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April 14, 2015

The 2015 Hugo finalists, v. 2.0
Posted by Teresa at 01:16 PM *

We’ve shut down comments in the previous iteration of this thread because they hit the four-digit limit. Everything there can still be read, but new comments go here.

Comments on The 2015 Hugo finalists, v. 2.0:
#1 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 01:33 PM:

http://file770.com/?p=21886

The rules committee made minor changes to the Hugo Ballot. Are the new nominees Sad Puppies or not? I couldn't tell.

#2 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 01:40 PM:

Kirk DouPonce is on the Rabid Slate, but not the Sad; Thomas Olde Heuvelt is not on either.

#3 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 01:40 PM:

The Heuvelt story is not Puppy related. The new professional artist entry is.

#4 ::: Phiala ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 01:40 PM:

The novelette is not a canid; the artist is.

I sorted the whole mess out, including slate members who hadn't gotten nominated, at:
http://www.sarahgoslee.com/2015/04/06/pissing-in-the-pool
(as did many others, but I can find my own the fastest).

Just give me a minute to update with the new info...

#5 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 01:59 PM:

I looked up DouPonce back when I was sorting out my chart; probably he's best known for doing covers for Frank Peretti but he also can be chalked up as another VD self-nom.

#6 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 02:09 PM:

Another bit of Sasquan news from File 770: supporting memberships have shot through the roof, with 1,352 added this month. There are now only about a hundred fewer supports than adult attendee memberships.

#7 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 02:15 PM:

I'd call the Heuvelt story New Wave, definitely not any sort of puppy material.

#8 ::: jnfr ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 02:28 PM:

Anyone know how current Sasquan numbers (7000 total as of earlier today) compare to attendance at other Worldcons?

#9 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 02:32 PM:

jnfr @ 8: Supporting memberships are around 7000. I think attending memberships are still in the mid-3000s range. In the comments below the File 770 post, Mike Glyer says that the record for attending membership for a WorldCon was 8383, in Anaheim in 1984.

#10 ::: Clarentine ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 02:33 PM:

jnfr@8 - File 770 has this link in the message just referenced above @6: http://www.smofinfo.com/LL/TheLongList.html.

#11 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 03:30 PM:

One of the File 770 posts links to a post by Dave Freer that's accusing Patrick and Teresa of having inside information and releasing it here - because she put up that one post before the nominations were announced. Assume they will aim here at some point.

#12 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 03:33 PM:

Thomas Olde Heuvelt is an up-and-coming writer who's succeeding on his own merits. His novelette that has just been added to the ballot was published in Lightspeed Magazine.

It replaces a novelette by John C. Wright which, it turns out, Wright first published online in 2013. One feels Wright ought to have mentioned this to Hugo administrators. The same goes for John Eno, who was on the ballot for Best Professional Artist, but has been ruled ineligible because he had no art published professionally in 2014.

Eno has been replaced by fellow pupster Kirk DouPonce, who does professional design, photography, and illustration.

#13 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 03:55 PM:

My Amazing Powers of Cynicism give me the ability to perceive that Knight's story might have been put in the mix so that VD could rant on about Scalzi if the nomination were disqualified.

#14 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:02 PM:

Teresa:

There's an irony there, since _The Martian_ is not eligible for a Hugo this year because of its publication date (was it self-published originally?). I've seen the claim that this would be the big point of discussion w.r.t. the Hugos this year, if not for the SP / RP slate dominating the nominations. I certainly thought it was a very good book. (I haven't read any of the nominees this year, but I'd put it in the same class as many of the previous Hugo best novels that I have read.)

I kind-of have the impression that the SPs (and maybe RPs) probably thought they were going to get more of their nominees on the ballot this year, but probably didn't imagine they were going to sweep or nearly sweep the nominations in a bunch of categories. As with the discussions of the difficulties of strategic voting being discussed on the other thread. It looks much easier to figure out that slate voting will help you get a louder voice in the nominations than to figure out that the slate voting you've got people doing is actually going to go this far overboard. But I don't really know that.

#15 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:06 PM:

Possible way of stopping slates: Require anyone who publishes a list of Hugo nominations to include an ineligible work; then disqualify any ballot which includes this ineligible work, as it is clearly reproducing the list without checking.

#16 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:10 PM:

#15 ::: Andrew M

I don't think voters should be obligated to check for eligibility.

#17 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:17 PM:

C. Wingate @ 13: You mean Wright's story? I don't think VD is quite that Machiavellian--well, not to do it specifically and deliberately. It seems more likely to me that he saw an opportunity and jumped on it, after the disqualification. He's very good at finding things to scream at Scalzi about.

That said, I personally am cynical enough to suspect that he was always hoping that some/all of his nominees would get disqualified (his best case scenario might have been on the grounds of slate-making "breaking the [unspoken] rules") so he have a new cause celebre. The two current disqualifications are probably a consolation prize, of sorts.

#18 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:26 PM:

Andrew M @15: If that's deadpan humor, you have my genuine admiration.

#19 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:32 PM:

Gosh, yes, I wasn't expecting anyone to take it seriously. But sometimes one can detect plagiarised work because it reproduces mistakes, so it seemed a nice thought. And thanks.

#20 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:37 PM:

P J Evans @11: Do you have a link to that?

Dave Freer, who's clearly no rocket scientist, must have missed the sentence in that very short front-page post that said, "Let me make this clear: my apprehensions are not based on insider information."

From the time that post went up until the ballot was officially announced, I went out of my way to avoid being exposed to certain specific pieces of insider information. It wouldn't have been enough to not write about that info. If I'd known it at all, it could have affected my background assumptions and overall take on the situation, and some readers might have been able to spot that.

Freer must also have missed the large amount of hold-for-release-date information that was prematurely spilled by the Puppies. They weren't being careful. Some of them were publicly gloating about knowing what was on the ballot well before its official release date.

Given the way Larry Correia has lied himself blue in the face about Tor, which in fact has a long history of publishing conservative SF and fantasy authors, and about Patrick being Mr. SJW when he's David Weber's editor (and very pleased to be so), I'm surprised that I even care about small fry like Dave Freer.

I do think Larry Correia shouldn't be making such a big parade out of being a Christian.

#21 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:39 PM:

20
here

#22 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:43 PM:

Mary Frances @17: Day is very good at claiming anything that happens as a win -- if he were suspended over a pit of scorpions with a fire slowly burning through the rope holding him, he would be screaming loudly that his death would only make him a martyr and would rally more people to his cause. He might even be right -- but he probably isn't.

Whatever he truly wants is known only to him, and making policy based on what will make someone else publicly express unhappiness is bad practice anyway. Better to make policy based on one's own values.

I am morbidly curious about the issue he raises around Old Man's War's eligibility, although I can think of any number of reasons for the ruling to go one way for it and another way for Wright's novella. Also, unlike Day, I don't think that possible evidence of the rules not being followed in the past is reason to not follow them in the present.

#23 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:45 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @ 20... And wasn't Tor's Tom Doherty himself instrumental in helping Baen Books take off?

#24 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 04:56 PM:

I used to consider Dave Freer a nice guy, a worthy friend, and one who was seriously overlooked in the SF/F world. Last year, when -- for the second time -- he allied himself with the SP and with VD, I tried to point out to him just how apposite these views were to his historical views. His response was underwhelming, to say the least, so I defriended him. It still makes me sad to see a man who once knew the difference between Right and Wrong, now so closely allied to the people he once considered idiots, and worse.

If he does show up, then let me say this for him to see: you're not my friend, Dave. Not any more. You repudiated our friendship when you allied with VD, and with everyone else in your "mad genius" club. Years ago, I would have done everything I could to get your books more publicly noticed. Now, consider me a vote against you and your ilk, period. I deeply regret coming to this point, but I cannot and will not support anyone who chooses to ally with VD.

#25 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:03 PM:

David Gerrold has just this afternoon posted one of the best statements I've seen from anyone on this whole business.

"The Hugo Award means a lot to the science fiction community. And that's a very large community -- right now, a very large and very angry community.

"There are going to be consequences. The difference is that the community will argue at length, discuss at length, consider at length, weigh the different options, think about what's fair and right and honorable, look for the option that represents the best solution -- all with the intention of protecting the integrity of the award from slate-mongers, while at the same time not restricting anyone's right to participate. I have no idea how this can be accomplished, but I trust the larger community to have a much more thoughtful discussion about how to proceed than was demonstrated by the sad-rabid alliance."

#26 ::: Brad from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:05 PM:

The supporting membership numbers deeply concern me. While I resist the dangerous path of dividing everything into "sides" it seems low probability that a huge rush of fans would purchase supporting memberships at this time without being motivated by some agenda. And sadly, my intuition is that those with an anti-puppy agenda, while greater in number among fans, probably are less likely to feel it is time to get a supporting membership to affect the vote than those with a pro-puppy agenda.

In fact, I've seen a fair bit of "Barely seems worth voting on the Hugos this year" sentiment from those with an anti-puppy belief.

If this is true, it would mean that an anti-puppy attempt to have No Award in most categories would fail, and it would fail because of Hugo victories for slate candidates.

If that happened, there might be an effort to have the next 2 business meetings annul the 2015 Hugos. Not very satisfying.

It even means if there were an alternate award which used the same voting pool but a different nominating pool, ie. "The Hugos as they would have been without the slate nominations" would still be dominated by folks with an agenda.

#27 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:09 PM:

jnfr @8 "Anyone know how current Sasquan numbers (7000 total as of earlier today) compare to attendance at other Worldcons?"

Wiki (I know, I know) relates 10,833 memberships sold, 7951 attendance for Loncon 3 in 2014.

Same source gives 6060/4311 for San Antonio in 2013, 6197/4743 for Chicago in 2012, 5526/4112 for Reno in 2011, 3462/2101 for Melbourne in 2010, 4499/3925 for Montreal in 2009, and 3752 attending Denver in 2008. The list header says the data are sparse and probably full of error, but I expect that the recent Worldcon figures are better than much earlier ones.

Sasquan looks set to be a big Worldcon, at least in supporting memberships.

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:10 PM:

Serge @23: Tom Doherty owns a third of Baen Books, always has; and Jim Baen was Tor's first editor. This has never been a secret. And anyone who knows the field can glance at our backlists and current catalogs and instantly see that Tor has always published conservative writers, and Baen has always published progressive ones.

I'm convinced this is the real reason Torgersen, Correia, and Beale are recruiting voters who don't know much about SF.

#29 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:14 PM:

Brad, let be quite honest about it. I've never been to Worldcon because, for the most part, I'm just not a con-ish person. My wife is more comfortable in that milieu, but the logistics are just not there for us. But the household is working out buying a supporting membership or two simply to be able to defend the Hugos from the Canids. VD may be able to mobilize some GG folk and the like, but I have to think that fandom is arising in wrath over this.

#30 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:14 PM:

The supporting membership numbers deeply concern me. While I resist the dangerous path of dividing everything into "sides" it seems low probability that a huge rush of fans would purchase supporting memberships at this time without being motivated by some agenda. And sadly, my intuition is that those with an anti-puppy agenda, while greater in number among fans, probably are less likely to feel it is time to get a supporting membership to affect the vote than those with a pro-puppy agenda.

Last year that was not true. There was record voter turnout, and Puppy works placed under No Award. In fact arguably last year saw the most progressive winners in recent memory. I'm not too worried about this year, from that standpoint.

#31 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:14 PM:

The Martian was serialized on Andy Weir's website; the final chapter was posted in August 2012. (I think the first chapter may have been posted in 2010, but the earliest notice I have in my mailbox was when he posted chapter 6, in August 2010.) A month or so later he offered a free ebook download from his website. He sold it to an audiobook publisher in early 2013, and to Random House a few months later; the print edition was published in 2014.

I had read his earlier webcomics "Casey and Andy" and "Cheshire Crossing", and had enjoyed some of the short fiction he'd posted to his Livejournal, but I put off reading The Martian until the serialization was finished, downloaded the ebook... and then forgot about it until it started getting buzz when the professionally published edition appeared. I would probably have nominated it in 2013 if I'd read it earlier.

#32 ::: cyllan ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:18 PM:

@Brad from Sunnydale: I purchased a supporting membership yesterday as did another friend of mine. Another is seriously considering it. Although all three of us are devoted readers of SF/Fantasy, none of us have ever considered voting for a Hugo before -- mostly because we didn't realize that this was a thing that one could do. We are on the far outer reaches of fandom, but we *are* fans. We Do Not Approve of what happened to the Hugo slate this year, and we are putting our money where our mouths are so that we can say so. You may be correct in your concern, but anecdata suggests that it may actually not be a problem.

#33 ::: Brad from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:27 PM:

#32 and #29 -- sorry if I gave the impression that nobody is buying supporting memberships for independent reasons, or for anti-puppy agenda reasons. I am sure there are.

What I am saying is that if many thousands of supporting memberships have been sold recently, as suggested, I judge it unlikely that a major fraction of them are in that class (independent or anti-puppy.)

Also, I am not a vampire or demon, or vampire slayer either.
I could be wrong. I hope I am.

Last year Vox Day placed after No Award, a very rare event even for a last place finisher, in the fiction Hugos. Warbound placed above No Award.

Fans tend, I believe, to use No Award to mean that the works not above it stink. More properly, in my mind, it should mean "These works do not reach the level of excellence that would make us record them for history as the best that could be done this year." In my opinion, fewer than 5 works a year reach that level, and so No Award should always win over some nominees. However, it does not.

#34 ::: Brad from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:29 PM:

Whoops! My insertion of the line about vampire slayers, meant to refer to somebody calling me Brad from Sunnydale, got accidentally added to the text in a somewhat inaccurate location. :-)

#35 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:33 PM:

Brad from Sunnyvale @ 26

Obviously my perspective is going to be influenced by the particular group of people I follow online, but I bought my first ever supporting membership the day after the nominations were announced - and several of the people I know online who were discussing the situation were also scraping together the funds to buy a membership. All of them were upset about the existence of the slate.

I can't say when I became aware of the existence of the Hugos exactly, but somewhere in my teens, I realized that it was always worth trying a book with that on the cover. (Pretty sure I first saw it on a LeGuin book.) In college I joined the fannish group on campus and went to Philcon a couple of times.

I haven't been much for going to cons or actively participating in fandom, though I have many fannish friends. (Most of my energy has been turned toward fiber festivals and the fiber arts, though those can be fannish in their own way.)

Sometime in the last ten years I became aware of how the Hugos were awarded, but I never really felt the need to nominate or vote, and money's tight, and things seemed to be going along just fine, and... well. Then this all happened.

And so I got my supporting membership. I know several other people who've done the same thing because they're angry about the slate.

I think there are plenty of other people like me who've never been to Worldcon but who feel, I don't know, affection for its existence and a certain affinity. I wouldn't give up hope yet.

#36 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:33 PM:

Brad @26 "The supporting membership numbers deeply concern me. ... And sadly, my intuition is that those with an anti-puppy agenda, while greater in number among fans, probably are less likely to feel it is time to get a supporting membership to affect the vote than those with a pro-puppy agenda."

Don't underestimate the number of people for whom "Hugo-award winning" has some resonance, and who resent that being taken over by a driven cabal. I've never voted before, and I haven't been to a con since the late 1980s, but goddam I'm voting this year.

I will also be spreading the message in my small way, on social media among friends, and on a couple of blogs where I write, with basically this pitch:

"Has science fiction meant something to you at some point in your life? Did it make middle school bearable? Did it awaken you to the wonder of science? Did it give you hours of fun, or open up new horizons? Has it been a lifelong source of great reading? Or even just a pleasant pastime?
"And did you find that many of the best, most wonderful stories had won the Hugo award? Well, this year a motivated cabal has tried to stuff the ballot box to make the Hugo award conform to their personal politics. A small group took advantage of the open nature of Hugo nominating to lock up a bunch of categories. The answer to that is more democracy from people who love or have loved science fiction.
"It's too late to fix what gets nominated for a 2015 Hugo, but it's not too late to vote on the winners. Anyone who cares about the awards can vote by joining the 2015 Worldcon [link] as a supporting member.
"If you want to find out more, have a look Here, There, and Everywhere [links galore].
"Personally, I will be rejecting bloc nominations by voting for No Award above any nominee that appeared on a slate of candidates.
"For the sake of what science fiction meant to you back when, or means to you now, take a little time, take a little cash, and vote to keep the Hugos meaningful and bloc-free."

I may refine the message a bit, but that's the gist of it.

I think there's a *lot* of people to whom the Hugos have meant something, and very few of them will like what the various Puppies have done.

#37 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:45 PM:

Mary Frances @9:

As of today, total memberships of all types are 7016. That includes 3,418 Attending and 3,300 Supporting. (The rest are split among minor types, some of which also have voting rights. See Sasquan Member Numbers for details and geographic breakdowns.) Not 7,000 supporting!

The 2015 Worldcon appears to be on a track to maybe have more Supporting members than Attending, which has never happened before to my knowledge.

Membership Details for Several Worldcons is the file maintained by the WSFS Formulation of Long List Entries Committee, but it hasn't been updated for a couple of years. (Incidentally: the Secret Masters of Fandom can't be terribly secret if there's a SMOFInfo web site open to anyone.)

The Long List of Worldcons (also maintained by the FOLLE Committee) gives (when we can puzzle it out) both the "total members" and "individual human beings who attended" figures. The difference between the two is not the Supporting count because it includes Attending members who didn't turn up, and the larger number includes single-day admissions and other membership classes that generally do not get WSFS voting rights.

FOLLE hasn't published figures from Loncon, but a highly-placed source suggests that the two figures should be 6,946 (bodies on site) / 10,718 (total members) -- if not exactly those, then something close to those numbers. Loncon 3 was the first Worldcon to sell more than 10,000 members, but it did not break the all-time attendance count of 8,365 set clear back in 1984 (my first-ever SF convention, by the way; I turned 18 years old that weekend).

#38 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:50 PM:

Kevin Standlee @ 37: Oops! I focusing on the fact that whatever the current membership list, it probably shouldn't be compared to attendance in previous years . . . thanks for the correction.

#39 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:51 PM:

Is there enough material for a double or triple bingo card game--a Sad Puppy Bingo card, a Rabid Puppy Bingo card, and a Miscegnated Puppy Bingo card?

Oh what be my options for phrases to list,
What be the terms that I've possibly missed?
What all be repeated so shrilly and lame,
Would there had been no cause for this game!

The flaming and shaming, hurled insults and spite,
Correia, Vox Day, and then there's John Wright.
Brad Torgesen spewing in ways that witness
Large question about his soldiering fitness.

The Bingo card entries would seem to include
A certain convergence of attitude.
Anti-diversity and lots of disdain
For works literary and Scalzi's domain.

There's loathing for TNH and her spouse
And lots of calumny toward the TOR Books house.
There's dumping on Redshirts and yellingi "Wrongfan!"
And then there's claming of Hugos as scam.

There's call of conspiracy (but never mind)
The the Puppy slate-voting is just of that kind!
That's only a start on the sort of things
Which the Pupplies are doing which disharmony brings.

And so Puppy Bingo might relevant be
In hopes of a tool to allow one to see
They hijacked the Hugos as it's been shown
Instead of creating awards of their own.

If they wanted to celebrate what they claim to love,
Why oh why from below to above
Must they go to the Worldcon their games to play
And yell "We'll kil the Hugos if we don't get their way!" ?

#40 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:52 PM:

Thomas Olde Heuvelt is Dutch and has been on the ballot before; last year even. I'm not sure how I feel about his chances to win his first Hugo after three nominations, when the Puppy situation means he has no real competition in his category.

He is certainly a writer worthy of a Hugo win, but it feels hollow having him win when other worthy writers have been pushed off the ballot thanks to puppy shenanigans.

Nevertheless, a vote for him means Holland could have its first Hugo winner.

#41 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 05:54 PM:

Brad from Sunnyvale @ 26: ... it seems low probability that a huge rush of fans would purchase supporting memberships at this time without being motivated by some agenda.

There has been a lot of media attention, including stories that described how to join Worldcon to vote. Maybe some of that rush is just fans who are enthused about being a part of the Hugos.

#42 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:00 PM:

37
1984 had a lot of one-day memberships, thanks in part to the Star Wars marathon, which did get publicized beforehand.

#43 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:01 PM:

Last year my partner was at a con over Worldcon weekend, at which a Puppy was loudly gloating over the record number of supporting memberships sold for LonCon and confidently predicting that this meant their slate and No Award were between them going to sweep the Hugos.

He was much quieter on the morning after the awards were announced.

#44 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:04 PM:

Doug, #36 (and anyone else who wants to encourage people who genuinely love SFF fiction to get involved):

Mary Robinette Kowal and a number of other people who are upset about the hijacking of the nominations are offering to provide 75 Supporting Memberships for SFF fans who wish to participate in the process.

I've publicized this in the SFF community where I'm active, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

Not surprisingly, the Rabid Dogs are proclaiming this as "attempting to buy votes" -- when they should in fact be pleased that we're all making such a concerted effort to expand what they've criticized as a small, insular, non-inclusive voter population.

They really should just pick a stance and stick with it. Their wild contradictions of themselves and each other make them all look like a pack of irrational loonies.

#45 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:12 PM:

@15: Possible way of stopping slates: Require anyone who publishes a list of Hugo nominations to include an ineligible work; then disqualify any ballot which includes this ineligible work, as it is clearly reproducing the list without checking.

Better way of stopping slates: Require anyone who publishes a list of Hugo nominations to include a work that doesn't exist; then disqualify any ballot which includes this nonexistent work, as it is clearly reproducing the list without checking.

#46 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:17 PM:

Well, the joke I thought I saw, and was cheering for, was that if SFWS could do that, it could simply require anyone who publishes a list of Hugo nominations to not publish a list of Hugo nominations. The delivery was sufficiently deadpan that I didn't get the joke until I was nearly done with a reply that took it seriously.

That particular oddball flavor of deadpan absurdist humor is a favorite of mine.

#47 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:17 PM:

A novel that doesn't exist? My favorite is The Era of Hopeful Monsters by Kilgore Trout.

#48 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:19 PM:

Excellent plan! You're right, that would work better.

(I discovered today - well, I already knew, but it was brought home to me - that anything one says on the public internet is liable to be quoted where it may get more publicity. Now, no doubt, both our plans will be widely reported as evidence of the the absurdity of Making Light commenters and all their associates.)

#49 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:27 PM:

Me @45: No, not really. But I'm tempted, come next winter, to show up at Sarah Hoyt's blog wearing false puppy ears and tail, waxing lyrical about such a story, just to see what happens.

#50 ::: jnfr ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:35 PM:

Thanks very much for the attendance and membership history, folks. I knew someone around here would have the scoop.

#51 ::: weatherglass ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:40 PM:

I'm another person who just bought a supporting membership for the first time, shortly after seeing the nominations announced here. I've known that I could theoretically do this for seven or eight years, and I've felt I could spare the money for the last three or four, but it took the poisonous nonsense of this cycle to finally push me over the edge into voting. I plan to make more of an effort to follow new releases and to nominate from here on out.

I've never really considered myself part of the community--I'm a fan, and I follow SFF conversations online, but I rarely take part actively. I'm not a con-goer, and I suppose I thought of Worldcon supporting memberships as something fundamentally for other people. But a dedicated group of whiners decides to vote just to smash things and to make it clear that they hate me and people like me? Fine, I'm in. I'm optimistic that many of the new memberships reflect people having the same reaction: the immediate jump in the membership totals feels to me like the rebuke of a very upset community, while I'd expect people pleased with the ballot to trickle in more gradually. Though that's nothing but gut feeling on my part.

The Goblin Emperor has a wonderful scene (no spoilers involved) in which the titular character is playing with a model bridge that's just been presented to him: it extends and retracts by clockwork, and the makers have filled out the base with tiny houses and tiny people going about their lives and tiny cows and trees and so forth, and Maia is utterly charmed by it. That's the image that I keep coming back to when thinking about this mess. I want stories which encourage that sort of delight to win, not ones which sneer at people for showing it.

#52 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:42 PM:

On the subject of Thomas Olde Heuvelt making this year's ballot (@7, @40) -- He was on the ballot in 2013 and 2014:
“The Ink Readers of Doi Saket”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor.com, 04-2013)
“The Boy Who Cast No Shadow”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Postscripts: Unfit For Eden, PS Publications)
I checked my spreadsheets and I placed one of these at #1 and the the other at #2, so at least to my taste he's definitely demonstrated Hugo-worthy skills. His work couldn't be less like the Puppy works I read from last year's ballot.

#53 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:43 PM:

...and it's sad to be reminded of the excellent work that fell off the ballot. There will be much sorrow when the full list of nominees is revealed.

#54 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 06:52 PM:

Laertes @46: And if WSFS could do that, it could require anyone who published a list of Hugo nominations to both publish and not publish one at the same time, and then vanish in a puff of logic. QED.

#55 ::: Brad from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 07:01 PM:

It is heartening to see reports from fans buying supporting memberships to save the Hugos, rather than "destroy them in order to save them" as the puppies have said. It would be nice to get more than anecdotes, but the half dozen anecdotes here give some escape from gloom.

Still, understand that even if all this support is to give the award to Ancillary Sword or The Goblin Emperor or other non-slate candidates, you'll be fighting against another group of fans who feel that No Award is the best result even if there were non-slate candidates which would otherwise get a tainted award and did so without the competition they should properly have had.

And yes, the puppies are made less sad by this reality.

This will affect the voting. It is very hard to counter the slate strategy with lots of independent fans. As noted, a slate can dominate with just 10% of the nominators. You have to add 9 independent fans for every one colluding fan (or non-fan) that joins the slate, just to keep even.

#56 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 07:23 PM:

Brad from Sunnyvale, #55: "It is very hard to counter the slate strategy with lots of independent fans. As noted, a slate can dominate with just 10% of the nominators. You have to add 9 independent fans for every one colluding fan (or non-fan) that joins the slate, just to keep even."

This is true only of the nomination process.

As far as the voting process, a decent-sized simple majority of people who vote Puppy entries below No Award, or behind all non-Puppy entries, will be enough to prevent any Puppy entries from winning.

#57 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 07:41 PM:

And while they'll try to put on a happy face in the event of such an outcome, they won't be fooling anyone.

Their thesis is that the stuff they're nominating is popular. It's kept off the ballot by a corrupt insider social-justice warrior clique that scorns good old-fashioned SF. I'll say this for them: I think they really believe this.

The reason I think they really believe it is that they're putting this belief to a very public test. Their stuff will be laid before thousands of voting members. It's going to get an honest vote. If "no award" wins any category outright, their thesis is conclusively disproven. They can (and surely will) spin this result, but nobody will believe it, and nobody will believe that they believe it. Any win for "no award" in any category is a crushing defeat for the puppies, and the puppies know it even if they won't admit it.

Conversely, if a puppy nominee wins Best Novel or Best Novelette--categories in which the puppy nominees outnumber the legitimate nominees but don't completely freeze them out--then that's very strong evidence for their contention that the nominations process has been keeping popular work off the ballot.

I'm excited to see how this plays out.

(Those aren't, of course, the only possible outcomes. They're just the ones that destroy or strongly reinforce the puppy thesis. With the puppy vote divided among 3 of the 5 Best Novel nominees and 4 of the 5 best Novelette nominees, puppies could lose even if their thesis is correct. And I can't imagine how anything that transpires in either best dramatic presentation category says anything at all about puppies.)

#58 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:06 PM:

#55 Brad from Sunnyvale
There will also be people who had been attending members of the Worldcons in the past (and now) and who either did not vote or did not vote on all categories, that will vote now on all categories because of all these shenanigans. The Supporting membership members are growing and visible but there is another set of fans that attend but do not vote (just look at the discrepancy in numbers) - and that are now more likely to actually vote.

If anything, it will be very interesting to see numbers of votes on the smaller categories

#59 ::: Tim Bartik ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:07 PM:

Brad at 55: slates under current rules can dominate at the nomination stage, but not at the final vote stage. I think the final vote process is pretty well designed so that it won't succumb to slate voting unless the slate reflects the will of the majority.

#60 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:08 PM:

Tatterbots @54: maybe we should start a slate of posthumous ineligible Hugo short fiction, starting with THE PEDANT AND THE SHUFFLY. (shorter version: I saw what you did there!)

#61 ::: J.D. Rhoades ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:25 PM:

If those idiots wanted to push "good old style SF" they'd have nominated Andy Weir's "The Martian." You don't get any more hard-core old school SF than "guy trapped on alien planet uses science to survive."

#62 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:28 PM:

#61 It is not eligible though (on the other hand that did not stop them from nominating some other works).

#63 ::: J.D. Rhoades ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:30 PM:

Why isn't it eligible? It was published in 2014, right?

#64 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:34 PM:

There are people who refuse to vote No Award ahead of anything, or leave items off the ballot other than No Award... those of us connected into things like Making Light, have not the same perspective as people who ignore Facebook and are not online a lot.

#65 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:37 PM:

J.D. Rhoades @63: It was first self-published in 2011.

#66 ::: Michael Eochaidh ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:38 PM:

Brad who does not slay vampires @26: I was also inspired to buy a supporting membership for the first time this year, and I assure you it wasn't because I felt the Sad Puppies had been neglected.

Kevin Riggle @22: I actually think it's fairly obvious what Day wants: chaos, revenge and most importantly attention.

Oh, and a platter with the head of John Scalzi.

#67 ::: J.D. Rhoades ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:38 PM:

Laertes @65: Huh. I did not know that. Thanks.

#68 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:43 PM:

Under the rules since (I understand) 2006 a work being made available on the Internet is explicitly counted as "published" for purposes of eligibility. (There is a loophole which will probably be closed this year regarding appearance of a written work in an audio format.)

The rule change in 2006 addressed the until then ambiguous status of works like _Old Man's War_. It is also responsible for the disqualification of Wright's Santa Claus story this year.

_The Martian_ was serialized and made available on the net prior to 2014.

#69 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:44 PM:

Laertes @ #57 -- Their thesis is that the stuff they're nominating is popular. It's kept off the ballot by a corrupt insider social-justice warrior clique that scorns good old-fashioned SF. I'll say this for them: I think they really believe this.

The reason I think they really believe it is that they're putting this belief to a very public test. Their stuff will be laid before thousands of voting members. It's going to get an honest vote.

Didn't the nominees they pushed last year and the year before lose out once it came to the voting stage, though?

#70 ::: Tamlyn ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:46 PM:

I just got my supporting membership*. I guess I have an agenda. I want to vote for stories I like and then nominate some.

I wasn't going to get the membership because I know I'll struggle with some of the offerings this year, but I changed my mind (er, obviously). I already keep a list of books I read in a year. I looked at it then, and none of them are from 2015 so far; I might have to fix that. Otherwise I'll have to remember to note down stories (and covers for artists and the like) that I love instead of just moving on and forgetting them.

*I know I'm easily confused but I blundered around the Sasquan site for a long while! Then stared/listened in bewilderment to captchas. Also, why Sasquan? Are there sasquatches?

#71 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:50 PM:

# 70 Also, why Sasquan?

http://sasquan.org/faq/#sasquan

#72 ::: Jane Berry ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:54 PM:

Brad from Sunnyvale @55: It’s small consolation, but here’s more anecdotal evidence that the awful SP slate has galvanized many of us into voting for the first time.

My entire family is buying supporting memberships to Sasquan. I may even make the drive out to Spokane. I saw the SP garbage going down last year, but because I am an as-yet-unpublished SFF writer, I felt unqualified to comment or participate. This year, their behavior and tactics are downright despicable. For example, VD treating the Hugo like a hostage: “If No Award takes a fiction category, you will likely never see another award given in that category again.”

My entire family has made sacrifices to allow me to write full time. I sit in that chair every day in order to earn the right to be a positive contributing member of this community of authors. And these wankers are actively working to destroy it. Our family’s votes may be four drops in a very big bucket, but I’ll do anything I can to keep this vile behavior from destroying what I love.

#73 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 08:59 PM:

In a post on his blog responding to GRRM, Larry Correia gives this explanation for why he put a Vox Day story on his Sad Puppies 2 slate last year:

“... I knew he had a lot of blog traffic. Not to mention one of my stated goals was to demonstrate that SJWs would have a massive freak out if somebody with the wrong politics got on. So on the slate it went. I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.”

http://monsterhunternation.com/2015/04/14/george-r-r-martin-responds/

So a guy who complains that the Hugos are being chosen for reasons other than artistic merit put Vox Day on his 2014 slate because (a) he gets a lot of traffic, (b) his political views offend people and (c) it would piss people off.

#75 ::: Manny ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 09:09 PM:

Tatterbots@45: "Require anyone who publishes a list of Hugo nominations to include a work that doesn't exist." I picture the emergence of a tradition of creating those works. There is precedent.

#76 ::: Guess ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 09:19 PM:

I don't agree with the slate at all and I am no awarding everyone on it. I plan to read it all since I am paying for it. If not we will end up with an endless slate war.

I think there is something to Larry getting attacked for no reason. He is likely being honest about how he was treated at Worldcon. I am skeptical as to how many people did this... I think he has a rather thin skin. He appears to want to just get even and then gloat. If he thinks books he likes are under represented by Worldcon voters than he should go to the Con every year and encourage his fans to get involved. He doesn't want to go. He just wants to get even. There is a harassment policy there now right? So if people are jerks to them he can report them and have them removed. He doesn't want to be a part of this. He just wants to ridicule and demean it because some people involved called him names. He seems to see this as a war and blogs about 'now we have the power' and 'my people'.

I think the lesser members are doing this for publicity. Blog post after blog post after blog post... The number of responses and eyeballs on their sites are very high. I saw John Wright post on GRRMs forum and pretend to be offended. GRRM included him in one of his anthologies and some how manufactured a way to feel offended. So he can go back and make a blog post. George basically said he likes his writing. He just didn't like seeing him on the ballot 6 times.

Alot of left wingers do the same thing. Its buy my books because of my political views. Find reasons to feel offended and then blog about it to draw eyeballs to my site.

#77 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 09:22 PM:

76
Alot of left wingers do the same thing. Its buy my books because of my political views.

[citations needed]

#78 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 09:32 PM:

Teresa @ 28... anyone who knows the field can glance at our backlists and current catalogs and instantly see that Tor has always published conservative writers, and Baen has always published progressive ones

Presumably Mister Day, Mister Cee and Mister Tee already know this. Surely you are not suggesting that they might be intentionally providing false and misleading information to heir followers.

#79 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 09:39 PM:

Guess @ 76: "He is likely being honest about how he was treated at Worldcon."

If you read the blog post he wrote in 2011 right after that Worldcon was over, you might question that conclusion. He speaks well of the experience and declares at the end that he is "totally" going to the San Antonio Worldcon in 2013.

I have trouble reconciling the person who wrote that with the one who now calls it such a miserable experience he'd sooner go to "Mordor or hell" than another Worldcon.

Correia has turned whatever negative encounters he had at that event into his origin story: Innocent gun-store-owning naif gets nominated for a Campbell and saunters on shaky Bambi legs into the Reno WorldCon, where he's turned into tender conservative venison and fed to a pack of ravenous liberal wolves.

Every noob should feel welcome at Worldcon. But what he's doing now feels more like invented outrage for the purpose of a culture war than genuine hurt feelings.

#80 ::: Robert Z ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 09:43 PM:

Manny @75 and Tatterbots @45:

And the following year, they can be nominated for the Trap Street Award.

Trap streets: paved with cobblestone, asphalt, even good intentions -- but never slate.

#81 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 09:55 PM:

Thanks for the link to Connie Willis's statement, Patrick.

People doubting Larry saying he had a bad time -- His original blog post reads to me basically as, "It was fun enough, there were a few issues, but I don't want to make a huge thing out of it." Now he's remembering the parts that weren't as fun. I don't see any reason to doubt him (in this aspect of things, anyway).

It seems to me that saying, "I'm sorry you had a bad time," in addition to saying, "There is no conspiracy in this other than the ones you're creating in your head," doesn't cost anyone anything, and creates less conflict than saying, "No, you had a fine time, stop lying."

But I certainly understand that wanting to be correct often becomes paramount in some of these situations. (And I'm also not trying to moralize.)

#82 ::: Guess ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 10:09 PM:

rcade @79: He added comments to the bottom. He said he was talked into posting positive things because he was a new author. I think we should take him at his word on this. I have seen quite a bit of stuff about him on the web that is bogus. Even before any of this people were called him a racist, a homophobe (he provides self defense training to homosexuals), a sexist... etc. I think most of it is in anonymous posts and others from backlist authors that few people are familiar with. It is there.

Dan Wells supported his story in a recent blog entry. See below. I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt on this. As I stated above there is alot of other stuff on the web about him which is bogus.

http://www.fearfulsymmetry.net/?p=2282

#83 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 10:27 PM:

Do I believe Larry Correia when he said he felt like an outcast at Renovation Worldcon, and came home angry?

Yeah, I do.

Correia's default resting state is "indignant and offended". Check his blog -- he was that way long before anyone at Renovation said something which he perceived to be an insult.

Is it possible that Larry Correia went to Renovation with a positive attitude, ready to make friends with other authors and fans who weren't familiar with his work, rather than in an aggressive, contrarian mood and spoiling for a fight? Sure it is.

Do I think that is what actually happened? No. Not for a moment.

#84 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 10:40 PM:

82
Nice trusting soul that you are...
These are people who associate with each other, who share stories and friends and how have already demonstrated that they will lie to preserve their own version of events.

#85 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 10:41 PM:

Well, Larry Correia isn't the only first time attendee who felt like an outcast at Renovation (hi). That I felt like an outcast had nothing to do with my politics or those of anyone else, though. The most political conversation I remember was the gentleman encouraging my interest in handgun practice, which was actually one of the better conversations I had, so.

"I had a bad time at Renovation" is a bad reason to send a bull into the Hugos' china shop.


P J Evans @84: Oh horrors, not association. Only bad people associate with one another and share stories.

#86 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 10:50 PM:

You know, I've been in fandom and the SF world for forty years, and I frequently feel like an outsider at Worldcons.

Worldcons are big. And tiring. And it's part of the human condition that sometimes we become convinced that all our friends have ditched us for the Secret Cool-People Party.

Learning that this is just something that happens, like foot pain and the cold virus, is part of becoming a grownup. I recommend it.

#87 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:04 PM:

85
My first Worldcon was Iggy. I knew very few people. But it wasn't bad enough to keep me from going to others, and it certainly wasn't a cause for temper tantrums about not getting everything that I wanted. (I wish I knew where the restaurant was that had the stacked tortillas with salsa verde.)

#88 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:08 PM:

Without wanting to derail the conversation too much (although maybe after two weeks it's a welcome respite...)—

Worldcons are big. And tiring. And it's part of the human condition that sometimes we become convinced that all our friends have ditched us for the Secret Cool-People Party.

That was certainly part of it. I think at that time I knew one other person who was at the Worldcon (who I was rooming with), and so anytime one throws oneself bodily into a group of four thousand complete strangers it is going to be a little rough, and I accept that. That's gotten better as I've had more experience of conventions and (of course) met more people who I see there.

At the same time... Marissa Lingen made a blog post recently about being welcoming in the context of fan conventions which I think speaks a lot to my experiences, and the specific activities that she names are activities which I now (as increasingly the established community member in my interactions) try to perform for new people who I am with.

Being welcoming means different things for a fifty person convention or a five hundred person convention or a five thousand person convention, but the points she makes about it being an active, effortful, continual process strike me as broadly applicable, and I think that they're particularly more applicable in the cases like Worldcon than we are necessarily predisposed to expect.

#89 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:15 PM:

Marissa's post is good. I'm happy if people do what she suggests.

I have the spoons I have. A small number of years or decades from now, I'll be dead. I do what I can. Some of that, isn't the stuff Marissa wants people to do. So I hope other people can do it.

#90 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:21 PM:

Footnote to the above: I am incredibly tired of having it suggested that every piece of carefully-contrived malicious behavior ginned up by every sociopath who latches on to the SF&F world ... is the fault of my friends for not being "welcoming" enough. You know something, fuck that, and fuck you, with a brick.

PS: If you weren't suggesting this, don't bother defensively explaining that you weren't suggesting this.

#91 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:23 PM:

Patrick: Thank you for doing what you do.

And thank you to people like Marissa for doing what they have the spoons to do too.

#92 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:25 PM:

PNH: Welcoming non-sociopaths, OTOH? Good thing. All for it.

#93 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:29 PM:

What I've noticed about Correia's stories is that none of them have names in them, or even brief descriptions. It's like none of the people in fandom are real to him.

I also notice there's no mention of panels he attended that he wasn't on, or conversations he got into in the dealers' room, or tables he shared at lunch or dinner with other members of the convention.

SF is a clique? Good thing. They could get awfully lonely if they were waiting to be befriended by Larry Correia.

#94 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:31 PM:

And did I mention that Correia came to a tiny number of SF gatherings and immediately perceived dark undercurrents that those of us who've been in fandom for decades have never once detected?

How very observant he is, for someone who observes nothing.

#95 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:37 PM:

I guess I got lucky when I joined fandom. I made friends easily, I found activities that I enjoyed (filk and costuming), and everyone I met did their level best to see that I was having fun.

I've tried to pay it forward. But there's something I have to say here, because I wish I had said it when they were still alive:

Bob, Gordy and Kelly -- thank you for making one shy teenager feel like she was really grown-up and belonged.

#96 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:40 PM:

#95, Lori: Yeah, those people. Good on them.

#97 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:48 PM:

This is not directed at Patrick.

Kevin: Just so. It's a process, and it's an intention. It's also never perfect, witness Mr. Correia. (Just, most people don't turn a vague sense of discomfort into a long-term crusade, but I guess some people need a hobby.)

#98 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:49 PM:

95
I got to meet Poul and Gordy at the dead dog party at Iggy. Don't remember much about it - but that's okay. And while my political views are never going to mesh with Larry and Dr Jerry, they're interesting people to hear/talk with.

#99 ::: AnnieY ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:49 PM:

I am an introvert and it is extremely hard for me to just join in a conversation face to face or make friends. Combine that with the way I look and I had heard enough mean things during conventions (because there will always be that guy that reacts as if he is 10 years old) - enough to make me feel as an outsider. But that is not an excuse to lash against the community or to decide that everyone is against me or to believe that everyone is like that. Or a reason to stop going to Worldcons :) But then I am not looking for an excuse to justify something I had decided to do...

#100 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:55 PM:

I am pleased to report that I bought and read the Goblin Emperor this weekend and it's a heck of a book.

Also, I reread the (Hugo-winning) Vor Game and it too is a heck of a book.

I feel the need to say there ARE really good Hugo-quality books out there, this year and previous ones. It is a pleasurable thing to read them.

#101 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2015, 11:57 PM:

Kevin Riggle, #85:

If it's not too intrusive, may I ask why you felt that way? (If you prefer not to share, that's fine, too.)

I've been to 2 Worldcons of the last 5. I knew no one when I went to the first. I spent a lot of time on my own, and I certainly didn't feel as though I was part of any in-group (and being part of such a group always makes things a lot more fun). I do fairly well being on my own, though, and I have developed a reasonably healthy sense of self-esteem. I realize that not everyone (in fact, probably, most people) are not like me though, and that those circumstances would be way more challenging for others than they were for me.

But (and I'm well aware that I'm not of a demographic which is usually the recipient of poor treatment or discrimination, so I do not criticize others who feel differently) I felt that people were generally welcoming and accepting of me -- often quite generously so.

I managed to make a few acquaintances which blossomed into friendship (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) through continued interaction with them on Facebook. And I "met" more people through those interactions, and made quite a few more virtual friends.

The second Worldcon, a couple of years later, was more fun. I knew more people via Facebook, and got to meet them in person. I actually had a couple of people with whom I could do the party circuit. I was also fortunate that another one of those people was kind enough to invite me to dinner the first night with a group that included several well- and lesser-known authors. That was a real treat, for which I was (and am still) profoundly grateful.

I've gotten to have a lot more interaction with those people on Facebook since then. And I've made a LOT more virtual friends by interacting with people online -- including a fair number of established and up-and-coming authors. I'm hoping that at Sasquan I will feel even more at home.

Unless you (and this is a generic "you" here) happen to "fall" into a social group through a mutual friend or other happy circumstances, building those connections and friendships requires a lot of effort -- and no small amount of self-esteem and persistence. You will not be everyone's cup of tea -- and not everyone will be yours. But I encourage anyone who attends a Worldcon to try and keep working on that.

Yes, certainly, those people who are part of established friendships and groups with other fans at Worldcon should hopefully try to make a bit of extra effort to make newbies and strangers feel welcome. But I've also known a lot of people who complained that they didn't feel welcome at something (I'm not referring to Worldcons here) -- and my observation was that those people had made zero effort and expected the red carpet to be rolled out for them. And generally, it just doesn't work that way, and they needed to be making an effort, too.

My impression is that nothing less that being welcomed into an "inner circle of fans" (the fans being the ones who made all the effort), and given a Hugo a year or two later, would have made Correia happy. That is an incredibly entitled and unrealistic attitude for anyone, even a published author, to take.

TL;DR: If you go to a Worldcon, try to build some acquaintanceships ahead of time through Facebook with other fans who share your interests. Go with the attitude that you are going to enjoy yourself very much. Participate in as much of the formal and informal programming as you can (as long as it interests you, of course). And be willing to make an effort to get to know others, and build the social connections with fans that will make subsequent Worldcons even more fun. And don't let it get you down if not all your efforts meet with resounding success.

#102 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:15 AM:

Patrick, I just wanted to say that the first time I ever met you--maybe also the last, come to think, it's been years and things blur--was at one of my first World Fantasy Cons (Minneapolis). I very much doubt you remember the occasion, but you were open and funny and inclusive, and that (though smaller) is not an easy convention to be a newbie at.

So . . . thank you, to you and to everybody else at conventions over the years who made me feel as though I had a right to be in the room.

#103 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:24 AM:

Sarah, #69: You forget the First Rule of Conspiracy Theory. There is never evidence that disproves the theory -- only evidence that proves it and evidence that would prove it except for [FITB]. The most common FITB is "the cover-up is deeper and more complete than even we dreamed".

Kevin, #88: Did you come to the ML dinner gathering? I don't recall you being there, but there were a couple of people whose names I didn't quite catch.

If you're coming to Sasquan, and if there is another ML gathering (which no one has started discussing yet), please do come. I'd love to meet you.

Patrick, #89-90: I think Marissa addresses that with this bit:
[T]here are some combinations of body language/affect that will just feel closed down and foreboding even when the person doesn’t mean to. When you get to know these people, you can sometimes find that they are good-hearted, interesting, warm, etc. – but you shouldn’t demand that they be the ones to welcome new people. Further, some people simply don’t want to. It’s not a goal of theirs. And that’s okay. And then beyond that–someone will be having a bad day for whatever reason, and just run out of cope for new people. Outreach requires having some kind of ground to reach out from; any kind of health or personal issue will have the potential to make it much harder for any one person to welcome new people. Not everybody has to do this stuff all the time. Just, y’know. Some people. Some of the time. (emphasis mine)

AnnieY, #99: If you're at Sasquan, I'd like to meet you too. If you're not up to joining a dinner party, you can drop by the Starcat Designs table in the dealer room during the day; that's where I'll be most of the time.

JJ, #101: Same goes for you.

#104 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:31 AM:

Lee, #103: JJ, #101: Same goes for you.

I was speaking as me being the outlier, saying what I've been trying to do, and recommending to others to try the same.

I still don't consider myself part of any SFF fan in-crowd. I hope I feel differently at Sasquan; I've worked very hard at trying to make it so.

#105 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:10 AM:

I've heard of conventions offering first convention ribbons. First worldcon ribbons might also be a good idea.

#106 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:23 AM:

Correia makes mostly vague, mostly illusory claims. That's par for the course, for almost all internet dialog.

There doesn't seem to be much doubt though that Worldcon voting is a very small group, even among the Worldcon attendees. It's a tiny slice, of a tiny slice, of a tiny slice of fandom.

#107 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:24 AM:

So Roz Kaveney pointed out on Twitter that Vox Day has proclaimed hero worship of terrorist murderer Anders Breivik. He's also said that he thinks WorldCon is full of evoll libruls.

I think that makes him a risk to the safety and security of WorldCon attendees, and is more than enough reason to ban him from attending WorldCons. If we can get this passed in the WSFS meetings at Sasquan and MidAmeriCon, it can take effect in time for Helsinki (I hope), which is the only upcoming WorldCon he seems likely to attend.

Unfortunately this justification doesn't hold for banning him from having a supporting membership. Just imagine if we could do that! His head would explode, and no one except the people right near him (whose clothing would be ruined) would shed a single tear.

#108 ::: AnnieY ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:33 AM:

#105 The ribbons - London had those last year. But for some people it is not really the first one and it is still a weird place.

#103 Lee, I will stop by to say hi and thanks for reaching out. As for dinner parties - let's see just how overwhelmed I will be - in London I ended up spending most of the evenings in my hotel room reading. :) Partially by choice (needed my quiet time), partially because I worry about what people think about me and just chicken out from going anywhere.

#109 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:55 AM:

JJ @101: As it happens, I wrote a blog post about it at the time. :-)

Things have gotten better for me personally -- and since then I've both lucked into good opportunities to connect with people and worked hard to make the most of them -- but I reread the post and say, yeah, I think I still see people having those experiences which weren't so good, and which might turn away someone who doesn't have so many spoons and who doesn't get those opportunities.

(Paragraph breaks, younger self. Really. And fewer run-on sentences.)

Lee @103: Sadly not. I can't remember why -- some scheduling thing. I'll make it one of these Worldcons, definitely.

#110 ::: Brad from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:57 AM:

Having written Hugo vote counting software I am of course very aware that collusion should have minimal effect in the final ballot.

What I was talking about was the fear that a lot of these supporting memberships were puppies. I now see evidence that this might not be true, but I still don't know.

If there are a LOT of supporting puppy memberships, who vote only for the slate (in any order) they can defeat fans who are split on pushing for No Award as the winner (annul the Hugos) and for "only vote for non-slate and then No Award" (do the best you can with what you've got) and "Read them all and treat them fairly" where a few slate works will find some fans.

Not easily, of course, and primarily if fans make mistakes on how to handle No Award on their ballots, which they may well do.

A rush of fans in favour of independent Hugos would be fabulous, though actually not necessary if there is not a giant litter of puppies.

#111 ::: Ali Muñiz ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:01 AM:

My first Worldcon was Torcon in 2003. (Sasquan will be my second.) I'm pretty shy, and terrible at meeting people, so much so that even though I've been going to OryCon in Portland for almost 15 years, I've still hardly made any friends beyond the ones I know from outside the con. So you'd expect me to not do amazingly well at socializing at a Worldcon.

However, there was one amusing situation where I ended up meeting a bunch of people and having a great time. When I was looking at the Kaffeeklatsch signups, I noticed that there was some poor fellow named Charles Coleman Finlay who had no signups at all. So I decided to take pity on him, and signed up.

I got to the Kaffeeklatsch a tiny bit late, and I was almost not allowed into the room by the security person. The room was already full, I was informed. But I signed up, I said. Indeed, I was still the only person signed up, and the security person grumbled, but let me in. What had happened is that all of Finlay's online writing workshop friends had crashed the Kaffeeklatsch without bothering to sign up, and were using the event as a party to hang out with each other and celebrate Finlay's successes. Even though I didn't know any of them, I was welcomed and made to feel like a guest of honor there, on account of my being the one legitimate signup, even though I had no idea who he was. I know who he is now, of course.

So my recommendation for meeting people and feeling welcomed at a Worldcon is to sign up for the Kaffeeklatsch of the next C. C. Finlay.

#112 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:37 AM:

Ali Muñiz, #111:

I had a vaguely similar experience: it was Saturday early evening. I was by myself. The few people with whom I was acquainted were all off presumably having dinner with their friends. So I went to the consuite, got a plate of food and a beverage, and sat down at an empty table to eat.

Presently a young woman appeared and asked if I was there for the Kaffeeklaatsch. That's right, they'd scheduled the poor woman's session for the Saturday dinner hour. Small surprise that no one had shown up. I was sitting at her designated table. I could see the bare hint of hope in her eyes flickering out.

"Hi, I'm JJ", I said, sticking out my hand. "Tell me about your book."

She sat down and pulled out the bottle of wine she'd brought to share with her klaatchers. So she and I sat there and drank the wine and I learnt a fair bit about I subject with which I'd previously had only the barest acquaintance.

We're still friends on Facebook, and it's a connection I treasure, even though our fandom does not have a huge overlap.


It was a powerful reminder to me that, by being open to whatever comes along, you can stumble into some pretty amazing experiences.

#113 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:00 AM:

It's looking rather unlikely I'll get to go to Spokane. I want to. I'd like to go to what would be my third Worldcon (Denver in 2008 was the first and Reno in 2011 was the second), but I am jobless at the moment and don't have much in the way of prospects.

Pity. I liked Worldcon, although I'll admit to being pretty severely depressed for Reno which does tend to play holy havoc with your sense of enjoyment. I'd love to have the chance to try again, maybe this time without depression and loneliness eating at me.

#114 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:02 AM:

Huh. And backspacing out of preview seems to post the entry. Interesting. Guess I won't do that again. :)

#115 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 06:33 AM:

Ali Muñiz @ 111, JJ @ 112--what wonderful stories! I would love to read a whole thread like that.

#116 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:55 AM:

Kevin Riggle #88: And in passing, Marissa makes an excellent point about the limits of inclusivity:

... you can’t actually welcome harassers and people who would prefer not to be harassed and have them both feel equally welcome. ... You have to decide who you are, personally and as a group, and accept that this will not welcome everyone evenly. If someone makes a racist remark and you call them on it, they will probably feel less welcome. On the other hand, the people who don’t want to hang out in a group where racism is accepted will feel more welcome hearing you say, nope, that is not how this group goes. It stinks that you have to, like, pick your side and get confrontational and stuff, but that’s how reality works.

#117 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:15 AM:

Another anecdote for the pluralization thereof: My husband and I purchased our supporting Sasquan memberships last night. We are emphatically not puppy supporters.

Note that my husband was one of the people who initially said "The Hugos barely seem worth it this year." I doubt he's alone in having moved on from that initial reaction and having determined to vote.

Also, the Graphic Story category is actually getting him (and me) excited. Some very good nominees there.

He and I also agree that we actually will try out all the nominees we can -- though for many of them, it'll be out of morbid curiosity.

Voted for the first time last year -- not previously realizing that it was a thing you could do -- and dammit, we're going to keep on. The Hugos matter. My husband grew up in a house where Hugo winners were practically sacred texts. He very literally learned to read with Hugo-winning SF. The first time he read a novel that then proceeded to win a Hugo, he was as excited as if he'd seen the Beatles at the Cavern. He's passed all that on to me. It's an award that means a lot in this house. So dammit, we're going to vote honorably.

#118 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:26 AM:

Guess @ 82: He added comments to the bottom.

I read that too, but what Correia says now in the midst of a hyper-political, anti-Worldcon campaign he started is not necessarily a reflection of what he thought back then.

GRRM asked him in several ways to provide specifics on his alleged mistreatment back then, so that fans could better understand his original grievance. Correia doesn't have any. The only concrete complaint he has about the 2011 event is that he didn't win the Campbell.

#119 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:28 AM:

#82 Guess

From http://www.fearfulsymmetry.net/?p=2282

what it was before was a group of like-minded people who tended to vote for the same authors and themes every time, which is pretty standard for any voting award anyway, and a far cry from a curated ticket of “this is the slate we should all vote for.” I am sad that this has happened, but I hope we can find a way to fix it.

This is credo/dogma /Big Lie. Lois McMaster Bujold and Bruce Sterling do NOT have the same people generally nominating and voting for their work. And I still have some recollections the year that a story NESFA member Claire Anderson really really liked, which was not on the Locus list, got onto the Hugo ballot--because Claire liked it and recommended it to other people, they likes it, it was on the NESFA list of stories people were recommending, and a bunch of people who read the story based on Claire's recommendation and/or recommendations of people who'd read it because of Claire's recommendation, put it on their Hugo Nominations ballot. The rest of what were on those people's nominations ballots, could not have been turthfully mistaken for slate of even bloc voting, not even by someone on a bad LSD trip (I have seen someone on a bad LSD trip. Two people who went handwalking down the dormfloor corridor and were strong, couldn't wrestle away the person on the bad trip from pulling the fire alarm.)

No, I did not see the ballots, however, based on discussions of stories and books and tastes, and what people had written down on the NESFA recommendations list, different people were putting a very side range of diverse works and people on nomination ballots.

Correia et al seem to be operating with some logical idiosyncracies--the fact that there are some more influential reviewers and critics and commentators and sources than others, they seem to regard as mandating rather than advisory sources. The Locus list is influential, but people use it a a guide and list of suggestions, not as a slate.

Seeing the claim again and again from the Puppies and their partisans that the default of Hugo Finalists and Winners is a narrow ideologically-determined cabal-based slate of narrowly-focuses literary tastes, does not make the claim true. The claim is wildly inaccurate, untrue, and to me an indication of anything but good will, respect, and friendliness.

#120 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:32 AM:

One thing I actually do believe about Correia's account of his Worldcon experiences is the bit about the "insiders" explaining to him how the "fix" was in....

I completely believe people said these things to him... because it's the sort of backbiting and sniping that has attended every awards ceremony ever, starting with the one where Og beat Throg for Best Woolly Mammoth even though Throg's mammoth totally had better presentation.

Actually taking this stuff seriously, though, is beyond my capacity for credulity. The demonstrable fact is that now, when a malicious clique is trying to fix the Hugos, it's about as secret and shadowy as a parachute flare at midnight. Any previous attempt would have been equally obvious. (In, say, 1987 and 1955, were equally obvious.)

#121 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:39 AM:

#118 rcade

Memory is not immutable--there was a study done, in which people asked within hours of the Challenger disaster, where they were and what they ere doing, and then asked the same questions three years later. The three years later answers appeared to include many which were reconstructions of what the individuals were likely to have been doing at the time.

Nsrratives can change over time, and memories mutate to mesh better with the narrative, or with themes and values and group values/identification.

#122 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:39 AM:

One thing I actually do believe about Correia's account of his Worldcon experiences is the bit about the "insiders" explaining to him how the "fix" was in....

I've got to go with Kieth Olbermann's response to that class of complaint.

Because it was me -- and my cronies!

#123 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:49 AM:

I've seen a suggestion that people could wear buttons or ribbons or somesuch which have one of these:

Approachable. Please start a conversation with me.

Friends only. If I don't know you, please give me space.

Give me space. I do not want to have a conversation right now.

****

Do you think this would be useful?

#124 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:25 AM:

Everyone has bad times at WorldCons, and good times too. At the same convention. Expecting it to be All Great All The Time is just unrealistic. Too big, too loud, not enough sleep, too many strangers. Everyone's inner 2 year old melts down.

Someone somewhere pointed out that Correia's panels at Reno were undoubtedly recorded, and should be viewable. By someone, not me. It would be very easy to discover how he was treated on them.

#125 ::: andyl ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:45 AM:

Nancy @ 123

We had coloured pegs at this year's Eastercon which did that. I have to admit I didn't see anyone wearing pegs though. Ribbons aren't a particularly good solution because sometimes people might want to move between categories throughout the con, or even on a single day.

I think that they have been used at NineWorlds for the past couple of years too.

#126 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:49 AM:

I wasn't at Reno, but looking in the program guide, I see that he was in:
1 Kaffeklatsch with Carol Berg, Lee Harris and Juliette Wade.
A 30 minute reading.
An autograph session.
A 1 hour Meet the Campbell Award Nominees.
A Steampunk versus Alternate History panel with Philippa Ballantine, Karyn de Dufour, Ted Morris (m), Alan P. Smale and Eric Swedin.
and
A Fantasy in the Real World: The Rich World of Urban Fantasy panel with Lisa Goldstein, Tim Pratt and Madeleine E. Robins (m).

If he says he didn't have a good time, then I believe him although from browsing his blog, I see that he has a tendency to blow things up there to 11 when they are at the most a 3 or so.
I'm a fairly quiet type and usually have to work up my courage to actually start conversations--but I've always had fun when I did. It would be interesting to know what went on there.
On the other hand, nothing that happened there would be an excuse for trying to actively torpedo the Hugo's. Two wrongs do not make a right.

#127 ::: Braxis ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:57 AM:

Nancy Lebovitz @123

I'm not sure it would help me. I'd be reluctant to start a conversation with a stranger no matter what their badge said and the temptation to keep mine on permanent 'Leave me alone!' would be strong...

(I've never been to a Worldcon, too big for my taste, just a couple of recent UK Discworld conventions and some tiny roleplaying cons in my dim and distant youth)

#128 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:08 AM:

126
I suspect he was expecting to be treated as a Big Name Pro and didn't get what he wanted.
Temper tantrums like this are not going to improve the situation.

#129 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:18 AM:

beth meacham @ 124: One such someone would be George R. R. Martin, in his most recent Hugo post.

Steve Halter @ 126: "On the other hand, nothing that happened there would be an excuse for trying to actively torpedo the Hugo's. Two wrongs do not make a right."

Quite true.

On the other hand, somewhere in one of John Barnes*' "Thousand Cultures" series--I think in Earth Made of Glass--there's a discussion of the necessity of knowing the culture of someone with whom you are negotiating. That way, you know whether the person sitting across the table from you is following a different cultural norm, or if he's just an asshole.

That's a close paraphrase using most of the words--oh, look! Mister Google says I'm close:

Margaret's explanation, which I liked better, was that you had to learn a culture until you knew whether the person on the other side of the table was following a cultural norm different from yours, or just an asshole.

I've read that book a lot, but I didn't realize I'd read it that well. Of course, that passage is very useful. I really would like to know which of the three possibilities it is in this case.

*For me, John Barnes is the best of the New Heinleins, because he follows the variant of Godwin's Law which I proposed here somewhere long ago: "As an online discussion of speculative fiction grows longer, the probability of mentioning Robert Heinlein approaches 1." Or maybe I'm just too big a fan of Barnes' work, just like I am of...oh, wait.

#130 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:28 AM:

Nancy @1123: I saw people wearing such ribbons at Norwescon this year. Frequently several at a time.

They do not improve things, unfortunately, because they're not easy to switch between.

The "My preferred pronoun is (he/his, she/hers, they/theirs, fill in the blank)" ribbons were much more successful, as pronouns are a bit less labile than mood.

#131 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:53 AM:

John A Arkansawyer@129:Yes, understanding where other people are coming from is useful. I've spent some time browsing the various puppy blogs and the nearest model I can come up with is the Fox News/Right Wing talk radio model:
1) Be angry about something
2) Shout about it -- a lot (these guys can type fast if nothing else).
3) Use out of context quotes and either don't understand them or pretend to do so.
4) Claim oppression.

This seems to be the public facing side. When you actually look at the comments on those blogs, it seems to get angrier and uglier very quickly.
All of this seems to imply that being an asshole seems to be the cultural norm they are following.

#132 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:55 AM:

I would be in a constant state of anxiety over which ribbon to wear.

#133 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:15 PM:

Steve Halter @ 131: The most obnoxious* pro-GLT** person I know uses 2 & 3 on that list almost every time she posts, so that method is not exclusive to the right wing.

And I genuinely believe in trying to appeal to the better angels etc.***

*do you have any idea how obnoxious that must be?
**she doesn't believe in bisexuality.
***even though I know how that traditionally ends.

#134 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:26 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @#129: That way, you know whether the person sitting across the table from you is following a different cultural norm, or if he's just an asshole.

A friend of mine, by her own account, once took a few weeks to realize her roommate was not following a different cultural norm but was in fact, quite severely delusional (to the point of eventually needing hospitalization).

#135 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:30 PM:

David H., #116: That issue also comes up in churches, in the context of women escaping abusive relationships. It's hard to feel safe, and not to feel excluded, in a community which insists that your abuser must be fully included in all activities.

Nancy, #123: Back when my partner and I were bringing buttons to cons, we had a fairly popular one that said, "Ask Before Hugging". And ThinkGeek has a T-shirt that says, "Just shy. Not antisocial. You can talk to me," and conversely one that says, "You read my T-shirt. That's enough social interaction for one day."

So yeah, a set of buttons covering that range might be a useful thing.

#136 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:37 PM:

This, from Nicholas Whyte, is probably worth noting here.

"There is a conspiracy theory that Loncon 3 informed the Guardian ahead of time that Larry Correia's Warbound had been nominated for the 2014 Hugo for Best Novel, and as part of the evil conspiracy between Worldcon and the liberal press, the Guardian then commissioned Damien Walter to write a hit piece about Correia, so as to poison the latter's reputation in advance of the Hugo ballot's publication."

This conspiracy theory is wrong, as Nicholas knows first-hand and explains in his LJ entry. Should that story come up, the entry can be pointed to as refutation.

#137 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:44 PM:

Beth Meacham @124 Someone somewhere pointed out that Correia's panels at Reno were undoubtedly recorded, and should be viewable. By someone, not me. It would be very easy to discover how he was treated on them.

I'm going to look into my magic ball. I predict that he got in a shouting match with someone*. Correia partisans will declare this direct evidence that he was ostracised. (Someone will add that the whole thing is a big conspiracy, and anyway the film is a fake and the Reno worldcon didn't actually take place it's all a big con - a world-con, see, the clue is in the name.)

More people will look at it and most of them will say "that was a bit heated, but I've seen worse, and anyway they were each as bad as the other." Latecomers to the affaire Hugo will find themselves watching two guys** arguing and not have a clue what's going on and give it up as a bad job.

So I predict it will prove nothing except what the watchers bring to it. Of course my magic ball has been wrong before.

* The moderator trying to stop the argument will be taken as bias against Correia (or possibly an attempt to silence one of his critics)
** presumption

#138 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:57 PM:

John A Arkansawyer@133:True, outrage and questionable argumentative techniques are not unique to the right wing.

I have seen in some of the comment threads (of the SP) where people try to appeal to the side of the angels. It doesn't seem to go well.

#139 ::: Chris L ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:57 PM:

I'm annoyed that Wright's Christmas piece was declared ineligible after I'd taken the trouble to read it. Now I've spent a bunch of time reading a terrible story *and* I can't vote against it. Oh well; between that story and the post where he regrets not punching Pratchett, I've seen enough to make me think I wouldn't enjoy reading anything else he's written. Even without the puppy slate shenanigans, I don't think I'd be voting for his work.

#140 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 12:59 PM:

#135 ::: Lee

Thanks-- I've already got a couple of those, and I might add "Ask before Hugging".

#141 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:29 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz #123: The big problem, that's already been mentioned, is that people's "conditions" can change not just over the day, but in response to events -- and they may not be aware of it themselves, much less alert enough to change their button.

I'm speaking from experience here -- once I've been burning energy for a while, I start pulling back or "shielding" against people... but sometimes it takes me a while to realize I'm drained, even while I'm instinctively putting up defenses. Worse, a sudden sensory or emotional shock can drain my reserves fast, leaving me stunned. (In the worst case, I might be eligible for a "rescue", but that's an even trickier issue....)

(I will say that if I do go to another con, I'll definitely be finding an "Ask Before Hugging" button. Not quite a "trigger" in the abuse sense, but that's a significant sensory impact.)

I've been eyeing the Ravencon poster that someone put up in my bookstore, -- it's semi-local, but imminent enough that I'd have to scramble a bit to deal with planning, transportation, lodging. And only semi-local (nearby city), so I would have to deal with all those. (Hmmm... I just stuck an alarm on my iPhone to remind me about it next year, at the beginning of March.)

#142 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:35 PM:

Me at #141: On the other hand, looking at Ravencon's site, I see that their writer guest is... John C. Wright. <sigh>. Even before the current kerfluffle, I got turned off to him by this bit.

#143 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 01:56 PM:

I do like the idea of ribbons or buttons for some things, if not necessarily for emotional availability; I'd have a problem with that, because--as people have said--it changes, often quite rapidly. But how about for interests? I remember--I think it was Chicon that gave people lots and lots of ribbons that identified the wearer's interests, so a Knitting Ribbon if you liked to knit; a gaming ribbon for gamers (there were different ones of those); various subgroup fangroup identifications, some associated with specific authors or media or categories of fiction . . . all chosen by the attendee at Registration, I believe. It kind of backfired, in that there were too MANY ribbons and they got kind of hard to identify/read, but they were also potential conversation starters: "Hey, you knit? Have you seen . . ." or whatever.

I don't know how much it cost the con, or how to organize it, or even recommend it to future con committees (or if any other WorldCon has done it and maybe it didn't help, but I do think it's worth considering as a way of offering people potential connections.

#144 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 02:09 PM:

143
Knitting ribbons: you hand out a small ball of yarn and a pair of needles (I'd consider bamboo skewers) and let people make their own.

#145 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 02:14 PM:

#143 The problem with ribbons is the sheer number of them on some people. Lat year there were some people with ribbons going almost to their knees - one under the other. There is just as much time that you can stare at someone's chest/front to try to figure out what they are trying to communicate before it becomes uncomfortable.

#146 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 02:24 PM:

Annie Y @ 145: Yeah, I remember that as a problem, too--people actually seemed to collect ribbons, like Olympic team pins at the Olympics. But at the beginning, when there were just a few ribbons per person, it seemed nice. Like I said, I've no idea how to go about making it work better in practice--or work at all, for that matter . . . maybe cut down on the "joke" ribbons and make them more specific somehow? Or . . . publicize what they are for, ahead of time?

#147 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 02:29 PM:

Er--also occurs to me, that I don't think it's any individual attendee's responsibility to make any con more welcoming to newcomers, just in case I need to say that. (The con committee--maybe yes, in some ways; attendees, even long-time attendees and panelists and long-time fans, no.) We're there to have fun, after all. I'm thinking in terms of things that might make the con more fun for me. Quite selfishly, from one angle, I suppose.

#148 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 02:53 PM:

Another introvert who can't get the best benefit of a convention. Among other things, I can't hear well with background noise and I feel like I'm always having to stop myself from crawling into the lap of the person I'm trying to listen to at a party: my energy level plummets after a session of talking to people, and with it, often, my self-esteem, so that I feel that I'm imposing on my friends just to spend time with them...etc., etc. Notice these are nothing that anybody else can fix for me. This, combined with logistical and financial issues, means I go to conventions rarely.

That being said, I do actually have fun at them. I just can't last the whole weekend. So I do go now and then, when things work out.

I was going to go to Eastercon this year, because I could combine it with visiting my son and daughter-in-law, who are now immigrants in the UK (Leicestershire!), but the timing fell apart. And I meant to go to the local ones this year (the ones I can commute to), but I have a terminal dog, so I might not even make it to BayCon, which is only an hour's drive away. But I might.

#149 ::: Clarentine ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 02:54 PM:

You know, if I was the sort able to join anything, I think I would want to join a group as warm and welcoming as the folks commenting here and over on Mris’s blog have shown themselves to be. Thank you for that.

I would like to mention, however, that no matter the degree of welcoming a group presents, there will still be people like myself who risk our sanity when venturing out into crowds like pretty much any convention I’ve ever tried*…and it is not helpful to our willingness to try to be offered lists of things which, if we’d just follow them, would lead us to success. We already suffer enough from our own expectations. I know Generic You are trying to be helpful, and I do appreciate the intention. I just can’t seize that extended hand (and that is on my head, not yours). No program of ribbons or pegs or any other system marking me out as Other is going to bridge that gap—the very idea of wearing such a badge makes me cringe.

Which is not to say that I can’t participate. I can, and I am…just not in person. You can count me in as one who will be purchasing a membership explicitly for participating in this vote.

* The list of which includes a Worldcon, a World Fantasy con, and Fourth Street. Descending in numbers, and I nearly made it through Fourth Street before freaking out. Clearly, I need a con where about 15 people attend, and I know them all before stepping into the room. ;-)

#150 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 02:54 PM:

Annie Y #145: That reminds me of the "button-mail"¹ I saw back when I was attending, and might well have been influenced by it.

¹ For non-con-goers, that was T-shirts or other clothing, completely covered in buttons. It became a joke in its own right, with "+1" and "+2" buttons appearing. I damaged a shirt or two myself, with the sheer weight of buttons.

#151 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:06 PM:

Doug #136--

This article amounts to, one person did not leak information to another person, he released it days after the article in question was already published, to other journalists.

Even TNH here has said that she had to actively avoid hearing more scuttlebutt than she wanted to. It is much more likely that the information went from an organizer (who are lets remember volunteers), to someone in the industry organically, and then to parties who shared it with writers.

#152 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:10 PM:

What I thought was useful about Marissa's post was the point that we need to look around and see if our intended-to-be-welcoming behavior or events are having that effect.

For example, if no actual first-time congoers are showing up at the first-timers' dinner, it's not working as a way of making newcomers feel welcome. The answer might be better publicity, or relabeling it as "dinner groups if you don't have Friday dinner plans," and accepting that you'll get a mix of newcomers and other people without plans, or it might be that this con is the wrong place for this approach. This does not mean that any specific person has to agree to host one of those dinner outings.

Similarly, if you keep approaching people you don't know with "Hi, I'm so-and-so, is this your first ThisCon?" and they all mutter vaguely and wander away instead of getting into conversation, that approach isn't helping those people feel welcome. You might want to try a different approach, or you might say the hell with it and sit in a corner of the con suite with a book until someone you already know turns up. No individual fan (including concom members) must reach out and welcome people on any given weekend, but if you're going to do it, you want it to work, so it makes sense to pay attention to results.

#153 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:13 PM:

151
I find it far more likely that it was someone who wasn't on the committee - generally that's very restricted information, as in "need-to-know-and-you-don't".
I can see one or more of the potential nominees talking, or someone who doesn't know of the embargo. (All it would take is telling a family member or a friend.)

#154 ::: Phiala ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:30 PM:

Back to the original topic for a moment, both Annie Bellet and Marko Kloos have withdrawn their nominations.

Props to them both on what must have been an incredibly difficult thing to do.

#155 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:34 PM:

So Annie Bellet and Marko Kloos have withdrawn their work from the ballot. Go them.

Has this ever happened before -- refusing after accepting but before voting?

And do you think it might start a cascade?

#156 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:39 PM:

Annie Bellet’s withdrawal post:

https://overactive.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/hugo-story-withdrawn/

Marko Kloos’ withdrawal post:

http://www.munchkinwrangler.com/2015/04/15/a-statement-on-my-hugo-nomination/

#157 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:43 PM:

dh @ 106: Your 2nd paragraph is demonstrably false; this biases my view of your 1st paragraph even further, given my own experiences (perodic netizen since 1980).

PJ Evans @ 128: I suspect every Worldcon has a few attendees with neopro disease; from what I've heard, most of them grow out of it.

David Harmon @ 150: in 1980, someone (Glyer?) remarked on someone else (Craig Miller?) accumulating enough ribbons to look like "an admiral in the Zimbabwe Navy". The response was "And at the end of the day my shirt looked like cheesecloth." Since then we've discovered stick-on ribbons....

#158 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:45 PM:

157
Bruce Pelz and his collection of badge ribbons comes to mind.

#159 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:49 PM:

157
I know for a fact that the 1984 count of final ballots returned was not a 'tiny percentage' of the members. (We got back nearly 1500 ballots. Most of them were valid. I don't know how many were sent out, but somewhere around 7000, maybe 7500.)

#160 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 03:52 PM:

I really like ribbons - I keep them all, still stuck to my badge. Next worldcon I go to, if finances permit, I want to have an "I gave Em a ribbon!" ribbon to give to people who gave me ribbons, in order to encourage ribbon-giving.

Or maybe I should make myself a "will write limericks or haiku for ribbons" shirt. :p

#161 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:04 PM:

I can't imagine how hard it is as an author to withdraw your work from the Hugo ballot - it's got to be absolutely heartbreaking - but in a certain way, I'm really glad to see it happening. From what I've read today, the two authors who withdrew works from consideration would love to win - but they love the Hugos and what they represent more, and they don't seem to want a win sullied by this year's mess. For this, I applaud them.

#162 ::: Guess ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:23 PM:

@119: Paula Lieberman

You addressed your post to me. I am not sure if this part is meant for me or not.

"Seeing the claim again and again from the Puppies and their partisans that the default of Hugo Finalists and Winners is a narrow ideologically-determined cabal-based slate of narrowly-focuses literary tastes, does not make the claim true. The claim is wildly inaccurate, untrue, and to me an indication of anything but good will, respect, and friendliness. "

If you look at my earlier posts, I stated I am no awarding all of them the Sad Puppies. I also said I think Larry has a thin skin. So if your putting me in the camp, then your putting anyone who can show a little empathy for someone who thinks he is being attacked in an enemy camp. I can show empathy for the way some idiots attack Larry unfairly on the web and still no award the whole slate.

I didn't point the finger at the Haydens. The stuff I have seen out there is by other people and not them. I am not sure why they are even caught up in this, but I don't pay that much attention. I don't use twitter or facebook. I am not a liberal... I just like the to read. The first time I signed up to vote was to vote for Wheel of Time last year. I have been a fanboy for 25 years. Lay off me on that one, we only took 1 nomination one time (we will probably do it again next year to get Harriet Rigney on the ballot for best editor, but its just 1 spot).

I think alot of people out there who are left wingers have been really ignorant towards larry over the last few years. I am not pointing at anyone here. You can find it on the web yourself. I can say that and still take the hard line of 'no award the whole the entire slate'.

Looks like 2 more people have dropped out of the Hugos. I got that from rcade's post in file770. I didn't see him put it here yet. I have heard good things about both Bellets and Kloos work.

Annie Bellet’s withdrawal post:

https://overactive.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/hugo-story-withdrawn/

Marko Kloos’ withdrawal post:

http://www.munchkinwrangler.com/2015/04/15/a-statement-on-my-hugo-nomination/

#163 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:30 PM:

Good for Bellet & Kloos. I applaud their making of what had to be a tough decision.
Hopefully more of the people who got swept up unknowingly will step up also.

#164 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:35 PM:

Chip:

I wrote:

There doesn't seem to be much doubt though that Worldcon voting is a very small group, even among the Worldcon attendees. It's a tiny slice, of a tiny slice, of a tiny slice of fandom.

Really, you don't think that's accurate?

Last year the ballots were about 33% of attendees. Loncon, which was a very successful (most?) event was 10,833 members. They had about 3500 ballots cast.

If we suppose that this isn't a tiny slice of fandom, it means that fandom is actually very small. If all of fandom was 100,000 people, it would mean Loncon assembled 10% of them. Since other Con's that have overlap have in the range of 100,000 in attendance, I would have to imagine that all of fandom is larger than 100,000 by a lot. Even if we assume that fandom is that small (100k people), Worldcon only represents 10% of fandom. If fandom is 1000k people, it's 1% of fandom. A tiny slice of the public are fans, a tiny slice of fans go to Worldconn, a tiny slice of fans vote for the Hugo's.

You said it's demonstrable false, can you demonstrate?

As far as paragraph #1, even here which people who post here have a high opinion of, are oddly vague a lot of the time. A good example, take what TNH wrote up a bunch:

"From the time that post went up until the ballot was officially announced, I went out of my way to avoid being exposed to certain specific pieces of insider information. It wouldn't have been enough to not write about that info. If I'd known it at all, it could have affected my background assumptions and overall take on the situation, and some readers might have been able to spot that."

This is in the realm when Brad or Larry posts about unnamed grievances and unspoke insiders. TNH didn't name what the information was, or who said, or what it was about. Her claim is vague and illusory. It doesn't mean it's wrong or wrongly written. Most people - whether scared or afraid or lying - are just vague because they don't want to be more specific.

#165 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:39 PM:

Guess @162:
A nit, but I'm gonna pick it, because it makes my brain itch.

I didn't point the finger at the Haydens.

The surname is Nielsen Hayden. It's an unhyphenated double-barreled name.

It's not an uncommon mistake to make; it's all over the web right now. But if there's anyplace to get it right, surely it's on nielsenhayden.com.

generally:
Let's strive, in this conversation, to read generously and write carefully. I think we're doing pretty well, but these are the times when mindfulness and clarity are better than brevity and wit.

#166 ::: Will McLean ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:43 PM:

@151:

I'm guessing the gossip originated with the nominees. And it needn't be that they gossiped about the specific identity of the nominees. Enough hints from different sources would have allowed someone to triangulate on the truth.

#167 ::: Jane Berry ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:46 PM:

Can someone share what happened in 1977 such that there was No Award in Best Dramatic Presentation? I can't find the backstory.

(If this is too far afield from the topic and needs to be deleted/ignored, I understand.)

#168 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:49 PM:

When nominees withdraw at this stage in the process, what happens to the ballot? Are the spaces left empty? Are runners-up shuffled up into the vacated spaces?

#169 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:57 PM:

168
It's fairly easy to deal with right now: the final ballots haven't gone out yet.

#170 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 04:58 PM:

Laertes @168: I'm curious about that, too. When two nominees were determined to be ineligible, runners-up shuffled into the vacated spaces. It seems reasonable to me that that would happen here until the voting opens, but I could be wrong.

#171 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:05 PM:

Brad @26 - The Sasquan membership lists are open (though a few days out of date, which is actually quite useful this time.) Recent previous Worldcon membership lists are mostly open (LonCon provides a search function, though I don't see a "show all".) It wouldn't be too hard to sort the new supporting members to see how many of them are recently known names or not (though that's not either a strict lower bound on the number of new puppies nor a very close upper bound, since lots of long-time fans didn't necessarily attend the last two or three Worldcons.)

#172 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:07 PM:

I suspect John Lorentz is tearing his hair out about now over what to do. AFAIK, no one's withdrawn after the final ballot was announced. The Constitution doesn't cover this specific situation so it's up to the Hugo Administrator.

John, have a drink!

(At this rate they won't be able to publish the final ballot until August....)

#173 ::: J.D. Rhoades ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:12 PM:

rcade @118: The only concrete complaint he has about the 2011 event is that he didn't win the Campbell.

I didn't win the Shamus I was nominated for at my first Bouchercon, and the blog I wrote for didn't get the Anthony it was nominated for, and I've met one or two world class douchebags at Thrillerfest (out of hundreds of truly lovely attendees), but so far I've managed not to go on a goddamn crusade against mystery fandom.

Actually, we ought to send Correia to Thrillerfest. He'd meet some folks who might make him feel better about himself.

#174 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:12 PM:

David H., #142: Do you mean this Ravencon? Because their website says the Author GoH is Allen Steele -- and their other guests include Frank Wu and Brianna Wu. I've known Allen for 40 years, and consider him a friend (though not a close friend at this point, due to distance and lack of regular contact); if you do go, you have my permission to name-drop me in connection with ApolloCon.

Annie, #145: I agree. I am extremely picky about what ribbons I will allow to be added to my badge, but some people just go around collecting them by the dozens. And at that point (IMO) they become useless for actually communicating anything besides "I like ribbons!"

Clarentine, #149: Well, I'd suggest filk-cons, but that would just be one more suggestion. :-)

Seriously, though, filk-cons do tend to be smaller than even the average local con, and the filk community is a relatively small pool in which most of the people do know each other. If you have any interest in filk, and especially if you already know some filkers, that might be a thing to consider.

rcade, #156: That was class -- both statements.

There was a link from Bellet's post to an online source for her story, and I read it. It's outstanding, and in a year untainted by puppy piss it would have been a strong candidate for the Hugo. One more thing to be angry with them about.

And there's already somebody in the comments on Kloos' post accusing him of cowardice. :-(

#175 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:13 PM:

I suspect John Lorentz is tearing his hair out about now over what to do. AFAIK, no one's withdrawn after the final ballot was announced. The Constitution doesn't cover this specific situation so it's up to the Hugo Administrator.

John, have a drink!

(At this rate they won't be able to publish the final ballot until August....)

#176 ::: Guess ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:13 PM:

Have Jim Butcher or Kevin J Anderson said anything about this? I think if they wanted a nomination so bad they could just post on their website and say I think this is my best book lets get me 1 hugo nomination. They haven't done that. I also think they are likely rather wealthy so the Hugo Award won't do much of anything for them financially. I would be curious if either drops out. I don't know if either of them are even really paying attention to this.

I can understand why a lesser known author would want to stay on in spite of the drama, it can help their career. This will have no impact whatsoever on Butcher or Anderson. I think if Butcher in particular drops out his fan base may get together to nominate him when his next book comes out completely separate from any slate.

#177 ::: Ian C. Racey ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:14 PM:

Jane Berry @167

My understanding (from comments in another post, I think) is that during the voting period in 1977, all the voters got to see Star Wars, next to which even the best science fiction films of 1976 paled by comparison.

#178 ::: ULTRAGOTHA Has Shamefully DoublePosted ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:15 PM:

Oh, kind moderators, can you please kill me once?

#179 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:24 PM:

176
Several authors have pointed out that it doesn't actually do much for your career.

#180 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:25 PM:

I have just written thank you notes to both Bellet and Kloos, and I will be buying one of their books now and giving them a chance. I'd never heard of either of them before the Sad Puppies thing, but I will be buying new, so they get the royalties, and also reading carefully with an eye to adding them to my list of regular authors.

Kevin, can we give them special awards for integrity?

#181 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:32 PM:

Alex R. @ 180: That is an excellent idea, in my opinion. (The buying books part, not the special award part, specifically.) They're both going to catch hell from the slaters (I gather it may have already started with Kloos); a few extra sales might help.

#182 ::: Ken Josenhans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:45 PM:

Jane Berry, #167, "No Award" in Dramatic Presentation, 1977:

I would say that this "No Award" was roundly earned by the motion picture industry of the day.

I only saw two of the nominated films myself. "The Man Who Fell To Earth" is the only movie I've ever attended where the theater management handed out papers explaining the movie at the end. Fans could probably figure it out, but the story was somewhat incoherent.

"Logan's Run" was just mind-bogglingly dumb. I had trouble accepting it when "Logan's Run" media fandom started up. :-)

I never saw it, but "Futureworld"'s reputation is not good. This sequel to "Westworld" rates 33% at Rotten Tomatoes, which shows objectively that it was inferior to most Hugo-winning dramas.

Can't speak to why fans rejected "Carrie," unless it was seen as horror rather than SF or fantasy.

#183 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 05:59 PM:

I think what happened in 1977 was that discerning voters realized all the movies were crap and sensibly voted No Award.

There are lots and LOTS of years where I just wished they'd done that in that category.

When I edited my Hugo posts on Tor.com into book form, I saw that I had wished they'd done that an embarrassing number of times, and edited myself to be less repetitive.

If you're interested in Hugo history trivia, you might want to look at my Hugo posts on Tor.com not so much because of anything I wrote as because of the awesome well informed comments -- which we are keeping in the book as much as possible.

http://www.tor.com/features/series/revisiting-the-hugos

Of course from my point of view this means I have devoted massively too much time to thinking about Hugos and Hugo history trivia and therefore am consequently disproportionately upset about All This. And it also means that at Reno, with its vile casino hotels, when some people were allegedly being mean to Mr Correira, everyone I knew kept telling me *they* liked the Dramatic Presentation category but they enjoyed my posts anyway.

#184 ::: Ken Josenhans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 06:02 PM:

Wasting more pixels on "Dramatic Presentation" & No Award (1971, 1977)

The period between "2001" and "Star Wars" was a dark time for science fiction & fantasy in TV and movies. (It was my adolescence, and as a SF junkie I tried to see most movies; I was off TV though.) There were a few little gems -- "Silent Running" and "Dark Star" come to mind. But many SF dramas which make people say "meh" in the 2010s would have been praised to the heavens in the early 1970s.

#185 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 06:12 PM:

dh @164: Hello, dh. Trying to put together a case?

This is in the realm when Brad or Larry posts about unnamed grievances and unspoke insiders.
I must disagree. When I've seen Torgesen and/or Correia write about unspecified grievances and unidentified insiders, they were either lying like there was no tomorrow, or they were exercising their well-cultivated sense of injury and resentment. If it became necessary for them to fill in the missing names and incidents, they wouldn't be able to do it, because they don't know that information. They just draw conclusions from it.
TNH didn't name what the information was, or who said, or what it was about.
Correct. I did not. There was no deceit or misrepresentation involved. The exact nature of the information was not necessary for the point I was making, so I left it out. I described it in a way that made it clear that I was leaving things out. If there were some genuine need for those missing specifics, I could and would have furnished them.
Her claim is vague and illusory.
This is where you go over the line. You have no grounds for saying it's illusory. All you know is that I didn't tell it to you. Also, recall that my point was that I avoided the information. I had (and have) nothing further to prove with or about it.
It doesn't mean it's wrong or wrongly written.
Thank you. That's correct.
Most people - whether scared or afraid or lying -
Or in control of their prose and their information, and making deliberate judgements about both; but certainly not being scared or afraid or lying.
are just vague because they don't want to be more specific.
Most people who write vague prose don't have much choice about it. Writers for whom clarity is an option may or may not exercise it; but in an extended argument, its presence and absence will eventually form patterns.

In my case, I hope the patterns say that (1.) I am telling the truth; and (2.) I know how to make words do as they're told.

#186 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 06:24 PM:

Jo, I loved your Hugo reviews when they were getting posted, and it's fun to read them again. I'm also recommending them to friends wanting context on the current gerfuffle on the grounds that you are a great native guide. :)

#187 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 06:51 PM:

Jo@183:Hopefully in the fullness of time (>10 years ?) we can all look back on this through a nice series of posts and see that it was a brief unfortunate interregnum that is all comfortably done.
There should be lots of things that should have been nominated.

#188 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 06:57 PM:

I went to see Star Wars because my friends were going. I had no expectation that it would be any good.

#189 ::: Jane Berry ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:06 PM:

Ian C. Racey @177: Sounds like an excellent usage for No Award.

Ken Josenhans @182, 184: I recently saw The Man Who Fell to Earth for the first time. I had to have a plot guide open on the laptop in front of me to follow it. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.

Jo Walton @183: Thank you for the pointer to your Hugo series. I’ve been reading and writing SFF since the early 80s, but only recently discovered that there’s an immense community of people connecting over their love of these genres. A collection of posts like this is invaluable for learning some of the history that I’ve missed.

Apropos of unwelcoming cons, at my first political convention, I was denounced and my firing called for by a small-but-vocal group of bloggers in front of a brunch for 200. You’d better believe that felt awful. Welcome to life, where not everyone likes you for reasons that aren’t always fair.

#190 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:11 PM:

188
I went with friends on (IIRC) the Monday after it opened. (Opening day was sold out: my physics teacher told me that.) We'd heard it was good, but it still blew us away.

#191 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:13 PM:

TNH- sort of. I am trying to find the line between a remark and an accusation. The first is of a type of statement that you made which is vague and unable to be corroborated by both circumstance and intent. The second hvng shdwy cnnttn whch s slly cvr fr flt l r prpsfl vsn f th whl trth.

I think there is - related to a prior post here - some case to be investigated about information making it into articles that would logically either have to be unsourced (not out of the question), leaked by Worldcon either officially or unofficially, or leaked by insiders.

I have no idea about the nature of Larry or Brads claims of insider cabals except to note they are written about vaguely and with no real detail. But of all their claims this is the one with the most compelling circumstance to me. For one because we have another person in the business mentioning that she had to actively avoid being leaked to. Secondly because there is a recurring pattern of at least two years.

s y pntd t llsry s nt th rght wrd. Y ldd th dtls bcs t wsn't th prps. T my rdng th nd rslt ws smlr - nn spcfc clms f ntwrk f nsdrs wh hv nfrmtn tht s rprtd t b ndr mbrg.

cn't sy f yr sppstn tht Brd nd Lrry r lyng s tr. Hwvr t my y w hv cnflnc f thr rmrks r ccstns tht tnd t spprt thr r ppl t thr wh r n pssssn f nfrmtn nd tht thy r bl t gt t t jrnlsts n crdntd wy. Th prvsly pstd blg bt 2014 rls t th nncnt bv brd mbrg rls f nfrmtn s n sch rtcl ws pblshd bfr th dt ws rlsd by th ffcl rgnzr.

Thr r mny thr wys ths nfrmtn gts t tht dsprv th clm f cbl rchstrtng gnst dsfvrd thrs.


#192 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:15 PM:

I'd just turned seven when it came out. I expect I probably liked it? I don't really remember. Oddly, the thing I clearly remember was the newspaper ads for the show. Specifically, I remember thinking Darth Vader's helmet was a building. I was vaguely disappointed when it turned out to contain only some dude's head and not a secret lair.

#193 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:20 PM:

However to my eye we have a confluence of either remarks or accusations that tend to support there are people out there who are in possession of information and that they are able to get it to journalists in a coordinated way.

Extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary proof. All it takes, really, is one nominee talking to one friend or family member who talks to someone they know.

#194 ::: Jane Berry ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:25 PM:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden @188: My grandmother brought me to see Star Wars, back when she and I had Saturday dates. It might have been the first film I saw in a theater. The adjacent mall was simply a hallway with a JC Penney’s at the other end. I remember coming out of the movie and being completely disoriented and exhilarated. I wanted to live in a universe where amazing space adventures were actually possible. I walked on air for days. It took a long time for another film to grab me like that.

#195 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:29 PM:

Laertes @ #192: Specifically, I remember thinking Darth Vader's helmet was a building. I was vaguely disappointed when it turned out to contain only some dude's head and not a secret lair.

Don't worry, the Legion of Doom later repurposed the design as their swamp-based headquarters.

#196 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 07:48 PM:

ULTRAGOTHA @172 re post-announcement nomination withdrawals.

I was saying to my gf last night that a factor to take into account for a nominee considering withdrawing at this stage was concern for making the administrator's job even more difficult. Now that at a decision has to be made anyway, there may be other nominees dropping out.

If nominees are 'moved up the list' at this point (by no means a given), how long before we hit the 5% rule in various categories?

#197 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:00 PM:

I don't have time to mount a defense, but I saw The Man Who Fell To Earth recently and liked it a lot. I didn't have any trouble following the story, but I read the book thirty-odd years ago, so I didn't go in cold.

#198 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:15 PM:

I also just heard about Bellet and Kloos. I promptly bought Kloos's book on Amazon. Bellet's nominated story isn't available on Amazon as far as I can tell so I bought a couple of books from the beginning of one of her series.

If I like their work, I'll buy more of it.

#199 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:18 PM:

Re Star Wars, it came out just as I was graduating from college. For a solid 6 months, every time a guy asked me for a date, I said, "Let's go see Star Wars!" I know there are a lot of people who saw it way more times than I did, but you have to remember that I am not and never have been much of a movie person. For me to see the same movie, in the theater, 10 times (because I know it was at least that many), argues strongly for the movie itself being exceptional.

#200 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:23 PM:

In #160, Em writes:

Next worldcon I go to, if finances permit, I want to have an "I gave Em a ribbon!" ribbon to give to people who gave me ribbons, in order to encourage ribbon-giving.

I like this idea. But I was once at a convention where ribbon-giving nearly wore me out.

In 2007 I was Fan Guest of Honor at the thirty-third Confusion, Moonbase Confusion, in Troy, Michigan. We guests were each given 100 ribbons to hand out to fans: I MET ELIZABETH MOON, I MET P.Z. MEYERS, I MET HOWARD WALDROP, and so forth. My ribbons read I MET BILL HIGGINS. I recall that they were red.

Near the beginning of the con-- maybe right after Opening Ceremonies-- I started to give these out. I hit on the idea of altering them. Somebody hugged me. I pulled out a Sharpie (I usually carry a Sharpie, don't you?) and crossed out MET and wrote in HUGGED. Now the ribbon wrote I HUGGED BILL HIGGINS. More people wanted ribbons. I crossed out more METs and wrote in FED or AMUSED or whatever.

My wife insisted, rightfully, on a ribbon that read I MARRIED BILL HIGGINS.

Soon this became rather challenging. I didn't want to repeat. I can think of a dozen or maybe two dozen transitive verbs. There were a hundred ribbons. I began asking people to suggest their own verb. I recall a kid of about 11 who wanted I KILLED BILL HIGGINS. Fine with me. Nobody had taken KILLED yet.

As the weekend wore on, I found myself asking, "What's your favorite transitive verb?" Most people have to think a while about the best answer to that. And if it was a verb I'd already handed out, I might have to reject their suggestion.

Fairly often, I would have to explain what a transitive verb is. Because that might not be knowledge you'd have retained, or had much use for, beyond a test you took one week back in grammar school.

At last, I reached the end of my ribbon supply. I don't think I repeated any of the verbs.

Should we encounter one another, I would enjoy receiving an I GAVE EM A RIBBON ribbon. But I am done with transitive verbs.

I do have some GENERAL TECHNICS ribbons I carry around for GT members.

I also have a generous remaining supply from that time, a couple of Musecons ago, where Todd Johnson and I spent an hour reviewing an 1820 book of science demonstrations, construction projects, parlor tricks, and magic called Endless Amusement, A Collection Of Nearly 400 Entertaining Experiments in Various Branches of Science, Including Acoustics, Arithmetic, Chemistry, Electricity, Hydraulics, Hydrostatics, Magnetism, Mechanics, Optics, Wonders of the Air Pump, All the Popular Tricks and Changes of the Cards, &c., &c., &c. To Which Is Added, a Complete System of Pyrotechny; or the Art of making Fireworks. The Whole so clearly explained as to be within the reach of the most limited Capacity. Second Edition, with Considerable Alterations and Improvements.

We gave the ribbons out to people who attended the panel. They read, perhaps cryptically, ENDLESS AMUSEMENT SINCE 1820.

#201 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:23 PM:

#191 dh

I'm trying to unpack the content of your post #191.

The confluence of "let's have Easter Conventions on Saturday be a Big Coordinated announcement of Hugo Finalists" and the Puppies' blocboard nominations voting comed with advance notification of Media Outlets and whoever the Finalists were who jumped the gun on announcing their status (I don't know who he/she/they were, only that it happened--ony that I don;t remember that happening before...) have only made the current Plunge All Fandom Into War situation messier.. ..

#202 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:27 PM:

Errolwi @196

For short story it may not take much. Last year only four made it to the ballot due to a long tail.

For novel, we've probably got room.

I do not envy the Administrators right now. They need to make really hard decisions about what to do for the good of the Hugos in the future and this year. I may hunt down Lorentz and co at Sasquan and buy them a drink.

#203 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:30 PM:

203
All you really need to do is grow up in an area where half the jobs are classified. (I was in my 30s before I discovered that in other places kids really did talk about what their fathers did.)

#204 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:33 PM:

Cat, Annie Bellet's story is here.

#205 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:50 PM:

The thing is, Annie Bellet is a good, serviceable writer, working in the urban fantasy area (at least that's all I've read of hers). But there's nothing to set her apart. Hell, Ilona Andrews or Patty Briggs would both belong on the Hugo ballot before her, but you don't see them there, nor do you see complaining. Not that Annie complained, but the Dogs as a whole. The same thing can be said for Kloos. It's serviceable. But see...I think Hugos are /supposed/ to be reserved for something a bit beyond serviceable.

Nonetheless, they both deserve respect for recognizing the situation and withdrawing.

#206 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 08:59 PM:

Another here who saw The Man Who Fell to Earth and was baffled by it. The films I've seen by Roeg were all a bit elliptical in places--near the beginning of Don't Look Now, towards the end of Walkabout--but after I watched The Man Who Fell to Earth I felt like I needed to go find someone very smart to explain it to me.

dh @ 191 I can't say if your supposition that Brad and Larry are lying is true. However to my eye we have a confluence of either remarks or accusations that tend to support there are people out there who are in possession of information and that they are able to get it to journalists in a coordinated way.

That's not how I see it. To me it tends to support that some people love to gossip, including about information they shouldn't be sharing; this is perfectly in line with what Teresa said and has also been my experience everywhere I've worked. I have on more than one occasion (because, I suppose, I'm slow to learn) shared something with someone in confidence and then been dismayed/embarrassed/annoyed to find some time later that the knowledge was widespread throughout a particular department and even in pockets outside it. I'm guessing this hasn't happened to you, but in any case I'm not seeing a need for people to coordinate effort to get privileged information to the press. One person is quite capable of it on his or her own.

#207 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:06 PM:

dh @ 203: Ah, sorry. I wrote and rewrote that enough that I didn't see your comment before I posted mine.

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey @ 200: As the weekend wore on, I found myself asking, "What's your favorite transitive verb?"

Defenestrate. No contest.

#208 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:12 PM:

Jck jhn - thr s n prctcbl wy t rlly knw. t's prtty wll cknwldgd tht thr r nsdrs. t's gttn t fw yrs n rw nd strs tht r ds fvrbly frmd bt Brd nd Lrry hv bn rlsd dys hd f tm.

Ths s th strngst vdnc tht s dtld ngh t b sggstv f wht brd nd Lrry clm.

#209 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:13 PM:

dh @191: It is true that there are people who know who the Hugo nominees (and winners) are before the announcements are made. Someone has to write the announcements and contact the nominees to make sure they're willing to accept the nomination. This does not happen in the background.

It is also true that this year, for the first time in my experience, several nominees (including old-time-fan Steve Stiles) did not keep the embargo on the information that they had been nominated.

How strict is that embargo, generally? I can only say that as the Chair of ConJose, I heard about neither the nominations nor the winners before they were announced. When I got to be an usher for the 1993 Hugos, I was handling the novel winner; and I found out it was a tie while we were preparing the ceremony. I didn't find out who had tied until I had the rockets in hand, during the presentation -- but I did manage to work out a way to keep it a secret that it was a tie until the envelope was opened. So the number of people who know is actually much smaller than some people think. And the information that Teresa was using was public information. It's not underground stuff.

And as a reporter, you should know that there are often reasons why people know things that are not the result of conspiracies.

#210 ::: Cat Valente ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:13 PM:

@139: "between that story and the post where he regrets not punching Pratchett..."

I'm sorry, what??

#211 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:21 PM:

209
cites, or it's puppy propaganda.
Because, as someone who was directly involved, the security level in the committee is high. In 1984, the number of people who knew the nominees was somewhere in the range of two. Same for the winners.

(Your innuendo is very tiring, as well as very tired.)

#212 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:23 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz @123 et seq:

I've seen color-coded badges following the Autistic Self Advocacy Network's system in use at a convention of nearly 10,000. They were available on request at badge pick-up, and there were signs there and at various other places around the con explaining what those badges meant. They were used by a wide variety of attendees (not just the ones on the autistic spectrum who first suggested the idea), and from what I saw, worked fairly well.

#213 ::: between4walls ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:24 PM:

@211
Wright made a post about listening to Pratchett advocate assisted suicide and regretting that he didn't punch Pratchett.

#214 ::: tigtog ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:27 PM:

Chiming in on 2c on dh's supposition:

dh @ 191 I can't say if your supposition that Brad and Larry are lying is true. However to my eye we have a confluence of either remarks or accusations that tend to support there are people out there who are in possession of information and that they are able to get it to journalists in a coordinated way.

I'm with johnofjack #207 on this - some people just love to gossip when they shouldn't, and sometimes they forget to tell the people they're gossiping with that something is under a PR embargo. Given that people who write about books and/or organise conventions about books and/or edit and/or publish books tend to (a) often wear more than one of these hats and (b) have overlapping friendship circles, the problem is *stopping* gossip getting aroung to friends and friends of friends who happen to write about books for newspapers. (I myself, as a comedy blogger some years ago, inadvertently outed a personal development in a performer's life to national newspapers by including a cheery "Congratulations to X for Y!" in a weekly roundup, because the person who told me about Y had *not* told me that X was keeping it private.)

shorter tigtog: it would take a coordinated campaign to stop insider awards buzz reaching any journalist ever, it takes no collusion at all for awards buzz to reach the ears of a few.

As for that small part of one paragraph in that Damien Walter article is so *not* a hit piece on Correia. I like the description someone wrote upthread of how "aggrieved and indignant" appears to be Correia's default condition, at least on his blog. There was so much more there to be mined for a hit piece if a hit piece was wanted. Surely the Hugos Seekrit Kabal* could have arranged for a far more thorough hit piece with all their Evil Powers of Seekrit Kabal* Evilness.

* (TINSK)

#215 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:29 PM:

Cat Valente @211
Pratchett was talking about right to die, Wright was in the audience. He later wrote:

"I sat and listened to pure evil being uttered in charming accents accentuated by droll witticism, and I did not stand up, and I did not strike the old man who uttered them across the mouth: and when he departed, everyone stood and gave him an ovation, even though he had done nothing in his life aside from entertain their idle afternoons. Only I did not stand, being too sick at heart. I did nothing, I said nothing. Was this Christian humility on my part, or merely the cowardice of the silence good men which allows evil men to triumph?"

#216 ::: tigtog ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:36 PM:

dh #209, has anybody done the statistical analysis to discover whether there actually is an uptick in articles that are less than enthusiastic about Correia or Torgersen within days of award announcements? Because I'd rather like to see the methodology that accounts for the background noise of the general flow of articles that are less than enthusiastic about both/either.

It is well known that the human brain is so strongly attuned to pattern recognition that we often perceive patterns that are artefacts of our multitudes of cognitive biases rather than objectively there when statistically analysed. So I'd really love to see some numbers crunched here.

#217 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:36 PM:

216
Wright sounds like a thoroughly nasty piece of work. (He'd probably like the SF archbishop, who has made himself so unpopular that a number of local RCs bought a full page ad in the SF Chronicle asking for him to be replaced.)

#218 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:43 PM:

dh @ 209: This is the strongest evidence that is detailed enough to be suggestive of what brad and Larry claim.

Why would anyone conspire to discredit Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen when they're doing such a good job of it themselves?

#219 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:44 PM:

P J Evans @218: My first thought was "Oh man, who is the SF Archbishop? Made himself unpopular? Is that maybe some in-crowd nickname for Harlan Ellison that I never heard?"

#220 ::: Cat Valente ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:46 PM:

@214, @139

I just read it. I feel nauseous. And honestly near tears. Why? Just...why say such horrible things? Even if he is fueled only by faith, you would think compassion would come in somewhere.

I guess it's a sad fact that I've become accustomed to reading people expressing hateful homophobic and sexist ideas without much argument from anybody. They slide off me now, because it happens online constantly and I have to see it constantly. But to express such hatred and violence against a man because he wanted to die on his own terms...just...why?

I guess I can still be shocked.

#221 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 09:49 PM:

dh @209: Jack john - there is no practicable way to really know. It's pretty well acknowledged that there are insiders. It's gotten out a few years in a row and stories that are dis favorably framed about Brad and Larry have been released days ahead of time.

I mean, Correia and Torgersen were not doing their slate voting thing on the DL. They were shouting it from the rooftops. You didn't have to be paying very much attention to the SF world to hear about it before the ballots went out, or to decide that it meant something, or to write something about it.

Some of the conspiracy theories about so many negative articles appearing so soon after the ballot came out feel to me like they misunderstand the way that reportage works, based on my brief brush with it. I just read blogs and wrote about what I read, and any given piece took a couple hours -- it's not all years-long deep-cover investigative stuff, and it's not like writing five hundred or a thousand words on any arbitrary topic is at all hard, if that's your job.

If you factor in Scalzi's rant about why announcing the nominees on Easter Sunday means no media outlet will cover anything but the resulting backlash, it's even more explicable -- the media outlets had to publish something on Friday, and hey, here are these yahoos who got a little traction last year saying they're trying again, so we write about them. Then on Monday, holy cow, they got swept the nominations, and so we write about that.

This line of argument feeds more into the "the librul media conspires against conservatives" belief than it does any actual understanding of how media works.

#222 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:18 PM:

Puppy data analysis.

I like Venn diagrams & this one clearly shows RP was more effective. Corriea & Torgersen are not blameless, but IMO, the RP list of recommended works coupled with VD's statement (emphasis mine) did more damage than SP:

"They are my recommendations for the 2015 nominations, and I encourage those who value my opinion on matters related to science fiction and fantasy to nominate them precisely as they are."

#223 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:21 PM:

rochrist, #206: Go read the story (link @205). I wouldn't call it urban fantasy at all, and under other circumstances I'd have considered it a very strong contender.

dh, #209: But you haven't provided any evidence. You just keep repeating that OF COURSE there must be evidence, there must be a conspiracy. Did you see my comment upthread about the First Rule of Conspiracy Theory? You're illustrating it nicely here.

#224 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:33 PM:

Cat Valente @ 221... Wright and the others may have succeeded in raising their profiles, but, if they hoped to see their sales increase, they may find themselves sorely disappointed. Now where did I put my tiny violin?

#225 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:37 PM:

223
I think he's reading things into the data that the data don't support.

#226 ::: tigtog ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:40 PM:

Soon Lee #223, seems to me VD/TB cynically used the SP proponents as a moderately plausible cover for his RP slate which was all about getting publicity and nominations for his shiny new publishing house. Since VD/TB's persona is already such a caricature of the monologuing supervillain that is almost impossible for most people to believe he's for-realz (and it doesn't take much investigation to conclude that he's beyond reasoning on this and any other of his talking points), I bet he's knowingly set Torgersen and Correia up to wear most of the opprobrium, because they occasionally show flashes of genuine emotion that makes people believe they might be persuadable, so they keep getting hammered away at.

VD/TB is laughing at everybody he's managed to upset in the world of SF, very much including Correia and Torgersen for falling for his con, and it's all just part of the ongoing WorldNetDaily culture war burn-it-all-down mindset that is his family tradition. He's a truly contemptible gobshite.

#227 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:54 PM:

P J Evans #226:

He himself agrees that he may have concluded too much from the data in the comments but I don't think the Venn diagram is contentious. I found it interesting because he is a SP supporter & the comments are relatively civil.

tigtog #227:
The way events have played out are not inconsistent with that theory. I wonder how much of this Correia & Torgersen anticipated?

Regardless, what happens next? I did nominate so feel like I have a stake in this, but I have not yet decided if I'll be getting a Supporting Membership this year.

#228 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:58 PM:

It wasn't the Venn diagram, it was the Goodreads data. I don't think the variation is statistically significant.

#229 ::: cheem ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 10:58 PM:

@206, taste is subjective and just because you dislike Bellet's writing style doesn't mean that she is unworthy of a Hugo. That line of thinking regarding stories like If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love is part of why there is a Sad Puppy slate in the first place. Me, I've never heard of Bellet before and I do like the short story that she wrote.

Not every literary writer needs to have sparkling, poetic writing... Stephen King's prose is best described as workmanlike and yet, he's written stories that totally kept me and many others up at night in spite of (or maybe because) of how plain and unornamented his writing is.

#230 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:03 PM:

dh @191:

I am trying to find the line between a remark and an accusation. The first is of a type of statement that you made which is vague and unable to be corroborated by both circumstance and intent. The second hvng shdwy cnnttn whch s slly cvr fr flt l r prpsfl vsn f th whl trth.
If you want to discuss this, please quote the passages in question.
I think there is - related to a prior post here - some case to be investigated about information making it into articles that would logically either have to be unsourced (not out of the question), leaked by Worldcon either officially or unofficially, or leaked by insiders.
I don't see what kind of logic can possibly be telling you that. To start with, there are no "insiders," and pure logic can't conjure them into existence. There is a Hugo subcommittee, but they haven't been leaking.

I think I've explained three times already how this works, but apparently it hasn't stuck. Once more into the breach:

The Hugo subcommittee consists of the Hugo administrators, plus howevermany minions are helping them out. They don't leak.

The first point at which information escapes the Hugo subcommittee's gravity well is when they're firming up the final short list of nominees. At that time, they contact the nominees to tell them they're on the ballot, and ask whether that's okay. This information is supposed to stay quiet.

There's a time gap between the notifications and the formal announcement. If during this period enough nominees compare notes, they may be able to reconstruct parts of the ballot. I believe that's what happened this year; and indications are that the primary place it happened was in Sad/Rabid puppy forums.

You must have missed the part where some of their ringleaders were openly boasting about knowing what was on the ballot a week or so before the formal announcement.

Meanwhile, if a bit more tardily, some pros and perennial worldcon attendees were starting to notice that they were hearing no gossip about who'd made this year's ballot. They started checking around. (You can do that without breaking the rules, btw. What you do is volunteer that you're not on the ballot this year, and wait for others to chime in.)

Word started spreading that almost none of the expected nominees were on the ballot. Word likewise spread about the puppy leaks, which by then were more like a spring flood than a leak.

It was around this time that I put up my first post about this year's Hugos, and started actively avoiding Hugo news spoilers. I could recognize the sound of a major storm coming, and I didn't want to compromise my abiity to talk about it.

===

Next time, ask how things work before deciding there must be an evil conspiracy.

I have no idea about the nature of Larry or Brads claims of insider cabals --
But I do know. If you're talking about Hugo voting, the cabals they've been writing about don't exist. They've never existed.
-- except to note they are written about vaguely and with no real detail.
That's because Correia and Torgersen are making it up. It's pure fiction, and they're not doing a very good job of writing it.
But of all their claims this is the one with the most compelling circumstance to me. For one because we have another person in the business mentioning that she had to actively avoid being leaked to.
Enough. You are over the line, decisively and with both feet.

Is that your idea of operating in good faith? Have your really been sitting in on our conversations this entire time, pretending to talk, but really just waiting for something to come along that can be misread and misrepresented as a confirmation of Torgesen, Correia, and Beale's blatantly dishonest claims? And do you think that if I were actually confirming the existence of conspiracies that I know don't exist, and that I've been denying the existence of all along, I wouldn't notice I was doing it?

We thought you were worth talking to. What an enormous disappointment you are.

Secondly because there is a recurring pattern of at least two years.
There are no insiders. You have found no evidence. The case you were trying to put together turned out to not exist, so now you're just lying and saying that it does.

I don't know what audience you think you're playing to. What I do know is that you think the people in that audience are stupid. I feel sorry for any of them who've put their trust in you.

Torgesen, Correia, and Beale's claims have been bullsh*t all along. They aren't leading a crusade; they're staging a temper tantrum. They added other authors to their slate to camouflage the fact that this is centrally about them and their books.

The only "recurring pattern" of these last two years is the puppy faction dishonestly trying to rig the Hugos because it's the only way they can "win" that game. They want to blame their award-free careers on nonexistent shadowy cabals, because they don't want to admit it's the man-in-the-street Hugo voter who doesn't care for their work.

I repeat: No one is out to get Correia, Torgersen, Beale, et al., and no one has mistreated them. The Hugo voters just don't think their books are all that great.

Drop by your locker and collect your stuff on your way out.

s y pntd t llsry s nt th rght wrd. Y ldd th dtls bcs t wsn't th prps. T my rdng th nd rslt ws smlr - nn spcfc clms f ntwrk f nsdrs wh hv nfrmtn tht s rprtd t b ndr mbrg.

cn't sy f yr sppstn tht Brd nd Lrry r lyng s tr. Hwvr t my y w hv cnflnc f thr rmrks r ccstns tht tnd t spprt thr r ppl t thr wh r n pssssn f nfrmtn nd tht thy r bl t gt t t jrnlsts n crdntd wy. Th prvsly pstd blg bt 2014 rls t th nncnt bv brd mbrg rls f nfrmtn s n sch rtcl ws pblshd bfr th dt ws rlsd by th ffcl rgnzr.

Thr r mny thr wys ths nfrmtn gts t tht dsprv th clm f cbl rchstrtng gnst dsfvrd thrs.

#231 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:10 PM:

cheem @230:

Leaping to conclusions, aren't we? Nowhere does rochrist say that zie dislikes Bellet's work, it simply states that rochrist find's Kloos and Bellet's styles "serviceable."

Perhaps that's damning with faint praise -- but I saw it as a statement of one person's perception of the work at hand, not a criticism but a comment.

#232 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:19 PM:

230
Thank you for untrashing the place!

Now the comment number references don't refer, but I thought I was smelling doghair on that one from its first appearance.

#233 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:27 PM:

Cheem, it's not an either-or proposition. I like all kinds of writing. Many readers do. Culture wars are not our thing.

Does anyone here actually believe that Poul Anderson wrote for the reader's beer money? I know he said so, but authors say a lot of things. Look at his work instead.

Or look at Vernor Vinge. He started out as a writer with great ideas and serviceable prose. He's gotten better with each book, and the field has taken notice.

Marko Kloos is a talented and readable writer, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit to see his work on the ballot one of these years. I honor him for withdrawing this year. That can't have been easy. I hope people will consider buying a copy of his formerly nominated work.

#234 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:31 PM:

P J Evans, you have, as ever, a good ear and an excellent nose.

#235 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:40 PM:

TNH--

m cnfsd t wht y bjct t y. n ths thrd, y wrt:

"Frm th tm tht pst wnt p ntl th bllt ws ffclly nnncd, wnt t f my wy t vd bng xpsd t crtn spcfc pcs f nsdr nfrmtn." -TNH, #20

Ths stblshs n yr wn wrds tht bfr th rslts wr rlsd:

1. Thr ws nsdr nfrmtn, nd thrfr, nsdrs.
2. Y hd t vd bng md prvy t t by wld-b lkr.

Rght?

"Y mst hv mssd th prt whr sm f thr rngldrs wr pnly bstng bt knwng wht ws n th bllt wk r s bfr th frml nnncmnt."

ddn't mss t, t's jst nt rlvnt. Brd Trgrsn wrt:

. Nr s cn tll, sbll ws spn-fd sm lnks nd vry rshd nd slppy nrrtv bt Sd Ppps 3 bng rcst nd wmn-htng, nd sh pstd ll f ths wtht stppng t cnsdr whthr r nt nythng sh ws dssmntng nt th wdr wrld ws tr, nd ccrt. - BT, 04/07/15

Lrry Crr wrt:

ky. Thn dn’t ccpt r vrsn. G rd rprtr Dmn Wltr’s ccnt n th Grdn bt my sxst hmphbc cmpgn t stl th Hgs lst yr. (by th wy, hw dd h knw bt my nmntn bfr t ws nnncd?) r g rd hs ccnt n th Grdn whr h lbld Tn Wsskpf. r g rd ntrtnmnt Wkly, th Tlgrph, Sln, Slt r th mny thr plcs whr ’m rcst wht gy frm rlr ths wk. - Lrry Crr, lk tn tms t GRRM.

thnk f ll th rmrks r ccstns tht Brd nd Lrry hv sd r md, ths s th n wth th mst cnflnc nd th n tht cld b tr.

W hv lst yr, Dmn Wltr wh pprntly wrks fr th Grdn, wh pblshd th nmntn bfr t ws rlsd by Wrldcn rgnzrs (pr th md, h ws nt prvdd mbrgd nfrmtn, nd hs rtcl ws pblshd bfr th mbrg).

W hv ths yr, svrl nw srcs, bt mst qckly, ntrtnmnt Wkly, pblshng nws rtcl shrtly ftr th nmntns wr rlsd, tht th Ppps dd nt lk.

nd w hv TNH, n ths thrd syng, ys, thr ws nsdr nfrmtn, nd sh hd t ctvly vd t. Nw, y ddn't sw wht t ws tht y hd t vd lrnng, s tht's fn. nd t's nt tht mprtnt whr t wld hv cm frm, bt snc y mntnd t ws frm th tm th bllt ws fnlzd, nd w knw frm lst yr tht th nfrmtn s nt rlsd t md ntl nly fw dys bfr t's rls, tht sms t lmnt th lk cmng frm Wrldcn thrgh ffcl chnnls.

TNH, y hv jst sd:

t ws rnd ths tm tht pt p my frst pst bt ths yr's Hgs, nd strtd ctvly vdng Hg nws splrs. cld rcgnz th snd f mjr strm cmng, nd ddn't wnt t cmprms my bty t tlk bt t.

m nt prpsng r syng r hntng tht y hd nsdr nfrmtn. Y sd clrly y ddn't, tht yr pprhnsns wr nt bsd n nsdr nfrmtn. Y ls hv sd y crflly cnstrctd th wrds t mk thm mn wht y wnt. Tht's prbbly t clvr fr m t npck.

Thr r n nsdrs. Y hv fnd n vdnc. Th cs y wr tryng t pt tgthr trnd t t nt xst, s nw y'r jst lyng nd syng tht t ds.

Ths sttmnt cntrdcts yr wn crflly cnstrctd wrds n ths vry pg. Thr r fw pssblts:

1. Th nsdr nfrmtn y vdd, nd crflly cnstrctd sntnc t mn wht y wntd th wrds t mn, ws frm th rng ldrs - Crr, Trgrsn, r Bl. Thy thn lkd th nfrmtn t th md, nd r nw nhppy tht th md cvrg ws nfvrbl.

2. Th nsdr nfrmtn y vdd, nd crflly cnstrctd sntnc t mn wht y wntd th wrds t mn, ws frm th rng ldrs thr sltd nmns. Ths ppl lkd t thrs, r drctly t th md, nd th rng ldrs r nw nhppy tht th md cvrg ws nfvrbl.

3. Th nsdr nfrmtn y vdd, nd crflly cnstrctd sntnc t mn wht y wntd th wrds t mn, ws frm th Wrldcn ffcl chnnls. Bsd n lst yrs md cntct, ths hppnd bt tw dys bfr th ffcl rls. S ths s pssbl fr ths yr, bt ws nt pssbl fr lst yr.

4. Sm s bv, bt nffcl lkd.

Nxt tm, sk hw thngs wrk bfr dcdng thr mst b n vl cnsprcy.

dsgr wth th llgtn tht m pssng cnsprcy thrs. dn't thnk n "vl cnsprcy" r ny cnsprcy s vn n th tbl. f ll th thngs thy'v cmplnd bt, th nly n tht s ntrstng t m hw s nfrmtn tht s sppsd t b prvt gttng t t th md bfr t s rlsd. s ntd bfr, thr r nt rlly ny plsbl xplntns tht r nt nncnt.

Y'v sd tht thr s n mstrtmnt, bt fndm, Hg vtrs, th md nd th wdr wrld r ll bggr thn wht y prsnlly knw.

#236 ::: Lee Whiteside ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:41 PM:

FYI, the original link to the Connie Willis statement was to David Gerrold's facebook page, where it is no longer posted now that I have it up on the official ConnieWillis.net blog at http://azsf.net/cwblog/

#237 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:43 PM:

235
I am looking forward to missing vowels in that wall-o-text.

#238 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:43 PM:

You guys are the best, but I've got some acts of corporeal charity to take care of before I crash for the night. I'll be shutting down comments in 5-10 minutes. See you tomorrow.

#239 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:44 PM:

tgtg--

s fr tht smll prt f n prgrph n tht Dmn Wltr rtcl s s *nt* ht pc n Crr. lk th dscrptn smn wrt pthrd f hw "ggrvd nd ndgnnt" pprs t b Crr's dflt cndtn, t lst n hs blg. Thr ws s mch mr thr t b mnd fr ht pc f ht pc ws wntd. Srly th Hgs Skrt Kbl* cld hv rrngd fr fr mr thrgh ht pc wth ll thr vl Pwrs f Skrt Kbl* vlnss.

hppn t gr wth tht. Th nly ntrstng thng bt th rtcl ws hw mch t ngrd Lrry nd th dt t ws pblshd. t ws wll bfr ny nfrmtn ws rlsd ndr mbrg.

#240 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:46 PM:

234
Flattery will get you nowhere, but I don't object.

(Having been reading SF for something upward of 50 years, and reading everything including the side of the cereal box for longer than that - I don't remember learning to read, and I have a book I was given when I was three) - I think I can read between lines halfway well.)

#241 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:47 PM:

PJ--

s ths brf ngh:

"Frm th tm tht pst wnt p ntl th bllt ws ffclly nnncd, wnt t f my wy t vd bng xpsd t crtn spcfc pcs f nsdr nfrmtn." -TNH, #20

"Thr r n nsdrs." -TNH, #230

#242 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:50 PM:

As someone who has never managed SMOFfishness, I want to make a couple of comments on the whole "insider" thing. First, it does seem to me that one often runs into a certain degree of "of course progressives such as myself are the only right-thinking people and those who are not are the spawn of the devil" interaction. Some of that is just the way the social wind blows these days, some of it is insularity, and some of it is the notoriously marginal social skills of a lot of fen. Be that as it may, it has nothing to do with what's going on in this struggle. As something of a "conservative" I rub up against the rightists and right libs a lot, and there's a huge difference between the way the progressives disdain them and the utterly lunatic way they return the favor. My experience of the right-wing world is that crazy conspiracy thinking and general credulity towards paranoid claims about the Progressive Enemy is now part and parcel of their intellectual milieu, if not a foundational principle. Look, I'm an Episcopalian in Maryland; I know what real SJWs look like because I'm surrounded by them at any church function larger than my own parish. What it doesn't look like is anything that goes on in fandom. And if you actually know what "socialism" means then you can see that pushing it isn't what SF is about. Indeed, non-space-opera stuff tends to be cautionary, fretting about corporatism AND government AND anarchism on top of that.

That's the two things it comes down to in the end. First, Beale and his ilk are simply not telling the truth about the field. And if I may be allowed some supposition I think he's fallen into the crack where telling whoppers about the enemy and believing crazy things about the enemy blur together and become one. At any rate actual reading without an axe to grind shows that there's no program to the field as a whole.

Second, even if Torgerson and Correia find the social climate hostile, that doesn't prove anything, and there's no integrity-of-storytelling obligation for it to change. If you can tell compelling right-wing stories, then you will acquire fans who will vote for you, and that's all there is to the whole thing. It doesn't take machinations for people to approve of something like (to take a far more out-there example than the typical Hugo winner of late) The Left Hand of Darkness; it just takes people reading it and being impressed by it. If you can't appreciate it because the gender issues offend your sensibilities, the "fault" is in you; it's not a conspiracy that lots of other people think otherwise, and it's only the fourth-rate and the politicians who fall for that kind of tripe.

#243 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:53 PM:

I also have to say that the whole "insider knowledge" thing comes off to me as a ridiculous side show. So what if someone let the cat out of the bag a little early? There no comparison between that (a pretty minor failure of integrity at worst) and the kind of campaign mounted by VD (and I agree with Connie Willis: their slate is cheating).

#244 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:56 PM:

241
Not evidence. Remember Patrick and Teresa are in the publishing industry, and specifically in SF/F publishing. Also remember they've been nominated more than once, and know what they can talk about.
(Tinfoil focuses some stuff. It isn't a good shielding material.)

#245 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2015, 11:57 PM:

C. Wingate @243: I agree entirely. The allegation even if true isn't shocking.

dh @241: I see the card you palmed there. In #20, "insider" meant "people involved in the vote-counting process." In #230, "insider" meant "people involved in a secret conspiracy to keep libertarian and conservative writers off the Hugo ballot."

There are places on the internet where you can get away with that kind of thing because your readers won't be aware that words can be used in different ways. This is an odd place to try such a stunt.

#246 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:02 AM:

dh @239
The only interesting thing about the article was how much it angered Larry and the date it was published. It was well before any information was released under embargo.

And what is the evidence that the author of the article knew who was a nominee (finalist, to be clear)? The article doesn't even mention the Hugos.

#247 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:05 AM:

rcade @73, quoting Larry Correia: “... I knew he had a lot of blog traffic. Not to mention one of my stated goals was to demonstrate that SJWs would have a massive freak out if somebody with the wrong politics got on. So on the slate it went. I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.”

I kind of want to just print that out and put it up on the wall so I can stand back and admire the sheer unbridled hubris of it.

I've seen multiple people now who express support for the SPs take as given that the reaction last year proved Correia's thesis. It's still depressing to live in a world where "believes other people are subhuman and therefore should be exterminated" can be glossed over as "the wrong political views," as though it were a thing on which reasonable people could disagree, but fundamentally the Hugos are about books, and if Vox Day wins a rocketship he will not be thereby empowered to act on his beliefs (and we may all thank our deities for that).

More relevantly, though, I think it's like saying, "I think that dinosaur authors are being unfairly shut out of the Hugo awards" -- in the context of an awards ballot which regularly includes diplodocuses and iguanadons and brontosaurs along with an increasing number of mammals---but diplodocuses and iguanadons and brontosaurs are not True Dinosaurs, apparently. And then the speaker goes and nominates a tyrannosaur, and claims that the negative reaction of the supposed anti-dinosaur cabal is verification that they would freak out if a dinosaur was nominated. To which any reasonable person would reply, no, we've been nominating dinosaurs all along, the problem with this one is that it eats people.

The Devil knows no political party, in other words.

#248 ::: dh ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:11 AM:

Lrts--

t's nt m wh s bsssd wth th rng ldrs clm f vst cnsprcy t kp ppl ff th bllt. ddn't vn mntn t, dn't fnd t tht ntrstng. Th Hg wrd vtng mmbrshp s tny slc, f tny slc f fndm, nd t's prtty clr t m tht tht bs ds nt lgn wth th fns f Crr, Trgnsn, r Bl.

TNH s th n wh grbls n tpc fr th thr.

#249 ::: Greg M. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:12 AM:

Count me as another one who bought a supporting Hugo membership for the first time to vote this year (and no slate nominees will be making my ballot, save that one I'm still keeping under consideration. Expect a lot of "No awards.")

Larry Correia's present-day description of his 2011 WorldCon experience sounds like my hellish seventh grade year.

You know what I've never done about my 7th grade year? Written a 2000-word piece, for free, about how awesome it was, with lots and lots of supporting details and photos, and posted it on a blog.

If I happened to be, for whatever bizarre reason, required to write about 7th grade in a non-negative way, I would write the absolute MINIMUM number of words necessary. Something like "Went back to 7th grade reunion. It was good to see X, Y, and Z again. Hung out mostly with A. Not much time to post due to impending paying work deadlines (you guys know how it is.)"

It would be that word length. No more. It would have that tone. Bland, polite, and restrained. Because I would not be able to bring myself to do any more than the bare minimum of free writing about something I disliked that intensely, particularly if I was lucky enough to have paid writing to do.

There is a scene in LOST, middle of season 2, [trying to keep this spoiler-free], in which Sayid confronts a character who has made up a very convincing story about the death of his [non-existent] wife. Sayid HAS actually had a woman he loves die (one of the reasons it's always resonated with me) and he says to this other character: "You would remember! You would remember how deep! You would remember every shovelful, every moment! You would remember what it felt like to place her body inside. You would remember if you buried the woman you loved!"

I do feel a little bit like Sayid right now.

#250 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:16 AM:

248
Yeah, right.
Tell it to the Marines; the sailors don't believe it.

#251 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:32 AM:

@223, Lee: Yes, that's definitely not urban fantasy. I'm not overwhelmed by it though. @229, Cheem: I must have missed the part where I wrote I disliked her writing. I actually have a couple of her urban fantasy books and like them well enough. But it takes more than just liking something for me to think it's worthy of a Hugo. It needs to be something extraordinary.

#252 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:42 AM:

Laertes, #245: Yes, I caught that bit of sleight-of-hand too. Once again, the First Rule of Conspiracy Theory in operation. Or else dh is really, really stupid and/or not on good terms with the Muse of Language.

#253 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:17 AM:

dh@248: there have always been more people who read and buy sf than nominate and vote on the Hugo award. The Hugo is intended to give recognition to the best work published in the past year, in the understanding of the members of the Worldcon. It is not intended to rubber stamp sales figures, or to be controlled by a small group voting a party slate.

#254 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:23 AM:

rochrist @251: That's one point on which my brain keeps stalling, too: I keep seeing people, mostly on the SP/RP side, erasing any middle ground between "didn't like it" and "Hugo-worthy". I read a lot of books in a year (at least by some standards: by ML ones I bet I'm middling) and I enjoy most of them. But most of those I enjoy are *not* Hugo-worthy.

A specific example, picked by looking randomly at my shelves until i spotted a book I know I bought last year (That wasn't the Goblin Emperor): I like Rick Riordan, and I have no doubt that if his books were marketed as adult urban fantasy, they'd have sales numbers the SPs would use to argue that Riordan is being unfairly shut out*. But, and this is important, enjoyable as his books are, that's ALL they are. Beach reading, as it were. The are not the Goblin Emperor level of quality. They're not even Goblet of Fire levels of enjoyable, and I thought Goblet of Fire was lightweight for a Hugo nominee.

* Considering my further example, obviously I know YA qualifies, but it draws less attention from Hugo nominators than adult SFF.

#255 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:25 AM:

dh@241: You are being over-precise and insisting that context does not affect meaning. In other words, no, that's not an argument.

#256 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:30 AM:

Lee@252: he did say English is his second language. He may also be using the over-precise thinking that comes from long use of computer "languages," where contextual meanings only occur in rigidly controlled ways.

As to another matter, I rather think that Correia is one of these people who has a volume control that slams between 1 and 11, and there is no 3, 5, or 7. So minor slights turn into major abuses. This is a personality that can make for energetic and interesting writers, but difficult people.

#257 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:43 AM:

dh @235:The references to Damien Walter lead to this piece. If you read it, you'll find no evidence in it that Walter knew about Correia's Hugo nomination. In fact, it barely mentions Correia at all. (I hear that some people are calling it a "hit piece" against Correia. I find that to be...a grave exaggeration.)

#258 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:46 AM:

Lenora Rose @254

There's also the "Hugo Worthy" and "didn't like", personally, Stross's Euqoid hit that for me. I am so not into gibbering lovecraftian horror, and it did that really well.


#259 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Not In The Fucking Mood ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:58 AM:

dh @235:

This establishes in your own words that before the results were released:
1. There was insider information, and therefore, insiders.

2. You had to avoid being made privy to it by a would-be leaker.
Right?

As Teresa has already stated several times, once the Hugo administrators start to notify the people on the shortlist—which they do in order to allow people to decline—then everyone in the situation has a single piece of binary information: are they or are they not nominees for a Hugo?

That’s not insider information, that’s something everyone knows.

There are then two interesting groups of people:
1. “Hey, cool, Hugo nomination!”: these people are, or should be under embargo to discuss it.
2. “Not this year, I guess.”: these people have no embargo.

It’s hard to do in the short story category, because the field is so large, but in the other categories, there are people who are seen as front-runners. Obviously, many of them will always end up in the second category, because there are only so many Hugos. But when people start to hear, or hear about, a lot of “darn it, not this year, oh, well” from all people whom they expected to win, it feels exactly like what Teresa says: distant thunder, and the smell of a coming storm.

(Note that these feelings are not always correct. There is a universe where a field of unexpected winners arises organically, and Teresa's post is a guess gone wrong when the list comes out. This is not that universe, as many people began to suspect when they popped by the blogs we all remember so well from last year. Shame. I would have loved to find a field of unexpected and delightful works. And I'm not alone in that.)

And there was at least one tweet from a nominee in the best related work category this year; I haven’t time to dig it up, but I’m sure someone can supply it.


We have last year, Damien Walter who apparently works for the Gaurdian, who published the nomination before it was released by Worldcon organizers (per the media, he was not provided embargoed information, and his article was published before the embargo).

I’ll let someone who actually knows what happened explain: Nick Whyte (Sorry for the troll traffic you’re going to get, Nick.)


We have this year, several new sources, but most quickly, Entertainment Weekly, publishing a news article shortly after the nominations were released, that the Puppies did not like.

Published after the release. Why are you even talking about it as part of an embargo? Because they wrote quickly? Surely that’s their job?


And we have TNH, in this thread saying, yes, there was insider information, and she had to actively avoid it.

No, that’s not what she said. She said:

Let me make this clear: my apprehensions are not based on insider information. I’m just correlating bits of gossip. It may help that I’ve been a member of the SF community for decades.

Saying something is not based on insider information does not say that there is insider information at all. It says that, whether or not there is said information is irrelevant to her apprehensions, because that’s not the source of them..


I am not proposing or saying or hinting that you had insider information.

Oh, bullshit. That’s been your entire thesis, from the first use of the word “lying” in comment 164.


I disagree with the allegation that I am passing conspiracy theories. I don't think an "evil conspiracy" or any conspiracy is even on the table. Of all the things they've complained about, the only one that is interesting to me how is information that is supposed to be private getting out to the media before it is released. I as noted before, there are not really any plausible explanations that are not innocent.

Excellent! Then the one that’s been provided will be a parting gift, because you're banned as a disingenuous waste of time. We kept you despite your previous misbehavior in the hopes that your good would outweigh your bad, but it was not to be.

I was going to respond to the rest of your comments on-thread, but when I went through them in detail they were pretty clumsy attempts at manipulation, and I have to go do other things.

(In light of which, and in light of the fact that you are an untruthful sockpuppet—I have evidence for both pieces of information —I’m going to close threads. Someone else will have to clean up the trash.)

#260 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:07 AM:

TNH #230, Idumea #259: Yay!

I do admire TNH's and Abi's tenacious and determined efforts to sift any potential value out of such dreck. And when their patience does snap, "hey, pretty mushroom clouds!", to steal a phrase. The blast force tells us just how much energy was bound up in their restraint. But I can't nearly match our mods' level of self-control, so I can only say "good riddance to the troll".

Personally, I think that such tolerance is something that our opponents here simply cannot understand or appreciate. AFAICT, they consider any ongoing engagement, with anybody, as "I still have a chance to win!". If this indicates a fault or limit of my own character, so be it.

#261 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:20 AM:

Re: Marko Kloos (@markokloos): "If there has ever been a day that called for a big slice of NY cheesecake and a double dram of Scotch on the side, today is it." https://twitter.com/markokloos/status/588501714279538688

Who is in charge of sending cheesecake and Scotch to Marko Kloos?

#262 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:29 AM:

There is a difference between SFF publishing insider information, that consists of knowlegable chatting with one's coworkers and friends, and Hugo Administration insider information, which I see zero evidence of.

Outside of finalists breaking the embargo all over the internet, that is.

Between paying attention to who is not under embargo and seeing who was braying to the skies they'd made it to the finals, no sekrit conspiracy is needed as an explanation. Sheesh.

#263 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:55 AM:

But without a conspiracy of *some* kind, the Puppies have no case.

They *must* find a conspiracy somewhere. Otherwise they are simply an organized cabal of political bullies trying to steal an election unjustly.

#264 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:08 AM:

Sadly it appears we will never have an explanation of why Guardian SF columnist Damien Walters wrote about the formerly obscure Larry Correia in the middle of a somewhat successful campaign* by the latter to both be nominated for, and draw attention to his views on, a prominent SF award**. It will remain a mystery why he should be brought up in an article while strenuously promoting himself and his opinions.

* It was called Sad Puppies 2. You may have heard of it.
** The Hugos. You may have heard of them.

#265 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:10 AM:

ULTRAGOTHA @262, I've heard that at least one, maybe more, finalist broke the embargo, but no details. Does anyone have any information about who did? Anyone have links? Elseweb, I'm running into "of course nobody would ever do that; instead it's a Great SJW Conspiracy..." so it would be nice to have a cite if one is available. Or a correction to my understanding, if nobody did break the embargo. Either way.

#266 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:20 AM:

It is my understanding that Michael Z. Williamson announced his nomination for best related work on his blog, at which point someone explained the embargo and he took the post down. See: http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/index.php

BT Schmidt announced his nomination at a local science fiction club meeting.

My working hypothesis, based on this information, is that whoever was informing the nominees did not explain the embargo clearly enough.

#267 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:33 AM:

Randolph @256:

He did say English is his second language.
Yes; but when he said it, he was lying.

Over-precision is not his problem.

#268 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:39 AM:

English is my second language too.
I first learned it from watching Bugs Bunny cartoons.
("That explains a few things.")
I heard that.

#269 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:40 AM:

TNH @ 267

I was coming to that conclusion, too. There were some oddities to his prose, but they were not those characteristic of someone who spoke Russian before speaking English.

#270 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:46 AM:

Sarah @266, thank you.

#271 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:08 AM:

258
My example for 'Hugo-worthy' and 'didn't like' is 'The Screwfly Solution'. Well-written, yes. Memorable, oh yes. Liking - not there.

#272 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:10 AM:

ULTRAGOTHA @262:

There is a difference between SFF publishing insider information, that consists of knowlegable chatting with one's coworkers and friends, and Hugo Administration insider information, which I see zero evidence of.
Yes, exactly. Most publishing insiders have a knowledgeable attendee's understanding of the worldcon and how it works. As a group, there's not much overlap with conrunners and worldcon mavens. They're not unfriendly; they just do different things at conventions.

dh may be trying to distance himself from the puppies now, but he shares a major characteristic with them: he's so busy imposing his preconceived narratives on the situation that he doesn't stop to find out how things actually work. That's why I lost my temper with him last night. It became obvious that his attention was so completely focused on finding something that he mistakenly thought matched his narrative that he couldn't hear anyone telling him that he'd gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick.

Someone like that doesn't listen. They just wait.

Outside of finalists breaking the embargo all over the internet, that is.
Which in fact they did, to an unprecedented degree.
Between paying attention to who is not under embargo and seeing who was braying to the skies they'd made it to the finals, no sekrit conspiracy is needed as an explanation. Sheesh.
Yup. There was nothing covert about it.

#273 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:23 AM:

P J Evans @271 - you reminded me of a comment by Leigh Brackett in her introduction to the Ballantine/Del Rey "Best of Edmond Hamilton". Commenting on one story, "The Man Who Returned", she wrote:-

Personally, I have always hated this story, and that's why I've included it. A story has to be good to rouse that much feeling in a reader.

Words to remember, when casting a Hugo vote, maybe?

#274 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:24 AM:

This morning, a friend on Facebook posted a link to the WB cartoon The Three Little Bops. I doubt he meant it as a comment on certain current events, but I was amused.

#275 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:30 AM:

I don't remember the name of the original Star Trek series episode in which there was some infectious madness disease spreading and the crew laughed it away....

Meanwhile, I wonder how many more writers I am going to be putting on my "exceeded my tolerance ideologically for me being willing to buy/read their commercial fiction, due to their lack of tolerance and their obnoxious gloating gratuitous nastiness in Puppygate" mental list.

So far there are three added this month....

I had not previously been aware of hatespeech page http://writeabsolutereviews.blogspot.com/2013/12/from-boing-boing-to-absolute-write-tale.html wich is living on what appears to be a hatespeech blog site. maing, how much effort people devote to hatemongering... My awraness came of it from http://madgeniusclub.com/2015/04/13/nostradumbass-and-madame-bugblatterfatski/ ...
Yuck.

Additional thought, as regards media coverage and the Puppy partisans' perceptions... they seem to fail to either have a clue or perhaps care, of the journalistic traditions of press coverage of the Worldcon and Hugos as "let's parade out picture of and deprecate the people in Weirdo Costumes!" One such reporter glommed onto can't think of his name who was wont to wear a Mad Hatter's hat at conventions, and started peppering him with dumbass questions about media SF the day after the Hugo Ceremonies, at the Winnipeg Worldcon. . Amy Thomson and I saw these and beelined over to try to effect a rescue. The reporter then brightly... asked question about forgiving some producer or director about a giant turkey film I'd said "Here's Amy Thomson, who just won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer last year," and the journalist was totally resistant to paying any attention to that, he wanted TV and media stuff. Amy blithely announced to that she neither went to movies nor had a TV set,

#276 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:46 AM:

As a newbie to fandom, the concept of "media cons" and "media SF" were maddeningly opaque to me. Those phrases still make me itch, because I've grown accustomed to them being used to sneer at me, my friends, and our interests.

I've often told the story of the first "Diversity in SF" panel that I attended, where a homogenous crowd of panelists talked about how they read SF books AND played tabletop RPGs, omg shock horror.

Since then, I've learned more about fandom history and met a lot of cool people, which has made things better, but... it would've been so easy to go home to my anime cons and not look back.

#277 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:47 AM:

Guess at @#162 I admire Harriet MacDougal (Rigney)'s editorial skills immensely, the more so for having seen her at work. But you won't get her a Hugo nomination -- she is not eligible. Eligibility is determined by the number of books an editor has had published in the award year, and Harriet is not working at that level any more. Such an award would have better come in the 70s, when she was doing extensive line-editing work on Andre Norton.

She's another of the invisible women who created science fiction as we know it today.

I'm hoping we can rely on the collective good sense of Fandom to get the Hugo awards right. And I'm pretty sure, after hearing from a lot of people, that the influx of new supporting members is people who want to do right by the Hugos.

#278 ::: Michael Froomkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:47 AM:

One more data point for those worrying about the influx of new supporting memberships:

After 42 years of reading the stuff in great quantity (starting with Tom Swift in 2nd grade), but no in-person contact with fandom, I bought my first sustaining membership last week to support the Hugos. I never thought of voting before because, while I felt able to vote for novels and capable of getting up to speed on shorter written works (which normally trickle down to me via anthologies some time after their Hugo-eligibility), I didn't have the slightest clue about almost any of the other categories. Who knew there was a packet? (When does it appear by the way?)

I understand the logic behind automatically putting anything infected with VD below No Award. Nevertheless, my plan is to read at least the start of everything I can and to hold it to a high standard. The other strategy just wouldn't feel right to me.

I'm particularly sorry that 'The Three Body Problem' isn't on the list, as that would have been my likely #1 this year.

#279 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:51 AM:

I'm trying to think of the Guillermo del Toro Hugo-winning film set in fascist Spain. It visually was gorgeous. It had plot, it had insight, it had characterization... and a friend said "I have now seen it. It deserves its awards. And I am never going to watch it again [due to the level of profoundly disturbing that it is, and the level of squick including the moral depravities of certain characters]."

I wonder what the Puppies think of it.... note also that del Torowas involved in Pacific Rim, a Gint Robot fights Giant Monsters moive, and ISTR Pacific Rim got on the final Hugo ballot--so much for "there is no fun stuff the Obnoxious Literati Groupies would ever consider nominating for a Hugo...." Oh, and how could the Obnoxious Lierati have possibly acceded to nomination of as Finalaist and voting to Winner, of Redshirts, by the Puppy-despised John Scazzi?

Ah, oxymoronicity, Redshirts as paean to funning Star Trek episodes (um, yeah, Shoreleave was s utterly Serious and Downbeat/Dystopic and... not) was something to despise because John Scalzi is the author, and couldn't possibly be thought deserving by the voters to have won, even though it did? ARRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

#280 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:52 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 275... "Amok Time"?

#281 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:53 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 275... "Pan's Labyrinth"

#282 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:59 AM:

Paula @275, Serge @280: "Day of the Dove," I expect. The Enterprise crew and a crew of Klingons (led by Kang, one of the three Klingons who return in Deep Space Nine) are being manipulated into fighting by an entity that feeds off of hatred; they drive it away by laughing and being friendly to one another.

#283 ::: inge ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:09 AM:

racde @79: Innocent gun-store-owning naif gets nominated for a Campbell and saunters on shaky Bambi legs into the Reno WorldCon, where he's turned into tender conservative venison and fed to a pack of ravenous liberal wolves.

I seem to remember reading that story (or one a lot like it) a few months ago. It did not end well for the fictional or the fictional squared author.

***

World Con:

LonCon3 was my first world con. I guess my "Please pretend that I am invisible, because I'll freak out if you look at me directly" face is eeasier to read than any ribbon, because I was alone through the whole convention and enjoyed it immensely. There was so much to see and to listen to, social interaction on top of it would have made my brain explode.

***

Star Wars:

I was not allowed to see it because it was, in the opinion of parents, teachers, and older friends, a crock of neo-fascist warmongering imperalist reactionary shite.
The line to the movies was around the block. Fortunately, a classmate who was a lot bigger than I shielded me from view, just in case someone who knew I should not be there passed by. She also provided an alibi. Those were the days...

#284 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:09 AM:

Will "scifantasy" Frank @ 282... I stand corrected. It was "Day of the Dove".

#285 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:15 AM:

I've just noticed there are two Sarahs in this thread -- is there any way my posts at #69, #134, #195, and #274 can be reattributed to Sarah E. to avoid confusion?

#286 ::: Michael R. Johnston ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:16 AM:

Teresa @233:

I already bought and read Marko's book before it was nominated, but what his action (and, of course, his skill is part of this, too) has guaranteed is that I'll buy his NEXT book without waiting to see reviews.

#287 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:22 AM:

Michael Froomkin @ 278: Who knew there was a packet? (When does it appear by the way?)'

Welcome to the ranks of Hugo voters. I've been doing it since 2008. In a normal year it's a lot of fun.

You will get an email when the packet is available that describes how to access it.

#288 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:25 AM:

Idumea, #259: an untruthful sockpuppet

I had wondered about the choice of username. While I'm not much of a baseball fan any more, I used to be, and the other common decoding of "dh" didn't seem to fit.

Neil, #264: An article, moreover, which was about a topic upon which Correia had made himself a loud and prominent jackass very shortly before. You don't get to tape a sign on your own backside that says "KICK ME" and then complain about being kicked. Well, not if you want any further credibility, at least.

Sarah, #266: That does seem like a plausible explanation, especially since most of the ones who broke the embargo had never been nominees before. OTOH, several of their buddies had, and one might think the topic would have come up in some of the intense discussions of the (presumed) inner workings of the Hugos...

Michael F., #278: You should get a e-mail notification when the voter packet becomes available, with instructions on how to download it.

Will, #282: Yes, that's the one.

#289 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:25 AM:

273
I think I voted it at the top of the list.

#290 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:46 AM:

You know, I would assume that one of the biggest signs of who was nominated in publishing would be the shit-eating grins appearing on authors and quite possibly agents, and the complete lack of such on the usual suspects would have been a huge sign that the ballot had gone in a very different direction.

#291 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:49 AM:

Correia's actions in pushing bloc voting then withdrawing himself as Finalist from competition, come off to me as a relative of a martyr complex, of wanting to publically have the appearance of showing himself to "taking one for the team" to demonstrate his alleged selflessness and willing abnegation.

From my perspective it looks like calculated manipulativeness.

From his perspective, maybe it's not. There does not appear to be congruent worldviews and cognition in place.... I'm an NTP on the Meyers-Brigg scales (big surprise, not...), I strongly suspect Correia is in the opposite sectors in most of Meyers-Briggs categories from the set I'm in....

#292 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 11:51 AM:

Sarah @266

Oh come on - I would never get a nomination (you need to write for that) but even I know that if an award nomination is announced at a certain date, there is a written or unwritten embargo on mentioning it until the administrators make the official statement... "Well, I thought it was ok" is kinda laughable when professional authors are involved. But then common sense seems to be a rare commodity these days.

#293 ::: Elyse ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:06 PM:

Yesterday I read Bennet's blog post declining her nomination. Then I read her story and was very disappointed.

It's a sad day when a blog post declining a Hugo nomination is better written than the story that had the nomination. Though I can't help wondering if it is just that the Canines' taste runs to adequate prose descriptions of SyFy network pilot episodes, leading them to ignore her livelier work.

Any recommendations for something by her that doesn't read like a network-focus-group bingo card? I'll read most anything but hard-core romance (I keep wanting to slap the heroine and tell her to get a life -- sort of a variant on the 8 deadly words) or really gory splatter-punky stuff.

#294 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Still Not In The Mood ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:32 PM:

To expand on what I've said above:

dh is a Daysie. I have other reasons for knowing this, but it's a reasonable assertion based on several publicly visible prose markers:

1. Affecting a limp to park in the disabled spot.

Like one other sea lion in this conversation, he claimed to be a non-native speaker of English (in his case, with Serbo-Croatian and Russian as earlier languages); he also claimed to have a low IQ.

However, he had no noticeable impediments. His definite pronouns, whose misplacement is one of the primary markers of native speakers of Slavic languages, are all in their correct and idiomatic places. His vocabulary is rich and varied, and his prose shows no sign of any intellectual impediment. In short, even if he is either ESL or intellectually disabled, these are not characteristics that are relevant his participation in the conversation.

(Contrast this to other non-native speakers in the conversation whose prose shows markers of it, but who are also demonstrably participating in good faith.)

2. Plausibly deniable extraordinary assertions.

He claims to volunteer with the Carter Center. I don't know whether or not this is true. However, he also claims, in close association with one mention of the Carter Center, that he has just left Nigeria. He does this in a conversation about elections. The implication being, of course, that he was there observing the recent election. However, the Carter Center was not involved in election observations; no American organization was.

If challenged, he would be able to deny that that's what he meant, but that was clearly the conclusion we were supposed to draw.

(There are other reasons to doubt that he is involved in election-geekery at all. He's both lamentably ignorant of basic terms of art, and implausibly keen on choosing one side of conflicting narratives. No one who has dealt with the tiniest amount of electoral politics is either that ignorant or that trusting.)

3. Assertion by question with a dead man switch.

This is particularly characteristic of Daysies; they get it from their guru. Arguments that take the form of "[slippery assertion] Do you agree?" are a form of sealioning; either the other person must spend energy contradicting whatever crap has been asserted or they will be held to agree. He's done this to both Bruce Schneier and TNH, in both cases as a way to inject slimy accusations into the discourse.

It's one of Day's favorite techniques, and his acolytes copy it as slavishly as they copy his assertions of his intellectual superiority.


Why did we let him stay so long, knowing he was a Daysie? Well, as many people here know, I cherish a belief in the redeemability of people. I had hoped that, despite his bad faith in the previous conversation, he might be interested enough in the election discussion to contribute something worthwhile and enlightening to it. Sometimes it's the grain of sand that makes the pearl, after all.

I managed to get him back on course once when he veered off of it. I'd hoped I could moderate him into a more productive frame in general. But when his presence began to damage the discourse of others, when people who shouldn't be asked to pay for his redemption were so paying, he had to go.

#295 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:35 PM:

Paula Lieberman @279, I saw "Pan's Labyrinth" (are quotes or italics appropriate for films? I honestly have no idea) with friends. The four of us often see movies together; and always come out chattering about this character or that plot feature.

With Pan's Labyrinth, we walked out in absolute silence. Finally, as we walked to the car, one of my friends said, "I need a drink." This statement meeting near-universal approval (I don't drink, but I put in a vote for "chocolate sundae", and we therefore went to a restaurant where you could get both), we didn't actually start to talk about the film until we'd fortified ourselves.

It was amazingly good. And amazingly horrible. I'm not sorry I saw it and I *never* want to see it again.

#296 ::: JBWoodford ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:42 PM:

Cassy B. @295: I haven't seen the movie in question, but offhand I can think of two written works that I'd class the same way: Gibson & Swanwick's "Dogfight," and Brust's "To Reign in Hell." Both incredibly well written, I enjoyed them the first time, and I never want to read either of them again. TRiH, in particular, is like watching a slow-motion train wreck punctuated by clever witticisms.

(Sorry for the digression. I know, everyone does it here.)

#297 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:42 PM:

I'd really like to know who ll are supposed to be in the [pejorative deleted to try to make some attempt at civility in the matter...]Nonexistent Cabal of conspirators to put Only Boring Leftwing Dystopia Stories and such on the Hugo Finalists Ballot.

I'm certainly not in it, nobody gave me a list or emailed me or lobbied me to nominate a slate of candidates. Nobody told me that I should/must comply with some nonexistent ideological slant and fill out a Hugo nominations ballot in comliance. It's laughable and much more so, to me, the idea of TNH, PNH, Jo Walton, Serge, GRRM Gardner Dozois, Jim Macdonald, Charlie Stross, Elizabeth Bear, Seanan McGuire, etc. etc. being involved in such.

I remember a discussion at a Boskone years ago in Framingham where PNH and TNH and others were sitting around a table, talking about what essentially are literary aesthetics and what makes something a wonderful book--there was a substantiative set of differences among the perspectives, where some people talked about Big Ideas, some about writing style... and it was quite clear that books considered wonderful by some were unreadable to others.

E.g. "I love the ideas and scope of that book" "I can't read that book because the author's writing style -clunks-!"

"I love the writing style of [author] it's lyrical and...." "I;m bored by that authors writing, it's all style and no substance/big scope plot and events and ideas."

The concept that the ballots of the people in the discussion would all be in lockstep putting a slate of candidates onto their Hugo ballots, is completely absurd.... the tastes and appreciation over laps on -some- books, but not all the same ones, certainly not what are the top five stories of the year in each category!!!

Note that is it rare that something wins on the first ballot, there are reasons for that, the reasons are those taste diversities, the same reasons manifesting in there being a very long list--which is almost never fully published, of what appears on Hugo nomination ballots. The publication cuts off at some place on the tail, so that there could be dozens, hundreds even, of valid entries on nomination ballots, which received fewer nominations than where the published lists cut off at.

Candidates become Hugo Finalists by plurality, not majority, nomination counts. The greater the number of different entries there are on ballots, the smaller the number of cumulative nominations it takes for the top five nominations-accumulating entries, to be he top five nominations-accumulators and thus be Hugo Finalists.

There's no conspiracy to prevent books by Jim Butcher etc. from being Hugo Finalists, it's that the people nominations, were other books they regardad as more deserving of being Hugo Finalists and Hugo Winners.

There's that downselect from the thousands of eligible books published every year, and the nominations spread, up to five per nominator, across the range of those thousands oif books.

Bloc voting is a -biasing- factor, which can drastically skew the the distribution spread typical of an -unbiased- sampling and put in peaks where an unbiased distribution, would not have peaks.

The technical term is "pink noise." Ironic, yes?!!!

#298 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Gardener of Threads ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:43 PM:

Sarah E. @285:

Done.

Also, people can distinguish the two Sarahs in this conversation by clicking on the (view all by) link in each comment.

#299 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:43 PM:

Cassy B.: The consensus I can gather (which includes The Chicago Manual of Style) appears to be that film titles go in italics rather than quotes.

#300 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:45 PM:

Pink Noise Puppies! (As opposed to the Additive White Gaussian Noise which I expect is what a typical Worldcon nominations distribution would resemble...)

#301 ::: chomiji ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:49 PM:

Serge Broom @ 280 ... No, "Day of the Dove," I believe. Amok Time is the one where Spock is going to get married.

#302 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:51 PM:

294
At one point my workgroup included a Nigerian. He went there for his wedding, and it involved traveling through Paris - you can't fly directly, apparently. I remember this because his return trip was delayed by a volcanic eruption.
I doubted that story because of knowing that it's remarkably difficult to fly to/from Africa from anywhere in the western hemisphere without at least one stop in Europe, and it's at least a full day's travel.

#303 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 12:52 PM:

Jo @ 183,

I can agree with your comment in Revisiting the Hugos for 1973 that there "aren’t enough offerings to have a decent slate" for the Best Dramatic Presentation for most years of the 20th century. Most years there were one or two outstanding, memorable works, though often (usually?) they were ones that there was no way the Hugo was going to recognize.

I think that Carrie would have been an excellent selection from 1976 for the 1977 award, but there was no way the Hugo electorate was going to reward a horror film at that time. I also feel that The Man Who Fell to Earth would have been a worthy winner, but it's a deeply polarizing work; many people think it's obscurantist crap. But the other 2 nominees are very much in the "okay, that's recognizably science fiction, but not actually good" category, and that happens again and again until around 1999.

#304 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:03 PM:

chomiji @ 301... the one where Spock is going to get married

I think you're referring to "This Side of Paradise".

"...for the first time in my life... I was happy."
- Spock

#305 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:05 PM:

I see that whatever 'd h' stands for it isn't 'decent human'.

#306 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:07 PM:

Serge Broom @ 304: No, "This Side of Paradise" was when Spock met his old girlfriend. "Amok Time" was the Vulcan wedding.

And how cool is it that we can refer to details from a 1960s television show by using episode titles?

#307 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:07 PM:

I propose that for the 2016 Hugos a category for the Most Patient Explanation of How Things Work be established. I suspect that Abi and Teresa would be in the running for winning the rocketship.

#308 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:08 PM:

PJ Evans @302:

Travel times are, indeed, one reason to doubt dh's trip to Nigeria. One of several.

#309 ::: chomiji ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:08 PM:

Serge Broom @ 304: Nope, although I may be guilty of expressing things too delicately -

"Suffering through his first infliction of pon farr, the Vulcan biological mating urge, Spock must return to Vulcan to marry his betrothed or he will die. However, when the Enterprise arrives at Vulcan, complications at the ceremony may endanger Captain Kirk as well."

- http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Amok_Time_(episode)

ST:TOS was my very first fandom, more than 40 years ago. :)

#310 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:17 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @305
Do we really need to start with the name calling (or not name calling in this case I guess)? His posts may be a bit convoluted and some statements may be of doubtful truthfulness but not really a reason to stop behaving in a civilized manner :)

#311 ::: Clarentine ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:18 PM:

What a lovely, kind-hearted offer:

http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/04/15/i-will-walk-with-you/ - Vonda McIntyre and a number of others volunteer to walk with anyone at Sasquan who feels the need of a little support.

(Lee @174, thank you for your offer as well. If I was into filk, I might very well pursue it.)

#312 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:18 PM:

Sorry, everybody. I kept saying "Amok Time", when I was thinking "The Naked Time". I blame the lack of coffee. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-)

#313 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:29 PM:

Annie Y # 310: I am of the opinion that Malcolm X had a point when he said 'I will be non-violent with those who are non-violent with me'.

#314 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:32 PM:

Annie & @310:

I'm willing to tolerate a certain amount of crankiness at someone who was so conspicuously wasting the limited time and joy of this community.

#315 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:44 PM:

Serge @312:

Sorry, everybody. I kept saying "Amok Time", when I was thinking "The Naked Time"

Yeah, but "The Naked Time" is the one where Sulu is bare-chested and waving a rapier around, and where Uhura gets to respond to being addressed as "fair maiden" with "Sorry, neither." It's another space-virus one but not the one defeated by laughter.

#316 ::: Derek ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:45 PM:

What is in a typical Hugo packet for the downstream categories? Do we get portfolios from the artists, examples from the fan writers, lists of published works from the editors, full works for Campbell winners? If not, how can someone with minimal knowledge in these areas vote wisely?

#317 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 01:49 PM:

lorax @ 315... I know. Speaking of the crew's use of laughter to get at the enemy, didn't they also do that in "Who Mourns for Adonais?" ?

#318 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:02 PM:

abi @ 294: "I cherish a belief in the redeemability of people."

Me, too, sister. Me, too. Good for you for trying. I felt the same way, even after I noticed the dh/designated hitter thing. I'm sorry I was wrong. I'm sure it'll happen again.

And in retrospect, the mention of Nigeria seems like another possible tell, either that he was putting us on or that he was ambivalent about what he was doing.

When several Beat writers paid a visit to William Carlos Williams and asked him for his thoughts, he looked out his window, then said, "There's a lot of bastards out there."

I try not to let the bastards get over me, and that's no so hard. I also try not to let them grind me down, and that too, as Robert Creeley said of death, can still propose the old labors.

Cassie B @ 295: The movie that did that to me was Ingmar Bergman's Shame. It was a good ten minutes before the person I watched it with and I could discuss it. Even then, we couldn't really.

It's been nearly a quarter-century and there are scenes in it still burned into my brain. Not because of gore--it's not gory--but because it was so emotionally potent.

I strongly recommend watching that movie. Once.

#319 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:02 PM:

Thanks, Idumea.

#320 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:10 PM:

Serge@317: Not that I recall. They just blow up Apollo's power source.

Though when Peter David picked up on the "Apollo was an alien" plot of that episode (in the New Frontier novels Being Human and Gods Above), he plays--again--with the concept of, as TV Tropes put it, "Gods Need Prayer Badly" and, as an alternative, a god feeding off of people believing in themselves.

Spock shows up, as well--Peter David loves using Spock--to mention the time ("Wolf in the Fold") that Kirk tranquilized his entire crew to stop a creature that fed off of fear.

#321 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:15 PM:

Randolph @ 256:

"I rather think that Correia is one of these people who has a volume control that slams between 1 and 11, and there is no 3, 5, or 7."

There are words for people like that. "Asshole" is one of the more polite.

#322 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:30 PM:

chomiji @ 309:

Apparently authentic TV Guide-ish synopsis for "Amok Time": "Spock gets the mating urge and attacks Kirk."

And thus did the ten thousand 'ships bloom.

#323 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:30 PM:

Annie Y @292 - Eh, I can imagine me getting the news of a nomination and running round the house laughing like a giddy toddler, then sitting down to phone my Mum, and email my brother, and email some other friends and in an overexcited way decide that the best way to let people know is to post it on my facebook or something stupid like that, before I finished reading the message.

So I guess Michael Williamson reacting like that is a plausible story.

#324 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:44 PM:

Neil W @#323

Oh, I can see it happening - especially if you practically live online and are so used to social media that you had almost forgotten that it is not private - we've seen way too many of those cases. It still does not show much common sense though. Which incidentally makes the puppies conspiracy theories even more laughable - there is no way something like that won't leak at this time and age.

abi @#314

Agree. I just do not like name calling in general I guess - it goes downhill from there very fast (and achieves nothing). Was not trying to force controlling or anything like that. :)

#325 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:46 PM:

I can't find the comment about "degree of social interaction wanted" buttons or ribbons being too hard to manage, especially when one is fried, but now I really want to read some fanfiction about how the Betans developed their system of earings, and how they dealt with shifting desires.

#326 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:50 PM:

Kevin@322: the version I've seen is ""Mr. Spock succumbs to a powerful mating urge and nearly kills Captain Kirk."

#327 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:51 PM:

Annie W @324:

I'm not a big fan of name calling either, but a certain amount of venting is only human. A few one-off posts after a banning are like a long exhaled breath as one leans against the now-closed door.

all:

That said, I think we should draw back from spending too much time on such pursuits, either about dh or other Puppies. A true account of their misbehavior is a more thorough shame on them than any form of words we could compose.

#328 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 02:58 PM:

P J Evans @#271

"My example for 'Hugo-worthy' and 'didn't like' is 'The Screwfly Solution'. Well-written, yes. Memorable, oh yes. Liking - not there."

Ew. Ew. Ew. In total agreement.

A brilliant story, brilliantly written, definitely Hugo-worthy.

And I hated it.

I would have voted for it for the Hugo if I had had the chance.

But I hated it.

#329 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 03:28 PM:

Paula Lieberman @275: Oh yeah, those guys. Notice how everyone they hate does volunteer work helping identify and combat scams aimed at newbie writers? That's their real beef with us. It's not that we're "cyber bullies"; it's that we took a bite out of their incomes, and in some cases injured their self-esteem.

There's worse company I could be in than Victoria Strauss, Jim Macdonald, Debra Doyle, Mac Stone, Lisa Spangenberg, and Stacia Kane.

On fandom and the media: There's a long history of local newspapers and TV stations running stupid, condescending stories about the worldcon. The counter-example happened during one of the Boston worldcons, when a reporter from a local gay paper got his first look at a worldcon, correctly sized up what he was seeing, and walked straight into the heart of the convention and the community.

When some of the people he was interviewing remarked on his quick understanding, he said (quote approximate), "Every time we have a Gay Pride march, the reporters who show up ignore the organizers and press officers, and just want to interview the flaming drag queens."

Smart guy. Good reporter.

#330 ::: Jane Berry ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 03:29 PM:

Jo @183: I finished your Revisiting the Hugos series — thank you! I now have a summer reading list of older works that you praised highly.

Elyse @293: I read her story last night and I was not excited by it. I realize taste is subjective, but this is the second slated story that was a dud for me. The other was “The Parliament of Beasts and Birds.” After reading that—and I did read all of it—I do not *ever* want to hear a whine that socially-proactive writers sacrifice story for message.

#331 ::: Evan ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 03:54 PM:

I'm a day late to this, but I wanted to comment on the Goodreads ratings for Hugo winners mentioned back in @222.

There's a phenomenon in social psychology called informational social influence. When you know that something is popular or beloved by others, you tend to rate it a bit higher than if you don't know. Not everybody does this in every case, obviously, but it happens often enough to be observable as a trend.

Goodreads has existed for less than ten years; the Goodreads ratings for Hugo winners published before 2008 would have to have been submitted by readers who knew at the time they were reading a Hugo-winning novel. By contrast, many of the ratings for, say, Redshirts would have been submitted by people when it first came out and was just another book on the shelf.

If it's true (and statistically significant) that recent Hugo winners aren't as highly rated as older Hugo winners are, this phenomenon may be sufficient to explain it. And if this is the correct hypothesis, then I predict that recent Hugo-winning novels will see their average Goodreads rating creep slowly upward relative to the other nominees over the next 5-10 years. If anybody is, y'know, a little more motivated than I am to file away the current rating data and then check back in in 2020, I'd be happy to see them run the experiment.

#332 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 03:57 PM:

Will "scifantasy" Frank @ 320...

"I would have cherished you, cared for you. I would have loved you as a father loves his children. Did I ask so much?"
"We've outgrown you. You asked for something we can no longer give."

#333 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 04:11 PM:

Beth Meacham @277:

Such an award would have better come in the 70s, when [Harriet] was doing extensive line-editing work on Andre Norton.
I didn't know she line-edited Andre Norton. Harriet was a mighty editor.

#334 ::: Elyse ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 04:14 PM:

Jane Berry @330

Reviewing my comment, I see I wrote Bennet rather than Bellet. How embarrassing (I blame Jane Austen).

I haven't decided what else of hers to try but I'm definitely going to look for something -- the blog post demonstrated that she can write with wit and energy, and she has a clean prose style. There a few nice descriptive touches in the story, too. I am quite willing to believe that she has work that won't pass through the canine sieve that I would find more acceptable (though possibly still not Hugo grade).

I may also try to find something at a somewhat longer length -- some of the effect of SyFy series pilot may come from squeezing too much plot (and way too many TVTropes) into a too small package. A longer length might allow time for more descriptive touches and give the tropes a bit more elbow room. Maybe even allow space to subvert one or two tropes to add a little unpredictability to the story.

I hope the people who analysed the slate vs. non-slate contents of the nomination lists will publish updates once things stabilize.

#335 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 05:05 PM:

After reading that—and I did read all of it—I do not *ever* want to hear a whine that socially-proactive writers sacrifice story for message.

I've got to disagree. Writing message fiction is a skill like any other. Some writers do it very well and enlighten me, others do it badly and break my suspension of disbelief. This has happened to me with writers on both the left and right - the detour from the natural course of the story is obvious and annoying regardless of whether I agree with the message.

IMHO the best way to do it is to make the message part of the story's central conflict - just get it out there and make it part of the worldbuilding.

#336 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 05:24 PM:

A friend went through a brutal divorce. As a thank-you to those who had stood by him, he invited a bunch of us out to dinner and the just opened fantasy that looked like it would be a light and airy thing.

You guessed it: Pan's Labyrinth.

If you've ever wondered what someone would look like if they were hit full on the face with a shovel, you could have looked at him exiting the theater.

#337 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 05:33 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @ 336... Some years back, my wife and I were waiting for a movie to start when two young women and their very young kids sat in the row ahead of us. Sue and I looked at each other and made bets about how long it'd take before they'd leave. Five minutes into del Toro's "The Orphanage", they decided this wasn't going to be Little Orphan Annie.

#338 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 05:39 PM:

Cassy B @ 295: The rule I learned is that movies and plays are like print works; pieces long enough to be by themselves are italicized, pieces short enough to be batched are in quotes. Newspapers still use quotes for everything, but I suspect that's a hangover -- I don't think there's any reasonable way to do italics on a Linotype. (I'm sure TNH knows the skinny on this, if she has the energy left.)

Mary Frances @ 306: And how cool is it that we can refer to details from a 1960s television show by using episode titles? It's easier for OST than for most, because they were all(?) converted to print novelettes. But that may be less important than the number of times they were rerun starting not long after the show stopped. (Any guesses when they were first rerun 5+/week instead of weekly?)

Derek @ 316: AFAICT (having missed a couple of years) there is no typical packet for "downstream" (body-of-work?) nominees. For the Campbell, you could try your local club if you have one; there may be stuff to lend around. I've skipped most of the BoW awards in recent years due to being years behind on overall reading, but I can see I'll have to research this time.

TNH @ 329: that was true of Noreascon 2 (1980); committee consensus was that Gay Community News (IIRC) had the most reasonable story. (The "underground" paper Boston Phoenix wasn't bad, but their illustrative photo was anaked-fans shot.) I hadn't heard the quote; fascinating....

I was in the audience when No Award was announced for the 1977 DP Hugo, and was unsurprised; I hadn't seen anything other than Logan's Run (and hope I didn't vote in that category), but still remember how the opening shot in Star Wars felt: it gave a sense of scale like nothing since 2001 at least. It may have been a silly Cecil B. De Mille stunt ("start with an earthquake, and work up from there to a climax") -- but it grabbed viewers immediately. I saw it six times (including a special trip when the 70mm 6-channel version came out, and once to narrate for a blind fan).
      That was a good year for NESFA movie expeditions; we also saw Close Encounters, with rather different reactions -- Paula's describing the UFOs as fighter jocks was the least cruel.

#339 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:02 PM:

As I commented on FB, I too bought a supporting membership for the first time yesterday. I think the SP's "bring in some new blood" idea might not work out quite as they thought.

My thanks again to Idumea and TNH for finally suppressing dh.* You cut him far more slack than he earned or deserved, thanks to your generous natures.

There was a point in a previous thread where he made a long post citing by number a whole list of posts earlier in the same thread, and summarizing each one with a single sentence completely lying about the contents of that post. The top of my head just about blew off and I stopped reading for the night, because there was no way I would have been able to reply to that with even the minimum standard of civility. He may be used to getting away with that when dealing with very credulous people, or folks who just are not in the habit of reading critically, but here? This is the wrong set of people to try that with. From that point on, I felt I had to assume bad faith in everything he wrote.

The claims about ESL were prima facie complete nonsense. One of the most basic facts about second languages is that it is vastly easier to read another language, to absorb information in an unfamiliar grammar and vocabulary, than to write correctly in one - to construct a correct production in a grammar not ones own. It was always completely implausible that someone should have trouble understanding the simplest English sentences and yet be able to write complex sentences perfectly fluently.

* "(As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea-pig^Wsock-puppet, head first, and then sat upon it.)"

#340 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:03 PM:

P J Evans @190: We'd heard it was good, but it still blew us away.

Our first time, we wound up at a late (10pm? Midnight?) showing, because all the earlier ones had sold out. Going home, the trip was almost hallucinatory: Kelly, at the wheel, zooming up an empty I-25, with me and John chanting, "Stay on target! Stay on target—!"

#341 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:10 PM:

Bruce E. Durocher II #336: Remonds me of when my Mom took me out to see a play, shortly after my father had died: Captains Courageous.

Oops. ROT13'd to avoid spoiling the plot, this was exactly the wrong play for someone who'd just tnvarq n arj yriry bs haqrefgnaqvat naq pbaarpgvba jvgu gurve sngure... vagreehcgrq ol gur sngure'f harkcrpgrq qrngu.

#342 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:18 PM:

Clifton #339: You cut him far more slack than he earned or deserved, thanks to your generous natures.

Amen.

One of the most basic facts about second languages is that it is vastly easier to read another language, to absorb information in an unfamiliar grammar and vocabulary, than to write correctly in one

While I'm sure that's true, I've elsewhere seen enough cases for a running joke, of folks apologizing for not being a native English-speaker... then proceeding to state their point in better English than most of the native-speakers in the thread.

That said, the level of skilled disingenuity displayed by "dh" would itself be seriously implausible for a non-native speaker.

#343 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:19 PM:

They showed The Man Who Fell to Earth at my college. Afterwards, some friends met me coming up the stairs with a blank stare on my face, and said 'You've just just seen the film, haven't you?'.

#344 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:24 PM:

I apologize if this question breaks open old wounds. I seem to remember reading that VD was the *second* person thrown out of the SFWA . Who was the first?

#345 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:27 PM:

One of my points is that, given his demonstrated mastery of the English language, dh does not need the extra grace we give non-native speakers who have to work to express themselves.

In the final equation, I don't care which language he learned when. Either his English is native, or it's good enough to pass. In either case, his special pleading was just another way to get us to let our guard down.

And I'm still OK with having done so, by the way. Keeping a wide door is important.

#346 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:31 PM:

344
When it came up elsewhere - not sure, now if it was another thread or another site - the answer was Lem, and he wasn't actually thrown out, but I had trouble following the events.

#347 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:32 PM:

Sandy @#344
Stanislaw Lem - and he was not exactly thrown out - his membership was revoked because of changed circumstances (he was initially a honorary member as he did not qualify; when he qualified, the honorary one was rescinded and a regular one offered... which he never accepted). Some more details here: http://www.sfwa.org/archive/faq/lem.htm

#348 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:32 PM:

Sandy B. @ 344: I seem to remember reading that VD was the *second* person thrown out of the SFWA . Who was the first?

I don't know if he was first, but Stanislaw Lem was expelled from SFWA in 1976.

#349 ::: Jesse ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:32 PM:

I have personally thought that both sides of this are going about the conflict wrong and are not looking for reconciliation but instead want to “win” the argument. I think Worldcon and classic Hugo voters should state that 80-90% of the stuff the Puppies are talking about (SJW, Literary Concerns, Religion, ect….) is invalid but find the (small) kernel of truth that has caused this movement and try to find some commonality. Maybe it isn’t a grand conspiracy or a cabal but it isn’t good for the Hugo awards when people like Patrick Nielsen Hayden and John Scalzi had so many consecutive nominations/wins that they had to actively request people to NOT nominate them:

http://wrongquestions.blogspot.com/2010/09/2010-hugo-awards-winners.html

They both were doing the honorable thing in attempting to get new blood into those categories by refusing those future nominations but I can personally see how outsiders might view that as more sinister than it is. This has been a concern of some folks long before the Puppies and seems like something that could be legitimately resolved.

I would also recommend some “sunshine” techniques. Make all of the ballots (with names removed) available for analysis this year and for the past 5 years. Let’s see what the true slate impact has been. More information is not a bad thing and could be used to show the Puppies that in the pre-puppy years there was no such thing as an “invisible” slate that excluded the writers they enjoy.

Just some thought. Thanks!

#350 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:36 PM:

me @ 348: Stanislaw Lem was expelled from SFWA in 1976.

Or maybe not.

#351 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:40 PM:

Sandy: I just looked that up recently because I was curious. Actually, it appears VD is the first and only person actually thrown out of the SFWA.

The earlier case was Stanislaw Lem who had been given an *honorary* membership. The honorary membership was revoked, according to some accounts because some well-known American SF writers started agitating to retract it on reading some rather uncomplimentary things he had written about genre-bound SF writing - which might have been badly mistranslated. He was told he was eligible to join as a regular member, but declined.

http://english.lem.pl/faq#SWFA

http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/14/lemaffair14.htm

[On previewing, I see others have already posted similar explanations, but the links above might be of interest.]

#352 ::: Rick Moen ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:43 PM:

Laertes @ #219: Harlan would love the ability to literally speak ex cathedra, wouldn't he? But I doubt he'd want said seat to be inside the ugly concrete San Francisco cathedral that local wags dubbed 'Sister Mary Maytag' on account of resemblance to a giant washing machine impeller.

Sarah @ #266: I've read the text nominees received that asks cooperation with the embargo, and it strikes me as quite clear. (That said, inattention and joyful enthusiasm seems ample explanation for Messrs Williamson and Schmidt.)

inge @ #283: Delighted to welcome you to the floating party of Worldcon fandom. Please do visit the dark side again: We have chocolate.

Nancy Lebovitz @ #325: At the Eastercon, I suggested a degree-of-social-interaction-wanted ribbon to connote 'Hello, sailor!' (But perhaps in that case, the attendee serves as his/her own ribbon.)

Rick Moen
ridk@linuxmafia.com

#353 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:44 PM:

Jesse @349: At the risk of stating the extremely obvious, and presuming that you are interested in such information, go and look up how many Hugo nominations and wins David Langford has, and then reflect on how many nominations and wins have gone to Locus.

#354 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:44 PM:

#349, @Jesse: Scalzi has won a grand total of two Hugos, one for fan writing in 2008, and one for Redshirts in 2013. It's hard to see that as excessive.

#355 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:47 PM:

#353, Or for that matter, Mike Resnick with his 36 nominations.

#356 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:47 PM:

I did not find Pan's Labyrinth unusually traumatizing (sad, yes, certainly), and I'm beginning to wonder whether I ought to be worried about myself.

It's possible I'd been spoiled just enough by reviews that I didn't go in expecting a happy ending.

#357 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 06:59 PM:

Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan are not talking directly about the Sad Puppy mess in the latest Coode Street podcast, but they allude to it. Gary says one of the best things I've heard about the Puppy complaint about recent sf:

"If [science fiction] didn't 'abandon its roots' every ten years, I don't think it'd be science fiction."

Derek @ 316:

Most of the recent Hugo voter packets have included multiple JPG images of works by the fan and pro artist nominees, PDF files of several of the Graphic Story nominees, multiple ebook formats for one or more complete stories or novels by the Campbell nominees, one issue each of the Fanzine and Semiprozine nominees, and one anthology or magazine issue by the Best Editor Short Form nominees. The Best Editor Long Form nominees are sometimes represented by a short document listing the books they edited in the past year.

For instance, the 2012 Campbell packet contained several short stories each by E. Lily Yu and Brad Torgerson, one story by Mur Lafferty, and one novel each by Stina Leight and Karen Lord. In 2013, we had multiple stories by Zen Cho and Mur Lafferty and one novel each by Max Gladstone, Chuck Wendig, and Stina Leicht. The 2014 Campbell packet contained two novels by Max Gladstone, one novel each by Sofia Samatar, Wesley Chu, and Ramez Naam, and several stories by Benjanun Sridankaew.

But of course nothing is guaranteed; it is all up to the publishers what they will allow to be in the packet, when the Hugo administrators write to them and say pretty please. For several years we had all the best novel nominees included in full, and then last year the nominees from Orbit were only included as excerpts. One year Image Comics included Saga volume 1 in the packet, but when volume 2 was nominated they didn't. But on average you can expect the packet to include most nominated works or representative works by most nominated persons.

#358 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:00 PM:

353
I'd bet that Jesse has never heard of the 'Best Locus award'. Or that it isn't unusual for people to ask not to be nominated.

#359 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:00 PM:

353
I'd bet that Jesse has never heard of the 'Best Locus award'. Or that it isn't unusual for people to ask not to be nominated.

#360 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:02 PM:

Jesse #349: "John Scalzi had so many consecutive nominations/wins..."

If I may ask, why are you complaining about John Scalzi, and not about, say, Lois McMaster Bujold?

Ever since the late 1980s, if you are looking for someone to fit the bill of "a painting of a person wearing a mechanized suit of armor! Holding a rifle! War story ahoy! Nope, wait. It’s actually about gay and transgender issues... an actual bona fide space opera?... No, wait. It’s about sexism and the oppression of women..." And as we all know, *Paladin of Souls* is not as much about knights battling sorcerers in the damndest version of the *Poema del Cid* I can think of, as about being a middle-aged woman trying for a fresh start.

She has, if I can count, won five Hugos and three Nebulas. And her forthcoming *Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen* is highly likely to be a leading contender for the best novel Hugo at the 2017 convention. John Scalzi, by contrast, has won one Hugo for best fanwriter for "Whatever", and one Hugo for best novel for *Redshirts*...

#361 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:03 PM:

mumble Internal Server Error.
If the gnomes so desire, they can remove the duplicate.

#362 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:07 PM:

Fred Pohl was president of SFWA when the Lem affair came to a head. Here's his recollection. In the comments, Karen Anderson chimes in.

#363 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:13 PM:

I just (well, just before dinner) put up a post at Obsidian Wings about Objective standards of literary merit: the Hugos, the Puppies, Sturgeon's Law that may interest some of you.

tl;dr: The Puppies have gone to a lot of trouble to get works on the Hugo ballot that aren't very good, objectively speaking.

#364 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:15 PM:

I like Scalzi's work a lot. But he's been (relatively) quiet about l'affaire des chiots, isn't on this year's ballot, and doesn't (so far as I'm aware) comment here.

So there's really no obvious reason that a person coming honestly upon the whole Hugo mess of this year ought to be laser-focused on Scalzi.

I submit that leading with Scalzi is a very strong indicator of a Daysie.

#365 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:22 PM:

Some puppies seem to think that there's a cabal controlling things inside Worldcon, but some of them (especially the ones in comments) seem to believe that the cabal is Worldcon, or all of organized trufan fandom, itself, to which they are quite hostile.

They are both delusions, but different ones. As far as I can tell, there seems to be little that can be done to help either group back to reality: non ragioniam di lor, ma guarda e passa.

#366 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:23 PM:

#364 is me. I must've used the wrong email address.

#367 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:28 PM:

Laertes @364

John Scalzi was as far as way from home as it is possible to get for Easter (Perth, Australia), and has still not returned home.

#368 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:42 PM:

I have an odd request, and I'm looking for a tiny number of responses.

The details are boring, but the upshot of it is that some friends and I want to read this year's nominated short stories blind, and to that end we want to have our friend who's preparing the blind packet mix in a few stories that aren't on the ballot.

So what I'm looking for are just a tiny few suggestions, in rot13 form so that I can clip them and pass them along without being spoiled, of excellent short stories from 2014 that might have been expected to make the ballot but, for one reason or another, didn't.

Any suggestions?

#369 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:44 PM:

To be crystal-clear, I'm just looking for rot13d'd author and title. I'm not asking anyone to, like, post the stories.

#370 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 07:46 PM:

363
Torgerson's prose clunks. He might want to get a competent mechanic to look at it before he tries taking it out on the highway again.

#372 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:03 PM:

JJ @371: That's a great idea, and exactly what I ought to do. Thanks very much. All set!

#373 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:06 PM:

tigtog @226:

Your analysis is *exactly* the conclusion I was coming to:

VD/TB is laughing at everybody he's managed to upset in the world of SF, very much including Correia and Torgersen for falling for his con, and it's all just part of the ongoing WorldNetDaily culture war burn-it-all-down mindset that is his family tradition.

With bonus grift! -- because I'm certain that he has directly benefited (via more views and more Castalia House sales) from this flustercluck more than any other person.

Correia showed a remarkable lack of genre-savviness when he invited VD onto his ballot last year: I nominated Vox Day because Satan didn’t have any eligible works that period.

"I can totally control this demon I have summoned! You guys are just a bunch of lily-livered whiners!" Doesn't he know how that story ends?

#374 ::: Jesse ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:07 PM:

@360 & @353 - I think those are 2 additional great examples! 19 years for anyone is too long and doesn't allow for new blood. That would be the best thing about a possible reform of overly consecutive nominations. It addresses (in my mind) a small kernel of truth in the Puppy position but doesn't show favoritism as frequent nominees on both sides would be impacted.

My only point is that if this group is %100 right and all of the Sad Puppies are %100 wrong then you need to be prepared to kick them out. On the other hand, is this group can get down to just %90 right and the Puppies are %10 right about something then you can have a discussion and a reconciliation. Maybe something as small as an additional panel on Military Science Fiction or a panel on this very topic. The codification of an existing informal rule on nominations. Some other good idea that smart people on this site will think of.

All I do know if the 2014 rejection of Sad Puppies 2 did not make things better and something else should be tried this year.

Thanks!

Notes:
- I think what John Scalzi, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and many other similar winners in Long Form Editor and Fan Writer have done in requesting a break in further nominations after a win is honorable and should be commended.

- I also make a distinction between Sad and Rabid Puppies. Vox is a racist and a homophobe and does not deserve to be included in the debate.

#375 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:22 PM:

You puppies whine endlessly that it's unfair to associate you with Vox Day, but nominating Day in 2014 was your decision, and framing this year's project as a sequel to last year's was your decision. The obsession with Scalzi is pure Day. Those dots connect themselves.

You can dress that up with as much smarmy concern-trolling as you like, and it makes no difference. SP = VD.

#376 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:25 PM:

Jesse #374: "The 2014 rejection of Sad Puppies 2..."

Are you saying that any of the Sad Puppies 2 slate was a better story than the winner in its category? Which one? And why in The Holy Name of the One Who Is would you think and say that?

#377 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:33 PM:

374
If you want a panel on MilSF, propose it to the programming people at whichever convention you're planning to attend.

#378 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:39 PM:

Jesse, I'm going to assume that you mean well.

What makes you think any fan has any control over what any other fans nominate/vote for?

We don't get together and say "Oh let's nominated so-and-so for the 19th time."

What part of "There is no conspiracy" don't you understand?

Where have you seen anyone (who isn't part of the SP/RP nexus) say "you must vote for x, y, and z?"

Everyone nominates whatever they believe worthy of the awards. There is not now, nor at any time have there been "SMOF" slates. Never happened.

We don't care what color, what gender, or what age the writer is -- the criteria is: Is this the best story I've ever read. Period.

#379 ::: JonW ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:41 PM:

Jesse@#374 said “if this group is %100 right and all of the Sad Puppies are %100 wrong then you need to be prepared to kick them out.”
No. First of all, people don’t get kicked out for being wrong; there’s no shame in being wrong. Second, we couldn’t do it; we’re not the Cabal who control memberships, and we wouldn't want to be. Third, reconciliation takes good faith on both sides, and I’m skeptical that we have that here. WSFS will always include people who disagree with each other, and indeed it will always include some jerks. So what we *are* doing – and that’s pretty much the only thing we’re doing on this thread -- is thinking through a vote-tallying system that avoids the obviously undesirable situation where 20% of the Hugo nominators get to designate 100% of the nominees.

#380 ::: JonW ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:45 PM:

me@#379:
(Sorry; I got my threads mixed. That's not what we're doing on *this* thread. That's the other one.)

#381 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:49 PM:

#329 Teresa

Yeah, I was reading the article linked from [comment self-censored] zone, which didn;t start off as rotated 90 degrees as continuing to read it showed, and then noticed was the material around the article words. Er, um, er, um. With targets like Jim and Debra and Victoria etc., , and a hate-on for Absolute Write... gah. And anyone who linked to that article as "proof" of anything except (deprecation self-censored), is not anyone giving evidence of deserving of being held in positive esteem.

Regarding fandom and mainstream media reporting, yes, there is that long history of deprecation/condescension/sneering, when reporting.

#352 Rick

We also have Miracle Fruit, eat it and then stuff which is bitter doesn't register as bitter.... Maybe there should promiscuous Miracle Fruit handings out. (There, there has been at least one Gathering of Light which had a Miracle Fruit tasting at it.)

#382 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 08:53 PM:

Argh -- "nominate" not "nominated."

#383 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:03 PM:

Randolph @256:

As to another matter, I rather think that Correia is one of these people who has a volume control that slams between 1 and 11, and there is no 3, 5, or 7. So minor slights turn into major abuses.
Perhaps he just needs the odd primer on managing one's temper?

#384 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:06 PM:

Jesse @ 374

@360 & @353 - I think those are 2 additional great examples! 19 years for anyone is too long and doesn't allow for new blood. That would be the best thing about a possible reform of overly consecutive nominations. It addresses (in my mind) a small kernel of truth in the Puppy position but doesn't show favoritism as frequent nominees on both sides would be impacted.

Additional? In what way, precisely, is Scalzi an example of one person hogging all the Hugos the way that Locus historically is? Please explain, and use small words, because I don't get how one man winning two Hugos and nominated for 9 (in categories all over the map, not just fiction writing) can possibly constitute "so many consecutive nominations/wins" as to lock people out of the ballot, while Puppy nominee Resnick, with his 5 Hugo wins and 36 nominations deserves a place on the Puppy slate and thus, apparently does NOT constitute "so many consecutive nominations/wins".

What, precisely, is this "kernal of truth" that you find in the Puppy's idea, that makes you agree that Scalzi has been nominated too many times, while Resnick, poor man, hasn't been nominated nearly enough?

#385 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:14 PM:

@352 Thank you very much -- I'm a million miles away from ever having such a thing sent to me, so I had no idea. :) And I agree with you. I see no reason to assume malice in this case.

#386 ::: katster ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:18 PM:

http://www.thehugoawards.org/2015/04/two-finalists-withdraw-from-2015-hugo-awards/

Three Body Problem is now on the Hugo ballot!

#387 ::: Jane Berry ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:32 PM:

Laertes @368: This is a really neat idea. I can help with short stories. As I read SFF throughout the year, I jot down a summary sentence and my impressions. I star the great stuff. According to my 2014 document, I starred these seven stories, presented to you in rot-13:

Jr, Nf Bar, Genvyvat Rzoref – R. Pngurevar Gboyre (*if you have to pick one, let this be it)
Cebqhpr 1:1-10 – Zhe Ynssregl
Gur Fragrapr vf Nyjnlf Qrngu – Xra Treore & Oevna Uveg
Khna gur Gvtre – W. Xlyr Gheare
Gur Guvatf Gurl Jrer Abg Nyybjrq gb Pneel – Uryran Yrvtu Oryy
Avar Yvirf – Pnyyvr Fabj
Snyyvat Yrnirf – Yvm Netnyy

#388 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:33 PM:

Jesse, #374: "I also make a distinction between Sad and Rabid Puppies. Vox is a racist and a homophobe and does not deserve to be included in the debate."

Prior Nebula nominee Jason Sanford has done a pretty thorough takedown of the Sad Puppies' claim that they have nothing to do with Vox Day.

On screaming "We're not VD!" while ignoring your relationship with VD


Please read this in its entirety, and then come back here again and explain how they're not related, thanks.

#389 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:38 PM:

Jane Berry @387: Thanks very much. That's exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for.

#390 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 09:55 PM:

Not-very-distant-early-warning: It's been a hard day for entirely mundane reasons; we're about to close all the threads while we sleep. If you have a comment in mind, post it now.

#391 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:04 PM:

Sleep well!

#392 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:07 PM:

Okay, I just took The Dark Between the Stars back to the library. I gave it 175 pages — about a quarter of its length — and it just wasn't holding my interest.

I'll give it credit for starting the very beginning with a genuinely interesting situation. After the first two chapters I was quite ready to give the Puppies credit for recognizing something good.

Then I started noticing the clunky prose, laden down with exposition at every turn. No, Mr. Anderson: it is not necessary to take time out to tell me that the man born into a clan of spacefaring traders is familiar with space-suits because he's been using them all his life. I can figure that out on my own. Just tell me that he put it on, and move forward.

And the tin ear: AI robots are "compies". "Water elemental" gets contracted to "wental."

And the ADD-style narrative, jumping from one head to another. Each chapter has a different point-of-view character; the chapters average less than 6 pages each; the points of view don't often repeat. I counted: the first 30 chapters have 20 different POV's. That was too many for me. It left me unable to get attached to anyone. Maybe he was going for some kind of large-scale galactic panorama of events, but it really didn't work for me.

Paradoxically, this hyperactive storytelling style meant that the pace felt glacially slow, because any one plot thread had no time to develop before it was abandoned. After 175 pages (more words than many whole novels from the classic years of SF) I felt like the story hadn't even started yet.

If this was one of the five best SF novels written last year, then let's go ahead and just consign the whole genre to the rubbish heap.

#393 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2015, 10:20 PM:

But he's been (relatively) quiet about l'affaire des chiots

He was a GoH at a couple of conventions in Australia, where he also injured his leg, and has also been dealing with the travel from hither to yon. He's what we call in the sports world on the 15 day disabled list.

(The following are my opinions only)

If a category has a majority of SP/RP, it's dead to me, and should be No Awarded. Esp. if there's only one non-RP/SP nominee. And to be honest, I would expect that nominee to walk away or reject the award, because either it's an auto-win or you're just legitimizing a possible Puppy win. You don't take an award as an adult competing against 8 year olds. So....

I'm still of a mind that the correct answer is still the Global No Award, and I may well do that, and I encourage you to think about it, because of the number of works that were thrown off the ballot. You and I won't know the harm done until the nomination results are released after the ceremony. But the damage is going to be bad. And if you aren't running against the Best, you cannot possibly win Best.

Also -- if you've read one work that's better than anything on the ballot, you should No Award that category, because you know the Best X isn't on the ballot, and that's what this is about, right? The Best Novel, Editor, Dramatic Presentation, etc? So, if slate voting kept the best off the ballot? No Award.

We do now have three Novel Nominations, which makes that category half unharmed, so I'm borderline. I might vote it. Probably not.

Novella, the Editors Short and Long, and BRW are still destroyed. No Award them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure. Novelette, Short Story and Fanzine are dead by the Only One Valid Nominee rule.

Graphic Story is good -- I personally don't care about the category, so I won't actually vote it, but it's almost untainted. Semprozine has legions of problems, but the little bit of SP problems it has are the least of them. Fancast is 3/5 SP, which means No Award for it.

Fan Writer, Alas, is 4 of 5. It's No Award, and it's a shame, because Ms. Mixon did a good thing, but there it is.

Fan Aritst is FINE!

Campbell. Shit. No Award, again, because only one nominee. Sorry, Mr. Chu.

BDP. Well, there's an issue. Yes, RP everywhere, but I honestly don't think the ballot would have changed much. Of course Guardians of the Galaxy and Interstellar were going to be on that ballot. I'm going to No Award, but if you voted it, I wouldn't blame you.

#394 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:06 AM:

JOhn Scalzi linked to this post on the Hugo's and what is wrong with them (hint- it's not what the SP think):
http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/2015/04/16/some-comments-on-the-hugos-and-other-sf-awards/

I found it interesting and suggestive, but the problem is that the SP/RP approach has probably poisoned the well for such reforms, at least in the short term.

#395 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:20 AM:

JJ@388: I have read Jason Sanford's post and am not convinced. The key line is this:

If there was no coordination between the two campaigns that means in less than a day VD read all the stories on the Sad Puppies slate, decided which to discard and which to add to his own slate, and launched his campaign.

But it doesn't. There was no need for VD to read everything on Torgersen's list. He knew there was going to be a Sad Puppies slate, so all he had to do was:
prepare his own list of things (mostly, but not entirely, published by himself) that he wanted to see nominated;
when Torgersen's list appeared, go through it adding his own choices when there was space, and substituting them (quite possibly at random) when there wasn't.
He could have done this in a few minutes.

As for the logo, he could easily have known that an SP logo was planned, so he could have contacted the artist and asked him to make a variant form.

#396 ::: Jimbeaux D ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:27 AM:

Come to Worldcon, GRRM's advice reads exactly like the old Rainbow gathering directions. Come, don't believe it is canceled no matter what you hear, it is on.

#397 ::: Jimbeaux D ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:27 AM:

Come to Worldcon, GRRM's advice reads exactly like the old Rainbow gathering directions. Come, don't believe it is canceled no matter what you hear, it is on.

#398 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:27 AM:

Andrew@395,

There is a trout in the milk.

Now consider this: If your proposed scenario were correct, then the SP would be shouting about "hijacked" and "coattails" and "opportunistic" -- and they aren't.

#399 ::: Rymenhild ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:27 AM:

Laertes @368:

Here are the four short stories I loved and nominated, if you need more stories in your stack. All are freely available online.

N. Zrep Ehfgnq, Ubj Gb Orpbzr N Ebobg va 12 Rnfl Fgrcf (Fpvtragnfl)
Zvxxv Xraqnyy, Vs Tbq Vf Jngpuvat (Gur Eriryngbe)
Ehgunaan Rzelf, Frira Pbzzragnevrf ba na Vzcresrpg Ynaq (gbe.pbz)
Fnynqva Nuzrq, Jvgubhg Snvgu, Jvgubhg Wbl, Jvgubhg Ybir (zrqvhz.pbz)

#400 ::: Jesse ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:28 AM:

#376
-----------------------
Are you saying that any of the Sad Puppies 2 slate was a better story than the winner in its category? Which one? And why in The Holy Name of the One Who Is would you think and say that?
-----------------------

Not only will I agree with you that the voters got it right in the winners last year but I will go beyond that and state they got the order right as well, including the ranking of "No Award" above Vox. Where I would say the voters got it wrong was trying to make a point and almost voting "Warbound" below "No Award" 1150-1050. What if instead the voters had instead voted overwhelmingly that Larry should be 5th (maybe 1800-400) and said to him that they dislike what he did but he is a good writer and worthy of being up for a Hugo? Could that have diffused what happened this year? I don't know. What I do know is last years vote didn't work.

#378
-----------------------------
Jesse, I'm going to assume that you mean well.

What makes you think any fan has any control over what any other fans nominate/vote for?

We don't get together and say "Oh let's nominated so-and-so for the 19th time."

What part of "There is no conspiracy" don't you understand?
-------------------------

I agree there is no conspiracy. "SJW" is a fictional term, it has no basis in reality. There is no cabal being run at TOR headquarters. What could possibly be happening though is some misguided people are misunderstanding an issue that has been around for a while (Bujold, Resnick, Langford, Hayden, Scalzi recently) of frequent nominations. Why not address what could be at the root of this misunderstanding and impacts folks on both sides (Traditional Fandom and Puppies)? Maybe a new rule stating "No artist can have more than 4 consecutive nominations in a category or 2 consecutive wins in a category without a break in nominations." That is just an idea, it can be adjusted to the good thoughts of many on this board. Other formulas, ect.....

Thank you for the thoughtful debate.

#401 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:32 AM:

guthrie @ 394: Eh. I'm not so sure the well is permanently poisoned. Short-term, yes, but there are a lot of thoughtful people out there who know a great deal about both the craft and business of writing, and Hugo categories have changed before. Over time, and after lengthy discussion, some shift in the way sff is honored might be possible. That said, "lengthy discussion" is the cue, and not in response to any particular group's sense of outrage. And, of course, there is also the question of whether or not the changes are worth the effort--genres, and what people expect from them, do change over time, and there is no way of either predicting or controlling that change.

That might be a useful and interesting discussion for later, actually, perhaps a couple of years down the line. I can see the current kerfuffle being a "wake up" call of a sort not remotely intended by the Puppies--I like Flint's analogy of "literary genetic drift," in that maybe the field has drifted far enough that it's time to take stock, recognize that drift, and see if there is anything the various awards can or should do to acknowledge the changes . . . or not.

Andrew M. @ 395: Good points. Most of such "collusion" might well be on VD's side . . .

#402 ::: Kimiko ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:40 AM:

FYI Jim C Hines is killing it on Twitter with his #hugoproposal

E.g.:
#HugoProposal: Hugo process to be overseen by @GRRMspeaking. winner will sit in the Throne of Hugos. The rest attend Red Hugo Afterparty.

#HugoProposal: Three Hugos for Mil-SF and their space marines;
Seven for the grimdark-lords in their halls of blood;
Nine for mortal fans doomed to blog,
One for @neilhimself on his dark throne
In the Land of Worldcon where the Shadows lie.

#403 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:42 AM:

Laertes @368

I nominated Qvz Fha ol Znevn Qnuinan Urnqyrl.

#404 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:46 AM:

Cally Soukup@384 et al:

I think these repetitive wins that are traditional in the Hugos are actually evidence against conspiracy; people voting in isolation, for the people, series etc. they are fans of, are quite likely to prefer the same thing year after year, while if it were being done in a coordinated way an effort would be made to share them out more. I think that the fact that there is now more discussion and more (gentle, low-level) campaigning may be a major reason for the breakdown of these monopolies. Best Locus is gone (though that's partly because of a change in the rules); Best Dave Langford is gone; Best Doctor Who Episode is gone; Best Girl Genius Volume, which was threatening to develop, has not done so.

I think sometimes people feel that if the pool of voters was widened there would be a greater variety of winners. I don't think that's true at all; there would be a greater variety of things nominated (in the grammatical sense, i.e. someone nominates them), but when it came to the vote, the things that are most popular would win out, and the things that are the most popular are likely to be much the same from year to year.

It's interesting to look at the Goodreads Choice Awards. These strike me as more of a genuine popular choice award than the Hugos, and certainly have more voters. The results for 2014 (corresponding to the current Hugos; they have already been decided!) are here:
http://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2014

Winners in SFF related categories are Andy Weir, Deborah Harkness, Anne Rice, Cassandra Clare and Rick Riordan. The previous year (with a slightly different set of categories) they were Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Veronica Roth and Rick Riordan. These results are not very like those of the Hugos, though they are equally unlike the preferences of the puppies. But the most striking thing is that they are very predictable. Veronica Roth won the YA award three times running. Rick Riordan has won the Middle-grade and Children's award four times running, and shows no sign of stopping. Stephen King creates more variety by winning in a different category each year (this year it was the non-SF category of Mystery and Thriller). No conspiracy; just the force of public opinion.

#405 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:48 AM:

Jesse @374 Maybe something as small as an additional panel on Military Science Fiction or a panel on this very topic.

I understand that Larry Correia identifies as a libertarian, and felt that his (perceived) politics were one of the things that caused him to treated poorly and then not win the award. Now the Libertarian Futurist Society gives an annual award to the best libertarian SF*, called the Prometheus award. The curious thing is that it is awarded annually at Worldcon (not as part of the Hugo ceremony, with which it is unaffiliated). The Puppies seem focussed on the Hugos (and sometimes the Nebulas) rather than Worldcon as a complete entity. I doubt that making the convention a little more puppy friendly will help.

I don't think reconciliation is possible until we know the answer to the question "What happens to the Hugos in 2015?" I mean, some people will change their mind about slates and works on the shortlist when they read the stuff, but until the awards are announced, we don't know what it means or what the series of events has done.

There's certainly been Puppy-ade to be made from the Puppys, with people thinking and discussing what the Hugos are and mean. Notably (and perhaps the strongest Puppy criticism) the Hugos have been simultaneously held up as;

a. A prestigious award of quality SF (and fan work etc.) by promoters of the award etc.;

b. A popular award that you can help choose by fan proselytisers; and

c. Solely chosen by those members of Worldcon who feel like nominating and voting.

The extraordinary thing is how long these three differing views were able to co-exist so harmoniously. But whatever else we get out of it, it's been made clear that c. is and always has been primary with a. and b. being subsidiary qualities.

* Not always what you might expect.

#406 ::: James Harvey ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:52 AM:

I've just read Marko Kloos' rather moving post withdrawing from his Hugo nomination. What an awful situation for him to be put in, and all power to him for the humility and bravery he has shown.

His evident delight on twitter that his withdrawal has led to the The Three Body Problem gaining a nomination, and his hopes for it winning, are a joy to behold.

I'd never heard of him before all this. But the grace of his actions and words in this matter, and the nice things that people have said about his writing, have gained him two book sales to me today...

#407 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:56 AM:

aaaaand courtesy of File 770, a link to another deeply clueless (and presumably rightist) observer commenting on the latest withdrawals: "They are both young and probably afraid their careers will be hurt. Quite frankly, I think it's a futile gesture. Their flirtation with deviancy will never be forgiven by the SF establishment."

You know, the bad faith in this is impressive. A face value reading of Marko Kloos's statement leads to the conclusion that he didn't realize at first the Sheissgewitter he had walked into. Perhaps VD will offer him a refuge in the Castalia lineup, but you know, I don't think so; I doubt his deviancy will be so tolerated. As for making him unsaleable to a real US publisher: don't make me laugh.

#408 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:59 AM:

Some posters in this thread have mentioned Dave Langford and Locus' many consecutive wins as evidence for the Sad Puppies' contentions. Similarly, Gardner Dozois won numerous times for Best Editor and Michael Whelan for Best Pro Artist.

But I don't think those support the Puppies' assertions, because they seem to be talking about how the awards used to be good, but have recently (the last 10-15 years?) gotten hijacked by a cabal that nominates and votes for the same leftist authors, artists etc. each time. All those runs of multiple years with the same winner in a given category were years ago; in the recent years the Puppies have complained about, those categories have all gotten more diverse in their nominations and winners. The most recent chain of multiple wins by the same entity is, I think, Girl Genius winning Best Graphic Story in 2009-2011; but that category has also gotten more diverse from 2012 onward.

#409 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:03 AM:

Add to the "recipient of multiple Hugos" list Michael Whelan, who won year after year until he permanently withdrew.

John Scalzi just isn't in the running for number of Hugo nominations. Neither is Patrick. David Hartwell has far more nominations. Must be something else going on there.

TNH, Harriet is indeed a mighty editor.

#410 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:21 AM:

#407 He is hardly just an observer in all this mess - and his words need to be taken with a pinch of salt - he chose to stay on the ballot after all so I am reading this more as a justification of his own decision than a real cluelessness.

#411 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:22 AM:

405
The three views are not, in fact, mutually-exclusive or even incompatible.

#412 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:24 AM:

Jesse @ 400
I agree there is no conspiracy. "SJW" is a fictional term, it has no basis in reality. There is no cabal being run at TOR headquarters. What could possibly be happening though is some misguided people are misunderstanding an issue that has been around for a while (Bujold, Resnick, Langford, Hayden, Scalzi recently) of frequent nominations.

The thing is, if the Puppies were 10% right, and that 10% was the claim that people who were hogging the awards and/or nominations were the problem, as you suggested they were, then why did they themselves, Sad and Rabid both, nominate Resnick? Why did the Rabid puppies deliberately nominate Wright for three awards in the same category?

I've not read their justifications for their slates, but if, as you implied, multiple award/nominations is actually something they claim to be against, then their very own public actions prove them to be deliberate liars. So basically, you're "agreeing" with them on one of the only parts of their platform that they can provably be shown to not actually believe.

#413 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:25 AM:

404
Goodreads has a different pool of readers than the Hugos. I wouldn't expect them to have the same opinions. (Their ratings seem to be skewed more toward bestsellers.)

#414 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:33 AM:

"c. Solely chosen by those members of Worldcon who feel like nominating and voting."

I've been surprised by how much resentment the Puppies have successfully stoked by portraying Worldcon as an exclusive club. It's widespread public knowledge that anyone who wanted to financially support the convention was able to vote in the Hugos.

Yet a first-time supporting member commented on GRRM's blog, "I now know that ... this award was voted upon by a tiny number of people (you could pack all the 853 short story nominees into a reasonable-sized square) who think that turning up at a convention entitles them to decide what is good."

To those who are shocked/disappointed/offended that the Hugos are awarded by Worldcon's membership, I say "no duh." That's what happens when a group creates and nurtures an award for six decades. If you're a member now, you already know how easy it was to become one and the castle did not need to be stormed. We left the gate open and you walked right through.

#415 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:43 AM:

Neil W @405:

I agree with that analysis. And I'll note that it was the Sad Puppy plan, two years ago, which targetted the contradictions. (It didn't *work* until VD and those types threw their weight behind it.)

Similarly, Worldcon is simultaneously (a) a community whose members contribute money so that they can meet annually; (b) a party to which "everybody is welcome", just pay here; (c) stable enough that "the collective opinion of Worldcon" is a meaningful basis for an award.

Like your three points, these are logically contradictory and perfectly workable in practice, *until* someone decides to take a pry-bar to the cracks.

(Are GG types going to buy *attending* memberships at Worldcon and start making a mess in person? No, I don't expect so. That crowd is focussed on low-investment, low-budget harassment. You see the potential gap, though.)

#416 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:56 AM:

P.J. Evans@413: Yes, that was my point. I wasn't holding up Goodreads as a model for the Hugos to emulate. (What would be the point of that? That job is already being done, by Goodreads.) I was just using it as evidence that broadening the base does not increase variety.

#417 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:58 AM:

There's a 2014 article about R&B/hip-hop music which keeps coming to mind. Yes really.

http://pitchfork.com/features/articles/9378-i-know-you-got-soul-the-trouble-with-billboards-rbhip-hop-chart/ (by Chris Molanphy)

It's a long article, it's worth reading, but the summary is: there's a difference between "the most popular song among hip-hop fans" and "the most popular hip-hop song among music listeners".

For many years, Billboard Magazine tracked the former. They did this by watching hip-hop-format radio stations and music stores. This let them, for example, keep an eye on "crossover hits" -- songs which got popular in the genre and then broke out into the general audience.

Quote: "Ideally, any effective genre chart -- be it R&B, Latin, country, even alt-rock -- doesn’t just track a particular strain of *music*, which can be marked by ever-changing boundaries and ultimately impossible to define. It’s meant to track an *audience*."

This approach, while never perfect, got clobbered by the Internet. At this point there basically are no radio stations or music stores. (I mean, there are radio stations, but they're not interesting for genre-music-discovery.) So Billboard was more or less forced into what Molanphy calls the "accordion chart" -- take the overall music sales chart, fold out the non-R&B entries, and what's left is your "top R&B" chart. Repeat for country, jazz, every other genre.

I trust the comparison is obvious. SF/F awards were not built on the sales of SF/F specialty stores, but they *do* try to sample the preferences of SF fandom specifically -- the members of SFWA, the attendees of Worldcon. And this is interesting because it's *not* about the best-selling novel that's categorized as SF.

#418 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 12:05 PM:

Jesse #400: "Voters got it wrong... [in] trying to make a point and almost voting "Warbound" below "No Award".... What if instead the voters had instead voted overwhelmingly that Larry should be 5th (maybe 1800-400) and said to him that they dislike what he did but he is a good writer and worthy of being up for a Hugo?"

The campaign for "Warbound" in all likelihood pushed one of "The Shining Girls", "A Stranger in Olondria", "A Few Good Men", "The Golem and the Djinni", or "The Republic of Thieves" out of the top five. I would bet, given subgenre preferences, that Sad Puppies II deprived Sarah J. Hoyt's "A Few Good Men" of a Hugo nomination.

I've read "A Stranger in Olondria", "A Few Good Men", and "The Republic of Thieves"--and enjoyed reading them all much more than "Warbound".

I very much endorse the view that Eric Flint's ideas http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/2015/04/16/some-comments-on-the-hugos-and-other-sf-awards/ are very interesting and suggestive...

#419 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 12:07 PM:

James Harvey #406: "I've just read Marko Kloos' rather moving post withdrawing from his Hugo nomination. What an awful situation for him to be put in, and all power to him for the humility and bravery he has shown. His evident delight on twitter that his withdrawal has led to the The Three Body Problem gaining a nomination, and his hopes for it winning, are a joy to behold.... The grace of his actions and words in this matter, and the nice things that people have said about his writing, have gained him two book sales to me today..."

And one pre-order from me...

#420 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 12:11 PM:

FWIW, the local library system has (had) 1 of 3 copies of the Goblin Emperor available, but 16 holds on 5 copies of the Three Body Problem.

We'll see how long it takes to get through the TBP queue...

#421 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 12:16 PM:

The useful and interesting thing about the multiply-linked Eric Flint piece is that he acknowledges both of:

A. There are problems with the Hugos that lead to amazing books and authors never ending up nominated, and

B. The problems the Sad and Rabid Puppies claim to see do not exist.

I'm all down for SFF fandom continuing to talk about A, though of course the ego-driven trolls in the Puppy end of the pool are going to keep trying to lock up all the oxygen in the rule.

I was particularly struck by Mr. Flint pointing out that as it currently stands almost no comic piece is ever going to win a Hugo, for the same reasons that even amazing comic movies can almost never get an Oscar over dramatic fare.

Some of Pratchett's post-1998 output have been staggeringly well-written, emotionally true, transformative novels, but they're also often incredibly silly, which counts against them for awards.

#422 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 12:24 PM:

eric (420): Part of that is that The Three Body Problem is newer, so fewer people have already read it.

#423 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 12:24 PM:

Jesse @400:

As I've mentioned before I'm on the OVFF concom, and have managed the Pegasus Awards in the past. Because there are Big Name filkers who can and have been on the ballot year after year, we came up with a couple of rules to 'spread the wealth.'

If you win Best Writer/Composer or Best Performer, you cannot be nominated for those awards in the following year.

You may only have one song nominated for a category, and you may only appear on that year's ballot in two categories.

When a song wins either "Best Filksong" or "Best Classic Filksong" it is retired permanently, and may no longer be nominated in any of the song categories in following years.

We did this to break the "consecutive" nomination cycle and to get more participation in the awards. We found that people are less likely to vote if the same things show up on the ballot year after year.

And thanks to Steve Macdonald, who saw the flaws and did yeoman's labor in revising and up-dating the Pegasus Awards.

NB: Because filk is more ephemeral, it is difficult, and in some cases impossible, to know what year a song was written. Therefore we don't try to limit what can be nominated to a particular year. Only "Best Classic Filk" has a time factor -- the song has to be more than ten years old.

#424 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 12:38 PM:

GRRM asked Torgersen how he can be on "hazy neutral ground" about VD, given that Torgersen is interracially married.

About half of Torgersen's reply is very interesting and even affecting, but I don't really see how it answer's GRRM's question.

He rightly calls VD a "Vandal" (those poor Visigoths, they get no respect), but again, doesn't explain why he tolerates him.

Or am I confused? Does he answer GRRM's question in comments or elsewhere, and I just haven't seen it?

#425 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 12:54 PM:

I'm going to recommend the Eric Flint piece as well. Nice perspective. Some of his solutions wouldn't pass the Worldcon business meeting, unfortunately.

#426 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 01:30 PM:

Elliott Mason @421 "almost no comic piece is ever going to win a Hugo"

Redshirts?

#427 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 01:42 PM:

Doug @ 426: He did say "almost." Comedies win the Oscar for Best Picture occasionally, after all--it 's rare, but it does happen.

#428 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 01:51 PM:

Andrew @ 415:

I would say that last year the Puppies threw a turd in the punchbowl; this year, they filled the bowl with sewage; and next year they hope to break the bowl and cut people with the shards.

#429 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 01:56 PM:

Elliott Mason @425, Doug @426

I think the evidence that comic works can't win a Hugo is a bit thin. Leaving Redshirts on one side, I'd understood that Terry Pratchett had made it known that he didn't want to be nominated ; and Neil Gaiman did the same for Anansi Boys.

#430 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 01:58 PM:

Jesse@400: I think you may be assuming that those who put Correia under No Award did so out of resentment. This may be true in some cases, but I'm fairly sure a lot of people did so simply because they didn't think his work was very good.

Brad DeLong@418: But A Few Good Men was on the SP slate.

Lori Coulson@423: I think it would be hard to carry those principles over to the Hugos, where you are rewarding works done specifically in the current year; if the same person writes the best novel of 2017 (for some value of 'best') and the best novel of 2018, that deserves to be recognised. Could it be tried with the person awards? But even there, the award is meant to be for the person's work in that year, and if one person does particularly distinctive things in two successive years it seems fair that they be recognised for it.

#431 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:01 PM:

Rymenhild @399 & TomB @403: Thank you both very much. I've added those to the list.

Andrew M @395: Just like you, I found Sanford's case to be entirely unconvincing. It's strange that he should fail so completely at such a simple task. Connecting Beale to the Sad Puppies is trivial. Last year they nominated him explicitly for ideological reasons, and have admitted as much.

If that weren't enough, they pursue the same agenda by the same methods, driven by the same resentments, believing in the same mad conspiracies, sneering at the same people.

The interesting question is not: "Does Beale represent the Sad Puppies?" The interesting question is: "Is it at all possible to honestly imagine that he does not?"

#432 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:04 PM:

pgbb @429: Anansi Boys is considered ... a comic novel? Wow. Didn't work that way for me at all.

#433 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:06 PM:

Andrew M @430: Touché...

#434 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:14 PM:

Laertes @ 431: Connecting Beale to the Sad Puppies is trivial. Last year they nominated him explicitly for ideological reasons, and have admitted as much.

There also are blog posts where Correia, Day, Wright, Torgersen and Sarah Hoyt dub themselves the "Evil League of Evil" and talk about things the ELOE is doing together.

One of those things was Sad Puppies. When Correia announced Sad Puppies 3's slate, he wrote, "here is what the Evil League of Evil authors came up with in discussion." In a followup he wrote, "The ELoE talked about this a lot before putting together a slate."

#435 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:28 PM:

Doctor Science #424: Torgerson's piece looks to me like (more) concern trolling. Instead of trying to justify his association, he falls back on the canard of trying to claim that we should "tolerate" him, essentially because 'we should tolerate everybody, and he's part of everybody'. (Single quotes for my own paraphrase.) But in fact, he's asking for a good deal more than mere tolerance, in the face of not only the RP's abuse of the Hugo process, but also his own repeated misrepresentations of the Worldcon "establishment", especially this very forum.

#436 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:30 PM:

Eric Flint wrote:

But, sooner or later, that stops being sufficient for the in-crowds. At first, they want more than just a good story. Which, in and of itself, is fair enough. The problem is that as time goes by “more than just a good story” often starts sliding into “I really don’t care how good the story is, it’s the other stuff that really matters.”

I think what he says tends to be true, but it's not about being part of the "in-crowd" as defined by Worldcon attendance or being professionally involved in sf publishing or whatever. It's more a function of (a) aging and (b) reading lots and lots of books. The more books you've read, especially within a given genre, the harder it is for new books to leave you utterly gobsmacked to the extent you think they're award-worthy; they have to do something new and interesting. (And personally, that's my rough criterion for award nominations and for ranking nominees above "no award": was I gobsmacked? Or was it just a fun read? Warbound was just a fun read, and the other Sad Puppies on the 2014 ballot weren't even that.)

Of course, someone will point out counterexamples, people who are older than me (early 40s) and read more books per year than me (200-250 in a typical year) and aren't so jaded that a very good story with nothing unusual about its content or structure can't gobsmack them. But I suspect what I say is true of a lot of people, and perhaps disproportionately of Worldcon fandom.

Flint also has interesting things to say about how series don't get award recognition much -- the structure of the award nomination/voting process is biased toward stand-alone novels. I'd like to see a Best Series Hugo of some kind, but it would need to be nominated and voted for on a different time scale than the annual Best Novel, or it would be impossible to familiarize oneself with all the nominees in time to vote.

#437 ::: Brian Gibbons ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:37 PM:

Reading over the WSFS Constitution anew (as I'm sure many have been doing in the last few weeks), I found myself curious about Rule 3.11.2 (no award is handed out in categories in which less than 25% of actual voters indicate a preference), and whether that rule has ever come into play. This seems like the right crowd to ask.

While, quite obviously, that won't be coming into play this year, I think the "Hugo Awards should only be given in categories the members still care about" principle is somewhat of an important one.

I abhor SP/RP/slates and all they stand for, but there is a sense in which some of the categories weren't so much wrested away from members as just kind of picked up and walked away with because not that many people really cared that strongly about them.

While one response to that is to attempt to drive up nomination numbers next year to avoid categories being so easily captured, I have to wonder if another answer is to simply have sunset provisions in place, so that categories that don't receive nominations from a certain percentage of eligible voters (not just those who submit ballots, but those eligible to do so) simply do not appear on the final ballot.

We already have some level of protection in place, in the 'A nominee must receive at least 5% of nominations to be on the final ballot' and 'A category must receive at least 25% of votes for an award to be given' rules. Perhaps some sort of 'A category must receive nominations from at least X% of eligible voters to appear on the final ballot' rule has a place as well.


#438 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:45 PM:

Doctor Science@424:I didn't see a specific reply to the question that GRRM asked. As near as I can make out, he doesn't want to call anyone a racist and anyway it is mostly the liberal Worldcon tribe that is to blame.

#439 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:51 PM:

Eric Flint's excellent post made me wonder whether there have been any attempts to make novels a bigger part of the Hugo Awards by adding new categories.

It would be interesting to see what would be nominated and win in categories such as Best Long Novel (80,000+ words), Best Series Novel, Best Media Tie-in Novel and the like.

#440 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 02:55 PM:

Steve Halter: With a side of 'Everyone's a little bit racist (so it's OK that my buddy is virulently so).'

#441 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:09 PM:

I think Torgerson palms a card there: he starts off by saying that he used to understand racism: that it was people saying that X people are subhuman because of their race, and that that was a bad thing to say. He then says that what racism is, has changed, and now there's a whole spectrum of what racism is, and it's hard to draw a line. Which means he can't be against "racism" because it's a whole spectrum.

But the statement "X people are subhuman because of their race" remains a solidly bad thing to say, to me (and wrong by just about any measure of wrongness that isn't simple tautology). Saying that it's hard to draw a strict line between SF and fantasy doesn't mean that there aren't stories that are clearly one or the other. Saying that it's hard to draw a strict line about what's racist doesn't mean that there aren't statements that are very clearly racist.

#442 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:09 PM:

I didn't dash off to read Eric Flint's article when I first saw it mentioned in this thread, but after another mention or two I checked it out.

It's pretty great. Don't miss it.

#443 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:16 PM:

Is it just me, or are other people feeling there are parallels here between the Sad Puppies and the rise of Punk (and other forms of Outsider Music)? Often such movements die of their own pretension, but there are occasional ones that don't. And there's always a few people who still like the Outsider stuff. I expect there's a good Chicago School sociology paper that could be written about this whole fracas (check out Howard Becker's Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance for a few ideas that might be relevant).

#444 ::: Cheradenine ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:25 PM:

@441: That would be my characterization as well. This argument in general is called the continuum fallacy. (There's also a lot of sidling away from the original question involved.)

#445 ::: Nathaniel ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:26 PM:

Tom Whitmore @443: I agree to the extent that the development of punk was fueled in part by reactionary ideas about what rock music should sound like. But the idea of a Sad/Rabid Punx slate trying to take over the Grammys, or shut everyone else out from Top of the Pops or what have you, strikes me as amusingly implausible.

#446 ::: Seth Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:43 PM:

It seems to me that the Sad Puppies are firmly in the grip of the Geek Social Fallacies, particularly the first one: Ostracizers Are Evil. Torgersen and Correia’s fundamental complaint (if I can fairly reduce their walls of text to a half-sentence) is that the Worldcon is run by its own clique of insiders, and the insiders are treating T&C as outsiders, and this injustice must not stand. Having convinced themselves that this is true, every rhetorical barb aimed at them from the rest of fandom simply confirms them in the belief that they are outcasts from this community that should be a haven for outcasts, and how dare they. If T&C repudiate Vox Day, then T&C themselves would be guilty of ostracism, so of course they can’t do that, and every time they refuse to repudiate him, it confirms their virtue.

(Saying nasty things about the putative Worldcon in-crowd doesn’t count as ostracism, because the in-crowd did it first.)

The Rabid Puppies—Day, Wright, etc.—hold no truck with the Geek Social Fallacies: a long list of people, by their lights, deserve much worse than ostracism. They don’t care about making fandom a beloved community free of strife; they care about scoring points in the culture wars (and perhaps also about racking up sales for Castalia House). But as long as a coalition with the Sad Puppies is tactically convenient, they understand that it is in their interest to play nice with the Sad Puppies. Whatever Wright says about Legend of Korra, he’s not going to call out Sarah Hoyt.

#447 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:50 PM:

Tom@441, Cheradenine@444 and Seth@446:Those all seem pretty close.

#448 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:52 PM:

@439 There's a persistent movement among fans to add a "Best YA Novel" category, which I heartily approve of (even if I have no idea how such a thing could be implemented; better minds than mine, etc.).

Best Novel Series would be fascinating, but super hard to judge. When is a series over? The first time an author decides that it's over? (e.g. The Deed of Paksenarrion & Paladin's Legacy) When the author's estate decides that it's over? (e.g. Frank Herbert's Dune and Brian Herbert's Dune) Which parts count as a single series? (Discworld!) And what about series that are designed to have as many installments as the author feels like writing? (The Dresden Files)

I think it's a cool idea, though, definitely. I'm biased towards anything that puts more books in the spotlight, particularly if they're books I wouldn't read otherwise (YA Hugo!). :)

#449 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 03:55 PM:

The message of punk is "the system is broken, let's make our own system." Not "the system is broken, let's take it over."

Desire for a Grammy is the least punk emotion imaginable.

#450 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 04:02 PM:

Jim Henry @436:

It's more a function of (a) aging and (b) reading lots and lots of books

Precisely my experience. And the thing is, only people who read lots & lots of books will generally feel the self-confidence necessary to nominate. I know that I have very rarely nominated, because I usually don't feel "qualified" -- and yet, I bet I read more widely in the genre than Correia or Torgersen does.

My husband reads about 100 novels a year: I supply them via recommendations, Locus reviews, and shelf-reading the new books at the library. Ancillary Justice last year and Goblin Emperor this year were books that really popped out of the crowd, for him, and he then pressed them upon me. I read The Three-Body Problem first, but it had to go back to the library before he had a chance.

Mister Doctor is basically a "ripping yarns" sort of guy, but with that volume of reading he, too, has become pickier about writing quality than he was decades ago, it takes a lot more for him to say, "hey, this is really good!"

I don't know if there's a way around this except getting more young-ish people into Worldcon -- and the results are *not* likely to make the Puppies happy, because a lot of younger fans are going for YA dystopias, not to mention paranormal romance.

#451 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 04:02 PM:

Seth Gordon #446:

Mike Glyer's been doing a terrific job collecting relevant links including this one.

#452 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 04:17 PM:

Tim @ 449:

The last line of Patti Smith's version of "My Generation"--a punk goddess performing a punk anthem--is "We created it, let's take it over."

#453 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 04:38 PM:

Kevin J. Maroney @ 452:

Touché... but then there's Ian Mackaye, Than Whom None Is More Punk:

And then using scissors and glue, we cut and folded every single record sleeve. That is the way Dischord Records worked for the first 10,000 records. By hand, cut-and-folded, every one of those sleeves. That, my friends, is the record industry. The is the true record industry. It was incredible to sit with people — your friends — and make records together. It was an amazing experience.

I would argue that the punk movement proper (which started in the U.K. a bit later) was much more DIY-focused than the New York avant-la-lettre punks. Although I suppose one could argue that is the rise of post-punk and it's alternative distribution system that really made that jump.

(Nothing is more punk than arguing about who's punk and who isn't.)

#454 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 04:53 PM:

Brad DeLong #418:

The Hugo statistics for that year shows that it was "The Shining Girls" that would have been next in line:

(96 noms) "The Shining Girls" Lauren Beukes 6.0%
(92 noms) "A Stranger in Olondria" Sofia Samatar 5.8%
(91 noms) "A Few Good Men" Sarah A. Hoyt 5.7%

#455 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 04:55 PM:

I find Eric Flint's complaints about the Hugo very strange.

He says the Hugo isn't about sales, or mass popularity, or a mass market, or rewarding professional writers who make a living because their stuff sells. He says 3 of the fiction categories are at lengths which are a drop in the ocean in sales terms and which no professional writer bothers with, and on each point, I think:

Exactly!

There is and always was a separate award for writers who produce stuff that sells: money.

#456 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 05:13 PM:

The thing about the "but we're just trying to open the Hugos up to a broader class of tastes!" claim that really grinds my gears:

I have a number of friends who are up-and-coming SF authors. Some of them have been published, some of them are still workin' on it. They mostly do not write the sort of thing that would have been published in Asimov's in the 1950s, and they were very happy to see last year's Hugo winners because they felt that meant the awards were opening up to a broader class of tastes, thus improving their own chances at it in the future. This year's shortlist -- well, they felt as if the graying white male crowd had snatched that away from them again and slammed the door in their faces.

(I would rather not say exactly who these people are; I don't want to bring them any unwanted attention.)

And this grinds my gears precisely because it's a funhouse mirror of the very thing Torgerson and Correia are upset about. Even taking what they claim to be trying to do at face value, the proper response to feeling that one's favorite authors have no chance of winning $PRESTIGIOUS_AWARD cannot be to turn around and inflict that same feeling of exclusion on another group of people.

#457 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 05:22 PM:

Andrew M. @430:

Those were examples of what OVFF does in regard to the consecutive nomination problem. Most of them will not scale to the Hugos. There are only six categories on the Peggy ballot.

The only change I would like to see adopted is not allowing a author to monopolize a category. But even that may not fly with the Business Meeting.

#458 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 05:43 PM:

Lori Coulson #457:

I wonder if we necessarily need a rule for this because in recent years we are seeing more examples of Hugo winners recusing themselves from consideration, not just for the next year but often permanently.

I think it's a great trend & reflects well on the individuals who have done so. The organic way this is changing (I think we are seeing more winners recusing themselves from consideration than before) adds to the culture & tradition of the Hugos in a way rule changes don't quite encompass.

Or am I just talking out of a hole in my head?

#459 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 05:55 PM:

Flint does have one decent point: should the short vs long divisions and award balances be rethought? However, the whinging about series is nonsense. Since 2000, seven of the Best Novel winners have been from series, and 4 of those are the second or later book. and that is actually a decrease from the 90s, when exactly ONE winner was not part of a series. With seven of those being second or later in the series.

The fact Weber doesn't get Best Novel for writing mediocre milfic does not mean the award system has much problem dealing with series.

#460 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 05:56 PM:

Flint does have one decent point: should the short vs long divisions and award balances be rethought? However, the whinging about series is nonsense. Since 2000, seven of the Best Novel winners have been from series, and 4 of those are the second or later book. and that is actually a decrease from the 90s, when exactly ONE winner was not part of a series. With seven of those being second or later in the series.

The fact Weber doesn't get Best Novel for writing mediocre milfic does not mean the award system has much problem dealing with series.

#461 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 06:01 PM:

Sorry about the dupe! Browser stuttered.

#462 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 06:15 PM:

Brad builds interesting in-tribes and out-tribes. People who are drinking, not "alert and sober"-eyed, and sitting in their own shit, are not the same as people who are on the street, dressed differently. People walking into your party dressed differently are not the same as people with badges, guns, and the full majesty of the law, shining a light [that doubles as a club] in your face and asking for your papers.

I wonder. Is he really that clumsy with ideas?

#463 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 06:28 PM:

Zack at #456 Anyone would have had a hard time selling to Asimov's in the 1950s, as it was not founded until 1977.

#464 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 07:25 PM:

tavella @ 459: However, the whinging about series is nonsense.

Er--I think Flint is differentiating between "series" as "group of loosely connected books which can be read as standalones" and "books that are part of a continuous story, where the story isn't really finished at the end of one book." If you look at the second category alone, the number of novels nominating/winning the Hugo as part of a series is smaller. (I also don't think he's "whinging" about it, exactly--just pointing out another reason why some books and their authors don't easily win Best Novel Hugos that has nothing to do with the authors' politics. And I do agree that series novels can win the Hugo, have in the past and probably will again--it just tends to be a bit harder than for standalones, in some ways, I think.)

Niall McAuley @ 455: There is and always was a separate award for writers who produce stuff that sells: money.

I thought that was kind of Flint's point? Not that I agree with him, exactly--I haven't really thought about the issue at much length--but it seemed to me that he was pointing out that writers who want to earn a living are likely not to automatically write for (or win) awards, and being upset about what is at least partly the writer's choice is kind of silly . . .

#465 ::: Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 07:30 PM:

Anyone hoping against hope that Jim Butcher's long silence would end classily can stop hoping: https://twitter.com/longshotauthor/status/588441394806591488

#466 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 07:37 PM:

Well, that just took care of one ballot choice. Even though I like his books, I'll have no qualms about placing his below "no award."

#467 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 07:38 PM:

Doctor Science, #424
Cheradenine, #444

Torgerson's continual modus operandi is to not respond to what was actually said, but to respond to things which people did not actually say -- in the hope that this will fool other people reading along to believe that the other person actually did say what he claims they did, and that his response is a legitimate one. And often his responses sound quite reasonable, unless you're paying attention and notice that he's 1) completely sidestepped the actual question, and 2) accused the other person of saying/doing something they haven't actually said/done.

All of his comments on GRRM's blog, and all the comments I've seen him make around Facebook in the last couple of weeks, fall into this category.

Furthermore, on numerous occasions when he has been asked to justify his stance that VD should be tolerated and not ostracized, because he sympathizes with the "underdog", with his stance in repeatedly demonstrating intolerance and abusive commentary toward persons of racial, religious, or gender minority, he avoids answering the question. His "tolerance" is extremely selective.

He has also repeatedly denigrated the efforts of people to fight racism as "worthless", "meaningless", and "counter-productive", because, he says, "they will not do anything to improve things for my wife".

#468 ::: Brendan ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 07:46 PM:

#282 About Day of the Dove, I am guessing that chap William Lehman who only saw the cool gadgets must have missed that one since most people consider it way too preachy. Even he couldn't have missed its message.

A couple of dispersed comments brought forth the idea of a welcoming badge. It is a dial 1-10, 1 being "If I didn't really want to see this panel I would be hiding in a corner" and 10 "I don't care what your politics are or when you last bathed. Lets party!"

I was struck by Eric's size discussion. While not necessarily adding categories, might it be possible to re-jig the word lengths for each category to reflect modern publishing? (Although to tell the truth I think books are getting too big and bloated, so I would prefer Modern publishing re-adjust to the old lengths than vis vera. But that aint gonna happen!)

#469 ::: Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 07:51 PM:

@Lori Coulson: I thought most of Butcher's books weren't very good, but they're likable, so I ended up reading a dozen and projecting that likability onto the author. But he's got to have an unappealing level of envy to join this scheme. With all he has in life and career, that's...blameworthy.

#470 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:01 PM:

I dunno, re: Butcher. That particular tweet read more like "a plague on both houses" to me . . . unless I'm missing something? Snarky and graceless, maybe, especially since it's almost out-of-context, but one reason I don't like twitter is that it seems designed for out-of-context snark.

#471 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:02 PM:

#448 ::: Sarah

The fans are allowed to decide whether a work is sf or not. Could the same be applied to whether something counts as the end of a series?

#472 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:03 PM:

Tom Whitmore #443: Except that Punk was actually a new style, which survives and has also blended into the mainstream. Likewise for hip-hop. And there are newer SF styles which have done likewise. But the Puppies are opposed to the new styles and themes, they're closer to insisting that this newfangled "rock and roll" stuff has totally taken over the Grammys.

Seth Gordon #446: Correia might possibly be "in the grip" of the Geek Social Fallacies, but I'd say that VD and Torgerson are actively exploiting them, as well-indicated in that recently-linked article.

Soon Lee #458: Hmm. I'm considering that "a gift given thrice in a row becomes customary tribute" cuts both ways. Perhaps a limit of three in one category, seven lifetime (excluding explicit lifetime-achievement awards).

Sandy B. #462: It looked to me like he was playing a shell-game with those contorted (or purported) analogies and metaphors -- keep switching around the correspondences until nobody can tell what's supposed to match up with what.

As far as Flint's ideas for changing categories for the Hugos -- well, changing the length ranges would be a straightforward proposal. Likewise, a Series award with tweaked publication rules. Or new genres such as Comedic Works... though that one in particular might fare better as a separate award: The Pratchett.

#473 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:10 PM:

Me #472: The Pratchett.

Or for extra mischieviousness: The Pterry!

#474 ::: nathanbp ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:28 PM:

Mary Frances @470: I could understand (although not agree with) the "a plague on both your houses" sentiment if Butcher wasn't involved. But coming from a nominee from the slates that seems like a somewhat cowardly position to take.

#475 ::: viktor ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:30 PM:

Mary Robinette Kowal's Supporting Membership Giveaway ends tonight midnight Central Time.
http://maryrobinettekowal.com/journal/talk-with-me-about-being-a-fan-of-science-fiction-and-fantasy/

Entrants will be drawn randomly.

#476 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:40 PM:

nathanbp @ 470: He was responding to a really broad, general question (in my opinion) with a one-liner. Why would anyone ask a question like that on twitter, anyway? Or respond to it at all? Ah, well. As I said, I don't Speak Tweet, so I really don't understand the context.

#477 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:41 PM:

Um, should add: I'm neither defending nor attacking Mr. Butcher. I just wasn't sure I understood what he was tweeting . . .

#478 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 08:49 PM:

beth @463 Doh! Teach me to say things like that without fact-checking them. I trust it still works as a label for a particular style of story, though?

#479 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:21 PM:

David Harmon@435: He's also comparing the SPs to blacks who have wandered into an all-white convention in ghetto threads.

Right. And one of their members is wearing a white hood and robe and he's brought a posse of people with a history of criminal harassment.

Unh-unh. You ain't an oppressed minority, no matter how you spin it.

#480 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:24 PM:

I'm reminded of the Bush II administration's arguments for Iraq War II, where the administration almost never said that Iraq was responsible for 9/11, but always made sure that both were mentioned in close proximity in the same speech. Torgersen is producing studied propaganda. It's possible he's figured out how to do this on his own, but I wonder if Beale provided a help and direction.

#481 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:36 PM:

He gives a non-answer to the same question from someone else later.

#482 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:38 PM:

Gah, pushed post too soon. "He" is Jim Butcher.

#483 ::: viktor ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:39 PM:

@465
By "end classily" what do you mean? His tweet seemed classy to me. He's just saying the obvious.

#484 ::: viktor ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:40 PM:

@465
By "end classily" what do you mean? His tweet seemed classy to me. He's just saying the obvious.

#485 ::: viktor ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:42 PM:

appy polly loggys for the double entry.

#486 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:45 PM:

Naomi Parkhurst, #481

My personal feeling is that people shouldn't weigh in in situations like this, if all they're going to do is weasel and evade.

Picacio did the exact same thing last year when, after expressing sympathy for Ross over Hugo hosting gig debacle, he was asked to state his opinion, and he proceeded to make a bunch of non-committal weasel statements.

#487 ::: Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 09:57 PM:

@Viktor: Who do you think Butcher means by "people," and what do you think he means by "*things* become politicized"? Butcher's not a great writer, but he's a competent one. So a switch to passive voice like the end of his tweet is strategic, not blundering.

#488 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:03 PM:

JJ @486

Agreed.

#489 ::: viktor ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:11 PM:

@487 Fair enough and with the caveat that I do not speak for JB:

People = the skiffy in-group
Things = Hugo noms.

I have no opinion as to the switch to the passive voice in his tweet.

Your turn.

Please explain why his tweet is not "classy", which is where we started.

https://twitter.com/longshotauthor/status/588441394806591488

#490 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:15 PM:

489
The assumption that there's some kind of 'in-group' that controls the Hugos is a laugh: the only group that does that is the voters. Any 'politicizing' is the result of the juvenile canines and their shenanigans.

#491 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:17 PM:

viktor @ 489: Actually, I initially read "people" as the Sad Puppies, and "things" as Hugo noms . . . because he was responding to a questions specifically naming the Sad Puppies, I suppose. But then he shifts to passive voice, notoriously the voice used when you don't want to name (or don't know the name of) the actor, and I realized I didn't know for sure. Hence my initial quest for enlightenment. Now I think--maybe--that what Butcher is trying to do is "not answer"--in the process of which I suspect he'll offend everyone.

#492 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:19 PM:

My reading of the Butcher tweet was "You SJWs went and put politics in your SF. So now you're just getting what's coming to you."

Which is to say, he's announcing that he's a puppy. So you'll find that classy to exactly the extent that you're on board with the puppy agenda.

Right?

#493 ::: viktor ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:25 PM:

@490:
Answer the man's question. I did, and you did not like my answer. Your turn.

@491
Really? We are parsing switches in voices in a tweet? We've come so far!

#494 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:33 PM:

493
You don't like the answer you got. Tough shit.
Anyone who tells you there is a secret group running things is lying to you, and you need to ask what they gain from it.

#495 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:35 PM:

viktor @493: Kind of sounds like you want to play a game in which everyone tries to convince you to read that tweet the way they do, and you get to strike the pose of being unconvinced. Can you imagine how boring a game that would be for everyone but you? How surprised are you that nobody's eager to play?

#496 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:35 PM:

Oh, for heaven's sake, viktor (@493), don't be disingenuous. Jim Butcher was on the Sad Puppies slate. If he's coming out in support of the slaters, especially without being all that specific about it, I can see people here reading that as "not classy." Especially if they admire his work and were hoping he'd go in the opposite direction. I may not agree with them--to tell you the truth, I don't really care--but it seems fairly obvious.

I was just trying to explain that I found Butcher's statement ambiguous, and a part of that was that he uses passive voice. (I teach grammar, I can't exactly help noticing things like that.) A bigger part of it was, as I believe I have already indicated, that I do not Speak Tweet, and indeed dislike twitter in general, so I wasn't sure I understood the context.

#497 ::: BigHank53 ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:38 PM:

The Puppies as punk rockers? The punks just thought most pop music sucked, and set out to make their own--something all the Puppies have already succeeded at. I think you're off by more than a century. Here's a famous US politician:

The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task.

Did anyone else notice that Correia has never stated any victory conditions? Oh, he says he would have been happy if everyone had conceded the Hugos were a big ol' groupthink in-crowd wankfest a few years back...but not any more. No, now his honor has been insulted. Now his friends Vox and Brad are involved, too, and Brad is a dozen times as determined as Larry is...and Vox is issuing threats.

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.

The reactionary flavor of the Puppies' arguments seemed awfully familiar to me, but the penny didn't drop until David Gerrold used the phrase "Confederate politicians".

These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas' new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private.

Abraham Lincoln, of course. Cooper Union 2/27/1860.

#498 ::: viktor ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:55 PM:

@494 actually is was you that did not like the answers that you got -- my answers to the man's questions. So I asked you to answer the same questions, which you did not do.

@495
I think most of us agree about what that tweet means/says -- whether we agree with it or not. I'd just like everyone to say it out loud, like @496 did

@496 not sure who's being disingenuous. I was asked to fill in the blanks on a tweet. I did. Agree or not is fine. I asked others to do the same.

#499 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 10:59 PM:

victor @489

What "skiffy in-group", exactly? Please be specific.

#500 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:21 PM:

498
You aren't getting the answer you want, so you're going to throw accusations and insults around.
Honey-child, bless your heart, I was on one of those Hugo subcommittees, and I know what I'm talking about. You have lies someone fed you and you don't want to hear anything that contradicts them.

#501 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:24 PM:

I suspect viktor is "just asking questions." At any rate zir comment history isn't convincing me otherwise.

#502 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:36 PM:

Butcher sounds to me like someone who, having realized he's stuck his tail into a slicebill nest, is trying to get past the situation without having anyone get angry with him... which, paradoxically, is more likely to make everyone angry with him.

Viktor -- as a pinata, dh was much more interesting. You're just sea-lioning.

#503 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:37 PM:

An excellent (IMO) piece on On The Media, on NPR, about the Puppies. Arthur Chu seems to have a good perspective on what's going on, and he gets most of the airtime, after a bit of Correia. I recommend listening to the whole thing -- and sending your friends who don't understand what's happening to it.

#504 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:53 PM:

NB: it's already attracted two comments, one from a Puppy supporter.

#505 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2015, 11:55 PM:

Tom, #503: And the third comment down is someone slavishly reciting every SP talking point.

#506 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 12:01 AM:

504/505
They're apparently very alert little canines, and have lots of sockpuppets, too.

#507 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 12:01 AM:

506
Or maybe that should be 'sockpuppies'.

#508 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 12:24 AM:

Viktor – Had I been saying the initial comment, I would have just said it wouldn't end well. Since it won't. It's going to end in no one being happy about anything the man says.

Also, I read it as either, “People (SJWs) keep proclaiming their stance on everything, acting like politicians, and then become shocked when things become politicized,” or possibly, “People (Puppies) keep proclaiming their stance on everything, acting like politicians, and then get all shocked when things become politicized.” He may also mean, “People (in general) keep proclaiming their stance on everything, acting like politicians, and then get all shocked when things become politicized.”

In other words, we ain't got no idea, and I've decided I'm not going to draw a conclusion.

#509 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 12:26 AM:

Lee @505: the comments are in reverse chronological order (newest at the top). So it's the first comment, not the third....

#510 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:00 AM:

Moshe Feder has popped into the On the Media comments to recommend Jeet Heer's piece on the New Republic site, "Science Fiction's White Boys' Club Strikes Back."

That does not seem like a title that's going to pour oil on troubled waters. The text reinforces my first impression: Heer is not kind to Puppies.

#511 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:28 AM:

Zack @478: For me at least, it really doesn't. Perhaps you can unpack?

#512 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:33 AM:

...having realized he's stuck his tail into a slicebill nest...

Interesting choice of metaphors, given that the book is a meditation on how any/everyone SHOULD NOT behave during a crisis.

#513 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:53 AM:

Erik V. Olson @393: I'm okay with considering non-Puppie nominees on their merits: they bubbled up, despite the slate. Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, in particular: I've seen all but The Lego Movie (just not my thing, so meh.) Guardians and Interstellar* were, IMHO, not implausible candidates. Non-Puppie Captain America I thought was an entirely serivceable action flick.

But I'm totally down with Edge of Tomorrow. All else aside, I'd probably rank that first anyway.

* If you ignore the whole, um, science thing.

#514 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:54 AM:

Monsieur le Error, du la Servuer Internale.... le whack.

#515 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 02:19 AM:

I have created more Sad Puppy Art

The piece was created from a creative commons licensed work which allows for commercial use. It it available for use by anyone who wants to put it on a T-Shirt, coffee mug, etc. You don't have to pay me or anything, just use it for anti-SP.

#516 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 02:40 AM:

Jacque @593: Dramatic presentation, long form really shouldn't count. They've just thrown up the most plausible choices so if they win, they can crow about it. There's nothing about the Lego Movie that ought to appeal to them. In fact, it's message is pretty contrary to what the espouse. And the whole notion that any of those entries are underdogs or increasing diversity...well....

#517 ::: inge ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:55 AM:

Rick Moen @ #352: Please do visit the dark side again: We have chocolate.
Helsinki 2017, if they can make it. I hope that this mess isn't damaging their chances.

Mary Frances @ #407, That's my impression about that tweet, too. Kind of "leave me alone", all of you", which is an understandable reaction, even if not a classy one for a writer who has been given a horse in that race. Not that I care too much -- while I kind of liked the first Dresden novel, the next five all gave me strong deja-vu (as in "I GMd that story in the 90s"), so I'm not inclined to like the latest one. (Well, haven't read it yet. If it's in the Hugo package and it turns out to be brilliant, I will angst.)

#518 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:06 AM:

David Harmon @473: Pratchett : Pterry :: Hugo : Rocket

#519 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 06:38 AM:

Hmm, I think JB's tweet is ambiguous at best, and he's a good enough writer that that's probably intentional.

His participation in this scheme breaks my fucking heart. I think his work has been overlooked, not because of politics, but because a) urban fantasy in general is not highly regarded at Hugo time and b) his first few books were amusing fluff.

And you really do have to plow through that amusing fluff to make sense of Skin Game, which is anything but. It's a marvelously complex work, in both plot and theme, but if you haven't read the other books in the series, Harry's dilemmas will be neither sympathetic nor comprehensible.

It's going to really hurt to put it below No Award. I don't see another ethical choice at this point.

#520 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:01 AM:

Jacque @ 518: Pratchett : Pterry :: Hugo : Rocket

Not Pratchet : pTurtle :: Hugo : Rocket?

#521 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:06 AM:

I just went to check again how much an attending membership is, and where the convention actually is, but the registration page is completely blank (as in, "View Source for reg.php and see absolutely nothing"). Curious.

#522 ::: Pete M ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:11 AM:

Random Thoughts (admitting to not having read every word of every discussion thread due to time constraints):

1. I read Kevin Anderson's nominated book, finished it yesterday. It was fun; I liked it. It's a workmanlike space opera, though I found the shifting viewpoint characters thing to be a bit unfocusing. But a Hugo-caliber work it is not. I am putting it below "no award" for purely literary reasons.

I don't mind the concept of people recommending books that would normally get overlooked. In this case, though, the book would normally get overlooked for good reason.

To me, a Hugo winner has to be a good story, but it also has to have something else -- originality of invention, mind-blowing ideas, amazing characters. Something that sets it beyond journeyman work. This is fine, but not special.

2. In one of his (many) posts on this, Larry Correia asks if Starship Troopers would win today. Maybe, maybe not. If your point is that a book as good as Starship Troopers would be overlooked today because the voters lean to the left, step one to testing that is friggin' WRITE STARSHIP TROOPERS. Or a book as good, as interesting, as original now as Starship Troopers was then.

Write a right-leaning SF book that stands up to Starship Troopers and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. THEN if you get screwed, hold it up as an example. But don't go recommending mediocre work and complaining it gets overlooked. It gets overlooked for the same reason The Cheescake Factory doesn't get a Michelin Star.

In Correia's case, I don't think he has it in him to write a great novel that transcends being a good story. Torgerson I think had that potential, and I would have considered The Chaplain's War to be pretty good nominee. But I suspect he has poisoned the well, so if he wrote a Starship Troopers-caliber book it wouldn't be a fair test.

3. One of the Sad Puppy complaints is that Hugo winners are too "literary," not just "good reads," as it were. You mean like the very first Hugo winner, The Demolished Man?

Heinlein won four times Double Star is pretty straightforward and unadorned, but look at the rest. Starship Troopers is told out-of-sequence; it could be a Tarrantino movie. But he does it so elegantly that many readers probably don't notice that it's written in a very sophisticated way. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress has a viewpoint character who speaks using a language obviously influenced from Russian and other places, similar to A Clockwork Orange. Stranger is the start of Heinlein Weirdness.

If your complaint is that today's Hugo winners aren't straightforward action stories, as opposed to the red meat SF of yesteryear, Heinlein is the LAST person you want to be talking about.

Other sixties-era winners include The Demolished Man, The Man In the High Castle, A Canticle for Lebovitz. The last I looked, none of them contained long battle sequences where we are told that Graser 2 and 3 were completely destroyed while an X-Ray laser stabbed through Impeller Room 2 and put the Number 3 fusion reactor into emergency shutdown.

Not that I object to such stories. But I've also been known to eat at the Cheesecake Factory.

4. I don't love love love every novel to win the Hugo. I kind of agree that, for a Hugo Winner, Redshirts was kind of thin gruel. But hey, other people loved it. By the same token, I don't love the Kim Stanley Robinson winners either. I conclude from this that other people have tastes that differ from mine.

5. I continue to believe that Tom Kratman's novella "Big Boys Don't Cry" actually does transcend being a milsf action story and deserves to be placed well above No Award. I have not read the other nominees yet, but I plan to put Kratman's story where I think it deserves to be based on literary value.

6. I am really glad The Three Body Problem is on the ballot. Have not yet read Goblin Emperor or Ancillary Shield yet, but will do so. But they have tough hill to climb to take The Three Body Problem out of my number one slot. It's the best sf novel I've read in a decade.

#523 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:32 AM:

What if one has read some of the non-Puppy works on the ballot and one finds them not up to the level one thinks of as Hugo-worthy?

#524 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:33 AM:

What if one has read some of the non-Puppy works on the ballot and one finds them not up to the level one thinks of as Hugo-worthy?

#525 ::: Guess ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:35 AM:

If a translated work wins does both the translator and the author get a trophy?

#526 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:35 AM:

Maybe it's all a side issue for Jim Butcher. His sales figures are great, and he's got tons of fans. So what if the awards people normally ignore him? They aren't the readership he's aiming at. And he must know that even discounting how he got nominated, book 14 of a series structured like his has virtually no chance of winning, because people who haven't read the other 13 won't appreciate it. I bet he's not holding his breath.

Anything he does in the current situation, including nothing, will lose him some readers, but most of his fans won't even be paying attention. At the same time, it would have seemed rude of him not to answer direct questions on Twitter. (Assuming they weren't from sealions. Maybe they were from friends.)

I read a few Dresden Files books years ago, and I liked them, but not enough to commit to the series. If I felt like diving back in, I wouldn't let current events stop me.

#527 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:35 AM:

Maybe it's all a side issue for Jim Butcher. His sales figures are great, and he's got tons of fans. So what if the awards people normally ignore him? They aren't the readership he's aiming at. And he must know that even discounting how he got nominated, book 14 of a series structured like his has virtually no chance of winning, because people who haven't read the other 13 won't appreciate it. I bet he's not holding his breath.

Anything he does in the current situation, including nothing, will lose him some readers, but most of his fans won't even be paying attention. At the same time, it would have seemed rude of him not to answer direct questions on Twitter. (Assuming they weren't from sealions. Maybe they were from friends.)

I read a few Dresden Files books years ago, and I liked them, but not enough to commit to the series. If I felt like diving back in, I wouldn't let current events stop me.

#528 ::: Peace Is My Middle Name ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:36 AM:

Huh, how did that happen? My apologies for the double post at #523-524.

#529 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:41 AM:

Sorry for the double comment! I think I tapped the button twice by accident. Then the site told me my post had been rejected, and I thought it meant both of them.

Peace Is My Middle Name: One ranks them below No Award. That's what it's for.

#530 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:47 AM:

Peace,
Rank them where you think they belong.

If I thought they belonged below No Award, that's where I would put them.

#531 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:47 AM:

Xopher@519:That's pretty much where I'm.at also. It's a good book.
In one sense, however, I already ranked it below No Award as I didn't nominate it. I did think about it and would probably have put it around 7 or 8 on my list.
I am quite happy that Three Body Problem made it on. I haven't read it yet, but have heard really good things. 1, 2 and 3 are going to be tough rankings for me, I suspect.

#532 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:11 AM:

Whether Butcher is saying a pox on both houses or a pox on one house in that tweet seems irrelevant to me. He's obviously trying to stay above the fray.

Does anyone even know if he cares about the Hugos or Worldcon?

#533 ::: Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:45 AM:

@Viktor: Thanks for your answer. I interpret it roughly as you do, where "things become political" means "the out-group strikes back." Why is it not "classy?"

1. It's a classic "The bitch made me do it" formulation. 2. It asserts the validity of the Puppy Frame: there is an in-group; the in-group makes everything "political" and only the in-group does this; reaction against this horror is only natural.
3. The Puppies are themselves classless, as previously detailed: slates are an exploit; the Pups are driven by resentment.
4. In a reply I did not quote, Butcher accepts that critics of the Puppy noms and by implication his participation in Puppyism are "Haters."
5. One reason I had to quote reply-tweets is that Butcher has not directly acknowledged either the nomination itself or its unusual context in his timeline otherwise. If he cares about the award enough to join the Pups that's...odd. If he doesn't care about the award, then why participate in the slate? If he didn't participate in the slate, why not say? It all betrays either a guilty conscience or cowardice or both.

All of which over-fulfills the requirements for classless in my book. I trust you will regard this as a complete and forthright answer whether you agree with it or not. For the record, I found your own answer to my question perfectly satisfying. Thank you.

#534 ::: James Moar ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:47 AM:

Beth@463, I suppose they could have always sold suspiciously well-researched time-travel/parallel-universe stories....

#535 ::: Brian Gibbons ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:20 AM:

If you can read "People keep... acting like politicians and then become shocked when things become politicized" as meaning anything other than "The SJWs/nefarious cabal in control of the Hugos started it first; they shouldn't get all shocked when people push back", you have a much lower opinion of Butcher's ability to express himself than I. The only contrary interpretation I could buy would be that this is an incoherent word salad that fails to actually say anything; trying to interpret this as "Well, maybe he's saying the puppies were acting like politicians? Maybe he's talking about some other unknown 'people'?" strikes me as an act of willful ignorance, the actions of someone who wants to stick their head in the sand because the alternative is to lose respect for someone they once admired.

And, hey, if that helps you sleep at night, who am I to insist on your insomnia?

I had just been musing to a friend that it must be odd for a puppy to read GRRM's blog, in which he's clearly pushed back at the puppies. The normal human tendency is to assume that all right-thinking people agree with you, and since anyone whose works you enjoy is naturally assumed to be a right-thinking person, they would obviously be on your side if they deigned to enter the discussion. If you're both a rabid GRRM fan and rabid puppy, there must be some serious cognitive dissonance as you try to reconcile the two.

I guess I know how they feel now. Butcher's original response was reported secondhand as being essentially, "Hey, if people want to vote for me, I should tell them not to?", which I thought was bit short-sighted but understandable. This, however, seems pretty clearly to be parroting the puppy position that they're the aggrieved party, that they weren't the ones who made the Hugos political first. This causes me to think a good deal less of him, not only because I consider that a nonsensical position, but also because if he did want to enter the fray, a drive-by tweet seems like an idiotic way to do it.

#536 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:40 AM:

And in related news:

exasperated: JERRY!

#537 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:44 AM:

So, on the one hand we have Jim Butcher's reaction....

And on the other hand, we have Marko Kloos's dignified and principled withdrawal, which had the added bonus of getting Three Body Problem onto the final ballot.

I think I know which one impresses me more favourably. (And, yes, it netted Mr. Kloos a couple more ebook sales, too.)

#538 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:48 AM:

C. Wingate@536:Ouch. Now, there's a move I would file under lack of class.

#539 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:59 AM:

Pete M @ 522: Regarding your point #4--I've been hear a lot of "faint praise" for Redshirts, mostly the SPs or RPs using it as an example for how the Hugos must be biassed because otherwise Scalzi would never have one a Best Novel Hugo for "that book" and people on the Traditional Hugos side responding as you have done here. I haven't spoken up myself, partly because a lot of the comments I noticed were in places were I can't comment (I can't post on GRRM's LJ, for example, as I don't have an active account and don't want one) and more significantly because I didn't vote that year--it was a bad year personally for me and I didn't read all of the nominees (let alone nominate). However, what I really needed that year was fun, fast, engrossing reads, and my choice that year would probably have been between Redshirts and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. CVA was a good read, but it was if anything even "lighter" than Redshirts, and to be blunt, Bujold already has lots of Best Novel Hugos, for works that I thought were stronger. In addition, I thought that Redshirts had some interesting things to say about the responsibility of an artist to his craft. In a way, I read it as a kind of love letter to any low midlist or work for hire or media tie-in author (and I qualify as all three) who had ever been tempted to turn in subpar work because "What the heck, no one expects great writing from a book with lightsabers on the cover, I'm not getting paid to write Moby-Dick"--in other words, to any writer who did the best work that he or she could, no matter what was expected. Redshirts said that the work matters, quality matters--every time.

I have also, flatly, adored that particular form of metafiction every since I read Six Characters in Search of an Author in high school, and Scalzi did an excellent job of using it in the context of Star Trek, which I thought was wonderful. Do I believe that Redshirts was the greatest novel ever to win a Hugo? No. But there are lots of years when the winner doesn't measure up to, say, The Left Hand of Darkness, and I do think it deserves to be on the list. If I'd voted that year, I would probably have voted for it.

Sorry. I don't mean to land on you personally, Pete M. I just felt that something like this needed to be said.

#540 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:05 AM:

456: They mostly do not write the sort of thing that would have been published in Asimov's in the 1950s

To be pedantic, no one wrote stories that would be published in Asimov's in the 1950s, since the magazine didn't exist until the 1970s.

#541 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:06 AM:

Brian Gibbons @ 535: Just an insignificant aside--what makes you believe that the fact that I found Jim Butcher's tweet ambiguous makes me or anyone have more respect for him? At least in the long run? Other way around, actually. If he'd come flat out and said "I support the Puppies and I'm grateful/proud to be on the slate," I'd probably respect him more, speaking personally. (I would think he was wrong, mind you, but that's a different issue.) I might be inaccurate, here, but I also doubt that the people who found Butcher's tweet "classless" due to what they read as it's support of the Puppies would feel any differently if it were more (or even less, thought that would be difficult) specific . . .

#542 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:13 AM:

#424 Doctor Science

Torgesen's response is out of phase. "Tribalism" ? Um...

When I see someone walking around whose pants look like he (it's almost always he) took a dump in them, it tells me that the person is affecting, for whatever reasons, a style of clothing/dressing indicative of atltitudes/values which are highly offputting to me.

That's not "tribalism," that's "that person is showing an identity of being someone with an affilation to a culture which includes e.g. gangsta rap misogyny. I do not want to be in the company of people whose theme music's iconic content includes calling women whores, beating up women, and promoting rape.

I don't deliberately math-geek in casual conversation with strangers I don't have reason to believe are math-savvy--it's exclusionary and ticks non-mathophiles off, because it doesn't convey meaning/information to them and is literally nonsensical to them. Generally either they realize I'm using terms that have no meaning for them and that pisses them off for failing to use terms which mean something to them, or they think I am spewing bullshit with doesn't mean anything and are annoyed at being subjected to noise....

Assessing someone based on appearance is a shortcut and enabling factor of "is this person a threat, a nonthreat, a potential friend, someone to engage, someone to not engage..." If not doing that, there's an overload situation of having to work from -no- hypoteoses or extrapolations.

If someone is walking around with a swastika painted on shaved head, I am NOT going to voluntarily go near that person.

=============
Torgesen's left out some key considerations--he's acting like the characters in is it The Little Red Hen. He's demanding a full-course dinner of food he likes, at a table set to his idea of fine dining, and bashes the all-volunteer cooks and servers for failing to provide the meal he has put none of his effort into except a token payment for. He's recruited a group of buddies to show up and clear out the refrigerator and fill it with greasy bear meat and Vegemite because they love greasy bear meat and Vegemite and demand the volunteer cooks and servers, who are not fond of greasy bear meat and broccoli, cook and serve it to the gathering, which the majority of also dislike bear meat and Vegemite.

Is it any wonder the cooks, the servers, and the diners get angry?!

#436 Jim

"Lord of the Rings is like Terry Brooks' writing!"
Overhead by youth leaving an Apollo XIII showing, "Why did it end the way it did?"

Various

A mile or so from the Readercon hotel, in Burlington, MA on the other side of route 128/I-95, off I, there is "Rounder Way" off a street off the Middlesex Turnpike. Rounder Way was named for Rounder Records, which for years was in facilities on Rounder Way in Burlington. Rounder Records recorded lots of folk artists, and got started during a big folk music era in Boston and Cambridge. It moved to facilities it had I think custom-built in Burlington, because it's a lot less expensive to build and operate a business in Burlington than in Boston or Cambridge. It's also easier and faster to get to for people who drive and are not on the mass transit subway or trolley lines.

However, a year or two or so ago, Rounder Records moved to Nashvile, because that's where more and more of their artists had moved to or lived, until the share of artists there, was overwhelmingly larger than the share of Rounder Record artists in New England. And so, Rounder Records relocated.

#456 Zack

Dinopuppies, trying to reinstitute the far dead and gone past....

This year's shortlist -- well, they felt as if the graying white male crowd had snatched that away from them again and slammed the door in their faces.

I'm an AARP-eligible white female, and I agree with that perspective.... I have consistently for decades found it much more interesting, if not necessarily always rewarding, to sample new voices, than pay attention to the nth book from a writer whose writing doesn't get above pedestrian for me. The new writer might not be to my taste, but at least the new writer is a new voice and not more "meh" from a writer whose work I am indifferent to.

#457 Lori

The people who vote e.g. for Lois McMaster Bujold's books, love her writing, and regard her if not as the premier novelist in the field today, one of them, and someone whose work they nominate and vote for not out of kneejerk response and familiarity, but because it speaks to them as the best current writing in the field.

Telling someone they can't nominate and vote for what they regards as best, is in a lot of people's minds putting an asterisk on the competition "Best except for Lois McMaster Bujold novel/except for Michael Whelan etc. who recused themselves from competition."

The people who voted for Locus all those years, a very large percentage of them were voting their valuation, not voting Locus out of unfamiliarity with anything else.

#458 Soon

Marion Zimmer Bradley withdrew one of her books as a Hugo Final back in the 1960s I think. It wasn't because she had lots of Hugos and thought someone else should get one, it was because she regarded the book as flawed and not deserving the status of Finalist or winner.

#459 tavella

Weber is probably the foremost contemporary practitioner of Massively Extended Expository Lumps. Those unappreciative of substantiative use of the device, tend to neither nominate for Finalist nor vote for a Finalist to the top of their ballot, for Best Novel Hugo.

Weber's books tend to have action in chapters, exposition in chapters, and talking head chapters. Plots and ideas behind plots and tend to predominate over characterization The villains tend to not have lot of nuance to them, and some seem to exist for the purpose of being "here is a character to hate. Others are a setup for what can look like almost gleeful manipulation of "but wait, this apparent villain really does have redeeming social value," and hundreds of pages later becomes a hero. There are some very heavily applied Christian redemption values or rather with patience and understanding the formerly not-quite-on-the-path-to-grace characters (as opposed to the genuinely evil-choosing characters) come to near-grace state and heroic stature.

Compare that against Lois McMaster Bujold's writing. Her "Nexus" universe is science fiction, including militry and militia settings. Some is space opera, some is planetbound (Barrayar and A Civil Campaign take place entirely on a single planet.

Bujold's books are more personal than Weber's --Bujold has a tighter focus and fewer viewpoint characters. There's a lack of expository lumphood.

The situations are more personal. Barrayar (one of Bujold's Hugo winners and which was seralized in Analog) begins with, "I am afraid." Cordelia Lady Vorkosigan is a beached former Betan Survey Captain, living with her husband, who is Regent for a child emperor of the militaristic misogynistic (no women in its military and no women in the Council of Counts) planet Barrayar, and months along in pregnancy, on a planet far less advanced in medical technology than her native one. There's opposition to her husband as Regent and opposiion to her as "a Betan frill."

The viewpoint is Cordelia's, not native to Barrayar, and not native to Barrayar's lethal politics--which extend to an attack on her husband, which drastically affects the health of her fetus....

The SF/F traditions rarely went into the perspective of maternity, the threats and fears, the things which can go wrong, and the conflicts faced when things do go badly wrong. The book also looks at the human costs of lethal politics, there are multiple layers of plots, but none of them are beating the reader over the head with dogma or philosophy or message telegraphing or page after page of exposition.

Weber is the more popular writer and the faster writer, Bujold is the deeper and more thoughtful writer, and the one with the Hugo nominations and wins.

Paladin of Souls, another Hugo winner, is a fantasy novel, but it's one of the journey of a widow, embarking into a new life, rejecting one of gray relegation to a dower house, going on a physical and emotional pilgrimage/journey, and finding new purpose in her life. There's also humor in it, but it;s humor with depth and which evokes thought.

And again, the empty nest widow left having a life after marriage and after the political of the country is no longer a concern of hers, is a theme almost completely absent from SF/F. There's Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon, which was a Hugo Finalist, and Caught in Crystal by Patricia Wrede, but I can't immediately think of anything else on that theme.

Various:

At Noreascon 4, Btucher's response to a question something like why are you a writer or why do you write what you write, was "To pay the mortgage." Someone else asked a related question and got the same "to pay the mortgage" flippant but in deadpan tones, response.

I suspect there could be a context or entire worlds of them, which his Twitter followers might have, that someone popping in to read the content a URL links to which had the comment Butcher posted, are missing.

#543 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:31 AM:

Speaking of Marko Kloos, does anyone know why the paperback edition of Terms of Enlistment is labeled "revised"?

#544 ::: viktor ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:34 AM:

@533 Thanks for your response.

#545 ::: Pete M ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:51 AM:

Mary Frances @539: No need to apologize; I don't feel jumped on by your comment. I think the book is not the best Hugo winner ever, but as I said, other folks loved it and voted for it. I liked it well enough, myself.

The larger point that I could have expressed more clearly is that not every SF fan will love every Hugo winner, much less every nominee. This proves that Tastes Differ. It doesn't prove that the Hugos are broken.

The Puppies and their supporters mostly pick on Redshirts, which is why I mentioned it. They also aren't fans of "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love," and I have to admit that I'm not either. I'd like more in the way of plot or sfnal speculation or . . . something. But apparently some people loved it.

The other winner that they pick on is last year's winner, Ancillary Justice. In a lot of ways, I think they are reacting to what was said about the book rather than the book itself. I read it expecting it to be literary broccoli. What I had heard of it made me think it was going to be a Strident Feminist Tome, like something by Sherri Tepper or Joanna Russ.

I could not have been more surprised. I read it because I signed up as a supporting member, and I wanted to read it before reading Ancillary Shield. (I am not going to read all the Butcher books, but there's like 19 of them.) It turned out to be . . . a space opera adventure.

A good space opera adventure, maybe even a great one. But it's exactly the sort of book that the Sad Puppies say they want to get awards. It could easily be published by Baen.

#546 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 12:00 PM:

Pete M @ 545: Thank you for understanding, Pete. It was just something that had been brewing for a while, and I finally needed to pour it out. (And by the way, in the first sentence of my 539, it should be "never have won," not "one." Honestly, I can't proofread my own text to save my life.)

And you are absolutely correct: it's a matter of taste, and what the competition was that year, and all sorts of intangibles. That's what really matters. I just wanted to stand up for my own tastes, I suppose, which isn't really necessary here at ML, but here is where it boiled over . . .

#547 ::: Kevin Standlee ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 12:43 PM:

Those leaders of Sad Puppies who keep trying to distance themselves from the leader of Rabid Puppies should take note: Yesterday there was a post to the comments at the Hugo Awards web site that I edited in its entirety* at the author's request because the original comment assumed that Vox Day was Larry Correia.

*The WordPress commenting system at THA.org doesn't allow posters to edit their comments, but as one of the site administrators I can do so and I will do so if asked nicely. I also sometimes fix obvious typos.

#548 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:10 PM:

Pete M@545: well, yes, but it's a space opera told from the viewpoint of an AI that thinks that humans are by default female. Girl cooties, dontcha know? Which seems to me the main thing this is about. Except for Wright, who has serious gender attitude issues.

Kevin Standlee@547: snicker. Gonna be hard to shake that connection.

#549 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:14 PM:

Pete M @545: I think the reasons they're so nuts over Redshirts and Scalzi in general are pretty obvious and they have nothing to do with his work, per se. The same thing goes for If You Were a Dinosaur My Love. SF or not SF is NOT the real reason for their hatred for that work, it's the excuse.

#550 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:17 PM:

548
Not an AI, but a human who got some kind of implants (at least partially disabled). It's made clear, particularly in Ancillary Sword, where it comes into the plot. Female seems to be the default third-person pronoun for the Radch language; other languages do have gender (and other) markers, and Breq uses them when it matters.

#551 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:18 PM:

Regarding "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love":

There's been much prior comment about mainstream fiction bleeding into SF/F. I think "Dinosaur" is a nice example of the reverse, where the protagonist is dealing with a "mundane" problem, but bringing a spec-fic mindset. I could say "for whatever good it does"... but we all have to face grief and loss in our turns, and her way of coping is... very familiar.

Any complaints about the "ending" get short shrift from me, as those fall in the same basket as "<some character> is unnecessarily black".

#552 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:26 PM:

PJ Evans @550: No, the human body is an encasement, but the personality originated as the AI of the ship (eventually left with only that one remote out of all the panoply she once inhabited).

#553 ::: Cubist ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:30 PM:

Occasional lurker and first-time commenter here.

Regarding Jim Butcher: As has already been noted earlier, his they-made-it-political-so-whaddaya-expect tweet reads exactly and precisely like an anonymized version of a Puppy talking point. Perhaps Butcher is genuinely ignorant of all (most?) things Puppy, and the "anonymized Puppy talking point" nature of his tweet is an unfortunate coincidence; perhaps Butcher knew exactly what the Puppies are saying, and he wanted to say that, too, without being, you know, too obvious about it.

It's not clear to me that there are any other explanations that come anywhere near passing the laugh test.

#554 ::: Doctor Science ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:33 PM:

@536:

And right there we have one of the big drivers behind this whole fiasco: VD wants money, and money is power.

The Sad Pups are now trying to distance themselves from VD, but he is the greatest beneficiary of their campaign. Frankly, I think he's playing them like a *harp*.

The other way their distancing effort is all faily can be seen by their continued focus on Scalzi. That's a VD meme he's infected them with. IMHO.

Animus towards our bloghosts is, I think, coming both from VD and from the Sads. I don't know that it's partly due to Mormon Puppies being unhappy with TNH, but I would not be in the least surprised.

#555 ::: Danny Sichel ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:41 PM:

Incidentally, I've read that Vox Day is a "tax exile" in Europe. I infer from this that he is unable to return to the United States without risking prosecution (and that, as such, there is literally no chance of him attending Sasquan). That said, I'll grant that a) his situation may be more complex than that, and b) my own understanding of "tax exile" may be incomplete.

I don't suppose anyone might know more?

#556 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:44 PM:

552
I'm not entirely sure about the AI part. There are lots of hints that it's not that simple.

#557 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:46 PM:

P. J. Evans: It is stated in several places explicitly gung gur obqvrf hfrq gb unir crefbanyvgvrf naq zrzbevrf, ohg gung gur vzcynag cebprqher qnzntrf gubfr, naq jura gur NV 'npgvingrf' gurz n ybg bs gur qvfgerff bs gur cebprff vf sebz gur NV gnxvat bire gur obql. N yvggyr yrnxf va (fur yrneaf fbatf sebz gurz), ohg gurl ner abg va snpg va punetr, be rira va nal erny frafr nyvir nalzber.

Rot13'ed in case some people haven't read it yet because I realize we're getting pretty spoilery by some standards. :->

#558 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:54 PM:

557
Sorry, Elliott, I won't be able to read that until I get home tomorrow evening.

#559 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 01:57 PM:

I was citing occurrences in the book that I feel support my beliefs about the nature of the protagonist. Sorry to have over-obscured it.

#560 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 02:10 PM:

558
No - there's a lot of YMMV involved, and I don't always see stuff that's obvious to others.

#561 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 02:33 PM:

Danny Sichel@555: the source on Beale's tax status is Charlie Stross in a previous thread here, who I hope will pick up on this and comment further. If not, you can write him.

#562 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:04 PM:

I'm not sure it quite belongs in this thread, but I'm not sure where else 100% pure 24-K snark of this caliber should go.

Adam Troy-Castro writes some proper Sad-Puppy-approved-style MilSF: "Captain Christian White grimaced, heterosexually."

#563 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:09 PM:

Clifton @ 562: That was hysterical! I don't care if it belongs here or not, thank you for the link!

#564 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:11 PM:

Randolph @548: To quote two wise men:
"Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas."
"That stench don't wash off."

#565 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:15 PM:

563
Well, it is a bit too early for a thread on the 2016 nominees....

#566 ::: Mercy ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:37 PM:

Clifton @562: That was such a happy-making piece of snark that I'm delurking to say how much it made my day. (Totally, that's how much.)

#567 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:41 PM:

You know, the more stuff I read from Brad Torgensen, the more I (cynically) think that this is, in large part, an attempt to up his profile and sell more books. A few years ago, nobody had heard of him and he was just another commenter on Scalzi's blog, honing his passive-aggressive sea lion act. Now he's giving interviews right and left, casting himself as the noble hero.

From an interview he did yesterday: "So, if the progressives feel a duty to keep out-tribe people from participating, I feel a duty to put a hand to their faces and say, “No, you don’t get to decide who is and is not a fan, or who is and is not worthy.”

He certainly is proud of himself.

#568 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:43 PM:

567
And also still clueless. Or possibly gullible, as he's bought into the secret-masters-choose-winners line.

#569 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:46 PM:

It certainly looks like a fourth SP list will be made up, organised by Kate Paulk. She seems to want lots of suggestions, but it is unclear as to how they will be 'curated' down to a slate, and of course there is no recognition that a slate is the problem in the first place.
On GRRM livejournal:

http://grrm.livejournal.com/422311.html?thread=21307815#t21307815

(I like how his LJ name is a bit of a reminder of how his books are)

#570 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 03:51 PM:

Elliott Mason@557: That is indeed stated, but I think it can be questioned whether it is in fact accurate or whether Breq is in some degree deceived (self-deceived?) about what is going on. The fact that fur yrneaf fbatf sebz gurz suggests that gurve pbafpvbhfarff vf abg va snpg jubyyl qrfgeblrq.

As for gender, I'm fairly sure that it is noted at at least one point that gur Ennqpunv qb qvfgvathvfu orgjrra traqref; gurl whfg qb abg znex gur qvfgvapgvba yvathvfgvpnyyl, naq gerng vg nf n cevingr znggre.

I agree with Pete M that the way the book was promoted didn't perfectly fit what it actually was, and some people who might have been attracted by the book may have been put off by the promotion. The book seemed to me to be an exciting work of science fiction in a rather traditional mode, perhaps the most traditional work to have won the novel Hugo this century, a work which gives a resounding 'No!' to Jo Walton's question 'Have we lost the future?', saying interesting things about imperialism and political agency, and about artificial intelligence and distributed consciousness, and only secondarily about gender (though arguably that become more important in the sequel). But it was often spoken of simply as a book which says something revolutionary about gender: this
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/07/hugo-novel-appreciation-ancillary-justice-ann-leckie
expresses and reflects how it was promoted, and it isn't wrong, but it seems to me to be strikingly one-sided.

#571 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:01 PM:

570
I agree that it's not really primarily about gender (IMO gender is not that much a part of it: the use of pronouns seems to confuse people into thinking it is).

#572 ::: Cubist ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:02 PM:

[replying to #569]

[George Takei voice] "Oh, my! [/George Takei voice]

GRRM's closing is a thing of beauty:

We want democracy. We want transparency. We don't want log-rolling. General elections need to be honest, but primary elections should be honest too. And you guys do NOT believe in any sort of political litmus tests, I know, you've said as much a hundred times... so I know you will welcome my own suggestions for Sad Puppies 4, right? Oh, and PNH and TNH, and N.K. Jemisin, and Connie Willis, and David Gerrold, and John Scalzi, and all my friends in the Brotherhood Without Banners... we all love science fiction, we all love puppies...


Can we play too?

#573 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:15 PM:

Cubist #527 - yes, exactly. Hw much of a chance their suggestions would have to make it to the slate is of course not entirely clear.

#574 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:18 PM:

Guthrie@569:They don't seem to realize (or admit) that the process of gathering up good books and nominating them--that's what the Hugo process does.
What they are doing is called subverting the Hugo process.

#575 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:20 PM:

Over on his livejournal, Nick Whyte has an interesting analysis of the comment thread on Brad Torgersens blog in comparison to the final slate. It's based on this spreadsheet (whose accuracy I have not personally checked).

He notes that not all of the works on the slate were actually recommended by his readers, and that some of the works recommended by his readers did not make it onto his slate.

Interesting.

Reading the spreadsheet, the other thing that strikes me is how few people seem to have nominated any works at all. The work with the most votes is "Interstellar", with 5 votes. Skin Game has four, as does Toni Weisskopf. Everything else has, well, less than four votes. Including, ad Nick mentions, many with zero votes.

So basically something could have won a rocket on the basis of five or fewer votes, amplified and re-amplified.

In case you missed it before, I don’t like slates.

#576 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:23 PM:

tavella@459: Can you tell me what the seven winners from series since 2000 are? I'm finding it hard to work out.

But I think that, while it is clearly not true that works in series can't win, it is true that series are often disadvantaged. There are different kinds of series; sets of works which are simply set in the same universe (e.g. Willis, or Bujold's Chalion) aren't a problem; nor are three-volume series with a clear arc, if they get people's attention at the start, as the Ancillary series did. But series which explore the lives of certain characters over many volumes face a problem, in that once they have got going, their audience is the set of fans of that series; they are addressed to people who already know the characters and setting and want to read more about them, and they will have difficulty appealing to those outside that group. That's one reason, not connected either with politics or the quality of his work, why Jim Butcher hasn't been nominated hitherto; it's a reason why Steven Brust, who has many qualities which appeal to Hugo voters, doesn't get nominated. I don't think this is a bad thing; as I've said, I don't believe one awards process can represent the whole field; but this is one reason why some things don't get a look in.

#577 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:29 PM:

Abi@575:That matches the impression I got when I browsed through that thread on Torgersen's blog. A mixed set of nominations that didn't match up. Glad someone did an actual count.

#578 ::: rcade ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:38 PM:

rochrist @ 567: From an interview he did yesterday: "So, if the progressives feel a duty to keep out-tribe people from participating, I feel a duty to put a hand to their faces and say, 'No, you don't get to decide who is and is not a fan, or who is and is not worthy.'"

It's amazing that the Puppies have gotten so many people to express outrage about the fact that the Hugo Awards are voted on by people who financially support Worldcon, as if that's some secret they've just brought to light and not the rule for the six-decade history of the awards.

Torgersen is as shameless as a politician.

#579 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 04:51 PM:

rcade@578: What I find remarkable is the talking point that one can't have any interest in the Hugos if one isn't eligible to vote for them. That is, the Hugos are somehow not for them because they aren't eligible to vote for them. (Never mind that no one is specifically prohibited from becoming eligible. That they can become members of WorldCon if they wanted somehow doesn't matter.)

Literally tens of millions of people (and that's just in the US) are interested in the Oscars. AFAIK, no one claims that the Oscars are not for them because they aren't able to vote on them. And it's much easier to become a member of WorldCon than a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

#580 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:07 PM:

David Harmon@551:

Any complaints about the "ending" [of 'If you were a Dinosaur'] get short shrift from me, as those fall in the same basket as "[some character] is unnecessarily black".

I'm clearly in a 'not getting stuff' state at the moment, but I don't see the parallel - could you expand on it?

#581 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:08 PM:

Mercy @ 566: Welcome! Stick around and join the conversations!

#582 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:25 PM:

I'm just catching up on the Ann Leckie books now (I haven't read last year's Hugo winner, oh the shame), and the pronouns thing - well, it's there, obviously, but it doesn't seem to be carrying any strident message with it.

The idea seems to be that using feminine pronouns for everyone emphasizes the strangeness - the alien nature - of the narrator; because she's radically non-human, something we humans consider crucially important is only an often-overlooked minor detail to her.

There is, I suppose, feminist-debating capital to be made as to why the pronouns applicable to half the human species make the book feel weird and alien... but, so far, Leckie doesn't seem to be engaging with this sort of debate. If any political stance is coming through, it's just a general (and fairly mild) anti-imperialism. The Radch comes across as an empire very much in the Roman mould (there are a number of behaviours straight out of Roman customs), and Leckie does not appear to regard this entirely favourably. "The Roman Empire was not an unmixed blessing" is hardly a radical political position, is it? Even in the circles the Puppies move in?

#583 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:43 PM:

I think it's pretty clear that the Radch language is ungendered, rather than that default humans are female. In all the narrator's tales of the past, people are discriminated against because of money and family, but never because of gender. No one's gender, in the Radch sections, is even relevant to the story.

The Radch empire is a horrible, monstrous, evil society, but sexism is not one of its failings.

#584 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:43 PM:

Steve Wright@582:I recall that Ann Leckie made a post on her blog mentioning many of those points a year ago or so.

#585 ::: Ceri ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:46 PM:

For me, the reason "Ancillary Justice" was revolutionary in using female pronouns was the the way that it took gender out of the conversation almost entirely. The main character has no idea whether the person she is speaking to is male or female, or neither, and it absolutely does not matter.

Everyone is rendered essentially genderless by the narration style. For me that was the revolutionary bit.

The fact that it was done by using the female pronoun, drawing attention to how different it would feel had the theoretically-neutral-in-English 'he' been used, was the feminist bit.

YMMV, of course.

(Also, hi, very occasional poster here. Have been following the Hugo discussions with great interest.)

#586 ::: Mercy ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:49 PM:

Clifton @ 581: I'm planning on it! I may even contribute some poetry. (I write about one poem every four or five years.)

Back on topic, my husband and I both bought supporting memberships last year, mostly because we were wanting to read newer SFF, although it was the discussions of the SP2 (on the non-canine side) that made me aware of the possibility. We both missed the nominating deadline this year though. Oops.

So now we're debating whether to spend the money to vote again this year or to spend it on SFF magazine subscriptions instead, since we especially enjoyed the short fiction last year.

#587 ::: maniacprovost ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:52 PM:

I like option #5. Have nominee vote totals shown and updated live throughout the nomination process.

In addition, people should be able to change their vote. Now that would require a minor amount of computer wizardry. I don't expect the volunteers to do that manually! Here's the advantage:

If I nominate, say, Moby Dick, and then find out it is ineligible, I would be able to change my vote to one that is valid. More importantly, if I vote for something mediocre, I can then see what else was nominated... check it out... and maybe revise my opinion and vote for something different. This way the nomination process acts as a discovery process, and the quality of nominees will improve.

The benefit to you guys I suppose is that if there is an evil bloc vote, everyone else can come together and gradually agree on who the nominees should really be.

#588 ::: Danny Sichel ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 05:54 PM:

@524 - in that case, one ranks them below "No Award" and leaves them off one's ballot (as I've done to a great many nominations in the past).

#589 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 06:05 PM:

Mercy#586:

Something else to consider: most of the shorter stories have already been made available. As a reader (who doesn't subscribe to everything), I am grateful to the publishers of the finalists for making them available to the general public.

#590 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 06:32 PM:

Xopher @583 - I'm now trying to work out if we know the Radch isn't sexist, given how little we know of the sexes of the characters. Would the narrator notice (and, by implication, tell us) if, say, the officer class was predominantly male, and the ancillaries predominantly drawn from females?

Let's see... the Breq body is referred to as female by someone who'd notice, but that's only one datum point. Relationships happen among the officers, and it looks like some of them could lead to marriage in the alliance-between-families sense... and, presumably, the reproductive sense... and some children (we know from the narrator's description of the options) are conceived in what we'd consider the conventional manner... so, we may tentatively assume, at least, that the officer class is open to both sexes.

It's an intriguing intellectual exercise, and it does make one think about implicit assumptions with regard to gender roles. But I honestly don't think any of that gets in the way of the story, which I'm enjoying in its own right.

(The possible phonetic parallel between "the Radch" and "the Raj" also struck me... but the Radch feels, in other respects, much more Roman Empire than British Empire.)

I feel a more general discussion point coming over me, about the value of leaving information out of a text. In this case, not knowing the characters' sexes makes us think about our default assumptions there... a parallel occurred to me in the works of Jose Saramago, and his abstaining from the habit of punctuation. Punctuation conveys information, and leaving that information out... makes the readers insert it themselves, requiring them to infer the missing data from the linguistic information given. (And, of course, two different readers might not necessarily infer the same things. Which leads me to that comment by Borges about the reader being just as important as the writer.)

If we want an example from the SF genre - Robert Heinlein and Starship Troopers, where the information about the narrator's race is kept up Heinlein's sleeve almost till the end of the book. Didn't The Year of the Quiet Sun have a similar twist? (It's been a while since I read that one.)

Er. Ahem. :: withdraws, muttering to himself, in the direction of further literary pseudery ::

#591 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 06:45 PM:

Why does Torgersen's name often find itself misspelled when Correia's doesn't? I guess that's just as well, for the sake of Chick Corea fans.

#592 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 06:45 PM:

It occurs to me that Hugo voting makes no distinction between nominees which aren't listed below No Award because the voter detested them and those that the voter left off the ballot because the voter didn't read them.

Does this matter?

#593 ::: Danny Sichel ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 06:53 PM:

Nancy@592 - that's an interesting question. For instance, last year I left Toni Weisskopf off my ballot specifically and only because I couldn't find a list of what she had written, and in 2009 I left "Anathem" off my ballot specifically and only because it wasn't in my voter packet.

This is to be distinguished from stuff like "Mantis Wives" and "Ponies" and "The Boy Who Cast No Shadow", which I left off my ballot because I loathed them.

#594 ::: Mercy ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 07:06 PM:

Soon Lee @589: Thanks for the link!

#595 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 07:14 PM:

rochrist, #567

I think you are not far off on that.

The author Steven Savile posted this comment on one of David Gerrold's public threads:


People seem to ignore the fact Brad had a single aim with this that had nothing to do with 'tearing down the Hugo establishment' and was all to do with advancing his own career by courting controversy.

How many other first time novelists do you know the name of and engage in debate about so frequently and passionately? He's made a very calculated decision to align himself as the 'anti-scalzi' or Scalzi for the conservative religious right. He's been doing it since day one, first with blogs hoping that Toni Weisskopf would be paying attention as he wanted to gain name recognition status with her, and onwards from that point.

Back when I was one of the mentors at Writers of the Future i cautioned Brad because I'd seen him involved in a full on flame war with Scalzi and seen him actively hunting out conflicts on the internet. I suggested it might not be the smartest long-term game plan and he very passionately argued that I was wrong and that courting controversy had never hurt his friend Larry, or how it was in fact a sound marketing position because whilst alienating one group he would be positioning himself squarely in the camp of another and that it was all about the money in the end.

This is just a very loud and natural extension of that conversation from 2008 or 9 I guess it was. Look at how successful it's been. He's had George RR Martin, David Gerrold ,Tad Williams, and so many other luminaries of the field blogging about him, engaging with him, and introducing him to their audiences. Sure loads of those audiences with think he's a dick, but some will think, hey you know, he's right... and so it goes.

Doubt that? Look at the fact that the Salon article and the EW articles never named him... first thing he did? Outed himself on twitter to the journalist and engaged in a flame war with Arthur Chu suggesting 'quasi-lible' uh huh... yeah, bigger audience to get the name lodged in their head.

It's a clever game plan, of course, because the alternative to engaging is silence, and not contradicting him on the battlefield he's very strategically chosen. He's no idiot, he's digging in for a career pandering to the conservative religious right...

#596 ::: Jim Henley ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 07:20 PM:

"he very passionately argued that I was wrong and that courting controversy had never hurt his friend Larry"

Man, this really doesn't comport with the Puppies claim that getting on the wrong side of the Ess Jay Double-Yous means they'll destroy your career, does it?

#597 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 07:25 PM:

596
They're betting that the people following them and the 'SJWs' they claim are runnign things are mutually-exclusive sets. Which - not so much, when you're making a lot of noise and raising a big stink.

#598 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 07:27 PM:

Andrew M #580: I was being cagey to try and avoid spoilers, so I'm going to ROT13. I scare-quoted "ending" because it's more properly a "reveal":

Qrfcvgr gur cnve orvat qrfpevorq nf znyr-srznyr, gur thl jnf gnxra qbja ol n tnl-onfuvat.

The "classical" narrative defaults would demand that this be "relevant" to the story, a key to what's going on, but AFAICT, it isn't: Unless you read in a big subtext to the relationship ("snt unt"/orneqvat), it's just a sad irony.

#599 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 07:28 PM:

JJ @#595

So Savile is bringing up the good old "bad publicity is still publicity" as a driving factor for the SP guys? That is true in a medium where there are a lot of sales and a lot of fans but... the SFF field is not that huge and none of the puppies will make it to the GRRM level (or Butcher's level or any decently selling author level really) in terms of sales and popularity. So yes - Torgersen got popular but also alienated the core of the group he says he cares about. Trying to dissociate from the RP is kinda showing that he realized that his grab for popularity just got a bit too far. A little too late though.

#600 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 07:43 PM:

Me: #598: BTW, I consider that ambiguity a good thing in a short-story -- almost two stories for the price of one. ;-) On consideration, though, it does undercut my own "short shrift" crack at #551, since that only refers to the "overt" reading.

#601 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:01 PM:

C. 536: I think I'll just add "has been published by Castalia House" to the list of sufficient conditions to be on my "always vote this person below No Award" list.

Ceri 585: Good summary! I entirely agree.

Steve 590: Relationships happen among the officers, and it looks like some of them could lead to marriage in the alliance-between-families sense... and, presumably, the reproductive sense... and some children (we know from the narrator's description of the options) are conceived in what we'd consider the conventional manner... so, we may tentatively assume, at least, that the officer class is open to both sexes.

Not sure how to react to poor evidence for something I think is correct! Some children are conceived the old-fashioned way, but not all, so marriage alliances between families could still take place with same-sex couples, even when children are desired as part of that package. The technology is more than equal to combining sex cells in from any two individuals; we can almost do that now.

I do think the ranks are open to all without regard to sex. I just don't think relationships and marriages, even reproductive marriages, are evidence for that.

I feel a more general discussion point coming over me, about the value of leaving information out of a text. In this case, not knowing the characters' sexes makes us think about our default assumptions there...

Oh, very much so. I found myself slipping into thinking of all the characters as male unless otherwise specified (even with them all being called "she"!), then going "no, no, no!" and metaphorically banging my head on the table.

But I do think the people whose bodies are used for ancillaries are effectively murdered. This is part of why the Raadchai are evil, not just different. The narrator/AI is like a Goa'uld who figured out a way to inhabit multiple bodies, and now feels oppressed by being cut down to only one.

I used the word oppressed on purpose. I think of it as a metaphor for privilege, actually: completely unconscious/uncaring about the cost her former privilege inflicted on others, and feeling "oppressed" by being "put down" to where everyone else always was.

Serge 591: I keep forgetting Correia's first name. Vladimir? No, he's a porn star. Mike? Steve?

I'm just going to call him North.

#602 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:18 PM:

Me #551, #598, #660: And rereading, there actually is a textual pointer to what I'd thought was the insertion of subtext.

I may need to get back into practice with short stories. :-) Fortunately, the book exchange at my family gathering landed me Dozois' 31st "Year's Best SF" collection. I wasn't the only one who got SF, either -- my niece got the latest Westerfield (mostly finished by the end of the train-ride home), and a young cousin got Earthsea (at least 3 volumes, I didn't see clearly).

#603 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:38 PM:

David Harmon, #602:

I want your family!

#604 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 08:50 PM:

Xopher @601.

North.

You made me choke. Get up here and pound me on the back.

#605 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:03 PM:

Every culture that Breq interacts with speaks a different language with different pronouns. They use different sets of social cues to define who gets which pronouns.

Breq is very, very old, and she is used to being a conqueror.

It's not that she "has no idea" which people are (our definition of) male and female. It's that our culture's ideas about male and female are not intuitive or universal.

That, to me, is the big feminist message in Ancillary Justice. I think it gets overlooked, and that makes me sad.

#606 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:08 PM:

Come to think of it, Iguanacon was my first worldcon (of two), and after it was over, I wrote a couple of pages that were — how shall I say this? — very sympathetic to myself. I even specifically compared myself to a puppy in a carrier. "He's so quiet!" someone said (of the puppy), and I looked, and it was cowering in the carrier and shaking a little, and… oh, lord, no. I was about to draw a conclusion, but I think my time would be better spent quivering.

338: They were running Star Trek five a week by 1968, when KOA stopped showing reruns. I still have the reply they sent me when I asked them to keep showing the series. ("There is not an unlimited supply of episodes," they kindly condescended to explain.)

343 et al: I remember feeling bait-and-switched by ALIEN, which was billed as SF, not splatter. It was a premiere, which we attended as part of (methinks) Penulticon. I've always regretted that when I walked past the lines waiting to go in, I didn't say, over and over, 'The cat. The goddamned cat. I never… goddamn cat."

#607 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:10 PM:

605
It's actually clear that Breq knows about male and female - the pronouns are there when the language being spoke uses them, and they're used appropriately. (If you haven't read Ancillary Sword, this is why. Pronouns and people.)

#608 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:12 PM:

338
Surely well after that, because it went off the are in the spring of 1969, and it wouldn't have been in syndication before then.

#609 ::: Andy H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:23 PM:

(Periodic lurker, may have commented before.)

PJ @ 607: I disagree with this reading, because when Breq is speaking one of those languages she frequently feels uncertain which pronoun is appropriate for a given person, and in both books we're shown her sometimes having to work it out from others' reactions that she's guessed wrong about something they take to be obvious.

#610 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:23 PM:

@607 When Breq is speaking a language that has two genders for people, she does her best to use them appropriately. She also talks about how difficult this is, because every culture she's encountered has its own definitions of gender.

#611 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:24 PM:

JJ #603: Thanks! But you don't know the half of it, because I'll pass on the bragging. ;-) I think I did pretty well with the book I gave, too.

#612 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:26 PM:

Andrew, #576: That would also be the reason why S.M. Stirling's Changed World books (which for my money are the best post-apocalyptic fiction being written now, bar none) aren't getting nominated. At this point the reader has to be familiar with the entire series background to properly appreciate each new book, and that's IMO too much to ask of a reader who hasn't already gotten into them, just to evaluate the newest book for Hugo consideration.

#613 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:43 PM:

Elliott Mason@557 - Thanks for the explanation. That's kind of what I thought was going in Ancillary Justice, and Orbit's excerpt was long enough to hint that it was something like that, and not long enough to provide redeeming social value for doing that. Seemed creepy enough that I ended up #5 on my list, behind Correia's book, which I found an enjoyable enough comic book to read the whole series, but not deep enough to think it was really Hugo worthy. (By contrast, I put Torgersen's and Beale's work below No Award, where I thought they belonged.)

#614 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:45 PM:

Have the bases for the Hugo awards been designed and built yet? Just in case the Puppies do win any of them, I'm thinking that a base that shows girl cooties taking over the rocket would be just about right.

#615 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:46 PM:

#582 Steve
Three decades ago, a Commodore-Amiga engineer wrote an Amiga manual which alternated
chapters using female versus male pronouns for users!

#585 Ceri

In one or both of Fledgling and Saltation

Theo does, however, come smack face to face with moral and ethical relavism of "the social values you grew up in, are not universal" when in a situation taking her offplanet and putting her into classes/education/training on another planet....

#586 Mercy

Yay!!

More verse in the universe
Let us not go in reverse
More verse in the universe
More people with whom to converse.

More verse in the universe
Come to Marking Light obverse
More verse in the universe
And anniversaries.

More verse in the universe
Spindle, mutilate, turn inverse
More verse in the universe
And here blooms the multiverse!

#595 JJ

Torgersen as the latest Bll 'Rlly or Rsh Lmbgh?
{comment self-censored}

#616 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:48 PM:

abi @575: Reading the spreadsheet, the other thing that strikes me is how few people seem to have nominated any works at all. The work with the most votes is "Interstellar", with 5 votes. Skin Game has four, as does Toni Weisskopf. Everything else has, well, less than four votes. Including, ad Nick mentions, many with zero votes.

Now this is genuinely surprising to me. For the sake of building an interesting reading list that would go in the place of what the Hugos usually provide me with, I polled various friends, acquaintances, and a few strangers who saw the request retweeted, for suggestions. Just for the novel slot, anywhere from 1 to 5 nominations.

From that relatively small pool alone--somewhere under thirty people total--I got 25 separate novels suggested; the ones in the top five ranged from 3 to 18 votes per. (You can see the full breakdown on my journal if you care to.) I had assumed that the Sad Puppy slate, much as I object to slates on principle, had been built on a much wider set of input than my casual one-day request of friends!

So it's not only dishonest among it's participants: it's not even representative of them. That's just... I don't even know what that is.

#617 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 09:59 PM:

On "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love":

V ernq gur fgbel gjb be guerr gvzrf naq jnf arire fher vs gur frpbaq-crefba punenpgre jnf tnl, be genaf, be whfg ybbxrq inthryl rssrzvangr gb gur crbcyr jub orng gurz hc. The ambiguity didn't bother me; I thought it was a great story if not quite as much to my taste as "Selkie Stories are for Losers", which I ranked above it.

On the formation of the Sad Puppy ballot and Nick Whyte's analysis:

It occurs to me that some people may have emailed their suggestions to Brad Torgerson instead of posting them as blog comments. It would still be a serious problem for transparency -- in that case he should have said that he got such and such suggestions from emails -- but it would be less bad than if he just ignored a lot of the blog comment suggestions and substituted his own preferences.

In similar but less politically charged circumstances I have compiled various lists based on a mix of public comments and offlist private emails, which I then posted publicly. That used to be common practice on Usenet, for instance; somebody would ask for a list of steampunk detective stories with left-handed protagonists, people would email their suggestions offlist, and the original poster would compile the list to post it publicly. But if you're going to use such a list for political action, it behooves you to use a more public, transparent way of compiling the list. (Not that this slate voting would have been okay even with maximum transparency, but it might have been somewhat less awful.)

Kary English (nominated for her story "Totaled"), in a blog post someone linked from here, seemed upset that the Puppy slates had overwhelmed several categories, and thought that they ought to switch to a long list of recommendations instead of a slate of four or five works in each category. She also spoke favorably of the four nominations for six slots proposal. That makes me think more favorably of her as one of the more level-headed Puppies, though not enough to rank her work above No Award this year.

(I think this is the first time in several years I have had the occasion to use the verb "to behoove". It's a good day.)

#618 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:04 PM:

Fade Manley, #616:

Or maybe it is representative of them, and most of them are just not terribly widely-read.

Just by myself, I was able to come up with way more than 5 works I thought worthy, in every one of the 4 fiction categories.

It doesn't seem to me that most of those people "get out much", book-reading-wise.

#619 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:12 PM:

JJ @618: But if they were all nominating the same things, I would expect a large number of votes each for a small number of stories. It's the small number of votes per, combined with small sets suggested total, that I find a bit upsetting.

Though I suppose at this point criticizing the means by which the Sad Puppies formed their slate is rather like critiquing the catering service on the Hindenburg. Possibly a serious flaw, but not all that relevant to the real problem. It just--upsets me. I wanted to think they were at least representing themselves in some way, even if they were being wicked with how they used that representation.

#620 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:37 PM:

Jim Henry #617: "V’q or wrnybhf, bs pbhefr, naq nyfb fnq, orpnhfr V jnag gb zneel lbh. Fgvyy, V’q xabj gung vg jnf sbe gur orfg gung lbh zneel nabgure perngher yvxr lbhefrys, bar gung funerf lbhe obql naq obar naq trargvp grzcyngr."

I'd missed the significance on my own first couple of readings, but the discussion brought it out for me.

#621 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 10:48 PM:

Jim H., #617: I think the ambiguity is part of the point. In that situation, facts are irrelevant; the perception (or the willingness to claim the perception later) is the excuse, and nothing else is necessary.

#622 ::: Danny Sichel ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:09 PM:

One good thing about the fuss re: Sad Puppies is that now, I'm not stuck wondering how the jigbugrick "The Parliament of Beasts and Birds", by John C. Wright, got onto the ballot.

I've just read it, and it is abysmal. Even Bible fanfic (which this is) can be written competently. But this is terrible.

#623 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:20 PM:

There's a comment in Ancillary Justice that other galactic cultures have particular problems parsing Radch society, because the Radch *really* don't use the cues that everybody else is expecting for gender.

I took that to imply that there's *some* overlap of gender cues from culture to culture. Lots of variation, of course, but people have some understanding of how their "next-door neighbors" like to dress and act. *Except* for the Radchaai, because the Radch has consciously remixed those gender cues out of their society.

(Which is to say, Anaander Mianaai has consciously remixed those gender cues out of her society. She's a tyrant, she can do stuff like that.)

#624 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2015, 11:27 PM:

623
There are some other hints that the Radchai are different. There was mention of a Dyson sphere....

#625 ::: Shawn Crowley ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:29 AM:

Given the nearly two thousand comments on topic of SP/RP, someone must have made this point but I've missed seeing it: the simple fact that the SP/RP could dominate the nominations disproves their stated grievance about a cabal of left-wing insiders controlling the nominations.

Surely, even an incompetent cabal of Leninist apparatchiks could have maintained their stranglehold on the nominations.

Cognitive dissonance is a wonder to behold.

#626 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:29 AM:

The Sad Puppies are all now crowing quite loudly over MZB on Twitter, claiming that she and her husband's activities are supported by Worldcon.

I guess they missed it a while back when most of the Worldcon community (and many in the non-Worldcon SFF community) pretty much stood up and said, "I had no idea this ever went on, this is horrible, I don't think I'll ever be able to read MZB again."

#627 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:34 AM:

Shawn Crowley @625
Achieving significant changes from the actual 2015 finalists list would have required large-scale fraud on the part of the alleged cabal, due to the transparency in the process (post announcement of winners). This differs greatly in scale from what would have been required in prior years to engineer exclusions. Therefore the SP/RP argument would be that the volume this year made exclusion impractical.
Proving a cabal doesn't exist (even to someone using proper logic) is near-impossible.

#628 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:42 AM:

JJ@626: Oh, forgodsakes, Walter Breen (MZB's husband) was thrown out out of the 1962 Worldcon.

#629 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:00 AM:

@627 Errolwi

Ah yes, the classic "the proof that there is a secret cabal is the fact you can't find proof of them showing how deep their reach truly is" tactic.

#630 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:15 AM:

605, 607, 609, 610: Hungarian, for example, has only one third-person pronoun. I've seen a fair number of Hungarian people really struggle to keep he/she straight while speaking English otherwise fluently. Or not so much struggle as attach pronouns randomly, not even keeping the same pronoun attached to the same person with any consistency. (I've not conversed with many Hungarians in a language that assigns a gender to inanimate objects as well. Grammar carnage, I expect.)

Knowing just a tiny bit about linguistic variety on our own little planet makes me think that people who get all het up (you'll pardon the phrase) about Leckie's pronoun choices need to get out rather more.

#631 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:29 AM:

Randolph #628: Seems to me that the Puppies are having to reach for a scandal that was settled before I was born, shows just how desperate they are.

#632 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:35 AM:

Andrew M @576, these are the seven books in series:
2014 Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie, first in Imperial Radch trilogy
2011 Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis, third and fourth in Oxford Time Travel series
2006 Spin, Robert Charles Wilson, first in Spin trilogy
2004 Paladin of Souls, Lois McMaster Bujold, second in Chalion series
2003 Hominids, Robert J. Sawyer, first in Neanderthal Parallax trilogy
2001 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K. Rowling, fourth in Harry Potter series
2000 A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge, second in Zones of Thought series

And in the case of the three that are first in their series, it was already known that they were part of a trilogy, in some cases the next book had been already release, so it isn’t a case of ‘this is a standalone novel that eventually got a sequel’.

I say again, the idea that series are terribly disadvantaged in the Hugos are nonsense. Really good books in series get recognized and nominated all the time. The 15th book in a series is probably not going to get a Hugo for a simple reason: it's unlikely to be exceptionally better than the 14 that came before it.

#633 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 05:46 AM:

So far as I know, MZB's abusiveness (as distinct from Breen's) was completely concealed from fandom.

#634 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 05:54 AM:

Something that occurred to me, three minutes after shutting down last night, about Ancillary Justice and about leaving information out....

Leaving information out is absolute anathema to some views of traditional SF, which is all about shoehorning it in.

"Refresh my memory, Professor, and explain to me again what an infodump is, as if I were learning of it for the first time...."

#635 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 06:27 AM:

tavella @632:

Thanks: I'd had a similar thought, but been unable to find a way of expressing it without sarcasm.

More generally: I had a sense, in Eric Flint's article, that he was bending over backwards to try and find some kind of legitimate grievance that the Puppies might be giving voice to. Most of the things he came up with seemed remarkably thin. (Another example: the worry that since novels are a lot longer than they used to be, works of between 40,000 and 80,000 words aren't getting a fair shake. Which might be true, except that as Flint goes on to note, there isn't much of a market for fiction of that length, so people aren't writing much of it. So we seem to be talking about a disadvantage that accrues to purely hypothetical works, written by imaginary authors, living in a thought experiment.)

Relatedly: one thing that bothers me about this issue entering the mainstream media is that the characteristic 'report the controversy' approach is going to end up as inscribing it as 'known fact' that there are and have been legitimate concerns about th Hugo's for years. But the more I've read up on this, the more I haven't seen any evidence for it.

Here's another way of putting the point. I've seen a lot of whinging about how this work or that work shouldn't have won a Hugo. But if there really were a cabal governing the nominations, I'd expect to be seeing examples of great novels from 2009 to 2013 with enthusiastic partisans inside and outside organised fandom, which had been unjustly kept off the ballot (in the way that the 3 Body Problem had been this year.) and thus hadn't had a fair shake.

Well: where are they? Where are my green eggs and ham?

#636 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 07:56 AM:

630 etc: Chinese is another interesting example. It actually has gendered 3rd person pronouns in the written language (introduced at the start of the 20th century). However, they are all pronounced identically (because they were overloaded onto the previously gender neutral 3rd person pronoun).

So, you had someone like my mom. (I started learning English when I was 6 so I'm a bad example.) Obviously, she was capable of distinguishing among genders. However, she wasn't used to having to pick from among them while speaking. Also, because gender was not something she needed to specify when speaking, it wasn't something that she had to remember to refer back to past events. As a result, sometimes, she didn't. In Chinese, none of this matters because all 3rd person pronouns are pronounced identically (except they're marked for number). In English, the result was that her 3rd person pronoun usage was... haphazard.

I've always wanted to use the haphazard pronoun usage in a story. However, at least in short fiction, I can't afford to spend paragraphs just to get this point across. It has to do something else at the same time.

[Note: This is not quite what I think is happening in AJ. My impression was that Breq wasn't always cognizant of the cues that marked gender in the various cultures she encountered. In her native language she didn't need to be. It might also be the case that gender was not something she was accustomed to remembering or marking as she spoke. However, I haven't read AS yet.]

#637 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 08:20 AM:

Lee @ #621: the perception (or the willingness to claim the perception later) is the excuse, and nothing else is necessary.

Juvpu vf jul n sevraq bs zvar nethrf gung rirelbar ohyyvrq bhtug gb fhccbeg YTOG evtugf, ertneqyrff bs gurve bja bevragngvba, fvapr vg'f bar bs gur pynffvp rkphfrf gur ohyyvrf hfr gb whfgvsl nggnpxvat fbzrbar, nyfb ertneqyrff bs bevragngvba.

#638 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 09:03 AM:

@363 & 630 YES exactly.

#639 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 09:54 AM:

John Chu @636, Doug @630

Turkish (and, I suspect, the Turkic languages spoken in Central Asia and Western China) also lacks gendered pronouns. Even more exotically, at least to me, it doesn't have gendered terms for sibling relationships, although it does distinguish between relatives on ones mother's side and relatives on one's father's side in ways that English typically doesn't. (Given that gender roles are fairly strict in traditional Turkish society, I think it's also fairly telling evidence against strong forms of the Whorf-Sapir hypothesis)

Given that we've now got evidence from four different language families, I'm beginning to wonder whether it's Indo-European languages that are the outliers. Does anyone here know anything relevant about Native American or Australasian languages?

#640 ::: Chris L ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 10:01 AM:

@639: Here's an interesting map of gender distinctions in personal pronouns in the languages of the world. It looks like many of the native languages of the Americas and Australasia don't make gender distinctions in their pronouns.

#641 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 10:04 AM:

639/640
What I've gathered, from reading about language families, is that every one of them does something that none of the others do.

#642 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 10:13 AM:

Chris L.@640: That's a fantastic map. Basically, it looks as though gender distinctions for pronouns are common in European and African languages, but fairly rare elsewhere (except for the bit of South America closest to Africa.

#643 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 10:53 AM:

I have to admit, the one language that makes gender distinctions only in third-person non-singular... intrigues me, somehow.

I'm trying to imagine scenarios where it's useful to make the distinction for groups, but not useful for individuals. It's turning my mind down some pretty peculiar byways, let me tell you.

(Of course, language is under no obligation to be strictly useful - it's enough for it to be beautiful. But I'm still intrigued by that one!)

#644 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:05 AM:

I'm trying to imagine scenarios where it's useful to make the distinction for groups, but not useful for individuals. It's turning my mind down some pretty peculiar byways, let me tell you.

Livestock farming, maybe? It's generally pretty obvious to the casual observer whether the humans are male or female, but not necessarily with the young animals you're trading around in groups. Saves time for close inspections.

#645 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:12 AM:

I can add a datapoint from the other side--I'm somewhere close to fluency in Spanish, but I still mess up the gender agreements between nouns and pronouns and adjectives fairly often. If feels like my brain sometimes just doesn't have the necessary information ready at quite the instant when I need to decide whether I'm describing something masculine or feminine.

#646 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:25 AM:

I'm in the same position with Dutch - I find it very difficult to say "hij" or "hem" for a nonhuman object that is grammatically masculine. I keep defaulting to "het", which is the neuter pronoun.

Extra added fun, and very Breq-like: some Dutch words are feminine, and the only time you have to know that is when you use a pronoun. Neither the definite article nor the adjectival form varies between masculine and feminine nouns in the common gender. So:

Het grote boek? Ja, ik zie het. (The big book? Yes, I see it.)
De grote boom? Ja, ik zie hem. (The big tree? Yes, I see it.)
De grote zee? Ja, ik zie haar. (The big sea? Yes, I see it.)

English is like that with ships, but Dutch has a larger number of secretly feminine nouns. I confess that I've pretty much given up on getting them right and rely on my Engelstalig accent to excuse my failings there.

#647 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:42 AM:

Paula Leiberman at #615:
At about the time I saw a technical spec for some hot graphics machine (it might have been Commodore or Amiga but I am not sure) because my father was the editor of Creative Computing and I saw some of the stuff in his work.

They were giving their chips codenames which were girl's names like COLLEEN, so from one level of perception perhaps the hardware was being assigned a gender.

(Like a ship being called she?)

#648 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:49 AM:

Sarah E.,#637: That's a good argument.

#649 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:50 AM:

abi #646: English is like that with ships

I always thought of that as an anthropomorphic tradition rather than a grammatical rule. Is it consistent across non-American English-speaking populations? For that matter, ISTR that even some ships get treated as male, at least in Navy usage....

But there are other gendering subtleties -- the one I always remember is that (at least traditionally) the default dog is male (female is officially a "bitch"), while the default cat is female (male is a "tom" or "tomcat"). That one might qualify as obsolete (or "term-of-art" for breeders) by now, though.

#650 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:55 AM:

Have the bases for the Hugo awards been designed and built yet? Just in case the Puppies do win any of them, I'm thinking that a base that shows girl cooties taking over the rocket would be just about right.

I disagree. They should be shaped like an asterisk.

#651 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:57 AM:

David H., #649: The default cat, in common usage, is genderless. Breeders use "queen" to specify a female. "Tom" or "tomcat" is mostly used when the cat in question is doing something stereotypically associated with male cats, like fighting.

#652 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:58 AM:

# 635 praisegod
Another example: the worry that since novels are a lot longer than they used to be, works of between 40,000 and 80,000 words aren't getting a fair shake. Which might be true, except that as Flint goes on to note, there isn't much of a market for fiction of that length, so people aren't writing much of it.

There are lots of ebooks in that length range. And Harlequin Nocture "series romance" paranormal romances are 60,000 words I think. Somehow I doubt if the Puppies would appreciate anything published as the latter being a Hugo Finalist or winner!

(But I do agree, the "let's rejigger the Hugos for length change because..." seems specious to me. And the people wanting a YA Hugo claiming that, it's laughable, I was looking at YA SF/F novels in B&N a couple days ago, and there were at least two new YA SF/F novels which were over 500 pages and had 300 or more words per page. A very few books were under 30 pages. Mockingjay was just shy of 400 (398 or 391 ISTR). Most of the YA SF/F seemed to be in the 400 - 450 page range.

#653 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:59 AM:

Breq's consciousness is that of a 2000 year old (or more) artificial intelligence. AIs don't have sex. They may or may not have gender, but I'd venture to say that they do not, based on the evidence. That she has little interest in physical dimorphism among the mortal beings she encounters is hardly surprising. It's more surprising that she makes an effort to understand and identify with them.

The AIs shaped the Imperial Radch. It's kind of the Culture turned inside out.

#654 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:00 PM:

Breq's consciousness is that of a 2000 year old (or more) artificial intelligence. AIs don't have sex. They may or may not have gender, but I'd venture to say that they do not, based on the evidence. That she has little interest in physical dimorphism among the mortal beings she encounters is hardly surprising. It's more surprising that she makes an effort to understand and identify with them.

The AIs shaped the Imperial Radch. It's kind of the Culture turned inside out.

#655 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:04 PM:

And apologies for the double post. I got an internal server error the first time.

#656 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:05 PM:

David Harmon @ 649; That could be a Celtic borrowing. Welsh at least assigns gender to animals, and indeed all unspecified dogs are male and cats female. I'd have to look up cows (in English, default female), chickens(ditto), or horses (English default seems neutral? we certainly have multiple words for specific gender, depending on age) to see how consistent that parallel is.

#657 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:05 PM:

David Harmon @ 649; That could be a Celtic borrowing. Welsh at least assigns gender to animals, and indeed all unspecified dogs are male and cats female. I'd have to look up cows (in English, default female), chickens(ditto), or horses (English default seems neutral? we certainly have multiple words for specific gender, depending on age) to see how consistent that parallel is.

#658 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:25 PM:

David Harmon@598: Ought we to read it that way? The speaker says 'pnyyvat lbh n snt, n gbjry-urnq, n furznyr, n fvffl, n fcvp, rirel rcvgurg gurl pbhyq guvax bs, ertneqyrff bs jurgure vg unq nalguvat gb qb jvgu lbh be abg'. Jr qba'g xabj juvpu rcvgurgf ner eryrinag naq juvpu nera'g.

#659 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:28 PM:

#647 Erik

Male engineers of that time had the noxious habit of naming things after wives or girlfriends or more generally giving things female names ... bleah. They did it with passwords for computers, too.

#660 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:40 PM:

Paula, #659: Not just engineers, and the habit still hasn't died out. Cars are always female, and boats have already been mentioned. I'm not sure about motorcycles, but it wouldn't surprise me. In fact, I can't think of a single time that I've ever heard a man refer to a piece of machinery as male; if it's not neuter, it's always female.

#661 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:45 PM:

Vera.

#662 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:45 PM:

@660 Lee

Well of course because those are things that they own, control and use that have no will of their own *gag*.

#663 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:47 PM:

tavella@632: Thanks. Well, the Leckie, Sawyer and Wilson are each the first in their series; and I would say that the Willis, Bujold and Vinge are all the 'in the same universe' kind of series, where you don't have to have read everything hitherto to know what's going on. So it's really only the Rowling that is an exception to Flint's generalisation, and that is clearly a special case because of the absolutely incredibly massive impact the series had.

Flint does allow that not all series are the same, and those which consist of more self-contained works can get awards; and he isn't exactly saying that the voters are prejudiced against series; he's saying that the system doesn't allow for them. I think that's largely true. He's right to say that the awards system doesn't accurately represent the market; he seems a bit more hopeful than I am (but not very hopeful) that there could be a system which did.

#664 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 12:51 PM:

Bujold's Barrayar was third in the series, though, and won a Hugo.

#665 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:02 PM:

Bujold's Barrayar was third in the series, though, and won a Hugo.

As I understand it, the argument is that series books seldom win Hugos despite selling well because series books tend to be "more of this thing you already know you like" (which is plenty of reason to buy them) and less "blow me away" (which Hugo voters tend to prefer).

When I first read Barrayar I thought Bujold had taken a huge leap from enjoyable books to a blow-me-away book. So it makes sense to me that it would be an exception to the general rule. It was a series book, but it was not more of the same. It also, not incidentally, did not require you to have read the previous books to make sense of it.

#666 ::: Tatterbots ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:10 PM:

Dave Harmon @649: Yesterday I read John C Wright's The Parliament of Beasts and Birds (it's awful!) and noticed that of all the animals, only the cat is female. Maybe that's why.

beth meacham @653: I think it's mentioned somewhere that ancillaries do have sexual needs, which they take care of discreetly among themselves (looking after their own health is part of their duties). But I know that's not really what you were getting at. Justice of Toren's ancillaries are all genetically different, and presumably they're a variety of genders (because gender doesn't matter to the Radchaai, so why would they pick and choose?) So there's no reason why the ship would identify as one gender in particular.

But I don't think being an AI is why Breq has trouble picking pronouns. Other Radchaai characters do it too.

#667 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:21 PM:

I didn't even get an internal server error to explain the DP. grr.

Lee: I half disagree. while I've known about the usage queen cat since I was young, and most cats of my acquaintance definitely would agree it is the correct term, I also think outside breeders, queen cat is a rare and exceptional usage as tomcat is common, and there is an intrinsic perception of cats as feminine. Of course, over 2/3 of the cats with whom I've been acquainted my lifetime have been female so this may also be personal bias.

#668 ::: ULTRAGOTHA ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:22 PM:

OtterB @665
It also, not incidentally, did not require you to have read the previous books to make sense of it.

Bujold does that on purpose. She tries very hard to make each book connected to the others but also readable on its own.

I'd bet a large pumpkin cheesecake she'd love to find a brand-new-to-Vorkosigan reader to try out Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.

Vorkosigan is a good case study for when is a "best series" over? Was she finished with Cryoburn? Was Captain Vorpatril's Alliance supposed to be the final book? I can tell you that Bujold fans were shocked and thrilled to hear about Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen. When is that series over?

For that matter, when is her Five Gods Universe series over? She has no plans to write a fourth book, that I know. Is it over? Or will we at some point get the Father's and the Mother's books?

I'm not particularly convinced by Flint's argument on series. I think there's plenty of evidence that some series books can win Hugos, as well as evidence that some of them are more good as series and the individual books don't stand out.

#669 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:45 PM:

My hunch is that Breq and other Radchaai have trouble picking gendered pronouns because it's not salient to them.

I suspect it's as though I was asked to use a language that assigned pronouns based on hair color: suddenly I would have to not only notice but remember and think about that attribute, and know where the specific people I was talking to drew lines of blond/brown/black, and how much of a mix of gray or white moved a person into the category "gray haired," and whether that was different with red hair than with black. I would need to know what the default was for "person whose hair is entirely covered by a hat" and "stranger who answers the telephone when I call the doctors office." Meanwhile, I'd be thinking in a language where I guess pronouns based on things like tone of voice, what I know about names ("hello, this is Robert" signifies "male" to me in the absence of conflicting evidence), and probably my own (biased) defaults about what roles/jobs tend to go to what gender of people.

I would also have to start remembering things differently. By those rules, if someone had turned hair, and it went white, and then she dyed it back to red, her pronoun might change twice. I don't use that shape of pronoun, so I would almost certainly get it wrong sometimes, especially when talking about past events, as John Chu describes his mother doing.

#670 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:48 PM:

Andrew M. @663

'He's right to say that the awards system doesn't accurately represent the market; he seems a bit more hopeful than I am (but not very hopeful) that there could be a system which did.'

Why would we want it to? We've got something which represents the market pretty well: it's called the best-seller list.

If someone wants to give an award to the best-selling science fiction novel in a given year, let them go ahead and do so. Why do they need to call it a Hugo?

(I suspect there's a very good answer to this, and what it amounts to is this: on some level what's bugging the people organizing the puppy slates - and perhaps some, but maybe not all, of those voting for them - is not that their own work is getting too little attention, but that certain other authors are getting too much.)

Paula Lieberman @652: Well I was deferring to what I took to be Flint's professional expertise on the question of what there is a market for. If he's wrong about what there's a market for, then that seems to make his case even weaker.

(What would make his case? Well, if there were a bunch of short novels being nominated or coming close to being nominated, but losing out in the final vote, with people saying - 'I liked it but didn't vote for it because it was too short.' That would actually make some kind of sense. And for all I know, there are people making that case; but Flint wasn't.)

#671 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:51 PM:

#660 Lee

There were chips in the late-model Amigas, which had male names.

# 664 Beth

Barrayar in terms of series chronology is third in the time, in terms of when it was published, I don't remember the number but the books which preceded it included Shards of Honor with which it's been bundled into a single volume and which is is a direct sequel/continuation of, Falling Free which occurs generations earlier, The Warrior's Apprentice which is18 or so years after the main action of Barrayar, and i tinkg at least one of the other books in the series.

#672 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:53 PM:

Well, noted pervert John C Wright allows that how he's a peaceful man, and all he wants is peace, so, just get ride of all those nasty liberals and he'll break his sword over his knee. Oh, also, write a letter ssupporting the Honey Badger #gamergaters and condeming Calgary Expo, because PEACE!

#673 ::: Jordin Kare ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:55 PM:

Erik at #647: A few years ago I opened up a small piece of equipment (an eprom programmer, I think) and the 3 LSI chips in it were marked "Homer", "Bart", and "Lisa."

#674 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 01:58 PM:

Andrew M #658: It's certainly arguable both ways, and that bit (being at the end) was probably the dominant influence for my original reading. But when I reread with the reveal in mind, the earlier bit looked much more clue-shaped.

I don't think it's necessary to have a "right" answer -- like I said, I do enjoy this sort of ambiguity, and I'm pleased that this story showed more of it than I originally picked up on.

I did read a couple of others from her site, but the next two I picked were all gruesome and disturbing. So now I've got her mentally filed under "good writer, but approach with caution". But hey, Harlan Ellison isn't getting any younger.... ;-)

#675 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:09 PM:

praisegodbarebones @ 670: I think Flint's comment on short vs. long novel Hugo awards might have been attempt to reflect the market in a way that might seem traditional--that is, in the tradition of the Hugo awards themselves, in that the split in short fiction categories dates from fairly early in Hugo history, but wasn't original. I mostly think he's throwing out possibilities that might start a conversation about something other than voting, and I think that that might be a good thing. (If nothing else, it would mean more conversations like this one, about books and writing and publishing, and frankly, I can always use more of those . . .)

I also think that what Flint is saying about series makes sense, in that it is slightly more difficult for a series novel to win an individual "best novel of the year" award. It depends on the series, and the novel, and the author, and all sorts of things. Personally, I don't see how a Hugo for Best Series Novel would work, but (again) it's also fun and may be useful and enlightening to do exactly what we're doing here: talk about the differences between series novels and how people react to them, in general. At least, I'm enjoying it!

#676 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:10 PM:

# 670 praisegod

I suspect what's bugging them is that their Values andwho they want getting the most Fame are not what the usual run of nominator and voters are validating as Hugo-worth of fame and attention and appreciation.

They want the Hugos to reflect -their- valuations, and instead the Hugos were providing validation of work and creators/artists who were not the ones they valued the most, or even respected, in some casse.

So, they're throwing Internet temper tantrums and being Authors Behaving Badly, and acting like self-gratifying petty pricks rigging things to their taste in the microcosm--and in the larger venue being noticed/caught rigging things, are getting massively condemned and nitpicked and flyspecked by the particularists, and generalized by the media--reporters rarely go into fine detail searching for high fidelity reporting and the media outlets seem to hte nuance and complex issues s regards discussing anything below surface level Trending stuff....

As for effects on Hugo ballots...

I suspect most voters tend to be willing to t least attempt to start reading finalists, until/unless either "this is utter crap! I am not going to waste any more of my discretionary time and attention and tolerance of CRAP!!!" or, "I have tried reading stuff by this person before. I I am not going to bother making an exception of my policy of not bothering with anything this person writes" or "This person is such a jackass that short of winning the Nobel Prize in literature, I am not gong to bother reading anyting by the person, if there is ANYTHING of the person in the person;s work, that is too much and NFW am I tolerating the person and their work!"

#677 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:23 PM:

Randolph @628: The Breendoggle was around the 1964 Worldcon, not 1962. Trust me, I've got the documentation in my closet....

#678 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:28 PM:

Vicki #669: I would almost certainly get it wrong sometimes, especially when talking about past events, as John Chu describes his mother doing.

I've suspected for a while (since I learned about "cognitive load") that this is one reason why even generally-reasonable folks sometimes get irritable with transitioning transsexuals.

Not to mention systemic issues: The travel writer Jan Morris (formerly James) makes me briefly glad that my bookstore doesn't have a computerized catalogue, for me to explain them to. But then, given their experience as a writer, I wouldn't be surprised if she purposely picked a new name that would keep their books next to each other on the shelf.¹ (Oh hey, she's got a Tumblr. Cool pics!)

¹ Yes, you do see what I'm doing there. Fun with pronouns!

#679 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:29 PM:

Whoops, italics fail. Vicki's sentence is Vicki's.

#680 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:33 PM:

praisegod barebones@670: Yes, 'hopeful' was the wrong word, if it's meant to imply the thing hoped for would be desirable. But, I think Flint is right in saying that the awards process (Nebulas as well as Hugos) don't perfectly fit the shape of the market (which is something a bit more subtle than just not rewarding best-sellers), not because of prejudice but because of the structure of the awards system, and that one cause of this is the dominance in the market of a specific kind of series fiction; and while he says he doesn't think much can be done about it, he then makes some suggestions for doing something, which I don't think would work (though some of them might be desirable anyway).

But yes, if you want to reward the best-selling fiction, just look at the lists of best-sellers. If you want something a bit more sophisticated than that, which rewards popular works but allows people to read and think about them before voting, Goodreads seems to be doing that effectively enough (and series fiction is doing pretty well there). I take it that the Hugos have a different aim.

But I think that the idea that the Hugos should reflect the views of all readers has some sources other than self-interest. One (and I do think traditional fandom bears some responsibility for this) comes from the ambiguity of the word 'fan' and of phrases like 'the SFF community'. Another, which puzzles me more, but seems to be a serious factor for some people, comes from the use of the world 'Best'. I have always assumed that this means 'best as judged by us', with the underlying assumption that such judgements will be subjective. But many people, when they see an award marked 'Best Novel', really do read this as an assertion that it is the best, with the corollary that other novels are not the best and those who think they are are wrong. This sometimes has led people to say 'You are making a false claim, because you are really just voting for what you enjoy, rather than what is actually best by the canons of literary judgement'. But it also leads people to say 'In claiming that this is the best, when the majority of readers prefer something else, you are asserting that your judgement is better than theirs, and being exclusive and elitist'. If we dropped 'Best', and just called it 'the Hugo for a novel' (which I think is parallel to what the Nebulas do) we might have less trouble.

#681 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:37 PM:

Lenora Rose (667): I learned* as a kid that cats are generically female and dogs male. That is, a cat of unknown gender would be "she", and a dog of unknown gender "he". 'Tomcat' or 'tom' were familiar to me in childhood; 'queen' (in the context of cats) was not. And I think I learned 'bitch' for female dog sooner than 'queen'; probably from The Dog in My Life, which is about show dogs.

*IIRC, I noticed that this was happening and inquired about it, to be told that, yes, this is the way things are.

#682 ::: Randolph ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:50 PM:

Tom Whitmore@677: Duh. Yes, thank you.

#683 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:54 PM:

A puppies podcast mentioned that tie-in fiction generally gets neglected by Hugo-voting fans, and I certainly have a prejudice against tie-in fiction.

However, I really enjoyed Spock's World and How Much for Just the Planet? and now I'm wondering if there have been recent notable tie-ins that I've missed.

#684 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:57 PM:

Typing as more of an outsider, I can't see why you could just add a "best series" award or else a "Best book in a series" award or some other variety that recognises a finished or perhaps ongoing series. An unfinished one would cause problems perhaps, and there might be greedy people who would want more than 1 Hugo for the same subject, but still, the anarchich manner of the Hugos would, prior to the SP's, have sorted it all out naturally.

#685 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 02:59 PM:

In fact, I can't think of a single time that I've ever heard a man refer to a piece of machinery as male; if it's not neuter, it's always female.

Oh, I have. Impalas called Vlad and all that. (Google "named his car" and you'll get a number of men who gave their cars male names.) And even Heinlein called a computer Mike, for Mycroft Holmes.

#686 ::: Carol Witt ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:00 PM:

Since I don't see it mentioned here already...

Black Gate Withdraws From Hugo Consideration

#687 ::: H.E. Wolf ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:08 PM:

Lenora Rose #667 and Mary Aileen $681:

Yes! And there's also "kitten" as a neuter term for young cats, and "gib" for neutered adult male cats. ("Even a gib cat has claws.")

There are lots of male/female/neuter word-sets in English, often to do with animals and birds, and often with a connection to animal husbandry. Speaking of words which have gender.

#688 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:21 PM:

Carol Witt: Oh wow. Too late to move something else into the vacated space, alas.

guthrie: The idea of a series Hugo has been discussed before, in the wake of the WoT nomination; I think the main problem is that the voters won't be able to read all the nominees in full. If it's thought sufficient to mug up on the plot and read one volume, which is what I did with WoT, this might be practicable.

All: I know that when I learned French, some of my classmates were shocked by the discovery that the default words for both 'dog' and 'cat' in French were masculine. It was obvious to them that 'dog' should be masculine and 'cat' feminine.

#689 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:25 PM:

guthrie @ 684: The problem I see with a "Best Series Novel" Hugo is--what if that novel is also the best novel of the year, in my opinion? Unless we make all series novels ineligible for the Best Novel Hugo, that's going to be a problem. And if we make them ineligible, then are we declaring that the Best Novel Hugo isn't *really* for the book voters believe is the Best Novel every year? Or that the Best Series Novel isn't really all that good, and wouldn't deserve an award if it weren't in a series? Or do we just say, "Okay, this book is SOOOO good, it deserves TWO rocket ships"?

Overlapping categories is going to be a problem, and has been something that the Hugos have worked hard to avoid in the past. I have no possible solutions--I am as much a fringe-Hugo voter as anyone--but I can see how establishing a Best Series Novel category might be seen as diluting the Best Novel Award (which has long been considered "the big one," by voters).

"Best Series" opens up a slightly different can of worms. I wouldn't want to be the administrator charged with figuring out which series are eligible in which years, but it might be possible.

#690 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:26 PM:

Lee #651, Lenora Rose #657, H.E. Wolf #687:

Hmm, I'd never heard "queen" or "gib" in a feline context. I note that "cattle" covers cows, bulls, and steers, but I don't know if it has a singular form. (Offhand, FreeDictionary doesn't give one.)

#691 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:33 PM:

Andrew M @688: Hm. Maybe "Best Series" could be something that is only offered every five years (or so), and/or is only offered at the discretion of the individual WorldCons? Kind of like the Retro Hugos, only not exactly? Because I do think encouraging readers to vote on a series they haven't read much of isn't a good idea, and it really is a bit much to expect readers to "catch up" on several series in any given year--but the people who do read series tend to follow more than one of them over a period of years.

Ye gods, I wouldn't want to be at that business meeting, though. Oh, well, doesn't mean it isn't an idea worth discussing, or even (eventually) proposing. There might also be a proposal (instead) for a continuous non-Hugo-type award for series, kind of like the Campbell, perhaps. With limited eligibility? (Not quite like the Campbell, obviously, but something on the order of--you only get one of these per series?)

#692 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:39 PM:

David Harmon @690, the only singular non-gendered form of "cattle" that I know of is "a head of cattle."

#693 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:48 PM:

David Harmon @690, Cassy B. @692:

One cow, many kine (cf one ox, many oxen)
One cat, many cattle

No?

#694 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:48 PM:

Cassy B. @ 692: Beef? I've heard a head of cattle referred to as a beef--plural "beeves," I think. Might have been dialectal, though.

#695 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 03:55 PM:

Mary Frances @689: How is that situation different from giving two Hugos to Vonda McIntyre for "Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand" and DREAMSNAKE, or Orson Scott Card for the short and long versions of "Ender's Game" (or for ENDER'S GAME and SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD)? There's clear precedent.

#696 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 04:01 PM:

HelenS @685

A former partner of mine called her firstt desk-top computer 'Lucian' after the butler in Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' stories. I've also known a couple of people who travelled a lot and who independently called their laptops 'Alan', because it was a machine for taking on tour.

#697 ::: Jordin Kare ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 04:09 PM:

Cassy B. #692

A position which is usually preferable to being behind cattle, except during stampedes.

#698 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 04:15 PM:

Lee @660 In fact, I can't think of a single time that I've ever heard a man refer to a piece of machinery as male; if it's not neuter, it's always female.

Not uncommon for military equipment to be given male names, in my understanding. Especially tanks etc, not so much aircraft.

#699 ::: Guess ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 04:33 PM:

@ beth meacham 277 : The Wheel of Time encyclopedia is out this year and she is editing it. I think that makes her eligible for a best editor Hugo next year. It will likely be her last chance.

#700 ::: inge ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 04:34 PM:

abi @ #646: I am a native German speaker, so, three grammatical genders for things *and people* (e.g. "girl" is neuter because is is a diminutive form of "maid" and diminutives are always neuter), and I still can never remember the grammatical genders in French or Spanish or Swedish.

Grammatical gender has no meaning. Trying to figure it out is futile. I tell students of German that we invented it to annoy people.

I see gender as a small (if visible) part of the theme of construction personal and social identity in AJ. It's fun, but the way class is created is a lot more fascinating to me. General use of female pronoun to shake up assumptions was new (to me) in the early 90s, AFAIAC.

#701 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 04:45 PM:

With horses you get lots of different names - foal, colt, filly, stallion, mare, gelding, yeld. You don't see or hear of many yelds (spayed mares), because it's expensive and dangerous to do.

Generically, people refer to "horses", with the babies all being foals or colts. Filly-colt and stud-colt, if you're talking to a real cowboy.

I think Black Gate's withdrawal comes too late -- the ballot was closed yesterday, was it not?

#702 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 04:48 PM:

Tom Whitmore @ 689: Well, the "flip" answer to that is that neither the short form of "Ender's Game" nor "Of Mist, Grass, and Sand" won the Hugo for novelette, I don't think . . . believe they won the Nebula, maybe? And then the Best Novel Hugo? (Sorry. Couldn't resist--I get to show off my knowledge of awards trivia so rarely, mostly because I have so little of it.) But the real point is, they were both nominated as novelettes and as novels, so your precedent stands. The thing is, the short form and long form of each work was nominated in different years, so they were never both up for two awards at the same time. I assume that the administrators decided that the long form was sufficiently different from the short form that it qualified as a "new" work? But in any case, that would be the difference, I imagine.

I don't know that I believe, myself, that one novel being eligible for Best Novel and Best Series Novel would be a problem; I do think it's an objection that will be raised, though.

#703 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 04:56 PM:

I read as much of Flint's article as I could stand, restarting a couple of times when more people here suggested he had something useful to say. But I found so many nonsensical assumptions being stated as absolute fact that I gave up. I think he's being particularly detestable by presenting the long runs of some Best Artist as exemplary of the awards as a whole, when statistically it's the most extreme case -- and his repetition of the lie that "a few hundred people" are "handing out the award" is beyond detestable. I don't care what he has to propose; I'll listen to proposals from people who use facts not so conspicuously bent to make their arguments.

I would think about a one-time disqualification rule for body-of-work awards; i.e., the Best Artist/Editor/Fanwriter winners aren't eligible for next year's awards. (The World Fantasy Awards have something similar.) But that applies \only/ to the body-of-work awards. I'm unimpressed by his complaint that tangled-series books can't be untangled for individual nominations; the few I've read remind me why I don't miss having given up most TV 45 years ago. (Yes, I know TV is no longer Minow's "vast wasteland" -- but the soaps have expanded along with the vaguely interesting work.)

Xopher @ 520 (and anyone else sympathetic to Butcher): is his long-form work any less swinish than the novella he recently did for Dangerous Women? I found that such a turnoff (after reading a novel of his from ~2008) that I'd hate to have to spend time on reading something of his in a year not infected by puppies.

Steve Wright @ 590: I thought the comparison of national myths happened relatively early in Starship Troopers (during Basic?), and that that was clear enough for the alert reader. Am I misremembering the positioning?

tavella @ 632: you're stretching in some of your definitions of series; e.g., the Bujold is one of the Five Gods pentaptych, with minimal connection to the previously-published book and none to the book published later. (Yes, the pentaptych is missing two books -- but it's what Bujold once said she was planning.)

piling onto Lee @ 660: Cars are always female. Not mine; the three I named were Roadrunner, Corwin(*), and Handbasket. And back when it was still possible to know the name of every computer on the net (late 1980's), Hobbes was the reported plurality choice. (Calvin was there, but definitely not first.)
(*) because black-and-silver was the only color available in the cheapest model.

praisegod @ 670: Flint's claim that Hugos should match the market was an irritant that I hadn't clearly seen; thank you for enunciating. (And the same applies to other fields; look at how few blockbusters win Oscars -- especially now that so many blockbusters are genre....)

Tom W @ 677: the same closet you pulled the Crowley (related?) ms out of?

#704 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 05:23 PM:

Re Butcher: I haven't read the story in Dangerous Women (title "Bombshells", I see, from Molly's viewpoint.) I would read this story if I ran across it in a library.

The Dresden series has always had a strain of, well, "swinishness" is a good term. It doesn't bother me much, because I think that it's decreased over the years, as the title character has matured and developed solid relationships with the (many) dangerous women in the series. I am aware that it bothers some people a lot more.

This doesn't answer your question, I realize. I'm going to guess that if you found a 2013 short story a turn-off, you'd think the same of a lot of the series.

#705 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 05:32 PM:

CHip @703 - you are a more alert reader than I am; the penny didn't drop for me until Johnny mentions his native language being Tagalog, which is pretty near the end. (I sometimes think most people are more alert readers than I am!)

I think The Year of the Quiet Sun is still a valid example, though.

#706 ::: Jaymie ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 05:39 PM:

Steve Wright @ 705 - Chip Delany mentions a scene in Starship Troopers where Johnny was looking in a mirror that gave it away for him. I'll take his word for it, though I've never noticed what he did where he did.

#707 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 05:42 PM:

Back in 1979 or so, the committee running Noreascon 2 held a meeting to discuss having one of those special committee Hugo awards. Someone suggested "Best Series." We spent hours trying to come up with a definition that was better than "I know it when I see it." We failed. I don't think the situation has improved.

(Then Mike Saylor (sp?), our youngest member, suggested "Best Non-fiction Book" and we all hailed that instantly.)

#708 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 06:15 PM:

As for Flint's article:

Yeah, he repeatedly says "a few hundred" Hugos voters where he should say "a few thousand". (3100 valid Best Novel votes in 2014, up from 1600-ish in recent years before that.) This doesn't change his argument much! 3100 people is a tiny fraction of the audience people of interested in SF books.

Flint's basic point is that the Hugos and Nebulas represent the opinion of a self-selected subculture. Which is obviously true. It's a feature of the system. (I said this @417, praisegod barebones said it @670.) But is it a *useful* subculture, or has it become too insular to be interesting to outsiders? This is the question I care about!

(For the sake of argument, "outsiders" are people who look at a book cover splashed "Hugo winner!" and say (a) "Hey, must be worth a look" or (b) "Who the hell cares about some industry wankery award.")

It is a useful observation that David Weber and Robert Jordan get little respect in fandom-as-I-know-it; Terry Pratchett commands *immense* respect; and none of them ever got a Hugo nom (until the Wheel of Time thing last year). Contrariwise, Bujold gets lots of respect, but I've never seen anybody say that the Vorkosigan series was so *consistently* awesome as the noms list implies. (Including _Cryoburn_ and _Captain Vorpatril's Alliance_? Really?)

The problem with Flint's post is not the numbers, but the fact that it devolves into just-so guessing about causes, the tautological observation that if the Hugos represented a different audience they'd get different results, and a declaration that annual best-book awards can't be meaningfully awarded at all. There's no conclusion here except "oh well."

I would like to see the Hugo-voting audience expand to more well-read SF fans. (Who are interested in voting on books, obviously, not on cultural identity.) I would like to see more crossover discussion between fandoms of the big publishers and of the self-publishing/online-publishing authors that are going FOOM all over the place. I would like to see people talk about the distinction between a book that's enjoyable because of familiarity and a book that's enjoyable because it's unexpectedly different. (I know, good luck nailing down that distinction in an award definition.)

...This was all so much easier when online fandom was tiny enough to live in a Usenet newsgroup. :/ I don't even try to follow Tor.com, which is the SF social site most blatantly targetted at my tastes and fandom affiliation.

#709 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 06:24 PM:

Nancy, #683: I'm very picky about my Trek tie-ins (and a lot of them, especially the very early ones, are flat-out awful), but there have been some very good ones. When I get home and am not trying to type on a #$%#$$! laptop, I'll post some.

Mary Frances, #689: My first thought is "Best Series" with the condition that the series must have had a book published during the year of eligibility. But that probably brings up its own set of issues.

David H., #690. This is my first exposure to "gib" in any context. I took it for an across-the-pond term.

All: Heh. What's that line again about "the best way to get accurate information online is to post inaccurate information"? :-)

#710 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 06:27 PM:

Zarf@708: I really wish people would stop pointing to Terry Pratchett as an example of a respected author who never won. He very likely would have won -- except that by the time he would, he didn't want the stress of being nominated, and so declined his nomination. It wasn't "the SJW cabal" that denied him a Hugo.

(Unlike some, you're not painting it as a gross injustice, but it's still misinformation, and Pratchett's name has been slung around enough recently that it grates on me. If I've come down too hard here, then I apologize.)

#711 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 06:47 PM:

Guess@699:You need to have edited 4 or more novel length works in the year to be eligible for Best Efitor Long Form.

#712 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 06:48 PM:

Actually, Pratchett as a series author is one of the cases that would probably *still* fall outside the category norms, even with a "Best Series Novel" or Best Series Hugo. His Discworld books are all set in the same world, but they are, arguably, different-series-within-that-world. There is the occasional crossover (so to speak), but is the City Watch series a separate series or part of the Discworld series? How about the Witches series? Death and Susan? Tiffany Aching is definitely a separate series, even being YA as opposed to Adult fiction . . . and so on. The closest parallel would probably be series authors like Bujold, who works within the same universe, but it isn't quite the same thing. Or maybe McCaffrey? (I'm thinking of the Harper Hall books.)

Then again, I suppose what I'm really saying is that Pratchett is Unique. This is Not News . . .

#713 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 06:56 PM:

As I understand it, David Weber has multiple series going in the Honorverse, and (again, as I understand it), the 1632 line includes multiple branches and trunks, too.

#714 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 07:00 PM:

Bruce Baugh @ 713: He does. (Weber, I mean--though I think Flint does, too, in the 163- books.) I'd forgotten. Well, so maybe it isn't as rare as I'd thought. Still, it *feels* different to me, if you know what I mean . . . and I think I'm basically re-making Pfusand's point for him (@707): definitions for this category would be a *pain*.

#715 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 07:45 PM:

David Goldfarb@710

You're right, I see Pratchett was declining nominations in 2005 (and earlier?) I had completely forgotten that.

Okay, scratch that sub-branch of the discussion.

(Quote from PNH, on LJ, circa 2005: "I asked Dave Langford, who I think knows Pratchett pretty well. His impression is that Pratchett turned down the nomination for your basic noble reasons--he doesn't need one.")

#716 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 08:01 PM:

Cassy B, #692:

British, Australian, and New Zealand farmers use the term "cattle beast". It is non-gendered. And having grown up in a geographical area where cattle, cows, heifers, bulls, and steers are quite common, it does my head in every time I see it.

#717 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 08:36 PM:

Re: non-white protagonists: Ursula LeGuin snuck hers into A Wizard of Earthsea; IIRC, it's not apparent until she describes the invaders as compared to the protagonist and his own people.

#718 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 08:46 PM:

David Harmon @ 717: Re: non-white protagonists: Ursula LeGuin snuck hers into A Wizard of Earthsea . . .

Yeah, it's one of the reasons LeGuin had a fit over the casting of the TV miniseries.

#719 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 08:55 PM:

LeGuin is not at all slow about it - the blond white Viking invaders are in the first chapter of the first of the Earthsea books.

And the copper coloured protagonist meets black people at wizard school as soon as he gets there, among them his new best friend.

#720 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 10:12 PM:

Many folks, concerning the pronouns in *Ancillary Justice*: Very early in the book, I think within the first few pages (but I may remember wrong), Breq deals explicitly with the pronoun problem by saying that her (used because she would) first language was Radch which did not make the distinction, and further, still in the first pages, she said explicitly that the former colleague (speaking loosely here) whom she found lying in the snow outside a tavern, out of which she had been thrown, was a male person, and then she went right on using the female pronoun, because she probably thinks in Radch mostly, since it is her first language.

Concerning the tendency to give vehicles a female gender in English: I recently read a book in which spacegoing vessels were referred to as "he" -- no explanation. It may have been a naval decision to do so in order to distinguish them from water-going ships, because in this story, both kinds were run by the Navy.

#721 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 10:24 PM:

Mary Frances #718: I should hope she did! Heck, I saw the posters and immediately wrote off that "adaptation" as a hack job, and I don't even have skin in the game (so to speak).

#722 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2015, 11:12 PM:

David Harmon @ 721: Yeah, LeGuin's Slate article on the subject is pretty brutal (elegantly and justifiably so, in my opinion). It's subtitled "How the Sci Fi Channel Wrecked My Books."

#723 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:45 AM:

The gender-bending is not even a new thing in SF. I'm reading Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand and the understanding of gender/language is pretty fluid in Delany's future. (Of course, the SPs probably hate Delany...)

#724 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 09:22 AM:

Bill Stewart #613, in re Ancillary Justice: That is only part of the setup, not the point of the book (in much the way that a novel about the Kennedy Assasination focussing on the specific capabilities and engineering history of a particular model of bolt-action sniper rifle could fairly be thought to be missing the point of the story).

The ethics and mechanics of being a multi-bodied intelligence is highly RELEVANT to the point, and the ethics of how they do it relates very strongly to the ethics-of-imperialism theme that runs throughout the series (especially with the narrator going from a position of strong privilege and enforcement of empire to being on the run from same and having to interact with a lot of ground-level folks on the pointy end of the stick), but exactly where ancillary bodies come from is in no way what the story is "about". In particular, our narrator does eventually start becoming creeped out by things that she used to think of as ordinary and unremarkable.

As others have been saying, tiny fragments of the set-dressing of these books are being talked about out in the world, assumed to be all that's going on, and the books are being skipped by people who, if they read it and managed to surmount the set-dressing obstacles, might find an awful lot more going on.

Or might not. There is certainly a subset of set-dressing that means I will never be CAPABLE of reading and enjoying a given work.

#725 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 09:35 AM:

Gendered and non-gendered animal terms: "Cattle" is an odd one here, because it's a mass noun, at least in the usage I'm most familiar with (I grew up on the Great Plains, so there were a lot of cattle around.) You wouldn't say "There are two cattle in that field", or at least I wouldn't, which may be part of why people default to the female form ("cows") as a generic rather than the rather stilted-sounding "There are two head of cattle in that field."

And of course "cow" is the generic form that most of us teach young children, but I don't know where the arrow of causation points for that detail. Probably it's self-reinforcing.

#726 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 10:11 AM:

Mary Frances #722: Hmm. A quick search of Slate.com didn't turn that up, but there are various hints that their search system may be balky. Do you have a link?

#727 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 10:17 AM:

David Harmon @ 726: Don't know if it will work or not (I'm terrible at creating links), but here you go. If it doesn't, I found the article by googling "leguin on the earthsea movie"; it was the third or fourth hit to come up.

LeGuin link

#728 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:04 AM:

##68x Nancy

Uhura's Song by Janet Kagan was a Nebula Award finalist. Janet much later got at least one Hugo for short fiction.

This is the first exposre I've had AFICR to "gib,". "Queen" I was aware before adulthood.

#691 Mary

I think that "series" is an untenable category--there are still books coming out from series by various dead authors, the Dune series being one such example.

#702 Mary Frances

And Bill I-can't-think-of-his-last-name who was alwas a many-times nominate fan artis, 's ' "A Portrait of the Artist" got nominated ISTR at three different lengths, and picked up at least one Hugo before one of the lengthenings...

# 708 Andrew

Bujold's books speak to a lot of nominators in ways they don't speak to you, just as various of the Puppy slate works, speak to Puppies in ways they emphatically do not find positive resonance in me.

Here's an example, which someone brought up in an email group I'm on:

http://www.jungleredwriters.com/2015/04/what-julias-readingwhile-writing.html

"Finally, my old love Science Fiction. A genre filled with innovative,
challenging and thought-provoking work out there – which is probably why
I'm engaged in my annual comfort re-read of Lois McMaster Bujold's
Vorkosigan series. I've revisited each volume in the adventures of the
scarred and manic Miles Vorkosigan (and his family and friends) yearly,
since publication, meaning I've now read SHARDS OF HONOR, which I finished
last week, at least twenty-nine times.

Note the "revisisted each volume" in the above.


#716 JJ

"Bovine" is a work for a single head of cattle, which in English has no gendering.

#724 Elliott

I'm trying to remember what caused me to dislike/stop reading Ancillary Justice. Some but not all of it was the viewpoint, the particular AI's view ISTR completely failed to grab me as appealing reading.

#729 ::: Dave Crisp ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:12 AM:

Paula Lieberman @ 671: It wasn't just the late-model Amigas. The bus-control chip was called "Gary" right from the days of the original A500.

#730 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:17 AM:

Paula Lieberman@728: A quick googling suggests that "The Nutcracker Coup", Kagan's Hugo winner, was also nominated for a Nebula, but that Uhura's Song was not.

#731 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:31 AM:

On 'cattle': As JJ says, 'cattle beast' is possible. On the other hand, the British Highway Code has a section on bumping into animals, which defines an animal as 'any horse, ass, cattle, sheep....', where 'cattle' seems clearly out of place.

On Harriet McDougall: Would not the obvious thing to do be to nominate the WoT Encyclopedia for Best Related Work, the award going to her as editor?

pfusand@707: But do we really need a definition that's better than 'I know it when I see it'? It seems to me that the current Hugo rules are full of that sort of thing anyway. The current rule for BRW says that fictional works are acceptable if they are noteworthy primarily for aspects other than the fictional text - how would you determine that in case of a dispute? The rule for Fan Writer, if taken absolutely literally, says that anyone whose work appears in generally available electronic media - e.g. Ta-Nehisi Coates - is eligible; obviously they are relying on people's intuitive sense of what a fan writer is.

I think you could define a series as a serially published work, of more than a stated length, that has been completed during the eligibility period (which would be more than a year). No distinction need be drawn between series whose volumes are self-contained and those which are just very long stories; both would be eligible. The 'completed' requirement would limit it to the kind of series which has an arc rather than that which goes on for ever. There might be some dispute about whether a particular series was completed, but that could be left as a 'voters decide' thing.

#732 ::: Dave Crisp ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:36 AM:

@ Andrew M: You mean Coates' essay on Spider-man in Love will be eligible for a 2016 Hugo?

I'm officially starting that campaign now.

#733 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:37 AM:

Mary Frances #727: Thanks, that worked! Given the situation, I'm surprised she managed to stay as civil as she did....

#734 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 12:23 PM:

#729 Dave

The original Amiga was the Amiga 1000. The next model was the Amiga 2000, and the Amiga 500 as the third model.

The "Gary chip" ISTRH came from acronymizing"gate array." There's at least one regular Worldcongoer who worked for Commodore-Amiga by the way. I can;t think of his name at the moment.

#735 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 12:30 PM:

A single bovine animal is a neat, whence "neat's-foot oil."

As a side note, "cattle" doesn't always imply bovinity, especially in older texts.

#736 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 12:52 PM:

728
Rotsler? (He left many unpublished drawings behind. Which may mean that he could still be eligible.)

#737 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 12:53 PM:

What about "kine"?

Meanwhile, what is the collective noun for SP/RP Puppies??

#738 ::: JonW ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 12:56 PM:

And then LeGuin agreed to let Hayao Miyazaki do a movie version, but Miyazaki ending up passing on the project to his son Goro, who massacred the books yet again . . . (Goro's subsequent work was much stronger, but this was his first movie, and it wasn't.)

#739 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 12:58 PM:

Paula Lieberman @ 737: "Kine" is plural.

#740 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:05 PM:

Alex, #723 "Of course, the SPs probably hate Delany..." Oh, you bet they do!

Elliott Mason #724 Yes, the ungendered, or wrong-gendered, pronoun is just part of the dressing, and yes, people have been seizing on it, among other features, to vilify the book. Back when it was New Thing (couple years ago?) I had an unpleasant argument with someone who was absolutely certain that those female pronouns were a deliberate tactic to piss off the conservatives, and nothing that could ever really happen. And you know, godforbid we should ever write about or read about something that could never really happen.

The weird thing is that this guy specifically said that *his* first language had only one set of third person pronouns (see, this is what makes him an expert). To paraphrase: "I don't use gendered pronouns, but if I did, they would, of course, be masculine."

#741 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:08 PM:

#736 P J

Yes, Bill Rotlser was who I could not remember te name of.

I wonder what cartoon he would have drawn of the Puppies...

#742 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:17 PM:

Dave C., #732: Honestly, I think you'll get less resistance on that over "Coates isn't a fan writer!" (because he totally is, and most people in the community recognize that) than you will over "but that's about COMICS, not SF!"

Tim, #735: In Regency-setting books, "cattle" is a common slang term for carriage-horses. (So is "tits".)

#743 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:34 PM:

Delurking because of matters bovine:

There is a resistance (among the non-farming public) to using "cows" as a general/non gendered term for groups of domestic cattle which is much similar to that applied against the singlular "they." But if my sister calls to say I need to get my ass out of the chair and my shoes on my feet because the cows, heifer, bull and steer calves, and the herd sire are eating the neighbors' landscaping again, what she says is "the cows are out."

Those of us in service to the herd don't have time for either grammatical pilpul or extra syllables.

(And writing this comment has used up the last of my non-farming time budget for the day. Anyone feel the need to build chicken pens with me?)


#744 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:44 PM:

JESR! *tacklehug*

#745 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:49 PM:

{{{Abi}}} I previewed twice and still missed two egregious typos. Perhaps I should write more often?

#746 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:55 PM:

Points of congruency, or not...
I invoked Bill Rotsler's Arts--his writing, and his cartoons.

His award-nominated fiction is probably more easily casually accessible than his cartoons, even though he produced lots and lots and lots of fan art cartoons--fanzine distribution being less wide than distribution of Best of the Year fiction.

Various of the people here, have congruent associations to mine regarding Rotsler writing and cartoons and the person himself--familiarity with the writing from original publication timeframe, familiarity from the cartoons from fanzines and seeing original art, and knowing Bill at conventions, LASFS, etc.

Those who never met him, or never read his stories at times contemporary to publication, or weren't seeing his cartoons during his lifetime, don't have the same perspectives.

When do invocations cease to elicit the associations/connections/responses the invoker has as default expectation, and what are the reactions elicited instead?

#747 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 01:59 PM:

Points of congruency, or not...
I invoked Bill Rotsler's Arts--his writing, and his cartoons.

His award-nominated fiction is probably more easily casually accessible than his cartoons, even though he produced lots and lots and lots of fan art cartoons--fanzine distribution being less wide than distribution of Best of the Year fiction.

Various of the people here, have congruent associations to mine regarding Rotsler writing and cartoons and the person himself--familiarity with the writing from original publication timeframe, familiarity from the cartoons from fanzines and seeing original art, and knowing Bill at conventions, LASFS, etc.

Those who never met him, or never read his stories at times contemporary to publication, or weren't seeing his cartoons during his lifetime, don't have the same perspectives.

When do invocations cease to elicit the associations/connections/responses the invoker has as default expectation, and what are the reactions elicited instead?

#748 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 02:06 PM:

How did I get the impression that a neat is a young pig?

Possibly from mentions of picking up a neat when what was intended was a small calf?

#749 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 02:27 PM:

746
For me, it's that LASFS means he isn't as gone as all that.

(For those who don't know:
LASFS Standing Rule 0: Death Does Not Release You.)

#750 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 03:17 PM:

Re Amiga chips: "The chips were always Jay Miner’s babies. Known in the early days as Portia, Daphne, and Agnus, later iterations would see Portia renamed to Paula and Daphne to Denise." (Agnus was graphics processing, Denise was graphics output, Paula was audio output.) (via http://www.filfre.net/2015/03/the-68000-wars-part-1-lorraine/)

Possibly more information than anyone cares about, I know.

#751 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 03:31 PM:

There's now a Sad Puppies song. I hope it hasn't been posted here already.

#752 ::: Andrew M ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 03:39 PM:

Andrew Plotkin@708: As someone who was in some sense an outsider until quite recently - until I discovered that WorldCon was coming to London and thought 'good heavens, I could go to that, couldn't I?' - I would say that yes, it still is of interest to outsiders. It does help to point out distinctive and interesting things, and help people to find things to read they would not otherwise have done.

Of course for this to work, there has to be a group of outsiders, people who aren't actually part of the discussion but may still profit from its results. (So everyone who becomes a Hugo voter makes the Hugos less useful. This is an inescapable paradox as far as I can see.) And this wider group is still narrower than the whole community of people who are interested in speculative fiction - even written speculative fiction - because some of them will be fans of particular authors or subgenres, while the Hugo constituency is made up of people whose interest is more general, who are looking out for things which are in some way distinctive.

#753 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 03:53 PM:

JESR @745:

You should post more often. Then you can distribute your annual entitlement of typos (your entypoment) over a larger body of text.

Remember, your entypoment doesn't stop accumulating just because you don't use it!

#754 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 04:07 PM:

Paula Lieberman... I miss Rotsler.

#755 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 04:27 PM:

Nancy #748 could you have conflated it with "shoat?"

#756 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 04:54 PM:

There's gender-bending in American fantasy, too. If I simply mention the Oz books, do people get the reference, without me spoiling one of them for anybody?

#757 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 05:31 PM:

Elliott Mason, #724: "in re Ancillary Justice: That is only part of the setup, not the point of the book (in much the way that a novel about the Kennedy Assasination focussing on the specific capabilities and engineering history of a particular model of bolt-action sniper rifle could fairly be thought to be missing the point of the story)...

"As others have been saying, tiny fragments of the set-dressing of these books are being talked about out in the world, assumed to be all that's going on, and the books are being skipped by people who, if they read it and managed to surmount the set-dressing obstacles, might find an awful lot more going on."

Exactly. It grieves me to see people obsess over the gendered pronouns, or over the ancillaries -- and perhaps avoid reading the book because of what others have said. Both of those are merely interesting worldbuilding details -- and not at all what the book is really about. Honestly, the all-female pronoun thing was a bit distracting for the first dozen pages or so -- and then I got acclimated to it mentally, and just got on with reading what is a really great hard SF story.

This is why I was so disappointed that Orbit only included the first few chapters in the book in the Hugo packet last year, and probably will do so again this year (though I do understand the reasons for it, and respect their decision on that). I think a lot of people have missed out on reading this fantastic book because of the negative buzz publicized by people who just can't cope with the idea of a book in which all the pronouns are female (though I will bet that not a one of them would struggle with a book in which all the pronouns are male).


Seriously, to anyone reading this who hasn't yet read Ancillary Justice: request it through your library, or borrow it from a friend. Give it a try. If, after the first 100 pages, it's not working for you, fine. But I think you may be surprised.

#758 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 05:43 PM:

inge @ #700:

Swedish is amusingly complicated, but can essentially be boiled down to neutral and the other neutral (the latter also contains male and female grammatical gender). But if you want the full spectrum, there are actually four grammatical genders.

#759 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 05:53 PM:

Well, if you want to see serious gender-bending in American fantasy: the Kat in the comic strip Krazy Kat is sometimes referred to as "he" and sometimes as "she" -- occasionally, as both in the same Sunday strip. I don't have my copies of the reprints to hand, so I can't dig out specific examples, but I've seen it happen.

And don't try to tell me that Krazy Kat is either not American, or not fantasy!

#760 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 06:02 PM:

You see how this works?

Randolph @ 628: "Oh, forgodsakes, Walter Breen (MZB's husband) was thrown out out of the 1962 Worldcon."

Tom Whitmore @ 677: "The Breendoggle was around the 1964 Worldcon, not 1962. Trust me, I've got the documentation in my closet...."

Randolph @ 682: "Duh. Yes, thank you."

You see? Do you get it now? There they are, brazenly getting their stories straight, right here in public. And notice how "Randolph"'s (if indeed such is his name) comments are numbered 628 and 682? Symmetrical, right? And Tom Whitmore (that is his real name--we've had our eye on hims for some time) signals the symmetry code by posting number 677!

All this just to distract us from the fact that, while Worldcon may or may not have thrown out Walter Breen in 1962 and/or 1964 (bracketing the alleded date of the supposed Kennedy assassination, I note without further comment, except to note the likely connection), they have not thrown him out even one more time in the fifty years since!

Game, set, and match, SJW Cabal!

#761 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 06:11 PM:

#760 TINC.

TINLC either, I'll have you know.
(Despite this moose having a Lumber Cartel (TINLC) membership number.)

Nothing to see here folks, move along please.

#762 ::: Lydy Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 08:11 PM:

John A. Arkansawyer @760: A thing of beauty and a joy forever. Thank you.

#763 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 08:13 PM:

! I actually had an idea for this year's Hugos.

Paint them pink. Really, really pink. Bright pink. Nail polish pink.

This does two things. It makes them, visually, unlike any other Hugos ever, even from a distance. And it makes them pink. Truly, outrageously pink.

[Afterthought: Since the awards have been, to whatever degree, suborned, zombified, taken over, counterfeited, then I think when someone makes a movie of the whole thing, it should be called HUGOES THERE? Thank you. Thank you.]

#764 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 09:04 PM:

I am still old fashioned enough to prefer reading novels on paper rather than on a screen. So I've just returned from three bookstores with two nominees (plus some finds from the bargain tables of course). I found where Barnes & Noble hid Ancillary Sword behind Ancillary Justice. The rest will have to be mail-ordered.

#765 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 10:26 PM:

Kip, "Hugoes There" is one of your worst in some time. Keep it up.

#766 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 10:59 PM:

Pink with bows. And lace. Sparkly lace.

#767 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:00 PM:

#760 John

You left out the Aleister Crowley connection!!!!
Tom Whitmore found the original manuscript of Crowley's The Book of the Law in his basement....

#768 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:02 PM:

#760 John

You left out the Aleister Crowley connection!!!!
Tom Whitmore found the original manuscript of Crowley's The Book of the Law in his basement....

#769 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2015, 11:33 PM:

Paula @767: that's why they've had their eye on me for some time -- they didn't think they needed to bring it up again.

#770 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 12:38 AM:

JJ @ #757: for what it's worth, I almost didn't pick up Ancillary Justice, mostly because of all the ooh-ing and aah-ing over how its pronouns were so exquisite. Fortunately the sample opening chapter hooked me. Not all publicity is good publicity.

#771 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 12:59 AM:

Allan Beatty, #764:

That's wonderful. If there's one thing that comes out of this mess this year, I hope it's that a lot more SFF fans become motivated to try more things, as well as to nominate and vote for the Hugos.

Tony Zbaraschuk, #770:

That's why I try really hard to avoid judgment based on cover, jacket description, or what other people say -- or at the very least, to seek out contrasting opinions. Obviously, since you can't read everything, you have to have some way to whittle down your field of selection. But hasty judgments can mean missing something wonderful.

It's not uncommon for me to disagree with what a lot of other people are saying. For instance, I enjoyed The Goblin Emperor. But I'm not raving about it, as I see a lot of people doing. I'm a bit mystified as to what they're seeing that I'm missing. But hey, IDIC.

There's almost always at least one novel among the finalists for which I don't care (one year, I thought neither winner was worthy of a rocket, and another finalist was utterly unreadable), I figure it just means that (contrary to Puppy claims), a wide range of tastes is being represented on the ballot. And isn't that what the Hugos are supposed to be about?

#772 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 01:36 AM:

Kip W (763) and Jacque (766): Don't forget the Gamma Rabbit.

Bright nail-polish pink and lavender with laces and bows and the Gamma Rabbit logo on it somewhere.

Downside: doing this might convince me to actually vote for certain slate members, in hopes of their getting handed one.

#773 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 02:14 AM:

Why have the Gamma Rabbit on it when you can have the pink rocket handed to the winner by someone cosplaying as Gamma Rabbit? The photographs would be worth it alone.

#774 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 03:01 AM:

JJ, #771: As one of the people raving, I have a SWAG about The Goblin Emperor, namely that many of the people who rave about it are survivors of emotional abuse and/or severe bullying, and the reason it resonates so strongly is that we get to read about someone ESCAPING that trap, with a reasonable promise of a decent life ahead of him. Not to mention that Maia is just a really, really nice person, and we want to see him overcome his difficulties.

#775 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 07:58 AM:

@774 Lee - I'll second that--my love for "Goblin Emperor" was largely because Maia was so nice and so polite and so unsure and worried about things like the servants being unhappy.

Fantasy is--or used to be--so often dominated by the Strong Person Of Action With A High And Lonely Destiny, this book was one of the first I've seen in a long time where I saw myself reflected so strongly in a character.

It hit me the way that a lot of books did when I was a teenager and which things very rarely do now as an adult. "This is a thing I would do. This is how I would feel doing it." I think it hit hard for a lot of us who are polite and hopeful and fretful and sometimes sad, and we hardly ever get to be the heroes.

#776 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 08:28 AM:

Lee, #774:
UrsulaV, #775:

Thank you for offering me your insights.

I guess that at least one of my reasons for really loving the Ancillary books is quite similar. Breq supposedly has no personality, no feelings -- no identity. She is just muddling through the best she can, in a world that seems mostly alien, with people all around her she is trying to understand, based on verbal, non-verbal, and physical clues that she is struggling to parse.

And yet what the reader gradually comes to realize is that this "unfeeling", "soulless" character is in fact far more human than all the real humans around her; that she is setting a shining standard for them in terms of caring and compassion which most of them -- and indeed she herself -- do not even recognize.

As someone who was severely bullied (though not abused) as a child, who struggled mightily to parse the world and all the people who seemed to be so different from me (and who, to some extent, still struggles with that), these books really have a resonance for me.

And it's why I want so much for people to get past all the female-pronoun shyte and read the books in the hope that they might feel that resonance, too.

#777 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 08:35 AM:

I'm liking The Goblin Emperor without being *hugely* enthusiastic about it.

It's got some drawbacks like names that I find very hard to remember, and while it's got a plausible amount of physical detail, I don't have a sense of how anything looks.

On the much more important plus side, it's got a thoroughly decent main character in a world where goodness has a pretty good chance of building trust.

It's remarkable in modern fantasy for how little onstage violence there's been in hundreds of pages.

I'm pleased beyond words that the emperor said "Cruelty is never just".

#778 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 08:45 AM:

Well, this moose has just ordered The Goblin Emperor and The Three Body Problem from BigSouthAmericanRiver to see what they're like. (Admittedly the Ancillary books have been "best in show" for a while, and keep getting picked up and reread.) I shall have some reading to catch up on next week, which I'm looking forward to.

#779 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 09:10 AM:

As a counter-point, I think The Goblin Emperor was one of the three best books I've read from last year, and I do not have a history of abuse or severe bullying problems (moderate geek-level don't-get-along-with-peers, yeah, but that's a different thing).

#780 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 09:21 AM:

jj @766. Huh. You've persuaded me to go back and give Ancillary Justice a reread before I try Sword for the Hugo voting. I didn't bounce off AJ, but I didn't finish it. I got about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way in and just wasn't engaged enough to finish. (This is not unique to Leckie. It happens to me a lot these days, even with books that are highly touted by those whose opinions I respect, and that I expect to enjoy. Not sure why. I'm still trying to recalibrate my expectation of "I will probably like this.")

On the other hand, I picked up The Goblin Emperor because I was intrigued by what I'd read of it and I enjoyed Monette's other work. I liked it from the beginning and it grew and grew on me as I read. I have reread it at least twice. I checked it out of the library because I saw it on the new book shelf and I didn't know where my copy had gone in the house, and read it again. (And my husband, whose SF tastes overlap with mine but who usually leans more to hard science, picked it up while I had it from the library and also loved it.) I bought an e-book version because it's a great thing to have on my tablet as fallback if I'm traveling and run out of new stuff I want to read. I love watching Maia anchor himself in the fundamental decency he learned from his mother, which his abusive cousin had not managed to kill, and find his way beyond surviving to thriving.

#781 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:28 AM:

Commendable OST tie-ins: Ishmael (Hambly) is fun, but may be hard to find; she did a crossover with Here Come the Brides (followed by hardcore Trekkies because it featured Mark Lenard (Sarek)), which I've heard wasn't licensed. The encounter between Spock and Emperor Norton is about worth the book's price by itself.

Kip W @ 756: Vs lbh'er ersreevat gb gur snpg gung Gvc (obl) orpbzrf Bmzn (jbzna): qba'g znal phygherf pbafvqre puvyqera traqreyrff? (ps gur snpr pneqf va Gnebg.)

JJ @ 757: (though I will bet that not a one of them would struggle with a book in which all the pronouns are male). I doubt it; IME, people who fuss about genders would also object to a story in which male pronouns refer to women. (As distinct from The Left Hand of Darkness, where the narrator uses male pronouns for neuters -- a choice Le Guin later rued.)

JJ @ 771: There's almost always at least one novel among the finalists for which I don't care. Oh yes. I've struggled through a lot of books that I thought weren't worthwhile (Moreta, anyone?) and have given up on at least one nominee; I'm probably going to have to reread The Goblin Emperor, because I dislike being flooded with bit characters that I have to keep track of. (That may have been intentional -- Maia probably felt the same way after spending much of his life isolated -- but it still grated.)
      I do lean towards books with a plausible lead muddling through instead of the SPoAwaHaLD (@775), who used to be a type in SF as well (see any older Dickson, esp. Tactics of Mistake); it's one of the reasons I like Cherryh.

#782 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:36 AM:

781 CHip: V oryvrir lbh'er evtug, ohg jura V ernq vg va fvkgu tenqr, V pregnvayl qvqa'g srry gung jnl nobhg vg.

#783 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:55 AM:

I am happy to note that there are e-book editions of pretty much all the Trek novels: Ishmael is there, and The Wounded Sky, and The Final Reflection and How Much For Just The Planet, and on and on. :)

#784 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 11:07 AM:

Kip W and CHip re: Oz:

Gvc ernqf gb zr nf fgrerbglcvpnyyl/cebgbglcvpnyyl oblvfu, abg nf n trarevp "puvyq". Naq Bmzn vf irel tveyl, va pbagenfg gb fbzr bgure srznyr punenpgref yvxr Qbgbgul, Orgfrl Oboova, naq Gebg, jub nyy frrz gb unir ng yrnfg n yvggyr zber bs gur "gbzobl" va gurz guna cbfg-genafsbezngvba Bmzn.

#785 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 11:52 AM:

There's another book (only tangentially related to the Oz books) in which Baum has an explicitly genderless child: John Dough and the Cherub. See http://rushthatspeaks.dreamwidth.org/353638.html

#786 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 12:08 PM:

This is me, serving notice that I'm avoiding this thread until I get my hands on the Hugo novel non-Puppie nominees. Even skimming, I'm seeing way more detail about the books' contents than I want to. Just sayin'.

#787 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 02:23 PM:

I started reading Ancillary Sword last night and I'm pretty badly lost. I don't remember near as much as I'd like, and I'd rather not spend the time to re-read the original.

Anyone know of a really detailed plot summary of the first novel? The most detailed one I could find was at allreaders, and it fell far short of what I was hoping for.

#788 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 05:48 PM:

Laertes, #787:

There are some not lengthy, but good (very spoilery) summaries here and here.

Also, an online book club had a detailed discussion of the book here.

#789 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 06:46 PM:

So I have been having a thought, re: Puppies, and since you are the smartest bunch of people I have easy access to, I hope to bounce it off you.

Bear with me a sec here.

Long ago, when Romney was running against Obama, NPR ran a segment about what people were doing to sway other people to their point of view. (My memory, of course, is that the Romney supporters were doing much more awful things, but of course it would be, wouldn't it? Confirmation bias at work. I suspect there was a lot of awful to go around.) Among some of the things were the usual run of "I'm never speaking to you again!"'s among family members, and an adult daughter who would be kicked out of the house by her parents if she didn't agree to vote for their candidate.

And of those, I broadly thought "Yeah, well, if that's the kind of person you're dealing with, you're better off without them, and I hope your new apartment is awesome."

But there was one that was "My brother-in-law can come over for family gatherings, but he has to bring his own food unless he agrees to vote for Romney, because I won't feed him."

And that one made me FURIOUS. I mean, it's so much more minor a thing than the others, which I had sat through and rolled my eyes, but oh my god, you DO NOT DO THAT.

And the thing is, the vast majority of conservatives that I know--my in-laws, say--would be appalled with two P's by that. More so than I am, in fact. (I don't cook.) If Judas Iscariot turned up at dinner, they might not invite him back, but by god, they would stuff him full of potato salad while he was there. Because when people are in your house, come hell or high water, you feed them.

To do otherwise would be deeply indecent. It's almost nothing to do with the guest and everything to do with the host. My aunt-in-law, for example, would be gutted to think someone went away hungry from her table, no matter who they were or how they felt about Issue X.

Food and hospitality taboos, in my own experience, are set much deeper than religion. You can change your religion, after all. I've never met someone who had the I-Must-Feed-You thing break out of it (though I allow it is probably possible.)

But if I tried to explain this to someone who did not have those bone-deep taboos in place, (as this gentleman clearly did not) and were they hostile, they would very likely spin it as "Are you trying to tell me what I can't do in my own house? How dare you tell me what to do!"

I think maybe we've smacked into a sort of fandom taboo here. Not quite as deep set as food, but still pretty deep. We Do Not Game The Hugos. To do so is indecent and deeply offensive, because...well...okay, there's no logical reason, maybe, except that you just don't DO that!

And here we are trying to explain "No, no, we do not DO this, this is not how decent people behave!" and some of those who do not feel this taboo are going "You can't tell me what to do!" and others are observing and going "Well, why wouldn't someone do this? You're awfully naive not to have expected it!"

And that latter one is bugging me almost as much as the former, because I don't think it was naivety so much as...well...decent people don't do that.

Maybe that's why so many of us are floundering now. It's not that it was anything unthinkable, it's just...people rarely plan for other people being shockingly crass at them.

#790 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 06:52 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe @773: YES.

#791 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 07:01 PM:

UrsulaV @789: a strong analysis, and I think you have something there.

#792 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 07:07 PM:

UrsulaV #789: Food is one of the things that universally has taboos associated with it -- the specifics vary from culture to culture, but there's always something.

But even though the specifics vary, there are commonalities: Feeding someone is a basic gesture of hospitality, and refusing to do so in appropriate context is a rejection, if not a statement of open hostility. (I suspect that goes back to somewhat before we were properly human.) See also: "Don't eat the fairys' food" in various myths, and also the Kosher laws meant to prevent the Israelites from sharing food with other tribes.

So the person you are citing is letting their BiL "show up", specifically so they can personally reject them on the most fundamental level. Yeah, pretty damn nasty.

#793 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 07:13 PM:

73
And it would be so SF-conventional! (You mean you don't have someone cosplaying for the Hugos?!)

#794 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 07:27 PM:

It has often been my contention that the decent good guys are, or at least ought to be, every bit as interesting as the Carefully Constructed Villain With Deeply Plausible Motivations, or the Brooding Anti-Hero With Lots Of Tragedy And Angst.

And The Goblin Emperor seems to bear that out, so that book receives the nigh-impalpable weight of my approbation.

Don't know if it will get the first-place vote, though, because I've yet to finish Ancillary Sword, and yet to start The Three Body Problem. (And, to be fair, I will read the other contenders too, or at least whatever bits of them make it to the Hugo packet. If Kevin Anderson or Jim Butcher manage to blow my mind, they may dispel the taint of the slate, for me. It's clear they've got some very stiff competition, though.)

#795 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 07:38 PM:

(1) The Butler tweet read to me as "Pox on both your houses"

(2) I'm sure some of the puppies would be mightily flea-bit by Melissa Scott's work: most all of it has the assumption that, unless specified otherwise, all characters are either gay or bi. And there's The Kindly Ones where the gender of the main character is never specified at all as either male/female/inter/whatever.

(3) Over on FILE770 I am amused to note that David Gerrold's Facebook post that the puppies are potentially putting very severe obstacles over their future success beyond a very small clique (due to their willing association with VD and the trouble/ill-will they are causing with this fracas) as somehow being a threat, rather than an observation of what business critters will look at as "more trouble than it will be worth"

(4) I am really ticked at Jim Nichol's announcement that he will refuse to do any more reviews for Baen titles because Toni Weisskopf won't proactively sign a loyalty oath denouncing the puppies

#796 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 07:54 PM:

Craig R, #795:

Am I missing something? Where did Nicoll demand a loyalty oath from Toni Weisskopf denouncing the puppies?

#797 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 08:58 PM:

JJ @788: Thank you. That's exactly what I was hoping to find. I think those have got me caught up well enough to continue.

#798 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 09:22 PM:

I think maybe we've smacked into a sort of fandom taboo here. Not quite as deep set as food, but still pretty deep. We Do Not Game The Hugos. To do so is indecent and deeply offensive, because...well...okay, there's no logical reason, maybe, except that you just don't DO that!

Damn Straight! You have indeed described a taboo of our culture.

#799 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 09:32 PM:

Steve Wright @794 "... the decent good guys are, or at least ought to be, every bit as interesting as the Carefully Constructed Villain With Deeply Plausible Motivations..."

Oddly enough, Correia's failure to do this was my principal beef with the Warbound books, which might otherwise have joined 1632 and similar on my "popcorn" shelf.

David Harmon @792 "Food is one of the things that universally has taboos associated with it..."

You remind me of Lunch and Other Obscenities, which is Star Trek fanfic that asks the question, what if the rubber forehead aliens consider dining in company to be an obscene act?

#800 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 09:33 PM:

UrsulaV, I think you are onto something there. It is the kind of floundering horrified reaction that most people would have to refusing to feed someone in their house.

And that feeding, that's the survival of guest-right in our culture. When someone enters your house and you don't feed them, you are saying that you're probably going to kill them. And vice-versa, refusing food in someone's home. Kosher laws have nothing to do with that -- The Bible is extremely clear on guest-right, and the obligations of the observant Jew to it. Sodom was destroyed because of a violation of guest-right.

#801 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 09:37 PM:

UrsulaV@789: Yes. Just, yes. That's probably the best example of a taboo you could have presented to me. Spouse and I (from different cultures, but both of them feeding cultures) both looked at the food example with bewildered incomprehension. How do you not feed a guest in your house?

#802 ::: kimiko ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:24 PM:

okay, I've got a hold request in for Goblin Emperor now. Thanks!

#803 ::: Grace Seybold ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:40 PM:

Zack @799: The Venusians (Venerians?) had the same taboo in Heinlein's "Space Cadet". That was how the stranded humans convinced the Venusians that they were "people": by acting mightily offended that the Venusians didn't furnish their prison cell with appropriate privacy for eating.

#804 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:41 PM:

Nancy, re Star Trek tie-ins: Okay, I'm home now, and can provide you with a few recommendations.

- Dark Mirror by Diane Duane: basically, I'll recommend almost anything by Duane because she's such a good writer, with a clear grasp of the characters. This is her only NextGen book, and takes the Enterprise into the Mirror Universe, where Picard, Troi, and Geordi have to masquerade as their Imperial counterparts to steal the information they need as they struggle to get back to their own space-time.

- Doctor's Orders by Diane Duane: After Bones pokes him one too many times about not taking enough time off, Kirk leaves him the conn and goes downplanet to help evaluate a new candidate for Federation membership. Things promptly go to hell in a handbasket; there's an incursion of Klingons, then one of Orion pirates, and Kirk has seemingly disappeared from the planet's surface without a trace. This is memorable both for the interesting alien-ness of the 3 intelligent planetary races and for watching Bones demonstrate that his curmudgeonly common-sensical approach to life actually functions quite well in a command/crisis situation. It's nothing like what Kirk would do, but it works, and it gets the job done.

- The Kobayashi Maru by Julia Ecklar: While trapped on a drifting space shuttle, Kirk, McCoy, Chekov, Sulu, and Scotty kill some time by discussing their respective Kobayashi Maru tests. This is effectively back-story fanfic, and each of the tales is very true to its character.

- My Enemy, My Ally by Diane Duane: This is the first book in Duane's "Rihannsu" series, which also includes The Romulan Way, Swordhunt, Honor Blade, and The Empty Chair, and the series does need to be read in that order. You've already read about the Sundering in Spock's World; these books go into much more detail about the Romulan society that resulted, from their POV, and all in the service of a whacking good story about enemies and allies and how they aren't always of a piece, and making hard ethical decisions. There are space battles, but they are not over-emphasized. And if you can get thru these books without falling in love with Ensign (later Lieutenant) Naraht the Horta, you're a stronger person than I am!

- The Pandora Principle by Carolyn Clowes: This is back-story about Saavik, and needs a trigger warning for descriptions of both physical and emotional abuse; her childhood was genuinely horrifying (think cross between "failed genetic experiment" and "feral child"), and a fair amount of it is shown in flashback. But the focus of the story is her relationship with Spock, who rescued her and taught her how to be a civilized being and stood sponsor for her into Starfleet. And that background turns out to be critical in defeating an attack that could destroy Earth completely. It's also a victory for Saavik herself, as she confronts memories she has never dared face before. (Side note: "abused/bullied child escapes and learns how to triumph over their past by becoming a good person" is one of my bulletproof kinks, and this story delivers it in spades, which is probably one reason I keep returning to it over and over again.)

- Time's Enemy by L.A. Graf: This is actually book #3 of a series (one book each for TOS, TNG, DS9, and VOY), but you don't have to have read the others to appreciate it, and in fact I didn't find the others memorable. I like this one because it's a mystery plot with a time-travel angle, very well-constructed. Dax gets a chance to shine here, both as the officer and as the symbiont.

- Uhura's Song by Janet Kagan: Another mystery, with first-contact elements and a lot of linguistics. Uhura and Chekov both get to shine in this one. Some people consider the character of Dr. Wilson to be a Mary Sue, but after reading the entire story I had an entirely different take on it, which I will not discuss because SPOILER. And it really is an excellent example of "to seek out new life and new civilizations", with a medical crisis adding a spice of drama.

- The Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean Lorrah: This is a flat-out mystery crossover. There's a new treatment on Vulcan for people who suffer from a particular type of nerve degeneration, and the Enterprise has a crewman who needs it. But the crewman dies mid-treatment from an unexplained power failure, and while they're still investigating that one another person undergoing the treatment dies. And Spock's mother, Amanda, is also undergoing the same treatment! It's a race against time for Spock and Sarek to figure out what's going wrong before another power failure threatens her life. Note: This story postulates a back-story for Sarek and Amanda which differs markedly from the one in Spock's World; I like Duane's version better, but this one is still perfectly plausible.

- The Wounded Sky by Diane Duane: This is also tangentially connected with the Rihannsu books and Spock's World, because it's our introduction to K's'tl'k. I think of it as "what the episode 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' could have been" -- while testing an experimental drive that could let starships visit other galaxies, the Enterprise accidentally triggers a rip in space-time itself and has to figure out how to fix it before our entire universe is endangered.

#805 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:49 PM:

I am really ticked at Jim Nichol's announcement that he will refuse to do any more reviews for Baen titles because Toni Weisskopf won't proactively sign a loyalty oath denouncing the puppies

I find this to be particularly ugly, because if anyone is stuck between a rock and a hard place here, it's Toni Weiskopf. On one hand, two of her authors are off the reservation in the worst kind of way, (particularly when viewed from the business end of things.) On the other hand, if she refuses to go along for the ride, Baen's bread-and-butter fans will crucify her.

To make matters even more unpleasant for Toni, she's likely to lose at least one of her authors to "fans won't buy his stuff anymore," and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that certain Baen authors are currently working on Plan B just in case some kind of worst-case-for-Baen scenario comes to pass.

I'd also guess that Toni's job is not terribly secure right now.

#806 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:49 PM:

Craig@795

While I'm also disappointed that Toni Weisskopf hasn't spoken out against slate voting (which is far more important than the canines who are engaging in it) even I can't read Mr. Nicholl's post as a demand for a loyalty oath. It is his blog and he can behave as childishly as he wants on there for whatever reasons compel him - personally I think his site will be less worthwhile for ignoring one of the important sci-fi publishers but it isn't like he'll run out of alternatives even if he was reading 24/7. As for Toni Weisskopf the fact she hasn't publicly commented on the current Hugo mess is certainly disappointing I don't see her as being involved or encouraging the behaviours and she is still likely to get a nomination from me for future Hugo's because she is an excellent editor even if I'm forced to vote her below Noa Waard should she receive a nomination due to slate voting.

#807 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:49 PM:

Craig@795

While I'm also disappointed that Toni Weisskopf hasn't spoken out against slate voting (which is far more important than the canines who are engaging in it) even I can't read Mr. Nicholl's post as a demand for a loyalty oath. It is his blog and he can behave as childishly as he wants on there for whatever reasons compel him - personally I think his site will be less worthwhile for ignoring one of the important sci-fi publishers but it isn't like he'll run out of alternatives even if he was reading 24/7. As for Toni Weisskopf the fact she hasn't publicly commented on the current Hugo mess is certainly disappointing I don't see her as being involved or encouraging the behaviours and she is still likely to get a nomination from me for future Hugo's because she is an excellent editor even if I'm forced to vote her below Noa Waard should she receive a nomination due to slate voting.

#808 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 10:51 PM:

Nancy @777: I had the same difficulty with The Goblin Emperor, and then finished it and found a list of characters tucked in at the very end. (It hadn’t occurred to me to look, and I’m mentioning this in case you hadn’t thought of it either.)

Craig @795: James Nicoll always uses “James,” to the point that it took me a moment to figure out who this “Jim Nicoll” had to be.

#809 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 11:06 PM:

The first thing I thought of, in reference to gender in Oz, was something different (and I don't think a spoiler warning is required here; it shows up quite early in the book): Dorothy's unwillingness to accept that a female character could be named "Bill", and her unilateral decision to call that character "Billina" instead.

#810 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 11:08 PM:

UrsulaV @ 789: While I would be deeply offended by a relative* who would do such a thing to me, that would also offer me an opportunity to arrive with enough to share. I'd like to pretend it's a simply positive urge on my part, bringing tastier food to the party of the person trying to piss me off, and thus pissing them off big time, would be about the biggest part of what pleased me about it.

I try not to be petty, but some things demand to be done.

*FYI, my one brother-in-law would not

#811 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 11:14 PM:

Nancy, #777, re The Goblin Emperor: I am with you on the names being confusing; I was 2/3 of the way thru the book before I felt reasonably comfortable with my grasp of their nomenclature system.

But while it's got a plausible amount of physical detail, I don't have a sense of how anything looks just puzzles me. If I were a visual artist, I would already have done a dozen pictures of things like the Alcethmeret and the Great Avar's traveling coach and maybe even the Emperor's clock; to me, the descriptions are vivid and evocative.

Side note: has anyone found Goblin Emperor fan-art anywhere? Searching for "goblin emperor" on DeviantArt just produces a ton of stuff from video games.

UrsulaV, #789: I think you may be on to something there, especially with your thoughts about how someone who didn't have the "feed guests" taboo might react. And I will go further and point out that when the Internet was being designed, anonymity was built into it as a major feature because (apparently) all these brilliant computer nerds could not imagine the future existence of trolls.

I think this is a common failure mode for humans who are not sociopaths -- until we've been burned multiple times, we simply don't stop to think about what a sociopath might do with [situation X] because decent people don't do that. It's also why people who don't have a sociopath in the family have such a hard time understanding (or even believing) people who do.

JJ, #796: I don't see it either. The only thing he says about her is "because she has been on the SP slate for 2 years now". That's not "you must sign a loyalty oath," it's "actions have consequences."

beth, #800: I saw, somewhere (quite possibly linked from here), an analysis of the Red Wedding in those terms, which I thought was very cogent.

#812 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 11:21 PM:

I find this to be particularly ugly, because if anyone is stuck between a rock and a hard place here, it's Toni Weiskopf. On one hand, two of her authors are off the reservation in the worst kind of way, (particularly when viewed from the business end of things.) On the other hand, if she refuses to go along for the ride, Baen's bread-and-butter fans will crucify her.

I don't know. From what I've seen, she's been a pretty enthusiastic cheerleader for this crap for several years now, at least as far as 'the good stuff is being suppressed by the SJW crowd' goes.

#813 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2015, 11:36 PM:

rochrist, #812: I don't know. From what I've seen, she's been a pretty enthusiastic cheerleader for this crap for several years now, at least as far as 'the good stuff is being suppressed by the SJW crowd' goes.

Inasmuch as I have a real appreciation for Weisskopf as an editor, I was very dismayed last year to read her post which essentially says It's Us Against Them.

Scalzi takes it apart here.

#814 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 12:04 AM:

Lee #811: ... when the Internet was being designed, anonymity was built into it as a major feature because (apparently) all these brilliant computer nerds could not imagine the future existence of trolls.

AIUI, they put in the anonymity because they could conceive of authoritarian suppression of information -- after all, the Soviet Union (inter alia) had been demonstrating it for some time. In short, they were dealing with the hazard at hand. Which is still at hand (indeed, a lot nearer at hand), and arguably more dangerous than the trolls.

#815 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 12:25 AM:

811, 814: also, taking anonymity away does not prevent either trolling or abuse. Witness Mr. Beale.

This is not precisely my research area, but it's pretty darn close. The things that do seem to help are: sure and swift social consequences within the peer group; stable long-term identities (pseuds do just as well as wallet names for this); and making it harder for people to inflict external consequences on each other.

#816 ::: Danny Sichel ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 12:34 AM:

just wanted to point out a fascinating comment that someone found (and, yes, which may have already bee dragged up in another iteration of this thread, I dunno):

"start barking, very loudly. Yap your head off and make damn sure everyone knows you're a troll."

-- Charles Stross, to Theodore Beale, in 2005... on Making Light.

#817 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 02:11 AM:

Inasmuch as I have a real appreciation for Weisskopf as an editor, I was very dismayed last year to read her post which essentially says It's Us Against Them.

I'd forgotten about that. And Toni was never my favorite person, particularly after she put out that Tea-Party guide... all that being said, I still have considerable sympathy for the woman. There's no doubt in my mind that she's in a tough, tough place.

#818 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 03:20 AM:

OtterB, #780: Huh. You've persuaded me to go back and give Ancillary Justice a reread before I try Sword for the Hugo voting.

You don't know how it pleases me to hear you say that. I suppose I'm like most spec fic fans: I love to share what I love with others, and see them love it, too. :-)

#819 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 04:39 AM:

#774 Lee
The Goblin Emperor is a cross between heroic fantasy and a comedy of manners.

I don't know how writing-style sensitive you are reading fiction, but there's a very definite stylistic elegance to it, which is key in my applying the term "exquisite" to it.
If your reading filters aren't tuned that way, the book might not ping as "exquisite.."

#794 Steve

The Butcher novel did not blow my mind and I find it ver yifficult to believe that the Keven J Anderson novel will--his writing I've looked at, I put down long before the books' ends.

#795 Craig

(4) is highly offputting to me, also.

#811 Lee

The Internet is the result of a lab experiment which escaped out into the wild. It was not created as a "production" system with inherent protection about the moronic, the malicious, and/or the incompent. Computer scientists created an experimental internetworking system, the ARPAnet, working wih peers on campuses in the USA, with shared background/attitude/outlook and if not knowing the other people personally, having lots of common acquaintances.

And then it kept growing. It was not created to be a commercial system or a template for a commercial system. It's not a planned thing...

The original Bell system, on the other hand, -was- designed with "security.' The first person to crack the security got offered a job by Bell Labs.

#820 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:40 AM:

Danny Sichel #816: Heh, just about 10 years ago. And the few comments following that suggest that he'd started his trolling career in the year or so previous, as Charlie and John were still trying to determine if he was "drunk"¹, a troll, or a crazy, while a female blogger had already found out, and he was doing his best to show them.

¹ In a proverbial sense -- that is, having an temporary but perhaps repeatable excursion from normalcy.

#821 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:41 AM:

Paula @819 - I admit, my hopes are not high when it comes to mind-blowing. The Butcher book is number 15 in a series that lost my interest by volume 8, and I mostly think of Kevin Anderson as "the go-to guy if you want several hundredweight of extruded Dune-related product". But I'll be happy if they can surprise me.

#822 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:52 AM:

Paula Lieberman #819: The original Bell system, on the other hand, -was- designed with "security.' The first person to crack the security got offered a job by Bell Labs.

Cites? I'm remembering the career of Captain Crunch, who IIRC was not at all welcomed into the Bell fold.

#823 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 08:02 AM:

The first time I noticed Kevin J. Anderson's writing, it was in Star Wars tie-ins/sequels, and I was genuinely surprised to notice that (in contrast to, say, Timothy Zahn's Star Wars novels) reading the book honestly read like watching the movies. There were several scenes referring back to things that happened in the movies and they were hyper-accurate quick sketches.

It's not necessarily a prose style I want to read all day every day, but it's definitely a trick with a difficulty associated with it.

#824 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 08:22 AM:

JJ @813 - That piece by Weisskopf is odd, but mostly because (I think) it was originally aimed at people who were already completely Us Vs Them. She's firstly (and most importantly) saying "Yes, I know! I agree! I'm one of you!". Then secondly she's saying "But guys, this is fandom. We've been through this before. Fight your corner, don't burn the house down."

Correia (and Hoyt and Torgersen) promptly went on to break the Hugos with the help of our good friend Mr Day.

#825 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 08:35 AM:

I think Scalzi misread Weisskof. There was a time when fandom had a body of reading in common, and I think that does make a difference, even though would be better to frame it as Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke and not call it worship. (And there was a good bit of depressing stuff, but it was mostly in short stories.)

I have a lot more in common with an SJ person who I can talk with about the stupidest thing Heinlein ever said (in my opinion, the bit in Glory Road about how weird it is for humans to have prostitution which selling what every woman has in infinite supply) than with someone who says "don't read Heinlein, he's too sexist, The Door into Summer".

This doesn't mean the second person has an obligation to read Heinlein, though I wish they wouldn't encourage people to cut themselves off from the past.

Weiskof is right that fandom has fragmented because there are so many different things to be interested in, and more material than any one person can assimilate. It's true that she then makes it into us against them, and that's a bad idea.

A person unsympathetic to the puppies reads in their forums and comes to the conclusion that a lot of the break is about strong preferences in prose style-- it's not just about content.

#808 ::: Vicki, I did know there was a list of names in the back-- I tend to look for that sort of thing before I start reading a book. However, I got swamped to a point where I stopped caring, especially when one of the names I wanted to look up wasn't there.

#811 ::: Lee

Not much came into focus for me-- the signets mostly. Maybe the Tortoise Room. I pretty much got an impression of expensive clutter.

#826 ::: Michael Eochaidh ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 08:54 AM:

I had two problems with The Goblin Emperor: a bit of archaic language at the beginning (which I tend to find distracting) and the names and titles (which did run together).

The archaic language turned out to be used sparingly, so that it wasn't the distraction I initially feared it would be. The names and titles did prove to be hard to keep straight. To be fair, though, I think that's a problem Maia had as well.

It's still no. 1 on my ballot pending The Three Body Problem (which I have not read yet).

#827 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 08:59 AM:

Lee @804, re The Wounded Sky:

I think of it as "what the episode 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' could have been" -- while testing an experimental drive that could let starships visit other galaxies, the Enterprise accidentally triggers a rip in space-time itself and has to figure out how to fix it before our entire universe is endangered.

(That should be "Where No One Has Gone Before", of course, the TNG episode you describe rather than "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the TOS episode with the energy barrier at the edge of the galaxy.) That aside, though, you're right about that, mostly because Diane Duane wrote the original script for the episode and it was strongly influenced by the book. She talks about it here; basically the script was rewritten by someone else and Suck inserted. Duane's influence is still there, of course, not only in the plot but in the shout-out to the Door Into Starlight (the concept, that is, not the book which undoubtedly is still being eagerly awaited in the 24th century.)

#828 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 09:08 AM:

Michael Eochaidh @826:

The names and titles did prove to be hard to keep straight. To be fair, though, I think that's a problem Maia had as well.

I've been thinking the same thing (I'm about halfway through The Goblin Emperor at the moment. I can certainly see the confusion of names and titles as a deliberate choice to echo Maia's own sense of being dumped into the deep end, and the writing is good enough that I suspect it's the correct reading of the situation. That doesn't make it any less confusing, of course, but it does (at least for me) make the confusion more tolerable.

#829 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 09:14 AM:

#826 ::: Michael Eochaidh

#826 ::: Michael Eochaidh

The archaic language was mostly Maia's internal monologue-- the language he had in his head (learned from his mother, I think) which wasn't appropriate to use with other people.

Archaic language doesn't bother me, and my impression of it in the book was that it was rustic/old-fashioned-- the opposite of its normal use in fantasy, where it comes off as high status.

#830 ::: Jim Henry ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 09:39 AM:

The Toni Weisskopf essay linked above does something odd -- at first she seems to be contrasting "us = people who read prose sf" vs. "them = people who only watch TV and movie sf", and that's when she says "why bother to engage these people at all?" Then at some point in the next few paragraphs, "us" seems to become conservative fans and "them" becomes liberal fans, and then she becomes more sanguine about engagement: "But is it necessary to engage those of differing political persuasions to get this method? I feel the answer is probably yes."

#831 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 09:45 AM:

Religion in SF I'm amidst, finally, Marie Brennan's Lady Trent dragon natural history memoirs, and had several double-takes during the course of the first wondering if I were imagining something.

The institutionalized religion that is clearly serving as Anglicanism in this particular Victorian-Naturalists alternate universe, which has a more archaic variant followed by backwoods mountain people in other countries (our heroine is Magisterial; their sect are said to follow the Temple), and is more different yet from other stranger religions followed by people yet more foreign -- this religion is worldbuilt off Judaism, not Christianity.

Which is not to say it shares any doctrine at all, but neither do clearly-based-on-Catholicism D&D-esque worlds all over epic fantasy.

It was awesome and I recommend it, not only for that minor detail but for a wealth of things.

If you know a girl who devours books and is interested in science (and is of an age to handle the fact that offhand reference is made to the fact that some adults do sexual things with each other that society Does Not Approve Of -- not even slightly graphic, but sex exists and is known to exist), I highly recommend it, because the first book is as much about learning to be a scientist from first principles as it is about either draconic biology, world travel, or dealing with institutionalized sexism from a position of not much power.

In prose style it is reminiscent of Regency novels, and would probably give SPs hives, though bits of it are ripping adventure tales.

#832 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 11:37 AM:

re 825: The whole question of writing style requires a decided amnesia of the field for a period extending through late 1960s and at least a decade further. I'm sure these people bounced off Creatures of Light and Darkness (I did too) but there were plenty of other books that were less experimental than that but still a long way from a simple fist or third person honest narrative. And let us not forget that one book in the field of that era requires that a translator from the original Polish be able to write a narrative poem all of whose words begin with the same letter.

#833 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 11:40 AM:

Alex R. @ 805: "On the other hand, if she [Toni Weisskopf] refuses to go along for the ride, Baen's bread-and-butter fans will crucify her."

Is that true? Is there really a widespread feeling among those readers that disapproving of Vox Day is a move to get angry about?

I've been framing this whole mishegoss as "most fans" vs "a few hundred assholes highly motivated to set the Hugos on fire". If large numbers of fans of Flint/Weber/Ringo/Spoor/etc are quietly rooting for Vox Day, we gotta start talking about that.

Note that I'm talking about her own nomination. I wouldn't expect a professional editor to protest the candidacy of authors she had edited (or that her company had published).

#834 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 11:40 AM:

Hmm, how to phrase this?
I was thinking that one of the sources of anger from the SP and their supporters might be based on the publishing industry now being, or appearing to be, harder to get into than it was, thus potential authors have trouble meeting the standards that are required of first novels now, whereas in 'the good old days' you could write and get published some mediocre books until eventually your craft improved (Some people of course never learn).
This was sparked by a couple of people I know who haven't yet gotten published, in one case I've read part of his book and it was certainly as good as many out there, but after 2 agents taking 2 years to reject it, he kind of lost interest in the mainstream publishing industry.

Of course that doesn't excuse nuking the Hugo's, my aim is more to understand tha various ideas and thoughts that motivate some of them.

#835 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 11:58 AM:

Kip @ 782: I can understand that; readings change over time. I was guessing at Baum's intent; cf are Shakespeare-comedy heroines compromised dykes (deliberately harsh term, simulating reactionary response) or working with the-world-as-it-was?

Jim Henry @ 784: A fair counter; I hadn't remembered your examples. (I plead age; I finished all the Baums and at least one Thompson >51 years ago.)

Zach @ 799: There's at least one print story from at least 40 years ago involving a taboo on public eating. I vaguely recall there was a different excuse, IIRC an all-android society (cf Saturn's Children) that for some reason hadn't mastered eating-without-making-a-mess.

Vicki @ 808: I would have like the concordance better if it had included a lot of "B: see A", for name variants that weren't always obvious. Maybe I'm just getting old, or spread the reading over too many days....

Paula L @ 819: I never thought of The Goblin Emperor as being that particular kind of hybrid. A drama of manners? (One wonders whether the man'chi plays in the Foreigner books would fit that classification, but they're probably tragedies rather than dramas.)

Andrew Plotkin @ 833: your first reaction was also mine; I hope your worry isn't correct, because I don't know whether people sympathetic to VD can be engaged with on facts. I know I can't; I'll support anyone who tries, because I hope this is not an irreparable rift.

I've skimmed both the Weiskopf guest essay and Scalzi's response. My first reaction was that Scalzi was overreacting, or reacting to some of the people Weiskopf was talking about instead of to her words. But then I hit there are indications that previous attempts to rally readers of non-in-group books were thwarted in ways that were against the rules of the game and was appalled; she should have known better than to pull up that lie.

guthrie @ 834: my gut reaction is that can't be so in view of the huge amount of SF being published, but I don't know whether there's an even huger number of people trying to write nowadays. Maybe it's just that the Internet gives unsuccessful writers an audience?

#836 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 12:18 PM:

#835 ::: CHip

As I recall, Sturgeon's "Granny Doesn't Knit" also had a taboo on eating where other people could see it.

#837 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 12:41 PM:

Zack @799, CHip@835, Nancy Lebovitz @836

In Heinlein's Space Cadet the Venusians have a taboo about public eating. IIRC, when the cadets are wrecked on the planet and taken prisoner, they demonstrate that they are civilized and should be taken seriously by complaining that they haven't been given private rooms in which to eat.

Actually, there are multiple bits in that book about cultural variations in eating, presumably helping teach the cadets to get beyond their own cultural expectations in general. The summary catch phrase is "pie with a fork." (A public official may eat hold a slice of pie in his hand at a picnic, but at a formal dinner he will eat it with a fork.)

#838 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 12:42 PM:

Chip #835 - yes, that's true, the internet makes it easier for people to find others with the same interest or dislike etc, so can magnify the effect of wanting to be published yet being rejected. Thus the simple operation of the gatekeepers (i.e. agents and publishers) is seen as a conspiracy rather than their normal function.
I do wonder though if the number of works published is ahead of or behind the number of people trying to get published?

#839 ::: Stephen Rochelle ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:06 PM:

Tangent to the Toni Weisskopf discussion above (in that it's about editors), can anybody offer some guidance on how to evaluate the Hugo editor categories? I don't have a good sense of what "good work in the area" vs "not the editor's (or, perhaps, not that editor's) fault" is.

Some examples of things that might be relevant, but that I'm not sure on:
* loss of flow of "who said what" in running conversation
* repeated use of the same awkward verbal crutch (i.e. not only a Tom Swifty, but the same Tom Swifty, again and again)
* this book really needed to be 20 pages shorter, right there
* this book really needed to be 20 pages shorter somewhere (or is that too close to the "too many notes" thing?)

Plus, those are all things on the negative side of the ledger, and judging simply on "didn't screw up" seems bad. Are there suggestions for positive indicators? A good first novel from a new author? A good new direction or improvement by an established one?

Finally, what's a good way just to find out what a particular editor's eligible body of work is?

Thanks, all.

#840 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:11 PM:

re: the number of people who want to be authors vs. the number of books published.

There is an industry -- a rather large industry, actually -- of workshops, seminars, weekends, etc., all of which teach people to be pretty good writers, and at the same time tell them that they can be published and make a living as a writer. This, in my opinion, leads to a great deal of frustration and anger.

There are far more people who want to do that than there have ever been. The traditional publishing industry has expanded hugely, and the non-traditional publishing outlets have exploded in number, and still there are more pretty good writers being made every year.

Being pretty good just isn't good enough any more. You need something more for success. That something varies widely, of course. Great story telling values, pipeline to the zeitgeist, unusually excellent prose skills, a plot that catches the imagination of thousands....Something new to say, perhaps, or something old in a new way.

There's a lot more competition for people's beer money these days.

#841 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:20 PM:

lorax, #827: No, I did intend to use the TOS episode, which is the one I was thinking of; the points of similarity are "Enterprise tries to leave our galaxy" and "encounter with a godlike being". The TNG episode... based on Duane's description, if I've ever seen it, I've mercifully forgotten.

The Door Into Starlight (the concept, that is, not the book which undoubtedly is still being eagerly awaited in the 24th century.)

*snerk* Alas, too true! And, to get back at least vaguely on-topic, if/when it comes out, if it lives up to the standard of the other three, I will definitely be nominating it for a Hugo.

and @828: I agree. The whole book is an example of the reader-immersion technique; we are thrown in headlong just as Maia is, and we learn our way around the Untheileneise Court just as he does. This approach has the advantage of making Maia into the Exposition Character in a very believable way, and thereby eliminating "as you know, Bob" infodumps. This is actually lampshaded at a couple of points, when Csevet says things like, "As Your Serenity is doubtless aware," and Maia is thinking that he definitely knows that not to be the case but is being polite.

Nancy, #829: The archaic language is informal language, the equivalent of the French "tu" forms. Note that there are also formal and informal first-person forms; as English lacks any equivalent to a formal-first, it is represented by what in our world is called the Royal We, except that everyone uses it under most circumstances. Maia uses the informal forms in his own head because, well, he's effectively talking to himself.

This does not become immediately obvious because the very first chapter in the book is largely about Maia and his guardian Setheris, who addresses Maia informally because (in his eyes) Maia is a child who doesn't rate formal address.

CHip, #835: Speaking of Oz, that's a series I clearly did not read at the age it's intended for. At age 11 or thereabouts (when I first picked up one of the books, although of course I had long been familiar with the movie), I bounced hard off Baum's "talking down to the reader" style; I doubt that would have happened at age 6. But it left a very bad taste in my mouth, and as a result I never have read any of the books at all.

#842 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:23 PM:

Alex R. @ 805: "On the other hand, if she [Toni Weisskopf] refuses to go along for the ride, Baen's bread-and-butter fans will crucify her."

Is that true? Is there really a widespread feeling among those readers that disapproving of Vox Day is a move to get angry about?

In retrospect that might have been a little strong, but I think it's in the ballpark. Certainly she could be called out for not being sufficiently conservative if someone had a mind to go that route, and I suspect the accusation would have legs.

#843 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:30 PM:

And it's not like there's anyone with a vested interest in unseating Baen as the go-to publishing house for conservative SF, is there? A smaller publisher who's shown a strong interest in manipulating conservative outrage for their own profit?

#844 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:35 PM:

In Heinlein's Space Cadet the Venusians have a taboo about public eating. IIRC, when the cadets are wrecked on the planet and taken prisoner, they demonstrate that they are civilized and should be taken seriously by complaining that they haven't been given private rooms in which to eat.

Actually, there are multiple bits in that book about cultural variations in eating, presumably helping teach the cadets to get beyond their own cultural expectations in general. The summary catch phrase is "pie with a fork." (A public official may eat hold a slice of pie in his hand at a picnic, but at a formal dinner he will eat it with a fork.)

It's amusing to picture the same premise written today by Scalzi and what the reaction would be by the SP community. I can only imagine howls of SJW outrage.

#845 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:39 PM:

beth@840: I honestly think a lot of it is flat-out chance. Especially when it comes to which books become runaway bestsellers. There are almost always lots of other books that could have been in that position but just didn't happen to get a break at the right time.

#846 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:43 PM:

Alex R @842 In the creation myth of the Sad Puppies, between Larry Correia being published by Baen and being shunned by the Worldcon in-crowd, a bunch of fans on Baen's bar decided to nominate him for the Campbell award. He got 40 nominations (and 175 first place votes)*

In addition, it might be just my impression, but Baen's new authors over the last few years seem to have been mostly writing in the centre of the space most associated Baen books; slightly to very gritty milSF, Space Opera and Adventure Fantasy. (Or, at least, the ones I haven't read are being promoted that way)

So I wonder if there are a group of regular Baen online fans who make a lot of noise and have strong opinions. Perhaps it's amongst this group that the idea of being outsiders got reflected and amplified by the Puppy authors. And maybe Weisskopf hears them loudly and sees them as the core audience for Baen. Even though there's (probably) not that many of them.

* Source

#847 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:47 PM:

And it's not like there's anyone with a vested interest in unseating Baen as the go-to publishing house for conservative SF, is there? A smaller publisher who's shown a strong interest in manipulating conservative outrage for their own profit?

Exactly. And any sufficiently imaginative person can build the current situation into a worst-case scenario for Baen very easily.

That being said, I haven't seen any evidence that Baen is in anyone sights right now. Such thinking seems too subtle for either Sad or Rabid Puppies. On the other hand, a miss-step on Baen's part would be an opportunity which is much too good to pass up if you're running a rival house.

Toni Weiskopf's best strategy is the one she is pursuing right now. She's keeping her mouth shut, and I suspect that she's quietly discussing the benefits of "not discussing the current unpleasantness" with certain loudly Conservative authors I can think of.

#849 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 01:56 PM:

In the creation myth of the Sad Puppies, between Larry Correia being published by Baen and being shunned by the Worldcon in-crowd, a bunch of fans on Baen's bar decided to nominate him for the Campbell award. He got 40 nominations (and 175 first place votes)*

This is very suggestive as to how Larry Correia developed his ideas about a Liberal Conspiracy. Imagining a conspiracy makes sense if there are a bunch of high-powered fans and a big publishing house behind you, but you come in dead last in the balloting.

I don't agree with his thinking, but I can certainly see how it evolved.

#850 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 02:12 PM:

Stephen, #839: One thing that makes me aware of the editing, in a negative way, is errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar -- although I do realize that this is properly the copy-editor's responsibility and there aren't many copy-editors any more.

Another is basic errors of fact. Two examples, both from one of the Changed World books:
1) The pre-Change capital of Montana was not Billings, but Helena.
2) Perfect pitch is not "the ability to reproduce a note when it is sung to you" (that's just a good ear), but the ability to tell what note it is, and whether it is on-pitch, sharp, or flat.

Now, the second example there is specialized knowledge and I might give it a pass on those grounds -- but the capital of a state? That's checkable in 5 seconds on Google, and the editor shouldn't have missed it. (For that matter, how many people had to memorize all the state capitals in elementary school and still remember most of them?)

OTOH, good editing is hard to see without having access to the unedited script. I've had the experience of being edited; back in the day I was dating the arts editor of my college newspaper, and he tapped me occasionally to write reviews of concerts or plays. Since I knew what I had turned in, I could spot the differences in what was printed, and IMO his editing always made the writing stronger -- removing passive voice and rephrasing the occasional clunky construction. But if you hadn't seen my original, you wouldn't be aware of any of that.

Jeremy, #843: Over on Scalzi's post addressing this, there's a comment from someone who says they know a person who was put on the slate without being asked, and who then feared to request being taken off it lest they come to the attention of the GGers. Yes, FOAF and all that, but it's a valid concern especially for women.

#851 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 02:20 PM:

Also wondering how one evaluates "best editor" for the Hugo, other than "I actually recognize this person's name" or "$PUBLISHER they work for did some books I really liked"?

#852 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 02:28 PM:

The other side of an editor's function is acquisitions and maintaining the author - publishing house relationship, so looking at new authors published with a given editor, or the quality of the authors edited by a given editor is another factor in editorial quality. This is more straightforward to determine for the Short Form category, though, where acquisitions are more frequent (i.e. not over a multi-year span, as with a typical novel contract).

#853 ::: Michael R. Johnston ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 02:33 PM:

Lee @804:

My only quibble with this list is The Vulcan Academy Murders; it's not terrible, but I figured out the murderer LONG before Kirk and Spock even considered the individual, and that was just not OK, as I was 16 when I read it.

Ah well.

#854 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 02:33 PM:

beth meacham @840: "There is an industry -- a rather large industry, actually -- of workshops, seminars, weekends, etc., all of which teach people to be pretty good writers, and at the same time tell them that they can be published and make a living as a writer. This, in my opinion, leads to a great deal of frustration and anger."

Not all of the frustration and anger is unjustified, as has been discussed here on various occasions.

* The reply times that publishers have taken -- measured in years -- is unusual in a business context.
* The requirement of exclusivity during that extended decision-making process has served to heighten the power imbalance between writers who have submitted manuscripts and the publishers with whom they hope to work.
* It sometimes seems that everyone for whom publishing is not a day job has to have a day job to support their work in publishing. I can see why, from a writer's perspective, this would appear very odd.

840 again: "You need something more for success. That something varies widely, of course."

And almost always includes a healthy heaping of luck, somewhere along the line.

#855 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 02:36 PM:

Tony@851:It is really helpful when evaluating editors if an author says something like, "Editor E really helped me in writing Great Book B by doing X, Y and Z", with the variables filled in appropriately.
Sometimes you'll find such statements in the acknowledgement sections, on the author's blog or by talking to them at a con.

#856 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 03:09 PM:

Stephen Rochelle #839 who said, "Finally, what's a good way just to find out what a particular editor's eligible body of work is?" and others talking about editors.

I too would love to know how one goes about finding out. Apart from the editors actually posting what they've done in the lead-up to nomination season, and the occasional acknowledgement in a book, that information just isn't easily accessible. I was frustrated trying to find out who edited the books I enjoyed; I wanted to nominate long-form editors, I really did. Google was unhelpful.

#857 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 03:30 PM:

#796 ::: JJ :::

She (Weisskopf) didn't proactively and unilaterally denounce the puppies' actions, instead trying to be non-committal.

Granted, a whole lot of the lineup I've seen described on Baen's website over the last few years are variations on "USA Christian Rednecks/Tru-Patriots/d/u/c/k/ d/y/n/a/s/t/y/ saves the world/universe" have not been to my taste. I have been assuming that there is a solid market for that sort of thing, and that it is profitable for the line. For me, it just means that a smaller portion of their lineup will be in competition for my disposable income.

And (Vicki?), thank you, yes, I will remember to use "James" rather than "Jim"

#858 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 03:42 PM:

Craig, #857: Still disagreeing strongly with your interpretation of this as "requiring a loyalty oath". It reads to me as though Nicoll would have been okay with Weisskopf simply not being part of the slate, which would have been the non-committal path. Instead, she agreed to be part of it, which sounds like pro-active support to me. Can you unpack your reasoning a bit more?

#859 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 04:38 PM:

At the risk of turning this into a pile-on, I found the "loyalty oath" formulation to be an unfair characterization of Nicoll's statement. Given the brevity and clarity of that statement, that paraphrase is somewhere between "willfully obtuse" and "outright dishonest."

#860 ::: Cubist ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 04:51 PM:

Here's the complete text of the Nicoll blogpost in question:

Since Baen’s publisher Toni Weisskopf is part of the Puppies slate for the second year running, I will no longer accept new commissions where the only edition is from Baen. While I will finish current projects involving Baen Books, I won’t link to the Baen edition. I certainly will not be buying anything from Baen in the future.

I urge everyone (particularly people with review sites) to do the same.

I don't see where Nicoll is demanding that Weisskopf sign a loyalty oath.

I don't see where Nicoll is demanding anything at all of Weisskopf.

What I do see, in Nicoll responding to something he finds intolerable, and calmly, concisely stating what he, James Nicoll, is going to do about that intolerable thing.

"Loyalty oath"? Yeah. Right. Uh-huh. You betcha. Yessirree Bob.

#861 ::: Cubist ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 04:51 PM:

Here's the complete text of the Nicoll blogpost in question:

Since Baen’s publisher Toni Weisskopf is part of the Puppies slate for the second year running, I will no longer accept new commissions where the only edition is from Baen. While I will finish current projects involving Baen Books, I won’t link to the Baen edition. I certainly will not be buying anything from Baen in the future.

I urge everyone (particularly people with review sites) to do the same.

I don't see where Nicoll is demanding that Weisskopf sign a loyalty oath.

I don't see where Nicoll is demanding anything at all of Weisskopf.

What I do see, in Nicoll responding to something he finds intolerable, and calmly, concisely stating what he, James Nicoll, is going to do about that intolerable thing.

"Loyalty oath"? Yeah. Right. Uh-huh. You betcha. Yessirree Bob.

#862 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 04:52 PM:

Gently and respectfully, please.

#863 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 05:23 PM:

Craig R., #857: She (Weisskopf) didn't proactively and unilaterally denounce the puppies' actions, instead trying to be non-committal.

Yes, but where is James Nicoll's "announcement that he will refuse to do any more reviews for Baen titles because Toni Weisskopf won't proactively sign a loyalty oath denouncing the puppies"?

I haven't been able to find this anywhere.

#864 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 05:32 PM:

The spot that I saw Nicoll's announcement was on his Live Journal site.

The pertinent page is here

Reading through the comments it seems, to me, pretty clear that since she is not proactivly disassociating herself from the puppies he (Nicholl) considers her complicit.

He has also said that he is going to delete any prior links to Baen in his postings and reviews, and is urging all other reviewers to not review any Baen projects, going forward. And for people to stop buying anything from Baen

Which, again, to me, looks like calling for a blacklist, at least for the reviewers.

His pages, his rules.

And if I think it's a lousy thing to do, it's my choice to say so.

Does that present enough context?

#865 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 05:43 PM:

Not commenting on the "loyalty oath" thing, but--don't you mean "boycott," rather than "blacklist"? I don't think James Nicoll is in any position to "blacklist" anyone. He might be calling for a boycott, I suppose.

Unless, come to think, you believe that Nicoll has near-governmental powers to keep people from working? (Which come to think might explain the disagreement about "loyalty oath," too . . .)

#866 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 05:44 PM:

Craig R., #864:

Okay, let me rephrase that.

Of course I've seen the LiveJournal and blog post posts where Nicoll says he will not review any more works by Baen. But where does he say he is doing this "because Toni Weisskopf won't proactively sign a loyalty oath denouncing the puppies"?

#867 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 05:47 PM:

@ 850 I've seen that in another context, and my heart goes out to the person involved. Unlike a couple of other people on the ballot, where I got a very...errm...I can't think of a good word, or host of words, that manages to be both respectful and truthful and concise here...that person had AND KEPT (possibly the key bit) all my sympathy.

Stuck between the Devil and the deep blue sea...

#868 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 05:55 PM:

@Craig R, 864: I don't agree with his decision, but that said, I don't think it's a blacklist. I think it's a decision not to review things.

It is a political decision, insofar as he does seem to think that Weisskopf is directly agreeing with and supporting the slates, and thinks that slates break the Hugos.

@UrsulaV, backaways: Calling it a taboo actually made me understand the reaction better. I mean, I had already explored the reaction on here, and listened, and accepted both the logic and the emotion of it.

But defining it that way helps me really get it.

(And I'm actually very interested by neither Torgesen nor Correia (in their expressed statements, anyway) not getting or feeling that taboo. Makes me wonder about how they entered fandom and/or what branches of fandom they hung out with.)

#869 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:02 PM:

Touching on UrsulaV @789 and taboos...I happen to know that there was an incident at last year's post-Hugo party where some winners who were not experienced in the ways of fandom behaved...badly with the statues.

It was apparently quite upsetting for the witnesses. I felt the same when I heard the story. But now, like kate @868, I understand why I felt that way on a more intellectual level.

Thank you, Ursula.

#870 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:17 PM:

#789 - UrsulaV -- Can I cut and paste this (politics/food taboos) into a FaceBook thread? Someone who I know (and who I think Should Know Better) is adamant that the SF/F fannish community is *really* aghast at the Puppies antics because it's "The Wrong People" who put up the slate.

#871 ::: Ken Josenhans ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:17 PM:

Lee #811, and others later:

"point out that when the Internet was being designed, anonymity was built into it as a major feature"

Nope, anonymity just happened. (And, in the modern era, anonymity is probably not as anonymous as you might wish, as brilliant people at the NSA and at advertisers have worked hard to subvert anonymity.)

The concerns of Internet designers were getting computers to communicate reliably, even when they came from different manufacturers.

The concept of people, anonymous or otherwise, didn't figure into any design decisions until very, very late. In early days, user accountability would have been managed by the system administrators of the mainframe or minicomputer which was actually networked.

Which brings up one of my favorite talking points, about the unstated design assumptions which sometimes hamper us now:

1) The vast majority of networked computers are competently administered.

2) All networked computers are benignly administered.

The arrival of the personal computer blew up those assumptions, and ever since then it's been patch patch patch. (Digression. I have wasted far too much time reading the puppy affair.)

#872 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:19 PM:

Craig, #864: The text of the LJ post is exactly the same as the text of the blog post quoted by Cubist @860, except for the one sentence at the bottom about going back and removing his previous links to Baen editions.

Would you please explain, clearly for we the ignoranti, exactly how you get from that text to "because Toni Weisskopf won't sign a loyalty oath"? Because it sure ain't there to me, and apparently it's not there for several other people either. What are we missing?

#873 ::: Eimear Ní Mhéalóid ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:20 PM:

I wonder if Toni Weisskopf was referring to John Ringo's firm belief that votes for him (back a few years ago, for the Campbell maybe?) were literally ruled invalid on slim or no pretext. IIRC someone he trusts told him they'd witnessed this. Much later this story came to the ears of a Hugo administrator who assured him, with voting stats, that this just couldn't and didn't happen. He apparently still believes it did.

#874 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:40 PM:

Lee -- Where I have seen nothing from Weisskopf where she has said she either agreed beforehand with being put on the slate or agrees with the purposes/premises of SP/RP activities this year, it looks like Nicoll is is condemning her because she will not proactively denounce the puppies.

To me, the subtext is clear that if you don't publicly declare to be agin' the puppies and for The Powers Of Good you must be in league with them, and need to be punished.

Is *that* enough context?

#875 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 06:54 PM:

Craig R., #874: To me, the subtext is clear that if you don't publicly declare to be agin' the puppies and for The Powers Of Good you must be in league with them, and need to be punished.

Possibly. I may even agree that what he's doing is not a good choice; but it is his choice to make.

But subtext is not the same as him actually saying "he will refuse to do any more reviews for Baen titles because Toni because Toni Weisskopf won't proactively sign a loyalty oath denouncing the puppies".

I have a huge problem with this sort of putting words in peoples' mouths that were never said, just to support one's own position. This is what Puppies have been doing all over the internet. It is not okay.


#876 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 07:53 PM:

Craig R @874:

I have seen nothing from Weisskopf where she has said she either agreed beforehand with being put on the slate

There's a coincidence: I've seen nothing from Nicoll where he alleges that she did.

or agrees with the purposes/premises of SP/RP activities this year

This year indeed. Because last year she agreed with the puppies just fine. Her silly "on my side are all the people who like Heinlein, and on the other side are a bunch of people who only care about politically correct" rant is pure puppyspeak.

Nicoll is is condemning her because she will not proactively denounce the puppies.

They've promoted her three years running. To say something about it now would be the exact opposite of "proactive."

Personally? I think Weisskopf is in an impossible position and I'd be inclined to cut her some slack. She endorsed some puppy ideology last year, but I've never seen her fingerprints on the plan to train the reavers onto worldcon. She could be as horrified as everyone else at the direction of the movement, but fear that opening up so much as an inch of daylight between her and the puppies would have disastrous professional (and maybe personal) consequences.

But Nicoll has every right to make his own decision about what he expects from her, and to refuse to work with Baen if his expectations aren't met. He's very plainly stated his objections, and a "loyalty oath" is nowhere expressed or implied.

I don't agree with him, but that doesn't give me the right to make up statements and pretend that he said them.

#877 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 07:54 PM:

Steve Wright @821: I think it's also worth noting that the Kevin Anderson is the first novel in a trilogy, which itself is a sequel to a previous seven-book series. (And in the 25% or so that I read before giving up, it showed. Did it ever.)

#878 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 08:31 PM:

Craig, #874: No, that is fucking not enough context, because you're positing a conclusion straight out of fundie la-la land.

You're also jumping much further to reach that conclusion than the text justifies, and invoking "subtext" isn't helping your cause. Your argument is an example of the Excluded Middle fallacy. Weisskopf didn't have only two choices here, she had three, and the third one was to remain neutral -- neither condemning nor supporting the SPs. Agreeing to be on the SP slate is not "staying non-committal".

Nicoll says very clearly that his problem is with her actively supporting the SPs. This is not even remotely the same thing as saying that she must issue some kind of statement of non-support, and trying to claim that it is... well, the politest word I can think of for that is "disingenuous". As for re-framing it as him calling for her to sign a "loyalty oath" -- I don't have ANY polite words for that.

You have utterly failed to make your case; you just keep re-stating the same already-refuted point over and over again, as though somehow that will magically imbue it with validity. I am SO done with this (literally) pointless argument, with one caveat -- if I run across you spouting this "loyalty oath" BS anywhere else online, I will post a link to what Nicoll ACTUALLY SAID, because I won't let a lie like that stand.

#879 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 09:11 PM:

@ 870 Craig - Sure, feel free!

#880 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 09:15 PM:

Craig@874: That's part of why his decision makes me uneasy, really.

On the one hand, Ms. Weisskopf has been on the SP slate twice. (Hm. Three times, I am reminded.) But that may just mean she doesn't care enough to tell them to stop, and not that she approves of slates. I haven't heard anything clear one way or the other on what her actual opinion is.

She certainly agrees with the general culture war/feeling of exclusion. Which just means she agrees with the concept that there is a culture war, and that it's worth fighting. Which... Well, this is coming from several different avenues, and when people say sincere things about how they feel/think, I believe them. Mind you, I don't think it's the /only/ motivation they have, but that's just because people are complex entities.

As for Nicoll, as I say, I don't fully agree with his conclusion. But one thing you can't say about him is that he's doing this casually; it will hit his pocketbook directly.

Also, just to let a little bit of wry irony out, if you want to re-phrase what you mean without the McCarthyite wording, that might get you fewer fuming people.

#881 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 10:45 PM:

Personally? I think Weisskopf is in an impossible position and I'd be inclined to cut her some slack.

Agreed. Baen, with a couple exceptions, aims their product at the right-most 20-30 percent of fandom, which means that even dropping a hint that she would prefer not to be on a Puppy slate leaves both her and Baen vulnerable to attack from the right. On the other hand, if she doesn't do something about the Puppies, Baen is also vulnerable to attack from the left.

It would not surprise me if certain authors discover that their forthcoming books are poorly edited and indifferently promoted.

As to what might come down from Corporate levels above Ms. Weiskopf, does Simon and Schuster own Baen or merely distribute their books?

#882 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2015, 11:26 PM:

Alex: I admit freely I'm not in book publishing, so I don't know some realities, but even so, I have no idea why on earth books (the thing that in theory makes people money in all this) should be badly edited and badly publicized. That would be cutting noses off to spite faces in a truly peculiar way.

#883 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:20 AM:

Kate (@882), I'm with you: not gonna happen. That kind of shoot your own foot off behavior is not something professionals can afford, and whatever I think of Baen's editors and staff in general and Toni Weisskopf in particular (nothing bad, I just don't know any of them personally), they are professionals.

I am also aware, even as an outsider, that after a certain point a difficult-to-work with author might get cut loose by his/her publisher. As someone (can't remember exactly who, unfortunately) said on a different thread, talking about John Norman's Gor books: "They didn't sell that well. And he was a pain in the ass to work with."

Got a feeling neither Torgersen nor Correia have come CLOSE to that level of "it isn't worth it" trade-off. It's hard to say from the outside, but they both seem to sell quite well, and also don't seem to spend any time complaining unprofessionally and publicly about either their publisher or editor(s). Just the opposite, in fact, which would seem to indicate a certain level of comfort with said publisher and editor(s), and that sort of thing is generally pretty reciprocal, in my experience. Day, now . . . may well be a different story, which might help explain the existence of Castalia House.

#884 ::: MickyFinn ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:21 AM:

Kate: I can think of one reason. If an author polarizes their audience so much that they are split into "I'll never buy something from that guy again" and "I must buy their next book, to show my support, _no_matter_how_bad_it_is_" then you don't need to waste money on publicity or editing.

Not saying that is the case for most of the authors involved in this. The one person I would say that definitely applies to runs his own Publisher.

#885 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:31 AM:

I have no idea why on earth books (the thing that in theory makes people money in all this) should be badly edited and badly publicized. That would be cutting noses off to spite faces in a truly peculiar way.

I'm not in publishing either, though I do follow SF publishing very closely, and it must be understood that what I'm implying is purely speculative... but if a book sells poorly the publisher has a decent excuse to get rid of an author they don't like.

"Your last book sold poorly" is a much easier conversation to have than "You made an ass of yourself and made my job much harder, plus you caused important SF fans to attack this publishing house and we pretty much hate you now." This goes double when the issues are highly charged politically and the publisher would have to purchase an eleven* foot pole before so much as touching the issues.

Once again, I'm not an insider and I'm just speculating.

*Eleven foot poles are a special order and they're much more expensive than ten foot poles.

#886 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:33 AM:

Mary Frances@883: Well, yes, I have also heard of some authors being cut loose. (Norman, in fact.) Though then you have Piers Anthony, who's still a pain in the ass but gets the Xanth stuff published anyway.

But yes, that's not a situation I find currently likely with Baen and Torgersen/Correia.

MickyFinn@884: Sure, but not /needing/ to publicize is different from not choosing to/being lackadaisical at it/sabotaging your authors.

#887 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:37 AM:

Alex, #881: I'm not buying that line of argument either (although you're certainly right about which conversation would be easier to have). Moreover, I don't really think this kind of speculation is adding any value to the conversation.

#888 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:44 AM:

Lee@887: Yeah, honestly, feeding into their persecution complex is sub-optimal.

#889 ::: Iphinome ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:50 AM:

Neil Gaiman once discussed the issue of the work vs being a huge pain (and meeting deadlines.)

You get work however you get work, but keep people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of today’s world is freelance), because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

#890 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:54 AM:

I've wondered the same thing as various other people above: irrespective of the current mess, how would one cast an informed vote for Best Editor (long or short) in a normal year? The best I can think of is to look at which works the editor was responsible for that year and cast a vote for whoever had the portfolio I liked the best. That's probably not too bad, especially if I'm voting for someone on the strength of their work as an anthology editor, but it still feels a bit unsatisfactory.

I wonder if it's possible for anyone but a handful of people (triple digits at most) to vote in a more informed way in those categories.

#891 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 01:30 AM:

Moreover, I don't really think this kind of speculation is adding any value to the conversation.

You're probably right. I thought we were far enough down the rabbit-hole of "inside baseball" that I could drop the hint about "poor editing and publicity" and move on.

#892 ::: rochrist ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 01:54 AM:

Obviously, I'm on the outside looking in, but my impression is that Toni spent the past couple of years whipping these people up. And not just with that one piece. I dropped by a couple of the hangouts and she was right in there with them. So now, I'm wondering how Baen, as a company, feels about that. Kind of like how Correia and Torgersen feel having summoned up the VD demon, only to learn that it wasn't so easy to keep him confined to his circle. Not ALL of Baen's authors are fellow travelers after all.

#893 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 02:07 AM:

Elliot Mason @823: thanks for mentioning that. I had a similar experience with Anderson's Star Wars novels and their feeling of literary cinematography in my youth, and I'm sad when I hear him being broadly/universally dismissed for that reason. I may be voting him below No Award this year because of circumstances, but I'll always have a soft spot for those books; they got to be dog-eared comfort reading.

#894 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 02:52 AM:

I had a similar experience with Anderson's Star Wars novels and their feeling of literary cinematography in my youth, and I'm sad when I hear him being broadly/universally dismissed for that reason.

I picked up the first book of the "Book of the Seven Suns" or whatever it was called, and got maybe 150 pages into it before I dropped it in the bathroom trash can. I have major doubts that he's produced Hugo-Worthy material.

#895 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 03:33 AM:

I'm on the outside looking in, but my impression is that Toni spent the past couple of years whipping these people up. And not just with that one piece. I dropped by a couple of the hangouts and she was right in there with them.

I'm not on the inside either, and I've definitely been wrong before. What I have noticed about Toni is that she's a wanna-be politician, which says to me that she may not be in business-person mode as she deals with this whole thing. Do you have any URLs so we can see for ourselves? (I don't disbelieve you, but I'm very, very curious about those particular conversations.)

#896 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 06:13 AM:

Lee @878:

I would be very interested in an explanation of how your comment is gentle and respectful, or, alternatively, why you feel that my moderatorial intervention in 862 does not apply to you.

#897 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 08:32 AM:

James Nicoll's post does, in all honesty, appear to me to be calling for a boycott. And that seems a bit of a move too far, in my opinion.

But.

If Toni Weisskopf is trying to position Baen as a publisher of true-blue, red-blooded, Heinlein-lovin' (but not in that way) old-school SF, well, fine... but I have a limited appetite for that kind of stuff. And I also have appetites for other kinds of stuff, and if Baen don't provide that stuff, I shall be forced to slake my (no doubt bestial) lusts elsewhere.

In short, this is a position which means I'll be buying less from Baen. Not as a boycott, simply because I'm a rational actor in a free market. I'm not going to buy books I don't want.

It may well be that I am a statistical outlier, and that Baen can get along perfectly well without my money. And if so, fine, good luck to them. I am not in the business of dictating anyone else's reading tastes, nor do I particularly want to see any publishing house go under (OK, I may make an exception there for Castalia House).

But it's also entirely possible that I'm a pretty average sort of a fan, and that saying to me, in effect, "Go away, we don't want your tainted leftist money," is not the soundest business decision Toni Weisskopf could make.

It is, as I understand it, the SPs contention that various (insidious leftist) publishing houses are conspiring together to dictate popular taste in SF. My own opinion is that popular taste has its own momentum, and there is a word applicable to publishers who try to force it down the lines they want, and that word is usually bankrupt. And Toni Weisskopf would be well advised to remember that. Non olet, as Vespasian almost said, atque e leftio est.

#898 ::: Fred Davis ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 09:02 AM:

@Alex R, just generally:

Note that even if your defenses for Toni held water, and I'm not sure they do, bear in mind that the flip side of what you're saying is "James Davis Nicoll MUST spend his time writing reviews for books published by Baen", which is insanity.

@883 Mary Francis:

Day, now . . . may well be a different story, which might help explain the existence of Castalia House.

Beale is kinda funny because he doesn't write all that much outside of his blog, and what he does write outside of his blog seems to be very consistently bad, and he's terrible to actually interact with or associate with* - I was personally quite worried when I first heard a description of the novelette by beale that was on the SP2 slate last year, because I'm a confirmed athiest and so theology hits the exact same spot that elaborate nerd arguments over which comic book character can defeat another do. So to my bigoted athiest ways there's more than enough room in SF&F for speculative theology of various kinds, and indeed I can find that stuff interesting to read if its done well and will pick it up if I see any.

So a story set in a world where there are elves and presumably some means by which one can affirm negatively that they don't have souls is entirely within my wheel house, all the theodicy arguments! All the fantasy metaphysics! In the hands of an intelligent writer that's my jam baby!

So I went in afraid that Beale might be a writer of something I might like and what I got was just terrible. As in it was trying to be "literary" (to use the puppy version of that term) with lurid purple prose that slows everything down to a crawl, with said purple prose then interspersed with long boring dialogues between characters with no meaningful conflict or differences in opinion and they handwave the key crux of the theology that was driving the story forward and then ignores all the juicy theodicy of a setting where there's an omnipotent being who made everything, but that entity decided to just randomly make a soulless, quasi-immortal entity capable of wanting redemption but unable to achieve it? We gonna explore that problem...?

Nope, God Works in Mysterious ways, whatchagonnado, eh? Here's some evil demons to kill the kindly old monk, look action's happening! That makes it interesting, right guys? Right?

One of those wonderful affirmational moments where the art held up to my opinions of the creator.

And then to make matters worse from a publisher's point of view is that the peice by him that got onto SP2 last year? a slightly expanded version of a short story he'd written a few years before. Because Theodore Beale hadn't written anything new that was eligible for last year's hugo, and he hasn't written anything new since then - Bad writing and not all that much writing to show for all that frothing at the mout on his blog that also gives him a terrible reputation that makes marketing him an uphill struggle? So why would publishers want to publish him?

Hence his reliance on publishers who are either owned directly by himself or part owned by a relative. But he tells everyone it's because of his political views. Because ;_;

* There seems to be a honey-moon period he gives people, where he's overly polite and deferential until you defend him or otherwise indicate that you're on "his" side, at which point he starts abusing any politeness you showed him and generally pushing against any boundaries of decency he thinks you have to see what he can get away with.

#899 ::: Fred Davis ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 09:14 AM:

@893
I'm sad when I hear him being broadly/universally dismissed for that reason

The problem with the Star Wars novels and Anderson is specifically Dark Saber AKA The Worst Star Wars EU Novel, EVER - all the other ones generally aren't mentioned when people call Anderson bad, and even that wasn't so bad that he'd have a reputation for badness... were it not for the Dune prequels and sequels, which were at worst workman-like novels... following up a series that was known for being thoughtful and thematically complex. Which made Anderson the worst possible person to try to write sequels and prequels to it. Nerds went in expecting pilau rice and got ricecakes instead.

@897:
Heinlein-lovin'

Someone needs to do some weird quasi-historical slipstream fiction based around the hubbard/heinlein pairing.

#900 ::: Brad DeLong ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 09:23 AM:

Is this the place to note that in January 2016 BAEN is now scheduled to publish a book--"Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen", by Lois McMaster Bujold--that looks as if it is designed to be the Platonic Ideal of the kind of thing Brad Torgersen does not like but also hates, fears, and wishes to keep off of the Hugo ballot?

#901 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 10:09 AM:

#897 ::: Steve Wright :::

Ever since Jim Baen passed the majority of new output from the house has been stuph that I found pedestrian and (obtrusively) politicized, especially as it is a political bent that I find neither fascinating, nuanced nor thoughtful. (I'd also add fugheaded and just wrong, but that's outside the literary equation)

I used to look forward to seeing Baen would come up with each month, and sometimes felt spoiled for choices. Certainly not the current situation.

I try not to confine my reading to choices that reflect only my chosen echo chamber. I love work that, say, could provide a nuanced and thoughtful treatment on why a particular religion's ascendance is a heavy societal ill, but not another, rather than by hand-waving and generalizing behavior from less than one percent of it's adherents. Or a novel where a right-wing (even an extreme right-wing) position is staked out in a fashion that makes more sense than "it's not the liberals so it must be correct".

And that's not something very much of I see coming from new output from Baen Books. And That Kind Of Stuff Keeps Getting In The Way Of Story.

#902 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 10:32 AM:

Eh. In my opinion--as someone who has no chance of visiting Helsinki, ever, even though I'd love to, and who probably won't be able to go to a WorldCon in 2017 no matter where it is--I think Washington DC might actually be a bigger magnet for loons in general. That Castalia House is located in Finland makes me feel sorry for Finland, frankly, but I doubt it means it's that big a draw. DC, now . . . assuming a high number of US citizens involved in this mess, DC has a reputation for pulling people in large numbers for all sorts of Reasons.

So I kind of think maybe we're getting ahead of the argument, and while the people involved with both 2017 site selection bids certainly need to be prepared to face questions about security and harassment policies, I imagine that they'll have answers when the time comes. And I also imagine that those are (unfortunately) questions people will need to ask of all site selection bid committees in the future, just on general priniciples--the world being what it is today . . .

#903 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 11:04 AM:

abi, #896: You're right, it was not gentle at all. OTOH, I would like to point out that both before and after your 862, Craig was asked repeatedly to substantiate his claim that Nicoll was calling for Weisskopf to sign a loyalty oath, and could not do so. The conversation was a very clear example of this common pattern:

Person A: Claim X
Person B: Not X because Y.
Person A: Yes, but Claim X!
Person C: Not X because Y and Z.
Person A: Yes, but Claim X!

Yes, I lost my temper and I'm sorry, and if you want to remove some vowels I have no objection. And, as stated, I'm outta there.

Steve W., #897: That's more or less my position as well. I'm not going to not buy something I like just because it's published by Baen; as has repeatedly been pointed out, Baen publishes a fairly wide variety of SF. But it does seem to me that Weisskopf is implying an intention to take the entire line in a different direction going forward, which means it's less likely that I'll end up buying books from Baen because that direction isn't one I care about. And this will happen without my even having to look for the publisher's imprint -- the books just won't pass my "does this look interesting" test on the shelf.

Brad, #900: Exactly. I will be grabbing that one as soon as it appears.

#904 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 11:04 AM:

Rats. Me @ 902 should have been posted over in the "A Few Desultory Phillipics" thread. My apologies for interrupting the conversation here.

#905 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 11:16 AM:

@899:

Bob's fingers closed around the cans of the E-meter, the metal still warm from the other man's touch. The red-haired man leaned closer. "I want to blow your Thetans, Bob," he purred....

No. Just no. Some things are just plain wrong.

#906 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 11:32 AM:

Lee @903:

I'm not going to take any vowels.

Just...remember that there can be a disconnect between what you say and how you say it, OK? So often, the worst of the heat we get in threads comes not from content but from ancillary factors.

#907 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:36 PM:

Abi @906: "ancillary factors"

The fourth book?

#908 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 12:42 PM:

Not "Ancillary Claws"?

#909 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 01:15 PM:

Note that even if your defenses for Toni held water, and I'm not sure they do, bear in mind that the flip side of what you're saying is "James Davis Nicoll MUST spend his time writing reviews for books published by Baen", which is insanity.

Not at all. James Nicoll can do whatever he wants. And based on whatever the facts turn out to be about Toni Weiskopf, I can think/believe whatever I wish about James Nicolls. I can't (and wouldn't) won't force him to do anything.

Hopefully rochrist will come up with some URLs and we can learn more about the Weiskopf situation and do something more than speculate.

On the subject of forcing people to do things, I think this is what our conflict with the SP/RPs is ultimately about. They're applying force, (though not applying violence.) We're hoping that we don't have to apply force in return. The problem for the SPs is that once someone decides to be a jerk, the other side also has the option to be a jerk - and there are a lot more of us than there are of them, and as a group we wield a lot more potential jerkdom... this doesn't necessarily end well for anyone.

My own personal approach to bullies is that they should be (metaphorically if the bully has not gotten physical) kicked in the nuts. For the Sads and Rabids specifically:

MOCK
SHAME
SHUN
SPAY
NEUTER

#910 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 02:06 PM:

abi, #906: Yes. I stand by the content of what I said, but I should not have said it that way; I'd have done better to refer to the Rule of Ducks.

The conversational pattern I noted is, for some reason, very triggery for me -- I can only deal with a limited amount of it before I go up like Vesuvius. I'm working on it, but at the moment I've only gotten as far as "you notice it after it's happened" unless I'm very lucky. This may be because I don't actually encounter it very often, and in between times I forget the warning signs.

Doug, #907: *snerk*

#911 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 03:11 PM:

Fred Davis, #899:

Paul Malmont's The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown may not be exactly the novel you were seeking. But it's kind of close. Blurb:

In 1943, when the United States learns that Germany is on the verge of a deadly innovation that could tip the balance of the war, the government turns to an unlikely source for help: the nation’s top science fiction writers. Installed at a covert military lab within the Philadelphia Naval Yard are the most brilliant of these young visionaries. The unruly band is led by Robert Heinlein, the dashing and complicated master of the genre. His “Kamikaze Group,” which includes the ambitious genius Isaac Asimov, is tasked with transforming the wonders of science fiction into science fact and unlocking the secrets to invisibility, death rays, force fields, weather control, and other astounding phenomena — and finding it harder than they ever imagined. When a German spy washes ashore near the abandoned Long Island ruins of a mysterious energy facility, the military begins to fear that the Nazis are a step ahead of Heinlein’s group. Now the oddball team, joined by old friends from the Pulp Era including L. Ron Hubbard (court-martialed for attacking Mexico), must race to catch up. [...] Blazing at breathtaking speed from forgotten tunnels deep beneath Manhattan to top-secret battles in the North Pacific, and careening from truth to pulp and back again, The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown is a sweeping, romantic epic — a page-turning rocket ship ride through the history of the future.

It's a sequel to The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril, in which Lester Dent and Walter Gibson undertake feats of pulpy derring-do, and in which a mysterious stranger, jub gheaf bhg gb or Urvayrva, also appears.

#912 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 03:17 PM:

Oh, perhaps I should have mentioned that Lester Dent was the prolific creator of Doc Savage and Walter Gibson was the prolific creator of The Shadow. Pseudonyms were Kenneth Robeson and Maxwell Grant, respectively. These two guys wore out a lot of typewriters.

#913 ::: Larry Lennhoff ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 03:21 PM:

Lorax @827 We should also note that Dark Mirror contains a reference to the Song of the Twelve, thus tying Star Trek into the 'So You Want To Be A Wizard' universe. SYWTBW is already lightly tied to the Doors novels, so this just tightens the connections among the three.

#914 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 03:25 PM:

Bill Higgins @ 911: I love this thread. I love Making Light. You have any idea how many books I've discovered that I can't wait to read, just from this thread alone? Count backward, up the posts . . . thanks for the most recent one!

#915 ::: Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 03:48 PM:

Lee @ 811,

In the novel (A Storm of Swords), Catelyn Stark makes a point of assuring that their host feed them before the wedding, precisely because she suspects that he bears them ill will. When the betrayal comes, her shock that the guarantee of hospitality has been broken is explicit. This survives into the television adaptation in a scene that moves from a ritual consumption of bread and salt to other matters.

#916 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 04:11 PM:

Nancy L @ 836: "Granny Won't Knit" was more general; any exposure of hands (or most of the rest of the body) was taboo.

beth meacham @ 840: a good point. I remember when there was one make-yourself-publishable "school" (~50 years ago, and how someone else took it down almost as hard as Atlanta Nights did); there are a lot more now.

Leader @ 843: in spite of my previous comment, I doubt that Weiskopf believes that Castalia House could be a competitor. Even e-pubs take work; Castalia House would have to find competent people willing to work for them in order to become significant.

Stephen@839/Lee@850: I find that kind of screwup intensely aggravating (when I find it) -- but I never know who to blame; TNH has commented on the reduction of book quality caused by farming out copyediting instead of keeping it in-house, suggesting that the titular editor doesn't do a line-by-line reading. Sometimes they do -- cf recent revelation in one of these threads that Harriet Rigney line-edited late Norton -- but ISTM that this is uncommon. (This may also vary from house to house; IIRC, TNH also mentioned radically different work loads.) I recall a PNH comment that most of his day was taken up with the mechanics of publishing, such that manuscripts were read on commutes or in evenings. I'd look at least as much at the best qualities of the best works as at the breakages.

kate @ 868: ISTM that Torgersen entered fandom (to the extent he did) by going to a Worldcon where he had been nominated. If ignorance were an excuse for his level of fuggheadedness, he might have one. (I don't have the stomach to trace him, but I would be amused to see whether somebody knows his ancient spoor -- cf the Beale kerfuffle here in 2005 that somebody recently pointed to.)

Iphinome @ 889: Gaiman was being too restrictive; Harlan Ellison is habitually late (there's a reason one of his collections is called Slippage) and can be unjustifiably difficult to deal with -- but he's very good.

Brad DeLong @ 900: I've long thought of Bujold at Baen as being the flip side of Norman at DAW....

Craig R @ 901: I didn't find much to recommend at Baen (and found some really horrible work -- The Wizard of Karres?!?) even while the founder was alive, so I'll take your word for their going downhill since then.

#917 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 05:11 PM:

I'll thank the puppies for this much: Their outrageous belief that they own Heinlein has annoyed me enough that my brain has spent the last many days taking me on a tour of all the Heinlein stories I loved as a young man. It's been a pleasant stroll down memory lane. Job was a particular favorite, but I could easily name a dozen Heinlein stories that knocked me out.

To Sail Beyond The Sunset was a special book for me: I used to have a rule that I'd give any book, once started, at least a hundred pages. And once I'd gone a hundred pages, I always found some reason to stick to the end. TSBTS was the very first book that I threw with great force on page 101 and never picked up again.

#918 ::: Joe H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 05:29 PM:

I'm willing to give Baen a pass for Bujold and for P.C. Hodgell and for the large amounts of Brackett and Hamilton in the Baen Electronic Library. But that's about it.

#919 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 05:31 PM:

Laertes @917: True story, To Sail Beyond the Sunset was my first Heinlein, at about the age of 9 or 10.

It says something about younger me that not only did I finish it and go on to read and enjoy more Heinlein, I did not even view it as a particularly peculiar book ... I just started my first reread of it in over a decade and WOWZERS is it STRANGE (not only in Heinlein brain-eater ways but in a myriad "throw you in the deep end and figure out where you are from context" reading protocols). Young me was weirder than I thought.

#920 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 05:52 PM:

Larry, #913: Also, the Draconic language in the Doors books is very similar to (if not the same as) the Rihannsu language. It also appears to be the language spoken by the na'mdeihei in Lt. Commander Lia Burke's transit-vision in The Wounded Sky, and the na'mdeihei themselves may or may not be the same as the 'At in Doctor's Orders. And of course, mdeihei is the name for the Indwelling Dracon souls in the Doors books, while sdaha is the Outdweller, the one who interacts with the physical world.

Part of the fun of reading Duane, for me, is catching the ways that she ties her various story lines together. (Or recycles her own material from one context to another, if you want to think of it that way.)

Laertes, #917: I have to be careful with Heinlein these days, lest I discover visits from the Suck Fairy. Starship Troopers and Double Star are mostly okay, but some of the others... not so much. And it's always along the lines of, "how in the world did I never notice that the first time?" To which the answer is, the world and I have both changed.

#921 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 06:17 PM:

My fist "throw at the wall" was also a Heinlein, but it was a much later page of I Will Fear No Evil that set me off. I think I must have read it in 1981 or so based on my recollection of what of his had been published.

#922 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 07:08 PM:

JoeH @918 I'd add the Lee & Miller Liaden books to that list. I'm actually quite grateful that Baen picked them up after the Meisha Merlin implosion.

#923 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 07:39 PM:

In hindsight, I was lucky. I got into Heinlein in the mid '80s, right around the time of To Sail Beyond The Sunset. That could easily have been my first Heinlein, and if it had, it'd surely have been my last. And then I'd have missed out on Job, The Green Hills of Earth, Revolt in 2100, The Menace From Earth, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. That'd be a shame.

I mean, imagine if Signs (or anything after) had been your first exposure to Shyamalan. You'd miss out on Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.

So: Heinlein's To Sail Beyond The Sunset. Shyamalan's Signs. Clancy's (I admit it: I was once a teenage boy with regrettable taste) Without Remorse. Dan Simmons' Olympos: Works that left me horrified and uninterested in any further work by an artist I'd previously enjoyed. Anyone else got similar lists?

#924 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 07:54 PM:

I haven't thrown a Heinlein at the wall, but I started getting disappointed with Friday, and WTFing with To Sail Beyond the Sunset. I liked J.O.B., though I didn't consider it half as deep as it apparently wanted to be. (Come to think of it, in retrospect J.O.B. makes me think of Piers Anthony's regular attempts at "deep" books.)

#925 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 07:58 PM:

923
I don't think I got that far with Clancy - I stopped about the second or third Bigger Explosion Climax. (There's a guy who needed someone to say 'WTF' to him.)

#926 ::: UrsulaV ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 08:11 PM:

@ 923 - I'm still bitter about "Signs." I am, as it happens, utterly atavistically terrified of Grays. (Also Mothman. Something to do with things that don't communicate, aren't interested in talking, and I don't know what they want.) So I went in prepared to be horrified off my rocker, because...well, sometimes you want that...and I stayed terrified right up until the damn aliens couldn't work doorknobs. *grumble*

But hey, "Mothman Prophecies" still scared the crap outta me! So there's that!

I think I give up on a series more with movies than I do with books. I just sort of drift away from an author, I don't feel the sense of disgust/meh that I do with films. (See also: George Lucas, and Why I Have Not Seen The Second And Third Hobbit Moves.)

I don't have a "You Had Me And You Lost Me" list quite like that with books. There are authors I just don't bother with any more, but I rarely feel strongly about it--if I'm hating it that much, I don't bother to finish the book.

It's pretty rare that I'm intensely emotionally invested in a book and an author does something that then makes me absolutely furious. (Though Tana French lost me eternally with the end of "In the Woods" (you either uphold the mystery contract or you shelve the book as literature, damnit.) And an SF author who shall, in the interests of tact, remain nameless got one pass on a not-showing-the-eldritch horror ending and then I realized she was doing it in every book and gave it up, despite gorgeous writing. You get to do that once, but sooner or later, you gotta knuckle down and show us Cthulhu.)

#927 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 08:39 PM:

CHip at #916 says, "Harlan Ellison is habitually late." Yup, I've been waiting 40+ years for The Last Dangerous Visions.

#928 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 08:46 PM:

I'll stay mum about my first book thrown at the wall, because the author is still living and professionally connected to people in this forum.

But he is usually a very good writer, so I'll still read one of his books if it receives good reviews from people whose sensibilities are like mine.

#929 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 09:31 PM:

Bill Higgins, #911 Paul Malmont's The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown may not be exactly the novel you were seeking. But it's kind of close. Blurb:
The unruly band is led by Robert Heinlein, the dashing and complicated master of the genre. His “Kamikaze Group,” which includes the ambitious genius Isaac Asimov, is tasked with transforming the wonders of science fiction into science fact and unlocking the secrets to invisibility, death rays, force fields, weather control, and other astounding phenomena — and finding it harder than they ever imagined. When a German spy washes ashore near the abandoned Long Island ruins of a mysterious energy facility, the military begins to fear that the Nazis are a step ahead of Heinlein’s group. Now the oddball team, joined by old friends from the Pulp Era including L. Ron Hubbard (court-martialed for attacking Mexico), must race to catch up...

Heinlein/Hubbard slash fic. Um. This is like that scene in Galaxy Quest where Fred is making out with Lalieri and all her tentacles, and Guy says, "WHOA! Oh... no... that's not right..."

#930 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 09:50 PM:

UrsulaV: " I am, as it happens, utterly atavistically terrified of Grays. (Also Mothman. Something to do with things that don't communicate, aren't interested in talking, and I don't know what they want.)

I'm like that about Slenderman, despite knowing for a fact that it's a totally invented "urban legend". I mean, I have seen the original pictures, with captions on them that say in so many words "Here are the Photoshopped originals of the Slenderman legend from creepypasta", and they still freak me out.

#931 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 09:54 PM:

#916 ::: CHip

Granny Doesn't Knit

The story's got a very high taboo society, but one of the taboos is definitely eating in front of other people. There was also a taboo on showing one's hands, but there probably would have been a way of eating within that constraint.

Other than that, it's quite an interesting story in a bunch of ways, but I'll just mention that when I first read it (probably in the sixties-- it came out in 1954) it was the first sf story I'd read where an old woman was the person who made the background situation happen.

#932 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 10:10 PM:

UrsulaV #926: You get to do that once, but sooner or later, you gotta knuckle down and show us Cthulhu.

But if you saw Chthulu you'd go insane! Or the narrator would, or whatever....

One of my bits in Lucien's library has the characters occasionally throwing up an anti-eavesdropping spell meant to fend off everything short of a god. And every time they use it, the narrative viewpoint abruptly cuts away from them....

#933 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 10:48 PM:

My first Throw-Book-Into-Wall moment happened with God Emperor of Dune. It had just come out; I was all excited to read it. I don't even remember what triggered my disgust... but I only managed to NOT throw it because it was a library book and <imprinted taboo>You Don't Mistreat Library Books</imprinted taboo>. Otherwise, it would have left a sizable dent in the plaster....

Never finished it; never read another Dune book, by Herbert or anyone else.

#934 ::: Zack ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 10:51 PM:

David Harmon @932: "...every time they use [the anti-eavesdropping spell], the narrative viewpoint abruptly cuts away from them...."

By any chance have you read Salvador Plascencia's The People of Paper?

#935 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 11:27 PM:

My first throw-against-the-wall book was Ender's Game. After years of hearing people rave about it, I just couldn't believe that the characters and plotline were so one-dimensional (not to mention the horrifying anti-ethics "as long as you feel it's in a noble cause, the ends justifies the means" message). I eventually picked it back up and finished it, thinking that it had to get better. It never did.

My last throw-against-the-wall book was Robinson's Shaman. I've read several of his other books and really enjoyed them, but I am damned if I can figure out how that epic-length-neither-SF-nor-Fantasy ode to bodily excretions got nominated for a Nebula. I had to force myself to read 25% -- then quit with utter relief.

#936 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2015, 11:48 PM:

933
I hit that point in Children of Dune, where he (or whoever actually wrote it) changed a major plot point from what it had been in Dune (from 'character inherits the memories of everyone before them in the memory-chain' to 'character inherits the memories of their genetic ancestors'). It was a magazine, so I didn't throw it, but I haven't bothered with any of the volumes since then.

#937 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2015, 12:08 AM:

When I was in the chorus of The Mikado (CNU 2000), our Pooh-Bah was in the process of reading Ender's Game, and it was truly a joy to watch him, regardless of one's feelings about the book or author. He would be reading it intently backstage, and every now and then, he'd mutter an exclamation, put the book down, and walk around, shaking it off. Then, inevitably, he'd head back to it and read some more. I loved watching him read that thing.

He also did one of the best curtain calls I've ever seen. His character (who handed out business cards to the audience in an early scene) was stern and humorless throughout, and for his moment, he scowled at the audience, raised his fan in front of his features momentarily, and when it came down, he was smiling broadly as himself, no longer the character he played. How I wish I might have an occasion to steal this bit some day!

#938 ::: DanAudy ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2015, 12:16 AM:

JJ@935

As much as I loathe OSC now I do have to give him some credit with regards to the Ender's Game series. His followup novel's Xenophobe and Speaker for the Dead explicitly deal with the recognition that the actions in the first novel were profoundly unethical and Ender's resentment and anger at being manipulated and used. As for Ender's Game itself I found that it spoke to me as a young man who felt like an outsider - I don't think it stands up too well as a book for someone with more and broader life experience but for someone around the same age as the characters the one-dimensional aspects aren't necessarily a bad thing because it let the book maintain a tighter focus.

#939 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2015, 01:22 AM:

I guess I really should have read Ender's Game before Ender's Shadow, but I think I'd've always been destined to like other things by Card better, in the long run.

#940 ::: JJ ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2015, 01:55 AM:

DanAudy, #938: As much as I loathe OSC now I do have to give him some credit with regards to the Ender's Game series. His followup novel's Xenophobe and Speaker for the Dead explicitly deal with the recognition that the actions in the first novel were profoundly unethical and Ender's resentment and anger at being manipulated and used.

"Xenophobe" <cough> Freudian Slip </cough>

I really, really liked Speaker for the Dead. It is the exact opposite of Ender's Game: multi-dimensional plotting and characters, recognition that the ends do not justify a heinous means, acknowledgement that protecting people from understanding the very real, horrific consequences of their actions deprives them of the ability to become fully-developed human beings. I am convinced it was written by someone else and published under his name; how else does one explain such acceptance and understanding of The Other in a book written by a man who has none in real life?

I didn't read Xenocide because my TBR list is more than 250 novels long -- many of which I know beforehand are going to be fantastic -- and I figured OSC had already gotten more of my time and attention than he deserved. I may consider reading it at some point, but right now... I just can't consider it a priority. (Though I see there are a lot of Ender's Boys on Amazon who quite hated it -- so maybe it's worth a try.) Thanks for the recommendation.

#941 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2015, 03:26 AM:

It's funny. As horrifying a person as OSC is, I never had that throw-the-book moment with him. I dropped him at some point in the late '90s when I came to understand what he was, but that wasn't about the art--it was about the artist.

I loved a lot of his work. The Worthing saga. The Alvin Maker series. That big long series about the return to Earth which name I can't remember. Treason. Wyrms. Pastwatch gave me chills, and just thinking about it, it still does. In hindsight I expect it was his best work.

#942 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2015, 03:31 AM:

It's funny. As horrifying a person as OSC is, I never had that throw-the-book moment with him. I dropped him at some point in the late '90s when I came to understand what he was, but that wasn't about the art--it was about the artist.

I loved a lot of his work. The Worthing saga. The Alvin Maker series. That big long series about the return to Earth which name I can't remember. Treason. Wyrms. Pastwatch gave me chills, and just thinking about it, it still does. In hindsight I expect it was his best work.

But, still, I dropped him. It wasn't some kind of principled "I can't give that man one thin dime" kind of thing, though it probably should have been. It was just that knowing what a creep he was somehow took all the joy out of reading him.

#943 ::: Laertes ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2015, 03:32 AM:

Oh hells bells that's not fair. I got a good hard server error off that first post, and minutes later it still hadn't shown up. It should have vanished off to data heaven rather than sitting around here as a rough draft.

#944 ::: inge ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2015, 03:45 AM:

My first "book against the wall" was Max Frisch's Homo Faber, which we had to read for class. Most annoying protagonist/narrator I ever had the misfortune to encounter, and his special brand of annoying seeped into my mental voice until I felt like I was possessed by a depressed zombie. Urgh.

The latest was "The Gospel According to Loki". I had to wiki the author and then double-check with other sources because it read so much like "I'm so clever, all the jocks hate me" high school consolation fic.
And such a pretty book design. Grrr.

I read "Enders Game" as a dystopia where kids are systematically manipulated to become killers. I did not have the impression that this was glorified in any way. Read some more OSC, and while I liked the first two Alvin Maker books, and Speaker for the Dead, over a few more (older, I think) books I got the creepy feeling that the author had serious Issues and I rather not learn more about them.

Usually the next step after throwing a book against a wall is to write ...not fanfic, exactly, but a storied argument. So it's not that bad a deal, all over.