Making a living, and things that may interfere with it.

I believe it is Memorial Day in the US.

I am not American, but I am aware of debt of gratitude owed. We should never forget. Without those dead, it would be a very different world, and one I am glad I don’t have to live in or leave to my children.

I often notice these days it is those who have gained most, who treat that sacrifice with least respect. (Think about what the Nazi’s stood for, or the Communists. Women, ‘PoC’ and Homosexuals were not well treated. Neither were a lot of other minorities) Ironic, I suppose, that they are free to treat it with disinterest so as a fruit that sacrifice, of that service. Ah well. That’s the way of things.

Most of people then – as now – just wanted to live their lives. They were happy to let others do the same… well, except for the people who weren’t. Eventually people had to go to war to preserve live-and-let-live. I am proud of their courage, and grateful for their sacrifice.

For those among us among the living, unless we’re some kind of parasite we have to make a living to enjoy the liberties so hard-bought. I write. I do a bit of farm labor, now and again. I’ve done a fair number of other jobs along my way, some boring, some secure, some freaking awful. Some muddy and some bloody… you might say I’ve managed an interesting life. There were times when it bored me silly (and I took the often risky decision to move) and when I had to do work I loathed (and when I could, I moved). We’ve been fortunate enough never quite to get to needing charity (but it’s come close) helped along by the ability and knowledge of how to live off the land. Behind me stand long generations of hard hunting men, who would consider me a pussy, but I can feed myself and my family quite well, thanks to them.

Writing is still what makes most of the actual money, which pays the taxes which keeps the soldiers and their families fed (which I am happy to add my bit to), and Government bureaucrats fat and telling us what to do, maybe even chips in a bit to provide welfare for those who can’t or don’t work. This is true of any writer who needs to sell to survive. If you can’t sell your work, you’re in strife, possibly your family is in strife (if you have one) and it hurts a load of other people, including parasites and pointless government functionaries, whose only value-add to society is that they exhale plant-food.

So: Being able to make a living is pretty important to a writer (or at least one that has to sell to live), and there really is no medium or long term gain in stopping them doing so. For most writers (not the few bestsellers perhaps, or those who rely on a check from academia, or a lover or parent, or a government handout, but the rest) it’s a tough, tough road. Don’t kid yourself, writers tend to earn far below the minimum wage, and work more hours, with more heartbreak than… for example, manual labor (I should know). Given that: We should look rather harshly on anyone who takes their grudge – whatever it is, and says ‘gee I don’t like Joe Writer. I can’t get at him any other way, but let’s hurt his ability to make a living. That’ll teach him.’

And likewise, as authors, we would want to avoid having that done to us.

A sort of MAD to assure a reasonable degree of decent behavior… you’d think.

Of course the problem, as always, is one man’s reasonable behavior is another’s red flag. And of course given modern internet anonymity, the access the internet gives, real power differentials, and the various ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ cards (you’re a racist/sexist/homophobe – which require no evidence and are potentially a trump) and ‘my-power-is-so-great-I-don’t-have-to-be-nice, there are bound to be problems. The other issue is there’s a vast divide between the live-and-let-live, and those who say it’s their sandbox, and only for them and those they choose, by the rules (which they change to suit them – ergo, suddenly producing the ‘unwritten rules’ of the Hugos and so on).

So far, to best of my knowledge, the Puppies, both sad and rabid, and their followers have avoided attacking things which make people a living. They’ve asked people to NOT take it out on the authors who have been pressured into stepping out of Noms. They’ve spoken out against punishing Tor Books despite the Neilsen Hayden’s and friends attacks on ‘Making Light’. No-one has called for a boycott or blacklist of David Gerrold, or Glenn Hauman, or to have their reputations tarnished and Amazon reviews deliberately lowered.

That’s of course NOT true in the converse. And while there’s been some passive-aggressive ‘semi-plausible-deniability’ ‘who will rid us of these turbulent puppies’ basically from the get-go it’s been attacks on the ability of the Puppy organizers and the nominees ability to make a living. We’re immoral destroyers (we obeyed the rules to letter. Patrick Nielsen Hayden broke the embargo rules with absolute impunity, not a word of criticism offered. Rules are only for little people.) who break every convention of good behavior (David Gerrold, the MC of the event, has been campaigning relentlessly against the Pups and the nominees – which is so far outside the canon of ‘acceptable behavior’ as to be a light-year beyond the pale). They organized smears on Entertainment Weekly to label us racists and sexists – which the magazine had to redact because they’re demonstrably untrue. It didn’t stop the smears mysteriously cropping up in ‘friendly’ outlets across the English Speaking world. Gerrold and TNH carefully listed all the nasty things –exclusion from Cons, denial of space in publications, editors closing doors to subs, reviews being denied… that just would happen to us. All things that would, had to, affect the puppies ability to make a living. Not one of them said ‘hey, these people have families. They’re human too.’ In fact we had phrases flung about putting us down. Untermench. Then we have Glenn Hauman calling for people to use the Hugo package for a way to game the Amazon rankings against the puppies. “Oh, and to answer the title question: what do you do to rabid puppies? You put them down.”

The Hugo packages have gone out – and so we start to see some of the responses of the loyal camp-followers. Yes, the fake reviews are up on Amazon. Yes, reviews by people that crop up on… the strangest places, associating with and cheering on the very people who happened to mention they’d like these turbulent puppies done in.

That’s of course the surface. The rest of the instructions are being followed too, I am sure… at least as far as they can. And of course many of their camp followers are in positions of authority and power in their circles. Take this fellow in the UK – he’s the reviews editor for Vector – the British Science Fiction Association, and has been a judge for some Awards. I’d guess a pup’s chances of getting fair or honest review from him, or a fair judgement in an award would be on a par with my chances of falling pregnant. He is telling the world I am actually insane.

I’m shocked. Do you think I’m the sort of man who wears a seagull on his head? Next thing he’ll tell you there’s gambling in Rick’s Casino.

Tch. Even if it is an actionable libel, insanity is relative. Honestly, look some of mine. I come from a long line of people I’m sure Martin Petto would consider insane. Of course I’m rather proud of the sort of ‘insanity’ that would stand up to the British Empire with a few thousand men (my great uncle was Koos De La Rey) just for a start. I was curious about someone who could be this much of camp-follower, obeying orders so well. He works, according to himself in the ‘public sector’ (aka he’s a bureaucrat working for government or local government) in London for the last ten years or so: “only another forty to go” – he sound like he absolutely adores his work and has made really happy life choices… Google brought me to someone in a freedom of information request of the same name handing out grants (presumably to the kind of people who you ask for this sort of information about) dealing with Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes.

If this is the same fellow I can actually understand why he hates the like of me, even without instructions: If I was running his Government I’d have him on the dole in a week. I’m a migrant. I could be hated, instead of having about 15% of the population of the place actually taking time off to come and cheer and congratulate us for becoming citizens. But I read Nino Culotta’s (John O’Grady’s pen name) “They’re a Weird Mob” before emigrating and took it to heart, and did my best to follow the very politically incorrect advice and fit in, do my best to learn the local ways, speech and conduct, and to be grateful to be allowed into Australia. As a result people are happy to meet us more than half way – we love it here, we like them, we’re very involved in work (not leading – only an idiot tries to come in and take over, just working) in the island’s volunteer groups (from Meals-on-wheels to the Returned Service League to the CWA) and even a trip to into the supermarket to buy a box of matches can take half an hour, but I can see FIFO would put him out of a job. And I suppose a ‘public sector’ drone looking to another 40 years at it, would regard my life choices as barking mad, just as I would his as unbelievably tedious. Well, he’s doing a great job of following RH’s playbook – which is his crowd’s playbook, and trying to break down any resistance. No wonder he hated ‘we build’. I think they should be very proud of him. And he’s dead right, put me under Amanda and Cedar (Amusing that he’s discriminating against two women who have succeeded without any affirmative action, but I suppose that would spoil his illusion of being better at feminism because he’s male). I amazed at his perspicacity on this one subject, given his track record. It is a bit of disappointment really. I was going to keep a close eye on what he positively reviews in future, as a great guide to exactly what I would rather avoid. But now I know he does get something right.

Or for another example, well, Tom Knighton captures it well here. NK Jemisin’s rumor-starting skills are nearly on a quality par with her re-tweet fan… Clamps. Her ethics too.

If you’re planning on making a living writing, being a Puppy nominee (even if like me you didn’t actually know you were one – yes, I should pay more attention. I had a book to write) is probably a bad choice, especially if you want to be one of the dahlings of the Publishing establishment. You’d be better off kissing up on Making Light. Or writing fake low star reviews or starting rumors to as many people as possible how vile (and insane) the pups are. When you fail to find anything – make shit up. That’s well respected by the Anti-puppies.

Of course there is a big world outside Traditional Publishing (which is steadily shrinking – which is why I support the Sad Puppies) and, while they’re trying to poison that, they at least don’t control it.

And besides, even if there wasn’t… I’d rather choose Aslan than the Sunless Lands.

I hope our side doesn’t gravitate to their level. I think it may happen and that will hurt a lot of people who just want to write books and leave it be. But eventually there comes a point where can no longer stand aside. We work for our living, and we need to defend that.

47 Comments

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47 responses to “Making a living, and things that may interfere with it.

  1. The sad thing about Gerrold is that he had talent, but instead of writing chose to work at playing fan politics. In consequence, his output has been low despite decades in the field. He never finished his War Against the Chtorr.

    Probably the greatest talent the Anti-Puppies have on board is George R. R. Martin, who is brilliant at characterization, world-building and threading his plots. This was true even before he started The Song of Ice and Fire (which became the TV series Game of Thrones). I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s also one of the milder Anti-Puppies, as he has for the most part succeeded on his talent rather than his politicking.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Ah, but you see, him losing an award to Jerry Pournelle 40 years PROVES there’s no bias against conservatives in the field in 2015.

      • Naturally that proves it. Nothing ever changes in their world… What do you think this is? A fantasy? futuristic ‘sci fi’? Hmph. Not that rubbish. No, the Hugo’s and worldcon are immutable, fixed in fastness of his memory.

  2. Since the attacks started, have you seen a drop in your Amazon sales? Did the other puppies?

    I view the whole affair a bit differently. I see the dahlings as the Britons. Heirs to a vast and powerful empire. After years of politicing and kissing body parts that were never meant to be kissed, they finally managed to rise to the top of their profession, which they defined as “pleasing publishers so I can get published at all”.

    So now they have access to the vast wealth and power of the gate keeper empire. Except that the empire’s power has become an illusion, propped more by the memory of what it used to be than any actual legions.

    Meanwhile, the inferior Angles have never bothered to even learn Latin. They don’t know a preator from a proconsul, or a centurion from a centaur. They’ve been living in the remote Baen peninsula (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angles#Greco-Roman_historiography). Never having bothered to become civilized, they focused instead of barbaric skills such as fighting, farming, and pleasing readers. The gate keeping legions have kept them out of the civilized empire, except for a small output of about six books a month.

    And now the legions turn out to have recruited barbarians for the last century, and are therefore are no longer loyal to an empire that pays in a very debased coin. The Angles are crossing the sea, and in this new world their barbaric skills work much better than a classical education in the canon of political correctness. The Britons fear that one day the whole place will be called “Angle land”.

    • I think we’re on the Baenland.

    • Ori, I’ve neither seen a rise nor a fall – saying they’re not affecting my core readers, but may well be succeeding in putting off any new ones, particularly those deep in their fold. I’ve no idea if Baen or any of my fellow authors have seen anything. We’re actually not that good at collusion :-). I must admit I expected this. It’s, literally, their only defense. They have put up their ‘best’ and still lose market share. They’ve lost some control over the market (indy, principally via Amazon is slipping away, which is why the ‘review attack’) – but still wield almost total control over brick-and-mortar, and total control over the traditional review site.
      What I didn’t expect was to see so openly how they followed the playbook ‘Require Hate’ displayed. The more I see, the more I realize it wasn’t something that sprang from her head: it is their standard operating procedure. She learned it from that crowd, and used it ‘well’. It doesn’t work very well on people hardened against it (ie. people like me), so what they’re doing is using their lies on un-hardened people, who might possibly be our audience. To prevent them even trying it, or at least to poison their minds before they do.

      The best response I can see is to point it out.
      You’re a better strategist than I am sometimes. What would you suggest?

      • When you say ‘traditional review site’ I’m assuming you mean professional reviews in magazines/newspapers, but I don’t really know anyone under 40 who pays attention to those anymore. Everyone I know who actually goes looking for a review of a book either goes to GoodReads or Amazon. (Anecdote =/= proof) Granted, I’m in a rather small community, and only a few of my friends read SF/F, but most do read.

        • There is a fair amount on Locus and various sites – Radish Reviews is one of their pets IIRC. A certain set do get their input from there.

      • I don’t think there is a large reservoir of people who want to read Science Fiction and are sufficiently unaware that can be poisoned. People who care can see both sides (we all have browsers and Google) and those who don’t care don’t care.

        I think your best strategy is mockery. Write a story with a strong female lead, and advertise it with “Come see the sexism! The male domination!”. Write books where the KKK characters use SJW tactics.

        There aren’t many neutrals, and you will never win over the other side. So make fun of power and shame the devil.

      • TRX

        > still wield almost total control over brick-and-mortar,

        That’s total control over… nothing. The last book store within 25 miles closed a few years back. The twirly-racks have disappeared from gas stations and dollar stores. A few grocery stores still have some bookshelves (who knows why?), and there’s a half-aisle at the Wal-Mall.

        There used to be a dozen used book stores. There is only one left, and its proprietor only carries romance books.

        > and total control over the traditional review site.

        I’m pretty sure I’ve never clicked onto such a site. Given the demographics of the kind of people likely to be writing there, their opinions wouldn’t be worth much to me anyway.

        Those of you who live in urban areas, or places where there’s still some brick-and-mortar presence… keep in mind that for a huge chunk of the population, the entire publishing industry pulled out and abandoned them years ago. They’re outside the old distribution chain now, and it’s online (new, used, or e-) or nothing.

  3. IIRCm there is a way to “fight back” against faux reviews. if enough complaints are sent against a “bad review” as “unhelpful, it gets removed. They must say *why* it’s not helpful, not just say it is. Enough complaints, and AIUI, the complainer can be banned.

    • Uncle Lar

      Yep, I’ve started doing just that in my copious spare time, so it’s a long slow slog. Apparently some of the antis have figured out that one star reviews do not count for much so have taken to leaving three stars with very negative comments instead.
      Of course I do this for books I’ve read or at least authors I know.

  4. I don’t know where it ends, but it MUST come to an end. Either legally, or by other means. When you start taking money out of a person’s pocket, you’ve stepped way over the line. I’ve not really followed every post, but I did see one string that is damn close to meeting the standard for slander/libel… Another way is outing those who are the main ‘proponents’ in this day and age, there is no such thing as privacy on the net, regardless of how much people ‘think’ they can hide. When an officer of the law shows up at the door, that is usually enough to get someone’s attention! 🙂

    • As I said above: I don’t think they HAVE anything else. And as we’ve seen, over and over, they do not believe the law applies to them, at least as far those who dare oppose them are concerned. It’s a sort of ‘hunting permit for everything but vermin’ attitude, and guess what we’re regarded as :-). Shrug. It does their inherent unpleasantness and dishonesty. Eventually that gets to some people.

    • I’m not sure what legal criminal statute they may violate other than threats of bodily harm (and I haven’t seen anything like that, yet). Libel/slander is a civil issue and not likely to garner law enforcement action.

  5. Pat Patterson

    I guess I’m now in the ‘no longer values the Hugo’ camp. I was already mostly there because I didn’t care for the winners;, now I’m there because the neighbors suck. I really don’t care if the ytrailer park burns down or not. It no longer interests me. I have books to review as soon as my Tiger Direct laptop s arrive

  6. Pingback: Disney’s “101 Nominations” 5/25 | File 770

  7. Hi Dave!
    Here through today’s File770 roundup.

    I’m trying to understand your reasoning in this post. Here’s the crux of it, as I see it:

    So far, to best of my knowledge, the Puppies, both sad and rabid, and their followers have avoided attacking things which make people a living. They’ve asked people to NOT take it out on the authors who have been pressured into stepping out of Noms. They’ve spoken out against punishing Tor Books despite the Neilsen Hayden’s and friends attacks on ‘Making Light’. No-one has called for a boycott or blacklist of David Gerrold, or Glenn Hauman, or to have their reputations tarnished and Amazon reviews deliberately lowered.

    That’s of course NOT true in the converse.

    The converse would be “non-Puppies attacking things which make people a living; taking it out on Puppy-affiliated authors, punishing Baen and Castilia, calling for boycotts and blacklists of Puppy authors; tarnishing reputations; deliberately lowering Amazon reviews.”

    I haven’t seen any calls for boycotts or blacklists or punishing individual publishers. Could you point me to some links for any such calls?

    “Tarnishing reputations” is a tricky one, because, well, it’s a huge internet flamewar. I’m not sure where you draw the line between say, “calling the other side a moron” and “tarnishing reputations.” I’d agree that there have been some awful overreactions and mischaracterizations from the non-Puppy side; on the other hand, there have been plenty of actual risible quotes referenced. And, on the other side, the Puppies have been accusing the WorldCon fanbase of conspiracy, whisper campaigns, and destroying authors’ livelihood. Soooo I think taking things calmly in and due proportion is a good idea all around.

    And lastly, “Amazon reviews deliberately lowered.”
    I don’t see how you can say it’s deliberate?
    The Puppy campaigns have brought a lot of fiction in front of a new audience – the Puppy nominees; the traditional WorldCon voters. I am not shocked that so many of them didn’t find it to their taste. I’ve been reading reviews for the past month now; you can say a lot of things about the Puppy nominees, but I think it’s entirely clear that plenty of people just don’t like ’em.
    So why are these “fake reviews”? They’re real reviews. They just didn’t like the books.

    Your point in this whole essay is that there are “calls” to deliberately destroy authors’ livelihoods. Where?

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Suppose you have a boss, and suppose that this boss, for some insane reason, asks me to evaluate you as worker. I don’t know you from Adam.

      Would me saying ‘keep him off the shop floor, and do not let him sign anything’ count as a real evaluation of your qualities as a worker? Would it be legitimate for me to evaluate you as a welder, when the job is mopping up vomit? Odds are I don’t have the background to make fine judgements about whatever it is that you do for a living.

      What little I know of you does not give me a positive impression. Even if you are a terrible worker who should not be employed anywhere, I do not know enough about you to form a valid opinion. The inherent seriousness of the task and my lack of real evidence makes it invalid, even if it happened to be correct.

      A real evaluation of your work would involve knowing your work, and knowing examples of similar types of work. It would not be based on little more than an incidental dislike for you.

      If you really have been paying attention, and aren’t only pretending not to be partisan, you should have seen the examples cited by Vox Day recently.

    • Standback – TNH in Making Light around 25-30th just before the Noms were announced. You can look through what is a rather nasty thread. David Gerrold on numerous occasions on Facebook, including his open letter to Brad, James Nichol on his own website (where he punishes Baen authors for Toni being nominated – this is beyond their control). Amazon – Glenn Hauman on ML and later 770 – with a figleaf of ‘after you’ve read it’, as for the Amazon reviews there were a rash of them from just after Hauman post his first from a regular ML poster – name avoids me -? Carnel? I did post about it a while ago, that were taken down as fraudulent (many details simply wrong), The latest included Elizabeth Carey – a frequent commenter on 770 who makes no secret of her intent to do harm. That’s a handful. There are more. That’s besides the sexist/racist/etc in media, and the namecalling ‘despicable’ IIRC from Wolheim IIRC. Have a look at Jemisins little attempt to start a nasty rumor. Wonder around 770. Talk to William Reichart. It’s mud being flung in hope of tarnishing and hurting.The only way you can not be aware is by sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling ‘la la la’.

  8. Eowyn

    Answering an early question, I know I’ve found several authors I hadn’t been reading – many of them contributors on this fine blog – since the whole debacle blew up.

    Correia’s writing was never my cup of tea, but I have found, and enjoyed (and bless you, Dave Freer for your Kindle Unlimited books), and spent several months worth of book budget on new to me authors.

    But I will be *damned* if I spend a penny on anyone who froths at the mouth, and that means – sadly – that any Tor published book gets an automatic side eye. Sigh.

    • Dan Lane

      That’s a sad thing, Miss Eowyn, as David Weber’s excellent Safehold series is published by Tor. That’s the only one I can think of off the top of my head that I *know* is Tor, but there could be others.

      Good books are where you find them. Read what you like and let the frothy ones simmer in their own juices. Generally that type seems to thrive on attention- when you ignore ’em, it just makes ’em madder than all heck. *chuckle*

    • Eowyn, thank you. I’m never sure how well KU works out paying but, I figure it can’t hurt if it gets me new readers, and feeds those with (like me) excessive book habits. 🙂 As I’ve said elsewhere, I think your reaction is sadly inevitable – but really hard on the ‘collateral damage’ – both our reading and many authors not involved. As a trad author you really really don’t control your editors, and getting published is not easy. There are still great authors who really have no choices but to put up with the fact that the company employs people who regard you – and me, as third class citizens. So, yes there are authors I personally won’t buy again, but that is their own frothing viciousness, not their editor’s idiocy.

      • Eowyn

        I should clarify that side eye is not the same thing as outright boycott. Rather that I will end up considering a decision to purchase more carefully, rather than just checking where the budget is at.

        Part of that, I suppose, is indulging in the traditional view of publishers as gatekeepers, whose taste I either trust or … well, don’t trust, at which point I rely on reviews, name recognition, etc.

        • Fair enough. I find ‘publisher’ – which I never used to look at, is becoming part of the buying decision. Tor are not helping their authors, with me, anyway.

          • Eowyn

            Exactly; automatic side eye. And from the writer’s point of view, I suppose, it’s a bad thing that people are taking longer to decide to purchase based on the imprint.

            It’s why I love the kindle unlimited. Once I’ve made the decision to spend the $10 a month, deciding to read a book is not a budgeting decision. 🙂

            But there are now authors I’m boycotting. People like David Gerrold. Not that I was actively seeking him out before, but now I know I am not interested in financially supporting him.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Dave Drake’s Books of the Elements, man.

      Dave is strictly professional, and I doubt he has done anything about this that could be described as frothing. Furthermore, his publication there is undoubtedly due to his stature in the field, not due to any senior editors new enough to get publicly involved in this mess.

      I think you may be doing yourself a huge disservice if you don’t read these books.

  9. I have been told — by my moral and professional seniors in the field, all of whom are self-labeled progressives of one stripe or another — that I am a villain. Furthermore, I have been told that there is no place for a villain in this field. That my ability to proffer intellectual goods (for fun and profit!) will be curtailed, or even halted. By the forces of moral and ethical propriety. Their pinkie fingers extended in stalwart defiance of my barbarian desire to make their award actually live up to its (tarnished) reputation.

    During this time I’ve gotten several more invites to submit stories to anthologies, was contracted for another Baen novel, and have turned in several stories that were due. Oh, and I won my third Analog AnLab readers’ choice award.

    I have no doubt that it would be a cold day in Hell before Patrick Nielsen-Hayden ever let TOR throw a contract at me, even if I was a proven million-dollar commodity.

    Thankfully, TOR is not the only publisher in this field.

    So, while the pinkie-finger tin-pot tyrants bluster and stamp their feet and threaten and character-assassinate, the bottom-line impact (for me) has actually been positive — because I’ve gained hundreds of new readers who nothing of me (prior to SP3) but they heard about it, are disgusted with the pinkie-finger tin-pot tyrants, and purchased my product; and liked what they purchased. Similarly, my editor(s) have continued to buy me, and I am gaining new editors.

    Please, pinkie-finger tin-pot tyrants, hate on me some more! You’re not trying nearly hard enough! (wink)

    • Brad, I hope our faith in the human race is confirmed. 🙂 It doesn’t alter the fact that the CHORF crew are trying, with every means at their disposal to damage people, families, futures. They may fail utterly, but that was their absolute intent. They’re playing the man, because they cannot play the ball.

      • They’re obviously evil. The question is whether they are evil like Sauron, or evil like Gollum. Gollum had his role to play, after all, and the quest would have failed without him.

      • Dave, I agree, they are bent on a policy of total personal destruction — which is damned insane coming out of the mouths of individuals who simultaneously pat themselves on their backs for being not only a) lovers of humanity but also b) open-minded intellectuals who embrace diversity. Apparently when true diversity reared its non-comformist head, their reaction was to break out the pitch forks and torches. Kick the puppies! Kick them again, and again, and again! Kick them until they bleed! Because this is what good, proper science fiction fans do. (head in hands)

        • Dan Lane

          Mayhap I’m still a bit naive, but I like to think the loudest voices leading the pitchfork mob ain’t calling the tune for “the majority.”

          Oh sure, they have a buncha fellows and fellowettes that spout the same nonsense. I’ve read quite a bit of it here and there, not near as much as you have, but some. There’s only so much a man can take of that at a time! The thing is, though, they ain’t everyone.

          Some folks like to follow along. It’s easier. Cutting the path takes work. Trailing along, not so much. So, there’s quite a lot of folks that don’t think things through. Some of those just want to stay with the crowd, so they make the right noises in the right places. Like most any folk, they try to fit in. The consequences for *not* fitting in, well, you’ve seen for yourself.

          What really matters ain’t what they say, mostly. It’s easy to write stuff (like I’m doing now) on the internet. The mob? People like us will never get the mob. There’s no future in trying. What matters is how we react to it.

          My grandma used to say, you’re only big as the things that make you mad. And all this hysteria about dee-ver-sit-tee is darn right Lilliputian by my reckoning. Attacking a man’s livelihood, now that’s cause for concern- but you stand for what you believe in, and lo, those attacks can mean as little as you give credence to them.

          You’re a good man, Brad, and a heck of a writer. I’m looking forward to seeing what you write next, so I can buy it, myself. I ain’t ashamed to say that. Regardless of how it may look if you poke around certain websites these days, you’ve done a good thing with Sad Puppies. It’s gotten some pretty darn good writers attention they richly deserve (even if Mike may pout a bit that he’s got better stuff- he does- I hope folks’ll take a look at Better To Beg Forgiveness and A Long Time Until Now, too).

          Being a good man is like being Batman- if you can, always be a good man. *grin* And you’re in good company there (and here), too.

        • Brad I think you are right (surprise :-)). Their ’embracing diversity’ isn’t even skin deep. It’s an excuse for favoring their partisans. Back in the dark ages, when I grew up, my parents invested a lot of time and effort in what my father cheerfully told me was ‘his own worst interest’ (they were church volunteers giving adult eduction classes to black South Africans – which in an apartheid world counted against them in their careers, and was actually a risk to their lives, and in a post apartheid world got them no credit). But the Old Man believed it was the right thing to do. It left me believing in a fair chance for ANYONE, even my worst enemy, whose success would do me harm. It’s a million miles from the SJW credo.

          I’m very glad that this has brought you some rewards. You’ve been hugely hard-working and patient and have my respect and admiration for it. Thank you.

    • Good. I like seeing my point, that the current owners of the Hugo are basically pathetic losers with a consolation prize, confirmed.

    • Scott

      You are known by the quality of your enemies. We readers know that and they are your best recomendations (as you have shown just now that you know). By all means get them frothing some more, you deserve the advertising to those of us who value good books.

  10. I am a slow learner, I guess. I read “Gerrold and TNH carefully listed all the nasty things –exclusion from Cons, denial of space in publications, editors closing doors to subs, reviews being denied… that just would happen to us.” It sounded familiar…

    Now it’s hit me. It’s the strategies revealed in Climategate. Regardless of ones opinion on CAGW it was a distasteful strategy. So not only are they aping climate science inner circle, they’re aping a strategy that blew up in the faces of those who used it.

    Good plan, that. 🙂