the odds are very, very long.

    Redshirts? Even Scalzi (with whom I have quarreled) had his fingers crossed behind his back on this one. It was fanfic with ambition. Take away Scalzi’s popular blog, and Redshirts would never have even made the short list.

    The only man to have won a Hugo lately who seems like he has a realistic shot at immortality, is Neil Gaiman. And not because he was blessed with a Hugo, but because the Hugos decided to ride on Neil’s coat tails in 2009. Gaiman doesn’t need the Hugos. The Hugos desperately need Gaiman.

    Basically, SF/F needs to not give a damn if the lit snobs at the grownups table think we’re a bunch of stupid kids. Our “stupid kid” genre owns the popular landscape. Entirely. It took 30 years (from 1977 to 2007) for the legacy of Star Wars to cement (for the 21st century) Science Fiction & Fantasy’s dominance in the marketplace of fiction, the marketplace of gaming, the small and large screens, etc. We shouldn’t be thanking the lit snobs for throwing us a bone once in awhile. And we certainly should not be imitating the lit snobs — which many in SF/F (and, cough, SFWA, cough) do.

    We should be looking down at the lit snobs from our throne at the head of the Great Hall of the Popular Imagination, and say, “We’re too busy having fun to listen to your whiny shit!” Then we should pack up all the faux-snobs in SF/F, dump them in with the lit snobs proper, and launch the lot of them over the castle wall and into the stinking moat, ala Monty Python.

  40. Sentencing and executing Jonathan Ross for pre-crimes that Ross might commit seems to have been the last straw for Gaiman. I recall him mentioning on his blog that he’d stopped wearing the Hugo lapel pin that he’d worn with pride for years.

    I agree that Gaiman is one of the few of the recent crop who has a real shot at immortality. Stephenson, too, though he hasn’t actually won for a while.

  41. “Basically, SF/F needs to not give a damn if the lit snobs at the grownups table think we’re a bunch of stupid kids.”

    Exactly. Look at the Western literary canon. Everything from The Epic of Gilgamesh to the Odyssey; the Arthur cycle to the early Gothic romances, has predominantly been speculative fiction.

    The “literary” novel is a fleeting aberration that peaked in the 20th century and is rapidly going the way of the dinosaur. I suspect that the parallel though less severe decline in spec fic is due to the self-appointed SFF literati aping their lit fic “betters”.

  42. Popularity is a slippery subject when it comes to crossover pollination in SF. Flash Gordon first appeared in 1934 and the comic Buck Rogers in 1929 right after the novel. Did that help or hinder SF literature? Are either an analogy to Star Wars? If so how?

    Children of Dune was the first truly successful SF novel on the N.Y. Times list and it slightly predates Star Wars. Was the unprecedented mainstream popularity of Heinlein and Asimov right after both a coincidence? Did one have more to do with that than the other? Did Star Wars kill SF literature or did the old school just die out? There has been no lack of SF writers trying to write literate SF in all these years, though perhaps to the point of prosely caricature.

    It seems we have a disconnect between the lighter and heavier fare. One is too light and the other too heavy. That sweet spot in between is what I look for, but others readers are completely different. But in the past there was at least some consensus on what was worth reading. That’s gone now. Is that because we are no longer a closeted group of connoisseurs or because the talent level is like a flat line with no high spots?

    That’s a problem in and of itself. But the current problem is different and makes things worse. You have SFF written for the mainstream like Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games and a host of epub, others written for hard core fans who ignore the feminist messaging like Reynolds, Hamilton and McDevitt, and the lesbian gender feminist ideology that occupies SFF’s old core institutions. That old core has done its best to marginalize what’s left of people like McDevitt by simply including them out as uninteresting privileged white dudes. So identity has come to replace both fun and talent.

    The first two are based on fun and are ignoring that old core. Were I a writer that is what I would do. There is no point in engaging such a sadly racist and man-hating ideology that thinks N.K. Jemisin, John Scalzi, Seanan McGuire, Kameron Hurley and Ann Leckie are talented or wise voices. They are casually anti-societal talentless hacks. Aside from their conformist redneck fiction, I am tired of hearing their endless whining about erasure, marginalization, racism, sexism, privilege and patriarchy. That core is beyond nerdish; they are looney anti-racists who have enthusiastically embraced racism in an Orwellian parody of the KKK. Many have openly mental health issues and their Twitter feeds read like psychotic ranting breaks with reality wherein they live in a white apartheid supremacy of bloated Harkonnens bent on oppressing the noble PoC Frewomen in their gender caves. The only thing that new edgy core lacks is padded cells, which they come close to with their “safer-spaces” meant to protect them against a triggery world that grants PTSD-like symptoms at a touch. It’s like watching Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker on the old PTL Club with Tammy Faye crying through her incredibly thick eye make-up. When you fear the U.K.’s version of David Letterman you know you need a keeper, and so does anyone who looks up to such a mess rather than kicking them to the curb. The John W. Campbell Award-winner thinks they live in a white supremacy? And they nominated the ultra-psychotic Requires Hate? Gee, what a surprising coincidence.

    Forget these worthless people. It is an entire generation that is lost. They are the first group of writers in the history of SFF that actually works to alienate readers. They have been stunningly successful in alienating themselves when you see the Top 100 of Amazon’s SFF nobodies or The Martian Chronicles outselling them.

  43. Brad: We have Hugo and Nebula winners which struggle mightily to match the impact and caliber of Hugo and Nebula winners which have gone before.

    The awards are not given to books that match or are similar to past winners in some way. They are given to books voters think are best.

    Genre has atomized because it has grown so big. Everyone read Dune and Ender books when they got out, but there’s nothing like that today, so there’s no point in comparing.

    Me: Why not do a positive campaign? Why not say that Ancillary Justice was a good and fun SF novel (which I think it was) and, by the way, look at this great book by Eric Flint of Tad Williams or whoever?

    Knighton: Because Ancillary Justice made me want to scratch the back of my eye with an icepick through the cornea.

    Well, we have different tastes. My reaction to Grimnoir books and Wheel of Time was that this is bores me. No point in being mean about it, though.

    But let’s not get stuck with Ancillary Justice. My first and more important question was why not do a positive campaign instead of bashing winners you don’t like. I’d argue that that is a more effective way to do this. As is, it seems like you are more interested in intimidating other people than promoting works you like and that might be a mistake.

    Brad: We should be looking down at the lit snobs from our throne at the head of the Great Hall of the Popular Imagination, and say, “We’re too busy having fun to listen to your whiny shit!”

    Harry Potter wins Hugos and you are saying that lit snobs have taken over? That’s not a very sound argument. The way it’s done now, I’m afraid it’s the Sad Puppies campaign that appears “whiny shit” from the casual Hugo voter’s perspective. If you lose this year like you lost last year, maybe you ought to consider doing a positive campaign in 2016.

    Knighton: You’ve got a small, self selected group that gets to decide who wins a Hugo, and we’re supposed to kiss their butts?

    Positive campaign is not the same as kissing butts. There’s a possibility that people will listen to you if you act politely. Everyone can select themselves to the group, but I doubt that there are going be so many new voters that all old voters become insignificant. Everything is possible, though.

  44. “They are given to books voters think are best.”

    Will you go on record that Redshirts was the best SF novel published in 2012?

    “Harry Potter wins Hugos”

    That was fourteen years ago, dude.

    “Everyone read Dune and Ender books when they got out, but there’s nothing like that today”

    Sure there is. They’re called the Dune and Ender books. They’re still on the market, and more new readers are reading them now than are reading the tripe you claim is the “best”. Why do you suppose that is?

  45. Carnage, I think a lot of people are overlooking the fact this weird social justice ideology is brand spanking new. Talking about anything much beyond 3 or 4 years ago doesn’t really match up with today’s climate. The idiocy that was Racefail happened in 2009. Things accelerated exponentially after that. Much of this is driven by blogs and especially Twitter and the shaming phenomenon is generally a Twitter one. Look at the join dates of SFF’s most psychotic shut-in Twitter users and they’re just a few years old, as is Twitter itself. Don’t be surprised when you find 75,000 Tweets by the worst of them. It’s day and night and every day; they’re frickin’ crazy. That’s generally reflected in larger America. I’d bet money if one could look up the use of words like “privilege,” “rape culture,” “erasure, “heteronormative” and other gender defamation feminist jargon on the net you’d see a massive spike starting only recently.

    PC novels winning is nothing new but the specific reasons they now do is and it’s a lot more aggressive and overtly hostile than just having a woman character. Unless you’re acquainted with the bizarre history and vocabulary of this cult you’re just not going to understand what Ancillary Justice means to them. It’s like a messiah of throwing down the gender “normative,” itself a radical feminist icon Judith Butler go-to word. Read Liz Bourke’s, Alex MacFarlane’s and Foz Meadow’s reviews of AJ and you’ll get a clue as to why this novel was so doted on. It is not because of some general “PC” views but an extremely specific radical lesbian gender feminist ideology. It is a disgusting racist and supremacist cult which defaults to the group defamation of men, heterosexuals, whites and the West in that order. Just replace those with “Jew” and you’ll get a good idea of the philosophical and intellectual space these monkey-people share with hate groups. There is absolutely no doubt the majority of last year’s Hugo and Nebula nominees fit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s definitions of hate speech or a hate group. What is most remarkable is how many naive middle class social justice warriors have been chumped by these “anti-racists.” They are as much anti-racists as the KKK.

  46. SBP: Will you go on record that Redshirts was the best SF novel published in 2012?

    I haven’t read Redshirts, so no. But majority of Hugo voters thought (whatever their reasoning was) that it was better than most other works on the ballot, and after everything was added up, Redshirts was on top. By the way, the one book on the ballot that year that did include some commentary on genre from the social justice perspective was Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon. It got the least number one votes and ended up next to last. Obviously, these sort of themes don’t make a book a winner automatically and all Hugo voters don’t care so much about them.

    “Harry Potter wins Hugos”
    That was fourteen years ago, dude.

    Well, Neil Gaiman is a more recent example of a very popular book winning. As far as I know, he would have won more trophies if he hadn’t declined nominations himself.

    “Everyone read Dune and Ender books when they got out, but there’s nothing like that today”
    Sure there is. They’re called the Dune and Ender books. They’re still on the market, and more new readers are reading them now than are reading the tripe you claim is the “best”. Why do you suppose that is?

    What I was saying was that the genre has atomized and that there are no new books that every SF fan reads. The common ground there was in Dune and Ender’s times is gone and it’s not coming back. Never claimed something was best — only that the books voters think are best will win (I think everyone agrees on that, at least).

    James May: PC novels winning is nothing new but the specific reasons they now do is and it’s a lot more aggressive and overtly hostile than just having a woman character. Unless you’re acquainted with the bizarre history and vocabulary of this cult you’re just not going to understand what Ancillary Justice means to them.

    I voted for Ancillary Justice because I enjoyed it more than other books on the ballot, and I assume other voters did the same thing. The book won with a very wide margin, much bigger than Redshirts or Graveyard Book, for example. I really fail to see anything aggressive or hostile in the book. Why would I, you or anybody else have anything against books that try to do something different with gender? I like SF which explores different ideas.

  47. Your reply speaks directly to how hate speech is mainstreamed as normal, and why it is so dangerous. I’m not saying that’s in the book, in fact it isn’t. But the ideology behind it is feral, and Leckie’s restaurant analogy post is feral as well.

    Some people just see it as you do – just a social issue – but I shudder at that level of support for what in essence are a crowd of David Duke’s in sheep’s clothing. Gender issues isn’t the problem. SF has been dealing with that a long time. It’s who is seen as at fault in society, and I don’t like being scapegoated by daffy Nazis. By all means keep supporting that and see what it gets you. If you’re not someone in a frat house shut down by a feminist rape hoax, why would you care? If you’re not in a star chamber hearing being charged with a “regret rape” that could wreck your life, big deal. If you’ve never wanted a Hugo or Nebula where your chances are reduced because of group defamation about oppressive straight white men, why would you care? It doesn’t directly affect me either, but first they came for someone else.

    You don’t seem to be particularly well-informed about the issues and this movement in SFF and actually very few people are so that’s no big deal to me. I say live and let live, which is precisely what this cult will not do. Just ask Jonathan Ross, or Resnick and Malzberg or any of the race and gender awards, anthologies, workshops, grants and physical spaces you’re not welcome in and can’t participate in. On the other side there is no such thing but they are the ones accused of being segregationists and racist. That type of delicious stupidity and lying, aware of it or not, makes you nothing more than a chump – a useful idiot. This is your right. It’s my right to say you’re on your own, and the tender mercies of this cult aren’t so tender.

    As for liking the book. Opinions differ and each person brings a different experience to a book. I’ve no problem with that.

  48. If you’ve never wanted a Hugo or Nebula where your chances are reduced because of group defamation about oppressive straight white men, why would you care? It doesn’t directly affect me either, but first they came for someone else.

    Between 2000 and 2014, white male writers have won 10 Hugo awards for best novel. White women have won 5. People of color have won zero. I don’t think white males have much to worry about, really.

  49. Oh, I’m sorry, there’s a mistake. White male writers have actually won 11 Hugo awards, not 10. 😀

  50. You are again ignoring the newness of this movement. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. But core SFF is useful as a microcosm of the toxic ideology being mainstreamed into America. The cumulative effect is dangerous. Its dangerous to have a culture that engages in constant racial incitement. Even the Oscars are questioned with raised eyebrows as a white supremacy every single year now, as is almost every blockbuster film, like Noah and Exodus. That used to never be the case, and there’s not a higher percentage of black folks in America; that’s been stable for decades. What is new is this cult of intersectional gender feminism. Just look at SFF a few short years ago. Personality clashes and feuds have always been there, but this is different.

    As for your unawareness: “You may not know the rules but the rules know you.”

  51. Captain Carnage, thank you for proving the point of this article. Racial counting is far more important than quality….. which is the very definition of racism.

  52. Just commenting the argument that white male writers’ possibilities to win awards are greatly reduced, which I don’t believe is true.

  53. Here’s the thing about Ancillary Justice. For about 18 months prior to the book’s release, SF/F was a-swirl with yammering about gender fluidity, gender “justice,” transgenderism, yadda yadda. Up pops Ancillary Justice and everyone is falling all over themselves about it. Because why? Because the topic du jour of the Concerned Intellectuals Are Concerned set, was gender. And Ancillary Justice’s prime gimmick was how it messed around with gender. And it was written by a female writer. Wowzers! How transgressive! How daring! We’re fighting the cis hetero male patriarchy now, comrades! We’ve anointed Leckie’s book the hottest thing since sliced bread. Not because it’s passionate and sweeping and speaks to the heart across the ages. But because it’s a social-political pot shot at ordinary folk. For whom more and more of the SF/F snobs have nothing but disdain and derision.

    Again, someone astute already noted that the real movers and shakers in SF/F don’t actively try to pour battery acid into the eyes of their audience. Activist-writers do. And so do activist-fans who see SF/F not as an entertainment medium, but as (yet another) avenue they can exploit to push and preach their particular world view to the universe at large. They desire greatly to rip American society away from the bedrock principles, morals, and ideas which have held the country up for over two centuries, and “transform” it into a post-cis, post-male, post-rational loony bin of emotional children masquerading as adults. Where we subdivide and subdivide down and down, further into little victim groups that petulantly squabble over the dying scraps of the Western Enlightenment.

    SAD PUPPIES looks at that mess and says, “No thank you.”

  54. Carnage,

    The very fact that you are here, arguing in the comments, tells me that even though SAD PUPPIES may personally annoy you (and many others in “fandom”) SAD PUPPIES is more consequential than “fandom” may care to admit.

    Allow me to tell you why I think that is. Because SAD PUPPIES dares to speak the truth. It points out the “smelly little orthodoxies” to borrow Orwell’s phrase. We’ve fallen a long way since Vernor Vinge won for A Fire Upon The Deep. Or even Kim Stanley Robinson winning for Green Mars. Those were epic books, which remain in print and actively read long after their release. Harry Potter too. As I noted (about Gaimain) J.K. Rowling never needed the Hugos. The Hugos needed J.K. Rowling. The fact that Robinson lost in 2013 to Scalzi’s ambitious fanfic book, is indicative of the politicized joke that the Hugos have become. Especially the Best Novel category. Robinson is and always has been the superior storyteller (vs. Scalzi) and there is no way you can convince me that Redshirts was a better story than 2312. Or Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance for that matter.

    See, here’s the thing. As soon as the Social Justice Warriors decided to agitate for bean-counting at the SF/F awards, the process was perniciously poisoned. For more and more voters, who or what wins is largely a question of “Does the author or the story allow me to check a victim group box?” as opposed to, “Did this author or story sweep me off my readerly feet and transport me utterly to another, amazing world, or amazing time or place?” 30 and 40 years ago, you could rely on the Hugos to default to the latter sensibility. Just look at the names and the books and the stories that were on the Hugo and Nebula ballots in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Now, the focus has grown tedious and myopic. Can we check a victim box? How many beans do we get to count with this author or this book?

    That’s a lousy way to run an accolade, sir.

    If I may quote Orwell again: sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    SAD PUPPIES states the obvious; and gives people the vapors as a result.

  55. Cpt. Carnage: there’s a word for people who see others as “white males” or “black females” rather than individuals, and who think awards should be handed out based on skin color quotas.

    Hint: it starts with “r”. I personally don’t give a crap what skin color or what type of plumbing a writer has. You do. So which one of us is racist and sexist? Hint: not me.

    Neither you nor anyone else actually believes that Redshirts was the best novel of that year. No, not even the people who voted for it. Scalzi himself would deny it, if you got him hooked up to a polygraph.

    That’s total bullshit. When you don’t even believe your own bullshit, you shouldn’t expect other people to believe it.

  56. Synova,

    Popularity means something and dismissing it simply because it *is* popular is foolish.

    Absolutely, but if we’re giving books like “Twilight” awards then we’re going to make the Hugos look even dumber. They might “speak” to people in some way, but they’re still terrible. They speak to the teenage girl who really wants an Edward in her life.

    That said, Shakespeare was the most popular playwright of his age. But on the flip side his most popular play when he was alive, “Pericles”, is almost never performed today, and for good reason.

    I’m not sure if popularity means much of anything, actually. A popular work could be great, or a popular work could be terrible. The trick here is not to assume that just because something is popular it’s somehow inferior.

  57. “Why would I, you or anybody else have anything against books that try to do something different with gender? ”

    I just wanted to set this bit of disingenuous nonsense out by itself.

    SF has been exploring these issues for decades. From Sturgeon’s Venus Plus X in the 60s to Varley’s work in the 70s and 80s (some of which had enough gender fluidity to make Ann Leckie’s head explode… I recall one story where spouses were getting sex changes on the way home from work as a surprise, the way we might get a new haircut or buy some new clothes).

    You know what? Varley has a whole shelf full of Hugos, Nebulas, and Locus awards. You know why? Because Varley is a damned good writer. At his peak, he was brilliant. And he never, never, never confused preaching with storytelling (some of his more recent works have drifted away from that policy, alas).

    You and yours are trying to put all that down the memory hole, Carnage, so you can pretend that your little Stalinist sewing circle is actually producing “groundbreaking” and “original” and “brave” work. It’s not going to fly.

  58. Me: “I recall one story where spouses were getting sex changes on the way home from work as a surprise”‘

    That would be Options, published in Terry Carr’s Universe 9 in 1979. Hugo Nominee for Best Novelette, 1980. Nebula Nominee for Best Novelette, 1980.

    But Varley is a white dude, so he doesn’t count. Right?

  59. Brad,

    the one thing I was asking in the first comment was that why do a negative campaign instead of a positive one. Why not just promote the work you like and leave it at that? Do you seriously think that bashing everyone who voted for Scalzi helps your cause?

    Robinson is and always has been the superior storyteller (vs. Scalzi) and there is no way you can convince me that Redshirts was a better story than 2312. Or Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance for that matter.

    I haven’t read Redshirts and I have no need to convince you about anything. It is a fact that Hugo voters thought that Redshirts was better than the other books. Why they felt that way is up for discussion. Maybe Redshirts wouldn’t have won if the writer wasn’t as popular as Scalzi is — or maybe it would, we will never know for certain. I don’t understand, though, how is that proof of “politization”.

    For more and more voters, who or what wins is largely a question of “Does the author or the story allow me to check a victim group box?” as opposed to, “Did this author or story sweep me off my readerly feet and transport me utterly to another, amazing world, or amazing time or place?”

    Well, I can’t speak for anybody else, but I did vote for Ancillary Justice exactly because it sweeped me off my readerly feet. What victim group boxes were there to check, for real? The protagonist is an AI who has trouble deciphering gender. I don’t think people voted for it because of they felt pity for AIs or something. 😀

  60. SBP: there’s a word for people who see others as “white males” or “black females” rather than individuals, and who think awards should be handed out based on skin color quotas.

    I mentioned some gender and ethnicity figures because James May pointed out that white males can’t win Hugos or Nebulas anymore, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Nobody thinks that there should be skin color quotas.

    SBP: You know what? Varley has a whole shelf full of Hugos, Nebulas, and Locus awards. You know why? Because Varley is a damned good writer.

    I don’t see where you’re going with this. I agree that John Varley’s books are great. That doesn’t mean I can’t like Ancillary Justice as well. If you try to suggest that Ancillary Justice should not have been written because there have been other books with some sort of fluid gender, I have to say I missed your logic.

  61. “It is a fact that Hugo voters thought that Redshirts was better than the other books.”

    Nonsense. It is a fact that more of them voted for it. It is open to debate as to whether they voted for it because they actually thought it was better. If they actually did think that, their taste in literature is so poor that I fail to see why anyone should pay them any attention whatsoever.

    “If you try to suggest that Ancillary Justice should not have been written ”

    Should not have been written? Nope. Should not have been given major awards based primarily on its supposed originality? Yep.

    Those tropes and themes have all been done before, by much better writers. You and your SJW contingent are pretending that in the past the Evil White Men only allowed books with fixed gender roles to be published. That’s not just wrong, it’s a Stalinist-level Big Lie. I (and many others) are calling you out on it.

    If you don’t see the “logic” in that, I can only conclude that you are deliberately missing the point.

  62. Carnage, your comments about A. Justice are now willfully ignorant. I’ve explained the issues there and told you three social justice reviewers to go look at. Even they agree with what I say. There’s a simple reason for that: it’s self-evidently true. It’s a question of education, not opinion.

    And how dumb do you have to be when you can’t figure out what Mary Robinette Kowal means when she Tweets a reminder no white males won a Nebula right after the awards? A literary movement would be celebrating the literature, not throwing down a racial and sexual opponent. Adding that to the intersectional feminist views of the current and last SFWA president means if you’re a white straight male you will suffer discrimination. And a lot of that is institutionalized elsewhere in rooms, awards, anthologies and workshops. Can I get care fare to conventions from the Carl Brandon Society? No, I’m white. Can I get in the VONA writers workshops run by Majorie Liu who once wrote white male privilege thinks only of maintaining itself? No, I’m white. Do you see any of that having now or ever been done on an institutional level by the horrid straight white male? No. The comparison is an accidentally all-white, all-male book display or Table of Contents equals VONA or Carl Brandon. That’s a racist’s dream argument, not an intellectually honest one. Carl Brandon doesn’t advocate diversity, it advocates non-whites, no matter how well intentioned it started out, and I was never impressed by that anyway. What do you call groups who only ever ask you to diversify? We’re back to the racist’s dream argument they conveniently never lose and I never win.

    And I never pointed out white males can’t win awards. I said there is discrimination. Charles Stross won but that’s because he advocates this anti-white, anti-male, and anti-heterosexual ideology. Stross is a good little boy who’s confessed to his sins and white male privilege. You need only look at his ignorant comment about the Boston Marathon Bomber where he forbid racial speculation on threat of deletion and then an hour later speculated they were white Tea Party types. You only need look at the racist anti-male bigoted guest post the lesbian author of Hild had on his site. Again, that’s a question of education, not opinion.

    As for the logic about Varley, it’s simple. Varley wasn’t hostile. He wasn’t stipulating his ideas in the context of the moral and spiritual failure of the straight white male.

    It’s moronic to suggest white men won’t win awards. But they are being pie-charted and there is no doubt about that. I have read a mountain of comments by these people where they deliberately read a percentage of men vs. women, even laying it out in percentages like that daffy man-loving review blog Book Smugglers. Art takes a back seat. No surprise art is bad. Go read the Tiptree list of winners since 1991 to see how bad.

  63. there is no way you can convince me that Redshirts was a better story than 2312 – Well, I for one couldn’t finish 2312. It was tedious and the lead character was about as likable as the second day of diarrhea. Vorpatril was okay, but on reviewing my records my vote was (1-2-3) Crescent Moon, Blackout and Redshirts. As I recall, Redshirts didn’t go over the top until the 3rd round, so I suspect that for the median voter Redshirts was the least objectionable.

    Circling back on the “Oh the Hugos of yore were grand” take a gander at what great classics actually won. 1958s Hugo was “The Big Time by Fritz Leiber.” No novels in 1957. (Eligible works include stuff by Clarke, Asimov and Fred Pohl.) 1955? They’d Rather Be Right by Mark Clifton and Frank Riley. (Who and who?) Heinlein’s “Have Spacesuit Will Travel” was eligible. In 1964, Here Gather the Stars (alt: Way Station) by Clifford D. Simak beat out Heinlein (Glory Road) AND Frank Herbert’s Dune (on the ballot as “Dune World” serialized in Analog.) The Cold Equations came out in 1954, was in a “Best of” anthology of 1955, yet did not win the short story category.

    Does anybody want to argue that “Here Gather the Stars” is better than Dune? (First, has anybody ever even heard of it?) Or that nothing was worth while in 1957? I could go on here, but my point is made – awards are inherently subjective. Sometimes the givers of the award get it “right” and sometimes they don’t.

  64. Cherry pick all you want. Counting back from 1971 almost half of all Hugo nominated works are considered classics or near-classics. That includes over 50% in the novel category. That’s an extraordinary record of artistry. Last year’s crew was limp and shoddy, which is what will happen when an award is given in relation to one’s devotion to intersectional gender feminism. Again, look at the Tiptree winners to see exactly what is taking place. It is not artistry. Here’s the thing about politics, whether Right or Left it is not going to hamstring your ability to make art. But when you are either so hateful or so stupid as to subscribe to a supremacist cult devoted to the defamation of men, heterosexuals and whites, no art will emerge from such failed minds. You cannot write good SF if you are don’t believe in failure and success on a human level.

    And yes I have heard of Way Station. It’s a classic. And you conveniently left out Dune later won, and after all, it was nominated the first go round.

  65. “Does anybody want to argue that “Here Gather the Stars” is better than Dune? (First, has anybody ever even heard of it?)”

    Yes. Under the alternate title Way Station. Outstanding book. In print until at least 1980. Gollancz has it available in Kindle format in the U.K., though not (apparently) in the U.S. If you hadn’t even heard of it, I can only conclude that you don’t actually know much about the history of the field, nor are you widely-read enough to have a valid opinion on this subject.

    Better than Dune? No. Better than Ancillary Justice? Don’t make me laugh.

    Leiber’s The Big Time was also excellent, and is available for purchase on Amazon as well as in numerous free editions on the web (Project Gutenberg has it…the Leiber estate may have neglected to renew the copyright).

  66. I’m going to confess that I thought the internet celebration over “No men won Nebulas!” was a strange spectacle. For a sensibility that claims to be fighting discrimination, and that this is merely about wanting to see a minority better represented, to then trumpet when said minority takes all the fiction awards — and trumpet in such a fashion that denotes this is clearly “progress” — tells me that we’re dealing with a sensibility which cannot figure out when it’s actually won.

    Nobody has been “keeping women down” in this field since at least the 1960s. You might have argued (then) that there was a certain unconscious convention (in thinking, with fans and editors) which somewhat hampered women writers trying to achieve the same degree of success as their male peers. Then again, there is Ursula K. Le Guin, who is revered (among female SF notables) pretty much to the same degree as Ray Bradbury. So it’s not like there was a brick wall keeping the girlies out.

    Yet, that is the narrative we live with in 2015. That there is forever a wall trying to keep the girlies out, therefore the girlies are forever Fighting The Power, even though the majority of editors and writers and readers in this field are women.

    I will say that again for emphasis: in the year 2015, the majority of the writers, readers, and fans in this field, are women. This is not an opinion. It is statistical fact.

    And yet, the “movement” carries on as if it’s still 1958 and those nasty old hetero white males are keeping all the downtrodden, victimized females locked up in the proverbial kitchen.

    In other words, the narrative (for this “movement”) is more important to people, than the reality.

    And so we have champagne corks popping when the fiction categories at the Nebulas are swept by female winners. Woo hoo! The brave partisans of womanhood have defeated the evil Penis Mongers in their never-ending war to keep women barefoot, pregnant, and out of Science Fiction!

    I guess that’s the kind of fairy tale that plays well in activist circles.

    I think it’s silly, does not reflect the reality, and only encourages further disconnect — in the field, and outside of it as well.

  67. I would add that John Varley’s “gender” stories are far better than A. Justice and he works them into the fabric in a far more natural manner, which is to be expected when there is speculation as opposed to agenda and propaganda. In fact Varley’s first 2 short story collections are near the top of an all-time list of such short collections for sheer innovation.

    Leckie put the cart before the horse and what that means is she failed to exploit and explore her own themes to their logical extensions. That’s the danger of ass-backwards messaging. When one sets up a puzzle-house for us to visit one must walk us through the architecture. A lot of that stuff just sat there like a vase of flowers for us to admire in and of itself cuz diversity. That’s the problem with identity-fiction: it is a waste of space. It replaces actual story-telling. Messaging is not the issue – SF is often all about that – using it correctly is. It must be buried and contemporary cultural markers disguised or it reads like the Huffington Post. Again, there is nothing hateful about the novel itself, but the ideology which powers it is phobic. It’s what David Duke might write if he toned himself down but wrote about a future white Africa with no defamation in the novel. The obsession, subject matter, phobia and hate would still be there in the weeds and still be just as worthless. With Leckie, inadvisable “white cis dudes” are still there, or rather, not there, and that’s a choice. Like Varley, Jack McDevitt mostly has women protagonists, but with no ideology of man-hatred in back of that, it comes off as quite naturalistic and not faux-fierce nor with the implied superior morality and spirituality.

    And if one wants to cherish an all-time space opera by a woman, In Conquest Born by C.S. Friedman is so far above A. Justice it’s laughable. It wasn’t nominated but that’s when there was actual competition. Few people have ever written a space opera that clever both in terms of ideas it sets up and then explores, and in terms of the weight of the prose, which is at a very high level. That kind of two-fer spells “classic.” AJ spells They’d Rather Be Right. Leckie’s prose sits on the surface and is often confusing and filled with unnecessary details. Open to any page of In Conquest Born to see how necessary almost every sentence is and how it advances the story in some small way. There are no needless descriptors. Friedman was in the zone when she wrote that thing.

    And I agree the comment about Lieber’s The Big Time are baffling. If you want to be a museum curator, then be one.

  68. In Conquest Born… Have to recommend it, even though it felt like reading half of Legend of the Galactic Heroes or a similar 80s anime space opera. Unfortunately, the half it left out was the set piece space battles.

    As for AJ, couldn’t get into it, many because of its style. I would, however, like to see “fandom” stop treating it like it’s a milestone or unique in its treatment of the sexes as it reveals the modernist fallacy (new is better than old) and a stunning ignorance of the past. To wit, the only science fiction that matters is that written AS: After Scalzi. (Let’s say, arbitrarily that AS is 2000-present) Frankly, I’m getting tired of reading articles that feature the Worldcon crowd saying that the classics are too hard for today’s audience and that we should try reading from a rather incestuous list of people recommending each other’s works, none of which were written in a year starting with 19. Then again, science fiction is an odd field where dead men and women still outsell today’s Hugo winners.

  69. Mr. Torge rson,
    I seem to be an outlier in this “fight”, as I am an older white woman who has been reading sf since the 1950s and who has enjoyed the classic sf authors in their times and who still enjys newer books such as Ancilliary Justice and The Chaplain’s War, each as a fun and thought-provoking book in its own right. In fact, I would probably vote for The Chaplain’s
    War this year if I was voting for the Hugos because I really liked the characterization and worldbuilding you put into it. And that is what I look for in a book— characters that I can enjoy spending time with in a world that is well-constructed, a worthy piece of sub-creation, as Tolkien put it. I also prefer honorable heroes or heroines who do the right thing as they understand it and do not give in to their very basest desires. And I still read a goodly number of so-called SJW books—-because I find their authors give me interesting worlds with characters I am interested in. And that is why I do not really grok the ranting on Mr. Beale’s blog about pink-shirts and undermining societal agendas of modern written sf… It is still a literature of ideas. It is no different now than it was forty years ago in its essence…

    Also, being old-school as I am…. no, computer gaming is NOT gaming or sf (gaming is tabletop role playing only:-) and media tie in novels are not sf either. The original written creation of someone’s imagination is and will always be sf to me. Fandom is concerned with that… at least as a large component of its heart. YMMV.

  70. Twila,

    I liken the present ideological conflict in SF/F to that of the Futurians in the early days, and later, New Wave vs. Campbellian. Then, as now, there is a “turf fight” going on, over the soul of the field. This 21st century fight came about when certain progressive SF fans and writers (conversant in the ideas and theories of gender studies, ethnic studies, womens studies, and other “activist” soft sciences) began to see for themselves a mission: the overturning of extant SF/F culture, in favor of a politically-corrected culture that would suit their preconceptions, as to what SF/F ought to be about.

    In some respects, the present conflict has very strong roots in the two prior conflicts. What makes the present conflict so heated is the fact that this is an “open” conflict for public display, which has very strong ties to a larger societal conflict that affects other spheres of the larger culture. Blogs, webzines, Twitter, and Facebook. These are all tools that the different “sides” use to communicate with allies and enemies alike.

    If someone had asked me about this conflict in 1999 I’d have said, “What?” Because I was (at that point) completely unaware of what was happening.

    Then, about the middle of the previous decade, the signs began to show themselves. I can recall a rather heated debate between myself and two or three progressive-activist fans and writers (in the pages of Scott Edelman’s Science Fiction Weekly) regarding the so-called “racism” of the newly-rebooted Battlestar Galactica franchise.

    That exchange has since been lost to history (and I am sorry to say, very few genre webzines rose to match Science Fiction Weekly for its coverage, astuteness, and even-handedness where genre politics is concerned) but it was the first time I became aware of the fact that a new force was rising in the field. And it was a “take no prisoners” force which had a very specific (and to my mind, caustic) agenda.

    This force took Derrick Bell’s specious Critical Race Theory as a gospel dictum, and expanded its focus. Racism — and sexism, and homophobia, and and transphobia — were to be discovered under every rock, behind every bush, and lurking in every unreformed heart. There would be no neutral ground. Those who could not be cowed into capitulating before the Social Justice crusade (thus the label: Social Justice Warriors) would be shamed, shunned, and proverbially spat on. They would be harangued on the internet, doxxed, their livleyhoods threatened, and their friends and families made to suffer.

    As a white heterosexual male who belongs to the LDS church, it became very apparent to me that I was all kinds of “wrong” to the eyes of the SJWs. Even before I began publishing professionally, I had personalities in this field attacking my character (sometimes viciously) because I dared (in venues like Science Fiction Weekly) to defend the goodness and quality of programs and materials (like Battlestar Galactica) from what I believed to be slanted, ideologically puritanical, and irrational criticism.

    The calculus of the Social Justice crusade is plain: attack all targets, using Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals. How do you know you’re a target? Simple. Everyone is guilty until proven guilty. You’re a target, until you’ve sworn purity and loyalty oaths to the movement, cleansed your soul and acknowledged your wrongdoings by scraping your belly and confessing your “privilege,” and then you must actively enlist in the ranks of the attackers. (Thus the sudden preponderance of young white hetero male “allies” falling in with the SJWs; these young white hetero men believe mistakenly that they will be protected — if they side with the correct party. Ah, fool’s gold, guys! Fool’s gold.)

    This is a quasi-religious movement, really. Albeit of a secular variety. Its membership is zealous in both thought and deed. They’ve savaged any number of professionals and fans, to include people nominally on their side of the political fence. Such as Elizabeth Moon, who is hardly a right-winger. But Moon made the mistake of letting common sense escape through her fingers and into her keyboard, hence the SJWs leapt upon Moon the way a young pack of hyenas might leap on an older lion.

    Ted Beale (Vox Day) and I disagree on a lot. We approach the SJW crusade from rather different viewpoints. But Beale’s been a gentleman with me, and I with him. Which is more than I can say for the SJWs, who harassed, vilified, and slandered my friend and mentor Mike Resnick, while at the same time harassing, vilifying, and slandering Jean Rabe and Barry Malzberg. Again, Barry is nobody’s right-winger. But it didn’t save him from the proverbial headsman’s axe. The SJWs (who now dominate SFWA) threw Barry (and Mike and Jean) on the fire. And told all three of them that they deserved to burn, for lack of Social Justice piety.

    I am not sure if or when this war will end. Probably, it just goes on and on and on. My hunch is that sooner or later, people will ultimately grow tired of the witch trial tactics of the SJWs. But the SJWs are still a powerful, numerous, and clever foe. And they aren’t just attacking in SF/F. They are attacking across the entirety of Western culture.

    It’s probably going to get a lot uglier and a lot nastier, before it gets any better.

    So, even though I am an egalitarian, have been inter-racially married for over 21 years, am a classical liberal, and a feminist by the old standards of the original suffragettes, I eschew most modern progressive labels. As I eschew much else that the crusading SJWs embrace and hold to their hearts. I see no future but chaos down their particular road.

    It occasionally means I wind up running with people who think rather differently from myself, and who have been deemed villains according to SJW doctrine.

    No worries. As Billy Joel sang so well, I’d rather laugh with the sinners, than cry with the saints.

  71. Anyone who believes in white privilege is a fool, and Gerrib does. That puts him in favoring identity over principle territory. As we’ve seen time and again, when you do that, it misroutes your thinking to the point the simplest comparisons are unavailable. That leads to a deep-seated hypocrisy where one sometimes contradicts oneself in the same sentence. My favorite Orwellian example of that is from a Nebula nominee: “‘Lazy’ is such a code word for white people to use to denigrate and dismiss.” That’s like saying “I think n-words are racists.” The moron who wrote that needs to figure out what an I.D. card is, cuz I’m pretty sure white people don’t all use the same one at the bank.

    Social justice warriors constantly misapply metaphor and analogy. The weirdness of that is old SF is a perfect cure for that, because it constantly engages in perceptual shifts that keeps one off balance and on one’s perceptual toes. One cannot be intellectually dishonest. That’s why the idea old SF authors were racists is so ludicrously stupid. Their stories are packed with the opposite.

    Even frickin’ SF comic books from the early ’50s had this down pat; a great teacher. Many probably remember E.C. Comics “Judgement Day.” A representative of a U.N.-like org goes to a planet of orange and blue robots. He discovers their innards are exactly alike and one color discriminates against the other. He denies them U.N. membership until they get it right. He takes off his helmet in the last panel and is revealed as a black guy. That’s a simple but pretty powerful tool. Gerrib needs to read it until he gets it. Then he’ll find his arguments won’t always fly around but inevitably land in the same place: the stinking white man. What Gerrib and his crew need to do is put helmets on these feminists and PoC bigots and then listen to the words in a reverse application of that comic story. This is known as a tool of self-criticism. People with character and who wish to be intellectually honest do it, even seek such tools out. People who are racists have no desire for what might unmask them.

    In keeping with his “principles,” Gerrib has decided on a target in advance and then run backwards seeking cherry-picked examples to show that. We on the other hand got our ideas of the Golden Age from a simple comparison that is easy to make because we have no dog in the hunt. What would I care if Golden Age SF actually was racist and sexist or bad? I wouldn’t defend that because I don’t believe in an ideology that has pre-selected a race and sex for takedown. It is what it is. I have no investment in showing it any other way. The racists Gerrib provides cover for because he’s bought into their SFF as Jim Crow con game say it is what it isn’t.

    How fantastically stupid or racist do you have to be to look at Ferguson or the Oscars and come up with “apartheid” and “white supremacy”? Analogy, do your stuff.

  72. SBP: Those tropes and themes have all been done before, by much better writers. You and your SJW contingent are pretending that in the past the Evil White Men only allowed books with fixed gender roles to be published. That’s not just wrong, it’s a Stalinist-level Big Lie. I (and many others) are calling you out on it.

    You sound like you’re having a bad day. Can’t we just agree that different people like different books without anybody being Stalinist?

  73. “You sound like you’re having a bad day. Can’t we just agree that different people like different books without anybody being Stalinist?”

    Keep shifting those goalposts.

    This has nothing to do with “different people liking different books”.

    There is nothing whatsoever original about Leckie’s idiotic pronoun game, yet every review from the usual suspects lauds her for it. The same is true of most other recent SJW books. “Oh, she’s sooooooo brave and sooooooo original!”, when (whatever it was) was done 30 years ago by Varley or 60 years ago by Heinlein.

    Those are lies, my friend.

    What else would you call it? Be specific.

    I suppose you could chalk it up to brutal ignorance, but I don’t think that helps your case much.

  74. With regards to “Way Station” – I just purchased a copy of the latest edition. The book has been out-of-print since 1980 – the year I was in 7th grade, 35 years ago. It may have been the hottest book out in 1964, but it’s become by definition obscure. I note we’re not comparing its Amazon rank with “Redshirts.”

    Cpt. Carnage – Can’t we just agree that different people like different books without anybody being Stalinist? – well, *I* agree. I would also add that the voter pool changes. I’m not the only Hugo voter who wasn’t even alive in 1964.

  75. “The book has been out-of-print since 1980 ”

    So? You’ve heard of these things called “libraries” and “used book stores”, I guess?

    Don’t try to come across as an expert on the history of the field when you demonstrably don’t know the first thing about it. I read stuff that’s been out of print since before I was born all the time.

    “well, *I* agree.”

    Of course you do, because you’re just as intellectually dishonest as Carnage is.

  76. Don’t try to come across as an expert on the history of the field – good thing I’m not.

    just as intellectually dishonest calling people liars is a funny way to ask for the favor of voting them an award.

  77. This has nothing to do with “different people liking different books”. There is nothing whatsoever original about Leckie’s idiotic pronoun game, yet every review from the usual suspects lauds her for it.

    Well, I think different tastes is exactly what this is about. You think Leckie’s “pronoun game” is idiotic, and that’s your prerogative. I think it worked and the book was great, and that’s a valid opinion as well. Wasn’t this whole Sad Puppies thing about people getting to really vote for books they enjoy and are enthusiastic about?

  78. Gerrib: “calling people liars is a funny way to ask for the favor of voting them an award.”

    I’m not “asking” you for anything. I’m making fun of you. There’s a difference.

    I noted when I first entered this conversation that I think the Hugo’s reputation has been damaged beyond repair. I now view “Hugo Award Winner” as a signal to avoid the book at all costs, so why would I want a book I liked to get one?

    In the wildly unlikely event that I were nominated for a Hugo Award, I would refuse it.

    “You think Leckie’s “pronoun game” is idiotic, and that’s your prerogative. I think it worked and the book was great, and that’s a valid opinion as well. ”

    The salient point here is that it is unoriginal. That is not an “opinion”. It is a fact.

    Try reading what I wrote again. Slowly.

  79. Way Station: “The book has been out-of-print since 1980”

    Bullshit. There have been at least SIX new editions of the work since 1980. Doubleday SFBC, Gollancz, Collier, Del Rey, Easton, and Old Earth Books. The 2004 Old Earth Books edition is still available in hardcover from the publisher, and is thus STILL “in print.”

  80. I had no difficulty whatsoever in finding all six of the post-1980 print editions I cited on ABE in under 60 seconds, simply by limiting the author/title search to 1981 publication and newer. On a slightly deeper check using other sources, I find that it was also published in print in English as recently as last year as part of an Orion/Gateway Simak Omnibus [Gollancz/UK]. And there’s also the 2009 audiobook. I suspect a new US printing or eBook will be along shortly.

  81. My first and more important question was why not do a positive campaign instead of bashing winners you don’t like.

    What could be more positive than providing a list of recommended works and encouraging people to vote for them?

    Given your question, why would you criticize such a manifestly positive campaign or attempt to discourage Mr. Torgersen from providing more positivity in 2015? And frankly, your failure to praise the only work by a Native American nominated smacks of terrible racism and white privilege. You should really be ashamed of yourself.

    What’s amusing is to see how so many Sad Puppies critics leap back and forth between denying that the Hugo Awards are about literary quality and denying they are about popularity. If they are about literary quality, you can’t possibly justify many of the more recent awards. And if they are only about popularity,than how can you possibly claim that “Opera Vita Aeterna”, or anything else, for that matter, was not a Hugo-quality work?

    As it happens, THE LAST WITCHKING (which contains “Opera Vita Aeterna”) has a higher average Amazon review (4.3) than ANCILLARY JUSTICE (4.2) or REDSHIRTS (3.8).

  82. Pingback: Political Rift » A hot summer in SF

  83. Maybe the current publisher has the same Amazonophobia as what I’ve seen from other trad publishers.

  84. ” And there’s also the 2009 audiobook. I suspect a new US printing or eBook will be along shortly.”

    Other Hugo Winners that aren’t (yet) available in Kindle editions include The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Lord of Light, The Left Hand of Darkness , and Ringworld. All “obscure by definition”, according to Gerrib.

    The thing that’s hardest for me to comprehend about the whole situation is the belief (exemplified by Gerrib and Carnage, among many others) that calling a book the Best Novel of the Year somehow makes it the Best Novel of the Year. There was a scene in Starship Troopers about that, as I recall. The teacher/retired colonel gave Johnny a piece of paper that said “First Prize in the Hundred Yard Dash”, when he’d actually come in third or fourth (I think it was). Johnny was angry at the implied dishonesty inherent in such a thing. Our SJW contingent…is not.

    That, and the persistent claim that the Hugo choices are somehow elite material that only those with refined literary tastes can truly appreciate. Both Gerrib and Carnage have tried to trot that one out multiple times in this thread, despite the glaring counter-example of Redshirts. It’s high comedy, it is.

  85. Also Brad… the female in blog title graphic is an obviously sexual pose design to objectify her and therefore all women. That’s problematic.

  86. “Hugo Award Winner” has a different sheen about it, kind of a stink. It’s more the Tiptree Award now than the Hugo. They should just change it to the Butler Award. Not for Octavia, but for Judith.

    “Best Third Wave Intersectional Radical Feminist Fiction of the year” – Feminist Wire

    “Best SF Novel This Year Not Written By a Cis White Man.” – Jezebel

    “Dudebro Neckbeards Make Way. Girl Kooties Are On the Loose.” – Femleynisting

    “Marginalize This, Cis-Hets!” – Bore.com

    “Best Space Pre-Op Opera of the Year” – Andrea Dworkin’s Fat Dead Carcass

    “Can Someone Please Think About the White People? Ugh. LOL” – Aladdin Patreon

    “Finally, I can give matchless praise without the stink of apartheid and white supremacy.” – N.K.K.K. Saranwrap

    “Yahhhhh ya An Event Horizon That Bends Gender.” – Benjunun Stinkodingoiduejeicu

  87. VD: My first and more important question was why not do a positive campaign instead of bashing winners you don’t like.

    What could be more positive than providing a list of recommended works and encouraging people to vote for them?

    There’s a subtle hint of negativity when Brad complains about Hugo winners and nominees: “too boring, not adventurous or exciting enough, too little speculative or fantastic content, too much ideological preaching, and too little optimism”, isn’t there?

    Recommending works and encouraging people to vote with a positive rhetoric would be great. My guess is that a positive campaign could also accomplish more than the smear campaign this seems to be becoming.

    What’s amusing is to see how so many Sad Puppies critics leap back and forth between denying that the Hugo Awards are about literary quality and denying they are about popularity.

    Nobody can deny that Hugos are at least partly about popularity, and I don’t remember anyone trying to deny it here. It’s a popular vote. But it’s equally dubious to say that literary quality (or contents of the book or whatever you want to call it) doesn’t matter at all, because the most popular guys don’t always win. Charles Stross is enormously famous, but Neptune’s Brood lost to a debut novel by a non-well-known writer.

  88. snelson134: Maybe the current publisher has the same Amazonophobia as what I’ve seen from other trad publishers.

    Amazon is not structured for the kinds of searches needed for publication history, it’s structured to throw a whole bunch of stuff at you that MIGHT be what you’re looking for in the hopes you find more things you want to buy while looking for anything specific. So it’s problematic using them for ANY research purpose. ABE was born out of the old INTERLOC system which was originally for aftermarket booksellers, and so is structured to help find very specific things in the aftermarket. (So looking for eBooks there is pretty pointless …)

  89. But it’s equally dubious to say that literary quality (or contents of the book or whatever you want to call it) doesn’t matter at all, because the most popular guys don’t always win.

    Ha ha! Opera Vita Aeterna was the most literary of the entries in its category! The only reason it didn’t win is because despite all this so called progress, white voters still hate Native Americans. What you are really exposing is that the Hugo goes not always to the good nor the popular, but often to the one which is neither as long as the winner is a white woman (or occasionally a white male rapist.)

    Which means the recent Hugos have been exposed for what they are: in-crowd poster child politics. Hugo, if you were a rocketship award for sex, race and goodthoughts, my love, you would be the sort upon which the skulls of voters would be impaled for serious crime against minority dignity. There is NO PLACE in society for such pandering to the weak, and calling them strong. It is dangerous, racist and sexist and if the Hugos keep it up, their reckless politics will result in people dying needlessly. There will be blood on that rocket, and on the hands of the voters who wielded it so recklessly.

    Sad Puppies 3 may very well be the Hugo’s last shot at redemption. Voters simply must get it right this time.

  90. There’s a subtle hint of negativity when Brad complains about Hugo winners and nominees: “too boring, not adventurous or exciting enough, too little speculative or fantastic content, too much ideological preaching, and too little optimism”, isn’t there?

    This is the third year of Sad Puppies. By simply doing what most other authors had done, Larry Correia got attacked, repeatedly and viciously, in the international press. The negativity is on your side.

    Recommending works and encouraging people to vote with a positive rhetoric would be great.

    Great. I will be sure to do that and nothing more than that. Positivity means flow! Up with people! I’m glad to know you support my efforts.

    My guess is that a positive campaign could also accomplish more than the smear campaign this seems to be becoming.

    Smear campaign? Based on last year’s history, the only people likely to be smeared are people like me, Brad, and whoever is listed as the recommended nominees by Sad Puppies. Furthermore, you don’t seem to have any idea what Sad Puppies is intended to accomplish. I mean, it would be pretty stupid to insist that it’s about Brad winning Hugo Awards when he has openly recused himself from having any of his eligible works nominated. It must be about something else then, right?

    Nobody can deny that Hugos are at least partly about popularity, and I don’t remember anyone trying to deny it here. It’s a popular vote. But it’s equally dubious to say that literary quality (or contents of the book or whatever you want to call it) doesn’t matter at all, because the most popular guys don’t always win.

    Now you’re just babbling. You’re desperately dancing around trying to commit yourself to any concrete opinion because no matter what you say, it can be shown to be wrong. Look, the heart of the matter is that in recent years, the awards have been biased towards left-wing activists who are more concerned with politically correct politics and style than story. Those activists made the mistake of claiming that the awards meant they were real writers and we were not.

    And we are methodically disproving that. The voters made a HUGE mistake by not simply playing out the game at face value last year. They made false accusations, they cast ludicrous aspersions, they asserted it was fine to vote based on personal dislikes and politics, and now those have been established as the ground rules. It was a test and they failed it comprehensively.

    They set the rules. We’re just playing by them.

  91. I’ll join with VD here. Carnage is cheating in this debate. He’s refused to answer direct questions. He has also smeared the opposition, “There’s a subtle hint of negativity,” is a vile way of poisoning the well without introducing real evidence. And, as others have _documented_ here the negativity runs mostly the other way. He has also constantly moved the goal posts. As he’s asked for evidence and had it be supplied only to move the requirements further out.

    He’s concern trolling, as I’m sure VD and the rest are aware. It is however, vile.

  92. Well said. I used to be an avid Science Fiction/Fantasy buyer till around the mid 90’s. I just could not find the books I once loved so much. Conan type books? Gone. Magic and Fantasy became whining angst emotional crap. Men as heros? Gone.

    Vox Day and other authors of the the same ilk, have drawn me back and I am once again purchasing books. BUT only from certain authors and publishers.

  93. The Social Justice Warriors started this. They began by the mass defamation of whites, heterosexuals and men as a group. And that wasn’t some fringe, but Tor.com and the president of the SFWA. Then, if you said anything about it they called you a woman-hating racist and banned your comments. We stopped going to their blogs and to Tor.com more and more until now there is mostly just disengagement and long range sniping. The good news is there is solid evidence they have cost themselves sales to no purpose other than the freedom to act like bratty hateful children. Some of them have probably submarined their own careers before they ever got started and the only people taking their work are the “diversity” rags out there. They’re just too stupid to understand we’re signal boosting their bigoted remarks into wider arenas and that readers can read. How just is their cause when you can wreck it just by quoting them? There’s little doubt they’ve been banned too, but in different ways, the kind where people don’t say anything, they just go away. They’ve been ostracized by readers, a strange thing for a writer to promote – alienating their own readers. Why? To what purpose? What would it cost them to just shut up and write SF and talk about that? For all their bullshit talk, that’s the way it used to be. No one was attacking gay folks, women, and PoC – certainly not on any kind of institutional level.

    So now it’s game on. I play by their rules. I can’t talk in your arenas, I’ll create new ones and talk there… at length… at great and detailed length. I’ll quote your stupid fucking racist remarks every chance I get. Let potential readers decide if they’re “justice.” In fact what is behind all this and has powered the silly “trigger” and “privilege” rhetoric is a small group of “marginalized” who’ve successfully mainstreamed their hate speech into naive minds. Their Twitter feeds read like sociopathic psychos, like some old Boris Karloff movie where he vows revenge on the world.

    I only personally ever wanted one thing: to be left alone. Instead these morons have made core SFF a little Jim Crow country while whining loudly about an accidental white table of contents or book display. In turn their own Twitter feeds never shut up about recommending authors because they’re gay, non-white or women, the thing their hated enemies supposedly do but don’t. If you want to see a lack of diversity (a dumb concept anyway) just read about their awards for gays, anthologies for women, and symposiums for blacks. I don’t really care about any of that; live and let live. But they accuse others of doing that and go out of their way to punish them when they can. If they are so publicly up front about their collusions to discriminate, what do you think they do and say in private.

    They started this and we’re going to finish it. Evidently many editors at publishing houses are solidly behind their authors engaging in this. Were they real and actual editors, they’d take them aside and ask them to think why they’re writers. Is it to so diminish their careers they cease to exist? Almost none of these shits can quit their full time jobs and there’s a reason for that: they’re shits and make no secret of their hatred for their readers. They sit on Twitter all day defaming whites and then beg for money cuz they’re too lazy to get a job. Gaiman may have realized there’s a limit to this. Gaiman knows he doesn’t owe his career to nutty feminists but they may well wreck it. Costing one’s self sales is simply suicidal. It is evidence of fanaticism and obsession – like an addict who can’t stop. That doesn’t surprise me since so many openly admit to mental health issues. What a coincidence that is. The open and public mental breakdown on Twitter by a Hugo nominee shows how fucking crazy these people are, and how hateful. It was a guy, he was white, he was heterosexual, he didn’t subscribe to or kowtow to radical gay feminist rhetoric. End of story. So they got a couple of stiffs to host the awards straight from a nunnery they could’ve wheeled out on dollies on a block of ice. Fucking Lucille Ball was more edgy. No wonder they want a ’50s comics code for videos, the SFWA’s magazine and much more. Bad thought leads to bad thought so no bad thought. And no Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta and Wally Wood. In short, great artists had their careers submarined. Only by happenstance did Mad Magazine escape that destruction. Like then, great artists have been marginalized, but SJWs don’t control the market, so they’ve just gone elsewhere and actually make a living without feminist fuckery.

    The insane have literally taken over that small world. I love it when they Tweet and blog. The more they do the more they sink into irrelevance. At some point there’s diminishing returns there. Sure, promotion can sell books, but if there’s not something behind that, some good work, that’s eventually fails, and all that’s left is the hate. And the worst of them are basically on a lesbian music circuit they’ll never escape. Leckie can’t make a career out of that. She’s basically consigned herself to Judith Butler SF forever, because if she stops writing that, and going after cis-dudes, her career stops and is thrown over to the list of Tiptree names stricken off of Egyptian walls.

    For their part, SJWs somehow think us just defending ourselves defaults to homophobia, racism and hating women. Good luck with selling that bullshit. Not everyone is as dumb or psychotic as the average fierce feminist and their slobbering but wise Skiffy and Fanty eunuchs. If Tor has any brains, they’ll eventually insist Tor.com either disappear their Bourkian Stormfront section or stop using the name Tor. We’re readers morons. We buy books. We have money. You don’t want it. We’ve done not one single thing to anyone. What’s so hard about that to fucking figure out?

  94. Vox Day: Ha ha! Opera Vita Aeterna was the most literary of the entries in its category! The only reason it didn’t win is because despite all this so called progress, white voters still hate Native Americans.

    It didn’t come across as literary to me when I read it, but we all have our own tastes.

    By simply doing what most other authors had done, Larry Correia got attacked, repeatedly and viciously, in the international press. The negativity is on your side.

    By vicious attacks in the international press you mean the one critical article in Guardian?

    Last year, Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and Dan Wells finished last in their categories and you yourself lost to no award. Maybe, just maybe, a more positive campaign could have led to better results. That’s all I’m saying.

  95. Jonathan Ross, a normal guy with a wife and family was hounded off the Hugo Awards led by a cat-lady shut-in with mental health issues who is an ardent lesbian intersectional gender feminist. Normal family guy isn’t appropriate to host the Hugos.

    The initial email campaign and resignation over Jonathan Ross was led by an English ardent intersectional feminist for gay rights. Normal family guy, normal comedian equals resignation, inquisition and witchhunt.

    And other questions?

    If that’s the case, what literature is appropriate and inappropriate in SFF? Case closed. People need to stop pretending otherwise. If you haven’t done your homework, fine, no problem. Most people understandably don’t care about researching this nutty ideology. But that doesn’t give you the right to engage in a discussion with those of us who have done our homework. The interest these people have in SF in nominal. It is far down the list compared to lesbian radical intersectional feminism.

    I’ll say this again: almost 90% of last year’s nominees actively support this ideology, and that includes using its same specific vocabulary and rhetoric. Know your enemy.

  96. By vicious attacks in the international press you mean the one critical article in Guardian?

    The Guardian alone ran more than one article attacking Correia last year. To say nothing of all of the NEGATIVE blog posts and tweets that attacked him as well.

    Last year, Larry Correia, Brad Torgersen and Dan Wells finished last in their categories and you yourself lost to no award. Maybe, just maybe, a more positive campaign could have led to better results. That’s all I’m saying.

    As I already noted, you simply don’t understand our perspective. No Award was the best possible result short of actually winning a category. It underlined and highlighted Larry’s point. And the ground rules have been established.

  97. “. Maybe, just maybe, a more positive campaign could have led to better results. ”

    You sound exactly like someone giving advice to an abused wife about how to avoid pissing off her husband. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. You people have spent the last several decades screeching that anyone who doesn’t have the approved (and constantly changing) percentage of omnigendered were-crablice in their stories is a racist/sexist/whateverist, and now you’re expecting the victims of your little Stalinist pogrom to play nice. Not going to happen, my friend.

    As others have noted, your ilk has set the ground rules, and you will now reap exactly what you’ve sown. The Gods of the Copybook Headings are standing in the wings and preparing to take the stage.

  98. There are only two colors that matter in SFF. Black text on white background. And Gender ? It applies to pronouns.

    Can we just get back to writing stories that amaze and amuse ??

  99. VD: As I already noted, you simply don’t understand our perspective. No Award was the best possible result short of actually winning a category. It underlined and highlighted Larry’s point.

    Maybe I don’t get your intentions, then. What did Sad Puppy guys’ placing last prove, in your opinion? That the Hugo voters didn’t enjoy those particular stories? That they don’t enjoy that sort of storytelling? That you’re not famous enough? That they object to your conservative-ish politics? That they took offence at Vox Day’s being on the ballot? All of the above?

    SBP: You sound exactly like someone giving advice to an abused wife about how to avoid pissing off her husband.

    I’ll give you a Hugo for a fantastic analogy. I wouldn’t say abusing your partner is not the same as saying you disagree with some guys who write on the Internet about who should get a Hugo and who should not.

  100. Carnage, a little Google work would help you answer your questions. Larry Correia’s posted the reasons for Sad Puppies before and after the Hugos. If you want the answers to clear your ignorance, go find them. But here’s a polite hint: what makes you think our game is actually winning Hugos?

  101. Notice how Carnage once again fails at an analogy? They are unavailable to any human who prizes identity over principle. In fact asking Jews to kowtow to a league of defamation and saying that in the context of an abused wife is an apt analogy. We anger these people for one thing and one thing only: being male, white and heterosexual and not apologizing for our privilege and the East India Company, not to mention any crime straight white men do. By contrast, were we to do that by calling out blacks for crime, we would be pilloried. This is principle, that is identity; learn the difference.

  102. I came in last in 2014? That’s funny, the facts don’t support this.

    As to the contention that a positive campaign would have done wonders, while a negative campaign failed, I have to agree with Vox. Larry’s whole contention (with Sad Puppies 2) was to point out that the Hugos were politically skewed. That the voting bloc would split along political lines and there would be a lot of votes given for the political “good guys” and against the political “bad guys” for purely political reasons. Which would directly contradict the endless defensive noise about how the Hugos are not, in fact, a political award.

    So far as I can tell, Larry (and Sad Puppies 2) slam-dunked it.

    Anyone who says the Hugos are not politically skewed is living in a fog of cognitive dissonance.

    With SP3 my intention is not to prove the awards are political (Larry already proved it) but to merely push for some works and authors who’d ordinarily get ignored by the balloting bias. To include some very successful and/or deserving works and authors who aren’t necessarily on any “side” of this, but can’t seem to buy a Hugo nomination anyway.

    I mean, Tad Williams is 110% sided with SJWs, and he can never seem to get any notice at Hugo time. Which mystifies me, since Tad is a successful novelist and storyteller with an impressive track record, who has done much credit to the field.

    Yet, Tad’s not had a single Hugo nomination. Nor a Nebula for that matter. Not in 30 years of plying his trade. I am doing a WTF on that.

    Ditto Kevin J. Anderson. Ditto again, any other two dozen writers (right, left, and center) who have given their lives and life’s effort to SF/F.

    What seems to be argued (in this comment thread) is that you cannot point out the bias and the politics without becoming “negative” which sounds to me a lot like, “You should mention that manure stinks while trying to point at the flowers in the pasture.”

  103. Carnage, a little Google work would help you answer your questions. Larry Correia’s posted the reasons for Sad Puppies before and after the Hugos.

    Sure, I’ve read it. But his and Brad’s formulation are somewhat different, and I was also interested what Vox Day thought about this.

    In his blog, Correia wrote that his goals was “to get some political untouchables onto their sainted slate, so that they would demonstrate that there was serious political bias in the awards”.

    Brad seems to be on crusade against fiction that is “too boring, not adventurous or exciting enough” and offers “too little speculative or fantastic content, too much ideological preaching, and too little optimism”. Some writers he mentioned are Tad Williams and Eric Flint who (I think) are not political untouchables.

    These Sad Puppy projects seem to have some differences.

  104. I have never once seen Tad Williams and K. Anderson engaging in the Twitter network of intersectional defamation. There is your answer.

  105. Here’s SJWspeak that places identity over principle and therefore reality, fair play, the philosophy behind law and survival and any other intersectional stupidities.

    Planes fly into the Twin Towers

    SJW: “Are the Muslims in Iowa okay? We should form a circle around them.”

  106. “These Sad Puppy projects seem to have some differences’

    You mean, like, diversity? Real diversity? Of thought?

    Quelle horreur.

  107. “These Sad Puppy projects seem to have some differences.”

    Same tree, different apples. Some deserving authors don’t make it on to the ballot because they are not outspoken about their politics. Some will never win awards even if they don’t make it because they are the wrong kind of political. And those who do win often get the award for their political activism in their writing or for not being “cisnorm white male.”

    Those are, so far as I can tell, the primary assertions of Torgersen, Beale, and Correia respectively; but they are all directly related to the proactive SJW cliquishness of the awards.

  108. Maybe I don’t get your intentions, then.

    No, you don’t. I have repeatedly stated that I do not give even a quantum of a damn about winning a Hugo or Nebula Award. You can choose not to believe me, you can choose to insist that I secretly crave public respect and honor from those I contemptuously dismiss as cretins and rabbits, but I can assure you, I have never had any desire to win one. Not now, not last year, not 18 years ago when my first book was published.

    Seriously, do you guys never think through your own logic? If I think you’re all a bunch of inferior subhumans, why would I seek your approval?

    What did Sad Puppy guys’ placing last prove, in your opinion? That the Hugo voters didn’t enjoy those particular stories? That they don’t enjoy that sort of storytelling? That you’re not famous enough? That they object to your conservative-ish politics? That they took offence at Vox Day’s being on the ballot? All of the above?

    It proved that these days, the majority of Hugo voting is based on political identity, not literary quality or general popularity. It also proved that many of the Hugo voters took offense to Brad and Larry being on the ballot and tok particular offense to my being on the ballot.

    This was not surprising to any of us. This was not only expected, but was publicly predicted. The only question was whether the hatred of the pinkshirts for Larry, due to Sad Puppies, was greater than their hatred for me. That question was settled to our satisfaction and I proudly retain my title as Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil.

  109. “I proudly retain my title as Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil.”

    WE’RE NOT WORTHY!!

  110. It is not based on political identity. It is based on racial and sexual identity supremacy and disdain and those who support that ideology. When Charles Stross kisses the author of Hild’s ass by having her guest blog, he is supporting her bigotry which believes in the moral and spiritual inferiority of men, heterosexuals and whites. That’s not politics; it is hatred. That gets parlayed into a pat on the head and Hugo nod for Stross, who himself couldn’t think himself out of a telephone booth. Do you really believe a complete moron like Fox Meadows can think? Her talent is hating on straight white men and she makes no secret of that. Her Malzberg/Resnick post is straight off a KKK site if you change one or two key words.

    When you read Charles Stross write in the comments of a Tor.com Heinlein piece “there’s no equivalent of the American Black experience of abduction and systematic dehumanization with its subsequent (and incomplete) progress towards full civil parity,” it is clear the man has never even read a history book. It is yet another fascinating insight into the mind of PC water-carriers and how they throw a provincial net of Jim Crow over history as often as they yank it away according to a PC racial agenda.

  111. “No, you don’t. I have repeatedly stated that I do not give even a quantum of a damn about winning a Hugo or Nebula Award.”

    That someone would not actually want to be part of the hive mind is starkly incomprehensible to the True Believer (cf. Eric Hoffer). Carnage is playing the “But…but…but…if you just do what we say we’ll accept you!” game, and his type simply does not (indeed, cannot) understand why it doesn’t work.

  112. Mr. Torgerson,

    Thank you for your lengthy and considerate explanation of how you view the matter. I have been following some of the matters that you spoke of and agree that Elizabeth Moon got unfairly slammed and disinvited to Wiscon. While she might have phrased her points slightly more diplomatically, she was not blanket – condemning all Muslims in her post, as far as this reader could judge. As for Mr. Malzberg and Mr. Restock and their editor, I found their recollections of “lady editors” to be quaint and slightly biased towards their own interests in those days, but not actively offensive per se. Now, the Frazetta – like cover on the relevant issue would have made me go “that’s unprofessional” if I got that on a trade magazine, so I do see the complaints about that as more justified.

    On the other hand, in this very comments section someone characterized Seanan McGuire as a “crazy cat lady with mental heath issues and a lesbian…. etc.” While I have never met Ms. McGuire in person, I do follow her livejournal, listen to her (awesome) music, and read her books ( at least some of them). While she does indeed have four cats, well, I have three I have also struggled with lifelong depression and would not appreciate anyone using those facts to denigrate me. I do not know if Ms. McGuire is a lesbian or not, as it has never come up in her livejournal posts and besides that should not change my appreciation for her art.

    As for liberal vs conservative values, I have been married for 37 years to my first real boyfriend who I met at a religious college we both attended. I have six grandchildren and a son in the Air Force. And I live in a Midwestern town that is small and heavily farming oriented. All of that is why I become appalled at the tone of some of your commenters and all of Mr. Beale’s. So full of vitriol and sneering. This is not how Christ told us to deal with our enemies.

    Mr. Torgerson, from reading your book and your short stories, and now your blog, I find you an honorable person. Please don’t fall into the hole they seem to have.

  113. To me, the Sad Puppy Campaign’s biggest achievement has been to bring more voters to the Hugo Awards.

    That’s a good thing.

    A lot of people feel like they can’t participate in the Hugo Awards for a lot of stupid reasons. Many people feel they have to be a certain political persuasion or have hold a degree in literature or be a published writer or have read x number of books in the past year before they can participate. It’s just not true.

    I appreciate that many authors have tried to bring in women and people of color. Some of their efforts have been successful. Unfortunately, some of their efforts to “diversify” Worldcon have created more racism and sexism than what already existed.

    Sadly, many of them cling to methods to reduce racism and sexism that just don’t work. Bean counting diversity doesn’t work and leaves a lot of hurt feelings. Making certain that quotas are met is over-simplifying the problems of racism or sexism. Getting the numbers “right” isn’t going to change anything as long as people keep letting the past control their future.

    Seriously, do a google search and you will find that a lot of anti-racism and anti-sexism efforts have backfired horribly. For example, countering misogyny with misandry just leaves everyone feeling hurt and ready to lash out. Sadly, some people refuse to accept that they are causing more problems than helping.

    But maybe the real goal of the diversity campaigners isn’t to make Worldcon more accessible, but to make it more insular so they have a greater chance of winning. Requires Hate and a few other recent nominees certainly seem to be in this category.

    I feel, it’s better to increase the number of people who get interested and get involved.

    And there are a lot of ways to do this. Making people feel like they don’t have to hold a PhD in literature from the Ivy League in order to participate will make a difference. Helping people see that it’s okay to nominate and vote for what they liked is going to help. Introducing people to new authors who write entertaining stories is going to help. Being respectful to all the nominees, even when we don’t like the person or their work, is going to help. Most of all, helping people who participate in the Hugos and Worldcon have fun is going to help.

  114. ” As for Mr. Malzberg and Mr. Restock and their editor, I found their recollections of “lady editors” to be quaint and slightly biased towards their own interests in those days, but not actively offensive per se. Now, the Frazetta – like cover on the relevant issue would have made me go “that’s unprofessional” if I got that on a trade magazine, so I do see the complaints about that as more justified.”

    The “trade magazine” in question was for professional SF and fantasy writers, not a church bulletin.

    In your opinion were those transgressions severe enough to hound people from their jobs? Because that’s what happened, you know. Real people lost their jobs.

    “So full of vitriol and sneering.”

    They have been calling anyone who doesn’t go along with their agenda racist, sexist, and every other foul name in the book. For decades. Have you ever spoken out about that?

    Ms McGuire ginned up a twitmob to get Jonathan Ross disinvited from the Hugo Awards, not even because of something he’d actually said, but something she claimed to be afraid that he might say. That was also okay, in your book?

  115. Please forgive my typos in re: your name and Mr. Resnik’s — I am typing on my phone and the spellcheck apparently hates me.

  116. I’m laughing a bit at the assertion of “vitriol.” You should see the things people say about Beale…

    Also, quotation marks are for quotes, and that one isn’t.

  117. Mr. SBP —

    I know that both of the writers in the “lady editor” brouhaha did not rely on those columns for their daily bread. They have been writing long enough that they must be retirement age and I know both of them still have new book coming out. While the editor of the science fiction writers newsletter may or may not have depended on it for her living expenses, I would assume that it was not a fulltime job for her, either.

    And as a copy editor of a professional journal who gets to see the covers of a huge number of other professional journals, I can say that it looked stupid and childish. For a fiction magazine, yes. As a journal for professionals, no.

    As for Seanan McGuire, I do not think she whipped up a twitstorm. She tweeted her own personal worries about a man with a history of lewd and crude jokes on his television show. While others may have used her as a poster girl, that was not her intent at the time.

  118. It is not denigrating McGuire to point out she had a nervous breakdown on Twitter over precisely nothing. She is also a smugly arrogant and hateful gay supremacist, so her being gay is straight to the point. Maybe you should go back and read her comments in that Twitter meltdown. I won’t go into the occasions her fans were genuinely worried about self-harm because of remarks on her blog.

    Have you ever read her piece about “Straight cis white mens rights”? I have. About Men’s Right Activists: “Theyre bitter privileged white men who dont want to campaign for the rights of men – they want to campaign to keep their privilege unchecked and their ability to discriminate against others. If you want to be a real Mens Rights Activist – be a fucking Feminist. Peace out.”

    Do you see any names or citations or just group defamation? And how much justice is there in portraying Ross as a “white dude parade”? What’s a black dude parade? What does Ross being white have to do with anything. Are there any quotes from Ross denigrating non-whites in an ideological supremacist sense? If there were, then mentioning his race would be right to the point. Same thing with Men’s Rights Activists; whether you agree with them or not (and I have no use for them) when did they default to the KKK? What evidence is there that men without names – only skin and sex – are in anyway ideological racial and sexual supremacists. Really? All of them – supremacists? On the other hand since McGuire actually is an intersectionalist, her being gay is straight to the point. Her comments about whites, men and heterosexuals reek of condescension.

    I have a mountain of such quotes. Please don’t tell me my business again. My comments are always a direct reflection of quotes that are ready to hand. The only people denigrating SJWs is themselves and their remarkably racist and bigoted remarks.

  119. I am sorry about getting the comment about Ms. McGuire wrong in my earlier note. I was writing it on my phone, which has a small screen which does not allow for quick scrolling up multiple screens and capture of someone’s exact words. Which I will do now, and I quote “Jonathan Ross, a normal guy with a wife and family was hounded off the Hugo Awards led by a cat-lady shut-in with mental health issues who is an ardent lesbian intersectional gender feminist. Normal family guy isn’t appropriate to host the Hugos.”

    I don’t think that was the reason Mr. Ross was “hounded” from the Hugo Awards at all. As I saw in the whole discussion at the time, it was because he had a tv show that featured some crass and lewd and disgusting jokes on a regular basis (rather as if Johnny Carson had a really disgusting monologue/interaction with his guests) and that worried people who felt he might use this time to belittle and/or humiliate them, when it was supposed to be an awards ceremony. I clicked on some of the examples linked to, and I wouldn’t want him emceeing my award show either, if I were in charge of same. He may be a perfectly lovely family man and friend in person, but his public persona is not something I would want associated with my event. Of course, your mileage and sense of humor might not find him objectionable, but … meh.

    Now, as for characterizing Ms. McGuire as a “cat-lady shut-in with mental health issues who is an ardent lesbian intersectional gender feminist” …. Four cats does not a cat lady make, or else my friend the physicist is in trouble. If someone has issues with agoraphobia and depression, that can be called “mental health issues”, but, as I said, I have a diagnosis of life-long depression, and I’d hate for anyone to judge me less because of my fricking brain chemistry and the way this was said was in what I percieved as a perjorative manner. YMMV, again. I am not aware that Ms. McGuire is an “ardent lesbian” anything. As for being an “intersectional gender feminist”, well, aren’t we all, if we’re women? 🙂 Seriously, while I am perfectly happy being a wife and mother and grandmother, I know that there are people I love who do not fit into that neat little box. There is one person at least who is transgender, and I would never belittle him by believing that he has bought into a cultural miasma. His life and his struggles are real, and I have watched him battle them since he was six years old.

  120. Mr. May,

    I have been reading Ms. McGuire’s livejournal for years now. I may or may not be on all of her filters, as I am not a personal friend of hers, just a person who likes her music and books, so there is a chance that I am missing something which you, somehow, are seeing. I do not use facebook or twitter, so livejournal is my only source for what I know or do not know about her, her choices, and her life. I found what you said about her to be dismissive and said so. That is the end of my personal involvement with this question.

    Again, your sources may be much more inclusive than mine, and if so, I congratulate you on your persistence in reading material from someone you find reprehensible. Personally, I would add them to my ignore file and keep on reading people I do enjoy.

  121. @twilaprice: By your standards, I assume that someone who regularly uses terminology like “bigoted s***hole of a human being” probably shouldn’t be giving awards? Or, say, be president of the SFWA?

    As for James May’s evidence, you are making the case that your feelings about Seanan McGuire trump any actual facts; that may be fine for you, personally, but it is not acceptable to then make factual assertions based on those feelings.

    As for homosexuality and transgenderism, I find it ironic that you are willing to make claims based on the teachings of Jesus while conveniently ignoring the Bible’s teachings on those issues. You must choose one or the other.

  122. Mr. May —

    And I do not find “they used bad language first! and they’re mean! and hate boys!” a justification for acting less than politely in return. Two wrongs do not make a right. Not when my kids were little and not now. As far as I’ve been able to ascertain, both sides have said things that are hateful and petty and mean-spirited, which doesn’t up my opinion of either. As a person who loves science fiction of the old school written variety, who reads Baen books (and has since they first became a force on the market), who buys what interests her and damn the ideology of the writer (and that goes for SJWs AND Orson Scott Card, whom they vilify in what I consider to be ridiculous depths — he has never said he was homophobic, only that he opposes gay marriage and that homosexual acts are a sin, which …. yes they are, if you believe the Bible. But, again, love the sinner, not the sin.), I find this whole discussion of “I’m right!” “No, I’m right!” to be a distraction from the real purpose of science fiction and the Hugos — finding cool new books that entertain and expand our minds while we read them. And that’s why I spoke up in this comments section. Because I think you’re all acting like spoiled five year olds (except for our host, who has been nothing but polite and gentlemanly in all of his comments thus far).

  123. All of that is why I become appalled at the tone of some of your commenters and all of Mr. Beale’s. So full of vitriol and sneering. This is not how Christ told us to deal with our enemies.

    You’re a blatant liar, woman. Most of MY comments aren’t “full of vitriol and sneering”, let alone the comments made by ALL of my commenters. You’re just another fork-tongued, concern-trolling SJW attempting to cut one of those you perceive to be weak out from the pack with a feeble appeal to approval.

    Do you seriously think we haven’t seen acts like yours scores of times before?

  124. Let me tell you something about people with mental health issues: my compassion dries up right at the point they decide to join an informal cabal in a tiny SFF community and go at straight white men 24/7, 7 days a week. They openly collude to discriminate. I can give you a list of 30 names. If you can tell me when they give straight white men even one day of rest, let me know. Considering their interest is ostensibly about SFF, that spells obsession, hatred, and fanaticism; about what one might expect of a KKK SFF club. Imagine how a Jew would feel if they had to listen to that from the TOP institutions, editors and award nominees of SFF. Get a grip.

    And after you do that, show me even one – just one person from among SFF’s institutions who goes at gay black women 24/7, 7 days a week. Please stop acting like this is a he-said, she-said. This is a matter of actual quotes, not an opinion. I have compassion for people with mental health issues, but not sociopaths. If I limited myself to only the last 4 years – which is when this feminist nuthatchery really got started – and only award nominees, I’d bet money the racist and sexist quotes by SJWs would outnumber their opposite numbers 3,000 to statistical zero. Of course to arrive at that you’d have to use a dictionary, not punching-up privilege theory that lets SJWs slide away clean. One has to be a moron to think “cis white men” is ever used as anything but a slur, and its use in SFF easily numbers in the thousands. Why? How is that in any way related to genre fiction? Well, it is if you’re a crazy gender feminist.

    When you’re finished reading that, name me one anthology, award, or initiative of any kind whatsoever in SFF dedicated to whites, men or heterosexuals. And you failed to tell me what Ross being white or a man has to do with his career on TV. She did not object solely to the possibility of lewd remarks, but to his very sex and skin. As for researching reprehensible people, call the Southern Poverty Law Center and tell them to stand down.

  125. 1) Their age is irrelevant.
    2) Whether they have other sources of income is irrelevant.
    3) You didn’t answer the question.

    Were those alleged offenses serious enough to hound them from their jobs? Yes or no?

    As to the “childish” nature of the illustration, it was for a cover story on “Warrior Women”. I could provide a representative sample of how “warrior women” have been depicted in SF, but I think we both know that the cover illustration was entirely representative of the topic of the article. Should that change? Sure, we could have that conversation, but that’s not what happened, was it? I note in passing that no one ever seems to complain about (e.g.) 95% naked Conan pictures or the “unrealistic body image yaddayaddayadda” presented by those.

    You were going on about “vitriol”. Shall I copy and paste some of the obloquy that was directed toward Resnick, Malzberg, and Rabe?

    “She tweeted her own personal worries”

    She picked up a microphone with an audience of 12,000 and went into a spasm of screeching rage. There’s a difference.

  126. @s1al (I hope I spelled that right)

    While I know what the Bible teaches about homosexuality, I have never yet seen a verse which speaks to transgenderism. Perhaps, in my several beginning-to-end perusings of the Bible in several different translations, I missed them somehow. As a Christian, my personal philosophy is that God judges. He knows what He knows, and what is in one’s heart. Man cannot. So while I can judge someone’s actions, particularly if they are very apparent and destructive to others, such as rape or murder, I can never judge that they are worthless in His sight. If you live a Christian life, but are transgender, who is to say that you are not being the person that God made you to be? Not me. Maybe you yourself are able to judge the worthiness of others, but I don’t think so. We are all sinners and we all fall short.

  127. Mr. Beale,

    I am not a concern-trolling SJW. I am a person who happens to disagree with you. I began reading your blog after your Hugo nomination, and I thought, for a while, that you had very valid points. I read your short story and picked up a few of your other books. While I thought that your story was interesting, the ending fell flat for me, as I had not read the novel which (presumably) makes it meaningful to the reader.

    Then I began to notice that you seem to be fixated on violent takedowns of people you seem to hate. Hate of Mr. Scalzi (who is a perfectly nice person in person. I have met him at two conventions, though, again, I am not his friend, only a sometime reader of his books AND I should say that I, as a person who has survived sexual assault and who is nervous around men in consequence, have never felt threatened by “McRapey” in the slightest), of Mr. Hines (who, again, is a sweetheart in person, though I am not what you would call a friend and I am not fond of his books, per se, though I do enjoy the newer libriomancy series), hate of various other people (the “Toad of Tor”, who is a friend of a friend, although I personally have never met her nor corresponded with her). That bothered me. I started to only check into your blog posts on irregular intervals. Most of your regular commenters seem to enjoy flaying and otherwise making horrible comments about these people, and I found that to be nasty and disgusting.

    I have no particular love for “social justice”, given that I have a huge “invisible backpack of white privilege” of my very own and I’ve seen some cases where I’d swear the person of color was the prejudiced one, but….

    I prefer to be open and honest in all of my dealings, both on the internet and in person. I do not pretend to be anyone I am not. I do not say what I do not mean. I do not troll. And if you think otherwise, you are wrong.

  128. Mr. May,

    I know that I’m asking for it, but there you go — please supply me with your list of 30 top names that are vilifying men. I would like to verify your statements with my own eyes. (Though do not expect me to access twitter or facebook — blog posts are fine, since those I can read.) I suspect that I will read their words in a different light from you, but one never knows. I am willing to believe what I see in their words and statements.

  129. Ms. Price you are confusing critiquing an actual individual as a supremacist with saying an entire group is supremacist based on nothing more than their race and sex. One is based on actual quotes and observation, the other on negative group profiling and defamation. There is not one single Jew who makes up the Anti-Defamation League but thousands, and there’s a reason for that which has everything to do with “they’re mean and hate Jews.” Get it? I just don’t see the difference between hating Jews, men, whites or blacks. If you can articulate what that is, please inform us. Telling bigots to go jump in the lake after reading their insulting remarks about my skin and sex isn’t two wrongs but a right thing following a wrong. I think you need to read the mission statements of the Anti-Defamation League and GLAAD and they tell them your two wrongs theory.

  130. Then I began to notice that you seem to be fixated on violent takedowns of people you seem to hate.

    Please. Every single one of those “perfectly nice” people you mention were attacking me, in the Toad of Tor’s case, rather viciously, before I’d ever even HEARD of them. In fact, the Toad of Tor may now be a misnomer, because it appears she’s been fired for being so nasty online to various editors from other publishers. If they hadn’t attacked me, I’d never have paid them any attention at all.

    I’m very, very easy to get along with. Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. There are scores of people in SFWA who can’t stand me, but do you see me ever mentioning them? You appear to be a very poor judge of character.

  131. You and I both know you won’t go through 30 people so what’s the point? You don’t strike me at all as someone who’s sincere so do your own homework if you’re just going to dismiss it. Start with the Twitter feeds of last year’s Hugo nominees. Half the 30 are sitting right there and there’s one helluva lot more. Since you don’t seem capable of understanding the difference between one person with an actual name and millions named by race and sex, the entire exercise will be pointless. You are immune to actual quotes. What would you do with more?

  132. Brad: I came in last in 2014? That’s funny, the facts don’t support this.

    The Sad Puppy people were last in the novel, novella and novelette categories, your two stories ending up next to last.

    That the voting bloc would split along political lines and there would be a lot of votes given for the political “good guys” and against the political “bad guys” for purely political reasons.

    Alright, so Correia wanted the candidates on his slate to lose (because you guys think that it proves a point). Then they lost and you were satisfied.

    There’s one problem with this narrative, though: nobody can really know why people voted the way they did — did they give their votes for purely political reasons. I’m sure some voters made a political choice (and some of them were open about it), but we don’t know how many of them there were, and how many simply didn’t like your stories. I belong to the latter group, and my guess is that it’s the bigger one (but that we can never know for sure).

    You seem to suggest that when people leave politics aside, they vote for the Sad Puppy guys quite often and the fact that these guys lost is proof of voters voting for wrong reasons. Why exactly you think you are entitled to that sort of following among Hugo voters, I don’t know.

  133. Mr. Beale,

    I may or may not be a very poor judge of character.

    For example, I have never met you, so you may be the coolest dude on the planet and someone I’d enjoy talking to; you may be the evil person the SJWs claim you are. I have no idea and I will not have until and unless we meet in person some day. Until then, I can only take your written words as an indication of who you are. I do everyone the honor of assuming them to be honest, truthful and willing to assume goodwill on all sides until I see proof to the contrary. Some of your statements have made me wonder if you do assume goodwill on the part of the people you disagree with. Perhaps I am naive. Perhaps I am foolish. But I live in a nicer world this way, in which I do not automatically assume people have hateful motives until I actually see them behave in hateful ways.

    I can only say that I have met both Mr. Scalzi and Mr. Hines in person and in their interactions with me they were both perfectly amiable and nice. Mr. Hines I have had slightly more interaction with, as I’ve been to a few of his readings at local bookstores, and he has been sweet and friendly and a good teller of tales. Obviously, that doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, except that *in my personal interactions face to face* both men have impressed me as people I would not be afraid to spend more time with.

  134. Mr. May,

    You are making unwarranted assumptions about me and about what I will or won’t do. I would in fact be happy to start with five names, and I know two of them already (Ms. McGuire and the Foz Meadows post that was linked to above as an example of vitriol). I do not read Twitter. I do not read Facebook. This will not change just to make you happy. If you can’t supply me with three other names of prominent female science fiction writers that you feel defame all men in total as a class, and/or links to where they said what you’ve quoted (at least in most discussions I have seen on the internet, the people involved link to the part they are quoting so that the reader can verify it him or herself), I do not feel that I can continue to discuss this with you. I am a person who goes home from work and deals with cooking for her family and spending time with her grandchildren, so I don’t have a whole lot of time for argument for the sake of argument. I am also not to be swayed by repeated assertions of what you claim are facts and which I have not personally verified for my very own self.

  135. “Alright, so Correia wanted the candidates on his slate to lose”

    You still don’t get it. Whether anyone actually won or not had nothing whatsoever to do with Correia’s point, at least as I saw it. That was not the purpose of the exercise.

  136. “I can only say that I have met both Mr. Scalzi and Mr. Hines in person and in their interactions with me they were both perfectly amiable and nice.”

    Try disagreeing with Scalzi on his blog, no matter how politely you may phrase your disagreement. You’ll soon find out how “nice” he actually is.

    Ted Bundy was universally agreed to have been a charming young man.

  137. Gentlemen. Mrs. Price has been civil here. She disagrees on some things, but she has been civil. May I steal a line from Excalibur and recommend that we not fight to the death against someone who is not our enemy? The single biggest wrong the SJWs commit, is to treat everyone who is not an avowed, zealous ally, as an automatic enemy. Mrs. Price has voiced her concerns and there ought to be room (in this thing) for disagreements which are stated without rancor. Disagree with her if you must, but I would not make it acrimonious where no acrimony need exist. Again, that’s SJW territory. If we let them make us into mirror images of themselves . . . well, that doesn’t help is, nor them, nor anybody, for that matter.

  138. You seem to suggest that when people leave politics aside, they vote for the Sad Puppy guys quite often and the fact that these guys lost is proof of voters voting for wrong reasons. Why exactly you think you are entitled to that sort of following among Hugo voters, I don’t know.

    Uh, yeah. It’s called Amazon. It’s like you don’t even check your facts.

    Your inability to recognize or acknowledge the heavy self-selection bias of the Hugo is rather telling of how honestly you are engaging in this discussion.

  139. I do everyone the honor of assuming them to be honest, truthful and willing to assume goodwill on all sides until I see proof to the contrary.

    Very well. Here is your proof about Mr. Scalzi:

    “Scalzi himself quotes it at over 45,000 unique visitors daily and more than two million page views monthly.”
    – Lightspeed Magazine, September 2010 interview

    The proven fact is that in August 2010, Mr. Scalzi’s blog was averaging 12,860 page views per day, which is FIVE TIMES LESS than the 64,516 daily page views he was publicly claiming.

    Are you now satisfied that John Scalzi is neither honest nor truthful, Mrs. Price?

    And speaking of politics and negativity, Cpt. Carnage, here is Scalzi back in 2005, before I had ever heard of him.

    “From what I know of Beale’s politics, he’s a jackass, and a fairly ignorant jackass at that. I feel pleased that my own politics, to the extent that they play any role in Nebula selection, are likely to counteract his (indeed, inasmuch as I sat on the short fiction jury this year, and we nominated a story by Eileen Gunn, it’s more than likely). Were you to join SFWA, provided you meet the entrance requirements, at the very least you could take pride in knowing you are also diluting the influence of this jackass on future Nebula Awards.

    Do you still want to insist that the awards are all about the literary quality and the readers’ simple preferences, and not the politics? You see, not only do we know that what you’re saying is not true, we’ve known it hasn’t been true for over a decade. So do stop trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

    Ironically, as those who were on the Nebula juries with me have publicly testified, I was one of those who did not let politics influence my voting. Unlike Mr. Scalzi, among others. Why weren’t you criticizing them for politicizing matters 10 years ago, Cpt. Carnage. Why are you still not criticizing them?

  140. Thoughts on Tie-In series novels: Much like short stories appearing in Asimov’s or Analog was the gateway to new authors for many people, Star Trek and Star Wars novels were to me. They were my introduction to authors like Barbara Hambly, C J Cherryj, Vonda McIntyre, A C Crispin and Greg Bear in the ’80’s. Because of those novels I went out and grabbed other stuff by them.

  141. I didn’t make an unwarranted assumption. You yourself said you’d interpret them differently than me, which is itself an unwarranted assumption which suggests I am routinely incapable of understanding what group defamation is.

    I don’t know what you mean by “do Twitter.” You don’t have to belong to Twitter; you just Google their name and Twitter and read the feed. 90% of this war is on Twitter, the rest on blogs. I generally don’t count Facebook because I don’t consider it a public arena. I occasionally use quotes from there to bolster a point.

    Read “It’s not a real heart, it’s a real artificial heart” by Ann Leckie. Come to your own conclusions. If you consider that nothing than it would be pointless to cite more.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center’s definition hate speech is speech which reflects beliefs and practices which attack and malign an entire class of people, usually based on what they were the day they were born, meaning race and sex. If you consider Leckie’s metaphor to be a fair-minded critique of 100 million men, then that’s that.

  142. Me: Why exactly you think you are entitled to that sort of following among Hugo voters, I don’t know.

    Soga: Uh, yeah. It’s called Amazon. It’s like you don’t even check your facts.

    No, it isn’t. Amazon doesn’t tell what Hugo voters like. I know there is a huge number of Larry Correia fans, but they are not Hugo voters.

  143. I’m like Kamas. Tie-ins were some of the first SF I ever read in book form. They were absolutely a gateway! Specifically, Brian Daley’s Han Solo books in the Star Wars universe. I read Han Solo’s Revenge right after reading the novelizations for both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. That was in 1984. I was 10 years old. And I kept on going, eventually getting into the Pocketbooks Star Trek line, at the same time I was reading technothrillers. Eventually I began branching out to original SF like the marvelous STEN books by Bunch & Cole, as well as the works of W. Michael Gear. Thus, by the time I graduated HS I was reading Niven, and then Vinge, and Kim Stanley Robinson, John Varley, Bujold, etc.

    So I have never understood the bias against tie-ins, at Worldcon. Never. It’s pure snobbery, from what I can tell. A legacy prejudice that should have died a long, long time ago. And never did. So the culture that embraces tie-ins (and the rapid evolution of SF beyond the halls of “fandom”) kept on keeping on. While Worldcon was content to just ignore this entire (explosive) segment of the genre; and the audience which enjoyed that segment.

  144. Cpt. Carnage – That’s pretty much exactly the point. You have 1-4 of 4 possible situations here:

    1) Hugo voters are completely disconnected from the mainstream when it comes to tastes in writing, ergo the award is effectively meaningless.

    2) Hugo voters are intentionally voting against quality works based on the tangential qualities of the author (politics, religion, sex, nationality, etc)

    3) Hugo voters are intentionally voting for mediocre/lower-quality works based on tangential qualities of the author

    4) Hugo voters are voting based on sociopolitical stakes rather than literary and storytelling merit, rendering the award meaningless as a measure of quality for readers

    The entire point of Sad Puppies is to demonstrate this.

  145. I don’t think snobbery against tie-ins is a big deal. They go back quite a way. I think Theodore Sturgeon was drunk when he wrote Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and 2001 is empty. I wouldn’t recommend Avengers Battle the Earth-Wreckers. The problem is TV and film by its very narrative nature and mass appeal tends toward blandness and to make for an even worse novel. If you disagree then let’s write in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. books for a retro Hugo.

  146. Amazon doesn’t tell what Hugo voters like. It actually doesn’t tell what SF readers in general like. There are lots of SF readers who buy their books in actual stores (independent and chain) or via other online outlets. Larry Smith travels to a number of cons here in the Midwest hauling around a truckload of books. I have to assume he sells enough to make a living. So, Amazon ranks are not the gold standard of sales nor are pure sales numbers the gold standard for awards. If they were, McDonalds would be the world’s best hamburger and a Toyota would be Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

    Regarding Hugo voters – we always have a significant international voting bloc, some of whom are nominating based on what’s available in their countries. What’s available on US Amazon may not even be available on, say the Dutch version.

  147. Pingback: Sad Puppies 3: Only a few days to register to vote | Monster Hunter Nation

  148. It actually doesn’t tell what SF readers in general like.

    It actually does, some outlier who sells books out of his trunk being statistically irrelevant.

    “f they were, McDonalds would be the world’s best hamburger”

    Again with the Redshirts = cordon bleu nonsense. You don’t actually care how ridiculous you make yourself look, do you?

    Time to get a new script, dude.

    “we always have a significant international voting bloc”

    Yes, people in Uzbekistan are huge Redshirts fans.

    Your spinning becomes more pathetic by the post.

  149. Gerrib’s use of logic is like a fly pinned to a board that argues it can fly wherever it wants to. His definitions of words like “harass” and “bigot” fly wherever they want to while imagining they are pinned in place. Read any convention SJW language about harassment for that. He couldn’t be an SJW without those two things.

  150. s1al: Cpt. Carnage – That’s pretty much exactly the point. You have 1-4 of 4 possible situations here:
    1) Hugo voters are completely disconnected from the mainstream when it comes to tastes in writing, ergo the award is effectively meaningless.
    2) Hugo voters are intentionally voting against quality works based on the tangential qualities of the author (politics, religion, sex, nationality, etc)
    3) Hugo voters are intentionally voting for mediocre/lower-quality works based on tangential qualities of the author
    4) Hugo voters are voting based on sociopolitical stakes rather than literary and storytelling merit, rendering the award meaningless as a measure of quality for readers

    Fair points, although you may have coined them a bit negatively.

    It’s true that there’s some difference between average Hugo voter’s and casual genre reader’s reading preferences, otherwise the commercially most successful works would probably always win. Does it mean that Hugos are meaningless? Well, maybe, if you don’t like about the stuff that tends to win. It’s just an award, you don’t have to pay attention if you don’t want. On the other hand, the system is open for everybody who cares about SFF seriously enough to cough up a few bucks. It’s a special global audience of very enthusiastic science fiction fans and I think it’s great to have that kind of award around.

    Situations 2-4 are more or less the same thing — you don’t vote for what you like most. I really doubt that there’s a significant number of voters doing this sort of machinations and calculations and completely ignoring whether they like some works or not. Of course we all have our own priorities and some people read with a more political mindset than others. It’s still about what sort of stories and writers we enjoy.

  151. I’m happy, however, if Sad Puppies campaign gets more people to vote for the Hugos. I don’t agree with much of Brad’s reasoning in this post, but getting more people to participate would be a positive thing. Maybe there can also be some sort of constructive dialogue between the sides that there really wasn’t much of last year. Brad seems to be a more diplomatic kind of guy than Correia, so I guess he is a good choice to represent the movement or whatever it is you have here.

    All the best.

  152. I can speak to the issue of tie-in novels from the perspective of someone who has been reading sf since 1958 and who was gosh-wowed to death by the original Star Trek series. I bought all of the tie-in books (at least the first twenty or thirty automatically and then as interested by the blurbs) and loved them, but they were in (and still are, no matter how well-written, as in Diane Duane’s Rhihannsu books or John M. Ford’s jaw-dropping The Final Reflection– both of which inform my personal head-canon on Romulans and Klingons to this day) a different category in my mind than SCIENCE FICTION. Doesn’t matter that a real sf writer wrote them (and most of my favorites were in fact written by people who write/wrote original sf novels) — these are not science fiction. They are tangential to science fiction. They do not require or show the same amount of world-building and characterization that a good sf novel should have. They take something someone else has created and build upon it — and even when the erection is a wonderful story, it’s not the same.

    Obviously, this is a really old school reaction, but it’s how I have always viewed the matter. I mean, I bought the very first Star Wars novelization and thought it was awesome (not so much the movie, which was just … okay) but it wasn’t the same as a real sf book to me.

  153. SBP:

    When I was picking up my badge at Worldcon, I was standing in line with a group from the Netherlands. One of the main trackers of Hugo voters, Nicholas Whyte, is a UK citizen from Northern Ireland living in Belgium. You may not like the fact that Hugo voters aren’t all Americans, but it is a fact. Given that 40% of 2014 attendees were from the UK and they were the largest single nationality represented, availability in and tastes of non-US voters really matters.

    Your assertion that Amazon is a reliable indicator of SF sales is just that, an assertion that happens to be amazingly free of supporting facts.

    Redshirts was my #3 ballot choice, so I am not defending it as cordon bleu. I have been saying since the get-go that awards for quality are not the same as awards for most units sold.

  154. Oh, and I happened to like Redshirts quite a lot. It was funny. It skewered Star Trek in an affectionate way, and while I didn’t agree with how it ended, I enjoyed the journey. It probably wasn’t the best novel of that year, but I didn’t vote in the Hugos that year (or any year, as I don’t go to conventions and I’m only tangentially in organized fandom) so I suspect the voters liked it better than the other nominees. Their call, after all.

  155. If they were, McDonalds would be the world’s best hamburger and a Toyota would be Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

    Actually, Amazon stars would rank Omaha Steaks gourmet hamburgers ahead of McDonalds if McDonald’s was rated by Amazon, and Motor Trend’s Car of the Year (VW Golf) offers a roof rack on Amazon, and it too is two to three stars ahead of Amazon’s higher-selling Toyota Roof Rack.

    Dismissing the star system at Amazon as a sheer numbers vote is a fundamental misunderstanding of their reviews. Stars are a measure of “substantial, evidence-based” popularity, not necessarily of high sales. Reviewers there have just enough skin in the game to make them a good board off of which to test awards.

    Award winners that diverge from their natural Amazon rank can do so for many reasons: one important one can be in some instances that the darling of an award committee is not the darling of readers. This may be due a book not being good, but appealing to other politics.

    I’ve demonstrated this with ample evidence in a series of posts over at Castalia House.

  156. Debating this issue has become almost pointless. The analogy is like debating the Civil War with one side – the SJW side – having at most only half of them aware the Civil War existed. That unaware half see only the aftermath of an event that never happened. An event as been hidden from them but nonetheless mainstreamed into their consciousness. Nevertheless the unaware half are just as passionate as the aware half. From the outside they speak with one mind and present a solid front.

    The other side – the Sad Puppies side – is basically unaware the Civil War happened. They are challenging that aftermath without ever having heard of Sumter, Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery, Lee, Grant, or the surrender. It never happened. You cannot debate the Civil War if it never happened. It only follows you cannot win such a debate. It’s similar to our response to 9/11: Wahhabi Saudi operatives attack us and our solution is to attack Iraq and Afghanistan. That would be like General Grant launching operations against Mexico while the Confederate Army occupied Minnesota unopposed.

    You are doomed to failure because you are up against a specific ideology with a specific purpose and specific goals. You do not speak its language, you do not know its ABC’s. You do not know that language even exists. There can be no plan of attack or solution – no victory.

    That is why I recommend wholesale quarantine. What you do know is the symptoms. Anytime you hear “diversity” and “privilege,” just lock it out. Simple. That’s a win. Just walk away. That’s the only way to win this. Because then the phantom army only barely seen must come to you, and you see just enough of it to lock it out.

  157. Chris,

    You are also grossly misrepresenting the Hugo Voter. Attendees make up a tiny proportion of the voting membership, in fact, an attendee is less likely to be a voter than the supporting memberships, which are purposed primarily to have a say in the awards. The US is the voting gorilla that can’t be ignored. Look at your own chart again – you fumbled what the figures really mean pretty badly.

  158. I liked Redshirts, so did a few of my friends we were collectively shocked when we saw it won a major award. Because to us it struck us as a huge guilty pleasure cheesy book, which is what I believe Scalzi was going for. Normally the Hugo’s and most awards I complain and my friends left/right go well yeah of course they value art/ideas over a fun plot what do you expect awards are always that way. Meanwhile Redshirts pretty much everyone was like what the heck did this book seriously just win because it’s Scalzi.

    Now as far as attacking AJ just because it’s authors toxic agenda isn’t that what “they” do to “us”, I mean it’s true that is her agenda but still rate the book on the value of the book. Personally I wasn’t really a big fan I felt the book was…boring…it liked showing me it’s idea’s over and over again but took forever to get to the plot which was decent enough but not blowing me away like I was expecting based off the rave reviews. I have the same problem with Heinlein too sometimes; the difference is, Heinlein normally has more ideas and less pages so it’s more bearable.

  159. “Your assertion that Amazon is a reliable indicator of SF sales is just that, an assertion that happens to be amazingly free of supporting facts.”

    Other than the supporting fact that it is an actual and verifiable measure of sales, rather than a bunch of anecdotes about guys selling books out of their trunks and some person you happened to be standing next to in line?

    Yes, those are some amazing “facts”, all right.

    If you have sales data from a reliable source that demonstrates that Amazon sales figures are non-representative of sales for the market as a whole, post it. Otherwise, STFU.

    ” awards for quality are not the same as awards for most units sold.”

    The Redshirts vote reflected neither quality nor number of units sold. So what does that leave? Be specific.

  160. When Gerrib talks about “white privilege” and Paul Weimer wants to “smash the patriarchy,” trust me, they are unaware of Audre Lorde and Charlotte Bunch whose flag they carry. Nevertheless they are just as firm in their beliefs, but for completely different reasons. They have been sold a bill of goods and believe they are fighting some analogy to Jim Crow. They are the classic “useful idiot,” the camp guard that will eventually be burned with all the rest.

    In fact what they are supporting is an ideology that ironically has a feral and fundamental hatred and phobia of them that is an analogy to a pro-Jim Crow, a KKK, and Gerrib and Weimer are on the wrong side of the line. They are “normative,” and so an oppressor by default. Notice how Alex MacFarlane and Liz Bourke never go to bat for people like Gerrib and Weimar the way Gerrib and Weimar go to bat for MacFarlane and Bourke. That unequal relationship exists because it is tacitly agreed there must be more of one and less of the other. In feminist lingo, white straight useful idiots are suiciding the genre they created, because intersectionalism stipulates racial and sexual ownership of a thing. The problem there is the new landlords are Marching Morons, not Heinlein and Herbert, not Vance and Bradbury.

    It is a marvelous deception and has been stunningly successful in being mainstreamed into the American consciousness. Just imagine if the KKK successfully mainstreamed themselves as anti-racism; what a wonderful gift that would be for them, handed over on a silver platter by idiots. How much more wonderful if they had black people fronting for them; better yet some gay women.

    This is essentially what you’re up against. That is the delicious stupidity of a white heterosexual woman triumphantly Tweeting no white men won an award. She forgot there is a “straight” and “white” in “straight white man.” She forgot there is no real place at the table for her at WisCon, even though that is where her career is headed, and that of Leckie as well. They’ll find scant solace from that crowd. They will oversee non-white writing grants judged by racists, grants useful idiots will never be able to touch. The Carl Brandon Society they support has no place for them either. Women Destroy Science Fiction will reject their voice since they are only useful idiots, temporary “allies,” not truly one of “them.”

    Right now the “allies” supporting this ideology are unaware they will find themselves increasingly marginalized, some rejected at the least misstep. Don’t look for Requires Hate and her own supporters that are still out there to ever support the useful idiots; they hate them. Ask yourself why Hate and her crew are still out there. They’ll be back, most of them never went away. How could they? They are top of the Frankenstein totem pole the useful idiots themselves helped construct, like digging their own graves.

    What you’re seeing is the transformation of old core SFF into the equivalent of a lesbian music circuit, except the real circuit isn’t particularly hateful. This is not a lesbian problem but a lesbian KKK that hides in fake anti-oppression movements the way the KKK can hide among regular folks by doffing the hoods and shutting up. Hatred aside, that analogy to the music circuit is obviously a thing that is economically and artistically self-limiting due to simple demographics. Plus you can’t pie-chart and affirmative action talent. That’ll never work. No one’s going to watch a shitty Star Wars cuz it had a black gay director and gender-droids. No one would’ve ever paid attention to an intersectional Harry Potter, Twilight or Hunger Games.

    Napoleon once said something like you can’t fight the same army too much because they’ll eventually learn your tactics. Eventually that will happen here, but we aren’t there yet, not even close.

  161. “Look at your own chart again – you fumbled what the figures really mean pretty badly.”

    He’s also ignoring the fact that Redshirts (the book under discussion) was awarded the Hugo at LoneStarCon 3 in San Antonio, Texas. Unless Zombie General Santa Ana has returned without me noticing, that’s still in the United States. I wonder what the demographics looked like for that one.

  162. “I don’t think snobbery against tie-ins is a big deal. They go back quite a way.”

    I find it rather amusing, since Redshirts is nothing but a Star Trek tie-in itself; even the title would be meaningless without the existence of Star Trek to make it an in-joke.

    You can put all the lipstick Mary Kay will sell on that pig; it’s still a pig. If the make up artist in question weren’t one of the “more equal than others”, it would have sunk without a ripple.

  163. “I find it rather amusing, since Redshirts is nothing but a Star Trek tie-in itself; ”

    I’m sure Tor’s attorneys would deny that. Vehemently. There were probably numerous meetings to discuss just how far they could go without getting sued by Paramount.

  164. While Redshirts is a parody of Star Trek (quite blatantly), it is also its own beast. Rather like Galaxy Quest is a fun movie even for those who don’t get the allusions (my grandchildren, for example). I think it does work as a standalone work, though of course your milage may vary.

    As a point in its favor, to compare and contrast, I just read Stephen Erikson’s Willful Child, which is also a Star Trek parody novel, and it was much more over the top and dependent upon the source material — it wasn’t bad, but I really thought the parody was too blatant and the worldbuilding was too ridiculous to make it as much fun as Redshirts. (Plus, the character I really wanted to see a lot more of got fridged early on. Poor K-nine expy, we hardly knew ye.)

  165. Some people may remember the original redshirts idea was exploited in the first Austin Powers movie which is from 1997 I think. Although its been mostly cut out of some versions of the movie, they had a running gag where the expendable dead henchmen’s wives and kids found out they were dead and they had scenes addressing the sorrow. Every TV version since it was released has that cut out, at least the ones I’ve seen. So a few minutes of a film that were later thrown away becomes the basis for a Hugo winner. Not one thing Scalzi has ever written, fiction or non-fiction, has made me laugh. He is a supremo redneck who’d have velvet paintings on his walls if someone hadn’t already made fun of them and warned him. I understand some people find him humorous. His comments section is filled with people who actually find him wise, which suggests they would have to be twice as smart just to be morons. But some people find Pratchett funny while I find his humor to be suitable for a six year old. Mad Magazine was adult compared to that. “Ankh Morpork?” Really?

  166. Mr. May,

    I have visual issues that mean certain websites do not agree with my eyes. The more chopped up it is (e.g., 140 character twitter; facebook’s culture of one or two lines), the harder it is for me to focus on it. This is a physical fact due to birth damage to my eyes.

    Okay. According to this: “Read “It’s not a real heart, it’s a real artificial heart” by Ann Leckie. Come to your own conclusions. If you consider that nothing than it would be pointless to cite more.”, I have gone and read it. What in fact is she asserting in this piece that sickens you so? She says that in her opinion the state of affairs in science fiction is like unto a lovely restaurant in which women and people of color, etc. are randomly punched in the face. Most people who are NOT women/people of color/etc. do not take this seriously, because it does not inconvenience them and they like the food a lot, so “what’s the problem, sister?” When a restaurant comes along that does not give someone a punch in the face, and women/poc/etc. say how cool that is, the same people who did not see it as a problem then ask “why is this so great? it’s the same food, just without the punching you guys didn’t seem to mind in the first place”. I do not see that as saying that all white cis men are horrible pricks and should die in a fire. It says that there are issues that women and people of color (etc.) perceive in the field we all love and that when something comes along that makes them happier, some folks who liked the field the way it was are not going to like it. That seems like a pretty sane and cogent argument to me — that women might just like a more girly sf (Bujold for the win! Space battles and romance, too! Yay!) and that it’s not wrong to want that. That people of color might want a few heroes who aren’t all Aryan white supermen (I’m looking at you, Doc Smith!). That gay/lesbian/whatever gender folks might in fact like a hero/heroine who isn’t automatically cis by default. That other people might like things you do not, and that’s okay.

    I certainly have never said that I hate or despise any of the writers who write manly man man sf — hell, I read some of those books and enjoy them quite a bit. I ate up the Sten books back in the day. I’ve read my share of Heinlein and Clarke and good lord, almost anyone who was writing between 1900 and 1990, I’ve given them a try.

    But I still do not see why I can’t read Ancilliary Justice and like it (I wasn’t blown away by the gender issues so much as the tour de force of having a character who was both singular and a multiple-bodied AI and making me believe that while I was reading it — pretty damn cool, imho) and then read David Drake’s newest novel and like that, too. I do like female heroes in my fiction, sure. But I also like action and adventure and I adore old school books like H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quartermain and She, which wouldn’t be kosher in the SJW world, now would they? Horribly Victorian and sexist and racist and colonial imperialism out the wazoo. And guess what? I don’t care. I like what I like. I read things that appeal to me. I don’t expect you, or George W. Bush, to like them if they don’t appeal to you. I just think that this whole “them against us” mindset I see on all sides is silly and wrong.

    This is my point here — I like a lot of disparate books. I like them a lot. I don’t see why it has to be either/or. I think the world would be a lot better if people did not make it black/white and us/them. Like the photo I once saw of Irish Protestant protesters spitting on little Catholic girls (maybe five or six years old) who were routed through their neighborhood on the walk to school. What the fuck did those little girls do to deserve that? Didn’t the grown up protesters think that maybe they could garner some good will by actually being NICE to those girls and showing them that not all Protestants were horrible haters? But no. They had to show these girls that they were hated for being who they were, and that the girls had every right to hate them back. Stupid. Short-sighted. And destructive all around.

    And I think that a lot of people in this discussion are being too short-sighted. We all love science fiction. We all love it or we wouldn’t read it or write it. So Ann Leckie thinks it’d be better with more feminist elements. So Larry Correia likes it manly and full of action. Not right. Not wrong. Just matters of what floats your particular boat on that particular day. (For the record, I’ve read books by both.)

  167. Also, Mr. May,

    Terry Pratchett is hilarious. I adore his books. Auto-buy all the way. No, his humor is not for everyone. But at our house, one of the new Christmas Eve traditions is to gather together with hot cocoa and watch “Hogfather” as a family. We all think it’s awesome. Even my Neanderthal-who-makes-conservatives-look-super-liberal husband. (I may not be totally on board with his politics, but he certainly has good taste in literature. 🙂

  168. Mr. Torgersen,

    I’m sorry I’m being long-winded here, but I feel strongly that some of the contentious speaking is just … mean-spirited. I appreciate your blog and your approach and while I don’t agree that tie-in novels are science fiction, I do think you should continue to campaign to get them on the Hugo Ballot if you think they should be. I also applaud your ideals in thinking of nominating long-term authors who have not been recognized for their works, even though they have written some dandy fiction. There are a lot of authors who write great stuff and go unrecognized by the Hugo and Nebula panels. I don’t think anyone disputes that. (Or maybe that should be “should” dispute that.)

    Well, heck, I came across your name in the lead up to last year’s Hugos and I bought your short story collection and *knew* that you were a writer I was going to follow, because your stories are awesome. I pushed “The Chaplain’s War” onto my husband because I knew he’d love it. (I even let him read it first, which is a big sacrifice on my part, since I read much faster than he does.) And he did. I did. So in one way, the campaigns have borne fruit by giving people who didn’t know about one author or another a heads up that there are some mighty cool authors out there who might otherwise have never come across their radar.

    So there’s that. Even if I still think some people have way too much time to debate things online and are taking some matters too far. I hope you don’t mind if I continue to read and occasionally comment on your blog.

  169. As for Seanan McGuire, I do not think she whipped up a twitstorm. She tweeted her own personal worries about a man with a history of lewd and crude jokes on his television show

    Some blogger somewhere got around to checking the time stamps. Johnathan Ross withdrew from the MC gig in the middle of the night, US time. The twitstorm was mostly local. McGuire’s first post on the subject was several hours later. She just happened to be the most prominent personality to post a memorable reaction.

  170. Robinson is and always has been the superior storyteller (vs. Scalzi) and there is no way you can convince me that Redshirts was a better story than 2312. Or Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance for that matter.

    I preferred the Bujold that year, but I found 2312 to be very imaginative world building in desperate need of a story. It was my first Robinson novel, so I can’t speak to his usual storytelling abilities, but just comparing Redshirts and 2312, I thought Redshirts was better at storytelling, and a better novel in general.

    Neither you nor anyone else actually believes that Redshirts was the best novel of that year. No, not even the people who voted for it. Scalzi himself would deny it, if you got him hooked up to a polygraph.

    Scalzi himself has pointed out that the key to winning a Hugo isn’t to write the book that some think is the very best, but to write the one that everyone things is reasonably good. If everyone puts you on the top half after their favorite, you stand a good chance of winning, unless everyone has the same favorite. I placed Redshirts third on my ballot. Clearly I thought there were two better books, but I’m not unhappy about the result, it was an OK choice.

  171. Redshirts? Even Scalzi (with whom I have quarreled) had his fingers crossed behind his back on this one. It was fanfic with ambition. Take away Scalzi’s popular blog, and Redshirts would never have even made the short list.

    The only man to have won a Hugo lately who seems like he has a realistic shot at immortality, is Neil Gaiman. And not because he was blessed with a Hugo, but because the Hugos decided to ride on Neil’s coat tails in 2009. Gaiman doesn’t need the Hugos. The Hugos desperately need Gaiman.

    I think Neil Gaiman had already reserved his place among the SF immortals well before 2009.

    I think Scalzi also placed a work into the long-lived canon years ago with Old Man’s War, which didn’t win a Hugo. It may turn out to be a situation like A Canticle for Liebowitz where we remember the title much better than the name of the author.

  172. There is no point in engaging such a sadly racist and man-hating ideology that thinks N.K. Jemisin, John Scalzi, Seanan McGuire, Kameron Hurley and Ann Leckie are talented or wise voices.

    Whatever the Wisdom of their blogs and tweets, I’d say that Scalzi and McGuire have exhibited a fair amount of talent as novelists, and for the most part their work doesn’t reflect ideology any more than Eric Flint’s. Well… Mira Grant’s novels anyway, after reading McGuire’s nominated short stories, I’m not inclined to try a novel. You can see a glimmer of Flint’s politics in 1632, but it’s still a great book. Scalzi’s Lock In does feature a stunt in which he doesn’t reveal the sex of one of the characters, ever. It was such a dreadful, novel destroying stunt, that I had to tell people about it because they hadn’t even noticed while reading the book.

    Scalzi’s fiction just doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with If You Were a Dinosaur My Love.

  173. I’m sure they did…. almost as long as Gygax’s attorneys did on how to include halflings. Of course, there’s lawyer-reality, and then there’s reality-reality.

  174. “What in fact is she asserting in this piece that sickens you so? She says that in her opinion the state of affairs in science fiction is like unto a lovely restaurant in which women and people of color, etc. are randomly punched in the face. ”

    Because that is a lie that only a psychotic person could take seriously.

    No one has ever “punched her in the face”. She is a privileged western white woman with a horde of online sycophants who tell her she’s great 24/7/365.

    Yes, I have said unflattering things about her book. I’ve also said unflattering things about Old White Guy John Scalzi’s book. So?

  175. She says that in her opinion the state of affairs in science fiction is like unto a lovely restaurant in which women and people of color, etc. are randomly punched in the face.

    Which is a deeply ironic statement, given that I have been the person of color most often metaphorically punched in the face by the white men and women in science fiction for the last ten years. Some of those white people are so racist and science-denying that they even attempt to publicly deny my ancestry and claim that I am one of them. I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart that Ann Leckie is willing to speak out on my behalf.

  176. “I think Scalzi also placed a work into the long-lived canon years ago with Old Man’s War”

    Old Man’s War, 2007. Amazon sales rank: ##2,755

    Ender’s Game, 1985. Amazon sales rank: #637

    Survey says: no.

  177. “McGuire’s first post on the subject was several hours later. She just happened to be the most prominent personality to post a memorable reaction”

    First: link to “some blogger”.

    Second: even if that’s true, you’re suggesting that it’s okay to scream “burn the witch” as long as the witch is already dead.

  178. “Scalzi’s fiction just doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with If You Were a Dinosaur My Love.”

    Scalzi is definitely a better writer than the typical Hugo- and Nebula-winning tripe of today. At his best, he takes ideas that have been done before by better writers, files off the serial numbers (or not, in the case of Little Fuzzy, which was a straight ripoff of a work that had entered the public domain), recasts the hero as a Sensitive New Age Guy, and cashes the checks.

    But he can actually write to some degree. I’ll give you that.

  179. “I think Scalzi also placed a work into the long-lived canon years ago with Old Man’s War”

    Old Man’s War, 2007. Amazon sales rank: ##2,755

    Ender’s Game, 1985. Amazon sales rank: #637

    Survey says: no.

    A Canticle for Liebowitz has a rank of #7,931 in Books. Surely we can agree that it is part of the canon. Nor am I entirely convinced that Amazon sales reflect how the fan community regards canon. I certainly recommend it to people, along with Starship Troopers and The Forever War.

  180. “A Canticle for Liebowitz has a rank of #7,931 in Books.

    A Canticle for Liebowitz is 54 years old.
    Old Man’s War is 8 years old.

  181. “McGuire’s first post on the subject was several hours later. She just happened to be the most prominent personality to post a memorable reaction”

    First: link to “some blogger”.

    Second: even if that’s true, you’re suggesting that it’s okay to scream “burn the witch” as long as the witch is already dead.

    I’m not sure if this is the same blogger but the content is similar:

    http://www.thismess.net/2014/03/seanan-mcguires-angry-mob.html

    To correct my previous statement, Ross didn’t formally withdraw until after McGuire responded, but he had offered, and it sure looks to me like we can attribute most of the tempest to people posting in the daytime in the UK timezone, and that Stross and PNH (who was up really early or really late) probably had more to do with it than McGuire.

    I’m not justifying McGuire’s behavior. I’m simply stating that it has become part of fannish folklore that she is responsible for Ross’ withdrawal. It was stated earlier up-thread, and it really isn’t a very good representation of the truth. Why McGuire and not PNH?

  182. “Scalzi’s fiction just doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with If You Were a Dinosaur My Love.”

    Scalzi is definitely a better writer than the typical Hugo- and Nebula-winning tripe of today. At his best, he takes ideas that have been done before by better writers, files off the serial numbers (or not, in the case of Little Fuzzy, which was a straight ripoff of a work that had entered the public domain), recasts the hero as a Sensitive New Age Guy, and cashes the checks.

    But he can actually write to some degree. I’ll give you that.

    Well yes he can write, but so can Rachel Swirsky. The dino story was written by someone who can write; that isn’t what makes it a train wreck. By not deserving to be lumped in I mean that Scalzi largely meets the goals of the Sad Puppies campaign. Scalzi generally aims to be entertaining to a broad audience and puts story first. If You Were a Dinosaur my Love is pretty much the poster child for what it is that is making the puppies so sad in the first place; it isn’t actually even a story.

  183. A Canticle for Liebowitz is 54 years old.
    Old Man’s War is 8 years old.

    Both tend toward infinity years old in the ephemeral world of modern publishing.

  184. “To correct my previous statement, Ross didn’t formally withdraw until after McGuire responded”

    Okay. Thanks for admitting it.

    ” it sure looks to me like we can attribute most of the tempest to people posting in the daytime in the UK timezone”

    Now we’re getting into which stone in a stoning actually killed the victim. That’s why stoning was a popular punishment — the theory being that you couldn’t blame any one individual for the victim’s death. My take, on the other hand, is that every member of a lynch mob is guilty.

    “I’m not justifying McGuire’s behavior. ”

    Yes, you are.

    PNH deserves plenty of blame, too, but then there’s plenty go to around. McGuire came up in this thread because she is a writer (which PNH isn’t). We could have a whole thread of this length just about the Nielsen Haydens.

  185. “Both tend toward infinity years old in the ephemeral world of modern publishing.”

    Ebooks are forever. Just look at the contracts that the modern publishing houses are trying to push.

  186. “Well yes he can write, but so can Rachel Swirsky.”

    By “can write” I mean something beyond being able to type English words one after another. Scalzi can tell a story, more or less.

  187. McGuire launched her tirade as soon as she woke up, an hour before Ross actually quit, not after. The only reason others were in on it before her is because they live in the U.K. and were awake. McGuire’s breakdown was by far the most insanely opposed to Ross. I have never seen an adult behave like that. Certainly if they had at, let’s say a comedy club in the middle of a performance, they would’ve been carted away by men in white suits.

    As for liking Leckie’s post, which is a more calm version of the same defamatory paranoia of white heterosexual men, great. You live in America and can like what you want, including SFF’s version of Stormfront and its crying Twitter troopers and demonizing gods/devil metaphors typical of Nazi Party propaganda about Jews. Aryan white superman? Really? No wonder you have no trouble with such rancid metaphors.

    The fact we live in an America where people can’t tell the difference (which is crucial) between critiquing an individual with an actual name, and racial and sexual groupings of tens of millions of people at a time is sad. There are no Aryan white superman in Doc Smith, but there sure as hell is an analogy of that in people who say so.

  188. Ms. Price doesn’t really understand the battle that is going on here. It is really simple.

    One group arranges their thoughts and moral ethos around the idea of principle as opposed to identity. No one gets a pass. There are no burglars innocent by reason of being under 5 ft. tall. Police don’t hand out speeding tickets only after first verifying the race and sex of the driver. The speed limit is the same for all. This is called equal protection. It is the basis of all law and fair play.

    The second group is our social justice warriors. They are identity addicts. They are incapable of seeing past skin and sex. That does not include those who hide among them who simply hate a certain race and sex. No woman, no non-white, no gay person is ever truly immoral. They are treated like some kind of entity incapable of the type of behavior white straight men are, and which is invariably negative. The separation of the two is distinct and reflected in the horrid intersectional ideology which is the sea SJWs swim in. They create false women-hating homophobic Jim Crow counties that don’t exist. Naturally their reactions to that are equally false. Nothing remotely like that has ever existed in SFF. I’m not surprised someone has to make up false assertions about Doc Smith to get there. It’s the only road to a non-existent world.

    The simple truth is Ms. Price is unable to account for why SJWs routinely separate out white straight men from other humans and negatively profile them 100% of the time. Not 56%, not 71%, but 100% of the time. What are the Las Vegas odds of that being simple observation based on neutral principle? The odds are 0%. The same odds blacks and Jews have in the KKK and American Nazi Party. By all means enjoy the books of these great Americans. Don’t forget to turn out the lights when the genre’s finished. The lights are certainly out in core SFF. The people in it are too redneck dumb to create or maintain an intelligent and artistic genre like SF. Lights are coming on elsewhere.

    I have no interest in convincing Ms. Price. All the good will in the world is worthless without principle. The fact she contradicts her own assertions in a single post speaks to that. Why spit on Doc Smith? What did he do? Wrong neighborhood? She also can’t figure out the difference between wanting to see yourself and asserting that’s the fault of white racists men.

  189. Twila: I hope you don’t mind if I continue to read and occasionally comment on your blog.

    Me: Goodness, no, I don’t mind a bit. You’re most welcome here. I apologize if the tone of the thread as a whole has been a bit hard at times. Many different people obviously have very strong feelings about all of this. I suspect it’s because every SF/F fan feels that SF/F has become part of themselves at some level. And this identity (ownership?) has deep roots. We react strongly if we feel the roots are somehow threatened.

    And thank you again for being an enthusiast about my fiction. I am honored, and I hope my stories and books earn every cent of your investment. Now, and in the future.

    As to your comments on tie-ins, I suspect we will just have to agree to disagree. Apples to oranges, perhaps? I count tie-ins as being “of the body of SF/F” just like I count paper-and-dice gaming, anime, and so forth. If it looks like SF/F, walks like SF/F, and talks like SF/F, even if it may be tangential (like the Pocketbooks Star Trek line) I count it as SF/F. To include the stories told therein. I am not sure why a Diane Duane original should count any more (or less) than a Diane Duane Star Trek book. That’s just how I feel about it. I know (among Worldcon attendees) I am in the distinct minority as a result.

    Way back before I even dared to dream of being a professional SF writer, all I ever wanted to do was write Star Trek novels. So part of me remembers that desire, and how much fun I had doing Star Trek fan fiction. Which, in the end, was a necessary first proving ground for my skills. Just as when I wrote scripts for a little home-spun SF radio serial that was being produced at KRCL-FM community radio. Yes, I was working in someone else’s world. But I don’t think that made what I was writing not-SF as a result.

    YMMV and JMHO.

  190. Don’t forget to check out “Mansplaining” on youtube by one of Scalzi’s favorite bands, The Doubleclicks. Rednecks are the gift that keeps on giving. No word on when they’ll come out with more biting satire like “N-wordsplaining,” “Jewsplaining,” or “Muslimsplaining” cuz soft targets. Here’s the thing about satire: it takes no prisoners. If it’s always the same target and that target is 100 million people, it’s just group libel. Talented group. The Doubleclicks deserve a Hugo, because “Mansplaining” is as much SFF as Hurley’s Hugo Award-winning group libel muffin about non-existent female armies erased from history by a jealous patriarchy. Also no word on when Hurley will bumrush the Draft Board and insist on equality.

    http://www.thedoubleclicks.com/2015/01/20/new-song-mansplainer-jonathan-mann/

  191. ‘No one has ever “punched her in the face”. She is a privileged western white woman with a horde of online sycophants who tell her she’s great 24/7/365.’

    Let’s unpack this a bit more.

    1) She is so white that she’s practically transparent.
    2) She lives in “St. Louis”, no doubt in a white suburb. I’ll wager a very large sum that it isn’t the hood.
    3) She has a husband who apparently makes enough money that she was able to be a stay-at-home mom and futz around with a novel for six years.
    4) She graduated from Washington University, current tuition $44,100/year.
    5) She’s won every major SF award, and has a three book deal.

    (before anyone starts with the “doxxing” nonsense, all this stuff is straight out of Wikipedia)

    She’s more privileged than probably 90% of the people alive today, and probably 99% of the people who have ever lived. So what makes her such a huge victim? The mere fact that she has a vagina? Someone said something bad about her book? What? Who, exactly, has “punched her in the face”?

  192. “I’m not justifying McGuire’s behavior. ”

    Yes, you are.

    No. I am not. I’m not endorsing her reaction, nor suggesting that it was less peculiar because she wasn’t the prime cause of his resignation.

    I am pointing out that a simple narrative has come to be regarded as fact that McGuire pitched a fit and Ross withdrew because of it. He had already offered to resign before her first tweet after a flurry of Twitter messages exchanged in the middle of the night. It sure looks to me like that simple narrative isn’t correct, and it isn’t even more correct than not.

  193. “Well yes he can write, but so can Rachel Swirsky.”

    By “can write” I mean something beyond being able to type English words one after another. Scalzi can tell a story, more or less.

    I’ve read another story by her when it turned up on a Hugo ballot. As I recall, I wasn’t enthusiastic, but it was an actual story.

    I would compare the dinosaur story to a fully qualified pilot choosing to fly a 747 into a cliff.

  194. “Both tend toward infinity years old in the ephemeral world of modern publishing.”

    Ebooks are forever. Just look at the contracts that the modern publishing houses are trying to push.

    Yes ebooks are forever, but that’s not particularly relevant to my point. My point is that for most SF novels, eight years is a long time.

    It’s really too early to definitively state that Old Man’s war will have a long-lived spot in SF canon, but it’s not doing badly and is still available on paper.

    The Hugo winning novel for the year OMW was nominated, 2006, is Spin by by Robert Charles Wilson, which is #44,117 in Books. Another contender from that year is doing somewhat better at #2,399, but it’s A Feast For Crows, which has the whole Game of Thrones juggernaut behind it.

    BTW, OMW was published in hardcover in 2005. The 2007 I quoted earlier must be for the paperback edition that Amazon offers.

  195. The biggest problem for me with the “punched in the face while at a restaurant” analogy is that it just doesn’t work when applied in my own life.

    I’m LDS. I suffer from clinical depression. 99.99% of all entertainment media I have access to depicts people who 1) Definitely are -not- LDS and 2) Definitely do not suffer from clinical depression.

    Is my only option -really- “Take this is proof that the creators of fiction HATE me, want to ATTACK me, and MUST be banned and replaced with nothing BUT fiction depicting clinically depressed LDS people, because there’s no possible WAY I can relate to or enjoy anything else”?

    ….I don’t think that works.

    Part of being a reader is realizing that most book are in it to be bought, so they have to aim at the widest demographic.

    Do I object to more diverse characters? Not at all. My favorite fantasy series in recent years featured a transgender woman as the protagonist. And it was set in what definitely was -not- a European setting.

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting more diversity. There -is- something wrong with demonizing everyone and everything who don’t fit into your own particular niche, especially if one resorts to lies, slander, reverse-bigotry, and outright attempts at career assassination. Which is what far too many of the current tribe of extremists are trying to do.

    And they’re so blinded by their own hatred that they have rendered themselves incapable of seeing anything that isn’t specifically aimed at them as anything but spite.

    It’s sad. In the end, they’re actively harming the goal they put lip service to while making enemies of those who could have helped it.

  196. “because there’s no possible WAY I can relate to or enjoy anything else”

    It’s amusing that Leckie chose to write about gender-confused Frankensteinish alien critters rather than a character who was actually “like her” (i.e., a white suburban St. Louis housewife).

  197. That’s another thing I’ve noticed about the SJW SF crowd. They really, really, REALLY hate humans.

    The apex of this was probably that huffy, puffy Tor.com article about how Star Trek: The Next Generation depicting Data, an android built in human form, by a human, who was a part of a crew of humanoids want to BE human was the WORST THING EVER.

    Why? Because humans suck and Data should have been encouraged to be a sparkling, singular special snowflake instead.

    (The in-universe explanation that when his creator tried making an android that didn’t see humanity as all that, it ended up becoming a super-villain didn’t seem to register.)

    That’s another thing that makes me distrust the movement and its tribe…the self loathing and self hatred. They call it “awareness”…what in the world is “aware” about despising one’s innate nature?

    Habits can be changed, but I -can’t- change being human. No matter how much the SJW crowd likes to pretend it’s possible.

  198. Leckie chose to write about French Queer Theory in space and that’s all it was. I’m surprised she didn’t name a spaceship the Simone de Beauvoir. Dworkian Space Opera doesn’t have much of a future but let’s see what Leckie can do without an intersectional crutch. The truth is this: not one single writer of that Social Justice Warrior crowd has ever done a single thing without either pompously advertising their own identity or supporting such identities. Thrown back on sheer talent, there’s just nothing there.

  199. Mr. Rogers,

    My sympathies on the clinical depression, one sufferer to another. It sucks giant pond rocks.

    And it’s true that there are few depictions of depressed folks as protagonists in genre fiction.

    I would even say that depictions of any protagonist who has a recognizable real-world religion are few and far between — at least if we are talking admirable, heroic, worth-rooting-for protagonists. It’s almost as if being a card-carrying Christian is a trait of villains only.

    On the other hand, she says, I do know that for the longest time ever (while I was ten and fifteen and twenty and even twenty-five) I could not find books that featured women in starring roles, or as people with agency — oh, yes, there were books that said they did that, but it was only window dressing and the women who were “heroic” ended up with babies and husbands in the end. (Not that I dislike babies and husbands, mind you, but sometimes you just want to see the girl ride into the sunset with her faithful horse, hound and best sword, to presumably adventure another day. Just like all the guys get to.) This is not to say that I disliked all the books I read that didn’t have that aspect to them, because I love my Heinleins and my Clarkes and my Pournelles and Nivens and and and… But it’s refreshing to see a book which gives me lots of women with different roles (reading right now: City of Stairs, in which a woman is the government agent investigating a murder; a woman is the military governor of the occupied city; etc. etc. etc.) where none of them are in any of the “gendered” roles that happen when one writes more conventional fiction. I think that it’s possible to want that and not be a slavering horrible feminist man-hater, as some people seem to be implying. To be able to put myself into the story deeply and without the mental dissonance of trying to “assume” a different gender — I can do that when I read romance, yes, and it’s nice then, but why can’t I want that for my SF jones?

    I really think that this is the big stumbling block in some ways. It’s not “the way the greats did it”. Yeah, because the majority of the great sf writers were white cis males. Not all. I love me my Judith Merrill and Leigh Brackett and C. L. Moore stories — oh, and Andre Norton. Andre Norton rocks on toast and I love her space operas with a love that has not dimmed in 40 years (though she, yea, even she wrote totally male-centric stories more often than not in the Golden Age — cf. the Solar Queen books, which I have very recently glommed again). And, yes, they did give us a few heroines that were really cool, but were they reprinted? Put in canon? Available to the average kid on the block? No. They were not. I was lucky enough to have a friend whose parents loved sf, and who had a library I could ransack. So I found these few shining stars, but it took a long time for others to join them.

  200. C.J. Cherryh and Anne McAffery’s books rarely, if ever seem to go out of print. They’re also far more likely to turn up on the mass market paperback shelves at a store than some of the male authors you name.

    “Gendered roles”…how are you defining that? Nobody’s been able to give me a consistent definition, other than it’s something evil straight white male Christian men created. Because they’re just so darn evil. 🙂

  201. “I think that it’s possible to want that and not be a slavering horrible feminist man-hater, as some people seem to be implying. ”

    I think it’s possible to want that, too, and see nothing wrong with it.

    However, that’s not what we’re actually getting from these people.

  202. I have an idea for a wildly improbably SF story: one million women march on Washington. They insist on parity and an end to gendered roles and to be made eligible for the draft. They tour Vet’s Hospitals and are outraged at the lack of diversity and the failure of women to insist on an equal distribution of duty to one’s country. They lie down on freeways and make everyone’s life miserable until the President signs a new law making women equal partners in war. These women pursue this goal with single-minded intent and passion. These women insist their right to vote be put at risk just like men who don’t sign up for the draft at 18. They form extra-legal star chamber kangaroo courts that symbolically abrogates their voting rights and call it “vote culture.” Undaunted, these women form militia groups and finance their own uniforms and training in an act of illegal defiance.

    Then it turns out it was all an acid trip and these women go back to writing about the unfairness of “mansplaining” and “manspreading” and how the Patriarchy forces them into non-frontline voluntary roles against their involuntary will.

  203. Damn. I just lost a lovely reply. But I’ll try to restore it.

    1. Cherryh and McCaffrey came along after I was a teenager/in my early twenties. So they, awesome as they are, were not part of my formative sf reading years. And Cherryh, at least, is not as well-represented in ebook as she should be. (I have fifty-plus years of my own book collecting, my husband’s book-collecting, and the book/comic stashes of my daughter and grandkids in my house. So even if I own someone’s books, they are hard to find in all the piles and bookcases. I’ve been resorting to ebook to reread anything these days.) And McCaffrey, famous as the Dragonrider books are, always seemed … fluffy to me, and not really my cuppa tea. Cherryh, on the other hand, oh! Her aliens! Her so-convoluted plots. Definitely my cuppa.

    2. While I can’t speak for anyone but myself, I will give explaining “gendered roles” a shot. As I’m considered kind of a retro gal for being happily married to the same guy for 37 years and being a mom and grandmom, I’m not up on all the theory, but I do have some ideas. But they are my ideas, not representative of the whole feminist movement or anything. That said….

    To me, “gendered roles” means that the guys get to do and the girls get to stay home and cheerlead.

    Men in genre fiction get to go out and captain that starship, fight that evil overlord, and be “big damn heroes” as Mal Reynolds puts it. Women… not so much. A lot of women in genre fiction are either walk-on parts (that tavern wench who the hero eyes lustfully; the mom chasing her kid in the street as he strides by) or prizes/obstacles (the damsel in distress, the princess that the hero wins, the witch he has to kill, etc. etc. etc.), but are rarely, in the classic works, or even a lot of books published today, people with their own agendas and inner lives and heroism.

    Heck, even my favorite old-school woman writer, Andre Norton, wrote a series or three in which women didn’t even appear (the Solar Queen series, which did end up having a woman after the 1990s sequels with other writers, but in the original, nope, not even a walk-on part). And most of the classic male writers were just as bad in terms of women getting to be the protagonists and not subsiding into “babies and cooking” in the finale.

    Even if a woman gets to be a badass warrior woman, too often it turns out that she will give it all up gladly for a dude and having his babies. How many men do you know in fiction who give up their captain’s chair on the starship and go home to support their wives and children by being a househusband? How many mercenary warrior men hang up their swords and let their wives support them while they kick back and drink a few beers on the porch? You see how it grates to even read those words in that order.

    That’s how the status quo of “gendered roles” gets us — because if you don’t think about it, and assume that life will be like it “should” be, then we see this kind of rote characterization.

    And, yes, there have always been a few stories in which that wasn’t true (C. L, Moore’s Jirel of Joiry for the win!), but the majority… nope.

  204. Hey, I’d have been willing to be drafted, but alas for me, my sight would have stamped me 4000F. I investigated joining the military when I was a wee teenager trying to figure out how to finance college, but it never came to pass because they took one look at my glasses and showed me to the door. So I’ve had to be content with being the mom of an Air Force tech sergeant who serves his country with honor and pride.

  205. Mr. May,

    It may be so that life was like that in many places in our past, but science fiction is about possibility. If I want to dream about being a badass warrior woman who kicks ass and takes names and rules an empire on the side, I sure don’t want to be brought down to the drab reality of husbands and babies when it’s my escape reading. Ya know? Guys get to read about other guys doing all the cool badass things. Let the girls do it too!

  206. ” Guys get to read about other guys doing all the cool badass things. Let the girls do it too!”

    How, exactly, does Ancillary Justice fulfill that desire?

    And when are we going to get around to the depiction of men in romance novels?

  207. Twila… “What in fact is she asserting in this piece that sickens you so? She says that in her opinion the state of affairs in science fiction is like unto a lovely restaurant in which women and people of color, etc. are randomly punched in the face. Most people who are NOT women/people of color/etc. do not take this seriously, because it does not inconvenience them and they like the food a lot, so “what’s the problem, sister?” ”

    What is so unbearably *sickening* about this is that you seem to think it’s true. The idea that women are randomly “punched in the face” in science fiction is absurd. And instead of being upset I would laugh at the whole idea except that… you seem to think that it’s true. The idea that “science fiction” would react to anyone non-European with anything other than extreme welcome and excitement to have them is what we like to term… fantasy. And yet, someone says something like this… creating a “reality” that is not questioned, because oppression must NEVER be questioned… What do you suppose is the result of that?

    The result is that people believe the lie. Most white women, I’m convinced, treat this all as some sort of entertaining vocation where they get to be “oppressed” and interesting without ever actually being inconvenienced. But what happens to those non-Europeans who stumble onto science fiction fandom or publishing, who don’t really have any way to separate the make-believe world of white women with the welcome that a non-European could most certainly expect?

    These lies hurt people. Oh, they elevate the crusader! Don’t misunderstand. The crusader is elevated in power and importance. But is it really right to do that on the backs of those who only hear the lies? People point out the very *nature* of speculative fiction favors the Other, favors those ideas, things, and those people outside of the mainstream. People point out that all those “no one ever wrote this before!” claims are not just wrong, they’re deliberately and willfully wrong.

    Who gets hurt with this? It’s not “white men” and it’s sure not “white women.” But it presents the whole of Science Fiction and Fantasy to the world as something that it simply is not. All so the crusaders can get power and importance? Yes, the whole thing sickens me.

  208. “Even if a woman gets to be a badass warrior woman, too often it turns out that she will give it all up gladly for a dude and having his babies.”

    You’re gonna have to name names… even Conan eventually has to stay home and sit on his throne, so I think that “honorably retired” works for male heroes too. But off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single kick-ass female hero who goes 100% domestic as the “happily ever after”. She might have a baby on one hip, but she’s got a sword in her other hand.

    So… titles and authors?

  209. The problem here is we have a very nutty contingent of core SFF people who for some reason have become convinced SFF is an analogy to a Jim Crow county which also oppresses women, Muslims and gays. The benchmarks used to prove this amount to a lie, and is usually nothing more than a skewed demographic, not a white supremacy, though SFF authors use that exact term, and “apartheid.” Why are we surprised people stupid enough to indulge in that can’t make art?

    Everything Social Justice Warriors promote is either a lie or a segregationist advocacy which is the thing they whine about in the first place. They want to see themselves but don’t you do that cuz racism and Eurocentrism. Funny how they have no problem with Eurocentrism when it comes to slavery and colonialism, yet two more mass lies passed off by this truly ignorant crowd. That’s all the more amazing considering their heightened interest in history. Why then be surprised they are as ignorant of Golden Age SF’s history as they are of everything else? None of these morons could survive debate, which is why they don’t. You’d have to be blind to not see who deletes and bans and who doesn’t. That fully fits in with their segregationist and bigoted ideology.

    Leckie’s restaurant analogy isn’t any different than anti-Semitism or white supremacy. Kameron Hurley’s Hugo-winning “We Have Always Fought” is complete BS from stem to stern and had nothing to do with genre. Hugo-nominated Foz Meadow’s piece about the Red Sonja dust-up is openly racist. The entire movement is based on a racist and sexist supremacist cult created by psychotics.

    Some of the moral supremacy on display is so stark that being a lesbian in a story is considered more genre than the genre itself. Hild had no business being nominated any more than Spartacus. That betrays an obsession, the same kind if you went into Jiffy Lube and got a lecture about Communism. Each thing in its place. Where’s the SFF in “Wakulla Springs?” Well it takes down whitey so… genre.

    I’ll tell you this: you’ll never get a fair shake from a bunch of dullard rednecks. What’s a redneck? A redneck is someone who thinks your character and worth go up and down with the length of your hair. Was the voting group last year that stupid? Yes they were B.J. and the Bear Okie stupid. They are dazzled by skin and sex in the same way their ancestors were dazzled by long hair and bell-bottoms. For SJWs, that is where morality itself resides. Besides that, rather than select from the full gamut of SFF out there, they selected from an elite group of SJWs, showing no ability whatsoever to discriminate on their own without groupthink to show them what was good or bad. It was Twitter feed networking fiction.

    This is oppression fiction more than it is science fiction or fantasy. That’s bad enough. But it is also fiction based on a giant falsehood, which makes its basic premise it is an analogy to marching to Selma laughable, if not ignorant to the point of mass shared hysteria.

    This is a karmic thing: if their work was really good and their satire true it would speak for itself. It doesn’t. In 4 years of rabble-rousing their great showcase is Ancillary Justice, a trilogy that will be forgotten almost before it is finished. Considering how educated they are, this is easily the most arrogant, miseducated and passively hostile group of people I have ever run across. They remind me of the final scene in Easy Rider.

  210. To me, “gendered roles” means that the guys get to do and the girls get to stay home and cheerlead.

    That’s because in real life, when women go off alone to have adventures, they end up raped and dead by the real-world equivalent of Chapter Four. See: Pippa Bacca. She didn’t even make it a month.

    There are no “badass warrior women”. It’s like complaining that SF/F writers don’t give enough women wings and tails. Strong women are the women who raise strong families; they are the heroes of civilization, not ersatz men with breasts, long hair, and chainmail bikinis.

  211. For those of you interested, I’m going to take a stab at a short definitive portrayal of what you’re up against. Once you understand this, you’ll be able to read these people like an open book.

    First truism: The fundamental ideology of Social Justice Warriors is ’60s-’70s radical lesbian feminism, a splinter of the so-called “Second Wave” of the feminist movement. Around 1990 race (and therefore also colonialism) was added, the so-called “Third Wave,” also called “intersectionalism.” There is absolutely no doubt of this first truism. I have no way of knowing but I would guess at least a simple majority of SJWs are unaware of the origins of their own adopted core ideology.

    Second truism: There are two fundamental beliefs that drive gender feminism. The first is the idea that heterosexuality – the “normative” – is oppressive to lesbian feminists in both a real discriminatory sense, but also the sense of moral judgments. These radicals extend that out to mean all women, e.g., the Patriarchy, arranged marriages, etc. That ties in with what’s next.

    The second belief is the important one: the “performative.” Although radical feminists believe it is bigoted to talk about a cure for lesbianism, the core belief of radical feminism is that heterosexuality must be cured. When that is accomplished, all will be well. The “performative” refers to the idea that heterosexuality is literally a performance, a social, false and artificial construct. The self-contradiction inherent in this thinking doesn’t seem to faze this ideology. So heterosexuals and men by default are both “privileged” and oppressors. With the addition of race, that became “white privilege.” “White privilege” was first promoted by black gay feminist Audre Lorde in the ’70s but really came into it’s own around 1990 with Rebecca Walker (daughter of Color of Purple Walker) and with Kimberle’s Crenshaw’s Critical (legal) Race Theory addition and also Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege:Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”

    There you have it in a nutshell. This ideology sees itself as an analogy to Jim Crow and straight white men the oppressor. Intersectionalism openly calls for the destruction of gender distinctions, the nuclear family, our current gov’t, the church, heterosexuality itself, marriage, capitalism. Radical feminism’s icons say that right out in quote after quote. To say this cult is implacably hostile, aggressive, racist, sexist and supremacist is accurate.

    Every single word an SJW says should make perfect sense to you now.

  212. “That’s because in real life, when women go off alone to have adventures”

    What does real life have to do with fantasy and SF? In real life there aren’t any elves or dragons. In real life you can’t travel faster than light (as far as we know). I could go on.

  213. What does real life have to do with fantasy and SF?

    In this case we’re trying to make realistic characters. If you want to make a warrior woman, be my guest, but unless this warrior woman is given some sort of superpower I’m just going to roll my eyes.

  214. “In this case we’re trying to make realistic characters.”

    No, we are trying to make entertaining characters. Realistic characters are middle-aged white housewives from St. Louis suburbs and pudgy male accountants from Secaucus, New Jersey.

  215. There’s a little bit of irony in play here in that Edgar Rice Burroughs may be the biggest playmaker of the entire genre. The vast majority of his novels were romances. Of course that meant a woman was an important figure in each one. They were mostly not shrinking violets but smart, compassionate, courageous, headstrong, witty, and generally no one you’d want to mess with. But there was no ideological agenda to make them look better or worse as a group.

    I think the dealbreaker is the usual hypocrisy of the SJWs: they accuse men like Burroughs of being what they in fact were not: supremacists, racists, and sexists. Those writers of that entire era in fact routinely depicted failure and success as being a shared human trait, not one inherent in a special identity. In fact it is the SJWs, by virtue of their adoption of a supremacist racist ideology who assert failure and success are inherent in a race and sex.

    Readers can sense when they are being sold bullshit. The reason Burroughs appealed to young men was because he was fanatically true to the idea of the genre’s fun and our shared humanity. He never compromised his stories to assail his other humans.

    Because of the strong element of feminism and critical race theory in the SJW view of the world, they see the exact opposite. They see colonialist aryan supermen where there are none because they confuse ideology and demography and exploration with exploitation. SJWs see the entire Golden Age of SF as an actual promotion for whiteness, sexism, racism, imperialism and marginalizing entire geographic locales, gays, disabled and whatever bizarre groupings dear to SJW hearts.

    The deepest irony is it is SJWs who are producing supremacist identity fiction such as entire anthologies like Long Hidden and We See a Different Frontier which are racial revenge stories. Payback in the context of the immorality and supremacism of the Western straight white man are now fundamental features of the most cherished SJW stories, ironically along with the SJW penchant for identity supremacism and narcissism of the SJW’s darling groups.

    Show me a racial revenge anthology from the Golden Age. Sofia Samatar’s Selkie story only exists in the context of white male heterosexual immorality. So does Swirsky’s dinosaur story. Vylar Kaftan’s “Weight of the Sunrise” is classic SJW revenge fiction meant to counter the Western white male at every level. Hild is classic SJW identity fiction. “Wakulla Springs” is nothing more than a takedown of white men. There is no shared human compassion, no acknowledgment of the shared failures of humans like one might find in a Bradbury story it so otherwise resembles. This is the failure of SJW fiction. It has no faith in humanity. It is a reflection of its own rancid ideology.

  216. What does real life have to do with fantasy and SF? In real life there aren’t any elves or dragons. In real life you can’t travel faster than light (as far as we know). I could go on.

    Suspension of disbelief. You can imagine a dragon. You can imagine an elf. You can’t imagine a 90-pound woman wearing heavy armor because you KNOW perfectly well that she can’t even walk in it. It’s like writing about children beating up men. It’s just not even remotely credible.

    It’s the same reason Cinderella isn’t fat or ugly and Bella isn’t called Brutta. The ugly girl isn’t getting the prince or the sparkly vampire and the warrior woman isn’t going to survive five minutes of combat.

  217. “Suspension of disbelief. You can imagine a dragon. You can imagine an elf. You can’t imagine a 90-pound woman wearing heavy armor because you KNOW perfectly well that she can’t even walk in it.”

    Fire-breathing, flying dragons and FTL travel violate the laws of physics far more thoroughly than a woman wearing heavy armor.

    I note in passing that plenty of people have enjoyed stories about Xena, Buffy, Firefly, Jeanne d’Arc, Freydís Eiríksdóttir, Boudicca…. “suspension of disbelief” or not.

    These are fantastic stories about things that don’t exist in the real world. By definition. Tarzan of the Apes, if he existed, would be a shivering, cowardly, vermin-infested subhuman.

  218. I’ve known a few women in my Army career who’ve seen combat, and lasted a lot more than 5 minutes. I think it’s very true that when war meant clubs, swords, spears, and javelins, that there were precious few women up to the task. Modern arms allow a woman with a rifle, a scope, and a steady hand, to be far more deadly than an entire company of pikemen. The thing about proclaiming “Women just won’t last in a real fight!” is that the definition of “real fight” keeps shifting. World War II was not won with 6’2″ 230 pound UFC champions swinging claymores. It was won with 5’7″ scared-to-death teenagers who weighed 150 pounds wet. Their kit often massed more than they did. Their hand-to-hand training was rudimentary at best. But because they were using the M1 (not spears or shields) to fight the Japanese and the Germans, they prevailed.

    The thing about SF war especially, is, you can imagine technology that may change the balance even more than a rifle.

    Imagine for a moment companies of “juiced” women who have been cybernetically or artificially amped up to be every bit as physically durable and strong as the men they fight with; or against.

    Imagine also mechanized augmentation akin to power armor. Where a single troop has the power of a complete tank. To include long-range artillery, moving at speed across broken terrain, and so forth. What if it actually makes sense to use smaller fighters for these units, as opposed to big guys? World War II fighter pilots were often selected because they could fit into the tiny cockpits. Their ability to do the job had very little with how much they could bench press, or whether or not they were jiu-jitsu masters in a dojo.

    There are plenty of reasonable, logical, sensible ways a woman might make a fine fighter, in a future SF scenario.

    Just saying.

  219. Xena – supernatural

    Buffy – supernatural

    Jeanne d’Arc – didn’t actually engage in combat at any relevant level

    Boudicca – got her ass kicked and country conquered in a matter of… Months? Maybe a couple years? I can’t remember that history off the top of my head.

    But really you’re just highlighting what VD is saying… Suspension of disbelief cannot be maintained when you write something that actually exists (a woman) doing something that is fundamentally absurd. If you write a dragon, people understand that the rules as we know them don’t apply. But if you write a fleshy, mortal being without magic, those rules are still there.

    This is why Tolkien wrote far better female adventurers than any equalitarian ever will.

  220. Julie Pascal wrote:

    Most white women, I’m convinced, treat this all as some sort of entertaining vocation where they get to be “oppressed” and interesting without ever actually being inconvenienced.

    Yup. This. In spades. Thank you for saying it, Julie.

    The vast majority of “downtrodden yet privileged” Western white women, should go live a year in the shoes of a Muslim woman in ISIS lands.

    Perspective.

  221. SBP —

    My point exactly — Tarzan has been one of my heroes since I was four, and devoured the books with gusto. I can recall one of my interminable hospital stays in which I recalled how his friend Paul d’Arnot suffered nobly through unspeakable tortures by the Africans who had caught him and some other French officers, and which gave me courage to endure. In real life, a child reared by apes since his first or second birthday would be feral and illiterate and, yes, subhuman, instead of literate, tall, grey-eyed, handsome, and “like unto a classical god” (quote not exact, as I don’t have the book handy, but it always impressed me that he was way way way too handsome for the life he’d lived! And that he passed for an urbane Frenchman way too easily in the second book).

    So Tarzan is totally wish fulfillment fantasy. Why is Xena or another warrior woman any more unlikely than that?

    And, um. Mr. Beale, in the real world that I live in, women who are not model beautiful and or size 2 seem to do just fine in the dating and relationship arenas. I don’t see why a heroine has to be beautiful or skinny to be a heroine. In fact, one of my favorite books of all time has a middle-aged grandmother as the (not warrior-woman but certainly heroic) protagonist — Bujold’s “A Paladin of Souls”. Ista is exactly the kind of heroine I’d like to see more of — not young, not conventionally attractive, but morally and ethically strong, and willing to fight the good fight. She even gets a romance! What could be cooler than that?

    And — guys — I’ve already said upthread that I read a lot of old school Victorian fiction and adore it. I read pulp sf novels and short stories and love them. I don’t care that they might be sexist, racist, imperialist or whatever -ist floats your boat — they are fun reads. And I am unapologetically all about the fun reads. I happen to also like “Ancilliary Justice” and think it’s a fun read. Because, to me, it is. I could care less about any agenda the writer may or may not have had in writing it, because all I cared about was the space opera and the cool protagonist who — to me — was well written and interesting. That is what matters to me — is the book well-written? Is it fun? Then woo hoo and damn the torpedoes. If it’s not, I wouldn’t care if it had only women starship captains with hot and cold running slaveboys to feed them grapes and cater to their every desire — it would not be a cool book.

    And, yes, I have read “Hild”. Interesting and a good historical tale, but not SF. “Wakulla Springs” confused me, because what did Johnny Weismuller have to do with SF? I have read “If You Were a Dinosaur My Love” and didn’t like it much. It might be meaningful to the woman who wrote it but it wasn’t SF in my opinion.

    Again, my only dog in this discussion is that I want to say not everyone who likes things that some of the commenters find agenda-driven is driven by whatever agenda they see in it. Sometimes it’s just a person who wants to have fun with her reading time, because that’s what it’s for. Not for agenda-driving or for any particular ideology, but for escape, fun, living in a world that might be, and could be, but isn’t here and isn’t now. Any maybe never will be, but it’s a lot of fun to explore.

    I’m going to bow out mostly now, as I have said my piece, and I just found out my brother has stage 4 cancer, so I’m not going to be online much for a while.

    Mr. Torgersen,

    Thank you for being a gracious and insightful host. I have appreciated your discussion and your willingness to explain your positions to me, even if I still disagree with some of your points. You have certainly given me much to ponder, and I may yet come around to your point of view vis a vis tie-in fiction, at the very least. Computer games? Probably not. 🙂

    Mr. Beale and Mr. May,

    You might learn a lot from Mr. Torgersen’s approach. He did not call me a troll nor a liar, nor unprincipled. He set out what his views were in a very clear manner and in a way which allowed me to see exactly where he was coming from, without name-calling or denigrating any one person. I know that your style of discourse is your own, but my reaction is that I do not appreciate it nor do I appreciate how your points have been made. While I am just one lone person, think about this for a moment. I was not inclined to either side when I joined this discussion, per se. I originally read Mr. Beale’s blog and thought he had several cogent points about SJW actions, last year. I could have easily been “brought into the fold” — except. What I see as excessive and over-the-top hatred and scorn for people who are… well, people and not just straw targets to be knocked down and called names, which you seem to justify by what they have said about “white cis men” (which is, interestingly, never about specific men, unlike your mocking comments about specific people) is simply not something I would wish to associate myself with. Ever. Because hate is not the answer. Cannot be the answer. And that’s why I’m going to stay my own independent self, not part of either side. Because at least there I can feel like I don’t have to hew to someone else’s skewed morality and worldview.

  222. SBP,

    No, we are trying to make entertaining characters. Realistic characters are middle-aged white housewives from St. Louis suburbs and pudgy male accountants from Secaucus, New Jersey.

    Man, if those are the only people you know I’m sorry for you.

    Anyway, if I don’t believe a character can exist, then that character won’t entertain me. If warrior woman has superpowers, like River Tam, sure, why the Hell not.

    If warrior woman is an equal to a man in physical combat with nothing making up the obvious physical differences, I will roll my eyes and burst out laughing.

  223. Mr. Beale and Mr. May,

    You might learn a lot from Mr. Torgersen’s approach.

    I will give you some advice here: I don’t know Mr. May very well, but Vox Day (I note that whenever people call him Mr. Beale it means they disagree with him) knows exactly what he is doing and why he is doing it. Lecturing him might make you feel better, but you’d be better off just flat out debating him instead of acting condescending towards him.

  224. “Why is Xena or another warrior woman any more unlikely than that?”

    It isn’t, of course. When it comes to that, most spies are nothing at all like James Bond. From my recollection of history, a typical spy looks and acts a lot more like George Costanza than Sean Connery. Being a super-handsome, big-spending dude driving a fancy sports car is not really consistent with trying to keep a low profile, after all.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Xena or Buffy (both of which I enjoyed), or wanting to have more stories like those (in my opinion… others here clearly differ, but you know, that’s why there are all kinds of different stories on the market).

    My point has been that this is largely not what you get from the SJWs. I don’t object to such things being published (free speech absolutist that I am). I do object to people trying to bully me into thinking that racist, sexist propaganda is great literature, then having the unmitigated gall to call me racist or sexist for disliking it.

    Very sorry to hear about your brother. My prayers are with you and him.

  225. SJW actions, last year. I could have easily been “brought into the fold” — except. What I see as excessive and over-the-top hatred and scorn for people who are… well, people and not just straw targets to be knocked down and called names, which you seem to justify by what they have said about “white cis men” (which is, interestingly, never about specific men, unlike your mocking comments about specific people) is simply not something I would wish to associate myself with.

    Here is why they are treating you like this: You are utterly and totally ignorant, and are acting as if you are not.

    Believe it or not, whenever Vox goes after somebody they invariably have gone after him, or one of his allies, first.

    The fact that you can’t pick the specific people they have named despite the fact that Vox points the specific people the SJWs have named MANY, MANY times (Vox Day, Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, John C. Wright, to name a few), tells me that you didn’t come here open to both sides. You never really read the things that Vox said closely, or else you never would have made ridiculous, uninformed comments like that.

    The funny thing is that the more I read Vox, the more I realize that he’s actually pretty open to opposing views. He just deplores dishonesty, and you did not come here in good faith.

  226. “Man, if those are the only people you know I’m sorry for you.”

    James Bond. Tarzan. Conan. All totally unrealistic. All have sold millions of copies.

  227. You’ve got this argument upside-down. Jim Crow wasn’t created by attacking people with names and nor were Jews put on trains because of that. Jews were put on trains because they were Jews, an analogy to “cis white men,” which is always used as a slur. It is “interestingly,” that exact act of attaching immorality to millions of people at a time which is the problem, and one you have just shown you don’t understand or believe in. I defy you to find just one single time a social justice warrior has used that term in a positive sense. I am surprised you don’t understand the distinction between one person and racial smear which takes out millions at a go.

    I have no problem with people attacking me for something I said. I have a problem with people attacking me before I said anything, and basing their attack on my sex and racial “privilege.” Such attacks often take out one or two hundred million people at a time. That is hate, that is hate speech. Me insulting an individual is not hate speech or anything like it. It is called being rude, or having a disagreement, a shared human trait. Frankly this subject matter is out of you league. It is the difference between someone who has read one book about the Crusades and someone who has done original research and written a book. I don’t expect you to know this stuff but I do expect you to quit portraying our knowledge gap as my rudeness. Read what you want, no one is stopping you. I don’t seek the approval of anyone who throws away the concept of equal protection. Your suggestion we are typical white cis men is crude. I don’t eat watermelons, have a hooked nose or attend cow-milking contests. However I do have the telephone number of all Jews, which is how we escaped on 9/11. My side is the 14th amendment. Stay away if you wish.

  228. …Which is completely different than what you actually said.

    Look, I’m not arguing that certain characters aren’t realistic. But is there no point for you where you go, “Okay, this is just silly”? There is absolutely nothing that would break suspension of disbelief for you?

    One of the best things about “Firefly” was how believable the characters are. River can only fight because she has superpowers, Zoe is a SECOND in command and a run in gun soldier much more than a fist-fighter, Inara’s biggest advantage comes from psychological manipulation, and Kaylee is far too sweet and good-natured to be a fighter. I can believe all of that; those are people I can imagine existing.

  229. “Man, if those are the only people you know I’m sorry for you.” (repeat)

    How many people do you know who are English lords raised by apes, who speak perfect French, English, Dutch, German, Swahili, Bantu, Arabic, ancient Greek, ancient Latin, and Mayan (I’m obviously talking about book Tarzan here, not movie Tarzan), taught themselves to read at university level starting from kid’s picture books, can take down lions, elephants, rhinos, and dinosaurs with their bare hands, own vast African estates and have access to unlimited quantities of gold (with, at most, the risk of being forced to have sex with a beautiful femme fatale)?

    Can you give me a rough estimate within a dozen or two?

    Thanks.

  230. First off, instead of asking me condescending questions ending with sarcastic thank yous, make your point. Which you have. Which I responded to. Which you ignored in favor of one sentence in direct response to one part of something you said.

  231. “First off, instead of asking me condescending questions ending with sarcastic thank yous, make your point.”

    In other words, you have no response.

    I think we’re done here.

  232. I was just reading Ian Fleming’s comments about how he originally envisioned Bond. He saw him as a rather ordinary not particularly handsome guy to whom extraordinary things happened to. Fleming based his features on the ’40s singer Hoagy Carmichael.

    I don’t care about having women doing stuff. It’s when it’s presented in this bizarre supremacist “fierce” context which is when it devolves into farce. One of my favorite SF mysteries ever written – Infinity Beach by Jack McDevitt – has a woman protagonist. But she is just a human. That’s the strength of SF, as it is of all literature; it’s the shared humanity. Revenge fiction is simply ugly. If I wanted that I could read the Protocols. Unsurprisingly that is the basis of a hit, long multi-episode mini-series in the Middle East, “Horse Without a Horseman,” which is what “Wakulla Springs” is; a blood libel. All it lacked was a greedy Jewish producer. But it did have the funny, ha-ha Tarzan movie shot in the Jim Crow south and noble PoC as an Aryan stand-in so there’s that. If it had been any longer it might have had some analogy to the Reichstag Fire and something about the Sudetenland.

  233. I responded to you TWICE. Which you ignored to pick on one sentence. And even your response to that one sentence had nothing to do with the sentence.

    But hey, whatever helps you feel superior.

  234. Tarzan is a ludicrous character in a ludicrous setting who has ludicrous adventures. But he’s also portrayed as the Roman “perfect man” (as borrowed by an Englishman). He is fundamentally mythical.

    That said, with only a few exceptions, most of what Tarzan does is within the bounds of human capabilities (though exceptional).

    But seriously, Tarzan is fun speculative fiction, but silly in an objective sense, and I became bored with it after the first book.

    Can we move on now?

  235. Actually my two favorite scenes in Firefly are when River Tam goes all kung-fu on everyone. They’re marvelously edited and staged fights. I’m a big Shaw Bros. fan. I even went to their giant skyscraper office building in Singapore. They gave me free posters. We were friends. Women in Shaw Bros. films beat the living crap out of all sorts of people. It’s great. Not because they’re women – just because. Many of those women became huge stars and they were really great at martial arts.

  236. This, by the way, is an excellent example of what it’s like when somebody “discusses” things with you not to argue their point, but to make sure that by the end of it they feel superior to the person they’re arguing with.

    Instead of responding to the things I actually said SBP picked on the least relevant part of my comment and asked me irrelevant questions. When I pointed out the problem with his line of argument and made my point again, he ignored it and continued to ask the irrelevant questions, while pretending to be polite while doing it.

    And then he left, smugly satisfied that he made me look stupid.

    And there’s how you debate:

    1) Make a point

    2) When somebody responds, pick the least relevant portion of their response and pick on that

    3) When the person you’re responding to points out that the questions you’re asking miss the point, continue to ask them as if you have special knowledge they’re missing out on

    4) When the person you’re debating points out that instead of actually making points you’re just trying to sound superior, smugly declare victory and leave, confident that you’ve managed to make the person you were supposedly debating look bad despite not really responding to what they said.

    It’s foolproof!

  237. ”Guys get to read about other guys doing all the cool badass things. Let the girls do it too!”

    I’m a little late on this one, but last time I checked, Arkady Darell, Chase Kolpath, Cordella Naismith, Honor Harrington, Ariane Anderson, Anzha of Azea, Faith Smith, Cally O’Neal, Egwene Al’veare, Karrin Murphy,River Tam, Ellen Ripley, Susan Ivanova, Vin, Kei and Yuri and many, many, *many* other women do get to do what men get to in science fiction and fantasy. We have no dearth of girls getting to do the fun stuff.

    We do have an issue with women being written as nothing more than men with breasts. Surprisingly, a large chunk of that is coming from the women complaining about people writing nothing but men with breasts…

  238. “But hey, whatever helps you feel superior.”

    Dude, you’re the one who started in with “Man, if those are the only people you know I’m sorry for you.”

    You were smug/superior and you got smug/superior back. Don’t dish it out if you’re not ready to take it.

    As far as “the least relevant portion of their response” goes, you were arguing that women who kick ass in hand-to-hand combat are “unrealistic”. I pointed out numerous other character types who are just as unrealistic (not to mention the outright violations of the laws of physics) that are nonetheless commonly accepted in genre fiction.

    Far from being the “least relevant” part, it is the crux of the matter.

  239. Fire-breathing, flying dragons and FTL travel violate the laws of physics far more thoroughly than a woman wearing heavy armor.

    True. But women actually exist. The point is that if you’re going to have them do things that they can’t actually do, you’ve got to EXPLAIN why they can in your fictional world. I mean, would you not explain it if you had your female character suddenly start flying? You can’t have a woman fighting a single male warrior without explaining it with something more than “training” either. Because it’s totally absurd.

    There are plenty of reasonable, logical, sensible ways a woman might make a fine fighter, in a future SF scenario.

    Absolutely. Or in a fantasy scenario. But it has to be EXPLAINED. You can’t just have them up and fly or fight successfully for no apparent reason.

    You might learn a lot from Mr. Torgersen’s approach. He did not call me a troll nor a liar, nor unprincipled.

    Brad does his thing. I do mine.

    What I see as excessive and over-the-top hatred and scorn for people who are… well, people and not just straw targets to be knocked down and called names, which you seem to justify by what they have said about “white cis men” (which is, interestingly, never about specific men, unlike your mocking comments about specific people) is simply not something I would wish to associate myself with. Ever.

    You’re wrong, first of all, because I’m not a “white cis man”, I am a Native American and my total contempt for those people is entirely based upon what they have said about me. You claimed that their comments are never about “specific men”. That is ludicrously false. Here is just ONE example. It’s what Teresa Nielsen Hayden said about me, most of it back in 2005 before I’d ever even heard of the woman.

    It’s really, really obvious that VD is not acquainted with actual women.
    He’s had little or no social interaction of any sort.
    VD fears and dislikes women
    A third-rate intellect
    A tad unbalanced
    A generally unpleasant fellow
    He is a wuss.
    Vox Day’s true opinion of women has always been clear to me: he’s terrified of them.
    Out-of-the-closet racist
    Obviously unbalanced

    And keep in mind that all of that was a white woman, a former editor at Tor, publicly attacking me, one of the only American Indians writing in SF/F today. And she’s far from the only one to do so. Which is fine, of course, but don’t pretend that the other side isn’t the one that has been attacking from the start.

  240. In fact, Mrs. Price, here is someone by the name of Mike Brendan, of whom I have never heard, posting on Twitter:

    “Vox Day is a shitty writer, a racist, a sexist, and a general purpose moron.”

    Are you willing to retract your assertion?

  241. A couple of points brought up earlier.

    1) Amazon: According to this link (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bea/article/62520-bea-2014-can-anyone-compete-with-amazon.html) Amazon is selling about 2/3 of the books (physical and eBook) in the US. That would tend to tell me they are a major player in the field and their sales rankings are pretty damn close to the overall sales. Sure, there will be outliers here and there, but those are likely to be statistically insignificant.

    2) C J Cherryh’s eBooks: Many of her eBooks she reclaimed the rights to and sells directly off her own site. They can be found here (http://www.closed-circle.net/)

    3) Leckie’s restaurant analogy makes _absolutely no sense_ unless she’s living in a society where women are slaves. And since she’s living in The West rather than some third world hole of organic waste matter where women are considered property, I say she’s full of organic waste matter.

    4) Women in SFF: Twila, you apparently have a few years of experience on the rest of us in this discussion. I’d be willing to guess that most of us here were still in school or even younger when C J Cherryh, Diane Duane, Barbara Hambly and Octavia Butler were first getting published. We grew up with these female authors and their characters and so don’t have your experiences growing up twenty or thirty years earlier with its lack of female representation. That being said, what’s available now is much more varied than in the past. There are all sorts of female authors and characters to choose from. Some of those characters do end up choosing to go home, get married, have kids and raise a family. That might be because it’s a reflection of the real world and is something that ties the reader to the character.

  242. Look, don’t tell her to go to twitter, it isn’t going to happen. The only way we got her on face book was her son set her up an account and it is the only way she can see her grand kids. Even then she only checks it occasionally. Personally I do not know who any of you are, but I have tried to read this “discussion” and find that it no longer is. It has degenerated into something else. You do not know my wife, most of you do not know each other, and you certainly don’t know me. So lets put away the name calling, take a deep breath, and get back to the central discussion. The past is past, lets start anew.

  243. I think I am going to ask the thread participants to close it up. What might be said, has been said. Or what could be said, might be best said in other places. Twila need not become the target of unkind talk. For that matter, nobody in the thread necessarily needs to become the target of unkind talk. As your host, I respectfully request a cessation of back-and-forthing. Thanks.

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  245. [Copy of a comment I left on Charlie Martin’s FB page, as well as over at Mad Genius Club]

    That’s actually an excellent explanation of — in part — why I don’t buy a lot of F/SF any more.

    As someone who has worked in IT for 40 years and who has had to find, interview, and hire other software engineers, I encountered (and still encounter) a similar problem. I can get wonderful-looking resumes, but then interviews don’t quite match reality. Occasionally, even the interview goes great, but the person fails to perform as expected. And about 20 years ago, I reach this conclusion: the single best predictor of an individual’s actual on-the-job performance is the strong recommendation of someone whom I trust professionally.

    That’s what the Hugos and Nebulas used to be. There was a time that anything that made it as a Hugo or Nebula nominee was worth taking the time to read. Now I don’t even bother and haven’t for a good 15+ years. I’m actually happy to see the “Sad Puppies” list, because I think it’s the equivalent of what the Hugo/Nebula lists used to be 20+ years ago. And I might just use it as a shopping list.

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  249. I think the major reason that a good many authors get boo-hissed when suggested for a Hugo is that in too many minds, it’s not worthy of an award unless it’s ‘literature’ . Adventure yarns are seldom regarded as ‘literature’, even among Trufen who would defend Heinlein’s preeminence with their dying breath. And nowadays, it can’t be ‘literature’ unless it’s also ‘message fic’ (meaning, it conveys the message they wish to hear).

  250. Alas, you’re correct on all counts. Very few critics or taste-makers will talk about a book or a story being fun. They will write whole pages about how the book or story is important and how it challenges the reader, disturbs the audience, and confronts you with (insert politically progressive hobbyhorse issue here.) What the hell ever happened to people just having a good time, for the sake of having a good time? Authors and audience alike?

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  252. I have a dead simple solution to your ‘problem’. Simply introduce a Pop Sci-Fi and Pop Fantasy award category. Rename the other awards ‘Best Literary Hugo’, so then you can have your cake and eat it too.
    Because otherwise you are literally talking about making a ‘literary’ award a non-literary award, by your own admission.
    Look, if you want The People’s Choice awards of Sci-Fi, have at; but what you are esentially trying to do is force The Grammys to nominate Garth Brooks as the best Hip Hop artist, just because Hip Hop is more popular.

  253. Completely in agreement with this. Fandom, as defined above, has been driving people away from the genre in droves – at least away from the literary part, for the past 40 years. I see this as a reinvigoration of the genre. Yes, you’re doing it with a sledgehammer, but it does seem like the time is right for it.

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  255. The words of Sam Hat earlier this morning:

    Quiet down, now, kiddies, cause Daddy’s home.

    Okay, here’s the thing:

    All award competitions and their attendant ceremonies are, and always have been, a joke.

    They are, and always have been, a falsehood… a pretense at meaning.

    From the junior high pep-rally popularly elected MVP to the Hollywood Oscars, they are all as manipulated and rigged as last week’s pro wrasslin’ cham-peen-ship.

    Anyone who believes that they have any meaning whatsoever is
    precisely the type of moron who would actually buy a book or see a movie based upon its having won such an “award”.

    It is an illusion, people.

    So stop fighting over something that doesn’t exist.

    And go *write* something… ya’ lazy, procrastinating, masturbatory, adolescent f*cking trolls *pretending* to be writers!

    Then maybe you’ll win the “award” of a few dollars of my (fairly) hard-earned book-money.

    Maybe.

    PEACE, dammit! Play nice!

    Thank you for your attention.

    Back to your sandboxes.

    – SH

  256. Mr. Torgersen, thank you for hosting an interesting and lively discussion. I could wish there had been more civility on the part of some, but I certainly can’t say there hasn’t been passion, on both sides of the subject. I do wish I’d known about this before the nominations closed, as I am, unfortunately, one of those ‘newfans’ who didn’t know I could nominate works.

    It will be interesting to see how things turn out in Spokane.

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  260. You and the rest of your drooler brigade are why I stopped writing Science Fiction, because the thought that such a significant portion of my audience was drooling fatboys who were in the “chased home from school every day” demographic and had no idea what went on behind the zipper on their flies took all the fun out of it, you insignificant semi-literate hack.

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  262. @malcolmthecynic: Obviously, billions of young people loved the Twilight books to bits, or the series wouldn’t have had the sales and societal/generational impact that its had. That fact that you and most older people couldn’t get that not all vampires have to be evil predators is lost on you, to your detriment, and nobody else’s. Millennials aren’t obligated to support the same things that you supported in sci-fi lit when you were younger (I’m assuming that you are older? If not, correct me) and Twilight struck a chord. It’s a tragedy that neither Twilight, The Hunger Games, or Divergent have been nominated for Hugos, Nebulas, or PKD’s simply because of this ‘Get off my lawn, you kids!’ mentality that seems to be a part of the Hugos/WorldCon when it comes to popular sci-fi/fantasy culture.

  263. @James May:

    The deepest irony is it is SJWs who are producing supremacist identity fiction such as entire anthologies like Long Hidden and We See a Different Frontier which are racial revenge stories. Payback in the context of the immorality and supremacism of the Western straight white man are now fundamental features of the most cherished SJW stories, ironically along with the SJW penchant for identity supremacism and narcissism of the SJW’s darling groups.

    I think that you are misinterpreting the stories in both anthologies because they’re challenging what narratives that you hold dear. Simply because marginalized people write stories that see things differently dos not mean that they are being racist towards white people.

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  265. The problem here is is not one of facts, but of taste. You feel your personal taste is being left out of the running for the top prize. This is probably true, but that doesn’t make it ‘wrong.’ If I understand the nature of your complaint it’s that ‘action adventure’ isn’t represented adequately. This would be a valid complaint if the genre were ‘action adventure.’ It is not. The genre is Science Fiction. It is about science concepts and technology and the effects it has on lives. There not only is no requirement that it be ‘action packed’ but most ‘action packed’ stories actually to fail to introduce the very subjects the genre is about. Very simply put: your entire premise is wrong. You would be more likely to win awards if you understood your genre better. Or, failing that, you moved to a lesser genre more suited to your interests.

  266. “The genre is Science Fiction. It is about science concepts and technology and the effects it has on lives.”

    Let me know when you find any of either in “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love.” You have the wrong premise, which is that you get to decide especially when out numbered in the real world which is busting your bubble.

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  268. I don’t know much about this whole “sad puppies” thing, but from what I understand, this whole thing is dumb. It’s just one group of preachy crybabies getting their panties in a bunch because another group of preachy crybabies has all the power instead of them. It’s a metaphor for American politics or something.

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  270. Hey, I’m happy to have another reason not to buy Hollywood crap.

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