A Lengthy Explanation

I woke up at 4:30 am with the need to explain an altercation I got into in my conference (Sarah’s Diner) on facebook, yesterday night.

I wasn’t raised in a barn, and public blow ups upset me because they SHOULD be beneath me.

The explanation turned VERY long and pulled together threads that I don’t think I ever made explicit here, including stuff about my health and what is going on with my career (though a lot of you caught some of it by implication and inference, I haven’t been explicit on anything.) To be blunt a lot of this was stuff I was trying to ignore in the hopes it would go away, or at least leave me alone.  Since it’s now, 3 years later, clear that it won’t, the least I can do is explain it.

So I copied that post and it’s below.  When reading it, remember it partly refers to events in a conference on Facebook.  But the general explanations as to why I behaved like a fishwife still apply.

As is in the post I have a doctor’s appointment shortly, but I should be back around 10am my time or so.

Yesterday I lost my temper here in the diner and resorted to outright insults.
 
I don’t think I’ve ever done THAT before or not quite in the same way and certainly not against a colleague.
 
So…
 
Because you guys know I try to run a friendly, apolitical, religion-accepting group I thought I should explain.
First the TL/DR, though please, if you can I BEG you to read the whole thing. It’s probably the longest post I’ll put up here, that’s not a book excerpt. It’s THAT important to me. So if you can, please read the whole thing.
 
The TL/DR is as follows: A few friends (two of them Kate Paulk and Amanda S. Green, aka, my main accomplices in pretty much everything. The “famous” one Larry Correia and the at the time “about as famous as I” Brad Torgersen) joined in a campaign to remove science fiction awards advertised as “fan awards” from the hands of a clique (proving it was in the hands of a clique was our first point) and give it back to the fans. That was it. That was point A through Z of our agenda. It was called Sad Puppies after an earlier “joke” campaign of Larry’s designed to show the award once won by Heinlein and LeGuinn was in the hands of a clique and a political one at that.
 
The campaign Brad and I were involved in was SP 3. I was supposed to take it, but I was deathly ill. (More below) and Brad who is a pure hallo knight stepped in to do it so I wouldn’t kill myself.
 
I got up from cancer surgery (QUITE LITERALLY THE NEXT DAY) to find the campaign and the guys who were the most visible in it being demonized as racist/sexist homophobic (more in the long version.)
 
I was ill, I was not evil. So I (quite literally) dragged myself up from bed rest and down two flights of stairs to my then basement office, where I spent the next three weeks up till all hours, trying to defend them and point out I was part of this campaign from the beginning.
 
For my trouble I was smeared the same way as the men ON NATIONAL PRESS and lost any leftist friends I had remaining (keep in mind that I had already, by then, come out of the closet politically. But this is when anyone leftist in the field either walked away, unfriended me or “remained a friend” while slandering me more or less to my face. Yes, there are at least three of you in here who didn’t walk, two of whom were vocal SP3 supporters. Thank you for that.)
 
I KNOW because I have caught the fringes, not so fringes, and people I trust (or people I barely know who have no reason to tell me this) have all told me this that there’s a whisper campaign against me that has pretty much destroyed any of my chances of a continuing traditional career. (No, I’m not lying down and dying. I’ve published indie in the past and made more than on any of my traditional books. I can do it again.)
 
I know that both bookstores and cons have been targets of this whisper campaign that presents me to strangers as “racist, sexist, homophobic,” something so laughable it would not stand the test of anyone who’s seen me, spoken to me or “merely” read my books.
 
In fact, I think the whisper campaign after SP3 WILL NOT LET GO of me because they can’t reach Larry and Brad superficially (except for the fact he’s married to an African-American) fits their “these are all white mormon males” slur but I BY EXISTING, having the friends I do and writing what I do pretty much refute it.
 
Because I was and am a mere midlister, there have been few people who troubled to push back against the campaign, and whisper campaigns are hard to defend against, anyway. Mud sticks. Amanda has suffered some, but less, because she’s pure indie. Kate pretty much dropped out of social media and the field (though there’s more to this) over it.
 
To have one of those colleagues, who have been slandering me and my friends, pretty much openly, again align himself HERE with the people who attacked us and the whisper campaign as well as the slanders on national press was the last straw, and I blew up.
 
I’m not going to blow up at any of you for saying the wrong thing. We’ll still enforce diner rulers, and if you try to oh, advertise yourself/sell stuff without permission or bring politics or religion in, my mods will remove it/possibly wag their fingers at you. But that’s it.
 
Now, if you want the deep context:
 
Larry ran SP 1 as a joke. It started as a badly drawn cartoon and a blog post. He was more or less joking — as a lot of us had over recent years — about how the Hugos had changed and didn’t represent what they used to.
 
SP 2 he got more serious and I’ll admit myself (and Brad, and my two friends, Kate and Amanda) had a few emails about it, mostly about “design” and how to ask for noms. That sort of thing. I confess that entire year is a blur. I didn’t even realize one of my shorts online at baen.com (Dog’s Body) was one of the recommends.
 
Turns out at the time I was trying hard to die of undiagnosed hypothyroidism, sleep apnea and uterine cancer, while dealing with a house I suspected (turned out I was right though we still don’t know why) I was allergic to (my auto-immune had back to back flares for 13 years, and my asthma became life-limiting. No, we couldn’t find mold or any of the normal culprits.) [FYI part of the reason this year has freaked me out so badly is that this is the last time my fiction writing shut down hard. Though to be fair it’ a different kind of shut down, and it’s possible this time it’s only stress.]
 
I sort of lived in a “soup” of events that happened and then I forgot. I know Larry got attacked as evil-bad, but nothing like what would happen in the next year.
 
Because some of the accusations were racist/sexist/homophobic, and honestly because I was out of my mind, not sleeping, very depressed and generally ill, I offered to take the next year.
 
In December of that year we started the process of moving from the house of 13 years to a rental, so we could fix our house (a victorian) for sale, a project that was mostly my responsibility as always — not a complaint, I’m the one with two carpenter grandfathers and experience in hands-on remodeling — also on the first week of January I got the phone call telling me the mass in my uterus was cancerous but still encapsulated and scheduling radical utherectomy and ovarectomy for early March.
 
Because I’d promised the guys I’d take it, I was trying to do it (guys, I once tried to drive to Myrtle beach when Hurricane — ah — Hugo was causing it to be evacuated, because I’d promised to do hospitality for a con. It took my husband practically sitting on me to keep me from doing it.)
 
Brad, who was then a mere acquaintance, but who will be my blood brother forever more, finally CALLED ME and told me he’d do it, please, for the love of G-d, get ready for my surgery and then rest afterwards, and stop trying to kill myself.
 
I will point out part of the great stress at that point was my family and I and probably my friends being afraid it wasn’t as encapsulated as we thought.
 
Some of you in the gun/right blogsphere know that Connie Du Toit, an online friend, and family at a remove (she was a “sister” to a friend I call my “little brother by another mother.” I just never met her in person.) was dying after a similar process.
 
So. I let Brad take it, and started preparing in case things went very bad indeed. Remember I have two sons and a husband and at the time a son was applying to medschool, while the other was in his first years of college, both in situations of high tension.
 
I actually don’t remember if this period was weeks or months. I was concentrating on something else.
 
I know Brad took nominations on blogs, and that it wasn’t political at all, because that’s what he said when he started out. In fact he made it clear it SHOULDN’T be even vaguely political, if he was going to run it. Brad thought the Hugos could be saved and mean, once more “things fans like to read” and to that end mostly encouraged fan participation.
 
Imagine my surprise when I woke up from pain killer fog to find out that the campaign which had got a bunch of nominations was being demonized IN NATIONAL PRESS as “white supremacist” (Yes, with Larry and Brad. Snort, giggle. And myself behind the scenes.) and the men smeared with sexism and homophobia.
 
Again, I was ill but I wasn’t evil. I dragged myself from bed and for the next few weeks joined the online fray going “Guys, I’m involved in this. How can it be those things? And how can you say we want to drive women, gays and minorities from writing sf/f? First, we don’t have gatekeeper power. Second, three of us in support roles are female and one of us is a fricking first generation Latin immigrant. Third, Larry is a second generation Latin immigrant (and looks it as much as my guys) and Brad is married to an African-American woman.”
 
ALL I GOT for my trouble was the whisper campaign against me. How bad and widespread was that? A long-time friend who is NOT IN ANY WAY INVOLVED IN PUBLISHING OR LITERATURE, except for being a rabid mystery fan, but who lives in NYC and thus has friends of friends in publishing (and who happens to be gay) sent me a joke text saying he’d heard I wanted to fry him in oil, but please don’t serve him with arugula or he’d haunt me.
 
This was so weird I asked “wha?”. (We text several times a week, but usually about books we’ve read/our families/stuff like that.)
 
He didn’t realize this was in any way serious, but the whisper campaign had reached him. He thought it SO bizarre that, not being plugged in to our field and having been my friend for years, he thought it was a joke.
 
Another prong that reached me was COSINE in the springs telling me they still wanted me as a guest and I’d always be welcome, regardless of what people said about me, because they knew it wasn’t true. (COSINE is a TINY con. It’s also — as a point of reference, because it means nothing in context — mostly organized by left-wingers.)
 
Other things that have happened since include the fact that the Darkship Series which was doing wonderfully had almost no lay down for the next books, and yes, friends in the bookstore side said that everyone “knows” I’m evilbad, racist, sexist, homophobic and the books are evil, and since I’m not a bestseller, why risk issues by stocking me. (Yes, there’s other issues where I and the house dropped the ball. BUT I’m not washing ALL dirty laundry in public RIGHT NOW.) Rightly or wrongly, whispers have also reached me that because of this, and except for collaborations under contract, the house will never publish me again. I’ve had no confirmation, but that’s not how the field works, and various projects being dropped on the ground mid-negotiations lead me to believe it’s correct. No, in 2018 it’s NOT the end of the world. (Oh, look, it’s indie o’clock.)
 
That’s what happened. That’s the price I paid for standing by my friends and trying to remove the fan award from the hands of a clique so powerful they can get lying articles into Entertainment Weekly.
 
The furor and the viciousness surprised this veteran of street battles and a woman who had outright COMMUNIST professors tell her she’d have a B UNLESS she ‘joined the party’. (Yes, my answer was, these are my middle fingers.)
 
It didn’t do any good anyway. The media that reached out to us distorted Brad’s words and intentions (trust me. And I feel guilty for that because with THAT I could/should have helped, including telling him to please record everything. I plead loopy and high on pain killers, and TIRED to the point I was passing out at my desk and having to be helped up the stairs.) They also TOTALLY ignored me. Brad and Larry kept saying “look, this is crazy cakes. Call Sarah. She’s with us on this.” And people ignored me (for the same reason the campaign against me is whisper. Because if said about me to people who’ve met me or read a couple of my books, it’s laughable.)
 
SP3 was hounded in the press and slandered publicly. Our nominees of color/other orientations/women were hounded to drop out and denounce us, including threats they’d never work in the field again.
 
Here I want to single out Kary English who refused to drop out (and who incidentally is socialist — this is not political — and took her punches right along with us.) She’s a very brave lady, and I hope all of you who have any interest at all in justice will support her. She’s also an amazing writer, btw. I have a vague memory — remember what was happening in my world at the time — that Amanda S. Green was the first one to mention her as an amazing writer.
 
Then this was used to “prove” we were racist/sexist/homophobic and those of you don’t know about the assterisk ceremony ask someone who knows. That ceremony watched via computer almost caused me to have a stroke. Remember I’m a berserker who suffers when she can’t reach through the computer and throttle those who deserve it.
 
It also broke forever my opinion of writers I’d admired and promoted.
 
Over the next year things got better. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and started treatment (though because it’s a rare form the first treatment made me gain 20 lbs. It’s okay. Lost it now, plus some.)
 
Then we moved.
 
In that year, my friend Kate Paulk took SP 4. By then I was disgusted, and sure the field couldn’t be saved. I was also moving/being treated/a son was moving away, another moving back to our new basement apartment — look Denver rents are unreal and his eligibility for loans meant we had to pay for two years of his rent, or he would be left hanging the last year of medschool. No, you can no longer work while in medschool. We elected to pay that amount in mortgage rather than his rent, because we can sell this house afterwards if needed and have something to show for it. Part of the reason we moved to Denver. I didn’t support Kate as much as I should have, but Kate tried to run the MOST open, conciliatory campaign ever (also ineffective to an extent because of it.)
 
Her payment was to be demonized, and to the extent I weighed in it was to defend her.
 
By then it had become clear that the Hugo was not only in the hands of a cabal with two editors with media reach at the center of it, but that they thought of it was a way to attract authors and get prestige (authors who are also college professors STILL value the Hugo. Looks good on a resume and gets you jobs. That’s it.)
 
I claimed Sad Puppies for the year after Kate, but with no intention of doing the Hugo. Instead, I was going to run a read-recommendation site. Most of all I WANTED to keep it out of the hands of people I didn’t know/couldn’t trust/who thought it was a vehicle (G-d help me) to success.
 
I wanted to do that, because I didn’t want someone to either really run a racist/sexist/homophobic/white supremacist campaign and/or to be manipulated into looking like he was in a more credible way than they could manipulate us, because that would completely tar our names and reputations in retrospect. (Bad enough someone we had no control over ran a parallel campaign that could be semi-credibly tarred that way, because the person running it actually is those things and proud.)
 
As it turned out this is when treatment for hypothyroidism kicked in earnest and I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I started the year in the hospital, and … again, its’ a blur. So SP 5 never happened. And yes, crazy people attacked me for it (crazy people who thought I owed it to them to run it) including calling it “dereliction of duty” for refusing to either pass the campaign on or run one FOR THE HUGO. Because apparently they own me and I owed them.
 
I was using my scant ability to function to write the books owed: Darkship Revenge (which for some reason isn’t listed on Amazon as part of the series. Wonder if that has anything to do with its not selling well enough for a mmpb edition. What do you guys think? Is it possible the fact the series page lists it as a FOUR book series have anything to do with it? Nah. Pure coincidence, I’m sure.) and Uncharted which needed intensive research, which I was doing right then.
 
L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright approached me this year, pointing out even Kate’s campaign served to promote indie books, and would I consider letting someone else run it, even if I wouldn’t do it, even “just” at a promo site.
 
I’ll be honest, I didn’t want the name resurrected for the reasons of backward taint I mentioned above. But just for confirmation I emailed Larry to ask what he thought. Let’s say the reaction was explosive and that “I will personally ruin them” was mentioned in conjunction with “anyone anywhere who resurrects Sad Puppies.”
 
So, yesterday I wander in here (yes, I’m doing much better thank you, even if this year has been financial and emotional hell for my family, only about 1/4 of it fallout from SP3. And yes, I know I can get our butts out of the serious financial bear trap by writing a lot of indie books. It’s just, as I’ve told some of you in the past, financial stress shuts me down. Yes, I’m trying to get over it and showing some success.) and Jagi has mentioned the publicity campaign for indie.
 
I don’t think (from what I remember. Not going back to the thread) she mentioned calling it Sad Puppies. Someone else did, though.
 
Reading through the thread I explained that yes, I think a promo site for indie books is needed but that Larry doesn’t want us to call it SP and I for one am not brave enough to defy him, and that honestly, I thought having ANY of us associated with it would taint it. (Look at the extent of the whisper campaign against me and its consequences, and you figure it out. I’m not putting myself down nor do I intend to give up writing, but mud sticks, and it would be quixotic to claim after all this crap that no mud clung to me. Oh, yeah, I no longer attend MileHi which is technically my home con, because the program organizer denounced me (she ain’t too bright) as racist/sexist/homophobic. The other cons in the Denver area don’t even invite me, though they invite smaller authors, nor, without Baen paying for me to go, does comicon accept me as panelist. Yes, destruction has been that widespread. I attend cosine because they went out of their way to be nice to me. DESPITE the campaign.)
 
Then I read down the thread and find R S who has in the past denounced us as racist/sexist/homophobic, for which he has NO excuse having met all of us has sided with the opponents and by implication re-slandered us.
 
I blew up. I’m a berserker. I blow up.
 
I apologize to you, my fans, for behaving like a fishwife. I hope you understand my motivations.
 
I knew he had slandered me on his page, directly and by implication in the past. I also know he’s politically my opposite — but that’s no excuse. Some of you here are also. Writing ISN’T politics even if some politics sometimes leak into books — but that’s still no excuse.
 
Then by saying that if it was called Sad Puppies “some of us will stay away with a vengeance” he was both siding with the people who slandered us and implying he STILL believed it all. In my own conference.
 
Forgive me if the red mist descended.
 
I didn’t break anything. I didn’t even have to drink to stop myself breaking things (alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and if I can I use it when the shakes and crying set in when I’m trying not to break things. Look, I know it’s romanticized in books and movies, but the berserking is a right bitch, okay?)
 
I was, however, rude and intemperate, for which I apologize.
 
Semi-related and because in this post I’ve related more of the health thing than I have ever in the past:
 
I’m doing better. Much better. This year feels like waking up.
 
I’m being treated for thyroid (though I think recently something went weird, as I’m losing hair again and there are other symptoms. I need to get my *ss down to take a test.)
 
I was floridly hypothyroidal to the point my doctors — every doctor, including gynecologist — had me tested twice a year. The tests came back normal. Turns out I produce thyroid fine, it’s the uptake and conversion that’s screwed up. It’s an auto-immune thing, and none of the doctors (not being endocrinologists) knew enough to run it down. It had been going out of kilter since I had younger son and was seriously bad by two years ago. As a side note, ALL of my career was against the backdrop of being incredibly hypothyroidal a disease that impairs brain function and energy. No I have no clue what that means, but I wish I had those 20 years back.
 
The cancer was completely encapsulated, and I needed no radiation/chemo/any of it, and have had no problems since.
 
Sleep apnea was diagnosed about a year ago. It was made worse by the weight gain while trying to fix the thyroid, but honestly, it’s probably been with me for ten years, because it’s part of mouth conformation and something that gets worse with age.
 
It COULD be treated with a dental appliance, but because (particularly when asthmatic) I also have oxygen deficiency issues, the machine works better.
 
For the first time in ten years I’m sleeping in more than a couple of minutes intervals and having been treated for that for 8 months, things like emotions are coming back.
 
I’ve lost to date since… July? 37 lbs and have 50 to go. And I’m starting to want to write fiction again and would probably write more if it weren’t being eaten by the non-fiction (paid non-fic, my attempt at getting our butts out of a financial trap mui grande. It is what it is.)
 
Oh, yeah, the hospital early two years ago yielded a diagnosis of meningioma which is a tumor in the skin of the brain. Yes, it’s malignant (I’m at a high risk for cancer, because of auto-immune) [update: Son says they’re not all malignant, which is what I had UNDERSTOOD.  But then I was not processing extremely well when I had it explained to me.  He says they can only tell if it’s malignant by growth which is why I need to go have — expletive — MRI] but it’s ISOLATED and can’t reach anywhere inside that skin. It’s also over my vision center. Mass effect has played havoc with my vision and caused me to give up driving years before this was diagnosed (my depth perception sucks and my eyes were changing too fast for glasses. I also have double vision. I thought it was a menopause thing, but it’s apparently the fact this thing is over my vision center.)
 
Lately it’s got worse, for which I have an appointment today, because an MRI might be indicated.
 
Okay, that’s it, puppies, health and apology, all of which woke me up in the middle of the night. And probably the longest post I ever wrote in this conference. If you stayed with it to the end, I’ll be echoing this on my blog, and I hope you understand why I blew up.
 
Thank you for listening.

 

514 responses to “A Lengthy Explanation

  1. No wisecracks or asides to stand in this time. Just a plain “c4c”.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Take Care.

  3. It’s like you need a sign/cap/shirt/skywriting that reads….

    SOME CALL {ME, US} RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC.
    THEY’RE WRONG ABOUT MOST EVERYTHING ELSE, TOO.

  4. Sarah, I have come to love you (and your whole crazy group of friends) since Cedar introduced me to Sarah’s Diner and your blog a few years ago. In my opinion, for what little that is worth, you guys should stop trying to conciliate the nay-sayers (who are totally nuts) and be more like our current President — call them out, loudly (that’s really why he got elected, IMO). You’ll have a lot of people behind you, just like he does. Because most of us don’t sympathize with their garbage; we are sick and tired of it, and we want to see people standing up to them. We want to be the people standing up to them. Ignoring them. Laughing at their total irrelevance and kookiness, laughing at how they think they are relevant and sane when they so totally are not! We all know that the Fake News ™ doesn’t matter anymore, except to those dweebs who are foolish enough to believe anything they say.

    I do also realize that being the ones to stand up and call them out takes a lot of mental and physical energy, and it’s totally understandable that you are in short supply of that right now. But someone needs to do it. Otherwise they are left to go on thinking that they ‘won.’ (I’m not sure what they think they ‘won,’ other than the award for being foolish and uncivil and hateful, none of which are anything to be proud of.)

    Anyway, I hope and pray that you will be able to figure out what to do about your health problems and recover quickly. You have a family who needs you, and you still have books to write!

    • One word of advice.

      Call them out without heat. Prep a few standard responses along the lines of “That’s a lie and you should know better than to spew sewage.” The proper way to handle such [EXPLETIVES] is the same way you do a misbehaving dog: calmly. quietly address them. Whacking them with a stick only leaves them confused and feeling justified.

      • Depends on what your goal is. I’m of the firm belief that more people should be told to “Frakk Off.” Of course the tag line I’ve been using on my blog is something I started saying decades ago as a joke, but it’s become more serious over the years, “Evolution isn’t working fast enough, more dumb*sses need to be shot.” As I get older I find myself with less patience for dealing with the imbeciles. I don’t even mind when they unfriend/block me on social media, it’s simply less dumbf*ckery that I end up seeing.

      • When a dog goes on the floor, you whack him with a rolled up newspaper to get his attention, rub his nose in it so he knows what he did wrong, and take him where he’s supposed to go so he knows where to do it, and next time he does go where he’s supposed to, you praise him for it.

        Yeah, beating him with a stick, or shooting him for going on the floor might keep him from ever doing it again, but it’s hard for dogs to learn when they’re at room temperature and not moving.

        • I’m starting to care less and less how the totalitarian left stops making messes and just that they do. If they want to push us to the point of using low effort, direct methods that’s their choice.

        • I’m more of the Heinlein view (in a way). The above is how you train a puppy to stop making messes on the floor.

          Once they’re grown, it is virtually impossible to train them differently. Then there’s very little option but to put them down.

      • As a professional dog trainer, who for some years specialized in getting control of out-of-control pets (mostly resulting from too much “reasonableness” — which the dog interprets as “getting my own way”), I can attest this is nonsense. Sometimes applying the stick is the only thing that gets the message across. When a person or animal has the processing capacity of a toddler, you have to make the discouragement fit that understanding AND be convincing enough that they don’t try it again, and sometimes that means: “Oww. Not doing that no more.”

        One good back-off-and-desist can save years of chronic misery.

  5. Just wanted to say that I’m very sorry for everything you’ve been through.

    I didn’t realize that even Baen had reached the point where the Left could destroy your career. That’s depressing, to put it mildly.

    Take care of your health and remember that you have fans who will happily follow you to Indie and are eagerly awaiting the next book.

    • At some point one must start wondering whether a series of publishing debacles can be laid to simple incompetence or might more properly be ascribed to malicious intent.

    • That is *frigging* depressing. One house where I was sure that story would rule over everything else…

      • scott2harrison

        I am disgusted, however profits, or at least not losses, rule over everything else. Much as Baen loves story, if an author is boycotted by the sellers, they cannot publish her.
        At the same time, Baen just left my list of good guys for NOT BEING HONEST AND TELLING HER THIS UPFRONT!

        • Honestly, guys, they’re either scared of you or trying to find a save.

          • I’d be scared about pissing off a lot of the Huns.

            Hell, I remember when I first started posting here and people thought I was a liberal/Dem false flag. That was more than a little uncomfortable.

            • Amsel, Matthew

              ((Blink))

              You? A leftist???

              How the hell does one make that mistake?

              • It was right after the 2014 surrender on the budget and amnesty AFTER winning the midterms. At the time I advocated convincing GOP office holders who took the platform and promises serious to hold an alternate 2016 convention announcing a third party (I really wanted the name “Whigs” for reasons that will be clear from the below).

                My model was not what most people see as third parties, but the GOP itself. Prominent anti-slavery (mainly, there were other issues) Whig office holders created the Republicans and brought that core voting block with them. I thought (and still thing) that is the only viable third party model (and expect we will see it from the Democrats in the next decade if we do).

                I openly admitted that would mean sacrificing the 2016. Some people concluded I was part of a false flag operation designed to split the GOP to clear the field in 2016.

              • He came in after a bunch of left trolls had invaded, and been obnoxious, and at the time — I get it, perhaps because I’m getting there NOW — Herb had a furore for “burn it all down” which was a one of the things the left was encouraging.
                Also and no, I don’t understand this, but we’ve had …. other occasions, his IP showed from the place the trolls had been coming from.

                • Yeah, I think the IP was a big part because I was using a portable hotspot that gave very odd answers. I remember going back and forth with you on email about that one.

                  And yes, I do get my blood up and want to burn it all down. Sometimes you do need to burn the village to save it (from a fate worse than burning). I really have a hard time accepting emotionally, even if I know it intellectually, that we’re still in that awkward stage 🙂

    • I wonder if the issue comes from “upstream” of Wake Forest, being they are affiliated with a huge NY publishing company.

  6. Take care of yourself first and if there is anything left over worry about the great unwashed masses out there.

  7. Thank God for indie! No matter how hard any clique tries to smear you, the mean girls are no longer in control! If you ever feel despair, look around the comments here and there, and realize you still have fans who love your works, and they like and love you, too! ….And unlike rumour-mongers who try to destroy you, I know that your fans come in all sizes, shapes, colours, creeds, and self-professed species, much less political orientations.

    So you write as and when you’re able, and we’ll be here for you!

    • For many people, indie=Amazon.

      And Amazon is not only leftist, they’re using the SPLC to determine who the “hate groups” are.

      They’ve already pulled some stunts against Castalia House and Vox Day, but so far they’ve backed down when he fought back.

      • To be honest, Amazon has been impartial as Amazon as to indie books. Merchandising is different.
        Vox… I wouldn’t trust him further than I can throw him.
        Also, FYI I think the only reason he had any trouble was a parody that cut too close to the original.

        • Or was superior.
          (shrug) IMO, Scalzi peaked with his first book, and has been coasting since. (To clarify: as an author. As a shameless self-promoter and political animal, he’s excelled.)

          • Agreed. I still recommend OMW, but warn people not to read the follow-ups.

            What is amazing is he has yet to be called on a crucial heresy of leftist sci-fi in that book that is central to the plot.

            • Amsel, Matthew

              It’s been a while – what was the issue?

              • The most technologically advanced race was not only religious, but unified in religion and engaged in war for religious reason, specifically to help less developed races advanced. The protagonist realizes this and uses that insight to gain an advantage over other races through it.

                The received progressive mindset is religion is a throwback that will die when people over X years old die (in fact, there are leftists arguing that teaching children religious faith should be grounds from removal for child abuse).

                So the religious race being the most technologically advanced is a liberal heresy.

                This gets to my theory that Scalzi actually didn’t have strong political beliefs and doesn’t believe what he espouses, but just mouths what makes him money. He had to choose between embracing a faith and being the big author or trying to survive as a midlister in a dying trad world.

                • I agree his early social media seemed neutral, but he’s embraced the dishonesty and perpetuated it himself so hard now that it really doesn’t matter if he believes it himself or not. Also, he’s considered a “big” author now and not just a midlister?

                  • Given his recent Tor contract, offers to write for TV, and favorable media coverage, yes, he is a big author for sci-fi.

                    Big meaning in your face and well paid, not commonly read.

          • Not saying anyhting about that. Just that Amazon thought it was too close. It’s in their rules.

        • Sarah, first, best of luck with and best wishes for improvement to your health. I am confident that I can say that all of us are in your corner

          Amazon is also in a different position than Twitter and Facebook when it comes to purging those who do not adhere to orthodoxy because Amazon has to SELL stuff to make a profit; whereas with Facebook and Twitter, you and your personal info ARE the product. Thus if they go overboard purging people who can sell through Amazon, their slim profit margin turns into losses.

  8. If you aren’t catching flak you aren’t near the target. I’ve been reading SF/F since the Sixties and the Hugos have been a mark of CTA* since the Nineties, if not sooner. I watched Larry’s SP1 with amused interest, the point of his effort obvious to even a casual (unbiased) observer. While they should have let him go at it — there was no chance he might win, place or even show — their knowledge of how the contest was rigged made them insecure and caused over-reaction. Then they doubled down on stupid for SP2 ad again on SP3.

    They have, by their calumny, guaranteed that I and many others will NOT consider any books bearing their imprints. I would say they’ve shredded any respect I had for them but I no longer had any, so …

    Anybody at this late date picking up that particular moron-stick and beating a drum with it deserves the bucket of rancid hot oil that gets dumped. You owe no duty to suffer fools, much less lying egg-sucking dogs.

    I would grant absolution but that ain’t in my bailiwick. Thanks for the reminder of why I don’t bother 2Facebook.

    *Crap To Avoid

    • Never done Zuck’s Data Mining And Personal Info Sales, and my Twitter presence is getting text notifications when a long time friend in the UK posts stuff and occasionally replying to her.
      I recall all this starting and it is always the same way.
      You guys do this, and it’s not right.”
      “WE DO NOT”
      “Okay I’ll prove it”
      then follows the rules and they then do exactly what was claimed.
      They have got to start the lying whispers or outright big lie screeching because the truth is detrimental to everything they stand for.

      • Detrimental to everything they say they stand for. As for what they actually stand for? “By their fruits shall ye know them.”

        • point
          If it weren’t for double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

        • Occam’s Razor says they are Miltonian Satanists. I’ve been saying that for years and I stand by it.

          • Without the eloquence of Milton’s Satan.

            • Or the smarts or the risk taking or the seductive nature.

              So, basically all the stuff that made him Satan and nothing that made him The Morningstar.

              I’m actually probably insulting him by linking them based on just one quote. He even talked about building a kingdom in Hell instead of destroying what was there to rule it.

          • Heh. Without getting into religion too deeply, the LDS viewpoint of Satan is that, essentially, he’s the ultimate SJW: he wants control of absolutely every aspect of everyone’s life, all the time. No free will, ever. Everyone is saved to the utmost, whether they wanted it or not, or were even suited for it (look, LDS theology regarding heaven/hell is…a bit more complicated than some. The short version is: what we believe to be hell is going to have a very, very tiny population, and everything else is actually pretty nice, even if it’s not necessarily in the presence of G-D.)

            And when G-d told him “Yeah, no, that’s not the point of this exercise, so we’re not going to go with that idea” he threw a fit and rebelled. And that whole temptation thing? well, you get far enough into various forms of sin, and your ability to choose freely is severely compromised…

            So yeah, I’m on board with that type being Satanists. Makes perfect sense! :p

      • I’ve avoided anything where I’m the product, as much as possible. Google Maps is (was, getting odd) slightly better than the alternatives, though ESRI is getting better. I’ll go in through a NOAA application. I do see the irony, but Dadgum Gummint is more trustworthy less untrustworthy* than the Don’t Be Evil crowd and fellow travelers.

        (*) About one micro milli-Barnum on the scale of untrustworthy, but still

        With the banfest going on, I wonder just how long someone to the right of Mao will last on FB.

        One person whose non-fic writing I follow is a pro on Gab. I don’t have an account with them, but I can read anything he posts or reposts. Works for me.

    • Back when, I encountered two series of books in a rather good library. One was a collection of Hugo winners (the short stories, anyway) and the other Nebula. I systematically read through them. The early ones were hopeful or at least non-depressing. As things moved on, they got strange (1960’s experimentalism perhaps?) And further on… it got hard to trudge through the bog of it all. I think the series’ went into the 1970’s but I am not sure.

      At that time, I subscribed to Analog and Asimov’s and perhaps another if there was such. I let the subscriptions lapse – out of the lot, I recall only two stories well, both under the ‘Probability Zero’ heading. So, perhaps five pages total that meant much of anything, for all that.

      • I felt bad about not supporting the pulps, since so many of the authors I liked got their starts there. But by that time (1980s) they weren’t publishing anything I wanted to read, so why bother?

        • And that’s where I wound up. From all that I recall…
          1. A Probability Zero story about the c problem and someone noting speeders just had to pass, no matter the limit…. so one highway had the limit raised to c with idea some speeder would crack superluminal travel.
          2. A Probability Zero story where money was coin only – and the coins were fissile “There were no millionaires on $PLANET” and someone tried.. and well… critical failure, so to speak.
          3. One gag in a story about the ship’s computer (only ONE?!?) had only 128 Meg- “That’s not much RAM” “Processors.”
          4. Some story I slogged through where I suspect the author was paid not per word, but per instance of the name ‘Dalhousie’ – and that’s ALL I can now recall of the story.

          • I enjoyed some of the science fact stuff in Analog One posited the existence of building block for quarks, which prompted me to pen a bit of doggerel (viz my last Vignette entry) and submit it thereto. It was, of course, rejected, and a good thing too because eventually a little deeper analysis of the data showed that the experimental results could be explained by slightly ‘tweaking’ existing models rather than by introducing a whole new set of sub-sub- . . . -elementary particles.

            • In that period, I probably picked up several issues of Analog. Like you, though, mostly for the non-fiction. If :”The Alternate View” had a good article (which was frequently when it alternated between Stine and Cramer). Oh, and I think I picked up a few for a new Callahan’s Place story – which were the only Spider tales that ever actually “clicked” with me.

          • in “Neuromancer”, Linda Lee was killed over sixteen megabytes of stolen RAM.

        • You can support them now with stuff you might like.

          Try Cirsova

          I think a lot of Huns would like the kinds of stories they publish.

  9. Thank you Sarah for doing what you have been able to do. I followed the SP campaigns and discovered a number of books and authors to read because of them. I also discovered that for me the Hugo stamp means “read with caution”. I read this blog and mgc to discover books and get an insight into the thought processes of the authors involved. I haven’t been disappointed yet with the people here.

    I wish you better health for your future and many more entertaining books.

    • Likewise. I learned long ago that the Hugo’s and most other awards are utterly meaningless and have absolutely nothing to do with quality and everything to with how politically correct the authors are. This extends beyond literature (does anyone think Clint Eastwood would win an Oscar for Unforgiven if that movie was made now?). Simply put, the left has gone all in on insanity. All things considered, anyone who is willing to excommunicate someone for not being a perfect leftist is someone who is not wasting a moments thought on.,

  10. {hugs}

    Sarah, sorry I missed the FB exchange, sounds like it was a righteously justified beserking. I’m not sure you need to apologize for that.

    As for everything else, you are our friend, and there isn’t likely anything you’ll do that will change that, certainly not for me.

    Take care of yourself. The [rear orifices] slandering you will receive their just rewards in God’s own time.

  11. Always remember, Sarah, that you (and all of us here, if you can register quickly enough) will always have a home at LibertyCon. Any con that has pre-opening-day gun range time is aces in my book!

    • I am still angry I missed memberships opening for 2019. It is right down the road and I have yet to make it.

      • Send me an email (douglas.loss@mailfence.com) and I’ll be sure to let you know when registrations for 2020 open. But be aware: when the registrations open, they’re usually all taken within at most 6 hours. So you have to be quick!

        • Will do. After this year with Andocon dead and Origins and GenCon both declaring they don’t want people like me Liberty is one of three cons I have any interest in (GaryCon and NorthTexasRPG being the other two…oh, and maybe OwlCon who keep trying to get me to register as a DM every year and MS Weekend maybe, if my girl wants to go).

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            If NTRPG is within your distance, SoonerCon will be having Anderson as a guest this June.

            • NTRPG isn’t. It would be a travel to con. The big thing for me is it. like GaryCon, is very old school focused and it would be a chance to meet DM Liz, DM Mike, DM Jim, and the rest of the Save Or Die classic crew and the Save for Half Crew.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I’m probably going to be shooting you an email about the interstellar workshop.

          • Go for it. Getting me talking about TVIW isn’t the problem–stopping me from talking about it is. 😀

            • It is the most exciting thing I’ve done.
              Speaking of: brother has had hip replacement and would love to come to next one. How do I arrange that? (Supposing I can find the $$)
              Space is only thing we agree on.

              • The next one will be in Wichita, KS, November 10-15, 2019. I’ll let you know as soon as the registrations open. (That’s all being organized by folks from Wichita State University and Ad Astra Kansas for us, so I don’t have hard and fast info about that yet. But I’ll certainly ask about it on the next orgcomm conference call.)

      • “S OK, I won’t make 2019 and probably won’t make 2020 because to the tight registration window (7 hour time difference, marginal internet…) *shrug* So goes life.

  12. Please do get better, Milady. If you haven’t got your health . . .

    (oh, hit the post comment button. yeah)

  13. Wow.

    Glad you’re getting better.

  14. Has anyone heard yet what the recent convention (LonCon??? whatever) dust-up was about? What little rumors I’ve heard make me wonder if a tipping point hasn’t been reached or will soon be reached.

    The terms “small” and “insular” seem like understatements when it comes to those desiring to make themselves important in the “community”. Particularly as the goal seems to be “smaller” and “more insular”… seriously, people will be excluded until inclusivity is achieved! Big fish in the smallest possible pond.

    But I look (casually… not a *study* mind you) at those who seem to be Making it Big, and they’re not in that tiny pond. They wouldn’t fit.

    • I contend that I personally am the smallest possible pond. I hold near-daily conventions, where I am the only attendee/presenter/guest of honor. And darned if I’m not the biggest fish in that pond!

    • Ain’t it amazing how some complain how others made their foot hurt, but all the others did was tell them that should not load the gun, they should not aim the gun at their foot, and they should not then pull the trigger. And in their hand is a smoking gun. But those others are why their foot now hurts. Damnedest thing.

      • It’s an unfalsifiable belief system. “You’re just saying that because….” usually racism, but the whole list, racist, sexist, homophobe, white male fragility…

        It doesn’t matter what a person points to, “You’re just saying that because…”

        Science fiction isn’t fun anymore. “You’re just saying that because…”
        Marketing and cover art promising an adventure, should deliver an adventure. “You’re just saying that because…”
        When everyone talks about the sex organs or skin tone of the winner, it implies that the book was mediocre. “You’re just saying that because…”
        Shouldn’t people be talking about the awesome book? “You’re just saying that because…”
        I grew up loving science fiction. The magic is gone. “You’re just saying that because…”
        I want to be entertained, not preached at. “You’re just saying that because…”
        Do you not see how toxic and destructive this is? “You’re just saying that because…”

        • To which my answer is “You’re just saying that because you can’t actually defend a damn thing actually out there.”

          Then again, I’m also know to respond to being called racist by saying, “Yes, you can find a liberal black person who disagrees with me, which is all racist means anymore.”. Substitute for other ist/phobes.

        • The generic response to give to those folks is, “Oh, you’re one of those NPCs we keep hearing about. Good to know, thanks for the heads-up!”

          • Patrick Chester

            Funny thing is, years ago I described progs as essentially drones. Grown in cloning tanks with their talking points downloaded directly into their tiny brains. No mass outcry of Outrage!1!! towards that.

            NPC is simpler, so I guess the tiny cluster of neurons that act as their brains were able to comprehend it as an insult.

        • You cannot fool us, Synova. You’re just saying that because…

          • Ha! I know!

            I’m just personally sore about the issue at the moment. When you try, really hard, repeatedly, to explain to someone that their behavior is out of line but the ONLY possible reason you could disagree with anything they’ve said or done is “because ism-list…”

            Autocratic, dictatorial, BULLIES out to punish anyone who steps out of line and none of it can be criticized because they fart rainbows. “I want to control everything you think and enforce acceptable opinions through social and professional consequences but when you call me a fascist I don’t let it bother me at all because I know it doesn’t apply to me. When someone else gets mad when I called them a fascist it only proves it’s true.”

            “That’s a kafka-trap and a dishonest argument.”

            “You’re only saying that because…”

            • “… because it’s a fscking Kafkatrap. Are you so stupid as believe otherwise? Or do figure to be so stupid as to believe otherwise? Sorry – not at ALL, but I utterly refuse to goosestep to your tune.”

            • “I’m only saying that because you’re an unimaginative arrogant git incapable of rational discourse and a craven coward who would embarrass Quisling.” seems an appropriate rejoinder.

        • Which is funny, as when I watched Flash Gordon (the serial[s], on afternoon TV…) while I might have wished to have Flash’s (Buster Crabbe’s) physique it was not him I ‘identified’ with – he was got into fights and was a target. Zarkov, on the other hoof, well now.

          • Kinda like me and EE Smith’s Skylark series. If I were in that universe, I wouldn’t have been Richard B. Seaton. I would have been Marc C. DuQuesne, heading off to set myself up as god-king of my own star empire. While Seaton was stuck the Ditzy Dolly, the brats, and mountains of bureaucratic paperwork…

            • I freely own I wanted to be Captain Kirk as a kid. At the same time I also wanted to be Dynagirl. Plus a ton of other people of assorted shapes, sizes, and dangly bits.

              Your heroes are your heroes. I hate people trying to tell me I can’t have half of them (and I have…try being a white guy and telling anyone “Silent All These Years” spoke to you and what you’d experienced).

              • As I’ve said before, some boys wanted to be He-man. Some girls wanted to be She-ra. I wanted to be her horse.

                And, no, I’ve not seen the alleged new version. Not sure I could stand it. The idea that individuality is evil.. or that only the baddies allow such… well, that’s a poisonous meme to be spreading.

              • I wanted to be Mr. Spock. Or Barney Collier from Mission: Impossible. Or Artemus Gordon from The Wild, Wild, West.

                Looking back, I sense a pattern…

              • William O. B'Livion

                I wanted to be Han Solo.

        • Patrick Chester

          It’s why I usually retort with something along the lines of:
          “Perhaps you should not listen to what the voices in your tiny overheated head insist is the ‘real’ reason people disagree…”

        • It’s just Bulverism. The longer I live, the more I realize that C.S. Lewis predicted practically all of today’s SJW behavior more than fifty years ago. Re-reading That Hideous Strength these days is… terrifying.

          • Yeah, I read that oh… [redacted] many years ago. The themes and ideas in that book stuck with me. And at the time they scared the Hell out of me.

            They do so even more these days.

            And on that topic, something occurred to me while I was at church on Sunday. My vague recollection of one part of the book is that at one point the protagonist is in a room. And in that room, he sees a number of pictures that depict scenes involving miracles from The Holy Bible. My recollection is that the scenes involve a shadowy “middleman” figure of some sort that wasn’t in the original texts as written in the scriptures.

            And the reason why that was important is because I was also thinking about the recent Moses movie. That would be the Moses movie that had the burning bush… and a little boy (with a very suspicious name…) who appeared in front of that bush.

            It’s a strange coincidence. But it’s one of those things that creeps me out just a bit. That is, unless I’m misremembering THS, of course.

          • > predicted

            Snag a copy of H. Beam Piper’s “Oomphel in the Sky” off Gutenberg for a good picture of SJWs, what motivates them, and what they do, everything except the TLA.

            People have been warning us about SJWs for a long time, but when the SJWs had a hammerlock on media, the word didn’t get out much.

      • Most villains in stories: “Now look what you made me do!”

    • If I’m at best a middling fish who is also a Miltonian Satanist, it is in my interest to shrink the pond until fish bigger than me won’t fit.

    • Christopher M Chupik

      All I know is that there was some kind of kerfuffle with someone (panelist or attendee) at a panel with Gregory Benford that caused Benford to walk out. Doesn’t sound like Benford was at fault. Otherwise, the Cone of Silence seems to have descended over the whole affair.

      • Oh, I imagine it was pretty danged minor, or at least just to the point of Benford deciding that he ought to walk out.

        My hope is that more people start doing that. Particularly in the audience, too. There’s no reason to “sit and take it” when someone is insulting you. (Of course, not knowing what the kerfuffle was about in this case.)

        I’m not saying that people should leap up and holler and make a scene, but there’s that “public manners” thing keeping people in their seats and the appearance it gives that what people are saying is in some way universally approved.

        • The problem is that if people choose not to “sit and take it”, and walk out, that you risk getting troublemakers who are there expressly because they *want* the panelist in question to leave. This is really the sort of thing that the people running the con need to clamp down on, and clamp down on it hard.

          • It is if they want to have a convention. But until people vote with their feet, nothing can or will be done.

            There does seem to be a small cabal of “activists” who seriously and overtly simply WANT the Old White Guys, no matter their politics or their stature in the field, to simply GO AWAY. So sure, they probably are going to ramp it up if people get up and start leaving. And if con-runners want to have a con, they’re going to have to decide how they feel about that.

      • according to what JDA posted on his blog, it wasn’t Benford’s choice to leave.

        SMH

        • JDA wants to make it all out to be as huge as possible. Though if he was asked to leave or told to, that’s a whole ‘nother level of omg.

    • They keep pushing for cons the attendance size of One Or Fewer, So We All Agree.

  15. From a long time gay fan, I can attest that Sarah doesn’t have a single homophobic bone in her body. Sarah, please keep on being true to yourself.

  16. Overall I’m an advocate of “company manners” and habits of public niceties. Some subjects ought to be off the table in general public spaces in the interest of everyone getting along. You know, the “family holiday feast” rules… no talk of politics, religion, or money. And not one sided either, where some people get to evangelize and rant and everyone else is supposed to shut up.

    What can I say? I’m hopelessly old fashioned.

    And of course, avoiding some topics is far away and different from living with the fear of letting something slip.

    • One side has unilaterally decided those rules don’t apply to them, but rigidly enforce them on others. Ask me about the time I was expected to apologize for getting angry at my ex-wife’s uncle for calling me a Nazi at Christmas…I was in the wrong for being mad…I guess the rest of the family figured because I vote Republican I should just put up with being called a Nazi.

      Polite society is an agreement and when sufficient people refuse to agree you have a choice. Continue to agree and be ground down or refuse to agree and fight back.

      Yes, that means polite society is gone, but at some point if sufficient people don’t agree it is anyway.

      I’m rapidly thinking the same thing about freedom. Yes, shooting the bastards mean we end up in dictatorship, but more and more I think it is less about choosing dictatorship or freedom and choosing who is going to be the middle and who will be the bottom rail (the same bastards will be top rail no matter what kind of dictatorship because they are of a type).

      • It’s simple, really. Give as you get. Be polite to those polite to you, no matter the differences in opinion. Be polite even to those who can be persuaded to put the vilification aside. But for those who are enjoying shrieking at you, refute them logically and clearly for the benefit of any spectators watching, then bring the fire.

        • “Turn the other cheek” is for those who happened to have made a mistake and are apt to come around. For those who meant to do harm, “turn the other cheek” must be replaced with something more effective: “Return fire.”

          • It is also when your brother strikes you you are to turn the other cheek.

            I suspect much like the rest of “judge not least ye be judged” that brother part has been consciously excluded to convince people they cannot fight back or judge.

            In fact, there are plenty of injunctions to do both. On the later, you are to understand that you will be judged by the standards with which you judge, but that you must judge least you cast pearls before swine or turn your back on wild dogs and be torn apart.

            • For one thing, nobody who holds to that “judge not least ye be judged” principle is likely to overturn a bunch of tables and throw entrepreneurial moneychangers out of the temple.

              • My real annoyance is the people who reject Christianity think they can stop me by cherry-picking the Sermon on the Mount to get me to roll over and play dead.

                • It is almost as bad as when advocates of a Living Constitution


                  denounce the current Republican president* for actions that are “Unconstitutional!”

                  *It doesn’t matter who, they do it with all of them.

                • Also see:

                  Saletan’s ‘Un-Christian’ Canard
                  By Kevin D. Williamson
                  Everybody is a deficit hawk when the government is doing something they don’t like. The same progressives who clapped and cheered at the proposal to simply pass a single-payer health-care law “and then figure out how to pay for it” were livid over the relatively paltry amount of money spent on investigating the Benghazi fiasco. …

                  I couldn’t help but think about those fair-weather fiscal hawks when I read William Saletan charging white Evangelicals with “un-Christian” behavior in their continued support of Donald Trump. The usual religiously illiterate horsepucky is there in abundance — e.g., conflating care for the poor with political support for the current social-welfare bureaucracy and politics-powered do-goodism in general — but what interests me is the more basic assumption: Does William Saletan desire a more robustly Christian society, and a more aggressively political Christianity? Are we really caring now about who is a good Christian as a political matter? And who exactly appointed William Saletan as the pope of Evangelical Protestantism, White People Synod?

                  [SNIP]

                  Saletan is welcome to argue that Christianity should be a cult of niceness and that it ought to be considered socially relevant to the precise extent that its doctrines can be read as coinciding with his own political preferences — which is in fact more or less what he’s doing without having the intellectual honesty to just say so. Pretending that Christianity’s failure to reduce itself to a subdivision of the progressive project somehow makes its adherents “un-Christian” is absurd.

                  [SNIP]

                  As with the case of opportunistic deficit-hawking, this is the sort of non-argument argument that ought to embarrass the man making it.

              • Or advise his followers to sell their cloak in order to purchase a sword.

          • I liked to point out (back when I was Christian–for sufficient values of “Christian”) that you only have two cheeks.

          • Granted, the ‘turn the other cheek’ is for a situation where the result thereof is not likely to find you grievously injured or dead. Still, there is some interesting psychology there – someone hauls off and whacks you in the face as hard as he can, and your reaction is to stare him in the eye and turn the other cheek to him. Unless he’s high or bat-guano crazy, that’s going to make him pause for a second before taking any further action. Also, there seems (to me, at least) an unwritten corollary: If your assailant then proceeds to strike you on the other cheek, knock his derriere into the dirt . . .

            • IIRC, the thing is that slapping someone’s cheek was an insult, not an attack.

              So, basically, dude just got in your face and is screeching curses and flipping you off, don’t kill him.

      • > ends in a dictatorship.

        Possibly. But then the choice is, “live under their dictatorship, or ours?”

        I’m not experiencing any great difficulty making a decision.

        • And it’s pissing me off for real because I would far rather live in messy, dynamic, freedom.

          “It’s not totalitarian when I do it, because I only want to force people to do *good* things! They’d only get punished if they keep thinking or believing bad things. All they have to do is stop having bad opinions. How hard is that?”

          Yeah, well. So be it.

          “This only bothers you because….”

        • Precisely. I don’t want dictatorship, but if you take that choice away from me you’d better be damn sure you can impose yours before I impose mine.

          Hell, I’d survive sharia much better than the typical leftist who thinks small ‘o’ orthodox Christians are a bigger danger than radical Islamists. The big ‘O’ Orthodox survived not only Islam, but the single worst and most organized attempt to suppress Christians ever: Soviet/Warsaw Pact Communism (look at the numbers in Ware of what the Soviets did in just 70 years to the ROC to get an idea of the scale).

          • Yup. Non-Orthodox folks would be amazed at the number of martyrs we remember from the Soviet era each Sunday during the divine liturgy.

            • I was reading a monograph about the effects of WWI on religion. It starts by pointing out that in 1914, 25% of all Christians were Orthodox. After 1920, it was less than 10%, possibly closer to 5% depending on how you count Copts and some other sub-sub groups.

          • “The big ‘O’ Orthodox survived not only Islam, but the single worst and most organized attempt to suppress Christians ever: Soviet/Warsaw Pact Communism (look at the numbers in Ware of what the Soviets did in just 70 years to the ROC to get an idea of the scale).”

            And the Progressive Leftists out there doubtless think that the big “O” Orthodox Church is going to be a pushover. The way the Muslim Brotherhood, back in 1948, thought that a new nation founded by survivors of the Death Camps were going to roll over at the first sound of gunfire.

            *headdesk*

            In Europe the Left is scrambling frantically to apply the label “Fascist” to any group concerned about the Muslim invasions. What they don’t see is that they are so f*cking STUPID and the Muslims are so barbaric, that they are making Fascism look GOOD.

            And when it finally breaks out BIG, and they are being herded onto boxcars, along with any surviving splodydopes, they are going to have the nerve to be SURPRISED.

            • ONLY reason it hasn’t happened yet is that Europe has ALMOST no young people.

            • Europe’s invader problem is so blatantly obvious that even Her Royal Clintoness can not only see it but speak up about it.

              Although attentive heads will notice that the basis for her concern is that the invasion is stoking nationalist responses.

            • Muslim Brotherhood was actually founded in 1928, actively supported the Nazis and cooperated with them in their efforts to murder all of the Jews. Their charter, written 20 years before the founding of modern Israel, openly called (and still does) for the worldwide genocide of Jews. The left thinks the MB are the good guys, which tells you everything that you ever need to know about the left.

            • Why wouldn’t they think that the Orthodox Church is going to be a pushover? The current Pope apparently thinks that the biggest problems facing his parishioners are the environment, and refugees.

              • I suppose I should clarify – they’ve gotten the leader of the Roman Catholic Church to dance to their tune. Why would they think that the Orthodox Church would be more difficult?

                • Amsel, Matthew

                  They’ve never dealt with Russians, have they?

                • I’m sorry, but you don’t understand just how the various Orthodox churches (there are many more than just one hierarchy) are organized. The ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople (yes, not Istanbul) recently tried to set up a separate autocephalous hierarchy in Ukraine, separate from the recognized Ukrainian church, and now his entire hierarchy has been judged to be out of communion (the Orthodox version of excommunication) with the rest of Orthodoxy. If the left thinks it can get the Orthodox patriarchs of the world to dance to their tune, they’re horribly deluded.

                • Because most leftists are completely ignorant of the second largest communion of Christians.

                  I’d argue American leftists are pretty ignorant of the largest communion of Christians and seem to think Southern Baptists are pretty representative of the community world wide.

                  IE, they think it because they are clueless.

                  • In my experience of American leftists, their minds are made up and they do not want to be confused with facts.

                    As a result, they tend to evaluate data not according to its factualness or validity but according to its usefulness. Thus they like AGW because it is a license to impose their agenda.

                    Catching up with the Bill Reader guest posts about the Left’s welcoming of the “Refugee Caravan” I was struck with the thought experiment of asking whether the “No Borders” mob would be similarly welcoming of a caravan of Neo-Nazi White Supremacists fleeing the Maduro regime?

                    I admit the experiment requires very little thought.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      In my experience of American leftists, their minds are made up and they do not want to be confused with facts.

                      This is true of most people no matter what their political/social alignment.

                  • More like their cardboard cutout of Southern Baptists.

                    • Fair enough, but I think the broad point stands…they don’t even know enough to make cardboard cut outs of much of Christianity.

                      I don’t either, but at least I know that.

                    • Socrates is credited with the statement: “The only thing I know is that I know nothing.”

                      Knowing what you do not know is often asserted to be the beginning of wisdom, but more likely it is simply the end of false knowledge, which is a plague worse than ignorance.

                    • Presented to me as a Chinese proverb (but everyone likes to attribute various pseudo-deep statements as being ancient Chinese or Native American, or something “other” to give false verisimilitude): “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”

                    • Patrick Chester

                      I though Socrates was famous for:

                      “I drank what?”

                    • more like, Southern Baptists as presented to them on TV last week, most likely on Law and Order:SVU

        • Does it matter if Big Brother is stomping on your face with his left boot or right boot?

      • Bingo. When They decided that we have to put up with being called Nazis, They irreversibly split society. The only thing to do now is arrange for a divorce with as little bloodshed as possible, because the only alternative is to let Them assimilate or destroy us, and that is not going to happen.

        It’s time for “When in the Course of Human Events…” again.

  17. David Draiman tells it like it is about “social” “justice” wank^H^Hrriors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUmdVqHZGFE

    Everywhere around you
    You find reasons to
    Turn into a warrior to protect what you believe
    But you think their beliefs
    Make them less than you
    And that is a delusion that your sickness has conceived

    Now you spend every day of your life
    Always hoping that something will spark
    The desire

    [CHORUS]
    Now you’ve become
    Everything you claim to fight
    Through your need to feel you’re right
    You’re the savior of nothing now

  18. Hang in there Sarah, us peons DO have your back, and yes, Thank God for indie!!! Sounds like one helluva basis for an interesting novel there!

  19. If Baen has decided to drop you do to the whisper campaign, I guess they have decided to drop me as a buyer.

    They have now achieved something only Tor has: being actively boycotted as a publisher even if it means skipping books by someone I like (Moorcock has new books out on Tor).

    I don’t buy much trad because I don’t like it, but far and away the majority recently has been Baen. Well, Baen has earned my middle fingers.

    There is a ton of indie and old book in eBook format, enough to keep me in reading material for life. I don’t need trad publishers.

    They need me.

    If they want to fire me that’s their problem.

    • It might be more complicated than that. 😦

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      It’s not clear that they have dropped her.

      I think Sarah has made some effort to be measured in her descriptions, and that we ought to parse them carefully.

      That said, your analysis after a careful parsing is your business. I do want to avoid chiming in loudly here in case I might poison a relationship that has not yet been poisoned.

      • Well, I’m reading the line about that’s not how it is done so they can have deniability.

        So here is my deniability: there is a ton of eBooks out there not tied to a NY publisher. It’s not that I don’t buy a given NYC publisher, but I just never get around to it after the indie.

        Mostly, I’m just sick of people feeling entitle to:

        1. Piss on me at will
        2. Get my money

        You are entitled to neither and if you insist on #1 you don’t get #2 anymore, see WotC, Evil Hat Games, Tor Books, Burger King (pink chicken fries, people, really), and now maybe other people want to get in line.

        • Herb,
          I didn’t want to be explicit.
          I won’t say there haven’t been problems — coff, through fire, coff. Its being delayed twice tanked THOSE numbers hard, and honestly their telling me the delays wouldn’t hurt anything did NOT fill me with confidence because either lying to me or clueless about the business changes since the eighties. (Note I presume clueless for various reasons.) And the fact that it was done for bullshit … never mind. Again probably incompetence, NOT malice. Not the time or place — but in this case, I don’t hold anything against them but short-sightedness.
          I presume the whisper campaign has made it so they CAN’T publish me, because my numbers suck. The fact that Darkship Revenge (and yeah, the four book series thing is typical office f*ck up) hasn’t rated a mmpb edition is a signal it sold fewer than 800 copies. Which means in bookstores computers my name is mud.
          I don’t hold it against them they don’t want to buy me again. Honestly, I don’t even hold it against them NOT TELLING ME because if they did you lot would go spare, and you’re SCARY (and I say that as someone who loves all of you, every hoof and claw.)
          I do hold short-sightedness against them, because my numbers with Larry will rinse the computers right off (it’s one book deep) if Uncharted didn’t.
          All they have to do is buy now and by the time they come out they’ll be fine.
          OTOH I’ve long ago come to the conclusion NO ONE at Baen has clue one what is going on with electronic numbers and ordering to the net.
          So with the qualifier that a couple of times their ineptness has thrown me into such florid auto-immune I needed pred, I’ll say I think it’s incompetence not malice. And ALL the houses are incompetent. It’s part of how the business worked. Or didn’t.

          I have friends at Baen, both editors and writers, and I’m not calling jihad.

          If I can’t work for them, I can’t work for them. I’m not entitled. And there’s always indie.

          • If it’s external forces, they could be honest enough to TELL you. But if they can’t manage that… well, why give them the benefit of the doubt.. or hard-earned money?

            Will I actively avoid Baen? Not yet. They ain’t Tor(rible). Not yet. But I feel just that bit less inclined to seek out that “I Read Baened Books” merchandise.

            • Honestly, Orvan, I think they’re terrified of you guys. I mean, look at all y’all. And maybe a little of me, when I get the mustard up.

              • Despite a sadly increasing suspicion (not yet an actual belief) that some have too much blood on their insides (hypertension is contagious – those are the ones that raise my/your/our/the blood pressure) I have not begun swinging a crazy-big ax(e) around. Heck, I don’t even have one. Actually, since I do not have wood heat, I’ve no ax(e) at all. Hrmm.. is a trip to a hardware store in order? Just in case I someday install a firepit or suchlike, of course.

                Nitrogen or Sulfur mustard?

                • Well, I know for a fact you can naturally have too little blood on their insides: POTS. It has one friend in a wheelchair part time already.

                  • I can’t see POTS not think of phone lines… even if it’s been years since having a physical local connection.

                    • Hmmmmm … I see POTS and recollect days and nights spent on stage crew in High School the early Seventies, setting lighting and volume levels with honking huge potentiometers.

                • Does not have to be an axe. You don’t have pointy sharp things just laying around your house? Now that just is not right, everyone should, what are you going to use when the ammo runs out (and it always runs out, you NEVER have enough)?
                  If it HAS to be an AXE, there are cheap ones that will work. I picked up a bearded axe (8″ edge, 30″ long) for less than $30 that has worked well.

                  • There is no shortage of pointy things, nor of sharp things, and some are both. And some things are neither sharp nor pointy but… well, were I in “a mood” I suspect I could black out $HOOTERVILLE with a few at-hoof items (NONE of which would go ‘bang’ or ‘boom’) and about an hour, half an hour if I studied the “problem” in advance.

                  • The guy who owned the place we bought left some interesting stuff behind. The steel-handled maul might just to right well, though one’s mobility with it is limited.

                    I have some really old pine rounds. A good whack with “Darth” and they’re nicely sized for the splitter. (Hmm, he’s the most interesting character in Phantom Menace. Lucas even got his dialog right. VBEG.)

              • If all it takes is sales of 800 HBs to get a laydown for a mmpb, they d-well should be scared of us. This crowd here’s a major segment of their pre-order market.

                As for getting the mustard up … it depends on what type. A little French’s is nothing to fret, but if I get the Mister Mustard or (Heaven forfend!) some of my home-brew Chinese mustard, then it’s Katy Bar The Door!

                • It wasn’t a hard back. It was trade paper back. Which almost doesn’t sell. But that’s another issue.

                  • Not to tangent off (here? tangent? nah….)

                    but I’ve never understood why trade PB has come into such vogue recently, when it represents the worst of HC and mmpb

                    • It’s more durable than mmpb, and more portable than hardback. Basically, it’s paperback for people who want things a little prettier but find hardbacks heavy.

                    • Oddly, I have the opposite reaction – less durable than HC, less portable than MMPB

                    • Years* ago I picked up a half dozen hard “slip covers” for mmpbs. Basically they consist of two components, each a ppb-sized pair of cardboard panels wrapped in durable contact paper, so that the gap between the panels will accept insertion of a ppb cover. One unit has a plastic panel bound to it, a panel which can be inserted into the other unit, protecting the book’s spine. These have been used, with edges retaped as needed, for multiple readings and every book thus protected is completed with corners undinged, covers unwrinkled, and spine uncreased (although that is the common consequence of how I read a mmpb) — granting the durability of a HB with the convenient portability of a mmpb.

                      I loathe TPBs, and grumble over the new “slim” mmpb – those a quarter-inch narrower and a quarter-inch taller as a personal insult.

                      I could probably make replacements with modern materials — plastic instead of cardboard panels, for example, but that would take time out of reading.**

                      *probably on the order of 40 – 45

                      **Yes, I could make them while listening to an audiobook but in a house overflowing with reading matter there is a shortage of worksurface.

                    • Why did they make a mmpb *narrower*? I do not understand. It makes no sense to me at all.

                    • OOOOOOH. Matthew. I know why you see so many tpbs around: almost all print to order is tpb. Both indie and low-priority authors. Derp. Sorry. have been up since four thirty am. brain is fuzzyish

                    • Two reasons, I think.

                      1. It stands out a little better on jobber racks in non-book store outlets, such as grocery stores, and the racks fit into a tighter niche.

                      2. It slides into a back pocket a touch more easily.

                    • um… actually it sells worse than both, but yeah.

                    • Amsel, Matthew

                      Really… I need to wonder why so many books I see are now either in TPB or that weird taller PB.

                    • Because they’re lesser authors who don’t get hardcover, and mmpb no longer sells much.

                    • Publishing has long (mid-80s?), but very slowly, been moving toward European book formats. A-series being narrower/taller than we’re used to, B-series not as much so. May be driven in part by surviving sources of paper, but more likely wanting to be like the Kewl Kids, or something.

                      That’s a view from the technical publication bidness, which is where I came from, but I suspect it’s true in other Realms of Pub.

                    • See, and for me, it’s a case of digital vs. print. I love print books, I do…but now that I get the vast majority of books in e-format, when I *do* lay out money for a physical book, I want a hardback.

                      Even more, I want a *nice* hardback. I’m starting to see more and more popping up that are very nice clothbounds, and I’m hoping the leatherbound market will take off. (I’m buying as many of the Discworld’s as a I can in a lovely clothbound hardback. They’re awesome.)

                      The only reason I’ve looked at paperbacks is to see if it’s a book worth looking up digitally. Haven’t bought one in years.

                      And I purely loathe the ‘taller’ paperbacks, because they do not damn well fit on the bookshelf with the regular ones correctly and they materially contributed to my willingness to stop buying most paper books, heh.

                  • Gee, thanks for the reminder of my disappointment when it arrived in TPB.

                    • If I’m not the last author Baen publishes in TPB I’m close to it. And they can’t upgrade me to hc (couldn’t) because it just dind’t sell enough. (Rolls eyes.)

                    • That sounds kafkaesque: we place you in the worst selling format and then can’t upgrade you to a better selling format because you don’t sell enough.

                      I also wonder if MMPB are dead because of eBooks. Then again, given what trad wants for eBooks, MMPB should be the first choice.

                      Aside on your comment above about POD being mostly TPB, is there a reason for that. I thought most POD places off MMPB format which is what I’m planning to get for my book release party next year (yes, I’m planning it before the book is finished much less ready to go indie, but any excuse to get people to my favorite dive bar).

                    • My guess is that the TPB format is more forgiving of printers/binders than mmpb. The smaller format would seem to be more critical of small variations in ink, paper and other factors.

                      Is your favorite dive bar scuba only or is snorkeling welcomed?

                    • snorkeling is fine. The menu is pretty limited (we play trivia there every thursday and I Have it memorized), it comes complete with people I think live at the bar, is open “late”, the staff does shots and karaoke, I’m enough of the regular I get my own stuff from the service station all the time, and took one of the waitresses in my group to see Jordon Peterson.

                      It is the one time in my life I truly have been a regular.

                    • MMPB ARE a tough choice.

                    • TPB is the cheapest to do in POD and still make money. That’s it.

                  • well i didnt see it, but i made limited bookstore trips because they are only slightly more useful here than in CA

              • Umm. Scared people will buy stuff from them if they behave well? That’s the only way I can make sense of this, here. Evidently they are not afraid of consequences from your fans if they behave badly.

              • I’m thinking that someone (and I will be the one) needs to stand up at the next Baen Roadshow and ask Toni Weisskopf why the company she supposedly runs is continuing to give the impression that they are “free speech” while knuckling under to that whisper campaign by not calling it out for the lie it is. Mine will be at LibertyCon.

                I am sick up to my eyeballs with this nonsense.

                • Steve, it’s NOT that. Their schtick is putting books in bookstores, and if I don’t have the numbers, nothing can be done. (Until after Guardian, but by then I’ll be indie.)

                  • ::nods:: Having worked in a bookstore, though back mumbly-years-ago, if the district manager decides a book won’t sell, the bookstore won’t get the books. Period. Even if customer after customer wanted it, we’d have to special order it and could NEVER get it added to inventory. Having seen purchasing managers do some bone headed choices, it’s more than just one part of the pipeline.

                    • And why would someone special order something at the bookstore when they can order it themselves online for less? If it’s something they need right now there’s eBooks. Sounds like a great way to run yourself out of business if the local population doesn’t like the gatekeeper’s choices.

                    • Plus, if I do order from B&N if it isn’t in stock:

                      1. I have to go to B&N to get it.
                      2. It usually costs more than Amazon.
                      3. It takes long to get to B&N for me to pick up than for Amazon to get it to my house.

                      The failure to even understand the issues and their relative advantages on the part of B&N et al still boggles my mind.

                    • it was ::mumbly-years-ago:: when there wasn’t a choice of online. But from what I’ve seen this method hasn’t changed. Indeed, the BN online presence is stupid. I can’t find if a book is in stock at the local BN, only if I can order it online and have it shipped to the local BN, meanwhile the Best Buy website will tell me if what I want is in stock.

                    • Barnes and Noble DOES ship to your address.

                      In fact, I find it faster than Amazon.

                    • Maybe in your area, Mary. Here, Amazon would have it in my hands before B&N has it in a box.

                  • William O. B'Livion

                    Their schtick is putting books in bookstores,

                    So basically their business model is bits, bridles and horse shoes.

                  • Not returning you the rights to your books that they don’t intend to place in the stores ANYWAY? What does that have to do with “books in bookstores”?

                    • It’s the traditional model. It’s hard to get people to let go of “it’s always been done this way.” Doesn’t mean I won’t try Steve, but it will take a few years if ever for me to succeed. (It will also take money from indie, so I’d rather be writing.)

                • Steve, calling out a whisper campaign is pointless. The only effective step they could take would be to ignore it — which is easier to do if Sarah’s sales are in Ringo/Correia territory. Remember, she’s had (at least) two books tank, although the first was not her fault and they’ve continued to pick up the series. That’s one more than any other publisher would do.

                  Putting Toni on the spot with such a question borders on rude and could end the road shows, although the most likely answer she’d give would be a tap dance around the matter and moving on to the next question.

                  • Yeah, RES, because “Yes sir, may I have another” gets wonderful results. The lesson of the last three years, hell, the last 20, is that hesitating to be rude when being screwed is a recipe for being ignored and taken advantage of.

                    • Cripes, Steve, what was I thinking? This situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!


                      No doubt you’re just the guy to do it.

              • I would suggest trying to get the rights back as far as the future book commitments so you can publish them independently rather than go through Baen. There delays and failure to properly inform you could possibly be a breach of the contract, depending on specific contract language/terms.

              • Also, it amuses me to be even included in a group that anyone might be terrified of. I will readily admit that I would NOT care to be on the wrong end of pretty much everyone here (and no, that’s NOT an invitation to the minority – I like things dull, really. And so do you.)

          • Baen comes into this with a couple of things that make this worst.

            One, Baen has gotten a lot of business by the view that they are the one house who doesn’t play these games. So, when DAW plays it you still buy your favorite author from DAW because you’ve been buying from them knowing that is who they are.

            With Baen it feels a lot more like you’ve been lied to all this time (kind of like voting for a GOP squish who promise this time when they have the Senate/House/Presidency they will follow through on their promises).

            Second, they have directly screwed me while screwing you. I missed a book I had wanted so much I pre-ordered it because they screwed it up.

            Third, and this isn’t Baen’s fault but life is life, this is happening as I’ve reaching more and more my “got f*** yourself and, btw, use this long knife I had with this sand filled lube” point. Like I said, the whole “pink tax” chicken fries ad wasn’t that big a deal, but before it I’d been stopping twice a week regularly at BK for breakfast driving to work from Z’s house.

            I haven’t been to BK since I saw the ad.

            Enough is enough. Either these games stop or I play like the people on the whispering campaign. They are destroying me and mine and me and mine have not been fighting back because we don’t want collateral damage of people not involved.

            The fact is a lot of those people not involved are letting it work by their silence and are quick to speak up when our side tries a response.

            They have taken a side and are too cowardly to own it.

            So I say we make them own it.

            I mean, Sarah, before I found your books via Instapundit I had pretty much quit sci-fi, especially stuff post 1990. By 2006 I was reading more detective than sci-fi and fantasy combined. Through you I also found Pam (talk about a series I devoured) and Ceder and Peter. I tried one Larry, his first, and it was too gun bunny for my tastes, but might give another shot as I’ve been informed he toned that down. I hadn’t read Brad until after I got here and from the associated Good Reads group of Huns I tried John Ringo for the first time (and the second was a Diner suggestion). The Good Reads group also gave me The Wearing the Cape series, one of two “I’ll buy it as soon as I see it series” currently active (it would be three, but at this point Dresden is not currently active).

            That’s a lot of Baen. Brad, Larry, and John are all Baen as is Williamson who I tried from some suggestion line from here and the fact he was Baen.

            You made Baen a lot of sales through me, only half of them (maybe less than half) your books.

            As far as I’m concerned they owe you. You aren’t entitled to be published by them, but they owe you because I doubt I’m the only person whose Baen buying traces back to you and yours.

            • I’ve not watched TV (unless Not At Home…) since 2009. Dare I ask what this ‘pink tax’ advert is/was?

              And as a male of less than 5 ft 8in height, I do understand the “Tailor Tax” as no ‘nice’ (professional/business) clothes fit well sans alteration. And that one place in NYC is always out of stock of the size/color that would useful for me… hrm, that ax is seeming a better idea all the time.

              • It may have been online only. To be honest, I only saw it because of people debunking it, but that it was even made was enough to have been get my fast cooked grease elsewhere.

                As for the pink tax, if you are bitching about how you pay the pink tax to get the same disposable razor but in pink not black and wound up paying more, you were the one born for your minute.

                • OMG.

                  Also, Burger King food sucks. It sucks every time I think it had to have been a fluke and there’s the BK so convenient, so I go buy food there again. Chicken fries are sort of edible. The fact that they’ve become the signature thing there is informative to say the least.

                  • It matters who is doing things. The best BK I was ever at had a bunch of ‘special needs’ folks doing the work – and they paid attention to the work and took pride in it and the results showed. The local BK… one convenience store operator notes the folks ‘let go’ for being blasé about showing up tended to wind up at BK.

                  • Weird, we tend to have stuff go the opposite way– of course, we also order off of the cheap menu, too.

                    • Ours are like Orvan’s. But all the franchises in this and the nearest adjacent county are owned by the same people, and that’s how they choose to run their business…

                      The last time I went into Burger King, the area behind the counter was covered with bread and french fries that the crew had trod into a paste.

                      No. I turned around and took my fast food urge elsewhere.

                      And, though I hate to say this there have been worse in my area, though fortunately no longer in business. (checks web) Looks like the Minute Man chain is down to a single restaurant, in El Dorado, Arkansas. And good riddance to them…

                    • TRX, my family has lived in El Dorado AR for 5 generations and I don’t remember ever having been taken or recommended for Minute Man.

                  • Pizza Hut. I had horrible experience at one locally. Passed it off as a fluke. Next time I was there, said “not again.” Stopped at one in Winnipeg about a year later, same horrible experience. Parents took us out to one a few years later when we were back visiting and they had changed the menu apparently as the food was worse. I refuse to eat there anymore. Which really sucks, because when I was a kid they were the best pizza chain around in terms of taste.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      Assuming you’re about my age +/-, when we were kids they were about the ONLY outside major cities.

                    • We also had Happy Joe’s (my grandfather’s favorite) and Sammy’s (where I worked in high school). They’re both regional to the upper midwest area.

                    • When I was but a wee laddie there was another place called Village Inn Pizza that showed old cartoons. I think I was about 5 when they closed down.

                      Not bad choices for a little town of 32K

                    • We visited Howard Johnson’s for the last time when I was two. That they always had a tiny kitchen for an enormous dining room was a factor, but the last straw was the horrible waitress who shoved aside our ordered fruit so it could get warm, and my mother’s tea so it could get cold, while the rest of the order was completed, and then couldn’t bring them all out at once. So, in a brilliant move, she left mine behind.

                      I saw everyone else was getting breakfast, and I wasn’t. I deduced everyone else was getting breakfast, and I wasn’t. And — reacted.

                      The waitress got my breakfast REAL FAST but it was too late by then to get our business again.

                • Good heavens. And I make gomme syrup for myself & $HOUSEMATE and by not using the ‘official named ingredient’ but a ‘dietary supplement’ (which is the exact same thing, only priced much more reasonably) so.. yeah.

                  “It’s stupid.” sums it up so very well.

                • I hadn’t seen that until you mentioned it. Gracious, what idiocy. I pay more for the purple razor, not because it’s purple, but because I tend to cut myself more with the men’s disposables – sometimes, cheap is less expensive, and sometimes it’s just cheap. I’m not paying in an ounce of flesh for saving a couple bucks on razors.

                  But I assure you, if I were to suddenly lose my dislike of pink and buy a pink-gripped pocket 9mm, it wouldn’t cost anymore than the purple one, the green one, or the basic black. (Doesn’t every girl have a little black pistol? Like a little black dress, it goes with everything!) Now the fact that I pay more for a .357 revolver with beautiful finish, lovely engraving and really comfy grips, and a pretty, pretty dragon leatherworks holster isn’t because sexist, it’s because I have expensive tastes.

                  …And if I wear that beautiful gun and pretty, pretty holster with the awesome belt on my thrift store jeans, along with the leftover t-shirt from a strengthlifting meet, with my hair in the “I’m cleaning the house” messy bun when running to the grocery store… I can be very sure that the guy ogling my midsection isn’t being sexist. He’s probably just having holster envy, what with his basic utilitarian kydex and its plastic gun.

                • Pink stuff costs more because almost nobody wants it.

                  I HATE everything being pink– it’s fine for girls, but it gets really tiring for grown women.

                  Going off of the sales racks, other folks agree– so there will be 40 pink whatevers, and one boy-friendly color left.
                  Because pink can only be given to a girl that likes pink….

                  *grumble*

                  • But, but, but, it’s the Patriarchy.

                    I swear, some of these feminist NEED a real patriarchy because they aren’t capable of functioning as grown adults.

                    The problem is they are going to bring one down on all the women who can function as grown adults in the process.

                    • They certainly can’t handle a matriarchy – I’ve been in the south long enough to understand that the iron fist in the velvet glove rules the town from her bridge table, her fundraising dinners, and church socials.

                      But these young feminists see the poor men in front maneuvered to carry out the orders from the pillow, and take the fall, and think the surface is the entirety. Idiots.

                    • I hear a feminist rant and usually my first thought anymore is “bless her heart”.

                      My second is how lucky she is not to live in a world where it would be a woman saying that.

                    • Dorothy, that is brilliant.

                    • They don’t even want a matriarchy, though they may think they do. They want a gynocracy.

                    • So Cruel – not all women have gynos!

                    • In all seriousness, I think they do want a patriarchy. A patriarchy of sugar daddy types who treat them like princesses who love to play being She-Ra knowing daddy will bail them out.

                    • Gynocracy would mean that women with wrong think will rule. . . .

                      Except, of course, by Talks-With-Plants logic, whereby anyone who disagrees with her at all — is not to blame, the poor dear, but has been hollowed out and used like a puppet by the evil men to perpetuate their rule, so of course she would be left out.

                      Many of them veil it better. And of course, some don’t manage to think it through to the bitter end.

                  • I have boys who like pink.

                    “You are letting your nine-year-old son get pink glasses?”
                    “He’s home schooled. No one cares. If he likes the color he’s more likely to wear them.”

                    “You let your fifteen-year-old son wear pink?”
                    “He’s home schooled, dances ballet, mixed race, and isn’t gay: pink shirt is the LEAST of the teasing he deals with. His choice.”

                    • As long as they know that it is unusual, sounds good to me. (I got bitten a few times with folks letting me “make that choice” when I had no idea there WAS a choice going on.)

                      My five year old, on the other hand, still doesn’t “get” why the girls get to paint their nails and he doesn’t…but he gets to paint his cars, so he doesn’t care. 😀

                    • In Orlando when I was a boot one of the colors you could get your company tee-shirt in was a pale pink. Usually at least one female company a month got their company shirts in that color.

                      As of July 1986 no male company in memory had.

                      Unlike fiscal year 1986 company C-161 did.

                      And we wore them proudly to the intra-company sports competition day. One of the female companies started singing the Pink Panther theme. At least one of the other male companies laughed.

                      After we cleaned up and won the competition the other man companies didn’t and that K-Company broke out into the theme every time we came by after that.

                      Good time, good time.

                  • Synchronicity: I had clicked on “reply” to leave a comment about a male friend who carries (one of several) pink guns while going about his daily affairs, when said friend called to tell me about something on Gunbroker I might be interested in, and then I forgot what point I was planning to make… [sigh]

            • For Larry, if MHI was too gunny, try Grimnoir. Seriously and for real.

              • So I have heard. I bought Son of the Black Sword which is in que, although I’ve distracted by Malaysian pirate tales written by Italians.

                • It seems to me that indie is the way of the future in any case. Let’s face it, e-books are the way of the future for text. Yes, there are cranky old guys like Kim Du Toit and I who like hard-copy, but you can carry a massive library in a Kindle or iPad.

                  And it’s no big deal to get a book ready for electronic publication. I’ll put it this way – the SF book I intermittently work on will almost certainly be indie. Why bother with anything else these days?

                  • A news item t’other day caught my attention, about the importance of kids seeing their fathers, especially, reading books.

                    And I realized: with an iPad your kid has no idea whether you are reading a book or watching streaming video.

                    • Depends on their style– my kids are hooked on reading in part because Elf does read a lot, and even read some bedtime stories on his phone for them.

                      Which resulted in my then-five-year-old hijacking my phone to read “Story a Day”, a kid’s book, and old biddies of both sexes sniffing about her playing games.

                      (punishment was fitting– she started telling them about the story, in detail)

                  • Yep. Indie is the future.

                  • It took a long time for me to give up paper for a large number of purchases. If trad published what I wanted to read I probably still would only buy a handful of eBooks.

                    It was the combination of “you can put your tablet in a baggie for the tub” and “wow, this is where the kind of books I like to read are” that got me over the top to eBooks.

                    Trad could have taken out the second, but “correct” books were more important than fun ones.

                  • What really brought me over was how many books I’d managed to lose in the middle of reading–without ever being able to find them again. (I am a combined slob, giant ditz, and someone who likes to bring her reading everywhere… it’s a bad combination.)

                    I still haven’t picked up most of the books I’d lost in that fashion. But I also haven’t lost any books since I made the switch.

                    (Well. Except “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” which I apparently uploaded to too many devices (I… lose or otherwise destroy phones fairly frequently as well, which makes it hard to delete from the old device when I pick up a new one.) Oh, well, I didn’t like that one that well anyway.)

                    • That one is easy. Download to main reading device. Download to PC, THEN save it off to another device. Also load into Calibre program so I have a single searchable list of books from various sites. Results in 4 or 5 copies of each book. Four permanent ones (online, unless site goes down; PC; Calibre; different device), 5th on actual reading app may or may not remain downloaded after reading.

              • Grimnoir is amazing – alternate history 1930s steampunk X-Men.

            • THIS. EXACTLY.

            • richardmcenroe

              Just a note, Larry’s first book was written as a serial on a gun bunny forum, so there’s a little bit of well, duh-factor there. He’s broadened out hugely, even collaborating with excitable Portuguese swimming and such.

              • Oh, I know the history which is why I did buy Black Sword (also, figured it couldn’t have too much gun bunny stuff).

                Nor do I have a hatred of gun bunny stuff, just not my thing. For example, when he get the souped up shotgun and there are four pages of details of the upgrades, had those been in a paragraph and the four pages been spent on the machine shop work to do a couple of them with details on using dial indicators to get something true on the lathe and doing gear calculations before cutting one with the mill and so on I’d probably reread the book every year. 🙂

                • richardmcenroe

                  Part of that scene that bugged me most was when he left off the Timney drop-in trigger…
                  .
                  .
                  .
                  What?

                  • His still buying his machine tools instead of casting his own with scrap iron, so clearly he isn’t that much of a machinist 🙂

      • Christopher M Chupik

        They’ve been promoting her Dragon win pretty hard on their Twitter feed the last month.

    • Christopher M Chupik

      Hopefully it’s just a few people in the company. A publisher who prints Larry, John and Tom isn’t exactly a bastion of SJWism.

      • Problem being that in a lot of industries folks on the left value woke over and above making a profit by selling what consumers want.
        I have a lot of respect for Toni, but she isn’t Jim and while doing her best to uphold his traditions and policies there are those in the back office with a different agenda.

      • Yet they employ Eric Flint as an editor…

      • They also are staying quiet in their industry and letting the whisper campaign go.

        Then when the whisper campaigns work because no one spoke up they dump the author because “numbers”.

        We’re at the “pick a side” point. I don’t want it, but the other side is so through that not picking a side is effectively giving them free rein and de facto joining them.

        • But speaking up doesn’t work– all it does is spread the accusation to folks who didn’t get the whisper campaign.

          • This is actually true. Particularly for “bad think” publisher.

            • So it’s another form of kafkatrap. OK. So if you’re screwed either way, let’s at least thin the ranks for the next generation.

              https://americanliterature.com/author/rudyard-kipling/poem/the-quest

              “My shame ye count and know.
              Ye say the quest is vain.
              Ye have not seen my foe.
              Ye have not told his slain.
              Surely he fights again, again;
              But when ye prove his line,
              There shall come to your aid my broken blade
              In the last, lost fight of mine!”

          • Yeah, that type seems to use the “no smoke without fire” idea as a club to beat everyone with. You speak up, you say “It’s not like that” and they pull what they did, oh, with Kavanaugh: You wouldn’t be speaking so loudly if you weren’t trying to hide something/you’re too angry/denial means you’re guilty and on and on and on.

            Folks who pull that kind of crap, there’s no way to win like that. Because they’re mean girls, and mean girls will *always* twist things around to drive the knife in deeper. The only way to win is not to play, and to find other avenues. It sucks, but it’s how it is.

          • William O. B'Livion

            If speaking up doesn’t work then you’re not very good at speaking up.

      • It’s possible that there’s some folks trying to sabotage the whole company.

        • Because Baen has for so very long been guilty of wrong think and published authors noted for the same unacceptable ideals. If only a few woke insiders could bring the company down, take over, and reestablish Baen as a paragon of socially progressive books, then all would be well.
          The buying public? Eff them, they’re just sheep to be fleeced. What they might want doesn’t count. They will read what we tell them to and like it, or else.

        • “Tsk. ‘Sabotage’ is such an ugly word! We prefer ‘redeem’.”

    • To be totally fair to Baen Books, it’s probably just bungling on their part. After Baen passed they’ve been losing the thread oh what made then successful. Looking back, I think it’s been several years since I’ve been to their site and bought books from them. Part of it is most of the series I used to follow through them have either run their course, withered on the vine or just gone strange.

      And, when they changed it so that you didn’t get the final version too, it really tanked the buzz of waiting for the next one in the series. “Sure, I could spend $20 right now and find out what happens next, but then I’ll just have to buy it again in two or three months for $6,so why not just wait and buy it then?” Two months later I’ve forgotten that the next book was coming out that month.

      • Maybe, but more and more I’m believing in the Moscow briefing when things happen three times.

      • Old saying amongst strategists:
        Once, happenstance.
        Twice, coincidence.
        Thrice, enemy action.
        At Baen they are well into double digits with multiple authors though a fair amount is simple bungling, but IMHO far too consistent to be pure chance.

  20. Sarah, it’s not reasonable to expect you to not blow up after someone sticks a dirk in your back. “Et tu, Brute’?” is one of the saddest observations one can make; when someone you thought a friend shows by their actions that they are not. It really erodes any trust you have that you can have differences of opinion, and yet still respect and get along with the other person.

    If that meningioma is at all operable, please do it soonest. While Jerry Pournelle didn’t come through his brain surgery unscathed, the fact that he didn’t wait too long, and his determination, gave him a far better outcome and recovery than the doctors had predicted. I’d love to see you come back from it kicking ass and taking names, and able to read a playing card at twenty feet.

  21. Hugo Awards, Hugo Awards,
    How rigged are nominations?
    Hugo Awards, Hugo Awards,
    Few fans vote for you.
    Hugo Awards, Hugo Awards,
    Dull books proclaim you’ve blessed,
    Them as among the best,
    Hugo Awards, Hugo Awards,
    No one now heeds you

    To the tune of “Oh Tannenbaum”

    • If I was nominated for a Hugo I’d immediately withdraw.

      For a least a decade “Hugo award nominee” much less “Hugo award winner” has translated to “don’t waste your money”.

  22. I appreciate your blog and the SP “movement” because it confirmed my analysis of the mainstream SciFi genre, entertainment business and political situation at large. The revelations I discovered here and elsewhere in the last several years verified my scepticism regarding the ethics or molarity of any authority or power.

    It’s got to the point where I can’t enjoy any fiction/entertainment without doing a full background check on the creators or a fisking of the work in question. (Except for classics and some games and Aussie League Football for some strange reason.)

    So take care of your health and continue giving the bastards hell!

    • Well, AFL isn’t that strange. It is the greatest sport ever, after all.

      • Great sport. Loving watching it when I can catch a game, which unfortunately is always in the middle of the bleeding night for me.

        • When I ran a Dominos Fox Soccer had the AFL game of the week on at 2am Friday. We were next door to a package store. I’d buy a four of Strongbow as they close and keep it in the cooler.

          I got home about 15 minutes before game with cider and wings and stayed up to watch it.

  23. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I think a lot of this we knew, or had information that we could infer it from.

    I think we here have been making allowances for your health. And praying.

    I certainly know you well enough to know that the slurs are not true.

    • Quite frankly, I would like to see people quit cringing at those slurs, because IMO they really don’t matter anymore, if they ever did. Very few people now fall into any of those groups; the slurs are mostly just being used to try to bring dissidents to heel, and that won’t work if people don’t cringe at them. Furthermore, if we are all entitled to freedom of association, and freedom of thought (never mind freedom of speech), then we have a perfect right to dislike other people for any reason we choose to dislike them for. Just like we (should) have the right to choose not to do business with anyone for any reason (are we really free if we can be forced to do business with people we’d rather not do business with?). I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a good thing to dislike other people for reasons of race, sex preference, religion, etc., but in a free country, we ought to be free to have those choices, not have them forced on us as a matter of political correctness.

      • The only reasonable response to them is, “I don’t care even a tiny bit what you think of me–your opinions are totally inconsequential.”

        • Which is a great way to think, until you’re in Sarah’s position, and the bad guys have inflicted significant consequences of their opinions upon you.

      • Reality trumps the “race card.” And the “gender card.” And… well, the whole tired deck.

        I’ve even told folks that I don’t particularly mind being lied about, but would they please at least come up with something creative and interesting? -ist and -phobe is so… over.

        • *snerk* Funny thing, that. I found that eagerly seeking out rumors about myself and them critiquing them on their quality and originality was the most effective way to get people to stop spreading rumors.

          • Back when I and a group of similarly inclined (okay, I admit: we were bent) conservatives were active on message boards in the Clinton Administration we eventually stopped bothering debating with a certain type of Leftish trolls, adhering to Larry’s dictum about such debates being theatre. Once it became clear that a given debater had nothing but standard rants we would nominate the troll for the Carville Award of the day and critique them according to originality, inventiveness, absurdity, invective, and various other factors.

            The East German judge was always overly generous in awarding points for adherence to talking points.

      • we have a perfect right to dislike other people for any reason we choose to dislike them for.

        “No, I don’t dislike you for being [member of selected VG*], in your case it is entirely personal. I dislike you because you are you and have the personality and intelligence of a rotted carrot. [Cite exemplar of VG*] is a wholly admirable person and would be appalled at your effort to attribute to [him] a dislike merited entirely by your personal failures to achieve even partial humanity.”

        Remember, the prudent shopper always dislikes retail, never wholesale.

        *Victim Group

  24. William O. B'Livion

    > Rightly or wrongly, whispers have also reached me that because of this,
    > and except for collaborations under contract, the house will never
    > publish me again.

    Really.

    That wouldn’t be a wise choice on their part.

    • It is amazing the number of businesses who don’t want certain people’s money when the number of non-certain people isn’t enough to keep them open.

    • See explanation to Herb, elsewhere.
      I think it’s more incompetence and the iron law of trad pub than malice. At least with data I have available at the time. Yes, the result is the same, but the reason ISN’T.

      • Probably true, but after a string of consistent incompetent actions one has to start wondering about intent.
        And when you’re beaten, bleeding, and most thoroughly screwed it’s hard to focus on the reason over the result.

      • William O. B'Livion

        If the laws are driving you towards bankruptcy then you get out the plasma cutter and some grinders and change that iron law.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      ‘They’ is an interesting claim by these whispers.

      If there were support at the highest levels for not publishing Sarah, the delivery issues from health might have been exploited to kill the Anderson and Correia collaborations.

      If people within Baen wanted to puff themselves up and insinuate that they are punishing Sarah, those two books make a lie of ‘will never be published here again’. The next most plausible falsehood, if it is false, is what we have heard.

      So, yeah, I’m continuing to make that argument. Full disclosure, Baen has been part of my life for many years, and I’m finding I have a strong bias against rocking the boat. I may fool myself because I don’t want to believe something. Caution is a good idea anyways.

      • I’ve been a Baen Barfly since Jim was still with us. I loved that crotchety old fart.
        As has been pointed out, Baen publishing made its bones by bucking the trends in trad pub, focusing on giving the customers what they wanted. And thrived under that plan.
        But some of their decisions and actions have not been in the best interest of all their contributing authors, Sarah and Dave Freer being two I have a bit of insight on.
        As always, the begging question is can the blame be laid on incompetence or malice.

      • “Everybody hates you and you’ve destroyed your life, you should go fight those guys” is a favorite tactic.

        Going off of observed patterns, it’s also likely that her health issues were a consideration– that would be a good way to suggest more books not be ordered right now.

  25. Where the denials of baseless accusations used to make me cringe, I now seethe with anger. Not at the person issuing the denial, of course, but the fact that these low-grade-Maoists’ manipulative tactics are at least somewhat effective. It’s kafkatrapping, only they’re not telling you that your denial is proof of guilt, they’re only keeping it among themselves..

    The immediate goal of this bullshit is to provoke a reaction, any reaction. Even if it’s only a denial, or denial coupled with an explanation of how the accused isn’t guilty, the goal is achieved. If they get a blow-up, all the better. It doesn’t matter that the blow-up is understandable, given the constant slander and libel. They’re children; and that’s what young children do – provoke reactions. The ones that don’t grow out of it become adult bullies.

    They’re in charge now. If – and I do mean if – Baen has succumbed to this sort of nonsense, I’m going to have to re-evaluate my opinion of them.

  26. Sorry to hear about your extensive troubles, and I hope your treatments go well.

  27. Wow. Glad you are getting your health issues resolved, if not resolved at least more or less under control & the treatments continue to improve how you feel.

  28. Sarah sweetie, here’s a simple plan that should solve all your problems and earn you a place at the important author table.
    Marsh needs to graduate and open a startup engineering firm specializing in the amazing energy potential in harvesting unicorn farts.
    Doctor Robert should partner with Planned Parenthood and open a free abortion clinic funded through Obamacare.
    Dan needs to come out as preop trans and declare as your lesbian partner.
    You must start writing stories about sparkly vampires struggling against the patriarchy and fighting the good fight against that evil emperor Trump.
    Make these few minor adjustments and before you know it you will be the darling of the “right people” and making millions in contracts.

    • To all this it must be added I would have to become or at least sound Marxist. That’s a bridge too far.

    • All true. However, I doubt chronic projectile vomiting would be in Sarah’s best health interests.

    • I’m imagining this as done by someone like Chuck Tingle (who writes the dino porn and sent Zoe Quinn to represent him). Only with Sarah we know that the stories would actually be good.

    • If Doctor Robert’s clinic performs its abortions by crushing the skull and dismembering the person demanding the abortion, does Obamacare still cover the procedure?

      • It seems that business model worked for several years for Kermit Gosnell, the most infamous serial killer ever to hide his crimes behind a medical practice. Only reason the gubmint ever even gave him a hard look was they thought he was dealing in opioids. Then they actually paid his practice a visit and walked into a house of horrors.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Wasn’t Mengele nominally also practicing medicine?

          • I get your point, but Mengele was conducting medical research on unwilling victims not actually practicing medicine with any regard for the patients.
            And given that, the two are at the very least close cousins, and since the movie about Gosnell is being actively suppressed by the media I will concede that Mengele shall remain the more infamous.

        • I’ve heard that the opioids was just the excuse. i.e. law enforcement knew that Bad Things(tm) were happening in Gosnell’s clinic. But they also knew that the state was covering for him (since that state has MANDATED health and safety inspections of clinics like his), and they’d never be allowed to go after him over his ghoulish practices. So law enforcement had to come up with another reason to shut him down.

          • scott2harrison

            I doubt this as he has been charged with murder, not drug dealing. My understanding is that the inspections were not performed due to them being anti-woman (her body, her choice). When the drug raid happened they were shocked.

            • Your first sentence indicates that you missed my point. The problems with Gosnell’s clinic *should* have been discovered by regular inspections that were mandated by the state for all such clinics. His clinic was not, however, inspected. And it was generally understood that the reason why his clinic wasn’t inspected as it ought to have been was because the state inspectors were very much aware that they would discover some violations, and didn’t want to deal with the political fallout that would result (because Abortion).

              Enter law enforcement, which is aware that adult women have been dying in his clinic. This suggests that there are probably serious issues at his clinic that need to be addressed. But law enforcement can’t do anything about it because the state won’t carry out the mandated inspections. The hands of law enforcement are effectively tied in dealing with whatever is going on in Gosnell’s clinic. But the opioid angle is discovered, which gives law enforcement the opening that it needs to enter the place and take a rather intrusive look around without waiting for the state inspectors to finally do their job.

              So law enforcement gets the necessary evidence that it needs for a warrant, enters the building to perform the search… and discovers that things are a *lot* more horrific than just dead patients.

          • Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  29. > Sleep apnea was diagnosed about a year ago.
    > It was made worse by the weight gain

    Despite that being the Official Word, I have serious doubts that weight has anything to do with either central or obstructive sleep apnea.

    The AMA and its members have targeted “overweight” as the cause for *everything*. Sunburn? You need to lose weight. Pimples? You need to lose weight. Male-pattern baldness? You need to lose weight. Anorexia nervosa? You need to lose weight…

    • Well, it makes you gain weight, so… they probably correlated it.

      • It is correlated, along with Type II Diabetes. Excess blood glucose causes muscles to slacken during sleep, letting throat collapse, obstructing breathing. Obstructed breathing contributes to poor uptake of blood glucose which causes body to store excess as fat. Excess body fat can cause pressure on pancreas, reducing insulin processing and causing excess blood glucose, which causes muscles to slacken during sleep, letting throat collapse, obstructing breathing.

        • That’s one thing I don’t have. Thank heavens.

          • Me either. Lack of insulin response to high glucose is: Not. A. Problem.

            Although, sleeping/napping without the device does can slow the sharp drop in glucose levels, doesn’t stop it, but can slow it down, or rather cause it to stop dropping below certain levels. The mechanism outlined is as good as an explanation as any.

            Although, getting physically active, even as little as taking dog out back to throw ball or taking her for a walk, also helps … probably why the pup is really, really, insistent when alerting on highs, & sharp drops … she’s treat oriented, but she is really, really, play oriented 😉 😉

    • “I once lost over fifty pounds in only one night.”
      “Impossible!”
      “Nope. Did it.”
      “How?”
      “Gambled with British money.”

      • *applauds*

        …okay, maybe I need to schedule a Amazon.UK advertising campaign, so my honey and I can lose fifty pounds…

        Though with the way the universe laughs, if I told him that was the reason, we’d end up either just breaking even, or gaining a pound or two.

        • With the way the universe laughs you might discover you’ve serious issues deciding when to convert your pounds to dollars.

          Though converting pounds to dollars sounds like an over-all winning sort of situation. 🙂

      • *ba-DUMP-KSSSH*

    • “You need to loose weight, THEN if not better, we’ll look at it …”

      Uhhh, wait, what???

    • “I’m not sick because I’m fat, I’m fat because I’m sick.”

      Damn, how I wish docs would learn to understand that is a possibility. Especially when they put my darling on lyrica. Or, as the kidney doc put it, “They put you on Lyrica? Damn, you can practically watch ’em grow when they’re on that!”

      • Daughter has sleep issues that we eventually went to the doctor for. First doc prescribed….something, can’t remember what now. Gave it to her first night, and she was tripping balls. “Look at the colors, Daddy,” as she pointed at the white ceiling. Finally got a referral to another doc, told him what’s happening and he responded, “That’s kinda strong to be starting a toddler out on.” He prescribed something else that actually worked, but the side effect was she gained a lot of weight. She has always been in the 97+ percentile for weight, but that usually wasn’t an issue as she’s always in the 98+ percentile for height as well. She looked puffy while on that stuff. Luckily we were able to get her off it after about a year. It looked like she was on steroids the way she puffed up.

        • We gave three year old having serious asthma issues some drops, in 97. He hallucinated so bad, he wanted to go look for “his house” in a mountain town, in the middle of blinding snow storm.
          We walked for three hours till he was tired enough to sleep. So.

    • In all fairness, there are very few health problems that won’t improve if you can eliminate excess fat. Simply cutting sugars out of the diet makes an astonishing difference.

      • You’re generalizing because…. sometimes the cause of the weight gain IS the problem.
        For years I cut out all carbs (not just all sugars) and reduced calories, and exercised 2h a day. And gained 20 lbs a year.
        Doctors told me to eat less and exercise more. I was down to 800cals a day. They told me maybe I was starving, eat more. I tried that and gained more.
        UNTIL the hypothyroidism no one was fixing (because atypical) was mostly fixed (it’s still NOT quite right) I couldn’t lose a single pound and kept gaining.

        • I had an interesting recent conversation with the intake nurse at a doctor appointment. The subject of weight and body chemistry came up and she related her experience being hospitalized for two weeks on an intravenous drip that provided only 1,500 calories a day — and gaining twenty pounds.

          No, she didn’t buy the calorie equations, not at all.

        • Granted. You’ll note I did say “very few”. Quite frankly I’m incensed that any doctor could hear that you had cut out carbs, were doing that level of exercise, and were still gaining weight, and not immediately conclude “something’s off here beyond normal metabolic issues”.

          (On the other hand, the single biggest problem doctors have in dealing with most patients whose health is suffering from excess weight is that so many of them not only don’t keep up the recommended lifestyle changes, but tend to prevaricate about it when asked. Doctors are like anybody else in search of explanations, they tend to go for the low-hanging fruit first.)

          It’s going overboard to say that excess weight causes all the problems now so commonly seen in the West, but I don’t think it can be argued that it’s a significant aggravating factor, and one within our power (in most cases, where there isn’t a deeper underlying glandular/hormonal issue) to modify.

  30. Sarah- I’m glad to hear that you’re starting to feel better and I’m sorry you’ve had such a lousy last few years. I refuse to have anything to do with the book of faces so I missed yesterday’s ‘exchange.’
    I really enjoy the Darkship/Earth Revolution series and I hope you’re eventually able to continue it despite everything, because A Few Good Men in particular was a book that needed writing and needs a wider audience.
    This brings me to a mildly awkward question- I had just decided to get a paper copy of Darkship Thieves as a winter holiday gift for an acquaintance of mine but if you decide you want to get the rights back, is it better that I wait to buy it?

    Thanks and may everything continue to improve,
    Dawn

  31. Keep strong, Sara. You may be a “midlister” but you’re a mentor to us bottom-of-the-listers.

  32. PapaPat .Patterson

    I hope that none of my values are held only because some political grouping holds that opinion. I KNOW that I actively reject classification, and like to think I’m apolitical, but maybe I’m fooling myself.

    Be that as it may, the spiteful vindictiveness by the “:Right Fans” I saw while watching the Hugo presentation broadcast in 2015 was enough to prejudice me against anything they said or did in the future, and they have done nothing since then to make me change my mind.

    I am NOT going to affiliate, if it’s based on what candidate I voted for/against. On the other hand, if there is a gathering to demonstrate against people who have been rude and cruel without cause, then gimme a hat and a T-shirt and a bumper sticker.

  33. “You’re only saying that because” “Ah! Obviously, you’re one of those EVIL anti-diversity people!!”

  34. “Never apologize, your enemies won’t believe you and your friends don’t need it.”

  35. As someone also hypothyroid, with just diagnosed sleep apnea, I feel for what you’ve been going through. i’m glad you’re getting treatment.
    I found the information in “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis” by Izabella Wentz helpful, because just getting a good endocrinologist didn’t fix everything.

    I live a rather isolated life but I like to think I’d just tell the eejits to FO if such insults came my way.

    Are there any Shifter books coming? Those are my particular favorites.

  36. And now for something completely different … all the wrong people are being shunned:

    Lord of the Rings Slammed for Perpetuating Racism through Depiction of Orcs
    By Katherine Timpf
    On a recent episode of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, sci-fi author Andrew Duncan argued that the depiction of the orcs in Lord of the Rings is racist and will have “dire consequences . . . for society.”

    “It’s hard to miss the repeated notion in Tolkien that some races are just worse than others, or that some peoples are just worse than others,” Duncan said. “And this seems to me — in the long term, if you embrace this too much — it has dire consequences for yourself and for society.”

    [SNIP]

    I can confidently say that [J. R. R. Tolkien] didn’t make the orcs completely evil creatures to advance the notion that some race of humans is completely evil. No, I’d guess that the much more likely scenario is he was trying to make his fantasy story as scary as possible, and he realized that the nature of fantasy gave him the freedom to do exactly that. After all, what’s more frightening than a large swarm of completely evil, irredeemable creatures? If the orcs were just misunderstood, if they had redeeming qualities and maybe volunteered at their local animal shelter in their spare time, then the story just wouldn’t be as frightening or captivating as it is when they’re completely evil. As a fiction writer, he should be allowed to have this freedom. In fact, I’d argue that the beauty of that kind of art depends on it — and we should be careful to make sure that it’s never destroyed for the sake of something so dumb.

  37. williamsshearer

    Please don’t tar all of us Liberals with the same brush as those asshole motherfuckers who try to destroy someone else, rather than create something worthwhile of their own. Personally, I don’t pay attention to conventions, and not much to reviewers. I pay attention to descriptions, and recommendations, and “if you liked this, then you might like this other.” I have mobility and physical function issues, so 90% of my reading is via Kindle. If I like the first – usually a loss-leader – book by an author, or series, I tend to purchase the rest. If someone I’ve read and liked recommends someone else, I check it out. I don’t let anyone’s personal politics affect my reading decisions. I like your stuff, which led me to Larry’s. My TBR would be 50 feet high if they were physical. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
    Remember: “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

    • A lot of conservatives I know consider themselves Classical Liberals. There’s a lot of good in the ideas of individual freedom and acceptance that I think have been largely lost.

    • William O. B'Livion

      I don’t let anyone’s personal politics affect my reading decisions.

      I didn’t used to.

      But given their behavior, f*k them and any money of mine they think they’re entitled to.

      • Amen! There’s no reason to fuel the train of your destruction.

        I even bitched harshly at Brad after he went to Star Wars films after Disney outsourced their IT department and forced folks to train their replacements or lose severance.

        We can’t always choose to be discriminate with necessities, but we can with entertainment.

  38. I now wear special (not entirely comfortable) night guards because of jaw problems due to losing that particular genetic lottery. You have my sympathies on the apnea mess.

    *chants quietly* Indie, indie, indie, indie…

    • Yes. I have those torture mouth pieces too. Lucky that I can use them. The alternative means forgoing “dry” camping (i.e. no hookups) as most (all) campgrounds & rest areas (while in transit) frown on the generator running between about 10 PM til after 9 AM or later, regardless of the medical necessity.

      Hopefully kid avoids problems. He wore a device that moved/pulled his lower jaw forward during his teeth correcting brace years.

      • There are specialized batteries. We looked at various options, but ended up going with a whole houses (two on one lot) generator. Which works out quite well when adding devices. (Currently two on CPAPs, one on O2 compressor.)

        • UPS, invertor and long cables to reach the car (parked not too far from the bedroom) and a propane-fueled generator.

          Propane is substantially more expensive than gasoline in my area, and a hassle to get the tanks filled, and there’s no way to utilize fuel in the cars if power is down for an extended period, but I don’t have to worry about fuel going off over the long term.

          It’s not just a convenience; last time I did the sleep test thing, they found out I can’t sleep at all without the machine. Not for the duration of an overnight test, anyway.

      • I have a portable jump station (JNCAIR) that when paired with an inverter might work to power a CPAP overnight, just not sure how much power they draw. It will charge from a normal 12 volt plug as well as wall current, so could be recharged whilst driving. Also, I dry camp at Pilot/FlyingJ truck stops, no one there minds a generator as it’s not noticeable over the idling trucks and regfrigerated trailers.

        • National Forest & National Park destinations. They have that pesky rule.

          On the way we stop in parking lots (given the routes/locations) typically allow short “rest breaks”. Means we aren’t sleeping near truck generators …

          Small trailer RV, which doesn’t have any 12 volt plugs, nor does it have a built in generator. Putting one out in the middle of a parking lot never seems advisable.

          Backpacking is even a bigger problem. This is probably a “past” activity, but we still have the gear, we are slower, we can still carry the weight*, won’t say never.

          *In fact now, I’d be carrying less total weight with a pack on because I’ve keep more weight off than what my loaded pack would be!!! Not much less, but still less.

          • What I’m talking about is not a generator, but a portable device that will allow you to jump start a dead car. The one I use also has an air compressor, as I’m paranoid that way. Especially good for areas where cell service might not be present. It could then be recharged by plugging it in your cars’ power outlet while you were driving during the day. I’m hesitant to provide direct links, but have been happy with my JNCAIR produced by Clore Automotive. That paired with either a 12 volt CPAP or an inverter to provide a 110 volt plug of sufficient wattage would work for at least a few hours, once again depending on the draw of the CPAP.

            • Oh. Something to consider if I have to switch over. Right now I’m used to the mouth pieces. Plus hubby has stopped complaining about grinding teeth 😉

              Haven’t had another study. Based on the stats on the Fitbit before & after, my sleep patterns have majorly changed. Still have some wake up times, but between the bathroom calls, hot flashes, flipping sides*, & pillows (cool swap), that is not going to change; the wake time & percentage has dropped dramatically.

              More importantly I feel better. The reasons that triggered the sleep study in the first place have gone away.

              *the spinning top, we used to call the kid, when he was an infant/toddler, got it from somewhere … I kind of have to claim it, never completely outgrew it.

        • A former acquaintance of mine had a large portable jump pack with a built in inverter (whole thing was an inch or two larger than a car battery in all dimensions) that he used to run his CPAP while camping. It had enough juice to run his for not-quite two nights without a recharge. (He forgot to recharge before night 2 and it ran out IIRC about 90m before his planned waking time.)

      • Those car battery jumper systems have worked for me.
        I can just plug my CPAP into it and it will run for more than 8 hours.
        I am not sure how long. Good ones aren’t cheap but they work.

  39. It’s awful you (all of you) have had to go through this, and the lies in particular make me furious (I really really hate liars). But I’m also grateful to you, to the whole SP thing, for showing what was really going on.

  40. I happen to have a little extra folding money this month. I also need to buy Christmas presents…

    What book of Sarah’s (or Dyce or her other nom de guerres) is everyone else going to pile on to to boost the Amazon ratings of and throw her some royalties?

    • I think I have her oeuvre, already. (I finally got to use that word!) I have a Mad Genius Club folder on my Kindle. It’s over 150 books – and I don’t buy everything (yay, KU). I do like your idea for a book bomb to get something on the charts, though.

      I think Sarah will do just fine as an indie writer.

  41. carlton mckenney

    Take care of yourself. I enjoy your books and will continue to read them as you publish new ones. You are one of the few SF/Fantasy writers my wife likes. Keep up the good work.

    As for ranting and berserking, if it is cathartic for you GO FOR IT. I am an adult and not inclined to take umbrage at things not directed at me. I may steal some particularly good phrases and insults but that’s about it.

  42. Sarah, what was that lady’s name that at least used to comment on your posts with her initials – AEA? no, not quite, I know, but that wrote that book – Pride’s? something ,about the actor and the author?

  43. I’m sorry things have been so bad for you, Mrs. Hoyt. I hope things get better.

  44. I’m so sorry to hear about the cancers. Take care of yourself.

  45. In wholly unrelated news, with 38% of Mississippi precincts reporting:
    Espy (D) …………… 102,760 … 44.2%
    Hyde-Smith (R) …..149,722 … 55.8%

    • Excellent

    • The nail-biter continues:
      54% reporting:
      Espy (D) …………… 181,602 … 43.8%
      Hyde-Smith (R) …… 232,616 … 56.2%

      • The race tightens:
        60% Reporting
        Espy (D) …………… 204,334 … 44.3%
        Hyde-Smith (R) …… 257,414 … 55.7%

        • One thing’s for sure. If it stays 56/44 R until 90%+ of the votes are in, and then suddenly the Dem surges ahead — those are phony votes.

          The enemy is doing a huge amount of that this year, and they’ll do plenty more of it if cheaters like Brenda Snipes aren’t put in prison.

          • THIS. And Arizona, where they opened all the dem precincts for an extra week. SERIOUSLY.

            • And California where 6% election night leads for Republicans in House races vanish as mail in votes, which just happen to be uniformly for the Democrat, are still getting counted three weeks later.

            • That would be because as Harry Reid put it “So what? He didn’t win.”

              Politeness in the face of evil works SO well to produce different results….

        • With 76% of the vote in, GOP campaign managers are starting to panic:

          Espy (D) …………… 270,315 … 43.9%
          Hyde-Smith (R) ….. 345,195 … 56.1%

          Results courtesy RealClearPolitics

  46. scott2harrison

    Best luck with the health. Please take care of yourself. Your health is more important to us than daily postings, although at least a ping every couple of days is appreciated so that we know you are still here.

    On another topic, what is your definition of politics? I ask, because it seems to be a more restrictive one than mine, and it would be useful to know for better understanding of your posts.

  47. Sarah, I only ran across you (and this blog) as a result of SP. I forget the exact circumstances, but it was something written by one of your detractors. Judging from who didn’t like you, it seemed likely y’all would be my cup of tea. And boy, was I right.
    This blog and its assorted allies have been a breath of fresh air.
    I’ll always be grateful you stood up when it counted, both because it was necessary, and (selfishly) because that’s how I found you. Recently I started adding more fiction to my reading, and am throwing book money your way as the meager budget allows. (Doesn’t allow much this month; the Lady Wife’s antique computer needs replacing, and that’s soaking up most of the discretionary funds. But there’s next month.)
    Prayers, happily, do not strain the budget, so you’re getting more of those — both for physical recovery and for you to find your way to a re-invention of yourself/re-arrangement of mental furniture/whatever that will allow you to (1) just tell good stories for those of us inclined to enjoying life, (2) just tell the truth about the lefty scolds, and (3) make a *pile* of cash doing both.
    As to your going full fishwife…well, when you find a grifter hanging out near the silver and you’re 3 forks short, a case can be made for florid impoliteness.

  48. A difficult read. Only thing I can say is that it is a good thing (for some people) that I do not move in their circles. There would be a lot of flattened noses.

  49. Sarah, you have no need for an affirmation from me, a stranger, but I will offer one anyway ’cause this is the internet. I truly appreciate the work you did on the Sad Puppy campaigns. You and Larry were right and you proved it to anyone that would look.
    So take care of yourself and build up your strength. Many of us are waiting with bated breath for your next book. So write it already and take our money! 🙂

  50. Christopher M Chupik

    Please get better. Your health makes me nervous some days.

  51. Like other folks here, I will forever be grateful to both SP (and Larry’s blog) because it led me here. And I loved your blog writing so much that I decided, for the first time in ages, to give a scifi book that wasn’t a Miles Vorkosigan novel a go, and I *love* the Darkship series. So while I am very sorry that it caused you damage, I’m not sorry it introduced me to an awesome blog and an awesome author, and a community of amazing folks. 🙂

    (And as a severe introvert, I *love* socializing like this. It’s not stressful!)

    Lots of prayers and well wishes for your health. Especially that they can do something about the growth interfering with your vision. I hope they can remove it!

    (Also, you and Larry and the SP campaigns dragged me out of the middle-road stance. Before, I was waaaay more willing to give creedence to a lot of those SJW talking points–patriarchy, rape culture, all that garbage–until I saw what they pulled with the Sad Puppies campaign. And then, as they say, my eyes were opened…)

    • richardmcenroe

      This. Of course, it helps that the signalling is so blatant these days that it stick out like marbles in oatmeal: you choke in it.

    • I think that it’s easy, on the surface, to accept that all of those things, some of which are garbage but most are good things that everyone agrees on, are the definition of SJW activism… right up until a person gets a close look or becomes the target of the activism.

      “What defines us is that we oppose racism… therefore anyone who opposes US is promoting racism.”

      Well, no. (Spot the logical fallacy.) That part is completely garbage. Because they’ve taken a list of things upon which people generally agree and *define* opposition as disagreement on those issues. So *of course* a person will give credence to the talking points. You’re not a monster!

      So what do we agree on? How about diversity (actual) and inclusion (broad) and equality (absolute) and the right of everyone to be allowed a voice and welcomed to participate. How about the goal of disagreement and acceptance coexisting?

      What don’t we agree on? Victimhood. Client races and classes. Rape culture. The Patriarchy. And giving over our moral souls to petty dictatorial assholes.

      • I’m not sure diversity is a goal to be pursued. Inclusion is enough. As in, I don’t thin we need to be diverse, if we allow people to go everywhere on merit. Does that make sense?

        • [Rude noise] “Diversity” taken on its own means dick-all.

          Take two groups of five, tasked to construct a working scooter.

          Group 1 consists of:
          An engineer
          A carpenter
          A wheelwright
          A machinist
          A mechanic

          Group 2 consists of:
          A History grad student
          A Feminist Theory professor
          A Philosophy of Art PhD
          A Dance major
          A Philologist

          Both groups also consist of two white people, one African-American, one Hispanic and one Asian-American.

          I trust I need not belabor this point.

          There is useful diversity and useless (or worse) diversity. Or, if you prefer, productive, unproductive and counter-productive diversity. The critical element in any case is not the mere existence of diversity.

          As with nearly everything, the Left takes the basis of a valid point (monocultures can be problematic) and exaggerates it out of all semblance of validity.

          One of the exercises commonly used to “teach” the value of diversity is the “moon crash” exercise, in which you are to imagine you’ve crashed on Luna and need to rank order the twenty-five items on the list you’re provided. The exercise is done twice, first individually and then in groups of five or six. Generally the group score is better than any of the individuals.

          Generally. I once participated in a run of this in which my individual score was materially better than the groups. In part because it was the third time I’d run that particular drill in about five years, while the others were new to it. In part because I was the only SF geek in the group, and in part because my inclination to argue in support of my priorities was not strong.

          Diversity, in that instance, did not increase the likelihood of reaching moon-base alive.

          • Yes, this is what I was getting at. There’s usually a seed of truth in the most effective lies. It’s there but then it gets so misapplied that it becomes anti-truth.

            A mono-culture of whatever sort is unlikely to be adaptable and likely to miss things others might see. So of course the “solution” is to count dangly-bits and skin tone while aggressively enforcing a mono-culture.

            Because logic.

            Oh, and feelz.

            Thus “diversity (actual)”. And yes, four white men might come from profoundly diverse backgrounds and bring a broad range of experiences and knowledge to a group.

            There was a good talk on-line from a woman from Kenya (iirc) talking about how she came to the US and discovered that in the US, Africa had only one story. What I’ve noticed is that some people, and a lot of them are in “publishing” get really upset when someone doesn’t tell their own story correctly, or an author doesn’t tell someone’s story the way they ought. Sometimes they call it “representation” but it’s essentially an approved stereotype that sends the right message. Having “one story” is not diversity either. No matter how many different one-stories are present.

            • some people, and a lot of them are in “publishing” get really upset when someone doesn’t tell their own story correctly, or an author doesn’t tell someone’s story the way they ought.

              Anyone with experience telling toddlers’ bedtime stories understands this.

            • That was part of my problem. I didn’t tell the story they thought I should, as my “authentic” story.

              • You’ve talked about that.

                And once a person notices, the same thing shows up over and over… the author writing a YA about Ireland and being told to include The Troubles… or an African immigrant writing about an albino African-American girl who travels to Africa and being criticized because the girl from the suburbs acted like a girl from the suburbs. (Come to think of it… YA is incredibly diseased.)

          • Oh, and they did that “get your individual answer” and then “work in a group and give your new answers” (though each person still answered separately after discussion in the group) in my college courses a few years ago.

            Geologists don’t play well with others. LOL. I don’t think that anyone changed their assessments after a conversation with the group. After a couple of instances where the answers (with those electronic clicky things) were exactly the same before and after, the professors gave it up and we all threw our clicky things in a drawer someplace.

  52. Oh, and the Pink Tax. <– As real as rainbow unicorns.

  53. Appropo of absolutely nothing except that it makes me very, very happy, there is a Women of Curling calendar.

  54. The only good thing about the SJWs is that they must have people to purge for BadThink, and eventually there will only one SJW left to purge…by suicide of xir.

  55. Does PJ Media use comments to rate columnists in any way? I read what you write, but I rarely comment there because it gets weird, quickly.

    If comments will improve your standing in some way, I’m happy to make an exception for you.

  56. Belated (to the thread) cartoon link to what the Campaigners were fighting.
    https://tempestinateardrop.com/2018/11/30/unclean/

    Back when Q and I answered Mrs. Hoyt’s call to “build up, build over, and build around” to support our own little Grenada (The Campaign etc.) we didn’t have the chops (writing or art) to do it justice.

    Which is to say that even if Mrs. Hoyt had been well enough to fight, it might not have saved the Hugos. Real grass roots rebellions don’t come equipped with instantly deployable bumper-sticker slogans and catchy by-lines for the normies.

    Even gamergate only managed a draw.

    Or as minikami-sensei told us: If the body fails: shame; if the will fails: no shame.

    No shame here. Far from it.

    • SP proved the Hugos were rigged. SP offered the Hugos a major influx of paying memberships. SP gave the Hugos a chance to redeem themselves,

      You cannot save an addict who denies their addiction.

  57. I hope and pray you get a bit better each day.
    Just keep perspective: we don’t need a savior. We already have one. You just live well and in joy – one of the best revenges.