An Update

First of all, to those who celebrate it, happy Easter.

For those who’ve sent me guest posts, I am not running them this weekend because it’s typically low hits.  Yes, Mad Genius Club is through the roof right now, but I don’t think it’s to TODAY’S post.

On why it’s through the roof — the Hugos — and that whole kerfuffle, I’m only going to say a few things.

First and most importantly I’m going to say congratulations to all the nominees.  The ballot is a rather sweet result to me. Kevin J. Anderson is FINALLY on a Hugo ballot.  I’ve known the man for a million years give or take a hundred thousand (I am not a time trav–  Oh, whatevs) and he’s deserved a Hugo all that time.  Now he’s getting a chance at one.  Also in the related category three of the nominees are like blood kin to me.  Siblings, in fact.  So that is rather sweet, though I have no idea whom to vote for (yet.)

Also on the ballot is my publisher, who should have got a Hugo for Best Editor at least a dozen times.  (Trust me, I’ve worked with a lot of other editors.)  So, there I know whom to vote for.

Second, the gentleman that Amanda had to take to task on her blog [UPDATE: Okay, not him just someone with a similar name on the same side.  I have lousy memory for names.] came out yesterday night to accuse us of gloating and being “partisan” and unprofessional.

I will confess to being Portuguese born and bred and to being the despair of my mother when it came to nice manners and not slapping the back of my hand into the palm of my open hand while speaking like (mom tells me) a fishwife.

But that’s only when I’m riled up.  And I wasn’t even riled up last night, just vaguely annoyed.  Also, anyone who thinks I’m gloating because authors who’ve been willfully passed over for the Hugos for decades finally got on the ballot graced last year by the sloppy bathos fest “If You Were A Dinosaur My Love” should go lie down.  They’re feverish.

These people rather than being honored by the Hugo honor the Hugo which was all of Brad Torgersen’s point.  To rinse the award won by truly deserving writers, from Asimov to Heinlein to Ursula Le Guin and make it relevant to normal fans again. I don’t know if Kate (the Impaler) will have the same goal, but I think so.  (We haven’t talked as much as usual recently because surgery and such.)

Anyway, to be asked for civility from the side that’s been emptying the slops bucket on our head ever since their favorites didn’t get the call is all too precious and rich.  The people who were screaming at us that “Women are allowed to write science fiction too” apparently didn’t notice the women on this side and on the ballot (I know, we’re wrongwomen and wrongfans.) And the idiots who for years have said that this was all because Larry wanted a Hugo owe him a giant apology. Until I see that I’m all out of f*cks to give about their precious hurt feelings.

For more on the Hugos go to the ever classy Brad Torgersen.  I’m not classy.  Oh, and guys, if I were gloating, you would know it.  There would be gifs of dancing goats or something.  Instead, I just feel like a soldier who’s marched all night for the honor to walk into Mordor.  I’m tired, I’d like a bed, and I know tomorrow there will be a heck of a lot of work to do.

On the good side, the spoils are good.  I.e. if you can pay the membership to vote do it because the books will be worth the $40.  And then read and vote for your best.

The only other comment on that ever so civil and non partisan side I’m going to make is to reproduce the comment one of them made on IO9 and my friend Charlie Martin’s comment in reply.

alimumCharlie Jane Anders
4/04/15 1:53pm
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Actually, it’s about ethics in science fiction awards.

In the past year or so, it has become painfully obvious that if I ever do publish any of my writing, for my own safety and to be taken seriously, I will have to use a gender neutral or male pseudonym.

Charlie Martin:

Charlie, the only risk to your safety is if you dislocate your shoulder patting yourself on the back for what a Good Person You Are.  After years of campaigns by the Right People, you’ve discovered the Wrong People can vote too.

So, yeah, it’s about ethics. And if you and the other bien pensants had any, we wouldn’t be having this whole discussion.

Oh, and I’d like to reassure Charlie Jane Anders.  Women have been working and winning awards in science fiction for decades.  Under female names, even, unless Ursula, Connie and others are male names and no one told me.  I have been writing under a female name (several in fact) for years, and never feared violence because of my sex.  Because of my politics, maybe, but even there I didn’t fear for my safety, just for my career.

Okay.  And now enough about the antics of the perpetually threatened and offended and their strident calls for “civility” from our side.  I might have made a tasteless comment about preparation H.  Again, I’d like to point out my mom never beat the fishwife out of me, thought she tried.  And I might have made a graphic of a rocket exploding with “wrongfans having wrongfun and we like it.”

However I’ve never accused anyone of “stealing” the Hugos or of buying sock puppet memberships; other than saying that some of the nominees (and winners) in recent years have been long on social justice and short on worth (a value judgement but MY value judgement and that of a lot of fans who no longer use the Hugo as a buy recommendation), I’ve never impugned the character of any Hugo nominee/winner for being nominees/winners (I’ve pointed out bad behavior from some of them and an habit of wearing their own colon as a stylish hat in other circumstances.  That’s different, but that’s frankly more descriptive than impugning);and I’ve never, not even in my worst moments accused anyone on the other side of thought crime (racist, sexist, homophobic, wrongthinker or eeeevil) or private vice (I’ve never once said I fear for my safety around them.)

I will employ civility when I see some.  And some apologies, too for people like Larry.

And now for the longed-for — you long for it, right? — update.

I’m recovering, though I managed to catch an infection during surgery and also the surgery was far more extensive than expected (how extensive?  Cut from hip to hip extensive, though it wasn’t supposed to be abdominal at all.)

I am now off the opiates.  Have been for about a week, but percocet seems to have lingering effects with me.  Because I was forced to re-resort to it (I first only took it for a day) due to the infection and associated pain, the writing came to a stand still.  This is because for whatever reason percocet makes my writing flat like week old open soda.  I can write words and everything, but there’s no voice, or not enough to carry a story.

Well, that is rinsing out at last and after I get some tea and a boiled egg, I’ll be working on Through Fire some.  Yes, even today.  Frankly I want the cursed book off my desk.

The biggest revelation of this post-op period, though, has been finding out what was wrong before.

Apparently not only was there a lot of binding and scar tissue in my abdomen which (weirdly) impaired my mobility, but I must have been in chronic pain for years.

To clarify: I’ve taken maximum one percocet a day (sometimes less) when the pain gets really bad.  Again, I don’t like opiates.  They make me dizzy and nauseated, but worst of all they give me mini-dementia.  As in, the governor that prevents you from watering the cat and giving tuna to the plant is gone.  To avoid doing something disastrous, I have to watch myself even more thoroughly than I normally do which is EXHAUSTING. And writing becomes a negotiated process because my fingers get ideas of their own about what to type.  (No, it’s not even Freudian.  For a time last week my fingers had an Asian accent issue, and typed l for r and vice versa.) So instead of the 12 percocet a day (2 tablets, three times a day) I took one when things became unbearable.  This was usually in the morning.  I’ve taken no percocet at night.

However, I’ve experiencing long, deep sleep for 7 hours (by the clock.  Part of the reason I’m up now is that I woke up seven hours after falling asleep.)  UNLESS I forget to take Super Motrim (imagine it with a little cape floating in the wind) in which case I have the nights I’ve had for 15 years and REALLY had for the last three: interrupted, broken, never fully asleep, etc.

It was so noticeable I asked my doctor (and Speaker) if Motrim had soporific properties.

Turns out it doesn’t.  It just stops pain.

The only explanation for its noticeable effect on me is that the stuff in there had been growing/binding/hurting more each year and that the human body is infinitely adaptable and the human mind more so.  I got used to tuning it out, and it worked fine during the day and even most of the time at night when considered as pain.  (Most of the time because one of the things that caused the appointment that ended in surgery was that I’d been having trouble not screaming aloud in the night.)  But my subconscious wasn’t fooled and thus kept me awake.

I’m hoping very much, and if you’re a praying person I request the favor of prayers on that behalf, that at the end of this, in a month (or earlier, but a month from now is the discharge appointment) I’m pain free and the deep sleep continues without Super Motrim (to the rescue.)

And now that I’ve both been a fish wife and one of my grandmother’s friends who thought their health was endlessly fascinating to everyone (I’m sorry for it, but some of you have bugged me for news and this was easiest) I shall get out of your way and wish those of you who celebrate Easter a happy and blessed day.  And wish those of you who don’t a happy and blessed day anyway, since it’s not a work day and you can do whatever you want, and hopefully it’s not snowing where ya’ll are today.

Thank you for your continued kindness and support.  This blog shall resume bright and early tomorrow.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers, and thank you to Glenn Reynolds for the link.

Second UPDATE: Because everyone keeps asking me this, and I’m tired of answering messages, yes, if you buy a membership now for $40 you can vote in this year’s Hugos AND you can NOMINATE for next year. And you’ll get copies of most nominated works to make an informed vote. The link to buy memberships is here.

385 thoughts on “An Update

  1. I was encouraged to become a supporting member of Sasquan this year due to Sad Puppies. It irks me to no end though that some seem to think that I obviously nominated that entire slate. I nominated works that I read, including one from a Sarah Hoyt. Not all my nominations made the finals, but I will enjoy reading some new material. I am glad you are getting better and look forward to reading more of your works.

    1. I didn’t nominate anyone, largely because I doubted that I had even read five novels last year (work has been…lucrative) and so I didn’t feel confident in saying that any set of items were the best in the field. I am looking forward to reading the voting packet and choosing the best of the nominated works.

      I think this points to a major flaw in the Hugo process, at least in the short to intermediate term. The demise of the gatekeepers is great from a “getting stuff to read” standpoint, but it makes it hard to get a good overview of the field as a whole. Eventually new “portalkeepers” – who will be more numerous and robust than the gatekeepers and will guide traffic rather than control and stop it – will arise and simplify matters somewhat.

      I wonder if there’s any way to generate an algorithm to develop a list of works that might be worthy of nomination based on Amazon raking and rating.

      1. Would that be the dread evil I was looking at the nominees and went over to amazon to check out The Goblin Emperor. McMillian/Tor have set the price of the Kindle edition at $8.99! I can get 5-6 Dave Freer shorts, or 2-3 good aurhor’s novels for that price.
        With ‘publishers’ having attitudes like that, it will be a cold day before they would agree to amazon’s listings as ranking. Additionally, it would hurt the authors so published, as I can not be convinced that an ebook is as expensive to produce as a paperback.

        1. “I can not be convinced that an ebook is as expensive to produce as a paperback.”

          That’s because it’s not.

          Editing costs the same, regardless of form. Generally, the same is true of cover design (and you can pull an ebook cover from a print cover easily enough). These costs are diffused over both editions. However, since there are no material costs for ebooks to speak of, they’re essentially gouging. They want you buying the print editions that they’ve already printed and will be stuck with if you don’t buy them.

          1. Indeed, that is a large part of their ‘expense’. I had a friend working at Walden’s Books years ago, and all they send back are the front cover of the book (which would be suitable for scanning for the E-book).
            Now, if amazon listed a book as “$8.99 set by publisher; all proceeds above $2.99 go directly to author”, well then I would consider it.

            1. Actually, Amazon seems to expect a bigger file than a scanned paperback cover.

              However, the file they use to create the cover in the first place? That puppy can be cropped and works beautifully.

              Also, I agree. People might be far more understanding of the $8.99 price tag if they knew more was going directly to the author. However, since that’s never gonna happen, all we can do is guess what would happen.

              1. At 300 DPI 1000 pixel cover (minimum size according to a quick search) would only be 3.3 inches tall (at 150, usually considered ‘minimum for a decent print job, it would be closer to 7 inches tall). Their recommended 2500 would be 8.3 tall at 300 dpi and 16.7 at 150 so gives them the maximum flexibility and minimum amount of ‘no… you really need to upload a bigger picture when you spontaneously decide to use the ebook cover as the cover for a physical book’ 1000 pixels is also as big as they’re likely to need on a ‘pure’ ebook for any advertising or wherever they put it on their site, though most displays will be smaller.

                Trivia: Facebook is one of the few places that actually reads the ‘dpi’ resolutions encoded into the files. Most places just read the size in pixels (this is sensible). So if you get grainy pictures on facebook just re-save the file as 300 or 600 dpi at the same pixels, and facebook’s internal compression algorithm will screw with it less. /random probably useless trivia.

          2. I hate the term gouging. They’re using ebooks to subsidize the hard copies and they attempting to turn the convenience factor of ebooks into producer surplus.

            It will be a glorious day when publishing houses go out of business.

          3. I’ve actually done the calculations, and the marginal cost of “printing” and delivering an e-book is literally 10<sup-8 of the printed book.

              1. My best guess is ten to the power of negative eight. One hundred-millionth.

        2. That’s why we can’t just use straight rankings, it’s biased away from stupid pricing strategies. Likewise, straight ratings tend to be unreliable until there are a large number of them, which is biased away from relatively unknown writers and works that come out late in the year.

          But I bet that the information is in there, if we can figure out the right questions to ask.

        3.         It’s more complicated than you think, Mr. Campbell.

                  For a publisher to acquire a book, edit it, commission a cover, and PAY AN ADVANCE costs the same regardless of how the book is eventually produced.  To print a hardcover costs maybe $2.50/copy, if the edition is a reasonable size, and around $0.90/copy for a mass market paperback.

                  Now, if you’re somehow assured of a large sale in paper, then yes, the eBook is essentially free. The publisher probably produced the required computer file in preparing the book for printing.  It could be sold for $2.00, with half to the author, and be profitable.  But prices like that cut into the sales of the paper versions.

                  It’s ridiculous to treat the eBook as if it had to independently recoup all the expenses of acquiring and publishing, but it does have to bear some of them.  The eBooks are an ever larger share of the market, and are certainly taking away some of the paper sales.

      2. That Amazon rating and ranking idea has merit. Portalkeepers who will be more numerous and robust than the gatekeepers and will guide traffic rather than control and stop it ? Marvelous.

        1. I really see an opening for a service that provides a better search function than the Amazon interface. Searching for an author brings up so many duplicate entries for books they have out that you have to search through several time as many titles as you should, and I would like to see an option to tile the books by cover, so you can see more of them on the screen at one time, more like a bookshelf experience.

          If I had the time, I’d build such a site, but every time I try to start up anything that requires development time, I get my available time eaten up by something else that has a higher priority.

          1. As soon as I feel better — or we get more organized — I want to do a Human Wave site, that announces promos/new stuff. I was looking at Disney comics from the sixties and DAMN impressed at their promo and data harvesting. So I’m going to study to emulate it.

          2. it’s not perfect but it’s in the right direction and it’s owned by amazon now.

  2. Pretty sure that the io9 comment about having to use an androgynous pen name was made by another commentator, not by Charlie Jane herself (who despite her biases did have a moderately even-handed article.)

    (Not that I’m recommending the article as a major contribution to the conversation. The only point made which I think bears some rumination is the part about wide variety of choices – I would like to see SP promote at least seven choices in each category, if only because I’m sure there are at least seven viable options in each every year. And if not, they need to be written.)

    1. The io9 article was only even-handed in tone. It focused on a partial red herring (too much “literary” and less “popular”) and referenced N. K. Jemison as “all you need to know” about racism/sexism/etc. in SF. Sad Puppies is proof that neither of those is wholly true, but that this focus has created a mirror image of the issue and that actual fans are tired of outside societal politics in a realm that should be a (to borrow a phrase) “safe place” from all of that.

      The problem with these SJW SMOFs is that they are most concerned with *who* wrote what (and their politics) than with *what* was written.

    2. The io9 article was only even-handed in tone. It focused on a partial red herring (too much “literary” and less “popular”) and referenced N. K. Jemison as “all you need to know” about racism/sexism/etc. in SF. Sad Puppies is proof that neither of those is wholly true, but that this focus has created a mirror image of the issue and that actual fans are tired of outside societal politics in a realm that should be a (to borrow a phrase) “safe place” from all of that.

      The problem with these SJW SMOFs is that they are most concerned with *who* wrote what (more specifically, who likes them) than with *what* was written.


      1. I’ll take what I can get, regarding even-handedness. And CJA is a NKJ fangirl from way back, I’d hardly expect her to drop that loyalty for such things as an awards slate.

        I think fan views of what is “popular escapist pulp” and what is “oppressive/liberating message art” will vary wildly, depending on what we each see as imprisoning us. My armor is the tank crushing you, and your broad free skies are a vacuum in which I suffocate, and so forth.

        Short version: more voting, more reading, more fans, please.

        1. “Short version: more voting, more reading, more fans, please.”

          Absolutely! More people enjoying more kinds of books is never a bad thing.

          1. You clearly are not a SJW. They do not want us to enjoy anything. Especially, do not enjoy (or even read) the *wrong* kind of books.
            Now, most normal people would agree 100% with your final statement.

              1. Well, her gravatar looks sort of kittenish. They are usually cute and playful. Fun, especially if you have a long string or a laser pointer. Now, once it grows into a cat… they tend to be social whenever they feel like it. Say 1%-5% if the time 🙂

                1. “Although she be but little, she be FIERCE.” *licks paw, cleans muzzle* Just excuse the lamb-scented breath, please. The lamb was most worthy (roasted after being rubbed with olive oil and garlic and thyme.)

  3. ***I.e. if you can pay the membership to vote do it because the books will be worth the $40. And then read and vote for your best.

    That means I get a copy of each winner if I sign up? Where do I sign up? I need another batch of books. 🙂

      1. Orbit was one of those that didn’t.

        Which means that if they do it again this year, you don’t have to worry about trying to read all of Ancillary Sword.

        So see? There’s an upside.

        1. I SUSPECT I could never finish more than the sample, anyway. Yesterday there was a cartoon character in the Space Opera group on FB telling Cedar if she only read 40 pages of Ancillary Justice she didn’t know how good it was because the plot action started AFTER that.
          Here, Tom, you’re still relatively new. Remember all those how-to books saying you need to start the story with a bang, because you can’t say “but my story gets good after 40 pages”?
          Yeah, but if you have the requisite ideas or in this case not even that, just pronoun dysfunction, (She keeps SAYING there’s no plot reason for it) you totally would get a Hugo for it.

          1. “Here, Tom, you’re still relatively new. Remember all those how-to books saying you need to start the story with a bang, because you can’t say “but my story gets good after 40 pages”?”

            Yeah, I remember hearing that repeatedly. That’s why Bloody Eden starts out the way it does. My next book, which is in beta readers hands, starts out similarly. Like you say, you can’t grab a reader and say, “No, no, no. You have to keep reading because the action doesn’t start until chapter 4!” (Like someone else we’ve discussed before.)

            I tried to read the sample on Amazon. I can see Leckie’s talent, and it’s there IMHO, but I don’t feel like she accomplished much with that title. I haven’t even bothered to try THAT with Ancillary Sword.

            1. Once you’re established you can start breaking rules. Because we the readers know you’re doing it for a reason and not just out of ignorance. If Sarah or Larry were to write 4 chapters of nothing much happening, I would stick through it because I would be certain that the payoff was worth it. Not that I think it would ever happen since I’m pretty sure Larry would stroke out about 1/4 the way through chapter 2.

              1. Yeah, and the Chapter 4 guy? First and only novel.

                Of course, he’s a narcissist that can’t acknowledge that he may not know what he’s talking about.

            2. Thank you all for reiterating this.

              I’d just decided that the main character for a notion should be the very passive one, who gets in trouble for going along with others. The arc then would be about learning to be active.

              Then I got bored, because I was planning to start things too early.

              Start with her falling in the pile of manure. Have her digging herself out. Then set the pile on fire.

              1. Pretty much.

                Starting too early is something I constantly battle with. I want things to develop, so the reader understands what’s going on, but the problem is that the reader doesn’t actually care. I have to make them care.

          2. Nonsense, In this last week, I read:
            Nuttall: Schooled in Magic book 6
            Sanderson: Pixie for Hire books 1-3
            Boykin: Cloplatschki book 1 and 1/3 of book 2
            That is less than a book a day, and doesn’t count EMT and finishing Nemo’s World.
            Of course, I *am* retired.

              1. You mean that boring Social Justice tome? The first 40-50 pages are making sure you don’t have unclean thoughts? I’m not very fast on reading those either. I read 10-20 pages, and set it down. A month or so later, I might even get 30-50 pages, then down the proverbial memory hole it goes.

                1. Read it all last year to be fair in my opinions. Now I have to read the second, to be fair in my opinions. And somehow get the eleven Dresden files books I need to read Skin Game in order. Which should just about eliminate the aftertaste, anyway.

          3. I read all of AJ (interlibrary loan, because 1) the distribution of the book was just that limited and 2) I wasn’t going to pay for a book when its competition was giving away whole trilogies in the nom packet.)

            There was never much action in AJ at all. Perhaps three brief sections, and at least one was a flashback to what you already knew was going to happen.

            I thought it was decent (if very, *very* slow) space opera and acceptable thought experiment SF – which didn’t go far enough into thinking through the implications of the world building. (F’stance – if the language gender choices had no impact on the plot/actions in the book, how is that society/culture different from ours, where gendered pronouns are important (and in the eyes of some, *harmful*?)

            I’m going to give AL a chance to improve on that in the next book – but probably not the third one, unless her prose tightens up and the story moves faster.

              1. Right, but (to me) AJ read like “slow paced novel” not “beginner novel”, and for me fell within the quality standards of deserving an award. LC’s books moved like lightning, but lacked a bit of gravitas. Parasite moved faster than AJ but DID seen far too shallow and…and…well, it made beginner, narrow-focus-perspective mistakes. That one I agree wasn’t very good. Neptune’s Children was just a slog I could not finish. (And that hurt, because I thought it was trying to do some really interesting things with economics that *didn’t* bash capitalism, which was a nice change.) Wheel of Time was…I read the first one, bounced off the second and declined on the rest. Looking at Parasite, NC and AJ, what surprised me was how very *alike* they were, while Warbound was something totally different.

            1. AJ didn’t appear in the bookstores out here (TX Panhandle) until February of this year. Library got a copy three weeks ago. And I got 20 pages or so in and gave up. I don’t mind a slow build but I couldn’t sense that the slow was building TO something.

              1. Like driving?

                A dull chunk of scenery is OK if you’re headed somewhere, and not going anywhere is OK if the trip is enjoyable, but if the trip itself isn’t enjoyable and you don’t seem to actually be headed anywhere in particular…..

          4. I read a book years ago: “The Fourth Durango”, by Ross Thomas, started out slowly, wasn’t making a lot of sense to me, then started up with 2 or 3 more times with different characters, but I liked/was impressed by his writing enough to continue (and then see him pull the various story parts together, and buy his other books). So I’d agree that it works if you’re good enough to hook the reader

            1. Indeed. The “start with a bang” guideline can be broken in certain circumstances, such as by a wildly popular author — or involving a wildly popular series character whose readers would follow him through an IRS audit. But it’s generally a good idea, and ignoring it totally is at the writer’s peril.

              1. Coming Soon from David Weber: The Revenues Due the Empress – Honor Harrington is distracted from the budding war with Earth and back into homeworld affairs as Nimitz faces an audit from the Star Empire Inland Revenue!

                    1. “Personally, I think it’s politically motivated since Honor pisses off the right sort.”

                      By which of course, you mean the left.

                  1. That’s the problem. The Star Empire Inland Revenue thinks he does and is trying to find his “hidden” wealth. [Evil Grin]

                  2. “I don’t think Nimitz works.”

                    And I look forward to him explaining that fact to the auditors, in no uncertain terms.

                    1. Nah, Honor will hire a very good Tax Lawyer for Nimitz. Said Tax Lawyer will later get the Tree-Cat Name of “Shredder”. [Very Big Evil Grin]

                    2. Ya think teenage mutant ninja turtles survived? Iced Tea, baseball and the SCA did. I think that the Inland Revenue is going to get nastygrams from any number of people about harassing Nimitz. The Queen, The PM, Grayson Ambassador et al.

                    3. Oh, I gathered.

                      Any time an author adds something like baseball to multiple worlds he’s built while omitting most other sports, it’s usually a clue.

                      I got tickled in Safehold at the names of some of the players being familiar, just spelled weird.

                    4. Well, the Turtles didn’t survive but the Tax Auditors *wished* that Nimitz had shredded them instead of what the Tax Lawyer did to them. [Very Big Evil Grin]

                    5. Safehold is not my favorite series, but from what I remember the umpires are all priests, so I assume it was written into the Scriptures.

                    6. That may be. It’s been a while since I read them. Another one’s coming out later this year, so I’ll probably hit them up again this summer though.

                    7. I did OK until the most recent Safehold book. He jumped the shark with the feminism thing in the last year or so. No, not the “all women are just as good/bad as all men in all ways” thing he sometimes does to death, as I love a lot of his characters.

                      More the thing his alter-PICA who shows up late in the series does to break (a few bones) to prove to an overwrought and overwritten bigot that women are just as good as men.

                      Even that would not have ticked me off if it weren’t for the “so there” satisfaction expressed by a number of characters later, and the fact that the only reason “she” was able to defeat him so easily in a largely still muscle and mechanical powered society was because she was effectively superhuman in strength.

                      The lesson could have been underscored much more subtly, in a manner that could be achievable by a normal human. Instead, it read like something out of some feminist revenge fantasy.

                    8. dgarsys, I didn’t see that part as feminist revenge fantasy, but rather a necessary act for the world. A pre-industrial/early industrial society is going to be rather sexist, and for good reason. In some people that sexism would translate into outright misogyny. As a military officer, Nimue would know that she was going to face a challenge to her authority. The overwhelming nature of the defeat, rather than being a case of “grrrl power,” was intended to use the rumor mill to minimize further challenges to her authority.

                    9. I’ll agree the guy was an ass by anyone’s definition and needed to be taught a conclusive lesson. But “don’t screw with a seijin even if she looks like a woman” is different from “don’t hold people in contempt for simply being, including women”. So maybe the truly sexist (as opposed to realist) around that asshole will never give lip to Nimue the seijin. But what did that lesson teach about women in general?

                      She didn’t teach him that women in general could do anything well enough to earn respect – and the princess certainly can’t hold her own against that asshole in a fight without firearms the same way that Nimue could.

                      Compared to the way Weber has handled these “run-ins with sexist men and societies” in the past, this was simply… clunky… and took me out of the story that I was otherwise enjoying. And that includes the (now dead, but alive-in-the-matrix) spymaster’s wife, the empress Sharleyan, the young girl learning revolvers just before the scene I objected to, the conniving madam, and numerous others.

                      I met and fell in love with his work in Honor Among Enemies”. I’ve got a 1st print hardcover of the Shiva option on my shelves, and most of the rest of the Starfire novels on Paper. Also the entire War Gods series, and paper of most of the HH books up through 2008. And the entire Safehold series.

                      We may never agree. Even if you’re right that it’s not as out of place as I think, the fact that it jumped out at me means something about it was different in its tone and handling to raise my hackles when nothing else in his ppast work had.

                      As to sexism in the past – Some does, and always has existed. I’m sure, both ways. I tend to think that half-plus of the worlds population, with access to raise and shape kids from an early age are very capable of ensuring that society is relatively equitable for them. We’ve forgotten a lot of what women DID do before the 1900’s to keep things running (oddly, one of the few things feminists got right in history, if not the in way they try to teach, and if much of it is now forgotten because they’ve distorted it as it doesn’t fit the narrative…).

                    10. I own every one of Weber’s books except the last three or four Safehold books. Which says something about how well I like them. I’ve read all of them except the latest one, which I listened to as an audio book. But it was so engrossing that I kept drifting off while listening to it and not bothering to go back and relisten to the parts I had missed. As far as the scene you mentioned dgarys, I agree completely, I don’t remember it well enough to point out particulars of why it jarred so badly, but I recall it jarred badly enough that I just about quit the book right there without finishing. And until the Safehold series came out I never thought there would be a Weber book published I didn’t own, much less ones I didn’t read, but I doubt I’ll bother any more of that series.

                    11. It’s not helping that Weber has specifically said that Safehold is the “get his kids through college” series.
                      Which means that it’s going on way, way, longer than it needs to.
                      And…well…much as I hate to say it, Weber’s been anvil-dropping lately. War Maid’s Choice was excellent, but I’ll be hanged if having the first quarter of the book focus on the Bahzell-Leeana thing wasn’t annoying as anything.

                    12.         Baseball survived on more than Grayson.  It was mentioned somewhere that it’s still played on Earth, and several other planets.

              2. I think Sarah has rephrased it as something like giving the reader a reason to care in the first few pages. Action is the simplest way to do that, although I think some of the better mystery novels work to make you fall in love with the main character instead.

                1. No, action is not the simplest. The simplest is sympathetic character in trouble. AKA the Jane Eire thing. Harry Potter used that. BUT if you take it too far (Misty in her worst moments) you end with “sad sack I want to kick” instead. This is a lot of what I wrote, FOR YEARS.

                  1. Oh heck yeah. Chunks of that three-book arc had me looking for a large wheel of cheese to go with all the whine.

              1. Tolkien was writing a 7th century Eddic saga in (beautiful) Edwardian prose. There’s next to no character development. In fact, he violates just about ever precept of the modern novel. LOTR is sui generis, which is why so many of it’s imitators fail so spectacularly.

                1. There are rules that you can break if you have the writing chops for it. Ringo wrote Last Centurion in 1st person and broke the 4th wall. However don’t try and do that in your 1st published book.

                    1. I wish you had been my English (composition) teacher! I wish you’d been the one to teach me how to do a research paper.

                    2. Not just Eric Flint though. Some of the writing forums on the internet spread stuff like this. Depending on the culture of the website, there could also be other insanity masquerading as advice.

                      Of course, few of these forums ever have any writers of note as regular members, so it becomes a case of the blind leading the blind in some cases. Not all, but some.

                    3. True. And I still don’t understand it, and this is as someone who generally writes in third person.

                      A good story is a good story. Hell, sometimes it’s just what’s best for a story. In fact, I made the comment in my review of Monster Hunter Nemesis how Owen’s attitude comes across completely different in third person versus first.

                    4. I may be off base here, but I suspect that the prejudice against First Person has to do with the broad prevalence of Noir Detective style first person narration, and the frequency with which it is very, VERY bad. I have been reading SF and mysteries since the early 1970’s, and I would guess that when it comes to imitating Hammett and Chandler, 9 out of 10 attempts THAT GET PUBLISHED fail miserably. Of the remaining 10%, most are pretty dreary. They fail, just not as badly as the rest. With the SF attempts, the failures are often connected to how weirdly the style fits, or fails to fit, the SF genera.

                      Just thinking.

                      First person narration should be distinctive, not simply a carbon copy of an archetype. Mannie’s in THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS is about as far from Noir Detective as you can get. Peter Bowen does first person in the Yellowstone Kelly books, and some in the Gabriel duPre mysteries, and both have strong and distinctive voices that are nothing like Chandler.

                      BTW: another DuPre book is coming out at the end of this month, after a long enough gap that I was afraid Bowen was dead. Yay!

                    5. Speaking as a reader – first person pov, particularly in the independent ebooks and the like, is overwhelmingly the choice of very novice writers. It’s not the tool, it’s that it’s the only tool in the tool box of some writers, that gives it a bad name.

                    6. No. It fracking well isn’t. I’ve run magazines and read slush piles. Novices trend to Movie-Voice. Third and all visual. SOME PEOPLE SAY it’s “novice voice”. These are people who don’t like reading /writing first. That’s fine. But it’s not the choice of novices, usually.

                    7. I’ve seen first person done well and I’ve seen third person done well.

                      However, a certain person wrote a book in second person and I never finished it. [Shudder]

                    8. First Person simply sucks. That is why Louis L’Amour’s novels fail, why John D MacDonald’s Travis McGee series was so despised, why Butcher’s Dresden Files have so few fans and why Heinlein’s novels (Moon, The Puppet Masters, Glory Road, Have Spacesuit, Starship Troopers and the like) are all but forgotten nowadays.

                    9. Yep — think how much better it would have sold if written in 3rd person. Why, I bet Monster Hunter Nemesis might have gotten a Hugo nomination had he written it in 3rd person.

                      Of course, 1st person narrative is why Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn isn’t read any more. That is also why Melville’s Moby Dick sank without a trace.

                    10. What i heard is that she’s “some libertarian chick.”

                      She probably wants to outlaw the internal combustion engine. And gluten.

                    11. First person takes a little different style, some can’t do it well, and if not done well it comes across as very stilted. Or very angsty. On the other hand first person done well is perfectly fine (even if Flint doesn’t like it, I don’t like communist/socialist heroes, but he writes them well).

                      I’ve only seen multiple first person narrative done well a few times, but when done well it is my favorite narrative style. Most notably the Corriea/Kupari Dead Six novels and Sarah’s Rogue Magic. Although I understand Sarah is going to rewrite Rogue Magic in third person before it is published. I, myself would find it the most difficult style to do well, and assume that is why you see it so seldom, but when it is done well it just has a little extra punch to it than other styles.

                    12. @Hoyt – My apologies if I came across as attacking your writing, that was not my intent. I do stand by my experiences in the independent epubs and writers groups, where novice writers write poorly and do so in first person. Perhaps many of them have been scarred out it by the time they submitted to your slush pile. Again, not talking about your writing, nor about Mark Twain, nor Heinlein.

                    13. No, not my writing — but seriously. the last three indies that I did “please remove from kindle” were third person. Bad writing is bad writing. Mind you, those were romance and mystery, so it might be different in sf/f. I read across all genres, so I forget where something annoyed me.

                    14. Several of us have had stories told in first person published in the Grantville Gazette. We just don’t recommend it as the default option. In my case, I was trying to invoke a detective noir feel.

                    15. Even in short stories — the only place where I ever saw second person work was a tale where a woman was cloning her sister and recounting the sister’s history to the newly formed clone — not as what “she” did, but as what “you” did.

                    16. Now, I don’t do first person well unless it’s an impartial narrator (where the individual may or may not actually be a part of the story and I have one of those total.) But it seems to me that a huge number of the authors I speak to who are about my level are completely obsessed not only with first person but with present tense. The reasons seem to boil down to ‘third person isn’t INTIMATE enough’ even though they promptly complain they can’t get the scope of their story because they need information the POV character doesn’t have. Most of the excerpts I’ve seen from this crowd seems, to me, that they’re looking for a narrator not a POV character and can’t recognize it. I don’t know how common it is outside of that particular circle but perhaps it’s common enough to be feeding into the ‘don’t do it!’ trend. (These guys are also very much a ‘screw the rules’ rather than a ‘learn the tools that get miss-stated as rules and learn when and when which tool is effective’.)

                      /random thoughts

          5. You mean like a prison breakout in Chapter 1? ‘Cause that totally worked for me 🙂

        2. I just don’t understand the hate for AS. It was an enjoyable read, even if it wasn’t exactly Gene Wolf. (The sequel was boring as hell, though) Not what I’d have considered a “great” SF novel, so I understand being ticked at the Hugo committee, but that doesn’t mean the book itself has to be a complete waste.

          1. Chacun son gout. When you’re a professional with 23 novels out though, you see the beginner mistakes you yourself made years ago and it sort of ruins the enjoyment.

          2. OK, since a number of us have mentioned it before, I’ll play along and explain it again.

            Many of us gave the book a try. Some of us, such as myself, with the sample on Amazon. Others did in other ways. Doesn’t matter. If I had found the book to be even remotely enjoyable, I probably would have forked out the money to read the rest of it. I didn’t get particularly far into even that before I decided I wanted to scratch the back of my eyeballs with an ice pick. Yes, I found it to be that bad. Not because Leckie lacks talent either, which actually made what I forced myself to suffer through even worse. If she just didn’t have any talent, I’d have just shrugged and moved on.

            Now, it’s fine that you liked it. Don’t get me wrong on that. However, you’re going to be the minority opinion on that around these parts. Again, that’s fine too. Contrary to what some folks think, we don’t expect complete adherence to anything in order to stick around. 😀

            1. Yep, she has some talent. But it’s incredibly underdeveloped. And now that they threw all those awards at her last year, I suspect she’ll never put in the effort she would have if she’d been forced to deal with real world measures, like, oh, sales numbers.

              1. I agree. I think she could really be a force in science fiction if she really developed more.

                However, two novels with two Hugo nominations while running in a crowd that values that sort of thing? Why bother?

                That’s why I prefer this crowd. Sales matter so much more than awards.

          3. I was offended by Leckie’s sooper-racism, had a fit of vapors, and had to lie in a darkened room.

            Seriously, if I’m in the mood for gender stuff, those stories are competing with Ranma fanfic for my attention. Since I first started hearing about them, Whately and certain Ranma fanfics have won handily. There is one Ranma fanfic in particular that I care more about despite having decided that reading it was a waste of my time.

            All I’ve heard about it are reviews like Tom’s, and endorsements that sound like the endorser has never read Jack Chalker.

      2.         Does it occur to those publishers that if we don’t get the whole thing, we might not bother with even the sample?

                I mean, last year Baen gave me the whole GRIMNOIR trilogy, and Tor all fourteen books of THE WHEEL OF TIME.  The other publishers, as I recall, gave me samples of their novels.  You think that didn’t influence my vote?

  4. To crush the Socialist Justice Warriors, to see them driven before you, to hear the lamentations of their women and John Scalzi… These are the good things in life.

    1. Ewww! Ichor and stench! Much better not to crush them; they don’t even make decent fertilizer unless mulched for at least a decade. Much better to just chase them off.

      1. If you chase them off the just regroup and come back again. You need a few heads on pikes to keep them away, even if it means writing off good land.

          1. And Englishman, German, and Irishman walk into a bar and each order a beer. When the pints arrive three flies come up and land, one in each glass. The Englishman pushes his beer away and demands a replacement. The German eyes his companion with scorn, fishes out the fly, tosses it away, and drinks his beer. The Irishman fishes out the bug, turns it upside down and begins shaking it over his glass yelling “SPIT IT OUT YE WEE BASTARD! SPIT IT OUT!”

            Why this story is germane is left as an exercise to the reader.

        1. True, *most* women don’t.

          On the other hand, we have Teresa Nielsen-Hayden. I read this morning’s roundup of Sad Puppies reactions over at Glyer’s File 770, in which he quoted Saint Teresa as calling John C. Wright a “pervert.”

          Butthurt much?

          And given Saint Teresa’s willingness to slander Tor authors like Wright and Kevin Anderson because the SPers like them, I’m not surprised Tor gave her the boot…

          1. OK, she’s a former editor, so it’s not QUITE “editor calling her author names” but damned close, given her husband still is, IIRC.

            That said, another editor, (moshe?) is organizing a no-award campaign for any works on the SP slate. Which happens to include works not only by authors at Tor, but books published at Tor.

            And then you have the utterly hypocritical lunacy of some child congratulating Kevin Anderson’s book for winning, then posting later they’ll have to toss it because the wrong people voted on it.

            1. I mean, because the *wrong* people voted for it? I mean, they can’t handle that our side likes some of their work? Insanity.

        1. Well, by some standards (not mine) he does look rather fetching in a Regency dress.

    2. This is the correct response. If you only drive them away, they can regroup and return…better to destroy them here, destroy them now, so that their evil may not be propagated for at least a generation…

      …its been at least that long since I gave 3 fucks for a Hugo winner. Last time I tried to read one was almost 20 years ago…

  5. Take care Sarah. On the Hugo “nonsense” I’m trying to ignore it. I’ve seen the list and have decided (in most cases) who I’ll be voting for. However, even seeing the comments from the Haters second hand is causing Blood Pressure problems for me.

    Oh Sarah, please forgive me but I’ll be voting for Jim Butcher’s novel (but Kevin Anderson’s will be my second choice). [Wink]

    1. Larry did me a kindness, indirectly, by refusing his nomination. He had good reasons, but a side effect is I am presently going “Butcher or Anderson?” until I am able to read the other books.

      I’m still staring at the movie screenplay slate, unable to choose. Q_Q

      1. Honestly, I’d love to see Peter Jackson do a faithful remake of “Starship Troopers” I’ve never been able to watch the entire movie as it’s an insult to what Heinlein wrote. If someone would write a screenplay that more closely follows the book that would be a wonderful testiment to Heinlein’s writing…

        1. That sounds like it’d be wonderful, honestly. The one good thing is, we’re seeing a nice revival of good movies being made. Who knows, it might happen if there’s a strong enough interest in it.

          Myself, I’m rather keen to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe take back Spider Man and X-Men; because the previous Spideys have been a vast disappointment of ‘no, that’s not even a close adaptation of Spidey’ to me. Where’s the funny lines that he constantly spouts??? MJ’s supposed to be a supermodel and a strong-willed woman; why are they picking ‘cute’?

          Dr. Strange is supposedly going to show up and I confess to being very eager about that.

          Because if they come up with awesome magic effects, then the dream of a movie adaptation The Dresden Files might someday happen. *.*

            1. I thought the TV series was great. But all I heard about it was boo hoo he’s not driving the right car, boo hoo hoo, he’s not in the right apartment, boo hoo hoo she’s supposed to be blond, boo freaking hoo Bob has a visual representation in a visual medium.

              And it died.

              And I’m like… kids, this is why we’re not allowed to have nice things.

          1. I want to see a shooting contest between Doc Strange and Cap, or even Iron Man. Because watching everyone dive for cover when Doc Strange starts to fire 😀

            1. Apples and oranges. Doc Strange uses magic while Cap is the best Infantry soldier ever. I think he’s at the 110th percentile actually.

              I’d love to see a movie where it was Justice vs Avengers. or some other DC vs Marvel match-up. DC does better in animated movies and Marvel does better in live action.

              1. I was thinking of Doc’s problem with aiming weapons. You’re safer standing in front of him when he tries to shoot a pistol than standing beside or behind him. (Classic Doc Strange. They may have mucked with that bit of the canon since 1990).

                1. Why would he need to shoot a pistol? He’s the Supreme Sorcerer damnit! Get any of the Avengers to do any shooting that needs to be done.

                  1. I can think of at least one story (a one-off in the early 2000s) where saving people depended on shooting an eldrich creature because it was resistant to his magic. Doc’s assistant was more scared of Doc’s shooting than he was of the demon-spawn (almost).

                2. Kind of makes some sense. Dr. Strange is a doctor, and while he is the Sorcerer Supreme, if I recall correctly he also is still a practicing doctor, and sees patients in the area.

                  Rather fun to play with that, IMHO. Be fun to do a ‘day in the life’ type thing where he tries to keep the two separate / his sorcerer stuff not interfering with his day job.

        2. The big boys will complain that it’s a boot camp genre story with some combat at the end, but the best movie about modern mercenaries (The Dogs of War) and the best movie about mercenaries ever (The Seven Samurai) have a similar structure, long section of assembling the team before the combat. But the first movie bombed, making only 120 million dollars on a budget of 100 million, which did not pay for the budget and the advertising. There used to be a blog online in which the screenwriters of “The Puppet Masters” said that they had seven goals to be achieved in the final movie, and the end product only had two and a half. There was a big fight over the director’s demand that the aliens should come from deep within the earth, the way they did in the atrocious Fifties bootleg adaptation, “The Brain Eaters.” For some reason Spielberg imposed that on “The War of the Worlds,” and it required a long section of utterly baffling and senseless exposition from which the movie never recovered. I mean, Tim Burton in “Mars Attacks” just had some doors open in the surface of Mars, no exposition at all.

        3. I’ll believe it’s possible if UPRISING isn’t a puddle of goo. Not holding my breath, though I will watch it if the general consensus doesn’t boil down to “runaway, holding you nose”.

        4. The biggest creative problem with an authentic Starship Troopers film is the damn MI suits themselves. They are a profoundly limiting element, with each character basically locked away in their own helmet and group activity resembling a demoliotion derby or parking lot.

          1. Well, digital effects have gotten quite a lot better in the last 20 years. The Ironman movies have somewhat inoculated audiences to the idea of extreme closeups of actor’s faces while in the combat suit. I think you would have to break the sequence of the book and tell the story in order. Flashbacks usually don’t do well in film. The hard part would be getting enough people who could act that well with just their face.

            And of course, if they ever did the movie justice some kid would complain that they were ripping off Ironman. And then I’d have to strangle someone through the Internet.

            1. I dunno, they did avert that spectacularly well with Pacific Rim, that oh so delightful love letter to two of the most iconic images of Japanese pop culture: massive fighting mecha and kaiju. Agree about the whole ‘looking inside the helmet’ thing being used to great effect.

              1. Except they didn’t base it off of super robot at all, they based it more of Evangelion which was a deconstruction of the genre. It felt more like someone who saw a bunch of stuff on tv at night a long time ago as kids and never updated themselves on anything the genre has done since then.

                I found the main characters painfully bland compared to the over the top persona most super robot pilots have.

                I found the Kaiju completely uninspired and while they looked cool they just blended together in my head because they didn’t visually pop out distinctly for me at all the only one that stood out to me was the one that flew. Also how could you miss the opportunity to do a Kaiju that moves 3x faster then any on record and is red with a horn.

                The fights were more realistic and lacked any of the traditional super robot tropes NO ROCKET PUNCH? NO GIANT DRILL? NO SPECIAL ATTACK MOVE CALLOUTS? NO TRIPLE TAKE? NO POWER GAUGES FLYING UP?

                It felt like it was written/directed by people that didn’t know the genre at all and saw a bunch of old Kaiju movies in the 60s-70s and watched Voltron and Evangelion and maybe a few episodes of Big O.

                Meanwhile I found the Godzilla movie completely awesome and everything I could of wanted.

                Also @suburbanbanshee

                It’s just
                Powered Suit ala Iron Man
                Real Mecha ala Gundam/Macross
                Super Robot ala Mazinger Z/Getter Robo

                Their are a few weird exceptions like Evangelion and Pacific Rim that don’t cleanly fit but almost everything else does.

                1. Mm, I think that the person who made it (I never remember how to spell his name, sadly) had to compromise between the over-the-top-ness that typified especially classic giant robot anime and kaiju shows and something the mostly Western audiences would enjoy. (Someone doing a Voltron remake MIGHT get away with that though but it might have been too long for most folks.) The person who made it outright said in the interviews that he loves the two genres and he had lots of fun with making Pacific Rim. I think that a completely accurate to the genres port over wouldn’t have worked that well and they moved some of the bombast over to the characters (the Australian team kind of stands out in my head) versus the in-robot battles.

                  I’ll have to get around to watching Godzilla. I heard it was lots of fun but I haven’t had the opportunity to rent it yet. (It’s never there, which means it’s always being rented out, heh.)

                  I kind of wonder how they’d do a Bubblegum Crisis.

                  The hardsuits would likely cause so much bitching among the feminists even though damnit, that’s an all-female ream of different women and personalities!

                  Who would play a good Priss though?

                  1. Who would play a good Priss though?

                    Daryl Hannah?
                    (Er, whoops. Wrong Priss…) 🙂

                    Yeah, I’m sure there’d be complaints about powered armor with high heels, even if they probably have pretty good armor-piercing properties.

                2. What I particularly liked about Pacific Rim is that the characters are archetypes. All of those “5-man band” and “giant mecha” tropes played absolutely straight rather than being deconstructed and subverted and reconstructed as they have been for the last umpteen years.

                  I found it both comforting (“I know these characters,and it’s good to see them again!) and fresh (“Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such straightforward characters who, despite the terrible crap they’ve gone through are not angsty. I could get used to this!“)

                  It’s kind of nice to be reminded from time to time, of the “old take”, on which everything since then has been a “new take”.

                  IIRC from the director’s commentary, Guillermo del Toro is a longtime fan of both the mecha and kaijuu genres.

          2. Japanese anime and manga have tons and tons of heroes in powered suits, as well as groups of heroes in powered suits. The only question is whether you go with small, medium, large, or super-size monster mecha.

            So yes, there are established ways to do it that involve a lot of camera angles, a lot of individualization of the friends of the hero, and frequent cutting to the face of the person inside the suit.

                1. So, does the set of all sets that don’t contain themselves contain itself, or not?

      2. I know. Loved every one of them, including the Tom Cruise One (He’s had a couple good ones lately. Oblivion turned out, despite my strong distaste for potentially anti-human/western civ themes presented in the previews, to be excellent as well. A movie that hinges on the poem “Horatius at the bridge” in a positive light cannot be all bad….)

        1. Oblivion was interesting in some ways and made me nuts in others. Mostly because from the very beginning when they explained that they were taking water off the Earth to take to their refuge around Saturn (It was Saturn, right?) I’m like… WTF they can do that? First of all, WHY? And second, if they have that level of STUFF why would they have to do it even if it made sense?

          Then, of course, the story was that it DIDN’T make sense and that was the point.

          But I will admit that an army of Tom Cruise clones was about as frightening as anything I can imagine.

            1. Don’t worry, they killed them all off in Edge of Tomorrow! That right there was worth the price of the ticket…

  6. A few years ago, Sarah wrote about the Human Wave, and gave voice to feelings many of us have had for years, but had no way to express.

    Yesterday, the Human Wave became a tsunami.

      1. Interstellar is aknow a gimme for me. God I loved that movie.

        That said , it is stil up against strong contenders. Guardians was more fun, but less science.

        The weakest – and still a great movie IMO was the Lego movie. I loved the sly aknowledgements of the real world. The generic businessman and band, etc. But the jump out to the real world for the father son bit needed more time onscreen or less.

      2. Interstellar was the only movie I had seen on the list (and I think the only one I had even heard of), having watched it, I once again realized why I very seldom watch movies, in particular newer movies.

  7. These people rather than being honored by the Hugo honor the Hugo…

    This is the most important line in the piece. No award can have stature in and of itself. It borrows stature from those to whom it’s awarded — and if their merit is little, so will be that of the award. All else is self-deception.

  8. If I was a believer I’d pray for you…but…what the heck. “If there’s anyone up there, please help Sarah become whole again!” If not, I’m thinking about you and hoping things get better quickly.

    1. Thinking about Sarah is just as helpful as praying. It is just if you are used to praying, you get your mind into the healing meditative state much easier.

  9. Thanks for your work and effort. I haven’t used a “Hugo Award” to determine whether a book is even worth reading the blurb for…in over a decade. Maybe sometime soon it will be worth something again.

    1. I’m sufficient Crank that I’ve used it as a negative indicator. AND I tend to have a look ’round to see what the author wrote before that might be why they were getting a Hugo for a lesser, later work.

      You know,, the way the Special Effects guy who did KING KONG didn’t get an Oscar for that (I think there wasn’t a catagory for effects yet) but DID get one for MIGHTY JOE YOUNG.

  10. Happy Easter, hopefully your ‘belly wound’ is healed enough that you can overstuff yourself without more than the usual discomfort.

  11. Keep healing, keep writing, and we’ll keep you in our prayers. The Hugo kerfuffle is amusing, but hardly as important as normal life. Well, as normal as writers can be.

  12. Igh. Prayers for a firm, swift recovery are being offered on your behalf, Sarah. I’ll not hide that I’m saying them with the fervor of someone who remembers too well how it feels like to recover from having one’s belly sliced open!

    And geez. I wish I had the dosages of drugs you were prescribed. Maybe if I’d had it then I wouldn’t have overworked my muscles by forcing myself to move while they were tensed up in pain.

        1. Indeed. I was somewhat upset this summer when I had to have my license photographed and signature on record to get my Father his duly prescribed Oxycontin; but at least that is one of the ‘abused’ drugs. Imagine my surprise when I had to do the same for Vicodin (5mg) for my root-canal.
          Somewhere I have the instructions for converting Meth back into pseudo-ephedrine, since it is much easier to purchase Meth than it is Sudafed anymore.

          1. It’s still OTC in some states, though the only one I know of is Washington (which I can see from Tina Fey’s abode)

          2. Ma Huang (ephedra sinica) is the plant that ephedrine was derived from, that psuedoephedrine was developed for easier synthesis. I got my seeds from richters in canada.
            Just sayin.

          3. When I was a youngster my doctor advised sudafed because if it weren’t for holding my glasses in place my nose would serve no function whatsoever, but back in the mid-60s we still entertained hope of pushing air through the thing.

            I would buy it in bottles of 100 pills, a fact i routinely deploy to amuse pharmacists today.

            Of sourse, when I was a youngster people routinely inserted thin glass tubes full of toxic heavy metal into one end or the other of our GI tracts in order to gauge their temperatures.

            1. Yes, but the only toxic spills I remember were always on the floor. I never broke one in my mouth (the alternate location is too sensitive to even consider breakage).

          4. Exhibit A in my case for taking the entire War On Drugs™ and jamming it down a very deep hole. Setting aside the waste of money, the junk science, and the unwholesome effects of the huge black market; if preventing idiots from taking drugs that turn their brains into goo causes even ONE chronic pain sufferer to have trouble getting the relief he needs, it’s barbarous.

          5. Vicodin has been moved into the category as Oxycontin. You have to bring the actual paper prescription to the pharmacy. It can’t called or faxed in anymore. Additionally you can only get one month’s worth at a time.Since I take it daily for my arthritis, you can see how irritating this can be.

            1. For irritating prescription problems, my best advice is find a small, local pharmacy. Seriously; I’ve never had to get strong pain killers for an extended period, but My Lady does need a lot of ‘scrips. When I was dealing with the big chains, I would have to throw at least one noisy tantrum a month to get basic service (they appear to have a policy of hiring the bewildered). I thought that was just how Pharmacies WORKED. Until by chance I moved to a town where the nearest drug store was a family owned one. They made some mistakes, to be sure. Maybe three in five years? And the new one I use sine the last move is the same way.

              How does this address your particular issue? I don’t know. I just know that anything extra I’m paying by NOT dealing with CVS or some similar chain I get by in NOT having to buy ulcer medication.

              So I mention it every chance I get.

              BTW; if a CVE is an escort carrier (and it is) wouldn’t a CVS be a strike carrier?

              Just wondering.

              1. I’ve used solitary and big chain pharmacies and Walgreens is the absolute best. CVS is the Worst.

                    1. I have a problem with being asked if this ammunition is for a handgun every time you buy ammunition their. It isn’t any of their business, and frankly they don’t get my business because of it.

                    2. “I plan to give them to nosy parkers” is probably an unwise answer to that question.

                    3. They ask for ID to buy ammo at the Wal-mart here.

                      I will admit that using my cc license for ID was a bit of a thrill, but from now on, I’m going to Tri-State.

                    4. Nor have I — although the morons wandering the aisles have often prompted murderous thoughts.

                      Of course, that applies to much more than Walmart. I have reluctantly reached the conclusion that the world is full of people who need to get the @!#$* out of my way.

              2. Our town had 2 local pharmacies and Wal-Mart. One of the pharmacies had to close because the Winn-Dixie grocery store it was in closed.
                Every one that was using that pharmacy switched to the other local Gloucester Pharmacy. Since his percentage of the local business rose from 1/3 to 2/3, they were able to hire all the pharmacists from the other store. Good friendly service.
                When my Mother came home in the hospice program, they remained open for me after hours to get all the pain-killers etc. she needed. When I picked up the medicines, they told me the registers were closed, would I mind coming back the next day to pay. I told them that two trips there was better than having to deal with Wal-Mart (who aren’t bewildered, but they do sneer at the customers a lot.)

              3. There were carriers classified as attack carriers, CVA. The anti-submarine warfare carriers (converted Essex class ships) were CVS.

                  1. The “funny” thing about CVS is that they lost me as a customer.

                    The only reason I went into their stores was to purchase pipe tobacco.

                    They stopped selling tobacco products.

                    Oh, I found a source for the tobacco that I was getting from them on-line.

                    So they didn’t “stop” me from getting the tobacco I liked. [Evil Grin]

            2. And it also means that I will probably NEVER be able to take my wife with me on a long-term assignment again. I hate these people, I really do. The crooks have no problems with any form of prohibition / control, while the law abiding have to jump through hoops.

  13. Glad to hear that you’re doing better, Sarah. I just thought I’d share one thing, FYI. I find that often the Odds have ADD. I had sleep problems my whole life until about two years after I got diagnosed. I read that the ADD brain is often linked to melatonin deficiency. Melatonin being the hormone that regulates sleep, ADD people tend to be wound up and unable to sit still until the body crashes from sheer exhaustion. As this fit me to a T, I tried supplementing melatonin at night, and my sleep is now infinitely better. My body mass is a little over 200 lbs, and I take between 10 and 12 Mg about 40 minutes before before bedtime.

    On a side note, a lot of people say they weird dreams when using melatonin. I do too, but any time I’ve ever slept in the past, I’ve had weird dreams anyway. I figure it’s just a case of people actually sleeping soundly enough to actually remember their dreams.

    Anyway, just something to think about. Keep feeling better!

      1. depends on individual biochemistry. My whole life my reaction to meds has been (sometimes wildly) different than everyone else’s. Healthcare should be individualized not one size fits all. It should also allow as many choices as possible.

      2. My offspring are almost all ADD-riddled. The pediatrician said melatonin is fine for developing brains as well. The older two get two to four Mg each and sleep so much better that their moods are much more stable in the day, and their focus is a lot better, so no Adderall necessary as of yet.

    1. I have horrid dream recall, but when I did melatonin (worked rotating shifts and was having issues sleeping all day long … excessively noisy house-mates did not help … but they sure ranted at any perceived noise I made. Blamed me one night and oddly, I was not home that whole night), I would wake up thinking “What the hell was that about?” yet couldn’t tell you what exactly It was … just knew my sub was being overly odd. I do remember one about RC 10th scale sized off-road racing buggies driven by spiders … one rolled and I was trying to help it unbuckle and hoping he’d not bite my fingers … (O_o) right.

      1. I always had violent dreams. Getting chased by ED-209, a talking panther chasing me while I tried to cut off its head with a katana, invading armies that shot me with an AK-47… When I was in the missionary training center, I had dreams in which I was teaching people, and when I got to the Caribbean, I met and taught them. The other missionaries in the MTC said I spoke perfectly fluent Spanish in my sleep, far better than when I was awake. Funny stuff. 😀

          1. That’s just your heredity coming through. The euro-centric, chauvinistic, capitalist society you have embraced has suppressed your hereditary culture, but the morphine releases your inner Latina.

  14. I was amused to learn, via Breitbart (HT: Glenn Reynolds), that the first use of a nomination slate was by John Scalzi (starting in 2006) and Charles Stross, with Scalzi openly delighting in having “caused some seizures in fandom”.

    BTW, in scrolling through Scalzi (sung to the tune of “Marching Through Georgia”) I noticed his reax to the Sad Puppies slate (not that he referenced it by name) as “trolling the Hugos” and his instruction to his minions on how to employ the “No Award” vote to prevent “unworthy” titles winning.

    It just might happen that “No Award” wins every Hugo category, an ends possibly more hilarious than a Sad Puppies sweep.

      1. If that happens, I worry Larry might suffer a mischief from laughing way too much. Milady Hoyt might be in danger as well, fresh wounds still knitting and all.

        1. It would be gawd awful stupid if they actually convince enough people to ditch the Hugos altogether with the no award thing. If they do, though, I can just about promise you that Sad Puppies 4 will turn into… “Lets see if we can make them do it again.”

          Which I’m sure isn’t Kate’s intention NOW… but…

          1. How ’bout we save on spot on next year’s slate for whatever Scalzi thing got written this year. Then they will Noah Ward it…..nah, never mind.

    1. Maxim #20: If you’re not willing to shell your own position, you’re not willing to win.

      Oh, should I have contacted Howard Tayler before using his work in an SP-associated manner?

    2. Standard Proglodyte horse manure.

      Gradually infiltrate an institution (in this case, SF/F publishing). Turn it into a private club for their cronies and their own benefit, while claiming to be acting for the benefit of all.

      Prove they cannot run it by a steady decrease in readership and market share, at a time when SF/F themes are growing and dominating other media. (Film, TV, games.)

      Attack, isolate and censor those who point this out (SJW’s.)

      Then agitate to destroy the institution rather than let anyone else undo their damage and prove the prog’s incompetence and malice. (Captain Butthurt Scalzi et al).

  15. I’ll be at Sasquan – too close to me not to make the trip – and it will be fun to listen to the side conversations. It’s nice to see SF returning to it’s storyteller roots, though this is just the first skirmish. The SJW will be back, and they’re going to be bringing reinforcements in the guise of the media. Rather than win hearts and minds with their works, they’ll blacken reputations of the ‘others’.

    1. Oh, yes. If we’re very lucky we’ll get a Law and Order episode. Kate has volunteered for next year, and I’ll take 17 if I have to arm wrestle my fellow evil legionaires for it. And probably Amanda after that, because:
      When you’re wounded and left on sci-fi plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your twitter account and blow out your brains and go to your Marx like a (good leftist) soldier. – Apologies to Rudyard Kipling – Sarah A. Hoyt

          1. It’s part of your charm, dear.
            {{{HUG}}} A good nights’ sleep can cure more ills than most folks realize.

        1. Ah. The readhead at the end of the world. I like that. We need a photo of you posing like the cover of I Will Fear No Evil, though. Strictly for promo posters. (What? Completely straight here, but I have eyes! And an aesthetic sense.)

          1. *wanders off to look at his copy*

            Ah, I see what you mean… Now who are we going to get to pose like the cover of Cally’s War, for the other promo posters?

                    1. I don’t know. I happen to be a sexy beast, I’ll have you know.

                      At least, that’s what I tell my wife. She doesn’t believe it either though. :/

            1. Could get inspiration for the cover: One of Ringo’s daughters. On the other hand I don’t think he’d be happy with it and she might still be a minor. I don’t know how old his daughters are.

      1. I might be available after Cedar. Depends. I got a little good news today between choral shifts that could reduce my totally-free time after August of this year.

    2. If you want to hand out flyers against the No Award campaign I’;; spring for the xeroxing.

  16. Sorry, Sarah, to hear about slowness of recovery and glad to hear Motrin is the speedy little superguy of your recovery.

  17. Prayers, of course. Get your sleep. And then, like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again!

  18. “. If you only drive them away, they can regroup and return…better to destroy them here, destroy them now, so that their evil may not be propagated for at least a generation”

    ^^^ This. The public showed mercy to the likes of Anthony Weiner and Bill Clinton, and they came back like an STD. Throw garlic in the grave, salt the ground, nuke the site from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.

    1. I’d say bury them at a crossroads by moonlight, but that would be a civil service job these days and would never get done in time.

      1. High temperature plasma, like close air support, covereth a multitude of sins.

        1. sounds like my laptop with lubunbtu that keeps resetting the screen locking to on even after installing everything that allows it to lock.

          1. Sigh. My laptop goes through vindictive spells when it resets the outboard monitor resolution.

        1. You’re resorting to the ax too quickly. You have to fight with it a while, build up the anticipation.

    1. I lose my spelling ability when medicated too.

      That reminds me of a story I haven’t read about a witch with that problem …

  19. I can understand how you feel about percocet. After a surgery in 2012, my doctors give me a prescription for it. I soon discovered that it addled my brain and gave me the attention span of a gnat. I quit taking them, preferring the pain instead.

    1. Gah … I had Percocet after surgery, in about 1995 – taking the full prescribed dose had the effect of someone clubbing me into instant unconsciousness. Wham! Out like a light. I backed off from taking the full dose, and finally to splitting the pills into halves and quarters.

      1. Nothing except IV Morphine puts me out. I wish something would. But morphine is too strong to take daily.

  20. >And the idiots who for years have said that this was all because Larry wanted a Hugo owe him a giant apology. Until I see that I’m all out of f*cks to give about their precious hurt feelings.

    Amen, sister!

    And my thoughts and prayers are with you on the recovery. Yes, please get Through Fire off your desk and into our Kindles! Then you can start writing, “If you were a Hugo voter, my love.”

      1. I remember his “It’s not about me getting an award, it is to prove a point” post. The SJWs have run EXACTLY the course he predicted. You know, the one they said they were not doing or would do. That glare to the west is the sun, glinting off his grin.

            1. Hmmm. Punkin Chunkin happens a few miles from me. They got them some fine, fine trebuchets. It shouldn’t be that hard to get one of the trebuchairen (totes a word) to cooperate. Who wants to collect the downrange “Incoming!” video?

  21. Get well Sarah. Reading about all that with the scar tissue and whatnot makes me say wow, no wonder you were down for so long.

    On a lighter note, I am happy to inform you that SCAR TISSUE is an acronym for US CAT RISES. So now that you have gotten rid of the former, maybe the latter will metaphorically be your reincarnated fate going forward. All hail our cat overlords….

    I also will make a suggestion, which are free to ignore of course, which is that you create an SFF/Horror story about an invasion of aliens that take the form of scar tissue. Be afraid, very afraid!!!

  22. Very careful hugs to Sarah, and prayers for her recovery!

    For those who want a dose of politically incorrect fantasy, I highly recommend the season premiere of My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic, “The Cutie Map.” In this two-part episode, the ponies must liberate a creepy conformist village from Marxism, oppression, and brainwashing. There’s even a propaganda musical number.

  23. “…anyone who thinks I’m gloating because authors who’ve been willfully passed over for the Hugos for decades finally got on the ballot graced last year by the sloppy bathos fest “If You Were A Dinosaur My Love” should go lie down. They’re feverish.”

    Coffee spurted through my nose because I was mid-sip when I read this.

  24. Well I can’t get the images to embed, but here are a few quick congratulations to everyone that was nominated and thank you to everyone that made nominations this year.

  25. On Connie being a male name– I’ve got a cousin who was called that, but not since he was able to walk. His name is Conan.

    1. No, he doesn’t look like any of the art-work, but he is a Marine, so I’d probably go with him over a visual translation. 😀

      1. Constantine would work as a man’s name abbreviated to Connie.

        Of course, I named a female cat Clytemnestra just so i could call her Clyde, so reliance on my judgement would be a mark of bad judgement.

      2. A woman is a lot more likely to stick with a nickname anyways, but it just tickled me that I did know a make “Connie”… and am not sure he was potty trained last time he was commonly called that.

        1. That’s all right. I was in my mid-twenties when I mentioned Andre Norton and used ‘her’ as a referring pronoun. Dad said “Wait, what?” He would’ve been past retirement age at the time. It’s not like he cared, since he is a real fan, but he was quite surprised. Goes to show real fans can read all of someone’s work and not know much of anything else about them, and not care.

          1. Wait – what? how can you enjoy a work of art (or even of craft) unless you know the creator DEL>subscribes to the current dogmas is a good* person? Why, you run the risk of inadvertantly liking the works and being infected by the ideas of somebody who just doesn’t care about Social Justice, and then what kind of world do we hav”

            *For certain values of good.

          2. Heck, I read all of MK Wren’s Phoenix Trilogy and assumed that the writer was male … although I did suspect some kind of female input due to the occasional brief disquisition on what the MC’s were wearing. A brief nod to clothing, as a character class indicator is more of a female thing than a male thing. YMMV, though.

  26. Among the John Campbell award finalists is Rolf Nelson. You plugged Rolf’s self-published book last year here and on PJMedia if memory serves.

  27. Sarah,
    FWIW, due to having a number of surgeries and now rheumatoid arthritis, I know about how opiates fog the brain. One thing that seems to have helped me is Phosphotidyserine which a purified form of choline. Lecithin also can help eliminate the fog somewhat in the super sizes. Apparently, Benedryl among other first generation allergy drugs causes a depletion on choline levels–thus fog.

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