No, I’m not doing a post about young canines. I wish I were, actually; instead I shall be venting some steam on a matter.
I know I write romances, but I’m also a fan of speculative fiction. This means I tend to be somewhat aware of what’s going on around the matters of WorldCon and the Hugo awards.
For those of my readers (is it pretentious to actually think of anyone who follows this blog or reads my books as “fans”?) who don’t keep up with the SF/F universe this post might not interest you, but you may wish to keep reading anyway if you like reality TV a la Jerry Springer and … buggered if I know, I really haven’t watched TV since 2002 in any capacity that is worth considering.
Oh my gods, where to begin? Look, if you keep up with this stuff can I assume you’re familiar with the vitriolic, misogynistic, sociopathic troll who calls himself Vox Day? (No, seriously, this is me being my usual sunny and kind, sweet self … if I weren’t I’m pretty sure I’d have to resort to Russian and German as English lacks the requisite vocabulary to voice my thoughts) Is it also safe to assume that you’re marginally familiar with the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies?
If not, you can get a really awesome education about them on the blogs of Messrs John Scalzi and George R R Martin.
I just want to chime in with this: What the fuck guys?! I mean, seriously?!
There. Okay, first off, you really spoil your arguments when you can’t keep your story straight from one day to the next. It doesn’t. If it’s about diversity in the genre, then stick with that and when it’s pointed out that you’re idiots because Exhibit A, B, C, D … QQ, RR … ZZ1ZZ4%3ERT, etc then just sit down and shut up.
Do not, instead, decide that it’s about bringing back the good ol’ adventure yarn in place of “message fic” (also do not knock “message fic” while it is possible to witness the orgasmic pleasure you derive by merely typing the name Robert A Heinlein, it REALLY spoils your point), but then start bitching that things don’t qualify when numerous items are pointed out, but those items just happen to have females who play a role other than damsel in distress (Uh, one word for you, buddies, little thing you probably never heard of from the early 20th century Triplanetary … she wasn’t a damsel in distress), characters who incidentally are gay or trans or black or fuchsia or vegetarian or ¼ amphibian … If you’re trying to claim you aren’t over-privileged, white-supremacist, homophobic, transphobic, etc it’d help if you didn’t call things that are exactly the old-fashioned classic adventure yarn you claim to want “message fic about gay issues [for example]” just because a character is gay. Trust me, there’s a difference between a character being gay and a story dealing with gay issues. My stories touch on gay issues, they aren’t strictly about them, and in SF/F there frequently is the conceit that the society has no gay issues in the first place (some of the talented Ed Greenwood‘s work, for example).
Just … no. The whole thing? You can’t have a secret cabal of 8000 people dictating an award you can’t even make up your mind if it is relevant & important or not. You certainly can’t say various different authors giving non-identical lists of books they liked which number more items than can be Hugo finalists are setting up the ballots and then turn around and create slates of specific items that should be nominated and voted into certain orders. No. Just, are you people serious? Also, you’re authors, have you ever heard of using capital letters? What are you all … was it Hemmingway who never touched his shift key? [Edit: Apparently that’s E E Cumming, either way no one I liked trying to read]
Of course these clowns won’t read my post. It’d be funny if they did, not. First off, I’m a woman, so they wouldn’t take this seriously, they’d just leave trollish comments that I wouldn’t bother to approve unless they’ve started leaving more intelligent comments than the last ones I saw elsewhere. I’m trans, so they’d have terrible things to say which would probably make me cry and then my wife would be in jail for murder because she lacks the requisite subtlety (especially when angry) to make sure the case is of “a missing person presumed dead” instead. Oh, and I’m a lesbian, and they’re pretty ugly about that too. And I don’t write SF/F so somehow this makes my opinion about the genre I’ve loved most of my life invalid (I was born in 1981 and have a few fragments of memory of seeing Return of the Jedi in a cinema for crying out loud!).
Oh, this would be further evidence that their own arguments are invalid given that they are often so dismissive of people who are openly Other.
P.S. Question: If I ever were to win a Hugo, since Færie Patrol books would qualify for it even if the genre rarely gets any attention at WorldCon … would it be wrong of me to make some kind of off colour joke about the trophy and its profound resemblance to a sex toy? Something like “Cool … are batteries included? Where’re the speed controls?” 😇
- How conservatives took over sci-fi’s most prestigious award (vox.com)
- Hey, Book World: Sexism is Way Bigger Than the Hugos (wired.com)
- Live talk in Brooklyn tonight (alexshvartsman.com)
- Brad Torgersen’s ‘Science Fiction Civil War’ (workbench.cadenhead.org)
- Actually, It’s About Ethics In Award Nominations (everythingisnice.wordpress.com)
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Oh. Well … turns out I’m not allowed to make the sex toy reference to the Hugo trophy during my acceptance speech for one should I ever win it. Wife said something about publicly humiliating her, something else with the word ‘divorce’ in, and there might have been a minor reference to being murdered in my sleep. Dunno, I wasn’t really listening, because I was trying to decide if I could come up with something better than the batteries & speed controls reference.
The fact she objects makes the idea so very much more tempting.
What I find astonishing about the Sad Puppies is the absolute cluelessness regarding any part of the history of social justice, science fiction, and Robert Heinlein… just for starters, consider the character Carol in Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky, who’s not just black, but female, and an excellent fighter and hunter, probably the second most important character in a book published in 1955…
Or Citizen of the Galaxy, Heinlein’s anti-slavery polemic, published in 1957.
Or Starship Troopers, the model for most military SF, with it’s Filipino protagonist who spoke Tagalog at home.
Or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress with protagonist Manual Garcia O’Kelly Davis, who’s a member of a matrilineal, polyamorous marriage. He’s so dark that when he visits Georgia and shows off pictures of his family he’s arrested for miscegenation… not to mention that the society he lives in kills rapists without anything that resemble what we would currently consider a fair trial.
Or Andrew Jackson Libby, in Number of the Beast, who goes M to F transgender…
The Puppies complain about social justice warriors and worship Heinlein, but they’ve never notice that he’s SF’s primary social justice warrior… He kicked down the door in SF which the current crop of “socially just” authors have strolled through. I don’t think the Puppies read his books – they just look at the pictures!
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Alex, that was positively brilliant 😊
Like so many others I have seen the amount of incorrect information contained in this blog post is rather staggering.
You cannot read one side of an issue and gain any real understanding. Do you wish to know the actual truth? If you do then I challenge you to read Larry’s Blog and Brad’s Blog. They have documented the path of the puppies from the beginning. You won’t find what you are describing.
Messages and political thought have always been a part of SF. Heinlein is certainly a perfect example and there are many other. But for him and people like him the story came first. The type of message fic that the Puppies are against is the type where the message is more important than the narrative.
None of the examples in either blog post or comments are in the least objectionable to the Sad Puppies. Most are rather loved.
If you wish to continue to only look at one side of the fight that is your choice. But I promise you that you would be more than welcome on either Larry or Brad’s blog as long as you do not show up in attack mode.
There is even talk in some quarters that the Hugos need to embrace a wider selection of topics. So it is even possible that at some point in the future your books may very well qualify for a Hugo. The Sad Puppies would do that. The other side would not. Might want to consider that.
As a matter of fact I’m working off of direct citation of the various puppies’ posts as well as having read as much of their original posts on their blogs as I could stomach.
As for the remainder: I have no eligible work at the moment. When I do, it would already be Hugo eligible on account of being urban fantasy. It’s just that the people who attend WorldCon are not, largely, very interested in the fantasy genres as a rule and urban fantasy isn’t taken very seriously even in fantasy circles.
However, that really doesn’t matter. If I win a Hugo, yay. If I don’t win a Hugo, c’est la vie. Unlike some people I don’t feel inclined to make a huge fuss about it and cast a negative light (possibly even wreck, potentially permanently) the oldest award in speculative fiction.
P.S. Sorry for the long delay approving this. I wasn’t in a position to do so for the first couple days after you made it, then (to be perfectly honest) I kind of forgot I hadn’t.