I’ve Been To The Desert On A Horse With No Name

And what a long, strange trip it’s been.

And yes, when I heard those in Portugal as a kid I had NO clue they were about drug use.  Heck, it took a lot for me to realize Phillip K. Dick’s novels had drug use.  Yes, I was an innocent little snowflake.

Now considerably less innocent.

So, let’s talk fandom.  I like you guys, obviously.  In fact, I like all of my fans.

I’ve reached the level of name recognition where people embarrass me in my “normal” life, tm.  Like, I’ll be buying something and someone will see the name on my card and say “are you the Sarah Hoyt who–?”  Sometimes it’s for the blog, sometimes is for the books, but every time the person is sweet, polite, nay nice.  Very often they look as normal as everyone else, though they might be Odd and there are often tells for that.

I’ve met fans while at the grocery store, I’ve met fans while having the dishwasher repaired, I’ve met fans while trying to rescue a kitten, I’ve met fans at the laundromat when our washer broke, I’ve met fans when one of the neighborhood power cords frayed, I met fans while checking in to a hotel for a weekend away with my husband, I’ve met fans while having a dress pinned for alterations, and I’ve met fans at the museum.  They seem, by and large, to be well adjusted, normal people with lives and families.

And then there is fandom.  No, no, not truefans, but… close enough.  the people who live, breathe and live for science fiction.  A not inconsiderable cross section of it includes authors, including, alas yours truly.

Sometime ago I was reading the bio of someone who had been a communist early on and who started turning around when he realized “everyone in this room is some nice family’s tragedy.”

Raises hand.  By definition, having married abroad and being very, very weird for a Portuguese chick, I was a burden/puzzle to my family.  A lot of my friends are in the same bandwagon as is a significant section of fandom, possibly including most people here.

Here’s the thing: we were picked on, we stuck out, we had trouble as kids or teens or even young adults.  And we picked ourselves up, turned ourselves around.  Our families might still look aside and say “oh, him,” or “we don’t talk about her” when our names are mentioned, (well, my family turned around when I won a prize, because, hey, other people didn’t think I was crazy.  But all the same.) but we are okay, REALLY.  Most of us have families.  Most of us have jobs.  Most of us are happy and have gotten over the crap we got as teens, except for, of course, preparing our kids to withstand similar onslaught.

I even “get” my family, really.  I mean I had the grades to do anything I wanted (there) and I chose to marry someone (not rich) and move here, and be a writer.  That’s crazy level behavior.  Except I’m okay with it.  I could use more money, but it’s what the Great Move of 2015 was all about.  If we can sell and buy smaller not only do we save money in mortgage, but in heating, cooling.  And time in cleaning.  Now maybe the gambit won’t pay off, but we’re trying.

But apparently there are some people among the really involved fandom who have bigger problems than that.  This is all I’m going to say: I never expected/expect to win a Hugo.  Hell, I never expect to win any awards.  The Prometheus was a shock. I write for me and my fans not for the award.

I didn’t pay much attention — other than avoiding Hugo-winning books like the plague (unless they were written by Connie Willis.) — until they emptied the whole slop pot over Larry with Sad Puppies II.  I hope I’m not falling prey to what Dorothy Grant calls the Myths of Friendship, but I come from a highly tribal culture, in which friendship is a sacred bond.  When you attack my friend, viciously and without any foundation, I’m going to get involved.  Which led to my saying I’d carry SP III, then I got ill and Brad took over and what they did to Brad who is considerably to the left of me and honestly one of the best people I know–

Well.  I thought I was prepared.

I was not prepared for the infantile award show, the cheering of no award and nothing NOTHING could prepare me for the assterisks.

To the science fiction establishment — I’ll help run SP IV because I’d already told Kate Paulk I would help her (she has a full time job and other stuff we don’t need to/I’m not permitted to discuss here.) — if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t even be involving myself in this anymore.  And if you think that’s because you won, you’re wrong.

If I hadn’t fallen in love with Simak and Heinlein, with Bradbury and Asimov at an early age, if I didn’t have fans who love my worlds, and if I didn’t have one of those obligations you can never pay back to Baen, I’d be dusting my sandals and walking away from science fiction and fantasy as one day I walked away from Portugal, as much as I had at one time loved it.  It can be done.  And that show pretending to be representative of my profession and my field gave me a really bit incentive to do it.

I want you to reflect on this.  I love science fiction (and fantasy, but that will always be second.)  I always have.  I kept reading it through the arid years when I had to scrounge the entire bookstore to find ONE book worth reading.  I’ve bought books — some of them by people involved in that sorry spectacle on Saturday — when I didn’t have money for food.

If you drive me out, yeah, your power and the power of your little clique will be safe.  Indeed. BUT IF YOU DRIVE ME OUT YOU’RE DRIVING OUT YOUR BUYING PUBLIC.

About 20 years ago, I had this suspicion that most small sf magazines (guidelines: read us and see what we like) were kept afloat by people desperate for that first sale, that most big name name magazines had about 1/2 subscription from would be writers, and that most sf/f books that didn’t break out of the niche were bought ONLY by people hoping to sell to the publishing house.

I don’t know how accurate that is.  It was just a gut feeling.  And I never seemed to run into any enthusiasm for the books themselves, only for either the writer (if you were currying favor with such) or the book as “what are they buying now” signal.

Then I started working for Baen 12 years ago, and my first few weeks on the bar, I think I actually said, “So this is where the book lovers went.”

There are tons of people who don’t even write, but read.  Avid readers, who know the history of the field and like discussing THE BOOKS.

But they weren’t involved in that sad spectacle last week.  In fact most of us are still shaking our heads at it.

Which brings me to: congratulations.  You probably achieved at least half of your objective — to drive out the people who don’t think/act like you and aren’t part of your groups.  It is heartily to be hoped you won’t live to regret it, but don’t bet on it.

So, the show over, and once I’d gotten over being both mad and sad but mostly sad, we started discussing (Kate and Amanda and I) operational details for next year.  Stuff like how many noms, where do we get recommends, do all three of us have to read something before we recommend it, and oh, yeah, logo? patches? t-shirts?  Incredibly threatening stuff like that, you know?  Since Kate, Amanda and I routinely PM and send each other scads of emails everyday (otherwise known as being ‘thick as thieves’) including on all important topics such as “that cute thing the cat did yesterday”, it barely rose above the ambient noise.

So imagine our surprise when Kate got hacked on facebook, not once, not twice but three times in a 24 hour period and her account started spamming sunglass adds.  Coincidence?  I don’t know guys.  One time, maybe.  But three times, when Kate has pretty d*mn good security?  Bah.

Then Mary Robinette Kowal went after me for being racist by using Chicom.  (Which she somehow still thinks I applied to Cixin Liu — partly because she can’t convince herself he’s not a good communist.  I mean, I have no idea what he is.  He lives in China, so there is a minimum of compliance required of him.  But I know the book was among other things a blistering denunciation of the Cultural Revolution.  And besides, grammatically, I was clearly NOT REFERRING TO HIM.)

She also cherry-picked the ONE dictionary that said it was “derogatory” to claim it’s racist.  This is what’s known as “battle space preparation, I guess.”  Stupid one.  In fact, part of what has been shocking to me is the utter level of stupidity in these attacks.  Guys, when I last dealt with socialists and communists, they were brighter than this.  But I guess it takes being a fanatic to be a true believer after the fall of the SovUnion (Oh, look, another racial slur.  I’m fairly sure it must be one, since it’s a contraction.)  Also, there is such a thing as 3rd generation blight in would-be revolutionary movements.  The first are original thinkers, striking out against the establishment, but by the fourth you have the good boys and girls who just follow what they were told, with no more thought than baby duckling following momma.  This for some reason results in people so dumb that they could give fifteenth generation inbred nobility a run for their money.  Part of why you get hellholes like Cuba and North Korea.  (Yeah, yeah, I know, racist.  But then what isn’t.)

So, Mary Three Names gave me an “apology” which I think would convince a toddler.  A lot of “I forgive you little brown girl for not knowing the word is racist” — I might have paraphrased, but read the original here — and I refuse to accept her kind condescension and whitesplaining.  I’d like to serve warning, though I normally don’t brag about it because I think it correlates poorly to things like building a decent cabinet or managing your finances, that I do have a Mensa card somewhere in the moving boxes and even if I don’t find it and have to renew to post it, you should realize that I AM NEITHER STUPID NOR BORN YESTERDAY.  She manages to claim I “introduced her to a new ethnic slur” yet she wasn’t calling me racist (“I did not have relations with that connotative meaning”) and also that she knows the meaning better than I and all dictionaries out there (derogatory doesn’t mean towards race) and also, reasons, including I’m sure her milky white complexion and liberal-privilege.  Seriously?  That is your go to game?  And your followers are of this caliber?

“@MaryRobinette Offense is defined by the person at whom the comment/slur is directed. Intention isn’t…
twitter.com|By Jack Teng (Author)

Yes, indeed.  He goes on to say intention isn’t important.  So if I use the word, say “potato” and you decide it refers to you and your sub-race or whatever, I’m immediately using a racist slur?

Ah, yeah, no.  That’s not even a logical fallacy.  It’s a stompy foot fallacy from entitled, privileged totalitarians, aka a Red Queen fallacy.  Hint, she was not the hero of the book, okay.  (Oh, and also she wasn’t Native American, just in case you are/decide to play that stupid.)
In fact, I’d like to explain Curds and Whey Mary that the words “racist” and “ethnic slur” also have undergone a change in meaning.  As a linguist (check it, madame) I’m very sensitive to these shifts.  Now it means “I’m winning an argument with a dumb ass so called liberal, but really leftist who is trying to shut me up.”  You know how these things go.  It’s a living language.
Would you believe me I’m not so much angry as disbelieving?  Yeah I’ll make her the butt of everyone’s ridicule if she keeps attacking me and mine (Chill, I found a way to do it that won’t even consume that much time) BUT what upsets me most is the level of “thinking” and “discussion” on display from people who are professionals in my field.
Look, I grew up in a village where you might be poor as churchmice (not true, those were richer) but your curtains are ironed and mended, and your doorstep is VERY VERY VERY clean.  Even if there’s nothing on the table past the curtains.
Metaphorically speaking, this past week our genre in the person of award winning authors, has been hanging out ragged curtains covered in grease stains.  Because they’ve been displaying a lack of understanding of English and even social behavior that would stun middle schoolers.
In signs of hope, some of the opponents of puppies are displaying SOME awareness.  Just like in the mid-78 or so you couldn’t find anyone who had voted for Jimmah Carter, now suddenly, after all the public bragging about not reading any Puppy-nominated books, after the websites for Noah Ward, you can’t find a single leftist who voted Noah Ward without reading.  I’d say this calls for an audit.  I mean, all those non-existing people, voting in a block, it’s like our precincts where more people voted than live there, right?
In other words, I don’t believe them, but at least they have the self-awareness to know they did wrong or at least that other people are shocked at their behavior.
Okay — with all this, I’ve been kind of unsettled.  I”ve also been battling the mother of all auto-immune attacks, that had me literally with raw flesh all over my arms, my back and my belly.  Now this might not seem too bad (some of you saw me with a bad attack at Liberty con a few years back.  Multiply that by 10) but it comes with asthma and joint pains, which means it’s very tiring and makes it hard to concentrate.
Notwithstanding that, I’ve finished the Black Tide Antho Short (Do No Harm)  and am trying to finish Green Eggs and Spam and Thy Mother’s Sins which are overdue.
Then I’ll finish Darkship Revenge and Witch’s Daughter, in whichever order, or possibly at same time.
Right now, I’m going to have some coffee.  And maybe later today there will be zoo, if the Mathematician can leave the taxes be long enough.  Who knows?
Or maybe we’ll do that tomorrow, because we have to go to Denver to see a friend.
Meanwhile maybe some boxes will get unpacked.  And maybe I’ll find time to curl with cats and a good (or even so so) book.
Because at the end of all this, the books are what matters.  The books and the stories.  That’s what brought me into the genre, and it’s the last thread holding me onto it. I must remember that.

631 thoughts on “I’ve Been To The Desert On A Horse With No Name

  1. I have two words FUBAR and TOBASH.
    FUBAR is F***** Up Beyond All Repair.
    TOBASH is Take Out Back And Shoot in Head.
    This is the sum of wisdom I wish to share at this point in time.

    1. As far as I am concerned, the World Science Fiction Society which controls the Hugo Awards is TOBASH. (Metaphorically speaking). They can go to guess where and take their precious award with them.

      I thought, given the success of the SP3 in getting nominations on the ballot, that there was a chance that they would get some awards. But I think this counts as “successful beyond your worst nightmares” type of victory.
      I thought that there were enough members who were as independent-minded as they claim to be that, that the cries for “No Award to the Puppies” would come in second or third place. I was wrong.

      I entirely support the effort to collect a good recommendations list in SP4. I have no faith that it will restore the Hugo awards. Sasquan demonstrated pretty clearly that the Powers that Be are too corrupt, too much invested in the conversion of SF to the cause of “progressive” politics, and too powerful within their own domain to ever let that happen. Nevertheless, they must be opposed.

      1. Confutus said: ” I entirely support the effort to collect a good recommendations list in SP4. I have no faith that it will restore the Hugo awards. Sasquan demonstrated pretty clearly that the Powers that Be are too corrupt, too much invested in the conversion of SF to the cause of “progressive” politics, and too powerful within their own domain to ever let that happen. Nevertheless, they must be opposed.”

        So I am a SJW progressive. I went over to Making LIght and tried to get them to see the light they were making. Basically this slating stuff will be good for one more year and then, Meh.

        So I tried to get them to go for a counter slate. They are not having any of it. Slates make them throw up. But hey – if you guys are going to do it, I would like to make suggestions for the slate. You guys need some help.

        How is this going to work? Who collects the names? Is there like a pre-slate with the run off.

        Or you could have a great big slate of say 20 entries per category. You want be able to freep the process that way, but it would be way cooler.

        1. Yeah, we’re going to have a “Slate” — it’s called a list of suggestions. As proven by the vote that’s all we did. Making Light does its deeds in the dark. Sure they hate slates… The last few years PROVE it. PROVE it, I say.
          And thank you for the suggestion. One of the things we REALLY like is getting these suggestions from our opponents. We know they have kindness and empathy for us in their deepest hearts. Yeah. Also, look, since the moon is made of candy floss, do you want a piece?

          1. Does that mean you don’t want suggestions for the slate? Cause GRRM was making noises that we should all get along and reconciliation and such as that. I don’t think that is in the cards but he seems to think it’s possible. What do you think?

            On the astronomy conjecture, I don’t think that is correct about the moon. I suggest we skip the science topics. I notice at MHI that these puppy discussions tend to drift and lord knows science is probably not something we should tackle.

              1. Sweetie, you really need to get yourself a bit more sun. You look downright pale in that painting.

              2. A suggestion for an o so threatening t-shirt. Possibly a pattern like this http://shop.webomator.com/retropolis/retropolis-transit-authority.php?category=Retropolis T-Shirts&start=55&product=1004663026&name=Space Pirate (Rockets) T-Shirt&per_page=9&type_filter=all
                with a skull more like the one on Doc’s store logo http://docsshop.storenvy.com//
                and a quote on the back like :
                The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
                Albert Einstein

          2. Question – from a tactical point of view, if we ran our own election/nomination process first and came out with only a single recommendation for each category, would our resulting set of recommendations (one per category) have a better chance of beating the “No Award” crowd? I recognizing the process of reducing all the candidates into a single recommendation would be $!@# painful, but if we need focus to beat them, might that help avoid dilution of the Sad Puppy vote over several entries?

            If it does not, then please disregard the suggestion. I must admit, I have not spent enough time studying the Hugo voting process to know if this is a reasonable suggestion or no …

            And thank you for your writing and trying to fight the good fight.

              1. You can herd cats with a big enough piece of tuna; this lot isn’t swayed by dead fish being thrown at them.

            1. In theory, pushing just one would be more effective.

              Problem being that we’ve got a lot of people who love books, so we’ll vote for stuff we love instead of stuff we’re “supposed” to….

        2. You must be a glutton for punishment to show up here after getting smacked off Larry’s blog.

        3. “Slates make them throw up”
          Except if it’s a “No Awards to Puppies” slate. I don’t think it matters how many or how few or what kind of recommendations are proposed on what basis by SP4. If the wrong people like it, it can’t be any good. That’s what some of them have said, that’s how they voted, and so I take it, that’s what they mean.

        4. Except according to various individuals who have been involved in fandom for a very long time including your own beloved GRR Martin. Slates have always been around, and the numbers say they were so small that one little clique ruled them to the point they could guarantee awards (do a quick Google for Stephen King’s reaction to ‘come sit with me at dragon con and I will get you a hugo’). So quit beating the dead horse of the slate. You only care because you didn’t like the people who made recommendations (not even you don’t like the recommendations, just the people who made them and every action you have taken has reinforced this as maliciously as possible). You don’t like it because there were enough to knock down the cushy system that existed. Making Light only doesn’t like it because it wasn’t THEIR slate. But you havering fool can’t be bothered with thought, or analysis or honesty or integrity. You are at best a fool and at at worst a groveling toady whose honor is in pawn to the powers he wishes to placate, willing to become less at their demand rather than finding a master who demands he become more.

      2. Shine the light of the rest of the world on them. One prominent puppykicker writes Star Wars media tie-ins. Will he/she/xe/wtf be willing snarl quite so loudly if there are a host of SW fan sites, artists (pro and fan), and related works on the ballot? And, yes, there are SW sites that compare quite well in quality to the best and the typical recognized by the Hugos.

      3. “I have no faith it will restore the Hugo awards.”

        I must agree, painful as that is – though I will support SP4. But this isn’t about the Hugos, it’s about WorldCon and WorldCon isn’t about the fans anymore. The fans are all off at DragonCon, and the other big cons that welcome them. The WorldCon that I saw in 2013 was pretty anti-fan, and I think that’s been a trend for a long time now. No energy, nothing to see or get excited about.

  2. It’s funny. When I see a reference to the Red Queen Fallacy, all I can think of is the Red Queen Hypothesis from ecosystem biology/botany (the race between plants trying not to be eaten and herbivores trying to work around the plants’ defenses). There’s probably something either profound there, or even slightly on topic, but I just spent an hour helping my parents clean out a storage space that has not been opened for 21 years. I have terrible dust allergies. And I forgot a dust mask or bandanna. *ah-CHOOO. Sniff* Have a lovely time in Denver!

      1. ^^^^^
        The Red Queen Substrate Wars 1 is free on Amazon right now–just went over there to check out the book. Premise is fascinating and reviews are positive backed up with why they liked the book.

  3. Take care of yourself. And screw the idiot liberals — they’re not just ignorant; they’re stupid and willfully ignorant. Trying to show them that they proved the Sad Puppies right is like trying to explain what the theory of evolution actually says to a Young Earth Creationist. It’s exhausting and the only reason you do it is for the undecideds in the audience, not the idiots you’re actually directing your words towards. 🙂

    — G.K.

          1. Even if they’re STD-free, don’t stick it in the crazy! The crazy might stick to you!

            Oh, if only people could remember this in the middle of hormones and alcohol, sleep deprivation and raw hope…

      1. Mother told me, yes, she told me I’d meet girls like you
        She also told me, “Stay away, you’ll never know what you’ll catch”
        Well just the other day I heard a soldier falling off
        Some Indonesian junk that’s going round…

        I denounce myself.

              1. It’s the carp cannon. Stings a mite.

                I can’t take it. I surrender to the dream police. Ain’t that a shame.

        1. Father says, “Your mother’s right, she’s really up on things
          Before we married, Mommy served in the WACS in the Philippines”
          Now, I had heard the WACS recruited old maids for the war
          But mommy isn’t one of those, I’ve known her all these years

          That Soldier’s falling off might scare me.

      2. Never, ever screw the idiot SJWs.

        Well, if we can’t use screws, what then? Staples? A nail gun?

          1. Bind them in the inherent contradictions of their arguments.

            Gag them with their own lies.

            Flog them with the illogic of their assertions.

            Drench them in the cold water of reality.

            1. That presumes that they are capable of feeling discomfort at contradiction, that they have not convinced themselves that their lies are not sweet, that they have not already embraced illogic as a refutation of logic’s association with the culture they hate so deeply, and that with their heads so turned, their senses so dulled, and reason herself banished, that they could sense reality itself.

              See, that’s what I want to say, but there’s a part of me that’s concerned that maybe I’m just not hearing them. Some piece of me thinks “maybe we’re talking past each other because I’m not really understanding what they’re saying”.

              1. Or the Occam’s Razor possibility: You heard and understood them perfectly. Which is why you’re pointing, laughing, and making duck noises.

      3. “Never, ever screw the idiot SJWs.”

        Fortunately, I don’t have a “thing” for rainbow haired she-twinks.

          1. Sorry – but he took your brand and ran your slate and provided your voters. As Kate says – you are all VD, AMEN?

            1. No, really no. Kate says that because you demonize us all. The slate was completely different, and it was RABID puppies. Also, you’re a disingenuous concern troll. By the way “social justice” presumes to punish people for crimes they didn’t commit. In other words, it’s injustice that is used to cover up white liberal privilege. Or in your language quack quack quack quack.

              1. What are you quacking about.

                Sad Puppies – Rabid puppies . Sorry – I read your forums. You all seem to be Tea Puppies to me. It’s a mixed breed.

                And Kate says that because she has some goofy conspiracy theory about “would be power brokers”. You guys are all fighting the “power brokers”. Actually these are WorldCon Fans that bestow an award by vote as they see fit. As GRRM points there are no SJWs. Only Fans and Puppies.

                I would like to have input on the next slate because my guys won’t do one. You have to admit the pup contribution to final ballot did kind of suck. All though that Guardian was a good pick. Do more of that.

                  1. Remember: 1) He lies. 2) If you detect a lie, he will double down on his next lie. 3) Since all SJWs are dim-wittedly alike, he is *projecting* his darkest shames onto you.

                    That said, considering the topic all y’all were on, I thought the VD comment was his funniest and best yet.

                1. “You all seem to be Tea Puppies to me.”

                  “Them darkies all look the same to me!”

                  You’re a bigot, SJW75126. Perhaps you don’t realize you are. I’m sure you don’t think you are. But you are.

                  1. Better tea than Kool_Ade (or Flavor-Ade).

                    I am unsure if I should be amused or horrified at some folks seemingly trying to out-dumb an ox, says the ox.

                2. Sad Puppies – Rabid puppies . Sorry – I read your forums. You all seem to be Tea Puppies to me. It’s a mixed breed.

                  So the problem is your tiny overheated little head. As usual.

            2. I guess you’ve never seen the Kirk Douglas version of “Spartacus” to not get Kate’s reference, nor ever heard it referenced.

              Um, I guess you never get out of your mama’s basement, do you?

                1. I’m in favor. Frankly, I think you should give folks just a little grace period (we’ve had a few bystanders get winged) and then apply the banhammer more liberally than usual. I’m with Chris on this: I’m tired of dealing with SJWs, their antics, their allies, our frustrations, how we’ve been mistreated… I want a change of pace, a return to the usual insanity that passes for normalcy here. I’m not saying forget what we want to accomplish and why, just don’t let them drag us to their level of myopia and grumpiness. I have a post I’ve been mulling over for days on the subject of being a happy warrior, I’ll see if I can knock it into shape soon. For now, ban the boring troll and let’s do something fun. Heck, put up a flash fic (NOT slash *wink*) prompt, 200 word limit, and let the Horde bang on that for a bit. Or something else, I don’t know. Better for us, and more fun.

                  1. If only he had something new or interesting to say. Regrettably it’s just the same old recycled crap from the usual places.

                2. I wouldn’t, not unless he starts being overtly obnoxious or troll-ish. So far he’s just disagreeing, but being reasonably polite about it.

                3. Probably any time they announce they are from File666 or a self-proclaimed SJW they should be banned. While baiting them is fun, like her SJWsplaining your ignorance in lieu of an apology from Mary-3-Names, too many of your posters here being used to the give and take discourse, try to actually *reason* with the trolls. The trolls are of course incapable of reason. We should all be using our energies towards an SPIV victory, and the trolls noise and chatter is distracting.

              1. Is it even worth pointing out that Kirk’s movie was written by Dalton “Hollywood 10” Trumbo, based on the novel by Howard “Member of the Communist Party, 1943 – 56) Fast, begun while serving time for contempt of Congress in 1947?

                Probably not – their ignorance of their own History is almost as profound as their ignorance of economics.

              2. After the one who didn’t realize Khan was quoting Ahab from Moby Dick written by Melville I don’t expect them to get any reference that isn’t Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or under 20 years old.

                If they had even decent knowledge of sci-fi discussion of non-binary gender would include a line something like, “Jack Chalker proved that including such gender categories in your novels on a regular basis does not inherently make your works less salable or popular”.

            3. he took your brand
              Imitated it, under a different banner = not our circus

              and ran your slate
              Not a slate, simply parallel notice of good works. You might as well claim the “Fans” ran our endorsement of Guardians of the Galaxy” and Three Body Problem.

              and provided your voters….
              Allegation of fact not in evidence = not our monkeys.

            1. How hard would it be to knock together some name badges that all say, “Noah Ward”. Everyone wear a bowler hat and black suit a la Thomas Crown.

        1. How … curious. As you are so well informed, please tell us what is our agenda, what are our criteria for liking stories?

    1. I would disagree with that assessment. A YEC will gladly learn what evolution actually says–now, start talking interpretation of Genesis, and then the stubborn kicks in.

    2. The thng about Creationists, is that Creationism was created to combat Evolution Faith; the belief that Evolution, a directional force with volition, was the driving force of the world. As such they are no better prepared to argue with somebody who really understands Darwin’s theory of The Origin of Species than the Evolutionists are prpared to argue with somebody with a real background on Theology who asks why Evolution cannot be the tool that God used.

      1. There’s been a couple of times when a die-hard evolutionist was preparing to get all huffy with me upon finding out that I’m a person of faith. The expressions on their faces when I calmly said “Actually, I’m pretty sure evolution was what God used…”

        Although in fairness, at least one of them was delighted, and we had a very nice chat.

        1. One of the reasons I can’t totally abandon the idea of a Creator is the number of creatures that, let’s face it, look very much like somebody started with a reasonable critter, and started playing with the sliders.

          “Ooooh. That’s a nice looking antelope. Kinda long legs and neck. Wonder what happens if I push ‘bone length’ to the max.”


        2. Why equate Young Earth Creationists with people of faith? To my experience, most SJWs aren’t exactly of a religious bent.

          It takes an SJW to believe that men and women are identical except for some bits of plumbing. Only in a 6000 year old world would the sexes have not yet developed their own sex-specific reproductive strategies or differentiate psychologically in any way.

          1. Ah, but SJWs are people of faith. The faith is rotten to the core, but they hold it dear. Nearly everything they propose is a matter of faith, not onservable fact, and when the facts on the ground oppose their faith, they ignore the facts.

      2. Actually, Creationism is a recurring choice to interpret the Bible’s reference to days of Creation as literal 24 hour days. St. Augustine complained about it, Tyconius complained about it, and I believe various Jewish authorities complained about it as being against traditional interpretation.

        But you are right about the weaknesses of the latest manifestation.

        1. Yes…Orthodox Christian teaching since the early Church has seen Genesis as allegorical as much as literal and not just the first two Chapters. In fact, get some (admittedly more radical) Orthodox theologians talking and you’ll get discussion of how Eve isn’t necessary in the story of the Fall of Man and may be allegorical herself . Only Adam is truly required. You get hints of this in one of the Orthodox interpretations of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Orthodox love to interpret Biblical tales on multiple levels).

          Don’t ask me to explain it…I know where the bounds of Eastern Orthodox theology are but I’m still working on understanding the middle.

          1. Funny thing about that — Genesis described the Big Bang in concepts available to its readership:

            Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, a self-described agnostic, stated, “The seed of everything that has happened in the Universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the Universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion. It was literally the moment of Creation. …The Universe flashed into being, and we cannot find out what caused that to happen.” As stated, this conclusion is distressing to atheistic scientists. To observe a reaction and not be able to document the cause is unsettling.

            Jastrow concludes, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

            But pay no attention to that Deity behind that curtain.

          2. And yet all of modern man can be traced back to one woman, a literal mitochondrial Eve.

            The stuff the Planck Institute is turning out is interesting: DNA evidence that modern man (outside of Africa) has 3-5% neanderthal DNA. (Just like Elizabeth Warren and I have 3-5% Cherokee DNA… the loser’s remant.) Then there’s the Denisovans, by all appearances a predecessor to the Neanderthal. It looks like they were pushed off mainland Eurasia by Neanderthal, but were also capable of breeding with both Neanderthals and modern humans.

            So much for speciation and the evolutionary chart. At this point the fossil record is showing it’s weakness. Sure, they look like different species, but how do we know they actually were? For all we know, modern man would be perfectly capable of breeding with homo habilis (after a few drinks). Going by the bones, you’d think a wolf and a chihuahua were different species. Why make the same sort of assumptions about other animals?

            For the record, I’m of the “created, then began adapting/evolving” school. The mathematics of single cell animal to complex animals doesn’t work. Earth isn’t old enough to get there on its own. So… we weren’t on our own.

            The so very Aryan Adam-n-Eve is such an easy strawman to beat up on, though. For all we know Adam and Eve has tails.

            1. Well… the MEve thing is a matter of assuming she MUST be there, and calculating what’d take for her to be there…

              That said, I am highly amused at the Neanderthal thing, because I can remember some vague theories folks had about Cain and people who weren’t people, and then I look at the Neanderthal DNA….

              *sings* Half of my blood is Cain’s blood…..

        2. The problem with literal 24 hour days, is that a ‘day’ exists somewhere on the planet for 48 hours. Sit on the moon (SJW75126 ignore this) and the ‘day’ last a month. Even the Earth had no ‘land’ until the 3rd day, so apparently God, the Trinity was literally Three aspects of the Almighty in a Boat (someone should write a book).
          God was not explaining to cosmological trained quantum gravity physicists, but to shepherds tending their flock; and even the first group would have to be given a ‘simplified’ explanation of creation.
          Kind of like explaining the internal combustion engine to a 3-year old (or a SJW). Explanations have to be tailored to the intelligence of the listener, and an omniscient being will always have to compromise when speaking to our limited intelligence.

          1. Ah, I notice you missed what St. Augustine noted: furthermore, days differ on differing sides of Earth. Therefore the mornings and evenings of Genesis must be figurative, because where it’s morning somewhere, it’s evening somewhere else.

            1. But a lot of numbers and time periods in the Bible are poetically vague or have symbolic meanings, depending on context. And that is not modern information, either. But modern people tend to treat numbers and dates like data instead of poetry, so it throws us off.

              To be crude, it would like someone finding a text about doing number one and number two in the bathroom, and assuming it was about someone drawing a number 1 and a number 2.

              1. And, really, the Bible is, even if we accept it as Holy Writ, the final result of several thousand years of oral tradition, plus several translations, all effected by contemporary politics. And once you get back through that, you have the Word of God, as tailored to the understanding of a tribe of sub-literate sheep herders.

                It HAS to the allegory. We don’t have the understanding to comprehend the process of creating the Universe NOW.

                And, if you get right down to it, the difference in level of understanding between the ancient Jews and Modern Scientific Man may well be so small that the Creator doesn’t see the point of having another shot at explaining.

                I’m an agnostic. I see to much Art in the world to not believe in an Artist. At the same time, all the sects I know of blow my ability to accept and believe on one point or another.

                At the same time, I note that no other religion seems to be as good a basis for a society as Protestant Christianity. Islam produces dung-heaps. The Hindus have that repulsive caste system. Catholicism seems to produce aristocracies and Peasants. Buddhism sounds wonderful, and is the foundation of societies where most people are peasants, and the peasants are treated like farm animals.

                Don’t start me on Socialism, Communism, and Environmentalism. Just. Don’t.

                The Jews do OK, but the only society they founded is under permanent siege (at least until WE wise up), and I still prefer Protestantism.

                1. Exactly why do you think oral tradition is somehow an obstacle to being the Word of God? C.S. Lewis included the transmitters and the canonizers among those under divine influence.

                  1. C P Schofield,

                    Some of us believe that the Bible is the Word of God directly from him to Moses. There is of course the Oral Law, but the Torah (what most people call the Bible) is the Written Law. This is a matter of faith as the Mystery of the Trinity is for Christians.

                2. C P Schofield,

                  Some of us believe that the Bible is the Word of God directly from him to Moses. There is of course the Oral Law, but the Torah (what most people call the Bible) is the Written Law. This is a matter of faith as the Mystery of the Trinity is for Christians.

                3. I see to much Art in the world to not believe in an Artist.

                  Please do not fall into the error of blaming the Artist for how people display His work. Even the Sistine Chapel has become obscure from centuries of the burning of the censers.

                  Most of the Christian doctrines offer (ultimately) the same answer: accept salvation. While they generally disagree on the finer points of how to do this they are like martinis: what counts is not the way you mix the drinks, what counts is the vodka.

          2. There was a more or less shaggy dog story long ago, maybe Astounding, in which Moses has started with super string theory. Aaron says it’s hard enough transcribing with Moses stuttering and they are leaving papyrus behind so he doesn’t have room to write all that, so simplify and by all means shorten it. So Moses starts over with the text as we know it.

            1. The version that I heard has Aaron asking Moses “Do you know how much papyrus costs?” [Wink]

            2. I remember Isaac Asimov wrote it. And observed in the collection where I read it that he had hoped to do a bunch, but inspiration dried up.

              1. Don’t have the story here but the way I remember it was “How many pages do you have?” and the reply was “7”. It was literally decades ago, and I may be misremembering.

        3. If you look at the larger picture, the Six Days of Creation followed by “God resting on the seventh day” was designed largely as a poetic metaphor to teach that the Sabbath is an integral element of creation itself, built into the very structure of the rhythm of the universe, as well as the rhythm of our lives from the very beginning itself.

          The contention over literal 24 hour days or not is a total bird walk away from the flow and spirit of the text, because Genesis 1 was not written as a science text, but as poetry.

              1. And you’ve just revealed the dark heart of faith. Believers of other religions with other gods believe exactly as you do, and it’s purely a matter of belief which has prior claim; as if priority mattered. You passionately believe that *your* version is right and their’s utterly wrong; they passionately believe theirs is right and yours is utterly wrong. Why is one preferred ? Only by faith, but you BOTH have that…

                And if you resort to allegory, anything and everything can be allegorical at many levels. If you go by age priority, Buddhism is far older in its traditions than any of the jewish derived religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and equally capable (if not more so !) of being allegorically interpreted as explaining anything that a person may desire.

                    1. The deeper I dig into science of all fields the more evidence I find. But they’re fingerprints not sign posts so a lot of folks go ‘oh that’s just a smudge’. (pardon the metaphor)

                1. “And you’ve just revealed the dark heart of faith.”

                  That would be YOUR faith. The Christ told us specifically to teach to all who would hear; after that, the decision was theirs, and the result was God’s business. We should simply leave. OTOH, we are not to adopt any other faith, including the Left’s faith in the State, and are authorized to defend ourselves until He returns to do it for us. Don’t start none, won’t be none.

                2. Believers of other religions with other gods believe exactly as you do

                  Only if you simplify it down to nothingness; if you don’t, it’s a translation error.

                3. Let me defer to a master on the topic. Here’s C.S. Lewis explaining myth vs. true myth:

                  Now what Dyson and Tolkien showed me was this: that if I met the idea of sacrifice in a Pagan story I didn’t mind it at all: again, that if I met the idea of a god sacrificing himself to himself (cf. the quotation opposite the title page of Dymer) I liked it very much and was mysteriously moved by it: again, that the idea of the dying and reviving god (Balder, Adonis, Bacchus) similarly moved me provided I met it in anywhere except the Gospels. The reason was that in Pagan stories I was prepared to feel the myth as profound and suggestive of meanings beyond my grasp even tho’ I could not say in cold prose ‘what it meant’.

                  Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened: and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God’s myth where the others are men’s myths: i.e. the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He founded there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call ‘real things’. Therefore it is true, not in the sense of being a ‘description’ of God (that no finite mind could take in) but in the sense of being the way in which God chooses to (or can) appear to our faculties. The ‘doctrines’ we get out of the true myth are of course less true: they are the translations into our concepts and ideas of that wh. God has already expressed in a language more adequate, namely the actual incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. Does this amount to a belief in Christianity? At any rate I am now certain (a) That this Christian story is to be approached, in a sense, as I approach the other myths. (b) That it is the most important and full of meaning. I am also nearly certain that it really happened.

          1. “The contention over literal 24 hour days or not is a total bird walk away from the flow and spirit of the text, because Genesis 1 was not written as a science text, but as poetry.”

            Science and Religion address different basic questions; if you approach either to address the other’s questions, your answers will be wrong, and irrelevant at best, destructive at worst.

          2. Also, if you follow the poem to its conclusion there is a very strong implication that the 7th day is on going: There is no refrain, no ‘morning and evening’.

    3. Speaking as someone who was very much an undecided a couple of years ago, all their shenanigans definitely made me decided!

      1. Before, it was a curiosity and stand back and watch and hope for better stories, where there might be a message or such, but it’s not the Prime Reason for the Text.

        Now its, about being lied to, about, and worse having my friends lied about. Yeah, that makes the decision easy.

    4. Every now and then you can find a young earth creationist that you can talk to. I have met ONE. I married him. (2 hour discussion that didn’t result in either of us wanting to throttle the other…)

  4. Have a nice relaxing time with the coffee and book (and cats, I’m so jelly). You’ve earned it.

    1. Is it worth the waiting for?
      If we live for eighty four
      All we ever get is pap!
      Everyday we say our prayer —
      Will they change the bill of fare?
      Still we get the same old pap!
      There’s not a crust, not a crumb can we find,
      But there’s nothing to stop us from getting a thrill
      When we all close our eyes and imagine

      Books, glorious books!
      Hot pulps and mystery!
      While we’re in the mood —
      True crime and history
      Jane Austen and Sarah Hoyt
      What next is the question?
      Rich gentlemen have it, boys —
      in digestion

      Books Glorious books
      We’re anxious to try ’em
      Three stories a day
      Our favorite diet
      Just picture a great big novel
      E-ed, recorded, or printed
      Oh books! magical books! wonderful
      books! marvelous books!

      What wouldn’t we give for
      That extra bit more
      That’s all we live fore
      Why should we be fated to do
      Nothing but brood on books
      Magical books,
      Wonderful books,
      marvelous books,
      beautiful books,
      Books, Glorious books, glorious books

      What are we waiting for? BOOOOOOOKKKS!

        1. Or “F*** Me, Ray Bradbury.” I always thought that one was the Hugo equivalent of a limerick winning the Pulitzer.

          1. Nominating FMRC was a perfectly appropriate snide comment on the state of the Hugos. Unfortunately only a few of us got the humor.

  5. Wait, “The Horse With No Name” is about drugs????

    Okay, my world has been officially rocked.

    I’m apparently more innocent than you were, and I haven’t been a “kid” for about a quarter century now.

      1. As far as I know the song was more about the group coming to terms with their own fame and and a bunch of random ideas that came together and worked out as a song. Supposedly the horse and desert in question were from two pictures hanging in the recording studio were the band was working on the song. That combined with one of the band member’s memories of growing up in Arizona somehow melded together to create a song. it’s an understandable mistake to make though, since though the song wasn’t about drugs, the reason for its oddly repetitive word choices and downright banal lyrics is that the writer was supposedly stoned at the time.

        So while drugs, specifically pot, may have played a large role in the writing the song, the song itself wasn’t actually about drugs.

        Sorry for the little mini-rant. It’s just that the assumption that every strange song is about drugs is a pet peeve of mine.

        1. This is akin to imagining the phrase “Puff the magic dragon” is about marijuana smoking.

          in my experience, drug abusers share with pedophiles the belief that everybody living shares their little vice, if they would but admit it.

          Sometimes a cigar is only a cigar.

          1. My favorite explanation of a song that is “obviously ” about drugs, is the one concerning I Am The Walrus, which say that John was so annoyed to discover that school children were being asked to “interpret” his lyrics that we essentially wrote the song as a “Interpret THIS, pillocks!”

            I hope it’s true. I would think better of the man who fell so far as to write Imagine.

                1. Not really. ‘Serve Yourself’ was his parody of Bob Dylan’s ‘Serve Somebody’. The latter is a song from Dylan’s (brief) Christian period, and makes the point that between Heaven and Hell, there is no true neutrality – those who think they can stay out of it are fooling themselves. Lennon countered that Heaven and Hell mean nothing, and all that counts is self-gratification.

          2. I recall a B&W short film by Woody Allen, a parody of some Swedish director, people playing badminton with Death, later having dinner and one man asks another (in subtitles), “Would you like a phallic symbol?”

          3. I thought it was about putting miniguns in a transport aircraft and pounding your enemies into snail snot… Oh well.

            1. My two favorite aircraft:

              Look at a gun the size of a Volkswagen and say “let’s make it fly.”

              Look at a rough-field cargo plane and say “let’s hang a bunch of guns off of it, including a howitzer.”

          1. I’m pretty sure Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” really is about a drug. Unlike “Puff the Magic Dragon” or “Horse With No Name.”

        2. Just did a quick Google around to remind myself. The guys in “America” said pretty much what you did–except for the fame part. They hadn’t gotten much of it yet. In fact, they say they started out writing about the desert, hoping to find a subject interesting to their US and European audiences. (The original title was “Desert Song.”

          I always thought of it as a kind of hymn to highway hypnotism–that kind of fascination with your surroundings that comes when you have hours to let it soak in (because you can’t do anything else).

      2. “Horse” is definitely about heroin. There are so many hard drug slang terms. “man with the golden arm” is heroin addict who has injected the dollar equivalent of a pound of gold into his arm. First mainstream use, Nelson Algren. Leonard Cohen uses the phrase so it could mean either addict and dealer or gambler.

        1. The 1970 Richard Harris movie A Man Called Horse is a clear metaphor about heroin use by Native Americans. This is merely one of the many ways in which drug references have been insinuated into popular culture.

          1. Actually, that movie has an interesting story behind it. “A Man Called Horse” was a short story by Dorothy M. Johnson. Film and TV rights bought by the Gunsmoke TV show, and made into an hour long episode. During the Seventies, a director was looking for an “adult” Western theme, remembered that show, and discovered that his studio still owned the rights.

            1. Another story in the same collection that got the interest of a director: “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

                  1. So, carpe diem? I guess if you keep them out of water long enough, they’ll be diem for sure. Then you can carpe bomb all you like.

        2. Yes, but I don’t get it here.

          Horse and pony in the song “White Pony” are clearly heroin and cocaine power respectively but I’m just not seeing it in “Horse with no Name”.

      3. I was in my early 20s when the song came out, and never, ever, heard anyone, at that time, link the song to drugs.

              1. One thing I’ve never been clear on about this “bath salts” thing. Was that a street name for some drug cocktail or were people actually snorting/eating/shooting (however it was administered) actual bath salts?

                  1. Actually, I’m pretty sure that the designer drug was called “bath salts” because that is what folks were calling them in order to be able to sell them “lawfully” with a label like “not for human consumption”. No one, of course, was actually using them in a bath. The “bath salts” name stuck … much to the distress of those folks who actually sell real bath salts.


                  2. Yes, I believe the point was to call them “bath salts” as a cover so that they could be sold legally, not because anyone ever actually bathed in them.

                    1. Aaaaand, that’s what I get for not refreshing the page before I post… a redundant answer.

    1. I just learned that it was about drugs about a year ago. I’m 62, and that was one of my favorite record albums when I was in college.
      So don’t feel like you are slow to learning. I am a slug at catching on to things.

      1. Lennon claimed that was based on a picture Julian Lennon drew as a small child. It had a lady and diamonds drawn in the sky. Of course, by then, the Beatles could sing any lyrics and it would be a hit.

        1. Nobody who has ever experienced psychedelics and Magical Mystery Tour could possibly believe the Beatles had any experience of the former.

  6. I think a lot, possibly most, of this is the cool-kids-table-effect. These folks are unconscious devotees of the “Perpetual High School” …um… school, forever seeking to finally earn a place at the cool kids table by mouthing the right catchphrases and miming the right motions, without ever really thinking through what they are doing. Thus M3K, aping what she still sees as her betters, makes the right social justice mouth noises and striked the right poses of offended but righteous approbation, hoping to be accepted (or avoid banishment from) the Table Of Coolness.

    Many of us learned different lessons in High School – most important of all, that it ended many many years ago, the high status jocks all are now failing real estate agents, and the one cheerleader’s career high point was competing in the Miss Nude USA pageant while the rest are all off being normal status people without any left over prestige form their High School positions at all. Todays high status people were the computer club geeks, or band folks, or library rats, or AV guys – absolutely none of them high status back then, which impacts their societal status now not one bit.

    And High School being emphastically and unlamentedly over, these folks don’t get that the only table in adulthood that you can ape and mime your way into a place at really isn’t high status at all – it’s just the ape table.

      1. Science-Fiction has become high school with jetpacks. But no, we don’t even have the jetpacks anymore.

      2. Oh, the High School Clique goes on and on in some of the companies I worked for. The cool girls hang out together and snub the studious geeks, even in their 40s.

        I hate to admit this, but working with and for women can be horrifyingly awful.

        An awful lot of women act like they are still in HS.

        1. It might be shorter to compile a list of those things that aren’t run like a high school. I know for a fact that an aircraft carrier doesn’t make that list.

        2. High school goes on in any business or bureaucracy that consists mostly of locals who were born and lived in the area their whole lives. I accepted a supervisor job where 10 of the 11 people working for me were related by blood or marriage, and all 11 were further related to other people in the organization. I returned to my old job within 6 months- the headaches weren’t worth the extra pay.

          1. Oh, I worked for a telecommunications company for some years. They had, at that time, 72,000 world wide employees. Trust me, it was all high school there, too.

            I worked in a room full of women. It was a new department, so we all trained together. I happened to catch on quickly, and I completed my assignments easily.

            This pissed off the other women. They and the supervisor all pulled me into a meeting one day to complain that I made them feel bad about themselves because I was too smart.

            It was a horrid, awful experience. It ends up they all hated me because I did not make the mistakes they made, and it made their statistics look crappy in comparison.

            I was told to act dumb.

            I went to the manager of the group, who informed me that everyone started to hate me in training when the trainers gave us breaks by playing trivial pursuit, and I always won.

            So I went to the director of the group, a man, who was appalled, and told me to go home and they would pay me to do nothing.

            And I said no.

            Eventually, I was able to transfer to the IT department in the same company, and I excelled there, but the humiliation of being hauled before all my co-workers so they could yell at me to my face has never left me.

            I was 41 years old when that happened.

            High school is apparently forever.

            1. Slight difference in circumstances, and I believe it makes a difference. To quote: “I worked in a room full of women.” Actually, that’s a big difference. In all the co-ed workplaces I’ve worked, any of the competitive women I’ve worked with have flat out stated they HATE working for female supervisors, and they avoid all- female groups like the plague. In all or mostly male groups I’ve worked in, the primary difference has been- did they all grow up in the same area or have they moved around a bit? And the ones where they’ve moved around a bit haven’t been like high school.

              1. To twist a phrase I use an awful lot:
                I don’t like working with women.
                I really enjoy working with some people who happen to be women, though.

                When the defining point of the group is that they’re female– DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!

                1. It depends – if it’s a middle-aged, slightly overweight woman who’s seen it all, done it all and has a good sense of humor, that can be a terrific boss. But a younger woman, very slim, dresses to the nines, and lives for being slim and dressing to the nines (often blonde), yeah, that’s a huge red flag for Worst Boss Ever.

                  1. A few exceptions where… well, it’s what they WANT to be that’s important, I think is what I’m grasping for. If they aspire to be the “seen it all, done it all, great sense of humor” gal, they’ll probably be good, and if they aspire to be slim and fashionable they’re going to do the stupid games.

                    There’s also the “mother” bosses; they can both be awesome, and horrible, depending on if their mothering is a view of themselves (they’ll work to help everyone) or a view of others (they’ll demand everyone act as indebted as actual children).
                    There’s probably a lot of overlap, really; Bad Mom + Slim and Fashionable = “Wants To Be Cool Mom,” which is horrible.

                    1. I’ve also seen some perfect slim, dress-to-the-nines gals marry, have kids, and realize there are more important things than being skinny and dressing to the nines, gain some weight, get a sense of humor and become generally human.

                    2. BTW, i refer to the other type as the Blonde, Skinny B*tch. Not to be confused with women who are blonde and skinny but otherwise perfectly decent human beings.

                    3. Face swollen up is a perfectly good reason for staying home for a teen-age girl (I am so glad I’m not one anymore).

                    4. Eh, 22, close enough – still too young to have developed a good sense of security.

                      I refuse to believe you were the skinny b*tch type. You read SF. The true skinny b*tch has no life or interests outside of being skinny and perfectly dressed. Shallow and boring, I met a ton of them when I did my year of hell at a Big 4 Accounting firm 8 years ago. (My movie-star gorgeous but not boring mother said she was going to throw up when she met one of them.)

                    5. I’m too clueless to be the skinny b*tch– I can’t manipulate to save my life.

                      I’m the Team Mom person, and I know I’ve got issues about being a bit of a bully because I’m a big sister. So I have to work to avoid that. (It’s why I see so much of the “good mom, bad mom” archetype as a threat– Dolores Umbrage is a good example of the Bad Mom version. Things are a risk, so they must be “managed,” even if that breaks some eggs….)

                      Still wish I could be the “been there, done that, really awesome” type great leader; I’ll live with being the Samwise type team mom/support staff. 😀

                    6. I’m not a leader type, either. A good manager, a good boss, that’s important and we do need people to keep their heads above the fray and look beyond the immediate tasks. But best of all is to have a good team that doesn’t need bossing.

                      Besides, Great Leaders are what the SJWs believe in – the Fearless Leader who will impose paradise on all the Little People. But it’s regular people, pursuing their own dreams of their own free will, that’s what makes the world better. (And trying to make this world a paradise, that’s a whole ‘nother dangerous fallacy.)

                    7. I don’t want to be a leader.

                      It was stressful enough to get my stuff done.

                      I can just imagine how stressful it would be if my performance ratings depending on other people doing their stuff right and I couldn’t do their job for them. [Frown]

                    8. the Fearless Leader who will impose paradise on all the Little People.

                      The problem being, when you ask for a General Washington what you usually get is:

                    9. Yeah, I’m having to be let it known at work, as my name is (again) being tossed around for management, that if I wanted stress and constant overtime, I could have stayed at said Big 4 accounting firm and made a heckuva lot more money. (Of course, that one year at that firm aged my appearance 10 years – I told people another year there, and I’d either be in a hospital or in jail, because the next Vapid Blonde Skinny B*tch boss was going to get my fist through her bimbo face.)

  7. And it continues:

    “K Tempest Bradford ‏@tinytempest · 4h4 hours ago
    Oh no, you guys! Sarah Hoyt says that if we anger her too much she might turn the full force of her personality on us! *falls down laughing*”

    “K Tempest Bradford ‏@tinytempest · 3h3 hours ago
    Don’t know what I’ll do if Sarah Hoyt stops being nice & starts getting real! Her mighty intellect– sry, can’t say that w/ a straight face”

      1. Trolls/SJWs/SJBs seem to invariably try to denigrate the intelligence of those they are attacking, although to a neutral observer it’s pretty obvious who has the higher scores, both in intelligence and in common sense. The idiot who followed me here the other month loves referring to me as a “dim librarian”. He describes the blogger who does contract work in quantum mechanics for NASA as a “senile old fool”. And so on and so forth. /sigh

        1. This is why I could never take the people seriously who were chortling over W. saying “nukular”. The father of my high school best friend said “nukular”, and *he* had NASA calling him once a year going “so, um, NOW can we hire you? Pretty please?”

      1. Doesn’t matter what you threatened them with, they lie.
        In any event, this is just a signaling event, so Tiny Tempest (A-cup?) knows they will save her a place at the ‘cool girls’ table.

          1. Well, Ace is making us play nice at the moment.
            No undeserved insults. For imposing that on us, I told him his mother was a hamster, and his father smelled of elderberries.

            I remain unbanned. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

      2. Not that the Horde is in the habit of going out of their way to annoy people. It’s just that it’s a pleasing mental image of mine to contemplate him/her/it/xer/whatever being bounced around like a piñata by the Horde in the AoS comments section.

        1. I’m a frequenter of the Horde, usually the Sunday morning book thread. Can’t say that I am a full member, because the threats usually go fast and furious and I have a life and a job … but yeah. The average SJW would be excreting bricks and having to go lie down in a quiet corner, after some of the ‘ron threads.

          1. I usually find myself wishing I could spend more time reading through the comments to that thread. I skim it most weeks. Seems like there’s always one or two nuggets to be gleaned every week over there.

    1. Being insulted by T Tempest Bradford is a recommendation of one’s character, at this point.

      1. I remember she thought I was talking about her, when actually it was a guest post. You know, I don’t know what happened to her after graduation (from NYU) when she both decided she was black and that a job was “soul killing” and disowned her family and went couch surfing, but I’m going with “stroke.” Though of course, it could be drug use.

        1. I’m betting on drug use: excessive imbibing of the narcotics of social affirmation, unjustified self-regard and purpose envy.

        2. Sarah, she’s just another Grievance Collector, like that nutjob reporter in Roanoke. And BTW, there’s WAY more data showing Grievance Collecting as a precursor to violence than conservatives, or NRA members.

    2. At least Sarah’s writing. Tempest’s only achievement of note is a guest spot on an Internet Aristocrat video.

      (at about the 25 min)

          1. Not a Tumblrisms, but he just did one on Ashley Madison. His computer was broken all summer.

  8. “This for some reason results in people so dumb that they could give fifteenth generation inbred nobility a run for their money.”

    You’re talking about Alyssa here, right?

    I read her Twitter feed, and kept hearing it in the voice of the slow-witted Asian “Fashion Club” member from the old Daria cartoon.

    Someone really needs to sit her down and explain that no, she’s not actually allowed to dictate what other people are allowed to say. That’s the kind of thing that a…well…Chicom would do.

      1. Now she’s screeching that you don’t have the right to tell her to not be offended.

        I must have missed the part where you give a crap if she gets offended.

        Her parents apparently didn’t teach her that shrieking histrionics don’t work when she was three years old. Now she’s a putative adult with the emotional development of a spoiled toddler. Ugly.

          1. Whoops, I was unclear. It’s Alyssa who’s screeching that you’re trying to tell her she can’t be offended, though I’m sure that Tempest in a Teapot would have an identical point of view.

        1. she’s screeching that you don’t have the right to tell her to not be offended.

          This is a common confusion on the part of people who think the world rotates on an axis of them. It is not for Sarah to say by what Lady Bradford may be offended, just as it is not Lady Bradford’s to determine what Sarah must give a [expletive] about.

          Lady Bradford would be well advised to discern the true axis of reality, sit on it and rotate.

            1. I wanted to tag this as “Liked” but WP no longer is permitting that.

              WP is strange.

              WP is inconsistent.

              WP is peculiar.

              WP delenda est.

              All editorial advice always welcome.

              Not all editorial advice always taken. This time, yes.

    1. “So dumb that they could give fifteenth generation inbred nobility a run for their money” isn’t exactly a unique identifier among the SJW crowd.

  9. Upon my first arrival at college and discovering there an official SF Fan Club I eagerly awaited the first scheduled meeting, anxious to find fellows with whom i could discuss favorite reading without receiving the blank looks that normally occurred in response to mention of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Dune, Foundation, Lord of Light or any of the many other books which so filled my free time.

    Sadly, upon arrival I found myself doing a quick headcount and calculation of the people/lives ratio and the answer did not even approximate 1 … so I quietly backed away from that cul de sac of life suck and resolved to continue my enjoyment of SF/F as solitary vice.

    I had been reading John Ringo’s columns in the NY Post and was surprised to note he was a SF writer whose politics did not repel, so a little exploration led me to Baen’s Bar. The Bar (way back when I could tolerate the interface) was a revelation of what sharing with actual fans could be, offering the opportunity to share jokes and literary references not only without wondering whether I was shooting way over people’s heads but with people able to return service as hard and fast if not more so.
    Seeing the SJWs “at play” has brought back unwelcome memories of the reasons I wandered away from the genre so long ago, and having returned to the fold I am resolved to defend the doctrine of “to each their own” against all challenges about who is “the worst” (by which they mean who deviates furthest from “right-thought.”) I found such thought policing repellent enough in Animal Farm — I refuse to be the obedient Boxer for those swine.

    1. 3 out of 4, but Dune??
      The same on despair followed by discovering Baen (thank you Sarah), although I was long out of College.
      And this too is why I feel (see just like a SJW) that SPIV is worth the effort. Indeed, from what I’ve read, Vox Day is justified in his desire to burn it all down; however, I want SFF restored, so readers younger than me have a chance to be captivated.
      In anything SP3 showed the relative power and size of the SJW/Paid Participants, vs the initial interest of true SFF fandom. I think the No Award is a red flag to many readers that did not know what the clique was doing and did not know why the Hugos were so bad. Well now they know at least, “Wow, what caused all these no awards?” I think as they discover the reason over the next year, and some of them will be drawn from GamerGate, simply because they may be disappointed SF readers turned to Games when the book quality fell, they will be drawn to the SPIV as the reasonable honest and true attempt to save the Awards. After all Vox himself praises SP3 for the attempt, he is just cynical to know that the SJWs would never allow it to happen. Fool me once, shame on you. We now know our marching orders, what it is going to take, and frankly, the possible joy of seeing the announcement of the SPIV sweeping the Hugos.

      It is a dream I have. Please share it.

      1. DUNE is a great book, ruined by its cult and (I’m told) it’s sequels. I’m sure there’s a tiresome “message” in the thing, and I’m sure I don’t care.

        If you have the strength of will to read DUNE, only DUNE, and remember that many good books are widely admired by the Clerisy, usually fr the wrong reasons, you can enjoy DUNE.

        1. Have read Dune, saw the movie, read Dune the comic… and none of the sequels. By that time, I was deep in the miasma of “new sf = bad,” and forebore…

          I’m glad I didn’t go past Dune. What I saw of reviews for the rest just did not measure up.

          1. Books two and three were good too. I only read a little after that because it just got weird, and not in a good way. Too much preoccupation with sex for my taste, too.

        2. I read DUNE and only DUNE. After that I didn’t want anything to do with Herbert’s books. Honestly, it has some very good ideas and concepts, but the execution is long, tedious, drawn out, excessively detailed, tedious (have I said that already?) and very slow moving.

        3. I am Cursed (woe!). No matter the edition or number of times I have tried to read it, I always get stuck on DUNE at page 53. It doesn’t matter what’s going on at page 53, I will get stuck there, and then distractions happen and I forget about it for another six months.

          Maybe if I find the teeniest-tiniest print available…at least more will happen by page 53.

      2. May I suggest that it should be SP4 or SP IV, rather than SPIV? SPIV makes me think of acronyms. Short People In Virginia? Is Vicious? WE know it can’t be Sad Puppies Is Violent (subject plural, verb single–OH NO, polyamory!).

        1. +3. I think it more like Smart People in Virginia, but it also could mean Swarmy Pedophiles Inspire Vomit. But since (unlike an SJW) you asked nice, I will use SP4 henceforth.

        1. paraphrase from Beyond The Fringe;

          “You know, Kack, I really admire the way you stick to your principles, and oppose The Man. But we all can’t come in to £50,000 a year at the age of 25.”

  10. Sarah, this really isn’t related to your post. Well, okay, it is. Sort of. Mostly because it relates to Sad Puppies. Anyways…

    I have a confession. For the last three Sad Puppy campaigns, I did nothing but stand on the sidelines and watch. Reason being that I really didn’t care for sci-fi or fantasy. It just wasn’t my genre. I enjoyed it when I was a kid, but then all the franchises I loved (Star Trek, Star Wars, SG-1, Battlestar Galactica) all either went down the tubes or else (Trek) I became dissillusioned by the Commie messages they espoused. So besides Larry Corriea and Mad Mike Williamson, I walked away from the genre.

    But now, things have changed. I can’t walk away anymore. I can’t stay on the sidelines anymore and pretend it doesn’t affect me.

    Two reasons. First, thanks largely to you, Larry, Mad Mike, and Brad Torgersen, I’ve rediscovered great science fiction (mostly Baen authors, admittedly), and despite my best efforts, I seem to be turning into a science fiction author as well. I don’t want the Kickers to destroy the genre that I’m once again growing to love and am slowly becoming a part of

    Second, and the main reason, is that I saw what the SJWs and CHORFs ad TruFans did to you and the rest of the Puppies. I was horrified and disgusted by their actions, but not in the least surprised. Because I’ve been there. It’s too long a story to post here, but back in college I found myself caught in the crosshairs of those so-called Right Thinking Moral Crusaders. I had my academic career, and very possibly my entire future put in jeopardy becausea small screaming minority of foaming at the mouth CHORFs took offense at something that was published in the student-run newspaper, of which I was one of the copy editors.

    Nobody came to our defense. A few brave souls tried, only to abandon us when the Administration made clear that they would suffer the same extreme academic penalties that we were facing(read: loss of credits, possible suspension or expulsion) for doing so. The only reason they didn’t follow through with their threatened punishments was because the school’s lawyers pointed out that such actions would leave them wide open to a slew of bad publicity and – worse – a myriad of lawsuits.

    I can’t do that. I can’t stand by and do nothing while the SJWs and CHORFs try to do the same thing to you.

    What I’m trying to say is that I am with you. Through Sad Puppies 4 until the end, no matter how long that may be, I am with you. Come hell, come high water, come an avalanche of sh*t flung by the Social Justice Monkeys, I am with you, and I will do whatever I can to help the puppies, though admittedly given my present situation that probably won’t be much more than moral support and acting as a repeater on social media. But win or lose, I’m with The Sad Puppies until the bitter end.

    1. Concur. I’ve got additional motivation because the same ethos that sucked the life out of SF is now creeping into webcomics, which I also read tremendously heavily, and would rather get spared the soul-sucking, than try to reconstruct it later.

    2. Me too.

      I propose that the best reaction to this behavior

      “@MaryRobinette Offense is defined by the person at whom the comment/slur is directed. Intention isn’t important.

      is for the rest of us to immediately sing “You’re So Vain” at the thief-of-offense involved.

      1. “He who takes offense when offense was not intended is a fool, yet he who takes offense when offense is intended is an even greater fool for he has succumbed to the will of his adversary.”
        ― Brigham Young

        1. He had another comment, equally appropriate to dealing with SJWs:

          “Crying children are like good intentions: they should be carried out.”

  11. This week, a looney ex news reader murdered a working news reader and her cameraman because, years before, she used obviously racist words: “swinging” as in swinging by a place to get something, and “field.”

      1. Confession time: I was once on the concom for LunaCon when it was held in Rye/Port Chester, NY.. You said: ” These echo chambers are a hotbed of maladjustment. None of them have real jobs or real families.”

        These people, myself included at the time, were unemployable, and crazy.

          1. It was a different time and I was very different. I wasn’t crazy just neurotic and lacking in social skills. I was employed in retail at the time, I think.

            1. “I was employed in retail at the time.”

              As someone who just escaped four years of retail hell without so much as a buzzword on my resume to show for it, let me just say, “yep, that’ll do it.”

            1. Also good meds, love of a good man, and living thousands of miles away from your family.

        1. What year of lunacy did you have to try to contain? As of last year it was still at the Escher Hilton. I go, but I stay out of the fire. They didn’t hold it this year and next year I’m going to have to put myself in the fire to back Kate.

          1. Mid 90’s. 96, 97 something like that. Remember Stuart Hellinger? LunaCon is a great con to attend but a horrible one to work at.

              1. I was in a letterzine in the ’80s, and two of the members helped run LunaCon. Really obnoxious – I’ve been thinking of them this week because they were my first encounter with the nastiest kind of SJW behavior. They drove out a number of people while I was in the group, including eventually me, and I heard later they basically destroyed the zine.

            1. Oh my god Stu Hellinger. I worked a bunch of NY area co s with him in the 70’s. Lunacons, some of the early Creations. I think he was I evolved the Commodore Trek con of ’72…

                1. Last I heard of Stu Hellinger (20 years ago) he was holding Lunacon’s financial records hostage. He was threatening to sic the IRS on Lunacon.

      2. Yes, and in the sorts of echo chambers populated by the likes of Mary Three-Names and the Hugo asterisk crowd, they take turns whipping each other up into frenzies about how violent we are, in addition to racist and sexist and all the other -ists. I’m surprised somebody hasn’t been shot in relation to the Puppy campaigns or GamerGate by now especially since their echo chambers are connected straight to a media bullhorn.

        Oh, and speaking of GamerGate: Some TV station in Atlanta just beclowned themselves because they claimed the WDBJ shooter was a GamerGater, based on a hoax apparently sourced from a sarcastic Twitter exchange between gamers.



        1. Rule of thumb with narrative pushers: there is no slander, no matter how ridiculous, that they won’t swallow it hook, line and sinker when it condemns one of their target groups.

          Look at the history of absurd libels promulgated against Negroes, Jews, Catholics etc.

          There are none so dumb as those who already know everything.

          1. I heard that Sad Puppies got their name because they make puppies cry and then drink their tears during their secret rituals.

      3. That sort of thing was at least part of the reason I left LA several years back. Sure the majority of my coworkers were just parroting what they heard on John Stewart, and would have been rather horrified had any of it actually happened, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that sooner or later some nutjob would take it as licence to do their thing.

        Also, there are certain things that, once somebody has said them, it taints the well. Even if you are fairly sure that they really haven’t thought it through, one does wonder.

  12. When I lived in Oregon there was a popular expression: ‘Too Stupid To Live’. It was used a lot when pointing out people who were getting themselves killed, or almost killed (and then our tax dollars were being spent to rescue them, etc).
    Mary 3 Names definitely looks like a contender for the category. It’s obvious that she was trying to do what SJW’s do, she was in the ‘point and shriek’ phase of an attempted attack. She was trying to manufacture outrage. She was doing -exactly- what Vox’s new book talks about.
    She planned this, obviously, and she wasn’t even smart enough to get it -right-. *sigh*

    Expect to see more of this. A lot more of this. It was just the first volley in the next set of SJW attacks. They’re desperate now, because we forced them to burn down ‘their own’ award. (well I didn’t force them, I didn’t even vote this year. But next year? Totally worth the 50 bucks!)

    1. Y’know, now you mention it she does bear an amazing resemblance to the kind of people who would try climbing Mt. McKinley in shorts and sandals, think the ease of the initial ascent predicted an easy route all the way to the peak.

      1. “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

        Funny how that observation never stops being relevant.

    2. Bring it. Their actions will just expose future beclownings. The current ones have been entertaining enough.

      As if a charity drive to get Scalzi to narrate a parody book aimed at Vox Day wasn’t clownshoes enough, turns out that the charity might not be recognized as one by the IRS…

      1. Yeah, I saw that. I used to do a lot of work with a couple of non-profits, people really have no idea how many rules and regulations apply to them. Did you know that secret ballots are illegal in non-profits? All ballots and election results are allowed to be examined by anyone.
        I’ve seen a few people hung on that one.
        And then there are the IRS rules! People forget that it was the IRS who got Capone, not the police, not the government. You do NOT want to mess with the IRS!

        1. Isn’t WSFS a non-profit organized under US laws (in Massachusetts I believe). If so, do Hugo awards qualify as an election?

          It would be interesting to put names to “No Award”ers.

          1. WSFS is an unincorporated non-profit organization. The different WorldCons are run by their own organizations.

        2. Do people forget that? I honestly think it’s half what I hear about him. *grin*

          The IRS can be pretty scary! Though every once in a while they are really convenient if they happen to land on your side. I had a withholding problem magically dissolve once when I explained to the people causing it that I had, at their instruction, contacted the IRS myself… and been offered the appropriate forms to report my employer.

        3. Uh, the IRS *is* the government. And they not only have their own police, they also have their own courts.

          Of course even the Department of Education has its own SWAT teams now, so that’s hardly a distinction any more…

        4. Ever see the Batman TAS episode where the Joker inherets a sh*tload of money only to discover that most of it was counterfeit… after the taxman came calling? There’s a line that springs to mind when Joker begins freaking out of just how f*ed he is:

          “I’m crazy enough to take on Batman, but the IRS? NOOOOOOO THANK YOU!!!”

  13. With regard to “where do we get recommends”, after the fiasco that was the Hugo ceremony I started work on a website that will be a database of “recommendable” works. It’s still in the construction phase, but once I’ve gotten it a bit further along I’ll probably be asking for people to contribute suggestions or work on the site itself. The novels aren’t all that hard, but I don’t read that many of the SF magazines, so coming up with recommendable novellas/novelletes/short stories is going to more difficult.

    I figured I’d start by filling in the Baen publication list and the stories that are listed on MadGeniusClub 🙂

    If it’s something that people are interested in, I could add features to rate or vote on particular works.

    1. Start with a straight recommendation list. Voting can be easily brigaded. And the clownshoes Aristos have already demonstrated that they’re not above manipulating Amazon ratings.

    2. Are you expanding it beyond just what’s eligible for the Hugos? Seems to me such a site would be a *great* place to recommend great sff from all across the board, even if they can’t enter into the Hugos. 🙂

            1. I’m sure we could. We do have a lot of Navy vets around. Hmm. Construction Battalions in space. That sounds like an interesting idea…

      1. Definitely it will not just be “eligible for the Hugos” eventually. To start with, my big goal is to have a place to go for good recommendations. The Hugos are useless for that purpose. And for those who do want to nominate, it’s surprisingly hard to figure out what was published in the right time frame. Which is part of the reason why lists like the Locus recommendations have such a big influence.

  14. Raises hand. By definition, having married abroad and being very, very weird for a Portuguese chick, I was a burden/puzzle to my family. A lot of my friends are in the same bandwagon as is a significant section of fandom, possibly including most people here.

    Not me! Not really, anyways– most of my ancestors are the relatively odd ones for their family, that I know of. The most normal one was the Scottish matriarch who ordered her family to move over here, and possibly her son. All of his kids were odd, though, and seem to have triggered a “be too normal” reflex in THEIR kids and kids’ kids…other than the ones that lead to me. 😀

    Pretty low level strange, though– you know, just moving across oceans or countries in order to get married, in a culture where you’re sort of expected to marry a few towns over, rather than one where you’re supposed to marry in town.

  15. So imagine our surprise when Kate got hacked on facebook, not once, not twice but three times in a 24 hour period and her account started spamming sunglass adds. Coincidence? I don’t know guys. One time, maybe. But three times, when Kate has pretty d*mn good security? Bah.

    Surprised no one has brought up this from the novel Goldfinger:

    One is an accident; twice is a coincidence; three times is an enemy action.

  16. Dateline: The Federalist, August 24, 2015

    “What’s the difference between ISIS and social justice warriors? Well, one recruits its members from the most pathetic, disaffected, pathological members of society, claims to stand against shadowy conspiracies and bullying by the West, and destroys revered cultural institutions in fits of fanaticism.
    The others are unhinged terrorists in the Middle East?\

    Over the past year, the social justice movement, which at one point had set itself up as an insurmountable cultural juggernaut, bent on remaking every art form or subculture in its own image, has degenerated into a farce. That farce reached new heights this past Saturday night, when the voters of the prestigious Hugo Awards, in a fit of ideologically-motivated pique, refused to give any awards at all in no less than five different categories – including Best Short Story and Best Novella. As context, the Hugos had only refused to offer an award in any category five times in the award’s 60 year history.

    How The “Sad Puppies” Got Their Name
    The reason was that a group of disaffected science fiction fans calling themselves collectively the “Sad Puppies” (along with a more radical submovement calling itself the “Rabid Puppies”) had actually forced the Hugos to include works on the voting ballot that were popular with fans, rather than simply works by authors with acceptable politics, or connections to the right publishing house.”

    READ MORE: http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/24/the-hugo-awards-why-the-waronnerds-is-a-war-on-art/

    Congratulations, huns and hunnettes! No one wants to live in a Fourth Reich.

  17. now suddenly, after all the public bragging about not reading any Puppy-nominated books, after the websites for Noah Ward, you can’t find a single leftist who voted Noah Ward without reading. I’d say this calls for an audit. I mean, all those non-existing people, voting in a blog, it’s like our precincts where more people voted than live there, right?

    As I said someplace else, and I’m sure it’s not original with anybody including me, the puppy kickers have some prominent folks playing See what you made me do in voting against rather than for – more in sorrow than in anger but with plenty of anger to go around. Further some prominent people have publicly vowed to vote No Award next year.

    Ironically at this stage at least two sides in the controversy are doing work space preparation for organized suggestions – some by voting category – in preparation for next year. If it’s all open source maybe ESR could coordinate the back end software for both sides. Like the semantic distinction between U-boats (bad) and submarines (good) each side, sad puppy and puppy kicker alike, seem to be plotting suggestions (good) while naming the other side’s suggestions a slate (bad).

    1. Like the semantic distinction between U-boats (bad) and submarines (good)

      Bullsh*t flag, 10 yard penalty, trying to prove routine naming is ideological motivated.

      Evidence 1 against this idea: Japanese submarines in Pacific operations are routinely referred to as submarines. Are you saying the US saw the Japanese as less evil in WW2?

      Evidence 2 against this idea: Use of U-boat dates to WW1 when no other major power engaged in much of a submarine campaign. If the usage was to draw contrast between “good” submarines and “bad” submarines why does the usage date to when only “bad” submarines were used in warfare?

      Evidence 3 against this idea: Similar to #2 Allied submarine campaigns do not start until 1942 but U-Boat was already common in usage from WW1. One of the two Happy Times occurred prior to large scale Allied submarine opts but U-Boats was already in use with no “good” submarines for contrast.

      1. Oh and:

        Evidence 4: German submarines are still referred to as U-Boats by crews of NATO submarines from other nations.

        Evidence 5: There is admiration for U-Boat crews and their achievement among modern submariners of nations that fought Germany in one or both World Wars.

        1. Point 6: U-Boat is a contraction (evil alert!) for unterseeboot which in English is under sea boat.

          Or, as an English speaker might put it into one word:

          Submarine (from Latin and Latin via French)

          English doesn’t borrow from other languages. It follows other languages down dark alleys, clubs them over the head and rummages through their pockets for spare grammar.

          1. I remember a few years ago when the second string Rush imitations were Viewing With Alarm the idea that Spanish might become the dominant language in the U.S.. I knew a couple of people, not all of them Conservative, who took this seriously. I pointed out that English was, historically, the most agressive language on earth. It didn’t seem to matter if the English speakers were invaded or the invaders, English came out on top.

            If, and I repeat IF, huge numbers of Spanish speakers swamp the U.S. (Surely, at some point, one of them will go home and do something about that economy) what will happen is English will swallow Spanish whole, belch, and move on.

            1. I here that a lot here in Colorado. I once suggested to Tom Tancredo that if he kept pushing English-only, he might find some pushback, in Alamosa, Blanca, Cañon City, Pueblo, San Luis, la jara, La Junta, Trinidad….

              He didn’t get it.

      2. Remembering from high school german class: The German word for submarine is unterseeboot — which means “undersea boat”. It’s not hard to get from there to “u-boot” to “u-boat”.

        I heartily recommend the director’s cut of “Das Boot” which is about an, um, u-boat. The end is crushing.

      3. Not rendering judgment on the truth of the matter asserted. I do assure people that at one time it was in fact asserted.

        Helping to set the image of the U-boat as a dishonorable weapon, the captain of the U-9 sank the British cruiser Aboukir and then sank two other cruisers (Houge and Cressy) that were attempting to rescue the survivors. A British Admiral described the action as “Underhand, unfair, and damned un-English”.

        Emphasis added Parrish, Thomas. The Submarine: A History (Viking, 2004)

        Again my point is that there are many invidious comparisons made in service of argument. This is an example of such an invidious comparison. The distinction between slates and suggestions is equally so. As someone once said and many repeated a difference that makes no difference is no difference.

        For those who believe they know my position on political correctness in SFF and what I think of the folks at TOR I suggest the conversation at http://www.tor.com/2012/01/17/admirals-and-amazons-women-in-military-science-fiction/ gives a fair overview of my opinions contrasted with some others. Notice for extra points that Liz Bourke is here and there more than slightly unwilling to pay attention.

        I have bought food and drinks for the Nielsen Haydens. Patrick did a few chords on my banjo in Denver for that Worldcon. I have also been a pinata on their site. Among the Asterisk winners this year I have kind words for Jo Walton and she has occasionally had a kind word for me.

        I’m not LDS but I do shop at the BYU-I bookstore.

        1. When submarines first were debated and then came into use, all submarines were seen as dishonorable, just like spying was no job for a gentleman; or like the first pilots who shot at enemy planes instead of waving at them were cads.

    2. I’m sitting here, quietly pondering their reactions if next year SP recommends nothing but SJW/TOR (but I repeat myself) works for the Hugos) or, more easily digested, cast no nomination votes. Then in the actual award voting, Noah Ward them all over, across, and down the ballot.

          1. Am I an idiot? Not for me to say.

            Nor did I say E Pluribus Hugo would be in effect in 2016 — I was saying it would fail against the scorched earth strategy I outlined, a fact which can be demonstrated in 2016.

            Of the Hugos are not going to be open to all fans it doesn’t require many fans to end them.

      1. I’m wondering if that may be something Vox Day is planning, especially now there’s a precedent of buying memberships for people to vote NA.

        1. No, if EPH passes a discipline group that splits into fifths and each votes their favorite only will overwhelm the noms.

          All he needs is 5 times the second larges unified voting faction. I’m pretty sure he does.

    3. Niven’s Law strikes again:

      There is no cause so right that one cannot find a fool following it.
      in variant form in Fallen Angels as “Niven’s Law: No cause is so noble that it won’t attract fuggheads.”[5]

      If in doubt let me say directly that anybody who thinks I was supporting a moral distinction between U-boats and submarines in any meaningful sense is indeed a fugghead. My point was precisely the reverse. People draw such false distinctions to give emotional weight to poor arguments.

      The distinction was in fact made almost a hundred years ago now in defense of Woodrow Wilson’s pivot from being too proud to fight to getting in the war on the principle of getting in front of the parade. Folks almost immediately suggested the distinction was risible but partisan politics is full of things that wouldn’t pass a laugh test if actually tested. It is literally a text book example of fallacious argument.

      No doubt all sides in the current dispute would avoid a good deal of bickering if we could just get over expecting people to know even a little, just enough to find out the rest, about things that happened before they started reading tabloids.

      I was asserting that each side, sick puppy and puppy kickers has asserted suggestions good and slates bad. Perhaps judging their own side by intent and attributing bad faith to the foe. Each side has asserted their own side used suggestions and the other side used slates.

      I intended to say that this distinction as a casus belli is about as defensible as Woodrow Wilson’s assertion that the pivot from too proud to fight to going to war was morally justified because the German navy used U-boats (bad)

      FREX Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-Thomas arguably saved Otto Skorzeny from more severe Allied retribution for operation Greif

      On the final day of the trial, 9 September, Wing Commander F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas, recipient of the George Cross and the Croix de guerre, and a former British Special Operations Executive agent, testified that he and his operatives wore German uniforms behind enemy lines. Realising that to convict Skorzeny could expose their own agents to the same charges, the tribunal acquitted the ten defendants.

      in somewhat similar terms.

      The U-boat and submarine distinction is used here as an example of a false distinction made to further an argument.

      Enough for now. Examples of actual similarities between sad puppies and puppy kickers may be posted later.

      Folks who wish to assert that I am departing from the party line for sad puppy supporters are free to do so for obvious – to some – reasons.

      1. Insert end block quote after numeral 5 and make other markup adjustments to suit.

        1. Maybe you were kidding? If so please say so. I’ve had my days turned around just trying to keep up with all the discussion – an obvious impossibility but still I try.

          1. Christ on a popcile stick can you read? Because after that I think your reading comprehension is worse than your tag closing skills (power user hint, write comments in a separate editor with code highlighting turned on if you’re going to do multiple complex tags).

            You: Like the semantic distinction between U-boats (bad) and submarines (good)

            Me: Bullsh*t flag, 10 yard penalty, trying to prove routine naming is ideological motivated.

            If in doubt let me say directly that anybody who thinks I was supporting a moral distinction between U-boats and submarines in any meaningful sense is indeed a fugghead. My point was precisely the reverse. People draw such false distinctions to give emotional weight to poor arguments.

            You were claiming other (lesser than you) people draw such false distinctions to give emotional weight to their arguments (a skill knows as rhetoric). You provided the submarine vs. U-Boat as an example.

            I called bullsh!t on your example for two reasons:

            1. Professionals in the field have used U-Boat for German submarines from WWI on. During the first WW there was no submarine campaign of any note beyond Germany’s so your theory, that U-Boat was used contrast to “good” submarines, doesn’t work because there were effectively no “good” submarines. The allies used traditional blockage methods to prevent German shipping. Yes allied navies had submarines but they were not widely used. In fact, using U-Boats in the tradition cruiser role of commerce raiding was an innovation in WWI that was fraught with complex issues.

            2. During the first three years of WW2 U-Boat was again used for German submarines yet contrasting them to “good” submarines was again not possible as there was no major submarine campaign by the allies as there was no appreciable German shipping to counter-act with submarines. The most intense German over water travel was Swedish iron ore which the British initially attempted to interdict with air and surface power resulting in the invasion of Norway resulting in a sheltered shipping lane.

            3. In 1942 as the war moved to the Pacific the allies began submarine campaign as did the Japanese. If your example was true Japanese submarines would be commonly know in English as I-Boats, but that term is rarely if ever here and certainly not in common parlance as U-Boat is. If your theory is true and the use of U-Boat for German combat submarines is to imply a moral difference why did I-Boat not enter the English common vocabulary.

            4. If the dichotomy is true and the U-Boat is the evil submarine you would expect that U-Boats and there crews would be seen in negative light by modern (and historical) submarine crews from allied nations. In general they are not but often viewed as innovators and examples. The various books by U-Boat commanders are quite popular in the US submarine service. While I was in Iron Coffins by Herbert Werner was particularly popular, quite possibly given he lived in the US from the mid-50s on and became a citizen.

            5. U-Boat is still a common term among English speaking submarine crews. Given it is used by them during common exercises it would seem odd for them to be declared allied forces as “bad” by naming convention.

            I’m not saying you think there is a moral distinction or not. I’m saying your theory of why we use U-Boat for German combat submarines is bullsh!t that does not comport with the historical facts of the terms usage, the attitude of other submariners to German crews (or actual or potentially hostile submarine crews in general, see reactions to the Kursk’s sinking for example), or the continued usage over half a century after the relevant conflicts had finally ended.

            1. bullshit and more bullshit “. I’m saying your theory of why we use U-Boat for German combat submarines ”

              I have no such theory. I am saying, based on the historical record that at one time and place such a distinction was made to advance a cause. Further I am saying that the distinction was invalid then and is invalid now. My point is that using invalid distinctions to advance a cause is foolish. That it is a prime example of false distinctions raised to promote foolish arguments. Are you perhaps posting under the hooves of horse?

              Feel free to continue tilting at windmills.

    4. More on slates (bad)

      In the first place, I suggest each side declare victory and go home. Maybe to break into action again after EPH and other such take effect or don’t. Give it a rest for a year.

      In the second place I’d forgive a good deal – but by no means all (Peter Grant and related)- of the nastiest talk as being used for emphasis by weak minded under-educated folks.

      Some of it was falling in line and some of it wasn’t. I’ll take it that most of it was follow the leader.

      I suspect there were unintended consequences on all sides. One of the puppy kickers said in effect that the sad puppies would have been right if they had done just a few things – which list I take as exactly what the sad puppies did do by intent.

      At this stage of the War there will be no more Christmas in the trenches with shared food and beverage (historical reference – during WWII there was Christmas in the fighting hole as folks serenaded each other but didn’t meetup in meatspace (there’s a pun there but it isn’t very funny no carp intended).

      Just the same the background talk of plans for the future has a great deal in common across groups. Presented as a single thread the following words make a certain sense together I think – but of course I left internal tags that will allow the sedulous to sort them back to sad puppy or puppy kicker.

      I was thinking of starting a series of “what are you reading?” posts, encouraging people to talk about what they’re reading these days, what they think of it, etc. This is tangentally related to the Hugos because I’d like to suggest that they mark what of their reading is eligible for this year (based on the wiki).
      Add my vote for the thread(s) with book recommendations. It occurs to me that it might be wise to ask (or even require) people to recommend either 3 or fewer, or 8 or more works at a time, in order to avoid even the appearance of slating
      Stuff like how many noms, where do we get recommends, do all three of us have to read something before we recommend it,
      I think this is a nifty-keen idea. I particularly like it because reading ML cover-to-cover is already in my habit set, so using those recs would be much less effort for me to follow up on
      But, based on further offline discussions yesterday, I am considering setting up a Dreamwidth community, for tagged book recommendations (tags to include “Hugo category” and possibly “general categories the story belongs to”, “nym of recommender” and other useful “make navigation easier” tags).
      I entirely support the effort to collect a good recommendations list

      On the subject of ethnic slurs there does come a time when things have to be passed over. I’m not going to strap my guns on when somebody says head honcho because cultural appropriation.

      1. One of the puppy kickers said in effect that the sad puppies would have been right if they had done just a few things

        If this is true why did they have the same reaction and ensure Puppy supported works last year either were #5 or, in at least one case, below “No Award”. There was no Rapid Puppies last year and the Sad Puppy “slates” were under 5 books.

        So, 1 is too few and 5 is too many is it? No, the idea that fans outside of their clique would organize was enough to make them flip out.

        t this stage of the War there will be no more Christmas in the trenches with shared food and beverage (historical reference – during WWII there was Christmas in the fighting hole as folks serenaded each other but didn’t meetup in meatspace

        Your examples and allusions are not helping you because they are factually incorrect (here) or not supported and easily argued against (the U-Boats example).

        “Christmas in the Trenches” is not a historical reference to World War 2 but to the First World War, specifically on the Western Front on the week leading to Christmas Day 1914 (and not repeated in following years). It referred to trenches, not foxholes (hence the reason it is “Christmas in the Trenches” and not “Christmas in the Foxholes”). For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

        1. I am not introducing hearsay evidence for the truth of the matter asserted but for fact of the assertion being made. When a puppy kicker writes:

          ….realised the Sad Puppies had a middle road they could have taken.

          They could, I think, have slated, and been (to a much greater degree) able to get the slated works treated as, relatively, legitimate candidates.

          I don’t think (based on the Black Genesis precedent) they could have made it above No Award, but they might.

          1: Poll for a list of books of the genre they like.
          2: Make a short list (not more than 3 entries) from that list.
          3: Ask their supporters to nominate no more than 2 books from the short list.

          If challenged on it they could say they were trying to offer The Fans, the chance to compare Good Old Fashioned SF; the kind which is said to be out of fashion, and show which is best……

          From my perspective that’s an interesting comment from a puppy kicker. I’d have said that’s a pretty good description of what the sad puppies intended or tried to do. I am not addressing what was or was not intended or what might have happened in sense of writing alt history or refighting past battles.

          As for the rest of it you are misunderstanding my post. So be it.

          1. 1: Poll for a list of books of the genre they like.
            2: Make a short list (not more than 3 entries) from that list.
            3: Ask their supporters to nominate no more than 2 books from the short list.

            Again, you are essentially describing Sad Puppies 3. The reaction was the same in type if weaker in passion.

            IE, this is a version of moving goal posts…when we kicked that direction they moved the goal post left. Now that we’ve kicked left they’re claiming the SP2 method to the right would have been okay.

            1. Again, you are essentially describing Sad Puppies 3

              Yes, that’s his point; you two are in violent agreement, it appears. Clark is not a SJW, he’s a longtime Hun. Deep breaths everyone, no fighting in the war room. Please.

      2. You must either believe we are stupid, or crazy. Not pursue anything until you guys rearrange things so that a committee of CHORFS control the noms and shut us out permanently. yes we know about your games and what’s coming. How about the puppy kicker recuse all employees of publishing houses from any kind of fan activity and also promise to NOT purchase supporting memberships for publishing house employees.

        1. Without the Pulphouse people there would have been a deep hole in fandom. A.J. Budrys, whose biggest single contribution may have been matchmaking, donated weeks of his time every year to enhance the fannish experience. I have no idea whether A.J. was an employee or an independent contractor or simply doing work for hire – and I bet you don’t either and I don’t think it matters. One of my fondest convention memories is sitting up most of the night with A.J. and C.J. filking while I kept my mouth shut.

          I have suggested elsewhere on this board an example of a post on Tor.Com that carries my general sentiments on the SJW approach to literature.

  18. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
    “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
    “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
    “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

    It’s like they have a rulebook or something.
    And noting this evidently makes me a fascist/racist/wrongfan.

      1. All 12 of the rules for radicals?
        But then they might notice that they’re violating a number of them, and correct themselves. That’s not in our interests.

  19. I think a closer equivalent to ChiCom would be either “Soviets” or “NorKs.” (Rhymes with Mork from Ork; I’m not sure if it pre or post-dates “RoKer”– Republic of Korea; I’ve heard both used by Korean military. RoKers, obviously.)
    I’ve never seen the term SovUnion, mostly because I’ve only heard “Soviet” used in connection with “USSR”– sort of like how “American” here means “USA” unless someone is trying to be a twit. Communist, on the other hand, is quite common– and it’s a roughly accurate translation, too. It’s like someone accusing you of racism for talking about ISIS/the Islamic State as Daesh, which is also derogatory because they are murderous scumbags. News flash: having a critical attitude in relation to serial killers is, technically, derogatory; it’s unflattering to the extreme to point out that someone is a thing which is not to be approved of.

  20. I just received an e-mail from the book recommendation site The Fussy Librarian. They send out a regular newsletter for authors, mostly about industry news. This one was about the 2015 Hugos:

    “The Hugo Awards, which were created in 1953 to recognize the best in fantasy and science fiction, were awarded — and not awarded — last weekend and it was a colossel mess that left no one happy.

    In recent years, the awards have started to reflect the growing diversity of science fiction readership — more female and minority authors and protagonists — and this didn’t sit well with authors who write books where the heroes are primarily white and male. So last year and this year, the disgruntled authors assembled slates of nominees and tried to capture most of the slots on the ballot.

    They succeeded to a degree and much controversy ensued.

    Voters responded last weekend by not awarding a winner in five categories. To put this in perspective, there have been five times No Award has been given in the entire 65 years of the competition.

    If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is — as the country changes, it upsets people who perceive themselves as losing clout. And if you think about it, those people lose the debate. Every time.

    As authors, we can recognize that the demographic of our readership is changing. Non-whites are now 37 percent of the United States. Women are Army Rangers and coaching men in the NBA. If you want to write for a mainstream audience, your stories and characters need to reflect the mainstream. This isn’t political. It’s the simple reality that people sometimes like to read stories about people that look like themselves. And it’s always been that way — it’s only that the demographics of our country are constantly changing and we need to recognize that.”

    I sent the owner of the site an e-mail saying how disappointed I was that he was repeating the same discredited lies about the Sad Puppies. I ddo’t know if it will do any good.

    1. Those women probably are not Army Rangers. If they would have failed if they were men, or did not have the political pressure on the graders, it doesn’t count.

      1. Technically, they are not Army Rangers. What they did manage to do was to earn a ranger tab by “completing” Ranger School. (Whether they were held to the same standards as the men, I leave to your imagination, but the short answer is “Hell, no!”) However, being an Army Ranger is a very different proposition from attending Ranger School. The Rangers are the elite combat troops of the US Army, airborne commandos who are sent in to secure the areas before the rest of the troops arrive. I have known a number of Rangers in my time in the Army, and the EASIEST part of being a member of a Ranger Battalion was earning the Ranger Tab. After that it gets hard. I guarantee you there are no female Army Rangers, just like there are no female Infantry. Yet. God knows what these idiots in charge of the Army will do next.

        1. The females didn’t flunk, they repeated certain phases of Ranger School (termed “recycling”). It’s not an uncommon thing and a lot of males will recycle a phase. I know one guy who recycled all three phases.

        2. Bryan Suits did a section on this.

          Short version: it’s normal to re-do ONE part of the school.

          And the Rangers course has nothing to do with being an Army Ranger; it’s not a feeder for the program, etc– it’s just a leadership school that you can do instead of having leadership time in a combat zone.

          So, since there are fewer commands in combat zones now, more women want to go into it so their promotion chances are on par with males.

          I actually like this a hell of a lot more than the Navy’s notion of putting more women in combat situations so that female officers have better promotion chances.

      2. That was from The Fussy Librarian? Wow. Another site goes on the publishing blacklist for me.

    2. It’s also on their blog.

      I am unsubscribing, will not be recommending them anymore, am going to advise my bookaholic mother to unsubscribe, and regret the books that I did buy through them.

      1. I wrote the owner and said:

        I was very disappointed to see you repeating the same discredited lies about the Sad Puppies. They were not a group of white males, nor were they campaigning to create a slate of white males. A few seconds checking the results of the Hugos will make that obvious.

        Instead, they were a group of small and mid-list published authors who were sick of the big publishers stacking the Hugo deck year after year. It was a movement of independent authors and fans who hoped that it was possible for ordinary science fiction fans to have a voice in who received an allegedly fan chosen award.

        And they were shut down by the establishment who mobilized No Award slates when it looked that someone not published by Tor might win something. Things are changing–the big publishers are losing their stranglehold on the industry. And they are angry at losing their clout. And they will, in time, lose the argument.

        But the 2015 Hugos vote was not in favor of inclusion or diversity, it was shutting it down by any means necessary.

        To which I got this reply:

        You see Sad Puppies as a reaction to the big publishers monopolizing the nominations while I see it as a pushback against cultural changes from primarily (but not exclusively) white and conservative writers.

        I think we can both agree that this is about people “angry at losing their clout.” And I hope the Hugos can find a way to make the awards representative of the people who read science fiction. Whether that makes either of us happy (or unhappy) remains to be seen.

          1. It is just more of Obama’s “white people clinging to their guns and religion”… I’ll admit the verb clinging was a masterful stroke, but then Obama is all rhetoric and no logic or meaning or truth.

        1. You should mention that the people ‘losing their clout’ are the ones that couldn’t get Scalzi’s latest drek into the nomination. Who are the ‘angry’ people that voted No Award?

        2. From the response you got:
          I think we can both agree

          Translation: They’re ignoring what you wrote and sticking to their unsupported assertions. :-/

        3. Thank you for posting that. I unsubscribed from them. I’m tired of supporting people who keep insisting on the racist, misogynist narrative despite the truth.

  21. It’s going to be alongish, hearts and minds, campaign. Just keep that foremost in your mind. It gives Perspective.

  22. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah,
    …the true marks of a professional: develop alligator skin…&..suffer the fools
    stay above the fray

    1. Yep. That’s how we lost the culture war. Staying above the fray. LIVs listen to the one who screams louder.
      I think the mark of a professional is the 24 books I’ve published. (Well, last one wending its way to publication.”

      1. “Not the hill to die on” is the mantra of losers.
        Defending the high ground is effective.
        A gravity assisted counterattack even more so.

        1. I’ll tell you, the 2015 Hugo Awards Ceremony fiasco was for me the final straw. These people . . . yes, “these people” need to be opposed. They are WRONG. They are, for wont of a better word, evil. Crowing, hooting and cheering for “No Award” over any number of potentially deserving candidates in numerous award categories, merely out of spite?


          I”m not afraid to name it as such. The “No Awards” this year were a PERMANENT black mark on the Hugo Awards and on the World Science Fiction Convention in general. This year was the equivalent of the Dred Scott Decision, the equivalent of the Inquisition’s suppression of Galileo.

          “And yet, it moves.”

            1. OMG, I used an apostrophe instead of plural form. Sorry. That should have said SJWeirdos.

      1. Interesting that they assume “Sarah Hoyt”. Just like it’s interesting that she’s their new strawperson to attack.

        1. Err….? No. The new narrative is that Lou seems to be the main man.
          Sometimes you wonder why you bother.

    1. Nope. At least let me put it this way — there was a podcast we MIGHT have been in together. I arrived late, it was over the phone and I couldn’t hear anyone else, including the questions, so I answered by guess and golly. SO. We MIGHT have been on a podcast together, but I have no idea what anyone said. I remember being asked to say moose and squirrel, though, and complying to put an end to it. And no, I don’t have a podcast. That might change.

  23. I think we pretty much are at the point of dissolution. “The center cannot hold,” as the saying goes.

    The trad pub SF/F market continues to shrink, and the TORlings exercise ever more control over that very same shrinking market, so it’s pretty clear that the sci-fi literature most of us fell in love with in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, is more or less becoming phased out in favor of a specifically identitarianist SF/F that is not just self-referential, it’s dependent on personality cults to drive audience participation.

    So, we’ll all just end up separately roaming the literary highways, occasionally pulling our campers into the campgrounds as we see firelight from parties being thrown by like-minded souls. There won’t be a definiable category for us, so much as we’ll know each other when we see each other.

    I think the chief mistake of the identitarians has been to assume that just because they desire to “evolve” human society in a certain direction, society will obediently follow. They wouldn’t be the first social engineers to make this conclusion, and they’re not going to be the last. Better political and social movements have tried to reform humankind with artificial molds. The present identitarians haven’t realized that they’re no different from their ideological cousins of the past; all of which failed.

    Because human beings are a stubborn and independent lot. And Political Correctness can only warp social standards and interactions so far, before there is a wicked snap-back. We saw what happened with Moral Majority 1.0 in the 1980s, and we will see it again in our time, with Moral Majority 2.0 and the pulpit-pounders of left-wing identitarian SF/F.

    Trad pub SF/F may not survive in a coherent form. Of all the companies, I think BAEN and DAW are actually best positioned to survive. But it might not matter. We may all be indie sooner or later, as the lit SF/F market shrinks like a collapsar, then explodes.

    1. I know there’s no way I’d work with TOR for anything at this point. I mean, when you have past and present editors of TOR insulting fans and authors (and even spouses of authors) and their highest-paid author being a complete jackass in public, why bother?

      1. TOR is badly run on the inside. It only survives because it has money, and that money is slowly but surely going away. The less money to paper over the cracks, the more the cracks will manifest. I expect a serious shakeup in the next decade, when Macmillan comes to “right size” the whole affair. It will be a Night Of The Long Knives with the internal TOR feifdoms vying for survival against each other.

          1. YUP! A terrific speech from a so-so movie. One wouldn’t think DeVito would be the kind of guy who can deliver on something like this. Frankly, the speech from Peck, and then DeVito, taken as a sequence, is the only real reason to watch the film. Brilliant scripting and acting. And very apt in so many situations.

      2. I thought Scalzi was the grownup in the room. More than GRRM. GRRM was worried about that increase in Worldcon Voters. Sclazi never showed any worry. For Scalzi, he seemed to trust that Fans would work out. And it turned out that the increase was more Fans than puppies. So Scalzi was right. Pups faired poorly in the vote and really didn’t even show up for the business meeting which makes me think they didn’t much show up at the convention.

          1. Not siding with the poppy-kicker-apologist above, but he may be right about one thing: not enough opponents of the SJWackos at the business meeting.

            I didn’t even attend Worldcon, so this shouldn’t be taken as me condemning or complaining. And from what I’ve heard, it ran something like 11 hours, so I can understand not wanting to sit through a meeting that’s that long. But enough of us who oppose the SJWhiners need to attend the convention and the business meeting for at least a a few years in a row if we’re going to accomplish anything worthwhile, rather than just causing a brief-lived furor or having the whole thing just collapse. I don’t want the SJWeasels to win, and I’m looking into attending Midamericon next year so I can help accomplish something.

            1. I recall reading that Joe Stalin was called “Old Ironpants” because he could stay in his office for hours on end doing the admin stuff, Little did they know how much and what kind of admin stuff. Puppies need a core group and and five rings of extras (tag teams) to go to those meetings and stay thru all the proceedings.

            2. I went to the business meeting all 4 days. I didn’t stay at each meeting for each but I was there for the important votes.For the EPH vote they brought in another 80 members to make sure of the outcome almost 3 to 1 in favor.

            3. I could not attend and then deduct it as a business expense. I did not have the company that has stole the awards paying my membership. For their wonderful business meeting, Vox thinks the new voting rules will be even easier to turn into no award winners. He is very good at getting the SJWeasels to do his bidding.

        1. Actually, the problem was that the Puppies didn’t vote as a slate in the finals. Each and everyone of them voted for the works they felt were the best, which spread their votes out too far to hope to match the ‘No Award’ slate. So it’s not that so called fans outnumbered the Puppies, it’s that the Puppies were less willing to vote as a slate than the ‘fans’.

          1. Not true. No Award won an absolute majority of first-place votes in every category it won. It was over 65% in Novella and Related Work. Best Editor had the least, with 50.9% (2496/4907). All the statistics are at http://www.thehugoawards.org/content/pdf/2015HugoStatistics.pdf

            It’s simple. No Award voters (whether anti-puppy, anti-slate, readers who hated puppy nominees, or Michael Z. Williamson) had the numbers. Bring more puppies.

            1. We’ll see what happens next year. I suspect that a majority of those who were enthused to have a say in the Hugos this year — having been burned by the NO AWARD Gunpowder Plot — may join Vox is saying “Fuckitall” next year, thus we get two years of NO AWARD. People are pissed. I can’t say I blame them. Of course, it’s not impossible to rally additional honest voters. But to beat the 2,500 (low) to 3,500 (high) NO AWARD super-clique, we’d need at least 5,000 honest Puppy people. A very hard number to get, especially when it’s a $40 poll tax. But then, the rules are purposefully designed to discourage “outsiders” in this manner.

              1. We could well get some mutual effort No Awards. We weren’t far from getting one this year in the Novelette category. Even people who don’t go all the way to “nuke the Hugos from orbit”, I expect, are going to vote No Award much more often, and over things they merely don’t like. To my understanding, it used to be that No Award was reserved for things like Scientologists pushing L. Ron Hubbard, and a few people who thought certain categories shouldn’t exist or just hated everything that year. Not anymore, on any side. Not when we’ve just had it five times in one year.

                I fear you’re right about the difficulty of getting more people. If I were an outsider, even one enthusiastic about SF/F, why would I want to get involved in this shitshow? I do think that one of the better selling points is that for $50 (it goes up next year) you get all the nominees (some excerpts in Novel) plus often some extras.

                1. It’s funny, I didn’t No Award anything this time. There were a couple of categories I left blank because I didn’t have time to read them…. which despite the published rules may have gotten my ballot thrown out as “spoiled”. Next time I’ll understand the rules better. I should have remembered that this thing was being run by the same group who cheer when the ballots from our overseas troops don’t get delivered.

                  1. You mean that if one didn’t vote for something in every category, the ballot could be thrown out?

                    That, if true, would appear to ensure that there will be votes (or no awards) in categories where the voter hasn’t read/viewed all the submissions. Yet the Hugo powers-that-be tell us that they want every vote to be based on actual knowledge of the voter.

                    Why does the hypocrisy not surprise me?

                    1. And that’s exactly the category into which I fall – I only vote in those categories where I can read/review everything, which, given the deterioration in my reading speed lately, means that I don’t vote for novel or novella (and I don’t nominate, because I don’t keep up with new releases).

        2. See what he did there … puppies are not Fans … so much for inclusive welcoming big tent blah blah blah … they have stopped trying to hide behind it. I think we shouldn’t even reply directly to these fools, but simply identify logic and alinsky rules fails and go on with our normal day.

          1. I’m glad I’m not the only one asking that question.

            OK, Larry Correia says (and I believe him) that the votes were counted honestly. But were they cast by honest voters? How many of the ‘No Award’ votes were sockpuppets, paid for by people with a vested financial interest in keeping the Hugos as their private preserve? Is there, in fact, any way of telling? The American Left is notorious for its opposition to voter ID laws, because at bottom, voter ID helps to prevent fraud. As far as I know, there is no way even in principle of identifying the voters who paid for supporting memberships. It’s an open invitation for someone with deep pockets to stuff the ballot box, and I shall want some persuading before I believe that the invitation was not accepted in this case.

            1. How many of the ‘No Award’ votes were sockpuppets, paid for by people with a vested financial interest in keeping the Hugos as their private preserve?

              I don’t know. I suspect the answer is none. My null hypothesis is that there is no one with a vested financial interest in keeping the Hugos as their preserve. I’d like to see your list of people with – maybe – a vested financial interest in keeping the Hugos as their private preserve.

              In fact I thought the lack of value associated with the Hugos at the current time is the reason for Sadpuppy activism. That is I thought the casus belli to be that the Hugos by rights ought to be worthy awards for worthy fiction. A hallmark value added on the cover recognizing and guaranteeing quality – a worthwhile and therefore valuable reading experience. .

              My understanding of the current market value of the Hugo is informed by such as this:

              Commercially Hugos are very nearly worthless. It may help with getting a not totally laughable advance, but that advance still has to earn out. Hugos don’t help with that much, and may even hurt. IOW, the most they can do is change the timing of when you get paid, but the amount? Little or none.

              Tom Kratman –

              As an aside I suggest that part of the background to the current conflict is that there is no longer a mass market, Saturday Evening Post style, for popular fiction of quality. There isn’t much in the way of a slick market for folks to aspire to after breaking in with the pulps – no Omni no Playboy no nothing. Folks with a taste for literary fiction are making strange bedfellows after climbing in the gutter with SFF. A shrinking pie but the only pie in town.

              I’ve heard name authors challenged for making a basically literary story alt history and answer yes as SF it’s a trivial sale as literature it’s worthless.

              It’s been asserted that a useful definition of SF might be if you take the science/technology out what happens to the story. It’s been asserted that much of currently honored, at least with nominations and sometimes with awards, fiction fails that test. The current fight seems to include disagreements along the lines of some folks saying yes it fails that test but it’s still what I point to when I point to fiction I like so I’m all for the awards as they are today.

              A long time ago now when John Carr was still in the background on Dr. Pournelle’s anthologies and efforts no longer worthwhile were possible those anthologies were a significant part of the actually paying market for SF poetry. I’m so far gafiated I can’t name a single paying (cash not copies) market for SF poetry nor have I seen much except Jo Walton’s writings. Looking at the publication histories for The SFPA Rhysling Awards the market appears awfully thin. Nobody is fighting over the Rhysling. That’s the likely end for the sort of SFF I like.

              1. “My null hypothesis is that there is no one with a vested financial interest in keeping the Hugos as their preserve.”

                And after observing the Left since 2000, my null hypothesis is that financial interests are low on the priority list. The important thing is to control the Narrative. After all, when was the last time MSNBC or even the New York Times made money? And that pattern is common across all the MSM.

                Looked at from that perspective, hell yes they would and are gaming the Hugos now that the non-Left has signaled we’ll contest them.

              2. I’d like to see your list of people with – maybe – a vested financial interest in keeping the Hugos as their private preserve.

                The list starts with Patrick Nielsen Hayden and the other staff of Tor Books. By no coincidence, Tor employees were among the most prominent Puppy-Kickers from the outset and remained so to the end. Tor’s prestige, its attractiveness to writers, and whatever is left of its profitability, all depend upon its ability to portray itself as an upscale imprint – categorically superior to the dreck printed by an upstart like Baen.

            2. “OK, Larry Correia says (and I believe him) that the votes were counted honestly.”

              I know he said that three years ago…. but has he checked since? After all, then they weren’t aware they needed to be dishonest.

              Let’s just say that all the “spoiled ballot” talk makes me uneasy; when Democrats run elections, that usually means “spoiled by not matching our desired outcome.”

              1. When Quebec had its last referendum over separating from Canada (1995), certain ridings had a hugely disproportionate number of spoiled ballots; and by a particularly odd coincidence, those tended to be ridings with a heavy concentration of ‘No’ voters. Rumour saith that one returning officer rejected a lot of ‘No’ ballots because the ‘X’ with which they were marked had one stroke longer than the other.

            3. Vox says that SJWs project and this is probably an example. One thing that GRRM kept brining up on his blog was the time that the Scientologists did stuff the ballot box. Obviously it was on his mind.

      3. As far as Tor goes there was one last coming Tor book I wanted to buy: Kitty Saves the World by Carrie Vaughn. I discovered the series as the third book came out and I have bought books as they came out since.

        As the Tor boycott was about to start I emailed Ms. Vaughn because early in the series I had exchanged a few emails about radio. I apologized for not buying it new.

        I just ordered it used on Amazon. I feel dirty. I have never read or hear Carrie discuss any of the politics in sci-fi. For all I know she is a “No Award”er although I doubt that. I just had to screw her out of the small fraction of my cash Tor would have (hopefully) passed onto her as royalties as it was my only way to display my displeasure with their behavior. She doesn’t even have a tip jar on her website or I’d happily give her the full retail directly.

        To quote all the “No Award”ers: hey Tor, see what you made me do.

          1. I know she is. I’ll admit to some disappointment if she is.

            The reason I suspect she’s not is them seem a vocal lot.

        1. Well, the Torlings’ attitude has saved me about sixty dollars this fall; that would have been the hardcover price of the next installment of David Weber’s Safehold series plus Brandon Sanderson’s upcoming sequels to “The Alloy of Law” (those purchased at Kindle price).

          I was also looking forward to the sequels to Liu’s “Three-Body Problem,” but not now. All those books I’ll now either get from the library or purchase used.

    2. “The trad pub SF/F market continues to shrink, and the TORlings exercise ever more control over that very same shrinking market, so it’s pretty clear that the sci-fi literature most of us fell in love with in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, is more or less becoming phased out in favor of a specifically identitarianist SF/F that is not just self-referential, it’s dependent on personality cults to drive audience participation.”

      Yea – I don’t believe you. I am watching Sci Fi make major in roads on television and movies. Marvel is roaring. Things like the Hunger Games are major events. Paranormal Romance is booming. GRRM is doing great. So is Scalzi. I think what you are complaining about is that a particular style of SF/F may not be as prominent.

      Whether that is true or not true makes no difference. The FANS determine what should be prominent and they congregate in a place called the market. Now those books don’t show on your list, but they seem to be doing really well. I don’t hear Diana Gabaldon complaining about a shrinking market.

      1. Doesn’t matter what you believe.


        They’re hoping that a couple of big sellers might make adult fiction “reverse the trend” this year. (On re-reading, it’s not clear if they’re hoping for actual growth, or just a smaller shrinkage, and they specifically mention that juvenile fiction shrank more than the observed growth.)

        Notice that one of the years mentioned had a drop of over 10%; that would be the year that indy books hit 25% of the top 100 amazon sales.

        1. So, like the movie studios, trad publishers are depending on a small number of hits to make up for their losses?

        2. So I read your link and I should care about this why?

          Anyway back to Brad’s whack-a-doodle assertions “that it’s pretty clear that the sci-fi literature most of us fell in love with in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, is more or less becoming phased out in favor of a specifically identitarianist SF/F that is not just self-referential, it’s dependent on personality cults to drive audience participation.”


          “There won’t be a definable category for us, so much as we’ll know each other when we see each other.”

          Horse puckey. We have this thing called the market. Those that write what the market wants are rewarded with sales. If they really like it, the written product gets translated into all sorts of related products. Take Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” written by a SJW with a SJW agenda. People like it. Now it’s a TV show.

          “The Hunger Games” was a huge success for dystopian science fiction. Turned into pretty good movies.

          SJW Joss Whedon did a pretty good job for Marvel.

          And do we even have to mention GRRM?

          I simply don’t believe Brad. And that publication isn’t on point.

          If your cause is supposed to be saving science fiction from SJW fiction – that’s just saying “wrong fans’ and “wrong fun”. Not a great cause.

          1. So I read your link and I should care about this why?

            Well, if you care about not spreading falsehoods, it’s useful to find out that you have been doing so.

            I admit that is a rather big assumption not strongly supported by the evidence, but I do tend to give folks at least one chance.

            You quite nicely demonstrated that you, indeed, are not in the least bit interested in what is as opposed to what you desire to believe.

            1. Don’t take what SJWnumbers says seriously. He’s the champ of moderately intelligent trolls. Until people catch on to him, he gets them all riled up with his Orwellian logic and his circular way of expressing himself.

              I don’t think he’s a true SJW. I’ve caught him in to many mistakes, He’s just someone that likes to troll people, he’s good at it, and he manages to keep several people off balance at the same time. He’s been pretty active at Larry’s recently, but that’s not the first time I’ve seen him.

              He’ll take one side of an argument and twist it, and when folks get him with too many facts, he twists the argument sideways and frustrates those talking to him yet another way.

              Don’t waste your time or energy. You have better things to spend both on.

                1. Thank you for the banning. I have noticed many new names and faces recently, and I suspect the no award mess is what brought them here to check things out. Most of them bring value into the conversation. Some do not.

              1. Thanks for the heads up– I’d already noticed that pointing out his false claim resulted in flailing and “Look! Over there!” ing.

                Meh. Be less obvious if goalpost moving wasn’t such a common thing.

                1. We need an appropriate clip for rebuking such folk. Sadly I lack time (interest, but time is better suited) to find a brief version of this …

                  from Doctor Who.

          2. “Horse puckey. We have this thing called the market. Those that write what the market wants are rewarded with sales.”

            You are late to the party on this one. What’s that saying of you and yours? Educate yourself? Yeah, that. Go do that with book publishing. Note that indie’s exploding, particularly conservative indie. You might also want to look at Baen’s sales numbers. But you won’t.

            As to the rest of your post, let me explain something about your examples: most of the sales for those were to people folks like you couldn’t stand being around. And, I might add, were not as completely obsessed with race/gender/orientation as most of the TrueFans–or, for that matter, the editors at publishing houses.

          3. If your cause is supposed to be saving science fiction from SJW fiction – that’s just saying “wrong fans’ and “wrong fun”. Not a great cause.

            See, you’re wrong on that, too. Our cause is saving Science Fiction from the monoculture of tendentious, hortatory, derivative writing. We want Hugo hugs for all good SF rather than just that which appeals only to a small coterie (look at past Hugo vote counts with some awards receiving a bare score of votes) of elitist snobs whose taste in fiction is entirely predictable.

            As for Marvel: comic books are not SF. I realize you have difficulty reading things not accompanied by pictures but the truth remains.

            Take away the titties and nobody watches GRRM and his books don’t sell nearly as much (look at their sales before the HBO soft pore corn adaptations.

            Hunger games was actually a libertarian take on dystopian future, so we accept its success as unsurprising. The fact that it was only pushed by Big Publishing because it had a female protagonist and female writer is sad proof that the market is not being allowed to roam free.

                1. One your leftist parents brag about for being daring; the other your leftist parents brag about for being artistic.

                  Which is which is left as an exercise for the reader.

                2. We’ll only know for sure once we see the new season of Sesame Street.

                  If Bert & Ernie come out and Big Bird gets a job as a pole dancer … don’t hang around to find out what the Count is enumerating: “Vun, vune orgasm! That’s two, two orgasms …”

                    1. Port is a critical ingredient in making Scotch. Those frugal Scots don’t waste money on buying new barrels, they buy the used ones from Portugal. The flavors and aromatics that Port infuses into the barrel gives Scotch some of it’s taste (which is acquired, on first sipping it takes like water soaked peat).

                  1. Nobody had the Playboy channel? There was no freely available porn stores? I grew up in NYC and porn wasn’t hard to find. There was no cable. The TV channels available were ABC, CBS, NBS, PBS, WWOR and WPIX. This was 40 to 50 years ago in Brooklyn NY.

          4. It is as on point as any of your quacking. And you have been bitch-slapped over at Larry’s so now you’re here. Go away, you silly knigget, or I shall taunt you again.

          5. “So I read your link and I should care about this why?”

            ” We have this thing called the market. Those that write what the market wants are rewarded with sales. ”

            Choose one. If you don’t care what sells, why do you tout the market as the judge?

        3. All I saw in the article is that the book publishers are so happy they have beat Amazon down and now charge the costs associated with hard copy to e-copy. And, basing you recovery on Dan Brown’s writing certainly will not convince me. Isn’t that category speculative conspiracy theories?

          1. Counter-factual conspiracy theories, rather. (I’m a fan of conspiracy theories– they need to deal with problems, not just ignore them!)

      2. A decade or so, Worldcon was one of our *big* cons, where we could look forward to making serious money. These days, we make far more at even a mid-sized comic con or anime con. While we were at Sasquan, I had to consciously dial my expectations down because three weeks earlier we’d sold at a comic con with 50,000 people attending.

        There are plenty of fans out there, but they are going to the media cons rather than the traditional sf cons, which are shrinking to the point we’re less likely to go to them even if they’re profitable, if we can go to a larger media con the same week and make even more money.

        1. Yep. MileHiCon here in Denver has been running about 40 years, and I doubt it exceeds 1000 attendees. Denver Comic-Con, the new local media con, drew over 100,000 in its third year.

          1. This basic point came up in conversation yesterday, and I’ve done a little research to support it: Comic-con (San Diego Comic-Con) began in 1970 and drew 300 attendees. It didn’t top 5K attendees until 1984, and didn’t break into the 30K and above zone until 1994.
            [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_Comic-Con_International#Locations_and_dates ]

            Had the “stewards” of the Hugos applied their ‘brains” and energies to developing the brand, think how big it could now be, what an impressive proclamation of Science Fiction’s popularity and cultural success!

            Instead they have squandered their inheritance, shrunken the prestige of the awarding convention to match their shriveled souls.

            Hugo is left muttering “You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, Worldcon.”

      3. . I am watching Sci Fi make major in roads on television and movies. Marvel is roaring. Things like the Hunger Games are major events. Paranormal Romance is booming. GRRM is doing great. So is Scalzi. I think what you are complaining about is that a particular style of SF/F may not be as prominent.

        Whether that is true or not true makes no difference. The FANS determine what should be prominent and they congregate in a place called the market.

        Yes, and the fans of that kind of science fiction weren’t at WorldCon last weekend with their 5,000 besties.

        They will be in my my town next weekend with their 63,000 closest friends at DragonCon.

        As I love to point out there are more copies of all but one of the books of Titan Book’s current reprints of Moorcock’s Corum novels in stock at my local B&N (three each of books 2-3, none of 1, and three of book 4 until I bought one this morning) than there copies of all the books in Tor’s precious Ancillary Noun series (one each of Sword and Justice). There were none of the current Hugo Best Novel, Three Body Problem but there was one of Tanith Lee’s first novel, The Birthgrave, from the mid-70s until I bought it (my two DAW yellowspine copies have seen better days).

        That doesn’t sound like publishing of new SF/F is doing well, does it.

        1. So, then — you’ve noticed the plot by Big Bookstore to deny diverse and something equally irrelevant voices a place in the market?

          Amazon, by freeing the market from the tyranny of Big Bookstore, is further oppressing the market because it is also limiting the power of Enlightened Publishers to control the books available.

      4. 75126,

        What you don’t seem to grasp — on purpose? — is that the SF/F lit scene deliberately keeps itself apart from “mere media” properties. Ask some of the old crew, even guys like Mike Resnick, and you will discover an overriding unhappiness with media. Because media is not “real” SF/F and the old-timers always carp that media is a day late and a dollar short. “We did this in our books and magazines 40 years ago! Why do people love it now, with a cheesy movie?”

        George R. R. Martin may love his money, but he doesn’t love the fans of his TV show. They are “second-class fans” in his book. They haven’t been going to Worldcon since 1972, the way he has. They aren’t qualified to know what’s “good” in the field.

        You’re right: the market does determine all. And the market for trad pub lit SF/F has been shrinking. That’s not conjecture. It’s an economic fact. It’s why the people who used to gun for six-figure advances now have to settle for five and even four-figure advances. It’s why TOR is doubling down on its “mega-star” model, which it enjoyed with Robert Jordan: one guy’s sales fund the whole company at better than 50% net revenue. Except, Scalzi is not Jordan. Hell, Sanderson — a man I respect and admire, and who is very good at his craft — isn’t Jordan either.

        Put more plainly, the “mega-star” model isn’t working like it did in the 90s.

        Meanwhile, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a multi-billion dollar industry unto itself; churning out hit after hit. What do all of those hits have in common? They correctly understand that adventure and fun are the “vehicle” and whatever message may be present, is the “passenger” in that vehicle.

        Meanwhile trad pub lit SF/F praises itself for dragging us all by the ear, the same way our English teachers and profs dragged us by the ear when we were students — and we hated them for it.

        1. From what I’ve seen of GRRM, Brad, he doesn’t even like the fans of the books. How else to interpret his glee in tormenting and killing off every sympathetic character in Game of Thrones? It’s that contempt for his readers that led me to drop GoT even before Martin showed his *asterisk* at the Hugos along with the rest of the idiots, because the books have become a long, boring, pointlessly masochistic meandering through blood and sewage.

          I can forgive a writer for a multitude of sins, even heavy-handed political messaging, as long as he or she is telling me a good story. I will not tolerate the author’s contempt.

          As for the fans of the TV version, well, I suspect GRRM’s real resentment is rooted in the fact that HBO’s scriptwriters did the editing job on the series that GRRM’s literary editors should have. But that’s what happens when you become “too big to edit.” And too full of yourself.

          1. “From what I’ve seen of GRRM, Brad, he doesn’t even like the fans of the books. How else to interpret his glee in tormenting and killing off every sympathetic character in Game of Thrones?”

            Forget that, although that’s bad enough. How about the fact that he writes at a pace somewhere between snail and turtle?

            “because the books have become a long, boring, pointlessly masochistic meandering through blood and sewage.”

            In fairness, the more recent books have involved some people actually getting what they have coming. But if Jon Snow is dead, and Ramsey Snow is alive in the next one–so long, Mr. Martin. I’ll finish your books on Wikipedia.

            1. Reread both LOTR and Harry Potter last year. Noticed that in one case, he stuck to a year at the end of the epic struggle, and strictly limited the points of view, shoving everything else off into stories people told, and in the other, she make the book a bildungsroman and never departed far from Harry.

              Thus, in both cases, taking a slice of the epic.

          2. Contempt for the audience is definitely a “thing” in the arts, no question about it. I have always taken the opposite approach, using Larry Niven’s law as a guideline: it is a sin to waste the reader’s time. To that end, I want to try to give my readers a rewarding, dare I even say uplifting, experience. Something they can walk away from and think, “Wow, that was totally worth it!”

      5. You know, kiddo, I’ve been a real con-going fan for more than 40 years. I went to my first Worldcon when Scalzi was in diapers (assuming he’s not now) and I *counted* Hugo votes before he could type.

        And I’ve watched the debate about who is a Tru Fan that whole time. But, among the groups who were not:

        Star Trek Fans — “trekkies”
        Star Wars fans — “jackboot fandom”
        Comics fans
        Anime fans

        Now, if you go to, say, Dragon Con, you’ll see ten thousand or so of fans of that stuff. ComicCon, hundreds of thousands. Racially mixed, multi-ethnic, roughly 50/50 M/F

        WorldCon, you’ll see a whole bunch of old white people, with about 8/1 male. And there will be a couple thousand of them.

        I agree SF/F is wildly popular now. And yet, Tor’s readership is shrinking.

        I wonder why?

  24. If you want to avoid ceding the field to the CHORFs, then rather than sinking to their level and getting mired in some endless catty social vortex, (a battlefield suited to those with infinite time to play social games and nothing better to do), isn’t the solution to write good sci-fi?

    Ultimately, the fate of the science fiction genre is defined by the people who produce science fiction … isn’t it? You can hardly develop a secondary community of fandom around unwritten novels/short-stories and uncreated art. And if the novels/stories are there, then those who enjoy it can associate and find each other with far less effort in this age of the internet, then ever before. Publication and communication costs are racing towards $0 over the effort to create the work.

    1. Related to the hacker value: Shut up and show me the code.

      There is no substitute (attitude/politics/outre theoretical constructs/aesthetic minutiae) in their world for a working program. In this world, I think, there is no substitute for an extant enjoyable book.

    2. No. It’s determined by the people who BUY science fiction, unless someone is “producing” it for free.

    3. To an extent. I need to figure out how to respond to these in minimal time — and I think I have a way — BUT they cannot go unslapped. Again if LIVs only hear screaming from one side they assume it’s right.

      1. We have to find a balance. You are right that they must be countered. It would also be nice to have other things to talk about again.

          1. I do. I just want to go a whole week without “Puppies” or “Hugos” or “Scalzi” already.

    4. One of the reasons I knew I had to level up, and push into pro status, is because I felt like the field had lost its way. Beginning around 2005 I realized I had become more and more unhappy with what I was seeing. This wasn’t Niven’s field, or Pournelle’s field, anymore. This wasn’t even Vinge’s field. This was a field which was becoming annoyingly self-referential, and which seemed to actually enjoy thumbing its nose at the common reader, with his common interests. So yes, the answer really is to just write the stories that need to be written. And if trad pub has its head too far up its ass to help — no problem. Indie now makes it possible for a Niven-esq novel (Andy Weir’s The Martian?) to soar straight to the big screen, barely bumping its ass on trad pub’s head.

  25. Jack Teng (Author) on Twitter
    “@MaryRobinette Offense is defined by the person at whom the comment/slur is directed. Intention isn’t…
    twitter.com|By Jack Teng (Author)

    What he’s claiming is the power to end any argument, any debate, any discussion, by claiming offense at some word within it. In his mind, there are no innocuous words since any word can be defined as offensive by the recipient.

    So let’s play that game. “Jack” has been used to “other” a man of Japanese heritage on TV. People could not be bothered to learn his name and just treated him as a sub-human disposable part. Therefore “Jack”, as a name, is racist and Mr. Teng must change it immediately.

      1. But don’t you know, that only works if the offended part is of the correct (left) ideological persuasion.

    1. “Jack” has also been used as a synonym for what was once euphemized as “personal abuse. It is also a name long associated with misappropriation of the assets and murder of people of notable height. That is too more areas of offense, but of course we don’t know Jack — there might be more.

    1. I’m not sure they can tell the difference.

      They do release he’ll be owed royalties on any performance of his work, right? Because I suspect:

      1. If they pay it he’ll post it for all of them to see how they gave him money.
      2. If they don’t his lawyer will insure they both pay #1 and both sets of legal costs.

      So, Vox Day loses how?

      1. Vox Day loses how?

        He must not only suffer the grievous soul-crushing horror of their mockery …

        … but the burden of paying taxes on their money.

    2. Leftists love a strong leader who yells, calls them names, and treats them mean. It is the political version of Game, and they always swoon for it.

      So yeah, they have a political crush on Vox Day and cannot admit it.

        1. In many ways, they do “invent” people like Vox.

          They want to believe that the “People” support them so they have to “invent” some Great Evil Men who are fooling the “People”.

          They inflate the “power” of people who oppose them and claim those people have some special ability to “lead the poor Sheep away from the Good Liberals who have their best interests in mind”.

          Look at how Liberals talk about the Koch brothers and then look at the real Koch brothers. [Frown]

        2. There is a report that Vox of fifteen years ago was unexceptional as a conservative in his views and his presentation. Supposedly his movement to where he is today is a result of interacting with SJWs in general and Patrick Hayden in particular.

          1. I remembered that after I posted my comment about “inventing Vox,” so . . . they really *did* invent him. I stand corrected, sir.

            . . . That might also be one reason that Vox so effortlessly lives rent-free in their heads, because perhaps deep down inside they realize it. Along with Vox’s persistent refusal to just “SHUT UP AND GO AWAY YOU RACIST!” no matter how loudly they shriek.

  26. I’ve come to the conclusion that the one single thing that holds it all together, all the different directions and all the different issues and all of the things that seem like they’re entirely separate is something that Foz Meadows disclosed in (his/her?) recent article. (It was within the section on “representation.”) And that is simply this: It’s is right and good and necessary to actively police the content of books, (and blog posts, apparently.) There is and can be NO live and let live. It exists no where in this philosophy. There is no promoting stuff you think is good without also doing everything you can to push out what you think is bad. Because it’s bad, and needs to be opposed.

    And you know… that’s what Requires Hate was all about, right? Someone needed to be there to decide if someone had made a mistake or not, if they’d accidentally promoted some bad-think. Since people don’t necessarily recognize when they do (they may not *intend* to do so) they need someone to tell them when they have.

    Thus… a white male protagonist in a book must be examined to ensure that he doesn’t represent an unconscious return to a past status quo. A non-white non-male protagonist in a book must also be examined to ensure that this person is presented in a way that is “right” by some measure and does not pose any sort of danger of increasing or supporting a past status quo. And so we need the Content Police. These Content Police pop up in all sorts of communities and accumulate power.

    And so we’ve the spectacle of someone or other complaining that Lance, in Hard Magic, behaves protectively toward Faye. Not a spectacle because someone complained, but surely a spectacle because they weren’t immediately told by the vast host of far-left liberal equality workers to stop being a complete idiot in public.

  27. And I’ll say… they WILL start to attack the “wrong people” again. There isn’t anyone’s speech or blog or fiction that doesn’t need to be checked over for these unconscious errors of thought and language. I’ve seen quoted tweets of people attacking Laura Mixon for supporting racism, for example. It will continue until it can’t anymore.

    1. Bullies will keep bullying until they can’t bully any more.

      Asking them nicely to stop doesn’t work, unfortunately.

      The culture today encourages bullies to bully, and most especially, takes the side of bullies who are favored by the powerful and the well-connected.

      This represents a difficult problem to solve satisfactorily.

  28. I’ve been THROUGH the desert on a horse…


    Like they give a shit.

      1. Is it true that Dancing Queen was about transvestism?

        And yeah, I know what Lola and Take a Walk on the Wild Side were about.

        Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
        Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
        Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
        Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
        Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
        Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
        Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo

        I am not your wicked Uncle Ernie, and
        You didn’t hear it
        You didn’t see it
        You never heard it not a word of it
        You won’t say nothing to no one
        Never tell a soul
        What you know is the Truth

  29. For the SJWs and CHORFs who are going to be reading through this I’m going to post this link:
    Note that this is a blog of anime fans who’ve walked away from traditional SF. I’m going to point out that if the Bar had no existed, I probably would have done much the same. And this isn’t the only place I’ve seen things like this or the only people I’ve talked to who’ve said the same thing. There’s also the posts that Mike Rothmann has posted and the puppy kicker have sneered at. At the rate it’s going, except for Baen and some bestseeling titles traditional SF is going to be dead in five years or less, because the big companies that run trad publishing won’t want to pay the bills for a loser on the fringe. Have people been to a bookstore lately. Look how big the game related and manga sections are what the SF section looks like. Here’s a clue. It hasn’t been growing.

    1. Bookstore?

      The last one in my area folded a few years back. Now there’s the very limited selection of “bestsellers” and reprints at Wal-Mart.

      The first thing we do when we travel somewhere is play “find the bookstores.” What we’ve found in the last few years is that we’re by no means alone.

      Any marketing plan that depends on selling books through a traditional storefront isn’t viable for long…

  30. Jack Teng (Author) on Twitter
    “@MaryRobinette Offense is defined by the person at whom the comment/slur is directed. Intention isn’t…

    twitter.com|By Jack Teng (Author)
    Yes, indeed. He goes on to say intention isn’t important. So if I use the word, say “potato” and you decide it refers to you and your sub-race or whatever, I’m immediately using a racist slur?

    This is actually what is taught in the mandatory diversity training for stff and faculty in universities today. Sometime they switch it up and introduce the concept of “offense being in the eye of the offendee” in the context of sexual harassment, but it works just as well in the context of intercultural communication.

      1. This offensive icon must be sliced!

        The Committee to Ban Mr. Potato Head has eyes everwhere!

  31. Intention IS very important, but also people do get to define what offends them, however what they don’t get to do is…
    1) fail the “reasonable person” test over what they are offended by, and
    2) take it upon themselves to decide what offends other people, and
    3) even if those other people are in their same demographic group, and
    4) take offense due to a lack of language skills or mishearing or being passed the “insult” second hand when the person passing the info gets it wrong.

    It’s like self-defense. If I fear for my life I may shoot you dead. But that doesn’t count if I’m a crazy nut case who thinks that you’re really a mind-controlling alien from outer space with a cook book.

    1. I’d agree except I’d revise #1 to “define what the ‘reasonable person’ is offended by”.

      They can be offended by the fact I used a diminutive of my first name the my initial of my last name as my handle around here. Reasonable people who heard them demanding I apologize and change it to some other form will (I hope) decide they are oversensitive for some reason and ignore them at best or tell them, “get off it or leave” at worst.

  32. You know of course that given the acronym SPIV we are going to get slammed with the charges of being sexist and promoting rape culture.
    PIV don’t you know.
    Wish I was just kidding, but nah, sooner or later one of those puerile infants won’t be able to resist. I mean chicom for frack’s sake.

    1. …so “SPIV” stands for “Sad Puppies In…”?

      Oh my. So… kind of like, “A chicken in every pot”?

  33. “Because at the end of all this, the books are what matters.”

    Exactly. So let the SJWs have the awards and be happy to write and have legions of adoring fans.

    It’s been said that to “let the Hugos go” in this fashion would somehow be a disservice to the great writers of the past who’ve been honored with a Hugo. But they, too, wrote out of passion for their stories. The best possible testament to their greatness is the allegiance and praise of those who’ve loved them. The awards didn’t make them great, any more than a Nobel Prize made Einstein great. (Remember, he was roundly hated by his contemporaries for general relativity, and only received a Nobel much later, for his work on the photoelectric effect.)

    I’d rather have sales and admiring readers. I’ll bet you would too, Sarah.

    1. The problem is “credibility with mainstream” still hinges on the hugos, and I’m not willing to have them call in, say, the writer of Ancillary Pronoun to tell them what SF is really like.

      1. It is important to make a minor distinction here, between “credibility with mainstream” and “credibility with mainstream media.”

        The latter only entails expressing a political perspective consonant with that of the nattering nabobs of the news, the morning show hosts, the Oprahites and View panelists, and so on.

        The former is how the latter signifies the guest’s credibility to the larger audience. It is likely secondary to “best-selling” as a signifying label, given that 90% of the public couldn’t reasonably define what SF is, much less the significance of the Hugo award.

        TL:DR version — if Larry Correia, John C. Wright, John Ringo, Tom Kratman or you, Sarah, ever win a Hugo you still won’t be on Bill Maher or The View to opine about trendlines in American popular culture, space exploration or any other SF-related issue.

        They had Robert A Heinlein on to discuss the moon landing because he was Robert A Heinlein, not because he was Hugo Award winning author Robert A Heinlein.

      1. They will never forgive him for Isher,/I>, even if they stole his Black Destroyer for Alien and a dozen other rip-offs.

  34. Jack Teng (Author) on Twitter
    “@MaryRobinette Offense is defined by the person at whom the comment/slur is directed. Intention isn’t…
    twitter.com|By Jack Teng (Author)

    Who gives a flying f’ what Teng thinks?
    This is opinion, not fact, of course, and it fails because no one (even Teng) really believes in it. “I am offended at the way you eat, because you salt your food in public, and people like me believe it should be done in private!”
    The truth is that Teng’s argument is social and political. Certain groups of people are allowed to claim offense (no one knows what another person feels), and other people are not. What is presented as an issue of personal power (the individual defines what offends him or her) is really public and political (certain people may say certain things, other people have their speech controlled).

    1. Jack Teng is enabling the Vester L. Flanagan II perspective on what is offensive.

      What offends you is a personal choice (I personally find it offensive that anybody chooses a name combining Jack Daniels and Tang) but the degree to which anybody else is required to cater to the thinness of your skin is limited.

        1. In related reporting:
          Political Correctness Puts Science Fiction on Trial
          John C. Wright did not win a Hugo Award this year. He lost to “No Award.”

          Wright was up for five Hugos in three categories. The Hugo is one of the major awards given to science fiction literature, and Wright is the author of several well-reviewed science fiction novels, novellas, and short stories. Many of Wright’s works are published by Tor, the leading science fiction and fantasy publisher in America.

          I consider Wright’s Golden Age trilogy some of the finest science fiction writing of the last half-century, up there with Robert Heinlein and Philip K. Dick.

          John C. Wright lost to “No Award” because of political correctness. In a story that was widely, and often inaccurately, reported, Wright was part of a group of sci-fi writers calling themselves the “Sad Puppies.” The Puppies, a diverse group that includes writers of different genders and races, argue that a focus on trendy liberal themes—homosexuality, race, etc.—is overtaking the craft of storytelling in science fiction. They feel that sci-fi and fantasy—so-called “speculative fiction”—is increasingly reading like The Nation magazine or Rachel Maddow’s blog.

          Science fiction has always prided itself on being a pop culture genre that was allowed to push certain boundaries. Shows like The Twilight Zone and Star Trek used metaphor to condemn bigotry and intolerance. But like so much of liberalism, they couldn’t stop there. Thus we have a science fiction writer like Ann Leckie, whose book Ancillary Justice won a wheel-barrow full of awards, including the Hugo, and whose characters are not identified by gender. (Although considered revolutionary, genderlessness is not exactly new* in sci-fi) Or the 2014 Hugo winner, John Chu’s short story, “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere.” In it a gay man decides to come out to his traditional Chinese family after a strange new phenomenon occurs: whenever a person lies, water falls on them.

          Where are the spaceships, monsters, and hot green alien chicks?

          RTWT — especially the bile spewing comments after the column.

          *Link to wiki entry on Left hand of Darkness

  35. I’ll be honest – I skimmed the comments quickly. I have to WRITE today. Not read for hours. However I’d like to make this point.
    It’s no error they define the one offended as determining what is offensive without any regard for intent or accepted meanings of words.
    This is standard leftist tactics. It gives them all the power. It’s only effective because they know their enemies value reason and won’t use that tactic themselves. To do so would embarrass us to appear irrational and unbalanced.
    They have no shame at looking crazed. It seems to be a feature not a bug for their followers. Similar to being a thug and a crook in a Democratic city. It seems to get you elected since the voters there say – That man, he just like us. He be OK!
    There is no defense to it except to make fun of it or ignore it.

    1. I say the only right and proper response to this notion is to tell its propounder to “take back what you said about my mother”. The momentary shock from this non sequitur gives you time to point out that you’ve just done exactly what the idiot said the “offended” have a right to do …

  36. “Alyssa Wong ‏@crashwong · 5h5 hours ago

    Alyssa Wong retweeted Cecily Kane
    Bless @Cecily_Kane for storifying those tweets on why, no, Sarah Hoyt, you don’t get to tell my family’s story. ”

    When was Sarah telling Alyssa Wong’s family story?

      1. That’s my response whenever I hear of something that the CA legislature is doing or proposing. Or the EPA, or the FCC, or the FDA, etc.

      2. Rush Limbaugh has been ridiculing this proglodyte ploy for years —

        So even after all of this time, this guy still can’t get over it. So my point, Ken Starr was the pervert. It was Clinton who ruined a woman’s life, an intern, Monica Lewinsky, ruined her life. He’s a hero for it. But we weren’t supposed to talk about it. Sex, nobody’s business, didn’t affect his job, everybody does it. It was just BJs, it wasn’t even sex. Ken Starr was the pervert. And here’s Clinton, goes out and celebrates Jason Collins yesterday coming out, and today he’s in Georgetown and he has to make a joke: Even a ChiCom says, yeah, you might have freedom. In our country, Ken Starr would be in jail making tennis shoes.

        I’m here to tell you this guy still hasn’t forgotten it. He still hasn’t gotten over it. He’s still bitter about it, and Starr didn’t do anything. Remember that parody we did, Larry King interviewing Carville and Ken Starr? Carville says (imitating Carville), “He’s a space alien, Larry. He’s a space alien from Mars. He came here to get your kids smoking tobacco and destroy our president.” Larry King says, “Ken, are you really from Mars?”

        “Larry, come on.”

        “He’s not only from Mars, he’s trying to get all of your kids smoking cigarettes and tobacco products. He’s out to destroy our president and kill your children.”

        “That’s an awfully serious charge, Ken Starr. Are you really trying to get kids on cigarettes?”

        “Larry, come on. I’m simply –”

        “And not only that, I’ll tell you what else, Larry, this man is actually a pervert. He’s a sex pervert, Larry. He’s out to destroy our president.”

        “Scintillating charges from James Carville. Thanks for being with us tonight on Larry King Live,” blah, blah, blah, blah. We made a parody out of this. Clinton committed perjury in a sexual harassment case. He was the sexual harasser. He committed perjury, and he’s telling jokes about how some ChiCom leader is reassuring him that Ken Starr would be in jail making tennis shoes. Talk about perverts.

        — noting how the Left hurls insane allegations which conservatives are expected to answer.

        The answer to Alyssa Wong is, “I’m not telling your family’s story, but were I to, try and stop me.”

        Then perhaps tell the story of Alossa Wyng, a wanna-be commisar and latest in a long line of Chicom murderers.

          1. There may be nothing wrong with her head. Many SJWs have perfectly adequate heads but experience extensive deleterious side effects as a consequence of their preferred place of storage for their head.

            1. I suspect she never read what I said, and so thinks I was saying all Chinese are Chicoms, that being the interpretation of that literary genius, Mary Three Names.

            2. For some, it may be an effect of the chemicals they use to dye their hair colors generally not found atop a human’s head.

              But Recto-Cranial Insertion is just as valid a diagnosis. 😛

          2. She doesn’t make that claim that I can see (at https://storify.com/Cecily_Kane/alyssa-wong-on); only that “Chicom” is an ethnic slur. And that her family’s suffering in the Cultural Revolution gives her moral authority to deny you use of the term, no matter your encounters with Chicoms in Portugal.

            Or something like that: The poor thing’s gone to the effort to preemptively block me; should I violate her express wishes and give her words a careful reading? 😇

            1. Any moral authority she might have had has been drained by her arrogance in assuming prerogatives not hers.

              Did some watery tart toss her a sword or something?

      1. I lean toward Social Justice Wankers — people seeking to to beat society into submission for their self-gratification.

    1. We call them ‘warriors’ precisely to ridicule them for thinking that they are. It’s equivalent to the sarcastic label ‘Internet tough guy’.

  37. The first time I heard the term I was commenting on a WP art about Springsteen playing ‘Fortunate Son’ at a Vet concert. I thought it was bad choice. Debated some guy and asked him if he’d been in combat. He responded yes he was a SJW. I was taken aback when he told me what it meant. To this day, don’t know if he was joking.

  38. Stuff like how many noms, where do we get recommends, do all three of us have to read something before we recommend it, and oh, yeah, logo? patches? t-shirts?

    Hmm… I could be way off here but what if…

    There’s 5 nominations now, right? So what if each of you recommended 1 book, Vox’s rabid brigade nominated a 4th, and then ya’ll left the 5th slot open to the kickers?

    Though I’m not sure if the plan is still for honest try or if we’re in burning mode. (I mean if we’ve reached full revenge, SP4 should nominate nobody, then no award the entirety of 2016.) I’m also torn over whether it would be worth it to see if heads would explode for the rabidly sad puppies to go and vote on the TRUFAN(TM) books just to confuse the CHORFs.

  39. It may be too late for this comment to register as the blog has already moved on (I only can read every few days).

    I’ve never really felt that I’ve had a dog in this fight. I can sympathize with your point of view, but on the other hand my reading tastes do lean towards Jo Walton, Connie Willis, and even the much-despised Mira Grant.

    As a bystander the one thing I would like to see for SP4 is a continuation of the philosophy to use the recommendations to bring notice to people/works who (due to inbuilt biases) tend to get overlooked. That is the single thing that made me the most sympathetic to the puppies cause. I’d love to see the recommendation list net cast even further and wider and include as many different great works in neglected sub-genres or areas (like indie publishers) as possible.

  40. I am personally very much in favor of a Sad Puppies slate. It lets me have my cake and eat it too. For my supporting membership, I am guaranteed some good reading material (almost certainly more than the cost of the SM), and then I get to No Award everything for basically no cost! What a wonderful world it is in which we live!

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