Yeah, it’s one of those “big words” I like to use on occasion, But it’s also a helpful one, good at saying “Heck, I ran out of fingers and toes a long time ago” with just one word. It could be used as a way to praise someone’s kindness, their charity, and even their lifetime body of work.
I like the word. To me, it reminds me of a fancy British man in a top hat and long coat describing the beauty of his wife. Okay, so I’m a romantic at heart. Sue me.
But it can also be used in the negative sense, too. Think about it. If you used “Yeah, he’s really evil”, then you’re sending a message that “Yeah, he’s evil like Starbucks” (which may or may not be evil, depending on my need for coffee). It’s a clear message, sure, but it’s not very elegant. Spice that up a bit now. Come on, you can do it. Make it challenging.
“His evil is inestimable.”
Whoa. We made literary jargon right there. Next thing you know, I’m going to claim to be some kind of writer. Heaven forbid, yo.
So now that you are intimately familiar with the word, you could say I was inestimably flattered and shocked when I saw the amount of Mad Geniuses being mentioned for various Hugo Awards. Not that they don’t deserve it, mind you. I’ve always felt that Dave Freer was one of the most unappreciated writers around (my favorite book of his book, Cuttlefish, was amazing and should be required reading for anyone looking at how to do steampunk and YA right). But seeing Cedar, Amanda, Dave and I all mentioned to be part of various Hugo recommendations, woke me up better than a pot of coffee did.
It also brought out the knives among those who think that Sad Puppies is nothing more than some sort of conservative-agenda-pushing, vote-corrupting killjoy out to undermine the sacredness and holiness of the SFF literary world. Personally, I think that they tipped their hand too soon buy showing their contempt, dislike, and utter hatred of what Sad Puppies is doing. After all, nobody is on the ballot yet. There’s no reason to lose their sh*t inestimably (told you I like that word).
But they have, and the casual fans who have only just now started to pay attention have noticed. That should scare them more than anything, because it means that their exclusive little world where they can rule as tinpot dictators is being encroached upon. It’s forcing into the light the injustice of how they treat luminaries of SFF like Kevin J. Anderson, who has written more novels (and made far more money) than all of last year’s Hugo winners combined. It also continues the tradition of suggesting names that would normally not be under any consideration whatsoever (like me, for example).
But in the eyes of those who hate Sad Puppies (and really, who can honestly hate sad puppies?!), we are the inestimable evil.