SAD PUPPIES: the march of the straw men

Ever since this Breitbart article appeared, a small legion of straw man arguments have been deployed against the current season of SAD PUPPIES. I was going to type up a very looooooooong rebuttal to the straw men, but Larry Correia and Sarah Hoyt already did the heavy lifting for me. Much of what I might have said, they say with superior gusto and humor. It’s a blessed thing having friends such as these. Not just under the Baen banner per se, but under the general banner of colleagues who’d like to see the field return itself to a more balanced state of being.

What I can add, I will try to add with clarity. But first, I want to frame things with this beautiful analogy, courtesy of Dave Freer:

The reality is this –- According to [Publishers Weekly] the print sales for Sf/fantasy in the last three years have declined catastrophically (and according to the same source, e-books have plateaued). While there is an element of GIGO in the PW figures (they rely on Bookscan, which captures ~30% of my sales, and Bowker, which not everyone uses) the trend in Traditionally published sf/fantasy is clear, and the most conservative estimate would have sales about 30% down in the last 5 years. The actual figure is possibly a lot higher. Given economic conditions –- fiction sales are normally counter-cyclical, like camping gear and seeds, and beer, we should be asking hard questions about what is happening in our genre. It’s probable that Brad Torgersen has a point.

Talking of probabilities: as roughly 10-15% of any population fit on the ‘ends’ of the political spectrum, with the population (AKA readers) tend to be more or less a normal distribution on that curve. The Hugo awards –- pre 1990 anyway — historically have been socio-politically representative, and (in context with their times) considerably more welcoming than other fields to writers of different skin color, sexual orientation and both sexes. Outspoken liberals, and outspoken conservatives and libertarians won or were nominees. Of course the bulk of authors were demographically representative of the possible readership, in that they were not outspoken supporters of any extreme of the political spectrum.

To put this in a simple way, think of the chances of Hugo nomination going to left or right ends as represented by a six sided dice throw.

There is ~ 17% chance of any number –- so if we call left 6 and right 1, we should get an equal chance every time we throw (nominate) of either left or right. About 2/3 of the time it will be neither. If that’s true, the competition is fair. If you somehow get five nominations in one category that are all 6 something is wrong. Any casino would regard the dice with suspicion.

Try it yourself. Count the number of tries it takes to throw five 6s in a row. Try doing this, to simulate multiple years for multiple categories. It is billions-to-one improbable with fair dice. If you threw a fraction of the Hugo 6s in a casino –- they’d ban you for life.

So: There is bias in the Hugos, and it probably isn’t the authors (unless they are lobbying) or the voters, but the various activist lobbies. That is the message from the Sad Puppies. And yes, if a 6 is thrown more than 17% of the time . . . the Sad Puppies prove their point and win. If their being there makes a 1 come up, they also win. And if a 6 wins yet again, it’s a Pyrrhic victory.

The contention has been made (by SAD PUPPIES’ detractors) that SP is nothing but a bunch of spoilsport right-wing whiners who want to turn the Hugos (and SF/F as a whole) into a monocultural mirror which looks and reads and sounds just like us. I guess that’s a natural assumption coming from individuals who are already part of the extant monoculture.

But here’s the truth of it. And I am going to borrow Dave’s eloquently succinct D6 analogy. Once upon a time in this field, at the Hugo awards, you could roll the dice ten times, and come up with something like this: 1, 5, 3, 2, 6, 2, 4, 5, 1, 6. The awards did not skew exclusively to one particular ideology, nor even a particular style, nor a specific artistic and creative sensibility. Beginning in about 1995, however, the dice rolls began to change. Over the past 20 years, the mean representative has shifted so that now your average Hugo winner and nomination list is like this: 6, 6, 5, 6, 4, 6, 6, 5, 6. A heavy skew to one side of the spectrum, both in terms of the types of stories and books that are nominated and win, as well as in terms of the authors (and their ideologies) which appear on that list.

SAD PUPPIES stands accused of wanting a 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 pattern.

I’ll state for the record right now that this is false. And I can speak for the whole of the SP3 braintrust.

What we want is for the Hugos (and the field as a whole) to go back to being 2, 6, 1, 3, 3, 4, 6, 1, 2, 5. Because not only is a 6, 6, 6, 5, 6, 6, 4, 5, 5, 4 pattern showing spectacular bias, it’s causing two-thirds of the readership to drift away. That’s not a rhetorical trick. The trad pub numbers reflect the decrease, and have been reflecting it for the past 20 years. Literary SF/F is dangerously close to vanishing up its own asshole. And becoming an intellectual plaything for a tiny audience.

As someone who became a reader (and a fan) right on the healthy side of the present trough (1985-1995) I think trying to bring the genre (and the Hugos in particular) back to where they used it be, is a worthwhile project. Not because I want to invert the present monocultural dominance, but because I think monoculturalism itself is unhealthy; and puts the lie to the notion that the Hugos or SF/F pursue “diversity” — by catering to one side of the dice.

I also want to address the whole “Propriety demands that nobody log-roll” argument.

I think that would be a fine sentiment . . . in a vacuum. In a perfect world, every single Hugo voter would be voting purely from a standpoint of singularly-informed enjoyment. But let’s face it. Pushes and campaigns and log-rolling have been happening for a long time. I myself can think of at least a dozen instances of “quiet” campaigning, of which I’ve become aware in the past 5 years. Instances where one particular author or editor has made either direct appeals to friends and cohorts, or there has been a concerted effort on the part of said editor’s or author’s fans and supporters, to boost said editor/author above the level of the white noise that sometimes clouds the nomination and voting process.

There are also “flash crowd” campaigns, such as the one which saw Chicks Dig Time Lords make, and then win, its respective category for its year. There were certainly more sage and scholarly related works competing with Chicks Dig Time Lords, but as one veteran said to me before the final vote, “You’ve got probably thirty women writing and editing in that book, and all of them have lots of friends. Of course it’s going to win.”

So, while I am sympathetic to the notion that pushes, campaigns, and log-rolling shouldn’t be a factor, you have to face the reality that the Hugos haven’t really been free of such things for many years. If they ever were at all?

Then there is present-tense evidence of “what I want to win” slates and crystal-ball wish-fulfillment lists. Some of which spring up before the dust has even settled from the last Hugo season. I liken these to the Nebula awards ballot and winners lists, both of which tend to have an uncanny influence on what will show up on the Hugo ballot, if not the Hugo winners list proper. Because thousands (tens of thousands?) of eligible works are published every year — and that number is growing — many voters will tend to rely on bellwethers to point the way. A prominent media blogger, fanzine writer, or other interested party can post his or her wish list, and have an inordinate amount of influence over the selection process.

So, I think we can dispense with the accusation that SAD PUPPIES is doing something that is not done, or has not been done, for the sake of ethics. There is no ethic. A rule that is endlessly violated, is no longer a rule. It might be a quaint sentiment. But it’s useless. And arguing from a standpoint of propriety — in this context — is either naive, or obtuse. Or just flat out dishonest. Look, just about everybody who cares, is getting in on some form of boosterism. To include anti-boosting, in the form of voting “no award” or otherwise trying to spike a specific work’s or author’s chances come awards time.

In closing, SAD PUPPIES merely follows Orwell’s admonition, “we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” SAD PUPPIES points to the skew and bias and says, “See here, there is skew and bias.” SAD PUPPIES points to worthy authors and works who deserve a chance at a Hugo, and says, “They deserve a nomination every bit as much as the guy who got three dozen nominations.” SAD PUPPIES declares that SF/F is not a progressives-only club, and that actual diversity (within the field) requires that the Hugo ballot should, like, you know, be diverse.

Of course, don’t just take our word for it:

Mr. Torgersen,

I have reviewed this controversy from the bald spot to the smelly misshapen toenails and I find your analysis accurate. I therefore let it be known to one and all that you have at least one former Worldcon Co-Chaircreature in support of the… underage dogs.

Ron Zukowski, ConFederation, the 44th WorldCon, Atlanta Georgia, 1986.

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201 thoughts on “SAD PUPPIES: the march of the straw men

  1. Nice.

    Personally I wish we could *all* focus on ways to recapture the reading public, regardless of taste to one end or other, but “the first step of avoiding a trap is knowing of its existance” and far too many authors and old school fans aren’t willing to even recognize the problem.

  2. Dave Freer really should stay out of casinos. First, there is no particular reason you can’t get multiple sixes in a row. Happens on a craps table or a roulette wheel all the time. Roulette in a casino has a helpful electronic screen showing the past 20 or so numbers. Casino owners know folks like Freer will try to find a pattern in that list and loose their shirt accordingly.

    To press the gambling analogy further, Freer’s trying to count cards at blackjack, except not only are they shuffling the deck after every hand, he gets a new deck at a new casino. Last year, 45% of attendees at Worldcon were UK residents. That pool will nominate this year’s slate, but Spokane (the final voters) will skew much more heavily US.

    In addition, where is Freer getting the “15% extremes” number from? Obama won 2 US elections with 60% of the vote, and everybody who voted for Obama would be a “liberal” by Freer’s math. Even in the last US election, Democratic candidates in total got 5 million more votes than Republican candidates in total. Pretty much everybody in the UK, even the Tories, would be a “liberal” by Correia or your standard.

    One of the reasons Warbound got on the ballot was that Neil Gaiman declined (PDF, page 19) the nomination for Ocean at the End of the Lane. Again from Publishers Weekly, Gaiman’s book sold over 200,000 copies in hardcover. (http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/61444-in-hardcover-it-looks-the-same-but-it-s-not-facts-figures-2013.html)

    Sorry to rant a bit, but this post is bad statistics and bad facts.

  3. Just like John Ringo’s nomination votes for the Campbell award were discarded because the members counting them assumed because he had so many books out the he wasn’t qualified as a new author. They didn’t even bother to check his qualifications. He was qualified!!. Of course that Worldcon was in San Jose CA.

  4. Chris,

    In the nomination process, Gaiman had 218 votes. Correia, 184. Larry did not make it on the ballot only because Gaiman refused. That honor goes to Mira Grant’s Parasite with 98. If we’re going to assign asterisks to people, Leckie’s win gets one as well, given Gaiman’s status in the SFF community. To imply that Correia got a bye from Gaiman’s declination is bad facts and bad stats.

  5. Nathan – my point was that the highest selling guy in SF for 2013 sat out the Hugos, allowing somebody else to win. IIRC, he’s done that for a couple of years, presumably to avoid the Hugos becoming the Neil Gaiman Award. I’ll add to my point – the guy who sold the most copies of SF in 2013 is most certainly a “social justice warrior.” So, when Correia sells 200,000+ in hardcover we can reopen the argument on how sales = award merit.

  6. @Chris, Obama won his two elections 53% to 46%, approximately, and 51% to 47%, in the popular vote. You might want to check your facts a little more closely before ranting about others inaccuracy. Your grasp on statistics is also tenuous, but I won’t bore everyone else with an explanation beyond that Dave didn’t say that multiple sixes was impossible, but that it was increasingly statistically unlikely absent bias. The math isn’t particularly hard to do, though it is tedious – you might find a friendly math student with matlab to get him to run them for you, and I think you’ll be surprised at the result.

    @Brad, one thing is clear to me, and that is that SF, as a genre, should not be shrinking. The last worldcon I went to was LoneStarCon3 in San Antonio, a couple of years ago. It had, oh, about 5k people, and drew from the entire US. probably fairly equally. It had 4311 attending. Earlier this year I went to PAX South, also in San Antonio. Now PAX doesn’t announce attendance any more, but WorldCon had 2 hotels, PAX had about thirty. I would be shocked if the attendance was under 40k. All of the halls for panels and things were set up for 1500-2k people each, and the larger panels were in rooms that could hold 5k or more. And to use language Sarah’s used recently, the attendees? They’re my tribe. They love SF&F, they’re just not reading it. Because they’re too busy playing adventures that give the same feeling that reading SF used to reliably give. They’re not opposed to reading – I loan books to my gamer friends all the time. They’re just opposed to reading the book they’re likely to pick up if they go to the shrinking section at B&N and pick a book at random.

  7. Chris, you have four different things going on that I’d like to address:
    1) Getting multiple 6’s in a row.
    2) The 15% extremes.
    3) Obama voters = liberal
    4) Not dice; blackjack

    1) True, Chris, you can and occasionally will get a low-probability combination of dice rolls (to rephrase your initial statement; craps doesn’t use just one die, and roulette doesn’t use dice at all) one after another after another after another, but there’s a reason that the casinos will call for a dice change if a particular dice thrower at the craps table gets “too lucky.” It’s reasonable to suspect weighted dice if a streak goes on for too long. Are you saying that there’s no reason to suspect something in this case, that it’s just a lucky streak?

    2) You ask where the 15% came from. Are you saying that 15% is somehow a bad number? If you prefer a smaller percentage for each extreme, use something other than a d6. Say, a d10. But then if a bunch of 9’s and 10’s come up one after another after another, I’m gonna be even more suspicious. I would look askance at going much larger than 15%, else we’d get a majority being “extreme,” which doesn’t fit the definition.

    3) Your words link your skepticism of the 15% number to the percentage of Obama voters (which was 52.9% in 2008 and 51.1% in 2010). You’re assuming that Dave Freer would consider them all “liberal,” indeed extreme if you want the whole 50+% included. Why not interpret his words in light of the analogy? Dice numbers 1, 2, and 3 represent center right to extreme right; 4, 5, and 6 represent center left to extreme left. That accounts for the Obama voters. (And if you really want to account for the 1.1-2.9% difference, use a 20-sided or even 100-sided die.)

    4) But you’re saying that any dice game at all is a bad analogy, that it’s more like counting cards. Why? I’m not seeing the reasoning if we’re talking about one variable (politics) that can be depicted by a single die, and I’m curious about your reasoning.

    This analogy, by its very nature, is a limited one, but it serves its function well. I liked Dave’s explanation in the first place, and now I’m thrilled with Brad’s extension: Sad Puppies don’t want 1,1,1,1,1,1!

  8. Chris Gerrib, every time you’ve tried to ‘counter’ the stats, you’ve shown you have not even a rudimentary grasp of probability maths. I’ve explained, repeatedly (and with sensible comments from better statisticians than I) how it works to you. You just don’t get what is really barely high school math. Each ‘throw’ is 1:6 chance. Each throw is independent. A priori you cannot say that there is a more 1:6 chance in any one throw. You can’t say ‘six is about due’ There is still a 1:6 chance. A postori is entirely different. You can calculate the likelihood of having got a sequence of independent results. Look it up. Believe me if the Casino saw in the _previous_ results an anomalous pattern of wins – you’d be out of there faster than you could scratch your butt. Sigh. You have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about, but certainly doesn’t stop you talking. Endlessly.

    You seem to have slightly less grasp of politics than stats, although that stretches my imagination. You first step is to look up this novel concept called ‘eligible voter participation’ (which is actually lower than ‘voter turnout’). Your next task (and I hope it isn’t too hard for you – it may be, judging by your grasp of p-math) is to take 60%… of 60% (which would be Way over the Top of typical US eligible voter participation) Which would make the democrat voters in the election you refer to as having 36% (or just over 1/3 of the population, making the other 2/3 not in active support of them). There is always a substantial pool ‘floating voters’ AKA ‘swing voters’. Centrists, conservative democrats, liberal republicans. Estimates vary as to how large this group is in different societies, but you can probably calculate it in a 2 party race as the difference between the best and worst performances so long as they’re fairly chronologically close together. 20% is probably fair. Which leaves you at 24% of the population. As I have explained to you before (but you were too busy going la la la) of those there will again be a normal distribution tail of those who support _some_ of the Democrat (or the Republican, it doesn’t matter) manifesto, or vote that way because they strongly oppose something on the opposite side. For example there are (and I say this as an outsider, reading your newspapers) frequent politicians in specific States taking stances which are, on that issue, not the same as the party line. As the selection mechanism draws from the ‘purest’ of the party, the rank and file are even more likely to for example disagree on some major point like the death penalty. That is therefore a substantial percentage. (Historically you can tell if a party is in trouble when doctrinaire conduct becomes heavily policed. Even the logic-challenged will understand that when you’re winning it doesn’t matter if the doctrine isn’t pure.) Those who hold ALL of the party’s manifesto as absolutely correct, or think they don’t go far enough – the hard core of the party’s support, seldom make up more than 10-15% of the total population – making 1 side of six sided dice generous. You’ve told us that Scalzi is centrist. Give us examples of right wing core tenets he has publicly endorsed? The opposite is easy. Anyway: This isn’t about ‘the democrats’. Try and be less parochial if you can. It applies as much to the Tories and Labour or the Ping-pong and Pong-ping party in the Oldies Rest Home, Silesia.

    For the record Gerrib, I hold a number of positions that would exclude me from the 10-15%on either side. They are a matter of public record, and I have some provable claim to be fairly moderate – neither 6,5 or 1,2. I have more desire to see sf/fantasy become a right wing monoculture, than the current heavily left slanted one. I can see that the longer that continues the more unpleasant the the inevitable back swing will be. You, on the other hand support the current path. So, as the sales of your choice are falling through the floor (and no mine aren’t. I’m making more this year than last.), what do you think ought to be done?

  9. The thing I find most sad about sad puppies is the fact that merely being a good writer that causes other professionals to put you on a ‘this is what I would vote’ list generates so many attacks that people have felt the need to ask NOT to be on the sad puppies ‘slates’ (there are multiple different suggested lists, which is a good thing, my vote probably won’t exactly match any of them)

    The fact that people are punished because they have the ‘wrong type of ‘ fans is very sad, and the fact that Authors feel that they need to give in to the pressure and try to disavow those fans is even worse.

  10. Heh, Dave, originally my comment included, “Why assume? Why not ask Dave? Hey, Dave, what did you mean?” However, I thought it might be presumptuous. Now, in reading your speedy-fast and detailed reply, I’m kicking myself. I could’ve looked prophetic.

  11. DaveF, a correction to your post, you say “I have more desire to see sf/fantasy become a right wing monoculture, than the current heavily left slanted one.” when you mean to say (per your prior statemetns) “I have NO more desire to see sf/fantasy become a right wing monoculture, than the current heavily left slanted one. ” (emphisis mine, but I think you agree with it anyway)

  12. I don’t have a problem with the occasional far right or far left writer winning, as long as they wrote a good story. But I’m getting tired of people pointing out that the awards have skewed far to the left and then the tone deaf shrilly responding that ‘all you want are Nazis and the KKK to win’ (the irony being that the Nazis and KKK are on the left). Umm, no! What we want is someone with a good story winning. And that seems to be increasingly difficult to do when most of the nominations swing one way.

  13. 0bama was not elected by 60% of the population. He was elected by 60% of the voters who were eligible and bothered to vote. Somewhat less than 60%.

    Nor is the population as a whole relevant to the SF readership, which tends to be liberal.

    Liberals even boast of this–that intellect strongly correlates with liberalism. They’re wrong of course, but they’ll tell you so.

  14. I’m interested to see the endgame of this process if Sad Puppies keeps building up momentum.

    1) Sad Puppies makes serious inroads this year.
    2) Liberals reply with their own slate next year.
    3) Sad Puppies counter by making their slate more mainstream, inclusive, and purely entertainment-focused to lure the undecideds
    4) Liberals do the same
    5) Eventually, we reach the center.

  15. NVM, I’d love to see the day when I can say:

    “I remember the dark days. The days when ‘Hugo Winner’ on the cover meant ‘pulpy missile, pre-wall impact.’ Oh, you kids nevah had it so good. We had to *work* for our good sci-fi, by gum! We searched and searched, and all we found was Baen (and it was pretty good, too). But, like urchins, we cried out ‘could we please have some more?’ And there was indie.

    “But the sci-fi had grown weak, by and large. Most people did not know there was awesomeness yet being written. The Hugos, our ‘most prestigeous’ fan award, it was… Well, it wasn’t sci-fi anymore, it was Social Studies Fiction. These days, there’s so much great stuff to read, your TBR pile will always be there. No more whispering in the back alleys and Libertycon, ‘Hey, you got any Ringo? Any Correia? What, you mean you haven’t read them?! Here, take my copy of MHI, I’ll get another. There’s a website in the back…’ ”

    *chuckle*

  16. General responses:

    1) I’ve never seen a casino swap dice or change a roulette wheel due to a “hot streak.” Casinos stopped throwing out streaky gamblers about the time that fins were no longer fashionable on cars. But in fact, each Hugo vote is an entirely independent event. We do “change the dice” – we change voters and what’s eligible to be voted on.

    2) Dave Freer repeatedly asserts a 15% – 70% -15% spread. It sounds reasonable, but I fail to see any facts to support that, either for authors currently publishing in SF or in readership. An assertion, absent facts, is useless.

    3) I assert Obama voter = liberal because I’ve seen Freer, Correia, John C. Wright and Mike Williamson call me “liberal.” I’m not – I’m moderate, having voted for Bush 1, 2 and Reagan. But in any event, I agree with 90% of Scalzi’s expressed views, and since he is considered liberal by this group I guess that makes me one too. Absent any any other definition of liberal, that seems to work.

    4) The Hugos are also voted on by those who bother to vote. we had around 10,000 attendees and only 3,000 ballots – half of which didn’t vote on every category. I’m not sure what relevance that holds.

  17. Chris:

    In response to your first comment, you do realize that in craps, they pass you five dice and you pick up to for the toss… if you hold them for too long they call you out on it, and if you throw a bunch of 7’s in a row they’ll swap out dice with no punishment to the gambler. The stickman will simply break out a new pack while the old dice will be taken to be checked to see if they are properly balanced. Again, no harm, no foul. I know from very intimate experience how a craps table works, and the rules of the house allow and how the Gaming Commission regulates it all. Craps. Craps is also one of those rare games that doesn’t heavily favor the house. Oh, the odds are still in the house’s favor, but it’s not as tilted as, say, a roulette table with a “0” and a “00”.

    Okayyy… I drifted a bit. I had something else to say and completely forgot.

  18. @ David Lane,

    “Well, it wasn’t sci-fi anymore, it was Social Studies Fiction.”

    — Funny thing: the Golden Age even did social studies fiction better than the current group. Check out Chad Oliver. Campbell protege, and as far as I know the only ACTUAL anthropologist to ever write publishable science fiction. Unlike current writers, Oliver did ethnographies as a participant observer in GENUINELY primitive communities, and later managed a university’s anthropology program…and still found time to write lots of really interesting anthropologically-focused SF. Better yet, he incorporated his work into his fiction. Anthropological theory is a key plot point in several of his novels. The guy presented a paper on melding anthropology and science fiction at the freaking Anthropological Association’s annual meeting, for crying out loud. And nobody remembers him.

  19. Heck, check out some of the anthropological/sociological SF anthologies published in the 1970s. It’s literally social science academics and SF writers collaborating, with Oliver often at the helm. They once used SF to teach soc/anthro students. Imagine reading and seriously discussing Van Vogt, Asimov, and Clarke in a sociology class.

    …But then postmodernism invaded the Academy, and the rest, as they say, is history.

  20. How long have nomination/voting campaigns been going on in fandom?

    Back in 1982, I vividly recall several fans of C.J. Cherryh openly soliciting (through APAs, fanzines, and convention table flyers) people to nominate and then vote for Downbelow Station for a Hugo (which it eventually won). I can also recall a number of fans getting together and conspiring to win a Hugo by having all their friends and acquaintences nominate their fanzine, which had only produced one issue and they had no plans for a second (I’m not sure, but I suspect their efforts are why there is now a 4-issue requirement). Not to mention the decades-old practice of various publishers pushing their books for consideration (ALL the major publishers have done this at one time or another). The fact is, this has been going on for as long as I’ve been in fandom, and will likely continue long after.

  21. 1) Each roll of the dice is also an independent event, a “change of the dice” in your words. Changing the dice is a different matter in my explanation, to make sure the dice haven’t been tampered with. I rather like the idea that a change of venue analogizes to making sure the dice haven’t been tampered with, but what if we’re still getting those multiple 6’s in a row? And you don’t like my “change the dice” mention because it’s out of date. Fine, insert whatever it is that you believe the casinos do when they suspect cheating, or change the verb to “was.” There, fixed. Now I ask again, are you saying that there’s no reason to suspect something in this case, that it’s just a lucky streak?

    2) You link this directly to authors and readers. But you appear to accept Dave’s substitute of general population by your emphasis on the Obama voter. So I will ask clearly: do you accept that substitute?

    3) Looking back at Brad’s post, and his quote of Dave, I don’t see any mention of liberal in the 15-70-15 split. Where are you saying “liberal” fits (I’m not talking the exact “15” or “70,” just the x-y-z of 15-70-15)? It’s obviously very important to you, but you added a word and a definition that are not in the original post, and the more I think about it, the less understanding I have. I won’t go beyond that because if your answer to #2 is no, you don’t accept the substitute of general population, then anything about political voters/liberal/Obama voters becomes irrelevant.

    4) I’m still unclear on how changing the analogy from dice to blackjack (the card counting) relates to Hugo voters being those who bother to vote, but it’s really tangential to the rest.

  22. People involved in art and entertainment tend to be more liberal and left-wing (in the broad sense of the word) than the general population. In sports, for example, it’s the opposite. Obama’s votes have nothing to do with Hugo awards because of this, and also because Worldcon is a global scene.

    You can of course group SF writers to 15-70-15% groupings but I’m not sure Charles Stross and John Scalzi would be in the most lib/left group at all. They may be more liberal than Torgerson, Correia and Wright, but not necessarily so much when compared to the field of all writers.

    What makes the left left and the right right specifically is also quite a difficult question when we are speaking about writers.

  23. (Wry smile) Chris I suspect you’re telling porkies again. I’m not American and the word ‘liberal’ still means what it used to mean, here. If I called you that I’d have been complimenting you as one of the people trying to see that those that you didn’t like also got a fair shake at the contest. In my part of the world you’d be considered ‘conservative’ because you’re trying desperately, in the face of all the evidence that it is massively biased, to maintain the status quo. We’re divided by a common language at time. I may well have called you a left winger. The American version of that appears neither liberal nor tolerant but have appropriated the terms for the capital they carry, IMO.

    I suspect, when in twenty years time, when the worm has fully turned again, (which it will, and you and your friends will have made that back-swing worse) and I’m then trying to get some left wing writers a fair shake, you and your mate Scalzi will have followed the establishment and be trying to stop me. As for the numbers, I’ve explained how I derived them, and I don’t have more time to waste on it. I’m not interested enough in trying to get through to you to go and dig out references for you. It doesn’t matter how you fiddle your percentages, it’s still not going to make one whole lot of difference.

    As for your knowledge of Casinos, one of my friends is an actuary and works for a group of them. Keeping track of those numbers is her job. The wife of an acquaintance got banned for life last year. I suspect your knowledge is right up there with your grasp of probability. But as it’s an irrelevant straw-man your welcome to continue with your ideas. Why don’t you take some loaded dice to a Casino and try them? If you are right, and they don’t throw you out, then you could be rich enough to start your own award. Do let us know how that works out for you.

    I notice you carefully avoided answering the direct questions. How strange.

    NVM that would be best possible outcome. Unfortunately I’m seeing no signs of common sense,yet. They’re still trying to brazen it out, no matter how much damage they do to the award or the industry, because they’re only interested in short term gain for themselves and their cronies.

  24. @NVM

    point #3 assumes that the slate is not mainstream. The slate presented did include very liberal authors, a couple of which have decided that they don’t want it to be known that sad puppies people are their fans and asked to removed from the slate*

    * There are now at least three slates posted.

  25. NVM:
    1) Sad Puppies makes serious inroads this year.
    2) Liberals reply with their own slate next year.
    3) Sad Puppies counter by making their slate more mainstream, inclusive, and purely entertainment-focused to lure the undecideds
    4) Liberals do the same
    5) Eventually, we reach the center.

    I very much doubt this is going to happen. Compiling a Happy Kitten slate would be very bad PR. Now one can argue that the average congoers are voting what they like best but the Sad Puppy guys are banding together, voting tactically for a single list and forcing their ideology on the fandom. That may be a simplistic way of looking at this but that’s the way you can think of it from the non-SP side of the table.

    I don’t know where the political “center” of the Worldcon crowd is, in your opinion.

  26. @Cpt Carnage
    sad puppies is only forcing their ‘ideology’ on fandom if you accept that the ideology is that the story is more important than the political beliefs of the Author. If you use that as your definition of ideology, then most people participating in the sad puppies campaigns would agree.

    If you think that the sad puppies slate is all right-wing authors, and that the sand puppies participants think that there should still be a political filter for authors to go through to be considered for awards, just that the filter should be right approving instead of left approving, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    however, I think that many of the people who are so upset at the sad puppies campaign can’t imagine that anyone would really accept the idea that the story matters ore than the political beliefs of the Author, so they can’t imagine that sad puppies is anything other than an attempt to ‘take over’ and force things to be right-wing only. The comments that they make about Liberal Authors who appear on the sad puppies slate reinforce the idea that this is their ideal They can’t imagine someone with right-wing political beliefs liking a left-wing author enough to vote for them.

  27. davidelang:
    @Cpt Carnage
    sad puppies is only forcing their ‘ideology’ on fandom if you accept that the ideology is that the story is more important than the political beliefs of the Author.

    I was speaking from the PR point of view. In the current situation, it’s easy to see Sad Puppies in this way and this is the reason there most likely is not going to be a Happy Kittens slate.

    I don’t agree with the Sad Puppy argument that people are now voting based on author’s political beliefs and don’t care about what the stories are like. There are readers who enjoy Leckie’s and Hurley’s stories as stories. Other readers (such as yourself) have different tastes, but that doesn’t mean that Leckie fans are stupid or wrong or that they have bad taste.

    If you think that the sad puppies slate is all right-wing authors, and that the sand puppies participants think that there should still be a political filter for authors to go through to be considered for awards, just that the filter should be right approving instead of left approving, you couldn’t be more wrong.

    I don’t think everybody on the slate is right wing, although a bunch of them are. On the other hand, I don’t think that an entertaining adventure by John Scalzi or Kameron Hurley would be on your slate, no matter how good it was.

    however, I think that many of the people who are so upset at the sad puppies campaign can’t imagine that anyone would really accept the idea that the story matters ore than the political beliefs of the Author

    I don’t believe anybody really thinks political beliefs are more important than stories. Some people may like stories that have a certain kind of political edge to them but that’s not quite the same thing.

  28. > I don’t believe anybody really thinks political beliefs are more important than stories. Some people may like stories that have a certain kind of political edge to them but that’s not quite the same thing.
    If that was ass we wouldn’t have the hatred “I’ll never read anything by that author” before reading anything, or the surprise from a few that larry’s books were actually good.

  29. Pingback: Tuesday links and a few thoughts | madgeniusclub

  30. We think you want to turn the Hugos into a 1, 1, 1 etc pattern because you said you were unhappy about your Nutty Nuggets no longer being reliably the same thing book, after book. You were unhappy that different SF even *existed* because you might read a diverse book by accident. And you appeared to think that this was a common complaint among conservatives.

    By contrast, regular fans are generally okay with conservative SF *existing*, even though we might not care for that kind of thing ourselves.

    The Hugos winners tend to the mainstream among fen (which is and has been naturally a little left of the mainstream among people in general, as we are selecting for people who read for pleasure and enjoy new ideas.) It’s just that the mainstream has shifted left, as it usually does, (consider slavery, which is now too far to the right for anyone but Vox Day types to be willing to advocate it, but which at one time was mainstream.) It used to be that gay marriage was extremely left wing–now it’s much closer to mainstream overall, and among younger people it *is* mainstream. Look at the polls.

    Mainstream has shifted left and left you behind. And when you try to force the Hugos back to your center of political comfort, we see you choosing Hugo nominees on the basis of your politics, while we read widely and picked ours on the basis of what we liked. I don’t know much about conservative science fiction, but based on last year’s nominees, I wonder if limiting yourself to conservative authors has left you with such a small pool of writing that it’s hard to find good stuff in it.

    You and your friends stand around telling each other you’re discriminated against until you actually believe it, and then you state that ethics don’t apply based on that belief. Personally I suspect that discrimination has nothing to do with Correia not having a Hugo yet.

    And, as you browbeat regular fen for liking diverse books, and publishers for responding to that demand, I personally stop and wonder how much of the decline in SF sales is print vs e-books, and the rise of indie publishing, and how much is that some stuff that is obviously SFF gets called literary (Bone Clocks) and YA (Harry Potter) instead, and how much is all book sales gradually losing out to more technological forms of entertainment. Are mystery sales dropping? Romance? Westerns? Is Baen getting a bigger and bigger market share and Tor less and less as a largely conservative SF readership abandons diverse books for the milSF monolith?

    Sure, authors have been mentioning their eligible works for a long time. Sure, fans have been telling each other what they liked, and think their friends should check out for a long time. Not much of a problem, since regular fen don’t march in unison anyway. But the block voting, the great fan exchange program, the vote-your-hate campaign, these are, as far as I know, new to the Hugos. It’s as if Scalzi and McGuire talked to each other and came up with a five-of-everything slate (including some well-deservedly-obscure piece by Alex Dally McFarlane to make a point) and told their numerous fans to vote for them to put all those conservatives who obviously hate us in their place. Except it’s as if they had done that before the Sad Puppies existed.

    That’s what regular fen are resenting.

  31. davidelang:
    There’s a difference between these two statements:

    1) “I vote based on author’s political beliefs, never mind the story.”

    2) “I will not vote for a person who thinks that women shouldn’t be able to vote and blacks are half-savages.”

  32. Cat Faber,

    Slavery is a right-wing thing? Is this a joke? Slavery was of the Democratic Party, and so was Jim Crow. Were you writing this with a straight face?

    In addition, the mainstream has not become more left-wing in all things, and it does not “usually” become so, as you seem to think. Most democracies today have minor to non-existent communist parties, when once they were a force to be reckoned with in France, Italy, Israel and other Western democracies. European states are cutting back the welfare state and adopting more right-wing economies. American Sniper was widely derided and attacked by left-wingers yet it seems as if the mainstream kinda loves it. In the U.S. income tax rates were once in the 70th percentile (and for a while in the 90th for high income earners). Try getting that through today.

    Mainstream is determined by dollars and cents, by sales figures, and wide readership. It is not determined by a small club of voters, regardless of whether these voters are right-wingers of left-wingers. If the mainstream had shifted left we would be seeing new novels beating best-sellers of 30 or even 50 years ago. In other genres this happens regularly.

    By the way, I looked at the top 100 kindle sci-fi best-sellers. It is dominated by space opera and mil-sf.

    Final note: calling yourself “regular fen” is arrogant. You are not regular nor irregular. Neither are the people who support Sad Puppies.

  33. No one is standing around sharing a mass hysteria about being discriminated against. There has been what amounts to open and public collusion to do so and that is backed up by quotes throughout SFF’s core institutions by authors and editors. You might want to acquaint yourself with the issues before you comment about them.

    No one is abandoning “diverse” books but shitty books written by redneck racial bigots. When you tell the majority of your audience they are part of a scapegoating demonization theroy like “white privilege,” and half part of a “rape culture,” it’s obvious people – normal people – aren’t going to want anything to do with theories hatched by mentally troubled gender feminists.

    In your analogy, Scalzi and McGuire do talk to each other, and throughout the year. Their analogues create lists of worthy authors and editors based on skin, sex and sexual orientation. But it’s far worse than that, so let me illustrate the rest of the nonsense in your comment about slavery and the morality you assume for yourself and have no right to.

    Let’s go all science fictiony and extrapolate out a social justice warrior landscape into a future America based on what you actually do and support among yourselves.

    In that imaginary America so-call “liberals” as defined for yourselves would have both informal racial and sexual segregation and the institutional segregation that follows such cultural norms. I base that on the committee-approved racially segregated “safer-space” at the feminist WisCon SFF convention.

    I base that on the informal non-whites-only off-campus dinner at WisCon and the non-whites-only room at DetCon. I base that on the women-only Women Destroy Science Fiction and the follow-up projects for “queers,” etc. I base that on the women-only Mammoth SFF anthology. I base that on the VONA non-whites-only writing workshop held by Marjorie Liu. I base that on the non-whites-only safe-space websites following the Requires Hate investigation. I base that on the open collusion by the presidents and officers of literary organizations, editors, bloggers and authors to promote authors based on their race, sex and sexual orientation and demote others by the same “standards.” I base that on the Carl Brandon Society and its host of non-whites-only initiatives, Writing Excuses non-whites-only scholarship and a host of other race and sex-based symposiums and awards.

    So you don’t have to go to the past and laughingly claim anything “good” and “moral” defaults to “liberal” ideology. That’s not an ideology, that’s taking credit for things you demonstrably don’t do and shouldn’t get credit for.

    There’s your future America, and if that’s “liberalism,” then forms of Jim Crow are liberalism.

    Now, let’s extrapolate out a future America based on the cis-white males who reject the gender feminism which sits behind social justice warrior ideology. There are none of the those segregated spaces – zero – nada – nothing. No white male “Eurofuturism” anything. No awards, anthologies, physical spaces, grants, car-fare, symposiums – nothing. I’ll take that America over the racist, sexist, supremacist cult which rules your SFF.

    That simple bit of extrapolation based on real and actual documented facts makes you and your comment straight up bullshit.

  34. Cat Faber says, “We think you want to turn the Hugos into a 1, 1, 1 etc pattern” because of the Nutty Nuggets analogy.

    The Sad Puppies representative says clearly and unambiguously, “I’ll state for the record right now that this [1,1,1,1,1] is false. And I can speak for the whole of the SP3 braintrust.”

    But perhaps their words and actions don’t jibe. Lots of people say one thing but do another. “Ye shall know them by their fruits” and all that. So, looking at their actions, I find what? A slate full of 1,1,1,1,1? No, the authors don’t all have the same political views. A slate full of Nutty Nuggets? I can only answer to what I have read, but that partial answer would be yes, yum-yum-yum-yum.

    Words and actions congruent, and the exact opposite of what you think. Political 1,1,1,1,1 does not equal enjoyable Nutty Nuggets. So do I believe you or my lying eyes?

    What do I learn from all of this? That it doesn’t matter what Sad Puppies say or what Sad Puppies do, you will always think that they want to turn the Hugos into a 1,1,1,1. You are unpersuadable. Your mind is closed on this issue.

    Again, ye shall know them by their fruits.

  35. Mr. May,
    your being upset about some examples of affirmative action doesn’t make them discrimination. When we reach a point where straight white men are underrepresented in SF and are facing difficulties getting published et cetera, something should perhaps be done to the things you mentioned (or maybe we could put together a Men Destroy Science Fiction anthology), but in my experience, straight white men are doing quite well at the moment.

    What rubs you the wrong way with a workshop for people of color, for example? I don’t get it. It’s completely harmless. I don’t always see the point of non-whites-only dinners etc. but we are priviledged in many ways, so why not let them have their dinner if they want to.

  36. @ Cpt. Carnage

    “I dream of a time when men* are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character”

    * In this case “men” is not an exclusionary term, but an exclusionary term referring to all people.
    Some people seem to have lost sight of the goal and are still judging based on external genetic factors, they have just shifted from judging that White Males are the best group to judging that they are inherently bad. That’s not fixing the problem, just shifting it.

    > What rubs you the wrong way with a workshop for people of color, for example? I don’t get it. It’s completely harmless. I don’t always see the point of non-whites-only dinners etc. but we are priviledged in many ways, so why not let them have their dinner if they want to.

    The mere fact that you talk about “us” and “them” so glibly is the problem

  37. Cat, I say this with all due respect: You are full of shit.

    Brad has written dozens of stories. I have written dozens of stories. I challenge you to look at our collective body of work and tell us that we’re writing the same stories over and over. Here, I’ll make it easy on you: This is my published body of work, with convenient teasers. Even in stories that star the same characters, I’m not telling the same story.

    SP1 and 2 were about making political points. Yes. You got us. Our points, btw, were proved, admirably. SP3, however, is about good fiction. Period. And the title of this post is a perfect, perfect counterpoint to your post, because here you are, with your straw men, arguing points that no one is making. Well done.

  38. davidelang:
    > What rubs you the wrong way with a workshop for people of color, for example? I don’t get it. It’s completely harmless. I don’t always see the point of non-whites-only dinners etc. but we are priviledged in many ways, so why not let them have their dinner if they want to.

    The mere fact that you talk about “us” and “them” so glibly is the problem

    Well, I have no other choice than to speak from the perspective of a white person, do I?

    You forgot to tell me what’s so harmful in PoC-only workshops and how they make white males inherently bad.

  39. Cpt. Carnage, what makes those PoC-only workshops so harmful is they work precisely to discriminate. If it was a white’s only workshop, the howls would be heard on the moon.

    And please, get rid of that strawman about privilege. As Larry Correia has pointed out, he grew up dirt poor on a farm, is a minority, and managed to do well, thank you very much. There are PoC who are born into wealth and privilege and whites who are born poorer than Larry. It is what you do with the tools available to you, not the circumstances.

    I freely admit I have it easier than plenty of people in this country. I am decent looking, tall (6’1″) and white. But I guess I missed out on the automatic success train because I still live in a townhouse, won the powerball or published successfully. I suppose I will have to keep plugging along like most everyone else and work for what I want.

  40. Cpt. Carnage;
    Ah yes, the ever so useful “Someone are discriminated against so they must be protected!” poison is back on the specialty of the day again with a large blob of “It’s for someone’s good” sauce and a side dish of ” Every dissenting voice must be evil!”.

    If you truly cannot see the rot that boils under the umbrella of over protection, I would advise reading a couple of works that are used as source materials in any of the following (that comes to my fingers of the top of my head) basic/introduction history (any culture) or basic parenting calculation 101 or statistics 101 or psychology 101…

  41. @Cpt.Carnage

    the phrase “the White Man is presumed to be Superior/in the Right” is wrong, bordering on inherently evil

    The thing is that changing “White Man” to “Black Woman” or “Superior”/”Rrite” to “Inferior/Wrong” does not fix what’s wrong with the statement.

    This statement cannot be fixed easily, the closest you can do is add ‘not’ between ‘is presumed’, the entire concept that makes this phrase make sense needs to be eliminated.

  42. Carnage you are so out to lunch on this issue I don’t know how to even take it all in. The issue isn’t non-white writing workshops or things like that. I could care less. The issue is saying those are necessary because whites are racists, and the people holding them make no secret of the fact they think that. Does the fact the WisCon segregated room is called the “safer-space” escape you? Safe from what – snakes?

    “White male privilege cares ONLY about white male privilege, and there is no goal except maintaining that position of power.”

    That’s a quote by Marjorie Liu, who heads up the VONA workshops. Does it totally escape you that is called group defamation or that it is the same way Nazis talked about Jews and that there is no proof of such a tacit conspiracy by 100 million people? Why as an adult would I even have to walk you through explaining such rot?

    There is no proof non-whites are underrepresented in SFF anymore than proof some mechanism like that exists in rap music or hockey.

    It’s obvious to me the incredible number of straight up racial insults that go along with all these expressions are unknown to you. This has nothing to do with straight white men doing well; they are not a single person who does well or bad. They are 100 million people. It is wrong to discriminate against even one. Frankly, I don’t think people like you should even have the right to vote.

    The whole point about the segregation is these people are doing it precisely because they say they are being segregated in SFF. But where’s the proof? It’s a strange thing for a white supremacy to not exhibit a single hallmark of white supremacy. What’s being lied about as a stand-in for that is the tried and true hallmark of racists: suggesting an accidentally skewed racial demography, e.g. NASCAR, rap, actually constitutes a racial conspiracy. And if you’re so dumb as to not understand what it’s like to be turned away from a thing because of your skin and not be able to tell the difference between people who do that on purpose vs. accidental associations, you’re fairly useless in any democratic society.

  43. Desegregation is the specific goal of policies mandating preferential hiring/admissions practices for minorities. Calling Mr. May’s examples of segregated convention rooms, restaurants, and scholarships “affirmative action” is like equating Jim Crow laws with the Fourteenth Amendment.

    The nature of a thing determines the proper way to treat it. Human nature commands uniquely dignified treatment called ‘rights’. I.e. human beings enjoy certain inalienable rights by the sole, irrevocable virtue of being human.

    Mr. May is correctly pointing out that accidental qualities such as skin color, ethnicity, etc., and modalities such as sex, do not produce changes on the order of being. A white man and a black woman are both human, and to treat either of them otherwise is a grave injustice.

    Trying to justify dehumanizing an entire race or sex with appeals to historic injustices committed by members of one demographic against another equally undermines claims that the victims suffered any injustice in the first place.

  44. Well said, Brian. And again, Carnage is purposefully confusing the issues here. Ethnic groups have been doing pop culture projects as ethnic groups since forever. That is not the issue. There is a difference between having an all Jewish anthology and having one because Gentiles are so-and-so’s. It would especially be stupid today, given how much things have changed. There is a difference between talking about violence in film and blaming it on Jews in Hollywood. There is a difference between Anita Sarkeesian saying there are problems in video-gaming and blaming those problems on the innate failings of white men who are straight. Similarly, there is a difference in wanting to write SFF and saying whites are privileged because they acknowledge each white person as essentially comprising his or own “safe-space” from non-whites, men from women or straights from gays. This is the issue.

    I don’t know where this Jim Crowing of SFF idea originated but I can say after having researched it it is a pack of lies that takes a few isolated anecdotes and tries to turn it into a KKK. SFF had decades to freely express any disdain for women, gays or blacks had it wished to and there is just no sign of an interest in such things.

    Carnage is ignoring the incredible amounts of racially hostile rhetoric that goes along with each and every one of these voices that supports each of the things I mentioned in SFF. SJWs are a pack of racist, sexist, supremacists, not ethnic or sexual groupings minding their own business and enjoying whatever aspects of culture they think they share. In truth each is blithely indulging in segregated events that they not only forbid to others but those others aren’t even doing in the first place. When in the history of SFF has there ever been a whites-only anything specifically demarcated and set out in a set of rules, or even tacitly agreed upon? Never. No one’s keeping whites out of rap or Sikhs out of NASCAR. No one’s secretly conspiring to keep Delta blues or college basketball majority black. This is all bullshit, and the fact it is all powered by gender abolition racially intersectional radical feminism which is almost unbelievably hostile to men, heterosexuals and whites should be a wake up call.

  45. bassmanco:
    Cpt. Carnage, what makes those PoC-only workshops so harmful is they work precisely to discriminate. If it was a white’s only workshop, the howls would be heard on the moon.

    And how exactly does that discrimination have negative effects on white people? There are different sorts of positive discrimination and affirmative action programs in many western countries and the main reasoning behind them is that they are a tool to diversify different fields and help under-represented groups. What good would a whites only workshop do, I really don’t know. In practice, there are lots of whites only workshops, whites only anthologies and whites only magazines in SF, so I think we white people have very little to worry about.

    And please, get rid of that strawman about privilege. As Larry Correia has pointed out, he grew up dirt poor on a farm, is a minority, and managed to do well, thank you very much.

    It’s nice that Larry has done well, but that’s beside the point. With good affirmative action procedures, there may be more people from minority groups writing SF and doing well in the future.

    But I guess I missed out on the automatic success train because I still live in a townhouse, never won the powerball or published successfully.

    There’s no automatic success train for individual people, but there’s no denying that white people are doing better as a group. An average white guy has more money and better education and is more likely to live longer and get better healthcare than an average minority guy. That’s just statistics.

    Mr. May:
    “White male privilege cares ONLY about white male privilege, and there is no goal except maintaining that position of power.”

    That’s a quote by Marjorie Liu, who heads up the VONA workshops. Does it totally escape you that is called group defamation or that it is the same way Nazis talked about Jews…

    No. If you really want to take it to Nazi Germany, the analogous situation would be a Jew accusing the German majority of their being priviledged — which they really were, come to think of it. 😀

  46. Carnage – please provide a detailed explanation for the moral imperative of diversity. It is implicit to your statements, and I would like to see a justification for it.

  47. to expand on what s1al is asking for, explain why there is the need for diversity in skin color and gender as opposed to viewpoints and experiences.

    You have have a roomful of ‘white males’ that have extreme diversity in viewpoints and backgrounds (from countries all over the world, from the extremes of economic conditions, both background and current) and have what I would consider a far more diverse group than a ‘rainbow’ of people who have gone to school together since kindergarten.

  48. I’m also curious about Chris Gerrib’s background in mathematics (generally) and statistics (specifically) that qualifies him to ignore basic principles and make the hilarious argument that “the voters change every year = completely different scenario.”

  49. Cpt. Carnage, who said anything about discrimination harming white people? If anything, it harms minorities, either in making them think they aren’t good enough to do it on their own (as LBJ wanted), or in making them feel entitled to something without working for it. I am not saying I want workshops for whites only, I only pointed out that if they existed, the SJWs would howl about.

    And Larry as an example is precisely the point. He didn’t need affirmative action. He just worked hard. Wow, what a concept. Almost like they founded the country on that idea or something.

    How about you get your sanctimonious, disingenuous ass off your high horse and work on reading comprehension instead off being a butt-hurt douche.

  50. “And how exactly does that discrimination have negative effects on white people?”

    You ask the question as if it hadn’t already been answered several times in this thread, at length, and in exacting detail.

    Such arbitrary discrimination does violence to the inherent human dignity of all parties involved.

  51. Heh, Cpt. Carnage (shakes head)
    “When we reach a point where straight white men are underrepresented in SF and are facing difficulties getting published et cetera, something should perhaps be done”

    Have you heard of this thing called ‘demographics’? It’s key to this ‘underrepresented’ thing. So for example there are 100 books being published and (to keep it simple) there are 950 straight men, and 50 gay men, if there are 95 straight white authors and 5 gay black ones, it’s not harder for a gay man to get published than a straight man, agreed? So basically, if you look at the population of the US, you can say there 13% black people, and only 5% of books are by black people, therefore harder to be published etc. if you’re black. Agreed? Conversely, if there were 20% of books by black authors, you’d say it was easier to get published etc. if you were black. You could apply the etc to awards like the Hugo as well as to getting published. Not, obviously in any one year, but over a 10 year period, and certainly over a 20 year period. And obviously it was 10% or 16%… well it’s a small sample. Agreed

    Now lets look at some of those demographics. 72% white. So logically 36% of all books/awards should be going to white men, and that 95% of men are straight… that’s around 34.2% – why Carnage, you are right, there are more than 34.2%…

    Not so fast, Carnage. From here on it all goes south. The same number applies to straight white women… and especially in the new entrants to sf/fantasy, that’s above 50%. So is it easier or harder to get published if you’re a straight white woman? Should you have affirmative action?

    And there are all sorts other demographics. For instance there is religion. Now there is a 75% chance an American will be Christian. Let’s be coservative and assume the regular attending openly Christian make up 20%. So where are they in sf/fantasy publishing? In the awards? Yes, there are a few, Lars Walker, John Wright, Sarah Hoyt… maybe half a dozen others. But I know more openly neo-pagan (at 1.2% of the population – let alone considering how many are open about it) and agnostic or atheist authors (at 1.6%) than that. So it is plainly very, very much harder to get published as a Christian, let alone get awards than representative proportions would suggest. According to you ‘perhaps something should be done’. I look forward to hearing you suggest it.

    And then of course there is the political demographic. As the rough split would 50% left and 50% right… more or less half of those straight white men or women or any other category getting published etc (like getting a Hugo Award) should be from either side – or if you prefer my way of looking at via the dice 1/3 should be 3 and 4, one third 5&6, one third 1&2….
    So where are the 1,2,3,4? They should make up 66%… Look, let’s not beat around the bush, Only Baen have actively published any 1,2,3,4. They even do a couple of 5s. They’re quite successful, growing, but they only do 3-5 books a month. Tor alone do 40 +. All the rest… 5, 6 and occasional 4s, once in a blue moon 3s. As we see, the situation is worse in the Hugo Awards. So: while they go to white straight men, they don’t go to white straight right wing men – who should be there with straight white right wing women at 17.1%, each. Back of an envelope calculation, it is at least 20 times as hard for a 1 or 2 to get published as a 5 or 6. Yes, John Scalzi is playing the game on easiest setting. Brad Torgersen isn’t. So: as they’re underrepresented, and having a much harder time, to quote you ‘perhaps something should be done’. So remind me again why you are so opposed to the Sad Puppies?

  52. Pingback: Sad Puppies 3 | Through the Looking Glass – link

  53. One of the inherent problems with affirmative action is that the people it’s supposedly there to help end up wondering if they got in because of their qualifications or because of a checkbox needing to be filled. Headgames can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

  54. Kamas716 I’m fond of the concept of equality of opportunity (not outcome). I think AA causes more problems than it fixes, but if you must have it, you must have a clearly defined, measurable sunset clause. But that’s kind of off topic so I’ll leave it there.

  55. Well, this went pretty far astray by the time I got to the bottom (Be wary of leftists deliberately leading conversations down their favorite rabbit holes.)

    But going back up, I guess it’s understandable that a leftist fan like Cat who does think that the politics of an author is more important than the story totally got the Nutty Nuggets analogy completely bass ackwards. The point of Nutty Nuggets was that they were ENJOYABLE. It was not a metaphor for “Being politically right wing”.

    But hey, what can you expect from someone from the lefty culture that believes the Personal IS Political, and that even whom one chooses to bed should be reflected in one’s politics. The left is WAY too convinced of its own inevitability, and the superiority of ideas that actually are well over a hundred years out of date. They have to tell themselves that they are the future and the mainstream, even if they aren’t, just out of mental self-defense.

  56. bassmanco:
    Cpt. Carnage, who said anything about discrimination harming white people? If anything, it harms minorities…

    A valid point, perhaps, but that’s a discussion that needs to be had in the non-white communities. Some people who belong to minorities feel that there is a need for a PoC SFF workshop, and I don’t see how a white person (such as me and maybe some of you) can challenge their position on the grounds that it harms minorities.

    And Larry as an example is precisely the point. He didn’t need affirmative action. He just worked hard.

    Kudos to him. Larry being successful doesn’t mean that all affirmative action everywhere should be ditched, though. The case can be made that an average PoC has to work harder than a white person in the same situation. In the ideal situation, affirmative action does bring about equal opportunities for everyone. There are potential problems, but it is my understanding that positive outcomes of AA are quite well researched. If they really harm minorities, academic studies will show this and we can end it.

    How about you get your sanctimonious, disingenuous ass off your high horse and work on reading comprehension instead off being a butt-hurt douche.

    Relax, my butt is fine.

  57. Remember how social justice warriors all got behind the principle of racial and sexual harassment policies at conventions and then proceeded to completely ignore that principle by harassing the shit out of people based on their race and sex and having morons even go so far as to call it “affirmative action”? Goose gander have other names in SJW-land: they’re each called extinct “dodos.” Let’s just call all race-hatred “affirmative action” and call it “love” too. Or how about “social justice”? There are no dumber morons, dishonest word-smiths, or bigger liars on earth than SJWs. They must drink at the white affirmative action fountain of wisdom and privilege.

  58. To the guy who thinks that racial separation in conventions that are about a passion that is supposed to bring people of all backgrounds together (science fiction) is “affirmative action”… No, it is just racial separation. I’m happy we don’t have bs like this in European events and if there were, I’d be sure to boycot it. I’m a Finn married to a Chinese. So because he’s a “person of color” (idiotic term) we would not be able to attend the same events? Now how is that not offending behaviour? My own baby could be with her dad in a “safe space” but not me?

    I’m actually pretty sure that majority of average science fiction geeks would be against racially separated spaces if they knew about them. Geeks are a mixed bunch and befriend, date and marry across ethnic lines. Probably more than these authors who want to Balkanise a fandom.

    Good one about slavery being “right wing” There are more slaves in the world right now than ever before, but I doubt the folks running that business are big on politics.

  59. Cpt. Carnage, you have failed to convince anyone here of anything save that you are a nincompoop of the highest order. You lack any reading comprehension skills and are obtuse to the point of being denser than uranium.

    The sad part is that you believe you have caught numerous people up in contradictions when in reality, the only contradiction is you. I pity you.

  60. Lucillalin:
    To the guy who thinks that racial separation in conventions that are about a passion that is supposed to bring people of all backgrounds together (science fiction) is “affirmative action”… No, it is just racial separation.

    I don’t fully understand why one single hotel room in one single convention in the whole world is this big of an issue. No, there is no racially segregated convention. No, there are no general-interest events that you can’t attend because you’re white. There’s one room for people of color to interact with other people of color, because some of them want to have that kind of space.

    It escapes me why so many white people are mad because of this. In what way would it make the SFF more equal if this space is taken away from those PoC’s who prefer to have it available? If members of ethnic groups that have a long history of being subject to discrimination want to have one room for themselves, why not let them have it?

    I understand that you see the issue from the viewpoint of someone who isn’t allowed in, but maybe you could also consider their perspective before getting offended.

    bassmanco:
    Cpt. Carnage, you have failed to convince anyone here of anything save that you are a nincompoop of the highest order.

    I understand that we disagree but calling me names does not help. We can continue to disagree and be civil about it.

  61. If it’s ok for people of one color to have a private room where people of other colors are not allowed, why would anyone be upset if a whites-only room was created?

    It’s this hypocracy that we are calling out.

    Remember that we are advocating the the ideal is that the genetics of a person (color of skin/hair/eyes, equipment between their legs, etc) should not matter. If you agree that this is what we are trying to get to, how does restricting people from being in a room based on the color of their skin help?

    As far as the “they are more comfortable that way”, I’m sure that there were a lot of people who were more comfortable with ‘white only’ resturaunts in the Jim Crow era. What makes people ‘comfortable’ is not the deciding factor here.

  62. Just stop. Literalists don’t understand principle and they can’t make simple comparisons. They can’t use analogy or metaphor. I’ve seen it time and again. They can only think of a single thing at a time and in isolation. This dufus literally doesn’t understand what we’re talking about. There is no hypocrisy or contradictions in their world. Either he’s that dumb or he’s just trolling.

  63. davefreer:
    So it is plainly very, very much harder to get published as a Christian, let alone get awards than representative proportions would suggest. According to you ‘perhaps something should be done’. I look forward to hearing you suggest it.

    I have no clue what religious or political beliefs 80-90% of science fiction writers hold, so what is overrepresented or underrepresented is anybody’s guess. There might be some anti-religious sentiment in SFF fandom, even though Stephen King, Connie Willis, Tracy Hickman and Gene Wolfe (all of them Christians) seem to be doing quite well. But let’s say there really are a bunch of Christian writers who feel that they face discrimination and want to have a writing workshop among themselves to speak about the problems Christians face in SFF. I don’t think anybody would argue that they didn’t have the right to do just that or that such a workshop was offending or racist or whatever (and certainly not not with the same energy you guys attack Wiscon and Women Destroy Science Fiction issue of Lightspeed in this thread).

  64. davidelang:
    If it’s ok for people of one color to have a private room where people of other colors are not allowed, why would anyone be upset if a whites-only room was created?

    Just a wild guess but perhaps the fact that white people are not marginalized in society and have no history of being sucject to discrimination have something to do with it?

  65. See what I mean. That is an intense level of denseness imperious to logic, reality or calendars.

  66. James May – you have and are exhibiting an annoying tendency to act as if history started last Wednesday. People alive today were beaten by police for the “crime” of voting while black. Ignoring that fact is “denseness” and being “impervious to calendars.”

  67. I see that neither Carnage nor Gerrib has provided an answer to my simple questions. One must wonder whether that’s because they are unable to do so coherently, or unwilling to be exposed as frauds.

  68. Remember gang: segregation is racist when white people make the rules. When non-white people make the rules, segregation is awesome! (paragraph 27, the Wiscon constitution.)

  69. You know… the reason that “white’s only” would be considered bad is for the same reason that a men’s only club is considered bad. It’s a place for people with power to network and gain more power. The reason that black’s only places were bad, and by definition not seen as equal and why “separate but equal” is understood to be damaging… is that you don’t and *can’t* correct inequality by separating people into their own special place. And no matter how hard you try it’s impossible to avoid the pairing of “this place is for you”, and “that other place is NOT for you.” If there is any implication that the general areas are not for you… how is that not damaging? And presenting a “safe place” for people doesn’t even *imply* that the general areas are unwelcoming… it strips naked and dances on tables while *shouting* that the general areas are NOT FOR YOU.

  70. What’s the message in a women’s only anthology other than “you can’t compete with men?”

    Just wondering.

  71. — People alive today were beaten by police for the “crime” of voting while black. Ignoring that fact is “denseness” and being “impervious to calendars.”

    I agree. Similarly, people alive today were discriminated against for being Catholic. Although it wasn’t nearly as severe as African American civil rights violations under Jim Crow, it was still terrible by any modern humanitarian’s standards. (And nobody bring up Kennedy, unless you think that Obama’s election ended institutionalized discrimination against African Americans).

    If we want to go further back, White Anglo America was trying to exterminate the Mormons at the same time that the South kept slaves. LITERALLY exterminate them. The genocide order remained Missouri state law until 1976. They are still a regular target of hate speech from segments of the Christian Right — the same group that opposes gay rights — AND from the descendants of the East Coast Protestants who persecuted them in the 1840s. Their religion is satirized in the media just like Islam has been, and they make up a small percentage of America’s total population. Not all of them are white, either.

    I think that John C. Wright and his wife should both be allowed to attend the “safe spaces” by virtue of this historical discrimination against Catholics. If we count earlier stuff, I’d also recommend adding Brad and Larry to the safe spaces.

    Yes, I am being serious. I am perfectly willing to accept historical standards of redress as long as they are applied consistently.

  72. As far as the Southern slaveocrats being left or right wing by modern American standards? It’s debatable.

    The Republicans TODAY basically espouse the same stuff as the Republicans did then. Minimally regulated capitalism, citizenship rights in a classically liberal, Lockean sense without regard to skin color or past discrimination, etc. Naive, maybe, but recognizable across time.

    The Democrat South was racist, which is supposed to be right wing today. But the foremost defenders of slavery were Calhoun — a politician whose theory of concurrent majorities and minority political rights (in his case, the right to own slaves) has been incorporated into modern left-wing political discourse — and George Fitzhugh, a heretical Marxist.

    (Fitzhugh described plantation slavery as “the beau ideal of Communism.” He remarked elsewhere, “Add a Virginia overseer to Mr. Greeley’s [socialist communes], and Mr. Greeley and we would have little to quarrel about.” Like the Marxists, he rejected equality of opportunity as a shield for plutocrats to exploit the masses.)

    Intellectually, the mainstream American right descends from the same unimaginative Lockean tradition that Lincoln did. The mainstream American left rejects Locke in a way that — aside from racism — owes more intellectually to the slavers.

    Meh. Slavery doesn’t fit into any modern political category.

  73. The most interesting thing about slavery that the SJW’s are too narrowly focused to see is that European White Society is the only group to GIVE IT UP. And we went to war to do it.

  74. Carnage:

    “People involved in art and entertainment tend to be more liberal and left-wing (in the broad sense of the word) than the general population.”

    No, just the noisy ones. The others have had to shut up lest they be given the Jonathan Ross treatment.

    Jonathan:

    “Slavery is a right-wing thing? Is this a joke? Slavery was of the Democratic Party, and so was Jim Crow. Were you writing this with a straight face?”

    As far as I know, the only actual Klan official to serve in Congress was Robert Byrd, D – W. Va. He wasn’t exactly a fringe guy, either. The Dems made him majority leader multiple times.

    More recent slave states are also by conspicuously lacking in classical liberalism (what is generally called “libertarianism” in the U.S. today). How could it be otherwise?

    Stalin, Pol Pot, the Kim dynasty, Hitler, Mussolini… all hard leftists.

    Gerrib: “People alive today were beaten by police for the “crime” of voting while black. ”

    By Democrats. You guys keep leaving that out for some reason.

    Carnage again:

    “I understand that we disagree but calling me names does not help. We can continue to disagree and be civil about it.”

    In a previous thread I demonstrated conclusively that you are a clumsy and unrepentant liar. Liars merit no civility whatsoever. When you exhibit civilized behavior, you will be treated in a civil manner. Not before.

    Cat Faber:

    “Mainstream has shifted left and left you behind.”

    Slept through the last general election, did you?

  75. Cat Faber again:

    “And, as you browbeat regular fen for liking diverse books, and publishers for responding to that demand,”

    It has been pointed out to you several times that:

    1) 100% Marxist is not “diverse”.
    2) The declining sales figures give the lie to your claim that there was some enormous pent-up demand for Marxist lectures dressed up as “diverse” stories.

  76. “People alive today were beaten for by police for the ‘crime’ of voting while black.”

    So the fuck what? What does that have to with me, or one single person at WisCon?

  77. By “police” Gerrib means “white.” Notice how it’s always something negative? Why not write “There are people alive today who benefitted from white-created anti-Jim Crow laws that go back over 100 years in states that never had slavery? Oh, and STILL benefit! That’s where this nifty thing called a “calendar” creeps into the picture and this other thing called “today.” Instead I have to listen to this “white privilege” creep hold me somehow accountable not only for something some fuck in Alabama did a half century ago but only the negative stuff, never the good.

  78. your being upset about some examples of affirmative action doesn’t make them discrimination. When we reach a point where straight white men are underrepresented in SF and are facing difficulties getting published et cetera, something should perhaps be done to the things you mentioned (or maybe we could put together a Men Destroy Science Fiction anthology), but in my experience, straight white men are doing quite well at the moment.

    Native Americans and Latinos are severely underrepresented in SF. Last year, the Pinkshirt establishment not only refused to engage in affirmative action to help those underrepresented minorities win an award, but actively campaigned against both Native Americans and Latinos.

    It is evident from their actions last year that fen are considerably more racist and anti-diversity than the Sad Puppies crew. And if it’s not about politics, why is it that I have been nominated for a Hugo, but never for a Carl Brandon Award, for which I am eminently eligible?

  79. Hmm, it seem like no-one is going to answer any of the questions I asked in the few last posts. All I got out of you are one-liners in the style of “segregation is racist when white people make the rules” that completely miss the points I made. Does that mean I win? 😀

    Are you guys seriously saying you don’t see anything problematic in this situation where people belonging to a culturally privileged group are telling members of a marginalized group how they should feel about things?

  80. Are you guys seriously saying you don’t see anything problematic in this situation where people belonging to a culturally privileged group are telling members of a marginalized group how they should feel about things?

    You mean like white SFWA members telling Native Americans how they should feel about things? No one is telling blacks, or women, or Papua New Guineans how they should feel. We are telling them that “affirmative action” is discrimination. We are saying that anti-white racism is still racism.

    No, Ct. Carnage, you don’t win. As for your questions:

    In what way would it make the SFF more equal if this space is taken away from those PoC’s who prefer to have it available?

    In the only relevant way. It is as racist for we People of Color to exclude whites from that space as it would be for whites to exclude People of Color from the convention. It’s SF Jim Crow. Also, please don’t use the acronym “PoC”. It is racist and offensive.

    If members of ethnic groups that have a long history of being subject to discrimination want to have one room for themselves, why not let them have it?

    Because that is segregation and institutional racism. Do you support segregation and institutional racism?

  81. Here is an anonymous comment I quote from elsewhere:

    “I’m not impressed with a bunch of tweeters who have done little else but complain about an artist, celebrity, or a whole swath of millions of people (lumped together and tarred with one brush, that’s bigoted) for not writing a suitable vehicle for them, not learning enough about their plight, and assuming those millions of people have the wrong empathy for them. Instead, they’d rather spend their time and energy staying angry, obsessed with trying to force their targets into apologizing and capitulating to a very fuzzy agenda.

    “So get off your asses and start working on the change you want to see in the world, instead of assuming your target group doesn’t get you b/c they haven’t lived your lives (a classic argumentative fallacy, BTW) and that you need their permission to do anything. You DON’T.”

    I would add those swaths of millions don’t need the permission of a bunch of addled gender abolitionists to do anything either. Stay off my lawn and knock off the cultural appropriation. When you make up rules that pretend to be a thing like our Constitution which violate its principles you have officially joined a cargo cult that thinks justice follows waving racism around and simply calling it “justice.” You got the “ju” part right, as in “ju-ju.”

  82. The Democratic Party ripped itself to shreds passing the Civil Rights Act. Literally, in that dozens of Southern Democrats walked out – see Strom Thurmond. That was actually the third time the party split – the first time was in 1860 when they ran two separate slates for President, allowing Abraham Lincoln to win, and the second time was 1948, when the Dixiecrats walked out over FDR and Truman’s desegregation efforts.

    After the 1964 split, Lee Atwater, a political operative, invented the “Southern Strategy” which allowed the Republican Party to pick up the white votes in the South. From Atwater’s interview:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.

    In short, racial discrimination has changed over time. (Who coulda known?)

    For whoever asked, my background in statistics is a graduate-level course for my MBA degree.

    For VD – this may come as a shock, but Native Americans can be racist too. Ditto Hispanic Americans, or Blacks, or really anybody.

    James May – I hold you accountable for what you say here and now.

  83. Cpt. Carnage, as I already mentioned, you are disingenuous, which is why you are ignoring all the answers to your questions. And I concur with SBP. When you come to us without lying or moving the goalposts, you will be treated with respect and courtesy. Until then, fuck off douchnozzle.

  84. Suddenly Gerrib knows what a calendar is and maybe next on his list will be the difference between racism backed up by law (which one can measure) and racism not backed up by law, which one cannot measure.

    We can presume that in Germany in 1928 there was a lot of anti-Semitism. But no Jews were carted off to camps. Why? Law. Anti-Semites in 1928 had no institutional way to express their anti-Semitism.

    It’s the same in America today: there is no way to measure racial bigotry and with no laws which favor one group over another (other than affirmative action) it is a he-said, she-said. However, identity segregation in the SFF community is 100% on the side of the cult which worships the hostile ideology of anti-white, anti-male gender feminism and I can measure that by the segregated institutions SJWs create and support vs. the non-existence of such institutions on the so-called “right-wing” and “reactionary” side. Those segregated institutions are not accidental demographics but actual rules that discriminate by race and sex. Given the hateful rhetoric which accompanies those acts of segregation that takes out millions of people at a go on zero evidence, calling those expressions “affirmative action” is laughable.

    Using words like “underrepresented” and “diversity” are meaningless. They are presented as a good idea but mysteriously they are ever only a good idea for men and whites. There is no blubbering about introducing diversity into boxing or that whites are underrepresented in rap music. SJWs never whine about more male teachers and nurses or romance novelists. It’s a stacked deck for the weak minded.

    I’m glad you hold me accountable for what I say in the here and now. I unreservedly support legal equality for women. I just as unreservedly reject the sexist, racist cult of gender feminism and the French Queer theory it promotes as typified by pervert Simone de Beauvoir and yet another children’s sex-rights advocate, the iconic gender feminist Andrea Dworkin. Then there’s the equally iconic gay black proto-intersectionalist Audre Lorde who blurbed Dworkin’s insane 1974 book Woman-Hatred by writing it was “much needed” and made “white privilege” an issue way back in 1979 by writing white feminists were “tools of a racist patriarchy.” Lorde was in psychotherapy for 30 years. Then there’s Dworkin’s colleague and associate Susan Brownmiller who claimed all men benefit from the criminal “shock troops” of rapists because the fear keeps women in line, a year after the term “rape culture” was coined in 1974. Those are Gerrib’s heroes. Those are the one’s who came up with the scapegoating doctrine of “white privilege.” There are your “gender abolitionists” and there is your core doctrine of SJW SFF and it consists of nothing more than mass defamation, phobia, and hatred of men, whites and heterosexuality.

    For myself, I’m a 14th Amendment kind of guy. I believe all people have the right to live expansive lives. I do not believe in or practice the rancid group defamation so widely practiced and supported in the core SFF community. To make it worse, that core community is as ready to smear all whites with an immorality as they are to tell us never to do that with Arab terrorism or black crime. Gerrib cannot see his supremacist feminists are playing a con game where one race and sex is never wrong and the other never right. The 100% rate at which SFF Nebula and Hugo nominees routinely single out whites and men for defamation is too obvious for Gerrib to grasp. So are the convention rules against harassment of a race or sex. Were the last 4 years (during which this ugly feminism has reared its head) of Hugo and Nebula nominees judged by convention harassment rules, those expelled from the SFF community on a theory of zero tolerance would be all on Gerrib’s side of the table. That is using the language of convention policy social justice warriors were so enthusiastic about that some openly extorted concessions from conventions by threatening boycotts. However the reality is that only one race and sex is affected by these SJW rules about harassment, and that is men and whites.

    I believe in equal protection, not obvious con games like “punching up” which forever absolves women, non-whites and gay of bigotry. That is not equal protection, that is supremacy and bigotry.

    And that’s all ignoring the obvious stupidity of making gender feminism central to SFF in the first place. That is an obsession in a weird place, not a natural intersection. It is as weird as having to read about Marx at Jiffy Lube or pass a test on Critical Race Theory before riding in a rodeo.

  85. “Hmm, it seem like no-one is going to answer any of the questions I asked in the few last posts.”

    That would be because you are a serial liar.

    “where people belonging to a culturally privileged group”

    You mean like white women who went to expensive private colleges and now live in white-bread St. Louis suburbs? (cough… Leckie).

    Yep, Larry Correia, of Portuguese descent and who grew up herding cattle is WAY more privileged than her.

    You don’t even believe your own bullshit, son. Stop expecting anyone else to believe it.

  86. “In short, racial discrimination has changed over time. ”

    Yep, just keep ignoring Robert “Grand Kleagle” Byrd, D-W.Va. Twice Senate majority leader, voted into office by his fellow Dems.

  87. For VD – this may come as a shock, but Native Americans can be racist too. Ditto Hispanic Americans, or Blacks, or really anybody.

    No, not according to the SJWs you are defending. You’re not up on your current race theory. Racism is about power, and therefore those who lack power cannot be racist. You really need to read up on the people whose side you have taken. According to them, I cannot be racist because I am Native American.

    That is, of course, why they have been so desperate to deny that fact. And that’s why you don’t see many of them calling me racist anymore. According to them, only whites can be racist, otherwise they’d have to disown most of their pet people of color.

  88. “Racism is about power, and therefore those who lack power cannot be racist.”

    And yet somehow billionaire Oprah is still more of a “victim” than an 18 year old white kid slinging burgers for minimum wage.

    The definitions of “power” are quite flexible. I read an alleged history text in college that claimed that the Empress Theodora was less privileged than, say, a random Byzantine mine slave. Seriously.

    Fortunately that was only one of several texts set by the department for the course, and the professor I got assigned very little from it. He also heaped scorn on “Afrocentrism” in class, pointing out that Cleopatra (e.g.) was a Ptolemaic Greek. He could get away with it because he was a black man with tenure.

  89. bassmanco:
    Cpt. Carnage, as I already mentioned, you are disingenuous, which is why you are ignoring all the answers to your questions.

    Real answers seem to be in short supply.

    Here’s one question I posed (re Wiscon PoC-only space):
    It escapes me why so many white people are mad because of this. In what way would it make the SFF more equal if this space is taken away from those PoC’s who prefer to have it available?

    Only answer I got was Theodore Beale’s assertion that “it’s just racist”. Some messages later he brought up, however, the fact that according to race theories, the position of power is an important factor in recognizing racism. Affirmative action policies (that are in place to counter institutional racism) are not racist, because they help marginalized groups and are supported by them.

    Perhaps you have a better answer to my original question.

  90. SBP:
    “Racism is about power, and therefore those who lack power cannot be racist.”

    And yet somehow billionaire Oprah is still more of a “victim” than an 18 year old white kid slinging burgers for minimum wage.

    The 18 year old white kid is not a victim of prejudice against people of color, whatever his or her wage is.

  91. Gerrib: “For whoever asked, my background in statistics is a graduate-level course for my MBA degree.”

    Oh, *MBA* statistics. I *am* impressed.

    I remember a modeling and simulation course I took in grad school. Heavy on (real) statistics, differential equations, queueing theory, etc. It was cross-listed Math, General Engineering, Computer Science, and MBA, as I recall.

    Not one MBA student lasted past the first homework assignment.

    Snicker.

    From what you’ve been posting here, you are barely numerate. Don’t put on airs.

  92. SBP, James May, VD, Mr. Torgersen, Dr. Mauser, Zil, s1al, Synova, davidlang, davefreer, Thomas Monaghan, Nathan, Skip, Lucillalin, kamas716, Dawn Dreams, Brian Niemeier, Nomad, Michael Z. Williamson, Johnathan, Dan Lane and Jared Anders, thank you for your intellectual honesty and ability to communicate.

  93. Chris Gerrib: “For whoever asked, my background in statistics is a graduate-level course for my MBA degree.”

    Now, if you could clarify for me, is this the type of statistics course that involves Calculus or Crayons? I can’t keep it clear with the MBA-type classes.

    But seriously, you compare the voter shift to changing out of dice, and that’s just silly. That’s more akin to:

    “Here we have a bag of 10,000 red dice and a bag of 10 green dice. We’re going to roll 5 of each and trade them out blue for blue, red for red, one at a time. Oh, all of the red dice are coming up with a statistically random assortment of numbers and the green ones aren’t? Well, we’re switching them out!”

    Not to mention that you’re ignoring the fact that memberships last 2 years and can be renewed. I mean, my *high school* statistics course would have resulted in a failing grade if I’d tried an experiment like this… college, the professor would have laughed me out of the classroom. But that was an applied analysis statistics course for engineers.

    So far, your entire strategy has been to deny that there’s even smoke, and therefore no there’s no fire; this despite the fact that everyone else clearly see smoke, including the folks on your own side. We *might* be able to have a real discussion if you would at least acknowledge the fact that the Hugos are *clearly* skewed towards SJW-style PC works, regardless of literary quality.

    That said, here’s the real difference that I see: When I read the “Look Inside” for ‘Ancillary Justice,’ it was… boring. 10 pages of nothing happening and meandering background exposition. Bleck. It was actually less interesting than Tom Bombadil. When he was singing! When I read the “Look Inside” for ‘Hard Magic,’ I immediately wanted to read the rest of the book.

    But Correia’s work is pulpy and fun, so any deeper themes and interesting characters and world-building is ignored. AJ ignores gender pronouns in a confusing fashion and it considered the best novel of the year.

    Shoot. Me. Now.

    A year ago. I had never heard of Sad Puppies. I new nothing about the Hugos aside from the fact that they’re a literary award. Now? Well, I’ll let you figure out what the result has win. And the book sales say that my side, the Puppies side, is winning. It says that SFF is losing. You can continue to blithely ignore that, or you can look past minor issues of nuance and see the giant damn picture that’s right in front of you.

    Oh, and Carnage: still waiting for you to justify the moral imperative of diversity. Gerrib, you can feel free to answer that, too; you have come down on the same side with the same assumptions.

  94. Ahem – it seems that I used a variety of different colors in the last post for the dice. This is what I get for editing to avoid political implications. I’m sure the point is still clear.

  95. Wow, that second-to-last paragraph has a couple silly errors. new = knew, win = been.

    Also, I really want to know how someone is quantifying the degree of prejudice an individual faces based on characteristics like ancestry and skin color. Neither one holds a candle to money.

    Sorry for the triple post, folks.

  96. s1al: SJW inclusivity in a nutshell: White readers need to have stories with characters that look like everybody but them. Black readers, on the other hand, require stories with characters that look exactly like them. Because, you know, Minorities aren’t capable of relating to characters who aren’t their same race/gender/sexuality/etc.

  97. “Minorities aren’t capable of relating to characters who aren’t their same race/gender/sexuality/etc.”

    This is, of course, particularly idiotic when it comes to SF. I’ve identified with characters that weren’t even human. Heck, some of them weren’t even carbon based lifeforms.

  98. Dr. Mauser: Oh I know. I just want Carnage and Gerrib to go on record with their justification. They’ve repeatedly demonstrated that they do not want to approach the issue head-on, which is sensible because it extrapolates to some rather silly places.

  99. > The 18 year old white kid is not a victim of prejudice against people of color, whatever his or her wage is.

    the 18 year old white kid is not a victim of predjudice against people of color, but if he is from the backwoods of arkasas he is extremely likely to be a victum of predjudice against ‘hilbillies’ while Opera sure isn’t.

    by defining the only predjudice that counts as being that against “people of color” you are trying to define the problem as something that is defined by itself.

    Here’s something for you to think about.

    If you are at a Country Club or other high-end establishment and watch the wait staff dealing with people, the well-dressed middle-aged (and elderly) people are going to be the ones who get the best treatment, no matter what the color of their skin.

    poorly dressed youngsters are going to be poorly treated, no matter what the color of their skin.

    Extremely attractive Young Women who accompany middle-aged men (and have no family resemblence) are all going to have the same assumptions made of them, again independently of the color of their skin.

    Now, it’s a separate issue that there are far more middle-aged and elderly whites who show up at such locations dressed well. A good debate could take place as to why this is the case, but the least likely reason is the current amount of predjudice that’s in operation. A case could be made that it’s because of the level of predjudice 100 years ago, but if you start trying to go down that road you can keep going back forever and end up wondering why (if humans did evolve in Africa), Africa didn’t end up being the center of civilaization.

  100. Minorities can’t be racist by definition, it’s okay if they “punch up”, and it’s all wine and roses until someone notices that someone like Requires Hate is attacking the “good guys” instead of harassing and trying to ruin the “bad guys”. Somehow, magically, someone who by definition can not be racist and who can not be expected to behave civilly is suddenly found to be full of racially based hate and found to wield real power that gives her the ability to HURT people. Curious that.

    Sorry… racism is racism. Vox is wrong, BTW, to say it’s “reverse” racism. It’s not. It’s just racism. It’s got no direction. It’s not defined by who has a superficial resemblance to other people who are doing well or a superficial resemblance to other people who are doing less well. It’s defined by a person’s character, their personal feelings, their personal prejudices and their individual actions. It has to do with ugliness and hate in your heart and publicly judging people by their race or ethnicity and defining them by it.

    Hate is hate. Segregation is segregation. Neither can be employed in a GOOD way. Racism can not be employed to end racism. Inequality can not be employed to create equality. Hate can not create love.

  101. Synova:
    Sorry… racism is racism.

    People define “racism” differently. Your statement makes sense if we think it’s a term for prejudice against all ethnic groups and all forms of different treatment. In theories that take power dynamics into consideration, it’s something else. I think there’s some merit in that line of reasoning, because that helps us focus on institutional racism, income gaps, educational inequality, marginalization in culture etc. If we just categorically renounce different treatment, we can do nothing to fix these problems.

    Inequality can not be employed to create equality.

    I disagree somewhat, because affirmative action policies have been proven to have good results in the right circumstances (although there are also some problematic aspects to it and it’s not a black and white thing).

    s1al:
    We *might* be able to have a real discussion if you would at least acknowledge the fact that the Hugos are *clearly* skewed towards SJW-style PC works, regardless of literary quality.

    We have different tastes and we think different sorts of books are fun to read. I didn’t enjoy Hard Magic very much myself and I don’t think that it is of high literary quality (however you measure that). You and me have different sensibilities and there’s nothing wrong with that. Do you agree?

  102. You are mixing up correlation and causation.

    Income gaps and educational inequality may correlate with race, but they correlate much more strongly with location.

    Institutional racism is questionable, both in magnitude and in direction. It’s a term that’s used mostly without any proof other than “look at this picture, there must be racism or it would look different”

    marginalization in culture is another meaningless phrase, especially when the same people accuse people who don’t ignore minority cultures of “appropriating” the culture.

    The culture that America should be promoting is “American Culture”, the melting pot that combines elements of the culture of all it’s people. Every new group of immigrants adds to the culture as they become part of it. If you tell people that they shouldn’t participate in something because they have the wrong genetics, you hurt everything. This applies if you tell the ‘minority’ not to participate in American Culture because they would be ‘selling out their heritage’ and it applies if you prohibit the majorities from participating in elements of minority culture for fear that their participation will pollute or appropriate it.

  103. Anytime you hear words like “underrepresented” or “privilege” you know you’re listening to some intersectional politburo garbage from a parrot.

  104. Vox is wrong, BTW, to say it’s “reverse” racism. It’s not. It’s just racism.

    Vox did not say it is reverse racism. That was my point. Anyone can be racist. But the SJWs like Cpt. Carnage attempt to redefine it in such a way that permits them to be racist without admitting it. I simply find it amusing that their redefinition absolves me of the very charge they so often hurl at me.

    Hate is hate. Segregation is segregation. Neither can be employed in a GOOD way.

    Absolutely false. Hatred of evil and sin is not merely desirable, it is commanded. God Himself hates the wicked. Read your Bible. And segregation not only can be employed in a good way, it is absolutely inevitable. Where do you think all those homogenous societies come from in the first place? They don’t always start that way.

    All anti-segregation policies accomplish is to ensure a bigger body count in the long run.

  105. Vox, “All anti-segregation policies accomplish is to ensure a bigger body count in the long run.”

    So it seems to me that the solution is to make sure that we’re all Americans, then there’s no need to segregate, a job our institutions seem to be deliberately failing at.

    (OTOH, Prisons are a perfect example of Segregation that is both good and necessary.)

  106. davidelang:
    Income gaps and educational inequality may correlate with race, but they correlate much more strongly with location.

    I’m sure there are correlations with gender and class as well and you can make many overlapping distinctions. You are probably right about location having correlation, but where you live is a different variable than your identity. You can move but not change your race or gender.

    Institutional racism is questionable, both in magnitude and in direction. It’s a term that’s used mostly without any proof other than “look at this picture, there must be racism or it would look different”

    Perhaps we think differently about what institutional racism is. For me, the fact that there are income gaps and educational inequality between ethnic groups proves that there are some systemic policies, practices and economic/political structures which place minority ethnic groups at a disadvantage (that is, there is institutional racism).

    marginalization in culture is another meaningless phrase

    I do think we can make the point that there are very few black or Asian protagonists in science fiction, especially in mainstream movies and tv (where you can be certain of the character’s ethnicity). Isn’t it fair to call that marginalization?

    The culture that America should be promoting is “American Culture”, the melting pot that combines elements of the culture of all it’s people.

    I respect your inclusive way of thinking about this, although I see SFF more as a global culture than an American thing (but I don’t think that was the point you we’re trying to make).

  107. Perhaps we think differently about what institutional racism is. For me, the fact that there are income gaps and educational inequality between ethnic groups proves that there are some systemic policies, practices and economic/political structures which place minority ethnic groups at a disadvantage (that is, there is institutional racism).

    That sounds like blame shifting to me. Certain minority cultures do not value education, and that cultural attitude results in poor education and later poor economic performance. (While others do and have the opposite outcome, to the extent that some liberals don’t want to treat them like minorities any more) The fact that some individuals who reject that culture can become extremely successful suggests that it’s not the institutions uniformly holding them back. But it’s much easier to cry racism and blame someone else for one’s failings than it is to own your own failure.

    I do think we can make the point that there are very few black or Asian protagonists in science fiction, especially in mainstream movies and tv (where you can be certain of the character’s ethnicity). Isn’t it fair to call that marginalization?

    Now THAT might be institutional racism, the institution being our loving Liberal Entertainment industry. They are built on appearances and externalities, and they won’t take chances if it gets in the way of profits (Which I know, sounds like something you’d attribute to a Conservative, but this is Hollywood, the land of lies and Political Correctness). Now OTHER countries are FAR more racist than America, and a lot less angsty about it, considering they are typically much more monocultural. And THEY don’t go for black heroes, and the overseas market represents a whole lot more money than the US. So even if the US would be cool with it, they won’t make it.

  108. “We have different tastes and we think different sorts of books are fun to read. I didn’t enjoy Hard Magic very much myself and I don’t think that it is of high literary quality (however you measure that). You and me have different sensibilities and there’s nothing wrong with that. Do you agree?”

    Which has nothing, at all, to do with my point. Let me put it in the form of a blunt question: will you acknowledge the massive left-liberal skew of the majority of works nominated for Hugos over the last 2-3 decades?

    Also, still waiting for that justification.

  109. “I do think we can make the point that there are very few black or Asian protagonists in science fiction, especially in mainstream movies and tv (where you can be certain of the character’s ethnicity). Isn’t it fair to call that marginalization?”

    Ermm – what mainstream sci-fi/spec fic are you watching? Heroes – nope, main character is Asian. Star Trek reboot – Sulu and Ahura. Deliverance – most diverse cast I’ve ever seen. Eureka – Henry and Allison.

    Heck, comic book adaptations? I don’t think I even need to bother.

    I could go on and on, but the point is proven: this is a crock of crap. You’re actually making an argument based on a complete falsehood.

  110. s1al:
    Which has nothing, at all, to do with my point.

    Wasn’t your point was that Hugo voters vote for boring books instead of the best works?

    Let me put it in the form of a blunt question: will you acknowledge the massive left-liberal skew of the majority of works nominated for Hugos over the last 2-3 decades?

    All right, let’s see. How do you decide if a book is nearer to the left/liberal end of the political spectrum? Is there a “massive skew” visible in this list of winners in novel category for the last three decades:

    Paolo Bacigalupi
    David Brin
    Lois McMaster Bujold x4
    Orson Scott Card x2
    Michael Chabon
    C.J. Cherryh
    Susanna Clarke
    Neil Gaiman x2
    William Gibson
    Joe Haldeman
    Ann Leckie
    China Miéville
    Kim Stanley Robinson x2
    J.K. Rowling
    Robert J. Sawyer
    John Scalzi
    Dan Simmons
    Neal Stephenson
    Vernor Vinge x3
    Jo Walton
    Connie Willis x3
    Robert Charles Wilson

    Also, still waiting for that justification.

    You mean why diversity in SFF is desirable and why we should make it easier for writers from different backgounds to enter the field? I thought everyone is in favor of that, really. Aren’t you?

  111. “Wasn’t your point was that Hugo voters vote for boring books instead of the best works?”

    Did I say that? The entirety of the Sad Puppies campaign has been about the placement of works on the nomination and win lists based on identity politics rather than merit. The fact that a good portion of those works have been boring is a side effect, not a primary facet.

    “All right, let’s see. How do you decide if a book is nearer to the left/liberal end of the political spectrum? Is there a “massive skew” visible in this list of winners in novel category for the last three decades:”

    Nice job moving the goalposts… Exclusively using the novel category reveals the least bias because the field is so much smaller. But yes, based just on the political alignments of the authors/works I’ve read on that list, it’s pretty obvious. Card, as a right-leaning moderate, is the most conservative author on that list… Not to mention the fact that this is half about author politics, half about the politics of the works.

    And do you really think Card could win an award today given how much vitriol he has received from political extremists? Especially within those circles of sci-fi?

    “You mean why diversity in SFF is desirable and why we should make it easier for writers from different backgounds to enter the field? I thought everyone is in favor of that, really. Aren’t you?”

    Not what I said. Please provide a justification for the *moral imperative* of diversity.

  112. Oh, Dan Simmons is certainly right-wing. Neal Stephenson is described as a conservative in here: http://www.castaliahouse.com/top-blue-sf-of-the-century (I don’t know whether it’s a fair assessment or not). Vernor Vinge is, I think, some sort of libertarian. I’ve seen some right-wingish people give Lois McMaster Bujold’s books as examples of entertaining SF novels (as opposed to the left-wingish books dealing with identity politics), and she has won most often.

    I’ll get to some others of your points later.

  113. VD – Homogeneous societies come from geological isolation. Where did YOU think they come from? (And good luck creating geological isolation anymore.)

    Cpt. – Focusing on “institutional” racism is simply shifting the whole thing to a place where no one is to blame and no corrective actions can be taken. It’s necessary to be able to point to *this* and say that *this* person refused to hire a black person… or else it’s just a destructive mess, as we’ve seen. The major message of “racism” in it’s modern definition is that no one is guilty or can do anything about it (because it’s not addressable in a meaningful way) and no one can avoid it either. Imagine (if you can) growing up being TOLD that the world is against you and you can’t do a dang thing except be angry. Why try? Why work hard? Why apply when you’re going to be smacked down? It doesn’t matter if a racist individual exists, and 100 non-racist individuals exist because the whole stupid business has been REMOVED FROM THAT SPHERE.

  114. @Carnage – If believing that Islam is a global threat (historically or potentially) is “right-wing,” then we are operating on two very different definitions of the word. Last I looked, the new atheists are left-liberal, and at least two of the “horsemen” have come to that same conclusion.

    @Synova – geographic isolation doesn’t account for Chinatown; little Italy; or even Flint, Michigan. Do you honestly believe that petiole don’t self-segregate based on ethnicity?

  115. Notice how a disadvantaged ethnic group is always said to be so because of another ethnic group, namely, whites? In other words, the culture racial huddling produces is as mysteriously always assumed to be that of the failure of one group as it is never said to be that of the cultural failure of another. Surely if we’re talking about cultural failure it must be as likely to be here as there. The idea there is no cultural difference between white Americans and black is laughable. SJWs themselves maintain the differences are so stark a white person needs “writing the other” workshops and can never truly imagine the experiences of so-called “people of color,” and not anywhere in the world. It’s a stacked deck. Also notice if anything positive emerges from a “disadvantaged” culture it’s an indigenous success story. Blues and jazz is always “black” but not educational lapses, and SFF is “global,” though it clearly has emerged in its present form from mid-century ethnic European American traditions.

    Seeing the famous (but unknown in America) actress Cheng Pei Pei (later in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) in the Hong Kong film Blue Skies (1967) dancing the ballet to a bluesy/jazzy music has nothing to do with Chinese culture and the same is true when they write SFF novels. On the other hand the martial arts films from Hong Kong based on Wuxia novels by men like Louis Cha are closer to an indigenous form, at least in story if not their film presentation, and which have popped up in American culture. The famous Gordon (36th Chamber of Shao Lin) Liu’s appearance in Kill Bill is a nod to that era as was Cheng Pei Pei’s appearance in Crouching Tiger.

    SJWs try and pass off that equally laughable mechanism to mean the entirety of the Third World. The Third World is failed they say, not because of innate cultural tendencies, but because of whites. Again, any success, e.g. martial arts films, is indigenous, (though film is also my form by SJW standards) but any failure laid at my feet. Anyone who’s been to the Third World can spot the problem right off the bat. Whether because of culture or some other mechanism, Westerners present an amazing contrast to the locals in every way imaginable, from the slip-shod half-assed architecture to a tendency to have filth and lack of maintenance everywhere to the dangerous narrow roads with no shoulders to the intellectual aggressiveness of Westerners. There are thirty times more books stores and libraries in my hometown of 2 million than there are in the 10 million of Rio de Janeiro, and that is par for the course across the Third World. Backpacking around the Third World whether it was Latin America or S.E. Asia the one commonality I came to expect was the ammonia smell of urine in almost any movie theater I went in from men not using bathrooms. That is not oppression but failure. Extrapolate that out to all aspects of Third World societies. Apply it to Detroit. SJWs will move reality, history, heaven and earth to maintain oppression and equality exist where it doesn’t. That’s why SJWs will misappropriate the term “institution” to equally falsely mean “systemic” in order to move around success and failure at the behest of a racial agenda.

  116. You mean why diversity in SFF is desirable and why we should make it easier for writers from different backgounds to enter the field? I thought everyone is in favor of that, really. Aren’t you?

    Not even slightly. I just want the BEST writers to enter the field. I don’t give, to put it as bluntly as possible, jack shit how many people of color or women are in the field. I just want the best writers writing, and nothing is stopping them.

  117. Also,

    Perhaps we think differently about what institutional racism is. For me, the fact that there are income gaps and educational inequality between ethnic groups proves that there are some systemic policies, practices and economic/political structures which place minority ethnic groups at a disadvantage (that is, there is institutional racism).

    That’s just a description of the world. It’s not proof of anything, for or against your theory, because I can just as easily claim that the data proves that minority ethnic groups caused the problems on their own, with no influence from racism. From that information there’s no way to decide.

  118. s1al:
    The entirety of the Sad Puppies campaign has been about the placement of works on the nomination and win lists based on identity politics rather than merit.

    Yes, and the problem with that statement is that you cannot measure literary merit. There’s just no way to do it. Nobody can say that Ancillary Justice is objectively better or worse as work of art than Wheel of Time. We have differing opinions on the matter because we have differing tastes, but that’s only opinions.

    You’re the first person I know of who says Dan Simmons is left-wing. I have read a number of reviews of his novel Flashback and practically every single one complains about continous right-wing rants.

    And do you really think Card could win an award today…

    Maybe not, but he has won twice during the decades that have seen this “massive left-wing skew”.

    What makes a book right-wing or left-wing is still something of a mystery to me, though. How do you define Harry Potter, for example?

    There’s a Tolkienesque-Christian distinction between good and evil (conservative) and on the other hand an ethos of diversity (liberal)

  119. “Yes, and the problem with that statement is that you cannot measure literary merit. There’s just no way to do it. Nobody can say that Ancillary Justice is objectively better or worse as work of art than Wheel of Time. We have differing opinions on the matter because we have differing tastes, but that’s only opinions.”

    Are you actually suggesting that there are no objective metrics on which to base literary quality? If that is the case, how can we possibly be giving awards? But more importantly, this isn’t just about – not even primarily about – whether the “best” novel wins the award… it’s about which novels are getting on the slate/winning, and why.

    “You’re the first person I know of who says Dan Simmons is left-wing. I have read a number of reviews of his novel Flashback and practically every single one complains about continous right-wing rants.”

    I never claimed that. Politics isn’t binary. My statement was that simply equating accusations of “Islamophobia” or support of Israel with right-wing politics is simply not correct… especially given that Simmons has personally said that the book is not a direct reflection of his politics. It’s not unreasonable to assume that such a character would exist in that setting.

    Besides, as I understand it he won the award BEFORE that was ever published, which leads into my next point.

    ‘Maybe not, but he has won twice during the decades that have seen this “massive left-wing skew”.’

    And Card is a moderate. He’s practically a card-carrying moderate. I’ve read his works and his political statements… he’s actually highly inclusive in pretty much every way; he just happens to oppose one of the liberal Shibboleths: gay marriage. But again, that information came out AFTER he had won the award. So, given that new information, how many votes do you think he would have lost based on that political position? And we’re talking about one of the most perennially popular authors in Sci-Fi. If you asked me to name the most influential authors on modern Sci-Fi, he would be in my top 5.

    “What makes a book right-wing or left-wing is still something of a mystery to me, though. How do you define Harry Potter, for example?

    There’s a Tolkienesque-Christian distinction between good and evil (conservative) and on the other hand an ethos of diversity (liberal)”

    Good v. Evil isn’t strictly a Tolkienesque-Christian theme. Heck, I would argue that the primary difference is simply whether one holds to more traditional virtues or not. And on that point, Potter actually fails in a number of ways; but those criticisms have been made a thousand times.

    Granted, I don’t think the early Potter books (prior to number 6, really) were actually that good (probably because I didn’t read them as a kid). More importantly, J.K. Rowling is, as a Brit once put it, “America’s favorite welfare mum,” and that qualifier trumps pretty much everything else excluding extreme right-wing views. Identity politics > general politics, in this case.

    And, of course, looking at the list you made of notable conservative(ish) authors, it’s worth noting that they’re all at least 10 years ago, leaning very heavily towards 30 because of Card’s several late-80’s nom’s.

  120. Carnage,

    Card winning isn’t exactly a data point for conservatism, given that he votes Democrat. Nor is the Pink vs. Blue divide Vox favors inherently radical vs reactionary. The only one here trying to squeeze this into a liberal vs. conservative dichotomy is you, seemingly only to win sophistry points.

    As for a diversity that seems to require an ever more lockstep conformity, I’ll pass.

  121. Fiction is for entertainment, full stop. Any other answer is intellectually dishonest.

    Even the best written fiction isn’t truth — it’s a well-crafted lie that says more about the writer’s internal world than about reality. You want to inform people about the plight of marginalized groups, the virtues of libertarian selfishness, or your particular take on religion? Great! Write nonfiction.

    Nonfiction allows the reader to parse your arguments and evaluate them intelligently. Fiction uses cheap tricks to enlist the reader’s emotions, which is why strawmen work so much better in fiction.

    Can you have politics, philosophy, and ethics in your fiction? Yeah. But only because they make it more entertaining. That 40-page sermon in “Atlas Shrugged”? Rand got away with it because SOME readers find it entertaining to be preached at.

    …But most don’t.

  122. To expand on the above:

    Lemme give you an example.

    Patricia Leavy’s “Low Fat Love” is, to my knowledge, the most thoroughly researched example of social fiction in existence. It is LITERALLY written from a sociology professor’s ethnographic and interview research notes about the social construction of feminity. The author also wrote the standard “methods” book on converting social research into fiction. Sociology and gender studies classes assign it for their 101 courses.

    It is bad.

    It is bad because it is not entertaining.

    It is bad because it occludes Ms. Leavy’s arguments behind a clumsily written attempt at a “subversive” romance novel.

    It is bad because it takes perfectly arguable — and critique-able — doctoral level research and hides it from the reader.

    In short, it’s useless. It entertains no one, and provides no insight into anything. Split into two pieces, it could have provided readers with a high tolerance for mediocre prose with a few hours of entertainment, and sociology students with discussion fodder. But the actual result, fictional “message” mush, does neither.

  123. If you want a more SFF-ey example, “Finding Cholita” (an anthropology professor this time) has fantasy and alternate history elements mixed into ethnographic fieldnotes about Peruvian native Americans. It’s even less informative about the real world, because of said fantasy and alternate history elements.

  124. I disagree. Entertainment is a necessary part of (good) fiction, but fiction can serve a great many purposes. Heck, 1984 is one of the least-entertaining books I have ever attempted to read, but it was still shockingly prescient on a number of issues. If it had actually been entertaining, it could have been one of the greatest fiction works of all time… as it is, it’s still famous and important, but not great as far as actual fiction.

  125. Carnage:
    “People define “racism” differenyourtly. ”

    Yes. There is the way that intellectually honest people define it, and the way that mendacious liars like yourself and your fellow travelers define it.

    “Nobody can say that Ancillary Justice is objectively better or worse as work of art than Wheel of Time. ”

    I have not read Wheel of Time, so I can’t speak to that work directly. One can, however argue that originality is important in literature, particularly science fiction literature. By that measure, Ancillary Justice is pure shite. It does not contain a single original idea. Not one.

    s1al:

    “Politics isn’t binary.”

    Oh, but to people like Carnage it is. You are either 100% onboard with the current pravda, whatever it might be, or you are Evil. Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer is an invaluable insight into the minds of those who, like Carnage, devote every fiber of their being to The Cause. Without The Cause, they have nothing.

    The most trenchant observation that Hoffer made is that it doesn’t really matter what The Cause is. Born followers like Carnage can and will switch allegiances at the drop of a hat (Hofffer points out that many fanatical Communists turned into equally-fanatical Nazis overnight). Any cause will do, as long as it relieves the Carnages of the world of the need to think.

  126. @s1al

    Thanks for the C.S. Lewis link. “Citable authority” has almost become Lewis’s job description these days, and for good reason. We really need more people like Lewis today.

    As far as Orwell’s 1984 goes, I actually think it proves my point:

    (1) Orwell’s message about how certain types of language can destroy clear thinking is axiomatically true. It requires no further proof. It’s the literary equivalent of a list of logical fallacies, or Lewis Caroll’s logic games. Orwell could have chosen to point these fallacies out using real world examples (as he did in “Politics and the English Language”), but using fictional examples doesn’t hurt his case because he doesn’t need to refer to any real-world information. Orwell doesn’t need to cite — for instance — Klemperer’s “Language of the Third Reich” because he’s not trying to prove that it happens in the real world. He’s pointing the fallacy out and letting the readers find their own examples.

    ———

    (2) Building on the above: To the extent that Orwell is making a literary point — “Here’s what certain types of language and narratives look like” — he’s not referring to the real world at all. In this respect, 1984 resembles “The Iron Dream”, which demonstrated that some postapocalyptic stories sounded “fascist” by writing an explicitly fascist postapocalyptic story. The story isn’t “about” the real world. It’s about other fiction, language and stories — and works by demonstration.*

    ———

    (3) I’d also note that a lot of readers — like me — do find Orwell’s work entertaining. Disturbing, yes, but negative emotions are still entertainment. It’s why people like horror.

    ——–

    (4) Finally, Orwell actually DOES provide essays in 1984.

    You can evaluate Orwell’s reasoning because he discusses the philosophy behind Newspeak explicitly at the end. Very few other authors have this level of honesty.

    ——

    * Addendum to point #2: Incidentally, this means that the pronoun game in “Ancillary Justice” — although childish — is valid. It’s saying “See?! See how anno-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ying this linguistic convention is?! Doesn’t this anno-o-o-o-o-o-oy you?!”

    (To which most readers respond, “Yes. Stop annoying us.” Alas, Ancillary Justice can’t leave off once the point is made, because its author made the pronoun message a major part of her story.)

    Most other feminist message fic isn’t like “Ancillary Justice”, though, because it argues that real oppression occurs against real people in specific ways.

  127. @Synova – geographic isolation doesn’t account for Chinatown; little Italy; or even Flint, Michigan. Do you honestly believe that petiole don’t self-segregate based on ethnicity?

    Geographic isolation is where the cultures developed and then after that, when the people moved, they create places like Chinatown and Little Italy and whatnot. What doesn’t happen is enclaves of a similar size developing spontaneously. China is a huge country. It’s not a patchwork of Chinatown sized self-isolating hamlets. America is huge. There are cultural differences by region but we’re not a patchwork of self-isolating Chinatown sized hamlets. And while the culture shifts and changes over decades it does not do so in some sort of natural progression towards conformity. What accounts for each little region of Italy having a slightly different culture or every fjord in Norway having a slightly different culture is the geological isolation that did exist… a century or two ago.

  128. VD – Homogeneous societies come from geological isolation. Where did YOU think they come from?

    No, they don’t. You clearly don’t know much history. They come from ruthless and often violent segregation combined with a moderate amount of genetic intermingling. Over 1.5 million Germans were forcibly expelled from Eastern Europe a little less than two thousand years after 368,000 Celtic Helvetii were pushed out of Germany. The only geologically isolated populations are primitive aboriginals. The mass movement of peoples is reliably followed by violent struggles and the eventual expulsion of the losing groups.

    That is why the 21st century will almost surely be bloodier than the 20th century was.

    For example, just look at my province of Lombardia, named after the tribe of whom Strabo wrote: “Now as for the tribe of the Suebi, it is the largest, for it extends from the Rhenus to the Albis; and a part of them even dwell on the far side of the Albis, as, for instance, the Hermondori and the Langobardi; and at the present time these latter, at least, have, to the last man, been driven in flight out of their country into the land on the far side of the river.”

  129. Since we’ve turned to history, it’s revealing to note that if one wrote a synopsis of a thing like the history of slavery in the continents surrounding the Mediterranean basin since the Roman Empire, it would be completely at odds with social justice warrior history, which resembles a memory-hole project. You only have to read Vylar Kaftan’s Nebula-winning “The Weight of the Sunrise” to see how and why SJWs want to rearrange history. Memory-hole anti-white racial revenge fantasies centered around cherry-picked narratives of histories of colonialism and slavery are what created the anthology Long Hidden. The two editors, Rose Fox and Daniel Jose Elder can be quoted at length with anti-white comments. The same is true of We See a Different Frontier. Non-fiction quotes by the editors Fabio Fernandes of Brazil and Djibril al-Ayad (an alias) of the U.K. are hilariously anti-white and anti-Western.

    That’s why I laugh at anyone who’s dumb enough to take SJWs at their word about segregated art, awards and physical spaces. That’s not coming from an affirmative action concept but from the stupid supremacist ideology all SJWs worship like cattle. The four evil horsemen are men, whites, heterosexuals and the West. And again, the SJW bleating about “cultural appropriation” which surrounds those anthologies shows them in principle to be declaring blues and jazz music no longer to be the exclusive province of blacks and their hegemonic presence but a global art form that must be diversified into because non-blacks are “underrepresented.” Imagine a group of whites after a blues music award Tweeting “…and no blacks won an award! Yay!”

    Since no SJW would actually do that in practice but in fact do that exact thing in principle, it shows why words like “underrepresented” are used in the same way liars lie. Everything SJWs promote is based on a falsehood easily torn to shreds. That’s because showing up supremacist identity bigots is as easy as eating apple pie.

    SJWs ruthlessly extort conventions into race/sex harassment policies and then just as ruthlessly harass people according to their race and sex on SJW Twitter feeds and blogs.
    SJWs bleat about threats and metaphors where white men punch gays, non-whites and women and then pal around on Twitter with the SFWA member who wished us all a fiery death. SJWs moo about “cultural appropriation” and then plagiarize what they themselves characterize as white male mid-century SF in an analogy to white dreadlocks. SJWs whine about the sanctity of Asian culture while an entire genre of Asian monster and martial arts films (often with stolen Western film soundtracks) exist only because of Ray Harryhausen, spaghetti westerns and even Shakespeare. SJWs will Tweet about how wrong segregated high school proms are the same week they invite you to a non-whites-only WisCon dinner. SJWs will declare curing gayness to be bigotry even as they embrace an ideology whose most fundamental doctrine is that heterosexuality is a false and immoral construct that must be cured.

    SJWs are the most willfully stupid and obsessively weird people ever seen in SFF. They practice the exact opposite of everything they preach. Ann Leckie doesn’t need to be writing metaphors about “white cis dudes” but about SJWs and their Bizarro Superman culture.

  130. “N. K. Jemisin ‏@nkjemisin Feb 12 @DaPriziestHorse Aren’t all ‘white people remake’s of Japanese anime whitewashed? Most are, yes. And it’s wrong. 6:05 PM – 12 Feb 2015”

    That’s Jemisin criticizing the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film with Scarlett Johannson doing her usual whining about white people she hates so much it unhinges her mind, as does all intersectional feminist thought. Do you think for one minute that cult will apply the same principles to the 2012 Chinese language Dangerous Liaisons set in 1931 Shanghai, or a thousand other examples I could give? Nope. They’ll create some “rules” out of their head that absolves “people of color.” That’s why intersectionalism is no more than a racist sexist supremacist cult whose strike zone is based on skin and sex – identity – not principle. White or male, you’re wrong, non-white or woman, you’re right. In principle both films would be wrong or neither one. Of course neither one is wrong. That’s because normal people aren’t insane paranoid and hateful morons.

    This is a perfect example of what SFF’s nutty intersectionalists do on their blogs and Twitter feeds every single day. When art follows these types of “rules,” it is an art that is essentially dead. The feminist Wiscon’s Tiptree Awards have been dead since their inception in 1991. Now the Nebula and Hugo Awards have followed suit. All thanks to mindless bigots who have some goofy sociopathic chip on their shoulders and pass it all off as “social justice,” “anti-racism,” and “anti-sexism.” Social justice warriors like Carnage and Gerrib dumb enough to promote intersectional semantic gibberish about “diversity” and “underrepresented” are simply laughable.

  131. Finally saw Lucy and it was amazing science fiction. Not perfect but pretty darn good and Scarlet Johanson rocked it. BTW…. it was clearly an Asian film production not American. I would make a point of seeing Ghost in the Shell no matter who made it but hearing she’ll be the lead is awesome. Also…. When it comes to cultural appropriation the Japanese make Americans look like pikers.

  132. Jemisin obviously isn’t an anime fan. Or she’s got a favorite target and she’s reaching for any weapon to hit someone with. Because if she’d take a good look at the medium, there’s plenty of issues with it that would make an intersectionalist’s head explode.

  133. re: “cultural appropriation”

    what’s the problem with using good ideas that someone else comes up with?

    and don’t they call people who don’t accept and participate in other cultures xenophobic?

    in tech it’s called NIH (not invented here)

  134. It’s probably time for the SFF community to wake up to the fact they have a large number of people with fairly serious mental health issues who are passing off their obsessive irrational suspicions and paranoia as social justice issues. When such people become the leaders of a literary movement it’s going to have a crippling effect on art. Let’s be honest about some of the work that’s being nominated for awards and the authors behind that work. Some of it is what one might expect people who are residents at mental hospitals to write. We’re talking about meticulously worked out persecution fantasies about people wanting to drag them behind pick up trucks and deny them every little thing in this world. Who in their right mind writes a piece about America as a place of immoral white men that randomly punches gays, women and non-whites? Who in their right minds devotes time and energy to assembling entire anthologies dedicated to imaginary revenge stories against immoral white men on a historic level? Who in their right mind sits down and writes a story about a dinosaur exacting revenge by proxy on straight white men? Who in their right minds thinks America is an “apartheid” “white supremacy”? Have they no sense at all of which way immigration flows and from where?

    From decades of truly eccentric SFF from 1912 to 1975, an era which is pilloried as racist and sexist – where can one find such sick minds? The answer is nowhere. One can easily find SJWs today who claim that era was devoted to persecuting women and non-whites but they mysteriously can never actually produce those stories – more paranoia. The consensus and consistency of these bizarre fantasies and their trigger warnings should be startling to any normal human being.

    What is sane about rationalizing segregated spaces the same week one is complaining about segregated spaces? What is sane about making up imaginary standards for film casting and then routinely ignoring those standards? What is normal about people who obsessively ask the same questions over and over again – daily – about women in literature in the face of a massive presence of women in literature? Who in their right minds devotes daily Twitter rants about how wrong it is to negatively profile entire groups by race and sex and then does exactly that? Who in their right minds obsessively crusades for convention policies against racial and sexual harassment and then indulges in that exact harassment every single day on blogs and Twitter? The SJW movement at it’s core is sick, paranoid and sociopathic. People who are openly struggling with their mental health are having their insane fantasies about white cis-dude parades catered to by naive enablers in a fashion that is alarming. These people are not the Freedom Riders and Rosa Parks they imagine themselves to be but sick people with delusions.

  135. “Do you think for one minute that cult will apply the same principles to the 2012 Chinese language Dangerous Liaisons set in 1931 Shanghai”

    Most famously, Kurosawa’s brilliant reenvisioning of King Lear as Ran.

    When is Jemisin going to stop “culturally appropriating” the Internet, which to a first approximation was invented by white people?

  136. And lest anyone think I’m making this up out of my head and making assumptions, the truth is I’ve come to this conclusion by accidentally running across open admissions of struggles with mental health in doing research. By an oddball coincidence it’s the very people who are the leaders of the crusade against straight white men.

    You have the woman who had a nervous breakdown on Twitter and who on at least two occasions made remarks about suicide on Livejournal that were so alarming their fans wondered whether they should intervene in real time. You have the woman in the tech community who is in the midst of a months-long rant against white men who now acknowledges she suffers from a host of mental health issues. What is a person who Tweets about crying in a bathroom at the Hugos for no reason and blogs about an imaginary world without men? I can document instance after instance of people admitting to struggles with bi-polar depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders, PTSD, claiming SFF isn’t “safe,” and on and on; it’s a parade of cries for help, not adults in their right minds. The correlation between the rabble-rousing witchhunters and these public admissions is absurdly high and these are the sociopaths who have gutted the core SFF community in the remarkable space of only 5 years.

    You cannot engage or reason with people who talk about a “white savior industrial complex.” People like that are beyond reason, especially when they are on Twitter literally from dusk til dawn with an amazing ratio of 80 Tweets a day over a period of 3 or 4 years and all of it unrelentingly hostile and all of it focused on the same straight white men. Radical gender feminism was created by women with severe mental health issues which can also be documented over and over again with key figures in the movement including involuntary incarceration in mental institutions. We shouldn’t be surprised that ideology draws in other sick people like moths to a flame.

  137. Playing catchup: I’m sitting here laughing my ass off at the notion that Stephen King was described upthread as a “Christian writer.” Considering how he treats people of faith in his fiction (they are either crazy, evil, stupid, or some unholy amalgam of two or three of those things), I would describe him as a self-hating Christian.

  138. It’s just a technicality, really. King seems to profess a vague sort of New Age-flavored deism. I think it’s fair to say that classifying his work as “Christian” is dubious at best.

  139. Well, since Carnage and Gerrib declined, shall we do open casting?

    Would *anyone* like to explicate the moral imperative of diversity? Anyone at all?

  140. @s1al, I would go a step futher. I don’t think that anyone is questioning the value of different points of view and different life experiences. The only question is the value of different genetics.

    Take an example of a team of 20 white males, none of who grew up within a thousand miles of each other vs a team of 20 people who look diverse (no two of the same gender/race pair), but who all grew up within 10 miles of each other attending the same schools.

    which is more diverse?

  141. @davidelang – It’s more than that, though. Just how diverse do you want? Are you going to comfortably include a pro-eugenics individual? How about someone who advocates a return to ritual human sacrifice?

    Mostly I’m just looking for someone to bite the reductio ad absurdum hook. So far nobody seems to be interested.

  142. s1al:
    “Yes, and the problem with that statement is that you cannot measure literary merit. There’s just no way to do it. Nobody can say that Ancillary Justice is objectively better or worse as work of art than Wheel of Time. We have differing opinions on the matter because we have differing tastes, but that’s only opinions.”

    Are you actually suggesting that there are no objective metrics on which to base literary quality? If that is the case, how can we possibly be giving awards?

    That is exactly what I’m suggesting. In sports, you can measure times and distances and then you know who’s the best contestant according to predefined rules. In literature, there are no rules. I say I liked Ancillary Justice. You say you didn’t. Then we vote and somebody gets a Hugo. What’s your problem with this?

    And Card is a moderate. He’s practically a card-carrying moderate. I’ve read his works and his political statements… he’s actually highly inclusive in pretty much every way; he just happens to oppose one of the liberal Shibboleths: gay marriage.

    That’s as extreme as it can get if you ask me. Granted, we are speaking about the continuum of liberal-conservative rather than left-right.

    SBP:
    “People define “racism” differently. ”

    Yes. There is the way that intellectually honest people define it, and the way that mendacious liars like yourself and your fellow travelers define it.

    Definitions of political terms are not objective, in the same sense that metrics of literary quality are not objective. Therefore, I cannot lie about what racism means. It means what we decide it means.

    Synova:
    Cpt. – Focusing on “institutional” racism is simply shifting the whole thing to a place where no one is to blame and no corrective actions can be taken. It’s necessary to be able to point to *this* and say that *this* person refused to hire a black person…

    The problem with this is that stopping overtly race-based discrimination in recruiting is not enough. There would still be unfair practices and unequal treatment in society, even though it isn’t a result of racist attitudes of single individuals.

  143. I may not be able to measure art but I can talk about connoisseurs, curators and art appreciation based on a study of those art forms. Not all opinions are equal. People like to be able to not study a thing and pretend because it’s a “soft” art, like writing, anything goes and truck drivers and museum curators occupy the same intellectual space when talking about use of color theory. In fact it’s the difference between taking a helicopter to a mountain top and climbing it. Some people want credit for things they have no right to and that most often expresses itself in the “soft” arts. None of those people jump onto a stage during a piano concert and assert everyone in the audience is an equal, but they do that exact thing about writing.

  144. James May:
    SJWs will declare curing gayness to be bigotry even as they embrace an ideology whose most fundamental doctrine is that heterosexuality is a false and immoral construct that must be cured.

    Nice straw man. I’m not aware of anybody in SF fandom who thinks that heterosexuality should be cured. Of course there may be one or two people entertaining that sort of fringe opinions, but it makes absolutely no sense to say that liberal-minded SF fans as a group would think that way.

  145. James May:
    I may not be able to measure art but I can talk about connoisseurs, curators and art appreciation based on a study of those art forms. Not all opinions are equal.

    The thing is, I think, that connoisseurs don’t really agree on what flavour of science fiction is award-worthy. There might be some sort of hierarchy of opinion if there were people who don’t know SFF at all versus lifelong SFF fans and scholars fighting about what is good but that’s not the case.

  146. ‘Yes, and the problem with that statement is that you cannot measure literary merit. There’s just no way to do it.’

    You’re confusing subjective preference, which is indisputable, for objective value, which can be discovered through a method.

    Of course literary merit can be measured. Postmoderns have fooled themselves into thinking it can’t because of their a priori rejection of all objective standards.

    If no objective literary standards existed, then anything could rightly be called “literature”, which is the same as saying that nothing is literature. And that would make all literary awards ridiculous wastes of time.

  147. What nonsense. Take away smashing the patriarchy, abolishing gender distinctions and ending white privilege and 4/5 of last year’s Hugo nominations are gone.

    There is no straw man about what I said: ideological gender abolition feminism is the heart and soul of what we sometimes call “political correctness” and “social justice warriors.” There are far more than one or two fans in play. The former president of the SFWA asks us to “bone up” on intersectionality. The fact you don’t know that or what it is has nothing to do with straw man but your own insistence on talking about subjects you have no knowledge of.

    The Hugo and Nebula winner for best novel is gender abolitionist. It was celebrated as such the moment it came out. Damien Walter at The Guardian declares “science fiction needs to reflect that the future is queer.” In addition Walter Tweets for us to Google intersectionality. Alex MacFarlane at Tor.com openly calls for the end of gender binaries, meaning the abolition of gender.

    Requires Hate was twice nominated for the Campbell and this year for the BSFA Award. She openly stands for the abolition of gender. In that same BFSA category is a short story from The Book Smugglers. They openly stand for the abolition of gender. I could list much more. Go educate yourself. Are you completely unaware of how much these people rant on Twitter about toys for boys and girls?

    When an author of young adult novels about magic elves like Jim Hines has a website with language like “hugs and kittens” right alongside words like “cis,” “cissexist,” “transphobic,” “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” “cis gender,” “able-bodied neurotypical,” “privilege,” “colorblindness,” “genderblindness,” and are told to “examine” their “privilege” and a word like “diversity” is used in a sense it is interchangeable with “white racism,” and that’s all on one single page, that’s a problem, not my straw men.

  148. Brian Niemeier:
    You’re confusing subjective preference, which is indisputable, for objective value, which can be discovered through a method.

    Of course literary merit can be measured. Postmoderns have fooled themselves into thinking it can’t because of their a priori rejection of all objective standards.

    1) What would the method be in determining objective literary value? I’m curious. Is Harry Potter better or worse piece of art than, say, Narnia? Is War and Peace better than Gravity’s Rainbow? I Is Ancillary Justice better than Dune? There is (and can be) no objective criteria that readers would agree on. True, Gravity’s Rainbow is more experimental and Dune is more well-known, but that doesn’t say anything at all about literary value.

    2) Even if there was objective criteria, the Sad Puppies campaign is about Hugo awards. It’s a popular vote, so subjective taste is the thing that counts. Every person has one vota and thus everybody’s opinion is in fact equal.

  149. James May:
    Alex MacFarlane at Tor.com openly calls for the end of gender binaries, meaning the abolition of gender.

    Alex Dally MacFarlane is probably the most radical of the people you mentioned. Let’s see what the quote actually is:

    “I want an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories.

    What do I mean by “post-binary gender”? It’s a term that has already been used to mean multiple things, so I will set out my definition:

    Post-binary gender in SF is the acknowledgement that gender is more complex than the Western cultural norm of two genders (female and male): that there are more genders than two, that gender can be fluid, that gender exists in many forms.”

    It’s not abolition of gender, it’s abolition of the default of binary gender. It makes sense to say that gender is a complex issue, as she says. The simple fact that there are transsexuals proves the point.

    What it doesn’t say is that heterosexuals are sick and should be cured.

  150. “That is exactly what I’m suggesting. In sports, you can measure times and distances and then you know who’s the best contestant according to predefined rules. In literature, there are no rules. I say I liked Ancillary Justice. You say you didn’t. Then we vote and somebody gets a Hugo. What’s your problem with this?”

    My problem with it is that a lack of common, acknowledged criteria leads to exactly the problem that’s observable now: awards being given for some other reason… Like politics.

    And to say that there are no objective literary qualities is simply false. You are making the mistake of assuming that there must be a quantized scale for something to be measurable, but relative scales are also useful. When I leave my house this morning, I’ll be able to tell you that it’s much colder outside than it is inside despite not knowing the temperatures.

    Similarly, books have qualities such as pacing, inventiveness, consistency, characterization, provocation, etc. Those qualities are identifiable and can be qualified even if they can’t be quantified.

  151. s1al – I’m sorry, but I have a day job which does not pay me to argue with people on the Internet. But, to explicate the moral imperative of diversity it’s a matter of fairness. Various groups of people have been excluded from large portions of society for centuries. Allowing them a chance to enter into those areas they were excluded from is simple fairness.

    Or shorter, “all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

  152. Buddy it’s tempting to think you can Google some stuff and understand French Queer Theory and the hostility of most of the people who flog that trash. Gender abolitionists call for an androgynous society and the end of nuclear families. They state that right out over and over again. Read MacFarlane’s review of AJ. She mentions Butlerian Theory, as in Judith Butler and the “performative.” Then read Judith Butler. Heterosexuality is a fake and oppressive construct that men use to control women. Everyone from de Beauvoir to Wittig to Rubin to Church agrees and they aren’t taking prisoners. The incest taboo is to be abolished as well because men use that to control kinship marriages. Butler talks about “compulsory heterosexuality.” You still don’t know what you’re talking about. I hope you like reading because you have about 15 books to wade through for starters. They’re straight up mental cases so that’ll make it fun. Even Anita Sarkeesian is a Butlerian who uses terms like “performed.” That’s the fake performance of masculinity as gender, like a Halloween costume, and it is considered “toxic” and it has to go. After reading straight up psychotics like Dworkin, Millet and Firestone, then you have about 300 blog posts and maybe 10,000 Tweets by SFF’s darlings to go through. Good luck. Yes, they consider heterosexuality a sickness that society needs to be cured of. Men, heterosexuality and whites are the three bad thoughts at the bottom of this whole nuthouse in SF. Don’t troll me with anymore of your apologist bullshit until you’ve done your homework.

    “‘The incest taboo does the worst work of the culture: it teaches us the mechanisms of repressing and internalizing erotic feeling — it forces us to develop those mechanisms in the first place; it forces us to particularize sexual feeling, so that it congeals into a need for a particular sexual object’ ; it demands that we place the nuclear family above the human family. The destruction of the incest taboo is essential to the development of cooperative human community based on the free-flow of natural androgynous eroticism. . .'” – Women Hating: A Radical Look At Sexuality, Andrea Dworkin, 1974

    “Wittig argues that ‘it is quite possible for a work of literature to operate as a war machine,’ even ‘a perfect war machine.’ The main strategy of this war is for women, lesbians, and gay men—all of whom have been particularized through an identification with ‘sex’ – to preempt the position of the speaking subject and its invocation of the universal point of view… Above all, literary works offer Wittig the occasion to experiment with pronouns that within systems of compulsory meaning conflate the masculine with the universal and invariably particularize the feminine. In Les Guérillères, she seeks to eliminate any he-they (il-ils) conjunctions, indeed, any ‘he’ (il), and to offer elles as standing for the general, the universal. ”The goal of this approach,’ she writes, ‘is not to feminize the world but to make the categories of sex obsolete in language.'” – Judith Butler, Gender Troubles.

    “‘…what makes a woman is a specific social relation to a man, a relation that we have previously called servitude . . . a relation which lesbians escape by refusing to become or to stay heterosexual. . . . [O]ur survival demands that we contribute all our strength to the destruction of the class of women within which men appropriate women. This can be accomplished only by the destruction of heterosexuality as a social system which is based on the oppression of women by men and which produces the doctrine of the difference between the sexes to justify this oppression.’ — Monique Wittig, ‘One Is Not Born a Woman,’ 1981”

    “‘Every woman who remains in sexual relation to man is defeated every time she does it with the man because each single experience for every woman is a reenactment of the primal one in which she was invaded and separated and fashioned into a receptacle for the passage of the invader. . . .'” – Joyce Johnston, Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution (1973)”

    “‘Patriarchy, although it takes different forms in different cultures, always depends on the ability of men to control women through heterosexuality…’ – Joyce Trebilcot”

    “Whatever they may be in public life, whatever their relations with men, in their relations with women, all men are rapists and that’s all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws, their codes.” – Marilyn French, The Women’s Room, Summit Books, 1977

    “‘The view that heterosexuality is a key site of male power is widely accepted within feminism. Within most feminist accounts, heterosexuality is seen not as an individual preference, something we are born like or gradually develop into, but as a socially constructed institution which structures and maintains male domination, in particular through the way it channels women into marriage and motherhood. Similarly, lesbianism has been defined not just as a particular sexual practice, but as a form of political struggle — a challenge to the institution of heterosexuality and a form of resistance to patriarchal relations.'” – Dianne Richardson in 2000.

    ”There is so much pressure on women to be heterosexual, and this pressure is both so pervasive and so completely denied, that I think heterosexuality cannot come naturally to many women: I think that widespread heterosexuality among women is a highly artificial product of the patriarchy. . . . I think that most women have to be coerced into heterosexuality.’ – Marilyn Frye, ‘A Lesbian’s Perspective on Women’s Studies’ speech to the National Women’s Studies Association conference, 1980″

    “Johansen sets her story in a colonised world, but one which the narrative holds to have been empty before the settlers came. In a fictional world where whiteness is the default—so the narrative informs us—it’s impossible not to see this worldbuilding choice as a reflection of uninterrogated imperialist assumptions about race and history. Johansen’s fantasy world is a white, straight, cisgender one…” – from a Liz Bourke review at Tor.com

    “Feminist Frequency @femfreq · Oct 25 Since so many seem confused. Masculinity ≠ male. Masculinity is a socially constructed and performed gender identity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_of_gender#Masculinity …” – Anita Sarkeesian

  153. The problem I have with the current diversity craze is that a group of people, previously seen as nothing more than mere widgets when downtrodden, continue to be seen as nothing more that mere widgets as people try to “help” them. If it is immoral to judge people on the basis of their skin (or other minority status marker), it is just as immoral to give them preferential treatment for the same. Equality of result is injustice and mediocrity wrapped up in the threadbare cloak of “fairness.”

  154. “I’m sorry, but I have a day job which does not pay me to argue with people on the Internet.”

    Hey, me too! And my 40+ hours a week of work don’t prevent me from taking 30 second to make a blog comment. Was there a point to this statement?

    “But, to explicate the moral imperative of diversity it’s a matter of fairness. Various groups of people have been excluded from large portions of society for centuries. Allowing them a chance to enter into those areas they were excluded from is simple fairness.”

    This has nothing to do with the request or the question. You have repeatedly argued from the position that it is *morally necessary* for diversity *to exist* amongst popular and award-winning authors of SFF. Please justify that position or reject it explicitly.

    Or shorter, “all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

    Again, this has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

  155. You have repeatedly argued from the position that it is *morally necessary* for diversity *to exist* amongst popular and award-winning authors of SFF. Please justify that position or reject it explicitly. No, I have not argued that it is morally imperative for diversity in award winners. I have argued that it is morally necessary for diversity to exist in publishing, and I have suggested that winning or losing awards has nothing to do with the diversity of the authors and much to do with what those that vote consider award-worthy. I have also stated that if one party puts out a platform based on politics of authors, other parties are free to consider the politics of the authors as part of their criterion.

  156. Sure it’s morally necessary for diversity to exist in publishing, as long as it’s only top-heavy male or white publishing being targeted. Everyone else skates clean away. It’s all nonsense. When Chinese folks wanted to see themselves and their culture in film they didn’t start writing letters to Hollywood, they created a film industry, and one no one ever bugs them about to be diversified into. Such claims about diversity reduces variety to an association with race and sex. Once one has established that as a bottom-line principle that brings something to the table, I can as easily assert race and sex take something away. Variety is variety and conformity is conformity. Neither can be tied to race and sex as the ultimate determinant. It’s doublethink to assert old-school SF was a boring sexual and racial monoculture and also racist and sexist to limit what a race and sex is capable of. It never occurs to SJWs like Gerrib the excitement SF produced is what brought all the attention and what was produced was by white male ethnic Europeans. Throwing a black woman at that – just because – won’t produce guaranteed quality but a black woman one has assigned a quality to based on nothing more than their race and sex. The KKK dreams of having useful idiots make that metaphorical point for them because of double-edged swords. The idea diversity is morally necessary in publishing is depraved. Leave people alone, cease the letter-writing and create whatever you want. No one is stopping anyone from creating a publishing house or film company. Otherwise start whining you want more Norwegians and Nigerians in kung-fu movies and Arab literature. If diversity is a good idea, it’s always a good idea, always and everywhere. The truth is it is a concept in SFF that provides cover for anti-white morons who hate men too. Lead by example by not publishing Women Destroy SF. There is no lack of women in SF. The truth is that wasn’t “women,” it was gender feminists claiming to be just another gal’s night out. There is proof enough of the hostility of these people. Their claim they are doe-eyed innocents who just want to share the sand box is a lie, or maybe you think the “white industrial savior complex” is a real and compassionate concern from nice people.

  157. The thing about centuries of inequality is that it can’t be fixed. All parties are dead. The thing about racism that isn’t actually committed by anyone is that it isn’t actually committed by anyone and the only result of campaigns against it are to give white people the opportunity for moral preening while telling minorities that no matter what they are screwed. Which doesn’t make you a good person, it makes you a bad person.

  158. This nonsense about a non-existent racial imbalance in SFF due to being insufficiently welcoming is a straw man that enables rabble-rousing and flies in the face of reality. A testament to the typical type of rhetoric is this from fantasy author Jim Hines’ Guest of Honor speech at the Continuum SF convention in Australia:

    “I wish I was exaggerating.

    “I’ve rarely seen anyone deliberately posting ‘no girls allowed’ or ‘whites only’ signs on the clubhouse, and that’s a good thing. But it’s not enough. We send messages about who is and isn’t welcome in a thousand other, subtler ways.”

    Another perfectly Orwellian remark from a feminist. Hines wishes he was exaggerating… oops! Nothing. And what’s with this “rarely?” He means he’s actually seen such signs at conventions? Doesn’t he mean “never?” Did he then actually say to a crowd of people that he’s wishes he was exaggerating a thing he’s never seen? What’s ten times nothing? What Hines really showed us is he’s not only hysterically exaggerating but making stuff up out of his head.

    Even more amazing is for Hines to routinely attack white folks as a mass KKK and say “We send messages about who is and isn’t welcome in a thousand other, subtler ways” without a hint of awareness, since there is nothing subtle about Hines and the intersectional racist cult he enables that takes no pains to hide its anti-white sentiments.

    Hines is doing that by looking at an accidental demographic and tracking it backwards to it must be racism when there is not the slightest bit of evidence that is the case. Aside from that, the reason I say their logic flies in the face of reality is that one need only look at how black sports figures like Jackie Robinson entered baseball and basketball against willful hostility as the ’40s drew to a close or the 1966 NCAA basketball championship game to see what happens when black folks are there, and in numbers, and want to enter a public arena. If human beings didn’t flinch during Jim Crow it’s hardly likely they would flinch at walking into an SFF convention or submitting a manuscript in 2014. Hines can’t figure out why Lebron James is the most popular male athlete in America or why Michael Jordan sits at No. 2 though retired for over a decade. Hines can’t figure out why Serena Williams is the most popular woman in sports either, and the reason for that is because Hines makes stuff up out of his head while he willfully ignores reality that doesn’t fit his weird racialist world view.

    Like all intersectionalists, Hines is too blinded by bias to believe what his eyes tells him. He sees white Americans as racists though they elected a black President and showed plain evidence of not voting as a racial bloc, but rather on principles – ideas. Black Americans on the other hand have voted 95% in the last two Presidential elections. Hines won’t or can’t see that and so it never took place, or it did but there are endless mitigations to explain it all away until all is once again right in his intersectionalist postcolonial world. Hines sees things that aren’t there and purposefully ignores or waves away things that are.

  159. And keep in mind that’s the second year in a row Continuum had to listen to their Guest of Honor literally make paranoid junk up out of their head about what a pack of racists they all are rather than do the “weird” thing and talk about SF. That betrays a compulsive obsession and even fanaticism. Why be surprised SF fans are so heartily sick of this crew and their lies about “diversity.”

    The true answer to SFF’s racial demographic lies within its racial demographic, a thing too obvious and simple for politically correct racialist witchhunters to ever figure out, since they see racism and conspiracy in exactly nothing. Hines’ “thousand other, subtler ways” exists nowhere except in his head. Like the classic useful idiot, people like Hines and Mary Robinette Kowal and many others are providing ammunition and camouflage to genuine racial bigotry, suspicion, paranoia, segregation and supremacy based on the idiotic notion that white straight males are not only the sole group doing such a thing but are the only ones capable of it. There’s your diversity in SFF and it’s a huge stinking carcass of exactly nothing. The idea PoC aren’t entering SFF in 2014 because of some kind of hostility and bigotry is simply laughable. Whatever pushback you are seeing are people who are sick of being racially profiled as white male supremacists on zero evidence by morons. As is usual with any expression of intersectionalism in SFF, not only is it its own explanation for failure but demonstrably the sole source of organized racial and sexist bigotry and supremacism in SFF.

    The depraved argument about “diversity” and SFF’s lack of “balance” Kowal, Hines, Scalzi and their intersectional doctrine promote is unveiled by Steven Plaut in an article about a completely different subject:

    “The world is full of examples of radical departures from numerical homogeneity in representation that clearly have nothing at all to do with discrimination: Jews around the world are over-represented among those admitted into universities relative to their numbers in the general population even in countries that have official policies of discriminating against Jews. Asian Americans are also over-represented among U.S. college students but not because these colleges discriminate against non-Asians. American blacks are not prominent in sports because of anti-white discrimination.

    “The fallaciousness of the idea that discrimination is proven by deviation from numerical homogeneity in representation cannot be over-emphasized. It crops up in almost every debate about ethnic or gender discrimination. When feminists, media commentators, and even many academics wish to prove that discrimination exists, their proof usually consists of presenting numbers that show departure from homogeneity. Such figures are selected when they serve the agenda of the commentator or advocate.”

    Which explains precisely why all other ethnic and sexual groups get a free ride from SFF’s intersectionalists: it is because their contention they are operating on principle – or in other words, a good idea – is a straight up lie. In fact intersectionalism’s so-called “principles” are rooted in identities good and bad.

    That reality SFF’s intersectionalists subscribe to produces Orwellian gibberish like this:

    “I am committed to diversity of voice and theme in all my editorial projects, and this one will be no exception. I will be looking for beauty and resonance from all quarters and in all forms. As always, I am invested in supporting creators that belong to marginalized groups.” – Rose Lemberg

    I’ll leave it to you to figure out where “beauty and resonance” resides, which of course once again leads us full circle to the equally Orwellian #DiversityinSFF/segregation is diversity, this time retweeted by the former president of the SFWA, John Scalzi:

    “Retweeted by John Scalzi BrandonEaston @BrandonEaston · 19h Black sci-fi writers @KFIAM640 on @MrMokelly show 7/12 at 7PM (PST)! #Diversityinsff @tordotcom @scalzi @nkjemisin”

    Here’s a more appropriate hashtag: #IntersectionalityIsRacism.

  160. “No, I have not argued that it is morally imperative for diversity in award winners. I have argued that it is morally necessary for diversity to exist in publishing”

    While it is my opinion that you have argued with the assumption of the first point, we’ll ignore that in favor of your professed position. That said, it is still only a position and not a justification. *Why* is it morally necessary for diversity to exist in publishing, specifically within the SFF supergenre? Furthermore, what do you mean by diversity?


    “and I have suggested that winning or losing awards has nothing to do with the diversity of the authors and much to do with what those that vote consider award-worthy.”

    I’m fairly certain that the entirety of this issue revolves around *why* things are considered award-worthy (or the inverse, in some cases).


    “I have also stated that if one party puts out a platform based on politics of authors, other parties are free to consider the politics of the authors as part of their criterion.”

    I can dredge up AT LEAST a few dozen quotes from people stating that they *would not* read because of his politics. was usually Beale, occasionally Correia. As the former is fond of saying, “we’re just playing by the established rules.”

    AND YET —- Correia has explicitly stated that voters should read books before recommending them and read the whole slate before voting. Beale has been a little less clear about the issue, presumably because of the above quote.

    And “criterion” is singular.

  161. Huh, so apparently I was using come code incorrectly for the previous post. There should be an (insert author here) at a few places in the second-to-last paragraph, as such:

    I can dredge up AT LEAST a few dozen quotes from people, just this last year, stating that they *would not* read (insert author here) because of his politics. (insert author here) was usually Beale, occasionally Correia. As the former is fond of saying, “we’re just playing by the established rules.”

    P.S. – So thank you for validating Sad Puppies 3.

  162. Carnage: “(a political term) means what we decide it means.”

    Cool. I’ve just decided that you’re a an ultra-racist advocate of the the Ku Klux Klan stripe. From now on I’m going to refer to you as “Grand Kleagle Karnage”.

    As noted before: you don’t even believe your own bullshit, son. Stop expecting anyone else to believe it.

  163. James May:

    My guess is that you don’t know many real-life feminists. The fact that you can dig up some radical feminists from the 70s saying heterosexuals have to be cured does not make that statement something modern mainstream feminism would want to be associated with. Your point is like accusing Charles Stross of something V.I. Lenin did write. It makes absolutely no sense.

    Butler and other writers who think that gender is a socially constructed identity have a point, though. And I have to say I’m totally clueless what bugged you in Liz Bourke’s review or Anita Sarkeesian’s tweet you pasted upthread. You act like there was a smoking gun in there, but that’s just elementary women’s studies stuff.

  164. SBP:
    Carnage: “(a political term) means what we decide it means.”

    Cool. I’ve just decided that you’re a an ultra-racist advocate of the the Ku Klux Klan stripe.

    Well, that’s a very grown-up thing to do. Even bad jokes don’t let you escape the fact that words and their meanings are based on nothing but agreement.

  165. “Butler and other writers who think that gender is a socially constructed identity have a point, though.”

    Despite the fact that every scientific study, both psychological and physiological, says otherwise?

    And this point you might as well say that the Ancient Greeks “have a point” about the gods literally living on Mt. Olympus. That’s how absolutely absurd that statement is.

  166. It’s pretty obvious you’re just trolling. No one can be that dumb. The Bourke/Sarkeesian is a reference to the fact they adhere to that ’70s ideology, which in fact is more popular than it has ever been. You have to be blind to not see it’s the go-to ideology in core SFF behind all the stupid. I told you to do your homework. Go see how many of the loudest radfems in SFF have Audre Lorde as their role model listed on their blogs, or Donna Harraway or Peggy McIntosh. Where do you think all this stuff about gender came from, Marx?

  167. ‘What would the method be in determining objective literary value?’

    Good of you to ask. Addressing some of your other points first will help to show the reasoning behind the answer.

    ‘There is (and can be) no objective criteria that readers would agree on.’

    Again, the problem with claiming that a standard is subjective is that it’s equivalent to denying the standard exists. If I say, “To me, DUNE is literature,” I’m making a circular and ultimately meaningless statement since I’m appealing to a standard I haven’t defined, viz. what “literature” is.

    Compare it to a man who says, “My wife is beautiful.” He doesn’t qualify that claim with “to me”. He means that there really is a thing called “beauty” that resides within his beloved, and that he wants others to acknowledge.

    And if people disagree about DUNE’s literary merit or the wife’s beauty, so what? The definition of “objective” means that a thing exists independently of others’ opinions. Your unstated assumption is that a standard must have universal assent to be valid, which is a test that no standard could pass. And the postmodern denial of objective truth rears its ugly head again.

    “Even if there was objective criteria, the Sad Puppies campaign is about Hugo awards. It’s a popular vote, so subjective taste is the thing that counts.”

    Then the Hugo administrators need to remove “best” from the award categories and substitute “most popular”.

    You’re conflating what’s being measured with the tool being used to measure it. Yes, the Hugos are decided by popular vote, but that’s entirely beside the point of what we’re voting on–which is the works that we deem, by our individual judgment, to be the year’s best SFF stories according to their merits.

    As demonstrated above, an award based solely on subjective taste would be utterly meaningless and should be discontinued in favor of more salutary activities, like producing a PSAs advising people to check the batteries in their smoke alarms.

    Now that we’ve dispensed with the silly notion that literature is purely subjective, here are the promised criteria for judging literature, or any art for that matter. Thank you for your patience.

    Being: everything has its ultimate source in being; therefore, being is the basis of beauty. (Without existence, there’s nothing. Therefore, an object owes everything, including its beauty, to its being.)

    Proportion: symmetry, harmony, and balance.

    Radiance: according to Etienne Gilson, radiance is that elusive aspect of beauty that “hooks” us and keeps us coming back for more.

    Wholeness: completeness/integrity; how close the object comes to being a perfect specimen of its type.

    In a nutshell, an SFF writer’s job is to tell people the truth about themselves by making stuff up. But if it’s not objectively beautiful stuff, the writer’s just lying.

  168. James, the biggest most harmful and utterly inexcusable way that “keep out” signs are posted is by those who have made it a Holy Cause to stand on rooftops and scream about how women, minorities, and people who depart the usual, are unwelcome in SSF just in case someone might foolishly believe otherwise.

  169. Julie, who is screaming that “women, minorities, and people who depart the usual, are unwelcome in SSF”?

    Unless you define “depart the usual” as spewing hatred of others, and that’s what the people who are tagged as SJWs are doing.

    Science Fiction has historically been a haven for people who “depart the usual”, no matter what their genetics. It’s only recently that people have started saying that if you don’t believe and vocally say certain things, you should be banned.

  170. I think Julie was being supportive. As for me anyone is welcome to my parties except bigots. It has nothing to do with race and sex. The straw man SJWs always give is along these lines:

    “Internet trolls are nearly all men, who ferociously and endlessly attack mostly women and people of color. Guess who gets it worst? Feminists and women of color.” – Laura Mixon

    Precisely who does that daffy woman think “feminists and women of color” are targeting other than men and so who is it who is going to push back: feminists and women of color? If you throw rocks at a bee-hive it is not a swarm of squirrels which comes at you from behind. Predictably, it’s bees.

  171. The entire SJW thing is about being the “warrior” on the rooftops yelling that everyone is against you, don’t trust your lying eyes. The whole “institutional” racism thing is about making sure that every single person who’s ancestors were oppressed is told, repeatedly, that no matter if 99 people out of a hundred will *go out of their way to help you* that you’re still screwed.

    Also, as a woman I’ll say this… feminists are targeting women. Who gets it *worst* are whoever is labeled “traitor”.

  172. Brian Niemeier:
    And if people disagree about DUNE’s literary merit or the wife’s beauty, so what? The definition of “objective” means that a thing exists independently of others’ opinions. Your unstated assumption is that a standard must have universal assent to be valid, which is a test that no standard could pass. And the postmodern denial of objective truth rears its ugly head again.

    I don’t see how your reasoning would get us out of the postmodern condition, so to speak.

    Here are two valid statements you can make:

    1) To me, Dune is a better science fiction novel than Ancillary Justice, because it has better characterization and pacing and the story is more interesting.

    2) To me, Ancillary Justice is a better science fiction novel than Dune, because it has better characterization and pacing and the story is more interesting.

    Both statements can be supported with examples from the novels, and in the end it all boils down to taste, because we are all individuals and we experience novels in our own individual way.

    You’re conflating what’s being measured with the tool being used to measure it. Yes, the Hugos are decided by popular vote, but that’s entirely beside the point of what we’re voting on–which is the works that we deem, by our individual judgment, to be the year’s best SFF stories according to their merits.

    Yes, it’s individual judgment — as opposed to objective criteria. We vote for works that we deem, by our own subjective taste, to be the year’s best SFF stories according to our understanding of their merits.

    As demonstrated above, an award based solely on subjective taste would be utterly meaningless and should be discontinued…

    Well, that’s overly dramatic, don’t you think? 😀

  173. s1al:
    “Butler and other writers who think that gender is a socially constructed identity have a point, though.”

    Despite the fact that every scientific study, both psychological and physiological, says otherwise?

    Google sex and gender distinction.

  174. Google racist sexually radicalized liars with mental health issues. Which are you more come up with?

    A. Over 100 million American white men.
    B. 50 daffy and paranoid social justice warriors in the SFF community.

  175. The whole “institutional” racism thing is about making sure that every single person who’s ancestors were oppressed is told, repeatedly, that no matter if 99 people out of a hundred will *go out of their way to help you* that you’re still screwed.

    I disagree with your view somewhat. Institutional racism isn’t about past oppression but the marginalizing practices taking place now. If 99 per cent of people really went out of their way to help marginalized groups, there would be no problems. Sadly, I see no signs of 99 per cent doing that. On the contrary, actions and opinions of people of color and feminists are ridiculed, for example, in this comment thread.

    Having said that, I acknowledge that there’s some truth in the sentiment that members of marginalized groups can make a difference and have success if they work hard (just like everyone else). It may even be easier for them to do that nowadays than 20 or 40 years ago. However, I don’t believe the playing field is level yet.

  176. James May:
    Google racist sexually radicalized liars with mental health issues.

    Google Scholar results for
    -sex and gender distinction: 460 000
    -racist sexually radicalized liars with mental health issues: 735 (none of which says what you are saying)

    What am I to make of this? 😀

  177. That being contrary for the sake of being contrary isn’t all that compelling. However it is stupid.

  178. @Carnage – “Gender” is a result of sexual distinction. They are not independent. Anyone who claims that they are is denying a simple reality. The very concept of “transgenderism” relies upon the inherent distinction of male and female, masculine and feminine.

    Gender is not a social construct… rather, society as it exists on planet Earth is shaped by sexual distinction.

  179. Plus “Carnage” is a rapey trigger warning name that offends someone’s PTSD somewhere.

  180. “On the contrary, actions and opinions of people of color and feminists are ridiculed, for example, in this comment thread.”

    Imagine a world…. where any time a person of color or a feminist opened their mouth, instead of ridicule, everyone said, “That’s nice, dear.” Seriously… if someone says something absurd and they are NOT mocked, it’s a sign they are not viewed equally. When toddlers say absurd things we share how cute they are.

    I was thinking about this the other day in relation to a couple of things… the outrage over a Red Sonja type cover on the SFWA publication (not having fantasy art or bubble helmets on the cover of a science fiction/fantasy professional organization’s publication is like the Cattleman’s Association banning pictures of cows) and an exchange on TOR.com that James linked to where someone had the gall to tear in to Patricia Wrede (who has single handedly done more on her own time to encourage new writers than ANYONE in the industry, by orders of magnitude) about some bogus colonialist agit-crap because she wrote a book about North America where there had never been a Bering Strait land bridge. Mild mannered push back was met with the beginnings of a pile on which was allowed to stand unridiculed. (I couldn’t possibly say if the silence was “Oh, aren’t they cute!” or if the silence was fear of being destroyed.)

    Where are the grown-ups, Carnage? I know the rules as well as anyone. I live in this world. The opinions and actions of people of color are freaking magical. They are always right and must never be mocked, even when they’re absurd. This is how we treat CHILDREN. Feminists of color can go on the attack with some gender studies bull-sh*t about how a wonderful person is BAD because she chose to create a world with North American mega-fauna and *no* Land Bridge and where are the adults? They’re too afraid to ridicule the absurd because of who it is saying it and how the speakers have positioned themselves such that everyone must simply nod and agree. A bunch of squalling babies can cry about a fantasy cover with a bikini clad barbarian and get only the most tepid push back before they’re allowed to prevail? WTF, Carnage? Where are the grown-ups?

  181. “It’s not level yet.”

    Okay… so how to get it level? Tell people they can do anything they can dream of doing? Or tell them that they can try, but they’re probably going to get punched in the face? Which do you suppose helps people and which do you suppose hurts them?

  182. Kolossal Kleagle Karnage: “Well, that’s a very grown-up thing to do. Even bad jokes don’t let you escape the fact that words and their meanings are based on nothing but agreement.”

    Decide on who “we” is and stick to it, son.

  183. “On the contrary, actions and opinions of people of color”

    Who are the “people of color” in this thread? You? You are being ridiculed because you are a serial liar, not because of your color.

    I’ll lay long odds that my skin tone is darker than yours, son, and not by a little bit.

  184. ‘Plus “Carnage” is a rapey trigger warning name that offends someone’s PTSD somewhere.’

    Also, it derives from the Latin word for meat. Hence, offensive to vegans.

  185. James May, quoting Laura Mixon: “Internet trolls are nearly all men”

    Well, except for that Benjanun* character, who is apparently a Person of Puce Pudendum rather than a Person of Pallid Penis.

    * I think that’s how it’s spelled, though my fingers rebel at typing it. BenjaNUN? Really?

  186. I’d lay odds Benjanun is an Englishwoman. I’d lay more odds a lot of people know exactly who she is. There’s been at least two police reports filed on her in the U.K. and you don’t do that to anonymous strangers in Thailand. Why they’re not talking I don’t know. It’ll all come out eventually.

  187. ‘Here are two valid statements you can make:

    ‘To me, Dune is a better science fiction novel than Ancillary Justice, because it has better characterization and pacing and the story is more interesting.

    ‘To me, Ancillary Justice is a better science fiction novel than Dune, because it has better characterization and pacing and the story is more interesting.’

    Presuming subjectivism, those two statements are neither valid nor invalid. They’re meaningless.

    Both statements hinge on the word “better”. Even an expression of purely subjective taste requires the word “better” to have an objective meaning independent of your preferences. Otherwise, the word and the statement on which it turns convey no information to anyone else.

    In other words, absent a concrete definition of “better”, you may as well be saying that Dune is smurfier than Ancillary Justice because it has smurfier characterization and pacing, and vice versa.

    I made this point in my previous comment. Simply restating your original assumptions as premises doesn’t refute–or even engage–my argument.

    ‘…[I]n the end it all boils down to taste, because we are all individuals and we experience novels in our own individual way.’

    Now that is a statement whose validity can be judged (invalid non-sequitur). We’re debating subjectivism vs. objectivism; not individualism vs. collectivism.

    ‘Yes, it’s individual judgment — as opposed to objective criteria.’

    You presume that objectivity and individual judgment are mutually exclusive. It’s an unsupported contradiction.

    My claim is that the duty of Hugo voters is to individually exercise objective judgment. It seems you’re trying to argue that objective judgment can’t be exercised on an individual basis. And you could do that, but then you’d have to abandon projects like empirical science to stay consistent.

    ‘We vote for works that we deem, by our own subjective taste, to be the year’s best SFF stories according to our understanding of their merits.’

    That statement is absurd on its face. Again, note words like “deem”, “best”, and “merits”. All of them are proper to value statements; not expressions of opinion. I’ll assume for argument’s sake that you don’t know the difference.

    An opinion is an expression of personal preference. “This music suits my tastes” and “I like vanilla ice cream” are preference statements. They can’t be argued for or against because they rely solely on the observer’s personal experience and tastes.

    “This song is the best one released this year” and “that ice cream has great culinary merit” are value statements. They claim to discover real qualities located within the objects themselves; not just in the observer’s mind.

    Look at the words you used. It is impossible to “…vote…by our own subjective taste…” and at the same time “according to our understanding of their merits” in the same operation, because the former are located in the observer and the latter in the object, hence *their* merits, hence *objective*.

    ‘Well, that’s overly dramatic, don’t you think?’

    No.

  188. Carnage, If it’s okay with you, I’d like to cite your comment there in an article demonstrating that “Battlefield Earth” is the Cinematic equal of “2001: A Space Odyssey” Since clearly, based on your statements, the idea of one being objectively better than the other is an absurd pretension. I’m so thankful that your words can be used in the redemption of the classic L. Ron Hubbard film.

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