Brad Torgerson has created an excellent list over at his blog, the Sad Puppies slate. As I said last year, this is a great guideline, but nominate the works you think best. Not most likely to win, BEST. Once, the Hugo was an award that meant something, and now, it’s handed out as a party favor to the author that says the right things. Sad Puppies is about bringing some of the good stuff back into the public eye. I can’t tell you how many people have told me in the last couple of years that they had stopped reading SFF because nothing seemed to be enjoyable any longer.
And to my surprise, I’m on the list as a Fan Writer.
Looking back at what I’ve written on this blog over the last year, I see that I haven’t been as quiet as I first thought, when I saw my name on that list.
I’m furious. This is simply unacceptable. It is not ok to let the bullies win. I’ve spent years telling my daughters that it’s ok to be different, to not dress like every other girl in school. It’s ok for them to be geeks, to love science, to be in band, to not do what all the cool kids think they ought to do. And now, this comes along and suddenly all the work I have done is set back by the prissy mean girls who can’t stand that geeks are Odds.
Someone put together a list of the 35 Writers who Run the Internet that had a bunch of us scratching our heads in puzzlement. We’d collectively heard of two or three of them, and most of us are very well read online, keeping up with the changes in the industry. So I challenged several disparate groups of people to nominate influential voices in literature. Who do we listen to?
I only wish I could say that I could trust a certain convention to behave that way toward it’s guests. Unfortunately, Archon is now on my list of conventions to never approach as a professional, or even as a guest. I would be fearful to attend, lest they did to me what they are attempting to do to Tim Bolgeo.
Based solely on the malicious gossip and lies of an ANONYMOUS internet sock-puppet, they have withdrawn a longstanding invitation to him to be the Fan Guest of Honor. By doing so, they have shown themselves to be foolish beyond words and without honor. Who is to say they will not now or in the future treat other guests as shamefully for as little reason? They have judged based solely on unsubstantiated and fabricated information, and I am certain they will do it again.
I was saddened at the results of the Hugo awards last night, but not surprised. The efforts to put story first did indeed prove just what they were intended to: the clique of voters that prefers message to storytelling also doesn’t care about quality, or even if the story is actually SFF. So… we carry on. In the coming years I do expect to see an erosion of those results, because I am an eternal optimist. I also don’t really care, because having read the nominees, the ones who won… well, this is why so many people pick up a book with “hugo” on the cover, and promptly put it back down, unless they are trying to impress some terribly literary person. They just aren’t fun to read, and in many cases are badly written. Some, while well done, don’t belong in science fiction or fantasy at all, and are only here, I presume, because they meet the expected standards of what is acceptable content.
Now, I’m talking about the recent wave of anti-Amazon posts, usually made by people who don’t know what they are talking about, and don’t bother doing a modicum of research before they panic. Yes, Amazon and Hachette are fighting. Yes, authors are being harmed, and that’s sad. However, this is hardly a reason to boycott Amazon, and if you know anything about business, it’s not even particularly noteworthy. Let me note here that Amazon is not evil, Amazon is a business.
I’m not the only one from Mad Genius Club nominated. I wanted to take the time to point out some of the posts from that site that got a lot of attention in 2014, and the writers responsible for them.
Let’s start with the Nebulas. The winners were announced this past weekend. There had been some controversy going into the awards but it was nothing compared to the vitriol that has been present since the Hugo finalists were announced. Not that it stopped the SJWs and GHHers when it turned out that every winner was female. Oh the crowing and self-congratulatory tweets that hit the twitterverse. How happy they were that they managed to stuff the ballots so that no icky man won. Nothing I’ve seen showed anything about how the voters thought they’d voted for the best works nominated. Oh no, the agenda of making sure no icky, evil, smelly man won. Agenda over quality. Agenda over ability. Agenda rules all.
All hail the glitter!
(with abject apologies to Clement Moore)
Twas the sleep-preferred diurnal period before the non-denominational winter celebration, when all through the dwelling place
Not a life-privileged thing was stirring, not even a member of the species mus musculus.
The gift receptacles of choice were placed by the designated location with care,
In hopes that a culturally appropriate giver of gifts soon would be there.
SFWA Can Haz Glittery Hoo-Haa – Kate Paulk
It’s funny as hell, but it’s also sad to watch. The organization founded to help authors and act as their advocate has become a grotesque carnival freak show devouring its own newborn children, as often as not with the publishers who are busily devouring the slightly older authors watching on and approving. Not a word is said about the contracts that try to stop authors writing anything except what the publisher approves (even when it’s a totally different genre and a totally different name), or the contracts that claim the rights to your first born and your dog for all of eternity and beyond (yes, I’ve seen these. I didn’t sign).
Just When You Thought... – Kate Paulk
A bit over a week ago, post showed up on Tor.com about “Post-Binary Gender in SF” . This is not merely multiple levels of fail, it’s multiple levels of badly written fail – and that’s just the blog title. Maybe it’s just my inner math geek showing up – or possibly my inner computer geek – but my first reaction was “why would anyone want to count gender in ternary? Isn’t binary, octal, decimal or hex good enough?” Then I wondered who wanted to snail-mail binary genders. Or did they want to nail them to pieces of wood? This was about when I realized I was a bit too tired and walked away before my mind generated something I’d really regret.