The Winter of our discontent

“Now is the winter of our discontent,
Made glorious summer by this suitable POC LGBQXYZ non-heteronormative part of the collective of (New)York….”
Richard the turd – A play as typed by an infinite number of modern monkeys.

We’ve been cursed to live interesting times. Times in which we are assured there is a right side of history. Usually we’ve managed to get onto her wrong side, which is also her right side, it seems. It’s a very confusing situation, even if you’re not as dim-witted as moi, your local furry-pated simian.

The world is changing very fast. There is a sort of inverse law in this: when the King/President/Emperor/ Pope, the establishment politicos start telling you something is definitely going the way the PTB have been pushing it… You can bet the tide is running the other way. Historically the shrillness is inversely proportional to facts and the zeitgeist. When they tell you the sun never sets on British Empire (yes I know that meant it was around the world) it’s about to go down. When Neville Chamberlain tells you it’s peace in our time, you know that just ain’t going to be so. It’s obvious to anyone that economic and social factors are running us towards a change. History will be history, and although written by the victors (and later revised by the next victors), its sides will change. As a reaction to the Charlie Hebdo atrocities by Muslim terrorists… we have various Left wing SJW people telling us that it’s the victims fault and that really we need not to protect freedom of speech, but to stop nasty homophobic racists offending Muslims (who, um do quite well at homophobic racism, but it’s un-PC to point this out). And lo, some governments seem to be thinking about going along with them.

At which point someone of my acquaintance said ‘why don’t these lefties learn, instead of doubling down?’

My answer (and be patient, this does apply to writing), is that it’s actually not just lefties. It’s a power problem. At the moment, that’s pretty left wing. Those in power tend to be surrounded by sycophants, live in their little bubble. Some of course are devout believers in their own rightness. Others are just so used to winning without any effort always they’ve forgotten the possibility of losing. It’s been their way or the highway as long as they can remember. Nowhere has these been more true than in traditional publishing and among their camp-followers.

It started to change in socio-politics a while back. Looking back, 2007 was probably the apogee. In publishing it might have been two or three years later (publishing trails, it does not lead much). But there have been many canaries in the coal mines whose singing has gone silent in the last while. The key with pendulums is to remember the higher you push them, the harder they swing back.

I don’t really care where you sit on the political spectrum, what is happening in sf/fantasy needs the brakes put on that pendulum. Over the years there have been some great writers from across the spectrum, and we’re all poorer for losing that. Yet that’s exactly what has happened. I’d hard put to put an exact date on it, but when the Hugo and Nebula awards slipped over into being entirely left wing, and gradually further and further left-wing. Always remember: there is no concrete reason why SF/Fantasy (in English) readers should not largely reflect the reading population of the English first language countries. Now, there are some reasons why certain parts of that spectrum don’t read. They might be too dumb, or have cultural objections to it. But broadly speaking if readers do not reflect the demographics of the EFL countries… we need to know why. The writers are product of the readers, therefore they will always follow the reading trend. If it’s not there: you’re losing some great writers, and also the money their reader section represents. If you have to ‘lose’ anyone make sure it is a small group, but there is no real reason for that. It’s a numbers game for us readers (and for writers, as a result). If sf becomes more popular… there will be more of it, and more means more good stories will emerge. Which is something that everyone (regardless of creed, color, political persuasion or sexual orientation) who loves sf/fantasy should want. Political affiliation is something we know a lot about the numbers of supporters of. It isn’t 99% left, let alone hard left. Actually the hard-core supporters of either right or left are a minority, in roughly equal numbers, and there is a large ‘floating’ pool. As has been displayed, repeatedly, political parties can come from nowhere (Nazis, Communists both provide recent examples) and capture that floating pool. Centrists or ‘I don’t care or like any of the candidates’ win the majority of elections, except when they’re caught up by a sudden change. Yet this is not reflected in the awards for the last twenty years or so. They are ludicrously improbably all far left.

There are two factors at play in this. The first being that traditional publishing had become increasingly left wing (principally because they believed it lead, and could be used to shapes hearts and minds), and they’d become so ‘in control’ that quality no longer dictated sales. Distribution and promotion effects could mask quality. Great books could easily be sunk without a trace, at an editorial nod or wink. Mediocre rubbish could be hyped and put in every bookshop on every display and at least that one would sell well. Of course it ate at the market, but certainly short term, they could get away with it. Absolute power corrupted as it always will. The inner circle – distributors, bookstores critics, the ‘trusted’ fans and minor authors (kissing up hard, ever ready for ‘who will rid me of this troublesome priest’) could even hurt the sales of those few books that sneaked through from Baen. And they did. I lose count of the number snide comments and outright sneers and condemnation as ‘right wing gun porn’ that I saw and heard Baen books get, unread. Yeah, ‘Mother of Demons’, right wing gun porn. Baen at least bought across the spectrum. In the last twenty years, they became the only house doing so. And thus diversity of opinion in Sf/fantasy died. The left were always better at doctrinaire parrot-thought and operating in concert to orders. The right, especially the libertarian right, tend to be more like herding Sabertooth Tigers. They didn’t nominate to ‘instruction’ or follow ‘leaders’. They only did so in the sad puppies to poke fun at their detractors.

That takeover of publishing led directly to second factor. You can’t nominate books (or vote for books) that aren’t there or you have never heard of, and if there are twenty times the far left wing’s books being bought by editors than all the rest (remember the far left is probably about the same size as the far right – depending on where define you ‘far’ between 2-5%.) I think that we’re pretty well into the 2% range now, but there are still some authors (who simply could not sell to anyone BUT Baen as new authors today) who are in from earlier days. People like Orson Scott Card, or John C Wright.

This led directly to the situation today, where your chances of being published as a new author by any traditional house (outside of Baen, who break the rules) is way higher as any one of the ‘minorities’ – especially as an ‘intersectional’ one (with extra victim points for belonging to more parts of the PC hierarchy. ) Let’s say you’re a left-wing female black homosexual, it would be more likely for you to sell a book to a traditional publisher it would be if you were a right-of-center heterosexual white male. Let’s play the numbers game. Assume that 1 person in every half million Americans can be a successful traditionally published sf/fantasy author (the real figure is much worse IMO). Let’s – for the sake of making this easy to visualize – make that 1000 instead of 700-800. Let’s start male : female split. They should be roughly equal. 500 each. If we take black as 13% – 65. that If we take 5% as an estimate of homosexuals -3.25 – If we assume – on the basis of figures that somewhat more women vote left than right and grant 60 % of being left wing (assuming a very moderate definition of left) – 1.95. So roughly 2 (as quite a generous estimate) of every 1000 or 0.2% of any author group should – by demographics – fit that description, and be fairly represented. That’s how probable it is that any publisher’s slate should be without selective bias. That’s the chance of one winning the Hugo on merit alone. Running the same figures for the official PC scapegoat. 500 men, call it 70% white – 350, Heterosexual – 332.5, and as you can’t have 60% left for women without having the opposite true for men (as the two are more or less balanced)- 199.5 out of every 1000. Call it 200 or roughly 20%, or to put it another way, 100 white heterosexual right wing men for every gay black left wing female would be fair and expected. Needless to say, this is not true in reality. The same numbers could be run for white heterosexual left wing women – but the contrast is less stark, because there are quite a number of those (over-running the probabilities in the younger cohorts, methinks) and there are very few of the white heterosexual right wing men. Yes, I know, you can split hairs on trivia and method (I tried to keep it simple rather than precise), but the thesis remains true.

This isn’t a once-off situation. If you’re talking about cohorts (which you should as writers stay active for many years) this goes back many years, and even if they started buying today without discriminating for their chosen PC point holders, it would take thirty years plus to make ‘minorities’ anything but majorly advantaged in traditional publishing. You can claim being an xyz victim means that the world is mean to you, but you can’t in publishing.

So when you’ve got the likes of our East German… detractor running off at the mouth (the brain, no) about the wonderful possible POC and LGBT ‘minorities’ for the Hugo awards, And eeeeeevil the sad puppies are, maybe you need to ask who the real ‘minorities’ are (compared to their numbers in the population) and whether you really want push pendulum up further. Already I am seeing things which just wouldn’t have happened a few years ago creeping in. A few years back badmouthing and blacklisting and ‘I won’t read’ and you’re a jerk (or racist or or homophobe or bigot etc. etc.) ostracization if you read XYZ (yes, Baen) was the sole property of the left. It was ineffectual for anyone else, as there wasn’t much else. In the last few years, particularly last year, that has changed. The insults became a joke, or a badge of pride. The sad puppies, and particularly the attacks on Larry Correia and Brad Torgersson (Vox Day thrives on it, and so does his audience, something his detractors don’t seem to grasp) have had large numbers badmouth and backlist the darlings of the left like Leckie and Hines and Scalzi. Yes, I know, they’ve done the same in the inverse. But… they always have. It’s nothing new. So what? No loss to the authors the left are demonizing to their followers, who didn’t buy them anyway, and always sneered at them. Those are not lost sales, but the same is not true in converse. It’ll spread to those who support them, and for some of those very sales stand between them and being dropped. And the demons of absolute power are coming back to haunt them, with pedophile praise-singing and elevation of internet bully-trolls like Requires Hate (now reborn and rehabilitated as Benjanum Somethingorother (another fake persona?) And of course, independent publishing of e-books has revealed that the demographic of readers reflecting the population is real, and their little subsection is over-served.

It all shapes up for pretty mess. I reckon in the next ten years the pendulum will swing very hard and far. I hope those on the winning side of that bit of future history will have the sense to not push the pendulum higher when sense says to damp it. It’s probably 30 years off, at least, so I’ll be dead. Not my problem any more.

So what do we readers and writers who love our genre need to think about now, if we’re actually going to be long sighted and care about our genre? The answer depends on whether you sit as one of the pampered darlings getting benefits way, way over your demographic rights… or the other 90% of us. The latter… not much. Buy books from those who have been discriminated against – people like yourselves. You don’t have to buy the output of Traditional Publishing, or nothing. Write your own, support (with promotion and friendship, and maybe a good critique or two) people who have been marginalized by traditional publishing, but are like you. Support the Sad Puppies newest version, if you choose. If people choose to badmouth your favorite authors, vote with your dollars or cents. The demographics of those dollars and cents works against special perks for favored darlings.

If you are one of the other side, try panic. It looks good on you. Seriously, if you don’t want far left wing intersectionality crushed… and books and authors who write what you want to see, driven out, and get what you’ve handed out, you better start damping that pendulum down. I think last year’s Hugo Awards was about your last real chance, but you could all get together in your little cabals and nominate something other than the totally improbable usual suspects.

Anyone want to bet they won’t be just as dim-witted as last year?

Yeah, me neither.

I can scent spring… and it’ll be a hot summer.

76 Comments

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76 responses to “The Winter of our discontent

  1. Draven

    Isn’t it summer where you are? 😛

    • Well, it’s a bit confusing really Draven. You see it was snowing on Mt Wellington and in Southern Tasmania on Friday. In ‘the hottest year evah!’ (TM). B and i were talking about this hottest year stuff – which my tomatoes has not been showing as being this year, and I trust them more than most Climate Scientists. The best we could conclude was we’d had quite a mild winter… so on average, maybe the year was a little hotter.

  2. Scott

    I’m a big buyer of books, about $1500 per year.
    Now that I’ve started to use the kindle with accessability plugin on my computer over the last 4 months none of that money has gone trad. Except for 2 or 3 from Baen.
    In fact some trad books from writers I’ve borrowed have done the equivalent of the fly across the room.
    Mad geniuses, Chris Nuttall, Vaughn Heppner L Lamplighter, and a dozen more why would I bother with trad junk which drives up my blood pressure and destroys my enjoyment time?

  3. Pat Patterson

    Unless you are a dragon, you ought to have better sense than to spend any significant part of your life in pursuit of shiny things. WHATEVER the NAME of the originating group that has tried to get a lock on the Hugo, it’s composed of dragons. They want the swag, and they don’t want anyone else to have it, and having found a way to make the rules of the system favor them, they are now in favor of those rules not being available to anyone else.
    For the record, I don’t think Sad Puppies are dragons; I think they are Georges, but mostly Georges looking for a way to taunt dragons, not slay them.
    Drew Carey’s ‘Who’s Line is it Anyway?’ carried a refrain “the points don’t matter; it was just for fun. Now, y’all nay no believe this crap, and I didn’t until last night, but did you know that there are clusters of Amazon reviewers who are in a desperate, rage-filled war about who gets to be a ‘top reviewer?’ I didn’t even know that such a thing existed until last night. I thought the value of the reviews was in the impact it had on a book’s rating, and that higher ratings made the book crop up higher on lists provided to readers. That seems to me to be a good and helpful use for reviews. But there are people allegedly engaged in WARFARE out there, slamming others’ reviews, using sock puppets to pump their own reviews. And for what? THE POINTS DON’T MATTER!
    I found another thing that is a little bit weird to me: If I review books, but also the shoes I bought my grandson, and the baby carrier I bought for my other grandson, all the reviews get lumped in together.

  4. Steve O.

    It would help conservatives in the field if they could write better. I have tried both Larry Correia and Brad Torgersson and could not get past a few chapters. They are just terrible writers.

    • Shrug. Tastes vary. Hundreds of thousands of people don’t agree with you. Do you consider your taste superior to theirs? You’re better at telling other people what is good than they are? Obviously to your taste and section of the demographic curve is very well served right now. Would you enjoy it if the inverse were true? That’s what will happen. Of course, if there were MORE conservative writers your chances of finding ones you liked would be better. But the left have tried to stop that, which is your loss as well as mine.

    • Dan Lane

      From a technical standpoint, both Larry and Brad are skilled writers. Perhaps “terribly” skilled. Description, dialogue, plot, foreshadowing, flow, and basic format are all on par and often better than what passes for NYT bestsellers, for example. Larry in particular gets good covers, but that’s more of my subjective opinion (check out his Czech covers- very metal, if that’s what pleases you).

      If it is the *subject matter* that turns people off, that’s a different matter entirely. Very nearly every writer, published or not, has someone who wants to read their work. That pool of readers may be tiny and consist mostly of cats, or it could be huge, spanning multiple countries and languages with many thousands and perhaps millions of potential readers. Scalzi has a rather large following, but none of his books has quite captured me like Chaplain’s War did. Or many others I could mention.

      In any case, if Brad and Larry aren’t your thing, there are a great many other talented writers out there. Some of them even post here on MGC. I’d particularly enjoy having *more* of the kind of stories I enjoy available, so I could buy them and read them.

      There are far more books and writers *unlike* Larry and Brad than like those two, and they are winning a disproportionate amount of the Hugos of late. Even a basic look at the content of the Hugo winners in the last twenty-odd years shows… almost none of the things I generally read winning, or even being nominated.

      Now I might be one of the lunatic fringe, far out on the edge of the bell curve and about to drop off into the obscurity of the margin of error, but given how popular (as sales are a measure of popularity) Larry is alone compared to the actual winners… It appears the Hugos are not all that good a representation of what folks are reading these days in SF/F. Once in a while a hidden gem might slip through to be thereafter enjoyed by a wider audience. When it happens over and over and over again, one begins to suspect a heavy finger on the scales.

      The Hugo winners used to be *the* best of SF/F. I still have some of the old “Hugo Winners” on my bookshelf. Old, as in back when there was an *excellent* chance that if you saw “Hugo Winner” on the cover, it would be something great, with broad appeal. That’s the thing about the pendulum pushing- it wouldn’t be any better all around if it swung all the way in the other direction.

      I’ve read things that while I couldn’t agree with the politics of the author (or the characters!), nonetheless I enjoyed the story. That’s what I’d like to get back to as the gold standard: a good story, well told. Want gay characters, Marxism triumphant, muli-culti-diversity galore? I’ve no problem with that, so long as it is a good story. Same if there’s copious amounts of guns, hot chicks, and rampant capitalism on display. So long as the story is good, well told, and engrossing. If the “message” triumphs over the story, it won’t get my vote, or my hard earned money. But if I’m not kicked out of the story by any of that, all good.

      Just my half-penny, after taxes.

    • A quick Google site search says this is the first and only comment by Steve O. so, Welcome aboard, maybe. How’d you find us?

      I have to say that the content of the post reminds me of someone who is supposed to be supervised in his computer use these days. The fact that you took three sentences to say it though casts some doubt on that idea….

  5. Christopher M. Chupik

    “East German detractor”? Some days I think she’s a secret admirer. 😉

  6. Uncle Lar

    For many years now my main book purchase has been the Baen monthly release, 4 or 5 new books along with secondary (ie paperback) issue. For the rest, there were several used book stores in town which served my reading needs, but paid nothing back to author or publisher. Last few years I got a Kindle so do many fewer used books, but have diverted my reading budget to Amazon where my purchase dollar does benefit the writer. The promo posts here and over at ATH are a welcome source for new material, so thanks for that.
    As for that pendulum swing, schadenfreude anyone?

    • Yes, there is an element of Schadenfreude. But, seriously, we do not wish to become our foes. Unless you can destroy them utterly, reprisals – especially against the ‘little people’ simply makes the circle repeat. You kill off your inner circle of Nazis, but you don’t beat up ordinary Wehrmacht soldiers or their families.

      • Uncle Lar

        Ah, but Dave, schadenfreude IMHO is at its best when your opponents do it to themselves without us having to raise a hand, finger yes, but no active attacks, just snark and derision for their own actions.
        To become like our foes we would have to incessantly plot and scheme for their destruction. Why on earth would we do so when they’re doing a fine job all of their own selves?

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  9. Pat Patterson

    Just finished reviewing Pam’s The Black Goats. It’s not porn; no, really, IT’s NOT PORN!!!

    • I’m terribly shocked that it’s not porn :-). If it’s Pam it’ll be good, clever and funny.

      • I’m never going to shake the reputation that those Martian lawyers saddled me with. The Wine of the Gods series really isn’t comedic. Humorous moments, but generally not. Honest!

        • Pat Patterson

          Yeah, because orgies-on-demand and goats giving blow jobs to virginal bad guys is awfully dramatic stuff.

          • Holly

            Whatever you want to call The Black Goats, it doesn’t even make it to the level of romance novel in how graphic the depiction of sex is, so definitely not porn.
            A lot of sociological commentary, done humorously, set in a different world. Huh. Sounds like science fiction to me.

            • Pat Patterson

              Holly, that gives me the opportunity to ask the question: Does the genre ‘romance novel’ mean ‘graphic sex depicted’? That’s a straight-forward question; I know NOTHING about the genre.

              • Holly

                Okay, so given that I’ll read almost anything that I don’t have to pay for, and whatever else I can afford . . .the modern romance novel does not necessarily require graphic sex. If there is no sex it is called either ‘sweet romance’ or ‘Christian romance’. (If there’s a sub-genre for sex happens but only after marriage I haven’t learned its name, but those do exist.) Generally if there is sex it’s described in loving detail. Romance has tropes about sex, customary ways body parts are described, and if you try to picture out the staging of the scene it’s frequently quite impossible. Romance has been called “emotional porn” and I think that’s not all that far off. It’s all about the falling in love, over coming obstacles, and reaching happily ever after.

                If you look at the top 100 free in the kindle store at least half of them will be romance on any given day. You can try some for minimal investment.

                • Pat Patterson

                  No, I actually tried one by accident, I quit about a third of the way through, and reviewed it. I gave it 2 stars, because I felt ambushed by the sex in a sci-fi fantasy romance, BUT if graphic sex is the industry standard, I need to go back and change the review. It was NOT, by the way, The Black Goats. Pleasre excuse any typos in this post: my fat cat is sleeping on my left hand and my right doesn’t have all my fingers.

                  • Holly

                    I can’t think of any non-graphic sex. I mean, you have Christian and Sweet, which most likely end with a tasteful fade-to-black after the wedding in the last scene, but if it’s not in one of those two categories it always seems to be graphic. Nothing like Pam’s stories that pull back and sort of drop a veil over it. (Sometimes too well: I read Dancer and went “Wait, how/when did Rael get pregnant?” and I’d read Empire three or four times by then.)

                  • Pat Patterson

                    My apologies to Mad Genius Club member Ellie Ferguson. I have amended my review of ‘Hunted’ on Amazon and given it 4 stars instead of 2. Your work is industry standard, and my ignorance of that standard should not be the source of a negative review.
                    Your name was just the last MGC whose work I had not reviewed. If you have any works which do not fall into the ‘romance’ category, I promise you a much more civilized response.

  10. Bushka5

    Does this mean that we can have patriotism in our sf/f books that is not ironic or cynical at all. Plus some optimism would be nice as well. Im from the UK so it is not allowed over here

  11. Luke

    “Ve have vays…”
    Increases trepidation even more than “Dear John”.
    But I believe the black leather would suit her.

  12. Pingback: DAVE FREER: The Winter Of Our Discontent. “Historically the shrillness is inversely proportional t… | CRAGIN MEDIA

  13. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    Do the Hugos matter?

    Seriously. I just checked the list of novel nominees/winners and had to go back to 2004 to find a book I’ve read (Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold), then back to 2002 (Curse of Chalion also by Bujold), 2001 and 2000 were the Harry Potter books, then 1997 (Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon), 1996 (Brightness Reef by Brin), 1993 (Doomsday Book by Connie Willis), 1988 (The Uplift War by David Brin), 1986 (hey, I read three nominees this year, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, The Postman by David Brin, and Footfall by Niven and Pournelle).

    So out of thirty years of Hugo novel nominees, I’d read none of the books nominated most years, one book eight years, and three books in one year.

    The Hugo Awards don’t match my reading tastes. Of course the Nebula Awards don’t either, in the last ten years the only Nebula nominees I’d read were the two times a Terry Pratchett book was nominated.

    At which point, I have to wonder – which books sold the most? There’s a way to find out rough figures, check the New York Times bestseller lists. After all, sales matter.

    Under that set of rules, David Weber and Terry Pratchett would be the winners most years 🙂

    Wayne

  14. Kathiane

    Seems to me you’ve extracted the divide between those that think “An American Sniper” is a hero, or the West is waging an immoral war. Me? I’m on the sie of Chris.

  15. Skyler

    Are you really a writer? Do you ever proofread? So many words are missing, it was hard to follow your essay and I quit halfway through. I’m sure your ideas have merit but it was too annoying to work through.

    • Ah, ‘Disqualify’, from the lefty arguing checklist, I believe. Yes, Skyler. I am a professional writer (although I also do things like dive and, yep, work on the farm). I normally earn about 10 -20 cents a word, and my publishers pay for proof reading and pay me, and have a professional proof-reader, as you cannot proof your own work. This, I do for free, after a day’s work – so no proof-reader. Yesterday was four hours work while you were still in dreamland, ten hours at sea or under it, and then home to write this, so, yes, I was tired. It’s about 2000 words, so if you’d like chip in two hundred bucks, plus the cost of a proof-reader, I’d be happy to get one to read over it so you can enjoy it effortlessly. Otherwise, suck it up cupcake, and don’t bother to make whiny comments.

      • Skyler

        Well, if you’re not concerned about your professional reputation, good for you. It wasn’t so good of an essay to make me want to work so hard to read it, French toast.

        • Pat Patterson

          Oooh, That’s good! Now use trash talk: say ‘ass!’

        • Ah, Cupcake is doing concern troll. And it wasn’t ‘so good of an essay’ either. Oh woe is me. Thank you for worrying about my professional reputation. It’s reminiscent of a lot the ‘we’ll never buy your books because you supported Sad Puppies’ – from people who never bought my books and never would have anyway.

    • Pat Patterson

      Hey, Dave, I think this is one of the people gathering to make you the worst person ever! Shhh! Be very quiet! You;ll frighten them away!

    • May I request some examples? Your comment made me go back and read this post very carefully, as I remembered nothing of the sort, and I usually notice such things. All I could find was a missing “a”, which at least on my screen occurred at the end of a line, which explained why I didn’t notice it the first time I read it, and a missing comma a bit later on.

      Not ideal, certainly. But stuff a proofreader might not notice either. I have seen worse in professionally proofed books.

  16. It’s happening in the visual art world as well. The leftist monopoly has created an unsustainable bubble that will only need a small shift in awareness to unleash hell. The impending swing of the pendulum will wreck careers, reputations, investments, and conventional wisdom of the last 50 years.

  17. Jon Sanders

    Did anyone think Barack Obama receiving the Nobel peace prize for nothing was a little odd? He got the award from the socialist Norwegians (The peace prize is farmed out to them.) for being a socialist. This is the pattern of the self aggrandizing left. I bring this up because that has been the pattern of the Hugos for a looong time.

    At the 2005 Japan Hugos the editor category was split into two parts; The traditional editor award and a new Hugo for editor most like Patrick NielsenHyphenHayden. This split was engineered by his wife, Theresa NielsenHyphenHayden.

    When it came time to announce the winner of the Hugo for editor most like Patrick NielsenHyphenHayden it was – envelope please – Patrick NielsenHyphenHayden. The crowd went wild.

    I found my hat, my coat, and the door.

  18. Duncan Frissell

    Since I’m 63, when I started reading I naturally read Asimov, Heinlein, the Zines, short stories, Hard SF, all the usual suspects. I continued reading through adulthood but mostly military SF (as a right winger) so I gravitated towards Baen in the pre-ebook era. I was infamous for always having a paperback in my pocket and reading while walking. When I got a Palm Pilot in ’97 I immediately went e-book only and had to go Baen only due to lack of competition and good digital rights policies. But I had mostly gone Baen only before that.

    Imagine my surprise when Instapundit pointed me to Sara Hoyt and other SF commentators and I discovered that SF had been taken over by commies. I had failed to notice. Just another example of (John) O’Sullivan’s Law. E-books, self publishing, social media (I get suggestions from libertarian UCLA Law Prof Eugene Volokh (Volokh Conspiracy)), and movement of conservative readers to SF via Political Thrillers, Post-Apocolyptic fiction (One Second After), etc. should help hurry the process. Underserved markets (See American Sniper for example) are harder than ever to remain underserved.

  19. Eric Ashley

    You’re drawing a moral equivalence here. Let me suggest you compare one of the few right wing dictators, Pinochet, with the other side. Keeping it real simple, as you did (which I agree with), he tossed 3-10,000 out of an airplane sans chute.

    Or Mao killed 50,000,000 in his Cultural Revolution.

    Even if we did slam it far enough to the Right the best translation of Holy Scripture was a live issue in SF, it’d still be far better than what we have now.

    • 🙂 Well, I was writing a blog post, not a PhD thesis. There are lots of arguments and lots of history, most of which would add little to the post’s central point.

  20. Scott

    This is the first column that I have seen that called the Charile Hedbo matter and atrocity rather than a tradgedy. Thank-you for your understanding of English and your willingness to call a spade a spade.

    • It’s relatively important, for the conservation of free speech NOT to make light of that incident, and to put the blame fairly and squarely where it belongs, and to call those who orchestrated and enacted atrocity what they are terrorists, who set out to terrorise journalists and writers into obeying their dictates.

      • Scott

        Agreed! That is why I was so impressed and also why I was much less impressed with those who called it a tragedy.

  21. Pat Patterson

    Why hasn’t anybody called Dave a name yet?

  22. For myself, I am amused at how the opening weekend success of American Sniper is sending all the usual suspects into an epic of pearl-clutching and dives onto their fainting couches. Yeah, a movie which deals with a straight-up military professional in a hard war, and deals with it all fairly honestly? And it is (shudder) popular? And the usual Hollywood ninnies are going all butt-hurt over that? Yeah, I am amused – who couldn’t have predicted that a movie like that would be popular? As opposed to another tragically-glum lecture on political correctness … like all the other mainstream Hollywood exercises in war movies this decade.

    • The pearl-clutchers just don’t get that their viewpoint is actually a minority. A tiny minority. They’ve been so used to ruling the roost that they believe that everyone (bar a handful of ‘stupid rednecks’ like us here on this site) thinks like they do. I still recall recall with great amusement that self-important jackass from the Hugo organizing committee who came to put us stupid plebs in our place, and tried to lecture me on maths… and got his ass handed to him by five folk who were all 20 IQ points up on him, before I could get a word in edgeways 🙂

  23. Here is to hoping you are right Dave, and I suspect you are. Mind you as I try to build Sci Phi Journal, I guess I really want you to be right as I am no fan of all the lefty PC dreck. If that is all that gets written i’ll have nothing to buy!

    Also, you are right, I bought Red Shirts from Scalzi and did enjoy it but after learning what the guy is like I skipped over the next one. So much to read, so little time, why give it to someone I definitely wouldn’t invite into my house.

  24. Robert McKnight

    I have recently found your books (Stardogs) at “Amazon”. For years I only bought through Baen, where I discovered Lee and Miller. My favourite website is Dahak but pickings have been slim recently. And yes, I am a progressive conservative, not many of us remaing. Keep writing. Loved Dog and Dragon.