Nebulizing the Patriarchy

Okay, to everyone out there, celebrating the fact that all the Nebulas were won by women, and hardly mentioning the stories but only that “Squee, they were written by women!” I have one question to ask:

Do you hear yourselves?

Let’s turn this around. Let’s say that all the Nebula Awards this year were won by men and that men were out there celebrating “Take that, biatches, we showed those women that their science fiction writing sucks.”

It would look like this, right?

Yeah! There are things only men can do! Like drink. And write science fiction. And drink!

And of course you’d think that they only voted for these guys because they’re male.  I mean, that’s all they’re celebrating.

How does that sound to you, good?  An attractive image?

No? Shocking.  I wonder now if I can make it clear in another way.

Let’s suppose that only white writers won.

And they’re out there going “Yay, only white people can write science fiction.  It’s time we showed those other darker people what good science fiction is! Who are they to think they can tan and write science fiction?”

Because there’s nothing like dressing yourself in household linens to lend specialness to your writing!

And right now you’re stomping your foot and saying “We’re nothing like that.  You totally misunderstand, because you see, there was this great matriarchy when everyone — even guys — was perfectly happy:

Come to the matriarchy side. We have vaginas. And that makes our rule the bestest ever, because we have vaginas, which have superpowers of making a person more than human and therefore a perfect ruler. Also, they can monologue. Which is d*mn good because who wants to talk back to a vagina?

And then men revolted against this perfect rule, and instituted patriarchy.

The start of patriarchy!

But wait.  If the matriarchy was so perfect and stuff, how come they revolted?

Because they’re men, and evil. And have penises. And chest hairs. And penises. Which immediately makes their rule evil, because they fail to have the all-powerful vagina. Which you know, confers the power to rule and stuff.

Right…. if you’re done with your fairytale, which, let me point out, is a less compelling narrative of Eden and the fall of humanity.

At least this was about sex, not government.

There is absolutely no proof of any primitive, lost in the mists of time matriarchy.  Sure there are female goddesses, but Greeks had those, and they sure as hell weren’t matriarchal.  In fact, save for isolated, special instances in small tribes there is no primitive matriarchy. Because when you’re living close to the bone and wrestling a living from nature with your bare hands, brute force is the only force, and men have more of that than we do.

And how in heck do you believe that back when all humans were scattered in small groups they were all ruled the same way?  Did it come over the internet they didn’t have?

We must run home to check our email!

Or do you think females ruling is “natural”?  It’s not natural among the great apes our cousins.

She’s oppressed because she never won a Nebula

But let’s suppose there really was a great matriarchy where women ruled and everyone was happy, way back before history, where you can’t be proven crazy wrong.

Come on, guys, grapes.

And that evil men broke it.  You do realize those men would have been dead A LONG TIME, right?  And that men today were not responsible for breaking your matriarchy.

So what’s wrong with men in positions of power?  Oh, right.  They have penises.  Which don’t monologue.  (Thank heavens.)

But Sarah, you say, the problem is that they created this structure where only men can win.  After their perfidious revolution they took over everything.  Look how they kept women down for centuries.  Centuries I tell you.

Oh, ladies, people of vaginitude, newsflash.  For most of those centuries, everyone was kept down:

Everyone worked harder than you when you wrote your dissertation; they ate less than you do on a diet, and men and women noblemen and serfs were all kept to strict, oppressive roles.  Because this thing we have called technology wasn’t around.

See, you say, that’s the patriarchy and the patriarchy–

It’s the patriarchy — SOOOOOOOB

So, what you are saying in essence is that a system in which only women are allowed to rule is inherently fair, because supposedly the ancient matriarchy was divine.  But a system in which only men are allowed to rule is inherently unfair.  No?  How not, if none of the men alive today caused the problem?  It must be because men are inherently inferior to women, right?  When it comes to governing, right?

Because of course, when we write about the organs of government THAT is what we mean, right?

These women think so!  But then they also think what’s between their legs is the MOST fascinating and important thing about them.  Poor women.

You might want to take a good look in that mirror:

Because what you’re looking at is someone who hates and despises half of humanity because these people — through no fault of their own — were born with outies instead of innies.

Let’s translate that:

Your argument makes about as much sense as this “sign language”

You’re saying that you believe that if you’re born with a certain characteristic you’re inherently inferior and unable to take any positions of leadership.  Because of characteristics you were born with.  Through no fault of your own.  Because of mumbo jumbo and pseudo scientific stuff, people born with this characteristic are inherently evil and bad, or at least stupid and can’t help themselves.  Honey, GRRRRL, this guy would love you:

But — you say — the Nebulas aren’t about ruling the world, only proving that women can write science fiction.  And that they’re as good as men and stuff.  Women won totally on merit.  Because they’re just that great at writing.

If that’s all you were doing, you wouldn’t have tweeted about how, because women won all the Nebulas white patriarchy “took one in the balls.”

(It’s very easy, btw, to kick white patriarchy in the balls.  Now, try to do that to the tan patriarchy of the Middle East — which is real patriarchy — and you might find yourself stoned to death.  And we don’t mean with pot.)

Actually, if you had voted for stories, not what was between the legs of the writers, you wouldn’t have engaged in end-zone victory dances about how cool it is that women won all the Nebulas.

And now the Nebulas can become all pink. Yay!

You wouldn’t have done that, because it wouldn’t matter.  (And if you knew anything of the history OF YOUR OWN FIELD you wouldn’t think women have ever been kept out of it — and you’d realize they certainly aren’t kept out of it now!  Most editors/agents AND writers are women.  The bad old days of patriarchal oppression are a myth in your own head.  Geek guys always fawned over geek girls.  Oh, and speaking of oppression, try writing an action character who is a straight male, and watch what you get called!)

It might warrant a passing mention “Oh yeah, it’s all women.  Cool.”  But it wouldn’t be a full flutter party with the most important thing celebrated being that the writers are women.  Which means you couldn’t care less what they wrote, provided they have the magical vagina.  Because vaginas are all important.  And not having them makes you evil and bad and oppressive and also a bad writer.

Magical vaginas, yay!

And frankly ladies — oh, sorry, this is offensive, right? — frankly bitches and hos, Sluts, after the tantrums you’ve been throwing, disgusting half the people (male and female) who used to be part of the association that controls the voting, (Only members of SFWA vote for the Nebulas)  you don’t even look like that KKK rally.  What you look like is this:

Yay, I win the special hate Olympics. I am awesome!


You seem to have forgotten that writing isn’t about social work, or affirmation, or feeling good and it certainly isn’t about curing your inferiority complex towards males. (And why you should have one is beyond me. Some males are better than I.  Some females too. What do you think is the magic of penis, that I should feel inferior to it, and try to put down those who have one?)  Well, it can be about all that, if what you’re writing is inspirational chicken soup for the feminist soul stuff.  But if you’re writing fiction, the purpose is telling an interesting story, which entertains the public, which will then buy the story and give you money.

But entertaining people is so much work! And selling is so capitalist, and icky, and oppressive!  And notoriously lacking in grapes.

If you can sneakily hide a message in the story they buy, so that you convey something that’s important to you, yay.  But no one buys writers that hit them over the head and tell them they’re inferior because they have a penis.

Not a recognized sales technique!

An award which is supposed to mean that the story is entertaining, and serve as an assurance of quality to the buying public.  Half of which have icky penises.

He’s only angry because he has a penis and will never win a Nebula!


You are saying it over and over with your incessant crowing not about the quality of the stories or even how the stories express some essence of femaleness, but about “Yay, only women won.”

This is totally the image you hoped to convey, right?

CONGRATULATIONS LADIES BITCHES AND HOS, sluts, you poor Marxist-Leninist dupes!  You won.  You won an award which those who voted are ensuring means nothing but that people voted for you because you had lady parts!  Are you proud of yourself?

Yay, the wrapping is all yours. Who needs the gift?

Carry on you crazy Social Justice Warriors Whiners, you!  If you try really hard, there are other things you can make meaningless by disregarding all quality and awarding it to people because of what’s between their legs!

Yay! I won because I have a vagina. This is totally my greatest achievement.

The rest of us are pretty much like this:

Whatever makes you happy!

But consider that to the public at large it all looks like this:

And these people don’t even know how to write!

 UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit Readers and thank you to Glenn Reynolds for the link!

294 thoughts on “Nebulizing the Patriarchy

  1. Okay, I’m looking for “good” bad examples. So far I’ve got this:

    I’m seeing some love for Ancillary Justice and “If you were a Dinosaur, my love.” (And also lots of praise for Gravity.)

    Can someone please explain the thing about “Dinosaur” to me? I just don’t get it. It’s not really a story and it just builds up to a gentle T-rex eating some sexist racist homophobes while the narrator laughs and laughs and laughs. Why are so many people responding to it with “wow, man, that’s sooooo deep”?

    1. Because the T-rex is, like, you know, the power of The People against the imperialist hegemony of the 1%, in the shape of a dinosaur. Or maybe I’m stoned.

    2. Did you read all the comments?
      EldritchU Lauren Davis
      Sunday 10:44am

      It’s so heartening and amazing that so many women authors won! I know there has been a lot of drama about sexism and racism in science fiction circles lately and I feel like all of these women winning such a high prize is just awesome. The Vox Days of the world are going to be nearly apoplectic with anger but they can go fuck themselves. Women in sci-fi for the win!
      trynewideas, ULauren Davis
      Monday 12:11pm

      No white guys won! Most of the winners are non-white! Women made up at least half of the nominees in every literary category!

      Aliette de Bodard is Franco-Vietnamese, Nalo Hopkinson is Jamaican, the Cuarons are Mexican, and Delany is black. The YA category was six women and a gay man.

      1. Xopher Halftongue May 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm
        While I’m sure all the awards are richly deserved (haven’t read ANY of the nominees!), the fact that all the winners of the writing categories are women, the DP stars a woman, and the Grandmaster Award* went to a gay African-American feminist sure is a poke in the eye to the Rabid Weasels.

        And that is another good thing.

        They’ll never believe it’s on actual merit. They never do. I’m hoping their brains will explode and paint the walls of their fallout shelters.

        *In that case I CAN say it’s richly deserved. Decades delayed, if anything.

        1. Ah yes, the “12 Rabid Weasels of SFWA”, Mary Robinette Kowal demanded, her exact words, “Shut the f*** up” last year during the Resnick-Malzberg debacle. I guess a few of those have left the group since then.

          1. Weirdly? Most haven’t. They are NICE people. A lot of the rest of us have, though (though in my case I just chose never to renew again, never ever ever.)

          2. Kowal did not actually name Rabid Weasels, just used the term. Someone named some. IIRC, the list included people who had been dead for some time.

              1. And one of the members that she was thought to be talking about (but nudge, wink, wouldn’t confirm) was Pournelle. A guy who’s got far more chops, and real-world experience doing things outside of writing, never mind writing arguably one of the best first contact novels ever. A guy who explored deep issues like societal evolution and created well known SFNAL phrases like “Think of it as evolution in action”. A guy who made me look into history for all the stories he’s based on it.

                I don’t listen to “Writing Excuses” much anymore. Not that she hands out crappy info, but because I don’t see what she adds to justify throwing a fourth person into the mix on top of Sanderson, Taylor, and Wells, while crowding the insights into shorter bullet points at less depth due to the time constraints.

                Listening her to dance around the topic of discussing politics as a SF writer – compared to what she’s written in her blog, was morbidly entertaining.

                  1. I know. When she first joined WE – I had no issues with her other. She had a slightly different perspective, but with the 15-minute limit, it just…crowded, that’s the best term I can think of for it… the show. And she didn’t add enough MORE… and it sort of wen’t meh.

                    Pleasant voice, composed and even funny in the podcast. Some good points. If I hadn’t run across her commentary on the whole Malzberg thing, and the 12 rabid weasels, and her loathing of people I truly respect who have earned their stature and have a reputation for getting along with all comers (the TWIW host commented on that a few times….)…

                    1. Crap. Spell correct/etc… and typing tired.

                      went, not wen’t

                      and TWIT – the “this week in tech” podcast/web series.

        2. Thomas– they don’t BELIEVE in merit, period. When cowtowing to a conveniently squishy form of moral relativism, there is NO SUCH THING as merit. Like random words emitted by the proverbial typing monkeys that make Shakespeare, all text is the same. ALL you can do is judge by the person. Because judging by sales is capitalist/homophobic/hatemongery/lowbrow/womynhating/ etc, because The Great Unwashed are made of troglodytes that can’t be trusted to know Budweiser from PBR. “Your people, sir, are a great beast.” Apologies to Alexander Hamilton. (Yeah, he invented the Federal Reserve, but he doesn’t deserve to be painted with the Moral Relativism brush… ) Scratch a moral relativist and you find a nihilist on uppers.

    3. ….Seriously? I’ve read a couple of humor short stories that follow one horrible character being horrible and then getting smacked, hard, but that at least implies she doesn’t do much harm afterwards, and it’s humor.

      1. There’s something off about that story. You’d think that fact would have been quietly acknowledged by someone behind the scenes somewhere before it got any further than the nominations….

    4. “Can someone please explain the thing about ‘Dinosaur’ to me? I just don’t get it. It’s not really a story…”

      There’s nothing to explain; you understood it perfectly.

    1. Because I’m half of the world’s worst person. Also, shut up. Also they don’t grow in the current yard and that’s the first time I’ve not had grapes in my garden, so I hate them.

            1. OLIVE SIZED>>>>>>?
              We had ONE INCH across hail stones. It was terrifying. I’ve never been scared of hail in my life before. And flying horizontally, driven by the wind. The side of my car looks like someone aimed a salad shooter at it, and the trees, after a splendorous two weeks of having leaves, are back to wretched bare (with a few straggles and shreds.)

              1. Hail piled six inches deep here. And I was watching a really nasty cloud rotation directly overhead for awhile this afternoon.

              2. Yeah, it was pretty bad. I was driving kids home in sunny weather and within a few minutes we were in crazy hail, traffic lights were out, and with all the leaves blowing around I was wondering if I was driving into a tornado. Locavores in eastern Colorado would probably have severe malnutrition, given what goes on here in the spring.

                1. I was in the kitchen, making lemon tea with honey for younger boy who just got a cold, and suddenly the skies go dark and I THOUGHT someone starts throwing rocks at the window. Then kid comes down stairs saying “it’s hailing.”
                  Meanwhile, cats are hiding behind my bed, and I’m thinking “if we have to go to the basement, we’ll never get them!”

                  1. Sounds as if you folks had a bit of the weather. I hope all and sundry up around such parts are safe, warm (or cool, as appropriate) and well.

                    1. Glad to hear it. And I’ve done the ‘soaked through in the time it took you to notice the rain’ bit. Doesn’t sound odd ’round here. I’ve even had the joy of finding myself soaked through with a stream running down into my boots on one side, with the lee side dry. Ah, sideways rain, Springtime joy.

                      Stay safe.

                    2. We got the scrag end of the rain, between the CO stuff and the lower Panhandle stuff. But I’ve got overnight smoker duty tonight, so we’ll probably get some down here tonight. (Come one rain, hail stay home!)

                  2. The roses are dead
                    The violets are too.
                    We had a heck of a storm
                    and so did you.

                  3. We had a storm here in Ohio that was pretty good, albeit no hail where I was. Creeks backing up across I-70, sump pumps giving up the ghost, apartment buildings waking up in the middle of the night to find their parking lot a lake, that sort of thing. Anyway, I learned an important lesson about flash flooding while getting home last night, as streets and driveways turned into temporary water chutes….

                    You don’t have to be in a low place.

                    You just have to have water coming from someplace higher than you.

                    (Or have the river too full so the creek backs up. That’s no good, either.)

              3. I was working in west Texas back in the summer of ’89 when the town I was living in (Monahans) was hit with a hailstorm. I’d never before believed in baseball-sized hail, but there it was, digging divots out of the yard and smashing through windshields.

                I was very glad my parking spot was covered.

                1. We’ve had some windows broken by hail coming down diagonally, but never had any that was THAT big here. However, I do remember seeing a video from inside a car where the hail was tennis ball sized, and it took about 3 or 4 to get through the windshield into the car.

                  1. Thinking back, I don’t know that any windshields were actually fully punctured or smashed out of their frames, but there were lots of very large indentations, and all the cars in the local dealership lots looked like they’d been gone over with jackhammers:-P.

                  2. Yesterday, an acquaintance a few miles SW of DIA had hail large enough to put a large number of fist size holes through the siding and break a window on the windward side of their house.

                    1. I haven’t inspected the siding yet. Tomorrow. Today I swept the paths. BUT the knocks on the walls were strong enough to knock pictures down inside.

                    2. There’s something to be said for masonry houses with shutters on all the windows.

                    3. Denver International Airport. Or The Carnival on the Plains, depending on your perspective.

      1. I have grapes growing wild all over the yard. they’re just about the only food bearing plants I can grow around here.

    2. They can keep the matriarchy, but those ladies could feed me grapes anytime.:-)

  2. In all seriousness, this begs a bigger question. Did the best stories by women win or did the stories by the best (read Most Socially Just) women win? Given the Hugo controversy you wouldn’t wrong the wrong (read Conservative) women to win now would you?

      1. Some day . . . After a couple of us win the lottery . . . you, me, Cedar, Sabrina, Karen, ABE, Celia, and any other Human Wave ladies who can attend, either in flesh or in spirit via Skype or whatever, need to show up at a Con in our finest, most lady-like and glamorous attire and send the SJWs and GHHs into screaming fits of the vapors. *evil grin*

        1. Never mind the lottery, fund it with the proceeds from a Hunnish pin-up calendar! *Very Big Evil Grin* Make their heads pop twice! Maybe you can get Oleg to do the shoot; I wonder how much he charges…

            1. Nah. Don’t fret the pounds. Real folks. With guns.

              Oleg does wonderful things with real folks.

              With guns.

                  1. Or maybe with battle-axes.

                    No, wait. That could be taken the wrong way. Oh, my, I’m just sticking my foot deeper in today. Bad thing is, I have a big mouth. Plenty of room for BOTH feet. Sigh.

              1. And not much (if anything) else sometimes… (which is why he’s not in my feed reader anymore. The front page has warnings, the feed doesn’t. Awkward enough for me, but I also have the minions to consider!)

  3. I always love it when you get giff-y.

    That being said, I’m only about 70% in agreement with you. An all women slate winning the Nebulas is notable, and I don’t hold it against people for being happy when people they perceive as like themselves do well. I’m sure there would be some end zone dancing from the Right if International Lord of Hate Larry Correia’s slate swept the Hugos. I think in the spirit of things we have to forgive a little excess of zeal.

    That’s not to say you’re wrong either. It’s pretty clear that at least some of the people celebrating would love nothing better than to see an all woman slate win every year, even if doing so meant that men were excluded completely from competition. They would view this as a “triumph”.

    The hope is that all these winners deserved to “be” winners. One year Denzel Washington won an Best Actor Award for arguably his worst role since Virtuosity, largely because the Academy wanted to give awards to an all black slate. So now he has an award that means less than the kudoes for all the award worthy work he’d previously done that was passed over. Was it really a compensation?

    I hope in the coming years, none of these awards given this year wind up being the equivalent of that Best Actor award, given because of the sex of the author, not the quality of the work.

    1. The point I was trying to make is that I have yet to see ANYTHING celebrating the STORIES. “YAY, all women won and look how awesome these stories are” would be acceptable. Stupid, IMO but acceptable (I don’t write with what’s between my legs and I have a lot more in common with say Larry Correia than a just-out-of-college northestern woman writer.) But there is NONE of that. It’s all “Yay, women.” Hence the post.

      1. That’s why I’m 70% in agreement with you (maybe closer to 80). In fact, I agree with everything you wrote; perhaps I’m just more forgiving of the fluffy condescenders.

      2. The awesomeness of the stories is presumed by the fact they all won the award. Which I think is a perfect realization (as in literally a “making real”) of the question-begging fallacy: assuming what you set out to prove and using that assumption as evidence for the proof.

        I can tell you this much: “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” is well-written and even emotionally moving, but it isn’t science fiction, it isn’t fantasy, and it isn’t a *story* — the protagonist *does* nothing, nothing *happens*, and certainly nothing is done or happens that involves something actually fantastical or science-fictiony. (Shaddup, I’m a writer I sez, I kin invent wurdz 2.) If those are no longer the criteria for the Nebula, so be it, but at least say so.

        1. Well written and emotionally moving? Seriously? It’s “if you give a pig a pancake” gone horribly, horribly wrong.

          1. Well, I found it moving. Losing love should be something that moves people, I think?

            Then again, I freely admit to being the worst kind of cheesy sentimentalist (*commercials* can make me cry). And my wife always accuses me of being the easiest audience possible, a claim which has some merit. (I like the Ewoks.) So my evaluation should perhaps be taken with a few grains of salt.

            1. Even the dumbest chick flick director knows that you have to preserve the likability of the protagonist in order for the emotional payoff of the happy ending to be effective in the end.

              In less than 1000 words in “Dinosaur,” the main character laughs and laughs and laughs as a gentle dinosaur disembowels sexist racist homophobes for no other reason than that they were name-calling bullies.

              It’s ham handed and petty… it’s sadistic, it’s not attractive, and it’s not compelling. It’s just ugly. It’s tacky.

              1. The impression I got was that the people being (in the narrator’s imagination) disemboweled were the specific ones who had actually beat the person she loved into his coma, so the fantasy seemed a little more understandable to me.

                But again, the whole problem is that it’s *all* a fantasy (and not in the genre label meaning of that word). Nothing actually *happens*. That, to me, is the biggest strike against it.

                1. The dastardly deed has all of the nuance and specificity of a campus hate crime hoax.

                  The protagonist fantasizes about their gruesome deaths.

                  Heck, every major character in the Lord of the Rings held out for the potential of Gollum’s rehabilitation at great at great risk to themselves and their dear ones. Tolkien made you fear and hate and pity him all at once. That’s good writing.

                  This Nebula award winning short story is just stupid in comparison. Who reads that stuff, really?

                2. I usually describe stories in which nothing happens as “literary” like the sort of thing the “Pre-Joycean Fellowship” (if you know what PJF is) is supposed to be countering.

                  1. And – even though the political views of many (all?) of the PJF members fall in the glittery hoo-haw crowd’s approved spectrum – they can usually tell a pretty good story.

                    In particular, though my politics are close to the exact opposite of Steve Brust’s, I’ll buy and devour anything he publishes. As long as he continues to write good stories, he’s welcome to wave the red flag all he wants the rest of the time.

                    But he actually has something the vast majority of the glitteratti lack – talent, and a desire to tell a story.

                    1. That’s why they are acting the way they are. They can’t do anything else.

                3. So it’s ok to bully bulies? (The message I got from the allegory.)

                  It’s ok to be the thing you hate if it’s against the thing you hate.

                  When they do it it’s evil and mean. When we do it it’s OK because we’re doing it for the right reasons.

                  Not valid excuses on the playground, and shouldn’t, in my opinion, be valid excuses as adults.

                  1. I was going to quibble, but… realized those quibbles only work if I accept the “anything you do against those who wrong you is just as bad” thing. The theory that beating the #$@# out of the bully who attacks you is just as bad as him, and that’s not what you actually said.

                    Someone hurts my kids? I want to kill them.

                    I don’t want to torture them, or inflict eye for an eye, or recreate the suffering my kids theoretically would have.
                    I want them dead, and gone, and not a threat.

                    As Terry Pratchett put it– pray the guy who has you at his mercy is a bad man, because a good man will kill you and be done with it.

                    1. Foxfier,

                      We are in agreement. Bad people must be stopped and it’s understandable that we want to hurt the ones that hurt us and our loved ones.

                      But there is a line between line between Self-Defense and Revenge.

                      Self-Defense is stoping the threat as it is happaning and no more. Once threat is stopped and no longer a threat if you move beyound that into trying to teach a lesson of retribution and revenge then you become no better than the bully.

                      A bully of bullies.

                      The dinasour that eats the bullies after the fact is advocating murder.

                  2. This subthread has got to the point where I can’t tell who you’re responding to, Josh, but nobody actually said anything that fits what you’re implying people said.

                    “It’s ok to be the thing you hate if it’s against the thing you hate”.

                    Nobody’s saying that. Like Foxfier said, it’s the difference between eliminating a threat and torturing it to death. Someone threatens or harms you or yours, you eliminate the threat they pose. Quickly and as cleanly as possibly in the circumstances. You don’t become like them.

                    Or, to bring it back to the actual topic at hand, judge things on their actual merits not the possession or lack thereof of a specific body part. I don’t know about you, but I’d be kind of pissed off if I found out I couldn’t ever eat cheese because I didn’t have a third nipple. That’s the level of debate the whole “ooh ooh, kick the patriarchy in the nuts” crowd is operating at.

                    1. Kate,

                      It was meant as a general observation about the Dinosaur story/allegory under discussion.

                    2. Josh,

                      That makes it a bit clearer. In my opinion, the dinosaur story/allegory was a revenge fantasy on crack as envisaged by someone who took the dino-love thing a little bit too far.

                      And like others have said, revenge fantasies are normal and perfectly understandable. It’s *acting* on them that distinguishes a civilized person from a savage.

              2. Eh. I don’t think the story’s bad. The descriptions of the dino wedding in the middle tied in with the ending rather nicely, and the revenge fantasy was understandable given the premise of the story. (I’m one of those who freely admits that I’m not rational when I see friends get hurt, so I can imagine myself in the protag’s shoes wishing for a way to smush the antags flat with well-aimed pianos.)

                It’s not a bad piece. It’s not what I’d call a conventional story, because the protag doesn’t actually protag, but it does explain why certain things matter to the main character, and it is reasonably emotion-evoking. The antags are sufficiently nasty in their actions that it’s simplistic to say that the revenge fantasy is due to their being homophobes or racists; rather, it’s because they’re violent assholes. And “Dinosaur” does do the neat trick of managing to pull off a dream sequence that works.

                Admittedly, I am mostly admiring the writing quality here; I wasn’t particularly moved by the story itself. But I certainly can see why it was nominated; the writer knows her craft.

                1. What good does it do anyone for her to know her craft if she’s going to make something that is ugly and contemptible?

                  There is nothing beautiful or useful or instructive about revenge fantasy. It’s base. It’s common. It’s adolescent. You might as well write short fiction about a woman cleaning her husband’s involuntary bowel movement from off the kitchen floor.

                  1. “There is nothing beautiful or useful or instructive about revenge fantasy. It’s base. It’s common. It’s adolescent.”

                    True, but it’s very human, and “nothing human is alien to me,” as Terence said. And there can be a lot useful and instructive — even, perhaps, beautiful — about helping someone to understand someone else’s pain.

                    The question is, of course: What do you *do* with that understanding? And what do you do to help the other person *deal* with that pain? That the story deliberately leaves these questions unanswered is a very postmodern literary choice, but it’s one I’ve never liked. (But then, I cordially loathe postmodernism in all its manifestations.)

                    1. Good science fiction sets up a certain view of reality… this understanding is stretched and tested until an aha moment is reached where the reader suddenly understands that the axioms that seemed so right are actually insufficient. It’s like C. S. Lewis’s “Until We Have Faces,” but with ideas and realities and universes.

                    2. Agreed. That’s why whatever artistic merit I may find in the work’s characterization and emotional affect, I still contend that it can’t be called “science fiction” or “fantasy” in its current form. (But apparently formal definitions of criteria are patriarchally heteronormatively oppressive, or something.)

                  2. “It’s base. It’s common. It’s adolescent.”

                    So what? So (some would contend) are stories about modern day monster hunters. Stories about idealistic good guys striving against impossible odds and coming out on top nonetheless. Stories about heroes and villains who are genuinely heroic and villainous in their turn. Stories where the protag and her love interest fall in love and are genuinely happy with one another when the story ends.

                    Revenge fantasy isn’t great, but it’s very human.

                    This story is much akin to “Hills Like White Elephants” in its structure. You go along for most of it saying “Okay, sure, but what’s the point?” and then you get to the end and go “Oh!” and the story suddenly has meaning, though the protag in both cases does jack squat. And again, though the plot isn’t precisely riveting, there’s a lot to be said about writing that knows how to tug on (some fraction of) readers’ heartstrings.

                    1. Moving the goalposts, much? You objected on the grounds that it was neither well-written nor emotionally moving. Several people have countered giving examples of how it is arguably well-written (pulling off a difficult plot structure, managing an emotional reveal, using the wedding accoutrements both in the middle and at the end) and it’s clear that some subset of readers are emotionally affected by the story.

                      I don’t need to prove that it should have won, because that’s not what we’ve been discussing. Neither Stephen nor I have said it should win. You can even disagree about the writing quality if you wish. But it certainly tugged at the heartstrings of a number of readers, and I do think it’s fair to object to “It’s base! It’s adolescent!” as an argument–because that’s the same argument that has resulted in so much grey goo propagation.

                    2. Yes, but the monsters in monster-hunter stories are not transparent stand-ins for people the author disagrees with on current political/social issues.

                      Swirsky’s story isn’t a revenge fantasy, it’s a Brownshirt fantasy. “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could murder Those People we don’t like?” And the enlightened Social Justice Warriors cheer and clap like the crowd at Nuremburg.

                  3. So you DID read the Lady Astronaut story on Tor…….

                    thought I was the only one…..


                    1. Dang it, this is in response to Jeffro’s comment about cleaning up the kitchen floor.


                  4. OK – at this point I’ll concede that I actually liked the original Death Wish, even with the crappy 70’s style elements in it.

              1. Nope! (But I rather imagine that I would get along very well with Dan, based on your descriptions of him — he and I seem very similar types.)

      3. If you could write with what’s between your legs, I’d swear I was back in Bangkok.

        1. Too Much Information. Whether you were a spectator or performer. Unless it’s a story about an octopus who held a pen in its beak.

    2. Salamandyr said: “One year Denzel Washington won an Best Actor Award for arguably his worst role since Virtuosity, largely because the Academy wanted to give awards to an all black slate.”

      To be fair, it’s traditional for the Academy not to award anything for a person’s good flicks, but for the flicks right after their good flicks.

  4. Speaking of the celebration of “smashing gender” and challenging the standards of body image and identity, do you think it bothers any of the authors that they are just following the trail blazed by Jack L. Chalker and Robert Heinlein?

    Or are they even aware? I’ve often gotten the sense that these kinds of writers have never read any science fiction other than Atwood.

    1. Oh, now, some of them have read Joanna Russ and Suzette Haden Elgin too. Not many of them, mind you, because Russ and Elgin are so darned heteronormative. And a very few actually managed to be aware of The Left Hand of Darkness, but that doesn’t count because it’s, like, forty years ago. (Also, I think The Lathe of Heaven’s gray people scene counts as badthink. You can’t be properly leftist when you’re trying to be Taoist.)

      1. *Russ* is “heteronormative”? Either that word doesn’t mean what I thought it meant, or it doesn’t mean what they think it means.

        1. Determinate word meanings are an obstacle to abusing people for their privilege in using insensitive language.

          1. Hooray for Humpty-Dumptyism!

            On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 10:39 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

            > Mary commented: “Determinate word meanings are an obstacle to abusing > people for their privilege in using insensitive language.” >

              1. google that phrase and you will find its being used non-ironically now.

                Usually in context of environmentalism.

              2. Interestingly, they recently excavated some of the Moai and found that they aren’t just giant heads, but actually full bodies (admittedly with giant heads).

    2. Like I was telling Sarah, they’re just jealous that Heinlein got there first and did it more entertainingly.

      1. Like the woman writer whom Russ quoted approvingly in How to Suppress Women’s Writing:

        . . .a fan post-card, saying he liked Bye Bye Banana Bird & Heinlein couldn’t have done it better.
        I am now joining N.O.W., W.O.W, P.O.W. & any other anti-establishment (the Establishment is male, of course) group that’ll have me.

        Let’s overthrow civilization because a fan didn’t say a nice enough compliment about you.

    3. Every time I hear people complain about the enforce bi-cisgenderism of science fiction all I can think is “have you even heard of Jack Chalker…I know he wrote and published no earlier in your life than 8 or 9 given when he died…wtf”?

      I mean body changing, gender swapping, and non-binary gender is out and out fan service in Chalker by 1990.

        1. And Tiresias lived as a woman for seven years including marriage and children…given he’s a mythological age Greek hero this has been going on a long time.

          I choose to emphasize Chalker because like most children these people think history started after they were born. Jack Chalker died in 2005 after publishing his last book in 2003. Therefore he fits even their stunted era of “history” for the genre. It’s not just they’re ignorant, they’re ignorant by their own stunted standards.

  5. What has always struck me about the Matriarchy brigade is their appalling ignorance of history. Set aside the debate over if any matriarchies ever existed in any meaningful sense; all social hierarchies that have had a small group ruling the rest have been godawful. The vast majority of chiefs, shamans, kings, emperors, oligarchs, high priests, etc. have been guillotine bait. The rare exceptions have almost always been succeeded by raving lunatics, flailing incompetents, violent thugs, or some combination of such appalling traits. This has been true of men and women alike. The lesson of history is not that men should not rule and women should. The lesson of history is that rulers are assholes, that rule should be constrained wherever possible, and that the best societies have been those in which individuals are left alone top the greatest degree consistent with not allowing the strong to take over.

    1. One of the many things that annoys me is the practice of taking historical societies where noble caste women were expected to uphold their society’s virtues, and hence had some rights and decision making, and painting them as treating all women decently.

      Some or all of these societies practiced slavery and thralldom. They all had peasants or serfs. I simply do not buy that the female slaves and peasants must have been mistreated less than male slaves and peasants.

      Perhaps one can chalk it up to the same impulse that leads the SCA to give the impression they think that everyone was a Thane, and that there were no chain serfs.

      1. When writing stories, one writes about what is interesting. Therefore, in any society you write about those who have enough status to function effectively but not easily against the problem you set against them.

        As a consequence, in any older era, you write about the upper-crust.

      2. Old joke; how do you tell the difference between an SCA event and a Markland event? Oh! there’s peasant! It must be a Markland event!

      3. To be fair to the SCA, they (or at least everyone I knew in it when I hung out with my local chapter, back in my university days some 20+ yrs ago) were perfectly well aware that their historical recreations deliberately left out much unpleasant mediaeval reality, and were completely unashamed of admitting that this was solely to maximize entertainment value. Back then you could let a hobby be a hobby without being accused of perpetuating political injustices.

        But then, one of the key things about the SCA is that by definition, most of its important activities are face-to-face and in person. I can’t help but notice that that seems to make it much harder to get sucked into these kind of issue wars.

        1. “But then, one of the key things about the SCA is that by definition, most of its important activities are face-to-face and in person. I can’t help but notice that that seems to make it much harder to get sucked into these kind of issue wars.”

          Especially when the other person has a weapon and isn’t afraid to use it.

          1. “Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.”

            Robert E. Howard

            I always preferred the version that went “A barbarian is more polite than a civilized man, because a civilized man doesn’t worry about getting his skill staved in”

            In FROM SEA TO SEA Kipling observed that the Japanese were polite with the politeness of a people who had given up wearing swords only recently.

            I suspect that this is why the Politically Correct are so hot to impose Gun Control; they are aware at some level that they are so annoying that sooner or later somebody is going to shoot them.

            1. I often find I’m baffled when people don’t seem to understand this very basic concept. That you* are not getting punched in the face (at a minimum) for your rude and aggressive behavior has nothing to do with some innate superior feature of your existence. It is entirely owing to the other fellow’s restraint.

              You’ve made yourself dependent upon his restraint by surrendering your own. Oops.

              *Generic, not targeted.

              1. I think that, on some level, they worst offenders DO realize this. Some of them (the KKK springs to mind, as does the Westboro Bab-tist Con (i mean “church”)) simply take advantage of it. But some others appear to fear that the situation will change at any moment. I think that’s what was behind a lot of the “Bush= a certain Austrian Corporal” nonsense; the fear that he might, at any moment, begin purging his political enemies. I think they think that way because that’s what THEY would do. And since so many factions on the Left have played seriously unwise “Radical Chic” games with various Islamic Terrorist factions over the decades, they were FRANTIC that he might expose them publicly (as if anyone who cared didn’t know) and throw them into Gitmo.

                Bush, whatever else you may think about him, clearly felt he had more important things to do than police the political indiscretions of a bunch of Western Intellectual Twits.

                1. Sometimes the most frightening thing about the radical progs is what they say about anybody to the right of them.

                  Understanding projection can be a bit unsettling.

                  1. All political movements include a “burn the heretics” faction. The Progs are worse than many we are familiar with because they have had control of the debate for so long they have forgotten that they aren’t center-moderate.

              2. I’ve heard John Roderick (back in the days when I used to listen to John Roderick) describe this as “someone not knowing that a punch in the nose was a possibility”, and then describing how behavior changed once a punch in the nose had been delivered.
                It was amusing at the time.

                1. This used to be something boys, at least, picked up at a young age in play-ground missteps. Less so now.

                  Please to note, I am not advocating violence, but am recognizing the essential difference in how men interact with men, and the assumptions underlying much of the social behaviors.

                  Once you reach adulthood, it’s a bit late to really learn the lesson. And it’s unlikely anyone is willing to take the risks merely to educate some git.

                  When I first came back Stateside I spent a great deal of time in extreme tension. The casually rude are bad enough, but the belligerent and confrontational? I maintained a running dialogue: “Different rules, they don’t understand or know, prize your restraint…”

                  Sometimes I think a society that supported that punch in the nose would be on a better path than one which constantly frays the cord of restraint. Some folks are dangerous, best to leave them be.

                  1. This used to be something boys, at least, picked up at a young age in play-ground missteps. Less so now.

                    One reason it is a good idea to let this happen when they are young is because 1) Younger people aren’t usually very adept at doing real damage, and 2) Young people are more flexible and generally resilient than adults, so the potential for serious injury is far lower.

                    1. Yes, they’re also likely to have less invested in the outcome and can let the lesson take hold without undue rationalization.

            2. An inversion of the concept just occurred to me, which I may use in a story someday:

              “The flaw of a barbarian culture is that it defines what must be respected only in terms of fearful physical consequences for disrespect; that is why courtesy from a barbarian is worthless, because it signifies nothing other than his belief that he cannot for the moment beat you in a fight. The flaw of a decadent culture is that it defines respect only in terms of performing the proper rituals of respect; that is why courtesy from a decadent is worthless, because it signifies nothing other than knowledge of the appropriate rituals. Only a civilized culture can permit sincere and unfearing disrespect, and thus make it possible for sincere respect to exist; courtesy from a civilized man *may* be a lie, but it is the only kind which may possibly be true.”

                1. Loving this sub-thread (as an avid ‘only’ reader – avid in the sense of having to move books to allow visitors to sit down), sensible conversation is so hard to eavesdrop on in meatspace nowadays.

                  I wonder at the barbarian/civilised aspect though. Having worked in a male only/dominated ‘society’ – the military, and a female only/dominated one – Health Care, I’d say this remains a current and relevant situation/example.

                  You will find ribaldry, rudeness, bluster and argument in both, but in the male area words, emotions and aggressiveness are kept in check due to exactly the possible/probable physical response if they are not. The female area? No limits or exceptions occur (especially if the target is a male, which brings up the other difference, women will automatically join together when one is ‘attacked’ by a male. The argument/disagreement becomes irrelevant, overtaken by the ‘we women must stick together’ meme).

                  Women have relied on (bigger, stronger, more aggressive) males restraint, and continue to do so whilst increasingly disparaging them for ‘doing what they aren’t doing anyway’ (that sounded right in my head, but in text .. not so much. Oh, you know what I mean.). These women feel confident and safe to attack males in general (or in the specific) precisely because they know men will not respond aggressively (if a man acted in such a way he’d face a punch at the very least [official critic or not], and increasingly a woman attacking a woman will face that also, but not a woman attacking a man).

                  Incidentally it raised another idea being debated around the Interwebz. The inherent hypergamy of many women (yes, I know, not all, and even then the ‘up’ may be money/status/academic/the meanest badass/or has the most bitchin’ hog, but …). That a man views a ‘subordinate’ woman as ‘not a threat’ but as an ‘executive officer’ whose views can safely be catered for without loss of status. The women? See, in general (and maybe only subconsciously at that) ‘subordinate’ men as ‘inferior’. Maybe, in ‘allowing’ these women to win, these women view these men as now their inferiors rather than a threat???

                  As just a reader/fan, the Nebulas have now for me become the equivalent of … well every other award from the Nobels to the BAFTAs, an irrelevant ‘let’s pat ourselves on the back for our PC credentials irrespective of the facts’ which in no way reflects the actual [peace, best/most watched TV, best/most read story – insert as needed]. The sad thing is these ‘winning’ authors are now tainted with the meme (undeserved or not) in the eyes of their ‘customers’ – ‘you only won it because you were a woman’ and are likely to fail in every area except feminist strongholds as a consequence.

                  P.S. Can I pre-book 14 copies of the calender – the thought of Sarah in chain-mail has me feeling …. er, feint (amongst other things).

                  1. And then you get SPLC adding PUA to the list of hate groups, when they are just acting as feminists say all men act.

              1. Stephen,


                Question in this hypothetical society: if you don’t respect someone, is it condoned or expected that you should be rude to them as a matter if honesty?

                1. Hm. Good question.

                  In theory, the answer might be yes: honesty would require, in the “civilized” culture being built by this thesis, that if you don’t respect someone you should not use false courtesies to hide that disrespect. In practice, I think there are many good reasons why formally respectful manners are valuable even when interacting with those we don’t personally like, admire or agree with. Robert Heinlein had a quote about this, via his curmudgeon-avatar Lazarus Long:

                  “Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untravelled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as ’empty,’ ‘meaningless,’ or ‘dishonest,’ and scorn to use them. No matter how ‘pure’ their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.”

                  Barbarism, I think, is what obtains when the *only* reason for most people to use respectful courtesies, other than personal sincerity on a case-by-case basis, is personal fear of ruinous and disproportionate consequences for not doing so. Decadence is what obtains when *how* most people show the respectful courtesies is more important than *why*, and when the *manner* of the courtesies becomes more important as a status-boosting technique for the offerer than the *content* of the courtesies is as a status signifier for the recipient. In both cases, assessing the sincerity of the courtesies themselves becomes highly problematic. True civilization requires recognition of both the importance of courtesy and the freedom to be discourteous when merited.

          2. “Especially when the other person has a weapon and isn’t afraid to use it.”

            (snerk) True enough! But I have to admit I was thinking more that the kind of systemic bad faith interpret-for-worst-possible-intent approach that sadly characterizes so much of these debates just seems harder to pull off in real-life interaction. I think it’s easier to attribute bad intentions to somebody who is nothing but an alias and some words.

        2. The SCA: recreating the Middle Ages not as they were but as they should have been! Ah, brings back fond memories.

          1. Oh, the snark that comes to mind…. “What, you thought the Samuri were normal?”
            “Sorry, ‘slavishly copying in absolute accordance with proportions and statistics’ is not Creative. It’s in the name.”

            Sure you can think of more and better.

    2. ” It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

  6. On the bright side, I did discover a “new” sf writer this week. She was a Dominican nun who published a Catholic sf book in the UK back in 1936. “S.M.C.” was Sr. Mary Catherine Anderson, who passed away in 1972. (Most nuns and brothers didn’t put their own name on books back then.)

    Brother Petroc’s Return is a sleeper-time-travel book, with the rather innovative aim of exploring of differences in intellectual training and spirituality approaches in a Benedictine monastery over time, and of how bad spiritual direction that doesn’t understand a person can make trouble. It’s an “inside baseball” kind of book, but very skiffy in its own way. Also very Human Wave, since the whole point is how Brother Petroc and his new modern brothers both care about each other and influence each other, both for stupidly bad and for very good.

    There’s an ebook available on Amazon, nicely formatted, and it supports the Summit NJ Dominican nuns.

  7. “Rabid Weasels” Ah shucks, I was hoping to get to be the “Tasmanian Devil” I loved that guy, single minded and goal orientated.
    On grapes, I’ve started a vineyard. Doing well on land that used to be a nursing home. What’s neat is that the grapes grown in the reclaimed flower beds grow twice as fast. So the girls are going to have to make room for an old skinny guy in denim.

    “perhaps I’m just more forgiving of the fluffy condescenders.” To forgive is divine; however, there is more to it. Right after the last Nebula, this group began their attack on two male writers, then Vox Day, Olson S. Card, and any male or female that wasn’t in their group, like Elizabeth Moon who can out-write the best of them. Even attacking conventions to get their way. They have been working to intimidate the rest of the SFWA into letting them have their way. The government and the Mafia call it extortion, they call it girl or vagina power.

      1. The pecking order for Most Evil Person in SF is:

        1.) Vox Day.
        2.) Orson Scott Card
        3.) John C. Wright

        Larry and Sarah are runners-up.

        1. Which is funny because Card actually tends to be a bit more left than most of us here. It’s only because of his comments about gay marriage, consistent with his faith for the most part, that he even gets any grief.

          None of which is actually deserved.

          1. Yeah.

            “He has Incorrect Opinions about a group! Let’s fling mud at him!”
            “Uh… but his Ender books brought a lot of joy to bright kids who felt alienated in their youth, and having feelings about how a church should handle certain policies is not at all the same as treating individual people badly…”
            “We don’t care! More mud!”

            1. Yep. It’s amusing how they’ll turn on each other over a single variance. It’s not enough to agree with them 99 percent of the time. It’s all or nothing with these people.

              We, on the other hand, can accept all kinds of variance. It’s part of the reason we can have some discussions that can be heated today, and be fine tomorrow. We just don’t care if someone agrees with us 100 percent. 95 percent is still pretty damn awesome.

              1. Interestingly enough, probably every single member of that horde is terrified that they themselves might be found out to be at that 1% variance, so they do their best to conform and echo and pray they don’t slip up.

                1. If they realize what their side does with that variance, they are. A lot of them are oblivious though. They don’t realize it happens so they don’t know they should be concerned.

            2. For the sake of completeness of information, Card _also_ believes that widespread acceptance of homosexual behavior has and will continue to have a corrosive effect on the culture(s) involved.

              1. Well, I think that is perceptive, in that it certainly would have an effect on a society based on traditional (longstanding) family values, and social norms. That is the *point* of the LGBT’s attempts to “normalize” the acceptance of the behaviours after all.

                It is simply one of many corrosive effects, and certainly not one I’d throw myself on a grenade for…especially since society is always changing (like climate). Western society now believes in marriage for LOVE, and that was considered the height of silliness not so very long ago, for example.

                FWIW, Card could believe that children taste like lobster, and it wouldn’t change his ability to write stories about gifted kids facing adversity. (It might give a literary critic fuel to interpret his works in a particular way, but it wouldn’t change what he wrote.)

                Although I really like reading blogs by some of my favorite authors (and some that aren’t favorites) I think it can be counter-productive to know TOO much about an author’s personal life. Let each work speak for itself. I didn’t need to know that a certain Ian was the child of labor organizers to become tired of the endless Union boosterism in his stories. I don’t need to know anything about Sherri Tepper to have stopped reading her after “Gate to Woman’s Country.” I just got tired of it. Nor do I know anything about Richard Kadrey except that I really liked his Sandman Slim books.

                I could go on, but that should be enough 🙂

                The only counter to the above is when I find new-to-me authors thru a community of ‘like minded individuals.’ Knowing that someone is part of the ‘Utah Mormon mafia’ community of writers from the Salt Lake area, gives me a pretty good indication that I’ll like their work. Or when they come recommended by other folks that I like (for example, Cedar- whose Pixie stories I enjoyed a lot, even though they are FAR from what I’d normally read.) But finding authors thru personal recommendation is nothing new, it just takes on a slightly different form over the web (where you can only judge the recommend-er by their online persona.)

                So all this is a long winded way of saying “Albert, your comment smacks of the same sort of SJW thing, of judging an author on his beliefs (BADTHINK) rather than his written works.”


                1. I don’t THINK so (we are the first post industrial society. None other had the pill. It has changed the relations between humans) BUT I also don’t think he said that. Or at least won’t believe it without a quote.
                  And, again, even if he said it, what does that have to do with his work? Pratchett wants gun control. He’s still an excellent writer.

                  1. Perhaps Sarah, you’re correct but even if he said it, I’m saying that it’s not hateful toward gays. He may be incorrect but saying it doesn’t make him a bigot.

                    I took Albert’s comment that Card was a bigot for saying it and that’s I disagree with.

                    1. No, it’s not necessarily bigoted — it’s “we’ve never done this before. Societies that did it went “decadent”. We might go the same way.” Eh.

                    2. It also depends on what he means by homosexual behavior. (Assuming he said such a thing.) I’d think that normalizing not-necessarily-voluntary sex with teenaged boys a la Hollywood Pool Party… or the original Vagina Monologue where the age of the girl introduced to Lesbianism was originally 13 (so I’m told, and it had to be changed upward) as something normal… or so many many people who chose to view that statuatory rape thing in Florida (Free Kate) as homophobic because it’s wrong to object to sexually active 14 year olds if they’re gay…

                      I don’t think that society is going to be torn asunder because same sex partners are accepted in society… but there does seem to be a lot of this demand that we not have moral standards *at all* attached to the homosexual cause.

                    1. Thanks for the link, Albert.

                      As for the “not calling Card a bigot”, I’ve had “conversations” with people who “didn’t call me a bigot” but the “way they were talking implied that they considered me a bigot”.

                      IMO the context of your earlier statement did imply Card was a bigot.

                      If I’m wrong about what you intended, then I apologize.

                    2. Sorry, just read the whole linked article, including the preface that explains the original context of the article.

                      I didn’t see anywhere that he expresses a believe that tolerance of homosexuality is corrosive to society, only that one can not be a Mormon and actively in a homosexual lifestyle at the same time. He is specifically addressing a point I see in other mainstream dogmatic religions– being a member of one of those religions means accepting ALL of the dogma of that religion. It is NOT a buffet where one can pick and choose which revealed truths to believe in and which not. (YOU are free to pick and choose, but if you don’t accept it ALL, then you are NOT in fact a “******”, whatever religion that may be.) (If you don’t believe in the transubstantiation of the host, you are NOT a Catholic, no matter what church you attend, or how you identify yourself. For example.)


                    3. This really depends on the religion, actually. For instance, if you were baptized Catholic and have not left the faith by a formal declaration, you’re still a Catholic. You may be a Catholic living in a state of mortal sin, a Catholic who needs to go to confession before he can recieve communion again, a Catholic who doubts the faith, a Catholic who really needs more religious education, or a Catholic who has decided to quit going to church because you really want to live an active homosexual lifestyle and you’re pissed because the church says that your lifestyle choices are sinful, but you’re still Catholic.

                      In fact, once baptized, it’s almost impossible to leave the Catholic church. You may be a *BAD* Catholic, but you’re still a Catholic.

                      This fact tends to really piss ‘Ex-Catholics’ off. On the other hand, if they decide they want to get square with the church again, in most cases all it takes is honest repentance and a trip to the confessional. That’s the whole Catholic=universal thing.

                    4. “The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly, so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity’s ability to provide rules for safe, stable, dependable marriage and family relationships.”

                      That part’s why I think _he_ thinks it’s a bad idea, even as a secular culture. One thing that comes through pretty clearly in Card’s novels is that he considers the family critically important to the health of a society.

                      In any event, I am firmly persuaded that the LDS Church, as a culture, is prepared to handle the upcoming collapse of the Great Society better (much, _much_ better) than most SJWs.

                    5. Of course they are. The fact that, as I understand it, they’re required to stock a years worth of food for hard times alone means they’re better equipped than most.

                      Need to work some Mormons into my book, since it’s post apocalyptic and all that.

                    6. If you need a functional group– an island, so to speak– I suggest a Mormon-and-friends group.

                      At least in my area, they’re incredibly open to anybody who is willing to throw a shoulder in, and almost as crazy as I am about not taking favors. (I hate owing people.)

                    7. My primary group is already established, but a small group, including the MC, are heading a few hundred miles to enact a rescue.

                      I might include such a group for something closer to their objective. Might include the Mormon’s being persecuted by the antagonist, since there’s plenty of precedence for it.

                    8. T. L. “Dies the Fire” by SM Stirling had a group that was saved (kind of) after the Lights Went Out because they came across a Mormon house where the owners had been killed.

          1. True. Not to mention Brad Torgersen and Dan Simmons. The list is ever-expanding.

  8. It’s official: The Nebula Awards no longer exist to me, at least not as anything other than a political correctness award. It’s no longer about the best -or as far as I’m concerned even good – story. It’s about who has the correct genitalia. Enjoy your award ladies. Don’t expect congratulations for it though. You got it for being female. You didn’t earn it.

    1. Here’s the sad fact: I haven’t even bothered to read the list of Nebula “winners,” so can’t say that there are no good stories among them. But this “affirmative action” taints the accomplishment, such as it may be, of everyone on the list.

      1. Yes. Exactly. I didn’t like one of them, but this is a quirk of mine in that I don’t like unusual complications of the language that aren’t strictly needed. Other people might like it. I have my quirks, like everyone else. BUT the attitude of the idiots who were dancing about about “all women” — THAT pissed me off.

      2. Eh. It’s often worth reading the shorter ones to give you more ammo if an argument comes up.

        “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” isn’t strictly (as Stephen pointed out, above) science fiction, even if I could argue that it’s sfnal in feel. It isn’t bad; it’s basically flash fiction, and gets a lot of emotion into a thousand words. It doesn’t fit the typical story structure, which bugs me a little because I like protagonists who actually Do Interesting Things and this story doesn’t have that. But in all honesty, it was well written even if it wasn’t my cup of tea.

        (Then again, I wouldn’t have voted for this story unless the other contenders were very weak or the author had written truly spectacular stuff the year before, been nominated, and lost by a slender margin, but that’s not because it’s bad; it is because I want my sf awards to go to SPEC FIC STORIES, not sfnal dream sequences. /rant)

        1. Sorry — perhaps I was unusually gifted (I don’t think so but my teachers did) — but a friend inflicted it on me yesterday with color commentary (two friends, actually.) and all I could think was that it reads almost exactly like the stuff I was taking prizes with in ninth grade.
          Not only did it take me approximately 30 years to learn to do more — have things happen. Have things matter. Stop hitting the simplest emotion to get, sympathy — but it worries me that the story has that feel of adolescent outpouring. It is certainly a cliched situation. And though most people could give a tiny rat’s ass for the Nebulas, I’m woried people will come across this and go “Ahah! All of science fiction and fantasy IS juvenile. I knew it. I’ll never read this stuff, because I’m an adult.”

          1. I hear you. It reminds me strongly of “Hills Like White Elephants,” and I suspect that’s why it won. There are lots of folks who think literary fiction is great and genre is “trash,” so perhaps the people who chose “Dinosaur” to win are trying to say “Hey, look, our writing is just as lit’rary as yours!”

            I think this is foolish–IIRC, literary fiction is outsold by pretty much everything else if you exclude the “literary classics” that are purchased in bulk by college students and schoolteachers–but there it is. “Dinosaurs” is a fine example of literary fiction with sfnal elements in the dream sequence. I am sad that the Nebula award is going to a piece that doesn’t have any of the qualities I look for when I’m browsing the shelves or paging through Amazon reviews, but I respectfully disagree with jeffro and emily61 about it being “badly written.” It’s a fluff piece, and it’s not spec fic, but it’s not crap.

            1. This conversation has just reminded me of the humorous, and probably apocryphal, story of the collaborative writing assignment gone wrong. One version is available at the Chive (mildly NSFW pictures).

              1. Well, I’ll point out I’m an innie and I find the chamomile tea angsting boring.
                Also, yeah, this is how kids write. I counseled a young writers club and most girls were all feelings and nothing ever happened, while most guys … well it was all “How I took down a bank robber and saved the day.” BUT they were 12. Mature writers are supposed to be more balanced.

        2. To be fair, though, Portuguese is a MUCH better instrument than English for emotion. Or perhaps not better but more natural. To convey emotion in English I have to approach it in a much more complicated way. So it might take craft. (It’s hard to tell because my own development was so odd and backwards.)
          I still think selecting to show case a story that pounds people with an emotion piece when they think that SF/F is adolescent twaddle is… uh… fraught.

          1. Yep. Though I’m more bothered that they gave an sf award to a story that isn’t science fiction.. (And at some point I’ll have to read the other nominees, because now I’m really curious… were the other stories really so bad that they had to go with the one that wasn’t even the right genre?)

  9. Harlan Ellison for a large chunk of his career has called for the inclusion of SF into the mainstream of fiction. I remember he called for patrons in bookstores and libraries to move his books from SFF sections to fiction sections – I’m sure with the double result of no-one being able to find his works when they looked for them, and of owners not carrying the books anymore because the won’t stay put and were reported stolen. It gives me either a warm feeling or heartburn to think that the current ruling class of the genre has done everything possible to achieve this goal by spoiling the genre and assure that the only readable SF in the future will be found in “adventure” and general fiction.

  10. It’s the gloating. The writers who won may be fantastic, they may be the best that were nominated, but the gloating by the SJW crowd has ruined it for them. Gloating by anyone is irritating, but as other people have said, now these works and authors are going to be known as “oh, yeah, the year of the women.”

    1. they may be the best that were nominated

      And therein lies part of the problem: I don’t believe that the stories nominated were the best out there. Maybe the best from a narrow, ideological mindset, sure, but certainly not the best scifi/fantasy.

  11. I know that the end result of all these SF brouhahas, for me personally, is a larger disengagement from the genre and little or no desire to help promote anything– much less buy anything from a SJW type. I have a blog (not linked to this persona) that I started back in the mid 2000’s that is inactive because I don’t want to engage the kind of people currently in charge of SF marketing and fandom right now. It was a fairly successful blog too– linked to many of the bigger review sites. But it’s not worth the trouble if every word you say is so hyper-scrutinized that putting a toe out of line (according the SJW rules of *right now*) means having my identity doxxed and potentially causing me real world harm. I have been a fan and avid reader for a good 30 years and have less interest in the genre now than ever before.

  12. Okay, so in the first picture of the nubile young women in household linens, they are saying they have vaginas. In the second, they say they have grapes.

    Scratches head and ponders for a moment. Is “grapes” the new euphemism for “vaginas”?

    *Ducks and runs*

      1. I might have to throw away the box of Raisin Bran I opened yesterday…

  13. Mildly OT: Help. I’m trying to remember the title and author of a two-book (it may be larger now) fantasy set about three sisters in a more-or-less matriarchal world, where one was a politician, one a good magic worker, and the other on the side of the bad guys. They had to keep their connections secret, and were raised separately for various reasons. Neither my memory nor my g00gle-fu are working this AM. Thanks.

    1. EXILES, by Melanie Rawn? (First book *The Ruins of Ambrai*, the second *The Mageborn Traitor* — dunno if there’s a third yet.)

      1. Still no third, The Captal’s Tower has been forthcoming for over a decade now. *grumble*

    2. Trade paperback originals? Published before Borders started to self-destruct? Maybe a Roc imprint? I kind of remember something of the kind; a collaboration by a couple of female authors I had enjoyed before. As I recall, the “matriarchal” part put me off; such books tend to be wooden either because they are being written to satisfy some editor’s political correctness urges, or because the authors are in the throes of a poisonous political passion. The Matriarchs are either so simperingly sweet that they could not possible hold a throne for five days, or so revoltingly doctrinaire that only Divine Intervention can explain their rule. Often both.

      Which isn’t to say that I don’t consider most Fantasy/SF MALE rulers to be raving twits.

      Now, Cordelia Vorkosigan; THERE’S a female potential ruler. IF you could talk her into taking the job….

      I was thinking Patricia Wrede, but a quick check on that showed me wrong. I’ll let it stew in my hindbrain.

      1. The Matriarchs are either so simperingly sweet that they could not possible hold a throne for five days, or so revoltingly doctrinaire that only Divine Intervention can explain their rule. Often both.

        Which isn’t to say that I don’t consider most Fantasy/SF MALE rulers to be raving twits.

        I notice that a lot of stories about leaders don’t understand leadership– the job is either stage-dressing, or a plot point, or it impacts poorly with their world view.

        Give the leader a freaking job— like Wrede’s Magic Forest king, he had the whole mystic connection to the place, be a janitor thing going. Or Weber’s new warlord for the Hadrini, (sp) Or… hm…. can’t think of anybody else where I didn’t go “you’re a twit” or wave the “Oh, it’s a background thing, k.”

        1. Conan is frequently in authority in Howard’s stories. The only times we see him gaining it are when he exploits a rule about killing the former leader, or when it’s handed him on a platter. I have real difficulty believing he always managed to climb like that.

          1. A minor quibble from my limited RAH reading. Whether Conan kills a king or gets it dropped in his lap it is usually the struggle to keep power that drives the action and plot; to balance out the various powers in the realm and fuse together the various parts of the kingdom(s) by establishing a rule of law or at least of some sort of stability instead of whim. He fails of course, but it is a theme of the doomed Hyborean age.
            I do tend to read through my own filters, so you may see something different

          1. Is Weber. He’s the guy who writes an entire new series just so he can have an age-of-sail naval battle. (And he didn’t deny the charge, when challenged.) 🙂

          2. *chuckle* I don’t mind the rigging as such, but I was raised on a diet of O’Brien and others (as well as sci-fi and other assorted Oddness).

            I learned quite a lot about leadership from books before I ended up in such positions myself. Helped a lot, actually.

            Which in a skewed sort of fashion makes me wonder for the kids growing up these days who *don’t* by and large know that there are such stories out there. Stories that are in praise of traditional virtues: Leadership, Courage, Honor, and so on.

            Which ties in to human wave, because we human and human-shaped-Odds tend to like such things, so much so that quite a lot of us devote bookshelf space and budget to stories that have them.

            Which leads me to think I need to get working on job #3, because good stories are probably being written as I write this… *grin*

    3. Or possibly BLACK TRILLIUM and its sequel GOLDEN TRILLIUM? (Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Julian May.)

    4. Black Trillium? By Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, and Julian May? (I’ve always thought how odd it was to see a collaboration where Julian May would be considered the junior partner.) It’s been a long time since I read it, but that might work.

  14. Actually Sarah, you ought to be grateful to these people. Until now, I had zero interest whatsoever in these awards. I mostly imagined a bunch of fat nerds with bow ties voting for stories based on Strunk & White’s rules of grammar.

    Now we have all this lovely controversy and drama. It’s exciting! I can’t wait for round 2!

  15. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the same year that SFWA started banning and suppressing long time members that all the Nebula winners were female written message laden stuff of almost no readability and stupid titles. It looks like they even had a making love to a dinosaur story as a winner this year.

  16. You know, “Special Hate Olympics” might be the best description of the Social Justice Warrior/Glittery Hoo-Ha crowd I’ve heard yet.

    I am SO stealing that.

  17. I made a comment yesterday on Twitter saying something about how we should focus on the work for next year’s Nebulas and less attention on the writers themselves.

    That got a comment from Damien Walter. If the name is familiar, that’s because this is the jackass who libeled Larry Correia just before the Hugo nominations were announced.

    I really can’t call this a discussion, mostly because a discussion involved people really interacting. Instead, Damien manages to completely miss anything I actually said, then said I wasn’t open to listening and blocked me. Really? He really went there?

    The truth is, he and his ilk are incapable of listening. They can’t get that even if things were as bad as they like to say they were in the “bad old days”, you don’t correct that by doing the same thing to who you blame. How does that make you any better?

    Anyways, here’s the discussion. Feel free to slap Damien around for me, since I can’t any longer.

    1. I didn’t find your post, Tom; but, I did see this. Mary Robinette Kowal ‏”@MaryRobinette May 17

      At @SFWA’s #NebulaAwards, only one award went to a white male and that wasn’t one of the ones voted on by the membership. #diversityinSFF”

      Yep, game rigged.

        1. When everyone is the same, then we will have perfect diversity!

    2. I was tempted to write, bu he’s probably not open to listening. Besides, I think “So tell the winners they didn’t win because they were good, but only because you wanted to prove a point.” might not fit a tweet with the addresses in it.

      1. Clearly, he’s not. Which is what tickled me so much about how *I* got blocked, but I’m the one not open to listening.

        I mean, I knew who this tool was, and I still was willing to engage in a pretty polite discussion with minimal snark (Yes, there was snark. It’s me. That was going to happen.)

        Oh, the irony. It burns.

      1. That’s him.

        And he’s totally getting a grant to write a book. Meanwhile, I’m writing one on my own dime. The sad thing is, I suspect mine will be done first, and probably be better.

          1. Yeah, I saw that. Might reread it since I’ve had my own run in with him.

            And now that I’m blocked, I don’t get the joy of smacking him around and him knowing it’s me doing the knocking.

  18. Not sure if anybody else pointed it out– but I actually feel sorry for the authors who won, too.

    They’re never gonna be able to be SURE they won because their story was good, or if it was because they’re girls.

    I know it still bugs me about some of the “honors” I got in the Navy.

    1. Yeah, I got one of those awards and now I always wonder if the other works were better than mine, but I had someone lobbying for me and the other historians didn’t.

    2. We had the flip side of that a few months back. There are certain habits and practices that the Oyster Wife and I have been struggling with for a long time, and we’ve slowly made progress. Then out of nowhere, we were… compelled* to have all of those things taken care of immediately. We, with the generous help of family and friends, scrambled desperately and pulled things together. We had accomplished what we’d wanted for years, and our family pledged to help us keep things going. We were on top!

      And there was no joy in it, only terrible bitterness. Because we had been forced to do it, all the satisfaction was stolen from the experience. It’s a lesson I’ll remember always.

      *I’m being vague because if I give any details, I’m going to rant. Hard. Red Curtain of Rage may be involved.

        1. Seconded. Help is not “help” when it is forced on you by circumstance.

          1. Yes. Thirded.

            If you wish/need to rant in the spirit of two guys sitting down over a beer, Sarah has my email. I’m sure other folks would be available at need.

            In any event, search for the outlet and let the rage bleed away, if you can.

    3. Many times when I was in the Navy I saw men and women (four new technicians to be exact) that I trained get the awards. It made me feel proud because I trained them. Also I was the one lobbying for awards for other people. We had good people in my last duty station and the E-6s and 7s were NOT writing up awards for these hard workers. The E-5 (me) was doing it.

      I did get one award after I left my first duty station. So in my case I felt I earned those “honors.” Some people in my unit felt that I didn’t btw… a competition thing.

  19. Ok, I know this is tangential to the point of the post, but…. you set off my pet peeve meter!

    Adam+Eve+Apple had nothing to do with sex. Unless you think that pre-fall (when they were told to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth) human beings produced by budding.

    The fall affects sex, just like it affects everything else, but… they didn’t sin by having sex. They sinned by acting like typical school-aged kids and doing the ONE THING they were told to avoid.

    (I told you you could eat ANYTHING IN THE FRIDGE except those carrots I needed for a recipe tonight, and what did you do???? And you don’t even LIKE carrots. What the frickin’ heck???)

    1. True, but the SJWs and a bunch of the GHHs probably take the easy route and the pop-culture version that “ooh, G-d doesn’t like sex!”

      As the Professor sighs in C.S. Lewis’s “The Last Battle,” “It’s all in Plato. What are they teaching in schools these days?”

      1. well, duh. Otherwise they would have to argue with the Christian teaching on Pride, which makes their views on Lust look positively mainstream.

    2. Only in part. (Brown-Driver-Briggs) Yes it was sex in part. The one command given to every living thing is to reproduce. Even amoeba do. The Protestant Bible says in Gen 2:25 “they were naked (nude); however, the Catholic and Jewish Gen 2:25 state that it is “Crafty, Shrewd” or in today’s concept. operating with prudent intelligence without shame (fear). Verses 3:7 and 10 introduces by grouping that they became afraid because they believed they were vulnerable. G-D stated (Not cursed them but advised) that because they were afraid they would have difficulty. If one reads the statement everything that he foretold comes from a bad or fearful attitude. As Jesus said, If you have a good attitude (faith) you can do anything. What is the fruit of the ‘tree of knowledge’? Think ‘tree of fore-knowledge without evidence’ Larry Corria and Sarah Hoyt tell the GHH that ‘story takes precedence over message’ and what fruit do they eat and spout? This teaching that one is supposed to use their head instead of their emotions is probably the most important part of Christianity and least understood. Sorry for going OT, but…

      1. The commandment to be fruitful and multiply was not the one they transgressed against.

      2. Everything got affected by concupiscence, not just reproduction and sex.

        And of course, it’s quite true that Christianity and Judaism both include a fair amount about mastering the passions and acting prudently and with reason. However….

        All the Latin, Greek, and Jewish Bibles I’ve seen all have words that mean “naked” (ie, without clothes) and “unashamed.” Not much room there. Now, the serpent is described as “more subtle,” “more crafty,” “more prudent,” so that seems to be what you mean. To be fair, the word we translate as “serpent” actually means something more like “dragon,” so they had a right to be nervous. But yeah, there’s some interesting material on how Adam’s job was partially to guard stuff, so why didn’t he step up and protect the garden and Eve from the giant snakodragon?

        1. Some interpretation is required; however I listed the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon. word 6174, is different from the Strongs in that it gives more context than Strongs and states shrewd and crafty and prudent. Next- Word 5903 is not grouped in the listing of verses that deal with nudity; but, among the verses that describe naked as vulnerable, exposed to armies, and such; plus, Adam’s comment, ‘we were naked and afraid.’ is supportive of fear being the dominant emotion.
          That and the fact that the Bible is consistent in instructing the people to make wise decisions and not go on emotion. ie the fruit of the spirit vs the unrighteous who are slaves to emotion.
          In regard to the serpent, I assumed that the serpent would be a representative of the “Animistic Religion” He/she would have a representative talisman, snake belt, armband, necklace that represented their god’s protection. Adam and Eve used ‘fig leaves’ to represent G-D the one who nourishes, because the fig is the symbol for nourishment and father. But, I understand that won’t fly in most churches.

          1. The word used for the nakedness of Adam and Eve, and the shrewdness of the serpent, is the same: ‘arum. There’s actually a fair bit of wordplay that’s impossible to translate out of the original Hebrew.

            1. You can’t fool us. We know it was originally written in klingon.
              Eventually WILL have to learn Hebrew. Having got an annotated Torah, I’m now aware of some of this stuff, and it’s fascinating.

  20. This is weird. A narrow minded club gives awards to people who just so happen to fit into their narrow view of the world? Holy canolli, that’s an amazing accomplishment!
    / sarc /

    I’m going to hold an election for World’s Most Awesome Artist. Only fellow artists who join my club are allowed to vote. Now, mind you, I’m going invite everyone in the world to join my club, but Some People are not really welcome. And because I’ve got some rules that define what is art and what’s not, Some People just don’t qualify.

    How likely do you think it is that those in my club will vote for an artist who is Not Welcome or who Does Not Qualify? Should the Art World trust our judgement when it comes to who we believe to be Most Awesome Artist… or might there be some doubt?

    What favor does this do for the artists who’ve received our reward? Is it truly earned?

    And if, leading up to the election, there was an effort within my club to root for certain club members, not because of the art they created, but because of some arbitrary characteristic of the artist, can the outside world be sure that those elected for the World’s Most Awesome Artist are really the most talented, hard working, and deserving?

    How much value should we give to this award?

  21. No, Foxfier, they can be SURE they won because they were girls. Everyone, even the ones who voted for them, couldn’t have been more clear. Any uncertainty they might have would be due to nothing but a woman’s amazing and infinite capacity to rationalize things to death.

    I don’t care if what they wrote was the second coming of Dune. The content of the books and stories is now (and has been for a while) irrelevant to this award.

    1. How low the award has fallen since 1967 when the novelette by Dickson “Call Him Lord” won a Nebula.

      1. Call Him Lord

        Now there was a good story.

        “He called and commanded me therfore I knew him. Later he failed me and therfore I slew him”

        I always wondered if there was more to the song of the shieldbearer out there some where.

          1. There’a variation of that line at the end of “Hadramauti”:
            “Under the stars he mocked me—therefore I slew him.”

  22. OK- another random thought (because the kids have been up coughing at night and I’ve been writing math books so random is all my brain can manage…)

    Do you think the whole ‘women we don’t agree with aren’t REAL women’ thing may be a sort of ‘revenge of the spinsters?’

    I mean, for much of US history, spinsters weren’t considered ‘real’ women, in the sense that they were somehow defective. (They must have been, or else they’d be married and buried in babies!) I mean, the Catholic church has a place for women who choose not to marry, but the Protestant churches and secular culture really didn’t. And spinsters were stereotyped as mannish, man-hating, barren, cranky, etc.

    So… now… they have their revenge. Real women hate men. Real women see babies as a burden and punishment. Real women care only about career. Real women take a hatchet to everything that annoys them. Etc. Etc.

    And the women who like their husbands and their kids and don’t feel particularly oppressed by society? Well, they’re not real women. They’re abnormal and icky and weird……

    So now, it’s turned around>

    1. In this age, there is an almost reflexive hatred of beauty simply because some man somewhere might take some pleasure or enjoyment from it. All men are rapists, all things that rapists like must be bad, men are attracted to beauty, therefore… beauty is double-plus-ungood.

      1. Only on even numbered days. The rest of the time they think women are all beautiful and good, and men are especially bad if they notice and appreciate.

    2. These “spinsters” of yours sound neurotic to a fare thee well. They embody the stereotypes of them. If they didn’t and weren’t extremely neurotic they wouldn’t act you describe.

      Real Women aren’t bitter and thin skinned.

  23. I read that “If you were a dinosaur” crap. First off, it isn’t a short story. It’s barely a blog post. It isn’t fantasy or sci-fi (unless you also consider “Where the Wild Things Are” as fantasy.

    It’s not even coherent, much less worth of award winning.

    So, if I didn’t already know that the whole thing was a farce, if I saw that that story won a Nebula, I would, as a consumer, assume that SciFi and Fantasy was in such a terrible state that the piece of garbage they awarded was the best that the community could do this year.

    1. Maybe we should start plastering “Human Wave – Never Won the Hugo or Nebula” on our covers and see what it does for sales, if this folly continues.

      1. Well, apparently winning the Nebula these days *hurts* sales, so a Human Wave logo might just help.

    2. I also read that story. I think I lost five I.Q. points in the doing.

      Dear God in Heaven, that was wretched.

      Since the only possible way such a tale as that could win a major literary award like the Nebula is through either bribery, political correctness or both…I’ll just go ahead and avoid the rest of this year’s Nebula winners, thank you.


  24. I would, as a consumer, assume that SciFi and Fantasy was in such a terrible state that the piece of garbage they awarded was the best that the community could do this year.

    “Selkie Stories are for Losers” was also written by a woman and is much more accurately described as a story. Three of the five finalists were women. So even if we accept the premise that it was a given that women had to win, it would seem that the voters preferred the Dinosaur story to the other two. Perhaps it was because Swirsky has a bigger constituency in the SFWA, but we don’t know that. The content of the story checks the right advocacy boxes.

  25. I am merely a humble reader, not a writer, but I have always loved sci-fi and fantasy. It used to mean something to me if an author got a Nebula or Hugo award. It was a mark that their work was of good quality and might well be worth reading.

    How strange to think that now its a mark of political correctness, which means its something that I shouldn’t waste my time in reading.

    How times change.

  26. Once again, I am reminded of the Sneeches on the Beaches. Though, currently at least, we are still able to host our own marshmallow roasts.

  27. Given the nature of Sarah Hoyt’s (in my opinion accurate) post, and the PC non-fiction rhetoric before and after the Nebulas, and the subject of the winning stories themselves, I am surprised so many people are missing the point in microcosm presented in the Swirsky dinosaur story.

    The issue isn’t one of whether it is a revenge fantasy, but a racial/sexual revenge fantasy in the same way a Nazi literature might always have the same Aryan supremacist good guy and Jewish bad guy. Revenge fantasies are normal in SFF. Racial/sexual revenge fantasies are not, and they are sick.

    What if Conan’s enemies were always gay Jews? When would obvious actually be obvious? How much evidence does one present in court to convict? Are all court cases a tie? Is everything just an opinion no matter the mountain of filthy anti-white, anti-male, anti-heterosexual rhetoric we see?

    Swirsky’s story does not exist in isolation but as part of an obvious pattern you see over and over again with the PC. They have entire anthologies of racial revenge fantasies where white colonialists die, just like in the Nebula winning “The Weight of the Sunrise.” Given how badly it’s written, the reason it won is obvious to me, and gay T-rex too, and de Bodard’s usual anti-Western postcolonial maunderings, and binary-less space opera, better written or not. And what do I have to say about Hopkinson, who maintains Golden Age SF was mostly white colonialist stories? (A falsehood by the way)

    Substitute Jew and Jewish cultural custom and practice for all this white straight negative profiling, and the anti-defamation league would be all over this bunch in a heartbeat, for the simple reason it IS a literature of defamation which is being celebrated. You never – and I mean NEVER – see straight white males profiled positively. It is 100% negative, though they are singled out from their larger humanity by the bushel.

    If one makes a postcolonial SFF revenge anthology about the oppressed and the stories include all empires in history, that’s what SFF has done on a humanistic egalitarian level. Failure is being addressed on a human level. If that anthology ignores all empires but the white ones, that is not revenge fantasy, but racial revenge fantasy, and it can legitimately be compared to a type of Nazi literature.

    Swirsky’s is the latter. It is not a classicist story but a racist and sexist one. The bad guys are always white straight males, the good guys always some amalgam of non-white, gay, female. That is a supremacist racist sexist literature, and that’s what the Neb winners were. The author’s own non-fiction rhetoric backs that up. In fact it’s not artful literature at all but obsessive hate-speech and propaganda using SFF as a mere conveyance.

    The issue is somewhat analogous to Jews who will and won’t listen to Wagner. Except in the case of the PC within SFF, one can make a much more compelling argument that the PC have a formal, institutional and ideological anti-white, anti-male and anti-heterosexual base that is consistent right across the board and which they don’t even trouble to hide, so confident are they of the ability of their gay, non-white, and female anti-oppression identities to protect them.

    The PC are laughingly portraying the pushback against the Nebula winners as a fear of loss of privilege. Well, they WOULD wouldn’t they? They are either too paranoid to understand what they look like to normal people or simply lie. To me they look like an American Nazi Bund, and I’m pretty sure the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t sue neo-Nazis and the KKK into the ground because the SPLC were afraid of a loss of privilege. It was the principle of the thing. How can I fear a loss of privilege when I laugh at the idea in the first place?

    In a reversal of the above, it’s pretty clear the PC in 2014 see themselves in the roles of Jews being oppressed by straight white males who then occupy the role of Nazis, and that the PC’s literature is merely a justified pushback.

    It seems to me that that is camouflage being used to hide simple hatred and that what you are seeing here is hate-literature with the same race-sex hero, and the same race-sex enemy. If that isn’t analogous to a type of Nazi literature then there is no such thing.

    The PC themselves are the ones so eager to make connections between Heinlein’s non-fiction writing and his fiction. Well, when it comes to that, the PC are far worse racists and sexists than Heinlein ever was. Heinlein was no racial sexual ideologue; where’s the obsessive PC-like rhetoric to support that? The PC like to pretend Golden Age celebrated whiteness. That’s pure idiocy. Hockey is not whiteness and an NBA team is not blackness. The PC purposefully confuse accidental demography with ideology.

    The PC like to pretend Heinlein was part of an informal KKK cabal that controlled Golden Age SF, but there is no proof of such a thing. On the other hand, we have compelling quotes that prove we are seeing a rather formal ideological equivalent to the KKK right here and right now.

    The go-to bibles for these PC folks are Joanna Russ’s “How To Suppress Women’s Writing” and Peggy McIntosh’s essay on white privilege “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” When is obvious obvious? Well, to the PC, the answer is never. If someone wants to pretend the white straight male is the bogey-man of history in the same way a Jew is for a Nazi, and like the Nazis, pretend they are defending civilization from the depredations of whites, that is an ideology of pure and paranoid hatred passing itself off as an anti-oppression movement and using the camouflage of slavery and Jim Crow and women’s and gay rights to do so. It is a lie, delusional or purposeful, but a lie.

    1. Interesting; and my sleepy brain came up with this while reading your comment:

      “So that’s why the SJWs don’t want to defend the real life Jews… they want the Jews eliminated so they can ‘take the place’ of the Jews.”

      (My cold meds are finally taking effect and to sleep I go…)

    2. Fail Burton,

      Propaganda: Edward Bernays

      Propaganda is a progresive idea. It didn’t originate with the Nazis. It just took them to give the word a bad connotation. Just like all progresive ideals that reveal their rotten core, you just change the name to something like Public Relations (PR). (Note for previous Sarah blog post Walter Lippman was a fan of Edward Bernays leading to iur curent state of News that’s not News.)

      “Propaganda” the sources source for trying to control what the public thinks.

      1. Josh, “Propaganda” predates the Progressive movement. It likely started with two cavemen who both wanted to be chief. They had their henchmen spreading stories boosting their image and making the other guy look bad.

        1. Paul,

          Fair point, but Edward did turn it into a formal discipline, mabye even an art form even, with rules theories of how do we control what people believe and think.


  28. Why isn’t anyone pointing out the fact that Samuel Delany is a self-proclaimed pedophile and NAMBLA supporter? That NAMBLA has a page dedicated to him on their website featuring his endorsement of the organization? This information was once on his Wikipedia page but was apparently purged by atheists worried about the association. Look it up yourself. Shame on the Nebulas for honoring this guy.

  29. Several of the “KKK” pictures you used actually depict Nazarenos, Spanish penitents who wear traditional costumes in Holy Week processions.

    1. I suspected so, maybe — um, wonder what the link is — BUT do you know how hard it is to find non-black-and-white KKK pictures? And in the US it’s an immediate visual thing, so meh.

      1. wonder what the link is

        Given how the KKK felt about Catholics, I’m guessing the connection is that it removes individually identifying features.

        Drapey– removes build and weight.
        Point– disguises head shape and even hints of features
        Mask– duh.
        White- no shading difference. (I can’t see it very well, but if you get ten blue towels you probably have ten shades. If you get ten white towels and just don’t get “ivory” or something, they’re identical.)

        1. Yes, but while in a province of Spain this might be equated with penitents, in the rest of the peninsula (yes, I know) what it’s equated with is the inquisition. This is what the people forced to do “penance” wore. So… um… still wondering.

  30. Thank you for that… And you REALLY should have put a beverage alert at the start… 🙂

  31. I learned to love to read by being force-fed Edgar Rice Burroughs, as a youngster. When that ‘took’ my Dad suggested I try some Heinlein. After I had devoured what I could find at home I hit the school library and found Andre Norton, then Ursula LeGuin. So half my first SF love came from Womyn. 😀

    And I learned the difference between good and bad writing from those folks. I remain a right-winger. And I still love Norton, LeGuin, and Heinlein.

    I kind of enjoy grapes, too. 😀

    Love your rants. Sarah!

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