Smoke rises from the nail house

I am told that Worldcon 2018 is in a state of crisis. That the grownup volunteers who used to shepherd the convention, year after year, have slowly gone away. Or been thrown out. That identitarians and the mentally unwell are presently stamping their feet and holding their breath — until demands are met. And that it’s become a flounce-a-thon. A real shit show. Embarrassments heaped on top of embarrassments.

Like the fireman who’s been ignored or even shot at, during an emergency in the ghetto, I can only shrug my shoulders. I want no part of it anymore. Their disaster is their disaster. My younger, more idealistic self once had some esteem for the institution. But that’s been gone three years now, and it’s not coming back.

What snapped it for me was when they cheered themselves delivering NO AWARD against Mike Resnick and Toni Weisskopf. The CHORFholes were tasteless and classless enough. But to NO AWARD Mike and Toni — two people who have literally devoted their whole adult lives to celebrating and enriching SF/F — and then cheer about it . . . that’s when the mask completely fell. From off their CHORFy Trufan faces. These are not lovers of genre. They do not celebrate the field. They celebrate their “club” and having dominion within it. They are the ugly side of geek enthusiasm. The children who never learned to share, nor let somebody else have a say.

So, now, I spectate their downward-spiral while experiencing a mixture of sadness, and schadenfreude. We told them identitarianism was a fool’s road. We told them both the Hugo and the convention proper, were being sucked into the Oppression Olympics. They didn’t want to listen. Now, the Hugo is devalued to Venezuela-like levels, and Worldcon has become a hollowed-out shadow of itself — like a one-party Democrat-controlled city. Which in fact, Worldcon is.

It didn’t have to be this way.

But . . . you cannot help a terminally-ill patient who insists (s)he is not sick. Who loudly screams that (s)he is, in fact, healthier than ever before. Despite the crashing blood numbers and oxygen hoses and dialysis cart being wheeled into the room.


12 thoughts on “Smoke rises from the nail house

  1. The good thing is that real fans are finding well written and fun things to read outside the hugo/nebula sphere. Another good thing is that dreck can be returned if it’s on Kindle.

  2. They are still acting like they are the kid who tells you how you’re going to play with your ball in their yard, and throw a fit when you take your ball and go elsewhere.

  3. I haven’t bothered to follow news on this. Anyone care to help a lazy person out with a few links so he doesn’t have to search himself? Yes, sometimes I can be petty and look for a dose of schadenfreude.

  4. *Eric on July 25, 2018 at 10:44 am said: I haven’t bothered to follow news on this. Anyone care to help a lazy person out with a few links so he doesn’t have to search himself? Yes, sometimes I can be petty and look for a dose of schadenfreude.*

    Eric: Stop over at Larry’s page ( for a nice round up. A couple of people have put the situation in a nutshell. I won’t steal their thunder. 😉

  5. Thanks. I haven’t bothered with Facebook for a month so I didn’t see anything from Larry ( don’t know why WordPress seems to not let me subscribe to his site and get email notices like I can for Brad and Sarah ).

    Of course reading Larry’s piece made me do a rough search on WorldCon’s problems. Hoo boy. And of course a lot of people are blaming these problems on the “conservative old guard” that were responsible for “corrupting the Hugos” and that are against any type of new, alternate lifestyle authors or anything like that. Right, because everyone knows Sad Puppies also run the invitations, programming, and scheduling functions as well.

  6. I’m not much of con person, but I go occasionally. I used to use the awards to point me to good reading. Recently they point me away. I hear so much lavish praise for stories utterly lacking in believable storytelling and quality. When classics are mentioned (Heinlein, Simak, Asimov, Clarke, Cordwainer Smith, Frederick Pohl, etc.) they are dismissed with “well if you like that sort of writing.” To go back and read these stories again is quite revealing of how much a fine genre has been strangled. I post my own bagatelles on my website, in case anyone wants to read something that won’t get a Hugo from the current judges.

  7. Indeed. The prognoscenti of SF/F literature cannot wait to get away from the classics. Because too cis, too hetero, too caucasian, too straight, too male, and too binary. I am told the now-scrapped Worldcon 2018 panel lineup had at least 27 topics devoted exclusively to un-hetero sexualit(ies) of one form or another. Honestly, even for deep geek culture, that’s pretty excessive. But somebody REEEEEEEEEE’d loudly enough to bring the con organizers to heel, so now they’re gonna reshuffle the cards and come up with an even more identitarian schedule. If that’s even possible?

    Meanwhile, all my local B&N stores have cut their SF/F shelving by one-third to one-half. Not even kidding. It’s gone. Including the NEW RELEASES displays for SF/F. 😦

  8. They’re so inclusive they’re exclusive. And the hilarious part: three years ago they were proud of the fact.

  9. I’m gonna guess “by” a third. Most people arrange their numbers in ascending order. So it’d be more probable to say “cut by 33% to 50%” than “cut by 67% to 50%”.

  10. “But . . . you cannot help a terminally-ill patient who insists (s)he is not sick. Who loudly screams that (s)he is, in fact, healthier than ever before.”

    Brad, you did not use proper gender pronouns. Go to re-education. Go directly to re-education. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200,000 Venezuelan currency notes.

    I also lost all respect for the Hugos after 2015’s disgraceful display. The Hugos and Worldcon deserve what they’re getting. The Hugo nominees are now my list of what writers to avoid.

  11. “Do not collect 200,000 Venezuelan currency.” Is that with or without the zeros they’re lopping off the bolivar? This whole contretemps is just hilarious. The wrong pronouns, wanting neverweres and neverwillbes on the panels as opposed to names (such as are left in that cesspool) and of course too many white people, despite how leftwing they are, that sure sounds like a fun get together. I know when I go to the trouble and expense of going to a con, I want to see a bunch of nobodies on the panels, not authors I actually follow, because that is really how you draw in the crowd. Sorry, Aerosmith couldn’t make it, but here’s Billy and His Buddies straight out of mom’s basement.

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