Whether they like it or not, we are part of the science fiction community

(Jason is having trouble with WordPress this morning, so I’m posting this for him.)

I’ve been pretty quiet up to this point about the Hugo nominations and the brouhaha it has caused. Oh sure, I’ve quietly seethed about it in my office while working on my latest book, and on more than a few occasions I’ve vented about how friends of mine – friends I consider practically family – have been lambasted and attacked, and accused of everything from racism to animal abuse. I’ve watched “professional journalists” (that was very hard to type with a straight face) abuse their own publication’s integrity by launching false and libelous attacks by using word of mouth as their only source, backing up their comments not with facts but with vitriol. I kept my mouth shut publicly not because I was worried I might harm my Campbell chances but because I didn’t want anything I said to hurt my friends and their chances at winning a Hugo.

Okay, I lost it a little bit when a Tor editor called my friends neonazis, but other than that…

I was up late last night writing this (it was 0400 when I stopped, and immediately started back up again once I was awake) and I just felt ready to throw in the towel. I was at the point where I just looked at everything and thought “Why bother? If any of my friends win, someone will throw a fit and accuse them of fraud, ballot-stuffing and lament how racism won and destroyed the Hugos. If my friends lose, they’ll cry triumphantly to the heavens that the racists have been defeated and they should just take their wannabe writer status and go home.”

It got worse when I found a post by Vox Day and who he thought would win the Campbell, and I saw that I wasn’t even worth mentioning. I mean, it’s one thing to doubt I’ll win it, but it’s something else to be discounted so much that I’m not even mentioned as a nominee. That was a swift kick in the balls, to say the least. I mean, I expected it from Puppy Kickers (PKers from here on out), but from someone who had me on their own initial Hugo ballot? Ouch.

So to counter this mild case of the blues, I went and played some Civilization 5 and conquered the world. As usual, defeating my enemies and driving them from their capitols in a fiery nuclear bombardment made me feel that much better. I bucked up, realized that my friends were grown ups and capable of defending themselves, and shouted “Hoist the Black Flag!”

(Well, I shouted in my head “Hoist the Black Flag!” Shouting that at 4 in the morning is just rude and my neighbors would not appreciate it)

How dare those who kick the puppies claim to represent diversity in the field when they only offer a bunch of white people and a token year in and year out as their nominees, yet call me and mine racists for nominating a broad spectrum of minorities. How can they accuse me and mine from having an overabundance of privilege without checking their own?

I’m done with your bullshit. I am absolutely done. You may have the right, but you are in the wrong when you attack my friends and try to harm their livelihoods because your award – which 95% of science fiction fans haven’t fucking heard of – is in danger of being awarded to those you don’t deem as the “proper” nominees. Any moral high ground you may have had is gone the moment you claim that certain female authors are nothing more than shields. All claims of not being a “racist” go out the window when you claim that Brad Torgersen’s wife and child are nothing but a shield for his own inner racism (that was one of the more idiotic things I’ve read, by the way).

Quite frankly, PKers, everything you claim that the Sad Puppies represent is a product of your own projection. I’m firmly convinced that you are the homophobic, racist hate mongers who are delusional. Every step, every public statement you’ve made, only reinforces this. Every single stance you’ve taken, from using “professional journalists” to write similar hit pieces to public condemnation of anyone who might say anything positive about us, all the way to demanding a rule change in the Hugo Nominating process just screams of maintaining your own exclusive club. And you know why the word “exclusive” is used in describing any such club? Because it excludes people who you view as undesirable. Your stance reminds me of the “Whites Only” and “Colored” drinking fountains standing side by side, separate but “equal”. This is why whenever I see someone telling my friends to go find their own award, I laugh.

Because despite what you PKers want to admit, we’re part of the SF community as well.

It sucks, I know, being forced to admit that people like Sarah and Brad and Larry might actually be good at writing and belong in your community. You can’t exclude them from it because SF is not a gated community, though it sounds like that may change if you get your way.

The Hugos are being awarded tomorrow night. If you’re going to nuke the nomination process and the awards themselves, PKers, will you at least wait 24 hours after the winners are announced so that they can enjoy their accolades? It would suck for Jim Butcher to win Best Novel and immediately be declared “persona non grata” by you before he could even enjoy his win.

44 thoughts on “Whether they like it or not, we are part of the science fiction community

    1. Not entirely inaccurate. We’re here to play in SF, after all, and they want to kill our fun.

    2. In Canada, where hockey is our nationality, PKer means Penalty Killer. The first rule of killing a penalty is not to score an own goal. Puppy Kickers routinely score against their own side, and then have the temerity to blame the Puppies. So you can imagine the knots my brain tied itself into on seeing ‘PKer’ used in this context.

  1. Yeah, they just don’t understand that you can’t pick your family. We all grew up in the science fiction family. The PKers are trying to disown us.

  2. A troll at Larry’s told me I’m not a real fan. I laughed at him. I mean, is “you aren’t a real fan” the best they can do? If so, we have nothing to fear from these people.

    1. I laugh when they say it to those who buy science fiction and fantasy books. Those who have read the genre all their lives and who have helped put money in their pockets. How dare they tell readers that they aren’t “real” fans simply because they aren’t spending money on going to WorldCon instead of, oh, paying rent, putting their kids through school, etc. I don’t know about you, but I think our priorities are much more grounded than theirs.

      1. My response is that, fannishness aside, I am their *customer*. If they do not wish me to be their customer, then carry on …

      2. How about living on social security and a pittance of a retirement check? I’d rather feed myself and my cats than starve us on so we can go to their stupid con? And I was reading scifi and fantasy before most of them were born. I started with E.E. “Doc” Smith and Asimov and, yes, Heinlein. I’ve slipped into a fantasy mode, and most current fantasy is little girls and vampires or werewolves. Puh-lease! Give me Witchfinder any day!

        1. YAHOOO, B H!!! Preach it!
          Got my $9.99 per month budgeted so I can read my Kindle Unlimited, and my social security covers that.
          GREY PANTHERS RULE!!!!

    2. Same guy said he’s not a real fan either.

      I’m not sure what’s up with that. Maybe he really doesn’t care if the genre dies from inbreeding.

      1. Not hardly. We’re not dependent on the traditional-publishing retail model any more, with agents, editors, publishers, wholesalers, distributors, and bookstores.

        They’re not going away… but they’re not the only game in town. And neither is Amazon, for that matter.

  3. And this is what baffles me: PKers are focused on the right person winning (not the craft), but SP/RP are focused on the craft (who cares about the person), yet SP/RP = bigotry. Yeah, I’ve still got that strange idea that I should judge people on their merits/achievements, not by their race/gender/etc … which makes me a bad person.

  4. When I was in the military, there was this award that was ‘THE Award’, that your unit could win. At the time, due to politics (I was friends with someone who said bad things about someone else – but they were untouchable), I was being subjected to one of the most vicious campaigns that the IG had ever seen (Yes, it led to an investigation).
    And then, my unit, led by me, won ‘THE award’. And one of the higher ranking people, who hated me, had to award it to me.
    Suddenly it was no longer ‘THE Award’, oh it still got awarded every year, but until I was no longer there, they stopped making a big deal about it. Now I didn’t care so much, but I felt bad for the twenty plus members of my unit, who deserved the accolades, which we had all worked hard for.

    All of this, is just that childish BS all over again, being given to us by shoe clerks and pencil pushers, who aren’t the ones doing the real work, but who seem to think that they’re more important then those that do. I’m starting to belive that Vox has the right of it, just burn it all down. Because I’m starting to think that the award can’t be saved, too many people look at it as a sign of what not to read.

  5. First – don’t feel bad. Your story was worthy of consideration, and I liked your stuff.

    Second – the overall tone right now (you, others) is reminding me of a near-throwaway line in Ringo’s “March” series where Kosutic(??) explains to the prince why her planet is a planet of “satanists”

    Basically, anyone who did not cleave sufficiently close to what was currently acceptable was labeled a “satanist” for their heresies, and eventually everyone else decided to take it and run with it. “Hoist the black flag” as you and others in these parts have put it.

  6. “You can’t exclude them from it because SF is not a gated community, though it sounds like that may change if you get your way.”
    I’m starting to think they really should get their way. Then they get to experience the joy of unintended consequences as their tiny little universe of right and proper SF gets smaller by the year. Eventually they may come to realize that their ever so special gated community is in face a prison, and the walls are shrinking.
    I don’t care any more. If we win this year’s Hugo battle, then we were right, the game was fixed and we played by their rules and won. If we lose then they succeeded in pissing in their own punch bowl, throwing a successful hissy fit, and ruining the event for themselves and everyone else. That of course assumes that “no award” is the winner in multiple categories.
    I guess I’m of the same mind as Captain Comic. Mock them, ridicule their positions, make fun of every stupid thing they come up with, until they pitch a fit and go running back to mommy and daddy to make the nasty people go away.

  7. They tend to give themselves away with everything they say.

    “They only did this because they want Hugo awards!” (Ignore that everyone involved in SP turned down their nominations.)

    “They’re not REALLY fans!” (Me thinks they over-estimate how much give-a-crap the world outside of Sci-Fi has for the Hugos. Go ahead and ask someone who is truly “not a sci-fi/ fantasy lit fan” to vote in the Hugos. I can tell you what their answer is. ‘You want me to give money to an organization I don’t care about? Forty bucks so that I can vote in a popularity contest that I’ve never heard of? Are you going to try to sell me some magazines next? Chocolate for your kid’s marching band? Not interested. Please go away.’)

    What it really boils down to is this: they don’t like the stuff we love. And they had convinced themselves that EVERYONE loves the stuff they like.

    It’s just not the case.

    One last thing.

    I voted for you for the Campbell award. Because I liked your work. (even if I wanted to clobber you for what you did to Thomason and Ghost)

    Not because of your politics (whatever they are), or your gender, or your pronouns, or your race, or because of who your friends are. (not even sure I know who your friends are.)

    You write good stuff. You deserve the nom. If you win, you’ll have deserved that too.

  8. Well, Jason, you had at least one ballot with you in the top spot, so buck up…

    For some reason, red on white doesn’t get my attention – I was about to start digging to find out how I missed Amanda in the Campbell nominees. Sigh. Caffeine, plus still agitated about the latest (“The Attack of the Flyers”).

    I’m hoping the stream is not interrupted tomorrow. Perhaps they have fixed the earlier problems of being cut off for “copyright violations” – but it would not amaze me if it goes out for “technical difficulties” – if the SJW picks start coming down in flames.

    As for the 24 hour truce – keep dreaming, whichever way it goes. (Between the Voxxers and the Makers of Light, somebody is going to fire the first shot before the first winner even touches his or her rocket.)

  9. Civ 5? I hate Civ 5. I bought it, then found out I had to upgrade my memory and graphics card to make it run. And then I got lead through all that crap with Steam.
    So, it just sits.
    Now, Alpha Centauri, on the other hand, is the game I enjoyed consistently for years. I really liked it when I found out how I could add my own profile picture and give myself nonsensical things to say. If Sid could come up with something like that every time at bat, then I’d buy them as soon as I could scrape together the money.

          1. 4GB system memory, and a 2 GB GeForce GT430 video card.
            And that clanking sound you just heard was me mrowsing among the several dead desktops sitting on the Lame Couch in my man cave.

  10. I am very much torn over the name “science fiction”. It’s what I grew up reading, and what I write is very heavily influenced by what I read–most the New Wave of the 60s and 70s.

    However, I find that the general public seems to respond negatively to the label when applied to fiction. There are a lot of readers who equate science fiction with dull, depressing, and polemic-laden. I personally call my works “urban fantasy” for that very reason.

    Can the genre be rehabilitated? I don’t know. Having books that people actually want to read win awards would certainly be a good start. But I wonder if it might be easier to let the SJWs have that particular pair of words and come up with another phrase to mean “books in which speculative things happen.”

    1. Misha, I’m at the point (or perhaps just the age) when I am willing to surrender not an inch more of the language territory.

      I am a liberal. I am NOT the speech-quelling, behavior-controlling creatures that have appropriated the word.

      I am a progressive. I am NOT the people that desire nothing more than to return to the days of the oh-so-caring aristocracy and the oh-so-grateful peasantry that have appropriated the word.

      I am even gay on occasion – although less often than in my far more carefree (and far more clueless) youth. I am NOT the people that are constantly telling such tales of a woeful and oppressed life that I cannot believe they ever have, or will, experience a moment of sheer happiness at being alive (no matter how much the “self-actualization” of what should be a small part of their humanity is celebrated).

      Therefore, I have chosen my hilltop – either to proudly fly my tattered but still unfurled flag – or to be the final resting place for any hopes I have for this society. The two words “science fiction” shall not be captured, shall not be held hostage, shall not be dishonored; not while I have a single round of ammunition left. This far – and no further.

        1. And I know that I have not insulted you with that diatribe. I get very hot about that one particular word, as I have known one gay man. I call him a gay man, because I virtually never saw him downbeat. Especially when, as a person with a minivan for the family at the time, I occasionally took him and his wheelchair out to the local canyon – his sheer delight at being there, he who had studied earlier in his too short life with the intent of becoming a desert botanist, was amazing.

          The fact that his sexual preference was for men had nothing whatsoever to do with my description of him. RIP, my gay friend.

          1. Oh, I hate the usage of “gay” to mean homosexual. It’s a euphemism, and you use euphemisms for things that you’re ashamed of.

            Your reply did get me thinking about the things that are worth fighting for. They often aren’t the things that get chapters in the history books. They’re footnotes, the casual everyday things that we all take for granted until they are gone. A man doesn’t die for a flag, he dies for the feel of rain on his face in his own garden and the comradeship of old friends over a beer at the end of hard day’s work.

            The phrase “fighting to preserve our way of life” is bound to elicit scorn among the elite, but in the end, is anything else really worth fighting for? Our way of life–and the right to choose our way of life–is what makes life worth living at all.

            I think you’re right. I think back on the hours I spent with library books and the joy and wonder I felt on seeing that little sticker on the spine with the rocketship and atomic symbol. That has always been my refuge, that land of “might have been but isn’t yet”.

            Yeah. This might be a hill worth dying on after all.

            1. “A man doesn’t die for a flag, he dies for the feel of rain on his face in his own garden and the comradeship of old friends over a beer at the end of hard day’s work.”

              Damn. I have got to scrape up the gelt to start buying your stuff. Beautifully turned.

                1. I’d rather give you more, sir. I’ll keep a watch out.

                  Just $40 for WorldCon wiped out my discretionary spending for a while (and a bit more).

  11. Ah Civ V. Picked that one up finally but I’ve avoided starting it, as recently I’ve found very little time to write as it is. (Granted, that is because I’ve got a serious girlfriend, so I’m not _complaining_ or anything. ;P )

    Last of that series I tried was Civ Revolution, which apparently my X-Box hates.

    Seriously, ~10 hours of play and the stupid machine burns a deep ring around the bottom third of the disk rendering it completely unusable. Returned it to gamestop and got a replacement, same thing happens.

    Mass Effect 2? 500+ hours using that game and not a mark on the disc.

    You deserved your nomination, and anyone saying otherwise can vete a la goma.

  12. Hi, my name is Pat, and I’m a straight white redneck male with guns and a pickup truck, and I’m a HUGE FAN of science fiction; And I’m a moderate FAN of fantasy;
    and my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant foxy praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, is a FAN of the urban-fantasy-romance genre;
    (was that too much? was it over the line?)

  13. No worries, Jason. You’ll note I didn’t discuss myself as a nominee in one category either. That post was merely my perception of the probabilities, not a statement on the worthiness of the nominees.

    If you win, I will be delighted. But don’t discount the nomination; it is a win in its own right.

  14. Of course, if the PK’s respond to Hugo victories of which they disapprove by boycotting the victors, they will only be isolating themselves from the most successful authors of science fiction. Their exclusive club will become increasingly irrelevant.

  15. Jason, you know what I am going to say? Same thing I said the last time…non illegitimi carborundum (hoping I typed that correctly).

    And yes, those who’d hijack the Hugo Awards because they can’t handle having their own delicate sensibilities offended bug me. (And those people definitely aren’t the Sad Puppies, nor are they the Rabid Puppies, either.)

    Any group of people who would rather vote for “No Award” than for a perfectly qualified editor out of spite bother me.

    Editing, in particular, is something that is a skill that people work on for a long time. I know I’ve been working on it, as a skill, now for something like fifteen years.

    To me, going after someone in the editor category merely because someone apparently disliked her politics and/or because she had writers in her stable that were liked by both the SPs and RPs is just plain flat wrong.

    I have never ID’d as a Sad Puppy. But I might after this.

    Just not cool, what the folks did at the Hugos, to Toni W. Just not cool whatsoever.

      1. Thanks, Pat. I’m writing right now at my own blog about how unfair I think it is for both editing awards to go to “No Award.” Stay tuned.

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