First of all an update on the Sarah: exhausted but improving. For the next month I’m going to be doing more than I should physically, but the fact we’re finally doing something about getting the house up for sale cheers me up.
It’s very weird to live in a house that doesn’t “fit” and to be fair, it did until the boys got big and needed office space. It’s not a matter of size, either, as lacking space for specific activities. I mean, the house gets messy, because you’re trying to find places to do things, etc.
However, something is being done about that, so hurray.
Meanwhile I bring you news of great puppy sadness.
But first let me tell you about this little girl in Portugal. Okay, not that little. If she were in a language that permitted it, being five seven and around 120 lbs at thirteen in a country where four feet and a little was considered great for a girl, would have got her called Two Ton Tessie.
At any rate, that young woman fit in about as well as an elephant at a regency ball. But she had books.
Specifically what she read was science fiction.
This was difficult because in Portugal, at the time, there was ONE imprint and it put out ONE book once a month. Not only was this relatively slow for her reading speed, it was very fast for her money speed.
However, she still bought the books, even when it meant going without lunch, or starting a neighborhood newspaper in a mad bid to make some money.
And some of the books she always bought, other than Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Simak and later Mccaffrey, were collections of Hugo and Nebula winners.
I remember clearly a finals week, when I was so tired and out of it, I bought the Hugo winners volume in the store across from the school, and then read it while walking to the train, because it made me feel human again to have these thoughts that were not the type of thing they taught in school.
Would it still work that way? I think not. Science fiction has been taken over by academics. This is not the same as being intellectual or even “literature” whatever the heck that is. I mean I think AIMING for the later two is insanity, because that’s not how literature really works — the only person who can judge if your work is literary is your millionth reader in the year 220. And he’s not born yet — but one does not, whatever the other side (rolls eyes) thinks write with one’s mind turned off.
On the contrary, the hope is to write science fiction that is fun to read but leaves behind lingering thoughts — say a lot of Heinlein’s books.
Somehow, the current luminaries in my field think the only way to make SF/F worthwhile again is to make it as boring and dreary as my school lessons back in the day. And the only way to ensure SF doesn’t die is to write characters of every shade of victimhood into their books. And write them being victimy victims. Because that will attract… victims…
I’m not sure what the thought is, really. That young Portuguese woman I was back then didn’t care if her favorite books were written by or featured only blonds pasty enough to feature at the head of a Viking raid. In fact, she didn’t mind all the names were in English. It just gave her this odd idea that in the future she too would have an English name. Weirdly, this was correct, though not intended thus.
Back then I read for the fun, the ideas I couldn’t find elsewhere, and the idea that the future would be interesting and not an endless pounding of Marxist tripe.
The last time I went to a bookstore in Portugal, I couldn’t find an sf/f section (though there was some paranormal romance in the general area.)
Apparently making sure there are more people who look/sound like Portuguese hasn’t helped make the books popular with the new generation there. Judging by what I see around here, it doesn’t do much for kids here either. Well, perhaps sanctimonious goody-two-shoes kids. But not… normal kids.
As for the Hugos…. brother, I stopped buying the books about ten years ago, when I realized I’d stopped reading them five years before. I even tried to read one, and it reminded me of the thing a colleague of mine says it’s a bad idea to write “The working class got up, was exploited and went back to bed.” Only in this case it was the Transgender lesbian pagan handicapped woman woke up, was vicitimized and went back to bed. Over and over and over again. Though some characters were purportedly male, for variety.
And this is why the puppies are so sad. They need more good stuff to read. I wanted to give you a GIF post, but I’m still too tired. Maybe tomorrow. However, cry no more, because the inimitable Larry Correia has done a GIF post. (YAY.)
So, I’m going to quote broadly from his instructions:
This year we will be expanding the suggested slate to include several other authors, artists, and creators who are usually locked out by the SJW voting block. The men and women of Sad Puppies want to get more fans involved, even if they’re the *wrong* kind of fans. We want people to vote based on what they loved and enjoyed, not on what sends the approved message or checks the right box.
You need to register now in order to be able to participate, but your actual nominations are not due for some time. In the comments feel free to suggest other eligible works that you think we should take a look at.
And please tell your friends. Help spread the word, because only you can stop PRS.
EDIT: For those just joining us who missed last year’s controversy, here is a recap of what happened when a bunch of barbaric outsiders got nominated: http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/04/24/an-explanation-about-the-hugo-awards-controversy/
Remember, for your $40 membership, you not only get to nominate books that don’t suck but you get those books to read free with your voting packet. So go forth and nominate!
Copying from Larry again, because I haven’t had coffee yet:
If you’d like to nominate good books, stories, and related works for the Hugos so that the biggest award in sci-fi/fantasy isn’t just a Social Justice Warrior circle jerk, you need to get yourself a supporting membership to Sasquan before the end of January.
Go forth and votify — and nominafy (shut up, totally words!) so that little girls yet unborn think of the Hugos as cool and interesting again, and not as the same sort of boring Marxist pap their professors push.