According To Hoyt

The Gang’ll Know I Died Standing Pat

Over the last few days, since Kate published the list of Sad Puppies recommends, we’ve been inundated both in email and in social media by people requesting, clamoring and whining to be removed from the list.  The eructations from these special snow flakes vary in levels of self-delusion and insanity and at least one was very polite.

The prize MUST go to Damien Walter of Grauniad fame for tweeting that he hopes Kate Paulk has deep pockets, to withstand all the lawsuits resultant from putting people on the list without asking their permission.

I know that poor Damien probably was born with rocks for brain (I apologize to any rocks I might be maligning) before he filled it with Marxist excrement, but seriously, kid, DO pull your socks up and try to keep up with those of normal intelligence.  What Kate did was collect recommendations for an AWARD — you know, something that publishers and writers in the past have shown they covet? — from fans of the writer and then use arithmetic — you know, that thing you slept through in first grade while collecting grievances and how people told you to pull your socks up? — to collate a list of recommended reading for those intending to nominate for the award.

If that’s actionable in your world, then your tweet is a walking libel case, and the things you grace the pages of Teh Grauniad with should see you flogged at Charing Cross — at least in more vigorous times.

And no, little Damien, this is not actionable either.  This is merely a statement of your actions and an inference of your intellectual capacity.

When you tell people who have actually been slandered in mainstream media and called racists, sexists and homophobes not only with no evidence but with contrary evidence, that RECOMMENDING SOMEONE FOR AN AWARD without “asking their permission” is actionable, you are suffering levels of delusion that most people are medicated for.  Either that or you lack the intellectual capacity G-d gave a goose.

Speaking of which, all of you, even the polite ones, who send me purple prose about how badly Brad Torgersen ran Sad Puppies IV and how he created an evil slate also make me doubt your mental capacity.  Seriously, guys?  A slate?  If you’d bothered to look at the numbers and had a minimum of arithmetic ability (did you also sleep through it in first grade, while dreaming of little Damien’s slights and grievances?  — Seriously, he really should pull his socks up) you’d have realized the only real slate was “no award.”  Sad puppies nominations and votes were not only not lockstep but all over the place. Because, you know, they were reading what was suggested and making up their own minds, instead of — like the other side — taking marching orders from their betters who told them to not even read and just vote no-award.

Also, and btw, if you’d bothered to read the definition of slate, you’d stop thinking it was some uber evil thing:

a fine-grained rock formed by the metamorphosis of clay, shale, etc., that tends to split along parallel cleavage planes, usually at an angle to the planes of stratification.
a thin piece or plate of this rock or a similar material, used especially for roofing or as a writing surface.
a dull, dark bluish gray.
a list of candidates, officers, etc., to be considered for nomination, appointment, election, or the like.

A list of candidates TO BE CONSIDERED.  I.e., in book terms, read them and vote for what you like.

In other words, what Locus publishes when it does its list of recommendation?  Slate.  What various names in SF publish every year?  Slate. And by this I don’t mean a dull dark bluish gray, except in the case of the lists published by some writers, which do tend to the grey goo.

So, where is that evil evil “vote lockstep” meaning in it?  Nowhere.  Were you so sure your “thought leaders” (who apparently have your thoughts on a little chain) were correct you never bothered to check the definition?  And you call yourself thinking adults?

Oh, well done.

A list, which Brad also compiled in public from recommendations suddenly became a magical and somehow evil “slate” that must be stopped at all costs, because some loudmouths with vested interests thought so.

And speaking of vested interests darling brainless ones: HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE YOU’RE SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER?

Over and over in the media — much of it the sort of mass media only a mainstream publisher can reach through their contacts — you talked about a cabal of powerful white, straight men trying to keep women and minorities from science fiction or at least from recognition in science fiction.

This took the sort of faith that used to lead people to convince themselves they’d seen street-corner sorcerers perform magic.  Seriously.

First if you’d bother to look at that evil recommends list, you’d have seen plenty of women and some minorities. At least before you browbeat some of them into public denunciations of the list and self-deleting. Most of this in public, btw.  Second, if you’d bothered thinking for two minutes, you’d have realized the Sad Puppies cohort consisted mainly of fairly new writers.  Yes, one is a bestseller, but he’s fairly new. He also publishes only with Baen, the publisher none of you wants into.

I think I’m the longest published there, and I’m a midlister, which in this field means I have no power of any kind, save the power to scream when I’m cut from a publisher’s list.  Also, last I checked I’m a woman and the federal government insists I’m Latina (at least some departments, but even for the census I fall in under Galician since Galicia extends to Portugal and the area my family comes from. And while that’s not a race group but a culture group let me assure you if I am out in the sun and mildly well as opposed to as ill as I’ve been the last few years,  I can still spot melanin to your entire side while remaining darker than average.)

Two other women on our side are INDIE published only (except for short stories) even though one of them makes a living at it. Oh, and while I’ve never looked up close and personal (we’re not that kind of friends) I have it on fairly good authority that they’re both women.  One of them gave birth to a kid, after all.

So tell me by what feat of insanity you think any of us — if we wanted to do that, which none of us do — could keep women or minorities out of the field?

I tell you who could: a major publisher, which can decide who gets published and not, and which can spend to buy memberships for its people so that they can vote lockstep for the awards.  (They probably expense it.  And they probably have some under-secretary deputized to make sure all the ballots are absolutely alike.)

You know, the same people who have been accusing us — people with no power in the field — of distorting and perverting the awards.  Those people.  The people with all the power.

But they told you that you were speaking truth to power and you believed them.  Or perhaps worse, you know they were lying, but you are so desirous of the benefits that power can confer on you that you’ll slander, lie and attack on command, knowing its a lie and wishing only to receive the benefits of that lie commanded by evil and self-interested people.

I can’t tell which is which: whether you’re dumb or conniving.  I’ll leave that for you to decide in front of your mirror every morning of the rest of your life.

I’ll only note you’re worse than the Soviets who condemned the Kulaks during holodomor, worse than the people on the street who mouthed the Nazi lies about Jews during WWII.  Why worse?  Because those people lived in fear of their lives.  They had to say what they did because they feared being next on the kill list.

But you?  You willingly go along with slanders and destroy reputations and attempt to destroy livelihoods for the sake of a plastic rocket.  To coin a phrase:  It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world … but for Wales, Richard?

One of you I knew to be insane since an unprovoked orchestrated attack years ago, but the rest of you (Damien excepted. Damien is just funny) I had some respect for, ranging from lots of it to residues.  Now I don’t.

Depart from us in peace.  Go lick your chains and cavort before your masters at their command.  Relish the slavery you purchased so dearly.

As for us, we shall make some note you requested removal, in some way that YOU insult the fans who went through so much trouble to nominate you and who up-voted your work enough times to get it on our list.  We won’t insult them for you.

Until Kate returns from Lunacon that’s the only answer I’m willing to give you. And it’s more than courtesy demands, since I know you’ll take no answer but what comes from those who hold your thoughts captive.

Someday maybe you’ll wake up and realize what you’ve done.  On that day may you be able to forgive yourselves.